Friday, May 30, 2014


When I got out of bed this morning, I noticed a few small streaks of blood on the pillowcase.  And then it all came back to me.  My head got caught in the middle of a skirmish between two of my cats.  I remember getting bonked in the forehead and feeling a quick scratch across my face.  I woke up with a start, saying, "Owwwww!"  I don't know who threw the first paw, but I must have gone back to sleep immediately because it wasn't until I saw blood on the pillowcase, that I remembered where it came from.  Crazy cats....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It Isn't Easy Being Menopausal

I have hot flashes.  I have been having hot flashes... for the past ten years.  Yes, I've heard them called "power surges," or "my private summer," but whenever I'm in the midst of one and I NEED a fan, I just say, "I'm having a hot flash, and I need some paper to make a fan," and no one misinterprets what I mean.

A few years ago, I was in Sears, and I was buying an elliptical machine when I got a hot flash.  I know I was turning red and desperately looking for some paper to make into a fan just to have a breeze in my face.  The salesman looked panicky, and he asked me, "Is there someone I can call for you?"  I told him, "It's just a hot flash."  He looked so alarmed.  I wonder if he thought I was having a stroke or something.  

One of my husband's friends said, "How long have you been having those?  It seems like you've had them a long time now."  Wayne immediately said, "Ten years!"  He knows, I guess, because he lives with me.  He goes around the house in a hoodie, so that when we're sitting at the kitchen table and I reach up to turn on the fan, he can flip the hood up over his head.  I even put the fan pull on an extra long cord so that I can reach it easier.  

Unless you've had hot flashes, you have no idea how they feel.  My husband once made the mistake of saying he knows how it feels to have a hot flash because ONCE he got a radioactive dye injection for a CT scan, and he understood how it felt.  I looked at him and gaped, "ONCE?  Try 20 times a day and night for ten years!!!!"  I don't think he ever said that again, at least, not in my presence.

I'm reading an article in this month's AARP magazine.  The title is "It's My Menopause, Darn It!" by Sandra Tsing Loh.  I loved the statement by one woman who said, "If anyone tells you menopause is easy, punch them in the mouth!"

I have tried hormones, St. John's wort, evening primrose oil, soy, yoga, macrobiotics, low carb, etc.  Nothing has alleviated the hot flashes.  So now I just carry this nifty fan that my friend gave me.  I carry that fan EVERYWHERE.  Otherwise, I will be scrambling for a piece of paper to fan myself.  Someone offered to fold the paper into a nice, little fan - I grabbed that piece of paper so fast - there just isn't time to wait when you're in the middle of a hot flash.  Give me that paper NOW!  As I'm sitting at my computer typing this, I have the fan overhead blowing at maximum speed.  This fan also has an extra long cord, so I don't even have to stand up to pull the cord.  I don't know why I didn't think of that years ago....

Post Traumatic Growth

I'd never heard of the term, "post traumatic growth," until this month while I was reading AARP's magazine, and I came across the article, "Surviving the Jolt," written by Mark Miller.  According to the author, the term has been around since 1995, when University of North Carolina at Charlotte professor, Lawrence Calhoun, coined the phenomenon of PTG.  "Resilience is when you get punched, stagger and then jump right back up.  Post-traumatic growth is different - when you stand back up, you are transformed."

I love the idea of growth and transformation stemming from the jolts life gives us.  Instead of PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome), there can be PTG.  It's a whole new way of looking at trauma.  I'm reminded of the the following verses:

Psalm 30:11-12

New Living Translation (NLT)
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Oh, It's a Beautiful Morning!

You never know what a day will bring....
This morning, I got up, and three cats were in bed with me.  I started making the bed, and when I got to the left side, I saw cat vomit in the bed.  How did that happen, and I didn't wake up when one of the cats was upchucking?????

There was a hairball on the floor beside the bed, or as I describe it, a hair log...  I found the enzyme cleaner, a must for anyone with pets, and scraped as much of the vomit off the sheets and carpet as I could, and then I sprayed the enzyme cleaner.  Oy vey.  What a way to wake up!

See?  Here's another benefit of being retired:  I have time to clean up the cat vomit and wash the sheets instead of having to rush off to work!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Leap of Faith

Yesterday, I thought I saw two doves in the bird feeder.  Then I looked again, and I saw it was a big squirrel.  My husband said, "How did he get in there?"  The bird feeder is hanging from under the eaves.  

Well, I saw how he did it:  the squirrel was in the gutter, and he leapt into the bird feeder.  Score!!!  I sat near the window with camera in hand, waiting for him to attempt the leap again, but no luck.  Will be on the lookout....