Thanks to the Father-in-Law for pitch hitting here… and thanks to IMDB for their film pics.

Here I am again dear reader.  Joanna seems a bit busy these days so she may not mind if I take up some of her cyber space for a while.  Today I’d like to take you for a stroll down movie memory lane.  Before ten million dollar special effects became the norm, it was the acting that carried the load in movies.  Most of the films I’m going to suggest are probably older than most of you that are reading this, so you may have missed them.

I’m assuming Netflix or your local library would have many of them.  Movies, like songs, tend to bring back pleasant memories of high school dates or weekends with friends.  I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed a tear or two at the movies.  Fourteen dollar tubs of popcorn and nine dollar sodas just do that to me.  So, in no particular order or category, here is my list of must see films:

Love Story

Love Story –  (1970) This is the ultimate chick flick starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neil.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  Have several handkerchiefs handy.

The Graduate

The Graduate – (1967)  Hello Mrs. Robinson!  Anne Bancroft (the original cougar) and Dustin Hoffman create an awkward love triangle. The Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack is icing on this brilliant coming of age cake.

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy –  (1969)  Another Dustin Hoffman hit.  This time he teams up with Jon Voight (you know, Angelina’s dad).  Their characters are compelling!

Midnight Express

Midnight Express – (1978)  OK, one midnight movie brings to mind this somewhat newer one.  It’s an early Oliver Stone film depicting the grim fate of a young man caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey.  You’ve wondered what life would be like in a Turkish prison, haven’t you?  Not for the faint of heart, this one.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead – (1968) – This indy black and white thriller was panned for being too violent and gory.  Zombies weren’t as popular back then.  You’ve wondered what a meal of intestines would look like haven’t you?  (A shout out to Ann from “Cooking Dangerously” here.)  Don’t miss one of the best endings in movie history!  Made with a budget of just over $100,000, it grossed over thirty million.  I helped that along by seeing it four times.  (Hey, I wanted all of my girlfriends to see it!)  I haven’t seen the new remake, I’m sticking with the original.

Animal House

Animal House –  (1978)  I know, you’ve seen this one many times but we have to include it on any list of movies to watch.  John Belushi’s “College” sweatshirt is as famous as the film!

Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke – (1967)  Strother Martin’s famous line of “what we have here is a failure to communicate” puts Paul Newman in a world of hurt in this southern prison farm movie.  Life on a chain gang at its finest.

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood – (1967)  Based on a true story, the movie starred Robert Blake back when he only pretended to kill people.  This Truman Capote film tells the story of two drifters who hold a rural family hostage after a botched robbery attempt and try to decide what to do with them.

So this is my short list.  It looks like the gory and action flicks may have outnumbered the love stories but I feel each of them is worthy of your time.  As the late Roger Ebert used to say, “See you at the movies”!

– Father-in-Law

Question of the Day:  What’s Your Favorite Movie?  Have you seen any of these movies?  Which of these movies are you most likely to watch?


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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

Please enjoy a post from the Father-in-Law.

Belt RW

I recently attended Alton Brown’s show “The Incredible Edible Tour” which played at our local university’s beautiful new performing arts center (which even though I taught there for thirty-five years was NOT named after me – but that’s another post).  All eleven hundred seats were sold out, showing the popularity of this Food Network star.  Most people became fans when his “Good Eats” show aired, then as host of “Iron Chef America” he added even more admirers.


Since I don’t consider myself a foodie fan of slicing and dicing weird and unpronounceable substances, I was a bit worried that I would be in for an evening of close-camera shots of sauteing octopus suction cups.  Not to worry – Alton’s blend of scientific humor, surprisingly good musical talents, and comedic stage props kept me entertained throughout the two hour show (with one intermission).

The show was based upon a list of “Ten Things I’m Pretty Sure I Think I Know About Food”, several songs he wrote about food (playing guitar and saxophone) with two other musicians, and two cooking experiments using giant inventions which made jet powered ice cream and baked pizza.

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His many hilarious stories included one where, as a beginning baker in a fancy Atlanta bakery, ruined one hundred and fifty pounds of dough early one morning.  In order to hide this from his boss who hadn’t arrived yet, he carried it out to a dumpster in three garbage bags behind the store.  Several hours later in the hot Atlanta sun, the dough had risen to fill the entire dumpster and oozed out over the sides of it (the story now having an accompanying video of yeast sock puppets on a giant overhead screen with much burping and flatulence).

Several of the things on his top ten list included things like “Chickens Don’t Have Fingers”.  A pet peeve of his is his daughter always wanting to eat chicken fingers when he has told her repeatedly that they really don’t have fingers.  She asked him to prepare them for a sleep-over she had once while in the fifth grade so he went to a Korean meat market in Atlanta and bought two dozen chicken feet.  He boiled them (leaving the toenails on them in case the girls wanted to use them as toothpicks when they were finished eating) and presented them with a flourish (presentation is EVERYTHING) to a group of shrieking girls.  He received four phone calls the next day from angry mothers of traumatized little girls.

Another item on his list was “Buy American Food”.  He is not a believer in oranges from Chile or veggies from China.  The United States has better quality control and if you eat seasonal foods there’s no need to ever buy foreign food.

Dirty Veggies RW

He’s also surprisingly against paying more for organic and free range food (unless you’re a farmer doing all of this yourself). His reasoning is that these definitions are still rather vague and people sell all kinds of stuff with these labels just to get a bit deeper into your wallet.

His most important point of the whole evening was “The Most Important Thing In A Kitchen Is The Table”.  Food is about bringing people together to enjoy it.  Friends and family gathered around the table will create more lasting memories than anything even the most accomplished cook can prepare.

So, for a thoroughly enjoyable evening find a venue close to you while Alton’s still on tour.  Just don’t ask for chicken fingers.

– Father-in-Law

For more posts by The Father-in-Law, please check out The Old Man Cave.

Question of the Day:  Who is your favorite celebrity chef?  Would you rather eat chicken fingers or chicken feet?

Please enjoy a guest post by The Father-in-Law . . . and as always interspersed with random pictures by moi.  – Joanna

I seem to have a little free time so here comes some more fun facts and friends.  I won’t take credit (or blame) for all of them but want to share these pearls of wisdom with you.

B & W father and son pic

FUN FACT – When George Washington was asked to show some ID he just whipped out a quarter.

I have a friend who hasn’t spoken to his wife in years, he doesn’t want to interrupt her.  Since he’s been married he doesn’t date much.  He used to date a girl with a lazy eye but broke up with her because she was seeing someone on the side.

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In thinking about my blog header the other day I tried to narrow down the theme of my blog.  I know I’m not a mommy blogger or a food blogger or a healthy living blogger.  What I came up with was satire.  Food satire, when I’m being true to my roots, and photography with a little life, DIY and house stuff thrown in.  If you toss in The Husband’s regular contributions I’d also have to include “gentleman farmer” (his words, not mine.)  Clearly that makes for a complicated mess.  I’m no gentleman after all.

Articles I’ve read say consistency is key to blogging.  ‘Sota is Sexy brings the funny no matter what she blogs about.  Abby Has Issues brings the wit.  Aly brings food and LOTS of it.  Ann brings danger.  Oooooooooh.  I could go on.

So when I sat down to write a satirical post about squash, it occurred to me that squash isn’t funny.  Squash isn’t funny at all.

It certainly wasn’t funny to our Friend Patrick and his family months ago when we had them over for dinner and their acorn squash sat, for the most part, completely untouched on their plates.  Since our guests willingly ate the bizarre Sour Cream Raisin Pie I had made for dessert I can only surmise it was the squash’s fault for being just that unappealing (seriously, those things are hard to peel.)  Apparently even more unappealing than Sour Cream Raisin Pie.

We had another group of friends over last week (hi Julie, do you read this blog? I have no idea) and I had seven squash sitting on the counter.  Julie remarked that other than tasting purees with the kids she had never really eaten squash before.

Squash RW

My mom confessed she never ate the stuff growing up so it’s not really on her radar.  Mom’s never met a vegetable she didn’t like so in her defense I feel confident she would eat squash every day if I cooked it and served it to her.  Hell, I’d eat pretty much anything if somebody else cooked it for me.  Anybody else get tired of cooking every dang day?  Sorry, I’ve segued there.

My in-laws?  We shouldn’t even talk about them.  They do not eat anything they’ve never had before and there is absolutely no changing them.

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As promised, please enjoy a guest post by the Father-in-Law on Amish animal auctions.  It will either make you want to be a vegetarian or buy your very own cow.  Whichever.

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Which is it? Stay out or enter at your own risk??

As promised (threatened?) here’s part two of our Amish adventures. In my last post I gave you a look into the culture clash of living near or among the Amish.  This time I’ll give you an insider’s peek into one of the cornerstones of their business and social world, the animal auction.

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Here in Ohio’s Amish country there is a sale day Monday through Friday in little towns throughout the county.  It’s a chance to sell or buy some livestock, meet with seldom seen neighbors and relatives, and gives the wives and kids a chance to see some of a world larger than their farms.  Special animal wagons are used to transport the cattle, sheep, goats and hogs to and from the auction. Some sales have a smaller side auction that will sell anything you may want to bring in. Pies, kittens, rabbits, summer squash, roosters and laying hens, out of date canned goods or boxes of stale potato chips.  These smaller venues keep the womenfolk busy while the husband is tending to the more important livestock decisions.

Inside the animal auction barn you’re met with a cacophony of sounds and a wide range of odors.  It’s not for the faint of heart.

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 *Please enjoy another guest post by the Father-in-Law.

Sign RW

By living near America’s largest Amish settlements, I’ve been able to act as tour guide to various visitors to our area of Ohio. (Contrary to popular belief, Ohio has more Amish than Pennsylvania, they just get more publicity.)  Joanna gets to see more and more of their lifestyle each time she visits us.  I may have overloaded her with a full two-day tour this past weekend.  I feel fairly competent to give these tours as I’ve associated with many of them through various jobs I’ve had during my younger days.  I delivered Nehi pop (not “soda” for you city slickers) for several years to blacksmith, harness, and buggy shops well off the beaten path of tourism.  I came to know their families and was welcomed into their midst.  Joanna made the mistake of mentioning to me that I should write a post about them for those of you who may not have had much contact with them.  Rather than go through a lengthy listing of their rules and beliefs (which you can easily find online), I thought I’d tell you a bit about culture clashes between them and their English (non-Amish) neighbors.

Amish dolls RW

Since I know for SURE that they won’t be using a computer to read this I’ll tell it like it is.

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Typically the first Friday of the month is Thrift Gift Facelift reveal.

However Supermom and I have decided to postpone it until next Friday.

The thing is Supermom has been Jonesing for a certain kind of mirror finish spray paint to use on her project.  She scoured the town from craft stores to hobby stores to superstores with no luck.

Mike and I went to visit his folks for a few days and I just so happened to run across her mirror finish spray paint.  In Amish country.  Amish country.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The other thing is I have yet to get the spray paint to her.

Hence the postponing.

Also next week will be a guest post by the Father-in-Law.  I’m thinking Monday for that.  It’s not the livestock auction I promised you, but a frank look at how some locals view their Amish neighbors.  I think it just makes sense to give an overview before getting into specifics.  Now I have all weekend to dig out some appropriate pictures.  And have a root beer float because I really want a root beer float.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: When you read or say the word “Jonesing” do you always think of “Jones” the soda?  I do.  Have a lovely weekend.

*Please enjoy a HILARIOUS guest post from the Father-in-Law.  Seriously, I think it may be his best post yet.  For his other works of genius, please check out the Man Cave page.*


I know, my spellcheck didn’t like the title either but this is about garage saleing, not boat sailing.  Besides, they now make motors for boats (and bikes too), so that wind and human powered stuff is old hat.  Speaking of old hats, I know just where you can get them.  Joanna has alluded to my penchant for a good garage (or tag, yard, porch) sale.  It’s true that I have been to my share, but only because people give me a list of items they want and it’s the retiree equivalent of a scavenger hunt.

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Let me share some knowledge I’ve gained over the years – and introduce you to some characters I’ve met along the way.  I’ve discovered that there are four types of garage sales.

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Please enjoy a guest post by the Father-In-Law interspersed with pictures of chalk masterpieces and driveway fun.  You’re welcome on both counts.  – Joanna
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Here I am again dear readers with a little time on my hands.  Today I think I’ll talk a bit about personalities.  Although we’ve all probably met people who seem not to have one, researchers adhere to the philosophy of a pioneer in personality typing, Dr. John Holland.
Cozy Coupe Petey
In a previous life, in between teaching mechanical engineering classes, I was also the director of career services at a major Ohio university.  I found it interesting to test incoming students and try to match a major to their personality type.  The downside of this is I immediately place each person I meet into one of the six Holland personality types.  Assuring you that you will fit into one of the following personality descriptions, I hope you’ll enjoy trying to decide which personality you have.

The actual test to determine personalities is a ten page, multiple choice, “preference” test which takes about thirty minutes to complete.  Let’s explore the six Holland personalities and see who you are.

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