Mama Diaries

Monday, December 31, 2012

Killed by the Ghost

I'm not really here.  I'm dead.  I was killed by a ghost.  (Which kind of makes me a ghost now, doesn't it?)  How did this happen?  Well, let me tell you the story. 

My son got a Wii U for Christmas.  He was busy playing one of his Mario games.  "Mama," he said.  "Come and play with me."

"But I don't like video games," I said.

"Aww, Mama, please!  It's fun!"

Reluctantly, I agreed to do this.  He handed me a control.  "What do I do with this?" I asked.

"Press the buttons."

Of course.  I looked at the gizmo and wondered why it was that kids have no trouble pressing random buttons while adults are afraid of doing something that will result in some kind of nuclear destruction. After examining the device carefully, I figured out what the buttons did.  "Okay," I said.  "I'm ready."

He started the game, Luigi's Haunted Castle.  "You have to kill the ghost.  I'm the ghost."

"Okay.  How do I kill the ghost?"

"Shine your flashlight on him."

I attempted to move the Luigi character.  I think he was drunk, because he kept bumping into walls.  He managed to kill a few random ghosts, but then the battery in his light burned out.  "Now what?" I asked.

"Go get a battery," my son said.

"What kind?  D? AA? C?"

My son looked at me like I was crazy.  "No, Mama! The battery is in the corner.  You have to move Luigi over there to get it." 

Oh. Right.

Unfortunately, I never made it to the corner.  The ghost popped out of nowhere and ate me up.  So now I'm dead.

Maybe I'll rise again after the New Year.  Maybe.

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year!  Best wishes for 2013! 


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Piano Playing Dog

After  our German Shepherd, Schultz was released from doggy jail yesterday, he came and sat at my feet while I practiced the piano.  I have a recital coming up at the end of January, so I've been doing a lot of practicing.  Usually, Schultz behaves himself.  Or sometimes he chases the shadows I make as I play.  Yesterday was a little different.  He stuck his big snoot under my arm pit and lifted my arm off of the keyboard.

"What?  Are you tired of listening to Beethoven twenty times a day?"

He cocked his head and looked at me.

I resumed practicing.

He stuck his snoot under my arm pit again.

"What do you want, dog?"

He walked to the other side of the piano and rested his head on the keys, making a chord cluster.

"Oh, I see.  You want to play."  I stopped and watched him.  He watched me.  "Well?"  I said.  "Do something."

He promptly licked the keys and trotted off.

Just what I needed.  Dog slobber on my piano!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Schultz's Dinner

Schultz, our enormous German Shepherd, has been on a rampage lately.  I don't know what his malfunction is, but he is having some serious issues with staying out of trouble.  A couple of days ago, he went to the pet store, and knocked over a whole shelf of goldfish food with his big, bushy tail.  Yesterday, I caught him digging up one of the plants in my garden.  And did I mention how filthy he's been getting?  Maybe he thinks that he can do whatever he wants now that Santa's already been here with a delivery of treats for his stocking. 

Anyway, today's episode involved food - human food.  I was attempting to make spaghetti. As I pulled the noodles out of the box, a bunch fell onto the floor.  Guess who was there to clean up?  Yep.  Schultz.  Apparently he likes munching on uncooked spaghetti noodles.

"Schultz, yuck!" I said.

He cocked his head and kept crunching.  He ate about a third of a box of those things.

Later, my son put his vanilla milkshake on the kitchen chair.  I don't know why he did this, but I didn't catch it.  Schultz did.  When I walked into the room, there was Schultz, with his big snoot in the cup, licking up the milkshake.

"Schultz!" I hollared.  "What do you think you're doing?"

He pulled his snoot out of the cup and looked at me.  His black face was covered with splotches of vanilla ice cream.  He put his snoot back in and licked some more.

"Oh no you don't," I said.  "Crate!" 

I confiscated the milkshake and locked him up in jail.  That's where he's going to stay for a very long time!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mama the Mad Scientist

I did not know that making motors was in my job description when I signed up to be a mom.  Apparently moms are supposed to be engineers and physicists.

My son got an invention science kit for Christmas.  He likes inventing things, so I thought it would be a good idea to get him one. I don't know what I was thinking.

"Mama, can you help me?" my son asked.

"Sure."  I sat down and looked at the directions.  I could tell it was going to be fun.  The first project was making a motor.  Step number one was making a coil.  I took the wire and wrapped it around a dowel until it resembled a coil. Then I had to sand the leads.

"Mama, what are you doing? This isn't a wood working project."

"The directions say to sand the top of the leads," I explained.

Then it was time to assemble the motor.  I took some paperclips, rubberbands, a magnet, and other assorted things and attempted to put them together.  When I was done, I had an odd contraption hooked up to a battery sitting in front of me.

"What does it do?" Bubba asked.

I stared at it.  "Absolutely nothing," I said.

"Mama, you're nothing but a mad scientist."

Yeah.  And a mad Mama!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snow Angels

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said.  "Can I help you shovel snow?"

"Sure," I said.  "Go ahead and grab a shovel."

I continued shoveling the driveway while he searched for his kid-sized shovel.  A couple minutes later, he joined me.  That lasted a grand total of nine seconds.  The boy promptly dropped onto his back in the middle of the driveway and started making snow angels.

"Bubba, can you do that on the grass?"

"No, Mama.  I want to make them in the driveway."

He made about five of those things.  "Bubba," I said.  "I'm going to have to shovel them.  If you want your snow angels to last, go make them in the grass."

"Mama, can you please shovel around them?  They look so nice!"

"I'll tell you what.  I'll keep two of them.  The rest have to go, or we won't be able to get out of the driveway."

So that's what I did.  We now have two snow angels in the driveway.  Unfortunately, I have to go somewhere in about two minutes, so those snow angels are going to have some tire tracks running over their nice little wings.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Does Santa Have a Passport?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We had a lovely time at my pad, although my son did not receive a time machine or a million dollars.  He didn't seem too disappointed, though.  After examining his presents under the tree, he asked a rather interesting question:  "Mama, why doesn't Santa need a passport?"

I thought about that for a minute.  "Well, Bubba.  A few hundred years ago, when Santa first started traversing the Earth, he contacted the government officials from every country.  He told them he had to deliver toys to every kid on the planet."

Bubba looked at me quizzically. "Are you sure about that, Mama?"

"Of course I'm sure.  And they made up a special contract granting him permission to fly his sleigh and reindeer through international airspace."

"Did Santa sign the contract?"

"Of course.  I bet the United Nations has it locked up somewhere in a vault."

"Mama, you're making that up!"

I grinned (as best I could with my fat lip).  "What makes you think that?"

"Because there wasn't a United Nations hundreds of years ago."


Before I go, I want to share with you a couple of  presents Santa left:

A garden Yeti for my husband.  Apparently Santa thought he deserved this for harrassing me all year and making fun of Beethoven.

A Beethoven finger puppet for me.  Now why would Santa do that?  Unless I'm supposed to give my husband a Beethoven finger next time he teases me!

(All kidding aside, my husband is a good guy.  He made me homemade chicken soup when I was sick, and he told me I was still pretty, even with my fat lip.)

So, what do you think?  Does Santa have a passport?


Monday, December 24, 2012

What I Want for Christmas

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said.  "Can you come over to the sofa and snuggle with me?  I want to tell you what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas."

"Okay," I said.  I put down the dishes and sat on the sofa next to my little man.  He snuggled up next to me as I put my arm around him.  "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

"I want a Razor scooter and an electric car."


"And do you know what else I want?" he continued.

"What else?" I asked.

"I want a jet propulsion vehicle, and a time machine, and a million dollars."

Well, Santa, you have a very tall order to fill here!

Do you want to know what I want for Christmas, Santa?  I would like a publisher to buy my manuscript(s).  I've worked very hard, and I've been a good girl. Most of the time. So please, can you do that little thing for me?

And do you know what else I want?  I want my lip to go back to its normal size, because I want to smile again!

Here's a little song for you, Santa:

All I want for Christmas is my lip to shrink,
My lip to shrink,
Oh, my lip to shrink.

All I want for Christmas is my lip to shrink,
So I could wish a Merry Christmas!

Would you like to here me sing,
"Sister Suzie sitting on a sissle?" (I can't pronounce th's.)
Gosh oh gee,
How happy I'd be,
If I could only whistle! (and smile!)

All I want for Christmas is my lip to shrink,
My lip to shrink,
Oh, my lip to shrink.

All I want for Christmas is my lip to shrink,
So I could wish a Merry Christmas!

There you go, Santa.  An earworm in your head.  Remember it when you land on my roof tonight with your eight reindeer.  On second thought, you may want to park in the driveway.  My roof is a little steep.

Merry Christmas!  I hope all of you who celebrate it, have a fantastically marvelous day, and I hope you get everything on your list!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have a Little Cookie with Your Sprinkles

Today the kids and I made Christmas cut-out sugar cookies.  I let them help me roll the dough and create shapes of all sorts, including pumpkins, shamrocks, motorcycles, and butterflies.  (Not very Christmasy, but it works for us.)  When we were done with that, I put out the sprinkles and let them have fun decorating.  I walked away and did whatever I do. 

"We're done," they announced about fifteen minutes later.  "We used all the sprinkles!"

"What?" I asked.  "There were six full containers of sprinkles.  There's no possible way you used all of them!"

"Yeah, we did," said Bubba.  "Come and see."

I walked over to the cookies trays.  There on the table, were six empty sprinkle containers. On the trays were piles of sprinkles.  "Excuse me," I said, brushing some sprinkles to the side.  "Where are the cookies?" 

Bubba grinned.  "Buried.  They don't want to get burned!"


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Snowball

Frosty Jr.
I see you all survived the end of the world.  The Oreo cookie was right when it said not to worry!  Now we're good until 2060, when Isaac Newton says the world will end.  I'll go with whatever Newton says, because anybody who realizes that apples fall down and not up, is a genious!
Anyway, we had a little snow fall in my part of the world.  (And I mean, a little - not even an inch.)  The kids immediately ran outside to play in it.  They made Frosty Jr. pictured above.  Isn't he cute?
When they were finished, they came in.  My son came in with something else.  A snowball.
"What are you doing with that?" I asked.
"I'm putting it in the freezer."
"Because I'm saving it for next year.  I'll add to it and make it bigger."
All right, then.  So now, ladies and gentlemen, I have a snowball in my freezer along with the hail balls from the storm we had this past summer.    Maybe we can get a thunderstorm or even a tornado in there, too!   

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End of the World

The end of the world has come a day early at my pad.  You already know about my mutilated mouth (which looks worse each day - I think my upper lip is about to have baby lips!).  Now I have the germ my kids had.  Yes, I'm sick.  Ugh!  And the dog is vomitting.  Isn't that nice?

So people, I'm going to go snuggle with my rubber chicken and wait for all of this to pass.

You all enjoy the end of the world tomorrow, and I'll see you in a couple of days when it starts back up. (I hope!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Captain Underpants

Why is it when I don't feel good, that my kids and pets act the worst?  I don't understand.

Yesterday, I had that frenum procedure done, which left me with a seriously puffed up upper lip.

"Mom, you look like a duck," my daughter said.  She promptly got out her iPod and took a video of me.  Being the good-natured individual I am, I gave her a good show.  "I'm going to post this on Youtube," she said.

I scowled at her. "If you do, you're grounded forever!" (No, you are not going to see a video of me looking like a duck!)

Then the dumb dog came over with his slobbery tug.  He shoved that thing into my lap.  "No, Schultz, I'm not playing tug with you.  Leave me alone!"  He kept doing it.  Finally, I had to take it away.  I don't think he was pleased.

Two seconds later, my son ran down the stairs, dressed in nothing but his underware and a black vampire cape. 

"What do you think you're doing?" I asked.

"I'm Captain Underpants!" he said with a big grin on his face.

"Bubba, just because I look like a duck, doesn't mean you can look like Captain Underpants.  Go put on some clothes!"

"Tra la la!" he shouted and ran off to chase the dog.

(Remind me not to get him anymore Captain Underpants books!)

Of course my husband was out of town, and I had to deal with this zoo crew all by myself.

When he came home this morning, he took one look at me.  "Can I get some orange paint and paint your upper lip?  I'll get you some orange socks, too, and you can be a duck!"

Oy gewalt!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Laughing Through Surgery

Don't smile!  Stop it.  I'm serious.  Smiling is hazardous to your health!  You'll end up like me, needing surgery.

You think I'm kidding?  Nope.  I just came back from having my frenum detached and my gums cut up.  If you followed me a year ago, you might remember that I had some surgery on my gums to remove some odd scar tissue.  We didn't know what caused it, but we hoped that it wouldn't ever be a problem, again.  Well, it came back. 

"Sherry," the oral surgeon said, "I think the problem is that every time you smile, your frenum irritates your gum and causes blistering and scaring."

"Great," I said.  "So you're saying that every time I smile, I'm hurting myself?"

He nodded.  "Pretty much."

So that's like every three seconds.

He felt that detaching the frenum would correct the problem.  So I went in to have that little procedure done.  I opted for a shot in the gums to numb the area, rather than be put to sleep, which meant I was fully aware of what was going on.

My upper lip was pulled back so far that it literally covered my nostrils.  I thought that was hilarious.  Then my bottom lip started quivering. 

"Sorry, I have tickle your bottom lip," said the surgeon.

He had to?

Well, that did it.  I couldn't help it. I just started cracking up.

"Why are you laughing?" the surgeon asked.  "This isn't funny!"

I tried real hard to control myself, because I didn't want him to mess up.  When he was done, he wiped the blood off my face.  I started cracking up again.

He shook his head.   "Sherry, I've never had a patient laugh through surgery."

I tried to grin with my swollen, numb lips.  "Yeah, I'm a one-of-a-kind!"

So here I am, typing away, looking like a super model with swollen lips.  Okay.  Maybe not a super model, but I definitely have the swollen lip thing going on.  The good news is, the surgeon says in two weeks, I'll be able to smile without hurting myself.  I hope!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dirty Dog

Apparently, our German Shepherd, Schultz, likes baths.  I have come to this conclusion because lately, he has done everything possible to ensure he gets one every day.

Three days ago, he came in, covered with mud from head to toe.  He shook himself and mud splattered all over the walls.

"Schultz, that's disgusting," I said.  "You need a bath!"

He cocked his head and charged upstairs to the bathtub, leaving a trail of muddy footprints all over the carpet.

We gave him a bath, and he was clean and shiny.  (Of course our bathroom was not. It needed a bath after Schultz got done in there.)

The next day, my husband let him outside.

"He's going to get dirty," I warned.

Sure enough, he chased the neighbor's dogs along the fence line and got filthy.

"Crate!" I hollared.

He trotted in, leaving another trail of mud.  We filled the tub with water and sent him upstairs.  He charged into the bathtub, happy as could be.

Afterwards, he was clean and shiny, but our bathroom was not.

The next day, my son let him out.

"You are kidding," I said.  "Don't you people believe in leashes?"  I called the dog back, but it was too late.  He was covered in mud.  I sent him to his crate.  "Schultz, you should be ashamed of yourself!"

He wasn't.  He sat in his crate with his tongue hanging out, and a huge smile plastered on his furry, muddy face.  He knew he was getting another bath.  

That dog is pretty smart.  I think he has us trained!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Orangutan Experiment

Both of my kids are sick today.  My daughter has a temperature of 101.6, and my son has a temperature of 102.7.  Not good!  After giving them some Motrin and Matzo Ball soup, they regained a little of their sense of humor.

"Mama, what's wrong with me?" my son asked.

"Bubba, you have a virus," I replied.

"Can you take me to the doctor so I can get rid of it?"

"There's no cure for viruses.  You just have to wait for your body to fight it."

He didn't like that answer.  "I'm going to be a scientist when I grow up, and I'm going to find a cure!"

"That's good," I said.  "I hope you succeed."

"Mama, which monkey is closest to a human?"

I wondered where this conversation was going.  "I believe orangutans are genetically closest to humans."  (I think I remember reading this fact somewhere, so if you want to confirm or correct this, please feel free.)

"I'm going to gather a bunch of orangutans and conduct some experiments on them.  First, I'll inject them with a virus.  Then I'll get every possible chemical there is, and inject it into them.  Something has to work!"

My daughter, the animal lover, objected.  "Bubba, that's cruelty to animals!  You can't do that.  Mom, don't let him do that!"

Okay.  So here's the plan.  We're going to round up all the orangutans and get them on a spaceship.  Then we're going to send them off to the Planet of the Apes, where they can live out their lives, free of my son's mad scientist experiments.  Does anybody want to help?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What I'm Getting for Christmas

"Woman," my husband said.  "I know what I'm getting you for Christmas."

This ought to be good, I thought.  "What am I getting for Christmas?"

"A dog named Sherry."

"What?"  I couldn't believe it.  Wasn't one dog enough?

"Yep.  It'll be another German Shepherd.  And she'll do everything you don't.  She'll come when she's called.  She'll sit.  She'll heel. She'll fetch."

I gave him one of my looks.  "Yeah, and she'll lick your nose after she's licked her bottom."

Can you believe it?  A dog named Sherry.  I'll rank this one along with the toilet I got for Mother's Day.  He sure knows how to pick presents!   

Friday, December 14, 2012

What I Learned at D.A.R.E. Graduation

Today, my daughter graduated from the D.A.R.E program.  If you don't know what that is, it's a program where officers come in and instruct kids how to say "no" to drugs, alcohal, and tobacco, and how to handle bullies.  Parents were invited to come in and watch the ceremony, so of course I attended.

It was a very nice ceremony.  After the officers talked to the kids, they had a few words for the parents.  "This is what you need to know," said one of the officers.  "First, you need to be a pencil.  Not a marker.  That's so you can erase your mistakes."


"Second, you must carry with you at all times, a rubber chicken."


"That's so you can tell people that you are not a chicken.  And then you pull out the chicken and say, 'this is a chicken!'"

Well, that makes sense.

"And finally, don't worry.  Be happy!"

Wait- one more thing.  My daughter has a message she wants to say:  "If someone insults you, you have to say out loud, 'you're good at soccer!'"

All right, then.  Be happy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lost Scream

My son was home sick today.  The germ apparently affected his voice.

"Mama," he croaked.  "I need a scream recharger."  He demonstrated by attempting to scream.  The sound that came out  sounded something like a strangled chicken. (Like I know what one of those sound like!)

"Bubba, you need to rest your voice!"

"No Mama, I need to find my voice.  Can you help me?"

Um, yeah. 

So, ladies and gentleman, if you happen to find my boy's voice lying around somewhere, please hide it in a place where it can never be found.  Do not return it.  I repeat, do not return it!  I kind of like that the scream is gone.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't Eat the Clay!

Two announcements before I share my story:  First, I'm a guest over at the A-Z Blog Challenge blog.  It's all about the A-Z posts I did on my other blog, Gone Gardening.  Gardening is something I do when my animal cracker crew drives me crazy.  I also like to visit gardens.  If you want to read more, please hop over!

Also, I found out that Gone Gardening is a finalist in Karen's blogs of the year.  It's listed under "Best Kept Secret."  Thank you so much, Karen and everyone who nominated me!  If you like my gardening blog, please stop by and vote!

Now for the story:  Every kid in my neighborhood must've known that I was baking my famous chocolate chip cookies.  They swarmed  my pad and gathered around while I made them.  Of course, they couldn't keep their little paws out of the cookie batter bowl. 

"Hey, kids," I said.  "If you eat all the cookie dough, I won't have enough to make the cookies!"  I directed them over to the table where some pottery clay was.  "Go make something with this."  I left them to their own devices while I finished the cookies.

Not long afterwards, another kid came into my house.  He smelled the cookies.  He also saw the clay on the table.  Thinking it was cookie dough, he started to pop that stuff into his mouth.

"Whoa," I said.  "That's not cookie dough!  That's clay.  Don't eat the clay!"  

That's all I needed - a kid needing hospitalization because he ate pottery clay!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Alex Cavanaugh Blogfest

It's time for the Alex Cavanaugh blogfest!  I think just about everybody in the blog world knows Alex.  In case you don't, he is the Ninja Captain who has helped so many of us with getting news out about book releases, guest posts, and guest interviews.  He's also the founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG).  Alex is just a great guy.  He leaves positive comments wherever he goes and makes the blogosphere a better place.

This blogfest is the brainchild of  Mark "The Madman" Koopman, "Marvelous" Morgan Shamy, Stephen "Breakthrough" Tremp, and David "Kingpin" Powers King.  (Nice names, guys!)  This is our way of giving back to Alex.

Here's what I have to do:  Answer some questions about Alex, and then write a flash fiction piece using the words, "Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, and Guitar."


1.  What does Alex look like?  Nobody knows (except his wife) what the captain looks like, but I'm guessing he's a tall, skinny dude with long hair.  And he has a guitar permanently hanging off his shoulder.

2.  Who could play Alex in a documentary?

                                                                        Josh Holloway


                                                                      Keanu Reeves
Josh has the rocker look, but Keanu might be better for the rocker ninja combo.  Aren't they cute?  Alex, I bet you're cute, just like them!  (What?  Are you blushing?)

3.  Who does Alex remind you of?    Hmmm.  Maybe Mother Teresa (male version) because he makes the world a better place!

And now for the Flash Fiction!

The Cosbolt spacecraft skidded to a stop in front of the residence of a powerful German Shepherd named Schultz.  The dog sat at attention as the pod door opened.  Moments later, a strange figure emmerged.  He was dressed in black from head to toe, and he carried with him an unusual object.

The figure slowly approached the regal beast and bowed before him.  "I am the Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh."

Schultz cocked his head, waiting for the ninja to continue.

"Your mother is in grave danger.  She is an insecure writer and must join the IWSG.  I have come to take her there."

Schultz gave a low growl and sprang into action.  With lightening speed, he usurped the unusual object with his mighty jowels and bolted.

Seconds later, a petite, brown-haired lady stepped out of the residence.  "Schultz, drop it!"  The beast obeyed her command.  "Crate!" she ordered.

With his tail between his legs, Schultz headed off to the brigg.

The lady retrieved the object and returned it to the ninja.  "Sorry about that, Alex.  I hope he didn't get too much slobber on your guitar!"

Here's a message for Mrs Cavanaugh:  Thanks, Mrs. Cavanaugh, for sharing your husband and putting up with us!  You have a great guy!

Alex, you rock!  Thanks for all you do!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gambling Man and Something Sweet

Here at my pad, we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.  Last night was the first night of Hanukkah.  Naturally, the kids had to play the dreidel game.  If you're not familiar with it, it's a game where you spin a top-like object, and depending on what Hebrew letter it lands on, you either lose money or get money. 

At the end of the game, my son had accrued quite a collection of pennies.  "Mama," he said.  "I like gambling.  I'm going to be a gambler when I grow up."

"Bubba," I said. "That's not a good idea.  When you gamble, sometimes you win, but sometimes you lose.  If you lose, you can lose big."

"But Mama, I always win!"

(I can tell there's going to be big trouble ahead - a cute, charismatic kid with older women chasing him and a propensity to gamble.  Oy vey!)

Now for the sweet thing:

My mother-in-law always tells my daughter that she loves her more than the moon and the sun and the stars.  Do you know what she got my daughter this year?  A star!

Isn't that the sweetest thing ever!  Now I'm getting all sentimental.  I'd better go!

See you tomorrow for the blog fest!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Close Call for Croaky

As you may or may not know, we have an African clawed frog named Croaky.  This creature was one of Bubba's whims.  I went along with it, thinking the frog would only live a few years.  Boy, was I wrong!  This type of frog lives about fifteen years.   So week after week, for the past four years, I have been literally cleaning a swamp.   (The good news is, I have only eleven years to go!)

Croaky thinks he's a cat.  "Why," you ask?  Because he seems to have nine lives.  Two years ago, he jumped off the balcony from the second floor of our home.  (Bubba had taken him out of his tank to play with him.)  He landed on the carpet and kept hopping.  No injuries.   He didn't even seem to care that he was out of the water. (African clawed frogs must stay underwater to live.)  I picked him up, transported him to his swamp, and let him carry on.

Today, he had another adventure.  I brought him down to the kitchen to clean his swamp.  As I poured out his dirty water, Croaky took a giant leap - right into the kitchen sink.   Around and around he went, swimming dangerously close to the garbage disposal.  I quickly grabbed a pot and covered the opening.  You should've seen me trying to catch that slippery frog!  After several attempts, I finally caught him and threw him into a fish bowl while I finished cleaning his tank.

Meanwhile, Schultz, our German Shepherd, was watching the whole thing.  He wagged his tail and stuck his big snoot on the counter next to the fish bowl where Croaky was recuperating.

"Schultz, don't even think about it!"  I said.

He was a good boy.  He sat down and let me finish.  That would've been all I needed! Schultz trying to eat Croaky! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

How the Heart Works

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said.  "The heart has a butt that never stops working."

I looked at that kid.  "Bubba, the heart does not have a butt."

"Yes, it does," he said.  "It pumps poop and pee out the back end into the body."

I shook my head. "No, Bubba.  Here's how it works:  Blood from the lungs goes into the left atrium, through the left ventricle, and out into the body.  Then it comes back through the right atrium and right ventricle and returns to the lungs to get more oxygen.  It has absolutely nothing to do with bodily excrements!"

My son looked at me like I had rocks in my head. "Mama, you don't know what you're talking about.  The heart has a butt.  My teacher said so!"

Alright, then.  I see I'm going to have to pay a little visit to that institution called a school to find out what kind of anatomical nonsense is being spewed to our kids!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Cinnamon Challenge

I think there's something a little wrong with my kids.  Today, I walked into the kitchen and found them huddled over a bowl.  Naturally,  I had to investigate.  I discovered that it was a bowl of cinnamon.  They had dumped an entire container into that thing.

"What are you guys doing?" I asked.

"The cinnamon challenge," said my daughter.

"What is that?" I asked, not really sure if I wanted to know.

"We see who can eat the most cinnamon."

"Seriously?  That's just stupid!"

I watched as they spooned some of that spicy stuff into their mouths.  Immediately, they gagged on it, spewing fine powder all over the place.

I shook my head.  "Okay.  So who won?"

They looked at each other.  "It's a tie!"


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make Believe Blog Tour

Okay, I think I got my act together to tell you about Lynda's new story.

Lynda Young’s short story titled Birthright, published by J. Taylor Publishing in the Make Believe anthology, launched a couple of days ago. Make Believe is currently available in e-book format and includes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy stories inspired by the image on the cover. Congratulations, Lynda!

Birthright by Lynda Young

Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

About LyndaYoung:

LyndaYoung lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. She writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Purchase Make Believe: J Taylor Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Lynda, way to go! You are an amazing writer and I'm so excited for you!

One quick story before I go:

Do you remember how my kids were making fun of me for being a psychotic basket case musician after we went to see the Cincinnati Symphony perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony?  Well, guess what?  My daughter actually asked me to teach her a new song on the piano. (She hasn't wanted to learn anything for about three years!)  I taught her Ode to Joy, which is the theme from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  She practiced it for a half hour.  (My husband of course, came in and complained about it, ranting about Beethoven being a senile old guy.)

Later, after I had practiced the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto,  I heard my son humming the melody from the second movement. 

I think there may be hope for them!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Headless Gingerbread Men

It's that time of year when I start baking Christmas cookies.  Today, I made gingerbread  men cookies.  For some reason, they all had a propensity to lose their heads.   No worries.  It just meant more for the kids. I put some on a plate and invited them to have one.

My daughter grabbed her cookie, and as soon as she did, the head came off.   "Mom, I can't eat this.  It's headless!"

"So?" I said and popped the head in my mouth.



"You're a cannibal!"

I looked at that girl.  "No, I'm not.  If I were a cannibal, I would've eaten the body and put the head on a string to wear around my neck."

She looked at me like I was crazy.  Maybe I am.

Headless gingerbread cookies, anyone?


Quick note:  Lynda at WIP, has a new book out called Make Believe.   It came out yesterday, but since I haven't had access to my main computer, I wasn't able to do a full post about it.  I'll try to get it up tomorrow, so you can read about it.  Be sure to stop by her blog and congratulate her!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Catapult the Cat!

Many of you may not know that we have a cat.  Our German Shepherd, Schultz, usually steals the show, and the cat takes a back seat.   So let me tell you about Bootsy.  Bootsy was a pathetic little kitten that crawled into my yard two years ago.  He was a skinny, starving thing, and he was loaded with fleas.  Being the soft-hearted person that I am, I decided to help him.  I gave him kitty food and de-flead him.  Then I took him to the vet, got rid of his round worms and tapeworms, had him neutered, and vaccinated.  He is now a happy, healthy cat who  lives outside in a little igloo.

(My husband thought I was crazy to do that.  He teases me all the time about it, and encourages Schultz to "eat the cat,"  which is why the cat lives outside.)   

Anyway, today it was time to take Bootsy to the vet for his annual checkup and vaccinations.

"How are you going to get him to the vet?" my son asked.

"She's going to put him in a brown box and ship him," my husband said.

I shook my head.  "No.  I have a crate.  I'll take him in that."

My husband thought he had a better idea.  "You should catapult him.  Send him flying through the sky all the way to the vet office."

"Catapult my cat?" I asked.  "How could you suggest such a thing?"

"That's what catapults are for, aren't they?"

No.  Actually, I think they're for transporting crazy husbands to the moon, which is exactly where he's going if he keeps harrassing the cat!     

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Baby Faces Blogfest


Trisha at Words + Stuff came up with a really fun blogfest. It's the Baby Faces Blogfest.  Guess what's going to happen?  You're going to see a baby picture of me!  Isn't that exciting?  I can tell you're thrilled.

Okay.  Ready?  Here it is:

Baby Sherry c1972
How do you like my bonnet?  My mom told me she used to dress me in fancy dresses and bonnets every day.  She also said she used to change my outfits at least three times a day.
"Mom," I asked.  "Why would you do such a thing?"
"Because you were like a living doll.  I liked to play dress up with you."
Okay then.  I couldn't imagine having the time or energy to do that with my kids! 
I will have you know, that I dress more sensibly now that I'm an adult.  I don't wear frilly dresses or bonnets. And I most certainly do not change my outfits three times a day!  
One more thing:  In case you missed yesterday's post, I'm a guest over at greeting card designer, Tracy Campbell's blog.  There's a book give-away going on, so if you have a minute,  please stop by!  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dumb Ways to Die and a Book Giveaway

Yesterday, when my kids came home from school, they were singing the song,  "Dumb Ways to Die."  It's from a Metro video about train safety.  The thing has apparently gone viral, and everybody is singing it. I was surprised that my kids knew all the words.

"I saw it on my iPod," my daughter explained.

"How many times did you watch it?"

"About twenty."

In case you haven't seen it, here's the original version:

While you are hanging out here, watching this Saturday stupidity, I'm going to be over at Tracy Campbell's blog, answering questions about my two books, and giving some away.  If you have a minute, please stop by!

  (Actually, when you read this, I will probably be balancing precariously on a ladder, hanging Christmas lights on my roof.  Oh.  Wait a minute.  Is that a dumb way to die?  Maybe I'd better rethink that!)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Captured Cookies

Today I made about three dozen chocolate chip cookies.  After they had cooled, I put them in a tupperware container and left them on the counter.  Then I went off to work.  When I came back, the cookies were gone.  In their place, was a note that said:  "If you want to see your cookies alive, you must bake five dozen more and leave them on the kitchen table."

I knew Schultz didn't write that note, and neither did the bird.  There was only one person in the house who could've written it:  My husband.  

I marched into his office.  "Excuse me.  Did you kidnap my cookies?"

He gave me his Mr. Innocent look.

"Don't give me that look," I said. "I know you kidnapped my cookies!"

"Well, you never make any for me.  You always give them away," he retorted.  "And if you let me have any, they're always the reject broken ones!"

"Yeah, so?" I said.  "That doesn't mean you can just kidnap my cookies!"

"You're not getting them back!"

Grrr.  I'm going to report this incident to the cookie police, because I sure don't feel like baking five dozen more!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bubba's Composition

My eight-year-old son has decided to compose his own songs.  "Mama," he said, "listen to this!"

The boy started singing:

"Eat pie, eat pie.
 Everybody eat pie. 
You will die, unless you eat pie. 

Eat pie, eat pie
when you're sitting on the bucket,
or zombies will invade you.

Eat pie, eat pie.
Everybody eat pie.
You will die, unless you eat pie."

I nearly died laughing.  "Wow, Bubba," I said.  "That's amazing!"

"I made a video, too!"  He showed me his Nintendo DS with the audio recording and stick figure zombies.  "Can I put it on YouTube?"

"I 'll have to think about that," I said. 

So, everybody, you all need to go out and get yourself some pie, because you don't want to die.  And you most certainly do not want the zombies to invade you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stupid Mama

Wasn't it just a month ago that my daughter said I was freakishly smart?  Well, now I'm freakishly stupid - at least according to her.

"Mom, can you help me with my homework?" she asked.

"Sure," I said.  "What do you have?"

She showed me her math problems.  The question was, "Is 12 1/2% of 800 greater than 25% of 400?"  I immediately knew that they were equal, and tried to explain this to my daughter.

"25% is the same as 1/4.  If you divide 400 by 4, the answer is 100.  12 1/2 percent is half of 25%, which is the same as 1/8.  If you divide 800 by 8, the answer is 100."

She looked at me like I had rocks in my head.  "Mom, you don't know what you're talking about."

"Okay,"  I said.  "You can also multiply 800 by .125.  That equals 100.  If you multiply 400 by .25, that equals 100."

She gave me another look.  "You're not supposed to multiply."

"Well, the word, 'of' can indicate a multiplication problem."

That really set her off.

Moving on to English, a subject I know absolutely nothing about:  My daughter had to correct sentences with grammar and punctuation errors.  The sentence read something like, "Claire, Rachel, and Sam came with i to the store."

"The word, 'i,' is incorrect," I said.

"No, it's not.  It just needs to be capitalized."

I shook my head.  "The correct word should be, 'me.'"

"You're wrong, Mom."

"Fine," I said.  "Just leave it the way it is if you think it's right.  What do I know?"

She left it the way it was.

(It's going to be very hard to resist saying, "I told you so," when she comes back with it marked wrong!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Schultz vs. Sunshine

Usually you don't hear much about my parakeet, Sunshine, because all she does is sit on her stick and tweet.  Well, today I have a little story about Sunshine, and my giant, one hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz.

Schultz apparently decided that he wanted to play with Sunshine.  He stuck his big snoot up to her cage and rattled the bars.  Sunshine squawked at him.

"Schultz," I said.  "You'd better watch it.  Don't make Sunshine mad!"

He didn't listen.  This time he lifted her door with his snoot.  Sunshine didn't like that one bit.  She jumped on the side of her cage and squawked some more.  

Schultz thought that meant she wanted to play, so he knocked his nose against her cage.  That was it.  Sunshine wasn't going to take any more of his harrassment.  She pecked his nose.

Schultz backed away, a little confused.

"See, Schultz.  She doesn't want to play with you.  Leave her alone."

Schultz didn't get it.  The block head nudged her cage again.  This time, Sunshine bit him hard on the nose. He yiped.

I shook my head.  "You got what you deserved, Schultz. Next time, respect the lady!" 

Monday, November 26, 2012

You've Got the Look Tag

How do you like the picture?  I'd say the kid has the look!  Which is exactly what Tamara at One Magic Bean Buyer thinks about me.  (I resemble that kid, don't I?)  Anyway, I've been tagged in the You've Got the Look Meme.  The rules are, go to your current WIP, find the word, "look," and post the section which includes it, as well as the surrounding paragraphs.  Then tag five other people to do the same.
Here's my excerpt:
   Like I needed a reminder. So I gave Miss Smarty Pants the biggest, slobberyist raspberry I could. Then I grabbed my shovel and left her in the dust. I ran all the way to the woods, and I didn’t stop ‘til I got to the big tree. Mama calls it the sick more tree, but it doesn’t look too sick to me. It’s big and tall, and it has lots of leaves. Except its bark is all splotchy. So maybe that’s why it’s sick. But I think it looks cool.

       Anyway, Miss Smarty Pants followed me to the sick more tree. When I turned around, there she was, all huffy puffy.

       “What took you so long?” I asked.

       She made her eyebrows scrunchy. Then she pointed at my shovel. “So exactly how are you going to dig a hole to China with that?”

       “It’s magic,” I said. “That’s exactly how.”


       I could tell she wasn’t believing it, because her eyelids got squinty. “Isn’t that the shovel Grandpa Joe bought at the garage sale?” she asked.

       I had to explain it to her. “Yeah,” I said. “The old lady he got it from said it was magic, and if you don’t believe me, ask Grandpa.”
And now for the five tagged bloggers: 

1. Carolyn Brown
2. Lexa Cain
3. Stina Lindenblatt
4. Livia
5. PK Hrezo

Thanks, Tamara, for the opportunity to share a little of my work.  Be sure to check out the other excellent tagged bloggers! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dead Sea Squirrels

There's an exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I saw them in person when I went to Israel a few years ago, but my kids didn't.  I thought it might be a good educational experience to drag my kids to see them.

"You're taking us where?" Bubba asked.  "To see dead sea squirrels?"

"No, Bubba.  Scrolls," I said.


"Never mind, Bubba," I said.  "Just come on.  You'll see what they are when we get there."

When we got to the exhibit, Bubba walked up to the ancient documents.  He studied them with a puzzled look on his face.  "Mama, I don't see any squirrels here. Just a bunch of old paper with weird scribble on them."

"These are the Dead Sea Scrolls," I explained.

"But Mama, where are the squirrels?"

"Next door, in the Natural History Museum," I said.

(Of course then we had to go to the Natural History Museum to look for dead sea squirrels.  We didn't find any, but we did find a Jefferson Ground Sloth which was the next best thing!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dream Vacation

Before I tell you about Bubba's dream vacation, I have to tell you about something weird that happened to me today.  I went to the automatic car wash and pulled my car into the garage bay.  It was cold outside, so the bay doors closed behind me. The car wash was uneventful, but when it was finished, and the sign that said, "drive ahead," came on, the door would not open.  I sat there for a minute, waiting.  Still it wouldn't open.  I got out of my car to assess the situation.  The door could not be lifted manually, but I found an emergency open button.  I pressed it, but it didn't work.  This isn't good, I thought.  Of course, nobody else was around.  I was all alone.  I wandered around the garage until I found another emergency open button.  This had better work, I thought.  It did.  The back door opened.  I put my car in reverse and got the heck out of there.

And do you know what the weird thing was?  When I had first pulled into that garage and the doors closed, a thought popped into my head that I was going to get stuck in there.  How's that for a premonition?  Total craziness!

Okay.  Now for the story.  My husband and I took the kids to get passports.  (This was an epic adventure, too, because the clerk's pen blew up and got ink all over the paperwork and my son's birth certificate.)

While the paperwork was being completed, another clerk started talking to my boy.  "Where are you going on vacation?" she asked.

"Nowhere," he said.

The lady looked puzzled.  "Then why are you getting passports?"

"In case we go to Alaska," he answered.

I laughed.  "Dude, you don't need a passport to go to Alaska.  That's still the United States."

The clerk smiled.  "Where would you like to go?" she asked.

He thought about that.  "Madagascar," he answered.

"Why Madagascar?" asked the lady.

"Because I want to ride elephants and llamas."

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Whipped Cream Incident

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great time yesterday.  We did.  There were no fires this year. That was a good thing.  But there was a whipped cream incident.  Let me tell you about it.

After dinner, it was time for pumpkin pie.  My father-in-law decided to eat his piece in the family room while watching the football game.  Big mistake.  My son plopped down right next to him.  As he did, the whipped cream-covered pie fell off the plate and landed on my father-in-law's belly.  Not at all ruffled by this, my father-in-law put the pie back on the plate and finished eating it.  "What's a little whipped cream on the shirt?" he said.

Apparently my husband and brother-in-law thought that whipped cream on the shirt looked quite fashionable. Do you know what they did?  They grabbed two cans of Reddi  Wip and started chasing each other around the house.  My husband managed to spray the front of my brother-in-law's shirt.  My brother-in-law sprayed my husband's arms.  Then the kids and dog got involved.  Around and around they went chasing each other,  laughing, screaming, and spraying each other with Reddi Wip.

Did I mention they were wearing turkey hats, too?  Yep.  It was a sight.  Grown men over forty, running around the house, wearing turkey hats, Reddi Wipping themselves.    I don't think they'll ever grow up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Playing Fussball with My Boy

"Mama"" my eight-year-old son said.  "Will you play fussball with me?"

I thought about all the things I had to do to get ready for Thanksgiving.  Then I looked into my son's big blue eyes.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to spend a little time with him.   "All right," I said.  "But only one game.  I have a ton of stuff to do!"

We went down to the basement where the fussball table was and started playing.  I scored immediately.  I moved my score marker to one point...and so did my son.

"Hey," I said.  "That was my point, not yours!"

He just grinned and set the ball back on the table.  We continued playing.  I scored again.  And again he gave himself a point.

"Bubba, that's not how you play! "

"Yeah, it is Mama!"

I gave him one of my mom looks and continued playing.  This time, he scored.  He moved his point markers up two.

"Wait a minute,"  I said.  "You don't get two points - only one!"

He giggled and set the ball right in front of my goal keeper.  He whacked the ball in, and gave himself two more points.

"Bubba, what kind of game is this?  You're cheating!"

"It's Bubba Fussball and Bubba never loses!"

(The relatives will be descending upon our house tonight, so I will be extremely busy cooking, cleaning, and entertaining. In case I am unable to post in the next few days, I want to wish all of you in the United States who celebrate Thanksgiving a very happy holiday! )       

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Miss Giggle Fit

First of all, I'd like to announce that I am no longer on strike.  My kids came to their senses and apologized for their incessant harassment.  My daughter even got up early and made breakfast for me this morning.  Wasn't that nice?  Now my husband - well, he's another story!  We'll save that for next time.

Here's the story for today:  I think my daughter blew some kind of gasket in her head.  She could not stop laughing.  "Why?" you ask.  Well, I'm not really sure.  She said I said something funny.  I couldn't even tell you what.  I think it had something to do with keeping her spittle to herself.

Anyway, she started laughing uncontrollably.  She collapsed on to her bed, her face as red as a tomato, gasping for breath. 

I watched her for a few minutes and started getting concerned.  "Excuse me," I said.  "Do you need to be hospitalized?"

That made her laugh more.  Tears rolled down her face.  She could barely breath.  I figured I should just keep my mouth shut before I made things any worse.

Ten minutes later, she finally had herself under control.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, Mom, but don't ever make me laugh, again.  I might die next time!"

Okay.  I'll try to remember that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mama is on Strike!

Yesterday, my husband and kids were harrassing me for being a psychopath emotional basketcase musician.  Today, they have commenced physical torture.

"Mom," my eleven-year-old daughter said.  "Listen to this!"

She started blowing through some sort of clay whistle thing.  The sound that came out of it was a high-pitched, shrill, ear-splitting whistle.

I quickly covered my ears.  "What is that?" I asked.

"A Hungarian bird whistle.  Granny got it for me when she was in Hungary."

"It's horrid," I said.  "Please stop, or you're going to break both of our eardrums!"

She didn't stop.   She just kept blowing it. 

Then my son came in.  He had a bazooka air gun.  And guess what he did?  Yep.  He aimed it right at me and shot a puff of air at my face.  My baby fine hair blew back and got completely messed up.  "Got you!"

"Yeah, you got me," I said.  "Now cut it out, and let me do my work."

Of course he didn't cut it out.  Both of my kids were set on annoying me as much as possible -  one messing up my ears, and the other messing up my hair. 

Then my husband joined the scene.  He took that bazooka gun.  "Here, Bubba, let me show you how it's done."  He completely blasted me!

"That's it!" I shouted.  "I'm done with all this harassment!  I'm going on strike!"

They got quiet.  "What?" they said.

"You heard me.  I'm going on strike!"

"But Mama," my son said.  "I'm hungry!"

"Too bad, kid.  You're on your own! "

So what do you think?  Will they survive, or will they come crawling back to me on their knees, begging for forgiveness?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beethoven According to My Husband

Today, I dragged my family to see Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  (We have a new conductor, so I thought it would be nice to support him.)

It was like pulling teeth to get them to go.

"Mama, do we have to go?" my son said.

"Mom, that's going to be really boring," my daughter said.

My husband just gave me one of his looks.

I had to do some quick thinking. "They sell chocolate candy there."

That did the trick. 

We went to the concert and sat there for two hours, listening to the music.   My kids were indeed bored out of their minds.

Afterwards, my husband gave his commentary:  "Why was that symphony so long? It should've been over in 45 minutes.  He just kept repeating  the same thing, over and over again."

"He was trying to convey the message of brotherhood and hope," I said.  "He probably wanted to make sure it was understood."

My husband looked at me like I was crazy.  "Here's what I think.  I think the guy was a senile, confused, deaf old guy, who couldn't remember what he wrote, so he kept writing it over and over.  I mean, what guy in his right mind would write a piece and make a choir sit there for an hour and a half before they even start singing?  What if they have to go to the bathroom?  No, he just expects them to sit there and be ready to sing perfectly when it's time!"

 He went on.  "Why didn't somebody take a look at the manuscript and figure out how to make it better?  What's wrong with you musicians? "

"Excuse me?" I said.  "What do you mean, 'what's wrong with musicians?'"

"You guys just play that stuff and pretend like it's okay.  Do you know why?"

"Why?"  I asked.

"Because you musicians are a bunch of psychopath emotional basket cases."

The kids put in their two cents.  "Yeah, Mom, you're a psychopath emotional basket case!  You play just like all those musicians on the stage - you twitch around just like they do."

Then Bubba added, "Yeah, Mama, and your hair looks just like Beethoven's!"

What the heck?  Do you think my hair looks like Beethoven's?  So there you have it.  Remind me never, ever, ever to take my family to an orchestra concert  again! 



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mister Ambitious

My eight-year-old son had a project in school.  It was to list his plans for the future.  Here's what the boy had to say:

1.  When I'm in the sixth grade, I hope to be tall.  (Good luck with that, because I was really small until I was sixteen.  Hopefully you won't take quite so long to grow!)

2.  When I'm in high school, I would like to be a millionaire.  (Then you'd better start working, kid!)

3.  When I'm 25, I hope I will be a master skydiver.  (What?  Where did that come from?)

4.  When I grow up, I would really like to sleep all day. 

I had to have a little talk with Bubba about that last one.  "Dude," I said.  "You can't just sleep all day when you're a grown up.  You have to work!"

"No, Mama," he said.  "I'm going to be a millionaire in high school.  Then I won't have to work when I'm an adult, and I can sleep all day!"

Wow. I wish I had thought of that when I was eight years old!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Miss You Blog Fest

Today, we're doing the Oh, How I Miss You blogfest, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Andrew Leon, and Matthew MacNish.  It's all about bloggers you really miss, and bloggers you'd miss if they were gone. 

Of course, I'd miss all of you if you were gone, but I can't list all of you, because that would be over 10,000 words, and I really don't think you want to read all of that.  So I had to narrow it down quite a bit.

So here we go:

The blogger I really miss is Crack You Whip.  Where did you go?  I loved reading your hilarious posts and looking at your chicken scribble comics (which are really pretty awesome)!  I hope you come back! 

And here's who I'd miss if they were gone:

Dana at the Daily Dose.  I love your Friday funnies and your Sunday inspirations.  I miss you when you're not posting!

Arni at Travel Gourmande.  I really enjoy reading both of your blogs!  You seem like such a kindred spirit.  I bet we'd be really good friends if you lived a little closer!  I would miss you if you were gone.

Pat Hatt at Rhyme Time.  You are such a funny guy.  It cracks me up when you put your followers in your stories - like when you made me the scary floating zombie thing!  Thanks for all the laughs, and thanks for always commenting on my posts!   

Janie Junebug at Women:  We shall overcome.  You're like my blog mom.  You take such good care of me with your virtual chicken soup when I don't feel good.  And you always have such interesting advice about men.  You rock - mental paws and all!

Alex Cavanaugh.  It goes without saying, anyone who knows the Ninja Captain would miss him if he was gone.  Thanks for all you do, Alex!

I'm at my limit, so I can't go on.  But I want you to know, that I would miss all of you if you were gone.  You're the reason I do this.  Thanks for following, and thanks for commenting!

One  little advertisement before I go:  I just did a radio show about Raising Kids with Good Character.  I promised the host I'd advertise it.  It begins broadcasting on November 16th. If you're interested, you can listen to it at your convenience.  Here's the link  Once on the page, you will see a triangular badge with the words, "IEY radio."  The audio file is right under it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Changing the Light Bulb

The light bulb in my walk-in closet burned out, so I took the initiative to fix it.  I found another bulb, climbed up on a stool, and began unscrewing the light fixture.  Except I wasn't supposed unscrew that thing.  I discovered this important fact after I had completely detached it from the ceiling.  I didn't see a bulb - only wires.  Oops, I thought.  Another mess up.     I quickly figured out that I had to unscrew a portion of the fixture to get to the bulb.  Fine.  I did it, replaced the bulb, and attempted to fix the fixture.  It didn't work.  My primitive mind simply could not figure it out.  I left the thing hanging by its wires and waited for my husband to take care of it.

When he came home, I showed him my good job.  "Don't you know how to change a light bulb?" he asked.

I laughed.  "No.  That's why I keep you around - to fix my mess ups!"

He took a look at it, but he couldn't get it, either.  "Woman, we're going to have to get a new house now because you botched this up."

"What?"  That sounded a little extreme.  "You're going to just leave this thing  hanging by the wires so the next owner can deal with it?" 

"Yep.  Call the realtor."

(Fortunately, he was able to fix it after taking the entire thing apart.  It was a project, but at least we won't be moving any time soon!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Like Daddy

Before I share my story, I'd like to announce the winners of Virginia Wright's book:  Christine Rains and Tracy Campbell.  Congratulations, ladies!

Now for the story:

"I want to be just like Daddy," my eight-year-old son announced at the dinner table.

"That's not very ambitious," said my husband.  "I have a job I don't like, I play way too many video games, I ride a motorcycle, and I make Mama mad every day."

I laughed at that last part.  "No," I said,  "only when you call me 'woman' and make demands." 

Without missing a beat, my son said, "Woman, bring me more food!"

Grrrr.  I see I have some work to do with him!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Mustard, Please

My son had a hamburger cloud floating over his head yesterday after we picked my daughter up from dance lessons.  "Mama, I really need a hamburger," he said.

"You need one?" I asked.  "Are you sure?"

"Yes, Mama.  I'll die without one."

I highly doubted that.  Fortunately for him, there was a Dairy Queen nearby.  I decided to let them do the cooking.

We walked in and the teenager behind the counter took the little guy's order.  "What would you like on that?" she asked.

"Ketchup and a little bit of mustard.  But not too much mustard, because I'm not sure I like it."

I looked at the boy.  "What do you mean?  You just had a hot dog a few days ago and you thought mustard was just great on it!"

"Yeah, Mama, but that was a hot dog."

"What's the difference?" I asked.  I couldn't understand what the big deal was.

"Mama, hot dogs are pink and skinny.  Hamburgers are round and black.  I'm not sure if mustard goes good with round, black things."

Oh.  That made perfect sense to me.  The girl behind the counter thought so, too.  She laughed and brought out his hamburger with a lot of ketchup and a little bit of mustard, which he thoroughly enjoyed. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Roller King and an Award

Hey everybody, did you enjoy the interview with Virginia Wright?  She's such a great lady!  In a day or two, I'll announce the winners of her book.

While you guys were hanging here visiting with Virginia, I bailed out.  Nice host I am, huh?  I took my son to the roller rink, where we mindlessly went around in circles for two hours.  We skated to a bunch of  tunes including, Party in the USA, Call Me Maybe, and my favorite, Gangnam Style.  (I have no idea what those Korean dudes are singing about, but it sure has a good beat!)  I taught my boy how to do the dance on roller blades:  Right, left, right, right, left, right, left, left, while hopping around like you're on a horse.  Are you confused yet?  You should've seen that kid move!  The chicks were digging him! 

"Dude," one teenage girl said.  "You know how to bust a move!"

"Yeah," said another.  "You're even better than Mitt Romney!"

Hmmmm.  I had better watch those women.  I think they were hitting on my boy, and he's way to young to date!

Anyway, we had a great time, and then we topped it off by going out for ice cream.  What could be better than that?

Last order of business:  I discovered an award waiting for me.  This one is the Top Commentor Award.  Suzanne Furness decided I was worthy of such a thing.  Thank you so much, Suzanne!  This award is given to bloggers who take the time to visit other blogs and comment.  I try to visit as many of you as possible, because I enjoy reading about what's going on in your world. It means so much to me when you comment, so naturally, I want to return the favor!

I'm going to pass this award on to some other fabulous bloggy friends:

 Pat Hatt:  This guy never fails to comment.  He's just amazing.  Thank you, Pat!

Arni at Travel Gourmande:  She's such a sweet lady - with a couple of nice blogs, too!

Lynn Proctor:  Another fabulous person who always stops by.

Susanne Drazic;  I met her when she reviewed my book as part of a book tour.  We've been blog friends ever since!

Christine Rains:  A talented writer who is also an incredibly nice person!

Please stop by and visit these wonderful bloggers.  Thanks again, Suzanne!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Encore: Guest Author, Virginia Wright

Today, I'd like to welcome back author, Virginia Wright.  She has a new book out just in time for Christmas.  I invited her over to my pad to tell you about it.  So here she is:  The lovely, Virginia Wright!

Hi Virginia!  I'm so excited about your new book, The Christmas Secret!  Can you tell us a little about it?
      Mikey loves everything about Christmas except one thing--deciding what gift he wants. As Christmas nears he frantically flips the pages of his mother's department store catalogs, looking for a toy that he wants most. Turning to his best friend Charlie for ideas, he finally finds the answer. But will he get what he wants this year?

    My kids can totally relate to that!  They're always looking through catalogues, marking down things they want! 

2     What inspired you to write it?
The Christmas Secret was inspired by remembering Christmas as a child; I wanted to create a story that was reminiscent of Christmas past. While this is a fiction, I relied on my childhood memories to write this story.

Childhood memories can lead to the best kind of stories!

3     What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?
Some of my favorite Christmas memories definitely surround Christmas Eve. Every year the family would get together on Christmas Eve. We would eat many homemade goodies, my favorite were sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles on the top. The whole family would go to church for midnight mass, we would get in our “Sunday best” clothes and off to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church we would go. Growing up in Maine, it was always freezing cold Christmas Eve, and I vividly remember the crisp fresh air when getting out of the car while sliding into church. The snow was all about the church and ground, and the low lights inside would be shining through the windows to help light the way; it was so festive, so calm, peaceful, and once we entered the church everyone  was shaking each other’s hands while best wishes of a Merry Christmas were exchanged.  Christmas was such a magical time of the year!

I bet you really enjoyed looking at all the Christmas lights, too!  Such fantastic memories!

4     What is a typical writing day like for you?

If the family and I have no plans, a typical writing day would be I start my day off with checking my social media sites, email, and then I begin writing until I stop for a late lunch. I break for lunch, as soon as we are done, I go back to work until I break for supper, then work too late into the night. J But when I am working on a book, I also illustrate, so I can take the monotony out of a day by switching back and forth writing and illustrating. While I am actively working on a book, I put in twelve hour days typically.

Wow!  It sounds like you are really busy!

5     What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
The best writing advice for me came from a teacher of mine, Charles Zurhorst, who taught “Writing for Profit,” as he said, “While there may be lots of rejections along the way, and it may feel discouraging at times as you head down the writing road, remember one thing-- to never, ever, give up!” Such good advice, as it is so easy to give up, to just say “forget it” when a rejection comes in, or someone doesn’t like what you’ve written. But you just can’t give in to the little voice of doubt!

That is excellent advice!  It's so easy to want to throw in the towel when you're getting rejection letters, but if you stick with it, eventually you'll get published and succeed!

6     What is your best tip for aspiring children’s book authors?
I think I would refer to answer number five for my best tip and that would be to “Never Give up!” “Write-on.”

Love it!

Where can we learn more about you and your books?

Here's where you can find me:

Blog: :

Thank you for having me!

It's always a pleasure to have you here!

Virginia will be giving away two copies of her book to lucky readers!  Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.