You guys, this is the coolest thing. PetSmart Charities created this program called Rescue Waggin’: The Rescue Waggin’ ® program was created by PetSmart Charities to help save the lives of homeless dogs and puppies by transporting them from areas of high pet population (where they face certain euthanasia) to shelters where adoptable dogs are … Continue reading “7-25-08”

You guys, this is the coolest thing. PetSmart Charities created this program called Rescue Waggin’:

The Rescue Waggin’ ® program was created by PetSmart Charities to help save the lives of homeless dogs and puppies by transporting them from areas of high pet population (where they face certain euthanasia) to shelters where adoptable dogs are in demand.

If you go to this page and watch the video of Spunky taking “The ride of her life” (upper left corner), Pedigree dog food will donate $1 to the charity. It only takes a few minutes and if you’re a sap like me you’ll at least tear up a little, and then you’ve earned $1 for the Rescue Waggin’ program. How could it be any easier? Watch the video all the way through ’til you get the “Thank you” message, please.

Please just take a few minutes out of your day to watch it? Please please?



The dancing guy video I referred to yesterday was the America’s Funniest Home Video where the wife kept locking her husband out of the house or car, and wouldn’t let him back in until he danced for her, but an email and a comment reminded me – you guys have seen Where the Hell is Matt, right? I’m linking it just in case you haven’t. (And thank you to reader Michele, who reminded me that I’ve been meaning to link to it for ages!)



Awwww…how can you resist Spanky’s warm, fuzzy-ness?

I know this is a rhetorical question, but I’m going to take a moment to sing the praises of Spanky. He is SUCH a good boy, our Spanky. He’s the elder statesman of the Crooked Acres kitties (almost 12!), and except for a couple of urinary tract infections, he has never ever given us a single moment of trouble. He’s quiet but loves to be petted – sometimes in the evenings he’ll get up on the couch next to Fred and just look up at Fred with the Eyes o’ Love, and if Fred looks down at him, Spanky moves his head around like “HI DAD!” and meows softly.

He’s always been kind of a timid cat. I think I’ve probably told the story, back in the early days of my journal, about how I was sitting on the couch reading and I kept hearing ::THUMPTHUMPTHUMP::HISS::THUMPTHUMPTHUMP:: and it turned out that all the cats were chasing Spanky around the house. At that point, he wouldn’t fight another cat unless he was directly attacked, and even then he preferred to run away.

These days, he’s a little more willing to put the smack down. For some reason he does NOT like Joe Bob (Joe Bob, we’ve discovered recently, has taken to occasional spraying, and I think Spanky takes strong offense to that kind of behavior) and will kick Joe’s butt on a moment’s notice. (Don’t feel too sorry for Joe Bob – he, in turn, has something against Stinkerbelle and teases her horribly until she unleashes the hellcat scream.)

Every night at Snackin’! Time!, all the other cats mill around like little idiots, all “Where my snack? Where’m I supposed to be? Is it snack time? Uh duh?” despite the fact that each of them is given their snack in very specific locations. Spanky is the ONE cat who always knows exactly where he’s supposed to be, and he patiently sits in his corner until he gets his little plate of Snackin’.

Also, he’s the Bathroom Ambassador, and without his help, how on EARTH would we know where the bathroom is kept?



If I remember right you had a “I want it” attack about key covers some celebrity had. I just found a website that sells different types. I think you later changed your mind but I thought I would insert some temptation into your life.

Give to me this url, please. I did change my mind, but my mind can always be changed back!



Robyn, just wondering if you know what Bonnie, used to be Bontasia, from San Antonio’s website is? My computer crashed and I lost it.

Bonnie’s here now. She doesn’t write a lot, but she does drop in from time to time to post something.



Actually, brown sugar is just less refined than white sugar. If you don’t have brown sugar handy, you can add molasses to the white sugar to make a substitute. If Fred really hates molasses, you might try turbinado (Sugar in the Raw) or Demarara sugar. Both of them are just unrefined cane sugar and might be more to his liking. I’ve used a combination of maple sugar and turbinado in baked beans, and it works well. Or is is possible that Fred just doesn’t like sulphured molasses? I like unsulphured, but I’ve never cared for sulphured.

I actually didn’t know the answer to the sulphured vs. unsulphured question so I asked him and he said “I just don’t like molasses, period.” So there you go.

I LOVE turbinado sugar – I used it the first time in a recipe I made a few months back (a blueberry coffeecake recipe where you sprinkle turbinado sugar on the top before baking) and really liked the flavor.



I recently started watching Tori and Dean and I don’t know why but I love it. I used to think that Dean was not very good looking but he is growing on me and their baby….OMG so cute!!

I think Dean can be really good looking, or he can be kind of goofy looking, depending on what he’s doing or talking about.

I have to say, though the fact that he calls Tori “Mama” all the time annoys me, the way he looks at her – like he is the luckiest man on earth and God, how the hell did I get this lucky?! – melts my heart a little. And yeah, that is one adorable baby!



Do you watch Chelsea Handler? If so, what do you think? We are definitely on board. Have to DVR it though, can’t stay up late to watch it real time.

I’ve never watched Chelsea Handler, but next time I’m in front of the TV, I’m going to set up to tape a few episodes and see if it’s something I want to keep watching.



I can’t remember, what happened to Jake kitty? I think that was his name. He had been adopted and brought back maybe a couple of times.

I knew exactly which cat you were talking about, but it took the LONGEST time for me to remember his right name. Jack Frost! Jack Frost was adopted and returned a couple of times, but it appears that he’s been adopted for good – it’s been a few months and he hasn’t come back yet. Yay!



The cupcakes look good. wouldn’t it be easier to just put a mini reeses peanut butter cup in the middle and then make the peanut butter frosting? (aside from the pain in the ass of unwrapping the peanut butter cups, that is. LOL)

Y’know, it wasn’t until you said that that I realized it was kind of silly to use a box mix to make the cupcake part, but have to mix peanut butter and powdered sugar and roll it up into balls. You’re right, it would be way easier to use mini peanut butter cups instead of dealing with the peanut butter. A lot less messy, too!



Not that you were asking for suggestions… When we last froze corn we used a turkey fryer to boil the corn. Since it was set up outside the kitchen wasn’t so #*&$ hot, and we could do a ton of ears at a time. It may go without saying, but just in case: We filled the turkey fryer with water, not oil.

That’s an excellent idea. Am I wrong in believing that corn deep-fried in oil would be FABULOUS, though?



You’ve seen this, haven’t you? http://www.drhorrible.com/ It’s from the creator of Buffy and Firefly. It’s truly great.

I actually did get to see all three parts when they were available on that page (they’re now only available via iTunes) and I agree – it was really good, and I liked the singing! When it comes out on DVD, I want to watch it again, though. I ADORE Neil Patrick Harris.



There are even more great pics of the garden and how it’s laid out here: http://www.vituperation.com/2008/06/30. gave me ideas for my own (much smaller) one.

Kathy’s right, the pictures on that page do give a better idea of how the garden is laid out; Fred didn’t put it in his “Crooked Acres” category on his journal, which is how I missed it while I was looking for pictures last week.



So dish: Is homegrown chicken significantly better tasting than store bought?

It absolutely is about ten zillion times better and more flavorful. And this was a year-old chicken (the chickens you buy in the store are about 45 days old when they’re processed), so it was a wee bit tougher than store-bought chicken, but the taste more than made up for it. Also, weighing in at just under three pounds before I popped it in the oven (in other words, bones and all), we still managed to get three meals out of one chicken – the roasted chicken we had for lunch on Sunday, then the chicken and rice casserole we had twice this week. Also, my lunch today!



Oh I have no doubt you will eat the pigs…but I thought I read you will not be doing the slaughtering, correct?

Nope, a professional will be doing the job on the pigs. HOWEVER, Fred is already talking about getting a couple more pigs in a few months, and I’m fully aware that they will be ready to be processed in the cold months of the year, which means Fred will want to take care of them himself. And I vehemently protest this turn of events. VEHEMENTLY. I think it should be left up to the professionals. And I will be going out of town if he insists on processing them himself.



I swear, I thought you were going to segue into saying, “and that’s why Fred and I have become vegan,” ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Fred enjoys his meat far too much to ever do that; so do I, for that matter!



Good for you, Robyn! Personally, I don’t think I could do it. I’m reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and there’s a passage in there about killing chickens. The author takes his turn at it to see what it’s like. It’s certainly better than how factory chickens are raised and killed. Have you read this book? You might find it interesting.

I own it, but I haven’t read it yet. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon!



I figured you had to kill chickens sooner or later. Otherwise, you’d be known as the crazy chicken lady instead of crazy cat lady. You ONLY have 9 permanent cats. Do you even know how many chickens you have these days? I had no doubt on the pigs either. You do not like them, you won’t pet them, you feed them using a long stick etc! Ha ha! I was surprised when Fred mentioned in his blog that the pigs are going in August or September. I thought it was more like November. He did mention getting a cow. Are you going to be milking it or Fred or is it going to be a steer just for beef?

We have around 50 chickens, and four of our hens are currently sitting on 17 eggs, so the population will be exploding here, pretty quickly!

(Actually, Fred spotted our first newborn last night when he was making his rounds.)


I do, actually, like the pigs. Or at least I find them entertaining, and they crack me up when we (Fred) feeds them cookies and they chew the cookies and look all contemplative, like they’re fine gourmets who are considering the ingredients of their snack before they decide how to rate us in the Piggelin Guide.

And we feed them using a skewer ’cause they get kinda bitey when they get excited, and I’m attached (HAR HAR) to my fingers.

We originally thought it would be later in the year before they’d be big enough, but Farmwife called it when she said it wouldn’t be that long because they’d be big enough LONG before the winter. Fred measured them last week and Big Pig is over 200 pounds; Little Pig is around 145. They’re a lot bigger at this point than we’d expected!

I don’t know which of us will be milking the cow – I’ve never milked a cow and don’t know how good I’d be at it, so we’ll have to see about that!



Hey, yeah do those undies ride up? I have to admit, I buy men’s bikini underwear because for whatever reason, THEY stay where they are supposed to be. Womens always seem to be up my butt.

When I read “Womens always seem to be up my butt”, I snickered. That sounds like a line from a rap song.

I have have no riding-up issues with my Hanes Cotton Bikini panties at all, and I highly recommend them.



Your green beans look just like my Grandma’s. Would you please tell us how you cook them?

I use Pioneer Woman’s Fresh Green Beans One Way recipe. Her recipe calls for red bell pepper and I don’t like bell pepper, so I just leave that out, and it is still FABULOUS.



I used to work on a poultry farm and it cracks me up that you went through the chopping method to kill your bird. We used to just put a foot on their head to hold them down and give a good yank on their legs. That breaks their necks and kills them instantly. I never had one go all flappy on me afterwards. I would never have lived through the sprayed with blood thing either. ick


I was told that my great grandmother lived on a farm and would just kill the chicken by grabbing it by the neck and swinging it around over her head breaking the neck.

I’ve had other people tell me that neck-wringing was the way to go, too, but I don’t know that I can bring myself to do that. Give me time, maybe one day I could, but I’m just a poor beginner when it comes to this stuff, y’know. After perusing Carla Emery’s book (we call it the Country Bible), I found that in her chicken section she listed methods of killing chickens from worst to best. The worst? Chopping its head off. The best? Using a killing cone. You can read more at Fred’s site if you’re interested; I don’t think I’ll be going into any more chicken-killing specifics in the future. I prefer to focus on the happier and less grisly side of life!



Why does Flappy look raw in the photo?!?

‘Cause we take the skin off our chicken after cooking it. It was skinless but cooked through, believe me – nothing makes me gag faster than the idea of eating raw (or rare!) chicken. Gah.



At first glance I thought that pattypan squash thing was some sort of muffin-like pizza dish and I got all excited, but then I read what it was and yea, the excitement was lost. Oh well, it still looks nice.

I don’t know what a muffin-like pizza dish would be, but I’m with you – I want some of that!



Ok, if pigs don’t have sweat glands then how does one “sweat like a pig?”

Hell if I know! Maybe you go roll around in a mud hole?



I hate squash SO MUCH (as in it makes me GAG), but that patty pan stuff kind of looks good. Can you get it in grocery stores?

I’ve never seen pattypan squash in the grocery store. The first time we found it was at a farmer’s market, which gave Fred the idea to grow it ourselves, and I know I’ve seen it from time to time at the produce stand I drive by regularly, but never in the grocery stores.



The “little” pig? Little? Robyn, there is no longer any “little” pig. They’re both HUGE!

Well, compared to the big pig he’s little! Littler, maybe? Smaller? Smaller pig? We have to have some way to differentiate them when we’re talking about them, though the little pig is a pushy little brat, maybe we could go to calling them Mr. Nice and Mr. Pushy.



Do your cats ever just flop down in such a manner that you have to go and nudge them, to make sure they haven’t had a stroke or something? My mom’s cat does that. Walking across the room, and BAM, on the floor.

They don’t ever flop down so suddenly that I think they’ve had a stroke, but at least once a day I’ll see a cat that is sleeping so hard that they look like they’re not even breathing, so I either nudge them ’til they look up sleepily at me all “WTF?”, or I make a kissy noise at them so they’ll twitch their ears.



Those pigs are no longer cute lil piggies; they richly deserve the name “Hogs.” I bet they will be extremely delicious. Would you consider shipping some bacon???

I haven’t asked, so I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that giving any of our bacon to someone else would probably be considered a divorceable offense by Fred.



A webcam on crooked acres’ farm would be most entertaining!!!

I agree! One out by the pigs, one by the chickens, one on the front porch, and one in the foster kitten room would be perfect. Fred doesn’t agree with me, though – at least, not yet!



Will you butcher the pigs at the same time? If you don’t, will the remaining piggy be lonely without his friend to whisper secrets to?

Yeah, they’ll both be going at the same time. I don’t know if pigs are particularly social, but these two like to hang out together, they’re almost always in the same part of the yard, and they like to chase each other around, too. Partly they’ll both be going because we wouldn’t want the one who was left behind to be lonely, but also getting them there is going to be… not difficult, but it’ll take some planning as far as getting them there, and I think it’s better to do it once instead of twice.



Robyn, what ever happened to the Spiderman you used to photograph when you were remodeling/painting Crooked Acres? I haven’t seen him in a long, long time. Did he get et by a pig perhaps?

He’s still around here somewhere. After his tussle with Malevolent Madeleine, he hasn’t quite been the same. After sitting around on his Spidey ass eating too many donuts and gaining some flab, he started working out and he’s almost back in fighting form.

Good thing – I hear there are some VERY BAD kittens around here somewhere…



i saw this on apartment therapy and just had to share the photo with you…are you sure that’s not your house:) hehe

I LOVE it! I think Fred should build me something like that, don’t you?



I have a question about squirrels (I know you have had your fun and games with them). Someone in the neighborhood is giving them peanuts. They are planting the peanuts in my flower garden, digging in the soil and killing all my plants. How can I get them to stop?

I’m the wrong person to ask, ’cause I’ve never even tried to stop the squirrels from the pain in the ass stuff they do – but I have the best readers in all the land, and I bet they have great suggestions. Readers?



Are you watching Date My Ex? I keep forgetting to ask.

No, I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t think I want to. I strongly suspect that it’s going to end with Slade saying “Jo, after all this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best man for you is ME!” and Jo will be all (in baby talk) “OMG! Slade, you’re right!” and they’ll get back together and next year will come the reality show My Big Fat Dysfunctional Relationship.

Jo bugs me with the baby talk and Slade is just so slick he makes me want to smack him.



I cannot stand Tori and Dean, yet I watch that damn program every week. (I usually catch the 15th out of 45th rerun, or some other such nonsense.) Do you think their marriage will last, or will it implode just like about every other celeb marriage that is the basis of a television show?

Who knows? Hollywood marriages don’t have a tendency of lasting very long, obviously, but SOMEONE has to be the next Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, right?



When making your homemade laundry detergent, did you use an old stockpot? I would really love to try and make this, but I don’t have a stockpot that is not being used for cooking food. (And I can’t use that one, lest I poison all the people in the house. Right?) Do people really have pots that they use just for non-food purposes?

I do have a pot devoted to nothing but laundry detergent, it’s a big cheap pot I bought somewhere last year and then never used. I was just concerned that after I made the soap I wouldn’t be able to get the pot clean enough to make food in it, and decided to err on the side of caution.



I love baked beans but I can’t fathom growing navy beans when they are 29 cents a pound at the grocery store. On the other hand, I should plant and learn to tap a maple tree since I’m willing to pay $7/pound for maple sugar, which I use in my baked beans.

Well, to be fair they cost 99 cents a pound around here. Since we planted half a pound at the beginning of the summer and ended up with four and a half pounds, that’s QUITE the savings!

Okay, maybe not.

It’s less about the saving-money aspect and more about the knowing where our food comes from. And it’s just kind of cool to grow our own food and then can it as baked beans and not have to go out and buy a can when we need it. Kind of dorky, I know, but that’s us. 🙂



The face of disgust kills me. "Yeah, I know. He KEEPS showing it to me. He thinks I WANT to see it. This is what I live with, day in and day out."

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Some cats like to sit IN the box. Not our Joe Bob – he’s a rebel.



2007: Evan Rachel Wood! You are throwing away your youth and beauty on a talentless freak! You are wasting the pretty! Stop it right now, young lady!
2006: No entry.
2005: Home again, home again.
2004: I am a SUCKAH for the bullshit claims on bottles of lotion.
2003: Momma always said, stupid is as stupid does…
2002: No entry.
2001: Oh joy.
2000: I’m such a wimp that even a confrontation on TV ties my stomach in knots.