Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Grinch is Writing Fortune Cookies

          Those of you who know me, know that I shop all year for Christmas.  I keep a list and tuck things away, spreading that gift-giving joy throughout the year.
          But, of course, it ramps up at this time of year as kids share their wish lists and more goodies entice us. Occasionally I’ll share an idea with St. Budget—I mean St. Bob—whose response is usually, “How much is that going to cost?”
          Which casts a Grinchlike gloom over the merriment of the season, and I scowl, trying to figure out how to justify the sudden expense.

          So I was NOT AT ALL AMUSED when St. Bob and I went out for a Chinese meal recently, and he opened this fortune:

          right before I opened mine, which said:
          “Wow!” Bob said.  “Looks like my fortune came true immediately!” He said it was the best Chinese meal he’s ever had.

          I am still pouting, but I might pull out of it if you purchase one of my books or watch one of my YouTube Mom videos here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Patience, Patience

          Yesterday Bob sent me this photo he snapped at the grocery store, along with the caption: A place where Joni will never be found.
          Of course, he means it as a service center for people who can be patient, not the medical way they mean it.
          I honestly thought I would grow more patient as I got older, and realized how few things are worth stressing over.  But, as it turns out, my realization that time is running out has only made me feel more rushed, more pressed to get things done before the sand falls through the hourglass. Or life-glass, whatever’s running.
          When I was in first grade I came home with a report card that said, “Joni has a hard time being patient with her peers.”  I didn’t even know what a peer was. But if it’s defined as someone who is your equal, why were they doing everything so slowly?
          You know the Department of Motor Vehicle scene in Zootopia?  It’s where two sloths are running things, and talking so slowly it could make you jump out of your seat, screaming.  That’s how my whole life seems at times.
          I did have one moment of progress.  I think.  It’s when my mother, who had Alzheimers’ for eight years, was in a care facility (she had also broken her back, hip, and shoulder).  I was helping her and chatting with her when a nurse, who had been watching, said, “You have such patience.”
          It was literally a jaw-dropping moment for me.  “I do?” I said.  No one had ever given me that compliment before.  But it’s one of my favorites.
          And then, of course, I went back to my hurrying.  A couple of weeks ago I called my doctor and got the recordings we all know:  If you’re a doctor, press 1.  If you’re a pharmacy, press 2.  If you’re a patient, press 3.
          “WHAT?” I thought.  If I’m impatient I can press 3?  This is fantastic!  This means someone will pick right up, be super efficient, and become my new best friend.  But it was not to be. Maybe they should have had another one: If you didn’t hear this right, press 4 for a hearing test.

Great news for fellow hurriers: You can order my books with the click of a button!  Check ‘em out here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Are You Dead in a Ditch?

          This is probably my most-used text message and it is sent, not surprisingly, to my four children who are far flung and don’t always respond when I call.  I give them two or three messages and then I ask what any good detective would ask: Are you dead in a ditch?
          But I have recently learned of several new devices that could virtually beam me into their lives, something I’ll bet they would love.
          We all know there are medic alert buttons and call devices for seniors so they can access paramedics or even remember to take medications. Some even look like sleek wristwatches.

          But my idea goes further.  It would go right into the devices of one’s child.  I think “Beam Me Up” might be a phrase that’s already taken, but you get the idea.
          Your kid is at college or at work, and suddenly his phone lights up like a slot machine.  Wow-wow-wow sirens could be optional, but he would definitely know there was an incoming message from Mom, right?
He glances at his smart phone or Android, and there would be a lovely photo of his parent, waving their arms along with audio reminding them to take their vitamins.  Or get enough rest.  Or call home.
          Better yet, we could appear as a hologram, hovering in the air like Princess Leia, only life size.  Now that would be a welcome greeting, right?  And we could appear in a board meeting, a classroom, while they’re on a date, pretty much anywhere.
          I'll bet they'll have this new technology in no time. Every few minutes our phones become obsolete anyway, because smarty pants kids (who probably want to hear from their moms) are inventing new technology to replace the old stuff.  This is just the brave new world that’s next up.  And then we can be sure you’re not dead in a ditch.
          I actually have the perfect thing for you to do while waiting for your grown child to call back.  Check out my website—buy my books and watch my YouTube Mom videos. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

True Crime Confession

          Do you know anyone who has stolen something from the LDS Conference Center DURING a church General Conference?  Yes you do—me. 
For my non-Mormon readers, let me explain that twice a year there’s a huge gathering of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City at the gigantic Conference Center (which seats 21,000), for several sessions of talks from our leaders along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing throughout.  It’s quite a big deal and standing in line earlier this month, we met a man from Angola who had flown 36 hours just to attend it. Here’s how big it is:
So, to process thousands of people through a security check, it’s a bit of a mob scene.  Organized, but still a mob.  It was raining, so we all put our purses, umbrellas, whatnot, on a long series of tables, then picked them up at the end of the long assembly line.
Only my umbrella was missing.  Great.  Someone with a similar one must have picked mine up.  So I grabbed the one that most resembled mine, and took off for our seats.  But I was disappointed.  The one I had to settle for was not as nice as the one I was borrowing from my daughter.
After the session, we headed out.  And as I reached into my purse to turn my cell phone back on, what should I find but MY UMBRELLA! This meant I had stolen someone else’s—someone who is now going to get drenched, thanks to me.  I cannot tell you how terrible I felt.  I had obviously forgotten that I had collapsed my umbrella and stuffed it into my purse. I left the other one at the scene of the crime, but doubt very much that it found its owner.
And so I am confessing to this dastardly deed and hoping that someone out there can forgive the dingdong who made off with their umbrella. If only there were a LOST & FOUND for our brains.

I’d love to make a YouTube Mom video about how to remember you’ve already stowed your umbrella, but I fear not many of you really need the help I do! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I Guess I Have to Wish You a Happy Birthday

          If you’re a regular reader (or an irregular one, sorry) you know that I went to France this summer with a group of college kids.  Despite my luggage being lost for the first three days,
we had a wonderful time. Two of my kids were there, so that was especially cool.

          After spending some time in Paris, we decided to head for the French Alps, Lake Annecy, and then hop over the border into Switzerland. And it was fabulous, fattening, and fun.
          HOWEVER, no trip is complete without Joni making a fool of herself, so here’s what happened.  One night we all gathered in my bedroom and, in the spirit of college coed behavior, I checked my Facebook page on my phone.  I noticed some birthdays, so I decided to dictate birthday wishes to each of these Facebook friends. 
          “Happy Birthday,” I said into the mike.  And then, to the kids clustered around, “I always feel obligated to say Happy Birthday to people if they’ve wished me a happy birthday on mine.”
          And only at this moment did I realize that the mike was still on and my words were still typing onto the birthday message!  “Oh, no!” I shouted.  “It’s typing that!”
Everyone imagined the birthday girl getting this horrid message that I was only wishing her a happy day out of a sense of duty. One student fell off the bed laughing, and declared this the highlight of the trip. Disaster!
BUT… luckily I caught it just before pressing “send.”  With pounding heart I watched as I backspaced through my confession and erased all evidence.  But, I have to say, now I wonder if that’s why people wish me a happy birthday and this thing could go on ad infinitum.  

          Either way, you can purchase my books out of a sense of duty and I will not be offended.  Find them here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Keeping Pace

Well, he did it.  St. Bob got a pacemaker. 
Thank you, Richie, for the appropriate artwork.
His brother, Ken, flew in from Mississippi for the procedure, and contributed an apple fritter for post op recovery:
I had wondered if the pacemaker would be like a piano metronome, and we’d hear a steady ticking.
But no, it’s completely silent.  HOWEVER, you can opt for a doorbell feature to alert you that the battery’s running low in a few years.  That ought to wake you up.
And speaking of waking up, in this day of apps that do everything, why can’t they wire these things with a few more options?  Here are just a few I think would be handy:
A sleep machine feature with white noise, chirping birds, crashing waves, whatever you like. Then a lovely alarm to wake you up.
An applause setting so you can clap at performances without even having to move your hands.  For the truly lazy.
A baloney detector that goes “Wheep, wheep, wheep!” when people are lying.
A barking dog sound, just for fun.
GPS, as suggested by our son, Cassidy.
Comedy performances, and thus become a truly phenomenal ventriloquist who can talk even when his lips are tightly sealed.  Ditto for opera singing.
Books on tape that only you can hear, to help you through boring meetings.
And, of course, a whole Honey Do list of ideas to keep one’s spouse busy, along with a remote control for me to use.  But probably no one would sign up for that one.

You can, however, stay busy reading my books and watching my YouTube Mom videos.  Find everything here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


          I’ve been waiting years for my weekly blog day to fall on October 10th.  This is because Ten-Ten is a HUGE, COLOSSAL, MEGA-GIGANTIC day in Chinatown.
          Years ago we took our kids to San Francisco on October 10th.  We live just a two-hour drive away so we go there often, but had no idea we were arriving in Chinatown exactly as an enormous festival was just commencing.
          It included the Double Ten Parade, and suddenly we were surrounded by fireworks, confetti, drummers and the pageantry of the Lion Dance:
          It was mesmerizing. If you can possibly visit a Chinese or Taiwanese district for this celebration of the Wuchang Uprising which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, don’t miss it (yes, we should enjoy all the food and music but we should also know what we’re celebrating, right?)
          But this is Joniopolis.  So it can't go perfectly, right? A couple of years ago St. Bob and I decided to go back, just ourselves.  All our kids had flown from the nest, and we thought a trip to “the city” on 10/10 would be a perfect vacay. We knew the parade had gotten underway after sunset, so the night lighting would be gorgeous and dramatic, but what to do until then?
          We visited the wharf, rode the trolley cars, even made reservations at a great restaurant to while the time away until the parade. Finally it was dusk and we headed over to Chinatown.  But what was this? People were sweeping up colorful confetti and hauling trash cans back to the curb.  They had moved the parade up to mid-afternoon and we had missed the entire thing! 
          “Oh, it was so gorgeous,” we were told.  “Best ever.”  Happy residents were now bustling about, still aglow over the fun and excitement, as Bob and I stood there with long faces, chagrined and feeling like we had just awakened from comas of stupidity.
          BY THE WAY, I just texted the kids that it was 10-10 and already Nicole had forgotten it.  She texted, "What's 10-10?"
          Cassidy: 0
          Brandon: Yep
          Cassidy: There's actually a calculator on your phone.
          Nicole: Ha ha ha.
And this, my friends, is what life is really like in the Hilton house.
Luckily you can order my books on any day, at any time.