September 11, 2001 – I Will Never Forget

dad's flagBut when I saw her again, we were different women than when we earlier stood talking in front of the preschool.

September 11, 2001

It was one of the most beautiful September mornings I can remember. The sky was crystal clear – not a cloud in the sky – just endless, gorgeous blue for as far as the eyes could see. The sun was warm and there was a hint of a breeze. The air smelled so fresh and sweet. Perfection – one of the few days of the year one could actually say the weather was just perfect.

I remember the day so well. It was the beginning of the school year, and our last baby – at age three – had just started preschool. A monumental time in her life as well as mine. Continue reading

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Menopause transformed the bedroom into a brothel

wpid-2014-06-27-12.17.31.jpg.jpeg“Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.” – Mae West

Yes, peri-menopause is making me a changed woman. It is doing things to my body and brain that I never knew it could. It is also changing my house. How, you ask? Because menopause is transforming the bedroom into a brothel.

But, not in the way you would think.

The other morning, I made an astute observation. I stepped into the bedroom and I began to blush – and not from a hot flash. If someone walked into our room, they would raise an eyebrow. Or two.

This is how menopause makes the bedroom look like a brothel:

• You never know which woman will be in the room:
It could be the sentimental, sappy, romantic, “I-need-a-hug-because-I-cried-at-the-ending-of “The Notebook”-again.” Or, it could be the screaming, road-rage-crazy lady who could take out Chuck Norris and Batman at the same time because the estrogen and testosterone are battling it out for the win. I guess this can add a little mystery and excitement. But then again, it might not…
• Love Potion Number 9:
All those tiny little brown glass bottles next to the bed? Love potions? Hardly! These bitty bottles are filled with essential oils, carrier oils and herbs that are slathered on in the attempt to control the battling hormones and the achy legs. If you want to know if these work, the answer is yes. But if someone feels better thinking they are for another use, go right ahead…
• Lingerie on the door handles:
Not what you think. These styling, thigh-high hose keep my legs from aching and support circulation. They also are a great upper-arm workout because they are part of my cardio exercise every morning. Putting support hose on makes me limber and creates beads of sweat. The only merit these miracles of the medical world have is that they are made in Italy – only the uppermost in fashion for my support-needing legs.
• Dim lighting:
Not from flickering candles, but from night lights so that I don’t break my neck fumbling around in the dark for my glasses.
• Fifty Shades of Gray:
Not the book – just my own gray hair.
• High-heels in the corner:
Yes, they were tossed in the corner quickly, and not due to a state of undress. My lower back and baby toes protested loudly, and the pile of shoes will be donated. Soon.
• Expensive perfume:
What used to be reserved for special events and evenings out has become a necessity, because, well, I may need to cover up the results of a hot flash.
• Bed sheets in disarray:
Tossing the pillows and ripping the bedding off the mattress has a brand new meaning when living your own personal summer.

Maybe I should not complain, because, in many ways, menopause is keeping me one hot lady with a sexy-looking bedroom. Maybe I should not have revealed what is going on behind the scenes. Maybe it’s better to fantasize about our room being a brothel instead of a staging area to keep my hormones in check. One thing is for sure, retaining a sense of humor about this life-changing event is critical – well, until the mood changes again. Which it could. Today. In an hour. In a minute.

wpid-2014-06-27-12.15.30.jpg.jpeg

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Are you handling menopause with humor? Is it helping? Let me know in the comments below.

Featured post on BlogHer! July 5, 2014 :-)

I am participating in a blog hop! Check out some great reading by clicking on the links below!

Posted in Boomers, humor, Marriage, Mid-Life | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

My super-awesome Bacon Tomato Tart

Bacon Tomato Tart – a match made in heaven!

A few summers ago, our garden was blessed with a beautiful bounty of tomatoes. In the spring, I had purchased a Goliath tomato plant at our local Farmer’s Market, and we couldn’t believe how enormously huge this plant grew. It was about a foot tall when we planted it, and it grew and grew – like a “tomato tree,” and was over 13 feet in height and probably four or five feet wide. We had way more than six dozen tomatoes from this plant!

So, what on earth did I do with all those tomatoes, especially when I don’t know how to can? (Gee, I wish I had learned from my grandmother!!) Well, first, we gave some away. And we had a lot of fresh slices in salads, on burgers and such. I made marina sauce as well as salsa – which was delicious! (That will be a subject for another post).

But I wanted to get really creative – and so I did. I made a Bacon Tomato Tart – and it was just wonderful. Fresh tomatoes along with freshly picked basil and oregano – yes, we grew herbs, too – made for a perfect showcase from our garden. Plus who doesn’t love bacon? There were no leftovers – even my teenagers loved it!

Pair this tart with a simple green salad, sliced fruit or grapes and some crunchy bread sticks, and you will have a meal that all will enjoy!

Bacon Tomato Tart

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

1 unbaked pie crust shell (homemade or purchased)

12 oz of bacon – cooked until crisp. (reserve a few tablespoons of bacon drippings).

1/2 cup of chopped onion – saute in bacon drippings

6-8 oz of soft mozerella, shredded or cubed

one large tomato, sliced thin

a few leaves of basil, cut into thin strips

Crumble the bacon into pie shell. Layer it with the onions and mozerella;

add tomato and basil.

Mix together:

1 cup of milk, 4 eggs, salt, pepper and a few teaspoons of freshly chopped oregano. Pour over ingredients in pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Cool slightly. Slice and enjoy.

Let me know if you try this Bacon Tomato Tart, and how you like it! Share in the comments section below!

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Posted in Cooking, Stuff I've taught myself | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

What is the ultimate sacrifice?

military photoWhen thinking of our military, the statement “ultimate sacrifice” conjures up thoughts of dying in the line of fire.

For those of us not wearing the uniform, that truly does seem to be the ultimate sacrifice.

As a military wife and mother, “ultimate sacrifice” sends a blood-curdling chill down my spine.

Just this past week, my husband’s unit suffered an ultimate sacrifice, but it was not what anyone would have suspected.  Continue reading

Posted in Faith and Prayer, Family, Military, Military Family, Military Mom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Why I cried on Mother’s Day

cardI feel rather silly admitting this, but this morning when I woke up, I cried on Mother’s Day.

It really hit me how life has changed.

I cried because I am missing my dad, even more with each passing year. I missed the excitement of being a kid on a holiday, all excited to go see relatives that I thought would live forever. Then, I cried because I missed my grandmothers, great-grandmothers and my great-aunts.  Continue reading

Posted in Family, Military Family, Military Mom, mother's day, Motherhood, parenting | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

How Mother’s Intuition has deepened our bond

wpid-IMG_20130711_132239.jpg“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.” – Florence Scovel Shinn

I believe God has blessed mothers with a very special gift. Do a Google search for “Mother’s Intuition,” and you could spend days reading about this phenomenon. As Mother’s Day approaches, I got to thinking of my own experiences with Mother’s Intuition.

My first pregnancy and birth were, dare I say, a breeze? My obstetrician called it “text-book perfect.” Our beautiful, healthy baby girl was born on her due date and scored high on the APGAR test. The doctor proudly said her birth went so well, we could have had her at home.

So, imagine my surprise less than two years later, when I was placed on bed rest with Baby Number Two. Six months into my pregnancy, I started with complications. Recalling my mother’s advice regarding “call the doctor if you ever see any spotting,” I started dialing. The nurse seemed non-nonchalant, ending with “call if it happens again.” I hung up – very rattled and feeling alone. We were  stationed in Hawaii, and my husband was out in the field on an Army training exercise for a few weeks, with very limited communication. My mother was in Michigan – a different time zone and a six-hour time difference.

Though I couldn’t talk with her, my mother’s words repeated over and over in my head. My gut told me there was something very wrong. Again, I called the doctor. I was truthful when I said I had a second episode, I just didn’t volunteer it was not as serious as the first. An ultra sound was ordered – stat. I had to call my husband’s unit to try to reach him. God was looking out for me, because someone in the unit had returned to the office, and was able to contact my husband, who was released from the training.

My intuition was right. The ultra sound results were not good. The diagnosis was “Placenta Abruptio,” meaning the placenta was detaching before birth. Not too long after my diagnosis, I went into pre-term labor.

For the next few months, I was on medication and bed rest – or in the hospital. Each day I didn’t deliver was a success; each week became a milestone; each month, a moment to breathe.  The amniocentesis showed our baby’s lungs were not developed enough for an early birth.  The last trip to the hospital would be the deal breaker. I made it to 36.5 weeks. We would have our baby early, and pray that his little lungs would be okay.

Meanwhile, back in Michigan, our families were fraught with worry. My poor mother was reliving her own hell, recalling when her last pregnancy became complicated. Our baby sister was born with severe medical defects. Five months later, our baby sister returned to heaven.

My mom was my rock during this time. She encouraged me, always saying, “You have done everything in your power to protect that baby. If something should go wrong, you know in your heart you did everything you could. Do not blame yourself – do not go down that road.” After a long night of monitoring my contractions and our baby’s heart rate, my doctor induced labor, preferring traditional birth for the health of baby’s lungs. I asked for a C-section.

“Doctor Mac, I will be really, really ticked at you if I go through all this labor and I end up with a C-section at midnight.”

Mother’s intuition again? Yes. Because just before midnight, I was prepped for a C-section.

Our son weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 oz., and was 3.5 weeks early, exhibiting classic signs of an early birth. He was the biggest “preemie” in the NICU. Eight hours after he was born, I could finally hold him. And he was healthy, whole and just perfect.

Holding my newborn son, tears rolling down my face, I thanked God I followed my instincts. I thanked God for my mother’s advice.

A day or two after my parents got to Hawaii, my mom shared her Mother’s Intuition story. I still get goosebumps.

On October 27, at 11:55 p.m.  in Hawaii, an incision was made and seconds later, our baby was born. Because of the time zones, it was 5:55 a.m. in Michigan – which happened to be the exact moment that my mother bolted from a sound sleep, sensing something was terribly wrong.

Mom was right – there was terribly something wrong. The C-section was needed, not because I labored too long, but because the cord was wrapped around baby’s little neck. I wasn’t told about this additional complication until after baby arrived.

Remarkably, Mom already knew.

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Have you experienced Mother’s Intuition? Share your story in the comment section. Also, check out other mother-daughter inspired blogs at Midlife Boulevard.

 

Posted in Faith and Prayer, Family, Military Family, mother's advice, Motherhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Because you pray

wpid-2014-05-04-12.14.26.jpg.jpeg16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

My sister-in-law and I have a code. Since we communicate these days mostly by texting, we know that if we get a text that reads, “Got a minute to chat?” then it is time to talk  – whether on the phone or in person.

She was my one of my “battle buddies” while my husband was on an unaccompanied tour, and then a few months later, when he and our oldest son were deployed at the same time.  She has listened to me rant and rave like a crazy woman and has seen me at my absolute worse – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When I answered the phone, she went on to explain a dear friend’s crisis, and she told me why she called me: “Because you pray.”

I have never been more humbled in my life. And I never felt so inadequate.

Prayer has always been part of my life, but I don’t think I really “got it” until the past few years. Sure, I have rattled off “The Lord’s Prayer” so I could get on with my day or doze off at night. I felt like I had done my prayerful obligation – some days, just an item to check off my to-do list.

I remember when growing up, our family would say the obligatory meal-time prayer – a routine that was done without thinking, which oft-times had my mother chastising us for racing through the prayer – and she would make us heathens pray again before we ate.

But somewhere along the way, I grew in faith, and realized that my life was more enriched when I prayed, when I just sat quietly and talked to God. The relationship that grew – and continues to grow – is more like a Father-daughter bond. I can discuss anything with Him, and He listens. And there have been some days I have been really mad at Him and even yelled at Him, but He still loves me and cares for me. Just like my earthly dad loved me.

Throughout the years, there were many women of faith that inspired me in my spiritual journey. These ladies had seen wars, sickness, depression, death, financial ruin – and yet, they kept praying. With each hurdle, they kept their faith, and I longed to have their strength.

There have been some nice things said about me at times, and there have been some negative words, too. Just because I pray doesn’t mean I am “good,” but I do try my best to live by the examples Jesus set. I ask for the Holy Spirit to guide me – especially my heart and my tongue, because those two body parts can offer so much good; and those two body parts can also cause the most pain.

I know that the statement “Because you pray,” is one of the highest compliments I have ever received. And a statement that I don’t feel worthy to receive. I always felt that people with stronger faith or a pastoral calling have a direct connect to God. In fact, the pastor I work with has heard me ask, “Pastor, would pray for [insert my request here]. You have a direct line to God.”

And then he gently reminds me, “So do you.”

So why did my sister-in-law call me and ask me to pray? Because our dear friend’s husband has just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Because he will undergo further testing tomorrow. Because she, their children and family are going through hell. Because those supporting this family need the strength to be strong. Because when I prayed, I felt led to call my prayer warriors to lift this family. And because when I prayed, I was led by the Holy Spirit to pen this request:

“Because you pray,” please lift this family in prayer.

On behalf of my friend and her family, thank you. God bless you.

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Posted in Faith and Prayer, Family, Friendship, Inspiration, Mid-Life, Military Family | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments