Menopause, PMS

A Peeps Internet Confession

This post is short but sweet.

I adore Peeps. I mean I really adore them.

I’m fessing up in honor of the Easter holiday and the great candy it brings.

When I was in the throes of PMS and Menopause Madness, I would not just eat a a whole ROW of Peeps in one sitting but an  ENTIRE box.

And yes, I think they are darling, but I can gobble them down without any mercy.

So now you fess up!

What is your hormonal food of hormonal foods?  You’re guaranteed safe haven on Friend for the Ride.

Recipes:  I’m pretty much a Peeps purist, but here are some recipes if you’re feeling like you want to branch out.

And here are some more.

P.S.  Now that my hormones feel calmer, I’m down to two Peeps at a time. My goal is to be able to eat just one, but life is awfully short (for me and the Peeps.)

Aging, Menopause

Does a Friend Tell a Friend She’s Got a Chin Hair?

This is one of those TMI kind of posts, a post that when I was thirty-five, I had no clue I would dare write.  Of course when I was thirty-five, I had no clue about the super yucko stuff that was going to happen to me in menopause.  I also had no clue what a blog was.  (Nobody did, yet, according to this fun history on wiki.)

That leads us to the subject of the post:  CHIN HAIR.

I have always liked the story of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”  I love the line, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin,” and as a little girl, I got a kick out of all that trip trapping over bridges.  And who doesn’t get some kicks out of hating a big bad troll?  (A REAL troll, not an Internet sort of bad person.)

But I didn’t know I would turn into a billy goat!

And the Big Bad Menopause Troll throws you the double whammy that after you get those long, fine hairs cascading off your chin, you can’t see them without a magnifying glass.

So that brings us to this post’s title:   Does a Friend Tell a Friend She’s Got a Chin Hair?

This happened to me.  I was at first mortified.

But on reflection, I was grateful.

So I say, “Yes.”

What do you say?

Photo above is Paul Galdone’s wonderful version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Photo below shows some acceptable chin hairs, because this guy is a real and true billy goat, by the hairs of his chinny, chin, chin.

PS:  My friend Kay has just reminded me that the expression “chinny, chin, chin” is from “The Three Little Pigs” NOT “The Billy Goat’s Gruff.”  My literary bad!

Celebrations, Children, Grandchildren, Grandparents

Grandma by Any Other Name Will Sound as Sweet

The baby above, one of my babies, is having a baby.




I’d love to say something profound about grandmothering.

But although I’m the mother of two girls, I don’t know beans about being a GRANDMOTHER.


Everyone asks what I want to be called.

Anything short of  “Hey You” will do.

Well, actually, if the baby wants to call me  “Hey You, ” that might just be okay.

After all, this is my grandchild!

The only thing I really know about grandmothering, thus far, is that the baby, due August 31, will not be wearing Katherine’s pretty white dress, saved oh so many years



BTW, advice is welcome!  I’ve heard we’re not supposed to offer advice to the parents, but you can send me a whole bassinetful. Thanks!


Calories: A Mystery Unclothed

I knew it!  I knew it!  I knew it!

I’ve never believed in calories.  How could something so small and compact as a square of fudge cause you to gain weight?  It makes complete sense to me that calories don’t come from food at all.  And we all know that bad stuff lurks in closets:  moths, the boogeyman, silverfish, dust bunnies.

How do we rid our closets of these evil stitching calories?  How do we protect our clothes from the terrors of shrinking?

Cliff and I haven’t had an easy time eliminating moths from the closets of this old house.  (We don’t like to use insecticides, and moth balls are only about 85% effective.)

At least you can see a moth. I have never SEEN a calorie.  Have you?  And dust bunnies, once captured, don’t put up much of a fight.  These tiny calorie creatures have got to be feisty.  They even attacked my sainted wedding dress.

Can I coax them out with trickery?   “Calories, follow me.  I’ll take you to the mall and let you stitch some really fancy clothes.  Better yet, we’ll fly to NYC, and I’ll release you in the store where they film Say Yes to the Dress.

Can I blast them to smithereens by playing “It’s a Small World” twenty-four seven?

Can I choke them out with bad smells?  The kitty litter pan or burned popcorn?

Can I bore them to pieces by reading aloud my master’s thesis (although my mom, the only person to read it besides the professor, thought it was wonderful).

Find a natural predator?  An anteater, maybe, or those bright green lizards that skitter across my porch?

I’ll come up with a plan, and then my clothes will stop shrinking.  Cowabunga!

Of course, I’ll be glad to share it on Friend for the Ride!

Graphic:  Thanks to That’s What That Means for announcing this important discovery.  Science continues to amaze me as we uncover the complexities of the universe.

Aging, Children

Guest Post: Grandma and Ma Rolled into One

A guest post by writer Ann Jacobus:

At the supermarket the other day, I read about Teen Moms and their latest trials in a tabloid. As I was missing my glasses, I could only decipher the headlines. A teen mom, I marveled as I yawned. Imagine having all that energy. But being a parent as a high school kid? Crikes.

Then I had to wonder, is it better to be a parent as a kid, or as a geezer?

It doesn’t matter. You have to be a parent whenever you’re a parent. And for some of my friends and family, again when your kids are teen moms.  By contrast, I had our youngest son when I was in my late thirties.  I’m really a mom and a grandma rolled into one.

I’m in good company, though. Many of the parents at my son’s middle school are my age or older, and their thirteen year-old is their eldest! For heaven’s sake, I also have some twenty-somethings. I’m an old hand at this. So to speak.

Some of these parents by the miracles of modern medicine are still having babies. Good luck with that, I say. Getting up in the middle of the night with an infant? I wouldn’t even be able to hear them.

Maybe these parents just look older.

Age has its advantages.  I’m more relaxed than I was with our older children. The youngest’s room is even messier than his siblings’ rooms were, which is saying a lot, and finally, I don’t care. No yelling, no grounding, certainly no cleaning. I just close the door and let the rodents fend for themselves.

Our son eats Skittles and store bought chocolate chip cookies before our frozen TV dinners, and I don’t blink.  Maybe I pour him a glass of Fanta. Maybe I join him! Then dinner conversation revolves around bad backs, Caribbean cruises, colonoscopies, and our son’s soccer schedule.  I’ve been a soccer mom for two flipping decades. Sure I’m relaxed. It’s called exhaustion.

Fortunately, our last child is a responsible kid. I guess someone has to be. Which may have everything or nothing to do with our laissez-faire parenting.  He does his homework by himself, because I decided the moment he was born to never help him, after being humiliated with his siblings over their math workbooks. I do occasionally bring him a cup of hot cocoa and some prunes.

We like all our kids, but we’re enjoying this last child in a special way. The truth is, as tired and scattered as I felt sometimes with our older kids, as much as I looked forward to the time they would strike out on their own, and when I would have more time for myself, I miss them a lot.

 We’ve forestalled empty-nestedness! We still have someone else to talk to! His activities get us out. Best of all, he can read small print for me when I can’t find my glasses.

Ann Jacobus lives in San Francisco with her family, where she writes YA and middle grade fiction, blogs regularly at, and listens to 80’s music on her Walkman. Learn more about Ann at her website,

Photo Above is Ann’s youngest at age seven, proud of a second lost tooth.  Photo Below is Ann.

 Photo credit:  Sonya Sones

Aging, Life

The Messy Paintbox and the Second Blooming

Remember the disappointment when your paintbox got messy?  The brush and the water mixed up the colors.

Remember the sadness when the seat of your swimsuit wasn’t smooth any more?  The side of the pool picked at the fabric.

Remember the shock when your shiny bike rusted?   The rain and the air played nasty weather games.

Remember the year  you realized you were getting old?  Father Time finally said,” Gotcha!”

Were you thirty-five?  Forty?  Forty-five?  Fifty?  Later?

Lovely watercolors from the messy paints.

Gorgeous strokes despite the picks in the suit.

Miles of happy pedaling on the rusty bike.

Dame Agatha Christie wrote, “I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes… at the age of fifty, say… a whole new life has opened before you.”

Enjoy the second blooming.  Some jolly times ahead!

Menopause, Midlife

Those Intent Teddy Bear Eyes

I took this photo because last year, I decided to start a teddy bear blog.  It’s still in my plans, but in the meantime, I have a picture of  three handsome bears.

Theodore is the yellow bear on the left.  He went to Duke with my mom in the forties.

Sadly, the other bears, who are younger, don’t have names yet.  The girl bear is wearing a vintage Shirley Temple dress, but somehow “Shirley” isn’t hitting me  for her name.  I’ll keep pondering.  Send your suggestions!

Anyway, I thought you might like to see the picture. In order to post it on Friend for the Ride, I needed to figure out a what teddy bears might teach us about menopause or midlife.  The two bear boys shouted, “Absolutely not!” to menopause talk, so I stuck to the subject of midlife.

In thinking of the true character of teddy bears, what strikes me most is their determined, intent expressions.  They know their minds.  They are happy with who they are.  Wishy-washy is not in their bear vocabulary.  Even Pooh, a somewhat bumbling bear at times, is, all in all, content with his life–his friends, his love for honey, his poetry, his world in the Hundred Acre Wood.

I’ve decided the eyes on my teddy bears are saying,  “This is the honeypot.  Don’t wait for a new one to swarm into your world and sweeten everything up a notch.  Live life now, lady.  We mean it!”

What about you?  Go get your teddy bear right now.

(Pause while you get your bear.)

Now look into those expressive eyes.  What are they telling you?

Below are the original Pooh animals.  They live in the New York Public Library.  Standing in front of the showcase and seeing these beloved characters was one of the most exciting moments in the life of this writer of children’s books.  I’m positive.  As positive as the eyes on a teddy bear.

And here are the eyes of Alan Alexander Milne, the brilliant mind behind Winnie the Pooh.  I found the picture on Goodreadsa way cool literary site.