Throwback Thursday: Highlights from 1997

In the fall of 1997, I was a senior in high school. I was not academically inclined, so I had quite a few study hall periods between all my art classes. If I wasn’t hard at work on my next weekly sketch, I was bent over a spiral notebook, spilling my deepest thoughts onto the page.

Here’s a glimpse into my mind at that time. My thoughts of today are in italics.

9.17.97 It’s D-lunch study hall again and I have nothing to do. Ok, so I was dreaming about our future house, my room specifically and I want to paint the ceiling a dark purplish blue color and get a ton of those little sticky glow in the dark stars to put on it. That would be SO cool. Ok, I legit think this would still look really cool. What can I say, I’m 7 years old at heart. Still, the idea of painting over that is what keeps me from ever doing it. 

9.18.97 I really have to go to the bathroom- if you know what I mean. I feel like my hair is absolutely repulsive. It’s funny, I’m always so concerned about what I look like but I never notice much about what other people look like. I don’t know what I meant by the first sentence. Maybe I had to go #2. And my hair was pretty much the best it was ever going to look in those days.

9.24.97 People really need to come equipped with brake lights, turn signals and warning signs. After walking to study hall, weaving my way in and out of clumps of slow or non-moving people, I wish there was some way to know what the person in front of me was planning to do. It’s very annoying to be walking behind someone who keeps slowing down, or worse yet, spins around to go in a different direction. Maybe I’m just a klutz, but I crash into so many people, it’s ridiculous. This was before I was a licensed driver, and so I did not know then that all the turn signals, brake lights and signage in the world would still not help you really know what the hell the slowing driver in front of you is going to do.


My proprietary design for adding signaling features to humans beings… and apparently removing their hands in the process.

10.6.17  Well, it’s been a while since I wrote. I really don’t feel much like writing, but Mrs. Hadeka says that 95% of what even the greatest writers write is just junk. So here I am trying to make the 95% junk.  This is great! I’ve definitely kept up cranking out a lot of junk over the years. 

11.5.97 I was just walking down the hallway and I came around the corner and this girl was talking to a teacher about some quiz or something. The teacher said “92” and the girl went “YES!” and pulled back her arm. I was thinking how funny it would be if she elbowed me as I walked by. I still crack myself up with these kinds of thoughts…. like “what if such and such happened?” and then I will laugh to myself and people wonder about me. 


11.6.97 Well, my skirt is coming along pretty good (disregarding the fact that I had to stop working on it because it got stuck in the sewing machine and I can’t get it out.) I laughed so hard I cried when I read this just now. That skirt was a sexy crushed blue velvet number that I was so proud of once I got it unstuck from the sewing machine. I wore it for years!

12.16.97 This morning was a bit weird.  had to make up the Chem test that I missed last week, and the sophs who were in the classroom when I went in were dissecting fetal pigs. Ewww. What a horrible thing to do. What do they do, get a pregnant sow and open her up and take out the fetus? What do they do with the sow? Eat her? How gross! That makes me so sad. What is up with the world today? Yes, I was a bit naive at this time. I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind that sows actually had litters of piglets, so it wasn’t like a one-fetal-pig-per-sow ratio. And duh, they obviously would have gotten them from the meat-packing industry when they killed the pregnant sows. Of course I still think it’s a horrible practice, but we’ve got a long way to go before people give up their precious meats.

Well, that in a nutshell was my view of the world in 1997. Pretty sheltered, yes. Of course I left out a lot of my deepest blatherings… the “Why doesn’t he like me as much as I like him?”, and “I can’t believe I thought he liked me, I’m so stupid.” Ya’ll don’t need to be reading that.

Throwback Thursday: The Cheese Lamp

I grew up in the house my grandfather built in the mid 1950’s.  The decor ranged from mid century modern to 70’s funk. We had some interesting stuff, to say the least.

In my bedroom, which had a multi-colored animal-print shag rug (it had been the t.v. room before I came along), there hung a lamp.  A hideous, orange, ceramic pendant lamp with various sized holes punched through it.  My parents called it  the cheese lamp.


This is not OUR cheese lamp, but the closest I could find via Google search!

I remember this lamp clearly because it scared me.  At night, bathed in the glow of my Winnie-the-Pooh night light, this lamp was pure evil.  The holes were like dark eyes watching me from across the room.

One night I dreamed that my parents were zombies, and my mom had this lamp stuck on her head, the heavy metal chain wrapping around her body.

Not long after that, the lamp came down.  It lived in the utility room for a while, sitting up on a shelf between jars of nails and curls of sand paper.  At some point it disappeared, hopefully to the dump, because otherwise it will haunt some other young child.

Seriously, who’s idea was it to make a lampshade out of ceramic? It must have been insanely heavy, not to mention opaque, so it would only let light shine out of the holes and the bottom. Dumb.

Another thing that I found creepy in that house were the light switches that lit up when turned off. At night, when the house was dark and I looked down the stairs into the living room, I could see these amber-lit switches glowing like the eyes of a menacing beast.

I suppose I can be thankful that the scariest things in my childhood were lamps and light switches, and that I had to imagine monsters, rather than actually face them.

Was there anything that scared you in your childhood home?

Throwback Thursday – Papers from the Past

Lately I’ve been on a roll going through old papers and either taking pics of them or scanning them and then CHUCKING THEM!

It feels so good to be rid of the excess stuff, and since I’m preserving it digitally, I don’t feel so torn about throwing it out. Of course, there is still the arduous task of organizing all the digital files, but I think I can handle it.

I’ve found quite a few gems which I look forward to sharing and expounding upon further in this blog.  I just wrote a post for my Daily Art Challenge page, sharing a nursery rhyme I illustrated in college.

Maybe it’s simply nostalgia, but I feel a strong connection to this goofy girl I once was. Check out some of my drawings from 2nd grade (age 7)


I think the deer on the right is actually quite well executed for a 7-year old.

I don’t know why I was always writing “See” next to stuff. How demanding! Also, not to psychoanalyze my past self, but what’s going on with my hand in the drawing? And my teeth?


I’m pretty sure there was some tracing involved in this one.

I wrote “Look!” at the top of this page and then must have decided against it. I was cracking up when I took a closer look at the audience. We have an exuberant vocalizer on the left, then a guy with T-Rex arms in the middle, and what appears to be a completely armless girl in a bikini on the end.


Throwback Thursday – Little House on the Prairie

If I’ve ever loved anything in my life it has been the Little House books. Last year, my mom gave me a new book, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, and I was once again able to connect with a kindred spirit from so long ago.

The book contains some early drafts of Little House in the Big Woods, and reading them just melts my heart. I intensely relate to the feeling of being a tiny girl in a big, vast world and being so eager to learn about it all. I just want to transport myself to that little cabin, even though in real life it probably smelled weird, had fleas and was dead boring during those long winter days.


Notice the taped-on covers of Little House on the Prairie and The Long Winter… those books got a lot of love!

I don’t even know how many times I read Little House on the Prairie. I remember my mom giving it to me one evening and telling me that it was a story she thought I would like about a little girl during the pioneer days. Right away, I fell in love with Laura and Pa’s adventurous spirits, and the thought of being able to explore the wild, undeveloped woods and prairies of early America.

As I grew up, we would often look back and laugh at some of the situations described which would now be considered highly inappropriate for a children’s book – Ma describing Indians as savages, Laura demanding that she wanted to have the Indian baby with the beady black eyes, the scene with Pa in blackface… (I had NO idea what that was about and didn’t even comprehend that it was a racial thing until like, 20 years later.) Not to mention the fact that they built their “little house” in Indian Territory.  Of course, I wouldn’t understand any of these things until much later.


This illustration baffled me as a kid.

Those things never took away from my love of the stories or of the people in them. Times change, and people learn from past mistakes. I will always hold Laura Ingalls Wilder as one of my favorite storytellers and hope to follow in her footsteps with some books of my own someday.

What do you think? Average-Sized Ranch in the Suburbs doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Throwback Thursday: The Incredible Hulk

Last weekend I went up to Vermont to visit my mom. She had some pictures that she’d gotten from my grandmother, so we went through them together and reminisced. 

Many of the pictures I had seen before, but this one here, I don’t think I’d ever seen. 

I must have been about 4 years old. I’m in the “big bathroom,” as we called it. It was pretty sweetly decorated ar that time, as you can see. Years later, once my younger siblings came along, this place was a wreck, with blobs of toothpaste in the sink and a trash can overflowing with paper cups and Q-tips. Ok, so the blame lies mostly with me, as I liked to make potions and experiments with the toiletries. 

Back to the picture. I’m playing with a Fisher Price toy sink. I remember being very into that toy, having always been a fan of water. It had the impressive (to a 4-year old) ability to actually squirt water out of the faucet. It came with a set of dishes, cups and utensils, which I suppose was supposed to teach young girls how to wash dishes or something. Clearly the lesson was lost on me. 

Instead, I was giving my Incredible Hulk action figure a bath. The Hulk had come into my life one day while I was watching cartoons. I don’t remember the details, but I recall masculinity… rage… green muscles tearing through fabric… and I liked it. 

When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said I wanted an Incredible Hulk doll. And on Christmas morning, there he was,  in my stocking. 

All that being said, and despite this photo evidence, I don’t think my relationship with the Hulk went on for very long. I soon moved on to gazing lovingly at the Brawny Paper Towel guy. 

I bet he smells of fresh mountain air and pine sap.

It’s funny the things you remember from childhood. Did you have a crush on a fictional character? Tell me about it! 

The F Word

I’m talking about fear, of course. In going through a stack of paper shoved on a shelf, I found what’s written below. I wrote it a little over 4 years ago, when I was underemployed, drowning in student loans and generally feeling like a loser. You don’t always realize how far you’ve come until you look back at where you once were. Of course I have made mistakes and stumbled in the 4 years since I wrote this, and I am constantly thinking about what I can do to grow and become a better person. In some aspects, I have come a very long way. I now have a job that requires me to keep a grip on my fear and plunge forward, whether I am ready or not.

Feb 13, 2012

It’s weird how fear can hold you back so much. Frustrating, too. When logic and reason tell you that you can do whatever you put your mind to – that you could be a great success with lots of effort and perseverance. Yet those beasts within – fear and self doubt and the inner critic – all come thrashing out to put a stop to any ideas of self improvement or attempts to get somewhere in life.

I have spent the last 4 years of my life battling this trinity of self-destruction. Battling is probably an overstatement. More like, being battered by. It’s not like I’ve never felt these feelings before. In fact, much of my life I have struggled to feel “good enough” for society. But most of my life I’ve had structures in place that kept me moving along the stream of progression.

School: growing up and progressing from grade to grade, completing milestones like “get driver’s license”, “take SAT’s” and “graduate high school” kept me occupied during my formative years.

College: I blindly rolled right on to college right after high school. This is where the beginnings of my “grown up” issues really began. Suddenly it hit me that I was an adult and things from here on out were pretty much up to me. I felt seriously unprepared for this.

Religion: Having grown up with religious guidelines and expectations (Be good. Pray. Find a good man to marry. Have babies. Keep the faith). I was able to keep the self-doubt monster at bay for most of my early life.

Job: During my early 20’s I had a “real” job where I was expected to show up on time every day, dress professionally and perform my duties. In turn, I was rewarded with steady pay, good health insurance and a schedule for my days.

The two pillars of Job + Religion kept me safely enclosed in a box for a few years. Many people (I assume) must feel content in such a box because it seems they spend their entire lives inside the parameters set by religion and their careers. This concept didn’t appeal to me though. I knew there must be more to life and I wanted to experience it.

First, I had to get out of the religion. It wasn’t as simple as ceasing to attend church. My whole social life was that church. My family had been part of it for generations. I’d never even chosen to be part of it. I’d been born into it. Until my 20’s it never even occurred to me that I could leave. Even when I left, I had no intention of finding another church. I wanted out of religion, period. In doing this, I essentially said goodbye to a whole community of friends and ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’. I don’t think I knew just then how brutal that would actually be. Perhaps naively, I had not entirely thought it through. I think I envisioned myself being “not religious” yet somehow continuing to socialize and be welcomed into these people’s homes.

Leaving Christadelphia was like stepping off the edge of a cliff. It was the craziest thing I have ever done, but also the most important decision I made in my life. It took a ton of courage and swallowing my fear to take that step. It took me years to find my footing, and in some ways I am still reeling from the repercussions of that decision, but I do not regret it for one second.

You would think that after making such a bold decision, the rest of my life decisions would have come easy. I would have overcome my fear of failure or rejection or disappointment. Nope. It seems to be one of those things you have to keep pushing.

Just the other day I wrote a list of the things I am afraid of when it comes to writing and sharing my writing publicly. Here goes:

Fear of:

  • failure
  • judgement
  • success
  • looking silly
  • looking dumb
  • being wrong
  • getting ridiculed
  • getting criticized
  • being mocked
  • not being liked
  • being liked too much
  • being seen as arrogant
  • oversharing

Hah – I just threw that last one in there. I don’t want to overshare, but I also am trying to take Brene Brown’s advice of letting oneself be vulnerable. I am going to show up and let myself be seen, as she says.

I am not going to let my fear cockblock my dreams.

Will you come along for the ride?




Throwback Thursday – Thoughts from a 25-Year-Old Me

It’s been a while since I did a TBT post. I pulled a random journal off the shelf to find something to share, and it just so happened to be one from exactly 10 years ago. At the time I wrote this, I had just left the religious group that I’d grown up in, lost my best friend in the process, and was about to quit a well-paying job to go back to school to finish my degree. My world was in turmoil!

I wrote this while I was spending a week in Vermont, watching my brothers while my mom took a trip to London.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I must remember to thank God every day for my awesome family and this amazing place we call home.

Tonight we had taco pie for dinner and then John went to a friend’s house. Nick practiced clarinet while I vacuumed my car (Dave reminded me to). Then we watched Dead Poet’s Society. That movie is so good. It makes me want to read poetry, write poetry and get out there and do a bunch of stuff before life passes by.

I was looking at pictures of Mom and Dad when they were teenagers. It’s so weird to see them so young. I mean, I’m older now than they were in those pictures. They look so mischievous and silly and happy and have no idea what their futures hold. Maybe they thought they knew, but of course life has a way of happening differently than you plan.

There’s a picture of Mom and her friend in the room that would later become the nursery for Me, Kris, John and Nick. They’re sitting on a couch in front of the window and there’s a box of records on the floor beside the couch and a Yes poster on the wall where our crib would later be. Obviously it’s before any of us were even thoughts in their minds. It just blows me away. It is so weird how you can life live without someone (like a child or your significant other) and then once they enter your life you can’t imagine it without them.

Life moves so quickly, yet when you’re wondering about the future it can seem so slow. Sometimes I get frustrated that you can’t go back. Not necessarily go back and relive a moment, but just observe. Like in Our Town, when Emily dies and she goes back and is able to watch her parents without them seeing her. Maybe that’s too painful. I’d like to rewind sometimes and see certain events again. Actually, what I’d most like to see would just be normal, everyday life from different perspectives.

I don’t want to grow old and have my life end. I know it’s a cycle, but where is the lesson? When do we say, “Aha, now I understand!”?

That was deep, right?

Also, I kept having crazy dreams about my ex-best friend… here’s a couple of excerpts:


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I had this elaborate dream that Deb and Jason came to a theater where Dave and I were going to watch a movie. They sat behind us and made all these rude comments about how I shouldn’t be with Dave. Then we ended up at their house, but it was just Deb and I. She was really upset about something and started stabbing me with steak knives. In self defense, I overturned a huge, heavy table onto her and killed her. Then I called 911 and ran into the street with my stab wounds (which were all in my face). When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics weren’t worried about me at all but instead ran inside to tend to Debbie. Then somehow I ended up in the basement of their house, but it was a huge labyrinth with tons of weird little rooms and I couldn’t get out.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I had another dream about Debbie. This time I was somewhere like a wedding or something. Debbie approached me very happily and was like, “Heather! It’s been so long! I’m so glad you came!” (or something along those lines). She started hugging me and I pushed her away and said, “Get off of me! How dare you act so happy to see me when it was YOU who pushed me away?” The look on her face went from joyful to angry and then we started fighting again. It wasn’t as exciting as the knife-stabbing, table throwing incident of a few days ago, but still, it kept me thinking of her during the day.

Moral of the story: Don’t get on my bad side! I may appear sweet and nice on the outside, but in my dreams I will kill you and verbally abuse you!

I’d also like to add a disclaimer here: I am pretty certain at this point, 10 years after the fact, that I have successfully completed the grieving process over my former best friend, and all of the other friends I lost when I tried to break away from the herd. I won’t lie that it wasn’t an easy process, and there were lots of dreams of rejection and hurt. After a few years, I even went to therapy, (which I probably should have done at the very beginning) and that helped me immensely. So don’t worry – while I may at one time have been filled with angst and rage that presented itself in murderous dreams, I have since healed and moved on. Hooray!

Throwback Thursday – Highlights from 1994

Not quite as hideous as 1993....

Not quite as hideous as 1993….

Here is my puffy, floral journal from 1994. I feel a little funny sharing it because the girl who wrote most of it doesn’t even really seem like me.

13 going on 14 is a strange time for most people, I guess. You’ve got the “teenager” label, and you think you’re really grown up but at the same time, you’re pretty much still a kid.

This journal is from kind of a weird time in my life. First of all, we moved out of the house that had grown up in, which was also the house that my father had grown up in. I felt like this was a huge insult, and spent a lot of time moaning about that in the journal.

The second “weird”” thing was that I was awkwardly obsessed with boys at this time. I saw awkwardly, because the one in particular that I was obsessed with was basically the only one available in my church group. I think it was more that I just wanted someone, ANYONE to be my boyfriend.

So without further ado, I present… deep thoughts from 1994.

Cue dramatic music...

Cue dramatic music…

April 15, 1994 4:49pm

I feel so weird. Today was my last day of school. I’m kind of glad. I made it through. I’ll never have to go back (see 1991 diary). I’m packing now. I am so confused. I don’t know where to start. I’ve cried already and now I’m losing my temper. What a mess. Well, tomorrow’s the big day. I am so sad I will probably cry myself to death.

Well, gotta go. Love, a very emotionally disturbed Heather.

April 16, 1994 10:09pm

I’m still alive!! I didn’t really cry today. I had tears in my eyes at times but I didn’t weep or wail. I’m like, emotionless. I guess it’s depression. I feel empty and lonely inside. I will see my old house again. I hate calling it my old house.  It sounds like a piece of trash or something. I miss it. 

Today was busy, I went wacko trying to 1. pack, 2. control my emotions, 3. unpack and make this place feel like home. 

I miss my house.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. 

Editors note: I drew a tiny pair of ruby slippers next to that sentiment.

Tuesday, April 19, 1994

Today we went home (our OLD house) to clean up. I cleaned John & Nick’s room and Kris & my room. I kept a lot of little things that I found. Someday I want to buy the house back or something. 

It was like 80 degrees there today, and beautiful. It made me cry because I know once we are all done cleaning it, we’ll never see it again. I was standing there in John and Nick’s room, vacuum in hand, looking out the window at the baby leaves on the trees. I said to Mommy, “isn’t it so beautiful?” That made me start to cry. Tears welled up in my eyes. I fought them back because I knew if I started crying I would never stop. But when mom asked if I was ok, I began to cry. Amazingly it helped and I felt better from then on. 

Gram was there with us. It must be so hard for her, since our grandfather built that house and they raised their family there. She didn’t cry in front of us. Or at least I don’t think so. I wanted to comfort her. It must be so hard for her. I mean I was like, crying every 5 minutes.

On Thursday we are going to come back up and bring the camera and I’ll make Mommy take pictures of EVERYTHING! I hope I never forget all the things that happened there. Here are some major events:

1. Birthdays 2. Holidays 3. My first period (seriously, this ranked #3) 4. Operations 5. Sleepovers 6. Swimming 7. BBQ’s and parties 8. Joanna & my umbrella escapade 9. Watching “A River Runs Through It” for the first time(s) 10. Bible Class and CYC 11. People  12. Our every day life

 Apparently I was really into list-making during this time of my life. And super dramatic!

Let’s move on to the boy- craziness…

Sunday, May 1, 1994 9:54pm

Today was your average Sunday. We went to Sunday School and Meeting. I found out that Jimmy (sorry, “Jim”) likes me.  I’m not sure. Last night Mom found his paper from CYC and at the bottom he had written my name really fancy. The reason I thought it might be someone else was, maby someone at his school. I don’t know. It must have been me because I was sitting next to him last night.

He doesn’t act like it though. I mean he doesn’t follow me around or say anything. He is cute, (sort of), with his tan from Florida. He’s really not a bad guy, except for his foot fungus. (Personal joke.) I don’t know, it’s so confusing. I wish I could just know. Then I wouldn’t need to worry.

Wow, dude. I was really putting the pressure on myself over the mere idea that a guy might like me. I wish I could go back and tell myself to just chill and enjoy the thought and let things unfold in due time… but I guess that’s not how 13-year-old love goes.

Every summer, we had bible school for a week in July.  Our church group rented dorm rooms, lecture halls and other rooms at Shippensburg University for this event. It was pretty much all my CYC friends and I ever talked about. It was like our lives orbited around that one week in the summer.

I cant wait for bible school, so I can ogle guys!

I cant wait for bible school, so I can ogle guys!

As a young kid, I enjoyed bible school because it was basically summer camp and I got to spend lots of time playing with friends that I’d only see once or twice a year. When I got to be a teenager, it was all about the boys.

Sunday, June 26, 1994

Yesterday we went to Jim’s graduation party. Susie and I hung around. Jay wasn’t there. We swam and talked about Shippensburg. When it came time for the cake, everyone sand “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and then they sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I was embarrassed.

After cake, we went swimming. Jim came in too. You see, here’s why I’m confused. He’s always showing off around me, like in the pool, I was just standing there and he looked over at me real quick to see if I was watching and then he did a fancy little thing and swam across the pool. I wouldn’t think much of that except he did similar things twenty five million times that night.  Like, we were playing Marco Polo and I was standing on the deck with my foot in the water. He was it. He went “Fish out of water” and I didn’t move because my foot was in the water. He KNEW I was there, that’s why he said it! Then he used MY towel to dry himself off. I don’t know whether to like him or not!

Can I just mention that this guy that I’m talking about here had just graduated from high school. I had just graduated from 8th grade. Even if he DID want to date me, that’s kinda messed up.

In July, I wrote all about my week at Shippensburg. I’ll spare you the vast detail that I went into, describing what room number each of my friends resided in, and what hymns were sung at what times, and what outfits I wore (in case I ever wanted to recreate the experience in my future holodeck).

I will say that I did not mention Jim once in that account. Probably because I was hanging out with kids my own age and he was hanging out with older people. Or maybe he didn’t even go.

July 15, 1994

Today Joanna was here. She slept over last night. We had a CYC get together last night. It was OK.  Jim flirted with Joanna SO bad it was discusting. (In case you haven’t noticed, I DON’T like him anymore.) I can’t believe I ever liked him. I must have been eating something bad.

And so ended my brief obsession with Jim…

The rest of 1994 passed without any major imaginary love affairs. In August that year we went to visit my grandmother in Canada, which was an exciting trip at the time. In the fall, I started high school. I really didn’t write much about that. I think I was a little shy about sharing my actual feelings in this journal because I would often share it with Joanna when she visited, so I didn’t want to write anything too vulnerable. But let me tell you, I was pretty scared about high school most days. It was so huge and full of angsty teenagers, it was just not a happy place for me.

In closing, here is a lovely self-portrait I drew in my journal late one night:

I was tired a lot because I stayed up until 11 every night writing in my journal and then I had to get up at ungodly hours to get to the bus stop for school.

I was tired a lot because I stayed up until 11 every night writing in my journal and then I had to get up at ungodly hours to get to the bus stop for school.

Throwback Friday – It’s Potty Time

Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to complete yesterday’s Throwback Thursday (look for it next Thursday…)

So I hereby present a special Throwback Friday, to 1981, where a one-year-old me was already learning to multitask.

1981 Potty Training

Just looking at a book on the pot, nothing to see here…

I found this picture in one of Gram’s photo albums shortly after she died. It brought back a flood of memories. It’s not often that you have a picture of your childhood toilet, or that you’d really think much about your childhood toilet, but really, a lot happened in that room.

Across from that toilet was the medicine cabinet/linen closet. It always had a strong smell of cough syrup or antiseptic, combined with the more gentle hint of fabric softener. When Kris and I were older, we would hide the Fisher Price tape recorder in there to try to catch each other talking to ourselves in the bathroom or better yet, making bodily function noises. Hilarious!

Use a hair tie to hold down the microphone button and you've got yourself a spy tool.

Use a hair tie to hold down the microphone button and you’ve got yourself a (not very discreet) spy tool.

To the left of the toilet was the sink. Oh, we had a lot of fun in that sink. We would play scientist by taking all manner of items from the medicine cabinet and mixing them together with q-tips in paper cups. A favorite ingredient was baby powder because it would make wonderfully thick concoctions. (Highly viscous, as a scientist might actually say.)

The sink was part of a long counter, which we would use when playing doctor.  A towel was laid on the tile and and the patient would lie there while the doctor used various implements, bottles and bandages found in the medicine cabinet.

We also played hair dresser, which was yet another exercise in imagination that combined  water and various ingredients from the bathroom.  The bathtub served as the waiting room, with a few little plastic chairs for the next customers.

These chairs!

The bathtub. Oh boy. I’m sure I could find pictures of the tub, but I will spare you. The tub was another source of fun and adventure. On more than one occasion I would get a little too excited and create tidal waves, which would then spill over the edge of the tub and soak through the floor and down into the family room below.

A lot of reading went on in that bathroom too, especially as I got older and was more and more obsessed with books. I distinctly remember sitting on that toilet and crying as I read about Laura Ingall’s dog Jack getting swept downstream when they crossed a river and Pa wouldn’t let Jack ride in the wagon. What the hell, Pa?

So yes, that little picture of baby Heather learning to use the potty can certainly stir up a lot of memories. It also explains why I still prefer to have some reading material when I head to the bathroom.

Throwback Thursday – Highlights from 1993

For today’s Throwback Thursday, we’ll take a little stroll back to 1993 by cracking open the pages of my padded, tropically-festooned journal.

Really a hideous cover. I thought so even then, but I wrote my name on it anyway.

Really a hideous cover. I thought so even then, but I wrote my name on it anyway.

I was 12 when I transcribed the following:

January 31, 1993 (talking about a youth weekend I had just been to)

… on the way back from lunch we had a snowball fight and were pushing each other into the snow. Jason knocked Jay over and dislocated his shoulder, or at least that’s what Jay acted like. We had to put up with Jay all the way home. At least he didn’t cry!

He was just writhing in pain the whole 3 hour drive. How annoying!

February 1, 1993

Well, well! Jay found out today that his shoulder IS broken! In that case he was pretty brave.

I lost my unicorn earring. John & Nick gave them to me. I am mad & sad for losing it!

Still not terribly sympathetic… also, Nick was literally an infant at this point so it wasn’t like he and John went shopping together for the unicorn earrings.

February 2, 1993

On 911 tonight a little girl got her foot stuck IN the toilet! It was SO funny!

Were we the only family who watched Rescue 911 for the hilarity?

Just looking at this image triggers the theme song in my head.

Just looking at this image triggers the theme song in my head.

April 22, 1993

I have a knee problem now. What next? Boy Oh Boy! It’s called something or other disease, but it’s really not a disease. My shinbone has been growing fast, but my ligaments haven’t. So I’m pulling the ligaments. I have exercises to do to help.

So I just looked up the “disease” and it’s called Osgood-Schlatter Disease. I grew out of it, but totally milked it for all it was worth. No, I can’t participate in gym class today, my shins are acting up!

Oddly, I didn’t feel compelled to write about the fact that the doctor we went to diagnose my leg issues was the orthopedist that did my foot surgery when I was little. He was psyched to see me and he had me take off my shoe so he could look at my foot and see how well I was doing. I also remember that when the were taking an x-ray of my legs, the technician asked if I could possibly be pregnant. I was 12 and definitely not getting any action so I was kind of horrified to realize that technically I was old enough to get knocked up.

July 14, 1993

We watched A River Runs Through It. I liked it alot. Brad Pitt is so gorgeous. The end was sad because Paul (Brad Pitt) gets killed. Waaa.

Well I just finished making the worst batch of cookies that I’ve ever made. I have piano tonight. I haven’t practiced in 2 weeks. 

Brad Pitt

No words.

I’d had movie crushes before, but Brad Pitt stirred feelings in me like no other.

October 20, 1993

Tonight I went food shopping with Mom. In the bookstore I got two more Avonlea books. I also read a little book about Brad Pitt. His birthday is December 18, 1963. That makes him 30 years old! WOA!!! Excuse me I just had a major heart attack. I hope that is a mistake. Wait until I tell Joanna! She’ll freak!

Disregard the ugly shirt and look at that man cleavage.

Disregard the ugly shirt and look at that man cleavage.

Grocery shopping with Mom meant that I hung out in the bookstore next door until she was done. I wish grocery shopping was like that now.

30 years old is positively ancient to a 13-year-old. Reality hit me hard. Brad and I didn’t have a chance. My feelings for him are still strong though, as evidenced by my uncontrollable weeping after watching him in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

December 10. 1993

Today was my first day of home ec.(this year). It was ok. We had to stand up and say our names and stuff. I had a heart attack when I said that I hated to eat fish and I looked around and Bryan was glaring at me. He looked so weird! I guess he likes fish. Everyone had a cow when I said I had a Siberian Husky with blue eyes. 

I didn’t write much about school in this journal. I was too busy obsessing over Brad Pitt, or writing about whatever drama was going on with my friends outside of school. I did stick my report card in here though. Check out the comments. I always thought “Takes Pride in Achievement” was a weird one. What does that mean? I hang up my work on the fridge so everyone can see it?

Not exactly rocking the boat.

7th grade report card. Not exactly rocking the boat.

And that, in a nutshell was my life in 1993. It was a pretty calm year for me. I didn’t have any major surgeries, though I had a bunch of teeth pulled and was going through a lot of dental work to prepare for the next surgery (which wouldn’t be for another year and change.) Life was good!