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.