Mama Diaries

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Bad Idea

My eleven-year-old son came in from playing outside. He didn't look so good.

"Dude, what's wrong?" I asked.

He sat down in his chair and shook his head. "Mama, I had a really bad idea."

"You? A bad idea?" I wondered what it could've been.

"Yeah. I drank Coke with Mentos and then jumped up and down on a trampoline."

I nodded. "Yep. That's not one of your better ideas. How do you feel?"

"Like I just ate undercooked broccoli without butter."

That's bad.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I would highly advise not drinking Coke with Mentos and then jumping on a trampoline.  Learn from the boy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How to Make Toast

Before I begin my story, I'd like to let you all know that I'm a guest over at Chrys Fey's blog. We're talking about blogging and my life as a mom. Please stop by and visit!

Now for the story.

Last night, my son was in the kitchen. He had a glass measuring cup, into which he inserted a half a stick of butter.

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

"Making toast."

I shook my had. "Making toast? With a half a stick of butter?"

"Yes, Mama. I'm making my special homemade toast. Watch."

He took two slices of bread and put them in the toaster. Then he put the measuring cup with butter in the microwave, and nuked it until the butter was in liquid form. By that time, the toast had popped. He took them out of the toaster, put them on a plate, and then poured the liquid butter over each of them.

But that wasn't all. He flipped them over and poured butter on the other side. Then he got out the blackberry jam and smothered each piece with it.

"There," he said when his creation was finished. "Perfect."

Then the boy ate it.

So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. Now you know how to make toast. Bubba style.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Motor Bikes

"I'm going to go ride my bike," my eleven-year-old son announced.

"Okay," I said. "Have fun."

About twenty minutes later, I heard a ridiculous amount of noise. I looked up and saw my boy and his friends coming down the street on their bikes. The noise was coming from their bikes. They sounded like a twenty-person motorcycle gang. 

When they pulled in the driveway I walked over to ascertain what was causing this din. I found plastic cups rigged to the bikes' fenders which hit the wheel spokes as the bikes were pedaled. "Seriously?" I asked. "What were you guys thinking?"

My son grinned. "We're thinking motor bikes are way cooler than regular bikes. Do you like them?"

I shook my head. "You get an A+ for creativity, but an F for being respectable citizens. You'd better take those things off before someone calls the police because you guys are disturbing the peace!"


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scary Mama Mobile

Yesterday, I went to get an oil change for my car.

As soon as the technician opened my hood, she jumped back and screamed. Literally.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"You have a giant spider living under your hood!"

Oh.  I thought. That's nice.

She grabbed her handy dandy water sprayer thing, and spent the next five minutes spraying the heck out of it. "There," she said when she was finished. "It drowned."

Okay. One less scary thing, I suppose.

After the routine checkup, it was determined that I needed to have my fuel injectors cleaned. Some kind of engine cleaner was added, after which I had to start my car, and give it gas.

Well, the technicians had told the next customer to pull up right behind me. This wasn't a good idea. Because as soon as I hit the gas, a massive amount of black smoke billowed out of my tail pipe. I watched in my rear view mirror as the customer opened her door and ran out of her car, choking and gasping for air.

Poor lady!  "Sorry about that," I said after the smoke cleared.

Finally, it was determined that I needed a new battery (it was on 30%), and that my O2 sensor was not working and had to be replaced. When I got the bill for all the work that had been done, it was over $500!

I tell you, I have one very scary car!

Today's Bubba question of the day comes from Arni. She wanted to know where and to what era Bubba would go if he had a time machine.

Surprisingly, he did not have to think too long about that.

"I would find an unsolved crime in the present where a huge award would be given to someone who could help solve it. Then I would go to the past, to the scene of the crime, and see what happened.  When I return to the present, I will report my findings. Justice will be served, and I will get a lot of money!"

Pretty amazing. How many of you would have thought to do that?

If you have any questions for Bubba, please put them in the comment section.

(And from yesterday's post, if you're curious as to how old I actually am, I'm 144. Minus 100.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ancient Mama

The other day, Richard had a question for Bubba. He wanted to know if he knew how old his Mama was. I figured he probably knew, because I just had  a birthday a couple of weeks ago. So I asked.

"Forty-six?" he replied.

"No, Bubba, I'm not forty-six."

He thought for a minute. "Oh, I know. A hundred and forty-six!"

"A hundred and forty-six?" I couldn't believe it!

"Yes, Mama.  You're ancient!"

So ladies and gentlemen, do you concur with Bubba? Am I one hundred and forty-six?

Thanks for your Bubba questions. I have a couple more to get answers for. It's been fun getting them! If you have any burning questions for Bubba, please put them in the comment section.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Marshmallow Paint

We recently painted my son's room. And you know how nice freshly painted rooms smell.

This morning, when my son came downstairs after spending the night in his room, he had a very interesting comment.  "Mama, they should make marshmallow paint."

"Marshmallow paint?" I asked.

He nodded. "Marshmallow paint would smell much better!"

(I agree. I think they should make chocolate cake paint, too!)

Today's Bubba question of the day comes from Chrys Fey.  She wanted to know what Bubba would do if aliens invaded Earth. Here's Bubba's answer:

"I'd hide in the attic."

"What if they find you?" I asked.

"They'd never find me. Nobody goes in the attic!"


After a moment of thought, he offered another option:

"Or I'd buy an island in the middle of the ocean which could not be detected from space and hang out there. I'd probably find more things to eat and not have to starve if I did that."

If you have a question for Bubba, please leave it in the comment section.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Open a Bag of Chips

My teenage daughter and I were sitting at the kitchen table, eating lunch. We each had a bag of potato chips. When it was time to eat them, I opened mine very nicely by separating the top seal. It was neat, clean, and quiet.

Then there was my daughter. She placed the bag on the table, took the palm of her hand, and whacked the thing as hard as possible. It made a huge popping sound as chips spewed out the bottom, across the table.

"Really?" I asked.

She laughed. "Yes. That's how you open a bag of chips!"

I shook my head. "Did you not see my demonstration three seconds ago?"

"Mom, that's not how real people open their chips. Everybody smashes the bag. We do it all the time in school!"

"And do you get in trouble?"


"Then maybe you should try opening the bag like an imaginary person!"     

Now, for the Bubba question of the day:  Shady Dell Knight wanted to know if Bubba likes Bubba Burgers. (Yes, there is  a brand of hamburgers called, "Bubba Burgers.")  When I posed the question, he gave me a funny look. "No, I don't like Bubba Burgers!"

This shocked me. "Why?" I asked.

"Because I don't like things that are named after me!"

My reaction must've looked a little strange, because he busted out in a huge grin. "Of course I like Bubba Burgers. They're delectable!"

I have a couple more questions for Bubba. I'll give his answers in the next posts. If you have a question for Bubba, feel free to put it in the comment section.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dream Theory

My eleven-year-old son seems to be very interested in dreams. He has them nearly every night, and he loves to tell me about them in the morning.

"Mama, I think I know what dreams are," he said.

"What are dreams?" I asked. I couldn't wait to hear this one.

"They're your mind travelling to an alternate universe where you live another life."

"You think?" I asked.

"Yes. And do you know what's cool about them?"


"They're like watching television. But without time limits. I can watch my dream for nine hours, and you can't tell me to turn it off."

(I think he has a point!)

Now for the Bubba question of the day: Michael D'Agostino wanted to ask Bubba where the best place was to take a girl out on a date. I wasn't sure if this was such a great question to ask an eleven year old, but since the boy is wise beyond his years, I asked. He said. "Take her to a Chicago Style Pizzaria. The deep dish pizzas are the best!"

I have a few more questions from you, that I need to get answers for. I'll post Bubba's responses. If you have any other burning questions for Bubba, please post them in the comments.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Mama in the Dell

My animals were up to their shenanigans, again.

It began when I happened to look outside, and saw our cat, Bootsy, playing with a little blue lizard. (I believe it was a skink.) I knew it wasn't going to go well for that skink. Our hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz, knew it wasn't going to go well, either. He wanted to bolt out the door and come to the rescue. So I let him.

As soon as Schultz was out, chasing the cat,  my son wanted to join in the rescue mission. He ran out right behind the dog.  The whole scene looked exactly like the nursery rhyme, The Farmer in the Dell.

This is my version:

The cat takes the skink, the cat takes the skink, hi -ho-the-dairio, the cat takes the skink.

The dog takes the cat, the dog takes the cat, hi-ho-the-dairio, the dog takes the cat.

The boy takes the dog, the boy takes the dog, hi-ho-the-dairio, the boy takes the dog.

The Mama stands alone, the Mama stands alone, hi-ho-the-dairio, the Mama stands alone.


(In case you're wondering, the skink escaped, as did the cat. Bubba and Schultz were completely out of breath after the chase, but after a cold drink of water, they were both fine.)

Now for a Bubba question:  Alex Cavanaugh wanted to know what Bubba would do if five feet of snow fell. I asked the boy. His answer was pretty much what you would expect from any kid:  "I'd make an army of snowmen, build a fort, and have a massive snowball fight. Then I'd build an igloo and take a nap."

If you have a question for Bubba, feel free to post it in the comments, and I'll ask him.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rechargeable Pet Rock

The other day, as I was typing at my computer, my eleven-year-old son came up behind me. He stooped down in front of the hard drive and plugged something in to one of the ports.

I stopped typing, and looked. "Dude, what the heck is that?"

He grinned. "That is my pet rock, and it's getting a sun tan."


I took a closer look. It was indeed a rock. And it had a cable attached to it, that plugged into a computer. "Are you kidding?" I asked. "Did you make that?"

He laughed. "No, Mama. That's the way it came. It's my birthday present from Uncle R."

Uncle R. The other goofball in the family.

I shook my head. "What is the point of the cable? Does it do anything?"

"Of course it does, Mama. When the pet rock naps, it recharges. Even rocks have to recharge once in a while!"

Of course.

Now, for something a little different:  A couple of days ago, Jacquelineand, one of my blog followers, had a question. She wanted to know what Bubba would do with three uninhabited Earths. My boy has a wild imagination, so I figured his answer would be good. When he came home from school, I posed the question. Without missing a beat, he said. "Since the planets are uninhabited, I would mine them for their natural resources. Then I'd come back to this Earth, and sell them. That would make me a trillionaire."

I'm telling you, the kid is a genius!

If you have any burning questions for Bubba, please write them in the comment section. I'll see if I can get some answers from him. I'm sure they'll be entertaining.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teleportation Made Easy

"I have a great invention!" my eleven-year-old son said.

"What's that?" I asked.

"A door with a special knob that enables you to teleport."

That got my interest. "How would it work?"

"You turn the knob one way, and you just walk into the room. You turn the knob the other way, and you end up somewhere else."

"What if you make a mistake, and turn it the wrong way?" I asked.

He thought about that. "Then you'd have 1,576,321 times to try to get back."

I guess that means, you'd better not make a mistake!

Before I go, I'd like to offer you all a free download of my newest book, Ten Zany Birds. It's my way of saying thanks for following! Here's the link.  Use coupon code AF29X. (Expires 9-9-15)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scorpion Extermination

"Mom!" my teenage daughter shouted as she ran downstairs. "There's a scorpion in my bathroom!"

I looked at the girl. "Where?"

"In my bathroom!"

"I got that part. Where in your bathroom? The sink? The floor? The bathtub?"


"All right," I said. "I'll take a look at it."

Sure enough, there was a one and a half inch long scorpion sitting in the middle of the floor. It was very much alive, and it had its tail pointed up.

"Hmmm," I said. "Let me find some bug spray." There was no way I was going to try to do the pick-it-up-with-toilet-paper trick with that thing.

I looked in all the cupboards, and couldn't find any. Then I went out to the garage. I found a gallon of commercial insecticide that we had used to spray the outside of our house. Armed with the poison, I went back upstairs to her bathroom.

I was about to spray the thing, when my daughter stopped me. "Wait, Mom! You need shoes. Scorpions can sting you."

I looked at the little creature and shrugged.  "I don't have any shoes up here."

"I do," she said, and handed me a pair of her fuzzy bunny slippers.

"Really?" I asked.

She nodded. "Put them on."

I put on the bunny slippers and activated the insecticide. In no time at all, the scorpion was covered in poison.

My daughter then ran downstairs and got a glass from the kitchen. She came back. "Cover it with this," she said.

I walked very carefully over to the scorpion, in my bunny slippers, and covered it with the glass.

"All right," I said. "Mission accomplished."

And that, ladies and gentlemen is how you exterminate a scorpion.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Animal Magnet

Yesterday evening, I went for a walk with my daughter. The route went along a horse farm. All the horses were out, grazing. As soon as they saw us, they trotted over. I figured they were looking for food. We didn't have any. Usually, when you don't have food, they go back to their business. Not this time. This time they wanted to nuzzle my hand and arm. I petted them while they acted like a bunch of dogs.

"They like you, Mom!" my daughter said.

 I shrugged and continued the walk. The horses followed. Eventually, we passed the farm. Not long after, we saw a little cat. It was a ways away, but as soon as it spotted us, it ran over. It must've thought I was its best friend, because it purred and snuggled up against me.

"Hello," I said. "You look hungry."  It was the skinniest little kitty I had seen. I thought it might be a stray.

"It wants to come home with you," said my daughter.

"We have enough animals. We're not bringing this little guy home."  I got up and walked down the sidewalk. The kitty followed, right next to me, just like a dog.

I stopped, and the kitty did more purring and snuggling. Clearly, this animal did not want me to leave.  "Maybe I can go home and bring it some food," I said. "I just don't want it to come home with us."

I walked on, and the kitty followed. I must've walked at least a quarter of a mile. That's when a car coming in the opposite direction stopped. "Snooky!" the lady inside called.


"That's my cat," the lady said.

She pulled into the driveway we had just passed. "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty," she called.

Snooky didn't want to go.

After a lot of coercion, Snooky finally went back to his mom.

"See, Mom," my daughter said. "You're an animal magnet. Animals love you!"

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Big Jump

I did it. I jumped out of a plane! And I'm still alive.

This past Saturday was the day I decided to cross one more thing off of my bucket list:  Sky diving.
It was one crazy experience, but I'm glad I did it. So, let me tell you what it's like, because pictures and videos only tell half the story.

The plane itself is no big deal. You get in a harness and board the thing. There are two benches that go along the length of the plane (at least on the plane I was on). You straddle the bench, and face the back of the plane, next to your instructor and photographer. Then the plane takes off. It's very loud! At 1500 feet, they open the doors of the plane to get "air conditioning," because it gets really stuffy. Before they do that, the instructor hooks you to himself.  At 14,000 feet, it's jump time. You scoot down the bench, squat down, and walk to the edge of the open door. Then you wait. The jump master says, "Ready?"

You say, "Ready!"

Then it's one, two, and you're out the door!

Oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you how cold it was up there. Freezing! And did I mention how loud it was? It gets even louder when the wind rushes past you!

I wasn't nervous at all, stooping by the doorway. It seemed like a pretty normal thing to jump out of a plane. But when you go out. Whoa! It takes a second for your brain to figure out what just happened. But it's only a second. Once you figure out that you have to arch your back, look up, and kick your legs up, you're fine. That's when you orient yourself as to which way is up.

My first comment would be how much air is blowing against your face and body. Cold air! You can't look down, because all that cold air rushing up will make it impossible to breathe. You must look up, which isn't a problem when you have a photographer pointing a video camera in your face.  Did I mention how fast you're going? Over 100 miles an hour!  At that point, you don't even have time to think about how nice the view is. You're just wondering what the heck you just did! 

When you're stabilized, you can do tricks. My instructor wanted to know if I got dizzy easily. I didn't think so, so we agreed to test that theory - by spinning in circles. I linked hands with the photographer, and went around a couple of times. Then he let go, and I went around and around and around, all while going down at a hundred miles an hour.

Yeah. Fun!

But then came the part I didn't like. Parachute deployment. I would have been quite happy to free fall all the way down. (Until maybe I splatted on the ground.)  When the parachute is deployed, it's a major jolt to your body. You are yanked from a horizontal position, to a vertical position, and rocketed upward. That's when my harness hurt. Maybe for guys this isn't so bad, but for a woman? Ouch!

After the parachute deploys, it gets quiet, and things slow down. You can talk to your instructor, which is exactly what I did. Except, I was feeling quite nauseated. I'm not sure if it was the spinning, or the falling, the harness, the tight goggles, or the fact that I was very hungry and thirsty (I had waited four hours to do the jump.), or a combination of all of it, but I thought for sure I was going to vomit when I was 2000 feet above the ground.

I wish I had been a little more comfortable at that point, because the view was really beautiful. My instructor asked if I wanted to steer the parachute. I would've if I wasn't feeling like I was going to completely lose my insides. I wanted to get on solid ground, and get that darn harness off of me! (The instructor did loosen it, but it was still uncomfortable.)

The landing was easy. Usually, you have to stick your legs in front of you, and you land on your bottom. We came in slow enough, that I was able to land on my feet.  

When I landed, I was praying I wouldn't throw up. I looked like I was about to in the video, but thankfully, it all stayed inside.

Would I do it again? Yes. It was an awesome (I know - I said "awesome" way too many times in the video. Just deal with it.) experience, and I'm glad I did it. If I do it again, I hope I feel a little better so I can enjoy it even more.

If you'd like to watch an unedited version of the video, here it is