The Bathroom Door Art Series: Part Three!

Bumble and Bumble

Bathroom doors!

What fun!

Especially these super cool doors at Bumble and Bumble in New York City.

Love the names above.

And below, note directions to Bumble’s unisex bathrooms.

Thanks to Jamie Brown, who works there, for the photos. Makes me think going to the ladies room at Bumble is an adventure!
Standing Sitting

And thanks to Candace Allen, for the photo of this lovely door at The World of Beer, Arlington, Virginia.


When we went to our niece Becky’s graduation, I spotted this sign leading to the ladies room at a Lone Star Steakhouse.

Longhorn steakhouse

And this bouncing door at   Beezer’s Bullpen Campus Canteen near the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

Womens Locker Room


As you travel this summer, keep our Ladies Room Door Art Series tiptop in your thoughts. Send me those photos!

Happy summer trails!

PS. Here’s the first post and  the second  post in the series, and the charming Door Lady I met at the park.



Estroven’s Summer Giveaway! Keep Cool!


Estroven is offering one Friend for the Ride reader their summer giveaway!

They wrote to us:

Menopause is already a tumultuous time for nearly half of women in the United States, and between hot flashes and night sweats, it can seem like an uphill battle to beat the heat: especially in the summer.

As the temperature rises, so do the number of beach days, and for these women, a trip to the beach could feel like a trip to the sauna.

This season, Estroven®, the safe multi-symptom menopause relief supplement, is helping women ditch the discomfort associated with menopause so they can feel good about bathing suit season, with “Beat the Heat with Estroven” Summer Survival Kits.

The kit includes a 50 ml. spray bottle, an ice sphere mold (perfect for fruit-infused refreshments), beach towels, sunscreen, a water bottle and a sample of Estroven’s newest product, Estroven Weight Management which helps provide relief for hot flashes, plus helps women manage their weight.*

For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by July 10. Sometimes, readers have trouble finding the link to comments. It’s at the bottom of the post, right here:



Thanks, Estroven! Neat kit. Love the colors!




Downsizing: The Cookbooks

Fanny Farmer


When one of my mom’s friends gave me the The Fannie Farmer Cookbook as a wedding shower gift, I couldn’t have imagined the Internet.

Any recipe you want, at your fingertips.

Hence, thirty years later, what to do with my ratty old cookbooks?

Fannie Farmer, above, is so worn that her cover is long gone. They’re only a few recipes inside that I love. My favorite  is Hot Milk Cake.

It’s so easy! I use it for cinnamon cake, the bottom of an English trifle, and strawberry shortcake. Yum!

I’ve made it so many times, the page is spotted with gunk.  (I’m not a very neat cook).

Hot Milk Cake

Cooked Cake


This time, I topped the shortcake with Reddi-wip, and served it to Cliff on our wedding china, which, unlike my cookbooks, looks brand new.


But back to my wedding cookbooks

I’ve got four of them, all shower gifts.

I wondered about cutting out favorite recipes and putting them into a single scrapbook. I’ve got about six favorite recipes in each book.

Do I dare?

And what about you?

Will you take your old cookbooks to your grave or are you ready to say farewell?


Fanny Farmer

Speaking of Reddi-wip!

I’ve been a buddy to Reddi-wip long before I became a bride. It’s made with real whipped cream, and one squirt is only fifteen calories.


Reddi-wip invites you to join their Berry Joyful Sweeps. Check it out here.

Now through July 7, 2014, you can share your everyday Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #BerryJoyfulSweeps hashtag for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2015 Watsonville Strawberry Festival, Reddi-wip coupons, or berry keepers.

For Fourth of July recipes and lots more, check out Reddi-wip recipes here.


I participated in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip. I received a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I’m not affiliated with Reddi-wip and don’t earn a commission or percent of sales.


Just Over Yonder: A Poem for Menopause and Other Times Too

Just Over Yonder

As I went through The Great Pause, I kept asking older women about it.

“Menopause? That was ages ago! I’ve forgotten,” they’d reply cheerfully.

Their responses were happy but not helpful.


Their forgetfulness inspired me to start this blog, so I could encourage others.

Yes, menopause, among other maladies, can bring on gloom and self-doubt.

But raise a glass to the tincture of time!

Sometimes, it takes patience. Ya just gotta wait.

A new you is sprouting!


I wrote this poem for my friend June Cotner. June, who’s the editor  of thirty anthologies and counting, sends out a call for submissions and that gets the words spinning. “Just Over Yonder” will appear in BACK TO JOY: Little Reminders to Help Us Through Tough Times  (October, 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing). Pre-orders of Back to Joy are available now.



Downsizing: The Nifty Thrifty


My daughters have let me know they don’t want to inherit  many of my collections.

“Someone else can enjoy them,” Kath suggested.

Let a stranger adopt my treasures? My buttons? My bookmarks? My dolls? My hat boxes?

I pondered as the words lingered. In time, I realized Kath is right.

The folks who eventually own my collections don’t have to be relatives. After all, those of us who love old things are part of the Old Things Family.

 I picked up the items you see at the Nifty Thrifty, the resale shop at Edenwald, my mom’s retirement community.

Residents bring in items they’re finished with, and families send items when a loved one dies.

The Nifty Thrifty is staffed by volunteers, and the money goes to Edenwald’s scholarship fund for the kids who work in the dining hall.

Every visit to Mom includes a jaunt to the Nifty Thrifty.

Note the sewing items for my sewing collection and pins for my jackets.

A nifty system!

What about you?

Do your kids want your collections?

If not, are you happy letting others take ownership?


Flying Up the Stairs: Menopausal Arthritis (and a Book Giveaway!)

Phyllis Two

A post by Phyllis Rickel-Wong, author of  Flying Up the Stairs!  What You Need to Know About Menopausal Arthritis to Break Free:

I am not quite sure when exactly the change happened.

No, not “The Change,” but rather the change in my body’s physical strength!

Right around menopause, though, my body was undergoing subtle changes that I was not aware of; hence, the reason that I did not take action then to correct them.

At one point in perimenopause, I had been walking for hours nearly each day (in an attempt to lose weight through the “calories in – calories out” rule).That is, any calories consumed by me such as a heaping plateful of spaghetti topped with bolognese sauce, I would then work off through a couple of intense hours of very fast walking.

This was precisely calculated to burn off my guilty culinary pleasures!

Well, the calories in – calories out equation didn’t work.

Not only did I not lose weight this way, but I also was not really exercising my body in a way that would bring strength to the muscles in my legs and feet, and knees and ankle joints. You might be wondering how can this be, and I’ll explain shortly.

It was sometime a few years later, right around menopause, when I began to discover that something was wrong.

I simply began to stumble and fall on more than one occasion without warning!

The last time this happened, I had turned around to enthusiastically wave goodbye to family as I descended a small sloping sidewalk. Turning front to continue walking to our car, I went instead careening through the air! I sailed right into their yard, and landed squarely in a hedge of rose bushes!

So, this brings me to the actual topic of my post, and that is “menopausal arthritis,” or the joint pain that is associated with the menopause!

It turns out that the supportive athletic shoes and the incredibly comfortable clogs that I was wearing didn’t allow my muscles to really work! Weakened muscles led to a gait that produced knee pain, and what I thought was arthritis! Also, my inability to lose weight, was related to a changed metabolism that is actually associated with developing osteoarthritis!

My husband, a martial arts master, developed a program of exercises to strengthen my muscles and tendons, and I began to use many anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and supplements.

After healing from my own “menopausal arthritis” (and, indeed achieving a body strong enough to “fly up the stairs!”) I wrote my book so that others might not have to go through what I had in menopause and after. I hope that if you are experiencing joint pain associated with the menopause that my book will help you become pain-free!


GIVEAWAY: Phyllis has kindly offered one Friend for the Ride reader a copy of her book, Flying Up the Stairs! What You Need to Know About Menopausal Arthritis to Break Free. For a chance to win, enter a comment by June 30. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!

Phyllis Rickel-Wong is a researcher and writer in the fields of health, medicine, and psychology. She has a long-standing interest in alternative and complementary medicine, and more recently, integrative medicine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, and her Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University.

Ms. Rickel-Wong is currently writing a series of books to address physical and psychological health in menopause, of which “Flying Up the Stairs!” is her first. Through her work base and company, Transforming Menopause, Inc. in San Ramon, CA, she hopes to help women transform the experience of menopause into a “Welcomed Change!”

Photo of Phyllis: The photo credit goes to Herb Wong (Phyllis’ s husband) who had to assume a somewhat “supine” position in the landing of the Walnut Creek Library’s stairs to compensate for their lack of a sophisticated camera lens that would have rendered him a whole lot less amusing to library  patrons.



Bathroom Doors: I Found it in the Park One Day



What I needed:  A bathroom door for my Ladies Room Door Art Series.

What kind of door:  An ordinary one.

My point:  A ladies room door, when you’re desperate, is always beautiful, no matter how ordinary.

The place:  Our local park.

What I saw:  A door with a plain Jane lady. The lady you see on doors everywhere.

What I did:  Whipped out my phone and took the above picture of that boring park door. The day was early, without much sun.

At home:  An hour later, I uploaded the photo to my computer.

I blinked.

Look at that sweet face.

A bit of vandalism turned into art  in the park!

Thank you mysterious park artist. You made my day.

The message:  Look closely! Wit and whimsy abound.

Tiny Face

Here’s the first post and  the second  post in the series. Keep sending in those photos. Post Number Three coming soon.

Giveaway Winners!

Congrats to Wendy, who won Engarde: My battle with Breast Cancer by Ronnie Hammer.

To Judy, who won The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler.

To Diane,who won the Matcha Green Tea Giveaway.

To Sara, who won Feathers and Trumpets: A Story of Hildegard of Bingen by Joye Ray.

And to Carol, who won Soar, by June Cotner.