Menopause

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Friend for the Ride (and a Gift Card Giveaway)

Friend for the Ride started when my daughter Laura, low on cash in grad school, asked, “Is there something I can do for you to earn some money?”

I replied, “I’ll pay you to set up a blog site for me.” And she did! She’s a techno whiz, and she blogs herself at Taking Back my Twenties.

Is Laura still broke?

No Sign

Happily, no. And it’s a good thing because she has a baby on the way VERY SOON!

It’s been five years, do I still love blogging (after 650 posts)?

Another Yes

I love sharing my thoughts with you, posting sometimes useful information, and writing about life from a creative angle. I’m so appreciative to all of you for reading.

I’m always in need of guest posts. What should you write about? Sky’s the limit. Shoot me an email, and we’ll figure it out. Thanks! See the blog’s very first guest post here, written by my friend Susan Bellinger.

Do I plan to stop blogging any time soon?

No Two

Nope.

Do I wish I had more readers?

I’d love more readers! The blog has not grown as I hoped it would, but my readership does increase slowly.

Does my family read my blog?

My mom did.That’s how she found out I was downsizing my Santa Claus collection. Mom was NOT happy. But she liked most of my other posts and even did a painting for this one. Cliff reads many of the posts. Not so sure about my girls…

Do I have a hard time coming up with topics for new posts?
No Three

This answer should really be “Sometimes.” But then a new idea will pop into my head, often inspired by a photograph. I took these signs on Bald Head Island. I thought they were vacancy/no vacancy signs until Cliff explained they are to signal if you have garbage to be picked up or not. Of course I could argue, most of us have some garbage…

Do I have a favorite post?

That would be like picking a favorite child, but the ones closest to my heart are those I wrote to celebrate or to face important moments:

The birth of my first grandchild.

The wedding of my daughter.

My cancer.

My mom’s death.

I appreciate the grittier and quirkier posts too, like this one about periods and cramps and romance and Smokey the Bear. I never would have guessed at age thirty that I’d one day write about personal body stuff. But once I start, it just sort of flows. (Yucky period reference somewhat intended).

Do I have a  favorite part of blogging?

Yes Six

I love uploading the photos and seeing how they look on the page. I love tweaking and editing. I love the moment a new post goes live. And I love getting comments and ladies room doors sent from all over the world!

Is there anything I hate about blogging?


No, but I’ve accidentally had posts go live when they weren’t finished. Talk about a panic!

 Am I going to do something special for this Fifth Blogging Anniversary?

Yes Five

Gift Card Giveaway: In honor of Friend for the Ride’s fifth anniversary, and because I’ve had fun shopping here for my new house, I’m giving away a fifty dollar gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by October 10.

gift-card

Thank you again, one and all, for your support. Thanks to Healthline for putting me on your Best Blogs List; to those of you who wrote guest posts; to agent Erzsi Deak for encouraging me to write about menopause; to Cliff for photography help and pointing out typos; to my daughter Kath of Katheats, who models blogging with class and creativity; and thanks to Laura for expert help and for needing a few bucks. Now it’s time for me to spend some money on that baby of yours!

capture

Menopause

Three Years! Happy Anniversary Friend for the Ride!

Friend for the Ride in the Sand

Happy Three Year Anniversary to Friend for the Ride!

I like to write her name in the sand.

I write yours in the stars because you’re the world’s most wonderful readers.

Since the blog began, with the help of guest posters, I’ve published over four hundred posts. 

 

Capture

 

Thanks to those of you who leave sparkling and insightful comments. One reader recently wrote me: “Never thought I’d get so hooked on connecting with others this way!”

And thanks to everyone for reading!

Happy fall and on to Year Four…

 

Four

 

Menopause

Celebrating Two Years (and a Canvas Print Giveaway)

T-shirt

Friend for the Ride just celebrated her two year anniversary!

(Yes, she’s a girl.)

Happy Anniversary, Friend for the Ride!

Capture

WordPress lets me know the search words people use to land on the blog.

In honor of the anniversary, I thought I’d share a few favorites:

cookies that help menopausal symptoms

I wish, I wish, I wish a brilliant baker would come up with these!

one leg hair stopped growing

Does this mean one specific hair?  Talk about knowing your body intimately…

my menstrual period started on the full super moon june 2013

This searcher landed on Patti’s Winker’s super cool post. For those of us finished with periods, we’ve lost our chance to have a super moon period. Super sad!  (sort of.)

do yams help with menopause

Dr. Oz suggest yams just might help, but I’m sticking with the person (above) who is looking for a menopausal cookie cure.

are dill pickles good for menopausal women

Let’s hope not or my husband, who loves pickles, will fill my plate with them morning, noon, and night. While very fond of Cliff, I’m not overly fond of pickles.  Bring on the cookies!

do all women get meaner as they get older

Hmmm. I’d love to know the sex of the person who entered that search.

what is wrong with my husband he gets meaner as he ages

We know the sex of the person who entered that one!

pellets in hip for menopause 2013

Ouch!  What a way to start the New Year.

menopause stomach photos

To make it  big as a blogger, you have to put yourself out there.  But I haven’t been brave enough, yet, to put my menopausal stomach out there for the Internet to see.

poems about menopause symptoms

Two and a half years ago, I wouldn’t have guessed I’be writing poems about menopause. And what fun (and an honor) to feature the poetry of Moira Egan and Jane Yolen, with poems by Barbara Crooker coming up soon.

snarkymcbitchy

Don’t ask me how this line landed someone on Friend for the Ride. The nerve!

Snarky and bitchy?  Not us. Thank you all for being such wonderful, kind readers!

My Friend for the Ride t-shirt, was a gift from Allied Shirts. I sent them my URL and a photo from one of my first posts, and voila!

t-shirt

Learn more about making  a custom t-shirt here on their website:  alliedshirts.com.

Giveaway: Their sister company, Easy Canvas Prints, is offering  Friend for the Ride a free 11 by 14 inch canvas print.

I adore mine, featured on this post about my beloved doll, Baby Sue.  For a chance to win your own, please enter a comment by October 20 saying you’d like to be the winner. These make great gifts for the person who has everything.

Lean more about canvas prints on their website: easycanvasprints.com.

Baby Sue and Barbara

Menopause

Menopause Blogs!

First Post

Above is the heading for my first post.

Seems like yesterday!

Today I’m pleased to report that Friend for the Ride was selected by Healthline as one of the best menopause blogs of 2013.

I’m in fine company! Check out the other blogs here:

Health Blogs with Link

As the article states, “There’s more to menopause than moaning and groaning.  Take control of your health and your life during menopause by taking the time to pause and reflect on this important topic for women.”

Thanks to writer Robin Madell, who put the list together, and to all of you for your enthusiasm and support.

Squiggly

Celebrations, Menopause

Friends for the Ride!


Roller Coaster

This is my 250th blog post!

Thanks to everyone who has guest posted (I’m always looking for more!  Email me at the address on the right.)

And thanks to everyone who has supported Friend for the Ride.

My mom painted this watercolor for us.

The rider in the front reminds us that menopause is our own ride, since each and every experience is different.

We endure those dips and swoops with the help of our friends, in person and online. Those are the riders in the background.

So here’s to all of you, my friends,

In happy honor of friendship, email, call, or send a card to a friend who could use some extra cheer today!

I’m going to do the same.

Roller Coaster

Foods That Harm/Foods That Heal Giveaway Winner:  Congrats to Haralee!

Celebrations, Menopause

Cake in Fridge!

At Piedmont Community College, where I work as a writing tutor, we get a lot of emails. Most of them have to do with grading rosters that need to be turned in or  an upcoming college event.  I scan the email headings to see which emails I need to read.

My eyes almost popped out of my English tutor head when I read this one:

CAKE IN FRIDGE

Yum!

I love cake. I love it for the flavor, but I love cake too for the the celebrations it represents: birthdays, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, promotions, book signings, holidays, store openings, and lots of other happy times.

Today, Friend for the Ride is one year old.

And so, to each of you, for reading my blog, I’m sending:

A cake in the fridge 

Albeit it’s an imaginary one, but it comes with my love and thanks!

Photo is courtesy Laura Younger. I’m not sure if this was her birthday cake or Matt’s, but I could take a big old dollop of that butter cream right now.

Aging, Menopause

Seeking: Man Brave Enough to Write Guest Post

If you are a man reading this post, say this out loud: Real men write guest posts for Friend for the Ride.

If you are a woman and you’re reading this post in earshot of a man, say this out loud:  Real men write guest posts for Friend for the Ride.  (And please send this post to some upbeat, fun, and clever men!)

I find that men are pretty kind about menopause, mostly because I bet they are tickled pink (or should I say manly blue) that they don’t have to go through it themselves.

But when I ask male cronies to write a guest post for the blog, they mostly shake their heads.  One friend, James, says he’s writing one, but I have yet to see the words…

So here’s my offer:  write me a guest post and then come to Hillsborough, North Carolina. Come by foot, bike, motorcycle, plane, car, truck, or train.  I’ll buy you a really cold beer at our funky watering hole, The Wooden Nickel.  In fact I will buy you several beers.  Here is the beer list.

Or I’ll take you to Bandidos Mexican Cafe for the very manly Conquer El Gigante, the giant burrito.  They snap your picture and put it on their wall, and there’s not a single photo of a lady, just real men.  Granted this guy is pretty young, but I bet you could do it!

Or we can go to the Nickel first and THEN for the giant burrito.

So please?  You can write about your take on menopause, how men feel about gray hair (their own or women’s), or anything else that strikes your gut.  (I first wrote “fancy” but then decided that didn’t sound like guy talk).

What an opportunity to be a REAL man!  Shoot me an email to the address on the right.  Thanks, REAL MAN.

Photo above is my husband Cliff blowing out candles on delicious birthday cupcakes in November.  He’s been a good manly egg about the blog, that’s for sure, but has yet to agree to write a guest post. Maybe that’s because he can go to the Wooden Nickel any time he wants to.

Photo of Cliff is courtesy Katherine Younger.  The other two photos are from the restaurant websites.