Menopause, what can we do about it?

Sorry if you are sensitive. I am going to be talking about my period today. And menopause. And what it has been like for me, and what I am doing to help with this life event.
I will say that throughout my younger life, I was definitely one of the lucky ones. I never had severe problems with my periods. Rarely did I have severe cramping, mood swings or weight gain. My periods were extremely regular….every 28  days in fact. I was able to get pregnant when I wanted to, and my periods got right back on track after I finished nursing/pumping breast milk for my babies. This was pretty much the story of my life, and then I hit my early 40′s. And my menstrual world changed….drastically…..  In fact, I just turned 50 last month, and things have changed even more, as my body is learning how to not have a menstrual cycle anymore.
However, in my mid 40′s I started experiencing the signs and symptoms of menopause. For me menopausal symptoms became a big deal in my life and not just the physical things like bleeding longer, heavier, and less regularly, but also emotional things like moodiness and irritability and the fact that I started crying over almost everything/anything.

Menopause is normal, it’s natural, and every cisgendered woman will deal with it in one form or another, but it is different for every woman. It is NOT a one size fits all type of thing. Some women have incredible problems with depression, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, etc. The list goes on and on.


This is what I love about homeopathic, natural resolutions to problems. Homeopathy looks at the big picture Not just what are the symptoms, but also why is this happening? And it asks these questions for each person as an individual. So it looks at what does your personal process look like in its entirety? Because my situation will differ from other women. Each woman is different and has different concerns.

One thing that also really strikes me (and as a Women’s Studies major I can tell you that I study these things a LOT), is that this generation of 40 plus women is very different than our mothers and grandmothers were at this same age. We are younger in many ways. Physically we are healthier (for the most part). We have different ideologies and actions when it comes to exercise, work, family life, professions, child rearing, among many other things. However, these things do not man that we have it better. Our food is more processed, (I remember that food was so different when I was a kid.) We didn’t need to label food as organic, because it basically was. For our mothers and grandmothers life was simpler (not easier, but simpler). Now we have a drug for everything, now we work more hours, and are glued to electronic devices all the time. We over schedule ourselves and our children.


We think we are so much more enlightened and we have it so much better. We have so many more conveniences they didn’t have, and yet we are sicker, and our kids are sicker. I just don’t remember kids having so many allergies to foods when I was growing up. I don’t remember so many people having cancer, or life threatening illnesses. What has all of this convenience cost us?

But I don’t want to end this post on a negative note, so I am going to tell you about some things I have done to improve my life (and my menopausal symptoms) in a “homeopathic” style.

1) I make sure to exercise! Exercise is KEY to keeping our bodies healthy and strong. This doesn’t have to be intense gym sessions 5 times a week. Get out and walk! Move your body for at least 30 minutes every day. When you are on the computer for a long time, take a break, stand up and stretch. Moving your body gets our hearts pumping, our blood circulating. It increases our endorphins so our mood improves, and it reduces stress!

2) Eat healthy! Remove processed foods from your diet in every way you can. Increase your fruits and veggies. Eat grass fed beef and free range chicken. Buy locally grown foods. I have been eating gluten free, and cut back to one cup of coffee a day and almost NO sugar. Remove wheat and dairy. Cut these things from your diet and see how you feel. You can always add some of them back in slowly to see how your body feels when you consume them. It doesn’t have to be forever, but just try it for 30 days.

3) Supplements! I take supplements from Arbonne that help me feel much better. The one I take without fail is one called Women’s Balance. It is an all natural product including:  Milk Thistle, Dong Quai, Red Clover, Goji Berry, Black Cohosh and a few others. This has greatly reduced the intensity of my hot flashes as well as frequency. I also take their vegan Omega 3, Immunity support and Calcium. You can find them here in the nutrition section, or email me for more information.

4) Do something you love to do. And make time to do it on a regular basis. I like to do puzzles. I also like to just hang out with my friends and family. I usually laugh a lot and that is a great stress reducer.

Finally, find people you can talk to. I made a secret group on Facebook called Menopause Mystique so myself and the women in there can talk about things with each other that we may not want to talk about in a more public setting. Not all of the friends I have locally are my age and or they are not experiencing menopause yet. So having a place to talk about my concerns, issues, and worries has been wonderful! Also you need to know that you are not crazy and you are NOT alone!

Growing older may have some negative thins, but I have found their is much more joy than negative, and I am really enjoying life now , more than ever!

What I did about “Openly Gay Leaders” in my Boy Scout Troop

Last Monday night this happened:

zackeagle cakeAnd this:

zack eagleceremony

And the next day I received an email to all Troop leaders about a meeting to discuss how to deal with the BSA policy on allowing openly gay leaders.  I decided that since my son was finished, it was time to “out” myself, and since at the ceremony Zack gave a mom pin to each of his moms, and said, “I love these two, they are my moms”, he had already “outed” us to the people in attendance.

I decided to address the Troop leadership and give them some food for thought as I was not able to attend the meeting.  So I hit reply all (Something I NEVER do) and sent this email:

Hello all,

I cannot be at the meeting tonight as I have another meeting in VB at 6:30. I usually stay quiet on these issues, and have for many years. It may have come as a surprise to those of you in attendance at the COH on Monday that Zachary has two moms. It may not have. But if it did that is because we were very quiet about Zachary having two moms so he would not incur any prejudice or bias based on the fact that he lives in a two mom household. Those of you who know Zachary know that he has an excellent character and is a kind, compassionate, smart, and honest young man. I never wanted him to be judged on his character based on his parents but instead on his own actions.

If I had been open about being gay I believe I would have had a hard time finding a troop willing to accept my son, and he would not now be an Eagle Scout, which was VERY important to our family. Those of you who know me may also have been surprised about who my partner is. If you know me or have worked with me then you know that who I choose to spend my life with has not diminished my ability to effectively parent, or serve in the military for a 20 year career, or be an effective medical assistant, or an effective cub scout leader. My choice of partner has not affected the content of my character or my patriotism. It has not affected the way I interact with or care for and about the boys I have known in Troop 16. If you are a parent of a boy who is friends with my Zachary then you know that my choice of life partner has not affected my ability to care for or be as best a mentor as I can be to your own children.

My point in saying all of this is that who we choose to spend our lives with does not diminish from our ability to lead or care about, or mentor young human beings. I do not need any of you to agree with my life, but I urge you to look into your hearts and see if someone’s choice of partner causes them to be unable to lead young people effectively. If you are a Christian I would also urge you to remember that Christians are supposed to love their neighbors as themselves and not cast judgement or throw stones. I am Jewish and these are tenets I also grew up learning.

I do not require anyone to respond to me unless you feel compelled to do so. I just cannot be at this meeting tonight and I wanted to share my thoughts and words with you regarding this issue that is close to my heart!

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I LOVE Troop XX. I have immense respect, admiration and care about every one of the leaders that has given so much of their love, energy, time and care to the boys of Troop XX. I would not want to think that this group, who I care for so deeply would be willing to turn people away, when as long as I have been involved with the Troop, I have seen boys and men of all races, ethnicities, and intellectual abilities be welcomed with open arms.

With Kindest Regards,

Carol Rood

I did receive a few emails back that were very supportive, and that was nice.  It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one who is okay with openly gay leaders. I would urge any of you to respond similarly to this if your Boy Scout Troops are concerned about the new BSA policy. I also want to say that our Troop is AWESOME and I did receive an email from the “faith Liaison” who expressed to me that sexuality shouldn’t even be an issue because all leaders should keep it about the boys, and not about them.  That was MY thought exactly

The bottom line for me is that Boy Scouts is not a place we should be worried about sexuality.  We should be worried about the BOYS and MERIT BADGES, and CAMPING TRIPS, and CANOEING, etc etc etc.  So it shouldn’t matter what anyone does in their bedroom at ALL!!

I am happy my son has finished his BSA career as a “boy”, and can now take his open, inclusive attitude into the BSA if he chooses to be a leader.


The Bugle’s Call

I am about to graduate from college. I am about to turn 50.  One does not necessarily have anything to do with the other, but it is interesting that I am celebrating both of these events in the next three months!

For my last semester in college I decided to take some classes I thought I would enjoy. One of them is Creative writing. Which I would totally enjoy, except for the fact that we are currently writing poetry.  I am looking for feedback, so why not post them here.

So this is the first one I will post. I am happy for feedback, positive AND constructive critiques.


The Bugle’s Call

The bugle’s call is mournful,

soulful, hauntingly beautiful.

As I sit and listen to it, I think,

I mourn. I remember

the boy who became a man.

A man I did not know as well as I would like.

Now it is too late.

You are gone, and with that

is gone my opportunity to know you better.

As a man, as a father, as a husband.

I only know you as my brother.

My younger brother, who followed me,

adored me at times,

bugged me more often,

played pranks on me, teased me,

loved me……..


Your passing has made an impact in my life,

and the lives of our family.

Our parents, our brother, your children.

We have come together to mourn you,

and to remember you.

We tell funny stories about you.

Stories that only a family would know.

“remember when he……”

“how about that time when…..”

“one thing he loved to do best was…..”


I loved you. I still love you.

I wish I had told you more often how I felt.

Reached out to you more.

Called more, wrote more, talked more.

I was the big sister, I AM the big sister.

Now I can show my love in other ways.

Be a better Aunt to your children,

a better daughter to our parents, and

a better sister to our older brother.


Death has a way of showing us what is important.

What matters.

The things we should be putting as a priority in our lives.

My brother, you have taught me well.

I have listened and I am better.

I miss you.

We miss you.


Your laughter still rings in my ears.

Your quick wit that you passed on to your sons.

I hear your voice in them, when they speak.

I see your face in them when they look at me.

I feel you in our parents’ house.

You are there in so many ways.

You are an active presence in my life.

And it will always be that way.


My brother Brian and I.  I was in my early 20's

My brother Brian and I. I was in my early 20′s

I loved you, I love you, I will always love you.