Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Heck No

           I spent most of my formative years in northern Utah, and when I first saw the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, it felt like a documentary of my childhood, right down to the chicken farms and the 4-H.

          Just to clarify, I did watch it again and thought it was hilarious once I got over the trauma of seeing a tetherball again. But most of all, I loved the “Heck no” phrase, which you can still find in abundance in this region.

          In fact, I am surprised there is no college major offered in hecknology, after which you can become a hecknologist. Or a hecknocrat, you can choose.

          Hecknically, it’s a phrase that elevates no to NO, all the while avoiding profanity, so as not to offend.  And it takes a certain savoir faire, a certain cool polish to speak it correctly (if in doubt, you could call a hecknician to speak for you if you can’t get anyone to offer hecknical support).

          Indeed, not to fall back on a hecknicality, but not everyone has the hecknicological talent for it, nor the hecknique. Sure, you can dance to heckno music, but using it in conversation could make you look like a heckojunkie from questionable hecknography.

          No, it seems only those with real roots in southern Idaho or northern Utah can claim membership in this hecknocracy; only we can engage in hecknicolor  hecknobabble. I suppose tutoring could help erase your hecknofear, but would you ever become a hecknomaniac?  Heck no.

          However, you may console yourself by purchasing my books and reading them to your heart’s content.  That’s a heckuva way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Chick Magnet

           There’s something about St. Bob that uninhibits women, shall we say.  I’ve seen women make passes at him on the freeway, in meetings, after performances we’ve attended, and once, when we brought some Christmas gifts over to an elderly lady in our church, she whispered, “I love you” to him while I was standing approximately four inches away.

          Another elderly woman, again in our church, told him her garter snapped when she met him.  I’m telling you, I could fill a book with these events.

          So the other day we decided to take the nearby walking path around the wetlands. Two women were approaching, one on her cell phone. Just as they got to us, the phone one said, “Hello, Sunshine!”

          Now, of course Bob insists she was saying this to someone on the phone. But c'mon, this is rather amazing timing, don’t you think? And, given his history as a chick magnet, it could be she was still waiting for someone to pick up.

          And you can take that any way you like.

Why not pick up a couple of my books? It’s too hot to go outside (plus you might run into flirty women), so stay inside and read.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

What's That, You Say?

           Have you ever met someone who “hears what they want to hear”?  Yes, you have: Me. 

         A few years ago I asked a group of friends what they would do for a living, if they weren't whatever they are now.  One friend, a doctor, said, "Psychopath."

         I was immediately fascinated. What a cool choice!

         Then he elaborated and I realized he had said "soccer player."

          Okay, not nearly as exciting as a psychopath.

          Then the other day a college student from China, who had recently joined our church, came over for dinner. He was delightful—happy and genial, great sense of humor.

          I asked him what he was majoring in. 

          “Pastry,” he said.

          Ding-ding-ding—best news of the day, right? I told him he could come over and do his homework in our kitchen every single day.

          “That’s so cool that you’re studying pastry,” I said.

          “No, no—history,” he explained.

          Oh. My happy expression melted onto the floor, and here’s where the needle scratches the record, for those of you who know that sound.

          All the wind left my sails.  History?  I mean, I have nothing against that field of study, but compared to pastry?      (sigh)

          These kids today.

Hey, are you having a heat wave where you live?  Staying inside? That’s a perfect time to watch my Youtube Mom videos. Enjoy a pastry while you watch!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

My Own Personal Bar Code

           I’ve told you how hilarious it is to shop with our daughter, Nicole. She can instantly make up funny titles for every top or pair of pants I pull from the rack.  That looks like Pocahontas meets the Cosby Show. That’s an I-Give-Up top. Why not just say, “I’m a felt board?” Is that a tablecloth or a skirt? That looks like the costume for a little rain cloud in the school play.

          And then, of course, I can’t think of anything else when I look at it, so I put it back.

          But now I know where she got it. It’s a genetic inheritance from St. Bob. He recently asked me if I knew how valuable I am.  What a sweet thing for a hubby to say, right?  I smiled.

          Then he said, “That’s the biggest bar code I’ve ever seen. You could buy an aircraft carrier with that.”

          I looked down at my pants. Here they are—I’m sitting with my legs crossed. He’s right—they DO look like a giant bar code!

          And now my eyes are also crossed, my arms are crossed, and I am personally cross. Now I can never wear these pants again without worrying that someone will chase me down with a hand-held bar code reader!

          At least he didn’t say I look like an aircraft carrier.

          Some of my humor novels have a character who bears a striking resemblance to St. Bob.  Check ‘em out here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Brain Pills

           So I tell my doctor I’m having hot flashes and brain fog. She says it’s from the Arimistat I take, now that I’ve recovered from breast cancer. It blocks estrogen and has both those side affects.

          But there are remedies. She gives me several ideas for hot flashes, including acupuncture.  Also, since I've gained a bit during this pandemic, she reminds me that thin people are cooler than fat people. "Yeah, but fat people are harder to kidnap," I say. "So, you know, mox nix."

         Then she recommends one for brain function.

          Yay, I say, and I head to the market. I’m looking up and down the vitamin and herb aisle. A clerk sends the manager over to help. I tell him I need Lion’s Mane for my hot flashes.

          “Here it is,” he says, reaching for a bottle on the shelf.

          And there, in bold lettering, we see that no, it is not for hot flashes, it is for MEMORY.

          “Oh my gosh,” I say. “I guess that one’s for memory.”  And I cringe because I’ve forgotten the memory one!

          I get home, go upstairs, and tell St. Bob what happened. Then we go downstairs, and I notice I’m still holding the bottle that belongs upstairs.

          “Better take one quick,” Bob says. “Before you can’t remember why you bought it.”  Very helpful, that guy, Whats-his-name.

          You can test your own memory. See if you can remember to order my books and subscribe to this blog!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Hey, You Skinny Thing!

         Have you gained your Covid 19 yet? If not, there’s still time to gobble up all the ice cream, pizza, and pastries you can find. But even if you ate all day long (whaddaya mean if?) you will never catch up to the earth.

          Yes, good news for all of us who are sure the scale is lying. Turns out our own planet gets 100 tons heavier every day, due to falling space dust. And logic tells me that same dust is landing on every one of us and could account for a huge portion of our weight gain!  Is this fabulous news or what?

          First, a moment of silence for our precious planet. 100 tons is

                                              200, 000 pounds! 

 (My apologies to everyone who grew up learning metrics.  But probably you can figure the equivalent in stones and kilograms.)  Think of it:  200,000 pounds!  How many elephants and skyscrapers would you have to pile up to reach that total?  I can’t even imagine.

          Now, based on your time outside, determine how much space dust is falling on you. Or do like me, and just assume it’s all of the extra weight you are now carrying.

See? Don’t you feel better already? Subscribe to this uplifting blog! It will also keep you inside a bit more as you read it, thus, you will not gain as much space dust weight.  Win-win.

And check out my website here. More indoor time!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Worst Game in the Universe

          What were you doing at 2:30 in the morning last night? Sleeping? Gee, that must be nice.


          Yes, Simon still thinks he’s training us to catch mice, thus he brings in LIVE ones and LETS THEM GO.  In our bedroom. In the middle of the night. Look at this hunter's focus:

         Naturally the mouse ran under our bed. Then Simon ran under our bed. Then we heard Simon ricocheting off the bed frame for ten minutes. Then the mouse zoomed over to our love seat and Simon chose to lie down and forget all about the mouse. Probably giving us an “F” in mouse-catching, and putting it on our permanent record.

          I picture this mouse outside, waiting on the curb with a little suitcase, saying, “Oh, here’s my Uber,” and jumping into Simon’s mouth. Then he gets a free ride into a free house with free food.  Sure, there’s a workout program involving a cat, but really that’s just a fitness perk.

So if you’re planning to visit the Hiltons anytime soon, we’ll be happy to let you stay in our bedroom.

But I’d stay home and read my books until the coast is clear.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


          Tires. Not complicated items, right?  They’re round and they hold air. So when my right front tire began to leak, we took it in for analysis. Turns out there’s a puncture on the side that can’t be fixed.

          “Hey,” I said, “If we get a new tire then we can be retired!” This was a groaner, I’ll admit. 

          It was a very slow leak, so I drove to America’s Tire. I hung up on a phone call as I drove into the parking lot, and pressed the “hung up phone” picture on my steering wheel. Unfortunately, this button is also the horn. Don’t get me started on the folks who design cars.

All the mechanics looked up, their eyes saying, Geez, have some patience, lady! So now I had to roll down my window and apologize for honking the second I arrived. Then I asked where to go for air.

A guy pointed around the side of the building, where I drove, but I didn’t quite drive over the hose that dings to let them know I need air. So I’m sitting there, sweltering, and finally got out of my car and asked for help.

Eventually a guy came and measured each tire’s air pressure. Naturally the one I told him had a problem was the one with the most air in it. He stared at me like I’m some kind of idiot. Then he glanced at my arm, which looks like I’m a drug addict.

In fact, I had an MRI and then blood work this week, both of which were less embarrassing than this trip to the tire shop. Finally I left, and am now adding this place to the list of places where I cannot show my face again. Or my arms. Or my car or its tires. Sheesh.

A good way to hide when you're embarrassed, is to keep your nose in one of my books. See? You're already multi-tasking.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Getting Hosed?

           It shouldn’t be hard to buy a hose, right?  Ah… but returning one. Now that’s a hose of a different color. 

         St. Bob and I bought a hose. I won’t name the hardware store. Okay, it was Lowe’s.  When we got the hose home it was a tad too short. So we took it back.

          “Gee,” the helpful girl at the counter said, staring at our receipt. “It looks like you weren’t charged for the hose.”

          We looked as well. Sure enough, the last clerk hadn’t rung up the hose.

          “So all I can give you is store credit,” the girl said, starting to punch buttons.

          “No,” Bob explained.  “Don’t give me store credit.”

          “But without a receipt for it--” the girl explained.

          Finally Bob convinced her to let us leave the hose there, free of charge.

          It felt like we were leaving the scene of a drug deal. As if Big Louie is going to wait for us to get in our car, then stand in front of us, shaking a big, green hose and saying, “You think you can just come in here and leave a hose?”

          We both agreed it was the strangest transaction we could recall. And we still don’t have a long enough hose.

          Time to watch one of my Youtube Mom videos. Did you know there are hundreds of life hacks on there? Check ’em out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

How About a Bargain Home? Erm... Maybe Not

           Home prices are through the roof, right? Even if there is no roof! Homes that used to sell for $300,000 are getting bids for half a million and higher! Folks are moving out of previously expensive states and turning their new states into newly expensive ones. It’s a seller’s market.

          Surely there is somewhere on earth where home prices are not skyrocketing.

          Which makes me think of igloos.  You thought of that, too? See, we’re two peas in a pod. Or two ice cubes in a tray. Something like that.

So I checked out the igloo scene. It turns out Inuits never really lived full time in these cute little white half-bubbles. They were just for emergencies or hunting stays. And, while the blocks are made of snow with lots of air pockets, it’s not like you’re resting in a comfy resort. It’s still 70 below zero outside (Fahrenheit), and maybe 10 above zero inside.

I lived for three years in temperatures of 40 below (70 below if you include the windchill.) This was in Iowa, where penguins could relocate quite comfortably.  So I was mildly amused to learn that people pay considerable bucks to experience this bone-chilling, bitter weather.

What would you expect to pay for just a one-night stay in one? Forty dollars? And to buy one, what-- a couple hundred? I mean, the materials are free, so it's all labor. And a good igloo builder can throw one up in about an hour.

Turns out you can go to the north pole, rent “igloos” (made of glass or plexiglass, apparently), and have a glamping experience for just over $100,000.00. That’s right, 100K.  And this doesn’t include your thermal clothing or your airline ticket.

You can also buy garden igloos (much cheaper) to use as hot houses, right in your own back yard—or go “glamping” in them with the kids. But hey, if you just sold your house for five times its value, this igloo may be for you!

Bucky Fuller, who invented the geodesic dome, would be pleased. 

But I doubt he’d want to sleep in one above the Arctic Circle.

And, either way, you’ll need something to read, so I suggest my books.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Could Your Name be an Adjective?

           Certain names sound like they should be part of our vocabulary. Take Kimberly. Kimberly sounds like gingerly and limber. It makes you think of someone graceful yet perky.  He took the stairs kimberly, eager to see his new office.  See? Already you cannot do without this word.

          Another one that evokes a mood is Layla. It sounds restful, quiet, almost shy. She was feeling a bit layla, so decided to stay home.

          Kenny sounds bright and shiny to me.  We squinted at the kenny sun.

          Cynthia sounds sophisticated.  It sounds like synthesis and sincerity. She had arranged the room perfectly, making it cynthia and elegant.

          Ryan sounds broad and expansive to me, like an open, rolling field. Could you be more specific? Your ideas are so ryan.

          To me, Brenda sounds like a champion. A contender who's brilliant. She’s the top brenda in her Olympic event.                                                                             

          How about the name, Beverly?  Somehow this sounds optimistic and undaunted. Maybe it combines believe and ever. She was pretty beverly about it, and just kept going.

          My own name sounds like two descriptions to me. One is a jiggly verb: Maybe we can joni this into place.  And the other is a playful adjective: We had such a joni time at the park.

          How about your name? How could it be used to describe something? If you have to coin a word, it may as well be your own name.

          Be sure to subscribe! And check out my website where you’ll find kenny and cynthia books!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Visit to the Twilight Zone

                Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes wacko?  Okay, I suspect this happens to me more often than it does to regular people (people who do not have a craziness magnet implanted in them somehow).

                But here are three things that happened last week while running errands with St. Bob.  First, I had to return some things to Home Goods. I walked in, saw the line for the cashiers, and immediately crashed into a display of wind chimes on the end cap. BIG, NOISY wind chimes.  CLANG, BANG, BRRRANg!

          Granted, I do not have excellent hand-to-eye coordination (any other body parts can be substituted for these two), but why couldn’t it have been a stack of fluffy towels?  And, of course, everyone stared at the woman who can’t even navigate a check-out line.

          Then we decided to grab lunch. Bob ordered for us while I checked out the gift shop. I wasn’t that hungry, so I told him to just order a side of mashed potatoes for me. Those are always dependable, right?  But the elderly waitress said, “Oh, did she have dental work? I always have mashed potatoes when I’ve had dental work.”  Seriously?  You would ask this of a stranger?

          Then, as we were paying our tab and leaving, Bob noticed a man coming out of the restroom who seemed confused. He was knocking papers off a table. Bob went back as Mr. Good Deed of the Day, and asked if he could help.  The guy said, “No—leave me alone! Get away from me!”  Well, you try to be nice, right?

          Maybe we should just stay home and wait for this Twilight Zone day to be over.  You can do the same—read one of my books or watch one of my Youtube videos. They’re all right here, folks.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Our Latest Catastrophe

          Hey, I know this pandemic is discouraging, but throwing yourself off a roof?  Okay, it wasn’t a person who did this; it was our gigantic vine of Creeping Fig that has grown on the wall over our garage.

          Yes, we woke up to this on a Sunday morning when Bob had an early meeting at church. It simply grew too heavy to hold on. We scooched it to the side so he could get out.  

           Then several  AMAZING guys at church volunteered to come over and help us with it, ox-in-the-mire kind of thing. 

                     Ten years ago it blew down in a killer storm, and we cut it up and waited for it to re-grow. But this time I wanted to try re-attaching it. I don’t like this ten years of waiting business.

         With mad engineering skills, they managed to hoist hundreds of pounds of foliage back up into place, string wire through eye-hooks, and basically defy gravity. It took that evening and the next day.

         Neighbors lent ladders, manpower, and encouragement. St. Bob made trips to the hardware store. Joni stood there and pretended she knew beans about fixing this. 

          Between our neighbors and our church buddies, the whole thing was like a barn-raising. We did lose the vine over the third garage door, but the main part was saved.

          Finally Bob took some video, including the last shot, our adorable neighbor (age 6) saying, “It looks like it never happened.”

          A perfect storybook ending.

And, speaking of books, find all of mine here.