Mama Diaries

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year and the Dog Bath

I'd like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  Here's to a year of health, happiness, and productivity!

Our German Shepherd, Schultz is ready for the new year.  You may recall that he had a doggy makeover a couple of days ago, and ended up with red lipstick all over his face. My daughter got most of it off, but not all.  We knew we had to give the beast a bath.

My husband is responsible for doggy baths. Mostly because the animal is so large, that I end up getting just about as wet as he does whenever I try to do the job.  This time, my husband decided to give him an extra special bath - in our jacuzzi in the Master bathroom.  (I found out about this after the bath was done.)

"Dad did what?" I asked, when I came home and my kids told me the story.

"He filled up the hot tub and gave the dog a bath," my daughter repeated.

"With bubbles and the jets going?"

She nodded.  "He loved it!"

I bet he did.  I went upstairs to inspect the damage.  Fortunately, the hair and dirt was all cleaned up, so you couldn't even tell it was done.  I turned around, and my husband grinned.  " See? I cleaned up!"

I made a face at him.  "No more hot tubs for Schultz!"

I went out of the room and saw Schultz looking very pleased at the bottom of the steps.  I shook my head.  At least he was clean.  But I don't think I'll be using that hot tub ever again!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Kisses for Schultz

The other day, my daughter had one of her friends over, and as usual, they had a makeover session.  Let me just say, that whenever a makeover session happens, the end result is far less pleasing than the original look.  This one was no exception.

When the girls came downstairs to show me their new looks, I hardly recognized them.  Foundation, about four shades too dark was smeared all over their faces.  Black eye shadow encircled their eyes.  And they were wearing bright red lipstick, which clearly was applied way outside of the lip line.  They looked hideous.

"Do you like our look?" they asked.

I made a face.  "Uh.  Not really.  Do you?"

"It's awesome!"

At that time, our giant German Shepherd, Schultz, meandered into the room.  He looked at the girls and cocked his head.  I don't think he knew what to make of the strange creatures standing in front of him.

"Hi, Schultzy!" my daughter said.  She walked up to the furry beast and planted about ten kisses on his forehead.  I knew this wasn't going to be pretty.  Sure enough, when she walked away, there were red splotches all over the poor dog's head.

"Nice job," I said.  "Now you get to wash all the kisses off.  Because I won't let Schultz be humiliated in public looking like that!"

My daughter objected. "But he needed a makeover, too!"

Right.  Next thing, she'll be putting a cute pink bow on his big, bushy tail!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

I hope all of you had a really nice Christmas!  My family and I certainly did.

Today, I need to tie up a loose end.  My author friend and awesome critique partner from Cincinnati, Diana Jenkins, nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Thank you so much, Diana!

I'm supposed to tell you seven things about me, and then nominate 15 people for this award.  I'll do the first part, but since I don't exactly follow rules, I'm going to skip the second part.  If you've never received this award, please feel free to take it, because I think you're all lovely bloggers!

Here we go.  Seven things about me:

1. I'm ambidextrous.  I don't think it really does me any good though, because no matter which hand I write with, it all comes out like slop.  (My daughter is also ambidextrous, but she generally writes with her left hand, whereas I generally write with my right.  My son?  I don't think he's any handed, because he inherited my illegibility gene, and neither hand writes well.)

2.  German food makes me sick.  I'm sorry all of you fine friends in Germany, but I just can't eat your food.  Every time I visit Germany, I get food poisoning.  You guys have some kind of lethal combination of soft boiled eggs, sauerkraut and beer, that my poor tummy just can't handle.  So if I go to Germany, I stop at a store and get Erdnusse (peanut butter), bread, and a bottle of water.  And then I'm fine.

3.  I've moved ten times in my life.  And honestly, I'm a little tired of it.  I guess it's a good excuse to clean out the house, though.  If I never moved, I'd hate to see what kind of collection of needless stuff I'd have!

4.  Here's one I've never shared:  I've ruptured my eardrum twice.  Both from SCUBA diving.  Talk about painful!  I guess I'm lucky not to have any permanent damage. That would be bad, especially since I'm a professional musician!

5.  Some of you already know this, but for the new people, I used to be a figure skater.  I had big dreams of going to the Olympics.  That was almost thirty years ago.  The funny thing is, today I went roller blading with my son.   I couldn't even go backwards on those things. (Yes, I could still go forward.)  How in the world did I ever manage to spin and do triple lutzes back then on ice skates?

6.  I enjoy learning languages.  It's like putting together a puzzle.  I like seeing how languages are related.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to study and keep up with the languages I did learn, but I know bits and pieces of seven languages.

7.  It's no surprise that I enjoy music, and I play several instruments.  I just got a ukulele for Christmas, so I'm going to see if I can figure out how to play it.  Then maybe I'll take a trip to Hawaii, sit on a beach, and play it. That would be fun!

So what about you?  Have you ever visited a country and gotten food poisoning?  Any special interests or hobbies?  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, and a New Pet

Merry Christmas!  I wish all of you who celebrate it, a wonderful day!

And now for the story:

Apparently, my husband thought I needed another pet. (If you've followed me a while, you know that we used to have a regular zoo here - 23 fish, a parakeet, four hermit crabs, a cat, a turtle, a dog and a frog. The herd has dwindled a bit.)  A dog, a cat, and a frog just aren't enough.  So he got me a camel.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen.  A camel.  Meet Bart:

 Bart is our new family pet.  I like him.  He doesn't eat much, he doesn't shed much, he doesn't poop,  and he's quiet.     He's perfect.  As long as our German Shepherd, Schultz doesn't decide he likes to snack on camels, I'm sure Bart will be around for a long time.

                                      Bart would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, too!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Memory Blog Hop

It's time for the Favorite Christmas Memory Blog Hop hosted by Janie Junebug and Cherdo on the Flipside. Thanks, ladies, for this fun blog hop!  So, here's what I have to do:  Share my favorite Christmas memory.  This is a little tough, because I have so many.  But, if I had to narrow it down to one, it had to be when my daughter was about four years old.  The year would've been 2005.

It was Christmas Eve, and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.  There was a plate of Christmas cookies and a glass of milk on the table.  And even a bowl of carrots for the trusty reindeer.  But my girl refused to go to sleep.

"I want to see Santa when he comes," she said.

"He's not going to come until you're asleep."

But she didn't believe me.  She curled up next to her daddy on the sofa and patiently waited.  At 10:30 PM, the girl was still awake.  She had parked herself on the hearth of the fireplace and was staring up the chimney.

"See anything?" I asked.

"No, Mommy.  But how does Santa get down this thing?"

I shrugged.  "Very carefully."

She waited some more, but I could tell she was getting really tired.  She went back to her daddy on the sofa, curled up in a little ball, and fell asleep.

Shortly after, my husband carried her upstairs to her room, and tucked her into bed.

Then Santa came.

The next day, my little girl ran down the stairs.  The toys were under the tree and the stockings were filled.  And on the carpet, were Santa tracks.

My daughter's eyes got big.  "He came?"

"Of course," I said.  "Santa always comes after you fall asleep!"

(And that, ladies and gentlemen,  was the last time she tried staying up to see Santa!)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Deja Vu

Today, I'm doing the Deja Vu Blog Fest hosted by D L Hammons.  Participants just have to choose a blog from the archives and repost it.  Easy!

My selection is from December 31, 2010, my first year of blogging, and when I had very few followers.  There were no comments on this original post.  It's called "Head Adjustment."  (Let's see if I get a few more comments this time around!)

"Mama, your head is on backwards," my son said as he arranged my long hair over my face. (No comments on that comment, please.)


"Yeah. Your face is on the back of your head, and your ears are on the wrong way."

"What should I do about this?" I asked.

"Shake your head like a dog."

I shook my head like a dog. 

"No, shake it three times like a dog."

My head was starting to hurt after that. "How's that?" I asked.

"Your head is still on backwards. Better try shaking it five times."

"How's that?" I asked after feeling like my neck had major whiplash.

"Um, now you look like an angry Mama."


(In case you want to know, my son, AKA Bubba, was six years old.)  Hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Epic Sing-Along Fail

'Tis the season for Christmas carols. Most of us in the good old USA, know the standards:  Jingle Bells, Frosty, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, etc. But not my son's fourth grade class.  They've missed something along the way.

My son came home from school, yesterday, with this news:  "Mama, our sing-along was an epic fail!"

"Say what?" I said.  "Explain this."

"We were supposed to sing 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer' in music class. But nobody knew the words."

"Are you serious?"  I asked.

He nodded.  "They'd never heard of those songs."

Now, let me paint the picture of where I live.  This is Atlanta, Georgia.  And it's like living in the United Nations.  There are so many nationalities here, and most of the people where I live, are Asian.  My family and I are a definite minority.  The kids are first generation Americans (my neighbors don't even speak English).  So, naturally, their parents had never taught them basic American Christmas tunes.

"But don't they teach kids 'Rudolph' in first grade?" I asked.  I clearly remembered my kids being quizzed on the reindeer names back in Ohio.


"So, maybe you can teach them.  You know all the words."

"Mama, I'm not singing all by myself.  Forget it.  I'd rather deal with the epic fail!"

(So much for my great idea.)    

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Poisonous Platypus

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "Did you know that platypuses are poisonous?"

"They are?" I asked.  That was news to me.

"Yes.  They can kill a cat or dog with their venom."

"Hmm," I said.  "Did you get this information on You Tube?"

He nodded.

"Then it's probably not right," I said.

"But it was on a National Geographic video."

Uh huh.  That reminded me of the the fake Megalodon video National Geographic put out.  "Okay.  Let's see it," I said.

So he showed me.  And guess what?  Male platypuses are poisonous.  They have spurs on their hind legs that inject poison. The males use them in fighting other males for dominance and mating rights.

If you would like to learn about this silly looking creature, here's a video for you viewing enjoyment. (Now don't say you've never learned anything from visiting my pad!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Great Cookie Hunt

It's that time of year.  Time to bake Christmas cookies.  The problem at my pad, is that the cookies seem to disappear not long after they're baked.  One year, I went into the freezer, where supposedly 120 chocolate chip cookies were waiting to be put on trays.  But when I opened the containers, the only thing I found was a note that said, "Num Num Num."  My husband had eaten all of them!

After that experience, I felt the best thing to do was hide the cookies.  I came up with all kinds of great places to hide them, and they were never found.  My family was not pleased about this arrangement.  Especially my husband.  So this year he thinks he's going to outsmart me.

I overheard a conversation between him and my kids.  It went like this:

"Where do you think Mama hides the cookies, Daddy?"

"I don't know, Bubba.  But I'm going to find them this year!"

"I know where she hides them," my daughter said.

"Where?" asked my husband.

"I'm not telling!" she replied.

I chuckled to myself.  She gets brownie points from the Mama for that one!

Bubba got up.  "I have an idea," he said.  "Hold on a minute."

I heard him go down to the basement.  A few minutes later he came back up.

"A metal detector?" asked my husband.

"Yeah, Daddy.  She hides them in tins.  The metal detector will help us find them!"

Okay.  New plan.  All cookies will be stored in plastic Tupperware containers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Little Toe Wiggling

This morning, I was standing at the bus stop with my son at the crack of dawn.  The sun wasn't even up.  And it was freezing!  Of course standing around doing nothing makes it even colder.  So I decided to move a little.  It started with rubbing my hands together real fast.

My son gave me the evil eye.  "No, Mama.  You can't do that in public."'

I looked at the kid and started jumping up and down.

The boy frowned.  "You can't do that either."

I made a face and started wiggling my toes.  Bubba noticed.  We both laughed, but Bubba didn't approve.  "No, Mama, You can't wiggle your toes in public, either.  It's so embarrassing!"

(Who knew wiggling your toes in public could be a source of embarrassment for a kid?  I'll have to do it more!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fried Toothpaste

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "I need some toothpaste."

"Okay."  I didn't think there was anything unusual about that request.  But then he added something else.

"And I need a deep fryer."

"What?" I couldn't imagine what kind of craziness he was planning in his overactive mind.  "Why do you need a deep fryer?"

"Because I want to see if toothpaste can be deep fried."

I looked at the kid.  "Why?"

"Because I saw a video on YouTube.  It said it could.  But I just wanted to make sure."

"Dude.  You are not deep frying toothpaste.  If it said it could be done, then just take their word for it. End of discussion!"

"But Mama . . . "


So ladies and gentlemen, if you are dying to know if toothpaste can be deep fried, the answer is, "Yes."  Here's the video that proves it:  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Staring at the Clouds

My ten-year-old son had parked himself in front of the TV and was playing Minecraft on Xbox.  I watched for a few minutes as he crafted his world.  Then I left the room to do other things.  When I came back, I found him lying down, with his head propped up by a sofa pillow, staring at the screen.  He was doing absolutely nothing.

"Dude," I said.  "What's up?"

"I'm just admiring the beautiful purple clouds," he said, not taking his eyes off the screen.

I glanced over at his Minecraft world.  And yes, there were purple Minecraft clouds floating in the sky in that Minecraft world.  "Seriously?" I asked.  "You're staring at Minecraft clouds?"

He nodded.  "Yes, Mama.  It's fun to stare at clouds no matter where they are!"  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Last night, after I had showered and gotten into my pajamas, my son decided to follow me around snapping rapid pictures of me with his iPod camera.

"Dude, do you really have to do that?"

"Yeah, Mama.  These are going to be perfect!"

"Perfect for what?"  This sounded like trouble.

"The horror video I'm going to post on YouTube!"

"The what?"  I couldn't believe it.  "No!  You are not posting any pictures of me on YouTube!  You delete all of those, right now!"

"But, Mama, this would be so awesome!" He showed me the pictures.  I looked like some kind of scary shadowy figure moving around the house.  "You look like Slenderman!"

Uh, right.  Probably more like Slendermama! (And no, ladies and gentleman, there are no horror videos of me on YouTube so don't bother looking!)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Cleaning Game

I hope all of you American friends had a nice Thanksgiving!  We did.  And of course, after the feast, there was a huge clean up.  I enlisted the help of my kids.

"Bubba," I said.  "Please wash the cutting board."

"Okay, Mama," he said, and grabbed a sponge and dish washing soap.

A few minutes later, I checked on him.  It didn't look like he was making much progress.  "How's it going, Bubba?"

He grinned.  "Great!"

I stood next to him to inspect his work.  "Bubba, are you drawing on the cutting board with the soap?"

He shook his head.  "No, Mama. I'm practicing my cursive."  He pointed out his name written across the wooden board.  "Do you like it?"

"Sure.  Now you can practice seeing how fast you can erase it with the sponge!"

He did it super-fast.  "This cleaning game is fun!" he said.

"Good," I said.  "Because you can do it about ten more times with all the other pots and pans!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Happy Car

This afternoon, my son and I ventured out to do some last-minute Thanksgiving shopping.  As expected, the grocery store was packed.  There was hardly a spot in the parking lot to park my car.  Eventually I found one.  In Timbuktu.  I parked, and we trekked into the store.

Because of the long lines, it took quite a while to get our groceries and check out.  Usually when that happens, I pretty much end up forgetting where I parked my car.  Today was no exception. When we went back to the parking lot, we headed in the direction I thought I had left it.

"I don't see the car," I said, after walking down a very long row.

"Look for the happy car," my son said.

"The happy car?"

"Yes.  Your car is the only one that smiles on the front."

Okay.  I followed his advice and looked at the grills of the cars. Sure enough, I spotted a happy smiley face on one of the cars.  And guess what?  It was mine!

"See, Mama," Bubba said.  "You have the happy car!"

And before I go, I'd like to wish all of you who celebrate, a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If You Had a Time Machine . . .

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "What year would you go to if you had a time machine?"

I thought about that.  "I guess I'd go about a thousand years into the future.  Just because I'm curious about what life would be like then."

Bubba nodded. "Do you know what year I'd go to?"

"No.  What year?"


"1560?" I thought that was a pretty odd year to choose.  "Why?"

Bubba gave me a big grin.  "Because that's the year before school was invented. And I don't want to have to go to school!"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Oh How I Miss You Blog Fest

It is time for the How I Miss You Blogfest!

Hosted by

It's all about the bloggers you miss and the ones you would miss if they were gone.
So here we go.  Of course I'd miss all of you if you were gone.  You're the people who make blogging so much fun, and the reason I sit here sharing my crazy stories day after day.  Thank you for making this such a great community!

Here are the bloggers I've been missing:  David Walston.  He's a big Dr. Who fan, and I always loved his posts and comments.  I hope he comes back!  And then there's Dana.   She's probably really busy with her new baby, but I sure miss her Friday Funnies and Sunday Inspirations.  Finally, there's Arni.  She had a baby, too.  I've only seen her a couple of times since then.  But she was always such a nice person, and felt like a kindred spirit.  I hope some day she returns!

Here are the bloggers I'd miss if they were gone. Holy Ghost Writer.  He's got some pretty interesting stories from the Order, explaining  why things are the way they are.  Heather Holden.  She's a very talented comic writer.  I enjoy her series that she posts.  And Medeia Sharif.  I've never seen anyone work so hard with writing.  I love reading about her goals and accomplishments. She's quite an inspiration!  

Who would you miss if they were gone?   

Friday, November 21, 2014

School on Fire

It was quite a morning!  Not the usual routine of dropping my kid off  at school and cruising home.  When I went to my daughter's middle school, smoke was pouring out of the building.  The school was on fire!

"Get back in the car!" the principal was shouting.  "No drop offs!"

I was directed to a safe location, outside, where students and teachers were waiting.  My daughter exited the car with a pile of books and croissants (for her French class fete).  Of course the croissants spilled out of the package, onto the ground as she got out, adding to the chaos.

"Keep moving," one of the teachers instructed.  So I couldn't even stay to make sure she'd be okay.  The fire trucks screamed in as I left the school property.  I only hoped my daughter was in good hands!

Later, she called.  The administration had moved all the students into the nearby high school gymnasium.  The problem was an electrical fire due to construction at the school.  So now my daughter is sitting in a gym with about 800 kids.  I was going to pick her up, but she said she'd rather stay, since I wasn't allowed to bring her friends home, too.

On the bright side,  at least she has food, even if it is a little sprinkled with dirt!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Paper Sandwiches

Sometimes I really screw things up.  Like yesterday.

I had made sandwiches for my kids' lunches.  Nice turkey and cheese sandwiches. Or so I thought.  Apparently, I didn't do such a good job, because when my kids came home from school, they asked me the same question:  "Mom, why was there paper in my sandwich?"

"Paper?" I asked.  "There was paper in your sandwich?"  It just couldn't be!

Yes, it could.  When I added the cheese, the stupid paper that they put between the slices in the package, stuck.  I had given my kids  turkey, cheese, paper sandwiches.

I had to do some quick thinking.  "Oh, yeah,"  I said.  "Paper.  It just adds a little flavor!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Helicopter Signal

Yesterday, when my son and I were walking home from the bus stop, my boy did something unexpected.  (Which if you know him, shouldn't be unexpected at all.)

He stopped, stuck him arms out on either side, and proceeded to spin in circles.

"Dude," I said.  "What exactly are you doing?"

He stopped.  A huge grin was plastered on his face.  "I'm signaling helicopters!"

I raised my eyebrows and looked up.  The sky was perfectly blue, and there wasn't one helicopter in sight.  "Um, I don't see any helicopters, so I'm not sure your signal is very effective."

"Yes it is.  There are lots of helicopters, Mama . . .  In my head!"

(I'm afraid my boy has inherited the imagination gene from me.  He has one colorful world between his ears!)  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Dreams

My ten-year-old son is already contemplating getting his first wheels.  He's ready to drive.  Or so he thinks.  He's been taking a look at different car models, trying to determine which car he'd like.  So far, he seems to have an affinity for sports cars.  No surprise there.

Yesterday, we were driving around, and he noticed a very nice-looking vehicle.  "Mama, what's that?" he asked.

"A Lamborghini," I answered.

"I want one of those for my first car," he said.  "Would you buy it for me?"

I tried not to have a heartache.  "Dude.  There is no way I'm buying that for your first car or your last car!"  

I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw his puzzled look.  "But why not?" he asked.

"Because your Mama doesn't have money for one of those.  So you'd better get a good job.  Because if you ever get a Lamborghini, you're going to have to buy it yourself!"

(And then maybe he can buy me one, too!)

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Snow Dance

It's gotten a little cold down here in Georgia.  The thermometer says it's a balmy 27 degrees Fahrenheit - perfect weather for snow.

The kids around here are very excited about the prospect of having big fluffy flakes falling from the sky.  So excited, in fact, that they had to do a little dance.

I had gone to the bus stop to pick up my son after school, and found a very interesting sight.  Seven kids were in the middle of the street, jumping up and down,  waving their hands, and shouting who-only-knows what.

"Okay, kids," I said.  "First of all, you need to get out of the street.  I don't want any of you ending up as pancakes!  Second, what in the world are you doing?"

"The snow dance!" one kid said.

"The snow dance?"

"Yeah!  It's going to make it snow.  Guaranteed!"

I nodded.  "Okay.  We'll see how that works."

So here we are, almost 24 hours later, and still no snow.  I think they'd better work on their technique.  (Or maybe just try flushing ice cubes down the toilet, like we did in Ohio.  It worked every time!)    

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The UGG Toy

Our German Shepherd, Schultz, is in big trouble!

My daughter had left her UGG boots in the middle of the family room floor.  Schultz spotted them and decided they looked like chew toys.  If these had been any other boots, it wouldn't have been such a big deal.  But these things cost 200 dollars.

He parked himself on the floor, with the boots between his paws, and proceeded to chew away.

My daughter discovered it first.  "Schultz!!!!  Bad dog!!!!"

She ran into the room and yanked the boots away from the beast.  Of course they had slobber all over them.  (I don't think he tore them, but once you get UGG boots wet, they're destroyed.) "Schultz, you ruined my boots!"

He cocked his head and looked at her.

"You're grounded, Schultz!  Forever!"

So now the dog is in the dog house.  Maybe while he's there he can learn the difference between the word, "UGG" and "TUG."  I think he just got confused.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Attic of Sand and Secrets

My blog friend, Medeia Sharif has a new book out:  The Attic of Sand and Secrets.  It sounds really awesome!  I'll be reading it shortly, and then I'll post a review.

by Medeia Sharif

Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

The book takes place in 1976. Every host for this book blast is going to post one fun fact for that year. For some of you, this will bring back memories. For younger blog readers, you'll learn something new.

1976 was the year Jimmy Carter was named Times Magazine's Man of the Year. 

Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |    Twitter</ a>   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mama Ninja

Look out, everybody.  This Mama has nun-chucks.  And I know how to use them!

In Krav Maga class, we had a nun-chuck training session.  My son and I learned some really cool ninja moves with them.

Of course, when I came home, I had to show my husband my smooth moves.  He was very impressed.  "Whoa, woman!  Remind me not to get you mad!"

My son chimed in.  "Yeah.  She's the all powerful Mama Ninja!  Don't mess with her!"

(That's right.  And don't you forget it!)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mama Gets an "F"

It's pretty much universally known that my handwriting stinks.  (And if you didn't know that, now you do.)  My students are always saying that they can't read my writing.  Even my son's second grade teacher commented on my poor penmanship.  It's bad when that happens!

So yesterday, I wrote the word, "Excellent" across one of my student's assignments.  The student, a third-grader, said, "Mrs. Ellis, why did you write, 'Elephant' on my paper?"

"That doesn't say, 'Elephant.'  It says, 'Excellent.'"

The girl frowned.  "That's not how you make an 'x.'" She took a pencil and demonstrated how to properly make an "x" and how to properly write, "excellent."  "Now you try," she said when she was finished.

I took the pencil and did my best to write legibly.

The girl looked at it when I was done.  She shook her head.  "That's still not right!"  Then she took the pencil and gave me a big "F-" at the top.  "You might be a good music teacher," she said. "But you need to go back to school to learn how to write!"

Uh.  Okay.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bootsy and the Buzzard

Time for a cat story.  If you've been following a while, you may know that our cat, Bootsy, is a violent killer.  No little critter is safe at our pad.  Even our giant German Shepherd, Schultz, has gotten a scratch or two from the ferocious feline.

Apparently, all of Bootsy's killings have attracted buzzards (also known as turkey vultures).  These rather large birds like to feast on carnage.  And Bootsy has provided plenty of that.  This morning, I found Bootsy and a buzzard having a stare down.  Bootsy had made a kill which he left in the backyard.  A buzzard had come down and was standing near the kill.  Bootsy didn't like that one bit!  It was his, and he was going to defend it!

That crazy cat, who was half the size of the buzzard, approached the bird and parked himself right next to his prized carnage.  He sat there, staring at the buzzard.  The buzzard sat there, staring at Bootsy.  I wondered who was going to win. Would Bootsy end up as a buzzard meal, or would the buzzard end up as a Bootsy meal?

Schultz, meanwhile, had observed the whole thing.  He sat next to me, watching.

"What do you think, Schultz?"

He looked at me and made a little whine sound.

That's when I decided it was time to let Schultz loose.  He charged out the back door and went into full attack mode.  That buzzard knew he didn't have a chance.  And Bootsy knew he'd better get out of the way!

After the yard was cleared, Schultz went over to sniff the carnage.  I guess it didn't interest him, because he trotted back to me and wagged his tail.

"Good boy, Schultz!"  I said.

I hope Bootsy remembers this, because now he owes Schultz one!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ten Plus Nine

"Mom," my teenage daughter said.  "See if you can complete the sentence."

I looked at her quizzically.  "Okay.  What sentence?"

"First thing's first . . ."

That sounded like the lyrics to Iggy Azalea's song.  "I'm a realist,"  I said.

"Good job, Mom!  You got one right.  Here's another.  What's nine plus ten?"

"Nineteen," I answered, as any somewhat intelligent person would say.


"What do you mean, 'Wrong'?  Ten plus nine is nineteen!"

She grinned at me, "You're stupid!"

"Excuse me?"  I said.  "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!"

"No, look Mom!"  She pulled up a video on her iPod.

I just don't know what to say.  First I learned this week that Christopher Columbus came to Canada in 1942 in a kayak called the Pina Colada. Now I'm told that ten plus nine equals twenty-one.  Wow.  Maybe I am stupid!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Winners of Giveaway and Krakens are Real!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the Trick-or-Treat giveaway!  I was just going to give away two books, but I decided to give away a whole bunch of them, because you guys are so awesome.

So, drum roll please.

The winners are:  Michelle Willms, C. Lee Mckenzie, Crystal Collier, DMS, and Christine Raines.  I'll be contacting you shortly, to let you know and get mailing information.

Now for the story:

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "Did you know Krakens are real?"

I looked at that kid and shook my head.  "Krakens are not real.  Those are creatures from mythology."

"They're real," he insisted.  "I read about them in a book.  They live in the deepest part of the ocean.  Let me show you."  He grabbed a book about monsters and showed me a picture.

"Dude," I said.  "You can't believe everything you read in a book."

He ignored my comment.  "And do you know what else?"

"What else, Bubba?"

"Megalodons are real!"

"They used to be, but now they're extinct," I said.

"No, they're not.  It said on the Discovery Channel that a couple were recently spotted."

Of course I didn't believe him, so he made me watch a video.

Well.  Those were certainly some big sharks!

(For those worried about Krakens and Megalodons in our oceans, I did a little more research.  It turns out there was a disclaimer on the Discovery Channel special that said the footage was fictitious.  There are no Megalodons in our ocean.  The jury is still out regarding the Krakens.)    

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Story of Christopher Columbus

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

"What's so funny?"  I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bad Genes

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

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

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

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

"Yours," he said.

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

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

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Popcorn Bowl

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

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

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

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

"Because he ate half of our popcorn!"

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

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


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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bigger than Mama

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Schultz's Big Find

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

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

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

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

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

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

He cocked his head and looked at me.

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

"Stand up."

He stood.


He sat.


He shook my hand.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raining Tacos

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

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

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

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

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

"Okay.  How do you know?" I asked.

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

Here it is for your viewing enjoyment:

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


Monday, October 20, 2014

Bucket List Blog Hop

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

Without further ado, I will present my list:

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

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

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Cat's Big Science Project

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

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

The cat just looked at me and licked his paws.

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

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

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Fix a Vacuum Cleaner

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

Now for the story:

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

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

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

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

"Watch and learn," he said.

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

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

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

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

The genius fixed it.

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

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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cover Reveal for Vitamins and Death

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

YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

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

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

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

Find Medeia

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Edible Cell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I nodded.  "Yeah, I get it."

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

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

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


(I guess she knows her dad!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Picture Day Scramble

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

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

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

He frowned.  "But I like it."

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

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

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

He put it on and we ran out the door.

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

"Seriously?" I asked.

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

Oy gewalt!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Vampire Eyes

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

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

"Is that right?" I said.

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

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

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

I nodded.  "And I'm hungry!"

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

I smiled, revealing my pearl-white fangs.

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bus from the Twilight Zone

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nothing in the Head

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

Okay.  Now for the story:

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

"No, Bubba.  I have no idea."

"1,720 feet."

I nodded.  "That's pretty tall."

"Do you know where it was?"

I shook my head.

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

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

"July 9, 1958."

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

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bubba for President

My son's political career has begun.

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

"Oh yeah?" I asked.  "What for?"

"I'm running for student council."

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

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

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here is the group we went to see:

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

And now for the winners of my giveaway:

Books go to :  Norbu Wangdi and SA Larson

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

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Party Time and Giveaway

First, thank you once again to everyone who blitzed me over the last few days!  You guys are awesome!  Thanks to all the new followers, too.  Welcome to my pad!

To celebrate reaching over 400 followers, I'm going to have a give-away - three Amazon gift cards and two copies of each of my books.  Just leave a comment below. (If you really, really, really would like a book, please let me know.  Some of you already have my books, so I don't want to give you something you already have.)  I'll  choose the winners on Thursday.

All right.  Now for the story.  It has been a crazy couple of weeks at my place.  I had been preparing for a super ginormous birthday party for my daughter.  It went very well, but now my dog (pictured above) and I are rather exhausted from the whole experience.

Thirty teenage girls swarmed the house, blasting music, singing, screaming, dancing, and making cheer leading pyramids wherever they found space. (I nearly had a heart attack when I saw a pyramid three-people high in my family room.) This insanity went on until 3:00 in the morning.  At that time, my husband and I had had enough, and we sent all living creatures to bed - including the dog, who was having a great time chasing everybody. (In case you're wondering, that is a glow-stick necklace around Schultz's body.  It was a neon-themed party, and everybody was running around  glowing under the light of several black lights.)

Now, I have to back up a little bit, because this party almost didn't happen.  The night before, I looked up at my kitchen ceiling, and notice a few drips of water coming down.

I called my husband.  "Oh @#$%%^&!" he said.  "You've got to be  @#$%^&* kidding me!"

Yep.  It was raining in our kitchen.  This had happened six months ago.  And here we were again.  The night before the big party.  My husband pulled out the drill and made holes in our ceiling.  Water poured out.  I won't tell you what else he said, but I'm sure you can guess.

We did our best to clean things up, and we called a repair man to fix the pipe that busted.  But we still have a substantial hole in our ceiling (along with lots of tiny drill holes).

And do you know what the funny thing is?  Not one girl noticed!   They were all too busy partying!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Follow Fest and Making the Meat Less Dead

First of all, I'd just like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who blitzed me yesterday!  What an awesome surprise.  I never thought I'd be the one getting blitzed!  You guys rock!

Second, I'm squeezing this in on the last possible day, but here is my entry for Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest: 

Name: Sherry Ellis, aka, The Mama

Fiction or nonfiction? Fiction

What genres do you write? Children's picture books and chapter books. 

Are you published? Yes, two, but soon-to-be three books: 
That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN!
That Mama is a Grouch – Pinnacle Book Award Winner, Silver Award in Mom's Choice Awards
Ten Zany Birds - should be available in December 

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I am a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola and piano. 

Tell us a little about yourself.  I'm a mom (obviously), I love music (I guess that's kind of obvious, too), and I enjoy travelling and doing adventurous things (Next on my list is sky diving.  I think I've convinced my 65-year-old mom to do it with me!)

What are you reading right now? Notes on Music, Idea and History by Kurt Oppens.  Totally intellectual, I know, but as a musician, I try to learn as much about music as I can.

Which authors influenced you the most? Jane Yolen, Mary Pope Osborne, Rick Riordan:  All childrens/MG authors.

Where can we find you? 

Now for the (very short) story:

Last night, we had steak for dinner.  They were cooked on the barbecue, and came out medium rare, which is how most of us like them.  My daughter, however, has a real problem with blood in her meat.

I watched as she poked her steak numerous times with her fork. It looked like she was killing it.  "What are you doing?" I asked.

She smashed the steak and let the blood ooze out.  "I'm making it less dead!"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chasing the Girls

My ten-year-old son came home from school with a Band Aid affixed to his chin.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Girl problems," he said.

I raised my eyebrows.  "Already?"

He nodded.  "They were chasing me on the playground.  I got sick of it, so I turned around and started chasing them.  But then something happened.  One girl collided into me, and we both fell down."  He rubbed his chin.  "This is from that."

"I see," I said.  "Girls can be a real pain.  Best to stay away from them. Forever!"

One more thing:  If you want to sign up for the Bucket List Blog Hop on October 20th, you can do so here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bucket List Blog Hop Sign Up

At one time or another we have all experienced the loss of a loved one or know someone who has had to go through a life threatening illness. Sometimes that makes us reevaluate our lives and what we want to accomplish before we die. Some people make a bucket list to help them rethink about what is important to them.

What's a bucket list? Simply put, it's a list of things that a person wants to see or do before they die or "kick the bucket". 

To participate, all you have to do is post your bucket list to your blog on Monday, October 20, 2014. If you want to add the picture to your blog post or sidebar, just copy and paste.

This blog hop is being co-hosted by Sherry Ellis at Mama Diaries
 and Susanne Drazic at Putting Words Down on Paper.