Tuesday, June 30, 2020

It's All Greek to Me

          If I had lived in ancient Greece I would never have married. It isn’t that I’m against Greeks. It’s that their traditional proposal of marriage was to toss an apple to a girl and if she caught it, she accepted.   

              Are you kidding?  I’ve never caught an apple in my life. I recall catching one baseball when I was ten, but that was by accident. I held up a mitt and the ball fell into it. Seriously, I had nothing to do with it.

          The other night we were Zooming with friends and playing a trivia game. Ancient Greece came up again. What two animals did they believe created the zebra? 

          Turns out it’s the horse and the tiger.

          Okay, I have a problem with this. Ancient Greece gave us the top philosophers of the world, right?  Yet they’ll believe anything, apparently, because I guarantee NO ONE tried this breeding experiment before swallowing this implausible union as fact.


          And where do people in Greece get tigers, anyway? Tigers live in Asia. Zebras, I do believe, are native to Africa. Not only that, but one of these is the predator of the other one. Good luck getting a little romance going between those two, long distance relationships aside.

          Say what you will about the brilliance of Ancient Greek ideas, but suddenly I don’t feel quite so bad about not being able to catch that apple.

However, there is something else that's magical about apples. Check out my short Youtube Mom video here and see what apples can do!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Wear a Hat, Get a Discount

          Well, like squinty, blinking moles, we are finally permitted to creep out of our homes and go to stores again. Cooped up during this pandemic, we’ve all missed the occasional trip to the hardware store.
          So St. Bob and I went foraging for sprinkler parts, paint tarps, drill bits and the like. We brought our purchases to the checkout where former Navy man Bob reminded the clerk to give him a military discount.
          “And I get the millinery discount,” I said, since I was wearing a baseball cap.
          The young girl frowned. “The what?”
          “The millinery discount,” I said, and pointed to my cap.
          “What’s that?”
          “Just a bad joke,” I said. And I realized there are probably two new generations of people who have no idea that a milliner is a hat maker. Yes, I felt about 135 years old.
          People don’t wear fashionable hats anymore. Oh, sure, the occasional ball cap, cowboy hat or sun hat. But not dressy hats, the kind you have tailor made in splashy colors with ribbons and feathers.
          The word milliner originated in the 1400s, in Milan. If you sold fanciness, this was your title. By the 1700s it meant someone who sells women’s hats. 
          Alas, like people who made buggy whips and bustles, hat makers have shrunk in number.
          But I think hats should make a comeback. Not only do they complete a dressy outfit, they protect a bald head from the sun, and hide a bad hair day. And they should certainly be given a discount if you wear one to a hardware store.
          Dare I say hats off to you wonderful readers? Many of you have subscribed to my Youtube Mom channel and are enjoying all  kinds of life hacks in short videos. Thank you!        

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


I know what you’re thinking: That if St. Bob didn’t give me so much material, half of my blog wouldn’t exist.
And you are right. Why do you think I carry a little notebook and pen around?  It’s to capture Bobisms. Here are the latest two.
My oncologists ordered lab tests, so off we went, masked and sanitized. As we were leaving, the nice guy at the Covid-19 screening desk said, “Have a nice day.”
And Bob said, “No thanks, already have one.”  Yes, you may use this line. I don’t think there’s any worry about copyright infringement.
Then we were driving past this tree:
And I said, “Wow—I wonder if that tree got hit by lightning. But I don’t see any scorch marks. Maybe it just got heavy and broke.”
To which Bob said, “Yep, that’s what happened to me, too.”
Maybe I should charge for people to come along on Excursions with Bob. Just be sure to bring a pad and pencil.
You may or may not find some of his quips in my books. And, with summer upon us, what better time to curl up with a funny novel?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Paws and Think About This

          It’s tough to predict the future, isn’t it? But I have a prediction I can positively guarantee.  For as long as you live, you will never see a police car that boasts having a cat inside.
          We’ve all seen the K-9 police cars around town, right? And inside, we know there’s a highly trained dog ready to follow commands, prevent crime, and basically be a super hero. But never will you see a car that has replaced K-9 with Feline.
          Can’t you just picture it? There’s a bank robber on the corner who starts running the minute he sees cops on his tail. But instead of a handy German Shepherd who can run like the wind to catch him, you now have a tabby cat who leaps from the car and heads straight up a tree. 
          Or falls over to roll around on the sidewalk.
          Or simply glares at you for suggesting he give chase. Ain’t gonna happen, my friend.
          And forget about drug sniffing. If catnip or tuna isn’t in those lockers, a cat will simply sit down and take a relaxing bath.
          I will acknowledge one possible benefit. A cat in the car is likely to commence howling, and this could replace a faulty siren. So there’s always that. 
I’m pretty sure cats would enjoy my books, however.  I mean, cats like mine who have a sense of humor.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tooth truth?

         What a bonanza. I have recently come upon not one, but TWO exciting factoids about toothpaste.

          Have you ever brushed your teeth, and then had a glass of orange juice? Notice how it tasted bitter?  This is because toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulphate, a detergent that suppresses our sweet taste receptors on the tongue.  Who knew? Okay, maybe you’re a chemist and you knew.
          And the next dental delight is a story some say is untrue but others swear up and down is true.  Apparently a toothpaste company in Japan was in financial difficulty and needed a miracle. The story goes that a man offered to sell them an idea that would increase toothpaste sales by 40 %.  Legend has it he asked for $100,000.00 to reveal his idea. They eventually agreed, and then made many times that by implementing his ingenious suggestion.
          He told them to make the hole (where the toothpaste comes out) bigger. By enlarging the hole from 5mm to 6mm, consumers were tricked into using more toothpaste and having to buy a new tube sooner.

          I like creative solutions (like the company with slow elevators that hung a mirror beside the doors and got everyone preoccupied with their appearance, thus keeping them from noticing how slow the elevators were). But I never dreamed there was one about toothpaste.  And now this boring task won’t be so boring anymore. You’re welcome.
         When you share these stories with your friends—and you will—tell them to subscribe to Joniopolis!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What's in a Name?

          St. Bob got into television when he was 15 years old. He lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana and was the guy who introduced cartoons on a local TV station there.  He dressed up as an Emmett Kelly-style clown, and because of his height and the “old man voice” he used, no one knew a kid was hosting the show.
          The station decided to have  a contest to name the clown, but they could never choose a name. So “No Name the Clown” stuck.  
          The other day I came across a stash of old photos and newspaper clippings about him.  Kids would gather around at the studio (think of the Howdy Doody crowds) and Bob would interview them, joke around, and basically just be himself.
          Kids joined his fan  club:     
          In the pile of adorable fan letters were valentines and letters from girls who undoubtedly loved No Name.
          “We ought to go back there!” I announced. I mean, after the lockdown  is over. “We should have a No Name reunion where all the kids who used to love your show could come and meet you. They’d be thrilled to see No Name again.”
          Bob just stared at me. “Okay, that’s the first five minutes. Then what?”
          I thought for a bit. “Well, then they die happy because they met their hero.” And I, of course, could vicariously enjoy their excitement.
          Suffice it to say that no one can roll their eyes like a true clown.
And if you want to see his camera work, check out my Youtube Mom videos—all shot by No Name himself! (Check out Bob Hilton  on Wikipedia, too.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

First Pluto, Now This!

          You know how upset I was when Pluto was stripped of its planet status? I wrote about that and a bunch of similar disappointments here.
          But now two of my childhood songs are exposed as having entirely different meanings than what I was taught.
          You already know that I attended a laboratory grade school  on the USU campus, and one of the things they did in Kindergarten was to introduce us to French. No, I cannot speak French. But I love—and sing-- these two little songs with French roots. You probably know them, too.
One is Frere Jacque and the other is Alouette. Here’s the skinny.
Frere Jacque is about a Catholic friar. In English he’s called Brother John. I was taught that he was sleeping in, and some kind person is trying to wake him up because “morning bells are ringing.”  But no. He is a slacker who is supposed to be pulling the rope in the bell tower to remind the other monks to pray. Turns out he is literally sleeping on the job.
Alouette is about a little bird. I thought we were singing about a perky little fellow who was helping us learn the words for head, nose, eyes, wings, tail, and so on.  Ha!  Spoiler alert: This is a cheery tune about plucking the feathers off a poor little lark so he can be sliced up for cooking!
Ah, innocence shattered.  And don’t even get me started on nursery rhymes. (And yes, this is why I wrote the book, “LDS NURSERY RHYMES”).
Check out that book and many more at my website. Then take a gander at my short Youtube Mom videos. I promise not to sing about laziness or butchering.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Covid 19 Mystery Solved!

I have finally figured it out. Every day when I look in the mirror I think, “This hairdo looks familiar.”  And it’s not because I see myself each day. I just realized it’s because I have a COVID-19 hairdo!  I literally look like that image of the virus we’ve all seen on  TV:
          Seriously, this is how my hair grew in after cancer chemo!  It’s so curly tight and spiky that it looks extra-terrestrial or at least extra viral.
          Liquid Amber trees produce similar-looking pods. If you step on one barefoot, you'll remember it:
          I also share my hot looks with the spiny anteater:
          And the porcupine fish:
          I can put on a hat, but then I resemble Bozo the Clown:
          Oh, well. At least I don’t have to worry about social distancing. People  will see the Coronavirus coming their way and head for the hills (just don’t step on any spiny pods while you’re there!)
          You can see my quills in my latest YoutubeMom videos—although I tried to plaster them down with water!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Don't I Know You?

I think we’re all turning into Bigfeet, which I assume is the plural of Bigfoot. 
Everyone I talk to is telling me about their shaggy hair,
          Their out-of-control eyebrows,
          Their hairy legs,
          And let’s not forget their attempt to hide, during this pandemic. 
          You know all these ungroomed people you see when you have to brave the world and go to the supermarket? Maybe they’re not regular people at all. Maybe there’s been a population explosion in the Sasquatch community, and now they’re in every state!
          Maybe that’s even why they’re wearing masks, so you won’t catch on.
          But I do think we should have a Yeti-Lookalike contest and crown a Yeti Betty or something. She—or he—could be the COVID-19 mascot!
          It’s okay if you’re still in your pajamas. Sounds like the perfect time to curl up with one of my books!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Like Adding Gasoline to the Fire

          Well, it had to happen. With all this social distancing, we’re texting and Zooming more than ever.  And this means the odds of sending a message before reviewing it have just gone up. You guessed it—we’ve added another dreadful auto-correct problem to our arsenal of embarrassing tech moments.
          This time Bob was dictating a text to his doctor’s office about a basal-cell spot on the side of his nose. And here is what they read:
          “I’m keeping gasoline on it for comfort.”
          Yep, and you thought you’d heard every old wives’ tale about cures and remedies.
          No sooner had he sent it along than he read it, cringed, and called the office where a woman, laughing hysterically, answered the phone. He explained  that he meant Vaseline and she understood.
          But I’m still betting that text went viral.
In between reading my books, check out this blog post about another horrendous text Bob sent to a law enforcement officer. But of course.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Attention Designers

         Someday we'll all being able to creep back outside, inch by inch, still wearing masks but tiptoeing out into the world again.
          And eventually this will mean shopping. I know many of you who are eager to peruse the latest summer fashions followed by the latest fall ones. And that means dress designers are going crazy cranking out clothes for you to buy.
          So I have a request of all these fashionistas: I would like bibs to come into style.
          Think about it. Everyone I know battles the drips and blobs that somehow land on our shirts, especially when eating out. Don’t tell me you’ve never spilled a single thing. Or, if this really is true for you, DO NOT TELL ME because then I will feel like a slob and an old lady. An old lady slob.
          Either way, I think bibs should be de rigueur, especially for people who use the phrase de rigueur. They could be designed to look like tuxedos, unisex Hawaiian shirts, wedding gowns—who cares? As long as they cover one’s torso.  Reversable, washable, maybe even with pockets to replace the purses we lug around. Why should babies have all the fun?
          And we will gladly buy them because they’ll be much cheaper than dry cleaning or replacing our cherished tops. Hey, if neckties—which have no practical purpose-- could catch on, surely the handy bib can become the next rage.
If you like to snack while reading, I won’t even mind if you spill on one of my books. Find those, and my Youtube Mom videos right here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hairy Times

          The quarantine has spawned a hilarious problem. At least I find it hilarious: Roots.  Salons are closed and women are discovering just what color their hair really is.
          In my case, it’s been a double whammy because chemo changed my natural color from dark blonde to brown.  So when I tried to color it using my old formula, it turned auburn.  Hair stylists to the rescue, I became blonde again. BUT… then COVID-19 happened, salons closed, and now I look like I’m trying to be young and hip with light hair and dark roots.
          Yes, I know this is “in,” but I’d rather be out. At least on this matter.  And I get zero sympathy from St. Bob because a few years ago I convinced him to touch up his own graying areas and it was an utter disaster.
          I should have snapped photos, or better yet, a video. First I thought we could cover his gray with a medium brown. Yikes. It turned dark, almost black.
After giggling until my eyes were watering, I ran to the beauty supply, came back, and lightened it up. Now it was red. Yikes. He was not pleased. And the more upset he became the more hilarious I found the situation.  
But I ran to the beauty supply again, came back, and colored it a third time.
          “Hatchet hair!” Bob shouted. “You’ve given me hatchet hair!” What on earth, I asked, is hatchet hair?
          Apparently there’s an old horror movie about an axe murderer with bright yellow hair.  I’m sorry, but sometimes you CANNOT keep from laughing.
          Three more times we tried to get his hair back to normal and finally, when it came out a shade of taupe, we called it a day. A very funny day from my perspective, a very aggravating day from his.
          And yes, now karma is biting me in the head.
While you stay sequestered, forget about your hair. Just curl up with one of my books, or watch a bunch of my short Youtube Mom videos here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How to Turn Ministering on its Head

          I’ve told you before that the LDS church does a really cool thing. We minister to each other by assignment. Each of us is given three or four (or more) people to watch over, visit every month, and basically just befriend. Ideally no one could ever fall through the cracks—we’d know if someone was sick, unemployed, struggling in any way, and then we can address it.
          For years we’ve had a couple of men who visited every month and who always asked if there was anything they could do for us. Mostly we chatted, and they always shared an uplifting spiritual message.
          And then, as things go, they got reassigned. BUT… one of them is so faithful and sincere that he still reaches out. And the other day, since he can’t come by during the quarantine, he sent this very sweet, innocent text:
          How are you guys doing?
          Rule #1: You never give St. Bob an opening line like that.  Here’s what Bob wrote back:
          This information is no longer available to you as you’re no longer our ministering brother. Your subscription expired. However, for a slight fee of $1,189.99 you can re-register to join in and get this information.
          Luckily, the guy knew Bob’s personality and wrote back that he was dying laughing. Welcome to my world, my brother.
Yes, St.  Bob shows up in several of my novels.  Many a fictional husband has been based on him. Check ‘em out!