"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I know, I know.

The old saying is, "As the crow flies," not crone.

But just one day after turning the older-but-more-knowledgeable age of 58,  I finally accept  that I have entered The Crone -- i.e., The Wise Woman -- phase of  my life.

No brag, my friends. Just fact.

Artist's rendition of me
I fought aging for a long while, oh, yes, I did. I mean, no, I never considered pulling a Renee Zellweger and drastically changing my appearance. (I'm a simple grocery store cashier, for crying out loud, not a Hollywood diva.)

But I must confess that even before I turned 40, I habitually spent every last cent of my pin moolah on all sorts of lotions and potions promising to erase lines, wrinkles, dark circles, discoloration...blah, blah, blah. Had to stay looking young, attractive, eyes bright, lips plump, yada, yada, yada.

Yeah, well, here's what I now have to say -- and firmly believe -- about that: Oil of Olay Shmolay.

What I have thankfully come to understand is this: Growing older gracefully has nothing to do with outward appearances. It's all about the beautiful, more meaningful, inner/spiritual and intellectually creative transformation that naturally takes place as a woman ages.

Seriously. I've researched this issue.

(Pay no attention to the half-empty bottle of Classy Lady, a sweet, white table wine from Danish Wines and Vines, Exira, IA, stashed behind my laptop.)

Granted, check your online Merriam-Webster and it defines "crone" as "a withered old woman."

Au contraire mon ami!

According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of several women's issues books, the woman in menopause, known mythologically as "the crone," her estrogen waning, is a woman at a crossroads in life, torn between the old way she has always known and a new way she has just begun to dream of. A voice from the old way, according to Northrup, tries to convince the woman to stay in place.

(Cue the Tune In To Menopause music station on Pandora.)

Brave by Sara Bareilles on GroovesharkBut, says Northrup, another voice calls her, insisting the menopausal woman explore exciting aspects of herself that have been dormant during her years of caring/focusing on others.

What I glean from all this Saturday night research is this: Through the discovery of those new, more creative/self-reliant traits shines The Crone's/Wise Woman's true beauty. And it has nothing to do with under eye concealers, my darlings.

Hollaback Girl (album version) by Gwen Stefani on GroovesharkBottom line? Evolving croneilogically, as it were, is all about the estrogen. Or lack thereof. And when it comes to blossoming into The Crone, less estrogen is definitely more empowering. Gives one a gutsy, learned-from-experience "Been There. Done That. Don't Mess With Me." mojo.

So what is estrogen, really? Well, the word, estrogen, per Wikipedia, comes from the Greek oistros meaning, literally, verve or inspiration, or figuratively, sexual passion or desire, and the suffix -gen, meaning "producer of".

Hence, waning estrogen obviously means we Menopausal/Postmenopausal Mavens tend to generate/produce our, ahem, verve and inspiration in, um, other, more amazingly strong and spiritual ways.

Hungry for more Ann Heise Kult, The Crone insight?

Fun Fact: Too much estrogen is, obviously, the evil, hormonal culprit that in sixth grade caused me to swoon over Don, a brown-eyed classic Bad Boy in my class who repeatedly replied to my giggly, eyelash-batting "Hi, Don!" with a mumbled, monotone "Go to hell, Heise."

I Will Follow Him (Chariot) by Little Peggy March on GroovesharkMoments later, convinced Don was merely playing hard to get in front of his friends,  I'd dreamily doodle Don and Ann = LOVE on the back of my paper bag-covered spelling book. Don was my Destiny...he just didn't know it.

Two years later, I am sure it was too much estrogen that induced my delusions, as recorded ad nauseam in my junior high diary, that "Don was staring at me in study hall today."

Where The Boys Are by Connie Stevens on GroovesharkNot only Don, but Rick and Gary and later, in high school, Paul, Pete and every other boy in study hall.

In estrogen-reduced Crone/Wise Woman retrospect/reality, not one of those guys was staring at me. Ever. Call it hormone-laced wishful thinking.

More Classy Lady please...

Now, at this point, Dear Reader, you may well be thinking, "At what point can one be sure she has successfully evolved into The Crone/Wise Woman?"

Frankly, my Dear Reader, I don't have a damn clue. To each her own estrogen levels. And they're a wily bunch.

But what I do know is this: Honest to Goodness, last night, after ushering in my 58th birthday -- older, wiser and clearly, sans estrogen -- I dreamed I ran into Brad Pitt at the grocery store, told him how much I loved him in Thelma and Louise, and then, giggling and batting my baby blues, I invited him over for dinner.  Without making one iota of eye contact with me whatsoever, ol' Brad mumbled a monotone "No." I shrugged my shoulders and yawned. "Your loss."

That Don't Impress Me Much by Shania Twain on GroovesharkAnd then, without further adieu, I simply turned and sauntered off, emotionally unscathed, self-respect in tact, leaving the Pittster agog.

Obviously, only a woman in her Crone/Wise Woman stage -- i.e., the spiritual mastery phase of a woman's life -- could so easily shrug off such a rude dis from the likes of  Brad Pitt and leave him agog.  Even, if only in her dreams. So, yeah. I am definitely there.

My point -- and I do have one -- is this: You will know, Dear Reader! You will know!


I Am Woman by Helen Reddy on GroovesharkP.S. If you haven't already, please vote wisely Tuesday, Nov. 4! Remember, our foremothers fought long and hard for women's rights. And we are still fighting. So much is at stake...

Friday, October 03, 2014


So this happened...

A new 40 Days of Writing challenge was issued, and I wanted to sign up but the thing is...I really have nothing to say.

Actually, I have plenty to say, and muse over, and share my thoughts about, etc., etc...but considering the state of the world right now, I just don't think my pontifications (is that even a word?) carry any weight or importance at this juncture.

And yet...

Here I sit, in my backyard, on a 45-degree chilly autumn evening -- glass of Santa Maria Vineyard's crisp Autumn's Hush in hand -- yearning to contribute something to 40 Days of Writing...

For, you see, I still fashion myself a writer, though to be honest I have not written anything in months. I also fashion myself a photographer...have taken to shooting peaceful pics of sunrises and sunsets and butterflies and bees and flowers and trees...and the moon up above...

And a thing called lo-uh-ove...

Yes, as cliché as it sounds, love is what the world needs now -- right now.  And peace. And plenty of it.

I have had it up to here with  ISIS or ISIL or whatevah the hell that horrendous band of terrorists brandishing USA-issued weapons calls itself ...and the Ebola virus...it's all just pissing me off. And we're also bombing some gang of n'er-do-wells whose name I am sure I am not pronouncing correctly...starts with a K, sounds like Kardashian or something...

I mean, seriously? Most of us are just trying to muster the energy, the will, to get up every morning, brush our teeth, raise our kids, and earn a meager-ass paycheck to keep roofs over our struggling heads and now we have to worry about beheadings? And more bombings? And dying in our own vomit? WTF?

I did not sign up for ANY of this shit.

I know what I need to do.

I need to stop reading my Twitter news feed.

I need to just detach from all social media and pretend the world is not engulfed in total effing chaos.

But I know better. And denial ain't just a river in Egypt. Ba-da-bump.

Furthermore, if you must know, I am pissed at the Republicans/Tea Party/Obstructionists, the Secret Service, Faux News, the Koch Brothers, and Iowa Senate candidate -- and Koch Brothers puppet -- Joni Ernst.

I miss the ocean, my misspent youth, and my childhood friends in Cincinnati, OH.

On the upside -- since I last participated in the last 40 Days of Writing challenge -- I have inherited a dog, lost 30 pounds, and gained a passion for photography.

Indeed, for all its terror and tragedy, I somehow remain convinced that life overall remains a thing of beauty and delight. To live is good, damn it. Or is that just the wine talking?

Anyway, here is a helpful hint: If you MUST drink a glass of  Santa Maria's Autumn's Hush wine while sitting in your backyard on a chilly fall night, pounding out your life's frustrations on your laptop, be sure to drop a frozen peach into said glass of wine in lieu of an ice cube.

For while the world spins totally out of control, and uncertainty engulfs us, this much I know for sure: the frozen peach slice totally enhances the wine's deep ruby red tones and dark fruit aromas. Plus, it is a handy stand-in for an ice cube when your effing refrigerator ice maker is on the fritz.

You can thank me later.

Be The Peace!