Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Having a Hot Birthday?


          St. Bob is having a birthday soon.  Very soon.  So, in an effort to plan festivities, we thought we’d check the forecast for that day. California is having a heat wave and the projected high for his special day is 103 degrees.  Yikes.
          “Hey,” I said, when we learned this, “that’s the very age you’re hoping to hit one day!”  Some time ago we both imagined our top age on this earth, and that was his prediction for himself.
          So, of course I began wondering, what if you live to be the temperature it is on your next birthday? Great news for summertime babies, right?  But not such hot (no pun intended) news for those born in the dead of winter.  In fact, what if it’s minus-something on your next birthday?
          When we lived in Iowa it was not only below zero through much of winter, but waaay below.  In fact, 70 below.  Granted, that was with the wind chill figured in, but it was still 40 below without wind chill.  This, my friends, is crazy.  Anyone who lives in cold like this should either be a penguin or a lunatic.  I think I’m the latter, although sometimes I feel a bit like both.
          And summertime birthdays, while great for projecting your ultimate age with my silly formula, can cause a few problems themselves.  One time the kids and I decided to surprise Bob by painting the garage walls for him.  But again, it was during triple digits and without air conditioning.  I also made his favorite meal of fried chicken on many of those birthdays, and standing before sizzling oil when it’s sizzling outside again qualifies me for the lunatic label.
          Probably the worst attempt at a birthday surprise was to take him to Yosemite to see the waterfalls, which that year had dried up entirely due to, you guessed it, hot weather.
          But however old Bob is or will be, I will always see him like this—movie star handsome as he hosted a TV game show. Even when he's 103.
          Bob’s birthday wish is for you to buy one of my books right here.  Okay, that’s a lie.  He has no idea I’m even writing this.  But it’s my birthday wish, and you can never start shopping too soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Whoa-ga Yoga


          Yoga began in India and has been around for decades. But I could have told you it wouldn’t be long before people would start messing with it and coming up with variations to keep it in the news.
Enter Aerial Yoga:
          Yes, this is a thing. Not only must you be coordinated enough to hold yoga poses (which counts me out, already), but you must now do them while suspended in the air.  This seems like excellent preparation for being in Cirque de Soleil but I will never try this in my lifetime.
          Hot Yoga is another trendy idea.  Apparently you do this in extreme heat and humidity so that you will sweat profusely and rid your body of toxins.  I have an idea. Stop eating toxins in the first place.  
          And then there is Goat Yoga. It’s sweeping the nation, and I assume the nation is sweeping little goat pellets off their mats. This one claims to add fun and whimsy to the experience, since baby goats are just plain adorable.  What’s next—Puppy Yoga?  Kitten yoga?  How about St. Bob yoga? I think he’s pretty adorable:
          And I could rent him out to stand on your back as you try to do yoga poses.
          Goat yoga sites say that the goats are uplifting.  Yes, but they are also down-peeing. Though proponents say nobody minds, I find that sweeping statement a bit hard to believe.  If you want to be surrounded by darling baby animals, why not just visit a petting zoo and watch your step?
          I am certain there will be other variations of yoga.  How about Yoda Yoga, where you try to balance a collectible Yoda figure on your head?  Or maybe Yo-Yo Yoga, where you work a yo-yo as you simultaneously balance on one foot?  Or Sky-Dive Yoga, where you strike poses in mid-air as you’re falling?  I’m telling you, the sky’s the limit.
          How about Book Club Yoga? You can read my books while doing any kind of yoga you like. Find them all right here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pitcher This


          My friend, Melanie, was working on a church dinner. There were tables to set, pitchers to fill, you know the whole routine.  And she said to her four-year-old daughter, “Could you make up a pitcher?”  Could she ever!  Here’s what she handed her mother:

          Melanie posted on Facebook that she wished her daughter could stay four forever.
          Well, folks, I actually know someone who has done this.  It’s St. Bob.  Just last night, as I was getting dinner ready for guests, and after setting out the plates and silverware I saw him walking by the dining table and asked if he could put some glasses on the table. He didn’t even break his stride, and did this:

          I wonder if the Amelia Bedelia author knows there’s an Amelio Bedelio out there.
          And speaking of books, you can find all 25 of mine here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What Everybody Thinks


          You may have noticed a few divergent views in the world today. But I am here to remind you that there are four things EVERYBODY thinks.
Thing #1: Everyone thinks they know what’s funny.  It’s been said that if you want to compliment people, you can’t go wrong telling them they have a great sense of humor.  Because, even if someone is not personally funny, they truly believe that they know what is. 
We all know this isn’t actually true; we see people guffaw at truly unfunny things, predictable lines in movies, low-brow humor, even immature outbursts.  And we pity them.  But it’s because we really do know what’s funny.
Thing #2: Everyone thinks they have plenty of common sense.  Even the most badly behaving person you know will confess that they were blessed with good common sense.  It’s everyone else who’s a dope.
Voltaire reminded us that common sense is not so common, and while this is true, no one seems to believe it.  Everyone thinks they, in particular, have an abundance of this virtue.
Thing #3: Everyone thinks they know how to drive well.  They see other people making horrendous mistakes on the road, cutting folks off, running stop signs, and changing lanes without signaling.  But they, personally, are skilled drivers. 
No one ever goes into the Department of Motor Vehicles, turns in their license, and says, “I just can’t seem to get the hang of this.”
Thing #4: Everyone thinks they know best how to run the country. Mark Twain once said it’s too bad that the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair.  
I presume these same people think they have sharp senses of humor, loads of common sense, and can out-drive anyone else on the road.
And so you see that our nation is not so fractured, after all.  We will always agree on at least four things.
And I might add a fifth thing: That my books are a wonderful bargain!  Find them all right here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Shots on Me


          First, I am not complaining.  Okay, I’m complaining a little bit.  I just had the second set of injections from harpoon-like needles that look like this:
          One of the techs at the medical office said these are the largest needles they have.  This came as no surprise whatsoever.
          In case you are new to this blog, I am part of a clinical trial to try out a shot that is supposed to reduce my breast cancer tumor.  And trust me, I am excited and grateful that I don’t have to do chemo.  BUT… or I should say, BUTT… these are shots I have to have every two weeks (and then every four weeks) for six months, one in each hip.
          Why not just one, gigantic shot?  I’ll tell you why.  Because there is no needle in existence-- outside the profession of whaling-- that humongous.  So they have to give me half in one shot, and half in the other side.
          But wait, there’s more!  The liquid in them is so thick that they can’t just give me the shot in the usual few seconds it takes.  No, no. Each shot takes a full minute and a half to inject it all. 
          Think about standing there in excruciating pain for 90 seconds as the nurse slo-o-o-owly injects the liquid.  NINETY SECONDS.  You can’t even find a bad commercial on television that runs that long.  And then doing it again.
          Of course, I’m grateful this stuff exists and I’ll be even more grateful if it shrinks the tumor.  But my back side is not particularly grateful right now.  Just saying.
          Have you watched my YouTube Mom videos lately?  Check ‘em out here—hundreds of life hacks in short videos that thankfully do not show my injection sites. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I'd Like to Buy a Vowel


          You just don’t hear much about vowels these days.  There they are, helping us string together words and communicate with the world, but they are completely unheralded.
Sure, they are bought and sold on television (Wheel of Fortune), coveted in Scrabble games, and probably get a bit of attention in national spelling bees, but that’s it.
So today I’m heralding vowels. I decided to see if there are any English words that use all of them in order and was thrilled (yes, I am easy to please) to find not one, but TWO examples.  Unfortunately, these are words most folks don’t know.  Okay, one of them most folks don’t know.
Let’s start with the most familiar one: Facetious.  It is not the same as sarcastic, though many people use those words interchangeably.  It actually means joking or being flippant about something serious.  I was being facetious when I was told I’d be having major surgery in November and I said, “You mean I could get out of cooking Thanksgiving dinner?”
          The next word is abstemious.  I am not sure I’ve ever heard anyone utter this word, but maybe I just don’t hang with the right people.  At any rate, abstemious refers to restraint and moderation, especially in eating and drinking (and this could be why, as a foodie, I have never heard associates use this term).  So you could say, “June was very abstemious when it came to dining.” Or maybe she had an eating disorder, who can say?
          (This should even please those who include Y as a vowel because both those adjectives can be turned into adverbs by adding ly, thus keeping the order.)
          You remember that our daughter, Nicole, went to Norway on her LDS mission.  So I decided to ask her if Norwegian had any vowels we don’t use. Turns out they have three more! (Wasn't it enough that they just won the most Winter Olympic medals? Now they have to have the most vowels?) Get this:
          Å is pronounced “oh” but the way someone from Long Island would say dog.  It’s more like “dough-ugh,” so the oh would be kind of “Oh-uh.”
          Ø is pronounced like the u in fur.
          And æ is pronounced like the short a in the word back.  In Norway their a is pronounced “ah.” 
          I wonder if they have words that include all eight of their vowels in order.  I’m betting we win on that one.
Just think of all the wonderful vowels you can enjoy if you buy my books right here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Year is This, Again?


          I think I’m stuck in a time warp.  Because my parents were the ages of my friends’ grandparents, I have the upbringing—and even use the expressions—of someone who was raised during the Great Depression.
 I still think some items “ought to cost a nickel,” and bet you “dollars to donuts” that I’ll “see you in the funny papers.”  Growing up I knew that a fuddy-duddy would probably not be in cahoots with an eager beaver.  Unless he’d fallen off the beam. In fact, I gave this same quirk to my main character in my last book, Golden.
I am baffled by clerks who don’t look up and greet you the minute you walk into a store.  I’m shocked when men on the airport shuttle don’t get up to give a woman their seat.  And I resist the urge to tell young ladies that their bra strap is showing, reminding myself that this is the very look they’re going for.
On the other hand, given names like FDR, Ho Chi Minh, Gandhi, and Harry S Truman, I can tell you which ones were “all wet” and which ones were “cookin’ with gas.” I didn’t live through that era, but I somehow absorbed it anyway.
And I love the music.  Big Band can bring me out of a slumpy mood faster than you can flip your wig. Last week I had it cranked up on The Robot Who Shall Not Be Named Lest You Get Into a Long, Involved Conversation with Her.
And I was dancing through the house to Glenn Miller when I passed our daughter, Nicole.  “Don’t you wish you’d grown up in the Forties?” I said.
“I basically did.”
          Well, hot dog!  I think that’s pretty swell.
Jitterbug on over to my website and check out my YouTube Mom videos!