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Wise Woman Traditions: Dancing with the Flames of Menopause







Authors note: I just turned 60. I've been through with peri-menopause now for many years. Let me just say that life after is sweet in a way that I never ever expected. Take care of yourself now and turn the next 40 years into the healthiest, happiest and sexiest time of you life!

I don't know about you, but menopause has been quite the whirlwind ride! For me it started in the spring of 2001 and I'm currently still going through it. My doctor told me that if I had one year period free I could pretty much start jumping for joy so I've been counting the months and before I knew it I was at the 10 month mark. I was ecstatic and pretty darn sure that I was going to be at my year without any trouble at all!  That was until  September 13th when it came roaring back into my life with the all the vengeance of a thirteen year old!

I tell you this story to let you know that Menopause IS a long and bumpy ride, but it doesn't have to be a truly awful one. After all, we women have been doing this for years. There are good reasons for it and it's hardly ever a straight line of a journey. Hence my period after 10 months and let me tell you , it was a tough one which after all of that time I think was to probably be expected. I knew it was coming...I even dream't about it. Then there was of course the moodiness and the bloat and the mandatory pimples.  At first I was really pissed given that Jim and I had been counting the days until we could have wild, wonderful and unprotected sex again ( with the Drs. permission of course!) but I finally settled down and decided that maybe it was a gift. I've always been too busy to appreciate the type of relaxation that 3 days of uninterrupted time could provide. I decided that perhaps it was time. 

Centuries ago when we were walking an older path, our monthly menstruation was a time when women could remove themselves from the real stresses of daily life with freedom and honor. With this in mind I took the opportunity to celebrate having my period in a way that I had never done before. I figured if I was going to have one, that I would give myself the time and space to do so. For three days I took naps and long leisurely walks. I brushed my horse.  I read books, I drank relaxing and tonifying teas of raspberry leaf, chamomile and dandelion  and used a blend of essential oil of lavender, chamomile and geranium mixed with a bit of almond oil in my baths to relax me and help ease the cramps.  I gave myself full reiki treatments. In my previous experience if I took a capsule of evening primrose oil twice a day my breasts weren't quite as sore so I added those back in too. I ate great food, lots of vegetables and cooked rich nourishing bone broths. I cut back on the coffee, sugar and alcohol because in my experience these 3 things can make the experience worse.  Last time, I carried a bit of my menstrual blood out to the garden and gave it back to the Earth.  I actually thanked my body for having the strength and desire to toss out one last egg and before long I realized that I was actually having fun. 

I may have had too good a time because as I write this my body feels as if its going to happen again. I'm pretty sure that I ovulated this month. WOW...I'm 53! The key here is to just relax about the process. One thing for sure is that it's not over until it's over. Added hormones aren't necesarily the answer and neither are antidepressants because there are so many complications associated with them. There are the women who really need that extra support so I'm not suggesting that they should never be used. I'm just saying, why not use them as the last resort instead of the first.  I know that it's almost impossible to get blocks of time to treat yourself  as well as I'm suggesting , but for at least one day of your cycle I beg you try even if it's when you get home at night and shut the door for a few hours after everyone is fed.

Menopause is a rite of passage, just like menstruation. We know from all of our friends and our mothers just how difficult this life change can be. I'd like to suggest that there is another way to look at this significant time by balancing our work and play, looking honestly into our lives , our relationships with ourselves , each other and the larger world around us. Take time for yourself during this transition and  ask yourself what your body and spirit want now. Then listen and act. The best part of the whole ride is that you stop tolerating what you don't want in your life and the next time you hear the word BITCH, remember....that's a compliment. You're a "Being in control of herself!" or even better a WITCH...a "Woman in control of herself!" Either is a compliment in my book!


Beth Schreibman Gehring

Could one conversation change your life?


Be~Witched: Who needs a wand when you've got a pair of Glamoury Gloves?


I love gloves...some might call me a throwback I suppose to a different time and place, but I find them to be absolutely beautiful and extraordinarily feminine. I have quite a few pairs of them ranging from the first kid gloves that I ever got as a young girl going to dancing school to the trusseau and I inherited many pairs of my mothers when she died. She had wonderful gloves in all colors, soft pinks and creamy shells and several pairs of elbow length black ones. Some have pearl closures and some have buttons. Some have little bows and others are embroidered and all of them are beautiful. I'm inclined to believe that just like pearls, every woman should have a wardrobe of gloves. 


Molly's Magical Spell Casting Glamoury Gloves

So it didn't come as any surprise to anyone last year when for the Clarimonde Project that I did with a group of extraordinary writers and indie perfumers , I decided to scent a beautifully embroidered pair of vintage French leather gloves. They were glorious by the time that I was done, buttery and sweet with love infused fragrant oils that I'd mixed with a bit of sweet almond oil and glowing with a femininity that was palpable. I made them with the intention of giving them to my nephews fiance' as a special gift for the Winter Solstice.  At one point during the process I put them on and I was astonished when what I can describe as only magical  and healing energies started flowing through me and out through my fingertips. I played with them for quite awhile, drawing Reiki symbols with my gloved fingers, simply moving the energy around and around, using them as I would a Rowan wand. I was enchanted, but I knew they weren't meant to be mine. 

Come Solstice time I wrapped them up and gave them to Molly who absolutely loved them and then I made a pair of my own, simple black velvet this time but adorned with beautiful purple flowers, iridescent jewels and butterflies. I perfumed them for a full moon cycle with oils of rose, cocoa, lily and jasmine and by the time I was finished they were most definitely mine. When I wear them I feel completely lovely and I have used them many times when I've needed to make a wish or two.  It goes without saying that I feel absolutely fascinating when I wear them, somehow a gorgeous pair of gloves just makes everything just a bit more bewitching.  My husband is completely intrigued by them. He says that a certain look comes over my face when I wear them and he knows that he's in for just the right kind of trouble. 

So it seems that I can't stop making them and everytime I wear them out people that I meet beg me to sell them to them right on the spot. So, I've decided that there might be something of a cottage industry here!  If you'd like your own pair of  Glamoury Gloves just write to me at and we'll discuss your personal wishes. Each pair is unique, handcrafted and  perfumed with beautiful natural essences that I will choose just for you. I do take the time to create a very personal spell that's just for you so please give me a window of up to three weeks preferably during a full moon cycle. Each pair of gloves is individually priced depending upon the degree of handiwork and magic involved and each  pair will be made just for you.  


Try telling me that Rita Hayworth didn't know how to take her gloves off......WOW!

Please note that I am happy do all sorts of magical workings on your behalf, but none that will harm nor manipulate another. Thank you so much  for understanding!


Be ~ witched! : Bacon Explosions and the things we cook for love!

WARNING. This is not for the foodie faint of heart!

Bacon explosion
Every year, my husband takes off for one weekend to go to the Indy car races at the MidOhio racetrack. He goes with the same group of guys every year, old friends who have been enjoying each others company since high school. They take two huge motorhomes, an enormous tent , a full bar and a massive stereo system and set up on the same turn (Turn 10!) every year. They eat well, these guys are pretty good cooks in their own right. They’re known all over Ohio and beyond as the boys from the Turn Ten Tavern, they even have a mailbox! Their parties are legendary and are generally filled to capacity..they  serve hundreds of drinks every night. They have an entire security force to keep things from getting out of hand. They have fans who bring them things like the ice sculpture below that you pour shots through! As of yesterday, they've been on ESPN!

 ice sculpture

Wives and daughters are forbidden,  although I have the distinction of being the only wife who’s actually ever been allowed to go. There are a couple of reasons, but let it be enough that they are all madly in love with my cooking and there’s something lovely about having 12 fairly darling men begging you to cook for them on a weekend that’s generally reserved for wifeless debauchery. No, I don't dance on the bar, but I'll leave you to guess the other.  The only other wife that I know who cooks anything for them is my soul sister Brenda. She sends homemade sausage gravy for those classic mornings after. I’ve tasted it and trust me, she’s a bewitchingly smart sort of girl. There’s a reason her husband worships the ground she walks on.

 Trust me when I say, what happens at MidOhio stays at MidOhio…oh and by the way. These are all wonderful guys who love their wives and are pretty incredible men, but even the best guys need a weekend to go completely shower free, get pig drunk and fantasize about their youthful exploits. The highlight of my MidOhio weekend? Having two fairly darling marines about half my age spend the entire evening hitting on me at the bar until they found out that my husband was the bartender! The other highlight? When they wouldn’t stop flirting with me finding my son standing behind me and in a low growling voice saying.” Back off guys, that’s my mom.”  Priceless. 

 blue cheese dip

When Jim first started going to the races, I was a young wife and of course fairly nervous about it. So, I did the only thing that I knew how to do…cook so much gorgeous food for these guys that my husband couldn’t possibly forget me and that maybe just maybe, I’d someday be allowed in.  It was a good bet on my part because I was finally allowed to come…I have no problem at all being a girl being one of the guys, it’s kind of my favorite sport. I will say though that twice was enough and now I leave it to them and just get an earful when my husband comes home, but for anyone reading this trust me…you’ll have to kill me and you still won’t get it out of me. Remember what I said? What happens at MidOhio stays at MidOhio! 

So every year they have their favorites that they ask me for and of course I’m happy to oblige. A few hundred sweet and sour maple laced meatballs! Tons of barbecued drumsticks lovingly basted for hours so they’re falling apart perfectly off of the bone? My secret? Slow cook them for hours in a low oven continuously turning and dusting with dry rub and wait til the end for the sauce which in my house is always made with among other things, dark chocolate, Red Stag bourbon and maple syrup . Trust me when I say that my kitchen is still perfumed and this was on Wednesday. I made homemade buffalo blue cheese dressing for them with lots of celery and carrot sticks and this year I decided to go for broke and attempt the coveted Bacon Explosion! 


A Bacon Explosion is pretty amazing food. It's also fairly strange..a classic guy food recipe. Two pounds of raw bacon woven into a placemat, covered with 2 pounds of Italian sausage, lots of crumbled cooked bacon, dry rub and herbs all rolled up into a jelly roll and smoked at 275 degrees for several hours or until the meat thermometer hits 165 degrees (I opted for about 185!) and then glazed with barbecue sauce.   I’ve attached the link at the end of this so you can actually have the recipe if you’re brave or crazy enough to try to make this yourselves! Before I began I was terrified, so I went to get some liquid courage and a few guidelines from my resident barbecue expert, a guy I’ve known for year named Brett Schwartzman who works at what I believe to be the best wine store in Ohio, Pat O’Briens Fine Wines and Fancy Foods  in Pepper Pike.  The number is 216-831-8680. Do not attempt this without calling him.You’ll be happy you did!


So I’m happy to say that my Bacon Explosion’s were perfect logs of smoky, bacony goodness. It took hours and it was totally worth it. I sliced a piece for myself and was blown away. Delicious..although I was left thinking that if I dipped one end of each slice in dark chocolate that it would be even more fabulous! I keep hoping that maybe , just maybe one of my favorite natural perfumers will turn that into a scent..a lickable (it has to be edible) sort of Chocolate covered, bourbon and cinnamon infused bacon perfume! I would buy it by the quart! Please! 


 I sent Jim off with instructions to serve a slice of it on top of a burger that has some Swiss cheese melted on it, some onion and some of my cole slaw which he did and called me completely raving about it.  This is the classic “heart attack on a plate”, but once a year? Next year I'm going to add a layer of hard boiled eggs and some smoked gouda. Overkill maybe ? Anything for my guys….


Here's the link! The photo of the bacon explosions are from this site as well! Here's a really great NYT's article about it as well: