Friday, April 26, 2013

Oh Rats!

I like rodents. I feed squirrels by hand in my garden and have a menagerie of nocturnal critters in my home. At one point our family owned 2 albino rats, a sugar glider (flying squirrel), 7 chinchillas, a hedgehog and one lard ass rabbit....proof that I do indeed like rodents. I do NOT, however, like the uninvited ones who take a detour into my house. I grew up watching horror movies like Willard and Ben, and like every child from that era, had nightmares of rats descending on my body, gnawing off a limb or two, picking my bones clean.
     Imagine my surprise recently when I came home from the gym, stripped down for a shower and hopped onto my bed for a quick peek at Facebook....when the unthinkable occurred. Something gray scurried across my bedroom floor. My hands froze on the keyboard. What the hell was THAT? I waited a moment....but nothing happened. Just my imagination playing tricks on me. I resumed typing. Wait...what was that rustling sound in the corner?  I ignored it.
     And then that terrible moment when I looked up from my laptop and saw IT----the black sheep cousin of the squirrel family----a gray rat staring up at me.  
     The rat seemed equally horrified to see me in my birthday suit and quickly darted under the dresser (I briefly wondered if my being naked might have that effect on humans, too). Holy hell in a hand basket! I'm the Squirrel Whisperer, not a Rat Whisperer!

     "Ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd!!!" Of course no one else was home to catch the vile creature, because this is typically the kind of crap that always happens just to me.  I was suddenly cast in the sequel to Willard and I knew the outcome wasn't going to be good. 
     My heart was racing as I furiously typed a message to my Facebook friends: "HEEELP MEEE!" Moments later, that rat bastard scurried out again, took one look at me and dashed under the bed----right beneath me.
     There I was, perched naked on my bed like a stone gargoyle, terrified of dipping one toe off the mattress.....afraid Willard might gnaw on it. 
     I'm not sure how long I stayed that way, but the messages came pouring in on my Facebook page: 

     "Get a frying pan and kill that little bastard...but be sure to video tape it..."
     "What? No! Gross! Oh GAWD, I can hear it making scritchety, scratchety sounds." 
     "That's your baby rat, snickering under your bed, trying to find a way to crawl up there and visit you."
     "He's making a nest in your box spring."
     "You are NOT helping the situation! Seriously, I need to get in the shower now. If you don't hear from me again, Willard killed me..."

     "Where's that bad-ass pug of yours? He'll get the rat."
     "My pug wears a diaper---what does THAT tell you?"
     "If you had a ferret like I used to, he'd maul the rat."
     "I can't even get off my bed! How in holy hell am I supposed to get to the pet store to buy a ferret?"     

     "You'll have to move or burn down the house..."

     "Get some industrial sized, ass-kicking boots!"

     "I'm going to sick my ninja chinchillas on the rat. I know that damn stalker rodent is still in the house, somewhere..."

"I think your chinchillas will just party down with him. They might even show him where all the good munchies are."
     " How am I going to sleep in my room tonight? Totally skeeved here..."

     Rather than live in fear every time I entered my bedroom, I tried to think of the rat as a sweet natured rodent straight out of a Beatrix Potter tale. I named him Edgar and I imagined him hanging out with

Peter The Rabbit in a tiny blue vest with reading glasses on his nose as he sipped tea and read the stacks of trashy romance novels stashed under my bed. I assumed he'd make a soft bed out of the dust motes that swirled around the corners of my room and live off the stale crusts of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that my son was so fond of leaving around the house. But every night when I went to bed, I pulled the covers over my head and prayed that I would not wake to little rat hands twisting my hair into a comfy nest.
     A week later I discovered a horrible odor emanating from my laundry room. Someone suggested that perhaps it was the stink of sweaty gym clothes left in the laundry basket, or that maybe my teenaged son hadn't showered in awhile. But I knew immediately what I was dealing with----rat zombie stench.  Edgar had donned his little, white Elvis suit and left the building. Sure enough---behind the washing machine we discovered a fuzzy, little carcass chillin' with eleven pairs of socks that had mysteriously disappeared from the laundry in 2009.
     Au Revoir Edgar, and may you find true happiness in that great big cheese ball in the sky.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Fly On The Wall in The Asylum

 Welcome to my fourth posting of the Fly On The Wall series, hosted by Karen at There are 12 courageous bloggers participating today, and they're allowing you a little peak into their private lives.
     My family is wising up to my sneaky ways and I'll admit, it's getting a little more difficult to eavesdrop on their conversations. However, they haven't figured out yet that I am a dog whisperer. My bad ass pug is really a spy who picks up their conversations and then reports everything back to me. But he also has the worst gas known to mankind and can clear a room in three seconds flat. Here are some snippets of conversation he texted me from his iBone phone:

     "Why is there a pirate patch in the laundry? Somebody doing some kinky role playing?"

Channeling Lady Gaga on my birthday, with all my girls in costume

     "Hurry up and eat your bacon before it turns back into a pig."

     "Menopausal Flogging---it's what men during the medieval period did to their wives when they were going through menopause and misbehaving."

One kid in a bad mood...while the other makes fun of her

     "Watching you prepare your Chinese takeout food on a dinner plate is like watching the Pope preparing the Holy Sacrament."

     "You don't need weight training---I'll bet your right arm is already huge from opening the refrigerator door so many times."

Life's a joy ride when you hang with the Doyles

     " I want a free, catheter sample pack for Father's day!"

     "He doesn't have toenails. He has gnome nails."

     "Since there was no such thing as hot flash or mood swing remedies back in caveman days, I'll bet the neanderthals offered suspicious herbs to their wives and told them to smoke it in order to relax."
     "Either that or they rubbed their wives down with poison ivy to distract them."

Yeah, I'd be embarrassed, too... 

     "Yes, our goat-dog ate part of a tin can lid, reading glasses, a plastic container and his own poop. We believe in recycling here."

Yes. I actually own one of these ugly ass t-shirts

     "You're not a mom anymore. Your kids are all grown."
     "So what does that make me, a faux mom?"

     "There's holes in the underarms of all my t-shirts."
     "That's because your stink blew them out!"

     "If gnomes get mad, are they called 'gnow-mads'? "

     "When that kid poops, the whole house smells like he dropped a Hiroshima odor bomb!"

A typical night at the Doyle house. Always a mask involved 

     "Getting my wife to sit still is like trying to trap an angry badger."

     "Stop hanging out with kids who try to duct tape your legs together!"

     "Why do you have so many masks?"
     "They match all my different personalities."
     "Or you're a Zorro wanna-be."

Meno Mama likes to rock the mask

     "Why the hell did you buy the dog a pig's ear to gnaw on? He keeps dropping that slimy thing in my lap."
     "You should be used to slimy things in your lap. And besides, you know you can't get mad at him--he's pugalicious..."
Confused, ancient Seminole wanna-be 

     "Could you please stop singing Kumbaya in the voice of the cowardly lion from the Wizard Of Oz? You're giving me a Kumbaya headache."

     After spending a day in the asylum I call home, you'll either want a bottle of tequila or a lobotomy.....or maybe just a free, catheter sample pack....

Here are the 12 bloggers participating today in Fly On The Wall. Give them some sugar and tell them that  Meno Mama sent ya!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Meno Mama In Wonderland

  It's Secret Subject Swap day again, the brain child of Karen at My prompt today comes from one of my favorite blogging buddies, Sarah at And oh boy, did she nail me on this! The prompt question is: "A video just went viral on YouTube. You were in it! Tell the story in whatever manner you wish, such as: How did this happen? What was in the video? What was your reaction?"
 It's that time again---Secret Subject Swap Friday, the brain child of Karen at
     I wrote a really good post for this, scouts honor, but my dog ate it. Yes Teacher, the dog ate my homework. No, I did not store my post in my computer. I wrote it on a yellow note pad because my real name is Wilma Flintstone.
     Seeing as I couldn't retrieve my muse from the dog's butt, I had to start all over again. So gather around, children; Meno Mama has a fairytale to share with you. And no, I did NOT write an opium-induced story like Lewis Carroll. Mine just involved copious amounts of alcohol.

     It was a restless night of hot flashes and tangled sheets for Meno Mama. A white rabbit appeared by her bed and whispered in her ear, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!"
     "Give me the key to unlock this menopausal hell," Meno Mama said, "and I'll follow you anywhere!"
     The rabbit whipped out a bottle of Grey Goose with a label on it that read, "Drink Me", and promised it would solve all of her menopausal problems. After Meno Mama swallowed a few shots and felt all warm and fuzzy inside, that sneaky rabbit pulled a camera out of his vest pocket and started filming her. "Just a little video montage for posterity," he smirked.
     That Grey Goose worked its magic because somehow Meno Mama was able to squeeze her ass through a tiny door in a tree that led to a Prozac-induced Wonderland where everybody was sucking on Dilly Bars. 
     The rabbit left her standing in a garden of red and white roses that were tucked among rows of flowering Cadbury Eggs. As Meno Mama was stuffing her cheeks with chocolate like a crazed hamster, she noticed a hookah-smoking caterpillar filming her in mid-bite.
Obviously he didn't respect the fact that NO woman wants to be filmed while she's cheating on her diet. Meno Mama began to protest but the caterpillar interrupted, warning her that if she wasn't the original Menopausal Mother, the Queen Of Hearts was going to chop off her head. Meno Mama wondered how she could prove her true identity. Should she show the queen her lifetime supply of hormone replacement therapy pills or just let her majesty move in for a week and observe first hand the constant, menopausal bitch mode she'd fallen into lately? 
 Looking above her head, Meno Mama saw a fat, Cheshire cat sitting in a tree. That dude had a smile on his face straight out of a Cheech and Chong movie. Meno Mama believed he was grinning so wide because he was smoking a suspicious looking cigar and had probably taken a titanic size dump in the litter box. 
     You think it's weird now? That crazy cat led Meno Mama to the wonky, Mad Hatter, who winked at her and she swore she saw Johnny Depp in his calico eyes. He poured her some yum yum in a
chipped tea cup, which after one sip, her refined tastebuds identified as a Long Island Iced Tea. They munched on chocolate scones and gossiped about that ratchet Queen Of Hearts. This pleased the Mad Hatter, causing him to jump up and do the Fudderwupping dance. Even though Meno Mama was chocolate wasted, she grabbed his hand and joined the dance. 
     The Queen Of Hearts interrupted their fun and challenged Meno Mama to a game of croquet. Little did she know that Meno Mama was a champion ball buster, and being defeated by a common blogger did not sit well with the queen.

     "Off with her head!"
     "If you kill me, " Meno Mama said, "you'll never discover the Fountain Of Youth." 
     The queen raised one bushy, black eyebrow and sized up the competition. "You look too young and you act too young to be menopausal. I don't believe you're who you claim to be. Slay the Jabberwocky of middle-age mayhem and I'll be able to live for eternity, never to grow old...and yes, if I must, I'll spare your life." Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee clapped with glee and munched on liverwurst and jellybean sandwiches. Clearly they had failed every mental aptitude test ever given to them.
     Meno Mama met the Jabberwocky on a rocky mountainside that led to the gates of Menopausal Hell. This beast was not the fierce dragon she had been expecting; the Jabberwocky was lounging in
her cave in a tattered bathrobe and floppy-eared bunny slippers. Dark circles formed crescent moons under her eyes as she stared dully at a repeat episode of Jerry Springer on TV. Her coffee cup was empty but the ash tray was full, and crumpled beer cans littered the cave floor. The place was a dump. Her scales had lost their lovely, aqua hue and her claws were in dire need of a manicure.
     "If you've come to slay me, " the Jabberwocky said, "be my guest. At least that way I'll finally catch up on my sleep without anymore hot flashes to keep me awake all night."
     "What the hell is wrong with you?" cried Meno Mama. "I was expecting a fire-breathing beast!"
     "Honey, the only time I breathe fire is when there's too many jalapeƱos in my chili. Even then, it's not just my breath that's on fire." A deep sigh rumbled in her chest. "I'm old. I'm tired. I need a vacation. I need a Xanax."
     "The only thing wrong with you is that you're menopausal and you've let this whole, middle age thing go to your head. Now get your scaly ass off that nasty couch and come with me, Sista!"
     It took some doing, but after a week of spa treatments, zumba classes, psychotherapy and a six month supply of Prozac, the Jabberwocky's attitude adjustment restored peace to the kingdom of Wonderland. The Queen Of Hearts envied the renewed youthfulness of the Jabberwocky and ordered her minion deck of cards to destroy the dragon. The good people of Wonderland had lived long enough
under the bitter reign of the queen and gladly banished her from the kingdom. Before the guards dragged her away, the queen glared at Meno Mama one last time. "You're still an imposter!" she hissed. "You're too young to be a Menopausal Mother!"
     Meno Mama leaned close to the queen's ear and whispered, "And that, dear lady, is what you have been missing all along. Age is but a number. Beauty and youth are found within a heart that stays true!"
     As the soldiers led the shrewish woman away, Meno Mama was crowned the Queen Of
Wonderland. Snippets of her success story appeared first on YouTube, became an overnight hit, and was then made into a documentary that appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network.
     Once Meno Mama settled into her new role as the Queen Of Hearts, she banned all rabbit slippers and liverwurst and jellybean sandwiches from Wonderland. And everyone in the kingdom lived happily ever after.
     The moral of the story? If you drink too much Grey Goose, you'll end up following a wild hare. And never, EVER leave a hand written blog post near a goat--dog. He'll be pooping your muse for weeks to come!

     Now please go give the other bloggers participating today in the Secret Subject Swap some sugar!

****In case you missed it, Menopausal Mother was the featured guest on the Messy Moms Radio show on 4/11/13. You can still hear the funny interview if you click on this link:

SSS Bloggers:    

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Radio Mama

     Meno Mama stayed up with the owls last night, not because of a hot flash, but a news flash! I'm a guest this morning on MessyMoms Radio! I know you are shaking your heads in denial about my new title as a Messy Mom, but just because I organize my spice rack alphabetically doesn't mean that my closets are neat or that my desk drawer doesn't look like rodents have been nesting in there for years. Hey, I'm not perfect---no mother is, and that's the message MessyMoms Radio wants you to know.
     I'll be interviewed by Danielle and Brandy, the awesome ladies who created the show and share their wisdom of messy motherhood with others.  They tackle a wide variety of topics such as new mom stress, sibling rivalry, the chemicals in cleaning supplies, gun ownership, the American education system and much more.
     Messy Moms also sends a clear message to all the mothers out there who are struggling to "do it all" and "be all":  Got a load of laundry taller than Mount Vesuvius, or tooth paste splatter on the mirror resembling a Jackson Pollock painting? Fuggedaboudit! Go outside and toss a ball with your kids, or build a blanket tent under the dining room table. Life is messy, but the mess can wait. You're children won't.  Enjoy these special moments with them now while they're still young. And if you're lucky, when they're teenagers, they can help you pick up the mess!

     Tune in on Thursday, April 11 from 10:00am -11:00am to hear the show. If you miss it, check out the archives to hear it again!          For more information, visit their blog at:
     Know any other messy moms who like to confess about their mess? Nominate them (or even yourself!) by visiting the site.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Meet My Son: The Cat With 9 Lives

 There's one in every family. The prankster. The one who gives us gray hairs. The one who breaks our heart, then turns around and mends it with his unconditional love. The one you stare at, scratch your head and say, "Are you my child or was I impregnated by an alien during a UFO abduction I can't recall?"
    Yeah, that's my youngest child.  He pulled his first prank by making his appearance into this world several weeks early, disrupting my delivery of 80 Thanksgiving cookies to the local elementary school.
     He was a sweet baby until he figured out what his legs were for. Overnight my Passive Prince sprouted octopus arms and roving hands. My reigning title as "The Good Mother" quickly changed to my Indian name, She-Who-Drinks-And-Swears-A-Lot. There wasn't a baby gate or door my Baby Terminator couldn't conquer. He never played with toys. He liked forks. And electrical outlets. He was like a drug sniffing dog when it came to finding sharp objects, poisonous bug repellents and frayed wires. You know you have a problem when your kid giggles over a little jolt of electricity running through his body. I never thought he'd live to see his second birthday.

When you take this kind of picture of your kid, there are bound to be repercussions

     My son also had a quick temper (no clue where THAT came from). It simmered beneath a calm exterior until he was ready to strike like a cobra at his unsuspecting victims. No one was safe from the objects this miniature Hulk could hurl across the room----irons, dictionaries, toasters, a large Barbie car....even worse, his frequent attempts to baptize us with the dirty, brown water off of a used, toilet brush. I thought for certain his three, older siblings would kill him before he saw his third birthday.

     Sir Poops A Lot was turning into my rebel child, and there were not enough parenting manuals in the world to teach me how to handle a kid who risked his life on a daily basis. His experiments with fire, electricity and odd ball inventions were enough to keep me homebound for years.

His sisters wanted a baby girl, or a Cabbage Patch Kid, so they dressed him accordingly

     My son dislocated his shoulder as a baby and fractured his wrist when he was five from a fall off a swing. Fast forward to elementary school when the principal called to tell me my child thought it was a good idea to bring a knife to school for show and tell. Yeah, I must have missed that memo about  my husband's BRILLIANT idea to give our little boy a camping knife (man cave secrets, be damned!).

     During the God-awful middle school years, my son wore the low slung jeans with the torn hems dragging on the ground. Gangsta Boy. I threatened to burn the pants....while he was still in them. Late to class one morning, he ran to beat the bell and tripped over those pants...just like I knew he would. Off we went to the hospital to have a metal screw put into his damaged hip bone. Needless to say, his wardrobe only consisted of shorts after paying that hefty medical bill.

     When he was 14, my son decided to run away, rather than face being grounded for a poor report card.  That afternoon when he didn't return home after school, I was suddenly thrust into the surreal world of every parent's worst nightmare; my son had simply vanished from sight. For hours the police and county officials swarmed our house and scoured the area for our boy. There is nothing more frightening than receiving an Amber Alert on your phone about your own, missing child. And  nothing more heartbreaking than watching his father fall to his knees in our backyard garden, begging God to safely return our son home.
     After many agonizing hours of nail biting, tears, pacing and bargaining with God, the police found our boy on a Greyhound Bus bound for Orlando. They said we were lucky that he survived the trip unscathed. My prior fear turned into a confused tangle of relief and outrage over what my son had done. I felt the little hairs on my head turning whiter by the minute.
     Since that fretful day several years ago, we made some major changes in our son's life that drastically improved his behavior and attitude.

Music and weight lifting are his passion now, and his sense of humor and enthusiasm is what often gets me through the day. He is strong as an ox and very protective of his mother.
     But this cat is still pushing the envelope on the nine lives thing. Just in the past 6 months, he was injured in biking accident when he collided with another cyclist. Shortly after that, he was hit by a car while biking down to the beach. The car suffered more damage than my son---it was no match for my Arnold Schwarzenegger offspring.
     It was the last incident, however, that threatened to turn my hair completely white and send me into cardiac arrest. Another one of of my husband's BRILLIANT ideas was to give our boy a special pellet gun that looked exactly like an AK47. My son was out front shooting targets on the sidewalk---probably not the smartest idea since we live only a few doors down from a school and this occurred shortly after the Sandy Hook incident. My peaceful afternoon was shattered by the sound of screeching tires and a loud voice booming from a megaphone, "DROP THE GUN AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR!" Our street was barricaded by four police cars and six officers, one with a gun drawn on my son. I stood by the window, frozen in horror as my boy slowly lowered the gun and walked backwards down the sidewalk with his hands held high in the air. In a flash, one of the officers snapped handcuffs on his wrists. There was that brief moment when our eyes met through the window, and I could see the fear and bewilderment in his eyes. I couldn't move---my legs felt like wet noodles---but my husband had already rushed out the door to quickly explain that it was just a pellet gun, not an assault rifle.
     While I stood on the porch, wondering if anyone knew CPR to resuscitate my heart, my husband was busy JOKING with the police, telling them they could keep our son for a few days because the cost of feeding him rivaled that of feeding the entire Chicago Bears football team.

     I never know what my boy will think up next to keep himself entertained. Which is why I shudder every time he climbs into a car with his friends. Although he is often the typical, unpredictable and annoying teenager,  he is also loyal, loving, artistic, compassionate....and best of all, he knows how to operate a lawn mower, vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine and the grill. His uniqueness is what makes him one of the most fascinating people I know, and I'm proud to call him my son.
     By my calculations, he still hasn't used up all nine lives....and I'm still sprouting gray hairs.


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