Aging, Menopause, Skin

Guest Post: Vein Vanity!

Judy Brown writes about the art of the vein:

The mosaic of tiny capillaries and purple veins.  It is yet another sign of our womanly aging. Every time I see an ad for a vein clinic, I hesitate.  I was really bothered when a friend of mine said she was going to a clinic to have all her protruding leg veins removed. I am sure many of you have also contemplated this procedure.

It is another decision.  But it is not a hard one for me because I have a phobia of needles. I look at my 82 year old mother’s colorful legs and see my future. I have several works of art already on my upper thighs: moles, freckles, sun damage, red dots, purple veins, other discolorations and undefined splotches.  Sometimes I stare at them.  Are  they all that bad?  

Are these intricate designs on our legs not works of art, perhaps, masterpieces?

A colorful curve in the capillary run might be the time you paced for hours in the middle of the night waiting for your teenager to come home.

The large and bulging upper thigh vein might be from stomping on the ground trying to make your point during the  “big fight” with your spouse.

Or the lacework patch of pinkish blood vessels might be the daily commute to your first job in the city.

I bet one burst was from running after your toddler at the mall!

These mini paintings show the wisdom of our years.  They show active lifestyles and miles of adventure. They show hard work and fun times. They show stress and pleasure. They even come in rainbow colors. Most amazing is that they are unique to each woman. We are each our own art piece.

What is the point of being perfect?  Of having perfect legs? How have you decided to reconcile this point of vanity?

**(Not being a medical expert, I do know that some cases of vericose veins are serious and painful, so the procedure is a life saver. I am referring to cosmetic options.)

Judy Brown grew up in Rio. Here she is basking in the sun during her senior year in high school with no worries of unsightly veins.

Stocking Photo:  These funky stockings are sold by a French company.  In case you don’t have bad veins yet but want to pretend, you can purchase a pair.   Learn more about them here.

Gratitude, Hot Flashes, Menopause, Skin

Turtle Thoughts with a Slight Link to Menopause

The other night, I had a dream I was wading through dozens of  enormous turtles.  And so the next day I tried to figure out the dream’s message for this menopausal blogger.

Should I up my efforts to declutter the house so we can fit into a smaller shell in a few years?

Do I need to increase my walking pace?  Wear stronger sunscreen to prevent leathery skin?  Buy some funky placemats in an earth-toned geometric print?  Eat more greens?   Be more patient?  Be less patient?

Should I tuck in my head, think deeper, and write harder?

Or does dreaming of turtles suggest I am behaving much too turtle-like?  Do I need to stop writing with such intensity and abandon my semi-turtle shell life?   More party and less keyboard pounding?

Is the dream urging Cliff and me to put our shells in gear and get going on the world travel we long for.  (The dream was vaguely set on the Galapagos Islands.)

Was the dream’s purpose to teach me, once and for all, that I need to get over the frustration of not being able to solve the world’s mysteries?  I’ve always wondered how it feels to be a turtle, and I will NEVER have the privilege of knowing.  Chill, Barbara.  But I still wonder:  Do lady turtles go through menopause?  Bless their turtle hearts if they do.  Menopause and a shell can’t be a great combination.

OR (and I promise this is the final “or”) does my dream mean, plain, happy, and simple, that I’m lucky, very lucky, to live in a world graced by amazing and intriguing creatures?

And now a hypothetical question for you, my dear human readers:  What would you MOST like to ask  one of the world’s creatures?  Leave a comment by clicking on “Comments ” below.

Photo:  I found this lovely turtle, who is really a tortoise, on Mongabay.com.  I’m pretending she has in-shell access to the Internet  and is a fan of Friend for the Ride.  I’d love to have some readers in the Galapagos!

Change Your Life!  Learn once and for all, the difference between a turtle and a tortoise by watching this SHORT video.

Aging, Skin

Skincare: One Girl’s Trash Is Another Girl’s Treasure

For many women (most?), aging skin is a heartbreaker.  We make upbeat remarks about our laugh lines and the happy moments they represent, but all in all, seeing your skin crinkle and spot up can cause some real frowning.

But what’s almost as bad, or worse, is FEELING your skin change.  Menopause does nasty things to the skin’s moisture.  Dry skin, especially when I come out of a hot shower, can turn me into a grump faster than you can say, “Sahara Desert.”

What’s tricky is figuring out what works to fix the dryness.

I have a confession:  I’m a Noxzema addict.  My great-uncle founded Noxema Canada, and so you see, it’s in the blood.  My girls are mortified.  They have read the label on the blue plastic  jar and know the product is marketed as a face wash.  But it works for me, and has for my family for several generations.

Which brings me to this blog post’s title.  A balm for some skin types can feel like wind burn to others.  I’ve had bad luck with more elegant brands, so  I keep blobbing on the Noxzema.  What my daughters and most skin care experts trash, I treasure.  I thank my menopausal stars I have a husband who doesn’t complain about its unusual smell  (L’eau of Cedar Chips, perhaps?)

What about you?  Has your skin gotten dryer as you’ve aged?  What’s your favorite skincare product and/or routine?  Let’s start a list.  That product you treasure may be the perfect solution for another reader too.

Photo:  The old cobalt blue glass jars above would certainly be trash to some, but my mom saved them.  Now they grace a shelf in daughter Kath’s home.  My guess is the taller octagonal jars on either end are Noxzema jars.  Any blue glass experts out there?