Mama Diaries

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:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Moonless Cover Reveal

Crystal Collier has a new book that's going to be released on November 13th.  I'm helping to spread the word.  Isn't that the coolest cover?

Here's the scoop on it:

It's the first book in a series called Maiden of Time,  and it's a YA Historical Paranormal Romance.

Log line:  Alexia must choose safety and an arranged marriage, or true love and being hunted by the Soulless every moonless night.

Short Description:  Alexia's nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures.  After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world.  To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions.  She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures.  She has lived from coast to coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and "friend" (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet).  Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.  You can find her on her blog, and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Proposal

My husband came home today with a lovely bouquet of flowers for me.  I put them in a vase and set them on the table.

When my son saw them, he sat down in front of them and admired them.  Then he pulled one of the flowers out.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Making a proposal," he said, handing the flower to me.  "Will you marry me?"

I shook my head and laughed.  "Sorry, Bubba.  Daddy beat you to it!"