Friday, January 31, 2014

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

I was at the gym recently doing my best to keep up with the other ladies in my zumba class when something caught my eye. I turned and saw a trainer kneeling down next to a woman, quietly speaking words of encouragement. The client was overweight and struggling through a set of pushups. I was riveted by what I saw in the woman's eyes---determination and hope. My own eyes clouded with tears; her struggles mirrored so many of my own.

My childhood was a mixed bag of insecurities. I ran home from school often, cutting through neighborhood yards to escape the children who taunted me. I was a shy, pudgy little girl who struggled in school and dealt with an eye condition known as Mixed Dominance that required me to wear a patch over one eye. This made me an easy target for the bullies who thrived on breaking me down in order to build themselves up. The insecurities created from this situation festered deep inside me, causing years of fear and shame. Little did I know how damaging it would be to the quality of my life in the future.

The lack of confidence in my physical appearance prevented me from doing many of the normal things girls my age were doing---attending swim parties or clothes shopping at the local mall. I was incapable of confronting the body issues that plagued me---I had been cursed with a large frame and a chubby stomach that I despised and hid behind blousy clothing. I was also taller than all the girls at my school and yearned to be petite like them. My reflection in the mirror was a constant reminder of my shortcomings, and some days I couldn't bear to look at myself because I knew how bitter the self-recrimination would be. Outward appearances were important in the prominent family I grew up in. My father's convoluted view on weight loss in correlation to beauty was damaging not only to me but to my two, older sisters, who also endured his sharp criticism. Rather than growing up with a healthy attitude toward food, we grew up fearing what it would do to our waistlines. Ironically, my mother was a stellar cook, but food was the enemy that led to diet failure, and both my sisters and I feared we could never measure up to our father's expectations.

The message in our house was clear: the inability to lose weight signified a lack of self control.

If we were unable to control our bodies, we were weak. As a result, I spent my youth yo-yo dieting and binge eating, but was never able to escape my addiction to fattening foods. I obsessed about every calorie I put into my mouth. It was a vicious, destructive cycle that involved starving, binging and purging, and it would form the basis of a pattern throughout my adult life. Despite my husband's best efforts to compliment me and assure me that he found me to be beautiful inside and out, it wasn't enough. I didn't believe him because I didn't believe in myself. I was suffering not only from a binge-eating disorder but also from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and was ill equipped to deal with either one of them.

My life was dictated by the numbers on the scale, which left me with a closet full of clothes ranging from the smallest to the largest sizes---a testament of all the years I'd spent dieting and failing. I tried every fad, gimmick and diet pill out there to lose weight and warily ignored researcher's claims that overeating is caused by a need to fill an emotional hole. 

There were times when my weight spiraled out of control, impacting my social life by causing me to isolate myself from people. I was playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette by engaging in episodes of mindless binge eating. For a brief period I thought I had found my salvation in the form of a little miracle drug known as Phen Phen. I jumped on the diet pill bandwagon and dropped weight effortlessly, which fed into my obsession to be thin. People told me stop losing weight---I was getting too thin---but their words only fueled my desire to keep losing. For the first time in my life, I felt a sense of power over my body and freedom from my food obsession. But as is true with any diet, I set myself up for failure, looking for a quick fix rather than doing all the hard work on the inside first. In a few years, I gained back all the weight and more, further engulfing myself in feelings of self-loathing and disgust.

My biggest mistake was allowing my children to see that darker side of my psyche. While I was focused on building up their confidence and self-esteem, I busy tearing my own down. I failed to see how my depression and self-recrimination was affecting them----especially my daughters.

They grew up with a compulsive mother who calculated calories, categorized food as "good" or bad" and berated her appearance daily. 

Whenever my children slipped into bathing suits for a swim at my parent's house, I insisted they wear t-shirts over their suits because I wanted to protect them from my father's critical comments. In reality, I was passing down the same lessons that I had grown up with---shame and a fear of how others perceived them. My older sister died from the devastating effects of her eating disorder. She literally ate her way into an early grave. My sister had a binge-eating disorder, which researchers have now found is closely linked to anxiety and depression. The disease damaged her heart and her gastrointestinal system when she became morbidly obese. I was helpless to stop the self-destructive path she was on because I was busy fighting my own eating disorder demons. I handled her death the only way I knew how---I ate through the guilt and grief to punish myself. Stuffing down my emotions with food was an easy solution to filling the void that was left in my heart after she died. It numbed me, allowing me to ignore the pain. One day my husband handed me a picture he had taken without my knowledge and said, "You look so pretty in this blue dress." My eyes blurred as I stared at the overweight, middle-aged woman in the photograph; a woman I no longer recognized but one my husband still saw as beautiful.

How could I have done this to myself?

How could I have allowed my unhealthy attitude towards food and body image infect the lives of my children?

They are beautiful adults now but are haunted by low self-esteem issues and are self conscious about their appearance. I am responsible for their attitude because I didn't set the right example when they were young. They learned incorrectly from me that thinness equated beauty. Since the day I saw that unrecognizable woman in the photograph, I joined a gym and am learning to eat healthier. I no longer punish myself with grueling diets or berate myself every time I look in the mirror. Instead, I focus on my positive attributes and take pride in my workouts at the gym. Once I stopped counting calories and obsessing about the numbers on the scale, the weight started falling off. I have tuned into what my body has been trying to tell me all along; life is a gift and that every human being is a work of art regardless of size, shape or color. The path to confidence and self respect will not be an easy one for me, but this is a start.

I am determined to be the person I know I can be---for my sister, who gave up too soon, for my children, who need to discover their own, inner beauty....but mostly I am doing this for me. Life is meant to be lived; it's time I start enjoying the ride.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yo Ho Yo Ho It's The Writer's Life for Me!

     I'm over at In The Powder Room dishing about my wacky life as a writer. Am I loving it? HECK YEAH! Is my family loving it? HECK….maybe. At least we're still smiling. Check out my weekly column at:

     In other news, you're looking at the newest contributing writer at Humor Outcasts! I'll be posting there weekly as well, and you can catch my latest post at:

     Last but not least: The Voicebox contest that I was nominated for is still running, but it ends on Feb. 2nd. Have you voted yet? I promise it only takes a second to do and there is no registration required. All you have to do is click on the link, scroll down to my blog name, "Menopausal Mom," then click on the little heart next to it. Done! See how easy that was? I REALLY need your help, folks. Don't be shy---cast your vote today before time runs out. I appreciate all the love and support! <3

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: The Mom Cafe

     I am so pleased to introduce you to today's Wacky Wednesday Writers guest, Christine Carter of The Mom Cafe. Her story of finding strength after multiple surgeries and a brutal recovery period is an inspiration to her readers. Despite the constant pain she's forced to deal with, Christine focuses on her faith and the funny side of life, encouraging other mothers to do the same. I admire her tenacity as a writer---most of us would buckle under the pain and leave the writing world behind. Not Christine. She's a perfect example of how faith and humor can pull us through even our darkest hours. She supports so many writers in the blogosphere and generously promotes others by reading their posts and sharing their links.  Her warm and loving nature drew me in like a magnet, and I am so thrilled to have met her in the blogosphere. Please welcome this beautiful, talented writer to my site today with lots of comment love! Thank you!

Funny Can Be Found Anywhere

I suppose people would call me an “inspirational writer”… but little do they know, in real life- I am a hilarious fool. I am! I love making people laugh, with my crazy incessant ways. Ask anyone I know in real life, and they will surely have a few stories about me cracking the boundaries of appropriateness somewhere. It’s who I am. I wish sometimes I could push through the screen of my laptop and show the world that side of me… but I will try to share such parts of my twisted humor here.

This story begins with an undeniably horrible story. After finding out my sister had stage-three breast cancer, I succumbed to her desperate wishes to get tested for the genetic mutation. She had been tested and found she was BRCA1 positive, and she worried relentlessly about her sisters having the same mutation, which would result in an almost 90% risk of following in her horrific footsteps. Other factors in our history pointed to the inevitable: Our mother’s mother died at an early age of it, and I had already had two biopsies of abnormal growths that were watched closely through quarterly ultra sounds. It was time I respected my sister’s precious wishes and get tested.

I had the BRCA1 mutation.

After months of multiple Doctor visits, tests and pre-op assessments, I would eventually make some life changing decisions. I ended up at the hospital one cold December morning being prepped for the excavation of all my woman parts. Yes. I was facing three surgeons with three surgeries all in one.

A double mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and a full hysterectomy…

At the tender age of 43.

It was a brutal season. My precious daughter was struggling with ongoing medical issues that were debilitating for her and excruciating for me to witness and care for. It left me suffocating in despair and living with little sleep all the while, enduring the pre-op appointments with both my three and six-year old kids straddled to my side. My husband traveled for his work during this time, so I spent two months navigating this path alone.

It’s amazing how strength finds its way when you least expect it.

One thing I know for sure is that there is always light in laughter, and we must uncover it even in the darkest moments of our lives. There are high-lights threaded through this story that reveal just that- a bit of shining laughter, where you would once again, least expect it.

My very first appointment to find out what on earth I will do with this BRCA1 was with a breast surgeon, who would later remove my breasts. I was terrified, and my dear friend came with me to take notes. I sat there topless with the paper towel wrapped tightly around me anxiously waiting for what seemed like hours. When she entered the room, she seemed detached and stoic, which made me all the more nervous. As she looked at her clipboard and went through the typical introductions, she then motioned for me to place ‘them’ on the tray. Little did I know she meant the papers I had in my hands…I went over to the tray and began to open my wrap and started to awkwardly place my breasts on the tray! She immediately corrected me and from that moment on, I realized this was going to be one hell of a ride.

(You can laugh now…it’s freaking funny! Yes, we still laugh about that one now.)

Fast-forward through the medical turns and twists of this story to the pre-op room at dawn that dreaded morning. As the surgeons and nurses roamed this area doing their work, I sat there shivering naked under the hospital gown, but with a huge hospital size pad on for my lovely period (The last one I would ever have. One silver lining for SURE!) The nurse finally found me after what felt like forever, and she fumbled around the tubes and tape to hook up my iv. She looked frazzled and after reading all my charts from the three surgeons, she seemed unable to manage it all. She nervously claimed I had too many surgeries for her to organize all the paperwork, and her ankle was hurting since she woke up, therefore she couldn’t even get around very well. I’m not sure if her incompetence was a gift or a curse, so I will let you decide.

I began going into ‘counselor mode’ and talked her through the grief of her son’s untimely death as she shared a tearful horrific story. I managed to help her sift through some layers of pain she had wrapped herself in, while she began to lighten her demeanor with new resolve. After she professed her gratitude to me for having helped her, I gently reminded her that she still had two more viles of blood to take that lay empty on the tray next to me. Looking back, I am just glad she wasn’t my surgeon! (wow)

My breast surgeon came in to mark me up where she would be cutting and carving around my chest and anywhere else she saw fit. I started to realize this was actually going to happen. After all the traffic died down, I sat there waiting in silence for Derek to come in. They finally let him back to say goodbye before they wheeled me out. I was sweating that nervous sweat and I could feel it dripping down my sides. I asked Derek to grab some paper towels, so I could wipe the sweat off before I go. And as I rubbed one pit and the next, I glanced at my towel to see BLACK ink!!!! Holy CRAP I smeared all the markings!!!!!!

I completely LOST. IT.

Derek ran to get a nurse to find the surgeon before she disappeared into the operating room. I prayed she could fix this incomprehensible mess! I was humiliated and horrified and yet, at the same time, I found this hilarious!! I mean are you KIDDING ME? I seriously thought to myself, “Only you, Chrissy. Only you.” The breast surgeon came in to take a close look at what I smeared and drew over the messy parts as I chuckled with a nervous gasp of “I can’t believe I did that!”
(I really wonder if she ever sat around with other doctors, sharing these ridiculous stories about me… I will never know.)

Surgery went well. There was high risk of infection with all three surgeries at the same time, but everything went as planned. (Thank you God.)

The recovery was brutal. I can’t lie. I couldn’t move or even breath without feeling great pain. My pectoral muscles were so tight I couldn’t pull my shoulders back to get air into my lungs. I came out of this surgery bloated into a morbidly gruesome human being with bloody stitches and bruising I had never before seen. It was awful. My precious husband gave me a sponge bath every night while I whimpered in pain. I ended up having an infection in one breast, which left me with an additional dose of severe suffering.

One very important part of this story is that I was blessed with the most generous amazing church family and incredible friends who were with me every step of the way. We had a cooler on our front porch for almost two months, regularly filled with food and gifts and encouraging notes every single day. Every single day. I still look back and remember each beautiful person who stepped in. And I will never forget them either.

The surgery was in the beginning of December of 2010. Seeing as I wouldn’t be sending any Christmas cards out that year, and I hardly saw a soul all season, I decided to write a heartfelt letter of thanks to all the people who loved and cared for our family. I was so deeply grateful and honored to have so many people shine light into our lives during that time! I decided I would send the same letter to everyone on our Christmas card list as well. Why not?

Most importantly, I would make sure to include a picture of how I looked, seeing as they all had to be curious- right?

After this long beautiful letter of love and appreciation, I sealed it off with what I thought would be the BEST post surgery picture-EVER!!

To which my BF from High School said, “Only YOU could get away with THAT Chrissy!!”

I suppose so…

Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing grade school kids.  She has been writing at for almost three years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith.  You can find her at the following links:


My google plus:

Pssst! Hey, you guys! That blogger contest over at VoiceBoks is still going on and I really need your help! It ends in just a few days on Feb.2. Can you throw me a bone and cast one vote for "Menopausal Mom"? Just click on the link here, scroll down to my blog name, then click on the heart next to it. That's it! If you're voting on a cell phone, you have to turn it sideways to widen the screen. Can y'all do me this favor? I REALLY appreciate the help! Thanks!! Here's the link:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fly On The Wall In Funky Town

  Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall hosted by  Baking In A Tornado. 14 bloggers have agreed to let you hear what secrets the fly discovered while buzzing around their homes. This month the fly spent a lot of time around our bathroom. That's never a good sign. I'm just warning you ahead of time---the stuff he's going to buzz about today isn't pretty. You might even need an air freshener while you read the post. Or a gas mask…..

"When our broken dryer is running, why does it sound like someone is
beating the crap out of a donkey?"

"I just farted in the car and I feel like I'm stuck in a gas chamber."

"Meet my daughter the toenail factory. She can grow new ones on command!"

"You know what's on my bucket list? To ride on an elephant. Naked."

"You'll have to excuse me from the dinner table. I need to uncork a poop."

"If you keep dancing like that, you're going to sprain an ankle."
"More like sprain an ass!"

"Who the hell thought it would be funny to cover my car door with Vaseline?"
"Are you SURE that's just Vaseline?"

"Everyone knows you're the twisted branch in the family tree."

"I just farted and a corn kernel popped out."
"That would be called a 'corn shart'."

"Stop trying to do burnouts in our ghetto-fied mommy mobile."

"I should get transvaginal mesh surgery."
"That might be a problem since you're a man."

"I'm surprised I didn't get bad bruises on my butt and thighs after slipping on the wet floor."
"That's because you have as much padding there as a linebacker."

"The dog just licked my face and his breath smelled like poop. Does that mean I now have pug fecal face?"

"I used to eat chalk and lick erasers on a dare when I was a kid."
"Well, that certainly explains a lot."

"I just got pulled over by a cop for speeding and he gave me a ticket! It probably didn't help that somebody drew a picture of a large penis on the back of my dusty car window."

     If you haven't fainted yet from the obnoxious fumes emanating from this post (the aftermath of our holiday indulgence), then be sure to visit the other participating bloggers to hear what the fly has to say about them!

REMINDER: The VoiceBoks contest is still going on. It doesn't end until Feb.2, and I'd like to stay in the top 10. Can you please help me by taking a moment to vote for my blog? You can vote from your home computer and a cell phone, but be sure and turn the phone sideways to widen the screen to vote. Just click on this link, scroll down to "Menopausal Mom" and click on the heart next to that name. DONE!  Thank you for your support! Vote here:

Are you a MILF? Find out by reading my new post over at In The Powder Room:                          Baking In A Tornado                                  The Rowdy Baker                          Just A Little Nutty                                       The Momisodes                           Spatulas on Parade                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl                          Follow me home . . .                  Stacy Sews and Schools                           Searching for Sanity                       The Lazy Mom’s Cooking Blog                             Menopausal Mother                       Victory Rose                                  Pink Heart String                                 Spinster Snacks

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are You A MILF?

     Do your teenage son's friends prefer hanging out with you in the kitchen rather than hitting the basketball court with their buddies? Does your daughter's boyfriend compliment your appearance frequently and grab hugs from you every chance he gets? Does he suggest to your daughter that they skip their date night in favor of staying home to watch Seinfeld reruns on TV with you?
     If you answered "yes" to any of these, you just might be a MILF. I'm over at In The Powder Room today revealing the nine signs of being a MILF. Find out if you fit the mold! Click here to read my latest post:

***Comments are ALWAYS welcome at the site. Love it? Share it with your friends!

REMINDER: The VoiceBoks contest is still going on. It doesn't end until Feb.2, and I'd like to stay in the top 10. Can you please help me by taking a moment to vote for my blog? You can vote from your home computer and a cell phone, but be sure and turn the phone sideways to widen the screen to vote. Just click on this link, scroll down to "Menopausal Mom" and click on the heart next to that name. DONE!  Thank you for your support! Vote here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Considerings

   Oh boy, do I have a special treat for you! My Wacky Wednesday Writers guest today is Lizzi from Considerings and she's bringing something new to the table. The first time I read this post, I was hooked and wanted to read more. Lizzi is an exceptional writer who has a firm grasp on just about every writing genre there is. This post is yet another great example of her talent. What she has written for us today sounds like an excerpt from a juicy novel that I would love to sink my teeth into. What do you think? Leave her some comment love and let her know how awesome she is!

Completely Cheated

I never truly realised until then that it’s absolutely true; a look, shared between strangers across a crowded room, can lead to so much.

I can barely remember what the party was for. Certainly everyone was there in their finest, dolled up to the nines and acting like each of them was the centre of the world. Social butterflies and every bit as insubstantial, their features leaving no trace in memory, only the faint impression of swirling, bright dresses, sharp suits and sparkling jewellery, soundtracked by laughter, the clink of glass on glass, and the relentless buzz of conversation.

That moment, though- that second - is ingrained.

Our eyes skimmed past each other, then simultaneously did a double take and whisked back to lock hard onto each other’s gaze. The atmosphere suddenly grew heavy and pressed in, and as though fork lightning had just shot out and hit its mark, the air seemed to sizzle between us.

Through the evening, we gradually worked our way closer to meeting, traversing the circles, keeping one eye on the other, sharing small, exclusively-shared upraisings of the corners of our mouths as we noticed that we were both doing the same thing.

We finally met, coincidentally, introduced by someone else. His gaze was so magnetic I didn’t even hear his name. Without breaking the look, his lustrous eyes holding mine helpless, he reached for my hand and raised it to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of it. The warmth of his hand on mine stunned me, and for the rest of the conversation, there was nothing else I could think of.

Our introducer finally left, and I found my hand once again taken in his. It was dry and soft, and exerted sufficiently masterful pressure that I’d begun walking with him before I noticed myself doing it. We were away from the crowds in a trice, and I ran silently with him through corridors until we reached his room.

Once through the door, time stopped.

He immediately pulled me close, and raising my face in both hands, kissed me deeply, leaving me in no doubt that anyone who’d ever waxed lyrical about ‘weak at the knees’ had somehow been lucky enough to experience this kind of feeling before I knew it was real. I staggered back slightly, coming to rest against the towel hanging from the peg behind the door, still slightly damp and scented of him – a rich, wild spice – and he followed, pressing forward until our bodies were touching from head to toe and I could feel the warmth of his skin through his clothes.

As though I’d been drowning, I pulled away, dizzy and gasping for oxygen. I reached for him, fumbling with buttons and fastenings and he grinned lazily, flashing a stunning smile, and caught my wrists, holding them away. With a twinkle, he murmured “Slow down…make this count”, the hint of accent in his words sending my senses reeling.

With suave, measured control he undressed me (where had my wedding ring gone?) and all my hang-ups were forgotten as I caught a flash of delight shining from his eyes. There was something else there, too – satisfaction, perhaps, at his conquest, but I no longer cared.

He laid me down across the bed and kissed me again, gently but firmly holding my grasping arms against the cool sheets, whilst desire rocketed through me, lifting me, straining every muscle to be closer to him, in contact, his skin burning against mine.

My breathing ragged, I pulled back and looked at him, losing myself in the depths of his eyes, as I was equally certain that I could feel my own pupils dilating. I couldn’t contain myself and let out a half-whispered plea - “Come on!”, and to my delight, he responded immediately, catching my urgency and removing his clothes in a few, swift, fluid movements.

He was perfect. Deeply tanned, sculpted and broad shouldered, with only the tease in his eyes and the rapid giveaway of his pulse, thrumming in the hollow of his throat, to give him away. He trailed his fingertips across my shuddering skin, eliciting a tiny, inadvertent squeak, and then grabbed me, powerfully sliding me underneath him, tightening his grip as I gasped and arched my back to meet him, clinging to his strong arms and lost in the scent of his hair as his kisses traced down my neck to my collarbone.

The bed shook violently, bucking me into the throes of wakefulness. The dark air blanketed me as I felt the prickle of sweat begin to cool on my skin, and felt the well-rehearsed movements of my husband turning over in bed.

Resentfully, I turned my back to him and lay, eyes watching the darkness, twisting my wedding ring around on my finger (now reinstated by reality), wondering about the technicalities of dream-cheating, and whether it made it worse if I *tried* to get back to the dream to finish what had begun.

Eventually my mind gave up, and I drifted off with the spectre of dark, shining eyes and glinting charcoal hair floating in my mind’s eye.

I stood in a cold, tiled room full of toilets, each in their cubicle, but none with a door.

Checking each of them in turn, I found to my dismay that their state of repair left much to be desired. Several had no seat. None had toilet paper. A few were overflowing or gurgling ominously. A building urgency sent me running through the room, which suddenly expanded until the whole world was full of useless toilet cubicles. Finally I found one which seemed promising. I flung myself in, and shut the door firmly behind me, turning to sit down and…

…discovered myself clawing my way painfully back into consciousness, doubly disappointed by my dreams and absolutely busting for a piss.

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth Teller and Seeker of Good. Works a normal job and has a secret life as the writer at Considerings. Wife to Husby and Mother to two Neverborns, now dealing with the challenge of primary infertility. She is a frequent instigator of silliness and loves to entertain with words.

                             Join the Deep Thinking, Truth Telling and Good-Seeking at Considerings

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Sickness And In Health

     For as long as I can remember, my husband has been haunted by the ghost of old injuries. Although I've been dubbed the Queen Of Klutz, my guy has ended up in the emergency room more often than I have. An accident on the baseball field in his teens left him with the knee caps of an eighty-year-old man. They creak and pop like a bowl of Rice Krispies Cereal whenever he pushes himself off the couch.
     It doesn't help that this middle-aged man thinks with the brain of a twenty-five-year-old. He never turns down a challenge on the basketball court and will gladly snap on a knee brace just to keep up with the young
whippersnappers. One year when my son's friends gathered in the front yard with their skateboards and BMX bikes to perform stunts, The Hubs didn't want to miss out on all the fun. He assured the boys that he was quite the cyclist in his youth, and that there wasn't a ramp around that he couldn't conquer. Sensing a challenge, the teens goaded The Hubs into reliving his boyhood days one ramp at a time. He swaggered over to the bike with the confidence of Evil Kinevil before hopping on and peddling full force down the street. Up he went, over the ramp, gliding though the air with the glory of youth shining in his eyes.

     And then his feet slipped off the pedals and the bike landed with a resounding thud on the hard pavement. Good thing we were past the procreation stage in our lives since my husband lost his family jewels that day on the BMX bike from hell.

     When my youngest daughter turned eleven, she invited a group of friends over for a slumber party. While the girls ate pizza and watched spooky movies, my husband came up with a brilliant idea that only a prepubescent teenage boy would admire. He donned a rubber monster mask and crept outside to give the girls a little scare. Just as they were settling down into their sleeping bags, The Hubs popped up and pounded on the window to frighten them. The girls shrieked, glass shattered and the "monster" became strangely quiet. That's when I noticed the two, red fountains pulsing from his wrists. My husband had inadvertently sliced both on the broken windowpane and needed immediate medical attention.

    The paramedics found it hard to believe that a middle-aged man would skulk around his own backyard on a Saturday night with a mask. If they'd seen him the week before in a Velcro suit on a Velcro wall at Disney World after too many jello shots, they'd understand.

     Alcohol has always been the liquid courage that prompts men to do stupid things. My husband is no different. After a rousing game of beer pong with a group of college students, my overly confident husband challenged his two, strapping sons to a wrestling match. Oh yes, he was once the captain of the wrestling team in high school. Thirty years ago. Which explains why he ended up face first in a nightstand drawer and woke the next morning to a deviated septum and two black eyes.
 There have been countless knee injuries, sprained ankles, sore backs, torn ligaments, broken toes, fingers and black eyes since then. I can't help but wonder if my husband's co-workers have speculated on the nature of our marriage. Menopausal women have tempers, after all.
     At this rate, I'll need to buy stock in Advil or Aleve since arthritis is Mother Nature's revenge on my middle-aged man.
     Time to trade the BMX bike in for a motorized wheelchair.

***This week I'm at In The Powder Room discussing animal hoarding. Read and see for yourself if I'd be considered as an animal hoarder!

***The VoiceBoks contest is still going on! Please vote for Menopausal Mom if you haven't already---I really appreciate the support. Thanks!

Take Me To The Zoo

     Some people hoard old newspapers, plastic containers (minus their matching lids) and clothing from the thrift store. Not me. I hoard animals. The Hubs gets nervous every time I visit the zoo and has banned me from watching episodes of Animal Planet. Find out why my home has become the new Noah's Ark over at In The Powder Room today where you can read my featured post, Welcome To The Zoo. Click here to see the post:
***Comments are always welcomed at the site. Love it? Put a smile on Meno Mama's face and share the link with your friends! Thanks!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: My Heart Blogs To You

   My featured guest today for WWW is a successful writer I met two years ago when I first dipped my toe in the blogosphere. She's a beautiful, talented lady with a big heart who has helped navigate me through the bumpy road of blogging. Please welcome my dear friend Theresa Wiza of Her work has been featured on numerous sites and it's an honor for me to feature this prolific writer here today. Please leave her some comment love and be sure to check out all of her links!

Just call me "Your Fatness"

I learned something yesterday that I had been considering for some time – that my children are all liars, as are some of my grandchildren.

How do I know this?

Good question.

Lamenting for years about how my tummy had grown to mountainous proportions, I heard comments like, "Oh, mom, stop. You're not fat," or, "You've had four kids, what do you expect?"

Now you might think that last statement was confirmation that my exponentially extended belly was in fact enormous, but the comment was usually followed by, "You're  not fat."

I realize that everybody was just trying to be polite (translation: to lie), but I wanted the truth.

Yesterday I got it when my four-year old granddaughter patted me on the belly and asked, "Grandma, are you pregnant?"

Yes, Audrey, I am. I call my baby, "Tumor." Sadly, he will never be born and I will have to carry him around with me for the rest of my life. 

I fantasize about poking a needle into the flab then vacuuming it like liposuction. I am, however, afraid I might pass out when the needle opens my skin, and when paramedics find me, they will see gelatinous blobs of fat that seeped out of my body. Reminds me of Oprah Winfrey with her wagon of fat. I couldn't do that to the paramedics.

Wonder what would happen if I ate only sunflower seeds for the rest of my life.

One positive thought I can take away from all of this is that while I may look like I'm ready to give birth, I must at least took young enough to be able to do so.

Theresa Wiza is a statistical anomaly. If only 1/1,000 of 1% of anything occurs anywhere in the world, Theresa Wiza makes up that tiniest of margins that statisticians love. If you've just created a beautiful lipstick color, for instance, and she falls in love with that color, only Theresa Wiza, out of everyone else in the entire world, will use that color. Because she knows from experience how statistics work NOT in her favor, she hoards that lipstick because she knows it will soon see its demise. 

If you find her in line at the grocery store or bank, change lines. People will fly by all other lines and she will still be standing at the back of hers. If she finds a doctor she loves, find somebody else, because more than likely, that doctor will move after seeing Theresa Wiza. She's that bizarre.

While most people go through hot flashes while they're IN menopause, Theresa Wiza didn't experience hot flashes until AFTER she was two years PAST POST-menopause. Again, an anomaly. 

OK I'm tired of talking about myself in the third person. I'm a 62-year-old grandmother of 17, 5 of whom are great grands. I am also a writer, a crocheter, and a candlestick maker – I mean jewelry maker – I love all things creative. 

Though I've never been clinically diagnosed with ADD I find that I fit the description to a T. What's a T? OK, I just looked it up. Without going into great detail it means attending to every little detail. Hmm. I just wrote detail twice. I do that. I pause after everything I do and question why I do what I do.

OK, where was I? Or rather who am I? Well, when Marcia (whom I affectionately call Meno Mom) asked me for my liposuction story, she also asked me for a bio and she wanted me to include all of my social media links, so before I make this bio way longer than the actual post, here is my Twitter link: and here is my Facebook page: You can also find the many minds of me in my Gallery of Posts here:!articles-and-videos/galleryPage

I would like to say a very special thank you to a wonderfully funny woman, Menopausal Mother, for an opportunity to share my views on menopause. Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 10, 2014

You Might Be Menopausal If…..

      Google symptoms of menopause and you'll probably find my face underneath the list of traits that define a woman on the brink of menopausal insanity. That crazy lady with the wild eyes and the tufts of hair in her hands as she yanks it from her scalp? That's me. I've been menopausal for YEARS. Yes, you heard right. Menopause set up camp in my uterus four years ago and hasn't vacated the premises since the first heat wave from hell arrived in the form of a scorching hot flash. Menopause pulled up a lounge chair and made herself comfortable as she waved goodbye to my estrogen levels while they packed their bags and fled for younger ground. That's when the real fun began, and Mother Nature has been laughing at me ever since.
     If you're a middle-aged woman who is experiencing any of the following symptoms, I'd say that menopause is getting ready to set up house in your lady parts and turn your fertile ground into the Mohave Desert.

HOT FLASHES:  Has there been a sharp increase in your electric bill along with a decrease in the temperature of your home? Is everyone in your family wearing sweaters at the dinner table while you're fanning yourself and using a rag to wipe your sweaty brow? If you feel like you're trapped in Hell's sauna without an exit door, then you might be menopausal.

WEIGHT GAIN:  Have you broken into your savings account for a new wardrobe that includes stretch fabric pants and knee-length muumuus that are wildly popular at Walmart? When you squeeze into a bathing suit, do strangers try to rub your Buddha belly for good luck? If you feel like an over-inflated balloon ready to burst, you might be menopausal.

MOOD SWINGS:  Are you envious of your bipolar uncle who is on meds to balance out his roller coaster emotions? If you feel like Mother Theresa one minute and Attila the Hun the next, you might be menopausal.

NIGHT SWEATS:  Do you wake in the middle of the night in a warm, sticky puddle that was once your bed? If solar flares spark your sleep and leave you melting into the bed sheets, you might be menopausal.

LOW LIBIDO:  If your vagina has turned into a quicksand trap and your sex drive is like that of a spayed animal, you might be menopausal.

HAIR LOSS:  Have you lost enough hair to open a wig shop? If you suddenly find hairless cats and shaved chihuahuas adorable, you might be menopausal.

MEMORY LOSS:  Have you wallpapered your house in Post-it Notes to remind yourself to turn off the stove and flush the toilet? If you share symptoms of Granny's dementia and get lost easily in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, you might be menopausal.

FATIGUE:  Do you have a toddler tantrum when you find that the coffee pot is empty at 3:00 p.m.? If narcolepsy sets in and causes you to function on autopilot with a Red Bull in your hand, you might be menopausal.

INDIGESTION:  Do you feel as though someone lit Roman candles in your throat or cannons in your stomach after dinner at the local Mexican restaurant? If you have the urge to yell, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"….you might be menopausal.

FREQUENT URINATION:  Have you recently bought an adult diaper bag masked as a purse to hide your supply of Poise Pads? If your road trips are mapped out according to how many pit stops there are between your driveway and your vacation destination, you might be menopausal.

ANXIETY:  Do you grind your teeth like an agitated badger in your sleep? If your fingernails look like they've been dipped in a piranha pool, you might be menopausal.

INSOMNIA:  Do you like to play mind games in the middle of the night like Name That Tune or Workplace Trivial Pursuit? Do you find the inner workings of a glowing, digital clock fascinating at 2:00 a.m.? If someone named Mr. Insomnia frequently knocks at your door after midnight with a six-pack of beer in one hand and poker chips in the other, you might be menopausal.

     If three or more of these symptoms apply to you, RUN, don't walk, to your nearest drugstore. If the pharmacist can't help you, try the liquor store next door. And don't forget to grab a box fan on your way out.

***Don't forget to check out my column this week over at In The Powder Room. This time I'm dishing on in-laws.

***Menopausal Mother was also featured this week at Midlife Boulevard.  Find out why I'm always hungry in the menopausal Hunger Games:

***Last but not least, please don't forget to vote for "Menopausal Mom" at Voice Boks if you haven't already. Thank you, I appreciate the support! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Laugh Lines

     I met today's Wacky Wednesday Writer guest blogger last spring in a writer's group when we started working together on a project. Since we're close in age, I felt an instant kinship with this lovely lady and I adore her sense of humor. Please welcome Vikki Claflin of I relate to her on so many levels---I only wish we lived closer to each other so we could share a cup of coffee and some laughs together! She's a skilled writer with a big heart who often shares and promotes other blogger's work. Please welcome my dear friend Vikki to Meno Mama's site today and show her some comment love! Thank you!

Step 1: Preheat the Oven Step 2: Hose Down the Cat

Found an uber-cute plantation-style house for rent in Maui a few years ago (admittedly less “Gone with the Wind,” and more 140-yr-old sharecropper’s cottage) on an old banana plantation, complete with original plumbing AND appliances. Quaint, but not without some inconveniences.
Jake, then 6, came home and announced he needed to take cookies to school the next day for yet another fundraiser. (Seriously? $9000 a year for private school and they need a BAKE SALE?) Trying not to panic, since I don’t cook and those “I sew MY child’s Halloween costume myself” mothers can be mean, I decided to at least attempt to fit in and make my kid proud.
Dug up what looked like a simple cookie recipe (no weird “cream of tartar” or instructions on how to draw little happy faces on the top with pointy tubes of frosting…for the love of God, who ARE these women??), set out the ingredients, then read “Preheat the oven to 350.” Hmmm. There’s 5 knobs on the front. When I turn the one that says “Temp,” all I hear is a hissing sound from inside the oven. I may not be Martha in the kitchen, but I’m reasonably sure ovens should not hiss. Called a girlfriend, who asked if the pilot light was on. WTH is a “pilot light”? “You have a gas oven. You need to light the pilot light inside the oven to turn it on.” Historically, kitchens with flames have not worked out well for me, but this was for MY BOY, so I was going in.
Clueless about where to find the mysterious pilot light, I flicked on a long candle-type lighter, opened the oven door, stuck the lighter in and waved it around, hoping it would somehow figure out where to go so I could get chopping on my bragging rights.
The next thing I heard was a BANG, immediately followed by a WHOOOSH of thick, greasy black smoke billowing out of the oven, covering me, the walls, the table, all my ingredients, and Poi, the mangy (and now seriously pissed) plantation cat that happened to stroll by looking for handouts, with oily black soot. Well, crap.
Jake is standing in the doorway, doubled over with laughter, with all the glee of a first-grader whose mother has just completely torched her kitchen for his personal amusement, while he chortled, “Boy, the other mothers aren’t going to believe THIS. We should take a picture of you, Mom. This is GREAT!!” Pick up that camera and die, mister.

But give me an hour to clean up this mess, take a shower and hose down the cat. Then we’re off to Safeway for Oreos. And if I get kicked off the Christmas Pageant Committee, we’re going back for wine. Bet those mothers can’t make THAT. 


"Vikki is an author, humor blogger, public speaker, and former newspaper columnist. She can be found in "Life Well Blogged, Parenting Gag Reels," available at She has been regularly featured on Erma Bombeck's Writer's Website and Better After 50 online magazine. Vikki shares her most embarrassing moments as she comes to terms with middle age, and she laughs as hard as we do. So pour the wine, grab your Spanx, and check her out at Laugh Lines!

Vikki Claflin

Blog: Laugh Lines

***In case you missed it, Meno Mama is in a really cool blogging contest called Voice Boks! I would be very grateful if you could take a moment of your time to toss a vote my way. It's real easy---just click on the link here, scroll down to my blog name "Menopausal Mom," then  click on the heart next to it and BAM you're done! Thank you for your support!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rolling Out The New Year

     I don't make New Year's resolutions for the simple fact that I suck at keeping promises to myself. I'm great at doing if for others, just not for me. I could tell you stories of failed resolutions and show you the proof: workout sneakers that are so heavily coated in cobwebs that they resemble Mothra cocoons. An anorexic bank account (savings fail) and moldy vegetables crusting the bottom drawer of my refrigerator (diet fail). Just count the discarded McDonald's wrappers underneath my car seat and you'll quickly figure out how well I stuck to last year's weight loss goals.
     I've decided to skip the whole resolutions thing so that no one can hold me to them twelve months from now. Instead, I'm listing the things that I would LIKE to see happen in 2014 if I'm lucky enough to have the planets align in my favor. Or the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny meet at a Wishes-R-Us convention and vote to change the Chinese calendar. 2014 can be The Year Of The Menopausal Mother. Maybe then these hopes and dreams of mine will come true.

SLEEP:  I need more if it. I'm tired of being shocked awake by the scary reflection that greets me each morning in the bathroom mirror. The dark circles under my eyes have me wondering if I'm sleep walking into a boxing ring each night.

EXERCISE:  I'm already a fan of Zumba class despite the fact that the latest dance moves aren't the only thing I'm busting out. Think of two alley cats fighting in a burlap gunny sack and that pretty much illustrates what's going on in my workout attire while I'm jumping around. Nevertheless, I will continue to shake the generous portions of my body that God gave me and attempt to add a little jogging to my treadmill routine. I probably won't be able to get out of bed for a few days afterwards, but at least it'll prevent me from wearing a deeper path in the carpet from my mattress to the refrigerator.

LESS HOARDING:  Animals, that is. Every year some orphaned, nocturnal creature ends up on my doorstep. There's a reason I have a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary sign posted in my front yard. This year The Hubs has decided to replace it with a new sign: JUST SAY NO TO WAYWARD, PREGNANT RODENTS.

LIBATION LIMITATION:  Okay, I've NEVER been able to stick with this resolution but it sounds good when I tell people that I'll try. I'm a firm believer that drinking should be limited to weekends and special occasions. The problem is that in my household, if all the laundry gets folded and put away by Tuesday, THAT'S a special occasion. So is a successful deworming session with the dogs and an argument-free dinner with my 18 year old. In short, I find blessings each day that deserve a little celebration. Uncork the champagne, Honey---I found the matching lids for every plastic food container in the house!

SUGAR FREE:  This is a really tough one to stick to. Sugar should be in a food group of its own. I love sweets and will eat just about anything covered in chocolate. Except insects. I'd rather chew on a toenail dipped in chocolate than eat something with six legs and a set of wings. I'm also praying those were chocolate raisins I snacked on earlier and not something scraped up from the bottom of the rabbit's cage.

LESS INTERNET TIME:  I need to spend less time on the computer and more time with my family. Facebook is the seductress who sucks me into hours of status updates and page lurking. Pinterest tempts me with glossy food photos and recipes sure to add more pounds to the permanent, inflatable tire I call my waistline. I also need to limit my blog stalking habit. It's akin to party hopping at all my favorite friend's homes….the only thing missing is the wine. Then there are the numerous emails, which are a nuisance that bring out my OCD tendencies. Each time my phone alerts me to a new notification, I have to drop what I'm doing, read it and then delete it to keep my inbox clutter-free. Too bad I don't have the same motivation when it comes to my pantry or my laundry room.

SAVE MONEY:  Another tough resolution to stick to because of little things like car repairs, the kids' education, weeping toilets and ornery washing machines. Right now I have a dryer that screams like a wild banshee being tortured by rabid gophers every time I throw a load of laundry into it. Chances are I'll need to buy a new one soon. There goes my savings for the Elvis Presley Graceland plate collection.

     There are plenty of other things I'm striving for in 2014. I'd like to be more patient, less judgmental, more forgiving and less moody. These are all admirable traits I need to work on because of the ignorant, insensitive people in life who make me want to force their enrollment in a Richard Simmons "Sweating To The Oldies" workshop.
     Here's to 2014! May all your wishes come true….and may you never have to use the deworming medicine on yourself.

*Want more Meno Mama? I'm getting serious for once at In The Powder Room today about an unrealistic New Year's resolution that is close to my heart. Check it out:

**One favor I need to ask you, dear readers: I was nominated as a top 50 funny parent blogger at Voice Boks. If you can take the time to click on the link below (or the blue badge on my sidebar just below my bio), scroll down the alphabetized blog list to the Menopausal Mom name and click on the heart next to it----that counts as a vote. Only one vote per person. I would be VERY grateful for the love and support. Thank you so much!


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