Tag Archives: Lisa Winkler

Menopause and Dry Eyes



In the last two weeks I’ve gotten something in my eye twice.

One speck was so large I needed the assistance of my husband with the fine fine motor skills to remove it.

Then it hit me.

I never get stuff in my eyes.

Could this be the dreaded dry eye of menopause?

The tears slow down and don’t flush foreign objects effectively. Could that be part of it?

My friend Lisa Winkler  of Cycling Grandma wrote me a few months ago that she was having trouble with dry eyes. I checked in and she  reports  that her doctor gave her drops,Restasis, to use morning and night, that take about six months to do the trick. Lisa says she’s no longer waking up in the middle of the night with dry eye, but  she hasn’t found the drops to be a perfect cure, at least not yet.  Doc also suggested a humidifier.

Menopause Expert Ellen Dolgen has a great article on dry eye. Read it here.

As I wrote this post, my eyes feel dryer and dryer! Psychological? Let’s hope so.

But I do know I’ll check with my eye doctor about drops if need be.

What about you?

Any dry eye troubles?

Tips to share?

Big Eye

The Big Eye:  I snapped this photo in Dallas at Christmas. The thirty foot tall eyeball is the work of  multimedia artist Tony Tasset.  Read more about it here.

Giveaway Winners! Congrats to Judith, who one the copy 21-Day Tummy and Kathy, who won the Smile Brilliant whitening kit.

Across the Generations: Mother Latifa


A post by Peace Corps volunteer Barbara Klein:

I’m joining your friends for the ride!

Old age may not be as golden as they say, but we OBGs  (Old but good) have much to grin about. My husband Martin says, “It’s been a good ride,” and I like to add, “But it ain’t over yet.”

When people talk about wishing that they were young, I say that I do not want to live my life over again, but would just like to have the strength and well being that I had at 75.

Some can’t believe that I am older than 75. Others say, “75 wasn’t a year to remember.”


Peace Corp, Hergla, 1989.

I was 59, and my husband Martin was 61.

The volunteers, in training all had mattresses on the floor, but as the oldest married couple, we were given a queen size, off the floor, bed.

I don’t think the Peace Corps management gave too much thought to housing arrangements other than available space. We shared a villa, one story house, with two wonderful Tunisian language teachers, Lamia and Latifa, and two younger volunteers, who were not very friendly.

Lamia was  petite, dynamic, and wore mini skirts, while we volunteers were instructed to cover our knees and wear sleeves.

Hergla did not boast the services of a barbershop, so Lamia gave Marty a haircut.

Latifa was good looking with freckles, and had a great sense of humor.

Both teachers  helped me celebrate my birthday with lovely presents.

Latifa, was concerned that we needed a change from PC rations and put a few mullets,( small fish), and lamb chops, in the freezing compartment of our frig.

One day she left a box of delicious fig filled pastries, about 2 kilos, on the kitchen counter, and told me that I must eat this. I kind of understood what she meant, thanked her and explained that it was a lot of cake which I couldn’t eat alone or at one sitting.

The chore of taking out the garbage fell to Marty, but Latifa was always there to help him tie up the bags.

We attended prenuptial festivities of a double wedding for brothers living in the town. Latifa sat with us, introduced us to the family, and gave us a crash course on Tunisian wedding customs.

At one  cross- cultural excursion, we were treated to a meat stew which we ate with our hands, for lack of utensils, and lopped up the gravy with bread. Just like a mother, Latifa served me meat and gravy with less fat.

I can’t imagine why it took me so long to realize that Latifa brought  goodies to the house for Marty and me, not for all of the occupants.

Was it respect for older people, hospitality, or did she like us ?

Doesn’t matter!

mom_dad_ tunisia

More About Barbara:  Barbara  Klein and her husband Martin, lived in Killingworth, Connecticutt for 49 years in the house where their four children grew up. They owned a poultry farm in neighboring Madison. About 20 years ago they converted the farm to a golf range, which the Klein family owns and operates.

The Kleins traveled all over the world, at times for personal reasons and often as Agricultural Consultants with Aid for International Developement. Martin and Barbara have both been involved in local politics. Barbara has degrees in Biology and in Health Cate Management. Martin has a degree in Poultry Husbandry.

Barbara is now blogging!  Check out Best of Barbara.

Best of Barbara

Top Photo:  A resident of Hergla shows Barbara the technique of  spindle weaving.

Middle Photo:  Barbara  and Marty with Latifa during a pre-nuptial gathering held in the courtyard of the groom’s home.

Bottom Photo: Barbara and her family today.

Want to know even more about Barbara Klein? Check our Cycling Grandma, Barbara’s daughter Lisa’s blog,  and Tangerine Tango: Women Writers Share Slices of Life.  Barbara inspired many of Lisa’s essays.

Tangerine Tango! (And a Bright Orange Book Giveaway)


Color! Color!  Color! Color! Color! Color! Color!

The older I get, the more I’m drawn to vibrant colors.

And so is Lisa Winkler, because she titled her  new anthology Tangerine Tango: Women Writers Share Slices of Life.

I  am delighted that Lisa selected three of my poems and three of my essays for the book.  Thanks, Lisa!

Here’s what the press release says about Tangerine Tango’s contents:

  • There’s Donna Barry who writes about her mother, her father, football, the ocean, and one of her first jobs.
  • There’s Stacey Caron who is a food blogger and antique dealer. She shares her grandmother’s chopped liver recipe, a tart from Spain, and her love of food.
  • You’ll swoon in green with Judy Ackley Brown and smile as you read about Barbara Chapman’s Fifth grade memories, her fight with breast cancer, and her work with hospice.
  • You’ll lick your lips with Gabi Coatsworth’s description of ice cream, empathize with her trip to the dump, envision her shrimping with her father and her grand-daughter, and be moved by her poem dedicated to her sister.
  • Dawn Landau’s ode to her daughter teems with raw emotion and her vision of seeing her late mother is almost scary.
  • Chris Rosen’s mother will amaze you, you’ll share her pride in her rock musician son, and want to climb in the hot air balloon with her.
  • Like Leah Singer, you’ll be annoyed at the salesman, disturbed by her parents chiding her about her weight, and proud that she has made her interfaith marriage last.
  • Those with siblings will hear themselves in Madeline Taylor’s telephone essay.
  • With Patti Winker, you’ll wonder about life with 11 siblings, learn about running a candy store, and reminisces about life with clotheslines and before helmets.
  • From Lisa Winkler, you can reread some past posts – about fashion advice from our mothers, medical advice from her father, hopes for college graduates and tolerance for varying religious beliefs in her own family, and ice cream flavors.
  • Barbara Younger shares three lovely poems – about buttons, socks and fudge, and essays about her father’s music, her allegiance to her ancient stove, and a Valentine’s Day when she was 11.

Me again:

Start your holiday shopping!  A great present, the book’s tiny size makes it perfect to tuck into a gift basket or bag.

Don’t forget birthdays!  With its focus on living an exuberant life, Tangerine Tango makes a great girlfriend birthday present.

You!  And of course you’ll want a copy for yourself!

Purchase the book here. 

Proceeds from the sale of Tangerine Tango go to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Giveaway: In celebration of the publication of this colorful collection of essays and poems, I’m giving away two copies.  Post a comment by October 24 saying you’d like to win. Two winners will be chosen at random.

Photo Above:  Marina Bang designed Tangerine Tango’s delicious cover!

Photo Below:  Giveaway books stand proud on our old stove, the topic of one of my essays in Tangerine Tango.

Guest Post: Hope Springs!


A guest post from writer Lisa Winkler:

Hope Springs, the new movie staring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones isn’t a comedy, despite what the ads say. There a few funny scenes and lines, and it does have a happy ending.  Getting there however, is awkward and painful.

It’s a movie being advertised for the over 50 audience. Perhaps producers figure that’s an age where people still want a movie that isn’t based on a superhero comic book character, still like going to the movies and are too technically inept to stream films into their home televisions, which if their TVs are anything like mine, have too many remote controls to figure out how to use in the first place.

But the movie, about a woman who after 31 years of marriage, wants to revive the lost intimacy and enrolls her and her husband in a weeklong couples counseling course, isn’t just for those whose long marriages might need a bit of rekindling.

I hope young people will see it and perhaps glean an understanding of what makes a marriage.  Kay, played by Streep, could have decided to leave her husband, Arnold; instead she was determined to try to keep what she had and regain what was lost.

I hope middle-aged people will see it. I imagine bits of the characters resonate with everyone.

Joe Morgenstern, reviewing Hope Springs (scroll down) in the Wall Street Journal, writes that Streep “could enchant us by doing a vacuum cleaner commercial.”  He’s right. Streep is everything we expect of her: facial expressions and gestures that speak volumes, creating empathy without melodrama.

I couldn’t help think about the vacuum cleaner.

A vacuum cleaner

Swallows dust and cobwebs

Dirt and debris

Sometimes the hose clogs

The bag, overstuffed, tears

A light blows or a motor fails

With proper care and maintenance

can last a long time

like a marriage.

Lisa Winkler and her husband Matt celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in June by cycling in France. This review was first posted on her blog, Cycling Grandma.