Ask Yolanda—October 2020

To keep our town’s landscaped areas neat and trim, why not fence the entire town, then turn llamas and alpacas loose to graze?
Grazed, Upriver

Dear Grazed:
Fantastic idea. A fence all around the town would solve many issues we’ve had. It would help keep out the undesirables, such as the wildlife we don’t want roaming our streets. All pets would finally, technically, be fenced in. Then we unleash our alpaca army to tend to the town’s needs. They can graze and spit as they wish. All backyard gardens could be moved to the community garden to make sure the livestock don’t get confused. We wouldn’t have to feed them. If we needed the town cleaned up for a day for one of our parades, we could have a town llama wrangling—all of the locals running around with ropes calling “Here, llama llama, nice llama! Oh, you’re secretly an emperor, I think I have a potion for that!”

How about we build a restaurant on top of the concrete silos at Hwy 20?
Hopeful Restaurateur, Concrete

Dear Hopeful:
The silos are a staple in our community. Visitors stop often. Why shouldn’t we monetize that? We could name all of the dishes and drinks based on local history, things our town is famous for. For example, we could have a drink called “This Boy’s Life Brew.” A burger dish titled “Supernatural Bear Burgers,” based on the episode of “Supernatural” that was set here. Even have “Devil’s Tower Happy Hour.” When patrons finish their meal, we could slap a helmet on them, hook them up, and have the diners zipline down for the full adventurous experience you’ll find here in the mountains. Keep thinking up great ideas like this one!

I’m having a hard time with this new distance learning, teaching multiple ages and grades. I can’t sit on top of them to make sure they do their work; I have to work myself. It’s stressing all of us out and all I seem to be doing is yelling. How can I be a teacher and a parent at the same time, while also working?
Anonymom, Birdsview

Dear Anonymom:
I want to say, “You’ve got this,” but you don’t.
The good news is none of us do. My advice is drop the yardstick and have some fun. When you get home from work, go outside. For math, count the differently colored leaves you find. Language Arts? Tell scary stories to each other until you can’t sleep. History? Summon the spirit of an old prospector to tell your children about the “good old days.” Science? Set up elaborate pranks to play on your unsuspecting neighbors. P.E.? Hunt for fairies in your backyard at night. Maybe run away from the ghost you summoned.
If you find yourself still yelling, stand together while all of you snap your fingers at the same time and spin in a circle. That will give you all a chance to start over—or it will send one of your children to an alternate dimension. Let’s hope it’s the child giving you the most trouble. If all else fails, grab a broom and fly away to somewhere less stressful. Call it a mommy vacation.

I’m supposed to get married within a month. No one wants to wear facemasks; how can I make sure all of my guests are safe?
Blushing Bride, Concrete

Dear Blushing:
People generally spend thousands of dollars on weddings. If you want my advice, I suggest putting some of that money toward hazmat suits for all guests. Or have fun with it. Since your wedding is close to Halloween, get everyone a costume that comes with a mask, and have yourself a monster mash! I’m sure it will be a graveyard smash.

‘Ask Yolanda’ comes from the mind of Yolanda Allard, an international bestselling author of numerous fantasy novels. A mermaid who seeks adventure wherever she goes, she likes to drag her devoted family along for all of her crazy shenanigans.

E-mail questions to her at

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