Mama Diaries

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Magic Carrot

Have you heard of Mozart's Magic Flute? Well, let me tell you about the Magic Carrot.

My daughter had a physics project in which she had to create a musical instrument using household items and a little math.

My girl and her lab partner decided on a paper flute. (Or more correctly, the lab partner decided this.) Unfortunately, the paper didn't work so well. Not surprising. So, a new item had to be found. That new item was a carrot.

My daughter did the math. Then she got out a drill and knife. When she was finished, she had something that looked like a recorder. Then the true test:  Would it make music?

She blew through it. First time it sounded like nothing but air blowing through a carrot. With a little tweaking of the mouthpiece, it produced a pitch. And when fingers covered the holes, new pitches were produced.

It doesn't sound anything like the flute in Mozart's Magic Flute, but rabbits who happen to be in the area may find the sound (and smell) pleasing, which might lure them in. Which means my dog, Schultz will have something to chase. Pure magic.

If you care to see how a carrot flute is made, go here.   

Monday, February 4, 2019

Miss Independent

Today I watched my daughter drive off to school by her own car.

It's kind of a weird thing to see the kid who used to dress up in princess costumes and have tea parties with stuffed animals suddenly turn into a young adult.

This past weekend, she bought her first car. I'm not one of those parents who just gives my kid a car. She had to work hard to earn the money. She saved it until she finally had enough to buy the car herself. The sense of accomplishment on her face when she brought it home was priceless.

It's a bittersweet thing. On one hand, I'm glad she's becoming independent and growing up. And it's kind of  nice not having to be the taxi service. On the other hand, now I have to worry about her safety on the road. And I know she'll never be a little kid again.

Next year, she'll be going off to college. That'll be another big adjustment!

How was it for you when your kids grew up? Was it hard on you? Or were you happy to see it?

And since it's about time for the IWSG post, I'll add that.

This month's question is, "What other creative outlets do you have?"

That's an easy one. I am a professional musician. I play and teach violin, viola, and piano. But I also play cello, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, harpsichord, and xylophone. I also write music. Mostly songs. But I am thinking about writing a concerto for viola and orchestra. All the contemporary viola concertos are very modern-sounding. In my opinion, they're not concertos that the average person would like to listen to. The ones that are nice, are not considered difficult enough for professional orchestra auditions. So, I would like to create a viola concerto that's pretty and technically challenging. Now I need more time... 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Snow Day

Folks in the north are experiencing above average amounts of snowfall. For this reason, many schools are closed.

Here, in Georgia where I live, the schools are also closed. But we have no snow.

"Mom," my son said when he came home yesterday. "Tomorrow is a snow day!"

I looked outside where the sun was shining brightly. I looked at the thermometer. 47 degrees Fahrenheit. "Are you sure about that?"

"Yeah! We're going to get snow!"

Fast forward to today. When we woke up, the thermometer read 43 degrees. Not cold enough to snow. Sure, it was raining, but this stuff wasn't going to freeze.

It's a little colder right now, but the sun is shining. For the life of me, I can't understand why they closed the schools. And the government offices. Ridiculous!

Let's hope it doesn't snow on Superbowl Sunday. Atlanta is hosting it. We're going to be in trouble if a few flakes fall. It'll be the first time ever that the Superbowl is cancelled! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mr. Sleepy

When my kids were little, I couldn't get them to sleep. Now I have the opposite problem. I can't get them to stay awake.

Let me tell you the story:

My teenage son, Bubba, had a morning doctor appointment. I dragged him in to the waiting area and had him sit on the sofa next to me. Two minutes later, he was asleep. When the nurse came out to get him, it was a major effort to awaken him. Everyone in the waiting area chuckled.

Two days later, he had an appointment at the dentist to get a cavity filled. Bet you can't guess what happened. Yes, he fell asleep in the chair!  I don't know how anyone falls asleep when they're having their teeth drilled, but my boy managed to do it. (Without medication!)

If you have/had teenagers, do you have any stories like this? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Poor Pig

We started a new New Years tradition at my pad. It's called beat the pig. You get this peppermint pig, put it in a nice velvet bag, then take a hammer and pulverize it. (First person to crack it gets to make a wish.)

Well, it's been a rough few years here, so we've had some bottled-up angst. My daughter initially cracked the thing. But my son beat it to a pulp. Here's what it looked like after his assault:

I'd have to say, it was strangely satisfying and somewhat therapeutic to do this. So, if you have a rough year, I would highly recommend getting a peppermint pig and smashing it to smithereens. (Doing this on New Years Eve would probably work, too.)  I guarantee you will feel better, and the new year will be off to a good start. 

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that my book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China is in a cover contest. Thanks to those who voted in round 1. It's now in round 2. If you'd like to vote you can go here. (You don't have to be on Facebook - you can vote anonymously. And if you voted in round 1, you can vote again in round 2.) Thank you!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sushi Chef and IWSG

Happy New Year!  I wish all of you a great 2019!

First story:  My son, Bubba, likes to cook. But not just ordinary things. He has a creative flare for the extraordinary.

"Mom, we need to get fish eggs, tuna, seaweed, avocado, and sushi rice," he said.

I knew what that meant. He was going to make sushi.

We got the ingredients and proceeded to create the dish. Except he couldn't find the bamboo sushi roller.

"What are we going to do?" he asked.

"I don't know," I said. "Why don't you consult Dr. Google and find out if there's an alternative you can use."

That's what he did. It turns out, you can use a kitchen towel and wrap it in plastic wrap to do the job. It doesn't work as well, but it still does the trick.

Anyway, ladies and gentleman, here is Bubba's finished concoction:

What do you think?

Second:  It's time for the IWSG post.

The question this month is:  What question do you get as an author that you don't like answering, and which question do you like answering?

I don't like answering the question, "How many books have you sold?"  It makes me feel very insecure. I wish I could say that I've sold thousands of my titles. But I can't. As of right now, I am not a best-selling author. Does that mean I'm not a good writer? Does that mean I'm not good at marketing? I don't know. I hope not.  I wish I could say I've sold a ton of books, because I've sure put a lot of effort into writing and marketing them!

My favorite question:  "What do you like most about writing?"  I like creating. It's fun.  I think most authors can relate. But since I'm a children's writer, the thing I like most is not the actual writing, but going out to see the kids either at libraries or schools. It's so gratifying to know that they've enjoyed my books and that I've inspired them to read and write.

What about you? If you're an author, what are you favorite and least favorite questions?         

Friday, December 21, 2018

Gingerbread House

Every year, my kids and I attempt putting together a gingerbread house. Most of the time, it's a dismal failure, with the roof collapsing and the walls crumbling into a swamp of icing. This year, we tried something different:  a kit with interlocking walls. It's an architectural feature that helps even the worst gingerbread house builders. And guess what? It worked!

Now, I admit, this is not the most amazing gingerbread house ever created. But I think for us, it's pretty darn good!

If you'd like to see a spectacular gingerbread creation, check out this Hogwarts castle, done by true master gingerbread builders!

I'm not sure if I'll be back before the new year, so, I'd like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!