DSC01639 There were several of these growing near the house, and neither of us had any clue what they were. Fred’s stepmother informed us that they’re spider lilies. Since they grow from bulbs, I may dig them up and transplant them. Then again I might not – I’m not sure where the bulb garden is ultimately going to be. Dsc01655 Pardon the blurriness, but these fuckers can MOVE. I saw one of these last month in the front yard of the house and tried to get a picture of it, but couldn’t. On our trip to the house Saturday, I saw several of them and finally managed to get a picture. I was going to put it up and ask y’all what it might be, but on a whim I Googled “Red velvet ant”, and found that – amazingly enough – it’s called a “Red velvet ant.” Or you can call it by its other name – “Cow Killer.” It’s not really an ant, it’s a wasp, and you can read more about it here. I thought they were kind of pretty, but if the fuckers have a painful bite, I’m just as happy to stomp on them. DSC01657 We walked out to the back forty. DSC01665 DSC01658 From the back corner of the back forty, looking toward the house. The owners’ son had started to bushhog the back field, but their tractor broke down before it could be finished. The tractor Fred almost bought, but decided not to. Dodged a bullet on that one! DSC01666 Leaves starting to change on the black gum tree. DSC01668 In the back forty. Dsc01669 Huge tree in the back forty. DSC01672 Pecan tree overlooking the “pond.” When we left the house, we headed toward Decatur to do something you don’t get to hear about yet (patience, grasshoppers. All will be revealed tomorrow. Or Monday. Nothing huge, I promise.), but on the way we passed a tractor place, and since it was apparently Fred’s intent to visit every single tractor place in the state of Alabama, we stopped. I sat in the car with my book while he went in and talked to someone. Half an hour later, he came back outside. “I’m going to drive a tractor,” he said. “And there’s a cat in the store!”

DSC01682 She was friendly, but started getting bite-y after a while, so I left her alone. DSC01688 Fred, driving his very first tractor.
When I was done petting and taking pictures of the cat, I went outside and watched Fred drive around on the tractor. The salesman turned to me and said “I hear you’re a fan of cats.” “I am,” I said. “We have six of our own.” He shuddered. “No offense, but I’m not a cat person.” I shrugged. “None taken. I’m not a dog person.” “I’m not really a dog person either,” he said. “I’m retired, and I might get home today and my wife might say “Let’s go to Tunica for a few days!”, and we won’t have to worry about the pets.” “That’s true,” I agreed. I watched Fred for a few more minutes, and when he headed inside with the salesman to talk numbers, I went back to the car and read some more. We went to Decatur, did the thing you’re not allowed to know about yet, and then headed for the Morgan County Fair. After all the talking-up Fred had done, I expected this fair to be HUGE and AMAZING. We went into the Expo Hall first, and I admired the quilts, while Fred talked to a couple of guys at a booth about – what else? – TRACTORS.
Dsc01693 This is my favorite. Dsc01694 My other favorite. Makes me want to take up quilting.
After the Expo Hall, we went and checked out the livestock, and fed some goats. Well, Fred fed some goats. I wandered around and took pictures.
Dsc01698 Dsc01720 Dsc01723 Dsc01709 I haven’t got a CLUE what this thing is. It kind of looks like an ostrich, but I think it was some kind of sheep.
After the livestock, we wandered around the fair grounds checking out rides and games. It was a pretty small fair and there were no rides we wanted to go on, and Fred played one game and won a cheap little prize for me, and then we walked around a little more, bitching about the heat, and finally left to find something to eat. We ate at a buffet – where I ate too much, damnit, but it was good – and then headed for home, after stopping off to do something else y’all don’t get to hear about yet. (This is not sex-related, in case you’re worried. Though telling you that we’ve decided to become swingers would probably be a tad more interesting than what it’s really about.) On the way home, Fred suddenly exclaimed Ere he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” “Hey, look! It’s Donald Sutherland!” And we spent about ten minutes trying to catch up to the SUV Donald was driving, so I could so-very-subtly snap his picture.
Dsc01730 Not really Donald Sutherland. Or IS IT?
I spent the afternoon bonding with Maddy and then taking a nap, and Fred and I spent the evening watching TV until the spud got home (Fred can’t sleep until he knows she’s home safe). All in all, a good Saturday!
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A couple of cat questions, answered: Ummmmm…… You *warmed* Maddy’s food? That must STINK to the high heavens!!!! Yeah, I warm her food because I’m a total sucker, and god forbid she have to eat COLD food. She might starve to death! And yeah, it does stink. By the end of the day, after smelling the soft food I give Maddy all day long, when Fred opens a can of soft food to feed the big cats for a snack (and we wonder why Tommy is such a porker), it makes me a little nauseous. Also, I worry that I walk around all day smelling like cat food and just don’t realize it! Maddy is SO cute. Question from a non-cat owning person…will her eyes always be blue or will they change color as she gets older? Still think you can give her up? Her eyes will probably change from blue; they’re already lighter than they were, and I think I see flecks of gold in them. I’d love it if she kept her big blue eyes, though. They’re gorgeous! And yes, I think I’ll be able to give her up. It won’t be easy, but y’all forget – I’ve actually given up more foster kitties than I’ve kept. Excluding Maddy, I’ve had 11 foster kittens and given up 9 of them. So, see? I can do it! (And I know that if I give her up, there’ll be more fosters in my future. If I keep her, the fostering will have to stop because there is NO WAY Fred would ever let me foster again.) I work with [deleted] and she has been showing me pictures of this perfect little angel kitten. I can’t believe that after you has nursed this little beauty that you can give her away….What kind of mother are you?? You are all she knows. You will damage her for life you know. I’m actually not the only mother she’s ever known – I’m the third mother she’s ever known, at least of the human persuasion. God knows what happened to her “birth” mother. And let’s get serious here – she’s a CAT. I’m not going to damage her for life, because her brain is the size of a pea. If I went away for two days and came back, she’d be like “And you are…?” I’m giving her away to a very good home, because the shelter I work for is extremely careful regarding who they allow to adopt their cats. And like I said above, if I keep Maddy, the fostering will have to stop. I talked Fred into letting me foster again even after we adopted Tommy and Sugarbutt, but I have no doubt he’d put his foot down if I tried to keep Maddy and then foster again.
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Maddy (or as I’ve taken to calling her lately, Miss Maddy Mack (Mack! Mack! With stripes of black! black! black! And fur that’s gray! gray! gray! All down her back! back! back!) continues to do well. She’s solidly over a pound, she’s using the litterbox exclusively (I do NOT miss stimulating her to pee and poop. No matter how fastidious you are about it, you end up with pee and poop on your hands at some point, and you don’t always necessarily realize it.), and she’s past the diarrhea stage. I got her to eat soft cat food twice yesterday, though at her evening feeding Fred tried to feed her, but she wasn’t that interested, only ate a little bit. I tried a while later to feed her, but she wasn’t at ALL interested in food or formula, just spent the evening exploring and sleeping on me. She is just so unbearably cute that I have to bite my tongue so I don’t squeeze her to death, and now my tongue is sore all the time. Everything I’ve read says that when you give a baby cat a bottle, you should have them on their stomachs at a 45-degree angle. But this is the ONLY position she’ll take her bottle in, standing on her back legs with her back against me. Also, very important to grab my hand so the bottle doesn’t go anywhere. More pictures hither.    
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Reader yawny pet pics!
This is Angie‘s Eden, relaxing in the leather recliner. Nice life indeed, Angie! Dana’s Gracie… And Dana’s Maxine. Who apparently live very exhausting lives. How hard ARE you working them, Dana? Danielle says, This is Gilbert, an italian greyhound. I think he was about 8/9 weeks here, and ok, technically he was after his tail, not yawning. But the effect is the same, and I thought it was pretty damn cute. And the second picture, Gilbert is, again, not yawning, but instead trying to eat Hamlet Truman, my adorable new kitten. They’re about the same age, and really best friends. Hamlet spends a lot of time trying to carve Gilbert up into little puppy pieces, so they’re even. Y’all know I’m not a dog person, but Gilbert really kinda makes me want to get a dog so he can harass the cats! This is Susan‘s Ruby. Susan says, Here’s another laughing kitten picture – a picture of one of our kittens, Ruby. I accidentally snapped it one day as she was crawling across my lap (that’s why it’s out of focus) but I absolutely love it. Is she laughing, or does she want to bite you like a vampire? Those are some seriously sharp-looking teeth! Y’all can see more of Susan’s kitten pics here. This is Kelly’s Stella, who is an absolute dead ringer for Sugarbutt! I don’t think Sugarbutt could fit his big butt in the sink anymore, though. And Kelly’s Jupiter. The look on Jupiter’s face just cracks me UP.
Thanks, Angie, Dana, Danielle, Susan, and Kelly, for sharing your pictures!
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Dsc01731 He straddled the bird bath like this for the longest time, staring off into space at something. It’s like he was posing for me!
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Previously 2005: Phear my l33t fotograffic skillz. 2004: Dear Stephen King: Stop defending what you did, and just write the goddamn story. 2003: Meet Gizmo. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry.]]>