Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

Change in Season, Same Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
November 9, 2014

Fall Colors

I love fall. The brisk air, the foliage, the anticipation of Holidays.

With the change in weather is the change in wardrobe. Out come coats and sweaters, or do they?

I detected a whine in the voice of my husband the other morning when he said, “Can we turn on some heat please?” Heat? Really is it time to turn the heat on? I noticed he was wearing fleece. When did he stop wearing shorts?

Certainly when the heat is turned on and the rains have started, I need to get out my winter wardrobe. I used to have 2 sets of clothing, one for summer and one for winter. Since menopause, I notice I have one set of clothing with some sandals or a few sweaters.

One set of clothes for all seasons? I could be living in Hawaii! I don’t! Damn you menopause!!

With the change of the seasons and the heat is turned on and it is cool outside then warms up or it rains and then stops, it is hard for anyone to regulate their body temperature. For the menopausal, the hot flashes and night sweats are just having a hey day and night!

Is it hot in here? I know it isn’t just me! Do you have one all weather wardrobe?


I Don’t Want a Bucket List
August 4, 2014

Fill the bucketMany people have bucket lists. I don’t. The idea of a list to check off items before I die has no appeal to me. Am I alone?

I have heard some precise, outlandish, and ridiculous bucket lists. Learning to be a snake charmer? Really? So if you put something like learning to become a snack charmer on your bucket list and it never happens is the whole list voided? Is it a way to achieve lesser and more reasonable feats?

How old do you have to be to start a bucket list? I overheard a 30-something woman talking to a 40-something woman about their bucket lists. Before they could turn to me at my advanced age and ask me about my list, I left the vicinity.

I think I underestimated the popularity of a bucket list. I thought it was like the Macarena, something fun for a short amount of time. Bucket lists, I read, have appeared on people’s resumes and in job interviews, and even in obituaries!

Bucket list fundamentals, I really want to know:

Why do you have a bucket list?

Do you keep a bucket list because you are afraid you will die with regrets?

Is it a way to brag?

Is it a checklist to keep score among your friends, neighbors and associates?

Is it a conversation starter?

Is it a filter, you only associate with people who have similar bucket lists?

  Empty Bucket

What is on your bucket list?

Do you think you will achieve all the items on your bucket list?

What happens if you don’t meet 25% or 50% of your list?

Convince me I need a bucket list!

My New Wallet Buying Journey
May 8, 2014

My New Wallet Buying Journey.

Vacationing at Friends’ or Family Homes
April 12, 2014

Summer means vacations. If you live or have a home in a desirable vacation area it is THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Do you know what I am talking about? Friends and relates may be looking to mooch or crash with you this summer.

Here are my guidelines:

  1. No more than 4 days and 3 nights total.
  2. No pets.
  3. No unknown traveling buddy that comes with.
  4. No use of a car, rentals are available.
  5. If you are taking a red eye home you will be dropped off at 9 PM. Likewise if you are taking a really early flight, there are cabs or public transportation.

Do these guidelines seem strident? I am opening up my house and extending hospitality. I want family and friends to visit but I work. I run a business. Come Thursday and leave Tuesday and we can all have lots of fun. Really we can!

Of course there are exceptions. In my case, my sister has a very small footprint so she can stay longer. Some other guests, 3-4 days is the limit. A weekend is truly enough for some other guests who have large footprints.

Then there are guests who try to force their way, into your home and they are turned back. This becomes awkward but in my experience it is well worth a few minutes of awkwardness and firmness than staying 3 days holed up in your bedroom. Just saying…

So what makes a good houseguest, and what am I talking about large and small footprints? Here is how a guest can have small footprints:

1.They blend in well with your routine.

2. They give you options on what they want to do.

3. They contain their belongings to their room.

4. They help out.

5. They are appreciative of the time spent together.


Here are traits of big footprint guests:

1.They have a routine that you must adjust to. A good example, they run 5 miles every morning and an early start can’t occur until they get their run in.

2. They have no plans but don’t want to do any of your choices.

3. Their shoes, coats and clothes are all over the house.

4. They mistake your home for a B&B.

5. They just want to crash at your house because they can’t afford a ‘real’ vacation.

Have you turned away guests? How have your experiences been?







How to Survive Menopause with-out becoming a Felon: Intro
November 7, 2011

My initial title was How to survive menopause with-out going to jail, but that seemed short sighted. A snarky remark to a policeman pulling you over for no apparent reason may result in a visit to jail. A shove back to an aggressive shopper may bring store or mall security and it is only protocol that everyone gets hauled into jail to sort things out. A shove forward to get your comments heard by your political favorite might be misunderstood and it is a ride to jail.

Becoming a felon means you have really stepped over the line. You have acted out regrettably in a way that can not be sorted out easily. You have become irrational. You have listened to your inner estrogen deprived voice and snapped. You may be reading this too late. For those of us clinging to our rational though estrogen deprived sanity, I write these words of advice. Full disclosure, my advice is from the point of view of someone who can not offset her menopause symptoms by hormones natural or otherwise.

Most women over the course of several years go through a phase called ‘peri-menopause’. This means little side effects are happening. Most women think something critical is wrong with them or it is stress. In reality more often than not, it is the start of menopause. Denial is one of the first side effects of menopause or peri-menopause. I liken the denial phase to the river The Nile. The banks are very lush, the water is very cool the area is very beautiful and if you could just live there in la-la land of denial, everyone and everything would be great!

Sooner or later, the denial phase does not make sense anymore. Maybe a friend, a spouse or co-worker mentions more than once that you are not quite yourself. Maybe you even have a self reflective non-denial thought and think that you are not yourself either. You start to wonder where the hell did you go and who has taken over your body and mind?

There are many wonderful web sites, books and resources available to find out everything about menopause. From the medical to the spiritual to the alternative to the myths, there is information out there. I am going to share in the following weekly posts the most important information and that is how to survive menopause with-out becoming a felon.  The biggest tip I can give overall is that your inner voice, that voice of rational reason may be compromised because of lack of estrogen, and you need to really truly absolutely positively think and think again before you act, lest you become a felon!

Next Week; How to Survive Menopause with-out becoming a Felon: Fashion


Not all Americans are Stupid you Idiot!
November 1, 2011

Not all Americans are Stupid You Idiot!


I was in a US airport recently. It was the Boston airport and my flight home to the West coast had been delayed. I took the opportunity to eat one more lobster roll and relax before the 6 hour flight home. If you are not familiar with a lobster roll it is lobster meat with maybe some mayonnaise on a hot dog bun. It is fantastic. I grew up in the Boston area and eat lobster as much as possible when I am back visiting. During the summer in Maine and Massachusetts, McDonalds will even have lobster rolls on their menus.

I was in one last lobster bliss stupor, watching baseball on the bar TV, enjoying myself completely when a woman next to me interrupted my reverie. She did not have an American accent and was holding out American coins wanting to know their values. Being a polite person, I engaged her in conversation about where she was from. She told me but with an attitude that I should know just from her accent. She then proceeded to go into a tirade about how stupid American coins are in relation to their size and denominations.

Again, let me state, I was having a pleasant time. How often does that happen when you are delayed in an airport? So I listened to her and told her she was over-thinking the whole money thing. I took her bill and looked at the money she had laid out and told her it was not enough. She was leaving all her change for a tip, amounting to about 5%. She went on about how Americans are so stupid because a nickel is bigger than a dime but is worth less and all the bills are the same size. Yeah, I had enough of her and wanted to get back to the baseball game and savor my lobster roll, but she wouldn’t stop harping.

I sized her up as not a fan of Americans. She was haughty, belligerent and from her tab, cheap. So what could I do? I told her to put down all her change and take another bill that had a big ‘5’ on it and put it on the counter. She asked if wasn’t that too much? I assured her it wasn’t and she did what I asked. I waited for the waitress to come over and collect the bill. She was still talking and going on and on so I had to tell her to take her skinny boney ass back to her country and get the hell away from me. I am patriotic after all. Rude is rude, what else could I do?? What would you do?

May 24, 2011

Remember the Fiddler on the Roof song, “Traditions”?  What family traditions do you follow and are they uniquely yours, long time family, religious or acquired?

Recently I was speaking with a friend who was hoping that she was not going to get together for her birthday with her sister. I was surprised because I know she and her sister are very close. What I did not know is the tradition the sisters have since they were kids to celebrate their birthdays by going out to dinner at the same restaurant and ordering the same food every year. Year after year the restaurant is Denny’s!

Evidently her sister like many people who hold on to traditions fiercely, feel you can not deviate at all from the tradition. When my friend was growing up, Denny’s was close to their home and an acceptable place for kids to go alone. The traditional dinner menu, chicken fried steak! Now there are really good restaurants they can go to since they drive and order many things off a menu besides the fried mystery meat entre, but is that keeping with tradition?

Some people I know earnestly strive to set traditions for their families and their children. Just because you get together with someone for New Years Day does not mean it is a yearly occurrence, or is it? What if they think it is a tradition and you are breaking from it if you decline the invitation?

Some traditions are wonderful and stand the test of time. Many families just starting out yearn to make their own traditions. Over the years many families and individuals start new traditions and drop some of the old ones.  Holidays, vacations, family reunions are all laced with traditions. Are you embraced with traditions or saddled?

Jackie Kennedy Onassis set a tradition for her children to write in their own handwriting a poem and read it to her as a special gift. Caroline Kennedy continued the tradition with her children. A lovely way to get children acquainted with poetry. What a lovely way to keep a tradition going as the children mature. What Caroline doesn’t mention is who prompted the continuation of the tradition. There has to be a person that initiates and enforces a tradition otherwise, we all get a bit lazy. Are you the tradition maker, enforcer or recipient?

Flu Shots, When You Care Enough to Give a Shot
August 25, 2010

There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about Flu Shots. The title, ‘Suntan lotion, Flip-flops, and Flu Shots’ caught my eye. If you are like me and think of November or December to get your flu shot, not Suntan lotion and Flip-Flops season, think again.

According to the CDC, influenza vaccination time should be pushed up to September, even Labor Day. So while you are back to school shopping or thinking about that last summer beach party, stop and think about a flu shot too. In fact stores like Walgreens and Rite-Aid have trained thousands of their pharmacists to give flu shots. This is the first time all 50 states will allow pharmacists to administer vaccinations.

Since most drug store shoppers don’t immediately think to add to their list a flu shot, these stores are trying to change that perception. CVS has increased food products, Walgreens has added beer and wine and Rite-Aid wants you to pick up your milk with the shot.

Walgreens, I think shows the most creative marketing strategy for flu shots. You can buy a flu shot gift card at Walgreens. When you care enough, give a shot!

Menopause in Whales
July 28, 2010

A Whale Tale and Not the Low Rise & Thong Intersection Story

Does it seem like the whole world is menopause crazy? Sex in the City2, women on the View? Well now scientists have reported menopause in whales. Gorillas have already been diagnosed in zoos as menopausal so why not whales!

Menopause is a scientific condition and if females of any species live long enough it appears menopause is waiting for them. What tips could we human women offer to the whales? Some of the same tips the zoo keepers give to the gorillas, try and keep cool, and keep your cool.

No one is saying anything about the gender of the South African Whale that tried to hitch a ride on a couple’s yacht last week. The whale is reported to weigh about 40 tons and had been spotted nearby. I think it may have been a menopausal female that just wanted some privacy. Luckily everyone survived the crash.

I would advise, distance with whales. Humans and whales should give each other a wide berth. Whales are big, smart and they can swim faster and deeper than humans. Swimming with the whales, I think is not a good idea! Too many menopausal mammals with-out plenty of cocktails, wine, shrimp or chocolate is not going to end well.

A Garden Whine
June 8, 2010

It has been unseasonably cool and wet here. So cool that my heat turns on and it is set at 65degrees. It is so wet that your feet squish and splash up onto your legs while walking on the grass. Then there is the garden and the slug problems. Strawberries are ripening and rotting at the same time. Vegetable starter plants are being eaten by the slugs. I can imagine them on the backs of slugs as they slither on down the garden path.

I am on a vegetable garden rant. All winter we plan and work the yard getting it ready for the garden. We buy starter plants, seeds, compost and soil in anticipation of planting. We wait for the soil to warm up and plant. Excitement ensues in anticipation of the harvest.

What happened this year is the weather turned ugly and nasty. Warning to all readers, this will be gross. My lettuce which is growing well, but it takes up to 30 minutes to clean. Each Romaine leaf has to be individually washed and de-slugged. This same washing procedure has to be used with the spinach which is kind of tough. Yes thick and tough spinach!  After all the lettuce is washed I put it in a plastic bag. Yesterday when I took out some lettuce, there were slugs. They had been eating on the leaves so there were holes. Live slugs and holes on my cleaned and refrigerator lettuce leaves were just too much for me. I think the slugs hatched in my refrigerator.

I am trying to wait for the sun before I re- plant the missing vegetables. I am hoping it is soon. I had dreams of eggplants, melons, cucumbers, and of course sweet tomatoes. Strawberries may be a lost cause, and melons a memory but I am forever the optimist.