Mama Diaries

Friday, November 30, 2012

Captured Cookies

Today I made about three dozen chocolate chip cookies.  After they had cooled, I put them in a tupperware container and left them on the counter.  Then I went off to work.  When I came back, the cookies were gone.  In their place, was a note that said:  "If you want to see your cookies alive, you must bake five dozen more and leave them on the kitchen table."

I knew Schultz didn't write that note, and neither did the bird.  There was only one person in the house who could've written it:  My husband.  

I marched into his office.  "Excuse me.  Did you kidnap my cookies?"

He gave me his Mr. Innocent look.

"Don't give me that look," I said. "I know you kidnapped my cookies!"

"Well, you never make any for me.  You always give them away," he retorted.  "And if you let me have any, they're always the reject broken ones!"

"Yeah, so?" I said.  "That doesn't mean you can just kidnap my cookies!"

"You're not getting them back!"

Grrr.  I'm going to report this incident to the cookie police, because I sure don't feel like baking five dozen more!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bubba's Composition

My eight-year-old son has decided to compose his own songs.  "Mama," he said, "listen to this!"

The boy started singing:

"Eat pie, eat pie.
 Everybody eat pie. 
You will die, unless you eat pie. 

Eat pie, eat pie
when you're sitting on the bucket,
or zombies will invade you.

Eat pie, eat pie.
Everybody eat pie.
You will die, unless you eat pie."

I nearly died laughing.  "Wow, Bubba," I said.  "That's amazing!"

"I made a video, too!"  He showed me his Nintendo DS with the audio recording and stick figure zombies.  "Can I put it on YouTube?"

"I 'll have to think about that," I said. 

So, everybody, you all need to go out and get yourself some pie, because you don't want to die.  And you most certainly do not want the zombies to invade you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stupid Mama

Wasn't it just a month ago that my daughter said I was freakishly smart?  Well, now I'm freakishly stupid - at least according to her.

"Mom, can you help me with my homework?" she asked.

"Sure," I said.  "What do you have?"

She showed me her math problems.  The question was, "Is 12 1/2% of 800 greater than 25% of 400?"  I immediately knew that they were equal, and tried to explain this to my daughter.

"25% is the same as 1/4.  If you divide 400 by 4, the answer is 100.  12 1/2 percent is half of 25%, which is the same as 1/8.  If you divide 800 by 8, the answer is 100."

She looked at me like I had rocks in my head.  "Mom, you don't know what you're talking about."

"Okay,"  I said.  "You can also multiply 800 by .125.  That equals 100.  If you multiply 400 by .25, that equals 100."

She gave me another look.  "You're not supposed to multiply."

"Well, the word, 'of' can indicate a multiplication problem."

That really set her off.

Moving on to English, a subject I know absolutely nothing about:  My daughter had to correct sentences with grammar and punctuation errors.  The sentence read something like, "Claire, Rachel, and Sam came with i to the store."

"The word, 'i,' is incorrect," I said.

"No, it's not.  It just needs to be capitalized."

I shook my head.  "The correct word should be, 'me.'"

"You're wrong, Mom."

"Fine," I said.  "Just leave it the way it is if you think it's right.  What do I know?"

She left it the way it was.

(It's going to be very hard to resist saying, "I told you so," when she comes back with it marked wrong!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Schultz vs. Sunshine

Usually you don't hear much about my parakeet, Sunshine, because all she does is sit on her stick and tweet.  Well, today I have a little story about Sunshine, and my giant, one hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz.

Schultz apparently decided that he wanted to play with Sunshine.  He stuck his big snoot up to her cage and rattled the bars.  Sunshine squawked at him.

"Schultz," I said.  "You'd better watch it.  Don't make Sunshine mad!"

He didn't listen.  This time he lifted her door with his snoot.  Sunshine didn't like that one bit.  She jumped on the side of her cage and squawked some more.  

Schultz thought that meant she wanted to play, so he knocked his nose against her cage.  That was it.  Sunshine wasn't going to take any more of his harrassment.  She pecked his nose.

Schultz backed away, a little confused.

"See, Schultz.  She doesn't want to play with you.  Leave her alone."

Schultz didn't get it.  The block head nudged her cage again.  This time, Sunshine bit him hard on the nose. He yiped.

I shook my head.  "You got what you deserved, Schultz. Next time, respect the lady!" 

Monday, November 26, 2012

You've Got the Look Tag

How do you like the picture?  I'd say the kid has the look!  Which is exactly what Tamara at One Magic Bean Buyer thinks about me.  (I resemble that kid, don't I?)  Anyway, I've been tagged in the You've Got the Look Meme.  The rules are, go to your current WIP, find the word, "look," and post the section which includes it, as well as the surrounding paragraphs.  Then tag five other people to do the same.
Here's my excerpt:
   Like I needed a reminder. So I gave Miss Smarty Pants the biggest, slobberyist raspberry I could. Then I grabbed my shovel and left her in the dust. I ran all the way to the woods, and I didn’t stop ‘til I got to the big tree. Mama calls it the sick more tree, but it doesn’t look too sick to me. It’s big and tall, and it has lots of leaves. Except its bark is all splotchy. So maybe that’s why it’s sick. But I think it looks cool.

       Anyway, Miss Smarty Pants followed me to the sick more tree. When I turned around, there she was, all huffy puffy.

       “What took you so long?” I asked.

       She made her eyebrows scrunchy. Then she pointed at my shovel. “So exactly how are you going to dig a hole to China with that?”

       “It’s magic,” I said. “That’s exactly how.”


       I could tell she wasn’t believing it, because her eyelids got squinty. “Isn’t that the shovel Grandpa Joe bought at the garage sale?” she asked.

       I had to explain it to her. “Yeah,” I said. “The old lady he got it from said it was magic, and if you don’t believe me, ask Grandpa.”
And now for the five tagged bloggers: 

1. Carolyn Brown
2. Lexa Cain
3. Stina Lindenblatt
4. Livia
5. PK Hrezo

Thanks, Tamara, for the opportunity to share a little of my work.  Be sure to check out the other excellent tagged bloggers! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dead Sea Squirrels

There's an exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I saw them in person when I went to Israel a few years ago, but my kids didn't.  I thought it might be a good educational experience to drag my kids to see them.

"You're taking us where?" Bubba asked.  "To see dead sea squirrels?"

"No, Bubba.  Scrolls," I said.


"Never mind, Bubba," I said.  "Just come on.  You'll see what they are when we get there."

When we got to the exhibit, Bubba walked up to the ancient documents.  He studied them with a puzzled look on his face.  "Mama, I don't see any squirrels here. Just a bunch of old paper with weird scribble on them."

"These are the Dead Sea Scrolls," I explained.

"But Mama, where are the squirrels?"

"Next door, in the Natural History Museum," I said.

(Of course then we had to go to the Natural History Museum to look for dead sea squirrels.  We didn't find any, but we did find a Jefferson Ground Sloth which was the next best thing!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dream Vacation

Before I tell you about Bubba's dream vacation, I have to tell you about something weird that happened to me today.  I went to the automatic car wash and pulled my car into the garage bay.  It was cold outside, so the bay doors closed behind me. The car wash was uneventful, but when it was finished, and the sign that said, "drive ahead," came on, the door would not open.  I sat there for a minute, waiting.  Still it wouldn't open.  I got out of my car to assess the situation.  The door could not be lifted manually, but I found an emergency open button.  I pressed it, but it didn't work.  This isn't good, I thought.  Of course, nobody else was around.  I was all alone.  I wandered around the garage until I found another emergency open button.  This had better work, I thought.  It did.  The back door opened.  I put my car in reverse and got the heck out of there.

And do you know what the weird thing was?  When I had first pulled into that garage and the doors closed, a thought popped into my head that I was going to get stuck in there.  How's that for a premonition?  Total craziness!

Okay.  Now for the story.  My husband and I took the kids to get passports.  (This was an epic adventure, too, because the clerk's pen blew up and got ink all over the paperwork and my son's birth certificate.)

While the paperwork was being completed, another clerk started talking to my boy.  "Where are you going on vacation?" she asked.

"Nowhere," he said.

The lady looked puzzled.  "Then why are you getting passports?"

"In case we go to Alaska," he answered.

I laughed.  "Dude, you don't need a passport to go to Alaska.  That's still the United States."

The clerk smiled.  "Where would you like to go?" she asked.

He thought about that.  "Madagascar," he answered.

"Why Madagascar?" asked the lady.

"Because I want to ride elephants and llamas."

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Whipped Cream Incident

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great time yesterday.  We did.  There were no fires this year. That was a good thing.  But there was a whipped cream incident.  Let me tell you about it.

After dinner, it was time for pumpkin pie.  My father-in-law decided to eat his piece in the family room while watching the football game.  Big mistake.  My son plopped down right next to him.  As he did, the whipped cream-covered pie fell off the plate and landed on my father-in-law's belly.  Not at all ruffled by this, my father-in-law put the pie back on the plate and finished eating it.  "What's a little whipped cream on the shirt?" he said.

Apparently my husband and brother-in-law thought that whipped cream on the shirt looked quite fashionable. Do you know what they did?  They grabbed two cans of Reddi  Wip and started chasing each other around the house.  My husband managed to spray the front of my brother-in-law's shirt.  My brother-in-law sprayed my husband's arms.  Then the kids and dog got involved.  Around and around they went chasing each other,  laughing, screaming, and spraying each other with Reddi Wip.

Did I mention they were wearing turkey hats, too?  Yep.  It was a sight.  Grown men over forty, running around the house, wearing turkey hats, Reddi Wipping themselves.    I don't think they'll ever grow up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Playing Fussball with My Boy

"Mama"" my eight-year-old son said.  "Will you play fussball with me?"

I thought about all the things I had to do to get ready for Thanksgiving.  Then I looked into my son's big blue eyes.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to spend a little time with him.   "All right," I said.  "But only one game.  I have a ton of stuff to do!"

We went down to the basement where the fussball table was and started playing.  I scored immediately.  I moved my score marker to one point...and so did my son.

"Hey," I said.  "That was my point, not yours!"

He just grinned and set the ball back on the table.  We continued playing.  I scored again.  And again he gave himself a point.

"Bubba, that's not how you play! "

"Yeah, it is Mama!"

I gave him one of my mom looks and continued playing.  This time, he scored.  He moved his point markers up two.

"Wait a minute,"  I said.  "You don't get two points - only one!"

He giggled and set the ball right in front of my goal keeper.  He whacked the ball in, and gave himself two more points.

"Bubba, what kind of game is this?  You're cheating!"

"It's Bubba Fussball and Bubba never loses!"

(The relatives will be descending upon our house tonight, so I will be extremely busy cooking, cleaning, and entertaining. In case I am unable to post in the next few days, I want to wish all of you in the United States who celebrate Thanksgiving a very happy holiday! )       

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Miss Giggle Fit

First of all, I'd like to announce that I am no longer on strike.  My kids came to their senses and apologized for their incessant harassment.  My daughter even got up early and made breakfast for me this morning.  Wasn't that nice?  Now my husband - well, he's another story!  We'll save that for next time.

Here's the story for today:  I think my daughter blew some kind of gasket in her head.  She could not stop laughing.  "Why?" you ask.  Well, I'm not really sure.  She said I said something funny.  I couldn't even tell you what.  I think it had something to do with keeping her spittle to herself.

Anyway, she started laughing uncontrollably.  She collapsed on to her bed, her face as red as a tomato, gasping for breath. 

I watched her for a few minutes and started getting concerned.  "Excuse me," I said.  "Do you need to be hospitalized?"

That made her laugh more.  Tears rolled down her face.  She could barely breath.  I figured I should just keep my mouth shut before I made things any worse.

Ten minutes later, she finally had herself under control.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, Mom, but don't ever make me laugh, again.  I might die next time!"

Okay.  I'll try to remember that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mama is on Strike!

Yesterday, my husband and kids were harrassing me for being a psychopath emotional basketcase musician.  Today, they have commenced physical torture.

"Mom," my eleven-year-old daughter said.  "Listen to this!"

She started blowing through some sort of clay whistle thing.  The sound that came out of it was a high-pitched, shrill, ear-splitting whistle.

I quickly covered my ears.  "What is that?" I asked.

"A Hungarian bird whistle.  Granny got it for me when she was in Hungary."

"It's horrid," I said.  "Please stop, or you're going to break both of our eardrums!"

She didn't stop.   She just kept blowing it. 

Then my son came in.  He had a bazooka air gun.  And guess what he did?  Yep.  He aimed it right at me and shot a puff of air at my face.  My baby fine hair blew back and got completely messed up.  "Got you!"

"Yeah, you got me," I said.  "Now cut it out, and let me do my work."

Of course he didn't cut it out.  Both of my kids were set on annoying me as much as possible -  one messing up my ears, and the other messing up my hair. 

Then my husband joined the scene.  He took that bazooka gun.  "Here, Bubba, let me show you how it's done."  He completely blasted me!

"That's it!" I shouted.  "I'm done with all this harassment!  I'm going on strike!"

They got quiet.  "What?" they said.

"You heard me.  I'm going on strike!"

"But Mama," my son said.  "I'm hungry!"

"Too bad, kid.  You're on your own! "

So what do you think?  Will they survive, or will they come crawling back to me on their knees, begging for forgiveness?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beethoven According to My Husband

Today, I dragged my family to see Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  (We have a new conductor, so I thought it would be nice to support him.)

It was like pulling teeth to get them to go.

"Mama, do we have to go?" my son said.

"Mom, that's going to be really boring," my daughter said.

My husband just gave me one of his looks.

I had to do some quick thinking. "They sell chocolate candy there."

That did the trick. 

We went to the concert and sat there for two hours, listening to the music.   My kids were indeed bored out of their minds.

Afterwards, my husband gave his commentary:  "Why was that symphony so long? It should've been over in 45 minutes.  He just kept repeating  the same thing, over and over again."

"He was trying to convey the message of brotherhood and hope," I said.  "He probably wanted to make sure it was understood."

My husband looked at me like I was crazy.  "Here's what I think.  I think the guy was a senile, confused, deaf old guy, who couldn't remember what he wrote, so he kept writing it over and over.  I mean, what guy in his right mind would write a piece and make a choir sit there for an hour and a half before they even start singing?  What if they have to go to the bathroom?  No, he just expects them to sit there and be ready to sing perfectly when it's time!"

 He went on.  "Why didn't somebody take a look at the manuscript and figure out how to make it better?  What's wrong with you musicians? "

"Excuse me?" I said.  "What do you mean, 'what's wrong with musicians?'"

"You guys just play that stuff and pretend like it's okay.  Do you know why?"

"Why?"  I asked.

"Because you musicians are a bunch of psychopath emotional basket cases."

The kids put in their two cents.  "Yeah, Mom, you're a psychopath emotional basket case!  You play just like all those musicians on the stage - you twitch around just like they do."

Then Bubba added, "Yeah, Mama, and your hair looks just like Beethoven's!"

What the heck?  Do you think my hair looks like Beethoven's?  So there you have it.  Remind me never, ever, ever to take my family to an orchestra concert  again! 



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mister Ambitious

My eight-year-old son had a project in school.  It was to list his plans for the future.  Here's what the boy had to say:

1.  When I'm in the sixth grade, I hope to be tall.  (Good luck with that, because I was really small until I was sixteen.  Hopefully you won't take quite so long to grow!)

2.  When I'm in high school, I would like to be a millionaire.  (Then you'd better start working, kid!)

3.  When I'm 25, I hope I will be a master skydiver.  (What?  Where did that come from?)

4.  When I grow up, I would really like to sleep all day. 

I had to have a little talk with Bubba about that last one.  "Dude," I said.  "You can't just sleep all day when you're a grown up.  You have to work!"

"No, Mama," he said.  "I'm going to be a millionaire in high school.  Then I won't have to work when I'm an adult, and I can sleep all day!"

Wow. I wish I had thought of that when I was eight years old!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Miss You Blog Fest

Today, we're doing the Oh, How I Miss You blogfest, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Andrew Leon, and Matthew MacNish.  It's all about bloggers you really miss, and bloggers you'd miss if they were gone. 

Of course, I'd miss all of you if you were gone, but I can't list all of you, because that would be over 10,000 words, and I really don't think you want to read all of that.  So I had to narrow it down quite a bit.

So here we go:

The blogger I really miss is Crack You Whip.  Where did you go?  I loved reading your hilarious posts and looking at your chicken scribble comics (which are really pretty awesome)!  I hope you come back! 

And here's who I'd miss if they were gone:

Dana at the Daily Dose.  I love your Friday funnies and your Sunday inspirations.  I miss you when you're not posting!

Arni at Travel Gourmande.  I really enjoy reading both of your blogs!  You seem like such a kindred spirit.  I bet we'd be really good friends if you lived a little closer!  I would miss you if you were gone.

Pat Hatt at Rhyme Time.  You are such a funny guy.  It cracks me up when you put your followers in your stories - like when you made me the scary floating zombie thing!  Thanks for all the laughs, and thanks for always commenting on my posts!   

Janie Junebug at Women:  We shall overcome.  You're like my blog mom.  You take such good care of me with your virtual chicken soup when I don't feel good.  And you always have such interesting advice about men.  You rock - mental paws and all!

Alex Cavanaugh.  It goes without saying, anyone who knows the Ninja Captain would miss him if he was gone.  Thanks for all you do, Alex!

I'm at my limit, so I can't go on.  But I want you to know, that I would miss all of you if you were gone.  You're the reason I do this.  Thanks for following, and thanks for commenting!

One  little advertisement before I go:  I just did a radio show about Raising Kids with Good Character.  I promised the host I'd advertise it.  It begins broadcasting on November 16th. If you're interested, you can listen to it at your convenience.  Here's the link  Once on the page, you will see a triangular badge with the words, "IEY radio."  The audio file is right under it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Changing the Light Bulb

The light bulb in my walk-in closet burned out, so I took the initiative to fix it.  I found another bulb, climbed up on a stool, and began unscrewing the light fixture.  Except I wasn't supposed unscrew that thing.  I discovered this important fact after I had completely detached it from the ceiling.  I didn't see a bulb - only wires.  Oops, I thought.  Another mess up.     I quickly figured out that I had to unscrew a portion of the fixture to get to the bulb.  Fine.  I did it, replaced the bulb, and attempted to fix the fixture.  It didn't work.  My primitive mind simply could not figure it out.  I left the thing hanging by its wires and waited for my husband to take care of it.

When he came home, I showed him my good job.  "Don't you know how to change a light bulb?" he asked.

I laughed.  "No.  That's why I keep you around - to fix my mess ups!"

He took a look at it, but he couldn't get it, either.  "Woman, we're going to have to get a new house now because you botched this up."

"What?"  That sounded a little extreme.  "You're going to just leave this thing  hanging by the wires so the next owner can deal with it?" 

"Yep.  Call the realtor."

(Fortunately, he was able to fix it after taking the entire thing apart.  It was a project, but at least we won't be moving any time soon!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Like Daddy

Before I share my story, I'd like to announce the winners of Virginia Wright's book:  Christine Rains and Tracy Campbell.  Congratulations, ladies!

Now for the story:

"I want to be just like Daddy," my eight-year-old son announced at the dinner table.

"That's not very ambitious," said my husband.  "I have a job I don't like, I play way too many video games, I ride a motorcycle, and I make Mama mad every day."

I laughed at that last part.  "No," I said,  "only when you call me 'woman' and make demands." 

Without missing a beat, my son said, "Woman, bring me more food!"

Grrrr.  I see I have some work to do with him!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Mustard, Please

My son had a hamburger cloud floating over his head yesterday after we picked my daughter up from dance lessons.  "Mama, I really need a hamburger," he said.

"You need one?" I asked.  "Are you sure?"

"Yes, Mama.  I'll die without one."

I highly doubted that.  Fortunately for him, there was a Dairy Queen nearby.  I decided to let them do the cooking.

We walked in and the teenager behind the counter took the little guy's order.  "What would you like on that?" she asked.

"Ketchup and a little bit of mustard.  But not too much mustard, because I'm not sure I like it."

I looked at the boy.  "What do you mean?  You just had a hot dog a few days ago and you thought mustard was just great on it!"

"Yeah, Mama, but that was a hot dog."

"What's the difference?" I asked.  I couldn't understand what the big deal was.

"Mama, hot dogs are pink and skinny.  Hamburgers are round and black.  I'm not sure if mustard goes good with round, black things."

Oh.  That made perfect sense to me.  The girl behind the counter thought so, too.  She laughed and brought out his hamburger with a lot of ketchup and a little bit of mustard, which he thoroughly enjoyed. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Roller King and an Award

Hey everybody, did you enjoy the interview with Virginia Wright?  She's such a great lady!  In a day or two, I'll announce the winners of her book.

While you guys were hanging here visiting with Virginia, I bailed out.  Nice host I am, huh?  I took my son to the roller rink, where we mindlessly went around in circles for two hours.  We skated to a bunch of  tunes including, Party in the USA, Call Me Maybe, and my favorite, Gangnam Style.  (I have no idea what those Korean dudes are singing about, but it sure has a good beat!)  I taught my boy how to do the dance on roller blades:  Right, left, right, right, left, right, left, left, while hopping around like you're on a horse.  Are you confused yet?  You should've seen that kid move!  The chicks were digging him! 

"Dude," one teenage girl said.  "You know how to bust a move!"

"Yeah," said another.  "You're even better than Mitt Romney!"

Hmmmm.  I had better watch those women.  I think they were hitting on my boy, and he's way to young to date!

Anyway, we had a great time, and then we topped it off by going out for ice cream.  What could be better than that?

Last order of business:  I discovered an award waiting for me.  This one is the Top Commentor Award.  Suzanne Furness decided I was worthy of such a thing.  Thank you so much, Suzanne!  This award is given to bloggers who take the time to visit other blogs and comment.  I try to visit as many of you as possible, because I enjoy reading about what's going on in your world. It means so much to me when you comment, so naturally, I want to return the favor!

I'm going to pass this award on to some other fabulous bloggy friends:

 Pat Hatt:  This guy never fails to comment.  He's just amazing.  Thank you, Pat!

Arni at Travel Gourmande:  She's such a sweet lady - with a couple of nice blogs, too!

Lynn Proctor:  Another fabulous person who always stops by.

Susanne Drazic;  I met her when she reviewed my book as part of a book tour.  We've been blog friends ever since!

Christine Rains:  A talented writer who is also an incredibly nice person!

Please stop by and visit these wonderful bloggers.  Thanks again, Suzanne!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Encore: Guest Author, Virginia Wright

Today, I'd like to welcome back author, Virginia Wright.  She has a new book out just in time for Christmas.  I invited her over to my pad to tell you about it.  So here she is:  The lovely, Virginia Wright!

Hi Virginia!  I'm so excited about your new book, The Christmas Secret!  Can you tell us a little about it?
      Mikey loves everything about Christmas except one thing--deciding what gift he wants. As Christmas nears he frantically flips the pages of his mother's department store catalogs, looking for a toy that he wants most. Turning to his best friend Charlie for ideas, he finally finds the answer. But will he get what he wants this year?

    My kids can totally relate to that!  They're always looking through catalogues, marking down things they want! 

2     What inspired you to write it?
The Christmas Secret was inspired by remembering Christmas as a child; I wanted to create a story that was reminiscent of Christmas past. While this is a fiction, I relied on my childhood memories to write this story.

Childhood memories can lead to the best kind of stories!

3     What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?
Some of my favorite Christmas memories definitely surround Christmas Eve. Every year the family would get together on Christmas Eve. We would eat many homemade goodies, my favorite were sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles on the top. The whole family would go to church for midnight mass, we would get in our “Sunday best” clothes and off to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church we would go. Growing up in Maine, it was always freezing cold Christmas Eve, and I vividly remember the crisp fresh air when getting out of the car while sliding into church. The snow was all about the church and ground, and the low lights inside would be shining through the windows to help light the way; it was so festive, so calm, peaceful, and once we entered the church everyone  was shaking each other’s hands while best wishes of a Merry Christmas were exchanged.  Christmas was such a magical time of the year!

I bet you really enjoyed looking at all the Christmas lights, too!  Such fantastic memories!

4     What is a typical writing day like for you?

If the family and I have no plans, a typical writing day would be I start my day off with checking my social media sites, email, and then I begin writing until I stop for a late lunch. I break for lunch, as soon as we are done, I go back to work until I break for supper, then work too late into the night. J But when I am working on a book, I also illustrate, so I can take the monotony out of a day by switching back and forth writing and illustrating. While I am actively working on a book, I put in twelve hour days typically.

Wow!  It sounds like you are really busy!

5     What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
The best writing advice for me came from a teacher of mine, Charles Zurhorst, who taught “Writing for Profit,” as he said, “While there may be lots of rejections along the way, and it may feel discouraging at times as you head down the writing road, remember one thing-- to never, ever, give up!” Such good advice, as it is so easy to give up, to just say “forget it” when a rejection comes in, or someone doesn’t like what you’ve written. But you just can’t give in to the little voice of doubt!

That is excellent advice!  It's so easy to want to throw in the towel when you're getting rejection letters, but if you stick with it, eventually you'll get published and succeed!

6     What is your best tip for aspiring children’s book authors?
I think I would refer to answer number five for my best tip and that would be to “Never Give up!” “Write-on.”

Love it!

Where can we learn more about you and your books?

Here's where you can find me:

Blog: :

Thank you for having me!

It's always a pleasure to have you here!

Virginia will be giving away two copies of her book to lucky readers!  Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Mama Mess Up

I had planned to make chicken cacciatore for dinner, but when I started preparing it, I realized I didn't have all of the ingredients.  Instead of going to the store to get them, like a sane person would do,  I decided to go with  Plan B.  I pulled out a box of Cornflakes and looked at the recipe on the back.  Cornflake chicken.  Okay.  I thought I'd give it a try.  

I followed all of the directions, and an hour later, dinner was ready.  I put it on the table.  My son sat down and started eating it.  He made a face.  "Mama, this is your worst mess up ever!"

"Even worse than when she baked the ham with the wrapper on it?" my husband asked.  (Yes, I did do that.  Don't ask!)

"Yeah.  It's horrible."

"Oh, come on," I said.  "It can't be that bad, or they'd never put the recipe on the box of Cornflakes."

My daughter cut off a piece and put it on the floor for Schultz, our German Shepherd, to eat.  He sniffed it and walked away.  "See?" she said.  "Even Schultz won't eat it, because it's so disgusting."

I looked at the dog.  Then I looked at my family.  I speared my chunk of chicken and threw it into Schultz's food bowl.  "All right, dog.  Let's try this again."

He wagged his tail and gobbled it up. 

"See, it's not that bad.  Eat it!"


I knew I wasn't going to win this battle.  So I made them chicken noodle soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which they happily wolfed down.

Note to self:  never follow dinner recipes that are on the back of cereal boxes!    

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Budding Politicians

All of the election publicity has my kids talking politics.

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said, "I want to be President when I grow up."

"That's nice," I said.  "You'd be a good President."

"What do I have to do to become President?"

"You have to go to school and study history, and government, and law," I explained.

My eleven-year-old daughter added her two cents to the conversation.  "I'm going to go to Harvard law school."

"I hope you get a good scholarship for that," I said.

She continued.  "Then I'm going to be the governor of Vermont."

"Vermont?  Why Vermont?  You're not from Vermont."  I couldn't understand that girl's thinking.

"Because that's where Ben and Jerry's ice cream started.  And I like the Americone Dream flavor."

Of course.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kids in the Kitchen

"Mom," my eleven-year-old daughter said.  "Can Bubba and I make dinner tonight?"

"Sure," I said.  A break from kitchen duty sounded good. "What are you going to make?"


"Okay."  I got out the Pillsbury pizza dough and other ingredients and placed them on the counter.  "Have at it."

I went back to my work. 

Two seconds later:  "Mom, how do you open this?"

I had to show her how. 

Three seconds later:  "Mom, what do you do with this stuff?"

"Read the directions."

Four seconds later, I looked at the girl.  She had rolled the pizza dough into a giant ball.  "You're supposed to roll out the dough," I said. 

She tried and got frustrated.  "Here Mom, you do it!"

I rolled the dough into a circle.

"Now what?" she asked.

"Read the directions," I said, and went back to my work.

Five seconds later:  "Mom, you need to put this in the oven."

I put it in the oven and set the timer. Meanwhile, my daughter decided to make a milkshake.  She got out the blender, and the milk, and the ice cream.  She put the stuff in the blender and started mixing.  Unfortunately, the apparatus was not completely secure, and milk spilled out the bottom.  "Mom!" she cried.  "You didn't put this together right!"  She stood there while the milk poured off of the kitchen counter on to the floor.

I grabbed some paper towels and cleaned up the mess.  

Then my son got involved. Of course I had to help him, too.

Finally, dinner was ready.

"Mom, can we invite our friends over for a pizza party?  I think they'll like the pizza I made."

I laughed at that.  "Sure, go ahead," I said. 

Soon we had a house full of kids enjoying pizza and milk shakes.  So much for a night off!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Geek vs. Nerd

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who visited my blog for the blog hop and giveaway.  You guys are awesome!  I wish I had a gift card for everyone who commented, but I don't.  I only have three.  (Maybe I'll have a stack of fifty for next time!)  

 Here are the winners (my kids drew the lucky names) :    

Alex Cavanaugh


Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies


Now for the story.

"Mom," my eleven-year-old daughter said.  "What's the difference between a geek and a nerd?"

I knew this was going to be an interesting conversation.  "I don't know," I said.  "I thought they were the same thing."

"No, Mom," she insisted, "there's a difference."

"What's the difference?" I asked.

"Geeks wear weird clothes and they're only into one thing.  Nerds are the brainy people with glasses and braces."


She continued.  "Mom, what are you, a geek or a nerd?"

"Neither," I said. 

"I think you're a nerd."

"Why do you think that?" I asked.

"Because you're freakishly smart....and you smile too much."

"What?"  I couldn't believe she had just said that.

"Yeah.  That's weird, Mom!"

I busted up, laughing.

"See, Mom.  You're doing it, again."

"Sorry," I said.  "I'll try to frown more!"

So, ladies and gentleman,  what do you think?  Am I a geek or a nerd?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm Thankful for My Readers Blog Hop

First of all, I'd like to thank Vikki and Tara for putting together this fantastic blog hop!  I think it's a great idea.  I am so grateful to all of you who follow and comment on my blog and Facebook fan page.  It means so much, and it really makes my day!  To celebrate over 200 followers, and to thank you for being so awesome, I'm giving away  three $10 Amazon gift cards.  Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Now here's a poem I came up with for the occassion.  It's just a little thing, but I hope you enjoy it.

T  is for thoughtful in all that you do.

H is for happy to read comments from you!

A is for awesome, 'cuz that's what you are.

N is for near - I wish you weren't so far!

K is for all of the kind things you say.

S is for super - how you make my day!

Thanks for everything you do!  I wish I could meet you all in person because you guys rock!

One more giveaway:  I am a guest over at Virginia Wright's blog.   If you have a minute, please stop by for a chance to win a copy of my book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN.   

Guest at Virginia Wright's Blog

Hi everybody!  I'm hopping pads today.  You'll find me over at Virginia Wright's blog.  I'll be talking about my first book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, and giving away a couple of copies to lucky commenters.  Hope you can join me!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hebrew for Dummies

"Mom, I want to learn Hebrew," my eleven-year-old daughter said.

"Why do you want to learn Hebrew?" I asked.

"I want to go to Israel  like you did , and ride camels."

I wasn't sure you needed to know Hebrew to ride camels, but I'm all for learning languages, so I agreed to help her learn.

 I used to know a little Hebrew, because I had taken some classes. But that was ten years ago and I was quite certain that I had forgotten everything I had learned, since my brain has atrophied into a gray blob of mush.  I figured I wouldn't be much help.  "Okay," I said.  "Let's go to Barnes and Noble and find some Hebrew books."

That's what we did.   On the way home, my daughter started reading Hebrew for Dummies . After about five minutes, the drama started.  "Mom, this doesn't make sense!"

"What doesn't make sense?"

"There are masculine words and feminine words.  Does that mean only girls can say the girl words, and the boys can say the boy words?"

"No," I said, and explained how in many languages, there are masculine and feminine nouns, and the articles and adjectives that preceed them have to reflect this.

She didn't get it.  "Mom, this is stupid," she said.  "This book is the dumbest  Hebrew for Dummies ever!"

 So now I'm thinking we should go back to the store and find   Hebrew for Really Dumb Dummies.  Or maybe we should just ride the camels and let them eat the book. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chickens are Reptiles

Chickens are reptiles.  I bet you didn't know that, did you?  My eight-year-old son made that announcement as he poked at the chicken on his dinner plate.

"Bubba," I said, "chickens are not reptiles.  They're birds."

"No, Mama.  See - they have scales!"

I looked at the chicken on his plate.  "Dude, those are just ripples in its skin."

He insisted that they were scales.  "And do you know what else, Mama?"

"What else?" I asked.

"Fish are reptiles, too."

"No, they're not."  I said.  "Fish are fish."

"But they have scales, Mama!"

"And I suppose you're going to tell me that humans are reptiles, too," I said.

"Well, yeah.  I've seen humans with scale skin."

 I just shook my head.  I think that boy is more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind!    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Miss Perfect

"Mom," my daughter said when she came home from school.  "I'm perfect!"

I looked at her.  "Well, that's debatable."

"But I am," she insisted.  "I was measured in class, and all of my proportions are the exact measurement of the golden ratio."  (She has been studying DaVinci's Vetruvian man and the golden ratio in her gifted math class.)

"That's nice," I said, unimpressed.

"Only two of us in the class were perfect.  I was one of them."

She was obviously very proud of this little revelation.  "Okay," I said. "Did they measure your personality?  Is that perfect?"

Without missing a beat, she said, "Mom, you know I'm the perfect drama queen!"

Yes.  So I guess it's official.  My daughter is perfect in every way.  Ha!