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

Experience 2015: Bartender!



Of all my new experiences in 2015, this was the best! I was a guest bartender at Hot Tin Roof, a bar recreated from the old Hillsborough Plumbing Company. The bar is a brilliant, funky reuse of a building, thanks to Hillsborough resident Mark Bateman and his business partners.20151107_095603

The shelf  below sat on the floor in plumbing days and stored supplies. Now look what it stores!


Hot Tin Roof sponsors charity bartending events. All tips and part of the proceeds go to some great causes. Proceeds from this event went to North Carolina food banks.

The evening celebrated the reopening of Lindsley Bowen’s fabulous vintage jewelry store, Carlisle and Linny Vintage Jewelry, in its new downtown location.  Here’s the shop’s Facebook page, and here’s Lindsley. She’s a jewelry expert. It’s fascinating to hear her talk about the styling and the provenance of the pieces she sells.


Lindsley put out a a call for bartenders. When I heard she would deck me out in her jewelry, I was in! For my big night, I sported a hair comb, dangly earrings, and an armful of bracelets.


I got my nails painted a glittery silver,


which helped me show off these four pretty rings. (I bought the pink one, circa 1920, as a reminder of the night.)

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A choker to go with my purple dress.


Dr. Bessie Mbadugha, posing here in the vintage dress she wore, was another mastermind behind the event. Bessie, a chemistry professor on hiatus to raise kids, is an ambassador to the Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors of the Expedition School in Hillsborough. Bessie’s photo was taken by photographer  and boutique owner Sharyn Arai.

Outside Hot Tin

When I arrived at the bar, Steve, the skilled and laid back bartender, showed us the ropes. My fellow guest bartender was the lovely Carol McLaurin. We learned where the beers, wine, and liquors were stored; how to work the taps (turn them on and off, fast); and luckily, we learned that Steve and his assistant Robbie would mix any complicated drinks and also handle the money.



Early in the evening, I had a bit of time to be a true bartender. “Got any problems I can help you with?” I asked two guys. One shook his head, but the other said, “Should I quit my job and spend $52,000 on  a yacht?”

“Sure!” I said. “Gotta live your life!”

I was flattered the guy then invited me to join him on the yacht, especially since he looked to be about forty. “I’m not a great cook,” I confessed.

“No problems,” the guy said. “I am.”

When he found out that Cliff can repair things, he invited him too. Guess the offer was on the up and up.


My head spun and my feet ached (but my new Lifestride Soft System shoes were a Godsend).


I’m so appreciative of the group from my church who came out for a good cause. Presbyterians, despite our reputation, know how to party. Below are my buddies Bernie and Alice, who are not only Presbyterians but Presbyterian ministers.

We raised a chunk of change for the food banks, and launched Lindsley’s shop with gusto. My team was great!


I’ve asked for a job at Hot Tin Roof, but have received no reply.

But no matter, in my one solo night as a bartender, I truly had a blast. Thank you, everyone.


Maca! Taking on Menopause the Natural Way



I’ve had several readers write to me about the good luck they’ve had with maca. Here’s a post and a giveaway offer from Femmenessence:

In some ways, we’ve made tremendous progress since the days when menopause rarely was a topic of conversation – and yet, it seems that as the topic has become less taboo, the discussion still hasn’t matured completely. Snickering and jokes about hot flashes and mood swings abound, but the fact is that menopause is a significant life event for women. We are living longer and working later in life and are looking for ways to manage the physical and emotional symptoms that accompany this transition, and to address the foundational health impact that the loss of hormones has on our heart, bones and mental health.

Within the next five years, there will be nearly 60 million peri- and post-menopausal women in the United States1 alone. A recent Australian study found that many women are choosing to “grin and bear” the challenges of menopause because of the uncertainty about what works and specifically, about what is safe and not safe. Unfortunately, women often underestimate how long they will suffer in silence – studies show that hot flashes continue on average for five years, with one-third of women still experiencing them for 10 years2.

What are our options to manage the often life-disrupting symptoms of menopause – such as hot flashes, interrupted sleep, low energy, hair loss, mood swings, vaginal dryness, lack of sexual desire and more? Many women may be familiar only with pharmaceutical options such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and bio-identical hormone therapy. However the risk factors and protocols of HRT are still being explored, especially long term. Understandably, some women are reluctant to use them for long periods of time, or even at all.

Fortunately, a natural, organic alternative which has  is has demonstrated in published clinical trials to significantly impact hormone levels in women during peri-menopause and post menopause is now widely available. It does not introduce any hormones into the body, but rather supports the body’s own hormone production. More than 8 in 10 study participants reported improvements in mood, hot flashes, night sweats, libido, vaginal dryness, sleep and energy levels. In addition women experienced positive benefits for heart and bone health.

The ingredient in the studies is Maca-GO (commercially known as Femmenessence). Maca is an herb that grows in the Peruvian mountains and historically has been shown to support energy and hormones in young men and young women. More recent research revealed that there are 13 different varieties of the plant, and each has its own benefits. Not a standard maca powder, Maca-GO employs higher concentrations and blends specific types of maca for women in peri- and post-menopause and is the only product with published clinical studies demonstrating its effectiveness.

Maintaining hormone balance is the most important component to managing overall health in the second half of our life. We should never suffer in silence or not have complete solutions. Talk to you your doctor about your personal situation, the best options for you, and your concerns, so that you can make the best decision for your individual needs.

Check our the Femmenessence website here and their Facebook page here.

Giveaway!! For readers interested in trying this clinically-tested natural remedy, Femmenessence is offering a giveaway to the first five readers who say they’d like a sample. You’ll have the chance to choose which Femmenessence product you’d like to try:

    • MacaPause:  for hormone balance in women 50, 60, 70 and beyond.


    • MacaLife:  for women experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms.


    • MacaHarmony:  for hormone balance, menstrual and reproductive health in younger women.


Charlie and the Monkeys



When our dear friend Charlie was diagnosed with a fast-moving brain tumor, a friend and I planned to send a meal to the hospital for his wife and daughters. They spent many hours there, and homemade food gave them a break from hospital fare.

I went into Dollar General to pick up a few candy bars to include and met the above monkeys. Right away, their expressions won me over.

Charlie was dying. Should I send along a whimsical gift? Charlie and his family were just the types to appreciate four monkeys with endearing expressions, but is it okay to be silly when things are so sad?

Something told me to send the monkeys. So I did.


The next day, Charlie’s daughter Cheryl emailed me this photo. Charlie was pulling on tubes. The monkeys gave him something to hold, a good distraction. A few days later, Charlie was moved to hospice. When Cliff and I visited him there, I saw the monkeys again. They swung from the bed.  Charlie was now too sick to hold anything.

But the lesson for me is that it’s okay to give green and yellow and brown monkeys with velcro paws to a seventy-year-old man. And when you’re not sure what choice to make, trust your whimsical side.

Here’s Charlie Morgan, in the yellow shirt, at the beach this summer. We’ll miss you, friend. Thanks for your smart, calm, assuring, and witty presence in our lives for the past thirty years.

Periods! WOW!! The Full Moon Party Ad


Check out this ad from Hello Flo, a subscription service that delivers tampons and other supplies. An interesting idea but definitely not cheap.

My favorite line: “Periods don’t have glitter in them.”

Yuckiest moment: The red marshmallows!

Best reaction: The scream when her dad shows up.

What I like: Of course the First Moon party is over-the-top, but what I like is the openness about periods. Love that the men in this child’s life are allowed to talk about a taboo subject.

My childhoods would have been a lot easier if this were so for me. Periods were never discussed, and I frequently made up excuses as to why I didn’t want to go swimming, sometimes even getting in trouble for my spoil sport attitude.

How sad that I didn’t feel comfortable telling my mom and dad why I didn’t want to go to the pool.

Hooray for changes for the better!


And I should add, that Mom got lots better. I take great joy that she loved my blog and even did the art for this post.


Read more about the ad on Ad Week