Mama Diaries

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bubba Pitches

My son, Bubba, and I went outside to play a little baseball .  He was the pitcher.  I was the hitter.

"Check this pitch out," he said, spinning in circles before releasing the ball.  "It's the anti-spin pitch!"

Okay.  Somehow I managed to hit the thing and send it across the yard as a ground ball.

Next pitch.  "Here's a slow pitch," my son said.  He came within ten feet of me and threw the ball straight up in the air.  It came down right in front of me, and again, I managed to hit it.

"You're good, Mama," Bubba said.  "Now try this one."  He whipped the ball so fast - right at my head.

I ducked and the ball crashed into the fence behind me.

"What was that?" I yelled.  "You could've knocked my teeth out!" 

"Sorry, Mama.  That was a head ball.  You had to use your head to get out of the way!"

Grrr.  Needless to say, that was the last pitch of the day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Straw Thing

My eight-year-old son grabbed a packet of bendy straws and plopped them onto the kitchen table.  I glanced at the kid and went about my business.  I was too busy to inquire what he might be doing with those things.

About five minutes later, he appeared with a bendy straw necklace draped over his neck.  Somehow he had managed to connect all of the straws.

"Bubba, why do you have straws around your neck?" I asked.

"I made a straw thing, so next time I need a straw I don't have to search for one."

"Oh," I said, mildly amused.

"And you can use them, too," he added.  "Next time you need a straw for an art project, all you have to do is ask, and I'll give you one."

Wow.  Sometimes that boy really amazes me!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boxing Bubba

There have been lots of moving boxes around my house lately.  My eight-year-old son decided to usurp one of them.  I found him parked in front of the TV, inside the box, wrapped up in a sleeping bag.

"Bubba, what are you doing?" I asked.

"Watching TV."

I guess that was obvious.  "Okay.  But why are you doing it in a box?"

"Because it's fun."

Of course.  Why else would he do it? "But Bubba, I need that box for packing."

"Mama, this is my box.  I'm all cushioned and comfy inside.  You can tape it up and send me to Georgia just like this!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Turtle Incident

We've had a lot of contractors buzzing around our house, remodeling things for our big move.  Of course my son, Bubba, had to befriend them.  Naturally, they all liked Bubba.

"Hey, Bubba," one of the guys said.  "Do you want to see something?"

Bubba looked at me.  "Can I, Mama?"

I nodded.  "Sure."  I couldn't wait to see what they had.

We went outside.  And what do you think we saw?  A giant snapping turtle.  It was crawling across my front yard.

"What is that thing doing here?" I asked.

"It crawled out of the back of my pickup truck," the man drawled in his thick Kentucky accent.

"Oh yeah?" I asked.  "And what was it doing in the back of your pickup truck?"

"It was on the side of the road when I was driving here this morning, so I picked it up and tossed it in."

I looked at that guy. "Okay.  So how did it get out of your pickup truck?"

The guy shrugged.  "Beats me.  All I know is he was crawlin' over to your neighbor's bushes.  I had to drag him out by the tail. Like this."  He picked up the turtle by his tail and let it hang.

Bubba giggled.  "Can I try that?"

"Absolutely not!" I said.

"Ya wanna see what else he can do, Bubba?" the guy asked.

"Yeah.  What else can he do?'

The man put the turtle down and stuck his big foot in front of its mouth.  And guess what happened?  The turtle bit the guy's work boot - hard!

I looked at the guy and shook my head.  "I hope those boots have steel toes, otherwise when you take your boot off, you might be missing a few of your own!"

The guy laughed.

Bubba grinned.    "Can we keep it as a pet?"


I asked the man to take that reptile back to whatever swamp it came out of. 

"Yes, ma'am," he said and picked the thing up by its tail and tossed him back into the pickup truck.

Oy gewalt!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Blog Hop: A Little Ray of Sunshine

I'm all about promoting random acts of kindness.  So when E C Stilson came up with this blog hop, I had to get on board.  Let me tell you a little about it.  This is a blogfest about sharing love and joy by writing about random acts of kindness that either happened to you or that you bestowed on someone else.  After the blogfest, Wayman Publishing will publish an anthology from the posts written.  All profit (through 2013) will be donated to charity.  Is that awesome, or what?  If you'd like to sign up, head over to EC Stilson's blog.

Now here's my story:

A Little Ray of Sunshine
       It was pouring rain. A homeless man stood on the corner with nothing but a backpack and a can for collecting coins.
       As my kids and I drove by, my daughter spotted him. "Mom, what is he doing?"
       I explained he was someone without a place to live and that he was probably hoping someone would drop some money in his can so he could get some food.
       "Can we buy him lunch?" my son asked.
       "And an umbrella?" my daughter added.
       I looked around and noticed a store nearby. "Sure," I said. We pulled into the parking lot and went inside. We found an umbrella, but not much of a food selection. The best we could get was a couple of Lunchables - turkey, cheese, and crackers with a juice pouch and Oreo cookies. "This will have to do," I said.  
       We paid the cashier and made our way back to the man. He was still standing in the rain.
       I walked up to him. "Hi. We thought you could use this." I opened the umbrella and handed it to him.
       "And these," my daughter said, giving him the Lunchables.
       My son gave the man a big grin. "Oreo cookies are my favorite. I think you'll like them."
       The man smiled, and his tired eyes lit up. "Thank you. Oreo cookies are my favorite, too."
       We waved goodbye and headed back to the car. My son took my hand and looked up at me. "Mama, I think we made him happy."
       "Yes, we did," I replied. "It was just what he needed - a little ray of sunshine on a cloudy, rainy day!"    
And here's a little news about a promotion Wayman Publishing is offering:  Buy any of Wayman Publishing's Books - some only 99 cents - and automatically be entered into our iPad mini sweepstakes!  Visit this link for more info:

Thanks, EC, for having this blogfest!  I think it's a great idea! 

I'd also like to mention that EC is an incredibly talented, sweet lady.  She's a violinist - just like me, and a fabulous writer.  If you haven't read her book, Homeless in Hawaii, you should check it out. It's a true story with some very nice random acts of kindness sprinkled inside!     

Friday, May 24, 2013


I've been 3-Uped by the lovely Beverly Fox over at The Beveled Edge

What is that? It's an awesome blog hop that Randi Lee put together.  It works like this:  "Each blogger will pick the blogger listed below them and then tell them 3 things they like about the person or his/her blog.  Easy enough, right?  And how good will you feel after making someone else's day?  I reckon pretty darn good!"

Well, Randi, you reckoned pretty darn good, because after reading all the wonderful things Beverly had to say about me, I'm flying on cloud nine.  Thank you so much, Beverly!

Now I'm going to 3-Up Lisa Buie-Collard

1-UP:  Lisa is a very talented flower arranger!  In fact, she just won first place for one of her arrangements in a local garden club contest.  She posted a picture of it, and it's just beautiful!  (I'm moving to Georgia, where Lisa lives. If I'm still there when my kids get married, I'm going to look her up and have her do the flower arrangements for their weddings!  (Do you do that, Lisa?))

2-UP:  Lisa really seems like a warm, caring family person.  From reading her posts, I can tell that she enjoys spending time with her husband and that she really cherishes her family.  Those kind of people are top notch in my book!

3-UP:  Even though I don't personally know Lisa, I get the feeling that she's really down to earth.  She seems like someone you can sit down with and have a nice cup of tea/coffee and chat about whatever's on your mind. 

Be sure to visit Lisa's blog (and Beverly's and Randi's!).   If you want to participate in the 3 Up blog hop, just go sign up at Randi's pad.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stress Balloons

"Mama," my eight year old son said.  "Look what I bought at the third grade sale."  He dumped a bag of miscellaneous items on the kitchen table. 

I noticed a bunch of sand-filled balloons.  "What are these, Bubba?"

"Stress balloons."

"Stress balloons?"

"Yeah, aren't they cute?"

I looked at those things.  "Yes.  They're cute.  Now why do you need stress balloons?"

"Because you're feeding me Brussels sprouts for dinner.  And Brussels sprouts stress me out."

Bubba took a couple of stress balloons and threw them on the floor. 

"Okay, Bubba.  Now you're stressing me out."

"Why Mama?"

"Because my piggy bank doesn't have any money in it to pay for the damage your stress balloons are going to cause!"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Lurking in Bubba's Closet

As most of you know, I'm preparing to move to Atlanta, Georgia. I've been very busy packing and trying to make the house look presentable for potential buyers. (That's a good trick with the kids and all the pets!)  Yesterday, I tackled my son's closet.  As I went through it, I discovered an old package of Swiss cheese lying on the ground. There were also some paper plates and an unopened can of tuna.  When the boy came home from school, I asked him about it.

"Bubba, what was up with the old cheese and fish in your closet?"

"Oh.  Yeah.  I forgot about that.  My friend and I were hungry so we had a picnic."

"In your closet?"

"Yeah, Mama.  It was nice and cozy in there, and nobody bothered us."

"Great.  Next time, eat in the kitchen, because if you don't, rats are going to invade your closet.  And then  monsters are going to come to eat the rats.  And then aliens are going to come to take the monsters to a distant planet. And then there's going to be an intergalactic war, and the universe is going to be destroyed.  All because you had a picnic in your closet!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mama Shark

I took the kids swimming yesterday. They had been begging to go ever since they saw that the pool had opened .  They hopped in while I parked myself at the edge of the pool.

As I looked around, I noticed that a garden hose was pouring water into the pool.  Another kid noticed, too.  He got a funny look in his eye, and I knew exactly what he was going to do.  He took that hose and aimed the freezing cold water right at me.  I stared at him, not moving an inch.

"Mrs. Ellis, aren't you going to yell or scream?" the kid asked. 

I gave him one of my wicked smiles.  "I don't yell at little kids.  I eat them!"

And then I charged.  You should've seen that kid try to swim away from me!  Ha!  Lesson learned:  Never mess with a Mama Shark!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Butter Beard

Last night, I took my kids to Texas Road House for dinner.  We sat down and the nice waitress brought out a basket of bread and butter.  I figured my kids would eat the bread like civilized human beings.  My daughter did.  But my son?  He was a different story.

He dipped his finger into the little container of butter and started smearing it on his face.

"Bubba, what are you doing?" I asked.

"You'll see."

He drew a nice little butter mustache above his lip.  Then a beard.  Pretty soon his face was covered in butter.

I looked at the kid.  "Bubba.  Seriously?"

Bubba giggled.

"You need to shave that off right now, Bubba!"

Bubba giggled some more and grabbed a napkin.  He curled up in the corner of the booth and started "shaving."  Soon the napkin was covered in butter.  But at least it was off his face.

"Now leave the butter alone and behave like a civilized person," I said.

He got a funny look in his eye and his finger started to make its way to the butter container.  "I wonder how you would look with a butter beard, Mama."

I grabbed the butter super fast.  "I don't know.  But you're not going to find out!"   

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Movie Night

Last night I decided to chill out and have a movie night with my kids. (My husband is in Atlanta house hunting, so I figured it would be a fun thing to do with them.)  We selected, Meet Dave, with Eddie Murphy.  (The movie was hilarious - you'll have to watch it if you haven't already.)

I sat down on  the sofa. Two seconds later:  "Mama, can you make us some popcorn?"

"Sure," I said.  What's movie night without popcorn?  I got up and made some.

I sat back down.  "Mama, can you put some melted butter on this?"

I looked at my son.  "Really?  Butter is not good for you.  Can't you have it without?"

"No, Mama.  I need butter!"

I got up and melted butter and poured it over the popcorn.

Ten minutes later:  "Mama, can you get me a napkin?"

"Can't you get it yourself?"

"No, Mama.  My hands are all buttery, and you'll get mad if I get butter on the cupboards."

I sighed and got the kid a napkin.

"Mama, I need water."

"Bubba, get it yourself!"

"But I can't reach the glasses!"

I got the kid some water. "Now stop pestering me.  I want to watch this movie!"

"But Mama, I need a back rub!"

"Bubba, I'm not giving you a backrub!"

"How about a foot massage?"  Bubba shoved his little feet on my lap.

Grrr.  Now I know why I rarely watch movies!  

Friday, May 17, 2013

What I Learned at the All School Sing

I showed up yesterday at my kids' school for the All School Sing wearing my pink sunglasses, because my boy had said it was wacky sunglasses day.  Except I didn't see anyone wearing wacky sunglasses.  They were wearing tacky tourist shirts.  I asked somebody what was up with that.  "It's tacky tourist day," a nice lady said.

Oh.  Duped by my son.  Okay.  So I was the tacky tourist wearing wacky sunglasses.  No big deal!

Anyway, I found a seat and listened to the nice boys and girls sing about short vowels, and habitats, and silent e's, and the fifty states, and all the presidents.  It was a lot of information to cram into my punitive brain! 

When my kids got home they asked if I enjoyed the show.   "Yes," I said.  "I was impressed with how everybody was able to sing the fifty states in order and go through the list of presidents."

"Did you learn anything, Mom?"  my daughter asked.

"Yes.  I learned two things.  One, never believe Bubba when he says it's wacky sunglasses day, and two, I should go back to school so I can sing the names of all the presidents in order just like you!"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wacky Sunglasses Day

My son came downstairs this morning looking like an alien from outer space.  He was wearing three pairs of glasses:  his regular glasses, a pair of sunglasses over them, and another pair on his forehead.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Going to school."

"Like that?" 

"Yeah, Mama.  It's Wacky Sunglasses day."

"Oh," I said.  "Can I wear whacky sunglasses, too?"

The boy looked at me funny.  "Sure."

So ladies and gentlemen, I now have a pair of shocking pink sunglasses over my eyeballs and a pair of black and white polka dotted glasses on my forehead.  I think I'll show up at school for the All School Sing later today just like this! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Schultz's Bad Day

Schultz, our hundred pound German Shepherd, is a catastrophe!  Yesterday morning, when I got up, I noticed he was acting a little funny.  His ear was drooped and he was walking sideways.

"What's the matter, Schultz?  Were you out partying last night, and now you have a hangover?"

He looked at me with his soulful brown eyes.  I figured I'd better do a closer inspection of the beast.  I looked in his satellite dish ears.  The left ear looked okay, but the right ear was a mess.  I could see blood in it. 

"What did you do, Schultz? Scratch yourself?"

I tried to have another look, but he didn't want me anywhere near that ear.  I decided it would be best to have the vet look at him.

When we got there, the vet attempted to peek in his ear.  But Schultz wouldn't let him.  In fact, he tried to bite him.  The vet got out the muzzle and put it over Schultz's big snoot, which of course, further aggravated him.  Then he looked in the ear.  You should've heard Schultz yipe and whine!  Oh my gosh! 

"It's a double ear infection."  The vet announced.  Schultz's ear was loaded with blood and pus.  Totally disgusting, and totally painful!  The vet gave him a shot in the rear, ear drops, and a pill.  Schultz didn't like any of that one bit!

After Schultz was done with that torture, the vet asked if we wanted to have him micro chipped.  "Sure," said my husband.  "It's already a bad day for him, so why not just get it all over with."

The vet came out with a very long needle.  I guess because of Schultz's size, they needed a big one.  You should've heard him yipe and carry on when he was poked with that!

Afterwards, we took him home.   He immediately went into his crate.  Poor dog!  I felt terrible for him.  I guess even dogs have bad days!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Christmas in May

I took my daughter to the chiropractor to have her back adjusted (which happens quite frequently, since she is a dancer).  My son came along.  As is typical, he got bored.  "Mama, can I go out there?"  He pointed to a hall-like area that connected several offices in the complex. 

"Sure," I said.  I could easily see him through the glass windows.  I figured he would run or jump or make funny faces, which is what he usually does.  But no.  Do you know what he did?  He started singing, "Jolly Old Saint Nicolas" at the top of his lungs!  And it was loud.  The acoustics in that area were like a concert hall!  

I went out to bring the little rock star in.  "Bubba, I'm sure people are trying to work.  You need to keep it down!"

He pointed to a lady who was standing at the door of the other office watching him.  "Why is she staring at me?"

I tried not to laugh.  "Probably because she thinks you're crazy for singing a Christmas song in the middle of May."

"But Mama, I'm a kid.  And kids are supposed to sing Christmas songs in May!"    

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mama the Surgeon

I had to perform surgery yesterday.  It was an emergency! don't believe me? 

Here's what happened:  My daughter had a dance competition yesterday.  (Her team won platinum which was the highest they could get.)  When she put on her fish net tights, she noticed there was a huge hole in them.  Not at all acceptable for a competition.  She went into full freak mode.  "What am I going to do?  My teacher is going to kill me!"

I looked at the gaping hole.  I knew the studio was closed, so we couldn't just go up there to buy new tights.  I had to think fast.  "Let me get some black thread," I said.

I fetched the thread and began surgery.  I tied it across the hole and crisscrossed more thread over it so that it looked like fish net.  When I was done, I examined my work.  "What do you think?" I asked.

My daughter looked at it.  "It'll do," she said.  "Thanks, Mom."

And the good news is, nobody noticed my little surgery job - not even the teacher!   

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day and E-book Giveaways

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there!  I hope you get a chance to relax and do whatever you enjoy. 

This post is going to be short because I have to take off for a dance competition.  (Such is the life of a dance mom!)

But I will tell you a little story.  I was in bed this morning when there was a knock on my bedroom door.  "Mom, we have something for you," my daughter said.

She opened the door and brought in plates of waffles with whipped cream and fruit for my husband and me.  Bubba brought in the apple juice.  To top it off, my daughter gave me an Almond Joy candy bar. How's that for a great start for Mother's Day?   

And here's a little something for your Mother's Day:   I'm giving away free copies of my books.  That Mama is a Grouch can be found at Smashwords.  Use coupon code GP25M (expires May 13th).  That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN can be found at Amazon.

There are other authors participating in this Mother's Day giveaway.  If you'd like to see the complete list, visit Virginia Wright's blog.

Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shine On Award

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne has given me two more awards.  Isn't the Shine On one pretty?   Thank you, Deanie!   I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself and nominate fifteen more bloggers for the award.

Here are seven things about me that maybe you know, or maybe you don't.

1.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be an opera singer or an astronaut.  It's a good thing I didn't choose opera singer, because I'd be seriously shattering some windows if I did that now!  Being an astronaut would be cool.  Then I might be able to find my mind which my family says is lost in outer space.

2.  If I wasn't a musician or author, I'd probably be a genetic engineer.  I love science, and biology has always been especially interesting to me.  When I studied genetic engineering in high school and college, I found it so fascinating.  It was like solving puzzles - and I like puzzles!

3.  When I was 21, I went on a hot-air balloon ride.  It was the coolest experience - very quiet except for the bursts of hot air every now and then.  It was fun watching the deer run through the fields below us.

4.  I was a viola soloist in Germany.  I actually had the option of staying in Germany to pursue a career as a soloist, but I decided I wanted to have a family, and I didn't see that lifestyle as being conducive to meeting someone, getting married, and having kids.  So I came back to the United States and lived a normal life (if you want to call this normal!).

5.  I used to be a figure skater.  I had dreams of trying out for the Olympics.  Obviously, that never happened.

6.  I am allergic to grass and pine trees.  This isn't good, because I hear in Georgia, there are lots of pine trees, and that's where I'm moving.

7.  I started playing the viola when I was 13 years old.  That's considered late for starting.  (I picked up the violin when I was 22).  It just goes to show, you're never to old to learn an instrument!

Here's the other award Deanie gave me: 
I've already received this one, but the rules are the same.  List seven things about yourself and select 15 recipients.  If you are selected, you may pick either award. 
Here are the other bloggers (I'm only listing five because I'm a busy Mama.  And don't give me any lip about it, or I'll send you to your room!) :
2.  Sage
Be sure to stop by and visit these bloggers!
Also, another reminder in case you missed the news on yesterday's post:  I'm giving away free downloads of my  books for Mother's Day.  That Mama is a Grouch can be found at Smashwords   Use coupon code GP25M.  It's good until May 13th.  That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN will be available from Amazon Kindle on May 12th.   

Friday, May 10, 2013

Early Mother's Day Present

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said.  "Don't come into the kitchen or the family room!"

"Okay," I said.  I knew my kids (and one of my daughter's friends) were definitely up to something.

I kept myself  busy practicing my violin.  Twenty minutes later, my son announced that I could come in.  I put my violin down and went to see what they had been up to.  Both girls held a sheet across the entrance of the family room. 

"Ready, Mom?" my daughter asked.

I nodded.

They put down the sheet and revealed the surprise:  They had decorated the entire room with rope party lights.  The coffee table was covered with a tablecloth, and on the table were five place settings with chocolate-frosted chocolate chips cookies and  tall glasses of lemonade. They even had music playing in the background.  "Happy Mother's Day!" they said.

Then Bubba had another surprise - something wrapped in orange tissue paper.  He handed it to me.  "Here's your present."

I opened it.  It was a hard-covered homemade book written just for me.  I have to share some of what he wrote, because it's just so sweet:  "My mommy is as pretty as a dimond. (That's how he spelled it.) My mommy is smart.  She even knows how to play pokemon all the time.  And she is smart in every way!!  My mommy helps me get happy.  My mom tot me how to ride a bike.  She helps me do my homework! I love to play with my mom.  My mommy is the best cook ever.  She can make a lot of food!  She even makes hambergers.  She can make eggs.  I think she's best at cooking!  Even the dog likes it.  If I had a million dollars I would buy my mommy a new pyno (piano).  She would be so happy.  And I would buy my mommy a new car.  I love my mommy!

Aren't my kids the best?  I love being a Mom!

And now for an early Mother's Day present for you:  My book, That Mama is a Grouch is available on Smashword for free until May 13th.  Use coupon code GP25M.   Here's the link:
  On Mother's Day, my other book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, will be available on Kindle for free.  I'll give you the link in a couple of days.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Move a Cat

As most of you know, my family and I are preparing to move to Atlanta, Georgia.  This means we have to move all of our pets - including our cat.  This is going to be a good trick, because Bootsy is an outdoor cat who absolutely hates being confined.  Even crating him for a five minute trip to the vet is traumatizing. He's never going to survive eleven hours in a crate!

We've debated about what to do with him.  My husband got on the phone with his dad to get some fatherly advice on the situation.  Here's what the two nutcases came up with:

1.  Catapult Bootsy.  They are certain that Bubba will come up with a great contraption for doing this.

2.  Duct tape Bootsy to the roof of  the car.  He'll enjoy the wind blowing through his fur.

3.  Hang Bootsy from the differential on the moving truck and let him dangle for eleven hours. What cat wouldn't like that?

4.  Throw Bootsy in the back of the moving truck and let him cook.  My husband says this will show us exactly how strong the cat is.

Right.   These are the brilliant suggestions from the men in my family. 

Here's my vote:  We get Bootsy some kitty Prozac and let him sleep through the whole thing.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Winners of the Giveway and a Mother's Day Present

I know you've all been sitting on the edge of your chairs waiting to find out who won the Amazon gift cards and books, so I won't keep you in suspense anymore.  Here they are:

Winners of the gift cards:  Heather Holden, Susanne Drazic, and Pat Hatt (Yes, Pat - cat got lucky.  I had any extra card!)

Winner of That Mama is a Grouch:  Maria Dunn
Winner of That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN:  Deanne Humphrys-Dunne.

Congratulations!  Thanks to all who commented, and a big thanks to everyone who follows this blog!

Now for the story: 

"Woman!" my husband said.  "Happy Mother's Day!"

I looked at the man.  "Why, thank you, but Mother's Day isn't until Sunday."

"I know. But I got you a present."

"What?" I asked.

"It's in the driveway."

Since last year he got me a toilet for Mother's Day, I figured this would probably be just as good.  "What is it? A pile of horse manure?" I asked.

He laughed.  "Close!"

I went outside to have a look.  Do you know what it was?  Nine cubic yards of steaming hot mulch!

"Gee, thanks," I said.

He walked back in the house.  "Have fun with it!"

(In all fairness, my husband did give me a spa gift certificate last year in addition to the toilet. And he didn't make me install it.  But I did have to help haul it to the curb!)

Okay - one more thing:  I'm a guest over at VS Grenier's Blog, Indie and Debut Author Interviews.  If you'd like to read about my book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, please stop by!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chef Bubba

"Mama, can I make some soup?" my eight-year-old son asked.

"Sure," I said.  "What kind do you want to make?"

"You'll see.  But I'll need to use the microwave."

"That's fine, Bubba," I said.  "You know what to do, right?"

He nodded.  "And I might make some desert, too."

I left the kid to his own devices and went off to do some cleaning.  Twenty minutes later, Chef Bubba was done.  "It's ready!" he said.

I went to the kitchen and inspected his creation.  A bowl full of water with salad greens and carrots sat on the table.  "Salad soup?" I asked. 

He grinned.  "Doesn't it look good?" 

"Absolutely delectable."

"Do you want to see the desert?"

"Okay," I said.  "Where is it?"

He went to the freezer and opened it.  He pulled out an old sippy cup with some kind of half-frozen concoction in it and handed it to me. 

"What is it?" I asked.

"Homemade ice cream - made with milk and ice!"

(I guess the boy knows how much I like ice cream.)

There you go - nothing but the finest at Chef Bubba's Restaurant!  Now who would like to help me eat it?    

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fish Heads and Shrimp Bottoms

I was practicing my viola when I heard my daughter give a loud shriek.  A second later, she ran into the room.  "Save me, Mom!"

Two steps behind my daughter was the man I call my husband.  And he had a fish head between his fingers. I kid you not!  He had been making trout for dinner. Decapitating fish heads was part of the job.  Apparently, he thought it would be great fun to terrorize the kids with them.

I briefly glanced up.  "Please take the fish head and put it in the garbage," I said.

What did my husband do?   He marched right up to me and stopped about an inch away from my face.  With his other finger, he made the fish lips move.  "Hi, I'm Mister Fish Head," it said.  "Can I give you a kiss?" 

"No, thank you," I said.  "I'm not much into kissing fish heads.  You can go away now."

Dejected, my husband and Mister Fish Head shuffled off.

About twenty minutes later, we sat down for dinner.  My husband had also prepared some shrimp cocktail.  My son, Bubba, picked one up.  "Mama, I don't like shrimp butts," he said.

I looked at the kid.  "That's the tail, and your not supposed to eat it.  Just pull it off."

"But I still don't like it, Mama."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because that's where shrimp poop comes out."

Oy gewalt!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snowball Fight

It's almost eighty degrees in here in Cincinnati, and my kids just got done having a snowball fight. don't believe me?  They did - with the flowers of snowball hydrangeas!

I went outside and saw my kids plucking the white pom-pom flowers from the bushes.  "What are you guys doing?" I asked.

"Having a snowball fight!"  they answered.

I watched them chase each other around the yard, throwing flower balls at each other.  It looked like fun, so I grabbed one, too.   Pretty soon we were all pelting petals at each other.

And do you know what?  It didn't hurt!  I think I kind of like spring snowball fights!   

Friday, May 3, 2013

Awards and a Give-away

More awards have landed at my pad.  Deanie Humphrys-Dunne has bestowed two of them on me! Don't those cupcakes look positively delicious?  I love the colors!  Thanks Deanie!

The first award is the Super Sweet Blogging Award.  After my post about dismembering chickens yesterday, I'm not so sure I deserve it. But since I have a major sweet tooth, I'll just go ahead and accept it.

Here are the rules:  Thank the person who awarded it, display the badge, answer the five questions, and nominate a bakers dozen (13) for the award.

So here are the questions:

1. What is your favorite desert? Seriously? I have to pick a favorite?  Okay.  I'm going with ice cream - black raspberry with chocolate chunks.  Pistachio is a close second, followed by coconut with chocolate chunks.  (Can you tell I like chocolate?)

2.  Cake or ice cream?  Well, that's pretty obvious.  Ice cream! Although if you offered me a piece of cake, I'd probably have no problem taking it!

3.  When do you like deserts most? Um.  Morning, noon, and night!  Any time is good for deserts!

4.  Would you choose cookies or cake?  Oh my.  What a decision!  It depends on the flavor.  Chocolate wins.  But if the cake had ice cream, I'd have to go for that!

5.  Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate!  But you already knew that, right?

Before I list other bloggers, I'm going to go ahead and accept this other award.

I guess I don't totally get this one.  Are those ghosts popping up out of the floor?  Anyway, this is the Best Moment Award.  I'm supposed to write an acceptance speech that expresses gratitude, uses humor, and provides inspiration.  Must be practice for when I win a Newberry award!

So here it is:   THANK  YOU!!!!!!

Are you inspired?  Are you laughing?  Oh.  Well, I guess I'll have to practice more.

Which brings me to my next point.  The give-away!  To celebrate Mother's Day, and reaching over 300 followers, I'm doing a giveaway:  Winners will receive either one of two $10.00 Amazon gift cards, a copy of my book, That Mama is a Grouch, or a copy of my book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN!  If you'd like to be entered in the drawing, please  let me know what you'd like to win in your comment. There will be four drawings, and the winners will be chosen on Tuesday, May 7th.  Thanks to all of you who follow and comment!  You rock!

Now for the bloggers:  If you are listed, just pick any award. I don't care which.

1.  Delight Directed Living:
2.  Writing with Hope:
3.  In Between:
4.  Wishbone Soup Cures Everything:  (Does it really?)
5.  Jane's Jewels:
6.  Eyes 2 Page:
7.  Shutterbug:
8.  Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch:
9.  Connecting with Stephanie:
10.  To the Moon:
11.  Libby Heily:
12.  Elsie is Writing:
13.  Elysabeth's Writing Emporium:

(I'm really sorry I couldn't make the list nice and neat with hyperlinks.  My mouse seems to be malfunctioning.  Maybe I should have my cat eat it and get a new one!)

If you get a chance please visit these bloggers!  Thanks again,  Deanie! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken Conversations

I don't know what it is, but every time I make chicken, the weirdest things happen.  Last night was no different.  After the chicken was cooked, I looked for the shears to cut it into pieces.  I couldn't find them, so I resorted to the next best thing:  my bare hands.  My daughter saw me.  "Mom," she said. "Why are you dismembering a chicken like that. Do you have anger issues?"

"Why, yes I do, thank you very much.  Now go sit down and stay out of my way!"

She looked at me funny, but did as I asked.

I plopped the mutilated chicken in front of my kids. They looked at it and began eating.

"Mama," my son said.  "What came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Didn't I just have this conversation not too long ago?  "The egg, Bubba.  The first chicken was a mutation from a dinosaur."

"No, Mama.  The first chicken came from outer space.  Chickens used to live on the planet where the water turned into rock."

"Mars?" I asked.

"Yeah, that one." 

"Then what happened to them?" I figured this would be a good one.

My daughter had the answer.  "A mom with anger issues tore them to pieces with her bare hands."

Okay. So I'm the one responsible for the mass extinction of chickens on Mars.  I think the Earth chickens had better look out!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Put on a Sock

"Mama," my son called.  "Can you help me put on my sock?"

I was in the middle of teaching a violin lesson, and I most certainly didn't want to stop to put on one of his socks.  "Bubba, you are almost nine years old.  I think you can put on your own sock!"

"But Mama, I really can't!" he insisted.

My kind-hearted violin student went over to help my boy while I wrote in some fingerings on the music. "Um, Mrs. Ellis," the student said.  "I can't get the sock on either."

I put down my pencil and went to check out the situation.  "Do you mean to tell me a seventeen-year-old and a nine-year-old can't put a sock on?"

They nodded.  I stooped down to look at Bubba's sock.  He had only managed to get half of his foot in it.  I grabbed that thing and immediately noticed that Bubba was covered in sweat.  He couldn't pull the sock up because he was too sweaty.

"All right, Bubba," I said.  "Here's what we're going to do.  We're going to take the sock off.  Then We're going to scrunch it down so you can get your toes in at the tip.  Then we'll roll it over your sweaty little foot.  Got it?"

He nodded.

I performed the operation successfully.

"How did you do that, Mama?" he asked when I was done.

"I'm a mom.  And moms are experts and putting socks on sweaty little feet!"