a fertilized egg, once laid, is in a state of suspended animation until it’s incubated. If you collect the egg right away and refrigerate it, the embryo will never develop, and I’ll bet you’d never notice the difference between that egg and an unfertilized one. See what a fertilized vs. unfertilized egg looks like, here. Sometimes you come across a grocery store egg that contains a blood spot. I was told, as a child, that a blood spot indicated a fertilized egg. But that’s not so, according to the American Egg Board. Instead, ” Contrary to popular opinion, these tiny [blood] spots do not indicate a fertilized egg. Rather, they are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg or by a similar accident in the wall of the oviduct. Less than 1% of all eggs produced have blood spots. Mass candling methods reveal most eggs with blood spots and those eggs are removed but, even with electronic spotters, it is impossible to catch all of them. As an egg ages, the yolk takes up water from the albumen to dilute the blood spot so, in actuality, a blood spot indicates that the egg is fresh. Both chemically and nutritionally, these eggs are fit to eat. The spot can be removed with the tip of a knife, if you wish.” More than you ever wanted to know about hens, roosters, and eggs (fertilized and not) here. Also, those of you who warned me about the rooster crowing: yeah, he crows. But when he crows in the early morning, he’s in the coop – so that muffles him a little – and he’s on the other end of the house from my bedroom, and I sleep with ear plugs in. So when he went off at 4-something this morning (reported by Fred), I didn’t hear a single thing, and I don’t expect I will. Fred said that he could hear him, but he wasn’t too terribly loud, that the trains that run by a few miles down the road are far louder. I haven’t been woken up by a train in months, so I don’t think the rooster’s going to be an issue for me. Of course, if that changes, you KNOW you’ll be hearing about it.


FYI: Roomba has been ordered, thanks to enabling reader Bridget, who provided me the link to this page. I said “I’m going to order that Roomba.” And then I ordered that Roomba, and then Fred said “How much was the Roomba?” and I said “$212, shaddup.” and he said “The rooster was only ten dollars!” and I said “Your point?” and he said nothing and I said “I’ll get far more pleasure from the Roomba than the rooster.” and he said nothing.


The rooster, I must admit, is kind of entertaining to watch. I was under the impression that roosters are assholes who do nothing but try to get some lovin’, but so far McLovin (we changed his name from Cluck Gable to McLovin, because McLovin makes us giggle) pretty much behaves himself. I mean, there’s been some hanky panky, but for the most part he seems to walk around and stare off into the distance, and dig for food and every once in a while he’ll do a halfhearted mating dance. He really is a pretty chicken, and I look forward to seeing what his babies look like.


So, last week someone asked: Over the years that you’ve been sending cards to blog readers, what is your sent to received ratio? Has it fluctuated from year to year, or steadily increased/decreased? I’ve been keeping track since 2001, and the stats are as follows:
% of return
So, it kind of fluctuates, but has stayed fairly close to 50% since 2002. And by the way – I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I honestly don’t keep track of who sends me a card and who doesn’t. I love the cards I get from you guys, and I love sending them out to you, but I’ve never once said “Hmph. I sent a card to So-and-So, and they didn’t send one back. Bastard!” Creating and sending out cards every year is a big part of what gets me in the Christmas spirit!


I covered for the Sunday morning volunteer at the pet store yesterday morning (which is why I was up and posting so early), and I have to say that driving into Huntsville from Smallville on a Sunday morning is WAY better than making the same drive on a Monday morning. I’d driven 20 minutes before I even saw another car! To my dismay, except for Jessikat, all the kittens who were at the pet store last Monday were still there yesterday, including Ellie-Belly and Skittles. Adoptions have been absolutely abysmal lately, damnit, and I hope they pick up! Skittles followed me around and howled to be picked up and loved, so I did plenty of that. When I left the pet store, I went over to Target to do some grocery shopping and pick up a few Christmas items, then stopped at Publix on the way home to buy things I can’t get at Target (Western Bagels and Publix Diet Cola for Fred). When I got home, I thought briefly about driving to Closeville to walk on the walking path, but it was so freakin’ cold (with the windchill, in the 20s) and when I walked on Friday I reinjured my not-completely-healed knee, so I gave myself a Get out of Jail Free card, and spent the day (most of it, except when I had to run to the office supply store, and then stand outside in the freezing-ass cold helping Fred with the chicken coop) inside. Laundry’s done, packages ready to be mailed, house more or less straightened out. And I’m out of here, off to the pet store to do my usual Monday morning thing.


Oh, and before I forget: Miss Stank has recovered from the Stank Virus; over the weekend, Miss Momma had a bout of it, and now I think Spot’s down for the count. We’re treating them with powdered Slippery Elm Bark to help with the nausea and (in Spot’s case) diarrhea, and all we can do is wait it out. Poor kitties.


Newtles sleeps the sleep of the innocent, unaware of the depravity going on just a few feet away. (flickr) (flickr)


Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: Fred leaned down and SNIFFED MEESTER BOOGERS’ ASS AGAIN. 2003: And then we got to stand around while the woman, clearly not the sort who can walk and chew gum at the same time, fumbled with her credit card, NEVER ONCE PAUSING IN HER INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION. 2002: Tell me, for I am clueless when it comes to these things. 2001: Like I said, if you’re going to mix lights, go all the way, people. 2000: No entry.]]>