It’s Throwback Thursday!!!!  Or as I like to call it a super cold Monday in January.  You all remember I scheduled these ahead of time right?  Well, it’s super cold today.  As in negative degrees.  As in potentially record setting (at least for the last 20 years or so.)  I’m cool (ha!) with that though because The Husband’s work was closed for the day so we have an extended weekend.  We are house bound due to the cold (Sweetey Petey doesn’t need to be subjected to that thankyouverymuch) so there is probably a lot of playing and reading books on tap for today.  Maybe a movie if the toddler gets curmudgeonly.

So, anyway, here is a picture of my very first pets!  That’s Charlie Brown on the left.  That dog had a bark that could scare away any door-to-door salesperson lickety split.  I swear he sounded like a pit bull.  On the right was MY first pet, Frisky.  Charlie was around before my sister and I were born and he never took too much of a hankering to us.  He mostly tolerated us.

Frisky was a guinea pig.  I thought he was a he until we tagged along to one of Charlie Brown’s veterinary visits.  Frisky had a small growth on his belly and for something like $7 our vet agreed to take a look at him.  And promptly informed us he was a she.  I forget what happened with the growth exactly.  Riveting story, no?

Charlie and Frisky PM RW

Here’s another fun one of me and my sister with Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown Dog PM RW

He’s giving my sister a big ol’ sloppy kiss so maybe he liked us after all.  By the way the little hill in our front yard was great for sledding!

- Joanna

Question of the Day:  What was your first pet?  What was its name?

    Apparently giving birth to my second child has made me sympathetic to mothers and potential mothers everywhere.  All kinds of mothers and potential mothers.  Even chicken ones.

    Let’s set the scene.

    First off you should be aware that most chickens in a small flock lay eggs in the same nesting box.  So while we have three nesting boxes, all seven of our chickens lay their eggs in the same box.  Typically they lay their eggs and then leave.  Every now and then (happened twice to us in the past year) a chicken becomes “broody” and gets it into her head that she wants to be a mommy and decides to sit on the eggs.  Since we don’t have a rooster, in our case they are unfertilized eggs.

    No amount of patient sitting is going to hatch those puppies.  Er, chicks.  If they hatched they would obviously be chicks.  But how cute would little puppies be hatching out of eggs amiright?  

    If you don’t convince the chicken she does not in fact want to be a mommy, she will continue to sit barely moving, only get up for a few minutes every day or two to eat and drink a little.  Eggs typically hatch in 21 days, but if a mama keeps sitting and sitting and sitting on dud eggs, she can lose feathers, lose a ton of weight, and really do some damage to herself.  She lays no more eggs during this time.  Or so all of this is what The Husband tells me.  (If you want to know more about this stuff, just ask and I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to tell you about it… the hatching process, how to break a broody hen if you don’t want her to be  a Mom, etc.)

    Here’s Curly.  I found her like this one evening.  Sitting on unfertilized eggs.

    Curly Nest

    Following is the resulting text message conversation between me and The Husband that happened over the next few days. For the record, the “Curly Removal Tool” is a soft broom we gently used to shoo her out of the nest a few times, testing to see if she was serious about wanting to be a Mama.

    Eggs 0

    Eggs 1 R

    Eggs 2 R

    Eggs 3 R

    Eggs 4 R

    Eggs 5 R

    Eggs 6 R

    Eggs 7 R

    Eggs 8 R

    Eggs 9 R

    Eggs 10 R

     

    Wanna know what happened next?  This.

    Eggs RW

     

    And this.

    Eggs Nest RW

    Oh and this.

    Eggs Sit RW

    The Husband bought Curly a dozen fertilized eggs and built her a private nest box.  Curly is going to be a mommy everybody!!!  The Husband is currently crafting the maternity ward sign as I blog.

    - Joanna

    Question of the Day:  Shall we start the guesses as to how many will be girls and how many will be boys??  

      Chevron has been the latest design trend that seems to have stuck around.  I’ve heard a few people complaining about it, but I see it often enough to assume it’s still a thing people do.

      But chevron can’t be all that new because my mom did chevron before chevron was cool.

      Chevron RW

      This is an afghan she crocheted (knitted? I’m not up on my terminology) way before I was even born.  It’s currently hanging over a chair I have in our guest room.  I love it.  It doesn’t make me want to learn to crochet (knit?) though.  I know plenty of people that already do that so gifts already abound.  I’ll save my energy for tie art instead.

      - Joanna

      Question of the Day – Is your mom artistic?  Does she create?

        For today’s Throwback Thursday post, please enjoy a snapshot of The Husband’s college softball team.

        Baseball Team PM RW

        Mike was the pitcher.  And he still has that shirt . . . although it has seen better days.  It seems weird to me to see him without facial hair.  This is how he looked when we first met although with a few subtle hints from me he quickly grew a goatee.  And I do mean quickly.  My husband is a mountain man when it comes to facial hair.  He can have a five o’clock shadow by noon at the latest.

        My role at these games was “wallet and key holder.”  Yup.  I sat in the stands, cheered and held a few of the guys wallets and keys.  I’d like to think any success they had was partly due to my support.  Although success is possibly not the right word here since it happened on more than one occasion that Mike had to explain the rules of the game to a team mate . . . as they were driving to the game.  Quite a few of these guys only knew how to play Cricket.

        - Joanna

        Question of the Day: Did you play any sports in school?  If so, what?

          You have no idea how I struggled to find a witty title for this post.  Possibilities included:

          You’re My One Eyed Snoops

          Cyclops Pooch

          Mono Flower

          If You’re Going to San Francisco

          What Was I (I Mean The Groomer) Thinking

          HA HA HA HA HA!!!

          Yes, I realize none of those are witty.  Or funny.  Or anything less than stupid.

          I landed on Forehead Flower which is purely descriptive and at the very least gets the point across - someone will have a flower on their forehead.  Unlike the San Francisco title which The Husband made up and had to explain to me because I didn’t get it at first.  Womp womp womp.

          I don’t know that I need to say much more, rather letting the pictures speak for themselves.  I would quickly like to preface by saying our dog groomer Karen does an EXCELLENT job and we really like her.  Her choice in canine fashion accessories does, however, leave something to be desired.

          Mono Flower 2 RW

          Mono Flower RW

          Mono Flower 6 RW

          Mono Flower 3 RW

          Mono Flower 4 RW

          Mono Flower 5 RW

          Why the MIDDLE of the forehead, Karen?  Why?  Why not just behind one ear?

          - Joanna

          Question of the Day: What’s your favorite hair accessory?  Father-in-Law, I’m especially interested in your answer to this question.

            In an effort to keep the blog interesting in the initial months after the new babe is born, I just finished (it’s January 27th right now for me in case you were wondering) prescheduling Throwback Thursday posts from the beginning of April all the way though the end of July.  I’ve decided to take a little break from that and start prescheduling Random Picture of the Day posts.  I’ve dug out and edited a TON of pictures for this series so I have a lot of material to work with here.  I have a folder of single pictures and folders full of groups of pictures so my plan is to start posting the single pictures on Saturdays for a while.  Potentially a long while . . . like I said, I have a lot.  I know that I’m always Jonesing for a blog fix on the weekends (most bloggers these days are fairweather weekday friends it seems) so I think quicky Saturday posts might be a nice change.  Don’t expect too much text on these days, just a pic I found fun or interesting with a sentence or a paragraph or two of explanation.

            The longer picture series I will save for weekdays, but I haven’t decided what day I will post those on yet.

            I’m leaving Mondays wide open for sure since I hope to be able to at least pop in once a week with fresh content.  I remember Sweetey Petey was a crappy sleeper when he was born, but hopefully the new little one will NOT take after her big brother.  Fingers crossed.

            For today’s fun and interesting picture I present to you a collage of ties!  Yes, men’s ties.

            Ties RW

            At my last job, one of my coworkers had a friend bring him ginormous bags of brand new ties.  I think she was some sort of tie rep, but I don’t recall the specifics.  Naturally, my co-worker shared the wealth.  All the men wore ties at my job so this was a pretty sweet windfall for the boys.  I picked out ties for my friends working at other locations that day or who were off.  I also grabbed some in specific color themes or patterns with lofty goals of sewing projects.  I still have those goals and tons of ideas, I just haven’t implemented any of them yet.  I let my husband pick out what he wanted, and sent a few to Supermom’s husband and a few to my Dad.  I took snapshots of the rest of the ties I brought home and e-mailed them to my Brother-in-Law, who also wears ties quite often.  He picked out what he liked and I saved the rest for projects.

            I turned my tie pictures into a collage because I love the color and pattern.  And now I have more ideas swimming around in my head for tie inspired quilts and tie inspired wall art.

            - Joanna

            Question of the Day – How often does your man wear ties, or if you are a man, how often do you wear ties?  How often do you update your tie collection?

              Okay so you all might think it is April 3rd but technically it is January 5th.  Yup.  January 5th.  It’s a Sunday and I’ve spent the better part of Sweetey Petey’s naptime running some old pictures through PicMonkey online, adding fun filters, resizing and watermarking them.

              As I’m typing this, baby girl is kicking me (she’s a mover that one) but as you’re reading this she is probably a few weeks old and keeping me awake at night.  Babies.  They do that sort of thing.  It’s a good thing they’re cute.

              So yeah, I’m banking some posts and scheduling them ahead of time to keep you all interested in case I can’t keep a decent posting schedule with a brand new little one in the house.  I’m guessing I can’t.  At least not for a while.

              And since I probably just bared it all to dozens of nurses and doctors in the hospital, I figured I might as well bare it all to you too.  So I’m taking a stab at this whole Throwback Thursday thing and posting some pictures I wouldn’t normally post.  Pictures of me, which you almost never see.  Pictures of Mike.  Pictures of random moments from my past.  Some sentimental.  Some funny.  Some slightly embarrassing.  Some just because.  So for the next umpteenth weeks (I think I’ve got at least 25 plus weeks worth of pictures edited) you’ll see regular Thursday posts with a picture or two and just a little bit of commentary.  So stay tuned.

              I’m sure I’ll post current stuff as well, but for now this eases my mind that my little corner of the blogosphere won’t appear neglected.

              For my first Throwback Thursday I’d like to share a picture of Mike and I from early on in our relationship.  We met in September and this was obviously taken in October so we definitely hadn’t been dating long.  If I recall, Mike had thought I was kidding about my fear of clowns till we went through this haunted house and I screamed my freaking head off and hid.  Yes, I AM freaked out by clowns and any of you in your right mind should be too.  They.  Are.  Scary.

              Halloween PM RW

              - Joanna

              Question of the Day:  Do you like haunted houses?  

                I have mentioned this in passing before, but in case you missed, it I have some new things planned.  And by planned I mean already written and scheduled (go me) so it’s a done deal.  Starting tomorrow I have four months of Thursday and Saturday posts coming at you.

                That’s right, four whole months!

                Thursdays will be “Throwback Thursday” posts where I share old pictures with a fun backstory and . . . gasp . . . some actual pictures of me!  Shocking, I know.  I was all kinds of sentimental when I was pregnant it seems.

                Saturday will be Random Picture of the Day posts.  I don’t normally post on the weekends and since most bloggers don’t, I thought it would be a fun addition while still leaving me room during the week for current events.  Saturday posts will be quick and easy with little time commitment on either of our parts.  Mostly a picture (or two) and a paragraph (or two).

                I had hoped these would start right after the baby was born, but Charwee graced us with her presence a few weeks early and I’ve been too busy to go back in and reschedule 30 plus blog posts.  So they are starting in April and running through July.  I’d have mentioned it yesterday but I didn’t want any of you to think it was an April Fool’s joke.

                This awesomeness is real people.

                Well, I gotta run.  The baby is chirping like a bird and demanding attention, illustrating the very reason I did this in the first place – I’m kinda busy right now.  So I’ll see you every Thursday and Saturday for quite a while with hopefully one current post a week thrown into the mix, probably on Mondays or Tuesdays.  Maybe two if I get really lucky with baby sleep.  And I’m sure the Father-in-Law as well as The Husband will be peeking in for a visit periodically as well.

                Okay I really gotta go now.

                 - Joanna

                Question of the Day:  Are you excited?  Say you’re excited.

                  That title is misleading.  This isn’t a post about paint by numbers although it is a post with numbers on paintings.

                  Way back on that one random picture of the day post I implored you to pick which pair of shoes was mine (I’m riveting these days I know) and even offered “bonus points” to the winner.  Bonus points.  I’m like skee-ball giving you a hundred more tickets and a free rubber bracelet.

                  Woot.  Woot.

                  Anyway, Mavis was the first person to correctly pick out my cowboy boots and when I offered her some original Petey artwork as a prize . . . get this . . . she accepted.  Crazy.  This world is crazy that a random internet reader would actually want my kids’ artwork!!!!

                  Okay not so crazy considering I’ve known Mavis since first grade and she works at the same company as my mom and they chat sometimes.

                  I decided to use this opportunity to eek out another blog post so I don’t completely neglect the place in my newborn sleep deprived state.  Sleep deprivation is a serious thing people and not to be underestimated.

                  Petey has painted several masterpieces lately and I thought it would be nice to let Mavis choose which one she wanted.  I mean, it needs to match her decor, whatever that may be.  I don’t even know where she plans on displaying it.  Will she have it professionally framed with masterpiece glass to hang in the formal dining room?  Will it be displayed on the fridge?  Will it line her sock drawer?  In that case she would need to pick a piece that coordinates with her socks.

                  So here are Mavis’s choices.

                  A washable Crayola paint masterpiece illustrating that when you mix colors together, no matter which ones, you get brown.  Always brown.

                  P Paint 1 number

                  Another Crayloa paint piece . . .  I think it’s a guinea pig with wings eating a snack. Oh and he’s wearing blue shoes on his hind paws.  And he has a pink eye.

                  P Paint 2 number

                  Do you see it now?

                  P Paint 2 title

                  Here we have Petey’s watercolor phase . . . entitled “Mama Still Hasn’t Found Where That Teal Color Dripped on the Floor.”

                  P Paint 4 number

                  And another depicting some lovely color gradients.

                  P Paint 3 number

                  In the interest of full disclosure, this last piece wasn’t all painted by Sweetey Petey.  He said “mama paint” and handed me a paint brush.  So I helped.  Here’s the part I did.

                  P Paint 3 circled

                  And just in case Mavis has realized she made a grave mistake and really doesn’t want Petey’s artwork, she can also pick one of mine titled “Using Up The Paint So I Don’t Have To Wash It Down The Sink aka Why Does The Toddler Get To Have All The Fun?”.  The Husband thinks it easily looks like a six year old could have painted it.  So there’s that.

                  Jo Paint 1 number

                  Sooooooo Mavis . . . which one is it going to be??

                  - Joanna

                  Question of the Day:  Which one would you pick?  What’s your favorite?  Tell me you see the guinea pig.

                    The new thing in the food blog world is over sharing weekly meal plans.  It takes the every popular WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) and expands it into WIAFD (What I Ate For Dinner) or WIAFDAWLAIYC (What I Ate For Dinner All Week Long As If You Care).

                    I have to confess . . . I care.  I like reading these posts.  Cooking dinner has become such a chore lately and I find myself preparing the same meals over and over as well as stressing all day over what I’m going to make and then tossing stuff into the oven last minute.

                    Trying to get dinner on the table with Sweetey Petey running around the house like a mad banshee was hard enough . . . with a new baby in the mix it’ll be nearly impossible without a plan.

                    So I made a plan.

                    Excel

                    I created an excel spreadsheet with spaces for meal plans, suggestions for daily protein and lists of the healthiest fruits and veggies that I think we should be eating on a regular basis.  It gives me the option of listing seven meals and crossing off food as we eat it.  As I get rolling with this system hopefully I can flip back through previous weeks to see that we haven’t eaten broccoli in a while or have been seriously carrot deficient or have eaten way too much spaghetti squash and not enough butternut.  Can one eat too much spaghetti squash???  I’m not sure they can, but you get the idea.

                    I’m also using this as a way to test out some of the cookbooks in my massive collection.  Most weeks I will just add a few new recipes so as not to overwhelm myself and the best recipes will be added to our family recipe binder.

                    This past week I tested out The Working Stiff Cookbook.

                    Woring Stiff Cookbook

                    I picked this up on clearance at a used book store many many moons ago . . . you know, back when I worked.  Out of the house that is because I clearly still work I just no longer get paid for it.

                    So here’s my week worth of dinners, in no particular order.  Food in purple and bold are recipes from the cookbook.

                    Meal 1: spaghetti (squash) with portobellos, prosciutto and cream with pan fried tilapia

                    Spag Squash RW

                    Tilapia RW

                    Meal 2: chicken breasts with artichokes and mushrooms over gluten free orzo pasta with steamed carrots and no sugar added apricot jelly 

                    Chx Artichokes RW

                    Meal 3: frittata rustica with Paleo coconut flour “cornbread” and roasted asparagus.

                    Frittata RW

                    Meal 4: butternut squash soup with salad topped with hard boiled egg, blackberries, parmesan cheese and leftover sliced chicken breast

                    Soup and salad RW

                    Meal 5: Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with leftover butternut squash soup

                    Sammy and Soup RW

                    Meal 6: Pulled pork and coleslaw (good friends made this meal and dropped it off to us)

                    Pig Title RW

                    Meal 7: burgers on gluten free bagels with homemade guac and GMO free corn chips and leftover steamed carrots with no sugar added jelly

                    Hamburger

                    There was supposed to be a salmon recipe from the cookbook as well, but I got lazy and bumped it for the easy grilled sandwich and leftover soup night.  I’ve bumped the salmon recipe to another week instead.

                    So . . .  what did I think of this book so far?

                    I give it a C+ and here’s why.

                    The spaghetti with cream sauce reminded me of a favorite dish my mom used to make when I was a kid.  So I will probably make mom’s dish instead of this one.  It’s simple yet decadent, although with heavy whipping cream as a main ingredient I wouldn’t suggest you make this dish every week.

                    The chicken breast was good . . . but I was not a fan of the artichokes.  I think it was the white wine sauce.  And the artichokes.  I don’t think I like artichokes, which stinks because they are good for you – iron rich and help ease digestion.  I have a recipe for artichoke meatloaf that I do really enjoy so for now I think I’ll stick with that to get my artichokes in.

                    The frittata was an excellent way to use up the eggs we’ve amassed since all seven of our chickens are now laying.  And breakfast for dinner (brinner) is always a win in my book.  This recipe is easily customizable with different veggies and cheeses as well.  But (yes, there’s a but) while it was good I recently made some omelet muffins that are a similar concept but were better.

                    The butternut squash soup was delightful and much easier to make than I would have thought.  The spices (ginger, coriander, cinnamon and clove) lent a sweet side to this dish which I enjoyed but I do think the soup could have used another layer.  Perhaps replacing some of the water with homemade chicken stock and maybe adding in an herb.  I think sage would be nice here.  Once I add a few things I think I’ll add this soup to our recipe binder.

                    My two complaints are one, while the recipes were good they were maybe a smidge “meh” and two, the recipes take longer than the book claims, especially those that need to be reduced like the artichoke and mushroom sauce (90 seconds my arse) and the soup.

                    We’ll see how the salmon recipe fares and for now I think the book will stay in my collection (I’ll revisit it again someday.)  There’s an interesting recipe for steak cooked in a paper bag I’m curious to try.

                    - Joanna

                    Question of the Day: How do you feel about artichokes?  Yay?  Nay?  Meh?  Do you like reading these sorts of posts?  It took too long to put together for me to make this a weekly thing right now but it was fun and I may do it again in the future.

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