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Archive for August, 2007

8/31/07

by @ Friday, August 31st, 2007. Filed under Life

* * * Look. I know Amy Winehouse has her fans and probably many of you love her, but I listen to her music and it ain’t my bag (“Yeah, well what do YOU know? You like COUNTRY MUSIC, you goddamn hick!”) and I see the hair and it ain’t my bag “Yeah, well what do YOU know? You wear oversized t-shirts and baggy shorts and YELLOW AND BLACK STRIPED BOOTS where people can SEE you!”), and then I see pictures like this one: and I whimper and run away and hide. I don’t get the Winehouse lurve, but y’all just rock on with your bad selves, I s’pose.

* * *
I’m recently reading this book called This Day in the Life, which I bought – I think – because Melissa is in it somewhere and I like Melissa, and I thought the idea behind the book was an interesting one. It’s more interesting in some parts – the parts done by the 79 year-old woman married (for 18 years) to her second husband, and the one done by a female firefighter, in particular – than others. ANYway, there’s one bit written by a woman named Monica and she talks about her daughter, and her daughter’s name is Ronica. And I am enthralled by this idea, by giving your child a name that rhymes with your own by just changing the first letter. It saddens me a little that it never occurred to me until now to name my own child Flobyn. Hell – if I’d had several kids, they’d never accuse me of going down the list of names before I got it right, the way ALL parents did. Instead of going “Flobyn – Zobyn – Chobyn – Shlobyn – I mean, get OVER here, Thobyn!”, I could have just gone “::cough::OBYN! Get over here!” Think the spud would let me change her name?
* * *
Edited to add This morning, Fred woke me up before he left for work as he always does. “I fixed the shower!” he announced. We’ve been having an issue with the shower draining slowly these past few weeks. “Oh yeah? How?” I asked. “I was in the shower, and I am such a…” he paused and stared off in space to search for the correct term. “Douchebag?” I offered, and then snickered for so long at my own wit that I don’t even know what term he came up with. Is it wrong to be so amused by yourself?
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Also edited to add One day last week, my sister offered to me that I am the most normal person in our family. I demurred, because I don’t exactly feel normal all the time. The next morning while I was talking to Fred, I told him what she’d said. “Bessie,” he said gently. “She said the most normal person in your family, didn’t she?” “Yeah….?” I said. “Well. That’s kind of like saying that Alec is the most talented Baldwin.” “HEY!” I objected, and then couldn’t help laughing. Because the truth is FUNNY.
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Okay, clearly I’ve not got much to say. So I give to you two movies. The first is me, using my camera to make a short movie of a chicken taking a dust bath. Chickens take dust baths to, ironically, keep clean. It gets rid of mites and other little critters that can get under their feathers. Anyway, I was shooting this video, got distracted by a closer chicken, and then looked back at the dust bathing chicken to see that she was being pecked at by another chicken. At the very end, I say an annoyed “HEYYYYYY!” at the pecking chicken, and I sound like the biggest hick on earth. Enjoy. And this one is just a video of the chicken taking her dust bath (tell me she doesn’t look like a cat, rolling around like that), with the added bonus of Frick running into the movie at the end.
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My nephew sent me the link to this video, and even after repeated viewings, it makes me laugh like a goon.
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8/29/07

by @ Wednesday, August 29th, 2007. Filed under Life

“Do we have to share the bed with HER?” (Comments closed not because I haven’t been enjoying them; I really have, and some of them have made me laaaaugh. But I feel it’s safer to close them so prying eyes don’t see anything to set them off. If y’know what I mean. Love you guys!) ]]>

My first post

by @ Tuesday, August 28th, 2007. Filed under Life

13DSC00370 Mister Boogers hates you. On my way back home; entry in the next day or so.]]>

8/20/07

by @ Monday, August 20th, 2007. Filed under Life

One minute I’m catching him by one foot as he tumbles down the stairs and giving him cups of Cheerios to eat and telling Danielle to be NICE to him and telling him to stop staring at Danielle when she’s trying to sleep and laughing at him when he stomps around in his cowboy boots and not much else, and the next he’s got a CAR and is about to get his license and has a GIRLFRIEND and is working with firemen and has a deep voice and has to shave. How the hell did THAT happen, I ask you?]]>

8/17/07

by @ Friday, August 17th, 2007. Filed under Life

Twitter intermittently, if you want to keep an eye on me over there.

* * *
We were laying in bed last night talking as we do every night for half an hour or so. We were discussing a couple y’all don’t know. “I don’t EVEN know why he’s still with her,” I said in disgust. “They can barely even stand to be in the same room. She must have a magic pussy.” There was a contemplative silence from Fred. “Is it named Muff?” he asked. We snickered companionably, and then Fred began to sing. “Muff the magic pussy, lived by the cheeeeeeks!” Is there really any question why I love that man?
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It’s been brutally hot around here lately. I think I heard on the radio yesterday that we’ve had 10 days in a row where the afternoon high temperature was at or over 100. I’ve been letting the chickens out of their yard into the back yard around mid-morning. They like to hang out over next to the air conditioning unit. Condensation pools next to the unit, and they take turns standing in the puddle of water. Yesterday, Fred went and bought a bag of ice and dumped it in the back yard. They stood around it, occasionally pecking at the ice cubes, until it melted. When he got home from work, he said “Newt looks half dead on the front porch. I’m going to bring him inside and maybe put him in a bathroom. I said “Why not just put him in the foster kitten room? God knows it’s not getting used.” So he brought him inside, and we invited Maxi inside, and they spent the afternoon snoozing in the house, where it was quite a bit cooler than outside. (We don’t let Newt wander freely through the house, because being inside freaks him out and he’ll sit at the door to the outside and howl to go out. He’s not an indoor cat at ALL.) While Newt played in the foster kitty room… Maxi found a toy to play with… Was “discovered” by Maryanne, who LOVES black cats, and went running over to rub up against Maxi. Until Maxi hissed to show her displeasure. Apparently Maxi doesn’t care for kittens – despite Maryanne’s many overtures, Maxi never made nice during her afternoon visit.
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It being Friday, here’s your Comment-Answering Extravaganza! how is the Spud doing/adjusting? Is she enjoying her courses? Is she living w/her dad? How are you adjusting to an empty nest? The spud appears to be settling in quite well in Rhode Island. She’s living with her dad (that’s why she went up there), and isn’t taking any courses right now – she’s planning to wait until next fall to attend the community college. She just got a job – possibly two – working retail, neither of them full-time, and one of them seasonal (which should last until January). She’s got a boyfriend who’ll be going away to boot camp in a few months. We email and text and talk fairly often, and I know she checks in here from time to time (Hi, Spud!). Hopefully (depending on her schedule) I’ll be seeing her next week! I’m adjusting fairly well to the empty nest. Once we moved into the house here, she wasn’t around a lot, so I got used to not having her around. If I wasn’t able to reach her via text or email or cell phone pretty much whenever I wanted, I think I’d be feeling the loss a lot more than I am. It also helps, I think, that I’m keeping pretty busy, with the canning and freezing and cleaning and all that.
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i wish they would have a flashback prequel show to show how nicki came to be the second wife. that would be interesting to see what the attraction was. (That’s regarding Big Love, for you non-watchers). I am hoping like hell that at some point they let us see what it was like, how Barb and Bill came to the decision to start living “The Principle”, how Nicki became the second wife – we know that Barb was ill and Nicki was her nurse (Barb had breast cancer, if I recall correctly) and that’s probably how she was introduced to the family, but how did they go from an LDS one-father, one-mother family, to a polygamist family? Inquiring minds want to know – and more, want to SEE. Edited to add: Meet the New Babysitter (Margene).
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Why is it that you think Ben Affleck’s head is so big, anyway?? I just checked him out again via Google, and I still wouldn’t throw him out of bed. I think Ben Affleck’s head is so big… because Ben Affleck has a big damn head! Go here, scroll down to the picture of Ben Affleck, next to the picture of Ellen Degeneres. His head is HUGE compared to hers. Now, I’m not saying Ben Affleck isn’t a good-looking man, because clearly he is quite fine. But when a man with a head the size of a Volkswagen comes toward you, wouldn’t you feel a little fear? What if he loses his balance and lands atop you, crushing you flat immediately with his big head?
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Last week you said that you feed the kitties Nutro, which is what we are feeding Lily and Milo. These two are the rootinest, tootinest, fartinest kitties EVAH! Not just little silent ones either–they let out rippers! And the burping–don’t even get me started on the burping (belching, really). They love the food and are very healthy kitties, but I wonder if any other kitties get gas from Nutro or if I’m just lucky to have 2 fluffy gasbags. Have you noticed the cats getting gas from any specific food? I have not – THANK YOU LAWD! – noticed the cats getting gassy from the food we feed them. And given how much time they spend hanging out with us, if they were farting, we’d notice. Did you just switch them over recently? If so, it may take a little time for their digestive systems to adjust. If not, well, I’d invest in a gas mask!
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“Running around like a chicken with its head cut off” – Well, I hope your chickens can’t read – you’ll scare the crap out of them!!!! Oh, the chickens can READ, they just can’t figure out how to work the mouse, so they’ve never gotten into the internet thing. When they make a mouse specifically for chickens, THEN there’ll be trouble, by god. They’ll be hogging my computer, posting to the chicken forums, and cackling at YouTube videos.
* * *
I think I had glasses like your old ones, back in the day 🙂 How old were they? I just swapped out my glasses, too, because I am always afraid I will get disastrous eye infection and not be able to wear my contacts. And then how would I drive? I think those glasses were only a few years old, though they might have been as old as five, I don’t remember. They certainly were BIG glasses, weren’t they?
* * *
I’m a tad bit worried about Fred being there by himself with all of that produce. I hope he does bring it to work and give it away instead of saving it all for when you get back. I can just imagine you returning from a week with your mother, a long, difficult flight back, followed by a 2 hour drive in the heat from the airport. When you finally make it to Smallville, sometime around midnight, you go in the house just wanting a cold drink, you open the fridge, and it all tumbles out. A full weeks produce, stuffed into the fridge and now splattered on the floor – Fred behind you “Don’t open the….oops – too late!” Oh, Fred KNOWS better. We had a discussion on how to preserve most of the produce, and whatever he doesn’t want to deal with he can take to work and give to his partner. He’s been informed in no uncertain terms that if I come home to find a refrigerator stuffed with produce, I’ll toss it all out to the chickens!
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How often do you wear glasses anyways, never seen a photo of them on you! I wear them from the bedroom to the bathroom first thing in the morning, whereupon I immediately put my contacts in. Then I take my contacts out, put my glasses on, walk into the bedroom, turn off the light, and put my glasses in the drawer. Very occasionally I’ll get back up after Fred goes to bed, and read for a while. At the most, I wear my glasses for an hour a day unless I develop an issue with my eyes (which hasn’t happened in quite a while). I should probably take my contacts out earlier in the evening to let my eyeballs “breathe”, but I can’t stand wearing glasses when I’m so accustomed to contacts.
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Do your cats ever fall off of the cat tree? Darby was sleeping on the very top level on Sunday and he rolled too far to one side in his sleep and fell off. He bounced twice on the other levels before he finally hit the floor. Then, he just stood there for a second with all four feet spread out like an X and an expression of WTF?! on his face. It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and then one of the cats – usually Sugarbutt or Mister Boogers – will stretch in his sleep, roll over, and fall off the tree. Mister Boogers just shakes his head, jumps back up in the tree, and goes back to sleep. Sugarbutt sits there, looks confused, licks himself, and then wanders off.
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Eventually once you are up to your ears in excess eggs, I want to see a jar of Pickled Beet Eggs on your shelf! Those were always a treat when we went to Gramma’s house and I make them every summer. Have you ever had them? They really are fun and yummy! If not that, you’ll have to do a search on 7 egg cake recipes and such. Not only have I never had Pickled Beet Eggs, I’ve never had beets. I don’t know that I want to try them, honestly – they’ve never appealed to me. We might try pickling some eggs if we get very overwhelmed, but more likely when we get a ton of eggs we’ll have a dinner of scrambled eggs with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms mixed in. That usually uses up quite a few eggs!
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Do you and Fred have pet insurance on your cats? Do you have an opinion on the matter? I wonder if it’s worth it. I am about to adopt a kitten and have limited funds, so I was thinking it may be a good idea. Maybe some of your readers have any comments? To which another reader responded: Pet insurance is like any other insurance, it’s a great thing to have when something bad happens, but then if it doesn’t was it a waste of money? I have intended to get insurance for my cats but I’m a procrastinating sloth and didn’t. There are some ok plans out there that give you a percentage back on routine vaccines but you pay a higher premium then. We considered pet insurance for the cats, but Fred looked into it and decided it wasn’t worth the premium. I’d be interested to hear from y’all what your opinion is on the subject!
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I don’t know if you save up questions, but I was wondering if you have ever felt you didn’t do enough for your cats? Our beloved dog has a hurt leg and the vet said to just wait and see what happens (with just a phone conversation, no physical exam), and I am freaking out. I’m 90% sure I’m going to change vets. Have you had issues with vets before? The thing with vets is that oftentimes you can tell how invested they are in their job. The vet we used to take all the cats to was just kind of going through the motions. I don’t know if he was burned out or just didn’t like cats – he wasn’t a bad vet and he saved Miz Poo’s life when she had a blockage, but you can tell when someone loves cats and when they can’t, and I honestly don’t think he liked cats very much. The vet who spays and neuters all the cats for the shelter I volunteer for, you just have to see her examining a cat, and you know that she LOVES cats. She impressed me so much that I started taking Miz Poo to her for the lip issues, and she’s Sugarbutt and Tommy’s vet as well. There are closer vets – it takes half an hour to get from our house to her clinic – but I am absolutely certain that she’s a good vet, and I like the way she talks to our cats when she’s examining them. (The only reason Spot, Spanky, and Mister Boogers haven’t been seen by her is because they’ve only needed routine shots and exams these past few years, so we kept taking them to the same vet. Now that we’ve moved and that vet is no longer so convenient to us, we’ll either start taking them to a vet in the area or switch them so that all the cats have the same vet.) It is possible that the vet was able to ascertain from the phone call that your dog’s hurt leg wasn’t an emergency, BUT if your vet’s attitude struck you as unconcerned and/ or uncaring and you want to switch vets, I’d encourage you to do so. You definitely should have a vet you (and your dog!) feel comfortable with. And now that it’s been a while since you posted the question, let me know how your dog is doing!
* * *
I was wondering where the chickens lay the eggs. Do they have nests? They have several nesting boxes in the coop. Some of the girls prefer to dig out a nest on the floor of the coop and lay an egg there, which annoys me because then I have to climb into the coop with the chicken poop and flies, and get the egg. I’m told by Fred – who really does frequent a chicken forum – that they’ll learn to all lay their eggs in the nesting boxes.
* * *
Are you still playing Snood? Very rarely – usually when I’m on a long phone call. I did install it on my laptop, though, so I’m sure I’ll be playing a game or two on the plane to Maine, and while I’m in Maine next week!
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So when I saw the side-by-side pix of you & Alice I thought, ok, that would be pretty good casting. & then I remembered back in ’96 when I saw Alice in a Broadway show, & I thought, yeah, “Bitchypoo:the Musical.” Cause Alice sings & dances. So what do you say? Hugh Jackman as Fred? My cat BC as Mr. Fancypants, cause they’re twins, & he’s already gay, so broadway’s where he belongs. Can I direct? But of COURSE. I’d like to hear more about the plot of the musical. Will the lead character be tone-deaf and unable to carry a tune?
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Your question and answer Fridays remind me of Smart and Sassy – do you miss it? Not very much, to be honest. It used to stress me out a lot, trying to come up with decent answers to the questions, and I spent many a Sunday sweating over my answers and getting them sent to Nance. Some of those questions were HARD, and I swear to god, there were times I wanted to answer them all with “I don’t KNOWWWWWWWW!” I miss it sometimes in theory – I guess I miss its existence – but I don’t miss the trying desperately to come up with an answer at ALL.
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Where did you get your purple comforter? I seem to recall you mentioning it and I tried searching past entries, but I cant find it! Does it hold up well to washing? It came from LinenSource.com – it’s this one, in “aubergine”. I’ve washed it three or four times so far, and it’s holding up very, very well. I LOVE IT – who would have ever thought I’d end up with a purple bedroom and purple bedspread?
* * *
My question, are your tomatoes “determinate” or “indeterminate” tomatoes. You may have said the variety, but I must have missed it. I don’t have a clue, so I asked Fred. He said “I THINK most of them are indeterminate. If they’re determinate, they haven’t determined yet.” (Which was a joke, I’m told.) I have no idea what that even means. (For those of you who are as clueless as me, the definitions are as follows, according to Fred: “Determinate tomatoes only produce a certain number of tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes put them out ’til first frost.” Interesting!)
* * *
Question? Hmm.. how about..are you keeping Maryanne? We are not. HOWEVER, there hasn’t been any room at the pet store for her (this time of year, there’s a huge amount of cats looking for homes, and the adoption rate slows, so there’s a bit of a bottleneck going on as far as room at the pet store), so I’ve informed the shelter manager that Maryanne will be staying here until I get back from Maine. Fred doesn’t want to be “the bad guy” who takes her to the store and leaves her in a little cage (can you see me rolling my eyes?), and she behaves herself pretty well, so she’ll be hanging out here for at least the next ten days. Clearly she’s miserable.
* * *
Do you ever feel like blowing off Maine some years and going someplace different? Nope, never. I LOVE visiting Maine (I must – I keep going back twice a year most years!), but I’d certainly like to go someplace different in addition to going to Maine!
* * *
I do have one question. I know this is a question better asked at one fat bitchypoo, but I thought I’d take a chance and ask. How much do you eat at a meal now, over a year after your surgery? When you hear about the gastric bypass, it seems like you only can eat a couple of tablespoons of food at mealtime. But sometimes I see your pictures of what you’re eating (which looks great, BTW) and I wonder if you’ll eat it all. It’s not huge portions by any means, but more than a couple of bites. Been thinking about WLS, and just curious. It really depends on what I’m eating. I can eat a lot more vegetables and carbs in one sitting than protein. If I were to sit down and eat nothing but protein, 3 or 4 ounces would fill me up. But I can eat a plate full of vegetables and still have room for more – vegetables and carbs chew down to almost nothing, whereas most protein doesn’t. If you and I were to go out to dinner, it very likely wouldn’t occur to you that I’ve had weight loss surgery. For dinner last night, I had half a pizza pork hoagie, and a handful of cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cubes. That’s a pretty average-sized meal for me (breakfast these days usually consists of a couple of scrambled eggs and, if I’m hungry, a piece of toast or some blueberries – lunch has been a couple of scrambled eggs on a low-carb tortilla with a piece of cheese and some cherry tomatoes on the side. I’m loving the cherry tomatoes. Also, the eggs!). At more than eighteen months after surgery, I would say my meals consist of right around as much as I SHOULD have been eating before I had surgery.
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Do you dread and hate going to get your hair colored as much as I do? I hate the thought of sitting there and having to come up with conversation (I have one of those hairdressers that gets offended if you try to sit there and read a magazine and zone out and not talk to him. Aargh!)? I dread it, but only because it’s SO BORING, and yeah – trying to make conversation with the stylist. She’s pretty good about going off and leaving me to my book when the color’s sitting on my hair, but the whole process from beginning to end takes an hour and a half or so, and like I said it SO FUCKING BORING that I hate going. I’m so un-girly that it amazes me that I keep going every six weeks. I always threaten to let my hair revert to its natural color and start cutting it myself, but I imagine I’d end up looking like I’d just been released from an asylum if I ever tried to cut my own hair.
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What happened to the links to other sites that you read? I used to go there all the time and check out other blogs (sorry–journals 🙂 that way… Over there in the left column (under the picture of Tubby and the one of Sugarbutt) is a picture of Miz Poo that says “Blogs I Read.” Click on it! (And let me know if those pictures aren’t showing up for you!)
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How do you cook your black-eyed peas? They are a new thing for this Yankee. We either throw them in a pot of water with a cube or two of chicken bouillon and a chopped onion, bring the water to a boil, then turn it down and let it simmer for a couple of hours (and if we’re eating them as our main entree, we add a ham hock (warning: VERY fatty) or some chopped ham to the pot). The way we prepare it if we don’t have much time is to put it in the pressure cooker with some water and a chicken bouillon (sometimes a chopped onion, as well) and pressure cook it for about 15 minutes. Both ways will give you somewhat mushy peas, but we like ’em like that!
* * *
Do you guys have to pay for your water or do you have your own well? I remember reading about watering the garden and know how big it is was thinking that you must pay an arm and a leg for water. We have a well, but we haven’t gotten “the guy” out to get it running for us, so we have to pay for the water we use. And even though the garden’s big and Fred waters a row or two every day (he uses soaker hoses rather than sprinklers), and even though I feel like I am ALWAYS running the water in the kitchen and watering the plants on the front porch and in the front flower bed, our water bill last month was about one-third of what it was when we lived in Madison. In Madison, we got water from Huntsville. In Smallville, we get it from the county. I can guarantee we use more water in this house. I can only imagine how much the water bill will drop once we get the well running and use that water to water the garden!
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Late burning questions. When are you leaving? How long are you going to be gone? Will you post while you are in Maine? Have a great trip! My flight leaves tomorrow at 6 am. I’ll be gone ’til the 28th, so 10 days (I wanted to be there for both my nephew’s birthday and my father’s, so ten days it is!). Unless there’s some sort of issue with both my laptop and my father’s computer, I’ll be posting at least once while I’m gone.
* * *
Tommy, so very sad that his Momma is leaving. Spot, prostrate with grief that his Momma is leaving. Da Boog, unable to face a daily life without his Momma around… Or not. “PAR-TAY!!!!”
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Previously 2006: I also thought my brother made up the word “fart” when I was a kid, so apparently I think he’s a real trend-setter. 2005: You know who really just completely repulses me? 2004: The only way it’d be better is if we could call and vote on who’s the most annoying. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: Wouldn’t it have been ironic if I’d made assurances to the spud that we would probably all live for a long, long time, then promptly tripped over the cat, fallen down the stairs, broken my neck, and died? 2000: Man, I’m so unmotivated today (nothing new there). ]]>

8/16/07

by @ Thursday, August 16th, 2007. Filed under Life

* * * To be fair, regarding yesterday’s entry, I don’t think the new neighbor was prying or trying to get information out of me or intending to be rude when she suggested that we might be good christian folk. I think it was just a way of segueing into the information she wished to talk about, which is that she’s come back to The Lawd recently, after a praying session in her bedroom one night* and she had lost her way for a while, but now she’s back in good with The Lawd. I also kind of got the feeling that she was trying to feel me out – figuratively speaking – as to whether I’d come stomping over and lecture her about The Lawd if I saw her sitting on her back deck slurping down a beer. I can’t say why I got this impression, because it’s nothing I can put a finger on, but I did get the impression that her being in good with The Lawd doesn’t necessarily include attending church on her part, or preclude any of the fun stuff The Lawd supposedly frowns upon. However if I’m wrong, I might steal from Amanda and tell her that I’m a secular humanist, throw her the peace sign and shut the door. Or (more likely) I’ll tell her she should talk to my husband, because Fred KNOWS his bible and he’ll stun her with passages from the bible before he gently suggests she be on her way and closes the door. Having lived in the south for 11 years now, you’d think that people assuming I’m a churchgoer wouldn’t take me by surprise every single time – but it does. I find it kind of intrusive and a little embarrassing, as if they’d asked what color panties I’m wearing**. I understand they’re not intending to be intrusive – or maybe they’re just looking to drag me kicking and screaming back to The Lawd and don’t care if they’re intruding – but it feels intrusive nonetheless. In case it concerns anyone, I do believe in The Lawd. It might not be the way you believe in The Lawd and it might not be in an organized and approved fashion, but The Lawd knows how I feel and what I believe, and he said to tell you to shut the fuck up with all the praising and the prosthelytizing ’cause it gives The Lawd a headache. And they don’t make a Bayer Aspirin big enough to take away THAT headache. *I, myself, have also been known to praise The Lawd in my bedroom at night. ** Beige.

* * *
Seriously, last Friday when I asked y’all who should play me in the TV movie, I half expected someone to say “Andy Dick!” (God I hate Andy Dick. He’s annoying and has never had one funny moment in his entire life.) Instead, you came up with cool answers that included Nicole Sullivan from Mad TV, Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, Sharon Stone, Toni Collette, Patricia Heaton, Kathy Bates, and Mary McDonnell (from the Grand Canyon era). (By the way, Mary McDonnell in Dances with Wolves? SMOKING hot. Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves? Thin-lipped and much, much less hot.) Y’all flatter me – the day I look like Toni Collette is the day I reTIRE from journaling and wander off to Hollywood to make my millions. But my favorite suggestion – favorite by FAR – was the reader who suggested Alice from The Brady Bunch. I’ll admit, at first I was all but then the more I thought about it, the more I decided I like the comparison. Because think of it – on The Brady Bunch, while those whiny Brady kids were wandering around howling about their broken noses (“Hey you guys! Ow, my nose!”) and putting on shows and fighting over the bathroom, who was there cooking up the pork chops and applesauce, making sure no one went hungry, and doing her best to make sure Mrs. Brady and her flip ‘do never found out about Mr. Brady and his predilection for the male gender? Alice, that’s who. When things were tense around the Brady household, when Greg and Marcia were battling over who got the attic for their bedroom, who remembered that not so long ago, that attic was actually only a crawlspace and Mr. Brady told Mrs. Brady that it would be perfect for a bedroom “If Greg was three feet tall!”, and there must have been some serious perm-haired voodoo going on to make it a full-height attic, but held her tongue and just made a wisecrack about the whole mess? Alice, that’s who. When Jan wished fervently that she was an only child and her siblings did their best to accommodate, when Peter and Bobby were screaming for Marcia to get her ass out of the no-toilet-having bathroom already, when Greg jettisoned his pesky brothers and sisters to become the one and only Johnny Bravo because he fit the suit, when Peter’s voice was cracking and throwing the entire Brady musical career into a tailspin (when it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange who you are and what you’re a-gonna be, after all), when Weird Cousin Oliver came to visit, when Jan wore that dead squirrel-looking brunette wig so that people would see her for the treasure she truly was, who did NOT go on a shooting rampage and tell those damn Brady kids that the next time one of them sashayed through the kitchen, drank a cup of milk, left the cup in the sink and then came back ten damn minutes later to get ANOTHER cup of milk, using a fresh cup the second time – and the third and fourth – she was going to cut their heads off and hang them from the front door? Alice, that’s who. Alice was always ready with the quick quip, the funny bon mot, the silly non sequitur, the humorous witticism, wandering through one Brady crisis or another, zinging them with a one-liner to break the tension, leaving them shaking their heads, smiling, and saying “Oh, Alice!” That silly, silly Alice. Always quick with the funny while we putter about with our goofy, unimportant issues. She feeds us, she watches after us, she makes sure we always have clean towels and horrible (but clean!) ’70s clothes, she lives in a room off the kitchen and always wears that damn uniform, I’m SURE she isn’t paid even a living wage, what ever would we do without our dear Alice? Let me ask you this, my friends: every evening when Mom and Dad Brady were lobbing half-hearted flirty comments at each other, when they were giving each other the driest kisses this side of my grandmother, when they were snapping off the lights and turning their backs to each other, silent tears coursing down their cheeks as they each fantasized in their own way about Englebert Humperdink, who was sneaking out the back door? Who was visiting Sam the Butcher at his shop, toting a load of naughty sex toys in her Grandma purse? Who was taking it BUT GOOD out back in the cooler while unsuspecting customers browsed the racks of meat up front? Who, with her sexy shenanigans and pinned-up ‘do that never ever moved, was making Sam (that sexy beast) slap her on the ass and howl “I’VE GOT YOUR PRIME RIB RIGHT HERE, MISSY!”? Why, that would be one Alice Nelson, that’s who. So reader Jamie, thank you for your apt comparison. I AM more like Alice than I had ever considered, and I wear the comparison proudly. And just like Alice, I get MY beefsteak wholesale, too. “Oh, Alice!”
* * *
Tommy climbs into a cat bed. And he marches. And he marches. He marches some more. And when he’s done marching? A bit of marching. Marchmarchmarchmarch. March. March. MARCH. And the entire time, he’s shooting these heavy-lidded looks of love at whoever happens to be around. He marches to the tune of his own drummer, our Toms. “I’LL GIVE YOU THE P&L STATEMENT!” (Probably only KATG listeners will get that. And only if they’ve listened to last week’s shows. I sure do love that Brother Love.)
* * *
Previously 2006: Questions answered. 2005: No entry. 2004: Oh, by the way? When you tell someone “Don’t worry, I won’t be back to read your journal”? Please. EVERYONE knows that means “I’m going to come back every six seconds to see the reactions to my asshole comment”. 2003: No entry. 2002: CHECK THOSE FEEDBACKS, people! 2001: 16 miles. Yeah, baby! 2000: I swear to god, that cat is half monkey.]]>

8/15/07

by @ Wednesday, August 15th, 2007. Filed under Life

Now, really. First of all, I don’t EVEN know what would have made Mister Seller come to such a conclusion, because we’ve never thrown our hands in the air and Praised the Lawd, we’ve never been spotted walking into a church, we’ve never even discussed The Lawd and His Teachings with Mister Seller. If I’ve ever done anything but smile and wave in the general direction of Mister Seller, I would be amazed. Perhaps it was the lack of “Motherfucks” and “GodDAMNs” laced through Fred’s inquiry as to how much Mister Seller would be selling his house for that led him to this belief. Secondly of all, JUST HOW IN THE HOLY FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO ANSWER SUCH AN ACCUSATION? What, do I shake my head and sternly say “Mister Seller is quite mistaken. Please leave my house immediately, in the name of Satan and all his Minions.”? Shake my head and say “The day I step across the threshold of a church is the day lightning will immediately strike me dead.”? Shake my head and growl “Now, that is none of your GODDAMNED BUSINESS, WOMAN.”? Yell Allahu akbar and detonate myself? Instead, I smiled and nodded and changed the subject. Hopefully it won’t bite me in the ass in the form of her coming a-knockin’ on Sunday mornings, asking if I want to join her at church.

* * *
Y’all, anyone who has the same kind of glasses as my new ones, when I said they were “unattractive”, what I meant is that they were not the most attractive glasses for my dark-circled eyes. Not attractive on ME. You, I am sure, look SMASHING in them.
* * *
Canned yesterday: five pints of salsa (Fred made me put three green peppers, one habanero, and five jalapeños in the salsa. Guess who won’t be eating any of THAT salsa? Also, I finished up my red cinnamon pickles and canned them. I’m going to let them sit for a bit before I give them a try. I hope they ROCK. The bread and butter pickles I mentioned in yesterday’s entry is this recipe. Clearly I made some changes to the recipe, and it works well for me. If you’ve got a kick-ass bread and butter pickle recipe that doesn’t end up with nasty, limp pickles, feel free to share!
* * *
Why does Holly Hunter always talk out of the side of her mouth? It’s very odd. It’s annoying and distracting and I’m not sure I can continue to watch Saving Grace unless Kenneth Johnson (“Lem” to we lovers of The Shield; “Ham” on Saving Grace) walks nekkidly across the screen. Maybe he needs to stop and do some deep-knee bends, too. And if there were a nekkid embrace between he and “Butch”, and maybe a little kiss with some tongue… Um, what? What was I saying? I think I lost a little time there. I’m not sure a police detective who appears to be as well-regarded in her field as Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter) would be walking around with her frazzled hair flying in all directions. Surely she’d be dropping hair all over the crime scenes. Isn’t that, like, a no-no? Also, Laura San Giacomo’s character’s immediate and unquestioning acceptance of the idea that her dear friend is regularly seeing and speaking to an angel has my bullshit detector allllll the way over in the red zone. For the record, you come and tell me you’re seeing and talking to a tobacco-chewing angel named Earl, you’d better be bringing Earl along with you, and he’d better be prepared to do some nifty tricks (see above re: Ham and Butch and nekkidness), or I’ll be avoiding you but quick. In case you were wondering.
* * *
Speaking of television shows, I’m still watching (and digging) Big Love, and I have got to say: that actor who plays Alby Grant is one creepy motherfucker. And he’s got some seriously mean eyes. I for sure wouldn’t want to run into HIM in a dark alley. Speaking of Big Love, I saw a woman at the post office yesterday who bore a striking resemblance to Mary Kay Place. I wanted to ask her how Roman was doing, but she didn’t look like she was up for discussing THAT particular topic. Lastly, you know how Nicki‘s kid (Wayne, I think?) always calls Bill “Father”? Every time he does that, it makes me nervous. Because how long will it be before they’re out in public and someone who doesn’t know of Bill’s polygamist ways hears the kid call him “Father” and the jig will be up? Doesn’t the child have friends to whom he accidentally lets it slip that his father is married to three women? PS: Melora Walters will always, always be Jessie from Boogie Nights to me. PPS: LOVE that crazy Lois. LOVE HER.
* * *
Holy CRAP someone needs some o’ them tooth-whitening strips, pronto.
* * *
Previously 2006: It’s been a year since we found Crooked Acres. Hard to believe. 2005: They are NAS-TAY, and trust me when I say that you’d be better off never bothering to try the nasty things. 2004: No entry. 2003: No entry. 2002: Looking at this hormone-laden piece of meat makes me… well, it makes me kinda drool, actually. 2001: I just smiled and nodded and kept walkin’. 2000: Mustard algae. Why must he doubt me?]]>

8/14/07

by @ Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Filed under Life

many pickles, but if we go into next summer with plenty of pickles in the canning cabinet, then we’ll skip planting the cucumbers next year. I also made more tomato sauce, which is a time-consuming thing, but the more tomato sauce we have, the better. I blanched and froze green beans, and was going to make salsa, but Fred decided the tomatoes were too ripe and wouldn’t make good salsa (um, okayyyyy), so I’ll be doing that later this week. I shelled and blanched and froze three pounds of black-eyed peas. Shelling black-eyed peas makes me incredibly impatient after about half an hour, I don’t know why. It’s not a difficult thing to do, but I get all antsy, even if I’m watching a TV show I like. After an hour of it, I want to throw all the black-eyed peas against the wall and have a temper tantrum. I don’t (usually), I’m usually able to hold it together, but it’s a struggle. Fred and I are horrible people sometimes, I concluded over the weekend. I mean, I KNEW we’re horrible people sometimes, I just forget and was reminded anew over the weekend. We were watching a documentary, (the title of which I will not share with you, because you’ll look askance at me and be all “And who do you think YOU are, Hairy McScarey with the unplucked eyebrows and the crooked bottom teeth? And the big ass? And the flabby thighs? And the goofy hair? And I could go ON.”) and I was shelling black-eyed peas, and about half an hour in, Fred said “Are you interested in this movie? Because I think it’s boring.” I said “No, you can turn it off.” He stood up to do so, and I said “I’d find their plight more interesting if they weren’t quite so ugly.” And directly from Hell I heard Satan faintly calling “I’ll save this seat right here for YOU!”

* * *
Last week I had my appointment with the optometrist, as recounted in fascinating detail in yesterday’s entry (which I’m sure you all skimmed right past, you skimmy bastards), and at that time I decided to get new glasses, and so I picked out the frames and told them I’d be back Monday morning to pick them up. But the funny thing is that I picked out the frames and handed them to the chick who was helping me, and she gave me a funny look and said “These?” and made me try them on. Then had me take them off. Then told me to put them on again. And take ’em off. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to shake something all about when she gave me another funny look and said “You know these are kids’ frames, right?” I was all: And I said “I didn’t, but I do now. Huh.” She made me try them on again, and looked at me like I was lying to her when I said they felt comfortable, but then she did a “It’s YOUR life” shrug, and measured me for whatever the hell they measure when you order glasses. Yesterday I picked them up, and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t provide “Old glasses” and “New glasses” pictures for you. Old glasses. New glasses. I don’t know – not all that attractive, but I seriously considered the cat’s eye frames and thought they looked horrid on me. Not that it matters, anyway, since I put my contacts in as soon as I get up, and keep them in ’til bedtime. Also, I clearly need a nap.
* * *
Maxi likes to spend the night sleeping on Fred’s car, then when he leaves for work, she climbs up on top of my car and spends the morning there. She is the Queen of all she surveys. Miz Poo likes to sit and hiss through the door at Newt, and Maxi when she’s around. Previously 2006: DON’T YOU HATE IT WHEN A JOURNALER SAYS THAT? 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: “Motherfucker!” was Fred’s response. 2002: Why yes, it IS a rough life, thanks for asking. 2001: No entry. 2000: Because I was so overworked over the summer, you know.]]>

8/13/07

by @ Monday, August 13th, 2007. Filed under Fostering, Life

We have chickens. Here’s why.

* * *
As of today, I have lived in Alabama for 11 years! That’s 28.2051282051282051282051282051282051 (etc) percent of my life, but it doesn’t feel like a day over 27 percent. I’ve lived in Alabama longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere else. I still think of Maine as home, though.
* * *
Friday night, I was thisclose to jettisoning cats left and right, tossing all of them out the door so they could fend for themselves in the great wild. At 9:00, we got up to make our usual trek from the front room to the computer room to check our email before brushing our teeth and going on to bed, when Fred stopped in the dining room and turned on the light. I am in the process of making cinnamon pickles, and one of the steps is to cover them with a syrup then let them sit for 24 hours. So I’d covered them with the syrup and put the bowl on the table and covered it with a cloth so nothing would get into it, and I left it there, secure in the knowledge that it would remain there, safe and unharmed. Except that one bastardly Booger had decided to jump up on the table, and when he did, he landed with his back paw in the bowl, and when he did that, the cloth went downward into the bowl, and his big stupid foot got all covered with sticky red syrup, and he thought to himself “Hmm. My back foot is covered in sticky red syrup. How ever shall I deal with this dilemma? I know! I’ll shake my big stupid foot so that sticky red syrup will go everywhere! And then I’ll jump down and I’ll run around in random directions, shaking my big stupid foot, until I have covered as much of the dining room, kitchen, and computer room with red sticky syrup as possible!” And then he did. So instead of quietly checking our email and then going to bed, we spent the next half hour wiping sticky red syrup off the floor, the table, the chairs. It is only by the grace of god that my laptop – sitting right there on the table not a foot away from the bowl – didn’t get a single drop of red, sticky syrup on it. I was ENRAGED. Wiping up all that sticky fucking syrup from the table, the chairs, the floor, I swore the entire time, and I’m pretty sure the words “WHY CAN’T WE EVER HAVE ANYTHING NICE?!” came out of my mouth. And what’s worse is that we got it all cleaned up, went to bed, and I realized I needed to get something out of the computer room. Walking across the dining room to the computer room, I discovered three more sticky spots we’d missed when we were cleaning. And then all day Saturday I’d find yet another random spot of stickiness, and I’d swear loudly and then have to go get the rag and the cleaner, and clean it up. I was so ready to send that fucking bastard out to live with the chickens. Ah hets him. “Ah hets you, too.”
* * *
Thursday I called Fred at work. “I think I have a brain tumor,” I said. “It’s not a tumah,” he said, as is standard. “Or I’m going blind.” “What makes you say that?” he asked. “I’m having a hard time focusing, my eyes feel strained and achy by the end of the day, and I’ve had mild headaches lately.” “Maybe you need reading glasses.” “Shut up. I don’t need reading glasses. I have a brain tumor.” “Maybe you should go see the optometrist.” “I have an appointment tomorrow at 9:15.” So Friday morning I got up, ran around the house to get shit done, made breakfast: It appears we have a chicken who consistently lays double-yolkers. and left for my appointment (note to self: find optometrist closer than Huntsville. There’s gotta be one.). I got to the eye place a little early, popped out my contacts, put on my glasses, and walked in. Since I was early, I had to wait even longer than the usual fifteen minutes, so I watched people pick out glasses, and read magazines. Turns out that I don’t necessarily have a brain tumor. Instead, it seems that my vision has improved since last time I was there. If I recall correctly, at my last visit my vision had improved since the time before. At this rate, I’ll have perfect 20/20 vision right around the time I turn 100. I just won’t be alive to enjoy it. I bought boxes of contacts in the new prescription and tried on several frames before I found ones that I liked. I ordered them, and will be picking them up later today.
* * *
Maryanne continues to make herself at home. Using the Litter Robot (I think she actually likes to get in there and just kick the litter around sometimes) Hanging out atop the cat tree. Working on the Look o’ Het. She’s so purty. (Not documented in pictures: this morning she picked a fight with Miz Poo, and Miz Poo slapped her but good, then she picked another fight with Miz Poo, and Miz Poo slapped her even harder, and THEN she picked a fight with Miz Poo, and Miz Poo smacked her so hard she went rolling across the bed. Not a fast learner, this one.)
* * *
The boy cats, knowing what a bitchy little spaz Miz Poo is, love to tease her. They circle her, staying just out of reach of the Paw o’ Doom. Circle some more… Get a leeeeeettle closer… And then run off to nap, leaving Miz Poo to sadly ponder why no one will play with her.
* * *
Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: Give me time, I’ll have fifteen different versions of “Xanadu” in my music folder. 2003: MY ARM HURTS. 2002: I think no one ever told Billy Bob that if you ANNOUNCE you’re taking the high road, then you aren’t taking it. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry.]]>

8/10/07

by @ Friday, August 10th, 2007. Filed under Fostering, Life

deer shoes. Hmph.

* * *
Let the comment-answering begin! are maxi and newt on the cats/cast page yet? Of course not. They’re not our cats! (Heh) To be honest, the only reason they’re not on the cat page is because I haven’t gotten around to it, like the thousands of other things I haven’t gotten around to because I suck. I’m sure they’ll end up there one of these days. By the way, the link to the cat page is over there in the left sidebar, the picture of Tubby that says “Our Cats” on it.
* * *
who would play you in the made for tv movie though??? and do you and fred *ever* sleep together? hate to get in your shiznick (not) but if you have separate bedrooms…is it an ode to the roaring ’40’s? except instead of separate beds… Angelina Jolie, of COURSE (hey, it’s MY fantasy world!). I don’t know – who do y’all see as the movie version of me? (BE NICE.) Fred and I will take the occasional nap together in the afternoons – that happens maybe once a month – and we’ve slept in the same bed on a couple of trips to Gatlinburg, but other than that, it’s him in his room and me in mine. It actually used to bother me, sleeping in separate rooms, but I’ve not only gotten accustomed to it, I actually prefer it. We both like our space (though I don’t guess I really use much space, since I can easily sleep with cats taking up half the bed) and sleep better apart than together. We still get plenty of laying-in-bed-talking time (which we do every evening before he toddles off to his room), and we like it. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I’ve had a LOT of people tell me they wish they could sleep in a separate room from their spouse or partner but the other wouldn’t go for it. Actually, someone sent me a link to an article about how more and more couples are sleeping in separate rooms – maybe Fred and I are trendsetters!
* * *
So do Spot and Spanky sleep with Fred? Does MaryAnn sleep by herself in the foster room or does she snuggle up with someone at night too? Spot and Spanky usually sleep… well, I don’t know where Spot sleeps, actually. Out in the front room somewhere, I think. Spanky will occasionally sleep on the cat bed that lays on the trunk next to my bed, and sometimes out in the hallway. They like their own space at night, I guess! Fred sleeps with his door shut so no kitties get to snuggle with him (he’s a light sleeper and has a hard time getting back to sleep when awakened). Until last night we were putting Maryanne up in the foster room at night, just because we didn’t want any of the racing around in the middle of the night. We decided to give it a try for one night and see how it went, and it went smashingly – no racing around, no fighting or growling or hissing, just sweet, quiet sleep.
* * *
have you heard of the new craze in the canning community? once your pickles are pickled, pour off the juice and replace it with an equivalent amount of liquid sweetened kool-aid, like cherry or whatever flavor then let them sit in the fridge for a week. the thought kinda makes my stomach turn, but you might want to surprise fred with a batch of purple, grape-flavored sweet-n-sour pickles. I have to admit, I’m a little grossed out by the thought of Kool-aid flavored pickles, but I might try it with a jar just to see if there’s anything to the fuss. I’d probably be the one eating them, though – Fred doesn’t care for sweet pickles because he’s WEIRD.
* * *
I once heard that daddy long legs [the spider in the picture] are actually quite deadly to humans but their fangs aren’t long enough to puncture our skin. I can’t verify whether this is true, and naturally I’m way too lazy to actually Google it [instead I’m typing it here, hah] but I will always believe that it’s true regardless of whether or not it is, and I will always be completely frightened of them because of it. Anyone know if it’s true? I had heard that very same thing, but apparently it’s a myth. This page will tell you more in detail, but rest assured that it’s a hugely widespread myth, but a myth just the same.
* * *
So, you’re telling me: if I can separate the two feral kitten rescues for now, they will warm up to me more quickly? Hrrmmm. I might have to try this method. It does seem CRUEL and UNUSUAL since they love each other so much, but if it’ll help them get tame more quickly, I might have to go buy me another kitty crate! This is how I look at it – you separate them for a couple of days to see what happens, and if they continue to be miserable and scared and skittish, you can always put them back together, right? (By the way, that comment came from Styro, who rescues feral cats – check her out!) Also, while I’m thinking of it, the wonderful Miss Pink Ponsonby sent me an email (which, ahem, I have not responded to because I SUCK), and she said: I’ve been meaning for quite a while to write you and give you this never-fail cat taming trick. My mom and I have used it all our lives for taming feral kittens. (she had 18 cats at one time, Ugh! A logistical nightmare since they all had to have their own spot and they didn’t all get along and they had to sometimes cross someone’s territory to get to their spot…you know the rest.) Anyway, when you were talking about the latest batch of kittens being so shy and skittish and hissy, this is what you do when you get some wild-ass kittens: Take a terry cloth washcloth, the thin ones, and get it wet with warm water and then wrap part of it around your finger like when you clean your ears in the shower, and then when you are with the kittens, just PIN one with one hand and start ‘scrubbing’ their face with the cloth-wrapped finger. Gently of course. Believe it or not, this mirrors what their mom would do to wash them and calm them, so instead of making them feel trapped and freaked, they just totally put up with being scrubbed. You don’t pin them down hard, it’s just that you don’t do it by picking them up and holding them, just pin them where they are. They will shake their head and walk away and finish washing their faces and from then on out, they will start to think you are the Mom-Lady who gives them a tongue-bath and not a bad sort of demon, after all. I do this with any cat I get when they are a kitten, and it makes it so you can handle their faces and lips and clean out their ears all their lives because they think it is a mom-love action. You know, think about how the Momma Kitties hold down their kittens with a paw and just start licking. It’s the same principle. Believe it or not, it works! I have not yet given this a try – though I keep intending to – because did I mention I SUCK? And I’m a procrastinator? But I think someone out there should give it a try and shame me into getting off my ass and giving it a try with miss Maryanne.
* * *
As we were preparing to leave for the weekend & lining up critter care, I wondered, “How will Robyn & Fred EVER be able to leave the farm at the same time with all those critters needing daily tending?” I have wondered that verysame thing myself, but Fred is somewhat certain that if he asks at the corner store, someone will know someone who has a responsible kid who would be willing to stop by and feed the cats, scoop out the litter box, and let the chickens in and out every day for hopefully not too much money. Not that I’ll be able to drag Fred off the farm anytime soon, anyway, so it’s probably a moot point!
* * *
I was wondering, how many people read your site on a regular basis? And how often do you get new people signing up for notification? According to my Sitemeter, I get about 1500 hits a day Monday through Friday, and about 500 on Saturday and Sunday. I assume the majority of that 1500 hits are people who are regular readers, checking in. I don’t know how often new people join the notify lists – I have it set up so that people can join without being approved by me, and I don’t go look at the lists unless someone asks for help with an email change. I prefer not knowing when people are joining or leaving the list, since I’ve heard that people like to register their displeasure with what you’ve written by leaving the notify list. And if I’m not notified when people join or leave, their displeasure goes right over my head. On a side note, at least three times people have gotten pissed off at something Fred has said on his own site and emailed me, asking me to take them off my notify list. Well, okay… as long as you’re going to be an adult about it, I guess.
* * *
With all the veggies you grow are you having any problems with woodchucks? Just when I think I have the problem solved he moves back in. They love tomatoes and zukes! I haven’t seen any woodchucks, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there!
* * *
My solution to non-vet cat attacking vet-cat: Mark is sickly and goes to the vet more often, and Steve is boss of earth, so when I bring Mark back from the vet Steve beats up on Mark more than usual. Sooo, when I get back from the vet with Mark, I put Steve in Mark’s carrier and take him out for a drive. Balance is restored. This is BRILLIANT. Next time I take someone to the vet, I’m going to come home, immediately toss Mister Boogers in the carrier, and take him for a ride. That should fix his little red wagon.
* * *
Regarding Maryanne . . . I was wondering, what are the chances since Fred is her favorite, that he relents and wants to keep her??? I’d say the chances are nil that Maryanne will be staying. She’s cute and playful (though still skittish) and we like having her around, but six cats (permanently living in the house) are our limit. She enjoys snack time, too. (What this picture doesn’t show is that Mister Boogers just did the classic growl-while-eating because Maryanne was too close to him. He’s such an ass.)
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With all the canning (and prep work involved in canning), have you had any back problems standing for such long periods of time? If so, have you found anything that helps? I find I can’t wash a load of dishes at the sink without having to take a muscle relaxant and lie down after. I haven’t actually had any back problems, even on the days that I spend hours standing in the kitchen. I do have an issue with achy legs on those days, but a good night’s sleep generally takes care of that problem. It helps, probably, that I take a ten minute or so break every hour to sit down, drink something, and check my email or read something. Also – if you’re standing on a hard floor while you’re working, I highly recommend a little area rug to stand on. It helps more than you’d expect!
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Here’s a question for you, but I bet it is one that you have answered many times over the years (hell, I may have asked it myself–excuse my senility if that is the case) : Why is it that your permanent feline residents are so calm about the cats that come and go? Are they just used to it? Do they ever start spraying or peeing in corners to express their angst? I don’t know that I’d ever refer to our cats as reacting calmly to interlopers. They’re always hissy and bitchy and growly at first, sometimes for weeks (they’re also a bit hissy and bitchy and growly with each other, so that’s nothing new, I guess), then they kind of give up. They don’t embrace the newcomers, but they seem to realize (a little more quickly with each new bunch of fosters, I think) that there’s no point in the hissing and the growling. At this point with Maryanne, as long as she’s not in their way or all up in their shit, they don’t care what she does. I even found Mister Boogers – gasp! – PLAYING with her yesterday. We haven’t had an issue with the cats spraying or peeing in corners as a reaction to the fosters BUT I will say that my parents’ visit with their dog seems to have triggered some issue with Spot. Since their visit – every couple of weeks, usually – we find something that he’s peed on. He’s fond of going in Fred’s closet, knocking something (a t-shirt, pillowcases) onto the floor and peeing on it. There doesn’t seem to be anything specific that causes it, and it annoys me, but I’m just grateful that the bastard isn’t peeing on furniture or directly on the floor. It’s always something that can be tossed into the washer, THANK GOD.
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Question for tomorrow – is there any particular cat food you recommend to keep cats from randomly throwing up? I seem to remember you mentioning this issue from time to time, but can’t for the life of me recall any brand names that you said worked. With our cats, it’s pretty much a given that if it’s the cheap stuff – Meow Mix, or something along those lines – someone’s going to barf it up. I don’t know if it’s because the cheap stuff has more fillers in it, or what, but I’ve learned my damn lesson. For a while I was feeding them TimberWolf Organics Serengeti Herbal Feline Formula Cat Food (especially after the whole cat food scare) and Blue Spa Select as their second choice (we wouldn’t want them to get BORED), but since Sugarbutt started up with the farkin’ skin issues, we went back to what we were feeding them before: Natural Balance for Adults, and Nutro Natural Choice Senior.
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Another blogger I read refers to her husband as her husband, and her five-year-old son as her “boyfriend”. Every time I read it, it feels….icky. Do you think this is strange at all (calling one’s son her boyfriend, I mean)? I value your opinion! I don’t know who the blogger is, and let me hasten to say that I’m sure she means it in a completely innocuously funny way, but yeah, if she’s using it often and not every once in a while in a joking “my little boyfriend” way – that’s a little bit icky. Maybe more than a little bit. Way to encourage that Oedipus complex!
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Lord knows I NEVER interfere, but, the eggs should be stored with the blunt side up I’ve been informed that by Fred, and immediately went and flipped the eggs over!
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Ok, I’m so NOT a skimmer but I don’t remember you saying anything about the litter robot thing. I need something new since my Littermaid died (lasted over 3 years, not bad) and I was wondering what ya thought. $300 is a bit steep but your thumbs up would go a long way. I did actually mention the Litter Robot back in June (Bonnie, you damn SKIMMER), but I’ll cut and paste and then add a little at the end. I said: Someone recently asked about the Litter Robot and how it’s working for us. It’s working out okay, I guess. I did what the literature (and some of y’all) suggested and let the regular litterbox get all kinds of nasty so the cats would be kind of forced to use the Litter Robot. The reaction there is that someone – I suspect either Spanky or Spot – registered their displeasure by peeing on the rug in the dining room. Since I don’t want the house to smell like cat pee, I started cleaning out the regular litter box again, because I learn quickly. At this point, the three youngest cats – Sugarbutt, Tommy, Mister Boogers – will use the Litter Robot, but the three older aren’t interested. I clean out the regular litter box every morning, and empty out the Litter Robot “drawer” at the same time, and since I’m only having to do it once a day rather than twice, I’m happy. In a perfect world they’d all use the Litter Robot, but they won’t, and I’m just happy that we have enough room in the laundry room for the Litter Robot and the regular litter box. Since I wrote that, I’ve actually gone to cleaning out the litter box and Litter Robot every other day (especially since the cats can go outside now and use the backyard as their giant litter box. Between the cat pee and the chicken shit, the back yard is SWEET, believe me), and then one day last week I actually found Spot using the Litter Robot. Now I don’t know who’s using the litter box and who’s using the Litter Robot, but it appears to be right around 50/50. I don’t dare to go to Litter Robot-only at this point (I’d have to buy a second one anyway, because one litter box really isn’t enough for 6 cats), but I can foresee that possibly happening in the future. That said, I would say that if you’re willing to give it a try, you ought to – Litter Robot’s got a 60-day money back guarantee, and if it doesn’t work out, you can send that sucker back!
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Do you have a hard time avoiding stepping in chicken poop? I would imagine you would with all those chickens. It’s actually not that bad – I wear boots when I’m tromping around the back yard (I am SUCH the fashion statement), and generally watch where I’m going to avoid the chicken poop. Sometimes I’m sure I walk through it, but the boots come off at the door in the laundry room (I’m hoping that in the future, we’ll have a covered back porch to leave our shoes and boots on), so none of it gets in the house.
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Fred’s mother gave us this big cast iron pot a few months ago. We had it sitting on a stump by the driveway, but the Fed Ex guy told us that those pots are expensive, and we might get it stolen if we left it there in plain view. So Fred carried it around and put it on the stump in the back yard. We filled it with soil and planted Irises we got from his father and stepmother. And then the chickens started getting up in the pot. Chickens like to take dust baths – Fred tells me it’s how they keep clean and keep things like mites off of them – and it’s funny to watch. They dig down in the dirt, roll around (just like cats), and then they get up, walk away, and shake their feathers, and a HUGE amount of dirt comes flying out of their feathers. Apparently they really like big pots of dirt. They’ve dug up all the irises except two, and they take turns taking dust baths in the big pot (Fred says “It’s like their bath tub!”) Damn chickens.
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Speaking of chickens, they really REALLY like seeds. When I made tomato sauce last weekend, I saved all the seeds for them. “If you’re feeling eggy, son, just go ahead and LAY!” “HawhawBUGAWK! Did you hear that? I said “If you’re feeling eggy, son, just go ahead and LAY!” “HawhawBUGAWK! You are a funny motherplucker, Buffy!”
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Tommy, camouflaged.
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Previously 2006: And you know when I’m saying it’s hot, it must be like burning in the flames of Hell. 2005: I’m going to kill my husband. 2004: “THIS IS NOT THE FRONT OF THE SCHOOL,” I said. “THIS IS THE SIDE.” 2003: No entry. 2002: Stop making those gagging noises. 2001: Is it just me, or does Mother Nature not like it when the spud or I fly? 2000: No entry.]]>

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