Remember that one time I talked about iguanas and alluded to a blog post I never shared?  Yes, well in that post I never shared I suggested I might mix things up around here and stop playing it so safe (aka not worry about ticking people off and just say what I want to say.)

On that note I’d like to get something off my chest.  No, I need to get something off my chest.  Or out of my underwear. That really would make more sense if you’d read the post.  Sigh.  Let’s just move on shall we?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but . . .

THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST CHOCOLATE!

You heard me.

THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST CHOCOLATE!

Say it with me.  Let’s not scream it this time, just say it nice and matter of fact like.

There is more to life than just chocolate.

Once more, with expression.

There is more to life than just chocolate.

Specifically I’m talking to my husband and his folks.  Calling them out if you will.  Challenging them to broaden their horizons.  Take a risk, take a gamble, step out of their safe little cocoons and experience ALL there is in life to experience.

Let’s set the scene.

My in-laws came into town (with a ten foot yellow slide and a hideously framed fish picture but those are different stories entirely) for a visit the other day.  We had dinner one night and plans for ice cream the next.  There were three options for ice cream locations.

Option A – The local dairy whip.  Yes, a town favorite but pretty basic soft serve and nothing distinguishable from any other dairy whip.  What it has going for it is location, location, location.  It’s five minutes from home and when you have a baby that gets the fuss in the evenings and a two a half year old that gets a case of the crazies in the evenings this really is a strong selling point.

Option B – Fancy soft serve fro-yo.  Fun flavors and toppings.  The big selling point here (besides the points card which earns me free fro-yo) is all the options.  You can add as many different flavors and toppings to your cup as your hungry heart desires! The possibilities are endless (okay, not really endless but statistically really high)!  Option B is more like ten minutes from home.  Not too shabby.

Option C – Local, French pot ice cream. It’s pretty much the all time best, stick to the roof of your mouth creamy goodness that is worth every dang pants tightening, cellulose inducing calorie.  Its only drawback . . . it’s more like 15-18 minutes from home.  Not bad, but go too close to bedtime and it’s the longest 15-18 minute car ride ever.  Plus it’s kind of on a busy road and Sweetey Petey is a runner.

My husband wanted Option A.  The in-laws tend to get Option C on their own when they visit.  So I pushed for Option B – moderately close to home and with loads of options.  The perfect compromise if you ask me.

Here’s the problem.  Despite the fact that the frozen yogurt came in fun flavors like Orange, Pineapple, Peanut Butter, Brownie Batter, Coconut, Coffee, Cheesecake, Vanilla, Pistachio, Strawberry, Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Blackberry Greek, Salted Caramel and even pre-mixed smoothies . . . my husband and his entire side of the family only got chocolate.  Chocolate.  Just chocolate.  Mike added a few toppings to his chocolate, but his parents?  They were toppingless.  As in without any top.  No sprinkles or nuts or crushed candy or fruit or gummy bears or Swedish fish or marshmallows or coconut or iced graham cracker cookies or brownie bits or nerds or sauces of any kind.

Just.  Plain.  Chocolate.

I’ll admit I myself didn’t go hog wild with toppings, but I never do when I’m letting new to me frozen yogurt flavors shine though.

Yes, you read me right, flavors.  Plural.  With an s people, an s.  That’s the point of these places, to try new flavors!

In my bowl was a combo of cheesecake, coconut and pistachio.  I sprinkled some rainbow jimmies on top for funsies.  Because these places are supposed to be fun.  My fav?  The pistachio!  Followed closely by the coconut and coming up last, the cheesecake.

Fro Yo RW

That’s Sweetey Petey’s cup above mine.  The Husband *gasp* gave him some peanut butter as well.

There was no plain chocolate in my cup.  Because plain chocolate at a fancy fro-yo place is just so vanilla.  I’ll admit the in-laws aren’t notorious for trying new things (remember the kohlrabi debacle) but if ever there was a chance for them, I’d like to think it starts with fro-yo.

I know my M-I-L doesn’t read my blog but my F-I-L does and so do some of their friends.  I say we all band together.  We all band together and double dog dare them to get something other than chocolate next time.  And toppings?  At least one??  Maybe even *gasp* a sauce???  Can they do it????  With a little encouragement I do believe there could still be hope for them yet.

– Joanna

What’s your favorite frozen yogurt topping?

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?

Okay, so there’s this bird farm not too far from our house.  It took us almost a year of driving past before we managed to stop in and see just what it was all about.  Was it a farm where they grew birds?  Did the birds work on the farm, picking corn and planting crops?  There was no way to tell from the outside.  The Husband called once to inquire if they sold chicken feed – they don’t – and that was the most contact we’d had.

One day driving by, on a whim, we impulsively turned into the parking lot to finally check the place out.

The first thing we noticed was that, much like the pet store, bird owners brought their birds with them when they shopped there.  Note to self: find a bird to bring next time. 

Turns out it was mostly just a store that sold birds and bird accessories.  Womp womp womp.  There was no farm, although there was a large netted area outside for . . . I dunno.  Bird training?  Bird gymnastics?  Birds studying to join the circus?    Whatever it was for, it was pretty interesting.  So were the birds actually.  For the toddler, It was akin to a visit to the zoo, but much closer to home and without the exorbitant entrance fee.

Want to know my favorite part of the store?  It was this sign:

Hands of Affection RW

Ha!  A simple don’t touch the birds would have sufficed.

The sign reminded me of the Sex Education course my gym teacher taught in High School.  With one small change, however, Ms. I-Can’t-For-The-Life-Of-Me-Remember-Her-Name could have just posted this instead and skipped the rest of the course entirely.

Hands of Affection BOYS RW

Ha!  Ha!  That’s right . . . I deserve two ha’s for this one!

If you’re not in the mood for humor today here’s a link to an article I read earlier this year that talks about why Sex Education should not be taught in schools.  Also quite interesting.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  How do you feel about birds?  The Husband sometimes says he’d like one and I always say the same thing: birds are dirty.  I enjoy birds, don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy outside birds.  

I often claim to be a food satire blogger, but most of the Throwback Thursday and Random Picture of the Day posts I’ve been scheduling are anything but.  In fact, many of them have been thoughtful and introspective and full of stories or glimpses into my past.  Gah.  Who am I these days?  Well, today, I’m getting back to my roots.  Back to what makes me happiest.  Poking fun at things.

Or at the very least sharing pictures of weirdly shaped food.

First up, we have siamese grapes.

Grape Siamese Twins RW

Yes, I ate them.  They were delish.  Not that I use words like delish because I don’t and that squiggly red line WordPress puts under the word delish just confirms it.  No more using the word delish.

Next up, we have a radish that grew a baby radish.

Weird Radish RW

It was also delish.  Dangit!  For the record, WordPress says I shouldn’t use the word dangit either.

Finally, we have a heart shaped potato!

Heart Shaped Potato 1 RW

Fun.  Fun.  Probably should have used this pic around Valentines Day.

Heart Shaped Potato 2 RW

Nothing says love like a heart shaped potato amiright?  Crap.  Apparently amiright isn’t a word either.

I’d better just stop now before WordPress gives me an F on this post.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Ran across any oddly shaped foods lately?

Don’t take life so seriously.

Life Screenshot RW

It’s not like you’re going to get out alive.

I swiped this pic as a screenshot on my cell phone from a Facebook post a while back so unfortunately I can’t give credit where credit is due.  Hopefully that isn’t some kind of internet no-no.  I think I read once you can use someone else’s picture only so long as you are using it for satire.

That means I need to ridicule this guy on the skateboard, perhaps in the context of contemporary politics.  So . . . HA HA! THAT OLD GUY IS JUST LIKE OUR GOVERNMENT, GOING DOWNHILL FAST!  How was that?  Passable?  I think so.

The real reason I am posting this picture is because right now I need this reminder.  Right now is January 28th for me.  Prescheduling.  Remember?  I’ve been having some serious pregnancy induced sciatic nerve issues (which thanks to a Chiropractor friend are readily improving) and last Friday I busted my left ring finger pretty good . . . while trying to open curtains.  If injuring oneself on the most mundane of household tasks like opening the curtains doesn’t say klutz, I really don’t know what does.  As I type this my finger is in a $2 drugstore splint and I’m vowing never to open the curtains again.  Ever.

But as my husband says (and I HATE it when he does), it could always be worse.

I’ve been letting the weight of a new baby coming in less than two months make me careless and klutzy.  Sorry new baby, I didn’t mean to blame my finger injury on you although my giant belly did affect my center of gravity substantially.  No, no, new baby, totally not your fault.  I mean, not entirely.  No, no, not at all.  Pinky swear.

But really, is it that big of a deal?  My sciatic and finger are both on the mend (so says the Chiropractor anyway).  We have clothes and burp clothes and blankets galore.  We have the carseat and a double stroller.  The nursery has been painted.  The Husband is hanging the curtains today for me.  Does it matter that the art isn’t on the walls yet or that I’ve not finished the custom painted light switch cover I’ve been working on or that the guest room is only 90% cleared of the random stuff I’ve been storing in there?  No.  It doesn’t.  I’m pretty sure skateboarding guy doesn’t care and I’m even surer new baby doesn’t care.

So whatever is getting to you these days . . . relax.  Don’t take it so seriously.  Also, maybe don’t skateboard down a big hill because if you are klutzy like me that could lead to injuries.  Mmmmm K?

Have a great day!

– Joanna

Question of the day:  What’s getting you down today?  Do tell and then think about it no more.

Considering it’s January for me as a preschedule this post and, with the wind chills, it’s expected to get to -30 ish today it feels odd to be posting a picture of walking.  Outdoors.  Without a protective heated bubble to encapsulate us.  Most of the schools have already closed so the kiddios don’t have to contract frostbite waiting for the bus and even The Husband is most likely working from home today.  Yay!  He often retires to his Man Cave on these days otherwise The Pete won’t let him actually work, but even then it means we get more time in the mornings together as well as lunch and late afternoons when his work is winding down.  So I’m all kinds of excited.  I loathe being stuck indoors but when we are all together as a family it’s not quite so bad.

So, it memory of warmer weather that even the Groundhog would laugh at us right now if we inquired about, I’d like to show you how our family walks sometimes go.

Stroller Walk RW

The Pete doesn’t always want to ride and The Snoops doesn’t always want to walk.  Admittedly The Snoops doesn’t typically enjoy being pushed since The Pete hasn’t exactly learned to push evenly or even in a straight line yet.  But I find it amusing.  I actually SERIOUSLY considering buying a double stroller before we were pregnant with our second child just so I could push The Pete and The Snoops at the same time.  What can I say?  The Snoops is getting old and she can’t always handle our walks, especially in warmer weather.

Warmer weather.  Ha!  What’s that?

Oh, if you want to see a picture of The Snoops happily riding in a stroller, please click here.  Also, in my personal opinion, that’s one of my best posts to date and since it was written the month I started this blog probably a lot of you have never read it.  As a teaser, I provide physical evidence that The Snoops is not actually a dog, but a human.  And also a picture of a bad haircut.  It was back in my cartoon-the-heck-outta-all-my-photos-days, but still, a pretty darn funny read.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What’s your weather like today?  Sunny?  Rainy?  Foggy?  It’s May so it had better not be snowy.  

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??  

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.

Technically a pawpaw is a fruit native to this area (looky I mentioned food already – go me) but for the purpose of this post it’s actually a name.  The name of Sweetey Petey’s grandfather, my Father-in-Law.  In my day nicknames were chosen based on what syllables a kid could pronounce, but nowadays it seems relatives get to pick their own.

Grandpa picked Pawpaw.  I think technically he may have picked “Papa” but when Sweetey Petey says it, it sounds more like Pawpaw so that’s how I’m spelling it.

Grandma picked Nanny and, for the record, if she’s expecting a salary when she comes to visit it isn’t going to happy.  I’m a Stay at Home Mom so there’s really no room in the budget for a nanny.

But I’ve segued.

Sweetey Petey loves his Pawpaw.  He asks for him quite a bit and insists we phone him on a regular basis.

He’s even taken to finding Pawpaw in some of his books and calling him by name.  You’d think this was flattering, but . . .  it’s not always.

Sweetey Petey has picked out four characters that remind him of his Pawpaw.

First up in this fellow from The Pirates Next Door starring The Jolley-Rogers.  Not so flattering.  The hook hand, the teeth . . . yeah, not so flattering.

DSC_0435 enh R

Next up, also from The Pirates Next Door, is this guy.  Also not so flattering, but at least this guy has ice cream and a cool viking hat.  The socks and sandals leave a little something to be desired however.

DSC_0434 enh R

From the Curious George Matching Game, we have Farmer Renkins.  Pawpaw does sometimes wear a hat, but I have yet to see him in suspenders.

DSC_0436 enh R

The most flattering of the bunch is from a book we recently took out from the library on making maple syrup called Maple Syrup Season.  Pawpaw does wear glasses so we might have finally found a match!

DSC_0433 enh R

The interesting thing to note here is that all four of these characters have a beard.

Pawpaw does not have a beard,

See?  No beard.

Pawpaw RW

Perhaps what Sweetey Petey is trying to say is that Pawpaw should grow a beard.  I dunno.  My two cents.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What do you think?  Should Pawpaw grow a beard?  Which of these characters looks MOST like Pawpaw?

I hear Super Bowl was the other day.

I say hear because I didn’t watch it.

Nope.  I didn’t watch the Super Bowl.  Nor did I throw a fun party or cook any kind of food whatsoever.  The Husband didn’t even have beer to drink while I made him watch The Bowl alone because we were travelling that weekend and the Stop-N-Rob we stopped at on the way home didn’t sell alcohol on Sundays.  Womp womp wooooooomp.

What I ran across at Rural King (which we went to for fun on Sunday because well, Rural King is awesome) erases all the guilt in my not-caring-about-football-one-bit-self.  Okay, it fixes the food part, not the beer part.  But The Husband had a few bottles of his hard apple cider laying around and he has a good imagination so he just pretended it was beer and all was well.

So, what did I run across at Rural King that got me so excited?  No, it wasn’t the toy drill or mini oven I bought for upcoming birthday parties.  It was the answer for lazy non-party throwers everywhere.

It was chips.

Chips that taste like food.

Chips that taste like party food.

Here we go.

Buffalo Wings.  You just CANNOT have a Super Bowl party without Buffalo Wings!

photo (36) RW

Cheese Burgers.  If wings aren’t your thing, there’s always Cheeseburgers.

photo (40) RW

Barbeque Ribs!!!!

photo (42) RW

Even the Baby Back kind of Ribs.

photo (38) RW

For those with a bigger Super Bowl budget, how about Steak!

photo (37) RW

Vegetarian?  We have Fried Dill Pickles.

photo (41) RW

And Potato Salad.  I mean, Tater Salad.

photo (43) RW

There’s even Horseradish and Cheddar cheese dip.  And since it’s already in chip form, there’s no need to dip chips in it.  It’s like one stop Super Bowl party shopping.

photo (39) RW

I think that covers all the bases.  What more food could you possibly need at a non-Super Bowl party??

Besides beer of course.

– Joanna

P.S.  In case you missed it, I have a book giveaway going on through this Saturday so go enter.  It just takes one comment.

P.P.S.  If you are more adventurous, there is ANOTHER book giveaway going on over at Cooking Dangerously.  The Father-in-Law might want to avoid this one.  It’s perhaps not his cup of cow tongue tea.  That’s not what the book is about though.  At least I don’t think so.  Well, it might be.

Question of the Day:  What did you eat while watching The Bowl?  Is it okay I’m calling it The Bowl?