Mama Diaries

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prehistoric Pets

Our pet supply has dwindled over the last year.  We used to have 26 pets (most of those were fish).  Now we have three:  a cat, a dog, and a frog.  My nine-year-old son didn't think that was good enough.  So when we went to Barnes and Noble book store and spotted a kit for growing triops, my son insisted we buy it.  (Who knew you could find pets at a book store?)

A few days ago, we set up the aquarium (these are water creatures).  We emptied half of the egg packet and waited for something to happen. Today something happened.  Three baby triops hatched.  What the heck is a triop?  Let me show you:

Isn't it cute?  Don't you want to snuggle up next to it?


Triops were around during the time of the dinosaurs.  Somehow they managed to survive global warming and environmental pollution.  Now let's see how long they survive in my son's room!

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year!  Best wishes for 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ghosts in the Gold Mine

Thank you to all who visited during the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway.  Milo James Fowler is the winner of my books.  Congratulations, Milo!

I took my kids gold mining in the northern hills of Georgia.  We had a great time.  Our stash amounted to fifteen flakes of gold, so I guess we'd better not quit our day jobs!  While we were on the underground mine tour, we heard a lot of tales about ghosts.  Apparently quite a few folks died in the mine.

Our guide led us to a dark area.  "Right in this very spot, the ceiling collapsed, killing all the workers under it.  The supervisor was standing over there."  He pointed to an area about twenty feet away.  "He was so mortified about losing his workers, that he went home and didn't eat or drink.  He died in about a week or so.  It's said that his ghost comes back to take care of those he lost.  So keep your eyes out for him."

That little speech totally freaked out my nine-year-old son.  "Mama, do you think that's true?"

"I don't know, Bubba.  But if it is, I doubt you're going to see him."

Bubba wasn't so sure of that.  He stayed close by my side as we walked through the cold, damp tunnel. After a while, he stopped.  "Look, Mama.  What's that?"  He pointed to a shadow on the wall. It wasn't very big, but it was an unusual shape.

I shrugged.  "Let's check it out."  I walked over to inspect.  "It's a ghost."  I said.

Bubba's eyes got big.  "Really?"

"No, Bubba.  Not really.  It's a bat.  See?"

I pointed at a cute fuzzy thing hanging from the ceiling.

Bubba breathed a sigh of relief.  "Oh.  It's just the ghost's pet."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway and The Stink Zone

I know I'm a day early for this, but tomorrow I'm going gold mining with the kids, so ya'll are getting an extra day to participate.

Every Friday in December, as part of the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway, hosted by Milo James Fowler, I have given away free copies of both of my books (That Mama is a Grouch, and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN) to one lucky winner. This is the last Friday of the month, and therefore the last chance to win.   Even if you already have copies, feel free to participate, because they could make great gifts for anyone you know.  Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.  These are hard copies of my book, and I am willing to mail them anywhere in the world.  Be sure to visit Milo to find out who else is participating and have a chance to win their books as well.

Now for the story:

My twelve-year-old daughter is a girly girl. She likes makeup, fashion, and perfume.  So for Christmas, I had the brilliant idea to get her a perfume-making kit.  I don't know what I was thinking, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

She opened the package and discovered fourteen vials of oils, ranging from woody, to citrus, to floral smells.  "What do I do with these?" she asked.

"I think it would be a very good idea to read the directions and find out ."

She made a face and popped open one of the vials.  She gave it a good sniff.  "Ugh!"  she said.  "This smells like poop!"

I looked at the bottle.  Musk.  "That doesn't surprise me," I said.

She grabbed a citrus vile labeled, "Lemony."  She opened it up and took a whiff.  "Better."

Meanwhile, I had picked up the instructions and started reading.  I knew the girl wasn't going to do it, so I figured I'd better give her some guidance.  "Okay.  Here's a sample recipe.  You need five drops of Lemony, one drop of Mella, and six drops of Finalia."

She picked up a vile and suctioned up five drops.  She put it in the mixing cup.  "Mom," she said after she sniffed it.  "This doesn't smell like Lemony."

I took a sniff.  "Nope.  I think it's Mella."

"What do  I do?"

"Multiply all the totals by five."

I let her do her thing.  When she was done, I sniffed the finished product.  "Whoa.  That's strong!  What the heck did you put in there?"

"Fifteen drops of Lemony, twenty five drops of Mella, and six drops of Finalia."

I shook my head.  "Girl, do you not know how to multiply?"

She grinned.  "Yeah, but I think something is wrong with my nose, because it stinks in here and I can't smell a darn thing!"

(Uh huh.  And apparently sitting in the stink zone has adverse affects on one's brain, thereby decreasing one's ability to do math!) 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cup Games

At my son's school Christmas party, there were a variety of games - toss the marshmallows through the wreath into the bucket, Hershey kiss unwrap, candy cane hook, and jingle bell jump.  It was my job to man the snowball ping pong game.  Kids were supposed to bounce a ping pong ball into plastic red cups. 

I stood behind the table, ready to catch whatever balls came my way.  Easy, right?  Wrong!  Not when you have six kids lined up with balls, all bouncing them as high as they could.  Those wild balls went everywhere!

"Hey," I said.  "Can we do a tamer version of this game? How about one at a time, and try to aim for the cup."

They thought about that.  Then my son had a brilliant idea (go figure!).  "Let's play bowling!"  He grabbed the cups, lined them up, and rolled the balls, knocking them down. 

"Okay," I said.  "This is interesting."  It went smoothly for a while, but then the balls and cups started flying everywhere.

I sighed.  "Time for another game."

Another kid had an idea.  "Let's make a cup castle."

Everybody thought that was great, so they made a towering masterpiece.  Which worked just fine, until another kid decided that it was time for an earthquake to strike.  The tower toppled over.

"Anybody else have a brilliant idea for what to do with cups and balls?" I asked.

We went through a bunch of games, including, "guess which cup the balls are under."

Finally one little girl grabbed a cup.  "Cup song!" she announced.  She did a lovely rendition of the infamous cup song, after which everyone segued into the "What does the Fox Say?"

Cup, cup, cup, cup cup, cup, cup cup cup cup, cup cup cup cup cup, cup!


Merry Christmas, everybody!  Hope you enjoy the day with your families!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winner of the Giveaway and Conch Phones

Thank you to all who visited my blog and commented during the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway.  The winner of my books is Kristy Marie Feltenberger Gillespie  (Wow, that's a mouthful!)  Congratulations, Kristy!  I hope you enjoy the books!  There will be one more chance to win next Friday, so be sure to stop by.

Now for the story.

My nine-year-old son brought out a couple of conch shells and handed one to me.  "Mama, talk into this quietly."

I held it like a microphone and started talking.

"No, Mama.  Like this."  He put his conch shell up to his ear like a telephone and started talking.

I looked at him kind of funny.  "Don't you need some kind of connecting wire between the two shells for it to work like a phone?"

He shook his head and spoke into his shell.  "Can you hear me?"

"Yes, Bubba.  I hear you."

He walked into the other room and did the same thing.  "Can you hear me?"

"Yes, Bubba."

He came back to where I was.  "Mama, conch shells are perfect phones.  They echo real far, so you don't need wires!"

Okay.  Maybe I should suggest using conch shells to the telephone companies.  Then we can all walk around with shells plastered to our heads!   

Friday, December 20, 2013

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway and an Award

Every Friday in December, as part of the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway, hosted by Milo James Fowler, I am giving away free copies of both of my books (That Mama is a Grouch, and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN) to one lucky winner.  Even if you already have copies, feel free to participate, because they could make great gifts for anyone you know.  Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.  These are hard copies of my book, and I am willing to mail them anywhere in the world.  Be sure to visit Milo to find out who else is participating and have a chance to win their books as well.

I'd like to thank Deanie Dunne and Susanne Drazic for giving me the Wordpress Family Award.

The rules for this award are:
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate ten others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your ten family members know you have awarded them. That’s it!  Just make sure these people have taken you in as a friend/family member, and then spread that love!
Here is my list of ten bloggers.  All of these people visit my blog regularly.  Special thanks to them for always stopping by and leaving comments!  If you don't know any of these people, be sure to visit them.  They're awesome!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Underwear Overhead

I'm always complaining about my family members not cleaning up their dirty clothes.  I don't understand why it's so difficult for them to get their things off the floor and put them in the hamper. 

Well, today my husband had a brilliant solution to the problem.  I walked into my bedroom and looked up.  Hanging from the ceiling fan, was a pair of underwear, an undershirt, and a pair of socks.

"Really?" I said.

My husband came in with a huge grin on his face.  "They're not on the floor, are they?"

He had a point.  But I bet it took a lot longer to get those things on the fan, than it would've taken to walk over to the hamper and toss them in!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ebook Giveaway and Bringing Back the Dinosaurs

I'm giving away free ebooks on Facebook as part of a Christmas Author Fest that's going on over there.  I'm also celebrating getting 500 likes on my Facebook fan page.  Because you are all so awesome, I didn't want to leave you guys out of the fun, so here's the information on how to get free electronic copies of That Mama is a Grouch and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN.  (I'm still giving hard copies of them each Friday in December, so be sure to stop by again for that.)

That Mama is a Grouch is available on Smashwords.  Use coupon code ZW62Y.  Offer expires December 31, 2013.

That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN is available on Amazon.  Offer expires December 22, 2013.

Now for the story:

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Wouldn't it be cool to have a Tyrannosaurus Rex?"

I looked at that kid.  "No.  T-Rexes are pretty fierce.  I wouldn't want one running around my house!'

"But Mama, if you trained it when it was a baby, I'm sure it could be good."

"No, Bubba.  A T-Rex is not a creature that can be domesticated.  And even if it was good, it would take one step and demolish everything!"

He thought about that.  "How about a pterodactyl? It would be like a big parakeet."

I shook my head.  "You couldn't have a dinosaur even if you wanted one.  They're extinct."

"I could bring them back to life from fossils."


The boy grinned.  "Yeah.  You can extract their DNA from the rocks and grow a new one."

"I don't think so, Bubba."

"I know it can be done.  And when I'm a grown up, I'm going to do it!"

So, ladies and gentlemen, if in about twenty years you see a triceratops in your backyard, you can thank Bubba.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Where the Socks Go

Have you ever wondered where socks disappear to when they get washed and dried?  I always seem to have at least one sock without a pair when I finish the laundry.  Well, now I have the answer.  The dryer eats them!  How do I know?  Let me tell you.

I had finished another load of laundry, and as I always do, I took the lint catcher out to clean it.  I normally do not look in the space where the lint catcher sits, but out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a dust bunny.  I bent down for a closer inspection.  Sure enough, it was a dust bunny.  A giant one that looked to be about the size of a hare.  I pulled it out.  That's when I discovered that the dust bunny was attached to a pair of underwear.

Hmmm, I thought and tossed it on the floor.  I looked inside and saw that there was something else still down there.  I couldn't reach it with my fingers, so I grabbed the closest thing I could - a paint brush.  I maneuvered the handle into the crevice and came up with something else. A sock!

To make a long story short, the paintbrush and I pulled out two pairs of underwear, and four socks -  all covered in dust. 

So ladies and gentlemen, learn from me.  If your socks go missing, open up your dryer, lift out the lint catcher, and see what your machine has been snacking on.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winner of the Giveaway and Finger Thermometer

Thanks to everyone who left a comment during the 'Tis More Blessed giveaway.  Helena is the lucky winner!  There will be two more chances in December to win, so be sure to stop by this Friday for another opportunity.

Now for the story.

My nine-year-old son, Bubba, hasn't been feeling well.  He wanted me to take his temperature.

"Sorry, Bubba," I said.  "All the thermometers in the house are broken."  I felt his forehead.  "You feel okay.  Maybe it's just a cold."

"No, Mama.  I have a fever."  He stuck his finger in his mouth.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

He held up his other finger, indicating that I should wait.  When he was done, he pulled out his finger and looked at it.  "Just what I thought.  99.9 degrees.  I have a fever."

"A finger thermometer?"

He nodded.  "Yep.  They're the best kind!"

Friday, December 13, 2013

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway and Mr. Conversationalist

 Every Friday in December, as part of the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway, hosted by Milo James Fowler, I am giving away free copies of both of my books (That Mama is a Grouch, and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN) to one lucky winner.  Even if you already have copies, feel free to participate, because they could make great gifts for anyone you know.  Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.  These are hard copies of my book, and I am willing to mail them anywhere in the world.  Be sure to visit Milo to find out who else is participating and have a chance to win their books as well.

And now for the story:

My nine-year-old son likes to talk to everyone he meets.  He'll go up to random strangers and just start asking them about their day.

Yesterday, I took the boy to get a hair cut.  When it was his turn, he sat in the chair and yappity yapped about whatever was on his mind at the moment.  The stylist, an Asian man, interjected a comment or two.

After we had left, Bubba commented, "Mama, I didn't understand a word that guy said. But since I'm so good at talking, it didn't matter!"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mama Marinade

I pulled a pork loin out of the refrigerator and slopped a mixture of mustard, apple cider vinegar, and basil on it.  Then I tossed it in the oven.  "I have to go to work," I announced.  "Can you pull this thing out of the oven when it's ready?"

"Sure," my husband said.

I left.  A few hours later, when I came back, I asked my husband how the pork was. 

"It was good, but it took a lot longer to cook than you said."

"Oh.  That doesn't surprise me," I replied.  "It was a little bit frozen when I put it in the oven."

"What? You marinated a frozen loin?"

"Partially frozen,"  I corrected.

"Woman, that's like frosting a frozen cake."

"So?  You can frost a frozen cake. Just like you can marinate a partially frozen loin.  Just deal with it!"

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don't work in a fancy restaurant! 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Magic Belly Button

Every day, I test my nine-year-old son on his math facts, using flash cards.  Yesterday, we worked on multiplication.  He did well for a while, then he had a harder problem.  He grabbed the card from my hand, pulled up his shirt, and shoved the card in the little crease by his belly button.

"What exactly are you doing?" I asked.

"Math," he said.

"How is shoving a flash card in your belly button, doing math?"

"It's a magic belly button.  It reads the card and tells me the answer."  He looked down at the card and jiggled it around his belly button.  "Eighty-one,"  he announced.

I took the card from him.  "Right."  I gave him another problem and he did the same thing.

"Sixty-three," he answered.

"Mmm hmmm," I said.

"See, Mama. It works.  Don't you wish you had a magic belly button?"

Um, yeah.   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winner of the Giveaway and Cut Out Cut Out Cookies

Thank you to everyone who visited and left comments in the "Tis More Blessed Giveaway hosted by Milo James Fowler.  The winner of my two books is Janie Junebug!  Congratulations, Janie! 

I'll do the giveaway again this Friday, so please stop by for another chance to win.

Now for the story:

'Tis the season for baking Christmas cookies.  Yesterday, I made cut out cookies - sugar cookies in fancy shapes, decorated with way too many sprinkles.  When they had cooled, by kids naturally wanted to try some. 

"One cookie," I said.

They each grabbed the biggest one they could find.

My son, who had taken a bell-shaped cookie, started meticulously biting into it.  I watched him, fascinated.  After he had taken a few bites, he showed me the result.  "A moose," he announced.

"Nice," I said.

He munched some more.  After a few more bites, he held up a star.

"Pretty good," I said.

Finally, he munched his way to a circle.  "A snowball."

He plopped that thing into his mouth.  "I didn't have one cookie, Mama.  I had four!"

What a genius!


Friday, December 6, 2013

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway and Runaway Dog

Every Friday in December, as part of the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway, hosted by Milo James Fowler, I am giving away free copies of both of my books (That Mama is a Grouch, and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN) to one lucky winner.  Even if you already have copies, feel free to participate, because they could make great gifts for anyone you know.  Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.  These are hard copies of my book, and I am willing to mail them anywhere in the world.  Be sure to visit Milo to find out who else is participating and have a chance to win their books as well.

Now for the story:

Schultz, our three-year-old German Shepherd, has generally been pretty good.  When he was a puppy, he was in  trouble just about every day, and had numerous time-outs in his crate.  Well, his "good streak" ended yesterday. My husband let him outside for a potty break.  He even stood outside waiting, because we still don't have a fence for our yard (city permits take forever to get down here in the south!).  After Schultz did his business, he started meandering around, sniffing.

"Schultz, come," my husband said.

Schultz didn't listen.  He wandered into the woods.

"Uh oh," my husband said.  "Come!"

Schultz still didn't listen.  Apparently he was on the trail of another deer.

"Schultz!" my husband bellowed.

And what do you think Schultz did next?  He ran!  Away from my husband to God only knows where.

It took thirty minutes for that beast to find his way back home.  And boy, was he in trouble. His Daddy yelled at him and stuck him in his crate for the rest of the day!   I don't think he'll be doing that again, any time soon. I hope.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dream Destination Blog Hop

It's time for Lexa and Julie's Dream Destination Blog Hop.  I'm supposed to tell you about my dream destination and then invite you over to Lexa or Julie's blog where a Rafflecopter is going on.  You can win one of nineteen prizes!

Where's my dream destination?  That's really a tough one.  There are so many interesting places to see in this world, that it's hard to choose just one.  I love Paris, because there's always something new to see or do.  And I really like Cozumel, Mexico for the SCUBA diving.  But I'm going to say my dream destination is Bora Bora.  Doesn't it look just heavenly?

So how about you?  What's your dream destination?

One more thing:  Yesterday, my son informed me that jellyfish are immortal, which is true.  Then he said lobsters were immortal.  So I had to look it up.  And guess what?  He was right!  Here's the article:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Immortal Jellyfish

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Did you know jellyfish are immortal?"

"What?" I couldn't believe it.  "Nothing is immortal."

"Jellyfish are.  I learned it in school."

"Yeah right," I said.

"But Mama, it's true!"

"Okay, I'm going to look this up."  So I did.  And guess what?  One kind of species of jellyfish is indeed "immortal."

If you want to get enlightened, here's the article.

(Now my son says lobsters are immortal.  I'm off to check this out, too!)   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Good Old Days

One thing I've had my kids do every year since they could write, is create an Illustory book.  They come up with a story, illustrate it, and then mail it to a company which turns it into a hard-cover book. The kids like to reread them, looking back and see how their writing and drawings have improved, and seeing what exactly was on their minds each year.

Yesterday, my nine-year-old son found one of the books he had written when he was six.  He sat on the sofa and read through it.  After reading it, he became rather sentimental.  "Mama, this reminds me of when I was a kid."

"When you were a kid?" I asked.  "Aren't you still a kid?" 

"No," he replied. "When I was a kid, we lived in Cincinnati, and I had a lot of friends. It was fun back then. Now I'm grown up. Not so much fun.  I wish I could go back to the good old days."

(Hate to tell you, kid, you're still in the good old days.  Just you wait until you become a real grown-up!)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Face Painting

Yesterday my kids and I put up the Christmas tree.  It's a tradition that after we do so, we make a fancy cup of hot cocoa and drink it while listening to Christmas music and admiring the tree. 

I placed a steaming cup of hot cocoa in front of my nine-year-old son and told him that he could put the whipped cream and toppings on it.  He grabbed a can of Reddi Wip and sprayed a mountain of the white stuff on top.  Then he got the Hershey's chocolate sauce and squeezed about a third of the container onto the mountain he already created.

I looked at that boy and shook my head.  "Have a little hot cocoa with your toppings!"

"Mama," he said.  "This isn't all for the cocoa. Watch." He dipped his finger into it and spread the goop onto his face.  When he was done, he had a white mustache and beard (and a few sprinkles). "See.  I decorated my face for Christmas.  Now I'm Santa Claus!" 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Squeaky Ball Crisis

Our hundred pound German Shepherd's favorite toy is a rubber squeaky ball.  He runs around all day  with that thing in his mouth, squeaking away.  I find it incredibly annoying, but since the dog enjoys it so much, I let him play with it.

Well, the other day, Schultz broke the squeaker.

Good, I thought. Less noise!

Apparently Schultz did not share my sentiments. He ran around with the ball, dropped it, and stared at me, wondering what the heck was wrong with his toy.  He did the same thing with my husband.  When he didn't get a reaction from either of us, he shoved the ball in a corner and lay down on the ground, looking completely dejected.

My husband saw how sad the poor beast was. "We really should get him a new squeaky ball."

I looked at the dog.  "I suppose."

So that's what we did.  We went to the pet store and got Schultz a brand new squeaky ball.  Needless to say, when we presented the new toy, Schultz was delighted.

He grabbed that ball and resumed the noise making. And he's still doing it. Too bad it doesn't have an off switch! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phone Meal

My kids still keep in touch with their friends from Cincinnati.  In fact, they spend hours on the speakerphone, talking with them and playing online video games.  Yesterday, they were on the phone.  I heard the two boys on the other end giggling and carrying on, just as my kids were.  It sounded like my house was full of kids.

I sat down at the kitchen table and listened in on their conversation. 

"Dude," my son said to one of the boys.  "My mom can hear you.  She's right here."

"Oh, hi Mrs. Ellis.  I'm hungry," the boy said.  "Do you have something to eat?"

"Sure.  I'll send you a slice of pizza and some chocolate chip cookies through the phone lines," I answered.

Can't let a thousand miles stand in the way of a hungry boy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Salmonella Poisoning

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great day.  I sure did.  Thank you for all the well-wishes in your comments!

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of leftover turkey.  What does one do with leftover turkey?  Make sandwiches, of course!  This afternoon, for lunch, I piled up a bunch of turkey between some slices of bread, along with apples, poppy seed dressing and cheese.  I plopped it in front of my kids and told them to eat it.

My son made a face, but bit into it.  "Mama," He said after he swallowed.  "Can't you get salmonella poisoning from eating raw turkey?"

"Yes, Bubba, you can."

"Then why are you feeding us raw turkey?"

I laughed. "It's not raw.  It's cold.  And you won't get salmonella from eating cold, cooked turkey."

"Are you sure, Mama.  Because I can taste the salmonella. I think you're trying to poison us."  

Oy gewalt!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Donut Dillemma

It's Hanukkah at my pad, which means it's time to make potato latkes and eat jelly donuts.  (I know, real healthy, but I didn't invent it, so don't give me any snide remarks!)

I went to the store to pick up the donuts.  I scoured that place, but could not find even one jelly-filled donut. Since I don't know where any other donut stores are, and I don't feel like making them from scratch, I bought a dozen glazed donuts.  Good enough, I thought.

Unfortunately, my kids didn't think so.  "Mom, this isn't right," my daughter said.  "We need jelly donuts."

"Listen, this is all I could find.  Just deal with it."

"I can't deal with it," my daughter said.  "It's Hanukkah and we need jelly donuts!"

I went to the refrigerator and pulled out a jar of grape jelly.  I opened it, and smeared a layer of the purple stuff on top of a donut and handed it to her.  "There you go.  A jelly donut, just for you!"

I don't know if I'll be here tomorrow, but I'd like to wish all of you in the USA who celebrate Thanksgiving, a very Happy Thanksgiving!  And in the spirit of the holiday, I'd like to thank all of you for following me and being my blog friends!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Makeup Guru

My twelve-year-old daughter knows a lot about makeup.  That's probably because she spends all her free time watching You tube videos of makeup tutorials.

Today, she gave me a makeup tutorial.  "Mom, you really should do your eyeliner differently.  I think Urban Decay eyeliner would work better than what you're using."


"Here, let me show you what kind of makeup you should use to make yourself look pretty."  She brought up the Sephora website.  If you don't know what Sephora is, it's a huge makeup store.  "Here," she said.  "Naked Urban Decay eye shadows.  That's a basic palate."

I looked at the price - $18.95.

She scrolled down.  "You need some lip stains, too."

"Lip stains?"  I said.  "What's wrong with my lipstick?"

"It doesn't last all day."


Price of the collection of lip stains:  $365.00.

She continued this way, going through eyeliners, foundations, blush, brushes, and mascara.  By the time she was finished, she had about $800 worth of products.  "That should do it, Mom.  If you get all of these and use them, you might look good."



Monday, November 25, 2013

Ear Assault

Here's a little news before I begin my story about something you might want to do if you're an author:

Milo James Fowler is hosting a Freebies special – Tis More Blessed. “If you have a book/eBook/short story/collection you'd like to give away or raffle off on Friday December 6th, Friday the 13th, Friday the 20th, or Friday the 27th, just enter your name and the date(s) of your giveaway under Link Title.”

I'll be giving away copies of my books on each of the Fridays, so be sure to stop by at my place, and all the other author's places for a chance to win books.

And now for the story:

I was driving my kids around town today.  We had several stops, which meant they had to spend a lot of time in the car. To break the monotony, they decided it would be great fun to belt out songs that were on the radio.

I grimaced.  "Kids, that's insulting to my ears!  Can you be a little quieter and less scratchy?"

"No, Mama," my son said.  "I'm going to be the best singer in the world!  I need to practice."

"Yeah, mom.  We're rock stars!" my daughter chimed in.

They shouted the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

"Could you at least sing in tune?" I implored, wishing I had a pair of headphones to block out the cacophony.

"We are in tune," said my son.

"Okay.  Maybe it's the music selection.  How about you sing something like Beethoven's ninth symphony?"

I saw my daughter grimace in the rear view mirror.  "No, Mom.  That music makes my ears bleed!"

"Your ears?" I said.  "What about mine?"

"Yeah.  I think Beethoven's ninth would make your ears bleed, too!"

Oy gewalt!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chubby Bunny Marshmallow Challenge

 I was driving my daughter and her friend to school the other day, when her friend had this remark:  "Mrs. Ellis, I did the Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge!"

"The what?" I asked.

"The Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge.  You have to put a marshmallow in your mouth and say, 'chubby bunny.'  You keep adding marshmallows until you can't do it any more."

"Seriously?"  I couldn't believe people would do something so stupid.

"Mom, I want to try," my daughter said.

"Forget it.  I don't need any of my kids choking on marshmallows!"

She was very disappointed.

So ladies and gentlemen, in case you're curious, here is a fine example of the Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge:   

(By the way, my daughter's friend only managed to stuff in two marshmallows.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mac and Cheese - Bubba Style

My boy, Bubba, came home from school, absolutely starving.  Unfortunately, I was on an important phone call, and couldn't really stop to cook.  I boiled a pot of water and dumped some macaroni noodles in while I was on the phone.

"Mama, the noodles are ready," he said as the kitchen timer went off. 

I had enough time to turn the timer off, but then I had to shuffle through paperwork to give some information to the person I was talking to.

Apparently, Bubba couldn't wait.  He took over operations and made the mac and cheese his way.

When I got off the phone, I looked in the pot.  "Bubba, what's this?"  Powdered cheese was floating on the surface of the water, while the noodles were clumped on the bottom of the pot.

"Mac and cheese.  I'm hungry, Mama.  I couldn't wait."

"Okay, Bubba, this isn't exactly how you make mac and cheese.  You're supposed to drain the noodles first, and then add milk and butter."

Bubba shrugged.  "Just fix it, Mama.  You know how."


I drained the noodles, attempted to mix them with the remaining powdered cheese, added a little butter, and dumped it on a plate.  "There you go, Bubba."

He tasted them.  "Hmmm," he said.  "Not bad, but I think it needs a little salt and pepper."

"Coming right up," I said.

I handed him the seasonings, which he sprinkled over the top. Then he tasted it.  "Perfect, Mama.  See.  I know how to cook mac and cheese!"     

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Reading Fort

I think my nine-year-old son has an obsession with pillows.  He insisted on having a huge pile of them stacked up around him before he started reading his book.

"Bubba," I said.  "There's no way you're going to be able to read with all those pillows practically covering up your head!"

"I can read, Mama," he assured me.

I looked at the kid.  I could barely see him, and I wasn't convinced that he was actually reading in there.  "Bubba, please read out loud so I know you're doing what you're supposed to be doing."

He started reading.  It seemed he actually was reading the words on the pages. Fifteen minutes later, he was done.  He dug himself out of the pillow pile and plopped the book on the table.

"Was it really necessary to make a pillow fort like that?" I asked.

"Yeah, you never know when one of the monsters might jump out of the book and come looking for you!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Wild Deer Chase

We have quite a few deer living in the woods behind our house.  They make an appearance every morning.  Usually, it's rather uneventful. They eat their leaves and retreat into the forest.   Not this morning.  This morning it was massive chaos, because this morning, our crazy German Shepherd, Schultz, decided it would be a lot of fun to chase the deer.

I took him out at six o'clock in the morning, when it was still dark, to do his business.  Unbeknownst to me, the entire herd was grazing in my backyard. Schultz spotted them immediately.  There was no way I could hold the hundred pound beast back.

He charged.  I heard the deer scatter.  He chased them into the woods.  And out.

"Schultz!" I bellowed as two deer ran past me.

Schultz was in hot pursuit of another one.  The deer came toward me and quickly swerved when she spotted me.

"Schultz, come!"

Fortunately, the beast is a well-trained creature.  He skidded to a stop.  The deer ran off to who-only-knows where, and Schultz followed me into the house, with a big doggy grin and his tongue nearly dragging on the ground.

Crazy dog!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Anchorman Bubba

My family and I went to the CNN studios in Atlanta for a grand tour of the place.  It was pretty interesting.  My nine-year-old son, Bubba, thought the cameras were really cool. So when the tour guide asked for a volunteer to come up and be an anchorman, my son raised his hand right away.  And of course, because he's a cute kid, he got picked.

He marched up and parked himself at the big desk.  The tour guide operated the teleprompter while the cameras rolled.  He read his script like a real professional.  Then came the end - the part where the anchorman gives his name.

Bubba, with a huge grin on his face, said, "This has been, Insert Name Here, reporting for CNN news."

Everybody cracked up. It was so funny!

So ladies and gentlemen, in about twenty years, if you're watching CNN news and you see a young man reporting as, Insert Name Here, you'll know it's my boy.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Playing Chess with Bubba

"Mama," my nine-year-old son asked.  "Will you play chess with me?"

I didn't realize the kid knew how to play chess.  "Okay," I said.  "One game."

We got out the chess board and set up the pieces.  Surprisingly, he remembered what I had taught him a long time ago.  He was doing pretty well.  After about a half hour, I was getting tired of the game.  I also had a ton of things to do, so I decided to make a bold move and see what happened.  I moved my queen all the way up the board and parked her right next to his king.  "Check," I said.

I wondered if he would knock her off with his king.  He didn't.  He took his bishop and knocked off my rook.

"Check mate," I said on my next move, capturing his king and winning the game.

"That's not fair!" Bubba complained.

"What do you mean, it's not fair?"  I said.  "You could've gotten my queen!"

"You didn't tell me I could get the queen.  I thought I had to get the rook.  Redo!"

"No redo, Bubba.  Mama rules.  And that's that!"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cry Baby

I was sitting at my computer, doing my thing (whatever that is), when  I heard a baby crying.  On and on the baby went.  Clearly, he was quite upset.  After ten minutes of listening to this, I wondered why the baby was still outside and why he was still crying.  What's up with this, and where's the Mom? I thought.

I got up to investigate.

I went to the back door.  That's when I saw the baby.  He was on my deck, wailing away

What? you ask.

Yes.  The "baby" was none other than our cat, Bootsy.  Another tom cat had come up on the deck (Bootsy's territory) and parked himself there.  Bootsy was not happy!  It took me a minute to get over the shock that my cat sounded exactly like a human baby. But then I got into mom mode and chased off the intruder.

The baby stopped crying, curled himself in a little ball, and resumed his nap.

Another Mama job well-done!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Win-Win Situation

When my nine-year-old son does his homework, I have to sit next to him, supervising.  If I don't, his mind has a tendency to wander, and the work doesn't get done.  Last night I sat next to him at the kitchen table.  But instead of doing his homework, he was goofing around, looking out the window and humming songs.

"Bubba.  You need to focus, or you're never going to finish!" I said.

"Maybe I'll focus if you stop watching me," he answered.

"Fine.  I have lots of work to do, anyway," I said getting up.  "Go ahead and work on this yourself."

"But Mama, you have to stay."

"Why do I have to stay?" I asked.

"Because your presence helps me focus.  Just don't watch me."


So I closed my eyes and took a little nap at the kitchen table while he did his homework.  Not a bad deal - I get some rest, and he gets his work done!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Schultz vs. Sponge Bob Square Pants

Schultz, our hundred pound German Shepherd, had a romp with the oh-so-famous cartoon character, Sponge Bob Square Pants.  And it didn't go so well for the sponge guy.  Let me tell you about it.

My kids inflated a Sponge Bob Square Pants punching balloon - a huge yellow thing with Sponge Bob's trademark smiling face and buck teeth.  They proceeded to punch the heck out of it.  Schultz heard the commotion and came in to investigate.  Of course he wanted a piece of the action.

He jumped on that thing, causing the kids to release it and run away.  It was all Schultz's after that!  He chased it with his mouth wide open, ready to sink his fangs into Sponge Bob if he caught him.  Sponge Bob ran for his life, bouncing against tables and walls.  This went on for almost ten minutes.  Finally, Schultz cornered the big yellow thing. He pounced and took a bite out of Sponge Bob's eyeball.

Let's just say after that, SpongeBob was no more.  And Schultz, after recovering from a minor heart attack, decided that large yellow punching balloons were not exactly the best toys to play with!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Schultz, the Celebrity

There's a star living at my pad. He's none other than our hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz.  I was walking him the other day when a  neighborhood garage sale was taking place.  People swarmed the street.  When they saw Schultz, they stopped and stared. "What a big dog!" they exclaimed.  "Is he friendly?"

"Sure," I said.  "Do you want to pet him?"

Schultz sat nicely while everyone patted his big head and scratched his back. 

Some people came over with their cameras.  "He's a beautiful dog," they said.  "Can we take his picture?"

Schultz didn't mind.  He let his big tongue flop out while they snapped away.

Then some kids came by.  "Can we pet your dog?"

"Uh huh."

The moms pulled out their cameras.  "Your dog is the biggest we've ever seen!" they said.  "Can we take his picture with our kids?"

"Go ahead," I said.

Schultz sat patiently while the pictures were taken.

Hmmm.  Maybe I should start charging money for pictures with Schultz.  I bet that furry beast could make millions with his celebrity status!       

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mama is Buried Alive!

I now know what it is like to be buried alive - under pillows!  Last night, the kids and I had movie night.  Instead of watching the movie, my nine-year-old son decided it would be great fun to bury me under all the pillows in the house.

He started with the sofa pillows.  Ten of them.  He piled them up, so all you could see was my face.  "Bubba," I said.  "I'd really like to see this movie.  Could you cut out the pillow piling?"

"No, Mama.  This is fun!"

Then he found sofa cushions and added them on top.

"Uh, Bubba," I said.  "It's kind of hard to breathe in here."

He didn't care.  He just added more pillows.

I tried to knock the pile off of me, but it was too heavy. I succeeded in knocking the ones off of my head, so at least I could breathe.

"Bubba.  Enough.  You're going to end up killing your Mama by burying her under too many pillows!"

Fortunately my daughter had some sense, and removed the pillows (much to my son's dismay).  Otherwise I might have just died under that pillow pile!  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

It's time for the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest, where we name one to three bloggers who have dropped off the blogosphere who we really miss, and name one to three others who we'd miss if they were gone.  This little blogfest is hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Andrew Leon and Matthew MacNish.
Here's the person I miss:  Judy at Life...Minute by Minute.  (But guess what?  I just popped over there, and she showed up again!  She's been back a few days.  She had been gone since April.  I thought she was never coming back.  Yippee!)
And here's who I'd miss if they stopped blogging:  Well, I'd miss all of you - especially those who visit and comment regularly. 
But here are the three:
1. Yvonne Lewis who has nostalgic music playing on her blog of lovely poems. (Apparently Yvonne is having some trouble with her website, so I can't get the link.  But those of you who know her, know what a sweet lady she is!)
2. Arni at Travel Gourmande who shares her world travels with gorgeous pictures.
3.  Dana  who is like a ray of sunshine with all her Sunday Inspirations and Friday Funnies. 
If you have a chance, stop by and visit all of these wonderful bloggers!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

At 6:00 this morning, I went into my son's bedroom to wake him up for school.  "Time to get up!" I said in my usual cheery voice.

He grunted and rolled over.  "Mama, do you always have to say the same thing every day?"

"What do you want me to say?" I asked.  "Cheeseburgers have  high amounts of fat and cholesterol?"

"No, Mama.  Why don't you not say anything at all?"

"Then how will you know it's time to get up?" I asked. 

"I'll just know."


I went downstairs and put out his breakfast.

My boy came down shortly after and stared at the cereal.  "Mama.  We need to get different cereal.  I don't like this stuff and you give it to me every day."

I looked at the kid.  "Listen.  I think you must've gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.  Why don't you go back upstairs and try this again?"

So that's what he did.  When he came back down, he ate his cereal without a complaint.  Apparently waking up on the other side of the bed helped!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bubba's Smelly Trick

My son got off the school bus and handed me a package.  "Here Mama, this is for you."

I opened it.  It was a cookie.  And it looked and smelled like a gingersnap cookie.  "You made this is school?" I asked.


I examined it closely. "Bubba, it's as hard as a rock.  Is it stale?"

He laughed.  "No.  It's fresh."

"Should I eat it?"

"No, Mama," he said.  "You'll end up in the hospital.  It's an air freshener!"

Silly Mama!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Virtual Sleepover

My twelve-year-old daughter really misses her best friend from Cincinnati (where we lived before our recent move).  They used to have sleepovers all the time.  Fortunately, because of technology, they are still able to keep in touch regularly.

"Mom, I'm having a sleepover tonight with KK (her friend)."

"Really?" I asked.  "How are you going to do that?"

She pulled out her iPod.  Her best friend was on it via Facetime.  "Hi, Mrs. Ellis," she said, waving.

"Hi, KK," I said.

"We're going to stay up all night on Facetime," my daughter said.  "Maybe we'll even watch a movie and eat popcorn together."

"Right," I said.  "And then have a pillow fight?"

The girls grinned.

So that's what they did - watched part of a movie, ate popcorn, danced around to music, talked about girl stuff, and went to bed.  The only thing that was missing was the pillow fight.  And I certainly didn't miss that!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Sleeping Can Kill You

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Did you know that stress can kill you?"

"Yes," I said. "Everybody knows that."

"Did you know that sleeping can kill you, too?"

"Um, no.  How so?" I asked.

"If you sleep a long time, your arteries will clog up.  Then blood won't be able to get to your brain or heart.  And then you'll have a heart attack or stroke. Which will make you die."

"Oh," I said.  "But if I don't sleep then that will be a stress on my body, which will produce the hormone, cortisol, which will give me a heart attack or brain aneurism, which will make me die."

My son thought about that.  "Yeah."

"So I'm going to die either way," I said.


I think I'll sleep.  It's the better way to go!


Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Make a Tooth

My kids came home with a huge stash of candy after last night's Trick-or-Treat session.  After I checked all of it, they started munching away.  It looked like they intended to eat the entire supply in one sitting. 

"Wait a minute," I said.  "Only four little pieces.  We don't need you rotting your teeth out tonight!"

"But Mama," my nine-year-old son said. "Teeth are easy to make."

I  looked at that boy sideways.  "They are?"

"Yeah.  All you have to do is get some milk and let it go stale. When it dries out, you'll see some powdered stuff left.  Take the powdered stuff and shape it into a tooth, because that's what teeth are made out of."


(I see the boy has a promising future in dentistry!)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mama and the Flashlight Game

Last week I think I told you about the silly flashlight game that my husband did with my dog.  If you didn't read about it, here's a recap:  My husband took our hundred pound German Shepherd outside at ten o'clock at night and shined a flashlight on the ground.  The goofy dog chased the light around and around until he was completely dizzy and exhausted.

Apparently, the dog actually likes the game.  Every night, he walks over to the closet where the flashlight is stored, and waits until my husband gets the light and takes him out for the game.

"What's up with this?" I asked.  "That dog must be crazy!"

I watched as the dog bolted across the yard in pursuit of the light.  Then I had a brilliant idea:  Why not try this myself, and see if it is fun?

So that's what I did.  I joined the dog, running around like a crazy critter all over the yard, chasing after a stupid light.

And do you know what?  It was fun! 

( PS:  Happy Halloween to all who celebrate it! - Which reminds me, I have to go carve some pumpkins!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Sunshine Award

I'd like to thank Deanie Humphrys- Dunne for giving me the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Isn't it pretty?  So here's how this little thing works:  I have to answer eleven questions, and then nominate eleven other bloggers to do the same.

Here are the questions:

1.  What is your favorite vacation place?    Hmm.  That's a tough one.  I guess it depends on what kind of vacation I want.  If I want cosmopolitan, I'd vote for Paris. That's such a great city, and every time I go, I see something new.  If I want to relax, Bora Bora is the place to be!

2.  What is your favorite dessert?  Ice cream!  Followed by chocolate, and cake, and cookies, and pie.  Yes, I have a major sweet tooth!

3.  What is your favorite season?  Autumn!  I love the colors of the leaves and the smell of the air.  I also tend to do more baking, so the house smells good, too!

4.  What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?  Spare time?  Are you kidding?  If I had spare time, I'd travel, read more, practice my instruments, and hike on nature trails.

5.  Where would you like to live if you could choose anywhere?  Actually, I've lived all over the place, and believe it or not, my favorite place is a little town called Lakewood in Ohio, near Cleveland.  Isn't that crazy? 

6.  What's your favorite color?  Red!

7. What's the most exciting thing that has happened to you this year?  Well, a lot has happened this year!  I got to travel almost nine hundred miles with a cat in my car as we moved to Georgia.  That was exciting.  Sort of.  And I got an agent for my chapter book series.  That was more exciting. I'm playing with a new orchestra, which is fun and exciting.  And I'm a director of a new foundation that's going to promote humanitarian efforts all over the world.  That's really exciting!

8.  Tell us something about yourself we might not already know.   Something you don't know?  I've done a lot of these, so I have to dig deep for this one.  Okay.  When I was six years old, I had a very high fever from pneumonia - 105 degrees.  I remember seeing caterpillars crawling all over me.  It was scary!  I was hospitalized for it.  Fortunately I got better, but the illness scared my parents so much that they decided to move me to Florida where the weather was better. And that's how I ended up in Florida when I was a kid.

9.  Do you have a pet?  Ha!  Do I have a pet?  What kind of silly question is that for the Mama?  Yes.  I have a pet.  I used to have 26 pets, but we got rid of a few for the move.  Now I'm down to three - a cat, a dog, and a frog.

10.  What's your favorite kind of pet?  One that doesn't poop, pee, or shed.

11.  What did you like doing most when you were a kid?  I always enjoyed building sand castles and searching for fiddler crabs at the beach.  I also liked reading, writing, and playing a little keyboard I had.  I guess I haven't changed much!

Now I'm supposed to select 11 other bloggers, which isn't going to happen, because the great majority of you already have a lot of followers or have received this award before.  So, I'll select some bloggers who would probably appreciate a boost in followers.  (But if you would like this award, feel free to grab it!)

Here are the few:

Diana Wilder

Panda Ninja

A Little Light Reading

Ava Quinn

If you are selected, or wish to participate in this little award game, just use the same questions I answered.

Thanks again, Deanie!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bootsy and the Squirrel

I have concluded that the squirrels in Georgia have an attitude problem.  Here's why:

I decided to go for a walk in the woods behind our house, just because it was such a nice autumn day.  Bootsy, our cat who acts like a dog, followed me.  We stopped when we got to the river.  That's when the squirrel appeared.  It flicked its big bushy tail and ran right at me.

Why are you coming at me? I thought. Don't I look like a big scary thing?

I stood there while it came within two feet.

Meanwhile,  Bootsy was in full stalk mode.  He crouched patiently in the leaves, waiting to make his move.   Suddenly, the cat pounced.

And missed.

The squirrel took off like a bat out of you know where.  I figured he'd retreat, deep into the woods, and never be seen again.  But no.

That stupid rodent turned around and ran back towards me with the cat following close behind.  Then it veered sharply and ran up a tree.  Bootsy followed about half-way up, but then decided it wasn't worth it.  He came back down and left the squirrel in the tree.

Apparently, squirrel was quite pleased with himself.  He came down the tree trunk head first and chattered at Bootsy.  It sounded a lot like a laugh.

Yeah, go ahead squirrel, laugh.  I thought. Tomorrow you might not be so lucky.  I've seen my feline friend decapitate some of your buddies.  You're going to end up haunting these woods as a headless fur ball if you don't change your attitude!  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Doggy Wash

Last week it was a car wash.  This week it's a doggy wash.  Our hundred pound German Shepherd was in need of a bath.  He smelled like dirty socks, which is never a good thing.

"Woman," my husband called.  "Would you be interested in helping me wash this dog?"

Not really.  But I agreed to do it.

We went outside.  It was my job to hold the beast while the operation took place.  I had him on a leash, but at times, it was necessary to hold him by the collar. 

My husband sprayed the oversized fur ball down with the garden hose.  He sprayed me, too.

"Excuse, me," I said.  "Could you try not to soak me?"

He grinned.  Then he soaped up the creature.  Of course soap got on me.

The dog wriggled and squirmed as he was dowsed in cold water. Then he shook, spraying me with more  soap suds and water.

"Schultz!" I hollered. 

He shook again.

By the time it was done, I was covered in soap suds, water, and dog hair.

And that's the story of yet another wash for the mama!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Crop Rotation

My twelve-year-old daughter is not a farmer.  (Which probably does not come as a surprise to you!) 

Last night, when she was studying for a biology test, she asked me to quiz her on some terms.  Crop rotation was one of them.

"What is crop rotation?" I asked.

She thought about that for a second.  "It's when corn spins around in circles and gets dizzy.  Like when you're on a merry-go-round."

Corn gets dizzy from spinning?  Right.

"No," I said.  "It's when you rotate between crops to conserve nutrients in the soil - like soybeans and corn."

"Oh."  She said.  "So that means you spin in circles between corn crops and soy bean crops until you get so dizzy you fall down.  Then you get buried and become fertilizer.  And that's how more nutrients get put into the soil."

Yeah.  Something like that.

Oy gewalt!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken Fish Scales

We're back to eating chicken at my pad.  And of course, there's always a comment.  This one was from my nine-year-old son, Bubba.

"Mama, this chicken has fish scales!"

I looked at the kid.  "What are you talking about, Bubba.  There are no fish scales.  Just chicken skin."

"Look, Mama.  They're right there."  He pointed to some chicken skin on the bone of a drumstick.

"Dude, I'm sorry but those aren't fish scales."  Then I asked him a question.  "Why would a chicken have fish scales?  Fish and chickens are not related."

"Chickens sometimes eat fish that have diseases.  If a chicken eats a diseased fish, they can start growing scales.  This one obviously ate a bad fish."

Oh.  I tried not to laugh.  "And where did you learn this?"

"From a book."

Isn't it just amazing what you can learn from a book!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Boo at My Zoo

As I came up with the title for this post, it reminded me of a book by one of my blogger buddies, Pat Hatt, called Boo and the Backyard Zoo.  So here's a little shout out for Pat.  Check out his book, here.

                                             (Photo from Amazon)

Okay.  Now for the story.

It's that time of year, again.  Time to go booing.  What? you ask.  Well, let me explain it to you.  Booing is when you fill up a plastic jack-o-lantern with candy and you sneak over to one of your neighbor's houses in the dark, ring their doorbell, leave the candy, and run like a mad person as quick as you can so they don't know who it was.

Usually when my kids and I do this little stunt, we use a getaway car. The kids do their thing, and then run back to the car. I squeal out of there before anyone can write down my license plate number and report me to the police.

Not last night.  Last night, the whole operation was done on foot.

It was about 8:30 PM, and quite dark.  My kids had scouted out the neighborhood earlier, and decided who their victims would be.  We made our way stealthily to the first victim.  My son put the candy-filled jack-o-lantern on the porch, rang the doorbell, and ran.  He and I hid behind a bush, waiting to see if the person would come to the door.  They didn't.

On to the next house.  Same thing. The jack-o-lantern was left and the doorbell was rung.  My son scurried out of there super quick.  Good thing, too, because those people answered right away.  They were super-excited about being booed.

We waited until it was safe to emerge from our hiding place.  But then a car came down the street.

"Okay," I said.  "We have to keep hiding."  The car came slowly down.  We watched from our spot.  And guess what it was?  A police car!  I won't tell you exactly what I thought, because this is a G rated blog, but let me just say, I got real nervous!

Fortunately, the police turned down another street, and didn't see us. Otherwise Mama would've ended up in jail for Booing.

Note to self:  Next year use the get-away car!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cat Party

Bootsy, our cat, has apparently made a few friends.  When I looked out the kitchen window, onto my back deck, I saw him lounging lazily on the porch rail.  And then I looked again.  There was another cat, a white one with brown and orange splotches sitting on the table.  I looked at her.  She looked at me.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

She stared at me, her eyes wide.

Apparently Bootsy didn't care, because he wasn't chasing her away.

Then I looked again.  Another cat - a white one, was sitting under the chair.

"Bootsy, what are you doing out there with all these cat friends?"

He got up and stretched.

I went outside.  All the cats but Bootsy took off.  "Sorry,  Bootsy.  I'm sending your lady friends home.  We will not have a cat party on my deck today, thank you very much!" 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Car Wash

Usually I take my car to one of those automatic car washes when it needs to be cleaned.  Yesterday I decided to do the job myself - mostly because I didn't feel like spending $40.00 to have it done. (Yes, in this fine state of Georgia, I've discovered that automatic car washes are few and far between - they're all expensive wash-by-hand deals.)

I got out my bucket and sponge and started washing.  Then my son came out.  "Mama, can I help?"

"Bubba, I don't have an extra sponge," I said.

"I'll use my hands."  He scooped handfuls of suds and deposited them onto my car.  Then he took the hose and sprayed.  Except he missed the car and got me.

"Bubba!" I shouted.  "Watch what you're doing!"

He giggled.

Then the dog came out and started romping around.  He got wet, too, and shook himself off - all over me and my car.

Guess who came out next?  My daughter.  "Mom, can I help?"

"Uh, sure," I said.

She did okay until it was time to rinse.  A spray of water hit me right in the back of the head.  "Excuse me," I said, "How are you hitting me way over here, when the car is over there?" 

She laughed.

And then there was my husband.  He was messing around in the garage while all this was going on.  I didn't notice that he was near the automatic sprinkler control panel. Two seconds later, the sprinklers came on.  And of course, I was standing right next to them.  "Got you!" my husband called.

By the time the whole ordeal was done, I was absolutely soaked! This wasn't a car wash. It was a Mama wash!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Force of Gravity

In case you haven't figured it out, my nine-year-old son, Bubba, has an interesting way of seeing the world.  He comes up with some brilliant thoughts.

Here was today's brilliant thought:

"Mama," he said.  "If we could dig a hole to the other side of the earth, would we be able to fall at the speed of light through it, and then continue into space?"

"Bubba," I said.  "I don't think you'd fall at the speed of light, but you'd go pretty fast. As far as continuing to space, I think the force of gravity would kick in, and send you back the other way."

He thought about that a second.  "That would be cool.  Then you could go back and forth bouncing from one side of the Earth to the other. They should invent an amusement park ride like that."

Uh, right. Can you imagine how long you'd have to stand in line to get a turn?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beware of the Bear

Bears have been sighted where my family and I live.  There was a cute picture in the newspaper of a mama bear and two cubs casually walking across a neighborhood street that looked a lot like ours.

"Whoa," said my son when he saw the picture. "There are bears here?"

"Looks that way," I said, glancing at another picture of a fat black bear climbing over a wooden fence to get into somebody's back yard.

I read further.  "What to do if you see a bear:  Don't run. Don't bother it. Got that, Bubba?"

He nodded.

Reading on:  "Tips to prevent bear visits:  Keep small animals inside.  Don't leave garbage cans outside.  Don't leave pet food outside."

Bubba got concerned after I read that.  "Mama, we're definitely going to have a bear visit!  Bootsy (our adopted stray cat) lives outside.  Our garbage cans are outside.  And Bootsy eats his food outside!"

Hmm.  Big problem.  Bootsy is good at fighting raccoons, but I'm not so sure how he'd do against a bear.   What do you think?  Should we construct a giant barbed-wire fence around our property?  I wonder how the home owner's association would feel about that!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A History Lesson

My daughter has been studying World War 1 and World War 2 in school.  She had a big test on the material, so she asked me to quiz her - at 10:30 at night.

I looked at her study sheet.  "Okay, what countries made up the Triple Entente?"

She thought about that.  "Russia, France, and ... GB."

I scrunched up my eyebrows.  "What's GB?"

"George Bush."

Okay.  (Would that be George H. or George W.?)

Next question.

"What event marked the end of World War 2?"

"The bombing of Nagasaki and Shampoo," my daughter answered.


"Yeah.  Because I always mess up how to say Hiroshima.  I call it Shimohira, which sounds like "shampoo."

So, ladies and gentlemen, you have now learned that George Bush is a country, and that World War 2 ended with the explosion of a huge bottle of shampoo. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hot Rod Driver

I took my nine-year-old son to a pizza place for lunch today.   Inside was an arcade.

"Mama, can I play the video games?" he asked.

"Sure," I said.

He found a race car game. "I want to play this one!"

I gave him some tokens and let him go to town.  For the first run, he picked the Sonoma Valley option.  You should've seen him speed through those farm lands!  He banged into fences, plowed over a few cows, and knocked cars off the road.

"Bubba," I said when the ride was over.  "Only you could tear up cow country like that!"

He grinned.  "Can I play again?"

I nodded and gave him a few more tokens.  This time he chose the big city option.  Same thing.  He plowed into guard rails, construction vehicles, and buildings.  Then he decided to drive in a mall.  He killed a few screaming people in that place.  When he was done, he laughed.  "That was great!"

I just shook my head and led him out the door.

When we got to the car, he asked, "Mama, can I drive your car home?"

Right.  Not in a million years!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Frog Man

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Did you know we're closely related to amphibians?"

I looked at that boy funny.  "What do you mean, Bubba?  Amphibians are cold-blooded animals, and humans are warm-blooded."

"Humans and frogs can both hang out in water and on land."

"But what about the warm-blooded, cold-blooded thing?" I asked.

He thought about that a second.  "Well, frogs are cold-blooded and they croak.  When humans become cold-blooded, they croak."


Friday, October 11, 2013

Dizzy Dog

My husband thought it would be a good idea to make our hundred pound German Shepherd spin in circles.  I kid you not.  Here's what happened:

At ten o'clock at night he took the dog out to play. And guess what he had with him?  A flashlight. He shined that thing on the ground and let the dog chase it.  Schultz was thrilled!  Back and forth across the yard Schultz ran. 

Then my husband got creative.  He shined the light so that Schultz would have to spin around in circles to chase it.  I've never seen a dog spin so fast!  

Eventually Schultz got so dizzy, he could barely stand up.

"What's the matter, Schultz?" my husband asked.

I looked at that guy.  "What do you think is matter?"

He shrugged and reversed the spin.  The dumb dog went in circles again.  He was so dizzy he looked like he was going to vomit.

"Enough!"  I said.  "Give the dog a break!"


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another Dumb Mama Story

I can't believe how stupid I'm getting.

Yesterday, my son had an after-school activity.  Surprisingly, I remembered.  I kept track of the time, making sure I wouldn't be late to pick him up.  (You know how it is when you get involved with things.) Before I left, I cooked some pork chops on the grill.  I knew I wouldn't have time to do it when I got home, because I'd have to run out the door again to go to work.  Noticing that it was getting dangerously close to time I had to leave, I enlisted the help of my husband to finish the grilling.  Thankfully, he obliged.

I dashed to my car, certain that I'd be a few minutes late.  And that would not be good, because the teacher specifically said that tardiness would not be tolerated.  Parents who were tardy would be fined.  (Can you believe it? Talk about pressure!)

I got to the school expecting to see a line of kids waiting to be picked up.  There was no line.  I looked at my watch.  I was two minutes late.  Panic set in.  I knew I was going to be in trouble.

I walked over to the module where I knew the kids had class and knocked on the door.  The teacher answered.  I peered inside and saw all the kids sitting happily at their computers.  What?  "Um, hi," I said.  "I'm here to pick up my son."

The teacher looked at me funny.  "We just started," she said.

I looked at my watch again.  Yep.  I was an hour early. 

All the kids in the class laughed.  What can I say?  I'm just a dumb mama!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Nature of the Universe

There was some deep thinking going on at my pad yesterday.

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "If the universe is flat, what would happen if you got to the end?"

"Well," I answered.  "If the universe is flat, then you'd fall off into a giant void."

"That doesn't make sense.  What if you lived on a planet that was right on the edge of the universe?  You'd be worried about falling into the giant void all the time!"  I thought that was pretty good reasoning coming from a kid his age.

"You're absolutely right, Bubba.  It's like in the days of Christopher Columbus when everyone thought the world was flat.  But it's not flat, is it?"

He shook his head.  "Then how does the universe look?"

"I think it's a big bubble," I said.  "You'll never get to the end.  If you could, you'd probably just go around and around and around."

He wrinkled up his eyebrows.  "But then what's outside the bubble?"

"Dark matter."


"Yeah.  I don't get it either.  But if you study physics, you might figure it out.  And if you do, enlighten me!"

So what do you think?  Is the universe flat, or is it round?  And if it's flat, what happens if you get to the end?  And if it's round, what's outside of it?  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wedding Plans

Sorry I've been a little remiss about posting.  This past weekend was my daughter's birthday, so we had family come visit.  I've also been ridiculously busy with other things.  So, I'll do my best to post every day, but don't be surprised if I don't show up on occasion.

My daughter is now the ripe old age of twelve.  I'm not sure if she's thinking about boys yet.  But she's certainly thinking about weddings.  She likes to watch the TV shows about brides picking out their dream dresses.  Mermaid dresses are her style of choice.

So when we went to Lake Lanier islands this weekend, she immediately felt it would be the perfect place for a wedding.  "Mom, I think I'll get married here.  The view is so beautiful!"

I looked at that girl.  "Married?  You're looking at water and sailboats and thinking about weddings?"

She grinned.  "Yeah."

"Girlfriend.  You're going to be thinking a long time.  Because you're not allowed to get married for at least another thirty years!"

My husband overheard the conversation.  "No.  Seventy years!"


Friday, October 4, 2013

The Vanished Knight Book Release and the Spritz Drink


Misha Gerrick has a new book out, and I'm helping to spread the word.  It's called The Vanished Knight.  Here's the blurb:

The Black Knight, Nordaine’s crown prince, has no legitimate blood heirs, meaning someone must be appointed to succeed him. With two of the candidates’ families willing to kill for the appointment and the third candidate being seen as a threat to all, peace is balanced on a sword’s edge.
But then the Black Knight vanishes.
Darrion and Gawain, two of his possible heirs, set out to find him, but after they rescue an earth-girl from Merithian soldiers, they discover she has possible ties to Nordaine. Not only that, but Callan Blair could be an Elvish princess. And war looms on the horizon…

You can find The Vanished Knight on Amazon.

Congratulations, Misha!

Now for the Spritz Drink:

I walked into my daughter's room to help her with her homework last night.  What did I find her doing? Spraying water into her mouth with a spray bottle.

"Excuse me," I said.  "Why are you sucking on a spray bottle?"

"Because I'm thirsty," she replied.

I looked on her night stand.  There was an empty glass sitting there.  "Why don't you act like a civilized human being and get yourself a glass of water?"

She picked up the glass and looked at it.  Then she sprayed water from her bottle into it and took a sip.

I shook my head.  "Girlfriend, why don't you just go to the kitchen, and fill it up with water from the refrigerator or tap?"

"It tastes better when it's spritzed."

Right.  It couldn't be that she's just being a lazy teenager who doesn't want to walk twenty feet to get herself a glass of water!  Could it?


Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Does the Fox Say?

"Mama?"  my nine-year-old son asked.  "What does the fox say?"

Huh?  "Bubba, I think foxes bark."

"No, Mama.  They go A-oo-oo-oo-ooo!"

I looked at the kid funny.  "Where did you get that notion?"

"From You Tube."

Why didn't that surprise me?

My daughter overheard the conversation.  "Yeah mom, and they sing and do hip hop, too!"

Wow.  I had no idea foxes were so talented!

So now my kids are driving me crazy singing the "What does the fox say" song.  Here it is: