Friday, November 27, 2015

Fall Fun Guest Post By Molly Stevens Of Shallow Reflections

   I recently discovered a gem in the blogosphere----a talented writer with a quick wit and a humorous perspective on marriage and midlife. Please welcome Molly Stevens of Shallow Reflections! I recently met Molly in one of my blogging groups on Facebook, and when I stumbled onto her blog, I found myself scrolling through each post and laughing out loud at her quirky sense of humor. I'm thrilled that she agreed to let me share some of her hilarity on my site today. Please welcome Molly to Meno Mama's site with lots of comment love!


Wedding anniversaries have symbols to commemorate each year of matrimony, and serve as a gift-giving guide. Think of anniversary gifts as presents that contribute to your spouse’s continued presence.

These traditional symbols may have made sense for my parents’ generation when they married young, and were too poor to split up. But what are the chances a boomer will reach the 50-year Gold Medal Award, with rising divorce rates in this prosperous demographic? Maybe if you add up your collective marriage years, you’ll live long enough to reach this triumph. But that seems like cheating, akin to using performance-enhancing drugs to win gold at the Olympics.

For this reason (and a few others) I think it’s time the traditional US anniversary symbols marched down the altar of alteration. Here are a few of my makeover ideas.

1st year: Paper.
Makeover:  Wood, with affectionate nickname ‘Woody.’  Do we really want to symbolize the first vulnerable year of marriage with the substance divorces are served on? Since this is a time when money is tight and passion is plentiful, the Woody makes a perfect anniversary gift for a newly married couple. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to worry about the size.

7th year: Wool.
Makeover: Gold Bond. This is the year of the seven-year itch, so it seems like even smart wool would be a dumb idea. Something soothing is what you need to smooth out the rough patches that have erupted after seven years of constant chafing. Add the silky voice of a marriage counselor, and your union will survive to celebrate number eight.

15th year: Crystal
Makeover: Dog with a bell. You have now entered the Pavlovian year of marriage, when your conditioned responses make communicating without words as clear as the crystal you don’t need to buy. For example, you sigh repeatedly while staring into the refrigerator, and he reaches for a takeout menu.

20th year: China
Makeover: Diamond. Twenty is the new sixty. You had some wedding china (twice) and it’s broken or divvied up, so invest in something that lasts. Carrots taste great served on Corelle dinnerware, as long as Jared’s carats drip from the hands that prepared them.

25th year: Silver
Makeover: Coral. As in reef. As in Hawaii. And nothing to polish except your toenails enveloped in warm sand, and fingernails that adorn hands clutching a Mai Tai. Oh my!

30th Year: Pearl
Makeover: Plastic. I’m talking about surgery, not Tupperware. When you are shallow, the only ridges you crave apply to Frito-Lay. Who needs pearls when white globs of onion dip encircle your chest? And now that you’ve had your eyelids lifted, you can actually see to get cleaned up, preserving your looks and your marriage.

Last August Patrick and I celebrated our 24th anniversary: Opal
Makeover:  Reservations. At this stage of our marriage I only had to sigh once (without even opening the refrigerator door), and he made reservations for a nice dinner out.

Patrick gets a crown too, because he is king of putting up with me!
As for gold, I think everyone who succeeds in making it through another year of wedded bliss should qualify for this honor, don’t you? What is your favorite anniversary symbol? How do you celebrate a new year of commitment? What’s your position on performance enhancing drugs? Do you think it was fair that I got a salad and Patrick didn’t?


Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk, but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She was raised on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress.    

She blogs at where she skims over important topics, like her love affair with white potatoes and why she saves user manuals. No one knows for sure if her ideas result from eating too many carbs, or childhood exposure to herbicides in the well water.

She has ‘practiced’ professional nursing for *mumble,mumble* years, and someday hopes to be competent or retired, whichever comes first. Her husband is watching for early signs of dementia, and will have her put in a home when she shows an enthusiasm for camping. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fly On The Wall In A Nutso House

     Welcome to another Fly on the Wall group post, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, 12 bloggers are bravely inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in their homes.

     This month, the fly overheard more than he needed to know when it came to conversations between the men in my family. Other than that, we're all buzzing over here about the new edition of my Spandex book that was launched by Booktrope Publishers on Tuesday. Right now, that's a heck of a lot more entertaining to me than discussing the male anatomy. 

"When there's cornstalks growing out of your rain gutters, you know it's time to clean them out."

"Just because you haven't worked for a few days is no excuse to let your whiskers grow so long that you look like a woolly mammoth."

"We can't let him leave the house in that shirt. People will see his breasticles."

"If I don't stop pigging out on all the good food in this house, the 'Manatee Preservation' truck is going to pull up in our driveway."

"You've been in the bathroom way too long. What are you doing, nutscaping your man parts?"

"His dirty laundry pile is so high, I think another family is hiding under there. The least they could do is pay him rent."

"This storm is bad enough to be classified as a 'Hornado'."
"What's THAT?"
"A tornado and a hurricane combined."
"Sounds more like a hooker's stage name."

"If our granddaughter doesn't stop singing B-I-N-G-O, I'm going to go N-U-T-S-O."

"Of course he's scared of having a vasectomy. No man wants to be part of the cropped testicle club."

"If you're going to straighten my spine by popping my back, be sure to do it correctly so that I don't turn into a pile of sand."

"He compares his manhood to a prawn, but it's really more like a langoustine shrimp."

"That new hedge trimmer you bought would come in handy next time you decide to cut your toenails."

"I still haven't found the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving. The largest one I saw was only 28 pounds, not the 35 pounder that I had hoped for to feed our crowd."
"You don't want a turkey; you want an OSTRICH."

     Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy your day with the family and friends you're blessed with. This is my favorite holiday and one that I look forward to every year! Be sure to keep plenty of Alka-Selter on hand for the day of feasting, or else the Manatee Preservation truck will come looking for you, too!


Be sure to click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                         Baking In A Tornado                          Spatulas on Parade                          Follow me home                          Menopausal Mother                                   Never Ever Give Up Hope                                        The Momisodes                            Someone Else’s Genius                 Eileen’s Perpetually Busy                       Southern Belle Charm                                  Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                The Angrivated Mom                                       Go Mama O

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fourteen Things To Expect When You Become Older

     I've noticed a lot of changes in my life over the past few years, and I'm not just referring to a few extra pounds or menopause. My husband has noticed little changes in himself as well; his knees click when he gets up off the couch, and his back gives out whenever he tries to dance to anything sung by Pit Bull or Fetty Wap. This is what happens after you slide over the far side of the midlife hill. And it's only the beginning. Here are fourteen more things you have to look forward to in the not-so-distant future:

1. Your mailbox will be inundated with AARP invitations, LifeAlert ads and sales on cemetery plots.

2. You'll have the memory capacity of a goldfish.

3. If you're a man, your testicles will drop low enough to chafe your knee caps. If you're a woman, your breasts will look like two deflated pastry bags straddling your belly button.

4. You'll never leave the house without aspirin, floss, and antacids.

5. Skin tags and age spots will appear out of nowhere, which means you'll be visiting your dermatologist more often than you visit your friends.

6. You'll check WebMD at least once a day.

7. Your hair will mysteriously disappear from several areas on your body and leave you looking like a hairless cat.

8. You'll need to keep a handy stock of powders and thick creams for relief from chafing.

9. Every room in your house will be equipped with at least one pair of reading glasses, but you still won't be able to find any of them.

10. You'll be a sucker for every "miracle" serum advertised on TV to prevent your face from looking like a peach pit.

11. Most of the money you saved for retirement will end up invested in a good dental plan. Crowns, root canals and gum surgery will take the place of your dream vacation to Niagara Falls.

12. You'll need several shots of espresso to stay awake during the day and a dose of sleep medication at night to avoid playing mattress tag with Mr. Insomnia.

13. Viagra and menthol lubricants will become your best friends.

14. You'll feather your empty nest with extra cats, dogs, and possibly a few stray rodents.

     Welcome to the far side of midlife!

****I'm beyond thrilled to have a BRAND NEW POST featured on Purple Clover this week! Check out "The Battles Of The Bulge" here:

Meno Mama was also featured on BLUNTmoms this week with my post, "Ten Lies Parents of Teens Tell Themselves." You can read it here:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fall Fun Guest Post by Sharon Greenthal of Empty House Full Mind

     I love, love, LOVE today's guest blogger, Sharon Greenthal of Empty House Full Mind! We're both writers who embrace the midlife years and look for humor in everyday situations. I can relate to pretty much everything Sharon writes----she puts into words so perfectly the very things I feel in my heart. She is one of the kindest, most generous writers I've ever met, and I am honored to call her my friend.

     Please welcome Sharon to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love. Thanks!


One of the biggest problems with getting older is that everyone else is getting older too.

Day to day, the aging process is slow and steady — it comes in daily increments, little by little, so that we barely notice the changes until, of course, we do.
“Where did that wrinkle come from?” we wonder.
“When did that spot appear?” we think as we look at our hands, our faces, our necks.
“Who is that?” we think, looking at a picture of ourselves, taken when we weren’t aware, weren’t posed, eyes wide open, sitting up straight.

It can be startling to look at the faces of those closest to us, those we’ve known the longest, and realize that, yes — they’ve gotten older, too.

I see my grandfather alive in my uncle’s face, my grandmother looking at me through my aunt’s eyes. I see my late father vividly in nearly everything about my brother, and in my husband I see, more and more, the unmistakable quirky characteristics of his late father. There is no escaping the power of genetics, or the slow but steady changes aging brings to all of us.
Facebook has, for the most part, eliminated the sweet softening of memory and how it kept the long-lost friends of our youth from getting older, helping us to retain the image of ourselves as young, too. Now all of my friends are older, of course, and I am reminded of that whenever I log on to Facebook and see their lovely midlife faces passing by on my newsfeed. There are no young loves left to keep safe in a corner of your heart — they’ve gotten older too. It’s odd seeing someone you remember from high school for the first time on Facebook — the years-long distortion of their features, the balding head, the change in hair color , the sometimes unrecognizable plastic-surgeried face, with just a hint of who they used to be. It was because of this that Facebook was mesmerizing when I first began connecting with old friends. Perhaps most disconcerting was — and still is — seeing the children of old friends, often a rearranged version of their parents, a reminder of how young they (and I!) once were.
I think time travel is the most fascinating idea. What would happen if we could go back and watch our families form, grow and evolve? Imagine the experience of knowing your parents when they were just starting out together. What would it be like if I could have lunch with my late grandmother when she was a young mother of 30 years old? Who was she then? How different was she than at the age of 60? Or 90? As far as I can tell, she never changed much at all. Does anyone become dramatically different over the years, or does the essence of who we are stay constant? I think so. For the most part, when I’ve reconnected with old friends after many years, there is still a part of them that I recognize and remember, something uniquely them that never changes. It is that part that makes me feel young when I reconnect to them — the younger me seeking out the younger version of them. It can be exhiliarating.
Seeing the aging faces of my family can make me feel as though time is going too fast — more so for those who I don’t see often enough. I long to get back the days and years when we were separated for long stretches and have a few more times together during those child-raising years. As our lives grew more busy and complicated, as we moved to different corners of the country, it was difficult to see each other in person. Now, at midlife, we are more determined to stay connected and see each other as often as possible. It was easy when we were young to say “we’ll do it next year.” It’s not so easy, nor is it a good idea to think that way now. Those little kids that kept us on the run not so long ago are grown-up people now. Those young parents running around — well, we’re not so young anymore. Except… when we’re together, it’s as if no time has passed at all. We are still young, together.
We all get older. We all age. And we all are reminded each day, when we look at the faces of those we love, that we are doing this aging thing alongside each other, holding each other up, keeping the youngest part of ourselves alive by remembering and by enjoying this moment — aging together while keeping each other young.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How To beat Empty Nest Syndrome: Michael Peggs of Marccx Media

***The following is a sponsored post by Michael Peggs, founder of Marccx Media. His company is a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and Content Marketing.


What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

"Empty Nest Syndrome refers to feelings of sadness or depression experienced by parents after our children have left our homes and moved on to their own ones. This may be when our children go to college or get married and", according to Psychology Today, "women are more likely to be affected than men, as often, when the nest is emptying, mothers are going through other important events in their lives, such as menopause."

What are the Signs of Empty Nest Syndrome?
The prevailing sign of empty nest syndrome is a feeling of sadness. Spending time in your absent child's bedroom to feel closer to him or her is also common. While it’s normal to miss our children when they’re not around, if you do find yourself experiencing empty nest syndrome, you should monitor your reactions and their duration. If start feeling as if your life has no meaning or your life has ended, you should consider seeking professional help.

1. Learn to enjoy your new freedom – As your kids go off to college to learn and grow and shape their lives, it can be scary for them and for you as well, but this new found freedom can be a positive thing; giving you a chance to grow as well. Maybe think about taking up those things that you had to put on hold when you were raising children and dedicate some time to yourself.
2. Join a gym – Sitting around at home moping over the loss of your old life is one of the worst things you can do and will only result in more melancholy feelings. It’s time to get outside and join a gym, or learn that new dance step you’ve been hearing about, take up tennis, or a sport you’ve been wanting to try. Not only will you be looking out for your fitness, but you will also be releasing endorphins, the happy hormone, which will help blast away the blues.
3. Take up a new skill – Now is the time to think about you and the things you are interested in without having to worry about parent/teacher meetings and afterschool excursions. Are you keen to learn a language? Take up evening classes. Always wanted to try your hand at pottery? Now’s the time. Not only will you be working on yourself, but you’ll also meet new people and maybe even make new friends in the process.
4. Don’t let distance be a barrier – There are now so many ways to use technology to bring your family together. Make sure that you schedule time every day or week to speak with your kids, and you could try building blogs, a Family website, or photo albums, as an excellent way of bringing you together with your loved ones.

5. Finally, remember nothing is forever – In fact, the chances are that in a couple of years, your kids will be right back under your roof. Studies have shown that a record number of young adults between the ages of 18-31 move back in with their parents after college. More than likely you’ll be wishing your kids would get back out from under your hair in no time.

Michael Peggs

Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.


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