I am actually going to be traveling today, but because I love you, I did my usual Comment-Answering Extravaganza late last night. & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &   It’s that time of year! If you want a holiday … Continue reading “11-28-08”

I am actually going to be traveling today, but because I love you, I did my usual Comment-Answering Extravaganza late last night.

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It’s that time of year! If you want a holiday card from Crooked Acres, go here and follow the directions. I will absolutely send cards to other countries. If you’d like to send me a card (definitely not required, but always appreciated), you can send it to PO Box 565, Madison, Alabama, 35758.

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Get yer calendars!!!

2009 Crooked Acres Calendar. ~~~~~ 2009 And3rson Kitties Calendar. ~~~ 2009 And3rson Foster Kitties Calendar.

(All calendars are marked one dollar above base price; all proceeds are donated to the local no-kill cat shelter I volunteer for.)

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I put makeup on exactly twice a year – once at Thanksgiving, once at Christmas – and I always feel compelled to document the result.

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Thanksgiving breakfast was FABULOUS. Fred made cinnamon rolls (and it pisses me off that he can do things like make cinnamon rolls with no recipe whatsoever and they come out SO DAMN GOOD), and the bacon and sausage was a big hit, and so was the sausage gravy. Fred went off to take a nap after everyone left, and I vegged out in front of the computer, then did laundry and packed so I wouldn’t have to get up this morning and do that.

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What it’s like when you walk into the new chicken yard. Note that the pigs get bitchy because I don’t have any food for them. They are spoiled ROTTEN.

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I must know: your thoughts on the True Blood season finale AND the Atlanta Housewives Reunion! (To the latter let me just say: OY.)

True Blood spoilers in this section.

I actually forgot that Rene was the bad guy – it’s been so long since I read the book that there’s a lot I just don’t remember. I still adore Sam, I am not surprised that Bill practically sacrificed himself to save Sookie, and I cannot stand that Maryann chick. Was she in the book? I don’t like her. And I can’t believe we have to wait ’til next Summer to see more of the series, damnit.

Atlanta Housewives Reunion spoilers in this section.

NeNe was just loaded for bear, wasn’t she? She was intense and confrontational, and I had a hard time even looking at the TV when she was yelling at Kim! I cracked UP when she rolled her eyes when Kim was talking about her album coming out in January (my guess: either the album will never come out, or it’ll be someone else’s voice!). Boy, you just always know where you stand with NeNe, don’t you? She doesn’t hesitate to tell you what she thinks! And the whole thing where Kim told NeNe that NeNe KNEW Kim was sick and NeNe saying “No, I didn’t, no one ever told me that!” – how good friends were they really if Kim never told NeNe that she had (as Lisa put it) “Cancer.” I find that whole “My doctor said it was 90% certain that I had cancer” and then just left it, and the interviewer (I can never remember his name) had to say “So, you don’t have cancer?” “No, but I have other things wrong that I’m not prepared to talk about” – I find that kind of suspect!

I was so surprised by Lisa just going OFF on Kim, I felt like it kind of came out of nowhere – not that Lisa didn’t have a reason to go off, it was just that she went from zero to 60 in no time flat. I had to rewind to make sure I hadn’t missed something that set her off!

DeShawn might be simple, but damn – she’s the most diplomatic of the bunch and she wasn’t going to give anyone any kind of ammunition to use against her! She was the only one who didn’t get caught up in the trash-talking (well, Sheree didn’t either, did she? I don’t remember that she did, maybe I’m just not remembering.)

Dwight needs to lose the long hair. He’s not a bad-looking man (though when you see him talking from the side, it’s apparent that he’s had some sort of chin plastic surgery!), but he looks so much better without that dreadful weave!

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Robyn, don’t shorten those curtains from the bottom. Cut off the top edge, and sew a new “pocket” for the curtain rod. Much easier than dealing with the scalloped hem. All you need to do is measure and sew a few straight lines on the machine!

The curtains were made of very sheer, gauzy material and I’m pretty sure they were beyond my sewing skills, I can’t imagine trying to sew that stuff!

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Robyn, do you drink tea? If you (or any readers!) do, you have to try a Tim Tam Slam. Bite off opposing corners (diagonal from each other), put one corner in the tea, your mouth on the other corner. Suck in the tea just until it hits your lips, and then very quickly put the entire thing in your mouth. You’ll thank me.

After Monday, when I ate so many Tim Tams I spent the evening clutching at my gut and bemoaning my stupidity, I think it’s best that Tim Tams be banned from the premises. I am breaking up with the Tim Tams (at least until I see the display at Target and packages of Tim Tams throw themselves in my cart, that is).

I don’t drink tea, but I’ve certainly heard about the Tim Tam Slam, and I’ve encouraged Fred to give it a try.

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Isn’t it funny, when Oreos first became available here Downunder people went crazy. Tim Tams were so … ho hum. Send me your address and I shall send you a TimTam package.

I can’t blame y’all for being crazy about Oreos – those things are damn good. I can see being ho-hum about them, though. If you can get them any ol’ time, there’s not the sense of urgency to have as many as you can cram in your mouth, right?

And thanks for offering to send me a package, but see above about how I’ve broken up with the Tim Tams. Those things are too damn good.

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For anyone wanting to learn more about all things homesteady — gardening, chickens, GOATS 😉 I highly recommend you head over to http://www.homesteadingtoday.com

I love that site – I don’t get around to visiting it very often, but I enjoy it when I do.

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The calendars are very cute!! But on a more serious note – do you think you can do anything about the Plain-Jane situation?

It’s only happenstance that Jane updated yesterday, you understand. Otherwise I’d be answering this question by saying that Jane’s gearing up to manage Holly’s campaign for the 2040 presidency and can’t be updating all the time. Apparently I’m wrong, and she can totally neglect the campaign to update her journal. That campaign’s not going to run itself, Jane!

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You know, Robyn, if you guys bought a dairy cow (or even a goat) you’d never have to go grocery shopping. You’d be making your own butter to cook your own eggs and potatoes. To eat with your own bacon. And put on your own veggies. ‘Course you’d have to grow some wheat so you could mill it and bake your own bread, too.

You know what annoys me? That there’s no way we could ever be completely free of having to visit the grocery store and purchase certain things, like flour, sugar… kitty litter, cat food. You know, the important things we can’t create ourselves (or at least not on 4 1/2 acres! We need more land, pronto.)

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Where did you find the big humidifier? it’s it free standing? Will you tell me if you like it? For some reason I have had the hardest time finding one. grrrr.

I ordered mine off the Gaiam site, this one.

(If that link doesn’t work, go to Gaiam.com and search on “humidifier”; it’s the whole-house humidifier) It’s more than I’d hoped to spend, but hopefully it’s quiet and will work for the whole house (at least the whole first floor!); I’ll definitely let you know if I like it; I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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I went to Target specifically to get Tim Tams and couldn’t find any! Either I didn’t look close enough or they haven’t made their way to Arkansas yet.

I found them in two locations in our local Target – at the end of one of the cash registers, about halfway down the row of registers. They’re also, surprisingly enough, in the cookie aisle. Look closely, they kind of look like any other package of Pepperidge Farm cookies.

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Do any of your cats put things in their food and water bowls? My cat likes to get her puff balls, my pony tail holders, that little ring around the milk jug, a plastic ring she found of my daughters, etc. She also likes to bring stuff and put it in my bed. Last night I was blessed with a soaking wet puff ball and most mornings I wake up with her black and red ribbon in my bed.

I’ve had cats put toys and other stuff in their water – though none of our current cats do it much. It can be a way to help them figure out where the top of the water is. You can cut up a straw and float the pieces in the water to help them see where the water begins, and see if that helps.

Also, what is with the infernal licking? She’s an inside cat, terrified of the outdoors (guess I shouldn’t have named her “Bad Ass Ninja Cat”) and cleans herself constantly. Annoyingly constantly. Every time I pet her she has to clean herself and/or me. Licking, licking, licking, licking. GAH.

Some cats are just constant groomers – but keep an eye on her. Some cats groom as a nervous habit, and it can get to be a problem. If you see any bare spots or the skin underneath her fur seems inflamed, you might need to take a trip to the vet.

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The best humidifiers are from Crane’s on Amazon. I have the Hello Kitty one and the froggie and I heart them.

It’s possible I might have ordered the Crane’s pig humidifier. DAMN YOU, Astruc! I am weak in the face of cuteness.

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In this dream, there were a shortage of pigs on the planet and humans were being used as surrogates. Here I was, pregnant with piglets, and you happened to be the only qualified human/piglet midwife. So I made the 5 minute drive from Maryland to Alabama so that you could deliver my piglets.

Thought you might want to know… May be a new career for you!

Hmmm. I wonder how much schooling I’d need to become a human/ piglet midwife? It certainly sounds interesting – and baby piglets are so cute. I bet I could birth the HELL out of piglets with SCOOP HANDS.

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Well, well, well. You are so far ahead of the curve; this link is soooooo two weeks ago.



It’s hard to resist the SCOOP HANDS. Remember where you heard about ’em first!

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I thought Alabama was part of the humid south. Am I wrong?

It’s plenty humid here in the summer, but in the winter, the cold weather brings very dry air along with it. I’d guess that it’s rare to have much humidity in any location where the weather gets cold in the fall and winter.

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Why Robyn Has Caused Me to Need Therapy: Tim Tams sounded interesting. When I was at Target, I looked for them but couldn’t find them. So I just thought I’d go on Amazon and see if they had them, or what they looked like so I would know what I was looking for. I entered “Tim Tam” in the search box. This is what came up:


I think I have lost interest in Tim Tams.

What, you don’t want a meal of haggis and spotted dick with some Tim Tams to wash it down with?

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Mister Boogers is not snuggling with Newt. He is trying to push him out of the bed so he can have it all to himself. Newt is trying to hang on for dear life.


Was Newt actually curled up IN that cat bed? If he was, Mister Boogers sure snuggled him right out of it. Newt doesn’t look at all comfortable. He’s going to wake up any minute and ask WTF?!!!


Poor Newtles! How long did it take him to realize that most of him had been scootched out of the cat bed?

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Here’s how it went – Mister Boogers was laying in Fred’s desk chair, so Fred picked him up and put him on my desk (I was off watching TV, I think). Mister Boogers went over to the cat bed where Newt was sleeping, and just sat there and looked out the window for a long time. Eventually, he curled up and went to sleep, snuggled up to Newt. Newt apparently didn’t mind the snuggling, but over the course of about an hour Mister Boogers expanded to take up more and more of the cat bed, and Newt kept having to move to get comfortable, and as you can see, he ended up with more of him hanging out of the bed than there was of him IN the bed. He finally woke up and found a more hospitable place to sleep, which only reinforced to Mister Boogers that whatever Boogie wants, Boogie gets!

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Hello! Can you remind me (probably again since you’ve probably explained it but I don’t remember) how you guys ended up with Newt and Maxi? Didn’t they belong to some neighbors? Did the neighbors give them up or did you guys just slowly, over time, end up with the two cats? I remember them being outdoor-only and I remember the box that you guys made on the porch but I don’t remember when they made the switch to indoor/”your” cats.

Maxi and Newt were originally stray cats, kinda (though we found out later that Maxi actually belonged to the people who sold us this house – who just left her here. Grrrr!), and when Maxi showed up on our front porch with a litter of kittens, Fred talked to the lady two doors down, who told us that they (Maxi and Newt) had just kind of appeared one day. Since they didn’t belong to anyone, we asked the Challenger’s House (the shelter I volunteer for) manager if we could foster the kittens and adopt them out via Challenger’s House. She was okay with that, and the lady who lives two doors down said she’d take Newt and Maxi. We had them spayed and neutered, and the lady took them in, but they were so miserable being inside that that didn’t last long, and they started coming to our house pretty regularly. When the weather got cold, Fred was worried that they’d freeze to death, so he built them a (heated!) cat house. He started letting them in the house for a little while at a time, and then one night it was supposed to get really, really cold and he was worried about them, so we brought them in and kept them inside (in the foster kitten room) overnight. That kind of broke the dam as far as the cats were concerned, so we started letting them in and out whenever they wanted, and they just kind of became ours. They hang out at the lady’s house (two doors down) during the day sometimes, but I think we all pretty much agree that they belong to us! 🙂

Also, have you been watching “Ruby” on the Style Network? The show is about an overweight woman from Savannah who is struggling to lose weight because of the health-related issues with being almost 500 lbs. Just curious if you’ve seen it and what you think.

I watched the first episode of “Ruby” and enjoyed it, but I need to set up to tape the rest of them! The thing that struck me about the show was when Ruby went to her friend’s house for dinner, and her friend was making, I don’t even remember what it was, lard-coated lard deep-fried in lard or something (actually, I think it was the mac & cheese that caught my attention) and talked about how they’d go on diets together but they never lasted, and I don’t know. I understand not wanting to make her unhappy by denying her the foods she loves, but the friends aren’t helping, if they really are concerned about helping her lose the weight she wants to lose. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series goes.

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I do have a question for you: What is the spud doing for Thanksgiving? Has she ever missed a major holiday with you?

(I’m not asking to make you sad, and I hope the question doesn’t — I’ll be away from both my kids on Thanksgiving and just wondered how you felt about it).

The spud spent Thanksgiving with her father and stepmother, just the three of them for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

She’s actually lived in Rhode Island for about a year and a half now, so I didn’t see her for Thanksgiving last year, nor for Christmas (though I did see her in January, when I flew to Maine and then drove down to Rhode Island with my sister and mother to spend the day with her). I figure, I got to have her for each and every major holiday for the first 19 years of her life (except the Christmas when she was 10 or 11, which she spent in Rhode Island with her father), so I guess it’s her father’s turn for a few years!

We do text and talk pretty often, and while it’s certainly not the same as having her here, it definitely does help!

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FYI…Steve & Barry’s is going out of business, so if you want to stock up on t-shirts, now is the time to do it!

Damn, I wish I’d realized that when I was at the mall on Monday. I guess it’s another trip to the mall for me next week! Steve & Barry’s has THE best t-shirts, bar none.

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when you have kitteh duty at the pet store, you often mention how you have to go back to buy something because they’re not open. Well, how do you get in? Is someone there to let you in, or does Challenger’s House have a key? Or do volunteers break and enter on a daily basis?

We volunteers are like Santa. We just slide down the chimney!

Actually, there are pet store employees at the store from 6:30 or so onward (and actually, the little grooming place inside the store is open earlier than the store is), so if the door hasn’t been left unlocked (which it rarely is), we can ring the doorbell and an employee will come and let us in. Then we have to find a manager with the key to the cat room to let us in there. If I can’t find a manager (they’re usually busy doing something, and I can’t always tell who’s a manager and who isn’t), I throw myself on the mercy of one of the store employees, and they always offer to find a manager for me. The employees of the pet store are without a doubt the most helpful employees of just about any store I’ve been in!

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Bet you didn’t know your chickens can do this….

I did not! When we went out to visit with the chickens after breakfast/ dinner yesterday (we like to drag the relatives out to admire the chickens. They don’t seem to mind too much!) Fred picked up a chicken and demonstrated that very thing for his parents. I shoulda had the video camera with me!

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That is one fine stalker rooster! You must have more than one rooster I am thinking though. Do they get along or is there a head rooster?

We have two adult roosters right now (and one that’s just starting to try to crow, so he’s got a ways to go for he’s completely mature). Michelle seems to be the head rooster, and he and the golden rooster don’t seem to fight too much – the golden rooster seems to be fully aware of the fact that Michelle’s King Shit.

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Maybe next year you could raise your own turkey:-)

At this point, we’re actually planning on getting a handful of turkeys when we get our spring chicks, and definitely intend to provide next year’s Thanksgiving turkey!

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Hopefully the kittens won’t forget me while I’m gone. Fred’s under strict orders to give them extra love to make up for my absence!

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“Humans is tasty.”

More pictures over at Love & Hisses.

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Pretty Stinkerbelle. You can’t tell from this picture, but she really is a sweet thing.

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2007: So I’ve signed up for Holidailies, and I’ll be updating every day in December.
2006: Go! Shop! Buy!
2005: “Well, GODDAMN,” I said. “NOT NOW, I won’t! I was GOING to, but now that I know you’d be sitting there all horrified about me reclining my seat in front of your parents, all worried that they’d be thinking ‘Good christ, look at her over there, so fucking LAZY she can’t expend the ENERGY to sit upright!’, I won’t! I wouldn’t DREAM of reclining on my OWN couch in my OWN home, I would HATE to embarrass you!”
2004: No entry.
2003: Fred’s sister nodded. “That’s what I figured.”
2002: I forgot that teenagers are, on the whole (though yours may be different, or at least pulling the wool over your eyes) bone idle.
2001: McAfee rocks.
2000: Recent purchases.
1999: I informed him that there was no way he was getting out of taking me to the emergency room for this.