Story time.

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



I just got off the phone with my sister. We slipped into our easy conversations about food and planning for Thanksgiving and who will bring the potatoes. It’s what we do.

And my other sister, well I had to leave her a message. This did not deter me as I left a long, rambling message that involved me singing Stevie Wonder. Nothing too abnormal here.

My sisters and I don’t spend too much time with story-telling. We chatter on about what’s going on right now, bits and pieces of information. Mostly, we tell each other our to-do lists so the other one can commiserate and offer to bring the potatoes.

We don’t tell each other stories, because we know each other so well. Who wants to listen to a story when you can finish the other person’s sentence? Where’s the suspense in that? It’s like when I check out a book at the library, only to find I’ve read it once before. As I travel the pages I start to feel that weird deja vu, and then, it hits me: Scandalous Love is a page-turner, yes, but I already know the ending. He runs off with her and they are fabulous. And in love.tumblr_n2i1d5NmqY1r37w3co8_500.jpgOk. Granted, I didn’t really read Fabulous Love. Like, ever. Not really my genre.


Sometimes I wonder… don’t we need to ask, every once in a while…

“Hey. What’s your story?”

Even my sisters, who lived part of my story with me, don’t know it all. And I don’t know theirs.

A story can shift and change and it doesn’t end until we do. Do we really ever bother to ask? Is that just too hard or uncomfortable? Or weird, perhaps. Might be a bit weird. And I do love my chatter with my sisters. It’s comfortable, and we laugh a lot, and it’s easy. Story-telling isn’t so easy. It takes a comfy chair and a good sit down and time. It takes time.

But, I wonder. What if we asked for stories more?

What is your story? We all have one. And they’re all important.





Cliff Dwellings

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today!

The theme?

Screenshot 2015-11-20 10.31.41

You know, like “Dwell in the house of the Lord?”

Nope. That’s not the kinda “dwell” we’ll be dealing with here today, folks. But, maybe, a little…

Oh never mind, just read! I never promised you the blog would make SENSE, did I?


When I was a teenager, my parents piled us in their station wagon and we drove through the night to Colorado. For a vacation. For fun, family times.

We did a vacation every year. Most of the time it was to a small cabin down by in the Lake of the Ozarks. There was a lot of fishing and so much swimming in a swimming pool so chlorinated that if we swam at night we glowed on the walk home. That was cool.

Anyhow, this time we were gonna try something new! Colorado! Mountains! Hiking! No catfish!

Needless to say, I hated it. It wasn’t my fault. I was a teenager. I hated everything. That was my job.

Ok, but there was this one part, that involved us going to a park that had cliff dwellings. I don’t remember what tribe, I am sorry to say. It was a lot of climbing around and exploring, and as per my usual lack of enthusiasm, I found it a bit boring. BUT, there was this: Dad made the epic mistake of referring to these wonderful, historic, very important markers of nation’s past and humanity as: (wait for it…)

“Cwiff dwewwings”

I know. You probably had to be there. It’s not very funny, is it? I mean, now after all this time, it isn’t all that amusing.

But to me it still totally cracks me up. My dad and my sister and I, scurrying about all the artifacts, in our best Sylvester the Cat imitation, among all the cwiff dwewwings.

Ok, I tell you that story to tell you this:

I will never forget that vacation. I will never forget the silly laughter. My dad, very John Wayne, very General Patton, has a SUPERB sense of humor (I like to think he got it from me) and I love him. And even though our family vacations were sometimes a bit, uh, like those crucible challenges they put the Navy SEALS through before they can go out and get the bad guys, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because, when I saw the prompt for this, I was IMMEDIATELY hit up with that memory and also, with such love and warmth.

It’s an honor to have the family that I do. My mom, my dad, my sisters. My brother. It’s an honor to call them family. They are nutball, totally (they don’t get any of that from me. It’s all their fault. They started it.) but I love them.

Now, let me tell you about the time my dad decided to QUIT smoking during a family vacation.

Seared. Into. My Memory.

Dwell: to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing. Dwell on the lovely. Linger over it. Ponder the past. Learn from it, the good and the not so good. I am so grateful.



We go to Colorado every year now. Our children look about as excited as I did, way back when. The tradition continues.

Merry Christmas from Momsie




Today’s post was brought to you by:

  • Heavy Nostalgia
  • Christmas Movies
  • Danny Kaye
  • Sisterly Love
  • Netflix Streamteam!

Last week I was participating in one of my favorite activities: Piling about six majillion movies and shows into my Netflix stream for future viewing. At this point, I should be well stocked until 2023. I can’t help it. I have such glorious plans to sit and watch my malevolent House of Cards, my  geekie Numbers, my obscure international films that involve reading, my endless romantic comedies (I love you, Sleepless in Seattle! You complete me!), and of course, my snooty British wonders: Sherlock, Dr. Who, Call the Midwife…

Oh, I could go on and on. And, as my viewing cue will show you, I do.


But lately, this is how I roll:


And so, I bring you, with a big drum roll and feather fans:


Ok. Let me give you a little back story on this gem. When my sister, Jenni, and I were little, we would watch this on our television. This was back when our television had five channels. And, to turn the channel, you got up off the couch and walked over to the tv and turned the knob. And, it’s very possible, we had just finished fighting over who got to sit on the smooshy couch verses Dad’s red chair. But, if we spotted this movie? We stopped fighting and would plunk right down and watch, enraptured, by all the colors and songs, and cuteness! Danny Kaye. Adorable.

And, it featured these two:haynes-sistersJenni was always Rosemary Clooney, because, well, older and wiser and all that.

I was the younger one, Vera Ellen, who was spunky and a little crazy, but you know what? She ended up with Danny Kaye, so we’re all good.

The image above is from my favorite number in the movie: their “Sisters” duet. In it they get to wear ridiculously bright blue sparkly stuff, and there’s feather fans!!! SQUEE!!!! FEATHER FANS!!!

And, then, of course there was THIS:


I don’t remember… there’s some sort of madcap caper, and Kaye and Crosby sing the “Sisters” song and really, who needs more explanation of plot? This movie is not about plot. It’s a movie musical, ya’ll. A fifties musical. Leave plot driven realism for The Grapes of Wrath. This has people breaking into song and then tap dancing. Good enough.

They had me at Vista Color.

I am watching this tonight, as I finish up my Christmas wrapping. There will be eggnog and popcorn, and I think I just might be my own Hallmark movie.

Truth be told, my Hallmark moment was tarnished just a teensy bit earlier, when had just found this on the great Netflix, and excitedly played the opening credits for my boys. I prefaced it with the dreaded, “Boys! Boys! This is something Mommy watched when she was little! I love this movie!” This enthusiasm from the Mom pretty much always merits two little raincloud responses from my boys:

Red: He starts inching away, with an embarrassed and rather patronizing smile, like Mommy has clearly lost her marbles. Poor mommy. I will smile and watch for about two minutes to help her feel loved, then I am outta here.

Blonde: Abject horror. “What’s DIS? Dis is boring. Canna I have a snack?”

Note: I must remember never to show enthusiasm for old movies. This will only work against me. Toddlers smell nostalgia and it breaks their synapses. Nostalgia, for them, is like five minutes ago, so don’t even try.

That’s fine. More for me. ‘Tis the season.


What is your favorite Christmas movie smushed all full of happy nostalgia and feels??

And, I would also like to wish you a very VERY Merry Christmas. You, my gentle readers, are a wonderful Christmas present that I am so grateful for.

And yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition.

God bless us, every one.

Postscript: I watched this as I wrapped the last of the presents, and I had forgotten – there is a great scene at the beginning of the movie that is so lovely and poignant, a real thank you to all those who are serving in our armed forces during the holidays… Brought tears to my eyes. I want to add a very big thank you to all who protect and serve – while we celebrate, you sacrifice for us. Thank you.

Tuesday Takeout and Sisterly Competition

Exhibit A:


My parents. They always look like this in pictures.

Remind you of anything?

Sorta like this:


My parents are awesome.  My dad:  the essence of wit and humor and one-liners.  Very wise.  My mom: patient (she would argue) and very kind (she would argue this, too, I bet) and not at all argumentative.  Also very wise.

I scored in the parenting department, friends.

Unfortunately, my sister ALSO scored as well (because, you know, we’re SISTERS) and so she is just really good at letting them know this.  Better than me.

I give you,

Exhibit B:


Holy Martha Stewart, I give UP.

I mean seriously, LOOK AT IT:IMG_0211

My folks had their fiftieth anniversary not long past, and she made them that cake.  The one above– See it?

(And might I just add:  50 years.  50 YEARS.  What lunacy is this?  People actually STAY married for 50 years? Miracles do happen.  🙂 )

And… I give you,

Exhibit C:


Sigh. I’ll just sit over here in the corner…

Yep.  That was my contribution.

Ok, I KNOW I should be all happy because my sister is so awesome and has Martha skills up the wazoo and all that, but shoot fire.

My pie is looking all wimpy.

My sweet husband would say, “Dear,  this isn’t about you and your (wimpy) pie.  It’s about family and celebration and being together…” blah blah blah.  I kinda tuned him out after “this.”

Lookit, ever since I can remember, I have been the one at Thanksgiving that gets asked to bring the salad.

I hate to point out the obvious here, but nobody ever EATS SALAD AT THANKSGIVING ANYHOW!!

It is Sympathy Salad.

And I have Cake Envy.

So there.

I need help, I know.  In lieu of that, I am going to post this –

Exhibit D:

Momsie’s Top Secret Recipe for Sour Cream and Raisin Pie That Sounds Kinda Gross But Is Actually Really Good


Every good recipe comes with lots of coffee stains and illegible scribbles.

Before assembling the pie:

Soak in warm water an hour or so – 1 cup raisins.  Drain well.

Bake off a pie shell and cool

In bowl, blend together:

3/4 cup white sugar

2  tablespoon cornstarch (sift briefly through a strainer)

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 6 ounce container sour cream (If you use low-fat you will rue the day. Don’t. Even.)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I add a bit more…)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 well-beaten eggs

Blend well and add raisins.

Pour in saucepan and cook on low until thick. (if you run your finger through the dipped spoon and a line “stays” – it’s thick enough!)

Make sure to stir constantly!   Pour hot filling in pie shell.

Top with meringue and brown in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes – watch carefully!

You can also cheat by using whipped cream, but this pie really deserves a good fluffy meringue.  At least that’s what my dad prefers.  AND NOTHING IS TOO GOOD FOR MY DAD.



Of course this post had to include a cat sticking out its tongue.

And… I leave you with this little gem.  My sis and I grew up with this.  I long for the day when I can actually use a feathered fan with such skills.  For some reason, my life right now doesn’t call for feathered fans…  It’s a crying shame.

This post was sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association and the DSM.  See:  Neurotic Behavior

Friday is for Funny

In reference to yesterday’s Ode to Mr. Cosby, I thought it would be fitting to post some of his work here.  I had a very hard time finding my favorite because, they all are.  Cosby is a master of the narrative, and he loves children – his heart is so admiring of them, even in all their moments of insanity (see his bit on “Brain Damage” and you’ll get it).

I am also sharing this gem:  my sis and me, 1977.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.19.36 PM

The picture is majorly fuzzy, which is good because it hides my overbite.

We were HOT, I tell you.  Hottttt.  No, really, we were sweating our arses off.  My mom was kinda an over-bundler. Christmas Story, anyone?  Maybe that’s a Friday for another.. Friday.

Anyhow, my sister and I, we listened to Cosby on a weekly basis.  We had all his old records (not so old, back then).  We would lie on the floor, chins in our hands, giggling like crazed weasels, and mouthing along.  We have him memorized, from his “Noah” to his “Junior Barnes.”

Enjoy your Friday!  Take some Bill with you, he is a vitamin for the soul.  And yes, I think Jesus would laugh at the last part.  I really do.