Downsizing: Glass Upon Glass

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Bride Full Piece

In my downsizing project, some of the hardest objects to deal with are those made of glass. Glass breaks (duh) and so packaging it up for donation gets more complicated.

When I discovered this sculpture at the North Carolina Museum of Art, I thought wow, maybe I could find an artist to come to my house and pick up all my glass.

In the interview below, artist Beth Lipman talks about her creation, which she titled Bride. She explains that the sculpture starts with order at the top and descends into chaos as the eye reaches the bottom.

I still remember unwrapping some of my glass wedding presents.. So neat, so elegant, nestled into a white boxes with tissue. Now those vases and candy dishes and candlesticks are crammed into cupboards. Chaos.

With menopause must come downsizing hormones. There’s not a woman I know who doesn’t want to clear out when she hits a certain age. But gosh is Beth Lipman going to have a good time with downsizing. She can build more incredible pieces of art!

What about you? What’s been your greatest downsizing challenge?

 

 

 

KegelSmart!

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Intima

 

What’s new in the world of kegels? This innovative product from Intimina designed to help you keep your pelvic floor in shape. When they contacted me about a post, I was glad to give them THIS floor on Friend for the Ride:

About 20 million American women suffer from incontinence. While bladder leakage can occur at different stages of life, menopausal women are among the most frequently affected. Hormonal changes during menopause often weaken the pelvic muscles, making it easier for incontinence to occur.

Thankfully, the number one doctor recommended treatment is one that can be done in the comfort of your own home – Kegel exercises.

Kegels work your pelvic floor – a group of muscles that support vital internal organs like the bladder, bowel, and uterus and help control their function. Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor and can eliminate leaks.

Knowing that the solution for most women is a simple exercise supported by doctors is comforting; however, the problem is that without guidance most women who try Kegels tend to quickly give up. They don’t know for how long they should hold each contraction or how many contractions to do; they can’t even tell if they’re making progress.

KegelSmart is a device that guides you through a short and effective Kegel workout. Made by Intimina, a Swedish brand, it’s small, discreet, and coated in a soft, medical grade silicone.

 

In Hands

 

KegelSmart is like a mini personal trainer, coaching you through a complete Kegel session with easy-to-follow vibration guidance. The instructions are simple: contract your muscles when you feel the vibrations, and rest when they stop. That’s it. It only takes 5 minutes and you’re finished.

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KegelSmart automatically adjusts the exercise level from 1 up to 5—with 5 being the highest—so you’re always working out at the strength level that’s right for you. When you turn on KegelSmart, a little LED light blinks to indicate which level you are on so you can keep track of your progress and keep motivated to reach level five.

Completing the KegelSmart routine once daily will help you achieve total pelvic health. Once you have reached your goals, you can reduce usage to 3-5 times a week to maintain your tone.

Bladder leaks are not something you need to live with; they can be treated. If you are experiencing leaks, talk to your medical practitioner today about Kegel exercises.

Thanks, KegelSmart, for the post and the information. Love that gorgeous shade of pink!

My Theater Debut: Costumes!

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Preg Pillow The play is gearing up! Twelve days until opening night. I’ve enjoyed every minute. And since I love clothes, I’ve had a great time with my costumes.

Our director Lisa has a keen eye. She found the eighties-style maternity dress (above) at a local thrift shop. It’s been fun to be pregnant again with the help of the pillow.

In the final scene, I’m seventy-seven years old. Artistic and spunky, my character, Jeri Neal McFeeley, keeps up her sense of style. I went to My Secret Closet, a consignment shop, to find her a jacket to wear. My Secret Closet

I came home with a jacket and  a necklace to match!

Necklace I also picked up a bracelet for Scene Three, when Jeri Neal, newly married, sports a black and white top with a black miniskirt. At the start of the scene, she flirts with her husband on the phone. “You sound like a mother speaking to a child,” Lisa said. “You need a sexier voice.”

That evening I practiced on Cliff. “Is this real or the play?” he asked.

Bracelets

In the last few weeks, I’ve had trouble deciding, too, when I’m Jeri Neal and when I’m my regular self. I’ll miss her terribly when the show is over.

But that’s a problem for later. Right now, back to the script for more studying! I’m still messing up some lines. While I study, I might just sport the frog slippers that Jeri Neal wears with her pink polka dot bathrobe (peeking out from beneath the maternity dress at the top).

Frog Slippers

For anyone local, here’s the link to Orange Community Players with info on how to buy tickets. I’d love to see you at the show!

St. Rictrudis, Speak to Me

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Saint Rictrudis

When I visit art museums, I like to see if the art speaks to me.

Of course art is supposed to speak to us, in the more general sense.

But I want the people in the art to use real words. I tried to get a menopausal tip from this painting by Rembrandt. I hoped the hand poised near her abdomen was a sign she had something to say girl-wise, but alas, she did not speak.

 

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Rictrudis, the lovely lady who resides in statue-form at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art, was French and lived in the seventh century. She married Adalbald, a knight. Together, they produced four children.

But into every life, rain must fall. Rictrudis’s parents weren’t happy with the marriage, so they murdered Adalbald. Yep. Talk about conflict with the in-laws.

But Rictrudis didn’t let such tragedy curtail her energetic spirit. Defying pressure to remarry, she started a convent at Marchiennes and became the first abbess.

I stood in front of her. Our trip to the Nasher was my first venture into the world after cancer surgery. I’d spent the last three weeks mostly on the couch. Tonight the museum felt so real, so colorful, so filled with treasure, so alive.

Speak to me, St. Rictrudis.

Rien. Nothing.

My French is tres mauvais, so if she had used words, I wouldn’t have caught them anyway.

But beyond words, the look on her face and Rictrudis’s story tells me this: When life gets tough, the tough keep going. I knew that.

But it’s helpful to be reminded by a wooden lady carved centuries ago.

 

Another Shot

To learn more about Rictrudis and the work done to restore her statue, check out the article from the Nasher Museum of Art.

And BTW, I did have a statue smile at me. Cliff said the other day, “I thought you made it up!” No! This truly happened, albeit the sun was bright.