Friday, September 22, 2023

Fly On The Wall In The World Of TikTok

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, Karen and I welcome you into our homes for a glimpse at what goes on behind closed doors. Since it's still hotter than Hades here in South Florida, the fly is quite comfortable while we humans swelter in the backyard. We've been trying to avoid him though by ducking into the A/C and binge-watching Suits on Netflix (great series!!)

     In last month's Fly On The Wall post, I talked a lot about my gratitude and joy for life. Now Husby is on board with my positivity--so much so that he thinks we should get matching tattoos that say something like, "Be Grateful."  I was okay with this until he said he wanted our tats to be the image of a bumble bee followed by a single grape and a full stomach...."BEE-GRAPE-FULL." Uhhhh....NO! 

     Other than that totally weird idea, the nosy fly has been privy to some other interesting conversations around here:

"Your mind is a strange place."
"Yeah, I don't even like visiting it."

"Why do I keep getting ADHD medication ads on my TikTok account?"
"Probably because you're scrolling too quickly between clips."

"Man, this pug farts a lot."
"Brewski is 12 years old. What do you expect? You're old and you fart a lot, too."
"Fair enough, but HIS farts are deadly. At least I don't have a lethal rectum."
"That's debatable...."

"You spend a fortune on sunscreen. Why are you so worried about your skin?"
"Unlike you, I don't want to look like a potato that has been left in the back of the crisper drawer for too long."

"My stomach is painfully full. Why do you do that to me?"
"ME?? I didn't force you to chow down like a pregnant woman eating for two."
"Oh, this appetite is for more than two; I'm pregnant with food baby triplets." 

"Did you mess around with the settings on my TikTok account?"
"No, why?"
"Because all I'm seeing on it now are animal videos, not sports or funny clips."
"If you watched even one animal video, TikTok will send you more of what it thinks you like."
"I know damn well I didn't ask for hummingbirds, orb weavers, or spotless giraffes!"

"I read about the RSV vaccine on TikTok and we need to get it as soon as possible since we have a new grandbaby coming in 7 weeks."
"But the shot is brand new, and you can't believe everything you hear on TikTok. I'm worried about side effects."
"What side effects?"
"I don't want to sprout a third limb. I already have enough limbs that cause me aches and pains---I don't need an extra one."

"It's so fun to watch all the squirrels go after the peanuts in our feeder." 
"That's why I call it the 'peter-feeder' because they love nuts."
"That's it---you need to lay off the caffeine."

     I guess it's time to hide the coffee maker from my husband now since his brain is like a runaway train. But that's not going to stop me from loading his TikTok account with clips of albino squirrels searching for nuts.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This month you can find me on ALWAYS PETS talking about outdoor dog breeds (read it HERE) and my latest for Healthgrades on the benefit of certain foods for menopause symptoms HERE.

Now go check out what the nosy fly has been up to on Karen's blog at Baking In A Tornado.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Fall Cleaning: Decluttering Your Finances For A Fresh Start

 Your go-to guide for decluttering your finances this fall


Fall is finally here, and as the leaves start to change, it may be time for a change in your life, too. When we welcome a new season, it’s typical to do some cleaning and decluttering around the house. But, it’s during this time, too, that you should be paying attention to your finances. A bit of cleaning and decluttering will help you tackle fall with confidence in your finances. Let’s take a look at some ways you can clean and declutter your finances to give you a fresh start this season. 

Dust Off Your Budget

If you’re anything like me, your budget may have been a bit neglected during the summer months. Now that things are slowing down (and we prepare for the holidays!), it’s time to revisit your budget, see where you stand, and start adjusting. 

As you take some time to review your budget, here are some of the things you should be doing that will help you make the proper adjustments:

  • Set financial goals for the fall - Whether you’re saving for holiday gifts, an upcoming getaway, or even paying down some of your debt, set some financial goals for yourself to accomplish this fall. These goals will keep you on track and help you make better spending decisions.

  • Review your spending - Look at all of your bank and credit card statements from the past few months. See where you’ve been spending your money. You may realize you’re spending way too much money on certain things. You can better identify those areas when you review your statements

  • Adjust your budget - With your fall financial goals and spending habits in mind, you can adjust your budget categories. Decide if you need to allocate more to certain categories or reduce your spending in others to help you achieve your financial goals. 

Sort Through Financial Clutter

Let’s face it—no one wants clutter. Just as we declutter our homes, we can declutter our financial lives by tossing what we no longer need. Let’s talk about some ways you can declutter your financial life:

  • Shred your paperwork - If you still receive paper bills, go through your paperwork and shred any documents you no longer need. Digitally scan and store any documents you may need in the future. 

  • Organize your digital copies - Just like with your physical documents, your digital paperwork can pile up, too. Delete any old files or emails you no longer need. Organize the files that you need in a safe and secure drive. 

  • Consolidate your accounts - If you have multiple bank accounts you no longer use or need, consider consolidating them to simplify your financial life. Consider the impact on your credit score before closing any credit card accounts. 

  • Cancel your unused memberships - Memberships are extremely easy to subscribe to, and it can be even easier to overlook a subscription you don’t even use anymore. Check your bank statements to see which subscriptions you pay for, and cancel any that typically go unused. 

Organize Your Financial Nest

Just like birds prepare their nests for the winter, we can organize our financial nests to weather any financial storms. Here are a few steps you can take to keep you and your family feeling financially secure no matter what:

  • Build your emergency fund - You should have between 3-6 months' worth of living expenses set aside in case any financial emergency pops up. Ensure your emergency fund is well-padded and prepared for whatever life throws your way. 

  • Find a life insurance policy - The transition from summer to fall slows us down a bit. But, the holiday season comes around and speeds our lives right back up. A life insurance policy is a great addition to your financial nest to help protect your family, but the process of locking in a policy can be extremely time-consuming. Instant life insurance is a type of no-medical-exam insurance that allows you to skip over the traditional medical exam and get approved for a policy almost immediately—all without making the policy completely unaffordable. For those looking to get a life insurance policy quickly that fits into their budget, an instant life insurance policy may be the right option for you. 

  • Review your retirement savings - Take a look over your retirement accounts to see how much progress you have made. Consider increasing your contributions if you’re able. The more you can save now, the cozier your retirement nest egg will be. 

Plant Seeds For The Future

Fall is a season of harvesting. We can plant seeds for our financial future to harvest later down the road. Here are some ways you can invest in your future and your family:

  • Start long-term investments - Investing is a great way to make the most of your money. If you aren’t already investing, consider starting now

  • Focus on your education - Now is the perfect time to cozy up with a book, and you can take this time to start learning more—whether that be sharpening your skills for work or learning more about personal finance. Read books, listen to podcasts, or attend webinars to improve your financial literacy or job skills. 

  • Teach your kids money skills - Fall is a fantastic time to sit down with your kids and start teaching them about money. Involve them in budgeting for the upcoming holidays, teach them smart ways to spend and invest their money, and explain the importance of saving. Make it fun by turning it into a game or a family challenge. 

As we bid farewell to the long days of summer and embrace the vibrancy of fall, let’s also welcome a fresh start for our finances. Just as we declutter our homes to create a welcoming space, we can declutter our financial lives to create peace of mind, too. With a little bit of fall cleaning for your finances, you can set yourself up for a cozy and secure financial future. 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Life Insurance Without A Doctor's Exam? Yes, It's Possible!

Many people postpone getting life insurance because they are uncomfortable going to a doctor's office for a physical. However, it IS possible to get a life insurance plan without having to get a doctor's exam. This is good news for clients who cannot afford an in-person visit. 
Some insurance companies send physicians to your house to do the health exam, which includes blood and urine samples, a stress test, height and weight measurements, and possibly an EKG. However, there are still life insurance plans that can be bought without an exam--- although A patient's age also factors into the cost of the insurance. In most cases, the older you are at the time of buying life insurance, the higher the premium. For this reason, you should consider purchasing a plan while in your 20s and still healthy--or by the time you have people dependent on you, such as a spouse and children.

Why is life insurance so important? It helps your family cover financial burdens after you are gone. These expenses include funeral costs, medical bills, or other outstanding debt such as a mortgage. Essentially, it replaces lost income for the surviving spouse and covers future living expenses. Knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of once you're gone will also give you peace of mind. 


With so many life insurance plans available---even ones that do not require a doctor's exam, it's still important that you do your research before purchasing a plan that is right for you. First, look at your monthly income, expenses, and debts. Calculate what money you have left after monthly bills are paid to see what payment plan works best for your family. Secondly, decide on what type of coverage you need. For example, do you have a mortgage payment, a child's college education to pay, or a personal/business loan debt? Lastly, choose which type of policy will provide exactly what you need. Some of the more popular options are term life (which lasts about 10-30 years) or a whole life policy (permanent). 

Speak to a financial planner to review your situation and find out what policy is most affordable to you. Once you select the right plan that does not require an exam and sign up, you'll have peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of and avoid financial stress in the future. 

***DISCLAIMER: This blog post is in partnership with Responsival.


Friday, August 25, 2023

A Guide to Find the Best Incontinence Underwear for Women

Midway through menopause, I noticed that whenever I coughed, sneezed, or laughed too hard, I'd pee a wee bit, which of course alarmed me. But once I learned it was normal, I stopped worrying about it. Then I hit my sixties and found it even harder to hold my bladder, especially when I was on long road trips with nary a bathroom in sight. My husband, who is a few years older, was already experiencing little "accidents" if he had to wait any length of time to get to a bathroom. However, we both swore we wouldn't be the people who wore disposable underwear unless there was no other choice. Fortunately, there IS another choice, thanks to the people at Carer Health Company who have developed top-quality, leak-proof underwear.

Here's an informative guide from Carer Health on the best incontinence underwear for women: 

A Guide to Find the Best Incontinence Underwear for Women

Incontinence is a common issue that many women face at various stages of life. Fortunately, modern innovations in textile technology have led to the development of women's incontinence underwear that offers comfort, confidence, and peace of mind. This guide aims to assist women in selecting the best incontinence underwear by outlining essential features, key considerations, and maintenance tips.

Features to Look for in Leak-Proof Underwear for Women

  • Absorbency Levels

Different women experience varying degrees of incontinence, ranging from light leakage to more severe cases. It's crucial to select underwear with absorbency levels that match your needs. Manufacturers often categorize their products based on absorbency, making it easier for you to find the right fit.

  • Material

Comfort is paramount, and the material of the underwear plays a vital role in achieving this. Look for underwear made from soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials that keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day. Additionally, consider hypoallergenic options if you have sensitive skin.

  • Fit and Design

Proper fit is essential for leak-proof underwear. Look for options that offer a snug yet comfortable fit, preventing any gaps that might lead to leakage. Many brands provide a range of sizes and styles to accommodate different body shapes and preferences.

  • Odor Control

Odor control is a significant concern for those dealing with incontinence. High-quality leak-proof underwear often incorporates odor-neutralizing technology to ensure you feel fresh and confident throughout the day.

  • Discreteness

Many women value discretion when it comes to incontinence products. Look for underwear with a discreet design that doesn't draw attention to your condition. This can boost your confidence and help you feel more at ease in social situations.

  • Affordability

Pee panties come in a range of price points. While it's essential to find a product that meets your needs, consider your budget as well. Investing in high-quality underwear can lead to increased comfort and confidence, but there are also budget-friendly options available.

Tips for Maintaining and Using Pee Panties

  • Follow the manufacturer's care instructions to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of the underwear.
  • Be gentle in washing the product and use mild, fragrance-free detergents to avoid damaging the absorbent materials.
  • Air-dry whenever possible to preserve the integrity of the materials and leak-proof layer. If machine drying is allowed, use a low-heat setting to prevent damage.
  • Consider purchasing multiple pairs to rotate and extend the life of each piece.
  • Keep a small travel bag with a spare pair of underwear, especially if you're on the go.
  • Always have a plan for discreet disposal if you need to change underwear while outside.

Get the Best Incontinence Underwear Now!

Choosing the right incontinence underwear is crucial for women seeking comfort, protection, and confidence in their daily lives. Among the options available, Carer distinguishes itself as a trustworthy and dependable choice for top-quality incontinence underwear. Our line of leak-proof underwear harmoniously integrates comfort, performance, and discretion, tailored to the varied needs of women. Through innovative features and meticulous design, Carer offers a solution that empowers women to manage incontinence with confidence!


Friday, August 18, 2023

Fly On The Wall In The Month Of Gratitude

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, Karen and I are sharing glimpses of what you would see and hear in our houses if you were a nosy little fly buzzing around. This month, the fly has caught me in a month of reflection and gratitude. Why such deep thoughts? Well, updating a will can do that to you. 

A few weeks ago, Husby and I realized that our will was REALLY old--like written before our last child was born. Yikes! So we had to meet with our lawyer and update everything---a Living Will, the kids' trust, the house deed, insurance policies, etc. It was a heavy conversation with the lawyer and of course, we had to go over all of it again with our adult children. They don't like thinking about the inevitable but we need to make sure they will be well taken care of long after we are gone.  

So, this whole process got me thinking deeply about my husband's and my mortality....and the importance of appreciating the life we have. I spent far too many years of my youth in a quagmire of self-loathing and depression, which often led to suicide ideation. Thankfully, over time I was able to put some of that anxiety aside and seek help. Now I wake every morning feeling incredibly grateful that I've been blessed with another dawn. I also end each day by reading several pages from my bible (the goal is to read it front-to-back---I'm more than halfway through it!) and sending up prayers of gratitude. I know everybody has their own beliefs and their own way of expressing thankfulness--this is just what works best for me!

Counting my blessings has become key to boosting my mental well-being. I have a running list of what I'm grateful for, and of course, it goes without saying that I appreciate my husband, family, friends, pets, home, my health, and my awesome job writing for AARP ( I have the best editors!!). But there are so many other things to be grateful for, too, such as......

DOGS. Especially my snorting, farty, little pugs! I will never stop having a pug by my side. 

CHOCOLATE. I don't even need to explain this one. 

COFFEE. Again, no explanation needed

MUSIC. I love all music, but I just discovered the band Greta Van Fleet and I am officially obsessed.

NEIGHBORS. I have the absolute best people living on my street. We're all close and I adore them!

GARDENS. There is no better place to see God's handiwork, and He has doubly blessed me with an extraordinary backyard (but I also have the ultimate gardener in Husby). Seriously, my heart does a little happy dance when I see the flowers blooming all around me. 

HUMOR. This is super important!! I laugh out loud at least 5 times a day and let me tell you, it is 100% therapeutic!

The list goes on and on...modern medicine, cold weather, hearty crockpot meals, RVing, cruising, squirrels (and all wildlife in general), reconnecting with childhood friends on social media, throwing parties, swimming pools, coloring with my grandbabies, holding hands across the table with Husby while sipping cocktails at an intimate restaurant, watching a thunderstorm from my front porch, kissing and cuddling, trips to St. Augustine.....and last but not least, YOU, dear readers! August 27 marks 12 years since I started blogging, and I wouldn't have gotten this far in my career without your love and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Check out my first humorous-but-informative article on menopause symptoms for Healthgrades HERE  I also have an article on the benefits of healthy eating for AARP that you can read HERE plus one on nutritious morning meals HERE and another on "easy breakfasts for people on the go," which you can read HERE

Now go check out what the nosy fly has been up to at Karen's blog, Baking In A Tornado

Friday, July 21, 2023

Fly On The Wall In The Blistering Month Of July

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, the two of us are inviting you into our homes to give you a fly's eye view of what goes on behind closed doors. 

Another amazing 4th of July celebration is in the books! Lots of food, fireworks, and fun with everyone!

The fly at our house prefers to stay indoors not only to overhear our conversations but to relax in the A/C since it's hotter than Hades outside. Can't say that I blame him---every time I sit in the backyard garden I have to surround myself with double fans and chug an ice-cold beverage. Even the hot tub is no longer hot---we have it set at a refreshing 80 degrees so that we can pretend we own a pool. But the nosy fly still follows us around, and here's a peek at what he overheard this blistering month of July:

I recently suffered from a bout of Perioral Dermatitis, which is an unsightly red rash that starts on the nostrils and spreads down all around the mouth to the chin. It's an itchy, stubborn rash that is caused by an allergic reaction to lotions, toothpaste, and certain medications. In my case, it was a new facial serum I'd been using that triggered the ugly rash. My husband accompanied me to the dermatologist, and when she asked why I was there, I said, "LOOK AT ME! I look like a lioness who was just finished feasting on the bloody carcass of an antelope!!" My husband thought my remark was hilarious, but the dermatologist....not so much. 

Speaking of uncomfortable ailments, Hubs is dealing with an annoying case of Plantar fasciitis. He is on his feet all day walking several miles at work, but now it hurts to put pressure on the heel and the arch of his foot. He has to wear a support pad in his shoe during the day and a special boot at night to keep his foot straight while he sleeps. It has been bothering him for several weeks now and after listening to his numerous complaints while hobbling around the house, I jokingly tell him to just cut the damn foot off. The other night when we were in bed, my husband was struggling to get the bulky plastic boot over his foot while I was reading about weight loss stories associated with Ozempic. Our conversation went something like this:

"Man, I wish I could have a prescription for Ozempic."
"And I wish I could have an artificial foot."
"Either way, we'd lose a few pounds---I'd lose the weight of my gut and you'd lose the weight of a foot."
"Always looking for the positives, arent you?"

And of course, the fly was privy to other weird conversations that always involved my husband.  

"Hey, look at all the mail that came for you today."
"Yeah, it's depressing.....because now I REALLY know how old I am since I'm getting mail for discounted burial sites and offers for affordable cremations."

"Do you think it's hot in this house?"
"No, but I think it's hot in your pants...."
"Wait, what?"

"Why are you slurring your words? Did you drink?"
"No, but I have so much food in my stomach that my mouth doesn't work."

"I'm going to fart on your pillow to give you pink eye."
"No, in that case, it would be called stink eye."

"I'm not aging like a fine wine; I'm aging like a banana."
"How so?"
"I have brown spots all over my skin and a soft middle section." 

My GORGEOUS Grandbabes! They are my LIFE!!!

This episode of Fly On The Wall was brought to you by a writer who is very grateful that her job is an indoor one with a thermostat set to 74 degrees. Meanwhile, her husband is outside in the scorching 95+ degrees pulling weeds from a hot garden that's melting like a Salvadori Dali painting. Maybe I can talk the fly into braving the heat to deliver an ice-cold beverage to my husband. He might even learn some new curse words from Hubs, too. 

***Want More Meno Mama? I'm thrilled to share one of my first food articles in THE GIRLFRIEND (you can read it HERE) ---a website I have been trying to get published in for several years. But stay tuned--there are quite a few more articles coming from me on the site! Also, I have a new foodie article on AARP/The Ethel about camp food which you can read  HERE, and one on light summer food recipes HERE

After you finish buzzing around here with the fly, be sure and stop by Karen's house to see what her fly overheard this month! 

Baking In A Tornado


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