Mama Diaries

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Little Croaky Music

Our African clawed frog, Croaky, seldom makes the news around here any more. Seven years ago, when he was a young frog, he had episodes of escaping from the aquarium, jumping off the balcony, and landing two stories down. Somehow, he lived to tell about it. He has also had a few trips down the garbage disposal from hopping out of his tank while it was being cleaned.  I think this frog has at least nine lives!

Recently, we had our entire house painted. This included the basement, where Croaky normally resides. While the work was being done, Croaky moved up to the kitchen counter. He enjoyed seeing and listening to all the activity of our regular family life. One of the things  he enjoyed most, was listening to me practice the violin. Every time I'd practice, he would croak along with me. It was rather amusing. But now I'm wondering if my playing sounded like a croaking frog, and he was just responding to it!

Before I go, I'd like to share with you a sketch of one of the illustrations from my upcoming book, Don't Feed the Elephant. It's being illustrated by an illustrator from ePublishing Experts.

And it's Schultz's birthday today. He's seven. Happy Birthday, Schultz E. !

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Scientifically Speaking

Many of you who have been following this blog for a while, remember when my son was five years old. He has always had a very creative, think-outside-of-the-box kind of mind. The boy is now a teenager, and that creativity has manifested itself in the realm of science.

His latest interest is nuclear fusion. He can talk for hours about the subject.

The other day, my daughter, son, and I took a little trip to Hobby Lobby to get painting supplies for my daughter (who is also a teenager, and a talented artist). Bubba was on one of his nuclear fusion chat-a-thons. He continued all the way to the check-out line.

When we got there, the cashier started ringing the merchandise, but then stopped. She put everything down and stared at Bubba as he talked about the heat necessary to create a nuclear reaction.  He just kept talking. Finally she spoke in her fine southern drawl.  "Young man, I have no idea what you're talking about, but it sounds very intellectual. I'm glad there are minds like yours out there to keep society moving on."

Then she turned to me. "Good luck, Mom!"

This is not my son, but he sure sounds like him! You can get a sample of what I listen to every day.
(And if you would like to learn more about nuclear fusion, go here.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Close Encounter with a Buzzard

The other day, I was walking my hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz. Up ahead, I could see a rather large bird, hopping around on the tree lawn in front of a house. Schultz saw it, too, and the hair on his back stood up. He wanted to chase that thing.

I managed to keep the beast under control, and we passed the bird on the opposite side of the street without a catastrophe. It was a formidable looking buzzard. In case you don't know what they look like, here's a picture:

The way back was even more interesting. We had crossed the street and were now on the same side as the buzzard. I thought for sure when the bird saw us coming, it would take off. But no. Bird brain stayed right where it was, on the tree lawn.

I glanced down at Schultz. For some odd reason, the sight of the giant bird ahead of us didn't bother him. Okay, I thought. I'm going to walk right past this bird.

Schultz stayed on my left side, walking very nicely. And the buzzard, which was probably not even two feet away from me,  stayed very nicely on right side. I could have reached down and petted that thing as we passed it.  I had never been that close to such a ginormous bird! 

For the life of me, I have no idea why that bird was there, and why Schultz didn't get all spastic as we approached and passed it. Maybe the eclipse had something to do with it! 

Note:  I know you're all probably getting used to me not being around much. Still dealing with issues. But there are some good things going on too. I will have a new picture book coming out soon - Don't Feed the Elephant! And I'm busy revising a manuscript for an interested publisher. So a lot of "spare" time is spent working on those two projects. You still won't see me regularly, but I'll stop by to post and visit whenever I can.    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lemonade, Inc.

Running a lemonade stand these days is a complicated business! It used to be that you could just put up a table, mix a pitcher of lemonade, maybe make a sign, and wait for the crowds to show up. Or not.

That's not the way it is anymore. You're supposed to have a lemonade stand permit before you set up anywhere. Why? I have no idea. Probably just a way for cities to profit from the entrepreneurial youngsters in the area.

My boy and his friends made it even more complicated. Each person selling lemonade had to have stock in the company.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is how it went down:

"Mama," my boy said. "I own stock in the lemonade stand."

"What?" This sounded absolutely ridiculous. "How much did you pay into this lemonade company?"


Okay. That wasn't bad.

He explained further. "We had to buy stock, so that we could participate in the sales. If you don't contribute, you don't get any of the profits."

It kind of made sense. They used their "stock money" to purchase lemonade mix and cover any other business expenses they accrued.

It worked out pretty well for my boy. The young entrepreneurs had a substantial amount of sales. They set up for three days, and every day, each boy made $10.50. I'd say that was a good payback! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Glass House

The other day, as I was cleaning the counter in my kitchen, I noticed an over-turned glass bowl sitting on it. I wondered why in the world it was flipped upside-down. It didn't take me long to figure it out. Under the bowl, was the ugliest looking bug you've ever seen.

Here's what it looked like: 

It was walking around. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was very much alive.

I knew my boy had something to do with it.

"Bubba," I called. "Why is there an insect under the bowl on the counter?"

He meandered in. "It looked scary, so I figured I should trap it so nobody would get hurt."

Good thinking.

"So, Bubba. Now that you have it trapped on our counter, what are you going to do with it?"

He shrugged. Apparently, this was Mama's department. I figured we should investigate and see exactly what kind of threat this thing posed.

Our investigation determined that this was a robber fly. A very fierce insect that kills wasps and bees. Definitely not a force to be reckoned with. I decided that a can of Raid insect killer would be the best option. Bubba lifted the glass house, and I sprayed the robber fly. A few minutes later, it was dead.

"Guess it's not safe to live in a glass house," said Bubba.

"Yep, not safe at all," I said.

Prologue:  It is also not safe to scoop up a robber fly in a napkin. Even dead ones. That bastard somehow managed to sting me as its pointy stingy thing pierced the napkin. My pinky finger was numb from it. Guess the robber fly got it's revenge!

Before I go, since there were some requests to hear more of my playing from the recital, I've posted another video. (Again, you can only hear me. Sorry.) If you'd like to listen, here it is:


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wake Up Call

My teenaged daughter would sleep until three o'clock in the afternoon if left to her own devices. I've been trying to wake her up around 9:30, just to get her bio-rhythms somewhat in order for school.

The other day, I forgot, so while I was in the car driving my son somewhere, the boy had a brilliant idea. "I'll text her the most annoying sound in the world over and over to wake her up."

Apparently it worked.

If you need to wake someone up, here's the video you can send. I'm sure they'll appreciate it!

Before I go, I thought I'd share this video I made from my recital performance in April. There was no camera filming me as I played, but you can at least hear me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Open a Crown Cap Bottle Without a Bottle Opener

My boy, Bubba, wanted to open a bottle of Coke. The bottle had a crown cap - not one of those convenient twisty plastic caps. I'm not sure why he didn't use a bottle opener, but he found another genius way to open the bottle - with a hammer!

"I'm going to open a bottle with a hammer," he said.

Yeah, sure,  I thought. I expected to see broken pieces of glass as a result of this operation.

But he did it - without any spillage or breakage. With the head of the hammer under the lip of the cap, he slammed the hammer handle into the ground. The lid popped right off. If you don't believe it, check out this video for examples of how it's done.

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that for the month of July, two of my books (That Mama is a Gouch and Ten Zany Birds), are free from Smashwords. Visit here for the Grouch book, and here for the Bird book.