Friday, February 16, 2024

Fly On The Wall In February, The Month Of Love

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. If you read my January FOW post, you know I was a little down with post-holiday blues, but that has all changed now because there has been some really cool stuff happening around here. 

So today, there are three of us bloggers welcoming you into our homes to see what goes on behind closed doors. However, since February is the month of love, you might want to knock first before entering our houses.....! 

Yes, love is in the air while the Valentine's Day celebrations continue. And what an extraordinary month it has been so far! February is Super Bowl month and usually I'm not a football person, but when the KC Chiefs are playing, I AM ALL IN!! We are huge Chiefs fans here since Hubs is from KC and I went to college in Missouri (plus I'll admit I have a massive crush on Patrick Mahomes!) and, of course, the whole Kelce--Taylor Swift thing is always fun to watch. I thought the 9'ers would win, but Mahomes did not disappoint in the last three seconds of the game, making football history. We hosted a Super Bowl party here, so I'm sure the entire block heard us screaming. 

February is also the month that the Florida Renaissance Festival begins here. I haven't been yet this season (GASP! I never used to miss a weekend!!), but I plan on going this Saturday. After all these years, I still dress up, but my desire to fuss with fancy costumes is getting less and less as I get older. Right now, it's all about comfort and removing my undergarments efficiently to use the portable bathrooms!! Luckily, there are always some weird people in even weirder get-ups at these events, so I'll be sure to post some pics in my next Fly On The Wall post in March. 

Another reason February has been an extraordinary month for us is that we finally pulled the trigger and bought into our 40-year dream of owning our very own RV! YES, we did it!! And she's a beauty! 

For those who enjoy RVing, this small travel trailer is the perfect size for the two of us at 18ft. We got a really sweet deal on her and cannot wait to take her out for her first road trip. She has all the modern conveniences we could ever want, and I'm having a blast decorating her the way I imagined my first RV would be. Her name is LUCY, and she will be a part of our family for a long time. The kids are already arguing over who gets to go with us first on a camping trip, but I'm rooting for my fur babies! 

If you read last month's FOW post "Year Of The Wood Dragon," you already know the exciting news I shared about my new job as a Yahoo Life columnist (yes, I am still writing for AARP as well....gotta pay for that new RV somehow!). My first column came out a few weeks ago, and I am thrilled to say it was super successful--it went viral! I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this job! The 1st column focused on babysitting grandkids, and ohhhhh man, there are some disgruntled grandparents out there who are unhappy with their family situations. Next month's column will address "bratty behavior" in some grandkids who have been raised by "permissive parenting" and what a grandparent should do (or NOT do) about it. Stay tuned...... 

I hope you had a loving Valentine's Day with lots of hugs, smooches, and chocolate---there better have been some chocolate!! As always, be humble, be grateful. Hubs and I have a favorite quote from poet Robert Browning that we live by: "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be!"

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Catch my debut grandparenting column for Yahoo Life HERE. Over at AARP, I have a recipe piece on libido-boosting foods (just in time for the month of love) that you can read HERE. You can also find other AARP articles on perfect one-pot meals HERE and easy, beautiful desserts HERE. Enjoy!

Now go check out these other blogs participating in Fly On The Wall today...but remember to knock before entering!!

Baking In A Tornado                      

Menopausal Mother                        

On the Border                               

Friday, January 19, 2024

Fly On The Wall In The Year Of The Wood Dragon

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 opening our doors so that you can see what has been going on in our homes this past month.

I'm not a huge fan of January....I always get a little moody once the holidays are over. Taking down my Christmas tree and the house decorations always makes me sad. Time is passing by so quickly, but it reinforces my belief that every moment we have on this planet should be cherished....even the mundane stuff. Hey, at least in Florida I'm not dealing with snow-mageddon like most of my northern friends. Last month, we had our share of the Kringlecane experience. 

I really enjoyed my 2 weeks off during the holidays when I didn't have to worry about deadlines---the only thing on my mind was eating cookies and visiting friends. But here we are, back to counting calories and writing assignments. HOWEVER, something pretty cool happened right after the Chinese "Year Of The Wood Dragon" started: I was approached by the head editor of Yahoo Life who found my work recently on several websites and asked if I'd like a part-time job writing an advice column for grandparents! Say WHAAAA? It won't interfere with my job writing for AARP, either, as I have the freedom to pick my own hours. So of course, I said YES, because this is yet another dream job! My first column will appear later this month and I am so stoked (but also bracing myself for internet trolls who will undoubtedly disagree with some of the things I say.) 

Anyhoo.... I haven't had a chance to let the pesky fly eavesdrop on funny conversations with the family, but I do have holiday photos to share. Please indulge me while I relive the holidays...and beyond.....

Three of my sweet grandbabies on Christmas morning

Stealing snuggles from my oldest son

Poppi giving grandson Sage a big smooch
...also having him watch a Chief's game. GO CHIEFS!

Look what Santa brought me! For years I've wanted a tandem bike to ride with Mac! Off we goooooo!!!

My adorables on Christmas morning!

Spiderman in the house!

Celebrating Christmas morning with the entire family--my
youngest boy arrived first.

My 4th grandbaby just turned 2 months old. Sweet boy!

In my happy place.......

New Year's Eve celebration at our favorite restaurant. Happy Year Of The Wood Dragon!!!

***Want more Meno Mama? Check out my latest for AARP/The Ethel---it's all about my special soup recipes to warm you up this winter! You can read it HERE 

Be sure and check out what the fly has been doing at Karen's house at BAKING IN A TORNADO to see what she has been up to this month!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Fly On The Wall During The Holiday "Kringlecane"

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 inviting you into our homes to see what a fly sees---all the fun stuff that goes on behind closed doors.

The fly at our house has been all abuzz about the newest member of our family--a grandson who is now over a month old. In case you missed it---I shared the announcement and photos in last month's November Fly On The Wall Goes Camping  post. Mateo is such a cutie and a blessing to our family!

It has been a very busy/festive holiday month so far, but for awhile, we thought Christmas might be cancelled due to an unusual weather occurance which Floridians are now calling Kringlecane 2023.
 We had nasty weather for four days very similar to hurricane conditions. The famous Ft. Lauderdale Boat Parade was canceled for the first time ever in over 45 years, but luckily, the storm did not interfere with any of my party plans. We have been enjoying all the sights and sounds of the holidays and embracing the blessings God has given to us.

I also created a new tradition on social media of sharing an "ornament of the day" each day this month. I share a photo of a special ornament and then ask the readers to send me pics of theirs that are similar in theme (oldest, newest, memorial, most sparkly, vacation-bought, heirloom, anniversary, etc.). The response has been great and I'm really enjoying this new tradition! 

I'm happy to say that my decorating, shopping, baking, and gift wrapping is finally done and I plan to just RELAX this weekend with friends and family to soak in all the holiday goodness. I'm like a little kid when it comes to Christmas morning---seeing everyone gathered around the tree, and this year, we have a houseful (my house is SMALL...yikes!) but I can't wait to see those beautiful, smiling faces! 

So here are "some" snapshots of our holiday fun so far.....get ready for a massive photo dump!! And don't mind the pesky fly buzzing around---he's probably drunk on my special eggnog! 


***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Here's where you can find me this month: AARP/The Girlfriend--Holiday Cocktail recipes HERE Holiday Regifting Rules HERE and Holiday Side Dishes HERE. Then on AARP/The Ethel, you can gobble up my famous Christmas cookie recipes HERE Lastly, if you are looking for good, inexpensive wines from Trader Joe's, check out my latest article for Family Minded HERE

Now go buzz around Karen's house at Baking In A Tornado to see what she has been up to over the holidays!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Amberen's Modern Menopause Relief: Not Your Mother's Menopause Supplement

Are you suffering from menopause symptoms? Then, you're probably aware of the numerous medications available for relief that range from pills to topical creams, drops, and herbal beverages. But I've discovered a new supplement by Amberen that actually works well with regulating hormones and relieving many uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. 

Amberen is a pioneering company in menopause treatment that recently introduced a natural gummy supplement that targets both the physical and emotional symptoms associated with the "change of life." Similar to their popular capsule formula, Amberen's Advanced Menopause Relief Gummy is a new formula offering multi-symptom relief all day and night. It has been clinically proven to effectively (and safely!) alleviate 12 of the most common discomforts of menopause, such as:

hot flashes

night sweats

mood swings


low libido

joint aches

weight gain 



joint pain

low energy


Results have shown that 91% of women using Amberen's Advanced Menopause Relief Gummies report fewer hot flashes and 87% claim they are getting better sleep. In addition, 78% have experienced less night sweats, and 97% felt less anxiety and stress. *These results are based on a 90-day randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving women with mild to moderate issues with menopause. 

So, how does it work? The orange-flavored gummy is taken daily (2 gummies) with your first meal. The tasty gummies work differently than most supplements and are 100% drug-free, estrogen-free, hormone-free, soy-free, plus gluten and caffeine-free. Its effectiveness is due to the unique formulation of bioactive antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, and vitamin E that help the body self-regulate hormone production, thus reducing menopause symptoms. In essence, the gummy can be considered as a form of self-care

Backed by 45 years of scientific research, Amberen's natural menopause relief supplements have been clinically proven to restore hormonal balance with no registered side effects. It is the company's mission to help women gently transition into menopause with as few symptoms as possible. 

Why let menopause disrupt your life? Are you ready to shed the discomfort of hot flashes, moodiness, weight gain, and all of the other unpleasant symptoms of menopause? Treat yourself to sweet relief and order Amberen's Advanced Menopause Relief Gummies HERE:

*Disclaimer: The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Fly On The Wall Goes Camping (And Welcomes Our Newest Family Member!)

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking in A Tornado. Today, three of us are welcoming you to our homes to see what goes on behind closed doors.

The nosy fly followed us all the way to Lake Griffin State Park for our most recent camping trip. There weren't many flies accompanying him but lots and lots of his cousins---mosquitos. Luckily, we brought plenty of repellents and enjoyed 4 blissful days of hiking trails around the lake, playing cards (I'm still the "war" game champion!!) and cornhole (which I also kicked butt at and beat hubs most of the time), chatting with other campers, and eating way more food than I care to mention. I'd heard there were lots of gators and bears in this park, so Hubs was kinda paranoid. He carried bear spray with him EVERYWHERE and jumped whenever he heard a rusting in the bushes. 

Well, we never saw any critters like that. I was just happy to sip coffee outside while watching the sunrise and drinking cocktails in the evening during some pretty spectacular sunsets. It was chilly in the evenings, so we always had the fire pit going and of course, all of our meals came off the grill. As I've mentioned before, camping/RVing is THE BEST LIFE and one of the most inexpensive vacations you can take. I'm already filling up my calendar for next year! 

While camping, the fly was privy to some weird conversations with my Hubs. Beer may or may not have been involved.....

"Don't get your face too close to the fire---you might singe your eyebrows. When was the last time you trimmed them? They look like hairy caterpillars." 

"Did you ever consider that this was how early man looked? Their bushy eyebrows worked like a sun shade for their eyes."

"Well, you need to trim them because right now you look like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." Or maybe a deranged man with IBS--Irritable Eyebrow Syndrome." 

"I think I still have some grilled steak stuck in my molars. Did you bring floss?"

"Yes, but you should get one of those electric toothbrushes for your teeth since you never go to the dentist for a deep cleaning."

"Nah. Plyers do just as good of a job."

"There are so many mosquitos out here. And why are they only swarming around me?"

"Because you are their human buffet."

"Let's walk this trail--the sign says it's an untamed trail."

"I don't like anything untamed---including my wife!"

"Geez, that woodpecker is HUGE and he looks mean. I think he is a Hells Angel woodpecker."

"Yep---that's why he has a tattoo on his wing that says Big Pecker."

"Honey, that female park ranger is checking you out!"

"Nobody stares at a man my age like that unless they own a funeral home."

"Hot off the grill---another plate of pigs-in-a-blanket for you"

"No more---I'm too full. Those things should be called pigs in a colon."

After all the fun and games of camping, we returned home for Halloween festivities with the family and then we were blessed with the arrival of a new grandbaby! This is my fourth! We now have 2 girls and 2 boys. My daughter gave birth to Mateo Grey Lira on November 10 in the afternoon. He weighed a WHOPPING 9lbs. 10 oz., larger than any baby this family has ever seen. Mom and Dad are doing great and settling into their new home with sweet Mateo and their two lovely daughters. 

There were plenty of jokes about Mateo's size--we had some bets going, but NO ONE guessed he would be THIS big. He came out looking like a toddler and yes, he has a healthy appetite (a Doyle trait). I sent Hubs to the store for a baby balloon to take to the hospital and this is what happened: 

"I asked you to pick up an 'It's a boy' balloon for Jen. Why did you buy a 'proud-of-you' balloon instead?"

"Because they were out of them. Besides, her baby is gigantic and the store certainly didn't have a balloon that said, 'Congrats, it's a manatee!'"

Well, Mateo may be the size of a baby manatee, but he's a helluva lot cuter and we are SMITTEN! Welcome to the family, darling boy. Next week, Thanksgiving will be extra special because we have so many blessings to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

***Want more Meno Mama? It has been another busy month writing! I had a few recipe pieces published on AARP/THE GIRLFRIEND that you can read here: Slow cooker recipes, and easy appetizers. Over at AARP/THE ETHEL, I have a new piece up for the perfect Thanksgiving meal with these holiday recipes. Lastly, I have 2 more articles published on ALWAYS PETS. One is about Disobedient Cats, and the other is about the World's Most Dangerous Mammals. A very fun and productive month for this freelancer! Enjoy!

Now go follow the nosy fly to some other homes to see what these bloggers have been up to!

Baking In A Tornado                      


What TF Sarah                           


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