Sambrosa Nighttime Syrup: Free Samples!


Sleeping troubles? Here’s a post and a free sample offer from Sambrosa Care. This product, first created for a good night’s rest and allergy sufferers, is proving helpful to menopausal women:

Sambrosa nighttime syrup is non-gmo and it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup. Instead Sambrosa contains real honey, a small dosage of doxylamine and organic herbs. It stimulates a good nights rest and relieves nighttime allergy symptoms and cough.

Sambrosa is available in a 4 oz bottle and as a convenient travel package for 3 nights.

About us

The story of Sambrosa began in a small town in the Netherlands. A homeopathist, with a pharmaceutical background, started seeing a trend in her practice that people were having trouble sleeping due to allergies. The idea was to create a product that offered a healthier alternative for nighttime relief to what was on the market but still deliver the same benefits of a good night’s sleep. The formulation she developed is the same product which is used today. Starting with real honey and organic herbs combined with the active ingredient doxylamine to deliver a healthier alternative to sweet dreams.


Honey is quite amazing in its taste and in its countless health benefits; it is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants.


Aniseed Oil offers many curative properties including as an antiseptic, expectorant, and sedative.

Passionflower is used by the ancient Aztecs as a sedative and pain reliever. Also used today for its ability help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Thyme helps to calm a cough and has been used to sooth nerves and in the treatment of respiratory ailments.

California Poppy is used as a remedy to reduce stress, a useful herb for the nervous system.

Tracaganth is typically is used as an essential binding agent, a natural alternative to synthetic agents.


Eucalyptus is known for its aroma, but also for its pharmaceutical, and antiseptic uses. Eucalyptus oil may also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.


Hops is used for its aromaticum but is also believed to benefit conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. Hops also contains natural estrogen which can help relieve symptoms of menopause.

Free Samples: Sambrosa is offering free samples! Simply email your address to The first 50 responses will receive a sample. In US only. Thanks!

You can buy Sambrosa on Amazon here or on their website here.



Three Cheers for Menopause Beer!


My friend Claire sent me an article about a brand new beer from the Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Hooray for Libeeration, the first craft beer for menopausal women! Here’s the  article Claire sent, posted by permission of Joanne Francis, co-owner at Portsmouth:

Introducing LIBEERATION – an empowering gruit, the first craft beer brewed for menopausal women – it’s high time this overlooked demographic gets some attention!


LIBEERATION was designed specifically for women experiencing menopausal symptoms and to celebrate the liberating aspects of this stage of life. In a heavily male dominated industry, this is a breakthrough, says The Portsmouth Brewery Co-owner Joanne Francis. “It’s taken years to bring this idea to market.

After consulting with women health practitioners and herbalists, our team came up with ingredients believed to relieve symptoms like sleeplessness, hot flashes, and mood swings. And, we want to shift the mentality from focusing on the negative aspects of this stage in life, to celebrating the liberating aspects! Fun, crazy, wildly different: that was our goal to reach women who truly know what it means to be hot!”


Joanne Francis is Creative Director and co-owns The Portsmouth Brewery and Smuttynose Brewing Company with her longtime partner, Peter Egelston, together brewing craft beer for 26 years.

Francis says when she first floated the idea of a brew for menopausal women six years ago, the reaction from her staff was nothing short of disgust and horror. Often the only woman in the room in an industry dominated by men and focused on selling to 21 to 35 year-old male consumers, Francis says she didn’t give up, enlisting the expertise of Head Brewer Matt Gallagher.

Says Francis, “Let’s take the needle off the record.  A whole world of women love craft beer and many more will discover it.  For new consumers, this could be an awakening. But remember, many of us have been enjoying craft beer since the whole movement began in the mid-80s. We have purchasing power and we deserve this empowering elixir!”


LIBEERATION is a unique gruit style ale that’s golden straw in color with fruity, spicy, earthy flavors. It contains a combination of ingredients herbalists use to help women dealing with hormone shifts that come with age, including: Motherwort, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Stinging Nettle, Mugwort, Rose, Chickweed, and Damiana.

A small dose of Saphir hops in the secondary fermentation adds a pleasant tangerine note to the finish and can help with sleep, according to Head Brewer Matt Gallagher. Says Gallagher, “I’ve always been intrigued with the concept of this beer, but it was only after having a daughter and beginning to view the world differently that I felt the importance of putting this ale on the front burner. This has been an amazing collaborative process and so much fun to work with a group committed to offering women something new and delicious.”

Me again: I’ve had a great time corresponding with Joanne. She wrote that the first batch of Libeeration sold out within two weeks, which is super fast. A new batch is brewing! (and will be finished in a month).

Bottom Photo: Joanne and Matt in the brewhouse.


Last Will and Testament: Signed and Done!

We did it! We finally updated our wills. And we had a wonderful time. For real. Why did we have such a happy and meaningful experience talking about dying?

We’ve been putting this off forever, so signing those suckers felt like a great accomplishment.

Our young lawyer, Shirley Dieffenbach, is whippersnapper sharp, witty, and fun to be around.

The law office was a pleasant place to be. They even brought me a coke one afternoon. A really cold coke.

And since their name is Walker Lambe, they display some eye-catching art.

On any given day, I can get sad, scared, or just plain creeped out when I think about dying. The thought can send me to a very dark place.

But creating a will felt like a great celebration of my life.

Deciding where my money should go gave me a chance to dig deep and think about those I love. And deciding on charitable legacies helped me ponder my beliefs as to what is important in this world.

Making choices on the kind of death I’d like to have made me hopeful that I can go peacefully.

I was so delighted when we finally signed the documents that I took a picture of the pen

and a picture of Cliff signing his.

The day after we signed our wills, we left on a snowbird trip to Cabo, Mexico. Day of the Dead stuff is everywhere.



I drank margaritas next to these lovely ladies knowing that when my time comes, my will is finally in place.

And until then, I’m going to do my best to whoop it up.

What about you? How did you feel writing your will?


Goodbye Period: Five Reasons I’m Happy and Five Reasons I’m Sad

Date of my most recent period?

2007, I think.

Nothing like filling out the form at your gynecologist’s office to make  you realize your period days really are over.

When you’re in the midst of periods, you think it’s going to be fabulous to be done.

But to my surprise, I found some bittersweet elements to being finished with periods.

And I’m delighted that Period! Magazine published my reflections. Read my article, “Goodbye Period! Five Reasons I’m Happy and Five Reasons I’m sad” right here.

Here’s the Dutch version. Very exciting to have my words translated.

What about you? If you’re finished, do you miss your period at all?

If not, can you even imagine missing your period?

And from our friends at Slumber Cloud, some herbal ideas and tea recipes for those in perimenopause and those in menopause.


The Ladies Room Doors of Italy: Part Three


Cliff and I planned three nights in Rome at the end of the trip since we were flying home from the Rome airport. We thought we might be worn out by the time we got there. We weren’t! We loved Rome!

And I found great doors at our first Roman cafe. We sipped wine as we faced the Pantheon.

The ladies room is at the top of the post. His below:

I wondered if we’d find red-checked tablecloths in Italy, and we did.

Loved our room. Red certainly seems to be the color of Rome.

We took an official tour of the Colosseum

Where I found this kitty pondering life in ancient times.

Loved the Forum. I had no idea it covered such a large area. Acres of old, old, old buildings.

Now for some more bathroom signs. I bumped into this lady at the Ristorante Il Mirragio

And this hand-painted sign pointing the way.


This photo is a bit hard to decipher, but this door leads to the ladies room at the Vatican.

I loved seeing the Vatican. Definitely a bucket list experience. The map room is gorgeous.

And I was mesmerized by St. Peter’s Basilica.

As a child in 1965, I saw the Pieta at the New York World’s Fair. What joy to see her again, in her own home.

Photography is forbidden in the Sistine Ceiling. We were given serious warnings, so I didn’t dare.

We don’t see many nuns in North Carolina, but you do at the Vatican. Loved this shot of a nun on her cell phone. The times they have changed. Sister Power!


Here’s the bathroom door at the Ristorante L’Arcano. I’m not exactly sure what the sign  below means.

And I’m not sure where I found this one:

Or this one:


This elegantly dressed lady lives on the door of the Trattoria Romano

Where we got delicious pizza. I never tired of the pasta. Cliff never tired of the pizza.


On our last night in Rome, we toasted the trip with bubbly.

From antipasto to dessert, we went overboard at that last supper.

Loved our table under the stars.


I snapped my final ladies room door of the trip at the airport. Not sure what the green spongy stuff is supposed to represent.

And these sinks were way cool. You just touched the symbol for water, soap, or air.

My Pinocchio now lives on my kitchen shelf, and reminds me of a wonderful vacation.


Mae and Cleo Moisturizers: Info and a Giveaway!


Here’s some info and a giveaway from the folks at Damiva:

Damiva was founded by Chia Chia Sun, a cancer geneticist and epidemiologist from Toronto. Several years ago, while doing a large cancer study, she was struck by how the women were experiencing all the  symptoms of menopause; further research taught her that there weren’t good products on the market that were safe and effective over the long term, so she and her partner developed their own.

Damiva products are made by women for women; they are all-natural, chemical- and hormone-free, and are safe for women to use for 30 or more years. They consist of Mae, a vaginal moisturizer suppository, and Cleo, a labial moisturizer cream; both are designed to relieve symptoms like dryness, painful or uncomfortable intercourse, recurring vaginal infections, etc. that, as you know, can come with menopause and perimenopause, or can be a result of cancer treatment or from taking certain medication regimens (like antidepressants, allergy medications & antihistamines, etc.).


The mission of Damiva is not only to give women the healthy and safe products they need as they age, but also to help overcome or put aside the taboos and stigmas that stop women from talking about, asking about, learning about, and taking charge of their health as they age. She writes: “We now spend half our lives after the age of 40 in peri-menopause and menopause. It’s time for women to start thinking about their pelvic health as early as in our 30s.”

We want the years over 40 to be the best years of a woman’s life.  And we want all women to have a happy and healthy vajayjay!  So Damiva uses cheeky humor to help women feel less shy talking about issues such as dryness, irritability, painful intercourse, etc.; the company slogan is “Enough beating around the bush – let’s talk about your vagina.”

The products are currently available in Target,, CVS, and, as well as on the Damiva website.

Giveaway: Damiva is offering a box of Mae and a box of Cleo to one Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by October 31. Thanks!


Menopause Tips for Fairy Godmothers

I was digging through some old computer files and found these tips I wrote for an on-line interview. I can’t remember who asked me to write them or if they were ever posted. but I like them. Here they are:

Tip Number One: Embrace the change! Menopause makes you bolder. Go for it. Try a new hobby, ditch a mean friend, paint your living room a happy color, change up your clothing style, and/or find engaging volunteer work or a brand new job.

Tip Number Two: Be prepared for funky moods. The roller coaster emotions can swoop you up and back down again in minutes. Let family and friends know you’re on a wild ride. They can help you best if they understand that menopause is the cause of your moodiness.

Tip Number Three: Watch the calories. Give into the cravings just enough to calm them, but don’t go overboard. Experiment to find an exercise plan you can stick to. If it’s more fun than work, it’s the right plan for you.

Tip Number Four: Don’t panic when your libido takes a nose dive. Spontaneity is overrated. Make a date for romantic sex and keep the commitment. You’ll be amazed at how your gusto comes back once you get going.

Tip Number Five: Refrain from being overly self-critical. Instead, spoil yourself. Treat yourself. Forgive yourself.  Honor yourself. Become your own fairy godmother!

When I reread these tips last week, I realized how much I love the expression “Be your own fairy godmother.” I was thinking I was oh-so-creative to come up with it. Then I googled and saw others use the expression too, so I suspect I read it somewhere, and it’s not original. No matter who came up with the concept, it’s a great one.

That’s me as my own fairy godmother in the painting above. Now it’s your turn. Draw or paint yourself as your OWN fairy godmother. Post it where you will see it every day. Wave that wand right in your own direction, reread Tip Number Five, and then sail into action.