Friday, March 8, 2019

The Pug Hoarder

     I've reached that empty nest stage in life where I should be collecting cats so that everyone can accuse me of being a cat lady....but instead, I hoard pugs. Right now I have three, and I'd have a lot more if my husband didn't keep deleting my emails from the pug rescue website. Those smooshie noses and big ol' bug eyes get me every time. The pug head tilt is my undoing!

     The three dogs I have are all quite distinctive, and I spoil them rotten because they're my fur babies and they deserve the best! My oldest (and first) pug was found in the streets of Miami, orphaned by his family. It didn't take me long to figure out why---Brewski has a bladder valve that I swear is constantly open. Doesn't matter if he's outside or inside; every tree and every sofa leg is fair game to him. He wears doggy diapers, but sometimes they spring a leak. Needless to say, I spend a lot on carpet cleaners. But he has a gentle soul and loves nothing more than to have his lower back scratched while we're on the couch together, binge watching Netflix. Yes, Brewski loves watching The Crown.

     My second pug was also found wandering the city streets alone when a dog rescue group saved her from the pug-thug life. Savi is my diva princess; the Kardashian of pugs. Doggy tiaras were invented for girls like her. If it's raining outside, she refuses to get her delicate paws wet and would much rather take a dump on my expensive carpet. She also hoards 2/3rds of the bed at night and snores like a freight train. Did I mention that she prefers satin sheets? Savi is my spirit animal; a spoiled girl who values her naps and expects to be hand-fed filet mignon. But she is also an affectionate girl who sits on my lap and stares at me with adoration in her eyes as if I am a human pork chop.

     My youngest pug is the first dog I ever bought as a puppy from a breeder. If the Energizer Bunny and the Tasmanian Devil ever mated, Yoda would be the result. He just turned two, but he's a "late maturing puppy." There is no such thing as boundaries for this pug; he has no problem sitting on your face, biting your ears or licking your nostrils until you pay attention to him. If you don't like getting a doggy facial, I advise you to pick up the nasty wet sock he drops in your lap and play a rousing game of tug-of-war. Sometimes I wonder if the organic dog food I give him is laced with caffeine. He runs around the room, scaling the couches and coffee table at speeds that even Mario Andretti would envy.

     The thing about Yoda is that he likes to, EVERYTHING. He whittled my wooden barstool legs down to toothpicks and turned his doggy bed into a loose pile of fluffy cotton. But I found a way to beat him at his own game by purchasing a special dog bed that is chew-proof. Same goes for his toys. He needed something that would last, and I'm relieved that I found indestructible  dog toys to keep him busy so that I don't have to come home to a sofa that looks like it has been put through a Chipper Shredder. I could never get angry at him, though. All he has to do is flash those big brown eyes at me and I melt.

     This is my life with pugs, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's always room for more....just don't tell my husband....


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lockbox: Why Do Seniors Need One?

     I once worried about losing precious heirlooms and important documents until I heard about lockboxes. I've taken extra security measures since then to ensure that the items I hold dear will remain safe. What about you? Have you taken these steps to protect your own belongings?

     Today on the blog I have Will Bail, a freelance link-builder and web designer who is here to share the importance of owning a lockbox, which is especially advantageous for seniors who often forget where they've stored important items.
                               Lockbox: Why Do Seniors Need One?

Increasing Security In Your Home 

Just because you've retired or reached the next phase of your life doesn't mean you're safe from criminals. If anything, you may become a key target. However, if the standard security measures aren't something you want around the home, there is a method that you can easily utilize in your home. Lockboxes remain one of the best methods for keeping your items safe. By having an experienced and expert locksmith like those at South Perth Locksmiths craft the perfect lockbox for your needs, you can benefit in the following ways. 

1. Keep Medications Safe 

One inevitable aspect of senior life is medications. Prescription medications can be quite expensive, and there are always criminals looking to steal them. You can keep those medications in a safe storage place whenever you don't need them with a lockbox. It's also a great way to make sure that the grandchildren don't get into the medication. Despite all of your best intentions, all it takes is just a few minutes of looking elsewhere for children to get into things that might harm them. You can ensure their safety by storing those medications into a lockbox. 

2. Documents 

In the senior phase of life, you're going to need to keep a lot of documents on hand. That information on the document is extremely important to keep private. If you have caretakers in the home or even guests, you don't need to take any chances of them taking the information for identity theft purposes. With a lockbox, you can safely store those important documents within it. Not only does it keep them safe, but it also keeps them organized. So, if you need to access that information, you and those you trust can easily grab the desired document from within the lockbox. 

3. Heirlooms 

Over the course of your life, you've likely found precious objects that have a monetary or sentimental value. These objects may be something that you one day wish to pass down to your children or grandchildren. One excellent way to keep those heirlooms safe is to store them in a lockbox. Not only does this help prevent theft, but it can also keep them protected from potential damage. 

4. Jewelry 

To keep the precious jewelry that you've collected over the years safe, you should store it in a lockbox. It's easy to lose jewelry if it's kept in drawers or in smaller boxes. For your own personal peace of mind, you can store all of the small and big pieces of jewelry in one place. A lockbox keeps it safe, protected from damage, and it offers the chance to organize them. 

For added security in your home, you can use a lockbox to store your medication, important documents, heirlooms, your jewelry, and other precious items. Not only will those items be safe from criminals, but they're also kept in one place for easy access when you need them.


Will Bail is a freelance link-builder and web developer. He has an adventurous mind but seldom travels as he would rather stay home and make client's business website more visible on internet. When not working you can find him playing nintendo games or hanging out at the church.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fly On The Wall In Fun February

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, six brave bloggers are welcoming you into their homes for a sneak peek at what goes on behind closed doors.

     As for the Doyles, we've been exercising our right to have fun. There's just something about the cooler temps that makes us frisky.... It started with a family trip to Disney World, then a 1970's birthday bash, which was followed by my son's annual beer sampling party, along with all the excitement surrounding his upcoming nuptials. What's next for us? THE RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL where anything and everything goes, especially one's modesty.

     In the meantime, here are a few snippets of conversation the fly overheard recently....

"These are some of the side effects of my medication.....nausea, burning, peeling and blistering. I'm surprised molting isn't on the list....."

"What did you feed the dog? She smells!"
"I gave her some sweet potatoes."
"That explains her gaseous, sweet potato fumes."

"Thank you for buying me one of these new fangled weighted blankets for sleep. It works, but it's so heavy, I can barely roll over. If the house ever catches on fire, I'll become toast because I can't escape from the bed."

"That dog is your shadow."
"More like a hemorrhoid."

"I'm packing both knee braces and our wrist braces for the trip."
"What are we, the orthopedic family??"

"Thanks for serving me the largest slice of apple pie known to mankind. I feel like I just consumed an entire apple tree."

"The plumber fixed our clogged sink drains."
"What was wrong with them?"
"Too much hair.....probably from all the pets. I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled out a cat or two."

     It just wouldn't be a proper FLY post if I didn't share some photos of my crazy family.

                  Hanging out in Disney World. Gotta love mouse ears.


                                           1970's Birthday Bash

Gee, do you think my sweet Alessandra is a happy Girl? Yeah, that smile says it all.

                                       Beer Tasting Party 2019

             My darling Isabella is excited about her uncle's upcoming nuptials.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? You can find me this week on The Sisters' Hood where I'm talking about The Seven Dwarfs Of Menopause.

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

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Menopausal Mother          
Spatulas on Parade         
Follow me home                
The Bergham Chronicles 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sneak Peek: Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's "Finding My Badass Self"

     I'm very excited to share with you today an excerpt from author Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's book, Finding My Badass Self: A Year Of Truths And Dares. Sherry spent a year of her life staring down her fears by trying new experiences that were far outside of her comfort zone. Some of these unusual experiences included going on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team, exfoliating a rhinoceros, and crashing a wedding.

     Finding My Badass Self is a celebration of Sherry's courageous journey into the unknown during a transformative time, proving that it's still possible to reinvent one's self even in the midlife years. The book is a great read and one that inspires us to push past our fears in order to discover our true mettle in a world brimming with new possibilities.

 But don't just take my word for it---check out the excerpt below and order your copy today!

                               BEARING IT AT THE BEACH

When visiting a nude beach, I figured a sunbather should bring along three things: plenty of sunscreen, an extra-large towel and, of course, her seventy-five-year-old mother.
Sure, the last item seemed a wildcard. But, when each of my formerly fun sisters vetoed this side trip during our family vacation in south Florida, my mother hesitated only briefly.
“Just be sure to mention we both kept our clothes on,” she said.
“Um, maybe I didn’t clarify that,” I replied. “I’ll be going au naturel, too.”
“Oh.” She pondered this. “Well, then please don’t sit near me. I saw you naked as a baby, and I don’t really care to anymore.”
Huh. So, my mother recoiled at the idea of seeing her own daughter naked yet hardly flinched at the thought of viewing dozens of strangers letting it all hang out? As I considered the scenario, I decided I wouldn’t wish to sit next to her on the beach if she were naked either.
Apparently, awkward nudity is something best reserved for total strangers.
We made the one-hour trek down to Haulover Beach, near Miami, on a windy, overcast afternoon. As we approached the warning sign on the beach that noted, “Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers,” I reminded my mother about the rules of Nude Beach Social Etiquette that I’d researched on the Internet. The first was to keep your eyes on the other sunbathers’ faces and not on their other body parts.
“Do not ogle or stare,” the website instructed. “Nude sunbathers expect eye contact if they choose to be spoken to.” Sound advice, although I was certain neither my mother nor I was eager to strike up a conversation face-to-face, or face-to-other-body-part, with anyone.
Just a few feet within this legal and “special” area of the beach, we encountered a man—sans even a Speedo—walking in our direction. I had little trouble not ogling him since I was preoccupied with helping my unsteady mother negotiate, with her cane, across the mounds of sand.
But we were immediately interrupted by his deep voice, prompting both of us to look up. “This sand is hard to walk on, isn’t it?” he said.
My mom paused, leaning on her cane, and nodded.
“Yes, it is,” she replied. She smiled at him. He smiled back. I grabbed her arm and pulled her away.
We trudged about three feet farther before she leaned in and whispered to me. “Did you see how good I did? I made really good eye contact.”
I snorted, calling bullshit. Neither of us had maintained full contact with the man’s two blue eyes. No matter how much we tried, how could we avoid his third eye, when it was right out there, only a few inches away?
Next, we passed by a bronzed Adonis. Fortyish. Dark, wavy hair. Holy Mother of God! Was he standing at half-mast? I yanked my mother’s arm once again, before either of them had a chance to speak.
We continued on a bit and found a sheltered place, next to a stack of rental lounge chairs, for my mother to settle in. I headed down the beach. As I plodded across the sand, I glanced around. The winds were high and the sky was slightly ominous, so the beach wasn’t nearly as crowded as advertised. Although it was publicized as a family-oriented nude beach, I didn’t spot a single child. I saw very few women, either.
Ninety-five percent of the sunbathers were men. Some lay spread-eagle on the sand, their hands behind their heads. Several roamed the beach, in what I could only assume they believed to be their untethered glory.

It was a blustery day. All around me, dozens of winkydinks waved in the wind. I didn’t wave back.


Sherry Stanfa-Stanley is an award-winning writer, humorist, and squeamish adventurer. Her 2017 memoir, Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,chronicles her insane and enlightening year of misadventures. Sherry’s work appears in The RumpusHealthy AgingFirst for Women, and The Huffington Post, and in the anthologies Fifty Shades of Funny, Laugh Out Loud, and You Do You. An empty nester, she now indulges a menagerie of badly behaved pets. 




Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Best Phones For Seniors

     When I got my first cell phone many years ago, I had no clue how to use it. At one point I was so frustrated with it that I told my husband to sell it to someone who understood modern technology. My teenage son stepped in to save the day and patiently taught me how to use all the bells and whistles that came with my smart phone. I wondered if elderly people shared my struggle with cell phone usage, and hoped that there was an easier solution to the problem for those who were as tech challenged as I was.  As it turns out, there IS a solution.

     Today on the blog, my guest Will Bail is here to share his advice on the best cell phones for seniors. Please welcome him to my site with lots of comment love!

The Best Phones for Seniors

Cellphone technology is advancing at an alarming rate, and for many, all the new features can be overwhelming and just a bit much! Not everyone wants a smartphone that can email, browse the internet, and make video calls. Seniors, in particular, typically don’t want all the bells and whistles that come along with the latest flagship phones, and usually are looking for a more streamlined experience that offers just the bare basics; the ability to call out and receive phone calls, and maybe receive and send text messages as well. On top of this simple feature set, the best phones for the senior market should be easy to operate and see. 

If you’re a senior looking for a simple phone for everyday use or are shopping around for an elder loved one, continue reading for some of the best phones available for seniors: 

Top Phones For Seniors:

A great option for a cell phone for the senior user is the LG Exalt LTE. If you’re looking for a simple flip phone with the basic features of a phone, with the addition of the ability to surf the net, the LG Exalt LTE may be just the right choice for you! Instead of having to deal with a tiny onscreen keyboard, the Exalt LTE has physical keys which make for much easier texting and dialling. The screen is 3 inches, which is more than big enough, and is in full color with larger font size options! 

Another contender for best phone for seniors is the DuraXV LTE, made by Kyocera. This phone features rugged construction that meets US military standards, making it a great options for the outdoorsy types! Whether you’re hiking the backcountry or paddling around the lake in a canoe, you can be sure the DuraXV LTE is built to last! The DuraXV LTE has a 2.6-inch screen, which though a little smaller than the Exalt LTE is still more than easily readable. 

If you or the senior you’re shopping for is interested in making the leap into the smartphone market, the Samsung Galaxy J3 V 3rd Generation may be just the ticket! It features an “Easy mode” which makes it great for the first time smartphone user and with its 5-inch screen it is large enough for nearly anyone to use comfortably! 

Last, but not least, on our list is the Big Button by Opel Mobile. This phone keeps simplicity and ease of use a priority and is made specifically with the senior users, as well as the hearing and visually impaired in mind. The Big button has all the features of most of the latest smartphones with the addition of larger, easier to use buttons, and simple to navigate interface. 


If you’re in the market for a new cell phone that is simple and easy enough for even the least tech savvy of users, any one of the aforementioned cell phones would be a great option! Featuring simple feature-sets, easy to use buttons, extra readable screens, and intuitive navigation, any one of these would make a great choice!


Will Bail is a freelance link-builder and web developer. He has an adventurous mind but seldom travels as he would rather stay home and make client's business websites more visible on the internet. When not working, you can find him playing nintendo games or hanging out at the church.

Friday, January 11, 2019

14 Things I Should (But I Probably Won't) Do In 2019

     I decided several years ago not to make New Year's resolutions after a series of failed attempts at improving myself. Not a whole lot of change going on over here at my age. I'm pretty happy right where I am, but it's nice to dream about certain resolutions coming true. Lose weight? Maybe a pound or two. Finish my memoir? Absolutely! But don't ask me to give up chocolate or lemon drop martinis because that will never happen.

     What else will I resolve (but fail) to do in 2019? Everything on the list below. You might even find a few of these on your own to-do list for the New Year.

1. Buy a Peloton bike for my morning workout. This will be great.....for about a month. By February, the bike will be used as a place to drop my clothes. I don't need an expensive laundry hamper like that.

2. Begin the Keto Diet. Everyone knows what happens with this resolution. It ends up being the Eat-O-Diet.

3. Be more patient with people. Which I can totally do until I get into my car. "WHAT THE HELL, DUDE, MOVE! IT'S A GREEN LIGHT! ARE YOU COLOR BLIND?"

3. Get organized. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. Usually I start with the Tupperware drawer in my kitchen. But after finding ten containers and only two matching lids, I get frustrated and quit. I'm pretty sure those lids were abducted by the same aliens who stole the other half of my matching sock sets from the dryer.

4. More "me time" for pampering. I'd love to try goat yoga twice a week. Just remind me not to leave my mat unattended for any length of time.

5. Travel the world and experience new cultures. The problem is that I don't fly. As soon as someone builds a bridge over the Atlantic, I'm sure I'll get there.

6. Resolve to make amends with the people who treated me crappy in 2018. Nahhhhhh......I'll let karma handle that one.

7. Practice Five Minute Meditation. Which is fine, until it turns into a three hour nap.

8. Drink less alcohol. HAHAHAHAHA.

9. Save Money. Does this means I can no longer collect sequined poop emoji totes??

10. Spend more time with family and friends. Does interaction on Snapchat count? Asking for a friend....

11. Lose Weight. This might work if my favorite source of entertainment wasn't rummaging around in the refrigerator every 30 minutes.

12. Find a new job. Sure, I could easily go from being a stay-at-home writer to being a stay-at-home professional napper.

13. Learn a new skill. There's no better time than 2019 to master playing beer pong with my left hand.

14. Volunteer time to a worthy cause. Since I'm allergic to grumpy old people, incontinent cats and cranky toddlers, it looks like a dolphin rehab center would be more my style.

     All kidding aside, my resolutions to love more and to treat each new day as a gift is an easy one to keep. 2018 was a mixed bag of emotions for me with health scares, political drama and hurtful people, but I finished out the year in the most spectacular way with the birth of a new granddaughter. And with the recent announcement of my son's upcoming nuptials in April, it looks like 2019 is already off to a great start. I'm really looking forward to what the new year has to offer. BRING IT ON, 2019!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sneak Peek: Lee Gaitan's New Book, "Lite Whines And Laughter"

     I'm so pleased to have author Lee Gaitan on the site today! I met Lee several years ago at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and absolutely adored her. She is a kind, witty woman with a bubbly personality and a caring heart. In 2013, Lee published her first book, My Pineapples Went To Houston, and now she has a new book out, Lite Whines and Laughter, which I think you will enjoy. I invited Lee on the blog today to share an excerpt from her hilarious new book. Please welcome her to Meno Mama's site with lots of comment love.....and BUY THE BOOK! It's GREAT!

                                                  Lost in Translation

If you’ve ever been offered baked goods made “from scratching” or asked if you give hard “testes,” there’s a good chance you teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Our crazy language is a minefield of unintended consequences, just waiting to ambush new learners. One seemingly insignificant change in spelling or pronunciation can affect meaning in a very significant way.  I had the same experience a few years ago when I changed one teensy little vowel in Italian and instead of asking for my room key ended up inviting a hotel clerk in Florence to have sex with me. In the most explicit terms possible. (Not that I was opposed to the idea, mind you, but I still needed my key.) 
Those teensy little changes will get you every time. That’s all it took for one of my favorite students to become temporarily—but hilariously—lost in translation. Olga had been in the U.S. only a few weeks when she enrolled in my adult ESL class. One day she came to my room about fifteen minutes early and we began chatting. She told me how hard she was working outside of class to improve her English. She had started reading the newspaper in English, she said, and as a result, she’d made an important life decision.
“I read an article about how is good for the woman to have the condom,” she told me with great certainty. “So, I decide I want buy the condom.” 
As Diet Coke was shooting out of my nose, she quickly reassured me of the wisdom of her plan.
Si, si, Lee, I think is very good idea,” she insisted, nodding her head vigorously. “You have the condom, Lee?” she asked.
“Well, not on me,” I said, a little flustered. “I don’t really, I mean, my husband had a vas—um, never mind. No, I don’t have a condom.”  
She was looking at me quizzically when suddenly—pop—the light bulb flipped on for her, but not quite all the way. “Oh, Lee, I know what you think. You think I am crazy. Is so much money for buy the condom.”
“No, it’s not that,” I said, puzzled. 
“No worry, Lee,” she continued. “Is cheap for me because I no buy new condom. I only buy used!” She dramatically drew out the word “used” for about three syllables.
I couldn’t even speak. All I could picture was a clothesline of freshly laundered condoms, just a-swinging in the breeze.
In my head I was screaming, Oh, dear God, here’s ten bucks—please splurge, buy new!
Then suddenly—pop—the light bulb again flipped on, but this time for me and, I was pretty sure, all the way. “Olga, what do you think a condom is?” I asked.
“Uh, is like apartment,” she answered with a casual shrug of her shoulders.
“No, my dear Olga, it is most certainly not like an apartment,” I said emphatically. 
I then filled her in on the difference between “condo” and “condom.”  One teensy little letter.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the particular shade of red her face turned. When the blood, shock and laughter finally receded, she shook her head and said, “Ah, si, it is like you say in the class. One little letter makes the big difference.”

Ah, si, indeed it does. And in this case, adding one teensy little “m” could be the difference between converting that spare bedroom in your condo into a home office…or a nursery.


Lee Gaitan is an award-winning author of two previous books, Falling Flesh Just Ahead, and the Amazon #1 bestseller My Pineapples Went to Houston—Finding the Humor in My Dashed Hopes, Broken Dreams and Plans Gone Outrageously Awry. Her work has been featured on The Huffington PostErma Bombeck Humor Writers’ WorkshopThe Good Men Project, Mothers Always Write and Bella Grace among others. Lee lives with her husband and dog in suburban Atlanta where she divides her time among speaking, writing, teaching and keeping tabs on her tri-continental family. 

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