Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grandchildren with cellphones!!

Two of my grandkids spent the night last night (Bailey, 10 and Zach, 9) and I let them stay up until 2 am thinking they would sleep in late in the morning and I would have some peaceful time for coffee on the deck. Well.......not exactly what happened!

First, a little background. All the grandkids love to complain how I keep them awake at night with my snoring. I admit it, I KNOW that I snore, but they make it worse by waking me up saying, "Grandma, you're snoring!" I never feel like I get a good night's sleep when they are here.So this morning I wake up and they're sitting on the bed giggling. Bailey had FILMED ME WITH HER CELL PHONE!!

Not only could you hear me but there I was with my fat face (oh yes, she did a nice close-up!) kind of hanging over to the side....oh my, it's horrible. The snoring wasn't even that mouth wasn't even open like you would think.But here's the worst part, she's threatening to put it on youtube!!! LOL Of course, I would kill her if she actually did it and I've got to make sure my daughter doesn't get a friend to do it. I know neither of them would know how to do it.....whew!!!
Anyway, just be sure if you give the kids their own phone that it doesn't do videos!! (my daughter gave Bailey her old phone)
PS: At least I had my teeth in!!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Follow-up on June 27 post

This is what the supplements have done for my legs. I already showed you the improvement in my arms, but this is quite dramatic too:

Advice for all ...

After a post on my message board about how do you enjoy the new freedom that menopause (or even peri-menopause) brings when you still have young children triggered a response, I thought I would also share it here on my blog.

Something Dr. Phil always says is the answer, I believe. "Children learn what they live", so.... what if your kids grow up living a life that includes "Mom's time to pursue her interests and needs"? If you're consistent about creating time for everyone, including yourself, your kids adjust to that as normal. I believe this is where most of us went down the wrong path...we gave UP our needs and taught our kids that they deserved our attention 100% of the time. By the time they get out on their own, we have conditioned ourselves to ignore what we want or need or enjoy. I've heard so many women say now when they have the free time to pursue what they want to do, they can't figure out what they want to do!

So why not see what you can do about creating a new "normal" for your family and let everyone help figure out how much time each family member needs or wants? You might be surprised at how understanding and giving your children might be when they find out that you need some time too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The supplements are working!!

I am more amazed than anyone, but I can honestly report that the supplements I've been taking have greatly improved the psoriasis and I have pictures to prove it!
The first one was taken in June and the second in July, so there you are! I still have a ways to go for it to be completely clear, but at least I can wear short sleeved shirts without feeling like I was grossing everyone out!
I have to thank Dr. Rallie McAllister for insisting that I try this particular combination of herbal supplements from Nature's Sunshine Because Rallie is a medical doctor who has now come to a more natural approach to medical problems, I was willing to try what she suggested, but make no mistake, I was skeptical as hell. For 3 years I've been reading psoriasis message boards and only found one natural solution, but it was for a complete cleansing diet and I just wasn't ready for that yet. I think I might be after seeing these beginning results.
Things are looking up for this old gal!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Lost 5 pounds!

I will admit that I've been watching what I eat, but that's mainly because I want to do things right while I'm taking these supplements. The biggest effect, I think, is from taking the fish oil. It really helps clean out your colon on a daily basis and THAT'S GOOD!!!

Today is the last month of June and I have no idea where the rest of the month went! I haven't been very productive, that's for sure.

I've been trying to work on redesigning the website, but it seems too big of a job and no matter how I move things around, it always looks the same to me. I'm stuck!! I need some help!! Just can't afford to pay a designer right now!

I have managed to get more bird pictures. I just love the rose-breasted grosbeak. I've had two males and a female on this feeder at one time. They are very peaceful birds and have the most beautiful song. Think I've mentioned them before on my blog.

Today I'm going to try to get on a health program at St. Joe's. A friend told me about it and I really need to check it out so I can get a complete checkup before I try to get on the Humira for the psoriasis. I want to make sure I'm healthy enough to have my immune system compromised by the Humira. The psoriasis is getting worse by the day and it's embarrassing to go out in public. I still can't get over that this has hit me so late in life and with such a vengeance.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Supplements, psoriasis and weightloss....

Don't know why I feel that I'm getting nothing accomplished lately, but man the weeks go by fast! I do need to mark this week on the calendar as when I started these new detox supplements sent to me by a doctor friend. She's convinced that she can help me improve my psoriasis. I'm afraid I'm kind of cynical about it and have the papers ready to apply for Humira's financial assistance program (because the shots are $1200 each 2x mo. and I have no insurance).

One thing I'm sure of though, Im bound to lose weight. Yippee!! I even bought healthy food today! Organic lettuce and milk, lots of fruit and fresh veggies too. I'm kind of rev'd up now!!

Let me know if you're interested in the combination of stuff I'm taking, ok?
She asked me to give it (the program) two weeks, but I'm not sure if I can hold out that long since the psoriasis seems to be spreading faster than usual. That may be the heat.

It's on both arms and the backs of my hands now, plus I see a few spots coming out on my palms. I certainly never expected this to affect me in my 50's! Never even knew anyone in my family that had it, but it must have been there somewhere.

I wanted to show you how the red rosebush turned out. I should have taken the picture a few days ago, but I forgot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A rose is a rose....

But when they don't bloom, it might as well be a weed! I've had these two rose bushes for about 8 years and only one of them blooms. The one that doesn't bloom was given to me by a neighbor who moved and should look like this

but all I get are these tall healthy stalks with no flowers.

The bush that does bloom is red and it is pretty, but not the kind of roses I it is after blooming This might be called "Purple Simplicity", not sure. This bush is the same one in the picture above.

The leaves on the red bush kind of surround the other one. I might think that was the problem, but I have tried pruning both so they get plenty of sun and air through each plant. I've bought a rose book, trimmed them, pruned them, washed the plants with dishsoap to get rid of the bugs, given them rose food, and even put banana peels under the soil next to the plants. Oh well, guess I'd better enjoy what I've got and maybe some day I'll find a yellow rose blooming by my deck! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Old Rockers

I'm not talking about the kind you sit in. :) I'm watching Good Morning America and Cyndi Lauper is performing and it's actually making me feel a little better about my age and all the aches and pains I'm starting to experience.

There was Cyndi in black leather singing one of her rock songs and I realized her actions were really tamed down compared to how she used to bounce and run all over the stage. I've always been a fan of hers so I'm not putting her down, just noting how one of our age group (babyboomers) is showing signs of....well, you know!

First of all she looked a little "thick" around the middle. We can relate to that, right? Maybe it was just that leather jacket, but I'm not sure. Besides, it was HOT and HUMID out there today, so what was she covering up? What really caught my attention though was when she got down on her knees during the, bless her heart for being able to sing while she's doing ANYTHING else, but I really felt for her when she put her hand on her one knee and PUSHED to get herself up!! She struggled getting back up on the stairs later on too and asked for a hand.

I love that she sang "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"!! One of my favorites! I still love her energy and her uniqueness, I just feel a bit closer to her now that I've seen that time is also taking its toll on celebrities too, not just me!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gardening, birdwatching and dentures

Ever since Mother's Day, my daughter and I have been working on my yard. It's amazing how even a tiny little yard in a mobile home park can look really awful or really pretty with just a little landscaping. My daughter has a knack for it and knows which plants should go where and since she's been laid off since January, I've been trying to give her a way to make a little $$$.

Here's a picture showing how she trimmed the pine tree branches and put mulch and some plants under it.

Here's the flower bed that is behind that green electrical box that she designed too. I also have a birdbath over there, a hummingbird feeder and 3 regular birdfeeders, hence the bird watching in the title. :) I can see the birds while I'm sitting on the deck (or from the window next to my computer) and I'm constantly excited about the variety of birds I get. Everything from various woodpeckers to rose breasted grosbeaks to orioles.

I took this picture of one of the woodpeckers (called a red-bellied woodpecker) through the window so it's not as clear as I'd like but it's the first one I've seen in my yard in 12 years! For some reason, maybe the cold weather we've had, but the hummingbirds are not coming like they used to. :( Anyway, I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty yard and trying to attract different birds. I had a problem with blackbirds this year though. Don't know why they took over my yard this year. I finally switched to sunflower seeds only, which seems to have worked, but now the other birds don't come as often. I suspect it might be the neighbors' cats that keep hiding in the hasta leaves though! I really wish anyone who lets their cat roam should be required to put a bell on them!

Now about the "denture" part of my life! I just wanted to mention that I am going to start another blog that is only for people with dentures and with PROBLEMS with their dentures, most likely caused by their DENTISTS. I was going to start it when I realized I hadn't posted here for nearly a month (over a month?), so I will try AGAIN to post here more often. Still trying to "find my voice". Seems strange after 12 years of running my website, but it's hard.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another holiday.....

I have to repeat over and over "Low expectations = high serenity" "High expectations = low serenity". That way I don't expect my kids to do anything and then I'm happy to get a call on Monday morning with "Happy Mother's Day". Oh hell....I still can't help wishing someone would take me out to dinner or come over and help me with the lawn.

Then there's always the problem of sharing Mother's Day with the kids' step-mother. More than likely my ex will take her and all the kids & grandkids out to dinner. I don't know why he couldn't invite me too. :) His wife and I get along much better than he and I ever did! Here we are at the family (his family) Christmas party:

Anyway, about the low expectations. It's hard to follow my own advice, ya know? My Mother is not talking to me so it was really hard to find just the right card to send her. hehhehe....I found it though!! It has a black&white photo on the front with a woman screaming bloody murder and on the inside it says: "Oh come on, I wasn't THAT bad!" Happy Mother's Day! I literally cracked up in the store. I'm not sure if it will tickle her funny bone or not, but at least I sent her a card. Sent one to my daughter too. And to my daughter-in-law.

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dealing with stress

I keep saying I'm going to start doing yoga (and there's even a video called "Yoga for Menopause", but like so many other things I plan to do, it hasn't happened yet! My stress manifests itself in ways that it's not openly noticeable to others and even I don't know all that is going on in my physical self. It's one of those things that you just know you'd better tend to.

I've been under quite a bit of stress for at least 3 years. I quit smoking, had all my teeth pulled, dealing with psoriasis, helped my son recover from drug/alcohol addiction, dealing with the IRS and of course, being self-employed. So, I've been trying to find ways to build my immune system back up. I'm beginning to think it's hopeless, but I recently started taking DHEA, plus I take vitamin D-3 and St. John's Wort.

Yes, I prefer not taking drugs for everything, but mainly I don't have health insurance so for now natural is my main option. I may as my dermatologist to write a prescription for Zoloft though, just to see if that helps the stress and therefore the psoriasis.

I'm trying to get a walking routine going again. That will help with the stress and my weight! I've done one day so far! Trying to build up to 30 min. walks every day.

What is your best stress buster?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Single women and car repairs.

These 4 words do not go together. No matter how knowledgeable you try to look and sound, they still know you are bluffing! It took me months to find WHERE to take my car for the leak problem....not an oil leak or gas leak, but water was getting in my car and soaking the carpet. Once the temp dropped below freezing I had to start wearing ice skates to, not really, but the floor was frozen! It was great when things warmed up a bit except then the horrific smell would fill the car!

Took the car to a auto collision place and this guy had the car for 10 days!!! Found several small leaks in different locations and finally found the main problem somewhere up front. One thing you don't want to see is your car with the seats out and the carpet and padding out. Very sad. :(

Final cost was $553, but he took off $100. But he also said I need a new waterpump...another $240!!! Lord when does it stop!!??

This was after a week when I also had to buy a new dryer and was waiting for my taxes to be done. I've already traded the dryer in for a nicer (more expensive one) since I bought too fast, but the good news of the month is that I only owe $150 on my taxes. That's great news of course, but that means I barely survived on last year's income! Oh well, this year is looking better, except any extra money I've made or saved is going to pay for the car and the new dryer!!

A great gift for the grandkids! I love to get them things they will use for years to come and these Bongo Bags are wonderful! Moms love them and so do the kids!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Middle Aged Woman song

Song by Lisa Koch Buy her CD!!!!

Gay menopause....

Kind of an oxymoron, right? :) But I'm not talking about "happy" menopause, although I swear I got an email from someone who said they had never had one hotflash or moodswing in the 9 years since their period stopped, so maybe there is such a thing.

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they had an excellent piece on Suzy Orman, one of my favorite experts. She gives excellent financial advice and is especially interested in helping women become financially independent. She's inspirational to me because she said she wasn't that smart when she was younger and she brought herself from poverty to being a billionaire! I watch her tv show often and always catch her when she's on Oprah or any other talk show. Just love and admire her!

I had no idea she was gay! It doesn't matter, of course, but I'm surprised that I never heard anything about it. This brought to mind about gay couples (lesbians) going through menopause. Plenty of good/bad stuff here!

If one menopausal woman in the house is tough, what if there are TWO? You can see where the bad would come into play, but what about the good? WEll....having your partner REALLY understand what you're going through would be a plus, wouldn't it?

What if the women are 5 or 6 years apart in age? This brings to mind Rosie O'Donnell and her life partner. I think Rosie is a few years ahead of Kelli. Uh oh....that means possibly going through it all TWICE!! I wouldn't call that GOOD, would you? Another couple is Ellen and Portia. Ellen just turned 50 recently and I've heard her mention being warm a few times on her show. :)

What if one has it really, really tough and the other breezes through with no problems? Even thought one might be happy that their loved one doesn't have to suffer, can you spell R-E-S-E-N-T-M-E-N-T?

Considering that perimenopause and the entire process through post-menopause can last anywhere from 4 to 15 years, this can be quite a strain on a relationship. I found one book titled: Off the Rag: Lesbians Writing on Menopause but it looks like it's out of print. (you might be able to get a used copy though) Here's what the description/review said: This book offers a full range of the often unpredictable experiences of menopause from a large and varied group of women. For lesbians, it is a dramatic departure from many other menopause books which treat this natural occurrence as something which makes us less "womanly," or something which inteferes with the sexual pleasure of a male partner. Traditional hormone replacement therapies and alternative herbal and naturopathic remedies, as well as doing nothing at all for uncomfortable symptoms are offered in these women's stories. The book encourages women to follow our own best instincts and to persevere until we get the help we need, if that's what we want.

My conclusion is....I'm still glad I was not married or in a relationship when I went through MY change! I've always said that I saved some guy a lot of heartache because he didn't have to put up with me during menopause!

How do you feel? Would you rather go through it alone or with your partner/mate?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wyeth needs a new approach...

Wyeth has a long history of getting the FDA to push their drugs through the approval process and keep other companies from being able to produce generic forms of the drugs.....I'm particularly talking about hormones. After reading this article by Tara Pope in the NY Times, I wrote:

We need alternatives. Why should having choices for our health needs be any different? I also agree that pharmacies should continue to be regulated by the states and should not be allowed to make unsubstantiated statements about compounded products.

I’ve been helping women find their CHOICES for 11 years by showing them both sides of the story. In fact, there have been many women who have been taking Premarin for years and years, my own mother for one, and she’s 77. For some women the synthetic hormones will be fine, but for others who no longer put all their faith in their doctors OR the FDA, they want a choice and the the compounded drugs are a choice.

I believe Wyeth must accept the fact that they only SHARE the pie now, not dominate the market. They also need to show women that they are trying to help, not just trying to make money. This means they need to talk more directly to the average, every day woman with language they can trust and believe in, not have someone like the gorgeous Cheryl Ladd trying to convince us. It’s not working, Wyeth!! Those ads are causing more resentment than confidence. Their PR people need to contact me for an entirely new approach that WILL work.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't squeeze the Charmin!!

Besides the clear message this cartoons sends about severe mood swings, I'd like your opinion on something else. Is it plain to see that 'Minnie' is in a grocery store? I drew this one several years ago and actually there was more detail (like a sign that says welcome to joe's market....or something like that). But when I needed to crop the size I cut out the sign and the cash register to the left.

Ok, second you think it's funny? Usually if you have to ask, it isn't. Or if you have to explain the joke, it isn't. Personally, I think it is pretty clever. hahahaha.....but no one likes to laugh at their own jokes alone! :)

We had a severe storm front move through Michigan last night....about 11 pm the lights went out and the temperature plummeted to 20 or something. The wind blew hard and it rained hard, but the most incredible sight was the lightening. Weird, it was green!

Anyway, I called and reported it to the electric company at 3am because I was afraid no one else on the street did and because I was getting a bit worried since the furnace would not come on without electricity and it was starting to get cold. It was all automated, even the thank you for reporting this outage and I finally fell asleep wondering if I was going to have to go to my daughter's house today. Then at 6am my fan came on! Oh yes, I still use a fan every single night.... I was thrilled!

I came to my office and started the computer....everything went fine, as you can see. Then I turned on the tv in my office and all I get is a blue screen. :( I have satellite so I unplugged everything, turned it on and off, switched boxes, switched cards and nothing but a blue screen. Frustrating because now I know I'll have to go through the process of speaking with someone from India named "Bubba" and just hope his level of English is understandable. Didn't want this crap today and when I go out later to the store, maybe I'd better stay away from the toilet paper aisle!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time alone is so valuable....

but you don't realize it until you haven't had any time alone for a long time. People (neighbors and family) "worry" when I don't come out of the house for a few days. They tell me it's "not healthy". Hmmmm......I think I'm actually healthier.

1. I'm not out getting contaminated by everyone who is sick, but still goes to the grocery store or the gas station, leaving their germs all over the shopping carts, the gas pump and the air.

2. I'm not having an anxiety attack like I do once out in traffic or crowded stores. It's not REAL bad, just enough to make me quit what I'm doing and go home.

3. I'm saving money.....especially when I don't have it. It's easier to do without (junkfood, etc) than to face going out in the traffic.

When my son was living here all of last year, I hardly ever had a full 24 hours to myself. Now that he's not here I still kind of feel like I'm not alone sometimes. hahahaha.....then I feel selfish if one or two of the grandkids want to spend the night. I kind of pout (to myself) about having to share the ice cream or mainly, the tv! :) But I fight the urge to say no and allow them to control the remote all night. I just keep telling myself, they'll be gone tomorrow and it's all MINE!!

Time alone can be lonely too, but not so much since computers have become such an integral part of my life. I actually can't think of a time when I've felt lonely for the last several years.

The thing that gets worse the longer I'm alone? Procrastination!! When I don't have anyone to answer to or anyone who sees how much time I actually spend on the computer or sleeping, oh boy, do I overdo both!!

What do they mean I don't get out? Look at me here!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quit Smoking, ok?

Did you see the Oprah show yesterday? She had Dr. Oz talking about smoking, plus the whole audience was smokers and there's a plan on her site to help people quit. This should really help a lot of people because she can put the best info and reach the most people in one spot. I'm very pleased to announce that March 1 will be my 3rd year of not smoking!

Here's something interesting too....I have mentioned many times that smoking can bring on early menopause (mine at 41), so it's not news that all the chemicals in cigarettes can affect our hormones. That makes me think that quitting might make peri-menopause easier. There hasn't been any formal studies (that I know about) comparing peri with smokers vs with non-smokers. That could be very interesting.

Then I came across some information about how the FDA does nothing to regulate the tobacco industry. This is right after the latest report about the FDA saying that the hormone estriol is not approved by them for use in hormone replacement. This is ridiculous! Just another one of those crazy facts that rule our daily lives. I found the info on a site I support that is trying to keep our kids smoke free. I really think that getting involved with a group like this might help those of you who need a "bigger purpose" than just saving your own lives. I know, it sounds crazy, but while we're smokers, we ARE crazy!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Black Monday?

How are YOUR finances? Mine have been pretty poor up to now, but not because I shopped myself into debt for Christmas. In fact, I paid cash for every present. I do that every year. So how did I end up over $16,000 in debt? Taxes! (and $3,400 in dental--no insurance). Over $11,000 is taxes. Whew! Then when business slows down (like the economy has been doing most of 2007), it makes it tough to just meet minimum obligations each month.

This causes stress and stress causes so many health problems!! And, if you don't have health insurance like me, that causes more stress and before you know it, you're unable to motivate yourself to sell, or create or just enjoy an afternoon with your grandchildren! What's that lead to? Depression, of course, and a vicious circle that becomes known as "my normal life".

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FDA is overstepping responsibility.

At least in my opinion! For them to come down on compounding pharmacies, when they've been doing what they do for hundreds of years, is ridiculous! Now women who are taking "bioidentical" hormones will have to worry if they will not be able to get their prescriptions filled. Where is the power of the FDA going to end?

I hate to actually get in the middle of this, but it's pretty clear that the FDA has buckled under the pressure of Wyeth and their power to cause this kind of scrutiny over something that has been used without incident for years and years. Of course that's what they (the FDA) did when they allowed Premarin to be used for 20 years and then we found out it was causing more trouble than it was helping. When Premarin was taken off the shelves, the breast cancer numbers were reduced dramatically.

Here's what I wish would happen. Wyeth needs to talk directly to women about what happened and what changes have been made. They need to show women that they DO care about their health and that Wyeth is creating products that will help many women in the coming years. (They really should hire someone like "Minnie Pauz" to help smooth the road ahead)

Anyway, here's the link to the FDA report and there's more here, including comments from some prominent people and an audio from the FDA. In the meantime, I'm using cartoons to express myself on the topic.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

OOps....missed a few days!

Or maybe it was just one? Actually, I didn't look to see the date of my last post. I've kind of been hoping to get some people stopping by from my message board since I changed my signature to show this blog....they could be coming here and reading but leaving without typing a message. If that's the case, then I must be pretty boring!

Oh well, I'm just getting up to speed after the holidays. Have to go to my daughter's tomorrow at 6 am so she can leave for work and then I get my granddaughter up at 7:30 to eat, get dressed and catch the schoolbus at 8:25. I've been sleeping in for over two weeks now so it's going to be rough to get used to getting up early again.

Been playing online all day instead of working on my newsletter, but I love this site: It's like a myspace for the over 50 crowd! Check it out and report back, ok? :)

My picture for today is one my daughter (same one as above) took while they were in Florida! Thought this would warm you up if you're in a cold climate!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

Today is my oldest son's 40th birthday. Seems impossible, but 40 years ago today I was a 19 yr. old army wife, stationed in Naples, Italy and had my first child in the Naval hospital there. Unfortunately, my husband (ex now) was already in the hospital with hepatitis from eating fresh clams from the Bay of Naples. I was quite the brave girl to handle all this in a foreign country with no relatives to help out. :)

So here was my first born then:

and here he is now (with his lovely wife):

Now I'd also like to wish all of you who have birthdays in January a very wonderful day, no matter how old or young you are!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New beginnings!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Talk about a FRESH start! Look at what I woke up to this morning! I've already been out shoveling and it's somewhat invigorating once you get all bundled up and get out there!

I live in a mobile home park so all the neighbors were outside helping everyone dig their cars out after management plowed down the middle of the street. That makes it twice as hard to get our cars moved--well, it's basically a pain in the butt! The main reason is that this park used to be only two streets and everyone (including me) has two parking spaces to park, on the street. Then a few years ago a new owner expanded the park and now there's all doublewide homes and each one has a driveway for two cars--off the street. But those of us who live in the old part have to shuffle our cars around so they can come and plow the street. What a crazy dance, but like I said, it brings all the neighbors out and makes you want to have hot chocolate!

So the new year starts with a snowstorm.....or did the old year go out with a bang? However you look at it, it's a defining point. I can't say 2007 was the best year. I don't feel like I accomplished much. It was like an uphill battle all the way and nothing was finished. I've still got my son living here, I'm still in a battle with my dentist about my dentures, I'm still not where I want to be with my business.....guess I'll have to set some new goals and see what I can get done in 2008.

One thing I'm going to tackle (again) this year is getting organized and getting rid of clutter! I did it a few years ago with my friend, Pat's help. It's not quite as bad as it was back then, but I'm definitely feeling overwhelmed with clutter! For now that's the only commitment I'm going to make for the new year.