A Coloring Book About Menopause! (And a Giveaway)


A post by Avaeh Kirstopher, creator of a coloring book about one of our very favorite topics: Menopause! Take it away Avaeh, and thank you!

I am Avaeh Kristopher, a woman in my 50s who has loved animals and creating art all my life. I finally decided to create a book about menopause since it’s something I went through a few years ago.

Why? To maybe help people laugh a little bit about it and feel better about themselves through the art of coloring.

I chose bright colors for the cover because typically when people think about menopause, they don’t tend to think bright colors and fun things. They tend to think just the opposite, so I hope this coloring book will change that perception just a bit.

And I hope the sayings and the drawings and all the art inside help make your readers laugh a little bit and maybe even change their mindset some about menopause because, hey, we’re all going to go through it whether we want to or not – may as well have a good time doing it, right?

Giveaway: Avaeh is giving a copy of her coloring book to one lucky Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by November 25. Thanks!

Amazon Link: Here’s how you can buy a copy for yourself and copies for friends. What a great girlfriend birthday present or hostess gift.

Avaeh tells us more about herself:  I’ve led many lives while here on this planet – child, friend, partner, parent – but I’ve always been an artist too. As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to draw, craft and sketch, have always had pets and love being in the great outdoors. My friends call me a hippie and that’s okay with me – I take it as a great compliment. I am definitely not the conventional or corporate type – I am much more of a free spirit who enjoys a good joke, colorful language and insightful conversations over high heels and the newest trends in fashion. Give me a tee shirt, jeans and some comfortable shoes any day over all of that and I’ll be as happy as can be. Now I guess I can add author to my list too. I hope you enjoy my new coloring book – hopefully the first of many to come.



My Cancer Story: Check Up and Doctor Talk


For those of you new to the blog, I had surgery for endometrial cancer three years ago. I now go for checkups every six months. I’m always nervous beforehand, and thus far (knock on wood), elated afterwards.

Hooray! Another good check up. Phew.

I see the oncologist once a year and the gynecologist once a year. This was a gyno visit. I was sad to learn two weeks before my appointment that the doctor who diagnosed my cancer and treated me with great kindness had suddenly retired.

And I was very happy to find out that Dr. Martinelli, my new gynecologist, is upbeat and easy to talk to. In fact, she’s so easy to talk to that we got into the topic of menopausal S-E-X. Dr. Martinelli is a strong advocate for the use of vibrators. Here’s a good article on the topic if you want to read more

And… ta da!  Chapel Hill OB-GYN bought brand new gowns. I’m sporting one in the selfies above and below.

A vibrant new doctor and crisp new gowns are my kind of cancer news.

What about you? Any suggestions for finding a doc that you can really talk to? Mine is young, and I was pleased that despite her youth, she seems attuned to the concerns of a menopausal patient.

(And I didn’t mean to double post this morning. My morning blurry eyes read the dates wrong in wordpress.)


A Mug Giveaway from Kiss Me Organics


download (1)

Confirmed tea drinker here! So I am delighted to offer a giveaway from our friends at Kiss Me Organics. Here’s what they want you to know about their cool new mug that steeps and strains tea:

This ceramic tea mug is part of the Essentials by Kiss Me Organics accessory line, and it’s been carefully crafted to keep your cups of tea nice and hot. Steep & Strain is available in 5 gorgeous patterns and it features:

​​​​​​​*Stainless steel strainer with ultra fine mesh ideal for fine loose leaf teas
​​​​​​​*Thermo double wall to keep your tea hot and your hands comfortable
​​​​​​​*Ceramic lid to keep the heat in while steeping
​​​​​​​*Silicone lid for taking your tea on the go

PLUS, our Ceramic Mug is completely BPA-free and contains no plastics, so it won’t transfer unpleasant flavors or harmful chemicals to your hot beverages.

Check out our 5 gorgeous designs below:


Giveaway: Kiss Me Organics is giving a mug to one lucky Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, click here to see the mug on Amazon and add it to your wishlist. Then post a comment on Friend for the Ride. Contest ends December 15. Thanks!


Retirement: Having Fun Yet?


A post about retirement by my friend Gail Crane:

Many of us are retired now.  Are you having fun yet?  It took a while to adjust to being retired.  At first it was great to be able to stay up late.  And best of all to sleep in, stay in your PJ’s, and relax with that hot cup of tea or coffee before rushing off to start your day.  There were lots of projects to be done that had been put off for months or even years.  And meeting friends for lunch and to catch up—such fun!

But time went on, and there were many days of feeling bored, lonely and even without direction or purpose.  Have you been there?

My long-time friend, Barbara, kept suggesting we take an acrylic painting class at the senior center.  I was reluctant as all those paints, brushes, etc. are expensive.  And what if I didn’t like it after spending all that money?  But we finally decided to give it a try and fun, fun, fun!  I am so enjoying it, and so is Barbara. I am learning new skills, exercising my creativity, producing art work to hang on my walls, and meeting  people in the process.   I am  glad I tried something new.


Then the opportunity came along for me to get a snazzy two seater sports car.  I have always wanted to have one, but my practical side always won out.  However, at the urging of my husband, I agreed that it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.  And again—fun, fun, fun!   Driving around with the top down, with family and friends, going for ice cream and letting our hair blow in the wind!

My younger brother retired two months before I did.  We often talk about retirement and how we want to spend our time.  He always says to let go, get busy and do those things you have always wanted to do.  So try some new hobbies, meet new people, travel and just have fun while you can.  Life is short!

Enjoy retirement!

Love, Sweat and Tears: Keeping Romance Alive After Menopause: A DVD Giveaway!



A topic of topics: S-E-X!

Who doesn’t like a film with some good sex? And this one focuses on the menopausal woman. Yes!

Here’s what the the producers say about Love, Sweat and Tears:

Filled with humor, insight, and important medical information, LOVE, SWEAT & TEARS follows Dr. Pamela Dee Gaudry, “America’s Menopause Romance Doctor,” as she guides women through the isolation, fear, and confusion of this phase of life to become happier and healthier.

This essential documentary includes interviews with renowned medical experts, comedians like Joan Rivers in her last screen appearance, and spiritual leaders such as Dr. Michael Beckwith, as well as Jenny McCarthy, Craig Shoemaker, and Lynne Koplitz. On a mission to de-stigmatize menopause, Dr. Pam takes a sex-positive approach, encouraging women to keep romance alive and enjoy intimacy long after the flow is gone.

Read all about Love, Sweat and Tears on the official website here.

Watch the trailer!

Giveaway: The producers are giving away DVD copies of the film to FIVE lucky Friend for the Ride readers. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by December 5.

Amazon Link:  If you don’t win the DVD giveaway, you can rent or purchase the film here.



Bee Friendly Vaginal Lubricant and Moisturizer: A Giveaway!


Here’s the buzz and a giveaway from our friends at Bee Friendly: 

Bee Friendly has developed an organic vaginal moisturizer and personal lubricant based mainly on natural beeswax.

As with most Bee Friendly products, it is USDA certified organic, which means there are no harsh chemicals added at any point during the production of the cream. It is designed to provide moisture to the vaginal area, leaving it soothed and softened. Proven to reduce dryness, chafing, itching, irritation, and inflammation, it is the perfect product to use for any personal issues.



The ingredients are all natural and have been formulated to provide hydration and rejuvenation. It is particularly suitable for women who start to develop dryness due to breastfeeding or menopause, but can be used by any woman at any time. Because it is based on beeswax, it is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, which help restore balance to the healthy vaginal flora.

Giveaway: Bee Friendly is offering a jar of Bee Friendly Vaginal Moisturizer and Personal Lubricant to two lucky Friend for the Ride winners. For a chance to win, please enter a comment below or email me at the address to your right.  Contest ends on November 25.

Bee Friendly Skin Care writes this about their company: Bee Friendly was created by  friends who have a passion for natural and holistic beauty. We have been working together for a long time in order to bring a wide range of skin care products to the market that deliver a number of key benefits. First of all, BeeFriendly’s products are designed to give measurable results in terms of making people look better holistically. As a result, those who use the products have a greater opportunity to also feel better. After all, when we look good on the outside, we also feel better on the inside. Secondly, we wanted to make sure that our products do not cause any damage to nature. Not just that, we actually want to improve the world around us by using the awesome power of bees.

Learn even more on the Bee Friendly Skin Care website. Find Bee Friendly products on Amazon here.    





Reinvent. Change it up. Give up the old. Explore. Experiment. Do it a new way.

Yep. I agree. From the liberation of menopause comes the willingness to try new things. For me, that’s been a happy game changer.

But sometimes, I like to do things exactly as I always have. Just like my mother did. Sometimes, the joy of being me right now is being the same me I was thirty years ago. And that’s why I love to make applesauce.

I wash the apples. I let them drip off in a colander that belonged to my mother-in-law.


Then I slice them. I dump them into a Revereware pot I got as a shower gift.


I cook them on a stove that was old when we moved into this old house. Soon I see the the steam. I take in the slight aroma that whispers, “Fall…” I listen to the apple slices prancing about in the boiling water.

And when they are soft, I put them in the grinder. Not the same grinder my mom had but one that looks just like hers. I turn the handle. So simple. Applesauce plops out the bottom.


I add some sugar. Yes, sugar. Poor sugar with its bad rap. I add it anyway.

Than I taste. The flavor varies depending on the apples I use. Tart apples, “cooking apples” “as my mom called them, seem best.

The experience takes me back, way back.

And sometimes, that’s the most invigorating way to celebrate a brand new day.