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Good Clean Fun


MAY 2009

Dear Readers,

What can I say, it's May? And you know what that means. Everyone who was in the house all winter, can now be found outside, picking crab grass out of the zoysia plugs, waxing the Chevy (which could mean something else, but I am most definitely not referring to THAT, which by the way, is not particular to any season) or sitting on what passes for a stoop these days, watching the world go by. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your neighbors. So what's going on in your neck of the woods? You can Twitter me at TheMadrone, if you can figure out what the heck that is. I had my nine year old niece set me up. These young people are too smart for me. And with the warm weather come the crazies…God bless, Donna

Dear Madrone,

I was out walking the other day, and I practically tripped over a paper bag which, since I am a good soul, I picked up to put in the nearest trash. Well, instead of a half eaten ham sandwich and a juicy juice box, there are four hundred dollars in nicely wrapped packs of 20s. Now I am a really good soul, and I went to the local police and turned it in. They told me if no one came by, I'd get the whole thing.

I felt good. Wouldn't you? Honest, and maybe $400 richer. Well, that lasted until later that day, when I had dinner at my wife's brother's mother-in-law's and made the mistake of patting myself on the back, out loud. Everyone told me I was an idiot to bring the $ to the authorities, seeing as there was no ID.

Why take a chance they tell me? It wasn't stealing, it was a gift that I turned my back on. This was particularly irritating to my brother-in-law, who lent me $350 some time ago, for a procedure of a personal nature. He was so irked, he blurted out what I used the money for, which caused my wife to hit the roof, and now she's not talking to me OR her brother. Which he blames ME for, when he's the one who had to shoot off his mouth. Then her mother got into, haranguing him for lending money to family, and everyone took sides on that. Which caused all present to forget we were heating up water for coffee and the water boiled off to nothing and the pot exploded on the stove and broke the kitchen window. Thank god no one was injured, but the window is pretty much a total loss. The glass shards went into the leftover lasagna, and the dishes on the kitchen counter and one of the little kids cut her lip on it before we could stop her from eating her piece, which she'd left to go play, even though HER mother had told her to finish before she got up. Then the kid got hysterical, screaming she has swallowed glass and wouldn't calm down. Which started the mother screaming to call 911, which they did, and the EMTs took the kid to the local ER. Which was a problem because after they x rayed, and wanted to know the insurance #, turns out the father had just been laid off, no bennies. This ended up costing way more than $400. The upshot is that no one is talking to anyone. Nothing you can do about that , Madrone, this happens every spring, we all go insane. By Fourth of July, no one will remember anything. The question I have is this. The $400 was never claimed, so I just went a picked it up. Do I owe anyone anything?

Too honest for my own good, Lake Champlain

Dear Too,

One person's lovable crazy family is another person's restraining order, I always say. You have to repay your brother in law one way or the other, unless you worked out ahead of time that if he told, you wouldn't pay him back. But maybe you repaid him already. So no, you don't owe anyone anything. If you can sleep well without offering to chip in, more power to you. But you're an idiot, you realize that don't you? Not because you turned in the money, but you threw it in your brother-in-law's face that you thought more of yourself than of him. What did you expect? Them to pin a rose on you? Some people. Honestly.

God bless, Donna

Dear Madrone,

Why don't I have a wife?

Lonely, Melham Island

Dear Lonely,

How should I know?

God bless, Donna

PS. I'm good, but I'm not that good, you want to know something like that, throw me a bone, help me out. If this letter is any indication of the way you get along with people, you don't have a wife because you don't know any mind readers.




Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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