Mama Diaries

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cooking Lessons

Last night, as I was making dinner, my son came into the room.  "Mama, can I help you make dinner?"

"Sure," I said. "I'm making chili."  (Can you believe it? - Something different than chicken!)

I browned the meat and then drained it.  Then it was time to add the spices.  I measured and let him sprinkle the spices in the pot.

"Two tablespoons of chili powder," I said, handing the spoon over.

He sniffed it and dumped it in.

"A teaspoon of cumin," I said.

He sniffed and dumped it in.

"A teaspoon of coriander."

He sniffed it and wrinkled his nose.  Then he sneezed.

"Hey," I said.  "Boogers are not in the recipe!"

Bubba grinned.  "But I bet boogers taste a whole lot better than that stuff!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Detention for Mama

Last night was school curriculum night at my daughter's middle school.  Parents had to meet with each teacher for seven minutes.  When the bell rang, indicating it was time to switch to the next class, we had two minutes to get to the next one.  I felt just like a student, crammed in the halls, trying to make it to the next class, which was in some remote part of the building.

I did pretty well, until the fifth period.  The teacher blah blah blahed way past the sound of the bell.  Since I'm such a polite person, I stayed to listen to what he had to say.  That was a mistake.  There was no way I was ever going to make it to the next class before the bell rang.

Sure enough, I arrived late.  The teacher gave me a funny look.  "You're allowed only two more tardies, and then I'm going to have to give you a detention."

"But...," I protested.

"No 'buts'," she said. "Have a seat."

"Yes, Ma'am."

In middle school one day, and I'm already in trouble! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mama, the Expert Chicken Cooker

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an important announcement:  I have been promoted to "Expert Chicken Cooker."  Exciting, isn't it? 

How did I get this high honor?  Well, let me tell you.

Last night, my husband walked into the kitchen after I had taken a roasted chicken out of the oven.  It was sitting for a few minutes before I cut it.  He took a look and sniffed it.  "Woman, that there looks like a pretty darn good chicken!"

"Thanks," I said.

"You're getting good at roasting those things!" he added.

My daughter overheard him.  "Yeah.  That's because the only thing Mom makes is chicken."

Bubba chimed in, "Mama is a Chicken-Cooker Expert!"

What can I say?  Practice makes perfect!

(Do you think I should add this skill on my LinkedIn profile?) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Teaching the Dog to Eat

Our German Shepherd, Schultz, is kind of stupid.  He has to be taught how to eat.  (What?  You think I'm kidding?)

Day after day we put food into his bowl.  And day after day he sniffs it and walks away.  I sniff it too, just to make sure it smells okay.  It does.  "Schultz, what is your problem?  You're a dog.  And dogs eat dog food!"

He just looks at me and plops down on the ground. 

We've tried all kinds of tricks - mixing up the food, adding wet food, and throwing a treat or two in.  He just won't eat.  We took him to the vet, too.  The vet gave him the once over and said he's thin, but otherwise okay. 

Schultz eats maybe once a day.  Sometimes not at all.  It's ridiculous.  So now we're trying a new approach.  Training him to eat.

We take him over to his bowl and point to the food.  "Eat!" we command.

He sits on his rear end and cocks his head to the side.

"Eat!"  we say again, moving his food around with our fingers.

He gets up and sniffs.  Then he sits back down.

"Eat your food!" 

He moseys back over and takes a lick.  Then he eats a kibble.

"Good eat!" we say, in our best animated happy voices.

He wags his tail and stops eating.

"Eat!" we command again.

This nonsense continues until every last kibble is eaten. 

Is that not ridiculous?  What a dumb dog!   

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Magic Beard

My daughter has a knack of finding ridiculous You Tube videos.  Last night, while I was zooming around, she wanted me to watch one.  "Mom, you have to check this awesome video out!"

"Do I have to?" I asked.  "I'm really busy!"

"Yeah, Mom.  You'll love it."

I watched the video.  You can watch it here. (I tried to post the video on my blog, but for some reason, it wouldn't allow for viewing.  You need an adobe flash player to see it.)

"Seriously?" I asked.  "Do people not have more important things to do than film a scraggly beard that makes celery disappear?"

My daughter laughed.  "I want one," she said. "It's cool, and I bet it can make Brussels sprouts disappear!"

Hmmm.  I wonder if it can make all of the hair our German Shepherd, Schultz, has been shedding, disappear, too.  If so, I want one!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

French Class

Bonjour!  Bienvenue a la classe de francais.

That means, "Hello!  Welcome to French class," for all of you non-French speaking people out there.

My daughter  has started taking French in school.  Her teacher is a fabulous French-speaker from Quebec, Canada.  Trouble is, her English isn't so good, and her French is really fast.  My daughter has been completely confused.

"Mom, can you teach me French?"

"Uh, right," I said.  I know enough to order a drink and ask for the check.  And that's about it. "Are you sure you want me to do this?"

She nodded her head.

"All right," I said.  "Let's start with the basics.  Bonjour means, 'hello.'  Comment vous appelez-vous means, 'What's your name?'  Comment allez-vous means, 'How are you?''  I checked to make sure she had that.

She did.

I went on.  "Here's how you say, 'Do you speak French:  Parles-vous francais?'  And you would reply, 'Non, je ne parle pas francais.'"

She looked at me funny.  "Mom, what does that mean?"

I explained.  "It means, 'No, I don't speak French.'"

"But Mom," she said.  "Why would I say, 'No, I don't speak French' in French if I don't know French?"

She had a point.  "Okay, then just say, 'desole.'" I said.

"Desole?" she asked. "What's that? Diesel? Am I supposed to say I have gas?"

I sighed. "No, it means, 'I'm sorry.'  And now, girlfriend, French class is over, because if we keep on going, I'm going to start saying some French words that shouldn't be in your vocabulary!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forever 21

People seem to think I'm a lot younger than I actually am.  For example,the movers thought I was Bubba's big sister.  They were a little surprised to discover that I'm actually the mom.

That silliness continued yesterday.  My daughter and I went to the mall to do a little back-to-school clothes shopping.  As we walked, a twenty-something-year-old guy called out, "Looking good, sisters!"

"Sisters?" my daughter asked.

I shrugged and walked on.

We went into a store called Forever 21.  My daughter picked out some clothes and then we made our way to the register to check out.  "Can I see your student ID?" the cashier asked.  "You can get a discount."

I laughed.  "I'm not a student.  I'm an old lady."

The cashier looked at me.  "You're kidding, right?"

"Nope.  I'm over forty."

Her jaw dropped.  "No way!  I would've never guessed you were that old!"

Yeah.  I'm ancient.

As my daughter and I walked back through the mall, some other guys checked us out.

"Mom, this is terrible!" my daughter said.  "I must look really old if they think we're sisters."  She wrinkled her forehead.  "See? I even have wrinkles!"

"Yes, girlfriend.  We're two old ladies trying to be forever 21!"

(Maybe she and I could be the spokespersons for Forever 21.  I bet it would pay better than blogging!)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Hair Chalk

Yesterday, my daughter handed me a list of things she needed.  "Can you buy these for me?" she asked.

I looked at her list.  Mascara, lip balm, shampoo, nail polish, deodorant, chalk.

"Hair chalk?" I asked.  "What the heck is that?"

"It's cool, Mom.  You can make your hair really pretty with it.  And it's cheaper than getting highlights."

My daughter has been wanting highlights  for a long time.  When I researched how much it would be to have it done, I was in sticker shock:  Almost one hundred dollars.  "No highlights for you," I had said.  "Your hair is pretty just the way it is." 

She was very disappointed.  So now she had this alternative.  Hair chalk. 

"Can't you just use sidewalk chalk?" I asked.  And what happens if it rains on you?"

The girl gave me one of her roll-the-eyeball looks.  "No, Mom.  You can't use sidewalk chalk.  That would be so lame.  And if it rains, it'll wash out."

"So, what's the point of doing it?" I asked.  

"It looks pretty."

I sighed and investigated this hair chalk craze.  I saw pink, purple, blue, green, and turquoise hair chalk.  "Excuse me," I said.  "There are no normal colors here, and you're not going to run around with pink and turquoise hair!"

"But, Mom!"

"No 'buts.'  Unless you find a normal color that doesn't make you look like you stepped out of a punk rock magazine, you are not going to use hair chalk!"

End of story.

(If you'd like to see this hair craze, feel free to check out this video.  And I'm curious, would you let your kid go to school looking like this?)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thermometer Man

My son walked into the kitchen with a meat thermometer in his hand.  He poked it into a loaf of bread.  "Seventy-seven degrees," he said.

I just looked at him and shook my head.

Then he went over to an apple and poked it into it.  "Seventy-three degrees," he announced.

This was interesting.

He walked over to a newspaper and did the same thing.  "Seventy-one degrees."

The young man poked everything from an onion to aluminum foil.

"Bubba, why exactly are you taking the temperature of inanimate objects?" I asked. 

"Because it's fun!"

Of course. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Schultz in the Posh Place

One more story from my move:

As I mentioned yesterday, we arrived in Atlanta in the later part of the evening.  The Pet Hotel, where our 100 pound German Shepherd, Schultz, was supposed to stay, had already closed.  We deliberated on what to do with him.

"Let's see if we can bring him into our hotel," my husband suggested.

"At La Meridian?" I asked.  "There's no way they're going to let our hairy beast in that posh place!"

My husband called.  The people at the hotel were very accommodating. We had to pay an extra fee, but Schultz was welcome to stay at the fancy hotel.

My husband walked our quadruped into the hotel lobby.  There was a party going on at the nearby bar.  Everyone was dressed up in suits and cocktail dresses.  They all stopped and looked at Schultz.  I'm sure they figured he was there to sniff for drugs or something.  He's enormous, and he looks exactly like a police dog.  

Schultz played the part perfectly. He must've known this was no place to fool around.  He followed all commands and was probably the best behaved pooch the hotel had ever seen. The party-goers resumed their festivities and we continued up to our room. 

Schultz calmly marched into the elevator. When the door opened, he "heeled" all the way to the room.  Inside, he found a nice place to curl up and promptly went to sleep.  And he didn't bark once!     

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Which Right Turn?

Here's another story from my big move:

The first evening we arrived in Georgia, we couldn't stay in our house.  The movers were not going to deliver our belongings until the next day.  Which meant we had to stay in a hotel.  Fine.  After driving ten hours and finally seeing our new house (I had not been to Georgia, so this was the first time I got to see the house in person.) it was time to find the hotel.  It was about ten o'clock at night, and getting dark.

My daughter and I were in one car, and my husband, son, and dog were in the other.  I entered the address of the hotel into my Garmin and hoped for the best. 

Now if you're not familiar with Atlanta, Georgia, let me just tell you, the roads are nuts!  There are usually six lanes of heavy traffic, lots of people making U-turns, and a bazillion access ramps going all over the place.

I was fine on the freeway, but when it was time to get off, the problems started.

"Continue straight and then take the access ramp on the right," my Garmin said in her oh-so-friendly voice.

I peered at the access ramps ahead.  There were three.  One went right.  One when back right.  And one looked almost like a U-turn.  Which one?  I studied the Garmin map with my bleary eyes.  I'm directionally-challenged, so that little procedure was absolutely meaningless.  I guessed.  And of course I guessed wrong.

"Recalculating," the Garmin said.

I said a few choice words in my head.

I tried again.  This time I enlisted my daughter's help, because she's a lot smarter than I am when it comes to these things. 

"Which way?" I asked her when I was again faced with the access ramp challenge.

"I don't know," she said helpfully.

I guessed again.


I did a Mama growl.

"Just do it again.  The next one will be right," my daughter suggested.

"I'm not doing it again," I grumbled.  "I'm going a different way."

So that's what I did.  I randomly drove around while the stupid Garmin recalculated, and we finally arrived forty minutes later.  

I'm such a genius!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Long Line Lamentations

Sorry about missing yesterday's post.  I guess I'm going to still be a little sporadic until I'm totally settled in my new home.  Anyway, I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time standing in lines.  I spent two hours at the tag office getting license plates.  I spent another two hours at the Drivers Motor Office getting a Georgia license.  And I spent an hour at the bank opening up new accounts.  The real winner was the Health Department.  Four hours there!  Here's how that went:

My kids and I walked into the Health Department at 9:00 AM.  Sounds like a good time, right?  Ha!  When we walked in, there was a huge line, and lots of people sitting on chairs and on the floor.

"You've got to be kidding," my daughter said.

We stood at the end of the line.  This was the line to get a number to wait in line for your turn.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.

An hour went by in that line.

"Mom, I'm going to die here," my son said.

"No, you won't die.  It's not going to last 90 years."

He rolled his eyeballs at me.  "I'm hungry!"

"Just chill," I said.  "We'll get a hamburger when we're out of here."

The not-so-super-friendly security officer moseyed over to us and handed me a number.  "Last in line," he mumbled.

"Terrific," I said.

My son took the paper and promptly wrinkled it up.  "Let's get out of here!"

"We'll wait," I said.  "These forms need to be completed for you to go to school, so we don't have much of a choice."

We finally got a number.  And then we sat...on the floor.  There were no other seats available.

Then my daughter shrieked.  "A cockroach!"

Sure enough, there was a cockroach in that health department.

We spent the next three hours watching the cockroach.

After that most amusing experience, we attempted to go to a fast food place for a hamburger.  Guess what?  There was a long line.

"Forget it!" I said.

We went home and had ham and cheese sandwiches.  And ice cream.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Back! And Blogfests I would Never Join

Hey, everybody.  I'm back!  My family and I have moved to Georgia and are fairly settled.  Most of the last couple of weeks has been spent standing in lines.  I've got some good stories to tell about that!  The zoo creatures arrived safely.  Sort of.  Our last hermit crab decided to shed his shell and promptly died two days later.  So now we're down to only three pets:  a dog, a cat, and a frog.  Not much of a zoo! (Fortunately we didn't have to duct tape the cat to the roof of the car.  Kitty Prozac worked just fine.)  I'll share some stories in the next couple of days, and then I'll get back to the business of my daily insanity.  I really missed you guys!

Okay.  So to get started, I just had to do this anti-blog hop:  

A blog hop in honor of Mr. anti-blog hop himself, Gary at Klahanie. He's the best Anti-Challenge Spokesperson ever!

Hosted by Mark “Madman” Koopmans, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, “Life is Good” Tina, Rockin’ Robyn Engel and Morgan “The Morg” Shamy.

The rules are *very* simple. Create the titles of three PG-13 rated blogfests you would never join - and then add a descriptive sentence or two.

Blogfests I would never join:

1.  Worst Place to Take a Dump:  The smelliest, most unsanitary, most completely disgusting place you've ever had to relieve yourself in.

2.  The Vomit Comet:  Worst amusement park rides ever!

3.  The Boring Blogfest:  So boring, there's nothing to write about.

What do you think?  Would you want to join such awful blog hops?