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Mandy Flynn

Stories by Mandy

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MANDY FLYNN: Mirror, mirror on the counter ...

FEATURES COLUMN: No sense in magnifying the truth

A magnifying mirror can be surprising … at least on one side.

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MANDY FLYNN: Being grateful has its rewards

FEATURES COLUMN: Reaction and growth from adversity is also something to be grateful for

Gratitude makes all the difference in your attitude.

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MANDY FLYNN: Not cooking up any excuses

FEATURES COLUMN: One apron short of a decent meal

When you are a bad cook, the best thing to do is own up to it … and maybe order takeout.

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MANDY FLYNN: Just let me sleep on it

FEATURES COLUMN: A nice nap is nothing to squeal about

I wish someone would tell me I have to take a nap.

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FLYNN: The witches made me do it

It was brought to my attention this week from an article I read that there are some people who believe Halloween candy is possessed by the devil. Or is it that Halloween candy is the devil?

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FLYNN: Chili nothing to stew about

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Feuds have erupted over far worse things, I have no doubt, but one that raises its head around our abode this time of year is quite spicy.

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FLYNN: Medaling in Spanx

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Hopefully, I am not the only person who didn’t realize the Olympics would be returning in February 2014, this time to Russia where they will play winter games of all shapes and sizes. I still would be clueless were it not for the tiny Olympic logo I noticed in the corner of the television screen the other night

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FLYNN: Simple things are what matter

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Everything in life is better with bacon.

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FLYNN: I'll take mine lightly toasted

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My friend Ann found a note on the pew at church one Communion Sunday. Scribbled in a child's hand, it read: Daddy wen do we do the drinking?

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FLYNN: Take your time chasing pleasure

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It was Kierkegaard, I think, who said that many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it. When I was young, I may not have understood what he meant. I get it now.

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FLYNN: Pj's are for sleeping, not shopping

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It was little over a week ago that my good friend showed up at work with a bee in her bonnet. Apparently, she had encountered just that morning an individual wearing pajamas out in public. Overly baggy sleep pants. A thin, stained shirt that left little to the imagination. Mismatched socks on feet crammed into shuffling flip-flops. Hair a muss. And a continually yawning, rolled-out-of-bed look on her face as she escorted her child into school.

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FLYNN: Thingamajig just gets a brush off

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A thingamajig by any other name is still a doohickey.

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FLYNN: That's one brave woman

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“She said she doesn’t care.” Those were the last words I heard before a silence so thick it was suffocating filled the room, only to be broken a good fifteen seconds later by a low, throaty, almost fearful whisper.

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FLYNN: Something to think about

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She smelled of tea rose and Oil of Olay and the buckle on her brown leather purse was shaped like a flower. It may be strange to notice a buckle, I suppose, but this one stood out because it reflected the light just so and almost demanded me to notice it. It was just a little thing, but it led me to what I consider a treasure.

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FLYNN: Soul mates are automatic

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It was a question I had never asked my husband. I was just too embarrassed, I guess, to reveal something so personal about myself even after 22 years of marriage. What if he laughed at me? Thought I was stupid? The urge was too overwhelming, though, and I had to take the risk. So I did, there in the hotel restaurant as we sat waiting for our dinner. I had just settled back into my seat after a trip to the restroom. It was the perfect time.

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Would you rather ...?

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For a car filled with four teenagers and a middle-aged couple headed north, it was remarkably quiet.

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Some childhood warnings true

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I didn’t even have to think about it. The words rolled off my tongue as if on auto pilot. “You’ll get worms,” I said, and as soon as the words left my lips another thought leapt to mind. Where in the world did I first hear that and why was it ingrained in my brain for all eternity?

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Training hubby a shocking idea

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The small, perfectly square cardboard box came with the mail last Tuesday. I forgot about it until I saw him sitting in the den — a collar, batteries and a small remote control spread out over the coffee table. He sighed in frustration. “Here,” my hubby said. “touch this,” and held the dog collar out to me.

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Have you seen my coordination?

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If anybody finds it, please let me know.

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Picking the best melon’s an art

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"Dear Mandy,” the email started and what followed was perhaps one of the top four oddest questions I have ever been asked by a stranger. ... “How do you pick a watermelon?”

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Nothing’s sweeter than tea made Southern style

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‘That’s not the way my mama does it,” he said and it must have taken everything I had not to knock him senseless. Granted, it was more than 20 years ago ... but I am certain I gazed upon him not so kindly. It actually may have been our very first newlywed bone of contention. His mama’s way was perfectly fine and produced wonderful results, I could attest. But my way was just as good.

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Flips finally flop forever

Mike’s flip-flops, size 11, died Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

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Dads worm way into cool

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‘My dad is so cool, he can jump really high. Higher than anyone else in the world,” one little girl said to another little girl, and it made me smile to hear the two of them debating their fathers’ cool factor in the line at the post office.

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Twinkle twinkle little bug

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It’s happening again, I noticed just the other night. The luciferin is combining with adenosine triphosphate and making luciferyl adenylate and pyrophosphate on the surface of the luciferase enzyme.

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Charity comes from the heart

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Some people think that giving to charity means throwing coins into a bucket at Christmastime, writing a check each year, or leaving money behind after they are gone.

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Roaming zombies preparation plan

The loud bang startled me and made me jump. What just fell from behind the door? A bat. Another baseball bat. How many bats can one family have, I thought as I picked it up from where it had rolled on the hardwood floor.

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Not it when it comes to ‘not it’

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There is a little something I’d like to address that’s been bugging me for quite some time — practically all of my life, if I really think about it.

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Motherhood, new respect for different moms

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I thought I was a good mother. After learning of the extraordinary feats of some other mothers, however, I gained a whole new respect for another mothering world — the four (and more) legged one.

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Dog sending subtle signs

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I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure my dog thinks he’s better than me.

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Wrap that antique to go, please

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The move wasn’t far, just a few miles down the road to a two-story house framed in pretty greenery and with a little back patio all laid out in brick. It would be great, I thought.

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I’m not crazy, he’s a sharp-dressed man

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"Guess what I saw today?” I ask no one in particular, simply voice out loud to the only two other people in the room at the time, my husband and my 15-year-old daughter. She sits curled on one end of the sofa, he on the other.

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You know, you look just like ...

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‘See, I told you, Mom,” the young man said as he held his mother by the arm and turned her around in my direction, not two feet from me and uncomfortably teetering on the cusp of my personal space.

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In rearranging, never toss in the towel

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I have learned many things in my lifetime, quite a few lessons that repeat themselves over and over again. One, however, never gets old. After 22 years of marriage, I still get a thrill out of seeing the look on my hubby’s face when I pick up a hammer.

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Fortune can be often overlooked

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The lady stood at the foot of the off ramp wearing blue jeans and a green flannel shirt. Her hair was pulled back from her face, free of make up or lipstick. She didn’t appear to be particularly young, or old either, for that matter.

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Where’s that coupon for brake pads ...

The car in front of me slammed on brakes and I, just as quickly, slammed on brakes and instinctively flung my right arm out and across the passenger’s seat. This time there was no one sitting there whose life I was saving from being thrown into the dashboard, just my pocketbook.

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Boy, I stepped into that one

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‘I really like your boots,” I said as I walked past the little girl with a tousled muss of blonde curls and her mama, I assume, sitting on a bench in the hallway at work. “I wish I had some boots like that.”

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OMG, the words just slip out

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The mistake was made. There was no turning back. “When are you due?” he asked as he settled into his chair. The words hung stagnant in the air, begging to crawl back into his mouth.

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A mature ladies swim costume?

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“Welcome!” the young woman said as I walked through the door of swimsuit heaven — or hell, as some affectionately call it — a store filled to the rafters with tops and bottoms of seemingly all makes and models of bathing suits. Green ones with stripes and pink ones with polka dots and neon blue ones with fringy things hanging from each. I’d rather not say.

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Nothing to do with this, but ...

Maybe the elderly lady in the blue pantsuit didn’t realize her voice carried louder than she thought it would in the busy room, but we all looked up and straight at her when she said, “This has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but did you ever wonder why Pluto walks on four legs and Goofy walks on two like a man?”

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Can I call them yoga pants?

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It was a dark and stormy night. Harsh winds startled the yard ... trees swayed, limbs rattled, rain falling sideways pelted against the windows. I gazed out the window at the ruckus outside. Would it last long? Would it pass over?

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Lifesaver tip goes over like a dud

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The urge was overwhelming. Should I keep my mouth shut? Should I tell her? I didn’t know this woman, had never seen her before in my life.

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We all tartle sometime

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Pardon my tartle. Excuse me?

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Can I quote you on that?

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My book overfloweth. A few years ago I started this little habit of writing down quotes that I come across. Not just any ones. The ones that make me stop and think. Others that make me laugh. Many that simply make me go hmmmm.

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Squish, a release then it is all over

“What’s it like?” she asked, and I inhaled quietly and put down the bottle of water I was poised to drink.

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Be kind in a nice way

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‘I am too busy to be nice,” she said, and I looked up to catch a glimpse of the person who would say such a thing out loud. She wasn’t an old woman, maybe 50 at best, and her hair was pulled back in such a way that you couldn’t see her eyes, not clearly, anyway.

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World goes on, as do my secrets

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If you are reading this, then the world did not end as so many had expected it to on Friday.

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A good dog won’t steer you wrong

Driving into work today I let my mind wander as I often do. How nice it would be, I thought, to be one of those fancy people who has a driver — you know the kind, the ones on television who say things like, “I’ll call my car to come pick me up,” or “Driver, take me to the such and such.”

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‘Tis the season of butts, boobs

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I didn’t have to hear the commercial or see the ad to know it was back. A total stranger let me know. ‘Tis the season.

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Black Friday draws interesting crowd

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It was half past 10 the day after Thanksgiving that I ventured out into the real world. By that time, many of the diehard Black Friday shoppers were either asleep in their cars or home, and there were no fist fights or wig snatching brawls in sight.

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So, that’s what all the fuss was about

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I so get it now. It took a while, years actually, but I get it now. I used to get so mad when my siblings would come home after being away for long periods of time. College and what-not they would be, then one day call and say, “I’m coming home.” That’s when it would start. The pots a’banging. The pans a’frying.