Friday, February 26, 2016

Weird Jobs I'd Love

      Whenever our funds get low, my husband suggests I look for part-time work to supplement my measly writer's income. The problem is that my skills are sorely lacking when it comes to career opportunities. I can cook, clean, and herd toddlers to the dinner table, but that's about it. In a land far, far away known as MY YOUTH, I worked all sorts of jobs----dental assistant, secretary, waitress, telephone operator, babysitter, cleaning woman, Avon sales representative.....and none of them thrilled me. I'd be hard pressed to find something at my age that I think I'd be good at (and actually enjoy doing). I'm a writer, and that's all I've ever wanted to be. But if I need to find additional employment, it'll have to be something unique.....something that I can do with confidence and pride in my work. Here are 20 weird jobs I'd be happy to try:

*Test pilot at a witch's broom factory

*Goose down feather pillow inspector

*Teacher at the School Of Hard Knocks

*Food critic for every five star restaurant in the U.S.

*Senior Beer Sampler at a brewery

*Golf ball dimple examiner

*Pogo stick tester

*Creative Director at the School of Mixology

*Ninja leaf blower

*Bounce inspector at a trampoline factory

*Panda bear babysitter at the zoo

*Yard gnome height verifier

*Underwater landscaper at Sea World

*Taste tester at the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.

*Cork sniffer at a winery

*Elastic snapper at a rubber band factory

*Drone sniper at an airport

*Bubble counter at a champagne bottling company

*Conch shell tuner

*Wrinkle straightener at a farm for Shar-Peis

     I'd be thrilled to do any one of these jobs. It certainly beats cleaning lint out of dryers at the local laundromat, or buffing caskets at a funeral home. I wouldn't mind trying my hand at being a fire starter at a smoke signal school, or being an artist at a tattoo parlor. How cool would it be to put my artwork permanently on someone's butt cheek? I hope they like stick figures, because that's pretty much all that I can draw.

     See? I told you my skills are limited. Looks like I'll have to stick with being a writer, after all.

***Want more Meno Mama? I'm thrilled to have my first featured post on RawrWords this week! Check out my post, "A Letter To My Younger Self." You can read it here:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fly On The Wall In A Crazy House

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A TornadoToday 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in their homes. Come on in and buzz around my house to see what we've been up to!

"I can't eat this hospital food. The hamburger patty is too hard to chew and I'm afraid I won't be able to get it down without choking on it."
"That's because I just saw some guy down the hall pulling the heel off his shoe and putting it on a hamburger bun."

"Why do you take a nap on the couch an hour or two before going to bed at night?"
"It's a part of my 'Pre-Sleep' ritual."

"That breakfast burrito went through me like a breakfast torpedo."

"I think the kids are plotting to kill me. Every time I step into the living room and see that creepy, gigantic Valentine's bear on the couch, I think it's a stranger in the house and my heart stops."

"You carry enough cheese sticks in your purse to open your own dairy farm."

"I just ate two turkey burgers and now I have the entire bird stuck in my teeth. I don't think the floss I need has been invented yet that can pull this bird out of my food trap."

"My muse is in overdrive and I'm on fire."
"Quick---somebody hand me a fire extinguisher!"

"What is it with boys? Hover boards, an office chair and sparklers equal a scary night on our street. God help us all."

"A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand."

"Sorry I didn't respond to your text. My mind wandered off and I forgot."
"Wandered off? I think it left for good."

"I ate too much piccadilly tonight. I'm crop dusting beans and rice everywhere I walk. "

"What's the matter with you? Every man has lighter fluid in his garage."
"What are you, a dinosaur? Coals and lighter fluid went out after the 60's. Everyone uses propane grills now. "

"Of course I won't tell anyone what happened. I understand the girl code of silence."
"Since when do girls know how to keep silent?"

Well, there you go, folks! Another crazy month at the Doyle abode. And yes, this girl can't keep silent. Why do you think I'm a writer??

****WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I'm delighted to have my first ever feature on Elephant Journal, and it's a POEM! Yes, in a former life before writing humor, I wrote poetry. You can read my poem "Leaving" here:
I also have a NEW blog post up this week on Bonbon Break titled, "Mirror mirror On The Wall, I Am My Mother After All." You can read it here:

Buzz around these other participating sites for a peek into some other homes:                         Baking In A Tornado                            Juicebox Confession                          Menopausal Mother                            Someone Else’s Genius                      Spatulas on Parade                      Searching for Sanity                         Never Ever Give Up Hope                                    Go Mama O                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy          Not That Sarah Michelle                   Southern Belle Charm                                      My Brain on Kids

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: Hiding In Plain Site by Angela Evans

     I'm so excited to introduce you to a very special friend of mine who has just released her first book! Please welcome Angela Evans, the author of a romantic suspense book, Hiding In Plain Sight (Hidden Dangers Book 1). This is a real page turner with plenty of steamy romance scenes and quite a few nail biting moments that involve a creepy family member who stalks the young heroine in the book.  Here's a brief synopsis to give you an idea of what Angela's book is all about:

     Imagine a 16 year old girl sneaking out of her house one night to see her boyfriend...and just when she is about to return home, there is an explosion on the property that kills both her mother and her grandparents. Although the explosion is ruled as an accidental gas leak, the teenager suspects that her sinister stepfather is responsible for the tragic deaths of her family members. The young woman disappears for ten years and then returns home to confront the memories that are at the root of her unexplained panic attacks. She becomes reacquainted with her former boyfriend, who is now the town sheriff, and discovers that her evil stepfathers is living in town under an assumed identity. The stepfather begins terrorizing the young woman as she and the sheriff search for answers on really happened the night of the explosion that killed her family.

     I asked Angela for a few paragraphs out of her book to wet your appetite for what I consider a must-read:

Book Excerpt #1:

Kierra's chest suddenly felt too tight to take a breath. She
desperately wanted to tell him to stop talking, to run away. She
wished she had never come to town, and that she was anywhere but
here listening to Bryan's calm, soothing voice.

“I can also tell you the thing that's going to be the hardest to
hear. The explosion was ruled an accident. It appears that they only
did a cursory investigation, but there was no reason to suspect foul
play. It was ruled an accidental gas leak. Most importantly, in that
investigation they didn't find a fourth body in the house. The only
victims of that explosion were your grandparents, and your mother.”

Somewhere in the distance a bird chirped and parents cheered
at the Peewee football game. Kierra heard it all as though it were a
million miles away. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think.

Her stepfather was alive somewhere.

No one believed her ten years ago, no one was going to
believe her now, but she knew for certain that somehow he was
responsible for the explosion that killed her family.

And he was still out there somewhere.

Book Excerpt #2:

He watched as she enjoyed another sip of her coffee. She loved coffee more than anyone he had ever known. Drinking coffee had never been something he considered sexy before he shared a morning cup with her. If she kissed half as sensually as she sipped that coffee, he was in trouble.
She glanced up and met his eyes over the rim of her coffee cup and he even found the pink blush that crept up her face appealing. She was cupping the mug with both hands, and holding it near her face as if it were a delicate flower to be carried carefully and inhaled deeply.
You make good coffee,” she said into the growing silence.
Maybe it was a mistake, but he decided it was time to press her and figure her out.
Without a word Bryan reached out across his small kitchen and took the mug from her hands, setting it on the counter behind her. He stepped forward and instantly saw the change in her eyes when she realized his intent. She went from eager and sexy to cautious and hiding in the blink of an eye.
Don't do that,” he ordered her.
What?” She glanced around desperately looking for a way out of the kitchen, this conversation, and his arms as they loosely held her captive against the counter.
Don't get all skittish and wary on me. I know you're as attracted to me as I am to you, and I also know that scares the hell out of you, but you don't have to be scared of me, or with me. Ever.” He made sure to hold her gaze as he spoke, he wouldn't let her look away. He wanted to be sure she understood everything he was saying, and a whole lot of what he wasn't saying. He was going to have her in his bed, he could guarantee that. He wanted her under him and begging for release, and he would have it, no matter what he had to do to get her there.
He kept his arms relaxed, and gripped the counter on either side of her hips. All she had to do was tell him to back off and he would. But he was going to make her say it if that's what she wanted, because he knew damn well it wasn't at all what she wanted any more than it was what he wanted.
Slowly, keeping his eyes fixed on hers until the last second, he lowered his head and took her mouth in his. As much as he told himself he knew what she wanted, he could have shouted in relief when her mouth came open willingly under his. He fought to keep his hands on the counter and not bury them in her hair. As much as he hated the color of it, he would have loved to fill his hands with it and pull her even closer.
Go slowly, he reminded himself, but his erection was already straining against the jeans he had thrown on quickly while she was in the bathroom. He craved the feeling of her pressed against him, but he needed to make sure she was ready. If she bolted on him he might never get her here again.
He made himself content with the feeling of her tongue sliding against his and her arms sliding up around his neck, playing with the hair at the base of his neck. She tasted like the coffee he had made for her, and she smelled like sleep, woman, and everything sexy. He groaned and adjusted the kiss slightly so that it deepened and he was rewarded with a noise that sounded a lot like a purr from Kierra's throat.
Gathering up every shred of his self-control, Bryan ended the kiss, resting his forehead against hers and waiting for her to open her eyes. For a moment he thought she would hide behind her closed eyelids forever, but eventually she opened her eyes and met his with an expression that could only be described as wonder.
Wow,” she whispered, causing Bryan to smile.
Yeah, you could say that. As much as I'd love to stay here and kiss you all day long, I need to get to the office and see if any hits came back on your dad.”
Stepfather. He's not my dad. Actually, I don't know who my dad is, but I know who it isn't, and it isn't him. We're not blood relatives. He was just another poor choice my mother made in her life.”
The wall was definitely back around her now. Even though neither of them had moved, the mention of her stepfather was enough to make her guarded and withdrawn, which only made him want to pull her close and kiss her senseless some more just to watch the walls crumble all over again.
Kierra pushed back against Bryan's chest, putting some space between them. That only served to frustrate him further. He knew better than to push her, but dammit he couldn't help himself.
I bring up your dad.” He held up a hand before she could say anything. “Sorry, stepdad, I know he's not your father, and suddenly you don't want me touching you? A minute ago you were practically purring and all I did was kiss you. The mixed signals are about to make me dizzy here. Can you maybe clue me in as to what's going on here?”

     Please be sure to check out Angela's new book on Amazon. You can buy it right here:  (

Angela Evans

Angela Evans has been creating stories in her own imagination since she picked up her first book. In high school she remembers sneaking a copy of a romance novel off her mother’s book case and immediately fell in love with the story, the genre, and the idea of falling in love!
Angela is currently obsessed with the genre of romantic suspense. When she’s not writing new stories you can find her binge watching cop shows looking for inspiration for those creepy villains every suspense story needs.
Angela loves to hear from readers, so please visit her online at, as well as on Facebook ( or Twitter ( 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wonderful Winter Writers Series: Guest Post by Vikki Claflin

Once again I have invited one of my favorite writers back to my blog because I just can't get enough of her humor. Please welcome my dear friend Vikki Claflin to Meno Mama's site today! Vikki's SECOND book, "Who Left The Cork Out Of My Lunch? Middle Age, Modern Marriage & Other Complications",  is being released on February 14th, and I'm one of the lucky ones who was able to read a preview copy. Vikki is one funny lady, and her book is a HILARIOUS must-read! In case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of her humor blog, Laugh Lines, you've been missing out. I grabbed this Valentine's themed post from her site because it is one of my favorites. After you read her post today, you'll want to read more of her humor, too. Please welcome Vikki with lots of comment love and don't forget to BUY HER BOOK!

The 12 Stupidest Love Songs, Ever

As Valentine’s Day looms closer, retailers are blanketing the shopping universe with cut-out hearts and chalky sugar treats emblazoned with “Be My Baby,” designed to get us opening our wallets to share romantic, gift-laden evenings with our special someone. Valentine’s Day is the great romantic do-over for those who dropped the ball at Christmas, sending couples scrambling once again to find the elusive perfect gift for Baby Cakes.

Valentine’s Day gifts can be silly and sentimental, or they can show up as white limo rides with a dozen red roses, a la The Bachelor. Whatever the actual gift might be, a little music can help set the mood. Whether it’s used as background while exchanging coy I-love-you-No-I-love-you-more smiles over dinner for two, or as a dance to “our song,” the music you choose can make or break the evening.

To help you narrow your search, I’m offering a list of what NOT to choose for your special Valentine’s Day playlist. In no particular order of horribleness:

1. Don’t Know Much About History (Sam Cooke). “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology.” Repeat for science, French, geography, trigonometry, algebra, and the ubiquitous slide rule, and you get the idea. “But if I could be with you, what a wonderful world it would be.” Seriously, dude?? You just admitted to being on the wrong side of the Stupid bell curve, and yet somehow you think we’re going to hook up and have a fab life together? Here’s a thought. Get your GED, get a job, and lose my number.

2.  Better Dig Two (Band Perry). “I told you on the day we wed, I was gonna love you til I’s dead. If the ties that bind ever do come loose, if ‘forever’ ever ends for you, read me my last rites. And let my stone say, Here lies a girl whose only crutch was loving one man a little too much. If you go before I do, gonna tell the gravedigger he better dig two.” Wow. A hundred years of mothers teaching daughters independence and dignity just got completely obliterated by one song.

3. Marry You (Bruno Mars). “It’s a beautiful night. We’re looking for something dumb to do. Hey Baby, I think I want to marry you. Who cares if we’re trashed, got a pocket full of cash. If we wake up and you wanna break up, that’s cool. It was fun, girl.” Worst proposal ever. And who needs a pre-nup when you’ve got a 24-hr annulment clause in your back pocket?

4. Into the Night (Benny Mardones). “She’s just 16 years old…” That also makes her illegal in pretty much all 50 states. Go find a grown-up, Bens.

5. Ticks (Brad Paisley). “You press that bottle to your lips, and I wish I was your beer. The only thing allowed to crawl over you is me. You know every guy here would like to take you home, but I’ve got more class than that. I’d like to check you for ticks.” Everything people don’t like about country music, all in one song. Go Brad.

6. You Lie (The Band Perry). “You lie like a priceless Persian rug on a rich man’s floor. You lie like a coon dog basked in the sunshine on my porch. You lie like a penny in the parking lot.” What do these even mean?? Possibly the worst analogies in song-writing history.

7. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad (Meat Loaf). “I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. Now don’t be sad, cuz two out of three ain’t bad” followed by an entire verse lamenting the one that got away, but who he never got over. Well, gee, Mr. Loaf. While I appreciate your only slightly arrogant offer, and the assumption that I’d be grateful for 2/3 of your awesomeness, I think I’d rather date your ex-girlfriend.

8. Having My Baby (Paul Anka). ”Having my baby, what a lovely way of saying how much you love me.” Yeah, because this really is all about you, Paul. Then it gets tacky, ”Didn’t have to keep it. You could’ve swept it from your life but you wouldn’t do it.” Show of hands to anyone who doesn’t know what Pauly is referring to. How much bad taste can one song encompass?

9. Every Breath You Take (Sting). “Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break“…(insert more of the same)…”I’ll be watching you.” Then you’ll be watching me take out a restraining order on your stalker ass.

10. Why Don’t We Get Drunk (Jimmy Buffett). Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. What happened?? “I just bought a water bed. It’s filled up for me and you. Yeah, now baby, why don’t we get drunk and screw?” I’m trying to imagine the target that this line would work on, and I can only assume she’s a wide-eyed band groupie who thinks ”banging” is a proper synonym for sex. Leave the 20-somethings alone, Jimmy, and have another margarita.

11.  You Remind Me of Something (R Kelly). And just when you thought all the bad lyrics were taken. “You remind me of my jeep, I wanna ride it. Something like my sound, I wanna pump it. You look just like my cars, I wanna wax it. And something like my bank account, I wanna spend it.” So you’re saying you want to ride me, pump me, wax me, and spend me. Uh, okay. Should I shave my legs first?

And my all-time favorite…

12. This Girl is a Woman Now (Gary Puckett). “This girl walked in dreams… This girl was a child… Then one night her world was changed” (insert sex with Mr. Puckett) “and she will never be the same again. This girl is a woman now. She’s found out what it’s all about, and she’s learning to live.” Well, Mr. Puckett, those must be some damn fine lovemaking skills you’ve got. You took a girl and made a woman out of her. I’ll bet her Daddy is just tickled pink. He was just spotted reloading at the local gun shop. You might want to move along now to a different house. Or a different state.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Now let’s cuddle up and have a slow dance.


Vikki Claflin writes the award-winning blog, Laugh Lines, where she doles out irreverent advice on marriage, offers humorous how-to lists galore, and shares her most embarrassing midlife moments. She shows us how to master midlife with a little common sense and a lot of laughter. Check out more of Vikki’s hilarious writing in her newest book, Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? Middle Age, Modern Marriage & Other Complications. Available at, B&N, and iTunes. Find more of Vikki’s writing at Laugh Lines.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The 10 Commandments of Middle Age

      There are certain do's and don'ts to aging, but some people are clueless when it comes to acting appropriately for their age. I'm not suggesting that you should throw in the towel after fifty and let yourself age like a hag. I'm just giving you some pointers on what you can and cannot get away with once you're considered over the hill. If you want to dye your hair chartreuse and tattoo your cat's name on your shoulder, that's up to you. Otherwise, here's some simple advice to follow whenever you forget that your name is already on the AARP mailing list.

1.)  Thou shalt wear clothing styles that flatter thy age. This means you should steer clear of the clothing you wore when you were twenty-something and thirty pounds lighter. Ladies, just because you rocked that mini skirt back in 1970 doesn't mean you have the legs to pull it off at age fifty. If the backs of your thighs look like the surface of a golf ball, ditch the short skirt and find a sexy one that sits just above the knees. Men, hopefully you're not trying to squeeze into the red speedos your wore at the beach during spring break forty years ago. You are not competing on the Olympic swim team and no one wants to see your shrunken roly poly trapped in wet nylon.

2.) Thou shalt carry dental floss with thee at all times.  As you get older, your gums recede and leave perfect little pockets around the teeth for food storage. Unless you plan on eating those trapped  morsels later in the day, or if you enjoy digging spinach out of your teeth in a restaurant, keep a roll of floss handy for food trap emergencies. Your mouth should not be a storage bin for leftovers.

3.) Thou shalt not drink more than one libation a day. Your memory cells are already down to single digits from aging. Why kill off the precious few you have left with shots of tequila?

4.) Thou shalt moisturize thy skin on a regular basis.  Things begin happening to the collagen in your skin as you age. Bad things. Unless you want your face to droop like the man in Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream", start applying creams as heavy as wall spackle to your skin to avoid a massive collagen meltdown.

5.) Thou shalt eat an entire bag of carrots a day. By the time you hit your fifties, your eye site will be no better than a mole's. Carrots have vitamin A in them, which is good for your eyes. Seriously, have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

6.) Thou shalt not pass gas in public places.  Old people and farts are synonymous. Don't be like old people. Practice your sphincter Kegels daily to avoid mishaps on a crowded elevator or in the line at the grocery store when there's a sale on Metamucil.

7.) Thou shalt take no less than 20 supplements a day to stay healthy.  By the time your youngest child is in college, you should own a large pill box with compartments that are clearly marked with the days of the week. You should also be on a first name basis with your pharmacist.

8.) Thou shalt not gain 10 pounds a year after the age of 50.  Hide the butter, hide the cream. Eat too much, you'll bust a seam.

9.)  Thou shalt maintain a healthy, intimate relationship with thy partner.  Keep in mind that you're not a frisky twenty-one year old any more. If you think being adventurous in the bedroom means trying out the Kama Sutra "Splitting Bamboo" position, think again. You just might pull a hamstring and end up in a leg brace.

10.) Thou shalt maintain thy sense of humor.  That old saying that "laughter is the best medicine" is true. Everyone needs to find their happy place in order to smile. If that means finding it in the bottom of a jar of Nutella or watching your spouse wrangle out of a chair that the grandkids have duct taped him to while babysitting, then so be it.

      See? Getting older isn't so bad. You can get away with things like forgetting to shave your legs or eating dessert before dinner. And if you're really lucky, no one will notice that glob of spinach between your teeth.

****EXCITING NEWS FLASH**** Meno Mama was just accepted this week into the Washington Post Talent Work for writers!!! Stay tuned for my first article......whoo-hoo!!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I am up on Humor Outcasts with my post, "Eight Types Of People Who Annoy Me." You can read it here:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Is Hormone Therapy The Solution To Menopause Symptoms?

***The following is a sponsored post by HealthGains***

While menopause is a natural time in every woman's life, not all of us get through it as easily as others. Some women are lucky enough to have very limited and mild symptoms while others can experience severe symptoms that interfere with daily life and last for a decade or longer. Hormone replacement therapy is a safe, approved way to treat the symptoms of menopause while protecting you against some health concerns that older women face.

What Happens to Your Hormones During Menopause?
During the perimenopause phase, estrogen and progesterone levels start to fluctuate as the ovaries shrink. This phase is marked by irregular periods. During perimenopause, the ovaries will sometimes make too little estrogen and/or progesterone and sometimes too little.

While a man's testosterone levels decline as he ages but never reach zero, a woman's body eventually stops making estrogen completely. After 6 to 12 months before menstruation ends, estrogen levels begin to decline. When estrogen declines past a certain point, menstruation ends completely. Over the next year, estrogen levels continue to decline until the reach zero.

Low estrogen, while natural, causes many health problems. Low estrogen levels following menopause are linked to:
  • Bone loss. The loss of estrogen accelerates bone loss and puts postmenopausal women at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
  • Changes to the skin. Declining estrogen affects collagen. This leads to dry skin and wrinkles.
  • Vaginal changes. During menopause, the vaginal lining and urinary tract weaken and thin which can make intercourse painful.
  • Heart disease. Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of heart disease.

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause
Hormone replacement is customized to each woman. Some women choose estrogen-only hormone therapy, progesterone-only, or progesterone and estrogen replacement. The goal of HRT is restoring more youthful levels of estrogen and/or progesterone to counteract menopause symptoms and guard against heart disease and osteoporosis.

Hormone replacement comes in many forms. Systemic hormone therapy in pill or patch form can treat all symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal symptoms while reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Estrogen creams can also be used. This type of hormone therapy limits the amount of hormones that enter your blood stream. While it cannot protect you against osteoporosis, it can treat vaginal symptoms.

Is Hormone Therapy the Right Choice?
Hormone replacement isn't right for every woman, but it is recommended for women at risk of osteoporosis and women with moderate to severe menopause symptoms. Women who are undergoing menopause naturally (those who haven't had a hysterectomy), the combination of estrogen and progesterone is advised as estrogen-only HRT can raise the risk of endometrial cancer. Women with heart disease, liver disease, and breast cancer are not good candidates for hormone therapy as HRT only guards against heart disease among younger women who have a healthy circulatory system.

While HRT is not a cure-all for menopause, it is the best way to treat menopause systems, guard against osteoporosis, and improve your quality of life. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is scheduling a consultation with your doctor or a hormone specialist.

HealthGains is a nationwide age management and hormone optimization center headquartered in South Florida. HealthGains specializes in hormone therapy, PRP therapy, nutritional supplementation, and specialized diagnostics to help you look and feel your best.


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