Monday, April 21, 2014

The Cat's Out Of The Bag!

     A few months ago I wrote something on my Facebook wall about having faith in dreams coming true. I hinted that something special was about to happen, and now that day has finally arrived.

     I' M  G I V I N G  B I R T H ! ! !

     Noooooo, not to a baby. I'm too old to even lay dinosaur eggs. I'm talking about giving birth to a dream that has been gestating for a very long time.

     Today I'm pleased to announce that Menopausal Mother's first book, "Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF" will be released this coming July 2014!!!

     Many of you dear readers have been asking me if I would ever consider putting my nutty life in a book so that you can enjoy my wackiness 24/7. That time has come, and I hope you will spread the word, join my author site here: and sign up for news of the official release here: Here's a little teaser that was written by my publisher about the book:

Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings from a Middle-Aged a humorous collection of stories based on Marcia Kester Doyle's hilariously popular blog, Menopausal Mother. Take a ride on the midlife wild side with a wacky journey through menopausal pitfalls, raising a family in a madhouse, maintaining a spandex-worthy booty, and all points in between! Nothing is off limits!
The collection includes laugh-out-loud brain candy, such as "9 Signs You Might Be a MILF," "How to Annoy Your Children," "You Might Be Menopausal If...," and "Menopausal Cuckoo," along with some of her newer tales of midlife mayhem. With a dash of wit and a heavy dose of humor, this is the greatest therapy ever offered in book form…and cheaper than any therapist's bill!

     Some very special bloggers are promoting my book today on either their their blogs or their Facebook pages as part of the book cover reveal. I am honored that they have offered to do so, and would love it if you could stop by their sites to thank them and see what they have to say. BIG hugs and thank you's to the following bloggers for helping Menopausal Mother spread the news today! 

Kerith Zaccaria StullBrielle and Me
Sarah Shaw AlmondThe Sadder But Wiser Girl
Kelly FoxFoxy Wine Pocket
Teri BiebelSnarkfest
Lisa NolanMoms Who Write and Blog
Angela KeckWriter Mom's Blog
Crystal PontiMommiFried
Crystal PontiBlue Lobster Book Co.
Beth TelihoWriter B is Me
Amanda MushroQuestionable Choices in Parenting
Alexa Haddock BigwarfeNo Holding Back
Sarah NolanThe Momisodes
Alyson HerzigThe Shitastrophy

Jennifer Cooper CedenoMy Daily Jenn-ism
Stacy BurnettStacy Sews And Schools
Diane TolleyLife On The Ranch
Linda RoyElleroy Was Here
Mary WiddicksOutmanned Mommy
Tamara Gerber-Stutz                                         Confessions Of A Part-Time Working Mom
Vikki ClafinLaugh-Lines

     ****Stay tuned for news of the official release date. We're about to get this party started!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Funny Things I Learned At A Weekend Conference

    Anyone who knows me well knows I don't fly. Ever. For this reason, I have missed out on some spectacular opportunities due to my debilitating phobia. I'm left to daydream about trips to exotic places from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy chair.
     For quite some time, I've been trolling through my friend's vacation photos on Facebook with a twinge of envy. Although I'm not a fan of the airbus from hell, the thought of driving to a destination that takes longer to reach than the hours between lunch and dinner is even less appealing to me. Long road trips bring out the fidgety kid in me who has to pee every ten minutes, eat every five and whines, "Are we there yet?….ARE WE THERE YET???" My family knows if they want a happy passenger riding shotgun in the car, it's not going to be me. They're better off taking the dog.

     When word spread across the internet that there was an Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop taking place at her alma mater in Dayton, Ohio, I wanted to go. Badly. Tickets were selling fast and the list of attendees read like the Who's Who of the blogosphere. I was instantly swept up in the tide of excitement generated by my blogger friends who'd already purchased tickets. Within minutes, I found myself scrolling through the registration form and clicking on the "Pay Now" button. Before I knew it, my reservations for the three day conference and hotel room was confirmed.

     And I had no freaking idea how I was going to get there from Florida.

     My husband generously stepped forward and volunteered to drive me to the conference. Seventeen hours up, seventeen hours back. That's thirty-seven hours of interstate purgatory.

     Somehow we did it, and we survived without throttling one another at the end of the day. It was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, not just because of everything I learned at the conference but in the friendships that were made.

     Rather than bore anyone with the details of the new writing and publishing techniques I learned, I'm going to share instead some valuable lessons gleaned from roadside observations and my first foray into the conference world.

     During this six day adventure, I learned the following:

* Hair dyed the color of a red velvet cupcake is frowned upon by the A&W lunch crowd in a small town populated by people who are all related to one another.

* There's enough roadkill between Florida and Ohio to feed a family of six for a year.

* Places with names like Big Bone Lick State Park really DO exist.

* Every roadside restroom is NOT created equal.

* Don't get lost in the dark mountains of Kentucky late at night where the only visible light comes from a cell phone. Nothing motivates you to drive faster than a highway dotted with "BEWARE OF FALLING ROCK" signs.

* If you eat more carbohydrates in three days than you consume in one year, don't be surprised if your sphincter muscles go into shock. You might need the jaws of life or a garden hose to get your inner plumbing right.  * I also learned that it IS possible to gain ten pounds over the course of a weekend.* 

* Avoid driving through Atlanta, Georgia during rush hour….unless you enjoy sitting in standstill traffic and watching a guy in the car next to you digging for gold in both of his nostrils.

* It's all fun and games staying up late in the hotel bar with the other conference attendees until you see your reflection in the mirror at 6:00a.m.  By the look of everyone else, I wasn't the only one sporting puffy under eye baggage. I haven't seen that much luggage since the great carousel jam-up at the airport in 1989.

* Invest in satellite radio for long road trips, otherwise you'll be subjected to Mexican opera and hours of country music that will cause a permanent twang in your voice.

* At the convention dinner, if you decide to skip the fish dinner in favor of a meatless meal, you might end up with something resembling cat yak.

* You'll laugh so much that all those Kegel exercises you did twenty years ago will be put to the test.  

    The Erma Bombeck conference will return to Dayton in 2016, and I already have my packing list ready of the next trip. This includes an extra supply of fiber pills, a flashlight and a fold-up Port-a-potty. I also have my list of expenses prepared:

New friends made at the conference…..PRICELESS!


**** Menopausal Mother has been all over the internet this week! I am very excited to be featured on BlogHer ! You can read that post here:
I was also featured on Midlife Boulevard this week, which you can read here:
My next surprise is that Menopausal Mother has a POEM featured this week which you can read here:     
And HEY!!! Check this one out: I'm the spotlighted contributor today over at" What The Flicka? "How cool is that? Want to read my funny interview where I reveal one of the most embarrassing moments of my life? Find it here:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Post By: Pass The Stuffing….Have You Seen Her Blog?

    Today on Wacky Wednesday Writers I'm featuring my special guest and friend, Donna Maysack from Pass The Stuffing….Have You Seen Her Blog? I met Donna quite awhile ago through mutual blogger friends who pointed me to her site. Once I started reading her posts, I was immediately drawn to her raw, witty sense of humor. Donna is the real deal---she calls it as she sees it with refreshing honesty. While most of her posts have me laughing and nodding in agreement (especially the ones about raising children!), she has also written some posts that are heartbreaking and have made me want to reach through the computer screen to give her a big hug. I admire her ability to shape words into vivid images to express what she feels. She has a unique voice in the blogosphere and it's one that I love---which is why I am a frequent visitor to her site. Hopefully you will be, too! Please welcome Donna to Meno Mama's site today and give her lots of comment love!


(Based upon the brilliant classic, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie," written by Laura Numeroff)  

If you give a mom a Xanex she's probly gonna ask you for two. When you give her another, she'll probly ask if you'll pick the kids up from school cause it didn't go well the last time.

When you bring em home, they'll probly give her some teen attitude.  When they do, she'll ask em to knock it off.  When they don't, she might knock em out.

Upon awakening, they might sound funny when they ask for new teeth.  Don't worry, it's just harder to talk without them. Mom will probly be looking in the mirror to make sure she doesn't have a mustache.  When she sees one, she'll probly ask for more Xanex.  Once she's outta the coma, she'll want you to open a window cause she's havin a hot flash. She might get carried away and open every window in the house.  She may even end up trying to jump out.

If you pull her back in, she may throw you instead.  She might at any moment, unleash a fury known only to those balancing on the estrogen-wound-tight-rope as, 'mood swing'.

 When she swings, you better duck.

You  might consider calling 911, where they can take her to a little room with a blanket and pillow.  It's in the best interest of all.  There she'll meet a nice doctor who'll remind her she's outta Xanex.  So she'll ask for a refill. And chances are, he'll prescribe some Lithium to go with it.  Then she'll probly eat all your cookies without asking. Don't try to stop her.

Trying to find a balance in my checkbook and slipping on wayward cans of baked beans while scheduling showers and reining in teens.  It takes a village to raise a child, but knowing your son's LaCrosse coach will bench him for staying out all night works for me.

I'm a mother of seven who's had kids in elementary school non-stop for 29 years.  I used to have  backbone, but it's degenerated. So blackmail and embarrassing have become my weapons of choice. 

I'm thrilled and honored to be featured on the wildly popular, lovely Menopausal Mama.   It's indeed a privilege to be here today.  Thank you, Marcia

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Blog Has Been Kidnapped!

      So……I decided to step WAY out of my comfort zone this week and do something I have never done before: attend a writer's convention! But not just any convention----this is the Erma Bombeck Writers convention! How cool is THAT? By the time you read this, I'll be laughing it up in Erma's college town of Dayton, Ohio, with a bunch of other funny writers. The only thing missing is one of my blogger besties. I wanted more than anything for her to be here with me, sharing a glass of vino and making each other laugh. But since she couldn't make it, today she is doing what every good bloggy buddy does--she is taking control of my blog. BWHAHAHA!!!! I love this blogger so much that I invited her back for a third time on my site! Please welcome my dear friend Sarah from The Sadder But Wiser Girl! When I met Sarah over a year ago, I knew immediately I had found a kindred spirit in the blogosphere and she has been one of my favorite bloggers since then. I always look forward to reading her new posts because she consistently makes me laugh. Sarah and I share a really weird sense of humor that often leaves others scratching their heads---but we totally understand each other and have spent many nights on the computer until the wee hours laughing over stupid stuff. Our conversations are hilarious and we do some of our best brain storming this way.
     Besides being a very talented writer, what I value most about Sarah is her friendship---she is so kind, sweet and loyal---I know I can depend on her in a pinch. She has always been incredibly supportive of Meno Mama and knows how to lift up my spirits when I'm having a craptastic day. Please welcome this talented, hilariously funny lady to my site with lots of comment love!

Support Your Local Blogger

While I spend my time these days doing more work at my “real” (paying) job and being a mom and wife (don’t look in my sink), I still try to stay active in the writing world where I crank out a post or two when I can. Some weeks I’m full of inspiration and other weeks the instructions to a box of Hamburger Helper are more interesting than my writing. I’m in a couple of different groups for bloggers that help me tremendously when I need some inspiration or some support. I just wish I could spend more time chatting with them and writing than I get to do most weeks.

It suddenly came to me one evening as I sat staring at Facebook with an empty head and even emptier stomach-what if there were actual support groups that bloggers could join if they needed help with certain things?  And it went downhill from there…

Having technical issues with your blog?  Don’t understand how it all works?
Never fear, you can join B.U.T.T.S-Bloggers Undergoing Tremendous Technical Stress

Or this one:  W.H.A.T.-Writers Helping Acute Technophobes

Tired of spam? Then this group is for you!
B.R.A.S.-Bloggers Rallying Against Spammers

Are you sick of reading blogs by people who slept through English class?
I could so join this one in a heartbeat:
C.A.G.S-Crimes Against Grammar and Spelling.

Are you one of those people and are admittedly in need of help?  How about joining R.A.W.M.E.A.T.-Read And Weep, My Editing is Always Dreadful

Spending too much time blogging?  Then you need a support group!
I.N.E.E.D.B.I.B.S-I Never Eat, Excrete, or Dream Because I’m Blogging Seriously

AND there are some that sadly just need to join this group.
B.O.O.B.S-Bloggers Obviously Only Being Stupid.

What support group do you think you need to join?  Don’t you think the world would be a better place if these actually existed? Wait… don’t answer that…

Librarian and Mom by day, blogger very late at night, Sarah Almond The Sadder But Wiser Girl knows a thing or two about sleep deprivation, chocolate consumption, and cheap wine. Check out her random creative outbursts at her blog Bring caffeine.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

8 People I Love To Hate At The Gym

I'm a sucker for those late night weight loss infomercials, and as a result, own a library of workout DVDs and a machine that transforms into a torturous, in-home gym. At first I enjoyed exercising on my own schedule in the privacy of my home. I wore my ratty, Lycra shorts from the late 1980's and didn't care if I looked like a Richard Simmons reject.

After months of listening to the same, peppy instructors encouraging me to sweat through the pain, I wanted to kickbox the television. It didn't help that my daily exercise regimen included an audience of snickering children.

I ditched the DVDs in favor of a membership at a women's gym. Now I actually look forward to my workouts, but this enjoyment comes with a price. And I'm not talking about the cost of a one-year membership. While most of the gym women are considerate, there are those who make the experience less than pleasurable:

MIRROR HOGS: These are the women who run into class late and scoot in front to get a spot by the mirror. Coincidentally, they're the same people who lack coordination and throw the entire class off. I can't be responsible for what happens if my elbow connects with their face.

YAPPERS: After living on rabbit food for a month, the last thing I want to hear about is your orgasmic experience with a seven layer brownie cake.

POOPERS: These ladies drop their stink bombs off in the gym bathroom before hitting the treadmills. I understand the need to clean out the bowels before working out, but do us all a favor and take your fiber supplements AFTER you exercise.

DNA SWAPPERS: Some people think nothing of leaving sweat puddles on the equipment or hacking up a lung while recovering from the flu. DNA samples are not necessary unless a forensics team needs them after drawing your chalk outline on the gym floor.

CHRONIC FARTERS: These women have blow holes like whales and no interest in corking it for the sake of other people's olfactory systems. When I zumba into their fart clouds, my nose hairs feel singed and my eyes water as if I've been hit by tear gas.

EXHIBITIONISTS: Women who come to the gym in shorts that reveal every inch of uncovered lady bits and tank tops begging for a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Go buy a freakin' bra.

EQUIPMENT HOGS: These people get lost in a daydream and sit for an hour on the machine instead of doing their reps. Makes me wish I had a pocket defibrillator or a taser to shock them into moving.

BARBIE DOLLS: You know the type. Perfect bodies. Botoxed out the butt....and yet they whine, “OMG, I need to lose 20 pounds!” Just. Shut. Up.

The real heroes of the gym are the 70+ crowd of ladies still shaking their retired money makers in class. I admire their fortitude and hope to be just like them when I'm older. Flatulence and all.

***This week you can also find Menopausal Mother dishing on what it's like to be married to a menopausal man at:   

***I also did a funny interview over at Questionable Choices In Parenting this week. You can find it here:

***Last but not least, Meno Mama was featured again on one of her favorite sites, The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop! You can read my funny take on aging here:

Wish me luck, Folks-----heading out next week to my very first humor writer's conference (Erma Bombeck Conference) in Ohio!! WHOO-HOO!!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Bryan Jones' Diary-The Ramblings Of A Menopausal Man

      I am SO EXCITED to introduce you to my special WWW guest today----Gary Sidley of  Bryan Jones' Diary-The Ramblings Of A Menopausal Man! Naturally I was drawn to his blog because of the name "Menopausal Man," but I was even more thrilled to discover a kindred spirit in him. He could easily be my better half in the blogosphere since we share so many of the same, midlife symptoms. I love the fact that he finds the humor in aging….and oh, what I wouldn't give to meet this hilarious man in person to compare notes! Gary's blog is one of the funniest ones out there and a refreshing change since it's written from the male perspective. Do yourself a favor ladies AND GENTLEMEN, and check out Gary's blog. I promise you this comedic writer knows how to deliver the belly laughs. Please welcome him to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!



I’m thrilled to have been asked by my Internet soul-mate, Marcia Kester Doyle, to contribute a guest post to her splendid ‘Menopausal Mother’ blog. But what topic would be suitable for such an esteemed host? In keeping with the maxim, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ I opted to steal one of Marcia’s ideas. A few weeks ago she posted a hilarious list describing the advantages associated with being a menopausal lady. So today I give you the male version: the eight best things about being a 55-year-old man.

1. Hugging women
At my age, I can hug younger women without them believing I’m trying to get into their pants. And it’s true, I’m not. Honest! There are times when I just enjoy interacting with females. But then again, maybe it’s because I’m aware that, at a wrinkled and greying 55, I have more chance of winning Simon Cowell’s X-Factor than extracting sexual favours from attractive young ladies – not that I’m seeking such reactions (just in case my good lady’s reading!).

2. Answering quiz questions
Although not gifted with extensive general knowledge, over half a century of wandering the planet – usually, but not always, with my eyes and ears open - has endowed me with sufficient experience to correctly answer the occasional question on TV game-shows, thereby impressing members of the younger generation. So whether the jackpot-winning question is, ‘What was the first number 1 record by the Rolling Stone?’ or ‘Who was the goalkeeper in England’s 1966 World-Cup-winning team?’ I can give the (misleading) impression of being extraordinarily clever.

3. Hemorrhoid expert
Since my throbbing, bulbous friends pitched their tents deep within the crevice of my arse two decades ago, I have developed into a world authority on the subject of hemorrhoids. Whether you wish to know about the range of ointments available, the pros and cons of the surgical options or buttock positioning to minimize pain, I’m your man.

4. Pooing in peace
As my wife and two grown-up children are familiar with the eccentricities of my bowel – an enigmatic bit of tubing that randomly alternates between frenzy and stagnation – they no longer disturb me when I am sitting on the toilet. Therefore, I am able to spend a peaceful hour on my throne, reading a book or newspaper, without intrusion. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I suffer with hemorrhoids!

5. Wisdom
My hair may no longer be ebony, and my features droopy rather than chiselled, but advancing years have bestowed upon me a wisdom I didn’t possess in my younger days. When I’m criticized I’m able to laugh at my short-comings, in stark contrast to my 23-year-old son who responds to disapproval with a hissy fit and a life-threatening elevation in blood pressure. When out with my wife, and an attractive young woman wanders into view, I choose my words carefully; where once I might have said, ‘Wow, look at the arse on that!’ I now say, ‘That bonny lass reminds me of you, darling.’ (I suspect this change may have extended my life-expectancy!)

6. Kids, it’s payback time
It is a time of life when one can settle a few old scores, by punishing my grown-up children for all the hassle they’ve caused me over the years with their tantrums, thoughtlessness and verbal abuse. So when my 23-year-old son plucks up the courage to bring his girlfriend to our house, it just happens to coincide with me flicking through the family photograph album and passing around the snap of my 3-year-old son bare arsed on a beach in Corfu. And when my 19-year-old daughter invites her mates around for a girly night watching a video, I just happen to wander into the room, without trousers, loudly asking my wife to remind me what time the swingers’ party starts.

7. No more early arrivals
Many years ago, as a virile, warm-blooded young man, sexual encounters were characterized by plentiful energy, plentiful excitement, plentiful lust, but little staying power. Indeed, on occasions I arrived before I’d set off (if you know what I mean). None of that nonsense these days; no sirree! There’s nothing premature about me at 55 - although it might require the perseverance of a single-handed, transatlantic rower to deliver me to the destination!

8. Less laundry bills
There was once a time when I repeatedly changed my clothes. A fresh shirt and trousers were required each morning while socks exited my top drawer at a rate of two pairs per day. At 55, I’m a tad less fastidious. My Wrangler jeans can last a fortnight, a T-shirt about the same. And as for my boxer shorts, they tend to crawl off on their own after seven days of heavy-duty wear.

Yes, there are definitely some distinct advantages of being a menopausal male; for me, that is, rather than for those who have to live with me.


Gary Sidley is a freelance writer who recently opted for early retirement following 33 years of continuous employment in the UK’s psychiatric services, mostly as a clinical psychologist. Since retirement, his writing focus is shared between a humor blog (Bryan Jones Diary), humor articles for magazines, and criticisms of western psychiatry (his book, Tales from the Madhouse; an insider critique of psychiatric practice will be published later this year).

More of Gary's mental health stuff can be found on:

Humor articles and chit-chat

Friday, March 28, 2014

Are We Raising An Ungrateful Generation?

     The other day I got into an argument with my youngest teenager. He was complaining about our family's strapped financial situation and was quick to point an accusatory finger at me. He understands that I'm a struggling writer trying to earn a buck, but he couldn't resist asking when I was going to get a REAL job. The argument quickly turned sour and I wondered why I felt the need to defend my reasons to a belligerent teenager.
     His worst jab was yet to come when he questioned what I'd done for him and for our family. His question cut to the bone. I stared at him in disbelief and swallowed hard against the lump forming in my throat.
      I raised four children while working three in-home jobs to help support the family. I sacrificed a writing career because I was too busy wiping noses, changing diapers and breast feeding babies at all hours of the night with minimal amounts of sleep.
     What have I done for you, Son? Cooked thousands of dinners, packed your lunches, folded your laundry, cleaned your home, volunteered in your school classrooms, helped with your homework, read bedtime stories, chased away the monsters you thought lurked in your room at night, dried your tears, drove you to choir practice, to church, to school and to your friend's homes.  I sat up all night with you when you had fevers, stayed by your side after your hip surgery, stood up to the teachers who lost faith in you and spent a small fortune enrolling you in a new school for a better education. I made sure you had a roof over your head, clean clothes in your closet and a full belly every night.
     There are too many teenagers out there today like my son who are wondering what their parents have done for them. They're crossing boundaries I never dreamed of stepping over in my youth. Older values have given way to self-centeredness and greed in a throwaway society. Social networks and the anonymity behind a computer screen have enabled our children to forget their manners. Disrespect for authoritative figures is being reinforced by popular television programs that degrade adults.
     I grew up in a different generation where acts of kindness were rewarded with gratitude and love rather than monetary compensation. If we wanted something special, we earned it through diligence and hard work. Parents and the boundaries they set were respected. Broken rules were followed by strict consequences rather than empty threats.
     Our generation survived just fine without the convenience of cell phones, computers and high speed internet. We didn't need video games and 500 channels on cable TV to keep us entertained----we were too busy playing dodgeball in the streets with our neighbors until dusk. Whether our families were rich or poor, we appreciated the food on the table and the clothes on our back. People were judged on their merits and behavior, not by the designer labels they wore or the size of their bank accounts.
      In fifty years society has progressed to a generation that feels entitled to the latest in material acquisitions. People no longer have the patience to wait for what they want by working towards their goals. They have abandoned simplicity in favor of extravagance. This is not the world our children and grandchildren should be raised in.
     I've never regretted the decision to put my career on hold to stay home with my children. At times we suffered from it financially, but I'm proud of the fact that my children grew up without having everything handed to them on a silver platter. They understand the value of a dollar and the importance of a good work ethic. My youngest has yet to test his independence, but I'm hoping he'll appreciate all that we've done and be thankful for the little things that will one day be the big things in life.
     What have I done for you, Son? I've been there for you whenever you needed me. Loved you unconditionally. Helped you navigate your way through adolescence and teenage angst. Spoiled you with hugs and praise rather than a trip to the shopping mall. Taught you to be independent, to take pride in your work and become the man I always knew you could be.
     Our family may not have had much while you were growing up, but what we did have was an abundance of laughter and love. You can't put a price tag on that, and you'll be a wealthier man because of it.  

*** The other websites where you can find more Menopausal Mother blog features this week: