Three Years! Happy Anniversary Friend for the Ride!


Friend for the Ride in the Sand

Happy Three Year Anniversary to Friend for the Ride!

I like to write her name in the sand.

I write yours in the stars because you’re the world’s most wonderful readers.

Since the blog began, with the help of guest posters, I’ve published over four hundred posts. 




Thanks to those of you who leave sparkling and insightful comments. One reader recently wrote me: “Never thought I’d get so hooked on connecting with others this way!”

And thanks to everyone for reading!

Happy fall and on to Year Four…




My Cancer Story: Remember the Caregiver


Barbara and Cliff

Soon after Dr. Fried gave me the cancer diagnosis, I thought about Cliff.

He’d need to come to appointments, stand by me during surgery, and take care of me afterwards, possibly during months of chemo. He’d do the money and most of the insurance stuff. Cancer would curtail our summer plans and maybe the plans for the rest of our lives.

As the days went by, I knew it was my cancer. The burden was on me (In me! My uterus to be exact).

But I tried to be mindful of how this would affect Cliff, too.

Cliff’s mom and I used to talk for hours. Many of her pronouncements on life proved true, but one didn’t. “When you go into surgery, you go alone,” she told me, recounting the story of her thyroid operation at age forty. Nope. Not me. I took her son with me. I never felt alone.

Our good friend Lisa Flinn wrote Cliff this note two weeks after my surgery:


Lisa's Note

Others too, thought of Cliff. Visitors arrived with a favorite beer for him to enjoy while we all chatted. Those who prepared food sent plenty since they know my husband chows down with gusto.

I’ve made a new vow: Remember the caregiver!

Photo Top: Cliff and I at Mazen’s first birthday last fall. Note the grins of grandparents.

Photo Bottom: Lisa’s note. The “clear to see (even for me)” is in reference to her macular degeneration. Lisa’s a cancer survivor. Read her post, “Tai Chi Brings Balance after Breast Cancer” on Friend for the Ride. 

She’s one of my cancer role models! Others include Frances, Lisa W., Vibeke, Karen, Linda, Mark, and Haralee (Check out her sleepwear line!) Thanks, friends.

Happy Menopause Awareness Month!



September! Do you believe it? We’re more than halfway through.

But while you’re thinking about fall sweaters or football (love it/hate it) or apples, apples, apples, pause to remember that September is National Menopause Awareness Month. That Silent Passage isn’t so silent anymore.

The Hormone Health Network designed the fun bra graphic above. (Here are some of my thoughts on droop and The Girls.)

The network’s Menopause Map helps you determine where you are in the menopause journey.  Check it out here.

Menopause Map

Click here to read their comprehensive guide to menopause. Don’t miss this excellent resource.


Thank you Hormone Health Network!


And no matter where you are on the menopause road, Happy Menopause Awareness Month!

I’m always looking for guest posts, especially posts about menopause. Please email me (address at right) if you’d like to write one.  Let’s share our stories! For as Todd Stocker tells us, “Stories give color to black and white information.”

Giveaway Winners! I’ve been lax this summer about posting the names of giveaway winners, but here’s the latest list. Congrats to Kay Lynn and Jo, who won Menopause Mops; Stephanie who won Susan Gabriel’s Fearless Writing for Women; and to Audrey, who won an Affirmation Card Deck and print from Marylou Falstreau.

The Twelve Days of Hormones (and a Giveaway)



Here’s an excerpt from Anne Bardsley’s How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. Take it away, Anne!

I went to my doctor to get my hormone levels tested and found out that my progesterone was very low. I’m convinced that this is the hormone responsible for working out, keeping the house tidy, and creating delicious gourmet meals. I think it may even have some control over sexual desire.

I should’ve known something wasn’t right. I was feeling horizontal lately—as in, I laid down at every opportunity. No gym, no vacuuming, no exotic dinners … no thoughts of wild times under the sheets.

In addition to my progesterone, I was told that my testosterone was also a tad low. My doctor said I needed hormone replacement therapy, but he warned that I may grow hair, my voice may get deeper, and my libido may increase with my new hormone routine. Hairy with a manly voice and amorous tendencies … the combo was sure to be my husband’s worst nightmare!

After thirty-five years of marriage, we’re really pretty good together. We talk about anything and everything. There had never been any secrets. Until those little hormones came about. Did I really want to tell him what could happen to me once the hormones kicked in? Maybe he wouldn’t notice. There was no need to scare the poor man away.

So I quietly began the hormone replacement therapy.

On the first day of hormones, there was no change.

On the second day of hormones, I felt a bit amorous.

On the third day, I noticed more hair in my armpits.

On the fourth day, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I said, “Looking good, Baby!” in a husky voice. This cannot be happening.

On the fifth day of hormones, I felt the need to tug at my netherlands.

On the sixth day, Scott said, “Your voice is getting deeper than mine.”

On the seventh day of hormones, I bought a set of barbells.

On the eighth day, Scott asked, “Is that a mustache on your face?”

On the ninth day, I told Scott he was acting like a girl.

On the tenth day, he asked, “Were you staring at me in the shower this morning?”

On the eleventh day, Scott woke up with a sunburn. Apparently, I had a hot flash that night.

On the twelfth day, we were at a nice restaurant and I asked, “Want to arm wrestle?”

I knew my testosterone was in high gear when I asked, “Can you teach me to field strip an M-16 and put it back together blindfolded? I really want to go to the shooting range.”

His response was short and sweet. “I want that doctor’s number and I want it now!”

Here’s to hormones and husbands!

Giveaway: To win a copy of Anne’s witty and insightful collection of musings, simply leave a comment below saying you’d like to be the winner. Please post comments by October 1. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!



Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger, and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause.

Over the years, her work has appeared in several publications. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs. This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells. She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband of thirty-five years and two spoiled cockapoos