Monday, October 31, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Change

So many people tell me they hate change.

Which must mean they really hate life. After all, life is constantly in a state of change.

Everything in the world is changing every second of everyday. Right down to the cellular level. All the hate in the world ain't going to stop that. In fact, my bet is that by hating change, we just make matters worse. For ourselves. And everyone around us.

Could this be why some women have such a hard time with menopause?

Sue Richards

Friday, October 28, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Get Naked

Yesterday's post was intended to (un)cover a hot flash strategy, should you find yourself publicly melting and needing relief. It's a funny human trait that I've noticed...reluctance to take off our clothes. Instead, we suffer through, maybe roll up our sleeves or loosen a neck line. But striping down? Rarely seen that in any situation.

Which of course makes no sense. When your hot, you're hot. It's perfectly okay to do something as practical as remove a few layers of warmth producing clothing.

At home, depending on your comfort level and situation, you may want to let it all hang out, take it ALL off, bounce around in your Birthday suit.

Being naked is one of the best ways to cool off. Your skin, ever last pore of it, gets to breath. And you get to spend some time getting to know this body which you are, but likely ignore or even worse hate.

Sue Richards

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopausal Woman's Hot Spot

Here's the thing. Layers of clothing is where it's at. Especially if you need to cool down fast from a hot flash attack.

The bottom layer is the most important. It should be sleeveless, low front and back, and short. Another words, something that covers your breasts and a bit more.

There should be no shame in stripping down to this layer, as quickly, sexily, haphazardly or publicly as you need to.

You are roasting alive. Boiling in your own broth. Your burning flesh needs close contact with fresh air.

Of course you realize that I write this from a Canadian perspective. We have an abundance of cool, fresh air much of the year. Like six months too much.

This could be a new Canadian tourism hook..... market Canada as the Menopausal woman's vacation hot spot so to speak. "Get cool, come to Canada."

Sue Richards

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Be Your Own Fan

It was dramatic. Sexy too. Most definitely fun.

In mid conversation, my hot flashing, menopausal friend started to turn red, like a tomato ripening in the sun. Without skipping a beat and before beads of sweat formed on her brow, she whipped out the most elegant, black, lacey, folded, hand held fan I've ever seen, cracked it open with an easy flick of her wrist and proceed to fan her neck, down her low cut top and beneath her long glorious hair.

It was a breath taking performance art piece of the highest degree.

The fan, she explained, came from South America and cost pennies. She owned several. A couple from Japan, some from other Asian countries. All beautiful, compact and effective.

And no need to get on an airplane either. (Although, an exciting, round the world fan buying trip would likely cure what ails you too.) Simply head on over to Chinatown district of any city.

So here's the gig. If you want to be a fan of a hottie in your life, buy her a fan. It's a real cool gift.

Sue Richards

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Women We Love

Rock Bitch posts some funny stuff on her blog. I scoped the following wee passage for obvious reasons, but left ten other 'reality Barbie' descriptions for you to check out at her digs.

Hot Flash Barbie
. Press Barbie's belly button and watch her face turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear on her forehead. Comes with handheld fan and tiny tissues.

Now I'm wondering about Wilma Flintstone. Does Peri-menopause Wilma forget that she's married to that lug head Fred, strip off the two inch waist sized dress and ride off into the night on Dino the Dinosaurs back, leaving a trail of falling red hair?

Maybe Menopausal Minnie the Mouse stops dying her fur black, kicks the ridiculous shoes habit, and joins a yoga ashram, becoming both vegan and lesbian.

Cinderella? Mood swings, shape shifting and joint stiffness end Cindy's ballroom blitz. Prince Charming is no longer charmed. Yet Cinderella goes on to invent the first, compostible car, The Pumpkin Pacer.

Sue Richards

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Menopause Blog: What is Menopause

My menopause and I took the weekend off. I didn't start out with that intention. I merely followed my nose.

You know how companies do that 'been in biz this long' thing by putting a "Since 1950" or whatever year under their company name? I did that on Thursday night. Sue Richards, Home Based Business Since 1989.

When I did the math and realized that I had been generating my own pay cheque for 16 years, primarily working in various arts disciplines, all from some corner of my house, I had an epiphany in the form of a voice that said, "yah done good."

So when the sun was shining like a kid with an ice cream on Friday afternoon, and the autumn leaves were flashing orange, red and yellow glory, I put on my new purple hat, closed down said 'home based business since 1989', and struck out for downtown. I had other fish to fry.

I wandered, gathering as I went. Five junk stores, one liquor store and a cafe later, my step was leisurely and relaxed. By evening I was sitting by a roaring fire, in conversation with three delightfully articulate 20 something year olds, enjoying a Guelph brewed beer and laughing heartily.

Saturday's damp dawn promised a day of drizzle. I barely took noticed thanks to an afternoon house warming party invitation across town. I set off on foot, token gift in hand, marveling at the difference a day makes.

My arrival was met with extreme grinning from the host and hostess. Much to my surprise and amusement, the house warmees, (my mentee and a canoe partner from the summer) had eloped! This was their wedding reception.

Again the exuberance of youth bounced around the room, leaving no old fart stone unturned. Like showering outdoors on a hot August afternoon, I felt invigorated by my newly married friend's energy. Keen to suck that vibe up, I was the last to leave the party.

Sunday could have been grim. The carpet in my home based business office came with it's own disgusting Since 1969 tag. The long 'brown to hide the dirt' shag, with toxic underpad turned to dust had to go. The evil cover on my floor was messing with my breathing.

With help from a dear, muscular friend, we chopped that sucker up into a dozen manageable pieces, bagged, vacuumed, dusted and wiped for three hours. Even though the tile and plywood beneath holds no charm or character, neither does it hold 36 years of foot odour, dust and crusty stuff.

This morning, my home is lighter. I feel blessed to have young pals. And I'm grateful that my muscled friend was willing to join in the fight against evil carpet.

If this is menopause, I'm good to go.

Sue Richards

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Menopause Blog: For Sex Sake

My neighbour, Gareth Lind, is a fabulous comic strip artist. He also designs the Breast of Canada calendar.

Gareth's October 21st edition of dives into the world of sex between couples. Since I've been wandering around the orgasm aka sex corral in recent posts, and because we know that a picture is worth 1,000 words, it seemed timely to let Gareth's work illustrate a point.

How Often? speaks to the different ways men and women understand their sexual relationships. In the comics case, pre-menopausal sexual relationships.

So imagine the results of an additional menopausal flush of hormones, mood swings, hot flashes, other aging issues, and perhaps a waking up to our own mortality.

My bet. The sexual relations department will be even more over worked and likely under paid. This means even less understanding.

Perhaps our best strategy is to accept that there is infinitely more than one way or rather, more than our way, of looking at something. This of course requires each of us hell bent on being right, to remove our own heads from our own arses, rinse off the crap and take in a slightly bigger picture of the world.

Wheeeeee!!! Pardon me as I take a ride on my mood swing!

But really, what do we gain from being cemented in our corners. Women and men do not think the same way. Best we make room for both points of view.

For sex sake.

Sue Richards

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Evening Primrose Oil

Lest you think I spend all my time vacuuming up my thinning hair and losing my nouns in a flap of female helplessness, I will share some menopause remedies that I have come to know.

Evening Primrose Oil is a natural estrogen promoter. Since dwindling estrogen is a key contributor to menopausal symptoms, it's a good idea to help your own natural estrogen production. A little hired help if you will.

I take one 1000mg gel tab of Efamol Evening Primrose Oil a day and have for several months. I started pretty much when my period was missing in action the first time. It's part of my nature. Prevent disaster, be prepared, stay healthy.

Apparently, Evening Primrose Oil helps reduce hot flashes too. Which may very well be the case since I've only had a couple. And Primrose is a source of essential fatty acids which everyone and there mother will tell you is good for you.

For the horticulturally curious amoung you, the plant is tall with multiple bright yellow flowers, about the size of a flattened quarter, densely spaced on the single stem. Every evening, just at sunset, the tightly closed flowers pop open like popcorn kernels to the delight of anyone watching.

Hence the name. Evening Primrose.

Sue Richards

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Readership Down

My readership went down after yesterday's post.

Bet I know what you were doing.

Sue Richards

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Menopause Blog: An Orgasm A Day

I have not read this book. But according to the beat on the street, the author of The Menopause Bible recommends 'an orgasm a day.'

Every day. An orgasm. You. Me too.

Is it Christmas already?

Two thoughts sped through my mind.

  1. That will bring up the old batting average.
  2. You've got to love a bible that preaches that kind of action.
No doubt lots of do-it-yourself- tips for the handy woman.

Sue Richards

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Body Types

Image hosted by

The Great Bathers (The Nymphs) 1919

Painter: Augusta Renoir

Less than 90 year's ago, these women were deemed voluptuously beautiful. The ideal body image of the times involved flesh, love handles and rolls of womanliness.

Did our body image ideals change because people were concerned about women's health? Or does motivating the female population to chase the skinny mini, big breasted body type so coveted by today's society, generate more money making opportunities in the marketplace?

Sue Richards

Other Links and Blogs of mine. That maybe even of interest to you....I'm just sayin.

Breast of Canada Calendar
Calendar Girl Blog
The Breast Views Blog

My Menopause Blog: Thinning

Semantics make all the difference.

Imagine this. Instead of taking a 'coffee break' at work, you had 'recess'. Or rather than 'living by the rules', you used 'guidelines'.

The choice of a word can make a huge difference in the way we approach a situation.

So I'm not going bald like I've reported over and over again.

My hair is thinning.

Sue Richards

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopositive in Mainstream

Once again, I'm ahead of the curve.

This story made it into our National Newspaper's Saturday edition which I've just finished reading.

Yes I know it's Sunday. But a menopause story isn't the type to get stale now is it?!

The notion of 'sexy older woman' seems to be the crux of the piece. Which turned out to be perfect timing given my experience at the B-Day party last night.

I have no problem seeing and commenting on the beauty of the women in my circle. This particular party featured a plethora of thirty-something to fifty ish gals decked out and dancing in a whirl of sex-o-let energy.

Given my melancholy mood, I held back and watched for a time, sipping my vodka and tonic. But slowly, like any good vibe worth it's weight, I found a new mindset wrapping me in a funky rhythm and I joined the flock.

Sexy older women don't rock.

They ooze.

Sue Richards

Saturday, October 15, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Energy

It's Saturday night. I have a party to go to. A friend is turning 40.

The gig will be well attended by all manner of artist and musician. My circle is a excessively creative, alternative crowd. In fact I spent the day roaming through studios...this being Guelph's Arts Festival and Studio Tour weekend. Beautiful work, stimulating conversations coupled with a dramatic, southern Ontario day of fall weather, chance meetings with friends and even an anonymous gift of pottery, left on my front porch.

A day to embrace. Celebrate. Enjoy.

So why is it that you could peel the melancholy off me in thick, curls and let them drop, weighted to the ground?

My energy.



Sue Richards

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Yoga

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Photo Credit: Melanie Gillis

I practice yoga.

Every week.

Sometimes, when I don't have my head stuffed up my arse, I manage a daily practice. Strangely, despite the powerful positive effects that yoga has on my state of just about everything, I still forget to bloody well do it. Or maybe it's that ridiculous inertia that human adults are so famous for. Whatever the reason, I have yet to make daily yoga practice a habit.

This image is not me. This photo is November in the 2003 Breast of Canada calendar that I publish.

The model is a yoga instructor. She has a presence that you can see several blocks away. Her body ease is marvelous. I aspire to such gracefulness.

That's what is so cool about yoga. It helps you to fall in love with your body. Which I've decided is a good thing. After all, we spend a lot of time together.

Sue Richards

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopaws

I'm a dog person. And so you don't immediately judge me, I may very well be a cat person too.

It's comes down to my vocabulary. I'm fluent in dog and speak only a few phrases in cat. Over my life thus far, I've simply lived with more K9's than felines. And dogs, in general, are way more talkative.

Last night, when Tannis handed me the big, thin book titled Menopaws, with the backside of a cat spanning the cover, I was curious to say the least. Did cats know something about menopause? (We know dogs are all over periods now don't we.)

Well, according to this book, it appears that cats have the meno experience all worked out.

Take these simple remedies. Night sweats....sleep naked! Or decreased sexual desire....younger boyfriend!

The illustrations are brilliant. And I think...indeed, I do epidemic proportions sometimes....that this thin wee book would make a lovely gift for a 'hot' friend.

So there you go. Cats. Turning growing older into a fun, sexy adventure.

Sue Richards

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Men

Currently, I'm surrounded by men. Not like 'breathing down my neck' surrounded but within ear shot.

This is a bit unusual for me. Most days, I work in solitude, quietly pecking away at my computer only to emerge at the end of the day and fly off to the post office. Then it's back to my humble abode for more solitude.

My 13 new windows require installation. And as seems to be the case, men do that line of work. Hence the close proximity of men in my world at this moment.

I like men. I like how different men think from women. Such clean, uncluttered thoughts. I find listening to guys share their take on the world an easy pleasure.

My window guys are no exception. Smart, perceptive, kind young men who are proud of the work they do. No doubt they loved the homemade chocolate chip cookies I baked this morning. And the Mexican Espresso coffee. But I think they also feel safe with me. I'm not judging them. Or wishing them to be different. Rather I'm appreciating them on multiple levels and letting them tell me what they will.

My Calendar Girl blog post for today touches on men too. Mike Bullard, a Canadian celebrity funny, talk show guy, offered a sage comment in this mornings paper about men and women. I couldn't resist a response.

What does this have to do with men-o-pause? Not much. Or maybe everything. In the last few days, since writing my prune posting, I've had several private emails from men urging me not to worry. Some disputing the theory of 'dry up and blow away' and some with a 'so what, prune or not, you're great' message.

Thanks men. You're making men-o-pause easier.

Sue Richards

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Hunkering Down

I'm having 13, count em, 13 new windows put into my 1918 house this week.

So far, 7 of the old ones are out. Five new babies are in. It's been noisy, drafty, and brilliantly exciting.

My young friend Ron found my choice for disposing of my disposal income a bit odd. He wondered why no exotic vacation.

Having spent much of my life traveling the world, I can see his point. But then again, with winter rolling down from the north pole and me feeling the most introverted I've ever felt in my life, getting snug as bug windows fits where I'm at today.

I'm not sure if it's my change of energy level, my changing hormones, the appalling world conditions, the state of my heart or everything and more. I'm content in my house. So I'm hunkering down.

For now.

Sue Richards

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Crazy Sex

Okay, so I opened a can of worms yesterday with all that Thanks and Giving stuff I was going on about. Specifically, the crazy sex part.

I can't help myself. It's on my mind.

Yah see, winter is coming. We Canucks need to keep our blood flowing and crazy sex...even sane just the ticket to do that. Keep the blood flowing. Wouldn't want to freeze to death now would we?

You think I jest. Ha. I jest not.

But wait, here's some cheerful information that makes freezing to death sound like a viable option.

Rumour has it that once menopause finally hits full on, the old sex drive (mine comes as a 1966 Chevy II, three on-the-tree, slant six (194), four door...all original) dies a sharp, ugly death, then dries up and blows away.

Far, far away.

Say it isn't so!

After 35 years of managing 'fear of pregnancy', you'd think there would be a few years of free wheelin, chandelier hanging, giddy-up and yahoo go crazy sex to look forward to.

But noooooo.


We turn into dried up, sour puss prunes.

How cruel is that.

Sue Richards

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Turkey Time

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Tis Turkey Time in the land of the true north strong and freezing. Otherwise known as Thanksgiving Weekend. Three days of eating, drinking and crazy sex.

Nope wait, that's not what we do at Thanksgiving. My hormones are acting up today. (Just today??) So no sex. Certainly no crazy sex. Maybe some kissing. Hugging for sure. But sex....never mind.

The sculpture, aptly called Turkey, stands in the outdoor gallery at the MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery in Guelph and was created in 1932 by Canadian artist, Florence Wyle. Obviously Florence had a fondness for foul. We featured this photo in the 2004 Breast of Canada June breastlore box.

Breastlore box??

Never mind. It was funny. Turkey's have breasts too you know.

Sue Richards

Photo Credit: Melanie Gillis

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Menopause Blog: What was I saying??

I had this conversation with a customer last night. She being post-menopausal.

"You've heard that saying about memory loss. You know the one about the only thing I miss about my memory is not having it. Or was it that I don't miss my memory because I forgot what I remembered. Anyway, you know the one I mean. About memory."


"What was I saying?"

Sue Richards

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Please

I'm busy like crazy today. Since this morning I've had 100 calendar orders. For me, this is huge. Huge I say!!

Plugging away here in my house, on my iBook with my 10 year old printer chewing out forms, and me trying to eat, pee and get dressed while the phone is ringing and my email is pinging, is keeping me one my toes.

Tip toes.

Please dear menopause, be kind to me. Don't strike me with a memory lapse that messes with my orders. And don't let my hair fall out when I'm taping up the and tape is just plain bad together. Please let my knees move between sitting and standing with ease. And if you don't mind, keep my period away for the time being.

If you don't mind.

Sue Richards

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Cone of Silence

Carolyn seemed relieved. At the Breast of Canada calendar launch, I publicly announced my loss/lapse of mind, hair and eye sight as part of the peri-menopause experience.

Apparently, Carolyn was also becoming noun deficient.

Simple words gone.

Like 'mist'.

"Oh look honey, isn't, grey stuff pretty"?

I told the audience that I was entering yet another 'cone of silence' in women's health and blowing the lid off.

I got a cheer.

Sue Richards

Monday, October 03, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopause Awareness Month

My Period did not like Menopause Awareness Month. It was clearly threatened. Jealous even. Certainly competitive.

How do I know this?

Well unlike June, July and August when not a peep was heard, no spots, not a twinge, September welcomed not 1 but 2 periods. Two. Like twice.

Take that Menopause Awareness!! Pow! Kaboom!

My Period. What a show off!

Sue Richards