It occurs to me as I start this post that today’s Throwback Thursday picture may not, in fact, be all that interesting to you.  Sorry if that’s the case but I’m running with it anyway.  It’s already scanned and PicMonkeyed and I’m here with a half hour to kill before I need my morning shower so it’s happening whether you like it or not.

In the interest (gotta get “interest” in this post somewhere amiright?) let me present an ultra exciting picture  . . . of the living room in my childhood house.

Ta da!

First House Living Room PM RW

Wow.  I know, right?  E.X.C.I.T.I.N.G.

This is currently relevant to me for a few reasons.

One.  The desk on the far left and the curio cabinet in the bottom left corner are going to my sister.  This is mostly relevant because as I type this I’ve been discussing with mom and dad how to get those pieces the two hours to my sister’s house.  We are all scheduled to head that way for my niece’s 8th birthday this weekend (don’t forget I prescheduled these Throwback Thursday posts so don’t bother wishing the tike Happy Birthday because it was months ago.  If all goes well I’ll have done a quick birthday recap on the blog already and if I’m not too lazy I’ll go back and link it here.  Is the “here” in a different color and underlined?  If so- GO ME!  If not – well, I suck and my niece had a birthday.)  so it seems like a good time to formulate a plan on how to get the furniture there.

Two.  Above the desk is an old style metal world map.  I recently ran across a similar piece at the local consignment store and came *this close* to shelling out $50 for it.  My folks no longer have this map to pass on to me and I like to have pieces around the home that remind me of something.  My only hesitation was (aside from the price) I have no place to hang it.  I already have a pile of art that needs a home, some with much more sentimental value than a metal map.  So I passed.  Still, for some reason, I always liked that map.

Here’s what I find so interesting about this picture.

The decor, obviously.  Dark maroon carpeting?  Drop ceiling?  Paneled wall?  Wallpapered wall?  Fake flower arrangements in those rusty brown tones you only see in old photographs?  Yes please!  Fun stuff.

Also, there are encyclopedias on the bookshelf.  ACTUAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS!!  Does Wikipedia know these used to exist?

The furniture piece on the right is a credenza . . . I just learned the other day that my Father-in-Law doesn’t know what a credenza is.  If he’s reading this post, now he does.

Supposedly my dad built the bookshelves and closet you see at the back . . . and was told under penalty of death they had better be done right.  I think they look nice, don’t you?  Dad also painted the fall scene that is hanging above the credenza although you can’t really see it here.

The last interesting thing to note was that this room was an add-on and for years took in water like a toddler sucks up juice.  That’s a lot of water for all you folks without kids.  As a kid myself I recall it was kinda fun to walk around barefoot on the squishy carpet after a torrential downpour.  I’d imagine the folks thought it was less fun.

And that’s all I’ve got today!  Since I have about four months of these Throwback Thursday posts prescheduled, I’m going to take a break and start scheduling some Random Picture of the Day posts for a while.  See you on the flip side.  Did I really just type that?

– Joanna

Question of the Day – So tell me, have you liked the Throwback Thursday series?  Be honest, I can take it.  Try not to judge the whole series on one boring photograph though mmmm K?

I have no idea why I titled this Throwback Thursday post “Gramps” . . . I don’t recall ever calling my grandpa that.  He was always just Grandpa (insert last name here which is my maiden name which unless we went to grade school together – Hi Mavis! – is totally irrelevant.)

So here’s my Grandpa.

Grandpa PM RW

I have a pretty sweet picture of him in his uniform from his Navy days, but I don’t have the time right now to dig through the external hard drive looking for the scan.  I like this pic of Grandpa mostly for the cool old car.  That makes, what, three Throwback Thursday car posts now?  I also like the fact that people dressed better back in the day.  We weren’t all running around in jeans or yoga pants all the time.  The Husband often comments he longs for the days when people wore hats everyday.   And not baseball hats or even gentleman farmer hats.  Hats like fedora’s.  I can get behind that.

At the job I loved before Sweetey was born, all my coworkers wore suits each day to work.  There is something so traditional and fabulous about coming to work and seeing all your friends in suits.  There was something also pretty fabulous about seeing said suited men cleaning the bathrooms when it was their day too, but we can talk about that some other day.

But I’ve segued, this post is about Grandpa.

So, Grandpa.  I spent more time with my family on mom’s side than dad’s side so I didn’t know Grandpa as well as I could have.  He loved to play cards and we played Gin Rummy a lot, sitting on the creamy colored and creaky rusted old two seater swing on his front porch.  He also loved postage stamps!  I went through a phase where I wanted to have something in common with Grandpa and collected stamps for awhile there too.  To this day if I see a cool stamp on an envelope I cut it off and toss it into a wooden box and think of him.  Grandpa used to work on his stamps in his basement on an old metal desk with floor laminate curling up on the open shelves.  I wish I could have taken that desk for my garage, just for sentiment, but when we cleaned out my grandparents house I had no place to put it.  Besides, an old metal desk is an awfully large item to hold onto just for sentiments sake.  So I think it stayed with the house.

I did keep many of the contents of that desk though and I have them boxed neatly into a plastic bin.  It’s odd to think of every material possession and link to years of memories I have of Grandpa being stored into one modest bin.  Although I have no memories linked to the wooden gavel I found.  Why did Grandpa have a wooden gavel???  I guess this will always remain a mystery.

– Joanna

Oh!  One more quick thing.  My poodle, The Snoops, came into my life the day after my grandfather passed away.

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite memory of your grandfather?  

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?

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 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?


If you are a long time reader, or know even the most minuscule detail about me, you know I love my Jeep.  You also know I stopped driving it full time when Sweetey Petey was born.  You probably also know this was hard for me.  Even though I’m now driving a Toyota daily, I will always always be a Jeep girl at heart.

And also on the weekends since I refuse to sell it.

It’s not worth much anymore and as long as The Husband has his motorcycle on the side, I’m having my Jeep on the side as well.  Besides, this is the one vehicle we own that is in my name and my name alone (the title is still in my maiden name at that.) so it’s not going anywhere till I am good and ready.

I secretly harbor hopes of keeping it up and giving it a pretty new paint job and letting Sweetey Petey drive it in 14 years.  The Husband thinks I’m nuts on this account and makes comments like “well, don’t worry, we will at least keep it through the winter.”  Keep in mind I scheduled these Throwback Thursday posts in advance so it’s January for me.  So he means the current winter which is your past winter.  Ha!  Silly man.  I’m not selling my Jeep.  Ever.

Sweetey Petey LOVES playing in my parked Jeep, can say Jeep and can even recognize them from other vehicles.  I think the two are destined to be together, don’t you?

But where did my love of Jeeps begin?  It began with the very first car I learned to drive on.

Jeep Blue PM RW

Isn’t she pretty?  She broke down a lot (and I mean all the time) but I won’t hold that against her.

I loved the steering wheel.  I don’t know why, I just did.

Jeep Blue Inside PM RW

She was the perfect height, the perfect size, clean cut and trim and fun to drive.  She was my mother’s car but mom eventually gave her to me when she upgraded to a newer vehicle.  So I drove her part time through highschool and full time through most of college.

When it became time for me to upgrade as well, naturally I went the Jeep route.  A slightly newer body style (mostly seen in the interior and with a slightly more polished exterior) but pretty much the same Jeep I knew and loved.

Wanna see just how much of the same car?

Jeeps 2 PM RW

Yup.  Practically identical.

Jeeps PM RW

I love my new to me Toyota, but if my Jeep was still a functional family car you’d better believe I’d still be driving it every damn day.  Jeep stopped making the Cherokee in 2001 and JUST started again this year.  It looks nothing like it used to so I’ve never even considered upgrading.

Believe it or not, I get offers to buy my Jeep all the time.  Guys at the oil change place, repair men fixing something at the house.  Our friend Dwayne has been bugging Mike for months to sell it to him for his daughter.  Ain’t gonna happen.  We belong together and my baby is staying put.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What color car do you drive?  Why? 

Ahhhh Throwback Thursday . . . where a girl can poke fun at herself while secretly showcasing a side of herself she is rather proud of.  You might not think the word “proud” would come up in a blog post entitled “Toilet Paper Bride” but we’ve all got those idiosyncrasies that are individual only to ourselves.

Today’s pictures come from a time honored bridal shower tradition . . . the toilet paper bride.  Where women get together and poke some good natured fun at the sacrament of marriage by draping themselves in paper reserved solely for the posterior.  When you think about it, it’s a rather bizarre tradition, albeit a fun one.

This was my sister’s bridal shower.  A bridal shower I planned, I might add, meaning I chose this game.  Self serving?  Perhaps.  I’ll admit I was beyond excited to be wrapped head to foot in Charmin and this particular milestone in my life fulfilled my deeply buried desire of being a fashion model.  It’s the sky high heels that kept me away from this aspiration.  Oh, and my thighs of course. 

So while I was no Gisele Bundchen, I do think I rocked the look.

TP Bride 3 PM RW

The stars I added in PicMonkey help sell it too, don’t ya think?   All the models are Photoshopped these days anyway.

I like the sash here as well.  It’s very supermodel meets small town prom queen.  Or supermodel meets trash day.  Whichever.

TP Bride 1 PM RW

And just for authenticity, a picture of me holding a roll of toilet paper.

TP Bride 2 PM RW

Perhaps these pictures are a smidge embarrassing.  Perhaps I love them anyway and am totally proud to have been a bathroom runway model for a half hour.

Besides, it wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as the game where I made my sister, the bride, put on an entire suitcase full of random and odd clothing . . . while blindfolded.  Now that was embarrassing.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Ladies, have you ever been to a bridal shower?  What games did you play?

. . . but my sister was.  At least for a little while.

Ballerina PM RW

I don’t know that this particular phase lasted all that long in her life but there is clearly photographic evidence that at one point she had ballerina aspirations.

I just watched a Glee episode where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character said that all little girls dream of being a ballerina when they are little.  I can’t recall every having that dream specifically but I did like to dance around the house.  I might still like to.  Shhhhhh don’t tell.

While we’re here and because at some point you all might start to get bored with these Throwback Thursday posts, here’s another cute one of me and my sis.

Sisters PM RW

Dang I was cute, wasn’t I???  And those pigtails?  To die for.  I hope I can master the art of doing a little girl’s hair.  I stink at my own and this is definitely one fear I have of having a girl.

Must.  Master.  The.  Pigtail.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Did you want to be a ballerina when you were little?  The guys can answer this one too if they want . . . I look forward to whatever funny witticism the Father-in-Law comes up with here.  

This is a random Throwback Thursday picture with absolutely no meaning in my life whatsoever.  I honestly don’t even know where or when it was taken or what it was supposed to be taken of.

Old Cars PM RW

My best guess, based on the pile it was in, is that my dad took it.  Again, I have no idea why.  I included it here because I liked seeing the old cars.  Plus, when I ran it through PicMonkey I absolutely adored where the light flares and sun spots hit.  So it feels a little retro and artsy to me.

Short and sweet today.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What kind of car do you drive?  What was your very first car?  

I have to say, I’m really enjoying doing these Throwback Thursday posts all at once and scheduling them in advance . . . although I feel like I am cheating a little bit on the current Midwestern Bite.  The Midwestern Bite of Tuesday, January 7th.  We’re at the tail end of a record setting cold spell around these parts so hopefully this is my last of three days housebound.  Tomorrow is supposed to shoot up in the 30’s and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  I love winter and all, but it’s a whole new ballgame when you have small children to consider.  I can’t drag Sweetey Petey out in sub zero temperatures just because I have cabin fever.  I’m a little like my Father-in-Law in that respect – while I appreciate home, I can’t stand sitting around it all day.  I need at least a few hours of outside stimulation.

Cold weather talk aside, how is May treating you all?  I’m scheduling this post for May 29 so I bet it’s pretty dang nice out there.

Ok, ok, back to it.  Here’s a picture of me I really like and let me tell you why.

Aquarium PM RW

This picture is very indicative of me from back in the day.

One – Long jackets.  Anybody familiar with the song from Cake called “Short Skirt Long Jacket”?  I love that band and I love that song.  Cutesy long jackets used to be my thing, my bag, my schtick and I totally rocked them for years.  I just ran across this particular jacket a few months ago and I’m pretty sure I finally donated it.  It’s not like it fit anymore, but I have a tendency to hold onto things for sentimental reasons.  It was adorable.  Tuxedo black with skinny, shiny, barely there silver stripes.

Two – While we are talking about wardrobe, you can’t miss the bare belly here.  Remember when that was a thing?  Now that I’m in my thirties I’m really glad it’s NOT still a thing, but back then?  Yeah, I had my share of shorty shirts.  We all have our body issues and wish we could make changes to something about ourselves, that’s human nature I suppose.  This picture always reminds me of a part of myself I’ve never wished to change.  Skinnier thighs?  Heck yes.  Easier to manage hair?  Hell to the yeah!  But I’ve never felt subconscious about my waistline.  I find it ironic to be typing that now considering I am almost seven months pregnant and don’t currently have a waistline.  There’s nothing wrong with celebrating our positives amiright?  I’m right.

Three – Gym Shoes.  I’m not the kind of girl to wear impractical stiletto heels to walk around an aquarium (that’s where this picture was taken in case you can’t tell) for hours just for fashion’s sake.  Sure, I like cute shoes just as much as the next woman does but I’m not about to sacrifice my feet for them.  That brings me to point four.

Four – The aquarium.  I love fish and I love the aquarium.  I have an entire gallery wall in my house dedicated to fish art.  I had an aquarium pass for years in my college days.  I have GOBS of fish ornaments to adorn my Christmas tree.  I named my dog Koi after a fish.  I.  Love.  Fish.  They are also quite tasty, if I might add.

That’s all for today.  Enjoy your last few days in May my friends!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What is one thing you love about yourself?  It’s okay to toot your own horn every now and again.