The Birds and The Bees

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my dearest friends, Marcia.  We met just after she first started blogging and I found myself in a “menopausal” state.  Her blog indexed well in google so I clicked on the link and found her blog to be well worth revisiting again and again.  I eventually got in touch with her and over the last year or so we have become great friends.  We often find ourselves comparing notes on all things – especially relating to menopause and men and find ourselves chatting well into the night on occasion.

So we have decided to draw up a list of 10 sexy questions and answers and post them on each others sites.

Please pop over to Marcia’s Menopausal Mother’s blog to read my answers, and welcome Marcia to my blog and see her answers below.


I am so excited to be guesting on Life Cherries today! Lanthie is one of the first people I met in the blogosphere when I first started blogging, and she has become a dear friend to me this past year.

When we came up with this idea of sharing 10 sexy questions about ourselves, it was a no-brainer to flip blog sites for the day and guest on each other’s page. So here you have it—Menopausal Mother is airing out her dirty laundry for all to see and feeling a bit naked in the process (anybody got an extra towel or a bathrobe I can cover myself up with?).

1) What turns you on most about the opposite sex?

The first thing I notice about a man is his eyes. I don’t need words. Just. Look. At. Me. I can tell a lot about a man by watching his eyes. The other thing that turns me on is a man’s laughter. Intelligence and humor are important, but the thing that tugs at my heart the most is a man’s soft side…someone who is not afraid to show compassion, his tears and his love.

2) How would you indicate to a man that you are interested in him?

I’d make eye contact. A lot. And I would flirt, but not to the point of being obnoxious. I’d laugh at all his jokes and show him that I am genuinely interested in his life, in a nice way–not a stalker-ish way! I’m the queen of dropping subtle hints but if he doesn’t pick up on them, I’d be forced to tell him how I really felt…never mind—-I couldn’t do that. Fear of rejection would get in the way. I’d write him a letter or a poem or maybe bake him a rum cake….

3) What was your worst date ever?

 My freshman year in college I was shy and uncomfortable in a new city, so a few friends took pity on me and set me up on a blind date to attend our sorority formal dance. This weasely-looking dude comes to pick me up and encourages me to “loosen up” with some rum and coke. I’d never had it before and was deceived by its sweetness. Needless to say, I spent the entire evening with my head in the toilet in the ladies’ room. I begged my “date” to drive me home, but he was having too much fun with his buddies to bother helping me. Longest. Night. Ever.

4) What’s your most embarrassing or funny romantic encounter?

It involved whipped creme. Don’t ask. I can only tell you one very important rule from this experience—-do NOT leave dairy products on your skin for any length of time or else you will end up smelling worse than Limburger cheese.

5) What was your worst romantic flop experience?

When we were still newlyweds, my husband and I ate dinner at a very upscale restaurant to celebrate a birthday. The food was delicious, so we ate a LOT. Too much. Once home, we got amorous despite our full bellies. The moment we finished, we both made a run for the bathroom and promptly threw up our dinners–me at the toilet and he at the sink. Now how romantic is that?

6) Where is the most public place you have had an amorous encounter?

I can only pick one? A shop. A concert. The beach. A lighthouse. And a place I’m too ashamed to admit because I’m probably going to burn in hell for it. Don’t judge—it was long ago and far away in a land called, Young And Stupid.

7) Favorite time of the day for romance?

I’m a night owl, so any time after midnight works for me. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that darkness and moonlight totally enhance a body and hides all the flaws….

8) What’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever done?

Fishing topless at a lake. WHAT??? It was hot out! I needed a tan anyway….

9) How many times have you been in love?

Is there “The One” who got away? Five. I’m a romantic, what can I say? I was actually engaged once before—I cancelled the wedding just a few months before the Big Day after EVERYTHING was already paid for and reserved. I even had my bridal gown and all the bridesmaid dresses. All the other relationships just ran their course except for one, and he broke my heart. He’s also the one who got away.

10) What is your ideal date?

Being outdoors! Anything that involves gardens, wine, good food and a lot candles. I prefer being outdoors in the evening for a romantic picnic–throw in a full moon and I am one happy girl. Oh, and chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate!

Now you really DO know more about Menopausal Mother than you probably wanted. But let’s just keep all this between us now, shall we!

Hope you enjoyed our little collaboration.  I for one would love to have Marcia guest on my blog again sometime.

Let’s Get It On

One of hubby’s favorite sayings is that children are the worlds greatest contraception. And he is so right. Hubby is always complaining he doesn’t get enough “stress relief” as he calls it. And  this is why:

(You should be listening to this whilst reading this post)

I got pregnant with Son no 1 during our first year of marriage.  We were married for 11 weeks when morning sickness kicked in and all I wanted to do was throw up or eat pancakes.  And then feeling like a waddling elephant does nothing for ones libido. I am also one of those woman who looked like I was 6 months pregnant at 6 weeks so I really did feel fat and ugly during my pregnancy.

Then there is the actual childbirth. Now I had my first son the traditional way. I was zonked on sleeping tablets when I popped and was not able to push properly.  When I checked into the hospital they told me I still had many hours to go before I was fully dilated so they gave me sleeping tablets to relax and go to sleep. So they had to give me an episiotomy when the time came. After this, there was no way hubby was coming anywhere near me for a long long time.  I could barely sit never mind think about anything going near my nether regions.

Then there is the sleepless nights and getting up at 10pm, midnight, 2am, 3am, 5am and feeling like a zombie all day.

Then your new offspring start to become real humans and become more active. This is when they want to sleep in your bed – this is usually the best time to go out and buy that king sized bed and learn to sleep on the last 12 inches of the bed – a habit I still have much to hubby’s disgust.

Then just as your offspring gets used to sleeping in their own room at around the age of 3, you then go and fall pregnant again and start the process all over again.

I did this 4 times. I never had an episiotomy again.  Caesars were the way to go for me – at least I could sit after giving birth and hubby had a chance of a quickie between nappy changes!

So this amounts to about 15 years of not having great sex. You learn very quickly to do things quietly and express your OOHS and AAHS in silence in the middle of the night.

Then finally, your child bearing years are over – YIPPEE – time to concentrate on how to feel like a women again and get your mojo back.

By this time of course you find yourself 40 pounds heavier and start finding a new grey hair on a daily basis. Your stress levels are now hovering in the clouds. After all you have kids to put through good colleges and mortgages to pay and you are in debt up to your ears.

Men and women are total opposites when it comes to stress – when men are stressed, they want stress relief in the form of sex. When women are stressed, we just want piece and quiet – preferably with a good book or blogs to read.  So when Hubby comes home and wants to “get it on“, it is the last thing on my mind.

And then Menopause sets in.

Having to deal with hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia leave me feeling very tired and irritable.  Constant mood swings make it difficult to get into sex when it’s happening.  Incontinence, weight gain, vaginal dryness all affect the way we feel.

It is not that we are dead inside – I mean if we can drool at the sight of Johnny Depp, then surely we should have some form of libido.

But somehow the brain does not communicate this to the correct parts of the body.  It is like your eyes are bigger than you stomach.

I often find myself looking at other men – especially those with prominent “penis pointers” (feel free to post a comment if you do not know what these are and I will explain them to you) and at the back of my mind I get the urge to possibly drag hubby down the passage and ravage him. But that urge just does not flip the switch all the way down.

This is when you realize that you have dinner to cook / kids to collect / homework to check / bank accounts to balance / bills to pay / animals to feed / cupboards to clean / shopping to do / emails to send / contracts to finalise / proposals to write / filing to do ……… And you put your hands up in defeat and wish you were sitting on the couch with your feet up …… And the switch just flips back up and the urge dies a sudden death.

Hubby has realised that the best time to “get any“, is to wake me up early before the brain wakes up and the “to do list” takes a footing for the day.  It is not the most exciting sex one could hope for, but at least we are making the best of it.  He tries to suggest we get the toys out or watch a video out of our secret draw.  But I know that the moment my brain wakes up, I will not be as willing.

I have been married for 25 years and I must admire the patience and understanding of my dear hubby through all these years as he certainly has not had his fair share of Getting It On!

Menopausal Moments and 21st Birthdays

As parents we accept certain things. And one of them is that our children grow up and eventually leave home. 

Even though we accept this, it does not mean we like it.

Son no 2 has lived in Dubai for almost 2 years. I would be lying if I said I was totally happy with this. Has he made the right decision to start his career there – YES. Is he better of there – YES. Does he have better prospects there – YES. Is he safe there – YES.  So why a I not happy? Because I still think of him as my baby and I want to be near him and protect him and share certain memories with him.
It is his 21st birthday today. I really wanted to be there with him. I looked at the possibility of us all going to Dubai for the weekend to celebrate this milestone in his life with him. But as son no 3 is writing exams, we couldn’t make this happen.  
I brought up the possibility of me going alone. Hubby said I should go – he said I could go with pleasure, but he wouldn’t be impressed with it. So I thought it through – what would I do there alone? My son would feel obliged to spend the time with me rather than celebrating with his friends – and no young man wants his dear mommy around during these sorts of occasions. 
 It is different if we were there as a family – he wouldn’t feel obliged to spend all the time with me and keep me entertained. Then there is also hubby who would not have been impressed if I went alone. So is it worth rocking the boat?
So for the last week I have been on edge. Moody. Irritated. Annoyed.
And then yesterday we tried to talk to my son via Skype but we couldn’t hold a conversation due to a bad ADSL line. In fact I haven’t had a decent conversation with my son for weeks because of our poor ADSL line. And all of this culminated to me breaking down and just sobbing my heart out.
I am not really an emotional person. I don’t typically cry. I have the odd moody moments but these are also few and far between.  A little more regular since menopause has set in but in general I am a very sane, level headed person.
Hubby does not do well with emotional people. He has no idea what to do.  Rather than holding me and comforting me and just letting me cry it out, he tells me to pull myself together and tells me I am being silly.
So I try to pull myself together.  It doesn’t help emotionally as all I want to do is sob my heart out, except now I am doing it internally rather than letting it all out.
Then last night I am lying in bed while hubby is fast asleep.  And all I can think of was the eve of my first sons 21st birthday.  We had been out for diner.  Hubby had gone to bed and kids were getting into their pajamas.  I was tidying  up the lounge when I looked up and saw a man in a balaclava pointing a gun at me.  We were held hostage by 6 armed men that night while they went through our house and took all our valuables.
So I have found 21st birthdays to be rather a let down.  

What’s Your Name Again

I have never been particularly good with names but it is a miracle if I remember anyone’s name nowadays.

It is not just the names of people I cannot remember – it is the names of everyday typical objects as well.  This week I sat in a meeting with my IT staff asking if they have installed the “thingy” at one our our clients.  I am beginning to wonder if I should be changing my hair colour so as to avoid people thinking of me as a dizzy blond!

I have done some research and apparently it is all linked to menopause.  Seems as though menopause has taken over my whole life.  I started taking HRT a few months back and although this has improved a lot of my symptoms, it has had no effect on my memory.  Doing some more reading on the subject, some women described it the same as momnesia or pregnancy brain. Often linked to not sleeping well, being under too much stress, trying to multitask too much and of course hormone levels which are all over the show.

I could describe is as a fog which has taken up residence in my brain.  Sometime it lifts a little and other times I can’t see 2 feet in front of me. 
The funny thing is I know what I want to say or do – I have a very clear picture in my head.  But somehow I can’t verbalise any of it.  I forget the words and end up using terms such as thing or thingy or referring to someone as the person who did the following because I just cannot remember their name. 

It is all rather hilarious – not sure what else menopause can throw at me.

Heart Palpitations

Just recently I have been having “Heart Palpitations“.  I of course mention this to hubby to accuses me of being a Hypochondriac.  So I ignore it for a few weeks.  At the same time I stop having my mutl-vitamin thinking that perhaps it is being overly ambitious.

The palpitations are still there – even when I am at rest or laying in bed at night. So I look it up on the web and of course it says it could be due to menopause.  I then mention this to hubby who responds with a comment “you don’t even know if you are going through menopause – has a doctor actually done any tests“.  (I felt like punching him in the face after this comment so I ignored it)

So I looked up the symptoms of menopause on the web and this is the list – I have indicated if I have the relevant symptom or not:

  • Hot Flushes – YES
  • Night Sweats – YES
  • Irregular Periods – NO – (What’s a period?)
  • Loss of Libido – YES
  • Vaginal Dryness – YES
  • Mood Swings – YES
  • Fatigue – YES
  • Hair Loss – YES
  • Sleep Disorders – YES
  • Difficulty Concentrating – YES
  • Memory Lapses – YES
  • Dizziness – NO
  • Weight Gain – YES
  • Incontinence – YES
  • Bloating – YES
  • Allergies – YES (Prior to menopause as well)
  • Brittle Nails – YES
  • Changes in Odor – NO IDEA (Generally don’t smell myself)
  • Irregular Heartbeat – YES
  • Depression – YES (very occasionally)
  • Anxiety – YES
  • Irritability – YES
  • Panic Disorder – NO
  • Breast Pain – NO
  • Headaches – YES
  • Joint Pain – YES
  • Burning Tongue – NO
  • Electric Shocks – YES (probably due to very dry air at the moment)
  • Digestive Problems – YES
  • Muscle Tension – NO
  • Itchy Skin – YES
  • Tingling Extremities – YES (often get pins and needles)
  • Osteoporosis – NO

So I have checked 26 of the 34 Symptoms – There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am menopausal – with or without a doctor verifying this……..

To appease myself, I duly went to see the Doc last week about my heart palpitations.  He did an ECG  – resting and stressed.  All is normal and fine with my heart – good rhythm / pulse / blood pressure etc etc.  He says it is caused by menopause and I must not stress about it all.  He also goes on to recommend I start taking HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).  This was then a debate as you are either pro HRT or against HRT – I have discussed this in the past with my Gynecologist.  I explained that I was neither pro or against HRT but would act on the advice given, providing my Gynecologist agreed with him.

So I have stopped taking my little soy extract pill each day and am now on HRT.  Probably a bit too early to say if it is working and will give it a few weeks.

Image from

My Personal Summer

It is now June and as I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, winter has descended on us with a bang with temperatures ranging from 0 to 18 degrees Celsius daily.  The tress are bare, the grass is dry and there is dust everywhere.  It is still dark when I get up at 5am in the morning and it is a real struggle getting out of bed in the morning when my body is telling me it is still night time.

Some 6 months ago I was complaining about the heat.  It was the hottest summer I had ever experienced.  Or so I thought….

It suddenly dawned on me in February that I was the only person experiencing the intense heat.  I was walking around with an ice-pack I was so hot.  Hubby jokingly accused me of being menopausal.  I spent a few weeks in denial, but then I had to accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, I was menopausal.  

So off I went to see my Gynecologist who confirmed by deepest darkest fear.  At the age of 45, I was going through menopause.  He recommended I take a soy extract supplement each day called Phytopause.  I don’t need a script for it and I can vouch for the fact that it has made me feel like a whole new person.  I no longer feel like I am living in a furnace.

Night times are a different story though.  As I take my tablet first thing in the morning, it tends to wear off at some point during the late evening.  I find myself struggling with the heat in bed at night. So this has become a little bit of a situation between hubby and I.  Hubby is cold at night and he wants the underfloor heating on and of course the duvets have come out of the cupboard as well.  I am sweating my ass off and am sleeping with no covers on and I would be naked if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a house full of boys to contend with.

So we have both had to compromise a little – the underfloor heating is set to around 21 degrees and I make sure I wear something light to bed and shove the duvet over to his side of the bed.  

I suppose I could take another pill at night but somehow that is like admitting defeat.

Ticking Time Bomb

I am so glad the week is over.  It started with hubby in hospital recouping after his op.  I had a list of things I wanted to get done while he was in hospital – you know those little things that you never get the time to do.  Things like doing the filing, a little household maintenance, tidying up and putting things away that have been laying in a pile for weeks waiting to be put back into their rightful place.
But I slumped…  I just was not in the mood.  The filing sat on the side table in a pile – nagging at me.  I lost all interest in everything – including my blog.
Hubby duly came back home on Tuesday and my mood just got worse.  It is difficult to explain.  I am not depressed, I am  not happy, I am not sad, I am not angry, I am not particularly anything.  The best way to describe my mood is that I feel like a ticking time bomb – ready to explode – for no particular reason.  And I am trying desperately to hold on to my sanity and reasoning.
And the guilt just gets worse.  I feel guilty for feeling like this.  I feel guilty that I want to kick the dog.  I feel guilty that I want to punch hubby in the face.  I feel guilty about being in a shitty mood – but I just cannot snap out of it.  I sent a couple of snarly emails yesterday to our local neighbourhood action group bitching about the refuse not being collected  – and it felt so good.  To just let some steam off. 

And then I read my friends latest post on her blog today “Menopausal Mean” and it explained it all.  I still feel like I want to explode but at least I know why. 

Perhaps I should invest in a punching bag!

The Bedroom Blog: Early Hot Flushes………..

I have recently discovered that I am going through Menopause so I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject.  I have also come across some posts by others related to the subject and this is one that I would like to share:

The Bedroom Blog: Early Hot Flushes………..

Here are some related links to some of my posts related to the subject as well:

Sweating My Ass Off
I want to live in Antartica

I used to laugh at women who referred to their hot flushes and believe you me – it is not something to be laughed at.  Like most women though, I do try to see the the funny side of things so gladly take the jesting with a smile!