Menopause Support: If These Porches Could Talk


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These were the porches on my house around 1912. Sadly, lumber was hard to get after World War Two. The porches were in a state of disrepair, and the upper level and the sides were taken down and not replaced.

I got to wondering: What if these porches could talk? What stories could they tell? What conversations would they reveal? Any menopause discussions?

In “Nine Ways to Even Out Menopausal Mood Swings,” Everyday health writes:

According to research from the University of Michigan, women who feel emotionally close to a friend have higher levels of the hormone progesterone, which helps relieve stress and boost mood. If you’re having a bad day or week or year, round up your closest gal pals for some much needed bonding, or consider joining a support group online or in your community.

Even today, many women keep silent about their menopausal woes. Shatter the silence! Talk with your friends and even strangers. I once had a great hot flash discussion waiting in line at a  7- Eleven.

Don’t miss these tips by my friend and menopause expert Ellen Dolgen, who reports that fifty million women are going through menopause in the United States right now. Porch power!



Mother’s Day: Celebrating with Words and Photos


Page 10 - Mother reading to children - motherhood quote

In honor of Mother’s Day, images and words from We Are Women: Celebrating Our Grit and Wit by June Cotner and Barb Mayer (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016) Read more about this vibrant and engaging book on this Friend for the Ride post.

Page 14 - Unruly Children

Page 15 - Families are like fudge


Page 32 - Migrant woman & baby

Page 33 - Healthy Baby Contest - LIFE mag


Page 70 - Woman & Mom with Angelou quote

All images and text from:

We Are Women - lighter image

The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Twenty-three



My daughter Laura found these doors at the Bayona in New Orleans.


Diane sent this subtle yet elegant door from Leonhard’s Café in CharlottetownPEI. Diane reports the inside of the ladies room is elegant too!


She  found the sign and doors below at  King’s Arms Pub in Kentville, N.S.  She reports,”I chuckled as I received odd looks when taking the pictures.” I know those odd looks!



I found this shiny door at the BP Station at Exit 364 off I-40 in North Carolina. The woman who took our credit card there has a mother-in-law who gave birth to 23 children. Wow. Bet her menopause was a welcome relief.


The coolest unisex door I’ve found this far, at the Las Olas Mex-Q-Grill in Wilmington, North Carolina.


Susan, who recently visited daughter Gwen in India, found this the door at an outdoor mall in Chandigarh.


Also from Susan, the Crystal Restaurant in Amritsar, India.


Susan spotted this one at the Alpha One Mall in Amritsar.



And this restroom  sign at the Hotel Gangaur, on the main road from Agra to Jaipur.


I found this nice design at Tower Seven in Wilmington, North Carolina.


And from another bathroom door at Tower Seven.


The Beer Barrio is a  a way cool restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. I had a great time chatting with the owner and complimenting her ladies room door. The door was designed by Voltz and Boltz. Check out their designs here.



And that wraps up this edition of Friend for the Ride’s Ladies Room Door Art Series. Thank you Diane and Susan for your wonderful contributions!

Snake! Menopause Courage?



I’ve read that post-menopausal women are braver, bolder, gutsier. Oh please, please, pick me!

The book is still out for this menopausal woman. What about you?

I was hoping this newly delivered bravery would just wash over me. Not so.

I did make steps up in bravery with my cancer and the death of my mom. In serious times, when you have little choice as to what will happen, bravery not only gets you through, but it enables you to appreciate the power in the pain, the miracles in the horror, the grace in the gravity. Whence the bravery? My inner soul? God? My dear family and friends? My ability to sometimes see the whimsy amidst the woe? Not sure.

But whatever bravery I’ve garnered in recent years, I’ve only taken baby steps with snakes.

Cliff loves snakes! He has a deep appreciation for these creatures. And so, I am working on snake courage.

On our lovely Hillsborough Riverwalk in April, the black snakes come out, especially in one section that is darker and more wooded than the rest. I can handle a snake yards ahead of me. I like warning. But I don’t want to chance upon a snake, and I am creeped out that they crawl up tree trunks and dangle from branches.

But this year, I forced myself, a few times, with eyes wide open, to go down that snakey path. Didn’t see any, but wasn’t I at least a little bit brave? Progress!

Cliff says the black snakes aren’t on the path or in the trees anymore. They’re off in the woods after mating, doing other important snake things.

It’s amazing how brave I have now become.

Photo courtesy Clifford Younger.