Friday, January 25, 2019

Sneak Peek: Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's "Finding My Badass Self"

     I'm very excited to share with you today an excerpt from author Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's book, Finding My Badass Self: A Year Of Truths And Dares. Sherry spent a year of her life staring down her fears by trying new experiences that were far outside of her comfort zone. Some of these unusual experiences included going on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team, exfoliating a rhinoceros, and crashing a wedding.

     Finding My Badass Self is a celebration of Sherry's courageous journey into the unknown during a transformative time, proving that it's still possible to reinvent one's self even in the midlife years. The book is a great read and one that inspires us to push past our fears in order to discover our true mettle in a world brimming with new possibilities.

 But don't just take my word for it---check out the excerpt below and order your copy today!

                               BEARING IT AT THE BEACH

When visiting a nude beach, I figured a sunbather should bring along three things: plenty of sunscreen, an extra-large towel and, of course, her seventy-five-year-old mother.
Sure, the last item seemed a wildcard. But, when each of my formerly fun sisters vetoed this side trip during our family vacation in south Florida, my mother hesitated only briefly.
“Just be sure to mention we both kept our clothes on,” she said.
“Um, maybe I didn’t clarify that,” I replied. “I’ll be going au naturel, too.”
“Oh.” She pondered this. “Well, then please don’t sit near me. I saw you naked as a baby, and I don’t really care to anymore.”
Huh. So, my mother recoiled at the idea of seeing her own daughter naked yet hardly flinched at the thought of viewing dozens of strangers letting it all hang out? As I considered the scenario, I decided I wouldn’t wish to sit next to her on the beach if she were naked either.
Apparently, awkward nudity is something best reserved for total strangers.
We made the one-hour trek down to Haulover Beach, near Miami, on a windy, overcast afternoon. As we approached the warning sign on the beach that noted, “Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers,” I reminded my mother about the rules of Nude Beach Social Etiquette that I’d researched on the Internet. The first was to keep your eyes on the other sunbathers’ faces and not on their other body parts.
“Do not ogle or stare,” the website instructed. “Nude sunbathers expect eye contact if they choose to be spoken to.” Sound advice, although I was certain neither my mother nor I was eager to strike up a conversation face-to-face, or face-to-other-body-part, with anyone.
Just a few feet within this legal and “special” area of the beach, we encountered a man—sans even a Speedo—walking in our direction. I had little trouble not ogling him since I was preoccupied with helping my unsteady mother negotiate, with her cane, across the mounds of sand.
But we were immediately interrupted by his deep voice, prompting both of us to look up. “This sand is hard to walk on, isn’t it?” he said.
My mom paused, leaning on her cane, and nodded.
“Yes, it is,” she replied. She smiled at him. He smiled back. I grabbed her arm and pulled her away.
We trudged about three feet farther before she leaned in and whispered to me. “Did you see how good I did? I made really good eye contact.”
I snorted, calling bullshit. Neither of us had maintained full contact with the man’s two blue eyes. No matter how much we tried, how could we avoid his third eye, when it was right out there, only a few inches away?
Next, we passed by a bronzed Adonis. Fortyish. Dark, wavy hair. Holy Mother of God! Was he standing at half-mast? I yanked my mother’s arm once again, before either of them had a chance to speak.
We continued on a bit and found a sheltered place, next to a stack of rental lounge chairs, for my mother to settle in. I headed down the beach. As I plodded across the sand, I glanced around. The winds were high and the sky was slightly ominous, so the beach wasn’t nearly as crowded as advertised. Although it was publicized as a family-oriented nude beach, I didn’t spot a single child. I saw very few women, either.
Ninety-five percent of the sunbathers were men. Some lay spread-eagle on the sand, their hands behind their heads. Several roamed the beach, in what I could only assume they believed to be their untethered glory.

It was a blustery day. All around me, dozens of winkydinks waved in the wind. I didn’t wave back.


Sherry Stanfa-Stanley is an award-winning writer, humorist, and squeamish adventurer. Her 2017 memoir, Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,chronicles her insane and enlightening year of misadventures. Sherry’s work appears in The RumpusHealthy AgingFirst for Women, and The Huffington Post, and in the anthologies Fifty Shades of Funny, Laugh Out Loud, and You Do You. An empty nester, she now indulges a menagerie of badly behaved pets. 




Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Best Phones For Seniors

     When I got my first cell phone many years ago, I had no clue how to use it. At one point I was so frustrated with it that I told my husband to sell it to someone who understood modern technology. My teenage son stepped in to save the day and patiently taught me how to use all the bells and whistles that came with my smart phone. I wondered if elderly people shared my struggle with cell phone usage, and hoped that there was an easier solution to the problem for those who were as tech challenged as I was.  As it turns out, there IS a solution.

     Today on the blog, my guest Will Bail is here to share his advice on the best cell phones for seniors. Please welcome him to my site with lots of comment love!

The Best Phones for Seniors

Cellphone technology is advancing at an alarming rate, and for many, all the new features can be overwhelming and just a bit much! Not everyone wants a smartphone that can email, browse the internet, and make video calls. Seniors, in particular, typically don’t want all the bells and whistles that come along with the latest flagship phones, and usually are looking for a more streamlined experience that offers just the bare basics; the ability to call out and receive phone calls, and maybe receive and send text messages as well. On top of this simple feature set, the best phones for the senior market should be easy to operate and see. 

If you’re a senior looking for a simple phone for everyday use or are shopping around for an elder loved one, continue reading for some of the best phones available for seniors: 

Top Phones For Seniors:

A great option for a cell phone for the senior user is the LG Exalt LTE. If you’re looking for a simple flip phone with the basic features of a phone, with the addition of the ability to surf the net, the LG Exalt LTE may be just the right choice for you! Instead of having to deal with a tiny onscreen keyboard, the Exalt LTE has physical keys which make for much easier texting and dialling. The screen is 3 inches, which is more than big enough, and is in full color with larger font size options! 

Another contender for best phone for seniors is the DuraXV LTE, made by Kyocera. This phone features rugged construction that meets US military standards, making it a great options for the outdoorsy types! Whether you’re hiking the backcountry or paddling around the lake in a canoe, you can be sure the DuraXV LTE is built to last! The DuraXV LTE has a 2.6-inch screen, which though a little smaller than the Exalt LTE is still more than easily readable. 

If you or the senior you’re shopping for is interested in making the leap into the smartphone market, the Samsung Galaxy J3 V 3rd Generation may be just the ticket! It features an “Easy mode” which makes it great for the first time smartphone user and with its 5-inch screen it is large enough for nearly anyone to use comfortably! 

Last, but not least, on our list is the Big Button by Opel Mobile. This phone keeps simplicity and ease of use a priority and is made specifically with the senior users, as well as the hearing and visually impaired in mind. The Big button has all the features of most of the latest smartphones with the addition of larger, easier to use buttons, and simple to navigate interface. 


If you’re in the market for a new cell phone that is simple and easy enough for even the least tech savvy of users, any one of the aforementioned cell phones would be a great option! Featuring simple feature-sets, easy to use buttons, extra readable screens, and intuitive navigation, any one of these would make a great choice!


Will Bail is a freelance link-builder and web developer. He has an adventurous mind but seldom travels as he would rather stay home and make client's business websites more visible on the internet. When not working, you can find him playing nintendo games or hanging out at the church.

Friday, January 11, 2019

14 Things I Should (But I Probably Won't) Do In 2019

     I decided several years ago not to make New Year's resolutions after a series of failed attempts at improving myself. Not a whole lot of change going on over here at my age. I'm pretty happy right where I am, but it's nice to dream about certain resolutions coming true. Lose weight? Maybe a pound or two. Finish my memoir? Absolutely! But don't ask me to give up chocolate or lemon drop martinis because that will never happen.

     What else will I resolve (but fail) to do in 2019? Everything on the list below. You might even find a few of these on your own to-do list for the New Year.

1. Buy a Peloton bike for my morning workout. This will be great.....for about a month. By February, the bike will be used as a place to drop my clothes. I don't need an expensive laundry hamper like that.

2. Begin the Keto Diet. Everyone knows what happens with this resolution. It ends up being the Eat-O-Diet.

3. Be more patient with people. Which I can totally do until I get into my car. "WHAT THE HELL, DUDE, MOVE! IT'S A GREEN LIGHT! ARE YOU COLOR BLIND?"

3. Get organized. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. Usually I start with the Tupperware drawer in my kitchen. But after finding ten containers and only two matching lids, I get frustrated and quit. I'm pretty sure those lids were abducted by the same aliens who stole the other half of my matching sock sets from the dryer.

4. More "me time" for pampering. I'd love to try goat yoga twice a week. Just remind me not to leave my mat unattended for any length of time.

5. Travel the world and experience new cultures. The problem is that I don't fly. As soon as someone builds a bridge over the Atlantic, I'm sure I'll get there.

6. Resolve to make amends with the people who treated me crappy in 2018. Nahhhhhh......I'll let karma handle that one.

7. Practice Five Minute Meditation. Which is fine, until it turns into a three hour nap.

8. Drink less alcohol. HAHAHAHAHA.

9. Save Money. Does this means I can no longer collect sequined poop emoji totes??

10. Spend more time with family and friends. Does interaction on Snapchat count? Asking for a friend....

11. Lose Weight. This might work if my favorite source of entertainment wasn't rummaging around in the refrigerator every 30 minutes.

12. Find a new job. Sure, I could easily go from being a stay-at-home writer to being a stay-at-home professional napper.

13. Learn a new skill. There's no better time than 2019 to master playing beer pong with my left hand.

14. Volunteer time to a worthy cause. Since I'm allergic to grumpy old people, incontinent cats and cranky toddlers, it looks like a dolphin rehab center would be more my style.

     All kidding aside, my resolutions to love more and to treat each new day as a gift is an easy one to keep. 2018 was a mixed bag of emotions for me with health scares, political drama and hurtful people, but I finished out the year in the most spectacular way with the birth of a new granddaughter. And with the recent announcement of my son's upcoming nuptials in April, it looks like 2019 is already off to a great start. I'm really looking forward to what the new year has to offer. BRING IT ON, 2019!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sneak Peek: Lee Gaitan's New Book, "Lite Whines And Laughter"

     I'm so pleased to have author Lee Gaitan on the site today! I met Lee several years ago at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and absolutely adored her. She is a kind, witty woman with a bubbly personality and a caring heart. In 2013, Lee published her first book, My Pineapples Went To Houston, and now she has a new book out, Lite Whines and Laughter, which I think you will enjoy. I invited Lee on the blog today to share an excerpt from her hilarious new book. Please welcome her to Meno Mama's site with lots of comment love.....and BUY THE BOOK! It's GREAT!

                                                  Lost in Translation

If you’ve ever been offered baked goods made “from scratching” or asked if you give hard “testes,” there’s a good chance you teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Our crazy language is a minefield of unintended consequences, just waiting to ambush new learners. One seemingly insignificant change in spelling or pronunciation can affect meaning in a very significant way.  I had the same experience a few years ago when I changed one teensy little vowel in Italian and instead of asking for my room key ended up inviting a hotel clerk in Florence to have sex with me. In the most explicit terms possible. (Not that I was opposed to the idea, mind you, but I still needed my key.) 
Those teensy little changes will get you every time. That’s all it took for one of my favorite students to become temporarily—but hilariously—lost in translation. Olga had been in the U.S. only a few weeks when she enrolled in my adult ESL class. One day she came to my room about fifteen minutes early and we began chatting. She told me how hard she was working outside of class to improve her English. She had started reading the newspaper in English, she said, and as a result, she’d made an important life decision.
“I read an article about how is good for the woman to have the condom,” she told me with great certainty. “So, I decide I want buy the condom.” 
As Diet Coke was shooting out of my nose, she quickly reassured me of the wisdom of her plan.
Si, si, Lee, I think is very good idea,” she insisted, nodding her head vigorously. “You have the condom, Lee?” she asked.
“Well, not on me,” I said, a little flustered. “I don’t really, I mean, my husband had a vas—um, never mind. No, I don’t have a condom.”  
She was looking at me quizzically when suddenly—pop—the light bulb flipped on for her, but not quite all the way. “Oh, Lee, I know what you think. You think I am crazy. Is so much money for buy the condom.”
“No, it’s not that,” I said, puzzled. 
“No worry, Lee,” she continued. “Is cheap for me because I no buy new condom. I only buy used!” She dramatically drew out the word “used” for about three syllables.
I couldn’t even speak. All I could picture was a clothesline of freshly laundered condoms, just a-swinging in the breeze.
In my head I was screaming, Oh, dear God, here’s ten bucks—please splurge, buy new!
Then suddenly—pop—the light bulb again flipped on, but this time for me and, I was pretty sure, all the way. “Olga, what do you think a condom is?” I asked.
“Uh, is like apartment,” she answered with a casual shrug of her shoulders.
“No, my dear Olga, it is most certainly not like an apartment,” I said emphatically. 
I then filled her in on the difference between “condo” and “condom.”  One teensy little letter.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the particular shade of red her face turned. When the blood, shock and laughter finally receded, she shook her head and said, “Ah, si, it is like you say in the class. One little letter makes the big difference.”

Ah, si, indeed it does. And in this case, adding one teensy little “m” could be the difference between converting that spare bedroom in your condo into a home office…or a nursery.


Lee Gaitan is an award-winning author of two previous books, Falling Flesh Just Ahead, and the Amazon #1 bestseller My Pineapples Went to Houston—Finding the Humor in My Dashed Hopes, Broken Dreams and Plans Gone Outrageously Awry. Her work has been featured on The Huffington PostErma Bombeck Humor Writers’ WorkshopThe Good Men Project, Mothers Always Write and Bella Grace among others. Lee lives with her husband and dog in suburban Atlanta where she divides her time among speaking, writing, teaching and keeping tabs on her tri-continental family. 

Social Media Links

Amazon link to book

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Guest Author Angela Verges: "Menopause Ain't No Joke"

     Today on the blog I have the author of Menopause Ain't No Joke Angela Verges. The minute I saw the title of her book, I knew I had to invite her to my site to share some of her menopause wisdom with my readers. Angela has performed standup comedy with a skit titled, "Menopause Ain't No Joke" and her brand of comedy has also been shared at women's retreats, birthday parties and a pageant. Below is a brief summary of her book along with some sample excerpts for you to enjoy!

     Summary: "This collection of essays focus on the uncomfortable physical realities of menopause including hot flashes, unusual hair growth, and mood swings. Angela shares personal examples that reveal critical strategies for managing change: a sense of humor, reliance on scripture and an unfailing faith. The book includes stories or episodes in parenting my two teen boys as they were going through puberty as I was beginning menopause. At the end of each essay is a scripture and space to write a reflection.

    Menopause sample stories for review by Angela Verges

The Dental Visit

The hard leather like chair was in a reclined position. I rested my head against the back of the faux leather. My mouth was wide open. Dr. R. touched my gums with his metal dental instrument. He asked questions as he gave special attention to each of my teeth.
“Has anything changed since your last visit?”
“Yes, menopause,” I said.
“Oooh, yes,” Dr. R. dragged the words from his mouth. That can cause changes in your gums and teeth.
“Hmph, give it to me straight, Doc. How much time do I have left with this set of teeth?” I asked.
He didn’t give my teeth an expiration date. His cheekbones raised beneath the mask covering his mouth. A gentle smile was developing. I told Doctor R that from that point on I would be smiling every chance I got.
During a different visit Doctor R. examined my teeth further.  He pulled and tugged on my cheek, touched my teeth with a gloved hand and said, “Your teeth look great.”
I attempted a gurgled response, and he removed his hand. I smiled and said, “Thanks.” What I really wanted to says was, my teeth should look good, I bought most of them from you. Crowns, caps, fillings, oh, my.
“And he said unto them, ‘Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician heal thyself’: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.” Luke 4:23 KJV

Nutrition – Food for Thought

It’s expensive to eat healthy. I started a nutrition program with a group of ladies at the fitness gym where I have a membership. One of the ladies mentioned Ezekiel bread as something healthy to eat. I went to the store in search of this Ezekiel bread. At first I didn’t even know what they were saying.
I found this bread in the Organic section of the store and it cost $5.99. Yes, $5.99 for bread that had the name of a prophet from the Bible. My thought was…Is this bread expensive because it comes with a scripture or a prophetic word? “Thou shalt not overeat.”
Is this the biblical version of a fortune cookie? I’m not comparing the word of God to a fortune cookie. Well, I am, but I’m not saying this as being superficial. Both include a message. The Ezekiel bread does, in fact, have a scripture reference on the package.
We need manna to keep our bodies functioning, just like a car needs fuel. Sometimes you may choose the mid-grade gasoline for your vehicle; sometimes the high octane is your choice. Comparatively speaking, Ezekiel bread can be viewed as that high octane fuel that you sometimes choose for your body.
 “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” Ezekiel 4:9

The Football Scrimmage

Commitment, dedication, devotion these are the things my teen son focuses on during football season. The same is required for parenting through football season. This was evident on the day of our first scrimmage of the season.
As I backed my car out of the garage, rain pelted the rear of the car. The sound of the drops increased in volume as the entire car emerged from the shelter of the garage.  I adjusted my windshield wipers from slow to medium speed.
There was a scattering of parents sitting on the metal bleachers when I arrived at the football field. I walked up with my stadium chair strapped on my shoulder, an umbrella in one hand, and a blanket under my arm. This game was the Blue and White game, where the varsity players scrimmaged each other rather than another team.
I stood along the chain-linked fence with my rain gear, debating whether I wanted to stand or sit. I stood, rain bouncing from my umbrella and my eyes scanning the field for my son. There were no numbers on the player’s shirts. I could not see my son’s signature dreadlocks dangling from his helmet.
Heavy raindrops pelted my umbrella and dripped onto the back of my pants. Within minutes I was soaked and still searching for my son. I kept my eyes on the defensive players, wondering why I was there. I couldn’t identify my son form the other players. Commitment, dedication, devotion.
Finally, I identified my son by his confident stride and blue Nike cleats. Mission accomplished. I saw my son maneuver a couple of plays, then shuffled my way back to my car. By this time, I felt like a toddler in a wet diaper. I just wanted to go home and change clothes.
Once in the car I sat a few minutes to collect my thoughts. This situation deserved to be a blog post. The players began to leave the field. The game was called due to the rain.
My son walked over to the car and said, “I’m mad that they stopped the game. We barely played.” For him, the rain was no obstacle. He just wanted to play. For this Mama, I wanted a fuzzy bath robe and socks.
“For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.” 
1 Samuel 1:27-28 ESV

Author Bio:

Angela Verges is an award winning humorist (in training, waiting to be discovered). She has shared humor through blogging, women’s retreats and other Christian venues. Angela is a graduate of Michigan State University and mother of two young adult sons. She uses humor to survive the throes of parenting. 

Angela is a lover of words, coffee, and books. Relaxing for Angela is sitting at her favorite coffee shop with her laptop, sipping steaming coffee and starring out a window. She encourages the use of humor for healing and believes you can relieve tension, one laugh at a time.
Social Media Links...
Facebook is Angela Verges
Instagram is writtermama223
Book is available at Amazon


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