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.

 

 

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Top Ten Netflix Picks for Your Family This Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving. The best holiday of the year. Wanna know why? Well, let me provide you with a list:

  1. No presents. No shopping. No wrapping. None. Nada. Zipp. Glorious.
  2. My momma’s oyster dressing.
  3. Gravy. Like, all over the place.
  4. Dressing up the dog and taking pictures of him. He loves this so much.
  5. Football. That’s more for the boys but I enjoy it as background noise. It pairs well with #6.
  6. Napping. All over the place. Like the gravy. Because of the gravy.
  7. No other plans. Like, for two whole days. No shopping, no going, no to-doing, no cleaning (except baths. There will be baths.) We are just going to … be. We will play board games and take the dog on walks and be. THIS IS AWESOME.
  8. The Macy’s Day Parade. Of course.
  9. My father in law’s Keurig. It’s elfin magic.
  10. My children’s faces when they first see the Thanksgiving table. It’s like Christmas morning, but without it being morning and there are no presents and it’s just food but you know. It’s food.

I do realize that “family” made it in the middle of the list. Should have been first, I think. I think my focus is on the NON gift giving aspect of this holiday because, holy entitlement, my children have ENOUGH STUFF.  They would disagree, of course. Little hoarders. They have an entire drawer full of half broken Chinese plastic pieces from McDonald’s Happy Meals and I swear, those Happy Meals toys procreate, y’all. The drawer is growing.

But, I digress.

Ok, so this Thanksgiving I wanted to give you another list. This one is for those of you who like to throw on a movie, or three, while you are relaxing and eating turkey sandwiches. It’s not a proper Thanksgiving for me unless there are copious movies. And, I want the kinds that make me all happy and grateful. Like a big happy hug of a movie. So, here goes:

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN NETFLIX PICKS TO MAKE YOU FEEL ALL WARM AND FUZZY ON THIS THANKSGIVING:

  1. Angel in the House. Toni Colette and Ioan Gruffud (of Amazing Grace) play bereaved parents, trying to conceive, until 7 year old Eli shows up on their doorstep. Prepare to cry. The ugly kind, but still, in a good way.a68a3700-6378-4dfe-9a89-3218246b0253_1.5eed56ebc5bb24b6654615b138e97e10.jpg

 

2.

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Love. Lessons. Loneliness. A little magic and French accents. Also, Jeff Bridges.

 

3.

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You think by #3 it might have lost its… mojo. But no. And the animation is incredible. Just a visual feast.

Also, Bryan Cranston and Dustin Hoffman and that Jack Black guy. You’re welcome.

4.

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Um… I know this isn’t exactly family fun. My kids would protest. But… I love it. Can’t help it. It’s full of schlock and silly romance  and that dude from that one show from the 80’s… Also this: my gosh people, if my dating life had been at ALL like this life would have been grand. Course, then, I would not have married the current hubs because he is so NOT that one dude from that 80’s show… But you know, reality and all. It’s here to stay.

5. 936full-miracle-on-34th-street-cover.jpgStill one of the best. The Macy’s Day parade scene? Classic. And the part with the letters at the courthouse? Still makes me cry. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

6.

 

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King Julien? He is my alter-ego. I mean, just look at him.

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7. Holy puppy chow. The cuteness. Also, watched it with my rescue dog, Hosmer, all up on my lap. He told me it was two paws up.

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8.

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Ok, the production value on this is a bit lower – it is produced by a Christian film company that is still small, and you can see that, BUT: I love films like this. I don’t care. It’s wonderful and the message is perfect for all of us. Everyone deserves second chances. Always.

 

9.

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I LOVE THIS SHOW. IT’S FOOD AND CUTENESS AT THE SAME TIME.

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And finally!!!

 

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Best adaptation ever. Best soundtrack. Best lion voice. Best witch. Best child actors. Best MESSAGE.

May we all know the deep magic.

 

Much love to you and yours this Thanksgiving. Enjoy the feasting and the festivity and cuddle up with your family and enjoy the Netflix. God bless us, everyone.

Oh, and ALSO!!! Gilmore Girls!!! They’re coming!!!! November 25th! Squeeeeee!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving, from Netflix and Momsie. 

 

This is the best writing prompt EVER:

Linking up with my people today because, as you know…. (drum roll)

It’s FIVE MINUTE FRIIIIIIDAY with the lovely Kate Motaung.

AND TODAY’S THEME IS JUST TOO GOOD:

 

 

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Ok, let me tell you about eating.

There’s the good kind and the bad kind. Lately, it seems to be tipping over to the bad kind because last night I was writing until about one in the morning, accompanied by Halloween candy.

The Halloween candy didn’t do a very good job of keeping me company. It was all sticky and I kept sitting on the crinkly wrappers. You know what happens once you get into the Halloween candy, don’t you? You KEEP getting into it. It’s like once you start doing Amazon One-Click of sugar addiction.

But, y’all? There’s good eating too.

I was thinking about food and my family, and all the dishes that I remember, where food becomes not just food, but something more. Something fragrant, with love added in.

So, here’s what I thought of:

My dad, every Thanksgiving, smokes a duck in his kettle grill. I go out and talk with him as he watches the duck like a hawk (so many bird things going on here). He uses this special marinade that he has been making since I was a child, and no one knows what’s in there. I don’t think he’ll ever tell us. Maybe the recipe is in some vault somewhere and we get to access it after he is with Jesus, and then we can start selling the stuff and we’ll make millions. Yes, dad, I know I just sort of gleefully referred to making money after you meet your maker. I know. That’s OK, though because I know how fond you are of the money thing.

Sigh. I really hope he doesn’t take this the wrong way.

Anyhow, the duck. The duck is a thing. It’s our thing. It’s delicious and it’s my dad out there in the cold and me going out there and talking and discussing life and how many meetings I’ve been going to and how the lawn looks great.

Also, this: the last time I talked, really TALKED to my brother, was out on that back porch, with dad’s duck, Thanksgiving. So, you know, the duck. It’s special. It’s sad and happy.

I know. That sure is a lot of feelings to attach to a smoked duck. Who knew poultry could be so meaningful? But it is.

And my mom. Now, she’s like the best cook ever. And I mean EVER. But I’m not going to talk about all that right now because I want to talk about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I had just given birth to Blonde. I was sinking into post-partum depression, didn’t know it yet, at all, and was also just really really REALLY tired. My mom told me to go lay down, and I did. And then, she brought me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk.

And I ate it and cried and it was the best sandwich I have ever had. My mom used to bring me Sprite with a straw when I was sick, and let me lay back on her bed and watch Electric Company. I felt kind of like her, that sick little girl, and my mom was bringing me food on a tray. And it helped.

Incidentally, my mom was the one that helped me figure out that I was actually dealing with something perhaps a little bit more severe than just the baby blues.

Happy and sad. A peanut butter sandwich with a lot of meaning. Again.

Don’t even get me started on my sister Jenni’s birthday cakes. Or my other sister Sherry’s crescent rolls. Don’t even.

Food. Family. Love. Memories. Some of the happiest, and saddest memories are tied to what we eat, but you know that. You know because maybe you always make your kids Mickey Mouse pancakes on Saturday mornings. Or you always have popcorn and candy corn on movie nights. Or your husband always asks for your peanut butter balls and swears it’s his love language. And you make chicken soup for him when he’s sniffling and something about it makes you feel better too, as you chop and mince and stew.

This post makes me want to go make oatmeal cookies. 🙂

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PS:  Dad, I really do love you and if I had my way you and your marinade will be around until forever.

Extreme Sleeping

We are back from a nice trip to see the family over Thanksgiving. I ate my way through so much turkey and dressing it’s a wonder I don’t start strutting about and peevishly pecking at the ground, all Momsurkey.

Just bear with me though, because I would like to oh so briefly*  comment on one thing that didn’t happen whilst we were away:

I NEVER GOT ANY SLEEP, PEOPLE.

THIS WAS A BIG PROBLEM.

As much as it’s a magical time of year, and we’re all Thankfuling all over ourselves, I’d like to put it out there that I would be really, really grateful for just a teensy smidgeon of shut-eye. PLEASE.

I’m a bit grumpy. Ask my husband. He will verify.

Allow me to explain. My sweet family and I are happily kenneled at our father-in-law’s house for the Thanksgiving break. This is wonderful because we have our own little apartment on the second floor, with its own bath, and two very comfy beds in which to loll about and actually sleep in. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT BEDS ARE FOR, AFTER ALL.

Yep. Toddlers slept. Husband too. How, you may ask, do I KNOW THIS? (Brace yourselves, ex students. I totally overuse the ALL CAPS rule in this post because I have aggression issues when I don’t get enough rest.) Let me repeat, HOW DID I KNOW THIS?

Because I was watching them.

Here’s the formula:

2 Beds / 4 people = 2 persons per bed.

Evidently this formula was born in a magical math land of fairies and unicorns and no mothers. Mothers make the formula all:

4 people/ 2 toddlers +2 beds = UNSOLVABLE, YOU FOOL.

It’s like that unworkable formula that drove Russell Crowe nutty in A Beautiful Mind.

I have come to find out that when sleeping, as in life in general, ones expectations need to be really, really low. And so, it works out that everyone gravitates to the most grumpy and disappointed person in the group (because, expectations), ME, and piles in HER angry bed.

It doesn’t help matters too that the darling husband seems only to snore when we’re traveling. I don’t understand it.  There should be some medical reason for why he only channels his inner snorty wildebeast when on the road.  I think he has figured out that I am super sleep deprived and has decided to torment me (more so than normal), or toughen me up (because, marriage).

Let me give you some visuals to help with your understanding of Momsie’s fragile mental state at this point:

1. Exhibit A: a cozy bed. Nice pillows. This is not the actual bed at my father in law’s. I was too tired to think about taking real pictures. This is a stand in bed. Stunt pillows.

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2.  Exhibit B:

 

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3. I am grateful, however, that we don’t have to deal with Exhibit C (C is for Cat):

 

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Bonus points to you if you know the movie Logan’s Run. It will make this post all the more meaningful, I hope. If not, go rent it. It is all 70’s and bad special effects, and will probably put you to sleep, which is KIND OF WHAT I WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW.

I am home now, and dealing with the aftermath of travel.

4. Exhibit D:

 

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My theory, here, is to join the cats in their guerrilla style attacks of the bed. I will sleep on the extreme level. If that means I am going to curl up for ten minutes while the boys run their Tonkas over me and make me part of their Lego fortress, so be it. I have nooks and crannies. I can be a fortress. At this point, I am ready to slip into a short coma while  in the shower.

Drop and sleep! Whenever, wherever. I’m like the Marines of lethargy, people!

 

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*Ha HAA AHA HAAAAHA ha haarr har har. Did you really think I could be brief?

Top Ten Momsie Thankfuls

 

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I am grateful that the interwebs will never run out of pictures of cats dressed like turkeys. The cat looks so grateful too, doesn’t he?

 

Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful Today:

10. Coffee and the Macy’s Day Parade. Lots of coffee. From my father-in-law’s Keurig. You just push a button and WHOOSH coffee. It’s like coffee from gadget heaven.

9. Pink jammies. Why? Because I’m still in mine. They are Tinkerbell jammies, and did I mention, I’M STILL IN THEM.

8. Momsieblog. It has brought me so many blessings this year. Mainly, an audience that will listen to me meander through my thoughts,  for cripes sake. I don’t get a lot of that at home. I wonder why?

7. When I just asked my husband, “Hey! I’m having a brainblock! What’s something you’re grateful for?” and he answered without any hesitation: “You.” Be still my heart.

6. Watching these boys watch the floats go by. They are entranced. “Da Spidermans! And ninja guy! And I don’t know who that is because mom won’t let us watch anything but der PBS!”

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5. Paired with the jammies is the simple fact that my darling father-in-law made his traditional pancakes for the boys this morning. I have not moved from the couch. Grandpa Ed is da best! I didn’t have to wipe der syrups offa anyone!

4. My husband, who keeps reading tidbits from the sports section of the paper at me. I am grateful that he still, after all these years, thinks I am interested in this.

3. Our church. Have already answered a plethora of texts and posts from them; so grateful for their friendship and their faith. I always picture my church family as those kids at the end of a Charlie Brown Christmas. We are faithful friends to even the most wishy-washy (me). We are also short and rather strangely dressed.

2. Family. Of course. I know it’s the obligatory answer, but holy cannoli I love them so.

1. Jesus. He loves me so. Proof still that miracles happen here on a daily basis.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ready, Set, Fooooood.

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Here’s how Thanksgiving goes down:

We all gather at my mom’s house, and eat way too much of the best meal anyone has ever had, ever in the history of ever.

Like, ever.

I won’t tease you with the details because that would be cruel as you are not invited. But really, my mom could package this stuff up and go on the ROAD with it, ya’ll.

Mainly it’s her gravy and oyster dressing that I long for. I dream about it. The crusty, buttery dressing (NOT from a box – BE GONE BOXED STUFFING! You are evil!) lovingly made with her own bread, and sage from HER OWN GARDEN, MARTHA STEWART ARE YOU GETTING THIS? (I would like to point out that only the sage is from her garden. It kinda sounds like she has a bread garden. Oh my goodness that would be awesome.)

Well, then, there is the GRAVY.

Mom in the queen of gravy.

In fact, she could just make her own food truck, call it GRAVY TRAIN, and just pass the stuff out in paper cups.

OH! and there’s the mashed potatoes. My sister is in charge of those. I think every full fat dairy item possible is smushed in those things. Cream, butter, cream cheese, more butter… The mashed potatoes are just a vehicle for the dairy aisle, ya’ll. She could market them too. Make her own little mashed potato cups up, and load them up on the truck.  WE WOULD BE RICH.

But also, we would look like this:funny-picture-cat-fat-not-cold

For the sake of my arteries and my stressed out skinny jeans, my mom only has this meal but once a year.

As for the rest of the year? I now have THIS:

Chopped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooo hoooo!  There is nothing like watching a bunch of expert chefs thrown together with a timer, a cute host, and three completely wacko ingredients to really get me salivating. Or at least wishing I could cook like that. I mean, if I could come up with something that looks like THIS:

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Ya’ll, the only ingredients they had to make this dish was old bologna, a turnip, and some chewing gum. BOOM, YA’LL.

I have recently found Chopped on Netflix, and I have been binge watching it now for weeks (see what I did there?? do you?? DO YOU?). It makes me hungry, but also, I just love to watch those chefs run about creating perfection from some chicken livers, half a cup of quinoa, and blueberry jam. It makes me wonder… how would my mom fare under these conditions?

Hmmm….

Next Thanksgiving, I’ll show up with the famed Chopped basket of goodies, and watch the Mommagic.

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“Here Ma! Whip up some Thanksgiving goodness out of THIS:”

  • Totinos Pizza Rolls
  • peanut M and M’s
  • one live, and rather angry, chicken

She could do it. I know she could. I might never be able to return to her house, but I know she could do it.

For now, I’ll just watch the show.

 

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Netflix comped the service we were previously paying for in exchange for my monthly posts and ramblings about movies and family viewing.  I love this.  I watch movies and cooking shows, and then chatter about them.

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Charlie and Noel

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Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the decorations, I would put my tree up if I could on November 1, but the husband is weird and told me I have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving.

I can sneak Christmas in. I have slowwwly started putting up a few garlands here and there, and some lights, hoping he won’t notice. Since he is an engineer which means he never notices anything unless there’s some type of spreadsheet attached, we’re probably good. If he asks, I just tell them the garland is cat toys.

Anyhow.

I do have a thing about this season that I don’t like:

RAMPANT CRAZY BUYING OF ALL THE THINGS FOR OUR LOVED ONES. MUST HAVE ALL THE TOYS!

It’s called Black Friday for a reason, ya’ll. Hmmmm, what else is black? Coal. Darth Vader. And, I can’t even say it. This stuff:

black_licorice_jelly_beans_313_Shudder.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

I can’t help but wonder, if we took all that money, all those Furbies and slippers and gadgets, and we piled ’em all up somewhere, maybe we could give a whole lot of that to kids who are hungry?  Or people who don’t know Jesus? Or maybe, someone who is stuck in a hospital room Christmas Eve???

I know, I sound very Mother Teresa-ish here. That was the aim. Mother Teresa and I are tight, ya’ll. We get each other.

Ok, ok, I’m not telling you to go all Bob Cratchitt and just figgy pudding it for Christmas and that’s it. You can get a few things, yes. But, do we have to get ALL the things?

It just kind of bugs me.

So, here’s my antidote. I bought a book. And here it is:

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Yes, I know. I’m telling you to buy something when I just told you not to. It is always possible that Momsie has an issue with contradicting herself, but this book is well worth it. Charlie and Noel tells an endearing story about how to talk and teach our littles about Advent. It is a sweet, spiritual, slow down, a let’s sit down and read together kind of book, and I love it. The main character, Charlie, has a rather antsy view of Christmas – he just wants Christmas to get here, already, mainly because of the presents!  Even his chocolate Advent calendar doesn’t really appease him, and Charlie cannot really help but just want the Great Day of Opening All the Gifties to be here.

“On Christmas,” he thought, “There will be much more chocolate!”

Well said, Charlie. And true, yes.  But really, we all know there’s a LOT more to it than that.

Franziska Macur has written a charming little book of twenty-five chapters, one chapter for each day in December, that helps Charlie see the point much more clearly.

My boys loved taking the time to read a chapter a day last December. We would sit at the base of our Christmas tree after dinner and read and talk. Red would lay on his back and look up at the lights twining through the branches and listen. Blonde would help read a bit and ask his usual six majillion questions. We would talk over the discussion points at the end of each chapter and I would realize that we are building traditions as we speak.

And here’s another Christmas miracle: To do all this I would have to actually stop cleaning/wiping/planning/organizing/cooking/doing for a few minutes to sit down and read with my boys.   So, Charlie is teaching me a few things too.

 

If you’d like to know more or order the book, click here to visit Home, Naturally, Franziska’s blog.

Or go here to order via Amazon.

Don’t be like this guy:

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Embrace this season in all its glory. Merry Christmas (before Thanksgiving, even!) to you.