Friday, December 2, 2016

Writer Series: Wonderful Winter Guest Post by Anne Bardsley

    I have the lovely and talented Anne Bardsley, author of How I Earned My Wrinkles, guesting on my site again today with a story that many of us females can relate to when it comes to our attempts at looking sexy. Most women I know covet good looking shoes, and probably own at least fifty pairs. When I was younger, I had no problem sporting some flashy stilettos when I hit the night clubs. But nowadays, I'm much happier in a pair of fuzzy slippers. Sadly, my floppy-eared bunny slippers are not acceptable at my favorite dining spots, so I have to strap on a pair of heels and wobble my way into the restaurant. Anne, however, braved it one night in a sexy pair of VERY high heeled shoes. God bless the woman---she has more courage (and stamina) than I do! I hope you enjoy her story, and please welcome her to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!


                         My Blue Suede Heels


     My husband is a connoisseur of women’s feet. He notices women’s shoes. We live in Florida where flip flops are considered formal wear. There is a never ending supply of amusement for him here. He likes high sexy heels on women (obviously). We’ll be at a restaurant and he’ll say, “Anne, check out her heels. You should get a pair of them.” I am five foot seven and I wear a size ten shoe. Sexy heels make me feel like Goliatha and Scott is David. I tower over my husband. He doesn’t care. He’s looking at my feet!

     Since we’re empty nesters, I decided I should spice things up a bit. I went shopping for sexy, six- inch heels. When I tried them on, I had to lean on the saleswoman to stand. I couldn’t walk without assistance. It’s a strange angle when you’re six inches higher from the rear. My head stuck out at a strange angle. I looked like an angry, wild bird on a hunt. I felt like my outstretched head was leading my body and it wasn’t good. I was following myself! I bought the beautiful blue suede, six inch, heels anyway and proudly left the store feeling like a big sex kitten…with very pointy feet.



     My husband wasn’t home yet so I prepared for his arrival. I put on a short skirt and sat in the chair with a drink at my side. I bounced my legs to show off my sexy heels. They looked so amazing. When he walked in the door he nearly fainted. “Surprise!” I yelled, laughing. I modeled the shoes from my chair, bouncing my legs.

     “Let’s see you walk,” he suggested, as he smiled at me. I think he licked his lips too.
     
     This was not a good idea. I was dreading the walk part. I sipped my drink and rose out of the chair at that strange angle. I leaned my head into my walk and looked like a mad ostrich on a hunt. I took three steps, swishing my hips as I pranced down my imaginary runway. Then I lost control. I couldn’t stop myself. I ended up in the kitchen braced by the counter. I literally ran through the living room like a runaway train, trying to stay upright.

     “Where’d you go?” he yelled. “Come back so I can see you better.” I did my ostrich prance back towards the living room. I was six foot one in these heels and I was rolling. This was not a sexy dance, believe me. He finally got up and walked in front of me. I put my hands on his shoulders and he led me to the chair.

     “Well let’s see them sitting down again,” he said. “You’ll have to practice walking in them.”
“I think these will be my sitting heels. I’ll get seated and you just serve me drinks.” This seemed like the best possible idea to prevent injuries.

     “This is just not sexy,” I moaned. ‘Maybe I’m more the orthopedic shoe type.” I was sad, very sad. My playful sex kitten has turned into an old, ragged Tabby.

     “Oh stop!” He interrupted my pity party.


     “Let’s go dancing!” he shrieked. Before I know it were in the car. Next we were on the dance floor. We were in each other’s arms like young lovers. No one knew he was actually keeping me vertical. One loose step and I’d be off doing my ostrich dance and take out the entire band. Just the thought of it made me hold Scott tighter. We looked like honeymooners. A few older couples smiled at us. The top of his head came just below my chin. I kissed the top of his head tenderly. It was so romantic! Maybe my blue suede heels did have a place in my future after all.

     “We could get you a helmet and knee pads to practice walking,” he whispered as we swayed to a slow dance. Or we can always use Pop’s walker and I can watch you walk from behind.” I stopped kissing his head at that moment and tried to bite him.

     The vision of me wearing a hockey helmet, knee pads and a pushing walker in sexy, blue heels just deflated my playful plans. Fortunately, the walker had no slip tips to keep me upright. The most exciting news was it had place to hold my drink. After a few gulps of wine, I felt like a purring vixen again.


*** You can find Anne at her BLOG,  TWITTER and her AMAZON PAGE.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Fly On The Wall In Pictures

     Welcome to another addition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today eight brave bloggers are inviting you into their homes for a glimpse at what goes on behind closed doors (are you sure you wanna know??).

     They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So rather than tell you what was said and done around the Doyle abode this past month, I'm sharing some incriminating photos instead.....





THE ELUSIVE CANDY CORN VAMPIRE



WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE RUM IS ALL GONE??



WHO ARE THESE STRANGE WOMEN AND HOW DID I GET HERE?



I'M A BLUE FROSTING-TONGUED MONSTER! RAWR!!



THESE TWO FEMALES ARE ANNOYING THE HELL OUT OF ME



YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY PUGS....



YEAH, WE BE HAWT IN THESE HATS



WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD?!?



IS IT THANKSGIVING YET?



NUTHIN' BETTER THAN FAMILY LOVE



Click on these links for a peek into some of the homes of the other bloggers participating in today's Fly On The Wall group posting:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www. bakinginatornado.com/
Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/     
Go Mama O                                 http://www.gomamao.com                                                 
Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade. blogspot.com/                        
Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone. blogspot.com                         
Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot. com                         
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/                      
Southern Belle Charm                   http://www. southernbellecharm.com 

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Voices Of Insomnia

     I love sleep, but it does not love me. I either sleep like the dead or I'm wide awake all night. There is no in-between for me. The nights I sleep deep, a tornado could lift my house from its foundation and drop it into a cornfield in Kansas and I STILL wouldn't wake up. For this reason, naps also make me nervous. I never know if I'll fall asleep for twenty minutes, two hours, or two years. Naps are risky at best, and my poor husband has no idea who he will be dealing with when he interrupts my sleep----the Kraken or a disoriented Rip Van Winkle.

     The nights insomnia shares the mattress with me are the worst. I don't count sheep to fall asleep. I count calories. And sadly, that's enough to keep me awake all night. My mind flips through a gazillion thoughts in record time, like cards being shuffled during a poker match. I can't shut my thoughts off, much less dim the commanding voice of insomnia that nags my subconscious.

     On a typical sleepless night, these are some of the strange thoughts that keep me tossing and turning while the bedside clock ticks away the minutes:



That recipe for chicken chow mein turned out really good tonight. I'm craving it again. Right now. I wonder how it will taste cold, straight out of the fridge....

So, if I add Hub's paycheck to the balance in the checkbook, then subtract what I owe on the mortgage this month, plus figure in the $200 I owe for the water bill and another $300 for the electric, that means......beans and rice. I eat bean and rice every day for a month.

My underwear is too tight. I need new underwear. This pair has holes. Geez, what if I got in an accident today and the EMTs saw them?

It's hot in here. The sheets are sticking to me. The thermostat must be set on a temperature compatible to Mercury.

How do penguins mate?

Wait----what are those suspicious noises coming from the garbage cans outside? Possum? Raccoon? Hungry neighbor?

Let's sing a song: "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...." Karen Carpenter.....what year was that?

Did I turn off the oven?

Is that a lump under my armpit? It IS a lump. What if I have cancer? Aunt Sally had it, and look what happened to her! I have all the symptoms---I'm constantly tired and achy, and my weight has been fluctuating....OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DIE. Wait.....no....it's not a lump. It's a mosquito bite.

Why didn't the dog poop tonight? Maybe someone gave her too much cheese. I like cheese. I really like cheese on chicken parmesan. Maybe I can order some for lunch tomorrow. Maybe I can order some now.

Don't leave a leg sticking outside of the covers.....something or someone might grab it. Ghosts. Creepy clowns. Deranged serial killers. I need to stop watching American Horror Story.

Is that the toilet water running again? I need to get a plumber out here. Life would be so much easier if someone invented disposable, biodegradable toilet plungers.

Hubs needs to mow the grass tomorrow. I'll wake him and tell him. It's 2:00 a.m. but he won't mind.

If I could redesign this house, I would add an extra sink in the master bathroom, knock out the wall that divides the kitchen from the living room, add another bathroom to the east side of the house, because we can never have too many bathrooms.....wait, do I need to pee? Welcome to "Bladder Roulette." Spin the wheel and it lands on..... "You gotta pee. RIGHT NOW!"..... dammit.

Was my closet door cracked open all this time?

Let's sing again: "Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon..."

Stop. Practice fake sleep. Close your eyes, breathe deep. Relax. Just go to sleep....hey, what was that kid's name in Mrs. Johnson's third grade class who puked whole blueberries by the classroom door?

I wonder who the first person was to eat an artichoke?

I need to find out what that weird sound was coming from my car today. What if it was my transmission? What if it blows up tomorrow while I'm driving down the highway? I'd better wear new underwear just in case the EMTs show up.


   
     Hopefully tonight will be better. I really need to get more sleep. I'll get the toilet fixed and make sure the thermostat is set low enough for icicles to form on the ceiling. And it wouldn't hurt to order a plate of chicken parmesan for dinner while I'm at it.....



Friday, October 28, 2016

The Season Of Mourning

 
   October is a difficult month for me. Even though I love the crisp fall mornings, the abundance of pumpkins, and the fact that my birthday is celebrated on the 15th, it's also a time that I'm reminded of the sister I lost.

     Cherie was the oldest of the four children in our family, and I was the youngest, but the six year gap in our ages never bothered her. My sister carted me around on her hip, let me play with her pet parakeets and snuck food into my room whenever I was banned from the dinner table for talking back to my parents. Those tiny care packages wrapped in paper napkins were offerings of love and sympathy from a sister who knew all too well the wrath of parental punishment.

     So much of my childhood was spent in my sister's room. We shared hours together cutting out patterns for Betsy McCall Paper Dolls, drawing Arabian horses on her giant sketch pad, and singing along to her Herman's Hermits albums. She taught me how to play Crazy Eights and War, and sometimes our marathon card games lasted long past my bedtime. Her room was my sanctuary; a peaceful place that smelled of sandalwood incense, leather, and fresh paint from her art set. Every inch of wall was covered with posters of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, peace signs and slogans protesting the Vietnam War. At night, she'd turn on a black light that made the patterns on her psychedelic posters come alive in the eerie blue glow from the lamp. We told stories in the dark and dreamed of faraway places where mythical creatures lived. And in that dim blue light, we made promises to be there for one anther no matter what happened in the future.

     Our relationship evolved the way long term friendships do----with immeasurable trust and a strong sense of loyalty toward one another. We fought occasionally as all siblings do, but neither one of us carried a grudge. All it took was a joke or a funny face, and within minutes we'd be laughing over the absurdity of the argument. She understood me better than most, and never judged me for my failings. She always had my back and defended me at every turn. We often joked that we were the black sheep of the family----so different from our siblings and parents, but in truth, it's what bonded us from the beginning.


     Once we grew older, got married and had families, I didn't see Cherie as much. We were both caught up in work and raising our families with little time to visit one another. Her life was not an easy one; she went through two difficult divorces and ended up raising a son mostly by herself. Over the years she developed an eating disorder, along with several other health issues that appeared as a result of her obesity. I knew she was broken, but I didn't know how to fix her. I was battling my own eating disorder demons, and the painful reality of seeing myself in my sister's struggles was more than I could handle. I stood by helplessly as she spiraled downward into a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and emotional binge eating. It frustrated and frightened me to the point that I avoided her invitations to get together, especially if the outing involved food.

     Now I'm left with guilt and a deep sense of regret for turning away from the woman who was once my best friend. We knew each other so well, yet I ignored all the warning signs. It was too painful to acknowledge that my sister was slowly killing herself. She was lonely and unhappy, but I pretended not to see it because it was easier to live in denial. I blindly convinced myself that she would realize how much she had to live for, and that she'd seek professional help before spinning completely out of control.

     In 2009, Cherie succumbed to pneumonia during the early hours of Halloween. I hovered over her hospital bed when she was in a coma and prayed that she would open her eyes. Even during her final moments, I refused to believe that she would never wake up. I thought of all the things we needed to do together, and promised her that once she was well enough to leave the hospital, that I would take her up on her invitations to feed the hummingbirds at Butterfly World, sip margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant, bake cinnamon rolls together in her kitchen and do "movie nights" once a month to watch all the classics from her extensive video collection.

     Her heart gave out as I stood by her bed, and the shrill buzz from the hospital monitor after she passed away still haunts me to this day. The tears I shed were not from sorrow, but anger. Anger at her for giving up too soon, and anger at myself for not keeping my childhood promise to be there for her whenever she needed me.

     Although it has been seven years, the grief still lingers. Cherie was so many parts of me, and now that she's gone, it feels as if I've undergone a partial amputation of my heart. The wound will heal in time, but the scar it leaves behind will be a reminder of the gentle spirit that once graced my life with a love that only a sister can understand.

This fall as I watch the leaves turn to golden hues and scatter across the sky, I think of Cherie. And I will never, ever stop missing her.





Friday, October 21, 2016

Fly On The Wall In Snarksville

     Welcome to a new edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, seven bloggers are opening the doors to their homes so that you can get a glimpse of their private lives as if you were a fly on their wall.

     This month has been all about spending time with loved ones as our backyard is being transformed into a magical place for family and friends (pictures soon to follow). Listening in on the conversations around me is always a good way to gather fodder for these FOTW posts, but my family knows what I'm up to when they see me scribbling notes during dinner. Here are a few bits and pieces of conversation that I snagged from these gatherings:



"I'm not upset or too anxious-----I'm taking prescription medication to help me relax."
"Too bad it's not working."

"There's some leftover steak in the fridge if you're hungry."
"No thanks. I still have a couple of hooves in me from last night's dinner."

"I need to change the channel to something less scary than this presidential debate. I'm switching over to watch American Horror Story. Definitely less frightening."

"We're in a restaurant for God's sake, please stop farting!"
"I can't help it if the owner called me in to defog the place. My gas is lethal enough to kill the cockroaches."

"Having Carpal Tunnel in both wrists really sucks. I have to wear a brace on each one. My arms look the robot's arms on Lost In Space. 'Warning, warning, Will Robinson---Carpal Tunnel ahead. Danger, danger!'"

ME: "Look at that giant harvest moon!"
SON: "What is it harvesting?"
ME: "Your brain cells."
HUBS: "That will be a small harvest...."

"What on earth was that horrible screaming I heard outside?"
"I don't know but it sounded like someone stepped on a cat."

"I ate so much food at dinner that my belly button is now an outie."

"Our granddaughter is afraid to use the bathroom at night because she said she's scared she'll see a 'conch' roach."
"Tell her that 'conch' roaches only exist in Key West."

"They're selling Smart Water here. How much should I buy?"
"A case, because you're gonna need to swim in that stuff in order for it to work...."


     It's all fun and games at the Doyle house until someone has to deal with gastrointestinal issues. But at least it keeps the cockroaches away.....


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www. bakinginatornado.com/
Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/     
Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade. blogspot.com/                        
Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone. blogspot.com                         
Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot. com                         
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/     
A Little Piece of Peace                 http://little-piece-of-peace. blogspot.com              



Friday, October 7, 2016

Seven Ways I'm Aging That No One Warned Me About


When I was in my early twenties, I spent the majority of my nights club hopping and dancing to Madonna until 4:00 a.m. I drank an obscene amount of rum concoctions and still made it to work each morning without a hangover. I felt unstoppable, and from my young perspective, "middle-aged" was a dirty word synonymous with orthotic sandals, naps, and flower print muumuus that looked like they were sewn from a shower curtain. I pitied the women at the grocery store who were my mother's age-----their carts stocked with probiotic yogurts and pain relievers, a fatigued look in their eyes as they perused the vitamin supplement aisle. I couldn't imagine how dull their lives must be and swore I'd to never become like them. 

Until I hit my fifties. 

The changes were subtle at first.....squinting at a menu, plucking a lone grey hair from my head, and discovering a little less wiggle room in my favorite pair of jeans. The mirror was not kind, reminding me each morning that I was beginning to look more and more like those women in the grocery store. One morning when I glanced at my reflection, I hardly recognized the exhausted woman in the rumpled bathrobe staring back at me. 



Dear God, I was becoming my mother! 

No one warned me that once the outer changes started, the inner changes would soon follow in the race to transform me into a middle-aged woman. I wish I had known in my twenties what would become inevitable once I hit my fifties: 

Diminishing eyesight: At first I blamed the bad lighting in my bedroom when I struggled to read the small print in my novels. Then I blamed the book manufacturers---surely they'd shrunk the words on the page to microscopic print similar to the clauses at the bottom of an insurance policy that no one ever reads.
     But once I began squinting at road signs, I knew it was time to consult an optometrist for a pair of reading glasses. I dreaded the eye exam, but it was either that or live the rest of my life with the vision of a mole.

Dry skin: I never used heavy moisturizers or concealers on my skin because my complexion had always been supple and smooth when I was young. It's no coincidence that after the birth of my fourth child, the first set of frown lines appeared on my forehead. This was soon followed by a small cluster of age spots along my jaw and a ring of neck creases similar to the folds on an accordion. I began slathering my skin nightly with creams that were as heavy as wall spackle to fill my wrinkles and avoid a massive collagen meltdown. Despite these efforts, I still live in perpetual fear that after all the years I spent sun tanning by a pool during my teens, I'll end up with a face like a Shar-pei.

Muscle aches and pains: When I was younger, the only pain reliever I needed was a few aspirin to chase away a mild headache. Today, my medicine cabinet resembles a Walgreens pharmacy. It's stocked not only with aspirin but anti-inflammatory medication, analgesic ointments for sore muscles, heartburn pills, and a variety of remedies for upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. The heating pad that once sat unused in my closet is often retrieved for my lower back pain after a session at the gym. But the real sign that I've officially entered middle age is the fact that I have to rub arthritis cream on my knees, then  strap velco braces on them before heading out to Zumba class each morning.

Weight gain: It started after a family trip to Disney World. I noticed my shorts were a little snug after vacation, but figured I could easily drop the extra five pounds by sacrificing my weekly indulgence of caramel frappuccinos. When I didn't see immediate results, I cut back on my food portions and removed sugar from my diet. Sadly, none of these tactics worked, so I bought yoga pants in bulk and wore loose-fitting shirts that could double as pop-up tents if I was ever stranded in the woods. I now realize the wisdom of elderly women in elastic waistband shorts; it's smarter to choose comfort over style once you reach a certain age.

Hangovers: In college, I could hold my own in the beer drinking contests that were popular at nightly keg parties on campus. I was proud of the fact that I could put away more shots of tequila than any of my male friends and still wake the next morning without feeling like crap.
     Now all it takes is a glass or two of chardonnay the night before and I wake looking like I've joined the ranks of The Walking Dead. On mornings like that, it's nearly impossible to perform a simple task such as dropping a slice of bread into the toaster when my stomach is churning and my head feels like someone's using a jack hammer on my skull.

Fatigue: I once had the stamina of the Energizer bunny. But after years of chasing four toddlers around the house and running a taxi service for them in my minivan, I am TIRED. I've become immune to caffeine, and the only cure for my fatigue is a midday nap. The nights of dining out and dancing until dawn have been replaced with Netflix marathons and lights out at 10:00 p.m.
     Another change since I've gotten older? Sleep wins over sex nine times out of ten.

Gravity: I never needed a push-up bra or waist trimmer when I was in my twenties. Everything was firm and cellulite-free. Nowadays I have quite a collection of Spanx in my drawer along with heavy duty support bras in every color of the rainbow.
     My fanny is also beginning to sag like two wet sand bags, which explains why I've been paying extra attention to those infomercials for Brazilian butt lifts and sales on padded jeans designed to raise the derriere.

But it's not all bad. Getting older has its advantages. I'm wiser and less impulsive in my decision making. Years of experience have taught me not to rush through life and to savor the moment. I appreciate the little things more and stress less. I'm also one step closer to retirement and to becoming an AARP member with some great senior discounts.

I may be picking up a few more wrinkles along the way, but that's okay. These little lines by my eyes and mouth are a merit badge that I proudly wear, earned from years of laughter and a life well lived.











   

     

    




Friday, September 30, 2016

16 Kinds Of Thankful

 

     I've read tons of posts in the blogosphere about gratitude. It's obvious that most of us are thankful for the same things----our families, friends, pets, health, jobs, homes, etc. But what about the little things that we often take for granted? Our lives are made easier by technology----so much so, that we often forget the small things that contribute to our daily comfort.

     Some of the "little" things I'm grateful for (and that I'm convinced I couldn't live without) include:

1. Double rolled toilet paper sold in bulk packaging.

2. Duct tape. It fixes EVERYTHING.


3. Nibble calories that don't count, especially at Costco when they hand out free food samples.

4. Plug-in air fresheners for the car to deter man sweat and the ghosts of old farts.

5. Dri-FIT wicking underwear that prevents chafing at the gym. Nobody wants to explain why there's a rash on their crotch.

6. Cheese. It's the international language of love.


7. Stretch pants. 'Nuff said.

8. Undereye concealer, especially after a long night of playing "Name That Tune" with Mr. Insomnia.

9. Bug repellent. My only defense against blood-sucking mosquitoes and the Zika Virus. No worries---I'm too old to get pregnant with anything other than a food baby.

10. Hair dye. It conceals all the grays my children have given me. I've already gone through more rainbow colors than a packet of Skittles.

11. Wine....my bottle of liquid relaxation after a stressful day.

12. Floss. The tight spaces between my teeth are like mini storage compartments. I could live off the trapped food particles in my mouth for a month if I didn't floss regularly.


13. Deodorant. Especially when I'm standing in a long line at Disney World and it's 90 degrees outside.

14. Air conditioning. I live in south Florida, which means the A/C pretty much runs all year long, especially since I'm menopausal.

15. Naps. Now that I'm older, my priorities have changed. Naps are at the top of my list, followed by food, Netflix and sex....specifically in that order.

16. Chocolate, because it makes the world go 'round....and it's cheaper than Prozac.


***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I'm thrilled to be interviewed on Too Full To Write this week! Check out my funny interview here: https://toofulltowrite.com/2016/09/29/author-interview-marcia-kester-doyle-who-stole-my-spandex-life-in-the-hot-flash-lane/

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