Friday, December 6, 2019

Winter Writer Series: "Three Generations Of Butts" By Janie Emaus

     I'm always excited to feature one of my fellow Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop authors on the blog. I've known Janie Emaus since we met in 2014 at the convention, and we've been good friends ever since. I admire her writing style, and she never fails to make me laugh when she writes humorous stories about aging (because I can sooooo relate!). Her essay that I'm sharing today is one of my favorites because I have been in this situation before. Janie keeps it real, so I'm sure you'll be laughing with me on this one, too.....

                               THREE GENERATIONS OF BUTTS

Hair whitens. Butts droop. Arms sag. Aging is not a pretty picture, is it?  

And it’s even less pretty when you’re in a dressing room with all those mirrors that don’t hide anything. Rather, they emphasis all those parts of your body which you’d like to imagine looked differently.  

But those mirrors don’t lie.

I was faced with that painful truth when I went shopping with my ninety-something mother and my thirty-something daughter. Three generations of women made from the same mold.

The similarities were still there, but the differences were hard to ignore.  

Years ago, my butt was as firm and ripe as a melon, just like my daughter’s. My thighs were smooth, void of those craters and bumps making one think of the moon surface. My arms didn’t have that flabby effect. My hair was a natural blonde. 


After looking from my daughter to myself, I wanted to bolt out of that room.  In fact, I wanted to bolt out of 2019 and into 1990.

Then I looked at my ninety-four-year mom. And felt even worse. 

I saw where my body was going!

And I’m not convinced that any amount of exercise can stop it from happening.  (Although, I don’t think I’ll ever wear old lady under panties). 

While I was lamenting the state of my future body, my daughter blurted out.  “Ugh, I hate my waist.”

Me: “Your waist is perfect.  Look at this extra skin around mine.” 

My mother: “What are you two talking about?  I’m one big wrinkle.  My butt is flatter than melted butter. And my boobs are like bananas.”

With that, we all started laughing.  There was no age difference in our giggles. Just three happy women, trying to find a decent pair of jeans that hugged our bodies in just the right way. No matter what that body looked like.

And we were determined to succeed. Because no matter our age, we all want to look good when facing the world.
   
No butts about it. 




Bio:

Janie Emaus believes when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again.

In a previous life (before cell phones and the World Wide Web) she assumed a famous persona and wrote for the Goosebumps and Fear Street series.
As herself, she wrote educational videos, ad copy for adult videos, and dozens of stories for The Los Angeles Times Kids’ Reading Room Page.

In this life, she is the author of the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love and the science fiction story, Passage 99. Her essays have appeared in hundreds of anthologies and websites. 

She was proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. And beyond thrilled to win an honorary mention in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competiton. But no award (well, maybe the Pulitzer) ranks higher than her family.
To learn more about Janie visit her website at www.janieemaus.com


Social media links:







Amazon page:


Friday, November 22, 2019

Fly On The Wall With A Foodie Family

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, four bloggers are bravely inviting you into their homes to get a sneak peek at what goes on behind closed doors.

With Thanksgiving soon upon us, my husband is especially excited. It's a special time for him not just because it's a family holiday, but because he gets to eat all of his favorite foods in one day. In case you haven't noticed in my older Fly On The Wall blog posts, my husband LOVES down-home cooking. I'm guilty of serving him giant portions (I've taken the old saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" way too far) and he's guilty of eating it all.

We talk about our favorite foods quite often, and the conversations usually lead to how the food makes us feel. Sometimes the food is comforting and makes our bellies feel warm and happy. Other times, we eat only healthy meals, which makes us want to hit the gym and sweat out every piece of pizza we have consumed since 1984. But mostly, we complain about how full we are. I'm convinced that my brain does not have an off switch when it comes to chocolate, and for my husband, that off switch broke the day we shared our wedding vows. That man could easily enter a food eating contest and win, especially if turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy is served. The fly on the wall knows this, too, since he has been buzzing around, listening to our conversations about food......


"It's late. Aren't you coming to bed?
"Not yet. I can't lie down because my stomach is too full from dinner."
"If you want to feel better, try sitting up for a bit."
"I would need to sit up for three weeks to digest that meal."


"The pool water is so cold that everything on my body has shriveled up."
"Everything?"
"Yeah, even my man parts resemble raisins."
"Too bad the cold water doesn't shrivel up our stomachs."

"You make questionable choices during vacation."
"Yeah, that's what my stomach is saying after eating three of those giant cookies from the bakery. When we get back home, people are going to ask me what I bought during vacation. I'll tell them that I bought a bigger stomach."


"The Mexican bean dish you made tonight was really delicious, but I farted so hard that I almost catapulted
myself off the couch."

"I guess you liked the potatoes I made, judging by the amount you ate."
"That's because I'm not a stud muffin, I'm a SPUD muffin."

 "I need shoe inserts. My feet are killing me. Maybe it's because I've gained weight from your cooking."
"No, your feet hurt because you're on them all day carrying around heavy stuff at work like you're some kind of pack mule."
"Then I need pack mule inserts for my shoes."
"Does that mean you're going to start kicking everything backward?"


"I need a bathroom.....like RIGHT NOW."
"We'll be home soon. Just a few more miles."
"You don't understand---I'm talking about doing number #2."
"Can't you hold it just a bit longer?"
"Nope. The casserole train is rolling down the track with its breaks screeching and an engineer sounding the horn. I NEED TO GET HOME RIGHT NOW!"

"I can't find my reading glasses."
"That's God's way of saying it's time for bed and no more playing games on the iPad."
"If I can't read the labels on my prescription bottles and take the wrong pills, then I might be flatlining tonight instead of taking my cholesterol meds."


"You know you're getting old when the highlight of your Saturday evening is finding special rocks online for your garden."

"It beats the days of dressing up, spending money we don't have, and staying out past midnight in dive bars."
"Yeah, staying home in our elastic waistband shorts after consuming a large meal is way more preferable to squeezing our internal organs into a tight pair of Levi's for a night on the town."

     I guess it's time for me to end this blog post and get started on my Thanksgiving menu. Does anyone know where I can find a great deal on 10 bags of baking potatoes and a five-gallon drum of gravy?

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA?" This week you can find me on CONSIDERABLE with an important article on parenting: "Are You A Parent Or A Doormat To Your Adult Children?"



Click on these links for a peek into some other Fly On The Wall homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  https://www.BakingInATornado.com
Never Ever Give Up Hope             https://batteredhope.blogspot.com
Menopausal Mother                     http://www.menopausalmom.com/
Spatulas on Parade                     https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com









Wednesday, November 20, 2019

How To Take Care Of Your Body After Menopause

     On the blog today I have interesting information from The Black Purple company about taking proper care of our bodies after menopause. They share some great tips that all postmenopausal women should consider:


How to Take Care of Your Body After Menopause

It might seem like you’ll never stop having those moments when it feels like the furnace is turned up to 106 degrees, or you go from giddily happy to weepingly sad at the drop of a hat (literally), or that you will never, ever have another good night’s sleep.

Even while the symptoms might persist, menopause does indeed come to pass! And just like any other phase in our lives, there are small things that we can do to better our bodies and minds. For the sake of your health and having more of the rest of your life to look forward to, it’s important to pay close attention to your physical fitness after menopause to better understand what your body needs to stay balanced.
3 (Practical) Tips for Taking Care of Your Body After Menopause
We deliberately put the word “practical” in the heading above. Anyone can tell you to get a gym membership, go jogging for an hour every day, hire a nutritionist, and completely change your diet. But most of us have a tough time sticking to major changes like those for any length of time. Instead, consider the following more practical steps first and do what you can to make them part of your life. Then, things like jogging or joining a gym will be easier to tackle later on if you choose to do so.

  1. Improve Your Nutrition - After menopause, your body needs good nutrition more than ever. You can start by balancing your diet, which means getting the right proportion of your daily nutrition from the three main macronutrients: 
    1. Carbohydrates - 45% to 65% of your daily calories
    2. Fat - 20% to 35%
    3. Protein - 10% to 35%
If you’ve never been able to balance your diet, at least try to cut out as much sugar and salt from the foods you eat. You can do that by staying away from processed and packaged foods, which, beautifully, will automatically help balance your diet.  

  1. Get Your Calcium - After menopause, lower estrogen production means your body doesn't retain as much calcium from the foods you eat. Low levels of calcium can reduce your bone mass and make you more susceptible to osteoporosis.

    In addition to eating a healthier diet, supplement your diet with calcium as needed. After menopause, you should get about 1,200mg of calcium every day to promote bone growth and reduce the chance of fractures. Additionally, Vitamin D supplements will help your body to absorb calcium.

    Despite all the good they do, don’t start gobbling calcium and vitamin D. Too much of either can cause kidney stones, constipation, and/or abdominal pain.
  2. Get More Active - First, always talk to your doctor before beginning any additional physical activities. Stop any activity if there is any sign of pain or discomfort.

    Like just about everything else in your life, the end of menopause can make you gain weight. More activity will help you manage that. It has a few other desirable side effects too, like helping to avoid heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Better yet, it’ll help you sleep better and improve your mood! Your increased activity and breathing help carry more blood and oxygen to your brain, making it release serotonin and norepinephrine, both of which boost information processing and mood.

    If you can’t get into a formal exercise routine, that’s OK. It helps to just get more active in any way you can. Things like parking further from the mall entrance, and taking the stairs instead of the escalator, can make a difference. If you can manage it, regular walking, jogging, bike riding and/or swimming are great for your heart and they also help lower your bad cholesterol.

    Also, consider moderate weight training too. We’re not talking about kettlebell routines and bench presses - unless that works for you. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises (using only your body weight, no extra weights) that deliver similar results as if you went to a gym. Emptying the dishwasher? Do some squats while you’re at it.

    In addition to toning your muscles, strength training can improve your balance and posture, boost your metabolism and reduce symptoms of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

You can be as healthy as ever after menopause. In fact, if you manage to eat a nutritious, balanced diet and get more regular activity into your life, you’ll be surprised at how it can boost your energy levels, improve your mood and confidence, and keep you looking great!








WEBSITE INFO: 

TheBlackPurple is an industry-leading compression shapewear retailer for women, featuring their patented cellulite-busting technology and active ingredients that work to visibly smooth the skin. They’re committed to providing a solution that is cost-effective and laboratory tested, all while staying true to their overarching vision of empowering women and helping them feel confident.

For more information, visit their website at theblackpurple.com.

Friday, November 1, 2019

How To Repurpose Your Old Underwear Into DIY Home Decor

     Every time I drive past the landfill in our town, I think about all the stuff people waste without trying to think of clever ways to recycle. Yesterday when I was cleaning out my drawers, I had the same thought while filling up a garbage bag with my old underwear.

     Obviously, no one else wants my ratty underwear (dear God, I hope not!) but what if I were to find a useful way to recycle my panties? What if EVERYONE chose to recycle their underwear instead of tossing them into the trash bin and clogging up the landfill?

     I have a few ideas that just might work for repurposing your old undies. And before you ask, yes, this is the sort of stuff that keeps me awake at 3:00 a.m. while the rest of my family is fast asleep....



Lampshade: If your underwear happens to be a size XXL (and preferably red), you'll have enough fabric to make a decorative cover for your lampshade. Sew a few tassels around the bottom edge and Voila! Chic decor in your boudoir!

Throw Pillows: If you want to jazz up a dull sofa, your underwear will make a creative cover for an old throw pillow. Use a Bedazzler to add rhinestones for extra flair.

Shower Curtain: If your old underwear has several stains, you can quickly turn them into a leopard print design by circling each spot with a permanent marker. If the president can get away with Sharpiegate, you can totally do it to your shower curtain!

Quilt: Cut a square out of each pair of used underwear and sew them together to make a 4x6 blanket. It will be a hodgepodge piece of history so unique that you'll want to hang it on your living room wall. Every square on the quilt tells a story: "The pink lacy one at the top is from the panties I wore on my wedding night. The square next to it is from a pair of maternity underwear I was wearing at Kroeger's when I was pregnant and my water broke."

Sofa Cover: You'll need at least fifty pairs of underwear for this clever DIY trick. Bleach them first and then tie-dye the fabric for that retro Woodstock look. If you want to add more pizazz to your hippy hideaway, thong underwear strung together will make a fabulous window valance to match your sofa.

Baby Onesie: Men's cotton briefs are perfect for this DIY project, preferably in baby neutral colors such as soft gray or yellow. *Natural brown is not recommended.

Placemats: Add extra spice to your dinner table by sewing floral panties together for the perfect summer garden look. Wait until your guests have finished their lamb shish kebobs before telling them they ate dinner on your old underwear.

Dog blanket: No need to wash the underwear before sewing several pairs into a blanket for your pet. Dogs love that musky human odor.

Winter Cap: Underwear already has an elastic band that should fit snugly around any head. Just attach brightly colored pompoms over each leg hole, and you'll have the perfect Secret Santa gift for your next office Christmas party!


If you found this article helpful, stay tuned for our upcoming feature, "How To Repurpose Your Old Bras Into DIY Kitchen Gadgets."


**** Want more Meno Mama? In case you didn't hear me screaming and jumping up and down last week, I had my very first essay published in THE NEW YORK TIMES!!! You can read it here:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/well/family/raising-a-twinless-twin.html



Friday, October 18, 2019

A Dream Come True

     Today, the top item on my writer's bucket list came true. My first (and very personal) essay was just published in THE NEW YORK TIMES!  My life is now complete. ***Please refer to the link below and visit the website when you get a chance. Time to pop open some bubbly and celebrate!

 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/well/family/raising-a-twinless-twin.html



Friday, October 11, 2019

Specialty Beers For The Geriatric Generation

     When I first met my husband, he was not a beer drinker. In fact, on our first date, he ordered a freakin' WINE SPRITZER (it was the 80s, what can I say?). Not surprising that after four kids and 35 years of marriage, my husband finally learned to appreciate beer.

     But not just any beer. He likes the good stuff---expensive ones that come from small craft breweries with weird names like "Pink Sloth Alehouse," or "The Tacky Tongue Brewery."

     I haven't been a fan of beer since my first college keg party when I spent the majority of my evening puking in a random bathroom at the Sigma Nu house. My husband, on the other hand, has sworn his allegiance to craft beer and is certain that he will die in his favorite recliner---tv remote in one hand, a beer in the other.

     That may be true, but by the time he becomes part of the geriatric generation, beer brands will have drastically changed. And hopefully, there will be a market for brews designed especially for old farts like my husband. I already have a few beer brands in mind that just might appeal to him.....



Gassy Lassy Ale: A highly fermented, flatulent-inducing blonde ale with hints of sulfur and last night's bean burrito, sure to clear out the dining hall at the retirement community. One sip, you'll rip.

Domestic Dementia Dark: This 11% ALC/VOL dark brew with nutty undertones is enough to make you forget who your president is and propel you back to the good ol' days when you wore sneakers with actual laces instead of orthopedic shoes with velcro straps.

Incontinent IPA: Also known as the "I-P-A lot beer," specially handcrafted for seniors who have embraced their incontinence. Best served in a chilled bedpan. *Watch for our latest BOGO sale---Buy one six-pack of Geriatric IPA, get a disposable catheter kit for free!

Loose As A Goose Lager: A lager made with bottom-fermented yeast to tighten your saggy butt and lift your testicles so high you'll belt out a Mozart aria with ease. Drink more than three, and you'll think you've bathed in the Fountain Of Youth (even if your face is still as wrinkly as an elephant's backside).

Poopin' Porter: A dark, thick, odiferous brew developed in London with well-hopped beers made from brown malt. Detectable notes of roasted coffee beans immersed in stewed prune juice. *Not recommended for use during intimate encounters with people you've met on SeniorsOnly/Match.com/


Sleepy Stout: A sweet, full-bodied, slightly roasted ale from England that is rich in calming lavender and tryptophan. Drink this beer while listening to Zamfir, and the dense brew will have you yearning for a hooded Snuggie and a memory foam pillow.

Brittle Bones Bock: A German beer created during the Late Middle Ages when people were dying from the Black Plague. A healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D has been added to combat osteoporosis, swelling, and decreased range of motion. Bold hints of mothball accompanied by a morphine aftertaste.

Peter Pilsner: An arousing brew enhanced with Cialis to ensure a lasting and satisfying outcome. Guaranteed to give you the confidence you need to flirt with the thirty-something Activities Director while she's instructing you on the art of playing Bocce.

Get Off My Lawn Lite Beer: Less calories, less taste, and even less friends after you've had a few. Great to leisurely sip on the front porch while compiling a list of complaints on your phone's  Next Door Neighbor App.

Mysterious Aches And Pains Malt: A predominately pale ale infused with CBD oil to alleviate sore muscles and arthritic pain. Your achiness will quickly disappear along with your dentures and your memory. *Disclaimer: This beer has 65.7% alcohol content and is not recommended for use during geriatric beer pong at the American Legion Post....unless you're planning an extended stay in your recliner. *


***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? You can find me this week on NEXT AVENUE discussing the benefits of a Zumba workout. Read it here: https://www.nextavenue.org/benefits-zumba-workouts/?fbclid=IwAR1z4Wx-DmsXnF2yWDN9Up5Tels4aHKbnV17uV26bt0klrWPbQLX2fGoW7Q


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

How To Treat Urinary Incontinence By Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles

     I know many menopausal women who have complained of urinary incontinence after reaching their fifties. It's more common than most people realize, and the symptoms are treatable when done correctly. The secret is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

     Today on the blog I'm sharing news from InControl Media of an innovative treatment option from Attain with a non-implantable muscle stimulator that can be bought over the counter  for the convenience of those who suffer from incontinence:


"Today, we’re inundated with TV ads promoting the use of pads and adult diapers. We hear about mesh surgery going awry and about meds being prescribed. Urinary tract and bladder control can be one of the most embarrassing aspects of aging. Many people who suffer from urinary incontinence can truly suffer in silence and embarrassment and as a result, are confined to their homes.

There are several types of incontinence including urge, stress and mixed incontinence which can cause accidents or unintended leaks when coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping or lifting, and can occur any time or at any place. 

Fortunately, there’s a new, non-surgical solution to treat incontinence and eliminate the need for pads and diapers altogether. It's called, Attain and is the first over the counter non-implantable muscle stimulator designed to help treat incontinence by exercising the pelvic floor muscles. It is a small, painless, easy-to-use medical device for people to self-treat in the privacy of their own homes. And, many respond well to pelvic-floor electrical stimulation and biofeedback as a first-line treatment, before considering surgery or medication.

We go to the gym, take cycling and Pilates classes to exercise our calves and abs but shouldn’t forget to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles too. Attain provides a guided exercise program to solve incontinence at the source. Muscle stimulation at specific frequencies in an alternating manner increases pelvic floor muscle strength, calming the detrusor muscle and eliciting a full, deep muscle contraction, providing neuromuscular re-training. The lighted biofeedback graph and visual cues guide the user through a series of variable timed, contractions along with a relaxation phase, much like a physical therapy session. A customizable probe inflates to be “comfortably snug,” placing the stimulation in full contact with the vaginal wall ensuring a deep muscle contraction with a comfortable, effective stimulation delivery. A probe provides active resistance for a full muscle contraction, re-positioning musculature into a resting position between contractions.

Dr. Arnold Kegel, developed exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles in 1948 and still, physicians to this day remind their patients, “do your Kegels!” Kegel exercises have been the first-line treatment, but most people experience frustration because they unknowingly don’t perform the Kegels effectively or consistently, which leads to no improvement in symptoms. Attain electrical stimulation with biofeedback therapy is an effective tool to do your Kegel’s for you and improve bladder control.

Talk with your doctor, urogynecologist or medical team about your incontinence and ask them about Attain before agreeing to surgery, meds or relying on those embarrassing pads or diapers."



InControl Medical, LLC, is a pelvic health company focusing on urinary and fecal incontinence. The company’s philosophy is that a first-line treatment should focus on improving the strength and support of the pelvic floor to restore continence naturally. InControl Medical is so confident in the effectiveness of its products, the company offers a Performance, money back Guarantee.


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