Reader Paula sent me a link to Suzanne McMinn’s blog a few months ago, and I checked it out and liked it and added it to my links list and Google Reader feeds and have been reading it ever since. The other day, just after Fred harvested the very last of our yellow squash and … Continue reading “7/31/08”

Reader Paula sent me a link to Suzanne McMinn’s blog a few months ago, and I checked it out and liked it and added it to my links list and Google Reader feeds and have been reading it ever since. The other day, just after Fred harvested the very last of our yellow squash and zucchini before yanking up the squash-bug-infested plants, she (Suzanne McMinn, that is) posted a Summer Vegetable Pie recipe. Since it involved things I had on hand, I decided to give it a try.

I originally intended to make chicken soup for dinner on Tuesday night with a side of Summer Vegetable Pie, but after discussing it with Fred, I decided to just add some chicken to the pie and we’d have that as the main dish, since Fred’s not a chicken soup lover. (That’s because he has no soul. HA! HA!)

Instead of substituting a cup of chicken for a cup of vegetables, I just added the chicken to the pie since I have a deep-dish pie plate. It ended up needing to be cooked an extra ten minutes (though in retrospect, an extra five would have done).



Two thumbs up for McLovin pie!

Fred had me worried, because he’d read somewhere that old roosters can be “gamy”, but to my relief after three or four hours of simmering on the stove, the chicken was not tough at all, and not gamy at all. WHEW.

For dinner last night, we had another round of chicken and rice casserole and oven-fried green tomatoes. We’ll have more Summer Vegetable McLovin Pie tonight, and more chicken and rice casserole tomorrow night. That’s four meals off one chicken, if you’re keeping track, and there should be a couple of lunches left over from that, even.



I find that, oftentimes, a crappy day starts with events that happened the night before. Getting the crap ball rolling, so to speak.

Tuesday night, after sitting down to watch TV early – it rained Tuesday afternoon, which kind of put the kibosh on Fred’s plans to weed the garden, which meant he had nothing to do and announced at 5:30 “I’m ready to watch TV whenever you are!” – we realized shortly before bedtime that the reason we were both so hot and sleepy was because I was cold when we sat down to watch TV, which made me turn the thermostat from 73 to 75, and it’s amazing the difference those few degrees will make, ain’t it? We were both HOT and sleepy at bedtime, and I got the plate of yummins for the upstairs kitties – it’s how I lure most of them into the kitten room so I can shut them in for the night – and when I went upstairs everyone but Kaylee went running into the kitten room to partake of the yummins. She can usually be lured out from under the bed (she’s the one smartypants who seems to understand that bedtime means she has to be locked in the room with her mother and siblings and cannot wander the house at will* but that night she would not be lured, and finally I was like “Fine! Stay out all night, see if I care, and I hope you don’t want to snuggle with your mommy or sisters, because I’m not getting up and letting you in that damn room in the middle of the night!” and went off to brush my teeth.

(Fred lured her out and put her in the kitten room when he came upstairs. He’s so handy.)

Then we got in bed and Fred was all whiny about “I’m hooooooot.” and “I hope I don’t toss and turn because it’s so hooooot.” and fidgeting and moving around until I was all “Goddamn! Would you lay still!” and then Miz Poo climbed up in bed with us and began her SO VERY ANNOYING rubbing-her-nose-on-everything-in-sight until I pushed her off the bed, then she jumped back up and did it again, so I got the can of compressed air off the bedside table (that you guys ALWAYS think is whipped cream when you see it in pictures, pervs) and pointed it at her, and she was all “Oh! I think I heard something downstairs I need to investigate, bye!”

So after a little while of boring, desultory, sleepy conversation, Fred said “Are you ready to go to sleep?” and I said “Yeah.” and Miz Poo jumped back up on the bed like “Hai guys! Is it time for the sleepin’?!” and Fred got up and headed for the door and then I felt something wet spray across my face and I exclaimed “Goddamn! What the hell was that?” and Fred said “What?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Something wet sprayed across my face!” I wiped my hand across my face and smelled the wet stuff and it smelled like nothing in particular, and then I heard a cat hit the floor.

“Is Miz Poo on the bed?” I asked.

“Yeah, I see her. Someone dark just jumped down,” Fred said.

“Well, I think Miz Poo [who is known to have an abundance of saliva when she’s particularly happy] shook her head and sprayed spit on me,” I said. “Can you turn the light on so I can make sure it’s not vomit or blood or something?”

Fred turned the light on, and I looked and he looked and he said “Uh.” and I said “GOD. DAMN. I AM GOING TO KILL A CAT.”

Because there was a puddle of pee on the pillow on the other side of the bed, dripping gently down onto the bed. Someone had peed upon the pillow and then casually strolled off.

“YOU FIGURE OUT WHO DID THIS!” I yelled at Fred. “You go figure out who did this, because I am going to KILL HIM.”

“How the hell am I supposed to figure it out?” Fred asked.

“GO DOWNSTAIRS AND SEE WHO’S ACTING GUILTY!” I bellowed, and I started stripping the bed. Fred went downstairs and reported that Tommy was on the couch where he’d been all night, Stinky was up in her cat tree, Sugarbutt was sleeping on a chair in the dining room. Spanky was off being good somewhere (we knew it wasn’t him, ’cause it had been a dark cat on the bed, not a light one). Joe Bob was hiding somewhere, and Mister Boogers was strutting around acting like an asshole.

Mister Boogers has been known to occasionally pee on things when he’s displeased – he peed on Fred one night – but he’s never EVER peed on MY bed, none of the cats have, so I was seeing red.

Until I went back upstairs to see if Joe Bob was hiding somewhere up there, and I pulled back the shower curtain, and I realized that the kittens had pulled the bathmat into the tub, thus covering up the drain, thus making it impossible for Mister Boogers to pee in the drain which he LOVES SO GODDAMN MUCH TO DO, and thus requiring him to register his displeasure in a way that we’d sit up and take notice.

I was still pissed, but somehow a little less pissed now that I knew there was some kind of reasoning behind the bed peeing and it wasn’t some random act of peeing. I don’t know. I’m grasping at straws and reasons not to kill that little fucker, I guess.

So I put the peed-upon pillows on the side porch (yes, I could have sprayed them with Stink-Free and I’m sure they would have been fine, but I wasn’t fine with the idea of laying my head upon pillows that have pee particles bouncing around inside them so off to the trash they went. I need new pillows anyway.) and the dirty laundry on the washer, and then I sat angrily in front of my computer and surfed around for an hour or so, and then I went to bed on my nice clean sheets, under my favorite comforter and I slept like a log.

‘Til 4:45, when I heard an odd sound and, upon taking out my earplug I realized it was the cat water fountain in the bathroom, and that the water level had gotten low enough that the pump inside was making that annoying grinding noise. We have this waterer in the upstairs bathroom and this one downstairs in the laundry room near the food bowls, and they’re both pretty popular, in fact when I let the kittens out of the kitten room in the morning, Kaylee goes directly into the bathroom and slurps up water like it’s going out of style. So I rolled out of bed, dumped a couple of cups of water into the waterer, which silenced the grinding noise, then went back to bed.

I woke again at 5:15 and after a few minutes of trying to go back to sleep admitted there was no more sleep to be had, and rolled out of bed. Fred heard me and came upstairs, and told me to come with him. He’s been telling me that the little roosters are starting to find their voices, and it sounds awfully funny when they try to crow. I followed him into the chicken yard and watched the little chickens run out of their coop and flap their wings and stretch and just generally act like little cuties.

Finally, one of the little speckled roosters crowed for us and I agreed that it was pretty damn cute.

I came back inside and posted my entry and then went upstairs to take my shower and get dressed.

All went well until about 7:00, when I decided it was time to get off my ass and make that Jalapeño Jelly I’d been putting off making. I got the jalapeños and green peppers chopped and blended and mixed them with the vinegar and sugar in the big pot, and I was cleaning up the kitchen while keeping an eye on the mixture on the stove because the recipe says that it boils over easily, and I’ve found that to be true. So I’d clean a little, then check on the pot. Clean, check. Clean, check. I was standing at the sink rinsing out a rag when I heard a loud hissing sound, and I turned to find that not only had the mixture come to a boil, it had come to a FURIOUS boil and it was pouring out of the top of the pot like a fucking fountain.

“SHIT!” I yelled. “SHIT, SHIT!” I grabbed the pot and put it in the sink, then I took the pot of simmering water (for sterilizing canning lids and rings) off the stove, and then the liquid that had poured out of the pot rushed onto the still-hot burner and I grabbed a rag to start soaking some of the liquid up.

And then the liquid caught on fire.


I thought for an instant of smacking at the flame with the rag I was holding, but immediately knew that to be a bad idea because there was so much liquid that it would go splashing everywhere and would cause a lot of fucking damage. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and stood and watched to see what the fuck would happen.

(Okay, that’s a lie to placate Fred. I didn’t grab the fire extinguisher. SHUT. UP. You weren’t here, WERE you? So SHUT UP.)

I stood and watched to see what would happen, hoping that the liquid would burn off and the flame would go out, and that’s exactly what eventually happened, though that flame got awfully high there for a moment and I worried that it would melt the microwave (it didn’t) or catch the cabinets on fire (it didn’t) and finally the goddamn flame got lower and then went out.

And then I got to clean up the mess. I dumped the mixture out of the pot and cleaned the pot, cleaned the pot that had been simmering and waiting for lids and rings to sterilize, I emptied out and cleaned the hot water canner, I used a spatula to scrape at the mixture that had burned to the stovetop (did I mention there were FIVE POUNDS of sugar in that mixture? It tends to make things a teeny bit, shall we say, FUCKING STICKY when it’s pouring out of a pot and splashing everywhere.) and then I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the floor in the kitchen, twice.

Then I neatly put everything away and I called Fred.

“This is Fred,” he said.

“When you get home, please go out into the garden and pull up those goddamn jalapeño plants because I AM DONE. I am never making that goddamn jalapeño jelly again in my life, WHY WOULD I NEED TO, I go through like one jar a year of the stuff!”

I babbled incoherently at him for several minutes, and then he presented a perfect target for my anger.

“Frank (Fred’s coworker, who went in with us on the pigs, and to whom Little(r) Pig belongs) wants to see pictures of the pigs,” he said. “I was going to ask you to go out and take pictures of them.”


“He wants to see them not all covered in mud,” Fred said mildly.


Then I think my head spun around and I projectile vomited pea soup.

After hanging up the phone, I had breakfast and I had that unsettled and annoyed feeling where I couldn’t quite decide what to do, so I ended up laying on the couch and watching a disc and a half of The L Word for the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon.

(I just finished Disc 3 of Season 2. I adore Shane. I think Jenny continues to be unbearably adorable. Tina kind of annoys the fucking shit out of me, which I know she shouldn’t because she’s so SWEET and all but I want to smack her really hard in the face.)

If I don’t start my period soon, I’m afraid I’m going to go on a shooting spree. This premenstrual shit is FOR THE GODDAMN BIRDS.

*Before you ask: I lock Kara and her babies in the foster room at night so Miz Poo can come upstairs and sleep with me. If I let them stay out all night, Miz Poo would be too scared to come upstairs and if she tried Kara would face her down and some sort of slapfight would ensue with lots of growling and hissing and I LIKE MY SLEEP.

**I don’t hate him.

***He’s not all that much a pain in the ass, I will grudgingly admit.



The kittens are 15 weeks old today (at some point I suppose I’ll have to stop counting weeks and start counting months, huh?) and I’m starting to think we’re going to have them ’til they’re grown. Adoptions are going incredibly slowly for the shelter and room isn’t opening up and no one’s shown interest in adopting the little brats. I love them to pieces, but the older they get, the more traumatic it’s going to be when they leave the only home they’ve ever known and go to a new home, you know?

Ugh. I’ll just try not to think about it…

(And, no. We’re NOT keeping them!)


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Smilin’ Joe.



2007: Pictures from around Crooked Acres.
2006: But I’ve been secretly calling it hepatootis to myself.
2005: No entry.
2004: Hawaii recap.
2003: No entry.
2002: Around the neighborhood.
2000: All hail Dumbass Bitchypoo.