Mama Diaries

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Open a Crown Cap Bottle Without a Bottle Opener

My boy, Bubba, wanted to open a bottle of Coke. The bottle had a crown cap - not one of those convenient twisty plastic caps. I'm not sure why he didn't use a bottle opener, but he found another genius way to open the bottle - with a hammer!

"I'm going to open a bottle with a hammer," he said.

Yeah, sure,  I thought. I expected to see broken pieces of glass as a result of this operation.

But he did it - without any spillage or breakage. With the head of the hammer under the lip of the cap, he slammed the hammer handle into the ground. The lid popped right off. If you don't believe it, check out this video for examples of how it's done.

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that for the month of July, two of my books (That Mama is a Gouch and Ten Zany Birds), are free from Smashwords. Visit here for the Grouch book, and here for the Bird book.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Coffee Making 101

The other day, my son, Bubba, decided he wanted to make coffee.

"Mama," he said. "How to you make coffee?"

"You put some ground beans in the filter, fill the coffee maker with water, and then wait for it to get finished."

The boy had seen his dad grind coffee beans, so step one was not a problem. He placed a new filter (after a lot of searching for one) in the filter cup.  Then came the water part. He carefully inspected the machine to figure out where to put the water.  He put his fist into one of the openings. "It's not wet," he said. "It must not go there." He poured the water into the filter, over the grinds.

"Dude!" I said. "The water goes there." I showed him where he had put his fist. "It wasn't wet, because it hadn't been used in a while."

We cleaned up mess one, and tried again. This time, he put the water in the right place, but when the beeper went off, indicating the coffee was done, there was nothing but a few drops in the pot.

We opened the lid. All the hot water was on top of grinds in the filter, but it didn't go through.

"I know what I did," Bubba said. "I didn't take the plastic part out of the filter cup."

We cleaned up mess two, and tried again. This time he got it right.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is what Bubba learned about making coffee:

1. Grind the coffee beans.

2. Find and insert filter into the filter cup, making sure liquid can pass through to the coffee pot. Remove parts that inhibit this.

3. Add ground beans to the filter.

4. Add water to proper reservoir.

5. Make sure coffee maker is on.

6. Wait for the beep, indicating brewing is finished.

7. Carefully pour coffee into suitable coffee mug.

8. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Cake Destined for Disaster

I knew it was doomed when the eggs hit the pavement.

I was planning to make a cake for our anniversary, but discovered that I had no eggs. (Apparently Bubba used the last of them for his culinary creation, and left the empty carton in the refrigerator.)  I went to the grocery store, picked up a carton, and promptly dropped it as I tried getting it into my car. The yellow yolk oozed out, creating a lovely mess. I quickly found another plastic bag and wrapped it up, hoping to contain the bio hazard.

When I got home, I discovered that all but four were destroyed. I only needed three, so I was good. I mixed the batter, and was ready to prepare the baking pans by greasing and flouring them. But guess what? I didn't have any Crisco grease. A few choice words went through my head as I scrummaged through the pantry trying to find another solution. I found some Pam non-stick cooking spray. This should work, I thought.  

It didn't. When I attempted to take the cake out of the pan, it stuck. Then it fell apart. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what that sorry thing looked like when it was done:

*Sigh* At least it tasted okay!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Disappearing Cake

The other day, I baked a cake. After I frosted it, I left it on the counter. It was covered, on a cake dish.

The next morning, the cake had mysteriously disappeared. Usually my husband is the culprit. I asked him about, but he didn't have a clue as to where it went. The odd thing was that the entire cake dish had vanished, and there weren't any tell-tale forks and plates in the sink.

I figured it would eventually show up.

It did. Sort of. The cake plate returned to the counter, with only some cake crumbs and chocolate frosting on it.

"Kids!" I said. "What happened to this cake?"

They came downstairs and grinned. "Midnight snack!" 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Cat Present

Bootsy, our cat, likes to leave an assortment of presents for me on our back deck. These are usually things like dead beetles, dead frogs, dead chipmunks, dead mice . . . you get the picture. Yesterday's present was something a little different: a wasp nest.

I had to look twice. It was a paper wasp nest, probably about two inches in diameter. Bootsy had plopped it right in front of our back door. He sat next to it, looking all proud of himself.

Fortunately, there weren't any wasps in it, which made me wonder exactly what had transpired between Bootsy and the insects. Probably I don't want to know!

I have two other things I want to share with you. The first is a video-making site that all you authors might be interested in. It's called Biteable. You can make slide shows featuring your books, and use them as part of your marketing campaign. The cost to make them is free, but to download them and post them on YouTube, you either pay a monthly subscription fee of about $30, or $99 for a year.

Here's a video I made:

The other thing I want to share, is a video that was made by a local high school student, documenting the problem of drugs and alcohol among teenagers in the area where I live. It's very eye-opening and relevant to  teenagers everywhere. If you are a parent of middle school or high school kids, I would encourage you to watch it. (It's long - 30 minutes. If you don't have  a lot of time, go to the 20 - 22 minute mark  to learn where kids hide the drugs.)

Click on this link.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Lifetime Supply of Astronaut Ice Cream

"Mama," my twelve-year-old son said. "Can I enter a sweepstake to win a lifetime supply of astronaut ice cream?"

I shook my head. "Dude, when you enter a sweepstake, you get put on a mailing list. And then you have a lifetime supply of spam."

"But it's worth it," he argued.


"Because if I win, and I'm ever homeless, I'll always have something to eat!"

Before I go, I'd like to thank everyone for all the well-wishes for my recital. It went very well, and the audience was so complimentary and appreciative. It's always nice to play for people like that! Here's a picture from it:


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cookie Concoction

I came home the other day and found a cookie pan covered with sticky, chocolate chip goop lying in the sink. It looked pretty disgusting.

I went into my husband's office and asked him, "What happened in the kitchen?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. Ask your son."

I went back into the kitchen and discovered a box of chocolate chip cookie mix and a bowl loaded with more goop and chunks of butter.

The boy walked in. "Dude, what's going on here?"

"I'm waiting for the butter to melt."

"Unless it gets to be one hundred degrees in here, this butter is not going to melt. Besides, if you're trying to make cookies, this stuff is way too runny!"

"I'm not trying to make cookies," he said.

"Then what are you trying to do?"

He pointed to the back of the box. "I'm trying to make this." It was a brownie/chocolate chip dessert.

I read the directions. "Dude, you need the brownie mix to go with this."

"Oh." Apparently the boy didn't feel inclined to read all of the directions.

"So, now what are you going to do?"

He shrugged and walked away.

I had a choice. I could either toss the entire mess, or attempt to do something with it. Since I'm not one to waste things, I did the latter. I grabbed a loaf pan, stirred the concoction so the butter pieces were a little more broken up, and then poured it in the pan. I popped it into the oven, and guessed at how long the thing should bake. I guessed good. When it was finished, it looked like a loaf of chocolate chip bread. My kids must've smelled it, because not long afterward, they came downstairs to have a piece.

"This is awesome!" Bubba said. "I made the best dessert ever!"  

With a little help from Mom!

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that this Sunday, April 23rd, I will be giving a viola recital. If you are in the area, you are welcome to come. Here's the info: