Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writer Guest Post By: Outsmarted Mommy

  Welcome to another edition of Wacky Wednesday Writers! My hilarious guest today is Jennifer Lizza of Outsmarted Mommy. She writes an entertaining family blog that features funny slices of life along with some thought-provoking posts that I've enjoyed reading. Jennifer has two young boys and a husband who provide plenty of material for her blog. The stories she shares remind me of why I am so thankful to have grown children. Today's post is a perfect example---POTTY TRAING! Ohhhh how I loathed that phase of my children's life! Jennifer's experience is hysterical….because…..POOP BALLS. It just doesn't get any funnier than that.
     This talented writer is a contributing author featured in the upcoming book, Motherhood: May Cause Drowsiness. Please welcome Jennifer to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love and social media shares. Thanks every one!





Cloudy With a Chance of Poop Balls




I saw the commercials. I had it all planned out in my head. We would buy a cute little potty. We would buy exciting training pants. We would use M&M’s. We would jump up and down like idiots and in two days flat my child would be diaper free. Right? Wrong!

Do not let those commercials fool you. Potty training is not for the weak and it’s certainly not for the na├»ve. I thought I was going to be in control. I thought I would remain calm. I thought a lot of things until I realized that the only one in control of this was my two year old child. The moment I realized I had gotten myself into a situation being controlled by a TWO YEAR OLD I was looking for the rip cord. May Day, May Day: I’m in over my head trying to get a completely unreasonable two year old child to pee and poop on the potty instead of in their pants or on the floor. My desperate calls for help were met with laughter, well wishes and tips to stock up on wine.

I’ve always said parenthood is not for the weak but potty training is only for people who enjoy playing out their nightmares in real life. I mean I don’t want to scare you and I will say I don’t know anyone personally who graduated high school sporting a diaper so I have to assume at some point it clicks for everyone but out of all the things I have had to tackle thus far as a mom this was the worst.

It started out innocently enough. I had my son sit on the potty every thirty minutes. While he would sit there I would read him books about using the big boy potty and no more diapers for you and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP POOPING IN A DIAPER. (okay I may have made that one up). It was going pretty well and in about a week my son was doing really well peeing on the potty. Poop, ugh poop was a whole other story. He wasn’t pooping in the potty. He wasn’t pooping in his diaper. The kid just wasn’t pooping. I swear it was his way of telling me he was driving this train no matter what I had thought up until that point.

I was afraid to leave the house. I had a child who had not pooped in two whole days and leaving the house with him was like leaving the house with a ticking time bomb. I found myself sniffing his butt in public more often than ever before. Every time I smelled anything somewhat questionable I assumed the worst had happened. No matter what I tried to bribe my son with if he would just poop on that damn potty it was a no go.

I was pregnant with our second son and my exhaustion was at an all-time high. I was determined to have my son out of diapers before the new baby arrived. It was the end of another unsuccessful day. I kissed him goodnight and asked him if he wanted a diaper because at that point I just wanted the kid to poop. “No thanks mommy. I fine.”

That night I went to check on him before I went to bed and there it was. I was smacked in the face with a smell that I could only compare to a garbage truck in August. I assumed he had pooped in his sleep. I slowly walked up to his bed and stuck my nose to his hiney and took a big whiff. I can tell you something with 100% certainty, before I had children if someone had told me I would one day stick my nose to another human’s ass without hesitation I would have laughed and laughed and then told them they were both crazy and disgusting, but I digress. As I stuck my nose down and took a big whiff I was met with the clean smell of baby powder. WHAT THE WHAT?! I was confused. Okay if there wasn’t poop in his pants where was there poop? And so began the panic. As my son slept ever so soundly I grabbed a flashlight and got my big pregnant self down on all fours and I started to search for shit, in my kid’s room. It was then that I briefly thought to myself what in the wide world of crap has happened to my life but then I pushed on and continued my search. Have you ever lost something and right before you are about to find it you get this amazing feeling that you are in fact about to find it? Well I had that feeling only it wasn’t amazing it was more cringe worthy than amazing. I inched my way towards my son’s dresser and I shined the flashlight under it and there they were. 1. 2. 3. Poop balls! Awesome. There are balls of poop on the floor In. My. House. I ran out of the room to catch some fresh air and barged into the bathroom where my husband was showering unaware of my treasure hunt. “HONEY!!!!” “Holy crap what? You scared me half to death.” “There are balls of poop on our son’s floor. Yes you heard me correctly our son must have pooped and then chucked said poop with his hands (oh god this is getting worse) under neath his dresser in order to hide them from me.” “Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahaha.” “IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!” “Oh yes it is! This is hilarious. You are telling me that right now there are balls of poop in our son’s room and he is just sleeping as if all is right in the world?” “Yes that is what I am saying.” And then we both started laughing. I laughed so hard I’m surprised I didn’t go into labor.


When we finally stopped laughing I looked at my husband and told him he was going to have to retrieve the balls of poop because there was no way that I was going to get them. He willingly agreed. I had the carpet cleaned the next day and can happily tell you my son pooped on the potty two days later. Potty training does not go as planned. I don’t know a single person who says that potty training was exactly like the commercials and if they do they are lying. Everyone has a story; luckily not everyone’s story contains poop balls. Happy training my friends. Godspeed.



BIO:

Before having children Jennifer thought being a stay at home mom would be a walk in the park. Now that she's doing it she realizes it's more like a run in a zoo (without cages for the animals). She traded in her salary for sloppy kisses, corporate lunches for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and sales meetings for finger painting sessions. Her two boys outsmart her on a daily basis although in her defense it could be the lack of sleep. She writes to stay sane on her blog Outsmarted Mommy and has been featured on Mamapedia, Scary Mommy, LeftyPop and iVillage Australia. She is also a contributor for Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka? Her children are not the least bit impressed they just want to know what's for dinner. You can follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter and Google +

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Six Good Things About Raising Teenage Boys

I have four children, three of whom are adults and have (thankfully) flown the coop. I thought I had this whole, raising-teenagers-in-a-stress-free-zone thing down. Even patted myself on the back for getting them off to college without an arrest record or a shotgun wedding. And then came wild child number four, who could easily have been a poster child for birth control. This boy is the reason behind the industrial-size bucket of hair dye I use monthly to cover my gray and why I am a gold card carrying member of the local Wine-Mart. A typical morning with this kid involves matches, an aerosol can of cologne spray, and a plastic milk jug to set off the fire alarm … long before my coffee has kicked in.
Despite the gray hairs and minor heart attacks I suffer daily from my son, I've discovered the positive side to raising crazy teenage boys:
  1. You'll no longer need to waste money on expensive theme parks with fast rides. Your teen will gladly attach your rolling office chair to his bike with a rope and pull his buddies down a busy highway. Like heart-stopping rides? This one's for you.

  2. Piss yellow will become your favorite bathroom tile shade because there isn't enough Clorox in the world to make those urine stains around the toilet disappear.  
  3. Like exotic pets? Great, because small critters love to nest in the sour-smelling pile of laundry at the back of your son's closet. Dirty dishes and half eaten cheese sticks will also invite armies of cockroaches set up their vacation homes under his bed.
  4. If you failed science in high school, don't worry. You're going to get a hands-on education about fire, electricity, and how much damage a potato bomb can do to your neighbor's fence.

  5. You'll lose those last, stubborn ten pounds because all boys are born with noses like bloodhounds. They'll sniff out every hidden cookie, potato chip, and even the chocolates from Mother's Day that you tried to disguise in an empty Summer’s Eve douche box. Your grocery bill will triple during his teen years but your waistline will shrink. Just be sure to lock the liquor cabinet before he turns fifteen.
  6. Miss those nights of club hopping from your twenties? Relive your youth when your teenager hosts raves in his room while blasting techno and dubstep from subwoofers the size of refrigerators. Toss back some tequila shots chased by a few aspirin and you'll feel like you've time traveled back to the good ol' days at a fraternity house party.
Even though there will be days when you'll wish you could lobotomize your son or trade him in for a house-trained Labrador, just remember how much fun it'll be when he has sons of his own. Grab a lighter and load up the potato gun. Karma has a sense of humor, after all. 



WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I was featured on the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop where I discussed various ways on how to annoy your children. You can read it here: http://humorwriters.org/2014/09/24/annoy-children/  I was also up at Humor Outcasts with a quiz on aging. Find out if you pass the test here: http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/over-the-hill-and-away-we-go


***This post originally appeared in 2013 at In The Powder Room***



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Guest Post By: Anne Bardsley

I have been waiting WEEKS to introduce you to today's awesome WWW guest! Please welcome Anne Bardsley, the genius behind Anz World and author of the newly released book, "How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause."  I met Anne last spring at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and adored her instantly. To say that we connected is an understatement---I felt like I found my long lost twin sister!  Not only is she a fellow Floridian, Anne is also the mother five children and a grandmother of three as well, so we have a LOT in common. I love her zany sense of humor and am thrilled that her book has been released. This collection of laugh-out-loud stories about every day life is totally relatable to me---in a fun, "been there, done that" sort of way. Do yourself a favor and order her book from Amazon----you'll love it!
   
Please welcome this talented, HILARIOUS writer to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love! Thank you!



Your Hottie-ness



I really thought I'd lost it. I didn't feel hot anymore. I don't mean hot flashes, I mean hot, like a sexy lady....a hottie. I used to be hot. In my twenties men would ask me to date them or just go to their apartment. After I had five children, and now three grandkids, they stopped calling. My husband kept hanging up on them!

I decided it was time to pass my old hottie crown to the younger babes. This was not a happy moment for me. Although I’ve tried to lose my baby weight, it has not gone as well as I’d hoped. My youngest is thirty one and if I’d lost a pound for each birthday, I’d still have my crown. Alas, that is not the case.

It’s not just the menopausal pouch. It’s a combination of elephant ear arms, a wrinkle a day arrival and memory loss. Even if I was a hottie, I probably would forget and wear my granny panties daily. I was going to start a novena to the patron saint of menopause, but I couldn’t remember his name…or her name. Somebody up there knows. I fell asleep praying to be a vixen. How shallow am I? I felt only a tad guilty that I wasn’t praying for world peace. Even Miss America contestants do that.

And then it happened! A miracle! My prayers were answered. The very next morning, I realized that I still have it! I grabbed my hottie crown back so fast I almost got dizzy. What a relief to feel like my sexy self again. I knew somewhere deep down I still had it. Maybe you are like me and also wondering if you still have it. I'll share my test with you.

Step 1- Get a five pound bag of mini-chocolate bars. They’re on the bottom shelf with the other industrial size bags of candy. It’s like a double blessing because you are exercising your arms just putting it into your cart.

Step 2- Put on your favorite lingerie. Granny panties are prohibited for this test. Prop yourself up in bed and get comfy. Fluff your pillows and prepare.

Step 3- Remove six bars from the bag. Peel the wrappers off the chocolate. Try not to lick the wrapper, please. That looks so unsexy and it defeats your purpose. Delicately place the first bar between your lips. Savor the chocolate as it melts slowly in your mouth. Do not chomp. Savor. Continue until you have finished five bars.

Step 4- Place the last bar under the covers.

Step 5- Go to sleep and dream about how beautifully sexy you are. Do not under any circumstance search for that bar under the covers. You will contaminate the test area.

Step 6- In the morning, wake up slowly. There is no rush. Stretch, yawn and stretch some more. Go to the bathroom, brush your teeth and wipe the sleepy winks from your eyes.

Step 7- Gently lift the comforter from your bed and search for the last chocolate bar. When you find it, gently scoop it up and feel the texture. Do not be tempted to eat the chocolate. If the packet feels soft and warm with a liquid texture, you have passed the hottie test.

Note: It is always best to do this test several times. A false/ positive result can occur.
I've eaten fifteen pounds of chocolate bars proving my theory. I didn't want to announce to the world that I am still Mrs. Hottiness until I had confirmed all of the evidence. And now I can proclaim to the world that for the past ninety nights, I have endured intense physical testing and I have passed. Let me introduce myself....

Anne Bardsley...


the 61 year old hottie with chocolate on her face, hips and thighs. It’s a cross I have to bear.



BIO:


Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause. Over the years her work has appeared in several publications. Her work has also been featured on Erma Bombeck’s site and Better Writers After 50. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs (without exercising). This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells.  She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St Petersburg Fl with her husband of thirty-six years and two spoiled cockatoos.



To order Anne's book, click on the link:

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ANNEBARDSLEY1
BLOG: http://anzworld.com


An excerpt from Anne's Book "How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause"



FLUFF AND STUFF

I forced my husband to watch a Hallmark movie with me last week. He
prefers action movies, but he agreed. The movie was about a widower who was
heartbroken after losing his wife. He visited her grave every day and left a single
yellow rose. I was mopping my tears as the movie ended. The violin music just
made me cry harder. Scott turned and said, “We need to think about this. What
are we going to do with our remains?” I offered him a tissue.

Scott thought a minute, probably trying to collect his tears, and finally said, “
I want to be cremated. Make sure you get a nice urn. Then I want you to rent a
small plane and when the pilot flies low and slow over the Gulf of Mexico,
release my ashes.”

My problem with that plan is that I am not the best passenger in a small plane.
When Scott used to take me flying, he loved to take steep turns as I held on,
leaning in the opposite direction in pure fear. I actually believed that if I leaned
far enough, I could somehow level out the plane. It never worked. He also loved
aerobatic flying. I was so grateful that he didn’t mention the Pitts Special
aerobatic plane when he described how I would release his mortal remains. The
thought no sooner entered my mind, when he said, “I think I’d prefer being in a
Pitts Special doing a tail slide.”

Once we had his plan established and I stopped crying, he asked, “What shall I do with you?” His eyes looked sad. Neither of us enjoyed talking about these
funeral plans. “I’d prefer to be stuffed,” I told him as I blew my nose.
He shook his head and said, “What did you say?” I repeated, “I want to be
stuffed. I want you to find a taxidermist who will make me look marvelous. I’m
hoping they’ll have some sort of silicone gel”.
Why in God’s name would I want to pose you? You’ll be dead!”

This man is totally clueless! “If I die first and you bring women home, I want
to be looking like serious competition in the bedroom. You know that facelift I
want? Get me one with my life insurance money.” I’m hoping that by the time I
die, there will be scientific methods to keep me limber. I could be like a female
Gumby. He put his head in his hands. I said, “Seriously, you could move me
from room to room. Since I’ll just have new stuffing, I won’t be heavy. If you’re
sitting on the deck, just bring me out. Put a glass of wine in front of me and party
on!” I was feeling much better now. Death didn’t seem so final and sad. I could
still light up his life, so to speak, like a dim bulb.

A few days later, Scott mentioned this idea to my brother- in- law, John, and
he suggested having a bag made to fit over my head. I was horrified! Thank
goodness, Scott said, “John, I can get her one of those feathered Mardi Gras
masks. Anne loves bright colors.”
Now that is just disrespectful! I yelled. You are having too much fun with my
future manikin body. I am not a Mardi Gras kind of girl.”
The more I think of this plan, the more ideas I come up with. He could dress
me to match the seasons and holidays. Since I’d be pliable, it would be easy to
change my outfits. I could even be my dream size four if they use less stuffing! I
could be a decoration on our front porch. I could be Mrs. Claus at Christmas and
be a witch at Halloween. The possibilities are endless! I always loved the 4th of
July. Now I could finally fit into a red, white and blue bikini and I could hold
sparklers. He could even make some extra money renting me out for special
occasions. It’s a shame my mother –in-law never got to see me this way. She
would have liked me so much better.

Scott always wondered what I’d look like with brown eyes. This would be his
big chance. He could purchase removable eyes on Amazon and a few wigs and I
could be the woman of his dreams. The after-life is looking pretty bright now.
Scott is calling me to come have a glass of wine with him on the deck now. I
think I’ll wait for him to come and carry me out. He’s going to need the
practice!



Anne K Bardsley


Friday, September 19, 2014

Fly On The Wall In Weirdsville

Welcome to another edition of the Fly On The Wall group posts. Today, 14 brave bloggers are inviting you into their homes for a glimpse of what you'd see if you were a fly on the wall.

This month, the fly has seen our family dip from a hokey ghost tour downtown and cut loose on the dance floor at an island party. The usual chaos reigned at the Doyle abode with a toddler, a teenager, eight pets and three adults in the house.  I'm still yelling at the computer screen while editing my book and feeding my anxiety with Hershey's Kisses. 

If you were a curious fly at my house this month, this is what you would have heard:


"You're not going through menopause. It's more like MENTALpause."

"We have weevils in the pantry. We need to throw out all the pasta and rice."
"What about the bag of ground coffee?"
"Unless you see hyper weevils, I think it's safe to keep."

"Seesaws are the reason I have trust issues."

"Our granddaughter's toddler bike has no training wheels. And no pedals."
"That's because it's a Fred Flintstone bike."

"I'm so A.D.D. that if my penis wasn't attached, I'd probably lose it."

"While I was a the clinic today for knee pain, I think the doctor slipped a chip in my leg."
"In your case, that would have been a potato chip. The trans fats have gone to your brain and made you dumber."

"I've been unemployed for six months now. No one is going to hire me because of my age, so I've decided to start an alpaca farm. I'm going to use their milk to make alpaca cheese."

"I know what I'm getting you for your next birthday since you always have to pee when we go out."
"A traveling bathroom?"
"Even better---a catheter that has its own collection bag."
"That's fine---as long as you promise to change the bag for me."

"I have a new theme song our granddaughter. It's called, 'Don't Whine For me Argentina.'"

"Dad, are you making eggs again for us this morning?"
"I hate to be hard boiled about it, but NO, I am NOT making eggs. Today, we eat cereal."
"The Egg King has spoken."

"You're not constipated---you're hoarding your poop!"

"I'm starving. When will dinner be ready?"
"You can help out by setting the table and then I can dish up the food."
"Thou preparest a table before me."
"Who are you? Jesus?"

"This ghost tour is silly. The only spirits these dowsing rods are going to lead us to are Rum, Vodka and Tequila."



Want more Meno Mama? This week I'm featured on Lefty Pop which you can read here: http://www.leftypop.com/2014/09/17/growing-up-70s/ and also over at Humor Outcasts where I'm looking for my lost period. You can read it here: http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/who-stole-my-period/






Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com                           Baking In A Tornado
http://www.therowdybaker.com                                The Rowdy Baker
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                         The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                       Spatulas on Parade
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                               The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                  Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                             Menopausal Mother
http://www.gomamao.com                                        Go Momma O
http://dinoheromommy.com/                                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                           Juicebox Confession
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                         Someone Else’s Genius
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                               Battered Hope







Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writer Guest Post By: Cellulite Looks Better Tan

     I am so pleased to introduce you to my new WWW guest today! Please welcome Mandi from Cellulite Looks Better Tan! I found Mandi's site last winter when several of my bloggy friends were raving on Facebook about a post they read called, The Cycle. I just HAD to check this out--not only because the post was so popular, but because of the name of her blog. Hey, it's true----cellulite really DOES look better tan!

     I wasn't sure what to expect when I hopped over to her site, but WOW, did her writing blow me away. I even scrolled through older posts to read more of her work. Mandi is a gifted storyteller---many of her posts read like fiction, even though the tales are based on true life. Some stories tug on my heartstrings, while others have me laughing out loud. She is a versatile writer who shares her life and love experiences not only on her blog but also on Sisterwives, where she is a contributing blogger. Do yourself a favor and check out Mandi's blog. I promise, you'll LOVE it!

      Please be sure and welcome this lovely and talented writer to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!




Are You There, God? It’s Me, Mandi




It’s a beautiful morning. I think I’ll go outside for a while. And smile.” My roommate’s alarm clock sang from her bedroom.

“Ugh.” Every morning, her alarm clock would sing that dreadful song, and every morning I would have to go to her room to turn it off. On this particular morning, I was pretty sure that an elephant had come into my apartment and shat in my mouth while I slumbered.

I raised my head and tried to pry open an eye. Through a blur, I saw a boy sleeping next to me. Saturday night started to come back in flashes. There were shots involved and daiquiris, and beers, lots and lots of beers. My stomach started to turn as the night played in my mind. I worked late at the piano bar. Then I stayed even later, drinking and smoking too many cigarettes with my fellow waitresses and the bartender who I was pretty sure was the boy lying next to me in my bed. I tried to gulp down the cotton in my mouth and rolled over still listening to my roommate’s alarm clock singing away in her room.

I pushed myself off of my bed. I swayed a bit allowing my head to connect back to my body then stumbled to my roommate’s room to yell at her to turn off her alarm. The boy next to me groaned.
My roommate wasn’t home (of course), so I silenced her alarm and noticed the time.

I muttered some explicit language and then went back into my room to wake the boy and make him leave.

I pushed the lump beneath my comforter a few times, poking him in various areas. Finally he rolled over and looked at me. Yep, Bryce, the hottie bartender.

“You have to leave.”

“Why?” He stretched and yawned and tried to pull me to him. “It’s too cold and way too early to get up.” He snuggled into the comforter and pillow making no moves to get out of my bed.

“I have to go to church.”

He laughed, “What?”

“Shut up. I have to go to church, and I’m going to be late.”

“I think God will forgive you one Sunday, Mandi.”

“No, you don’t understand. I have to play the piano for my church. For my dad’s church. And you have to leave….now.”

He pushed the comforter off of him. I stole a glance. Boxer briefs. Thank God he wasn’t naked. I was pretty sure nothing happened but two drunken people passing out in the same bed, but that mystery would have to wait to be solved because I had to wash away last night’s alcohol and head to church STAT!

I managed to shower, dress, and make it to my car in less than fifteen minutes, all the while trying to rouse Bryce to leave my apartment. He walked out with me and tried to kiss me before he left. I just smirked at him and said, “Sorry, God’s waiting.”

Apparently, after Bryce and I had passed out at my apartment, a layer of ice developed over the roads. I drove very defensively, hands carefully resting at ten and two, eyes on the road. My dad’s church was just outside of town, so it required a few country roads to get there. I had recently almost died in a car accident, so to say I was a bit of a nervous driver was a ridiculous under-exaggeration. Driving still petrified me. Driving on ice scared the living daylights out of me, so I was careful. Very careful.

About a mile from the church, I found myself driving on a very slippery two lane country road with deep ditches on either side. Out of nowhere, a Chevy Impala came whizzing by me. I gripped the steering wheel tighter as he veered into my lane only he didn’t wait until he was around me. He ran me off the road into the ditch. I over-corrected and fishtailed but managed to get back on the road. At this point, I was no longer being careful. I was pissed.

I sped up to him waving one particular finger and shaking my fists, yelling every single awful word my mother told me never to use all the while telling him what a whore of a mother he had and where he could put her. At the stop sign, he turned right. I turned right, too. Then at the next stop sign, he turned right, which was exactly where I had to turn right.

Panic started to set in.

Oh no, oh no, oh no. Please, please don’t let him be heading to my church.

I didn’t recognize him, and I knew everyone in the congregation.

I prayed, “God, please don’t let him go to church today. Make him go somewhere else. Please. I promise I will never drink again or have another boy spend the night even though I’m pretty sure we didn’t do anything. Please God. I will even pay attention to the sermon today and read my bible every night if you will just please not let him go my church.”

He signaled that he was turning right again.

Into my church‘s parking lot.

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God…I mean, gosh.

I debated driving pass the church, telling my dad that I was sick and unable to play the piano, but I knew my dad would never believe me and would only assume that I drank too much at the bar where I worked the night before, which was true, but still. I took a deep breath as I pulled into the parking lot and parked my car toward the back.

Then at that moment, I learned that Satan himself was playing a joke on me, and I was the punch line.

As the man who ran me off the road got out of his car, I watched my father run down the steps to greet him with outstretched arms, a giant smile spreading across his face. They hugged, both embracing each other like long lost…friends.

Sigh, what the ever loving fu…dge? You have got to be kidding me with this one, God.

I watched them talking and laughing in front of the church. Then my mom came out and hugged the reckless driver.

Who is this guy? I wondered, but I had absolutely no idea who he was. I thought maybe he was a missionary who my parents knew before I was born, or maybe a friend of my dad’s from the Navy. All I knew for certain was that he knew my dad, my preacher father, and apparently knew him very well, and I had just cussed him out and flipped him off at least a hundred times. Surely he saw me in his rearview mirror.

I stepped out of my car and tried to sneak pass them.

“Mandi,” my dad called after me.

I pointed to the door and then to my watch and played the air piano trying to get my dad to realize that I needed to get inside and get started, but he wouldn’t just let me slip by.

“Mandi, get over here and say hello to Sam.”

Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam? I searched my brain for any bit of recollection.

As I approached him, I hung my head hoping that he wouldn’t place me as the road raged lunatic behind the wheel of the car that he just ran off the road.

When I finally saw his face, I knew immediately who he was: One of my dad’s oldest friends. Sam, his friend who was BLIND, who only had one eye and was legally blind in it. Why he was allowed to drive is beyond me, but if ever I was going to swear and throw the bird at my preacher father’s buddy, 

I’m glad I chose the blind one.

I shook his hand and headed to the piano. Then I looked up to the sky and mouthed a “thank you” to the big guy upstairs. I owe you one.


BIO:

Mandi is a happy-go-lucky Texas girl who loves to tell stories, laugh, and have dance parties in her kitchen. She tries to keep life simple and to live on the bright side. To learn more, visit her at: Cellulite Looks Better Tan and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
If the links don’t work: Twitter: https://twitter.com/MandiCLBT
Blog: http://cellulitelooksbettertan.wordpress.com


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Growing Up Groovy

 I was just a little girl in the sixties, so my memories from the "groovy" era are sketchy at best. I have a vague recollection of black lights, station wagons, white GoGo boots and psychedelic Jimi Hendrix posters on the wall. There were only a handful of channels on the TV, and afternoons were spent playing kick the can or riding our Schwinn Sting-Rays until our mothers called us in for dinner once the street lights came on.

I do remember my older sister wearing bell bottom jeans, love beads and a peace sign necklace. Her bedroom was adorned in rock band and anti-war posters, the lingering scent of sandalwood incense permeating the air. Those were the flower power years, and although my memories are cloudy, it's pretty cool to say that I was alive when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

By the time the seventies hit, I was happy to shed my adolescence to step into my teen years. It was the "far out" era of CB radios, waterbeds, muscle cars, 8 track tapes, lumpy bean bag chairs and STAR WARS. My biggest problems in life were wondering if the cute boy in B lunch would wave to me or how I was going to memorize all those formulas for my geometry test.

Here's a glimpse of what it was like growing up groovy in the 70s:

 The median household income was $11,800; a gallon of gas was .57 cents; a dozen eggs cost .77 cents, and a gallon of milk was $1.57. The average home cost $22,000 in the early seventies and rose to $62,000 at decade's end.  The U.S. population in 1975 was 216 million and the life expectancy was between 68-76 years of age.

POPULAR TV SHOWS:  I loved racing home from school to watch reruns of oldies such as Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and Dark Shadows. But the popular shows of the decade included M*A*S*H, The Brady Bunch, All In The Family, Laugh-In, Happy Days, Three's Company, Marcus Welby M.D., Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, American Bandstand, The Carol Burnett Show, Johnny Carson, and  Saturday Night Live.

BOX OFFICE HITS: I'll never forget catching a taxi to downtown Ft. Lauderdale with my boyfriend to attend the premiere of Jaws. Movies cost $2.00 back then, and the theatre was packed. Needless to say, our beaches were a little less crowded after Jaws made a splash on the screen. Other big hits included The Exorcist, Rocky, American Graffiti, Blazing Saddles, The Deer Hunter, Saturday Night Fever, Animal House, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Grease, The Godfather, Deliverance, and the mega hit STAR WARS.

FASHION: The early 70s clung to the hippie mindset of the 60s, so people were still rocking mini skirts, afros, flared bottom jeans, big belts, peasant blouses, smock tops, afghan coats, rock t-shirts and granny dresses. Women wore their tresses long and straight while men kept their sideburns thick and their hair well past their collar. Once disco was ushered into the mid 70s, polyester, platform shoes and shiny, metallic   clothing became popular. Men wore leisure suits, wide lapels, and painter's pants while sporting mustaches the size of giant caterpillars above their lips. Women gravitated toward wedge shoes, halter tops, hip huggers, tube tops, satin pants and big hair.

IN THE NEWS: We started out the decade with Richard Nixon as our president until the Watergate scandal occurred, placing Gerald Ford in the oval office after Nixon's resignation. Next came Jimmy Carter, and we never looked at peanuts the same way again. As a family, we gathered each night around our Zenith TV and watched the news unfold.  In the 70s, the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam, Roe v.s. Wade legalized abortion, terrorists attacked the Olympic games in Munich, Elvis died, Jimmy Hoffa went missing, Patty Hearst was kidnapped, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was finished, Iran took American hostages in Tehran, the first test tube baby was born, Nadia Comaneci scored seven perfect tens, the Jonestown massacre shocked the nation and the Three Mile Island catastrophe left America in fear of a nuclear holocaust.


WHAT WE DROVE: The cool kids in school drove the Trans Ams, Corvettes or Mustangs. Dodge Chargers and Challengers were also popular, but most of the kids I knew drove explodable Ford Pintos. If those were out of their price range, they borrowed the family Pacer or Gremlin. Which makes me wonder what the people at AMC were smoking when they designed those cars.

CELEBRITIES: I kept up with celebrity news through a subscription to Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine. While sipping Tab soda, sucking on Blow Pops and making gum chains, my girlfriends and I poured over glossy photos of David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb and The Osmonds. Other celebs in the news that caught our attention were John Travolta, Farrah Fawcett, Mr.T, Burt Reynolds, Olivia Newton-John, Tom Selleck, Gilda Radner, Cybil Shepard, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Chevy Chase,  Cher, Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Susan Sarandon, Jim Belushi, Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Henry Winkler, Raquel Welch, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Jane Curtain, Sylvester Stallone, Marlin Brando, and Steve Martin.

PARTYING IN THE 70s:  When I was a teenager, the drink of choice to smuggle into a party was Boones Farm Strawberry Hill Wine. We chugged it right out of the bottle in many a driveway before entering a house party. If we were lucky, someone would have a flask of Bacardi in their pocket that we could add to our colas before a rousing game of ping pong or pool. We snacked on deviled eggs, potato chips and onion dip, rumaki, Jiffy Pop, cocktail wieners and deviled ham on toast points. We lined up on the dance floor for The Hustle, The Bump, The Bus Stop, Pogo dancing and The Latin Hustle, while the adults sipped on Harvey Wallbangers, Manhattans and vodka screwdrivers.

BIG NAMES IN SPORTS: I was never one to follow sports, but I do remember being caught up in our town's frenzy after The Miami Dolphins went undefeated in 1972. Popular sports icons of that time period include John McEnroe, Larry Bird, Bobby Riggs, O.J. Simpson, Bruce Jenner, Billy Jean King, Muhammed Ali, Jack Nicholas, Hank Aaron, Joe Frazier, Bob Gibson, Dorothy Hamill, Arthur Ashe Jr., Mark Spitz, Roger Stauback and Pete Rose.

THE SOUNDS OF THE SEVENTIES: Music is what put the 70s on the map. I had a round transistor radio that hung from a chain in my bedroom, and I kept it playing for hours. When my friends came over, we brought out the vinyl records to spin on a portable turntable. I had hundreds of albums, which I'm convinced is where the majority of my allowance went when I was a teenager. I could never get enough of The Partridge Family, Abba, Donna Summers, Elton John, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight, The Eagles, John Denver, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, Foreigner, James Taylor, Led Zepplin, The Bee Gees, Chicago, Frank Zappa, Linda Ronstadt, Harry Chapin, Creedance Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Simon & Garfunkle, Journey, The Grateful Dead, Genesis, Meatloaf, The Guess Who, KC & The Sunshine Band, Styx, Supertramp, Carole King, The Carpenters, Earth Wind & Fire, YES and Eric Clapton.

The seventies were a magical time to be a teenager; a decade of simplicity, change, and the freedom of expression. People were kinder, less self-absorbed, respectful of others and worked hard for what they earned. Families shared dinners around the table, watched g-rated TV programs together, and made each other a priority. We didn't have cell phones, iPods, computers or social media.

And we grew up just fine.



Want more Meno Mama? This week you can find me on The Huffington Post dishing on being "Over The Hill." You can read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-kester-doyle-/over-the-hill-and-away-we_b_5788378.html And you can also find another featured post of mine this week on BA50: http://betterafter50.com/2014/09/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-menopause/







Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writer's Guest Post By Pixie.c.d.


 Today on WWW I'm featuring the very talented, super funny Chris Dean of  Pixie.c.d.! I love everything she writes not only because she is freaking HILARIOUS, but she also posts very relatable material. Four adult kids and a house that doubles as a petting zoo because of the animals she hoards? Oh yes, we are sisters by another mister.

     I found Chris on Facebook when she started leaving some seriously funny remarks on my blog status updates. I liked her immediately and hopped over to her blog. I've been laughing ever since because we are indeed kindred spirits in humor (and tequila). She also shares some snort-worthy memes on her Facebook page, which is a great way to start off the day with my coffee.

     Chris has always been very sweet and supportive of my blog, and I'm thrilled that we will be appearing together in an upcoming book to be released later this fall (more info on this later!). Please welcome her to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!


Mr. Smiley-Toy’s Moment in the Sun




 My Mom always said kids are supposed to learn from their parent’s mistakes, so they can avoid making the same ones. Overall, I think I did a pretty decent job of finding new ways to fail on an epic level, but purely by accident. It’s not like I ever really listened to know which mistakes she’d already tried. Unless, of course, we’re talkin’ underwear drawers. THAT was a mistake I witnessed firsthand.

 Mom was old school in her belief that the drawer for a person’s drawers was sacred. It was the one place an adult could hide anything they didn’t want their nosey kids to find. Which only goes to show how naive she could be, considering I’d found the mystery toy that lived under her undies, by the time I was 10.

 This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill adult toy, but eight inches of neon green, squeaky, rubber peen with a giant smiley face on the...head - a gag gift from her Bridal Shower she’d been too afraid to throw out, for fear of some nocturnal critter ripping the bag open or a Trashman accidentally tearing it. She couldn’t face the possible horror of waking up to that “thing” on the curb in front of our house!

 So the “toy” with its big smiley face, lived on in the corner of her dresser. Until the day she had new carpet installed.

 Having made the decision to get new carpet in their bedroom, Mom and Dad had also decided to save the pulled muscles and bickering, by letting the guys laying it do all the heavy lifting. The only thing Mom had to do was stay outta the way, which was why I was there; to distract her.

 Carpet Day found us in the kitchen, washing dishes and discussing the hotness factor of the young men crawling around at floor level. As I recall, the term eye candy came into play repeatedly, usually followed by loud giggles form both of us.

 We were in the middle of a heated discussion on the pro’s of tight Levi’s on Carpet Layers, when we heard the man-giggles coming from the bedroom.

 “Umm...excuse me, Ma’am.” The oldest of the crew popped his head into the kitchen. Judging by the way he was stuttering and stammering, face the color of a fully ripened Bing Cherry, this was not an errand he had volunteered for. “We’re getting ready to clear the bedroom and umm...were aaaaaa...wondering if ummm...Well - did you have anything in the aaaaaa...dresser you might want to ummm...take care of first?”

 Apparently, as Mom had dug around for a comfy pair of hole-less knickers for the day, she’d inadvertently uncovered Mr. Smiley-Toy. When the men had started prepping the dresser to move, which included removing the drawers, the first thing they’d encountered was the little guy’s wide and raunchy smile, front and center.

 Ash white does not even begin to describe the instant color of my Mom’s face! 25 years of hiding this thing for fear of what the neighbors would think, culminated in a walk of shame down her own hallway - a hallway lined with four young, hot guys, every last one purple faced and holding his breath in an effort not to openly laugh.

 As Mom tried to nonchalantly haul-ass to her room and stuff the damn thing into her bra (because if they couldn’t see her carry it out, it didn’t exist), the house was silent. Right up until Mr. Smiley-Toy squeaked.

 The hunky guys looked like weird Easter Island statues, with their eyes bugging out and mouths frozen in noiseless, Oh’s! You could’ve heard a pin drop - if it hadn’t been for my scream-laughing coming from the kitchen. We’re talking, cross-your-legs-doubled-over-crimson-faced-tears-rollin’-laughter that includes the ragged gulping of air in between ear-and-side-splitting bursts.

 Nobody won that day. (Except Mr. Smiley-Toy, who finally got his moment in the Sun.) Operation Toy Removal was a complete and utter failure, I was busted for going through her dresser 15 years earlier and she was busted for thinking kids obeyed the rules when their parents weren’t around to enforce them.

   Mom spent the rest of the day hiding in the living room with a vodka and Diet Coke and I was put in charge of any and all further communication with the Carpet Guys. And sworn to secrecy.

 Which appears to have worked just about as well as being told to stay out of her dresser.




BIO:


Chris Dean (aka pixiecd) writes at pixie.c.d.

(formerly Life Your Way!) where she shares acts of stupidity, life with adult Offspring, and the occasional useful bit of info on life with chronic illness. She lives in Indiana with her amazingly tolerant Hubby (who swears he doesn't mind putting up with her), their four adult-kids, and the
petting zoo of cats, dogs, chickens, Muscovy ducks, and geese she’s systematically managed to turn their home and yard into. When not writing, you can find her avoiding laundry on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.