Living the Frugal Life. Not so Much.

One recent, sunny afternoon, I decided to make a quick stop at the Taco Bell drive-through and, feeling pleased with my sudden surge of frugality, I reminded the clerk that I was eligible for the senior discount. He replied that although they didn’t actually have a discount, they did offer “older people” a free soft drink. Resisting the urge to kill the mood by reaching through the window and smacking the insolent pup on the back of his head, I smiled and agreed to take the deal. My 1974 car was built before cup holders, so I set my drink carefully on the console and began to pull forward, forgetting that my car has a tendency to surge at will when you press the gas pedal. Unfortunately, it willed and immediately lunged forward, just hard enough to toss my drink in one direction and the lid in another, spraying the entire interior of my car, including the dashboard, windshield, and sheepskin covers, with … Continue Laughing….

Today I Fired my BFF

I recently read an interesting article about self-talk and the things we say to ourselves every day. Apparently, therapists generally agree that if Hubs or a friend spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves, we’d kick them to the curb right freaking now (okay, I paraphrased). The writer pointed out that since the person we spend the most time with every day is, well, us, that’s where most of our personal feedback comes from. A co-worker that remarks “Gee, that skirt is a little tight for the office, don’t you think?” doesn’t do near as much damage to our self-esteem as an all-day inner mantra, repeatedly chanting to ourselves “Yep, you’re still fat.” The brain believes what it’s told, so it’s critical that we become aware of the constant barrage of judgmental, belittling “truths” that we unconsciously tell ourselves all day long. In short, we should never talk to ourselves in a way we’d never tolerate from someone else. We need to be our own … Continue Laughing….

Not Tonight, Dear, I Have a Headache. 15 Reasons Why

In any long-term relationship, regardless of the love and commitment of the two people involved, sexual desire is going to ebb and flow. Experts assure us it’s normal and natural. Desire can be impacted by stress, hormones, illness or medications, foods we’re eating, alcohol intake, and a host of other human conditions or behaviors, and doesn’t automatically indicate trouble in the relationship. If a man is not in the mood, it becomes quickly apparent to both parties. It’s just not happening, and so we return to our previous activities, quietly agreeing never to speak of it again. Women, however, have a few options if the mood strikes our partner but we’re not feeling it at that moment. We can either confess our temporary loss of interest (often igniting a 20-minute debate about how we’ll undoubtedly change our mind “once we get into it”), choose to be accommodating and fake it, or we can claim the proverbial “headache.” “Not tonight, dear, I have a … Continue Laughing….

This Wasn’t in the Manual. Epic Mom Fails

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that many grandparents lack satisfactory knowledge of today’s safety guidelines for children. It seemed the majority of those grandparents surveyed gave the wrong answer to questions like the best position for infants to sleep, the correct positioning of a car seat, and  whether walkers were good devices to help babies learn to walk (grandparents said yes, Academy said no). Notwithstanding the fact that medical recommendations do change over time, we tend to raise our grandchildren the same way we raised our children, so what this survey suggests to me is that grandparents have been botching up this childrearing thing since our own kids. My mother always said, “Kids are like pancakes. You usually screw the first one up.” When my son, Jake, was born, what I knew about raising a child was basically zero. I was the second-to-the-youngest kid and never babysat, so my experience with babies and tiny toddling humans was virtually non-existent. During my pregnancy, … Continue Laughing….

Menopause Killed My Inner MILF

Google “Benefits of Menopause,” and you’ll get 8,570,000 possible links. Over 8 1/2 million articles written on how menopause makes us stronger, sexier, more confident, and more at peace with our bodies and our sexuality. Not to mention the exhilarating freedom from periods, bloating, cramping, PMS, and the constant worry about pregnancy, however slim the chance. What they don’t tell you in those same posts is that all that zen is achieved after menopause is over. It’s the prize at the end of a rather bumpy ride, during which you’ll start questioning whether you’ll ever be sexy again. Or if you’ll ever care. Like most women, I like feeling attractive, sexy, desirable. I’ve spent more money than I probably should’ve towards that goal over the years, and although yoga pants and no makeup are my norm, I do clean up fairly well (which admittedly takes longer with each passing year). I have a tiny, but persistent, inner hot chick that still likes stilettos, little … Continue Laughing….

I Went Camping. And I Liked It

Those of you who have known me for more than, say, 20 minutes know that I don’t camp. Hubs has been trying for years to get me fired up about it. “It’s great,” he repeatedly assures me. “The stars are brilliant. The air is clean. It’s quiet and peaceful. It’s nature.” That may be true, but that’s not necessarily a selling point for me. While the serene, natural settings admittedly hold a modicum of appeal, there are a few sticky spots I struggle with. 1. Sleeping in the dirt. On rocks. Call me spoiled, but I like sleeping on soft comfy mattresses, without having to navigate my REM position around a rocky terrain. Yes, early man used to sleep on dirt and rocks, but then he invented the house. Camping is a step backwards in the evolutionary process. 2. When nature calls in the woods. “Pick a tree” is not how I normally choose a place to take care of my private business. I’m … Continue Laughing….

20 Fashion Trends I’d Like to See Die in 2014

I love fashion. Clothes, shoes, boots, accessories, handbags…all shiny and new, promising, if not actually a better life, certainly a better-dressed one. Which is not to say that I’ve always made good choices. Closet purging over the years has unearthed mortifyingly large piles of Goodwill donations that have included clogs (clunky wooden shoes. Yeah, those got me a lot of dates), a one-piece cat suit (during my delusional period, when I thought what worked for Halle Berry could also work for me), a wildly expensive cowboy hat (which looked totally ridiculous in downtown Vancouver, BC, where I lived at the time, but I was crushing on a cowboy from Calgary), and several bags of disco bling from the late 70s (still referred by my family to as my “unfortunate Afro era”). One of the benefits of aging is the discovery of what works for you and what doesn’t. We’re less easily manipulated by the fashion industry … Continue Laughing….

25 Things Women Want in the Pre-Nup (No, They’re Not About Money)

Hubs and I recently spent a delightful evening having dinner out with friends, and someone commented on yet another 90-minute Hollywood marriage that was on the rocks, and that both parties were currently in court in a headline-making battle over the validity of the pre-nup (apparently it takes eight lawyers and a judge to determine the actual legal definition of “cheating”). Amidst much wine-induced hilarity over the fact that our four incomes combined wouldn’t get any of us within 100 miles of a pre-nup zip code, the women began to formulate a list of what we would have included if we’d presented a pre-nup to our current spouses before we were married oh-so-many years ago. Most couples talk freely and endlessly about the big issues, like whether or not to have children, and if so, how many, religious beliefs, city vs. country living, merging finances, how to handle crazy in-laws, ex-spouses and stepchildren, divergent career paths and whose comes … Continue Laughing….

It’s a Blog Tour! Hint: It’s Like Speed-Dating for Bloggers

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by Parri Sontag, a fellow blogger, to participate in my first Blog Tour. The idea is to tell a bit about ourselves, then share 2-3 of our favorite blogs with our readers. Not unlike speed dating, where you’re given a few minutes to get to know someone, until the bell goes off and you move to the next new meet-and-greet. I thought this sounded like fun, so I was in! Parri Sontag is the hilarious genius behind “Her Royal Thighness,” which she tags “Torn Between a Little Waist and a Little Debbie.” Parri consistently makes you laugh out loud as she describes her relatable and universal real-life experiences. Parri and I were recently named as two of the BlogHer Voices of the Year in the Humor category. She’ll be presenting her hilarious award-winning post, titled “My Sister of Another Mother,” at BlogHer14 next month in San Jose. We’re going to be roomies, and I can’t wait to meet … Continue Laughing….

Grandma’s Rules. #1: There Are No Rules

“Mimi.” “Nana.” “Nanny.” “GG.” “G-Ma.” All names for Grandma. Whether you prefer one over another because your offspring’s tiny mini-me’s have two or more grandmothers and you want to reduce the wee one’s confusion as to exactly which grandma is on the phone, or because the word “grandma” makes you feel like Aunt Bee of Mayberry (if you’re under 30, Google this one), in the end, they all mean the same thing: You are not the parent. This is good, people. Parenting is hard. It’s basically 18 years of schooling an often-recalcitrant young human into how to be a socially acceptable, productive member of the community, who doesn’t get his bills paid through welfare or via the hospitality of the state penal system. Grandparenting, however, is less goal-oriented. We are not actually raising the future of our country. When little Johnny sets the neighbor’s doghouse on fire or young Sally rides home on the back … Continue Laughing….