Mama Diaries

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

UV Inspection

First of all, thanks to everyone for your kind comments from my last post. Still dealing with a lot of difficult things, but just trying to remember that, "This too, shall pass!"

Now for more of my usual light-hearted stuff:

Bubba needed a UV flashlight (AKA black light flashlight).

"What do you need that for?" I asked.

"A science project."

Okay. Strange request. After basically searching the planet, we located one. (Of course he tells me this the night before it's needed.)

"Mama, roll up your sleeve," he said once we got home.

"Why?" I asked.

"I have to check something."

I shook my head and rolled up my sleeve. He turned on the flashlight and shined the light beam on my arm.

"Hmmm," he said.

Then he rolled up his sleeve and shined the beam on his arm. A lot of white particles appeared on his skin.

He nodded. "This shows things the human eye cannot see."

"Yeah?" I asked. "And what is it that you can now see?" 

"That you're clean, and I'm dirty!"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tips to Handle Stress and Be Positive

This is not one of my usual light-hearted posts. One of the reasons I am not here much, is because I'm dealing with a lot of stressful situations. I know everyone deals with them, because that's the way life is. I guess my point here is to bring something positive out of all of it, and share stuff I've learned. My hope is that what I say here, can help someone deal with whatever problems they are having.

So, here are my tips to handle stress and be positive:

1. Recognize a positive event each day.

2. Savor the event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.

3. Start a daily gratitude journal.

4. List a personal strength and note how you used it.

5. Set an attainable goal and note your progress.

6. Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.

7. Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.

8. Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.

Do at least one of these things each day, and it will help.

More things:

- Appreciate the world around you. If you can, get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

- Develop and bolster relationships.

- Learn something new.

- Choose to accept yourself, flaws and all.

- Practice resilience - rather than let loss, stress, failure, or trauma overwhelm you, use them as learning experiences and stepping stones to a better future.


Do you have any thoughts or things you'd like to add to this?

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Lifetime Supply of Astronaut Ice Cream

"Mama," my twelve-year-old son said. "Can I enter a sweepstake to win a lifetime supply of astronaut ice cream?"

I shook my head. "Dude, when you enter a sweepstake, you get put on a mailing list. And then you have a lifetime supply of spam."

"But it's worth it," he argued.

"Why?"

"Because if I win, and I'm ever homeless, I'll always have something to eat!"





Before I go, I'd like to thank everyone for all the well-wishes for my recital. It went very well, and the audience was so complimentary and appreciative. It's always nice to play for people like that! Here's a picture from it:

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cookie Concoction

I came home the other day and found a cookie pan covered with sticky, chocolate chip goop lying in the sink. It looked pretty disgusting.

I went into my husband's office and asked him, "What happened in the kitchen?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. Ask your son."

I went back into the kitchen and discovered a box of chocolate chip cookie mix and a bowl loaded with more goop and chunks of butter.

The boy walked in. "Dude, what's going on here?"

"I'm waiting for the butter to melt."

"Unless it gets to be one hundred degrees in here, this butter is not going to melt. Besides, if you're trying to make cookies, this stuff is way too runny!"

"I'm not trying to make cookies," he said.

"Then what are you trying to do?"

He pointed to the back of the box. "I'm trying to make this." It was a brownie/chocolate chip dessert.

I read the directions. "Dude, you need the brownie mix to go with this."

"Oh." Apparently the boy didn't feel inclined to read all of the directions.

"So, now what are you going to do?"

He shrugged and walked away.

I had a choice. I could either toss the entire mess, or attempt to do something with it. Since I'm not one to waste things, I did the latter. I grabbed a loaf pan, stirred the concoction so the butter pieces were a little more broken up, and then poured it in the pan. I popped it into the oven, and guessed at how long the thing should bake. I guessed good. When it was finished, it looked like a loaf of chocolate chip bread. My kids must've smelled it, because not long afterward, they came downstairs to have a piece.

"This is awesome!" Bubba said. "I made the best dessert ever!"  

With a little help from Mom!


Before I go, I wanted to let you know that this Sunday, April 23rd, I will be giving a viola recital. If you are in the area, you are welcome to come. Here's the info:

  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bad Dog

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I have two pictures, which equals two thousand words.

This is where I was last week:



And this is what I came home to:


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Brick of Fruit Flies

"Mom," my son said. "Don't pack fruit in my lunch anymore."

This was a puzzling request. "Why?" I asked.

"The school has a fruit fly infestation. They're getting into my locker, trying to get the fruit in my lunch."

"Seriously, dude? Your fruit is sealed in a Ziploc bag, which is zipped up in your lunch box. I hardly think this is creating a problem."

"You have no idea. Every time I open my locker, a wall of fruit flies comes out."

I gave him the Mama look. Like I wan't buying it. "A wall of fruit flies?"

He thought about that and revised his statement. "It's more like a brick. They come out in a perfect rectangular formation."

Right. "Dude, what in the world is in your locker? A rotten fruit collection?"

He denied having such a thing. "Do you want to come to school and check?"

Not really. But I might have to go just to see this brick of fruit flies!
  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dank Meme Soup

"What?" you're asking. I didn't name it. Bubba did.

Chef Bubba was back in the kitchen working his magic. This little creation involved beef broth and a sweet potato. The boy cooked some spaghetti noodles and dumped them in a pot of beef broth. Then he cut up some celery and carrots and added them to the mix. He seasoned it with pepper, and then added the secret ingredient:  a sweet potato.

Amazingly, the boy peeled the thing. But that was where it stopped. After peeling, Bubba tossed the uncut potato into the pot. He let it simmer for a while and then announced that his soup was ready.

I went over to investigate, and saw this sweet potato rising up like an island in the middle of broth.

"Dude," I said. "What's up with the sweet potato? Aren't you going to cut it?"

He shook his head. "No, Mom. This is Dank Meme soup. You never cut the sweet potato when you make Dank Meme soup!"

So, ladies and gentlemen, remember that. Never cut the sweet potato when you make Dank Meme soup!      

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Fun Monkey

My son has an interesting way of looking at things. Yesterday, he came home from school with this information:

"Mom, most rational people do what they have to do without any problem."

Okay. I wondered where he was going with this.

He continued. "But some people have this thing called a Fun Monkey inside of their head."

"A Fun Monkey?"

"Yes. It opposes all rational thinking and makes the person get sidetracked with fun things that are more interesting than what they're supposed to be doing."

I nodded. "I see. Have you experienced this Fun Monkey in your head?"

"Yes. It's been giving me some problems."

"What kind of problems?"

"Well, there's this other thing called the Karma Monster. Whenever you do what the Fun Monkey wants you to do, the Karma Monster gets you for not doing what you're supposed to be doing."

"So you're saying you got in trouble?"

"Maybe."

I see. So, I guess we all have to learn from Bubba and not listen to the Fun Monkey. Otherwise the Karma Monster is going to get us!      

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rude Awakening

Yesterday when my daughter came home from school, I noticed she had pictures drawn all over her arm. Some were in pen, and others were in marker.

"Why did you draw on your arm?" I asked.

"I didn't."

I looked at her funny. "What do you mean?"

"My friend did it. I passed out during biology class. She did it while I was sleeping."

Nice friend.

(Apparently doing homework until 3:00 AM is taking its toll on my daughter.)

So, have any of you ever fallen asleep, and awakened to discover something strange had been done to you?  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Little Travel Music

My kids like to have their music on when we drive in the car. Usually it's stuff you hear on the radio, but the other day, my daughter had something on that sounded a little different.

"What are you listening to?" I asked.

She grinned. "Sponge Bob Square Pants Campfire Song."

"Are you serious?"

"I bought it on iTunes."

I couldn't believe it. My teenaged daughter bought a Sponge Bob Square Pants song and was blasting it at high volume in my car.

Of course my son, thought that was great. Soon, both kids were singing along.

So, in case you want to hear what I had to listen to over and over for twenty minutes, click on this link.

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Science Experiment

There is never a shortage of unusual occurrences at my house. The latest involves a science experiment done by my twelve-year-old son.

My teenage daughter likes to use bath bombs. These are solid balls of something that dissolve when placed in water, and make bath water smell nice. I was never clear on what the something part was, until after the experiment.

For reasons unknown to me, my son decided to toss one of these things in a toilet. A short time later, he used the toilet. He came back with this result:

"Mama," he said. "Did you know bath bombs make things float?"  

He explained in graphic detail what was floating in the toilet. I will spare you the details, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Apparently, bath bombs contain a high concentration of salt. Therefore, dumping a bath bomb in a toilet is like creating a miniature Dead Sea. Anything taking a swim in that toilet will float.

Aren't you glad you know that, now?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Team Spirit

As you know, my home team, the Atlanta Falcons, were in the Superbowl. (We are all heartbroken over their loss!) The week prior to the event, had the city in major celebration mode. Schools jumped on the bandwagon, too. Their festivities included a Team Spirit Day. Kids were allowed to dress up in Falcons jerseys, and decorate themselves in the Falcons' team colors.

When my boy came downstairs on the morning of the day of this big celebration, I had to do a double take. I hardly recognized him. He was dressed in a Falcons jersey, as expected.  But that was not all. His face was covered in red streaks, and he had red lines under his eyes (like the black lines football players place under their eyes). He also had red hair.

"Dude," I said. "What did you use to paint your hair and face with?"

He grinned. "Marker!"

Ugh!  Well, at least I found out it was the washable sort. And he ended up being photographed numerous times at school, so I'm sure his Falcons look will be caught forever in the school yearbook!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pitch Perfect

I've discovered that our German Shepherd, Schultz, has a new talent. This discovery was made last night, as I was teaching a violin student.

Normally, I banish the dog from the area when I teach in my house, so he doesn't disturb the lesson. But Schultz seemed rather laid back, and I didn't think he was going to cause too much trouble. He parked himself in a spot, not far from where the student and I were, and lay down.  I let him stay.

The student began playing, and hit a wrong note. I saw Schultz's ear twitch when he heard it. I didn't think much of it, until the student played another wrong note. Schultz's ear twitched, again. Hmmm, I thought, this dog notices out-of-tune notes and reacts to them.  The lesson continued. As long as the student played in tune, Schultz's ear didn't move. But every time a wrong note was played, the ear twitched. 

I think I have a new assistant! If I ever go deaf, I can rely on my hearing-ear dog. Now he just needs to tell me if the student is playing sharp or flat!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Little Celebration

If you live in the United States, you may have heard that the Atlanta Falcons won their last football game and are heading to the Super Bowl. I live in Atlanta, so we're all pretty excited about this.

My son, Bubba, who is an avid football player and fan, was probably more excited than anyone else in my family. He had to have a celebration. This involved a bottle of Coke.

I walked into the kitchen and saw the boy vigorously shaking a single-serve bottle of the carbonated beverage. "What are you doing?" I asked. "You're going to make it explode!"

He grinned. "That's the point! There aren't any bottles of champagne around here, so Coke is the next best thing!"

I rolled my eyes. "If you're going to open it, please do it over the sink!"

He complied. Ten seconds later, and explosive spray of soda came out of that bottle.

"Cheers, Mama!"

Yeah. Cheers.

(Fortunately, the cleanup wasn't too bad. It could've been worse. He could've added Mentos!)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Polar Bear Club

Yesterday, my son informed me that he had joined the Polar Bear Club at school.

The immediately conjured up images of my boy in swim trunks jumping into a frigid body of water. "You did what?" I asked.

"I joined the Polar Bear Club."

"What exactly do you do in the Polar Bear Club?"

"We go outside for recess when it's cold outside, and everybody else stays inside."

For those of you who don't know, I live in Georgia, where it doesn't get very cold. We're talking an average winter temperature of 45 degrees. "You're telling me that you don't go out for recess when it's less than 50 degrees unless you're a member of the Polar Bear Club?"

He nodded. "That's right."

Wow. Fifty degrees is warm by my winter standards. (I'm from Cleveland, Ohio.) I think I'd even join the Polar Bear Club and wear shorts and a t-shirt outside!  

(But I don't think I'd do this:)


Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick Thinking

My twelve-year-old son and I were at the grocery store the other day. As we stood in line at the checkout, we noticed that there seemed to be a problem. An old Asian man was trying to buy a carton of cigarettes, and the cashier was asking him for his date of birth. Here in the United States, you have to be at least eighteen to buy cigarettes. The cashier needed his date of birth in order to allow the sale to be entered into the cash register.

Well, Mr. Asian Dude didn't speak a word of English. He couldn't understand what the cashier was saying. The line continued to grow as the cashier, other workers, and customers tried to ask him for some kind of identification.

Finally, my boy came up with a brilliant idea. "Mama, do you have your cell phone?"

"Sure. Why?"

"I have an idea."  He took my phone and looked up Google Translate. He guestimated that Mr. Asian Dude was Korean, and proceeded to type a message: "What is your birthday? She needs identification so you can buy the cigarettes," which was immediately translated into Korean.

He showed Mister Asian Dude the phone.  Viola! Mr. Asian Dude nodded and pulled out a paper from his wallet. A Visa.

The cashier looked at it, got the information she needed, and Mister Asian Dude got his cigarettes. Problem solved!  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Question of the Month and a Hairy Situation


It's time for Question of the Month, hosted by Michael D'Agostino. Today's question is, what one thing made you grow up?

Grow up? Who said I ever grew up? I'm just a big kid. But if I have to pick something that has made me a bit more responsible, I'd have to say having my first child. There's something to be said about being responsible for the complete well-being of a helpless baby.   I had learned responsibility when I moved out of my parent's house and had my own place. But having a child added a whole new dimension to things. I couldn't just do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I not only had to make sure I met the physical needs of my child, but also provide for their emotional well-being. I also had to make sure I was leading by good example. It's a big job!

How about you? What made you "grow up"?

Now for the story:

Schultz, our giant German Shepherd, was getting kind of stinky. He needed a bath.  That meant a dunk in our jacuzi. (Yes, his winter baths are like spa treatments. No outside hoses for these.)

Baths for Schultz are always messy situations. But this time Schultz was exceptionally messy. Why? Because he's shedding. (I have no idea why he'd do that in the middle of winter. It's kind of crazy. But whatever.) By the time Schultz was done, he had covered every square inch of the tub with hair. And did he stop there? No!

He gave himself a big shake in the bathroom. Hair flew everywhere. On the floor. On the walls. Even on the ceiling.

But that wasn't all.

He went out into our bedroom. What happened then? You guessed it. He shook his hairy body and more hair plastered the walls.

After that, he went out in the hall and ran up and down it gleefully. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to cover our white walls with black hair in less than a minute.

Let's just say it took a VERY long time to clean up that mess! I'm still finding German Shedder hairs in places they don't belong!