If I’m allowed to have a favorite entry that I wrote – and I think I am – this entry I wrote eight years ago is still far and away my favorite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   The giveaway page is up and running again, if you’re interested. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Laundry detergent. I’ve gotten several emails from y’all … Continue reading “8/8/08”

If I’m allowed to have a favorite entry that I wrote – and I think I am – this entry I wrote eight years ago is still far and away my favorite.



The giveaway page is up and running again, if you’re interested.



Laundry detergent.

I’ve gotten several emails from y’all about the make-your-own laundry detergent. Namely, is it supposed to be that thick? The answer is that yes, it certainly is. As it cools it turns into something that looks a lot like vanilla pudding, maybe a little bit thicker. You’ll want to wait ’til it cools completely so that you can break it up into smaller chunks (a big spoon swirled through it works just fine for me) and then put it into bottles. I use two old gallon-sized white vinegar bottles to keep my detergent in, and occasionally I have to jiggle the bottle to get the detergent to come out into the measuring cup, but it’s no big problem.



Why, how much do you usually pay for a gallon of milk?

I… don’t know! For some reason I got it into my head that milk was up around $5 a gallon, but now I’m wondering where I got that from. I tend not to look too closely at the staples I buy (milk, flour, eggs. Oh wait, I don’t buy eggs ha! ha!), so I can’t honestly say how much milk’s been costing in recent months.



we just got a new cat and while Oreo seems to get along with her MOSTLY okay, she’s suddenly taken to peeing in the bathtub, the sink, the entrance to the litterbox (we have one of those litterboxes that has “stairs” into it), and sometimes my shoes (GRRRR). So, any advice? I’m so fed up with cleaning up cat piss.

My only advice is making sure she doesn’t have a urinary tract infection, making sure she has access to the litter box – ie, that Oreo isn’t blocking her from the litter box when she heads in that direction – and maybe giving the Feliway plug-ins a try. Obviously I have no hard-and-fast advice or we wouldn’t have just bought a webcam to set up so we can identify who’s peeing on the guest bed (yes, we totally did – and no, we haven’t caught the culprit yet. More about the whole thing in Monday’s entry, if I remember).

Readers, any additional advice?



Isn’t it funny how a cat can understand “who’s ready for the snackin’? ” Or “who wants some whipped cream?” But when they are tormenting the small cat, you scream “NO! over and over and suddenly they are retarded and understand no English? WTH? Selective hearing.

Oh, you KNOW it’s just your tone – they don’t want to hear you scream “NO!”, so they ignore it. I guarantee you, if you started saying “No” in your “Snackin! Time!” voice, they’d be all bright-eyed and running to see what you were giving them. Brats.



I just came back from vacation and am catching up on your past week (daily reader in ordinary times, but very infrequent commenter)… I just had to laugh when I saw this comic on the plane coming home – sooooo Crooked Acres! http://www.creators.com/comics/the-other-coast/21684.html

So NOW I know why the chickens have been sneaking across the street and down the road to the dollar store!



I just told my husband tonight that the best thing we have bought in a long time is our George Foreman Grill- the one with the digital settings and removal plates. I use it at least 4 times a week. During the summer even more, because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen so badly that we can’t sit in there to eat. It’s greatness!!

We have a George Foreman grill, but it doesn’t have the digital settings. It does, however, have removal plates, and I agree – those things are the BOMB. I always hated having to clean the plates in the old George Foreman, because I felt like I never got them clean.



OK, I have a question about tomato sauce. The kind I like at the grocery store is chunky–diced tomatoes in sauce. I like the texture in spaghetti, and chicken parmesan, and anything else. So last weekend, a friend brought me about a dozen tomatoes from her garden, and I thought, Hey! Robyn makes tomato sauce, why don’t I? I started to boil some water to drop the tomatoes into so I could peel ’em, then de-seed them and chunk them and so forth, and then I remembered Tyler Florence puts his tomatoes in the oven to roast. And my favorite canned tomatoes are fire-roasted! So I just chunked the tomatoes, put them on a baking sheet with garlic and fresh basil and oregano and salt and pepper and olive oil, and slid them into the oven. 30 minutes later, I slid the whole mass into my mesh colander over a bowl and pressed away until I had–umm, liquid tomato juice. No pulp. (Embarrassed to say that this caught me by surprise.) So I sauteed some onions and garlic, added a couple cans of my favorite tomatoes (Glen Muir, if you’re wondering) into the saute pan, dumped in my juicy tomato sauce, added a little sugar and some more herbs and seasonings, and it was just wonderful, though a bit more work than if I’d just started with the cans. So my question is: how do you get CHUNKY tomato sauce???? What’s the process, you gardeners/ home-canners and cooks?

I don’t like chunky tomato sauce, so I’m just guessing here, but I would say that probably what you need to do next time is press half the batch through the colander, then peel, de-seed and oven roast the other half and then chop them and add them to the stuff you pressed through the colander. Maybe?

Readers? Halp?



Naming a male with a female name is very “French”. Maybe he should have a full name of “Jean – Michelle”! Oh la la! :o)

Fred said we should name the rooster Michel, which if I recall my high school French classes correctly, is the French version of Michael!



Did you buy the plastic strainer or the heavy stainless steel one? I am wondering how sturdy the platic one is. I am going to be processing bushels soon!

I bought the heavy plastic strainer. Once I’d ordered it, I was concerned that maybe I should have gone for the stainless steel one, but after using the strainer once, I would say that it’s definitely very solid and should stand up to lots of use. I might have a different song to sing once I’ve done a babillion pounds of tomatoes, but I’ll try to remember to report back after tomato season is over.



My favorite kitchen tool is a large pair of stainless steel scissors. Yes, scissors. Perfect for cutting pizza into slices that are actually cut ALL THE WAY THROUGH, and for cutting up barbecue pork, and nearly anything else. They’re also there to grab when I need to cut open plastic packaging.

I actually have scissors in the kitchen – in almost every room, really – but I need to stop buying the shitty cheap scissors, suck it up, and buy the decent ones that won’t fall apart randomly! I bought Fred a pair of Joan Chen (I think?) kitchen scissors to use in the garden and I do believe they’re holding up nicely.



At first I thought Mister Boogers was picking on Joe Bob because JB has gotten his pic on your site for the past few days. I guess that’s not the reason since he has his own site! I’m kind of afraid to leave a comment on his – is he sarcastic? Or would he just sigh and glare?

The only thing that makes Mister Boogers sigh and glare when it comes to his comments is when there aren’t enough of them. He forces me to read them to him over and over again and then he counts his (imaginary, internet) fortune and talks about what he’s going to do with it. (If you must know, he plans to buy all the catnip in the world and make a big nest out of it, not let any of the other cats have any of it at all, and hire someone to come beat up his brothers and sisters twice a day.)



I can’t BELIEVE your cat has a web page. I don’t even have a web page!

Fred and I currently possess… counting… six? Six domains? No, wait… seven. Seven? Yeah, I think that’s right. No, wait. I asked Fred and we actually have TEN. TEN domains (a few more of them will be going live in the next month or so), which is kind of scary. Are there really people out there without web pages? I don’t understand. What do you do when you need a question answered and Google is no help? You mean you don’t have a bunch of smartypants readers who help you out?

You poor people.

Seriously, you people with no web presence at all freak me out. How are people supposed to properly stalk you?!



Robyn, I’m sorry, I thought I had bookmarked the entry about the big buckets at Lowe’s that you use for litter boxes (the dimensions and how you cut them), but I can’t find it. Can you link to it in the Friday questions, please? I’ve recently seen my big boy miss the box by having his front feet on the floor instead of on the rim of the box (which points his butt almost straight down) and I think a bucket would solve the problem if all the cats would use them. Thanks.

It’s here. A lot of people have been searching for that lately, so I added a link to it over there on the right under the search box. Also, there’s a link to the recipe to make your own detergent. I’ll probably add stuff if I notice a lot of searches for particular pages in the future.



Completely random, but thought this was so cute..heh. “Ham and eggs…A day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.”

Ain’t that the truth!

Big Pig, laying down and eating. The height, as Fred’s father would say, of laziness.

The pigs are going for processing on August 14th. We are spoiling them absolutely rotten as the time draws closer.



I don’t know if anyone has asked you this yet, but have you seen or are you watching Real Housewives of Atlanta??? I love those shows, but I don’t know if I can watch the Atlanta one. I saw one episode and I wanted to jump through the TV and kick them all in the back of the throat. Oy!

I actually didn’t even know it was on yet! I did a search on the DVR and located a 30-minute special, so I’ve set up to tape that. Hopefully there’ll be people who are as hateable as some of the OC and NYC housewives!



Also, please tell Mister Boogers that I added him to my feed reader. He will probably het that, too, but whatever.

Mister Boogers believes that he should be in EVERY feed reader across the country and does not understand why he is not.



If you MUST have a mezzaluna, get a single-bladed one. The double bladed ones are a bitch to clean in between the blades. In my opinion, you can do just as good a job with herbs using a good quality, sharp chef’s knife. The mezz’s are cute, but they’ll end up being just another thing in the kitchen that you don’t really use very often.

Y’all realize that the only reason I thought I might need a double-bladed mezzaluna is because the guy who subbed for Pioneer Woman last week showed off his mezzaluna, right? And I saw how easily he chopped those herbs and I was all “Oooh, pretty! I need one of those!”, but y’all set me straight. Besides, how often do I chop up herbs? Uh… never? That’ll probably change when I have a little herb garden next year, but I still don’t really anticipate a special tool just for that.

Thanks again, you guys, for setting me straight! God knows I don’t have THAT much room in the kitchen to be cluttering it up with tools I don’t need.



I also find myself saying “my friend, Robyn” in a non-creepy way.

Isn’t it the MOST difficult thing to explain how you know someone you’ve never met in person? You can say “Someone I know on the internet”, but you often get a weird look from people for that. Or you can say “Someone I know.. kinda…”, but people wonder why you’re being evasive. Earlier this week I had to say “Well, I know her on the internet and I believe she’s a really good person, but I’ve never actually met her in person!”

I generally say “My friend (whoever)” when I mention someone whose blog I read or with whom I’ve traded emails just ’cause it’s easier. And faster. And TRUE. You can be friend with someone you’ve never met. You can!



So sorry to hear about Frick and the chick… did the other chickens seem to notice or care at all that she was dead behind the coop steps?

If the other chickens even noticed that Frick was dead, they sure didn’t act like it. Maybe they did their grieving in some special chickeny way, but I suspect that their grieving process doesn’t exist and the fact that Frick is no longer around doesn’t even occur to them.



New kitten movie! This is from a couple of weeks ago. Remember when I said that Kara lays down and flashes her nipples at the kittens and they get all excited because they think it’s time to nurse, then she grooms them and then walks off and leaves them still hungry? Here’s proof.

See it here in MPG format.


08DSC02184 08DSC02182 08DSC02193



Newtles say, “Is it time for the snackin’ yet, lady?”



2007: And the code phrase for “Give me more money, bitch”, can you guess it? “Red velvet. Red velvet!”, of course.
2006: Ooooh, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it.
2005: the line “I ate 212 almonds last night really fast and then puked them back so they were still kinda whole. I just washed them off and ate ‘em again. I’ve seen dogs do it.” made Fred shoot applesauce out his nose.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Hey, little kitty!” I said excitedly, as I am prone to dorkdom.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: I will.