Australians, I have a bone to pick with you. We’re friends, right? I tell you my problems, you tell me yours (in that adorable accent) and then we bond and tell each other that we’ve lost too much weight and those jeans make your ass look fabulous. So then, why. Why. WHY did none of … Continue reading “11/21/08”

Australians, I have a bone to pick with you. We’re friends, right? I tell you my problems, you tell me yours (in that adorable accent) and then we bond and tell each other that we’ve lost too much weight and those jeans make your ass look fabulous.

So then, why. Why. WHY did none of you share with me the magically tasty Tim Tams? Did you want them all for yourselves?

I can’t say that I blame you if you were saving them all for yourselves, actually.

So I am peeved at you, Australians, and the only way I can see forgiving you this breach of friendship is if you send me a year’s supply of Tim Tams, immediately.

Seriously, though. I saw the packages of Tim Tams at Target yesterday and I was all “Um, okay. I’ve heard of these. I wonder if they’re good.” and I was hungry so I bought a pack of the chocolate creme Tim Tams and brought them home, and after lunch I was looking for something sweet to finish off the lunch experience and I spotted the Tim Tams, and I opened the pack and ate one and the birds sang and the cats purred and my life was complete.

You complete me, Tim Tams.

I think it’s probably a lucky thing that Target is a half hour drive away, so I can’t just run to the store to buy some.

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A small section about Survivor. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen last night’s show!

I have to admit that I haven’t been that into this season of Survivor, but that blind-side last night, where Randy handed over what he was POSITIVE was the immunity idol and then smirked, only to get his ass voted off the island? PERFECTION. I actually did a Roscoe P. Coltrane chortle when the voting was going on.

Does anyone else think that Matty bears a striking resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio? And when he does that dorky-ass laugh, he strongly resembles Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

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Out of curiosity, do you not like the mini-blinds? You can hang the curtains over the blinds, insuring your privacy, but still covering up the mini blinds.

I didn’t really like them in the kitchen because they were hard to clean (although, y’know, it’s not like I tried to clean them all that often) and the ones in the stairwell and bathrooms looked horrible because of the ladybug (or I guess I should say “Asian Lady Beetle”) invasion of a few weeks ago. I like the fact that the curtains in the bathrooms and stairwell let in the light without my having to open them every morning and close them every night.

The saga of the miniblinds in the kitchen goes as follows: I took down the miniblinds and I took down the miniblind hardware, breaking the bracket in the process because I’m a great big klutz. Then I put up the new curtains, and lo and behold, guess what? When you put curtains like that on the windows? You can’t see through them, and apparently I REALLY like to look out the window when I’m doing dishes. DUH. What would be the point of windows in the kitchen otherwise, I ask you? So I thought about pulling the curtains to the side but they looked like crap. Then I thought about putting shades in the windows, but was concerned – because of the molding on the side of the window frame – that they would stick out at the top. Which isn’t a problem, except that there’s a limited amount of space between the window frame and the light. So Fred said, “Hey. If it will SHUT YOU THE FUCK UP, howsabout I stop and get the nice blinds (plantation-style) that we’ve been replacing the miniblinds with, and we put those there instead?”

And I was so frustrated that I just wanted it to all go away, so I agreed and then when Fred started to put up the plantation blinds in the kitchen, he said “Huh. That’s not going to work, they stick out too far at the top, you can’t put your favorite rooster valances back up if we have plantation blinds.” and I threw myself off the nearest cliff and I whined and moaned and threw some cats and then I said “WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?” and he said “These plantation blinds don’t have to go in these windows. Don’t we have some miniblinds in some windows that we haven’t replaced yet?” and I remembered that there were two windows in the front room that still had miniblinds in them, so I told him that, and in pretty short order he’d put the plantation blinds in the front room and the miniblinds in the kitchen windows, and then he told me to calm the fuck down and stop that shit, and so I have.

(For the moment.)

My next project will be to actually get my ass in gear and go around and shorten all the blinds in the house to the correct length so that they look decent. FUN!

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Don’t forget to include your take on last night’s Real Housewives of Atlanta episode.
I can’t wait to see the reunion show next week!

My bullet points on this week’s Real Housewives:

1. Kim and the smoking and her kids begging her to stop, oy. The more I see of Kim, the more I just realllly don’t like her.

2. Did it seem to anyone else that that call from Dallas Austin was him laying the groundwork for disappearing and never answering another call from her again?

3. I like NeNe, but I really think she’s probably best taken in small doses in real life; I bet she gets overwhelming pretty rapidly. Her friend – whose name I cannot remember, is it Dwight? – LOVES to use the word “Dreadful”, doesn’t he? He did it so many times during their conversation it made me laugh.

4. I think DeShawn’s got a good heart, but she really strikes me as not the sharpest knife in the drawer. And the part of the show, after she and her husband were playing basketball, when she was asking him about his future plans and he looked at her like “Why are you acting like you don’t know this?” made me laugh out loud.

5. Sheree strikes me as truly genuine when she’s talking about her clothing line and how much she loves having something of her own, but good god, girlfriend does NOT know what she’s doing, does she?

6. I love Lisa, though I think her insistence on making Sheree and Kim interact with NeNe strikes me as, I don’t know, pushy maybe? Why can’t it be enough that they’re civil to each other, why must they have heartfelt interactions?

This show ended on such an upbeat we’ve-overcome-our-differences note that I am DYING to know what happened between the season finale and the reunion show. I hope it’s not one of those cases where they hype the hell out of it and then it turns out to be NOTHING.

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I think what you would have done if you’d seen the men go to steal your chickens is run to get the camera! That way you’d have photographic evidence against them AND you could blog about it. Duh – Fred is so silly sometimes.

I suspect you’re right!!!

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Um, possibly you have written about this (I think you have and that makes me a Total Skimmer, tm Jane. Or Tessie?) but have you considered getting a cow? How about ducks?

We did talk about getting ducks before we had the pond filled in, but haven’t really talked about it since. We talked about getting a cow, too, but with the chickens taking up the back forty, I don’t know that we’ve got the room. We could probably fit a mini cow back there, though!

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I gots to say something. I went to OTP [Old Time Pottery] on Wednesday afternoon because of your entry (and because I happened to be in the ‘hood.) THEY HAVE POTTERY. Lots of vases near the lamps, especially. So now you can go at your will, because it doesn’t violate Fred’s rule.

They must keep the pottery in the one section of the store I haven’t been through, then!

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Have you thought of getting a Wii? Instead of planting my sorry, lazy ass on the couch after dinner, I’ve been making my daughter play Wii Sports and Wii Fit with me. I even got my husband to do the advanced step aerobics on Wii Fit last night and I must say that the laugh I got out of it made the game worth every penny! There are also some other pretty fun games to play–Mario Galaxy is AWESOME and was a game that the three of us played together. The Xbox 360 is fun too, though.

We’ve talked about it, but I don’t know how much we’d use it. I’m not really one for playing games, haven’t been since I kicked Super Mario Brothers’ ASS back in the early 90s.

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I found this site on another blog this morning and thought, who would like this? Robyn! So, have fun! Some of the games are really hard!

That site is just too cute!

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Have you thought of re-naming Crooked Acres to the Chicken Ranch? Hee! Ask Fred to ‘splain it to you.

Fred doesn’t need to explain what the Chicken Ranch is to me, I already knew!

The idea of changing the name to The Chicken Ranch does amuse me, because if any Smallville residents pounded on the door, all appalled, I could claim ignorance and then ask how they knew the name of a brothel in Nevada.

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In regards to pantry moths…after buying flour or any grain like that I put it in a bag and pop it into the freezer for 24 hours. It’s supposed to kill anything that’s in there. Generally, there’s eggs in most grains so that’s the quickest way to deal with that. If you get them throwing out the items that they’re in doesn’t always do the trick. I cleaned out my cabinets several times. Finally I got so disgusted I took everything out of the cabinets and sprayed them liberally with a bleach spray (clorox cleanup or something like that) and wiped them all down and let me them dry overnight. I haven’t had the little visitors back. Just a couple of suggestions.

Do you find that your flour gets kind of lumpy after you keep it in the freezer? I have to sift my flour before I use it, and I’ve never needed to do that before; and the only difference is that I froze my flour before putting it in the canister.

Would you believe that I no sooner posted my entry last Friday, than I went to the pantry to see if we had quick-cooking oatmeal and found that it was SOLID pantry flies and crawling with the worms? The chickens sure did enjoy it when I tossed it to them.

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FYI-I was nosing about Target tonight & they had teeny Santa hats in with the dog apparel. Maybe that would work for the cats.

We do have pet-size Santa hats – I was looking for tiny ones, like such:

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because tiny hats are FUNNY AS SHIT on cats. Unfortunately, that tiny hat (which I cut off an ornament) refused to stay atop the kitty heads long enough for a really good picture, so our Christmas cards this year don’t include tiny Santa hats.

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I keep my chocolate chips in the freezer. I don’t use them very often, and you can just toss them right into whatever while frozen.

I am embarrassed to admit that that NEVER occurred to me. I’ve moved the chocolate chips to the freezer, and I’m sure the pantry moths are crying bitterly right now because the Ghiardelli milk chocolate chips are no longer available to them. Take THAT, pantry moths!

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I still have the Tubby t-shirt with that on the back. It’s my favorite Sunday afternoon, movie watching, popcorn eating, sitting on the couch and being lazy shirt.

Though the Tubby t-shirts with “meh” on the back aren’t available anymore (CafePress started charging an additional $3 to have printing on the backs of shirts), you can still get Tubby swag (with the “Meh” on the front) here. (All items are marked up by $1; all proceeds go to the no-kill cat shelter I volunteer for.)

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Jewelry armoire is brilliant!! Anyone who wants one should wait until after Christmas; last year Target clearanced out the $100+ armoires for $25….score….I bought 3 (2 for me and one for my daughter…I keep my small purses, extra wallet, and so on in addition to jewelry, in them).

Keep that in mind, y’all! We’ve had our armoire for almost a week, and I can report that it’s working out even better than I’d hoped. Nothing has accumulated on top of it (except for the occasional cat), and I love that!

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So, I know you and Fred have read a ton of books on farming/canning/raising animals/gardening/etc. We’re making a move (sudden, and completely unexpected) from Columbia, MO to a tiny town in Michigan to live with my brother and his family on a small farm. You and Fred have inspired wifelet and I to raise chickens, garden, etc. So, can you list some books that have helped you out? Or if you’ve put them in entries that are easy to find, I’d even be good with links. We’re overwhelmed, but excited! Thanks for any help!

The absolute hands-down favorite book on this subject (for both Fred and I) is Carla Emory’s Encyclopedia to Country Living. It’s a huge book and covers just about any topic you can think of. It’s a no-nonsense guide to gardening, raising animals, even slaughtering them if it comes down to it. It’s so interesting that if what we’re watching on TV isn’t interesting me, I’ll get the book out and open it to random pages and just read about whatever.

Fred really likes Storey’s Basic Country Skills and Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens – I haven’t really looked at them, but he swears by them.

We do have more books than that, but honestly I don’t think we’ve even bothered to open any but the Carla Emory and Storey books.

Fred also swears by the Backyard Chickens message board, there are a lot of people who frequent that board, and they’re good about helping out the “newbies.”

(Warning: chickens are absolutely addictive!)

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Robyn in a police car? Yeah, the first thing that came to mind was the accidental indecent exposure that several other people had thought of. But then I saw this video of a cat on a Roomba, and I had visions of one of the And3rson kitties taking a joy ride that got out of control, and… well… you can just imagine.

I dearly wish I could get one of our cats to ride the Roomba around. Instead, they all give the Roomba a wide berth.

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don’t forget to make hashbrown casserole for your thanksgiving brunch!

Fred’s parents will be bringing either hashbrown or grits casserole. I actually haven’t made hashbrown casserole in ages. I’m kind of having a craving for it, now!

My sister recently made the hashbrown casserole and added ham to it so she could have it as a main dish; apparently it was pretty good!

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Do your cats ever try to fool you into feeding them more than the regular times? Our dog has discovered if she acts excited and makes enthusiastic false charges at the door to the garage one of us will assume she hasn’t been fed yet. We call it her Jedi Dog Trick. “You have not yet fed the dog. You will now feed the dog.”

Now that we’ve moved Snackin! Time! back to 5:00 (that’s when it gets dark, and it’s the easiest way to get them in the house so I can shut them in for the night), the cats still think that they should have their snack when we get our evening snacks. They run into the kitchen, mill around and stare at me with their big, hopeful eyes, and ignore my yelling “YOU ALREADY HAD YOUR SNACK!” at them. They haven’t convinced me yet that they should get another snack, but hope springs eternal i the hearts of the Crooked Acres Gang.

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You could just shorten the curtain for the downstairs bathroom.

I can’t, actually – it has a scalloped hem, and I’m not that skilled. Also, the material is that sheer, gauzy stuff, and the idea of trying to hem it when I’m sewing-impaired gives me a virtual migraine.

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Can you catch a field mouse with scoop hands?

You can catch a field mouse with SCOOP HANDS, but you cannot keep the field mouse with SCOOP HANDS. SCOOP HANDS are kind of big and klutzy and not made for close work. SCOOP HANDS are good for herding field mice toward a big, empty container, though.

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Okra is from the Devil himself. I cannot bring myself to eat HAIRY vegetables. UGH.

I do like fried okra – or oven-fried – but other than that, I’m not crazy about it. It’s a good toy for cats, though. I recently found a dried okra pod that Kara’s kittens kicked into my closet, and Delmar played with it for a long time before he lost it somewhere.

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I have a Friday question for you! Yes, its the lady that wondered why you didn’t have a long-haired cat. Now I know the truth, and it’s name is HairBall. Are any of your cats sufferers? Do you treat any of them for it? Do you groom any of the kitties? Thanks 🙂 Now get a long haired cat so I can ask you more questions. (hee)

Every once in a while one of the cats has an issue with hair balls. We give them some Laxatone, and that generally takes care of it pretty quickly.

I’ve mentioned the Furminator before, right? That thing is MAGIC. It removes loose fur like you wouldn’t believe, and it does it fast. I highly recommend you give it a try. I don’t use it on the cats as often as I should, but it does an amazing job on them. I prefer to use it on them outside, because fur tends to get all over the place when you use it.

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Hey! You remember these kittens?

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They’re all grown up, and I got to see them yesterday!

See current pictures of them over at Love & Hisses. They’ve grown up to be such pretty little monkeys. And though the pictures won’t show it, I have to say that Dora has got the LONGEST tail I’ve ever seen on a cat. I must have mentioned that about a hundred times when I was visiting, but it was cracking me up.

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The kittens are starting to come downstairs more and more often. When I was watching TV last night, I glanced down the hallway and all four of them were sitting on the bottom step, watching Stinkerbelle watch them. They don’t stay downstairs for long – and it makes them nervous if I get up and move around while they’re downstairs – but this is a big step for them.

Lem’s the biggest explorer of the bunch. He was the first to come all the way downstairs, I see him running around downstairs more often than the others, and I expect he’ll be the first one to come hang out with us while we watch TV in the evening.

This is just the biggest bunch of lovebugs. Delmar, especially, would like me to spend my entire life laying on the bed with him, telling him how pretty he is, and petting him.

I need to get a humidifier. The dry air in the house is making it very staticky, and the kittens don’t appreciate trying to sniff my hand and getting zapped in the nose for their trouble.

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“Really? You think you wanna mess with me?”

More pictures over at L&H.

Also, pet store kitty pics over at L&H.

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Tommy hangs out on the back of Fred’s chair, and is clearly thrilled about it.

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2007: Go, Super Shopper, go!
2006: Right. Because six is perfectly normal, but SEVEN would be lunacy.
2005: Every time I contemplate reading those books, I get a “Good god, I DON’T WANNA!” sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, which to me is a sign that, y’know, I DON’T WANNA and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: Fuck him, too.
2001: It don’t get any better than that, nosir.
2000: I see enough nasty stuff in my life.
1999: No entry.