Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Fake-out Clothing

         Yesterday St. Bob suggested I put my phone in my pocket.  I said, “I don’t have any pockets.”

          He smiled, ready to prove me wrong and tried to put his hand in my pocket. Needless to say, he was stunned that someone had made shorts with fake pockets.

          “They don’t do this to men,” I said. “Men wouldn’t put up with it.”  And yet fakery abounds in women’s fashions.

          Culottes pretend to be skirts. 

          A dickey pretends to be a turtleneck sweater. 

          Fake shirt tails pretend to be entire shirts. 

          And single, all-in-one tops pretend to be twin sets.

          Another pair of pants I own even has a pretend button, zipper, AND pockets.

     Oh, well. At least you never have to worry that your fly is open.

          But if it were, you could still sit at home, enjoying life hacks on my Youtube Mom videos.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Invasion of the Plant Snatchers?

          I absolutely love to garden. I have come very close to becoming “The Clipper Lady” by taking said clippers with me about town, and snipping the suckers off trees, etc. Why can’t there be a Superhero who does this? And why can’t it be me?

          Anyway, because gardening is a major pastime, several people have asked to tour my back yard. I am immensely flattered and happy to comply. Except for right now. And OF COURSE one of my friends is coming to see it.

          Right now we have a problem of disaster movie proportions: The Mother of All Aphid Invasions.  They are devouring our apricot and nectarine tree leaves, and have dropped their sticky poop (yes, I am going to use that word) throughout our flower beds. Which brings me to Item #1 on this list of things you may not have known about these admittedly fascinating little enemies:

1. They poop sugar. These excretions are called honeydew, so obviously there’s an entymologist somewhere with a sense of humor. If your leaves are suddenly sticky, look for aphids.
2. Unlike other insects, they have live babies. They are in such a hurry that their eggs develop as soon as ovulation occurs, no fertilization needed. Virgin births, all. Oh-- and they're born pregnant.

3. Ant colonies will herd them and milk them, even fighting off predators so they can keep the candy shop going.
4.4.   Lots of insects prey on them, but don’t go to the nursery and buy ladybugs to eat them— nurseries scoop them up (in my area) from the Sierras, sell them to customers who release them into their gardens, and the ladybugs fly right back to the Sierras.  

5. 5. Aphids also make waxy fluid. They blast this through glands on their hineys that look like tailpipes. This is how they gum up the mouths of predators. You’ve gotta admit, these are highly adapted creatures.

6.    If the wax doesn’t work, they kickbox. I kid you not. Apparently their hind feet are weapons. So much for avoiding a sugary diet to get in shape, right? And if kicking doesn’t work, they roll off the host plant to escape.

7.     If an attack is still coming, they can sound a pheromone alarm to other aphids, to hide. Ladybugs are highly adapted, too, though, and some of them know to follow this signal to a feast.

8.    Their last line of defense is to use female aphids that never molt into adulthood, as soldiers to fight off predators. Apparently these aphids have ultra hairy legs (so no shaving, at least there’s that) and use their legs to squeeze intruders.

 Aphids are usually wingless.  Aha—usually. Let’s say they find themselves on plants that have been sucked dry. Or it’s too crowded.  What to do? They actually produce a generation of flyers that can ride the wind to relocate. 

Now we just need to wait for the movie.

And while you wait, watch my Youtube Mom videos, filled with great life hacks!

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Heart Times

           I have been asked for more detail about our son’s heart surgery. But you know this is going to come with Richie’s trademark comedy.

          Here are the deets: Despite being only 41, he needed a double bypass due to blocked arteries (bad genetics he was told).  But even open heart surgery couldn’t stop him from finding the funny.  When asked for his blood type, he said, "A Plus."  Then, when another nurse told him how wonderful he was as a patient, Richie whispered to us, “Yeah, but most of their patients are in their 90s, so that’s a pretty low bar.”

          I’ve been trying to convince him to recuperate at our house instead of his, without much success.  When I told him about a great new TV show, I said, “So when you’re at our house recuperating, you can watch it.” He said, “I see what you did, there.”

          I also told him it's a miracle he's alive, that God must have a special purpose for him.  
          "I hope it's more than one," he said, "because otherwise if you accomplish that one thing, it's well, off you go."

          Bob and I saw a cute nurse with loads of personality and after she left the room we pointed out that she didn’t have a wedding ring. Eyebrows up and down.  Richie rolled his eyes, then later texted that she must have overheard us, because the next time she came in she was talking about her boyfriend.  Oops.

          At one point he was saying his car needs a new drive shaft. Bob began singing the old Texaco jingle, “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star…” and I joined in.  Then I glanced over at Richie in his hospital bed.  He was muttering, “Old people.”

          Three days after, when a friend asked how he felt, he said, "Well, the first day I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. On the second day I felt like I'd been kicked by a horse. And today it feels like I bicycled into a telephone pole." So... progress?

          He’s been discharged, and is now following orders not to drive, lift, push, pull, twist, or reach. And you don’t think I want to monitor this?

Check out my Youtube Mom videos, full of amazing life hacks. But you probably won’t find one about how to back off when your son has heart surgery.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023


          Have you ever had to get an ID sticker to wear when visiting someone at the hospital?  Our son, Richie, recently had heart surgery, and this is the sticker I was asked to wear:

          Let me ask you: Can you even tell it’s a photo of a person?  I imagine the purpose of these stickers is to prevent people from sneaking in and sleeping in empty rooms, but that’s just a guess.  Still, shouldn’t the photo at least resemble the actual person?  This shot doesn't even show a face:

             Schools and businesses also require these IDs. And, of course you capture images on security cameras. But I’ve seen pictures of furniture that look more human than some of these shots.

And can you even tell who this is?

 Or this? I must know half a dozen people who look just like these images.

           Here’s my driver’s license photo, which was taken when I was bald from having chemo. Yes, I’m wearing a wig.

           But at least it looks humanoid. Who would have thought the DMV would be the best photographer in this ID business?

Hey, check out my Youtube Mom videos. You'll find all kinds of life hacks. No ID required. And I respond to every comment (well, not the trolls).