Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Ode to Odin

          I have a grand-dog.  Perhaps this is because I have no grandchildren, but it’s also because our middle son, Brandon, has a humongous Great Dane that weighs about 170 lbs. Here they are, in L.A. where they live:
          The dog is named Odin, after the fierce Nordic god similar to Zeus. But this Odin is not fierce; he is a lovable lug and even a bit of a baby.
 We had a Great Dane years ago, and found they are the gentlest of breeds. Odin is scared of firecrackers, for example, and doesn’t want to go out after dark. To hug you he presses his forehead against the crook of your neck (or tries to sit on your lap). It’s almost as if he’s surprised by how big he grew, and hopes you won’t notice.
   Brandon captured this great shot of Odin at a Los Angeles dog park, where Odin was looking for gophers but couldn’t quite find one:
          And another shot of Odin playing at the beach:
Once or twice a year Odin comes to visit. They were just here for St. Bob’s birthday, and we had a blast watching our grandson—I mean our granddog—enjoy himself at the mountain cabin of our dear friends, the Theriaults (Thank you!).
Odin is mobbed by fans wherever he goes, all wanting photos, all wanting to pet him.  Brandon says it’s basically like traveling with Brad Pitt. And Odin is so used to all this attention that he reacts with patient boredom.
So no, this is not a traditional lyric poem which odes usually are.  Maybe it’s just a love letter to a dog that’s not only a grand-dog, but a dog who is truly grand.
Have you watched my YouTube Mom videos, lately?  Scroll through hundreds of short life hacks right here, and watch for my own dog, a little Taco Terrier Chihuahua mix!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Call Me Crazy

          I think we’re all crazy.  I mean, a little bit.  For example, I have several friends who are afraid of irrational things, all of which can be traced to their childhoods. Here are just two:
          One of my friends is scared of eggs, because her big brother told her these are actually forms of chicken poop.
          Another one is scared of snakes to the point that she can’t even see a photo of one without getting hysterical (again, older brothers may be thanked for this neurosis). Here's a fake one, in case she's reading this:
          One is scared to sleep with her ears uncovered lest something creepy crawl into them (scary movies seen at a tender age are the culprit here).
          I am personally scared of cherry tomatoes.  Not seeing them or growing them, but eating them. I am convinced they will explode in my mouth and shoot tomato juice down my windpipe and choke me.  Even worse, this fear is confirmed by several people who’ve said, “I’ve had that happen!” This does not argue in favor of forsaking my phobia.
          Add to this every newly-labeled condition that comes down the windpipe, I mean pike. Someone who’s simply tidy thinks she has OCD.  Someone who tends to worry now describes herself as having Anxiety Disorder. People with messy houses think they’re Hoarders.  And a person who rightfully shouldn’t trust a crook now wonders if they have Trust Issues.
          I am first to agree that the whole world could benefit from therapy, but I think we need to stop collecting alphabetical letters that excuse our nutty behavior.  Let’s just agree that we’re all bent in some way—or several ways-- and admire the artwork of it all.  See? Doesn’t that take a load off your mind?
          Have you read Sisters in the Mix yet?  It’s about two crazy sisters who can’t stand one another. Find that comedy novel and more, right here.

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.