Menopause

Going Grey: The Kitty Doesn’t Need Blue Shampoo! Why Should I?


KITTY

A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

I have a fluffy white cat. Long hair, heirloom cat, this cat belonged first to my parents and then to my brother, all have passed on – yet the cat is still around.

My parents got the cat the year before my father passed on, and she was my mother’s best friend until she died; then my brother adopted the cat and he passed on.

A friend suggested maybe I did not want this cat due to her track record with owners. Me being me, I just couldn’t give her away; she meant a lot to all of them. I have two additional siblings, both have cats and I was the only one who would take her. I was very hopeful my greyhounds wouldn’t eat her (they haven’t.

There is a common trait in my family, premature grey hair.

I have no recollection of my father having hair with color. He had a lot of hair. Just no color, totally white, always.

I began to realize I was there when I couldn’t tell if the hair on the floor came from me or the cat. And, the thing is, it was his cat. Ouch.

This engendered some deep thinking.

What is it about grey hair?

I am not one to think of metaphorical things, but I think the issue with grey hair is its symbolism of senescence. Like leaves changing colors in autumn before they fall to the ground.

It takes some guts to leave your grey hair in its natural state. I always think that when I see a woman with a great head of grey hair.

For many years I have glazed my hair, it ends up taupe. I actually like the taupe hair. Since I moved to a small town I have been unable to find anyone who knows how to glaze hair.

The only professional hair coloring here is done with permanent dye and I am not willing to go there. We have extremely high iron content well water in the area that affects hair colorants and I have seen more than one lady with black hair and orange roots, reminiscent of Halloween and not in a good way.

Recently, men have begun to compliment my hair color. Or lack thereof. It feels similar to getting 5 Likes on your blog or Facebook page.

A guy actually said to me, “I think your salt and pepper hair is sexy.”

Another one said “I really like your hair color.”

Whoa! This happened at two holiday parties, so there was alcohol involved, and I think that enhances the likelihood of an honest opinion?!

When I hear this from women it usually goes, “I wish my hair had turned grey liked yours did, mine is such an awful color I had to dye it?!”

Yeah, right. I have a hard time buying into this, as the color of your hair tends to mark you by age group. Old and not old. Women for the most part prefer the not old appearance.

My first encounter with this was, at age 43, I was asked by a supermarket checker it I wanted the Senior Discount. I said ,“Sure. How old do I have to be?”

She said “60” and I said, “I will be 60 in 17 years, thanks for asking”…and yes, my hair had some pretty serious salt in it by then. My husband is 14 years older and nobody was asking him this question. His hair is still mostly brown.

About twenty-five years ago, a client of mine made the comment I was “seasoned,” meaning I had enough work experience to know what I was doing.

In retrospect, I am not sure that was really true.

Then it occurred to me if I was seasoned twenty-five years ago, by now I was a fine barrel-aged whiskey. This works for me, some things do improve with age!

In an effort to embrace my inner Single Malt Scotch, I am going to keep the grey hair for a while. 

P.S. My kitty’s name is Sweetie Pie.

Kitty

Amelia Grant is an experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.

Amelia’s  blog, The Shrub Queen, may be found at theshrubqueen.wordpress.com.

For a contrasting opinion, check out Gail Crane’s post, To Be or Not to Be–Grey Hair, That Is.

 

Menopause

Slammed into Menopause

share (1)

A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

Women in my family tend to go through menopause later than usual. My mother was 56 years old and claimed ,“It only took one day!” My cousin is 54 and my sister 57, and  neither of them have any symptom of ‘the change.’

Last year I was diagnosed with a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe and an ovarian cyst the size of an orange.

I was looking somewhat pregnant and feeling a bit, um, large. The gynecologist was none too happy with me when I, at age 51, said,“Let’s give the things a little time. Maybe menopause will naturally shrink them.“ (This is possible –estrogen causes them to grow and lack thereof causes shrinkage).  51 is the average age of menopause.

Needless to say, I found myself having a total abdominal hysterectomy 3 months later, as I was still producing plenty of estrogen and the things were getting bigger instead of smaller. I emerged from the surgery thinner and happy my ovary had not exploded .

Things were not too bad at first. I was (and still am) reluctant to take hormone replacement therapy.

However, one night I awoke to find more fluid coming out of my body than I had ever experienced. Primarily, my neck for some bizarre reason.

It was as if some gigantic pores had opened below my hairline; the pillow was soaked, and I had to get a towel and sleep with it.

Then I decided to start counting the hot flashes; it was exceeding 10 a day, most of them requiring a wipe down.  Living in South Florida and the time of year being Summer did not help matters. I called the gynecologist and asked for some help.

“Is your sleep disturbed?” they asked.

Only by waterfalls of mysterious fluid leaking out of my neck..followed by frozen clamminess.

I am not sure if disturbed is even the proper word. Defiled is more like it.

So, I got the horse dose of HRT in a transdermal patch. The patch does help but I am still not out of the woods and menopause has definitely lasted more than one day.

Amelia Grant is a very experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.

Amy

She lives on the Treasure Coast with her husband, two retired racing greyhounds and a fluffy  white cat. Landscape design and consulting are her primary occupation with writing, gardening, and cooking as sidelines.

Amelia’s  blog,The Shrub Queen, may be found at theshrubqueen.wordpress.com.