Tag Archives: mamakatslosinit

2014 – Best Pictures & Posts (According to Me)


I revealed 5 of my favorite things. Spoiler: Only one of them was cheese.



I sent a friendly warning to Josh Hutcherson, or JHutch as cool people like me call him.



Fresh back from a trip to Disney World, I compared and contrasted my crew of four with the infamous Griswold family.


I pontificated on the evils of a 24/7 cupcake dispenser then secretly prayed one would open soon in New Orleans.



I recounted an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction story from my youth and probably offended PETA a little in the process. (But it was an accident!)


Channeling my inner Dana Carvey, I identified the five things you need to be a church lady.



I shared pictures of my trip to Memphis with my mom and daughter. (Which probably explains why I am suddenly craving a fried banana and peanut butter sandwich.)


I lamented the loss of one of Hollywood’s biggest talents.  This post was one of my most shared of all time.



I contacted the Hot Pocket Corporation to get answers to some hard-hitting questions. It’s about time, isn’t it?



I confessed to what is easily one of my biggest failures as a parent.


I faced one of my biggest fears head on and lived to tell about it.



In celebration of my 20th anniversary, I reminisced about my wedding day.

* * * * * * * * * *

Written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for “A year in review! Compile a years worth of your best blog posts and pictures.” 

Happy 2015, everyone!

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Dear Thing Living Under My House

Dear Thing Living Under My House,

I know you’re there. I hear you outside of my house. At all hours of the day. And night. I work from home. And sometimes, when I’m alone and it’s very quiet, I can hear you. Scratching … clawing … dragging against the flimsy, manmade, laughable barrier between us. It is most unnerving. I don’t even know what you are.

Or who you are.

I know you’ve figured out that I am aware of your presence. Because you seem to vanish into thin air when I summon the courage to rush outside to catch a glimpse of you. But you’re very fast. And eerily stealthy. And I know that you’re watching me.

I know that every time I cower on my hands and knees, desperately clutching a flashlight and searching for answers, that you are staring directly into my eyes. Into my very soul. And there, cloaked in the shadows not moving or even breathing, you remain hidden just waiting for me to surrender and retreat into the house so that you may continue with your diabolical plan to drive me to madness.

For the record, I am not the only one who knows you’re here. It’s painfully obvious that the cat has known about you for weeks. Stupidly, I dismissed him and assumed we were dealing with the usual benign suspects. He tried to caution me time and again, stopping to howl at the window, at the exterior wall or (because my home is raised three feet off the ground for your convenience) at various points in the floor. He hears you.

But your main concern should not be my sharp-toothed, albeit somewhat sluggish, fifty-percent-declawed feline warrior. Rather it should be my husband. He doesn’t tire easily. And your mind games only awaken the inner obsession and insatiable thirst for justice that make up the very fiber of his identity. He will stop at nothing until he’s taken you. Dead or alive. It matters not.

See you in Hell,

The woman who lives above your lair

Written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking about something that spooked me.

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Eat like a King! A FAT King, but still …

All this talk of Elvis and the recent pilgrimage to Graceland got me to thinking, I’ve never had a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. You know what I mean, right? The sandwich Elvis was supposedly eating when he died whilst sitting on his (ahem) throne. Some storytellers even go as far as to throw bacon on that infamous sandwich.

Of course, by now we all know it’s just an urban legend. Because not only did Elvis NOT die eating on the toilet, I’m still not even sure he’s actually dead. And, for that reason, I decided to try my hand at a little Hunk-Hunka Heart Disease Special … just in case he ever swings by for a meal.

What? It could happen. Anyway, here we go …

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches

  • 2 large bananas
  • 6 slices white bread
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Peel and mash bananas. Mix peanut butter with bananas thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread mix on bread. Melt butter in skillet and brown sandwiches on each side slowly until golden brown.

Viv and I made these together the night we came home from Memphis. We couldn’t wait. I should point out that this recipe yields only three sandwiches. Yet it calls for ONE ENTIRE STICK of butter. I should also point out that I chickened out and used only a pat for each sandwich. I’ve become accustomed to my veins running loose and free and I like them that way. And the sandwich (cooked in a pan a la grilled cheese) was still plenty indulgent.

Check it out. (Caution: I am not a food photographer.)


The post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for a recipe I love. This one was pretty dang easy. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

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9 Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now

1. Sleeping. Yep. That probably makes me pretty dull. But I love it. And I very seldom get enough of it. Especially when I’m actually lying down in bed in the middle of the night with pajamas on.

2. Getting a massage. I so love being on a massage table. And yet, right now, I’m the jackass at the keyboard writing about getting massaged.

3. Eating cheese. You guys had to see this one coming, right?

4. Watching a movie. I love movies. I could watch them all day. And yet, compared to the average person, I’ve seen so very few. How is that fair? P.S. If anyone reading at this moment wants to see a movie, text me. Now. (Bet you think I’m kidding.)

5. Singing on Broadway. What? The prompt asks for Nine Things I’d RATHER Be Doing. Right now, I’m wearing an old Johnny Depp T-shirt sitting on my bed typing a goofy blog post with  Disney’s Jesse on in the background. You know what I’d rather be doing? I’d rather be singing on Broadway. With the right song, I’ll bet I could … oh, never mind.

6. Being the one holding the pen at a book signing. Well, as long as I’m singing on freakin’ Broadway …

7. Traveling internationally with my family. With your family, Michele? I know. That’s what *I* thought as soon as I typed it. But yes. I want to see as much of the world as I can. And I want them with me when I see it. Honestly, sometimes I wish I was more of a gypsy.

8. Time traveling. Well, crap. Since my suitcases are packed, right? Let’s see. I think my first points of interest would be … my children’s babyhoods (I’m bringing a better camera this time), my teen years (for a little damage control … and some classic MTV) and maybe the 1960s. I want to be on Ed Sullivan. (What? Did you expect 1776? It’s like you guys don’t even know me.)


9. Hugging my kids. This is the one thing on my list that I could actually go do right now. Come to think of it, if I chew while hugging with a DVD on in the background, I could probably knock out THREE simultaneously.

This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for Nine Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now.

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A Funny Text Exchange (with one of the cutest kids I know)

My daughter turned 12 recently (Happy Birthday, Vivien) which, as any concerned … conscientious … 20th century parent knows, means an annual trip to the pediatrician’s office. I still can’t believe I actually managed to take care of her well visit during her birth month. I don’t think I’ve done that since I used to carry her into the office in my arms. But I promised myself we wouldn’t be racing against the clock to see the doctor, the dentist, the orthodontist, the barber, the shoe salesman, etc. all in the month of August this year. So far I’ve knocked out, well, one … so don’t be too impressed.

Fortunately, all went well and we didn’t need any shots. So it was like Christmas. Or at least Labor Day. But … we still had to wait a while in the waiting room. In the very quiet waiting room. In the very quiet waiting room filled with lots of people we don’t know.

Have I mentioned that Vivien is a normal 12-year-old who dies of embarrassment with just about anything I say loud enough for a stranger to hear? (In her defense, I’ve been known to sing show tunes at full volume while walking through the grocery store. Oh, if only I were kidding.)

So there we sat, side by side in the bolted-to-the-floor, germ-unfriendly hardback chairs next to the oversized aquarium, passing on the Highlights Magazines in favor of our electronics. I was “busy” playing on social media when my phone vibrated with a text from the adorable 12-year-old girl sitting next to me who was tired of waiting her turn to do something she didn’t even want to do.

She’s a funny little monkey so we always have entertaining text correspondence. Even when she’s so close I can reach out and hug her.


This post was created in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for “a recent text exchange that made you laugh.”

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The Post about Honda, bugs in food & feeling gassy. (Plus some other stuff.)

Each week, my friend MamaKat (I’ve never met her before but she seems like a nice lady) posts five writing prompts to inspire her readers to create something. As a change of pace, I decided that rather than choosing only one of the prompts I would instead try responding to all five (in a manner that hopefully makes sense) in the same post.

For your reference, here are the five prompts:

1.) What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?
2.) Things that make you happy.
3.) Something you bought this month that you love.
4.) 8 accounts you love following on Instagram.
5.) A blog post inspired by the word: Easter

(Taking deep breaths and stretching a bit) Okay. Here goes. … Expect nothing.

 * * * * * * * * * *

On this day in 2013, I wrote about a horrible experience I had at my local Honda dealership (#1) and the complaint letter I sent them about it. In short, the service department was manned by a bunch of boobs who grossly mishandled me that day, but at least my letter scored me a free oil change.

I love free stuff. “We’re so sorry you found a roach in your soup, ma’am. Which was actually supposed to be a BBQ Chicken flatbread. Please allow us to purchase a round of drinks for your table.” Restitution makes me happy. (#2)

Of course, my children’s joy makes me the happiest of all. Which explains why, when I suggested that they each pick out a treat from the grocery today, I wound up purchasing these heart-healthy delicacies. (#3) I’m getting gassy just thinking about them.


Oh, and speaking of pictures of stupid things, let’s talk Instagram. I’ll admit … I’m a suckish Instagrammer. Where Facebook is for sharing pics of your delectable Beef Bourguignon  and Twitter for throwing out the perfect one-liner, Instagram seems to be for people trying to combine the two. And, seriously … I CAN’T BE EXPECTED TO COME UP WITH ZINGY ONE-LINERS ABOUT FANCY FRENCH BEEF! Thus, I am a passive user. Although (truth) I did hurry to find MamaKat and follow her before I went live with this post. It seemed not only sensible and polite but also PC given the circumstances. So there’s one loved account. But I still need seven more. (#4) Leave your recommendations in the comments so I can catch up with them, too.

Did someone say “Ketchup?” (Well, no. I know it was “catch up.” Plus no one actually said it. It was typed. Duh, it was me who typed it so I’m totally aware of what happened. Just go with it.) Like Mrs. LosinIt (I’m not actually sure what part of MamaKatsLosinIt is her last name so I just broke it in half), I also run a blog hop. I co-host it with my friend Mel on the 1st and 15th of every month. It’s called KetchupWithUs (oh, now you get it) because it always features a picture of one of us in a full-body ketchup costume. I know. We’re a couple of geniuses. But it’s supposed to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and not take yourself too seriously. The current link-up is live right now and my chosen subject matter is Easter. (#5) Here’s hoping you’ll come check us out, too.

Until then, Viva la MamaKat. Thanks for the prompts, my friend.

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I’m Giving Cheese a Break and Talking About Theater Today

My friend, Kelley, called me this morning. I had just shared a link on Facebook that grabbed her and she wanted to chat about it immediately. For those who don’t already know, I’m a theater freak. To me, there’s no better day than one spent in a theater seeing a great show. While eating high-end cheese. But also being skinny. And having my feet rubbed. Sitting next to Johnny Depp. Or maybe Ellen Degeneres. It would depend on the show. But I digress.

My shared link was all about Broadway Across America, the touring company that consistently brings exceptional (some shows more than others) musical theater to my part of the world. They just announced their 2014-2015 season. And what a season it is.

As I said on my personal Facebook page, it’s the “strongest season we’ve had in a while. Almost every one is a home run. And that’s as sportsy as this theater geek is gonna get.” (So far I’ve called myself a freak and a geek in this post. Very self-deprecating but at least it’s poetic.) Let’s take a look at the season and I’ll offer you my two cents. (Because I have no friggin’ idea what’s going to happen at the Super Bowl. Seriously, who’s even playing?)


I’ve seen this show twice on Broadway. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The first time I was lucky enough to see Bebe Neuwirth in the role of Velma and even meet her afterwards. (We took a picture but I’m going to blatantly lie and tell you I can’t find it. Because my eyes were closed. And it’s from, like, 15 years ago so it’s stored way out of reach. Plus I looked fat. Because I was standing next to freaking Bebe Neuwirth!) Each song is better than the last and the show actually made me laugh. So many shows have tired jokes in them. Oh, and I have never seen the movie so I can’t offer any comparisons.

Phantom of the Opera

I’ve seen this show a few times. This music is very pretty and sophisticated. It’s an Andrew Lloyd Webber production for Pete’s sake. But, personally, I like a little spoken dialogue in my show. Mr. Webber and I disagree on this point. Every one should see the show at least once, on Broadway if possible in a stationary production so that the iconic chandelier is at its most grand. Beyond that, I find my soundtrack to be satisfactory. Many will disagree with me here. I welcome other opinions in the comments.

Dirty Dancing

I haven’t seen this show and would normally be a little wary. I am not typically a fan of clumsy adaptations that gets their roots in mainstream cinema. Flashdance, Ghost, Legally Blonde … these don’t usually resonate with me. However, I will somewhat (bashfully admit) that this show intrigues me. Maybe it’s because it’s already filled with music and, obviously, dancing. Or maybe it’s because I was a kid when I actually saw it the first time so it holds major nostalgic moments for me. (Dear Broadway Producers, I would also like to see theatrical mountings of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, ooh, and maybe Better Off Dead. Thanks, Michele)


I’ve seen this show countless times. Heck, I think my daughter’s seen it countless times, too. And, yes, we’ll be going again. Confession. I’m pretty sure I can sing every word to every song in the score. Go ahead, judge. One day I’m going to put on a red wig and that old costume my grandmother made for me decades ago and sing my heart out on YouTube for all of you. I expect that my kids will probably be removed from my custody that same day. But I’ll just stick out my chin … and grin … and saaaaaaay …


I have not seen this show. Nor have I seen the 2006 movie of the same name upon which it was based. What I know is that it received eleven Tony nominations in 2012. And then went on to win eight of them including Best Musical and Best Book. It’s a different kind of show, one in which the cast also serves as the orchestra. And a very minimalist set with a bar in the middle of the stage is used.  A bar that, for the Broadway production, actually operated as a real one serving drinks to theater patrons before the show and during intermission. I have no idea if the traveling show will be able to reproduce that charming offering but it’s pretty cool. I’m very much looking forward to this one.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I’ve seen this show a few times. It’s my exception to the Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-I-wish-there-were-dialogue rule. Joseph is a fantastic show. And I’m not just saying that because Vivien and I were lucky enough to perform in it with a great cast last summer. The show is a clever take on the ancient biblical story of Jacob and his many sons. The lyrics are smart and every song draws its roots from a different musical genre including classic county & western, calypso, jitterbug,  disco, French ballads, etc. We even caught Dave and Dean humming the music under their breaths a few times last summer. And that’s saying something.

Mamma Mia

I’ve seen this show several times, both on and off Broadway. It’s a fun show but, in my opinion, you have to like ABBA. Fortunately for me, ABBA was in frequent rotation on my Dad’s turntable back in the day. Thus, I was pretty familiar with most of the music. Of course, there is an actual storyline, too, so you could go for just that. But some of the songs are pretty shoe-horned into the plot. Which is hilarious if you actually know (and don’t hate) the music. (Confession. One day, I hope to see this show with a bunch of women and gay guy friends. That sounds like a blast!)

* * * * * * * * * *

So, I’ll be plunking down some big dollars soon to renew my season subscription. Fortunately, I’m raising a junior theater freak so maybe I can just blame it on her. “But Dave, Vivien would LOVE to see Annie” …. “Well, yes. I KNOW she’s already seen it, but THIS time I hear the dog’s actually going to go out into the audience and do tricks!”

That sounds believable, right?

This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt: Who was the last person to call you? What did they want?


elleroy was here

My Five Favorite Things (Spoiler: There IS a cheese listed here.)

Today’s post is brought to you by MamaKat: Name your five current favorite things.

This task seems easy enough. Except it says current … so I can’t pick Donny Osmond or leg warmers or anything like that. (Both still totally awesome, by the way.) And actually, since I’m limited to only five things, I think I’m going to impose a few more rules on myself.

  • I can’t list any people. People can’t be favorite things. That’s just demeaning. (Plus I might do something tragic like list Johnny Depp before my kids or something.)
  • I can only list one food. (Otherwise, duh, this list would just be five different foods.)
  • I can’t let this post sound like a sponsored advertisement by extolling the virtues of my favorite hair product or anything like that. (Yawn.)

So, with those extra rules now in place, I give you …

My five current favorite things

1. Mt. Tam Cheese

There are no words to describe the amazing delicacy that is Mt. Tam. Screw that. Here are the words: It’s made by the cheese WIZARDS at Cowgirl Creamery. It’s their signature cheese and, if you must know, also mine. (Yes, I have a signature cheese. What of it?) It’s an award-winning, decadent, buttery, triple-cream cheese that is said to have “a  mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms.” I got a full wheel of it for Christmas and (truth?) I ate the entire thing by myself in two sittings. If you reach toward my plate when I’m eating it, I make no apologies for what could happen to you or your grabby, little fingers.

2. H&M Shirt … AND … 3. Skinny Mirror


Is it confusing that I’ve combined numbers 2 and 3. What am I saying? You guys are geniuses. You’ll keep up, right?

I bought that shirt on a trip to New York at the H&M Store on 5th Avenue. I walked right past Saks, Prada, and Salvatore Ferragama and strolled my frugal ass into the H&M Store. I love that place. Because I can usually get six great things for less than three digits in under an hour. (God, I hate shopping.) It’s colorful (I’m often accused of wearing too much black), feminine (always a good thing when I want to prove I’m a girl), and goes in at exactly the right place on my waistline. And if I had to do it all over again, I would buy five of them. Seriously, it takes ten pounds off me.

And speaking of taking pounds off … I want a skinny mirror. But not just any skinny mirror. I want the one that hangs in the girls’ bathroom on the first floor of Vivien’s school building. (And now that I’m posting it here publicly, there go my chances of stealing it off the wall. Geez, I am such an IDIOT!) Over the years, I’ve taken a few friends to gaze into its fallacious … fictional … flattering reflection. And it’s never disappointed. Honestly, it’s probably best that I don’t have this magical tool all to myself. For I might spend the rest of my days staring at a distorted image of my own hips. Just call me Narcissus.

4. Modern Family

If you’ve seen the show, you can stop reading. Because you get it. Modern Family is funny. It makes me laugh. And, honestly, I don’t laugh a lot. I’m a hard person to make laugh out loud. So I love it when I find the rare show that can accomplish that. Over my lifetime, there really haven’t been very many … 30 Rock, Frasier, Friends, Newsradio, Seinfeld, Cheers, Taxi and Arrested Development. That’s about it. So thanks, Dunphys and Pritchetts. And please, keep it coming.

5. Writing Prompts That Ask for Lists

Number 5 is sort of my Being John Malkovich moment in this blog post. It’s the self-aware part where I actually list “writing lists” as an item on my 5 Favorite Things list. Does that make sense? Well, it’s true. Nothing makes for an easier entry. So thanks, MamaKat, for yet another opportunity to list out a few mundane things about myself and then have the nerve to call it “writing.”

* * * * * * * * * *

What are some of YOUR favorite things right now?


I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

The Photographic Proof that I am NOT a Vampire

My writing prompt for today comes to me from MamaKat: “Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?”

* * * * * * * * * *

Fortunately, I organize my pictures by year. They’re in chronological order in a box in the original Walgreen’s envelopes. And I made the minimal effort to scrawl the month and year on the outside with a ballpoint pen. (Martha Stewart I am not.) So when I read this prompt, I turned to my box (or rather boxes as there are now six of them) and searched for anything marked 2004.

Truly, I had a helluva time finding any of me. My kids turned 2 and 5 that year. And they were aDORable. So I was usually behind the camera for all of the pictures. But I did manage to find a few old snapshots and (thanks to iPhones and vanity) I have plenty of current pictures. And I decided to arrange the “thens” and the “nows” into two collages. For you.

Because I know how much you like that kind of thing.

. . . . .  Then (2004) . . . . .

20140110-171638.jpg(Top Left: me, half-dressed as John Lennon, fixing Viv’s hair for Dean’s Halloween-themed birthday party; Top Right: me with Dean playing in a VERY rare white Christmas here in New Orleans; Bottom: Christmas Eve 2004)

This woman is busy. Her kids are still very young. She doesn’t have time to put on make-up and perfect her hair for pictures. Apparently, she doesn’t even always have time to look at the camera when her picture is being taken. Unless, of course, it’s Christmas Eve. She can make time for that one night of the year.

. . . . .  Now (2014)  . . . . .


(Clockwise from bottom left: Kiss hair promotion; With kids on rickshaw pedicab in NYC; With Mel in Chicago; With Viv at Cinderella; Accidentally channeling The Bearded Iris; Vying for the attention of the entire country of Greenland)

This woman is also busy, but in a different way. Her kids are older. And much more independent and self-sufficient. Which is as awesome as it is suckish. She misses her little people so much that sometimes it is crippling. But, at the same time, she absolutely loves watching her kids develop into funny, insightful, broad-minded human beings. And she takes full credit for this development, by the way. But, geez, she’s a bit of a peacock, isn’t she? (Oh, and she’s pissed at herself that she still hasn’t finished that book. But she’s working on it. She promises.)

* * * * * * * * * *

What do you think? Have I changed a lot? Should I be calling my dermatologist for an emergency Botox appointment? Tell the truth. I can take it.

Oh, and how have YOU changed in the last ten years?


My Top 12 Posts of 2014 – Not necessarily what I expected

Today, we’re taking a look at the top 12 most popular posts of 2013. Partly because I find it interesting. But mostly because it’s a writing prompt by my friend, MamaKat. So here they are, in no particular order, for your enjoyment.

For your convenience, there are tissues … barf bags … and rotten tomatoes located in the boxes under your seats. You be the judge.

Ten Things That Are Now 50 Years Old

The Day I Saw The Conjuring (aka The Day I Nearly Peed My Pants in Chicago)

Congratulations to My Son on His Graduation Day


Seriously, that boy’s going to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a gold medalist AND President of the United States one day.

A Letter to Hamilton Beach … Toaster Department, Please

Happy Labor Day from ODNT

Goodbye, 3850 Red Cypress Drive. And Thank You.


Oh, but if these walls could talk …  my brother and I would’ve gotten into WAY more trouble back in the ’80s.

The Day Things Got Hairy at Disney World

What do I have to do to get you into a pair of #MonsterInspiration headphones today?

Letter #3 to Hamilton Beach (I’m a lover, not a fighter)


Thanks to Hamilton Beach, I am now a wanted felon in the small appliance community.

With Hamsters like Herve, Who Needs Coffee?

Make Money, Not War … with gapNsnap!

One day, somebody’s gonna find that missing body part in my hallway


Because when you accidentally circumcise your toe, nothing goes down better than Chick-Fil-A.

Tomatoes. I KNEW it would be the tomatoes. (sigh)