Linking up with my favorite Friday people today at Five Minute Friday. The theme?

Setting: the dinner table. AKA the military zone.

The characters:
Blonde – AKA I Think He Eats Air
Red – AKA He Changes His Mind About Things. A Lot.
Momsie – AKA General Momsie

Momsie sets down a cheesy chicken burrito in front of both boys.
And… the first shot was fired.

Blonde: It’s too cheesy.

Me: You don’t like cheese?

Blonde: I do like cheese. But not when it’s gooey.

Me: It’s melted. It’s gooey. You devour pizza so very often, and it has gooey written all over it.

Blonde: I don’t like gooey when it’s mixed with chicken.

Me: So, it’s the chicken. The chicken is the culprit.

Red: I like chicken! But this chicken is too soft.


Red: Can’t I just eat blueberries and six pickles for dinner?

Me: Red, you ate THIS EXACT meal two days ago and you loved it. And yes, readers I am now admitting that I feed them on repeat. They LOVED it two days ago. I was hoping for a return to greatness. And also, the husband has been out of town for a week on a business trip and it’s been pretty basic around here. I did, however, make home made ranch dressing for them to dip their teensy tiny carrots into, so I am winning in some way here, right? Right?

Red: Wow.

Blonde: Our mother feels guilt about a lot of things. Her ranch dressing is a way to absolve that guilt.

Red: Wow.

Blonde: So, can I just eat tortilla chips? There’s corn in there. Healthy.

Red: This chicken and cheesy stuff is too creamy. I don’t like creamy.

Me: I don’t know who you are anymore.

As God is my witness, someday I will make a meal that they both like at the same time.

I provide for my children. Every day, I make horrible, awful, creamy cheesy things. It’s what I do.
It’s what we do.


Date Night – TBT!

Here’s a little Throw Back Thursday from February of last year. As the Day O Love approaches, I am already hunting down the tippy plastic cups… it’s a great tradition.

Formal dress required. Even on the cats.

Screenshot 2018-02-08 13.20.23.png

Date Night


Last Saturday night romance was in the air. It was intense, y’all. It was like we were on the Titanic and I was all Queen of the World, and then I got to make out with Leonardo DiCaprio, not long before I disallowed him room on my totally huge raft in the freezing North Atlantic. Very romantic. And yet, our evening was warmer.

Also, I would never make out with Leo. Nope. I am married, y’all. My husband completes me.

Of course, Leo didn’t grace us with our presence, but we had this blurry pic of another dinner guest:


There were roses. There were chocolates. Earlier that day, the husband let me take a nap, which is the universal, married I Hope I Get Lucky Valentine. But that is another post for another day.

There were also two small boys who had reservations with us for a night of fine dining. I  informed them that they had to come to dinner in ties. And they reacted as if I had asked them to lop off both arms, and then try to attach their ties.

They were informed, in a heavy French accent (I had to take on an accent. It freaks them out and I get to pretend I’m Catherine Deneuve.) “No tie? No food. Zees is Chez Momsie. Dress code, mes bebes.” They sighed heavily, with American accents, clipped their ties onto their Star Wars t-shirts, and showed up at 6:30 pm on the dot. Right on time.

We had a very swanky affair at our house on Valentines Day, and a tradition was born. I printed out menus (thank you, bad clip art!) Macaroni and cheese was offered as an appetizer. I poured the sparkling cider into tiny tippy glasses and no one spilled anything.


It was a Valentines miracle.

We ate strawberries and whip cream, the really fancy kind that you squirt out of a can. I offered table-side service for this, as I offered a shot of the stuff in the mouth to each patron. This was a real showstopper.

And we talked about why we loved each other.

“I love Blonde because he shows me how to play Legos,” says Red. He’s grinning like a maniac. This is all mushy and stuff, which is kind of right up his alley. His smile nearly lifts him out of the chair. He lifts his fizzy little glass with panache. “AND I LOVE THIS FANCY DRINK!” he yells. Evidently he thinks we are all in the other room when he speaks, because the bubbles in the drink had evidently made him quite giddy.

Blonde, the wisened 7 year old, has a bit of a tougher time with the mushy business. He is, in all walks of life, less forthcoming with the mush.

“I love Red because…” We all lean in a little.

“Because he is my brother.”

And there it is. The greatest law there is. We love because we are family. We love because we simply have no choice. We are for each other.

My boys are growing older and finding their own friends, their own ways they want to spend an afternoon. They are, however, still pretty inseparable. And what I have told them, almost weekly, is that they, as brothers, must have each other’s backs. They are the ones going to be left when the friends leave, when the family goes, when we get dementia and go into the home, your brother will be the only one left.

(I didn’t really go into the last part with them as I didn’t really want to stop and have to explain ‘dementia’ because depressing. Also, the one other time I sprang this word on them they kept thinking that I was saying, ‘Philadelphia.” Confusing.)

(As a side note to the side note: This whole dementia thing? Really possible because we had kids late in life and when they graduate from high school I’ll be using a walker and won’t be able to see or hear the thing because I will be OLD, y’all. I WAS AROUND BEFORE EMAIL. That old.)

But I digress.

We spent the rest of the evening looking up the bible verses that the husband had put on their Star Wars Valentines. The husband is super spiritual that way. I just shot whip cream at ’em. But he wins in the Jesus department.


And then we all tried to massacre each other with a really cut throat game of Go Fish.

And that, my friends, is what I call the most romantic evening I have had in a long time.

I am wondering if it competes with Leo’s?


The animals have turned against me.


Ok, in this post she’s going to try and convince you that I am a weird cat. Just look at me, folks. I’m as right as furry rain. Whatever that means. And, I am cute, no?


So, I don’t pay much attention to the trash cans in this house. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. My children are in charge of taking out the trash. We really have a lead on something exciting here, folks. Our children can do the chores that we once had to do! It’s like free labor, if you discount all the whining and really crap jobs they do at any sort of cleaning, but I’ll take it.
  2. Who really wants to ponder a trash can? What? You don’t have enough stimulation from the Netflixes?

Anyhow. As I was upstairs today, making the beds, I did notice the trash can. I noticed that it was looking rather… shredded?

And then, I noticed our cat, Vader, (also referred to as Willie, Sir William, Vader-Tator, and Grandmaster Cat in previous posts. Keep up, y’all. In our house we like to make sure everyone is on rotation with their naming) as he sidled over to the trash can.

And then, he proceeded to START EATING IT.

That’s right. He was eating the trash can.


What, wee grey cat? What is your problem? Do I not go to the Petco and buy you large crinkly expensive bags of super-healthy food pebbles? Ever since the gigantic white cat had his brush with death we have gone totally upscale on our food options here. Basically, it’s “So long college fund, kids! Gotta feed the kitties!” That sort of thing.

Vader, do you suddenly need more fiber in your diet?

Is it a “My Weird Addiction” kind of thing? Do you need Dr. Phil?

I can’t imagine a trash can tastes good. Perhaps, however, it’s a step up from the mortgage-breaker brown stuff that I feed you every morning.

And then, Vader made eye contact with me. His mouth was still sort of attached to the trashcan. It’s just like that time my husband caught me gnawing on his precious super sharp cheddar that he tries to hide from me. I hadn’t even bothered to slice off a piece of cheese. I was gnawing on it like an angry hamster, and I froze as his eyes locked onto mine. We then argued about sharp cheddar and how it should not be gnawed.

It had been a long day.

Anyhow, back to the cat/trash can thing. Vader stopped, mid chew. And then, he extracted himself from trash can, and sauntered off. All casual, like, “Well, that was a great trash can snack. Thanks Byeeeee!”

So, that’s it then. This little bit of daily weirdness was brought to you by an ungrateful furball and my inability to get it on film.



What is wrong with everyone? I don’t understand out world at all.


Dog: Can you not?


 Dog: And I get yelled at for the licking.



Phil Rosenthal Is Going to Save the World.

There are people in this world who just need to be watched.

I mean this in a good way. Not in a, “I see you there,” kinda way. That kind of watching is reserved for my children, and it takes a lot of energy.

The good kind of watching is easier. It brings joy. It engenders laughter.

Also, total bonus points if street food is involved.

And so, I give you this guy:


Phil Rosenthal is a Really Famous Writer. He was the creator and producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, a sitcom that I STILL watch on a weekly basis because it provides marital counseling for me and my Ray + Husband. My Rusband, if you will. We watch together and I smirk and elbow Rusband, repeatedly,  because I am Debra.

Seriously. My life is simply a series of events in which I think, “What would Debra do?”

Ok, so, Phil writes stuff.

But also?

Phil eats stuff. And, we watch him while he does this. And my God, people, it fixes everything.

Here’s what I mean. Phil travels around the world. He eats things that are often bizarre and also wonderful and sometimes terrifying. While he does this, he asks a ton of questions. He doesn’t say “No, thank you, I’m full,” or “I’ll pass; I can’t tell what it is,” or “I can’t; it’s looking at me.” He has conversations over raw fish and pork bellies and some meal a guy made for him on what looks like a TV tray at the side of a bedraggled city road.

He doesn’t just eat. He inhales. 

It’s an extremely simple formula. Ask. Eat. Talk. Eat some more. Talk. Repeat.

I want my family to watch this show. I think my church needs to, as well. Also, the President, and Congress, and all those shouting folks on Wall Street. And anybody in the medical profession.

And also people who make things, or run things, or run people who make things.

And anybody who works in customer support or sales. They deserve it.

And children. Not because they need it, but because they would just totally get Phil.

In my Momsie kind of world, if one part of the world was mad at another part of the world, a press conference would be held, and it would go like this:

Official-looking serious person: Ladies, gentlemen, just hold you questions please…

Reporters: We have questions! How are we gonna fix this? What do we doooooo?

Official-looking serious person: It’s simple, really. Let me introduce you to Phil             Rosenthal. And yes, he really is going to save us all.



Ok, the best way I can explain the magic that is Phil is to tell you about Raymond. Stay with me here. This isn’t a needless tangent; it’s a trip to Italy.

In an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray and his family are on a family vacation to the land of their ancestors. It’s a glorious trip, full of rich sights and sounds, and everybody is so excited and entranced, because Italy has special powers like that.

Everybody except Raymond.

Ray is not having any of it. He hates traveling, and then there’s his family, and, well, it’s kinda hot. And he’s tired. He doesn’t really fit in. He’s wearing shorts and white sneakers, for Pete’s sake.

And then, Phil wrote this scene where Ray, tired and grumpy, finds food.

Pizza. He finds pizza. Of course.





And it’s really really good pizza. Duh. Italy.

And you can see it on Ray’s face. He gets it. With one bite, he feels the sun, and leans against a wall, and in comes Italy. And he feels at home.

Can a slice of pizza save the world? Maybe. It did for Raymond.

So, in Somebody Feed Phil, our beloved hero travels the world and yet he brings us home. He teaches us joy and good manners, and inquisitiveness, and bravery. He instructs us that goofiness is good, and that humor is the great leveler.

He is kind. He is funny. And he manages to do all of this while still barely hanging onto the barest rudiment of foreign languages and societal protocols.

And, if Phil can do it, so can we.

It’s diplomacy, with appetizers.


As a Netflix StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the wonderfulness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on Momsie. It’s a great gig.







What’s Your Motivation?

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today, Five Minute Friday.

The theme?



Back when I was young and vastly much more energetic, I used to teach high school theater.

Those days were pretty nutty, and involved a lot of plays that took on a bit of a wonky Little Rascals, “Let’s put on a show!” kinda vibe, but you know. I remember once, (and only once) asking a sixteen year old while we were working on a scene, “What’s your motivation here?” He stared at me blankly.  And then I think he answered, “Well, I’m not doing basketball and my parents made me do something extracurricular.” I let it go. Plus, it was for Bye Bye Birdie, so, you know, I bet his true motivation was to break into song and dance at random points without his voice cracking like a sheet of ice.

So, the basic lesson here: Never ask a teenager about motivation. They never really know.

Also: It’s totally fine to ask a Momsie what her motivation is. But sometimes… I too, never really know.

There’s the quick answer to the above: Love God, and love others.

But also, there’s my recovery, marriage, my kids, my service, my writing, my book, my church, my fire baton routine… (Ok, just kidding about the baton part. I can dare to dream, however.)

I think moms have this ever-cycling wheel of What’s Most Important circling in our souls – our children… our husbands… our careers…. our ability to bake the best casseroles for church suppers… And repeat.

It’s an endless cycle of Where Do I Put All My Energy? Energy doesn’t do so well when it’s slathered all over the place, like thin margarine on toast.

Here’s what I would like: when I wake up, I would like a plane flying overhead, with one of those banners behind it, saying something like: DANA. FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS.





Or, simply:


My motivations can get tangled. Thus, the airplane banner thing would be helpful. I need visual, and large, airborn reminders, I guess. But, it would be kinda weird. The rest of the neighborhood might need a heads up.



It’s Momsie’s Twelve Days of Netflix! #StreamTeam

Sing with me:

Christmas time is here…

Happiness and cheer…

Fun for all, that Momsie calls…

A time to watch a whole lotta Netflix.


Christmas means a lot of special things for my family. We decorate cookies, and so also the house, with twenty pounds of sprinkles. We argue about the Elf on the Shelf not showing up because I don’t need that kind of hassle and that Elf is shifty, and he’s clearly out to get me. We sing O HOLY NIGHT at the top of our lungs at all parts of the day, and often meow the lyrics when we forget them.

That last one is a bit embarrassing to admit, but when has that ever stopped me from sharing that with you?

Another tradition? Movies. Gobs and gobs of Christmas movies.

Let me be perfectly clear: I love all Christmas movies. If it has a Santa, and some tinsel, and maybe a talking puppy, I am THERE.

If there is a schmaltzy Hallmark storyline? I am there, with a bowl of popcorn, shouting out all the predictable plot points. (I usually watch these movies alone. I wonder why?)

If Jesus actually shows up (about 50% of the time, but you know. Santa has more pull in Hollywood. Don’t even get me started on that) I am SO TOTALLY ON BOARD. YO, JESUS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So, without further ado,  here is my yearly list a la Netflix!

Momsie’s Favorite Holiday Movies (in no particular order because I can never get that organized)




Ok, this is a Hallmarky one. She’s a sassy journalist who wears Converse shoes at the palace. Oh, yes, there’s a palace. A big one. And yes, a spoiled little sister with a disability so we feel all Tiny Tim about her. Mean little sister becomes nice within five minutes of meeting sassy Converse girl. And also, there’s a Prince. Thus the title. He’s dreamy and has a cleft jaw. And there’s a wicked ex-girlfriend and a whole lot of sparkly lights.

OH AND DID I MENTION, A MAKEOVER SCENE? It was so Pretty Woman! Except not! Because the hooker with a heart of gold theme is NOT CHRISTMASSY. That would be weird.

So, you know. This movie is not one I watched with the boys because they were over it around the time that the sparkly ball gown showed up (in the trailer). It was just me and my eggnog and that was also FINE WITH ME. MAMA ALONE.



I’m on a roll here, with the romance. This one is a repeat from my last year’s list, because oh my goodness I just love it so much. Saved By the Bell guy is cute and funny. Blonde girl is sassy, which seems to be a popular trait in all these movies. And, she learns to have good will towards man and all that. It’s a totally innovative storyline, huh?

Ok, not. This movie exists already and THAT’S WHY I LIKE IT. NO SURPRISES. LIFE IS SURPRISING ENOUGH.

It’s a “folding laundry” movie. Meaning, I can watch it and fold laundry and putter about and it’s comforting and cozy and oh my gosh I love it so. All of us parents need a “folding laundry” movie on standby. Especially when the Christmas rush has us frazzled.

3. Speaking of FRAZZLED, did you know this actually exists??


I know the trailer says it’s not an actual source of heat, but you go ahead and stand in front of it. Go on, I’ll wait. Hold your hands out towards it. Feel it? Warm, huh?!

It’s Netflix Christmas magic.

Also, just so you know:



I know it has nothing to do with Christmas, but you know. Just in case you get hot.

5. Ok, now something for the kiddies:

maxresdefault.jpgI know. It’s not exactly Christmas cheer, but it speaks, deeply, to my inner Scrooge. Like, almost too deeply. There are so many moments where I find myself silently siding with Count Olaf.

Did I just say that out loud? I did. So, allow me to redeem myself:




Disclaimer: I can’t actually get (bribe) my boys to watch anything Thomas anymore. They’re all grown up, at the massively sophisticated ages of 7 and 9. Sniffle. But, I still proclaim that ALL of the Thomas the Train holiday movies are adorable and wonderful and when you watch them you feel all warm and wonderful too. How’s that for a lot of adjectives?

You cannot go wrong. You simply can’t.

7. Also, there’s THIS:3566041.jpg

Um, so you can watch this with your 7 and 9 year olds and not get bored. And it has the woman from Mad TV. And there’s a paintball scene. So, you know, my boys think it’s Citizen Kane.

8. I also got to sneak this movie in with my boys, because Blonde had just finished reading Sarah Plain and Tall, so I told him this was the same kind of thing, all old-fashioned and old-timey and… old. But in a good way.

Also, I read ALL the Mandie books as a girl. The movies do right by the author. And they wear those cute hats and MUFFS. When did MUFFS go out of fashion? I could rock a muff, I tell you.



9. And this:


NEWS FLASH: The Christmas Candle actually ACTUALLY HAS JESUS IN IT.

10. And now, we must move on to one of my absolute favorite traditions EVER this time of year:


Sing with me (to the tune of O Holy Night):



So we start with the Great British Bake Off Masterclass, Christmas Edition. Paul makes a gingerbread house, because he can.

Paul Hollywood could make a peanut butter sandwich for all I care.

11. So, also there is this:


I mentioned previously that we decorate cookies. Every year. EVERY flipping year, my sweet boys ask if we can bake cookies and then decorate them. And I get it, boys. I really do. It’s a Christmas thing, so we make the cookies. And then, we frost them.


So, we’re just gonna skip the cookies and watch this instead, MmmK?

12. And! THIS:0a5c641e7e2e7050b86ff0dc5d55c7b9acd65ebb.png

I know. It’s not a Christmas show at all, so I added a Christmas tree for you. THE NEW SEASON IS OUT AND IT’S BRITISH RESERVE AT ITS BEST.

By the way, are you planning on traveling during the holidays? Netflix is here for you!Pack Your Phone - Parent.png

Or, if you’re thinking “It’s not about me. It’s all about the children.”


Pack Your Phone - Little Kid.png

And so, that’s it. My 12 Days of Netflix. Enjoy your viewing and Merry Christmas to you!

Oh, and also?





As a Netflix #StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the fabulousness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

Not a lot of depth, whole lotta shimmy and shake.

I used to think that reality television was so lame, y’all. I mean, who would want to watch some mom try to feed her eight children while learning her new dance routine while losing weight and also picking fights with everyone?

Who would wanna watch that?


Ok. I am not into a ton of reality shows. I have my favorites. They usually involve food and anything with Paul Hollywood, and I tell you, true. Paul Hollywood could butter toast and it would be done with a steely, blue eyed stare and he wouldn’t even have to touch the butter with a knife: HIS EYES WOULD MELT THE BUTTER. LIKE MELT IT, RIGHT ON THAT TOAST.


But I digress. My POINT is that I wonder sometimes… do you guys really wanna read about my life? Like… watch me do some laundry and then put it away? Like… that really makes good reading? For reals?

Well, if the Kardashians can do it, so can I.

Scratch that. I kinda have to think that the Kardashians have someone ELSE do their laundry. They mainly seem to sit around on huge, fluffy couches a lot and then do yoga in impossibly tight and misappropriated yoga clothing.

Anyhow. I am telling you all of this, to basically say:

This post is about nuthin. Well, almost nothing. It’s like on the cusp of nothing.

Like every reality show, in the history of ever, there’s not a lot going on here, but there’s a whole lotta shimmy and shake.

So, we got back from Thankgsiving. We were gone for three days. It was like a non stop buffet of really good food (I tried to be good but at one point I think I might have actually taken the entire “take home for the family” plate of pie upstairs in bed. My husband found me gnawing on it like a guilty chipmunk, and then Brian walked toward me, and I had a mouth full of pecan pie and I tried to have a totally normal conversation with him. It was pathetic. I relinquished the pie plate, sorrowfully, after that. It was like Intervention, only with pastry.)

So, after we got back home, I looked around.

It was like my house got mad at me while we were gone. It was a MESS.

There are levels of mess in every house’s life. Some levels are just cluttered. Some are disheveled.

This house looks like it partied in Vegas all weekend.

I texted the husband:

Screenshot 2017-11-29 13.32.14.png

He responded with his oh-so-usual caring: I’ll help, don’t worry, it’s not so bad nonsense. But I knew, I KNEW, that if I did not deal with that house they would never find me. I would be buried under forty loads of Batman underwear and dirty dishes that learned to procreate on their own.

Of course, while I was cleaning I did have a helper.


This is Dog. He has some sort of device implanted in his brain that makes him follow me closely wherever I go. Also, I do know I have the beigest hall in the history of halls. It’s a sad little hallway.

So, I would walk down beige hall to put laundry away.


Then, I walk back the other way, same beige hallway.


Then, I go down the stairs. Beige is done.


And so on.


Enough, dog.

So, after about four hours of washing clothes I was done. (How did so many clothes HAPPEN? I will give away all the clothes. That’s what I’ll do.)

(Should make for an interesting, albeit chilly, winter.)

And that is my post. It is basically about me doing laundry, but there is also this:

As I was walking back and forth, to the endless delight of Dog, I got a great idea for a story. I needed to write it down, so I grabbed my little notebook. Then, I looked for a place to store the notebook, because as every good writer knows, ones notebook must go back and forthing with you, everywhere, because you never know when the good ideas are gonna strike.

I didn’t have on a bra. That is how I clean. I refuse to be constrained. I might need to clean something up high, and my bra could accidentally snap and strangle me, and I would be found, later, by my husband, snagged by a bra strap, with the cats hungrily circling me.

It could happen.

Also: bras are just a pain.

So, I couldn’t tuck the notebook into my bra. Instead, I tucked it inside my pants. Logical. Sorta weird, but logical.

And then I kinda forgot it was there, until I went to the store and as I was walking down an aisle I laid a notebook.

Undeterred, I said, “Ta DA!” and picked it up and went in search of applesauce.


The end.