Friday, February 14, 2020

12 Valentine's Day Gifts That Are Worse Than A Bowel Resection

     Ahhh yes, it's Valentine's Day---the most dreaded day of the year for the majority of the male population. No one needs a GPS to find their man after work on this particular holiday. They're lined up at the drugstore card counter, sweaty palms leafing through pink and red cards on the stands. Turn down the next aisle and you'll find them grabbing heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates off the shelf. If they're lucky, they might even find a few rose bouquets left in the cooler near the checkout counter. Nothing says "You're The Love Of My Life," than a last-minute discount gift from a drugstore.

     But there are gifts that are far worse.....and if your significant other gives you any of the following items, you have my condolences on Valentine's day......

1. A BOGO sale on pre-approved cemetery plots

2. Edible beef jerky underwear.

3. Milk chocolates made from molds of your lover's unmentionables.

4. His ex-girlfriend's favorite cologne, White Shoulders.

5. Novelty toilet paper with your boyfriend's image printed on each sheet (nothing says LOVE like wiping your backside with your man's face).

6. Sparkling rose wine bottled in the basement of his cousin's home in Asbury Park, NJ.

7. Paper roses made from recycled buffalo dung.

8. Jenny Craig lifetime membership.

9. A pregnant hamster.

10. Twelve wilted roses bought from a shady- looking guy who approached your car window when you were stopped at a red light.

11. Nose hair trimmer, bikini wax kit, and his & her tongue scraper set.
12. A sensor-activated Build-A-Bear with a continual song loop of "Every Breath You Take."

Here's to hoping you have a very NORMAL Valentine's Day with a cheesy, sentimental card and a box of cream-filled chocolates to celebrate love. Cheers!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Check out my weekly contributions to CONSIDERABLE, the website where I'm a regular content creator now. (LOVE MY JOB!!) You can find my work  here:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hair Loss Treatment For Women: Hairmax laser

     Ever since I hit menopause ten years ago, I've noticed hair loss around my temples. When I pull my hair back into a ponytail, the spots are more obvious and a bit embarrassing. I love that I now have a reliable option to grow some of that hair back through laser treatments because I plan on rocking a ponytail for many years to come! Check out the HairMax company info below if you'd like to have healthier, thicker hair.


There is not a single topic that garners a bigger readership than articles on hair; hairstyles, hair color, hair treatments, you get the drift. Women care about their hair. It’s not called our “crowning glory” for nothing. Sadly, our hair ages right along with our bodies. Although stress, diet, nutrition, and illness contribute to hair loss, for most of us, hair loss is triggered by the onset of menopause.

The transition to menopause is a time of reflection and changes some positive and some negative. We may feel a sense of freedom and find it a time of personal growth. “The Change”, also brings changes to our bodies, both internally and externally, and unfortunately, it also produces changes to our hair. We see more of our once crowning glory in our brushes and shower floors than on our heads.

Hair loss during menopause is the result of a hormonal imbalance related to a lowered production of estrogen and progesterone. When these levels drop, it causes hair to grow more slowly, and as the follicles shrink, the hair grows in much thinner. This type of hair loss is typically called female pattern hair loss, hereditary hair loss and medically known as Androgenetic alopecia.

This image shows how the hair follicles shrink or miniaturize; the hair that was once thick and healthy starts to slowly grow in weaker, shorter and wispy.

Until recently, thinning, lifeless hair was just an accepted product of aging. No more. Let us introduce you to HairMax, a superior hair loss treatment. It is now possible to reverse thinning hair and enjoy denser, fuller, hair growth – so when you look in the mirror, you’ll love seeing a more youthful person looking back at you with a beautiful head of hair!

What is HairMax and how does it bring back your hair? HairMax pioneered at-home laser technology for hair loss treatment and is the global leader in the field. HairMax Laser devices are FDA Cleared for men and women, and clinically proven to treat hair loss and regrow hair and recommended by doctors worldwide.

HairMax Lasers utilize nourishing laser light to energize and enliven your follicles where thinning hair starts, at the root! Regular use of HairMax reverses thinning, wispy hair and helps it to start growing back thicker, fuller and healthier. Unlike so many other products you may have tried, this is a hair loss treatment that actually works.

Use a HairMax Laser Device just 3 days a week for a few minutes and give your follicles the boost they need to produce healthier fuller, thicker hair. HairMax not only nurtures new hair growth, it can also help prevent further hair loss by keeping your hair follicles healthy and active. That can mean a lifetime of healthy, fuller hair – All from a simple hair loss treatment you can do from the comfort of your couch.

Think hair loss treatments take too much time & effort? Think again. You can use HairMax wherever, and whenever you want – at home or on the go. Our laser devices are designed for easy storage, and can be used while you’re:
  • Watching TV
  • Reading
  • Answering emails
  • Putting on your makeup

Or, just about anywhere. At any time.

You may not be able to stop Father Time or Mother Nature. But you can stop it from making you look older than you are. A HairMax laser can be your secret to a fuller, healthier head of hair that’ll make you look and feel great at any age.

Visit for special offers

By: Francesca Dubsky

HairMax Company Bio:

Based in Florida, HairMax is the global leader in laser hair growth technology. HairMax laser devices are the first device on the market to receive FDA Clearance as a medical device to treat hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Dedicated to enriching the lives of those suffering from hair loss, HairMax provides a comprehensive array of treatments including FDA Cleared and clinically proven laser hair growth devices, Bio-Active Hair Therapy, Dietary Supplements and more. 
HairMax laser devices have been the subject of 7 clinical studies proving both efficacy and safety with an over 90% success rate. Today, HairMax laser devices hold 8 FDA clearances and 14 medical device licenses world-wide. Sold in over 170 countries, HairMax is the trusted choice of 1.7+ million men and women to treat hair loss and stimulate hair growth.


Friday, January 24, 2020

Fly On The Wall With The Man Who Won't Let Me Sleep

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, five brave bloggers are welcoming you into their homes for a peek at what goes on behind closed doors. At my house, the fly is always entertained by my husband's witty comebacks. No matter what comment I make, Mac has something to add to it. Unfortunately, these funny conversations often take place late at night while I'm trying to sleep. I say something, then he says something weird back, and then I can't stop laughing, which sends me into a coughing fit....and then I have to pee. That pretty much sums up my evenings.

     Here's a little sampler platter of our latest midnight conversations:

"At your funeral, instead of putting up sentimental photos of you in a slideshow, I'm going to share photos of every weird thing you've ever done."
"That's going to be the longest funeral in history."

"You must be getting old. The first thing you do every morning is take Meloxicam just so you can get out of bed without  pain."
"It could be worse. What if the first thing I needed to get out of bed was an antiinflammatory suppository?"

"Your stomach feels like a big, hard lump."
"Don't worry----that's not a tumor. It's last night's noodle casserole."

"You're not sleeping well because the window is open and there's a strong breeze blowing through."
"No, it's because there are too many strong rum drinks blowing through me."

"Can you reach the light switch? Your arm is longer than mine."
"Not everything on me is long anymore, you know......"

"When I put the food that I ate today into my Fitness Pal app, it answered by telling me I need to go on a diet."
"That's because your stomach has a built-in GPS system for navigating the best snacks in the house. "

     Maybe tonight when I go to bed, I'll just fake-sleep so that my husband doesn't keep me awake. Ha! Who am I kidding? My bladder will never let me sleep through the night anyway....

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? You can read my interview on the craft of writing with Writer CEO HERE,  And my latest for CONSIDERABLE HERE.  But what I'm REALLY excited about is the publication of my first article with AARP on eye health, which you can read HERE.

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

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother         
Spatulas on Parade            
Medicated Musings                   


Friday, January 10, 2020

Wonderful Winter Writers Series: Guest Post By Stephanie Jankowski

I'm so excited to feature my friend and author Stephanie Jankowski on the blog today with a sample chapter from her new book, Schooled. Several of my adult children are teachers, so I can relate to many of the funny stories in this delightful book. I've known Stephanie for quite some time now and have always enjoyed her hilarious blog "When Crazy Meets Exhaustion." She is such a talented writer and I'm just thrilled to share a portion of her book with you today!


In this collection of hilariously frank essays, high school English instructor and popular parenting blogger Stephanie Jankowski throws open the classroom door to the victories, challenges and WTF-moments of today's teachers.
Laugh and commiserate with Steph’s no-holds-barred commentary on lighthearted subjects such as being mistaken for a high schooler as a first-year teacher, accidentally saying the “c-word” at a school-wide assembly, and navigating tricky student questions like “Are Trojan condoms named after those soldiers in the Odyssey?”. You’ll nod along as she tackles more serious topics like race and education, the death of a student, and teaching with empathy.
Anyone with a pulse will enjoy this book, but it should be required reading for every passionate, dedicated educator who’s felt like banging their head against the blackboard. Schooled shouts: “I see you, fellow teacher…and you’re not alone.”


When You’re a 22-Year-Old Teacher and Your Students Are 18

Hall Duty, 2004. 

Because my colleague had to cover another class, I was canvassing the halls solo that day. It was eerily quiet, the usual suspects nowhere to be found. I’d grown accustomed to multiple trips around the building—front to back, up and down the steps—and learned that changing into comfortable sneakers was a necessity. Heels stashed under my desk back in the classroom, I was business on top and Nike runners on the bottom as I walked the halls of our high school that day.

In retrospect, it made sense: a young-looking female, tennis shoes, hair pulled back in a low ponytail. I should’ve seen it coming.

Rather, I should’ve seen her coming.

Passing the copy center, I continued down the long empty corridor, removed from the steady lineup of classroom doors. As I rounded the corner leading to the gym’s back entrance, the most remote part of the building, I heard a quick shuffling behind me. She grabbed me by the arm just above the elbow, spinning me around to face her. Stunned, I couldn’t find words; there was no time. Her hot breath flooded my face, our noses mere inches apart. “What do you think you’re doing? Get back to class!”

Sighing loudly, I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, hi. Barbara? We’ve been through this. I work here. I’m a first-year teacher.”

This was the eleventeenth time our school nurse had intercepted me in the hall with accusations of cutting class. I’d run out of fucks somewhere around our third confrontation. 

Barbara released her death grip and took a few steps back, studying me. Her eyes widened in surprised amusement to find me on the receiving end of her mistake once again. “I just keep thinking you’re one of the students!” I fought the urge to roundhouse her. This level of stupidity was ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that she put her hands on me—again. She’s lucky I wasn’t one of the students, because I’d seen enough of them throw down with one another in those very hallways and one even try to fight our principal. Either our nurse was unaware of her handsy repercussions or she just didn’t care. I was leaning toward the latter. 

So many bizarre and blatantly inappropriate things happened during my first year of teaching, most of them simply because I was a young woman. Beginning a career at the age of 22 is a daunting task for anyone, but when your subordinates are only a couple years younger, and when those subordinates are actually juniors and seniors in your English class, situation and circumstance are complicated in a way I never learned about in college.

Like the day my students were working in pods. To accommodate the desks, I had to move a cluster of them close to the door. The move was against my better judgment, as I was all too familiar with the risks of desk-to-door proximity. No teacher in America can compete with the temptation that is The Hallway. I’ve seen students break their necks for just a quick peek into the enticing abyss outside the classroom. Voices, footsteps, the bang of a locker—teachers don’t stand a chance. And if someone knocks on the door? Mayhem. 

Unfortunately, I had no choice that day; the pods were a necessary evil. I ran interference as best I could by physically standing between the students and the door, but because it was approximately 105°F that September, the door and windows had to remain open if there was any chance of survival.
P.S. Ms. DeVos, please do something useful like equipping schools all over America with air-conditioning. Or resigning. Thank you.

Moving on.

One of the usual hall wanderers was in full effect that day. I didn’t realize it, but he was lingering just outside my classroom and any time I stood in front of the door, specifically when I bent over a desk to help students, this young man was . . . how do I put this delicately?

He simulated . . . no.

He pretended to . . . not quite right.

He . . . okay, fine. I’m just gonna say it.

He air-humped me. And I was completely oblivious, chatting up students about the author’s purpose in the text. Not until one of my female students quietly motioned toward the door did I ...... ***WANT TO READ MORE? BUY THE BOOK HERE


English teacher by trade, smack talker by nature, Stephanie Jankowski subscribes to the mantra, “Life is too short, laugh!” She finds the funny in everyday life on her blog,, and in education on sites like We Are Teachers and Hey, Teach. Steph lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and their three children. Schooled is her first book and writing it gave her the nervous poops.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Fly On The Wall Having A Ball

     "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Yes, I have been singing this for weeks. My excitement starts on Thanksgiving morning and lasts for the next five weeks. Like a gazillion other people on the planet right now, our family is in full holiday mode. Rather than describe it all to you, I'm going to share a batch of holiday photos for today's edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado.

     Before getting into the photos, I'm pleased to let you know that lately, I've been a regular contributor to the amazing website CONSIDERABLE. I love working with the editors over there and they make my job so easy! If you'd like to read my latest self-help articles, you can find them all HERE. Another awesome thing that happened recently was getting one of my personal essays published on MOTHERWELL, a website that has been on my bucket list for several years. This piece is near and dear to my heart---it's about my mother and her Christmas cookie baking tradition. I miss her terribly during the holidays----she was my rock. Please take a moment to read,  Learning To Make My Mothers Holiday Cookies Again.

     As I mentioned earlier, the excitement of the holidays begins for me on Thanksgiving morning when the family gathers around to prep the turkey and watch the Macy's Day Parade.

   Once the turkey leftovers are gone, I begin decorating the house for Christmas. First the outdoor lights, then the tree (but only after a cup or two of spiked eggnog).

     Speaking of eggnog, what would the Christmas season be without holiday parties? We attended some fun ones as well as the magical boat parade that our city hosts each year.

     And then comes the baking....lots and LOTS of baking. Hundreds of cookies are stored in my refrigerator right now, just waiting to be gifted to my friends and family. I have eaten so much sugar lately that I'm surprised I'm not in a diabetic coma.

     But nothing is as important as being with my family during the holidays, and I feel blessed to have my kids and grandkids living nearby. They are the reason for my joy during "the most wonderful time of the year", and the reason I'm still singing the song. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! XOXO


Make sure you click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother           
Spatulas on Parade           
Go Mama O.                      

Friday, December 6, 2019

Winter Writer Series: "Three Generations Of Butts" By Janie Emaus

     I'm always excited to feature one of my fellow Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop authors on the blog. I've known Janie Emaus since we met in 2014 at the convention, and we've been good friends ever since. I admire her writing style, and she never fails to make me laugh when she writes humorous stories about aging (because I can sooooo relate!). Her essay that I'm sharing today is one of my favorites because I have been in this situation before. Janie keeps it real, so I'm sure you'll be laughing with me on this one, too.....

                               THREE GENERATIONS OF BUTTS

Hair whitens. Butts droop. Arms sag. Aging is not a pretty picture, is it?  

And it’s even less pretty when you’re in a dressing room with all those mirrors that don’t hide anything. Rather, they emphasis all those parts of your body which you’d like to imagine looked differently.  

But those mirrors don’t lie.

I was faced with that painful truth when I went shopping with my ninety-something mother and my thirty-something daughter. Three generations of women made from the same mold.

The similarities were still there, but the differences were hard to ignore.  

Years ago, my butt was as firm and ripe as a melon, just like my daughter’s. My thighs were smooth, void of those craters and bumps making one think of the moon surface. My arms didn’t have that flabby effect. My hair was a natural blonde. 

After looking from my daughter to myself, I wanted to bolt out of that room.  In fact, I wanted to bolt out of 2019 and into 1990.

Then I looked at my ninety-four-year mom. And felt even worse. 

I saw where my body was going!

And I’m not convinced that any amount of exercise can stop it from happening.  (Although, I don’t think I’ll ever wear old lady under panties). 

While I was lamenting the state of my future body, my daughter blurted out.  “Ugh, I hate my waist.”

Me: “Your waist is perfect.  Look at this extra skin around mine.” 

My mother: “What are you two talking about?  I’m one big wrinkle.  My butt is flatter than melted butter. And my boobs are like bananas.”

With that, we all started laughing.  There was no age difference in our giggles. Just three happy women, trying to find a decent pair of jeans that hugged our bodies in just the right way. No matter what that body looked like.

And we were determined to succeed. Because no matter our age, we all want to look good when facing the world.
No butts about it. 


Janie Emaus believes when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again.

In a previous life (before cell phones and the World Wide Web) she assumed a famous persona and wrote for the Goosebumps and Fear Street series.
As herself, she wrote educational videos, ad copy for adult videos, and dozens of stories for The Los Angeles Times Kids’ Reading Room Page.

In this life, she is the author of the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love and the science fiction story, Passage 99. Her essays have appeared in hundreds of anthologies and websites. 

She was proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. And beyond thrilled to win an honorary mention in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competiton. But no award (well, maybe the Pulitzer) ranks higher than her family.
To learn more about Janie visit her website at

Social media links:

Amazon page:


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