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!