Monthly Archives: May 2018

Downsizing: Finding Happy Homes

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Cliff and I are still downsizing as we move into our new home. A burst pipe in the fire sprinkler system set us back this winter. The pipe was incorrectly insulated by the builder. It sounded like Niagara Falls when I walked in on that freezing January day to discover that one wing of our house was already flooded.

The repairs, done begrudgingly by the builder, have taken forever, but we were fortunate as it could have been so much worse. Lucky I came into the house when I did.

In the meantime, we’ve continued to empty the old house (and we’re now living in the new one for the most part). My downsizing mission has been to put almost nothing in the landfill, and I’ve had great success. A second mission was to be creative in giving away my goods, so that they found the best possible home.

Our love seat became an important part of the set of Orange Community Player’s production of California Suite. Not only did I have a blast playing Mattie the Maid in the show, but I loved seeing how well my love seat worked on the set.

My church, Hillsborough Presbyterian, supports refugee families. My friend Alice delivered our guest room bedding to two little girls in one of the families.

Alice reported that the girls were delighted. Here’s Zakara on her  newly made up bed. (For those of you who remember the old Eddie Bauer home stores, that’s where this set came from.)

Their mom, Sekeena, is a seamstress. I sent dust ruffles to her too, hoping she can  use the eyelet in some of her projects.

I commissioned Sekeena to make potholders from extra fabric I bought years ago to match our living room couches. The couches aren’t coming to the new house, so the potholders make great souvenirs. I’ve got a stack of ten or so. Should last a while!

We bought this school desk when we were first married and living in Pittsburgh. I love it but have no place for it in the new house. One day it popped into my mind that a children’s museum might like a school desk. A few weeks later, our desk was on its way to the  Children’s Museum of Alamance County. We look forward to visiting it there.

And I sent these framed quilt pieces to  Ali Givens, who does fabric art. Hopefully she can use the smaller roses in a project.


After the flooded wing of the house is painted next week, we plan to move over another load of furniture. Then I’ll find a home for those couches, among other projects.

Soon comes the biggest downsizing project of all: Getting our 180-year-old house on the market.

Anyone want a house in historic HIllsborough? We’ll fix the shutter before you move in…

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You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing, and Hope (and a Giveaway)

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Just off the presses:  You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing, and Hope by Debbie Augenthaler.
For those of us who haven’t experienced it yet, we wonder what it would be like to be thrown into immeasurable grief. That’s what happened to the author of this riveting book. Debbie Augenthaler not only recounts in vivid, compelling prose what it was like to lose her husband, but she offers clear and encouraging coping suggestions for those enduring intense grief. I found this book so deeply moving and encouraging that I could turn right around and read it again.
 
Here’s what the publisher says about You Are Not Alone:  Debbie is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. Her husband, Jim, died suddenly in her arms when she was only 36 years old. He had been healthy and vibrant – the doctors compared the probability of his death by heart attack to being struck by lightning. That lightning strike ended her life as she knew it and thus began the “baptism by fire” that brought her to her new future.

You Are Not Alone is the book she wishes she’d had when she was grieving. With the connection of a shared experience, Debbie guides the reader through grief to transformation and a new beginning.

“This is my story of loss, healing, and the spiritual journey that led me to know that love never dies. This book is about hope. As hard as it might be for you to believe right now, I want you to know: you will heal, you will not only survive, but you can thrive and find joy and meaning in your new life. This may not be the life you had before; but it is still your life to live.”

Giveaway: The publisher is giving a copy of You Are Not Alone to two lucky Friend for the Ride readers. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by June 10. U.S. only. Thanks!
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Alvoru Clothing: A Giveaway!

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A post by Jeanette Knittel, founder of of alvoru:

The middle of the night and I woke up wondering if I was swimming! Seriously, how could I be soaked? The sheets, mattress pad, me—everything was screaming wet! I thought for sure I would find a pool of water under the bed!

Maybe it was a freak incident? But wait this happened the next night, and the next, and the next! Welcome to my beginning of peri-menopause and night sweats.

While I knew that night sweats and hot flashes are a part of the aging process, I was so unprepared for the misery that would be a part of my life for years. After months of the same scenario, night after night, I decided to go online and look for sleepwear to help with the night sweats. What I found was a number of companies with wicking fabric but OMG…no way at 46 was I ready to be wearing granny gowns for the rest of my days! So much for any sex appeal in my bedroom! Still, I desperately needed sleep so I bought the best-looking option out there. Lo and behold, it helped, yet it wasn’t at all what I wanted in appearance, performance, and function.

After letting the idea percolate for a number of years (along with continued pool parties!) I decided to look into creating a line of clothing of women that would help them feel sexy, cool, confident and comfortable while struggling with hot flashes and/or night sweats. Nearly 10 years later, I launched alvöru and I’m thrilled to share my passion for my product with other women who suffer like I did (and still do!).

Cami

My brand, alvöru, is an apparel line designed for women who want FEMININE, CLASSIC, and COMFORTABLE clothes to balance career and casual while dealing with hormonal fluctuations that cause hot flashes and night sweats. Aside from menopause, many women face challenges due to increased body temperature occurring in pregnancy, chemotherapy, various medications and other illness or disease.

avöru utilizes the technology that went into space gloves used by NASA to regulate astronauts body temperature using what’s called PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS.  Imagine ice cubes in a drink; as the ice cube changes from solid to liquid, it absorbs heat and cools the drink, keeping your drink at the desired temperature for longer. Our clothing works the same way – as the skin gets hot, the heat is absorbed, and as it cools, that heat is released.

The alvöru collection is created using a blend of fabric that feels great against your skin. Current designs are made from a jersey knit of supima cotton, viscose and spandex. All of these components bring you the comfort of that old worn T-shirt but in a STYLISH and CLASSY design that works whether under your business suit, with jeans or even to sleep in. And, everything about our product is proudly Made in America.

Being COOL, COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT throughout your day is so easy with alvöru.

tank giveaway-2 (1)

Giveaway: Jeanette is giving away a tank (above)  to one lucky Friend for the Ride reader. Here’s the description:

The perfect tank – sizes XS-1X  in black or off white
A lifestyle wardrobe essential, the alvöru perfect tank, will be your go-to basic tank. With flattering not-too-low and not-too-high scoop neck along with bra-friendly straps and some slight waistline tailoring, our perfect tank will fit into your business and casual style with ease. Being cool and comfortable will never feel the same!

For a chance to win, please enter a comment by June 10. Thanks!

About Jeanette: Jeanette Knittel never knew after graduating from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR with a B.S. in Home Economics/Child Development & Psychology, decades later that education would be integral when starting alvöru clothing.

Prior to alvöru, Jeanette worked 10 years in the computer graphics industry owning Computer Images of Wichita and Kansas City with such clients as Pizza Hut, Inc. Sprint, AMC Theaters, and Boeing. Upon selling, Jeanette took her talents of relationship building to various sales careers – in computer-related industries and her last employment with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

With acceptance in 2012 into UMKC’s Entrepreneurship Scholars Program, the decision to turn a dream into a business became reality.