Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Wow! Has it really been almost a year since I last posted on this? That only means one thing: MENOPAUSE HAS TAKEN OVER MY LIFE!!

It means that I haven't felt like writing. It means that because I haven't felt like writing I feel guilty. When I feel guilty I feel sad because I'm feeling guilty. When I feel sad about feeling guilty, I have a hot flash. When I have a hot flash I roll my eyes and say things no mature woman should say out loud. When I say those things out loud so that the neighbors can hear, I'm ashamed. When I feel guilty, and sad and ashamed for my behavior I get very moody. When I'm very moody, I don't like being inside my own head. When I'm in my own head I want to get out. I think about running away. I think about what it was like when the only things in my head were the basics like brushing my teeth, taking care of the kids, making enough money to pay rent and eating things that make me chunky. But now I get sad again because I can eat veggies and chicken all month long and I still get chunky because I'm in major menopause and all the blood that used to leak out of me every month for the past 38 years is now gathering around my middle. Then I get sad because I don't like looking in a mirror. I especially get sad because I had to go through my jeans and remove the ones that I can't pull over my hips anymore. And that makes me feel guilty for buying them since I can't wear them right now.

Oy - I'm all over the place.

I think I'll go read a book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Getting Through "IT"

Will it ever end? It's been three months since I last blogged about this and that is because I'm disgusted with the whole Meno-process. Why would I want to write about what I'm living through?

As my husband once told me, "Why would I want to read what you are writing about menopause since I'm living with you?"

I've tried to blog consistently but when I have a thread of an idea I forget it as I'm on my way to the computer to write. I then tell myself to always carry some sort of notebook or post-its so I can write the thought down immediately but I forget to carry that stuff around too. Right now I happen to be sitting at the computer doing online banking stuff and then my head got foggy, my mood immediately changed and I started staring out into the forest while picking at my split ends.

I know I should be doing more things like prepping for my radio show, baking an apple pie for my neighbor, watering the garden or taking a nap while my granddaughter sleeps through her nap downstairs.

Instead I'm here. Wondering if there is any truth to the saying that you go through menopause for as many years as it took you to get your period in the first place.

I'll let you know. Or not.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


The morning started of cool and collected. I lounged around in bed after the Huz went down to lower elevation to play some tennis wondering if I was going to be able to go back to sleep. I called a few girlfriends to catch up on their lives and by the time I put the phone back into the receiver, the bedroom got warm…very warm.

By now I know the signs of a hot flash so it was no surprise when the heat started radiating from my core. It spread to all parts of my limbs and finally settled in my head for what I thought would only be a few minutes…an hour max.

I was wrong.

I got up and out of the bedroom around 10:30 intending to do a major house cleaning. But before I started I had to open all the doors and windows and let the breezes flow through the house…and through me. I knew it was one of those heated moments my body goes through these days and assumed that it would be long gone before I started my chores.

However, it lasted through the vacuuming of the entire house. It lasted through four loads of laundry. It lasted through two bathroom cleanings, two bed changings, nine window washings and almost 45 minutes of cobweb removal. It even lasted through the making of my homemade granola.

As a matter of fact, it lasted all the way through my 4:30 yoga class which didn’t end until almost 6:00 o’clock. Finally, after the shower, it was gone.
A seven and a half hour hot flash.

That has to be a new record.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It takes a very special man to live with a menopausal woman. It takes a mature man, a man who doesn’t get rustled too easily, a man who can find the humor in the middle of the night when his partner is hot, cold, hot, cold, VERY hot, and cold again.

The man must be patient without being patronizing…loving without smothering…and most important…full of humor but without the hysterics when we are standing on the deck naked in the middle of a blizzard while watching the snowflakes sizzle and steam as they hit our skin.

I have found such a man.

I am a lucky woman.

Not only does he take my on-again, off-again middle-of-the-night war with the bed covers in stride, but when I’m in the throws of a rather intense hot flash he will actually go stand on the porch for a minute to get himself very cold and then crawl back into bed and snuggle against me, bringing my core down to normal.

He’s okay with my mood swings as long as I give him enough warning and when I need to be by myself in the room we call, “The Cave,” I know that he will be in very good company upstairs with Ben Bailey and Alex Trebec or some sports event.

He rubs my back when I’m bloated from NOT bleeding and encourages me to go to yoga because he knows it will make me feel better.

And it does.

But most important, if it’s been one of those days, he will bring me a bowl filled with brownies and whipped cream…the perfect way to end the day…with the perfect husband!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I don’t mean to make light of the terrible storm that is covering one-third of the United States right now. I’ve been watching the Weather Channel for hours. Jim Cantori is braving the blizzard in Chicago and other various weather-type gals are talking about the blizzard that is covering nine states. There are reports on many of the car accidents and people are being stranded along roadways. There is video coverage of people trying to cross the streets while walking over an icy sidewalk and then slipping and falling. This all in addition to the sleet and freezing rain coming down in Lafayette, Indiana.

Living in snow country, I know what it’s like being in a blizzard for days and dealing with snow that just won’t stop. But I’m used to it because I live in a ski town. It might not get as cold in my California mountain town as it does on the plains of North Dakota but winter can be a pain in the ass no matter where you live.

Those poor people in Chicago. Ohio? Iowa? Nebraska? They have cold winters alright but this is a bit ridiculous…even for the Midwest in the middle of winter. I can only hope that a few of the people who live in the Midwest are trying to make the best of a drastic situation.

I can think of a group of people right now in the Midwest who are probably happy to have a bit of a cold spell. You do the math. There are millions and millions of us Baby-Boomers scattered around the United States. One-Third of them are now under one of the worst and coldest winters they’ve seen in a long time. If you do the math, theN you will realize that millions of women ages 45-60 are having hot flashes right now or will have one an hour or two from now.

From where I’m sitting, I’m thinking that that’s a lot of heat coming from the Midwest.

Speaking from experience, when I’m going through one of my “Hotflash Hannah” moments in the winter, the first place I go to is the deck. Our deck faces west. The wind and snow come in from the west. All it takes is about 30 seconds and I’m a “Happy Hotflash Hannah” because the cool-off from the blowing wind and snow is almost immediate.

No sweaty moments. No drenched clothes. No fanning as fast as the wings of a bumble bee.

Just good old Mother Nature helping one more Baby-Boomer mother cool off.
So if you have a female friend or family member in the Midwest right now, tell them to try and become one with the storm. Because a hot flash during a Midwest winter storm is way better than a hot flash in the middle of a Midwest on a hot August day.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I remember the first time my mother referred to my ‘baby fat.’ She had picked me up from Portola Junior High School in Tarzana and we had just turned left onto the street I grew up on in Encino, California. I was telling her that I was tired of the little bulge of lower belly fat that I had been carrying around with me since I was, well, a baby. She told me something to the effect that I would loose the baby fat “any time now” and it was just because I was going through puberty and my body was changing.

“You told me when I was eight that I would loose my baby fat when I was ten,” I reminded her.

“You’re just a late bloomer. You’ll appreciate it when you’re my age,” she replied.

I’m pretty sure the main reason for my moment of self-image anxiety was because it was my first year of junior high school and I probably noticed all the cute, perky popular girls who were stick thin. I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to question my baby fat back then but I’m sure it had to do with all the issues a twelve year old girl has to deal with. Braces, glasses, a face ravaged by acne…why not throw stubborn baby fat into the mix?

By the time I made it into my first year of high school my acne went away and my braces had been removed. I still wore glasses and I still had the stubborn lump of baby fat on the front, lower part of my belly. I played volleyball. I rode horses. I even tried to stop eating French fries and no matter what, the ‘baby fat’ stayed attached to my insides in the same way that crazy glue sticks to pretty much anything.

Little did I know that the ‘baby fat’ I had been carrying around with me much like the blanket Linus from Peanuts always carried around with him was a precursor to the real experience I would have with ‘baby fat’ some ten years after I left my high school days behind. When I look back through pictures from my last year in high school and some during my first few years of college it is obvious I carried around my ‘baby fat’ right through high school graduation and into my days tromping around the redwood trees in northern California. However, the real meaning of ‘baby fat’ didn’t come to fruition until approximately April of 1986. That was the month I conceived my first born.

It was almost as if the minute Alexander was more than just a figment of my imagination, all bets were off with respect to my finally reaching the point in my life when all ‘baby fat’ would finally be shed. I had listened to my mom for years telling me I was a late bloomer and I thought 27 was just as good an age as any for the ‘baby fat’ I had been carrying around with me to finally dissipate. Then I got pregnant. As a matter of fact, for the next three years or so I was either pregnant or nursing. During that time I not only continued to carry around the ‘baby fat’ I had been born with but added on even more baby fat as a result from having babies. Two of them. Back to back.
What was I thinking? Wait, never mind. I know what I was thinking. It went something like this: “If I ever have a kid I’m going to have another one right away so I can have them close together and then get my tubes tied and be done with it.” That’s what I was thinking.

Fast forward to eighteen years after my last kid popped onto this planet. I started to notice something odd about the way my body was functioning after my first kid flew the coop and was out on his own for a bit. My pants were not as tight around my waist as they once were. I bought a belt and attributed the loosening of my jeans to a new job which had me bustling around like a madwoman four hours a day, four to five days a week. Then when my youngest moved out of the house I had to do something I don’t like to do: Shop. I had to go shopping for jeans that fit. My old, comfortable jeans were too big and as I was trying on a pair of jeans in a size I have never seen on me, I looked into the mirror and that belly ‘baby fat’ I had been carrying around with me for 40-plus years? It had all but disappeared.
The kids moved out and for two whole years it disappeared.

Then I turned 49.

I thought mother was right. I was almost convinced that I was a late bloomer and that all it took for me to finally lose my baby fat was for me to have a couple of babies and then eventually lose the babies to the big bad world. Turns out, the baby fat never disappeared at all, it just went on holiday. Now it has returned and has been redistributed to the place it knows and loves and mid-section.

Maybe it returned because one of my young adult 'babies' is threatening to move back home and wants to be babied again? Or perhaps there really is some sort of internal switch that ignites when the body is on the planet for 18,566 days or maybe it’s because my granddaughter likes to dance around the room while sitting snuggly against my belly.

Whatever the reason, the baby-fat belly is back and it’s here to stay. I guess I just have to love it like it's my own.

Friday, January 14, 2011



I can safely say that over the years, I’ve read hundreds of articles about what it takes to keep the spark in a relationship. “Vogue,” “Redbook,” Cosmopolitan…” they have all jumped on the, “Do this or you’ll lose your mate,” bandwagon. Even Howard Stern has made comments about how women should do this or wear that to keep their men.

When I was living in the city back in the day, Los Angeles radio personality Tom Leykis, the ultimate male chauvinist, also reiterated the do’s and don’ts of what men want in and out of the bedroom during several of his drive-time radio shows.

I, for one, have never put much effort into dressing pretty for bedtime or when lounging around the house. And you know what? The older I get and the more hot flashes I experience, dressing up regularly in leather and lace to seduce a man has become less and less appealing and will never make it onto my bucket list.

The stuff that lingerie is made of is not compatible with menopausal moments. In fact, it’s an annoyance. First of all, I’ve never been a fan of thong- type underwear. It’s like walking around with dental floss up your ass. Second, prancing around in synthetic, lacey nonsense just to get a rise out of your man when your boobs are hurting is grounds for…something. Your body’s natural clock is on China time so the boobs can start hurting at a moment’s notice. Because of that, you “might” be getting your period…or not…and the nipples are being rubbed against some flimsy material which feels like someone is rubbing cheesecloth over your chest and, well, forget sex.

If there are men out there married to women in their 50’s and 60’s and they are still expecting their mates to spend lots of money on fancy threads in lieu of comfort, then I’m truly shocked. Lingerie is not the thing to be wearing when a hot flash comes and goes, especially if you live in a cold climate like I do.

That’s why I love my flannel jammies. If I have a hot flash I can go onto the deck until it passes. I will inevitably be cold in a matter of seconds and come back inside but because I’m wearing flannels, my inner core adjusts post haste.

However, in order to make sure I’m not speaking out of line, I asked my husband if it bothered him that I didn’t spend much time prancing around in skimpy sleepware.

“Sweetie, I don’t care if you wear your flannel pj’s…it’s what’s underneath that counts!”

Hold that thought! That man of mine deserves a little skimp!