Taking the Pause Out of Menopause

Take the pause out of menopause and what do you get – Men O’!

I know this is true because it happened to me just last week. It was as if Neville had slipped on Harry’s Invisibility cloak and waved his wand at me. I went into the second-hand grocery store as a very hot, menopausal 54-year-old woman, and came out an adolescent male.

I’m confessing, but I’m not proud.

I blame it on a touch of hot flashing heat stroke.

As I’ve mentioned, our little Super S isn’t exactly a health food store with limp lettuce and apples that are already half way to sauce. Still, I’m not sure that excuses my purchases.

I came home with:

A 3 pack of BRAWNY paper towels – because they were on sale and I like the little  tear-off  sections

2 Hungry Man hamburgers – it was the only microwavable American entree except for the Lean Cuisines, which were $4 each, making them .50 a bite

A half-gallon of half-the-fat vanilla ice – because I was hot

2 cases of diet soda –  to make floats so I wouldn’t eat too much ice cream

2 mini bowls of Kraft Mac and Cheese – because I like mac & cheese and they’re microwavable

I didn’t even remember the bananas, which I think,  is what I went to the used grocery store for in the first place.

That’s another thing, I only think I know what I went to the store for…

In my defense, it was around 103 degrees, not counting the heat index. So it felt like 108 to non-menopausal, hot flashing women, which would not include the woman spraying herself in the face with her grandson’s squirt gun or the one who kept bobbing her head in and out of  the frozen potato compartment. I knew instantly we were kindred spirits.

Back to my defense. Before going inside, I filled 1 dozen 1 gallon jugs of water at the outside 35 cents a gallon, probably recycled water machine. I started down the used produce aisle in a heat induced daze.


My Mom was a Home Ec teacher and a wonderful cook. I used to be a good, if rather un-adventurous, cook.  Since it rarely cools down below 85 degrees at night, I suddenly can’t stand the thought of turning the oven on. Add to that, after working the night shift for 6 months, I’m still discombobulated and can’t seem to decide if I’m eating dinner or breakfast, or just having snacks.

About the Mac and Cheese. I used to love macaroni and cheese. I grew up on the homemade kind. I switched to Kraft years ago, but if you add some extra cheese etc… it’s not bad.

I figured the mini bowls would taste the same.

Not so much.

Here’s what you get for 220 calories. There were exactly 1 1/2 inches of mac and cheese in the tiny bowl after cooking. And, it tasted like,well, chewy Styrofoam I guess. I added milk and shredded cheddar. I now had 32o chewy cheesy Styrofoam flavored calories.

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”  ~G.K. Chesterton


I don’t think my shopping privileges have been revoked entirely, but I now go to the second-hand Super S with a list in hand, just like a guy.

It’s embarrassing.

In Search of the Perfect Dish For Direct TV and RV

January 13, 2011  by Debbie

I set out for New Brunsfled, about 30 miles NE of San Antonio, this morning around 9 to find Camping World to buy the portable dish I’m told I need to get any TV reception. What should have been a 2 hour journey turned into 3 ½ as my Navigation system repeated lost the GPS signal on my phone (no there‘s a surprise). I toured downtown San Antonio and was 20 miles south of the city before I realized I’d gone the wrong way on Interstate 35.

I might have been a little more astute if it hadn’t been for Menopause. The radio is un-programmable, un-seeking and un-searching in my Oregon looking Jeep. The only station I can pick up is 1230 AM which is Sports Talk Radio. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as sports-talk-radio.

I border on narcolepsy anyway so that’s out of the question. And although I passed some interesting sights like the Longhorn Museum, the scenery isn’t particularly eye-popping (what I saw of it at 70 miles an hour – the speed limit is 75 most of the time). People drive fast and funny in Texas. There were giant flashing interstate signs all over San Antonio stating: “NEW TEXAS LAW … NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING”. Driving is Texas is a topic for another day.

I need entertainment to stay awake any time I drive longer than about 15 minutes. Our dear friend, Mary Anne, gave us Charles Kurault’s On the Road tapes as a going away gift when we left PRR and I’ve listened to all of those twice.

The CD player prefers to play only professionally mixed CD’s and shoots my homemade ones right back at me. With my trips to Pleasanton and Three Rivers for AT&T, internet and laundry and now the 275 mile satellite in a suitcase trip, I’ve become friends with the Iowa Housewife, the Soap Star, Earth Mother and Professional Woman who cheerful belt out songs about menopause to 60’s tunes like The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Puff the Magic Dragon and I‘ve Got You, Babe!

Bob and Trudy and Heidi and I saw Menopause, the Musical when we were at a social-networking conference in Las Vegas in March. Our last-minute tickets put us in the very front row. I didn’t really want to go. Actually, only Bob wanted to go, but he’d taken us to the Grand Canyon that day, which was quite a drive, so we owed him his choice of evening shows (we’d seen
The Lion King the night before – see why I love going to conventions with B&T!).

Since most of you who read this know either Heidi or me, you know we both have pretty hardy laughs. Never hardier than that night! Good thing we were in the front row. I’m pretty sure anyone in front of us would have turned around a lot (which probably would have embarrassed my cousin) and maybe suffered some hearing impairment. After the show, we were told by the cast that we laughed so much we almost made them mess up their lines!

Who would have thought that that topic could be so hysterical?. We had so much fun, Trudy bought us the CD. So, as I drive, I happily sing lines like “Thank you prozac, thank thank you prozac” to the tune of Help Me Rhonda; and “Louder than I talk is the swishing when I walk, their my thighs, my thighs” to the tune of My Guy.

Anyway, I finally made it to Camping World and purchased  my little dish in a hatbox. Or at least I was about to purchase it when an elderly lady rushed up to the register and grabbed it out of my hands. This surprised since there were probably 20 on display, but I smiled and started to go get another one when she admonished me; “Did you open it up?” I hadn’t so she did, explaining that the one they bought yesterday was “used” so they drove 35 miles (obviously not listening to cheerful Menopause music) to exchange it for a new one.

Eventually, mine proved acceptable and I was allowed to pay for it and leave the store. I called Direct TV and confirmed their appointment for tomorrow. It will be stunning if 1) they come and 2) it works! I stopped in Pleasanton at McDonald’s for a large Latte and internet access.
When I got home around 4:30, Heidi had only had 5 people at the gate and 2 were lost. She’d fixed dinner, had done the daily cleaning and read ½ of The Girl That Played With Fire all while I got lost and sang and blogged.

We’ve added Spite and Malice to our nightly card game ritual. It’s Henry’s favorite because it’s so ruckus that whenever one of us hollers, we feel sorry for him and give him a treat.