Friday, April 29, 2016

Super Spring Writer Series: Guest Post By Anne Bardsley

      I met today's guest writer at the EBWW conference in 2014 and thought she was such a hoot! I have featured her on my site before because her midlife sense of humor deeply resonates with me. Please welcome Anne Bardsley, author of "How I Earned My Wrinkles", to my blog today! She's sharing a funny story about the time her young granddaughter decided to turn into a parrot and imitate one of her favorite swear words. I was howling with laughter after reading this post, because I have a 4 year old granddaughter who I'm sure would do the same thing to me. This story reminds me to watch my mouth now whenever I'm babysitting....

I Taught My Granddaughter To Curse
I am not proud that I taught my granddaughter to curse. I got busted. She overheard me say, “Oh Shit!” When the mailman arrived, she couldn’t wait to tell him the exciting new. “I learned a new fun word from my Gigi. “Shit!” she announced proudly. He scowled at me. “I did not teach you that!” I protested. “Yes you did, Gigi. You yelled, ‘Oh Shit!’ when you spilled your coffee.” I looked at the mailman and mouthed, “Oh Shit!” He grinned at me sympathetically. He must be a potty mouth grandfather.
That became her word of the day. “Oh shit! Let the dog out. Oh shit!! Let the dog in. Oh shit! It’s lunchtime.” Then it became her word of the week and she used it everywhere. At the grocery store she announced, “Oh shit! We forgot my cereal.” It’s odd how fast they learn to use the words with appropriate timing. And where did she learn the appropriate facial expression?
I want my sweet grand kids to use clean and approved language. And so I have decided to clean up my potty mouth. This is a challenge for me. I have a clean mind and heart, but every so often an F- bomb escapes from my lips. It seriously wiggles past my teeth and before I can bite it back, it’s out. I hate when it happens.
My problem is that I have a latent PMS (Potty Mouth Syndrome). After raising five kids, some words just slip out all on their own. I cannot be held responsible because I survived their teen years by a thread. In hindsight, that’s when I was at my peak of PMS. At two in the morning, I stared out the window praying they’d come home safe so I could kill them personally. I definitely developed my advanced, choice, vocabulary words those nights.
My goal was to completely remove the F bomb from my language. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. The darn (notice I said darn) F words kept forming on my lips. Once the Fffff sound started I had to get creative quickly. “What the Fook?” was my personal favorite. It’s such a perfect question showing annoyance, yet fondness. I’m all about soft cursing.
If the cashier loaded my grocer bag too full, I’d ask, “What the Fook?” while smiling. I never want to hear the little ones ask that question, even if they are smiling. It’s too close to the real F word. I had to drop that one.
I tried using Fig Newton as my new word, but every time I asked, “What the Fig Newton?” the cashier ran and grabbed a bag of cookies for me. After eight bags of cookies, I needed another word.
I tried Frill. That sounds clean and it’s quite charming. The only problem is my pronunciation. It sounds like Fah-Reeeel. My mouth gets distorted and neck muscles tighten like a turkey straining. It’s a horrible look. My sister suggested I just use the F word instead of making that face.
I thought of Cockeypop …or is it Poppycock? That is a loaded word and a train wreck waiting to happen. My menopausal mind could do so much damage with either. I dismissed them both immediately, as I giggled.
As you can see, I am struggling. My fear is that by the time I get my language kid-approved, they’ll have new ones to teach me. I suck at this stuff.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Where Did My Zip Go? Can I Get It Back With Hormone Therapy?

*The following is a sponsored post by

This past winter, 50-year-old Jamesa successful businessman, father, husbandshowed up at a New Jersey clinic with some vague but familiar complaints. I put in a full days work, but then I fall asleep on the sofa after dinner, he told the doctor. I remember my grandfather doing the same thing. No energy left for fun! Is it genetic? Is something wrong with me?

Neither, said the good doctor, after performing a physical exam and running some blood tests. Youre feeling the natural effects of aging. Thats what happens when there is a drop in the levels of certain hormones such as testosterone. The good news is, its treatable with hormone therapy.

As we get older, the production of sexual hormones that served us well in our younger days starts to taper off. Androgensmale hormonesstart to decline when a man hits his 20s. Because these hormones are responsible for large muscles, sexual desire and that vibrant energy we associate with masculinity, lower levels of androgens can make a man feel as though hes walking around in the wrong body.

The Malaise That’s Treated With Hormone Therapy

Here are some of the symptoms of hormone (testosterone) deficiency:
  • lethargy
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • reduced ejaculation
  • muted orgasm
  • weaker erection
  • loss of body hair
  • reduced sexual desire (libido)
  • thinning bones

In the past, a man with these complaints would have been sent home with a consoling pat on the shoulder. You’re getting older, James! What do you expect? It’s been a hundred years since a zookeeper in Germany noticed that castrated roosters stopped fighting, crowing and breeding. But only in recent decades has the medical field embraced hormone therapy to treat testosterone deficiency (since dubbed low-T).

Reversing Andropause With Hormone Therapy

Medical science has come a long way since the barnyard assessment. Now there’s even a name for it: andropause. Today’s hormone therapy starts with a physical exam and lab analysis. A sample of blood is drawn, and then checked for various hormones. These are compared with standard values. If it’s deemed necessary, the doctor can prescribe a supplement that’s tailored to a particular individual.

In the case of James, he was found to have total testosterone of less than 500 ng/dl (nanograms per decilitre)— well below the 600 average for a man between the ages of 45 and 55. (There is also a test for free testosterone, though it’s not often used because the amounts are miniscule.)

Once a man has been diagnosed with low-T, it’s a fairly straightforward process to prescribe supplemental testosterone hormone therapy. While it is possible, of course, to just buy a pill or a potion, the best strategy is to consult with a health professional who specializes in the field. Because testosterone levels vary according to a mans age and physical condition (diabetics, for instance, tend to have lower levels than healthy men), its important that the doctor take into account a mans age and health status.

Hormone Therapy Makes a Happy Ending

As you might suspect, the story of James ends on an upbeat note. After his doctor diagnosed the problem, James was given a prescription for testosterone supplements. He quickly felt his energy returning. His wife was happy, too. It was the first Valentine’s Day in four years, she said, that he had the energy to escort her to a nice restaurant for dinner and dancing.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fly On The Wall On A Road Trip

    Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group posting. 13 bloggers are inviting you into their homes today for a glimpse into their private lives. Thank you once again Karen from Baking In A Tornado for hosting these hilarious group posts!

     The past month has been a mixture of joy and sorrow for me. As many of you know, my mother passed away unexpectedly on April 4th. My family has been dealing with the loss as best we can, and  in typical Doyle fashion, using humor to get through the rough patches.

     On a lighter note, one of the highlights from earlier in the month was my trip to Dayton Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop conference. I had one of the best times of my life meeting many of my online blogger friends and taking educational courses to improve my writing skills. Since I don't fly, I convinced dear ol' Hubs to drive me again this year, just like he did for the last conference in 2014 (you can read all about it HERE). Being trapped in a car together for 19 hours spurred many an interesting conversation and quite a bit of binge eating. When I wasn't napping or stuffing my face with Pringle's chips and peanut M&Ms, Hubs and I enjoyed the scenery around us. I received some strange looks from people at truck stops when I climbed out of the car with my purple hair, but all in all, we had a great time.

     If you had been a fly on the wall in our car during the road trip, here are some tidbits of conversation you would have overheard:

"You know you're old when you have to drive with a knee brace on."

"I think the GPS is drunk. It keeps getting us lost. It needs its own GPS."

"How am I supposed to eat this gooey sandwich while driving at the same time? It's like trying to hold a sloppy joe behind the steering wheel. Half of the goop ends up in my lap."
"Well, at least you'll have some leftovers on your shorts for later in case you get hungry again."

"Why is it that when we leave the state of Florida, all the radio stations only play oldies music?"
"Because we're fossils who still remember all the lyrics. Most of these singers are already dead....someone must be trying to tell us something."

"Can't you drive any faster up this mountain road?"
"I'm driving a Prius, what do you expect? It's like driving a car powered by hamsters. When someone asks me if it's a four cylinder, I tell them, 'No, it's a four hamster.' And right now, I think one of them just died going up this mountain side."

"I'm an emotional drinker, and you are seriously stressing me out during this road trip. Oh look! A pub!"
"Good to know I won't need to call 911 now."

"We need to lay off on the bean burritos. This car can only handle so much gas. "
"At least it's not just one of us doing it. My farts are responding to your farts."
"Yeah---we're sharing fart emojis."

" We need to get an RV and take more road trips. We could retire early and live off our savings."
"That sounds great, but what will we do for money the following week?"

"Sometimes there just aren't enough curse words invented to meet my demands after a day like today."

"What do you mean I'd be lousy at camping? I'm an outdoorsy type of guy."
"Only if your tent comes with a large cooler full of beer."

"My legs and knees are so sore and stiff from sitting in the car for five hours, I can barely stand. It's a good thing no one is trying to rob us at gun point right now, because I wouldn't be able to run. I'd just hand over my wallet and tell them they're welcome."


Buzz around the homes of some of these other participating FOW bloggers and see what you think!

Juicebox Confession                                     
Menopausal Mother                                   
Someone Else’s Genius                                   
Spatulas on Parade                      
Searching for Sanity                                 
Never Ever Give Up Hope                           
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                     
Not That Sarah Michelle             
Southern Belle Charm                                
My Brain on Kids                
Go Mama O                              
The Angrivated Mom                               

Friday, April 15, 2016

Super Spring Writers Series: Guest Post By Kate Mayer

     Two years ago, I had the honor of meeting one of my favorite humor writers at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop convention in Dayton, Ohio. We met up again at the conference two weeks ago and had a blast together. It was impossible to carry on a full conversation with her because she kept me in stitches so often, I could hardly speak. Please welcome my dear friend Kate Mayer, who understands the creative genius behind a "jellyfish" shot and has a deep appreciation for ukulele music, especially if the person playing the instrument does a great imitation of Bob Dylan singing the Oscar Mayer bologna song......yeah, okay, I guess you had to be there. But trust me, Kate is a riot, and so are her stories. Summer is coming----need to get some shorts? Perhaps you didn't get the memo......

    I missed the memo about wearing shorts.

Not quite sure when this happened, but somehow I got too old for shorts.
Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed anyone in my friend circle who wears shorts and is not a personal trainer. Or yoga teacher.
Cute dresses, skirts, skorts, tennis skirts – that's a biggie, but apparently I’m the last mom standing in her Target jean shorts.
It’s not a fashion rule forced upon me by AARP, or peer pressure or vanity or People magazine; it’s a consensus I’ve come by all by my lonesome, with some help from the mirrors in Target.
It would have been nice to be warned.
Now that I think about it, my mom doesn't wear shorts. My mother-in-law doesn't. Neither do any of the aunts or cousins – mine or rather attractive husband's. Not when overheating during the family reunion in July, not at the beach, not by the pool. They are in pants, or skirts – long skirts, and often stockings. I don't recall my grandmothers ever wearing shorts and they lived to be about 100. Or at least it seemed that way.
Are we Amish?
Grandmothers sweating
Apparently I’m the age when I too must buy the bottom half of summer wear from the agist/sexist surprisingly accurate pop-ups on my facebook page promising whiter teeth or flatter tummies. Or maybe revert to the inserts shoved into Sunday newspapers, like my own grammy did – before QVC and Amazon and Target on-line ordering made it easy to age.
My grandmother, country-club Nana, wore elastic waist, expensive, taupe or navy linen "slacks," or maybe a "smart skirt" – but never shorts. Nana always topped it with a blouse from Bergdorf or Gimbels, a jacket, and sometimes Hermes scarf that whafted a unique combo of mothballs and Shalimar. It lingered in the air like Linus’s dust storm, except fancy. I can smell it now.
My nana smelled just like this.
My other grandmother topped her Carol Wright stretchy pants from the Sunday paper inserts with a housecoat. Or duster. Or mumu – call it what you want, but it was an oversized smock like frock, in muted floral designs that may or may not have been a shower curtain in a previous life.
This grammy was usually braless, or the bra tucked around the breasts but unbuckled in the back.
“Can’t reach,” she said. “No one’s looking anyways.” Come to think of it, most days she considered bottoms completely optional too. It was scarring.
And therein lies my gene pool. Half trailer park, half Fifth Avenue.
Back to me and my legs.
Spring is coming, and I need shorts. The past winter – hell the past 10 years – has not been kind to my middle parts, so I perused the shopping mecca of Target where I’m still in time for shorts. I have been directed to the "women's section" by the dressing room clerk who turned me away not once, but twice, observing I had selected shorts from the "juniors" department, and well, good luck.
I grab an arm full of jean shorts, sized from 6 to 12, because I take off my clothes once. There is no reentry to dressing room hell for this girl. I get undressed one time, and one time only.
Cute, very cute, and I bravely entered the dressing room full of hope and dreams.
And then this happened.
Midlife mom tries on shorts and it does not go well.
I’d like to blame the socks. In fact, I am blaming the socks. Talk about me all you want, but I’m buying the shorts because damnit I’m hot.


Kate Mayer is a potty-mouthed, sometimes cynical storyteller, humorist, and activist sharing life as she lives it in Newtown, Connecticut. She is a recent, reluctant inductee to AARP, the co-creator of two quasi-adults and two wannabees, and an aspiring writer with the rejections to prove it. She writes about work, teenagers, midlife, social issues, feminism, and gun violence prevention at www.kathrynmayer.comand is sometimes funny on Instagram and Twitter as @klmcopy. Follow her on Facebook, but please don’t be an ass.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Saying Goodbye To Mom

    It is with a heavy heart today that I write of the passing of my mother on April 4th. She fought a brave fight, and although her spirit was strong, her body became weak after multiple surgeries and complications during her month-long stay at both the hospital and a rehabilitation center. Mom passed away while I was en route from the Erma Bombeck Writers Convention in Dayton, Ohio. Ironically, the tickets for the convention were a bittersweet, final gift from my mother, who always had faith in my writing and encouraged me to attend the event. She was my #1 fan and went to great lengths to support my career. She always pushed me forward when I felt I couldn't take another step. As much as I wish I could stop all the clocks, I know I need to keep pushing forward. It's what she would have wanted. She enjoyed my quirky sense of humor, and nothing made me happier than to hear her laughter when she read something that I'd written. From this point on, the words I write will always be a loving tribute to my mother. It's the best way to honor the woman I have admired all my life.

My family will miss my mother's radiant smile, her easy laughter, her courage and enduring strength, and her warm embrace. She was the sun and the moon to us all, and we will love her forever.

***A memorial service and celebration of Fay Kester's life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach, 2331 NE 26 Ave. Pompano Beach, FL 33060 (954)941-2308 on Monday, April 11 at 4:30pm.

***For more info, please read her obituary here and feel free to leave a message on her guestbook page if you'd like. Thanks!


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