Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flowers and Bugs and Perimenopause

I really struggle with indecision these days. I seem to spend hours - precious hours that really can't be spared - waffling over the simplest things. Am I losing my mind, or is it all just part of the general misery that is perimenopause? (No need to be coy about it - we're all friends here.)

The fact that I wrote the above paragraph in less than 5 minutes is quite an accomplishment. I can't seem to write anything lately without obsessively re-reading and questioning every word. Or, worse still, not being able to think of the word I want. My vocabulary seems to be disappearing along with my hormones.

This makes blogging difficult. I struggle over the Hurdle of Indecision, only to flounder in the Swamp of Aphasia. (Thank goodness for Google. I had to open another tab and type "what do you call it when you can't think of the word you want to say" to get "aphasia".)

Things could be much worse than they are. After all, I've never had a hot flash. (Really. Not one.) But the mood swings are killing me. Life turns suddenly unbearable for about an hour nearly every day. I'm sure I turn unbearable too, while the fit is on. The only thing that helps is reminding myself (and the people around me) that it's just the hormones talking. Maybe I need to hang a sign around my neck: "Sorry, Temporarily Out of Order".

Enough of that! Time for some cycling photos. :)


The weather has been following its own sweet will over the first half of June, with temperatures up, down, and all around. Some nights we've slept in heavy socks and pyjamas, with extra blankets piled on the bed. Then the mercury jumps and we find ourselves at the other extreme of minimal nightwear and a single sheet. People have already started complaining about heat and humidity. Ah, almost-summer!

Warm or cold, I don't mind - as long as the wildflowers keep blooming. Here are some from a recent Sunday ride.

June 5 is hot, clear, sunny, and windy - so windy I don't know how I manage to get any flower photos at all. It's a case of waiting for pauses between gusts, or holding the flower in one hand and the camera in the other.

Clockwise from top left: Orange Hawkweed, Butter-and-Eggs (toadflax),
Canada Hawkweed, Wild Columbine

The trees are laughing and holding up their hands to the wind:

A blackbird sits on a tall stump:

I stop to visit the pedigree pigs that live next to our egg supplier's house. As soon as I get off the bike, they come trotting from all corners of the pasture to grunt "hello" before burying their snouts in the soil:

Just up the road is a Favourite Tree:

Across the way, drifts of buttercups billow in the wind. Other flowers grow there too, including a rather straggly-looking variety of fleabane that's new to me (see photo below):

Clockwise from left: Buttercups, Northern Bedstraw, Common Eastern Fleabane (I think)

Nearby is a plant I don't recognise at all, and haven't been able to identify (see below). Does anyone know what this is? It looks like a baby shrub of some kind:

Mystery plant with woody stem and spikes of tiny pale-green flowers

I'm back on the bike and heading up the next grade when a doe runs across the road ahead and disappears into the woods. Then twin fauns come stepping out from the grassy verge:

They stand and stare at me for several seconds before turning to amble across. (I have a mental vision of their mom beckoning frantically from the undergrowth, hissing "You two get over here right now!")

At the top of the hill is a lovely barn with swathes of orange hawkweed lining the road before it:

A right turn to cross the high prairie, then down and up and down again on a rolling road under near-summer skies:

More flowers spotted:

Left, Hairy Vetch; right, wild daisies

I've been riding mostly south and east under blue skies and scattered clouds. But when I turn for home, ominous clouds are rolling in quickly from the northwest:

The rest of the ride is a race against the oncoming storm. I make it home with a few minutes to spare before the heavens open. A thunderstorm is a great motivator to kick things up a gear. :)


Concerning bugs: I never used to like insects, and for most of my life I've rather avoided them. But they seem to be crawling all over my flower photos, and now I'm learning to like them.

Especially when they do things like this:

Common Yarrow with bike wheel and photo-bombing bug

It's a fascinating world we live in.

What's happening in your corner of it?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. I had to smile about that sign you were thinking of hanging around your neck saying:
    "Sorry, Temporarily Out of Order"! Hormonal changes can play havoc with moods! Hang in there and warn others from time to time and all will be forgiven. Be kind to yourself and continue to enjoy all those lovely bike rides and all the wonderful things you encounter. I love that barn and the twin fawns!

  2. Sorry about the menopausal stuff.. just don't do what I did. I quit a prestigious job as executive director of a non-profit corp. that I helped found to save a famous historic building, divorced my husband and moved onto my sailboat on an island in the San Juans. Thank heavens my husband and I remained friends and eventually remarried. :-).. yeh.. don't do that. Teresa :-)

  3. The only thing that helps me is laughing. And I don't take myself too seriously. After all these years of working, caring, dealing with life, I think we are allowed to be a bit crazy. By the way, I find it very interesting what happens with my brain. Immagine all these new synapses. It's also very educating because now I can understand what students go through in puberty. :-) All the best! Regula

  4. You know what helped me? Acupuncture. Seriously. I found a sweet, sweet young lady who relieved me of all the hot flashes, mood swings, etc. Even though I'm long done with those things, I still go once a month because she takes care of lots of other things to. Don't worry, we've all been there and it will pass. Your photos today were so pretty.

  5. Don't even get me started on menopause, without my bio-identical hormones I am a puddle of tears, crying all day long and I am not one to cry so you canonly imagine what a mess I am. With the hormones I feel very intolerant and even a bit mean, there is no winning here. I just want to tell you to take time for yourself, seems these symptoms get worse when we are stressed and taking care of others just like you have been lately. I do still get an occasional hot flash, usually when I am working and holding a baby, that looks good! Hang in there my friend and take time for yourself.

  6. You have the most beautiful place to ride your bike. Love the little piggies. Do they really not try to climb out of the fence???

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  7. I am still a few years away from menopause but already, I need that out of order sign most days! I spent Sunday apologising to people I had upset the day before, due to extreme mood swings. Your cycling territory is awesome, I so wish I could join you for a short ride. I hope the hormones give you a rest these next few weeks.

  8. I remember it well in fact I was so bad I begged for HRT I was lucky my Doctor was a woman she gave me them without question but the male GPS were full of doom and gloom at every medication review, now it seems not only is it ok to be taking it they are saying we should be taking them longer than the advisory 5 years. Your photo's are as beautiful as always. :) xx

  9. Always enjoy riding along with you Sue, the flower varieties, as always, are wonderful. If you think menopausal aphasia is fun just wait. It's lucky I'm married, for between us my husband and I seem to have about 1 brain.
    Had very mild hot flashes and no mood swings.

  10. Oh I feel for and with you! Hot flushes, mood swings, stress, anxiety and still the dreaded you know what not popping up on a regular timescale, but whenever if fancies it - or not. Grr!! Let us hope that we are both soon past it!!

  11. Lots of beautiful flowers today, thank you.

    I agree with Betsy, get acupuncture, it is a wonderful thing.

  12. Loved your post. I always enjoy seeing your world when you take us on a bike adventure. :) As for the not being able to think clearly and all the other stuff...hang in there sweet friend. :) ((hugs))

  13. Hi Mrs Micawber! Anyway it is good you find your way to blogging.I always enjoy you writing and your pictures!
    Yes, indeed we have many similarities in kinds of flowers and plants! that's why whenever you post another bike ride photos - it is like a a visit home to me. Keep posting!
    I hope your problems will be going away soon and your health also improves soon.
    take care!

  14. My friend, isn't it wonderful being a woman? I am thinking you are in your 40's and I do remember that decade but only barely. You will get through it! Hang in there, get lots of sleep and fresh air. Eat apples and raisins and stay positive. There, I will send you my bill! HA!

  15. I am past it but I cannot say it wasn't rough for my dear husband and children, natural progesterone soothed some of it for several years so there are my two bits. take care of yourself more than usual, the aphasia thing happens when we are too stressed as well. We need to give ourselves more leniency. and your photographs are spectacular !!! thank you . Take care. from Iowa

  16. Being on the upside of the season of life you are in, Sue, I am more concerned [alarmed by] the aphasia aspect of aging...I frequently use a new tab to check spelling/meaning/synonyms :) In general though I am grateful to feel well having survived the phase you are enduring, and I am cheering you on to feel better soon! Thanks to your question about your mystery flower/bush I have just spent the last hour + finding many sources on line and consulting my trusty "Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers" to no avail :( Sorry. Thank you for another delightful post in spite of the afore mentioned concerns. xx

  17. So very much going on here and it is all turning out good. Some tests for my husband and I were worrisome but all turned out healthy and well in the results. Thanks for many prayers.
    SOmetimes I feel a bit weepy with all that's going on, but thankfully it passes. I have been putting on my headphones and playing very upbeat music and that helps. I love your flower bike ride stories. Glad you hit the pedals and got home without any lightening.
    Im on my porch, the fireflies are blinking in the dark. I've put my knitting down for the night and the moon is nearly full. IT is a great summer night in Chicago

  18. I'm sorry you're going through such tricky times....I'm a few years behind you but not many I guess........it doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I like your approach of trying to remind yourself that it is just the hormones - that seems like a good way to think about it. No hot flushes is a bit of a bonus though, I hope that carries on!

    Well done for dodging the storm! We don't feel at all like mid-summer yet. We had a stunning dry and calm spell but it was still cold and now we're back to cold and soggy - bit it is a little warmer than winter and hopefully we'll get some summer at some stage! Juliex

  19. How wonderful that you aren't experiencing the full-blown symptoms, even though what you are experiencing is not all that favorable. Just know this, too, shall pass, and meanwhile, the MS-150 awaits! Excellent training ride with just the right colorful motivation! Beautiful wildflower photos!

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  21. I'm glad you mentioned...can't think of the word...the one that means you can't think of the word you want. At least I know I'm not getting early (relatively) onset dementia.

  22. Wow! I just happened across your blog I was looking for happy Sunday pics and your pictures are amazing! I thought I lived in a nice place, your area is just gorgeous and your photography is so enjoyable! Sorry you're going through a rough patch I have recently found Bach products at a local health food store and it really helps with emotions.. God bless take care and thank you again for this wonderful blog

  23. Wow! I just happened across your blog I was looking for happy Sunday pics and your pictures are amazing! I thought I lived in a nice place, your area is just gorgeous and your photography is so enjoyable! Sorry you're going through a rough patch I have recently found Bach products at a local health food store and it really helps with emotions.. God bless take care and thank you again for this wonderful blog


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