Tag Archives: menopause

“NanaBread’s Head” Turns One Today

July 1st marks the one year birthday of my NanaBread blog. Can you believe it? Neither can I. While time seemed to fly by, it feels like we packed a lot into this first year. Favorite recipes, photos of the family, Ziggy’s adventures in… well, snoring. We even started highlighting some of the culinary creations of The Complete Package, my beloved husband. We’ve also seen the grandkids grow at an alarming rate, shared Hoegarden stories about our “ladies only” family weekends, thrown in a few crafts, and shared some of our travel pics. We’ve highlighted local products, spotlighted some of our favorite barbecue joints, and sprinkled in some of the things I love. I think this first year definitely lived up to my blog header in that it truly is a lot like my junk drawers. It’s happily filled with random tidbits, trash and treasures. Mission accomplished.

Overall, it has been a great year, and I couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, you are the reason I’m still here. Your comments and support are what keep this blog (and me) going, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really do. I appreciate each visitor and value every comment, but those of you who return again and again are more than readers, you’re friends. And that is the gift I most value from my first year of blogging. You. Without you and my family, there would be no Inside NanaBread’s Head. I keep writing because you keep reading. I don’t always understand why, but I’m so happy that you do!

Here is a look back at a few of my favorite posts. Click on any title to see the full post and take a walk down memory lane.

My name is NanaBread and I’m a Peppermint Bath Product Junkie.
In this post, I got a chance to bare my soul and share my addiction – peppermint bath products. I’m not proud that I’m an addict, but if you’re going to get hooked on something, I suppose this one’s pretty harmless. Not cheap, but harmless. And it answered the burning question “Is there such a thing as too many peppermint bath products?” with a resounding “You’re joking, right?”

Menopause, you hateful bitch…
This post still makes me laugh. I was suffering from a particularly raging hot flash when I sat down and let it rip. I don’t rage often, but I let it fly with this one. I felt like life had lied to me by omission, and I didn’t want another woman to be taken by surprise ever again. This one was for the ladies, especially those in the inescapable grip of “the change” like me. It also confirmed for me that if menopause had a rubber wristband, it should be black like my mood swings.

Hidden Treasure Cupcakes: Mocha Fudge Cupcakes with Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Inside
Of all the recipes I’ve posted, this is the one I personally enjoyed the most. I’ve never had an experimental recipe come out of the oven and make my eyes roll back in my head like this one did. Deep down in my soul, I’m a pie girl. But these cupcakes almost converted me. Dark chocolate, coffee and peanut butter? Seriously – it is probably the closest I’ll ever come to cupcake perfection.

Playing With Food: Big Sister’s Rainbow Tie-Dyed Cupcakes

Speaking of cupcakes, the prettiest cupcakes of the year (by far) were my Big Sister’s rainbow tie-dyed beauties. These were inspired by a food blogger I love, but Big Sis put her own spin on it by using one of our mother’s old white cake recipes and a frosting recipe she found on the Tasty Kitchen website. She brought all those elements together to make not only a gorgeous cupcake, but a tasty one. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s adaptable. You can substitute any white cake recipe or mix, and you could use any frosting recipe. But honestly, the one Big Sis found was awesome. For pure fun and beauty, these rocked my world and made me think outside the (cake) box.

Vacation Photos of Amsterdam: Let’s just say it was…interesting.
Of all the stories I’ve shared, this one continues to get regular weekly hits months after it was posted. Evidently, Amsterdam is a highly searched travel topic. Who knew? Maybe it’s the cheese; maybe it’s the weed; maybe it’s the waffles. It truly is a “whatever floats your boat” city. It was a great trip and an interesting place, and months after it was posted this story is still going strong.

“Buy Local” Spotlight: Salt Lick BBQ
This post will always be special to me because it was the first time one of my stories was selected as a FoodPress feature. It got attention from around the world, which seemed to open my blog up to an expanded global view. I received comments from exotic locales, and gained a few subscribers from far away places who visited and decided to stick around. For that, I am eternally grateful. It left me wondering if good BBQ might be one of the keys to world peace.

In Honor of Mother’s Day
This was by far my most read post of the year thanks to a feature on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” homepage. I don’t know how they select stories to feature, but I was blown away that this one garnered their attention. It was highlighted on the Friday before Mother’s Day and left up the entire weekend. Because of that, it got over 8,000 hits in 3 days. Some bloggers hope that their blogs will hit the big time, but in all honesty this one made me a nervous wreck. That kind of attention brought a lot of spam and more than a little anxiety, but it also provided an opportunity for others from around the world to share memories of their mothers and siblings, or lack thereof. It was both an emotional and enlightening experience for me. It also provided my mother with more than 15 minutes of fame, which was fun for her. She deserved it.

In honor of my first blogging birthday, I’m extending the celebration to one lucky reader. That reader, selected randomly, will receive a gift box containing some of my favorite things from my first year. Gift box items include:

1 bottle of Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste
1 jar of Dickinson’s Black Raspberry preserves
1 jar of Salt Lick BBQ spice rub, not pictured
1 set of small Nordic Ware spatulas
1 set of colorful measuring spoons
1 set of colorful measuring cups
1 set of Le Creuset silicone measuring prep bowls
1 bar of Garden Botanika oatmeal & peppermint soap
2 boxes of Stash tea – Chai Spice & Black Currant (decaf)
1 ladies print kitchen apron, handmade by NanaBread

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED TO COMMENTS. THE WINNER OF THE DRAWING HAS BEEN NOTIFIED BY E-MAIL, AND WILL BE POSTED AS SOON AS I HAVE A CONFIRMED MAILING ADDRESS. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SUSAN FROM FLORIDA. YOU’RE A WINNER! I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR GIFTS. -NB

Here are my rules:

1. Leave a comment on this post.

2. The selected reader will be notified by e-mail. Once I have a confirmed mailing address, I will announce the recipient of the gift box on my blog.

3. Participation is limited to residents of the United States.

4. One name will be randomly selected on Friday, July 8th at Noon (Central).

Disclaimer: All gift box items were purchased by me with my own money except for the apron, which was handmade by me. None of the products were donated or sponsored in any way, shape or form. They are simply items that I love, shared with one lucky reader.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a reader of my blog. Your support and friendship over the past 12 months has meant the world to me, and I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

Hugs & birthday kisses to you all,
NanaBread (Jeanne)

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Menopause, you hateful bitch…

Warning: the following blog post contains mildly graphic tales of menopausal woe. Men, you may want to move along…quickly. If not, you’ve been warned. I mean it. Girls, read on…

When I was young and heard older women talk about menopause, I would think to myself “how awesome – no periods!” Now I’m 47 and in the fourth full year of my own menopausal experience and I think to myself “I’d gladly have a period if it meant no more hot flashes.” Sometimes, ladies, the grass is greener on the other side and sometimes it’s not. “Be careful what you wish for” has never been so evident in my life. The ugly truth is that menopause sucks. Here’s what your mother or friends never told you:

• Menopause is not just for little old ladies. My symptoms started appearing at the age of 42. Sometimes life is not fair.

• Imagine sitting in your oven on the “warm” setting and thinking, “wow…it feels toasty and wonderful in here.” Now imagine that someone locked the oven door and turned it up to broil. You can’t escape, the heat is unbearable, and your skin starts to melt and pool in the bottom of your oven with that lasagna spill-over you forgot to clean up. Welcome to my hot flash.

• In the past, I could expect a visit from my “friend” around the 5th of each month. Like clockwork. Our visit would last 7-10 days, and while it wouldn’t be what I’d call pleasant, it wasn’t unbearable. We’d hang, sometimes we’d argue, she’d leave, and I’d be happy again. Now I may go for 6-7 months with no sign of said friend. She may show up for 4 or 5 days randomly or she may drop in for 44 days and almost put me in the hospital. Hateful…evil…bitch.

• Cranky? Of course I’m cranky! My body is turning on me! I have a right to be cranky!

• I’ve never had dry skin in my life, but now I have a bottle of lotion in every room of my house and in the glove box of my car. And I live in a city known for 98% humidity. I can never visit a desert again, at least not until this is all over. I’d look like Phyllis Diller at only 47, and that’s unacceptable. Sorry, Phyllis.

• For you youngsters, the answer is YES: when you go gray upstairs, you go gray downstairs.

• Speaking of gray hair, I’ve been plucking out the more obvious offenders – especially around my face where I can see them in the mirror more glaringly. One of these days, I’ll have to accept a new mantra and move on. My choices are “gray is sexy” or “bald is beautiful.” And yes, that goes for downstairs, as well.

• If they can make Grecian Formula for men that can be combed in and cover gray in 10 minutes while looking completely natural, why do they still expect women spend $150 and 3 hours getting our hair colored? Where’s our inexpensive but extraordinarily effective 10 minute comb in formula?

• I have insomnia issues now. Sometimes I sleep like a rock for 8 straight hours, but most nights I sleep for 20 minutes at a shot, throwing covers here and there, and begging for mercy from the sleep fairy. A few times a month, I find myself awake until 3:00 or 4:00am. I should tell you that The Complete Package and I do not have cable. For the record, basic channels suck like a Dyson after 1am. Once Craig Ferguson goes off, your choices are infomercials for appliances, miracle investment advice or phone services for singles who want to mingle. I’m beyond mingling, I already own a Shark Steamer, and if that investment advice is so stellar, why are you still hosting infomercials for a living? Really.

• My fingernails are forever splitting and peeling into a million thin layers. Forget manicures. Why would I want to paint my nails a color that would actually draw attention to my hands? Ugh!

• In my youth, I’d heard women speak of episodes of excessive sweating due to menopause, but I never understood it. Now I pray for blissful ignorance again. While it doesn’t happen nearly as often as regular hot flashes, it is 100 times more intolerable in my mind. Imagine randomly exploding into a sweaty dock worker. For 15 minutes, you are completely drenched in places you didn’t know had sweat glands, and your clothes look like you just ran through a sprinkler. Men have done this for centuries. Women were not made for this. I can’t claim to be “dewy” when it’s running down my shin bones. Please, someone shoot me.

• If you’ve had children, you know you get mentally fuzzy just before and after giving birth. We’re hard-wired for it. It’s a part of the science of being a woman with raging hormones during the blessed event. Newsflash: it comes back during menopause. Those same hormones that made you feel like an idiot as a new mother return for round two when you experience “The Change.” I find myself pointing at the dishwasher and barking at TCP “don’t forget to put your plate in…..that…..that THING where the dirty dishes go.” Wow. Really? How am I supposed to sound tough or bossy when I can’t remember that the lump on our curb is called our mailbox? The good news – it only happens randomly. The bad news – it happens.

• The Complete Package and I used to snuggle in bed. It helped me fall asleep, feeling all warm and cuddly like that. Now I’m too hot and uncomfortable to be touched, and TCP is bringing marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars to bed. Oh, well. He might as well take advantage of the raging inferno coming from my side of the bed. He’s clever like that.

• I hesitate to admit this, but I have a peach fuzz beard. This is my most embarrassing menopausal side effect. I admit this only because I don’t want to hide the awful truth from you, my friends. TCP says it’s not noticeable, but I notice it. When I look up close in the mirror, I feel eligible to apply for Santa Clause at Macy’s this Christmas. It’s short and soft and colorless, but that doesn’t make me feel any less of a fuzzy bunny. It has me wondering…whatever happened to Nad’s. Remember Nad’s? It was a sticky honey-like substance similar to a home waxing kit. Where is Nad when I need her?

• Did you know that menopause is actually ONE DAY? Menopause refers to the last day of your last period…or the first day of your period-free life. The time leading up to that one day is called peri-menopause. So I am peri-menopausal. That’s medical speak for hormonal female freak.

I’m telling you here and now – I am marking my calendar and counting the days until this is all over. I’m dreaming of the day when I’m over this speed bump and looking at it from the other side. I’m four years in, I’ve put in my time, and I’m ready to get off this bus. Menopause is a bitch, and I’m ready to give her a good slap in the face or put a boot up her ass. Sorry, my crankiness is flaring up again. Until then, I am your sweaty, fuzzy, graying, sleepless friend. Pray for me. Pray hard and pray often…because you could be next.

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Know what I love about fall? Breaking out my collection of pajama pants!

How do I love pajama pants? Let me count the ways!

Fall is here, and it’s time to break out my collection of pajama pants. Oh, how I love my pajama pants. So much so, that I feel compelled to share a few random thoughts with you – my close friends and confidants. Hope you don’t mind.

1. Down here in South Hades (Houston, TX), it’s just too dadgum hot to wear PJ pants year round. That’s why I look forward to cold weather, when the highs dip below 98F, the humidity drops below 140% and there’s a not-so-blistering-as-usual breeze in the air. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. Close enough to make me break out the PJ pants collection and get them ready.

2. I’d wear pajama pants all day long if I could get away with it at the doctor’s office or grocery store or the post office. You laugh, but I’ve actually seen people wearing them out in public. Did they forget or something?

3. I don’t know why, but I don’t really go for the PJ tops. Buying the full set is a waste of money for me. I prefer to wear PJ pants with t-shirts. It’s more comfortable. Or maybe it’s that I’m menopausal and sleeping in a flannel shirt with night sweats would make me crazy enough to kill someone (unintentionally, of course).

4. My collection includes both flannel and cotton PJ pants. It’s like the old party conundrum – “black tie” or “business casual”? I like to wear the lightweight cotton pants when it’s cool, and the flannel for special occasions. And by special occasions, I mean Christmas. My Baby (my beautiful daughter) and I started buying matching PJ pants to wear on Christmas morning when she was in high school. That was 10 years ago, and we still try to buy them each year. I love family holiday traditions.

A few of my cute Nick & Nora pajamas from Suuupah Target

5. I seem to have more than my fair share of Nick & Nora PJ’s from my favorite store, Suuupah Target. I especially love their sock monkey PJ’s, but I also have a super cute pair with snow globes from the 50 states on them. Another favorite pair has girly lingerie on hangers and clotheslines. Love them!

6. What would a pair of pajama pants in the winter be without fuzzy socks? My favorites are the ones made by the “Life is Good” people. They’re cuddly, fuzzy perfection. I also love this sweet pink pair with the fuzzy bunny cuffs. So cute, and so toasty warm. They’re like a hug for your feet from someone you love.

Fuzzy Socks - A warm hug for your tootsies.

7. A word of caution: don’t wear fuzzy socks when you’re carrying your over-loaded laundry basket down the stairs (lesson learned the hard way) and don’t chase your dog on wood floors with your fuzzy socks on, or you’ll be singing “Wipe Out!” in your sleep.

8. Don’t mix fuzzy socks and polar fleece blankets. They tend to stick together, and you run the risk of getting tangled up when you try to run for the bathroom during television commercial breaks. Not to mention the fact that you’ll get popped with static electricity. Personally, I think it would be a hoot to rub a polar fleece blanket on your head and then walk into a room and say “Honey, the pregnancy test came out positive!” That seems pretty dang funny when you’re 47 and menopausal.

Happy fall, y’all! I hope you have a season filled with punkins, cool weather, crisp apples, homemade soups and stews, and comfortable pajama pants with fuzzy socks. I don’t think there’s anything better this time of year!

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