Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 204, December 21

I re-read my last two posts and realized I've been focusing on death.  Mine.  As seen through my sons' eyes.  It makes me wonder what else they have in store for me.  First, a home with imitation gruel, then cremation, followed by a son wanting to plant a bench on top of me and then sit on it.

Haven't I been a good mother?   Wasn't I pregnant with them for a collective total of five years?  Didn't I nurse them for another fifteen years?  Didn't I schlep them all over northern Colorado for orthodontist appointments, sports physicals, Little League, Big League, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and scouting for my sanity? (Yes, I took them with me.  I decided since they were the cause of the loss of my sanity, that they should have to come with me in the search for it.)

So why, I ask myself, are they dwelling on my demise?  Didn't I sacrifice my girls, my figure, and my mental health for them?  Didn't I give them the best years of my life?  Didn't I suffer?

Gem for the day:  when your sons start talking about what they're going to do with you when you die, consider going into the Witness Protection Program.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 203, December 20

A couple of days ago I wrote of how one son wanted to cremate The Wretch and me.  After my mouth finished hanging open, I took it with my usual good grace and humor.

Another son, Rob, has a different idea for the resting place for my bones.  Rather than have a nice monument or even a small but tasteful grave marker, he wants to put a granite bench over me.  In that way, he explained, he can sit on me whenever he wants.
This from the son, who was the start of suckling my girls into their present droopy state?  What have I done to deserve such ungrateful children?

It boogles the mind. 

When I recovered from the shock, I reminded him that I wasn't gone yet and that I may well outlast him.  Gues who will be sitting upon whose bones then?

Gem for the day:  if you have an ungrateful child, change your will.  You can always change it back later.  Maybe.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 202, December 18

As you might have noticed, the Menopause Monocler took some days off.  She pleads hot flashes and general craziness, but she's back.  At least for the day.

Our youngest son, Hyrum, (you remember him--the one who gave me a list of things not to say to his fiance and her parents) recently reassured me that he'd be there for us when it came time to put me and The Wretch in a Home.   "Don't worry.  It'll be a great place," he said.  "They serve only imitation gruel."

Needless to say, this failed to fill my sagging bosom with confidence.  Hyrum, in his inimitable fashion, continued, "And when you croak, I'm going to have you cremated.  It's cheaper."

Cremated?  This was the child who gestated in my womb for seventeen months.  )Yes, that's right.  Seventeen months.)  This was the child who sucked my girls into oblivion.  This was the child who started the arthritis in my right hip.   And he wants to have me cremated?  Really?

Is it any wonder that The Wretch and I named our cat as the executor of our wills? 

Gem for the day:  if a child wants to have you cremated, run in the other direction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 201, December 11

A friend sent me an email about overachieving moms at Christmas time.  The intent of these overachievers seems to be to put the rest of us to shame.  I know some of these moms and you know what?  They make me tired.

They knit, they crochet, they sew.  There are no store-bought clothes under the tree from these supermoms.  They fashion hand-carved toys from scraps of wood and give them to the poor.  They bake 15 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange and decorate each one individually.  They cook lgourmet meals, host nineteen holiday dinners, and never gain a pound.  (That, alone, is reason to hate them.)

They serve at soup kitchens, ring bells for the Salvation Army, and are the room mothers for their children's classes, organizing food drives for the area's needy and making sure that the children have a meaningful gift for their teacher.

Gem for the day:  if you meet one of these moms, Taser her.  (She may be contagious.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 200, December 10

When I was a teenager (sometime during one of those prehistoric eras of which I forget the name but it ended in ... ozic), all the girls wanted to be blond and tanned.  I qualified on the first, but I could never get that tan thing down.  My pasty white skin either freckled or burned or both.  In short, I looked like a speckled lobster.  Not a good look.

Still, that didn't prevent me from from twenty years later paying good money (that I couldn't afford)  to lie in a tanning bed and try to get that golden glow before my first trip to Hawaii.  Once again, I didn't end up tanned.  I did end up, however, with wrinkled, pruny skin.  (Now, I can do that all on my own--no need to pay money for it.)

Fast forward another twenty years and I tried a self-tanner.  I ended up orange.  The healthy golden look I wanted, something with the delicate tinge of a freshly picked peach, had turned me into a giant pumpkin.  What's more, I was streaked.  Picture pumpkin-colored zebra stripes and you will have an unwanted visual in your mind.

Gem for the day:  if you're pasty white, learn to live with it.  Two hundred years ago, pasty white was in!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 199, December 8

I was lying on my back this morning and looked at my breasts (the view's not the best, but you get the idea).   The girls were not perky.  They were not lifted.  They were MIA.  In fact, all I could see was the middle of my chest as the girls had migrated to the nether regions.

Have you noticed that in movies and televison shows, when a woman is on her back, her breasts are right on point?  They don't wander around, looking for a bra to hold them in place.  They stay put.  So, I ask myself, what am I doing wrong?  Why can't my girls stay put?  Does it have something to do with the fact that they've been "rode hard and put away wet?"

I don't know.

Gem for the day:  if your girls tend to wander, invest in some two-sided sticky tape.  I hear it works wonders.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 198, December 7

The other day, I stumbled upon a "Real Housewives" episode on television.  After watching a few minutes, I decided I would never qualify as a real housewife.  Below are a few reasons why:

-  My makeup is not thick enough to cut with a knife
-  My girls do not jut forward with unnatural perkiness
-  My hair does not bounce and swing while never moving
-  My nails do not resemble five-inch scarlet talons

How do you stack up?  (And, no, I'm not talking about the girls.)

Gem for the day:  If you qualify as a real housewife, more power to you.  If not, join me in the "fake housewife" section.  I have a feeling that we have a lot more fun.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 197, December 6

You may have heard about the Victoria's Secret fashion show that aired a couple of nights ago.  How could we not hear about it--with those 6 foot models strutting their stuff on every television show around, including Hawaii 50? 

I admire those women.  After all, they've starved themselves to look like wraithes dancing through life while the rest of us feel like the Goodyear Blimp plodding and plowing our way, thankful when we don't have a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of our shoes

I've always thought I could be a VS model.  I just have to add another six inches, drop 120 pounds, let my hair grow so that I can toss it about my face in a sultry fashion, and project an aura of supreme confidence.  Of course, there's the walk.  You have to lead with your hips, stick your girls out, and then saunter your way down the runway of life on eight-inch stilettos, all the while sprouting angel wings.

Gem for the day:  VS models are great, but it's too much trouble for this old menopausal broad.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 196, December 5

When I complained to a friend that I was running out of ideas for this blog, she suggested the blanket syndrome.  You know the one I mean:  blanket on, blanket off, blanket on, blanket off.

For those of you who haven't yet reached the Big M, you may not understand the reference.  Hot flashes are sneaky.  They attack with shocking speed and irritating irregularlity.  The innocent victim may be fast asleep, cozied up under the covers when an HF assaults her.  Nothing will do but that she toss the blanket off.  The next moment, she's freezing, so she grabs that same blanket, that only a second earlier was offending her, and pulls it back over her.

And so it goes for the rest of the night.  Blanket on; blanket off.

Don't even get me started on what this does to her sleeping partner.

Gem for the day:  stick one foot outside the blanket.  You'd be surprised at how much this regulates things.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 195, December 4

There was a lot of heavy breathing, gasping, and panting going on in our bedroom the other day.

"It's too big," I said.

"Just lift it a bit more.

 A bit more?  I was already straining with every fiber of my being.  Could I be having a heart attack?  Or maybe it was a stroke.  Hadn't I heard that menopausal women were subject to heart attacks and strokes when under stress?

No.  It's not what you think.  The Wretch and I were rotating the mattress.  This mattress requires three strong men and a boy to lift,  but The Wretch decided that together, he and I, were up to it.

Not so.

We finally succeeded in turning the mattress, then collapsed upon it.  "I'm glad that's done," I panted out. 

"We could do something more on it," The Wretch suggested, a leer in his eye.

"Get real."

Gem for the day:  rotating a mattrress is all I'm good for in any given day.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 194, December 3

By the time a woman has reached menopause, she is on intimate terms with the word "out."  She is stretched out, stressed out, and strung out.

Let's examine these "outs" individually and perhaps shed light upon them:

Stretched out:  nurse a few children for years at a time and your girls start to look like a worn-out pair of socks.  They've lost their elasticity, their shape, their will to live.  Depending upon the size of the girls, they may resemble anklets or tube socks. 

Stressed out:  anyone ever hear of stress incontinence?  I don't want to get too up-close-and-personal with this one, but suffice it to say that put several pregnancies under your belt (and in your uterus) and you have a stressed out bladder.  It's not just the bladder but all those tiny muscles surrounding it.  Need I say more?

Strung out:  all I can say here is that if a menopausal woman isn't on drugs, she should be.  Big time.

Gem for the day: even if you're stretched, stressed, and strung out, celebrate that you're alive and still kicking.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 193, December 2

A line from an old televsion show goes, "I'm not one to go through life with the back of my dress tucked inside my panty hose."

I used to be that person.  Now I'm more likely than not to have the back of my dress tucked inside my panty hose.  Or a stream of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.  Or something green in my teeth.  Or a a wad of spit gathering at the corners of my mouth.

What can I say?  I'm losing it, big time. 

The good news is that I have friends who will let me know if I have a wardrobe malfunction, a toilet paper problem, green gunk, or spittle hanging from me.  Women, especially menopausal women, need friends like that.

Gem for the day:  if you have a friend who will pull your dress out of your panty hose, you have a winner.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 192, December 1

With age comes wisdom.  Or so they say (whoever that mysterious 'they' is).  With silver hair and wrinkles come dignity.  Give me a break.  The only digity in silver hair and wrinkles belongs to the purveyors of hair color and face cream. 

So what does come with age?  Sore muscles and swollen joints.  Hairs growing in places you never thought to find them.  (Really.  Who knew that I'd sport a two foot hair growing from my chin.)  Cellulite that resembles the craters on the moon.  Two stomachs.  Sagging breasts.  Ears that have developed a tendency to start a second growth spurt.

Is there anything good about menopause?

I've found a few things: 

-  if you've lasted this long, you know you're a keeper
-  if your friends have stayed with you throughout the menopause journey, they're keepers as well
-  if your husband or significant other has not murdered you during a sleepless night complete with hot flashes, he's probably all right    (even if he is a wretch)

Gem for the day: count your blessings.  If they outnumber your hot flashes, you're on the right track.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 191, November 30

"I don't know about you, but I think we'd have fewer 'bad hair days,' if we weren't trying to wear so any hats!"--Julie Sutton

Don't you love this?  I immediately identified with Ms. Sutton's sentiment.  How many hats have you worn over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime?

Somewhere in the thousands, probably.

For me, it's been the usual chapeaux:  wife and mother, daughter and sister, friend, cousin, aunt, writer, member of the church, volunteer in the community, visiting teacher, primary teacher, Relief Society secretary, RS visiting teacher coordinator, and a myriad of others.  No wonder my hair is such a mess!

And often, we're wearing multiple hats at the same time.   For women cannot compartmentalize their lives and say, "I'll be a mother on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a wife on Mondays and Wednesdays, a church member on Sundays and Fridays, and Saturday will have to cover eveyrthing else."  No.  We don't have thath luxury.  We wear our hats, however lopsided and ill-fitting they may be every day.

Gem for the day:  wear a Red Hat with a purple feather.  You'll feel better for it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 190, November 29

Have you ever wanted to go to a spa?  To be pampered and treated like the queen that you know you are?  I have.  And then I learned a bit more about what they do to you at a spa.  Here are some highlights:

- Be beaten with seaweed strands
- Have a coffee colonic shot up your business
- Have your fat measured and calibrated
- Work out all day then given a bit of that same seaweed (see number 1) for dinner

No, thank you. 

Gem for the day:  if I want people to be mean to me, I can stay home--for free.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 189, November 28

The Wretch frequently refers to me as "mildly eccentric."  I don't mind.  I figure there's worse things I can be.   I could be mean or nasty or greedy or crazy.  Compared to them, mildly eccentric seems pretty darn good.

And if I'm occasionally any of the above, I chalk it up to menopause, which I'm seeing as a get-out-jail-free card for any number of sins, minor crimes, and misdemeanors.  In fact, come to think about it, I'm doing all right.  Just because I've been known to send the wrong text to the wrong person (this can be embarrassing when I think I'm writing to The Wretch and it turns out that I've texted something naughty to our bishop), just because I've been known to back into the garage door when it's closed, just because I've been known to burn water, that doesn't mean I'm losing it.  Those are merely signs of a creative and active mind.

Gem for the day:  embrace your inner weirdness.  (I know--you thought I was going to say something different, didn't you?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 188, November 27

A week or so ago, I wrote about the possibility of becoming a survivalist.  Then I had to retract and admit that perhaps survivalism wasn't for me.  However, I have had more thoughts of how to make it work for me on my own terms.  Of course, since I'm Mormon, I had to make the whole survival thing fit within the parameters of Mormonism.  And so I came up with the MMW/Survivalist food/emergency storage concept.

Items for an MMW to have in storage:

A battery operated fan (hot flashes can hit anytime, anywhere)
A portable generator (to power the AC when a fan doesn't cut it)
A gross of Hershey's syrup
A taser (for when The Wretch gets out of hand)
A year's supply of Prozac

Feel free to add to this list.

Gem for the day:  make survivalism work on your terms.  An MMW can never be too prepared.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 187, November 26

I'll let you in on a dirty little secret.  (Like you didn't know enough about me already.)  I'm computer illiterate.   I'm also stick-shift illiterate.  (Why must some cars have stick shifts in the first place?  Isn't it enough that I remember to put the car in drive and press the pedal?)  In fact, I'm a whole-bunch-of things-illiterate.

As far as computers go, I'm trying to catch up.  I turn to my husband (who is not always a Wretch), my children, my grandchildren for help with computer calamities.  About the stick-shift, I've decided to let that go.  After all, I can't do everything!  I'm still workng to learn other things (indexing for our church's genealogy site is one) and I'm learning to let some things go

So what is my point here?  By the time a woman reaches menopause, she's had to make some choices.  (Really, lots of choices.)  She's had to decide what's important and what's not.  As you can tell from previous posts, being a hoity-toity kind of lady is not important to me.  However, being a good friend is important.  And to that end, I'm still working.

Gem for the day:  be your own kind of woman, whatever your age.  If driving a stick-shift is important, then go for it.  If not, tell that shift where to stick it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 186, November 25

I was a late starter in the cyber culture.  I've even had to ask my daughter what certain text acronyms and symbols mean.  For instance, who knew that LMAO meant Laughing My Ass Off?  Certainly not me.

However, I have yet to find any of these acronyms that refer to the menopausal condition.  Always wanting to be helpful, I came up with a few of my own.  (Feel free to use them as you see fit.)

HAHFSSOOMW (Having a hot flash so stay out of my way)

YWAPOM? (You want a piece of me?)

USMS (Urgently seeking my sanity)

HOTCANWGT (Hand over the chocolate and noone will get hurt.) 

We may return to this subject later as more helpful acronyms occur to me.

Gem for the day:  you gotta keep up or risk being like your grandma who never learned to drive.

PS  Did anyone notice that the last acronym began with the letters HOT?  How appropriate is that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 185, November 24

Those of you who are Starbucks aficionados are doubtless familiar with the fancy drinks offered there.  There are frappes this and mochas that.  Nowhere, though, have I seen a drink that addresses the needs of the menopause woman, especially the MMW (Mormon menopausal woman) who eschews coffee.

I have in mind some interesting drinks for Starbucks and other coffee places to put on their menu.

-  The Hot Flash in a Hurry.  This is composed of 90% ice and one percent straight chocolate syrup.  You can drink it or apply it to your chest as a poultice.

- The Stay-Out-of-My-Way.  This is composed of tomato juice, tobasco sauce, and, once again, 90% ice.  It is for those times ini a woman's life when the universe or anyone else in her orbit better not mess with her.

-  The You're-Gonna-Live-to-Regret That.  This is the revenge drink.  It is filled with fiber, flax, and a healthy dose of Cod Liver Oil.  Once a woman has a swig of this, she is ready to take names and kick butt, not necessarily in that order

Gem for the day:  if you see a woman ordering any of the above, get out of her way, 'cause she's hell on wheels and loaded for bear.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 184, November 23

Recently I watched a television program about a woman due to give birth at any moment.  Her midwife wanted the mother-to-be to talk to her uterus and vagina.  Now, I'm not above talking to my body parts.  You know that I've had numerous conversations with my new hip.  However, I'm reluctant to talk to my uterus and vagina, especially as they are both as old as I am.

Can you imagine the conversation:

Me;  Well, how are you guys holding up?

Uterus and vagina:  Jane, how do you THINK we're holding up?  We're each 61 years old.  We're prolasped, prolonged, and pretty much worn out.  

Me:  Sorry I asked.

U & V:  Well, you should be.  Did you forget that we carried around four children for you and then pushed them out?   And let's not forget that you saw fit to produce four extra-sized children whom your OB/GYN referred to as"tanks?"

Me:  Sorry, again.  But I refuse to take all the blame for this extra-sized children.  My husband had a lot to do with it.

U & V:  Excuses, excuses.  All we know is that we were the ones doing the work.  Where was your husband during the heavy lifting of child-bearing?

Me:  He was off having breakfast.  (This is literally true.  The Wretch saw fit to go and have breakfast while I was pushing out HIS progeny.)

U & V:  Okay.  Now we're the ones who are sorry.  You deserved better.

Me:  You got that right.

Gem for the day:  the next time you're tempted to have a converation with your lady parts, be careful.  They might be like mine and give you an earful.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 183, November 22

Today is Thanksgiving.  I have much to be grateful for this year.

I have plenty of food on the table, in the fridge, and in my cupboards.  I also carry my personal food storage around with me (the French call it avoir dupois--doesn't that sound so much better than fat?).

I have a warm house which keeps my avoir dupois warm and dimpled.

I have family and friends who love me (though they also think I'm more than a little crazy).

Gem for the day:  be grateful for what you have, even when you have too much of it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 182, November 21

My husband, aka The Wretch, tells me that I have not fully thought through my decision to become a survivalist (see yesterday's post).  He points out (rightfully so) that I do not like the great outdoors.  I do not camp.  I do not hunt.  I do not fish.  I do not, when answering a call of nature, like to use a tree and then leaves for that very important necessary "paperwork."  He also pointed out that I am a stickler for good grammar and would be put off by a bumper sticker that is poorly written and punctuated.

I hate it when he's right.

I'm a city girl and proud of it.  If God had wanted me to be a camper, I'm certain He would have made the entire thing a lot cleaner.  However, I do like the IDEA of being a survivalist and to that end, I've decided to be my own kind of one. 

I will wear a plaid shirt, but I'll carry a designer purse with it.  (What designer best goes with the lumberjack look?)
I will have a bumper sticker, but I'll make certain that it has proper grammar.
I will probably not drive a big-ass truck as I'm afraid it will be too difficult to haul my own big ass into it, but I will put mud on the fenders of my Buick.

Gem for the day:  before announcing your attention to become a survivalist, make sure you've thought it through.  It's embarrassing to have to un-announce it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 181, November 20

Recently, my husband and I were audited by the IRS.  We survived.  However, the IRS, in its infinite wisdom, decided that we owed back taxes.  (Earlier the IRS had sent us a refund which we hadn't expected. Upon further consideration, it decided it wanted its money back, plus interest--never mind that the refund had been the mistake of the IRS.)

The whole thing so de-pissed me that I was ready to move to Montana and become a survivalist.  As long as I was changing my location, I decided I'd change my vehicle and look as well.  I would exchange my Buick for a big-ass pickup, with a shotgun attached to the rear window.  On the bumper I'd have a sticker with some tough saying like "We ain't payin' no stinkin' taxes."  In the bed of the pickup, I'd have a case of beer.  (Well, really it would be a case of Propel--flavored water---but the effect would be the same.)

I'd trade my "mom clothes" for a lumberjack plaid shirt, jeans, and lace-up boots.  Over my chest, I'd wear a bandolero with bullets at the ready.   Maybe I'd tuck a chaw in the back of my mouth to complete the look.  (As I don't think I could bear the taste of tobacco, I'd probably substitute a Tootsie roll pop.)

Gem for the day:  if you're going to get a big-ass pickup that sits high from the ground, make sure your hip will allow you to climb into it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 180, November 19

You're probably de-sausted and de-pissed of hearing about meeting with Hyrum's future in-laws.  I can only plead that it's weighed heavily on my mind.

In an effort to placate Hyrum and alleviate my own stress, I'd come up with what I thought was a reasonable, not to mention brilliant, solution to whole thing:  I asked my dear friend Janet to stand in for me at this crucial meeting.

Janet and I have been friends for over 35 years.  We've seen each other through pregnancies, childhood traumas and dramas, deaths of parents, and any other number of trials and tribulations.  Did I mention that Janet is the RS  President and also my visiting teacher?  (For those of you who are Mormon, you recognize the significance of that.)

Janet is the kind of angel who will do anything for anyone, so I figure, no problem.  She'll readily agree to this simple request.  Guess what?  She refused.  Yes, she flat out refused to be me for a night.  Who would have guessed?  I told her that she only needed to be me for that night and, of course, for the wedding.  Then I would take over being me again.  (In case you haven't guessed, being me is de-sausting sometimes.)

Gem for the day:  the next time I ask someone to be me, I'm going to throw chocolate into the bargain.  I'm sure to get some takers.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 179, November 18

In an earlier post, I wrote about our youngest son Hyrum being engaged.  A month ago, we met his lovely fiance, Cara.  When it came time to meet his future in-laws, Hyrum issued me a list of rules.

Here are a few highlights:

- Refrain from talking politics.
- Refrain from sharing how I had nursed him until he was 21 years old (no wonder my girls are drooping)
- Refrain from looking in my bosom for money when it comes time to pay the check.

Really?  These are my best material, and he wants to take them away from me?   I'd be more devastated if I weren't supposed to refrain, as well, from being de-vastated, de-pissed, de-generate, and de-sausted

Gem for the day:  if you can't be yourself, be someone fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 178, November 17

A few days ago, I wrote about a book I'd found at a garage sale, BECOMING A LADY.  It continues to intrigue me (and repulse me more than a bit.)  Because I like to share both intriguing and repulsive things with my dear friends, I thought I'd give you a few more tips on how to become a lady:

A lady never wears white after Labor Day.  (These ladies sure seem hung up on what they wear when, don't they?)

A lady never raises her voice. (Really?  How else am I to be heard when The Wretch has a football game blaring on television?)

A lady never crosses her legs. (I'm guessing she never crosses her eyes either.)

A lady is always proper in her demeanor and dress.  (Does wearing The Wretch's t-shirt, which hangs around my knees, count as proper dress?)

I'm beginning to think that a lady is a prissy prig, not to mention boring as hell.

Gem for the day:  a lady knows what's important ... and what isn't.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 177, November 16

The other night, my husband came home with some upsetting news about his job.  We'll be fine--it just means a bit of belt-tightening for a while.  Now I don't mind tightening my belt, but it's on the last notch as it is.  (That's a story for another day.).

In the spirit of being supportive, I decided I'd better look into a way to make some quick money.  Following are some of the things I've come up with:

- Starring in an adults-only films.  (At 61, I'm very, very adult.)
- Taking phone sex calls.  (I can put my voice to use--maybe it'll sound throaty, instead of croaky.)
- Penning a soft porn/fantasy novel.  (Soft porn being a story where the man cleans behind the refrigerator, scrubs the toilet, and mops    the floor--that's why they call it fantasy.)
- Working at Hooters.  (Surely the famous restaurant has need of a geriatric waitress with an artificial hip.)
  And, my favorite:
- Being a taster at a Krispy Kreme donut shop.

Gem for the day:  Just finished applying at Hooters.  If you can't climb onto a chair, then onto a table without assistance, they don't want you.  Do you think I can sue for age discrimination?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 176, November 15

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.

Neil Gaiman

You know that I love good quotes.  So when a friend sent this to me, I knew I had to incorporate it into this blog.  I wonder what the women of  churches everywhere, of our communities, of our nation, indeed, of our world would be like if we shared our secrets with each other, those "unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds" of which Gaiman speaks so eloquently.

Would we not be able to do "unminaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, and amazing" things?  I like to think so.

I keep much of me secreted inside, for fear that if others knew those things--the fantasies, the hopes, the dreams, the fears that I harbor
--inside of me, that they would be scared senseless ... or decide that I should be locked away (as my youngest son Hyrum believes).  And you know what?  Some of those things are pretty fantastic.  You, my readers, know many of my thoughts, but there are more, many more, that simmer inside my mind, waiting for an audience, an opportunity.

(A little caveat here:  my dear friend Laurie always maintains that she doesn't want to know what's in my mind for fear that she might start thinking like me, so you might temper your response to this particular blog with that.)

So what does this have to do with menopause?  Just this:  women of my generation were taught to lock away things, to show restraint, to put on the socially accepted face that showed the world nothing.  And because we showed the world nothing, the world too frequently believed that we were nothing.

Gem for the day:  take a chance; reveal part of yourself.  You may discover "unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, and amazing worlds" in the confines of your own heart and mind.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 175, November 14

I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

W.C. Fields

I love the comedy of W.C. Fields. And while I don't hate everyone equally (I tend to parcel it out on a person-by-person basis), I can appreciate the sentiment, for, at times, I've wanted to knock a few heads together.

Take recent national events. Without going into my political preferences, I will say that I wanted to kick some serious ass  in regard to those.   And we mustn't forget the time when I told one of the women who so abused my elderly father that she was a whore. (I repeated it several times, lest she forget it.) I refuse to apologize for that. (Besides, I think the word whore is in the Bible, so it must be all right to use.) And then there was the time when, provoked beyond reason, I took my sons' Nintendo (do you remember that, with the little cords and doohickeys?) and cut through the cords with my pinking shears. (Well, I certainly wasn't doing any sewing with them.)

So, okay, I don't hate all those people, except for the whore. And my sons and I have long since made up.  But Fields's words did resonate with me. I guess it's that little naughty spot in me, a naughty spot that seems to be getting bigger all the time.

Gem for the day: if you want to kick some ass, choose your targets wisely. My sons would wipe the floor with me these days!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 174, November 13

The other night, in talking with friends about the benefits of "natural" beauty products, I piped up that I like a few preservatives in my creams and makeup.  (That's me--always the rebel.)  I think they (preservatives) prolong my shelf-life.

I'm not sure why everyone thinks "natural" is so great.  My "natural" in the mornings is enough to scare a marauding grizzly.  So, why should we think products without preservatives is something we should want, much less pay extra money for?  (Have you noticed that anytime a product contains the word natural, that it inevitably costs more?)

I grew up in the 60s.  (Now I'm in my 60s.)  Anyway, in the 60s, the natural look was rampant.  We all wanted to look like California girls, with long streaked hair and tanned skin.  Like those streaks were natural.  All I got from my attempts to emulate this look was freckled and burned, and I'm paying the price for my stupidity now.

Gem for the day:  don't eschew preservatives; embrace them!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 173, November 12

Our town issues large plastic trash cans for recycling.  On the lid of the can the words "No Hot Ashes" are embossed.  It shows my state of mind when each time I read that, I see "No Hot Flashes." 

I've been flashing for more than a decade, way before I officially hit the Big M.  Hot flashes rule my choice of wardrobe, where the temperatures of the house and car are set (meatlocker cold), even my husband's behavior, as he knows that, when I'm flashing, there's going to be nothing going on elsewhere.

It takes only the words "I've never had a problem with hot flashes" from another woman for me to take an instant and intense dislike to her.  Really?  No hot flashes.  Never mind coveting beautiful homes, new cars, and size 4 bodies--I envy anyone who doesn't flash.

Gem for the day:  if you encounter a woman such as the above, find out what drugs she's taking.  Quick.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 172, November 11

The other day I found, at a garage sale, a book on entitled BECOMING A LADY.  I assumed it to be a tongue-in-cheek type book.  It wasn't.  Unable to help myself, I started reading aloud to my two garage sale buddies.

Here are a few of the rules of becoming a lady:

A lady never wears linen before Easter or after Labor Day.  (Whew.  I'm safe there as I don't wear linen at all.  Too much ironing.)

A lady always wears lipstick. (Really?  When she's in her sweats or her husband's t-shirt that reaches to her knees?)

A lady never nags.  (Oh, right.  How do you think my three sons got their Eagle awards in scouting?)

A lady never whines.  (Okay.  This is probably good, but whining is one of my favorite activities, right after eating, swearing, and reading.)

A lady never finds fault with others.  (Another good one.  I'm sure I could do better at it if I didn't encounter people at garage sales who are asking ridiculous prices for their junk.)

The list of what a lady does and doesn't do continued until I was in danger of puking on the driveway of the person holding the garage sale.  (I didn't see it listed, but I'm guessing that a lady never pukes in public.)

Gem for the day:  a lady is one who cares about others.  Period.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 171, November 10

There are some who will tell you that I have an off-beat sense of humor.  They'd be right.  My sense of humor does not always match that of others. 

Take yesterday.  My husband, AKA The Wretch, and I were taking a walk through the neighborhood.  Really, it's more of a plod as that's as fast as I can move.  We came upon some men doing street work.  One poor man had the inutterably tedious  job of holding the sign that read "Slow" on one side and "Stop" on the other. 

He looked so terribly bored that I walked up to him and asked, "Does that sign (turned to the "Slow" side)  refer to us?"  I gestured to my husband and myself, two people well into middle age. 

He gave me a bemused look.  (I get that a lot.)  "Uh, no."

"Good," I answered with a cheery smile.

We walked away.  I could feel his stare on the back of my neck.  I'm sure he was more than a bit confused at a strange woman accosting him in this way.  If he knew some of my other antics, he'd probably have run in the opposite direction. 

"Am I weird?" I asked my beloved.

"No.  You're just mildly eccentric."

Is it any wonder I keep him around?

Gem for the day:  march to the beat of your own drummer.  And, if you don't have one, do a little rat-a-tat-tat in you head, then march to that.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 170, November 9

Do you know what?  It's hard coming up with material for a daily blog.  So, if you have something in mind you'd like me to address in my de-pissed, de-sausted, de-generate way, please write it in. 

Until then, I'l return to one of my favorite subjects.  Husbands.  My husband, AKA The Wretch, has taken to leaving comments on this blog.  Unfortunately, I cannot always trust him to leave appropriate comments.  (Of course, I have been known to be a trifle inappropriate at times, so I guess I get what I deserve.)

Anyway, The Wretch is a good man, a kind man, a faithful man. (That faithfulness may stem from his fear that I will indeed cut off his balls if he ever strays, but I prefer to give him the benefit of a doubt and just say that he's faithful.  Period.)   He is also a generous man.  He takes care of not just our family but extends his help to my sister's family as well. 

Gem for the day:  if you have a good, kind, faithful (for whatever reasons) and generous man, you're a lucky woman.  My husband will tell you so.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 169, November 8

I'm an underachiever.  Always have been.

Take reading:  I only read "20 Shades of Gray."  I couldn't handle all fifty.  To tell the truth, I got de-sausted.  All those positions and activity.  A woman's got to be a lot more flexible than I am to handle that.

Then there was my attempt at cooking.  I was going to be like Julie of "Julia and Julie" and cook my way through "The Joy of Cooking."  The trouble was, I don't find any joy in cooking.

And let's not forget my ill-fated foray into sewing.  Who knew that you had to iron when you sewed I don't believe in ironing.  All that steam takes the curl right out of my hair.

Well, there you have it.  The life of an underachiever.

Gem for the day:  take a walk on the low road.  It's a lot more comfortable than the high one.  Of course, it's also more crowded.

Day 168, November 7

Yesterday I wrote about having lunch with a friend the day before.  In between my teasing the waitress and manager about being carded if we ordered a drink, my friend and I discussed her upcoming "women's health appointment."  In case you're wondering, that's code for the YPE (yearly pelvic exam).

I've blogged about that particular pleasure in past posts.  As we talked, I picked up the cocktail napkin, about two inches square, and said, "This is what they give you to cover yourself with."

My friend nodded.  "It's going to take a hell of a lot napkins to cover me."  Then she lowered her voice and added another insight. (Did I mention that, like me, she is exceptionally wise?)  "You know those half gowns they give you to cover your upper half?  Do you sweat through yours?"

"Like a fieldhand in an Arizona summer."   The paper gowns, made out of the cheapest paper available, dissolve at the least hint of moisture, AKA sweat.  And what woman, with her feet up in the air, her private parts exposed, and a doctor sticking an ice   cold speculum up her business, isn't sweating like a pig?

Gem for the day:  before you go for your next YPE, consider taking a shot of tequila.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 167, November 6

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend.  We are both "women of a certain age."  A sign at the restaurant proclaiming the need to "card" anyone appearing to be under 21, prompted me to ask the sweet waitress, "If my friend and I ordered margaritas, would you card us?"

She gave me a blank look. 

"We want to be carded," I said.  It so happens that neither my friend nor I drink anything stronger than lemonade, but, still, I wanted to know that if we were to order a drink, that she would do us the courtesy of carding us.

"Uh, sure." 

"That was naughty," my friend said when the waitress departed.

She was right.  It was naughty.  But then so am I.

Shortly afterward we had finished our meal, the manager squatted down at the end of our booth.  "I'm new here and I just wanted to see how your dining experience was."

"Everything was great," I assured him.  "The food, the service.  There was just one thing, though."

A look of conern creased his smoother-than-smooth forehead.  (Did I mention that he looked to be the age of my 9 year old grandson?)  "What's that?"

"The waitress didn't want to card us if we ordered drinks."

Bemusement clouded his eyes.  "Did you want to order drinks?"

"No.  We just wanted her to card us."

"I'm sorry."

"So am I."

Gem for the day:  if you want to be carded, choose a place where the waitstaff and manager have really poor eyesight.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 166, November 5

Are you as weary as I am of political ads telling women how they should feel?  We're told how we should feel about contraception, abortion, and any number of other private matters.  Because I have a rebellious streak (really it's more than a streak; it's all through me), I resent having someone else telling me how I should feel. 

With many decades under my belt (and my chin), I have had time to figure out how I feel about things.  Especially intimate matters.  I don't need or want a politician speaking for me.  I'm perfectly capable of speaking for myself.  So when I hear that I should be outraged over one candidate's position on birth control, I want to ask "Are you talking about the missionary position or a different one?"

I know, that's really naughty of me.  What can I say?  Too long without estrogen.

Gem for the day:  if someone tells you what you ought to feel, tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 165, November 4

My mother was Tennessee born and bred.  Southerners have their own language.  One of my mother's favorite expressions was "Don't be ugly."

Being ugly meant bad-mouthing someone (unless you preface it with "Bless her heart), being selfish, being mean, just being plain old nasty.  Unfortunately, I have been ugly plenty of times in my life.  Mostly it was unintentional, but sometimes my "uglies" came out deliberately.  (Just ask my ex-daughter in law.)  I was ugly with her.  I was ugly with the women who fleeced my father of his life's savings.  I tend to be downright ornery and ugly to anyone who hurts my family.  (It's that mama grizzly thing.)

So, okay, that's nothing to brag about.  And I'm not really bragging, just 'fessing up to the uglies in me.  I want to plead it's genetic, what with my southern roots and all.  But then there's my Aunt Mae, also Tennessee born and bred, who hasn't an ugly bone in her body.

Gem for the day:  the uglies will get you if you don't watch out.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 164, November 3

By the time a woman has reached menopause, she has attended more meetings than a southerner has said "Bless your heart."  We have attended civic meetings, church meetings, and PTA meetings.  We have attended meetings with our children's teachers, meetings with our children's orthodontists, and meetings with our own therapists (we have issues about meetings). 

Let's go back to the church meetings.  If a woman is an MMW (Mormon Menopausal Woman), she has attended thousands upon thousands of church meetings.  (I did a rough calculation and figured that I had attended somewhere along the lines of 7,500 church  meetings in my lifetime.)  She has attended Sacrament Meetings, Sunday School Meetings, Relief Society Meetings.  She has attended stake meetings, welfare meetings, and planning meetings.  Just when she is about meeting-ed out, she is told she must attend a meeting about meetings.

Our family has coined a term for meeting-itis:  church butt.  Yes, by the time she is menopausal, an MMW has a severe case of church butt.  In my usual spiritual fashion, I penned a limmerick about this condition:

In the Mormon church we meet
Till my feet are as tired as my seat.
I wouldn't complain
If it weren't for the pain
Of making my spirit so sweet.

(Please forgive the uneven meter and juvenile rhyming.)

Gem for the day:  even an ample booty, like mine, won't save you from church butt.

PS  Attending meetings won't get you to heaven.  Sorry.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 163, November 2

You're learning all my secrets.  My goofiness.  My selfishness.  My everything else-ness.  That's all right.  I'm getting so forgetful any more that it's all right if I spill my secrets because I'd probably blab them unknowingly anyway.

Well, here's another one:  I have a sweet tooth.  I love all things sugar:  chocolate, cheesecake, apple pie, pumpkin roll, blueberry muffins, French toast, waffles smothered with whipped cream, and a host of other things that Dr. Oz says we should avoid like the plague.

I've never thought that last made much sense as I've never encountered the plague, so how would I know how to avoid it?  And why is he comparing the above delights to such a heinous thing as the plague?  I don't tend to take him very seriously.  You have to wonder about a grown man who runs around in his scrubs on national TV.  I figure he has identity issues.

You're probably thinking:  well, Jane, your sweet tooth is no secret.  We see its effects--on your stomach, on your thighs, on your booty, and everywhere else.

Gem for the day:  if you avoid sugar like the plague, you're probably not friends with me.  Your loss. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 162, November 1

Those who know me know that I'm not a fancy person.  I wear garage sale clothes, furnish my home with garage sale finds, and am generally a "Secondhand Rose."

That's fine with me.  When you're a fancy person, people expect things from you.  They expect you to act right and talk right and just be right.  I'd rather be fun.

My family doesn't always see the fun in me. Sometimes they think I'm just goofy.  There was the time that I put a garage sale sticker for twenty-five cents on the back of Larry's (aka The Wretch) shirt which he wore around for an entire day before someone commented on it.  There was the time that I put a kitchen spatula (yes, I know what a spatula looks like) in the hood of my niece's jacket, which she carried around, unknowingly, for a day.  Then there was the time I stuffed my bra with a large zucchini and said to my 87-year-old father, "Dad, do you notice that I've grown?"  (He only shook his head in bemusement.)

As I re-read the last paragraph, I realize that I really am goofy.  Oh, well.  That's what happens when you are out of estrogen.

Gem for the day: forget about being right.  It's a lot more fun to be goofy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 161, October 31

Have you ever wondered about varicose veins?  Like, why do we have them?  And what're we supposed to do with them once we do?

For those among you too young to have experienced varicose veins, count your blessings but be prepared.  Pregnancy played a dirty trick on some of us, leaving not only stretch marks but nasty little clumps of veins in our legs.  Like my legs need more clumps and bumps and lumps.  My calves, which were once smooth and firm and toned, now look like two roller coasters, dips and waves, ups and downs, and everything in between.

Add some purplish veins and the knots that go with them, and you have something that Hollywood makeup artists only dream of achieving when they struggle to fashion scary stuff!

Gem for the day:  varicose veins are part of the Fall.   Oh, Eve, you have a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 160, October 30

By the time a woman has reached menopause, she has probably learned how to stretch a dollar until it is as limp as the elastic in an old pair of sweat pants.  My own dollar-stretching has included any number of cheapskate tactics.  However, I recently learned that I'm not even in the same zip code as some frugal people when I watched a program entitled "Extreme Cheapskates."

Among the money saving tactics these individuals used included eschewing toilet paper.  They did all sorts of things to avoid using toilet paper, including cutting up old pieces of cloth, using them to "take care of the paperwork," then collecting them in a bucket and washing them once a week.  Another woman uses nothing at all, only a squirt bottle of water to tidy things up.  Serioiusly?

I'm all for saving a buck.  I can garage sale with the best of them, but I draw the line at doing without toilet paper.  What's more, I cough up the extra pennies for soft, cushiony toilet paper.  (My tush is delicate.)

Gem for the day:  if you can do without TP, more power to you.  If you're like me and need the reassurance of it, the same goes!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 159, October 29

All writers aspire to make the NYT bestseller list.  (If they don't, they are well too adjusted to become writers in the first place.)

When I read that FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY made the list, I was immediately envious.  I knew I didn't have a similar novel in me, but did come up with some nifty titles.  Tell me what you think:

Fifty Shades of Dishwasher Blond
Fifty Shades of Pasty White
Fifty Shades of Tired and De-sausted.
And, sometimes when dealing with my husband, AKA The Wretch, Fifty Shades of Mad as Hell

Gem for the day:  before you decide to write your Fifty Shades, make sure you know you have it in you.  Fifty of anything is a bunch.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 158, October 28

I related how my sister, Carla, and I recently visited Vegas.  While there, we perused the high end department stores.  One saleslady at a cosmetic counter promised to wipe away my undereye circles and bags and to erase the "feathers" around Carla's eyes with her overpriced, miracle cream.

She dabbed a plastic applicator into the cream and held it out.  "See how it glistens?  You can use it all over.  It will change your life."

Really?  That little dab of goop is going to change my life?  I don't think so.

"Honey," I drawled.  "It's going to take a lot more than that to change my life."  I picked up the jar of cream, saw that it was ninety five dollars for less than an ounce.   In my wildest fantasies, I wouldn't spend ninety five dollars for something that looks like mayonaise.  Give me a break.

"You will be sorry if you don't buy it," she said with a look of disapproval.

Gem for the day: I'd be sorry if I did buy it.  And I'm not talking about just the cream.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 157, October 27

It's no secret that I can be occasionally naughty.  It seems to have gotten worse the older I get.  I attribute it to the lack of hormones.  My estrogen dried up a long time ago, along with my skin, hair, and a lot of my good sense.

Still, I try to walk the straight and narrow.  I can hear you protesting now, saying, "Jane, no way do you do that." 

I beg to differ.  Just the other day I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper. Surely that is the mark of a woman trying to walk the straight and narrow.  And there is my absolute devotion to my cat, Harley.  A person on the wrong path would not cater to her kitty's every need.

Gem for the day:  walking the straight and narrow doesn't mean you can't kick up your heels now and again.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 156, October 26

I told you how my sister, Carla, and I are trying to learn street talk.  Well, we had plenty of chances to practice it during the past few days while we were in Las Vegas.  My husband, Larry, accompanied us, to bring mail money, he says. 

First, Carla was mistaken as a lady of the evening.  In her most tough, street talk fashion, she told the man who wanted to procure her services, "Bite me."

"Thanks.  I think I will."

We quickly learned that "bite me" isn't the thing to say to a man who wants to hire you to fill his fantasies.  (Unless, of course, you're into that kind of thing.)

Not to be outdone, I told the next man (he wanted Carla as well--go figure) but I claimed him as a conquest, "True dat."  I don't know what he was saying, but I figured "True dat" works in just about every situation. 

He flashed me a yellow-stained tooth grin.  "True dat, yourself." 

Gem for the day:  what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  Or, we hope so.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 155, October 25

Recently, I came across the term "re-virgination."  As always, the writer in me was eager to learn a new word, especially one as evocative as this.  As I read more about it, though, I was perplexed.  Even stunned.  Re-virgination?  Really?  Isn't that like trying to unring a bell?

It occurred to me that menopausers are always being told that we need to "re-something."  We are supposed to re-invent ourselves.  We are supposed to re-juvenate ourselves.  (In fact, there is a cosmetic procedure called rejevederm, touted as the successor to collagen injections.)   Now, we're supposed to re-virginate ourselves.

If you're like me, you want to shout, "Enough."  Why must I re-invent, re-juvenate, or re-virginate myself?  Why am I not good enough as I am?

Gem for the day:  the next time someone tells you to "re-something," tell them where to stuff it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 154, October 24

One of the great unsolved mysteries that menopausers seek to solve is "Where did the time go?"  We blinked and found that we had lost thirty or forty years.  I married my beloved (aka The Wretch) when I was twenty one.  Nearly forty years later, I wonder, "Where did those years go?" (And along with that, where did my figure go, not to mention my sanity.)

I started counting up.  I spent nearly ten years being pregnant.  (Really, it wasn't quite that long as we had four children the natural way, one adopted.  It does account for 36 months, or three years, but when you figure in the bloating, morning sickness, craziness, and general "I feel like crap" parts of pregnancy, I feel entitled to round it up to ten years.)  I spent another ten years nursing.  Yes, it was that long.  I have the stretched boobs and bite marks to prove it. 

Then there's chauffeuring.  That easily accounts for fifteen years.  Chauffeuring to orthodontist appointments,  church activities, Little League, and paino lessons.  Chauffeuring to school phyiscals, school plays, and seminary.  Chauffeuring to Great Books Club, football practice, and flute lessons.  Chauffeuring to therapy.  (Really, that was me chaufferuing myself to therapy, but, hey, it's still driving somebody somewhere, so it counts.)

Well, that's thirty-five years right there.  Somewhere along the line, I must have been attending to my beloved. (Or how else would I have gotten pregnant the four times to begin with?)

Gem for the day: when you ask yourself where the time went, be careful.  You might find the answer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 153, October 23

Life is made up of trade-offs.  We trade one thing for another.  Some of my trade-offs have been good.  Some, not so good.  Take for example, trading thinness for love of food.  Not so good.

Other trade-offs have been better.  My husband and I traded staying out of debt for a modest home.  We traded my staying at home with the children for less money.  We traded paying tithes and offerings for the same.

I know--you're thinking, well, big deal, Jane.  None of these are particularly surprising or revealing.  Where's the punch?  I guess I don't have a punchline today.  Just the reflection that by the time a woman reaches menopause, she is seeing what her trade-offs have gotten her.

Gem of the day:  be careful of the choices you make today because they will come back to bless--or haunt--you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 152, October 22

A week or so ago, I wrote about potty parity, or, in other words, the dirty trick that nature and architects played upon women.  While women wait twelve-deep in a line to use the facilities at any sports, social, or cultural event, men zip in and zip out.  Unfair!

Don't get me wrong. I do not, I repeat, not, suffer from the particular envy that some women suffer from.  I don't want to be a man.  No way.  I like being a woman.  But I sure do envy the ease with which men can take care of business.  Anywhere.  Anytime.

So why can't architects and building planners take into account women's needs when it comes to restrooms?  We need more room.  We need more stalls.

The rebel in me has often been tempted to lead a charge into the men's restroom at public events and shout, "Zip up and get out.  The women are here."

Gem for the day: unless you can write your name in the snow, you're stuck waiting in line.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 151, October 21

Do you ever wish your life was like a fairy tale?  I have.  Then reality set in, in the form of dirty diapers, too little money, and a husband who snores.

Still, my dreams persisted. 

Finally, I reconciled my desire for a fairy tale life with my own life and came up with the following: 

Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs became "Pasty White and the 5 Munchkins"
Sleeping Beauty morphed into "Not Sleeping at All"
Beauty and the Beast spun into "Passable Looking and The Wretch"

By now, you're getting the picture. 

Gem for the day:  when you start wishing your life were a fairy tale, remember those tales were written by the Brothers Grimm.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 150, October 20

I've told you about my sister Carla.  We are closer than sisters, more intimate than friends.  We share everything, including an off-beat sense of humor.  (Mine's a bit more off-beat than hers, but that's because I was dropped on my head as a baby.)  So when I told her to "get down with her bad self," (part of my street talk), she shot right back, "If I got down with my bad self, I'd never get back up again."

That's the trouble when you reach menopause.  Getting down (with your bad self or your good self, for that matter) means getting back up again. No easy feat.  Especially when you've got a fake hip and the atrophied muscles that go with it.

Gem for the day:  before getting down with any of your selves, make sure you can get back up again.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 149, October 19

My sister Carla and I are trying to learn street talk.  (I'm a firm believer that you're never too old to learn something new.)

In an effort to help us with that, my daughter Alanna taught me a few phrases which I promptly shared with Carla.  Among those phrases was "True dat."  To say it properly, one must make it all one word:  Truedat.  You need to put the emphasis on the right syllable.  Otherwise, you end up sounding ridiculous.  A friend, Laurie, told me that I needed pooer diction if I were going to carry off street talk.

Alanna also taught me "Bite me."  It seemed an all-purpose phrase, handy in any number of situations.  Once again, I shared my new- found knowledge with Carla.  Carla had opportunity to use the phrase on a vacation with her children and grandchildren.  When they were hurrying her along, she turned and said, "Bite me."

Her children turned to her in horrified shock.  "Mom," her son said.  "What did you say?"

"Aunt Jane taught it to me," she explained.

"Ah."  They nodded as one.

Well, color me surprised when I learned that "Bite me" has a less than savory meaning.  (Once again this was my friend Laurie who told me--and how did she know, I wondered. ) I won't spell it out here, but you can probably figure it out.  (Alanna was as surprised as I was.)

Needless to say, Carla now says "Bite me"  only in the most dire situations.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), it has become embedded in my vocabulary.  Whenever someone raises an eyebrow at my language, I simply shrug and say, "Menopause."

Gem for the day:  Use "bite me" at the risk of your reputation.  Mine's already in shreds, so I'm not worried.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 148, October 18

If you've reached the ripe old age of menopause, you know something about disappointment.  Disappointments come in many guises.  Sometimes they come in the guise of relationships.

You can't be a functioning woman without having dozens of relationships.  And sometimes those relations with our husbands, our children, our parents, our friends hurt.  (Most of the time, they're good, but pain is an element of the human condition.)

Much of the pain I've experienced has been the result of my own bad choices.  Some pain, though, comes from the unrighteous choices of others.  Take my ex-daughter-in-law.  She caused our family untold pain.  It wasn't just that she had hurt my son and my grandsons.  It was that I had loved her, loved her as a daughter.  And she threw it all away.

So, this is a different kind of post, a reflective moment, in the often goofy, frequently naughty workings of my mind.

Gem for the day:  if you can't handle disappointment and pain, you probably won't reach menopause.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 147, October 17

As I wrote yesterday, menopausers are survivors.

We have survived the rebellion of children, the deaths of parents, and, for some, the defection of spouses. We have survived cellulite, celebrations, and sell-a-thons. We have survived in-laws, out-laws, and bylaws (of all the organizations we were told we must join). We have survived church meetings (those who are Mormon will understand), PTA meetings, and civic meetings. We have survived hip replacements, cancer, and pneumonia.

We have survived repression, rejection, and regression (that is where the mother wants to join her two-year-old who is throwing a world-class tantrum in the chapel aisle in the middle of Sacrament Meeting). We have survived flooded basements and flooded bathrooms. We have survived the loss of dreams and the loss of love. We have survived the thinning of our hair and the thickening of our waistlines.

We are women.  We are warriors.  We are survivors

Gem for the day: don't mess with a menopausal woman. You might not survive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 146, October 16

Menopausers have endured much.  You don't get to be this age without surviving a number of catastrophes, calamities, and casualties.  (Don't you love a good alliteration?)

One of the things our family has attempted to do over the years is performing that annual ritual:  the taking of the family portrait.  The memory of such ill-fated forays is indelibly etched upon my mind.  First, there is the whole "what do we wear" thing. 

The Choate family was never coordinated enough to have everyone wear matching outfits.  You've seen those beautiful portraits where parents and children appear in jeans and matching denim shirts.  Not for us.  No, we considered ourselves lucky if we were all dressed with any buttons done up in the right order.

Then there is the "keeping your hands to yourself" thing.  At one family portrait taking, our then 13-year-old son persisted in putting his hand behind his sister's head and making a rude gesture. 

"Please put your hand down," the photographer said in a strained voice.

I glared at our son, who gave me an innocent smile.  Up went that hand again.

"Please put your hand down."  The photographer's voice ratcheted up a notch.

On the third attempt, Rob (those who know our family won't be surprised that it was Rob) stuck his hand behind his sister's head.  Again.

"Put your damn hand down."  Patience and politeness had fled.  The photographer appeared to have aged ten years in the last ten minutes.

Somehow the poor man managed to get a picture of us.  We escaped with no blood shed.  And called the evening a success.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 145, October 15

My husband took exception to being called "The Wretch."  Frankly, I don't blame him.  I should have been extolling his virtues--and they are many--rather than calling him names.

Sometimes, though, the man acts like a wretch.  I suppose he can't help it.  After all, he does have that Y (as in why do they--men--have it?) gene. 

A man does things differently than a woman.  He thinks differently.  He feels differently.  He talks differently.  A case in point is a conversation my spouse and I have had on various occasions.  During our morning walks, I claim that it is cooler in the shade.  My husband, an engineer (and this explains so much) maintains that it is not really cooler in the shade, it is only the "radiant heat transfer" of the sun that makes it seem hotter when we're not in the shade.

Really?  Radiant heat transfer?  Who talks that way?  Who thinks that way?  A man, of course.  A man who happens to be an engineer.

Gem for the day:  don't talk to a man about hot and cold.  He won't get it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 144, October 14

I grew up during the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Rights movement, and survived a number of bowel movements when I was pregnant (and let me tell you that was no laughing matter).  I had little patience with the Women's Rights movement, mostly because it didn't address what really mattered.

Number One:  Hair.  Women are supposed to be completely hair free (except on our heads, of course.  There, we are to have long, gleaming tresses worthy of Lady Godiva.)  Men, on the other hand, were given a free pass to have body hair any old place.  Have you ever seen a man with a hairy back?  The poor guy looks like he's wearing a vest.  Why, I want to demand of the Universe, must a woman subject herself to all sorts of indignities of hair removal but a man can strut around looking like he just stepped out of a cave? 

Number Two:  Bathrooms.  Have you noticed that in any public venue, women are lined up from here to eternity and back to use the facilities while the line to the men's room is non-existent.  I mean, really, what's the deal with that?  Architects and nature pander to men in this area, while women are hopping around on one foot trying to "hold it."  If Women's Rights are truly to be achieved, then we need potty parity.

We'll no doubt revisit the subject of rights at a later date.

Gem for the day:  if you want to have equal rights with a man, grow your body hair and learn to pee standing up.  Since I'm unwilling to do eitiher, I guess I'm destined to be a second-class citizen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 143, October 13

You know my feelings about hormones, nasty little things that tend to run amock when unchecked.  Just when we think we've gotten them under control, they disappear altogether.

Little is said about men's hormones, though.  And never let it be forgotten that they (men) do have them (hormones).  They come from that infamous Y chromosome.  I have always referred to it as the "Why chromosome" as in "Why do they have it?"

This chromosome is accountable for all sorts of mischief.  In fact, some men have literally gotten away with murder by claiming that they have too much testosterone, a result of that chromosome.

What a crock. 

Men have been getting away with things ever since Adam blamed Eve for making him take a bite out of that apple.  If he'd had any gumption, he would have eaten the apple in the first place and started the human race, instead of letting poor Eve take the rap.

Gem for the day:  don't let the man in your life get away with anything.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 142, October 12

I was watching a talk show yesterday, featuring the subject of making one's body look better than it actually is.  (What woman can resist that?)  It turned out the secret was in one's undergarments.

One of the undergarments in question was a bra that not only lifted the girls but squeezed them together to make the cleavage appear deeper.  I remember, years back, advertisements for a bra that lifted and separated the girls.  (Only they weren't called girls back then.)

So, in one generation, we're supposed to lift and separate.  In the next, we're supposed to lift and squeeze together.  Is it any wonder that my breasts are confused?  I'm thinking of taking them in for therapy, but I'm not sure where to go.  Should I go to a psychologist for breasts?  Or should I head to a breast surgeon?  Not for surgery, you understand, but for counseling for my girls.  It's a ponderment, all right.

Gem for the day:  lifted and separated, or lifted and squeezed, my girls are happiest when they hang free.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 141, October 11

Finding the right pair of jeans is no easy feat.  Women struggle to find just that pair that will make our booty look tight, firm, and sassy.  My booty gave up tight with the first pregnancy.  Firm went the way of the second.  Sassy followed with the third.  The fourth pregnancy finished off any hope my booty ever had of recovering its former tightness, firmness, and sassiness.

So what's a poor, menopausal woman to do to find those oh-so-elusive perfect jeans?  The fashion industry has come out with a solution:  pajama jeans.  That these look like sloppy sweat pants dyed denim-blue should not deter us from embracing them ... or, more precisely, them embracing our backsides.

Our world will be perfect, we're told, if we only buy a pair of pajama jeans.  Never mind that they cost $40 or so.  Never mind that they will stretch like a cheap bra.  Never mind that the only way my booty is going to be tight, firm, and sassy again is if I undergo a booty replacement.  But, hey, I've had hip replacement, why not a booty replacement?  Do you think insurance will cover that?

Gem for the day: wear pajama jeans at your own peril. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 140, October 10

Are your hors moning?  (No, I'm not talking about whores moaning, an entirely different matter.)  I'm talking about those nifty little things inside our bodies that make us crazy, make us euphoric; make us sad; make us happy.  In short, hormones.

In my PMSing years, my hors were moning something fierce.  It got to be so bad that my husband, AKA The Wretch, blamed any world or personal catastrophe on my PMS.  The Gulf War--Jane's PMS.  The Democrats took a seat in Congress:  Jane's PMS.  Global warming:  Jane's PMS.

Now, that I've reached the menopausal state, in other words, the state of the crone, The Wretch still blames me for whatever happens.  The stock market took a dip:  Jane's menopause.  Business went down last quarter:  Jane's menopause.  Al Gore appeared in a Speedo:  Jane's menopause.

Gem for the day.  Hormones are like men:  can't live with 'em' can't live without 'em.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 139, October 9

When I was in junior high (somewhere after the cooling of the earth), girls were taught to be soft and feminine and stupid.  That's right:  we were told we should be stupid so as not to intimidate the poor male of the species.  Do you know what?  I fell for it.  I downplayed my brains (I did have some back then) and worked hard to appear the quintessential dumb blonde.

The trouble is, the kind of boy who is attracted to stupid is not someone you want to hang around with.  Fast-forward a few years to college (this is around the time that man first moseyed on out from his cave to slay a beast and bring it home for his loved ones), and I discovered the book THE FASCINATING GIRL.  Even now, I shudder in remembrance of actually reading that drivel.

Once again, girls were taught to dumb down, to be childish and foolish.  Within a few years, I had married and found the sequel to TFG:  THE FASCINATING WOMAN.  Same stuff, only this time geared to the married woman.

Feminism had come in to full bloom by this time, and I started exploring the dark side.  Rather than being told to be stupid, we were told to be men.  (And how is that different, I wanted to ask.)  Feminists maintained that, to be equal to men, we must act like them, talk like them, and dress like them. 

Thought for the day:   I don't need to be stupid. And I don't need to be a man.  I just need to be me. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 138, October 8

As a young mother, I was always nagging my kids.

Eat your vegetables.
Do your homework.
Brush your teeth.
Go to the bathroom before we leave for church

And then there were the don'ts.

Don't run with scissors.
Don't stick your elbow in your brother's ear.
Don't write on the walls with indelibile marker.

Now, my children are gone, but I'm still a nag.  My husband is the current target, and  I had to adapt my nagging to a more subtle form:

Did you take your blood pressure medicine?
Did you take your diabetes medicine?
Did you remember to set the alarm?
Did you take out the trash?
Did you sign the birthday card for your father?

And so it goes.

Gem for the day:  don't be ashamed of your nagging.  Without a mother's (or wife's) nagging, the world would cease to rotate.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 137, October 7

At one point in my life, I was rash enough to ask my husband (and I KNOW I should never ask him anything), "Am I weird?"

"You're not weird.  Just mildly eccentric."  That was one of his better days. 

I've progressed since then.  I no longer ask if I'm weird.  I know that I am.  What's more, I'm all right with it.  I figure we've all got our share of weirdness floating around in our brains.  Why should I be any different?

So, if you wonder if anyone else tops cantaloupe with pickles or makes prank phone calls to friends asking them if "they've paid their sex tax today,"' just know that you're okay.

Thought for the day:  embrace your inner weirdness.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 136, October 6

You've doubtless heard of the Red Hat Society.  I used to belong to a Red Hat chapter, before we disbanded.  I miss hanging out with other Red Hatters, or Mad-Hatters as we used to call ourselves.  Mostly, I miss dressing up in purple clothes and red hats with feathers, a boa tossed about my shoulders in an ever-so-casual manner.

Red Hatters had THE WAVE down pat.  As one friend taught us,

"Touch your pearls.
Blow a kiss,
Wave your hand,
And turn your wrist."

This is the wave of beauty pageant contestants and the Queen Mother of England.  Done properly, THE WAVE never stirs the air.  It is a regal gesture, with just a hint of disdain in it.

Our Red Hat chapter had a queen, a queen of vice, a secretary, and a treasurer.  I had a special position:  that of naughty poetess.  How I came by that is still a mystery to me.

I was sorry to see enthusiasm for Red Hats die.  We menopausers need a reminder that we're important, that we're here, and that we can still cause trouble!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 135, October 5

Women of my generation were taught to be quiet, be demure, be invisible.  We never raised our voices.  We never said "no" to any outlandish request put upon us.  We never talked back.

Thank heavens, I've grown out of that.  It took marriage (to an engineer, which says so much), five children, and a cat of royal lineage to convince me that hey, I can say "No" sometimes.  In fact, I can say "Hell, no" when someone decides that I should be their doormat.

I'm ashamed to admit that finding that self-respect has taken me a lifetime, but now that it's here, it's here to stay.   I credit menopause for that.  (Well, menopause and finally growing a backbone.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 134, October 4

I do not have an hourglass figure.  My sands keep shifting.  In an effort to combat the sand that had shifted from her upper half to my lower half, I bought a pair of silicone breasts.  (They even things out on top and bottom.)   These are nifty little things, which tuck ever so neatly inside my bra.

The only problem is that the silicone picks up the heat from my body.  As someone who is known as "Hot Flash Hannah," I don't need anything else producing heat.  I put my thinking cap on and came up with a solution:  I store my breasts in the refrigerator.  This makes them cool to the touch and they feel delightful when cozied up to the girls.

My husband, wretch that he is, took umbrage at my storing my breasts in the fridge.  "Jane," he asked, "why are your breasts in the refrigerator?"

I explained, very kindly, I thought, about the heat problem.  He only shook his head.  "Are you sure that it's good for them to be in the refrigerator?"

"Of course it's good for them."  (He'd never shown that much consideration for my real breasts, but all of a sudden, he's concerned with my fake boobs?  C'mon.  Give me a break.)

The fake girls now have a permanent spot on our fridge.  They rest there until they are taken out for use.  Feel free to copy my idea if you desire.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 133, October 3

I don't want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything,
but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

A menopausal friend sent this to me.  (Do you notice how I seem to have friends who send such things to me?  No one ever sends me spiritual, uplifting things.  Go figure.)
Isn't it wonderful when we can still fit into SOMEthing that we wore in high school?  As I think about the size I was in high school (skinny) and what I am now, I realize I'm lucky I can still fit through a doorway.

So if there's anything, anything at all, that still fits, you better believe that I'm going to grab on to it and broadcast it to the world.   

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 132, October 2

"I find it helpful to organize my tasks into categories:  things I won't do now, things I won't do later, things I'll never do."--Maxine

Have you noticed how often I quote Maxine?  As I've said before, she is my role model.

What things won't I do now?
Get a bikini wax.  (Ouch!)
Tattoo my husband's name across my tush.
Pose for Playboy.  (Only because they haven't asked.)

Things I won't do later:
Get a bikini wax.
Tattoo my husband's name across my tush.
Pose for Playboy.

Things I won't do later:
Get a bikini wax.
Tattoo my husband's name across my tush.
Pose for Playboy.

It's nice to know that I'm consistent.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 131, October 1

A friend sent me the following email:

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,

(2) don't ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;

(7) don't smoke or drink,

(8) don't want to wear your clothes,

(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,

(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and

(11) and if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.
For a menopausal woman, whose grown children constantly point to her and blame her for all the problems in their lives, this email is balm to her (my) heart.  I know that my cat loves me despite my neuroses, psychoses, and  general goofiness.   Too bad I can't say the same for my children! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 130, September 30

"I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my
doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour but, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over."   (Found in an email)

I can totally relate to the above.  I lived through the Jane Fonda era where we were all supposed to wear leotards (in horizontal stripes, no less), tights, and leg warmers.  Jane carried the outfit off with panache.  I looked like a Glamour don't.

Leotards are not made for women who have hips.  Or breasts.  In fact, they are not made for anyone who weighs more than one hundred and two pounds.  If they aren't pulling at the neck, they're giving you the wedgie from hell.  And who can exercise when you're constantly pulling spandex out of your butt?

Give me sloppy sweats, an oversize t-shirt, and I'm good to go.  (To Baskin-Robbins, that is.)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 129, September 29

"Even doctors can make mistakes.  Mine asked me to undress."--Maxine

As always, Maxine hits the nail on the head.  What's with doctors wanting you to undress?  Can't they tell just from looking that I'm overweight, overstressed, and overwhelmed?  A blind pig could see that.  Surely someone with a degree in medicine ought to be able to discern such things.  And really, all I want, is my prescription for Prozac.  For that, they need to see me naked?

But doctors, whether forced by ethics or some perverse need to see middle-aged naked women, insist upon us disrobing.  Quite frankly, any modesty I once had went by the way side after delivering four children.  But still ...  My body, even pregnant, was in a lot better shape back then. 

You know the drill at the doctor's office:  you strip down to your birthday suit.  The doctor leaves a paper half gown to cover your upper part and a cocktail napkin to cover everything else.  Let me tell you, that cocktail napkin isn't cutting it.

Ah, well ... we do what we must. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 128, September 28

Have you ever gone to a salon to have your hair cut or styled and had the stylist tell you, "You really ought to use a better product on your hair."

"Better product?" I echo.

She nods vigorously.  "Your cheating your hair by using cheap products."

Cheating my hair?  Really?  My hair wouldn't know what to do with "better products."  It's accustomed to the cheapest products on the market.  In fact, I don't use "product."  Product implies fancy creams and shampoos in fancy containers. 

"It's okay," I tell her.  "My hair's menopausal.  It's been cheated on for years."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 127, September 27

Just when I think I have life pretty much figured out, I'm thrown a curve.  My youngest son, Hyrum, is bringing a (serious) girlfriend to meet the family next weekend. In preparation,  he gave me a list of do's and don't's.  (He is obviously embarrassed by his old mother.)

I took umbrage at his lack of faith in me.  After all, am I so terrible?  Well, there was the time when I told people that I had nursed him until he was eighteen years old (hence, my sagging breasts).  Then there was the time that I showed up at school to pick him up for an appointment and had my shirt on inside out.  And there was the time ... 

Well, you get the picture.

The problem is, I was much younger and sharper back then, my brain was still functioning--sort of, and I still was in control of my tongue.  Now, years later, I'm not nearly as young or as sharp; my brain has taken a permanent sabbatical; and my tongue gets away from  me more often than not.

Maybe, instead of preparing me, Hyrum should be preparing his girlfriend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 126, September 26

When in the throes of menopause, I ask myself "Why?"  as in  "Why did this happen to me?"  When I voiced the question to my sometimes loving husband, he said, in the tone of the quintessential Jewish mother, "You would prefer the alternative?"  (The alternative being death, of course.)

The man just doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. 

Have you noticed that about husbands?  They don't know when to shut up.   At other times, they don't know when to open their mouths.  For example, you're wearing a new dress in preparation for going out to dinner.  Your hair, for once, is behaving.  Your makeup is flawless.  You look drop-dead gorgeous.  And the man in your life says, "So, surf or turf tonight?"

A simple compliment or word of praise would have gone a long way at that moment.  But he has his mind on his stomach and not even Angelina Jolie in a thong is going to get it moving in another direction.

Then he acts surprised when you bonk him on the head with your purse.  (Just make sure it's not your designer purse.  You don't want to waste a designer purse for a good bonk.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 125. September 25

Warning PMS:  Personality Mutating Strangely

I found this in a book about women.  I love it, not just for the play on the familiar acronym, but for the kick-butt humor in it.  Now I'm wondering what else MMW (Menopausal Mormon Women) could stand for:

Here are a few of my ideas:

MMW:  Mean Mommas Winning  (I don't know what we're winning, but we're definitely winning.)

MMW: Mormon Mother Wolverines (forget the grizzlies)

MMW:  Mutant Mothers Willing (to eat chocolate, that is)

Well, we're getting a little silly now.   I've gone too long without my Prozac!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 124, September 24

In case you haven't noticed, I'm big on friendship.  Women need girlfriends.  Husbands and significant others are fine, but they don't GET things like another woman does. 

For example, have you noticed that men are completely oblivious to when you wear a new outfit?  My friends always notice when I am wearing something new (new by way of garage sales, of course).   And then there's the whole shaving hair disposal thing.  Men don't see (or care) when they leave nasty little hairs in the sink.

I figure the man/woman difference thing can be explained by asking yourself one simple question.  Can you really trust the advice of someone who uses the same soap for both his hands and face?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 123, September 23

Well, we're back to Lot's wife again.  I do feel sorry for the lady.  Imagine being turned to a pillar of salt.  Then imagine how you'd retain water!

As I've said before, I retain water (I'm sure that's the cause of my weight gain) like a camel preparing for a draught.  At the makeup counter of a high-end department store, my sister and I were accosted by a man (wearing makeup, no less), asking if we wanted to have our eyes evaluated.  He was not talking about our eye health but our the appearance of our eyes. 

Without giving us a chance to respond, he then went pointed out that I had puffiness under my eyes  (there's that water retention thing again) and that my sister had feathering around her eyes.  In my book, insulting potential customers is not the way to make a sale.  Praise be, he had just the thing we needed:  a hundred dollar an ounce eye cream, guaranteed to erase puffiness and feathering.  Needless to say, we didn't buy any of his overpriced cream.

For a hundred dollars an ounce, I could buy Beluga caviar or Godiva chocolates!  Never let it be said that  I don't have my priorities straight!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 122, September 22

Do you remember Lot's wife?  She was commanded not to turn around and look as she and her family were fleeing the city.  But the poor woman couldn't help herself and turned around anyway.  What did she get for her disobedience?  She was turned in to a pillar of salt.


If I were going to be turned in to a pillar of anything, I'd want it to be chocolate.  Or carmel.  Or cheesecake.  But Lot's wife didn't get a choice.

It's much the same for menopausers.  We don't get a choice about a lot of things.  Hair growing in places it never grew before.  Fat showing up in places it shunned in our early years.  And let's not forget those hot flashes that turn our beds in to sweat boxes.

In Sunday School class, Lot's wife was held up as a bad example.  I'm inclined to give her a break and hope that others will do the same for me!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 121, September 21

It's been said that, in our twenties, we have the face nature has given us and that, by fifty or so, we have the face we've earned.   I don't know about you, but for me, that's downright scary.  Good grief.  Did I really earn sunken eyes, a hooked nose, and jowly cheeks?  What sin did I ever commit that was so terrible as to merit this?

Well, there was the time that I put a curse on my ex daughter-in-law.  And then there was the time that I nearly got in to a fist fight with a woman who was taking advantage of my elderly father.  But, really, were those so bad?  I was defending my family, as women have been doing for generations.

I took the chance of looking in the mirror (something I usually avoid) and had to conclude that they (my sins) must have been heinous indeed!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 120, September 20

This is a different kind of post, less biting and more reflective.  (I do have my moments.) 

The oither day I read an article about aging beautifully.  It reminded me of an old southern saying, "Pretty is as pretty does."  Perhaps you've heard of it, as well.

Like many adages, this one holds a lot of truth.  A few weeks ago, I had the experience of watching a television special on Mormonism.  A former member of the Church spoke about her feelings (negative) about her one time membership in the Church.  It made me sad.  She had given up a "pearl of great price" for worldly pleasures. 

Afterward, I heard many people describe her as beautiful ... but I couldn't see any beauty.  All I saw was an overly made-up woman justifying her selfish choices.

Menopause strips us of many of our youthful beauties and vanities.  One thing it doesn't have to strip us of, however, is our faith.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 119, September 19

At a garage sale last weekend, I bought a pair of sunglasses, telling my husband that "You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses."  I have been known to lose mine, sit on them, or have them cracked by an over-eager grandchild.  After the next garage sale, I returned to the car and realized I didn't have my sunglasses with me.  I returned to the sale and found them mixed in with some clothes on a table.

It was as though the universe were confirming my decision to buy the glasses at the previous sale.   I took that as a good sign.  After all, if I'm in tune with the universe, maybe I am not falling apart at such a rapid pace!

I look for signs in all sorts of things.  I haven't read tea leaves yet (probably because I don't drink tea), but I have felt for bumps on my head (phrenology) to try to "read" my future.  I also look at astrological charts.  None of this helps, of course, but I figure it can't hurt.

That is the philosophy behind much of a menopauser's effort to stave off the passage of time:  it won't help, but it can't hurt.  Now, if youi'll excuse me, I've got some head bumps to feel!