Friday, March 29, 2013

And The Award Goes To....

     You know what I love about living in the blogosphere (besides the virtual cups of coffee, giant chocolate bars and margaritas we send each other)? Most bloggers are NICE PEOPLE. They visit your site, get comfortable on your couch and share their witty comments on your page. They are a talented bunch who fearlessly share their secrets and dreams, along with their most embarrassing moments just for our entertainment. And they love to share their appreciation of other bloggers by nominating their peers for various awards, or featuring them on their sites and retweeting their statuses. Not only am I pleased to be able to share some awards today with my fellow bloggers, I'd also like to give a big shout-out to Sandra over at who just launched her online magazine, The Woven Tale Press, at I am honored that she chose one of my posts to appear in her beautiful literary magazine. When you get a chance, please be sure to check out Sandra's blog and subscribe to her magazine!

     Now, onto the awards.....the first one I received was the Liebster. I was actually given this one twice by two amazing bloggers: Darla from Mom's World at: and Angela at: Normally this award is reserved for a blogger who has less than 200 followers. I'm well over that limit, but I'm accepting these Liebsters because it gives me the ability to return the love to some bloggers who are new to me and who deserve some love. As with any award, there are certain rules that apply to the Liebster:

1. Each nominee must post 11 facts about themselves.
2. Nominees must answer 11 questions the tagger has given to them, and then create 11 new ones to pass down to the bloggers they then nominate.
3. Display award logo on your site and link back to the person who gave it to you.
4. Choose 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
5. Notify your nominees.

     Rather than answer Darla's 11 questions and another 11 from Angela, I'm going to shorten this by combining some of their questions for your sake, so you don't fall into a coma while reading this lengthy post. Here they are:

1. What Time Do You Normally Go To Bed?  I don't. I'm nocturnal. I was raised by owls.

2.  Do You Like Men With Hairy Chests Or Smooth Chests?  Wait, what? Seriously? If you must know, I like both. I'm far more interested in the look, shape and feel of a man's hands.

3.  Do You Have Any Collections?  If you have to ask this, then you haven't been reading my blog. My house is overrun with squirrel paraphernalia. Toss in a bunch of dragons, too, and you get the picture. Obviously both of my feet are NOT planted firmly in reality.

4.  What Kind Of Music Do You Listen To?  I like old school rock, top 40, country, classical...but I need to listen to dubstep while I clean the house. Currently, my all time fave song is Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child".  I like to listen to it while I work out at the gym.

5.  Did You Go To College, And If So, Did You Graduate?  Yes--four years and graduated with a
B.F.A. in Creative Writing. I attended a private women's college in Missouri (my parents knew a hell raiser when they saw one, and decided it would be for my own good to be sheltered away in a school that still had dorm curfews). Little did they know that I spent the majority of my time across the street at the University Of Missouri.....raising hell, just a they feared.

6.  Are You Happy With The Way You Life Is Going Now?  As much as any middle-aged, menopausal woman can be. But I'd be a lot happier if you sent me a box of chocolates. Oh, and yellow roses. Those are my favorites, too....just in case you needed to know....

7.  What's Your Most Frustrating Moment In The Morning?  Putting in my contacts. They feel like sandpaper going in and I cuss like a gutter rat every time I do it.

8.  What's The Best Job You Have Ever Had? When I was filling in at Poet Magazine as a judge for a poetry chapbook competition.

 9.  What Is The Worst Job You Ever Had? That's a toss up between telephone operator and dental assistant. Trust me, you don't want to start off your day with a warm, gooey set of dentures in your hand.

10.  Why Did You Start Blogging?  It was either that or be a Chia Pet assembler.

11.  What Do You Like Most About A Man?  Humor. Nice hands. And the eyes. I'm a sucker for brown eyes. The make me want to swoon.

11 FUN MENO MAMA FACTS  (I've done this stuff so many times now, I think y'all know me better than my own family...certainly more than my kids EVER want to know about me)

* I'm hypoglycemic. I never leave the house without a protein bar in my purse, car or pocket.

* I hate driving. I'd be totally content with a horse and buggy, but only if it comes with air conditioning.

* I'm a really good cook and baker---I just can't eat any of it or else I'll swell up like the Michelin Man.

* The majority of the clothes in my closet are black. Not because I'm goth---because they're slimming.

* I have some colorful ancestors in my family tree, including George Armstrong Custer and Robert R. Livingston.

* I studied hypnosis years ago and am pretty good at it. I used to hypnotize all my friends. It made things pretty interesting around here.

* My husband was adopted---I tracked down his birth mother years ago and helped arrange of them to meet.

* I have a weird fascination with anything related to WWI . I am also a Titanic enthusiast.

* I like cowboys and country boys. I've been heavily influenced by Tim McGraw...what female wouldn't be?

* I don't ride roller coasters. Even Splash Mountain at Disney World is a stretch for me.

     Still with me? Here's the 11 questions for the nominees:

1. What's the dumbest thing  you've done in the past 6 months?
2. What's your all-time favorite movie and why?
3. What do you consider attractive in a person?
4. What is the one food you've eaten too much of and gotten sick on?
5. What is one of your biggest regrets?
6. What is the ugliest outfit you've ever worn?
7. What's the worst haircut you've ever had?
8. Have you ever owned a Chia Pet or a Pet Rock?
9. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? If so, how fast where you going?
10. Have you ever had a bodily function accident while you were out in public?
11. What's your worst phobia?

FINALLY!! Here are my 11 nominees for the Liebster Award:

     My next award is the Very Inspiring Award from Gail over at Thanks, Gail! Hang in there, folks--this is an easy one.  Here's the rules:

1. Display award logo on blog.
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link back to them.


* I never got asked to my senior prom. No regrets. Spent the evening raising hell with my gal pals in downtown Ft.Lauderdale.

* I'm obsessed with the moon, but not in a creepy, werewolf sort of way. I don't howl at it or sprout
unruly facial hair.

* I almost named my blog, "Margarita Mama." Yes, I love tequila. Don't judge.

* My house and backyard garden are inhabited by friendly "spirits," and I don't mean the alcoholic kind. Don't ask.

*  I'm an old-fashioned kind of woman who would love to be June Cleaver for a day because I could really rock the apron, pearls and high heels look.

*  My pug licks everybody's knee caps when they sit down on the couch.

*  I'd sell my left kidney right now for a Cadbury Egg. I'm dieting, people! What do you expect???

     And the 15 bloggers I nominate of this award are:

    This last award is fairly new, the Epically Awesome Award, and I received it from one of the funniest bloggers I know and whom I refer to as "Ham Girl" (she knows why). Thank you, Sarah, at: The rules are also easy for this one:

1. Display award logo.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 10 things about you.
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers.


* I'm a renaissance festival freak. I never miss a weekend when the show is in town, and I own 4 different gowns for the occasion. HUZZAH!

*  I love to dance, but seldom get the chance. I joined a gym recently and go to zumba classes. Yeah, this dinosaur can still get low & booty shake with the rest of the ladies in the class!

*  I fell in love with dragons when I was little because of the Puff The Magic Dragon song. Still makes me sad when I hear it.

*  Meno Mama has a dark side few people have me, you don't want to....bwhahaha!

*  I have a terrible fear of drowning. I can't look at a picture of a tidal wave without getting slightly nauseous. No surfing for Meno Mama.

*  I wish I had been a teenager in the 1950's just so I could drive around in a pink, 1956 T-bird. One of these days I plan on owning one.

*  I purposely try to fatten up everyone who comes to my house to eat. I'm often mistaken for an Italian mother...

*  Sometimes I laugh about things at inopportune moments...and then I can't stop. Awkward....

*  I love carnivals---the games, the candied apples and the fast long as my feet don't leave the ground.

     Now, the Epically Awesome bloggers I nominate of this award are:

     Congratulations to each of you, and to my dear readers if you actually made it all the way to the end of the post without falling into a coma. Now go sprinkle your love on some other, deserving bloggers!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Fly On The Wall: Life In A Looney Bin

     Welcome to my third group blog posting of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen at There are 13 bloggers courageous enough to spill their guts participate today in this little exercise in embarrassment.
     Whenever I know a Fly On The Wall posting is due, I go into stealth mode and listen in on family conversations. One of these days they're going to change all the locks on the house and leave my suitcases outside filled with nothing but dirty under ware.
     There are certain things in our home that we WISH we could update/trade/ban for eternity, but we can't because the lottery fairy has not graced us with good luck. Just a free can of soda every now and then from the Quick Mart. We would LOVE to put ol' Bessy out to pasture and buy a new vehicle that actually has door handles, hubcaps and doesn't smell like dog pee. But for now, the old mommy mobile (which I stopped driving years ago when the air conditioner croaked and the liner started shedding like snakeskin) is here to stay a bit longer until somebody hits the right numbers on a lottery ticket. Poor Bessy has been the brunt of many bad jokes and teenage rejection/horror/embarrassment:

     "I'm not driving the stupid minivan. It's so old, it looks like a hemorrhoid on wheels."

     "Why is the van lurching at stop lights?"
     "Because that's what's called the death march of the Honda Odyssey."

     "Even though you're a guy, you'd look a whole lot sexier in that mommy mobile if you weren't gnawing on a steak bone while driving down the highway."

     "The transmission is about to drop out of the minivan. Don't blame me if it happens today with the kids at the drive-through zoo when we get stuck in the rhino section during feeding time."

     Then there are things I overhear when all my adult children are in town visiting. Which is why I keep pen and paper nearby at all times. They think I suffer from menopausal memory loss and assume I'm just writing down items for the grocery list. Uh-huh. Somehow the conversations in our home always turn weird. And gross. If you have a strong stomach, then read on. Don't say I didn't warn you.

     "I've heard of butt floss before but this dog puts a whole new spin on it when he eats dental floss and poops out a connected trail of sausage links."

     "Stop speaking with a Jamaican accent. You weren't born in the Caribbean. You were dropped in the middle of a cornfield in Missouri when the mother ship rejected you."

     "I drank too much whiskey last night. I feel like a piece of burnt toast that has been sitting out on the counter all week and gnawed on by rabid gerbils."

     "You like your pets better than you like your kids."
     "Damn right, because they don't talk back."

     "I'm so impacted that even my breath smells like crap."
     "Then go give yourself a mouthwash enema."

     "Why is the dog stalking me?"
     "You're eating a steak. He's in predator mode."

     "You need to stop being an emotional doormat."
     "I don't mind, as long as I get free margaritas out of it."

     "She always rubs her corns on his feet when they go to bed. She says she's making corn dip."

     "Forget Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You have a case of Irritable Spouse Syndrome."

     " Go brush your hair---nocturnal creatures are nesting in there."

     "Why do you look like a Viking who just woke up after slaying a village?"

     "I just sucked down that icy drink so fast, I think my colon is frozen."

     "Every morning I end up behind the same, red truck on the way to work. The driver has a nasty sign across the back window that reads, 'Cummin' not strokin'.' Is this a bad omen?"
     "Not unless you plan on marrying him."

     "I don't see how you can get drunk all day during the game, gorge on junk food, and then do it all over again at night."
     "Easily. I have a billy goat belly."

     "I have to poop so bad, I'm going to start doing the Harlem Poop Shake."

     Welcome to the Looney Bin I call home! Please be sure to visit all the bloggers participating in the Fly today!                                                                                                                                          

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Friday, March 15, 2013

I Need A What?

     A colonoscopy. The scary "C" word. Something I have been putting off for two years.  This is what you get for your birthday once you hit middle age. "Hey, happy birthday! Here's your present---a gift wrapped colonoscopy!" Thank God they don't sell home kits for that sort of stuff or else everyone would lie about their birthday and stay forty-nine forever. My husband had to drag me kicking and screaming into the doctor's office because I seriously rebelled the idea of a camera being shoved up my you-know-what. Who the hell wants that? "Wow! What a gorgeous morning! It's a great day for a colonoscopy!" Unfortunately, it's a fact of life once you reach your middle age years. The only way I agreed to do it was if my husband scheduled his procedure the same day as mine. "The family that has a colonoscopy together stays together!" My husband was four years overdue, so he was anxious to get it done. He has a history of  polyps, so he was due for the double whammy---the camera shoved into two orifices for the price of one. His first question to the doctor was to make sure the the camera they used to explore his colon wasn't going to be the same one they used down his throat. The grinning doctor assured him that yes, it was indeed the same camera, but not to worry because they would explore the throat first before heading south. That's when I interrupted the conversation and said, "No way in hell are you using the same camera on me! I don't want the leftovers---schedule me first!"
     After much ribbing from our friends and a lot of great advice ("Use Gatorade to mix the powdered medicine," "Use wet wipes for your behind, because trust me, you'll need it by the end of the day...") we faced the daunting task of getting through the "day of preparation", which is the day before the procedure. No food allowed for twenty-four hours, just clear fluids. Oh, and this nasty powdered medicine you mix with liquid and drink gallons of to clear out your colon. In other words, don't leave home because your butt is going to take you on a wild ride at the speed of light. Another word of advice---if you have to go through this little excercise in colon gymnastics, do not eat corn the week of your procedure---trust me, you'll be sorry if you do.
     On the prep day, I felt like a contestant on Survivor. No food to a "foodie" like me is like serving a jail term where 24 hours seems like 24 years.  I started chugging chicken broth and apple juice until I felt like I was going to start clucking and pecking at apples. My husband was just as miserable as me. I've never seen him look so longingly at the handful of pretzels my son was munching on in front of us. I was dying of starvation, ready to forage in the flower beds in my garden or start gnawing on the wooden couch legs. Even the dog started to look pretty tasty. The doctor said, "Only clear fluids"...I idly wondered if that included gin or vodka.
      At 2:00 p.m. that day we were due to start drinking the "magic elixir of life"---the stuff that makes you poop uncontrollably. We mixed the powder perscription with lemon lime Gatorade and began chugging. It was like the games we played in college---my husband and I stood side by side at the sink and tried to out-chug one another. I could just hear the frat boys chanting, "Go, go, go!"
      So far, so good.
      Fifteen minutes later as we sat on the sofa and watched the food channel (we were gluttons for punishment), I heard the first rumbling. It sounded like Mount Vesuvious getting ready to explode. I turned to my husband. "Was that your stomach or mine?" Gurgle, gurgle, then, "OH MY GOD!!!" and the race to the bathroom began. Thank goodness we have two toilets in the house because if we didn't, someone would be sticking their fanny in a bucket. These were not bowel "urges", these were bowel demands screaming "NOW!" Too bad we don't have a television in our bathroom because I sure could have used one after sitting in there for five hours.
      The day of the procedure, I no longer feared what was going to be done to me because I was so hyper-focused on what I was going to eat once I woke up from the anethesia. I wondered if they'd serve me steak and a big baked potato in the recovery room. That would be a nice thing to wake up to after being molested by a small camera.
      As promised, I was wheeled into the surgical room before my husband. I feebily waved "good-bye" to him as I rolled past, and he gave me the thumbs-up. It was a bit disconcerting to see so many doctors and nurses waiting in the room for me---like this was major surgery or something. That's when I glanced over at a partially hidden closet and saw these long, black, snake-like tubes hanging from hooks. The tubes looked long enough to stretch all the way to Russia. They were going to put that thing up my what?!? Before I could rip out my IV and run for the hills, the anethesiologist patted my shoulder and sent me off to la-la land with propofol, the infamous Michael Jackson drug.
      Next thing I knew, these very kind nurses-more like angels- gently woke me and asked if I'd like some coffee and graham crackers. I sat up like a seal  and clapped my hands. Food!Food! Graham crackers have never tasted so good.
      As soon as we got home (polyp-free), my husband and I raided the refrigerator. We didn't even shut the door---we just stood there in its light snacking on lunch meat and cheese sticks with the cool air hitting our faces.
       All in all, a colonoscopy is not as bad or scary as you might think. At least you can drop a few pounds in the process. It should be called "the colonoscopy diet" because you starve and then poop out everything you've eaten for the last month. Everyone should be awarded a souvenir once they finish this procedure. An "I survived a colonoscopy!" tee-shirt would be nice. Or maybe just hand them a steak.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hangover 3: Bloggers Gone Wild

     This is my fourth time participating in the Secret Subject Swap with 15 brave bloggers, hosted by Karen @ My prompt question comes from the very talented writer Insomniac's Dream @ Her prompt for me today is:  "You have a chance, money is not an object, to meet your favorite bloggers face to face. But you can only pick five..."
     I'll admit, this prompt was a tough one for me. Writing this was like pulling teeth from a piranha. It was IMPOSSIBLE for me to select just 5 of my favorite bloggers----I have more like 40, so I couldn't possibly name them all here. Instead, I have given out fictitious names for some fun ladies I know (yes, names have been changed to protect the innocent) and I would love nothing more than to meet these gals one day!
     This story is a hybrid between the movie Hangover and Laura Numeroff's children's book, "If You Give A Moose A Muffin" (but an adult version. Kids, leave the room). This is what I imagine MIGHT happen if I met my blogger friends face to face, and how we would spend an evening together. Contrary to belief, I was NOT drinking margaritas when I wrote this post!

     Once upon a time in a land far, far away, six female bloggers met for the first time at a swanky resort in South Beach. They spent a wild, raucous night on the town...most of which became a blur...until they woke the following morning to a most disturbing sight:

     The 1st woman had a tattoo of a large-horned rhino on her chest with the inscription, "I'm A Horny Beast!" She was also surprised to find multiple piercings in unmentionable places. Ouch!
     The 2nd woman woke with a shaved head. There was a small patch of stubble left in back with the words, "Blogger Bitch" neatly shaved across her scalp.
     The 3rd woman had two, black eyes and a thick bandage across her nose. An ostrich was pecking at her chocolate-covered feet.
     The 4th woman woke with her legs wound tightly around an anatomically correct Johnny Depp blowup doll.
     The 5th woman squirmed awake in a tight, hotdog costume with the words, "Life Is Good Between Your Buns" stitched across the backside.
     Last but not least, the 6th woman woke up next to a Lizard Man. Yes, as in reptile. With big muscles.
     Across the room, a pizza delivery man snored loudly on the floor. He was shirtless, with a pink tutu around his waist and a motorcycle helmet over his head. Beside him was a 6 foot, chocolate Easter bunny with both ears missing.

     ***Again, I was NOT drinking margaritas when I wrote this post. But the blogger ladies in this story were. ***

***       ***       ***   

     If you give a group of female bloggers too many margaritas, one will be reminded of an ex-boyfriend's sexy tattoo. She'll lead the others to a tattoo and piercing parlor, and convince her friend Lucy to get a tattoo.

     After getting a rhinoceros tattoo, Lucy will remember how much she loved the zoo when she was young. She'll hail a taxi with her friends and head to the Wild Kingdom Exhibit. Once inside, Lucy takes a swig of tequila from her flask and lassos an ostrich. Ride 'em, Cowgirl!
     After hijacking a zoo truck painted in camo and loading it with a few of their favorite, exotic animals, Kitty looks at the gorilla and is reminded that she needs a haircut. The six women stop at a 24 hour hair salon called, " Bruno The Barbarian: You brave it, we shave it!" Kitty is so proud of her recent blog award that she has Bruno The Barbarian shave off most of her hair, except for some stubble in back with the words, "Blogger Bitch" emblazoned on her scalp. Mitsy stares at this sight in wonder and is reminded of the freak show at the carnival. Luckily for the women, the Barnum And Bimbo carnival is still in town. It is only moments after they arrive that Mitsy becomes enthralled with the Lizard Man's forked tongue and invites him back to the hotel room for a cocktail. What woman wouldn't want a man with a long, double-edged tongue?

     Spotting a large, pirate boat on the carnival grounds,  Marla is reminded of how attracted she is to pirates, so she insists that her friends join her on a boat ride. While Kitty is tossing up her cookies over the railing, Marla flirts shamelessly with Captain Jack Sparrow's twin. She remembers those late night fantasies she once had about Johnny Depp, so she enters a ring toss game and wins a look-alike, blowup doll of Captain Jack.
     Rayna reminds the ladies that they haven't stopped at her favorite attraction at the carnival---The Fun House Of Mirrors. Rayna has already polished off the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle and hallucinates that she is Alice chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole. She sees the reflection of a giant, chocolate bunny and runs head first into a mirror, breaking her nose. The worm has convinced her that she feels no pain. But the thought of a chocolate bunny gives Rayna a sweet tooth. The girls stop at the corner candy store where a 6 foot, Chocolate Easter bunny is on display in the front window. The women charm the store clerk into selling them the decadent, chocolate rabbit and load it into the camo truck that Lizard Man is now driving.

     As the bloggers head back to the hotel, Suzy sees a hotdog vendor on the side of the road and is reminded that she hasn't eaten all day (unless the lime in the margarita glass counts). The vendor is wearing a full hotdog costume, which Suzy adores and begs him to sell to her in exchange for her Pandora bracelet.
     Once the women arrive back at the penthouse suite, their stomachs remind them that they need more than a hotdog and a 6 foot chocolate bunny to soak up all the alcohol they've had. They order a pizza and are delighted to discover that the Swedish delivery man looks a lot like Bradley Cooper. They drag him into the room and outfit him in a pink tutu and a red motorcycle helmet to make their own version of a  Harlem Shake video. After two more rounds of tequila shots, no one else is left standing.

     The moral of this story (take your pick)?

A.) Don't give bloggers booze
B.) This is how Meno Mama likes to party
C.) Don't eat the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle or you'll end up with:
      a lizard in your bed
      "Blogger Bitch" on your head
      and a Swede named Sved.

     You can check out the 15 bloggers participating in today's swap here:                                                                                                          

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Box


     In my hall closet there is a box hidden beneath bath towels and bed sheets. Inside the box are scraps of memories of a child I never had the chance to know. A lock of hair, some yellowed snapshots and the black and white ink print of a foot no larger than my thumb. There was a time when I needed to open the box daily to reassure myself that the baby existed, if only for a brief moment in my arms.
     I keep the box on a high shelf crowded between old baby clothes my children have long since outgrown and the tattered, smudged drawings from their early kindergarten days.  I seldom think about the box until it's time to reorganize the closet to make room for the clutter of new memories. My hand brushes across the worn flaps and I feel the need to open it again, despite the years that separate me from that part of my past. It has been stored in the closet for two decades, yet every time I see it, I am surprised by its presence and what it once meant to me----the hopes and dreams of a young mother carrying twins. I lift the lid slowly and touch the silky wisp of blonde hair inside. Folded neatly underneath the sympathy cards and letters is a small, cotton blanket. My hand automatically smooths the satin edge and slowly I bring it to my cheek, remembering the softness of the little boy it once held.
     There was a time when I believed the box was all that I had left of Jason, until one morning when I looked into his twin sister's eyes and saw his smile. She had just taken her first step around the coffee table and rewarded me with her toothless grin. I cried then for the miracle of having such a special baby, and for the twin boy I'd never see take his first step, play catch with his father, splash in the surf, star in a school play, walk across the stage for his high school diploma or escort his new bride down a church aisle. Although I missed him and often wondered what it would have been like to raise twins, I realized early on how blessed I was to have his twin sister, who brings so much joy into my life.
     When I was younger, it was very painful to open Jason's box. It forced me to face a loss I never understood. Today, it represents more than that; it reminds me of the courage it took to work through the loss---something I never could have accomplished without the love of my family and the power of faith.  The box became a part of the healing process in my grief.  Every time I sifted through its contents, I became stronger.
     I'll never forget Jason or the softness of his skin when I cradled him in my arms. Although our time together was brief, he taught me some valuable lessons. Our children are a blessing, and the special moments we share with them are the little miracles in our lives that make up the memories we carry in our hearts when we grow old.

For J.

Your voice is hidden in the hum
of a respirator, each breath
the weight of a stone
in this sterile room
where shadows of infants
drift across hospital walls
leaves that break loose
from summer trees
scatter into fall

Clouds shift in your eyes
the hard blue of summer
the sorrow of lullabies
you will never know
only my hand against the pale moon
of your face
spirit lifting from my fingers
into the light
your small shadow etched
into the darkening sky.  

*My surviving twin daughter and her baby girl. They are my heart.


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