From reader Heather (who followed the link from Moosh in Indy), this father was a firefighter who was injured 10 years ago and is now a quadriplegic. He needs a tech makeover, and needs people to vote for him. Go check out his story and consider voting for him, won’t you? + + + + … Continue reading “9-30-08”

From reader Heather (who followed the link from Moosh in Indy), this father was a firefighter who was injured 10 years ago and is now a quadriplegic. He needs a tech makeover, and needs people to vote for him. Go check out his story and consider voting for him, won’t you?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Cool/ interesting links I’ve gotten recently:

82 hours a year wasted by slow walkers. (Sent to me by Fred, with the subject of the email reading “I KNEW IT!”, because slow walkers drive him almost as bugshit as slow drivers.)

IRS Now Requiring Pet Tax Returns (thanks, Paula!)

How to “peel” hard-boiled eggs without peeling (thanks, Donna!). I tried this yesterday, but couldn’t blow the eggs out of the peel, I don’t know if it was the eggs, or if I lack sufficient lungpower. HOWEVER, I boiled them for 12 minutes on a slow boil, added ice and 2 tsp baking soda to the bowl of water I used to cool the eggs, and they peeled beautifully. I’ll be hard-boiling my eggs in that manner from now on!

To improve your marriage, shut the fuck up. Men and women communicate differently. Who the fuck knew?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


When Liz was here, I set up my laptop at the dining room table for her to use (we try to spoil our guests so they’ll come back!), and she was sitting and surfing on Saturday, and I was sitting at my computer, and she said “Oh, Paul Newman died!”

Only I didn’t hear the “Paul”, only the “Newman died!”, so I immediately thought of Newman from Seinfeld, and I said “Oh shit, you’re kidding! What did he die of?” and she said “Cancer, I think…”

So I surfed over to CNN.com, and I saw the headline that said Paul Newman had died, and I said “Paul Newman is dead too! What are the chances that… Oh.”


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I got my hair cut last week, I think I mentioned I was going to.

Here I am, before. Does anyone actually get up and style their hair before their hair appointment? Well, I don’t. I’m frizzy and frazzled and three-quarters gray, and that smile? I totally don’t mean it.


Here I am, home after the coloring and the cutting. This is how she styled it. I’m not feeling it.


And here I am, after I showered and styled it myself. With bangs:


And with the bangs brushed back:


My next appointment is in five weeks, and the next one after that is six weeks later. It’s scheduled for the week before Christmas. Which means Christmas is like 12 weeks away.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


“Iiiiiiiiiiii am the Stuuuuuuuuump of Constant Sorrowwwwwwwwww!”

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’m a badass, that’s right.
2004: I
2003: In adults, I am anti-”bye-bye”.
2002: Day in the life.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Holy crap! It’s been two years since we closed on this house. I can’t believe it’s been ours for that long! I love it even more now than I did back then! + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   Liz’s flight … Continue reading “9-29-08”

Holy crap! It’s been two years since we closed on this house. I can’t believe it’s been ours for that long!

I love it even more now than I did back then!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Liz’s flight landed a little early on Wednesday and so when she texted me to let me know she’d landed (but was still on the plane), I was still a few minutes away from the airport, and I sat at a stop sign a little too long to text her back that I’d be there in a few minutes, and the guy in the big-ass bubba truck behind me got so irate I thought he was going to go Nicholson on my ass. Swear to god, I maybe sat there ten seconds longer than I ordinarily would have. Fucker.

I picked her up, we got her luggage, and we went directly to Captain D’s. Liz is addicted to hushpuppies and they apparently don’t have them anywhere in the Northeast, so we went to get her her fix. The employees at Captain D’s (at least the one near the airport in Madison) are super-extra friendly. It’s kind of nice.

Wednesday night we watched an episode of The Office, Season 4 and the most recent episode of The Shield, then Fred went to bed and Liz and I watched an episode of Footballers’ Wives. Since I had to get up early Thursday morning to do my stint at the pet store, I gave Liz instructions on how to turn the TV off and went to bed.

Thursday morning I felt like every step I took in the house was extra loud, but Liz told me later she didn’t hear a thing. I went to the pet store, ran by Target, and got home a little after 9:00. We’d planned to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, but just as we were about to leave, I realized I hadn’t seen Kara at all in the half an hour or so since I’d gotten home, and thus began the search for the damn cat.

“What does she look like?” Liz asked.

“She’s a brown tabby,” I said.

Liz grinned. “I don’t know what a tabby is.”

“Kind of tiger stripe-y” I said.

“Is that her?” Liz asked.

“No, that’s Mister Boogers,” I said.

“Oh, there’s one. Is that her?”

“No, that’s Tommy.”

And so on. I went outside and called for her in that special cat-calling voice (oh, don’t look at me, you do it too, you freak) and walked all over the property, and came back inside the house and looked in every nook and cranny, and finally I decided we should just go ahead and go have breakfast, I’d leave the back door open, and if she showed back up, she’d be able to get inside.

So we went and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel, ran by the movie store, and then went to the new Nestle Tollhouse store that opened up at some point in the past few months. I’d been eyeballing it and Liz was willing to go in with me, so stop we did. We ended up getting a big frosted cookie, and it was gooooooood.

Thursday afternoon we watched the Sex and the City movie (just as good the second time around!) and hung out and we were sitting on the couch talking and I was trying to decide if I smelled cat pee when I glanced over at the fireplace at the other end of the front room. Just in time to see Kara.


“Holy shit!” I said, getting up and running to the fireplace. “Holy shit! She went up the chimney! SHE WENT UP THE CHIMNEY!”

“Should I get Fred?” Liz asked.

“Um… yeah!” I said. Liz ran to the back of the house to call Fred, and I pulled the pillows out of the chimney.

The chimney that belongs to that fireplace had, at one point, a cap over the top of it to prevent birds from building nests inside the chimney and from crapping down the chimney into the front room, but the cap blew off at some point and calls to the chimney sweep company who’d done the work were fruitless, since the number had been disconnected. So to stop all that stuff from ending up in the front room, I stuffed a couple of pillows up there, and so far it’d been working pretty well.

When I grabbed the first pillow, a cloud of dust and soot came out. When I grabbed and pulled the second pillow, a bigger cloud of dust and soot came out, along with Kara, who hauled ass across the room and hid behind the couch.

So it appears that while I’d been frantically calling for Kara that morning, she’d been hanging out up inside the chimney (there’s a ledge inside the chimney right over the fireplace, but then it smooths out, so I don’t think she could have climbed up the chimney, at least not very far). I guess she wanted a little alone time.

We ended up keeping the pillows out of the chimney and just sealing off the hole with brown paper and duct tape, which I believe you’ll agree adds an elegant and classy finish to the front room.

Maybe duct tape should be my decorating statement piece.

For dinner, Liz and I went to the BBQ restaurant we always go to when she comes to visit, and she tried catfish. She said it wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s destined to become one of her favorites.

We watched another episode of The Office, Season 4 and then both hours of Survivor (don’t know how much I’m going to like this season, I found everyone very annoying) and then Fred went off to bed and Liz and I started watching Son of Sam, because we like to rent cheesy movies about serial killers (we’ve done John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer in the past). We made it about 7 minutes in before we decided “FUCK THIS” because it was so bad, and put The Footballers’ Wives in instead.

I intended to stay up late, but I was so tired from getting up at 5 am that I was honkshu* through most of the show. Liz was pretty tired, too, so it was lights out.

Friday morning around 7:30, I was sitting in front of my computer sending an email when there was a terrific crash and the whole house shook. I thought for sure that there’d been a car crash in front of the house, and I stood up to look out the side door.

Standing in the yard, right in front of the stoop, was a deer. It gave me a panicked look, shook its head, then wheeled and ran toward the chicken yard, jumped over the fence, ran across the chicken yard, paused in confusion, and jumped over the other fence before bounding across the back forty and disappearing into the woods.

Given that I am horrific in an emergency and given to freezing and gaping in horror, I’m rather proud of myself that – as I was gasping “Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!” – I grabbed the camera and ran out into the back yard to snap a few pictures. (I later second-guessed myself; I could have simple stepped out on the side stoop and shot pictures. Although now that I type that, I remember that it was my thought that I could open the back gate to allow the deer to get out, because I mistook his confused pause as an inability to jump the back fence.)


After I’d snapped a few pictures, I turned to look toward the side yard to see if there might be any more deer coming along, and I saw that the fence between the side gate and the house was bent quite a bit, and the gate was hanging open. What I think happened is that the deer tried to jump that fence, didn’t leap high enough, and thus bounced off the fence.


I was shaky for a good ten or fifteen minutes after that little experience, just because the sound had startled me so badly.

Liz got up eventually, and we hung out and talked for a few hours and watched TV, and then we headed out for Cracker Barrel for lunch. We ate pretty quickly and got out of there, headed for the movie theater in Huntsville to see The Women. Being that it was a school day, there were only two other people in the theater.

I thought the movie was kind of ehhh, mildly funny in some parts, very distracting every time Meg Ryan’s face was in close-up (I’m considering suing her plastic surgeon for emotional distress or possibly damage to a national institution), Debra Messing wasn’t the slightest bit funny, and why is it that in EVERY GODDAMN MOVIE that contains a pregnant woman, there is ALWAYS going to be a scene where her water breaks and she has to be rushed to the hospital? To me, the only real standout in that movie was Debi Mazar and that kid who played Meg Ryan’s daughter was a knockout.

Let me take a moment here to confess that despite the fact that I am assuredly not a Nicholas Sparks fan, I am finding myself compelled to go see Nights in Rodanthe. Anyone see it yet? Is it worth my time?

Liz wasn’t feeling well – kind of dizzy and nauseous – so we headed home and she went off to take a nap while I hung out in front of my computer. After a few hours she felt a bit better and we were both hungry, so we went off to Bojangles to get dinner. I’d never been there before, but I remembered Liz mentioning it favorably many times back when she lived in the South.

It wasn’t bad food, but I don’t know that I’ll necessarily go out of my way to go back there. The fried chicken was okay, but what I really liked was the dirty rice.

We spent the evening watching the season premiere of The Office (I think I squealed when you-know-what happened; I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet) and then an episode of The Office from last season (I got the first three DVDs from Netflix) and then Fred went to bed and Liz and I watched a couple of episodes of Footballers’ Wives. I was alert for the first one but honkshu** through most of the second, but Liz woke me up at a crucial plot point, so I don’t think I missed anything too important.

I was in bed by midnight and slept like a rock until 7 Saturday morning, when Fred came up to report that Mister Boogers had escaped the back yard but had returned. I got up a little while later and did a few morning chores, then Liz got up and we left mid-morning to go to the flea market. Liz was especially interested in the purses for sale at the flea market; the Gucci and Coach knockoffs, to be exact. There were actually two booths selling purses, and she ended up buying three of them. They were such a good price that I ended up buying a couple of purses myself, but because I liked the purses, not necessarily because of the brand name (one was a Coach knockoff; I don’t think the other one was any particular brand, just a leather purse I liked).

We left the flea market and went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, then browsed the store, returned a movie, and came home. We watched The Other Boleyn Girl (pretty good movie, and makes me want to read the book, though I understand the book is different from the movie, according to the special feature we watched about it). We hung out for a while longer, then ran into town to return the movie, stop by Wal-Mart, pick up dinner, and swing by the Dollar store.

Liz snoozed on the couch for a while, while Fred and I watched an episode of The Office, one of Arrested Development, and one of My Name is Earl. She woke up when Fred and I went upstairs, and after Fred went to bed and I came back downstairs, she made a few calls, checking with her brother and friends in Maine. All day Saturday the news channels were reporting that Hurricane Kyle was supposed to hit Maine mid-day Sunday, and Liz was worried that she’d fly to Detroit and then get stuck there if the hurricane hit Maine and the airport closed.

We finally decided that if they told her at the airport that the weather in Maine was iffy (as far as whether her flight would be able to land), she’d just reschedule for the next day and come back home with me.

We watched an episode of Footballers’ Wives, and I wanted to stay up for another episode, but I was very tired, so I apologized for pooping out on her (she said it was no problem, she’d just flip channels and text) and went to bed.

Sunday morning we got to the airport in plenty of time for her flight and it turned out that Kyle was now supposed to hit further north, so her flight shouldn’t have any problems. She checked her bag and paid for it (which shocked the hell out of me – I had no idea you have to pay to check a bag these days! $15 for the first, $25 for the second, $100 for the third. !!!!) and then we went up, checked out the gift shop, said our goodbyes, and she went through Security, waved to me, and was gone.

She got home with no problems at all, but in the meantime I went and got groceries, and when I got home Fred suggested that we go to the flea market in Tennessee “just to look around”, and I was up for that, so off we went.

And came home with nine new chickens, about the size of the ones currently in the brooder in the garage.

Yes, it’s an illness. I offer to you that, um, what’s the word I’m looking for, here? Oh, right. SHADDUP. We justify it to ourselves this way: several of the chicks we hatched from the eggs we bought in Amish country died so we needed to replace them, right?

Did I mention SHADDUP, YOU?


I love the way this one looks like a Buff Orpington wearing a Rhode Island Red coat.

Besides, the odds of averages dictate (according to Fred, who minored in Math and claims to know this sort of thing) of the 27 small chicks we now have, 13 or so should turn out to be roosters, and you can only have a limited number of roosters in your flock, thus designating the extra roosters for, as they say, freezer camp.

When we got home, I stripped the bed in the guest bedroom and tossed the sheets in the washer, then remade the bed with waterproof mattress covers so the cats can go in there, did some cleaning around the house, and just generally hung out.

Due to my stern warning to Liz to keep the door to the bedroom closed at all times and not to allow cats in there, none of her stuff got peed on.

I consider it a victory of sorts.

By the way, despite the fact that Liz is not a cat person at ALL, Mister Boogers fell COMPLETELY in love with her. Any time Liz was in a reclining position on the couch, Mister Boogers climbed up on her and purred so loud I could hear him from two rooms away. I’d say that now she’s gone he’s prostrate with grief, but he seems to be none the worse for wear.


*Stolen from Kinzie’s daughter.

** I giggle every time I type it.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: No need to send out the announcement that we’re freaks just yet, I suppose.
2005: What a fucking day, I tells ya.
2004: Which makes me think he’s out there talking shit about me, of course.
2003: He’s an awfully cute little kitty.
2002: No entry.
2001: I swear, my work is NEVER done.
2000: No entry.


Okay, I lied. I’ve got too much to do and I want to spend the rest of the week hanging out with Liz, so I’m taking off from journaling and will be back on Monday. Here, here’s some cuteness to tide you over ’til I come back! That big ol’ frazzled-looking black-eyed chick is the … Continue reading “9-24-08”

Okay, I lied. I’ve got too much to do and I want to spend the rest of the week hanging out with Liz, so I’m taking off from journaling and will be back on Monday.

Here, here’s some cuteness to tide you over ’til I come back!


That big ol’ frazzled-looking black-eyed chick is the silkie. She’s like 14 times bigger than the Amish chicks who were born almost two weeks ago. She’s also very shy and doesn’t want to be touched, but I don’t care, I LOVE HER.

See you Monday. Have a good one!

PS: This is way too cute.


I s’pose I should be flattered that ten people a day are searching my site for variations on the phrase “Crash Hot Potatoes” when I’ve never made them. They’re a Pioneer Woman recipe, she made them, she’s got the recipe, I’ve never made them myself but they certainly look delicious. I’m just not that into … Continue reading “9-23-08”

I s’pose I should be flattered that ten people a day are searching my site for variations on the phrase “Crash Hot Potatoes” when I’ve never made them. They’re a Pioneer Woman recipe, she made them, she’s got the recipe, I’ve never made them myself but they certainly look delicious. I’m just not that into potatoes, really, or I’d have made them by now. She is far cuter and funnier and talented than I am (also, has more dogs), so I don’t know WHY y’all think it’s ME who put the recipe up, it’s not (though of course I’m flattered. If only we owned the amount of land they do!)! It’s her!


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


My friend Liz is coming to visit this week – she’s arriving tomorrow afternoon and leaving Sunday morning – and I have house cleaning to do. I’m not going to kill myself cleaning the house because she doesn’t really care about the state of my house (no one who comes to visit really seems to care about the cleanliness of my house as much as I do, of course), but I do need to clean the bathroom she’ll be using (Fred will use the upstairs bathroom for the duration of her visit) and vacuum the house and dust the guest bedroom and make the bed, then shut the guest bedroom door so none of the cats can get in there and make asses of themselves.

I’ll have to sternly warn her about keeping the bedroom door closed at all times whether she’s in there or not, because MY CATS ARE ASSHOLES, and I can guarantee that someone would run in there and pee on something, then disappear into thin air so we couldn’t tell who’d done it.

I’m sure SOMETHING will get peed on while she’s here, anyway. Because, my cats? ASSHOLES. Have I mentioned?

I also have a hair appointment tomorrow a little after noon, which will give me enough time to have my hair done, run home for a quick shower, and then run back to Madison to pick her up at the airport.

At least she’s not flying into Nashville this time. She got a kick-ass rate on her round-trip ticket.

We’ll be doing a lot of movie-watching and restaurant-visiting while she’s here. I expect I’ll have time to post something in the way of entries, but don’t expect my usual intelligent, well thought-out, thought-provoking prose.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


This is the week when half the shows I watch are premiering, and I had to fuck around with the DVR for a long damn time yesterday, trying to make sure everything was going to tape. Because whoever’s in charge of scheduling shows HATES ME, I finally had to delete Grey’s Anatomy from the scheduled recordings so I could get The Office (yes, I could watch it on Hulu.com instead, but Fred doesn’t watch TV shows on the computer, he prefers his stupid, ridiculous, oversized TV and we both love The Office but I’m the only one who still likes Grey’s Anatomy) and Survivor: Gabon to tape, since our DVR only tapes two shows at a time. I can download Grey’s Anatomy via iTunes and watch it on my iPod, but I am annoyed at having to do so.

I also thought I was going to have to delete How I Met Your Mother from the scheduled recordings so I could get Heroes instead, but I realized that if I deleted Two and a Half Men from the scheduled recordings, there’d be no other conflict. Since we have (I shit you not) 40+ episodes of Two and a Half Men already sitting on the DVR, I think we’re okay as far as that show goes.

Yeah, I know. Fascinating.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I mentioned up there that I have a hair appointment tomorrow. I was scheduled for my usual 6-week cut and color the day I ended up going in for my plastic surgery in May. I thought about rescheduling, then decided I’d just let my hair grow out all summer long and decide what to do with it.

This means I’m WAY overdue for a cut and color.

(This picture cracks me up, because it looks like my eyes are looking in two completely different directions, one’s looking upward, one’s looking sideward. I’m wonky-eyed!)

What did I decide I want to do? Well, I thought about going for a chin-length bob, and I thought about just letting my hair revert to it’s natural mostly-gray, but in the end I’m going to have my hair colored and cut short, because I just don’t like having to mess with my hair much (as is obvious in that picture up there, I s’pose) and I’m not ready to go gray just yet.

(This is from last October and is probably about how my hair will be looking after tomorrow)


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Cats news of note: Miz Poo is now nine years old – her birthday was last week and we didn’t celebrate it at all because we are cruel, uncaring assholes who deserve to have their beds peed upon. A few of you have been with me since I brought her home – BEFORE I brought her home, really, a few weeks prior to my adopting her, when I first laid eyes upon her and fell in love with her! And then dithered about adopting her, and finally did so. So it’s hard to believe she’s now considered a “senior” cat, isn’t it?

Also, it’s been three years since I brought Sugarbutt and Tommy and their siblings home with me to be our fosters. Of course, Sugarbutt’s name at that point was “Sad Eyes” and Tommy was “Barrett”, but I think their names suit them better now. Can you believe it’s only been three years since we first saw these little faces?

Dsc08113 Dsc08149

It seems impossible; it feels like they’ve been with us forever.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Sugarbutt’s life is a rough one, but he perseveres.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2004: Questions and answers.
2003: I feel like Eudora’s a creepy old lady hovering over my shoulder, reading my email, and threatening to tell my mommy on me.
2002: Anything more complicated than that, and I think you’ll have to look elsewhere.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Saturday evening, Fred and I had to leave the house to look for Italian dressing. We were having Pizza Pork Hoagies for dinner on Sunday and I’d cut up the pork chops to marinate in Italian dressing, but then realized I had no damn Italian dressing. We stopped at the Dollar store first, and not … Continue reading “9-22-08”

Saturday evening, Fred and I had to leave the house to look for Italian dressing. We were having Pizza Pork Hoagies for dinner on Sunday and I’d cut up the pork chops to marinate in Italian dressing, but then realized I had no damn Italian dressing.

We stopped at the Dollar store first, and not only did they have Italian dressing, they had THREE kinds of Italian dressing (we opted for the ZESTY! kind), so we bought that and then drove to Closeville. When Fred started replacing our miniblinds with plantation blinds last year, he got the front room, the guest bedroom, and my room done, then stopped completely. I’ve been wanting to get the blinds in the computer room replaced and thus have been harassing him, especially because I want to replace the blinds on the doors with cordless blinds (you use a button on the bottom of the blinds to raise and lower them). The cords on the current blinds are all kinds of in the way during the day, because I like to raise them close to the very top so I can see what’s going on outside, and so there are cords hanging all over the place and it annoys me.

We got to Lowe’s to find out that, naturally, the cordless blinds they have in stock don’t come any longer than 64 inches, and we need 68 inches. And, naturally, the woman who orders blinds was on her lunch break. So we got the blinds for the three windows over my desk and told the blind-cutting people what width we needed them cut in, and then we wandered around the store for half an hour.

But wait, I got off my point. What I meant to say is that before we left the house, I turned to Fred and I said “Do I have any stains on the front of my shirt?”, and Fred looked me over carefully and told me that I did not, I was fine to appear in public.

So when we were in Lowe’s and still under the delusion that we’d be in and out pretty quickly, when they were beginning to cut blinds, Fred pointed down toward the end of the aisle and said “You should go see if they have any inexpensive mirrors that we can hang on the wall in the computer room.”

We want to hang a mirror on the wall near the door of the computer room so that if someone’s coming down the driveway we can just glance in the mirror and see them, rather than having to get up and look out the door. We’re lazy like that. Also, we don’t like surprises. Well, SOME surprises we like so go ahead and send that ten million dollars, but people popping up in front of the computer room door when we’re not expecting it, we don’t like that.

I went down the aisle to the mirrors, and as I usually do, I looked at myself, and then I marched back down the aisle and grabbed Fred’s upper arm very hard and hissed “Remember when I asked you if I had any stains on my shirt?”

“Yes,” he said, looking at the front of my shirt. “Why?”

“It might have been NICE if you’d MENTIONED that I was wearing a BLACK BRA under a LIGHT PINK t-shirt!”

He laughed. “I didn’t notice!”

Me = total class act.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Many evenings, we feed the pigs their snack and then take a walk around the back forty. Last night, as we approached the ditch that separates the back forty from the front part of our property, Newt came running over and then went all flat in the ditch. We talked to him and he rolled over and presented his belly for rubbing, and then Fred picked him up and carried him for a minute while petting him.

“I think he might have a tick,” Fred said with concern, his fingertip feeling around Newt’s armpit area “We need to check him when we get inside.” Newt gave him an ears-back I get no respect look, and then flailed to be let down so he could follow us into the back yard, as it was just about Snackin’! Time! and he needed to run across the back yard, climb the post, go over the fence to the side yard, and run up on the stoop so he’d be ready when I put his plate of Snackin’! Time! (which he shares with Maxi) on the stoop.

Naturally, we forgot all about the lump in Newt’s armpit, and went off to watch TV.

We were about halfway through Made of Honor (cute, but I honestly don’t remember a damn thing about the movie today, except for the exceptionally HOT Kevin McKidd, ::drool:: ) when Fred paused the movie.

“Shit!” he exclaimed. “We forgot to check Nick for toots!”

I am sad to report that I stared at him and said “Who the hell is Nick?”

We did get up and check Newt’s armpit, eventually. Newt did not appreciate his armpit being probed twice in one day, but he allowed it, and he was tick-free. Apparently the lump Fred had felt was a rash rather than a tick.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I unexpectedly had a whole chicken the other day and needed to figure out a way to make a good dinner from it, so I made chicken enchiladas and they were DIVINE. Also, simple.

I’ll definitely be making those again!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Fostering news! The shelter manager told me that Kaylee got herself adopted Friday evening to a nice couple with an older cat. This is good news because yay! My little raccoon got adopted!

This is bad news because boo! My little peanut is sitting in a cage by herself!

I am seriously keeping my fingers crossed that Zoe gets adopted during adoption hours Tuesday night because you KNOW she’s always been my favorite*, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to leave her there if she’s still there on Thursday.

*Okay, they’ve ALL been my favorite from time to time. I don’t like to think of her being alone and scared, though. My poor baby!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


There cannot be enough orange in one’s life.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: If I were manic-depressive (wait. Do they call it bipolar now? I haven’t kept up on my psychiatrically politically correct terms lately), I think I would have been considered to be in a manic state yesterday.
2005: Never-ending.
2004: If you had any idea how much time I spent backspacing and retyping words when I write my entries, you’d burst into tears of sympathy.
2003: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paris Hilton, and why would I give a good goddamn what they’re wearing or doing or driving or fucking?
2002: No entry.
2001: You know you’re getting old when you have to ask a 12 year-old girl who’s on the TV.
2000: No entry.


I always know I can count on you guys! Thanks for the banana bread recipes and the advice (I had no idea that you could substitute applesauce, grated apple, or zucchini for the third banana, but of course it makes sense!), but I ended up just tossing them in ziplock bag and putting them in … Continue reading “9/19/08”

I always know I can count on you guys! Thanks for the banana bread recipes and the advice (I had no idea that you could substitute applesauce, grated apple, or zucchini for the third banana, but of course it makes sense!), but I ended up just tossing them in ziplock bag and putting them in the freezer so I don’t have to deal with them right now. At some point in the future, when I’m in a baking mood, I’ll pull ’em out and use them.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Katherine sent me the link to this site the other day:


If you don’t want to go watch it right now, it’s a video of pictures illustrating the lyrics in Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.

Confession: It wasn’t ’til I watched the video that I realized he was saying “Children of Thalidomide” (I thought it was “Children of the Little Mai”, figured it was a Vietnam reference), and I thought “Bay of Pigs Invasion” was “Bay of Pigs and Beijing.” Duh.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


We have nine kittens and we desperately need to find homes for them. All nine are white/light tan striped with blue eyes. We live near Athens Ga. If any of your readers are nearby please send me an email. We have loved on these kittens from day one but we can not keep them as we already have five cats and four dogs. Thank you Robyn for passing this along to your readers!

If anyone’s interested, email me and I’ll pass your email along to Lisa!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I don’t understand the logic of shredding information that is just name/address. I admit that I’m the opposite of paranoid. I probably don’t take enough care with privacy because I figure the bad guys will get the info if they want. But if someone could get the same information from a phone book (or driving by your house if you had your name “The Coopers” on the house), what does it prevent to tear off magazine labels, etc.?

To be a stickler, here, our phone number is unlisted, and we don’t have our name on the mailbox. But I get what you’re asking – I don’t think that anyone could use our name and address to do any real damage, but since I recycle magazines, catalogs and the occasional mailing box, and I have seen people going through the “magazines/ junk mail” and “cardboard boxes” dumpsters and pulling stuff out (which is actually rather thrifty – why pay for People Magazine when you can pull it out of a dumpster and read it for nothing?), shredding that stuff is in the “better safe than sorry” vein for me.

I do know that you can turn yourself inside out trying to protect yourself from thievery and all it takes is brushing against (figuratively speaking) the wrong person at the wrong time. You can’t live your life trying to stop people from taking shit from you, but you also don’t need to go out of your way to make it available to them, you know? I honestly don’t spend much time worrying about this stuff, I might have overstated my paranoia a wee.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I don’t get the T-shirt, “Every time you can has” ?? I guess I’m a dork and not a geek – will someone explain?

It comes from LOLspeak – seen in a big way over at ICanHasCheezburger – and Wikipedia says: A lolcat is an image combining a photograph, most frequently a cat, with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as “lolspeak”, or “Kitteh!”. Basically it’s saying “Every time you use that damn LOLspeak, god kills a LOLcat (the cat “speaking” the LOLspeak in the pictures featured at ICHC).

If that doesn’t make sense, let me know and I’ll try to explain it again! 🙂

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Where did you get the rooster? Maybe he was castrated. (I was reading about capons on wikipedia.) For the record, I just thought you had a rooster with a low sex drive.

He’s actually one of the chicks who was hatched by one of our adult chickens back in April, maybe? I don’t remember when exactly (and I’m too lazy to go back and look), but he’s definitely not been castrated. I said to Fred yesterday, “Are we SURE he’s a he and not a she?” and he said that the only reason he thinks it’s a rooster is because of the big, pretty tail. Female chickens don’t tend to have the big tails. On the other hand, Michele and No-tail don’t have the big, pretty tails and we’re sure that they’re roosters, so who the hell knows? We’ll have to wait and see if he develops a spur. It’d be too bad if he had a low sex drive, though – I think he’d make pretty babies.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Did you skip a caption on the picture of Sugarbutt “yelling,” or am I just lame and don’t get it?

If you watch the YouTube clip of that scene:

You’ll see the few seconds after Don Corleone is mocking Johnny, the camera goes to Robert Duvall, who smiles.

Sugarbutt is doing his interpretation of Robert Duvall.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I have had a shirt thing going on for a while, $10+free shipping on the daily shirt at http://shirt.woot.com/ and sometimes the shirts are good and sometimes awful but I look every morning, it’s the first thing I usually look at, I have bought 2 shirts for myself and 2 for friends…check it out.

I’ve been checking it out every day. I haven’t bought anything yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Did you and Fred watch that football show from a few years back, on ESPN? It was called Playmakers, I think, and we enjoyed it so much. But then I think there was some uproar over it being TOO realistic about the players’ off-field lives or something, and it only survived that one season. Anyway, it was good.

No, we never watched it – but it’s in my Netflix queue now!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Also, what’s your favorite dusting product/method? I hate doing it, too, and don’t very often, but when I DO, it seems like I just end up moving the piles of dust around…

Most of the time when I dust (which is not very often because I HATE dusting and it’s usually not until I’m embarrassed by how damn dusty the house has gotten that I give in) I use microfiber cloths that I bought at Target (in the section where they have mops and stuff). I just go around, move everything off the surface of the table (or whatever I’m dusting), swipe that across a few times, and the dust is gone. I’ve also been known to use Swiffer dusting cloths from time to time, but I really and truly am trying to reduce the amount of disposable stuff I use.

Once a month or so, I go around with some cleaning rags and a can of some furniture spray (I don’t know which kind it is, just something I picked up at the grocery store, I’m not particular when it comes to furniture polish) and polish the furniture so it’s clean and shiny. And then I remember quickly why it’s pointless to polish the furniture – there are few flat surfaces in this house that don’t gather cats at one point or another, and the formerly shiny surfaces end up marked with paw prints.

Damn cats.

Readers? What do you dust your furniture with?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I am in need of some cat advice from the expert (and the other kitty expert commenters). We have an outdoor kitty that we “adopted” at our current house. (She was an abandoned cat that hangs out in our backyard.) I managed to gain her trust and now feed her, give her love, and she truly lives here now, but she doesn’t ever come in the house. Not for lack of trying, she just freaks out and cries to leave after 5 minutes. Now we are about to move to a new city. I’m not sure how our cat is going to react. Clearly she won’t acclimate to being an indoor cat, but I’m afraid to let her roam outside in a new city that’s completely unfamiliar to her. I don’t know what to do! Do you have any advice for me?
Thank you!

I’m leaving this one open, because I have no idea at all – there’s no way we could keep Maxi and Newt inside all the time, but if we really had to, we could probably keep them contained in the back yard. Will you have a back yard at your new house where you could keep your cat contained?

Other than that, I have no suggestions.

Readers? Your advice?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Oh My Gosh Robyn! You have the most gorgeous voice!!!

I can honestly say that that’s the first time in all of history that those words have been said (written) to me! Heh.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Perhaps I’m anthropomorphizing too much (too lazy to check the spelling) but if I were left in a cage at a strange place I doubt I’d like the specter of two gigantic Bengal tigers. Zoe looks like she’s thinking, “WTF? Those two big cats want to eat me. Can you DO something, please?” Maybe they can post something more kitten-friendly. Little mousies eating cheese, perhaps?

Nah, the cats don’t even notice those pictures, I promise.

By the way, as of yesterday morning, Zoe and Kaylee remain unadopted. I’d be more unhappy about that, except that they’ve become noticeably friendlier than they were before (they might remember me, but I kind of doubt it. Hard to tell, though!) and they ran around and played the entire time they were out of their cage (and you KNOW I let them stay out of their cage from the minute I walked into the cat room to the minute I left!).

Here’s hoping they get adopted before next Thursday, though. I hate seeing them caged up!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Not my little Zoe! Remember, she’s MINE, all MINE, and one wild and stormy night, after 4 or 5 pints of Guinness, you agreed to foster her until I can come out there and pick her up. Can we convince Fred otherwise?

I doubt Fred would go for that – though one day after I win the lottery, I will build a big, big, BIG house and I will never have to take another cat to the pet store again!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Leslie’s response about the anti -“Okey Dokey Pokey” lady:

“Okey Dokey Pokey!” was just an inane phrase I blurted out and made some poor woman completely rageful. I put that comment in the comment thread about phrases/words that make folks crazy in response to Robyn’s list. It just seemed to fit the the discussion in the comments.

There isn’t much more to the story. We were in the Air and Space Museum in DC and I said that (quite perkily!) to my husband and a woman near us spun on me. She said that she couldn’t believe I would say such a ridiculous thing, AND TO A GROWN MAN! My husband and I gave each other the patented Mr. Booger’s Look-o-Shock and laughed heartily. She obviously felt she hadn’t made herself clear and said that she wouldn’t even say that to a CHILD! We of course immediately roared with laughter and delight. Our new friend then very purposefully Ignored Us (that sure showed us.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


If you like vampires, I have to ask, have you read the “Twilight” series yet? It’s geared towards teens, but I LOVED it!!! (I’m 30) It’s by Stephanie Meyer. Go get them!

I have Twilight on the bookcase, it’s about five books down the queue, so I should get to it soon. It was more like 30 books down the queue ’til I read that Jane LURVED IT, so I moved it up quite a bit.

I’ll admit that I’m a tiny bit scared that I won’t like it, because you Twilight-loving lunatics might come after me and beat me up.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


How did I miss that they are making a tv series out of the Sookie Stackhouse books??? I love that series and just re-read it this summer. I had cast it differently, but what can you do? LOL. Argh – just realized it is on HBO – must call to subscribe ASAP!!! (I obviously need to get out more…)

I only knew about it because I read it in TV Guide (I LOVE THAT MAGAZINE). I don’t think they did all that much advertising for it, though maybe they did and I just didn’t notice (since we fast-forward through all the commercials these days).

Having watched episode #2, I’m continuing to really like the show. Fred could take it or leave it, but I’m definitely going to keep watching!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Your house is lovely – were the rest of the cats outside when you took the photos? I was looking out for Spanky.

Thank you! And… I’m not sure where the cats were, actually. It’s kind of odd that more of them didn’t pop up in the pictures. I know that Tommy and Joe Bob were outside, but I’m not sure where the other ones were. It’s entirely possible they moved around the house just right so that they didn’t end up in any pictures.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Why did you get rid of the first house?

I appreciate the opportunity this opportunity to mock my husband, so thank you for asking!

We sold the first house in Madison because we agreed that we wanted to buy a smaller house on a lot more land. Sound familiar?? So the house sold in a matter of days and we had a limited amount of time to find a new house. We went through a bazillion houses, several of which I really liked. But Fred has spent the majority of his life in newish houses, so the houses we were touring were not really to his taste, and I think that the idea of living way out in the country made him more than a little twitchy.

We finally decided that we had to get our asses in gear and started looking at a subdivision in Madison located about a mile from the subdivision where we’d sold the house. We made an offer on one house, but were outbid. We were about to make an offer on a second house, were a little disturbed by the $5,000 “decorating allowance”, and then before we finalized the offer, Fred discovered that the wooden frame around every window in the house was rotting and would need to be replaced and $5,000 wouldn’t even begin to touch that. THEN we made an offer on a third place, and it was accepted. We were pleased at first, then were starting to have second thoughts (it was smaller than we wanted, really), and the realtor inadvertently gave us an out by screwing up. We finally went and looked at a fourth house – the one we finally bought – and liked it. And we were so freaked about the fact that closing on the house we were living in was only three weeks away, that we made an offer immediately, and were relieved when it was accepted.

So, to sum up, our intention was to get a smaller house on a lot more land and to have a much smaller mortgage. What we ended up with was a smaller house on marginally more land (we went from 1/3 acre to 1/2 acre) with a BIGGER mortgage.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


In the porch picture with Maxi, what is that black giant paw looking thing she is partly obscured by?

It’s supposed to be a bird house, but I just use it as a decoration on the front porch.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Why do you call it the poltergeist tree? And is Fred’s bedroom up a further flight of stairs from the rest of the hallway? I went back and forth on those pictures but couldn’t figure it out. And will Fred make me a table to go over my linen chest next to my bed, because I can’t find one online or in stores that’s the right size ANYWHERE, and will you both come out here and build and paint and tractor with me? And can I have a cookie?

Fred named it the poltergeist tree because he says it looks like the tree in Poltergeist. This is what it looks like currently, but in the Winter when all the leaves have dropped off, it looks more like the tree in the movie.


Fred’s bedroom is on the same level as the rest of the upstairs. This is from the other end of the hallway, pointed toward his room (we keep the door shut so the cats don’t go in there) :

(That string hanging down in the middle goes to the pull-down door to the attic)

Fred will make a table to go over your linen chest as soon as he’s done working his way down my list of demands, which means he should be ready to start right around his 93rd birthday.

I would TOTALLY come paint and tractor with you, but Fred has a day job and cannot get away. Also, who would feed the chickens and pigs?!

The only cookies available at the moment are the gingersnaps in the Pig Cookies container on the counter. They came from the Dollar Store, but I’m sure they’re just fine – and the pigs are willing to share. Or at least what they don’t know won’t hurt ’em!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


My husband and I are having a debate about getting a new front door. I love the one you have, but my husband is a little reluctant because you can still see through some areas of the glass. I see you have blinds put up on yours. Did you put them up? How is the door in general regarding privacy?

Yeah, we put the blinds on the door ourselves. We shut them at night and keep them open in the daytime to let light come in (though I don’t know why I bother to open the blinds in the front room during the day – we hardly ever spend time in there during the day). We got the blinds for the door specifically because Fred realized that there were areas of the glass you could see through, and in the evening, when we have lights on the front room, it was easy to see right into the house. When the blinds are closed, you can’t see a thing through the door – if you have a door with clear areas of glass, it’s definitely worth it to put blinds or sheer curtains up to block the view inside, I think.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


You’ve probably said before, but I forget – how big is your property?

It’s about 4 1/2 acres. The piece of land was originally about 5, but they carved out half an acre and put the house next door on it. I sincerely wish that half acre was ours!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Oh, whoa. I thought the computer room was on the other side of the house and for some reason seeing pointing at the garage just messed me up. I’m weird, yes.

Here’s a layout of the house that Fred made before we actually moved in:


The room labeled “Spud b’room” is now my room; the room labeled “guest b’room” is now the foster kitten room, and the room labeled “master b’room” is now the guest bedroom. He also didn’t draw the outside doors on the plan, but there’s one in the front room, one in the computer room (to the left) and one in the laundry room (to the top).

Floor plan is not to scale, by the way.

And he also did a quick property layout for me yesterday.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


How old is the house again? Are you the second owners?

The house is about 75 years old. We’re the third owners – the first owner lived here with her mother and brother, then when she went into a nursing home, her niece lived here for a while. After that, the house was sold to a family with a large number of kids, and they’re the ones who sold it to us. Hopefully, we’ll be here ’til we’re old and gray! (Or until we win the lottery and move to 300 acres in Tennessee!)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Ok, I took the house tour and I don’t “see” the Dollar store, not literally but figuratively, it seems like like you live so far out in the country that you would see nothing but trees and chickens! Oh, and I’m with Fred on the big tv, I LOVE me some big screen action.

Here ’tis!

(See the little bit of yellow, mostly hidden by that tree branch?)

It’s more obvious at night when it’s dark and the sign is lit up, but it’s certainly within very easy walking distance. We do live in the country, but we’re not terribly far out in the country – there’s a fairly large town about 7 minutes up the road with lots of stores (Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, grocery stores) and restaurants, so we kind of have the best of both worlds.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


So where do you and Fred eat dinner?

In front of our computers, usually. I KNOW we’re not supposed to, but damn. You want us to sit and eat dinner TOGETHER and COMMUNICATE? Who wants THAT?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Question which you may have answered already – what things do you keep in your laundry room fridge vs. your kitchen fridge? I see you have two fridges (as well as the freezer) and I would think that all the current, soon to be eaten food is in kitchen and Drinks? Soda? extra milk? is in the laundry room.

Most of the day-to-day stuff – condiments, whatever I’ll need for dinner preparations, leftovers – is kept in the kitchen fridge.

In the laundry room fridge we keep the milk (it won’t fit in the kitchen fridge easily), the food Fred takes to work with him (leftovers from dinner and cottage cheese), a big pitcher of tea, eggs (it’s easier to come in from gathering them and put them in the refrigerator rather than have to go into the kitchen, especially since we’re getting around a dozen a day lately), hummingbird food, and all the vegetables Fred brings in from the garden that I want to deal with “later”.

I honestly don’t know what on earth we’d do if we had to cram all our stuff into the tiny refrigerator in the kitchen. There’s no way it’d all fit!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Do you shower upstairs or downstairs?

I shower upstairs, Fred showers downstairs.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Do you have a basement or an attic?

We have an attic (no basement, but I wish we did, so we’d have a good place to store canned goods), but it’s not really big enough to walk around in or store stuff in (though that didn’t stop the original owners, apparently – there are big glass jars in the attic underneath all the insulation, I’m told).

Do you still have exercise equipment in the garage–do you or Fred ever use it?? I think you get enough exercise now just taking care of Crooked Acres?

Yep, all the exercise equipment is in the garage keeping the chicks company, and it gets used on a regular basis.

Does the Spud still have any stuff there? Is she going to visit you at all? I guess she would stay in the guest room then?

The spud has a bunch of stuff in boxes upstairs in the garage, but she took the majority of her stuff with her. I imagine she’ll visit eventually – we talked about her coming to visit this summer, but she couldn’t afford to take the time off work, and now she’s busy with work and school. Yes, she’d stay in the guest room, unless she’d prefer to stay in the coop with the chickens.

So how many bedrooms, bathrooms?

4 bedrooms (three upstairs, 1 down) and two and a half bathrooms (one upstairs, one and a half down).

Why don’t you use the dining room–where do you eat? Just one den and one computer room, right??

We don’t use the dining room ’cause we don’t wanna, and there’s usually something online that’s got our attention while we’re eating. Yes, just one den and one computer room.

Also, I was confused by the stairs. Are there 2 sets of stairs??

No, there’s just the one set of stairs. They go up half a flight from the ground floor, there’s a landing, you turn, and there’s another half a flight to the top. I’m sure there’s a specific name for the kind of stairs they are, but I have no idea what that name is. Anyone know?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I was very, very surprised when I walked into the guest bedroom the other day and saw Spanky sleeping in a cat bed on the bed and Stinky sleeping in the pile of cat beds right next to him (note: that pile of cat beds was there because I washed them and then forgot to take them upstairs to put them back in the foster kitten room, from whence they’d come). Spanky is very much a cat who doesn’t care for other cats. He doesn’t want them snuggling with him, he doesn’t want them touching them, he doesn’t want them NEAR him. And Stinky has her favorite men – Tommy and occasionally Mister Boogers – and has no use for any other cat.

But note that they’re practically TOUCHING.


“Don’t judge me.”

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: I have not yet attained the level of dorkitude that would allow me to answer “yes.”
2006: “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “That’s the monkey (ex-boyfriend) gave me. She can crap all over it if she wants.”
2005: We meet Sugarbutt, Tommy, and their siblings!
2004: No entry.
2003: Since he’s a year older than me, that’ll give me two years to theatrically take to my bed and waste away. Sounds about right.
2002: Obviously whoever lives at 308 belongs to the Bitchypoo “If I don’t know you, I ain’t answerin’ the door” school of thought.
2001: I hate you, Mr. Mailman.
2000: Only US Magazine would consider it newsworthy that Michael Douglas is changing diapers he hasn’t been wearing.


Readers, I need your help! I have two bananas and they need to be used. I’d like to bake them into something, but my two favorite banana-based recipes (banana bread and banana muffins) require three bananas. I only gots two! Got a good, easy recipe that uses two bananas? Lay it on me! (If it … Continue reading “9/18/08”

Readers, I need your help!

I have two bananas and they need to be used. I’d like to bake them into something, but my two favorite banana-based recipes (banana bread and banana muffins) require three bananas. I only gots two!

Got a good, easy recipe that uses two bananas? Lay it on me!

(If it can be frozen for a while before consuming, so much the better.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I got a spam email yesterday asking Do you have unnecessary money? If no, learn how to save it!

As I do not, in fact, have unnecessary money (I don’t know that there’s enough money in the world for me to feel like any of it in my possession is unnecessary, really), I was almost tempted to click on the link.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I found this article very interesting (thank you to reader/ Dora & Nate‘s new Momma Katherine, who sent me the article). I know someone who swears that the reason her cats never get sick is because they don’t get shots, and I think she might have a point.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Cathy Cahlin Ryan (Corinne on The Shield) is the most wooden actress in all of Hollywood, eclipsed only by the horrific acting of Autumn Chiklis (Cassidy), who clearly does not come by her Dad’s talent in any way, shape or form. Nepotism in Hollywood is alive and well and stinking up the joint.

I can’t tell you how pleased I was (NOT) that Rumer Willis is going to be bringing her special brand of “acting” to Army Wives and CSI: New York (not that I watch CSI: New York, but the more you give the girl acting gigs, the more she’s going to think she’s an “actress.” Prediction: Rumer Willis acting book out within three years.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Know what pisses me off?

(Yes, besides EVERYTHING.)

I know people who’ve had their credit fucked up in a big way by people they trust, and by complete strangers. As a result, over the past several years, I have become very careful with our personal and financial information. Anything that comes in the mail printed with any kind of information about us at ALL – account numbers, social security numbers, our address – goes into the cross-cut shredder.

Before I recycle any magazines or catalogs, I rip out our names and address off the back, and (in the case of catalogs) the pre-printed order form from the middle.

When the credit card statement comes in the mail, I look it over carefully, then shred it (if I ever need to prove I paid for something, it’s not that hard to get a copy of whichever statement I need.). And let me take a moment to say GODDAMN those credit card companies want you to use those fucking cash advance checks, don’t they? I must get a set of blank checks every other week, and I’m considering canceling my Capitol One account if they don’t KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF.

Once a year I get my credit report and look it over very carefully and I make sure that Fred does the same.

I don’t even put boxes or envelopes with our names and address in the trash – I shred them. Maybe it’s paranoid, but people can do some messed-up shit with the smallest amount of information and it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

So what the fuck is the point of being careful when it’s entirely possible that your goddamn mortgage company is going to discover that they’ve had a “rogue employee” selling goddamn social security numbers and loan information to a third party?*

It’s infuriating that, no matter how careful you are, all it takes is one criminal-minded assface to decide it’s worth the risk to sell your information to someone who might or might not decide to use said information to completely fuck up your life. Or try to convince you to refinance your home. Same diff, right?

(Note: We haven’t gotten a letter from Countrywide letting us know that our information was compromised, so hopefully it wasn’t. I’m still pissed off about it.)

*My favorite part of the article letter Countrywide sent out: an ex-employee a Countrywide employee (now former) may have sold unauthorized information about you (blah blah blah). No, really? Selling your customers’ social security numbers to a potentially malevolent third party is a fireable offense? Seriously? I’m only surprised they didn’t give him a goddamn employee of the month award! Fired for selling social security numbers and loan information. Who ever would have thought?! Or maybe it’s meant like Look how on top of things we are! We fired his ass, yes we did! Don’t you feel all safe and secure now?!

Actually, it was probably meant to fend off all the well-meaning dumbasses who would otherwise have immediately called the company and said “Ah hope yer thinkin’ ’bout firin’ that boy who sold mah information! That ain’t right!”

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Joe Bob chased after my favorite little chick yesterday. I assume he was mostly just playing, because he chases them from time to time when they’re wandering around the back yard and he never actually catches them, although he’s certainly fast enough and they’re getting big enough that they can’t just scoot back through the fence at any spot, they have to go under the gate, where there’s more room. Anyway, I saw the chick running across the yard with Joe Bob close behind, and even though I was sure he was mostly playing, there’s always a first time for a game to get serious, so I stood up and banged on the window with my fist, which usually startles the cats from whatever they’re doing that they’re not SUPPOSED to be doing. Joe Bob didn’t stop, though, just kept chasing, so I banged harder and harder until I caught his attention and he stopped.

And this morning, my hand hurts.


(Stupid chicks.)

Remember those guns that used to shoot hard plastic discs? I need one of those by my desk and when Joe Bob’s chasing a chick or Sugarbutt’s trying to climb the tree or someone’s kicking Joe Bob’s ass, I could just open the window and hit them in the ass with one of those discs. It wouldn’t hurt, but it would sting a little, and it would surely stop them in their tracks!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


18DSC04514 18DSC04525

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: Okay, birds – time to start paying a LITTLE better attention to your surroundings, please.
2006: *Of course I want my daughter to be in a relationship with someone who treats her well, isn’t a criminal, and is carrying no communicable diseases. But I flat-out do not care whether that person has a penis or a vagina.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Dirk is a happy, happy man. Dirk is very close to orange.
2002: Instead of finding it cute and amusing, I am, instead, bitter that I’ll never get that 94 minutes of my life back.
2001: (he’s a dumbass, she’s a dumbass, they’re dumbasses, wouldn’t you like to BE a dumbass too?!)
2000: No entry.


The talented Aly, who has created many of my wonderful Bitchypoo banners, has entered a scrapbooking contest. Go check out her layout and click on that “Vote for me” button, would you? It’s simple and just takes a second! + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + … Continue reading “9/17/08”

The talented Aly, who has created many of my wonderful Bitchypoo banners, has entered a scrapbooking contest. Go check out her layout and click on that “Vote for me” button, would you? It’s simple and just takes a second!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

We have nine kittens and we desperately need to find homes for them. All nine are white/light tan striped with blue eyes. We live near Athens Ga. If any of your readers are nearby please send me an email. We have loved on these kittens from day one but we can not keep them as we already have five cats and four dogs. Thank you Robyn for passing this along to your readers!

If anyone in the area is interested, email me and I’ll pass your email along to Lisa!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The Godfather Catmother

“A month ago, he bought the movie rights to this book. A best seller – and the main character, it’s a guy just like me, I, uh, I wouldn’t even have to act, just be myself. Oh, Catmother, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.”

“You can act like a man! What’s the matter with you? Is this how you turned out? A Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman. ‘Wahhhhhhh! What can I do! What can I do!'”

“What is that nonsense. Ridiculous. You spend time with your family?”

“Sure I do.”

“Good. ‘Cause a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man. Come here…You look terrible. I want you to eat. I want you to rest a while. And in a month from now, this Hollywood bigshot’s gonna give you what you want.”

“It’s too late, they start shooting in a week.”

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

I know this picture is horribly grainy, but I took it as proof that the hummingbirds are still moving through. I need a pet hummingbird. They kill me with the cute.

Nothin’ happier than a chicken taking a dust bath.

This young rooster is gorgeous. He’s not acting at all like a rooster, though – not trying to crow, not trying to get him some lovin’. We’re not sure what’s going on with him.

Rock star. Have I mentioned I think she’s one of our prettiest chickens?

This baby’s not a baby anymore!

Gathering ’round the water bowl.

We call this rooster “No-tail” for obvious reasons. He was keeping an eye on some of the dust-bathing women when he froze and looked skyward. I expected to see a hawk circling in the sky, but saw nothing at all.

“I has no tail.”

I think No-tail is awfully pretty. I especially like his black “eyebrows.”

Michele would like everyone to know that up in these here parts, he is now the man. You will note just how impressed the wimminfolk are.

YouTube link

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Brudderly love lives on.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

2007: I don’t know what you do to surprise your husband – lingerie, or a gift from the local “adult” store, perhaps – but I know the direct way to Fred’s heart, and mowing the lawn so he was free to come home and work on his shed instead of having to mow the lawn made him one happy man.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: How’d you like to wake up in the dark and see the Baldwin noggin coming toward you? I bet your life would flash in front of your eyes.
2003: “Freakass freak” is two words.
2002: As I pointed out to Fred this afternoon, it makes me uncomfortable when Dr. Phil is nice.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Last year when I was in Maine, my friend Liz lent me seasons 1 through 4 of The Footballers’ Wives. I finally got around to starting it last week, and I have to say it’s a total soap opera, but I’m enjoying it. I find myself compelled to call people “love” and to say “innit?”, … Continue reading “9-16-08”

Last year when I was in Maine, my friend Liz lent me seasons 1 through 4 of The Footballers’ Wives. I finally got around to starting it last week, and I have to say it’s a total soap opera, but I’m enjoying it. I find myself compelled to call people “love” and to say “innit?”, and so on. I’m certainly enjoying all the naked male behinds that pop across the screen pretty regularly, too. For the first five episodes or so, I thought Kyle’s name was Carl, though, because I swear to god that’s how they’re pronouncing it.

In any case, I’m enjoying it. I’m most of the way through season 1 and Liz assures me that the show only gets better from here on out!

I should have known she’d be right about my enjoying the show. She was the one who introduced me to Seinfeld (years before I ever watched the show, she’d call me up and tell me about an episode she’d just watched), she turned me on to Oz, and she’s been watching The Office from the beginning, so clearly she knows a good show when she sees one!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Someone (hi, Elaine!) recently sent me a Think Geek catalog. I’d been to Think Geek before, but not in a while, and I like having catalogs around to look through when whatever we’re watching is boring me.

I swear to you, if this t-shirt:


came in anything other than black, I would already own it. I laughed out loud when I saw that.

I also like Do Not Want! and You read my t-shirt. That’s enough social interaction for one day.

… must not buy t-shirts, no matter how funny they are. Must. NOT.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


It only got to the mid-70s yesterday, and it was HEAVENLY. It won’t last – it’s supposed to go up into the lower 80s in a few days – but it was nice while it lasted, and I know it’s going to cool off soon enough. It was way less humid than it’s been, so I got a ton of towels and cleaning rags washed and hung out to dry, and they dried in record time.

You know how when the weather starts to get cooler, people tend to look around in surprise and say “WHERE did Summer go?!”

Ever notice no one EVER says “WHERE did Winter go?!”?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


“Will the 11:10 box to Hell be leaving on time, please? I have a very important appointment with the Big Guy.”

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Just call us the three bears.
2004: small things that will remind me of my grandmother.
2003: Man, this whole running-a-business thing is strictly FOR THE FUCKING BIRDS.
2002: Fred (as if narrating a book): “She was a bitter-butted woman….”
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


There’s a limited pet food recall going on – if you use anything manufactured by Mars Petcare, give this a look. + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   Okay, the Crooked Acres house tour is up, beginning here. If you’d like … Continue reading “9-15-08”

There’s a limited pet food recall going on – if you use anything manufactured by Mars Petcare, give this a look.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Okay, the Crooked Acres house tour is up, beginning here.

If you’d like to see it in the future, over there in the right-hand sidebar, under the “about” heading, there’s a “Virtual House Tour” link. Click on it, and it’ll take you to a page that lists the house tour for this house and our two previous houses, as well as the “before and after” renovation tour.

It took me hours and hours of work to get this house tour up and running. But I did it ’cause I LURVE YOU.

If you have a question about anything you see, or you’d like to see a close-up picture of anything or there’s something I didn’t get a shot of that you want to see, feel free to ask.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Now that the hatching is over (we ended up with 17 chicks from an original 24 eggs. That’s pretty damn good!), Fred moved all the babies out to the brooder in the garage (along with the older chicks we got last week), and put the camera out there.

Check out the Brooder Cam.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


I spent all day – ALL DAY – Saturday cleaning the house. For the first time in ages I did a deep cleaning of the foster kitty room. I was in there almost two hours, moving stuff around, vacuuming everywhere, vacuuming the cat tree, scrubbing the litter box and refilling it with clean litter. The whole time, Kara would sit and watch me, run off when I ran the vacuum, then come back to see what else I was doing.

I cleaned all three bathrooms, I dusted (dusting being the one chore I hate above every other chore in existence), I vacuumed, I went around with the canister vacuum and vacuumed the cat tree downstairs, the set of carpet-covered steps near the window in the computer room, vacuumed all the cat hair off the couch and couch cushions, then flipped and rearranged the cushions. I even moved the couches and vacuumed underneath them (there was surprisingly little dust, but I did find a petrified okra pod under one couch!).

It took me ’til dinner time to get the house cleaned, and I swear to god the house doesn’t look any different at ALL.

Since I worked so hard getting the house in order on Saturday, I spent Sunday doing plenty of slacking. I had thought that I might rake up all the leaves and bird seed on the ground outside the side door, but it was too windy for that, and then it started raining. So before it rained, I went around with the long-handled clippers and cut down the branches that have been hanging too close to the ground so that next time I mow the lawn (next year, at the rate things go around here) I won’t have to keep ducking under them.

And then I read for a long time, and then I took a nap, and then I read some more, and I finished up the afternoon by making a late lunch/ early dinner of crockpotted ham roast, green beans, and corn on the cob.


Except for one trip to Closeville for dinner on Saturday, we didn’t leave the house, except for the trips Fred made to the corner gas station to fill up our cars. He paid $4.09 per gallon on Saturday morning, but when he was there filling up my car, there was a woman inside telling the owner that a few cities away, gas was going for almost $6 a gallon. Lordy.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


So, Friday wasn’t much fun at all. I left the house around 10:30, to take Zoe and Kaylee to the pet store. Adoptions were starting at 1:00, so I wanted to get them in their cage and settled and have a few hours to adapt to their surroundings.

They’d only ever been in a carrier in a car once before, and that was when they went to be spayed, so they were less than thrilled about the trip in the car. They both burrowed under the lap quilt I’d put in there, and whenever I had to stop at a stop sign or red light, they’d pop out, meow at me, and burrow under again.

At the store, I let them out into the kitten room while I got their cage ready, and they both did that low-and-slinky walk that cats do when they’re nervous and scared. I gave them a lot of kisses and cuddles, but eventually I had to either put them in the cage and leave, or take them home with me and face a divorce.

(Fred outranks cats, if you were wondering. But just barely. I’m not sure I outrank the chickens, though.)

They did NOT want to be in that cage, and they weren’t even interested in sniffing around, they just sat there and stared at me like “Okay, ha ha, very funny, let us OUT.”

15DSC03107 15DSC03113
15DSC03115 15DSC03123
I went outside the cat room and watched them, and they sat there waiting for me to come back, which is when I got seriously teary-eyed, and had to go out to the car to compose myself because I had to go back IN and buy bags of cat food for our cats. The cat food our cats eat is not, of course, available at Wal-Mart or Target, and 9 times out of 10 when I do my Thursday morning stint I’m home before the store even opens.

So I went back in and got the bags of cat food and peeked down the aisle at the kittens, who had given up on waiting and were sniffing around their cage. Zoe even batted at a toy mouse. That made me feel marginally better.

‘Til I got home and Kara gave me the wide-eyed nervous look of “I can’t find the kittens anywhere, I think I lost them!” and then proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend running hopefully toward me every time I went upstairs only to look disappointed when she saw no kittens in my arms, and coming down to look around the downstairs often. I gave her a lot of extra attention and by the end of Sunday she seemed to be back to her usual self, so maybe she’s dealing with the loss. I hope she is, anyway.

Poor Kara.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +



Imagine my surprise Friday when I went across the back yard toward the chicken yard to check for eggs, and realized that among the greenery in the back yard where the cats (especially Tommy and Joe Bob) like to hang out, is a Rose of Sharon bush. I’d been planning to cut down that greenery over the winter, but I’m going to be leaving that Rose of Sharon bush alone. I think they have the prettiest flowers, and I especially like the flowers on this one.

On the Rose of Sharon bush, a bug. I think it’s an assassin bug and I’ve heard they have painful bites, so I left it alone.

Hopefully the cats will leave it alone, too.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


All the expensive cat beds and cat condos in this house, and they’re fighting over this one damn box. There’s always a cat in the box, looking smugly at all the other cats like “Ha ha! I have claimed the box as mine, and from here on out, it shall be known as The Poo Cave!” (Or the Boog Cave or the Tom Cave, etc.)


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2007: No entry.
2006: He shifted position and eyed Fred with bright-eye malevolence.
2005: Maybe I just like to bitch, y’think?
2004: Waiting for Ivan.
2003: No more Benifer. How sad.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Speaking of N Sync – that Lance Bass is a cutie, but I get the distinct feeling that although the lights are on, no one’s home.