In the dehydrator right now – cayenne peppers (the red ones) and habaneros (the orange ones). To say the air in the kitchen is spicy is understating it – I can’t take a deep breath in there without feeling like I’m setting my lungs on fire. When the peppers are dehydrated all the way, I’ll … Continue reading “8/29/08”

In the dehydrator right now – cayenne peppers (the red ones) and habaneros (the orange ones). To say the air in the kitchen is spicy is understating it – I can’t take a deep breath in there without feeling like I’m setting my lungs on fire. When the peppers are dehydrated all the way, I’ll grind them up and we’ll have ground cayenne pepper (which I use in some recipes) and ground habanero pepper (which I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, but Fred thinks he’ll sprinkle it on his food sometimes. We’ll see how THAT goes).



Friggin’ spiders. One built a web outside one of the windows by my desk and then abandoned it, and a small beetle blundered into it yesterday. I figured it would die quickly so I ignored it, but a day later it was still out there weakly kicking and trying to free itself, so I finally went out and rescued it.

And then fed it to one of the chickens.

What? It’s the circle of life!



Note: This is NOT Nance‘s Maddy.

This week has been a tough one here, my dear Maddie cat left us, after a very brief battle with non-regenerative anemia that wore her body down until we decided to do what’s best and put her to sleep. Our big fear was that the anemia was caused by Feline Leukemia or Immune Syndrome, and would affect our other fur kids. Thankfully, it wasn’t, (the vet said it was a cancer, but not one of the contagious ones) but we’re already doing what we can to immunize our other kids (not that they like it much). Could you please alert your readers to the need for immunization against this very contagious virus in cats? I appreciate it! (And so does Maddie!)



Aw, poor Kara. I bet she is missing the kids. Makes me sad. Will she be going to the pet store or is she spoken for?


Are you still planning on keeping Kara a little longer by herself after you take the rest of the babies to the pet store?

She’ll be going to the pet store eventually, but there’s such a backup of cats right now that it may be a while. I’d love it if someone happened across her picture on the PetFinder site and fell in love with her (she’s such a sweet thing!) so she never had to stay in a cage – for that matter, I’d love it if someone would fall in love with Kaylee and Zoe online too, because I’d be perfectly happy if none of them ever had to be in a cage. What will likely happen, though, is that Kaylee and Zoe will go to the pet store when there’s room, and Kara will go at a later date. It’ll all depend on how adoptions go – right now, they’re pretty slow.



We used to raise pigs for slaughter on a small scale years ago – I still shudder when I remember what we went through to get those pigs loaded for the trip to the butcher! We tried to do it on our own the first time – after much reading and planning and talking to the “real” farmers. It didn’t go very well. One jumped off the truck even though we thought we had it set up so that wouldn’t happen. My husband ran after it and shot it. We(he) bled it out but the butcher refused to take it if it didn’t walk in. It made me sad for a very long time that the poor pig went through that and was left for the butcher to dispose of.

Anyway, what I really wanted to share with you is what our butcher would do with the pig loins. He’d remove them both, stick a knife down the length to make a “tunnel”, then put the opening over the sausage making machine nozzle and stuff it with garlic sausage. (We always had some garlic sausage made so he just used some of it for the stuffing). Our whole family really loved those stuffed tenderloins roasted up. Something you may want to try sometime if it appeals to you.

I had such a fear that the pigs would somehow break out of the trailer when we were going down the road at 40 mph and go tumbling off the side of the road, breaking a leg or two in the process. I told Fred he needed to bring a gun with us just in case – he didn’t (he forgot), but luckily we didn’t have any problems with the pigs. THANK GOD.

That garlic sausage-stuffed tenderloin sounds FABULOUS.



Also, maybe I missed this, but is River part Bengal? Just curious.

Not that I’m aware of, but we don’t know what his father looked like, since Kara showed up as a stray on someone’s front porch. It’s possible he could be!



My husband just recently bought that same cat carrier but when we put our fat cat in there the top seems like it’s going to pop off. What’s the heaviest weight you’ve put in it? Our kitty is 16lbs, do you think it’ll be fine? I say so but he doesn’t like it.

I think Tommy’s our heaviest cat at about 12 pounds, and I think he strains the carrier a bit. If I were you I’d go ahead and use the carrier, but instead of carrying it by the handle, carry it by the body of the carrier. Also, if you haven’t already, you can reinforce the parts where the top and bottoms join with twist-ties so you don’t have to worry about it popping apart at that point (let me know if that part is confusing, and I’ll post pictures).



I saw this video and thought you’d like it. It’s about a woman who has 500-700 cats on a 6 acre sanctuary. None of them are in cages – they just roam around happily. All of the cats are available for adoption at any time.

I’m pretty sure I’ve linked that video before, but just in case, I’m linking it now!

It would be my DREAM to have a sanctuary like the Cat House on the Kings. In fact, last weekend when Fred and I were dreaming of winning the lottery (we matched ONE number in five quick-pick tickets. Ugh!) one of the things I insisted on was that we’d have a building and a very large amount of fenced-in land devoted to cats, and Fred actually agreed. We’ll see what happens when we DO win the lottery (and we will!).



Robyn, something to add to your book reading queue… and DVD watching queue… solely for you to read/watch it first and report back to your readers, so we don’t waste our money if it turns out to be bad…hee hee.
“America Unchained” — a book + documentary about a British visitor who goes across America not staying in one chain hotel, not eating at one chain restaurant, not even patronizing Starbucks, my goodness! ….only using Mom and Pop establishments ala Alabama backroads…. searching for the America of yesteryear… Sounds very interesting but I don’t know… anyone out there read/watch this? Evidently it won some documentary award.

How about it – anyone seen/ read it? It does sound interesting!



I know you’re a cat person, but this http://thechaistory.blogspot.com/2008/08/chai-story.html breaks my heart. I wanted to see if you would maybe post a little about it next week to help spread the word, since I know many cat people also have dogs.

That is so sad – poor Chai!!!



So we went to see one eyed, one eared rescued kitteh at lunch today. Totally scrawny and beat up but making biscuits and stretching out so looks like a save for the good guys. However, I think foster Momma is going to keep the baby. You know that look you get when you are in love with the baby kitteh? She has it times 10. However, she is evil in that she then shared that they had two kittehs that need homes. Brother and sister, about 6 months old, completely cute and fuzzy and lovely. Names are Owen and Filomena (sp?). Of course we had to go see them and hold them. Owen has white paws which are my huge weakness. Here we were innocently checking in on rescue kitteh and they sucker punch us with the twin homeless kittehs. ARRRGGGH!

Ooh, that is a BRILLIANT woman. Total bait and switch!



I was reading an entry one time, I couldn’t even tell you when! And someone was describing a story to see if you recognized the plot to name the book. Some readers thought it was the Shell Seekers, but other confirmed it was not. I was just wondering if anyone ever identified the title, it sounded so interesting.

I bet you’re talking about the book Elayne was looking for, back in November – her comment is here. So far as I know, she still hasn’t been able to locate it!



Please tell me that Fred did not seriously think that Amish piglets wouldn’t stink and/or behave like other piglets? Religious piety or refusal to participate in the English culture causes piglets to behave differently or causes people to scrub them clean 20 or 30 times a day?

No, he was just kidding. Also, I think he just forgot how very bad the pigs smelled when we brought them home. God, those things smelled BAD. I had to take a shower when I got home, had to toss my clothes in the washer, and I never even touched the damn things, just spent half an hour in an enclosed space with them!



And for the love of god, does the period go inside or outside the quotation marks? I can’t friggin remember!

The period goes inside the quotation marks, I think. I know someone reading this knows the answer, so if I’m wrong, y’all let me know!



I must admit, I’m from New Zealand, and tend to put “r”s on the ends of words when they follow each other. So some how, pizza and beer become “pizzerandbeer.” And a American friend of mine told me once that it’s not “pizzer.” But that’s just how I talk, and if I tried to change it, I’d probably only sound really weird.

As far as I’m concerned, nothing any New Zealander says in that adorable accent could EVER be wrong!



I only have two cats, but I’ve seen them in that pose in front of my back door too. Cracks me up that Maxi didn’t pounce AND that the squirrel was that insane to test those waters. Were the cats making that lovely ‘chittering’ sound as I call it? They always let me know when there is something capturing their attention.

Every once in a while we’ll get a cat to make that noise – I call it “chattering” – but usually they’re silent. Tommy will occasionally meow bitchily and Miz Poo will whine, but most of the time they don’t make a noise.



Ok, this just really wrecks my head. My husband’s stepmother says “twiced” instead of twice. I mean, it’s like she wants to be even more annoying than she already is.

The funniest part of this comment is it’s like she wants to be even more annoying than she already is. I read that and just laughed and laughed, for some reason!



Well, since you don’t like goats have you considered these: http://www.miniaturebull.com Also, did you convince Fred you need a Roku for your streaming video needs?

God, they sure are CUTE. I did try to convince Fred that we need one of those, but he says that at $2,000 each, they’re too expensive. Hey – we could start our own miniature cattle business! We could probably fit 40 or 50 out there on the back forty!

I haven’t convinced him that we need a Roku yet, but I was a Flip video camera before I want a Roku, so I need to space my demands out so he doesn’t start accusing me of being spoiled and spendy. (Which I am, of course!)



But it’s my husband who incites my wrath the most, poor Southern guy that he is, when he says bedroom SUIT instead of bedroom SUITE, and INsurance, and insists on calling fuel gasoline instead of just gas, like the rest of the world.

Please imagine that I am hugging you in complete and total understanding on the suite/suit issue. Here in the South, they said “Bedroom suit” in the radio ads, and it drives me NUTS. NUTS I SAY.



O my! That’s a cute little pudgy belly on your squirrel friend. Wonder where he gets his food? Hmm?

I see where you’re going with this question, and you are WRONG.

I do not bake cookies for the squirrels. I don’t!


(And only because I haven’t stumbled across a recipe for cookies to feed them. Give me time.)

The squirrels get their food as nature intended. From the bird feeders!



“She’s a sweet little lovebug (though after a few minutes of petting she gets bitey), but I would not be surprised if she murdered me in my sleep”.

Do you have any idea why this happens? My cat also wants to be petted but after a minute or two she gets bitey too.

I think it’s just a matter of some cats have a higher tolerance – Maxi and Tommy are our two who seem to get overwhelmed pretty quickly (maybe it’s a black cat thing?), but some of our other cats – Miz Poo in particular – can be petted vigorously for a long, long time without resorting to grabbing and biting.



Do you have your pets in your will/living will?


This is where I horrify y’all by admitting that I don’t have a will OR a living will. Neither does Fred. And I know I need them both, especially since I’ve turned 40 and could drop dead of old age at any moment! You know what? I’m going to make it my goal to have both a will AND a living will drawn up before I turn 41. Because what happens if Fred and I both die in a horrific car accident?

(AFTER it takes three weeks for people to realize we’re not around, that is.)

I can tell you that Fred and I have discussed what our wills would say – they’d be simple ones; if he goes first I GET EVERYTHING WOOHOO PARTY TIME! and vice versa. But if we were to die at the same time, what we’d like to have happen is, um. Well. I was going to say that we’d leave directions for a large donation to the pet shelter, and that the cats would go back to the shelter (since most of them came from there in the first place), but if I could arrange it so that the cats were to go to good homes instead, obviously I’d prefer that.

So. Who wants which cat?



Zoe. The tucked-under paws make me want to pick her up and squeeze her. In the background, Kara’s in her favorite spot – watching the guy next door sit on the deck. Sometimes she growls at him.

This picture is cracking me UP.

Smilin’ Zoe.

Kaylee has got the cleanest, whitest fur I’ve ever seen on a kitten.

Zoe in the cat tree.


Mister Boogers hets Van Morrison.


Kara, sitting on the wall between the computer room and dining room. Stinkerbelle, under the table, shoots hate rays at her (for being the interloper) and at me for not giving her Snackin’! Time! when she wants it. Miz Poo, on the table (what? We never EAT there!) snoozes away in her favorite cat bed.



2007: It was someone with a vendetta.
2006: Time to give up the raw vegetables, at least for the time being.
2005: John Cusack, however, has become suddenly completely unappealing to me.
2004: No entry.
2003: I see a little silhouetto of a Poo,
2002: Damn him.
2001: Jayzus, I can’t wait ’til I’m Supreme Ruler of the World, and I can run around ordering the death of people who annoy me.
2000: Here we see Miz Poo at the tail end of a Fancypants swish-by. She looks none too pleased.


We’re still posting about the words that annoy us over in the comments to Monday’s entry, if you’re interested. Who knew we’re such cranky motherfuckers? (I kind of suspected.) I had forgotten how crazy “come with” drives me – but I’ve also never heard it in person, only read it in books and online. The … Continue reading “8/28/08”

We’re still posting about the words that annoy us over in the comments to Monday’s entry, if you’re interested. Who knew we’re such cranky motherfuckers?

(I kind of suspected.)

I had forgotten how crazy “come with” drives me – but I’ve also never heard it in person, only read it in books and online. The first time I ever read it was in a book, and I marked it up to a typo the first time, but after that I realized it was probably a regional thing.


(Please note that that black head you see? That’s Maxi, and she’s RIGHT THERE on the stoop. Outside. Mere feet away from the bravest (or stupidest?) squirrel in the neighborhood.)

“Is this such a good idea, hanging out here under the bird feeders, with that cat RIGHT THERE?” he wonders.



::Considering:: (In the end, he ran up the tree and chattered angrily at Maxi.)



2007: I can see you, and you can stop searching, Randy. They’re gone. Thanks for that.
2006: And I thought Fucker, at least they don’t leave me to cool my heels for over an hour without bothering to let me know they’re running late.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: These kids need someone to come organize their lives is what they need.
2002: “What the hell?” I said, amazed. How far could the fucking thing have gone?
2001: Gah. I’ve got that unsettling panic-causing “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feeling, and I don’t know why.
2000: “An E-scort. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of those. I wonder if they’re new.”


I think the comments to yesterday’s entry are probably my favorite comments EVER. I don’t know how many comments I read and nodded my head in agreement. Probably ALL of them. If you don’t usually read my comments, you should go back and check out yesterday’s! If I were more talented or motivated, I’d write … Continue reading “8-27-08”

I think the comments to yesterday’s entry are probably my favorite comments EVER. I don’t know how many comments I read and nodded my head in agreement. Probably ALL of them. If you don’t usually read my comments, you should go back and check out yesterday’s! If I were more talented or motivated, I’d write an entire entry using all your pet peeves, just for shits and giggles.

I use “Wherefore” incorrectly (it actually means “Why”, which I didn’t know ’til GG mentioned it in my comments. Obviously I don’t know my Shakespeare.), but you probably shouldn’t expect me to change how I use it. I don’t think I use it a LOT.

Apparently there’s a “Know what I mean?” epidemic going on. Fred and I both use it, but for us it’s shorthand for “GODDAMNIT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?!”

Other shorthand we use: “Huh.” in response to something the other person said, and it means “I have no interesting response to what you’re saying, but I hear and understand you.” OR it might mean “I’m not really listening to you, you just keep on yammering about whatever boring-ass shit you’re yammering about, and I’ll periodically say “Huh” to indicate that you can keep going ’til you run out of breath or we all die.”

“Huh” is very versatile, no?

In email form, we use “Cool.” to indicate “I have received your message and understand what you’re saying.”

And I use “WHATEVS” (in emails and comments, I don’t believe I’ve ever said it aloud) to indicate that I know I’m a blithering idiot BUT I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, I’M STICKING BY MY STUPIDITY.



The lost water bottle was not, in fact, hiding under the secretaire with the cat toys and the Feliway, but only because it wouldn’t fit under there, I’m sure. It was actually sitting on the kitchen counter. Where I looked one million times before I located it. I hate it when something’s sitting right in front of you and you don’t see it.

Oooh. That totally sounds like the beginning to a woman’s magazine article, doesn’t it? An article about not appreciating your life until…? You look at it from a different angle and realize that the key to happiness was RIGHT THERE ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER ALL ALONG.

One dollar, please.



It rained a lot on Monday and it rained a lot more yesterday, but I still collared up the boys and opened the back door so they could go into the back yard, because if I don’t let them outside, they drive me NUTS with the big hopeful eyes and the repeated attempts to herd me toward the back door so that I can see that the door Must! Be! Opened!

Most of the cats will stick their noses out the back door, see that it’s raining, and come back inside to pout. Tommy does not. Tommy LOVES to be out in the rain. When it is raining, Tommy runs outside, does a lap around the back yard, and then sits on the patio under a chair – which doesn’t shelter him from the rain at ALL – until he’s drenched. And then he comes inside and gets up on my desk and gets everything all wet while he grooms himself for half an hour, and then he runs back outside, does a lap around the yard and ends up on the patio again.

I have never seen a cat so completely unbothered by getting drenched. Weirdo. He loves being outside more than any of our cats. If we didn’t live so close to the road, I’d seriously consider letting him become an outdoor cat.

Well. No, I probably wouldn’t. I’d worry about him too much!



Kara had a bit of a down day yesterday; she acted quiet and kind of reserved, not at all like her usual super-friendly “Pet ME! No, ME, not those kittens!” self. Fred thought that she was coming to the realization that her kittens weren’t coming back and perhaps grieving a little. I don’t know about that – maybe he’s right – but I was relieved this morning to find that she’s back to normal. At least she’s got Zoe and Kaylee to keep her company and to play with. She’s approaching our downstairs cats more and more often,a nd if there’s an altercation between any two cats, she’s Johnny-on-the-spot, there to supervise the smackdown and perhaps do a little smacking and hissing herself.



Newt always finds the most interesting out-of-the-way places to snooze.



2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I think our cats are as antisocial as we are.
2003: Damn PMS Fairy.
2002: You know, I don’t believe that once you become a parent, every bit of you has to be absorbed into that role.
2001: Dumbass, thy name is Robyn.
2000: No entry.


Words (or phrases) that Fred uses, that drives me absolutely bonkers (and not in a good way): 1. Onesie, twosie. Used when describing one or two at a time instead of a whole bunch. Example: “We’re going to do them onesie, twosie instead of a bunch at a time, right?” What is he, three years … Continue reading “8/26/08”

Words (or phrases) that Fred uses, that drives me absolutely bonkers (and not in a good way):

1. Onesie, twosie. Used when describing one or two at a time instead of a whole bunch. Example: “We’re going to do them onesie, twosie instead of a bunch at a time, right?” What is he, three years old?

2. Cucurbit. This is a new one, and it drives me to the verge of homicide every single time. Example: “I think that might be a melon, I can’t quite tell. It’s definitely in the cucurbit family, though.”

3. Mepergan Fortis. I don’t know why he can’t just call it Demer0l or whatever the fuck other people call it. No, every time, both words. KILL. (PS: I don’t think we’ve actually had any Mepergan Fortis in the house since he had his shoulder operated on two years ago, but it still drives me nuts.)

What words or phrases do people use, that drives you nuts? Real people in real life, not TV people. Although that Rachel Ray “once around the pan” thing kind of annoys the ever loving shit out of me. Okay, you can include TV people. Web people. Everyone!



I seem to have lost my water bottle. It’s in the house somewhere, but fuck if I know where. It was 3/4 full and I’m thirsty. And yes, I have other water bottles in the fridge, but I want THAT water bottle. Wherefore art thou, water bottle?



Yesterday I was puttering around in the kitchen and turned around to see Joe Bob hunched in the middle of the kitchen rug.

“Whatcha doin’, Joeby*?” I said.

He turned a little, and I saw that he had a small bird in his mouth.

“Well, shit,” I said, and grabbed him. After a moment’s consideration I figured it would be best to carry him – bird still in his mouth – outside and then scream “LET IT GO! LET IT GO! YOU SHIT! LET IT GO!” At least that way, if the bird wasn’t too hurt to fly, it could fly off outside instead of around the house with me running after it.

I got to the back door and just as I opened the screen door, something happened that caused Joe Bob to start flailing wildly. I tried to hold on to Joe Bob, but he was flailing too wildly for me to keep hold of him, and he ended up falling a couple of feet onto the top step. He ran out into the middle of the back yard then sat down and began licking himself. I ran after him to make sure he was okay (he was) and then I looked around to see if I could see where the bird had gone. Both Joe Bob and Tommy were staring up into the top of the tree and after I looked around in the kitchen, dining, and laundry rooms, I decided that the bird had started to get away from Joe, flew off as I opened the door, and that’s what caused Joe to flail about.

Half an hour later, as I was walking from the bathroom toward the kitchen, I glanced into the computer room and saw every cat in the house huddled around something, staring intently.


Somehow, despite the fact that the little bird was ON the floor, surrounded by a large number of cats, and had probably been fluttering around the house for a long time while I walked around with my head in the clouds, SOMEHOW the little bird was still alive. I pushed cats out of the way, picked the little bird up, opened the door to the side yard, and the little bird flew off.

Sometimes there’s a happy ending.

(Or, considering the blood he left behind on my hands, perhaps he flew off to die a slow, excruciating death somewhere. I prefer to believe he lived and will continue to do so for a good long time.)

*Could be, I suppose, “Joe B.”, but I think of him as “Joeby.”



I don’t remember what she was appalled by, but apparently it was quite SOMETHING.

Sweet little Zoe.

Kara, lookin’ smug.



Spanky is the Happiest! Boy! In! The! World!



2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I sure do hate the hell out of housework.
2003: When I think of Judge Roy Moore, the phrase “Getting too big for his britches” comes to mind.
2002: If he didn’t do that creepy, over-intense stare all the time, he wouldn’t be so (you guessed it) creepy, but he does, so he is.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Those of you who are just now being able to access my site again, you might want to double-check how you’re getting here. If you’re using the address journal.bitchypoo.com, you couldn’t see me right away after the switchover, and that’s because it’s been a few years since I used journal.bitchypoo.com – I think it was … Continue reading “8/25/08”

Those of you who are just now being able to access my site again, you might want to double-check how you’re getting here. If you’re using the address journal.bitchypoo.com, you couldn’t see me right away after the switchover, and that’s because it’s been a few years since I used journal.bitchypoo.com – I think it was when I switched to WordPress that that changed. I had Fred put a forwarder on so that you’ll be automatically forwarded from journal.bitchypoo.com to plain old bitchypoo.com. I can’t promise that we’ll remember to do that next time we switch servers (and I can guarantee that some day we will switch servers again; that’s just the way the cookie crumbles), so keep in mind that bitchypoo.com should get you to the right place.


Also, the giveaway page has been moved to a new location because life’s just easier for me that way. Since I’m using WordPress for that page, you should be able to add it to your RSS feeder if you want. Or if you’d rather not, I changed the link in the sidebar for the correct page.

And lastly, the recipe page has been moved and has a new look (and it’s probably not going to get any fancier than that. You don’t need anything fancy, right? As long as you can see the recipes?). Fred’s supposed to be fiddling with some plug-in wherein you can just click on the category in the sidebar (for instance, “beef entrees”) and see the list of recipes to choose from. (Note: Yes, it’s apparently down. I don’t fucking know why. Jesus fucking christ. I guess when you move all your shit to a server that costs half as much, you get what you pay for.)



So the pigs went off to be processed yesterday. Originally they were supposed to go a week and a half ago, but that didn’t work out. And then the butcher was going to come get them, and THAT didn’t work out, so Fred bought a utility trailer and built a big box – for wont of a better description – on the trailer and started feeding the pigs in the trailer. It took a few days, but the pigs eventually came around to the change of feeding location. We found that if you wave a donut at a hungry pig, he’ll do just about anything he can to get to it. Yesterday, despite the fact that it was pouring down rain, Fred lured the pigs onto the trailer and shut them in, and then we (he) hooked the trailer up to the back of the truck and we drove slowly (not slowly enough for my taste, but I wasn’t driving) to the butcher.

We’ll pick up the processed meat in a week or two, and it sounds like we’re going to have more pork than we know what to do with.

Saturday, we drove up to Tennessee to Mennonite country. Fred had talked about maybe buying some pigs while we were up there, but he didn’t want to drive the truck up, because he didn’t want to jinx anything. He was sure that if we took the truck to Tennessee, it would break down and we’d be in all kinds of trouble when it came to delivering the pigs. So we took my car to Tennessee, and he put a cage in the back just in case we came across pigs or chickens we (he) just HAD to have. But when it came down to it and we located a house that had small pigs, I talked him out of it. I wasn’t against getting more pigs (those damn pigs come in seriously handy for disposing of kitchen scraps, I tell you what), I just didn’t want to have to drive all the damn way home with two stinky-ass scared squealing pigs in the back of the car.

(“Really, you think they’d stink?” Fred said, all earnest seriousness. “We had to drive home in 30-degree weather with all four windows wide open when we got the two we have,” I reminded him. “But these will be Amish pigs, they won’t STINK!” he said. “Yes, I’m certain that the cleanliness of their barnyard animals is foremost on their minds,” I said. “I’m trying to recall the many houses we’ve driven by and seen Mennonite children scrubbing down the pigs and cows. Thinking… thinking…”)

We did end up getting a couple dozen fertile chicken eggs from one place, eggs that are already in the incubator. We’ll see how that goes.

(“All this bouncing around on dirt roads isn’t bad for the eggs we’re going to try to hatch?” I asked Fred, imagining that if we cracked open one of the eggs we’d find something very much like scrambled eggs. “I guess we’ll know in about a week!” he said.)

So anyway, the pigs are gone. I can’t say having them gone is making much of a difference in my life – Fred’s the one who was responsible for feeding them and all that – but I do like knowing that they weren’t scared when we got to the butcher. When Fred went to get the guy, I got out of the truck and went around to the back of the trailer, and they both looked at me curiously like “What the hell are you doing to us now, and where’s the donuts?” When we drove off, they regarded us from the holding pen like “Seriously? No donuts?”, then turned around and started snuffling at the floor of the pen.

You can read Fred’s entry about the whole thing, but WARNING! About halfway down the page, there’s a picture of a dead and plucked chicken with its head and feet still on; you can read the whole pig section (at the top) without seeing that picture, but skip the rest of his entry if that sort of thing bothers you.

Tobacco plants in Tennessee.

Anyone know what this is? We saw it by the side of the road several places when we were in Tennessee, and Fred said he sees it around here every once in a while. It appears to be a bush, and the flowers are kind of like morning glories, but the leaves are completely different.



River and Inara are now safely ensconced in their new home. Friday morning they were in rare form, racing around, fighting, just being little wild things. I got out the cat carrier and put it in the hallway so that when the time came to put them in it, I could just grab them and pop them in it without them fighting me.

Naturally, Zoe was all “Hey, this is cool! I like this!” and took up residence.

River and Inara fought with each other for a while, and when they calmed down I popped them in the carrier, and off they went. Given that the first time they were in a carrier and car (when they were going to be spayed and neutered), they got carsick, I thought to bring a damp rag with me, just in case, but luckily didn’t need it. Neither of them was happy about being in a carrier, and they howled and howled all the way to Madison. Inara even started foaming at the mouth. I talked to them all the way and petted their little heads as best I could through the top of the carrier. When we got to their new home, we went inside and I opened the carrier, and they started exploring. And exploring. And exploring. Inara – as always – took the lead in exploring, and they got a look at their new sister (who promptly ran off and hid) and they were both all wide-eyed and “This is cool! What’s this place, huh?” Neither of them seemed to be scared, though I’m sure they were a bit overwhelmed.

I stayed for half an hour or so – and got a look at their GORGEOUS new home, I almost asked if I could be adopted along with them! – and the entire time they ran around, poking their noses in all the corners, checking out the windows, checking out the new smells. I left, and K, their new mom, kept me up to date on how they were doing, which is so awesome. You know, usually our fosters are adopted out and that’s pretty much the last we hear of them unless their new parents think to email the shelter and let us know how they’re doing. This way, I get to hear how they’re doing straight from their new Momma’s mouth (or fingertips, I guess!).

Inara’s new name is Dora (I told K that I call her Dora the Explorer because she’s the first one to scope out new situations), and she mentioned that River might become Nate. Can I tell you how thrilled I am that they got adopted together? SO THRILLED, you have no idea!

All day Friday and Saturday Kaylee and Zoe were very quiet and seemed a bit confused, they spent all day hanging out on my bed. They seemed to know something was different, they just weren’t sure what. Kara, on the other hand, was like “What kittens?” and acted like her usual self. Sunday, Kaylee and Zoe started to come out of their shell and began coming downstairs to hang out a little. Kaylee’s actually started to “talk” a little, which she never did when Inara and River were here, so maybe she’s going to take on the outgoing wild thang role.

So, the house is quieter (and I miss seeing Inara walk across the room and stick her tail straight up in the air when I speak to her and seeing River’s sweet goofy little face), but everyone seems to be adjusting.






2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I haaaaaaaaaate having to deal with strangers.
2003: I guess when your boss (the Supreme Court) tells you to do something and you tell him to go fuck himself, shit tends to fly.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: The thrills and chills around here just never stop, folks.


The other night, Fred and I were sitting down to watch one of the movies we’d rented from Bl0ckbuster last week. It happened to be Shallow Hal which – despite the fact that I posted a mini-rant about it back before I ever watched it – I kind of enjoy. Anyway, as Fred was putting … Continue reading “8-22-08”

The other night, Fred and I were sitting down to watch one of the movies we’d rented from Bl0ckbuster last week. It happened to be Shallow Hal which – despite the fact that I posted a mini-rant about it back before I ever watched it – I kind of enjoy. Anyway, as Fred was putting the disc in, I said “How long is it?”

“An hour and forty-five minutes,” he said.

And then he had to listen to me bitch about the length of the movie. “Seriously? An hour and FORTY-FIVE minutes?! There’s nothing in that movie that requires it to be longer than ninety minutes! Jesus Christ! What the fuck! What great work of art do the Farrelly Brothers think they’re creating, GANDHI?!”

I find that the older I get, the more I resent it when I have to spend more than 90 minutes watching a movie. Hey, my time is valuable to me! I also tend to resent books that are longer than 300 pages – if it takes longer than 300 pages, you’re throwing too many goddamn details in there and you need to speak to your editor. (Which doesn’t stop me from reading the entire book if it does clock in at longer than 300 pages. I resent the idea rather than the execution, I guess.) If a movie takes longer than 90 minutes, you’re throwing too much useless bullshit and too many substories in there. I usually refuse to watch any videos online that are longer than a couple of minutes – I try to keep mine to a minute or less. I’m not always successful, but I try!

None of this explains why I write entries that are 6,000 miles long, though. Apparently I don’t mind spending my time yammering about boring shit and forcing y’all to skim it to get to the good parts.




Never thought I’d be so thrilled to see gas at $3.39 a gallon. I wonder if it’ll ever get under $3 a gallon again?



I just got to the tomato sauce recipe chapter in AVM yesterday and was wondering if you had tried it yet. Aside from all the pureeing it looks pretty easy to put together. Did you add the ground lemon peel? I’d like to try my hand at it next year when I have more than 2 tomato plants:)

I did add the ground lemon peel – I followed the recipe exactly and ended up tossing the tomato sauce because I had to simmer it for too long. I’m beginning to think that when she says “Simmer on low for 2 – 3 hours” what she doesn’t mean is “Simmer on low.” I think she really means something more along the lines of “Simmer on lowish. Or whatever.” Next time (I actually already have enough tomato puree to try a half batch, which I may do next week) I’m going to try simmer on a medium heat and see how that goes.



That tomato sauce looks good. Does the honey make it pretty sweet? Do you know if that is an optional ingredient? I’m not a fan of sweet sauce. Also, on the recipe site it said something about freezer boxes if you’re not using canning jars. I’m assuming freezer bags are ok since I’ve never heard of freezer boxes? Do you know what freezer boxes are?

The honey adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce but it’s not terribly sweet. I’m just guessing here, but I think you could leave the honey out and it would be okay. I believe freezer boxes are just plastic containers that are meant to be frozen, like these but you can definitely use freezer bags – that’s what I’m planning on using! Just (I’m sure you know this but it doesn’t hurt to mention it) make sure you let the tomato sauce cool down before you bag it, because you wouldn’t want to melt the bag.



This may be a silly question, but are you simmering the tomatoes with the lid ON the pot? I always turn the lid sideways to that the steam can escape.

Also, basil is incredibly easy to grow. You can plant it now, here in the south, and you’ll be harvesting basil until you get a freeze.

No, I never did put a lid on the pot, I didn’t want the condensation to water down the sauce.

I’ve decided I’m going to grow me some basil in a big pot this year, and have an herb garden next year!



I’m confused about the top popping off the blender. Do you not hold the top down, or did something cause an eruption so strong that it threw your arm off?

I had my hand on top of the blender lid, but the eruption of trying to blend something that was boiling hot was strong enough to toss my hand off. I wasn’t holding it firmly or anything though, because I am a DUMBASS.



So which was the worse burn: The temperature heat from the recent boiling, or the chemical heat from the oils?

The temperature heat was momentarily painful, but the heat from the peppers was the gift that kept on giving all damn day long. I touch my face a lot – A LOT – and my lips burned all day and so did the corners of my eyes. I felt like I had a sunburn on both my arms. I tried to protect my hands from the habaneros at first – when I deseeded and chopped them, I was wearing vinyl gloves – but once the shit went everywhere, I gave up. I honestly predicted I was going to burn my eyeballs to cinders when I took my contacts out that night, but apparently the fact that I washed 135,000 dishes that day got rid of the habanero oils. From my hands, at least – my lips felt swollen for another couple of days.



Robyn, I remember awhile back when you named the kitties from the show Firefly that you thought you would watch it since so many of your readers told you how good it was. Well I had never even heard of it cause I’m not much into Sci-Fi but when I found it on HuLu I thought I would give it a try…. Well they were right, it is the BEST SHOW EVER, such a shame it was canceled. If you haven’t watched it give it a try, trust me it will grow on you very quickly and it will get in your head and stay there. I never liked Nathan Fillion at all, hated him in Waitress, didn’t even realize he was on Desperate Housewives, but the character he plays in Firefly is so perfect for him, you really just have to see it to appreciate it, then go watch the movie Serenity. I promise you, you will love it!

I’ve watched, I think, the first two discs of the series, and then I got sidetracked by The L Word. Once I’ve finished with that, I’ll probably go back and finish up Firefly. I very much enjoyed the episodes I watched. And if I had to name the kittens all over again, I totally would switch Kaylee and Inara’s names because Kaylee’s all dark and mysterious and seductive, and Inara’s all bouncy and happy-go-lucky, and it should be the other way around.



Good thing that Fred planted 5,000 tomato plants so you will have enough maters for another batch of sauce. On the positive side, you have an awesome strainer so it’s not as horrible work prepping to tomatoes. 🙂

We’re STILL not getting as many tomatoes as I’d like. There are several Roma plants that are producing these annoying little bitty tomatoes, and a couple more that aren’t producing very well. I don’t think I’ll be making ketchup THIS year, either.



Has Spanky lost weight? I know he’s not big like Spot was, but he’s looking rather svelte in this photo… and soft man, soft enough I wouldn’t let anyone named Lennie play with him!

That’s an excellent question, and Fred and I looked Spanky over and discussed him and came to the conclusion that Spanky has possibly lost a little weight. He’s acting as happy as ever, though, so I don’t think he’s sick or anything. He’s spending a lot more time outside than he used to, so maybe it’s his endless patrol of the backyard border that’s made him a bit smaller.

He’s SO soft. He’s got that silky Siamese fur and once you start petting him it’s hard to stop!



Did you use fresh herbs or dried? I can’t remember. Fresh herbs go in towards the end of cooking, say the last ten minutes or so. I always add a teaspoon or so of sugar to my sauce (regular saucepan-sized batch) too to help cut the acidity a bit.

I used dried herbs this time around – the recipe actually called for dried. And there was honey in the recipe, which added just a bit of sweetness. At least until I simmered it for too long and the herbs turned bitter. ::sigh::



I thought I was the only one who saved spider webs 🙂 I had a very interesting spider in my bathtub the other day. It sat there and groomed itself while I bathed…..I thought I would put it outside after I was done because it had entertained me…..but alas, it jumped on me and instinct took over….and I washed his bits down the drain.

Generally, if a spider keeps her web fairly neat and clean – not a lot of bug pieces left hanging in it – I let her stick around. The kitchen spider got tired of my cleaning, and yesterday after I raised the blinds to wipe a dead fly off the window and accidentally destroyed her web once again, she stomped off and, I assume, set up camp somewhere else.



Is your freezer full of pork chops, ham, and bacon now?

Not yet! It takes a couple of weeks to get the meat back once the pigs are slaughtered.



I am trying to work a deal on my Mother in Law to get her to adopt a little kitten that had a run in with a car motor. Kitty lost left ear and right eye. The catch is that my MIL is blind in her right eye also so they would make a perfect pair.

Oddly enough, we realized last week that we have a Buff Orpington (yellow) chicken who’s blind in her right eye. I think she’d be the perfect addition to your mother-in-law’s life, don’t you?



It’s always interesting to hear what you name your fosters (and your own) and then what second name you give them!

It’s funny, because I have to come up with names pretty quickly so the shelter can put them into the computer, but as time goes by, I start calling them something else and that becomes their name. With the current fosters, I generally refer to them by a name that describes how they look (or the way they act – Inara’s earned the nickname “Dora the Explorer”) because Fred doesn’t spend as much time with him, so he doesn’t learn their correct names.



I love that spice rack you have, where did you get it may I ask??

We got it three and a half years ago from this site and I LOVE it. I just wish it was a little longer – it’s 48″ long – because we still have some spices that don’t fit on it, but I put the spices that don’t get used much up in the cabinet, so it works out well. It was expensive ($80), but very much worth it.



What is Hannaford? Should I have it here? Who is beautiful stranger kitteh in the picture with Security Kitteh?

Hannaford is a grocery store – they don’t have them down here, but I have a ton of bags from there. They’re THE best reusable bags I’ve ever seen. They fold up nicely and they’re strong and huge – you can easily fit six 2-liter bottles in one bag. I do like Hannaford, the store, but I’m not complaining about our Publix because it pretty much rocks, too. Oh yeah – Hannaford used to be called Shop ‘n Save and was renamed after I left Maine, so I still think of it as Shop ‘n Save.

That pretty cat in the picture with Mister Boogers has been kind of hanging around intermittently for a little while now. Fred has been reporting seeing it for a few months but I hadn’t seen it until earlier this week, when I glanced out the window and saw it sitting there facing off with Mister Boogers. As soon as it saw me headed in that direction, it took off. Fred also hasn’t been able to get near it, so I don’t know if it’s feral cat or just belongs to someone in the neighborhood.



I heart The Soup too! Robyn, did you ever start recording Chelsea Lately? My hubby and I watch it religiously. It is way funny and way over the top sometimes. I think you would like it.

I forgot to start recording Chelsea Lately, but after I read your comment I went and set up to tape it and The Soup, too. Didn’t The Soup used to be called Talk Soup, or is that another show altogether?



Y’all say goodbye to River and Inara. They’re going to their new home to be spoiled rotten in a few hours.

I’m going to miss the little brats.

“Is it time to go to our new home yet?”

River hisses at Sugarbutt, while Inara looks on.

Inara hisses at Mister Boogers, who just looks at her like “What is YOUR issue?”



Miz Poo and Sugarbutt were so intently watching the squirrels under the bird feeders that they had no idea how close they were sitting or that their tails were (gasp!) touching.



2007: No entry.
2006: How can you not die from the cute?
2005: So, that’s why I won’t be updating this week.
2004: No entry.
2003: And for the rest of the drive I would occasionally call him “Fo’-Thray”.
2002: Surely they can hear the thunder of Tubby approaching from miles away – you’d think they’d hide somewhere he can’t go, like under the shed or on the other side of the fence.
2001: That’s me, an expert at reading between the lines!
2000: It gives her a rakish air.


I dropped the goddamn camera yesterday – the GOOD camera, the one that cost an arm and a leg – and the slots on the top that hold the flash on broke off, so I had to send it to Texas to be serviced. Hopefully they won’t take one look at it and say “Yeah, … Continue reading “8/21/08”

I dropped the goddamn camera yesterday – the GOOD camera, the one that cost an arm and a leg – and the slots on the top that hold the flash on broke off, so I had to send it to Texas to be serviced. Hopefully they won’t take one look at it and say “Yeah, we can’t do anything with this. Sucks to be YOU.”

I am SO PISSED at myself, because I do fumble-fingered shit like that all the damn time. Grrr.

Okay, I’m off to the pet store to spend some time with kittens and hopefully will find myself in a better mood when I’m done. This’ll have to suffice for an entry.



Appalled Kitteh is appalled.

Recycling Kitteh is ready to be recycled. He cares about his planet, damnit.

Mailroom Kitteh lays down on the job.

Kitchen Maid Kitteh says “I ain’t shellin’ no more black-eyed peas. I’M DONE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO ANY MORE!”

Assistant Kittehs wonder “Did you forget to get The Yummins again? I put it on the list!”

Hetful Kitteh is squinty.

Bitey Kitteh would like you to come over here and be bitten, please.

Security Kitteh defends the borders.

Flirty Kitteh likes to flirt with inanimate objects.



2007: No entry.
2006: Pictures, you ask? Why of COURSE I have pictures.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: You say tomato, I say fuck you.
2002: “Cats don’t have lips, you freak.”
2001: “…and we’re willing to give this to you – coupons worth two HUNDRED and twenty-five DOLLARS! – for only $19.95!” he said, aflutter with the thrill of it all.
2000: Does the phrase “Through a lovely laxative effect” strike fear into your heart?


Happy, happy birthday, Brian!!!! I cannot believe this child is 17 today. It’s stunning how quickly the time flies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   For those of you who asked, the potential kitten adopter is now the official adopter. Yay! Inara and River behaved themselves (actually, they put on quite a show) for her on Friday, and she … Continue reading “8-20-08”

Happy, happy birthday, Brian!!!!









I cannot believe this child is 17 today. It’s stunning how quickly the time flies.



For those of you who asked, the potential kitten adopter is now the official adopter. Yay! Inara and River behaved themselves (actually, they put on quite a show) for her on Friday, and she decided to take them on. I’ll be delivering them on Friday (yes, if you’re a local reader who adopts a foster kitteh, I will totally deliver!) to their new home.

The other night I said to Fred “But I’ll miss Inara! She’s my favorite!” I’ve been calling her Dora the Explorer because she was the first one to come downstairs and hang out regularly, she spends the most time downstairs, and I do believe she’s the one who decided that okra pods would be fun toys and thus the reason – despite the fact that I left the basket of okra unattended for MAYBE five minutes – I’m finding okra all over the house with little teeth marks in it.

So Fred said “I thought The Peanut [Zoe] was your favorite?”

And I said “She is!”

So Fred said “I thought The Raccoon [Kaylee] was your favorite?”

And I said “She is!” Even though she clearly prefers Fred to me.

So Fred said “I thought Little Boy [River] was your favorite?”

And I said “He is!”

So Fred said “Well, they can’t ALL be your favorite, and besides we agreed we wouldn’t be keeping any of them.”

And I said “I know. Shaddup. Hmph.”



I know for a fact that they will be spoiled ROTTEN in their new home. And what’s awesome is that since she’s a local reader, I can periodically harass her for updates on how they’re doing!


Kind of amazing that Joe Bob is able to get up there, sleep all day, and then get back down without knocking any of that stuff off the mantel, isn’t it?



2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: While your average man might have grown frightened, apparently it wasn’t the first time that morning Mike’d heard Satan’s voice howling his name.
2003: It’s kind of like a samba.
2002: I saved someone’s life this morning!
2001: Thus the reason we never get telemarketing calls.
2000: No entry.


So around 2:00 yesterday afternoon the tomato sauce I was making (see yesterday’s entry for details if you’re all “Whuh?!”) finally reached the stage of thickening I like in a tomato sauce, and so I set it aside to cool and when Fred got home I made him taste it and he tasted it and … Continue reading “8-19-08”

So around 2:00 yesterday afternoon the tomato sauce I was making (see yesterday’s entry for details if you’re all “Whuh?!”) finally reached the stage of thickening I like in a tomato sauce, and so I set it aside to cool and when Fred got home I made him taste it and he tasted it and there was this lonnnnnng pause and he said “It’s alright.” and then he toddled off to do something and I fumed and was all “FUCKING BASTARD AFTER ALL THAT WORK I DID HE IS SO UNAPPRECIATIVE I HATE HIM!” and then I tasted the tomato sauce.




APPARENTLY if you put herbs and spices in tomato sauce and simmer it all for 45,000 hours, the herbs turn bitter.


Not me.

I started to bag the sauce up to freeze anyway because GODDAMN THAT IS A LOT OF WORK, but then I stopped because I am a realist (sometimes) and I knew that if I put the bitter-ass sauce in the freezer then it would just sit in the freezer, never eaten, and eventually I’d just thaw it out and feed it to the pigs or the chickens or whatever.

So I cut out the middleman (ie, the freezer) and fed it to those who appreciate it despite its bitterness.


What have I learned? Two things.

1. Make a half batch next time so it all fits in the pot at the same damn time.

2. Wait until it’s gotten within a few hours of reaching the preferred consistency and THEN add the freakin’ herbs.

I’ll be glad when I’m on the other side of this learning curve. Or… is that how learning curves work? I don’t know. You know what I mean.




The habaneros are growing like motherfuckers. Fred’s got like 150 habaneros put away in the freezer for whenever he feels like making habanero jam. And they KEEP ON COMING.

Last night I took about ten dried cayenne peppers and tossed them in the blender and I ground the hell out of those things.

(Despite the fact that there was no liquid in the blender, you better believe I kept my hand firmly atop that damn blender cover while it was going.)

And now we have cayenne powder, made from our own cayennes!

Kinda looks like red pepper flakes, doesn’t it? According to Fred it has “a zing” to it. To the normal person that means “This will burn your tongue off.”

Not that we use all that much cayenne powder. But, uh, I guess we better start.

Currently drying.



Yesterday, upon wiping up all the tomato sauce that had splattered all over the kitchen, I accidentally destroyed the web the tiny spider who lives above the kitchen sink had been tending so diligently. I felt horrible about it because I’m a dork, but she’s rebuilt and though she’s keeping a wary eye on me this morning, she seems to have forgiven me.

That, or she’s going to wait ’til she’s big enough to chew my face off, and then she’ll take her revenge.



Someone Fred works with had some extra corn on the cob that wasn’t fit for humans (it’d been left on the cob too long), so she brought it to work for Fred to give the chickens.

The chickens highly approved.






2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: she’s got the skank lines rolling off her, doesn’t she?
2004: Fred is just amazed that one portly cat can have so many health issues.
2003: ::Sproing!:: he went, leaping at least a foot in the air, and I watched, impressed that he’d contained that much energy in his dry and dead-looking little body.
2002: “TUBBY GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” I ordered, and grudgingly he did.
2001: No entry.
2000: Being completely, one-hundred percent useless in the slightest emergency, I slapped my hands to my cheeks and let out a horrified scream.


The site should be all moved over and set. If you run across any errors, email me at mizrobyn (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what you were attempting when you got the error, please. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Man, it was one of those weekend. You know those weekends I’m talking about? Where you … Continue reading “8-18-08”

The site should be all moved over and set. If you run across any errors, email me at mizrobyn (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what you were attempting when you got the error, please.



Man, it was one of those weekend. You know those weekends I’m talking about? Where you feel like this a lot:


and kind of like this:

When all you want to do is this:


And maybe a little this:


It started Saturday morning – well, no, now that I think of it, it kind of started on Friday. Friday I decided that I’d start mowing the lawn. I had errands to run, but I figured I could mow for an hour and a half, get the side and front lawns mown, and then Fred could do the rest. At one point I thought I broke the riding mower, so I decided to finish the front yard with the push mower, but Fred told me that going by my description of what was going on, I just had to clear a clump of grass from underneath the mower, so I did that and managed to get quite a lot of lawn mowed in that hour and a half.

I went off and did my errands, and then Fred called to let me know he was leaving work early, so I thought I’d be all awesome and mow the back yard before he got home, only I got the damn riding mower in the back yard and engaged the blade, but it wouldn’t engage and thus wouldn’t cut grass, and I was all “You know what? FUCK THIS!” and went back inside to hang out with Kara and the babies.

When Fred got home he fixed the riding lawnmower and I mowed the back lawn while he processed a couple of chickens (NO DETAILS, I PROMISE). He was still at it when I was done with the back yard, so I went and mowed around the garden and then behind the fenced area and then around the garden shed and the back part of the chicken yard, and in the end I did all the mowing so that when Fred got up Saturday he was all “Huh. Now I have nothing to do!”

It’s funny, while I’m cleaning the house or cooking, my mind is always going, I’m always thinking of things I need to do or things that are bothering or annoying me, but the entire time I was mowing, whether on the riding lawnmower or with the push mower, I don’t really think about anything at all. It’s kinda zen.

Which is not to say that it didn’t WIPE me out, all that being out in the fresh air and hopping off the mower to move stuff, then back on to mow stuff, etc. By bed time I could barely keep my eyes open, and when I woke up Saturday I was still pretty fuzzy-headed and tired, and stayed that way all day.

Since I’d mowed the lawn and Fred was all caught up on chores around the place, we talked about things we could do, and in the end we drove around, checked out Joe Wheeler State Park and a few other places, picked up lunch, and went home. I’d intended to spend the afternoon catching up on my TV watching, but Fred needed to run some errands and wanted company, so I went with him. We stopped by the bakery thrift store on the way home from errand-running, and Fred mentioned to the clerk that we were looking for stuff to give our chickens as occasional snacks, and she ended up selling us a cart (or “buggy” as she called it, GOD I HATE THAT WORD) of old bread for $3. Wicked bargain!

We got home, puttered around for a while, and then started watching a movie. We’d gone to Blockbuster on Friday and one of the things we rented was Lars and the Real Girl. Fred thought I was renting it to watch by myself, but I figure if I have to watch his boring shit (or at least sit in the room while he’s watching it), he should have to watch my stuff, too.

I have to say, I don’t know what I expected from Lars and the Real Girl, but I liked it quite a lot. It was a sweet little movie, and I don’t generally like Ryan Gosling very much, but I liked him a lot in this role (Fred kept saying “He looks SO much like David Arquette!”). I recommend it!

I slept like a rock Saturday night and then I lived the high life by sleeping in Sunday morning until 6:30 YES THAT’S RIGHT I SAID SIX-THIRTY DON’T JUDGE ME.

I got up, went to get groceries, and when I got home I did what I’d been putting off for way too long.


For the past few weeks, every time Fred brings in tomatoes from the garden, I go through them and put the not-quite-ripe ones in a box, then put the box in the dining room. Once they’re ripe – usually it only takes a few days – I take the now-ripe ones and put them in a 2 1/2-gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and put the bag in the freezer. If you freeze and then thaw tomatoes, you end up with the same result as if you’d blanched them, with a whole lot less work.

When I realized we had pretty much NO more room in the freezers, I decided it was time to run them through the magic machine and I started pulling bags of tomatoes out of the freezers. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had 8 – EIGHT! – 2.5 gallon Ziploc bags, each one stuffed as full as possible with ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been wanting to get enough tomato puree to make the Family Secret Tomato Sauce from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I had about three quarts put away in the freezer and just needed another seven to start making the sauce, which I intended to freeze instead of canning this time around.

After about an hour of work, I had enough puree to start the tomato sauce, and that’s when I discovered that I don’t own a pot big enough to hold ten quarts of tomato puree. I ended up putting as much puree as would fit in my big pot and adding all the spices (note to self: grow basil next year. LOTS of basil.), with the intention of adding the rest of the puree as that in the pot cooked down.

According to the recipe, I was supposed to simmer on low heat for two to three hours until sauce has thickened to your liking. I don’t know if I was simmering it on heat too low or what, but I simmered that stuff with the stovetop dial set to “3” (the dial goes to 9) and eight hours later, at bedtime, not only was it not thick enough, but I still hadn’t been able to add the rest of the puree to the big pot. I turned off the stove and left the pot (covered) on the stove overnight, and this morning when I got up I turned it back on. If it doesn’t thicken appreciably after simmering all day, I’m going to wave the white flag and just freeze it as it is and I don’t know, add cornstarch to it when I want to use it.


Before I got the tomato sauce simmering, I decided to make the habanero hot sauce Fred’s been asking me to make and then bottle it, so I could stop reminding myself that I needed to get it done. So I chopped everything and waited for the stuff to boil and I let it boil for ten minutes, and then I put everything in the blender.

Let me take a moment to inform you that at Fred’s request I’d put twice as many habaneros and white vinegar as the recipe called for. I don’t know why and I don’t care, because habaneros are so far beyond my ability to withstand pain that I will never knowingly eat anything with habaneros in it as long as I live.

So I put everything in the blender and I put the top on, and then because I am SO VERY SMART I hit the lowest level setting on the blender to begin the blending process, and the goddamn top popped up, and a boiling wave of habanero/ onion/ carrots/ white vinegar/ lime juice splashed across my arm and down the front of me.

Fred wasn’t home – he was at Lowe’s – but I wish dearly that he’d been home, because for once when something painful happened to me, I did NOT gasp loudly causing him to have a heart attack. All I did was gape soundlessly at the goddamn blender (which I’d turned off as soon as I was hit with the wave of PAIN) and then go into the laundry room and take off my apron and t-shirt and put them on top of the washer. Then I went back into the kitchen and spend the next five minute cleaning habanero/ onion, etc. off the counter, the floor, and the cabinets.

Then I poured about half the habanero mixture out of the blender into a bowl, and I put the lid on, and I hit the lowest possible setting to begin the blending process.


This time I was not nearly so quiet about my displeasure. I think I bellowed “WHAT THE FUCK JESUS CHRIST GODDAMNIT WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME MY LORD!”, then went into the laundry room and stripped off my shorts and then went back into the kitchen to wipe down the counters, cupboards, and floor. Then I wiped down my stomach and arm, which had taken the brunt of the boiling wave of pain.

Having learned my lesson, I dumped out what was left of the habanero mixture and processed that shit 1/4 cup at a time until it was all done. Then I set it aside so that Fred could critique the consistency before I brought it back to boiling and bottling it and began the tomato sauce. Which we’ve already discussed. AT LENGTH.

So then I helped Fred with his project and then I made cookies and then I made dinner, which consisted of Unfried Chicken, corn on the cob, and green beans. And then I took tomato goop (the tomato skins and seeds the tomato strainer spits out) out to the chickens and then I hung plastic bags on the line to dry and then after dinner was made and eaten, I cleaned up the kitchen and began on the last four bags of tomatoes.

Oh, yes. Did I not mention that the four bags of tomatoes I put in the sink in the laundry room to thaw had not thawed all the way, so I decided to wait ’til after dinner to run them through the strainer? It took me forever to get those tomatoes done because (1) There were so goddamn many of them and (2) They still weren’t thawed all the way and (3) A bunch of them weren’t all the way ripe and the unripe part was giving the strainer fits.

In the end, I got almost 16 quarts of tomato puree from that 8 2.5 gallon bags of tomatoes. If I’d had to do all those tomatoes by hand instead of running them through the strainer – well, that’s a moot point ’cause by the sixteenth hour of peeling, seeding, and chopping, I would have lost my shit and tossed all of those tomatoes on the compost heap.

So with the tomato puree safely tucked away in the freezer and the tomato sauce bubbling merrily away on the stove and the kitchen cleaned up for the thousandth time that day, I went and spent the rest of the evening watching TV with Fred.

And that was MY weekend. In case you were wondering.



River on the left (well, in the middle), Kara on the right. He’s almost as big as she is!

Pretty Zoe.

Pretty River.

“Come HERE, I want to bite you!”


Beautiful Kaylee.


“I hets yew.”
“I sense your hetred, Boogerton, and I care not what or whom you hate. I shall rule this world and you shall beg for mercy at my feet.”


2007: No entry.
2006: He truly amazes me.
2005: If I insert a brillo pad into my ear, will it eventually get to my brain and scrub that song out, or is that an urban myth?
2004: You know, I’m getting PRETTY FRICKIN’ TIRED of finding cricket legs all over the damn place.
2003: “Mother,” said the spud, “That is an excellent idea, for I am going to melt into a motherfucking puddle of goo in about 10 seconds.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: In the future, the spud will be cleaning her own bedroom, since I took one look at her room and said “Fuck THIS.”