Mama Diaries

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cat Stalkers

Before I begin, I'd like to let you know that blogger friend, Traci Terry is doing a giveaway of my newest picture book, Don't Feed the Elephant. If you'd like to enter, or read the nice review she posted, go here.

Now for the story:

A couple of evenings ago, I was out walking around the neighborhood. I noticed a cat. He was hiding behind a bush in stalk mode. I wondered what he was stalking, so I watched. Turns out, he was stalking another cat, who happened to be wandering aimlessly through someone's yard. I didn't think the stalker cat was being very nice, so I decided to give him a little surprise. I stalked him.

I snuck up behind him in super-stealth mode. He didn't have a clue I was there.  Then, when I was an arm's-length away, I shouted, "Boo!"

You should've seen that cat!  Let's just say I scared him good!  He ran off as fast as he could.

The next morning, Schultz, our German Shepherd, and I went out for a walk. Guess who we saw? The cats. Not exactly in stalk mode, but still out and about. Schultz decided he wanted to try stalking. Trouble is, he's not so good at it. Problem number one is that his tags jingle. Anything can hear him coming a mile away. And problem number two is that he simply doesn't know how to properly stalk. Slow motion is a foreign concept. It's all about chasing. Needless to say, Schultz didn't scare any cats. I think I need to teach him a thing or two!


Monday, March 12, 2018

The Germ Shepherd

Our German Shepherd, Schultz, recently had a case of a bad ear infection. It seems that the satellite ears of the breed are very good at collecting debris. Ear infections are quite common with German Shepherds. When the veterinarian did a swab sample of whatever was in Schultz's ear, the collection revealed an assortment of fungus, bacteria, and who-knows-what-else. Poor dog! He took his medication, and I'm happy to report he's fine now.

But the funny thing is, on the same day he came back from the vet, we received his renewed license. (Pet owners in Georgia have to renew these every year.) On the license it read, "Germ Shepherd." I chuckled. Very appropriate!

                                                   Schultz, the Germ Shepherd

One more thing:

As I was wandering through the cyber universe, I found these very cute pictures of a German Shepherd and his owl friend. If you'd like to see them, click here.

Monday, March 5, 2018


If you have school-age kids, you know how crazy it can be in the morning, trying to get them ready for school. After breakfast, my teenage son always wants to crawl back into bad for an extra fifteen minutes of sleep. Usually, he wakes up in time and gets to the bus stop. The other day, he did not.

"Mom, can you drive me to the bus stop?"

I had just put the last hot roller in my hair, and was getting ready to apply my makeup. I had to be out the door for a meeting in less than thirty minutes. "Dude, seriously?"

"Yeah. I'm not going to make it if we don't go now."

I sighed. I didn't want to take the rollers out, because the hair wouldn't have had time to curl properly. I ran out of the bathroom and grabbed my purse and keys. "Fine. Let's go."

Of course, he missed the bus, which meant I had to drive him to school wearing no makeup and sporting hot rollers in my hair. Not a pretty sight.  "This is so not cool!" I complained.

Bubba laughed. "You look great, Mom!"

I frowned. Then I spotted a police man, parked, waiting to nab speeders. I won't say what I thought, but it was about as nice as I looked. I frantically started pulling the rollers out of my hair, and managed to get all but the back ones out. At least if he had seen me from the side and front, I'd have looked normal. I figured it would have been just my luck to get stopped looking like such a disaster. Fortunately, my speed didn't activate his radar. I put on a pair of sunglasses, and hoped my funky hair-do wouldn't attract too much attention.

It didn't. I dropped the boy off to school without anyone giving me any funny looks. I also got home and did my makeup and hair properly, so that when I went out again, I was no longer a mom-tastrophe.

Have any of you ever had a similar experience?

Before I go, I'd like to share a book trailer for my newest book, Don't Feed the Elephant. If you haven't already seen it, it features animation of some of the illustrations, and a narration done by me. The trailer was produced by epublishingeXperts who illustrated the book. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Souper Blog Hop

Hi everybody! Today, I'm participating in the Souper Blog Hop, created to help promote Chrys Fey's mom's new book, Pea Soup Disaster. Participants will share their favorite soup recipe. I don't know about you, but I love soup! I make a lot of it, because you can throw so much good stuff into it and it tastes so yummy–especially on a cold winter day! I struggled to come up with my favorite, because there are so many good recipes. But I settled on loaded potato soup. How many of you are loaded potato fans? If you are, then you'll like this soup! Here's the recipe:


6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 pounds russet potatoes, chopped
1 cup sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar
4 scallions, sliced, for garnish


Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, 6-8 minutes, remove to a plate. When cool, crumble and set aside for garnish.

 Add the onions and garlic to the pot, and cook in the bacon grease until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and some salt and pepper, and stir until combined. Cook fro 3 minutes, so the raw flour tastes cooks out. Add the chicken broth and heavy cream, whisking to remove any flour lumps. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. With a potato masher, break up the cooked potatoes until it is a thick and chunky consistency. Whisk in sour cream and then the shredded cheddar, let it melt through. 

Serve garnished with crispy crumbled bacon and sliced scallions. 

(If you want to be a little more health-conscious, you can use bacon bits and just use vegetable/olive oil to cook the onions and garlic.)

What's your favorite soup?

BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

Available in Print:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye got the idea for Pea Soup Disaster from her son who loved to eat her homemade pea soup. Pea Soup Disaster is the first of many fun stories featuring Gregory Green and his teddy bear, Sammy, as part of the Gregory Green Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

Find Elaine:
Website / Instagram / Litsy - @ElaineKaye

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Mad Scientist

When I wake up in the morning, I don't think about plutonium or nuclear reactors. I don't think about the inner workings of a battery, either. I wake up and think about making breakfast for my kids, and hope I can do it without spilling an entire jug of milk on the floor. 

My son, Bubba, on the other hand does think about plutonium, and radon, and nuclear fusion. In fact, he draws complicated diagrams of batteries and explains them to me, as I sit there in a complete state of grogginess.

Here was the latest diagram: 

This is a battery. Some kind of special one with a lead case so the radioactive material inside doesn't create a problem for its handler. The diagram on the left is something about how to make two parts come together to begin the reaction once the casing is secure. Do you understand? Me neither.  I thought he was probably coming up with this from the top of his head. Maybe it was some residual delirium from his recent bout with the flu.

But my husband took a look at it.  It is actually a viable concept for a real plutonium battery. (My husband is a mechanical genius, so he would know if Bubba was full of it.)

I don't know if my Mad Scientist son is going to get the parts and assemble this in our basement. But what I can tell you, is that if you see a mushroom cloud over Atlanta, Georgia, the epicenter will be at my house!   

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Claw Master

My son, Bubba, is a lucky dude. Every time he goes to a place that has those machines where you operate a claw in hopes of snatching a stuffed animal or some other prize, he wins. I don't know how he does it. Must be a magic touch.

The other day, he went to a place called Dave and Busters. He had to try his luck at another claw machine. This one contained jewelry and watches. (I guess stuffed animals don't hold much appeal to him anymore, now that he's a teenager.)

He brought the claw down and snagged a lovely necklace. First try.

"Nice," I said. "What are you doing to do with it?"

"Keep it in a special place. And maybe eventually give it to somebody. Like maybe a girlfriend for Valentine's Day if I ever get one."

"Good thinking."

 Maybe he can win some stuffed animals, too. I'm sure his date would be thrilled!

Before I go, I want to let you know that I'm doing a Goodreads Giveaway for my book, Don't Feed the Elephant. It's for the Kindle version, and it's a chance to win one of 20 copies. Open to US residents only. If you're interested, you can enter here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Race Day

My son, Bubba and I decided to do the 5K Hot Chocolate Race in Atlanta this past Sunday. It sounded like a good idea. Especially since at the end of the run, they give finishers a big bowl and plate filled with rice crispy treats, marshmallows, a banana, chocolate, and of course, hot chocolate!

We had been training for about a month. We were in good shape (aside from blisters on my toes and a screwed up knee–neither of which I acquired from running).  On the morning of the big race, I woke up at 4:00 AM (we had to be there by 6:30 AM), and discovered it was raining. Hard. I groaned. Running in the rain was not something I wanted to do.

Then I looked at the thermometer. 35 Degrees Fahrenheit. Almost cold enough to snow. This is crazy, I thought.

My boy came downstairs.

"Dude," I said. "Take a look at the weather. Do you seriously want to do this?"

He poked his head outside. "Sure. It's not great, but it's no big deal."

Uh huh.

The weather forecast indicated that the rain was going to continue all day. Atlanta was under a weather advisory. I checked the race site. It was still on.

"Okay," I said. "We'll go see what's up. And maybe we can still get our hot chocolate. That's what we're going for, right?"

Long story short - the corral wait in the rain was an hour. The run was just over 35 minutes. It was the coldest, wettest running experience ever! And the hot chocolate wasn't hot. It was tepid.

"That was great!" Bubba said. "Can we do the 15K next year?"

Yeah, right!