Hot Flashes, Car Pools, and Dirty Martinis: A Book Giveaway!


Hot off the presses! A witty, insightful, and life-changing book by Juju Hook. Here’s an excerpt that gets to the heart of Juju’s mission:


I’d bet dollars to donuts that if you and I met for cocktails and I asked you to tell me about yourself, you’d tell me instead about the roles that you fill (or have filled). That’s a trap women our age find themselves stuck in. By the time we’ve reached midlife—what I call Primetime—we’ve spent our lives perfecting a list of roles as long as the line at the DMV.

At happy hour, you’d tell me about how you’re a mom, a wife or partner, a daughter, an employee, a business owner, a volunteer, a friend, a sister, a lover, a domestic goddess, or a neighbor. These roles are awesome. And I have no doubt that you rock every single one.

We’re super comfortable with our roles. But when it comes to our essence? Not so much.

I need to ask you a question. It’s a question that trumps every other question.

I’ve spent the last six months writing and preparing to launch a new book for PrimeTime women. And for the purposes of that book, it’s the only question that matters.

What do you want?

I’m not looking for answers here like “I’ll have the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, please,” or “All I want is a moment of peace,” or “I’d love to have one of those Brazilian Butt Lifts like the girls down at the gym.”

Tell me what you genuinely, passionately want.

I suspect the answer won’t come easily. I’ve worked through this question with many different women, and even the strongest, most articulate, most successful women I coach give a long pause before answering.

Do you remember what life was like before you had kids? Before you were married? Before you settle into a career or adopted three dogs from the shelter or filled in every hour of your day with what you were supposed to do? Do you remember what your days were like before you committed yourself to everyone else? Back then, you knew what you wanted, and your went out and got it. Chasing pleasure was automatic, and you were rewarded with a big bunch of fun.

PrimeTime is about new beginning. It’s about creating passion around what you want, and being hell-bent on doing everything you possibly can to make it yours.

It’s about the shit that stirs your soul…

If you’re ready to want with absolutely clarity—and pursue that want with dogged determination, meet me inside Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis: The Quintessential Guide for Turning Midlife into PrimeTime.

Giveaway: Juju is giving away a copy of the book to TWO lucky Friend for the Ride readers. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by January 25. Thanks!

Here’s the Amazon link.

Juju Hook is a brand strategist, author, coach, and speaker dedicated to rebranding middle age for women. Her goal is to inspire one million women to live out the second half of their lives with more passion and joy than the first. Her proprietary system uncovers the 1 question, 3 problems, and 6 lies that midlife women must recognize and overcome in order to live out the dreams that they’ve set aside—or kept hidden—until now. By looking at the truth, we free ourselves to pursue goals that have, until now, been beyond our wildest imagination. And in the process, we become a whole lot happier, and groovier to be around.

Juju is a firm believer in both big, hairy goals and the enduring truth that our pasts are not reliable predictors of our futures. She ran her first marathon at 40, completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at 45, ran her first triathlon (an Ironman 70.3) at 46, and walked away from a 25-year-career and started an online business at 47.

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…