Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Frog Blog

           Well, they’re back. The Peep Toads. Of course, this is not their scientific name.  They’ve been called Tree Frogs, though I have yet to see one in a tree.  I can’t identify them because each one looks different.

          They’re about an inch long, and like to hide under the pillows on my porch furniture. They could use a little work on their camouflage:

          They also hide in a geranium pot that I have on a plant stand.

I blogged about them here, and it was a very funny post, if I must say so myself. But I failed to give them credit for being not only adorable, but top-notch helpers in my garden. They eat slugs, snails, beetles, and flies— though at the moment, the insects are larger than these tiny amphibians.

They’ve also managed to survive a blistering heat wave, so kudos to you cold-blooded smarty pants who match the outside temperature. Long may you ribbit.

Hey, check out my Youtube Momvideos for hundreds of life hacks, including summertime tips!

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Mocha Without the H

           Have you ever taken a MoCA test? If you can’t remember, that’s why you take one. MoCA stands for Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Alas, it has nothing to do with Mocha ice cream. It measures dementia.

          I decided I was tired of not being able to think of the word I want at times, so I asked my doctor to see if I’m losing it.

          A nice woman came in and had me figure out easy puzzles, draw a cube,  and answer simple questions.  She said I aced it and I felt brilliant.

          Oh, except for one part at the end. She asked me to name all the words I could, in one minute, that start with F.  Easy, peasy.  We all know a zillion such words, right? Off I went: friend, face, fact, flight, for, finish, final, fantastic, full, fan, fin, fun, flat, floor, fringe, food, flower, finicky, firm furry, fuzzy, fizzy—again, I passed with flying, fabulous, flambouyant colors.

This happened to a friend of mine with the letter M, remember? And, sure enough, I couldn’t stop. So now I was muttering words that start with F as I left the office, muttering them all afternoon, and then lying in bed that night, thinking of more.

          Is there a test for the inability to let something go?  If so, I need that one, now. Frantically. Full-tilt. First thing.

    Be sure to check out my Youtube Mom videos-- tons of fascinating, fun, first-class life hacks. 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

The Day I Tried to Clean the Oven

           Since we’re all wilting in this blistering heat (triple digits all week), I decided to organize and clean. Inside. Where it’s cool. I clipped my hair up and organized the pots and pans. I organized the silverware, knives, and spatulas.  Then I decided to clean the oven.  Why not? It’s definitely not a day when I’m going to bake something, right?

I was already sweaty, but not to be deterred. First I sprayed oven cleaner throughout the oven. Then I remembered we have a self-cleaning oven.

So I used a million billion paper towels, and wiped off all the oven cleaner. Next I started the oven, which immediately locked and chose its own time of 3 ½ hours. 

Soon the house was filled with fog or smoke or smog-- take your pick-- and the smoke alarms went off.  Shrill beeping all the neighbors can hear.


I opened the front and back doors, so now it’s not only smoky, but HOT.  What a crazy day to choose for oven cleaning! Now I’m even more sweaty.

St. Bob sees my frustration and kisses me on the back of the neck. “Aaugh!” I say, “Don’t kiss my sweaty neck—it’s gross!”

But I am too late. He doesn’t say anything, but the poor man’s lips have to be covered with salty sweat. Now I’m even more upset.

  THIS is why people eat too much ice cream.  There. Like how I did that?

You can stay inside without opening any doors if you busy yourself watching my Youtube Mom videos.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

10 Signs it's Just TOO HOT!

    We are in the triple digits all this week, in Sacramento. Here's how you know it's time to drive up to Tahoe, or West to the beaches:

1-       Your makeup slides down so far that your eyebrows now look like a mustache.

2-      You buy two bottles of water—one to drink, and one to pour over your head.

3-   Your pantyhose ignite from your legs rubbing together.

4-      You need pot holders to open the car door.

5-      You stick to the fabric lawn chairs.

6-      Your hair is so wet, people think you dyed it a darker color.

7-      You spend your lunch hour standing in front of a fan display at a department store.

8-      Your postage stamps melt into one solid glob.

9-      You’re so sweaty that your shoes make squishing sounds when you walk.

10-     You realize no kids will be born nine months from now.

Stay inside and enjoy the life hacks on my Youtube Mom channel.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024


           I have the perfect idea for a murder mystery.

          I told you St. Bob and I enjoy trying to solve detective shows, and I have yet to see one that uses my idea:

          You have the coroner be the culprit. Think about it— if you want to be a serial killer, your first step should be to become a licensed coroner. Then you can hide virtually any murder, sign off on whatever you like, and no one will be the wiser.

          Now, if you gasped that I am advocating dishonesty, let me just point out that 1) We are talking about fiction here, and 2) Lying bothered you but killing somebody did not?

          It reminds me of a conversation our son had with a friend’s mom a few years back. She’s a pathologist and they were talking about remote little towns and how they operate.  “Let’s face it,” she said. “You own the coroner, you own the town.”

          Ahh… something tells me this is truer than we know.

          However, you can trust my Youtube Mom videos completely. They are filled with life hacks, not the kinds of hacks murderers employ.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Falling for Seminary

           You know that I volunteer to teach a one-hour religion class to teenagers, before school, at 7 a.m., four days a week, right? And it’s the best assignment I’ve ever had.

          I truly love these kids and I pray for them by name. I’m also peeved that school has now ended and I won’t see them all summer. And I’ll have a completely different group this fall.

          I don't want to post photos without permission, so I won't show you the darling pictures I have of them. BUT... St. Bob makes the occasional appearance, and here he is as a hotdog, and as an olive:

          And here are just two of the many chalk quotations they put in the church parking lot: 

          So yes, I have fallen for this “job” and the kids themselves.  But that’s not the fall I want to tell you about. Just before the semester ended, they made music videos that tied into what they’re learning. They love doing this on their phones and they can edit like pros.

         At one point I was asked to be the videographer, holding one of their phones and shooting the action.

          It was like a good news/bad news moment.

          The good news is that I was helping the kids make a movie.

          The bad news is that I have dyspraxia and am super clumsy, so I shouldn’t be trusted to film anything.

The good news is that I could sit down to do it.

The bad news is that I lost my balance because I’m looking through a lens and twisting around on my chair.

The good news is that I captured their scene.

The bad news is that I fell smack onto the floor. Wearing a skirt.

The good news is that it was a long skirt.

The bad news is that I still fell on my butt in front of everyone.

The good news is that it was all captured on camera—wait—that’s also bad news. 

The good news is that I don’t have to post it here.  Whew!

But you can see me in my YoutubeMom videos, where I try not to be a complete klutz.


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Quiz Show Expo!

Quiz Show Expo!

          If you’ve ever seen a game show, you have likely heard my husband’s voice. St. Bob has announced more game shows than any other announcer, and he’s the Bob of “Bob, tell ‘em what they’ve won.” His “Come on Down!” is legendary. He also hosted several shows, including Truth or Consequences and Let’s Make a Deal.

          So it was a total blast last weekend, to attend the first ever Expo for game show makers and fans. 

           Bob conducted a couple of panels, signed autographs, and was interviewed for a new installation on game shows, at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

          When I told our son, Richie, that they’re putting Dad in a museum, he said, “Nice. ‘Bout time.”

          Something few people know is that the hosts and announcers are all friends and get along amazingly well. This made the expo quite a reunion.

Bob is known for his quick wit (he was also the audience warmup guy), but even more for being a genuinely nice person. No swagger, no ego, just a regular guy who truly wants to get to know you, and help you if he can.  From the janitor to the CEO, this is how Bob treats everybody.  When I heard people calling him a “giant” and a “legend” I realized this is the real reason why.

So I’m popping some buttons with pride, here. And I just had to give the big wheel a spin!

  I have no secrets for how to hit 100, but I have tons of life hacks for you to watch on my  Youtube Mom channel.  Check it out! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

There’s Always Material

           Seriously, I do not want to die a dumb death. The other night I was in the Emergency Room, coughing for four hours because I swallowed a pill wrong.

          Yep, a vitamin tablet went down my windpipe and I couldn’t stop coughing. Such a stupid situation. I tried hurling myself over furniture to Heimlich it out, and Bob clapped me on the back, but nothing worked. So off we went to the hospital.

          The coughing was so violent that other patients were asking nurses to make me wear a mask. If only they knew that stupidity isn’t actually contagious.

          Speaking of other patients, the place was packed. Try never to have an emergency on a Friday night with a full moon. ER workers will tell you it’s the worst night for crowds.

          By now I was wondering if I would choke to death on a supplement, and what they would say in my obituary.  “Folks, you’re not going to believe this, but…”

          No lung specialist was there to help, so they took x-rays. They also wanted to admit me so that I could cough all night in a hospital room and see the doctor in the morning. Meanwhile, now they wanted to do a CT-scan to see exactly where the obstruction was.

          While waiting I continued to cough until FINALLY the thing dissolved and I could cough it up and then breathe again. Deep, glorious breaths. No need for the forceps I’d been reading about on Google. So St. Bob and I went home at about 2:30 in the morning.

          Looks like I’ve avoided headlining the Darwin List once again. So far.

But a very smart thing to do would be to check out the hundreds of life hack videosvideos on my Youtube Mom channel.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

You Really Gotta Want a Slurpee

           I live in a super safe area. Or so I thought. The other night we were watching a detective show when we heard a helicopter flying low, and someone speaking through a megaphone.  It didn’t take long for the whole neighborhood to start buzzing about three guys who just robbed a nearby 7-11, and who were now fence hopping on my street!

          I called all the neighbors I thought might not know, and told them to stay inside. One of them asked me to call 911 immediately because “they’re climbing my back fence!”  Thankfully, in the middle of my effort to do so, she called and said, “Nevermind—it’s the police.”

          Still, yikes!  Our son, who lives close by, said he saw one of them getting arrested in the wetlands near him (turned out this was someone else).

          But then best friends Alex and Nancy, who live just a few blocks away, not only saw one of the robbers, but the thief got arrested ON THEIR FRONT LAWN!!

          Alex had been across the street, and as he walked home (I picture a jaunty, happy gait), the guy was trying to hide beside his house, and motioned to him not to say anything.  Like Alex is suddenly in cahoots with this criminal?!?

          Nancy and family were watching it all from their front window, and may be called to testify that there was no police brutality, etc. But there was the robber, just a few feet from them, getting handcuffed and hauled away. Thank you, local police department!

          It was definitely more excitement than we usually get here in the suburbs. And definitely more intense than the detective show we’d been watching. But given the choice, I’d rather just see police work on TV.

Speaking of watching, have you tuned in to my Youtube Mom episodes? Life hacks, laughs, and more right here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Dream Job?

           My friend, Nancy, is one of the top economists in the world. When I say this to people, she jumps in and says that no, she is not.  But then I point out that she worked at the headquarters of Bank of America in San Francisco, forecasting financial futures with other top economists.

          Then she says she worked with top economists, but wasn’t one of them. Ha!  As if these top thinkers would work with someone inferior, someone like myself, for example. Here’s how that would go:

          I would walk into the board room and within two minutes, one of them would leave to find their boss. 

          “Why is there a knucklehead in our meeting?” he would ask. “She brought in a pie chart.”

          “What’s wrong with a pie chart?” the boss would say.

          The economist would sigh. “It’s a chart about actual pie. PIE!”

          Now another economist would join the conversation. “There isn’t one place in this bank where that woman belongs.  Okay, maybe in the vault, because she’d make each of the safe deposit boxes into a secret fairy house.”

          And this is true; I would love to do that. Think of the fun surprise it would be for the owners who open them up!

          Needless to say, I would be sent on my way, but I would probably shout back, “Hey can I deliver goodies for a mid-morning break?  I’m thinking cookies shaped like dollar signs, or pies that--”  (I am yanked out the door) “Okay, I’m going, I’m going.”

          I can pretty much promise you won’t get much financial advice in my Youtube videos. But you’ll find hundreds of life hacks, and that’s worth something, right?

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Yesterday When I Was Young

          You want to know how old I am? I can remember when new potatoes were actually new.

                 There was nationwide amazement. We had only known thick-skinned russets. And now people had invented a new plant?

          I colored with crayons in the now retired colors of maize, lemon yellow, blue gray, raw umber, green blue, orange red, orange yellow, and violet blue. I still miss them.

          As a child I was given paragoric when I was sick. Today it’s classified as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act. I do not miss paragoric.

          My girlfriends and I wore skate keys around our necks and chewed Fruit Stripe Gum.  We dreamed of wearing Go-Go boots and buying the next adorable Troll doll.

          We dutifully glued Green Stamps into booklets that could be redeemed for something really cool, like a portable hair dryer with a pink bonnet.

          If you had given us bowls of quinoa, tofu, boba, kale, chia seeds, or agave, and said these would be popular in the new century, we would have wrinkled our noses and said, “Nuh-uh.”

But we would have been thrilled to think that you could access life hacks at the touch of a button. See my Youtube Mom videos right here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Hansel and Who?

         I have always loved fairy tales, fairy gardens, fairy everything. But who knew I was turning into a fairy tale character? Gretel, to be precise.

         You remember Hansel and Gretel, leaving bread crumbs behind. Well, I do this without even trying. Honesty, you guys, I think I have excellent table manners and I am not attempting to make a mess, but (here comes the excuse) I do have dyspraxia, which is clumsy child syndrome.

          This means I am likely to trip over my chair, knock over my water glass, and yes, leave more crumbs around my plate than anyone else.

          Part if this is because I am one of those big babies who won’t eat her crusts.  They’re hard. They’re scratchy. They’re burnt and dry. So I peel them off. Luckily, my Hansel, I mean my handsome hubby, loves crusts. So we make a good pair.

          There’s just one problem. When the waiter comes to take our plates, it looks like a two-year-old has eaten in my spot. Invariably my plate is surrounded by crumbs.  

           My daughter, who studies personalities, says this is also because I am a “One,” the category of childlike people who are typically messy eaters whether they’re klutzy or not.

          Fine. I accept the diagnosis. But I’m still not eating my crusts.

          However, I have dozens of life hacks you can watch on my Youtube Mom channel.  And how not to spill on your shirt is one of them!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Carmel Sauce

          What do you do when your computer crashes? You go to Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

This time of year the hills looked like Ireland as we started our trip. 

 At last we arrived at this charming little village 

where sunsets are gorgeous,

food is amazing, 


          and there are even a bunch of fairytale cottages to find, built by Hugh Comstock for his wife, exactly 100 years ago.

          We drove past Pebble Beach, 

and enjoyed the fact that the seals are all gathered at Bird Rock, and the birds are all gathered at Seal Rock.


   This Frank Lloyd Wright house just sold for $22 million.

There are lots of other homes still on the market, but let’s just say it helps if you’re a billionaire.

          However, for the fabulous price of FREE, you can enjoy dozens and dozens of my Youtube Mom life hack videos.