31DSC04780 (flickr) Now, at 11:30, it’s still coming down. Rumor has it, it’s supposed to stop around noon and clear up, then start coming down again tonight. We had plans for tonight, but now it’s all going to depend on whether it clears up and how the roads are. I miss Maine a lot, but I don’t miss the snowstorms. I don’t miss them much. It is awfully pretty out there, though. 31DSC04784 (flickr) Right now I’m wishing like hell I’d brought the good camera with me. I didn’t because I didn’t want to have to lug it through the airport (and given the fact that NorthWest has a one-carryon rule, it’s a good thing I didn’t!) but I would have some kickass pictures of the chickadees in my parents’ back yard if I had. I should go shopping for a bag that would hold my laptop and the camera for my next trip. Y’all got any (cheap) bag suggestions? 31DSC04785 (flickr) Okay, it being New Year’s Eve, I suppose I oughta do the end-of-the-year meme everyone else is doing. 1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Lived alone in the country in my dream house with a bunch of cats. Fred and the spud were 20 minutes away. It only lasted a little while, but it was still too long for me. 2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t believe I made any resolutions last year. This year I resolve to start being a little kinder to the environment, so to that end I bought a couple of Sigg bottles (to cut down on the number of plastic bottles I have to recycle every week) and purchased a bunch of environmentally safe cleaning products. 3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope. 4. Did anyone close to you die? Nope. 5. What countries did you visit? Not only did I not visit any other countries, aside from Alabama, Tennessee and Maine, I didn’t visit any other states. 6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? More little bitty baby kittens! I’d love to have another bottle-fed kitten this year. 7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 11th, the day the spud left for Rhode Island, and our nest became empty. 8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Finishing the inside of the house and making it into a home. 9. What was your biggest failure? Not planting a catnip or herb or bulb garden. There’s always next year! 10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I hurted my knee, but it’s all better now. Which means I can get back to exercising! Woo…hoo? 11. What was the best thing you bought? I can say without a doubt that the Sony A100 kicks ASS. I’m hoping I can say the same about the Roomba, but since I haven’t used it yet (it arrived the day before I left, and I wanted to wait until I have time to truly bond with it before opening it) I can’t wax poetic about its awesomeness yet. 12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I’m going to nominate Fred, the hardest working person at Crooked Acres, who has no idea how to spend the day relaxing and would a thousand times rather be outside building something than sitting inside on his dead ass. In second place is Newt, the squirrel-killingest cat who ever did live. 13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Someone who hugely overestimated his importance in my life and should feel free to fall off the face of the earth. 14. Where did most of your money go? To the usual bills, to wood and fencing, and most of all to building our savings account back up, which took a hit with the whole owning-two-houses and home-renovation thing. 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Selling the house in Madison and becoming owners of only one home. Moving into Crooked Acres. Seeing (and eating) an egg laid by one of our very own chickens. 16. What song will always remind you of 2007? I don’t know. 17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Happier. b) thinner or fatter? A bit thinner, I think. c) richer or poorer? Richer. 18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Stripping and repainting the doors in the house – which I didn’t do any of at all. Maybe in 2008! 19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Fretting. Feeling anger over the actions of people who really don’t have any effect on my life. 20. How did you spend Christmas? In the morning we went to Fred’s sister’s house for breakfast; in the afternoon we opened gifts, I talked to my parents and sister, and we napped. 21. Did you fall in love in 2007? I fall more in love with my husband, my home, and my life every day. (STOP making those gagging noises!) 22. What was your favorite TV program? Weeds. Dexter. Jon and Kate Plus 8. Real Housewives of Orange County. And we “discovered” Arrested Development and love it. 23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Not really. Wait! Oh, yes I fucking well do. You can read about him – I called him That Jackass in this entry – but have lately started referring to him as Assface. I think he is a blight to all humanity and just thinking about him makes my blood boil. I have a special Assface-centric entry planned for the future. 24. What was the best book you read? It would be a tie between Eating Heaven, Daughter’s Keeper, and The Shell Seekers. 25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Hairspray! 26. What did you want and get? A Roomba! 27. What did you want and not get? A new car. Let me take a moment to pat myself on the back for that decision. Fred was willing to let me trade in my Reno for a Hyundai Accent and I was thisclose to doing it, but decided it would be idiocy to trade in a car that’s paid off – and less than a year old – for a car that would necessitate a car payment (a small one, but still). In the end, I opted to stick with the Reno for the time being, and maybe in three or four more years when I’m ready for a new car, Toyota will offer the Prius in yellow! 28. What was your favorite film of this year? I really liked Superbad; that’s the one that comes to mind immediately. 29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 39 (40 in 10 days, woohoo!) and I couldn’t remember what I’d done, so I went back in my archives and read that I had a very nice, very relaxing day wherein I did not much at all, just sat on my ass in front of the computer, ran a few errands, and then went out to dinner at Outback with Fred and the spud. 30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I’d won ten trillion dollars or become the Queen of the Universe; either would have been equally fine with me. 31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Same as it ever was: comfy. 32. What kept you sane? Fred, my sister, the cats, all y’all. 33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? The brothers of Journeyman. HUBBA HUBBA. 34. What political issue stirred you the most? It’s hard to pick just one. 35. Who did you miss? No one, really. 36. Who was the best new person you met? I’d say Nance, except I think I actually met her last year. Oh, I know! That adorable little bitty Kathy. Very cool to meet someone in person that you’ve only talked to online and Kathy did not disappoint. 37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. I don’t know that there were any valuable life lessons for me in 2007. Maybe “If you’re having excruciating pain in my lower left side, just ignore it. It’ll go away.” It did! 38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Ugh. I hate this question and I respectfully request that it go fuck itself, thx.


Previously 2006: No entry 2005: No entry 2004: No entry. 2003: My year in review. 2002: Are you jealous of my readers? You should be, because they ROCK! 2001: What if? 2000: No entry 1999: Total potty mouth at the drop of a hat. ]]>


barn coat in purple. Debbie talked me down from an extra-large to a large and considered talking me down to a medium, and I did actually try on the medium, but if I wore a sweater under it, it would have been too tight, so I stuck with the large. We didn’t stay in LL Bean’s all that long, because there were a LOT of people there, so after paying for our stuff, we headed to my parents’ house. I was STARVING because all I’d eaten all day was a small bag of sun chips in the Detroit airport. I hadn’t eaten anything on the plane because if you want a snack on Northwest, you have to PAY for it, and I was goddamned if I was going to pay $2 for a little container of Pringles or nuts, because that is some bullshit. Also bullshit: on Delta and US Air, you’re allowed one carryon and your purse. On Northwest, your purse counts as a carryon. I had to empty everything from my purse into my laptop bag and cram the laptop bag under the seat in front of me and couldn’t move my legs very much and my ass began hurting ten seconds into my sitting down time, and UGH. We had some fabulous turkey casserole (turkey and gravy, topped with stuffing and baked) for dinner, then sat around and talked for a while before Debbie and Brian left to go home. Apparently the Patriots and the Giants had some big game going on, but I don’t follow basketball, so I didn’t know anything about it. (Just kidding! I know perfectly well that the Patriots play baseball!) I sat around and talked to my parents for a little while, then called Liz. She was in the mood for Coldstone Creamery (she’s an addict!), so she picked me up and we went to Brunswick and got ice cream. We stopped at Debbie’s and hung out there for a while. Liz and Brian watched the game (Patriots won, but I don’t understand Soccer at all, so I have no details for you) and then Liz took me home. I was asleep by midnight and slept like a log through the night with no cats crawling over me, springboarding off my head, growling and hissing at each, or running like a herd of elephants through the house. I was wakened a little before 7 by the company who delivers delayed luggage, calling to let me know that they’d be delivering my suitcase at some point during the day. I got up and showered and put the same clothes back on, but before we left for breakfast at The Kopper Kettle, my mother dug out a long-sleeved t-shirt for me to borrow for the day. My father picked up Debbie on the way to breakfast, and after breakfast he went off to run errands, and Debbie and my mother and I went to Brunswick. We tried to go shopping at Coldwater Creek, but the store wasn’t open yet, so we went over to the bookstore and browsed for a little while before heading to my brother’s house. My brother recently moved from the house he was renting in Harpswell to a house quite a bit closer to Brunswick, and though I’d seen pictures of it, I wanted to see it in person. What an absolutely gorgeous house! The pictures don’t do it justice at ALL. It looks a lot smaller on the outside than it really is inside, and there’s a huge basement downstairs, bamboo floors throughout on the main, and the upstairs is the master suite (the master bathroom made me drool) and a study. There are lots of windows, so lots of light, and best of all, water views from three sides of the house. I love our house, but MAN I’d love to have a huge basement like that, and a master bathroom even half as cool as his. We realized that time was running short, so we left, taking my niece Mireya with us for the early showing of The Water Horse. That was a cute movie and is seriously making me want to visit Scotland, and soon. After the movie, we dropped Mireya back off at home, then went to Coldwater Creek. It was packed, and they had some really nice stuff. I tried on a suede jacket (in tan) and liked it a lot (and my mother offered to buy it for me for my birthday), but as much as I liked it, I thought it would be a waste, because I didn’t think I’d ever wear it. After looking around, we headed back to Debbie’s house. My mother dropped us off and went on her way, and a little while later, Liz showed up. Neither Debbie nor I was particularly hungry, but Liz hadn’t eaten all day, so we headed out and after stopping at Fashion Bug and Bath and Body Works, we went to Applebee’s. I apparently haven’t been to Applebee’s in quite some time, because the menu was completely new to me. It’s Liz’s birthday today and she announced that to the waitress, but asked her not to sing to her. We had a good meal, though I ate too much (and sent my leftovers home with Debbie for Brian) and felt overfull. That went away after a trip around Target, then to the grocery store, and then the pet store. And now, I’m home. And ready to wrap up this long boring-ass entry so I can post it and toddle off to bed to read for a while before I call Fred at 10 for our nightly chat. We’re supposed to have a snowstorn overnight tonight (and into the day tomorrow, I guess) and another one tomorrow night or Tuesday night. This cold-ass winter storming shit is for the birds, I’m telling you. My sister actually said the words “Only supposed to get about seven inches, so that won’t keep us in” at one point, and I said “If we got that much snow in Alabama, the entire state would shut down for two weeks!” Anyway. How ’bout some pictures? 30DSC04762 The squirrels in my parents’ back yard are the fattest squirrels I’ve ever seen. I guess they need the padding to survive in the cold, but damn. They’re bigger than Punki and Felicia! (flickr) 30DSC04751 “Ah, zees lahf. Eet ees so painful to moi.” (flickr) 30DSC04737 The back yard. (flickr)


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: At what point do you cease wailing and moaning the absence of a part of your life that didn’t go the way you wanted, and just move the fuck on? 2002: “No,” I said. “She feels nauseous, and then she either belches or farts, and feels better.” 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: I’m turning 32 on January 9th.]]>


If you can view mpgs, there’s a better picture here for the time being. Pardon my horrible singing voice and the high-pitched Kitty Talkin’ voice, please. I hope it doesn’t harm any brain cells.


So, I sucked it up and bought all three seasons of Arrested Development on DVD from eBay. It’ll be waiting for me when I get back from Maine. And I’m going to use my camcorder to film every instance of the chicken dance and I’m going to make myself a montage of the chicken dance and I’m going to watch it over and over again until I pass out from lack of oxygen. Cheechaw! Cheechaw! Cheechaw!


  I think that yesterday, the forces of the universe detected that I was not currently in Maine as I was expected to be (my flight was canceled due to the weather), and was punishing me accordingly. Thursday night after Fred went to bed, I settled down to read for a little while, and then I got up and peed and wandered around the house to make sure I’d repacked everything I needed in the suitcase, and I read a little while longer, and then I sat up to turn off the light, and noticed something I hadn’t noticed at all in the previous hour. I don’t know how he got up there or how long he’d been up there, but apparently at some point he’d decided it was time to get away and find some peace and quiet and space from the other cats and got up there (I assume he climbed on top of my dresser and jumped up from there). I tried to convince him to come down, but he just looked at me and yawned and went back to sleep, so I shrugged figuring he’d either stay there ’til morning or find his way down in the middle of the night. As I saw it, he had three choices: jump from the top of the bookcase to the top of the dresser, the top of the desk I use as a vanity, or to the bed (a big leap, but I don’t think he’d have too much of a problem making it). I turned off the light and went to sleep. At some point in the middle of the night I heard a loud crash that seemed to last forever, but I only woke up momentarily, turned over, and went back to sleep. When I was awakened at 4:40 by the sound of a loud, very aggressive cat fight that started somewhere upstairs and continued down the stairs, into the living room, and then back down the hallway to the kitchen, cats screaming and running the entire time, I found that everything had been knocked off the top of the desk/ vanity and was scattered all over the bedroom floor. So apparently Newt opted for the desk/ vanity option of the three choices. I noticed this, I should say, as I went running by to see just what was going on with the cats. I didn’t see a cat anywhere except for Newt, who was sitting under the dining room table looking completely unperturbed at the goings-on. From upstairs, Fred called down to me, and we decided that most likely Mister Boogers was involved in the fracas, and either Miz Poo or Maxi. Booger’d had a bug up his butt at bedtime the night before (Sugarbutt, laying asleep in his usual cat bed near my bed when I was reading before I turned the light out, was awakened by Mister Boogers’ war cry and a smack up the head. Apparently Mister Boogers did not like the looks of that thar sleepin’ Suggs and needed to make his opinion known). The only cat we knew for sure hadn’t been involved was Tommy, who was snuggled up next to Fred at the onset of the screaming and hissing and elephantine running. Miss Stank was hiding under Fred’s bed when he got up, so probably she wasn’t involved. Spot and Spanky don’t get involved in fights unless they are directly attacked (they spend 99% of their time asleep on the guest bed), so that leaves Mister Boogers, Miz Poo, Sugarbutt (he’s a hater not a fighter, usually), and Punki and Felicia. (In the library, with the butcher knife.) Fred got up – he’d been awake anyway – and I checked my email, then we talked until it was time for Fred to shower and get ready for work. I had hoped I’d be able to go back to sleep, but it became apparent pretty quickly that that wasn’t going to happen, so I got up and got started on my day. After showering and dressing, I decided to do what I hadn’t done Wednesday (even though I’d intended to): dump out the litter boxes, scrub them down, and refill them with clean litter. I did the Litter Robot first, removed the round part where the litter goes, emptied it, cleaned it out, and filled it with litter. Then I put it back on the base and hit the button so it’d cycle through so I could make sure it was working okay. It started cycling, kind of wobbled a bit, and then I realized that it had come apart at the seam. A wide gap, and though I worked on it for a while, I couldn’t get the thing to go back together. I imagine it might be able to be superglued together, but when one owns a $300 litter box and has only owned it for about eight months, one expects that one should not have to superglue that STUPID THING back together. On a side note, Fred recently spoke to our next door neighbor. He was worried that McLovin and his “LOOK AT ME! I’M THE MAN! I’M A STUD! I’M GOING TO BALANCE ON TOP OF THE GATE AND WHEN THAT WOMAN COMES OUTSIDE TO TELL ME I’M A COMPLETE AND UTTER DUMMY, I’LL STRUT AWAY LIKE I MEANT TO GO IN THIS DIRECTION! CHEECHAW! CHEECHAW!” crowing all the time was annoying them. The neighbor said that they never even noticed the crowing and besides, even if they did, he just figured it was part of living in the country. The rooster crowing might be part of living in the country, but hearing the chick next door scream obscenities at the Litter Robot at 6:30 in the morning might not be. Note to self: shut the door before the next temper tantrum. So I put the Litter Robot on the side stoop to take it out to the garage. Yes, I’m going to email them about it, and I’m going to expect them to send me a new round part (note to self: come up with better descriptor than “round part”) free of charge. But in the meantime, there needs to be a litter box in the laundry room, and if the Litter Robot’s sitting in there, it’ll just be taking up space and confusing the cats. Once the Litter Robot was out of the way, I set up the new litter box, and then I went to get the Dyson to vacuum up the litter the Litter Robot had spit all over the floor. The Dyson wouldn’t suck anything up. Well, actually if I used the hose part, it sucked up just fine, but there was no way on earth I was going to vacuum the entire house with one of those little attachments at the end of the hose. I needed it to work like it was supposed to, because there was litter and cat hair all over the house and it needed to be vacuumed up, GRRR. I took off and replaced every piece of the vacuum that comes off easily, and I ran the vacuum to see if something just hadn’t been in place, and still it wouldn’t suck. I was beyond the point where screaming horribly nasty words at the offending object would do anything but enrage me more. The cats, not stupid, scattered. I stomped through the house bellowing wordless sounds of heartbreak and angst. I considered putting my fist through the wall. I thought about setting the house on fire. I was incandescent with rage. In the end, I opted for laying down on the bed and calling Fred to swear a blue streak at him, and that always eventually calms me down. I decided to go through the removal, replaceable pieces on the vacuum one more time before giving up, and I don’t know how it happened, but something worked to make the Dyson suck like it was supposed to again, and I spent the next hour vacuuming the house. So then I had to run to the grocery store to buy a few things, and when I walked out the side door, I found that McLovin had flown over the gate and was now strutting about outside the back yard. Since I was concerned that he’d wander either out toward the road or over into the neighbor’s back yard and annoy them, I opted to try to lure him back into the yard. McLovin is, I suspect, the stupidest animal who has ever stepped on to Crooked Acres. Surprising, I know, since chickens are usually known for their keen intelligence, and yet when I held the gate open and tossed food into the back yard to entice McLovin back into the yard amongst his wimminfolk, his response was to run back and forth along the outside of the fence and cluck in an alarmed manner. When I went back inside to get more food, he responded by jumping up onto the side stoop and crowing excitedly. When I went back outside, he clucked and ran away from me, around the back of the fence, over to the other side, where he sat and stared sadly at his ladies and said something that I am certain translated into “I would give you some McLovin lovin’, but I am stuck over here in Purgatory, o woe.” Eventually I had to prop the gate open and circle around behind McLovin. He clucked and ran from me, directly into the back yard. I went off to do my errands and when I got back, his stupid butt was back outside the yard eating nuts and seeds that had fallen from the bird feeders. I threw my hands in the air and said “You are such a stoopnagle, you just stay out of the yard you jerk, and SEE IF I CARE!”, and I went in the house. He stayed out of the yard for another hour or so, always walking and kicking leaves along the periphery of the fence, never wandering off our property, and then eventually he figured out how to get back into the yard. For the rest of the day he went in the yard, out of the yard, in the yard, out of the yard, in, out, in, out. Whatever floats his boat, I suppose. “I AM McStupid.” The rest of the day, thankfully, was a pretty calm one. There was a call from my gastroenterologist (DrLiver), who’d gotten the results of my ultrasound back. There was, it appears, a spot on my liver, one that wasn’t there when they did the last ultrasound a year ago. He wasn’t too concerned about it – they think it’s a blood-filled cyst – but he directed me to come back in three months instead of six, and he’d send me for a different type of imaging of my abdomen, maybe an MRI, to keep an eye on it. I thought about repacking my stuff into a smaller suitcase, but it appears that the only other suitcase inside was pretty much the same size as the one I’d packed for Thursday, so I stuck with the same suitcase. I packed four days’ worth of clothes, since I figure I can do laundry when I need to, so there’s no need to pack a different outfit (ha, I say “outfit” like it’s all dressy and coordinated instead of cotton pants and a t-shirt every day!) for each day I’m in Maine. Okay. Enough babble. I’m off to Maine! Keep your fingers crossed for good weather.


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: New camera! 2002: 12 days of Christmas. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: Try to contain your excitement!]]>


a pale imitation of it.)


Speaking of Arrested Development, we’ve determined that the finest moment on all of television is when Michael and Maeby are singing Afternoon Delight at the holiday party, and he suddenly realizes what the song is about. That look on his face? If he didn’t get showered with awards for that moment alone, he was robbed. We were going to just behave ourselves and watch each episode of Arrested Development as it recorded on the DVR (there’s one episode a day being shown currently), but because there is just NOTHING else to watch, we went and got the first disc of Season 1 last night. I’m looking forward to actually seeing the genesis of Gob’s chicken dance.


Robyn – After racking my brain for awhile trying to remember which movie star you remind me of I FINALLY got it….Norma Shearer. Does anyone ever tell you that you resemble her ? Before she died, I mean. If you wore a lot of pancake makeup and photographed yourself in shadowy black-and-white, I think you’d see it. I had only the vaguest idea of who Norma Shearer was, so I went and looked at some pictures of her. No one’s ever told me I look like her, and I don’t see the resemblance myself, but I consider the comparison a compliments, so thanks!


Here’s a question for Friday. I was just reading the latest issue of Taste of the South magazine and saw an article about Falls Mill in Tennessee. Have you guys been there? Nope, we sure haven’t. We’ll have to put it on the list of places to check out!


I think That Ellie totally acts like she is part Bengal. Why do they not advertise the cats as the breeds they appear to be? It would make them so much more adoptable. I don’t know – I don’t have anything to do with how the cats are listed. I imagine the shelter manager would say that she can’t say for certain that Elle’s part Bengal, so she doesn’t.


Robyn, I give you full props for posting every day this month. I don’t know how you are doing it. It helps that I slack and do mostly picture entries on the weekends! But I don’t believe I’ll be doing this again next year, believe you me (and feel free to remind me that I said that if I show any interest in it!).


Robyn, I knew right away the card was from you! Very cute but can I admit I was very surprised you used Spot for the photo….. only because he is so raggedy, but he cleaned up nice for the photo! Spot is our oldest cat, and like Fred said, we needed to get him on a Christmas card because god knows how much longer he’ll be around!


Somewhere I read that Guam has some horrible snake to space ratio due to a lack of natural predators. I think maybe it was thousands and thousands per square mile. I also seem to remember something about power outages due to snakes climbing onto the power lines. Is this some sort of urban myth designed to keep people from ever ever ever visiting Guam, or is it actually true? If it’s true, I think that Illinois might be a little too close to the snaketopia of Guam for my comfort, and I might actually need to move. I did a search and found that apparently Guam has a big problem with brown tree snakes, ever since they were accidentally introduced to the island back in the ’40s. This page says that it’s estimated that there are about 20 snakes per acre, but that many people have lived on Guam for years without ever having seen one – they don’t apparently seek out humans to bite. There are power outages due to snakes climbing on them, though, you heard that right. I was pretty young when I lived on Guam, and I don’t remember any issues with snakes at all. I do, however, remember seeing many many geckos and trying to dig gecko eggs out of small spaces with the intent of hatching and raising baby geckos. I think you’re safe in Illinois, though. I don’t think brown tree snakes care much for the cold. If there’s a swarm of them headed your way, someone will probably let you know! I’d love to go back to Guam to visit one day and see if it’s as beautiful as I remember.


I was wondering if the cat lady extraordinaire has any advice for a cat with a cold. She seems pretty miserable, breathing with her mouth open and not her usual bouncy self. A little sneezing. The trouble is I don’t have a place and facilities to isolate her from the others. Any suggestions? thanks! It sounds like your cat’s cold has progressed to an upper respiratory infection and she probably needs antibiotics. I’d get her to a vet, because I don’t believe there’s anything you can do at home to make her feel better.


(flickr) (flickr) Now I know what’s been making holes in the fabric of the finch feeders! Goddamn squirrels. (flickr)


Bath time for Punki, the fartingest cat in existence. (flickr)


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: Let’s see if this puts you in the mood for a nap, huh? 2003: If you’re wandering through the Cincinnati airport around 10 am tomorrow and see someone with a hideous bag, say hi. It’ll be me. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: Best laid plans, and all that.]]>


here): Date I started addressing cards: I think around November 26th or 27th. Date I finished: The day I stopped taking names and address, December 21st. Total cards sent out (not including family): 358 States receiving 10 or more cards: California (31), Florida (11), Illinois (15), Maryland (10), Michigan (16), North Carolina (11), Ohio (26), Pennsylvania (13), Texas (23), Virginia (17), Washington (14), Wisconsin (12). States who don’t love me and didn’t want a card: Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, Washington DC. Other countries receiving cards: Canada (10), New Zealand (1), Australia (4), UK (5), Sweden (2), Costa Rica (1), Germany (1), Iceland (1), Finland (1), Scotland (3), Switzerland (1), Israel (1). Number of cards kicked back as undeliverable: None so far! Percentage of probability that I accidentally sent out more than one card to at least one person: 96.848. Was I terribly organized about my card sending this year?: Fairly so, except for the not-enough-cards thing. That wasn’t due to disorganization, though. Did I have a lot of fun shopping for funny cards?: I had a lot of fun creating one. Those of you who didn’t request one, this is this year’s card: (pic) (Inside: That’s okay, Santa Claws likes it naughty. Happy Holidays!) I actually ran out of cards, and a handful of you got cards created by me. I’m sorry about that. I’ll do better next year! What I’ll do differently next year: Order more cards, damnit! Number of cards I’ve received: So far, 140 154! (I checked the PO Box yesterday morning). I’ll update that number in mid-January, when all the cards have arrived. I meant to put up pictures of all the cards I’ve received so far, but I didn’t have time, and my camera is packed away, so I’ll have to get that at a later date (and will hopefully remember to come back here and post the link).


I was tagged forever ago for this meme by angstmama. It’s only now going up because it took me THAT long to come up with stuff that I haven’t already written about. The rules: 1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your Blog. 2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself. 3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their Blogs. 4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog. Seven random or weird things about myself. 1. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when I have to get up to pee, when the deed is done I wander into the computer room, and I click on my Sitemeter bookmark, and when my page of stats comes up, I click on “Who’s on?” For those of you without Sitemeter, this tells you who has been on your site in the past 30 minutes. And I can’t remember the last time I clicked on “Who’s on?” and had it come up blank. In the middle of the night, I look at the list of who’s on, and I wonder, what are you doing on my site in the middle of the night? Who are you, Tulsa? Oakland? Jackson? Attiki, Greece? Oslo? Are you catching up on your journal reading? Are you taking a break from work, killing time, putting off going to bed? Were you looking for something else when you wandered across my site, or did you mean to be here? And after some time of looking and pondering, I go back to bed. Sometimes I dream about you all. 2. I adore the word “spry” and use it as often as I can. I just hope that when I’m a doddering old woman, someone will look at me and say, admiringly, “She’s certainly spry for her age!” 3. In the movie Catch & Release, there’s a scene where everyone is having (a horribly disgusting-looking) vegan dinner, and Jennifer Garner decides to share things about herself that her deceased fiance never knew. She says: a. I steal library books… on purpose. I have them from every town I live in. I can’t control it. b. I can put my whole fist in my mouth. c. I love natural disasters. I want people to die in them. I’m genuinely disappointed when the death toll is low. d. I made it with a girl once. e. I think catch & release fishermen are heartless weenies. I think putting a fish through agony for your own entertainment is just plain cruel. One of her secrets is mine as well. And I’m not going to tell you which one – you can guess, but I’ll never say. 4. I hate it when someone asks what I’m eating, unless they do the interested “Oh, that looks good!” face. Otherwise, they might say “What are you eating?”, but I hear “JESUS CHRIST. ARE YOU EATING AGAIN? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STUFFING DOWN YOUR PIEHOLE NOW?” Ask Fred – I get very defensive about what I’m eating if it’s not a salad or some kind of fruit. I’m known to squawk “NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS!” in response and hunch over my plate. Luckily, he finds it funny. 5. If I say “Such and such is so!” and someone responds with “Such and such is NOT so, in my case. Here is an example that describes the case of such and such being the exact opposite of so.”, I adore responding with “Ah, but in your case, that is the exception that proves the rule!”, because it makes me sound so very smart. Except that I’m not sure exactly what “The exception that proves the rule” MEANS. It just sounds good. 6. From the interstate highway between Closeville and Tennessee (a drive I usually only make when I’m taking a cat to the vet), there’s this apartment building you can see. It’s shaped like an “L”, and there are two stories, it’s battered and broken-down, there’s junk everywhere and crappy rusted-out vehicles in the parking lot, and I am absolutely fascinated by it. It looks like the end of the road. I stare at it as I drive by, every time. I can barely take my eyes off it. If someone’s outside, I want to see what they look like and what they’re doing, what they’re driving. If I had any idea how to get there, I would probably drive there and park across from it and just sit there all day to watch the people come and go. I don’t understand why I’m so fascinated by it; it simultaneously fascinates and saddens me. I think that in some parallel life, if I took a left instead of the right I took in this one, zigged instead of zagged, maybe that’s where I ended up. It looks like the place where hope goes to die. 7. I fully believe that if I didn’t have Fred around to keep me in check, we’d have 630 cats by now. And if Fred didn’t have me around to keep him in check (or at least slow him down a little), we’d have a back forty full of goats and sheep and pigs and cows and probably a couple of dogs to keep an eye on them. If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!


Annnnnnd, now I’m off to Maine for a while. If I can, I’ll update from there (I’m committed to posting every day of December, now that it’s so close!). Y’all behave. The comment-answering extravaganza is on hold ’til I get back – you can still ask the questions, I just won’t get to them ’til I get back. I’ll be sporadically Twittering. Edited to add: Annnnnd, now I’m not. Due to weather in Detroit, my first flight was canceled and (it being a holiday weekend and all) I couldn’t get on another flight out of Huntsville ’til Saturday. Thank GOD my father called to tell me the first flight had been canceled; it never occurred to me to check! So if you’ve got any burning questions, the Comment-Answering Extravaganza will go on tomorrow as usual!


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: “Mom, you’re going to be bigger than Britney Spears!” 2003: I tossed the muffins in the trash, although it did occur to me to leave the one the Bean had had his ass upon – the assmuffin, if you will – for Fred. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Though to be truthful, I was the Monster Who Ate Alabama for a period of about 24 hours… 1999: “You must not be using the stairs at your house Freddie! You haven’t lost any weight!” ]]>


this, but the measurements are different. I’ll try to get the recipe posted later today, and link to it here. Here’s the recipe. In any case, though I was skeptical, it turned out really well. Not many people were interested in it, though, so we brought most of it back home with us. After dinner, we sat around and talked for a few hours. This year everyone either got money or gift cards – Fred got a Lowe’s card, I got money (for Christmas and my birthday, which is coming up way too fast. I don’t know if I’m ready to be 40!). We got home close to 10, and exclaimed over how tired we were (for we are lame), and pretty much went straight to bed. Christmas morning we were up fairly early, sat around for a while, then I cleaned out the litter boxes, cleaned up the kitchen, ate a piece of chocolate/ peanut butter bark, and took a shower. We left a few minutes before 8, and were the first people to arrive at Fred’s sister’s house. They bought their house in the last year, and we hadn’t been inside it yet. It is AMAZING. It is GORGEOUS. It was built in 1918, and Fred was drooling with jealousy. The only downfall is that it’s on a tiny piece of land, located at a very busy intersection in the middle of Huntsville. If it had been situated on, say, 100 acres I imagine Fred would have shot his sister and her husband and stolen their house. We ate breakfast – you can check Fred’s journal for the difference in store-bought eggs and the ones our girlz provide – and then we had dessert (if you can’t have dessert after breakfast on Christmas, when can you?), which included a fabulous apple tart Fred’s sister’s husband (who is French) made. God, it was good. Those French, they know how to cook! We sat around, opened presents (a Lowe’s gift card from Fred’s mother and stepfather), talked for a while (we were sitting in a sun room, and god it was a great room. WE NEED A SUN ROOM. BUILD ME A SUN ROOM FRED!), and then headed for home. We both wanted a nap when we got home, but first Fred had to take leftovers out to the girlz (the girlz enjoyed their biscuits, scrambled eggs, and gravy), then we had presents from my sister and nephew and parents to open. We got gift cards and books and a picture of my grandmother when she was very young, and my sister sent a box of catnip bags for the cats. She got the catnip that filled the bags (which were sewn shut) at the health food store, and that had to be some PRIME stuff, because cats came running from all over the house, and Fred was tossing out the bags to them, and there were cats laying all over the place rubbing on and licking catnip bags. Sugarbutt was drooling all over his, so much that he stained the blanket he was laying on, and I worried for a moment that a cat had sprayed on it, but no. It was just high-as-a-kite Sugarbutt drooling all over the place. Bob better watch out; he’s going to lose some customers if this keeps up. After opening our presents, we took a nap accompanied by Punki, who wouldn’t settle down until I sprayed the compressed air at her, and then she settled down right quick. We spent the afternoon (after our nap) relaxing, and I did some laundry and then we watched TV. And now life may return to normal, if you please.   This was supposed to be a portrait of a Momma and her Booger. Booger WAS looking at the camera, but then decided to turn and give his Momma a perplexed “What the-?” look. Since I have nothing else to offer, and I’d like to clear off my memory stick, I offer a ton and a half of pictures for your perusal. Sleeping Punki Pie. I think Frick briefly had herself a crush on the new guy. She was following him around an awful lot. Unfortunately, he seems to have an eye for the blondes, and Frick decided she didn’t want any guy who’d have his head turned by those flashy hos, and she lost interest. Miss Momma likes to spend her days sleeping here. Good thing Fred made those steps for Spot, huh? There is a basket not four feet away into which Sugarbutt’s butt will comfortably fit. But no. NO. He has to sleep in the basket of toys. Note that at least his nail caps are color coordinated with the wall. Scruffy Spot. Pretty Felicia. She has such pretty eyes. Da Poo wonders when Nance will come and rescue her from having to share the attention with OTHER CATS. The HORROR. Princess Poo. McLovin in the sun. As long as you’re comfy, Boog. Poor Frick, she’s so ratty looking. She’s apparently molting. Newt jumped up on top of the canning cupboard to get away from the other cats. That didn’t last long. I actually put that basket up there because it was in the living room and the cats were chewing on it. So much for that.


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: Such a dork, I am. 2004: I had oyster dressing and mandarin muffins for breakfast yesterday and then again for lunch, and a better Christmas day breakfast does not exist. 2003: Is it a sign of old age that I’m this excited about getting a new vacuum cleaner? 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: No entry.]]>


to you and yours, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! May your day include lots of kitty cuddling, if you’re so inclined.

Outtake from the 2007 Christmas card shoot:


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: Merry Christmas! 2004: No entry. 2003: Happy holidays! 2002: Wishing a warm, merry Christmas to you and yours, from us and ours. 2001: Happy holidays! 2000: No entry. 1999: No entry.]]>


Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies from a recipe I found in Cooking Light magazine. They were fabulous. Chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and not too sweet or buttery (not that there’s any such thing as “too” sweet or buttery, you understand). Fred thinks they’d be good with raisins added, but I don’t like raisins in baked goods (though in cereal they can’t be beat) so there were no raisins. Yesterday, I decided it wasn’t Christmas without fudge, so I made fudge. It took forever to cool and harden, but once again: fabulous. Later today I’m making a Poppy Seed Cake (only, lemon rather than yellow cake) to bring to Fred’s sister’s house tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll be fabulous. I’m also sure I’m glad Christmas is almost here, so I can stop all this baking madness.


This is how I’m displaying the cards I’ve received this year. Don’t worry – I’ll take closeup pictures in the next few days and post them, but this is the overall effect. I kind of like it. (flickr) And speaking of Christmas, this is what I asked for (and got) from Fred for Christmas this year: (flickr) We used to have a shitty table there under the window, a cheap one he picked up at a store, and I hated it. So I asked for a table made with his own two hands, and that’s what I got. We’re both thinking he should have made it deeper (that cat bed just barely fits on it), but overall I adore it. Every time I catch a glimpse of it, it makes me happy. I had no idea 11 years ago that Fred was going to turn into a Handyman. Had I known, I would have married him that much faster!


I feel like I’ve probably done this meme before, but I’ve got nothin’ for y’all today, so I’m doing it again. I found it somewhere on MySpace some time ago, and have been saving it just in case. JUST TWO THINGS Two Names You Go By: 1. Robyn 2. Bitchypoo Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now: 1. A t-shirt that says “Books. Cats. Life is Sweet.” on the front. 2. Very thick, warm socks. Two Things You Would Want (or have) In A Relationship: 1. Laughter. 2. Communication. Two Things You Like To Do: 1. Snuggle with kitties. 2. Read. Two Things You Want Very Badly at the Moment 1. Warm weather. 2. Sunshine. Two Things You Did Last Night: 1. Read until far too late. 2. Watched TV. Two Things You Ate Today: 1. A Clementine. 2. Water. What? It’s still early! Two People You Last Talked To: 1. Fred 2. The spud. Two Things You’re Doing Tomorrow: 1. Waking up early. 2. Going to Fred’s sister’s house for breakfast. Two Favorite Holidays 1. Labor Day. 2. My birthday. What? It’s a federal holiday! Isn’t it? January 9th? Doesn’t everyone get that day off work to have cookouts and drink too much? Two Favorite Beverages 1. Water 2. Hot cocoa. Two jobs I have had in my life: 1. Office manager. 2. Convenience store cashier. Two movies I would watch over and over 1. When Harry Met Sally. 2. She’s the Man. (Obviously, the really deep movies.) Two places I have lived: 1. Lisb0n Falls, Maine. 2. Smallville, Alabama. Two of my Favorite Foods: 1. Birthday cake. 2. Just about any kind of asian food. Two places I’d rather be right now: 1. On the beach. 2. Hell. It’s warm there, right? Two people I think will respond: Respond to what? I’m not tagging anyone. Well. If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged, mm’kay?


“What?” (flickr)


Previously 2006: What a difference a year makes. 2005: No entry. 2004: Fred thought it was funny that his sister had to explain to her boyfriend, who is from France, what “French toast” is. 2003: THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND I WAS IN TARGET! HAAAAAAAAAAAAA! 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: No entry.]]>


Warning: potentially disturbing pictures. Shhhhhh. Don’t say anything. He’s out there right now, watching me. I don’t want him to know I know he’s there. I’m being held captive in the house by a serial killer. (Is it “serial killer” or “mass murderer”? Let me go wikipedia that…. Okay, serial killer was right.) NO! Don’t call the police! Jesus, he’ll know we’re onto him, and he’ll go out and do some more killing and the blood would be on our hands! I tried sneaking out the front door, but he sensed what I was doing, and before I could get the door open, he was there. Trapping me inside. I tried running for the back door, but he’s faster than I am, even with having to jump over the fence carrying his latest victim. I’m trapped. Completely. (flickr) God, he’s deceptively sweet looking. Who would have ever guessed that a cold-blooded killer lies within? I’m okay, though. I’ve got enough food and water to last me for some time, even a couple of weeks if you include the canned food. I just hope Fred doesn’t get caught. I would have called to warn him, but the phone wires have been chewed through. My cell phone is somehow missing. (flickr) It’s like he planned it. Like he went out to do his latest killing knowing that I wouldn’t want to let him inside so he could eat his latest victim. That’s right – EAT his latest victim. He’s a monster. The eyes of a lover, the heart of a monster the world has never seen before. (flickr) No remorse for his horrible deeds. Just another day for him. I’ll hold him off as long as I can. If you drive by and see the flashing blue lights of the local police, you’ll know I wasn’t able. Make sure you tell the reporters I did my best to stop his lifelong killing spree. (flickr) The face of evil. Who knew it’d be so soft and fuzzy and cute? (flickr) (flickr)


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: I have the best readers EVAH! 2004: Gotta love that Jack Bauer. 2003: When it’s such a noteworthy event that my child stops and stares in wonder, it’s possible I’m just not cleaning often enough, ya think? 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: That’s my girl!



new logo! This one’s staying up for the rest of December. Local reader Jean (who has actually BEEN to Crooked Acres) created this one for me, and I can’t stop laughing at the chicken in a Santa hat. Love it! Thanks, Jean!


Those of you who waited ’til the last few days to send me your names and addresses for Christmas cards, be aware that I ran out of the cards I had printed at VistaPrint, so had to slap something together. Yesterday was a mad dash to Huntsville to buy blank greeting cards at Michael’s, except that I found when I got home that “note cards” are not the same thing as “greeting cards”, so in lieu of going all the damn way back to Huntsville, I went to Staples and found blank greeting cards, then affixed the picture to the front of the cards and wrote the message on the inside in green ink. They are by no means professional, but you get the same card, basically, as the non-procrastinators. Someone asked in yesterday’s comments whether I’ll be putting up pictures of the cards I’ve received. I will, probably next week when I put up the yearly cards sent/ received stats. The cards I received in 2006 are here, and 2005 are here, in case you’re interested.


I recently read… somewhere (forgive me, I don’t remember where) about someone taking part in a Progressive Dinner Party. It sounds pretty neat – you have appetizers at one house, move on to the next for soup and salads, the next for the main course, and finish up at someone’s house for dessert. However, does it or does it not sound like a totally ’70s concept? I expected to read “And after we had fabulous chocolate crepes for dessert, we moved on to Bob’s house for the key party to end the night on a high note.” That’s not how it ended (or if it did, they didn’t admit it); is it wrong that I’m a little disappointed?


Someone did a search yesterday that led me to believe they were looking for information on the Diva Cup (they searched on The Keeper, which I’ve never used). I continue to love my Diva Cup, though there are times I can’t get it to pop out the way it’s supposed to, so I have to take it out, put it back in, twirl it around, do the goddamn hokey pokey and curse god before it does what it’s supposed to. I would take the Diva Cup over tampons any day of the week, though. Tampons SUCK. Well, periods suck altogether, but if you are cursed with being fertile (or at least having your period on a semi-regular basis), I highly recommend the Diva Cup. Takes some getting used to, the insertion and removal, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Insertion tip: I find it helps to have the Diva Cup as warm as possible, so once it’s rinsed clean, I hold it under warm water for a few seconds before folding it up and inserting it. Oh. Sorry, guys. You might have wanted to skip that part.


Things that have recently made me laugh my ass off (or at least giggle): Crazy Bus Lady. (From reader Stacee) Kitty Wigs! Can’t you just see Miss Stank as a bashful blonde and Tommy in blue? This AOL commercial cracks me UP. (In case not everyone knows all three of the videos they’re mocking, there’s the Don’t Tase Me Bro, the Leave Britney Alone, and the Miss Teen South Carolina. I love the internet.) And my sister sent me this one. The sound effect at the end is just perfect!


On a side note, I tried to sign up for the gmail address dont.spam.me.bro@gmail because I thought it would be funny to use for my online purchases, but to my utter dismay, someone else had already snatched it up. DAMNIT.


You’d think this would have ended with a dead kitten, but Miz Poo smacked once, then just walked away. She’s mellowing in her old age. (flickr)


Previously 2006: It burns, Jane! The applique, IT BURRRRRRRRNS! 2005: I’m a creature of habit, what can I say? 2004: No shit, Matt. Ya think? Ya think she might like to eat? 2003: “You are NOT allowed in Maine!” I informed him. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Except for world peace and all that. Yadda, yadda. 1999: No entry.]]>