Ladies, Even YOU can Have a Midlife Crazy

To Burn In Hell. Grungy female portraitGo ahead, you know you want to do it

I’m a slow bloomer – at least in the midlife crisis department. I could give a rip how old I am, or that I don’t drive a sports car. Why stress over the fact that my abs are donned in a fat parka ready for the first hard freeze? But what I am noticing are scores of women making drastic changes in their lives. They’ve got a case of Midlife Crazy.

Once believing only men went through radical midlife plights, I am now forced to reevaluate my judgmental ways. I have known handfuls of women performing extraordinary measures (occasionally up to a DD) to get noticed. Tiny tucks and nearly nips have been common practice by hoards of women on TV and a neighborhood near you. Needles filled with paralytics inserted into their facial features are just as common as melting the skin off your face with acid.

Thank goodness for Facebook or I never would have experienced these people’s insecurities firsthand. It’s not just a Hollywood competition anymore. The women of the Midwest are collecting their spare change and/or ruining their credit score to smooth, cinch, and plump their parts.

Tats and Piercings
If I had a dime for every female acquaintance that got pierced or tattooed when they turned 45, I would have…a bunch of dimes.

Thanks to Facebook, I get to watch graphic photos of these women putting their brave panties on in the name of beauty. Due to social media, I have fantastic zoom-in capabilities of all piercings and oozing, red skin art. Just can’t get enough of that!

Praise the Lord! nose piercing is still the rage. I don’t really get this one. You can’t wear your new cute dangly earrings or big hoops in your nose. You would look crossed-eyed all day and not be able to focus since you’d get distracted by something attacking your nose. Plus, the thought of getting a cold and then having to plug your hole so you don’t blow out your diamond rhinestone is EW!

“Willow, you have a bit of glitter on your… (swats incoming hand) Sorry!”

Pimp my Ride
After years of minivans and car seats, it’s understandable a woman should yearn for a nice looking automobile – sans stains, unrecognizable sticky spots and Goldfish cracker crumbs looming in every crack. I have visions of clean floor mats and a petite vehicle that doesn’t beep when you put it into reverse. But Ladies, do you think you appear younger when you are cruising at high speeds in your convertible roadster? Now you resemble a confused middle-aged woman who meandered into tornado winds. And since you can only fit one child in your 2-seater at a time, the school pickup lane is going to take all afternoon. You’ll have to go through it three times to collect all your kids and backpacks. A+ in time management for you!

Guns For Show This last one truly took me by surprise – with my hands up in surrender! The charming paralegal across the office could be packing heat and she isn’t afraid to whip it out. These mid lifers share photos of them at the shooting range, and framed shooting range targets can be found decorating many dining rooms across the country. When they said, “I love Target!” I really thought they were into the 5-percent sales with every REDcard purchase.

So lately all of these observations have made me feel a little off – like my midlife choices are as exciting as watching paint dry. However, is noticing these differences the precursor to behavioral changes? Next summer I could step outside my comfort zone and paint my toenails crimson to match a designer purse while touring around Italian wine country in a smoking, hot red Carmen Ghia.

That reminds me…I need to swing by Target before picking up the kids. There’s a REDcard sale on Goldfish crackers.

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Peace on Earth and Good Will to Mr Mandela

THE KANSAS CITY STAR – December 13, 2013
Joco Opinion


When I learned of my grandfather passing away in 1991, I was in college —and simply devastated. This was the man who sneaked me away to Baskin-Robbins as a child for chocolate fudge brownie ice cream cones and whispered, “Don’t tell your grandmother about this!” Then he’d give me a wink and return to savoring his dish.

Little did I know Grandma didn’t want Grandpa eating ice cream, and I had been his accomplice all these years. We had a special bond. He was my champion. Not just because of the ice cream, but he was someone who I looked up to.

And then he was gone.

As I was driving to join the family at the hospital, I heard Mariah Carey singing, “Hero.” Even though the song was not one of my favorites, I felt the radio was singing to me.

So when you feel like hope is gone

Look inside you and be strong.

And you’ll finally see the truth

That a hero lies in you.

Was Grandpa looking down on me and healing my ailing heart through a popular R&B song?

Since I was an impressionable youngster, I chose to believe that and it became my signature song associated with loss. Ah, youth!

This month marked another painful time in my life. Even though it didn’t involve loss of a family member, I was losing a dear friend.

Over a misunderstanding revolving around politics, Facebook “unfriending” and unaccepted apologies, we weren’t able to get past the hurt we had inflicted on each other. This warring lasted for four long days.

I had always believed if you didn’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So until I could calm down and think rationally, I knew it wasn’t safe to have a second debate with her. I’m a writer after all and am more concise on paper than when stumbling through a heated conversation.

We had been close for three years, so we knew we weren’t going to change our convictions.

Plus, we both thought the other should apologize. We were at a standstill.

Also this month, I was deeply moved by the loss of Nelson Mandela. As I studied his life again, I began to embrace the full effect of our world’s loss. I wept for his family and those touched by his greatness: especially those who learned true forgiveness and love from his example.

Most of that day, I went back and forth mourning Mr. Mandela to wondering how to end the argument with my friend.

As I was driving down the road listening to music, “Let There be Peace on Earth” emanated from the radio. A surge of emotions brought me to tears and I pulled over. My outburst was reminiscent of 22 years prior when my grandfather had died and Mariah was responsible. Not for his death, but my tears.

This time it was Vince Gill:

Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth

The peace that was meant to be

(Sy Miller and Jill Jackson – 1955)

“Let it begin with me” is what gave me clarity. I’m not saying Mr. Mandela came to me through satellite radio, but once again the music opened my eyes and I knew what I needed to do.

After calling my friend and saying I wanted a truce, we both agreed we needed to forgive and forget. Neither one of us said we were sorry or what we did was wrong because we both needed to stand up for what we strongly believed in. But it was over … for good.

It was because we believed in true friendship, and during the holiday season, there needed to be more peace on earth.

Thank goodness, Mr. Mandela. You gave me the strength to let it begin with me.

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Patient health journals beneficial when properly documented

Lawrence Journal-World newspaper

Go! Section August 15-21, 2011

by Stacey Hatton

Have you ever exited your physician’s office and realized you forgot to ask half of your questions?  Or you didn’t divulge the most integral symptoms you were experiencing?  Frustrating, right!?  How are medical providers to give an accurate diagnosis when they get limited pieces of the puzzle?

So What is This Journal?

Any type of recording of a patient’s medical history which is kept at home and updated by the patient, caregiver and/or guardian is this new trend. And according to the Daily Press (Newport News, VA, 2011), “A written record of your health history can help prevent many medical errors.”

Suggested Journal Details:

  • Hospitalizations and dates
  • Surgeries and dates
  • Major illnesses or chronic diseases (date of onset)
  • Allergies to medicines/foods and reactions
  • Medications (including herbals, supplements, and over-the-counter): the doses and frequency
  • Blood type
  • Immunizations
  • Family history of major diseases and ages
  • Blood sugar issues – include BS readings
  • Blood pressure problems – include BP averages

There are various ways to keep this record for yourself and/or your family. Keeping a folder or notebook accessible, which can be readily grabbed when you head out for appointments, emergencies or when an ambulance is called is advised. The children’s information pages should be made known to your babysitters as well.

Some families put their journals on a CD or a flash drive. Hand the flash drive to the hospital staff and they can download the information, and print it off for the emergency doctors and the chart.

Dr. Marc Scarbrough, a Hospitalist at Lawrence Memorial Hospital says, “It makes caring for the patient safer when we have an accurate list of their medicines, and when we know what medical conditions a person has and the surgeries/procedures they have had performed.”

“People who do not have this information in a printed form are putting themselves at risk for adverse events. It can lead to unnecessary tests or unwanted drug interactions,” reports Dr. Scarbrough.


When it comes to healthcare, the days of paper charts are becoming a thing of the past. Not only are hospitals getting rid of paper, but your doctor’s office may be doing so as well.

Dr. Eric Huerter, an Internist from Reed Medical Group says his office uses electronic medical records and believes patients providing personal health journals would be beneficial.

For routine visits, these journals would be especially useful “for diabetics and asthmatics. Blood sugar and peak flow readings are hard to keep up with – but probably it would be most helpful with medication changes.”

Dr. Huerter says, “Primarily it’s a good thing when you are trying to get information in the computer record for that first visit.”


The biggest concern of the health journal from a physician’s perspective is having excessive details. “If it is too thorough the most important issues could be negative,” says Dr. Huerter.

The Daily News reports, “You don’t need to record minor illnesses such as colds or strep throat… (just) don’t go overboard.”

It would be harmful that significant information could get lost because it isn’t in the correct program in the computer.

“People bringing in X-rays on CDs are always helpful,” says Dr. Huerter. It could be “frustrating if the (health journal) gets placed in its own electronic file.” A staff person “would have to update their electronic medical record (with the health journal facts).”

So keep in mind, while compiling your journal, countless facts can distract your provider from your main issues, and you don’t want them to stray from the true diagnosis because you got over-zealous with your journal!

— McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this story.


Surgeon General Says Everyone Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier

This is a press release by the Surgeon General that I believe demonstrates how breastfeeding needs to make a return.  The natural immune system benefits of breastmilk are listed below and can make such a difference in your child’s life (if you are able to breastfeed).  I wasn’t able to breastfeed my children because they were intolerant to the milk protein at an early age, but I pumped and froze it (in a deep freeze – talk to your pediatrician about how to do this safely) to give to them at an older age (~1 year) .

Breastfeeding is a ALWAYS a personal choice of the mother and the family, but I wanted to give you more information on the benefits. And remember don’t let others make you feel guilty of your decision if you are not physically capable. ~ NURSE MOMMY

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 20, 2011 –

Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin today issued a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies.

“Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed,” Dr. Benjamin said. “They shouldn’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.”

“Of course, the decision to breastfeed is a personal one,” she added, “no mother should be made to feel guilty if she cannot or chooses not to breastfeed.”

While 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months.  The rates are particularly low among African-American infants.

Many mothers who attempt to breastfeed say several factors impede their efforts, such as a lack of support at home; absence of family members who have experience with breastfeeding; a lack of breastfeeding information from health care clinicians; a lack of time and privacy to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace; and an inability to connect with other breastfeeding mothers in their communities.

Dr. Benjamin’s “Call to Action” identifies ways that families, communities, employers and health care professionals can improve breastfeeding rates and increase support for breastfeeding:

  • Communities should expand and improve programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling.
  • Health care systems should ensure that maternity care practices provide education and counseling on breastfeeding.  Hospitals should become more “baby-friendly,” by taking steps like those recommended by the UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Clinicians should ensure that they are trained to properly care for breastfeeding mothers and babies.  They should promote breastfeeding to their pregnant patients and make sure that mothers receive the best advice on how to breastfeed.
  • Employers should work toward establishing paid maternity leave and high-quality lactation support programs.  Employers should expand the use of programs that allow nursing mothers to have their babies close by so they can feed them during the day.  They should also provide women with break time and private space to express breast milk.
  • Families should give mothers the support and encouragement they need to breastfeed.

Family members can help mother’s prepare for breastfeeding and support their continued breastfeeding, including after her return to work or school.

According to the “Call to Action, breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop asthma, and those who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.  Mothers themselves who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics estimated that the nation would save $13 billion per year in health care and other costs if 90 percent of U.S. babies were exclusively breastfed for six months. Dr. Benjamin added that, by providing accommodations for nursing mothers, employers can reduce their company’s health care costs and lower their absenteeism and turnover rates.

“I believe that we as a nation are beginning to see a shift in how we think and talk about breastfeeding,” said Dr. Benjamin.  “With this ‘Call to Action,’ I am urging everyone to help make breastfeeding easier.”

To order printed copies of the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” and other materials, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO or email and reference the publication title.

For more information on breastfeeding, go to or  To speak with a breastfeeding counselor call 1-800-994-9662 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM ET.


I Moved and Developed Alzheimer’s the Same Day

Well, the cat is out of the proverbial bag, or a large brown box cemented closed with packing tape…my family MOVED!!

I don’t know whether to shout it from the roof tops or climb back into my lovely walk-in closet while crying and eating mass quantities of chocolate.  I’m striving for number one.

My first suggestion to anyone who is contemplating moving, or as I like to refer to it, the most stupid thing I have done in two decades, DON’T do it with CHILDREN.  Especially with preschool-aged children.

“Mommy, I miss my brown house,” Munchkin #2.

“The new house is brown,” I reply in a calm and pleasing tone.

“I mean the old brown house,” Munchkin #2.

“Well, the old brown house, she ain’t what she used to be,” singing to my four year old.

**crickets chirping**

“Good Night, Mommy,” she says and rolls over.

Now this is a cute little dialogue – that truly occurs every night before bed – but I have to say most of the talks aren’t as calm and cute.  For the first solid week the children would awaken in the middle of the night screaming for Mom.  This is always startling to a parent, but in a new house, can be a bit discombobulating.  So now I have run a 100 yard dash and up a flight of stairs to reach them.  Why did we choose to move?  Really, I’m asking you why…

“Why isn’t my room the same color as the old house?” asks Munchkin #1.

“Because your mother is old and tired,” I explain.

“If you were 20 years old would you have painted my room pink like the other house?” she asks.

“Yes. If I were 20 I would not have to be laying on a heating pad every night after unpacking the ungodly number of toys you have collected,” I reply, quickly regretting my crankiness.

The next reason why moving with young children is a tragic flaw is they want to continue their life the same as it was before.

“Mom, where is my Strawberry Shortcake thing?”

“In the playroom,” I yell up to the child.

“Where is the playroom?” Munchkin #2 yells back.

Not only can I NOT find a thing of my own, like deodorant, my sunglasses, my keys, my workout shoes, Munchkin #1’s dance bag, bandaids, Kleenex and one night my bathroom – my kids are expecting me to find all of their things.  At least at the old house, I knew where my stuff was, so when the kids demanded I find their lost belongings, I had some spare time to help them search.

Not anymore KIDDOS…Mama’s lost in her new house and after developing Alzheimers as soon as the moving truck backed out of the driveway, she can’t find a cotton-pickin’ thing!!  So good luck in your search for your favorite headband.  All I know is it is somewhere in this blasted house.

“Oh, and if you happen to come across my sunglasses, I will pay you $5.00!”

Week One Completed.  The rest of my life to go.