Mama Diaries

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Luigi's Mustache

Happy Halloween everybody!  Hope you're enjoying the day.  My kids just got back from trick-or-treating, and let me tell you, they have quite a stash!  They're munching away, and sipping on hot chocolate.  Major sugar overload!

So, let me tell you about Luigi's mustache.  Bubba is obsessed with Mario Brothers video games.  Naturally, he had to be a Mario Bro character.  Since he had previously been Mario, this year he opted for Luigi.  Three hours before trick-or-treating began, he donned his costume and begged to put on the Luigi mustache. 

"No, Bubba," I said.  "It's way too early!"

"But Mama, I want to wear it!"

"Negative Houston!"

He put the mustache on the table and walked away.

Guess who showed up?  Yep.  Our wayward German Shepherd, Schultz.  Apparently he was interested in wearing the mustache.  He stuck his big black snoot up on the table and sniffed.

"Don't even think about it, Schultz!"

He thought about it.  Two seconds later, he grabbed that thing and took off.

"Schultz!" I yelled.  "Drop it!"

He did.  I grabbed it and put it back on the table.

My son came back downstairs.  "Mama, can I wear my mustache now?"

"Sure, if you don't mind dog slobber on it."

He didn't mind dog slobber.  Off he went, wearing a Luigi mustache covered in doggy drool.

All I have to say is, better him than me! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snowball Fight

The Frankenstorm has arrived here in Cincinnati. It dumped some snow on us - more than we had all year last year.  (By the way, if any of you are in areas of flooding or serious weather damage, my thoughts and prayers are with you!)

I went outside this morning to unbury my car.  My kids watched as I brushed away the snow.  That gave them a brilliant idea.  Before I knew it, they were hurling snowballs at me.

"Hey," I said.  "Give me a break here!"

No break for me.  They pelted me with those wet, hard balls.  One even landed in my pocket.

"Okay," I said.  "You asked for it."  I made my own ammunition and fired.  Pretty soon we were engaged in a major snowball battle.  We finally had to call a truce so we could get to the bus stop.

When we got there, the battle resumed.  This time my son decided to pelt some other parents.  Well you know what happened next.  The parents fought back.  It was epic.  By the time the bus arrived, parents and kids were covered with snow.

Nothing like a little hurricane when it's thirty degrees outside! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Best Day of My Life

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said last night as I tucked him into bed, "this was the best day of my life."

That made me all warm and fuzzy inside. "Really?"  I said. "Why is that?"

"Well, Mama, you carved the giant pumpkin, and it's the best pumpkin ever."

Yes, well, that was quite a challenge because that thing weighed over 20 pounds,and the walls were an inch and a quarter thick (I measured!).

"Why else?" I asked.

"We played in the leaf pile,and roasted pumpkin seeds, and did the Michael Jackson Thriller dance around the house.  And then you played blocks with me.  And then we went booing. (Booing, in case you don't know, is when you go out at night, ring somebody's doorbell, leave a bucket of Halloween goodies, and run off as fast as you can, hoping not to get caught.)

I nodded.  It was certainly a full day. I gave him a kiss on his head. 

"Can we do it again tomorrow?"

I laughed. "Like Groundhog day?" 

"Yeah. That would be awesome."

Well, then, I guess I won't be getting much work done.     So if I drop off the blog-o-sphere, you'll know I'm doing the Groundhog day thing and reliving my boy's best day of his life.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dancing Queen

First of all, let me tell you about the pumpkin tooth fairy visit last night.  If you recall, the pumpkin we carved in my son's second grade class, lost his tooth.  We brought the tooth home to see if the pumpkin tooth fairy would come.  She did.  Do you know what she left?  Jack-o-lantern bubbles for Bubba, and a bunch of teddy grahams for the class. Apparently she knew about the school rules for not bringing in candy that was manufactured in a place with nuts.  What a good fairy!

Okay.  Now for the story. As you may or may not know, my daughter is a big dancer.  She dances on competition dance teams.  It is now the season for intensive rehearsals.  Today was a little ridiculous.  She started at 9:00 in the morning, and danced until 3:00 in the afternoon.  She had only one half-hour break for lunch. 

She came home utterly exhausted.  "Mom, my feet hurt!"

"Yeah, I bet they do!" I said.  "Now you need to get ready for the father-daughter dance tonight."

She scowled at me.  "More dancing?"

"Yeah, girlfriend.  Tonight is your big date with daddy!"

She sighed and put on her cute clown Halloween costume.  Then she joined her mad scientist daddy.  The two marched off to the Halloween ball for three more hours of dancing.

Do you think she'll survive?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Pumpkin Tooth Fairy

I just came back from hanging with the second graders at my son's school.  It was a blast!  We did pumpkin math.  What's that, you ask?  Well, let me tell you about it.

We took pumpkins, weighed them. measured them, gutted them, counted their seeds, and turned them into jack-o-lanterns.  And guess who did the cutting and gutting?  That's right.  Me!  I had a bunch of squealing kids hanging on me as I immersed myself in pumpkin goo.

"Mrs. Ellis," one little girl said.  "Can you tie my shoe?"

I pulled my hand out of the pumpkin.  It was dripping with seeds and goo.  "Sure, if you don't mind a little pumpkin goo on your shoe."

She didn't mind.  And she gave me a great big pumpkin goo hug when I was done (which reminds me - I got a lot of pumpkin goo hugs, so I need to change my shirt!).

Anyway, I decided to get a little creative when I carved one of the pumpkins.  I gave that thing a loose tooth.  The kids loved it! 

"Is he going to lose his tooth?"  one kid asked.

"Maybe," I said.

A rather rowdy girl decided to take matters into her hands.  She came up to the jack-o-lantern and yanked the tooth right out of its mouth.  "There," she said.  "Now the pumpkin tooth fairy has to come."

All right then.  So, ladies and gentleman, I now have a pumpkin tooth sitting in a ziploc bag, waiting to be picked up by the pumpkin tooth fairy tonight.  Any guesses on what that fairy might leave?  (I'm thinking chocolate!) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bubba's Girlfriend

It's official.  My eight-year-old son has a girlfriend.  You may remember her from a couple of months ago - the nice little girl with whom he sat on the carpet during carpet time.

"Yeah, Mama," he said.  "She's my girlfriend."

"You mean a friend that's a girl, right?"

"No.  Girlfriend."

My father, who had been visiting, put in his two cents.  "When I was in the second grade, I had a girlfriend, too."

I made a face at him.

He continued.  "I remember one day I walked her home from school.  There was a little hill.  At the bottom, I gave her a kiss."

"Dad!" I said, hardly believing that he would share such a story. "Don't give him any ideas!"

I looked at Bubba.  He had a mischievous twinkle in his big blue eyes.  And he was grinning from ear to ear.

Great.  Now I have to worry about my boy sneaking off with a second grade girl, trying to kiss her. What next? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Week 18: The Next Big Thing

Guess what?  We're playing a game of tag, and I'm it!  I've been tagged by the lovely Virginia Wright.

I'm supposed to answer 10 questions about my current WIP (that's Work In Progress for you non-writers out there.)  Then I'm supposed to tag more talented and creative individuals.  I've kind of fallen short on that last part.  I asked a bunch of you if you wanted to do it, but you're all pretty busy.  I get it.  So I only have one person to tag.  If you're interested in doing this to promote your WIP or new release, let me know, and I'll give you the details.

Here we go.  The Ten Questions

1.  What is the working title of your book?  Bubba and Squirt's Big Hole to China. It may get shortened to Big Hole to China, though.  We'll see what the agent/publisher thinks.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?  I have always been interested in different countries around the world.  I like traveling and learning about people, languages, and cultures.  I thought it would be fun to create a series for kids, where they can learn about these things.  Bubba and Squirt's Big Hole to China is the first book of the series.

3. What genre does your book fall under?  Children's Chapter Book - Fiction

4.  Which actors would you chooses to play your characters in a movie rendition?  That's a tough one.  I could see this being an animated series.  If I had to pick actors though, I'd pick Abigail Breslin from "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" to play Squirt, and Dakota Goyo who played Max Kenton in "Real Steal" to play Bubba.  Hey, anybody who can play a "Max" should be a good "Bubba!"

5.  What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Six-year-old Bubba and ten-year-old Squirt travel through a vortex that leads to Xi-an, China, where they meet the ghost of the first emperor of China and solve the mystery of his missing burial pendant.

6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Represented by an agency.  In fact, I just sent the revised manuscript to an agent who liked the concept a couple of days ago.  I really hope he likes it, and decides to represent me!  Keep your fingers crossed!

7.  How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Four months, but I've been working on it almost three years.  I must've rewritten it at least one hundred times!  It takes a really long time to get it just right!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Magic Tree House and Flat Stanley

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Well, as I stated before, I am very interested in other cultures.  I decided to do China first, because it seemed like a logical choice.  People talk about digging a hole to China.  Why not make that the destination of the first book?

10.  What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?  There will be a recipe from each of the countries that Bubba and Squirt will visit.  When I travel, I like to try the local foods.  I thought this "taste" of the country, would help them feel like they actually visited it.

Hope you all enjoyed reading about my WIP.  Thanks, Virginia, for giving me the opportunity to tell everyone about it!  Now here's the person I tagged:

Melissa Kline

She will post her ten questions next Wednesday.  Be sure to stop by and visit!

Bubba's Cookie

I decided to get a little creative in the baking department the other day.  I had made these cute little monster creatures out of sugar cookies.  I took two cookies, and made a little sandwich with frosting.  One side had a little extra, so that the two cookies together looked like a mouth.  Then I added M&M eyeballs and an orange tongue.  I was rather pleased with my creations, and thought my kids would like seeing them in their lunch.

When my son, Bubba came home, I opened up his lunch box.  Everything had been eaten  Except the cookie.

"Bubba," I said.  "Why didn't you eat the cookie?"

"Mama, it was too cute to eat.  I didn't want to bite off his eyeballs."

"So you're not going to eat this thing?"


"Then what are you going to do with it?"

He shrugged his shoulders and walked out of the room.

So much for my brilliant idea.  Anybody want a cookie?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Schultz Strikes Again

Time for another Schultz story.  Our rather large German Shepherd is a little bit crazy.  I'm sure you already knew that, though.  Sometimes he has what we lovingly call, "berserks." These are incidents when he completely loses control, and runs around the house in circles as fast as he can go. Usually these little attacks are harmless.  The worst thing that happens, is that the area rugs slide out of place, and claw marks track up our carpet.

The one he had today, though, was another story.  I was upstairs working on my manuscript, when I heard the familiar sound of the dog galloping through the house.  My husband was cheering him on, "Ole!"

Around and around he went.  Then all of a sudden...CRASH!

Uh oh.

I heard the sound of glass breaking, and it sounded like something very large had fallen over.

I went downstairs to investigate.

On the floor, was a broken vase.  The flowers that were inside lay scattered on the ground.  The table the flowers were on, was knocked over.  And Schultz and my husband?  They were standing in the corner looking as guilty as could be.

"All right, boys," I said.  "What just happened here?"

"Um, Schultz had a little trouble making the turn," said my husband. 

Uh huh.

I went into the kitchen and found a dustpan and broom.  I handed them to my husband.  "You get to clean up!"

Then I went back upstairs and continued my work.    

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ghosts in the Cave

Today I took the kids to the Cincinnati Museum Center.  If you're ever in the Cincinnati area, it's definitely a place to check out!

Anyway, in the natural history part of the museum, there is a cave complex.  It's supposed to look like the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky.  My kids love this section, because it's dark, and the pathways are narrow and winding.  There are also lots of cracks and crevices and secret places to hide.

My kids must've been in the Halloween spirit, because they decided it would be cool to make ghost noises as we wandered through that place. (I'm sure the other visitors were wondering what the heck was going on when they heard their mysterious sounds echoing through the caverns.)

They ran ahead, darting in and out of the shadows.  Then I lost them.  "Hey, where are you guys?" I called. 

No answer.

I walked on farther.  I passed one of those cracks and crevices.  And guess what happened?  Out jumped my kids!  "Boo!" they shouted.

I nearly had a heart attack.  "What are you trying to do?  Turn me into a ghost?"

They gave me an evil laugh and continued with their scary ghost sounds.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where's My Soup?

I seem to have a bit of a cold.  It's not horrible, but I'm definitely not in tip top shape.   I decided to make myself some chicken noodle soup, because chicken noodle soup always seems to help.  When it was done, I scooped it into a bowl.  I put it on the table, and was about to start eating it, when I heard a voice.

"Mama, I need you!"  It was my son.

I put down the spoon and went upstairs to see what he needed.  Apparently he was having some trouble with his homework.  I sat down and helped him.

When I was done, I went back to my bowl of soup.  Except the bowl was empty.  "Who ate my soup?" I asked.

I looked at my daughter.  "I didn't," she said.

I looked at Schultz, our German Shepherd.  He cocked his head and looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about.

Then I looked at my husband who was parked on the couch in front of the TV.  "Did you eat my soup?"

He ignored me.    I'm thinking he's the one who ate my soup.  What do you think?

(I had to settle for a bowl of instant oatmeal which I almost blew up in the microwave - but that's another story.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Fashion Police

Yesterday, I went into my daughter's school to talk to the kids about my career as an author.  I dressed professionally, and thought I looked decent.

Well, my daughter informed me when she came home, that the most popular girl in the school did not like my shoes.  Supposedly she is the expert on fashion.

"Are you kidding me?"  I asked.  "What was wrong with my shoes?"

"She said they weren't fashionable enough. She said you should've been wearing UGGS."

"UGGS?  Aren't those the boots tweens and teenagers wear?"

"Yeah.  She said that would've been more fashionable."

I shook my head.  So apparently I'm not supposed to dress like someone over forty.  I'm supposed to look like a teenager.

Okay.  Next time I'm going to wear neon green sneakers.  Then we'll see what the fashion police have to say!   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Favorite Snack

"Mom," my eleven-year-old daughter said.  "I have a new favorite snack."

"Oh, yeah," I said.  "What's that?"

"Sugar cubes."

What?  I had expected to hear it was some sort of chip or cookie.  Sugar cubes were not on the radar screen.  "You're kidding," I said.  "Why are sugar cubes your new favorite snack?"

"Our teacher fed them to us in school."

I couldn't believe it.  Teachers are feeding our kids sugar cubes in school?  This needed a serious explaination!  "What do you mean, your teacher was feeding you sugar cubes in school?"

"We did a science experiment with them, and since we were good, our teacher let us eat them when we were done."


"Listen kid," I said.  "You're not eating sugar cubes here!  You had better find a new favorite snack.  How about a banana?"

She gave me a funny look and walked away.

So much for bananas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest

Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh, and Ciara Knight came up with a really cool idea:  inundate the blogosphere with awesome books, and then see if we can get the authors to notice that we promoted their books.

What book did I notice?  The Carousel Ghost, by Andrea Pelleschi.

When I saw the title, I knew I had to read it!  I'm like a little kid, and I love riding carousels.  So if you add a ghost to it, that's even better!

Here's the book description from Amazon: 

Fourteen-year-old Kate's traditional first day at Wildwood Lake Park couldn't get any worse. Besides problems with her best friend and the obnoxious, but cute, boy from school named Tommy, there's the new haunted carousel ride. When Kate goes for a spin, she finds herself transported back in time and into the body of a ghost named Isabelle, circa 1928. Isabelle's husband carved the horse, and the rumor is that he also murdered Isabelle.

Back in the present, Kate teams up with Tommy to solve the mystery of how Isabelle died, even if it means more terrifying rides on the carousel. As the investigation goes on, Kate finds herself growing closer to Isabelle than she is with Meghan. So when the carousel is slated to be dismantled for the park museum, Kate hurries to solve the mystery before Isabelle is doomed to wander the park--and Kate's dreams--forever.

Here's my review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-paced Mystery October 6, 2012

By Sherry Ellis VINE™ VOICE

Rumor has it that the carousel at Wildwood Lake Park is haunted by Isabelle, the murdered wife of the man who made the carousel horses. When fourteen-year-old Kate takes a ride on the carousel "war horse," she finds herself transported into the body of Isabelle and taken back to the year 1928. There, she discovers the truth of what really happened.

Carousel Ghost is an intriguing mystery which will compel readers to keep "turning the pages" to learn about the ghost and find out what really happened to her. There's also a sweet side story of a friendship between Kate and a cute boy named Tommy. The book is well-written with believable characters and a well-paced plot. It's a perfect read for kids ages ten and up.    

Doesn't that sound like a good read?  You have to check it out!

If you want to follow Andrea, here's her website  and her Twitter page.

Now to go and see if I can make her notice.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Killer Hermit Crab

My brother-in-law stopped by my house yesterday to visit the kids.  For some reason, he went upstairs to check out the hermit crab abode.  I heard a lot of giggling, and wondered what was going on.  Two minutes later, my brother-in-law came down with a hermit crab suspended between his index finger and thumb.

"What are you doing to that poor crab?" I asked.

"What am I doing with this crab?"  he said.  "He's a killer crab!  I'm going to boil him in a pot of water and then butter him up."

"Dude, he's just a crab.  A teeny tiny harmless crab."  I took the crab from him and let it crawl around in the palm of my hand.  "See, he's friendly."

My brother-in-law took the crab and put his fingers by its pinchers.  And what do you think happened?  Yep.  The crab pinched his finger.

"Ahhh!" shouted my brother-in-law as he shook the crab off his finger.  "See, I told you!  He's a killer crab!"

I shook my head.  "Dude, you're not going to boil him or use him for the secret ingredient in a Sponge Bob crabby patty. It's not his fault you're being stupid!" 

I rescued the poor little crab and carried him back to his abode.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Hungry Dog

My husband had just finished gnoshing on a Subway sandwich.  He threw the remains in the garbage and took off to go do whatever he does.

Two seconds later, our German Shepherd, Schultz, stuck his big black snoot in the garbage to investigate.

"Schultz," I said.  "Get out of the garbage!"

He gave me one of his looks.  I gave him one of mine.

He walked away.  I figured that was the end of it.  I went off to do my work.  A couple minutes later, I heard a funny ripping noise.  I went to the kitchen to investigate.  Sure enough, Schultz was tearing apart the Subway wrapper, trying to get at the sandwich.

I grabbed that thing from him.  "No, Schultz!"

I threw it in the garbage and gave him another look.  I  kept an eye on him for a few minutes, then went back to my work.

Three minutes later, he was at it again.

"Schultz, crate!"

He gave me a pathetic look with his soulful brown eyes and marched off to his crate.  Now he's in jail.

So I don't know what the problem was.  Either I don't make mean enough faces, or he just really likes Subway sandwiches with turkey, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt, and pepper!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Biology Lesson

Sometimes I have the strangest conversations with my kids in the car.  This morning was one of the strangest.  We were on our way to dance class, when my daughter posed this question:  "Mom, are eye sleepies the same as nose boogers?"

What?  I wasn't exactly prepared for such a topic at nine o'clock in the morning, but I gave it my best scientific answer.  "They're your body's way of cleaning your eyes.  And, yes, you have mucous to clean your nose, so basically it's the same thing."

My daughter thought about that a minute.  "So why do we have ear wax instead of mucous in our ears?"

"Because it would be too messy to have mucous dripping out of your ears."

Fortunately, that answer satisfied her.  Now aren't you glad I told you this?  I bet you just learned something new.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flour Sandwich

It's party time at my place again.  The never-ending birthday celebration continues.  This time, we have out-of-town family coming in.  You know what that means - more cake!

My eight-year-old son asked if he could help make it.  I let him crack the eggs and add the oil and water.

"Can I eat the flour?" he asked.

"No, Bubba.  That would taste pretty awful."

"But I want to try it."

"No, Bubba."

I turned around to get a spoon.  Not even a second later, my son had flour all over the front of his shirt.

"Bubba," I said.  "You ate the flour, didn't you?"

He gave me one of his guilty looks.  "But it was so good, Mama! Can have some more?"

I shook my head.  "No, Bubba.  No more flour."

"What about in my lunch next week? Can you make me a flour sandwich?"

Yeah, right. (He sure is persistent, isn't he?)


Friday, October 12, 2012

Chicken Butcher

I was practicing my violin, when I heard a yell from the kitchen.  "Woman!"

It was my husband.

"I'm kind of busy," I said.  "What do you need?"

"Woman, get over here," he said. 

I sighed and put down my violin.  I walked into the kitchen to see what the man wanted.

He was standing next to the chicken I had made.  "Woman, you do not know how to cut a chicken."

"You intererupted my practicing to tell me that?"

"This is a disgrace.  Completely unacceptable!  You mutilated this thing!"

Yeah, so?  I had pulled off the legs and wings, and sliced through the breasts.  Then I plopped them on a plate and served them to my kids.  What was the big deal?

"Woman, you need to be taught how to properly cut a chicken."

So now I have an assignment.  I am to go to the store, purchase another chicken, prepare it, and then attend my husband's school for the culinary arts to learn how to properly cut it.

And all I wanted to do was practice my violin!  Oy gewalt!   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brain-damaged Beast

Schultz, our two-year-old German Shepherd, likes to play rough.  That beast is downright dangerous when he's pulling on his tug. In fact, he scratched up my face pretty good one time when he jumped for it.  I'm lucky I didn't lose an eyeball!

Today, I took that hundred-pound creature outside to play.  I threw him his rubber ball which is attached to a rope.  "Fetch," I said.

He bounded off like a bullet and brought that thing back to me.  "Good boy," I said.  "Now drop it."

Apparently he didn't feel like dropping it.  He felt like thrashing his head from side to side.  The ball swung back and forth from the rope, bonking him on the head.

"Goofball, what the heck are you doing?"

He kept bonking himself.  This went on for a good five minutes.  Finally, he stopped. 

He dropped the ball toy and stumbled sideways.  He looked like he was drunk.

"What's the matter, boy?  Did you beat yourself up?"

He looked at me - one ear straight up, the other tipped to the side.  I shook my head.

It is now two hours later, and his ear is still tipped to the side.  I think he has permanent brain damage.  What do you think? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peanut Muncher

My daughter received a package in the mail that was loaded with a bunch of styrofoam peanuts. After she had taken out the item that was inside, she left the box on the floor.

"You had better clean that up," I said, "or you-know-who is going to mess with it!"

"Yeah, Mom," she said.  "Later."

Later never came.  But you-know-who did.  Yes, our furry German Shredder, Schultz, made an appearance and stuck his big black snoot in the box.  He sniffed around, and decided that those peanuts looked good enough to eat.  He grabbed a mouthful.  A couple got impaled on his bottom fangs.

That dog shook himself like a mad man trying to get those things off.  And then he pawed at his face. You should've seen it!

"Schultz," I said.  "Come here, you goofball."

I made him stay still and slid the peanuts off of his teeth. (Fortunately, he didn't eat my fingers!)

"Next time, stick with doggy kibbles!"  

We'll see if he listens.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stink Bug Invasion

We have an interesting phenomenon going on over here in Cincinnati.  They're called stink bugs.  These little critters are oddly shaped gray bugs that emit a putrid odor when disturbed.  They seem to be popping up everywhere.

Apparently, they popped up on the bus.  As the bus pulled up to drop off the kids, I noticed a bit of mayhem going on.  Kids were up, out of their seats, yelling and carrying on.  The bus driver looked like she was about to blow a gasket.

After the kids unloaded, I asked what was going on.

"Stink bugs," said my son.  "They stunk up the whole bus!"

"Seriously?"  I couldn't believe a tiny little bug could cause that much trouble.

"Yeah, Mama.  I'm going to catch some so you can smell how stinky they are."

We went home, and my son found a jar.  He also found some stink bugs.  He put them inside and shut the lid.  A little while later, he called me over to have a sniff.

Let me just say, it was pretty awful. Something like rotten eggs, and an overly-ripe outhouse. Yuck!

"Can we keep them?" asked my son.

"Absolutely not!" I said.  "We are not having any pets that smell like that!"



Monday, October 8, 2012

Duct Tape Flowers

One of the presents my daughter had received for her birthday was a bag full of duct tape.  Now you may ask why in the world would anybody give somebody a bag of duct tape for a present.  Apparently tweens and teens think that stuff is great.  In fact, my daughter said it was her favorite present.  Duct tape these days, comes in an assortment of colors and patterns - perfect for crafty kids.  And my daughter is crafty!

"Mama," she said.  "I made something for you."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Come and see!"

She led me into the family room and handed me a bouquet of flowers.  They weren't ordinary flowers.  They were duct tape flowers, with green stems and leaves, and pretty multi-colored petals.

"Wow!  They're beautiful!" I said.  "How did you make them?"

She demonstrated how she carefully folded pieces of duct tape into triangles and formed the petals.

"That's really good!  Did you read a book to figure out how to do it?"

"No," she said.  "I just figured it out."  Then she added, "Sniff them."

I did.  And do you know what?  They smelled just like her perfume.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Birthday Bash

I have finally finished digging myself out from under the mounds of chocolate and piles of candy wrappers. Let me just say, it was quite a party!  For those of you who may just be tuning in, we had a chocolate-themed birthday party for my eleven-year-old daughter.  You can see from the pictures, that there was quite a lot of chocolate!  In fact, when the parents showed up to drop off their kids, they couldn't believe their eyes.  "It really is a chocolate party!" they said.

 A couple of parents actually looked a little concerned about it, so I had to show them the vegetable tray.  "See," I said.  "We even have some healthy stuff."

They looked at me skeptically.

Needless to say, not one vegetable got eaten, but the girls had a great time.  I found out that they are all experts at the blindfolded candy guessing contest.  The girls had to identify the candy just by taste, and not one girl made a mistake.  Unbelievable!

The next morning when I came downstairs, I found five girls stuffing their faces with candy.

"Hi, Mom!" they said.

"Nice breakfast," I said. 

"This is the best!" one girl said.  "Can we live here?"

Yeah.  Just what I need.  Five more daughters! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Birthday Celebrations!

Hey everybody, it's party time at my pad!  My daughter turns eleven today.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown!  Anyway, I'm getting ready for the big chocolate-themed birthday party, so I don't have a lot of time to write.

But I wanted to also let you know that my daughter is not the only one celebrating a birthday, today.  Author, Christine Rains, is celebrating, too, and she's giving away free copies of her book.  Be sure to stop by her blog and wish her Happy Birthday! 

So, Christine, this is for you -  a pretty cool rendition of Happy Birthday, by a talented violinist, Rachel Barton Pine.  Have a fabulous day!  (And if you want to stop by for the party, come on over - you're only a couple  of hours down the road from me!)

Now I'm going to go bake cake.  Chocolate of course!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Creating a New Life Form

My eight-year-old son came home from school today, all excited.  "Mama!  We're doing science in school!"

"Cool," I said.  "Science is fun!"

"Guess what?"  he continued.  "I'm going to do a science experiment."

"Oh yeah?  What kind?" I asked.

He thought about that.  "I'm going to create a new life form!"

"Well, that sounds like a pretty good trick," I said.  "Exactly how are you going to do that?"

He was quiet for a second.  "I'll have to do some research, but I think I'm going to make a Bowser."

(Bowser, in case you don't know, is a character from the Mario video games.)

My daughter, who had been listening to this conversation put her two cents in.  "I know how you can make a Bowser."

"How?" I asked.

"Find the world's largest turtle and cross it with the world's largest chicken."

"Brilliant!"  I said.

So now we're on the lookout for the world's largest turtle and chicken.  If you happen to find them, please let us know!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Scary Spider

Halloween is right around the corner, and in my neighborhood, things are looking pretty scary.   There are ghosts and skeletons in just about every yard.

So, this morning I took Schultz, our big German Shepherd, for a walk.  Things were pretty normal.  Then out of the blue, Schultz got all crazy on me.  His hair stood up on his back, and he started growling.

"Hey, boy," I said.  "What's the matter?"

He stopped walking by my side and tried to cut in front of me, tugging hard on the leash.

"Heel!" I commanded.

He wouldn't.

I wondered what the heck had made him so agitated.  I didn't hear any dogs barking.  Usually that's what sets him off.

He continued growling and acting crazy.  I thought the hundred pound beast was going to bolt.

That's when I looked over my shoulder.  On somebody's lawn, was a huge inflatable spider.  That thing was pretty ugly!  Schultz was growling at the spider.

"It's okay, Schultz," I said.  "It's just a spider.  And don't worry.  It won't bite! (At least I hoped it wouldn't!)

Note to self:  Keep Schultz away from the spider, because things won't go well for that thing if Schultz sinks his pearly white fangs into it!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mama Can't Write

My son had a school project to do - something about "The History of Me."  He was to compile a bunch of pictures from each year of his life, and then write a sentence or two about them. 

Parents had an assignment, too.  They had to write a few special things that happened during each year.  This had to be completed on a worksheet.

Okay, fine, so the teacher gave me homework.  Not that I had time to do this, but I managed to squeeze it in.  I turned in my homework and patted myself on the back.

Today, that paper came home in my son's homework folder.

"Bubba," I said.  "Do you still need this?"

"Yeah, Mama," he said.  "The teacher says you need to do it again."


"She says it's sloppy, and I can't read it.  Plus you need to use complete sentences."


So, ladies and gentleman, here I am, the writer who just failed second grade penmanship and English.  Is that pathetic, or what?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Chocolate Haul

My daughter's chocolate-themed birthday party is this Saturday.  So naturally, we had to take a little trip to the grocery store to get some chocolate.

We walked into the candy aisle.  "Okay kid, pick some candy," I said.

Well, that was a mistake. She grabbed a bag of Kit Kats, and Hershey bars, and Reese Peanut Butter cups.

"That's enough," I said.

She gave me a look.  "Mom, this is no way enough!"  Then she grabbed some York peppermint patties, and M & Ms, and Twix bars."

I shook my head.  "Is that enough?"

"No, Mom, it's not enough."

Then she went for some non chocolate items - nerds, black Twizzlers, and Sourpatch kids.

"Wait a minute," I said.  "Something's not right, here!  This is a chocolate party, not a candy party!"

"But Mom," she said.  "One of my friends who's coming doesn't like chocolate.  She needs something to eat, too."

"Yeah, how about pizza, and veggies, and fruit?  That's something else."


To  make a long story short, we ended up buying $65.00 worth of candy.  The moral of the story is this:  Never let a kid loose in a candy aisle!