Monthly Archives: May 2010

Dem Bones

You know the movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr?  My mother showed it to me when I was a wee romantic thing, but if you’re not old enough to recall it, perhaps you’ve seen the remake with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty –titled Love Affair. And if you’re not old enough to remember that, then please Google PBS Kids while I take this moment to address my peers.

So, in An Affair to Remember/Love Affair, Deborah Kerr/Annette Bening falls in love with Cary Grant/Warren Beatty.   Alas, Deborah/Annette is already in a relationship, and Cary/Warren has never had a long-term relationship with anyone.  So they get it into their heads that if a suitable period of time goes by and they are still in love, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building.  But when poor Deborah/Annette leaps from the cab to see if her lover is waiting for her, she runs smack in front of another car and BAM!  She’s paralyzed.  When her true love finds her and realizes she is injured for life, he asks, “What happened?”   She replies, “I was looking up.” (At the Empire State Building.)

Yeah, don’t do that.

Being the 48-year-old mother of a very energetic seven-year-old, I like to attempt to keep up.  I see the mothers of her classmates setting off on their morning bike rides after drop-off (they ride to the athletic club across the river where they work out for an hour or two before riding back home).  So when DD said, “Let’s chase fairies” after school one day, I set off on a jog after the fairies.   Over pavement, over lawns, over tree roots we ran, leaped and frolicked, pointing at the fairies flying over our heads until…BAM!  I fell.

I was looking up.

I broke my wrist and–long story short–it turns out I have osteoporosis.  Apparently, I’ve had it since I was 40, but missed the memo.  (I swear I thought the doctor said osteopoenia 8 years ago.)  Here comes the irony:  I spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a size 6.  For a dozen years (during my thirties and early forties), I was successful.  Apparently that was not such a good thing for my body.  The technician who did my DEXA scan 8 years ago told me, “If you weighed more, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Well, I’ve been through menopause since then.  I weigh more now.  I’m a size ten again, the size I was always trying to whittle down.  I’m getting another DEXA scan in a couple of weeks and if the bone density in my hip has not improved or is worse, I will get to wear hip protectors–AKA, PADDING ON THE HIP–when I do something physical.  That’s right:  All that dieting back in my thirties has brought me back to size ten hips plus EXTRA PADDING.  Oh, the irony!

Please engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, dear readers.  Eliminate sodas and reduce sugar consumption (without dieting).  Eat plenty of greens and whatever else you do, DON’T LOOK UP.



Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Health, Menopause, Motherhood, osteoporosis, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

Wagons Ho

I’m going on an Oregon Trail Living History field study with my two fifth graders. 

I hear naughtly little children taste just like chicken...

We are going to ‘experience’ the ‘joy’ of roughing it on the real Oregon Trail in real wagons and wear real costumes and stuff.   Gonna do it the way they used to.  No new fangled stuff like dental floss or deoderant.  We’re going to sleep in a tent.  Supposed to rain, maybe even snow.  Just like in the olden days.  I hear tell a ‘master camper’ (whatever that is) will be accompanying us.  His last name is–no-I-am-not-kidding–Donner.  Just like in the olden days.  If the kids in my tent give me any flack, (you know, middle school ‘tude), I think after lights-out, I’m gonna tell ’em the whole saga of the real Donner party.  Then, I might allude to the idea that our master camper might be…I don’t know…related some how.  

That oughta keep ’em in line.

I’ll report back on my adventures upon my return.



Filed under Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing

Why is that? An Andy Rooney-esque Ramble

I love the way Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes says, “Why is that?”

Why is that?

I’ve been wondering that myself, lately.  For example, why is it, when I’m in line at the grocery store, the lady ahead of me always chooses at least one item with no pricing info available in the entire universe?  And, why, after holding up the line for and ungodly amount of time, does she wait until she hears the grand total before she reaches for her purse and begins to fumble for her checkbook?  Don’t ya just love it when they stand there and balance their checkbook, mumbling stuff like, “Let’s see… carry the two…no, wait, why is my checkbook not balancing?” 

Why is that?

Why is it, when the milk is sitting out on the counter and I ask all five of my children, “Who left the milk out?” they all say (in unison) “Not me.”  Weird.  The dog must have grown opposable thumbs and dragged the milk out of the fridge, poured himself a bowl of cereal and forgotten to put the milk back.  I wonder why the dog uses every last drop of ketchup and puts the bottle back in the fridge?  Why is that?

Why is it that the second I sit down on the potty, the phone rings?  Why is it that we have one dozen wireless phone in our house, but when the phone rings, we can never find one?  When I ask the kids, “Hey, who put the phone in the refrigerator?” they all say (in unison) “Not me!”

Why is that? 




Filed under Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, Writing

My Fifteen Minutes

Andy Warhol was right:  Everyone does get fifteen minutes of fame.  Unfortunately it doesn’t always arrive precisely as we hope….

So there I was, minding my own business, when my doctor informed me it was time for a colonoscopy.   For those of you too young to bother, bless your hearts.  Stop reading.  Go jog or admire your wrinkle-free skin or something.  For the rest of you, who, like me, cannot believe you have reached the age of frown lines, age spots and actual or potential colon polyps, carry on.  I’m going to show you a silver lining.  Really.

So there I was, in the office of the specialist who makes his living exploring colons, and let me tell you this was not a warm man.  Cold, I’d say.  Curt.  Abrupt.  Stalin in a pissy mood.  I have a family history of colon cancer and an obsessive need for comfort, so I may be exaggerating, but only a little.  Nice was not his forte.

“I don’t like him; he’s mean,” I wailed to my dear nurse-friend who recommended him.

“He’s not known for his bedside manner, but you’ll be under anesthesia and you need to do this, honey.”


For those of you who have been down this road, the prep (ie, the Roto Rooter phase) is the most unpleasant part of the program.  I was beyond careful not to eat or drink anything I wasn’t supposed to, because no way did I want to do the procedure twice (which happened to a couple of friends of mine).

So, the day of:  I’m getting the anesthesia and asking the nurse what to expect.  Will I be completely out or only a little?  I can’t decide which is better:  Allow The Grinch to proceed on his own without my input or stay alert as my new goal in life has become to make this doctor crack the tiniest smile.

Grinch comes over and greets me:

“Getting sleepy?”

“Not yet, doctor.  Have you heard the one about–”

“Okay, once we get started, if I find anything I don’t like, I’m going to turn the table around and go down your throat with another scope.  See you in there.”

WAIT!  What?  What did he say?  What about my throat??!!  See you in there. “That was kind of friendly,” I mentioned to the nurse.  “Right?”  She shrugged.  “Am I going to fall completely asleep now?”

As it turns out I remained alert, but didn’t care.  I didn’t care about anything.   Very helpful drug.  Should probably be given at the start of menopause.  Why wait?

Anyway, I watched the procedure on a monitor, along with Dr. Killjoy.  And here is what happened.

Dr.:  “This is beautiful.  This is the cleanest colon I’ve seen.  You did an awesome prep.  Outstanding.  Look at that…that is just lovely.”

I could go on, but Mother always told me not to toot my own horn.

Yes, friends.  I made him smile.  He even called someone over (I forget who.  Maybe the janitor.) to see my awesome colon on the big monitor.

I waited a long time for that kind of adulation.  I relish it.

I have a take-home photo of my great colon.  If I were Carolyn, I’d post it; but I don’t know how, and anyway it’s sort of a special, just-between-us keepsake from the nice doctor.

Fifteen minutes is time the procedure took.   Thank you, Andy Warhol.  Thank you, doctor.

Thank you menopause and aging.  Everyone deserves a moment in the sun.


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Filed under Health, Menopause

Oh No!

One hot mama: The pre-breakfast routine.


Don’t you just love those bizarre celebrity death hoaxes?  Johnny Depp dies in freak skate board accident.  Miley Cyrus eaten by sharks.  Plastic surgery kills Kardashian sisters.  

 These goofy rumors got me to thinking that a lot of you out there are probably wondering what happened to Wendy.  The hotter of the two mamas.  No, contrary to the wild urban legends circulating Hollywood, she has not been kidnapped by terrorists.  Unless you count the PTA.  

 No, Wendy is simply busy.  Too busy to blog.   

 Why?  Because—like me—she cannot seem to bring herself to say ‘No’.   

 Why do we fear the word, No?  Hmm.  In my case?  I’m terrified I might miss out on the fun.  Couple that with my people pleasing tendencies and suddenly, I find myself in the process of making a Pioneer Costume.  For myself.  Yes.  Fitting that in before I pack my two fifth graders and me for a three day school Oregon Trail camping trip.  Couldn’t say no to their adorable doe-eyed faces, begging me to participate in all that chaperoning excitement. Neither could I say ‘No’ to the week long Marine Studies extravaganza with my middle school daughter’s class at the coast.  Thankfully I’ll have time to pack during the ten minutes I’ll be home between trips.    

     Bought the supplies I’ll need during the week I took off to get the kids back and forth to their fifty mile round-trip piano recitals.  Luckily, my husband was able to take time off work that week to get my son to his baseball games in other cities, since I don’t have a sewing machine in my car.  Yet.  As soon as they get one that plugs into the cigarette lighter, I will.   

     Fortunately, my computer has super good battery life, as my eldest daughter somehow talked me into serving as the Community Coordinator for her high school’s social network.  This way, I won’t be bored on those endless seconds I’ll have between building a Pirate set for Vacation Bible School and hosting the Spanish Club luncheon.  Thank heavens I was able to wriggle out of sewing 70 canvas field study bags—never admit you can sew—so that I can attend a college reunion, a baby shower, a writer’s meeting, enjoy TWO talent shows, THREE  plays starring my kids, and host out of town company.  

     All of this is, of course, on top of keeping a 7 person/2 dog household under some semblance of control.  I’m thinking about getting one of those digital voice recorders so that I can write novels while I’m grocery shopping, working out, paying bills, chauffering the kids, grooming the dogs, mowing the lawn and bathing.  

    Double-tasking?  For slacker weenies.  I’m coining the phrase Quad-tasking.  Why else would God have given us two hands and two feet?  



Filed under Anxiety, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, parenthood, Writing