Well July was certainly a month of company. Not only did Karyn come for a visit (HERE), but so did Jeff and Shawna! We had so much fun. This was our first time meeting Shauna in person (well, everyone except Ken) which was so exciting.
First off… Shawna’s a wizard at doing hair… and Trinity loved it, Echo also got her hair done.
We had a few planned outings. First off… the long delayed trip to Fort Snelling. So much to see on a beautiful day. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
The other big trip was all the way to Wisconsin and Ren in the Glen. It was the kids’ first renaissance festival. Much more affordable than the bigger on Ken and I go to yearly, but just as much fun. Shawna did Trinity’s hair for her and I lent her one of my sari skirts.
Echo pulled out all the stops with her fairy wings.
We had a blast.
Grandpa Mike sent each of the kids some money to spend. Trust me those purchases were VERY carefully considered! I do believe we will try and go again!
The rest of our visit was spent just enjoying everyone’s company. We ate out, ate in, drank a little, went all out with a late night booze fest. It was amazing. I cannot wait until they visit again. Shawna even came to a R.I.P.P.E.D class with me!!! Talk about adventurous! Who knows, maybe before too long we can return the favour and visit them back home? Fingers crossed!
So with my enjoyment of the Youtube channel Ask A Mortician, I picked up her first book – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty. It is definitely not a book for the squeamish, though this book is not massively graphic. This memoir documents Caitlin’s journey from childhood all the way to her finding her calling as Ask the Mortician and the Order of the Good Death.
She has an amazing talent with gallows humour and is able to tell stories with vivid characters. You really do journey with her, learn with her and feel with her as Caitlin recounts some truly human moments. There is a feeling like you are now so much more intimate a friend with her after this book, and I love that.
This book specifically deals with how death and the funeral industry is run in California. She deals with all sorts of questions in regards to fears, to the process, and options available. Keep in mind a portion of this story is based in a crematory.
This is the person who has led me to consider how do we treat our dead and how do I want my remains to be treated. She asks and tries to give answers to fundamental questions of the why, how, where, who, and what will be done. What are our options? How can we think about things differently? How can we be prepared for these moments?
I would totally recommend this book and just as strongly her youTube channelHERE. Questions of mortality and how our culture, and other cultures deal with this is so important. Zander and I have even watched videos together and discussed them. Caitlin has a real flair with being sensitive and compassionate even with her humour and laughter.