Mama Blogger of the Month!
posted by: Amber Johnson
First things first: why are you Horoscopically Blonde and not just dumb like the rest of us?
Iâm the only person I know who parks in front of my house, catches a glimpse of my vehicle from the corner of my eye (probably while Iâm looking at something shiny), and then says, âOh! I wonder whoâs here?â? followed byâand more importantly, âDarn it! Theyâre blocking my mailbox.â?
Tell us about the Horoscopically Blonde family. Are there any fake (blondes) in the mix?
The Horoscopically Blonde family consists of four children, an adorable husband, a cat that strategically vomits on my things, and an insane, evil dog that barks at the big, red yoga ball while breaking wind. Only the dog is blonde.
My oldest son is 15. To his credit (or because heâs extremely clever), he claims to like Def Leppard. I just wish heâd wear pants more often. My youngest son is 13. He stands in front of automatic doors and holds out his hands. I ask him what heâs doing, and he tells me heâs âUsing the Force.â? Yeah. Well, if the âForceâ was so great, why doesnât it pick up his socks? My oldest daughter is 11 years old. She has my sense of humor, but thankfully, not my thighs. She can make neat noises with her armpits. My youngest, and most rambunctious daughter, is 7 years old. When she grows up, she has informed me she will be a singer, a writer, an actress, and a doctor. That puts her above most of the young pop stars, who only text one another, sing occasionally, act like idiots, and play doctor.
When did you start blogging and why? Do you have a background in writing?
Itâs usually one of those things where people tell you, âYou ought to write something,â? and so you do (if only just to see if those folks meant what they said). Sometimes you fail, and sometimes youâre lucky enough that people are willing to give you some of their time by reading what you have to say. If people like what I have to say, they respond. What Iâm providing is just part of the conversation. I feel fairly fortunate. For years, my conversations centered on who the best Ninja Turtle was. Now, Iâm talking to other adults who want to share similar experiences.
Iâm now writing for ParentsCanada magazine, and am currently working on a book. Aside from Horoscopically Blonde, I also write a blog called The Lighter Side of Low-Carb. Itâs where I keep my daily stuff: weight loss since January (Iâve managed a 61 pound loss to date) and recipes, coupled with experience in a family of folks who are gluten intolerant, autistic, teenaged, or simply trying to get by in a world filled with sporks and tasty baked goods. If weight loss could be considered fun, then Iâm having loads of it. The readers are hilarious, helpful, and make me smile every day– And they donât chew with their mouths open in my ear.
You are one funny lady. How has your sense of humor helped you with motherhood?
Thank you for the generous compliment. (Note to self: send this woman a ham).
Around here, itâs hard not to laugh. Even when someone is in trouble, itâs usually something ridiculous. I remember, one time I was downstairs in our house in Portland, OR, when my then âfive-year-old came down the stairs, pants soaked to his knees. Just as his mouth was about to open, my eyes were drawn up towards the ceiling. As I squinted, I noticed that all of the light fixtures down the hallway were simultaneously filling with water, and light blue spray began shooting everywhere. Then a large portion of my bedroom ceiling came crashing down five feet from where we were standing.
I looked at my son, as water ran down our faces, leaving blue streaks, which tasted, incidentally, like Tidy Bowl. He squeaked, âI wondered what Legos would do if I flushed them down the toilet.â?
Taking the steps three at a time, I threw my arms over my face as waves of water rushed in a low wall from the upstairs toilet towards me. I was sure I saw the Scrubbing Bubbles man on an Ark at one point trying to collect up the Lego giraffes.
Iâve learned to deal with the emergencies, and to keep a sense of humor about themâpromptly after grounding the five-year old and, banning the toilet as a play space (and changing the flavor of our toilet bowl cleaner).
You mentioned that losing your mom in a tragic car accident when you were 13 was the most defining moment of your life. How?
My mother, my sister and I lived in a small apartment in Sussex, Wisconsin, across the street from an industrial complex and railroad tracks. Most of the time we lived there, we had no furniture (it took the military ages to ship things in those days), so we had lawn chairs and used boxes for tables for a while. I remember that my sister and I had beds, and mom slept on the floor. But she had a sense of humor like you wouldnât believe, and she never complained. I take that for granted now. Regardless how tough things were, she always kept a stiff upper lip (and not just the kind with facial hair).
I think things were starting to look up, as furniture finally arrived, and we moved towards Christmas in 1983. I had finished a gingerbread house in Home Economics class that I looked very much forward to carrying home that afternoon to present to my mother. Because we were fairly broke, being able to give anything in those days was special. I worked diligently on that house, carefully cutting through difficult dough, and then decorating it carefully to look as though it has been frosted by a Wisconsin snow itself.
I remember that very ordinary morning my school counselor brought me into the office from Mr. Dart’s history class. When they sat me in the conference room, they told me that an hour before, my mother had died in a head-on collision with a semi truck not a mile from where I was sitting. Her car had spun on some black ice on a bridge and she lost control. I remember the local newspaper articleâa blanket strewn over her body, still in the warped vehicleâas news reports said she had been Christmas shopping (this wasn’t true, but it was a heartstring puller, to be sure…). I still have the calculator that was scuffed in the wreckage, and use it to this day.
I remember being annoyed at being prodded by the questions of the counselors and having kids look at me and treat me with the extraordinary kindness that is mandated for kids who were either told they were going to succumb to a fatal disease or to those who had lost their parents. I was a celebrity in the school suddenly, and it didnât feel right to be popular due to something that terrible.
The long and short of it was that no matter how hard life was for my mother she always had a good sense of humor. Even when she pinched me for saying, âfart,â? or lectured me about calling boys on the phone (even though back then you had to dial, so it was harder work), she instilled in me a work ethic, to keep a positive attitude, do what needed to be done, and to provide for othersâeven when youâre sleeping on the floor.
On YourHub.com, readers rate your posts and your average blog rating is 4.98 out of 5. What do you want to say to the individual(s) who messed up your perfect score?
If youâre a writer with an audience, and if they disagree with something youâve said in that particular piece, then itâs generally that kind of a ding. I look at it this way: I have four kids. If I can make it through breakfast without going insane from the smacking sounds of young people who still canât chew with their lips together, Iâm not going to let much else perturb me.
Besides, you can always find out who it wasâand, more importantâyou can bean their lawns.