Author Archives: Barbara Younger

About Barbara Younger

Check out my blog about menopause and all things related to women and life: Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause and Midlife Roller Coaster

No Sweat Sheets! A Giveaway from Perfect Linens

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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, PerfectLinens.com 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 PerfectLinens.com, 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.

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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 Perfectlinens.com sheets.

Before I Die: Sink Hair!

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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?

Me.

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?

YES!

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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?

Exercise after Menopause? Of Course! (Part Three)

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A post by writer and blogger Carol Baldwin:

Too many years ago than I care to admit, I suggested to Barbara that I write a blog post about exercising after 60. She loved the idea. But as we all know, sometimes there’s a gap between an idea and executing it.

By the time I decided I needed to make good on my promise, my husband had retired and we had moved to The Villages, Florida, where there are plenty of exercise options. I realized that it would be better for me not only to share how much exercise means to me now, but to share some of my friends’ experiences as well. I hope these women’s stories—some who are my North Carolina friends and others I have met in Florida–will inspire you to come up with your own exercise routine.

Here’s Part Three:

ANN MARIE ROSE, The Villages, Florida

I believe exercise becomes more important as individuals age.  I participate in a combination of aerobic and strength building classes to facilitate my overall health and in particular because of challenges with arthritis.  I feel continued lifetime exercise appropriate to one’s level is essential to maintaining independence and promoting a quality physical and emotional lifestyle.

 DEB BACON, The Villages, Florida

When I retired, my number one goal was to exercise since I didn’t have a lot of time to do so as an elementary principal.  Moving to The Villages has been very helpful in meeting that goal.  There are many exercise classes in which I participate, so I can do different things each day.  Exercise is not only good physically, but mentally also.  I am fortunate to have found some neighbors who feel as strongly as I do about exercising so we enjoy going to classes with each other. This social part is also very beneficial.  Through these classes, I have learned the importance of interval training and weight training, especially for women over 60.  The instructors show us proper form and always have suggestions on how to improve.  Most of the classes in which I participate are based on the interval method which helps build a strong heart.  When I see people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s being very active, I know the time I put into exercising will help me to be healthy and strong!

Besides the land exercise classes, I take water aerobics and some days just walk laps in the pool.  I also golf, walk, run, and ride my bike!! I am very blessed to be able to be retired and have all of these opportunities!!

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From left to right. Some of Carol’s golf buddies on her street. From left to right: Ann Marie Rose, Deb Bacon, Carol Baldwin, Cheryl Altman.

CAROL BALDWIN, The Villages, Florida

As a kid growing up, sports meant swimming in the summer and going for long walks on vacations. Ask any of my children and they’d agree: I was not the athletic one in our family.

A few years ago my husband, Creighton, bought me a set of golf clubs thinking it could be something we would do together. Little did he know that I’d become obsessed with improving my game.  Now I sleep better, am combating osteopenia (especially when I walk the par-3 courses), have increased stamina, and share a fun activity with him. Golf is both physically and mentally challenging and I have gained confidence in physical skills in ways I never experienced before. As a non-sports person, I have a sense of accomplishment from learning and improving my golf game.

Plus, I can eat chocolate and not feel guilty!

I still walk, swim, and bike occasionally. But nothing beats the addiction of going out and hitting a golf ball…because this time I’m going to do it better than last.

How about you? What is your exercise story?

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Every so often Carol wins a couple of holes off of Creighton. But when she doesn’t, she’s thankful for the opportunity to exercise and to enjoy being outdoors together.

 

Exercise after Menopause? Of Course! (Part Two)

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A post by writer and blogger Carol Baldwin:

Too many years ago than I care to admit, I suggested to Barbara that I write a blog post about exercising after 60. She loved the idea. But as we all know, sometimes there’s a gap between an idea and executing it.

By the time I decided I needed to make good on my promise, my husband had retired and we had moved to The Villages, Florida, where there are plenty of exercise options. I realized that it would be better for me not only to share how much exercise means to me now, but to share some of my friends’ experiences as well. I hope these women’s stories—some who are my North Carolina friends and others I have met in Florida–will inspire you to come up with your own exercise routine.

Here’s Part Two:

LINDA PHILLIPS, Charlotte, NC

I believe exercise has helped me ward off osteoporosis and medication.  My recent bone density showed I am in the osteopenia area, and holding my own.  I think the fact that I survived a pretty bad bike accident recently without a broken bone bears this out.  It has taken me a few years to find a good self-directed plan, which boils down to walking for a half hour or more at least 4 times a week, and working out at the gym 2 to 3 times a week.  When my couch-potato, non-gym going husband, Wendell, got his Silver Sneakers card a year ago, I wouldn’t let him weasel out of giving exercise a try.  To our delight the gym has a racquetball court, and to our children’s disbelief, we now hit the ball around at least once a week.  We might even learn how to play the game one of these days, but for now, it is clearly a surprisingly fun new aspect of our golden years.

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When Linda isn’t exercising, she’s writing or visiting her grandkids. Check out her website at: http://www.lindavigenphillips.com

DEB McDONOUGH, Ottawa, Canada

I love being outdoors. I snow ski, snowshoe, bike, skate, hike, and now that I have retired I can add golf and pickleball to my list. Admittedly, if pickleball were an indoor sport it would not interest me. I do not participate in these sports for the exercise. But I do exercise on a regular basis either by taking classes or in our home. Why? So that I can continue enjoying these activities and perhaps a few new ones as far into the future as possible.

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 Carol met Deb on the golf course in The Villages. She’s about as passionate about improving her golf game as Carol is.

We played pickleball for the first time during our two month stay in The Villages. Steve has been reluctant in the past; I believe he viewed it as a sport for an ‘older generation’. His daughter and fiancé visited us in December. It was an activity we could do all together so we gave it a try. We were all hooked and played daily during their visit. We laughed, joked and teased each other constantly. In the end, the younger generation wore us down after 2 hours of play and beat us, 3-2.

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 Steve looks ready to collapse after their pickleball marathon with the “kids.”

BETH SCHULZ, Charlotte, NC

Which form of exercise do I like best? Brisk walking, occasional biking, lugging gymnastic equipment all over two big gyms, stretching and doing squat-thrusts and candlestick jumps with the girls I teach, lifting light and heavy weights in the form of budding gymnasts as I spot them doing their tricks, or jogging on a tumble track?

Of the above, none provides the strength, energy, feeling of well-being, plus relief of inflammation that a 1/2 hour memorized cardio/kick boxing/weight lifting/stretching routine  in the comfort of my own home at a set time of day or night does. Plus, it requires no dressing in specific garb or meeting at a designated place and time.

Combined with a highly nutritious diet of mostly raw fruits and vegetables I find I can maintain weight, strength and flexibility, plus avoid illness if I stick to this regimen, and can reverse pain from inflammation in joints, or sickness, if I just go back to it after being negligent.

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Beth has been teaching for 56 years if you count the backyard classes she taught when she was 10-years-old. She’s been teaching gymnastics since college. Here she is in her nightgown doing her common stretching move at 9:00 PM.

Stay tuned for Part Three!

Carol Baldwin’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008). She is working on her first young adult novel, a multi-racial book set in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1950. Carol enjoys teaching writing, is a contributing editor to LitChat , and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists. Find her book reviews and writing tips at www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com. When she is not writing, you’ll find her on the golf course or reading to one of her five grandchildren.

Pickleball Photo Credit goes to Barbara Younger’s neighbor, Jerry Vinski, a pickleball whiz!