Category Archives: Menopause

Mental Flexibility: Try This Test!


Last Saturday, I went to a conference on menopause and women in midlife sponsored by Duke University. At a booth that focused on the aging brain, I took this test.

You try it! Say the name of the color you see NOT the word. Say the colors as fast as you possibly can.


How did you do?

The gentleman manning the booth said I did well, but I didn’t really hit my stride until the last two lines or so. The test is used clinically for lots of purposes. In this case, it was measuring the flexibility of my aging mind.

Ha! I’m working on flexibility. I agreed to a sponge holder in our sink. I’m willing to try a fancy concealer my daughter Laura recommends. And I allow my grandson Maze boss me to the moon and back.

Here’s another version of the test:

Second Stroop

I could do this for a long time. It’s way fun.

What I don’t want to do is count backwards by sevens. I find it painful. I’m not a numbers person. My parents had to count backwards by sevens to get into their retirement center. “Piece of cake!” Mom said. I’ve been practicing. With my luck, I’ll get the sevens down, and my future retirement center will switch to sixes or eights.

Back to the Stroop Test. I’m going to bring the paper copy to Family Beach Week. I want to see how my kids do. I already tested Cliff. He sped through the colors. But that’s okay. If he’s more flexible, then I should get to be the boss of our aging years, right?

Here’s the wiki on the Stroop Test.

The M Zone: A Painting!


Second Photo of Lilly's Painting

A painting by artist Lilly Stevens and Lilly’s interpretation of her lovely lady dressed in purple:

The M in the title, “The M Zone,” stands for “menopause.” We are finally at that stage where our wombs are closing up shop. No longer children, or young women, we have gained great life experience, valuable wisdom, and maybe a few unwanted pounds! Our hair is no longer blonde or brown, but grey, white, or silver.

The M zone is new, uncharted territory for us. Inside we are tender, feminine, maternal (pink) but our ‘skin’ is tougher (the grey outline); we are tougher, for better or worse.

The heart is depicted as big and golden, and most women possess well deserved halos, due to their loving and self-sacrificial natures.The roses are symbolic of the womb, the birthplace of mankind.

In my journey, every woman I’ve known loves the color purple, so I thought this would be fitting for her dress.

At the end of the day, no matter how strong or tough she is perceived as, there is a feminine creature that longs to be respected and cherished.

Since the age of ten, writing and creating art, Lilly Anne Stevens has exhibited her paintings in places such as Houston’s City Hall as a member of “Artists Alive and Well.”  She is  one of 25 authors whose short devotions comprise the publication Thank you for your Hero, proceeds benefiting United States Gold Star families. Join her @

Be Light! A Message from Someone, Somewhere



From Anne Lamott:

Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart.

From me: The other night, in the middle of the Duke NCAA championship game (Go Blue Devils!), I got a message as clear as any message I’ve ever been sent:

 Be light

I’m looking for messages from my mom, who died three weeks ago. This didn’t really sound like Mom talking but who knows?

 Be light

So my new goal is to be lighter. I’d love to shake some pounds, and I plan to continue my downsizing project, but I think this lightness is meant to mean more. A true lightness. As light as spring clouds. As light as laughter. As light as sorbet or orchid flowers or Cliff when he says, “Let’s go downtown and eat outside. It’s a gorgeous night.”

My mom’s dolls, Mimsy and Mattie, are now living with me. They arrived last week in bubble wrap. As you can see from their expressions, they need to lighten up too.

Mimsy and Mattie

Be light

Have you lightened up in recent years?

Any tips for people and/or for dolls?

Here’s Wiki on the wise and wonderful Anne Lamott.

anne_lamott2 (1)And here is a splendid collection of Anne Lamott quotes on Goodreads. As we ponder lightness, I wonder what inspiration we can stir up from our earlier days.


The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Eight


More doors! The leaping figure above graces the ladies room door at The Vendue Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. I love her exhuberance! Here’s the lobby door at the Church Street Inn. This Charleston lady is a bit more demure. Fancy Lady from Inn Fleet Landing in Charleston features a nautical porthole, with frosted glass, of course. Some elegant glass at the Southend Brewery and Smokehouse in Charleston. Photos were taken on a post-Christmas trip with my son-in-law’s parents. The kids abandoned us for Argentina. No worries! The parents had a great trip together. Finally, from that holiday adventure, the roped sign on The River Room in Georgetown, South Carolina. Let’s hear it for the South Carolina Coast. Ya’ll really know how to do ladies room doors! Daughter Laura sent the door below from a cafe in Buenos Aires called “Sans.” Thanks, Laura! I love the young lady’s confident yet casual pose in her striped sweater. And Laura found this cute guy and gal at Los Pizarros Bistro.   This door, from San Juanito, a tapas restaurant, could do with a touch of tidying up. Damas Blog reader Susan sent this crazy number from her holiday trip. She found it along the A1 Hwy between Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica. Jamaica Back home again, I attended January classes taught by my friend Judy Brown of Judy’s Wellness Cafe. Below, a mandala, on the bathroom door at the wellness center. A mandala represents the universe. 20150105_105936 I’m grateful as I write this for the whimsy of the universe, including bathroom doors that add to the fun of a visit to the loo. Keep searching, wonderful blog readers, and send me the doors you discover in your travels.Thanks!