Cool new logo from reader Kitty, who responded to my plea. Thanks, Kitty!!!

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Hmph. Those polls always make me feel like a, as much mother used to call someone she worked with, “fluff bunny.” Clearly polls are not trained to recognize my subtle badassery.
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Good god has it gotten cold outside all of a sudden. One day it was in the 70s, the next day I walked outside and the tip of my nose froze off and bounced off across the yard to areas unknown. Fred got all kinds of worried about Newt and Maxi and wanted to bring them inside the (Smallville) house so they wouldn’t freeze to death. I had to tell him “Look, if you do that, you might as well leave them inside, because they’re going to be our cats and I didn’t think you wanted to have eight cats, but since you clearly do, they need to be inside cats like our OTHER cats and shouldn’t be accustomed to being outside all the time.” Besides, it’s not like every outside or feral cat in existence freezes to death every time the temperature drops to 30, right? And most outside or feral cats don’t have a cozy warm HEATED (from the top AND the bottom) cat house in a sheltered area where they can retreat if it gets too nippy outside. Besides. They are NOT OUR CATS. They have owners, damnit, and they’re not us! Yeah, yeah. Shaddup.
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So it was cold this weekend, but it was also not rainy or particularly crappy (though it was a bit windy, at least in Smallville), so on Saturday and Sunday we worked inside for most of the morning and outside during the afternoon, after it had warmed up (HA) a little. We started working on the computer room (we decided to start at the back of the house and work our way forward) Friday evening, and continued working on it Saturday and Sunday. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be able to finish it out tomorrow. All in all, it went pretty quickly, and I have a feeling that the rest of the downstairs will go pretty quickly as well. Fred did most of the painting in the computer room and I helped him measure and hang the crown molding (that is, I held one end of the crown molding while he nail-gunned it in place), and in between the times when my help was needed, I spent a few hours in the hallway closet pulling down the paper that lined the walls. I’m not sure when the paper was nailed to the wall or why, exactly, but it had started to rip in several places and needed to come down. This is what it looked like when we first saw the house, for the record. I finally got all the paper ripped down and the pieces of wood that had been tacked in place to hold the paper up (I assume) yanked down, and now all that needs to be done is that a zillion small nails need to be removed, then I’m going to paint it and the door, as well. The door has been painted, of course, but only on one side. I had to leave the house a couple of times on Saturday (more on that in a bit), and I came back just in time to watch Fred cut down the maple (?) to the side of the back yard. We spent the afternoon dealing with that tree (which was rotten to the core and had a nice infestation of carpenter ants; I’m sure Fred will provide pictures at some point). Fred cut the tree in pieces and then split the pieces, and I hauled them over to the concrete pad and stacked them. (Eventually we’re going to build some kind of wood shed, but for now, the concrete pad is probably the most convenient place to put the wood.) We also added to our new burn pile. Sunday, more of the same – I finished yanking stuff down in the closet, Fred worked on the computer room, and then Fred cut down another tree and we spent the afternoon tossing the smaller branches on the burn pile and adding to our wood pile.
Brush pile. Wood pile.
Fred’s thinking he might stop cutting down trees until we have a wood shed to stack the wood in, but we’ll see about that. During our time at the house, I noticed that we’ve finally got birds visiting our bird feeders. I’ve had them up for a few months and the bird seed has slowly gone down, but I guess now that it’s cold, they’re visiting a little more often. The cool thing is that the bird feeders they’re visiting are hanging right outside the computer room (there’s a branch hanging in front of the computer room doors (to the outside), and it was the only branch I could reach to hang feeders from). I intend to keep that area a bird-feeding area because not only is it right outside the computer room door, which means I’ll have a good view of the visiting birds, but it also won’t be in the fenced-in area, so our cats won’t be able to pounce on unsuspecting birds and bring them inside.
Female woodpecker. Chickadee. My mother has a whole flock of chickadees she feeds, and I’ve come to love the feisty little birds, from watching them at her house. Anyone know what kind of bird this is?
Before we left the Smallville house on Saturday I noticed that one of the bird feeders needed to be filled, so I carried the ladder outside and asked Fred to hold on to the ladder so it wouldn’t wobble or fall over. Everything went well (even though I was higher than I like to be when perched on a flimsy ladder that will only hold twice my body weight), I filled and rehung the bird feeder, holding onto the end of the branch as I rehung it. “Don’t fall,” Fred warned. “You’ll pull the branch down with you and that’ll hurt worse than just falling ’cause it’ll hit you on the head.” “Har har,” I said darkly. “Just shut up and hold the ladder.” The bird feeder hung, I started back down the ladder. I’d gotten one foot on the middle rung, when something hit me VERY HARD on the back of my head. “OW!” I yelled, stopping and looking around. “What the fuck?” Fred laughed and laughed and laaaaaaughed. Because a piece of the branch I’d hung the feeder on had broken and fallen, hitting me in the back of the on its way to the ground. Fucking trees.
The branch that bonked me. AND IT HURT.
Two days later, the back of my head still hurts a little. Hmph.
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So I had to leave the Smallville house on Saturday because the shelter manager called and told me that there was room at the pet store for the foster kittens, and could I send her some pictures and their names, and take them to the pet store later? Even though we’d only had them about twenty-four hours, I was more than willing to take them to the pet store because the sooner they go to the pet store, the sooner they get into loving homes, that’s how I see it. Momma kitty would be staying with us a few more days, because spaying is a bigger deal for older cats and they need a little more time to heal. I drove to Madison and sent the shelter manager pictures of the kittens and their names, went back to Smallville for an hour, then went BACK to Madison, picked up the kittens, and took them to the pet store. Oh, their names. Thanks, you guys, for your suggestions, I loved ’em all! I was particularly taken with Beth from Long Island’s suggestion of naming them after Beatrix Potter characters, so I settled on Mopsy, Flopsy, and Cottontail for the girls. I named the boy Seamus because I think all orange kitties should have Irish names (what can I say? I’m weird.) (Stub would be a good name for a bobtail, wouldn’t it?) So anyway, the kittens went to the petstore, and Seamus (the buff tabby) and Cottontail (the dilute calico) were adopted on Saturday. The two Calitabbies, Mopsy and Flopsy were there this morning and I gave them tons of love and kisses before I put them back in their cage and left. They seem to be adjusting pretty well, and I suspect that they’ll be adopted before next Monday because they are SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. On to the pictures! Seamus the love bug.   Mopsy. Doesn’t she look like a fox in the face, in this picture?   Cottontail.   I love the look on her face, like she’s saying “Do you BELIEVE this?” Because those kittens, despite eating solid food and being pretty much weaned, would still try to nurse. She’d let them for a moment, then get up and walk away.      
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All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: It is FUCKING cold downstairs in our house. 2003: And then I got the Best Picture EVER Taken. 2002: Fluff? Perhaps. But very entertaining fluff. 2001: “Who’s Robyn?” said the realtor. 2000: “You little bastard!” I yelled, and then ran at him 1999: Through three moves and a name change, they’ve managed to keep up with me, sending address labels all the way.]]>