* * *
I completely forgot to mention how my shitty Friday continued with the shittiness. I finally went to the mall and it SUCKED ASS because school is out and OY the teenagers and their wandering through the damn mall. I got home, got the stuff I’d bought out of the car, headed toward the side steps, and from the back yard came running Maxi and Newt. She had something hanging out of her mouth, and I thought “Ugh. Maxi’s killed another mole,” and walked by her.
Then I heard squawking. And I looked over to see a baby mockingbird fall out of Maxi’s mouth, and it started hopping and flapping and squawking, and I sighed and said “DAMN IT.”
I have a very strict don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy wherein if Maxi or Newt captures a bird or snake or mole or anything, really, and runs off with it, I don’t give chase. I figure it’s the goddamn circle of life and all that. But if they’re going to drop the small animal right the fuck in front of me, I’m not going to watch them kill it (unless it’s at least 78% dead already, of course) if it can be saved from the Jaws of Evil. So I dropped my bags and ran over, waving my arms and yelling “Drop it, Maxi! DROP IT!” (which was idiotic, since she’d ALREADY dropped it, and was just standing over it with glittery eyes, waiting for it to get tired so she could grab it up again), and then I pushed her away from it, and picked it up.
It squawked once at me, and then just sat there, blinking at me. I went inside the house, picked up the phone, and called Fred.
“I have a baby mockingbird,” I told him when he answered.
“I have someone in my office and am in a meeting,” he replied.
“Okay, ‘bye,” I said, and hung up. I eyed the pile of empty boxes in the corner of the computer room and considered putting the bird in a box until he either rallied and yelled to be set free, or died.
And then Mister Boogers caught wind of the fact that I had in my hands a baby bird. He twined around my ankles, eyes glittering.
“Oh Mother,” he said excitedly. “You have brought me a snack. Sweet Baby Jesus, Tommy, she brought me a snack!”
Tommy ran from the other end of the house, followed closely by Sugarbutt and Miz Poo. They danced around my feet, meowing and peering upward, eyes glittering.
“Cut it out!” I yelled at them. “Go away, you can’t have it!”
The baby bird sat in my hand, not complaining, just staring at me the entire time.
Finally, I decided to lock the gates to the back yard so Maxi and Newt couldn’t get in (yeah, I know they could TECHNICALLY climb the fence and get in, but so far they haven’t done that, so I’m not sure if they realize they can), put the baby bird under one of the trees, and hope he could either fly, or his Momma could help him find a safe place, or (as long as I didn’t have to see it), something would get him and it’d be the cirrrrrrrcle of liiiiiiiiiiife and all that shit.
So I put him under the tree and went around to make sure the gates were locked, and from the other side of the fence Maxi and Newt eyed me with complete disinterest. I walked back over to check on the baby bird, and he was laying there so still that I figured he was dead, and I said with dismay “Awww, godDAMNIT.” and leaned down to look closer at him.
Which is when he jumped up, flapped his wings, squawked, and ran away from me.
“Good bird!” I said, clapping my hands like a freakin’ dork. “Good bird! Flap those wings!” He flappedsquawkedran again, and I decided to leave him alone.
A few hours later when Fred got home from work, the baby bird was nowhere to be seen.
Until the next afternoon, when we found it dead under a tree just outside the fence, loaded up with ants.
Probably would have been less cruel to just let Maxi kill the damn thing. DAMN IT.
* * *
Are you using canning salt or are you doing the salt-free thing?
Until I got this comment, I had never heard of canning salt. I did a quick search and found that regular table salt has something added to it so it’ll flow freely without clumping up, whereas canning salt is pure salt. I used table salt in the batch of green beans I did the other day, but I’ll be buying some canning salt for future canning. I don’t believe in salt-free (and it’s such a small amount of salt added that I don’t think it’ll harm us).
* * *
what kind of canner did you get? We’re thinking about it, if’n it’s easy enough for us lazy types
I got the All-American 10.5 quart canner. It’s a small one, because we have a ceramic-top stove and I was afraid to try anything heavier. I got the All-American because the gardening guru Fred consulted recommended that brand, and so far, so good!
* * *
Pressure cookers could — I’m *positive* — blow the roof right off of the house. There’ll be no pressure cooking in my kitchen. And canning… well, in my hands, canning would be a healthy serving of botulism just waiting to happen. Either that, or else the contents would expand and then the jars would explode and there’d go the roof right off of the house. Nope, no canning done in my kitchen either.
That’s my concern, too, to be honest. I don’t particularly care for the idea of this monster pressure cooker (the thing is HEAVY) blowing its top, but I was careful to follow directions closely and didn’t feel like my life was in any danger at any point. And as far as botulism, that’s my fear, too. But I’m told that as long as the lid is down tight on top of the jar instead of bulging, it’s a pretty safe bet it’s not full of botulism. However, just to be safe, I think Fred should be the canned-food guinea pig.
* * *
Is that orange fur on Tina Louise’s belly (if so… CUTE!) or… something else?!?
When we first got the kittens, they’d just been spayed and neutered a few days before. I thought that that orange patch was the stuff they put on you to kill germs before they cut you open in surgery (though whether they use that stuff on kittens, I have no idea), but it’s been almost three weeks, and the orange is still there. Either Tina Louise isn’t much of a cleaner, or it’s permanent. I’m hoping for the latter.
* * *
So the fact that you mentioned your laptop as a favorite toy, does that mean you got a new one?
I was actually thinking about the old laptop when I said that, but yeah – I got a new laptop. It’s a ZT Affinity, but it may have to go back. We can’t get it online (Fred’ll be calling customer support this afternoon when he gets home), and what use is a laptop without being able to get online, I ask you? It’s got a 14″ screen, and it’s light as hell. It’s cute, but I’m not terribly crazy about Windows Vista at this point; I just may need to get used to it, though.
* * *
I can’t help but notice all the posts now ending with Sugarbutt – I imagine that Miz Poo must be insulted by this turn of events. Hate, even!
Miz Poo is a luvah, not a hater. She understands that sometimes Sugarbutt is more of a camera hog than she is, and she also knows that she’s the special Princess Kitty and no one else can replace her.
* * *
I am looking for a cat tree myself and was wondering if you could/would recommend the person you bought your tree from? Think you could hook a sistah up with the name?
I got my cat tree from Armakat
, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I highly recommend the seller – I got exactly what I expected to get, it came quickly, and it was in great shape. Two thumbs up!
* * *
Question – The cat litter that you use, do the cats track the stuff all over the room? I have only one cat and and she tracks litter all over the floor when she pops out of the litterbox. I would like something that isn’t so messy and trackable. I’ve used a couple different kinds, but not the kind you recommend – yet. Please tell me it’s not just wishful thinking that they make something to eliminate this.
I use Fresh Step cat litter (I also recommend the Arm & Hammer cat litter, but use the Fresh Step because it offers “Paw Points” wherein you can “earn” crap your cats don’t particularly need, and I am ALL about that), and I wish it wasn’t trackable, but it totally is. Half the reason I have to vacuum, at minimum, every other day is because the cats track litter from the laundry room into the kitchen, and then to all points. I’m not aware of any litter that won’t track as much, but my readers are awesome – I suspect someone out there has a suggestion on how to stop the damn cats from tracking litter everywhere. Readers?
* * *
The Spud? Has she moved out yet? I’m a stalker or anything, I was just wondering if maybe I could have her room. Hee!
The spud is leaving in a little more than two weeks – her father is flying down here, and they’re driving to Rhode Island together (which is much better than her driving alone, believe you me!). You can’t have her room, because that’s going to become Fred’s room, and his room is going to become the guest bedroom. However, I’m suddenly struck with the idea of offering to let people pay to come stay with us in the guest room, feed the chickens, weed the garden, do the dishes and canning and blanching and freezing. I bet some city slickers out there would LOVE to pay for having to work their ass off, wouldn’t they?
* * *
Hey Robyn, I thought you and Fred would get a kick out of this:
The Journal of Beatrix Potter from 1881-1897
“Sun, Jan.27, 1884:
There was another story in the paper a week or so since. A gentleman had a favourite cat whom he taught to sit at the dinner-table where it behaved very well. He was in the habit of putting any scraps he left onto the cat’s plate. One day puss did not take his place punctually, but presently appeared with two mice, one of which it placed on its master’s plate, the other on its own.”
That is the SWEETEST thing EVER. Gross, but seriously sweet.
* * *
Love the color in the laundry room. What is the color?
This is the label on the can. It reads: Valspar One Gallon Signature Base 2 LA718 [Laura Ashley] Just Peachy Interior Matte 105-8 114-1X16 115-26.
* * *
Do your cats (not the fosters) let you pick them up and hold them? I have three cats and they love for us to pet them and they will sometimes grant us the honor of sitting on or next to us, but if we try to pick them up and hold them, they cry like we are killing them and wiggle and squirm and try to get away!(I still do it ’cause they are cute little squishy balls of fur who must be kissed and snuggled, but they don’t much care for it!)
It depends on the cat. Spot would go immediately stiff and freeze in fear if you picked him up, so we avoid doing that – but he likes to be petted when he’s laying in a cat bed or sitting on the floor. Spanky doesn’t like being picked up at ALL. Miz Poo loves to be picked up and snuggled and kissed and will let you do it as long as you want, as long as she doesn’t have something better to do. Mister Boogers enjoys the occasional holding and snuggling and MY GOD does that cat adore being kissed on top of his head. He’ll let you hold him for a good long time, too. Sugarbutt doesn’t much care for being held – though he’ll tolerate it for a few minutes – but prefers to rub up against you and purr and be petted. I like to pick him up so that he’s in a standing position with his rear legs on the floor and kiss him on top of his head (which he likes). Tommy is very easily overwhelmed and doesn’t much care for being picked up. When he wants love, he’ll let you know (and then after you pet him twice, he gets overwhelmed and bites your hand, the bastard). Maxi likes to be picked up for a limited amount of time – usually when we walk around the back forty, Fred will pick her up and carry her for a while, and she likes that for a few minutes, then demands to be put down. Newt doesn’t like to be picked up at all, but he will let you rub his belly for sixteen hours straight if you’ve got the stamina to do so.
* * *
Which of your cats is the eldest? How old? Our two boys are now 17 and 15 … Candy, the 17-yr-old, is just beginning to show his age. It’s hard, like watching a beloved family member start to slow down – I’m not looking forward to the inevitable eventual decline. Have been googling “old age cats” and it sounds a bit grim.
Spot (13ish) and Spanky (almost 11) are the two oldest cats. Miz Poo’s going to be eight in November, and the others are quite a bit younger. Spot is definitely showing his age; I’m fairly certain he’s got some arthritis going on, because after he’s been napping he moves so stiffly that it hurts to look at him. He’s still feisty and able to take care of himself, though – Maxi was in the house yesterday and got a little too close to him. He hissed and smacked her and she ran off because she knows better than to mess with Spot. He can be a badass if he needs to.
* * *
I love the paint color of the front room. Would you mind sharing what color it is and what brand? Thanks!
The label reads: Valspar One Gallon Signature Base 2/ EB33-4 Celadon Interior Matte/ 103-20 105-2Y 114-24
* * *
“Shocking Mr. Boogers” would be an awesome name for a band. AWESOME. I am tempted to go buy a musical instrument and learn how to play it, just so I can recruit a few other people and name ourselves Shocking Mr. Boogers. And now, ladies and gentlemen, what you’ve all been waiting for – SHOCKING MR. BOOGERS! [crowd goes wild] Awesome.
I look forward to Shocking Mr. Boogers’ (though to be honest, it really should be “Shocking Mister Boogers”) first hit in the vein of Shock the Monkey
– Shock the Boog. Shock the Boogie? Whatever, I’m sure it will RAWK.
* * *
Fred came in last evening after he’d spent an hour picking stuff in the garden. I had just spent an hour blanching and freezing five pounds of summer squash and was washing up the 63,000 dishes I’d used.
“Do you like being a farmer’s wife?” he asked with a grin.
I shot him a look that should have caused his brain to fry.
“NO,” I said. “I probably would, if we could hire someone to wash dishes fourteen fucking hours a day so I didn’t have to!”
Honest to god, I spend an amazing amount of time washing dishes, even on days I don’t freeze or can. The problem is that the dishwasher in the kitchen is tiny and doesn’t work all that well, so I could toss dishes in the dishwasher and run a load when it’s full, but then I’d be running the goddamn thing twice a day, and still have to wash some of the dishes by hand.
I do not adore washing dishes, in case you were wondering.
“Well,” Fred said. “At least it should only be for the next few months, ’til the garden stops producing so much!”
And then I shot him another look that should have caused his brain to fry. Except that he’s got the thickest noggin this side of Ben Affleck, so my hate rays were deflected and singed some fur off Sugarbutt’s ass instead.
* * *
We call this his “sexy look.” It’s his default expression.
Maxi and the Boogs, hanging out on the air conditioner unit.
* * *
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
: I know I did the same lazy-ass, stupid-ass shit, and in retrospect she didn’t beat me nearly enough.
: Fred: Hey. You’re married to an old white man.
2001: No entry.
: I’m having a klutzy day.]]>