Mama Diaries

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Immortal Fly

We had a fly zooming around the house for several days.  It was one of those bugs that had a knack for outwitting every fly swatter and killing mechanism unleashed on it.

"Mama," my son said a couple of days ago, "that fly is immortal."

"Seems that it is," I said.

Well, the immortal fly finally met his match.  Last night, the boy came out of the bathroom with a huge grin plastered on his face.  "Guess what?"

"What?" I asked.

"The immortal fly is dead.  My stench killed it!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bubba's Harem

Before I tell my story, I want to give a huge thank you to all who stopped by for the interview with author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne!  I'd also like to congratulate the winner of the autographed copy of her book - Jess at DMS!

Now for the story.

Yesterday, as I was walking up the street to meet my son after he had gotten off the bus, I saw a strange sight.  My boy was running as fast as he could, while a group of about four girls chased him.  They seemed to be about his age.

I stopped. Two seconds later, Bubba crashed into me.  The girls basically skidded to a stop.

"What's going on here?" I asked.

"We just wanted to talk to Bubba," one of them said.

"Oh," I said.  I turned to Bubba. "Then why did you run?"

He looked at me with a very serious expression on his face.  "Because sometimes I need a little peace and quiet.  These women are too noisy!"

Friday, February 27, 2015

Guest Author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Today, we have a special guest at my pad, author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne.  She's a super nice person who's also known as the "horse tale lady." Her books feature horses, and always impart valuable life lessons to kids.  Her newest book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, was released recently.  She's here to talk about it with us. But before we begin, let me first share my review of the book:

Five out of five stars:  Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is the third book in author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's, Charlene the Star series. Like the other books, it is filled with valuable life lessons. Charlene the Star is a champion jumper horse. It is her dream to win the High Score Award. By setting goals and working hard, she accomplishes her dream. The new character in the book is Bentley, an English Bulldog, who in the beginning, is quite a bully. He learns, however, that being a bully isn't the right thing to do. Helping and encouraging others is much better.

Ms. Humphrys-Dunne cleverly puts these life lessons into a story where the animals are the protagonists, sharing their points of view. Children will enjoy this type of story telling, as well as the pencil illustrations which compliment the text nicely. Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is a good book for children ages six to ten, which will teach them about setting goals, teamwork, and good character.

Hi Deanie!  Welcome to my pad!

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Sherry. I love reading your stories on ‘Mama Diaries’ because they always make me smile. I hope your readers enjoy finding out more about me and my books.

I'm sure they will!

Your blog, Childrens Books with Life Lessons, features some great kids who show good character. Where do you find these inspiring stories?
I listen to lots of news stories and search the internet to find true stories of kids who have done amazing things. Sometimes I find articles in children’s magazines. Once I discover a good story, I try to write a blog that would relate well to one of my books. I love featuring kids who are wonderful role models for others.

Those kids really are amazing.  I hope our readers will hop over to your blog and read some of their incredible stories. 

Your own books are stories with life lessons. What inspired you to write these?
My first book, Tails of Sweetbrier, is an award-winning autobiography that I was inspired to write after I’d taken a course on medical coding, hoping to start a new career. But once I graduated, I couldn’t find a job. I kept having an intuition that I should write the story of my childhood to help children realize that all things are possible if you persevere. The feeling to write  the story wouldn’t go away, so I decided to write it and see if anyone would publish it. I kept remembering my Dad’s advice that when we’re afraid to try something, we should consider the worst thing that would happen. In this case, it would have been that no company wanted to publish the story so I’d have had to improve it. Once this book was published I had a little more confidence and tried to think of entertaining ways to approach other stories that carried subtle lessons for children to ponder. I love children and it makes me happy to write stories that are fun to read and convey important lessons.

I'm glad you followed your intuition.  You've produced some really nice stories that encourage good character.

Can you share some of the life lessons with us?
Well, as I mentioned, one of the characteristics emphasized in Tails of Sweetbrier is perseverance. I think everyone struggles with various challenges and if you’re not determined you’re not likely to reach your goals. Another good character trait is setting goals. If you don’t do that, you’ll be wandering around with nothing to work toward. Setting goals is introduced in my book, Charlie the Horse, for example. Many of my books stress helping others and developing your natural talents because I think we often don’t realize our abilities until we test them. Teamwork is another important lesson that’s evident in my books because  by working together we can achieve amazing things.

So true!  Teamwork and perseverance are really important!

Tell us about your new book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.
There is a series of Charlene the Star books and this is the third of those. In this story, we meet Bentley bulldog. He’s quite an obnoxious fellow at first. He insults Hattie the chicken by telling her that “Chickens don’t know how to do anything. Nobody talks about them unless they’re on the menu.” Poor Hattie was so upset she nearly faints. But she makes a plan to help cheer up her friends after she sees the headline in The Gazette. Bentley has a lot to learn and the other animal characters do their best to educate him on the errors of his ways. In the end, Bentley does some amazing things to show that he’s reformed. The story highlights good manners like apologizing, teamwork, sportsmanship, and building self-esteem. Of course, since Bentley is a bulldog, there’s a little advice on handling bullying as well.

Bentley is your classic bully at the beginning.  I'm glad he shaped up and learned to be a good friend!

The animals in your stories are cute. They’re the ones teaching the lessons. Why did you choose animals instead of people?
I thought it would be more entertaining and interesting for children to read about adventures with animals. I try to make their antics amusing, too. Also, children generally love animals and it’s another aspect that makes my stories unique. My sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, illustrates all my books and designs the covers. She really is a remarkable talent. She makes the characters come to life.

You're lucky to have such talent in your family!

Are you working on anything new?
Yes, I’m working on another story for the Charlene the Star series that will be partially based on truth. But it’s still in the beginning stages.

I'm sure it'll be another great book in the series.  Good luck with it!

Where can we find your books?
My books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
They can also be purchased from my website:
Or you’ll find links to on these sites:

You may also make arrangements to purchase signed copies by emailing me at

Thanks, Deanie! 

Deanie has graciously offered to give away one autographed copy of her book to a lucky commenter.   For your chance to win, just leave a comment below.  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kid Magnet

A few snow flakes have fallen in Georgia. This has caused a state of emergency in which schools and businesses have closed.  My kids have been out for a few days.  And you know what that means:  Mama gets pestered with the inevitable, "Mom, I'm bored!"

So, yesterday, we came up with the brilliant idea to make brownies. My daughter did most of the baking.  Soon the house smelled like chocolaty brownies.  I went upstairs to fold laundry while the brownies finished baking.  About ten minutes later, I heard a lot of voices. . . and they weren't ones I  recognized.

I went downstairs to see what was going on.  You wouldn't believe what was in my kitchen. Six kids! "Where did you come from?" I asked.

One of them grinned.  "We heard you were making brownies, and wanted wanted to try some!"

Oh.  Apparently word travels fast in my neighborhood!

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you want a house full of kids, just bake brownies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Find Your Car in a Parking Lot

My son and I went to the grocery store the other day.  We parked in a spot different from the usual one.

"Okay, Bubba," I said.  "Remember we are in the row across from the gas station sign."

He nodded.  "And there's a big tree here, too."

"Right," I said.

Then he stopped.  "Mama, I have a better way to remember where we're parked."

"What's that, Bubba?"

"Just look for the white lines on the ground.  We're parked between the white lines!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

An Invention Called an Oven

Before I start my story, I want to give a huge thank you to Peaches Ledwidge  who surprised me last week by featuring and reviewing my books on her blog.  You made my day, Peaches!

(If you want to learn about Peaches and her book, you can visit her blog or her Amazon page.)

Now for the story:

The other day, our microwave bit the dust.  It was a grand event, with lightening sparks inside and lots of smoke. We hauled that thing out to the curb and left it there to be carried away by the garbage collectors.

This event brought great concern to my daughter.  "How are we going to cook without the microwave?" she asked.

I shrugged.  "I'm sure we'll figure something out."

When it was time for dinner, my daughter asked, "Are we going to have to eat cold food?"

"No," I said.  "I know a good trick."  I grabbed a casserole dish and put in the leftover pork chops, asparagus, and potatoes.  Then I popped it into the pre-heated oven. Twenty minutes later, we had a hot dinner.

My daughter was in shock.  "I didn't know you could do that!"

"That's how we did it in the old days, before microwave ovens were invented," I said.  "Pretty amazing, isn't it?"

She nodded.  "Yep.  Pretty amazing!"

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Meal for Davy Jones' Locker

Yesterday, I thought I'd make a nice meal for my family:  Coconut Thai Shrimp.  The recipe called for it to be cooked in a crock pot.  So I assembled the ingredients and threw them in the pot. After four hours, the thing was supposed to be ready.  But it wasn't.  The rice was still uncooked. I shrugged, replaced the lid, and let it continue cooking - for two more hours.

 It wasn't supposed to be in there that long, but I had gotten a little distracted.  I had totally forgotten the crock pot was still on. When I came downstairs, my nose told me something was amiss.  I opened the lid and peeked inside.  Gruel is the only word I can use to describe it. The rice was a sticky mess, the snap peas had lost their form, and the red bell peppers looked like floppy worms.

Mmmm. Delectable! I thought.  I grabbed some plates and scooped the gruel on them.  "Dinner time!" I called.

My family assembled around the table. They took one look at that stuff and decided there was no way they were going to eat it.

"It looks like school cafeteria food," my daughter said.

My husband agreed. "Argh," he said. "It had potential, but now it's only fit for Davy Jones' Locker!"

Ay, Maties.  Another Mama masterpiece!