Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Social Distancing Made Easy

          I have the absolute best way to ensure social distancing during this pandemic . No joke, this will work every time.  If you can make yourself stinky enough, people will stand far away from you. And I know three easy ways to do it.
          First, have your daughter come home and offer to share her hair conditioner with you. Last night I was complaining about my super curly chemo hair which is very dry. Nicole suggested I slather it with her super concentrated hair conditioner which comes in a jar, and leave it on.
          I twisted off the lid, sniffed the contents and nearly fainted. What are some synonyms for reek?  Whatever they are, that’s what I will do if I smear this stuff on my head. Although I will probably have wonderfully conditioned hair.
          And then I remembered an old trick a friend told me about, when he was on the water polo team at Stanford. They’d eat a raw onion. Then none of their opponents wanted to get close enough to steal the ball. Brilliant. So that’s Tip Number Two.

          Garlic is the next idea. Eat enough of it that people can pick up your scent ten feet away. Perfect distance.

          I’m telling you the sense of smell could rescue the world.  Condition your hair. Eat an onion. Save lives.
          And, while you're sequestered at home, be sure to binge watch my short Youtube Mom videos. Filled with life hack and fun ideas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ideas R Us

          A couple of weeks ago, before the Coronavirus postponed church meetings,  I got a text request that I’ve never gotten before. I was asked to offer the innovation in Sacrament meeting.
          This is the main worship service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  There’s no paid clergy in this church; all the speakers, choir members, teachers, and even the bishops volunteer. So, from time to time we get asked to say the invocation or the benediction. But never have I seen spell check bestow such a blank check.
          Of course I smiled. Then I grinned. My mind was racing with ideas. Just think of the innovations I could share. We could have the Primary kids enact scripture stories in the aisles, complete with costumes and swords.
          Someone could be Cookie Chairman and provide treats (betcha you already thought of that).
          How about 3-D glasses and popcorn?
          What if you hired massage therapists to rub everyone’s sore shoulders or feet? Attendance would double.
          And what if we replaced the benches with reclining movie theatre seats?
          Hey, I’m not going crazy here. It’s not as if I suggested bringing in a marching band or the Rockettes.
          Alas, I knew he just wanted me to say the opening prayer.  But I could ride there in St. Bob’s Explanation.
          Have you watched my latest Youtube Mom videos? Check out my chemo  curls!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Maybe This Virus Affects the Funnybone

          Have any kids who think they’re comedians? Dutiful mom that I am, I called or texted each of my four to see how the Coronavirus was impacting their work. 
          Richie’s return text: We’re paying someone who’s infected to come visit the office so we can all get it and just get it over with.  It’ll be much faster this way.
          I wrote back: NOT FUNNY. Stop laughing. Stay three feet away from everyone.
          My children seem to delight in freaking me out.  In his teens Cassidy used to hide behind doors and around corners, then jump out and shout, “Boo!” at which point I would nearly jump out of my skin.
          Seriously, these people need better forms of amusement.
AND, since we’re all quarantined and looking for indoor entertainment, I have not one but TWO great ideas for you: Watch my Youtube Mom videos and read my books!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

My Favorite Alma Mater

          I am so crazy about the elementary school I attended that a couple of months ago I ordered a hoodie from it.
          Naturally our son, Richie, came by and said, “Shouldn’t that shirt look a whole lot older?”
          Granted, the old school has been torn down and a new one built, but the principles—if not the the principals—are the same and I want to give it a shout-out.
          Edith Bowen Laboratory School, on the campus of Utah State University, is a Blue Ribbon school which has been around for nearly 100 years. (No, I was not enrolled in their first-ever class!)  It’s still considered one of the finest elementary schools in the world and ranks as #1 among more than 600 elementary schools in Utah.
          My father was a professor at USU, and my folks enrolled me in kindergarten there.  Off I went with my knobby knees and eyeglasses, literally through several feet of snow. Since then it has become so sought after that parents would call to get on the waiting list while they were still pregnant. Now they use a lottery system for enrollment.  All I know is that this is the school where I felt most valued for my talents, most encouraged in leadership, and most accepted for my creativity.
          When I took St. Bob there to see it, a little girl was walking  down the hallway carrying a musical instrument. "Oh," Bob said, "Is that a violin?" The girl explained that it was a viola. Bob whispered,"And there's a little Joni." Yep.
          Two quotes from their website say it all:
"The key is not to standardize education but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions."     - Sir Ken Robinson, The Element
"We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn.  That is just not true.  You just have to start early and give kids a foundation.  Kids live up, or down, to expectations."  - Mae Jemison, Engineer, Physician, and Astronaut (Space Shuttle Endeavor, September 1992)
          It never occurred to me, umpty-ump years ago, that it was unusual to attend a school named for a woman. It never occurred to me that there were limits of any kind to what any of us could do. Different races didn’t matter; character and joy of learning did. So kudos to a school that was ahead of it time, set me on a course of lifelong curiosity,  and even let me be a library helper, immersed in a world of books. Edith Bowen, you rock!
I even named one of the characters in my books Edith. Those books and my Youtube Mom videos can  be found on my website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Home Semi-Sweet Home

          The other day a friend of mine was browsing through the real estate ads. “Wow,” she said. “This one has a walk-in fireplace!”
          I just stared at her. “Why on earth would you want to walk into a fireplace?” Seriously.  If it contains a roaring fire, I cannot think of anything less inviting.  But even without the fire, it would be less appealing than a crawl space. Ashy, dirty, dark, nowhere to sit.  Let’s say you go in there. Then what? (Yes, I get it—I think they mean that it’s a fireplace so large that you could walk in. If you were, say, running from the law.)
          So I began investigating other bad construction ideas and thought I’d share just a handful of the hundreds online. Let’s start with this little gem:
          I guess it could work for people who only bicycle.  
          Doors seem to stump many a home builder.  Check out this one, which now cannot open:
          And this one, sure to wake you up in the night:
          How about this little charmer, beautifully modified by the home owner?
          And—finally—laundry gets the attention it truly deserves.  Ignored for years, tucked away like an embarrassing relative, our wet clothing has been hidden from view. But no more! Copy this idea and you can watch every sock, every piece of underwear, tumbling like an act from Cirque du Soleil. And talk about never missing a re-run!
          Now doesn’t your own place look fabulous? You’re welcome.
Check out my short Youtube Mom videos, and learn all kinds of life hacks to use in your beautiful home!