Tuesday, November 30, 2021


         For Thanksgiving this year St. Bob and I went to restaurant with our eldest son, Richie. This is a recipe for comedy as I was flanked by a comedian on either side.

          At least there was a ninja nearby clearing tables, so I felt somewhat safe.

          We were laughing about how many times the waiter had told us his name, and Richie said maybe he waits on a lot of old people, and has to keep reminding them.

          “I hope I never get like that,” I said.

          Richie said, “That’s the fifth time you’ve said that today.”

          And now you know what it’s like to live in Joniopolis.

          Hey, it’s officially Christmastime, so stock up on my latest book—perfect for adults or kids of any faith—A Little Christmas Prayer.  Super low price, too!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Kindred Spirits

           I’ve been dying to post this. I had to wait until my 3rd Italy story ran, so as not to interrupt the travel report. BUT… meanwhile, Lizzie Acker, whom you see here:

           recently left the Great British Bake Off, to which many of us are happily addicted. She revealed that she has SEN (special educational needs) and is dyslexic, dyspraxic (DCD), has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and concentration disorder. I instantly loved her.

          I’ve told you before that I have ADHD. I’ve long said it isn’t that we can’t pay attention; it’s that we’re paying attention to too many things already. And Lizzie spoke about that. So hooray for people whose brains work differently! Maybe we could all go to Neurodiversity University-- just think, it'd be the only college that rhymes! I can almost hear the alma mater, can't you? 

          As for DCD, I blogged about that here. It means we’re clumsy and uncoordinated, and do not belong on sports teams. This morning’s proof as Bob and I were getting ready in the bathroom:

          Me: I’ve never told you this before, but I almost fall out of bed, like, five or six times a night.

          Bob: (laughing and almost choking on his toothpaste)  What do you do— (begins to demonstrate) just catch yourself and say, “Oh, dang—" and scoot back in?

          Me: (Running water to fill up my cup) That is exactly what I do.

          Bob: (Looking into my sink) You’re missing your cup.

Then I look down and realize I’m holding the cup about one inch away from the water. In my defense, I haven’t put my contacts in, yet. But this is how life is when you have DCD. Your hand-to-eye coordination is on a permanent vacation.

And that was just five minutes into the day, folks. Luckily I don’t move around much when I record my Youtube Mom videos.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Joni Ricardo Does Italy Part 3

         I’m pretty sure there’s no law in Italy that says you have to stop at every gelato shop, but I didn’t want to take any chances. 

          And gelato was not the only enticement—check out this sign:         

          Between the food, sculptures, fountains, paintings, and cathedrals, we kept Uber drivers very busy. Why did we not rent a car, you ask? Ah. You haven’t been to Italy if you have to ask that. The answer is: Because we value our lives.

          Before going to Italy I’ve always said, “I don’t speak Italian but I drive Italian.” This was just based on what I’d heard. But believe me, I was dead wrong. There is no way I drive like the Italians.

          The entire population has some kind of Reflex Gene that helps them avoid collisions (though we did see two). They drive a zillion miles an hour, cutting over any lane or line they like, and maintain a distance of approximately one inch of space from the next car.

          I’m thinking every driver in Italy has disabled the beeping noise many cars have, where it alerts you if your car is too close to another object. Otherwise you’d hear nothing but ding, ding, ding, ding on every street! Nicole snapped this photo:

          While eating at an outdoor cafĂ© Richie was facing the traffic, and said there should have been at least five fatalities, just in the time it took us to have lunch.

          St. Bob thinks someone should check people’s blood pressure at the beginning of a ride and then at the end.

And yet, they zoom along with their Italian Reflex Genes. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if traffic cops here in the U.S. give a special pass to Italians.  I can just hear it—

“Wait—your last name is Rosetti? You Italian? Okay then, have a good day.”

Stay safely inside and buy my books! Christmas is coming and a perfect gift for anyone, young or old, is ALittle Christmas Prayer.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Joni Ricardo Does Italy Part 2

         Last week I gave you a peek into our family trip to Italy, and this week the peek widens.

          After touring the Vatican, I decided to surprise the family with opera tickets. They were delighted. 

Then I decided to give our extra one to someone on the street, as a fun surprise for them as well. The kids were not so delighted. They all muttered some version of:

          “So, a crazy person? I mean, you have no idea who this will be.”

          “There aren’t that many crazy people,” I said. “I’m not worried.” I looked around and couldn’t find anyone alone. We jumped into a cab and headed to the theatre. Hey, I thought, technically the driver is on the street.

          So I offered him a ticket. Immediately he began enthusiastically singing, “No Problemo, No Problemo, No Problemo--” (at which point Richie leaned around to give me an “I told you so” glance). 

By the time we arrived the driver explained that he couldn’t stop working to join us.  At least I think that’s what he said. But then I don’t speak Italian. Maybe he said, “My family will never believe the carload of crazy people I picked up today.”

          Stay tuned; next week I’ll address the driving in Italy, which deserves a blog of its own. And subscribe so you get to visit Joniopolis every week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Joni Ricardo Does Italy Part One

            Trouble began at the airport. St. Bob thought the announcer said “abysmal screenings” instead of “additional screenings.”  He also saw a janitor pushing a giant cart of garbage and muttered, “She’ll never be able to check all that luggage.” 

            I glanced down at my own luggage, which says, "Ricardo" and thought, "Okay, this is another Lucy omen." 

      We connected with our five kids (including our daughter-in-law, Tiffany) in Rome and headed straight for the Sistine Chapel. “Why did they pick the number 16?" Bob whispered.


          But he’s not the only jokester in the family.

Because our kids have served foreign church missions, we have several languages going. Cassidy was explaining that “todo” in Spanish sounds similar to “tutti” in Italian, and it means “everything” or “all.”  Richie immediately offered a new translation for the Wicked Witch of the West by saying, “I’ll get you and your little everything else, too.” 

You have to wear a mask everywhere in Italy. Reaching into the box of disposable masks and finding one without any strings to loop around your ears, Brandon observed, “That’s a Pinochio mask.”  Ahh… no strings attached. And, fittingly, Pinochio is Italian, after all.

          Brandon went back to Florence the day the rest of us visited Cinque Terre. He said the Galileo Museum was a bust, to which Nicole said, “Don’t they usually have more than one bust?”

Later, walking through the ruins of Herculanium Richie said to Brandon, “If you procrastinate fixing something long enough you can charge people to come and see it.”  And, “They don’t call it ruins because it’s in good shape.”

There’s more, much more. But you’ll have to tune in next week for Part 2.  Meanwhile, you can watch my Youtube Mom videos, or buy one of my books. They’re all right here.