The First Day of My Ten-Year-Old’s New Identity ~ Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop

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This week I selected prompt #4: “The first day of . . .”


“The First Day of My Ten-Year-Old’s New Identity” No, this isn’t some touchy-feeling post about how he’s discovered his true self in some philosophical sense. He’s a ten-year-old boy. He’s changed his name. Without consulting me. I found out in carpool when the patrol girl said, “Have a good evening, John!” He’s at a new school, remember, and is less than a month in, so I didn’t think much of it.
“Haven’t you told everyone to call you Jack? I put on all your paperwork that you prefer “Jack” and we told your teacher that at meet-the-teacher night.”
“No, I decided I like being called John.”
“But no one has ever called you John. You’ve always been Jack.”
“Yeah, but now I like John.”
He came home and finished up his first big project of the year, and what’s the name on the front of the tri-fold? John. Here’s something he did in computer class today:

HMMM . . .if John’s going to be organized, I just may like this new kid (’cause Jack sure wasn’t). Evidently John likes Spongebob as much as Jack did, and tries to sneak snacks before dinner just like Jack does. Oh, great, he just handed me a notice from school – a kid in his class has lice and I need to check his head for nits every day for the next couple of weeks. None of Jack’s classmates ever had lice – SIGH! Well, if John cleans his room I’m all for it. I’d let him change his name to Spongebob if he’d clean his room.

Rice Bread ~ Lunchbag Week 4

Sometimes, it’s all about the bread . . .

Even the most ordinary ham and cheese sandwich gets a little more attention at lunchtime if it’s on fresh-baked bread. I grind my own wheat and bake up several loaves every Monday, and my arms are so sore from all that kneading at the end of the day! Yeah, right. I am too lazy to even stop by a bakery, let alone bake my own bread. I cheat – I have a bread machine. In less time than it would take me to find a parking space at Panera I can dump a few ingredients into that big ol’ machine, punch a couple of buttons, and come back from carpool to the smell of fresh bread. THIS is the way technology is meant to be used – to give me good things to eat with minimal effort. Now if I’m feeling up to doing just a little more work I will take the dough out before it starts to bake and shape it into rolls, then bake it that way. The picture above is rice bread made into sandwich-sized rolls – MMMMM! I usually make rice in my bread machine at lease twice a week (another dump-and-press-a-button recipe), so I’ve always got a bit of leftover rice lying around, and this recipe doesn’t take much.
Place 1/2 cup cooked rice in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and enough warm water to equal 1 1/2 cups. Dump into bread machine. Add 3 cups bread flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (Don’t buy those little packages, go ahead and buy the jar and measure it yourself – it’s SO much cheaper). Select “basic” setting to bake a loaf, or “dough” setting if you want to make rolls. If you selected “dough”, take it out when it’s finished, form into 8 rolls, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. I’ve frozen them before baking, too, and you’d never know the difference.

Priced at just $4.99, it is now available in every format your little heart could desire at Smashwords, or, if you prefer, it’s also for sale in a Kindle version at Amazon or a Nook version at Barnes and Noble!

new kitchen in progress

Here’s the reason I haven’t updated my blog lately – my wonderful new kitchen cabinets! Last fall we gutted and remodeled an old “enclosed porch turned into den” area into a new dining room (I love to lay tile!) and now our old dining room is becoming the new kitchen so our old kitchen can become a laundry room / pantry. It’s going to be awesome, but it’s a slow process. Especially since the guy doing all our remodelling has a very “artistic” temperment and can’t be given any deadlines, have his judgement or work ethic questioned, or be annoyed in any way. I swear he’s worth it, though. Look at that gorgeous black stain with just a hint of shine. Not shiny-shiny show-every-fingerprint gloss, just a subtle glow. I can’t help but touch it when I walk past.

And check out these cool pull-out drawers! They will be behind cabinet doors (not finished yet) and are specially designed to hold all my Pampered Chef crap. I swear I’m addicted, and it was driving me crazy digging through messy drawers looking for that cute little spatula or the cheese slicer.

And here’s my new microwave, our first new appliance for the new kitchen. We’re going out later today to get a sink, faucet, dishwasher, and maybe lighting fixtures – WOO HOO! But, anyway, my computer is still in the room that will be the kitchen, so I can’t really blog when Mark’s working (might annoy him), and he’s really slowing down my progress on FarmTown and Farmville, too.

And Sam, well, she’s just exhausted from all her supervisory duties. She has to sit in the doorway and watch Mark work, and if he looks her way she has to wag her tail. I think she needs a break.

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!