Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sweets With A Side Dish Of Humor

     If you've been reading my blog for any length of time now, you already know about my love affair with anything sweet. I LOVE to bake---that's a no-brainer. Baking relaxes me.  After all, nothing soothes the soul better than a thick slice of chocolate, peanut butter cake.
     Blogging is another hobby that relaxes me, and when I combine it with a sweet treat, that's my definition of NIRVANA. This past year I've participated in several blog hops and was fortunate enough to come across a blog that immediately caught my attention---and I've been hooked ever since my first visit.  I'm talking about Karen over at I find myself stalking her site daily because the recipes, combined with her funny & heartwarming stories, are a major draw for anyone who loves sweets with a side dish of humor.  I've made several of her recipes, and folks, let me tell you, they are ALL delicious (and addicting). Just the other day I baked her egg nog bread for the three of us....and let me just confess here and now that the loaf was NOT divided evenly into thirds.
     Karen has graciously accepted my offer to do a guest post here and I am honored to have her. Luckily for us, she has brought one of her mouth-watering recipes sure to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth----especially if you have a house full of bottomless pits, also known as teenagers!

Guest Post on Menopausal Mother 

Just this past November I was “talking” to a fellow blogger on FB and she happened to mention that she has a signature cake and offered me the recipe. I suggested she write about it and Menopausal Mother became the first to Guest Post on Baking In A Tornado. Today I’m happy to have packed up my baking supplies and come to visit her back.

My blog is mostly (sometimes I’m guilty of going off on a tangent) about the baking that I do as an outlet for stress relief. Here’s why: 

I didn’t get pregnant easily. That’s actually an understatement. I never thought I’d have children, but I did and there was a time when I was the Mom of two adorable little boys. It was such a fun time for me and I’d like to think that they enjoyed their childhood as well.

As the boys got older they began spending more time with friends than with me. It was during this time that I started baking to keep the kids in snacks and found out two very important things. First, baking relieves stress. I can get lost in a recipe and tune out the world while creating something kids enjoy. Second, bake it and they will come. Literally. I was like the Pied Piper. My house was filled with kids who knew that after school they were assured a good snack and at 5:45 anyone still here got a ride home before dinner. And I knew where my kids were, who they were with, what they were doing.  

And then suddenly, out of nowhere all hell broke loose. My boys declared war, and I was the enemy.  Everyone knows that teenagers are a challenge, but here’s what they don’t tell you: adolescence is a fluid term. It doesn’t strike at any given chronological time. Don’t think that just because your child isn’t a teenager yet means that they won’t act like an adolescent. Put up your defenses, you are not safe.  I’ve developed these warning signs. Forget age, this is what you need to look out for:

1. Their bedroom door suddenly spends more time closed than open.
2. They start using words you don’t know the meaning of and are sure they made up, yet all their friends understand them.
3.  They start dousing themselves in perfume (girls) or Axe (boys), literally until you can’t breathe.
4. They never call, only text, and all those acronyms and abbreviations don’t mean a thing to you. You don’t know whether they’re telling you to throw a party or call 911.
5. Food disappears. All of it. The day you buy it. And nobody took it.

Now once you’ve hit this point, it’s time to start baking.

Crunch Cookies

Because I’m sorry to say, there’s more to come: 

6. You feel the need to “google” what their t-shirt says to be sure it’s OK for them to wear it out of the house.
7. What you once would have called a “messy bedroom” you’re now willing to accept because although it’s certainly not clean, you have to admit it’s clean-ER.
8. When asking them to do something, you’re regularly told “that’s just not going to happen”.
9. You frequently find yourself asking “why in the world would you . . .”
10. The answer to the above is usually “well, you never said I couldn’t . . .”

And once you reach this point your mixer and baking sheets are going to need a permanent home on your counter. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re about to get very busy.

I hope you’ll come visit me at my blog:

Crunch Cookies

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups Cocoa Krispie cereal
1 cup mini chocolate chips

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
*Beat butter, margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla for one minute.
*Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.
*Gently mix in the cereal and mini chocolate chips. Try not to break up the cereal.
*Gently roll into balls and put about 20 on a baking sheet. Press down slightly with the heel of your hand.
*Bake for 12 minutes. 
*Let cool for one to two minutes on cookie sheet before removing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Five Wishes

     I was tagged in a holiday post two weeks ago by one of my favorite bloggers---Rachel @ She tagged me to list 5 Christmas wishes and to pass the "honor" down to 5 other bloggers. As usual though, I am late to the party and here it is only a few days before the BIG DAY. I'm not vengeful enough to pass this little project along to 5 other stressed out bloggers busy with the whole shopping/baking/decorating/wrapping/getting-drunk-on-spiked-egg-nog thing, so I'm going to share my 5 wishes here and leave it at that. Merry Christmas to the 5 prospective candidates I was GOING to tag (and cause the undue stress of writing a last minute blog post). BOOM! My Christmas shopping is done.


1.  I want to party like a rock star with Santa and his merry band of elves. But there are certain conditions----I am NOT cleaning up after those sloppy, drunk elves, and Santa MUST wear something other than that tiresome, red suit. How about a kilt? Or maybe some jeggings. An industrial strength girdle might be in order too, after all the milk and cookies he sucks up like a Hoover vacuum on Christmas Eve.

2.  I want to ride in a pimped out sleigh with Santa, as long as there is a bottle of cognac in the glove compartment. Rudolph won't be the only one with a red nose. Which reminds me---Santa needs to switch out that nose to an LED light to conserve energy.

3.  I'd like to have my own reindeer. He could live in my backyard, and I could charge admission ( to support my blog habit, of course) for reindeer rides to all the kiddies in the neighborhood. He could also nibble on our grass during the spring so we wouldn't have to mow the lawn as often.

4.  I want all the elves to show up the day after Christmas to dismantle my ridiculously large collection of holiday decorations and neatly pack them away in our attic. Ever notice how those lazy bastards suddenly disappear once the last gift has been unwrapped and the Christmas feast devoured? They don't even stick around long enough to help with the dishes.

5.  I want to live in a world where acorn squash is high in fats and calories, and chocolate truffles are a nutritious element in your daily, dietary needs. While you're at it, Santa, how 'bout a home liposuction kit? Cookies in, cookies more gingerbread on the thighs.

     All kidding aside, what Menopausal Mama really wants for Christmas is peace. I know that sounds cliche, but at my age, I yearn for simplicity---a time when people marveled at a sunset, not the latest technological gadget. I miss respect and the kindness of strangers. Social media, as enjoyable as it may be, has also created a major disconnect in personal interaction.  A certain coldness permeates society now---we live in a world where greed is becoming the norm and compassion has waned. I want to feel safe when I walk down the streets. And I don't want to have to worry about the world my granddaughter will grow up in. I wish, as many do, an end to violence, hatred and racism.
     Despite the frightening things we have been surrounded by lately, there is still beauty to be found--in a smile, a kind word and laughter. Embrace these simple pleasures and you will discover beauty and love in the world, and in love there is hope.
     This is my wish for you, dear readers, and your families.
     And cookies...lots of cookies...

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Secret Subject Swap

     Today I am participating in a fun little blogging project known as Secret Subject Swap, which is the brainchild of blogger Karen @ She has started something special here that motivates other bloggers to get creative by working off a prompt that has been secretly assigned to them by another blogger. Fifteen brave bloggers are participating today, simultaneously revealing their prompts and writing a blog post based on their interpretation of the topic chosen for them. Here are the links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject

     My prompt, "Write a list of things you are NOT going to do today and why"--- was submitted by


* I'm not going to shave my husband's back because if I do, I'm going to get creative and trim it into an FSU logo.

* I'm not going to eat the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. Last time that happened, I hallucinated I was dancing with the Care Bears.

* I'm not going to allow my husband to wear my Spanx at the next holiday party because that's just wrong on so many levels.

* I'm not going to unpack my long johns with the butt flap because nobody in Florida wears that stuff.

* I'm not going to ride the Goodyear Blimp today---I don't want a repeat of the Hindenberg incident.

* I'm not going to wear a bra today because baby those puppies were born to be free!

* I'm not going to flush down somebody else's anaconda size mess in the toilet---get a damn plunger and do it yourself.

* I'm not going to ride a donkey today. I might make an ass of myself.

* I'm not going to wear my husband's Depend Undergarments because they have a big pouch in the front.

* I'm not going to get drunk tonight because the last time I did, I ended up crawling on all fours in search of the rabbit hole from Alice In Wonderland.

* I'm not going to try on my skinny jeans today...or any other day. I ate french fries last night....

* I'm not going to strap on a mask and cook liver and onions for my husband (even though he loves it)
 because it always makes me feel like I'm on the set of Silence Of The Lambs.

What AM I going to do today after cooking/dishes/laundry/exercising/facebooking/house cleaning/ and sneaking chocolate?

* Feed a baby panda at the zoo.

* Pour myself a glass of pinot grigio.

* Cuddle my chinchillas.

* Make sure I have enough toilet paper for the week.

* Play tug-of-war with my pug.

* Kick off my high heels and dance to my own tune---the Hokey Pokey!

......and then take a long nap.....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Hoarder

     I'll admit it. I have an addiction. I need to attend meetings for this because I am unable to pass a Hallmark Store without stopping for a quick purchase. This addiction has taken over my closets, my attic and yes, my husband's coveted tool shed.  "You know you have a problem," he says. "You need help."
     He's right. It's time I stood up at the local Holiday Hoarders Anonymous meeting and admitted the truth to the world.  "Hello, my name is Marcia, and I'm a holiday hoarder..."
     My obsession started with my first Sesame Street ornament---Cookie Monster---a gift from my father when I was twelve. A joke at the time, but now a sentimental reminder of a great man who was so loved and now gone.
     Fast forward 30 years and 25 plastic Rubbermaid containers later.  We're talking YEARS of accumulated holiday decor, and I don't just mean Christmas. I've got lights for every occasion---from shamrocks to bunnies, turkeys and hearts; pumpkins, goblins, American flags and plastic trees for Arbor Day. The Christmas decorations are the worst because there are Just. So. Many. We need three days and a conveyor belt just to unload the attic.


     This is what my husband despises most. It is the reason he becomes the Grinch and Scrooge all wrapped into one. Our power company sends us a thank you note every holiday season for the amount of lights we use in our yard. Decorations such as a lighted reindeer pulling a sleigh were carefully packed away last season---INTACT. Yet this year when we open the box, our reindeer is now a pile of antlers and hooves. I think that it, along with all the other holiday decorations, intentionally retaliates by knotting itself up during the long, summer months stored in a hot attic.
     And then there is the issue of the lights. Strands and strands of them---once packaged in a neat coil, now a tangled mess that NO ONE wants to deal with. They were working fine last year when we packed them away. They were still working fine when we took them out of the box this year....when we wrapped them around all of our trees, across the roof and around every front window of the house.  We stood back when we were finished, admired the yard, did a few "high fives" and patted each other on the back for a job well done.
     An hour later, only half of the strand of lights on the roof stayed lit. The white icicles across the porch flickered a moment, as if gasping for breath before fizzling out. Even the twinkling angel on the front lawn has a droopy wing and the lights on the other wing were completely burned out. That's what we get for buying our lights at a dollar store. We have no choice but to schlepp to the local Walmart for more lights, but by then the pickings are slim.  I don't want neon beer can lights decorating the front of my house. The alternative is to purchase those giant, inflatable lawn decorations that look like Macy's Day Parade rejects. At night they're not so bad---glowing and erect as if they've been given a high dose of Viagra, but come morning after they deflate---they look more like fiesta-colored condoms strewn across the yard.


     This is just as bad as the outside decor. Remember the fiber optics craze? Yeah, well so do I, because  I collected every Santa, snowman, sled, elf, Christmas tree and reindeer that sparkled, dazzled, danced and sang a cheery, holiday tune. I also have an entire village of little porcelain houses that my husband would like to pillage. What drives him to drink gallons of spiked egg nog this time of year is the cartons of decorations labeled "Assembly Required." On a particularly bad day, he'll claim that these boxes are grounds for divorce.


     "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How Steadfast Are Your Branches!"  Not for my husband. He breaks out in a sweat just contemplating endless hours of affixing lights and delicate ornaments to sappy pine tree branches. So much so that he convinced us to  break tradition this year and switch to the dark side by purchasing a faux tree. Yup. I've got an artificial tree from China, not the mountains of North Carolina. The silver lining in all of this? No more pine needles to clog up the vacuum. I was still sucking up those little escape artists on the 4th of July last year.
     The worst of my hoarding habit is my ornament collection. Hundreds---no, THOUSANDS---lie nestled in layers of crumpled tissues. At this point my husband is willing to dig a large hole in our backyard and tunnel his way to China in order to avoid a day with Bing Crosby, Perry Como and me, decorating our lovely tree.  He is terrified that history will repeat itself---the day we NEVER speak of---THE DAY THE TREE FELL DOWN....when all of my expensive, sentimental ornaments were reduced to glass shards scattered across a hardwood floor. Now we tie that sucker to the ceiling with endless loops of fishing line and guard it like it was Fort Knox. If my husband had his way, all those fragile, glass ornaments would be replaced by rubber ones. Ever see an ornament double as a tennis ball? You get the idea.


     This is the hardest part. I'm torn between feeling relief at dispensing all the holiday clutter and wanting to cling to the sentimentality of the season. Fitting everything back into the boxes from whence  they came is the REAL challenge. There always seems to be more items than what we started off with. And everything has to be disassembled---you need a degree in Engineering in order to fit the decorations back into their original boxes.
     Once everything has been stored and the attic door closed, it's inevitable that we will find a few stray items that were left behind in our weary state of packing. We are forced to schlepp back to Walmart for more Rubbermaid containers. As I am contemplating the aisles of Christmas decorations marked 50% off, my husband is contemplating divorce....or maybe just converting to Judaism. After all, how much room does a menorah take?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Caveman Twitter

       I love the winter season. It's a time for baking pumpkin bread, having a big pot of beef stew simmering on the stove, trimming the Christmas tree, sharing a glass of egg nog, and entertaining friends around our backyard fire pit. We often enjoy a mug of hot, buttered rum while we are chatting by the fire, but sometimes, after several drinks, the conversations turn...weird.
     During a recent fire pit bonding session, my husband went on a rant about social media. He believes that Facebook sucks up too much valuable time ("Why do you need to read a graphic description of Charlie's flu symptoms, or see photos of Erica's new, hoochie mama shoes on Instagram?"). When the kids send him a text, he claims his troglodyte fingers get in the way of texting back. Twitter is worse, he claims, because nobody needs an hourly update on someone else's eating/drinking/pooping/sleeping/nagging/children-driving-me-crazy lifestyle.  "CAVEMEN SURVIVED JUST  FINE  WITHOUT  TWITTER!" he shouts.
     Sure they did. They just clubbed each other over the head to communicate. But what if there WAS such a thing as cavemen Twitter?
     After a few more sips of hot, buttered rum, my husband concocted various scenarios that might have occurred in the days when communication was often reduced to a simple "Ug".  *PLEASE KEEP IN  MIND THAT  THIS WAS A RUM-INDUCED CONVERSATION! We really aren't that weird!* Yeah, right....


     "Me start fire. Ug."
     "Nobody answer."
     "Me start 'nuther fire. Ug"
     "Bigger fire."
     "Now they answer."
     "Where water? Ug."


     "Me need woman. Me want you. Me have small loin cloth. Ug."
     Response: "How small?"
     "Very small."
     Response: "Not interested. Ug."


     "Nuthin' to do in village 2 nite. Ug."
     Response: "Make bear tooth necklaces?"
     "That dumb. Ug. Me chase cantaloupe."
     Response: "WTFug?"
     "Tweet wrong. Antelope. Ug."
    Response: "Vegan now. Berries and twigs only. Granola poops. Ug."


     "Me have newest leopard print wrap. Ug."
     Response: "Me have Victoria's Secrets Bobcat print."
     "Me got mine from Caveman Outlets R Us half price. Ug."
     Response: "Latest monkey butt satchel soft."
     "Bear balls also make good satchel."
     Response: "Sale on rabbit skin thongs. One hare fits all. Ug!"


     "Me took new woman back to cave tonight. Ug."
     Response: "Dinner?"
     "No beaver around. Got crabs instead. Ug. Me no go on second date."


     "Me kill rabbit for dinner. Ug. Interested?"
     Response: "Don't care."
     "What if me kill deer?"
     Response: "Party at my cave. Ug. BYOC (bring your own club).


     "Your son grow up quick. Ug."
     Response: "We call him Stinky Fuss."
     "Me have daughter. Ug. She have three good teeth. Stinky Fuss interested?"
     Response: "No. Son prefers making mollusk shell necklaces. Ug. "Daughter need big man with whale blubber to keep warm in winter. Me go find new cave
     boyfriend at Brontosaurus Burger Barn. Ug."

     Once the fire fizzles out, we decide that Twitter would have been dangerous in the hands of cavemen. My husband still sees no value in it. He'd rather howl at the moon and beat drums to communicate. Guess he'll be shopping for a rabbit hair thong and a monkey butt satchel for his club.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Five Minutes Of Blogging Fame

     Coming from a long line of sugaraholics, I have always relied on baking as a means to unwind after a long day. This past year I found another outlet---blogging---and it is just as good a stress reliever as a batch of double fudge, chocolate chip cookies (without all the calories).
     I spend too much a lot of time on the computer searching for new blogs, and was fortunate enough to stumble upon one with similar ideas ("When the going gets tough, the tough get baking & blogging"), and I knew I had found a kindred spirit. I'm talking about Karen, who blogs at She writes an awesome, witty blog that includes yummy recipes at the end of each post. WARNING: don't go there hungry or else be prepared to salivate! Karen graciously offered me a guest blogging spot (post date 11/29/12) at her site and I was honored and excited to accept her invitation.
     If you are one of my regular readers, please share the love and hop over to her site to read our collaboration. Karen is the real deal, folks. She's as sweet as the treats she bakes!
     If you arrived from Karen's site to check out my blog for the first time, you're probably wondering who Menopausal Mama is and how the heck I scored such an awesome gig on Karen's blog. I can't answer that but I CAN tell you a little bit about myself:  I'm married to Robin Williams' long lost twin-separated-at-birth; I have 4 mini versions of my comedian husband and unabashedly write about their private lives and mishaps on my blog. I'm mostly menopausal-bitchy-tired-hot flashy, but on a good day have been known to mellow out over a bottle of wine in my backyard garden with friends. I have 6 chinchillas, a rabbit and a few dogs, and firmly believe that I am somehow related to Snow White because birds and squirrels eat right out of the palm of my hand. Seriously. (At least THEY don't care if I'm menopausal). I own way too much nail polish (hoarder), I make amazing (i.e. strong) margaritas, I have two-tone hair (yin & yang), love obnoxious earrings (way too many of those, too), chew my cuticles and avoid left turns at major intersections.  I sell Avon ("Ding dong, Avon calling!" Yeah, I'm one of THOSE ladies). I'm also OCD but a damn fine cook.  Humor is what gets me up in the morning (along with 3 cups of strong coffee). If you want to ride the humor train with me, check out a few of these posts (or just click on the titles of older posts on the right side bar):

     Thanks again to Karen for letting me kidnap her blog for a day. In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to share with her one of my favorite cake recipes that is in high demand in our household. You'll just have to hop on over to her site for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake to find out which one it is! Please visit Karen at:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life In The Unemployment Lane

     Thanksgiving is upon us, and while most people are counting their blessings on this traditional family holiday, I am the grinchy pessimist seeing a glass that is already half empty. Our world was turned upside down when my husband lost his job recently (no, he did not work at the Hostess Twinkie factory, although he IS my favorite Ding Dong). Somebody stomped on the breaks and we weren't wearing any seat belts. Not only did we lose our income, but our healthcare as well. To say that life is a challenge is an understatement. A trap door has opened under our feet---the rope to climb out within our grasp but hard to reach.
     Our current situation renders negative and positive thoughts on being unemployed:

     *My husband, who was born during the Jurassic period, cannot compete with the Generation X applicants clamoring for the same job.

     *We can no longer enjoy a good, Porterhouse steak. We're reduced to eating Spam and baked beans...pretty soon that box of doggie treats on the shelf will look appetizing.

     *Instead of spending 8 hours at a job, my husband spends 8 hours digging under couch cushions or the car floorboards in search of loose change to play the lottery. He can't walk past a vending machine without checking the coin return for stray nickels and dimes.

     *My guy now requires a two hour nap in the middle of the day after consuming mass quantities of cheap food to counteract his boredom. He stands at the kitchen counter and just squirts the cheese from a can directly into his mouth, then washes it down with  handful of crackers.

     *To keep himself busy, my husband has been trimming all the hedges into Disney topiaries, painted the shed in camouflage and dug up our yard for a new sprinkler system, which now resembles a groundhog transit system.


     *My husband has tackled the pantry that I have recently neglected by alphabetizing and color coding soup cans, boxed meals and cake mixes.

     *We have time to enjoy a morning walk together. The hubs is trying to work off his beer belly and the man boobs that bounce as he he jogs (no money for a sports bra).

     *The rain gutters and tile grout in the shower have never been cleaner. Even the dust bunnies under the bed have packed up their suitcases and left.

     *We have time now to explore every chapter of the Kama Sutra book. Clowns and unicorns notwithstanding.

     *We get to sleep in as late as we want. Whether it's five hours or eight, we still wake looking like disoriented patients after shock therapy. We have yet to invent a drip line from the Keurig machine to our mouths upon waking.

     Eventually my husband will find a new job and life will return to normal. Sack lunches, regular income and a juicy, Porterhouse steak. Perhaps the glass IS half full. This Thanksgiving, our turkey may be the size of a Cornish Game hen, but I am still grateful. I may be broke, but I am wealthy in so many other ways. I have my family, my health and the last Twinkie off the shelf.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dear Meno Mama

WARNING! This blog post is a result of what happens when I leave my husband alone with my laptop and a six pack of beer. He hacked into my account and decided to have some fun with my email. If you are easily offended, turn back now....

Dear Meno Mama:
     Why didn't somebody warn me how lousy menopause would be? I'm in my fifties and my inner thermostat has reached 102. I feel like I'm living on Mercury with no sunscreen in sight. My hot flashes equate to solar flares. What can I do?   ------From Sahara Suzie

Dear S.S.:
     No one warned you about this miserable change of life phase because there is a male conspiracy out there fooling women into believing that menopausal symptoms are all in their pretty little heads. Unless your hot flashes are contributing to melting the polar ice caps, I would start stockpiling ice cubes from the freezer and building your own personal igloo to inhabit for the next 2 years.

Dear Meno Mama:
     My husband still thinks I'm a sex kitten but I feel more like a manatee in a negligee. Menopause has taken away my sex drive and all I want to do is visit the 24 hour Drive-Thru at Taco Bell. How can I ignite my libido when I'm so busy eating double-stuffed Oreos in the closet?----From Libidoless Liza

Dear L.L.:
      I hope you like vegetables and fruits. Bananas and cucumbers are in season. And Duracell Lithium batteries last a long time.

Dear Meno Mama:
     Lately I've been feeling as prickly as a porcupine. Menopause has robbed me of all sanity and patience. Even my kids are driving me crazy. Little Tommy tried to milk the cat and my teenager  left a plate of pizza crusts under her bed to feed a colony of cockroaches. When I went to pour myself a shot of vodka after breakfast, I discovered that the bottle was missing. I'm yelling at everyone like an irate customer in the returns line at Walmart. What can I do to restore my sanity? --- Pissed Off Patty from Pahokee
Dear P.O.P.F.P.:
     I believe a visit to the doctor for some chill pills is in order. Or you can try yoga---get into the Downward Facing Dog position and howl for a Milk-Bone. If that doesn't work, you can always visit a therapist for $200 an hour to curl up into the fetal position and engage in scream therapy.

Dear Meno Mama:
     The older I get, the harder it is to stay awake. I think I may have narcolepsy---just yesterday after enjoying a caesar salad at the women's auxiliary luncheon, I woke up with a crouton in my ear and my slacks were damp. What should i do? ----From: Sleeping-Not-So-Beautiful In Seattle

Dear S.N.S.B.I.S.:
     I have two words for you: adult diapers! That way you can drink galloons of Starbucks coffee to stay awake and never have to worry about falling asleep mid-pee.

     To all my inquisitive followers, I apologize for my husband's peculiar perspective on menopause. As you can see, he has stopped taking his meds. Time to take away the laptop and give him back the TV remote.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Season Of Change

     Before going through "the change of life", I was a very tolerant person. But somewhere between screaming like a wild Banshee in the delivery room to my first hot flash, I became less tolerant. It didn't happen all at once, but gradually, like the leaves in New England; I went from vibrant green to crusty brown. In my youth, I never understood the impatience and general crankiness of elderly people. Now that I am a card carrying AARP member, I have a license to be cantankerous. It doesn't take much to spark my temper or tap dance on my last, sane nerve. For instance:
     It never used to bother me when people bought the newest gadget on the market. Back in the dinosaur days, that included microwaves, cordless phones and cassette tape players. Today, everyone HAS to own the latest technological wonder: iPhone, iPad....iBidet and i-Don't-Care.
     Another thing that bothers the hell out of me? People who hide behind their religion to excuse their repugnant behavior. These people interpret God's word in a language that could only be translated on Mars. If you're going to talk the talk, you'd better be prepared to walk the walk. And while you're at it, don't judge me until you've slipped on a pair of my well-worn shoes and walked a few miles in them.
     I have also become increasingly jealous annoyed by people who feel compelled to update me daily on their latest exercise regimen/diet plan. I'm standing in line at the bakery and they're all like, "Wow, I just lost 5 pounds!" and I'm thinking, "Butter cream or chocolate mocha frosting on those cupcakes?"
     And what's up with the fickle bladder in middle age? I used to be like a camel that could store fluids for days...but now this camel needs a colostomy bag.
     I don't have time for people with Type A personalities. When I was younger, I was accused of being one; I admired those powerful, aggressive people fighting for a cause. Now their passion exhausts me and I just don't have patience for their soapbox drama. I'd rather be playing corn hole with a band of merry meerkats.
     When I'm feeling particularly grumpy, the last thing I want to hear is how great your expensive, African safari was, how awesome your kid is at underwater basket weaving and how excited you are for buying that lucky, five million dollar lottery ticket. Unless you're feeling charitable enough to pay off my mortgage, I really don't want to know how the planets aligned perfectly for you while I'm stuck in the crossfire of a meteor shower.
     What disturbs me more than anything is menopausal fatigue. I used to be like the Energizer Bunny. I could simultaneously flip a pancake, nurse a baby, donate $100 to the penguin tuxedo fund and practice my Irish Riverdancing steps, all within five minutes. Now I'm yawning at 10:30 a.m. (and this is after two cups of coffee strong enough to invigorate the Walking Dead). All I want to do is hibernate under a quilt until somebody rings the dinner bell. I WAKE FOR STEAK!
     I've hit my 50's like the last person in a bounce house stuck in the corner crack with no one there to pull me out. But never fear, Meno Mama will persevere.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bloggy Buddy Awards

     Once again I am thrilled (and amazed!) to be awarded some very special honors from my friends in the blogging community. Nicer still is the fact that this gives me the opportunity to share the love with some newer, well-deserving bloggers in our ever-expanding community of writers. The blogs I have decided to pass the torch down to were chosen for their diversity, creativity and spunk. Each award comes with a set of rules and questions. I decided to have some fun with it and bend the rules a little...just because I can.
     Each award requests that I mention 7-11 "fun facts" about myself. Multiply that times 6 different awards and you will know waaaay too much about me. And besides, there aren't THAT many fun things about me rather than bore you to tears reading this stuff (when you could be watching an episode of Swamp People), I decided to condense the facts into a tidy package of 12.


*When I was in grade school, I had a mixed dominance eye problem and had to wear a patch over my eye for a year. I learned quickly how cruel some children could be. Perhaps if I'd had a peg leg and a parrot on my shoulder, it wouldn't have been so bad. At the very least I could have been hired out as Captain Jack's sidekick at kiddie birthday parties.

*I run a side job selling my homemade rum cakes to the public. These cakes are known to make people drunk after one bite. Just don't hold a lighter up near their mouth after they have eaten some.

*The most difficult thing I have ever written was my father's eulogy...and my sister's 17 months later.

*I have two-tone hair; blonde on top and black underneath. This is due to a mid-life identity crisis: Malibu Beach Barbie meets Elvira.

*I played the flute and piccolo in my high school marching band. If I knew then what I know now, I would have smuggled a flask of vodka in my band uniform hat.

*If I won the lottery and decided to buy a second home in the U.S., it would be in Cody, Wyoming.

*I broke both bones in my left arm playing frisbee with a LARGE jazz dancer on the front lawn of my college dorm freshman year. Going through surgery and wearing a cast for 3 months was the best thing that ever happened to me because it pulled me out of my shell and jump-started my social life. Who knew male nurses could be so HOT???

*I make a damn good prickly pear margarita.

*While most women collect shoes, I hoard nail polish.

*Most days I want to smash my bathroom scale the way rock stars smash their guitars on stage.

*I chew my cuticles when I am bored, hungry or anxious. On a bad day, my fingers look like they've been gnawed on by rabid gerbils.

*I am allergic to Jaegermeister. It makes me break out in hives and turns my tongue black. Don't even THINK about slipping that shit in my drink at a party for entertainment purposes.

     The first award I received is the Laine Blogger Award thanks to Josie @ This award focuses on beauty, so my male readers may want to go grab a beer from the fridge and skip down to award #2.

Answer 5 questions about yourself (same ones listed here)
Add award logo in your post and thank the person who gave it to you---link back to them as well
Pass it on to 5 other bloggers and notify them on their blog that they won


1. What is your current beauty obsession? Facial creams. Yeah, I look like the Loch Ness Monster most nights when I climb into bed.
2. What is the ONE beauty item you wished you owned? Anything that vibrates and makes me glow.
3. What is your favorite topic to read about? Menopause, mid-life mishaps and the mating cycle of squirrels.
4. What inspired you to become a blogger? Writing is my second favorite outlet after drinking wine.
5. What nail polish are you wearing right now? Black on my fingernails to match my goth, menopausal alter ego. Cheery red on my toenails just to throw you off. I like to keep people guessing.


     My second award is the Versatile Blog Award courtesy of Ashley @ I also received this award quite some time ago from several other bloggers but was negligent in posting a blog about it and missed following the rules. Bad, bad Meno Mama!! Thank you also for this award from: www.the rambling couch potato, quirky, and


Add award logo to your blog post and thank the person who nominated you & link back to them
List 7 random facts about yourself (already did this)
Pass award along to 7 other bloggers
Inform each nominee about the award by posting on their blog site comment section

     Since this award was granted to me 4 times in the past few months, I think I can pass it down to 7 bloggers from each time for being nominated, which comes to a total of 28 bloggers. Wow!


     Hang in there, people---I'm going as fast as I can here! My third little surprise is a beauty called The Lovely Blog Award, given to me by Pamela @ Thanks, Pamela!


Include award logo in post and thank the person who nominated you & include their link
Nominate 5 other deserving bloggers
Give 7-15 random facts about yourself (already done)


     Award no#4 is The Sisterhood Of World Bloggers Award, given to me twice, thanks to Sandra @ and Jenn @


Include award logo in blog post, thank the nominee and link back to their site
Post 7 interesting facts about yourself (already done)
Pass the award to 7 deserving sisters

     Since I received this puppy twice, I think it is only fair to deliver it to double the amount of winners!


     Award no#5 is the Sunshine Award given to me by Melanie @ Thanks, Melanie!


Include award logo in blog post and thank the blogger who gave it to you & include a link back
Answer 10 questions about yourself that you have made up yourself (yeah, I know, kinda weird)
Nominate 10-12 bloggers for the award and contact them at their blog site to inform them

     Because this is becoming a ridiculously long blog post due to the nature of my procrastination techniques in acknowledging these awards, I'm going to make it easy on you by describing myself 10 ways rather than answer 10 lengthy questions.

MENOPAUSAL MOTHER IS A_______ (don't even TRY to fill in that blank!) :

*Caffeine addict (3:00 a.m.? Yeah, I'm good for another hour of Facebooking)
*Animal hoarder ( I'm going to start charging admission to visit my zoo)
*Insomniac (I think I was a bat in a previous life)
*Foodaholic (and damn proud of it!)
*Phobic whackadoodle (fears cockroaches, airplanes, left turns, lights out, apocalyptic zombies)
*Squirrel whisperer (if you build feeders they will come....)
*Moody (in dire need of daily humor or I will chew through my restraints)
*Weekend drinker/partier/girl-with-the-lampshade-on-her-head
*Cranky on the outside, mushy on the inside (like a badly burned marshmallow)
*Sucker for romance (a dozen yellow roses goes far...)


     Last but not least is no.#6, the Liebster Award, thanks to Sittie Cates @


List 11 factoids about yourself (done!)
Answer 11 questions given to you
Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award
Choose 11 bloggers for the award
Go to the blogger's page and inform  them of the award
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
Only tag bloggers who have 200 or less followers  ***This was awarded to me even though I have more than 200 followers--I accepted it anyway so that I could pass it along to 11 very deserving bloggers!!


1. What drives you to continue your blog?  My husband is tired of hearing my endless chatter---I needed an outlet to vent before my husband packed his bags and moved out.
2. If you had a different name, what would it be and why would you choose it?  My Indian name would be "She-Who-Runs-With-Squirrels."  Why? Because I do.
3. What can't you live without? can only choose one?
4. What is your best loved hobby?  Championship beer pong.
5. Why did you choose the title of your blog?  Because I'm friggin' menopausal, what else?
6. How long have you been blogging? One year, one month, 17 days, 6 hours and about 25 minutes.
7. How do you prefer to spend your weekends?  Baking rum cakes, sampling all the wine in the house, putting my husband to work in the backyard garden while I clip my toenails...
8. What goals have you achieved? Married 28 years, raised 4 incredible kids...and I can out-drink men twice my size...oh wait---maybe that's not something to be proud of.
9. Cite a blog you like and why you like it. I LOVE every blog I awarded in this post! I'm currently getting HUGE laughs from 2 bloggers who are new to me: and Both Ashley and Gwen share my twisted sense of humor and lead my imagination to new frontiers.  But there are 3 bloggers who have been my biggest supporters during tough times (both in my personal life and my blogging life)that I want to thank. They are: Lanthie @ www.lifecherries, Kc @ and Jon @  I love these bloggers and appreciate them more than they know (well...hopefully they do now)!
10. What's your greatest dream in life?  To publish a book that will entice my fans down the path of menopausal insanity.
11. What month were you born? October. Libra. We like to be the center of attention and the life of the party.


     While they are patting themselves on the back, I'm going to surprise them with these 11 awkward questions they have to answer----and they may not be too happy about it once they read them but c'mon, have a sense of humor here, will ya?


1. Do you salt your watermelon?
2. Your favorite beverage is?
3. Have you ever tasted cat or dog food?
4. If you were a pro athlete, what sport would you play?
5. What animal best represents you?
6. What is the weirdest job you ever had/or hated?
7. Have you ever gotten stuck in something and had to yell for help to get out?
8. Have you ever "sharted" (SORRY!! MY HUSBAND MADE THIS ONE UP!!!)?
9. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
10. If you were on Death Row, what would your last meal request be?
11. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?

     So.....WAKE UP I'M DONE! Liebsters, let me know when you post your answers to these questions because inquiring minds want to know. Congratulations to all of my bloggy friends! Now go out there and spread your love to all the other fabulous bloggers you know!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pigs, Poodles And Possums

     Several bloggers have asked me recently why I don't post weekly or even daily on  my blog site.  Professional bloggers recommend it in order to increase traffic and followers.  I know this is sound advice, but I am ashamed to admit that I am often stumped by writer's block.  And that's when I turn into a professional procrastinator.
     This is how it starts:

5:45 a.m.
     Obnoxious alarm clock jars me awake.  I want to yank it from the wall and toss it out the window onto the neighbor's lawn.  It wouldn't matter because they get up at  the ass crack of dawn to rev up their lawn mowers.
      On my night stand sits the TO-DO list I scribbled out last night when there was still adrenaline coursing through my veins after watching a rousing episode of Top Chef.  In the bleak morning light, that TO-DO list becomes a GO-TO-HELL list.  No way am I getting up early to make everyone breakfast.  That's why God invented granola bars and oatmeal-on-the-go.
     Slap the snooze button on the alarm for fifteen more minutes.

6:00 a.m.
     Just as I have drifted off into Never Never Land, I hear a nagging buzzer go off, and wonder if I'm on a new game show called, "Wheel Of Misfortune."
     I REALLY need to wake up.

6:15 a.m.
     Coffee.  My morning elixir.  Jumper cables to my heart.  Now I'm ready to work.

6:30 a.m.
     Realization that just because my body is doing the happy dance doesn't mean that my brain has caught onto the dance steps.  Need more coffee.

7:00 a.m.
     Staring at a blank computer screen, convinced that my muse bought a one-way ticket to Bora Bora and is completely content to sip Mai Tais on the shore while I struggle to post something witty on my blog site.

7:30 a.m.
     Still staring at blank computer screen.  Pick dog hair off tee-shirt and make a daisy chain out of paper clips.  I end up trolling Facebook for status updates.
     "Wow Camille, you sure look wasted in those office party pictures.  Do people still do that kind of stuff on copy machines???"
     "Aw, Cynthia, I just LOVE little Tommy's mullet.  Is he channeling Billy Ray Cyrus?"
     "OMG Vicky!  Your poodle just pooped in your Jimmy Choos?!"

9:30 a.m.
     Staring out home office window.  When did the neighbors get a hairless cat?  Oh, that's a possum rummaging around in the trash can.  I didn't know possums liked beer.

10:00 a.m.
     Glance at Facebook again to see if anyone commented on my latest status update: "Is it too early to add whiskey to my coffee cup? LOL!"

10:30 a.m.
     Check fridge to see if anyone left an amazing surprise in there for me to eat, like an ice cream bar or a leftover egg roll.

11:00 a.m.
     Back on the computer and begin typing blog entry: "Hello Readers!  I'm hyped up on caffeine and shaky as hell but my brain has a log jam and I.....oh look!  A cupcake!

11:30 a.m.
     Gotta get this blog post going...whoa, what's this?  New outdoor decorating ideas on Pinterest?  Pot-bellied pigs for sale on Craig's List?

1:00 p.m.
     Stalk other blog sites for inspiration.  They're all good.  Damn good.  This leaves me feeling a bit insecure and I pick up the phone and call a friend for moral support.

2:30 p.m.
     Damn possum is back.  Brought some of his buddies.  I didn't know they could carry a six pack and beach chairs.

4:30 p.m.
     Wake up to computer keyboard imprints on my forehead.

5:00 p.m.
      Feed and walk dogs, try to figure out something clever yet appetizing for dinner.  My family is starting to catch onto the fact that I'm recycling leftovers tossed into pasta and rice to confuse them.

8:00 p.m.
     Back on the computer.  Something skitters across the floor and under my desk.  Could have been a cockroach.  Or a possum.  Call Husband to exterminate whatever predator is stalking me.

10:00 p.m.
     Loud cheering from the TV room.  My family is either watching a Dolphins football game or The Kardashians.  I need to investigate.

     Computer screen still blank.  So is my brain.  Time to reboot both.  Possums now sitting around campfire singing Kumbaya and making smores.

     Surely tomorrow will be a more productive long as a parade of pugnacious pot-bellied pigs and prancing pink poodles doesn't pass by my office window...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Menopausal Mama Drama

     Got a complaint? Pick a number and stand in line. It will be three lunar eclipses before I have time to address your grievances. I would rather spend the day scraping up the collective gunk in the corners of my refrigerator drawers than discuss these issues, but I just can't keep my mouth shut any longer. In the past, I was a pro at sidestepping conflict, but there comes a time in a woman's life (known as MMP---Menopausal Mean Phase), where we've just GOT to unleash the hormonal beast raging inside of us. I'm tired of being stretched in ten different directions like a Stretch Armstrong doll just to please the entire universe. Some days I'd rather pull the covers over my head and staple the blanket to my mattress to prevent people from disturbing me in my cotton fortress.  Just. Go. Away.
     Maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm menopausal-bitchy-hungry-tired-hot flashy, or maybe I'm just older and wiser and have realized I don't need to put up with the bullshit anymore. My kids and my husband, I can handle. But outside of that comfortable nucleus, if you see a sign posted on my front door that reads, "Beware Of Rabid Otter...Enter At Your Own Risk" trust me, it's up there for your own good.
     Things that REALLY piss me off:

     *People who shove their political agendas down my throat via emails, robo calls, television ads, bulk mail and Facebook. This is especially insulting if the political onslaught hits me early in the morning when my eyes are at half mast. I'm basically brain dead until 9:00 a.m. when the coffee kicks in, so don't ask me to support your cause or I may end up voting for Sponge Bob.

     *Waiting not-so-patiently in the "Ten Items Or Less Express Lane" at the grocery store only to have some jackass in front of me who:  A) Has 15 items in his basket: 8 cans of sardines, 6 jars of pickled pigs feet and a ginormous bag of kitty litter). Dude, what are you doing-- hosting a redneck feline barbecue in your backyard?  B)  Decides he can't afford that many jars of pickled pigs feet and has the check-out girl de-scan them all.  C)  Tries to pay for his purchases with a credit card that has been denied (guess that case of chewing tobacco he bought last month maxed out his card).

     *People who can't pay their mortgage but somehow scrape up the funds to book a room for a weekend at the beach, drive Beemer convertibles and suck down lobster tails at a five star restaurant.

     *Late service calls. "Dear Mr. Internet-Television-Telephone-Electricity-Repair Man: I don't mind sitting in a dark cave for two weeks, waiting for you to show up and restore our service. I'll just sit here in the candle light and crochet a pastel noose while I wait patiently for your visit.

     *People who criticize me or my family behind my back because they're too insecure to face their own demons. Criticize my kids and I'll go all Charlie Sheen on your ass. Yes, I know they've done some stupid things over the years, like sticking bubble gum in a sibling's hair or throwing a hot iron at someone who was poking fun at them...but at least they didn't shove a raisin up someone's nose like my older brother did to me when I was little. Raisins+nasal passage=emergency room.

    *Erratic drivers multi-tasking behind the wheel while speeding down a busy interstate. These people aren't human--they're aliens from a planet that produces colonies of octopus people. Amazing how they can text, apply makeup, slip a contact in their eye and brush their teeth, all while dodging in and out of traffic.

     *Diet products and expensive exercise equipment that promises to turn women into JLo. *NEWSFLASH* The money you wasted on these items could have been invested in a Twinkie factory, because either way you're going to come out looking like Melissa McCarthy from the Mike and Molly show.

     *Celebrities who whine about their lack of privacy and run-ins with the paparazzi. Well duh, after clawing their way to the top, what did they expect? They can always switch careers---I hear they're hiring janitors at the local middle school to scrub spit balls off the bathroom walls. No need to worry about paparazzi showing up there.

     *People who try to involve me in the he said/she said game. I'm tired of playing referee and would rather sit along the sidelines while they duke it out in the Octagon. Popcorn, anyone?

     *Door-to-door salesmen. In the dinosaur days before internet, people used to sell encyclopedias door-to-door. As a kid, it was pretty darn exciting to flip through the glossy pages and look at the mating cycle of the woolly worm. But nowadays, it never fails---we'll just be sitting down to dinner when the doorbell rings and some squirrelly looking guy who seems to be hyped up on meth is trying to sell me an alarm system, a magazine subscription or a set of Ginsu knives. The only sales people allowed to cross my threshold are the ones selling Girl Scout cookies or those giant World's Finest chocolate bars to support the high school glee club.

     *People who brag about their high paying jobs, yet bitch about the lengthy hours they put in each if the rest of us poor slobs do nothing but sit around the pool all day and sip pina coladas. Who do the they think they're kidding? Just. Shut. Up.  Everyone knows they're the ones keeping TLC, MTV and the Bravo channel ratings up by never missing an episode of Honey Boo Boo, Sixteen And Pregnant, Real Housewives Of New Jersey and Toddlers And Tiaras.

     *Cheap people. Don't bring the Walmart wine-special-of-the-week wrapped in fancy trimmings when I know damn well you can afford the good stuff. You can wrap your trash up in a pink bag with purple bows and it's still gonna smell like crap to the garbage man.

     These are the types of people who have been sucking the life out of me for years. To hell with them. Now it's time for me to kick back, pour a glass of wine and watch back to back episodes of Koalas Gone Wild.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menopausal Blogoversary

     Today I'm celebrating my one year blogoversary. There have been a lot of changes around here since I stepped outside of my prehistoric bubble to learn how to turn on a computer.  I was once the clone of Donna Reed, the nurturing mother and wife catering to the needs of my family.  The laundry was always neatly folded into squares, meals were cooked from scratch, shelves were dust-free and the floors were spotless.  But deep inside, a small voice kept whispering, "Eat the cupcake, eat the---" no, not THAT voice!  It was the other voice that kept nagging at me about the unfinished book manuscript collecting fuzz balls under my bed.
     I continued to ignore the voice until I learned about blogging. I was equally fascinated and intimidated by the concept of exploiting my life in the blogosphere, where I could be either loved or ridiculed for my views.  But I figured, what the heck? What did I have to lose other than my dignity (that ship sailed LONG ago)!?
     With a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and my laptop in the other, I composed my first blog post, which was much easier to write after the third glass of vino (*see "First Menopausal Moment" 8/27/11).
     Starting a blog was one of the best decisions I have made, but not without some sacrifice.  My addiction to blogging has created setbacks in other areas of my Donna Reed lifestyle; changes that my family hasn't wholeheartedly embraced:

*  I seldom have time to run the vacuum cleaner these days---you could knit a sweater and matching scarf set with the amount of dog hair embedded in my carpets.

*  I discovered that the microwave is a mother's best friend.  I've learned to be creative when it comes to putting dinner together.  Each night it's a surprise smorgasbord of leftovers from the dark depths of my freezer, also known as No Man's Land.  Amazing what you can create with a lone hotdog, a sad-looking waffle and a bag of freezer burned peas.

*  A raging caffeine addiction.  Forget the coffee pot.  Just give me the whole damn bag of coffee and I'll chew on the grounds like it was granola.  My husband claims that caffeine overload has turned me into a whirling dervish (a.k.a. Tazmanian Devil).  It's all fun and games until I'm wide awake, sitting alone in the dark at 3:00 a.m. and wondering if I should join a nocturnal commune of bats.

*  Due to the aforementioned insomnia, my eyes are often puffy and ringed dark like my new cousin the raccoon.  If I keep this up much longer, the airlines are going to charge me double for the extra baggage I'm carrying under my eyes.  The pale pallor of my skin after a restless night doesn't help, either.  I'm thinking I should apply for a job as an extra on the set of The Walking Dead.

*  My husband thinks I have gone underground in the witness protection program because he never sees me.  The untouched stash of Butterfinger candy bars is evidence that I've been missing for a long time.

*  I stare at the computer screen so much now that I've upgraded my 1.5 readers to 2.5.  Just last week I enrolled my pet pug into a seeing eye dog class so he can navigate me from my refrigerator to my home office.  I just need to teach him how to post a blog with his front paws.

*  I'm always looking for new blog followers.  If my husband was more agreeable, I'd dress him up like a giant Cheeto and have him dance along Federal Highway with my website address plastered across his orange belly.

*  My nightmares have turned into blogmares, and they always have something to do with Teletubbies and Mothra.  Freud would have a field day with that one.

*  My family finally figured out that I haven't done laundry in months.  You can only get away with spritzing dirty clothes with Febreeze for so long.

*  Lack of exercise.  I used to power walk six miles a day.  Now I'd rather stay home, eat pancakes and become a blogger blob.

     Sacrifices?  Plenty.  The cost of a good blog post?  Priceless!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Menopausal Cuckoo

     I think I'm losing my mind. Seriously. I used to be a compulsive organizer and proud of it. The spices in my spice rack were placed in alphabetical order from anise to turmeric. My closet was color coordinated along with the contents in my under ware drawer. Shoes fit snugly in shoe trees according to heel length and seasonal use. And all of my photo albums were neatly labeled and shelved in chronological order. Freakish to some, but at least I wasn't cultivating a dust bunny farm.
     I was never late for a function, and I could easily juggle work with the kids' karate/cheerleading/    
gymnastics/choir/ballet classes effortlessly while entertaining company and serving up a homemade five course meal Martha Stewart style. Wonder Woman had nothing on me.
     And then something changed when I entered my menopausal years. It started with the keys. Took me thirty minutes one morning to find the refrigerator between the yogurt and an old bag of potatoes that were starting to grow roots. I kept forgetting to throw them out---something the pre-menopausal me never would have done. The keys? I swear I didn't leave them in the refrigerator. Surely someone was playing a prank on me---had to be my mischievous kids playing that "Lets-Drive-Mom-Crazy-Until-She -Is -Willing-To-Increase-Our-Allowance-And-Never-Make-Us -Clean-Our-Rooms-Again," game.
     My glasses disappeared the following week and I walked around like a blind mole bumping into furniture and eating what I thought was a brownie but turned out to be a charcoal briquet. How do you find glasses if you need your glasses to find them?
     It wasn't long before I was forgetting appointments with my hairdresser (which explains why my hair looked and felt like  worn out Brillo pad). It also explains  why the last time I showed up at the doctor's office to get my cavity filled for a tooth that ached, the nurse reminded me I was there for a colonoscopy and that yes, they were certainly going to fill a cavity while I was there.
     What the hell was happening to me? Did all the crazy, drunken weekends from my college years really destroy THAT many brain cells ( I knew that weekend in St. Louis with my sorority sisters was going to cause some long term damage some day)?
     It was karmic retribution for all of those times I poked fun at my husband for his Attention Deficit Disorder. I thought it was rather endearing to watch him struggle to remember what he walked into a room for (Your sunglasses? They're on your head), or when he stomped through the house and stubbed his toe while searching for his iPad (in the bathroom next to the toilet where you sat for an hour playing
raccoon relay races). I had to suppress a giggle each time he accused the kids of losing the TV remote  when all along it was nestled between his butt cheeks on the couch. His ADD also worked to my advantage when it came to arguing---all I had to do was throw around a few incidences and conversations from the past, which of course he could never remember, and I always came out on top.
     Now the tables have turned, and my mind has taken a seat on the crazy train somewhere between this birthday and my last.
     Cooking is one of my passions, but what good is it if I get distracted and add salt instead of sugar to a recipe, or bake a loaf of bread that turns into a lumpy pancake that even the dog turns away from: "Lady, I may be just a dog, but even I have some standards. You can't pass off this crap like it's manna from heaven!" If the dog is insulted, he pees on the furniture to exact his revenge---or maybe it's just because I've forgotten to walk him in awhile, which explains the cobwebs on the dog leash.
     Some days I forget to take my vitamins, especially the fiber pills. This can be dangerous for all the wrong reasons---something akin to a septic tank on the brink of failure.
     While it is a relief to learn that memory loss and menopause hold hands and skip gleefully down a path together toward their best friend dementia, it is equally disturbing to discover the alarming rate for which it is happening. Think of all the women out there who are forgetting to fold the laundry, cook dinner or pick up the kids after school while they're sitting in a Starbucks sucking down a Frappuccino. How about the ones who take the wrong exit ramp for work and end up in a nail salon or at a bingo hall in Arizona?
     My mother suggested that I start doing crossword puzzles to sharpen my mind. I tried this, but I think my brain is too far gone, because I couldn't remember the three letter word for donkey.
     So what am I going to do? Make myself a margarita (or three) to help myself forget what I can't remember.
     By the way, have you seen my glasses?


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