Friday, April 19, 2024

Fly On The Wall At Our 40th Wedding Anniversary

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A  Tornado. Today there are three of us brave souls inviting you into our homes for a peek at what goes on behind closed doors. 

The nosey fly followed Hubs and me to St Augustine last week for our annual wedding anniversary vacation (this year was our 40th!). He definitely overheard some weird conversations but mostly he saw us relaxing on the bay and eating waaaay too much seafood. 

It was such a fun trip! Mac got to jet ski in the bay (I will never do THAT again after almost falling off into frigid water that was infested with little worms!!) and one evening we went out on a sunset cruise that was also a wine tasting party. The wind was CRAZY but we had a blast (who wouldn't when you're out on the ocean sipping wine for 2 hours!).

Our favorite part of these annual trips to St. Augustine is exploring the historic district and tasting all the culinary delights the city has to offer. Best seafood, best martinis, quaint shops, adorable old homes and B&Bs, friendly locals..... I'd buy a home here if I could afford it.

We went back to the special place that rents clown cars---a tradition of ours every year---but looking at those mini mobiles this time (and feeling horribly bloated from so much calorie-laden indulgence), we looked at each other and realized there was no way we could fit our fat butts into the tiny car---not to mention crawling back out. FUGGEDABOUTIT. So we rented a golf cart instead to toodle around town. Much more comfortable!

In typical Doyle fashion---and the motto we live by: "Go Big Or Go Home," Mac and I got matching tattoos to celebrate our 40 years together. We chose the Japanese symbol for love since we love Japanese culture and we're still deeply in love (yeah, I see your eye rolls....). It was a funny experience even though there were some OUCH moments while getting inked (but totally worth it!). 

So here are some snippets of conversation with the hubs during our trip and a total photo dump of St.  Augustine: 

ME: "That was a great meal and a great dessert!"

HUBS: "It was....but now I need to hibernate for a few months to digest it all."

ME: "There are vultures circling over our hotel!"

HUBS: "That's because I haven't showered in a few days."

ME: "Ah yes, they DO like the scent of rot."

ME: "Why are you lying on the hotel bed like that?"

HUBS: "I ate too much lobster at the restaurant---I have to lie in the fetal position to feel better."

HUBS: "My back is killing me from all the walking we've been doing at the tourist spots."

ME: "You should just get back surgery and be done with it." 

HUBS: "No way. The surgeons will remove one or two of my disks and then I'll be shorter. In fact, I'll probably be so short that you'll stick me in the backyard and use me as a yard gnome."

ME: "Or a door stop....."

HUBS: "We're eating too much rich food at all these restaurants. It's making me gassy. But at least my farts are kinda quiet---like tiptoeing through the tulips."

ME: "I wouldn't call that tiptoeing. More like galloping."

ME: "Aren't you glad I'm not a picky person like some other women we know?"

HUBS: "Yes, you're definitely not a picky person because you picked me. Happy Anniversary!"

Happy Anniversary Honey, and cheers to many, many more!

Want more Meno Mama? First off, some menopause humor (it felt great to write humor again!) over at AARP/The Girlfriend which you can read HERE. Next, healthy spring dishes for AARP/The Ethel that you can read HERE.

Now it's time to go buzz around with the fly at Karen and Diane's house to see what they've been up to!

Baking In A Tornado                      


On the Border                               

Friday, March 22, 2024

Fly On The Wall In The Spring Of New Beginnings

Welcome to another edition of  Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, three of us are opening our homes to give you a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors. 

While the past month has been tremendous fun, it did have its difficult moments. We had to say goodbye to another one of our pugs---an unexpected ending that felt like a terrible gut punch. Brewski was just shy of his 13th birthday and the first pug pup we ever adopted. He started having gall bladder issues and before we knew it, he was at the emergency vet clinic, diagnosed with cancerous tumors on his liver. The prognosis was not good and the poor baby was in pain, so we had to make that devastating decision once again to let him go (only 1 1/2 years after losing our sweet Savi). The grief is still fresh but I'm trying to keep busy and focus on the good stuff.  We have one pug baby left---Yoda, who is seven, but I don't see any more dogs in my future after going through so much pet loss trauma.

We've also been spending more time with friends to stay busy and avoid feeling sad about Brewski. We are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful, caring people in our lives.

On a lighter note, one of the highlights of this past month was our weekends at the Renaissance Festival.  We didn't attend as much this year (wasn't up for it after losing Brewski), especially since I noticed a BIG shift in the crowds. Mac and I are the old farts there watching all the "youngsters" getting wild and crazy. Damn, that used to be us....WHAT HAPPENED?? Still had fun though with the family and of course, met some interesting characters......

However, the best part of the month is spending time with my grandbabies. They are growing up TOO fast---12, 5, almost 3, and a 4-month-old baby. PLEASE STOP THE CLOCKS! I truly hope I live to a ripe, old age because I need to see what these kids will be doing in 20 years. 

And of course, there was our annual St. Patrick's Day celebration with the family and the neighbors. I made the traditional corn beef, carrot, cabbage, and potatoes in memory of my mother, who always spent the holiday with us. Not only did we wear green, but also served green beer and green champagne to our guests! Yeah, I'm weird with my enthusiasm for ANY  holiday.....

The next day we hopped on our tandem bike to burn off the green calories. Why do people laugh at us when they see us pedal around the neighborhood???

Lastly, I've been busy planning several RV trips this year since we finally have our "Lucy." I feel like this is the beginning of a new chapter for us, and I'm pretty excited! I finished decorating Lucy so she is ready to roll! But I don't know if the Florida Highways are ready for The Doyle mobile. A friend actually gave me a sign for our RV that reads, "If this RV is rockin', don't come knockin'!" Would the Doyles have it any other way??

***Want more Meno Mama? Check out my latest grandparenting advice column for Yahoo Life HERE and my recent essay on AARP/The Ethel about the 2 words that help me through life (you can read it HERE). If you like movies that feature the power of female friendships, I have an article about it on AARP/The Girlfriend ( you can read it HERE) and one on easy 4-ingredient meals HERE.

Be sure to visit the sites of the other bloggers participating in this month's Fly On The Wall post. They always have something fun going on!


Baking In A Tornado                      

On the Border                               

Friday, February 16, 2024

Fly On The Wall In February, The Month Of Love

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. If you read my January FOW post, you know I was a little down with post-holiday blues, but that has all changed now because there has been some really cool stuff happening around here. 

So today, there are three of us bloggers welcoming you into our homes to see what goes on behind closed doors. However, since February is the month of love, you might want to knock first before entering our houses.....! 

Yes, love is in the air while the Valentine's Day celebrations continue. And what an extraordinary month it has been so far! February is Super Bowl month and usually I'm not a football person, but when the KC Chiefs are playing, I AM ALL IN!! We are huge Chiefs fans here since Hubs is from KC and I went to college in Missouri (plus I'll admit I have a massive crush on Patrick Mahomes!) and, of course, the whole Kelce--Taylor Swift thing is always fun to watch. I thought the 9'ers would win, but Mahomes did not disappoint in the last three seconds of the game, making football history. We hosted a Super Bowl party here, so I'm sure the entire block heard us screaming. 

February is also the month that the Florida Renaissance Festival begins here. I haven't been yet this season (GASP! I never used to miss a weekend!!), but I plan on going this Saturday. After all these years, I still dress up, but my desire to fuss with fancy costumes is getting less and less as I get older. Right now, it's all about comfort and removing my undergarments efficiently to use the portable bathrooms!! Luckily, there are always some weird people in even weirder get-ups at these events, so I'll be sure to post some pics in my next Fly On The Wall post in March. 

Another reason February has been an extraordinary month for us is that we finally pulled the trigger and bought into our 40-year dream of owning our very own RV! YES, we did it!! And she's a beauty! 

For those who enjoy RVing, this small travel trailer is the perfect size for the two of us at 18ft. We got a really sweet deal on her and cannot wait to take her out for her first road trip. She has all the modern conveniences we could ever want, and I'm having a blast decorating her the way I imagined my first RV would be. Her name is LUCY, and she will be a part of our family for a long time. The kids are already arguing over who gets to go with us first on a camping trip, but I'm rooting for my fur babies! 

If you read last month's FOW post "Year Of The Wood Dragon," you already know the exciting news I shared about my new job as a Yahoo Life columnist (yes, I am still writing for AARP as well....gotta pay for that new RV somehow!). My first column came out a few weeks ago, and I am thrilled to say it was super successful--it went viral! I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this job! The 1st column focused on babysitting grandkids, and ohhhhh man, there are some disgruntled grandparents out there who are unhappy with their family situations. Next month's column will address "bratty behavior" in some grandkids who have been raised by "permissive parenting" and what a grandparent should do (or NOT do) about it. Stay tuned...... 

I hope you had a loving Valentine's Day with lots of hugs, smooches, and chocolate---there better have been some chocolate!! As always, be humble, be grateful. Hubs and I have a favorite quote from poet Robert Browning that we live by: "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be!"

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Catch my debut grandparenting column for Yahoo Life HERE. Over at AARP, I have a recipe piece on libido-boosting foods (just in time for the month of love) that you can read HERE. You can also find other AARP articles on perfect one-pot meals HERE and easy, beautiful desserts HERE. Enjoy!

Now go check out these other blogs participating in Fly On The Wall today...but remember to knock before entering!!

Baking In A Tornado                      

Menopausal Mother                        

On the Border                               


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