Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving Gone Haywire

          You already know our family does this holiday, shall we say, a bit differently.  Yes, we love a grand feast, and here is a photo of last year’s:
          But remember, we have a family of comedians, so they always tweak it a bit.  One treasured tradition is going around the table and saying what you’re thankful for, but when you do it alphabetically as we do, you end up with “Asiatic Flu,” “hot rods,” and “urinals,” which you can read about here
          This year Cassidy contributed “criminals” and “unlicensed obstetricians of illegitimate children.” When I chose Gulliver’s Travels because of its creative adventure I was nearly run out of town as a heretic and a huge argument about the merits of classic literature ensued.
          But this year, with Bob under ice packs, still healing from a knee replacement (and a broken femur which happened during the procedure), I was a tad distracted.  The turkey was done an hour and half before everything else, the cheesecake—which Nicole topped with her pomegranate-honey glaze was gorgeous:
          But was a little underdone in the center.  The smoke alarm went off three times, windows and doors were flung open, and the dog went running down the street. 
          We finally got everything on the table (except the dog), and I realized I am grateful for this crazy bunch whom I love, who pitch in to cook and clean, and even the one who forbade me from posting our group photo.  Whatever.  Gratitude abounds.
          And now that that’s over with, dive into Christmas shopping here, where there’s a book for everyone!

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.