Mama Diaries

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Silly Family

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "Did you know we're the silly family?"

I raised my eyebrows.  "I suppose we are rather silly."

"No," he said.  "We're really the silly family."

Apparently I was missing something.  "What do you mean?"

"If you spell our name backwards, it's 'Sille.'  Silly!"

I'd never noticed.  I guess that explains a few things!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Zoned Out Dog

Have you ever seen a dog on drugs?  It isn't pretty.

Our hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz, had a little visit to the veterinarian, yesterday.  He needed some vaccinations, and a good teeth cleaning.  (It's best to put hundred pound German Shepherds to sleep before attempting to clean their teeth. I'm sure you don't need an explanation why.)

The vet knock him out good.  He was down for hours.  When my husband picked him up, the dog was incredibly loopy.  He could barely stand, let alone walk. Somehow, he managed to get into the house, where he promptly parked himself in his favorite spot, stuck his tongue out (with his mouth mostly closed), and stared at me with a glazed expression.

When the kids came home from school, they were very concerned.

"What's wrong with Schultzy?" they asked.  "Why is he just sitting there with his tongue sticking out like that?"

"Because he's on drugs," I said.  "Don't do drugs, or you'll act and look as stupid as him!"

(For those who are concerned, Schultz is just fine, now.  By the evening, he was back to his normal, goofy self.  And for those who like pictures, I decided not to take any, to preserve some of his dignity.  It would've been humorous to see a stoned German Shepherd, but you'll just have to imagine what he looked like.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mama is in Trouble, AGAIN!

I can't seem to keep myself out of trouble.  Yesterday's escapade involved a party invitation.  You wouldn't think I could get in trouble with that.  But I did.

My daughter was invited to a birthday party.  She asked me to call the number and RSVP for it.  So I did - in the middle of the afternoon.  I was expecting either a voice mail, or an adult on the other end.  That's not what I got.

"Hello?" the voice answered.  It was clearly a young person.

"Hi," I said with my still-hoarse voice.  "Can I talk to your mom?"

"Who is this?" the voice asked.

"Sherry Ellis.  I'm (insert my daughter's name) mom.  I'm calling to RSVP for the birthday party."

Two seconds later, I heard another voice.  It was strangely familiar.  "Mom?" it said.

It was my daughter.  "Why am I talking to you?" she asked.

"Why am I talking to you?" I asked, equally confused.

"Mom, the teacher's coming. I'm not supposed to be on the phone during school.  You just got me in trouble!"

Great.  All I did was call the number on the invitation.  Why in the world was it to a kid's cell phone? And why did my daughter have to be sitting next to the said kid in class?  Now I'm in trouble for getting my daughter in trouble!  Oy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I'd like to thank Susanne Drazic for bestowing the Very Inspiring Blogger Award on me.  Susanne has been my blog friend for many years, and I think she was one of my first followers.  She's a very nice lady!  If you don't know her, be sure to stop by and pay her a visit.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.

2. Display the award logo.

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers (more or less) and provide a link where they may be found.

4. Go to their blog, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated.

5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.

I'll start with what has inspired me over the last few weeks.

You're going to think this is funny, but my relatively new blogger friend, Michael D'Agostino recently did a sky diving adventure.  He posted a video of it.  As many of you know, skydiving is something that's on my bucket list.  Seeing that video, and reading about his experience, has inspired me even more to go jump out of an airplane.

A lot of you also know that I'm a professional musician.  One thing I've done recently, is serve as the coordinator for the Samuel Fordis Young Artist Concerto Competition.  I've heard a lot of extremely talented young people as they competed in this event, and listening to them perform, has inspired me to practice even more.

I read a newspaper article about a week ago, about a group of high school students who worked with a local rotary club to package 10,000 meals for hungry people.  That inspired me to do more to help alleviate the hunger problem.  If you want to learn about the program they were involved with, go to Stop Hunger Now's website .

Here are the bloggers:

Michael D'Agostino  (Funny guy with lots of great adventures.)

Sage (A great outdoors man.  I love seeing the pictures of his wanderings.)

Deanie Humphrys- Dunne (A very nice lady who shares inspiring stories of kids who show good character.)

Tracy Terry (A fellow writer with interesting book reviews.)

Peaches Ledwidge (Another long-time blogger friend who has written a couple of books, and overcame a lot of childhood adversity.)

Norbu Wangdi (A kind, humble man who shares a lot about his country and culture.)

Ivy at The Happy Wisk  (This lady can cook!  She inspires me to feed my family good food.) 

Chrys Fey (Always has great posts with helpful writing tips.)

Diana Jenkins (My critique partner from Cincinnati who taught me so much about writing, and inspires me to be a better writer and keep going.)

Keith at Optimistic Existentialist  (A super-nice person, whose posts always make you think.)

Milo James Fowler (I enjoy reading about his successes as an author because of his persistence and hard work, and it inspires me to keep going, even when the rejection letters are rolling in.)

If you have time, stop by and visit all these inspiring bloggers!

(Thanks for all the get-well wishes.  I'm feeling a little better, but my voice still isn't back.  Hopefully it'll return soon!)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Messed Up World

I think I caught somebody's Facebook sick status, because I have one awful cold that I can't seem to shake.  It's made me completely lose my voice, which isn't good, because it makes it hard to bark orders at everyone.  (That's my mom job!)

Yesterday, I was trying to tell my son something, and of course he couldn't understand a word I was saying.

"Mama," he said.  "My world is all messed up now!"

"What do you mean?" I whispered hoarsely.

"I can't identify your voice.  And I miss it.  It's one of my favorite voices."

I nodded.

He continued. "How am I supposed to know if you're my Mama, or if you're some alien who just invaded our house?"

Right.  I'm obviously some alien.  I sure hope the real Mama returns soon!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Share Your Thoughts Blog Hop

Jamie Ayres is celebrating the release of her book, 18 Thoughts, with this cool blog hop.  Participants are supposed to list thoughts that they live by.  If you're really ambitious (which I am), you can name 18.  Congratulations, Jamie!  And here are my 18 thoughts:

1. Work hard

2. Do my best

3. Be kind to others

4. Keep learning

5. Lend a helping hand

6. Think before I act

7. Speak the truth

8. Be a good example

9. Set goals

10. Learn from mistakes

11. Teach others

12. Be grateful

13. Count my blessings

14. Love my family

15. Encourage others

16. Give back

17. Keep trying

18. Dream big

What are some thoughts you live by?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tricky Leprechaun

If you visited a few days ago, you may recall the Leprechaun Trap project my son did for school.  (If you didn't read it, go here.)

Well, yesterday was the big day to take it to school and give a presentation.  Unfortunately, there was a small problem.  It fell apart during transportation.

"Just put it back together when you get to school.  You'll be fine," I said.

I emailed the teacher a couple of pictures of the finished product to help with the reassembly. She thanked me, and I thought no more about it.

When the boy got off the school bus that afternoon, he had a bag of Legos in his hand.

"Did you give your presentation?" I asked.

He shook his head.  "No.  One of the parts is missing.  The one that holds up the pulley system. I have to figure something else out and take it to school tomorrow."

"It probably just fell out of the bag and landed on the floor."

"No, Mama.  Someone took it."

"Who would've taken it?" I asked.

"A Leprechaun."

Of course.  Those tricky Leprechauns!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Death Juice

My teenage daughter is always trying new diets.  It seems to be the thing to do among kids her age.  The diet of the week is called a Paleo Diet.  Supposedly, it's all the natural stuff humans are supposed to consume. She read the list of foods and ingredients needed.  Since it was all healthy, I gave her the go ahead to try it.

Day one came, and on the breakfast menu, was a smoothie made of coconut milk, fresh berries and peanut butter.  She pulled out the blender, dumped in the ingredients, and pressed the "blend" button.  A couple minutes later, she had a brownish-purplish concoction.

She  poured it in a glass and took a sip.  "OMG. This is awful!"  (Yes, she literally did say, O M G.)

"It can't be that bad," I said.  "Let me try some."

I poured a little in my glass.  And let me tell you, she was right.  It was horrible!  I don't know what the problem was:  Bad berries.  Bad coconut milk.  But it was so bitter, that even I had to discard it.

"You know what this is?" my daughter said.  "Death juice!"

Needless to say, death juice is no longer on the Paleo Diet menu!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Leprechaun Trap

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "I have to make a go kart."

"What?" I said.  I wondered why in the world he'd need one of those.

"I have a school project.  I have to make playground equipment or a leprechaun trap which uses six simple machines."

I thought about that.  "Dude.  I don't think a go kart qualifies as playground equipment, or a leprechaun trap.  And besides, how are you going to build a go kart?"

He shrugged.  "I thought you'd help."

Uh huh.  A science project for parents.

"You're going to do this.  And it's not going to be a go kart or some other monstrosity that we can't transport to school."

After a lot of talking about it, we finally settled on the Leprechaun trap.  Of course, he didn't know where to begin.  So I scribbled some ideas, using the six simple machines.  Then I hauled up the Legos and blocks.  "Here you go, kid.  Figure it out."

He did. With a little help from his Lego Master Mama.

Here's what we have:

  And here's how it works:  Leprechaun sees the sign, "Free Gold," and runs up the wedge ramp.  Then he climbs the incline plane and falls into the gold bin with a trapdoor floor.  If he's not stupid enough to fall into the gold bin, he'll see the see-saw lever reaching up to the hanging basket of gold (which of course is a pulley system using a wheel and axle and screw). His weight will cause the see-saw to tip, sending him into a hole, where he will be trapped.  Until the backhoe digs him out.

What do you think?  I'm fully expecting to catch a leprechaun. (I'll let you know if we do.)    

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Band Aid Boy

When I walked into the bathroom, yesterday, I saw a box of band aids open, and almost every band aid had been opened and tossed on the counter.  There had to be at least fifty band aids and wrappers lying there.  I knew who the culprit was.  "Bubba," I called.  "Come here!"

He came, and I pointed at the mess.  "What's this?"  I asked.

"I needed a band aid," he said.

"A band aid?  It looks like you needed about a hundred of them.  Why did you open every single band aid that was in the box?"

He showed me his finger which had three band aids on it.  "I got a really bad paper cut, and none of those other band aids worked."


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Breathing Clouds

Yesterday afternoon, it was a little foggy.  Make that a lot foggy.  When I walked to the bus stop to get my son, my face was literally wet from the moisture.

The kids getting off the bus, thought it was totally cool to have so much fog.  "We can't even see the grass!" they said.  (You could see the grass, but not very well.)

Of course my son had something else to say.  "Mama, we're breathing clouds!"

The other kids heard him and got nervous.  "Are we going to die?" they asked.

"I hardly think so," I said.  "It's just a lot of water vapor.  Like cold steam.  You'll be just fine."

"But what if the clouds go back up, and the clouds are inside of us? Are we going to float up to the sky?" another kid asked.

"No," I answered.  "You're too heavy.  Gravity will keep you down."

"Yeah," my son said.  "But just in case, you'd better blow out the clouds so they don't turn you into a cloud balloon.  Because then you'd definitely float up to the sky."

Right.  So ladies and gentlemen, if you happen to breathe in a cloud, exhale as quickly as you can,and hold your breath until you reach the safety of a cloud-free zone.  Otherwise you might float away.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cuteness Venom

My son, Bubba, was terrorizing his sister. Again. All she wanted to do was sit on the sofa and listen to the music on her iPod.  But the boy kept poking her and kicking her feet.

"Bubba, stop it!" she complained.

The boy wouldn't stop.

This called for parental involvement.  "Bubba, why do you feel it is necessary to poke your sister like that?" I asked.

"I'm just giving her some of my cuteness venom," he said.

"Cuteness venom?" I asked.

"Yeah, Mama.  Sisters don't have enough, so it's up to the brothers to give them some.  She'll be much nicer if I poke her a little more!"


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Tooth Fairy is Fired!

It's official.  The tooth fairy is fired!  My son had lost one of his molars, and he put it in the special pillow for the tooth fairy to take.  In the morning, he came downstairs with this news:

"Mama, the tooth fairy forgot, again!"


"So, what should we do about this tooth fairy?" I asked.

"Fire her!" he answered without having to think about it.

I nodded.  "Then who's going to collect the teeth and leave the money?"

"The tooth dinosaur."

(Hmmm.  I wonder how quiet the tooth dinosaur can be!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Pizza Project

My daughter had another friend over, and this time the girls wanted to make homemade pizza.  (Are you noticing a trend here?)

I got them some refrigerated pizza dough, pizza sauce, and all the toppings.  "All right girls.  Here you go."

They looked at me with an utterly confused expression on their faces.  "What are we supposed to do?" the friend asked.

"Read the directions," I said, and walked away.

Apparently, their direction-reading wasn't so good.  Because when I came back in, they had all the toppings on the raw pizza dough.

"Uh, ladies," I said.  "Aren't you supposed to pre-cook the pizza dough?"

"Where does it say that?" my daughter asked.

"In the directions."


The girls looked at each other.  "Now what do we do?" they asked.

"Well," I said. "You have two choices:  You can take all the toppings off, and start over, this time following the directions, or you can cook it for the first eight minutes at high heat so hopefully the crust will cook, and then lower the heat for another six minutes so you don't burn the cheese."

"We'll do the second way," the friend said.  "Reading directions is way too hard!"  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Smoothy Challenge

My teenage daughter had one of her friends over, and for their entertainment, they participated in the Smoothy Challenge.  I found the two in the kitchen with the blender and an assortment of items:  Tomatoes, peanut butter, pepperoni, lime juice, Parmesan cheese, and yogurt.

"You're not seriously thinking about mixing all of that together, are you?" I asked.

My daughter grinned.  "Yeah, we are.  We're doing the Smoothy Challenge.  We're going to mix it together, and then drink it."

"Are you crazy?  You're going to make yourselves sick!"

They shrugged and proceeded to dump it all in the blender.  When they were done mixing it, they had a thoroughly disgusting brownish concoction.  They poured it in glasses and took a sip. (All while filming it.)

Apparently it wasn't good, because they both contorted their faces and promptly spit it out.

"That tasted like vomit!" the friend said.  "I think I'm going to die!"

"Mmm," I said.  "Should I call an ambulance?"

They laughed.

I walked over to where the bottle of lime juice was sitting and picked it up.  "Interesting.  This stuff expired last May."

They turned a sickly shade of green.

(Maybe I should've called the ambulance!)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

25 Roses Blog Tour

My blog friend, Stephanie Faris, has a new book out.  Here's the scoop on it: 


Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.

Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.

Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight. 


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Buy (Autographed)
Buy (Amazon)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Little Too Loud

I hope all of you enjoyed your New Year festivities.  The humans at my pad did.  Not so sure about the canine.  Poor Schultz, our hundred pound German Shepherd, was a little discombobulated when the fireworks started.  Usually, these things don't bother him.  But this time they did.  He went on full alert, barking at the noise. (He rarely ever barks in the house.)

"Schultz, chill," my husband said.

Schultz wouldn't chill. He kept barking. And let me tell you, a dog that size has a very loud bark!

"All right, dog," I said.  "You're going outside."

We kicked him out.  But that's not where he wanted to be.  He took two steps, and turned around, begging to come inside. It was obvious he was scared of the fireworks.

We opened the door.  He bolted inside and ran downstairs into his crate.  Safe zone! And that's where he stayed until the fireworks finished.