Mama Diaries

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Dog and the Frog

There is a very large frog that likes to sit on our front step each evening and make a lot of noise. He hasn't gone unnoticed by a certain quadruped named Schultz. Schultz is our hundred-pound German Shepherd.

The other night, Mr. Schultz finally had the opportunity to introduce himself to the amphibian. He charged out the garage door, bounded across the front lawn, and stopped right in front of Mr. Frog. What did Mr. Frog do? Nothing. Not even a hop.

Mr. Schultz gave the frog the biggest sniff ever. His big, wet nose was basically on top of that frog, sniffing every square inch. This lasted at least ten seconds. Finally, Schultz got bored and trotted off to sniff something else.

Once Schultz was safely out of distance, the frog blinked his little eyeballs and resumed croaking.

(I'm guessing the frog is one of Croaky's pals. (Croaky is our pet African clawed frog.) He probably told him about Schultz, so his buddy knew he had nothing to worry about!)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ancient Grains

The other day, when I walked past the shoe closet, I noticed an unpleasant odor. It didn't quite smell like stinky socks - something you might expect from such a closet. Curious, I opened the door. After some poking around, my nose led me to a lunch box. My son's lunch box. It was shoved in the back corner. Who only knew how long it had been sitting there.

I picked that thing up between my thumb and index finger, afraid of what lethal contaminant might be lurking inside, and placed it on the kitchen counter. I unzipped it. What  I found inside was a bunch of Ziploc bags. Most were empty. All except one. In that one was a sandwich, which at the very least, could be described as a science experiment gone wrong. The once nutritious whole-grain bread was covered in blue and yellow growth. The blue, I'm guessing, was mold. The yellow? Your guess is as good as mine. All I knew was that it produced an exceptionally foul odor which needed to be eliminated immediately if not sooner.

All I can say about that, was that my son gave new meaning to the words, "ancient grains."

(I was going to take a picture, but I figured it might make the majority of you want to vomit. I hope ya'll appreciate my consideration!)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Solve a Rubiks Cube

There are many ways to solve a Rubiks Cube.  For those of you who might not be familiar with what one is, it's a cube puzzle with lots of colored squares. The goal is to have each side the same color. To achieve this, most people rotate the rows of the cube.  Other people, like myself, peel off the stickers and reattach them in the proper place.

My son? Well, he's not like most people. He's not even like me.

The other day, I found his Rubiks Cube completely disassembled on the floor in his room. Tiny cube-ish squares of color were spread out, making it very difficult to walk.

"Dude," I said. "What's going on here?"

He grinned. "I discovered that you can take the cube apart. Now I'm going to reassemble it to solve the puzzle."

He's still working on it. I suspect it will take him about twenty years to complete. Taking the stickers off would have been so much easier!

If you want to properly solve the cube, learn how by going here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Release: Black and White by Nick Wilford

My blog friend, Nick Wilford, has released a new YA dystopian book called Black & White.  Here's the scoop on it:  

Title: Black & White
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: YA dystopian Series #: 1 of 3
Release date: 18th September 2017
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

My Review:

Whitopolis is the perfect city. No diseases. No death. No dirt. Everyone is happy. Wellesbury, the protagonist, is a kid who lives there. Life goes along smoothly until a really messed up kid named Mallinger shows up. He's dirty, diseased, and dying. He comes from a city called Fusterberry. Of course the government of Whitopolis can't have such an imperfection living among them, so they lock him away. Only Wellesbury and his friend, Esmerelda want to help. In the process, they challenge the government and learn to think for themselves. They also learn that sometimes things aren't as perfect as they seem.

White and Black is an interesting dystopian tale. The characters are memorable, and there are enough plot turns to keep the reader guessing about what is going to happen next. It's a very good opening to the three-part trilogy. Recommended for young adult readers interested in dystopian novels.

Purchase Links:
Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, or Amazon.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories or a $10 giftcard! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.