Mama Diaries

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Present for Mama

Before I begin, I'd like to thank everyone for your congratulatory remarks regarding my new book, Ten Zany Birds. You are all so supportive, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that!

I'd also like to let you know that I'm a guest on author, Roy Huff's blog.  I talk about surviving the publishing process. Please stop by and visit if you have a minute or two.

Now for the story.

I was busy typing on the computer, when my husband called me. "Woman! Come here. I have something for you!"

I couldn't wait to see what it was.

I walked into the kitchen and found the man standing next to the table with a huge grin on his face. He was pointing to a huge package of toilet paper which was sitting on it.

I raised my eyebrows. "An anniversary present?" I asked.

He laughed. "It's exactly what you need. Twenty rolls of toilet paper. And look, it has a new design for improved comfort."

"Thanks," I said. "You're so thoughtful. Always thinking of my comfort. And it's what I always wanted."

He walked away, looking quite pleased with himself.

(I'm trying to decide if this tops the toilet I received for Mother's Day. What do you think?)

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Book Release: Ten Zany Birds

I am very excited to announce that my new children's picture book, Ten Zany Birds, has finally arrived! Right now it's available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle in the United States, but it will be available soon worldwide, and at other outlets. You can find it here.

Short blurb:  Ten zany birds have a tree party, until one by one they find other things to do. It's a zany countdown - which bird will stick around?

Description:  When ten little birds get together, it's a feathered festival! The party would last forever, if none of the ten friends were so easily distracted.

One is frightened by a loud plane. One gets hungry. One wants to race and another needs a bath. Only one stays to sing in the tree, but who will it be?

Ten Zany Birds is a fun, beautifully illustrated picture book. As parents and teachers read, children are introduced to counting and basic subtraction skills. Whenever a bird leaves, the number of striped, spotted, and polka-dotted birds changes, teaching the application of simple classification rules.

Whimsical and entertaining, Sherry Ellis's tale of ten silly, distractible little birds is an excellent choice for both pre-reader storybook time and early readers. 

(If anyone would like to review it, please let me know!)

Now for a short story: Trouble in the Cat House

This one involves Bootsy, our cat. Yesterday morning, I went outside just in time to see Bootsy chasing something. The chase led right to his cat igloo. He stood at the entrance in full pounce mode.

"What's going on, boy?" I asked.

He didn't move for about ten seconds. Then he sat down and started meowing. Clearly, he was upset. He looked at me and meowed, like he wanted me to do something about whatever his problem was.

I walked over to his igloo and peered inside. All I saw was his cat pillow. That couldn't be it. I took the cat pillow out, half expecting to see a snake.

I didn't see a snake. But I did see something. It was small, and brown, and furry.  And it looked at me with little beady eyes. Can you guess what it was?

A chipmunk!

"Oh, boy, little chipmunk," I said. "Not a smart thing to wander into a cat house!"

I picked Bootsy up and got him away from there. I figured he probably didn't want to mess up his house with chipmunk guts, which is why he didn't make the kill. But that little creature didn't stand a chance with the sinister cat waiting at the entrance!

(I returned later, to see if the chipmunk was still inside. He wasn't. And I didn't see any blood trails, so hopefully he lived to see another day!)

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Perfect Paper Airplane

I walked into my son's room and found about a half a dozen paper airplanes lying on the floor. I called him into the room. "What's up with this?" I asked.

"I was making paper airplanes," he said.

That was pretty obvious.

"I wanted to make the perfect paper airplane."

"Did you get one?" I asked.

"Not yet," he said. "Can you make it?"

I shrugged. "Give me some paper and I'll try."

He did, and I made one of the models from The Dangerous Book for Boys. "There you go," I said.

He flew it. "Pretty good, but not perfect."

"Then you'd better ask your dad. If anyone can make a perfect paper airplane, it's him."

So he went to my husband. 

An hour later, he came back with a huge grin on his face. "Watch this," he said. He tossed the plane into the air. Honestly, I have never seen a paper airplane fly so far and straight.

"Wow," I said. "That's a masterpiece!"

I inspected it. The thing had flaps cut out, paperclips attached, and the most intricate looking nose. It was an engineering marvel.

My son took it outside and showed his friends. They were amazed at how far that thing flew down the street.

I think my husband has a future in aeronautical engineering!

Here's a picture of the thing for those of you wanting to know what it looks like:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Doing the Whip

The other day, I caught my daughter doing something very strange. She was standing, with her knees  bent, her arm extended in front of her, bouncing.

I watched her for two seconds. "What the heck are you doing?" I asked.

"The Whip," she explained.

"The what?"

"The Whip. It's a dance we all do in school. We had a flash mob doing it today."

"This is what you do in school?"

She nodded. "Do you want to know how to do it?"

I wasn't sure I did, but I figured if I knew how, it would make me slightly cooler than I already am.

She demonstrated. "Stand with your legs apart and knees bent. Then pull your arm back and thrust it straight out. Bounce and move your arm slowly to the side."

I did it.

She laughed. "Mom, you look silly!"

"Girlfriend, I think anyone doing this would look silly!" I retorted. "Even the Macarena was better than this!"

She wasn't sure about that.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to be cool, learn the latest dance that the youth of our nation are doing. Here's a demonstration by some fine costumed individuals:

Note:  The lyrics of the tune they dance to, are not exactly "G" rated, so if profanity bothers you, don't watch!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Make Stir Fry

Cooking is not exactly one of my strong points. Mostly, I don't have the time or patience to deal with it. I throw stuff together, and hope for the best.

So, the other day, my husband sent me a video. It  pretty much describes how I operate in the kitchen. I'm sure you'll be amused.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Special Garbage

At the end of every week, I go through my son's backpack to clear out the stuff he doesn't need. Usually there are piles of crumpled papers, flyers, and miscellaneous odds and end. (Honestly, I don't know how he manages to accumulate so much junk in a week!)

Yesterday, when I went through the backpack, I found a crumpled white paper with holes in it. I put it in the pile of things to throw away. When I was finished, I called my son over. "Bubba, I'm going to toss all this garbage."

He looked at my pile and immediately pulled out the crumpled white paper with holes in it. "Not this!"

I shrugged. "What do you need that piece of garbage for?"

He didn't answer. He walked away with his holey paper.

A short time later, he returned. "Mama, I have something for you."

I took the blue-construction paper card from his hands. It of course, was  a Mother's Day card.  The cover was quite lovely with all kinds of sweet sentiments written on it. Then I looked inside.

Guess what I saw?

The white paper with holes in it!  This time it  looked a little less crumpled. 

"It's a snowflake," my son said. "I made it for you!"


(Fortunately, we both got a laugh out of it.  That was definitely special garbage!)

Before I go, I would like to wish all moms a very Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fabricating Cuff Links

This story has nothing to do with my kids, but it showcases my incredibly resourceful mama skills.

Last night, I performed for the grand opening of the Porsche World Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the other musicians, a cello/guitar player, forgot to wear his cufflinks. This would've resulted in seriously floppy sleeves. We couldn't have that at such a prestigious event!

He looked in his stack of stuff he had brought and found two paperclips. "How can we turn these into cuff links?" he asked.

I looked at him and shrugged. "Do you have any tools?"

Of course he had tools. He's a guy. He pulled out his tool belt which had some pliers and wire cutters.

"Perfect," I said. "Now just straighten out the paper clips, insert them through the button holes, and we'll fasten them together."

That's exactly what we did. He straightened and inserted them. Then I took the pliers and gave them a good twist. We trimmed the access wire, and voila, we had a perfect pair of cuff links!

Mama to the rescue, again!