Menopause Muddle

1 Oct

She saw me coming. I was totally ripe for the picking. When I turned that corner a bell began to ring in that girl’s head. “Yep she is the one……”

I was shopping in Whole Foods without a list. Don’t do that! It is dangerous because it means your bill will double as you will wander through the store looking at everything. I know better and usually have a handy dandy list that send me straight to exactly what I need and no more! I write my list in order of the store’s lay out. I can’t remember important things but I have memorized the layout of every grocery store.

Is that why stores move or “reset” their stock occasionally? So we have to wander around looking for the coffee which is now where the cereal used to be? Force us to look around and treasure hunt our list which is no longer in the correct order? 

I digress………

Perhaps their are minions whose only job is to point out easy marks to the sales reps? Was there a spotlight highlighting me to this young woman?  I think in her training they told her “Look for the middle aged women – they are your target!” 

She asked so innocently, “Would you care for a sample?” I looked down and saw she had “brain toniq” and “trim toniq”  Yep – that’s what every middle aged woman needs – to uncloud her brain and drop 5 pounds. She saw me coming. 

Instead of being insulted – (Hey the truth hurts but it is still the truth) I sampled and I bought both. 


So today I am having a “I would like to eat the contents of my refrigerator” moment and remembered the drinks. (Clearly I didn’t need the brain toniq) 

It has no caffeine, no stimulants and no hoodie Just natural herbs and supplements. 

It works!! I am so no compelled to munch away. Sure it could be placebo, but who cares? Its working! 

Before I play Words With Friends I’m going for the brain toniq. 

My oldest son saw the drinks. He just shook his head. Yea, whatever….desperate times call for desperate


yes – I know it is sideways but no matter what I try wordpress likes it that way. Maybe I need the brain toniq.


Passing On Pencils

4 Sep

I loved back to school shopping. The new pencils, crayons, pencil bags and back packs. All organized and ready to go for that first day. 

Let me make something clear however……I hated the school lists –
” buy 4 single subject wide ruled notebooks. ”  My eyes would glaze over finding the single subject vs 2 subject or the college ruled vs wide ruled., and that was before I hit 50 and had to have reading glasses. 

But when my kids all left for the ivory towers of higher learning I hated walking through the back to school section without that list. And it seemed as the notebooks and pens and pencil bags had become much cuter too and were mocking me as I had no list to fill.

I recently needed ink for my printer and hustled off to the office big box down the street. I saw all the signs and the cheerfully beckoning bins of back to school items and felt…….nothing. Zip. Not nostalgia, not relief, not anything. 

I guess at some point we do move on! Perhaps it followed a summer of driving 3 days with one son to deliver him to his summer internship half a country a way, or nursing a tonsil less young adult for many weeks. Maybe I’m just ready for the next chapter now. 

Today I opened a cabinet and saw staring back at me a thermos soup container – you know, one of those keep cold, keep warm with its own spoon or fork thing. My first thought was “that’s gotta go”  Off to Goodwill and may it be part of someone else’s lunch box. I do feel relief….no more dashing about making lunches I hope they will eat. WHEW! Yep I’ve moved on………


Noticing Other’s Nests

17 Aug

This spring created a lot of empty nests for friends and acquaintances. I have been surprised by the number of divorces following the emptying of the nest. Various reasons have been given for the divorces.

Empty nest presents the moment when you look at your spouse and there isn’t any distractions. We have aged nearly 30 years since we were smitten with each other. I keep thinking if those couples had just waited a bit….. Or maybe they were thinking they had waited long enough!

The movie “Hope Springs” captures one such couple. They have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for the past few years and haven’t had sex in 5 years. We watch their routine lives and it appears the husband is fine with the status quo and the wife wants to rekindle or move on. What made me think the most, was we discover the husband misses what they once had and finally reaches out to get back what they once had.

If someone asked me…..I would say “wait… is fun to find your friendship again and be able to do things just for us.”
Yes there are the moments I look at my husband and really am not madly in love with him. I am sure that is what he is thinking too at times (although surely not…..I’m perfect….right?” There is something to say about weathering it all, making it through and then understanding it is a new beginning. I recently returned from visiting our daughter, and when I returned my husband said “I really hate when you aren’t here. I finally figured out that I feel off balanced when you are gone. Nothing feels right” His answer surprised me as he seems often swimming in his own lap lane while I tread water off on my own.

It is a great movie – very thought-provoking. And, even better was watching an older woman sitting in front of me. Every embarrassing moment she covered her eyes and couldn’t watch.

If you look for a friend in your spouse, it may just be possible to see that person is still there.

Step away from the book

23 Mar

I love to read……..No I become obsessed by reading. I love a good book that blows away the imagination. I recently read “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgentstern. I am amazed by the images and characters she created with her words. 


Then, I followed with “Outlander”. It was recommended by a friend of mine and it is on the NY Times best sellers list. But I really didn’t love it. It bored me at times – woman steps between rocks and goes back 200 years and falls in love. I know lots must love it – but it really wasn’t my thing.  Maybe I just have no desire to leave in the 1700’s – no plumbing no internet……

So tell me why I couldn’t stop reading the book? Why not close it (or in my case turn off my Kindle) and walk away from the book? There has only been about one book I didn’t finish.  I hold out hope it will get better – I will like the plot or the characters better if I just keep reading. Not only did that not happen for me……..I discovered it is a series and keeps going ! I refuse!!  “Hunger Games”? couldn’t put down  and was happy there was another. “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” couldn’t wait to hit the next book. 

The problem with an empty nest is I do have time to read and no one to distract me from the book. There is no one to save me from myself. What is wrong with closing a book and not finishing ? Why can I not do that? 

I have lots of projects I have abandoned. Why not a book? 

To read a book I really didn’t love (maybe it was just following “The Night Circus” – tough act to follow) and find out there is another book and the story didn’t end??? 

UGH! Really……..I am not going to download the next book………probably.



Channeling Halle Berry

1 Mar

We just returned from attending my niece’s wedding in Florida.

It was an incredible trip and a welcome warm humid weekend. We were there just long enough for the wrinkles to plump out in the humidity. I love that part of humidity – it works better than botox. But my hair? In Colorado my hair is fairly straight. In humidity, my hair takes on a life of its own and begins to resemble Mufasa in The Lion King.

It isn’t about using product. I use lots of product. Within minutes of walking outside my hair begins to curl and frizz and I no longer need volumizing shampoo or product.

Still I had really shopped and considered exactly what to wear.For once, I didn’t have 3 kids to shop and pack for! Another upside to the empty nest!

At the rehearsal dinner I had this beautiful Sue Wong dress. It was a fitted black lace and beaded dress over a shimmering gold inner dress. It had a plunging neckline – and took me out of my comfort zone. I normally wouldn’t have even tried it on – but my neighbor who was shopping with me convinced me to try it on and then said – “You should buy it and wear it now – in a few years the girls will be too saggy to wear something like that” Seriously……she said it and I took it to heart. I had spent a lot of time trying to help my mother find something to wear to the wedding. At 87 she refuses to wear clothes she calls “old lady clothes” and I love that about her – still I thought my neighbor had a point.

I wore the dress and had a rare – “I look pretty dang good” moments. But as the dinner began to wind down, my mother leaned into me and asked “Are you wearing anything under that dress?” I said – “What do you mean? You do realize there is a gold dress lining the dress……right?” She said “I thought maybe you were channeling Halle Berry and that was you I was seeing through the dress.”

One the one hand I was speechless. On the other, I was kinda impressed that at 87 she knew who Halle Berry was.

Wisdom of Pooh

7 Feb

For the Superbowl, we gathered with a few neighbors for the ritual of football and too much food. As the game began we noticed the men had congregated on one side of the room and the women were on the other side. When one woman commented about our “middle school party” situation one of the husbands who clearly had one ear on our conversation said “That is because we are at a Superbowl party… watch the Superbowl.”

Yea, yea we caught the high-points – men yell during football – so we knew when to look. And we paused to watch the commercials and half time show.

My daughter had just texted me that her sort of boyfriend (she says they broke up but he seems around a lot) and his friends didn’t show for the Superbowl party he had requested and now had way to much pizza and was annoyed. I am ready for this guy to hit the road – he is very nice – but he is his own obstacle. I commented to my neighbor “I think my daughter is trying to fix him.” My neighbor commented she tried to fix several boyfriends before she met her husband. Then she asked which Winnie The Pooh character I liked as a kid. Both she and I had an Eeyore. We both had hoped to love Eeyore enough to get him to smile. We wanted to ‘fix’ poor Eeyore.

My neighbor said “Now I wouldn’t have patience for Eeyore. Get over yourself Eeyore!” I commented “Hey you would be in a bad mood too if you walked around with a tack in your ass. Let go of the tail Eeyore – move on with your life and forget about the tail!” He was seriously obsessed with the perfect tail, constantly losing his tail, looking for his tail and enduring a painful reattachment of the tail! Another neighbor looked at both of us and said “It was Winnie The Pooh all the way.”

Not sure we actually hit on some deep wisdom or too much wine.

When to cut ties…..

2 Feb

All this week and perhaps a bit longer I have been pondering a friendship.
When do you have to throw in the towel and “break up”?

I do not like to consider myself a friend whom quits others when they are down. But lately this friend feels like she is pulling me down along side her. Does it make me a bad person to determine I can no longer be her source of support?

I think she and I became friends because others had dropped her. One woman told me she felt this person was “toxic”. I am seeing what she was saying now.

If I put myself in this person’s shoes……would I be a little bit like her? Or is she in her shoes in spite of herself?
She has called me on occasion “tell me the truth” when her husband has said she is a bully. I wouldn’t have said a bully, but once she has a thought, a feeling, a cause, she cannot let it go. We all must believe in her thought and cause.

So I wonder….what is better……to be too busy when she calls? Is it kinder to be honest.

You know you are getting old when……..

1 Feb

Recently in a discussion with a group of moms we were talking about the “dial” phones we grew up with. You know the ones where you put your finger in the hole associated with the number, and slowly turned it counter clockwise, then released the dial.

It was horrible if you were in a hurry and the number had zeros or nines in the phone number. And, you could not sneak a phone call as the sound was loud and unmistakable. Plus it was connected by a cord to a base to a wall. No walking around the house yet alone hopping in a car and driving away never missing a beat.

So when I saw an ad to make your cellphone retro and insert it into an “retro” hand set I knew I had crossed over the hill. My first reaction was…”who would want this?” but then I fondly remember how it was easier to cradle the old phone receiver than my current phone. Flat and small may be cool looking but wow does it do a number on my neck. hmmmmmmm…….

Just remembered…..isn’t that why I have that blue tooth ear piece? So I don’t have to hold or cradle my cell phone? By the time I remember where that is….I’ll see it in an ad for a “retro” blue tooth.


31 Jan

I have been scanning old photos of my mother’s. I am scanning them to preserve them and to share them with siblings, cousins, aunts and all. It is a process that takes time. But the time it takes to examine a photo forces me to pause and identify the moment and faces.

I have a batch of photos from when my mother was in college. I love seeing her in her youth, before she was a wife and a mother. Now she is 87 and still doing well but I really love trying to imagine her as a young woman. I love the group of photos from when she was in California in 1946. She would have been 22 years old. She remembers the trip well. She went with her Aunt and felt like country bumpkins dropped into that world. That isn’t what I see.

I see a beautiful woman crossing a street in downtown Los Angeles wearing a smart suit and pumps. I see the adventure of boarding a steam ship to Catalina Island. I see a woman visiting the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I think how daring they were.

I was scanning a photo of my mom standing on the steps of her family’s home and noticed she had written a note to my father. It was dated 1950, when they were dating.

The photos lend a different perspective to my parents. With my own children out of the nest, and I try to find my own identity again, it is great fun to ponder my own parents lives before marriage and children.

My mother in LA 1946

My mom, Donna, in the late 40's

Another Reason An Empty Nest is Good

20 Jan

I never took a lot of vacations without my kids when my kids were little. I was one of those neurotic moms who was sure their kids would fall apart or worse should I be so selfish.

Both of our kids grandmother’s were on the older range of grandparents. OK, I did ask my mother to babysit and to my surprise she said “No thanks”. She loved her grandkids but didn’t want to have to run them around and take care of them overnight. Seriously, it was a lot of work!

So now as I readily pack up and go off on trips, I now appreciate the empty nest. It has taken me over a year to settle into appreciating the next phase of life. I’m a slow learner. I still miss the everyday moments of just being with my kids – although perhaps my oldest son’s boomerang back to home for his senior year helps. It helps to see your kids enjoying their independent lives. Let me revise – partially independent. We still foot the bills!

But I like the freedom that has arrived with an empty nest. It has taken a while to not focus on the empty part, but now I am seeing life beyond the nest. I have strangers, friends and acquaintances asking how long does it take to adjust – for me 18 months. For my neighbor – 1 day.

I have some catching up to do…….

On vacation in Steamboat Springs!