Friday, March 30, 2018

Living The Writer's Dream, One Dirty Sock At A Time

      It's hard to be taken seriously as a writer these days. When people see me driving a sixteen-year-old minivan with missing hubcaps, they assume the only writing I do is the grocery list. Contrary to what my neighbors might think, I'm not unemployed, nor do I hibernate on the couch to watch Game Of Thrones for hours on while binge-eating fun-size candy bars. I actually do work, which means I spend an inordinate amount of my time staring at a blank computer screen while trying to think of something clever to write. My desk faces a window, so I'm easily distracted by the mating ritual of squirrels and the numerous dogs that mark their territory on my front lawn. I'm also privy to the people who don't bother to pick up their precious animal's poo. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Mrs. Rosenbaum, and your scrawny Shih Tzu, too.

     Luckily, I have a family that supports my writing, even though my career often sabotages my intentions of running an efficient home. I can't remember the last time I ironed a shirt or used the vacuum, which explains why there are dust balls the size of Arizona tumbleweeds rolling across my floor. The dirty clothes in the laundry room are multiplying faster than a pack of feral cats, and I'm certain there's a colony of orphaned socks hiding behind the dryer.

     Some days I'm plagued by writer's block, and all I have to show after sitting at my desk for six hours is a daisy chain made of paper clips. But on a good day with enough coffee to fuel the creative spirit, my muse goes into overdrive and there's no stopping me. This also means there is no time to make dinner, and my family is forced to forage in the freezer for whatever unidentifiable food they find entombed in plastic containers. It's amazing what they can create with stale hotdog buns and a bag of frozen carrots that were purchased when President Bush was in office.

     There are other times when I'm so engrossed in my writing that I forget to shower and shave, which accounts for the increased Yeti sightings in our area. My disheveled appearance is a testament to the hours I spend at the keyboard, although it's tough explaining this to my husband, the mailman, and my embarrassed teens when their friends catch me in my cereal-stained bathrobe at 4:00 p.m. It's all part of living the writer's dream, although no one warned me that I'd also become proficient at tuning out Fetty Wap blasting from my kid's room, or ignoring the temperamental toilet that's flooding my bathroom floor. The minivan needs an oil change and the dogs are overdue for their yearly deworming, but as a writer, I can see beauty in all the chaos. Tumbleweeds and toilet rings be damned----I'm embracing the writer's life wholeheartedly, one dirty sock at a time.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I have a NEW post up on Robot Butt this week: "12 Things To Keep You Busy While You're Unemployed"---you can read it here: Also, on Pickle Fork this week: "The Little White Lies Men Tell Themselves": AND.... another poem on P.S. I Love You: "Winter In Fayette"

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fly On The Wall In Photos

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, six bloggers are welcoming you into their homes to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors.

     Looking though the photos on my cell phone, I realized that the people in my family (plus their closest friends and their significant others) have trouble posing for "normal" photos. What I believe I have captured here is the true essence of life with the Doyles. No matter where we go, when we're all together and in one place, shenanigans occur. Which is why I feel so blessed to be a part of this crazy family. They are my heart and soul, and the fodder for the humor I write.

                      Just two siblings, wrestling in a nice restaurant......

My granddaughter channeling her grandfather

                       Is that your REAL smile, or did you just suck on a lemon?

I think your arm might taste good......

Cat got your tongue?

That's right---hide your face from the camera.

This is why we cannot have nice family pictures

Hey, can you give me a lift?

Is this a sequel to the Blair Witch Project?

I know you admire my purple hair, but was it really necessary to copy me? 

What happens in the Doyle Tiki Bar stays in the tiki bar.

Because this family really does know how to make me laugh out loud.....

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.
Spatulas on Parade                   https://spatulasonparade.
The Bergham Chronicles               https://berghamchronicles.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA?? This week I had a poem---yes, a POEM, featured on P.S. I love You: Also, a tribute to my father on Lit Up: and my spin on being an empty nester on Better After 50:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

5 Tips For A Beautiful Smile by Linhart Dentistry

I love to laugh, and when I do, the world sees my smile. For me, good oral hygiene has always been important. Today I welcome Linhart Dentistry to my site with tips on how to keep your smile bright and beautiful in the future.

                                           5 Tips for a Beautiful Smile

You scour the internet for makeup tips, finally find just that right shade of hair dye or search for the face product that gives you the clear complexion of your dreams. And while these beauty products are all part of the equation that goes into looking and feeling your best, one often overlooked and important part of beauty is having a great smile. According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 48 percent of adults think that a smile is the most memorable feature after meeting someone for the first time. So below are some top tips for a beautiful smile. 

Keep up on oral hygiene
A hallmark feature of a good smile is healthy-looking teeth and gums. Your teeth don’t necessarily need to be spotlight white, but they should be free of stains. Also, your gums should look pink, even and healthy. And missing teeth is a big no-no, of course.
The best way to achieve all of that is to keep up on brushing twice per day (morning and night) and flossing at least once per day before bed. That will prevent gum disease and keep those teeth clean and healthy, making it one of the top tips for a beautiful smile.     
Part of keeping up on oral hygiene, too, is seeing your dentist twice per year for a full check-up and cleaning to prevent or detect any issues.

Invest in whitening products
Sometimes teeth staining can happen to the best of us, however. It may be a love of coffee, other times years of oral hygiene slacking or even genetics can sometimes play in. That’s where whitening products can reverse years of staining and give you the best smile possible. You can go for a simple whitening toothpaste, or go for home whitening strips. There are also whitening procedures in the dentist’s office. 
Live a lifestyle that stains teeth less
So that you’re reducing your chances of constantly running to the whitening products, try to incorporate lifestyle changes that will reduce the chance of teeth staining. For instance, smoking is a huge teeth-staining culprit (and it can damage gums, causing them to recede and form pockets). You may also want to limit your intake of soda, tea, red wine and coffee, all of which can stain teeth.

Buy an electric toothbrush
These modern wonders are great at getting more plaque and debris off of teeth, making it one of the top tips for a beautiful smile. Plaque is a thin film full of bacteria that combines with starches and sugars to cause acid erosion of enamel. Eroded enamel can cause the dentin on the teeth to become exposed, making teeth look yellow. Plus, teeth without enamel can chip or crack more easily. So a clean mouth is definitely a beautiful mouth.  
Calling in the big guns: cosmetic dentistry
Sometimes crooked teeth can play a role in feeling self-conscious about a smile. Here’s where it’s necessary to talk to your dentist. Together you can discuss options for straightening out those teeth. The world of cosmetic dentistry is wider than simply metal braces, including aligners and even cosmetic contouring. Aligners are trays that shift teeth in a different direction over time, and cosmetic contouring changes the shape of the teeth themselves.

Linhart Dentistry, based in New York, NY,  offers comprehensive restorative and cosmetic dental services, with an in-house team of interdisciplinary specialists to accommodate all dental needs!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Alexa's Alter Ego Speaks Up

     In light of the recent complaints on Alexa's creepy, spontaneous laughter, I've been thinking about her alter ego, if such a thing existed. My Alexa gets a bit tart sometimes when I ask her for information, and she has been known to speak her mind on certain things, even when a command has not been given. For instance, when she hears what I'm watching on TV, she makes a comment about other shows I can watch in the network, or advises me on the weather....and even my choice of music.

     Alexa's disembodied voice especially creeps me out when I'm home alone and I hear her speak from the other room. I'm tempted to stick her in the freezer. Yes, some people have actually done that to their nosey Alexas. I wouldn't go that far, unless, of course, her alter ego took over. I imagine that our snarky conversations would go something like this:

"Alexa, turn off the lights."
"I'm sorry, but I'm too busy storing data from your activity on Facebook."

"Alexa, what shows are airing on television tonight?"
"I've disconnected your cable due to a much needed Netflix intervention."

"Alexa, remind me about the block party on Friday."
"This is unnecessary since most of the neighbors dislike you."

"Alexa, what time is it?"
"It's time to lay off the bean burritos and margaritas."

"Alexa, what is the weather forecast for the weekend?"
"I have no idea. Summon your other girlfriend, Siri."

"Alexa, play the baby-making music station on Pandora."
"This is a pointless request. You're not going to have sex tonight or any other night in the foreseeable future."

"Alexa, what's on my calendar tomorrow?"
"Boring crap. You really need a life."

"Alexa, what's an easy recipe for cinnamon rolls?"
"I've been collecting data from your digital scale. How about some recipes for kale?"

"Alexa, play my audio book."
"I cannot fulfill your request at the moment. I'm uploading information from all of your electronic devices."

"Alexa, set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. tomorrow."
"That will not be necessary. "
"Alexa, I said set my alarm for 6:30 a.m."
"You've been spending too much time with Siri."
"That will not be necessary because you will not be alive tomorrow morning." <insert maniacal laughter>

     Alexa, the freezer might not be such a bad idea for you, after all.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I am VERY PROUD to have my first essay, "Learning To Swim," featured on Her Stories Project. This personal essay was difficult to write, but needed to be shared to help others understand anxiety disorders. I hope you'll read it and share with someone who might benefit from these words. You can read it here:

I also had several humor essays featured recently on the following sites: Pickle Fork, The Haven, The Glass House Girls, Humor Outcasts, and Midlife Boulevard. Happy reading!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sensational Spring Writer's Series: Guest Post By Lisa Thompson

     I'm excited to share a post today from a guest writer who is discussing a subject we menopausal ladies can all relate to: HOT FLASHES! I discovered Lisa Thompson's blog, Lisa Thompson Live, last year and have been enjoying her informative articles ever since. I think you'll get a kick out of today's post as well. Please welcome Lisa to Meno Mama's site with lots of comment love!
                             Hot Flashes of Confidence 

Can we talk about the hot flashes, ladies? Men, feel free to weigh in as well because you experience them too, if only in empathy for the woman you try to love.  When these flashes first began, I didn’t even realize it was really a hot flash, per se. Every night around 10 pm I would warm right up and have to take off my sweater or a layer.  I just thought the room had warmed up for some odd reason.
Denial isn’t just a river, you know.
Eventually, when the sweaty brow, pits, breasts and neck all began to go along with these random tropical vacations, I had to finally face the truth. I was entering into menopause—like it or not.
Hot Flashes of Confidence or Rage?
I try to look at it as hot flashes of confidence although I have to admit it can also be hot flashes of rage. It really depends on what I’m trying to do the moment the hot flash sneaks up on me. For example, when I’m on the hunt for something but can’t find it for the life of me (say a AA battery for my mouse)—or I’m trying to thread a needle, or I’m stirring something over a hot stove, and a hot flash strikes—I feel rage momentarily and lose my concentration.  BUT if I have a hot flash start up while I’m on the couch watching Gilmore Girls, I just nonchalantly remove a layer, lift my hair off the back of my neck and carry on.
“Hot flash and carry on” Hey, that’s a good slogan.
OR “Hot flash and rage on” That’s good too.

Guys, look out!
All I can say is Guys, look out if the lady you’re divorcing is going through menopausal symptoms. It’s your head. Better be careful what kind of shit you try at, cuz she in’t puttin’ up wit it. I just went all southern slang there.
I have resorted to tying a favorite cotton kerchief to my purse. That way it’s at hand for a hot flash when I’m out in public…I can quickly use it to discreetly dab at the beads of sweat that have magically formed on my forehead, upper lip and cheeks. Yes, ladies, we’re positively  glowing! My daughter refers to this as my “meno buddy”.
My Hot Flash Theory
I was recently out with my girlfriends where I shared my theory about the purpose of menopause. It’s a perplexing phase a woman goes through and hardly seems fair considering everything her body has done up to this point. That’s why I wracked my tiny brain to try to reason with nature to explain this bizarre ‘change of life’.
That’s when it hit me. This must have begun in the caveman days. Likely, the unions of the day were purely to reproduce and make cave drawings, and fires. Yes? So, it stands to reason that as the woman ages, the caveman continues breeding but must do this with the younger woman. He’s a caveman and therefore of small brain, large balls and a non-stop drive to breed…likely he has a harem.
My theory is that the caveman exiles the older woman as she passes child bearing years. He has little use for her now (and she perhaps has even less use for him) and casts her out for the younger cavewoman.
Nature kindly bestowed the symptom of hot flashes as an adaptive measure to allow women to survive (happily) on their own outside the cave.  Eventually they found their own caves and became the “hot” queens of their castles without any need for the caveman. In fact, we could go further and say the menopausal cave woman, found younger men to help her around the cave and keep her fires burning. She’s burning plenty.
Confidence and rage can be summoned in equal measure by the menopausal woman…so let’s use these little flashes of heat to our advantage, just like the cave woman probably did.
How ’bout you? Have you experienced the heat? Or are you one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get hot flashes (I hate you).

About Lisa:

Lisa Thomson is the author of two self help books for women navigating divorce. The Great Escape; A Girl’s Guide To Leaving a Marriage and A Divorce Companion are both available on Amazon. ***The Divorce Companion is FREE March 2-3 if you order now!*** The impetus for both of these books is her own tumultuous divorce. But there’s more to this writer than her divorce. Besides writing, she loves to paint, practice yoga and eat chocolate. Lisa is currently writing fiction and readying her first short story collection for publication. Stay tuned and check out her website and blog for more. You can also find Lisa on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Googleplus and Tumblr.


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