Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Menopausal Confession About Confession: A Novel Plan



In the Presbyterian order of worship, a brief time is set  for silent confession.

A few years ago, those thirty seconds sparked in me a brilliant idea for a novel.


Suddenly, during the sacred silence, my main character, a woman, is empowered with the ability to read the minds of the congregation.

Mr. Bradford in the front row.

A visiting couple in the back.

The soprano in the choir.

The pastor.

The pastor’s wife.

The usher leaning against the door.

The nine-year-old reading the book hidden in his hymnal.

The teenagers slumping in the balcony.

Her own husband, whose shoulder touches hers in the pew.


She learns each and every sin confessed.

And my character is not known for her tact.


Troubles worse than the chaos on Noah’s Ark blow the lid off that church.

Nancy Kiehne Noah's Ark

Said novel has yet to be written, but I plan to, someday.

Until then, I’m going to confess my sin. To all of you. Right now.


For the last ten years or so, I’ve had the same sin EVERY WEEK.

How boring is that?

Here it is:

My sin is self-centeredness.

Not that I think  I’m so great or so important.

More that I beat up myself enough, worry about my own stuff so much that I don’t focus as I should on the needs of others.

A true sin. A sin of omission.

But last Sunday, a menopause angel hopped on my shoulder and said, “Barbara Younger, it’s time for  a different sin.”

And so I’ve decided, in honor of the reaching and creativity and new imaginings of the Great Pause, that I’m going to confess a new sin each week.

I won’t go out and intentionally sin  just so I have something dramatic for Sunday.

Rather, I’m going to be more mindful of  the variety of ways that I transgress against people and the Earth and God.

And list them, week by week.

Every week, a different sin.

Good plan?

Top Photo:  The bulletin on Sunday. My last time to confess the same sin.

Noah Photo: The watercolor was done by my mom, who is an artist.

Photo Below:  I’m going to use this toy church for inspiration as I write the novel. Oh the secrets that lurk inside. Just like the mighty walls of Jericho, those  old church walls are going be a tumbling down…

Wooden Church

Dr. Oz–Quick Take on Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones


Dr. Oz explains what those shifting hormones do in this short clip.

I found it especially interesting that he calls progesterone “The Valium of the brain.”   He says it’s the drop in progesterone levels that causes menopausal grumpiness.

His suggestion for the woes of menopause?  Bioidentical hormones, which I hope to have a guest post about before long.  The newscaster, who certainly looks too young to be going through the Great Pause, takes them and loves them.

Dr. Oz reports that bioidentical hormones are concocted from yams.


How clever is that? Not only do they make great casseroles, but they’re a balm for menopause.

If you’ve had any experience with bioidenticals, do chime in. Thanks!

Wedding Update: What a Time to Love a Dress!


Laura and Kitty

The dress shopping is finished!  At least for the wedding day. Rehearsal dinner dresses yet to be selected. I promise a Mother of the Bride dress update soon.

Until then, in honor of the wedding shopping adventures of mothers and daughters everywhere, a poem, written by me:

What a time

To be a mom.

What a time

To love a dress.

Her dress,

My dress,

We chose them both


Just like playing dress ups


What a time,

Not so many years ago.

Laura and Mom

Photos: Laura posing in my wedding dress with kitty Edmund as the groom. And Laura and I celebrating a time when small prints must have been in vogue, about twenty (yikes!) years go.

Giveaway! The Reader’s Digest Diet Cookbook



The mother of the bride dress has been purchased!  Update to come…

But for this blogger, that means now is the time to take off these menopausal pounds.

Imagine my delight when Reader’s Digest offered to send me  a copy of The Digest Diet Cookbook. 


Along with an explanation of the popular fat releasing Digest Diet, the cookbook is filled with recipes that  don’t require a market full of ingredients and are simple to make.

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I whipped up the Yogurt Baked Chicken a few nights ago and was amazed at just how tender those chicken tenders were.  Cliff was impressed that the chicken was deliciously infused with the flavors of the marinade.

Lots more Diet Digest recipes on the docket!


The book’s editor, Liz Vaccariello, (above) writes a fitness blog, Loosing It with Liz.  Check it out here here.  Read more about the Digest Diet here.

Giveaway: Readers’s Digest is offering Friend for the Ride a giveaway!  Post a comment by February 4 saying you’d like to be the winner.  Winner will be selected at random.

Top PhotoThe Diet Digest Cookbook even features desserts such as Strawberry Cheesecake Moose, Papaya Tarts, Warm Three Berry Cream, and Chocolate-Glazed Espresso Nut Torte. That’s my kind of diet cooking!