Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Keep on Truckin'

           What is going on where I live?  I’ll tell you what. People are transporting CRAZY things. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out this truck, which even brags that it contains venomous snakes. 

          Now, on the one hand, I guess somebody has to rescue you when you’re cornered by a rattlesnake. On the other hand, what if someone leaves the window cracked and they get out and swarm all over the neighborhood? On the other hand, this is a great way to ensure that nobody will ever steal your vehicle.

          And then this one says CRYOGENIC, which we all know means there are dead bodies in there, frozen and waiting to be unfrozen. 

Some folks will tell you this is incorrect, that these vehicles contain liquid nitrogen and cryogenic gases.  SO THEY SAY.  But we’ve all seen the movies. And I can just picture dead bodies stacked up inside there.  What if that truck gets in a wreck, the back bursts open, and corpses come toppling out onto the hood of your car? 

OR… this is just someone’s brilliant idea of a way to keep us quarantined in our homes.  I must say, it’s working.

And while you’re inside, check out my Youtube Mom videos. There are hundreds of short life hacks to occupy you while you avoid rattlesnakes and zombies.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

All in Vein

          Folks, I just had an ultrasound and I can tell the gender! For those of you who think I could be pregnant, THANK  YOU for thinking I’m young enough. For those of you whose mouths have fallen open in shock (including St. Bob), here’s the skinny:

          I just had my final reconstructive surgery after breast cancer and a mastectomy (all went well, happy with results), but it took A SOLID HOUR to get an IV into my arm. My veins want no part of this. They scoot around, they collapse, and they finally play dead like an opossum.

          First, the nurse takes a stab—pun intended—at this goal. When that doesn’t work, she tries another spot. Then another. Finally she brings in a vein-finder machine and an additional person. Another swing and a miss.

          Eventually an ultra-sound machine is wheeled in, complete with gel. Now a new technician stares at the screen as he feels around in my arm with a needle, looking for a vein that will allow the storm troopers to breach the castle wall.  And, finally, it works.

          I told him if he sees a baby in there kicking around, there’s going to be trouble. Oh, and my gender is unchanged.

          However, my arm now looks like a new bakery item: Eggplant Muffins. Sure, they’ll probably taste weird, but the dark purple splotches definitely grab the eye.

          Meanwhile, how about we add a new category for the Olympics: Getting a needle into Joni’s veins? Although I’m not sure I want to volunteer for this.

The best thing to do when recuperating (or just self- isolating) is to read a great book. Find my faves right here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Fig Diet

         Okay, everyone has gained their 19 pounds from COVID-19.  So today I’m giving you an easy way to cut down on all the overeating we’ve been doing.

          It starts with figs.

          Did you know figs have to be pollinated on the inside? This means fig wasps crawl in to lay their eggs, but in the process lose their wings. So the female wasp dies inside the fruit.  YIKES, right?  I mean, an enzyme in the fig breaks her carcass down into protein, but STILL. I promise this is true; you can look it up.

          And I already told you that all chocolate bars contain fragments of roaches. The FDA allows anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate.  Roach parts are also in popcorn, wheat, peanut butter, fruit, cheese, and pasta.

          Insect pieces are in almost everything—canned goods, baked goods, boxed goods, veggies, coffee, tomatoes, spices, fast food. Experts say it’s just the cost of doing business in the food industry. They can’t eliminate ALL the pests, so they decided what percentage is basically safe for us to eat!

          But it’s even worse. (Are you shedding pounds, yet?) Some foods’ formulas deliberately add fish bladders, human hair, duck feathers, and a musky/vanilla-scented beaver secretion. Each of these items provides something they want— say, for fluffier bread.

          So, not to bug you, but are you gonna eat that last bite of ice cream, or can I have it?

Many of my Youtube Mom videos show you slick tricks for fixing and storing all these foods (be brave), along with must-see life hacks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Freezing in Frisco

           Mark Twain is rumored to have said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."  And that’s exactly how I felt on Friday when I had to go there for ANOTHER Covid test prior to an upcoming surgery.

          Unwisely, I wore open-toed sandals, white jeans, a T-shirt and an overblouse. It’s been 100 degrees where I live, and I couldn’t believe this nearby city could be that much colder. I was wrong.

          Had we been able to stay inside, out of the chilly wind, it would have been fine. But we had decided to take the train and have an adventure. This also included riding on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), which took us to the sketchiest area that Amtrak services.

          Lest you wonder what I mean by sketchy, this is a bench we saw:

          Take a closer look toward the back of the seat. Yes, those are sharp screws sticking straight up. I can only imagine the screams of pain from anyone who might sit down without looking.

          We finished up and went back to the train station. Two trains came in simultaneously, and as we were trying to figure out which one would take us home, the correct one left. We now had two more hours to sit on hard concrete benches and wait. Soon Bob decided to use the restroom. But this required going back inside and walking through the station.  I now had blisters from my sandals, and couldn’t walk with him. But I assured him I’d be fine alone on the platform.

          For fifteen minutes I kept saying, “Go! I’ll be fine!” to which he would reply, “I’m not leaving you here. It’s dangerous.”  Finally he placed something beside me and took off.  I looked down and discovered his pocket knife. That’s right, a POCKET KNIFE.  Just the thing to defend myself if, say, Crocodile Dundee shows up.

          Soon he was back, but now he noticed swarms of ants on the ground. “It’s like Dunkirk!” he said, and began stomping furiously. He looked like a flamenco dancer who has never studied flamenco dancing. 

         Then my feet were freezing, so Bob emptied out the backpack and told me to put my feet inside. “Here,” he said brightly, “you can just bunny hop over when the train comes.”

          “I am not bunny hopping,” I said. And now I’m mad at myself for not dressing warmly or wearing shoes and socks.

          And then he earns his sainthood again by taking off his shoes and socks, and giving me his socks to wear. What a guy. I warmed up immediately. Always travel with a buddy.

And with a good book to read.  I recommend these!


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Valley of Death

           Okay, Peeps. You think it’s hot where you live, so I’m going to tell you about a place even worse so you’ll feel better.  AND I’m going to tell you 10 surprising things about it.  Yep, Death Valley, where it was 130 degrees on August 17th.

         First, it’s the largest national park in the lower 48 states. And, at 282 feet below sea level, it’s also the lowest point. I’d say you should check low altitude cooking directions but you’d be out of your mind to cook there. Or, rather, you cannot keep from cooking there.

          Of course, if you collapse from the heat, you can always call for help, right? Wrong. No cell service there.

          There’s a layer of salt in Badwater Basin that looks like a dusting of snow. That could be the worst April Fool’s trick ever.

          Crazy things happen there. 700-pound boulders seem to move on their own. Okay, they slide on a thin layer of winter ice that sometimes forms at night. But it’s still bizarre.

         And the sand sings. As it slides down the tall dunes, the friction between the grains sounds like whale songs. And that’s not the only weird sound there. At Devil’s Golf Course (which is NOT a golf course) you can hear billions of salt crystals snapping and popping in the heat.

          Movies, including Star Wars: A New Hope, have been filmed there. (Let me guess. Their new hope was to be rescued.) Artist’s Drive features multi-colored hills.

          Ironic fact: Several gigantic charcoal kilns are still there, after being built in the 1800s. How can a place this hot also need kilns?

          There was a huge volcano there, too.  It left a crater 600 feet deep and half a mile wide. Good gravy. I mean, hot gravy.

          On the plus side, it has the darkest night skies you could ever want, for observing the stars. And at the right time of year there are wildflowers and birds to see. Just don’t visit in the summertime.

          BUT, you can stay in where it’s cool and watch my short Youtube Mom videos right here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Beating the Heat-- Not

           I have discovered that I do not do well in extreme heat.  Thanks to the 100+ temperatures we’ve had, for MORE THAN A WEEK WITH MORE TO COME, my already meager supply of patience has completely evaporated.

          Running errands with St. Bob, who truly earns his sainthood in this weather, I was whining about the face mask elastic that snapped me in the cheek, the seat belt that wouldn’t uncoil, the sunscreen that has melted down onto  my chest, the wind that feels like someone is holding a blow dryer--  on high and  on hot— right at my face, and a few other choice complaints.

Finally he said, “I need to take you home, strip you naked, and--” We all know how this sentence is supposed to end, right?  Only mine ends, “And put you in a tub of ice water.”

This is like the time he said, “If I hadn’t married you…” which was supposed to end, “I’d be the most miserable man on earth,” but which actually ended, “You’d be one of those women with forty cats.”

So yes. I’m having a bowl of ice cream.  Shut up.

Okay, once a year or so I’m in a testy mood. But you, wherever you are, can cheer me up by visiting my web site and buying my books!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Best Pop-up Ad of All Time

          Folks, our washing machine just broke. So we went online to research new ones. I know, I know, this means I’ll be getting pop-up ads forever, about washing machines.

          But then this little gem appeared:

          It’s a small chest freezer, not like the giant ones some folks have, filled with all kinds of frozen goodies. Nope, this one is just seven cubic feet. AND, I might add, pretty brazen to be advertising to murderers who cut up their victims, then go looking for freezers that can hold someone’s chest. Okay, maybe that’s not its sole purpose. But I’m a writer, don’t forget.

          However, this is not the most astonishing thing about this little freezer. Check out the price.   You can have this baby for a mere ELEVEN BILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN THOUSAND, ONE  HUNDRED AND ELEVEN DOLLARS.

          Well, hold on and let me check my wallet. Shazam!  That’s exactly how much cash I carry around!

          And of course, now we can wonder what’s inside. Diamonds? Gold bars? Jimmy Hoffa's chest?  No matter. This is clearly a good deal. But just in case I find another similarly priced item, will you take a check?

Thankfully bargains still do abound, at least on my website. My books are priced to sell and my Youtube Mom channel, filled with life hacks, is totally free!