Sail On, Silver Girls…

I painted the woman above in my acrylics class. I can’t claim her as original. I found her online. My teacher encourages us to copy in order to study the techniques of accomplished artists.

My classmate, Nancy, brought in cool silver paint, so I changed the woman’s skin color to silver. I wanted her to represent any ethnicity. While I was touching up her hands, the song flashed into my head. You know:

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

That’s when I named my painting Silver Girl.

Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Trouble Waters came out when I was 16. From then on, whenever I heard the words “silver girl,” I wanted to be one. How wonderful! I hoped a relationship or an accomplishment would turn me into a silver girl just like the girl in the song.

But I never felt all the way like a silver girl.

Finally, about two years ago, I got it. You have to make yourself your own silver girl. How freeing is that?

Tony works at Postal Connections in Hillsborough. His super duper printer creates great color copies. As he handed me the copy that would become Silver Girl, he said, “I really like this one.” So when Silver Girl was finished, I gave her to Tony.

“Mrs. World,” Tony announces when I walk into Postal Connections. I’m not sure what it means, but Tony says it’s a high compliment. I suspect there are lots of Mrs. Worlds who come into Postal Connections.

So even if it’s my job to become my owns silver girl, I’m glad Tony made me Mrs. World. It doesn’t sound quite as springy as silver girl, but I’ll take it.

So to all of you, silver girls and Mrs. Worlds, my dear friends, may you sail into a shiny, glittery, splashy, new year. Happy 2018!



Happy Holidays from Our Place to Yours

From my family to yours, happy holidays!

The photo above is from daughter Kath’s wedding to Thomas Donne in October.  Cliff and I now have a granddog. Gus joined our family along with Thomas. We’re delighted to have both of them.

Emerson has moved with her parents to Brooklyn. She’ll be a New Yoik girl!

Both Emmie and Maze will be here for Christmas. Are those Batman gloves? If so, I hope Maze brings them along. I may need a superhero to help me with the dishes and the dinners. Children and grandchildren will be sleeping at the new house for the first time. Cliff and I will hold down the fort at the old one since we don’t have enough bedrooms set up for everyone yet at the new.

Rudie, our beloved reindeer, is looking forward to giving the grand kids lots of advice. Don’t ask him about menopause though. You’ll make him blush.

But If you want to hear from an expert, read this inteview with Mrs. Claus (and learn a bit about their sex life). She was featured on Friend for the Ride’s very first Christmas. What a coup that interview was for this beginning blogger.

And the hormone talk continues. Cliff and I bought our tiniest tree ever for our new house. I could carry it with one hand. A nice break from the twelve foot behemoths we used to buy. I named her Teena, the Tiny Tree.

When we paid for Teena, the young man at Home Depot instructed us to add a cup of sugar to her water.

“Nope,” said a women standing nearby. “Birth control pills.” Turns out the advice came from a menopause nurse, who says the hormones would keep Teena vibrant.

Sadly, I didn’t have any birth control pills to offer Teena, but she seems happy in her new corner.

Happy holidays from Rudie and Teena and me, and thank you so much for reading Friend for the Ride.



The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Thirty-nine

From Becca,  Acme, a restaurant in Carboro, North Carolina (above) and the Baxter Arcade, also in Carboro, below.

From Pat, Fork in the Alley in Roanoke, Virginia.

Also from Pat, the doors at Toast in the Village Shopping Center near her home in Virginia.


Rachel found this photo on the door of the ladies room at the Jordan Lake Brewery in Cary, North Carolina. It’s Laurence Fishburne, who starred in the Matrix Triologies.

From Dawn, while on her book tour for her stunning new novel, The Mourning Parade, the “wildest bathroom I’ve ever seen.”It’s The Mediterranean Grill in Chicago at the corner of Madison and Lake.


From Jonna, the Ale House in State College, Pennsylvania.

From Carol, who hit the jackpot at Cowboy’s Firepit Grill in Lake Park, Georgia.

And from Chelsea, a peek into ladies rooms in Japan and Korea.

Chelsea writes: “While the majority of the images were pretty plain, the toilets themselves were very interesting! All of the toilets were electronic and had tons of buttons to press.  Many were bidets; in fact most were.  A lot had a fun privacy feature as well that you could press and it would play nice wave sounds.
With that being said–there were also the traditional ‘hole in the ground’ type toilets as well. Apparently these were used back in the day–very difficult to squat over from the few instances I had to use them.

The one of my feet  below shows the sandals they gave you when you went to the bathrooms in restaurants. You had to take your shoes off upon entering, and they stored them for you while you ate.  So the sandals were there when you had to use the restroom while at the restaurant.”

Thank you, Chelsea. Fascinating report.

That wraps up the Ladies Rood Door Art Series for 2017. Thanks to everyone who contributed this year. The series would be lost without you!

On to 2018…


Jewel Lady, Ready for the Holidays!



As a younger woman, I had casual holiday outfits, dressier ones, and some really elegant ones- a holiday-themed dress or jumper or top or sweater for every level of holiday festivity.

Dresses in black velveteen-one with a lace Peter Pan collar and another with a slight petticoat. I still remember the swish of that beautiful dress.

Sweaters with camels or snowmen or angels, tasteful I promise.

A green and black checked jumper in a soft flannel. This I wore, of course, with the black tights we loved so years ago. They were warm and more comfortable than hose and quite trimming to the legs.

Then there were the holiday sweatshirts so popular in the eighties. I even had one with tiny jingle bells.

But now, I’m wishing I could just dress for the holidays like Jewel Lady (above). I’d ask for additional jewels to cover more of my sixty-something skin, but gosh does she look festive. How easy to slip into those jewels and not worry about finding something new to wear. I’m having trouble mustering up enthusiasm for mall dressing rooms this season.

How about you?

Is it a rite of passage to be more chill about holiday clothes?

Or have I turned Scrooge?

Jewel Lady: I found her in a window of a Kentucky shop this summer. I hope her holidays are sparkling!

This Scrooge: I googled “female Srooge” and was delighted to find that a Dallas theater company featured a female Scrooge last year. What a fun part to play.

Downsizing: We still haven’t completely moved yet, but here’s to my first post from our new house. Wifi is on! Hooray!

And so is the new gas fireplace. Imagine that, Mrs. Scrooge. You flip a switch, and your fire is ready. I bet that would have lifted your spirits.


Nano Ice Cooling Necklace: A Giveaway!


Our friend Sam White, inventor of the Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace, was just featured on NSNBC.

Watch the short clip here and listen as Sam describes his cooling necklace.

Giveaway: Sam is offering the beautiful necklace at the top of this post to one lucky Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by December 15. Thanks!

Learn more and purchase cooling necklaces and scarves on the Nano-Ice website.

Free Shipping! Sam is offering free shipping through the holidays!

Amazon: Here’s the Amazon link.

Facebook: Like the Nano-Ice page on Facebook.




Menopause Symptoms and Sleep Apnea

Here’s information from Aeroflow Healthcare on sleep apnea. A recent study connects hot flashes and night sweats to this sleep disorder:

Some people assume the effects of aging are unavoidable, and accept them without doing proper research. While our bodies do slow down as we grow older, certain symptoms could be alerting us to another cause besides aging.

Two common menopause symptoms are hot flashes and night sweats. Fortunately, a recent study found hot flashes and night sweats may be linked to an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea in middle-aged woman. Why is this good news? People rarely know they suffer from sleep apnea unless their loved one realizes it. If you are struggling to sleep at night, talk to your doctor about the possibility of sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. While you sleep, soft tissue collapses and blocks the airway. Your body responds by slightly waking up so you can catch your breath. Central sleep apnea happens when your brain doesn’t send the signal to breath.

A person with sleep apnea never gets a deep, restful sleep and their organs and cells become oxygen depleted.

Sleep Apnea in Women

Sleep apnea is usually associated as a man’s disease because more men have been in sleep apnea studies. Women have different sleep apnea symptoms and women are commonly misdiagnosed as depression, hypertension, and hypochondria. Additionally, women tend to respond to sleep deprivation different from men.

Differences in Symptoms of Sleep Apnea by Gender

Women Men
Insomnia Snoring, gasping, snorting
Fatigue Apparent pauses in breathing
Mood Disorders
Morning Headaches

How women experience sleep apnea differently from men is about more than differences in physical anatomy. Duke University researchers agree that not getting enough rest has a more profound effect on women than it does for men. They found that there are a number of risks associated with lack of sleep in women that are practically nonexistent in men. Women are more likely to have insomnia, depression, and experience daytime fatigue than men.

Why are women more likely to be affected greater by lack of sleep? Estrogen and testosterone.

Testosterone has an anti-inflammatory effect helping to manage stress hormones for men. While women have some testosterone, they are much more dominant in estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are not known to have a stress managing effect on a woman’s body. Estrogen also has an anti-inflammatory effect — as women move into menopause, estrogen levels tend to drop, making falling asleep a lot more challenging.

It turns out female hormones are likely to play a role in women of that certain age group experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea.

Estrogen and serotonin (one hormone that transmits nerve signals) are directly related. When estrogen is higher in the body, so too is serotonin. When serotonin is lower, due to a drop in estrogen from menopause, the signal from your brain to muscles, including your tongue. When the tongue relaxes, the airway is blocked causing breathing problems. Here lies the complicated relationship between menopause and sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

The most common and effective treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP or “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” involves a machine that increases the pressure in the airway to prevent this collapse and keeps the airway open. The CPAP reduces the number of apneas allowing you experience REM sleep. The CPAP machine delivers the pressurized air down a tube that attaches a mask. Many manufacturers have begun to adjust their mask styles to conform to the female face shape.

For people with mild to moderate sleep apnea, a mouthpiece can prove effective. The sleep apnea mouth piece slightly moves the jaw forward to keep the airway from collapsing.

Sleep Apnea Testing

For middle-aged woman, it can be difficult to determine what your symptoms are warning you about. Most people seek out sleep apnea testing because a loved one notices the stoppages in breathing. Make sure you speak with your doctor about sleep apnea. A 2013 medical study from UCLA found that women are less likely than men to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.

A sleep test is the most effective way to diagnose a sleep apnea. Most people pack their overnight bag and head to the sleep lab. A polysomnogram will detect a wide range of sleep disorders. A sleep test in a laboratory can be expensive (up to $3000), and many people have difficulty sleeping outside of their bed with so many sensors.

Fortunately, a study confirmed at-home sleep tests are just as effective to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. In-home sleep tests costs a fraction of a lab test (around $250), and you can sleep in the comfort of your own bed.

A home sleep test uses a finger probe to measure the blood oxygen level and pulse rate. The device can also measure the patient’s Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), which is the number of times in one hour an individual experiences a pause in breathing for ten seconds or more. AHI is the primary unit of measurement to determine the severity of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can be dangerous only if left untreated. The lack of sleep and oxygen can exacerbate or cause conditions like depression, weight gain, headaches, anxiety, heart disease and more. 25 Million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea, and an estimated  9-21% f women suffer from OSA.



The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Thirty-eight

Susan B. discovered this unisex door at Seacow Eatery on Edisto Island, South Carolina.

Susan P found this door at a rest stop in Iceland.

From Joanna, a McDonald’s near Ashville, North Carolina.

A friend went for a massage at Fuzion in Durham and found this fun sign.

I took this unisex door at Which Wich, a Sandwich Shop in Dallas, Texas.



I snapped this door at Zoe’s Kitchen in Dallas. No more Dallas doors for me though. Daughter Laura is moving to Brooklyn this week, where her husband Matt starts a brand new job. Hope baby Emerson is ready for the cold!

Cliff caught me in the mirror at The Block in Charleston, West Virginia.

And I took this at Kentucky Horse Park.


I loved these doors at Quaker Steak and Lube, also in Kentucky (but I forget which town).



And these neat doors grace the Gap Creek Coffeehouse in Cumberland Gap, Kentucky.



From Susan B., The Loop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

From Kay, Robinhood Integrative Health in Winston-Salem.

From Nancy, a Starbucks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So elegant!


And that wraps up another Ladies Room Door Art Series post. Thank you all for your kind words about these posts and for finding us doors from near and far!