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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What’s Your Motivation?

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

The theme?

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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…

DANA. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BALANCE. BALANCE IS FOR GYMNASTS. GOD HAS YOUR BACK.

Or…

DANA, YOUR CASSEROLES WILL NEVER WIN ANY PRIZES. LET THAT GO. GOD LOVE YOU ANYWAY.

Or, simply:

LET GO, LET GOD.

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.

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Momsie’s Top Ten Thankfuls

It’s time! It’s Thanksgiving! Here comes annual Top Ten!!!!

Disclaimer: It’s possible Momsie is on her second cup of really expensive super good coffee from Hawaii because THAT’S HOW WE DO IT ON THANKSGIVING. And thus, whe is SUPER JAZZED AND ALL EXCLAMATION POINTY!

Actually, that’s how my father in law does it. I buy Aldi’s. You know I love you, Aldi’s. We’re besties!

So, here we go!

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN THANKFULS, 2017 EDITION:

  1. Blonde’s smile, when he’s trying not to smile. This occurs often when I come in to wake him up in the mornings. I tickle him, and then I watch. One side of his mouth lifts up, and the other side works very hard to stay down, and the dimples show up. He’s so handsome, my boy. Who knew that we could spawn handsome? Also, that “handsome” is part of the package now? He was all “cute” and “adorable” and “itty bitty” and now he’s dialed up to “handsome.” I tell you, parents, we measure our days by our children. We can’t help it.
  2. Red. He is still at the “cute” and “adorable” stage and THANK GOODNESS. I can’t take too much handsome going on here. Between Blonde and the hubster, I am overloaded and my head explodes. It’s a good thing that Red is still at Level Cute because it calms me down. Here is a picture to prove it:IMG_7411.JPG.jpeg

Ok, I tried to take a picture, and as his very often his adorable habit, he decided to mess with me. This is SO adorable. I promise that there is adorable stuff going on UNDER the blanket. Also, he probably knew that if he took the picture the camera would have blown up due to the cuteness. That happens a lot in our house. The cuteness keeps causing our electronics to spark out all the time.

3. Ok, while we are at it, I want to point out that I have the most wonderful hubs in the world of wonderfulness. Boom. And here is the picture to prove it:

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Ok. So, he was getting ready and didn’t want to have his picture taken. This is a door. I get the difference.

4. Hot pastrami sandwiches. I don’t really know why I thought of that just now. Perhaps the proximity to the hot door-ness that is my husband? We’ll just leave that right there.

5. My momma’s stuffing. Not her actual stuffing, but the kind she serves at Thanksgiving dinner. She has a recipe that involves prepping for this stuffing like four days ahead, and it involves something called giblets, which, truth be told, I have forgotten and baked inside the actual turkey a few times. I don’t really know what giblets are but they taste divine in Mom’s stuffing. Which is where they belong.

6. Fur. We have a lot of fur at our house:

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Spot the cat.

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Voila! Hello. I don’t always sit on the laundry like this but when I do, my human has to take a picture. Because I’m that fabulous.

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Hello. I’m not codependent and needy at all!  But actually yes, I totally am! I love you! Let me sit upon you! I love you! I must stare at you awkwardly while you work! I love you!

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No talking. Sleeping. She saved me from the great outdoors where there was not a lot of food. Or soft places to lie down. Tired.

Also, there is another cat in our house, Bob. She doesn’t like to have her picture taken, so she’s probably huddled somewhere, all hunchy and weirded out that I’m even writing about her.

7. Christmas trees. There was a display of these by my grocers, and I walked over to them on autopilot and proceeded to stick my nose in the trees and inhale loudly which was awkward for the passers by, but necessary.

8. Bow-ties. Both of my boys are wearing them as I write. This is because it’s what is done on Thanksgiving. They are rolling their eyes a lot and telling me “It’s not CHURCH, MOM.” Oh ho, little ones. But it’s my mom’s TURKEY AND STUFFING. So, we wear ties.

9. Free will. One of the two boys is now, most definitely, NOT wearing a bow-tie. So, there’s that.

10. God and Jesus and da Holy Spirit! (That one is from Red, who is now cuddling with me in a really bright orange t-shirt and pants. No tie. He looks great. Sorta. The tie woulda been a nice touch, though but he will not be held down by the man.)

11. Friends. I know I can’t count, but they don’t care. Friends who have basically unintelligable conversations with me like this:

“Hey! Did you…”

“Yes! I did! Have a Happy- ”

“Thanksgiving! You too! I’ll bring that stuff over later.”

“The stuff with the things on it?”

*Child starts yelling in background*

“Gotta -”

“Yep, Child. Go.”

And somehow, we completely understand each other, anyway.

 

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. ‘Tis the season to remember your thankfuls, and hold your family close. I am so very blessed by you, dear reader.

Oh, and?

#12. Sobriety. It comes with twelve steps, so there ya go.

One day at a time.

Every day is precious.

All days are worth it.

 

Now, go forth, and eat a heck of a lot of food.

 

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Thanksgiving Throwback Because… As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Hi friends!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It’s my favorite holiday. FAVORITE. Why?

Sooooo many reasons. But a lot of them are centered around time with family and great food and just… oh, you know. All that mushy stuff.

I post every year my Top Ten Thankfuls, and thought it might be fun to post last year’s… today. I can do that because it’s my blog.

So without further ado:

Screenshot 2017-11-22 13.14.05.pngMOMSIE’S 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?

And all God’s people said: 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.

 

What a Momsie Believes.

I was up at 5 AM folks. FIVE.

That’s when, like, ARMY PEOPLE get up. To go run hills and save the world and all.

I did not run hills, nor save the world, BUT I did laundry and read the bible.

Not at the same time. But still.

And THEN I ate a completely healthy and hearty bowl of steel-cut oats (the oats for hipsters!) and blueberries and I felt all BAM! I’m gonna kick some serious BEHIND today. I’m on FIRE! I had OATS that were cut by STEEL!

And then, in about an hour, I noticed this:IMG_7401-1.JPG

Yep, that’s my laundry installation. It’s got a great aesthetic, and I’m going to leave it in the living room for a very long time, I think.

I call this sculpture, Expansion.

Or:

I Washed A Bunch of Clothes But Folding Them Makes Me Feel Sad

And so, instead of dealing with reality, I decided to take the dog on a walk. I figured when I got home, the laundry will have flown away, like laundry does.

Ok, it never does that but it’s a really pretty day. So there’s that.

And I took the dog and we spied this:IMG_7350.jpg

And I wondered if somehow the laundry was trying to tell me something? It made me feel better. Even if it wasn’t about the laundry, somebody, somewhere, was trying to be nice about something. And so, the universe smiled. As the universe does.

THEN, I came across this:IMG_7400.jpg

And I was all, I GOT YOU UNIVERSE; I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING HERE.

And the dog and I strutted home, in the fall leaves, all crunchy and awesome. And I was feeling crunchy and awesome. And Hosmer managed to completely match up his little prancy paws with my ipod.

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Who knew that The Doobie Brothers were Hosmer’s  JAM, y’all?

He was all prancy-prancy and “But what a fool believes, he sees. No wise man has the power to reason away!”

And I was all, “What seems to be, is always better than nothing, than nothing at all!!!” And I think we kinda freaked out an older gentleman who was trying to get in his truck, but I just smiled and waved a lot. And kept singing about fools believing.

And THEN I got home and the universe still had not put away the four tons of clothes in my living room.

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I get it, Universe. There’s only so much that you will do for me. You’re not an enabler, I’ll give you that.

But it still was an awesome morning. So far the art installation of kids’ socks and Star Wars beach towels has not moved. I think it adds a certain touch to house. I might add my whites’ load to it later, to go for a little more height.

And here we are. This is the best song in the history of songs. And there is SUCH good hair going on. Give it a listen, and you will feel all I LOVE YOU, UNIVERSE, too.

Dream A Little Dream With Me.

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Still working on my Change All the Things Big November Plan, and it’s going… sort of ok.

I know, guys! Did that introduction not KNOCK the SOCKS off of you!? Are you not just totally on the edge of your seat? Without SOCKS???

Ok, truth:

Trying to rehab anything is very hard. I mean, have you ever watched Intervention? Not to make light of a serious topic (I never do that. Ok, well yes I do, all the time, but you know my heart’s in the right place. Plus, I am a walking Intervention, so I can poke fun at myself) but trying to get something back from a state of disrepair is HARD.

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Here are the things I have been working on:

  1. Food and all things food related. Like, not eating all the sugar in the house because I am stressed. Case in point: Halloween candy that belongs to my sweet children is STILL belonging to the children and has not been touched by me since that fateful night. I am kind of proud of myself on that one.
  2. Stress level. I am beginning to really appreciate breaking tasks down, and organizing and not waiting until the last minute to get a writing deadline done. And yes, I hear you, editors, cackling away at me. No lie, my mom will plan to make chocolate chip cookies on Friday, and on MONDAY she starts planning ahead by setting a bowl out on the counter. A bowl. She is hard core.
  3. I really really need to stop watching stupid youtube videos. Like, this is just stupid. It’s stupid and bad and stupid. Every time I watch a youtube video (unless it’s Francis Chan) my IQ drops and a cute kitty video dies and I start writing “stupid” too much. Or something like that.

#3 is really not my fault. It all started because I was all #2, and then, I thought, “Hey! Let’s watch cute kitty videos! It will make me laugh and feel better and chortle chortle chortle and the next thing you know, it’s five hours later. It’s physics. An object at rest remains at rest, blah blabbity blah blah blah.

So, the other day I was talking with my sister and she said something really really interesting. She said that her husband asked her, all out of the blue, “Hey, what are your dreams?”

First of all, this now has taken my sister’s husband and put him in the Husband Hall of Fame because holy matrimony that is just the sweetest thing EVER. Like, right now, I am sitting next to my husband and I’m giving him the side eye. And I’m thinking, He never asked me what my dreams are. Huh. I wonder why? Does he not care? Clearly he doesn’t care. My sister’s husband cares.

Ok, reeling it in. Getting off track.

Here’s why the November’s Big Huge Colossal Plan to Change So Much Stuff is occurring:

I need to learn how to dream again.

When I first published my book, I felt like I was floating about in a really happy floaty place called: I Have Always Dreamed of This.

It’s a really nice place. It was all pink and fuzzy and blissful.

Well, actually at times it was also really frenetic and stressful but for the most part I was floaty-floaty.

And then, time passed and I landed back on earth, which is fine and good because we really can’t float all the time. That would be weird and I would never be able to drive my children anywhere, which as you moms all know, that is the reason for my existence.

In the past months I have forgotten all about dreams.

It’s ok. That happens. There’s children and costumes for children (hello October) and appointments and all sorts of animals to take care of who kept getting sick, and I forgot why I like writing. It got buried underneath a pile of laundry, I tell you.

In my life, God comes first. Then the husband, who doesn’t ever ask me about my dreams, then the kids.

And then, somewhere along the way, I forgot that writing and creativity needed to be up there too, somewhere above the laundry. And all sorts of other stuff started to fill in the holes.

I didn’t really realize any of this, when I started out on my Make It All Totally Super Awesome Novemberness. I thought I just wanted to lose a little weight. But instead? This has been a lot of thinking and turning things over in my head.

Funny how that works, eh? Walking away from carbs and eating a whole lotta kale has led to a full fledged epiphany, y’all.

Who knew? Who really knew that kale had that kind of power?

So, I’m halfway through November. I’m finding my groove again. I haven’t eaten sugar for two weeks and I have not died.

In fact, I feel very much alive.

Thanks for listening my friends. I’m now off to snack on some kale pudding.

Just kidding. Kale and I are not at the pudding stage. That’s just crazy.

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Too many kale jokes?

Nah. You can never have too many kale jokes.

 

 

Hello Silence My Old Friend

Linking up with my people today at Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

 

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Guys? Do you know why silence is an OLD friend? Because it had children. And they proceeded to beat ever-lovin treble out of it. And now it’s really tired.

The other day, my husband and I were in the car, with the kids in the back seat, as they usually are.

The radio was blaring static because hubs was searching for his football game and, as we all know, we must first listen to a lot of static before we alight upon it. It’s just the rule. Also, once the golden ticket is achieved and we actually CAN hear a football game then we must make sure to turn it UP really LOUD because it is SO important. As football games always are.

And, in the back seat, the boys were discussing something.

Oh, scratch that. They were just yelling at each other.

Meanwhile, back in the front passenger seat, I was slinking slooooowly down, wondering if there were some of those headphones available… the ones that those dudes that help planes land wear? What are those things called? I dunno. I CAN’T REMEMBER BECAUSE THE NOISE IS KILLING MY SYNAPSES.

Also, there was a possibility I had a sinus headache because allergies have it out for me. And everything is awful.

And… I was a little hungry. And tired. So, you know, I was HALT except I am NEVER LONELY I WONDER WHY.

(For those of you who wonder: “HALT” is an acronym that I learned in my recovery circles. It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, and basically? If you are over two of these at a time? It’s apocolyptic at a def con level 500. Maybe 600. You get what I mean.)

So, I think I might have yelled.

I ADDED to the noise. Yep. Because that’s logical.

And then, we played the Quiet Game, which is just the BEST game in the whole world.

And I stared out at the fields and the trees and breathed in deep. I used to live in silence all the time. My house was … just for me. I had a dog, but he didn’t talk much. I had a cat, but you know, they’re ninjas with fur.

I used to sit and read, in a bed by a window with a huge tree outside… and sometimes a sweet little birdie would come and alight there and sing to me, sweetly, as I read for hours.

And then, I would go up and get a snack and I WOULDN’T HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH ANYBODY.

And, as I stared out the window, at the clouds skudding across the skyline and the sun that hit the leaves and set them aglow, all pretty and fall and glorious, I heard snickering from the back seat.

And then… someone farted.

And lo, the Quiet Game was all over. And with it? The sweet perfume of my past.

But, I just didn’t mind. I belong right here, wedged in a car with all the windows down and now is REALLY loud because massive jets of wind, but you know. I belong here. My hair is now a tangled mess and both kids are basically yapping in the back seats like puppies on crack.

And it’s the best. It is so freaking loud, but it is just crazy good.

 

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