I FINALLY read The Thirteenth Tale, and let me say – the many of you who recommended the book? You were right. That was a really good book! You know how you really really want to finish a book to see what happened, but then you really really just don’t want it to end? That’s … Continue reading “10-24-08”

I FINALLY read The Thirteenth Tale, and let me say – the many of you who recommended the book? You were right. That was a really good book! You know how you really really want to finish a book to see what happened, but then you really really just don’t want it to end? That’s how this book was for me. I may have to think about it for a few days and then read it again.

This morning I started Winning After Losing, by Stacey Halprin (those of you who watch Oprah probably remember her – she weighed 550 pounds at one point and had weight loss surgery). I read the acknowledgements section in the front, and it caused me great emotional distress to find that she used “lol” in said acknowledgements.

I know there are a lot of things that start out on the internet and make it into real life, and many of those things are good things, but “lol” should not be included. “lol” should be shot on sight when seen outside the internet. I honestly came very close to closing the book and tossing it on the giveaway pile after I saw “lol” (and did I mention it’s in there TWICE in the first three pages?), but I’m going to give it another chance.

I will BURN that book if I spot a 🙂 , though.

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How’s your blood pressure?

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You mentioned this awhile back, but I didn’t get a chance to respond earlier, about washing one’s face with some type of oil concoction. I haven’t tried pure oil, but for a time I did wash my face with Orange Essence Facial Cleanser from Burt’s Bees, which is very much an oil-type cleanser. It was OK, but I wasn’t thrilled enough with it to continue using. However, what I do use is a mild Cetaphil-type cleanser at night, followed by a thin layer of Aquaphor all over my face. Anyway, the Aquaphor totally rocks. My combination, temperamental skin really responds well to the Aquaphor. I think it just calms my skin down. I didn’t expect it to work, my T-zone is super oily, but it is absolutely fabulous. Just thought I’d share!

Thanks for the input! I still have a hard time thinking about using oil to clean my face, but I should probably get over it and give it a try.

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Atlanta Housewives– Robyn, I live within 7 miles of where these “ladies” do and I am amazed that type of behavior goes on. I guess that shows you what having lots of money and too much time on your hands can do to people.

This show is just amazing. I’m going to cut and paste from an email I sent out about this week’s Real Housewives of Atlanta (just so I don’t have to come up with original thoughts on the show):

I am SO shocked that Kim is 29, because I thought she was more along the lines of a well-preserved 40. I’m sorry, that girl just does not look good for 29. When you’re 29, you’re still supposed to be all dewy-skinned! All the makeup probably doesn’t help. And to hear her compare herself to Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood? PLEASE. Those songs are HORRIFIC, I can’t believe she’d really be serious about bringing them to a (never done country music before!) honest to god music producer. Who did not look SO interested in producing a record for her, just in getting his face in front of the camera. And of course Kim wants to be a singer. EVERYONE wants to be a singer. Hell, I want to be a singer. Problem: I CAN’T SING WORTH A SHIT. I bet the fact that Kim’s never sung around her friends is a great big hint that she can’t sing. But not to worry, they can accomplish anything with technology in the studios these days. Maybe Kim and Jo from OC can tour together.

I don’t know how old Deshawn is, but she’s VERY naive to think that you can toss together a fundraiser in a few weeks and seriously hope for a million dollars. This is going to be a spectacular crash and burn. And if she’d said “joooory” instead of “jewelry” one more time, I was going to have to take a quick trip to Atlanta and strangle her.

That letter to NeNe from her aunt – did you pause while they showed the sheet of paper online? I did (both times!) and read it, and my god. My eyes were crossed. Auntie WantsSomeMoney is not the best writer. I couldn’t really even understand most of what I read, though I got the part where now that NeNe has money, she needs to share the wealth. Isn’t it interesting that the aunt who apparently did NOT bring her up is the one who has her hand out?

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That kitchen device is a potato masher.


Potato ricer or masher, and pastry cutter. Some potato ricers are more like a garlic press and traditionally a ricer has smaller openings, but it’s kind of a catchall phrase.

Get out, you guys, with your fancy terminology!

Speaking of potato ricers, I have one that’s like a big garlic press, and I always use it for mashed potatoes and it works fabulously. I highly recommend the potato ricer!

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Hey Robyn, I know you said your hand-held vacuum wasn’t good for much but sucking up wasps, but will you please ask your readers if anyone can recommend a good one? I am having a major flea problem and I would like to hand-vacuum the cat condos and human furniture with something that has enough suction that I could believe it was sucking up any fleas and flea eggs/dirt.

Megan said: Ginni, I also have the Dyson handheld, though I just got it a few weeks ago. I don’t know if they’ve made modifications or if I just got lucky with a “good” one, but mine works really well. I agree with Robyn that it doesn’t work as well as the big Dyson, but for a small handheld, it’s awesome!

And ChristineQ said: I have the Dyson handheld and it is HORRIBLE. Brand new and fully charged it only worked for about 5 minutes. It did an ok job during that 5 minutes but I bought it with the purpose of vacuuming my staircase in mind and 5 minutes gets me through about 4 steps. Now, it won’t even charge up anymore. I’ve since graduated to a Dirt Devil (I think, it’s red anyway) handheld that plugs into the wall. Works like a dream!

So how about it readers, who has a handheld that they love and adore? Tell us about it!

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Robyn, you were in my dream last night!!! LOL! I just moved in real life, and in the dream I had moved into this weird house and you were there helping me unpack and put things away… RANDOM! I woke up and started laughing this morning! And Fred was there but he didn’t look like Fred. You looked like you, though.


I had a Bitchypoo dream! Except you weren’t in it, only your cats. I dreamt I was at my father’s house, and my friend came over with her cat, and the cat looked very different from the last time I’d seen her. The next day, in the drema, I found out my friend had had to leave because she got a migraine, but the cat had been left behind, and could I find her for her? Only now it’s your house, and I’m going from room to room picking sleepy kitties off of cat beds to see if they are the missing cat. They were all very mellow about it. I remember finding Spanky in a room on the top floor (your house was a multi-story haunted-house victorian) and guessing that it was Fred’s room because Spanky was sleeping there. Then when I finally left the house, I took a wrong turn and ended up at a dog shelter, where a mushy doberman followed me around giving me puppy eyes.

I think my subconscious is telling me it’s time to adopt another pet.

I agree – can I interest you in a wee little kitty? 🙂

I LOVE IT when you guys dream about me (or the cats), it always cracks me up!

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Is there a pea under that pile o’ cat beds?

2008-10-20 (9)

There was! Thus the reason the princess looks so disgruntled.

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The banana peel thingy is good for roses also. Just bury the peel within a handspan of the base of the rosebush. Just deep enough to keep it covered so that it decomposes into the soil. It’s the potassium that makes it great for tomatoes and roses.

So, is it just certain plants that banana peels work well for, or is it all plants? Because I’ll happily make a banana cake a week if it would help our garden grow well. It’s a sacrifice I’ll make, if I have to!

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Hey Robyn, just wanted to share a tip about the butternut squash, or any squash for that matter. Unless you like the particular texture of squash that’s oven baked, you can also microwave it. I often make spaghetti squash. I serve it with my homemade spaghetti sauce. Hubby and kids prefer pasta so I make pasta for them, and I don’t want to eat AFTER them, so while the water for the pasta is boiling, I cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, sit the squash half (I only make half at a time since it’s only for me) on a plate or in a shallow bowl, fill the hole where the seeds were, with water, and microwave on high for about 8 minutes (depending on the size of the squash and the strength of your microwave, of course). I haven’t baked a spaghetti squash since someone shared this method.

I always microwave my spaghetti squash, but how is it that it never occurred to me that I could microwave my butternut squash, too? Life will be so much easier now that I don’t have to wait around for my butternut squash to be done!

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you HAVE to see this if you haven’t already

Oh, I’ve seen it. And it gives me many ideas (none of which Fred will implement, damn him!). For one, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a walkway around the top of the foster room, with stairs leading up to it? I bet the foster kittens would LOVE that!

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I am so jealous of those who can have beans for lunch (quick, easy, tasty, inexpensive)…. I lurve me some beans, but my tummy/intestines do NOT. I could fill a goodyear blimp with the gas that appears after I eat beans. Le sigh.

Amen to that. Fred LOVES to use the excuse “You fed me black beans, what did you expect?!” if I get mad at him for farting in the evenings. Hmph.

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Spanky is my Pepe Le Pew.


Um, nevermind the kittehs (who are completely adorable, BTW) how do you not squeeze the crap out of Spanky? He’s just heartbreakingly gorgeous.

I can’t deny that – Spanky is one good-looking boy. He’s so clean and white and sweet and funny. In the evenings, he sits next to Fred on the couch, and you can just SEE him becoming overwhelmed with love for Fred. He’ll politely put his paw out and tap Fred until Fred pets him. If you speak to him, he “talks” back, and expects you to know what he’s saying. He is just the sweetest thing on earth. Pardon me while I go smooch him atop his head.

Also, he has very silky fur that’s just a pure pleasure to touch. He’s not just a pretty face, though. If it’s time to treat the cats with Frontline or Advantage, you HAVE to treat Spanky first and take him by surprise, because if you don’t, he KNOWS what you’re doing, and you’ll never get hold of him. He does not care for the Frontline or Advantage.

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Are you watching True Blood (HBO)?

I certainly am, and I’m liking it a lot. I wasn’t sure about Anna Pacquin as Sookie at first, but now I think she’s perfect for the role. Tara annoyed me initially, but now I really like her (is it just me, or has her super-thick accent calmed down a little? It was almost a parody in the first couple of episodes, it seemed like.). Every time Bill says “Sssssssoo-kay”, Fred and I repeat it about a hundred times to each other.

I like Bill, but I LOVE Sam.

Did anyone else notice in the first episode that when Sookie came into the kitchen where Gran was sitting, Gran was reading a book by Charlaine Harris? I was probably a little too amused by that.

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I work at home and whenever a client comes into my “office” my computer makes a doorbell ringing sound. I usually have this turned up pretty high so I can do stuff around the house while working and it never fails…when it goes off all 3 cats in the house run in panic as if someone were actually at the door! It’s absolutely hilarious and I enjoy it every single time.

We’ve had the cats freak out when there’s a doorbell sound on TV. Which is funny, because our actual doorbell doesn’t chime like a doorbell; some dork (NOT ME) set it to play “It’s a small world” (we really need to change that).

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I think you need to hold a basics class on using the cat door with Newt and Maxi. Maybe when they whined to come in, you go out the door with the cat door and lead them to the door and push them in – really hard. OK, maybe very gently. Maybe they’ll get it.

Oh, Maxi KNOWS how to use the cat door, and she does frequently. Just sometimes she feels the very strong need to go into the SIDE outdoors or the FRONT outdoors and not the BACK outdoors.

I’ve tried teaching Newt to use the cat door, but he’s just too freaked out by it. He’s actually not as bad about wanting in and out as Maxi – usually he waits until I’m heading in the general direction of the door and then he “leads” me to the door (and he’s not as picky about WHICH outdoors he goes to; if I ignore him “leading” me to the side door, he’ll attempt to “lead” me to the back door if I’m headed in that direction.

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Well, you officially passed into “crazy cat people” territory a few cats ago, so, eh. What’s one more? I’m glad to see that she’s *home* now.

I object! The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee lady says that it takes 13 cats to be classified crazy cat people. That gives us a nice three-cat cushion!

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I can’t remember if I originally saw this on your site or not, (galloping Alzheimer’s, I swear) but in case not:

Oh my god. That is HILARIOUS! I just choked on my water, watching that!

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I’m glad Kara’s staying.. and here I was thinking Delmar was going to be the 10th!! will he be the 11th?

He will not. STOP THAT.

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I suggested we foster kittens at one point; Darren said flat out “No” because we’d end up with about 50 cats. We is both softies like that.

We’ve been fostering for three and a half years – and we actually stopped for almost a year after we adopted Sugarbutt and Tommy, at Fred’s insistence that he didn’t want any more strange cats in the house until Tommy and Suggie were old enough to… I don’t remember what the issue was. I think he wanted them to be old enough to not pick up every disease that came into the house via strange cats or something. When we started, we had four cats: Spanky, Miz Poo, Mister Boogers, and Spot. Now we have TEN, though Maxi and Newt don’t count in this discussion, since they weren’t fosters. So we’ve adopted FIVE of our fosters. Five. We’ve more than doubled our cat population.

We’re so screwed.

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Now, be honest… is Fred building a Chicken Mansion-Coop or do you guys just need a barn for your herd of cats? You guys are gonna be cat herding very soon…

Sometimes, when I walk through the house and the cats all scatter in front of me (especially on days like today when it’s raining out, so everyone’s inside) I feel like I’m herding them already.

I tried to convince Fred that he should build an outbuilding so we can foster even MORE cats, but he doesn’t seem to be going for it. I can’t imagine why. 🙂

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Am I the only one who really didn’t see this coming? I was (am) fully expecting one of the current group to be staying though. Which one will it be? Cornbread??? where did that come from? So Robyn, how many goats are y’all going to get? *snicker*

I’m not worried about the current group, because they’re little and cute and I know they’ll be adopted fairly quickly (kittens always get adopted faster) and it won’t be by US.

We are getting NO goats. Now that Fred’s fencing in the back forty for the chickens, we have no room for goats. Ha!

By the way, reader Liz suggested the name Captain Cornbread (CC for short) and I kind of like it. I suggested Sargeant Beans to Fred, and he didn’t think it was nearly as funny as I did.

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Well, get her moved out of the fosters section in the side bar into the permanent residents!!! I’m verrrry sorrrrrrry, but you are officially a crazy cat lady. Altho, from all I can tell (unless you lie about your daily life), your house smells fine!

This weekend, I’ll be updating the sidebar. Maybe later today. It’s not that it’s such a complicated thing to do, I just have to get motivated to DO it.

As far as I know – and unless people are lying to me – my house smells okay. That’s what I worry about the most, that my house will stink. I’m doing my best to ensure that my house doesn’t smell like boiled ass.

If you ever come to my house and it stinks like a great big litterbox PLEASE TELL ME.

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I’m a little confused as to why there is so much ceremony over the official name….we all know you guys will call her something totally different anyway. 😛

Hey now, we DO call Sugarbutt, Tommy, Joe Bob, Spanky, Newt, and Stinkerbelle by their names! I am leaning toward just calling her Kara until her nickname presents itself, though.

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When you decide to get a kitty – go get him or her. Why make her wait in a sad, tiny space. I agree with Fred. Good to see he did not wait.

Because I wanted to give her the chance to be adopted Tuesday night, is why!

(I’m glad Fred didn’t wait, though. I sure am liking having her around!)

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I read that line about the monkeys, and for a split second thought, “Fred and Robyn have monkeys now? Man, these people are crazy!”

Oh, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!

(I kid. I hope.)

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I’ve got a question for you about kittens/cats. I have a 4 month old kitten that seems to have allergies or a cold or something. He sneezes and one of his eyes has a clear discharge sometimes. It’s always the same eye that is leaky and it’s never gunky or anything. But he doesn’t seem affected by it at all. He’s been looked at by three vets and they all said he’s fine, but that just seems weird to me. Have you ever had a sneezy, snotty cat that was just naturally sneezy and snotty? (Seriously, when he sneezes and gets a little snot smeared under his nose, it’s just about the cutest thing ever. I know…I’m weird). He’s been this way since he was first brought in to the shelter, according to his previous foster mom. Any ideas?

Mister Boogers has an issue with one of his eyes, especially in the spring and fall. One eye has discharge, and he tends toward sneeziness. We give him chlorpheniramine, which the vet originally prescribed, and then which we started buying at WalMart. It helps to stop him being so sneezy, and clears his eye up. (Obviously, you’ll want to check with your vet before you start giving your kitten anything!)


Also, Val said:

Kim, It could be allergies, or I have a kitty who has the worst sneezing and runny eyes. Nothing I can do for him. When I got him, he had a URI for several months that went untreated (I’m still mad about that). The doctor said the sometimes if a URI goes untreated, they get scars in their sinus cavity and they are stuck with permanent sinus problems. As long as the goop isn’t yellow or green, you are OK. Gus could care less – he’s still the boss of my 3 cats. I’m always cleaning the goop from his eyes and the sneeze remnants from the walls. He also has the dirtiest ears I’ve seen in a cat. Poor baby.

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2008-10-24 (4)
Two in the lap, one in the waiting area.

More kitten pics over at L&H.

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2008-10-24 (6)
“My stump. MINE.”

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2007: Then I’m sure they hung up and said “We just bought ourselves six weeks of NO CALLS from Mr. And3rson. Boo-yah!”
2006: Okay. I have a LOT of favorite things about the house, I cannot lie.
2005: “That makes me want to get pregnant and have a baby, just so I can name it Lavernicus,” I admitted. “That WOULD be an excellent name.”
2004: No entry.
2003: It took two days from the first time I called Stanley “Beanie-bean” in front of Fred before Fred started doing it too. He’s such a copycat.
2002: “She was giving me a handjob under the water, and I didn’t stop her, even though I’m not attracted to her, BECAUSE I AM ONLY HUMAN.”
2001: Fred is a freak.
2000: “Uhhhh….” I said, casting around for something smart-ass or impressive to say.
1999: My desk is a total shitheap, because I’m Robyn and I’m a slob