Feng Shui and Shinola Define Couple’s Downsizing Troubles

I'm one of them!

I’m one of them!

My husband once asked a friend to tell him the secret to his success.

“Storage rooms,” he stated matter-of-factly. “One day it occurred to me that people love their stuff. So I figured if I built storage facilities, people would come. It took my last cent to build my first one, but within a year I had enough cash to build a second. And the rest is history.”

To me, the Queen of Clean and Clutter-Clearing Goddess who had feng shui-ed her surroundings into a holy living space, the idea that people actually clung to their old junk like a baby baboon clings to its mother’s breast appalled, even horrified me. My countertops were clear…and for years so was my conscience.

Last year when I began pulling Christmas decorations out of our attic and hauling them, one by one, to the appropriate rooms for unpacking, a startling question occurred to me. Exactly how many boxes of this stuff did I have?

“One, two, three,” I began counting. “Twelve, thirteen, fourteen…forty-one, forty-two!”

WHAT! FORTY-TWO BOXES OF CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS! Could it be I was one of them? A quick inspection of my attic, closets, garage, and cupboards revealed the truth…that I had secreted away masses of junk, all the while pointing an accusatory finger at others for the same offense?

By March, my dark secret had festered into an open psychological wound. I finally convinced my husband that downsizing was the only cure for what was ailing my hypocritical conscience.

Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor


Brains, Baguettes and a New Fangled GPS

“Did your mother make you French baguettes when you were a child?” my nine-year-old son asked me as he crunched into his favorite fresh-from-the-oven bread with his big white front teeth.French bread

I smiled at him across the dinner table. “No, Benn,” I replied sweetly. “I’m not sure my mother even knew what a baguette was.”

“Benn, all your mother had to do…” Stephen stated sharply.

That’s where I stopped my husband mid-sentence with my deadly combination slightly-cross-eyed/pinched-upper-lip look that in polite company roughly translates, “Please shut your pie hole now.”

Totally exasperated by his own inability to understand “my problem,” Stephen recovered quickly saying, “My mother didn’t make me baguettes, either. You should try a slice with some strawberry jam.”

Attention all husbands! Understanding your wife is not wormhole science. If husbands would simply apply the first rule of ballroom dancing – it’s the man’s responsibility to make the woman look good – no husband would ever have to sleep on the sofa again.

Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor


Flipping, Flannel and Hot Flashes – Part 2

hot flashOne of modern medicine’s little mysteries, hot flashes tend to accompany the onset of menopause. For some, they can be debilitating but I’m one of the lucky ones who considers them an inconvenience. During the day, hot flashes usually leave me alone for the most part, but make up for lost time at night.

While my husband spends a little piece of his days at the gym working out, I have replaced my exercise routine with my patented Blanket Flipping Workout that results from wildly flipping the blankets on and off in rhythm with my hot flashes throughout the night. (In all honesty, some mornings our bed looks like a Jack Russell terrier has been wrestling a rabid raccoon in it all night.) This routine has proven so effective in toning my arm muscles that I’m hoping to get my BFW approved by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition as an effective cardio workout for the female masses.

 Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor


Flipping, Flannel and Hot Flashes – Part 1


It’s been a long run, but it’s time to say goodbye to my beloved flannel.

I am sad to report that my more than half-century relationship with flannel has come to an abrupt end. It sort of feels like losing a dear friend, one who has comforted me when I was cold and sick, and, upon occasion, also helped me make some memorable fashion statements. But, alas, flannel and hot flashes do not mix, and since my hot flashes have not demonstrated any intention of abating anytime soon, I must bid a fond farewell to the my beloved flannel nightgowns.

It just isn’t fair. After all the physical maladies that accompany us women through our “child-bearing years,” Mother Nature strikes again. Just when we think we don’t have to plan our beach vacations around a 28-day cycle, we get to experience these frequent and often intense reminders that we are still women, as if we aren’t already aware of the obvious indications of our sex.

Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor


Excerpt from: Eluding Eccentricity

Oh dear God, not that!

Oh dear God, not that!

I still may not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know what I want to be when I grow old…eccentric. So every now and then I like to spend a few moments evaluating how I’m doing on my transition from middle age to that phase in my life that will have my three sons arguing over whose turn it is to check on me.

Sadly, things aren’t looking all too great for me in the pre-eccentric department these days. Going on a diet earlier this year has left my hips, Pumpkin and Strudel (a.k.a. my aces in the hole to achieving eccentricity) speechless, except for Pumpkin’s regular outbursts in which she impersonates the Wicked Witch of the West. (“Ahhhhh! You cursed brat! I’m melting!”) That stopped being funny a long time ago.

But when it came to these two overbearing wenches, what choice did I have but to take action to reduce their growing influence over me? On the day I started my diet, I believed, with good reason, that I was only a week or two away from wearing extra large granny panties and navy blue Spandex pedal pushers. I may be fashion-impaired, but even I don’t want to go there.

Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor

Nice Girl

The complete story is in my book!