Menopause

Grumpy Old Menopause: A Giveaway!

portraitCarolEWyer6-(ZF-7979-29994-1-002)

A post by writer Carol E. Wyer:

A trip to buy boots became the catalyst for Grumpy Old Menopause. It was one January and while waiting for the young assistant to find the right sized boot, I suddenly had one of those moments…you know the one where a wave of heat starts at your feet, mounts your body and makes you want to peel off your very skin to get cool. I grabbed at my coat, yanked it and my scarf off, and my cardigan and attempted to fan myself with a receipt from a supermarket. The manageress looked over and nodded wisely.

“I know what you’re going through,” she said in hushed tones, checking to see if anyone else could hear. She proceeded to tell me about a similar incident that had occurred for her. Out to dinner with friends, she had felt a hot flash and yanked off her jumper only to be greeted by astonished stares form her fellow dinner companions. She had inadvertently removed her blouse as well and was now sitting in only a bra.

That lead me on to tell her about how I had woken up one morning to discover the hairs in my left eyebrow had gone…well, actually they’d migrated…to my upper lip. We chuckled, more stories followed and we guffawed like two teenagers, even more so when we were greeted with astonished stares from the assistant who finally emerged from the stock room with my boots.

“You wait,” said the manageress. “One day, you’ll have all this to come!”

Well, once I’d left the store feeling a lot better about myself, I had a nugget of an idea…what if I could write a book that made people laugh about a subject that is still mostly taboo and help women going through the menopause?

Grumpy Old Menopause takes its information from health experts, doctors and friends and personal experience. I trawled the internet for months looking for advice and articles (and stumbled upon Barbara’s wonderful menopausal plate article) about symptoms. I spoke to surgeons, gynaecologists, acupuncturists, alternative health specialists and many more, amassing material that would help. The whole book though, is supposed to be as close as you can get to sitting down with a friend and laughing at the tricks Nature is about to play on you. Laughter is your biggest weapon in your arsenal and if you are prepared for the menopause and can maintain a sense of humour, you will sail through it. I have…well, apart from the panic attacks, the insomnia, frozen shoulder and the hot flashes! In seriousness, there is a lot you can do about all of that as long as you have information and that’s what I hope to provide.

One thing I have learned as I have got older is that laughter is a real cure-all. If you can have a good giggle you get a healthy workout, you raise feel-good hormones and you feel heaps better.

The menopause is however, a serious subject and please don’t think I am glib about the problems and challenges that face many women at this time of their lives. I spoke to some ladies who went through early onset of menopause and had horrific symptoms so I am mindful of the passage some have to travel. I hope merely to inform, assist and support. I hope a few hours with book will at least bring a smile to your face and make you realise you are not alone.

I have the book and my philosophy about laughter to thank for my latest career move…taking my own advice, I took up one of the many hobbies and suggestions I make in the book—stand-up comedy! (I couldn’t do pole dancing as I had frozen shoulder!) Yes, I now tour the UK with a comedy set entitled Smile While You Still Have Teeth. Whoever would have thought going through the menopause could be so much fun?

GOM High Resolution Cover

Giveaway: Grumpy Old Menopause has sold thousands of copies and been featured on over fifty radio shows, in magazines and on BBC Breakfast television. Carol is holding her award for winning the People’s Book Prize just a few months ago. For a chance to win a copy, please enter a comment by September 1.

Watch Carol accept The People’s Book Prize award for Non-fiction on Youtube. Listen to some of Carol’s stand up entry for The BBC New Comedy Talent Award here.

Carol E. Wyer wants to live in a world where gummy bears do not rot your teeth and everyone laughs at least fifty times a day. As a humorous writer and blogger, she’s been featured in and written for Womans’ Own, Yours, Choice, and Woman’s Weekly magazines, the Huffington Post and been interviewed on numerous BBC radio shows, NBC and Sky television and BBC Breakfast television. When she’s not hiding in her garret writing books and articles, you can find her quaking in the wings, waiting to perfom her stand up show, Smile While You Still Have Teeth or being a Loud Mouth on BBC Radio Derby.

Her books all encourage us “older folk” to enjoy life, carpe diem and laugh. Her most recently-released book — Grumpies On Board — hit the shelves in June and has attracted a lot of attention from the travel industry and means she and Mr Grumpy will have to take more holidays soon. Discover more at  carolewyer.co.uk/ grumpyoldmenopause.com , or facing50withhumour.com
Menopause

ManyPaws! A Menopause Pop-up Book and a Giveaway

Many Paws with Popups

A post by artist  and teacher Susan De Garmo:

When I was about 47 years old, I put some eggs on the stove to boil. I went downstairs to my office to grade papers and before I knew it, I heard explosions coming from my kitchen! I ran up and saw exploded boiled eggs sitting in a pan with no water. Exploding because I left them in there and totally forgot to take them out.

That year when I had my yearly check-up, I told my doctor I thought I was going crazy! I couldn’t remember the simplest things. I was starting to leak when I laughed, I sweated in bed, had hot flashes in the day, my eyesight was getting worse and my middle was spreading!

She patted my hand and told me that I was going through the change. I couldn’t believe what she was saying! At 47 years old I started getting “old.” She handed me a paperback book that she said would help me understand what my body was doing.

That night I relaxed in the tub and picked up the book and began to read. The words were sweet and delicate. “You’re still a woman even though you can’t have babies anymore.”

I couldn’t take it! I tossed it in the trash.

My doctor wouldn’t give me anything to get rid of the symptoms. “It’s perfectly normal,” she said.

So, every day became a new adventure with the symptoms of menopause. Thank God my family still loves me!

Since I couldn’t find a book that shared the in-your-face experiences of menopause and getting older with a bit of humor, I decided one day while teaching my altered book class at a local design college, I would make an altered book on the subject and it would be about my experience.

Why did I come up with that idea? It was freezing cold outside, my head was beet red, sweat was dripping down my face, and my students looked at me like I had a third eye! I just shrugged and pressed on.

I found an old book that had a by-line…the years of change. I took that book and altered it to create  ManyPaws, the Years of Change.

Each week I did a spread in the book.  Depending on what challenges I was going through, that is what I wrote about. We had a show-n-tell in the class every week to show off the work we did in our books. I showed mine to the students and there were lots of “yuck,”“my mom’s doing that,” and sometimes laughter. I wasn’t trying to appeal to them, just critiquing the pages.

At the end of the semester, we had an Altered Book Show. The students and I would have our altered books on display for the faculty, staff , family and friends. Of course, my whole experience with menopause was there for the whole world to see.

It wasn’t long before we heard laughter. Not only from the moms and older women of the college, but from their husbands!
Oh no. I was totally embarrassed, but come to find out, they liked it. The women started telling me their stories and wanted a copy for themselves or to give to their girlfriends.

So my husband and I decided to publish it ourselves and see if the book could really work the way I made it and it did! Not such a bad outcome that started with exploding eggs….in more ways than one!!

To see Susan’s cool book trailer and to purchase ManyPaws and greeting cards taken from its pages,  check out the ManyPaws website.  You can also purchase ManyPaws though this Amazon link.

Here’s the Facebook page!

Giveaway: Susan is giving a copy of ManyPaws to one lucky reader. For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by November 1 saying you’d like to be the winner. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks, Susan!

Many Paws Cover

About herself, Susan writes: 

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.  Since I could remember, I had a crayon in my hand, coloring something. I was one of those kids who wanted to learn about anything creative. I sewed, painted, took apart things and put them back together just to see how they were made.  My curiosity always guided me to figure out how things worked.  It still does!

I graduated from Memphis College of Art in 1984 with a BFA  Advertising/ Graphics Design Degree…that was BC….before computers. I started college with two small children and a husband that traveled a lot, so you can imagine what my house looked like! Anyway, being a graphic designer I was able to work from home and be with the kids while my husband was away. I’ve designed gift cards, album covers, invitations, license plates, basically anything except wall paper and  wrapping paper.

For almost eighteen years, off and on, I taught graphic design at a design college. The students wanted me to teach them something that wasn’t on the computer, so I looked around to see what could be interesting.  I stumbled upon altered books (taking old books and making or re-purposing them into something else).

I’ve sewn and designed costumes and painted backdrops for a play, was an art director for a boys magazine, designed the house we live in, won first place from Liberty of London for a quilt I made using their fabrics. (That’s a crazy story!) I also paint!

I married an incredible guy, have two beautiful daughters, two son-in-laws and 5 grands. They are the delights of my life, especially now that they suffered through my weirdness with the “change!”

 

Susan Headshot