Friday, September 15, 2017

How To Prepare For A Hurricane In 15 Easy Steps

     As many of you know, I live in south Florida, and we just experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma last weekend. It was frightening to say the least, and despite losing much of our beautiful landscaping, our power, and our internet (gasp!), we survived unscathed, thank God.

     In order to occupy my time during the long power outage, I did what I do best when I'm stressed----I turned to humor and wrote the following post on how to prepare for a hurricane. Enjoy! 

1. Turn on weather channel. Note lines for bottled water, gas, and plywood. Hit panic mode the minute you realize you are in the "cone of concern."

2. Ignoring the gallons of available tap water from your kitchen sink, map out strategic plan to find brand name water bottles in your neighborhood. Camp outside Walmart at 5:30 a.m. until the supply truck rolls in.

3. Tune into weather channel, chew your fingernails down to bloody stubs and tell everyone on social media how frightened you are.

4. Sit in line two hours for gas. Yell obscenities at the guy taking 30 minutes to fill up ten containers for his generator.

5. Stock up on eggs, liquor and bread. Return to store for a case of Twinkies and several bags of Cheetos.

6. Watch old videos online of other catastrophic hurricanes, then tell everyone on social media that you think you might die.

7. Realize you are low on batteries and spend four hours driving around town until you find the last package for 75$ sold by some shady guy at a roadside stand. Ignore the expiration date of 07/2010 on the box.

8. Tune into weather channel and realize you need more wood, more nails, and a helluva lot more toilet paper.

9. Update your will.

10. Wash ALL of your underwear in the event you are unable to do laundry. Consider buying adult diapers. 

11. Check The Weather Channel. Eat entire tube of Pringles.

12. Cover all windows with shutters and plywood. Velcro your three cats together so you don't lose them in the storm. Hunker down in the bathtub with your mattress and the velcroed cats.

13. Consume three sacks of chocolate chip cookies while you wait out the storm. 

14. Once the hurricane passes, prepare to live in the Dark Ages in 90 degree heat with no electricity, no hot water, and people who have not bathed in a week.

15. Celebrate your survival by polishing off the rest of the Twinkies. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

The 13 Most Annoying People On Social Media (And I'm One Of Them)

     I love social media. It keeps me connected to family and friends who live near and far. It's fun catching up with everyone by reading their status updates and checking out their latest Instagram photos. My husband doesn't understand this. He had a Twitter account for all of sixty seconds before deleting it, because he thought reading about what others were eating for lunch or watching on TV was a waste of time. He's probably right about that, but Facebook is the sweet seductress who summons me at all hours of the day and night just to take a "quick peek" at the world I socialize in. Instagram is cool if I want a quick social fix though photo montages that my friends post, or Snapchat, which is FUN----but how many times can you watch someone with a photoshopped deer's nose and ears talking to you in a distorted, high pitched voice?

     As much as I love the diversity of friends that I have on social media, there are still certain types of people on the various platforms I use that annoy the heck out of me. But let's be real----I'm guilty of more than just a few of these stereotypes.......

THE SELFIE QUEENS (And Kings): Usually it's the women I see posting selfies on social media, but there are also quite a few fellows who post photos of their six-pack abs after a grueling workout at the gym. Naturally, these don't bother me so much---I rather admire them. It's kind of like flipping through the annual firefighter's calendar. But the women......geez, enough with the duck face selfies, ladies. Your normal smile is beautiful---you don't need to pucker up your lips in an attempt to like Angelina Joule or Lisa Rinna....or a mallard.

VAGUEBOOKERS: These people on Facebook drive me nuts. Stop posting things like, "Well, I didn't see THAT coming", or, "Wow, I am so over my husband after what he just did."
     Oh please, do tell. We're sitting over here on pins and needles, just watching your train wreck

THE FOODIE: You know the type----they make sure their dinner plate presentation is five-star quality before posting a pic of it on Instagram or Facebook **Raises hand** (okay, I AM GUILTY of this one). The same goes for alcoholic beverages. Hey, I'll even add a spear of fresh fruit and a paper umbrella to my drinks just to show off my flair for mixology (and to make you really, really thirsty).

THE TV EPISODE SPOILERS:  I guess these social media peeps are unaware of time zone differences. Wars have been fought and friendships lost over people posting season finale results from The Bachelor, This Is Us, or Game Of Thrones, before the rest of the population has seen the final episode.

THE PHOTO TAGGERS: I cannot stress this enough----DO NOT TAG ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN ANY PHOTOS WHERE I LOOK LIKE A TROLL. This crap always happens to me when I'm most vulnerable---like when I'm taking a three-hour power nap on a Sunday afternoon, or when I'm in the woods and have no WiFi access (ok, I'm not in the woods very often, so let's just say it happens when I'm stuck at the hardware store with Hubs and there's no internet connection whatsoever). If you are a decent friend, you will never tag me in a photo where my muffin top is bursting out in all of its glory.....or when I'm having a bad hair day and my tresses look like a used Brillo pad.

DRUNK FACEBOOKERS: Rule No.#1....never, EVER, engage with people late at night on social media when you've had one too many libations. You'll either be ranting about the injustices in the world or writing about how you want to start a GoFundMe page for endangered whales. Drunk Facebookers are also known for sending flirtatious, private messages at 3:00 am in an attempt to amp up a friendship with the object of their desire---married or not. Is this the internet equivalent to pickup lines in a bar?

THE WHINERS: These negative people (also known as "Attention Whores") have nothing better to do with their time than complain about everything and anything. They use social media as their personal diary. They're overworked, underpaid; their kids/spouse/in-laws are all a-holes, and no one appreciates them. They want your sympathy and an abundance of "likes" on their status updates to see who's listening and who actually gives a crap. Even the family dog isn't safe from their out of control ranting.

INSTAGRAM JUNKIES: These photographer-wannabes post pictures of everything from their cat cleaning its hind quarters to glorious sunsets outside their kitchen window (forgetting that everyone also sees the pile of dirty dishes sitting in the sink). I have nothing against a good photo, but for the love of all that is holy, stop posting multiple photos of your kid's DIY dorm room makeover on Instagram, or 15 different shots of the key lime pie you consumed after dinner. This stuff clogs my feed when I'm scrolling through to find what I really want----important stuff, like squirrel GIFs.

THE LOVEBIRDS: Hey, we get that you're in love with your spouse/significant other, but how many times must we be subjected to photos of you and your main squeeze lip-locked in the kitchen, the car, over a plate of steaming oysters at a trendy seafood restaurant, or in a crowded aisle at The Dollar Tree?

SOAPBOX JUNKIES: These people protest just about everything imaginable, from politics, to religious beliefs, to corporate greed, or even the price increase on a stack of pancakes at IHOP. They share their rants on social media in an attempt to sway their friends to their way of thinking, but this often backfires, leaving in its wake a trail of people who have swiftly "unfriended" you. I have to admit though, if you tell me you don't like chocolate chip pancakes, I might have to unfriend you, too.

PROUD PARENTS: I get that you're proud of your little munchkins. I'm proud of my munchkins, too, even though they're all grown up now. Perhaps if the internet had been around when my kids were born, I too, would be sharing a gazillion photos of their first smile, first bath, and the ever popular birthday-cake-smudged-face. Save all these adorable pics for the grandparents. I just want to see photos of your dog.

THE OVERZEALOUS SHARER: You know who these people are. They post stuff like, "If you believe in God, copy and paste this status on your Facebook wall"; "If you're a true friend, share this photo of a rose on Facebook, and then share it with ten more people, including me."
     You want roses? I hear they sell them by the dozen real cheap at Costco.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTERS: "Wanna buy my life-changing book? Would you like to attend a party where I'll be doing demonstrations on a miracle face cream that will erase all those stress lines you acquired after having four kids? How about decorative stickers for your nails, or bath bombs that contain faux gems? Better yet, check out my new line of natural jewelry made out of wheat grass and hemp."
     No, people, I do not want to buy anything from you, unless, of course, you're selling adorable pug puppies. However, I DO have this book about someone stealing my spandex that I'm SURE will make you laugh.... **SHAMELESSLY INSERTS AMAZON LINK HERE**

     See? I told you I'm one of the most annoying people on the internet.....

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Read my new article featured on Her View From Home: "When The Amber Alert Is For Your Son"

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fly On The Wall At Summer's End

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, nine courageous bloggers are welcoming you into their homes to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors.

     I'm sad to see that we only have a few more weeks of summer left. August has been an amazing month for us. We've had several birthdays in the family and all sorts of celebrations recently. We cracked open a bottle of champagne the day my very first article was featured on The Washington Post (WARNING: get your tissues out. You can read it HERE), something that has been on my bucket list for 2017, and then we celebrated Hub's birthday over the course of two weeks (because a Doyle celebration can never last just one day). Family gatherings have filled almost every weekend this summer, which makes me realize how fortunate I am to have all of my adult children living nearby. This has been one of our best summers yet---I can only hope that the fall will bring even more of the shenanigans that my family seems to love.

     As always, there were plenty of silly conversations going on during our gatherings, and I was lucky enough to catch a few.....

"I was just reminded of why I love being an empty nester."
"How so?"
"My youngest stopped by for the night. By the time he left, there were dirty dishes in the sink, a wet towel on the bathroom floor, a pizza box on the stove and an un-flushed toilet. Yeah, I don't miss the good ol' days of having a house full of teens...."

"I was just talking to a bluejay outside. Seriously, in bird language."
"Snow White has nothing on you."

"Cheese sticks are your remedy for everything. Hungry? Eat a cheese stick. Tired? Eat a cheese stick. Angry? Anxious? Got diarrhea? EAT A CHEESE STICK."

"I call my new fashion style, 'Anything With An Elastic Waistband'."

"I want to write a new blog post titled, '10 Reasons I'm A Good Wife.' Can you help me with it?"
"No, because I can't come up with of 10 reasons."

"Stop feeding all those little birds from our hotel balcony. If you don't stop, this place is going to look like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. "

"I think I just swallowed the wrong pill. It was supposed to be my antidepressant, but I think it was one of the dog's pills."
"Well, at least now you don't have to worry about getting fleas."

"My skin is so bad from my landscaping job, the dermatologist will think I'm using sandpaper to erase my wrinkles."

"The medical form asks what my marital status is. Doesn't that depend on the day?'"

"You know you're getting old when you visit Disney World, a place that you've been going to for thirty years, only now you have to wear a knee brace to walk around the park, and you've become like Pavlov's dogs by needing to pee every time you see a restroom sign."

     Goodbye, summer. We'll be looking forward to more celebrations in the fall!

****WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week you can find my featured essays at The Mom Life Chronicles and The Washington Post.

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

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Searching for Sanity                 http://singlemumplusone.
Spatulas on Parade                    http://spatulasonparade.
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   http://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen                http://www.bookwormkitchen. com/   
TaylorLife                                         http://www.TaylorLife. com
Cynful Thoughts                               http://hercynfulthoughts.   
Evil Joy Speaks                     

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

8 Health Benefits of Chocolate for Women

     If you love chocolate as much as I do, then today's guest blog post by Saurabh Mittal is for you! I love good chocolate, even more so now that I know about its healthy benefits. Check out this informative article and indulge in some chocolate today!

                   8 Health Benefits of Chocolate for Women

Whenever you think of giving a gift to your loved one, the first thing that comes to your mind is chocolate gift box. This is one of the best gifts that can be given at all occasions. The health benefits of chocolates are being studied for a long time now. The secret behind this is that it has the powerful substance called cocoa. It is filled with healthy chemicals such as theobromine and flavonoids. 
Hence, chocolate gifts are the best possible gift for a woman. Some of the significant health benefits of chocolate have been mentioned below.

1.    Reduces Pain
A recent study has shown that your response to pain might be delayed if you have chocolate. Thus, when you are suffering from any kind of pain, you can have chocolate and soothe the pain. This proves to be useful for women who suffer from menstrual pain.

2.    Provides Healthy Heart
Studies have also shown that chocolate offers cardiovascular benefits. If you have one serving each day, it can reduce the risk of heart failure by almost one-third. It can help in maintain the blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Random Thoughts While Sitting In A Diagnostic Lab

     Every three to four months, I'm required by my physician to have blood work done to monitor my medications. I'm not squeamish about having blood drawn, but I am squeamish about the entire process of sitting in the waiting room for an extended period of time with complete strangers.

     After reading all my emails, social media updates, and watching numerous pug videos on my cell phone, boredom sets in. As the saying goes, "An idle brain is the devil's workshop" thoughts run the gamut from recalling a meal I ate twenty years ago to imagining how panda bears mate.

     I remember watching my mom at the kitchen sink when I was young----she talked to herself while doing the dishes. Now that I'm at that age, I find myself doing the exact same thing. Luckily, I'm not mumbling out in public....yet. But my brain never shuts up. And today, while sitting in the lab waiting room, my brain kept me fully entertained:

"Geez, this room is packed. I sacrificed two extra hours of sleep and set an early morning appointment just to avoid a long wait. Now there's only two seats left. One next to a geriatric man who looks older than Moses, and one next to a burly young man with a "Money Over Bitches" tattoo on his left shoulder. I suppose I could sit next to him and we could bond over our tattoos, but I don't think he'd appreciate the tiny squirrel inked on my thumb. Okay Moses, you win."

"I wish my stomach would stop growling. No one else in this room has eaten in the past twelve hours, either. I don't hear their stomachs rumbling. Probably because they're not used to eating like a bear out of hibernation, like I do. No coffee, either, unless they like to drink it black. Beasts."

"Who is this elderly lady that wandered in? Oh Lord, she's talking to herself. Something about a yellow tabby cat that she owned when she was five. No no no, don't sit next to me. Don't make eye contact. It's too early for this shit, and I haven't had my coffee yet. I can't people right now."

"Is that a picture of a cheeseburger on the magazine cover? For the love of all that is holy, why would this place have food network magazines scattered across the table when they know damn well we've all been fasting for the past twelve hours? We should form a mutiny and steal all the employee sack lunches from the refrigerator."

"Seriously, dude? No one wants to hear why you were unable to obtain a fecal sample for the lab this early in the morning. God, I need a cup of coffee...."

"Maybe I shouldn't have eaten steak and beets covered in butter last night for dinner. It might screw up my cholesterol numbers when the blood work comes back. If the numbers are too high, my doctor is going to think I eat entire sticks of butter for breakfast."

"There should be a little relaxation room here off to the side for people who have just completed their blood work. If the lab was smart, they'd sell flavored coffees and cinnamon buns. Or maybe even cheeseburgers, like that one on that food magazine cover. They'd make a fortune! Huh. Perhaps I'm onto something here..."


"Oh great.....I've been sitting in this waiting room for thirty minutes, and now it's pouring outside. I can't drive home in that weather. I'll need a canoe just to navigate my way out of the parking lot. Forget that---it's raining harder. I'll need a yacht.

"Why the hell did that lady get called in before me? I was here first, and I had an appointment, too. And how can she look so good at this ungodly hour? Coiffed hair and perfect makeup. These people are lucky I didn't show up in my bathrobe and bunny slippers."

"Did the nurse just call my name? Yeah, it's MAR-SHA, not MAR-CEE-UH. That's fine---just find a vein quickly and gimme a cup to pee in. Hopefully those buttered beets won't show up in my test results."

     I survived my visit to the diagnostics lab and made it home safely in the rain without having to hitch a ride on Noah's ark. However, I'm still disappointed that there were no cinnamon rolls or warm coffee waiting for me after my blood work. Next time, I'm raiding the employees' fridge.

**WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I was recently featured on Perfection Pending. You can check it out here:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sizzling Summer Guest Post By Author Lorraine Miano

     I have a special guest on the site today. Please welcome Lorraine Miano, author of The Magic Of Menopause: A Holistic Guide To Get Your Happy Back. Her new book is filled with informative tips and covers all aspects of the menopause experience. Lorraine is an Integrative Certified Health Coach who is very passionate about helping women who are dealing with menopause, and her book speaks to many of us in this phase of life.

     Below is an excerpt from her book. If could like to order a copy, you can fund the link below. Please welcome Lorraine to Meno Mama's site with lots of comment love!

So, you may ask, what is so magical about menopause?

Women are conditioned to believe that menopause is a stage of life that is to be feared and even avoided if possible. They are often left confused and apprehensive when presented with misinformation or certain “myths” about “the change.” Some of these myths include assuming that weight gain is inevitable or that your sex drive will most definitely decrease. This can lead to confusion and even anxiety. Recently, I read an article that even suggested that women over the age of fifty feel as though they become “invisible.” They are made to feel as though they are not vital any longer. They are no longer fertile and may feel less attractive. These feelings may come in stages, as in the first time you aren’t asked to show your ID when purchasing a bottle of wine or when you are offered the senior discount at the movie theater. This “feeling” may even extend to the workplace.

Although great strides are being made to understand and support pregnant women, menopausal women may be left in the dust. The average age that menopause occurs is fifty-one, with symptoms lasting between two to ten years. This is an age where many women are still active in the workforce. About twenty percent of the American workforce (about twenty-seven million women) experience menopause. For many women, stress levels increase during menopause and there are times when menopausal symptoms can interfere with work. Having heavy workloads and inflexible schedules can add even more stress. Frequent hot flashes or other physical symptoms can lead to embarrassment. Women may feel harassed, negativity, and even ridicule from others in the workplace. The fact that women experiencing menopause may not want to admit they are going through it, and men are uncomfortable talking about it, makes for an even more uncomfortable work place.

Fear, anxiety, confusion, and myths do not have to define your menopausal experience. Even if you are currently experiencing terrible symptoms or have a fear of the menopausal years, I am here to tell you that with some self-care and a little guidance, you can experience, what I call, the magic of menopause. You will feel better. You will look fantastic. You will love your life! You will get your happy back! After all, if you take care of yourself, follow some simple lifestyle habits, and have a positive outlook, you may never even find a lapse in your happiness! Even if you are currently in your premenopausal years and not experiencing any unpleasant symptoms yet, by following the holistic suggestions in this book now, I can guarantee that you may find your menopause years to be the happiest years you’ve ever had. Can’t you just hear Pharrell Williams singing the soundtrack of your life?

Perimenopause is a natural progression of life. It is not a disease or something to be “cured.” The most beneficial way to deal with the symptoms of menopause is to be ready for them. By this, I mean be of a healthy body in the physical as well as emotional and psychological sense. You can begin by embracing this time of your life. A positive attitude does wonders for creating a healthy body. Use the acronym H.O.P.E.: Have Only Positive Expectations. By expecting to be happy, more than likely, you will be on your way to actually being happy.

Be prepared to do some good work here. You have to invest the time in yourself. As your menopausal fairy godmother, I would love to just wave a wand, declare I am a miracle maker, and sprinkle magic dust all over you. Nothing would make me happier then to provide you with your happy. The truth is, though, this will take some time and effort on your part. But honey, you are worth it! Every squat, four mile walk, energizing green smoothie, and meditating moment will fill your HAPPY bucket. Enough of these moments will have your bucket over flowing will all kinds of happy!

Our life is what we make of it, so I want you to make a commitment to yourself: “I will have a magical life.” Say it again and write it down. You can’t help but smile when you say it. Better yet, say, “I will LIVE a magical life.”  There. You put it out in the universe. Now go and make it happen.

“But how?” you ask. “I’m not feeling magical at all. My hot ashes, plump belly, irritable moods, anxiety, hair loss, lack of energy, lack of sleep, lack of libido, and dry vagina all tell me... ‘Magical?’ I can think of a few choice words for what I am experiencing. This is as far from magical as you can get.”

I am here to tell you that you have it in you! You will find that working from the inside out will give you a life you could only imagine. You can live the life you crave! Follow my simple guidelines, do some good work, and stardust will be swirling all around you. You will discover the magic of menopause.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Fly On The Wall In A Silly House

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, Eight bloggers are inviting you into their homes to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors.

     Summertime in south Florida is ridiculously hot, and sometimes the intense heat fries our brains. That's the only explanation I have for the weird things that have been said around my house this past month......

"I'm scared to book a cruise. I've never been on one before."
"Come on, Mom, it'll be fun. Let's just go ahead and make the reservations!"
"No way---I remember how Titanic ended."
"Mom, there are no icebergs in the Bahamas......"

"You know your marriage is strong when you can survive head lice or a termite invasion without killing each other."

"That meat was awful and so tough. It wasn't prime rib---tasted more like prime cat."

"Coffee is my magic elixir."
"Well, they just said in the news that coffee promotes longevity."
"In that case, I'm going to live longer than Betty White."

"I really want to breed our pup at least once before he gets neutered. I need to find a good breeder."
"What are you trying to do, pimp out our pug?"

"I went on social media for just a few minutes. Two hours later, there I was, watching Youtube videos on how to toilet train cats. And I don't even own a cat."

"You have millionaire tastes on a chicken nugget budget."

"I'm starting a new diet, but I'm allowing myself one cheat day a week."
"Yeah, I said that once too, but my cheat day lasted a whole year."

ME: "This ice cream cone is stale" (continues to eat all the ice cream inside). "Here, I don't want anymore. You can have the rest."
HUBS: (Stares at empty, soggy bottom of cone) "How generous of you....."

"Just because I came from an era when there were no microwave ovens or cable TV does NOT mean that there were dinosaurs roaming the earth when I was born."

"I'm starving! When is dinner?"
"Not for awhile. I have to feed and walk the dogs first."
"I guess I know my place in the family food chain...."

"Stop showing me these graphic photos on the internet of human oddities. They'll give me nightmares of waking up with a tail."

"You never realize how little self control you have until someone walks into the room with a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

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

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Searching for Sanity                 http://singlemumplusone.
Go Mama O                              http://www.
Spatulas on Parade                    http://spatulasonparade.
A Little Piece of Peace                 http://little-piece-of-peace.
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   http://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen                http://www.bookwormkitchen. com/                                       


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