Hey Mom, I Caught a Troll

March 31, 2010

Once upon a time there was a school teacher with a 33 year old special needs son who functioned well enough that he was able to stay at home safely without supervision while his mother was away at work. And, his mother was able to go to work having peace of mind because she knew that her son would phone her in the event of an emergency. Time passed and all went well until early one morning the mother received a call at work:

“Mom, I’ve caught a troll. You’ve gotta come home!” exclaimed her son excitedly.

“Honey, you know I can’t leave work,” his mother calmly replied. “And, remember, you’re only supposed to call me if there is an emergency.”

The second time her son called that day to tell her he caught a troll and she needed to come home, she sternly reminded him that she could not come home unless there was a real emergency. By the fifth call, she definitely was not amused.

When she got home from work that afternoon, her son rushed to the car door as she opened it. “Mom, come see my troll!” He grabbed her hand and hurriedly led her upstairs to his bedroom. There she saw a chair propped firmly against his closet door to keep it shut.

“Be careful mom,” he warned as he removed the chair from the door. “You gotta see him but he really wants to get away!” When he opened the door, there sat a real live midget.

The poor fellow was a Jehovah’s Witness who had been out proselyting that morning. When the midget knocked on the door and the son opened the door and saw him, the boy picked him up and carried him upstairs to his bedroom and shut him up in his closet…where he had spent the last five hours.


Photo-chopped Glamour

February 28, 2009

By Janet Walgren

On rare occasions, I feel glamorous for a second. I don’t expect much more than that. After all, I’m 62. Well after thousands of seconds of primping and prepping, today the magic second arrived.

“Quick, Heather, get the camera! I can stand in the bathtub and you can stand on the washing machine. If I look up, I won’t have a double chin and you can get a glamor shot of me with the cultured marble background!”

Obediently, she got the camera and mounted her station atop the washer. Click! Click, click, click! “The battery just died!” she informed me.

“Did you get some good shots?” I inquired.

“With the cameras and the technology we have today, any shot can be a good shot!” she responded.

Isn’t technology amazing?

New Year’s Business Logic

January 1, 2009

By Janet Walgren

I went to the grocery store and spent $87.50. The cashier told me I saved $6.75… You would have thought I had just made a deposit. Did she forget to thank me for spending money or did she think she was working in a bank?

I got an advertisement from an insurance company in the mail. The only BOLD ALL CAP TEXT in the advertisement told me that I could get a “FREE QUOTE” if I called a phone number. I’m not sure if they were going to tell me how much it would cost me to buy insurance, or if it was a poetry hot-line.

I passed an apartment complex on the way to the store. They had lots of colored flags out front and a humongous “Now Leasing” banner hanging on their building. I wonder what they did for the last thirty years they were in business… manufacture flags???

At least the apartment industry doesn’t disguise itself in camouflage. Have you ever wondered what ADP, USANA, BRG, or BILCO do? Rhino and Stallion are not in the animal business. Would you have guessed they are locksmiths? Rhino also sells flooring.

Perhaps the insurance company would get more business if they hung out a banner that read, “Now Selling Insurance.” Surely it would be more effective than FREE QUOTE.

I’ve been thinking about developing another stream of income in 2009 ~ perhaps I could start a consulting firm. I could advise businesses to advertise what they do and to be sure to charge their potential customers to find out the price… no more FREE QUOTES!

Or, perhaps I could become a consumer consultant and teach potential customers how to start a bidding war… AT&T said they would charge me $89.95. “Hi AT&T, I have a quote from Comcast for $63.95… What? You say I can have it for $55.00. Great! Would you put that in writing?”

I think that 2009 ought to be dubbed “The Year for Honest Advertising!” and we should all demand that businesses, especially BIG BUSINESSES, tells us exactly what they do and how much it will cost us. Then, if we decide to do business with them, we should demand a “thank you!”

To make this idea a success, I think we should all get together and target one big business to set a precedent. Let’s start with CONGRESS!!! It could be our New Year’s Resolution.

Personality Unleashed

November 17, 2008

By Janet Walgren

I delight in serious subject matter, information that is useful or vital – especially when delivered by serious people with their personalities unleashed. Last weekend I listened to a talk on family councils given by Mary Ellen Edmunds. She has a delightful imp living in her heart that is almost beautifully contained. It appears suddenly, is unleashed for only a second as she smirks when a thought hits her brain, races to her tongue and escapes as a one liner, then she goes back to serious without missing a beat. She doesn’t laugh but at times she makes you laugh hysterically. I laughed myself silly reading her book Love is a Verb and her talk was just as entertaining.

Another serious person that I love to watch and listen to is Prophet Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Watch his ears wiggle while giving a talk. It’s funny!

Memories, Attitude & Happiness

June 3, 2008

By Janet Walgren 

I think that every mother knows how to count to ten. In fact I heard a frustrated neighbor counting uno, dos, tres… just the other day. And, when I went to the Asian grocery store last week there was a mother counting ichi, ni, san… Some things seem to be universal when a child is misbehaving. One of those things is, mothers count to ten. Ah, the memories, the stories about ten. Tales about ten continue for generations and shape the course of history.


Being the second oldest of ten children, I have done my share of reminiscing with my siblings and I have noticed something very interesting. Everyone tells stories about the number ten differently. I’m not talking about the details of an incident; they are pretty much the same. I’m talking about attitude, the spirit in which the stories are remembered and told. I’ve noticed that attitude makes an amazing difference in the life of the subject of the story, and more interestingly, the teller of the story.


There is an excellent example of what I’m talking about in the book, Love is a Verbby Mary Ellen Edmunds. Mary shared a bedroom with her sister Charlotte. Mary and Charlotte were very different personalities which is not all that uncommon among siblings. Charlotte was a compliant child and Mary was the adventurous one. At bed time, when the sisters didn’t settle in and go to sleep right away, it was not at all uncommon for Mary’s mother to count to ten. And, Mary’s mother instinctively knew whose fault it was so she would march in the bedroom, go straight to Mary Ellen’s bed and give her a spanking.


On one particular night, Mary was trying to talk Charlotte into to jumping out the second story bedroom window.  She had a theory that if you bend your knees on impact, it would absorb the shock and your legs wouldn’t break. Charlotte was reluctant and refused to try the experiment. As the conversation progressed, Mary’s mother started to count, one, two, three… When she got to ten Mary knew she had to act fast, what to do… Then she had a brilliant idea.


“Charlotte lets see if we can trick mommy! Lets trade beds and see if she notices.” They exchanged beds in the nick of time. Her mother entered the bedroom, marched over to Mary’s bed and gave Charlotte a sound spanking. Then she marched out of the room saying that she didn’t want to hear another peep and told them to go to sleep.


As Charlotte lay sobbing, Mary exclaimed jubilantly, “Charlotte we did it, we tricked mommy!” Both girls were pleased and excited that they had tricked their mommy.


Imagine yourself as Charlotte. What would you say as you reminisced about that incident? What emotion would you attach to the memory? How would you paint your sibling? Would you be kind, charitable? When you told the story, would it be funny? Or, would you be the victim of a bad sibling who made your life miserable?


Happy adults find the fun and the funny in their memories. They are great story tellers and everybody love to listen to them. They discover the lessons in life and paint their associates in charitable ways as they impart their wisdom and sage advice.  People love to be around these happy folks. They make life pleasant. They even make work pleasant- even when the task seems as unpleasant as testing a theory by jumping out a second story window to see if bending your knees on impact will keep your legs from breaking.


I think almost everybody has been a Charlotte who got the undeserved spanking at sometime in their life. And, most people have found it necessary to be a Mary who needed to find a quick solution to an unpleasant problem on occasion. Regardless of the situations that you have faced, or that you are currently facing, your approach, your attitude will make all the difference. And, only you can choose what that attitude will be.


What makes the difference in people’s attitudes? I believe that it is love. As you go about your life, remember Love is a Verb.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

November 29, 2007

By Janet Walgren
I spend a lot of time eating crow. I’m good at it. It seems that I’m regularly removing both feet from my mouth. Yesterday was one of those days. I ate crow for breakfast. I ate crow for lunch. And I ate crow for dinner. About that time I was tired of eating and just wanted a break so I decided to check my email and my blogs. Well, look what I ate for dessert. This kind man made my day by commenting on my About page. I wish someone would invent a mirror that shows us what we used to be on the outside combined with what we have become on the inside. Wow! Now that would be an invention, but I guess that’s what the resurrection is for.


I saw this link with your name and wanted to say hello. I was probably around 9 or 10 years old when I met you at Jim Harrison’s school or house in Overland Park, Kansas. One of my best childhood friends was Dirk, Mr. Harrison’s oldest son. We hung out together a lot then.

I clearly remember my friends and I secretly thinking that you were, and calling you “The prettiest and coolest woman in the world.” For real! Didn’t you have a little sports car for a while too. Being pretty, with Jim Harrison, and being able to fight so good – I remember we thought you were right out of a James Bond movie! You definitely made a big impression on me and I never forgot your name.

It sounds like your life has been great, and I’m very happy for you. It was during those years with Jim Harrison that I got hooked on the martial arts and I have never turned back. I live in Austin, TX now and teach martial arts (http://www.pmaaustin.com).

I wish I had some old pictures or articles of you that I could give you, I do still have those memories though of “The Prettiest and Coolest Lady in the World!!”

Hope to meet you again someday,

Steve Doss

Thanks Steve, You made my day!

Searching for Cinderella

November 22, 2007

By Janet Walgren
My daughter took me to see the movie Enchanted last night. It was a funny spoof on all the Disney flicks with a princess that is rescued by a handsome prince. I laughed myself silly. But you know, the princess and handsome prince flicks are pretty silly. Take Cinderella for instance. The prince finds a perfect size six glass slipper and runs around the countryside willing to marry any girl with the right size foot. That’s pretty silly, don’t you think? Well it did get me thinking…

I wonder why a guy would run around with a glass slipper if he didn’t like to dance? There are a lot of guys who don’t like balls. Then, a size six Reebok wouldn’t do, even if it fit, if a guy doesn’t like sports or Cinderella doesn’t like to play ball. Perhaps prince charming would do better with a size six penny loafer, or a walking shoe, or a cowgirl boot.

Perhaps we should change the saying, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” to “If the right kind of shoe fits, wear it!” Anyway, I highly recommend the movie if you want some funny light hearted entertainment, but watch out… it may get you thinking.