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?

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.

For Throwback Thursday I’d like to share a picture of my grandmother’s house and a few quick memories.

Grandmas House PM RW

For the record, I always thought grandma’s house looked like a duck.  It’s yellow.  With a duck bill and two eyes.  You can see it right???  Please say yes.

Anyway, my sister and I spent a lot of time at grandma’s house during the summers when mom was working her part time chemist gig.  Grandma never drove so we took lots of walks down to the ice cream shop.  My favorite treat was always a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in butterscotch.  You know, the shell stuff that hardens.  Yum.  I still think about those ice cream cones from time to time.

Grandma also used to let my sister and I play with her spice collection.  We would pour water into little white bowls and dump in various spices to make patterns.  Now that I have my own house and my own kitchen and know how much spices cost it mortifies me that she let us do this!  Spices are expensive people.  She must have really loved us.

Grandma taught us the value of hard work as she paid us a quarter to wash her dishes for her.  I’d like to think my labor was worth more, but I guess she had to compensate for the spice usage.

A fun tidbit is that my grandmother was physically born in this house.  Not only was she born there in what I knew as the dining room, but she lived there her entire life except for a few months (or maybe a year or two) when she got married.  Her and grandpa eventually moved back (I want to say to care for an ill parent but I’m not 100% sure on this account.)  Can you imagine living in the same house for over 70 years????  Crazy.

This house is bigger than it looks.  It’s a two family (although when I knew grandma it was only set up as a single family), three story with a full basement.

My sister used to say “up-a-deo” when she wanted to go upstairs to play.

Doors used to creak open by themselves and I swear grandma’s house was haunted.  My mother used to tell me not to worry about it because while yes, lots of people had died in that house, they were all family so it was no big deal and they wouldn’t hurt me.

Last but not least my grandmother used to let my sister and I break an ENTIRE LOAF OF BREAD into small pieces and throw it in the backyard for the birds.  Literally hundreds of birds would swoop down and nibble at the scraps we had tossed.  I’m not kidding you, the entire yard would be covered in birds!

Fond memories of my grandmother.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Did you spend much time at your grandparents when you were a kid?