Y’all, reader Paula has a question, and it’s time-sensitive, so I didn’t want to make her wait ’til Friday: I was wondering if any of your readers have tried the beef tenderloin & scallops in Manhattan sauce recipe in the last issue of R@chael R@y’s magazine. It looks good and I’m thinking about making it … Continue reading “2-12-08”

Y’all, reader Paula has a question, and it’s time-sensitive, so I didn’t want to make her wait ’til Friday:

I was wondering if any of your readers have tried the beef tenderloin & scallops in Manhattan sauce recipe in the last issue of R@chael R@y’s magazine. It looks good and I’m thinking about making it for Valentine’s day but I’ve never had a sauce like that. Obviously I don’t want to ruin my V-Day dinner by making a crappy meal.

So how’s about it, folks? Any of you give it a whirl yet?


In case you don’t read Fred’s journal, or you do and were put immediately into a 40-year slumber by his riveting second-by-second description about How He Figured Out How To Get The Truck Running Again, we’ve moved the chickens to their new coop/ yard. They seem to be adapting very well, though the first evening, we were a wee bit worried that they were just flat-out too stupid to remember how to get back in the coop, since they were clustered on the steps when it was getting dark, but slowly they all made their way inside through the side opening with ramp, and not a single one of them needed to be herded inside.

It’s a little strange – but nice – to walk across the back yard and not have chicken trotting along beside me, hoping I’m about to give them food. I miss Frick a little, though. Frick is like a little puppy dog. Most of the chickens I can take or leave, but it’s well known that unless a nuclear bomb drops and we’re forced to hole up in the house and eat all our animals one by one (Mister Boogers first, because it’s a proven fact that large amounts of het make a very tender Booger roast), Frick will be dying of old age.

The cats don’t know what to make of the fact that they have the back yard to themselves. They go out, sniff around, and with little cartoon question marks hanging above their heads, they stare over to where the chickens are.

McLovin took about two hours to figure out how to get out of the new chicken yard, but despite my expectations, he hasn’t come into the back yard at all. Probably just a matter of time, though.


On Friday, I lost Joe Bob.

Thursday, I found him sitting on the steps outside the back door. I was surprised, even though I HAD opened the back door, because Ellie-Belly and Skittles are very much interested in what’s going on outside when the back door is open, though they’re apparently not interested enough to try to go through the cat door at the bottom of the screen door. Stinkerbelle is also very interested in what’s going on out there – she will often sit on the dryer and wait patiently for Tommy to come back inside – but she has never actually gone through the cat door. So being a dummy, I expected that it would at least take Joe Bob a month or so, if ever, before he ventured forth through the cat door.

Thursday morning I realized I hadn’t seen him for a little while, so I looked for him and found him on the top of the back steps. I coaxed him inside and he ran off like he thought he was in trouble, so I thought perhaps he’d stay away from the back door. A few hours later I realized I hadn’t seen him in a little while, and found him on the bottom of the back steps. I coaxed him back inside, and he ran off like he thought he was in trouble. When I followed him to reassure him that he wasn’t in trouble, he ran and hid from me.

So Friday morning when I walked into the laundry room and opened the back door (after collaring up Tommy, Sugarbutt, and the Boog), I wasn’t surprised when Joe Bob ran off.

An hour later, I wondered where he was. I looked out into the back yard and didn’t see him. In fact, none of the cats were out there, so I shut the door, which I usually do when they’ve decided it’s too cold to be outside. I walked through the house looking for Joe in his usual spots, and he was nowhere to be found.

“What?” I said. I looked again in his favorite spots, and his not-favorite spots, looked under beds, looked in the back yard again. No Joe.

“I’ve lost Joe, and Fred is going to kill me,” I informed Mister Boogers, who glared at me and went back to sleep.

I was walking through the house again when I noticed Tommy in the front room, staring out at the porch like there was something of interest out there.

I opened the front door, and Joe Bob went flying off the porch.

I ran to the side of the porch and called after him, then saw him heading for the back yard, and climbing over the fence. I ran through the house and when I got to the back door, Joe Bob was sitting there, looking all wild-eyed.

Now, the only reason I hadn’t put a collar on him even though we had an extra collar, is because we were out of batteries for the collars, and luckily, the batteries came in the mail Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning, when I collared up the rest of the Bad Kitty Posse, Fred took the extra collar and put it on Joe Bob, who responded by slinking around the house like something was ON HIM, and then he rolled around a little, and then he forgot he was wearing the collar.

And then he didn’t try to set one single solitary paw outside all day long.

Sunday, we collared him up again and at some point he went outside and then came flying back in through the cat door, and I figured he’d ventured too close to the fence and gotten zapped.

Yesterday morning, the little brat wouldn’t let me put the collar on him. I chased him around the house and then gave up in disgust and yelled “THEN RUN AWAY!”, only he mostly stayed away from the back door until around noon, when I looked into the back yard and saw him sitting on the well house just outside the fence, looking over the fence at me. I coaxed him inside and then shut the door.

Mid-afternoon, Joe Bob gave up the fight, flopped down on the kitchen rug, and let me put his collar on. A few minutes later he went outside, and spent most of the afternoon racing around the back yard with Tommy and Sugarbutt.

Hopefully there’ll be no more sneaking out of the back yard from the little bastard. I’m not counting on that, though.


Yesterday morning, I was getting ready to leave for my Monday morning volunteer stint at the pet store when I heard a far-off plaintive meow. I walked around the house a little and finally pinpointed the meow as coming from the front room. I walked in and saw Miss Stinky looking at the couch, ears perking up every time a sad little meow came from somewhere inside it.

I put the foot of the couch up (it’s a couch with a recliner on each end) and slid underneath and found that Skittles was somehow stuck in the back of the couch. She could stick her head through a small hole, but the rest of her body wouldn’t come. After much looking around and a phone call to Fred, I ended up cutting through the fabric at the back of the couch to get her out.

I love our cats – foster and otherwise – but sometimes I could happily toss all of them in the back yard, bid them adieu, and shut the door FOREVER.

I put this carrier on the table before Spot’s vet appointment a month ago, and when Fred got home with Spot, he left the carrier on the table. It has become the number one favorite place to sleep for Skittles, Elle, Newt, and sometimes Maxi. There’s always a cat in there. Good thing we never use the table, I suppose.


2007: I do NOT know why the fuck I’m such an idiot.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Sounds like corporate logic, to me – cable guys having to service DVRs when they don’t know anything at all about them.
2003: Uninspired.
2002: Dude, what the fuck? They don’t have mirrors on Boston Public?
2001: My husband, Narcissus.
2000: No entry.