Shower Door Messages and the Key to the Good Life

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This is the view through my shower door. Just what you wanted to see! You’re looking out to a window and a light to the right over the sink. The other day, I looked not through the door but at the door. I saw the word:


“Joy” written in shower drips. “Look again,” I said to myself. I saw:


I kid you not. I had to squinch my eyes to see “happy,” but it was there.

I’ve never seen words in shower drips before and have yet to find any since. I don’t know if my mind or eyes or heart or brain was playing tricks, but I’ll take those signs of joy and happiness.

This brings me to the finest TED Talk I’ve watched. It’s based on a 75 year Harvard study of life. Promise me you’ll watch to learn the secrets to joy and happiness, which perhaps you’ve known all along. Thank you, Robert Waldinger.

Hot Flashes, Menopause

Beat the Heat in Style with Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace: A Giveaway!


A post by Sam White, inventor of the Nano-IceCooling Necklace:

Let me share my short personal story. I spent many years living in India deploying a new cold-storage technology to enable dairy farmers to chill their milk at their villages without diesel generators (you can see more details in this TEDx)

I recently moved back to Boston to get married. My wife started to get hot flashes during pregnancy, so I adapted what I learned in India and invented a freezer-charged Cooling Necklace. It’s a way for you to cool the blood flowing through the arteries of your neck. This provides remarkable cooling effects for people who suffer from menopause, as you can see from the testimonial below.  More importantly, I hired a designer so my wife would feel comfortable wearing a beautiful necklace in public while getting hours of cooling relief. I sincerely hope you do too.  You can see more at


The Problem with menopause: Hot flashes come and go with menopause. Overheating can cause tremendous discomfort at any moment. The only alternative is a wet absorbent towel or a cumbersome cooling vest.

The beautiful Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace is a fashionable way to provide constant cooling of the blood flowing to the brain via neck arteries. It’s filled with uniquely dense ice that is placed in a freezer and can then provide cooling relief for over 2 hours.

Blue Necklace

Hear how Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace is providing relief from Lea’s hot flashes:


Giveaway: Nano-Ice is offering a necklace to one lucky Friend for the Ride winner. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by March 15. Thanks, Nano-Ice!

Questions: Sam would love to hear from you! Please email him: Sam at

Sam White co-founded Promethean Power Systems in 2007 after winning 2nd place at the MIT$100k. Promethean Power developed a thermal storage technology that enables cold-storage of perishable foods without diesel generators where there is unreliable power.  The thermal storage technology is based on freezing and melting ice efficiently.  Today, for the first time in India’s history, this revolutionary battery is eliminating the need for diesel generators for over 150 villages when chilling milk.  During his journey with Promethean Power, Sam also co-founded Greentown Labs and Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace.

He is the recipient of a few awards such as the GE Ecomagination prize (2010); Boston Globe’s Innovator of the year (2011); NASA’s Launch Energy Innovators Fellows (2012) and World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer (2012).

Sam White

Nano Ice


The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Twenty


More enchanting doors in our Ladies Room Door Art Series!  Above, this woman, whose name I don’t know, graces the ladies room door at the Baltimore County Historical Society. Thanks to reader Claire for taking this shot.

And thanks to Claire for this ancient door at Dimitri’s International Grille, Catonsville, Maryland. Claire reports that this Greek restaurant’s best seller is sauerbraten!


I snapped these inspiring words reflecting into the mirror at the ladies room at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Moma Mirror

This old sign hangs on a unisex door at a small Italian restaurant in Manhattan, whose name, sadly, I never took in.


Here’s a similar door sent by a friend of reader Miriam. Her friend found the door at an old-fashioned farm but reports seeing actual signs like this when she was a little girl. I recall my Mom handing me dimes to get into a stall. Anybody else remember the pay toilets of yesterday?


Although Cliff was under-impressed with the food at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was delighted with this figure outside the ladies room.


And these shiny stall doors.

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From reader Carol, Roma’s Restaurant in Ocala, Florida.

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Reader Susan found this unisex kitty door on the FB page of the Mason de Moggy, Scotland’s only cafe for cats.


From Ken, who led our trip on the Moselle River, a unisex door in a trattoria near the Trevino Fountain in Rome.


And another unisex bathroom in Palazzo Massimo, Rome. Ken also sent me this link to some wacky toilets.


Reader Steff found this sign in Barcelona, Spain. I wrote back and asked where, exactly, in Barcelona she found it. She replied, “I was afraid you’d ask: The Museum of Erotica.” Ha! I’m not surprised. This is the boldest bathroom door I’ve yet to see!


Happy tinkling, everyone!



Menopause Moods and a Radiant Being


I hit the Huff Post! They picked up a piece I wrote for EmpowerHer: “Five Thing I Wish My Husband Knew about Menopause.” Thousands of hits! A first for this blogger. Here’s the Huff Post link.

As I wrote the article, I uncovered a concept I’d never considered. Here’s what I wrote:

Speak Up! On days when I seemed extra grumpy or I snapped at Cliff for a minor offense, I wish he’d told me, gently, how this made him feel. In “A Men’s Guide to Menopause,” Dr. Pepper Schwartz writes: “While your role is to be supportive, don’t resign yourself to being her punching bag. If you feel she’s acting very unreasonably, tell her how you feel and how her actions affect you. Be specific.” Had I known what a grump I was on occasion, I could have worked harder to temper my behavior.

Truly, during all those years of PMS and menopausal moodiness, I never thought to ask Cliff: How is this affecting you? What can we do together to improve my mood so both of us are happy (not just me)? Same thinking applies to other family members and friends.

For those of you still dealing with menopausal moodiness, do ponder!

And speaking of moods, look what Cliff bought me from local artist Arianna Bara.


Arianna, who is  a designer metalsmith, calls her “Radiant Being.” My Radiant Being is made from gems that influence moods. Arianna explained that Radiant Being’s body is Crazy Lace Agate,which attracts strength and brings good dreams. Her head is formed from Honey Jade, which is a stone of emotional balance.

Is Radiant Being helping my mood? I suspect so, but mostly, perhaps, because she’s so beautiful and so much fun to wear.

Admire more of Arianna’s lovely pieces below, read her artist’s statement, and see a photo of her I took at the Hillsborough Gallery of Art. To learn more about Arianna’s work, check out her website here.








Artist’s Statement: I am a metalsmith because I enjoy creating objects of delicacy and smoothness from hard and seemingly unyielding materials of the earth. My creative spirit is moved by nature, and nature’s simplest forms are my inspiration. I work in sterling silver using free-form stones, fossils, and gemstones, creating unique combinations of color and texture that make each piece one-of-a-kind. The vibrant blending of lace agate, the glitter of druzy crystals, the flash of  labradorite that hints of the Northern Lights: these features of stones engage and excite me.



Tampons for Screening Endometrial Cancer



Endometrial cancer, which I had surgery for in July, 2014, is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs. The cure rate is very high if caught early, but there’s no early detection test.

Good news! That test is on the way. And it involves our old friends: tampons.

The Mayo Clinic reports: “Researchers at Mayo Clinic have shown that it is possible to detect endometrial cancer using tumor DNA picked up by ordinary tampons. The new approach specifically examines DNA samples from vaginal secretions for the presence of chemical “off” switches — known as methylation — that can disable genes that normally keep cancer in check.”

Read the rest of the article here.

And watch this short presentation by one of the researchers.

I don’t have any more details on the test such as the false positive or false negative rates or the cost, but let’s hope the research is right and the test proves a good one. Talk about being rescued by a tampon!


No Sweat Sheets! A Giveaway from Perfect Linens



A post and a giveaway from Perfect Linens: 

Night sweats and hot flashes are a telltale sign of menopause.  The annoying symptoms don’t stop when you’re sleeping — you’re uncomfortable both day and night!

If you awake in the middle of the night dripping with sweat, can help!  Their triple-patented “No Sweat!” sheets dispel perspiration far faster than cotton, leaving you feeling dry and comfortable.  Research proves “No Sweat!” sheets increase sleep duration dramatically.

“No Sweat!” sheets also have a soil/oil release and anti-microbial finish — perfect if you use lotions, creams or ointments at night.

At, each product is scientifically evaluated for exceptional comfort.  “No Sweat!” sheets ranked highest for smoothness, especially after multiple laundering. They are superior to all other moisture wicking sheets they’ve tested.

Your personal comfort is just that – personal!  We all have that special sheet that makes us feel oh so comfy, and there’s finally a sheets company that gets it!

Perfect Linens Website:  Learn more about the linens here.


Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of “No Sweat!” pillowcases, simply enter a comment by March 1. Thanks, Perfect Linens!

Discount Code:  Use discount code Friend15 to enjoy a 15% discount on “No Sweat!” sheets or to purchase other exceptionally comfortable sheets.


Before I Die: Sink Hair!




I snapped this photo while visiting daughter Laura and son-in-law Matt in Dallas. Texas has the best beer gardens. At this one, folks take turn filling in the blanks. From the looks of the crowd, I suspect these answers were chalked in by beer drinkers a lot younger than I am. I bet they contemplated their bucket lists with a much airier attitude than we older folks do.

But this post isn’t  about my bucket list. It’s about coming to terms with dying. Who’s working on it?


My mother’s death, and the great courage she showed, gives me the guts to really contemplate my earthly mortality. The experts promise that accepting death helps us live the rest of our years with gratitude and gusto. Want to ponder this more? Read this article from the New York Times.

For me, one aspect is finally realizing I can’t control much of what happens after I die (because I’m dead.) Who takes my dolls and my grandmother’s china? How many years (or months!) until Cliff remarries? Will anyone remember (or keep) my published books?

What I cared about at forty, I can now let go.

But the other day we had friends coming over. I realized at the last minute that I had NOT gone over the bathroom. Yucky hair festooned the sink. My hair.

What if I weren’t here to clean the sink? What if I were dead and people came to pay their condolences to Cliff and the sink looked like it did last Friday night?

I don’t care if there are clothes piled on the chair in the hall. I don’t care if there are dishes in the sink. I don’t care if there are shoes by the back door.

Do I care about sink hair?


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I told Cliff NOT to let anyone into the house until he has checked the sink. The sponge and cleaner are underneath. The picture above (which also shows my new monogrammed soap dispenser) demonstrates how I want the sink to look.

Cliff said okay. What a man! I hope he finds an adorable second wife.

I’m not ready to die yet, but I’m one mini-step closer now that I know my sink’s appearance is secured.

How about you?

What have you let go?

What do you still worry/care about after you die?