Crones Counsel News, May 2021

By Maggie Fenton

For me, a difficult part of this aging process is accepting that I can no longer do things like I used to do them. In my younger days, I would spend a whole day working on my flower gardens. Then, come in, shower, prepare or help prepare dinner and be good to go for the evening. No longer. When spring comes, my mind thinks I can work like I was a thirty or forty or even fifty-year-old. The body tells a different story and way too often, I overdo it and pay the price. When will I learn? This last episode left me with a very painful hip (bursitis) and not able to do much of anything for several days. Seems that would be lesson enough.

I read something by someone wiser than me that you don’t have to give up the activities you love, you just have to do them in a more deliberate and measured way. Maybe a few hours in the garden followed by some time reading and resting. Instead of a ten-mile hike, one or two … and make sure you take your trekking sticks. I’ve even read that top athletes deliberately build rest into their routines. The old tapes in my head that tell me to ‘finish the job’ or ‘keep going until it is done’ continue to play. Those old tapes, though, get me into more trouble than I want and I need to let them go.

I guess it’s good that we always have a growing edge. Right now, mine is to listen to my body, take a break and get some rest. I’m sure none of you have this problem. If you have, I sure would like to hear about how you’ve overcome it.

Dear Elsie

Dear Elsie,

Will my night sweats ever stop?

Hot and Bothered …but not in a good way.

Dear Hot and Bothered,

Maybe. I knew a woman in her nineties who still had them. And then I knew women who never had them. Responses may vary. One of my more adventurous northern friends swore by naked snow baths. Of course, you’d have to be careful of frostbite. Multiple fans might be helpful. This is also a time in life where many women start sleeping alone so as to avoid a partner’s body heat.

I personally had several remedies. One was to sleep almost naked. I took cold baths and herbal remedies. There are several available … including black cohosh, flaxseed, chasteberry, sage, wild yam butter and dong quai. Like all smart women, you need to check with your doctor or naturopath before you try any of them. Herbs may seem harmless but some of them don’t play well with other medications. Tread carefully here.

You could also use these times as fuel for your creativity and imagination. They might be a call to your inner artist or activist who wants to come out in a blaze, all afire. See what emerges.
Visit your doctor first and make sure all your vitals are where they need to be. Keep ice cubes nearby. We women are strong. You can do this.

Cooly yours,

Reintroducing our Web Mother/Newsletter Editor/Publisher
Suzanne Gruba

To remind us how much work behind the scenes Suzanne does for Crones Counsel, we are highlighting her work this month. Having attended gatherings since 2000, she has committed her skills and enthusiasm to “mothering” our Crones Counsel website as well as the social media sites. Seeing another woman’s website using the moniker “Web Mother” instead of “Web Master,” she quickly embraced this title.

In addition, our monthly newsletters (and maintenance of the crone email lists) continue to be her passion. She designs the format and creates the newsletter with the written contributions of Crones Counsel Board members that you have received nearly every month since 2013.

She is a former mother board member as well.

An active member of her local Crones group in Denver, she hosts a yearly tea party for a spring crone meeting at her home. Her family includes her husband, Richard, and her independent cat, Carlos.

She loves her many digital tasks, her books, her family and friends, her garden, her car, her trips to South Padre Island, and so much more. To contact Suzanne, send an email to

Thank you, Suzanne for all you do for us.

A Thing of Sentimental Value
By Kaya Kotzen

My mother’s’ afghan, a creation of beauty,
a pilly lump of loving stitches
crocheted by two lives,
two dye lots of pink that change
where one life ended
and the other picked up the pieces
and finished it,
where I could once discern the differences
in the shades of pink.
But 50 years have passed
since it was completed,
50 years where it’s been draped lovingly
over lounge chairs and sofas
and covered me up at night
as I sat in my living room.
It’s been sent in the mail as a legacy gift
once, to great nieces
who saw no sentimental value in it,
only the pilliness
and they did not want it,
so I had it sent back to me,
to cherish for all of my days.

To me, it represents love and warmth,
a golden-haired woman with a big and open heart
full of kindness and compassion and unconditional love.
Something I will embrace and keep for all the days ahead,
knowing that one day it will be passed on to an unknown party
who may never know its history but will surely feel its embrace
as they wrap themselves up within its stitches,
surely, they will feel the love.