Friday, May 19, 2023

Fly On The Wall During A Mother's Day Celebration

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, the two of us are inviting you into our homes to give you a fly's eye view of what goes on behind closed doors. 

Let me start by saying that the nosy fly was privy to some very exciting oldest daughter is having another baby! This will be her third (but it's my 4th grandbaby) and we are ecstatic that she's having a boy this time. The baby is due in November, so we might be postponing our annual cruise that was scheduled around that time...because there is NO WAY I'm missing out on the birth of this beautiful baby boy!!

My daughter's news made Mother's Day even sweeter and I feel so incredibly grateful to have all of my family living within miles of me, and being able to see my grandbabies every week is the icing on the cake. 

It has been a wonderful month---Two weekends were spent brunching with my daughters--no boys allowed! We laughed so much that my stomach muscles hurt for days. I was also fortunate enough to sit in on a jam session to watch both my sons playing guitar together. My youngest boy has gotten really active in our local church (where my friend is the minister) and is now playing every Sunday with their Christian rock band during the service. I'm so proud of him!! (See photo below---he's the young man in the white ball cap who is playing the guitar)


As for Hubs and I, we've been hitting up some new restaurants in the area, hanging out with our neighbors at a few community events, and chilling in the backyard garden with cocktails while watching the brilliant sunsets. Hubs is nearly retired now, and my dream job of writing full-time for 2 websites has finally come full circle. Most days I have to pinch myself to see if it's real because I have waited so long for this to happen. Whoever said that getting old sucks was WRONG. These are by far the best years!! 

Since I can't really put it all into words, here are some of my fave photos that capture the last 4 weeks of Doyle fun:

I know I say this every year but I swear, this was THE BEST Mother's Day---and a pretty phenomenal month all around. Sometimes I wish time could stand still so these special moments would last forever, but there's always something new and exciting around the bend! Speaking of which, next month's "Fly On The Wall" ought to be very interesting......we are taking our first RV trip on June 9th to explore one of Florida's oldest state parks for a few days. I hear the mosquitoes can be brutal there, but I'm well prepared and super stoked for the upcoming I'm sure the nosy fly on the wall will have a LOT to say about it! 

Want more Meno Mama?? Catch me on AARP with my collection of yummy Memorial Day picnic foods HERE

Now be sure and hop over to Karen's house next to see what the fly has been up to over there this month:

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Ready To Hit The Road? Listen To The Skiptown All-Stars Podcast!

 Who hasn't dreamed of hitting the road after retirement (or if you work remotely) to explore the country? My husband and I have discussed doing just that once we can afford to buy an RV. But I'm a planner, so I'll need to research not only the vehicles but the destinations that we have in mind. This is where the Skiptown All-Stars Podcast comes in handy---the Gordons have already put in the miles and are sharing all the important info with their listeners. Here is one of my favorite episodes (#34) of theirs:  Want more? This is what you'll find when you tune in:

Skiptown All-Stars Podcast

Ever wonder what it’d be like to liquidate your life and hit the road at the tender age of 50? JAMES and DENISE GORDON did just that. After their youngest daughter flew the coop for college, the married couple of 25 years sold everything they owned in Los Angeles, loaded up the minivan, and headed on a cross-country journey in search of their forever home. Their weekly podcast is an adventure like no other. It’s an immersive deep dive into American cities and coastal towns. They take their listeners into every tourist trap, hidden gem, and off-the-beaten-path escapade. All the while, asking the most important question, “Can we live here?” 

It’s not just about skipping town. They’re also breaking down retirement, remote working, real estate, and all the other impending issues Gen Xers and Boomers are facing. Whether you’re looking to check off those bucket-list boxes or want to know the scoop about where to hang up your hat, Skiptown All-Stars Podcast is for you! With thousands of miles under their tires and countless cities visited, they’re quickly becoming known as the wildly amusing Trusted Trip Advisors, appealing to the wanderlust in us all. Episodes are available everywhere you get your podcasts. #empty nest #full tank


***You can find the Gordons here: (plus anywhere you listen to podcasts) or their YouTube channel: 


***If you need the audio-only links for the podcast:


For Apple users





Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Summer Is Coming: Have You Booked Your Vacation?

Summer is coming and I have the travel bug! There is nothing more exciting than planning a fun getaway and dreaming of all the things you'll do when your vacation day arrives. I grew up in a family that traveled extensively across the U.S. and I am so grateful that my parents could afford to expose us to new adventures. I'd be hard-pressed to say which vacation was my favorite---I loved them all from the train rides in Colorado, exploring cliff dwellings in the southwest, ferry boat rides on the northeast coast, hiking mountain ranges, touring ghost towns in the old west, visiting civil war battlefields, shopping in popular outdoor markets, going to the opera, and museums, seeing my first snowfall in Tennesse, to dining on fresh lobster in Maine. 

However, vacations can be costly unless you do your research and figure out the right options for your budget. I like trips that are all-inclusive (like cruise ships) but there are plenty of affordable vacation packages available to fit your needs. Many of these packages include airfare and hotel rooms, plus city tours. They take the guesswork out of your planning to assure that you have a smooth, relaxing vacation. Most of these packages also have great deals in Europe and all across the globe if you feel like exploring exotic destinations. Even if you're only driving a few hours from home for a weekend getaway, vacation packages can still save you time and money. 

We love to visit St. Augustine, Florida every year for our anniversary and I'm always looking for a deal since there is so much to do in the historical city. We are also taking our first RV trip in early June, so I've been scouting the web for the best deals, and found a great value vacation package for our upcoming trip! So if you're thinking about hitting the road soon, find the best deal you can online and start packing your suitcases---summer is just around the corner!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Fly On The Wall During April Showers

    Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today we're sharing what has gone on behind closed doors this month in our homes.


     If any of you have been following the news, then you know that South Florida was slammed with heavy April rains and flooding about a week ago. Luckily, my neighborhood remained fairly dry, but plenty of people were flooded out of their homes. Many used boats to get around the major streets and it was indeed a strange site to see canoes floating down the highway. Seriously, I was expecting Noah's Ark to float by my house at any minute. My husband suggested we take a few fishing rods down to the community park and see what we could catch on the flooded baseball diamond. Uh, no thanks.

     Speaking of fishing and flies, every time we grill fish (usually 1-2 times per week), a fly or two follows my husband into the house and buzzes around while we eat. It's extremely annoying and the buggers are hard to catch. My dogs snap at them but to no avail. There is a fat fly in particular that has been zooming around now for a few days and I'm about to lose my mind. I guess he is sticking around for the conversations he has been eavesdropping on......

***Please excuse all the photos of us with our cups of "joy." What can I say? It has been a celebratory month with birthdays, Easter, family parties, and a special anniversary getaway....champagne, wine, and some of the best martinis I've ever had (maybe I'm just trying to make you thirsty!).

"That damn fly is back again buzzing around the kitchen."
"Why does he keep going in there?"
"Because that's where all the food is!"
"Hmmmm...must be a Doyle fly---it's always hungry."

"I look old...."
"But you've had numerous people at work tell you how good you look for your age!"
"Yeah, that's because they thought I was in my eighties...."

"Something is wrong with the water dispenser in the fridge. The stream is not strong."
"Sounds like it has a prostate problem."

"Why does my fingernail polish chip off so quickly but not the color on my toes?"
"Because toenail polish is designed to survive a nuclear war."

"I wish I could travel back in time."
"Where to---your college days?"
"No, to the Renaissance era when being pale and fat was a sign of nobility."

"I have such a hangover from that party last night."
"Not me--I feel great!"
"That's because you have guts of steel."
"Yep----that's my new superhero name---Iron Gut Marcia."

"Why do you always wear the same baggy type of clothes every time we go out?" 
"Because my special fashion style is called, clothes-that-still-fit." 

"How come you never put any of your fancy, anti-aging lotions on my face?"
"Oh, you want some? Here, let me rub this cream on your skin."
"That feels really thick. What is it?"
"This is the special cream for people who have faces that resemble a catcher's mitt." 

     Well, it looks like it might rain again today, so I need to cut this short and help Noah divide the squirrels into groups of twos. At least we won't starve---Hubs is headed to the baseball field on a canoe with his fishing rod. 

***Want more Meno Mama? I've been super busy writing for my editors at AARP and Big Edition this month!! But I am especially proud of a personal essay I recently wrote for AARP about the menial jobs I've had---and how they shaped who I am today. Please take a read HERE then check out my new foodie recipe (solo dining) on AARP HERE  Also, you can view my latest on Family Minded about the largest movie theaters in the U.S. HERE Then on Work & Money, I wrote about the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. HERE 

Be sure to buzz around Karen's house too and see what funny things she and her family have been up to! 


Baking In A Tornado                      

Friday, March 24, 2023

Fly On The Wall During March Madness

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, it's just the two of us sharing an inside look at what goes on in our homes behind closed doors. 

This is the month for college basketball, brackets, and March Madness, but I don't watch basketball, and the only brackets I know of are the ones that hold up the towels in my bathroom. As for madness....well, just look at my crazy family. We're all mad, I tell ya. March has actually been an awesome month for the Doyles--we celebrated a birthday, drank green beer on St. Patrick's Day, went BACK to the Renaissance Festival for round #3 with our close friends, enjoyed some nature trails at a Japanese garden, had a beach picnic party, and of course, indulged in some good eats at local restaurants. Busy but FUN month! The fly is feeling quite satisfied right now, so here is a peek at March through the eyes of my (cell phone) camera   

When I saw this beautiful spot at the Morikami Japanese Garden, I had to take a photo of it. Now I really wish I could paint it like I know my mother would have done.

Family love!

Smooches at Morikami--our favorite place to be.

A Viking, a fairy, and 2 pirates walked into a bar at the Renaissance Festival and.....

Guess what day it is?

Green glasses, green champagne, but no green shirt? My daughter
needs to get pinched!

She just kissed the Blarney Stone....

Shenanigans all the way around.

Nonni with her 3 grandbabies--the loves of my life!

Celebrating my birthday girl.

2 of my 4 babies...all grown up.

My bestest drinking buddy...and future son-in-law.

Hanging out with friends at the beach picnic for my daughter's birthday party!

The guys finally made it to the party....

The grill master hard at work.

Getting into the inflatable couch was easy. Getting out...not so much....

When my 2 youngest get together, there is ALWAYS some mischief involved.

The family that couches together, stays together....FOREVER....

That was our fun March Madness. I can't wait to see what April brings! 

***Want More Meno Mama? I am beyond thrilled to have another humor piece published on the famous MCSWEENEY'S site--I did a hilarious food review collab with funny writer Amy Barnes. Read about our experience with "Peeps Pepsi" HERE You can also find me at AARP sharing recipes for some yummy spring drinks HERE

Be sure to buzz around Karen's house too and see what funny things she and her family have been up to! 


Baking In A Tornado                      


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