Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Doctor Who?

           I went in for a scheduled ultrasound last week. These, along with MRIs, come up occasionally when you’ve had cancer.

But it turned out I didn’t need one at all and had driven there for nothing. “No problem,” I thought. “Gas is only $800 dollars a gallon.”

Then I gasped. There, on the wall, was a graduation certificate that said, Rabiologist. 

So now I’m being checked for Rabies?  Excuse me?  On closer examination I realized it actually said radiologist. But they could have chosen a better font, right? Or I need my eyes checked.

Then we were watching Jeopardy! (granted I was in the kitchen, only glancing over occasionally) and they introduced a meaty urologist!  “Well, that’s a bit rude and judgmental,” I decided. 

But now it was my hearing that was the problem. They had actually said, “meteorologist.”  And why isn't that a scientist who studies meteors? We live in a confusing world.

 You, however, need not worry about any confusion. Just watch my Youtube Mom videos and you’ll learn how to do everything!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Tough Crowd

         It doesn’t always work to crack jokes when traveling in foreign countries. They have humor, alright, but it’s their humor.

          For example, on our recent trip through Europe, Bob joked that we came wurst class, but got plenty of sausage. No one cracked a smile.

           Then our guide led us to a giant statue of a man on a horse. St. Bob quipped, “Is that John Wayne?”  Well, of course we all know it isn’t John Wayne. It didn’t even need an answer. (Mr. Wayne would never have worn such a flouncy hat.)

         But the guide adamantly explained that it most certainly was not an American movie star, but Emperor William I. Several times he repeated this, to clear up any confusion.

Then, further down the river, I tried to kid with a member of the crew who was helping us get back on our boat. Sometimes they dock two or three of these longboats beside one another.

The fellow told us to walk right through the first two boats, and enter the third one.

“Hey,” I said, “if you could line up five or six more of these, you’d have a bridge to the other side!”

Oh, no, not possible. That would break the rules of safety. That could never happen. There are regulations. Never could you attempt such a thing. I was already down the ramp by now, but the fellow was continuing, shouting after me about safety rules lest I try such a foolhardy maneuver.

Whatever. Lunch was a fabulous crab salad, a tasty bit of pork, and a caramel apple confection. 

Thankfully I was not given gruel as punishment, and sent to my room. Although their muesli is pretty incredible and my room has an awesome view.

You can find great travel tips on my Youtube Mom channel—check it out!

Thursday, June 16, 2022


           The following is a true story and happened just last night, at my next-door-neighbor’s home.

          It was late evening and I got a call that there were several crashed cars in front of our house, including a Range Rover.

          WHAT?!?  My daughter and I ran out to investigate. There were flashing lights, sirens, and a gathering crowd. I stood on the front lawn and saw two crashed sedans, but no Range Rover. Then I turned to face my neighbor’s house, and there was a Range Rover INSIDE THEIR GARAGE.

Did they get a new car? Nope. The driver of the Range Rover had come zooming down the street, crashed into one of their cars which was parked on the curb, then turned up their driveway and crashed into a second car there.

          Was this enough? Nope. The driver then smashed through their garage door, all the way into their garage.

        The word that comes to mind for their garage door is "smithereens": 

               My neighbor and her family were standing about, stunned, and a police officer was already on the scene. The driver had taken a breath test, and was first claiming to have fallen asleep, then to have had a seizure.  Uh, which one was it? Or none of the above?  Who falls asleep in 200 yards after turning onto our street, and who makes a 90- degree turn like that?

          They also offered my friend a $20,000 check. Hmm… somebody doesn’t want insurance involved.  The plot kept thickening and neighbors were speculating as to the real cause.

          Meanwhile, my friend got her insurance company to board up the open garage. “You know,” I said, as the Range Rover was towed out of the garage, “You could hardly have sustained more damage if a meteor had hit your house.”

   Imagine—two cars and one garage demolished in just seconds. It could’ve made the nightly news. Luckily no one was hurt.

Stay safe-- order and read one of my books!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

So I'm Not the Only Lucy!

         When you’re cruising through Europe on a longboat, you must make sure you don’t mistake it for a WRONGboat. Here’s what a fellow passenger actually did on our trip.

          We had docked beside another boat; it’s easy to line them up this way. He disembarked, then came back and went to his room. His card key didn’t work, so he went back to the front desk to report it. 

         The front desk happily issued him a new key. Off he went to his room, but when he opened it, all his belongings were gone, and his wife was gone as well.

           Panicked, he went back to the front desk and finally figured out he was on the wrong boat. AND the correct boat was pulling out.  Being a former military something-or-other, he leapt from the parked boat to to the moving boat and just made it.         

          Just saying, somebody could’ve had a free cruise…

          And be sure to take one of my books on your next vacation!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Lippizaner Lean

           St. Bob and I just got back from a wonderful cruise through Europe, and of course traveling with Lucy Ricardo always yields plenty of material. I’ll start with the Lippizaner Stallions of Vienna, those amazing white beasts who seem to fly through the air.

           I booked our tickets ahead of time so we wouldn’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

          After the amazing show of horsemanship, we walked by a wonderful statue of a horse, where you could pose for a picture. Well, this is fantastic, I thought.  I’ll just lean in and get cozy.

          Oh my gosh. Nobody told me the statue is hollow, nor that it is NOT BOLTED DOWN. 

          Suddenly it tipped and there was a gasp from the crowd. I grabbed it, Bob jumped forward and grabbed it, and we managed to steady it before it smashed to smithereens. We took our photo and skedaddled out of there.             

          But now I know why the Liberty Bell is stationery today. When two of our boys were youngsters they sneaked away from the tour guide and tried to ring it, creating quite a fury of excitement (not the good kind).

          So I guess this stuff is genetic.  Oops.

Rather than tip a famous historical object, you can stay safely inside your home and watch my Youtube Mom videos.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Sit a Spell

         I used to love Spelling Bees.  Now the only ones I hear about are the national ones, where kids spell words like the one Norman Rockwell painted, called “Cousin Reginald Spells Peloponnesus.”

          But I have another complaint about spelling. It’s that there is no good way to spell certain things, without spelling something else. For example:

            1.      If you garden, you can be called a gardener. If you act, you can be        called an actor. But what if you sew?  Aha!  No one wants to be described as a sewer, especially in print.

            2.     As a writer, I often alert publications that this is a multiple submission. But when another writer asked me if I submit multiple-ly, I realized the only spelling of this could be multiply, and that means something else entirely. (And I do try to avoid multiplying.)

3.     Let’s say you accidentally got a cut on your finger and now you’re going to put medicine on it and a bandage.  You don’t want the one that stings, so you say to your spouse, “I want the less sting-y one.” Again, that would probably be spelled stingy, and now we’re totally off topic. 

4.     What if you’re doing a big assembly line to wrap toys for a charity? One person can be the wrapper (but that means something else), another the taper? Nope; a taper is a candle, or a verb for slimming one's pant legs. Tapist? Tape Specialist? Tape Manager? Better sign up to stick the bows on.  Oh, wait. A bower is also something else. So is a boxer.

And don't even get me started on the words "singer" and "flower."

HOWEVER, no such problems exist in my books—check ‘em out here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dust to, er, Compost?

           St. Bob and I have decided we’re going to live for a very long time. However, we want to have all our affairs in order to keep our kids from having a paperwork nightmare. So we’ve drawn up our will, a trust, and our burial plans.

          We had our eldest son go through the house with us and write down everything of value. He then made a spread sheet and sent it to the other three kids, so they could write their names beside cherished items.

          Ha! Nobody even checked one box. Nobody wants our stuff, and it’s the same with most of our friends. Kids today have more modern taste and our things look frumpy to them.

          And now we’ve hit a snag with our burial plans. Nicole wants to turn me into compost! I’m serious. There are companies that do this. (What do they call it—Mompost?)

          Our daughter, ever the sustainable/locally sourced/environmentally healthy person plans to sprinkle me over her yard. Mind you, someday another person will buy that home, dig me up, throw me into a trash can, and take me to the dump. Well, at least I’ll get to travel.

But what if she has a cat or a dog… oh,  nevermind.                                                             

Put off your plans (or at least don't share them with your kids), put up your feet, subscribe to this blog, and read my books.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Dancing with Joni

        Yep, it’s that time of year when I do my interpretive dance at the local hardware store.

          You already know I love to garden. So this is when I go to the nursery section and load up on huge bags of soil, potted plants and flats of flowers.

          However, to do this I must place them on a wheeled platform called a flatbed. It has a handle, which other shoppers use to navigate up and down the aisles.

          I use the handle as a dance partner, apparently.  So help me, I cannot get the thing to go straight. Back and forth it swerves, like we’re doing a tango or a salsa or maybe the jitterbug.

          And I blame hula.  Seriously, my mother signed me up for hula lessons as a child. Not ballet, something which would have helped my dyspraxia and lack of coordination. Nope, hula it was.

          Mind you, I lived in the snowy Rocky Mountains, causing St. Bob, when he heard about this blunderous enrollment, to say, “When would you ever use it?”

          I’ll tell you when. Every Spring, at the hardware store.

          Thankfully I don’t need to push a cart of any kind in my Youtube Mom videos. Check ‘em out here. And be sure to subscribe to this blog, for weekly reports!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

How to Beat Murphy's Law

         You know about Murphy. He’s he one with The Law. Or maybe it’s a she. Maybe she came up with the law, and then, fittingly, was never acknowledged as a woman, her own law in force again.

          Murphy’s Law comes into my life whenever I look like a wreck. I’ve been gardening or painting or simply shlubbing around and I decide to run a quick errand.

          Invariably this is when I’ll see five people I know. Even if the supermarket only has five other shoppers in it, I will know them all. And they will look as if they’re on their way to a wedding.             

Or a coronation. 

         So if this ever happens to you, here’s the way to beat Murphy’s Law. When they say, “Oh hi, Joni (only insert your name here),” You say, “You know, I get mistaken for her all the time!  But I’m not Joni. Joni would never be out in public like this. I must be her evil twin or her doppelganger.”

          You’re welcome.

          An even better solution is to stay home. Reading my books.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

10 Ways You Know You're Getting Old

1.      You see a tiny old woman shopping in the supermarket, and as you get closer you notice she is humming along to the store’s music, which is “Superstition.”

2.     You’re out with your husband and several cashiers say, “You guys are so cute.”

3.     You’re scrolling through the photos on your phone, and a younger woman says proudly, “Look at you, taking pictures with your phone!"

4.    You’re watching Jeopardy! and have no idea what they’re talking about in the “Pop Culture” category.

5.     You’re watching Jeopardy!

You have holiday-themed earrings.

7.     You think about how you’re going to get up if you get down.

8.    You don’t think of your peers for tech help; you think, “Who’s young?” 

9.    You gripe about the side effects in ads for medication.

10.            You read lists like this, to see if you’re old.

But you can feel young again by watching my Youtube Mom videos-- right here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Quality Not In Control

           We’ve all been on the phone and heard the disclaimer: “This conversation may be recorded for quality control purposes.” 

          And yet—you have to agree with me—the quality never improves. Right?  The exact same level of competence and courtesy is always maintained (which is amazing in and of itself).

          But if you’ve imagined a board room filled with caring experts who are sharing your phone call with other caring employees who take notes and strive to improve, I’m afraid you—like me—are imagining things.

          Not only do we have to endure such messages at the beginning of many phone calls, but are then expected to stay on the line “to take a brief survey” afterwards.

          Incredibly, my insurance company has you evaluate your helper, right to the helper. The employee literally says, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate my service today?”

          Seriously!  No private evaluation, just telling them to their face. Okay, their ear.  And you don’t want to say “three” because that’s like insulting them. But what if it was dreadful and really is a three?  I’m guessing they’ll never know because most people will just say “10” to avoid an argument.

          It’s also puzzling why they all say, “Listen carefully, as our menu has changed,” when it hasn’t changed one whit.

          And so many calls are farmed out to other countries and people working at home that I’ve heard roosters crowing, kids bickering, and TVs blaring in the background. I’d give most of them a five.

But I give my books a big fat 10, and hope you will, too. Find ‘em all right here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Truth About Growing Up

            Here’s how it is. When you’re little, you have your own bed, often in your own bedroom. You have your own closet, chest of drawers, and sometimes you have your own bathroom.

            And then you get married and those things are gone. Forever. Suddenly, in the sardonically named “Master Bedroom” you now share a bed and have less space than when you were two years old.

            Unless you live in a mega mansion, you must also share a bathroom, and frequently, a closet. And this is how it will be for the rest of your life. Spitting into sinks together, using the same toilet, and the same tub and shower. Sharing a dresser. Bumping into each other as you try to get dressed.

You graduated to adulthood, but everything that was once yours is now divided in half.  And the whole world buys into this, and shops for these same shared items—mattresses, furniture, showerheads.

I’m still glad I married St. Bob, and I’m aware he has made the same sacrifice of space, but know this: You really can fool all of the people, all of the time.          

            You can also share my books—why not, long as we’re on a roll!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Worst Weed in the World

You are not going to believe this. I don’t believe it, and I saw it with my own eyes.

          There is a weed that virtually explodes, sending out


seeds and infesting the ground as far as 10 feet away.

          Its name is Bittercress (sometimes HAIRY Bittercress) and it is the bane of my existence right now.

          When you think to yourself, “How on earth did we get so many weeds?” this is how.

          I was working in my front flower bed and bumped a drip line. Suddenly I saw a wide mist of water emanating from that very spot! “Wow,” I mumbled. I had no idea a drip system could have a “mist” setting.

          Alas, I was wrong—it was one of these horrid weeds, bursting! A light nudge or even a breeze can create the explosion. It looks like water vapor or a powdery puff of smoke.

But don’t be fooled. These little wise guy seeds burrow in and begin to flourish. You have to pull them out by hand if you want to salvage the flowers nearby. But if you don’t get the entire root, they’ll come back.

Meanwhile, if you call and I don’t answer, it’s because I’m in the back yard. Pulling them out with tweezers.

Check out my Youtube Mom videos—sorry there isn’t one on an easy way to get rid of Bittercress!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Becoming One?

           Admit it: You secretly (or not so secretly) wish your spouse could be more like you in some ways. Over the years, whenever I’ve noticed St. Bob adopting a habit of mine, I’ve pointed out this wonderful event.

          He now likes to put the Christmas tree up early.

          He’ll give a pinch of people food to the dog sometimes.

          He puts the toilet paper on the roll the way I do.

          And today, while grocery shopping together, he told me he always looks for the softest bread.

          “I thought you like crusty bread,” I said.

          “No, I like soft bread better,” he said.

          “Aha! You really are becoming me.”

          “No, I was you before you were you,” he said.

          I’ll take that.

          He also uses the life hacks I show on my Youtube Mom channel here. Be sure to subscribe!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sign Up Here

           I love hilarious signs, and on our recent trip up California’s coast, St. Bob and I found several. This is not only an area of gorgeous crashing waves, but of cattle ranches.  I like this warning sign:          

          Notice how they fixed it, but then left the first, misspelled one up, anyway. And the bird couldn’t care less. Then there was this one:

         I half expect another sign below it, saying, “Seriously. You have no idea.” And then this one:

Which truly speaks for itself.

          And there are  always companies who don’t think ahead, about how their name will look on a website, all crammed together:

          As we parked to go whale watching, I couldn’t help wondering why someone hadn’t added an IA or an ICAL to the bottom of this one:

          And finally, I learned there are actually people in this world who EXCHANGE avocados. Who knew?

          There’s still so much to learn, right?  Find even more by watching my Youtube Mom videos, full of life hacks and fun information.