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:

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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F is for Food. Stop Freaking Out.

Here’s a Throwback Thursday for you. Written some FOUR years ago… and you know what, friends?

NOTHING MUCH HAS CHANGED.

My life is on circular rotation, because Parenting. I still make the Pan-O-Love, by the way. It is well received. Not much else is.

So, here goes:

 

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The other day a friend of mine was perusing my blog, and she stopped for a minute.  I know she stopped because I was obsessively watching her eyes actually move across the page and hoping that she would, you know, chortle a bit (she was eerily silent).  There was not one smidgeon of chortling, but she’s, well, she’s just that way.

Anyhow, I digress.

At one point she stopped and, kind of muttered, “No…”

I tried to be all casual: “Whatttt??  WHAT is it? DID YOU LIKE IT? SOMETHING FUNNY?  Or wait, bad?? Something bad?  PLEASSSE JUST TELL MEEEE.”

Yep.  Cool as a mint julip, my friends.

She simply nodded at the screen and said, “It’s wrong.  You said you’re a lousy cook.  That’s wrong.  You are a great cook.  You need to go back and change that.”

My friend is simply divine.  She is, well, she’s the butter on my bread.

My homemade bread, ya’ll.  I KNOW.  I make bread, bout twice a week.   Hot and crusty with just a hint of sweet, real butter all oozy and sliding around…  I would go on but this is not Showtime and I don’t want to upset my pastor’s wife, who reads this once in a while.

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Here are some of my greatest hits in the kitchen (cue Slow Jam music):

1.  Chicken and dumplings.  Oh yeeaah.  Whole chicken is a must.   (I scoff at you, you skinless chicken breasts! We have no place for naked breasts at our home!)

(Wow. That was kinda pushing it.)

2.  Pulled pork and gravy with mashed potatoes.  A subtle hint of cayenne is the secret.  It does, however,  resemble Alpo.  Close your eyes and hoover it.

3.  Double chocolate brownie/sheet cake thing.  Haven’t made this in ages but really, it’s a pan ‘o love, I tell you.  Snuggle up with it and a good book at night and, well, it completes you.

4.  Shepherd’s Pie.  You know, Jesus was called the Good Shepherd.  This meal would be right up his alley, I believe.

5.  Biscuits and gravy with LARD ya’ll.  BOOM. I AIN’T PLAYIN’.

6.  Stromboli.  It’s the yummoli.

7.  Sour cream and raisin pie.  Frozen pie crust, you ask?  Pfft.  As if.  This recipe is as old school as an episode of Andy Griffith, and my dad loves it.  He’s waaaaay old school.  In fact, there was no school for him; they hadn’t invented it yet.

8.  Some weird version of chicken soup with lemon and ginger and hot peppers and cilantro.  I feed it to the hubs whenever he starts sniffling, and I swear some times he fakes the snot so he can get some.

9.  The best BLT this side of anywhere they sell bacon.  I MEAN lo, it is just a BLT but mine stands for Baby, Leave me Ta heck alone while I eat it…

10.  I need a round number so, I’ll just say it.  My peanut butter balls, ya’ll.  They might not be pretty, but they are chocolatey balls of goodness.  I make ’em for the hubs birthdays and anniversaries and any other sort of celebration.  Because, you know.  You can never have too many balls.

Ok.  I am a good cook.

And now, see exhibit BLONDE here on the left? IMG_0004 See this sweet little cherub of goodness right der?  Well, he is a dirty little rat that turns up his twitchy little rat nose at everything I present to him.  (I KNOW…  rats aren’t really known for being picky, but you get what I mean.)

Oh, the Redhead eats everything not nailed down.  It’s wonderful.  However, he better get a trade fast because he is creating a budget deficit in our house  that is rather epic.  (See previous post on Economics.)

This is how the darling Blonde responds to:

1.  Homemade chicken and noodles:

Blonde one covers his mouth as if I have just placed a bowl of buzzard guts in front of him.  Even just a whiff of the chickeney goodness, I guess, sends him gagging.  He then proceeds to lay his forehead on the table in abject despair.  All is lost.  Chicken. And. Noodles.  MY GOD WOMAN!  HOW COULD YOU?   CHICKEN AND NOODLES?  I CAN’T GO ON.  REALLY.  DIS IS DA END.

2.  Stromboli:

“I don’t care for dis.  It tastes… dusty.”

I’ll show you dusty, my little blonde friend.  The hubs had to intervene on that one because blonde one was about to get an education on dust (da FLOOR.)

3.  Shepherd’s Pie

Blonde one:  “It tastes like… butter.”  His mouth is screwed on because evidently butter is the devil’s condiment.  Blonde one and Jesus are good friends, I promise you, but we have a ways to go.

4.  The balls.  No problem.  Gone.  When he’s done he looks like he has a chocolate goatee.  It’s whimsical.

What he will eat, with abandon:  hot dogs.  Of course.

So… if he had his way he would eat just hot dogs and my peanut butter balls forever, and life would be dandy.  And you can just go right ahead and insert your OWN joke here because I AM NOT GOING THERE.  I am far too mature for that kinda cheekiness, my friends.

<< chortle >>

*  My lawyers tell me I need to insert a disclaimer here, so read this really really fast:

It’s just a teensy weensy bit possible an itsy bitsy bit of creative license was taken here.  I’m not sure, but maybe.

Has anybody out there had a picky eater???  And what DOES “dusty” food taste like?

Momsie’s Annual Top-Ten Thankfuls!

Here’s what you have been waiting for, all year!!!!! I know you have. Me too.

Gratitude is the best reset button EVER. I belong to a facebook group where we post, every day, five gratitudes, and did you know? Every time I do it, I feel better. Even on the no good, very bad, worstest days ever. Gratitude is a multi-vitamin for the soul, I tell you.

So, here goes. My annual Thanksgiving Day Top Ten Thankfuls:

(In no particular order, because I’m doing this right after I had some coffee and a Clariton and I am totally squirreled out right now):

  1. Squirrel One and Squirrel Two. Might as well keep it in the rodent family right now. img_57831
  2. Also, of course, head squirrel, the hubster:

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4. Lemon Bars. I know. Kinda random. But really? Everything has been all pumpkin spice all over the place and I’m so over it. Let’s start a new thing – Lemon Bar Season! It could happen.

5.  That The Force Awakens did not rely on bad CGI and there was no Jar Jar in it.

6. My mom’s oyster dressing. I know that I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

7. That Black Friday will be over soon.

8. This guy:IMG_5652He has hopes that one day he will be able to FIT in that box. But, as he keeps getting fatter, and the box stays the same, I admire his optimism.

9: This:

 

10: Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  And he is good.

Amen?

Amen.

 

Bonus #11:

Sober Momsie. I just am who I am supposed to be when I don’t have alcohol in me. I operate better.

I know, some would say, “Really?” But, if you knew me before you would not argue, believe me.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

TBT: I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

This is the polar vortex. Is it just me, or does it seem to be giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it's just me.

Is it just me, or does it look like Mr. Polar Vortex is giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it’s just me.

It’s 6 pm. I am trying to make dinner, keep the cat out of my laundry (laundry is his enemy, and he must vanquish it), and head up the Toddler Peace Summit Summer 2014.  I quit the Summit after 5 minutes.  I’m not smart enough.  I started pretending that I was from Chechnya and needed a translator and nobody could find one.  That was kinda fun.

Hubs will be coming home from work soon.  He will be thrilled to be home, let me tell you.  It’s because it’s so peaceful here.  So… calm.  I’ll be greeting him with a big red-lipsticked smoocharooni, a martini, and a lovely pot roast.

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Hi dear. Make one wrong comment about the empty saucepan and I will strangle you with my apron. And this wallpaper is driving me crazy.

 

 

 

Well.  Nix the martini.  Sometimes I hand him a glass of water.  It even has ice in it.

And really, not so peaceful here.  Wanna know why? Because Toddler Peace Summit 2014 has taken to the streets.  There’s loud protesting and currently the toddlers have taken the cat hostage and they are all working on their Manifesto.

 

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All of this makes Momsie rather… tense.  The toddlers, being toddlers, have absolutely no clue what “tense” is.  That’s their job.  In fact, I think it’s part of their Cluelessness Manifesto.  Momsie is tense = WE MUST AMP UP THE TODDLERNESS!!!!

And because of this ampage, a terrible, terrible thing happened.  I burnt my biscuits.  My precious, my preshus lovely fluffy little biscuits.  So ready to be smooshed with butter and honey, now huddled on the baking pan like sad hockey pucks.

And I. Had. HAD ENOUGH.

It is precisely at this time that the husband comes sauntering in.  You guessed it.  He is toast. Just like the biscuits.

Transcript of Following Conversation:

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE

Hubs:  Hi!  How are you?

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE.

Hubs: Hey boys! (Boys start freaking out because evidently Daddy walking in the house is like Moses just dropped by to say “Heeeey.”)

Me:   I’m fine.  (Holy cow.  Cue scary music here.)

Hubs: Wow.  Ok.  Really?  Your face is all twitchy. Why are you sitting on the floor turning that light on and off?  Wait, isn’t this a scene from Fatal Attraction?  Can I eat my dinner first?

Me: I burnt the biscuits.

Hubs:  Ohhhhh?  (He then tilts his head to the side just like a Labrador Retriever.)

Me:  I burnt. Them.

Hubs:  Why?

 

Let’s take a bit of a break here.

Really, he is in engineer, so asking “Why?” is not his fault.  It’s not.  That’s part of his job.  Or so he tells me.  I kind of think he must just trot around at work yapping, “Why, WHY?” at everyone within reach.  I wish he would just get it out of his system at work so he would NOT utter it at home. Really, he should know better by now.  When one has dealt with the toddler mosh pit of my day, when one burns the absolute best part of dinner (the rest of dinner was beige and warm, that’s it),

YOU DON’T EVER, EVER ASK, “WHY?”

Here’s what you say instead:

Hubs:  Oh my dear.  Clearly you need a break.  Here’s five thousand dollars.

So it just kept going, this conversation.  If the hubs knew what was best, he woulda hightailed it upstairs to free the cat and find some chocolate. But no.

Hubs:  Are you mad at me?  You’re mad, aren’t you.  Why are you mad at me?

Me:  No.  I’m not mad.  I’m just tired.  (‘Tired” is code for = so mad.  So, so mad.)

Hubs:  Because really, this is a teachable moment!

Me: Ok. Now I’m actually mad at you.

 

I think it’s best to stop here, to remind all you newly married folks,  that conversations like this really do happen when you’ve been married for a while.  For reals.  I do remember once at our premarital counseling (where hubs and the pastor talked BASEBALL for the majority of the time) that we did all come up with at least one tenet about How to Stay Married for a Really Long Time:

We should communicate a lot.

I KNOW, right?  Pretty brilliant.  I am pretty sure no one ever thought of this idea about marriage before.  I should write a book.

At any rate, the rest of the evening was a bit chilly, but by tooth brushing time I had stopped quoting lines from Fatal Attraction.  After all, when you’re married to an engineer, it is likely your darling husband takes literally everything, um, literally.  Thus, “I’m not going to be IGNORED, Dan!” carries little weight when your hubs’ name isn’t actually Dan.

 

 

 

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*Throw Back Thursday: This is code for “I don’t have brainage for new material today. Recycling is good!”

You and Me Could Write a Bacon Romance.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. The theme?

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No. I’m not kidding.

So, here goes.

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This is what I know about marriage: if there has been a fight, and it’s just a teensy bit possible that YOU are the one that is the most, er, culpable, and you are really, really lousy at apologizing?

Bacon. Just make some bacon for dinner. Bacon that problem right there.

Also:

Bacon makes you more intelligent. It takes away wrinkles. It will clean the grout in your bathroom. Bacon will, one day, WIN THE WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Oh… I know. Went too far, didn’t I?

But, wait, there’s more! Bacon could be its own Viagra ad! Because, you know, since I went too far with the whole war thing I might as well go hog wild and carry on. (I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO POINT IT OUT YOU SAW IT I CAN’T EVEN.)

Viagra ad:

Hey! Do you want to take your honey for some weird date where you’re rowing in a boat together and smiling all coy and knowing because sex! Maybe soon! In the rowboat! Should be totally comfortable!

And then, you’re chopping vegetables together again, all coy and knowing because NOTHING is more sexy than chopping vegetables! Sex! Right here ! On the kitchen tile! Even if it’s cold! Just make sure to wash your hands!

And THEN BAM! You are IN A BATHTUB ON THE BEACH! ALL COY AND KNOWING! BECAUSE SEX IS FOR SURE GOING TO HAPPEN! IT’S A BATHTUB ON THE BEACH! WE ARE ALL IN!

If you want this weird lifestyle where you are doing stuff together that is just not normal, and then sex happens because of it, FRY UP SOME BACON.

But. Ask your doctor first. If, you know, you’re healthy enough for bacon.

Sigh. Ok, this post has taken a rather abrupt turn but it’s all I’ve got this morning. And for some reason, I really, really want to go find my husband and play tennis, or take a road trip in a convertible and look, you know, all coy and knowing at him while we stop at a roadside antiques dealer and fondle something shabby and chic.

Oh, and, somehow, NO children will be allowed within a 100 mile radius.

Because, as you mommies know, babies are begat by all that coy and knowing business, all those saucy looks, and then, once you HAVE the babies, they circle you like flies at a picnic for the rest of your lives. ESPECIALLY if there is bacon involved.

And that, my friends, is how I can tie bacon to sex.

It’s my own version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Yes, this is a thing. Click here.

Sex, Digress to Crispy Bacon.

Boom.

If this post doesn’t get a Pulitzer I quit.

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Be careful. I might bake at you.

liwAlmonzo, you’re cute and all, but we need to upgrade all the appliances. You can do that, right?

Last week, the hot water heater died at our house.

It died when I took a shower. Yep, it waited for me… patiently… and then WHAMMO, it decided to unleash its NON hotness on me whilst I tried to bat the water away and made squeaking noises in the shower.

This in fact happened twice. I attempted to take a shower on Friday night because, well, cleanliness and all, and noticed that the water was taking a bit longer than usual to heat up. Like, forever longer. I was actually so tired that I figured it was some glitch in infrastructure, that I needed to inform the hubs, and I squeegeed myself off in twenty seconds and went to bed.

Then, as my brain sort of works like Congress, as I was STANDING in the shower the next morning, my head went: “OH SNAP I WAS SUPPOSED TO TELL THE HUBS THIS IS SO INVIGORATING I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE WITH VIGOR.”

I mean, the frontier women showered like this pretty much every morning, right? If Laura Ingalls Wilder can do it, so can I.

No. Nope. No, I cannot, Laura. I’m sorry. Plus, you married someone named Almanzo, for Pete’s sake. Your life is weird.

Anyhow.

My sweet Not-Almanzo called a friend of his, and together they installed a brand new water heater that, you guessed it, pours REAL hot water into all the faucets! Like, whenever you turn them on, there it is! A modern miracle!

The biggest miracle of all…??

I made them cinnamon rolls as a thank you, and they actually turned out ok. The rolls, not the men.*

I think I have mentioned to you that I am a bit baking-challenged, right?

Case in point:

The famous Poo Cupcakes, circa October 2012, for the hubster’s birthday. He likes chocolate and peanut butter. Voila, I made him chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. The finished product was… interesting. In desperation to camoflage the poo, I sprinkled peanuts on top. This only increased the Wow! factor.

famous poo cupcakes.

It’s ok. The hubs ate them, with vigor. His life is weird.

My baking ineptitude occurs, I think, because I enter pretty much every baking venture with this ideology:

“What… three cups? I’ll eyeball it. Hmmm… a teaspoon? Lemme just eyeball it. Huh, sifting. I’m gonna eyeball that. Brown frosting the consistency of the inside of a diaper after baby ate a jar of molasses? Sure, I’m not gonna think that one through at all. Let me just eyeball it!”

You get the idea. Lots of eyeballs. Not a lot of skill.

So, THIS time I tried something different. I found my mom’s REALLY REALLY OLD cookbook (sorry Mom, kinda threw you under the elderly bus on that one) and I found a recipe and… (drum roll)…

BEHOLD. I FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS!

And lo, it was good.

Which just goes to show… I’m not so half-baked after all.

(Half-baked used to be my thing. But that’s another post for another day.)

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*The lawyer added an eye roll here and would like to note that this is the point in the blog post where becomes All About Me. I tell him it’s my favorite topic. I tell him, it’s the only way.

Tired. Both the person and the writing.

ExhaustedMomQuoteThe old “but it’s a good tired,” is here.

This is like telling someone in Hell that it’s a dry heat.

I am so tired I am typing this through sheer will and a last spurt of final dying breath to get the word out to you, my readers, that I love you, and it’s been good and all, but holy hot sauce, this Momsie is no more. I have ceased to be. I’m expired, late, stiff… bereft of life. THIS IS an EX-Momsie.

If this were a Disney movie, we are all at the last twenty minutes of Old Yeller.

Or. I’m the mom in Bambi. Or Cinderella. Or that fish movie where the mom bites it right at the beginning and my children freak out and never let me watch any more of it, even though I try to talk them into it with, “It’s a Disney movie, y’all. It’s gonna end happily, I promise!” because I think it’s funny. And they’re all looking up phone numbers for local therapists because the MOM DIED in the movie, how in the world does a happy ending blossom out of that?

Yep. I’m that mom.

Well, wait, that’s confusing. Am I the dead fish mom, or the one who wants my kids to watch the dead fish mom, you know, because it’s funny?  Well, both, of course.

marley-dies-3

I’m so tired the thought of making dinner tonight made me sob a little. I considered microwaving some hot dogs but oh good gravy that means ketchup and I just can’t. I can’t.

Please don’t make me get the ketchup out of the fridge. It will be the end of me, and I mean it.

And also, I have to now look up the spelling: ketchup. Or catsup?

Oh, I can’t even go on.

I’m so tired. My son just spent twenty minutes in the bathroom, came out, all nonchalant with his underpants in his hand, and then proceeded to plonk his tiny white Hazmat-situation bum all over my oriental rug in the living room, and all I did was flutter a hand at him and then I looked away. “The horror…” I whispered. But, did I get up, grab my Lysol, and start squeegeeing him? No.

I’m just so tired.

I’m so tired I don’t even think I can write this. I have to put two boys to bed and I am not. I am so not. They’re on their own.

“Kids,” I say weakly, “Go on up. Put on jammies. Get in bed. Go to sleep. We’ll meet again, soon. Until then,” I flutter my finger at them and croak, “I’ll be right here.” I aim for my heart but there’s still some ice cream on my shirt as I look down, so I instead swipe it off and lick, which makes Blonde suspicious:

“You’ll be where? On your shirt? And… And what’s that? What IS that?” he starts to approach, his nose all quivering like an ice cream detecting drug dog. Red, always able to hone in on dairy, also starts my way. Steve the cat, a pathetic follower, well, follows.

This is it. This is the end. My children and the cat are now slowly approaching me because I smell like butter pecan and some chocolate jimmies, and they’re gonna eat me. It’s the Walking Dead. With sprinkles.

I am just so very, very tired.

Too tired to write this.

Definitely.

cat-tired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post was sponsored by: too many pop references to count.