Ask a Mortician

Caitlin Doughtry's life may just be my ultimate career crush. 

She studied medieval history with a focus on death and burial rituals (have I ever told you about my favorite university class - "honoring the dead?")

Later, after researching current burial practices, she decided that she wanted to take some of what she learned about family participation and grieving and put it into practice today. She enrolled in Cypress College of Mortuary Science in California, became a certified mortician and founded The Order of the Good Death which hearkens back to a time when publications and books on "how to die well" were a common genre of literature. 

Her group of artists, academics and funeral industry professionals discuss current trends and "prepare a death-phobic culture for their inevitable mortality." 

She also has a YouTube channel called "Ask a Mortician"

If you too, are "death-phobic" or just morbidly curious, I suggest you check her out. 


Guest Post - The Period Store

I have the privilege of regularly posting on The Periodical about strong women throughout history. Today I am talking about May Slosson - an advocate for education and for those within the prison system.

Head on over to The Period Store to check it out.


Annie Taylor

Annie Taylor may be one of my favorite stories of all time. At the height of the Niagra Falls craze, Annie decided to be the first person to go over the falls in a barrel. 

People had been taking the smaller rapids from the inside of barrels, but no one - man or woman - had ever done it over the falls themselves. 

So in a customized wooden barrel, Annie took the plunge on October 24, 1901 - her 63rd birthday.

Can you imagine?.... 

I want to be her when I grow up.


post st. patricks day spirit

Did you know that the Book of Kells is now available in all of its glory as an app for the ipad? It is such a gorgeous and rich piece of work - I am excited that I can now flip through its pages any time please. 

See it Here


What's in a Name?

We're expecting our first little one in about 3 months. We do not have a crib. We don't have a car seat. And we do not even have a designated space for our impending bundle of joy. However, we have spent hours researching names.  

The responsibility of naming a human being seems incredible to me. This is the name they will be called on the first day of school! The first time someone says "I love you" and what they will be called on their first job interview. 
I just can't take the pressure!


Remembrance and Body Preservation

I am probably the only one, but this news of the death of Hugo Chavez has had me captivated. His death has led to one interesting detail to the next and has culminated in the most fascinating event of all. 

Have you heard? - His body will not be buried. It will not be burned. Instead it will be embalmed and placed within a crystal case to remain on display for perpetuity. 

He's not the first, by any means, to do this.

Lenin was preserved in a similar way and is still on display in Moscow's Red Square. 

Mao Zedong's body still receives daily visitors despite being being dead for over 30 years.

Chavez's case is an interesting one though - as it is the first in several decades and it is being preserved in a rather warm and humid country. I am so curious to find out just how this will all go down...