Category Archives: Health

Menopausal Belly Fat

Before menopause, every month I was bloated.  It was so miserable.  Pants would not button, I looked pregnant (sometimes, I was) and I found it impossible to ignore the siren call of the refrigerator.

I used to rage against the ebb and flow of the estrogen.  Why couldn’t I just be one size all month-long?  Blast these hormones!

Now, I long for the monthly bloat because at least it would disappear now and again.    Unfortunately, my wishes have come true and I am one size all month-long.  Size bloat.  Thanks to menopause, I’m stuck with the dreaded ‘belly fat’.  Oh, I hear the ads on the radio about the miracle menopause pills designed to dissolve my fat, give me untold energy and the sex drive of my unneutered male Cocker Spaniel, but I have a feeling that the changes are not going to come from a pill.

They are going to come from two things:  My son Gabriel (seeking retribution for all the room cleaning I demand) and Joe Cross, the king of Juice.  Gabe has designed a fitness plan for me and…as I write this, he is setting up the family room for my “burn”.   My daughter, Grace, is manning the juicer.  I’m popping One A Day Silver’s like they were M&M’s.

Why juice you ask?  Well, because last year, my doctor asked me to watch the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (I was too fat, sick and nearly dead to be offended) and I did the juice thing during the summer and it worked.  Unfortunately, I had no muscle tone to keep it off, so Halloween candy through New Year’s party dip helped pile it all back on.

Why on earth is she telling me this? you are all scratching your heads and asking.  Well, since we are two months into the New Year, it is becoming clear that I need an accountability partner.  No.  Scratch that.  I need all 3-4 thousand of you, dear readers, to crack that whip and keep me moving.  So, here’s the deal.  I’m going to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead again (yes, it is inspiring, but mainly, Joe Cross, with his Australian accent, it so cute and this movie is really fun to watch with a tub of butter flavored popcorn and a large Coke) and start my fitness regimen today.  Gonna build some muscle.  Thought I’d start with the jaw.

Since I have no intention of telling you my actual weight, I shall say only that we are at +20 and the goal is to get to +0.  I’ll check in with my daily weigh-in’s  if my son’s ‘burn’ program doesn’t kill me first.  Now.  I must get out of bed.  I really, really don’t want to.  Maybe I should start this whole thing tomorrow…

Carolyn

 

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Humor, Joe Cross, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss

Stayin’ Alive, part III of Krav Maga

When last we left Too Hot Mamas, they were in their free trial Krav Maga class, learning that, in fact, nothing in life is free.  Carolyn was bleeding happily and Wendy was preparing to kick the stuffing out of the senior lady who had been whomping her butt for the past hour and fifteen minutes.  Now you’re up to speed….

So, Ma Barker invited me to hit her first, instructing me to aim for the pad she was holding up by the side of her face and I who cannot squash an ant, I who have held funerals for birds I had no part in killing, I who am incapable of purchasing a pound of ground round without envisioning a cow mooing mournfully for her lost calf, I, dear reader, did not aim for the pad.  Oh, no.  After being sent flying by Ma’s skinny wrist more times than I could count that day, I discovered the true power of Krav Maga.

See, I think Israeli Street Fighting is designed to get you so pissed off you’d hit your own Bubbie while she was handing you a honey cake.

BAM!  I let Ma have it, right between the eyes.  She blocked (I knew she would…honest), but she wasn’t happy.

“We hit past each other,” she admonished.

“Really?  Sorry.”  WHOOSH!  I let one fly, right toward her shnoz.  “Sorry again!” I lied cheerfully after she slapped me away.  “I was trying to find my power as a woman and slipped.”

“That’s not how we do it.  Let me show you—“

“We’re almost out of time,” Mini Krav called from the front of the room.  Proof of a loving God.  “Line up,” Mini Krav instructed, “in the middle of the room.”

I shrugged at Ma and moved to the center of the room.

Cool.  This must be like in my daughter’s gymnastics class when the girls get stickers and a small snack after a job well done.

“Close your eyes,” Mini Krav instructed.  I thought that was cute.  They were going to surprise us. After the single-minded focus on maiming each other, I must admit this bit of after-class whimsy was most welcome.

Eyes closed, I waited, smiling, for my reward.  I could sense someone approaching very softly and held out my hand.  Ten very strong, very insistent, steel-like fingers curled around my throat.  Yeah, that’s right: my throat.  And they weren’t exactly massaging.

My eyes shot open.  Krav Maga Man, the surly one, the one who beamed at Carolyn once she started bleeding, was “pretending” to be an attacker.

“Break my hold!” he commanded, his dark eyes boring into my by this time bulging blue ones.

“What?”

“Do what you were shown.  Break my hold!”

Were we shown that?  Uhhhm…oh yeah.  Pulling back the hand I’d been holding out for candy, I grabbed his wrists and twisted.  Nothing.  Diving both hands in between his arms, I executed a quick hacking maneuver.  Nada.  I think his hold on my neck tightened.  I tried looking around for Carolyn, but couldn’t turn my head.  It was getting a little hard to breathe, too, so I rasped out, “I can’t.”

This seemed to disgust him.  “Use your strength and punch through my arms from up above!” he shouted like a good drill sergeant.

I did as instructed, wrenching his arms as hard as I possibly could.  He did not budge.

“I’m just here for the free trial class,” I gurgled in a high, alien-like voice, the only one I could squeeze out.  “I can’t break your hold.  Please let go.”

KMM rolled his eyes, but he released me.  It was a pity release, I get that.  Still, I was free and ready to collect Carolyn and her son and get out oft here.

KMM wasn’t done yet.  “Kick me between the legs!”

“What?”

Standing in attack mode, flashing irritation and challenge in equal measure, he growled,  “I let you go, now kick me to make sure I’m incapacitated.”

I shrugged.  “Sure.”  Balancing on my left foot (I’m really very good at that, thanks to yoga), I kicked toward his chest with my right.

He flicked my foot away like it was a fly.  “Not at my chest.”

“Well, where do you–  Oh!”  I giggled. “I couldn’t possibly.  I don’t know you well enough.  Shouldn’t you at least buy me dinner first?”  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

I won’t bother describing his expression; I’d rather not relive it.

I raised my knee and performed the maneuver, adding a hearty “MUH!” for good measure.   I’m sure he’s still having nightmares about meeting me in a dark alley somewhere.

Carolyn, her son and I left with sweat rolling down our faces and backs.  There wasn’t much talking in the car on the way home.   We agreed to try aikido next.  I agreed only to get them to go home so I could slather my body in Tiger Balm, slap a few Salon Pas on my lower back, and crawl into bed.

For the record, I would like to reply in advance and in public to my dear friend Carolyn’s next suggestion for a great adventure:

“Nothing doing, Lucy!”

–Wendy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Exercise, Health, Humor, Krav Maga

HOW KRAV MAGA IS MAKING A MAN OUT OF ME

Don’t Mess With Bubbie

Carolyn told you a bit about our foray into self-mutilation…whoops, I mean “defense.” She left out a few things.

Remember how in I Love Lucy, Lucy Ricardo would come up with some cockamamie plan and just assume Ethel Mertz would go along with her?  Every couple of episodes, Ethel, bless her heart, would try to grow a backbone and stand her ground.  But Lucy always won.

“Ohhh no, Lucy, count me out of this one.”

“But Ethel—“

“Nothing doing!”

And the next thing you knew, Ethel was standing on the ledge of their apartment building, dressed like a martian.  Well, that’s Carolyn and me.

“Hey,” I said one afternoon when I had obviously lost my mind, “have you heard of Krav Maga?”  (Never, ever EVER ask Carolyn if she’s heard of something.  EVER.  Ever.)

“No.  What is it?”

“Israeli street fighting.  It’s supposed to be a near deadly form of self-defense—  Whom are you calling?“

She had us registered for a trial class in under five minutes.  I am not exaggerating.

“We should at least think about this, Carolyn.  We don’t know these people.  What if they’re not licensed or insured or sane?  We should at least look at the studio first….”

The next day, our local Krav Maga studio –the one with the logo of the snarling bulldog—had three new students.  (Carolyn brought her 14-year-old, star-athlete son.)

The workout/torture room was dreckorated in black and gray, not a whisper of cheerful color.  The instructors and other students were dressed in black and gray, too, as the Krav Maga uniform is part of the registration fee.  Coincidentally, Carolyn had worn black yoga pants and  shirt for our trial class.  I had dressed in jeans and a pink and yellow v-neck “Peace” tee (so cute, really) with hot-pink, lace cami underneath.

Guess who got the look of admiration from Krav Maga Man, the verrrry serious owner of our new home away from home?  He spared me a glance.  “Did you bring water?”

“I don’t want to get hurt!” shot from my lips before I could stop myself.

Krav Maga Man scowled.  “Did you bring water?”

“No.”

Looking disgusted, he walked away.  “What is his problem?” I whispered to Carolyn.  “They didn’t tell us to bring water.  Did you bring water?”  She raised a quart-sized sports bottle.  It was black.

KMM returned with a tiny bottle of Kirkland H2O, which he handed to me.  “Get going, you three.  Class has started.”

I liked the warm up.  My confidence soared, in fact, as I lunged, squatted, tossed in a yoga asana, rolled my shoulders and shadow-boxed.  The nice teacher was smiling at me.  He was smaller, younger, far friendlier than Krav Maga Man.  Let’s call him Mini Krav.

Glancing at Carolyn, who looked sweaty and focused, I grinned.  Self-defense wasn’t so bad.

After teaching us a few lethal punches and kicks, Mini Krav paired us up—men with men and women with women.  Carolyn was partnered with a statuesque 20-something whose muscles appeared to be sculpted from Caesarstone.  After some deliberation, I was matched with a very quiet, much older woman whose loose tee shirt hung past her knees and whose stooped shoulders gave the impression that a trip around the block with her walker might put her into traction.

I’m not going to lie to you people:  My feelings were hurt.  I mean, I work out.  I own FOUR of The Firm DVD’s.   Okay, I haven’t played them much lately, but c’mon.  (That’s all I’ve got, just…c’mon.)

Looking on the bright side, at least I was unlikely to be injured and could help Carolyn get home after Ms. Olympia 2012 took out a kidney.

I smiled encouragingly at my frail partner and graciously held the provided padding, so she could hit me first.  “Don’t be afraid, I’m tougher than I look,” I crooned.  “You can—OWWWWW!”

The old broad didn’t even wait for me to stop speaking!  Just punched me so hard I thought I lost a lung, even with the padding.  Without waiting for me to catch my breath, she pivoted, letting me have it with the other fist while shouting, “MUH!”

“OW!  Sonova–  Hey, lady!”

“Historically, women have been afraid of their full power, so we don’t hold back in class. Do we?”  Her eyes bore into mine and her lips barely moved when she spoke, making her look less Someone’s Grannie and more CIA Assassin.

“Fine, but from here on I’d like to invoke the Marquess of Queensberry rules, so–  Owww-owwww.”  She got me again.  “I was still talking! What is wrong with you?”

“Attackers don’t play by rules, do we women don’t hold back. Do we?”

“Stop asking me that.”

“Practice your kicks!” Mini Krav called above the shouts and groans.

Instantly, I dropped the pads and used the same signal my daughter makes when she’s playing tag, hoping it would translate.  “Time out.  No puppy guarding.”

I looked around for Carolyn and saw her with the owner of the studio.  He had his first-aid kit open as blood was streaming down her hand….

Part Two on Wednesday.

 –Wendy

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Filed under aging, Exercise, Fitness, friendship, Health, Humor, Krav Maga

When it rains

Don't tell me you're going on ANOTHER business trip!?

Why is it, that the minute my husband leaves on a business trip, the kids start barfing and all the major appliances blow up?  You think I’m kidding, but sadly, no.  Every year, he flies to Washington DC to attend a trade-show and every year, our normally serene life becomes a seething cauldron of germs and stress and broken crap.  This month, while he was packing, I started to sound like James Earl Jones after a carton of Camel unfiltered cigarettes.  “THIS… IS CNNnnnaaaachhhooie!   Ahhhhuuuggghhh, NO!  NO!  THIS. CAN. NOT.  BE.  HAPPENING.”

“Have you taken any Airborne?”

Yeah.  Like Airborne is going to help ward off the demonic forces circling our house.  I’m not superstitious, but ever years it’s the same story.

This year, as he pulled out of our driveway and headed to the airport, the kids all started getting stomach cramps.  By the time he was on the plane, I was in bed, coughing up a lung–after all, I had two–and the kids were busily clogging the toilet.  In the spirit of letting me recuperate, they didn’t bother to inform me about the toilet issue until there was an inch of water on the bathroom floor.  There was only an inch because most of it was busily pouring down into the family room, via the ceiling.  No problem.  I am woman.  Here me roar.  THIS IS CNN.  Hack, cough, pant.  Kersnort.  I turned off the toilet valve and James Earl Jones hustled my cramping kids to the towel closet.  We mopped up the excess water and tossed the towels into the washer, which yes, you guessed it, sprung a leak and flooded the laundry room, which yes, you guessed it, I didn’t discover until the next morning.

After I mopped up the laundry room, I made a pact with the kids not to use the toilet or the laundry room for a week, then fell into bed and slept until the hubby came home.  On the bright side, the hubby is back, everything works, we all feel great and… new carpet and linoleum are being installed next week.

Next year, we’re all just going to go with him.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

A Marathon Runner Delivers a Baby

I’m jogging in place!

When I first saw this headline, I thought, “Isn’t that nice?  Some good Samaritan gave up their dreams of victory to stop and help a pregnant woman deliver a baby.”

Wrong.

The Marathon Runner had the baby.  She ran during contractions.  At 39 weeks.  Here is a snippet of this insanity:

Amber Miller, 27, had competed in two races while 17 weeks pregnant. But on Sunday she combined two major events in one day. Running while 39 weeks pregnant, she finished the marathon in 6 hours and 25 minutes, then gave birth to a baby girl about seven hours later. Miller said she didn’t feel any ill effects from her 6-hour and 25-minute effort during the marathon, except sore feet and a few blisters.  She set an easy pace, running two miles, walking the next two — finishing three hours off her personal best for a marathon. “I don’t feel anything from the marathon, but I do feel what you’d expect after giving birth,” she said during a Monday press conference.

Hearing this ruined my day.  Now, complaining about a hangnail doesn’t seem like a good enough excuse to skip out on exercising.  Apparently, unless I’m in the throes of labor, I have no excuse.  And, because labor is a thing of the past for me, I suppose any excuse that would put me in the hospital now…doesn’t cut it.  Thanks a lot, Amber.

Heart failure?  Shake it off.

Stroke?  Just do it.

Amputation.  No pain, no gain.

Amber, it’s people like you, who make the rest of us look bad.

Folks, it should also be noted, that Amber ran a marathon with her other two pregnancies, but only up till 17 weeks.

So, Amber, we can see that you are in the mode to stretch yourself.  What’s next? You have the baby at the half way mark, strap the kid into a jogger and press on till the finish?

And…how would you top that?  Give birth to your twin grandchildren during a marathon?
I wouldn’t put it past you.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Children, Cussing, Exercise, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood

Fish tragedy, a three hanky tale

Don’t they look like angels when they sleep?…wait…they ARE angels!

Luckily, my mother does not read this blog so I can add my fish tale to Wendy’s aquarium misery.  Plus, it’s been two years and we’ve managed to recover nicely.

Number One Son really, really, really, really wanted a pet fish.

I said, “But honey, you know you are only ten-years-old and won’t take care of it and the poor little fishy will die of starvation.”

“No way, Mom!!  I’ll feed it and change its water and play with it and everything.”

“If I let you have a fish, you must realize that I don’t want it, and its life will be in your hands, got that?”

After he pledged allegiance to the fish, we went to Wal-mart.  Price of fish?  10 cents.  Price of bowl, rocks, food, fish net, special chemistry set to keep the bowl from rotting, exotic housing units and plastic trees and kelp in unnatural neon colors?  $89.50.

Day one was glorious:  Son diligently set up bowl, named fish Alice, fed Alice 3 squares, checked chemical balance, dragged family and friends in to admire how clever Alice was whenever she swam through neon cave and, before bed that night, told Alice bedtime story.

Day two:  Son invited to sleepover at neighbor’s house.  Forgot Alice existed.

Day five: Alice failing.

Day eight:  Alice, near death, discovered by eldest teenage daughter.  “Mom, I’m going to take over Alice’s health care.  Brother is going to be my
co-owner.”

A shame-faced brother agreed to the arrangement and within days, Alice was her spunky old self.  Daughter taught brother that the best way to clean Alice’s bowl was to transfer Alice to a salad bowl and run her regular stuff through the dishwasher to sterilize it from time to time.

Unfortunately, daughter and son neglected to tell Grandma their bowl cleaning method.  And—because my mother is one of those people who cannot stop cleaning for 5 minutes—when she came over for dinner, Alice was inadvertently tossed into the garbage disposal and whirled into the great beyond as my mother hummed Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

We all stared at each other in horror, as Alice had become a rather cherished member of the family.  However, we also knew that Grandma would never forgive herself and would inundate us with replacement fish for the rest of our lives and so, choked back the tears.  Needless to say, dinner was a tad subdued that night.  Now and then, a family member would pause at the disposal and murmur their respects down the drain.

Wendy, hurry.  Invite my mother over for dinner next time you clean Bluestar’s bowl.  Grandma, without fail, will leap up from the dinner table and begin tackling the dishes.  Rest in peace, Bluestar.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Children, cleaning, Cooking, Cussing, Death, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Pet fish

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Recipe

I promised you this recipe many a blog ago.  Here it is, better late than never…which is pretty much how meals arrive at our dining table.

I made this in an effort to get my daughter to school with something resembling a whole food in her tiny belly.  She loves this breakfast; she loves anything that sounds like dessert at 7 a.m.  I know it’s summer now and cold breakfasts taste better than warm, hearty oatmeal, but we’re in the Pacific Northwest; we can eat this stuff ten months out of the year.

Like Edith Piaf, Je ne measure rien.  (I’m sure that’s what Edith meant. ) Just put in as much as you want of the following.

Oh–one more thing;  If I were Carolyn or anyone remotely able to post a photo, I would.  But I’m not, so you’ll just have to trust me.

Libbi’s Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Steel cut oats–organic.  One quarter cup dry measure equals one serving.  You’ll need four times the amount of liquid.

vanilla rice milk (You can use all rice milk –or soy or almond or coconut or whatever–or part milk and part water.  Or try orange juice and water.  Or all water,  But that’s kind of boring, and you’re not boring, are you?)  Remember; 4 parts liquid to 1 part steel-cut oats.

organic raisins (Pay extra; imported grapes are on the list of most toxic fruits.  CostCo usually has a good deal on organic raisins.)

grated carrots–yeah, organic

honey or agave and/or mashed banana for sweetness

shredded coconut (optional)

chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

pinch of sea salt

Toppings:  Many options.  See below.

METHOD…and we do have one…

Before you go to bed one night, measure out your oats and the liquid you’re using for the number of servings desired.  I combine these in a PYREX glass bowl.  Add some raisins (the golden kind are super in this), cover and stick in the fridge.  The raisins will plump deliciously and sweeten the cooking liquid.

When you get up the next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Add grated carrots and sweetener to your oatmeal.  Libbi likes a lot of each.  Add your pinch of sea salt  plus coconut and nuts as desired.  Slide this in the oven uncovered and go about your business for 35-45 minutes.   When both it and you are ready, serve the oatmeal as is or with a little more milk, maybe stir in a little nut butter for protein if you want, some maple syrup or sprinkle with chocolate chips and top with a little whipped cream. We’ve tried all that so far and it’s all yummy.

Try it and tell Too Hot Mamas what you think.  Bon Apetit! L’Chaim!

Wendy

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Cupcake Wars

One of my daughter’s early teachers was called “Cupcake” (not to her face) by the parents, because of her penchant for celebrating every birthday, half-birthday, and holiday, including obscure-in-America British holidays, by serving fluffy cakes with gobs of frosting.  She considered sugar to be, in part, a learning tool.  It was quite effective.  My daughter does not remember the storyline to The Lace Snail, which we read a gazillion times (it’s wonderful), but she still speaks fondly of London’s October Plenty.  Attempts to form letters were rewarded with m&m’s or bits of red licorice.

Why am I thinking about this now, a few years after the fact?  Because I just spent two hours learning how to make a radish mouse to entice my daughter to eat her veggies.   Any veggie.  A no-thank-you bite of cherry tomato.  A snippet of gray green bean out of her Alphabet Soup.

For many years I was a sugar-free vegan (this was before Carolyn and I began entering the Pillsbury Bake-Off, I grant you) and regularly offered collards and kale to my daughter, who ate her greens with gusto.   Oh, yes she did.  In fact, her favorite breakfast was brown rice with butter, tiny minced carrots, nori seaweed and gomasio.  And then…Cupcake.

I love you, Cupcake, I do.  When introducing children to school, it’s a Jewish tradition to dot the pages of a book with honey so the learning will be sweet.   My daughter’s books were smeared with buttercream; I suppose that’s close.  And when she majors in British history I’m quite sure I will remember you fondly.  But I can’t help the pang of regret and frustration I experienced when she saw that adorable mouse staring up from her salad.  Raising it by it’s long radish root tail, she stared ambivalently awhile then asked, “Do I get dessert if I eat this?”

My next attempt will be carrot-cake oatmeal.  I’ll post the recipe if successful.

Wendy

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My Sexual New Year’s Resolutions

Happy Neuter Year!

Okay, FYI:  The word  ‘sexual’ in the blog title totally gets like hundreds more hits!  (Sad, huh?) To be honest, though, none of my New Year’s Resolutions were all that sexy unless you count…Blog EVERYDAY!  Yeah.  Clearly, this is why I HATE New Year’s Resolutions. Can’t keep ‘em. That, and the fact that my life is not interesting enough to write about everyday unless you find naps engrossing.

At any rate, we had a cool Yule and a neat New Year. Spent the night at the beach with my dear friend and sister in menopause, Debbie. She and I were waxing poetic about the joys of this special passage when we discovered – gasp!- that we were both still in possession of our uteruses.  Uteri?  Whatever.

“How weird,” we said, staring at each other in amazement. Why, none of our friends had their uterus anymore. Wendy? You still got yours?

Anyway, this led me to ask Deb… “Why haven’t we had our hysterectomy?”  To which Deb (she’s a total history buff) answered, “Did you know that the word hysterectomy comes from the word ‘hysteria?’ Yes, in the olden days, when women went through menopause and started acting up, they pulled the plumbing. If that didn’t work, they sent them to a sanitarium.”

“No freaking way!”

“Oh, yeah. Ever wonder why,” she asked with her snarky-cum-philosophical expression I adore, “when a man gets a little long in the tooth, they don’t castrate him?”

“Never thought of it!” I was gob-smacked.

“Can’t ya just hear the doctor? Say, buddy. Your wife says you’ve been a real jerk lately. How about we remove those testicles? After all, you’ve had all your kids and don’t really need ‘em any more. Waddaya say?”

I just stared at Deb. I mean, her brain just never ceases to amaze me. And make me laugh like I wish I was wearing Depends.

Carolyn

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A New Lover?

I'm told the cast party was super fun...but I wouldn't know 😦

  Wendy and I have been a little harried this holiday season and have neglected our blog.  :-/  But, I’m taking a moment from the frivolity (read: the kids are home and I’m busy refereeing) to update our audience on the continuing saga of our marriages, motherhood and menopause.

Wendy’s hubby, Tim, starred on LEVERAGE, December 19th.  I hear he was awesome.  Don’t know for sure.  Wasn’t invited to the premiere.  No hard feelings Wendy.  I’m kinda wondering if George Clooney was there?  Huh, Wendy?  Is that why you told me about the premiere after the fact, on December 20th?  Still afraid of my extreme Cougarness?

Yeah, I’ll admit, I’ve lost a few pounds (finally) and realize I’m feeling friskier, but I HAD NO IDEA what a total Cougar I’ve become until I got the following letter (TWICE—Yes, that’s how HOT Ssssssssss, I am!) from my darling Henry!  (Did YOU get a letter from Henry, Wendy? Huh?  Didja?) Continue reading

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My Hot Body

You know you’re out of shape when you get winded doing Kegels.

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

More Bathroom Humor

  The other day I was just sitting there (telling you exactly where would be toomuchinfo) reading the can of Summer’s Eve Feminine Deodorant Spray

(Somebody tossed all the old Entertainment Weekly Magazines, so reading material was slim pickins). 

At home or on-the-go, feel fresh and clean every day. 

SAFE AND GENTLE.  Enjoy being a woman.

 Hmm.  Isn’t that nice?  Wait.  What’s this?  Cautions?

 WARNING:  FLAMMABLE.

 Okay, is it just me, or is that word not something you want in a product designed for your ‘nether regions’? 

 DO NOT USE PRODUCT NEAR FIRE, FLAME, OR SPARKS.

 Thank heavens I quit smoking.  ‘Crotch-rocket’ doesn’t just mean motorcycle anymore, eh Wendy?

 AVOID SPRAYING PRODUCT INTO EYES.

 Seriously?  There are people out there who spray this stuff into their face?  Now I’m doubly glad I quit smoking, you know, just in case I wanted my eyes to smell of ISLAND SPLASH instead of Maybelline while going blind.

 FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.

 Good thing I also quit that fire-eating act.

 DISCONTINUE USE IMMEDIATELY IF RASH, IRRITATION OR DISCOMFORT DEVELOPS.

 Are they talking about the sparks that shoot from your panties upon ignition?  No more sitting on the stove for me.

Kinda takes the enjoyment out of being a woman.

 Carolyn

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Filed under Bathroom Humor, Health, hot flash, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

Drinking games

  

I'm so proud

  Wow.  Good old mom.  Has she ever changed.  Yesterday, I was standing in the grocery line, waiting.  The woman in front of me clearly knew the checker.  I couldn’t help but overhear this inspiring tidbit.

 

 Mom:  Yeah, that’s my beer.  Well, my kid’s, actually.  I let my son and his girlfriend have beer at home.  They’re in high school now, so it’s…

Checker:  Better than having them go drink somewhere else.

 

Mom:  Right.  Oh, this is so funny.  The other day, they were playing the f-word drinking game.  You know what that is, right?  The F-Bomb?

 Checker:  Gotcha.  Don’t have to spell it out for me.

 Mom:  Well, the kids were watching this movie, and every time they heard the F-word, they had to take a drink.  (Mom laughs indulgently).  Yeah, they got plastered.  Put ‘em to bed in my son’s room.

 Me:  (thinking as I drove home) Golly, I was watching Ozzie and Harriet just the other day, with my eldest (high school age, sweet, loving, adorable, virginal, drug-free ooo, I love her so much I could eat her with a spoon) daughter, and I realized:  I’m such an old-fashioned dirt-bag of a mom.  Geez, what a loser. Here I thought I was doing her a favor by steering her away from the harrowing foibles of my misspent youth.  My poor kid.  How the bleepity, bleep is she going to learn to drink?  Neither Ozzie nor Harriet dropped the F-Bomb once!  When I got home, I immediately threw that DVD out.  Then, I took inventory of our cupboards and realized, if she’s gonna get high, she’s gonna have to settle for tablespoon of vanilla on the rocks.  Couple the vanilla with Ricky Nelson and her seven-year-old brother (who will occasionally crawl into bed with her when he has his recurring bad snake dream) you ain’t got much of a partay, know-whut-ahm-sayin-ma-man?

 

 So, I’m headed back to the store for a copy of Bruce Willis’s Die Hard with a Vengeance, a case of Bud, a pack of smokes and a bag boy or two.  We’ll giter up to speed.  That way, she’ll be more acceptable in today’s society.  After all, I wouldn’t want her to be…different.

 Carolyn

 

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The 35 Symptoms of Menopause. Symptom#4: Mood Swings

I went through “pre-mature menopause.”  At 44, my period just up and disappeared.  When I saw my doctor and asked her to make it come back, she ordered a blood test and congratulated me.  “You just had the easiest transition into menopause that I’ve seen.  I have women sobbing over my desk.  Consider yourself lucky.”

I did.  Well, not so much as my face changed every day (See the post:  Symptom # 36, Every Day You Get A New Face).  But in general, I felt pretty good.

However, as I rounded the bend on year four of menopause, The Change began to look less like hormonal fluctuation and more like a Werewolf  Walk-In.  “Mood Swings”?  PULL-EASE.  I respect you too much not to use full disclosure.  Symptom #4 is actually:  Menopause- Induced Multiple Personality Disorder.  An example:

Situation:  I look into the refrigerator and realize we are out of the broccoli I was going to make for dinner.

Before Menopause:  Order pizza.

Post Menopause:  “My God, WE’RE GOING TO GET RICKETS.  What kind of mother doesn’t have broccoli?”

Husband (soothingly):  “I’ll order pizza.”

Menopausal me:  “Are you out of your mind?  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY, PEA-SIZED MIND?  (Symptom #5: “irritibility.”  Riiiiight.)  I swear to holy heaven, if you pick up that phone, we are THROUGH.  (Searching refrigerator.)  There’s got to be a vegetable in here.  There’s got to be!”

Husband (fearfully):  I could… run to the market?

Turning, my blue eyes glowing orange (he swears they did), I growl.  No words, just a growl.  Then I eat two ice cream sandwiches, find half a bag of frozen peas in the back of the freezer and burst into tears.

At first, I told myself I was just being seven.  My DD has scenes like this occasionally.  But after several such episodes and fearing imminent admission to a psych ward, I phoned my doctor.   She gave me bio-identical hormones and said I should see some improvement in a couple of days.  Two days later, I stopped crying–over EVERYTHING.   I should add, she also gave me amino acids to deal with the attendant menopausal symptoms anxiety and depression.  I feel like me again.

Now there is only one seven-year-old in the house.   My husband is happier.  We’re out of broccoli again, but Papa Murphy’s is only a mile up the road.

Wendy

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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.

Wendy

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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.”

Okaaaay.

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.

Wendy

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Calendar Girls

The Locker Room: "Care for a healthy snack post workout?"

What’s up with women who like to clean out their purse/apply makeup/blow-dry/socialize in the locker room without a stitch of clothing on? Are you one of those? If so, please, explain yourself. Don’t get me wrong. A quick, naked dash from the locker to the shower, standing in your area, dressing, undressing, whatever. But naked chit-chat? Naked stretching? Naked application of nail polish? Don’t get it. 

Yesterday, after a traumatizing workout, I drag myself into the locker room only to be further traumatized by the nudist loitering in front of my locker. Awkward. She is bent over, doing something to her feet. Or her breasts. Don’t know which, since they were both in that…area. Couldn’t look. Too freaked out. She seemed to have no intention of dressing. No clothing anywhere in sight and a laissez faire attitude that screamed, “Hey, I grew up in the 60’s so deal with my carefree abandon”. I felt like a perv, trying to reach around her and retrieve my purse. 

How does one arrange one’s face when speaking to a nude stranger? How does one make small talk? “Hey, I love your… your…uh… your…” Where does one train one’s gaze? 

I’ve never been that uninhibited. Unless you count the times I was in labor with daughter number one and three. (Daughter two’s labor was kindly handled by another brave woman). When I was being stitched up by the doctor, everyone from the labor nurses to the computer maintenance guy seemed to pass through my room while my legs were strapped into stirrups and flung as far as east is from west. “Hey, what’d we have?” the custodian asked, leaning on his mop. “It’s a girl!” I crowed, not caring a fig about my nakedness, but then, remember, I was swacked out of my mind on drugs. 

What is the excuse for the locker room nudist? Are we too hot from all that exercise? Killed the ‘inhibition’ brain cells back at the commune? Fighting a vicious laundry soap allergy? Or is it just me? Am I simply a big party-pooper who has yet to find the joi de vivre in flaunting my flab? The ecstasy of blow-drying sans brassiere? The rapture of panty-less eye-shadow application? 

Yeah. Well. I can see I’m gonna have to loosen up. 

Carolyn

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THE GYM: Day One

Whoa, Dude. Exercise? Me?

Got to the club. Was assigned a Personal Trainer. He carried a little note card around, said he was gonna make notes for exercises that would help make my ‘Menopause Journey’ a ‘healthier’ prospect for me and get my daughter into an ‘active’ life-style. He’s a total hottie. I wink at the daughter. She winks back.

Machine number one:
Personal Trainer: Let’s start out by warming up. Hop on the treadmill and give me 10, trotting.

Daughter: Trotting on machine next to mine. Zen-esque. Beaming at the hottie. Show off.

Me: I wonder if he meant 10 seconds? I’ve been trotting for well over a lifetime and the clock on the machine says I’m only up to one minute. Holy crap. I’m ready for a nap. Hope this is all he expects today. Is it normal to fall off the machine?

Machine number two:
Personal Trainer: Now that we’re warmed up, let’s try some resistance exercises.

Me: Good Grief! Should I tell him I just herniated my heart? Lacerated my liver? Exploded my spleen? Several people on other machines are staring at my beet red face with concern and murmuring amongst themselves.

Daughter: Drops into the chair, adds 10 lbs to her recommended weight and powers through the first set. I don’t like the smirk on her face.

Machine number three:
Personal Trainer: This is my favorite for Buns of Steele.

Me: Call 911. I’m sure I just heard something pop. I think it was my spine. I swear I can’t feel my legs. Woman on machine next to me asks if I need defibrillator paddles.

Daughter: Don’t know where she is, as she has already completed three sets. I hear her singing somewhere in the distance. She’s grounded.

Machine number four:
Personal Trainer: This one is guaranteed to give you a six-pack.

Me: Someone get me a six-pack. Stat. With a Ringer’s lactate chase. I’m hearing the Hallelujah chorus and am heading toward the light. I’ve decided I LIKE the way my thighs sag. And what’s wrong with wearing a bra sized 38-Long? Are we done yet?

Daughter: High-fiving the Pilates instructor. I hate her.

Machine number five:
Personal Trainer: Feel the burn.

Me: My head is spinning. I can’t focus. I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. Have I given birth to my lower intestine? Should hemorrhoids fill your pants out that way? My shrieks of pain are drawing looks of annoyance from the other members. Up theirs. And the barbell they rode in on.

Daughter: Joined several peers for a quick game of racquet ball. She’s so outta the Will.

Machine number six:
Personal Trainer: This one’s for the Gipper!

Me: Shoot me. I don’t care. I stopped breathing 10 minutes ago anyway. Someone call the morgue. I think I’ve had a series of mini-strokes because I’m drooling now and have lost the ability to communicate in anything other than Klingon.

Daughter: She’s fifteen. Close enough. She’s driving us home. Now.

Looking forward to tomorrow.
Carolyn

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