Mama Diaries

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Happy Halloween!  You're in for a treat, today, because I'm participating in the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop.  This was the great idea of Patricia Lynne.  Participants are offering free books to those who stop by. (No, it's not a trick!)

You can pick up a free copy of my ebook, That Mama is a Grouch, at Smashwords.  Use coupon code XB63M, expiration date:  11/30/14.

I'm also giving away two hard copies of my books, That Mama is a Grouch, and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN!  If you would like a copy for yourself, or someone you know, please say so in the comments, and I'll enter you in the drawing.  Winners will be selected on Monday.

And if you didn't catch me rhyming with Pat Hatt (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly is the "duck bill"), you can find it here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Story of Christopher Columbus

Last night, my daughter was watching a video on her iPod, and laughing.

"What's so funny?"  I asked.

"You have to see this," she said.  "You're never going to believe it!"

What she had pulled up was the Story of Christopher Columbus, according to the fine folks who happened to be wandering down Hollywood Boulevard.

Here's what they say happened:  Christopher Columbus, who was from England, arrived in a kayak called the Pina Colada (or maybe it was a jet - we're not sure) in 1942.  At that time, he discovered the East and the West coast, and enjoyed the first Thanksgiving dinner.

What?  You don't believe me?  Here.  See it for yourself.

(Now I think I'll go find that Pina Colada, because my mind is completely blown away. Anybody want to join me?)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bad Genes

My son is a little bit clumsy.  He has a habit of dropping his iPod.  This time, when he dropped it, he cracked the screen.

"Dude, that's not cool," I said.  "You really need to be more careful with your things!"

"But, Mama," he said.  "It's not my fault!"

"What do you mean, 'It's not my fault'?  You're the one who dropped it.  Who else's fault could it be?"

"Yours," he said.

"Mine?"  I couldn't believe it.  "How could it be my fault?"

"You gave me your bad genes for clumsiness.  If you hadn't done that, I wouldn't be dropping my things!"

Right.  (How do I always manage to get blamed for everything?)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Popcorn Bowl

My daughter had a few of her friends over, yesterday, to watch a movie.  As is usually the case, she popped some popcorn.

Later, I came downstairs and saw the bowl of popcorn sitting on the kitchen table.  It was half full, so I figured the girls were done with it.  Since I was a little hungry, I decided to munch on some.

My daughter, who was still parked in front of the TV, heard me in the kitchen.  "Mom," she said.  "I'm so mad at Schultz!"  (Schultz is our giant German Shepherd, for those who don't know.)

I put another handful of popcorn in my mouth and ate it.  "Why are you mad at Schultz?" I asked.

"Because he ate half of our popcorn!"

I gulped.  "You mean the popcorn that was sitting in this bowl?"

She turned around and looked.  "Yeah, Mom.  You didn't eat any, did you?"


(And I thought that was butter on the popcorn!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bigger than Mama

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "I'm bigger than you!"

I looked down at the kid, who at 4 feet 6 inches tall, was clearly  not bigger than me.  "I don't think so, Bubba.  You have a way to go before you catch up with me."

"But I am bigger," he insisted.  "Look!"  He pointed on the ground at our shadows.  Since he was slightly in front of me, his shadow appeared taller than mine.

I moved up so I was even with him.  My shadow was obviously bigger than his when I did that.

"Wow," he said.  "I didn't know you could grow so fast!"

I nodded.  "Yep.  Mamas are pretty amazing!"  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Schultz's Big Find

It's been a while since we've had a Schultz story.  For those who don't know Schultz, he is our hundred pound German Shepherd.  He's been pretty tame, lately.  But today, he decided to cause a little mischief.

I was outside, paying attention to the cat (yes, the killer one who dissects frogs and other small creatures).  I figured that maybe he needed some love, because the killing was getting a little out of control.  So I sat on the deck with the cat in my lap, petting the furry thing, and scratching under his chin, which he really likes.

Schultz stood inside, watching me do this, clearly not pleased that I was giving the cat more attention than him.  After a while, he walked away from the window.  I figured he'd probably go find a spot to lay down and take a nap. But no.

About fifteen minutes later, I heard a clunk in the kitchen.  Since there was nobody else home, I figured it had something to do with the dog.  I put the cat down and went inside to investigate.  At first I didn't notice anything.  Then I saw that a cupboard was open.  The one that contained Schultz's dog food and treats.  I didn't see anything on the floor, so I closed the cupboard. Then I turned around.  That's when I saw it.

Schultz was lying on the ground in the family room with something between his paws.  I walked over to investigate.  Do you know what he had?  A knuckle bone, still partially wrapped in plastic! He had opened  the cupboard, rummaged through a small Rubbermaid container, found the bone, taken it out, and removed some of the plastic.  There he was, happily gnawing away.

"Schultz!" I said.  "I didn't give you permission to get that bone!"

He cocked his head and looked at me.

I took the bone from him and removed the rest of the plastic.  "Now listen, dog.  You can't just have things for free.  You have to work for them."  I gave him some commands.

"Stand up."

He stood.


He sat.


He shook my hand.

I gave him his bone back.  He took that thing in his giant mouth and retreated to the basement where he could gnaw in peace.  What a creature!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raining Tacos

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "I'm going outside to get dinner."

I looked at that kid.  "What do you mean, 'you're going outside to get dinner'?  I'm making dinner right now.  Inside."

He shook his head.  "Nope.  I'm getting my dinner outside.  It's going to be raining tacos."

I looked outside, up into the clear blue sky.  "Dude.  I'm afraid you're mistaken.  I don't see any taco clouds up there."

"Don't worry.  I know they're up there."  The kid looked really confident about this.

"Okay.  How do you know?" I asked.

"Because it said so on YouTube."  He shoved his iPod in my face and made me watch a video.

Here it is for your viewing enjoyment:

"I see," I said, after viewing the thing.  "If you need any tomatoes on it, let me know.  Because I didn't see anything about it raining tomatoes for the tacos.  And you need your veggies!"


Monday, October 20, 2014

Bucket List Blog Hop

It's time for the Bucket List Blog Hop.  Susanne Drazic and I are co-hosting it.  To participate, you just have to come up with a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket."

Without further ado, I will present my list:

1. Sky dive
2. Zip-line (preferably through a Costa Rican rain forest)
3. Go white water rafting (I think the Grand Canyon would be a cool place to do this.)
4. Dive the Great Barrier Reef.  (I've done my fair share of SCUBA diving around the world, but I have yet to dive the Great Barrier Reef.)
5. Set foot on all the continents
6. Visit all fifty states
7. Learn to speak French fluently
8. Watch a shuttle launch (I may be a little late for this one, so I might have to switch this to riding on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two into outer space.)
9. Learn to tango
10.  Ride an elephant (I've ridden a camel, but never an elephant.)
11. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy
12. Go on an African safari
13. Visit Machu Picchu
14. Tour the White House
15. Take a helicopter ride over Kauai
16. See a performance at the Sydney Opera House
17. Hold a koala bear
18. Visit Area 51 and see if there are really aliens there
19. Visit Mount Rushmore
20. Tour the Neuschwanstein Castle

I think, after looking at my list, that I will have to seriously write a best-seller or do something pretty amazing to earn a lot of money!  I have big dreams!

What do you want to do before you die?  If you'd like to share them as part of the Bucket List Blog Hop, you can sign up  here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Cat's Big Science Project

Bootsy, our cat, conducted a science project on our deck yesterday.  It was quite elaborate.  He had caught a frog and dissected it.  I saw the frog's intestines on one deck plank, its spleen on another, and something that resembled a heart about two feet away.

"Bootsy, what did you do?" I asked.

The cat just looked at me and licked his paws.

Two seconds later, my son came outside.  He spotted the entrails went into vomit mode.

"Dude," I said.  "You have to toughen up.  You're going to be dissecting a frog  just like this in school, soon!"

He looked at me with a face that matched the color of the dead frog.  "No way.  I'm sending the cat into school and he can do it!"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Fix a Vacuum Cleaner

Before I start my story, I just want to say I'm sorry that I haven't been here regularly.  I've been so busy with music - performances, rehearsals, practicing, teaching etc.  It's not a bad problem to have, but it's just been really tough for me to be online.  If anyone lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area (I know there are a few of you), and you want to meet me or hear me play (or both), I invite you to come this Sunday, October 19th at 4:00 PM to Musik21:  10700 State Bridge Road., Suite 12, Johns Creek, GA  30022 for a chamber music recital (string quintet).  It's free.  And there will be food (which means I'd better get baking!)

Now for the story:

Our vacuum cleaner hasn't been working so well.  Probably because of all the dog hair it's had to pick up through the years.  The on button stays permanently on, so in order to get the thing to shut off, I have to unplug it.

I've told my husband about it numerous times.  But nothing seemed to get done.  Until he had to vacuum.  Then he realized how annoying it was.

He went into the garage and rummaged through his tool box.  When he returned, there was a hammer in his hand.

"What are you going to do with that?" I asked.

"Watch and learn," he said.

He took that thing and whacked the side of the vacuum cleaner, near the button.

I raised my eyebrows.  "You think that's going to work?"

He looked at me and grinned.  Then he plugged the vacuum cleaner in.  It didn't turn on.  I figured it was busted completely.

Then he pressed the on button.  Guess what happened?  It turned on!  He pressed it again.  Yes.  You guessed it.  It turned off.

The genius fixed it.

So, ladies and gentlemen, next time your vacuum cleaner acts a little funky, just get a hammer and whack it.

A reminder:  If you want to sign up for the Bucket List blog hop which will be October 20th, sign up here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cover Reveal for Vitamins and Death

My blog friend, Medeia Sharif, has a new book coming out in December.  This one looks so cool.  I've read two of her previous books, and they were really good, so I'm sure this one will be awesome, too!  

YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Edible Cell

"Mom," my daughter said.  "I need a giant cupcake."

I looked at that girl, completely puzzled.  "What for?"

"A science project.  I need to go to the store and get candy, too."

I couldn't imagine what kind of science project involved a giant cupcake and candy.  But I did my mom job and took her to the store, where she bought an assortment of Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Fruit Wraps and a strawberry mini-cake.  "What in the world are you going to do with all of those?"

"Make a cell," she replied.  "The frosting is the cytoplasm, the strawberry is the nucleus, the Fruit Wrap is the cell membrane, and the Nerds are the ribosomes."

"What about the Sour Patch Kids?" I asked.

"I'm going to use a blue one for the Golgi body.  Do you get it?  Golgi body - kid body?"

I nodded.  "Yeah, I get it."

We went home and she created her masterpiece.  (I would show you a picture, but she refused to let me take one.)

When she was done, she put the cover over it.  "One more thing," she said.  She grabbed a sticky note and wrote something on it.  Then she shoved it in the refrigerator.

Curious, I checked to see what she wrote.  I laughed when I saw it.  It said, in very big letters,


(I guess she knows her dad!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Picture Day Scramble

Today was picture day at my son's school.  I reminded him the night before, and therefore expected him to choose an appropriate outfit to wear.  I don't know what I was thinking, but asking a boy to choose an appropriate outfit is a bad idea.

He came downstairs, two minutes before we were supposed to leave,  in his Krav uniform. (Krav is a martial arts form, for those who don't know.)

"Bubba,"  I said.  "Your Krav uniform is very nice, but you should not be wearing it for picture day."

He frowned.  "But I like it."

"Yes, I know.  But this is for yearbook picture.  Go find something else to wear."

He marched upstairs and came down with something else:  A favorite t-shirt that was about two sizes too small.

I shook my head.  "No, Bubba.  That won't work, either."  I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I ran upstairs and pulled a nice polo shirt from his drawer.  "Here Bubba, try this," I said.

He put it on and we ran out the door.

In the car, he noticed a little something on his shirt.  "Mama, there's a spaghetti sauce stain here."

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Yes.  You should've let me wear my Krav uniform!"

Oy gewalt!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Vampire Eyes

We seem to have a spooky theme going on here.  For those of you who might be worried that my son disappeared on the bus from the Twilight Zone yesterday, he made it safely home.  I don't know what the driver's issue was (she was the same one as usual) or why there were no kids on that bus when he boarded in the morning, but at the next stop, things got back to normal.  There were kids there, and my son made it to school with no further incidents.

This morning was more spookiness.  I don't know if it  had something to do with the red moon from the lunar eclipse or what.  But I think I totally scared my son.  We were standing in the dark at the bus stop, when my son looked at me funny.  "Mama, your eyes are black."

"Is that right?" I said.

He nodded slowly.  "Your eyes look scary.  There's no color.  They're just black."

"That's because I'm a vampire."

Bubba's eyes got big like saucers.  "You are?"

I nodded.  "And I'm hungry!"

He stepped back.  "Are you going to drink my blood?"

I smiled, revealing my pearl-white fangs.

Fortunately for him, the bus came at that moment.  He scrambled on that thing as fast as he could.  I guess he knew not to hang around a hungry vampire!      

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bus from the Twilight Zone

This morning, at the crack of dawn,  I took my son up to the bus stop.  Nobody was there.  Usually there are three or four other kids waiting.  My son looked at me.  I looked at him.  And we both shrugged.

Two seconds later, the school bus came barreling around the bend in the road.  It didn't look like it was going to stop.  Which was unusual, because there's always a kid that gets picked up in front of his house about 500 feet before our stop.

The bus came speeding toward us, and only at the last minute stopped, when the driver noticed my son standing there.  Since it was very dark, I couldn't see the driver, but I figured it was the same woman who always sat in that seat.  My son cautiously boarded the bus and stood looking at the driver for a couple of seconds before he continued up the steps.

I wondered what the deal was.  I didn't have a chance to see who the driver was, or ask why Bubba paused on the steps.  But I did see that my son was the only kid on that bus.

Now, I know I have an overactive imagination, because I'm a writer.  But don't you think that was a little weird?  Now I'm worried I'm never going to see my son again, because I'm absolutely certain that bus was from the Twilight Zone!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nothing in the Head

First of all, I have a big favor to ask of you.  My blog friend, Janie Junebug, has 239 followers.  She would really like 240.  So, if you aren't following Janie, please hop over and follow.  She is a very nice lady, and I'm sure you'll like her.  Plus she's a very good editor!

Okay.  Now for the story:

"Mama?" my ten-year-old son asked.  "Do you know how tall the biggest tsunami is?"

"No, Bubba.  I have no idea."

"1,720 feet."

I nodded.  "That's pretty tall."

"Do you know where it was?"

I shook my head.

"Lituya Bay, Alaska."  He grinned.  "I bet you don't know when it happened, do you?"

"No, Bubba.  I have no idea when it happened."

"July 9, 1958."

"Bubba," I said.  "That's really impressive that you know all these facts.  How do you remember them?"

"It's easy, Mama.  I have nothing else in my head!"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bubba for President

My son's political career has begun.

"Mama," he said when he got off the bus yesterday.  "I have to write a speech."

"Oh yeah?" I asked.  "What for?"

"I'm running for student council."

"I see.  That's terrific!  What are you going to say in your speech?"

He thought about that for a second.  "I'm going to say that everyone needs to eat pie.  And I'm going to give everyone free pie!"

Great.  With a promise like that, I'm sure he'll be elected President.  I'd better get in the kitchen and start baking!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I want a t-shirt that says, "I survived MARTA"!

For those of you who don't know what MARTA is, (which is probably just about all of you), it's the Metro Atlanta Rail Transportation Authority.  In short, it's the transportation system of Atlanta, Georgia, that is supposed to make commuting in Atlanta easier.  Yeah.  Right.

Now maybe my problems had to do with the fact that I was going to a One Direction concert that was packed with 70,000 screaming girls.  A large number of those 70,000 screaming girls were on the MARTA train.

Getting on wasn't so bad, since it was the northern-most stop.  But as we got closer to the Georgia Dome, where the concert was held, it became a different story.  The train became packed like a can of sardines.  And that can of sardines did not smell good.  It was like a combination of alcohol, sweat, and stinky socks.  It was hot in there, too.  Did I mention how bad it smelled?

Of course, to make things even worse, a transfer was involved.  We had to get off the first train, and get on a second.  Imagine thousands of sardines trying to get out of one tin can, go up an escalator, and pack into another.  Yep.  It was ridiculous!  The train lurched forward, and all of the sardines slammed into each other.  The only reason everybody remained standing, is that there was no room to fall.

We tumbled out of that thing, grateful to be alive.

(After the concert, which lasted until about midnight, my daughter and I escaped before the whole school of sardines tried to pack into the MARTA, again.  It was a much more civilized ride back to our station of origin.)

So here is the group we went to see:

One Direction (5 Seconds of Summer opened for them.)  My daughter loved them!  I thought they put on a really good show - lots of fireworks and lights.  But was it loud!  I'm glad I had earplugs, or I probably would've had permanent damage!

And now for the winners of my giveaway:

Books go to :  Norbu Wangdi and SA Larson

Gift cards go to:  K. McKendry, Rachel, and Becky

Congratulations!  I'll be contacting you to let you know, and get your mailing addresses.