Rural King is awesome.  It is literally astounding the variety of items you can find there.  I mean, the potato chip selection alone is worth the trip!  Yes, that’s a link to previous post I wrote.  Go read it if you don’t recall or are new here.  Or read it again just because.  Go on, scoot scoot.  But come on back because I’m not done.

I’m really thinking this might be a regular series.  We sure go to Rural King often enough to make it a regular series.  Okay, it’s decided.  From now on every time I go to Rural King I’m taking pictures for you; pictures of whatever I find of interest that day.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before but there are chicken foot prints painted on the concrete when you walk in.  Either calling or mocking (boock boock boock boock).  In other news Sweetey Petey does an excellent chicken impression these days.

Chicken Feet RW

More chickens.  And ducks.  This time in lawn ornament form.  My now duck obsessed husband seriously wanted the duck statue.  I threatened him with bodily harm, because, well, they’re ugly.  I have standards people.

Rural King Chx Statue RW

Chicken travel cups.   The Husband is actually in the market for a new travel cup but I didn’t quite get the joke.  It’s supposed to be funny right?

Rural King Mug 2 RW

I mean King of the Roost?  No.  Cock of the Walk is a classic but King of the Roost I just don’t get.

Rural King Mug 1 RW

More lawn decorations.  It got me thinking I might do something whimsical outside for the kids to enjoy, but not exactly like this.  Because, well, they’re ugly.

Flower RW

The best part of this trip was the clothing!  Camo overalls but with white ruffles for girls.  My daughter will wear this over my dead body because this may have been the ugliest thing in the store.

Outfit 3 RW

Wait, no.  This may have been the ugliest thing in the store.  No, no, the camo is worse I think.  Hard to decide, really.  There are both so very very bad.

Outfit 1 RW

All the clothes weren’t bad, though.  I’d let my daughter wear this one (after I cut the lace off the top of course.)

Outfit 2 RW

Possibly the most controversial item I found was a drunk Smurfette lounging sluttily in a cocktail glass.  Ummmmm aren’t Smurfs supposed to be for kids?  Smurfette – stop with the come hither stare, stop hiking that dress above your knees and join AA already!!!!

Rural King Smurf RW

It wasn’t all bad this trip.  Petey got to pet a bunny so that was totally cool.

Rural King Bunny RW

See you next time we walk through Rural King!

- Joanna

P.S.  Congrats to a friend who just had her baby!  You know who you are and he is absolutely beautiful!  On a selfish note I’m excited to have another new mom friend I can chat with in the middle of the night because babies don’t sleep.  That whole “sleeping like a baby” cliche is false.  False advertisement I say!

Question of the Day:  What, of all these items, would you be willing to buy?

    Beet pizza dough.  I promise it tastes better than it sounds.

    Beet Pizza RW

    The point here is not to make your pizza taste like beets, but to add some vegetably goodness to a meal often packed with gooey fatty cheese.  I LOVE cheese, but it’s not exactly considered a healthy staple.

    It’s been a long while since I’ve made this, but I’m certain the recipe came from Never Homemaker.  Go ahead and click on over for the recipe if you want to make your own.

    If you want some other fun alternatives to traditional pizza, check out my pizza posts!

    Cauliflower Crust Pizza - the recipe is way at the bottom so keep scrolling down till you get there mmmmm K?

    Quinoa Crust Pizzathis is one of my favorites!

    For a fun alternative way to eat beets, check out my one and only beet post!

    Salted and Sauteed Beet Peels – take a slicer and curl those beets, then saute them till lightly crispy.  SO GOOD!  You’ll want to try this recipe.

    - Joanna

    Question of the Day: What’s your favorite pizza toppings?

      This will probably be The Husband’s least favorite Throwback Thursday post.  You see, he’s not a huge fan of snakes.  His fear isn’t to the level of Indiana Jones, although anybody lowered into a cavern full of snakes would probably suddenly find themselves petrified of them hard core so maybe that’s a bad example.

      I don’t mind snakes so much.  Granted I wouldn’t want to share a bed with one and I don’t live in a climate ripe with Rattlesnakes and Copperheads and whatever other poisonous reptiles slither around in the U S of A so I don’t have much experience to base a fear upon.

      So in the spirit of not being afraid of snakes, I’d like to present a picture of me kissing one.

      Snake Kiss PM RW

      A dead one, but still.  It was alive at one point so it counts.  This was at a job I had post college and I cannot for the life of me recall why my coworker had a real live dead snake at her desk.  Maybe to instill fear?  Don’t mess with the accountant?  I dunno.  Clearly it didn’t work on me.  I also have a stuffed snake on my lap in this picture and I’m pretty sure I still have that fellow floating around the house somewhere.  Hidden of course, so as not to freak out The Husband (ideas for the next first of April are suddenly floating around in my mommy brain right now…)

      I do have a few quick snake stories.  At the first house we rented when we moved to town, I left the house one morning to go to work and there was a zebra striped black and white snake curled around the Jeep’s front driver’s side tire.  I went back inside the house to tell The Husband and when I came back out it had slithered away.  Despite a few brief internet searches I’ve never been able to locate the name of that snake.  It sure was pretty though.

      My second snake story is creepier.  It was sometime last year and I found a baby snake slithering along the baseboard of the fireplace room.  That’s right . . . INSIDE THE HOUSE.  The Husband was not pleased.  Not pleased at all.  It was only five inches long and very thin but a five inch snake INSIDE THE HOUSE was plenty big enough to panic my manly man of a husband.  My first instinct was to grab the first object I could find to stop it, which turned out to be a dull kitchen knife.  The dull kitchen knife was enough to hold the snake in its place but not enough to inflict damage.  I quickly decided I wanted to inflict damage lest I release him outside and he slither back into the house and bring all his brothers and sisters with him.  So I instructed The Husband to bring me a sharper knife and . . . animal lovers and squeamish people may want to click away now . . . I sawed that tiny little sucker in half.  Which took longer than I thought it would.  Snakes, even five inch ones, are tough and wily little buggers.

      The Husband conferred with a neighbor the next day who seemed surprised at our intruder and commented he’d been there 20 years and only seen this happen once before.  I guess that makes us lucky?  Pretty sure The Husband wouldn’t agree with that statement.

      - Joanna

      Question of the Day:  Snakes.  Yay or nay?  Any snake run-ins to share?

        And no, I’m not referring to this blog despite the fact I tweeted a while back that I was giving up blogging.

        Only two of you cared by the way.

        My official internet besties are Aly and Ann.  Your BFF bracelets will be arriving shortly.  Unless you’d prefer necklaces.

        The tragic end is for the bug.  The Bubble Bug.  I posted a pic of him awhile ago but if you don’t want to click over, here it is again.

        Bubble RW

        He’s cute no?  No.  Not anymore.  I accidentally ran over him with the car.  Whoooooops.

        Bug Destruction RW

        In memory of the good times we’ve shared . . . Bubble Bug, you will be missed.  (Despite the fact you made a really annoying sound and often got clogged up creating a gigantic bubble butt and got stuck on the paver patio all the freaking time and I had to remove your wings because the bubbles would hit them and pop before they even took off.  Still, we shall miss you.) 

        Pete and the Bug RW

        Pete and his Bug RW

        Bubble Bug Miss You RW

        Pete Pushes Bug Button RW

        Bug Wand RW

        Pete picks up the bug RW

        Bubble Bug Bubbles RW

        Bug Close Up RW

        Bug RW

        In other news I’m thinking of upgrading the bug to something even cooler.  Like a Bubble Mower!  (It’s all terrain so the paver patio would be no problem and apparently it has frustration-free packaging.  I don’t know what that is, but it sounds awesome.  Now if only they made frustration-free children . . .)

        Bubble Mower R

        Get the boy started mowing the lawn early.  The Husband can thank me later.

        - Joanna

        Question of the Day:  What do you think . . . bug or mower?

          Since this week’s Throwback Thursday post was all about our destroyer, Sadie, it’s only fair that today’s Random Picture of the Day post be all about The Snoops.

          There’s a reason The Snoops loves my husband so much.  Mike had just gotten Sadie when we first met and I often brought The Snoops with me on our dates.  While we were dining or going to the movies, the pooches would chill out together at Mike’s apartment.  What I didn’t realize back then was that every time I stepped away to use the restroom, Mike would sneak the poodle a snack.  Mike quickly became one of her favorite people!  The way to a girl’s heart is through her dog, right?  It sure turned out that way.  The Snoops hasn’t always liked my gentleman friends so I took it as an excellent sign she was so infatuated with Mike.  Heh.  Little did I know.

          Our neighbor across the way has adopted a similar attitude and is the local favorite for pretty much all the dogs.  He’s less covert about it though, and everybody knows when they see him he will have a pocket full of treats.

          Here’s Don bribing The Snoops for her affection.

          Snoops Gets a Snack RW

          Works every time.

          - Joanna

          Question of the Day:  What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

            Well, it’s five o’clock in the morning in January and I’m sitting in bed writing you all this blog post.  While it’s not unusual for me to be up at five (I like my ME time and early morning is the only time I get it) it is unusual that I’m getting to blog in bed.  You see The Husband was up just before four to leave for a conference (his first extended stay away from Sweetey Petey I might add – let’s give the man some daddy points) and I had promised I would make him breakfast.  I might be a morning person, but The Husband definitely is not.  Making breakfast led to emptying the dishwasher which led to folding last nights laundry which led to a shower which led to me still being wide awake and needing something to do.  Hence the blogging in bed.

            Can I just interrupt this exciting play by play to say I am really enjoying blogging in advance.  In a normal situation I would never ever admit The Husband was out of town.  And while I’m not the type of blogger interested in regurgitating my daily schedule for you all, for some reason writing these Throwback Thursday posts in advance like this has somehow felt like journaling.

            So here I am, sitting in bed writing you all this blog post.  I chose a picture of Sadie (The Destroyer) for today’s topic since, as I’m sitting in bed writing you all this blog post, I’m listening to her stomach gurgle.  And gurgle.  And gurgle some more.

            Sadie Pup PM RW

            This pic was taken in the car, probably on the road to visiting the in-laws before Sweetey Petey came along as we board her when we travel these days.  She rode in the back but LOVED poking her head between the seats to see what was going on.  And often times she rested her head on Mike’s shoulder, which even I must admit, was pretty dang cute.

            Sadie hasn’t been looking quite this happy these days.  It’s the stomach gurgling.  Over a month ago we went through a bout with her where she was throwing up every morning just before we all woke up (well, as we all woke up because you can’t sleep through that – yikes.)  Her stomach was gurgling and she was emitting bad smells, you know, from the rear end.  Lovely.  Just lovely.

            After a few weeks of this she started refusing her food in the mornings.  Not eating is very un-Sadie like.  This dog will eat anything, whether it’s actually food or not.

            Early one morning I finally had enough and did some googling.  Dr Veterinarian Google to the rescue.  A pet forum I landed on had an entire thread with dogs having this exact same problem.  According to tons of pet owners, it was very common and easily fixable.  Supposedly it was an acid build up in the stomach issue and a few corrective measures would solve the problem.  One, feed the dog a small snack right before bed so her stomach wouldn’t be empty.  Two, feed the dog a probiotic.  Easy peasy.

            Sadie flat out refused the probiotic supplement, but did consent to a bite of food before bedtime.

            Problem solved!

            For about a week.  Then it all started up again.  I was tired.  The Husband was tired.  The Spot-Bot was tired.

            Sadie typically has an iron stomach and calling the vet is not usually our first course of action.  She gets into things and causes trouble and if we called the vet at every stomach gurgle we’d have to take a second mortgage out on the house.

            The not eating her food, however, had me concerned.  So I broke down and called the vet and explained the situation.  Her first response was, naturally, you need to bring Sadie in.  I politely and as compassionately as possible explained that we had just replaced our furnace and did not have room for a ginormous vet bill in the budget.

            For a frame of reference, the carpet eating incident from years ago cost us close to $900 and was a complete waste of money (and pain for Sadie) because when the vet performed the surgery to remove the carpet strands they claimed to have seen in her intestines on the x-ray, they discovered Sadie had already upchucked it all and there was, in fact, NO CARPET LEFT TO REMOVE.  Fabulous.  So you can see our hesitation is based on years of expensive years with similar outcomes.

            Our vet assured me that there would be no costly obligation and there was much she could tell from a simple and cheap office visit.  Fine.  Great.  I convinced Mike to take off work early, drive the half hour back home, pick up the dog and drive the half hour back to the vet which is, ironically, very close to his work.

            $350 later we had a diagnosis of “sore tummy.”

            Seriously.  ”Sore tummy.”

            Despite Mike’s protests over doing x-rays on an almost ten year old Labrador, they were done anyway.  He did manage to refuse the suggestion of a costly blood panel because she just had one at her last checkup which wasn’t even two months prior.

            We were given (I mean sold of course) a carton of canned food and nausea pills, told to give them to her for three days and to try over the counter Pepcid if this happens again   Fine.  Great.  Gave her the soft food, gave her the nausea meds.  All was well until yesterday (my yesterday, not your yesterday) when Sadie refused her breakfast and started with the stomach gurgling again.  Did I mention she threw up?  She did.  Of course Mike was at work so that was fun for me.  Mike gave her the soft food for dinner last night and a Pepcid.

            This morning?  This morning I’m sitting in bed writing you all this blog post and listening to Sadie’s stomach gurgle.

            Sigh.  The Husband had better bring me back something good from this conference he’s attending and that’s all I have left to say about that.

            - Joanna

            Question of the Day:  How far would you go for your pets?  Does their age make a difference to you?  I have a crazy wonderful animal loving friend who spent something like ten thousand dollars on medical treatments for her dog’s rare blood condition.  The dog lived another year and change (maybe close to two??) and my friend had to take a second job to pay off her credit card bills.  Was it worth it?  Where is your limit?

              I’d like to wish Aly from Fudging Ahead a BIG congratulations on her pregnancy!!

              Aly’s beautiful baby boy is due soon and I wanted to do something special for her.  After all, she threw me an amazing virtual baby shower.

              Since she already gave me a shower and I know I couldn’t duplicate its awesomeness, I decided to go a different route.  I’ve decided to let her pick her own shower gift.  I know from personal experience sometimes you later regret putting items on your registry or you receive too many of the same item.  Sometimes you have a favorite item but you don’t receive it and sometimes it’s the surprise gifts that are truly the best of all.  So I’m providing a mix of all these options and giving Aly the choice to pick which gift she’d like best.

              My twist?  Pandas!  I know Aly and her husband love Pandas so most of the gifts she can pick from have a Panda theme.  I may have even created a Panda Pinterest board in preparation for this very moment.

              Let’s begin the parade of pandas! (Oh and clicking on the pictures will take you to each product page for more details.) 

              Baby Panda Onesie


              Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Board Book

              Panda Bear Panda Bear Book

              Panda Art Print

              Panda Art

              Curious Panda Art Print (from one of my favorite artists – I have four of her prints in Baby Charwee’s nursery)

              Parn Panda

              Pandas and Popsicles Art Print (I realize this is a little funky, but Aly does have a food blog so I’m adding it)

              Pandas and Popsicles

              Panda Abstract Animal Art

              Panda Art Print

              Panda Minky Blanket

              Panda Minky Blanket

              Panda Bear Night Light

              Panda Bear Nightlight

              Panda Crib Shoes

              Panda Crib Shoes

              Baby Einstein Panda Toy

              Panda Toy

              Crochet Panda Hat

              Panda Hat

              Panda Plates and Bowls (I found these at the grocery store last week)

              Panda Plates RW

              Swaddle Sack (not a panda but my FAVORITE baby essential ever so it makes the list)


              Crib Sheets (also not pandas but super cute and the brand I use and love)

              Crib Sheet Yellow

              Crib Sheet Gray

              So Aly, what’s it gonna be???

              - Joanna

              Question of the Day:  Which present should Aly pick??  Help her decide!

                Last Saturday for Random Picture of the Day I showed you the first picture I took with my DSLR camera.  Today I’m showing you the first picture I took with my I-Phone.

                Strawberries.  Delicious strawberries.

                Strawberries 1 RW

                Yesterday was the Fourth of July and the Fourth of July just screams for strawberries doesn’t it?

                The Husband and I have even been to a Strawberry Festival!

                Strawberries 2 RW

                This was in our pre-child days so naturally we took the motorcycle.  Festivals are never more fun than when you arrive on a motorcycle and snag a super close parking spot because a bike can squeeze in just about anywhere.

                There were tons of craft booths and tons of berries.

                We dined on strawberries dipped in white chocolate . . .

                Strawberries 3 RW

                as well as . . . what was that anyway?

                Strawberries 4 RW

                I can’t recall the name of it.  Strawberry Meringue?  Strawberry Shortcake?  Strawberry Cloud?  It had some funky name I think.  Anyway, it was whipped cream and strawberries over ice cream and some kind of light cake or meringue.  Supposedly the Strawberry Doughnuts were the big attraction but we didn’t try those.

                - Joanna

                Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite kind of berry? Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry . . . 

                  I think the title says it all.

                  I’m pretty sure this picture WASN’T taken at Halloween.

                  Flapper PM RW

                  When was it taken?  Other than sometime in highschool I have no freaking idea when.  Or why.

                  Why am I dressed like a flapper?

                  Why am I wearing a feather boa?

                  Why did I think my Mickey Mouse watch went with this ensemble?

                  Why is my friend Jen dressed like a slutty maid?

                  Why did Jen have a HUGE wall full of (sorry Jen, but kinda creepy) dolls?

                  Why did I choose the PicMonkey filter that put a giant star in the middle of my forehead?

                  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.

                  You can all ponder these questions till next Thursday’s Throwback post.

                  - Joanna

                  Question of the Day:  Oh man, do you see a giant feather in my hair??  I think that’s a giant feather in my hair.  Oh well, feathers are in style these days so it’s cool right?


                    I went to bed one night without ducks.  The next morning I woke up and there were ducks.

                    DSC_0787 RW

                    Why do we have ducks?  I have no idea why we have ducks.

                    The boy seems to like them so that’s a plus I guess.

                    Petey Ducks RW

                    I seem to recall asking The Husband to hold off on any more lifestock for a little while.

                    Yet somehow . . .

                    DSC_0763 RW

                    . . . we now have ducks.

                    DSC_0726 RW

                    My reasoning for not wanting ducks is three fold.

                    One.  It’s something else to take care of.  Our friends down the way bought a hobby farm, bought a bunch of animals, sold off all the animals, and then sold the hobby farm.  Why?  It took too much time to take care of all the animals.  They have two small kids too so I can relate to the feeling.

                    Two.  It’s something else to take Mike’s attention away.  I know this sounds suspiciously like number one, but it’s a little different.  Mike is now going to build the ducks a house.  I’d really like him to take the evening fussy shift with the baby instead.  He says he can do both, but I don’t know.  There are six baby ducks and only one baby human so the odds are in the ducks favor.  This brings me to point three.

                    Three.  Ducks cost money.  Money I’d rather spend on a completely frivolous, just for fun circular fisheye camera lens.  Sure, Mike wrangled a deal and got the ducks themselves for free, but there’s that whole house issue.  How much does a duck house cost?  We’re not planning on adding central air or anything but still.  Mike originally said it would be $65.  After hitting up the lumber yard he said $120.  The final receipt said $165.  And in a separate trip to Lowe’s he snuck in some metal brackets.  Plus we need stain.  The ducks’ house has to match the chickens’ house which in turn matches our house.

                    Much like Princess Vespa’s luggage, it’s all gotta match!

                    In any case, we now have ducks.

                    DSC_0752 RW

                    At least they’re cute.

                    DSC_0740 RW

                    And the boy really likes them so they still have that going for them.

                    Also, I must confess I have picked a favorite.

                    DSC_0716 RW Favorite Yellow Arrow

                    I think he or she has nice eyes.  I’ve named her One of Six.

                    DSC_0745 RFW

                    Soooo, yup.  We now have ducks.

                    DSC_0771 RW

                    I still don’t have a circular fisheye camera lens though.

                    - Joanna

                    Question of the Day:  Who thinks I should have a new fun circular fisheye camera lens??

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