Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Accidental Sexter: Consider the Eggplant

πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ‘πŸŒπŸŒπŸ‘πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

By Mary Meehan
Menopausal Mom of Kentucky

Apparently in emoji world a nice, firm eggplant means penis.
Not just any kind of penis but a particularly robust and lenghty penis at that.

I did not know this when I sent my fellow fellows at Harvard a string of emojis to celebrate the fact that I now have a phone which actully sends emojis. Previously I was literally writing out "happy face, happy face, winky face, cat."

Among first festive random selection was πŸ“―πŸŽ‚πŸŽƒπŸ€ and πŸ†.
Yes, I sent a phallic message to an elite group of journalists from around the globe and their spouses.
It was brought to my attention by someone who went onto explain that many seemingly harmless emojis represent the kinds of behavior one generally does not discuss in mixed company, especially if you're from the South. 

Now, as the fellow from the place most famous for fried chicken and hillbillies, the expectations of my cultural awareness among the fellows runs pretty low. 
But I'm pretty sure the penis emoji was a surprise.

To be honest, emojis are a bit of mystery to me.

I didn't really become a texter until 2010. Until then I used my ☎️ mostly a ☎️. 
I started texting, slowy and badly, because the mothers of my daughter's friends are all a decade younger and texting was their preferred method of communication.

I still am not good at texting. I pick out letters with one finger. I envy those who text super fast with their πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ». I still don't completely understand why people go back and forth for five minutes to pick a restaurant via text when a conversation would take 10 seconds. But I digress.......

Learning that πŸ† means penis and has made me wary of many other emjois. πŸŒπŸ‘…πŸ’„πŸ‘€ are just a few.

I now have 1,000 emojis on my phone and I've heard even πŸ’¦ have a special meaning. Is the world such a sexually suggestive place that a πŸ‘ is not a πŸ‘? Or a 🌽 is not an 🌽?

And I am not the only one who ponders what a sent emoji really means. On girl-centered movies and television shows young women whine endlessly about what a specific emoji from a boy really means. 

But even aside setting the idea that words and an extremely effective and precise way of communicating, what the hell are the 1,000 emojis on my phone for?

Who needsπŸ’‰?
How often does someone text about a 🚽?
DoesπŸ—Ώ come up often in your conversations?
And, honestly, is this πŸŽ…πŸΏ suppose to be Santa? It looks a lot more like an otter in a Santa cap.
But, in addition to learning not to post πŸ† I've put my glasses on and discovered that πŸ‘³πŸ»which I thought was a woman with short, white hair is really someone in a turbin. Not that there is anything
wrong with that.

But the bigger question is this: As We are getting more and more advanced with technology why are we reverting to the equvilent of modern cave paintings to communicate? And who, exactly decided tht a πŸ“― means a female orgasm

Menopausal Moms: Read in 50 countries. Shout out to China!

Menopause is Universal!




Friday, October 9, 2015

We all have miracles happen in our lives...if we choose to acknowledge them.


The pains started about noon on Thursday, March 2nd, 1984, and they were coming about 12 minutes apart.  We went to the hospital and they said I was not in labor.  Seriously?  I am 2 days overdue and the pains are horrible!  If this is not labor, what would that pain feel like?

Later that night, the pains were getting worse and closer together.  So, we decided to go back to the hospital.  This time they kept me.  This is where my journey as a mother and my son’s life journey began.
Bradley with his maternal grandmother and maternal great-grandfather
Robert Bradley Hall would not be born until Monday, March 5th, 1984.  It was a LONG weekend.  I ended up delivering him by Caesarean Section and was put to sleep for the procedure.  So, when I woke up in my room, the first thing I wanted to see was my baby boy.  Instead, a pediatric physician entered my room, and in front of many family members, he said, “Your son was born with a birth defect.  His esophagus grew up from his stomach, but is not connected to the esophagus growing down from his throat.  He will need surgery immediately to connect his esophagus together.  We can’t do the surgery here, so he will be taken by ambulance to Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY.”

I just looked at the doctor in shock.  I had no words.  And, if you know me…you know that is a rare thing. I was exhausted, and this news just completely broke me down emotionally.  Finally, words came out. “Will my baby be ok?”  The doctor said as far as he could see, Robert was healthy in every other way, so he should be fine.  I then said, “We are calling him Bradley…he will be called by his middle name.”  The doctor smiled and said if I had any other questions, he would be down the hall.

It wasn’t long until I saw the ambulance leaving the parking lot of the hospital from the window near my bed.  I was not able to go with him because of my surgery.  It would be six days later that I would see my son for the first time.

My insurance forced me to stay in a maternity ward with 3 other women.  So, while my baby was off enduring a life-saving surgery, I would be watching 3 new mothers feed and cuddle their babies.  It was almost unbearable.  The other mothers were so sympathetic to my situation.  They would bring their babies over for me to hold, and as caring as that was, I think it made things harder.  I wanted to hold MY baby.

Later that evening, a Saint Joseph nurse called to say he was out of surgery and it was a success!  She also added he had pooped all over her…and that was a good thing!  It meant he had no intestinal blockages, which is a rare thing for babies born with this birth defect. 

I was so relieved, and slept the best that night than I had slept in days.  It would be the next day before I would hear what Bradley had actually gone through.

Yes, Bradley’s surgery was a success, but not until God stepped in.  When Bradley first came out of surgery, dye had to be run down his esophagus to make sure there were no pinhole leaks where the esophagus was joined together.  As the dye entered this area, it gushed into his lungs and he was rushed back into surgery.  At the same time, many of our family churches were in prayer for my son. Let me tell you, God listens!  As they got Bradley back into surgery to correct the leaks, no leaks could be found.  The dye was run down his esophagus again, and not even a pinhole leak existed. 

The surgeon, Dr. Belin, could not explain it.  He said, “Something happened between this floor and the surgery room.”  The only thing that could have happened was that my son was healed by an even greater physician.  Bradley was healed through the miracle of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I knew when I heard this news the Lord had a plan for our son. 
Bradley with his maternal grandmother and grandfather
Bradley eating his first birthday cake
Bradley playing Hide and Go Seek
Bradley would endure problems from another birth defect found as he was an adult.  This defect caused his spine to continue growing up into his brain stem.  However, after years of MRIs and visits to the University of Kentucky Hospital, his neurologist believes the spine finally quit growing and the condition should not get worse than where it is currently.  He does suffer with some back and neck pain from this condition, but he should be able to live a normal life. 
However, we do believe this condition had something to do with the development of a stutter at the age of 18.  This stutter has been a difficult thing for Bradley to deal with.  Speaking on the phone, or ordering food through a drive-thru restaurant can be challenging for him, but his faith is strong!  He leads his family with Christian values and is truly an example of how I want to live my life.
Me and Brad
Brad and his beautiful bride, Carmen
Brad and his siblings...and his niece, Sophie
  
Bradley may not have the ability to minister from a podium, but he has a strong ministry.  Bradley is an amazing writer, and each week, he writes a Christian column about how he handles everyday life through analogies of the world today and stories from the Bible.  These columns have made an impact in my life, and I hear quite often how they have touched the lives of others.  And, thanks to social media, we can share these columns all over the world.   
Brad (left) holding some of his Kentucky Press Association Awards
My handsome son


Did I mention Brad was awesome at Photoshop?
Yes, bad things happen.  My son was born with birth defects.  But, my son shines in the eyes of the Lord regardless.  He was/is perfect!
God had a plan for my son, and I believe this plan is far from over. 


May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sissy that is not how you bait shrimp on a hook

 
“Sissy that is not how you bait shrimp on a hook.”  This is how the conversation started.

Early this month, my husband, Tim, and I went on a beach vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  And, my favorite thing to do at the beach is to fish off the pier.   So, the first morning we were there, I got up early, grabbed my tackle box and said, “Let’s go fishing!”  I was so excited!

                                            

After about an hour of fishing, an older man sitting on the bench next to me saw I was not catching anything.  So, he decided to step in and help.  The first thing he said was that I was not baiting my shrimp on the hook correctly.  He said I needed to shell the shrimp, cut it in half, and then put the hook through the top end of the shrimp, push it back on the hook, twist it, and then thread the bottom of the shrimp on the hook.  Evidently, that was only one of many things I was doing wrong. 

So, now I knew how to bait my hook.  I then proceeded to cast my line out into the ocean.  The man simply hung his head and shook it as if he were completely appalled at what I had just done.  I reluctantly said, “Did I do that wrong?”  He lifted his head…looked directly out to the ocean and kept shaking his head side to side.  I said, “I guess I did?”  He turned his head toward me and said, “Sissy, how long have you been fishing?”  I said, “All my life.”  He asked if I ever caught much.  My thought in the moment was that I didn’t like this guy much.  He looked like a vagrant, smelled like fish, and was really annoying.   I looked over to my husband, hoping he would save me from this man, but he was reading his book and paying absolutely no attention to what was going on. Uh huh. So, I looked at the man and said, “No, I really never catch many fish.”  Then I felt like hanging my head.  I just know Tim was listening and laughing under his breath. 

  


“Well Sissy, let me show you how to cast out your line.”  No one had called me Sissy, except one good friend…and my dad before he died.  I wasn’t sure if he meant it sarcastically or if he was trying to be endearing?  Either way I didn’t like it.  So, I said, “My name is Kim.”  He said, “Ok, my name is Jim.”  So, there we all were…Kim, Tim and now Jim.  I said, “It’s nice to meet you.”


 I lied. 

Jim then proceeded to show me how to cast out my line underhanded from the pier.  This made me really nervous.  I felt like I was going to throw my pole in the water.  But, after about 15 tries and a lot of head shaking by Jim, I had figured it out…and I was quite proud.  You would have thought I had won an Oscar!  I was standing tall and proud on the pier! 

But, as if someone stole the Oscar right out of my hands, I wasn’t feeling quite as proud when Jim said, “Ok, you got the line in the water…what do you do now?”  I said, “Wait?”  He rolled his eyes.  I guess that was not the right answer.  He proceeded to say, “Fishing is a sport.  If you wait, you will not catch fish.  You should always be playing the sport.”  I told Jim that evidently I did not know how to play.  He said, “Lift your pole up until you feel the weight of your leader.”  So, I did this…and almost immediately I could feel the fish nibbling at the bait.  I jerked the pole up and caught the fish.  It was only about an 8 inch mullet, but it was a fish all the same.  I was so excited …again!

But, as I expected, Jim took away my joy.  He said, “When you pull back on the pole to catch a fish, you can’t let it drop back down.  You will lose the fish.”  
That should be easy enough...or so I thought. 
So, I baited my shrimp, casted out my line, held it up to feel the weight, felt the fish bite and jerked back on the pole…only to drop it back down.  I knew I had failed the test immediately.  So, I looked over at Jim and said, “I need practice.”  He said, “Yeah.” 

But, at this point, I started catching fish…it was awesome!   I was even catching some really interesting stuff like eels and crabs.
 
And, Jim seemed genuinely excited for me…he actually smiled!  We started talking and he told me his wife had died several years earlier, and he was alone most of the time.  He said he fished as often as he could to keep his mind occupied.  He loved the guys who fished at the pier, and he loved to eat fish…so it was a win, win for Jim.   

Everyone at the pier seemed to love Jim too.  No one could pass him by without saying hello or asking him how many fish he had caught that day.  It was in that moment I realized how much Jim reminded me of my dad.  Everyone loved my dad, and he too would drop his head when he was trying to teach me something...and I just couldn’t get it.  He would often follow the head shaking with the words, “Oh boy!”   I never heard Jim say, “Oh boy,” but I know with my heart of hearts he was thinking it. 

I teared up and kept on fishing.  This was something Dad and I loved to do together.  And for one evening, on a pier in North Carolina, I had him back. 
                                    I caught over 30 fish that week.

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim York

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Santa Claus is coming to town…Oh wait…he’s already here!


I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus…in August!  Literally.

For the last few years, I have dreaded to see Christmas rear its ugly head.  Only because Christmas is not the Christmas I knew growing up.  Honoring the birth of our Lord and Savior, who gives us life, has turned into the honoring of a man in a red suit who brings us lots of “stuff.”  It’s sad.
And, not only do we honor this man in a red suit, but we start honoring him in the heat of summer!  I walked into Cracker Barrel 2 weeks ago and Christmas decorations were everywhere!  And, when I say Christmas decorations, I should say Santa decorations.  I saw very little, if any, Christian dΓ©cor, except for some angels.  And, I think that was only because they are pretty.  Cracker Barrel even had the station set up to do gift wrapping.  Really? 

 
And yesterday I walked into Hobby Lobby, where “This is My Father’s World” was playing as I looked at religious pictures and decorative crosses.  I was feeling the Lord’s presence and singing along to the music, when I looked up and saw Santa staring me right in the face.  His smile was wicked.  I swear I heard him say, “I will get you, my pretty, and your little dog too. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!”  All while his face was turning a nuclear shade of green! 

Do I have to endure 5 months of this? 
And, of course, there will be the after Christmas clearance sales extending this torture for another whole month.  Think about it…over 1/3 of the year dedicated to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and his merry henchmen. I don’t think I can stand it this year.
And, to take this even further…you don’t have to physically go in a store to be bombarded by Santa “Claws.”  My inbox is also blowing up with emails about early Christmas shopping.  Yes, every email claims I can save up to 50%...if I shop early.  I don’t want to shop early!  I don’t want to see the emails yet!

Am I the only one who feels this way?  I mean, if they put this “stuff” out there so early, it must be because people buy it??  Right?? What are your thoughts?  Do you like the Christmas “season” as it is now-a-days?  Chime in and share your perspective.

Merry Christmas everyone!


May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Menopausal Moms of Kentucky: Why, yes, I will take the student discount.

Menopausal Moms of Kentucky: Why, yes, I will take the student discount.: By Mary Meehan Menopausal Mom,  I'm the one addicted to Hallmark Holiday Movies Let it be known that I have received my f...

Why, yes, I will take the student discount.




By Mary Meehan

Let it be known that I have received my first student discount since 1986.

The guy at the hardware store made a point to ask every Co-Ed in the store if she knew about the discount. Strange, he didn't ask me.

But I do have a student ID....one from Harvard. I was kind of giddy when I got it. I know it gets me into Harvard's libraries. Although, I think it has some other perks.....like signing up for Harvard classes... but it also saved me 90 cents on a curtain rod. 

My Nieman Fellowship starts officially tomorrow with the first of 10 days of orientation. I'll keep you posted as to what all I become orientated too. 

So far, on my own I've learned these things about Cambridge. 

There are a lot of coffee shops. It seems to hurt the barista's souls if you put cream and sugar in their coffee because apparently it overwhelms the notes of caramel or hibiscus or nutmeg or treebark or whatever. One had me watch him pour the coffee through a filter as if it was a magical experience. I wasn't sure whether or not to applaud. When he wasn't looking I put in both cream and sugar. But tomorrow I will gaze upon my Mr. Coffee as it perks to see if it enhances my coffee experience. 

I've learned how to manage the subway. Here it is called the T. At the station nearest my house it might stand for Terribly Far Underground. Here are the stairs and the escalator. 



Some people have perfected a way of running down the escalator that involves leaning back slightly. I have not seen anyone run up. I tend to stand and ride. 

It's been in the mid-80s to mid 90s I need to conserve energy for the walking that follows the ride.

In seven days I have almost gotten on the wrong train twice. I have twice followed directions to a particular place only to find that it wasn't really there and I've missed my stop once. Not bad, I'd say.
Especially for a person who once ended up on the wrong Florida coast while trying to go to the beach.

As far as the walking goes, I've learned that SalonPas doesn't really work, Alleve does and my walking shoes where a good investment.  

Here is the other thing I've learned. People are very nice if you ask politely and look harmless. I unwittingly asked an intoxicated hooker for directions on my first subway trip. She gave very good directions.

My mailman, Joe, stopped his route to come inside and show me which mail box was mine. When I said I was from Kentucky it felt like he'd never heard anyone say that before. One of my fellow fellows from the Netherlands said he knows Kentucky mostly from music and it seems like a fantasy to him. I'm not sure what music he is listening too, I've got Florida-Georgia Line on Pandora and there is a lot of beer drinking and bad white boy rapping...but he meant it sincerely and Kentucky is a beautiful place.
I miss it. I miss my daughter. I miss my friends and family. I miss people saying "ya'll" like the one syllable word it is meant to be.
 But I'm here, it's official. I've got the ID to prove it and I can't wait to see what it brings me more than 10 percent off.  This is the Lippmann House. It is home base for the Nieman Fellows. It looks pretty beautiful, too.




Shout out to Albania and Croatia!
 Menopausal Moms of Kentucky has readers in 46 countries and counting. Moms and Menopause are Universal!

Friday, August 14, 2015

I've made it to Cambridge and maybe back to badassery



My hometown is Georgetown, Ky. There are about 36,000 people in the whole county and probably and equal number of cows and acres of tobacco. If I would venture a guess, I'd say there is a Ford Ram Truck for every 1.7 people, although that estimate might be low.

Sometimes on the way to work I get stuck behind farm equipment and have to go 2 miles an hour.

My fellowship was a complete moon shot. I stumbled forward through the application fueled by frustration. The newspaper business I love was dying from decades of self-inflicted wounds. I loved my job but it hurt my heart to go into that office everyday without a path to making things better.

Oh, and I turned 50. No further explanation needed there, right?

And much, much to my surprise I got it. There was a moment in the interview when they asked me what I would bring to the fellowship. I said I'd been told Kentucky was pretty much fly over country. That for folks at Harvard it was the same as Kansas or Mississippi or Tennessee.

I said I hoped I would show the other fellows that someone from Kentucky could be insightful, progressive, passionate, intelligent....the list went on for a bit. No one was more surprised than me to hear those words  come out of my mouth. But I felt in that moment something I haven't felt in a long time....I was once kind of a bad ass. I looked at possibilities and believed I could make them realities. I told my fellow Menopausal Mom I was ready to get back some of that badassery.

When I. Finished my list of attributes I made a joke like "wow, I just said an awful lot of nice things about myself."

And everybody laughed. Me too. But, for once, I believed those nice things I said about myself. I also instantly felt the need to hug everybody but, mostly, I restrained myself.


So now I yearn to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity....I feel like I should be thinking big thoughts but so far have noticed that Cambridge seems filled with that carefully messy hair trend that is the...Man Bun

Shout out to Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia. Menopausal Moms has been read in 45 countries and counting.
Menopause is Universal.





Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bend and snap! Mary is on her way to Harvard!


I dropped her off at the airport around 8:00am.  She cried, and then I cried!  (I didn’t let her see it though…I sat in my car five minutes drying tears before I could pull out.)  I am sad, but so excited for her to make this adventure!

 
You see, the day has finally arrived.  My fellow Menopausal Mom, Mary Meehan, is making her way to the big city of Boston to represent Kentucky as a Nieman Fellow.  This is huge!  You can read about it here:
http://nieman.harvard.edu/alumni/current-fellows/
 
And, I realize she is a bundle of emotions today.  I mean, seriously…she is saying goodbye to her daughter for a while, and she had to find temporary homes for her pets.  And, she is flying to a new city, to stay in a new apartment, where she will attend classes and meet lots of new people and do lots of exciting things.  Holy Crap!  Happy.  Sad.  Blessed.  Scared.  Pee-in-your-pants want to scream excited!

All that I can say is, “Wow!”  Mary has always been a great friend, but now I see her as a role model for me and all women of our “age range.”  How many menopausal moms would pack up their lives and move away for a year to do something meaningful, fun, and exciting??  I would be scared to death! 

But, Mary has me thinking more about climbing outside of my box.  Yes, my box is deep…but my husband has a big ole ladder I can borrow anytime!  And, it’s taking that first step that can be the hardest!  I remember how difficult it was for Mary just to complete the application to be a Nieman Fellow.  And, once she completed that process, her self-confidence grew leaps and bounds.

Now she is on her way.  She actually just texted to say the wheels were up (8:38am.)  OMG!  She is actually doing this!  So, I have to show Mary what she is doing is an inspiration…that she has definitely inspired me to do something adventurous.  
Mary, if you are invited to a party...be sure to ask if costumes will be worn.
Many of you know I am severely claustrophobic.  This fear limits my life.  I have never flown in an airplane because I do not want to be trapped in a big silver coffin. (That is what my head is saying to me.)  But, this keeps me from seeing the world.  And, the ironic part is that my son works for American Airlines…guess who could be flying practically free?  Yep…ME!  So, conquering this fear and getting on a plane would be huge for both me and my family. 

Mary, you have inspired me to get the counseling I need to conquer this fear and fly!  Holy crap…I am going to do this!

What about you?  Do you want to step out of your box and do something exciting?  Do you think you are too old?  Tell us what you would do if you could climb out of your box and be adventurous.  

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Menopausal Moms 10 Second Movie Review: Trainwreck



                                                 
By Mary Meehan

Original. 
RomCom. 
Sex. Sex talk. Goofy. Heart. 
Amy Schumer? Charming.
 John Cena's butt? Damn! 
Bill Hader surprisingly sweet, dreamy 
Lebron: Scene stealer.
 Verdict: See it



Friday, July 31, 2015

Hi, I’m Kim…and I am an addict!

I like food in the morning.
I like food at night.
I even like food by candlelight.

Food is my addiction.
Food is my crutch.
Food is going to kill me because I eat way too much!


I eat food when I drive.
I eat food when I cry.
I’m sure I’ll want food even after I die!

Yes, my name is Kim, and I am a food addict!

Everything about my life is altered by my desire to eat.  And, if I could ask for one thing to change in my life, it would be to lose weight and be healthier.  That’s it!  It is completely within my control for this to happen, yet I continue to eat all of the wrong things. Why can’t I do what I need to do?

I have tried everything you could think of to lose weight.  I have tried the Atkin’s Diet.  I have tried low-fat diets.  I have tried counting calories.  I have tried Weight Watcher’s.  I have tried Jenny Craig.  I have even tried the Subway diet.  Every single one of these “diets” work, while I stick to them.  But, they never seem to stay in my life for more than a few weeks. 

I can’t help it! 

Ding Dongs and Ho Hos call to me.  They say things like, “You can have just one…it won’t hurt you.  You know you want to.”  And, then you look at the price, and they are always on sale 2 for $5.00…so you have to get 2 boxes.  Right?  It would be uneconomical…and a crime to buy only one box.  Then the very minute you eat that last scrumptious bite of chocolate, you swear you are never going to do it again!


And, on top of food calling to me from every direction, I am going through menopause!  I am hungry all of the time!  Ok, maybe I am not really hungry, but I crave food constantly.  When I wake up, the first thing I think about is what I am going to have for breakfast.  Then, I immediately turn my mind to lunch.  And, by the time I have had lunch my husband and I are usually emailing each other to discuss what we are going to have for dinner.  We talk about food like other couples talk about sex!  It is like we live to eat instead of eating to live!

This addiction to food plays a role in every aspect of my life too.  I am now on medication to keep my blood sugar regulated, and I am on medication to control my blood pressure too.  And, I should be on cholesterol medication, but I haven’t found one that doesn’t cause painful side effects.  But, the irony of this is if I lost weight, I could get off of all of this medication.  I could be free of the bondage fat causes in my life.  I could be that thinner healthier person I know I am meant to be.   She is in me.  I hear her every day.  I have even given her a name…”Charlize.”  (The name just sounds skinny.)  Charlize says things like, “Kim, don’t eat that Ho Ho.  You know it will go straight to your hips.”  Yeah, I hear her…then I usually stick the Ho Ho in my mouth to shut her up. 

But, it is time for Charilze to win the battle she has fought with me for many years.  It is time for me to listen to Charlize.  It is time for Charlize to wear those skinny jeans I run from as soon as I see them. It is time for Charlize to stop taking medication she does not need.  It is time for me to exercise more, like Charlize has told me to do for many years. 

 If I don’t get on the right path, I will be taking Charlize to meet our maker way before she or I want to.   

So, here is my plan…are you listening Charlize?  I actually have a plan.  A good friend of mine has recently lost a substantial amount of weight, and I asked how she accomplished this.  She said she cut out dairy, bread and potatoes.  She said she felt amazing…and she looks amazing!  The foods she cut out are like my staple foods, which is why I am not healthy.  So, it makes sense that by eliminating these starchy, carb and fat filled foods from my diet, I will get healthier. 

I think the key to this new way of eating (not a diet) being successful, is to plan ahead.  Planning, instead of eating on the run, and mostly from drive-thru windows (I hope my doctor is not reading this,) is critical.  I hope to plan my meals week to week, and buy the food ahead of time, so that I am prepared.

And, I need support! 

Is anyone else ready to take a journey to be healthier?  I plan to post any obstacles or accomplishments I obtain to our Menopausal Mom Facebook page.  I plan to weigh in every Monday and list either my loss or gains.  And, I would love to have you join me.  Even if you don’t need to lose weight, please participate!  Add encouraging words to others on this journey we will all be taking together. 

I also plan to report how my health is doing via my doctor’s reports too.  I want to be transparent about this because we tend to keep these things inside when we could be sharing our struggles together.

I want to free Charlize from my addiction, and if you too need release from a food addiction, come on board!

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Praise of the Man Bun

By Mary Meehan
Menopausal Mom of Kentucky
I'm the one called Granny Zombie

I was having lunch the other day with my unofficially adopted daughter who has more tattoos and piercings than I can count and a few in places I don't want to know about. 

And, to my surprise and thanks to our lushy-locked Ginger waiter,  as we chatted over pizza we discovered our mutual admiration of a good Man Bun.

There is much to discuss.

Is the Man Bun just another Bieber flip? That was the hair don't that created spasmatic necks from excessive flippingin many a middle school boy. Is this Jared Leto-inspired trend like that  short-lived fad driven by a teen dream celeb? (To be honest there are still a few flippy hair Beliebers out there.)


Or is the Man Bun the mullet of the millennium? That business-in-the-front party-in-the-back travesty that seemingly infected the nation but especially took hold here in Kentucky where entire high school yearbooks of a certain vintage have an array of nothing but mullets.

Will, someday, folks look back at the Man Bun,  that luxurious, strategically messy disarray and ponder  "what on earth were they thinking" in the same way I am puzzled by the fact I ever wore shoulder pads?

I hope not. At lunch we came to the conclusion that maybe the allure of the Man Bun is some sort of primal draw....early man didn't exactly have Super Cuts. Maybe it is the confidence it takes to wear it well? Maybe, like women, shiny, healthy, abundant hair is a sign of fertility to which women are automatically wired to respond.

Or, maybe, it's just a little reckless and sexy.

But there are limitations. Not everyone can pull off a Man Bun and not all Man Buns are created equal.



We love you Channing.....but, no.



And there are some styles that show just a little too much effort.


Yes, because we Menopausal Moms have been doing our hair for decades, we know that the Man Bun is likely the result of careful conditioning and clipping. It probably has multiple dry runs before a mirror before it makes a public debut. Who knows? Those boys may be brushing their hair 100 times every night just like those girls in the 50s beach movies did at their sleep overs.

No, the perfect Man Bun is the follicle equivalent of "what, this old thing?" The key, as any woman who has tried to achieve a chic "bed head" look knows is to appear nonchalant no matter how much product you've used
Although some aging hippies may have long embraced a Man Bun it hasn't caught among Menopausal Men as much as among millennials. But don't despair older men. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of you out there who could pull it off.  


  • Shout out to our reader in Abzerbianjan! Menopausal is Universal!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

…til death do us part…hopefully


When we get married, we hope this union is meant to last until one of the two parties die. And, for 50% of the marriages out there (divorcepad.com,) it does.  But, for the other 50%, sadly, it does not.
 I, personally, was married the first time for 10 years.  My first husband was a kind man, but my mother-in-law was…let's just say "difficult."  My husband was an only child, and she was very protective over him, and nothing I ever did was good enough.  She kind of dominated our lives, and I was miserable.  And, my husband would never say anything to her. 
I don't know if you have ever watched, "Everybody Loves Raymond," but I felt much like Debra did about Marie.  Debra loved Marie, but she preferred to love her from afar.  I remember one scene from this show that really hit home:

"Everybody Loves Raymond: Counseling (#7.2)" (2002)

Debra Barone: "Is it such a problem that I want my house to look clean?"
Marie Barone: "That's certainly valid. And Raymond, you of all people should know that if you want your house to look clean, Debra *needs* help."  
My house was never clean enough.  I never fed my children the right foods.  And, if she gave us $5.00 the entire family knew about it.  And, of course, the family would tell me.  After ten years, I couldn't take it anymore. 
Result: Divorce.

Currently, I have been married for 22 years (anniversary is July 18th.)  This marriage has come with many hurdles to cross too.  Communication, in my thought, has been the most challenging part for us.  If a disagreement occurs and the tone of communication gets loud, I prefer to go off by myself and calm down, so I can be rational at a later point.  My husband, on-the-other-hand, prefers to get it out in the moment.  He doesn't understand my need to be alone for a while, and I do not understand his need to get it out in the moment.  But, so far, so good...and the longer we are together, the better we seem to handle such situations.
But, we have also struggled through even more challenging situations; most recently it has involved trust issues.  And, most people would say if their spouse is talking innappropriately to someone of the opposite sex, they are completely at fault and it is grounds for a divorce. 

However, I will say this, marriage is a two-way street.  If this is happening in your relationship, take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself if you had any part in this?  You may not have any blame.  But, I looked in the mirror, and quickly realized I most definitely had blame in my situation.  You see, my husband was talking through Facebook and text messages to a gal he knew in high school.  And yes, this is difficult for me to talk about, but at the same time, it is healing.
At first, I was really angry.  I realized he was chatting with her during family gatherings, Valentine's Day, and texting her just after texting me…or just before texting me.  Trust me, I made copies of every text message and Facebook message I could find.  I was a woman on a mission!  I wanted so much to hurt him the way he had hurt me, but that was not the answer.  Once I did my usual thing of going off to myself, calming down, and becoming more rational, I realized my husband and I had let our marriage go.  We weren't communicating.  We weren't making time for each other.  And, well, intimacy was a distant memory. 
Why was this happening?
When I began to answer this question, there was no way the fault was completely on my husband.  You see, my dad had passed away a few months earlier after a long illness.  I had injured my back and was dealing with pain every day, and I had lost a job.  It was a trying time for me, and instead of clinging tighter to my husband, I was unintentionally ignoring him and becoming absorbed with self-pity. 
But, as I read the messages my husband wrote to his old high school gal friend, I could hear lonliness in the messages.  Most of the time, they were just talking about random things.  Some of the texts were not appropriate, but he also told her he loved me very much.  I heard in these messages that he needed me as much as I needed him, and it took this horrible situation to reveal it.
My husband and I renewed our vows in church…where the words should have been spoken in the first place, and we decided to move forward.  We have forgiven each other…even though he still feels I had no blame in the situation.  I know, in fact, I had blame. 

Getting older creates new challenges in marriages.  You begin dealing with the care of aging parents, or the death of them, while trying to still be good parents to your children/adults living at home.  Your body is also aging and needs more attention, and your sleep patterns change.  The middle-age years can be stressful in so may ways, and this can add stress to your marriage.
Do I trust my husband?  Of course this situation hurt that trust, but I am working on this every day!  Deep in my heart, I believe this will never happen again.  But, I am human…and occasionally my mind wanders back to that dark place.  However, my husband is always willing to talk openly with me.  He doesn't say, "Aren't you ever going to let this die?"  He is always willing to talk with me about how I am feeling. 

That is the key…we talk.  We both make a strong effort to make time for each other; neither of us should ever feel lonely.  And, we decided if we do…we need to communicate that to each other…not keep it inside because it will manifest and rear its ugly head in some fashion. 

Result: 22 years of marriage (this Saturday) and still counting.


Marriage requires work on both parts.  If you are part of a relationship where you feel you must make all of the effort, LET IT GO!  Menopause is difficult enough! 
May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bill Cosby: Charming figure or rapist? Answer: Yes

     
By Mary Meehan
Menopausal Mom of Kentucky
(I am the one who loves One Direction)


Is Bill Cosby the warm, charming father figure we all loved on the The Cosby Show or the heinous predator who drugged women and raped them. Here is the answer: Yes

It's not an either or proposition.

 It is possible, really almost likely, the genial, handsome, smart guy who seems concerned and invested in these women can do great and horrible damage.

Because bad guys, those who aren't just clubbing people over the head in a back alley, need to have the skills to charm. Ted Bundy had to be sly and convincing enough to get all those women in his car so he could kill them.
We cling to the idea that we can identify a sexual predator because it makes us feel safer. There is solace in the fact that we can see him or her at a distance and know instinctively to cross the street. In that way we are in control. It also allows us to cling, in places we would never own up to, that when something bad happens to a woman, well, she maybe should have just little bit more on her game.

Guess what? That's not the deal.

Sure there are the whack job, crack-a-doodles who you know better than to sit next to on the bus. But the mental illness that plagues them at that point is so far out of control it is spilling over into their everyday world in a way they can't contain. 

Bill Cosby, and many sexual predators, cloak their perversion in civility because it keeps them safe and gives them access to the what they want. Would any of those women have gone backstage or to his house or to hotel room if he hadn't played the perfect, concerned friend?

Here is another thing I want you to consider. How would this play out if a string of men, now lawyers and doctors and successful business people and respected fathers plus a few world renowned celebrities, came out and made accusations against a beloved, iconic female figure. Let's say Betty White. (Sorry Betty.) She drugged them and fondled them all without permission when they were young.

It's hard to imagine because that kind of narrative never plays out in our culture.

But first, there would be a wink-wink, nudge nudge attitude that at least those guys got some. As for Betty (Sorry Betty.) she would be vilified and ridiculed. There would be jokes about how she can't get a man without slipping them a little something to dull their senses. I imagine there would be a T-shirt.

I can't imagine that as those numbers of men rose to 20 something that there would be the same sort of character gutting that is being aimed at these women. Would the men be called as calculating harpies out for money or revenge?

No because by definition harpies are women so that shows part of the problem. But that argument would fall flat because a man who obtained professional success must have done so on talent and skill and that gives him automatic standing in the world that isn't afforded to women no matter what they do.

Here is the final thing that makes me crazy. Some of these women have had trouble with drugs, alcohol or mental illness and depression and, Cosby's ever-narrowing line of defenders say, they should be discounted because of it.

Hmmm....being drugged, raped, toe sucked and dragged semi-conscious and stuffed into a cab by a trusted mentor and father figure. I don't know. That seems worthy of a little self-medication and PTSD.

I don't believe for an instant that 20 women spanning three decades have all colluded to ruin the legacy or career of Bill Cosby by telling disturbingly similar stories about how they were drugged, raped and sexually molested.
If you read the accounts, and there are many and everywhere, it seems Cosby had several go-to moves. Entice young actresses or models, feed them alcohol and mysterious pills. (So many pills you have to wonder, did he take his honorary "Dr" to mean MD? And, why exactly, did he have so much medicine on hand to relieve menstrual cramps?)

But there may be a real opportunity to talk about the reality of sexual violence. It happens. A few outliers are trolling the sidewalk in trench coats but many more are in board rooms and school committees and sets of television shows offering to give a young person a little free advice and a little attention to groom them.  Why do they take the chance? They believe they are entitled and they know if someone tells, no one will believe them.