Women of the Hourglass Magnets: A Giveaway!


I adore the work of Marylou Falstreau. Her Women of the Hourglass series touches on ideas I’ve tried to highlight on Friend for the Ride: the new possibilities that menopause brings (above). Along with those possibilities, comes  the realization that we can indeed simplify, giving up what drags us down (below):

Many women talk about the liberation of menopause (once the moods and flashes and goofy periods abate):

Age helps us appreciate the powers of forgiveness. Of other people and our wrinkles:

Just a few posts ago, I told you about my new breathing technique, which worked again last night:

With the loss of each of my parents, I’ve had a deep regret that I didn’t thank them enough for the blessings they brought to me. I’m working hard not to make that mistake with my friends. Thank you all for reading my blog! I’m honored that you take time from you busy days to read my words.

And thank you, Marylou, for your words and your pictures!

Giveaway: I’m giving a  Women of the Hourglass magnet to three lucky Friend for the Ride readers. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by July 25. Winners will choose their magnet from the selection here.

Meet the lovely Marylou and hear about her Women of the Hourglass series:


Visit Marylou’s website to learn even more about her work and to purchase her art in the form of prints, note cards, affirmation cards, magnets, and a coloring book!



Outside the Lines: A Marylou Falstreau Giveaway!

Color Outside the LinesA post by artist Marylou Falstreau:

People think of me as a “coloring outside of the lines” kind of girl because of the way I paint.

I’ve led workshops that encourage participants to break rules, push through creative boundaries and question their ideas about perfection. I splatter, scrape, tear off and glue things on. It doesn’t bother me a bit. I love it and feel strangely powerful and juicy at the same time.

On the other hand, if you asked me to drive in L.A. traffic, eat non-vegetarian sushi or go to a high school reunion, I would probably say, “no thank you”.

Over the years, I have drawn invisible lines around the idea of who I am. I have drawn lines in the shape of a girl and stepped in.

Statements like “I am an introvert, sensitive, I enjoy simplicity and a quiet life” have kept me from saying ‘Yes’ to a Lemon Drop Martini and a girl’s trip to Las Vegas. The truth is; fear, lack of confidence and bad habits slipped in to my self- imposed box while I wasn’t looking, and have used up more than their share of oxygen.

So today, I banish the tight little lines that hold and contain me. I will be an adventurer who wears a funny hat and colors that don’t match and I won’t think of myself at all. I won’t even wear make-up. I will take risks. I will say Yes!

Will you join me and break free from the lines that have defined and contained you?

I hope you will say yes…

Giveaway! Marylou is offering a “Color Outside the Lines” print, card, and magnet to a lucky Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by July 1 saying you’d like to be the winner. U.S. and Canada only, thanks!

Read Marylou’s menopause post on Friend for the Ride.

To learn more about Marylou and her empowering art check out her website.

Mary Lou

The Women and the Hourglass Series: See the first Friend for the Ride post on Marylou’s art and watch her video on the series.


Marylou Falstreau: My Menopause Story (and a Giveaway!)


P-30 Possibilities

 A post by artist Marylou Falstreau:

Menopause was different than I expected.

I thought I’d be sitting in a comfortable easy chair looking back on the life I created; a loving home, financial security and children who had been raised to be uncomplicated little birds, always ready to fly home and adore their perfect mother.

I thought it would be a time of ease with a hot flash thrown in from time to time.

It didn’t happen that way.

Just as I began to experience menopausal symptoms my husband was unceremoniously fired from a job he’d planned to retire from. He found employment several times after, but the jobs were short lived and eventually we had no options.

Selling our family home, we moved to an apartment on the Central Coast of California with our two elderly cats. Gone were the dreams of sharing our country home with family, particularly grandkids.

I am an artist, and at the time I was selling my work at outdoor art shows and leading mixed media workshops, part time. After we moved, creating art became my full time vocation while my husband worked for a food service company in the neighboring town.

Life got crazy and I felt like I was going crazy too.

Painting non-stop and getting up at 3:00 in the morning to travel to art shows didn’t promote sound sleep. I began feeling like someone else inhabited my body and that person was in survival mode.

Was I sleepless from hormonal imbalance or because my life had changed in a way I was not physically or mentally prepared for?

I tried to find answers by spending hours in our natural food store, looking for helpful supplements.

The best anti-cure I found was a chocolate, peanut butter Twister from the Foster Freeze across the street. My symptoms became worse but for a brief, fleeting moment, I was happy.

The hot flashes began incognito. Yes, there was heat but mostly there were electrical currents pulsating through my body, holding me captive. It’s as if I’d been plugged in to an electrical socket that produced such intense anxiety that it was shocking, quite literally! So this is what it feels like to be loosing your mind and your body all at the same time!

Looking back from the vantage point of a 62-year-old post-menopausal woman, it is impossible to know when the “change” began in earnest. Nothing in my life was the same, everything had changed, but something beautiful was born as a result.

Here is the rest of the story…

Hi, my name is Marylou Falstreau, and I am creator of the Women and the Hourglass” series of inspirational art for women.

My cards and prints and other assorted items have made their way around the world, helping women connect with their own wisdom and their longing to be free of patterns that no longer serve them.

While living in the amped up world of out-door art shows I began connecting with the story within.

My painting style shifted away from whimsical… to whimsical with a theme.

Women became my focal point and then things started to fly. Chairs left the ground, so did people and trees and strange creatures that looked like hybrids of a dog and something else.

In my own way I was exploring spirituality, and that meant breaking rules of gravity and pushing the boundaries of common sense.

Around this time, I had a dream that changed things forever and was the motivation for my series.

In the dream, I was in conference with a group of women, listening intently. When I woke up, the words women and hourglass remained in my consciousness. It’s been my journey to integrate these two words and understand what their connection is.

What I’ve learned is that it’s time to wake up to our own potential and to understand life is an inside job.

We innately have the power to change what is inside.

We have the power to forgive and the power to be happy.

We most certainly have the power to count our blessings and laugh out loud, if we choose.

The Hourglass is a wonderful symbol for time passing, but it also can be turned over at any moment, stopping the flow of sand, and beginning anew.

We have the same power; it just takes a little more awareness and commitment.

Now is the time.

My life has changed in every way, yet again.

Something beautiful has grown out of those challenging years, a beauty that would have seemed impossible if considered before. I can see that growth and creation are always possible, even as we age. I can see that our purpose is revealed, sometimes at the latest hour.

For me, menopause was like a large bag of sand tied to my ankles as I navigated my way through treacherous terrain. I am proud to say I survived and am now thriving.

If I had any advice for women who are just beginning menopause, I would say try not to give in to the symptoms too much, but ask for help if necessary. Stay active, eat good healthy and natural foods and keep your eye on the gold.

Gold is always hidden somewhere in the story. Often it is revealed in perfect time; when the storm has cleared and there is a new, fresh perspective.

Everything in our lives has purpose and so does Menopause.

Card Deck

Giveaway:  Marylou has offered an Affirmation Card Deck and an  8 1/2″  by 11″  print,”One day she woke up and considered new possibilities,” to a lucky Friend for the Ride winner.  To enter, simply leave a comment by September 15 saying that you’d like to win. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks, Marylou!  You’re the best!

To learn even more about Marylou and her art, visit her website here.