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10/31/06

by @ Tuesday, October 31st, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life

* * * So, my mother is on her way home to Maine. I got up at 6 this morning to shower and get dressed, then go out to Smallville to give everyone their medicine and put the kittens in their carriers. They were NOT happy at being put in such a small space, and either Westley or Fezzik howled all the way to Ardmore. Whichever one it was, he sounded JUST like Maxi. At the vet clinic I told the receptionist all of the kittens’ names, then we carried them out back for weighing. While we were back there, the vet’s assistant was holding either Fezzik or Inigo when a man brought his dog out back to weigh him. I thought the kitten saw the dog and was okay, but I was wrong – because when the kitten saw the dog, he freaked OUT, and that vet’s assistant ended up with some serious fucking scratches before I could pull the kitten off of her, poor woman. Anyway, the kittens are being spayed and neutered and are getting their ID chips today, and I’ll be picking them up after 5 to bring them back here to the house. I got back to Madison about 20 minutes later than I’d intended, but my mother wasn’t quite ready to leave yet anyway, and we had two hours before her flight left, so we had plenty of time. I dropped her off at the airport (I offered to go in with her, but she said she didn’t need me to), stopped at Wal-Mart for some Halloween candy, and came home. Where I’ve been doing various cleaning things around the house, cleaned Maddy’s room (which will belong to Maxi’s kittens as of this evening), and made spaghetti for Fred’s lunches this week. I also watched Lost from last week. Speaking of TV – how about that ending on Prison Break last night?! That was something, eh?

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The Nebshit Game! 1. If someone offered you $1,000 to be a phone sex operator for 1 hour, would you do it? I’d do it, but I don’t know that I’d be very good at it, unless hysterical giggling is considered a huge turn-on. 2. Have you ever left an anonymous comment online? Not that I recall. I’ve been tempted, but stopped by the fact that whoever’s site it is can see my IP address and might know that it’s me. 3. Have you eaten something that you dropped on the floor? Alllllll the time. I’m such a klutz that half of what I carry across the kitchen ends up on the floor. 4. If you call someone and get an answering machine, are you more likely to leave a message or hang up? Depends on why I’m calling. If I want them to call me back, I leave a message. If I had a question and can get the answer elsewhere, I don’t. If I’m calling ’cause I’m bored and wanted to talk sometimes I leave a message, sometimes not. 5. What is your favorite candy bar? I don’t really eat candy bars anymore, but I used to adore the Big Kat Kit Kat bars.
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Okay… um. I guess that’s it for today. Nothing to report, nothing to babble about, just nothin’. I need to do a little more cleaning, then perhaps some laundry and then I’m going to land on the couch with my book and read for a while. I’m currently reading Lisey’s Story, by Stephen King. I’m liking this book a LOT. I finished Stop Dressing Your Six Year-Old Like a Skank, and I’ve gotta say: Eh. I didn’t really like it that much. I got that it was supposed to be humorous, but I don’t think I cracked a smile even once while I was reading it.
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I don’t know why my mother felt that Maddy would make a good hat. Maddy did not agree.   Maddy’s favorite place to nap.   All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither. I understand that y’all are disappointed that we’re not keeping Maddy, but I TOLD you we weren’t! And I can guarantee that she’s going to a really good home where she’ll be spoiled rotten and loved to within an inch of her life. Maybe I can browbeat her new Momma into sending some pictures of her as she grows up.  
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Mister Boogers is currently in a state of catatonic despair, he hates you so much.    
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Previously 2005: Let the Seven Year Itch commence! 2004: Happy anniversary, you walnut-farting motherfucker. 2003: There’s nothing like a good second marriage to show you how bad the first one really was. 2002: He even sent me flowers. 2001: And they said it’d never last. 2000: And happy anniversary to Fred, who married me two years ago tonight, which was the smartest thing he’s ever done. 1999: “We don’t have to get married. We could just wait ’til next year. Shouldn’t we get married on the anniversary of the day we met? That would be more romantic!”]]>

10/30/06

by @ Monday, October 30th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

Thursday morning I got up early, packed Maddy up in her carrier, and took her to the vet. She hit two pounds on Monday and the person who’s adopting her (who is not, for the record, ME) wants to adopt her this weekend and I was hoping I could get her spayed before that happened (it’s the shelter’s policy not to adopt out kittens ’til after they’re fixed), and was pleased to see that her recent voracious eating had brought about the needed weight gain. So it was off to the vet for Miss Maddy, who also got an ID chip. I dropped Maddy off at the vet, then drove from Ardmore to Smallville – a drive that took me about 25 minutes. In Smallville I went into the house and fed the stray Momma cat, the Daddy cat, and the kittens. Did I even mention that Fred lured them into the house Tuesday evening, and they’d been staying in the master bedroom? They adapted pretty well, which was probably helped by the fact that we got into the habit – a BAD habit, probably – of taking canned food to them a couple of times a day. All the cats were suffering from diarrhea, which made the litter box situation pretty nasty (and WAY smelly, as you can imagine), so I took a third litter box with me, bought some new litter (made for “small spaces”), and dumped out the old litter from the other two boxes, cleaned the boxes, and refilled them with fresh litter. The car of a crazy cat lady.   I fed the cats, swept the floor of the master bedroom, and headed back to Madison. Thursday being the spud’s birthday – her 18th birthday, even – I wanted to make the actual day kind of special, so earlier in the week I’d ordered a balloon bouquet to pick up Thursday afternoon. Then I took it to the spud’s school and left it in her car, so she’d be surprised when she got out to the parking lot to go home. Not only did she get a balloon bouquet from us, she got 18 roses from her grandparents in California and a bouquet of carnations from her father and his wife. It was a bouquet-filled kinda day, which I think she really appreciated. Thursday evening I went to pick up Maddy, brought her home and let her out of her carrier, worried that she might be in pain and need to be put in her room, away from the boys and their rambunctiousness. Instead, she bounced out of the carrier, bounced around the room, jumped on my mother’s feet, jumped on Mister Boogers, and howled to be fed. I’d say she wasn’t too traumatized.   Friday I had to get up bright and early again, this time to go to the Smallville house and box up Momma Kitty and Daddy Kitty. They had an appointment to be tested, get all their shots, and be spayed and neutered. I was worried that it was going to be really hard to get them in the carriers, but all I had to do was walk through the door with a plate of canned cat food, put it down on the floor, and as soon as they came running over, I picked up Momma and Daddy and put them each in a carrier and close the door. They freaked OUT, running around in circles and trying to dig their way out of the carriers. I felt like a total jerk, traumatizing the poor things first by locking them in a room, and then putting them in carriers. Either they’d never been in carriers before or they HAD and knew that bad things happen after they put you in a carrier. They calmed down pretty quickly, and I put the carriers in the back seat placed so that they could see each other. Then I drove from Smallville to Ardmore in the pounding rain, which was OODLES of fun. To add to the fun, Momma Kitty howled most of the way, with Daddy Kitty chiming in every now and then. At the vet’s office, I told them the story of Momma Kitty and Daddy Kitty, and when we went back to weigh them, found that they both weighed just under 8 pounds. Since all the And3rson kitties weigh 9 pounds or more, you can imagine how little Momma and Daddy Kitty look to me. I had to give them names for the cats, and since I would have felt like a dork telling them that the names were Momma Kitty and Daddy Kitty, I named them on the spot. Maxi.   And Newt.   Isn’t it nice that I named cats that aren’t mine? Anyway, I asked them to call me after the testing (they test for Feline Leukemia and FIV) to let me know what the results were, and then I left. As I walked through the door at home, the phone was ringing and my mother held the phone out to me. “I didn’t know who it was, so I didn’t answer it,” she said. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was the vet’s office, and my heart sank. I was POSITIVE it was bad news. I called them back, and they put the vet on the phone with me. The testing came back just fine, AND it was the vet’s opinion that Maxi wasn’t pregnant. Fred and I were pretty sure she was, because she’d started to get kind of barrel-bellied recently, and Fred thought when he’d picked her up the day before that he could feel the head of a kitten. If the vet had determined that she was pregnant, we were going to let her have the kittens and then have her spayed when they were weaned. I’ve gotta say – I was WAY relieved to find out that she wasn’t pregnant. We talked about what shots Maxi and Newt needed, and the vet told me that I could pick them up after 5:00. A few hours later, the phone rang. It was the vet’s office again, and the woman I talked to told me that (1) They’d come through their respective operations just fine (2) Newt had giardia and (3) They both had ear mites. They told me that slippery elm bark could help soothe their digestive systems while they were being treated for giardia, and so instead of hanging out in the living room reading, I spent the next two hours going from store to store looking for powdered slippery elm bark. Which I found at Garden Cove, the health food store in Huntsville. Around 4:15, my mother and I went to the vet clinic and picked up Maxi and Newt, who regarded us warily, and drove from Ardmore to Smallville, where we went to the house and put Maxi and Newt in the laundry room with a litter box, bowl of food, water, and a couple of cat beds. We’re keeping them at the house until they’re done with their giardia medication – which will be tomorrow evening – and Maxi’s incision has gotten a good head-start on healing before we take them over to the neighbor’s house. Oh, an interesting side note: the vet estimated Maxi’s age at about two years. When I asked her about Newt, she paused and said “Is there any reason to think they might not be related?” We had thought that maybe he was her kitten from a previous litter and I told the vet that, and she said that was pretty likely. He’s not fully grown yet, though she didn’t really give me an estimate on his age. The kittens are going to be spayed and neutered (did I mention there are three boys and one girl?) tomorrow, so I’ll have to leave the house early, go to Smallville, put the kittens in carriers, drive to Ardmore, drop them off, drive to Madison, pick up my mother, and take her to the airport. Then in the evening I’ll pick the kittens up at the vet’s, take them to Madison (where they’ll take over Maddy’s room – how RUDE, to be displaced like that) and get them settled in. You could say I’m using up a lot of gas lately. Oh, and the kittens have been named, courtesy of Fred. Meet… Fezzik.   Inigo.   Westley.   And Princess Buttercup.   Yeah, Fred’s a Princess Bride fan. Saturday morning I went out to Smallville, scooped litter boxes, talked Fred through what medication to give which cats (the kittens are now being treated for giardia as well), swept the master bedroom (those kittens can scatter that kitty litter all over the place), and went back to Madison, stopping to fill up my gas tank on the way. My mother and I left Madison at noon, and ended up in Nashville on Music Valley Drive almost exactly two hours later. I didn’t think we’d be able to check in so early, but I asked (can’t hurt, right?) and since they’d just finished cleaning the room, they let us check in. It was the Comfort Inn Opryland, nothing fancy or anything, but I’ve ceased in my old age to be much impressed by any hotel rooms (but maybe that’s just because I haven’t stayed at a really nice one?) and as long as it’s reasonably clean, I don’t much care about anything else. We unpacked, then went out to find a convenience store so we could stock up on water and snacks (the downside to the room was that it didn’t have a refrigerator!). We didn’t have to go far, and then went back to the hotel where we read and talked. We had dinner at a Tex-Mex steakhouse I can’t recall the name of. I had the shrimp; she had a steak. There were far more people in the restaurant than we’d expected to see at 4:00 on a Saturday, so we figured the majority of them were going to the Opry as well. After we ate, we went back to the hotel room and killed time until 5:00. There’s a bus that stops at all the hotels on Music Valley Rd, and for $5 round-trip, they’ll take you to the Opryhouse and back to your hotel afterward. We were told that the bus would show up between 5 and 5:30, but it didn’t show up until almost 5:45. Which wasn’t a big deal – the show didn’t start until 6:30, so we had plenty of time to get there and find our seats. The place was PACKED, and we killed time watching the people go by. Then the show started, and just like last time I went to the Opry, it was one hell of a show. Apparently on Saturday nights they televise the Opry from 7 to 8 (central time) on GAC. I text-messaged the spud and told her to call Fred and tell him to tape it in case any of the pans across the audience captured us. She didn’t get the message in time, though, so he didn’t tape it. Oh well. The 7 – 8 pm portion of the show was hosted by Barbara Mandrell – you should have SEEN my mother’s jaw drop when she saw Barbara Mandrell walk onto the stage – and it had Suzy Bogguss, Lorrie Morgan, and Randy Owen featured, singing songs from the Barbara Mandrell tribute CD. I hoped like hell that Barbara would sing I Was Country (When Country Wasn’t Cool), but she didn’t sing at all. Apparently she no longer performs in public, damn her.

Opry - Rodney Atkins2 Rodney Atkins (in the cap). Opry - Lorrie Morgan Lorrie Morgan. I LOVE HER. Opry - Barbara Mandrell Barbara Mandrell. Opry - Suzy Bogguss Suzy Bogguss. I LOVE HER. Opry - Barbara Mandrell, Randy Owen Barbara Mandrell and Randy Owen, from Alabama. Barbara said that she was in the studio when Randy Owen taped the song for the tribute album and “It literally melted my heart.” Someone better call Dr. Preston Burke and report the medical miracle that is Barbara Mandrell walking and talking after her heart melted out her body. Opry - Sponsor One of the sponsors. Sounds like a gentlemen’s lounge, doesn’t it? Apparently it’s not.
It was, all in all, a very good show. I wish we’d been more front and center than several rows back on the left side of the stage (left side facing the stage, anyway); next time I’ll have to get tickets a little more in advance. There were a lot of acts I didn’t know at all, but the last act was Rodney Atkins, who sings Watching You and If You’re Going Through Hell – which, no coincidence, happened to be the two songs he sang. The thing that’s awesome about the Opry is also the thing that sucks: each act sings, at most, three songs. When you don’t know or don’t care for the act, it’s good that they’re not onstage, but if you like the act, you’d like to see more. When the show was over at 9, we went to the gift shop, but it was so busy and everything was so expensive (I mean, come on. Fifty bucks for a freakin’ sweatshirt?!) that neither of us bought anything, and we headed out to find our bus. Which we did easily, and when the bus driver pointed out that tips were accepted in the guise of thanking those who had tipped her, my mother and I rolled our eyes at each other, but I still tipped the woman a couple of bucks on my way out of the bus. In the hotel room, my mother took a bath and then she and I read until almost midnight. I slept fairly well, only getting up a couple of times to go to the bathroom. When we were both awake, I asked what time it was, and was shocked to find out it was 8:00. (Well, actually 7:00 because of the turning-the-clock back, but we’d gotten 8 solid hours of sleep, so I was shocked. I never sleep that well in a strange bed!) We were checked out of the hotel by 9, and went off to have breakfast before heading for home. We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel (GOD I love the Cracker Barrel gift shop. I picked up a Christmas present for my youngest nephew while I was there that just cracks me the hell up.) and then hit the highway. The trip home went well until we took our exit off highway 65. We had just turned onto the exit when a deer came FLYING out of the woods next to the road and ran directly in front of the SUV in front of us. My mother and I both gasped “Oh no!”, and I instantly stomped on the brakes and pulled over to the side of the road. The image I remember most is watching one of the deer’s antlers break off and go spinning down the road. It happened so fast that the next thing I remember is looking up to see the deer caught under the SUV. “He’s still alive!” my mother said, and I said “He can’t be!”, but I looked at the deer and could see him moving, trying to stand up. The driver of the SUV clearly had no idea what to do, so hit the gas and basically dragged the deer down the road until the SUV’s back tires went over the deer. The deer twitched and tried to stand, then was still for a few minutes, then tried again to stand. I called 911 (in restrospect I should have called 411 and asked for the Ardmore, TN police department, but I was pretty freaked out) and reported what was going on. They connected me to the police department and I told them what was going on, and whoever it was who’d answered the phone told me they’d send someone out. I thought about sticking around until the police showed up, but I suspected that they’d end up shooting the deer to put it out of its misery, and I really didn’t want to see that, so I pulled up and told the driver of the SUV that I’d called the police and they were sending someone out. I think I shook for about an hour afterward. I thought about calling Fred, but was afraid I’d burst into tears (I’m such a softy that I loathe the thought of ANY animal being terrified and in pain) and didn’t want to go to Ugly Cry while driving down the road with my mother beside me. And that was pretty much it. We got home a few minutes after noon, hung around the house, I went through my pictures, made unfried chicken for dinner, and then my mother and I ran out to Smallville so I could give the cats their medicine (the kittens LOATHE the metronidazole I give them for the giardia) and scoop the litter boxes. I noticed that Newt’s eyes were red and painful looking, so I put antibiotic ointment in his eyes. If his eyes don’t look better when I go out the house a little later, I guess it’ll be back to the vet for him! In closing, check out the slippers my mother bought for herself. She bought me a pair, too (which I don’t get until Christmas), and I told her the other day that they look like Muppet slippers, as if perhaps they were made from the skin of a slaughtered Grover.   Maddy seems to like them.  
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Oh, and while my mother and I were off hanging out in Nashville, Fred was working his ass off, and finished another of the upstairs rooms.   **************************************************   Meester Boogers, he hate you.    
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: List of fives. 2003: (Also, Nance called me “nice.” That bitch!) 2002: But I don’t guess that introspection is the forte of that particular diva. 2001: Who tells stories about you? 2000: This morning, red and goopy. 1999: (Side note: I did nothing, and that just pisses me off. I wish I could go back and smack the shit out of that jerk. I hope his life is hellish).]]>

10/26/06

by @ Thursday, October 26th, 2006. Filed under Life

Spud21 Gotta hold on easy as I let you go Gonna tell you how much I love you though you think you already know I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm You’ve had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born Spud5 You beautiful baby from the outside in Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again Go on take on this old world but to me you know you will always be My little girl Spud17 When you were in trouble that crooked little smile would melt my heart of stone Now look at you I’ve turned around and you’ve almost grown Sometimes your asleep I whisper I love you in the moonlight at your door As I walk away I hear you say “daddy love you more” Spud12 Spud9 Spud14 Spud1 You beautiful baby from the outside in Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again Go on take on this old world but to me you know you will always be My little girl Spud2 Spud15 Spud16 Spud8 Someday some boy will come and ask me for your hand But I won’t say yes to him unless I know He’s the half that makes you whole He has a poets soul And the heart of a mans man I know he’ll say that he’s in love, but between you and me He won’t be good enough Spud4 You beautiful baby from the outside in Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again Go on take on this old world but to me you know you will always be My little girl – Tim McGraw, My Little Girl

Happy 18th birthday, Spud!!!!!!!!
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Previously 2005: The spud is 17 today! 2004: I hope you dance. 2003: No entry. 2002: “You want to buy STUFF faster than we get rid of it!” he accused shrilly. 2001: Well, the little bastard is home again. 2000: No entry. 1999: Boring work-related shit.]]>

10/24/06

by @ Tuesday, October 24th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

reading: Stop Dressing Your Six Year-old Like a Skank, by Celia Rivenbark. With a name like that, it’s got to be good, right? I hope so – I’m only a few pages into it.

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One important thing I learned on Saturday is that being lazy is no excuse for wearing a sweatshirt over your t-shirt and sweatpants and knee-high black rubber boots on your feet to push the push mower around the hilly parts of the lawn so you won’t have to go inside and upstairs to change. By the time you’re done pushing the push mower around the hilly parts of the lawn, you’ll be dripping sweat all over the place, and there is little doubt that you will forever be known as “That weird woman who was wearing black rubber boots to mow the lawn” around your soon-to-be hometown. Also, I have painful spots on the backs of my upper calves where the boots rubbed and made raw spots. Ouch.
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I got up early yesterday morning (I am really and truly not a morning person. I might get up early most mornings, but I still have one hell of a hard time dragging my ass out of bed, unlike you crazy morning people who bound out of bed with a smile on your lips and a song in your heart) to get dressed and go do my thing at the pet store. When I got home, my mother was up and dressed, watching TV and talking to my father. I put the groceries I’d bought away (she’d asked if we had any yogurt on Sunday, and I told her we didn’t, but later found out that we did, indeed, have yogurt. With an expiration date of September 10th on it. Blech.) and then went upstairs to let Maddy out of the kitten room. Maddy IS a morning person, and always runs out of the kitten room at full speed, pounces on my feet, pounces on Tommy or Mister Boogers (the only two who’ll really play with her; she’s a little scared of Miz Poo, and Sugarbutt’s a little scared of her. Spanky and Spot are just cranky old men who won’t play.), pounces on various toys, and then runs at full speed down the stairs to sit in the kitchen and whine about how hungry she is until I give her a little canned cat food. (Spoiling her rotten, I’m sure, so it will make her new mommy’s job just THAT much harder.) I took a shower, folded some laundry, and cleaned the kitchen a little until about 9:30, when the spud, my mother, and I left the house to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel. The spud didn’t have school because of “parenting day”, so I though the best way to parent her was to fill her full of fatty, high-calorie food for breakfast, and then drag her out to the Smallville house. Breakfast at Cracker Barrel was good – of course – and then we headed out to the Smallville house. I wanted to see if Momma and Daddy Kitty and their kittens were hanging around so I could lure them inside, but they weren’t, so I just dropped off the supplies I’d brought out to the house for the day when we are able to lure them inside (litter boxes, litter, toys, deworming medication), and swept the floor of the master bedroom (that was where we were keeping Maddy the last few times we took her out to the house with us, and she scattered litter all over the floor) and the kitchen. My mother pointed out the windows in the dining room (the ones on either side of the fireplace, as seen here) and actually suggested that we make them bigger – long, skinny windows was her idea, I think – and I pretended that I thought it might be a good idea, but HELLZ NO I’m not going to make those long, skinny windows – I LOVE those windows, the way they are. The dining room with the big fireplace and the windows on either side are one of my favorite things about the house! (Okay. I have a LOT of favorite things about the house, I cannot lie.) When we were about to pull out of the driveway going left toward home, my mother said “What’s out that way?”, and so I took a right instead, and we went down some long country roads before heading for home. Once at home, my mother sat in front of the TV and read, and I puttered around doing this and that, and eventually I went upstairs, Maddy in hand, to read for a few minutes and then ultimately take a nap. I swear to god, I never ever take a nap ordinarily, but whenever I’m on vacation in Maine I take one almost every day, and when my parents are visiting I do as well. My mother tends to nap every day when she’s visiting, too, so I don’t know if it’s a vacation thing or just a way to escape, but in any case, I should be well-rested by the time she leaves next week! This morning I’m taking Miz Poo to the vet, and then my mother and I are headed to Unclaimed Baggage to see if we can’t find some bargains. Or something to sell on eBay for a profit. Either would make me happy!
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For those of you who requested pictures of me in more “form-fitting” clothes, I’ll have 9-month progress pictures up next Tuesday or Wednesday, over at OFB. Speaking of clothes and the like, when I was folding laundry yesterday, I came across a couple of pairs of the spud’s jeans. She wears a size 14 (though honestly I think they’re a little big for her), and I wondered briefly if I’d fit into them. So I tried them on – and they fit. Not comfortably (they’re too tight through the thighs), but I was able to get them fastened and in a pinch I could probably wear them in public and not get any weird looks. Not that I would (I’m still most comfortable in cotton pants), but it was neat to be able to fit into the jeans of someone I was sure is much thinner than I am! Also, last week when Fred and I were at the Smallville house, we were changing into our grubbies – well, I was changing into my grubbies; he was changing into his new flannel shirt and fancy farmer’s pants – and at first I told him to take his pants off so I could try them on, but then I changed my mind and tried on the shorts he’d taken off. This is what I do for fun these days, you know. I try on other people’s clothes. Dsc03136 And his shorts not only fit, they were a little big for me. Not flattering, but they fit!
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DSC03180 Tommy keeps a wary eye on my mother.
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Previously 2005: “That makes me want to get pregnant and have a baby, just so I can name it Lavernicus,” I admitted. “That WOULD be an excellent name.” 2004: No entry. 2003: It took two days from the first time I called Stanley “Beanie-bean” in front of Fred before Fred started doing it too. He’s such a copycat. 2002: “She was giving me a handjob under the water, and I didn’t stop her, even though I’m not attracted to her, BECAUSE I AM ONLY HUMAN.” 2001: Fred is a freak. 2000: “Uhhhh….” I said, casting around for something smart-ass or impressive to say. 1999: My desk is a total shitheap, because I’m Robyn and I’m a slob.]]>

10/23/06

by @ Monday, October 23rd, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

* * * Saturday, after a morning and early afternoon painting and pulling up weeds and poison ivy (so far, no rashes!), I picked my mother up at the airport. She landed right on time, but I got there a little early so I’d have a chance to do a little reading. I’m not doing a lot of reading these days, you know. To my surprise, she’d only brought one suitcase with her (it was a DAMN heavy suitcase, though!), and I pulled it out to the car and then up the stairs when we got home. Did I mention it was a damn heavy suitcase? The spud had taken the day off work so she could get ready for homecoming, and she’d had her hair professionally put in an updo, and my mother admired that, and then we sat around and talked until it was time for the spud to get her homecoming dress on, and her date came to pick her up. I think the spud did a mighty good job picking out a homecoming dress, personally.

spuddress
After the spud and her date left to go have dinner before homecoming, my mother and I went out to dinner as well. We discussed going to where the spud and her date were going, just so we could spy on her, but when we walked into the restaurant, there were a bunch of people waiting so we left and went to Applebee’s instead. At Applebee’s there were a ton of kids headed for homecoming, and we sat and looked at all the girls in their finery. Seriously, why even bother to bring boys to the dance? Boys’ homecoming outfits are borrrrrring, whereas it’s fun to look at the girls. We went home after dinner and watched TV with Fred, including episode 2 from this season of Grey’s Anatomy (woot!), and a little after 10:00, Fred said “I’m about to pass out” and I said “I am too”, and my mother was tired as well, so we all got up and went to bed. I had just gotten to sleep when the spud woke me up to unhook the back of her dress for her, and when I saw it was 11:00, I asked why she was home so early. It turns out that the dance was boring, so she told her boyfriend that he could go home at 10:00, and she’d get a ride home with her friend, and her friend wanted to leave a little before 11:00. Ah well. At least she looked good! Sunday morning my mother and I went out and had breakfast at the little country restaurant down the road from the Smallville house, and then went out so she could see the house. She seemed to like it, and kept me company while I put a second coat of paint on the closet doors (I had Fred remove all the doors in the spud’s bedroom and the guest bedroom so I could paint them, and it’s slow going, because I put on one coat of paint, then have to wait for it to dry before I put on the second coat, wait for that to dry, then flip the door over and start again with the painting. Luckily we’ve got time.). Then I helped Fred measure for crown molding in the guest bedroom, and held one end up while he nailed it in place. We’d talked about putting my mother to work at the Smallville house, but there was just really nothing for her to do – me either, for that matter – so we left Fred to his crown molding and coves and corners, went to get him some lunch, and headed home. I threw together a lasagna for dinner, and a hot dog and bean casserole (for Fred to take with him for dinners on the nights he works on the house this week), and then sat on the couch and alternately played with Maddy, read, and talked with my mother.
robynmakingdinner
I don’t know exactly what our plans are this week. The spud turns 18 on Thursday, but she has to work so we’re taking her out to dinner and having a birthday cake for her Wednesday night instead. Other than that, I don’t know. I mentioned hitting the Unclaimed Baggage store, and she seemed interested. I’m hoping at some point to get out to the Smallville house and bring Momma Kitty, Daddy Kitty, and the kittens inside, since I’d like to keep them (temporarily, until they can be examined and fixed) in the master bedroom. Oh, I guess I didn’t mention – Fred talked to the neighbor Saturday, and she told him that Momma Kitty had just shown up one day, so she started feeding her, then she had her kittens, then Daddy Kitty showed up (so she doesn’t think he’s really Daddy to the kittens), so basically they don’t belong to anyone. We’re having them all fixed, and she’s willing to take Momma and Daddy once they’re fixed, and we’re going to foster the babies until there’s room open at the pet store. Naturally, they all disappeared Saturday afternoon and didn’t show up at all on Sunday, so we weren’t able to lure them inside (a task which shouldn’t be too difficult with the assistance of some soft cat food or ham or turkey, since these cats are total vacuum cleaners), but Fred’s going out to the house on Tuesday and will call me if they’re there, so I can go out with supplies to keep them pampered and fed and safe until we can get them to the vet. I hope they don’t freak out too much at being brought inside, but every time we open the door and they’re hanging out on the porch, they seem very interested in coming inside. I hope we don’t traumatize them.
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ChangingTree Signs of Fall in the back yard. Pillbugs While pulling down poison ivy on Saturday, I displaced this mother Pillbug and her baby. CottonPlant Cotton plants growing by the side of the road. Momma Kitty thinks you are acting very suspiciously and if you make any sudden moves, she WILL kick your butt.   All four kittens.   All that’s left of the squirrel Momma Kitty hunted down and killed.   ****************************************       More pictures are hither.    
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: I believe that might be a personal record, right there. 2002: My poor baby. 2001: it’s MY journal and I’ll exaggerate if I want to. 2000: No entry. 1999: Why we don’t need another cat, by Fred]]>

10/20/06

by @ Friday, October 20th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life

Jane: Please inform Paco that he is woefully misinformed as to what exactly constitutes a Crazy Cat Lady. You are a mere amateur in the art of Crazy Cat Ladyness.

CrazyCatLady
I will happily send you cats to assist you in better achieving your Crazy Cat Lady goals. xoxo, Robyn
* * *
I hope you people who wanted to know what happens when Maddy’s sleeping on the printer and I need to print something out are happy, because you’re all going to hell. This is what happens: YouTube link. Poor Maddy. She hasn’t been back up on the printer since. She’s still feisty as ever, though. Last night I thought the calm, unflappable Tommy was going to tear her in half because she would NOT leave him alone. Poor cats, tortured by a feisty little monster.  
* * *
Questions answered, comments responded to! Oh, I have a confession to make. My little naughty black kitten that I adopted from under a shed this summer? Sure, I named him Jekyll, but do I call him that? No. No, I do not. He’s become a….Booger. So sorry, didn’t mean to swipe Mr. Boogers’ name (and don’t tell him or he’ll disapprove of me!) but he is such a little pest! I have conferred with Mister Boogers, who informs me that he considers it an honor and an homage that you are calling your boogery kitten Booger. In fact, he thinks that all boogery cats should be known as Booger from here on out.
* * *
I think the “adopt another cat and you can never foster again” rule should be specific to the residence. Therefore Maddy can stay (and she was the first And3son feline family member to see the Smallville house) and you can start the fostering anew. No? Sounds good to me – we’ll see what Fred has to say about it, though!
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Robyn, How do you think all the cats will handle the move? Do you have hiders or explorers? The last time we moved – into this house – they were all hiders. Some hid for longer than others, and in fact I’m not sure how long it was before Spot came out of hiding, but they definitely all hid. And Mr. Fancypants was a huge pain in the ass, as documented here. I expect that they’ll all be freaked out when we move into the Smallville house, but I predict that Miz Poo and Tommy will be the first ones out to explore. Tommy because he’s a nosy little bastard, and Miz Poo because she’d rather drape herself across a person and sleep than sleep huddled up under the bed with the other cats.
* * *
Seeing her sharp little claws makes me wonder – are they still too small for Soft Paws? I tried the small size on my 5 month old kitten about a month ago, and they didn’t work so well. Yeah, her claws are still way too small for SoftPaws. I did clip them last night, though. I don’t remember how old Sugarbutt and Tommy were when we started SoftPaws-ing them, but we were actually using the kitten-sized caps until about three months ago (and they are NOT kitten-sized cats anymore!). When we moved up to the next size, it worked out well for us, because the caps are fitting better and staying on longer. Five months may still be a little too small; I’d try again in a few months if I were you.
* * *
Hmmm… I believe the Biscuit Law is is why I bought a can of pillsbury biscuits tonight. It’s definitely catching on. Biscuits for everyone!!!
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Apropos of absolutely nothing, but I saw these and immediately thought of you. Would these go over well as gifts or ornaments for your family? I actually have several kits from Subversive CrossStitch, just haven’t gotten around to actually doing them. I ADORE that site and think y’all should go buy lots of stuff from there!
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Robyn, I’ve just finished catching up with your adventures! I read you through the LiveJournal RSS feed, and it’s been down since Sept 23 — anyone else reporting a problem? Nope, this is the first I’ve heard of it. I did uninstall a plug-in the other day because someone was having problems getting to the site, maybe that fixed it. Is it still an issue?
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What does the Spud do while you and Fred are working your asses off at the Smallville house? Seems only fitting she should be helping out. Unless she’s studying or working elsewhere… The poor spud is so busy right now that to expect her to help us work on the house would probably be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Between school and work and trying to eke out something of a social life, she’s busy all the time, poor kid.
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Hey Robyn, I’ve been a long time reader and don’t comment much but I had the funniest dream about you last night for some reason. (I know, I sound like a stalker!) You posted a video of you singing with some country singer I think it might have been with the woman who sang Coal Miner’s Daughter (the name escapes me). You were invited to sing at the country music awards and you were in this god awful blue dress and up there singing your heart out. I thought it was so funny and thought you’d get a kick out of it. Maybe that will be you in another life! Loretta Lynn! How cool would it be to sing with Loretta Lynn? I’m afraid the horror of hearing my singing voice might kill her, though. Heh. Did you dream that I could sing? This is not, by the way, the first time someone’s told me that they’ve had a dream about me. I dream about journallers and bloggers from time to time, myself!
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Soda!!!!! Are you drinking Diet Coke (AKA Nectar of the Gods) again, Robyn?!?!?!?!! (Regarding this picture.) No, that was Fred’s soda Maddy was sniffing at!
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When did you start referring to yourself as “Momma” to Maddie? Did I miss something? She IS staying, correct? I always refer to myself as “Momma” when it comes to the foster kittens. It’s easier to say than “Your foster mother who loves you but is still planning on kicking you out into the cold the instant you’re old enough.” And no, she’s not staying.
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Do the cats (at the Smallville house) ever go home? Apparently they do – to our surprise, we didn’t see them at all on Wednesday, and when we ran out there for a few minutes yesterday they weren’t anywhere to be seen. Maybe their owners decided to take them off to be fixed!
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How on earth did the two of you get the chain around the big, bad trunk? We wrapped it around the trunk, and Fred fastened the chain together with some chain-fastener clip thingies he bought at Lowe’s.
* * *
So, do I foresee a creepy story coming out of you or Fred about that sinister fog filled back forty? Hmmm? Not from me, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Fred talking about story ideas about it!
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It’s killing me to see all that perfectly good firewood being regulated to the BURN PILE OUT BACK. Why don’t you live next door so I could have it for my fireplace?!?!??? and You should chop that wood up and save it so that next year you can build a fire and burn hotdogs! Well, the only reason we dragged the tree back to the burn pile (next to the burn pile, I should say) was to get it off the driveway and out of the way. One of these days Fred’s going to get back there with his chainsaw and cut up the tree for firewood. Don’t worry – we’re already starting our wood pile!
* * *
I think you should get those cats fixed. The neighbors probably won’t even notice they are missing, especially if you just take one in at a time.(Have they come searching for them since they took up residence in your garage?) If Fred asks them and they say no, then what? You won’t be able to take them in at all without looking like the horrible meddling neighbors. If you just take them in now and by some crazy chance the neighbors do notice and confront you, then you can play stupid…”We are so sorry, we didn’t know they were your cats. We thought they were strays.” I bet they won’t really care anyway, but they may be embarrassed or get defensive depending on what Fred says and how he says it. That’s kind of what I was thinking – but it’s too late, because Fred asked the guy next door who the cats belong to, so if they suddenly go missing for a few days and they ask the neighbor if he’s seen them, chances are good he’d mention that we were asking about them. We should have just snatched them up and taken them to the vet, in my opinion!
* * *
Is it true that if you have a cat in the house the mice won’t be as bad a problem? I can tell you that the mice I’ve seen in our house here in the ‘burbs aren’t mice who came in on their own. They’re mice our stupid-ass cats brought in to play with (though we haven’t seen any mice in quite a while)(and now that I said that, we’ll be inundated with them). I will be interested to see what happens when they stumble upon a mouse in the Smallville house.
* * *
Ditto on the nasty beetle thing — and don’t smash them, either. The scent is a pheremone marker that attracts more beetles, and it also leaves an oily stain on your walls. You might consider doing a round of Killz primer on the rooms you have yet to paint. And if you get to the attic — hoo boy. They’re probably having some real “rock n roll” up there. Thanks, you guys, for letting me know that I shouldn’t use the vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the beetles. I would have been majorly pissed off if my Dyson got a beetle stank on it that wouldn’t go away! I guess I’ll get out the broom and dustpan and get rid of them the old-fashioned way. We have been priming the walls with Killz, so maybe that’ll help.
* * *
..but there are always these. But they don’t come in my size! They’re only available in size 7! Wahhhhh!
* * *
When we were done watching TV last night, Fred started singing to Mister Boogers, which he does a lot of. As he turned the TV off and I headed for the computer room to check my email one last time, Fred kept singing. A moment later what he’d been singing entered my consciousness, and I paused. “Did you just say ‘Put Anna Nicole in your butt’?” I said, staring at him. He laughed. “No, I said ‘Put a nickle in your butt!'” Oh, right. ‘Cause that makes way more sense. (He was singing this, for the record.)
* * *
Speaking of songs, yesterday marks the first time in my entire life that I realized Bonnie Tyler was singing “We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks” in Total Eclipse of the Heart. My entire life, I thought it was “We’re living in a polar keg and giving off sparks”, though it never occurred to me to wonder why living in a keg and giving off sparks would be a problem. The beer would just put out those sparks, right?
* * *
  It was a tiring day to be a Maddy yesterday, apparently. “Bob?”   “Hey, BOB! I hear you’re the go-to guy when it comes to the ‘nip!”   “I say, BOB! Where ARE you, man?”   All of today’s uploaded pictures (and there are some good ones!) are here.    
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Previously 2005: Your fascinating tidbit for the day. 2004: More Myrtle Beach. 2003: It’s got to be early-onset Alzheimer’s, y’all. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: I think back on the shit I pulled as a senior in high school, and I’m flat-out amazed that I managed to graduate. 1999: Just an all-around relaxing day.]]>

10/19/06

by @ Thursday, October 19th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

I tried to warn you about the black lipstick (Maddie). That’s how the Goth Kitty Look starts. Then it’s the piercings and tattoos. Did you notice in today’s pics of Maddy that she has her ear and tongue pierced? I looked closer, and by god she’s right! GothMaddy I want to know who snuck her out of the house to be pierced and painted (note the black nails). I suspect the evil Mister Boogers is the culprit.

* * *
I was supposed to answer these questions in Nance‘s comment section, but I needed something to lengthen this entry out a little, so here you go. It’s the Nebshit meme! 1. Do you kiss your pets? Of course! Not on the lips, though (do cats have lips? Judging by Miz Poo’s past lip problems, I’m going to say “yes”.), usually on top of the head, or (in Sugarbutt’s case) behind their ears. 2. Do you read the sites that bash bloggers/journalers? I wander through them from time to time, though I can barely keep up with the journals and blogs on my links list; I don’t usually go look at everything they link to. 3. If you could adopt an impoverished child without any red-tape and finances were not an issue, would you do it? I’d love to say yes, but honestly? No. I don’t want any more kids, impoverished or not. I’m happy to wait ’til the grandkids come along. 4. How much cash do you have on you right this minute? $30. 5. Have you ever gone to the bathroom in the woods? Yes and I did NOT enjoy it. Unlike everyone else who just loooooves to do it, I’m sure!
* * *
So we went out to the Smallville house yesterday after Fred got off work. He set about to spraying all the mud off his tractor (which he hadn’t done the night before because we didn’t have a hose in Smallville, a situation which has since been remedied) while I wandered around the yard hanging up bird feeders, checking out ant piles and the pond (which has more water in it than we’ve ever seen before!) and finally went into the house to change the lightbulbs in the closets and straighten up the kitchen. He finally came inside and we went upstairs to start painting, which is when we realized we’d been invaded by little beetles that might or might not be ladybugs or asian beetles. They were coming through the window in the upstairs bathroom in the tens (I know! Horrifying!), and some were crawling around looking for sex or drugs or possibly a little of the rock ‘n roll IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN*, and others were laying dead on the bathroom floor. Invasion4 Invasion3 If I’d had the vacuum cleaner at the house, I would have sucked the fuckers right up, but since I didn’t, I didn’t do a damn thing except plan to take the vacuum cleaner with me to the house on Friday. I don’t go out of my way to kill bugs, but if I feel they’re invading my territory (like the huge-ass spider who booked it across the front porch the other night, so I stepped on the fucker) or being a general pain in the ass (see above regarding beetles), I have no qualms about killing them. I know. I’m going to hell. At least I know I’ll have good company! So I set to work painting the door I’d painted the other night, because it clearly needed another coat of paint, since the primer was peeking through. It didn’t take me as long to paint it this time, and when I was done I told Fred we needed to move it so I could paint another door, only he decided that I should paint the guest bedroom walls around the doors and trim. I was worried about doing real painting, because I’m not much of a painter and I paint really slow, but although it took me most of the evening, I did an okay job. I got around the doorways while Fred painted the ceiling in several rooms and maybe did some wall painting as well, I’m not sure. At least I had thought to bring my iPod with me, so I listened to Keith and the Girl the entire time, so it wasn’t too painful. Boring (the painting part, that is), but not painful. *It’s okay. I don’t even know what I mean.
* * *
Tuesday night when I had to haul some branches to the back forty, I had to slog through a bit of water, which got my sneakers all wet, which got my socks all wet, which got my feet all wet. “Tomorrow I’m going and buying waterproof boots!” I told Fred indignantly. No one should have to slog about with wet feet – it’s 2006, not 1986! We aren’t living in the dark ages! Dry, warm feet for everyone! I demand it! REVOLUTION! So during my many errands yesterday morning I found myself in Target and I took myself to the shoe section, and I bought myself some boots that are waterproof and should keep my feet nice and toasty warm. Boots And they’re black and rubber and SEXY to boot. (Hahaha! “To boot”! I slay me!) Unfortunately they didn’t have the boots I REALLY wanted in my size, but I’ll try to learn to live with the pain. Boots3 Boots2
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Of course. Where else is there to sleep in this horrid, uncomfortable house where there are three warm and cozy cat beds to every single cat? Where else but on the printer?   Does this look comfortable to you?   Three cats in the space of five feet and none of them are hissing, growling, biting, or smacking at each other. It’s a Christmas Halloween miracle!   Today’s uploaded pictures are hither.    
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Previously 2005: I WILL BE THE VICTOR, DAMNIT! 2004: More Myrtle Beach. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: I’ve turned into a crazy cat lady for real, haven’t I? 2000: The spud turns 12 next week, can you believe it? 1999: I’ve been out of sorts all day.]]>

10/18/06

by @ Wednesday, October 18th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

fallentree We were DAMN lucky. fredtractor2 fredtractor fredtractor3 So instead of spending all evening painting, we spent all evening dragging the tree to the back forty, next to the burn pile. Well. I myself dragged six or seven (big! heavy!) branches back to the burn pile, then spent lots of time standing around watching Fred work. And playing with Momma and Daddy Kitty and their kittens, who appear to have taken up residence in our garage. Seeing as how possession is 9/10ths of the law I think that means they belong to us and we could take them in to be fixed, right? Yeah, Fred didn’t see it that way, either. He’s still going to talk to the cats’ owners. The cats and kittens would come out, play on the fallen tree, then run away when Fred came back with the tractor to drag some more of it to the back forty. When he was done, Fred said “I sure am glad I didn’t kill any cats while I was doing this. I was afraid I was going to!” Momma and Daddy had been keeping a close eye on the kittens, though, and made sure to chase them away from the tree if there was any danger. They’re good parents, those two. At one point Fred was using the chainsaw to cut a limb, and Momma Kitty went running by with something in her mouth. I looked closer as she ran by and realized she had a seriously mangled dead squirrel. She ran into the garage and wandered out again a few minutes later. “Um. Whatcha do with that squirrel, Momma?” I asked. She blinked at me and strolled away. Later, I found the squirrel hidden under the stairs in the garage. Like Momma was saving it in case there was a hungry time in the future and no cat food in the bowls. Seriously. If Momma Kitty’s using the stairs under my garage as storage, doesn’t that mean she considers it her home? “Nope, I didn’t do it. Really! It was… um… the squirrel! The squirrel did it! Which is why Momma had to kill him.”   I guess they’re not completely weaned. And doesn’t Momma look thrilled about it! Poor Momma. Those kittens are practically as big as she is!   As it got dark, Fred yelled for me to come to the back yard and pointed to the back forty. Low-lying fog was starting to roll in. It looked pretty neat. fog2 fog acorn fall unfallentree Fred’s eventually going to cut this tree down. When the other tree was standing, it looked okay because they were next to each other, but now that the other one is gone, it looks kind of funny. Plus it kind of looks like it’s ready to keel over at any second anyway. Once it was too dark to get anything else done outside (Fred managed to get the entire tree dragged (drug?) back to the burn pile area of the back forty (and I need to get a picture of the burn pile. That fucker is HUGE.)), we went inside where I started painting a door and Fred started painting the room that was going to be his room, but is now likely going to be the guest bedroom. I hadn’t even finished ONE SIDE of ONE DOOR when he came in, said he was done painting the room (just the walls, not around the trim) and ready to go because he was tired and starting to get sore. He helped me finish the ONE SIDE of ONE DOOR, and then we left. Tonight we plan to do nothing but paint. Fred will probably get the entire downstairs, garage, shed, and outside of the house painted. Maybe I’ll get ONE SIDE of ONE DOOR painted. I’m a slow painter, but a careful one. Those doors will be somethin’ to look at, that’s for sure. I hope I mean that in a good way. I’m not sure yet.

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  I haven’t managed to get a picture of it yet, but Maddy’s new favorite game is one she plays by herself. She’ll lay on her back, kick herself in the face with her back foot, and whine like someone’s picking on her. I think she’s hit the “dumb teenager” stage of her life. “Foot! Leave me alone! Or I will kick your butt!”   “Pillow! Leave me alone! Or I will kick your butt!”   Quite clearly it is a rough and difficult life for Maddy. Please, won’t someone save her from the daily torture and strife?   More pictures are here.    
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Previously 2005: For at least five full seconds a big cartoon question mark appeared above my head and my brain flipped frantically through the instruction manual trying to figure out just what the fuck was going on. 2004: Myrtle Beach recap. 2003: No entry. 2002: Poor, deformed Miz Poo. 2001: Ya gotta love the Poo. 2000: Remember that episode? 1999: I just love it when I don’t have to cook.]]>

10/17/06

by @ Tuesday, October 17th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap, TV

Nicole 1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be? Well aside from the fact that I want it to not ring in the first place, I guess I’ll say I want it to be Fred or the spud or Debbie. 2. Do you take compliments well? I try to smile and say “Thank you”, but a lifetime of scoffing at compliments is a hard habit to break. 3. Do you like to ride horses? Unfortunately, I don’t. I wish I was a horse person, because we’ve got enough land for one or two of them, but I’ve just never been into horses. Though when I was a teenager I was, and when we were on a family vacation we went horseback riding where my horse kept walking so close to the horse in front of us that the horse in front of us kicked and his hoof caught my knee. And it fucking hurt. And then later, I was sitting in the saddle and it started going sideways and I’d never really been on a horse before, so I had no idea I could have stood up in the stirrups and put my weight on the other side so the saddle would straighten out, and I fell onto the ground. 4. What was your favorite game as a kid? DOCTOR DEATH AND MISTER ALIVE! It was a dorky game my brothers made up wherein one of them was Dr. Death and the other was Mr. Alive, and if Dr. Death got us we were “dead” and could only come to “life” and rejoin the game if Mr. Alive came along. Or something like that. 5. Can you speak another language? I know very few words in French. Not even enough to carry on a conversation. So, no. 6. What is your favorite children’s book? The Little House series. I saved up my allowance for ages to buy those damn books, and I still have them all. 7. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? I… don’t know. Maybe around Christmas time? Debbie and Brian and my mother picked us up and we went out to lunch. I don’t know if that was at Christmas time or last Summer or just exactly when the hell it was. 8. What are your keys on your key chain for? One to the house, one to the car, one to the PO Box, and one to the new house. I think that’s about it. 9. What’s your favorite color? Yellow, though I have a definite fondness for blue, too. 10. Where is your current pain at? I’m feeling no pain. 11. Do you look like your mom or dad? My Dad, at least according to my mother. 12. What movie do you want to see right now? At this point, I can’t think of a single movie I want to see. Mostly because I don’t know what’s out, I guess. 13. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats? We used to put lotion on Spot (they make a hydrocodone hydrocortisone lotion for animals) because he was overgrooming his stomach and we thought it might be because of an itching issue. 14. What did you do for New Year’s? I… don’t know. Went to bed before midnight, I’m sure. 15. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Not terribly so. 16. What was the cause of your last accident? My incredible clumsiness, I’m sure. 17. What do you buy at the movies? Usually just a bottle of water. I sneak weight watchers candy in with me, and steal some popcorn from whomever’s with me. 18. What do you wear to sleep? Not a damn thing. Unless you count the inevitable cat draped over my hip. 19. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Stephen King grew up across the river and went to my high school. It hosts the Moxie Festival every year. I think that’s about it. 20. Do you use cuss words in other languages? No, but that sounds like something that would be fun to take up. Y’all teach me how to say fuck, shit, and goddamnit in other languages, eh?

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Yesterday after I got home from the pet store, I took a shower and decided it was too goddamned cold in the house to be running the air. Our thermostat is from the ancient ages where you have to have it on either “heat” or “cold”, along with the temperature you want to keep the house at. If you have it on “cold” and the temperature drops to like 55 degrees, you could freeze to death waiting for the heat to come on. That’s how it is at the new house, too, and I’ve decreed that come hell or high water, SOMEONE is going to install a thermostat you can set so that if it goes below 68 the heat will come on, and if it goes above 72 the air will come on. I don’t care if I have to pay a professional, it’s gonna happen in the new house, because this time of year it’s a pain in the ass to always be switching it back and forth between “heat” and “cold”. Anyway, I stopped at looked at the thermostat and saw that the current temperature on the stairs (where the thermostat is located – one of the things I hate about this house is that it doesn’t have separate thermostats for upstairs and downstairs) was 70. I decided I’d turn the dial thingy to 70 and switch it over to heat. I went downstairs, ate breakfast, puttered around, and thought “GodDAMN, why am I still so cold?” I wrote my entry and got colder and colder. When the tip of my nose was about ready to turn blue with how stinkin’ cold I was, I went upstairs to get my slippers. Usually if my feet are warm, the rest of me tends to stay warm, too. On the way up, I stopped and looked at the thermostat. Not only had I NOT set the dial thingy on 70, I’d set it several degrees below 70 AND I’d forgotten to click the thing over to “heat”. No wonder I was so goddamn cold. I set the dial thing to 75 and clicked it over to heat, and was toasty warm for the rest of the day.
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Oh, I forgot to mention my doctor appointment on Friday. As I mentioned, it was with an orthopedic surgeon, about the “possible Osteochondromas” on my hips. The surgeon told me that they were, indeed, Osteochondromas, and that they treated it by doing nothing. Since I was having no pain or symptoms and they weren’t bothering me, it wasn’t necessary to remove them, but I should come back if I started having pain or they started bothering me. He did say that in some cases they could turn cancerous, but the chances of that were slight and if it did happen it wouldn’t be until my 70s or 80s. And since I’ll be dead long before then from (1) PSC, (2) Weight Loss Surgery (3) Heart Murmur or (4) Throat Chewed Open By Crazy Wild Cats, I’m not going to worry too much about it. He did show me where the Osteochondroma on my left side is and the fact that it’s on the left side, not the right, and a lot higher than where I thought it was, probably explains why I couldn’t find it on my own. Duhr.
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“Hahahah! Ha! Ha! Mom, you are SUCH a dork!”   “Hahahahah! Ha! Ha! Mom, you are SO funny!” (Maddy learns the art of sarcasm)   “Bring your hand down here. I won’t bite. Promise!”   More pictures hither.    
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DSC01231 Nothing makes him happier than airin his harbl. * * *
Previously 2005: And I like Nicole Kidman and I loathe Sean Penn and didn’t want to see him rubbing his liver lips all over her. 2004: No entry. 2003: Poor Stanley. All he wants to do it play, and none of the big cats will play with him. 2002: That’s a lot of poop to scoop. 2001: “I don’t like it,” he said haughtily. “It’s not even REAL lemon juice. It’s citric acid!” 2000: Now I just have to decide what to spend it on. 1999: When I got to the top of the stairs I found Tubby huddled there soaking wet, and Mr. Fancypants circling him in a hostile manner. ]]>

10/16/06

by @ Monday, October 16th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

reading Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen and enjoying it, but there was this one bit toward the beginning of the book that had me howling: I’m sure Evan had never encountered anyone like Meghan before. Evan’s parents are the quietest people on earth. When she’s feeling froggy, his mother will say, “Oh, you,” to her husband, and he’ll squeeze her forearm. That’s the equivalent of all hell breaking loose in the Grater household. Laughed my ASS off.

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Speaking of books, the new Stephen King comes out on the 24th! I’m sure I’ll be in a mall at some point that week (my mother arrives this Saturday) so I’ll for sure be picking it up.
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So we’ve spent another weekend working on the house, feeling alternately like we were getting nothing accomplished and getting tons accomplished. I felt like I got a lot accomplished in the yard; Fred felt like he got a lot accomplished in the house. Friday I worked in the yard until it got dark – mostly raking and hauling crap to the mulch pile – and then I went inside to play with Maddy and then find out what I could do in the house. Fred asked if I’d wet down the walls in his bedroom so he could scrape the wallpaper backing off, so I spent some time doing that, and then he suggested that I go around the room and scrub the glue off from around the bottom, because he didn’t think paint would stick to the glue. So I did that until it was time to leave, and it was FUN. Not. It was cold as hell in the house, we weren’t running the heat because we had a window open and a fan in the window because Fred didn’t particularly want us breathing the dust from the crap he was scraping off the wall. So it was cold and noisy and I had to wear a stinkin’ face mask. “Stinkin'” to be taken literally, here. That thing fucking REEKED. At one point Fred was wearing his respirator (since he was doing most of the work in the room) and I was wearing my face mask, and he said something to me, and I leaned over toward him and took my face mask off and said “Huh?”, and he laughed his ass off. It’s like when you’re in the car and you smell something, so you turn down the radio and sniff harder. (Yes, I do that.) Dsc01928 We got home late Friday night and went straight to bed. Saturday morning I had thought I might sleep in, but I was up and wide awake at 6:30, so I got up and did my usual morning stuff, and we were out the door by 8. Once we got to the house, we turned the heat on, and then I went into Fred’s bedroom to finish what I’d started the night before. That didn’t take long, so I spent the rest of the morning taping the spud’s bedroom and vacuuming up all the crap off the floor, and other things I can’t seem to recall at the moment. After lunch, Fred suggested that since it was such a nice day out, we spend some time working in the yard. I was ALL for that and at some point we made a trip to Lowe’s so Fred could get a new toy to make working in the yard that much easier. Chainsaw You can imagine my concern. While Fred chopped down some trees and the fence posts behind the shed I walked around the yard and picked up some more crap, then got on the lawnmower and cut the yard in front of the garage (the side yard, I call it). It took me longer than I’d expected (mostly because I had to keep stopping and picking up stuff I hadn’t seen when I was walking through the yard), but when I was done the yard looked pretty damn good. Well, except for the hilly parts I’ll need a push mower to cut, that is. I didn’t relish the thought of taking the riding lawnmower up on the hilly parts and having it roll over on top of me. Naturally, I forgot the damn “before” and “after” pictures, so here’s a shot of Fred yanking down a tree. FredTractor After he’d done some Manly Man work, Fred went inside to prime the walls and trim of his bedroom and I stayed outside and dug more chunks of concrete and bricks out of the lawn next to the house. We left somewhat early on Saturday and were home before dark, which I think is a first for us. Sunday morning we were out the door early, too, and because we’d left the heat turned down to 55, it was FREAKIN COLD when we got there. I immediately turned the heat up to 68 (downstairs) and 65 (upstairs) and we got to work. I taped Fred’s bedroom so he could paint and then set to priming the closet in that bedroom. The closet is HUGE; it could practically be another room, or a nursery or something, so it took me all morning to finish. I was almost finished with one wall when Fred appeared and said “Come here, and bring your camera.” That’s always something I like to hear, so I grabbed my camera and followed him. Now, I know I’ve mentioned the little black cat – “Momma Kitty” – who first appeared a few weeks before we bought the house, who had clearly recently had a litter of kittens. She’s shown up several times since, both alone and with a male buff-colored cat who we’d taken to calling “Daddy Kitty.” Well, Momma and Daddy had come a-callin’. And they weren’t alone. Altogether, there were four kittens – two black and white, one brown tabby and white, and one gray tabby. Two of them were friendly, but the other two were a little skittish. Momma Kitty is friendly and Daddy Kitty tends to be skittish, so I guess their kittens took after both of them. We spent quite a bit of time on the porch hanging out with them, and they ended up spending almost all day hanging out on the porch sleeping and playing. We wondered if they were homeless, but they were all in really good shape, clearly not underfed, clean silky fur, and had obviously spent time around people. I suggested to Fred that I call the shelter manager today and see if we could foster at least the kittens until space opened up at the pet store. They’re obviously old enough to be away from their parents and eating solid food. All they’d need is to be fixed and to get their shots. I was all ready to foster the kittens when Fred went over and talked to our next door neighbor and found that they belong to the people on the other side of him (the neighbor, that is). The worst part is that we’re pretty sure Momma Kitty is pregnant again. I fumed and fussed and said “I don’t CARE if she belongs to someone, if she’s pregnant again I’m bringing her inside until she has those kittens, and when they’re weaned I’m going to have her fixed and then I’ll let her back outside again!” Did I mention she has worms? Fred said “You can’t do that. She’s their cat, you can’t save the entire world of cats!” We talked some more and decided that we (I nominate Fred) should talk to the neighbors and offer to (1) find homes for the kittens through the shelter and (2) offer to have Momma Kitty and Daddy Kitty fixed. Yeah, #2 might make them feel like jerks and could possibly offend them, but Momma Kitty needs a break from the whole creating-life giving-birth thing! I’ll report back how that conversation goes. So after I finished priming the closet and Fred finished painting the spud’s room, we decided to do some work in the yard. Fred went off to cut down some more trees, and I went into the front yard to clear the pile of crap around the big tree next to the house. It didn’t look like that much, but what I ended up with were piles of leaves and branches and wood that took Fred five or six trips with the tractor so I could load up the frontloader and he could carry it back to the burn pile. I would have just run over the leaves with the lawnmower, but there were so many branches – very thick ones, too – that I was afraid I’d end up breaking the lawnmover blade. I don’t know if that’s something that could happen, but it seemed like it might. While I was clearing out the pile of trash, I found some interesting things. Found1 Rusty axe. Because where would one put a rusty axe? Under the tree in the yard, of course. Unless maybe a serial killer dumped it under the tree on his way out of town. And now my fingerprints are all over it. Uh oh! Found2 Free kitten’s what? Kitten’s mittens? Kitten’s toes? Kitten’s kittens? Found3 Air rifle. I only know it’s an air rifle (and not, say, a BB gun) because it says “Air Rifle” on it. I don’t know what one does with an air rifle (does it shoot air?), but I know this one’s going on the pile o’ crap we’re tossing into a dump truck this weekend. I think we’d intended (at least, I intended) to leave the house around 5, but it was almost 6 by the time we pulled out of the driveway, because it took me longer than I thought it would to mow the front yard. It looks really good – at least, I think so – but again, we need to bring the push mower out so I can mow the hilly areas. And that was our exciting house-working weekend. This week I want to get the other side of the house and the back yard cleared of rocks, concrete and bricks, and then mowed. I also have to start painting the doors that go to the spud’s bedroom and the guest bedroom. Fred took them down and I’d intended to start painting them over the weekend, but just didn’t get around to it.
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Spidey While recovering from his brush with Malevolent Madeleine, Spidey keeps an eye out for trouble. * * * UglyBug2 Ugh. These things are everywhere. * * *   Zombie cat!   I need a bigger desk. Miz Poo isn’t going to take the usurpation of her bed by that stinkin’ kitten very well.   Soda tickles her nose.   More pictures here.    
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: “That’s because it fucking HURTS!” I yelled. 2002: TV talk. 2001: Is it just Fred and I that immediately think “Chrissie-anthemums”, or did y’all see that episode of Three’s Company as well? 2000: The Spider Dance.]]>

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