Mama Diaries

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.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest

It's time for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.   Participants are supposed to name movies, TV shows, music, musicians, or books that not a lot of people know about, but should, because they're so awesome.

For my selection, I've chosen the Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla Perez, whose life was tragically cut short.  She was murdered by her fan club president on March 31, 1995.  I don't remember how old she was, but she was still in her twenties.

I first heard her sing when I was in my early twenties.  She was singing a crossover song, Dreaming of You, and I thought, "Wow!  What a beautiful voice!"   I have always loved Latino music, so I decided to purchase some of her CDs.  (Plus I had a boyfriend from Mexico at the time, and I figured it would be a good way to learn Spanish so I could communicate with the Madre and Padre!)

From what I've read and heard about Selena, she was also a very warm, kind person.  I'd love to have met her.

Here are some music videos, so you can hear and see this talented, beautiful woman.

                                                             Amor Prohibido

                                                           Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

                                                         I Could Fall in Love

Friday, September 19, 2014

Finger Turniquette

Yesterday, I saved a finger.  My son's finger.  Let me tell you about it.

When the boy stepped off the school bus, the first thing I noticed was that his pinky finger was an odd shade of purple. (Yes, I notice little things like pinky fingers.)  "Dude," I said.  "What's up with your finger?"

He glanced down at it.  "My friend hurt my finger and I had to put a Band aid on it."

"Let me look at that," I said.  I stooped down and inspected the finger.  That Band aid was on there so tight, it was cutting off his circulation. "Your finger is purple.  We need to get this thing off right away!"

He tried to get it off, but couldn't.  So I did.  Let me just say, it was quite an effort!  After it was removed, the blood rushed into the area, turning his finger bright red.

"It burns!" he said.

"Just for a minute, until everything equalizes."

A few seconds later, everything was back to normal.  "Oh," he said.  "That's better.  I was wondering why my finger was so cold!"


Before I go, I'd like to let you know that as a follow-up to my radio interview on Solving the Hunger Problem, I created a Facebook group page, called Solving the Hunger Problem.  It's dedicated to sharing information, solutions and ideas that may help alleviate hunger. If you are on Facebook, I invite you (and your friends) to join and share ideas you may have.  You can find it here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Terrifying Thing

Last night, my daughter was sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework.  She happened to glance outside, and noticed our cat was doing something strange on the back deck.  "What's he doing?" she asked.

She got up and went out to investigate.

Three seconds later, she came back inside, not really sure what the cat had been doing.  As she stepped over the threshold, into the house, she happened to look down.  Something caught her attention.  She stooped down to pick it up, and then screamed.

Her eyes looked like saucers.  "Oh my God....Oh my God....Oh my God!!!!" she shrieked, as she stood there shaking.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

She pointed under one of our chairs by the center island in our kitchen.  "It's over there!"

"What is?" I asked as I went over to see what the heck had scared her so much.

I stooped down and noticed something green crawling up the island.  It was an insect.  A leaf bug.  And it was very big.

"That's what scared you?" I asked.  "A leaf bug?"

"I didn't know it was a bug.  I thought it was a leaf when I picked it up!"

"'Well, come here and look at it. It's just a bug."

She came over slowly, looked at it, and ran off to the other room.  "It's creepy!" she said.

I shrugged, got a glass, knocked it into the glass, and transported it back outside, where the cat could finish playing with it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen was the excitement at my house last night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Duck Milk

You would not believe some of the conversations I've had with my kids.  Last night, I had a rather interesting one with my teenage daughter.  I was helping her study for a science test which involved discussing the topic of reproduction.

"Did you know that men can produce milk?" she asked.

"No they can't!" I said.

"Yes, they can.  Look."  She pointed an article she found on the internet. "They have the hormones to do it.  I bet if a baby sucked hard enough, some milk would come out."

I tried very hard not to laugh.  "I bet in the whole history of the world, there has not been a single man who has produced one drop of milk for a baby!"

She was very insistent.  "But they have the ducks to do it!"

The ducks?

(She quickly caught her mistake, and we both started laughing.  So much for that study session!)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mister Fix-it

Yesterday afternoon, I was attempting to get the weeds out of our front flower beds.  My husband saw me stooped down and came over to investigate.  "What are you doing?" he asked.

"Weeding," I replied.  "Except the ground is really hard, and I can't seem to get all of the roots."

"Oh," he said, and walked away, into the garage.

Two seconds later, a sprinkler head popped out of the ground.  It was right where I was working.  I bet you can guess what happened.  Yes.  The darn thing sprayed my face!

"Hey!" I shouted, dripping wet. "Why did you do that?"

He laughed.  "I'm fixing it.  The ground should be nice and soft now, so you can weed better!"  

(Right.  Thanks.)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making a Minecraft Server

"Mama," my ten-year-old son said.  "Can you make a Minecraft server for me?"

I looked at that kid funny.  "Dude, I can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I think a Minecraft server is a little out of my league."

"But it's easy.  I know you can do it!" He dragged me over to the computer and pulled up a site on how to make a server.  "Read this!"

I did.  And it looked like Greek to me.  There was no way I was going to be able to create a server to hold an entire Minecraft world.  I wrote down the instructions and proceeded to fumble my way through it.  I did okay.  But then I got to the fine print.  The part where they wanted money.  "Bubba," I said.  "This is going to cost a lot of money each month!"

"But I think there's a free one," he said.

I looked at the terms for that one.  "Yeah.  It's free, but as soon as you shut off your computer, the server is going to disappear.  What good is that?  There's no way I'm doing all this work to have it disappear!"



End of story!

Now for a little something else:  I did a radio interview (a very short one) about Solving the Hunger Problem.  If you'd like to listen, you can find it here.  It's episode 20.  (I have not been able to listen to it, and have been told the problem is with my computer.  If anyone else has problems listening, please let me know!  Hopefully it turned out okay!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

World's Worst Tooth Fairy

My husband is not the tooth fairy.  I know this for a fact.  A couple of nights ago, some time after 11:00 PM, my son lost his tooth.  Or I should say, yanked it out.  He proudly marched downstairs and presented the bloody thing to my husband, who was still watching TV.

"Make sure the tooth fairy comes, Dad!" Bubba said.

Well, the tooth fairy didn't come, because the tooth fairy was already in bed, and had no idea that she was needed on the job.

The next morning, when I was making breakfast, my daughter came downstairs.  "Mom," she said.  "Dad forgot to be the tooth fairy.  You need to get up there and do it!"

"Bubba lost a tooth?" I asked.

"Yeah.  He woke me up, so I heard all about it," she said.

I quickly found some cash in my purse and rushed upstairs to take the tooth.  Fortunately, the boy was still sleeping.

Ten minutes later, I officially woke him up.  Of course, he had to check to see if the tooth fairy came.  He was quite pleased when he saw the cash.  "I guess Dad's not the world's worst tooth fairy," he said.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Remembering Tina Downey

On August 23, 2014, the blogging community lost a very special lady.  Tina Downey struggled with pulmonary hypertension, hypoglycemia, and sever asthma.  But did she let that get in the way of being cheery and supportive?  No way!  Tina was one of the most supportive, funny people in the blogosphere, and she always had great things to say in her comments.

So we in the blogging community are remembering this awesome person and celebrating the life we were so privileged to share.

I planted these sunflowers for you, Tina!  Thanks for brightening our days!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Canine Resemblance

Yesterday, our giant hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz, came up to me wanting a little attention.  He stuck his enormous head in my lap and looked at me.  That meant, "pet me."  So I did.

My daughter walked into the room.  "Awww," she said.  "Your baby loves you!"

I looked at the big hairy thing.  And then I looked at my daughter.  "Schultz is not my baby!"

"Yes, he is, Mom."

I shook my head.  "I have no recollection of ever having given birth to this thing!"

My daughter grinned. "But he looks just like you.  He's a hairy cutie-pie!"  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Crazy Mama

I'm not talking about me (I'm not crazy, am I?).  I'm talking about my mom.  (Which if you answered "yes" to the last question, would explain a few things.)

My mom is an incredibly awesome, fun-loving person who has this terrific zest for life.  This woman knows how to live.  She's been all over the world, and has done so many things.

So when I was talking to her this morning, she had some exciting news to share.  "I'm going zip-lining!"  (She's sixty-five years old, in case you were wondering.)

"That's awesome!" I said.  Then I told her that was on my bucket list.

"Too bad you don't live closer," she said.  "Then we could do it together!"

"Yeah," I agreed.  "We'd have a blast doing a lot of things!"  Then I thought about the rest of my bucket list.  "Hey, do you want to go sky diving?"

She laughed.  "That's not real high on my bucket list.  But maybe if I get Alzheimer's I'll do it, because I'll think I'm jumping off the sofa or something!"

Excellent.  So maybe it'll look like this:  One demented one-hundred and ten year old woman jumps out of an airplane with her crazy ninety-year-old daughter. . .  Hopefully we'll remember our parachutes!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Party Planning

It's almost time for my daughter's birthday.  And she has some big ideas for her party.  She's spent hours on her iPod, looking at party themes and decorating ideas.

"Mom," she said yesterday.  "I've got it figured out.  Here's what we need:  First thing is a cabin."

I tried not to have a heart attack.  "A cabin?  We have to buy a cabin?"

"No," she explained.  "Just rent one.  Then we'll decorate it.  Look at these cool pictures."  She showed me a pink carpet walkway lined with carved pink and white painted pumpkins leading to the door.  Pink and silver balloons were hanging everywhere.  Inside were more pink and silver balloons along with some pretty fancy lighting and a professional-looking Chanel cake.

"Seriously?" I said.  "Do you have any idea of how much that will cost?"

"What's my budget?" she asked.

"Definitely not  enough to cover that!" I replied.

She looked disappointed. "Oh.  I was hoping to hire a DJ, too."


(So we'll have this party with twenty of her friends at our house.  We'll decorate the basement with pink and silver balloons.  And we'll crank up the music real loud.  We'll even have a manicure station so the ladies can paint their nails. And maybe, if she's really lucky, I'll get a pink carpet, roll it down the driveway and carve out a bunch of pumpkins to plop down next to it.)