Mama Diaries

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Furball on the Loose

The construction project continues. I'm not sure if it's ever going to end. Our German Shepherd, Schultz is having some doubts, too. All he wants is a nap. An impossible thing in our abode. The saws and the hammers and the general chaos are too much.

So, he's been taking matters into his own paws. I believe I've mentioned that the doors are routinely left open as the workers come and go. We've had creatures wander in. Now we have a creature wandering out.  That creature is Schultz. Usually we leave him in the basement, so he's not underfoot. But when the workers have to go down to turn the power off, he manages to escape. Right out the front door.

The other day, Mr. Schultz walked out the door all the way to the bus stop at the corner of the street. Fortunately, Bubba was there, getting off the bus, and spotted him. He brought the wayward creature home.

Yesterday, he escaped again. Since the kids are out of school for the holiday, there was nobody to meet him at the bus stop.  We thought we were doomed. Nobody knew how long Schultz had been missing.

One of the workers decided to try whistling. "All dogs come to my whistle," he said.

This dude had the loudest whistle I'd ever heard. I think even the man in the moon heard it. We waited a few minutes. No Schultz. He whistled again. A few minutes later, Schultz came, trotting down the sidewalk like it was no big deal.

The worker grinned. "I told you he'd come!"

Yay for the whistle! 

Before I go, I have two announcements. Actually three.

1.  My book, That Mama is a Grouch is available as a free ebook from Smashwords from now until January 1st. Please visit this link to get your copy.

2.  My book, Ten Zany Birds is available as a free ebook from Smashwords from now until January 1st. Please visit this link to get your copy.

3. Don't Feed the Elephant, my upcoming picture book, will be published in 2018. We have some formatting issues we're still trying to work out. My apologies to anyone who might've wanted to get it as a Christmas gift. I'll let you know when it's here.

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year and a terrific 2018!   

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Talking Gibberish

My son, Bubba, is experiencing a voice change. He's a teenager now, and he's starting to sound like a man. Scary! Anyway, sometimes his voice cracks. When that happens, it's difficult to understand what he's saying.  That, along with the low pitch, makes it all sound like gibberish. We tell him he speaks Gibberish all the time.

The other day, he was in the kitchen talking to our dog, Schultz. I couldn't understand a word he was saying. I listened very closely, and whatever language he was speaking, definitely wasn't English.

"Dude," I said. "Is that supposed to be English?"

He laughed and shook his head. "No, Mama. I'm speaking Gibberish. It's what I do best. And Schultz understands it."

I looked at the dog. He sat there in front of Bubba, looking at him intently with his head tilted. Bubba spoke more Gibberish and opened the door. Schultz trotted outside.

 "See," Bubba said. "I told him to go outside, and he did!"


Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I'm a guest on the ePublishing Children's Book Blog. I'm talking about my upcoming book, Don't Feed the Elephant. If you'd like to visit and see a sneak peak of a couple of the illustrations, visit here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

You-know-who Knows You-know-what

If you've been visiting this pad for a while, you know that our German Shepherd, Schultz, is a rather intelligent animal. (For the most part.) We have recently discovered that he is smarter than we thought.

The hundred-pound beast loves playing "flashlight" every night. "Flashlight" is the game where we take him outside when it's dark, and he chases a beam of light around the yard. It's his favorite thing to do. If you even mention the word, "flashlight," he goes crazy.

Playing "flashlight" is definitely more fun for the dog than it is for us humans. Sometimes nobody wants to take him out. Especially when it's cold. So, if the question is asked, "Who wants to take Schultz out to do 'flashlight?'" and nobody wants to, doggy gets upset, because he's heard the word, "flashlight" and nobody is taking him out to do it.

We thought we had gotten around this by asking, "Who wants to do 'you-know-what?'" It worked for a while, but then Schultz figured out that "you-know-what" means "flashlight." So now he gets upset if he doesn't get "you-know-what" or "flashlight."

I guess we're going to have to start spelling the words.   

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Open Zoo

As I mentioned in my previous post, we're having a lot of construction done in my house. Workers go in and out, hauling machines and materials. For several days, our front door was left open. Fortunately, the weather was good. Unfortunately,  it was an open invitation for all kinds of critters to wander in.

The first such creature was a lizard. He strolled in, like it was perfectly natural to be in my house. He wandered around the front hall and then scurried off when he spotted me. I'm not exactly sure where he went, or where he is, but I do know that where he scurried was not outside.

Before I tell you about the second visitor, let me paint a picture of what my dining room currently looks like. Completely covering the dining room table is an assortment of plates, cups, and utensils. Some paper, some plastic, some china. There is also an row of cereal boxes and snacking items that were once in our pantry.  On the floor, is a bunch of pet food, pots, pans, dishes that are sort of clean, but not quite, because I had to take them out of the dishwasher before they were done so the workers could demolish our kitchen, and an assortment of stuff that had been under our kitchen sink. It's a mess! I can't even believe that I've been living in this condition for a month now. And it's not even close to over.

Anyway, when I walked into the dining room, I discovered a bee buzzing around the half-washed dishes on the floor. And he brought a buddy. Two bees.

"What do you think this is? A party?" I asked.

Of course they didn't answer. I have no idea where they went. Hopefully out. Along with all the other bugs and critters that have invaded our abode. If not, our cat, Bootsy, is going to have a big extermination project when this ordeal is over. (Because our dog, Schultz, wouldn't lift a paw to chase them out.)     

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why You Should Listen to the Mama

Has your mom ever told you not to play ball in the house? If she has, I hope you've listened to her. She knows what she's talking about.

Here's what happened at my house, because somebody didn't listen to the Mama:

Our house is currently under renovation. You really wouldn't want to be here. The kitchen is gutted, and all but one of the bathrooms has been demolished. As a result, we have some wide-open spaces. Especially in the kitchen. My husband decided it would be fun to throw the tennis ball around and have our German Shepherd, Schultz, fetch it.

"Don't do that," I warned. "The tennis ball is going to end up down an open vent."

Did he listen?


On the first throw it happened. The tennis ball bounced off the wall where the oven had been. Then it bounced off the wall where the sink had been. Then it rolled along the floor . . . right into the open vent. Down it went. Never to be seen again.

I shook my head. I didn't even have to say, "I told you so." He knew.

Moral of the story:  Always listen to Mama! 

(He pried apart the vent and attempted to retrieve it, but couldn't. So now we have a tennis ball stuck somewhere in our vent system. Hopefully it won't end up in the furnace!) 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mister Salesman

Even though it has been over a week since Halloween, my son still has a lot of candy left. Ever the creative thinker, he has found a solution for what to do with all this candy.

"I'm going to sell it," he announced.

"You're going to sell it?" I asked. "To whom?"

"To my friends."

I couldn't understand why anyone would need more Halloween candy. "Don't you think people have had enough?"

He shook his head. "No. They already ate all of theirs. I'm sure they want more. They'll buy mine."

Okay, then. So, the boy is going to take some to school. Let's see how well he's able to market his snack-size Snickers bars.       

Monday, October 23, 2017

Scaredy Cat

Our cat, Bootsy, is a brave feline. We didn't think he'd be afraid of anything. Turns out, we were wrong.

My son, Bubba, decided he was going to parade around the house in his Halloween costume. Usually, Bootsy doesn't care. Nothing phases him. Not Darth Maul. Not the Grim Reaper. Not Freddy Kruger. But for some reason, Bootsy didn't like this costume. What did my boy wear? A plain white mask, a black fedora, and a button-down collared blue shirt. It freaked the poor cat out. He took one look at my boy, meowed the strangest sound I've ever heard, and ran for cover.

Who knows what went on in the poor cat's mind, but if Bubba had that affect on him, I'm worried about what's going to happen to the poor souls who have to lay eyes on him when he Trick-or-treats on Halloween! 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Dog and the Frog

There is a very large frog that likes to sit on our front step each evening and make a lot of noise. He hasn't gone unnoticed by a certain quadruped named Schultz. Schultz is our hundred-pound German Shepherd.

The other night, Mr. Schultz finally had the opportunity to introduce himself to the amphibian. He charged out the garage door, bounded across the front lawn, and stopped right in front of Mr. Frog. What did Mr. Frog do? Nothing. Not even a hop.

Mr. Schultz gave the frog the biggest sniff ever. His big, wet nose was basically on top of that frog, sniffing every square inch. This lasted at least ten seconds. Finally, Schultz got bored and trotted off to sniff something else.

Once Schultz was safely out of distance, the frog blinked his little eyeballs and resumed croaking.

(I'm guessing the frog is one of Croaky's pals. (Croaky is our pet African clawed frog.) He probably told him about Schultz, so his buddy knew he had nothing to worry about!)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ancient Grains

The other day, when I walked past the shoe closet, I noticed an unpleasant odor. It didn't quite smell like stinky socks - something you might expect from such a closet. Curious, I opened the door. After some poking around, my nose led me to a lunch box. My son's lunch box. It was shoved in the back corner. Who only knew how long it had been sitting there.

I picked that thing up between my thumb and index finger, afraid of what lethal contaminant might be lurking inside, and placed it on the kitchen counter. I unzipped it. What  I found inside was a bunch of Ziploc bags. Most were empty. All except one. In that one was a sandwich, which at the very least, could be described as a science experiment gone wrong. The once nutritious whole-grain bread was covered in blue and yellow growth. The blue, I'm guessing, was mold. The yellow? Your guess is as good as mine. All I knew was that it produced an exceptionally foul odor which needed to be eliminated immediately if not sooner.

All I can say about that, was that my son gave new meaning to the words, "ancient grains."

(I was going to take a picture, but I figured it might make the majority of you want to vomit. I hope ya'll appreciate my consideration!)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Solve a Rubiks Cube

There are many ways to solve a Rubiks Cube.  For those of you who might not be familiar with what one is, it's a cube puzzle with lots of colored squares. The goal is to have each side the same color. To achieve this, most people rotate the rows of the cube.  Other people, like myself, peel off the stickers and reattach them in the proper place.

My son? Well, he's not like most people. He's not even like me.

The other day, I found his Rubiks Cube completely disassembled on the floor in his room. Tiny cube-ish squares of color were spread out, making it very difficult to walk.

"Dude," I said. "What's going on here?"

He grinned. "I discovered that you can take the cube apart. Now I'm going to reassemble it to solve the puzzle."

He's still working on it. I suspect it will take him about twenty years to complete. Taking the stickers off would have been so much easier!

If you want to properly solve the cube, learn how by going here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Release: Black and White by Nick Wilford

My blog friend, Nick Wilford, has released a new YA dystopian book called Black & White.  Here's the scoop on it:  

Title: Black & White
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: YA dystopian Series #: 1 of 3
Release date: 18th September 2017
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

My Review:

Whitopolis is the perfect city. No diseases. No death. No dirt. Everyone is happy. Wellesbury, the protagonist, is a kid who lives there. Life goes along smoothly until a really messed up kid named Mallinger shows up. He's dirty, diseased, and dying. He comes from a city called Fusterberry. Of course the government of Whitopolis can't have such an imperfection living among them, so they lock him away. Only Wellesbury and his friend, Esmerelda want to help. In the process, they challenge the government and learn to think for themselves. They also learn that sometimes things aren't as perfect as they seem.

White and Black is an interesting dystopian tale. The characters are memorable, and there are enough plot turns to keep the reader guessing about what is going to happen next. It's a very good opening to the three-part trilogy. Recommended for young adult readers interested in dystopian novels.

Purchase Links:
Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, or Amazon.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories or a $10 giftcard! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Little Croaky Music

Our African clawed frog, Croaky, seldom makes the news around here any more. Seven years ago, when he was a young frog, he had episodes of escaping from the aquarium, jumping off the balcony, and landing two stories down. Somehow, he lived to tell about it. He has also had a few trips down the garbage disposal from hopping out of his tank while it was being cleaned.  I think this frog has at least nine lives!

Recently, we had our entire house painted. This included the basement, where Croaky normally resides. While the work was being done, Croaky moved up to the kitchen counter. He enjoyed seeing and listening to all the activity of our regular family life. One of the things  he enjoyed most, was listening to me practice the violin. Every time I'd practice, he would croak along with me. It was rather amusing. But now I'm wondering if my playing sounded like a croaking frog, and he was just responding to it!

Before I go, I'd like to share with you a sketch of one of the illustrations from my upcoming book, Don't Feed the Elephant. It's being illustrated by an illustrator from ePublishing Experts.

And it's Schultz's birthday today. He's seven. Happy Birthday, Schultz E. !

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Scientifically Speaking

Many of you who have been following this blog for a while, remember when my son was five years old. He has always had a very creative, think-outside-of-the-box kind of mind. The boy is now a teenager, and that creativity has manifested itself in the realm of science.

His latest interest is nuclear fusion. He can talk for hours about the subject.

The other day, my daughter, son, and I took a little trip to Hobby Lobby to get painting supplies for my daughter (who is also a teenager, and a talented artist). Bubba was on one of his nuclear fusion chat-a-thons. He continued all the way to the check-out line.

When we got there, the cashier started ringing the merchandise, but then stopped. She put everything down and stared at Bubba as he talked about the heat necessary to create a nuclear reaction.  He just kept talking. Finally she spoke in her fine southern drawl.  "Young man, I have no idea what you're talking about, but it sounds very intellectual. I'm glad there are minds like yours out there to keep society moving on."

Then she turned to me. "Good luck, Mom!"

This is not my son, but he sure sounds like him! You can get a sample of what I listen to every day.
(And if you would like to learn more about nuclear fusion, go here.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Close Encounter with a Buzzard

The other day, I was walking my hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz. Up ahead, I could see a rather large bird, hopping around on the tree lawn in front of a house. Schultz saw it, too, and the hair on his back stood up. He wanted to chase that thing.

I managed to keep the beast under control, and we passed the bird on the opposite side of the street without a catastrophe. It was a formidable looking buzzard. In case you don't know what they look like, here's a picture:

The way back was even more interesting. We had crossed the street and were now on the same side as the buzzard. I thought for sure when the bird saw us coming, it would take off. But no. Bird brain stayed right where it was, on the tree lawn.

I glanced down at Schultz. For some odd reason, the sight of the giant bird ahead of us didn't bother him. Okay, I thought. I'm going to walk right past this bird.

Schultz stayed on my left side, walking very nicely. And the buzzard, which was probably not even two feet away from me,  stayed very nicely on right side. I could have reached down and petted that thing as we passed it.  I had never been that close to such a ginormous bird! 

For the life of me, I have no idea why that bird was there, and why Schultz didn't get all spastic as we approached and passed it. Maybe the eclipse had something to do with it! 

Note:  I know you're all probably getting used to me not being around much. Still dealing with issues. But there are some good things going on too. I will have a new picture book coming out soon - Don't Feed the Elephant! And I'm busy revising a manuscript for an interested publisher. So a lot of "spare" time is spent working on those two projects. You still won't see me regularly, but I'll stop by to post and visit whenever I can.    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lemonade, Inc.

Running a lemonade stand these days is a complicated business! It used to be that you could just put up a table, mix a pitcher of lemonade, maybe make a sign, and wait for the crowds to show up. Or not.

That's not the way it is anymore. You're supposed to have a lemonade stand permit before you set up anywhere. Why? I have no idea. Probably just a way for cities to profit from the entrepreneurial youngsters in the area.

My boy and his friends made it even more complicated. Each person selling lemonade had to have stock in the company.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is how it went down:

"Mama," my boy said. "I own stock in the lemonade stand."

"What?" This sounded absolutely ridiculous. "How much did you pay into this lemonade company?"


Okay. That wasn't bad.

He explained further. "We had to buy stock, so that we could participate in the sales. If you don't contribute, you don't get any of the profits."

It kind of made sense. They used their "stock money" to purchase lemonade mix and cover any other business expenses they accrued.

It worked out pretty well for my boy. The young entrepreneurs had a substantial amount of sales. They set up for three days, and every day, each boy made $10.50. I'd say that was a good payback! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Glass House

The other day, as I was cleaning the counter in my kitchen, I noticed an over-turned glass bowl sitting on it. I wondered why in the world it was flipped upside-down. It didn't take me long to figure it out. Under the bowl, was the ugliest looking bug you've ever seen.

Here's what it looked like: 

It was walking around. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was very much alive.

I knew my boy had something to do with it.

"Bubba," I called. "Why is there an insect under the bowl on the counter?"

He meandered in. "It looked scary, so I figured I should trap it so nobody would get hurt."

Good thinking.

"So, Bubba. Now that you have it trapped on our counter, what are you going to do with it?"

He shrugged. Apparently, this was Mama's department. I figured we should investigate and see exactly what kind of threat this thing posed.

Our investigation determined that this was a robber fly. A very fierce insect that kills wasps and bees. Definitely not a force to be reckoned with. I decided that a can of Raid insect killer would be the best option. Bubba lifted the glass house, and I sprayed the robber fly. A few minutes later, it was dead.

"Guess it's not safe to live in a glass house," said Bubba.

"Yep, not safe at all," I said.

Prologue:  It is also not safe to scoop up a robber fly in a napkin. Even dead ones. That bastard somehow managed to sting me as its pointy stingy thing pierced the napkin. My pinky finger was numb from it. Guess the robber fly got it's revenge!

Before I go, since there were some requests to hear more of my playing from the recital, I've posted another video. (Again, you can only hear me. Sorry.) If you'd like to listen, here it is:


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wake Up Call

My teenaged daughter would sleep until three o'clock in the afternoon if left to her own devices. I've been trying to wake her up around 9:30, just to get her bio-rhythms somewhat in order for school.

The other day, I forgot, so while I was in the car driving my son somewhere, the boy had a brilliant idea. "I'll text her the most annoying sound in the world over and over to wake her up."

Apparently it worked.

If you need to wake someone up, here's the video you can send. I'm sure they'll appreciate it!

Before I go, I thought I'd share this video I made from my recital performance in April. There was no camera filming me as I played, but you can at least hear me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Open a Crown Cap Bottle Without a Bottle Opener

My boy, Bubba, wanted to open a bottle of Coke. The bottle had a crown cap - not one of those convenient twisty plastic caps. I'm not sure why he didn't use a bottle opener, but he found another genius way to open the bottle - with a hammer!

"I'm going to open a bottle with a hammer," he said.

Yeah, sure,  I thought. I expected to see broken pieces of glass as a result of this operation.

But he did it - without any spillage or breakage. With the head of the hammer under the lip of the cap, he slammed the hammer handle into the ground. The lid popped right off. If you don't believe it, check out this video for examples of how it's done.

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that for the month of July, two of my books (That Mama is a Gouch and Ten Zany Birds), are free from Smashwords. Visit here for the Grouch book, and here for the Bird book.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Coffee Making 101

The other day, my son, Bubba, decided he wanted to make coffee.

"Mama," he said. "How to you make coffee?"

"You put some ground beans in the filter, fill the coffee maker with water, and then wait for it to get finished."

The boy had seen his dad grind coffee beans, so step one was not a problem. He placed a new filter (after a lot of searching for one) in the filter cup.  Then came the water part. He carefully inspected the machine to figure out where to put the water.  He put his fist into one of the openings. "It's not wet," he said. "It must not go there." He poured the water into the filter, over the grinds.

"Dude!" I said. "The water goes there." I showed him where he had put his fist. "It wasn't wet, because it hadn't been used in a while."

We cleaned up mess one, and tried again. This time, he put the water in the right place, but when the beeper went off, indicating the coffee was done, there was nothing but a few drops in the pot.

We opened the lid. All the hot water was on top of grinds in the filter, but it didn't go through.

"I know what I did," Bubba said. "I didn't take the plastic part out of the filter cup."

We cleaned up mess two, and tried again. This time he got it right.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is what Bubba learned about making coffee:

1. Grind the coffee beans.

2. Find and insert filter into the filter cup, making sure liquid can pass through to the coffee pot. Remove parts that inhibit this.

3. Add ground beans to the filter.

4. Add water to proper reservoir.

5. Make sure coffee maker is on.

6. Wait for the beep, indicating brewing is finished.

7. Carefully pour coffee into suitable coffee mug.

8. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Cake Destined for Disaster

I knew it was doomed when the eggs hit the pavement.

I was planning to make a cake for our anniversary, but discovered that I had no eggs. (Apparently Bubba used the last of them for his culinary creation, and left the empty carton in the refrigerator.)  I went to the grocery store, picked up a carton, and promptly dropped it as I tried getting it into my car. The yellow yolk oozed out, creating a lovely mess. I quickly found another plastic bag and wrapped it up, hoping to contain the bio hazard.

When I got home, I discovered that all but four were destroyed. I only needed three, so I was good. I mixed the batter, and was ready to prepare the baking pans by greasing and flouring them. But guess what? I didn't have any Crisco grease. A few choice words went through my head as I scrummaged through the pantry trying to find another solution. I found some Pam non-stick cooking spray. This should work, I thought.  

It didn't. When I attempted to take the cake out of the pan, it stuck. Then it fell apart. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what that sorry thing looked like when it was done:

*Sigh* At least it tasted okay!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Disappearing Cake

The other day, I baked a cake. After I frosted it, I left it on the counter. It was covered, on a cake dish.

The next morning, the cake had mysteriously disappeared. Usually my husband is the culprit. I asked him about, but he didn't have a clue as to where it went. The odd thing was that the entire cake dish had vanished, and there weren't any tell-tale forks and plates in the sink.

I figured it would eventually show up.

It did. Sort of. The cake plate returned to the counter, with only some cake crumbs and chocolate frosting on it.

"Kids!" I said. "What happened to this cake?"

They came downstairs and grinned. "Midnight snack!" 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Cat Present

Bootsy, our cat, likes to leave an assortment of presents for me on our back deck. These are usually things like dead beetles, dead frogs, dead chipmunks, dead mice . . . you get the picture. Yesterday's present was something a little different: a wasp nest.

I had to look twice. It was a paper wasp nest, probably about two inches in diameter. Bootsy had plopped it right in front of our back door. He sat next to it, looking all proud of himself.

Fortunately, there weren't any wasps in it, which made me wonder exactly what had transpired between Bootsy and the insects. Probably I don't want to know!

I have two other things I want to share with you. The first is a video-making site that all you authors might be interested in. It's called Biteable. You can make slide shows featuring your books, and use them as part of your marketing campaign. The cost to make them is free, but to download them and post them on YouTube, you either pay a monthly subscription fee of about $30, or $99 for a year.

Here's a video I made:

The other thing I want to share, is a video that was made by a local high school student, documenting the problem of drugs and alcohol among teenagers in the area where I live. It's very eye-opening and relevant to  teenagers everywhere. If you are a parent of middle school or high school kids, I would encourage you to watch it. (It's long - 30 minutes. If you don't have  a lot of time, go to the 20 - 22 minute mark  to learn where kids hide the drugs.)

Click on this link.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Lifetime Supply of Astronaut Ice Cream

"Mama," my twelve-year-old son said. "Can I enter a sweepstake to win a lifetime supply of astronaut ice cream?"

I shook my head. "Dude, when you enter a sweepstake, you get put on a mailing list. And then you have a lifetime supply of spam."

"But it's worth it," he argued.


"Because if I win, and I'm ever homeless, I'll always have something to eat!"

Before I go, I'd like to thank everyone for all the well-wishes for my recital. It went very well, and the audience was so complimentary and appreciative. It's always nice to play for people like that! Here's a picture from it:


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cookie Concoction

I came home the other day and found a cookie pan covered with sticky, chocolate chip goop lying in the sink. It looked pretty disgusting.

I went into my husband's office and asked him, "What happened in the kitchen?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. Ask your son."

I went back into the kitchen and discovered a box of chocolate chip cookie mix and a bowl loaded with more goop and chunks of butter.

The boy walked in. "Dude, what's going on here?"

"I'm waiting for the butter to melt."

"Unless it gets to be one hundred degrees in here, this butter is not going to melt. Besides, if you're trying to make cookies, this stuff is way too runny!"

"I'm not trying to make cookies," he said.

"Then what are you trying to do?"

He pointed to the back of the box. "I'm trying to make this." It was a brownie/chocolate chip dessert.

I read the directions. "Dude, you need the brownie mix to go with this."

"Oh." Apparently the boy didn't feel inclined to read all of the directions.

"So, now what are you going to do?"

He shrugged and walked away.

I had a choice. I could either toss the entire mess, or attempt to do something with it. Since I'm not one to waste things, I did the latter. I grabbed a loaf pan, stirred the concoction so the butter pieces were a little more broken up, and then poured it in the pan. I popped it into the oven, and guessed at how long the thing should bake. I guessed good. When it was finished, it looked like a loaf of chocolate chip bread. My kids must've smelled it, because not long afterward, they came downstairs to have a piece.

"This is awesome!" Bubba said. "I made the best dessert ever!"  

With a little help from Mom!

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that this Sunday, April 23rd, I will be giving a viola recital. If you are in the area, you are welcome to come. Here's the info:


Monday, April 10, 2017

Bad Dog

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I have two pictures, which equals two thousand words.

This is where I was last week:

And this is what I came home to:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Brick of Fruit Flies

"Mom," my son said. "Don't pack fruit in my lunch anymore."

This was a puzzling request. "Why?" I asked.

"The school has a fruit fly infestation. They're getting into my locker, trying to get the fruit in my lunch."

"Seriously, dude? Your fruit is sealed in a Ziploc bag, which is zipped up in your lunch box. I hardly think this is creating a problem."

"You have no idea. Every time I open my locker, a wall of fruit flies comes out."

I gave him the Mama look. Like I wan't buying it. "A wall of fruit flies?"

He thought about that and revised his statement. "It's more like a brick. They come out in a perfect rectangular formation."

Right. "Dude, what in the world is in your locker? A rotten fruit collection?"

He denied having such a thing. "Do you want to come to school and check?"

Not really. But I might have to go just to see this brick of fruit flies!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dank Meme Soup

"What?" you're asking. I didn't name it. Bubba did.

Chef Bubba was back in the kitchen working his magic. This little creation involved beef broth and a sweet potato. The boy cooked some spaghetti noodles and dumped them in a pot of beef broth. Then he cut up some celery and carrots and added them to the mix. He seasoned it with pepper, and then added the secret ingredient:  a sweet potato.

Amazingly, the boy peeled the thing. But that was where it stopped. After peeling, Bubba tossed the uncut potato into the pot. He let it simmer for a while and then announced that his soup was ready.

I went over to investigate, and saw this sweet potato rising up like an island in the middle of broth.

"Dude," I said. "What's up with the sweet potato? Aren't you going to cut it?"

He shook his head. "No, Mom. This is Dank Meme soup. You never cut the sweet potato when you make Dank Meme soup!"

So, ladies and gentlemen, remember that. Never cut the sweet potato when you make Dank Meme soup!      

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Fun Monkey

My son has an interesting way of looking at things. Yesterday, he came home from school with this information:

"Mom, most rational people do what they have to do without any problem."

Okay. I wondered where he was going with this.

He continued. "But some people have this thing called a Fun Monkey inside of their head."

"A Fun Monkey?"

"Yes. It opposes all rational thinking and makes the person get sidetracked with fun things that are more interesting than what they're supposed to be doing."

I nodded. "I see. Have you experienced this Fun Monkey in your head?"

"Yes. It's been giving me some problems."

"What kind of problems?"

"Well, there's this other thing called the Karma Monster. Whenever you do what the Fun Monkey wants you to do, the Karma Monster gets you for not doing what you're supposed to be doing."

"So you're saying you got in trouble?"


I see. So, I guess we all have to learn from Bubba and not listen to the Fun Monkey. Otherwise the Karma Monster is going to get us!      

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rude Awakening

Yesterday when my daughter came home from school, I noticed she had pictures drawn all over her arm. Some were in pen, and others were in marker.

"Why did you draw on your arm?" I asked.

"I didn't."

I looked at her funny. "What do you mean?"

"My friend did it. I passed out during biology class. She did it while I was sleeping."

Nice friend.

(Apparently doing homework until 3:00 AM is taking its toll on my daughter.)

So, have any of you ever fallen asleep, and awakened to discover something strange had been done to you?  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Little Travel Music

My kids like to have their music on when we drive in the car. Usually it's stuff you hear on the radio, but the other day, my daughter had something on that sounded a little different.

"What are you listening to?" I asked.

She grinned. "Sponge Bob Square Pants Campfire Song."

"Are you serious?"

"I bought it on iTunes."

I couldn't believe it. My teenaged daughter bought a Sponge Bob Square Pants song and was blasting it at high volume in my car.

Of course my son, thought that was great. Soon, both kids were singing along.

So, in case you want to hear what I had to listen to over and over for twenty minutes, click on this link.


Monday, February 13, 2017

The Science Experiment

There is never a shortage of unusual occurrences at my house. The latest involves a science experiment done by my twelve-year-old son.

My teenage daughter likes to use bath bombs. These are solid balls of something that dissolve when placed in water, and make bath water smell nice. I was never clear on what the something part was, until after the experiment.

For reasons unknown to me, my son decided to toss one of these things in a toilet. A short time later, he used the toilet. He came back with this result:

"Mama," he said. "Did you know bath bombs make things float?"  

He explained in graphic detail what was floating in the toilet. I will spare you the details, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Apparently, bath bombs contain a high concentration of salt. Therefore, dumping a bath bomb in a toilet is like creating a miniature Dead Sea. Anything taking a swim in that toilet will float.

Aren't you glad you know that, now?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Team Spirit

As you know, my home team, the Atlanta Falcons, were in the Superbowl. (We are all heartbroken over their loss!) The week prior to the event, had the city in major celebration mode. Schools jumped on the bandwagon, too. Their festivities included a Team Spirit Day. Kids were allowed to dress up in Falcons jerseys, and decorate themselves in the Falcons' team colors.

When my boy came downstairs on the morning of the day of this big celebration, I had to do a double take. I hardly recognized him. He was dressed in a Falcons jersey, as expected.  But that was not all. His face was covered in red streaks, and he had red lines under his eyes (like the black lines football players place under their eyes). He also had red hair.

"Dude," I said. "What did you use to paint your hair and face with?"

He grinned. "Marker!"

Ugh!  Well, at least I found out it was the washable sort. And he ended up being photographed numerous times at school, so I'm sure his Falcons look will be caught forever in the school yearbook!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pitch Perfect

I've discovered that our German Shepherd, Schultz, has a new talent. This discovery was made last night, as I was teaching a violin student.

Normally, I banish the dog from the area when I teach in my house, so he doesn't disturb the lesson. But Schultz seemed rather laid back, and I didn't think he was going to cause too much trouble. He parked himself in a spot, not far from where the student and I were, and lay down.  I let him stay.

The student began playing, and hit a wrong note. I saw Schultz's ear twitch when he heard it. I didn't think much of it, until the student played another wrong note. Schultz's ear twitched, again. Hmmm, I thought, this dog notices out-of-tune notes and reacts to them.  The lesson continued. As long as the student played in tune, Schultz's ear didn't move. But every time a wrong note was played, the ear twitched. 

I think I have a new assistant! If I ever go deaf, I can rely on my hearing-ear dog. Now he just needs to tell me if the student is playing sharp or flat!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Little Celebration

If you live in the United States, you may have heard that the Atlanta Falcons won their last football game and are heading to the Super Bowl. I live in Atlanta, so we're all pretty excited about this.

My son, Bubba, who is an avid football player and fan, was probably more excited than anyone else in my family. He had to have a celebration. This involved a bottle of Coke.

I walked into the kitchen and saw the boy vigorously shaking a single-serve bottle of the carbonated beverage. "What are you doing?" I asked. "You're going to make it explode!"

He grinned. "That's the point! There aren't any bottles of champagne around here, so Coke is the next best thing!"

I rolled my eyes. "If you're going to open it, please do it over the sink!"

He complied. Ten seconds later, and explosive spray of soda came out of that bottle.

"Cheers, Mama!"

Yeah. Cheers.

(Fortunately, the cleanup wasn't too bad. It could've been worse. He could've added Mentos!)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Polar Bear Club

Yesterday, my son informed me that he had joined the Polar Bear Club at school.

The immediately conjured up images of my boy in swim trunks jumping into a frigid body of water. "You did what?" I asked.

"I joined the Polar Bear Club."

"What exactly do you do in the Polar Bear Club?"

"We go outside for recess when it's cold outside, and everybody else stays inside."

For those of you who don't know, I live in Georgia, where it doesn't get very cold. We're talking an average winter temperature of 45 degrees. "You're telling me that you don't go out for recess when it's less than 50 degrees unless you're a member of the Polar Bear Club?"

He nodded. "That's right."

Wow. Fifty degrees is warm by my winter standards. (I'm from Cleveland, Ohio.) I think I'd even join the Polar Bear Club and wear shorts and a t-shirt outside!  

(But I don't think I'd do this:)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick Thinking

My twelve-year-old son and I were at the grocery store the other day. As we stood in line at the checkout, we noticed that there seemed to be a problem. An old Asian man was trying to buy a carton of cigarettes, and the cashier was asking him for his date of birth. Here in the United States, you have to be at least eighteen to buy cigarettes. The cashier needed his date of birth in order to allow the sale to be entered into the cash register.

Well, Mr. Asian Dude didn't speak a word of English. He couldn't understand what the cashier was saying. The line continued to grow as the cashier, other workers, and customers tried to ask him for some kind of identification.

Finally, my boy came up with a brilliant idea. "Mama, do you have your cell phone?"

"Sure. Why?"

"I have an idea."  He took my phone and looked up Google Translate. He guestimated that Mr. Asian Dude was Korean, and proceeded to type a message: "What is your birthday? She needs identification so you can buy the cigarettes," which was immediately translated into Korean.

He showed Mister Asian Dude the phone.  Viola! Mr. Asian Dude nodded and pulled out a paper from his wallet. A Visa.

The cashier looked at it, got the information she needed, and Mister Asian Dude got his cigarettes. Problem solved!  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Question of the Month and a Hairy Situation

It's time for Question of the Month, hosted by Michael D'Agostino. Today's question is, what one thing made you grow up?

Grow up? Who said I ever grew up? I'm just a big kid. But if I have to pick something that has made me a bit more responsible, I'd have to say having my first child. There's something to be said about being responsible for the complete well-being of a helpless baby.   I had learned responsibility when I moved out of my parent's house and had my own place. But having a child added a whole new dimension to things. I couldn't just do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I not only had to make sure I met the physical needs of my child, but also provide for their emotional well-being. I also had to make sure I was leading by good example. It's a big job!

How about you? What made you "grow up"?

Now for the story:

Schultz, our giant German Shepherd, was getting kind of stinky. He needed a bath.  That meant a dunk in our jacuzi. (Yes, his winter baths are like spa treatments. No outside hoses for these.)

Baths for Schultz are always messy situations. But this time Schultz was exceptionally messy. Why? Because he's shedding. (I have no idea why he'd do that in the middle of winter. It's kind of crazy. But whatever.) By the time Schultz was done, he had covered every square inch of the tub with hair. And did he stop there? No!

He gave himself a big shake in the bathroom. Hair flew everywhere. On the floor. On the walls. Even on the ceiling.

But that wasn't all.

He went out into our bedroom. What happened then? You guessed it. He shook his hairy body and more hair plastered the walls.

After that, he went out in the hall and ran up and down it gleefully. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to cover our white walls with black hair in less than a minute.

Let's just say it took a VERY long time to clean up that mess! I'm still finding German Shedder hairs in places they don't belong!