All Posts for March 2013


Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Windy Day for Laundry (Lancaster County)

While Spring blew in officially at the end of March, it still isn’t spring-like here.  Fall is my favorite time of year, but Spring runs a close second, because all the plants will soon be blooming and the buds on the trees will burst into bowers of flowers. But here is what we had at the end of March.

I took photos on a quick trip to Lancaster County right after a heavy rain the day before, Monday (March 26th), so the Amish had their clothes hanging to dry on the Tuesday (March 27th) when I was there. Clotheslines are in use all year round, because electricity is not part of their beliefs. . (My first my article was called Italian Threads, Laundry Memories and was posted at the end of December in Women’s Voices for  Change. (Link:

Another anticipation for April is Earth Day, Monday April 22nd. Actually, I like to think of April as a kick-off for every day being Earth Day, that is, becoming more conscious of the mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I would like to hear from you, the reader, letting me know what you do to follow the three ecological Rs to help Mother Earth not just survive, but also thrive for the next generations. (The laundry photo above is a good example of solar power and reducing our carbon footprint.)

I read in USA Today that the young people of today, the Millenials, are very much interested in caring about others and the earth. That’s good news! AS part of Earth Day awareness, I will be reviewing a book I purchased at the gift shop when we visited Falling Waters, a home that Frank Lloyd Wright built in Western PA. I will choose one or two formulas to try myself as well.

I also plan to feature some Spring-like recipes. I made one for the Seder that I call Citrus Salad for Spring. I used baby greens, fresh mandarin oranges and a citrus dressing similar to one I posted before using whole, organic Meyer lemons. It looks almost as good as it tastes!

(I couldn’t resist using my giraffe serving set I received as a gift.)

Since April is National Poetry Month, I will be posting more poems from my classmate Marie Louise  (Mary Lou) Meyers.  Perhaps I can match  up some of my photos with some of her poems.  The first week of April is also Library Week, so if I find an essay I wrote before computers were household words and “appliances,” I will
post that to celebrate our libraries.


And since Easter Sunday is this Sunday, when those who celebrate show off their new Easter outfits, I have a style book that I think you will enjoy reading the review.  It is called Advanced Style by photographer Ari Seth Cohen, and this is the cover.

All the “street models” are older women in very interesting with their unique, individual approach to clothing. It is basically a photo book with interesting comments by Cohen and the women themselves.







Finally, my friend Dorothy sent me some lovely photos of Brussels in Bloom.

Soon we will have our own blooms in the North, but for now, you can gaze on these.


P.S. I forgot to post that 1913 was the historic Suffrage March and on March 3, 2013, several people from the National Women’s History Museum Project repeated that walk.  Two female members of the House & two from the Senate are putting forth the idea of a commission to find a home for the NWHM near the National Mall in Washington, DC. The museum needs your support. Go to for more info.  Here is a photo I received on a postcard of the March 3rd walk down Pennsylvania Ave. It was a cold day, but their efforts were warm!

What Every Women Needs to Know: Two Books with Answers

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Square One Publishers ( has two books with valuable information about female hormones that every woman needs to know to stay healthy and in balance throughout her life cycles from menarche to post-menopausal zest.

The first book, What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones by Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, is an encyclopedic-rendered primer for all women. The first part is simply called Hormones, which the author defines as “chemical substances that control and regulate the activity of certain cells or organs.”  Her analogy is that hormones interact with one another much like “a symphony that must play in tune in order for you to feel great and be healthy.”

Each of the hormones defined and discussed is done with a list that delineates the function of the hormone, (for example, estrogen), as well as a list of symptoms of estrogen deficiency as well as excess estrogen, and causes of either the deficiency or excess. Every hormone is clearly explained in this way, with intervening paragraphs explaining the importance of the hormone and what you can do to restore any imbalances. The lists and explanations make this an excellent reference to consult  before seeing a doctor or for your own edification.

Part II is called Ailments and Problems and is more of a glossary of these issues, for example, cancer.  Suggested supplementation for cancer prevention is listed in chart form as well as a few pages of text explaining each of the major forms of cancer for women: breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical. As the author explains, her information is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather more like a survey of these cancers and suggestions for healing with the guidance of your doctor. Again, the use of charts makes this a ready reference.

Part III is a brief section on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): what it is, problems with synthetic HRT, a discussion of natural HRT, hormone testing and methods and suggested supplementation. A conclusion and very helpful summary, as well as resources and references follow this short section.

The second book, What You Must Know About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy by Amy Lee Hawkins, Pharm. D is not quite as encyclopedic, but I would still categorize it as a reference book.  In some ways it is the reverse of the first book in that Women’s Hormone’s has only a very brief section on HRT, whereas in this Hawkin’s book, HRT is the focus.

As with Women’s Hormones, the first section introduces the major hormones. The list in this book is almost identical to the one in Women’s Hormones, with one difference. In the latter prolactin is discussed and in the one on bioidentical HRT, Vitamin D is discussed.  Also, Women’s Hormones has about 55 pages on hormones, while Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Replacement devotes 39 pages to hormones and the rest of the book on the title’s topic in three chapters: Hormone Replacement Therapy (explained), Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Guidelines, and Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy. I especially liked this last chapter, since I did not choose HRT, bioidentical or otherwise. This chapter focuses on lifestyle changes such as ways to reduce stress, dietary options, and nutritional supplements. The author also discusses prescription drugs as an option.

Also, in this last section, Hawkins discusses exercise so that women lose fat, nut muscle.  I found this discussion very helpful, since as we age, we seem to lose muscle mass as well as gain weight. I am following the author’s recommendations on adding high-intensity interval training to my exercise regimen. In fact, the entire last section on alternatives includes common sense suggestions that women of any age can follow and garner benefits.

I believe that these two books on women’s hormones and how they impact on health are like a set of bookends: one book end (Women’s Hormones) discusses important hormones in great detail with lists and charts and takes the reader up to an introduction to HRT, while the second bookend, What You Must Know About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, focuses on changes that take place in our hormones as we go through menopause and how we can remain healthy with lifestyle changes: good food, supplements, exercise and a positive state of mind as you re-evaluate your life. Both books hold up their ends quite well!

Square One Publishing and the authors of these two books have done a wonderful service to women who are in the dark about how hormonal changes impact their mental, physical, and spiritual selves as they progress and evolve through the female lifecycle. Each book is $17.95 and available through online book sites or in bookstores. At this reasonable price, I would recommend both!