I Tweet, Therefore I am.

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Y’all. I’m supposed to be fasting from social media right now.

See? See how well that’s going? This is me… fasting.

Allow me to explain:

When I started the Congo fast because my evil friend Kate suckered me into it without my full knowledge, comprehension, or understanding, and I did it out of the goodness of my heart and because I am totally spiritual and my goodness this is all a load of hooey.

ANYHOW. When I started the Congo fast w/ Kate for our Sunday school class… I thought… Well. Food. I have to fast from food for 40 days. That’s nearly impossible and as we all know I have caved like a Neanderthal about twenty times in the 40 days, but who’s counting?

As God is my witness, I thought the tortillas were going to be it.

But, as Kate has so patiently reminded me, also about twenty times, the Sunday school class does exceed 40 days. So, what are we gonna do for the other portion? Just sit around and talk about how fabulous we were for fasting?

Ok, so along with Chris Seay’s A Place at the Table, we read this gem:

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I use the word “gem” because I have so few of them now, BECAUSE JEN KEEPS TELLING ME TO GIVE STUFF AWAY.

Ok, seriously. Here’s more explaining: We decided to also tackle, along with food the other items that Jen mutinies against. There right there on the cover for you: clothes, spending, waste, stress (har har har), waste, and MEDIA.

MEDIA.

YES IN ALL CAPS.

Guys. You can take my clothes and help me recycle and give me a budget and make me eat corn tortillas ’till the cows come home (that we can’t eat)

BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO PRY MY MEDIA FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

Here is the very real conversation I had with Kate about this whole media thing, yesterday:

Kate: I’m fasting from media and it’s going okay. How about you?
Me: *leans forward to the microphone* I cannot recall.

That’s a pretty fabulous Ollie North, right? And for those of you who are too young to understand my cheap mimicry of the general and his memory recall issues, what I REALLY said is something like this:

Me: NOOOOOOO. This is so HARRRRRRD. I’m eating rice and beans – you can’t make me NOT watch Netflix TOOOOOOOOOOO.

The wailing, I tell you, was heard one county over.

I ask you, what about all my quips? Where will the quipping go, if I cannot post about it? It will be like I don’t even exist.

Really. How can I live without the tweetings?

What if my children do something adorable? (rare, granted). Or the cat? What if the CAT does something adorable (hourly). How will I live without talking about it?

So, here is my announcement: Our Congo fast and its 40 days is over this Sunday. After that, I will be walking away from my computer for a week.

I will miss you *she waves weakly* Don’t you worry about me… *fading away* I’m sure I’ll be… just… fine *drops to the floor in a heap and makes sure her pose is flattering for a selfie*

Social media, y’all. It’s addictive stuff. I mean, really. If a tree falls in the forest and no one takes a picture of it for Instagram, does an angel lose his wings?

Or something like that.

Now, the only people I have yet to tell are the children. They’ll be joining me in this fast. No Netflixes. No Wii Rockband.

The cries will be heard from two counties over.

Pray for us.

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Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. The theme?

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Well. I don’t see the draw with this one. We certainly don’t need help, do we?

Har har har. Little bit of sarcasm there. In case you weren’t tracking. Sarcasm is my jam, y’all.

I was talking on the phone with my mom the other day. Normally our conversations go like this:

“I made coconut muffins the other day! Want to talk about them for the next twenty minutes?”

“Ooooooo! Muffins! Yes! Let’s discuss!”

And so on.

But instead, this conversation traveled into a scary place called the Great Angry Cat Box  Called the Political Arena.

Me: Mom. We are doomed. Doomed, I say.

Mom: I pray one thing, mainly, every day. I pray for Mercy for the United States. We need it.

Let’s face it. We need HELP.

Or maybe we don’t really want to face it at all. Thus, we have social media. Which doesn’t allow us to really face truth, in any way. It just gives us filtered versions and demands, “Now, WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?”

We need a hero. A real hero. Someone to save the day. And I don’t see Jesus coming back and then saying, “Stop! Stop all the prophecy! I mean, yes, we WILL get to that, Elijah and Moses, so just get a bottle of water and take a break. Maybe watch a little Great British Bake Off. It’s such a good show. Anyhow, FIRST, I need to fix this president thing over in the United States. Did you hear about them? They are a Great Angry Cat Box right now and I am going just head over there and clean it UP. And then, we’ll get back to Revelations, ok?”

I have no other wisdom. I can only offer this – a former student of mine said it:

“Maybe instead of watching the Republican National Convention I should spend that time praying and fasting for our country.”

Sounds good. Prayer and fasting never hurts.

When I was a girl, I always used to listen to my mom’s Simon and Garfunkel albums – one of my favorite songs by them would croon: “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” But the truth? DiMaggio was no hero. We sure wanted him to be, yes. We want someone, anyone, to show up. To BE the help we need. Our heroes are being dismantled, before our eyes, on a daily basis.

Help. We need help.

We don’t just want it. We really, REALLY need it.

This is good, all this need. Somehow, I think, this is just the place we are supposed to be. Because of all this gaping, messy need, it is good. Weakness forces us to lean. Somehow, I really do think, it’s all going to be all right.

In the meantime, I guess… help others? I dunno. I think that’s what we are supposed to do with all this. Maybe. I don’t mean to get all Mother Teresa here on this but. Well yes, I do. Because when I focus on that it makes me feel less afraid. I was told once, from an editor, “Never throw Mother Teresa into your writing. Nobody needs the reminder of who they are not. She’s become kinda, well, overused.” Perhaps, but today? She helps ME. So, she’s in here. Take that, Mr. Editor. (I don’t think he reads my posts anyhow, so I’m safe. I hope.”

Or…if the Mother Teresa route makes you dizzy and you just can’t picture yourself in the white head-dress, maybe we should just stick with discussing coconut muffins with your momma.  Both are very good options.

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Surrender is not an option.

Well. I am going to do it. I am going to write about politics.

This clearly goes against my contract. It states, in article 42, section 7:

“Any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, warlike act by a military force or military personnel, destruction or seizure or use for a military purpose, and including any consequence of any of these. Discharge of a nuclear weapon shall be deemed a warlike act even if accidental.”

Um. The words “discharge of nuclear weapon” and “accidental” don’t seem to fit together, do they?

Also, there is:

“For services rendered and to be rendered, it is agreed between the Author and the Author’s agent that the Author does hereby irrevocably assign and transfer to said agent and agent shall retain for the life of the Work a sum equal to fifteen percent (15percent) as an agency coupled with an interest of the gross monies accruing to the account of the Author per the Agreement and any subsequent agreements for the life of the Work in all its editions, revisions and adaptations, prior to deductions from or charges against such monies for any reason whatsoever.” (No, this was not my author’s contract. But it was close. It made my head hurt.)

Oops. Wrong section. I found all that charming legalese  here.

Section EIGHT says:

Momsie doesn’t do politics. Politics are whack.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday, today. And wouldn’t you know it? The theme is:

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Well played, Kate Motaung.

All right. Brace yourself. I am now going to talk politics for the remainder of this blog post. It’s a rare and rather frightening event, much like spotting Big Foot, but also if Big Foot was going to knock on your door and ask to SPEND THE NEXT FOUR YEARS HANGING AT YOUR HOUSE.

Here are my thoughts on politics:

  1. I never really knew what a caucus was until this year. This admission is making my father and at least ONE of my old students who now teaches Social Studies growl at me. I always thought a caucus sounded kind of risque and salacious. Therefore I avoided them. Momsie doesn’t do salacious.
  2. I now live in a small town. The caucus does not come to me. It must be searched out, hunted down and fought for. Cue up, again, the SAME movie clip that I seem to use for every blog on here ever:f92e423d19364d85f10361f51b9c717d

Hey, if the Last of the Mohican moccasin fits, wear it.

In other words:

3. I’ll give you my caucus when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Bit over the top? Bit too dramatic? Perhaps. As we all know, Momsie feeds on sugary dramatic overstatement for breakfast.

4. Evil, and evil people, are simply those who are unwilling or unable to deal with true self awareness.

I know. Think about it. I came up with that in the shower this morning. I thought it was pretty good.

If we really were able to deal honestly and thoughtfully with you we are, we would be walking towards God. God made us that way. He crafted humans to lean to the light, to seek justice, to be clean. And, our leaders are human. No, really. They are. So, I am praying praying praying that all of those who are so intent on leading this country would really be willing to tackle their motives, their deepest heart. Their true nature. And that goodness would filter to the top.

5. Finally. It’s possible the candidate we want to win, won’t. It’s possible. Very possible. And yet, as my pastor says, “God will still be on the throne, no matter who is president.”

God is. God was. God will be.

I believe that the world seems very scary and sad and angry when we look at facebook, at twitter, at the news. It is understandable. Know why?

The world is a very scary and sad and angry place.

I also believe:

The world is lovely, loving, and new every morning. And that Good will prevail. And that glory reigns. And that, thank you, EASTER IS COMING!

I also believe: too many fearful news posts can be combated with:

  1. Prayer
  2. Kitty pictures.
  3. Or, perhaps, both,  AT THE SAME TIME.

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KITTY SCRIPTURE FOR THE WIN.

‘Purr-fect peace’. That’s cute.

Now, go vote.

Small print and lawyer-y diclosure: Momsie is not in any way trying to endorse one candidate over the other because that’s your darn responsibility. Also, the she has never been more confused and holy cow the options are totally weirdo this year so far be it from her to try and tell YOU how to vote. Good Lord almighty. Also, she is not trying to make light of something very serious and important but oh let’s face it this whole situation needs some levity else she will just have to throw in the towel. She’s going to let the other people post the serious stuff and pictures and articles and statistics and horrible clips and videos and ugh this social media thing sometimes just makes me want to go sit by a pond and feed the sweet non-partisan ducks.

When

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Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

Today’s theme:

When .

 

Oh boy. I think I might get cranky on this one. Now remember, readers, this is MY crabby. All mine. You do not have to own it in any way. In fact, if you are all, “Oh no… she’s gonna get all crabby here and I don’t have time for THAT,” then you have complete permission to back away slowly.

It’s just how I’m feeling today.

So, here goes:

 

When are we going to stop fighting about yoga pants?

When is the polarity about that 50 Shades movie going to end?

When can we stop yelling at each other about immunizations?

When will there be some quiet on how much we hate our governor?

When will we be able to meet and talk?

 

I deal in social media. It’s my job. But sometimes, I think social media has created a whole lot of shouting heads. And not the good kind. I prefer the kind of shouting where you’re at a great church service and “I’ll Fly Away” is the hymn, and the band is going crazy, and we just shout along with the love of all of it.

Sometimes, I go on the great interwebs, and I come away thinking, “Everyone is so darn mad.”

And you know? We totally have every right to be mad. I get it. And even express it.

But today? I would like for us to just be able to realize one thing (and yes, I realize too, that I am now giving MY opinion and am stepping hard into the irony of all this. But I’m not yelling. When I yell, my voice gets all shrill and I kinda sound like Meg Tilly, but not in a good way.)

Today: I would like for the great interwebs to ask:

When could we meet for coffee and talk about all this? I’ll wear my yoga pants and you’ll bring your immunization flyers and we will try, somehow, to talk politics.

Or maybe, form a book club for that 50 book.

Or not… I think I would blush so hard I wouldn’t even be able to speak; book clubs like it when you talk, I think.

 

When are we going to get there? The talking part, instead of the shouting?

As my sister would say, “Honey, when Jesus comes, I imagine.”

 

True, yes. Especially the book club part. But, it’s nice to think about, isn’t it?

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Tuesday Takeout and Toddlers

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Today’s post will also be linked up with Lindsay over at Wedding Rings to Teething Rings!

We’re talking Organization, my friends, and Lindsay, brave Lindsay, has  decided to post every day of the month of January about all things straightened, labelled, collated, and dare I say, TIDY.  Yep.  She’s doing something organized every day of the month.

My brain hurts a little bit just thinking about it.  I am doing good to just sidle up warily to  my weekly checklists with Organize This – Lindsay’s doing something spic ‘n span-ish for 31 days in a ROW.   I KNOW.  She’s like the Olympics.

And I’m gonna add my two cents.  My input to the Olympian Organization Challenge will be sorta like the Curling event – not really meriting much attention except for a few raised eyebrows, but surely not lacking in zeal.  This post is going to tackle what was once my favorite time of day:

Morning time. (dun, dun, DUN.)

When I say “once” I really mean, “I don’t really remember; I think it was before children.”

Here is a small diagram:

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Ok, so after I had kids I really thought I still had it going on for mornings.  I would get up, grab my coffee, and tackle my day with gusto and a lot of To Do lists.  This lasted approximately two weeks.

Ya’ll,  I got tired.  So often my mornings were spent fuzzily reaching for coffee, pouring it over my Cheerios, and sloshing creamer into my orange juice.  After that, I started to lose my enthusiasm.  My mornings started to look like this:

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I think she’s rather cute.

I had pajama pants for every day of the week.  I specialized in walking around aimlessly from room to room with a cold cup of coffee in my hand muttering the lyrics to Come on Get Happy.  I had completed the epic task of feeding two toddlers breakfast.    Something in me kinda died inside when I realized that simply cleaning up the kitchen would take up to an hour some mornings simply because toddlers UNHINGE THINGS.  They can take a simple bowl of Cheerios and turn it into a performance art involving linoleum, milk,  a lot of zeal, and two spoons.

I guess the biggest red flag to demonstrate to you that my mornings had become seriously disabled: I started using these:

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The scrunchie. If this isn’t a call for help from any tired out momsie, I don’t know what is.

So, I did the only thing I could:

a.  Got my hair did and threw away the scrunchies.  BEGONE 80’s!  You only belong on my Pandora station!  Not in mah hair!

And:

b.  I made a plan to not only “survive” mornings, but to make them THRIVE.  Mornings need to be thrive-worthy.  Why?  Because they are the diving board for the rest of the day.  I wish to swan dive, people!  No more belly flop mornings.

MOMSIE’S PLAN FOR A THRIVE-WORTHY MORNING:

1.  Show up early with your game face on:

The night before I set out my computer, my coffee cup, my journal and any morning reading I plan to be doing (usually this) and then…  (wait for it) I get up 20 minutes earlier than I think I should.  Yep, you heard me.  There is always 20 minutes in there that you can eek out.   It helps.  If you can, set that alarm across the room, break your snooze, get your hubs to elbow you viciously when the thing starts beeping, but GET UP JUST 20 MINUTES EARLIER.

2. Allow for a warmup:  First thing I do is I drop and plank for one minute, every morning.  Why? Because I am a STUD.  Ok, well really, it is only  possible for me to plank  because I can do so without thinking or counting or really doing anything that involves major synapses firing and basic intelligence. All I have to do is plank and stare at my phone’s timer.  But, and I know you know this:  PLANKING WAKES UP LIKE EVERY MUSCLE IN YOUR BODY.  Even my cheek muscles  (I’m talking the ones in my face) are working.  I do this every morning, for at least a minute.  From there, sometimes I go into a few downward dogs or maybe a sunrise pose, but that’s only when my studliness has decided to go off the charts for the day.  60 seconds.  Add a bit each week.  Get the blood working.

3.  Hydrate with flair:  This might seem frivolous but to me, it was important.  I needed a good reward in my morning.  I now am the proud owner of a great coffee grinder and I indulge in the good stuff every morning.  If you are not a coffee drinker than, well, bless your heart.  Get yourself some GOOD tea or a great juice that YOU love and you don’t have to share.  Stop it with the sharing and the Dollar Saver coffee.  Just stop it.


While you savor that first cup – read something inspirational, spiritual.  Journal about 5 things you are grateful for.  Take a breath, and whatever you do, do NOT (I repeat do NOT) check email, myface, spacebook, the tweetings, or any other sort of yahoo time sucker.  That comes later.

4.  Have a fuel plan:  In my house, we have a daily breakfast and dinner menu that is SOLID.  This simple little posting has saved me many mornings from fuzzy thinking. Fuzzy thinking like asking (at 7:45 am) “What do you want for breakfast, my sweet darlings?”  I know.  So not a good idea.  If you really feel like they should have some sort of (fake) say in their world, have them work up the menu plan with you.

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I apologize for smearing on the chart.  Blonde wanted to sabotage the menu chart with “hotdog day” and it ended up looking rather…. well like something you’d come up against in a 7th grade sex ed diagram.  It got nixed.

And by the way, when the sweet darlings sit and eat their porridge, what should you do?  You SIT and EAT too.  Listen to your Momsie.

5.  Run drills – pee wee version:  Also on our daily menu plan?  Chores.  Little chores for the littles.  Blonde sweeps.  Every day after breakfast, rain or shine, cereal performance art or no, he sweeps.  Red wipes.  I then go back and do it again after they leave, but it’s part of the plan.  We are training them up to eventually TAKE OVER ALL CHORES FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE.  That’s why we have children, right?  Labor? It’s only fair.*

While they do their chores, get dressed.  In real clothes.  Add lip gloss.  Fold the jammies lovingly and bid them a fond farewell.  You will miss them,  I know.  Avoid mom jeans as well.  Invest in some cute stuff that you can wear with a degree of sophistication.  (Breaking this down:  If sloth lady is a 1 and Angelina Jolie is a 10, you want to go for a 5 or so.  You can do this.)

6.  Run drills – Momsie version:  Momsie also has chores.  I have split up the basic “How to make sure my house is somewhat tidy and clean” chores and assigned to the days of the week.  Sunday is my day off, of course.  Jesus said so.

7.  Take a break:  After breakfast, cleanup, morning chores, and the horrible run in with planking, sit down, have a cup, re-read your morning devotional, rest.  This is important.  Then, plan your day.  Get out of the house.  Figure out the shopping list for a project you want to tackle.  Plan your spring garden.  Get the big picture in play, if you wish.  But don’t attempt this until after steps 1-6.  Otherwise, you might get sideswiped by the constant tangled distractions of life.  Ok, which means, NOW you can check the facespace, mybook, endless chirpings, and other drizzles.  Perhaps set a timer.  I speak from experience.

9.  Prepare to lose a few morning games:  Eyes on the prize and all that until…  a kid is sick, the dryer blows up, or you really just kinda miss this pretty lady:

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What? I have pearls on. I can’t be that bad.

There is nothing wrong with an occasional Jammie Day.  My toddlers love this:  We eat pancakes (on Wednesday?  So not on schedule!  Rebel!) and we watch Curious George (bad for our brains!  Whatever!  Livin’ on the edge!), cuddle for extra innings on the couch (but what about fresh air?  gasp!  You’re outta control!) And. we might even sneak out a scrunchie or two.  Nobody needs to know. 

The nice thing is – if you stick to a plan like above, Sweet Momsie Sloth of the Cute Jammies can show up once in a while.  And she will have her coffee with lots of creamer, but free from guilt and stress, for sure.

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Recipe for Momsie’s Famous Oatmeal that Even Blonde Likes: (makes two good servings)

Bring saucepan of 3-4 cups of water to boil.  Before the boil, throw in about 4 handfuls of oats, NOT instant.
(The ratio is water to oats 2:1, so you can adjust accordingly. But you know I don’t like to measure so I use handfuls.  Handful = 1/2 cup).

Add a pinch of salt and allow oats to come to a boil.  As SOON as they do so, stir and turn OFF burner.  We like our oats a little chewy.  You can simmer gently up to 5 minutes but I think this is too mushy.  Anyway, if you allow this stuff to simmer it has a tendency to suddenly rise up in rebellion and bubble over all bubble, bubble, toil and trouble-like.  Not pretty.

Take off heat.  Add raisins, craisins, and a finely cut up apple.  Or a banana.  Or some strawberries.  Whatevs.

Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla.

Add a tablespoon each of wheat germ and flax seed.  I keep these around in my (beloved) mason jars and throw them into every baked good or hot cereal item I can.  I use Mom Guilt Brand Flax-seed and Wheat germ.  Great stuff.

Also, add a glug or two of molasses or honey.  If none available, use brown sugar.  Throw in a pat of butter when oatmeal is no longer molten.  Stir to glossy perfection.  Top with a bit of milk.

Oh, at last minute, sprinkle like 5 chocolate chips on top with a HUGE flourish.  The toddlers will be all:  YOU DA BOMB MOMSIE!  YOU DA BESTEST EVERRRRRRRR.

This adoration of the Momsie will continue for about 5 minutes.  Along with one more cup of coffee.

*Get it?  “LABOR”??  I know.  Hilarious.  I’ll be here all blog.