Friday, May 31, 2013

Why I Love Menopause!

 Menopause is that tricky "change of life" time better known as the "sucky phase" in a woman's life that no one ever wants to talk about.   Sorry ladies, but menopause is a fact of life, and how you handle it is all in the attitude.  It's known as "the change of life," not the END of life, which means that it isn't ALL bad.  Look at it as an era of new freedom. Yes, you heard me right. There IS an upside to menopause, and I've come up with a list of 10 reasons why you should look forward to this challening-but-interesting time in your life.

1.  No More Periods:  You can swim with the sharks and not worry about becoming fish bait. You can also go camping in the mountains in Montana without fear of grizzly bears shredding your tent in search of raw meat.

2.  Weight Gain:  This can be great, but only if the extra weight is distributed in the right places.  If it goes to the breasts, you've got a built-in floating device to prevent drowning in a pool.  If it gives you a badonkadonk butt, you can sign up as a backup singer for a Beyonce music video.  But if the excess weight settles in your stomach, you're going to have to tell everyone it's an inoperable food tumor that you are forced to carry for the rest of your life.

3.  Hot Flashes:  Sporting a shiny, red face and sweat rings under your arms has its advantages.  It fools people into thinking you just had an invigorating session at the gym or in the bedroom.  Hot flashes also keep your heating bill down in the winter and help you sweat out those extra calories from the chocolate Nutty Buddy cone you scarfed down in your car at the gas station.

4.  Memory Loss:  It's sorta like early dementia.  It erases all those nasty movie reels from the past that you'd rather forget.  Like the night you puked spiked cranberry juice all over your white birthday party dress.  Or the time your husband thought it was a good idea to clear the dance floor at your best friend's wedding reception by doing The Worm in his tuxedo.

5.  Loss Of Libido:  You no longer have to feign headaches.  Just remind your spouse that your lady parts are as dry as tumbleweeds rolling across Death Valley and he'll leave you alone.

6.  Mood Swings:  You can be Freddy Krueger one minute or a Care Bear the next, and nobody will accuse you of being bipolar like they did in the car pick-up line at the elementary school when you were a hot mess mama in your thirties.

7.  No Longer Fertile:  You'll never have to worry about birth control again.  The money you save can then be invested in Viagra stock.

8.  Insomnia:  You get to add an extra 4 hours to your day since you'll only be sleeping for 3.  All those pesky items on your to-do list will be finished in no time.  But you're going to need some spackle in your makeup box to hide those duffel bags under your eyes.

9.  Dry Skin:  This is your excuse to go shopping and spend a fortune at the Lancome counter at the mall.  No one wants to look at a face that resembles an elephant's ass or a 10 year old Shar Pei.

10.  Fatigue:  Your body shifts into narcoleptic mode every day after lunch.  To combat the fatigue, you have an excuse to invest in a gold card membership to Starbucks or convince your boss you have a medical condition that requires a midday nap on the floor under your desk.  Be sure to carry a pillow with you at all times.

     Once you change your attitude, menopause isn't all that bad.  You just have to learn how to roll with the hot flashes, bloating and roller coaster mood swings.....and it wouldn't hurt to have a healthy stock of wine on hand at all times, just in case.....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fly On The Wall In Wonky Town

 Welcome to another edition of the Fly On The Wall series hosted by Karen at 13 bloggers are participating today, allowing you to see what REALLY goes on behind closed doors in their homes. If you have voyeuristic tendencies or like  reality TV, then these Fly On The Wall posts are perfect for you!
     I discovered several new ways to spy on my family for these posts without their knowledge. The first is called, "Fake Sleep." That's right. We've all done this. Women are especially adept at this skill when their husbands come to bed late. I fake sleep on the couch so that I'm privy to the conversations whispered around me.
     Another handy spy tactic is "Fake Bored." I pretend I'm not listening when my family calls me. I throw in a few yawns for good measure....meanwhile I'm frantically writing down every wonky comment that comes out of their mouths.
     Lastly, and my personal favorite, is "Fake Drunk." This one is almost too easy to do and quite obviously where my true talent lies. I have mastered the slurred word, the glassy-eyed stare and can even wobble better than a penguin when I walk. Everyone confides in me because they assume I'll never remember the conversation when I wake up the next morning. Yeah, I'm crafty like that.
     If you were hanging around the Fake-Sleep-Bored-Drunk, these are the snippets of conversations you would have heard around my roost:

     "Stop burping so loud! You sound like a seal in heat!"

     "My toenails fall out as easily as baby teeth."

     "I just got molested by your chinchilla. He had sex with my forearm."

     "I'd give my right testicle for a sprinkler system."

     "There needs to be a gadget in the car that allows you to poop while you're stuck in heavy traffic. But then you'd need a car bidet to go with it. Okay, so maybe this isn't the best invention..."

     "My blister just popped...there's water coming out."
     "That's not dinner conversation."
     "Anybody thirsty?"

     "That ratchet ceiling fan in our bedroom is having another seizure."

     "I felt like I was being eye raped by that creepster in the Walmart line."

     "I'm living inside myself and I can't get out!"

     "No more vodka! I'm allergic to hangovers!"

     "Are you watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?"
     "Nope. I'm watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dillholes."

     "For my retirement party, I don't want a gold watch--- I want a penis pump!"

     "Yeah, our house is unique---it's the only one with the word "Poop" engraved on the windowsill."

     "There's a hole in the roof of our junked-out mini van. I put duct tape over it to keep out the rain but it still sounds like I'm driving through a wind tunnel."

     "I just had a Kamikaze mosquito on a death mission use my forehead as a landing strip. Now he's in my ear and it sounds like a damn dentist's drill!"

     "I have to go to the bathroom so bad---my poop is now deploying into phase #2."

     "Sniff my arm pits."
     "NO! Why?"
     "I don't have any deodorant on. Do I stink?"
     "I don't know but I am NOT sticking my nose in there, even if you were sweating chocolate!"

     "What the heck is that noise my chinchilla is making in his cage?"
     "It sounds like he's using a nail file on the bars to break out."

     "If you're so worried about cellulite, go buy some oinkment cream to get rid of it."

     "No offense, but the older you get, the more you resemble that blue eagle with the bushy eyebrows on Sesame Street."

     "Are you sitting on my pillow?"
     "Did you just fart on my pillow?"
     "I have to sleep on that tonight!!!!"

     I can't make this stuff up, folks. This is how my family rolls! Now go and visit all the other funny bloggers participating in today's Swap!                                                                                                                                


Friday, May 17, 2013

Livin' Large In Zumba Land

 It starts with a glance in the mirror or a family picture that has been plastered all over Facebook. Yeah, that one of you stuffing half of a red velvet cupcake into your mouth.  Even your long lost relatives who are sheep herders on another continent are sharing and commenting on that picture: "Awww...look how much she's GROWN over the years..." This is fine if they're talking about a five year old, NOT a middle aged mother.
     My wake-up call hit like a clap of thunder thighs the day I uploaded some pictures taken from our local renaissance festival.  Who was that chubster in the blue gown next to Mr. Robin Hood-Wanna-Be? Oh yeah, that's me...wait, WHAT? Okay, I'll admit I've been a little heavy-handed with the desserts lately. And the frappuccinos. Those pesky, two-for-one sales at Wine-Mart haven't been doing me any favors, either. But what am I supposed to do when there's an industrial size jar of Nutella in my pantry, just calling my name? You could spread that stuff on styrofoam and it would still taste good.
     Upon closer inspection of my physical flaws in that traitor I call a mirror, I knew I had to get myself back into the svelte clothes growing cobwebs in the back of my closet. I joined an all-female gym, but quickly realized that my workout clothes from the Richard Simmons era were sadly outdated. I needed a new gym wardrobe, but me visiting a sporting goods store for clothes to sweat in is a perfect example of an oxymoron.

     I made the mistake of inviting The Hubs along to help me choose my new gear. He was a little TOO  enthusiastic at the prospect of his wife getting back into shape. I roamed the aisles until I found the women's workout clothes section and stopped dead in my tracks. Who were these manufacturers kidding? The "large" tops were the size of small sausage casings. I'd be lucky if I could stretch the shirt to fit one arm. Further down the aisle I came across a row of "grande" tank tops. In white. I envisioned a fat polar bear wearing a pink headband and hopping around the gym floor during Zumba class. I shuddered.

     And then the unthinkable happened....every chubster's worst nightmare. My brilliant Hubs was  across the store in the men's department. He held up an armload of colorful tee shirts and shouted, "Hey Hon, you need a larger size? I found a 2X in the men's department that might fit you!"  I should have slapped a muzzle on the man during public outings years ago.
     I quickly grabbed a few pairs of yoga pants and some tee shirts with motivational sayings on them such as, "Just Do It" and, "I like to lick cake batter off beaters" (No wait---that was for something else!).
     Not willing to suffer alone, I convinced one of my daughters to join the gym with me because misery loves company (and paybacks are hell). We spent our first few, torturous days with a personal trainer to learn how to use the weight equipment. But mostly we learned how not to grunt too loudly like truffle sniffing oinkers or sweating too much like two sumo wrestlers in a sauna.
     The day of our first Zumba class, I surveyed the group and was pleased to see a nice mix of ages and body types. Women's shapes are often compared to certain fruits---apples, pears, oranges...and the occasional grapefruit. I was in the midst of a fruit salad ready to learn some sexy Zumba moves. Music with a heavy, Latin beat reverberated against the walls and we began hopping around the wood floor like Mexican Jumping beans. I tried to concentrate on the dance steps but my mind kept wandering....a typical defense mechanism against the extreme pain I was in from my workout with the trainer. My thighs were so sore that I'd been forced to walk around with a full bladder all day just to avoid squatting over a toilet seat. Rather than listening to the Zumba instructor, my mind was swept along with the cluttered debris of A.D.D. ----random thoughts scurrying through my brain like rapid channel surfing through 450 television programs:

     "Drop it drop it low girl....drop it like it's hot....oh yeah, I got this booty shakin' thing down....wait. Why isn't my butt moving like everyone else's? And what's that popping sound in my lower back? At least I'm rockin' these new, neon green Nikes....actually, they kinda look like twin sand barges in the ocean. Uh-oh.....should have worn some Spanx. My junk is jiggling in all the wrong places. I swear I can still see those damn cupcakes sitting on my hips, mocking me. Crap, it's hot in here. Hot flash hell. Hard to breath. Heart, don't play me like that. I'm not dropping dead in Zumba class! It would scar my daughter for life. Hey, where did she learn to shake her ass like that, anyway? Probably snuck out of her bedroom window to hit the dance clubs all those nights I thought she was snug in bed. I in Pole dancing 101 right now? And who's bright idea was it to place mirrors around this brightly lit room? I'm so pale I look like I've been cohabiting with family of moles.
OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! Is that what I think it is----camel toe? I need new pants!! Hey, what's the food channel doing on the gym TV? They should be showing infomercials for weight loss supplements or....ohh, Paula Dean is making smothered pork chops with I have any pork chops in the freezer? Wait---what fresh hell is this---more squats? Yoo-hoo teacher, I'm dying over here. I'm not gonna Busta Rhymes---- I'm gonna busta femur. Oh I'm sweating so much my makeup is running down my face
. I look like I belong at a KISS concert. Whoa! Paula Dean is baking a chocolate marble cake! Are you kidding me? She needs to get over here and do this freakin' Zumba class!  Huh? Cool down time already? You mean we're done? I made it! I didn't die on the Zumba floor!"

     Its been a few months now and Meno Mama is getting closer to brushing the cobwebs off her skinny clothes. I'm droppin' it like it's hot in Zumba class without feeling a heart attack coming on. The only thing I need now is new tee shirts from the sausage casing aisle....or maybe just some cupcake batter.....



Friday, May 10, 2013

Stop All The Clocks


It's Secret Subject Swap day, hosted by Karen at I was fortunate enough to receive my prompt from the hostess herself! Karen's question for Meno Mama is: "You've been unanimously voted Queen of the Whole World. With one stipulation: Day 2 is for serious business. Day 1 must be spent frivolously. Tell me about Day 1."
     When I received this prompt, my first impulse was to fall back into my usual comfort zone of humor. I considered writing about a fantasy island escape to Never Never Land where Tinkerbell and I would become BFFs. But once I really thought about this prompt, I felt a tug at my heart and knew exactly what I needed to do....dig a little deeper inside myself and out of my comfort zone. I needed to answer the question truthfully.
     If I was Queen of the World, surely I would have super powers in order to control the entire planet. With only one day to do as I please, I'd step into my special time travel machine, stop all the clocks, and go back through the years to bring back my father and my sister. 
     And I would change everything.

Dad, I would have:

     *Stopped whining on that road trip to the Grand Canyon when I was a teenager. Instead of sulking in the back seat of the car, I would have held your hand as we stood in awe of the breathtaking view---sunlight chasing shadows across rippled bands of red and orange stone.

     *Strapped on those skis, taken a chance and trusted you to teach me how to soar down Lone Mountain.

     *Listened more closely to your boyhood escapades while I was busy growing up. I would have made more time for you those evenings when you wanted to talk, rather than rush out the door to be with my high school friends.

     *Said yes to all those offers to spend summers with you at the house in Montana.

     *Majored in Journalism like you advised me and finished that book I promised you I'd write.

     *Found a way to get past my fear of flying and taken that trip to Scotland with you to finish tracing our ancestral roots. 

     *Stuck around longer and enjoyed those quiet moments we shared on a porch in Whitehall, Montana.

     *Taken a deep breath and not been so afraid to live. 

     *Stayed longer at the hospital and brought you recordings of Mahler, Handel and Wagner to bring peace and beauty to you in those last days.

     *Held on tight to your frail hand. And never let go.

Cherie, I would have:

     *Invited you over more often for Sunday morning coffee in my garden. I remember your laughter when the squirrels ate out of our hands, and your radiant joy at seeing all the colorful birds in my yard.

     *Not rushed out the door so quickly those days I cleaned your house. You wanted me to stay and chat.  I knew you were lonely, but I was always too preoccupied with a running list of things I needed to do.

     *Watched you make your infamous cinnamon rolls so that I could bake them now myself and share them with everyone who loved your recipes.

     *Appreciated your encyclopedic knowledge of birds and wildlife so that I wouldn't be stumbling over their names today and wondering about their habits.

     *Never taken for granted that there would be plenty more time for late night drives by the ocean and long conversations on the phone that sometimes lasted until the sun came up.

     *Made more of an effort to include you in my family outings, and I would have invited you over for dinner more often. We always had fun cooking together and sharing childhood memories over a bottle of wine.

     *Watched all those wildlife videos you wanted to share with me. And yes, I would have joined you on Facebook and played that silly game Farmville that you so loved.

     *Made our day last a little longer in the gardens at Butterfly World. I remember how we laced fingers and watched the butterflies land on our hands. And I remember your tears when the hummingbirds circled us. That's when I learned of their powerful, spiritual significance----the ability to laugh and enjoy creation; to appreciate the magic of the moment. How fitting that you found such beauty in their existence.

     *Pushed harder to convince you to see a doctor when you became ill. I should have dragged you out of bed and driven you to the hospital days earlier. And I should have stayed by your side, before it was too late.

     *Never underestimated the strength of a sisterly bond. I would have told you more often how much I loved you. And I would have hugged you a little tighter the last time I saw you.

     As Queen of the World, I would eradicate cancer, eating disorders and all the diseases that plague the world and rob us of the people we love. There is a hole in my heart and in the fabric of my family; their absence, a wound that never heals. The spaces in this world that they have left behind can never be filled, but their love and light live on in my heart and give me the strength to carry on.

"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever : I was wrong."

"The Stars are not wanting now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good."

-----Excerpt from Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden


Please visit the list of bloggers who are participating in today's Swap. Leave them some comment love and let them know they're appreciated.  Thank you.                                                

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teenage Trials And A Trophy

 I am honored today to receive a special award in the blogging community. This is a new one, designed by and I was especially surprised and thrilled to receive this award twice---from Black Sheep Mom and Sarah over at The rules for the award are simple:

1) Display the trophy on your post.
2)  Write a short piece that starts with: I Didn't Kill____Today. It doesn't have to be a person; it can be an appliance, a business, or anything else you choose.  
3) Nominate a few people and let them know it's their turn to vent!

     I didn't kill my 17 year old today, despite the fact that he is driving me insane. He seems to think our house is the Holiday Inn and I am his personal maid.  On any given day, I find a dried-up, glued-on bowl of grits in his bedroom. You could use that crap for wallpaper paste. If I need to find him, all I have to do is follow the littered trail of empty, molding yogurt containers strewn throughout the house. Or I could sniff him out like a bloodhound by the rank smell of dirty socks and sneakers discarded haphazardly in every room.

     You can never fully open his bathroom door because of the week's worth of soiled laundry accumulating behind it. There's aways something dark and ominous lurking in the toilet bowl and yellow splash-back on the seat. I think he's marking his territory like a cat.
     He demolishes cereal, milk and granola bars like a starved grizzly bear, then leaves the empty cartons and boxes on the self to confuse us. I guess he thinks we have reached the age of dementia and won't notice. When we confront him, he denies eating anything. Unless there are mountain men living in my attic who sneak down to the kitchen and steal our food while we are sleeping, there's no one else to blame but him.

     Another thing that drives me to distraction is his unwillingness to change his bedsheets. He hasn't done it in so long, I'm certain a colony of dust mites are breeding there.
     Anything that isn't nailed down is fair game to our son, who will permanently "borrow" from us things like a hairbrush, cologne, deodorant, bandaids, shampoo, pens, headphones....He also "borrowed" his father's new bike and wrecked it four times.
     It never fails that when I'm trying to take a nap on the weekends, that's the precise moment he decides to conduct a rave in his room with laser lights and blasting techno music.

     Lately my boy has become a naturalist/survivalist. He has a collection of Kershaw and Boker knives, and recently bought a Bear Gryll fire starter. The problem is, we live in a metropolitan city. He doesn't need to be burning cotton balls in his bedroom or testing the sharpness of his knives on his expensive, Egyptian cotton sheets. Just this past week after 2 days of torrential rain and flooding, he could be found kayaking down a busy street or being pulled on a knee board by a golf cart at the flooded park. This kid must have nine lives.

     I still love my boy with all of my heart, and I'd do anything for him....just as long as he doesn't use our wood frame house as kindling for a camp fire....

     Here is a list of bloggers I'd like to pass the trophy to (the rules say a "few" but I'm known to be a rule breaker in these things, plus I'm anxious to see how these bloggers answer the question!).

***If you are a member of Blogher, could you do Meno Mama a big favor and please throw her some votes in the contest they are sponsoring? It ends May 15 and I could sure use your help! Just click on the 4 links below--those are my blog post entries. Next, just click on "vote" and you're done! Thank you for your love and support! XO

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Birds And The Bees

       Today Meno Mama is stepping outside of her comfort zone and talking about the dreaded three letter word that might make some of her readers a bit squeamish....S-E-X. Who better than Lanthie at to help me with this blog post?  I met Lanthie over a year ago in the blogosphere and we hit it off from the very beginning. She writes a slightly risqué blog about her life adventures and is the mother of FOUR boys (God bless her!). What I love most about Lanthie is her spunk, spontaneity and love for anything quirky and fun. She is very comfortable in her own skin and not afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.

     We decided to do a fun experiment today by swapping a list of 10 sexy little questions we had to answer about ourselves. Perhaps we are divulging more information than we should in the blogosphere; you may be nodding your head in agreement or laughing at our expense...that's okay, we can handle it. We have survived raising teenagers and now we're both menopausal--NOTHING bothers us anymore.
     After you read Lanthie's answers to the questions, please hop on over to her site to find out all of Meno Mama's dirty little secrets.....and then I will have to brainwash you somehow into forgetting everything you learned about me.....                                                                                                          

     Hi there to those of you who have popped over from my blog.  Marcia and I met just after she started blogging and we became great friends over the past year---long enough to tell each other our deepest, darkest secrets.  

     We have been talking about doing a collaborative post of sorts for awhile and finally agreed to share this list of 10 questions. For those of you who don't know me - please pop over to my blog and read Meno Mama's answers (they may surprise you!) and please don't be shy about leaving a comment! I hope you'll hop over every now and then to join me in re-discovering my sexuality after bringing up 4 boys.  

     I'm so excited about guesting on Meno Mama's blog, so without further ado, here is my half of the questions and answers:

1). What turns you on most about the opposite sex? 
      Honesty, a sense of humor and someone who can challenge me intellectually. On the shallow side----great abs and a tight ass! And let's not forget penis pointers.....

2). How would you indicate to a man that you were interested in him?
     Up close--- smile, look him in the eyes and hang on every word he says (what man wouldn't appreciate this?). From a distance---smile and stare! Via social networking---light banter and a LOT of cyber flirting!

3). What was your worst date?
     In the 10th grade I was asked to the Matric Dance (the equivalent of your proms in the U.S.) by a guy in our church.  I was very religious way back then. He was a goody two- shoes type of guy and an absolute gentleman. He was also a sommelier at an upscale restaurant.  I spent the whole night bored to death and I don’t think we said two words to each other.  He was too busy trying to be the perfect gentleman and showing off his wine skills (which did nothing to impress a 14/15 year old).  I was also wearing a borrowed dress which didn’t fit well around my boobs---I was constantly tugging at the dress so that he couldn't see my bra sticking out.

4). What is your most embarrassing or funny romantic encounter?
     This has to be when the hubby and I were in the throes of passion, heating up the bedsheets.  Our oldest son was 2 years old at the time, and we were still new at the whole lock- the -door- thing. Our little boy was unable to reach any door handles...or so we thought. While we were mating like rabbits, we were suddenly stopped in our tracks by a little voice at the foot of the bed asking, “Mommy, is daddy hurting you?”

5). What was your worst sex flop experience?
     One of my high school boyfriends and I were getting amorous for the first time in my bedroom after school one day.  My parents worked, so I was always home alone. The boyfriend had just taken off my bra and his mouth was sampling my assets...when suddenly my dad walked in! He had come home early that day because he wasn’t feeling well.  Needless to say, I was still a virgin for quite a while after that!

6). Where is the most public place you have had a romantic encounter?
      I used to catch the train to high school when I lived in Cape Town and I met a guy who went to a nearby college.  We had to catch different trains from the same station, but eventually became very friendly there---making out at the station.  We made sure we were always early for our morning train so that we could have a quick groping session. I think this was probably my first oral experience....

7). Favorite time of day for a little romance?
     Anytime! Well, that's the answer I would have given you years ago before life got so hectic. Now I try to make time for a little romance early in the morning before my brain wakes up and the never ending To-Do list kicks in.

8). What's the sexiest thing you have ever done?
      Take up Belly Dancing! I have never felt sexier. Trust me---every woman needs to pick up this hobby...for obvious reasons!

9). How many times have you been in love? Is there "the one who got away"?
      I could name at least 10 guys (or should I say boys) whom I thought I "loved" before the age of 14!  I even remember my "first love" –- a 7 year old boy in Grade 2.  He was blond, beautiful and had a scar on his ear.  He was known for going around the playground and kissing all the girls.  He never kissed me, but I spent many a day writing him love notes and dreaming about him.  Then after the age of 14 there were probably around 3 or 4 serious relationships.  There isn’t a “one that got away” since I ended up marrying "the one."

10). What is your ideal date?
        Let’s just say it involves Johnny Depp and a box of Cadbury’s Crème Eggs!

Hope you enjoyed our little question swap!  Feel free to leave us a comment on one of your interesting "encounters." Please be sure to visit my site next and see how Meno Mama handled these same won't be disappointed!

***Meno Mama has a BIG favor to ask her readers! If you are a member of the Blogher community, could you please share the love and throw this girl a few votes in the Blogher Voices 2013 contest? I have entered 4 blog posts in the contest (ones that you know and love). It's as easy as clicking on the 4 links below and then just clicking on "vote" when it comes up on the page. BOOM you're done. It's just a one time deal and it ends May 15. This would mean the world to me if you could take a few minutes to do it! Thanks for sharing the love and support! XOXO


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