Mama Diaries

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Different Kind of Jet Pack

My nine-year-old son was playing with the garden hose, again.  I watched as he sprayed a strong jet of water straight down, onto the driveway.

"Bubba?" I asked.  "What are you doing?  If you're going to use the water, at least water the grass or the plants."

"I'm making a jet pack," he answered.

"A jet pack?" I looked at that kid sideways.

"Yeah, Mama.  Watch how it works."  He sprayed the water onto the ground again and jumped up as he did it. "See?  It launched me into the air."

"Dude," I said.  "I think you launched yourself into the air!"

He shook his head.  "I did jump.  But, the the water made me go higher and stay up longer.  You try it."

I took the hose, sprayed the water and jumped. The only thing that was different from a regular jump, was that I got wetter.  "I don't think your hypothesis is correct."

He gave me a very serious look.  "Yes, it is.  You're just too heavy!"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Caterpillar War

Do you remember the cabbage my son brought home from school?  The one he was supposed to take care of, so it could be entered in a contest for the best cabbage?  Well, it's still alive.  Barely.  It's grown quite  bit larger, but it's a sorry sight with all the holes in it.

I took a look at the cabbage yesterday, to see if I could ascertain what the problem might be.  I didn't see any aphids flying around it, so I ruled out insects.  When I looked at the underside of one of the leaves, I found the culprit.  Or culprits. Tiny green caterpillars!  They were munching holes in those tasty green leaves.

"Dude," I called to my son.  "You have a little problem with your cabbage."

He came over.  "What?"

I showed him the cabbage moth caterpillars.

He frowned.  "This calls for war!"

He grabbed the garden hose and turned on the water to full jet spray.  He blasted the leaves with the water.  "Did I get them?"

I looked. "No. There are a few left.  And the ones that fell off, are still in the dirt."

That made him even madder.  He sprayed the heck out the dirt and the leaves, until it looked like the poor cabbage was going to drown.  "Did I get them now?"

I did a careful inspection, and could find no remaining caterpillars in the dirt or on the leaves.  "All clear," I said.

Bubba did a victory dance.  "I won!"

I looked at the kid.  "Are you sure about that?  Because I think you got even wetter than the caterpillars!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Tennis Match

Yesterday, I took my nine-year-old son to the tennis courts for a few rounds of tennis.  Let me tell you how that went.

I served the ball to him, and he missed.

"That doesn't count, Mama.  You weren't standing in the right place."

"What do you mean, I wasn't standing in the right place?" I retorted.  "I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

"No, Mama.  You're supposed to be in the green area."

I looked behind me.  "Dude.  The green area is outside of the court.  I'm not supposed to be in the green area.  I'm supposed to be in the blue area."

"Nope.  You're wrong.  A point for me."

I sighed.

The boy served the ball to me, and I hit it back.  He missed, and it bounced out of the court.

"Negative one," Bubba announced.

"What?  Negative one for you?" I asked.

"No.  Negative one for you.  You hit the ball while I was talking.  You're not allowed to do that."

The game when on this way.  By the end of it, Bubba's score was twenty, and my score was negative five hundred.

Can you believe it?  What kind of match was that?


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mama, The Wild Thing

Yesterday, I took a little trip to the local nature center.  Nobody in my family wanted to come, so I went myself.  I picked up a hiking map, and embarked down the longest trail through the woods.  It was very peaceful.  Nobody else was on the trail.  It was just me and the wild creatures who lived out there.

About an hour into the hike, I heard the rumbling of thunder.  I looked up through the trees and saw that the skies were turning gray.  Rain was on the way.  I was going to continue my hike, but decided it would be best to turn back.

I didn't quite make it.  The rain came down.  The leaf canopy shielded me from some of it, but soon it became saturated.  Water ran off the leaves, drenching me from head to toe.

Hmmm, I thought.  Since I'm already wet, I think I'll just stay out here and see what else I can find.

So that's what I did.  I found an old graveyard and the ruins of an old settlement. I even saw a frog laying eggs.  I took pictures while the rain poured down.

When I was finished, I headed back to civilization.  I saw one intrepid little girl splashing in the puddles. She was as soaked as I was. She took one look at me, and started laughing.  So what did we do?  We splashed in the puddles together.  In the rain.

I made my way back to the nature center building and went inside.  A lot of people were in there, waiting for the rain to pass.  They all looked at me and chuckled.  I was sure I looked like quite a sight.

When I got to the car and looked in the rear view mirror, I laughed.  My makeup was running down my face, and my hair was a tangled, soaked mess.  I pulled a few leaves out of it.  I looked like a drowned raccoon!

When I got home, my husband shook his head.  "What are you doing here?  Wildlife is supposed to be left in the park!"

Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Know if You Have a Virus

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Do you know how to tell if you have a virus?"

I nodded.  "Usually you feel sick - you have a sore throat, a runny nose, headache and maybe a tummy ache.

Bubba shook his head.  "No, Mama.  That's not how you tell."

I looked at that kid.  "Okay, Bubba.  How do you tell?"

He lay down on the ground, face up. "You lay down just like this.  Then you put both of your hands over your belly.  Then somebody has to press down on them.  If you laugh, you're fine.  If you don't laugh, you have a virus.  So Mama, press down on my hands, and I'll show you how it works."

I shook my head and pressed down on his hands.

He giggled. "See, Mama?  No virus!"

(So ladies and gentlemen, if you ever think you might have a virus, do this simple test.  Then you'll know for sure!)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Baby Present

My daughter came home from school yesterday with this funny story:

Her teacher is pregnant.  And she looks like she's about to detonate any day now.  When one is that pregnant, one has to use the restroom pretty much all the time.  Believe me, I know!  While the teacher stepped out for such an occasion, the girls in the class decided to pull out some hair chalk and color their hair.  The operation got a little messy.  Soon yellow and pink chalk dust covered the floor.

Unfortunately, the girls were unable to clean up the mess before the teacher came back.  When she did, she was a little surprised.  "What's this?" she asked, surveying the colorful floor.

My daughter, the quick thinker, said, "We decorated the room in pink and yellow baby colors, because we know you're having a girl!  Do you like it?"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Onion Experiment

You may recall, if you've been following me for a while, the trip to Vidalia, Georgia, for the Vidalia Onion Festival.  It was a really pathetic experience.  We saw a grand total of two bags of Vidalia onions in that place.  There were no blooming onion stands.  No onion rings.  No onion farms.  Nothing.  I'm talking an onion festival with virtually no onions.  So when we came home, we decided to have our own Vidalia Onion Festival.

It began with an onion experiment.

"Mama," my son said, picking up a large Vidalia onion we had purchased from the store.  "What would happen if we let this thing sit for a long time?"

"It would rot," I said.

"Are you sure?" he asked.

I nodded.  "Pretty sure."

"Can we find out?"

I looked at that kid.  "Fine, Bubba.  We'll put it in a bowl and let it sit here until it rots.  Okay?"

He was thrilled about that.

So, here we are, about six weeks later.  Our onion has sprouted, and is growing nicely:

"Can we grow more?"  Bubba asked.

"Sure.  We'll grow a thousand of them.  And then we'll invite all the folks from Vidalia, up here to Atlanta, and show them how a real onion festival is done!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Giving Mama a Heart Attack

My kids like trying to startle me.  But it never usually works, because I have a rather calm disposition.  Yesterday, my son succeeded.  Let me tell you about it.

I was practicing the Walton Viola Concerto and was in one of my intense focus modes.  All of a sudden, something whizzed by my head.  And it sounded like a nuclear missile!

Let's just say, it's a darn good thing I didn't drop my viola, or my boy would've been in even bigger trouble!

"What was it?" you ask.  A Nerf bullet launched from my son's new Mega Nerf gun.  And  I kid you not, the sound that thing makes whistling through the air, is just like a missile!

Needless to say, he won't be playing with the Mega Nerf gun for a while!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Embarrassing Mama Mistake Number 253

Wasn't my son just mentioning that one of the reasons he loves me is because I make embarrassing mistakes?

Well, here's another one:

Yesterday, I was making chicken pot pie for dinner.  I put the filling in the pie crust and popped it into the oven.  I set the timer for 45 minutes.

Forty minutes later, my kids sat down at the kitchen table.  "When is dinner going to be ready?" they asked.

I looked at the timer. "Five minutes."

Oddly enough, I didn't smell the great smell of chicken pot pie. So I took a closer look. That's when I realized my embarrassing mistake number 253:  I had forgotten to turn on the oven!

Monday, May 19, 2014

How I Found The Write Path

Today, I'm participating in the How I Found the Write Path blogfest.  Carrie Butler over at So You're  a Writer, had the brilliant idea to compile a free ebook for writers just starting their road to publication. To help these folks, she's asking for advice from people who have been on the publishing path for a while.  This will come in the form of a letter from the future self to the self just starting.  So here's my entry, with some tips I've learned along the way.

Dear Self:

So, you want to write a book? Let me tell you a few things I’ve learned after ten years of stumbling around, trying to figure it out. The first step is to do a little research. Don’t just jump blindly into it like I did.  You’ll need to learn about publishers. There are all kinds of options:  Traditional publishers, subsidiary publishers and self-publishing.  A good book to help you learn about these options is, How to Publish and Promote Your Book, by L. Diane Wolfe. If you choose the traditional way (which I would recommend trying first because it’s rather expensive doing it the other ways), you’ll have to figure out which publisher is suitable for your work. Since you want to write children’s books, I’d recommend getting the book, Children’s Writers  and Illustrators Market.  Agents and publishers, along with their submission requirements, are listed.  Another great resource is
Of course before you can submit your manuscript, you’ll have to write it. And you’d better make sure it’s the best it can be. This means revise! Yes, the ugly “r” word. You might need to revise a hundred times before you get it right. Trust me. I know! The first draft is never good enough! I’d recommend joining a critique group. They can work wonders on helping you improve your writing skills. Don’t know where to begin? Join a local writing group. Since you’re a children’s writer, find the local SCBWI chapter and attend some meetings. You’ll make friends and learn great tips!

Once you’re happy with your manuscript, and it’s formatted correctly, don’t forget to get it edited – by a professional. Sure, it’ll cost some money, but it’s worth it. You can’t catch everything!

About the submission process – it’s long! Make sure you learn how to write a good query letter and synopsis. And follow the publisher’s directions. Then send. And wait. You may wait a while. And when you finally do get a response, it’ll probably not be what you want to hear. That’s the other ugly “r” word: “rejection.” Get used to it. It’s part of every writer’s experience. Don’t let it get you down. If you happen to get lucky and receive specific feedback from a publisher, consider it, and decide if you want to make the suggested changes. Sometimes they actually know what they’re talking about. Sometimes.

Eventually you’ll see your work in print. If you stick with it, you’ll get there one way or another. Then the fun begins. Marketing. It’s not over once you’re published.  Get ready for the marathon. Marketing is not something you do for a couple of weeks or months. It’s years. I’m talking the entire life of the book (or yours). Make sure you have established an online presence (Facebook, Twitter).  And blog. The blog community is wonderful. They’ll help you get the word out about your book. There are all kinds of things you can do to market – do blog tours, solicit reviews, enter contests and make book trailers. To learn about these and other things, get a book called, 1000 Ways to Market Your Books, by John Kremer. It’ll be your marketing Bible.

The path of a writer is not always easy. You can expect a lot of bumps along the way. But if you stick with it, the rewards are definitely worth it. Good luck!

Sherry Ellis
Author of That Mama is a Grouch

I give permission to use this entry in the e-book compilation.

So, what about you? Do you have any great tips you'd share with an author just starting out? 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Restroom, please?

My husband and son went to a store called H Mart.  It's a place that sells Asian cuisine.  If you've been following me a while, you may recall that it was the place we had our octopus balls adventure.  Anyway, nobody speaks English there, and all the signs are written in some kind of Asian language.

During this trip to H Mart, my husband decided that he needed to use the restroom.  He went to one of the workers and asked where the restroom was.  The worker led him down some aisles, over to the produce section . . .  right where the mushrooms were.   "Restrooms," he said with a smile on his face.

Bubba cracked up.  "Yeah, Daddy.  They look a little like what you might find in a restroom.  Maybe you should just do your business here!"

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five Second Rule

Yesterday, as my husband opened the refrigerator, the key lime pie that was inside, fell out. It flipped out of the pie dish and splattered on the floor.

"Bushwhacked!" he hollered.

"I guess you won't be eating key lime pie," I said, looking at the mess.

"Bologna!" he said.  "I'm eating it anyway. Five second rule."

He scooped up the pie, put it back in the dish, and grabbed a fork.  And do you know what he did?  He ate almost the whole thing!

Oy gewalt!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Schultz and the Spider

For those of you who don't know Schultz, he is our hundred-pound German Shepherd.  And he likes to cause trouble.  Yesterday's trouble involved a spider.

I was typing at the computer, when I noticed the beast lying on the ground looking very alert.  His satellite ears were straight up, and he was staring at something in front of him, between his paws.  I had to investigate.

What I found was an itsy bitsy spider, all curled up.  It appeared to be rather distressed.

"Schultz, leave the spider alone!" I said.

But Schultz didn't want to leave the spider alone.  He wanted to give it a good sniff.

For a minute, I thought the spider was dead.  But then its legs moved.  It looked like it was trying to curl itself into a tighter ball.

I knew I had to get the beast out of there.  "Come, Schultz!"

Schultz came, but not before having a little spider snack.  He cleaned the itsy bitsy spider right off the floor with his big pink tongue.

So much for the itsy bitsy spider!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Obstacle Course

When I walked into the living room yesterday, I found piles of pillows stacked in random places.  I knew my son was behind this.  Sure enough, I caught the boy bringing a few more pillows to add to the collection.

"Bubba," I asked.  "What exactly are you doing?"

"Making an obstacle course for you."

"For me?  Why do I need an obstacle course?"

"Because it's good exercise."  He put the finishing touches on the course and stood back to inspect his work.  "Okay, Mama.  Go ahead."

I scanned the array of pillow piles and wondered exactly how I should approach this.  Weave in and out?  Jump on top?  Jump over?  I opted for the weave in and out.  Which was apparently wrong.

"No, Mama.  You have to jump over them!"

I sighed.  "Dude.  Some of those pillow piles are almost as tall as me.  I can't jump over those!"

"Sure you can.  Watch and learn!"  The boy took a flying leap and knocked over the entire pile.  "See?" he said after picking himself up.  That's how you do it."  He replaced the pile of eight pillows.  "Now you do it."

I made a face at that kid and took a flying leap. I almost made it over the pile.  Almost.   My foot caught the top pillow and knocked the rest of them down.

Bubba grinned.  "That's okay, Mama.  Practice makes perfect!"

(Nobody ever told me doing obstacle courses was part of the mom job!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shaving Cream Clouds

After my son got done with his bath last night, I noticed an unusual, but slightly familiar smell.  I wondered what it could be.  I went into the bathroom to investigate.  What I found was most interesting.  Globs of white, foamy stuff covered the sink, the counters, and the bathtub.  An empty can of shaving cream was on the floor - telltale evidence identifying the strange white foam.

"Bubba," I called.  "Come here."

He came.

"What's this?" I asked.

"Shaving cream clouds," he answered.

"Yes.  Shaving cream clouds," I repeated. "Why exactly would you use an entire can of shaving cream to decorate the bathroom this way?"

"Because having a bath in the clouds is fun!"

Of course.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Writing Process

I was tagged by Stephanie Faris.  Now that I have this badge with the glowing green light sabers, I have to explain my writing process.  So here goes.

What am I working on now?  Well, let's see.  All kinds of stuff, since I can never seem to manage one project at a time.  Too boring!  I'm still working on my Bubba and Squirt series for young readers.  For those of you who haven't heard about it, the concept is that the protagonists, Bubba and Squirt, travel through a vortex that goes through the Earth.  They arrive in different countries, have adventures, and learn about the language, culture and history of the country.  My agent is trying to find a publisher.  I'm working on the first draft of book seven in the series, and also revising book three.  I have a couple of picture books I'm working on, too.  A new one, Ten Zany Birds,  will be out later this year.  It's being illustrated right now.

How does my writing process work?    It rolls however it rolls.  Here's the normal process:  I have an idea that may be brilliant.  Or not.  I write it down and think about it for a few days.  If it sounds like a good idea after a few days, I start figuring out the plot.  I'm a plotter.  I can't randomly do the pantser thing.  (Not plot, for those unfamiliar with writer jargon.)  Every time I try to be random, I get sidetracked and don't finish the thing.  I come up with an outline, chapter by chapter, after doing a serious amount of research. (Obviously, this is for chapter books.)  I figure out the characters, their personalities, and obstacles that must be overcome.  Then I write.  I actually have a notebook, and I use an old-fashioned pencil.  It's crazy, but doing it this way, helps me see if the flow is good, and make multiple revisions before I enter it into the computer.  I work chapter by chapter until the manuscript is finished.  After that, I let it sit before I begin the revision process, which could mean rewriting it a hundred times until it's right.  I wish I could say I have a set writing time.  I don't.  Sometimes I write at night.  Sometimes I write at the dance studio or Krav studio while I wait for my children to finish with their classes.  Once in a while, I find time during the day.  It's all rather random.

Why do I write what I do?  Because I'm crazy, and I hear voices in my head.  What?  You don't believe me?  Seriously, though, I'm a kid at heart, and I just like children's books.  I like picture books, I like chapter books and I like middle grade readers.  I don't know if I'll ever write for adults.  It's too much fun thinking like a kid.

Here are a few others I'm tagging for the saber sword badge:  Christine Rains, Medeia Sharif and C. Lee McKenzie.  They're all great writers, and it would probably be fun to hear about their writing process.

Before I go, I'd like to let you  know that ePublishing eXperts put out a little blurb about my book, That Mama is a Grouch, on their blog.  It's going to be turned into an animated ebook.  I'll let you know when that happens.    

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Top Ten Reasons Why Mama is Loved

My son surprised me this morning with a very cute book he made especially for Mother's Day.  In it were the "Top 10 Reasons I Love Mom."  Here they are:

10.  She makes embarrassing mistakes.

9. She is funny.

8. She is smart.

7. She never burps.

6. She never farts.

5. She is smarter than almost everyone.

4. She is special.

3. She is cool.

2. She is a good chef.

And the #1 reason I love mom is....

1.  She is sweet.

Hope all you moms out there have a wonderful Mother's Day!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Mama's Cake Pop Shop

I love school projects.  Especially ones where Mama has to do a lot of the work. Which is pretty much how all of them are.  Last night's great project was making cake pops for my daughter's Market Day, which was today.  I made the cake, crumbled it up, added frosting, and then rolled the mixture up into cute little golf-ball sized concoctions.  Then I put them in the refrigerator for four hours.  They were ready to go when I came back from my son's Krav class.

"Come on, girlfriend," I called to my daughter. "It's time to finish these cake pops."

She wandered down the stairs.  "What do I do?"

"How about read the directions and figure out how to melt the chocolate."

"Okay," she said, and went to work.  Two minutes later, she looked at the melted chocolate that she had pulled out of the microwave.  "Mom.  What's wrong with this?"

I looked at it. It was a sticky mess.  "I'd guess it was nuked a little long."

"Mom, I can't do this!" She complained. "Can you do it?"

I agreed to do one batch and show her how it was done, but she had to do the rest.  Which she did.

Then she had this brilliant idea to make them look like the French flag.  This wasn't easy, because almost half of the cake pops fell off the stick as they were dipped into the chocolate. She had to dip those things three times - in blue, white, and red chocolate.  To her credit, she did this herself.

Then it was time to package them.  "Mom," my daughter said, after trying to do it herself.  "I'm going to break these things.  Can you do it?"

So at 10:30 at night, I was painstakingly packaging cake pops.  When I was done, I asked my daughter how she planned to transport them to school.

"I don't know," she said.  "Do you have anything?"

I looked around and spied the cat litter box.  Fortunately, it wasn't in use.  So I cleaned it up and used it as a cake pop transporter.  My daughter was not exactly thrilled about transporting her cake pop project in a kitty liter box.  But hey, this is how I roll at Mama's Cake Pop Shop. Only the best!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Don't Wake the Cat!

Schultz is on a roll.  If you're new here, Schultz is our hundred pound German Shepherd.  And this week, he's been bad to the bone!  Today's episode involves the cat.

Bootsy (the cat) was lying on the back deck, sound asleep.  What did Schultz do?  He went up to the cat, very quietly, and stood over him.  The cat was somehow unaware that Schultz was there.  Schultz stared at him for at least three minutes.  Then he decided the cat should get up.  So he barked.  Loudly.

Let's just say, the cat was not pleased.  He did exactly what I would have done if I were him.  He gave Schultz a good swipe on the nose with his claws.  So now the dumb dog has a huge scratch on his snout.

I hope Schultz has learned his lesson about not waking the cat!  (Now if I can only get him to stop sniffing the cat's butt when he's eating!)  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fan Dog

You may recall that I took my son to a baseball game a few days ago.  While we were there, we got one of those foam hands with the finger pointing up that says, "Number One Fan."  My son loved this thing.  Apparently, our hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz, loved it, too.  Because yesterday we found it on the ground, looking a little chewed up.


"Schultz!" my son yelled.  "Bad dog!"

Schultz gave Bubba a melancholy look and slinked off to the corner where he plopped down on the ground for a self-imposed time out.

I guess he just couldn't resist the smell of barbecue chicken wings and cotton candy!  (See previous post regarding Mister Sticky Fingers for that story.)  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Winners Announced, a Cover Reveal, and A-Z Reflections

Lots going on at my pad, today.  First, the winners of my book giveaway:  Mason Canyon and Robin from Your Daily Dose.  Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy the books!

Other news:  My new blog friend, Stephanie Faris, has a cover reveal:  25 Roses.  Isn't it lovely?  Congratulations, Stephanie!

Here's a little blurb about the book:

Valentine's Day means one thing at Stanton Middle School: students will send each other chocolate roses. Each year, Mia Hartley watches while the same group of students gets roses and everyone else is left out. This year, she decides things will be different. As the student assigned to write names on the cards, Mia purchases 25 roses and writes her own cards, designating them to 25 people she's personally chosen. But she soon learns that playing matchmaker is much more complicated than she thought it would be.

Now for my A-Z Reflections Post:

This was my third year of doing the challenge.  Really?  You say.  Yes, really.  I did it on my other blog, Gone Gardening, for the past two years.  This was the first time doing it on Mama Diaries, and I honestly didn't know how it would go, with my life being so random.  But it worked.  The key for me was to have planned posts for every letter in the alphabet, and then allow for some spontaneity if something happened to line up with the letter of the day.  I think I achieved a decent balance of past stories and current stories, which made it kind of fun.

I also spent a lot of time blog hopping.  I was a minion this year, which meant I had "pet blogs" to keep an eye on, to make sure they were legitimate and participating in the challenge.  I visited probably over 100 new bloggers, which was a lot more than last year.  It was fun to see their posts and make new  friends.  I only wish a lot of the bloggers I had visited, had reciprocated and joined my site, or visited me. (Thanks to all my new friends who did!)  I did get new followers (especially on Google), which I am very happy about.

Will I do it next year?  Probably.  I'm not sure if it will be on this blog, or the other. Either way, it's definitely worth doing.  As crazy as it is, it's a great way to meet new bloggers and develop a sense of community here in the blogosphere.   

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Giveaway and Mr. Sticky Fingers

It's the hundredth anniversary of Mother's Day here in the United States. At the pad of the Mama Diaries, that's a big deal!  To celebrate the occasion, I'm giving away autographed copies of my books to two lucky winners.  I'll send them anywhere in the world. The winner will be chosen on Tuesday.  If you'd like to have a chance to win, please leave a comment below.

Also, for anyone who missed my previous post, I won the ePublishing Experts contest to have That Mama is a Grouch made into an animated ebook.  Thank you to everyone who shared my article on Why Children's Books are Important!  I couldn't have done it without you!

Now for the story:

I took my nine-year-old son to the baseball game this past weekend.  And of course, we had to get food.  The kid's food of choice?  Chicken wings and cotton candy.  Now, my kid is not exactly the neatest kid on the block.  By the time he was done, his face and hands were covered with a sticky residue of barbecue sauce and cotton candy sugar.  He was a mess!  I gave him a bunch of napkins and told him to clean himself.  But when you're that dirty, nothing helps!

Not long after his meal, it was "High Five" time at the field.  This is a little break in the action, where everybody high fives each other, and the cameras pan the audience to catch all the high five fun.

"Mama, high five!" Bubba said, holding up one of his disgustingly sticky hands.

"Dude, there is no way I'm high fiving you!"

He put his hands together and high fived himself.  Except he had trouble getting his hands unstuck. It took quite an effort, and I could see his skin actually being pulled from the palms of his hands as he tried to get them apart.

"That's ridiculous, Bubba!" I said.

Then he got an evil look in eyes.  Do you know what he did?  He put those disgustingly sticky hands on my hair!

"Bubba!" I yelled, bolting out of my chair.  "What do you think you're doing?"

"Giving you a high five.  On your head!"


Saturday, May 3, 2014

No Comprende

First, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who shared my article on Why Children's Books are Important.   I won the contest to have my book, That Mama is a Grouch turned into an animated ebook!  I couldn't have done it without you. You guys rock!

Now for the story:

My daughter came home from school yesterday with a big grin on her face.  "Mom, you'll never believe what happened."

"What happened?" I asked.

"You know French class?"

I nodded.  "Yes.  I know French class.  What about it?"

"Well, the teacher was blah blah blahing in French, which nobody understood, when somebody butt-dialed their iPod. The Suri app came on. (Suri is the app where you ask her a question, and she responds.)  While Madam was talking, Suri interupted, 'I'm sorry.  I don't understand.  Please try again.'"

(She went on to tell me that the entire class erupted in laughter, and that the Madam took away the iPod.  So much for understanding French!)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friendly Car

We have a lot of pollen in the state of Georgia where I live.  It coats everything with a fine yellow powder - including our cars.

This morning, my car was coated with such a dusting, along with a fresh topping of dew.  My nine-year old son took one look at this and decided it would make perfect writing material.  He took his index finger and began writing all over my car:  "Hi y'all!", "Have a nice day, y'all!"  And of course there were plenty of smiley faces to go along with the friendly greetings.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you happen to be driving around in Georgia, and you notice a particularly friendly-looking car, it's mine.  Just wave and have a nice day - y'all.