Friday, June 27, 2014

From Empty Nest To Full House

     Our youngest is only a year from graduating----between school, work and an active social life, he's seldom home. Since our three older children flew the coop years ago, my husband and I have been enjoying a taste of freedom as "almost" empty nesters. I cook less, nap more and I get to spend unlimited time in the garden. Even better, there are plenty of uninterrupted Cialis moments bringing spontaneity back into our lives. My husband and I are rediscovering each other after thirty years of marriage, and suddenly it's 1984 all over again.
     Until karma came knocking at the door.

     My oldest daughter was offered a job transfer with the opportunity to move back to her hometown. A month later she arrived on our steps with a toddler on her hip and a moving van in the driveway. The quiet serenity I'd grown accustomed to disappeared before the first suitcase was unpacked.

     Gone are the days of sharing a leisurely cup of coffee over the morning news. My husband and I now sip our daily elixir while watching Chuggington with our granddaughter sandwiched between us on the couch.

     And the changes don't stop there.

     The living room that I kept as clean as a showroom floor is now littered with stuffed animals, a toddler trampoline, a plastic princess slide and a talking choo choo train. I'm having flashbacks of raising four kids with enough play equipment in my house to run an amusement park. I'm trapped in the Land of the Wee People where there are tiny little tables, tiny little chairs and tiny little toys cluttering my home.

     My life has become one long deja vu as I stress about spilled apple juice, gooey tabletops and curious dogs choking on Lego blocks. There are glass rings in the shape of an Olympics symbol on my fine wood furniture and unidentifiable stains that resemble a Rorschach inkblot test on my couch. These mishaps are a sharp reminder of the twenty years I spent with a roll of paper towels in one hand and a spray cleaner in the other.

     I've learned that 8:00 p.m. is the witching hour for small children when the dreaded word "bedtime" is uttered. It automatically sets off a siren that can be heard six blocks away. It's the battle cry of every rebellious toddler waging a war against sleep. My granddaughter is no exception, and the high decibels of her nightly tantrums make my ears bleed. This sets the dogs on edge, and within minutes my home sounds like it has been overrun by a pack of howling coyotes.

     Extra people in the house also means that my garbage bin looks like Mount Trashmore, the laundry pile is the height of Mount Kilimanjaro and the dirty dishes in the sink are stacked higher than Mount Everest. My home has been transformed into a mountain range.

     I'm dealing daily with unpleasant odors that permeate the air, but I'm not sure if the smell is from my flatulating pugs or a diaper gone wrong. Pretty soon I'll need to invest in a gag-o-meter to determine the culprit of stink.

     Other changes include a second refrigerator in our spare bedroom for our daughter's organic groceries. She prefers clean eating. The irony of this is not lost on me since all my children lived by the five second rule whenever food fell on the floor.

      The extra stress from all the changes in our home has caused my husband to gnash his teeth down to the size of corn niblets, and just yesterday I noticed that my night guard is now sporting new holes.

     I may be on the verge of a middle age meltdown, but in all the chaos, I've found magic. It comes in the form of a little girl's laughter when she rushes into my arms after her morning waffles and plants a sticky kiss on my cheek. It's there, at the kitchen table, when I share a glass of wine with my daughter as we giggle and gossip into the wee hours of the night. More importantly, there's magic behind every "I love you" and every embrace.

     I miss the freedom of an empty nest, but I'll gladly trade it for a house full of laughter, and all the sticky kisses my granddaughter has to offer.

You can find Meno Mama featured in two more places this week if you want to continue the laughter. I'm dishing about how much I hate clothes shopping over at Humor Outcasts: I'm also talking about what a klutz my husband is over on the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop at:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Dried-on Milk

    My WWW guest today is another funny favorite---- Stacia Ellermeier from Dried-on Milk . I love this woman's humor! The stories about her two young children and the family shenanigans that go on in her home always crack me up.  Stacia describes herself as a "modern day Lucy Ball," and after reading her story today, I think you'll agree with that title. This up and coming blogger was a finalist in the 2013 Blogger Idol and has since been featured in numerous sites. Did I mention that she is HILARIOUS???
     Please welcome the awesome and talented Stacia to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love. Thanks!

NAILED IT! No really, I literally hit it.

I ran over the direction sign at my daughters school this morning. With mah car. With everyone still inside. With everyone outside watching.

Totally did.

I didn't bump the sign or knock it over. I flat out ran over it. I came around the corner and I guess, took the corner a bit too sharp. I heard the car hit the sign but at that point it was too late. I had to just keep going. The whole BRIGHT orange plastic thing went down under my car and out the back.

I wasn't driving fast! A couple miles per hour? I was in the drop-off lane for God's sake!

By the looks of this picture, this also means I was up on the curb too. At a school where there are kids everywhere. I swear I wasn't under the influence. I mean I was under the influence for the need of caffeine but that's all, I SWEAR!

There was a teacher or somebody school-important standing on the sidewalk. The look on her face was mortification for ME. I looked at her with my mouth wide open and my lips turned up because I was desperately trying to suppress the giggle rising in my throat.

I did NOT just do that. What if I hit someone!!! OMG!!!

I was in a line of cars, the drop off lane where everyone and their dogs saw and heard me run over the sign.

Ava asked why I did that. Oh sweet baby girl because your mom is an idiot. You haven't been in school for a whole week yet and I'm doing a fabulous job of embarrassing you and this family. You're welcome. There is more where that came from, guaranteed.

This reminds me of the time I hit the daycare lady's gigantor recycling bin and sent it flying into the street... twice.

I think we can all agree that I will not be the one teaching the kids how to drive.


Stacia Ellermeier is a graphic designer who moonlights as a parenting-humor writer. She finds inspiration in her two littles, her husband, and a cat who barfs on everything. Often referred to as the modern day Lucy Ball, she's known for running over the orange directional cones at her daughter's school and her extreme skills of self-embarrassment. Stacia was a Top 4 finalist in Blogger Idol 2013 and can be found spewing verbal diarrhea on NickMom, Erma Bombeck's Writer's Workshop, Go West Young Mom, and her personal blog: Dried-on Milk. She loves chapstick, books, Starbucks and Target. Follow Stacia at @driedonmilk on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fly On The Wall In A Stink House

     Pee-u! This fly got stuck in the stink house! Today I'm participating in another Fly On The Wall Group posting with 14 other bloggers, hosted by Karen at Baking In A Tornado. I don't think the fly knew what hit him when he became privy to all the stinky things going on in our home. I'm talking clogged toilets and methane gas. If you have a sensitive stomach or can't handle poop talk, now would be a good time to strap on some nose plugs or exit the area.

     If you were a fly on the wall in my house, you would have gagged while overhearing the following conversations (and the smells) this month:

"Don't leave the baby's dirty diaper out where the dog can get to it. That's a diaper bean enchilada to him."

"It smells really bad in the bathroom. What did you do, poop out an entire cow?"

"The kind of goat cheese they make in Missouri is NOT the kind of goat cheese you want to eat on a cracker."

"I just got extra carbs from breathing in the pug's fart."

" I had no idea our granddaughter could scream so loud. She sounds like she needs a priest to come in and perform an exorcism."

"I'm the taco to your hotdog."
"What? I'm not a kielbasa?"

"You can't eat your dinner if you have poop on your hands."

"I had a dream last night that I was back in the 7th grade. The problem was that I still had my goatee and chest hairs."

"I'm going to start a toenail farm. I'll harvest toenails for people in need."

"I haven't showered in three days. My nether region smells like road kill."

"Every dinner at the Doyle house is like a Man vs Food episode."

"No playing with your donut hole!"

"I can't handle listening to you guys sing Annie Lennox's 'Sweet Dreams' in unison. The Von Trapp family you are NOT."
"That's because we're the spin-off group called, "The Von Crapp Family."

"Your feet look like the claw feet on a Griffin leg tub."

"Forget buying Hot Pockets. We have Fart Pockets."

"I just did a manatee shart out of my blow hole."

"Hey Mom----did you know you can donate your eggs to a fertility clinic for $8000.00?"
"Mom's eggs are too old. They're scrambled…..but you should have seen the egg beater that Dad used."

"You're not just out in left field….you're in the lot NEXT to left field."

"There are so many holes in my underwear that sometimes my toe catches in them and trips me."
"That's due to your high flatulence level."
"No, it's due to the work of the Bung Hole Fairies."

"I'm so desperate for work that I applied for a job as a Hula dancer at a Polynesian restaurant."
"Honey, I don't think they're hiring men for that position."

"Someone should invent a special poop glove. It could be washable and lavender scented. It would give new meaning to the term 'Pooper Scooper.' Even better, if you put rotating bristles on it, you could sell it as a Star Wars edition. May The Poop Be With You."

     Forget a fly swatter. Anyone got a can of Glade Air Freshener?

******AWESOME time for Meno Mama! Featured on Huffington Post TWICE this week, along with a post appearing on the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop. You can find me here:

Please visit the homes of the other bloggers participating in today's Fly On The Wall. Hopefully their homes won't be as stinky as mine!                          Baking In A Tornado                                  The Rowdy Baker                                Just A Little Nutty                          Spatulas on Parade                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl                  Stacy Sews and Schools                          Menopausal Mother                               Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                      Juicebox Confession                     Someone Else’s Genius                         Black Sheep Mom                                Go Mama O                            Battered Hope                                      The Momisodes                                      elleroy was here

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Gina Valley

      I adore my WWW guest today! Please welcome Gina Valley from the blog  Gina Valley--The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom. I recently met Gina at the Erma Bombeck 2014 convention and we shared tons of laughs together over dinner. In fact, her sparkling sense of humor had everybody at the table laughing because Gina is THAT FUNNY! I bonded with her immediately and knew after the first five minutes of talking to her that I just had to feature her on my site. She was definitely one of my favorite bloggers to hang out with at the convention, so I know you're going to love this talented writer as much as I do. Please welcome Gina to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!

This Is Not About Having “You-Know-What”
by Gina Valley

This is not about having “You-Know-What.”  It’s about not having “You-Know-What.”
And, how that seems to be more and more the case after the jewelry exchange takes place.
Why is it when you finally reach a stage in life where everyone, even God and your mother, finally thinks it’s OK for you to engage in “fellowship” with your beloved that that whole part of your relationship suddenly seems to become Mission Impossible?

Well, much as I wish I could give you some ideas on what will work well for successfully completing your fellowship transaction, I can’t. 

But, I can tell you some things that don’t work. Please use this information to prepare yourself and to take evasive action. 

Don’t ask me how I know, but I know that you will not be able to complete fellowship successfully in any of the following situations:

If the dog is outside, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.   He will undoubtedly hear some strange noise by the trash cans.  He will dash over to the trashcan area, pound on the gate until it opens, and rush in.  At this point he will determine which of the trash cans he believes to be the source of the offending sound and will attack it.

Somehow, in a way I have never been able to understand, the dog will manage to get his left front leg and his head stuck in the trashcan.  This will cause the dog to panic.  He will bark in panic, the loud noise then being reflected back at him from the bottom of the trashcan will panic him more, causing him to dash around the backyard on three legs running into patio furniture, plants, and the other dogs, all the while making a racket reminiscent of a pack of hyenas attacking an antelope.

If the dog is in the house, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  Apparently, the noises of fellowship sound somewhat similar to the noises of distress, causing the ever-vigilant dog to hurl himself through the air in an effort to protect you from what he is clearly assuming to be an alien force.

He will chomp down on the most obvious, first available part of the “alien” in an effort to save the lady, who provides him with food and a clean blankey.  The “alien” will need 6 stitches and a very soft chair for more than a week.

If your children are not at home you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.   Your mother-in-law, who ironically wants you to have more children, will call to have you settle the argument between her and your father-in-law about which year they purchased their refrigerator.
She will call repeatedly, leaving ever more panicky messages.  She knows you work from home, and, since you’re not answering the phone, she will assume you have fallen and are lying on the floor in your kitchen with a broken neck, because you would not buy the non-slip rugs she told you you should get at IKEA the last time you were there.

If your children are at home sleeping, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  The second you are in the throes of fellowship you will suddenly become aware of a small silhouette standing in the doorway to your bedroom saying, “I don’t feel too good, and Ryan’s tummy hurts, too.”  This will cause you to, in one fluid, ninja-like motion, both grab for your clothes and to race toward your ill child.

Upon reaching the little darling you will find yourself unable to stop, as your feet have suddenly begun to act independently from your body.  You will realize, as you feel yourself entering into “must-avoid-landing-on-my-child-as-I-am-about-to-crash-onto-the-hardwood-floor” mood, that you have put both legs into one pant hole in your pajamas, and, to further complicate matters, your feet have found the puddle which evidences Ryan’s tummy is, in fact, very upset.

If you are visiting at your spouse’s nearly -deaf grandparents’ house you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  In the middle of the night, just when you have activated the launch sequence while on the slightly squeaky guest  room sofa bed, you will hear his grandmother in the hall call out to his grandfather, (be sure to read this in a very heavy, old world accent for maximum understanding) “Oh dear.  I think they are copulating now,” bringing the countdown to an immediate halt and canceling lift off for the foreseeable future.

If you are visiting at your mother’s house you will not be able to successfully have fellowship. You will realize that there is no lock on the guest room door.  So, realizing that there is a lock on the bathroom door you will attempt to find an angle of action long enough for the both of you to interact without damaging limbs or kicking holes into tile.

You are, of course, bound to bump into the shower at some point.  This will cause tiny, nearly imperceptible vibrations to travel up the sides of the shower and across the top of the shower doors.  The tiny “shower quake” will cause a precariously balanced bottle of shampoo to tumble down, its fall being broken by your partner’s face, creating a hard to explain, yet impressive shiner.

If you think your backyard is a secluded hide away for fellowship while your kids are visiting your sister, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  Backyard raccoons are a lot bigger, a lot bolder, and a lot more curious than you would ever think they are.  And, if you throw a shoe at them, not only do they not scamper away to their  treetop home, they catch it, throw it back at you, and begin to screech  so loudly that the neighbors come out to see what the problem is.

If you attempt to christen your new van late at night in your dark, tree-lined driveway, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  Your neighbor’s teenage daughter’s boyfriend will pull his car into your driveway behind your van to attempt to have a bit of fellowship with the aforementioned neighbor’s daughter.

When he sees you climb out of the van, it will startle him so much that he will accidentally slip his car into reverse, causing it to roll down your steep driveway.  Naturally, he will attempt to stop the car by stomping on the brake, but, as he is a new driver, he will hit the accelerator instead, and careen across the street at the base of your driveway.

Don’t worry, though, the fire hydrant in front of your neighbor’s house will stop his car.   And, the resulting fountain will insure that no one needs to water their yard for a month.

If you lock your bedroom door because your children are home and awake, you will not be able to successfully have fellowship.  Your 4 year-old will have a sudden need to tell you about the enormous praying mantis he just found on the table in the breakfast room.
He will, of course, be unable to open your locked bedroom door.  Then, you will hear a loud thump and the splitting of wood as the door frame breaks, and your door flies open.  You will recall that this child started pushing the sofa out of his way as soon as he could walk, as your pint sized Hulk says, 

“Mom, your door was stuck.  I fixed it for you.” 
My hero.
Or, maybe he’s just defending his spot as the youngest in the birth order.

Laugh Out Loud!

Nothing is ever easy when you’re trying to “you know,” is it?  Ever gotten creative?  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Shoot me a comment before someone breaks your door down!


Gina Valley is a humorist, who lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband & their 7 children, who provide her with more inspiration than she needs for her blog Gina Valley – The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom. She finds humor in parenting her pack, figuring out marriage, navigating life, and trying to show up anywhere on time. She loves to cook, if someone will put the ingredients in those little glass bowls, & spends much of her time carpooling and inventing new curse words (at the same time!). She’s not your typical soccer mom, loves ridiculously high heels, & is addicted to her smart phone. If she’s out of chocolate, run and hide!
Gina was a featured humor cast member in Listen to Your Mother – San Francisco 2013. She has served as a guest host for #DadChat, the largest Chat community on Twitter. Her work appears widely on the web including at Voiceboks, Dads’ Round Table, Inspiring Women Magazine, and The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Laugh along with Gina on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Father's Chair

    The soft padded chair envelopes me in memories of my father, the leather worn where his arms once rested. I run my fingers over the smooth patches to get a sense of him, breath deep the scent of leather and success. From this chair he managed a real estate and banking business, arranged our summer vacations to the Southwest and designed his dream home in Montana.

     My father's legacy is now tucked away in the cardboard boxes that surround me, his voice a distant echo against these bare walls.

      Packing up his office, I come across a grainy, black and white photo that sparks memories of a father who carried me on his shoulders in the pool, made me laugh with his Cookie Monster imitations and when I was older, shared his quiet wisdom with me on a porch in Whitehall, Montana.

     The world will remember him as a successful entrepreneur who was larger than life; an intense man of intellect, integrity and power with a lifelong pursuit of excellence. To me, he was just Dad----the man who was my shelter in a world of uncertainties. No matter my age, I was still his little girl.

     At times he was imposing and strict, reprimanding me when I tested the limits of his patience. Like any teen, I resented his advice until I had children of my own and understood that the boundaries he set were rooted in love.

     There was also a softer side to my father that few people knew. He could be moved to tears when listening to a Wagner opera or the complexities of a Mahler symphony. His eyes misted over whenever he expressed his love and gratitude for my mother. And he hugged us tightly, as if he never meant to let go. When I close my eyes, I can still feel his arms around my shoulders and the soft fabric of his shirt against my cheek.

     When my father was first diagnosed with blood cancer, there was no doubt in my mind that this powerful man would beat the disease. We'd spent an entire summer together tracing his ancestral roots and discovered that longevity was in his family genes.

     He fought the good fight with chemotherapy but the insidious cancer robbed him of all the simple joys in life. The gourmet food and wine he once loved tasted like cardboard as he battled daily against nausea and fatigue. It was difficult watching a man who was once active in sports and a strong force in the boardroom become fragile and confused. I couldn't accept defeat, even as the soft angles of his face were sharpened by rapid weight loss from the disease.                                                                                                

     I realized cancer was winning the day I embraced him and felt the knotted rope of his spine against my fingertips. He no longer had the strength to hug me back.

     My father spent his last days in Hospice with his family surrounding him. I remember how his eyes lit up when we walked into the room and his feeble attempt to squeeze my hand when I sat beside him on the bed. Choking back tears, I spoon fed him his dinner and reminisced about happier times. Looking back, I should have played Wagner or Mahler to soothe him, but I like to think the music was still there, playing in his dreams and lulling him to sleep.

     We lost him two weeks before Father's Day. And just as I did when I was a child, I pressed my face against his chest and heard the last beat of his heart.

     My father has always been my idol and the inspiration that drives me to succeed. He saw the potential in the humorous stories I wrote and encouraged me to become the writer I am today. He believed in me when I was unable to believe in myself, pushing me to heights unimaginable.

     I miss his humor and the deep chuckle that resonated in his voice when he regaled us with tales from his youth. I miss our road trips, family holidays and the laughter we shared over a good bottle of wine. But most of all, I miss his strong embrace.

     I feel him now in the threads of Mahler's music and the stories I write from the comfort of his brown leather chair. When I look to the west, I see his smile beyond the darkness, a shooting star that leaves a bright tail across the summer night.

****Want more Meno Mama? You can find me this week on Midlife Boulevard talking about how menopause drives me crazy!
I'm also featured this week on What The Flicka, talking about bad Father's Day gifts:


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Confessions Of A Mommyaholic

     My special WWW guest today is one of the sweetest ladies I know in the blogosphere! Please welcome Janine Huldie of Confessions Of A Mommyaholic! Janine's blog has a little something for everyone----recipes, book reviews, parenting advice, humor and lifestyle posts about her husband and children. She also hosts Pin It Parties and participates in Finish The Sentence Friday with a large group of other bloggers. Janine runs her own graphic design company at J9 Designs. If you like the look of my blog, thank her because she had a hand in designing my site. This woman is a genius when it comes to troubleshooting and setting up blogs. Please welcome this busy mom of "Irish twins" to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!


Tales From The Princess

“No, I don’t want it like this!”

This was Lily at lunch today crying, because I apparently didn’t make her brown bread (pumpernickel bread) with sugar butter (whipped butter with cinnamon) and peanut butter sandwich the way Nannie makes for her.

She stood there crying with her little hands in the air to tell me the sugar butter and peanut butter needed to up.

I actually had to ask my mom what she was talking about.  Apparently, my mom puts it on for her so that it isn’t spread, but in clumps, because Lily likes to actually see the two on the bread.

Not going to lie though as Lily was trying her best to explain, she was crying tears of frustration. And I was laughing so hard, I was crying at the absurdity of it all.

Yes, Lily the picky eater strikes again!  Probably sounds awful to the outside party reading this, especially if you don't have kids or not a mother.

Doing her thing
  Lily In A Quieter Moment

But here is the thing, no matter what time of day it is here at my home, we have crazy moments that will make us laugh, cry, scream or even want to pull your hair right out of your head.  As crazy as it sounds, I have gotten attune to moments like the above being the mom to two small girls, who are only 16 months apart.  

Having Fun in Dad's Car After He Washed and Cleaned Their Snack Disaster from the Back Seat
My Irish Twins Having Their Own Fun in The Back of Dad's Just Washed Jeep in Our Driveway

Many say being the mom of twins is insane.  I am not denying that it is or taking anything away from twin moms, but will admit having what they call Irish twins (my mother-in-law coined this term even before I had kids having had her own set of Irish twins with my husband being the younger of the two) has been anything short of the lunacy and yet I don't think I would have it any other way now.

It is what it is and not only do I deep down live for being the mom of Irish Twins, I embrace it daily.  Times like I described above are the norm for me, define me and even go as far as making me feel like I am a part of an unwritten special club with all the other Irish Twin moms.

Irish Twins Mom's Tales

By the way, someone told me a while back when I referred to my girls as Irish Twins that my girls aren't true Irish twins, because Irish Twins are really those born in the same calendar year (being 12 months apart), but I know only one other person that had her kids exactly 12 months apart in real life and not sure that many others (possibly Tori Spelling) have had kids 12 months or less apart.
Seriously, if you have then you deserve a medal or at least a little hug! (Sorry couldn't help, but quote Russel Brand from his Saving Sara Marshall role).

Irish Twins mom or not, I would settle for a little hug daily for all the craziness I do endure even at lunchtime.  But still want to thank Menopausal Mother for allowing me to share my Wacky World with you today.

Cropped Stories Photo

Janine is a certified professional middle school math teacher, who became a 
stay at home mom after having her second daughter.  Born and raised in NYC.  She is now a WAHM blogging at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, as well as running her own graphic design company at J9 Designs with two beautiful, zany, energetic daughters, husband, all while trying (key word) to keep it all in perspective to keep the days and nights, too a little bit brighter.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Blog Tour Party Time

     A few weeks ago, I was invited by two special blogger friends to participate in a blog tour. It's a little bit like a game of tag but more fun than sweating outside in the school yard. The point of this blog tour is to learn a little bit about the blogger and then hop over to meet the bloggers she has picked as some favorites. Sort of like exploring Disney's Epcot where you stroll from country to country and sample the cocktails---I mean FOOD.

     The two lovely ladies who I tagged me on this blog tour are Vikki Clafin of Laugh Lines and Sharon Greenthal of Empty House Full Mind. I met Vikki a year ago while writing on a book project together and was blown away by her sense of humor. We're both mid lifers who view the world through the same funny lense, which is why her blog posts resonate so deeply with me. I felt a connection to Vikki as soon as I met her on the inter webs and hope one day we'll be able to connect IRL. Whenever we DO meet, the first thing I'm going to do is give this lady a BIG hug!

     Sharon is another mid lifer I connected with last year and she's one of my biggest mentors. Although  her main focus in writing is on empty nesting. parenting and marriage, she also delves into social issues and politics on her blog. Sharon is one of the busiest women I know---aside from writing her own blog, she is the co-founder of Midlife Boulevard and manages a busy Facebook page for midlife women. She writes for numerous sites and was recently a guest on the Katy Couric show. I'm so proud of all the things she has accomplished in her writing career and honored to be considered her friend.

     There are instructions for this blog tour, and they are as follows:

1.  Thank the blogger who tagged you and tell us a little bit about her.

2.  Answer four questions about your writing process.

3.  Tag three of your favorite bloggers and tell us a little bit about them.


1.  What am I working on?  I'm working on the final edits of my book, "Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF." If you want to know more about it, you can check out my author age at: Aside from posting on my own blog site weekly, I also write for four different sites---The Huffington Post, In The Powder Room, Humor Outcasts and What The Flicka.  What else am I working on? Teaching my 18 year old to lift the lid and pee in the toilet, not on the bathroom tiles.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  When I first started blogging, I wrote mainly about menopause. After several months, I realized how I was limiting myself and decided I needed to expand my reach by writing on a wide variety of topics. Although the middle age years are still my main focus, my odd comedy tends to resonate with most people and I'm thrilled to say I have a wide demographic of readers ranging in ages 18-88. How cool is that? But what makes my writing unique from other blogs out there is my warped humor. No one else talks about rhino thongs, kumbaya singing possums around a campfire or cornhole playing yard gnomes.

3.  Why do I write what I do? When I first started writing many moons ago, I wrote poetry and fiction, but I had to go into my dark place in order to produce anything decent. Dwelling in a cave is not much fun, and a few years ago I decided to branch out into comedy. This was the perfect move for me because humor comes naturally to me since I live in a nuthouse where no topic is sacred and the wine flows freely.

4.  How does your writing process work?  This goes back to the wine. My husband and I like nothing better than to sit in our backyard garden oasis on a Saturday night and brainstorm over a bottle (or three) of wine. This is where the singing possums and dancing gnomes come in. The problem is that the following morning I can barely read my scrawled notes, and what I CAN read is strange material from my alter ego. Hello, Ms. Pinot Grigio, Mistress of Wacky World.

     There are SO MANY blogs out there that I love, but here is a handful I read on a regular basis:

1. Sarah Almond of The Sadder But Wiser Girl is one of my best friends in the blogosphere. We share the same warped sense of humor and laugh late into the night about stupid stuff like ear wax casseroles and crap pockets. Sarah is my go-to girl and one of the funniest people I know. If you want a good belly laugh, be sure to visit her hilarious blog.

2.  Kristi Campbell writes over at Finding Ninee and is by far one of the most prolific writers in the blogosphere. What's cool about her blog is the illustrations she draws to accompany her posts. They leave me in stitches because I can relate to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Kristi is a special needs mom to a beautiful little boy named Tucker. As much as I love her sense of humor, it's her poignant posts that leave a lump in my throat and make me want to reach through the computer screen to hug her. She is one of the kindest, most compassionate women out there and I just love her to bits. Do yourself a favor and read this awesome lady's blog.

3.  Crystal Ponti of Mommifried is one of my absolute favorite ladies in the blogosphere. She's also one of the busiest. This mom of five writes an entertaining blog with funny posts, delicious food recipes and advice for mothers. Crystal is also a social media guru and the founder of Blue Lobster Book Company. I signed on with Crystal because she is incredibly organized and has the best PR skills of anyone I've ever met in the publishing business. The success of her book, Mother Of All Meltdowns, convinced me that she was the best person to represent my book. She has the patience of a saint because I'm constantly badgering her with questions and she handles everything like the pro that she is. Our relationship has extended beyond the business side of publishing and I consider Crystal a true friend. Please check out her blog, and if you have a manuscript you're interested in publishing, this is the woman for you!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Advice From A Menopausal Mother

     Everyone comes to me for advice. Do I look like Dr. Phil?  I speak my mind but I don't get paid for it. Nor do I have a television show where minions bring me champagne and jars of Nutella in the green room. What I DO have is a husband who wakes me at 2:00 a.m. to show me his penguin imitation and older children who've mysteriously lost their hearing since the age of sixteen.

     For those of you who believe I have some counseling credibility, you probably forgot to take your meds this morning. But here's some advice that you might find useful:


*Communication is key to a healthy relationship. Share your deepest thoughts and concerns, even if this means discussing the pros and cons of owning a bidet.

*Be willing to work together as a team---preferably in matching Snuggies---when it comes to parenting, work, household duties or running together in a strap-on kitty relay race.

*Learn to respect each other's individuality. Your husband should appreciate your ability to devour an entire blueberry pie in five minutes….with your hands tied behind your back. And your wife should honor your ability to suck jello shots out of an ice cube tray….also with you hands tied behind your back.

*Be willing to make sacrifices for one another.
  "Honey, I sold my tickets to the hockey game to attend your romance novel book club meeting tonight."
  "Oh no! I just canceled that meeting to beer bumper bowling with you!"

*Argue less. Just admit you're wrong no matter what you're fighting about….then secretly sign your spouse up for every 800 number promotion on TV.

*Laugh more. Find the humor in every situation and learn to laugh it off, no matter how bad it is.
  "Hon, I just lost my wallet with all 25 credit cards inside it. The good news is that the cards were already maxed out and I spent my last ten dollars on a plastic owl weather vane." 


Imagine being a juggler walking on the tight rope at the circus and tossing six balls in the air without dropping one. Welcome to parenthood!

Learn to be more flexible, patient and fair with your children. Tell them every day how proud you are of them and that you love them.

Expect years of multitasking and lack of sleep until your little winged gargoyles fly the coop….which may not be until they're thirty. During this time period of your life, there will be plenty of days when you'll understand why some animals eat their young. Smile---you and our partner are in this together.


Live for the moment and stop wasting time stressing over your finances. While it's important to tuck away some extra cash for a nest egg, beware of the vultures who might swoop down any minute and snatch those eggs. If that happens, you can always get a second job at a chicken hatchery to count REAL nest eggs.


You're going to feel older than the dirt in King Tut's tomb when the first grandchild arrives. You might also spend an inordinate amount of time recalling your youth when you were faster, thinner and could ride the mechanical bull for a full eight seconds.

Teach your grandchildren life's important lessons (such as the best place to hide their chocolate stash from mom) and embrace the grand-parenting years. This is the only time you'll get to witness karma in action.


Eat well and exercise regularly. Learn to love kale, even if this means buying more air fresheners for your bathroom. Monitor your cholesterol levels and become familiar with triglycerides. *Is it just me or does that name sound like a punk rock band? "The Triglycerides are performing tonight at Club Blood Pressure."


Once you hit the golden years, you get to look forward to early bird specials at the diner, discounts on movie theatre tickets and free catheter sample packs. Throw your calendars out the window and hop on the party train to Flatulentville where everything is a gas.

     Hopefully if you take my advice, your life will run a little bit smoother. Just remember to laugh when your spouse maxes out the credit cards on pajama jeans and potty wizards ordered from an 800 number in Podunk Poland.

****NEWS FLASH**** Guess who is a new HUFFINGTON POST blogger?! This girl! You can read my debut post here:

I also have my weekly post up over Humor Outcasts which you can read here:


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Pen Paper Pad

    My multi-talented WWW guest today is the amazing T.A. Woods, who blogs at Pen Paper Pad  and is also a featured writer at Lefty Pop. I met T.A. through a Facebook writer's group and was thrilled to find a kindred spirit who loves and appreciates good poetry as much as I do. I was blown away by T.A's poetry----to the point of getting chills the first time I watched a Vlog of her reading one of her beautiful poems.

     T.A. is also known for her sharp witted humor and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the mechanics of writing. She has a big heart and shares the laughter by sprinkling her humor all over social media for the rest of us to enjoy.

     It is such a pleasure to have this talented lady on my site today. Please welcome T.A. with lots of hugs and comment love!

Bachelorette parties age as we do

A haiku to give you a sneak peak:

Parties remind me
Hangovers can kill old ass
Send gingers and naps

This past weekend, my friends and I celebrated one of our best friend’s upcoming nuptials. It was a wonderful weekend, and exactly what we all needed. As I sit here and think about what happened this past weekend and what happened when I was in my 20s at bachelorette parties, I see some distinct differences.

When I was in my 20s and we’d throw bachelorette parties:

Goal: Get as inhumanely wasted as possible. We’re talking one-eyed open, maybe wearing someone else’s clothes by the end of the night schwasted. And here’s how:

Step One: Give the girl a sash and a crown. She’s the princess for the night and everyone should know. Plus there might be a way to get some free drinks out of the deal.

Step One A: Start off by drinking. You are broke, so you probably only have very cheap beer and liquor. It’s ok. It’ll mix well with the swill you’re going to have when you get the watered down drinks at the bar.

Step Two: Give the girl a large penis thing, preferably a lollipop. Don’t worry if she drops it at some point. This is pretty much guaranteed. If you’re a real friend, you won’t let her pick it up. If you’re a friendemy- well, you do you boo boo. I won’t judge you—other than to give you the side-eye if you ever offer me food or drink.

Step Three: Dress like your vagina needs its own air conditioning. This could also help with more drinks. Also, your boobs probably need some air, too. Make sure you’re wearing enough clothing to cover a miniature Chihuahua, because modesty, people. Modesty. Oh and heels. Very tall heels that make you look like spindly leg gazelles---this can help with the drinks.

Step Four: No one is left behind, even the stupid one who gets too wasted and starts dancing on tables. Yank her intoxicated ass down, take a shot on the way out and trudge on.

Step Five: Bar crawl. You are in college, or still living in your college town. You’re going to find the main street that has all the bars on it. And you’re going to EVERY SINGLE ONE. You will loudly proclaim that you’re getting married. You will get free shots and drinks. You will dance like Ariel first learning how to walk on her new legs.

Step Five A: You will woo. You will woo so hard. All the woos.
That cute guy just bought us shots,”
I fell down!”
I think I peed myself!”

Step Six: Make it home. This will be the fuzziest portion of the night. This may involve losing shoes, sketchy cab rides or the friend arm-to-arm linked up, stumbling down the street like drunken sailors. You may pass out at the front of the door before making it inside. It still counts.

Step Seven: Wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Recount all the great details, giggle a lot and have a lovely breakfast.
(Note: In my 20s, smart phones were a dream, Instagram hadn’t been born yet and YouTube hadn’t debuted. So all of this is from hazy memories.)
Now when you’re comfortably in your 30s and you may have some new things to consider like: kids, ex-husbands, terrible jobs and a sagging jawline, your priorities and steps change.

Here’s how it goes when you’re in your 30s+:

Goal: ESCAPE! Just get me outta here. Both last weekend’s and the party in two weeks are both a few hours away from home for a weekend. (Coincidence? Puh-leaze)

Step One: You have picked women (and sometimes men because it’s the 2000s people) who you hate the least to spend time with you. You’re going somewhere comfy, where you don’t necessarily have to wear high heels and your vagina will be covered. If you wear heels, fine, but that’s on you. The rest of us are in flip flops and sandals.

Step Two: Stock up on food, because we are at the point in life where comforts start on the stove. Throw in some healthy stuff so you won’t feel like a total glutton. Forget to eat the healthy stuff.

Step Three: Drink. You are older and have jobs now, so the drinks will be of better quality, mixed more in mind for tasting delicious rather than drunkenness. There will also be less drinks. We are going to drink like responsible, smart adults. We are not in our 20s anymore. No more wooing.

Step Four: Go to a bar…at 1 in the afternoon where we can listen to free music and then head back to the retreat before nightfall.

Step Four A: Have one friend who brings her badass Doctor Who flask to the bar and make sure she forgets to put it back in her purse. When she is reprimanded by the bar manager, make sure you all laugh at her and make fun. Make sure that friend is me. #Whovian #noshame #IcantbelieveImwritinghashtags

Step Five: Make a bunch of plans to do things…and then spend of your time reminiscing, eating delicious food and drinking. Because plans, schlans, you’re here to relax.

Step Six: Forget about Step Three…oddly enough you still will drink only half as much as you would have in your 20s.

Step Seven: Wake up the next morning feeling like you may have died in your sleep. You are in purgatory, and it lives in your brains and your tummy. Make sure there’s at least one friend who is annoyingly not hungover and also a morning person. Glare at her, or at least try to, but your eyes are so dry that you can’t really close them. Lay on the very comfy couch and moan and groan. Receive no sympathy. Eat comfort food like sausage gravy and biscuits. Drink it with the elixir of the hangover gods, ginger ale. Take a nap.

Step Seven A: Do all of this again, except embarrass yourself in some other way, because you guys booked this joint for the weekend because ESCAPE.

Since this is the updated version of the bachelorette party, there are pictures available. However, I will not post them, because I value my life. Let’s just say, there was a hot tub, a cowboy hat and cupcakes filled with bourbon. Cuz we know how to party.

What differences have you seen in bachelorette parties from your 20s to now? Let me know in the comments. I’m going to lay down now and rest up for round two. Feel free to say a few prayers for me to make it to July.


Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. Her first poetry collection is available at She has previous experience as a newspaper journalist and uses that while she drops sardonic knowledge at LeftyPop. She has used her writing background to capture emotions and moments in time for anthologies, her blog PenPaperPad and writing articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.

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