Tag Archives: aging

Change of Life Baby

Kids, this is where Wendy comes into your Dad’s and my parenting picture. You see, before you were born, Dad and I didn’t think we wanted you. Remember, we were young. And brain-damaged. Anyway, we thought we wanted someone else’s kid. We weren’t sure that bringing someone with our chromosomal predisposition to lunacy into the picture was such a good idea. We thought, why inflict the world with more of…us. Why not give a home to a pre-owned kid? Didn’t that just scream altruism? And if there was one thing we cared about, it was appearing as if we cared about other things.

So, before we birthed you, we collected a ton of adoption data. Keep in mind, this was before the Internet, and we actually had to sit down and write with a pen and paper and use the U.S. Postal service and everything. But, as you know, that dream sort of fizzled when we decided that though the quality might not be there with a homemade kid, the price was right. So there you are. Literally.

One day, I told Wendy about my laundry basket full of adoption materials that we’d never be using. Since she and her husband, Tim, had wanted to adopt forever, I offered it to her. She took it and put it to good use and I got to live vicariously through her thrilling search. After all, I was so done having kids.

Then one day, Wendy called. It seems she’d been offered a baby through a private adoption. Squeee! I was over the moon excited for her.  An infant! A boy! He was so cute!  I’d be the best Auntie ever!

Now kids, this might be a good time to take a rabbit trail and talk about how Wendy and I shop. I am the kind of shopper who sorta knows what I want when I get to the mall. If I see it—or something vaguely similar—at the first store and it fits my body and my budget, I buy it, and take it home. I may look somewhere south of stylish, but at least the tedious search is over.

Wendy on the other hand, will go to all the stores, and when she can’t decide, will visit all the other malls. Usually, in less than a year or so, she will finally select a store, tentatively make her purchase, take it home, try it on, decide it is not right and return it.

Same thing with our writing. I’m a fan of the “lick-and-a-promise” school of editing. Wendy is more the considerate, “anguish-over-each-word” school.

I think that we can thusly surmise: I am an ill-dressed purveyor of schlock and she is a semi-nudist with a shelf full of writing awards.

So, I was not totally surprised when Wendy wasn’t sure if the baby she’d been offered was…hers.

Kids…it turns out the baby was mine. But that story is going to have to wait until next time.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Adoption, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, The Bi-Racial Family, Weight gain

Rosemary’s baby

Linda BlairOkay, kids, where was I? Oh yes. We were the first people to birth the perfect child. Clearly, she was so wonderful because we were the perfect parents. Waiting 16 years to have her had obviously mellowed us into a sweet and creamy perfection and our child could sense our superior harmonic waves and was thriving accordingly. And because she slept through the night right away, hardly ever cried, was endlessly amusing, we decided to give her a sister.

Whoa.

I sensed the difference months before she was born. Where my husband would talk lovingly to my belly with the first kid and she would gently stroke his nose through my uterine wall, the second kid would haul off and slug him.

She came out swinging and screaming and no amount of prayer or exorcism seemed to help. We’d failed. We’d lost our mojo.

The moment she was old enough for a toddler bed, we held a garage sale and sold everything ‘baby’. We were done. No more gambling with our precious sleep. Besides, I was 40. Having a baby after 40 was just plain crazy. I mean, that’s what you call a ‘change-of-life’ baby. A big fat accident.

So…what do you call it when you adopt an infant at age 45?

Kids, we’ll tackle that insanity next time. Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, romance novels

I Am NOT Ready For My Close-up; I Am In Menopause

I have loved being in my fifties.  Sure, sometimes I look worse than ever before in my life.  Sometimes I feel worse.  But I became a mother again.  I have cared more about what’s in my head than on my face.  I’ve cheered women like Helen Mirren and Annette Bening who have had the chutzpah to keep their real faces throughout their fifties, thereby empowering us all.  But that was then.

Helen had a “lower face and neck lift.”  And now I want one.  I want one, actually, that starts from my ankles and pulls everything up.  Everything.  Up.  Several inches.

What happened?  I am interrupting our regularly scheduled programming (How I Met Your Other And Became A Menopausal Mother), to tell you.

Yesterday, I was happily working on a book when my husband said excitedly, “Will you take my head shot?  The light right now is PERFECT for a photo.  Right now.  We have to do it now!”

Head shots help him get work and that makes him happy, and I like it when he’s happy, because I like(d) him.   So I stepped away from my own work to help him.  Out of the goodness of my fifty-three-year-old giving heart. 

After snapping some lovely shots of him looking very debonair and James Brolin-ish in the allegedly PERFECT LIGHT, he offered, “Let me take a couple shots of you.”  How sweet.  I would post the results of those shots in THE PERFECT LIGHT here, but pride will not allow.

Have you ever made Flubber?  It’s really cool.  Flubber stretches and pulls, and you can poke your fingers in it.  It’s fun to play with.  IF IT’S NOT YOUR FACE.

Not only have my cheeks and jawline turned into Flubber, a network of lines–some of them actually intersecting–have crisscrossed what used to look like skin, but now resembles a U.S. Geological Survey map of earthquake faults.  In California.  Also, my left eye is nearly completely covered by what I assume is my left eyelid (although I didn’t know eyelids could stretch that far).

“AUUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Is that what I look like?  Is that what you see?  Is it?  Is it?  IS IT???????” I screamed, pointing at the giant head displayed on the jumbo tron my spouse calls a computer.

“No, no, no!” he screamed back, obviously startled, but then he seemed confused.  “Well, yeah.  I mean…yeah.  Why?  You look good.  Honey, don’t you ever look in the mirror?”

The lines on my forehead must have reconfigured to spell the word D-I-V-O-R-C-E, because he quickly backpedaled.  “No, no, you have to remember that is a photograph.”

“So?”

“So your head’s really big up there.”

“Yeah?”

“And my camera picks up every li–.  Every detail.”

“Uh huh.  So in real life, you can’t see that many details on my face?”

“Noooo.”

“And I do still have an upper lip?  And a left eye?”

He hesitated a tad too long.

I started to sniffle.  “I’m aging badly.  When I’m sixty, our children will pretend they don’t know me.”

He put his arm around me for a snuggle. “Come on, they do that now.”

I smiled.  A little bit.

“Listen,” he said, “you grow as a wife and mother and woman every day.  You make menopause beautiful.”  I smiled a little more.  He draped an arm around my shoulders and walked with me back to my desk.

I nodded against him.  “It was just such a shock.”

“I know.”  He kissed my temple. ” I think the best thing to do is to make a list of all the reasons you always tell me you’re grateful for menopause and read it regularly. That will keep your mood calm.”

“That’s excellent advice.”

“Yes.  And whatever else you do,” he murmured, helping me into my chair, “please don’t ever, ever let anyone take a picture of you in full daylight again.”

Wendy…about to Google Sublative Rejuvenation.

 

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Cleanse, Shmense.

scale cartoonMy esteemed blog partner was supposed to post, but she can’t; she’s recovering from her health-juice cleanse.

I told you so, Carolyn.

Hey, blog readers, have you ever done an “internal cleanse”? I have. They’re great. For the first five days, you are filled with energy. You’re lighter than air. Your skin glows. You glance into mirrors, eager to greet each long-lost muscle as it reappears. You love everyone.

“Hello, Happy Mail Carrier Person!”

“Good day to you, Darling Dog Groomer!”

“Love ya, Safeway Cashier! That bag of Ruffles With Ridges you just rang up is not for me, by the way; I’m juicing!”

You even think that maybe, just maybe, your new-found inner clarity and serenity could yield the secret to world peace. Does anyone have the number to the Oval Office?

On day six, you wish you could stir a little simple syrup into that kale juice. On day seven, you take a three-hour nap. On day eight you would eat the dog if someone gave you a bottle of ketchup. And on day nine, you ask your blog partner to Google Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, because you know you have it, and, oh crud, you slept instead of posting a blog.

I told you so, Carolyn.

You’re de-toxing. We’re menopausal. We have so many toxins, they just pour all over the place when we try to tease them out of their hidey-holes.   Look, I get it: You were trying to rid yourself of two of the classic symptoms of menopause–weight gain and sluggishness.  But it’s a dangerous game you’re playing, my friend.

I was just at Bob’s Red Mill. Do you know that Bob Moore, the king of whole grains, is going to be 86 next month and is still working a full schedule? If he says he’s going to blog, he blogs.  I ate at his restaurant, and they serve GIANT 3-egg omelets smothered in three cheeses, with fried potatoes, whole-grain biscuits and butter. They would NOT do that if it was bad for us.

While I was at the Red Mill Store, I bought you a big ‘ol peanut butter cookie.  It’ll stop that nasty detox in its tracks. I expect you’ll be writing a blog asap.

I’ll drive over with the cookie.  First, though, I’m going to take a nap, ‘cause I’m still a little full from lunch.  Come to think of it, I feel kinda sluggish.  And I think I gained weight.

If you have any extra juice, I’ll have a sip or two when I see you.

Love you.
–Wendy

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In Whose Image?

Recently, my husband told me he is proud of his body, because he is made in God’s image.

God has man boobs?

Kidding, sweetie.  But we aren’t aging quite as well as some others.  Currently, we have house guests.  One of them is a 57-year-old man who looks like he is maaaybe 40.  If you cut off his head (but no one would, because it’s too cute), he looks twenty-two.

 For his 57th b-day, which was this past week, he swam 57 lengths of a pool, biked 57 miles, ran 5.7 miles (wimp), and did 57 crunches, chin-ups and other stuff.   ALL IN A SINGLE DAY.

I think he’s afraid of aging.  Obviously, I am not.  But I think that for my 52nd birthday, I will do 52 minutes of exercise a day all year.  Or bake 52 cupcakes all at once.  I have a couple of months to decide.

In the meantime, I am going to try to take a photo of our house guest as he gets in the shower.  I know that’s not polite, but for you, dear readers, I am willing to violate the Hostess Code.  Hopefully I’ll be posting his pic tomorrow.

–Wendy

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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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DON’T MESS WITH MAMA

We warned ya

Let me catch you up in case you missed Monday’s post:  Carolyn dragged me to a “trial” Krav Maga (Israeli Street Fighting) class.  She dressed properly; I didn’t. She brought water; I didn’t.  She was paired with a sparring partner who made Gabrielle Reece look like a flabby midget.  I got a cross between Gloria Steinem and Ma Barker, whose periodic lectures on women and power while she knocked me on my can were starting to irk me.

“Time out,” I gasped at one point, partly because I needed to search the floor for my liver after her last blow and partly because I saw that Carolyn was bleeding.  A lot.

“I need to help my friend,” I tossed over my shoulder to Ma, who stood in “ready position.” Let her wait, I thought.  Preferably for the rest of the millennium.

Rushing to Carolyn, who was being patched up by Krav Maga Man, I asked loudly, “ARE YOU OKAY?” thus laying the groundwork for our immediate departure.

She waved me off.  “It’s nothing.  This is great! I’m sweating like a pig.”

Since when do “great” and “sweating like a pig” belong to the same thought group?

Krav Maga Man, who had frowned at me so unequivocally when we’d first arrived, was now smiling real big at Carolyn, who grinned back.  Bonding over her loss of blood.

He gave her the all clear.  “All right, champ, get back in there.”

Glancing at Ma, I saw that she was practicing chest-level kicks, obviously prepared to perform more Crouching Tiger on my butt the moment I returned.

“Carolyn, be my partner!” I whispered desperately, but she didn’t hear me and trotted away.  (For the sake of our friendship, I choose to believe she did not hear me.)

KMM called out new instructions.  I slouched off to get gloves and some big rectangular padded thingies, because apparently now we were going to throw punches at each other’s heads.  Good times.

As I inched reluctantly back to Ma, she inquired, “Would you like to hit me first?”

Oh, Lady.

As she held the rectangular pads up to either side of her face, I understood this to mean I should aim for something other than her nose.

I really did understand that.

I just didn’t care anymore….

 –Wendy

Part Three– “The End”– on Friday…

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Exercise, Fitness, friendship, 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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We want a Black Belt.

And this was only our first lesson!

No, silly’s.  Not the kind you wear with a dress.  The kind you have to earn.  The kind that make bad guys shake in their boots when you come at them, with your French Tips nails in full eye-ball gouge mode.  I want to have to register my stilettos as deadly weapons, and not just because I fell off them and broke my hip.   I want to be known by code name: HEAD (Hot-flashing And Extremely Dangerous).  Don’t look too closely at that acronym, cuz it’s messed up, but so what?  I said, SO WHAT?!

Why, you ask, does Carolyn suddenly want a black belt?  I’ll tell you why.  Because a few days ago, I saw in the news where a 72-year old-woman was bird-watching in Central Park when she was attacked and raped at 11am!  Broad daylight, folks!  In a section of the park where there are a lot of people!  According to the news, she’d seen him exposing himself a few days earlier and snapped his picture.  He’d chased after her (eeeewww) and demanded that she delete the picture.  Apparently, she said no.  The day he attacked her, he asked her, “Do you remember me?”  (Eeeeeewwww, eeeeek!)  Poor, bird-watching Nana!  Don’t the bad guys have some kind of code of ethics that says you don’t rape little granny’s who spend their time watching birdies at the park?

Clearly not.  I don’t want this to happen to me.  To my daughters.  To my Wendy.

So, Wendy and I decided that very morning that it was time for us to get our black belts.  To heck with the osteoporosis.  Forget about the fact that only thing we’ve ever punched was a mound of bread dough.  Time to explore our local self-defense options.

After a lengthy discussion, our first choice was a weekday, noon, free trial Krav Maga class.  The price was right!  What is Krav Maga, you ask?  Why, it’s the official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israel Defense Forces, duh.  Perfect for a couple of hot-flashers, huh?

Okay, aside from the fact that the Krav Maga class nearly killed us, we feel invigorated!  Empowered!  Ready to head to the park, for some bird watching, binoculars in hand, ready to kick the butts of perverts everywhere.  Yeah!

Then again, maybe I’m not quite ready to fight crime just…yet.  It’s been over a week and I’m still so sore, I can still barely get out of bed.  That, and the fact that I couldn’t bust away from Wendy’s choke hold (did I mention she’s still a tad miffed at me over some negative comments I made about her latest manuscript?), and I had to put my head between my knees (never eat a big lunch before doing any kind of military hand-to-hand combat) and I’m thinking maybe we should take another class.  Or two.  We’ll see.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Humor, Jewish, Krav Maga, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Self Defense

Are you married to this man?

Needs more wood, eh?

“Do you really think we should put more wood on the fire pit?” I asked my hubby as he prepared our patio for s’mores with the kids.

“Sure!”

“But the sparks…look.  They are really flying out of the fire and I just bought a new canopy for this gazebo.”

“The sparks are burning out before they get that high.”

“Yeah, but every time you poke the wood, they get bigger and hotter. Look at that one up there, clinging to the new canvas!”

“It’ll burn out.”  Poke, poke, stir, poke.

Me, white knuckled.  “The smoke is really strong.”

Him, “Smoke follows beauty, har, har.”

Me, “Hack, acchooie, honk, kersnort, I think, the, hack, cough, canopy is on fire.”

“Dad, my marshmallow just disintegrated!”

“Get a new one.”

“Dad, the chocolate is liquid and the crackers are black.”

“Well, move back a little bit.”

“Ow!  Dad, the sparks are burning me and the dog just fainted from the heat.”

“He’s just resting.”

“Honey, seriously, stop poking at the flames, and really?  More wood?  The paint on the house is blistering.”

“No it’s not!  You  all just need to chill out.”

The kid and dog headed to the pool.  I went inside.  He headed to the wood pile for more fuel.

Carolyn

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Filed under Anxiety, Cooking, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

Attachment Parenting

I’d just like to point out that the great thing about being an OLDER MOM, is that the kid wouldn’t need a chair.  So.  Have you heard of attachment parenting?  I managed to get 5 kids into their teen years without it, but now that I think about it, I was a fool.  I only nursed my kids for a year.  All that money wasted on those little boxes of fruit drinks for the soccer team?  With some jumping jacks, I could have served milkshakes.  This attachment parenting thing makes so much sense, especially for the menopausal mom.  I can think of a ton of ways we could share.  “When I’m done wiping you, you do me, honey.”  And, we could gum our peas together, spit up together and share diapers when the child is older.  I mean, if we’re not going to wean, why potty train?

I have always dreaded the empty nest.  This way, I don’t have to.  Independence is totally over-rated.   In fact, I’m thinking about starting a movement: Never-ending breastfeeding.  This way, I can feed the grandchildren.   I love our society today.  We just never seem to know when enough is…enough.

Carolyn

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The Face(s) of Sixty

Multiple Choice

Pop Quiz:  What does 60 look like?

Still thinking?  Of course you are; it’s a trick question.  Nobody knows, because so few people have the chutzpah to age these days.  So who looks better–Cher, Diane Keaton or Joan Van Ark?

My husband was torn between Cher and Diane Keaton.  Not I.  For me, it’s Diane by a mile.  I look at her face and see a woman who has spent more time parenting her kids, taking photos, pondering the world and her place in it and making thoughtful movies than running to a plastic surgeon.  I see a woman with the guts to be fully herself and to challenge Hollywood to respect a woman over fifty.  Better yet, to simply acknowledge that there are women over fifty.

No wonder poor George Clooney is so confused about who his peer group is.

Thank you, Diane.  And a big shout out to Annette Bening and Jacqueline Bisset, too.

Wendy

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Filed under aging, Geroge Clooney, Golden Girls

A Fish Tale. The End.

You learn a lot about people when they are grieving for a fish.

After one-and-a-half years, at least nine lives and more medicine than I have ingested in fifty years on this planet, our betta, Bluestar, has gone to his reward.

When I say “our betta,” I mean, of course, the bowl-housed betta for which my daughter begged and pleaded and, not unpredictably, swiftly pronounced “kinda boring,” thereby bequeathing his care to my husband and me.  We thought he was neat-o.

Bluestar’s passing was not unexpected.  We had anticipated this moment for six months, which was when Bluey began to perfect his dead fish float.  Tim or I would wake up and shuffle to his bowl to feed him, only to find our blue-finned friend lying motionless on his side near his heater.  We’d gather the family around the bowl, say a prayer and plan the funeral.  Before we could decide which spot in the yard was most suitable for his final resting place, however, Blue would leap from his coma, take a crazed victory lap around the bowl and come to stare at us, his fins fluttering in what appeared to be piscine glee.

“Hey, lookit me!  Didn’t I look like a dead fish? Didn’t  I? Hahahaha!  So what’s a guy got to do to get a meal around here?”

As the months went on and Blue’s impersonation of Dead Mr. Limpet began to last longer and longer, he was less able to wring sympathy from his mourners.  Some of them, anyway.  Tim decided to hold his tears until we figured out a way to take a fish’s vitals, though he must be credited for continuing to search for new and better fish medications.

Carolyn, to whom I have turned for consolation and advice innumerable times in our long and enduring friendship is, I am sorry to say, crap at comforting the bereaved when they are grieving a fish.  Oh, yes you are, Carolyn.

Her kids had fish for years, and she gave Bluestar two of his favorite toys, so naturally I would appeal to her in times of concern:  “I think Bluestar is sick.  He’s growing white fuzz balls on his fins!  What do I do?”

“Take him to the vet at Wal-Mart.  Hahahaha.”

“I didn’t know there were vets at Wal-Mart.”

“Oh, sure.  You take in the sick fish, and they give him back–better than ever. Hahahahaha!”

“Where are the vets?  In back of the pet section?  I’m not sure our Wal-Mart has a veterinarian.”

“Wendy, just take the fish to Wal-Mart.  Your betta will live for years.  Hahahahahaha!”

“Carolyn, honestly, I don’t think our Wal-Mart—“

She made the sound of a toilet flushing.

Oh.  My.  God.  Without even a proper burial!

When Bluestar’s eyesight began to wane and he regularly over- or undershot his food, I bought a hand feeder.  Nifty little gadget, but it takes time and a lot of patience to get the hang of it, and Blue, as it turned out, didn’t have enough left of either.

Ironically, Carolyn was with me when I discovered, for the last time, Bluestar on his side.

Carolyn peered into the bowl.  “He’s faking.”

“He is not, not this time.”  I felt my nose begin to tickle.  “This is different.  This time he’s at the bottom of the bowl.”

“Wendy,” Carolyn’s lovely eldest daughter pointed out quite gently, “fish float to the top when they’re dead.  He’s probably just sleeping again.”  She said nothing about Wal-Mart, for which I bless her.

“Thank you, honey.”  I nodded.  “But Bluestar always did things his own way.  I’m sure he’s passed on this time.”  And he had.

After we buried the little guy, disinfected his bowl, toys and heater and packed up his belongings and meds up to give to some other family embarking on fish ownership, I began to contemplate our various responses to Blue’s brief-ish life.  I wonder if the way we each reacted reflects the fact that lately we’ve all given some thought to dying?  Maybe this is how we’re going to treat our own elder years, particularly when we come to the point where our mortality seems more imminent than philosophical.

Tim will be proactive but stoic.  Carolyn will request that her children set her off on an ice float like an ancient Eskimo, and you will hear the sound of her laughter echoing on the air.  I will be propped up with pillows, surrounded by costly supplements, squinting at my laptop and dangerously raising my cortisol levels as I Google alternative treatments.

It bears some thought.  Watching Bluestar live taught me how to enjoy life even when my bowl is smaller than I would like it to be.  Now his death is pretty instructive.

Our daughter, by the way, did tear up when she realized that her pet, the one she had chosen so painstakingly from all the many containers of bettas at the pet store, was gone for good.  “Is he really dead this time?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“Do we have to get rid of his body?”

“Yes.”

“Is it gonna stink?”

“Not if we do it soon.”

“Can we have a funeral?”

“Absolutely.”

“And then get pizza?”

“You bet.”

“Goody!”

 

R.I.P. Bluestar

 

 

–Wendy

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Filed under Death, Humor, Pet fish

Wendy says good-bye to her 40’s…

Wish you were here!

This morning, I got a message from Chase on my cell phone:  Credit Fraud Alert!   Did you attempt to steal $160 on your credit card?  If yes, reply “yes”.  If no, please reply “no”.

Are they serious?  Why on earth would I admit to trying to steal money if I had stolen it?  Why on earth would I admit to trying to steal the money, if I hadn’t stolen it?

That’s what I call a lose/lose kind of question.

Because I am in Maui to celebrate the birth of my dear sister/friend, Wendy (yes, it’s that time of year again) I went to the store and bought a weeks worth of groceries and supplies, but neglected to tell my credit card company I was on the move.

Anyway, today is Wendy’s last day of being in her 40’s.  Tomorrow, she moves into her 50’s with the rest of us.  I’m just so sorry she isn’t here for the big party I throw for her every year.

Tomorrow, I’m going to announce my amazing gift to her so you’ll want to stay turned!

Aloha

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Birthdays, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel

Bad Dog!

All right, so where was I?  When last we left my story about Husbands, Wives and the Pets They Divorce Over, I had just brought home Rusty, the impossibly tall shepherd/giraffe mix who loved me to distraction.

Remember, now, he was a foster dog only, on leave from his stay at a no-kill shelter due to a leg injury and the fact that the other big doggies  were being unkind to him.

So, even though my husband had requested (picture a 5-foot 11-inch male walking toward me on his knees with his hands in prayer position) that I wait one year after the passing of my beloved collie girl before I grace our home with another canine, I figured a foster dog in need would be okay.

I introduced my husband to Rusty.

“What is that?” he asked.

“It’s Rusty.  He’s sweet and injured and in need.”

“Where is he injured?”

“His left front leg.”

“He’s not limping.”

“I know.  He masks his pain.”

My husband invoked the name of the Lord several times.

“How is Rusty with cats?” Tim asked, though, honestly, I have no idea how he got any sound out with his jaw so tight.

I recalled what the gal at the shelter had told me:  Dunno.

“Honey, look at him,” I said.  “You can tell he’s a gentle being.  A gentlemanly dog.  He’s innately calm.  And our cat is used to dogs.  Besides, he’s injured.  He’ll be resting a lot.”

“He doesn’t look injured.”

“That’s because he—“

Tim waved his arms, and I took this as a signal to quit while I was ahead.

So.  Rusty and cats.  Well, we’ll never know for sure how he would have behaved as our cat took one look—way up—at him and decided that summer was a fine time to camp outside.

My daughter and I (Rusty loved her, too) got the dog settled in, and everything seemed to be going quite well until Tim went down to the basement.  He was only down there about fifteen minutes, but that was enough time for Rusty to display his short-term memory disorder.  Rusty and I were in the kitchen when Tim started up the stairs.  I was facing away from the basement, but a sudden and intense growling made me whip around.

Tim was frozen on the staircase, stopped by Rusty whose every hair seemed to be standing on end, his impressive teeth bared and his growl most sincere.  The dog meant business.  No one was getting up those stairs.

“I think he doesn’t recognize you,” I explained above the snarls.  “Try to look more like yourself.”

“Are you out of your mind?”  Tim looked from me to the dog.  “That dog goes back to the shelter tonight.”

“But the other dogs intimidate him.”

I wish I could describe Tim’s face when I said that.

Anyway, Rusty was returned to the no-kill shelter where he quickly found a permanent home with someone who appreciated his body-guarding skills.

“No more foster dogs,” I swore/lied when I told Tim I was still going to volunteer.  “I’ll just walk the dogs.  Little ones.  With no teeth.”

And I did.  I walked a schizophrenic Jack Russell terrier, a one-eyed obese beagle cross whose head was bandaged from the fight he’d started with another inmate (probably Rusty), and a sweet elderly mutt that liked to stop every few feet and look at me as if to say, “Who are you?  How did we get here?  What are we doing?  Are we walking?”

And then came Buster.  Oh, Buster.  Buster was a BIG DOG.  In fact, he had the biggest canine head I’ve ever seen.  And big…something else, too.  I mean, really impressive.  He’d been recently neutered, but instead of deflating as expected, his…um…area formerly known as testicles had actually increased.  Lest you think I exaggerate, on one of our walks (he walked just fine, thanks) a car stopped a few yards ahead of us.  The driver turned around, pulled up alongside and exclaimed, “Are those real?!”

Please.  Assuming I knew where to get fake canine ones, why would I?  And yet this was not the only time the question was posed.  Buster started conversations.

It turned out that Buster was in need of a temporary medical foster home.  Honest.

To be continued…

Wendy

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Filed under Dogs, Humor, Marriage

The Pros and Cons of Being Queen.

Strange hats? I can do that!

Yesterday, I was standing in the grocery line at Wal-Mart, striving to appear as if I was not reading the tabloid covers, but come on, I was at Wal-Mart?  Just call me oxy-moron.  Anyway, I see that poor Kate Middleton has hit a bit of a rough patch and that got me to thinking:  Do I really have the chops to represent the USA as her Queen?  Let’s weigh the pros and cons, shall we?

There have been kidnapping threats.

Etiquette lessons.

Demands to give Wills a baby.

Extreme weight loss.

Now, lets examine the cons…

That does it.  I’m in.

My greatest fear—or—given our current culture of crude ‘reality”—asset, would be hoof-in-mouth disease or even worse…being thought too common.  For example, I recall the horrifying moment when Lady Di was presented with something made of china as a gift and she had the audacity, gasp!! to turn it over and look for the label.  Tres gauche!  I just wanted to curl up and Di.

Yeah.

I don’t know my Waterford from a hole in the ground, so Di was light years more savvy than me and she still had people fainting over her horrendous faux pas.  I can only imagine what the good people will say when I serve baloney boats and Coke at my coronation.  And my youngest daughter can belch like a long-shoreman, so…guess I’m gonna have to speak to her about that before my big day.

Joyce, I agree about the Facebook thing, so that’s my number 2 item for change.  Keep ‘em coming, people.  What good is having a queen, if she can’t make life a little easier for us all?

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Cinderella, Facebook, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Queen of the USA, Weight Loss

12 steps for menopausal motherhood

Wendy and I are starting a support group for menopausal mothers.  This was overheard at our first meeting:
“Hey, Wendy! How are you doing today?”

“Yes!  It is windy today!”

“No.  It’s Thursday!”

“Me, too.  When are those cheap hotmamas gonna serve the coffee?”

I think we’re making great headway.

Car0lyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

Sexy Older Women Have Fun With Food

 Wendy wanted to call Friday’s Segment:  Fun With Food.

I added the Sexy Older Women part, because believe it or not, I just read an article where somebody took the time to research the top words in blog titles that people search and the winner was:  SEXY OLDER WOMAN.

Wow.  So, even if your blog is about say, Home-school Curriculum or Colonoscopy or Boy Scouts,  or Federal Agriculture you should try to work these words into the title.  Mind boggling, huh?

Anyway, Wendy has some awesome ideas about helping people with Menopausal Attention Deficit to make simple and nutritious fare.  But, since I don’t want her to do all the blog work, I’m going to share my thoughts on fun food this Friday.

Eat a box of Wheat Thins.  I’m doing it now.  As I type this blog!  Simple.  Nutritious.  Less than 5 seconds to prepare. If the old adage, “You are what you eat” is true, you will wake up in the morning thin and golden brown.  That’s what I’m going for.  Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Cooking, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

You idiot.

Where's the idiot?

     Do you ever fantasize about what a good time you are going to have on a road trip? I do.

     Oooo! It is going to be SO FUN to cram 9 people into an 8 passenger van and drive for HOURS!  We’ll play the license plate game!  We’ll sing camp songs and make s’mores!  We’ll take pictures!  The kids and the hubby!  And, if that’s not enough, let’s throw grandpa and grandma into the mix! Yep, yep, yep… Big fun.

I should have suspected that we were in trouble when I politely cautioned my husband to remember that my mother (tortoise) does not drive as fast as he does (roadrunner) and to keep her in his rearview because she does not know exactly where we are going.

“Oh.  Like I’m going to go speeding off and leave my mother-in-law in the dust,” he jeers.

You know, like I’m the idiot.  Funny, he didn’t seem as jazzed about this trip as I was.

And so, after five delightful hours in the mini-van, we make it to the magnificent Painted Hills.  It’s a bazillion degrees in the shade, but we gamely get out of the van and hike UP the mountain to the view-point.  I flirted with heat-stroke, but then I love living on the edge.

We took the required pics.  We admired the splendor.  We praised God because we are pious, godly people with thankful hearts.  We headed back to the van.  It was decided that this would be a good time to have Daughter # ONE drive, as she is accruing her 100 hours of permit driving before she gets her license.

She leaps behind the wheel of the van.  Hubby calls shotgun.  The kids all pile in behind her, with the exception of Daughter #2, poor kid.  She and I end up with grandma and grandpa in their car.  The car that has no map.  Because, hey, why should we need a map when we are following the husband who would not leave us?  Forsake us?  Without cell reception.

While they are all buckling up, I open the back of the van to get some water.  Did I mention we were in hell?  While I’m quenching my thirst, Daughter # ONE, in her teenage zeal, doesn’t know (or care) that the hatch is open as she starts the engine and stands on the gas.

I run after them as she tears out of the parking lot.  “THE HATCH IS OPEN!  THE HATCH IS OPEN!”  I’m waving my arms and jumping up
and down.  Several visiting families to the Painted Hills are amused at my antics (but, I must add sourly, don’t help).  Grandma leans on her horn.  Daughter jams on the breaks.  Hubby leaps out, slams the hatch and Daughter # ONE achieves warp speed before I can climb in with Grandma.

“Follow that car!” I shout.  Have I mentioned  Grandma (tortoise) is a cautious driver?  It is not until we arrive at the intersection that I realize the hubby and daughter are gone.  And, THEY.  HAVE. THE.  MAP. AND.  THE. WATER.

What ensues in our car was not pretty.  “Idiot!  Big, fat idiot!  How could I have married such an….idiot!?”  To my way of thinking, my husband—who, if you will remember, I did warn not to abandon Grandma—should be telling the kid to slow down and wait for us.  Grandma nobly reminded me that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes and that I should not be so hard on my husband.  I found this exceedingly annoying.

While we deliberate the route, Daughter # TWO tells us she has to go potty.   Grandma pulls over, lets us out at a rest area near the intersection.  She then speeds off to explore where Daughter # ONE and the IDIOT might have gone.

By the time Daughter # TWO and I are out of the bathroom, Grandma roars up in her car and is on the verge of divorce with Grandpa who is now—brace yourselves—an IDIOT!

Much arguing ensues.  MUCH.  ARGUING.  There were tears.  Recriminations.  Accusations. You’re an idiot!  No! YOU are the idiot!

And still, no Daughter # ONE or hubby.  Tempers continue to soar with the mercury.  There is no sign of the van.  We locate a tree and park under its shade and out of boredom, turn on each other.  Daughter # TWO is looking rather traumatized.  And I think, Wow, this is so freaking MUCH FUN!

And then, I start to laugh.  Super hard, convulsive laughter.  Painful, loud, tears-down-the-face-laughing. Must have been contagious
as everyone else joins in.  My father turns around and says to Daughter # TWO, “Honey, never get married.”

I wipe my eyes and tell her, “Nah, get married.  Just remember.  You’re an idiot.”

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Cooking, Cussing, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel, Writing

My writing partner/my husband

I've got it! How about...a lightbulb?

It is so fun to brainstorm story ideas with my husband.  Especially when he’s awake.  Took me a few years to figure out that the best time to catch him is early in the day, when he is sitting upright. Because once he’s horizontal, I can pretty much guarantee that if I’m pitching the Wizard of Oz to him, he’ll be snoring long before I get to the tornado.

The car is good.  If he’s driving, he’s upright.  Usually not snoring.

Today, we had a three-hour commute home from our place at the beach.  I needed to come up with some names for my characters and so I told him he could name some of them.  He likes to do that.  He named a character for me one time that landed an eighteen book deal.  Seriously.  So now, he fancies he’s got some kind of “knack”.

“Who am I naming?” he asks.  I can tell he’s feeling helpful.

“I’m thinking about a young guy who is a body builder/personal trainer.  Kind of arrogant.”

“Sort of a jarhead?”

“Yeah.”

He mulls.  “Got it.  Timmy…Tenderloin.”

“Timmy?  Tender…loin?  I’m not writing for the porno channel.  Do you ever want me to work again?”

He’s screaming with laughter at the windshield.

I’m beginning to worry as he is swerving.  “Forget Timmy Tenderloin.  Let’s move on.  I need a middle-aged woman.  Owns a Jamba Juice shop.  I’ve got to kill her off.”

“Nice gal?”

“Salt of the earth.”

“Got it.  I’m thinking…Mae.  Yeah.  Mae.  Born in May.  Dies in May, right?  Last name…Bury.  A little foreshadowing there, huh?”

“You want me to name the Jamba Juice lady Mayberry?”

More riotous laughter.  “Next?”

“I need a Chinese guy to run the restaurant.”

After we’d established that the Chinese dude was second generation American, the hubby has it.  “Okay.  His name is Miyagi Waxoff.  And his kids are Ashley and Tyler and…they’re ice-dancers.”

More howling.  I’m staring at him. And thinkin’ he’s lost the knack.  Then again…I might be able to do something with the ice-dancers.

Carolyn

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

HE LIVES! The fish, I mean.

Okay, for you, Carolyn, grinding little guppies in your Insinkerator.   But our fish, Bluestar, has been SAVED!  His pretty blue fins are unclamped, his I’d-as-soon-kill-you-as-look-at-you personality is back in full force, his appetite…

Oops.

As you all know, the family and I were prepared to go to extreme lengths to help our little Betta friend heal from the multiple fungal, bacterial and depression issues he appeared to be having.  (We change his water regularly, use water conditioner, warm his bowl to the appropriate-for-Bettas temperature, etc., I swear.)  Well, after many a run to pet stores and calls to ichthyologists, we found the right combo of treatments.  And Bluestar, bless his fishy heart, responded.  He even turned to stare at us with what we all agreed was gratitude.

Tim and I high-fived, wiped our tired brows, kissed our relieved and teary daughter, promised not make any more tuna melts lest we inadvertently ingest Bluestar’s cousin (whatever, she’s eight) and got some sleep.  And, uh, you know, forgot to feed the little guy.

For a couple of days.

Maybe that wasn’t a look of gratitude. 

We finally remembered the meal issue after he began ramming his nose into the glass.  This time he looked like he wanted to phone PETA, pronto.

Listen, Mr. Fish, I am menopausal and you are soooo lucky I was able to focus long enough to medicate you.  You are not the first family member whose dinner has been a day or two late.  Just grab a Snickers like the others and chill.

I just gave him a few Top Fin pellets and am now off to find dried worm things or some other Betta delicacy to express my apologies properly.  My husband says we’re too old for any more live things and has asked me to let everything not on two legs die out without seeking its immediate replacement.

We’ll see.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Wendy

 

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Filed under Children, Death, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Pet fish

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

Sliding Doors

Steady...steady now...

On the 4th of July, we had the kind of company you want to impress.  (My agent and her family).  Yet, my hard-working hubby saw the day off as an opportunity to strip the house of every interior door to patch, prime and paint.  I’m sure the bizarre impact of no bathroom or closet doors  didn’t occur to him when he hatched this amazing scheme.  Isn’t the closet where you cram everything when company comes?  The bathroom problem is self-evident.  Anyway, as you can imagine, what with 7 people and 3 dogs at our house, our doors can get pretty shabby looking.

He has a clever way of spreading a giant tarp over the driveway and arranging the doors (think dominos) vertically with supports holding them at the top.  In the past, on a windless day, this has worked beautifully.

Because of the barbecue, he only had enough time to get the doors in domino stance, then he had to go to work for me.  (I love this man).  After the fireworks, we all had a great night’s sleep, but woke to find that the doors had toppled.  Some broken.

Yet, my intrepid hubby (after some pithy verbiage and a moment to sulk in my arms) strode back outside to face the door dragon.  Thankfully, only 2 of the doors were damaged.  He spent the day patching them and putting them back up with reinforcements. Then, off to work to make a living the next day.

While the kids were splashing in the pool, the first row crashed.  The kids started screaming.  “Mom!  THE DOORS!”  They thrashed out of the pool and raced to the driveway only to arrive in time to watch the second row fall.  My thirteen-year-old daughter burst into tears.  “Poor, Dad!”  The boys, (including one of their classmates) all looked on morosely.  “Man, that bites!”  The older girls were mad and verbal.

“Come on, you guys!  Grab a door, let’s get this cleaned up before Dad gets home.”

In no time, the doors were stacked and sorted (only 2 more broken this time) and it was up to me to make the scary phone call.

Stony silence followed by expletives deleted.  Yet, he came home, figured out a new way to arrange the doors (like tables with short legs) sprayed them, flipped them, sprayed them again and now…taaaa…daa…I have beautiful, shiny, amazing doors in my house.

Thank you, sweetheart.  You are awesome.

Carolyn

PS:  If you haven’t seen Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s fascinating.

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Children, cleaning, Cussing, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Writing

George Clooney is single!!

If I could only decide between the too hot mamas. Eenie, Meanie, Miney...

I know, I know, I promised that Wendy and I would be updating you
all from the Big Apple. But, we didn’t have time. As we were leaving for the
airport, the news broke that George Clooney was newly single, possibly in Manhattan… and the race was on.

It’s obvious that the boy is barking up the wrong tree with these super-skinny, super-attractive, super-young, super-models.   And, now that he’s 50, we’re guessing he’s
going to realize the error of his ways and start looking for a well-seasoned,
less-than-perfect woman to provide arm candy.
We think a little cellulite and some wrinkles are fine, because hey, we’re
not perfect, either.

So now, the question is, me or Wendy?  We asked our husbands and since neither of them seemed threatened in the least, it’s a horse race.

When we weren’t stalking Georgie Porgie Puddin’ Pie, we took a ton of pictures, visited 5 states, actually DROVE IN MANHATTAN (thank you, Darla, you rock), met with agents and editors, talked book deals, ate waaaaay too much, walked barefoot in Times Square at midnight and laughed ourselves half silly.  We came home speaking with distinct New York accents and are energized and ready to write.

Wishing you all a fab 4th!

Carolyn Clooney

Sounds good, huh, Wendy?

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Children, Geroge Clooney, Marriage, Menopause, New York, parenthood, Travel, Weight gain, wrinkles, Writing

My Fantasy Life

Muuaahahahahah! Alone at last!

I have a rich fantasy life.  But, it’s not what you’re thinkin’.  Sorry.  This time my fantasy involves planting the “Family Garden”.  Oh, yeah.  I could just see me in my floppy garden hat and a gauzy white sundress.  The kids, frolicking at my feet, digging holes and planting veggies that they would consume with relish, because they grew them with their own two hands.

(Wavily dream sequence music here).

“Oh, Mother!  Look at the beautiful broccoli plant I grew!  I can’t wait to eat of its
bounty!”

“Mommy, dearest, may I please harvest a zucchini from the lush depths of my little patch?”

“Why yes, darling, but remember, though eating from the garden is good for you, you must include other nutrients, such as sugar, in your diet.”

“Oh, Mumsie, but must we?  I prefer Brussel-sprouts!”

Sigh.  It all started so well.  “Kids! This year, I want each of you can plant your own raised bed with whichever vegetables you want!”

“Yay!  Oh, goodie. I get watermelon!”

“No!  I want watermelon!”

“What about me?  Don’t I get a watermelon?”

Heavy sigh.  “I’m sure there will be other things we might want to plant.”

Blank stares.

“Okay, kids let’s go to the nursery to get your plants.”

“Do I have to?”

“You don’t want to go?”

“If I have to…”

AT THE NURSERY

“Mom, look!  Let’s get this!”

“We can’t eat a flower basket.”

Mutter, mutter,cheapskate, economy, flowers, mutter.

“What did you say?”

“Nothing, Mom.”

“Great.  Let’s load the car.”

“Do we have to?”

AT HOME

“Okay everybody!  Hang tight while I go get my floppy garden hat!  While I am changing into my gauzy white garden dress, you guys take the plants out to the beds and start digging some holes, okay?”

“Do we have to?”

IN THE GARDEN

“Hey, Liv why are you the only kid in the garden with me?”

“The other kids are all asleep.  Mom, why are you dressed like that?”

“Shut up and weed.”

“Do I have to?”

Wavily dream music here.

And so, I spent another afternoon in solitude, planting my garden.  Note to self:  Want much sought after alone time?  Ask for help with the garden!

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Children, Cussing, Fitness, gardening, Humor, manners, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood

My carpet is disgusting

Wendy!  Get Rich Quick Scheme number 197,322!!!

I am thinking of calling it Nature’s Carpet, a revolutionary new flooring manufactured with the family in mind.  Envision this in your
own home.  Orange cat?  Nature’s Carpet will incorporate random tufts of orange hair into the weave!  Have a baby?   Imagine haphazard patches of mustard yellow and baby burp white!  For you dog owners, muddy paw prints in chocolate and caramel brown and some ‘oopsie’ spots for the puppy years.  I’m thinking the ketchup and pizza stain pattern is a must for a rumpus room.  And every guy will clamor for the barf and beer stain look for his man room.

Husbands?  Go ahead and take that motorcycle apart in the living room.  She won’t care.  Not with Nature’s Carpet’s “Garage Floor Stain” pattern.

Get that new carpet smell with the user-friendly feel.  No more need to chase that wet pet through the house.  Screaming at the kids over muddy boots is a thing of the past.  Peace and tranquility abound as you ‘go green’ with our bark dust, rabbit droppings and moss chunks pattern.

Your friend’s will turn puce with envy!

Wendy, my family will easily be able to do all of the design work.  You look into the patent deal.  I’m thinkin’ we’re on to something big this time.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Children, cleaning, Cooking, Cussing, Death, Dogs, Geroge Clooney, Humor, kids messy rooms, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood

Furious R-rated Don’t Read, Pt. 2.

"Make my day, doo-doo head!" This bad boy don't need to cuss.

   Why is it, when you make a decision to rumble with someone, to knock heads (I’m talking Bill Murray’s Ghostbuster rant about “disaster of biblical proportions, old testament, real wrath of God type stuff, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria”–okay maybe not that bad), that you end up having to like, I don’t know, sit next to them on a plane, or be their lab partner or neighbor or something? 

Well, that just happened to me.  Remember the kid I was so hot under the collar over several blogs ago entitled Don’t Read, Rated R?  Yup.  Ended up spending a week with him at outdoor school.  (This year, we took on rocks and planets out in Eastern Oregon).

Yes.  I was scared.  I’m guessin’ he was too.

You know that theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly that always plays when outlaws are in the middle of a shootout at the O.K. corral?  The one where they squint at each other just before they draw their guns?  Here.  I’ll try a few bars for you:  Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, Wah. Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, WAH!  A big old ball of sage brush rolls by?  Yeah.  That song. 

It’s playing as I get on the bus, where I had to spend the next four solid hours.  And just who do you suppose is the first person I see?  The cussing eighth-grade rap-artist!  He was already seated.  The last empty seat was within spitting distance.  We eyeballed each other, brows a’see-sawin’.  Who was gonna draw first?  As I strolled down the aisle, we never broke eye-contact.  Didn’t smile.  Didn’t speak.  Slid into my seat.  Pulled down the brim of my hat.

Days passed.  Bumped into him every time I turned around.  I didn’t mention the obscene ballad to his mother he posted on Facebook.  He didn’t mention my vitriolic response.

I carry candy.  Lots of candy.  Especially when I’m forced into confined spaces with hormone-crazed middle-schoolers.  One blazing hot afternoon, he was hungry.  I had candy.  He wanted some.  I gave him some.  He said, “I love you!”  I said, “I love you, too.”

I think I got my point across.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Children, Clint Eastwood, Cussing, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, parenthood, please and thank you, politeness, The Bad and the Ugly, Travel, Young Love

Life Is Hard. Now Go Play.

Here at Too Hot Mamas, Carolyn and I have ever-so-humbly dubbed ourselves the Lucy and Ethel of Menopausal Motherhood.  (If you had any idea how many whacked-out schemes for one thing or another my blog mate comes up with on a near daily basis, you, too, would suspect Lucille Ball of staging a walk-in.)

But Carolyn is in Central Oregon roughing it with her kids’ school, and I…well, dear reader, I am not feeling funny today.  Hey, I can laugh at a toothache, but as my hilarious Great Uncle Henry used to say, “Some things ain’t funny, Magee.”

My last blog touched on the extraordinary grace under fire of one of our neighbors.  Since then the nasty stuff hit the fan in another neighbor’s life when she awoke to an intruder who assaulted her, brutally, in her home.  The police caught the guy, but will the judicial system keep him off the streets?  Will she find the peace that defies understanding and feel safe in her home again, or out of it?  Will the children who usually run up and down our block as if it’s Mayberry be allowed to play as freely this summer?

And then, on Tuesday, I went to juvenile court to support a friend who has raised her granddaughter since the child was born while her parents struggled with meth, domestic violence and parole violations.  For five years, this grandmother’s refrain regarding her granddaughter has been, “If I do my job well, she won’t realize [how much chaos and fighting surrounds her].”  Being the eye in the storm can’t have been easy, but the five-year-old is a happy, stable child, as innocent as she should be at her age.

Juvenile court—whew.  Stay out of there, if you can.  For what was probably no more than thirty or forty minutes (but seemed like hours)—we watched this lovely five-year-old’s fate be tossed about by a bunch of lawyers whose chief agenda appeared to be Don’t Bother-Me-With-The-Facts-I-Have-A-Case-To-Win.  I watched my friend attacked as the wicked interloper instead of thanked for her love and devotion.  Yeah, so much for that pesky commandment about honoring our parents.

My Uncle Henry had a tough life.  Thirty-five major operations beginning at age three, cancer more times than I can count, heart disease, went blind for a time, broke his back, yadda yadda.  None of his siblings made it much past sixty.  When Uncle Henry was ninety, a waitress (he loved to eat out) asked him if he’d lived in Los Angeles all his life.  “Not yet,” he deadpanned.

Uncle Henry was the happiest person I’ve ever known.  Like any Jewish fellow worth his salt, he knew how to grieve heartily, how to bemoan the fact that bad things happened to good people.  He was not shy about asking, “Why?”  But he had a philosophy of life that was as much a part of him as his brown eyes, and he taught it to us in everything he said and everything he did:  Life is hard, kinderle.  Now go play. 

A mother dies, leaving three young children….  A woman is attacked in her home in the quiet area she trusted….  A little girl may lose the only stability she has ever known and face an uncertain future….

Life is hard.  Sometimes it’s bitterly hard.  But in the midst of it all, there are people willing to be God’s hands here on earth.  On Sunday night, eighty people gathered around the home of the young mother who lay dying on her forty-third birthday.  With candles lit and their voices raised so she, her husband and children would hear them inside the house, they sang Happy Birthday.

Life is hard.  Now go play.

Wendy

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Filed under Children, Death, friendship, Jewish, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing

Don’t read. Rated R. I’m furious.

If you are easily offended, stop reading now.  

Seriously.  Go ahead.  Trot off and have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with your neighbor.

And, whatever you do, don’t read the last paragraph. 

Still here?

Okay…here goes.  Last night, I logged on to Facebook, only to find a post on my wall by a charming eighth-grade friend of my children.  I think it should be titled Ode to My Mother, as he claimed he wrote it himself about his ‘explitive deleted’ of a mother.  He says he composed this thoughtful poem because she wouldn’t allow him to have friends and s**t over any more, although it smacks more of one of Eminnem’s masterpieces.  Dude. Word.

Anyhow, I get the feeling Mummy doesn’t alway check in on her little darling’s Facebook page to view his poetry.  People, people, PEOPLE!  Why are we allowing such blatant disrespect to run rampant on Facebook?  Not only did little darling’s post make me look like a white trash bimbo on my wall, it made his mother a laughing-stock.  6 people “Liked” his poetry.  Not one of them was his mother.

Another thing that children and adults alike simply don’t get it this… Your future employer LOOKS AT YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE when they are trying to figure out who and what to hire. At this rate, this kid’s career prospects are limited to gang member, rapper (and I hear it’s super hard to break in to the industry) and serial killer.

I know, a lot of you are thinking, “Hey, why doesn’t this uptight hag simply unfriend the kid?”    I did.  But not before he sullied my wall and the walls of anyone else on his list, including MY kids.  And as an adult, I don’t feel right about not saying anything.  About not hurting/embarrassing this kid’s precious inner-child.  Letting him throw a public tantrum isn’t responsible or self-actualized, folks.  It is cowardly and uncaring.  Why do we all sit around and put up with this crap, all  in the name of freedom of speech?  Hey, if you are a minor in my household, you are free to speak you mind.  But start up with the f-bombs and we’re gonna wrangle and I’m gonna win.

I have a feeling this kid (underneath his vitriolic spew) is probably a nice kid looking for guidance.  Clearly, he’s not getting enough at home.  He’s lucky he’s not my kid.  Because if he was, his Facebook account would be history.  As would his computer, iPod, iPhone, gameboy and Xbox 360 and all the other baby-sitting devices his parents are no doubt currently employing.  He would be assigned a mountain of chores (my toilets would sparkle!) and he would have to spend endless hours sitting with (and getting to know) ME!  his new best friend!  Oh, the ways we’d bond!  He could teach me to rap and I would teach him Ephesians 4:29.  And perhaps, in the future, we could avoid the four-lane car crash that he posted yesterday.

I don’t pretend to be a saint.  Far from it.  I spent waaaay too many years using language that I have come to realize made me look illiterate and low-class.  And, vulgar.  Trampy.  Disgusting.  And, while these things may still be true, at least I try not to give off the immediate impression anymore.

For those of you who hung in with me to the end of this rant, here is the edited version of this post:

&%$-ing slut you look like a mutt you held me in a rutt im done nomore fun we had a good run you too ton timeing #$%@! your a snitch you snaked my heart i dontmean to sound dark i guess it wasnt very smart to trust you in the first place when i got the first taste i got hooked i shouldve booked it when i got to chance no i dont dance or prance for you i stayed true too you oh boo whoo #$%@ you too.

I ache for his mother.  The spelling is atrocious.

Carolyn

 

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Filed under Children, Cussing, Facebook, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, phone, please and thank you, politeness

Cat Fight–The REAL Story

Here’s what really happened.  Four of us meet for breakfast to talk about a writer’s conference trip we are all taking to New York this summer to land agents and fabulous book and movie deals on our fascinating and hilarious lives as romance novelists/mothers/wives/slash/hacks/dog owners and, you know, a couple of other projects we’ve got stashed under the bed that we’re gonna take out and dust off and turn into gold. 

Wendy is late, as usual.  Don’t get me started.  Anyway, she comes skidding in to the restaurant, drops to into her chair, snaps her fingers for the ‘girl’ then goes off on her wrinkle jag, which we all know is a bid for attention.  The woman is adorable.  I don’t get the whole, “Oh, look at my teensy wrinkle and feel sorry for me,” deal.  But we have to humor her.  “Yeah, yeah, Wendy.  What are ya gonna do about the grand canyons on your face today?”  Furtive eye-rolling behind the menu.

In fact, while she was blathering on about the wrinkle thing, I snapped a pic of her with my phone, just to prove my point.

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wait… I got it here somewhere…

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Oh.  Yeah.  Here.  Now.  I ask you.  Is this a face or is this a face?  I just want to gobble her up.

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"Clinique has this AMAZING new product that they claim firms and tightens..."

 

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Over coffee (we’ve migrated to Starbucks by now) the four of us figure out all the details of our trip to the eastern seaboard and decide to ditch the writer’s meeting we’d planned on attending that morning in Portland and hit the mall instead. 

Wendy was still nattering about this miracle stuff she was going to spend waaaaaay too much money on and I wanted to find some pants that would make me look 40 lbs. lighter.

As I was off looking for “skinny jeans” (sheyeah, what a crock) Wendy gave us the slip.  We finally found her seated in the chair behind the Clinique counter getting her upper lip spackled.  Okay.  I get it now.  The whole wrinkle cream gig isn’t about fixing your wrinkles.  No.  Oprah, are you listening, because this is the real SECRET.  Wrinkle cream IS NOT about ‘fixing a problem’.  It’s about ‘confusing the eye’.  It’s about slathering a whole bunch of gummy stuff on your lip and telling you that your wrinkles are gone and then charging you $174 + tax. 

Wendy, I’m only gonna say this once.  “The emperor has no clothes!  B-U-C-K Naked!

Of course your friends are going to tell you that the flaky, chalky, goofy crud on your upper lip looks great because we love you. 

"I can't nove ny lits cuz this stuff is sooter hard!"

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Truth be told, we simply had no where else to look.  We had to avert our eyes.  That’s why no one noticed wrinkles.  A person can’t see when they’re all squinty-eyed and cringing. 

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, BOTOX, Children, Cooking, Death, Dogs, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, wrinkle erasers, wrinkles

GIRL FIGHT

I got into a little scuffle with some of my dearest friends this past weekend, and I’d like us to publicly kiss and make up.

Here’s what happened:  Next month Carolyn and I are heading to New York with our friends Su, Darla and Ginger.  It’s going to be part business, part Thelma and Louise road trip sans most of the crime.  Last Saturday four of us met to work out the details and to hit the mall to pick up essentials.  The problem began at breakfast.  I arrived with wild hair and the bare minimum of makeup (I’m working on embracing the real me, remember).

They arrived beautiful.  I mean, just fabulous.  Hair freshly cut and colored, their makeup perfect, not a damn line on any of their post-menopausal-yet-dewy faces.  And it was only 8:30 in the morning.  I feel so happy that they are aging beautifully.  Really, I do.  I mean, I love these women.  But by the time my tea arrived, I was thinking about the ads I’ve been seeing for an Origins wrinkle eraser.  You get 83% of the effect of the injectables I refuse to use because I’m so self-actualized.

So, off we go to the mall and there it is—the wrinkle eraser.  A lovely 46-year-old (we asked) saleswoman with not a line on her kisser offers us samples.  Tiny little samples.  Well, looking at this saleswoman and at my friends, I begin to feel my self-actualization slipping southward.  I mean, it’d be just as easy to embrace myself with 83% of my fine lines and wrinkles softened a little, right?  So…

I took my tiny sample and my friends’ samples, too.  They don’t need them. 

 They got so upset.  They asked me if I’d let my daughter take her friends’ gifts.  Well, yes, I would in a case like this.  It would show discernment.  And, she’d be saving them from putting unnecessary chemicals in their pores.  But they grabbed their little packets back (rather forcefully, I’d say), and a brief physical skirmish in front of the Origins counter ensued.  Our saleslady and two of her coworkers suggested we stop it.

We haven’t really discussed the incident since, but I’ve been mulling it over, and I think we should make up right here, right now.

So apologize, girls.  And then gimme back my wrinkle erasers!!!!

Wendy

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Filed under BOTOX, friendship, Humor, Menopause, wrinkle erasers, wrinkles

My Tombstone

Taxi driver, laundress, chef, referee, counselor, maid... no wonder she was cranky!

  Ever wonder what your headstone will say?  My kids tell me they are going to emblazon the words OLD YELLER on mine.  Funny, kids.  Remember the last scene in the Stephen King movie, “Carrie?”  Yeah.  Stand back.

So.  Been thinking about my mortality lately.  An amazing woman I know just passed away at the tender age of 48.  Cancer.  I went to her memorial and, while I was waiting for the service to begin, I read the leaflet her family had provided.  Since she knew she was terminal, she’d written a note of inspiration to those she left behind entitled:

The Dash, by Jenni Reiling.  It was wonderfully thought-provoking and one especially cool thing that stood out to me was the following:

Most tombstones have two dates separated by a dash.  I recently heard a speaker say, “No one can control the very nanosecond they begin existence on the Earth.  Subsequently, no man can control the very moment they are to exit Earth.  The only thing anyone has control over is how we live the dash.”  The speaker asked, “Are you dashing through life or are you living the dash?”

Do you ever feel as if you are so caught up in your day-to-day routine of full throttle activities and appointments and craziness that you never really take the time to simply live?  To thank God for the simple pleasures?  To enjoy what you’ve got and stop dashing after that next…thing?  How sad it would be to never fully live the dash because we were too busy.

I think another resolution for this year will be to live the dash.  Thank you, Jenni.

Carolyn

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Lost on LOST

"I'm sick of you guys calling me the Old Dude!"

   For those of you who have seen the TV show, LOST, you know there is this character called John Locke.  I always thought of him as Mr. Clean’s dad.  He’s the elder-statesman of the show, cool, edgy, more than a tad creepy.

He gets referred to a lot as “the old dude”-or-“the elderly guy”-or- “the senior citizen”.  This was fine with me, cuz he’s, you know, bald and he’s kind of got moobs (man-boobs).  More than a few wrinkles.  Before he shaved his head, he sported this really bad-comb over.

So, imagine my surprise, not to mention horror, when Mr. John Locke, elder-statesman of LOST announces his birth year on one episode.  Whu?!  Huh?!  He’s… MY AGE!  NOOOO!  Does this mean I’m not…GASP… young?!  What?!  I was still envisioning myself in the age bracket of say, Jin, or maybe Sawyer.  I wasn’t delusional enough to align myself with Clare, but thought she might be a younger sister?  Uh, no.  The actress who plays Clare could be my daughter.   The guy who plays the hunky Sawyer could be my son.  Suddenly, I’m feeling all Oedipal and slimy.

Not that John Locke isn’t attractive.  He’s got a beautiful smile and he’s very hunky for a…a…uh, senior citizen.  But I was sort of seeing him as a father figure.  My father.

Crrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaap.

Carolyn 

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Filed under aging, Humor, LOST, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers

I Want My MTV

 

My Spiritual Ducks

  One Sunday, several years ago now, the pastor of our church asked us to write down the three things that were most important to us on a slip of paper.  He waited while everyone smiled smugly and scribbled.  Knowing human nature, I can only guess that everyone’s list looked a lot like mine: 

1.  God  2.  Husband  3.  Family.  Yeah.  I’m pious.  Got the old spiritual ducks in the row.

Then the pastor asks us to write down the three things we spend the most time doing everyday.  An audible sigh rippled through the crowd and people began to slump in the pew.  My list? 

1. Watch TV  2. Nag Husband to turn the ESPN down.  3.  Nag children in other room to turn Disney Channel down.

I knew I had a problem when my then nine-year-old daughter came to my bedroom door wanting help with her homework and I made her wait outside while Mommy finished her show.  After all, Mommy’s show was about this rapist who was in the process of gouging out the eyes of his victim and I didn’t want to traumatize my daughter.  Just call me Mother-of-the-Year.   Couldn’t pry my eyes away from that show (sorry, couldn’t resist that pun) and, I have to admit, answering questions about erectile dysfunction commercials from a five-year-old were creeping me out.

So, we cut the cable.  The withdrawal was horrendous.  There should be a 12 step program.  Now, of course, we are that totally uncool, square family that never really knows what’s happening out there in the real world.  I hear about TV shows from friends, read about them on-line, see the articles in Entertainment Weekly, so I’m not completely clueless.  And, whenever a series catches my eye, like 24 or NCIS or LOST, I’ll go out and buy it on DVD.  No erectile dysfunction between stretches of action, and the hubby and I can watch an entire season in one marathon weekend of bloody-thirst and violence and then return to church on Sunday feeling proud that we didn’t make the kids sit outside of the bedroom door all month.  Just…you know…that one weekend.

Okay.  We still have some work to do.

Carolyn

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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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Filed under Geroge Clooney, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Writing

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

Another Get Rich Quick Scheme Down the Toilet

Heeeeeellllppp meeeeee!

Ohmigosh, Wendy!  Last night I had a dream that J. Lilly, President of Pillsbury wrote us a letter.  It was so terrifying!  So real!  I woke up in a sweat (could have been a hot flash) and scribbled down what I remembered on a candy wrapper I found lying near my bed: 

To TooHotMamas:

(Whoever you are and whatever your racket is)  

 Stop harassing me about winning my contest, or I’ll be forced to take out a restraining order against you both.  The only reason I haven’t contacted the authorities yet, is because my sister is menopausal and tells me you are both out of your minds. 

In answer to a few of your many and varied accusations:  No, the contest was not rigged, nor am I related to the winners and yes I eat Pillsbury products in my home and have no signs of these ‘pathogens’ you allude to.  

Also, since Jack Bauer is a FICTIONAL television character (24), I cannot take the threat that you would report my contest to the Counter Terrorist Unit seriously.  I can’t believe Jack Bauer would take it seriously.  In a shoot out, everyone knows the doughboy has no vital organs and can withstand intense heat.  Jack Bauer, though impressive, would never survive a pre-heated 350 oven for more than 30 minutes. 

TooHotMamas, I will not be bullied into, and I’m quoting here, “Taking you to the stars with your two-ingredient Pancake Sauce”, and must reiterate: Winning my contest will not solve your myriad problems.  In fact you both may wish to consider counseling.  I’ve heard this stage of life is hard on many women and can lead to delusional behavior.  

Thank you for including the pictures of your children in your missive of terror and yes, aside from needing braces, they are all exceedingly attractive. 

You will be contacted from my lawyers for your issues with our contest protocol, and must sign sworn statements to hold Pillsbury harmless, if you wish to participate in the future. 

Sincerely, 

John Lilly, CEO Pillsbury Corporation

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Filed under aging, Anxiety, Children, Cooking, hot flash, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Pillsbury Bakeoff, Weight gain, Weight Loss

THE GIRL WITH THE SEXUAL TATTOO—Part three in a jealous harangue

Had any "Drunken Chicken" lately?

 

Yeah, sure, probably another reason I’m not on the “LIST” (said with a snarky, envious, mocking tone) (besides being a non-cussing hack) (and ignorant of the proper uses of parentheses), is that I won’t do explicit or erotic sex…er…in books.  And let’s face it.  In order to break new ground in this arena, my hero would have to fall for a chicken.  Not natural.  And, as our reader(s) know(s), I don’t use offensive verbiage  (unless my hero is seriously threatened, and then only sparingly–see the DDH bomb in my last post). 

 Plus, if I stick to the old adage “write what you know” my love scenes would have to include sweat socks.  

 Whatever happened to the good old days of escapism?  Now all anyone seems to care about in their literature is realism.  Bah.  I get plenty of realism, just driving down the road.  (People really don’t seem to enjoy being cut off by a harried, menopausal mini-van driver and are very ‘real’ about expressing themselves).   

Wendy and I are always blathering about how we wish the entertainment world was still Frank Capra-land.  Mayberry.  Mitford.  And not constantly dripping with blood and demons and other such “realism”.  Excuse my French, but Fooie on realism.  I long for Lucy and Ethel.  For humor that’s not centered on the crotch for once.  For good guys who are not named Lucifer.  For a world where being a hero includes being there, staying there and taking the trash out to the can and not taking out trash, buying it a drink and having sex with it.  

 So.  To review.  Not on NYT Best-seller list because:   Won’t swear.  No explicit (or poultry inclusive) love scenes.  Find taking out the garbage erotic.   (And, of course, don’t understand proper parenthetical usage). 

 (Carolyn)

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THE GIRL WITH THE CURSED TATTOO—Part two in a jealous harangue

Okay, another reason I probably have yet to appear on the NYT Best-Seller list–aside from not having a book out in several years because of my protracted maternity leave–is that I was taught that it’s not lady-like to swear.  Shows a certain lack of class.  Even for my heroes.  Not that my heroes don’t drop the F-bomb left and right.  I happen to think “Fooie” is a perfectly acceptable adverb and shows that my heroes are tough enough to sling slang that might sound silly on a lesser man.  My sons wield the “DDH” bomb (doo-doo head) liberally on the playground and they have yet to be bullied.  I think it’s not what you say, but how you say it. 

And, if you disagree, Fooie on you, Booger-ball.  Stings, huh?

 Carolyn

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I want my…I want my…I want my PMS…

Never thought I’d say that.

Menopause been belly, belly bad to me.  In less than a year my legs have morphed into my mother-in-laws legs.  I vowed I would never let that happen. 

And the appetite?  Horrific.  We used to have a loveseat in the family room.  Gone.  It was delicious.

The other day, I was attempting to describe the joy of hot-flashes to my husband (after I’d slapped his loving hands away as he was trying to comfort my distress).  “Honey, it’s like that feeling you get when you are in the sauna about ten minutes past the moment you know you should have left, to avoid heat stroke?”  “Ooo,” hubby tsks in sympathy.  “I swear, this morning, I was holding an iron skillet during a hot flash and… it bent.”

How unfair that this burst of heat does not melt unwanted pounds away.  What good is a personal summer, if you can’t get a good tan out of the deal?

On the up side, should we have a power outage this winter, the family will all be able to gather round me, for warmth. 

Carolyn

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THE GIRL WITH THE DEAD TATTOO

I just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.  Have you heard of this book?  If not, you live under a rock. 

Anyway, I’m always a day late and a dollar short with my plots, it seems, for  I could not believe my eyes.  I just wrote a book exactly like it!  Well, okay, there were some variations.  My hero was a cat.  And I didn’t do that whole computer hacking subplot, although there was some hairball hacking at one pivotal point.  Another difference is how my cat didn’t, you know, cat around with the astounding frequency and variety of Stieg’s randy characters.

 But come on!  Why 27 bazillion books in print?  Why #1 on the best seller list?  Why not us, WENDY?  I’ll tell you why!  We’re ALIVE, that’s why.  (That, and I’m just returning to my writing career after a rather protracted maternity leave, but that’s beside the point).  Apparently, now days, it really helps to hit the lists and get those movie deals if you’re dead.  Yeah.  I’m talking about you, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Sadly, Stieg Larsson died of heart failure at the tender young age of 50, before he ever had a chance to enjoy his amazing success.  Or…did he?  Hmmm.  Let’s see.  What would be his cut of 100 gogillion dollars be?  Even if it was only 6 %, we’re talking 6 gogillion dollars, give or take.  Certainly enough to retire on.

 So Wendy, I’m seriously thinking about staging my death in an effort to give my career a much-needed boost.  (Don’t worry.  I’ll still help with the blog).  Others have successfully done it.  Remember D.B. Cooper?  I’d never heard of him before he “died”.  And how many of you out there have seen Elvis at Wal-Mart?  Yes?  I thought so.  I’m not certain yet, how I want to “go”.  I’m sure my hubby would cheerfully help.  My teenagers, too.  I see the dollar signs in their eyes when I’m particularly menopausal.

 I’ll keep you posted from the ‘great-beyond’ at Wal-Mart.

Carolyn

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Bathroom Humor

Okay, I admit it.  I had to get away from the stress of my love triangle with Wendy and George Clooney.  So, I went to Germany with the hubby.  Figured that was far enough away from the pain.  Imagine my surprise to find that they’d heard of Georgie in Germany.  Damn that man’s allure to the masses.  

Anyhow, this was my first time in a non-English speaking country.  I don’t count France, as they didn’t speak to me anyway.  Nor do I count Los Angeles, as I do habla un poco Espanol.  So, I was eager to learn the German lingo.  Fraternize with the natives.  I’m not exactly fluent in German, unless you count frantic hand signals and loud, impatient shouting in English, but I did manage to expand my vocabulary a tad.  They’ve got some funny stuff in Germany.   

I think my favorite is…   

Where?

 

I kept seeing this sign fly by as we zipped down the Audubon at about a thousand kilowatts (whatever) per hour.  And, when I wasn’t soiling myself at the sheer thrill of achieving warp speed in a Toyota, I was laughing my Aus off at the sign.  I mean, what was the purpose?  Should we pull over to enjoy the specified “area” to break wind?  Seemed inconvenient.  Not to mention crude.  It wasn’t until my last day that I discovered Ausfahrt means “Exit”.  My new favorite word.  I use it liberally now, when directing people to my house.   

BTW, George, I live just off the 2nd Ausfahrt in a town called Butteville.  Come On-a My House, baby.  

Carolyn

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I Will Wax For George Clooney

My husband’s a guest star on the TV show Leverage. He informed me several days ago that we are going to the wrap party, which is tomorrow night.  For the past week and a half, he’s been telling me how beautiful the women and men are on this show.

Deciding to walk my talk, I opted to approach this party very differently from the way I have approached similar celeb-studded parties in the past.  I used to make sure my makeup was fresh, my hair was highlighted, and my wardrobe was new.  This time?  I have one Maybelline eyeshadow duo with a broken plastic lid and gouges in the little cakes of color from my daughter’s attempt to apply the stuff to her dolls with a bobby pin.  That stubborn gray in my hair will simply have to be appreciated as Mother Nature’s highlights.  And those wrinkles–hey, some of those lines are vertical; they might be slimming.  As for my boring wardrobe:  I’m a work-at-home mom on a budget.  Cotton will have to do.

I felt really good about my decision to go au naturel and simply enjoy the view and the company.  No one’s going to be looking at me, anyway.  That last realization is one of the sweet gifts of no longer being twenty.

And then…

Today, with fewer than twenty-four hours left, my darling husband mentioned that the gorgeous Italian woman he’s seen on the set is Elisabetta Canalis, George Clooney’s current extraordinary  squeeze. Continue reading

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Everything old is new again

Like any seven-year-old, my daughter cannot wait to be a teenager.  Her target age:  nineteen.

“Mom, does this headband make me look nineteen?”  Absolutely.  And you could add another year if you detached the Minnie Mouse ears.

“Mom, look at my ballet slippers.”  (Extending her foot with a lovely pointed toe.)  “Do my legs look nineteen?”

“Listen, Mom, listen.  Does this song make me sound–”  Yes, sweetheart, yes, singing “We Are The Dinosaurs” at the top of your lungs absolutely makes you sound nineteen.

I’m not sure why she targeted that particular age.  Nineteen was certainly not my best year.  I was in my third year of college, a good forty pounds overweight, struggling to know more, do more and be more than I was comfortable with.

Nineteen was almost thirty years ago.  Now I’m trying to look younger, feel younger and still trying to do more than I am comfortable with.  Not that I  want to be nineteen again.  Noooo thank you.  But forty-two…yeah, that was a great year.

“Hey, world, if I wear this makeup, do I look 42 again?”

“If I lose ten pounds, will I look 42?  Will you like me better?  Take me more seriously?  Hire me?”

Recently, I was with the twenty-five-year-old niece of a dear friend.  When I say the girl is stunningly beautiful, I am issuing a gross understatement.  And yet she felt it necessary to have her first BOTOX injection at 24.  Apparently that is no longer uncommon; you get a head start on wrinkle prevention that way.

Annette Bening was my acting teacher twenty-six years ago.  She was, by far, the most confident woman I had ever met.  Today, she is one of the few actresses of her generation with the guts to age gracefully.   She is, by all accounts, the very hands-on mother to four young people.  Google her, and you will find that she spends a great deal of her time giving back to her community in addition to conducting what has amounted to a thoughtful, intelligent and wildly successful career.

Check the imdb boards, and you will discover that she is being slammed–rudely–for daring to age naturally.  One poster wrote that Warren Beatty is now “too good for her.”  Another brain trust labeled her “a hag.”

Great.  These are probably people who get tattoos and piercings so they can be unique.  I’m not knocking that, but guess what?  Aging naturally in Hollywood is probably as unique anyone is going to get.

I wonder if a woman posted the crack about Warren Beatty or the uber-intelligent hag comment?  Lord, I hope not.

Annette:  You glow, woman.  And may I say, “Thank you” for living the wisdom of taking yourself seriously…but not too seriously.  And for spending more time working to improve the world instead of your own skin.

Libbi, my darling daughter:  Slow down, baby.  There’s plenty of time.  Live the moment, because the time that yawns endlessly now will someday seem achingly brief.  And you don’t want to miss a second by trying to be someone else.  (Or even an older–or younger–version of yourself.

Note to me:  Ditto.

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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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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I am your mother, Luke.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night, certain that something in your body has… stopped? You might have Sleep Apnea. The first time this happened to me, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. That day I’d just felt her move for the first time. That night, I thought we’d died. I woke up clawing and gasping and my ever-helpful husband roused just enough to tell me to shut up. “But, I’m having a HEART ATTACK!” “Then play a spade or a club,” he muttered and rolled over. This has gone on (and off) for years. Me, waking up dead. Wondering, what causes this strangeness?

I am not an animal!

After about a dozen years (don’t take a house to fall on me) I called the doctor and they scheduled me for a sleep test. If you’ve never had one, ooo, what a treat. They glue wires all over your body and then tell you they are going to go in the next room and stare at you, while you sleep.
Oddly, I slept like a baby. Or so I thought. According to the test results, I’m fond of not breathing for loooong stretches at a time. And, perhaps this is why I drag through the day, blaming old age, bad diet, a penchant for staying up all night long, global warming, Bernice Hudeen from the 3rd grade, whatever.
Anyway, it’s official. Sleep Apnea. I’ll be back with an overview of the cure. If I live that long.
Carolyn

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We’re not bitter…much.

Wendy…I hate to be the one to break the horrible, nay, nay hideous news, but… we were NOT selected as finalists in this year’s $#%@!! Pillsbury Bake-off 100 Finalists.  Yes, I know, last year, we spent nearly all of our savings on Pillsbury products, slaved hours in the test kitchen (okay, my kitchen), force-fed everyone we know Pillsbury products, and yes, even sacrificed our hips and thighs.  For what? 

Oprah to announce Million $ Winner!

To say I’m bummed is like saying the Grand Canyon is just a ditch.  I’m wrecked.  And the kicker in my Pillsbury depression?  The winner will be announced on… Oprah.  Yes.  Our Oprah.  The one you and I have always fantasized about being interviewed by and whose book club we aspire to being chosen for.  I am banging my head against the monitor as I write this.

Our entire year of labor is flashing before my eyes…

Remember how we put off entering our recipes until the deadline day?  Remember how your computer was broken and I drove 450 frikkin’ miles to your house and forgot to bring mine?  Remember how we got up early and borrowed your neighbor’s library card?  Remember how, when we got to the library, all the computers had people using them?  Remember how we cussed?  Remember how, when we finally got on a computer, we accidentally submitted some of the wrong measurments…and then the computer shut off, because we’d used your alloted half hour and your neighbors alloted half hour and we were locked out?  Remember how we cussed some more?  Remember how smug we were when we knew we still had one more half hour because we had your husband’s card… and then found out that the stupid contest closed at noon EASTERN TIME??  HUH?  REMEMBER?

Yeah.  Good times.

We should do it again.

I’m including the announcement below:

Although the cooking finals will be held here in Orlando, the winner of  the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contestwill be announced April 14, 2010, on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The 100 finalists will assemble and compete at the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel, preparing their original recipes in 100 mini kitchens stocked with all of their ingredients.  The four category winners (Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy and Sweet Treats) will be announced in the evening April 12 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek.  Then, in a first for the contest,  four finalists will be flown to Chicago  to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”  On Wednesday, April 14, 2010, Winfrey will reveal the $1 million grand prize winner on her show. Visit http://www.bakeoff.com for more information, as well as past recipes.

I’m gonna go plunge a fork into my eye now.

Carolyn

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