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1/30/09

by @ Friday, January 30th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

I know I mentioned all the pecans Fred picked up from the ground under the poltergeist tree (located in the old chicken yard) last Fall. He ended up filling up almost three buckets that had previously held 40 pounds of Fresh Step kitty litter. We took the first two buckets to the Co-op to have them cracked, and then when we picked up those two buckets, we dropped off the third bucket.

It took for-fucking-ever, but we got the first two buckets shelled and washed and then frozen. The third bucket, though, I decided I needed a break while I finished the cross-stitch picture I was working on. (I always have to be doing something else when we watch TV in the evening, I can’t just sit there and watch TV, usually. For a while I’d sit and surf on the laptop, but I felt like I was spending too much time online, so I moved the laptop up to my bedroom (where it sits, pretty much ignored all the time) and for a while I was shelling pecans every night, and then when I needed the aforementioned break, I cross-stitched. Sometimes I read magazines. Fascinating, no?)

So earlier this week I finished the picture I was cross-stitching, and I brought the bucket of pecans out to the living room with me at TV time, and I started shelling the pecans. I got a couple of cups of pecans before I got to the nasty ones. It turns out that those pecans had been sitting there waiting to be shelled and they’d somehow gotten damp in the cracking or the waiting process. After the top layer of pecans, every pecan I picked up was moldy.

Fred tossed the pecans onto the compost heap, and I left the pecans I’d gotten shelled in a bowl on the counter for a couple of days. Tuesday, I finally got around to rinsing the dirt off them, and then I spread them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 170º to dry and then lightly roast.

When I decided they were dry and roasted enough, I turned the oven off, but left the cookie sheet in the oven.

If you’re, like me, a fumbling idiot, you probably know where this is going.

Wednesday night I turned the oven on to 400º to preheat it for the chicken pot pie, and after a little while I thought “What is that odd smell?” That odd smell was the pecans, in the oven, starting to burn.

They didn’t get burned to a crisp, but they did get lightly burned, and so I set them aside to cool, figuring Fred could try them out and decide whether he wanted to eat them or if they needed to go to the compost heap.

Long story short (too late!), he tried them and pronounced them REALLY good. I finally gave them a try myself, and I have to admit he’s right. They’re pretty damn good!

Who knew lightly singed pecans would be so good?

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We are in the process of getting our new roof. When I got home yesterday, there were two guys on the roof pulling up shingles and tossing them down into a trailer. They worked through the day and got the front part of the house three-quarters of the way done, and I assume they’ll be back later today to get some more of it done (maybe finish it?).

It honestly never occurred to me that our homeowner’s insurance would pay for any of the new roof – I thought that getting a new roof was going to be one of the (very expensive) things that homeowners just have to suck it up and pay for. Imagine my surprise – and DELIGHT – to find out that it’s not so.

2009-01-30 (1)

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Real Housewives of Orange County:

Shane is the king of all douchebags and needs a good, hard smack upside the head. That is all.

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I know this entry is really old but I’m working my way backwards. Yes, I peek at the end of books too.

Anyway.

My cat, who was about 8 at the time, had what can only be described as a pet squirrel. This small (baby?) squirrel got into the house and was living in the basement with the cat (the cat is allowed the whole house but the basement is his den, and no one bugs him down there) for like 3 weeks – we couldn’t catch the squirrel. We’d see them both sitting in the basement window together, and once even saw the squirrel eating the cat’s food. Seriously dumb cat – he just didn’t realize it was a rat with a prettier tail. Eventually the squirrel was captured and released and the cat was friendless once again.

I wanna know if the cat even noticed that the squirrel was gone – like, was he sad that his BFF had been kicked out of the house, or did he even notice?

(Also, I wish there were pictures to go along with this story!)

Edited to add: Fred sent me this link. TOO CUTE.

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And a question about the robots.txt file… I’ve noticed that a lot of people who don’t make their sites non-googlable will do this odd little “disguising” thing – like typing “L0we$” instead of “Lowes,” or “we saw a D-sney movie” or “we went to A p p l e b e e’s” to make at least those terms non-googlable. (“Google” here being shorthand for “search engine.”)

And like, where you said, “as often I use the many forms of ‘fuck’, I thought it best to try to slow down the flood of random surfers.”

I don’t understand the reason for that. Is it a bandwidth issue? Am I being incautious by not particularly caring if someone googles a brand name, or something indelicate, and winds up on my site instead? (I always just think it’s funny how they were probably expecting something wild and raunchy and instead got a boring story about my kid and my cats.) What am I missing? So many people do this that there has to be a good reason for it, but I can’t figure it out.

(One person that I asked about it said that she didn’t “want any pervs looking at” her site, and I thought, “Oops. Guess I’d better go, then.”)

The only reason I’ve got the robots.txt on my site to slow down the flood of random surfers is because if someone’s surfing on some pervy term in particular and they end up on the journal of a crazy cat (and chicken… and pig… and dog…) lady, they can get kind of nasty. And I don’t mean nasty in a pervy way (all pervs welcome here!), I mean nasty in a rude way and the random drive-by rudeness of strangers annoys me sometimes.

Also, after posting a story once upon a time about how I bought some sandals and they gave me blisters, I got an email from someone who’d wandered across my site via some search engine or another, and they wanted details. About my feet. And what size were my feet? And could I put up pictures of my feet? And what I do with my feet. And so forth. I think that was the same year I got linked by some K3ds fetish site after I mentioned I’d bought a pair.

I know I disguise the names of some of the stores we visit and restaurants we go to, because I don’t particularly want someone who works there to stumble across me bitching about the service. Actually, I’d kind of prefer it if no one in Smallville knew this site existed, but judging by my stats, I’ve already been discovered.

Final thought: JoeBob looks like he might be a little bit dead up there. Have you poked him recently? (c:

Joe Bob is perfectly well and alive, and he has abandoned his nest atop the bookcase in the kitchen – I think he was tired of fighting with Stinkerbelle over it – for a cat bed on the guest bedroom bed.

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I am embarrassed to admit this….but the Shamwow works. Maybe not to the extent that “Vince” says it would but I have used it on everything to coffee and wine spills and a one time fluke dog accident and it really worked. The things you buy when you stand in line too long at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I never did work up any test spills to see if my Shamwow works! It’s good to know that it does work, at least to some extent!

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“she bit his tech and pooped on the doc” In the past when I was still a vet tech we had a tortie come in for shots/exam and it went like this. Cat flipping around on the table, me trying to hold cat semi-still for exam and not get bit, cat flipped on back starts peeing, imagine fountain, cat still on back starts pooping, imagine those guns they use to shoot t-shirts into the crowd at sporting events, cat gets shots and back into carrier. No one got bit, cat got shots, I cleaned up the exam room. 30 minutes later I’m still smelling cat poop, check bottom of shoes, no poop. Still smell poop, can’t find poop. More time passes, reach into labcoat pocket for pen, find cat poop. Yeah, I’d been carrying it around in my pocket for about an hour. Nice. Oh the stories I could tell.

HEE.

If I were a vet tech, I would surely have stories like this one. It almost makes me want to BECOME a vet tech, except for that whole pesky “working” thing.

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I have a trapping a cat story – it’s really sad… About 10 years ago, I had changed positions at my current employer. It required that I travel for 6 months solid (only an occasional weekend home). I talked my Aunt into taking my two kitties while I was gone. When I went to pick them up 6 months later, she said she hardly saw either one (never seeing the 2nd). I went and spent the night and got my Terry to come to me after much work (his love of cottage cheese did the trick). But could not find Timmy. He was hiding in my Aunt’s laundry room which was stacked to the ceiling with stuff. So my Aunt called her friend that caught feral cats to fix and release and borrowed a live trap. It took 2 days, but my poor Timmy was in the trap in the laundry room. I had to run (3 hour drive) to go get him. He was so scared – he peed on the floor. When I got him home, he remembered the house and actually came to me more often then before. I think my act of “saving” him gave me more love credits with the silly kitty. He actually let me pet him with my hand instead of my foot.

Awww – it’s a sad story, but it’s got a happy ending!

(Also, the idea of a cat who would only let you pet him with your foot? PRICELESS!)

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Holy cow have you seen this?

Ouch!

(Damn showing-off British hens!)

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Just a tip on towels and cleaning rags – if you use any kind of fabric softener, whether liquid or dryer sheets, that will hinder their absorption. (I think you mentioned you don’t use fabric softener, though, at one point (?) so maybe it’s a moot point?) Just thought I’d share.

Yeah, I’ve known since I was a kid that you can’t use fabric softener on towels and cleaning rags if you still want them to be absorbent. Nothing annoys me more than a towel that doesn’t absorb when I’m trying to dry off after a shower!

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Robyn – saw this article in the Washington Post today about Alabama’s back roads and thought you might be interested.

Reading that makes me realize just how little of this state I’ve seen in the twelve years I’ve lived here – and it makes me want to do some exploring!

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ah, my Kara mia. She looks like she is a little fuller around the face. Probably just the collar.

Kara has gained a little weight since she birthed her kittens last April – I say she’s built like a linebacker, all short and stocky and muscular. Which makes it interesting (to me, at least) that her kittens, Nate and Dora, are long and lean and sleek. It’s too bad there’s no way to know what their father looked like!

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Ok. I got through the chicken blood and guts in the kitchen and the pig hernia poking, but I nearly lost it at the consumption of the kitty booger. Blech, blech, blech.

Also, I seem to have dropped the ball on the pigs. I don’t remember the last two leaving? Were you pigless for a while? Or are there now four pigs? That can’t be.

How’s this for gross (skip this if y’all are eating or have a weak stomach!): yesterday before I went to my hair appointment, I went into the kitten room to hang out with Rumba and Samba, and Rumba climbed into my lap, and as I started to pet her I realized she had a smear of poo along her side. How it got there, I have NO idea. I had to go get the wet wipes and clean her off.

Fred took the last two pigs to be processed at the end of November (when I was visiting Nance), and we’ve been pigless since, until last weekend.

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I seemed to have missed the “episode” of taking the females to the butcher. Did they yield anywhere close to the first 2? Was it easy to get them out of the pen? You know we have to know cause the closest farming I get except living thru you is playing “my farm” on facebook.

They yielded less this time than the first two, because they were smaller pigs. I can’t give specifics as to how much we got from each pig, ’cause I don’t know, though. Fred didn’t have a hard time getting them to the processor, luckily, because about a week before they were going, he started feeding them in the back of the trailer. So the morning they were going, all he had to do was bring the food to the trailer, and they went in with no problem, and he closed the gate.

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Those are definitely the cutest pigs you’ve had yet. Are they younger than the others and that’s why they are so cute? Or are they just more photogenic and less dirty?

I think they’re about the same age as the first two were, but the first two were absolutely caked with mud and crap, which made them a little less cute, I think. The second two were a bit older, but cleaner. This set is both young and clean, I guess, which makes them pretty cute!

They spend an awful lot of time snuggled up in their shelter, though. I guess they don’t like the cold weather any more than I do!

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I saw this today and thought of you.

I love that! I think our back yard at the old house in Madison would have been awesome for a small flock of chickens – but I can only imagine how that would have gone over with our neighbors!

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Can you tell me where you got the cat bed that Maxi is in? I need MORE of those!

I got that bed at Goody’s, which is currently going out of business. After I bought that bed and brought it home and found out that the cats think it’s the BEST! BED! EVER!, I went back to buy more, but they didn’t have any more and never got them back in stock.

However, smartypants reader Gracie found them on Overstock! $14.99 is definitely not a bad price for these beds, they’re big and deep and comfy, and there’s always a cat snuggled up in the bed on the dining room table.

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By the way, you seem to have a lot of gang trouble in your neighborhood. Have you contacted the police?

2009-01-29
Are you implying that Sheriff Mama isn’t doing her job?

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hasn’t it been 5 years for Tubby (2004-2009)? I am so sorry for the loss. I cried. JoJo is overweight and having some cleaning her butt issues (TMI I know). Anyway, I feel for you…

Yeah, apparently I can’t do the math – it has been five years. And I feel for you – having a cat who can’t reach her behind to clean herself is no fun at all!

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Great minds think alike. I just made pot pies the other day and they were ridiculously good. I’m thinking I might want to make a batch and freeze them to bake off at will. Mmm, potpie!

I told Fred that I think I’d like to try making single-serving pot pies with that recipe to freeze. I just need to find the right baking dishes to do that in.

Speaking of the pot pie, Fred said last night that he thinks a couple of diced potatoes added to the recipe would make it perfect – and I think I agree.

Also, speaking of recipes and such – if you ever have a recipe that calls for white wine and you (like us) don’t keep white wine on hand, you can always substitute chicken broth. The recipes I do this with turn out perfectly fine with the substitution, as far as I can tell.

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Wow!!! I just got my Scorchin’ Strawberry-Habanero jam and hot sauce delivered about a half hour ago. Just in time to try some jam on a freshly baked corn muffin. It is awesome! The perfect hot/sweet, in my opinion. The heat lingered for a bit, but since I like spicy, it was all good. Great, in fact! Thanks so much! (I have now exhausted my exclamation point quota for the day. 🙂

Thanks for the ringing endorsement! Anyone who’s interested, we’ve still got jams and hot sauces available – and I’ll be making more this weekend, so there’ll be more half-pint samplers and half-pint single jars available on Monday!

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I just searched your site for hand held vacuums but didn’t find what I was looking for. I have wood floors and two shedding dogs. I’m looking for a good hand held vacuum with attachments that I can use to suck up all the pet hair from the floors as well as the wood staircase. I know you have wood floors and lots of shedding cats so I was wondering what you use. I have an upright with attachments that works well for the stairs but it’s heavy and a pain to use. When I use it on the wood floors it blows away more pet hair than it sucks and sweeping causes a lot of hair to fly around the room. I remember that you wrote once that you love your Dyson upright but you weren’t impressed with the Dyson handheld (if I’m remembering that right) and use another brand. Mainly I just want to know how do you remove pet hair from your wood floor and wood staircase?

Usually, I just vacuum with the Dyson upright (and you’re remembering correctly, I’m not impressed with the Dyson handheld at all). On the stairs, I generally use a Swiffer to pick up the cat hair, and if there’s a lot of cat hair on the floors, I’ll use the Swiffer to get most of it before I vacuum. The Dyson does kind of blow the tufts of cat hair around, but I find that if I position the Dyson right, the tufts of hair will end up against the baseboards, and I can “catch” them with the Dyson at that point.

I have no real words of wisdom on this topic, unfortunately. Readers? Suggestions?

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As I mentioned, when I got home from my appointment yesterday, there were guys on the roof pulling up shingles. The part where they were working was right outside the foster kitten room, and when I walked into the foster kitten room to check on them, Samba and Rumba came slinking out of the closet and came right over to me, then leaned against me to be petted.

They were like “It’s about time you’re home! Who are those guys and why are they terrorizing us?!”

If I’d known all I had to do to get them to like me was to get someone else to scare them, I would have done it ages ago!

(Okay, not really.)

Fred said when he went into the room before bed, they came right over to him to be petted. Funny the things that will turn unfriendly cats into friendly ones, isn’t it?

Last night when I went into the foster kitten room before bed, I let Newt in with me, because he was hovering outside the door. I wish I’d had the camera with me, because Rumba’s reaction was instant – she turned into a little Halloween cat, back up, tail puffed out, ridge of fur on her back standing straight up.

Is there anything LESS threatening than a little kitten who’s all puffed up and indignant?

Eventually, after many theatrics, she sniffed his tail and hissed at him. Samba spent most of Newt’s visit as far away from him as she could get, though as time went on, she got closer.

This morning, as soon as she heard me get up, Rumba started howling at the door. I put baby gates in the doorway to the kitten room, but she just stood at the gates and howled – she’s escaped the room a couple of times (when we open the door, she’s usually RIGHT there and can scoot out before we know what’s going on) and has apparently decided she wants to explore. So I moved the gates down the hallway a little, so they have the bathroom to explore, as well as their room. Depending on how things go today, I may move the gates further down the hallway so that they have my room to explore, too. We’ll see.

Rumba’s far more interested in exploring than Samba is. Samba has run into the bathroom a few times to look around, but she prefers being in the kitten room.

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More kitten pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Snackin’! Time! has come and gone, but these three live eternally in hope that there’ll suddenly be a second Snackin’! Time! and only those who are prepared for it will be allowed to take part.

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Previously
2008: Visiting dogs = okay. Permanent dogs = not gonna happen.
2007: How old are these guys, that you’ve got to tell them to flush the toilet, I’m wondering.
2006: Off to the hospital!
2005: No entry.
2004: Poor Bean.
2003: About the cats.
2002: When did Dick Gephardt die?
2001: The illness continues.
2000: I am officially the laziest chick in the world.

1/29/09

by @ Thursday, January 29th, 2009. Filed under Life

Damn you, Maria! Damn you for sharing the link to Kitty Cam with me! I can’t stop watching the kittens!

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I made THE BEST Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie for dinner yesterday, using one of the chickens Fred processed over the weekend. It was SO DAMN GOOD.

We’re having leftovers for dinner tonight, and I can hardly wait!

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Okay. Erm. It appears I have a hair appointment this morning I forgot about, so I’m cutting it short. See y’all tomorrow!

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2009-01-29
“Thank GOD you’re going for a cut and color. I didn’t want to say anything, but you have got some SERIOUS gray going on. It’s rather disturbing.”

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Previously
2008: This is my entry in honor of [Spot].
2007: Obviously he just doesn’t love Joe Bob enough.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Okay, I promise that’s the last weepy I-miss-my-kitty entry.
2003: Bleach is the shit.
2002: Just for the record, Mike Tyson is the biggest fucking idiot in the entire world.
2001: How the hell am I going to get my ass on Survivor 3 if they’re looking for model types??
2000: I was quite excited, as I recall.

1/28/09

by @ Wednesday, January 28th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

Today marks a year since Spot died. And yesterday marked four five years since Tubby died.

The end of January is apparently not a great time to be an And3rson kitty. Um, not that any of the cats are sick or feeling poorly – that wasn’t a lead-in to another kitty death story, thank god.

Since it’s been a year since Spot died, that means it’s been almost a year since Joe Bob came to live with us, and I have to say that finally, FINALLY he’s really fitting into the pack comfortably. He’s not spending all his time on top of the bookcase (though that might be because Stinkerbelle has kind of claimed that space), and he’s coming around to be petted and to sit in Fred’s lap more. There have been fewer instances of Mister Boogers, Tommy, and Sugarbutt (the Asshole Gang, is how I think of them) picking on Joe Bob, which means thankfully that there have been less ear-piercing screams.

Actually, now that I think about, Stinkerbelle has been coming around more often, too. Last night she felt the need to come into the computer room, swish about the room, then meow bitchily before stalking back out of the room. I’m not sure what her point was.

Fred has started using the Cesar Millan “SHHHHHT!” on the cats when they’re acting up. It works as far as distracting them from whatever assholery they’re beginning, but it doesn’t surprise them into instant obedience the way it does with the dogs on The Dog Whisperer.

Speaking of The Dog Whisperer and his “SHHHHHHT!”, Fred uses it on George and Gracie, and it works amazingly well. That, and “Hey!” are his words to correct the dogs. I myself use a very negative sounding “ANNHHT!” (that’s the closest I can come to spelling it out) and they seem to know I mean business.

It surprises me a little that I can take a big bowl of kitchen scraps to the chickens, and keep the dogs back while the chickens dig in – despite the fact that they are VERY much interested in whatever it is – with just a look and body language.

I mean, given how many people have told us that Great Pyreneeseses (or, as the hoi polloi call them “Great Pyrenees”) are obstinate and not prone to obeying, I suspect we’re probably still in the honeymoon phase with those two, but I’ve gotta say – they sure are sweet. I think I mentioned that if I go out to the chicken yard, they’re very happy to see me. If Fred goes out to the chicken yard, they’re very happy to see him. But if we go out there together, it’s apparently Christmas, Mardi Gras, and Independence Day all rolled into one. It’s apparently THEIR DREAM COME TRUE, and they get very excited. They don’t jump up on us – that was the first thing we did, teach them not to jump up on us – but they jump up NEAR us, and it’s awfully damn funny to see them go from a sitting position to jumping straight up into the air because the excitement of having both of us in the same area is too great to be contained.

I told Fred the other day that I need to stop taking treats for the dogs with me every single time I go out there, because they don’t need THAT many treats, and I don’t want them to expect a treat every time they see me.

And then I promptly went and made a batch of Peanut Butter treats.

(Fred ate one of them when he got home since there was nothing gross in them, and he said they were pretty good. I haven’t eaten one, ’cause that’s not a habit I want to get into, and luckily I don’t care for peanut butter cookies, anyway.)

I have made a concerted effort to NOT bring treats with me every single time I go out there, and George and Gracie seem to love me just as much.

I’ve put a permanent link to George and Gracie over there on the left sidebar – every time I put pictures of them up, a million of y’all do searches to find out what breed they are, so I helpfully put that information under their picture.

I also changed the “foster kitten” information, since Samba and Rumba will be staying ’til they’re ready to go to the pet store. Their previous foster mother and I decided that it’d be best for them to just stay here instead of being uprooted and going back to their previous home.

I stopped medicating Samba (last night was her last dose of medicine), because she sounds all clear. I’ll give her through the weekend just in case she feels like relapsing (something that’s never happened in all the time I’ve had foster kittens, but still something I worry about), then as long as she sounds okay, I’ll make an appointment to have them spayed and id chipped.

Rumba is the friendlier of the two kittens, but I’ve actually been able to pet Samba several times too. They have to be in the mood to be petted, though. I can lure them close to me using a toy, but if they don’t feel like being petted, off they scamper when I reach out to them.

They are SO SWEET, have I mentioned?

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As she reached for the slot machine arm, Samba sent a prayer to the Big Cat in the Sky.

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“Please, Big Cat,” she whispered. “Samba needs a new pair of shoes.” Except that cats don’t wear shoes. Samba secretly wanted to win a ton of dough so she could blow it all on catnip toys. She suspected that the Big Cat in the Sky wouldn’t approve.

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Samba kissed the slot machine arm for luck, then gave a mighty pull. Rumba sent a prayer to the Big Cat in the Sky. “All Sevens!” she whispered. “All Sevens!”

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Upon realizing she’d once again gambled away the food money for the week, Samba frantically pulled the slot machine arm again and again, to no avail.

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Tommy, Sugarbutt, and Newt, looking for trouble. I don’t call ’em the Crooked Acres Gang for nothin’, y’know. If there was a stagecoach coming through here regularly (or at all), I’d be concerned for the safety of the passengers.

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Previously
2008: Yes, he is a good dog. No, we’re still not keeping him.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yesterday marked one year since Tubby died.
2004: Tubby is dead.
2003: No entry.
2002: Signs of spring.
2001: No entry.
2000: Some work day, huh?

1/27/09

by @ Tuesday, January 27th, 2009. Filed under Life, Picture Entries

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!

I’m not celebrating myself, so raise a fork for me, wouldya?

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I have nothing exciting to say, and a folder of pictures to share with you, you lucky people. That’s right – another picture entry!

You know you love ’em.

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“You has for us the snack?” (Note that George is sniffing my boot to see if there might be a snack located there.)

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“I sense oncoming snacks!”

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I’m pretty sure George was about to roll over onto his back, but it sure looks like something was scaring him, doesn’t it?

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“Hallo, shweetheart.”

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Gigglin’ Gracie.

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::slurrrrrrrp::

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Been rolling in leaves, have we?

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One of the Amish chickens peers through the fence at the pigs, all “Dude. What IS that?!”

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Pretty, pretty rooster.

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Michelle slurps water out of the puddle. Michelle, by the way, is the head rooster, and he spends lots of time letting the other roosters know that.

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Another shot of the Buff Orpington/ Rhode Island Red rooster and some of his wimmin.

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Sassy McGee has escaped the chicken yard and is headed to the small coop to lay her egg. She does this every day, and then she spends the rest of the day wandering around the property, kicking through the compost heap, keeping an eye on the cats. I considered clipping a wing so she couldn’t get over the fence, but she stays on the property and doesn’t make any problems, so she’ll remain our free-range chicken.

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One of the young’uns. I think this is one of the ones Fred believes might be a Red Broiler.

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Pretty little chickens.

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The pigs finally came out of their shelter yesterday and ate from the trough. Gracie’s response when she saw them was to bark and bark and bark, but by the time I got out to the yard to correct her, she’d stopped, and both dogs were just sitting and watching the pigs. When Fred got home from work, he removed the enclosure around the end of their shelter, which allowed them free range to the rest of the pig yard.

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Big Pig.

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Little Pig.

I’m pretty sure these pigs had never been on grass before. They seemed pretty interested in the grass, and before long, they were both eating grass.

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Little Pig (on the right) has one blue eye and one brown-and-blue eye. I’d never seen a pig with a blue eye before, I thought they always had brown eyes. I’ve gotta be honest, the blue eye kind of freaks me out.

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George says “What the -?”
The pigs say “What the -?”

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Little Pig kinda looks like a smartass, like he’s always cracking a joke. Big Pig looks like the serious, thoughtful one.

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The chickens say “What the -?”
The pig says “Nom nom nom NOM!”

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Sugarbutt’s ass is afire.

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Matrix move #1.

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Annnnd, Matrix move #2, a few moments later.

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Fuck you, Lesley Stahl.
2005: Yes, I look like a dork.
2004: Better paranoid than hitchhiking across the country to meet some perv though, eh?
2003: No online presence in the day and age where every Joe Dork has a page? Inconceivable!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ooooh, lucky me, I got to go to the gynecologists’ today!

1/26/09

by @ Monday, January 26th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

Saturday, Fred was knee-deep in c0cks all morning long (and into the afternoon). I spent the morning cleaning the house, doing laundry, and hanging out with the kittens. I spent some time bagging chicken as he finished cleaning each one (“This would go a lot faster if I weren’t the only one doing this,” he said with a significant look in my direction. Uh, no thanks. I don’t do chicken cleaning, I have to cook them, isn’t that enough?)

So we ended up with a total of 14 small roosters cleaned, bagged, and put into the refrigerator to “age” for a few days before I move them to the freezer.

“We need to eat chicken more often!” Fred said.

The problem (not that it’s really a “problem”) is that with only the two of us, every time I make something we end up with at least two meals for each of us. I made chicken and dumplings last week, we ate it for dinner Thursday and Friday, and Fred ate it for lunch yesterday.

I’m not complaining, though – if I can make it so that I cook once and then we eat twice, that just means less cooking for me, and that’s always a good thing!

Once Fred was done with the cleaning of the chickens and they’d all been stowed in the refrigerator, he said “I’ll take care of the outside cleanup and you take care of the inside cleanup, okay? I’m pretty sure my cleanup job of the kitchen wouldn’t up to your standards.”

You are correct, sir.

So he went out and took care of the feathers and guts and I scrubbed down the kitchen until it looked as though there’d never been blood and guts strewn all over.

Saturday being our eat-dinner-out day, we got subs from Domino’s (I got the Italian sub, ate a little more than half. It was okay, but if I never have another one, that’s alright by me) and stopped by the movie store. We watched Swing Vote Saturday night, and it was entertaining enough. Kevin Costner does the fuckup-who-redeems-himself role pretty well.

Sunday morning we had to get up and out early, because we had a date at the flea market in Tennessee. After stopping at the ATM for cash, running by the movie store to drop off a movie, and stopping to gas up the truck, we headed for Tennessee.

Where we got our new pigs! Two little pigs, boys, to put in the pig yard. They were scared and kind of cold (we were told that they were used to being in a heated building), so once they were settled in the carrier, Fred piled a little straw on top of them and they seemed to get the idea that burrowing down into the straw would warm them up.

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I don’t have any really good pictures of them, because they’re scared and hiding in the straw in their shelter for the time being. Maybe once they’re accustomed to their surroundings, they’ll come out and pose for pictures.

They sure are cute.

To quote Fred, Our new pigs came from a commercial grower who houses 1500 sows, via the guy we bought some hatching eggs from last week. These two didn’t make the cut for the commercial world because they have small hernias and that’s a no-no. I’m supposed to push on the hernia daily on each to make sure their guts aren’t poking out. When they get a little bigger, their guts won’t fit and everything should be fine. They don’t go commercial because the big guys don’t hire an official hernia poker to check the little pigs all the time.

When we got them home, we carried the carrier out to the chicken yard, and we put the carrier down on the ground and called George and Gracie over to sniff at the pigs through the carrier. George was all “Um, yeah, did you say you have food? Is there a snack involved? Because otherwise, I am not so much interested.” and Gracie sniffed cautiously a few times and then began barking her fool head off. For the rest of the day, if she heard the pig squealing (which they did on the occasions that Fred invaded their space and touched them with the fangers) she’d bark. Otherwise, she minded her own bidness.

Fred took them some cookies yesterday beginning, as he said, the conditioning where they realize that seeing a human come toward them is a good thing and is usually followed by tasty, tasty food.

Since it turned out to be pretty freakin’ cold Sunday, I ended up making a fire and after a few hours it was putting out some decent heat. Who knew I’d be such a good fire builder? I should totally be on Survivor!

(Except that I suspect they don’t provide Kindle Candles on Survivor. More’s the pity.)

I harassed Fred for the rest of the day saying “Look at that fire! Isn’t that an excellent fire?” and “What a fire!” and “Go stand by the fire and feel that heat!” and “What a magnificent fire!” and “I bet you wish you could make a fire as good as I can!”

We had a late lunch of pork steaks, baked potatoes, and spinach salad Sunday afternoon, and then I spent a good hour cleaning off my desk (I don’t know how on earth it gets to be such a freakin’ mess!), then got the jams and hot sauces page up and running, and then I tried to scan something for my sister, whereupon I discovered that the shitty all-in-one printer/ scanner/ copier will still copy and print, but won’t scan. So I spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a decent scanner, because I NEEDS ME SOME SCANNING ABILITY JUST ‘CAUSE.

Also, I nagged and harassed Fred ’til he put hooks in the door frame by the back door so we can hang our slobbing-around-the-40 jackets there instead of hanging them off the chairs in the dining room.

And that was my weekend! Exciting, no?

(If you’re keeping count, that means we now have (approximately) 70 chickens, and another 30 or so coming in a couple of weeks. Also, we’re up two pigs.)

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Samba and Rumba are doing well. Samba’s still on medication for her congestion. She seems to start out the day sounding fairly clear, then gets more congested as the day goes on, it seems. I’ve seen her have a couple of coughing fits, both times in the afternoon. Fred said he saw her have a coughing fit Friday, and then she sneezed out a big ol’ green booger.

(Which she promptly ate, of course.)

Two or three times when I’ve walked into the room, Rumba has looked at me, started howling, and then run over to me. When I sit on the floor, she slinks back and forth and lets me pet her while she stretches and sharpens her claws on the carpet. Yesterday for the first time Samba actually approached me for some petting. I mean, once I started petting she rethought whether she wanted to be petted, and after putting up with it for a few minutes she ran off, but hey – that’s progress, right?

These sisters are so adorable, they kill me!

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“What’s that?! Over there?! Behind you?! A serial killer?! Or a piece of fuzz?! One or the other?!”

More pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Previously
2008: The dog continues to improve. (Read here to see how the dog came to be in our possession.)
2007: Are ya feelin’ bubbly, punk? Well? Are ya?
2006: I think it would be hilarious if someone started manufacturing imitation Maui Jim sunglasses and called them “Oahu James” sunglasses.
2005: I figure they’re professionals and know what they’re doing, so I have no desire to clutter up the small amount of space left in my brain with that kind of information.
2004: I sense that there is a battle of epic proportions in my future, a show-down between Miz Poo and I as to just WHO the blanket belongs to.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: But don’t tell Miz Poo I’m admiring another cat, please…
2000: It’s a conspiracy!

1/23/09

by @ Friday, January 23rd, 2009. Filed under CAE, Crooked Acres, Life

I watched the two-hour episode of Lost yesterday, and then I started watching the hour recap show that aired before that (then I stopped watching the recap show, because I had the latest Housewives of the OC show to watch), and may I just say – HOLY CRAP, I forgot how much hotter Sawyer was with short hair!

If Saturday Night Live does a parody of Lost, they should have the time-shift, then Sawyer and the gang wandering through an episode of My Three Sons, time-shift, then the gang wandering through an episode of The Brady Bunch, time-shift, wandering through an episode of CSI, and so forth.

No? Too obvious?

By the way, are Fred and I the only ones who see Sean Whalen (Neil, who existed in that episode of Lost only to pull off the “Fire!” line) and say “Hey, look! It’s the Aaron Burr guy!”?

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I also went to see the movie Doubt. It was great-it totally captured the feel of a 1960’s parochial school/parish experience (minus any abuse in my case). I think it should have won some awards. Heavy subject matter but I like that. Meryl Streep was wonderful.

I really, REALLY want to see Doubt – Fred sent me the link to the trailer when it first came out, and it’s so rare to see Meryl Streep in the part of the “bad guy” that I’m looking forward to seeing it.

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I actually like this cookie recipe. I do alter it a little. I use jumbo eggs (because that’s what we always buy), milk chocolate chips, and add a little extra bread flour to compensate for the larger eggs. Anyway, my family and friends really like them. Cookies are my thing, though. I can’t cook, but I can bake cookies. I’m going to try your frozen egg thing one of these days too!

I might have to try that recipe this weekend – it looks good, and you can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes!

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About the Kindle and other reading devices…they seem neat, but here’s my problem with them. You don’t go to bookstores to get your books anymore. BOOKSTORES! One of my all-time favorite places to be. Also, I like the feel of books, the paper kind.

That was my original thought about the Kindle – but then I thought about it some more, and you know, I think it wouldn’t actually completely replace real books for me. I’d probably use the Kindle to read the books that I know I want to read, the ones written by my favorite authors or that other people strongly recommend. But I’d still go to the book store and browse, and I’d definitely still visit the used book store. The Kindle would be more of a supplement to real books for me, not a replacement.

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I realized at some point that there are lots of people who know their blood type. I didn’t know my blood type, and (apparently) that’s some really important information to know. So, just to find it out, I donated blood at the local red cross! Turns out I’m A+

A plus! Plus! Plus! Plus!

I feel it important for some reason to note that at one point I did know what my blood type was, but since it was nothing exciting, like the universal donor type or the universal recipient type, I promptly forgot what it was.

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Just a thought… I wonder how many people looking for infertility treatments end up here this week b/c of all the frozen egg references?

I actually have a robots.txt file on my site to stop random people from Googling up things like frozen eggs and ending up here. If you search specifically on “Bitchypoo” or some other terms you’ll probably still end up here – but as often I use the many forms of “fuck”, I thought it best to try to slow down the flood of random surfers who were ending up here. So far, it seems to be working fairly well!

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The best recommendation I’ve heard for a stray cat ‘house’ is to take an old piece of carpet or an old stiff throw rug, roll it up and put it inside the pet carrier making a sort of tube. If you’re feeling particularly nice you can add a towel or old throw blanket as a liner. The carpet will insulate and cut down on cold wind. I used this a few years back when a friend bought a house that came with an outside cat – I gave him the insulated carrier to use on his back porch until there was enough room at the shelter where I volunteer to bring in the cat.

What a neat idea!

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We got a kitty-sized igloo (kittyloo?) for some ferals that live outside our front door and put some nice clean straw in it. The kitties seem to love it. We keep trying to coax them indoors but they always run away. We’d really like to get them to vet and have them fixed — any ideas?

It sounds like you’re going to need to trap them. If there’s a Friends of Ferals in your area, they might be willing to lend you a trap or two to get the task accomplished. In fact, you might check with any shelters in your area – they might be able to lend you a trap or tell you where to find one cheap!

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For the Cat Enabler: please give that kitty an option other than someone’s car engine to crawl up in. *SHUDDER* I remember a cold morning with a stray kitty next to a fan belt and parents going to work…. You are a kind, generous person ((hugs)) to you!

Indeed!

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Here is another great website much like TasteSpotting.

Thanks for the link – I’ve added it to my Google Reader!

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You mentioned not too long ago that your cleaning rags had some sort of build-up on them and weren’t absorbing as they had before. You were going to try using some Tide (I think) to see if maybe the homemade laundry detergent was the source of the build-up. Did the Tide help any? I use some microfiber rags from Sam’s around my house, and now I, too, am finding they don’t absorb like they used to. Since I was a few months behind you in trying out the homemade soap, I’m wondering if it’s the cause.

I did try the Tide, and after a couple of washes, my cleaning rags have gone back to absorbing like they should. I’m going to use Tide for my towels and cleaning rags from here on out – because what good is a towel that won’t absorb, I ask you? NO GOOD AT ALL!

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My mom is about to become a 6 cat household. I blame you.

Oh, sure. Y’all alllllllllllways blame the pusher!

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oh my Tortie used to excessively groom. She was bare on her underside. Since she’s trimmed down almost 5 pounds in 2008 (she was 18 lbs and is now 13), she hasn’t done it. Today she broke in the new vet. She bit his tech and pooped on the doc. She HATES the vet’s office.

“She bit his tech and pooped on the doc” make me laugh out loud. HEE – I bet the vet didn’t know what s/he was in for!

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A+-the same as my Mom. Found out when I donated blood 30 years or so ago (God I’m getting old). Sweet that Fred’s Dad was so concerned. I am the oldest of five and we look somewhat different so we teased my Mom about the milkman, mailman, eggman , butcher etc. I am also one of the two planned kids. Did you know in 1970 a woman needed to have 5 children and her husband’s signature to get her tubes tied? My Mom’s last pregnancy almost killed her too. It’s a good thing times have changed. I wouldn’t trade my siblings for the world but those rules were rough on women.

Holy crap – five kids AND her husband’s signature? I had no idea! Hey – I don’t remember having to sign anything when Fred had his vasectomy. I wonder if I could sue!

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Can you guys maybe post a sign saying something to the effect of “Sorry–chickens are not for sale!”?

Probably we could, and if it keeps up, maybe we might! (But then, what would Fred over-explain to complete strangers?!) (I’m sure he’d find something! Heh.)

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Last time I was over in Decatur, I saw a truck with some sort of poultry (guessing chickens). They were stacked in these tiny cages with no protection from the wind and noise and I felt so damn guilty for ever eating chicken in a commercial restaurant that probably buys them from a factory farm.

We see a lot of big trucks with stacks and stacks of cages stuffed with chickens when we’re driving into town. I hate seeing them, but what I hate even worse is when we see several dead chickens by the side of the road – occasionally, it appears, one of the cages comes open and the chickens fall out, and it’s just a very sad sight to see. Poor things.

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I planted an ash tree in our previous backyard and my 2 dogs chewed it down to about 6 inches but it must’ve had a good root system–it started growing again the following spring! Maybe your weeping willow will do that too, I imagine that would make a great shade tree for them.

Neither of us thought of that – unfortunately, Fred pulled the resultant Weeping Willow stick up and let the dogs have it (they like to play rousing games of “I have the stick!”/ “Hey, that are mine!”). We’re going to the flea market again this weekend, maybe we’ll buy another Weeping Willow and give it a try!

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Maybe you’ve addressed this before, but … sheep? Have you considered adding sheep to Crooked Acres? You could grow your own lamb and … sweaters? Anyway, if you did, would George and Gracie also guard them or are they purely for the chickens and you’d need to add to your canine population as well? And this could get out of hand REAL quick.

I actually want sheep less than I want goats, and I want goats not at all.

I don’t think we really have enough land to put sheep back there – I don’t want our 4 1/2 acres to get crowded, and the back forty is really (as far as I’m concerned) for the dogs and the chickens. If we were, against my desires, to get sheep, I’m not sure how that would work – I’d imagine that George and Gracie would learn that the sheep are part of their flock and thus need to be protected as well.

We’re going to get pigs this weekend, and I’m curious to see how that’s going to go. The dogs can’t get into the pig-yard portion of the back forty, but they’ll obviously be able to see and smell the pigs, so we’ll see! Fingers crossed that the dogs don’t stand there and constantly bark at the pigs…

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This is unrelated to today’s post, but I finally got around to looking up info on Tim Tams. They’re in Wikipedia, and I learned how to do a Tim Tam Slam; now I must get to Target.

I’ve never actually tried a Tim Tam Slam, since I’m not really one for hot beverages, but I hear it’s close to a religious experience!

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Real Housewives of the OC. Y’all said:

OMG! Lynne needs to shut her mouth. Gretchen needs to get the beneficary thing straightened out. Jesus, I never thought i would never agree with Vicki but damn, she is right!!!! Tamra is still a bitch. Etiquette demands that you treat your guests with respect.

and

Speaking of RH of OC, please tell me I am not the only one who has trouble looking at the train wreck that is Vicki? I cannot stand her to begin with but her face seems to be more hideous each time I see the show, which isn’t all that often. If she isn’t the biggest hypocrite in the world, I want to know who is. She clearly hates Gretchen and Lynne. Lynne seems to be a good person for the most part (she would be pure awesome if she wasn’t so vain) and I like how she is trying to protect Gretchen from the other evil blonde ones. Lynne is growing on me somewhat too. And Tamra. OMG! She seems to just be pure evil. How could she try to set Gretchen up for a fall with her own son??? Gross! I have never been in a fight, but I am sure if I ran into Tamra I would have no problem punching her in the throat. OKay… deep breath. Think happy thoughts. Back to our regularly scheduled program. *sigh*

and

I can’t wait to hear what you think about the RHoOC. My head exploded when Vicki was attacking Gretchen about how she needed to make sure she was taken care of in case whats his name dies. And then, when Lynne has the audacity to disagree with her, Vicki has a hissie fit and tells her *she* is being confrontational. Plus, does Gretchen really deserve to be “taken care of” because she is the last girl that whats his name has screwed? I don’t think so. It sounds like that guy has been married many times before and has several kids (who are almost her same age). The kids should get his money and Gretchen should be happy to have her ginormous ring and the money he has supported her with these last few months. Plus she is a total babe, she could find another sugar daddy in two seconds.

And I said:

1. Tamra seems REALLY determined to believe that Gretchen’s envious of her, isn’t she? I think Tamra is DREAMING. Also, I knew Gretchen wasn’t going to go off and make out (or sleep!) with that weasel Ryan. She might have been drunk, but she’s a good girl.

2. Jeanna really kind of does seem to like to make excuses for other people, doesn’t she? Vicki’s alcoholic ex-husband, now Jeff’s ex-wife showing up at the hospital? That – the ex-wife showing up at the hospital – seems kind of weird to me. If my ex-husband were dying in a hospital, it would never occur to me to show up to sit by his bed! Not that I wish him ill or anything, I would just consider it very much not my place.

3. Those bracelets that Lynne makes and that sell for $200 – $300? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Between that, and Lisa (Atlanta)’s jewelry (strung together at the kitchen table with a bunch of friends), I think that maybe I need to go into the jewelry business. I mean, given – I don’t know anything about jewelry, I don’t really wear much, but did those cuffs look all that super-fabulous to you? She puts fabric on them, then glues random stuff to the front! What a business woman!

4. The discussion at lunch, with Vicki and Jeanna on one side and Lynne on the other – I actually kind of see both sides. I understand that Vicki and Jeanna wanted Gretchen to make sure she was “taken care of” and I understand that Lynne was appalled, because she thought that it was morbid, like they were saying Jeff was GOING to die, instead of hoping for the best. BUT Lynne was being too idealistic (I think maybe she didn’t understand how sick Jeff was), and at that point, I don’t know that he was up for the “If you die, am I going to be okay?” discussion with Gretchen. If she was going to have that discussion with him (and she seemed pretty uncomfortable at the idea), she should have done it months ago.

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I have the Bubba Keg!! The second bigger one, that is. Hubby picked it up for me over the road (truckdriver) to drink water out of and I love it. I can fill it up before bed and it will still be cold by noon the next day. The only complaint I have is I can’t get the damn lid off half the time. The seal must be good on it!

I used to wash Fred’s coffee cup on the weekends, but I had such a hard time getting the lid off that I stopped – I figure, if he’s that bothered by how dirty it is, he can wash it himself. There are limits!

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“Matrix move!” Bwah! I’m stealing that. Simon does that as part of his victory lap after a successful trip to the pan. Weirdo.

So many people have mentioned that their cats do the “victory lap” (ha!) after a trip to the litter box that I’m wondering if that’s when Sugarbutt gets ass-on-fire-itis. Next time he’s racing around like a lunatic, I’ll have to peek at the litter box and see if that’s what got him going!

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Are the doohickeys on some of the cats’ collars invisible fence thingies or something else?

Yeah, those collars – as seen here:

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are electric fence collars. We have an electric fence around the back yard, and the collars prevent them from leaving the back yard and wandering off to get mauled by coyotes or whatever. Right now, only four cats – Tommy, Sugarbutt, Mister Boogers, and Kara – wear collars, because they’re the only ones who regularly attempt to get out of the back yard. The rest of the cats are good kitties.

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But you DO have chicken cancer. Sort of.

Cancer is when cells suddenly begin to experience uncontrolled/unchecked growth and multiplication, creating a tumor which consumes resources that would otherwise nourish the rest of the body, right?

And y’all started out with one or two or four or eight little baby chicks, and are now experiencing (almost) uncontrolled/unchecked growth and multiplication of them (not those precise chicks, but you’re gonna be up to, what, 120 after the next batch hatches?). This has created a “chicken yard” which requires new henhouses, and rearranging the garage for the incubator, and buying/training guard dogs, and fending off eager would-be chicken purchasers, and…

I wonder if your subconscious is telling you to lay off of the chickens for a bit. (“LAY” off, get it, chickens, “LAY” off, see what I did there..? …? anyone?)

I saw what you did there, smartass.

Yeah, depending on how many chicks we get from the batch currently in the incubator, our chicken population will number in the low 100s. And I wouldn’t be surprised if my subconscious is all “Okay, NOW we have enough chickens?”

This chicken cancer is OUTTA CONTROL, though! Nothing can stop the growth!

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I took my cat Elphaba to the vet yesterday for a checkup and shots. She is perfectly healthy but at 17 mo old is 14 lbs. She is not a big cat she’s kind of small. I have cut back on her dry food. She gets half a can at night. The vet recommended light cat food. I’ve never seen it but I’m sure it exists. Anyone have any suggestions? She’s not a fussy eater so far (obviously she loves her food just like her owner). I wonder if she’ll hate the diet food.

I know at one point in the past we were feeding our cats “light” food – I think it might have been when Tubby was still alive – and I recall our cats liking it. I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was, though. Aren’t I helpful?

Readers? Got a diet cat food suggestion?

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Grey’s Anatomy

Hey, I haven’t watched Grey’s for a couple of seasons now so help a girl out- didn’t Denny DIE? If he is the one I’m thinking about he is delicious!

and

I can’t stand the Denny story-line. I hope they’re going somewhere with that, otherwise I will be bothered. Yes, Izzy is crazy. We all know it. Fine. Be done. At least Mer & Der don’t break up every other episode. That was getting tiresome. Have they drawn up the plans for their house?

Yeah, you’re remembering Delicious Denny correctly – and yes, he did die. But Shonda Rimes apparently has the Denny love going on, and thus spawned this ridiculous story line wherein he’s DEAD, but Izzie can still SEE him and TOUCH him and HAVE SEX with him. It’s pretty idiotic.

And of course Meredith and Derek haven’t drawn up plans for their house – if they do that, then how will they have every intern and resident in the hospital living with them?

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Robyn will you please give us a review of those damn ShamWows? I have wavered back and forth over ordering those things for months, so please let us know if they work as well as Vince (are you following me camera guy) claims. : )

and

I echo the request for a ShamWOW! review. I keep having this feeling that they are really ShamWhatevers.

and

ShamWow was the subject of my 13 yr. olds science project titled: “ShamWow or ScamWow?”. My husband saw the ads and thought “Vince” the spokesman was a riot and proclaimed all he wanted for Christmas was ShamWows.

Son did the Soda-on-the-Carpet experiment ~ too bad it was a “StainMaster” square of carpet and WOULD NOT absorb much soda (next year’s experiment, maybe?). The claim of “Absorbs 20 Times Its Own Weight!!!!” was proven false. It does, however, hold as much water as 18 paper towels.

I find ShamWows to be kinda stiff and unwieldy, but THEY ARE MADE IN GERMANY, as proclaimed right under the name on every towel several times, like they are cloth BMW’s or something. Come to think of it, that may be the reason why they are stiff and unwieldy. (Hey, I’m German so I can say that.)

I hope I get an “A” on it.

I’ll see if I can’t work up a few simple experiments this weekend and report back. I have to admit that this was a total stupid-ass impulse purchase on my part, and I’m rolling my eyes at myself, because I strongly suspect it’s going to be a waste of money!

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You can get a driver’s license at a grocery store? How awesome.

Yeah, there’s this section off to the side of the Bruno’s (it used to be Bruno’s, I think it might be Southern Family Markets now, I don’t remember) where they do tags and driver’s licenses (just renewals, not the testing) and taxes. It’s pretty convenient!

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How is Joe Bob? You have not mentioned him since your sister was down.

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In his cat bed, atop the bookcase in the kitchen, Joe Bob says “How YOU doin’?”

Joe Bob is doing just fine. It’s coming up on a year since we adopted him, and I feel it’s really been in the last few weeks that he’s truly completely integrated into the “pack.” There are less incidences of the other cats picking on him, he seems really happy, and he’s carved out his “spot” in the house (atop the bookcase in the kitchen, usually). He and Stinkerbelle still go at it sometimes, but I think it’s sort of a case where they are secretly in love, but fighting their feelings.

That Stinkerbelle, she’s a hussy.

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Do you read Living the Country Life magazine? Subscription is free. This month’s cover story is on Great Pyrenees!

The funny thing is that not only do we get that magazine at home, Fred gets it at work too, and he brings it home every month, even though I’ve told him we already get it at home.

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i hate the bubba keg with the small bottom. i’m sure they serve ice water in hell with it, but it keeps falling over, spilling, and the sinners never get any ice water.

I share your hatred. I don’t know what Fred did with his Bubba Keg with the small bottom, but I’m kinda hoping he brings it home, so I can beat the shit out of it with a hammer. Fucking thing.

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I saw this and thought of you.

“Thawed in the refrigerator, whole eggs and egg yolks can theoretically be used as normal. We’ve found that we don’t get quite the same leavening in baked goods with previously frozen eggs, so we tend to use them in recipes where this isn’t an issue”

Very interesting – I hadn’t heard that you should add salt to the eggs before freezing, but maybe I’ll give that a try and see how it goes! Thanks for the link.

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They’re coming around, these two kittens. Rumba allows petting more than Samba does – though I can’t blame Samba, really. Twice a day we pick her up and shoot medicine down her throat, who can blame her for being a bit skittish? She’s still an angel about it. She sounds better, but still congested. I think I might put a humidifier in the room with them, I think it would help with the congestion.

They are super-playful little girls. It always amazes me how hard kittens play, kicking and biting and leaping on each other, and no one gets hurt. It’s just part of the day, jumping on their sister and biting her neck, then racing around the room, running up the cat tree, leaping off, and racing in to use the litter box.

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More pictures over at Love & Hisses.

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2009-01-23 (12)
Note that while Spanky’s looking at the camera saying “Wha?” and Tommy’s giving the camera his sexy gaze, Newt is looking at Tommy and going “Nyah!”

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Previously
2008: Since it’s getting late and I need to scoot out of here, how ’bout some links to check out, some pictures to admire, and a promise to see you tomorrow?
2007: Questions answered.
2006: You can’t ride two horses with one ass.
2005: No entry.
2004: Damn Home Depot.
2003: Yep. READY FOR SPRING!
2002: Sam’s rocks. Just so you know.
2001: I don’t know how on earth I missed it the first time around. But I’m sure it was Fred’s fault.
2000: “Fred, is F-A-G a bad word?”

1-22-09

by @ Thursday, January 22nd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yesterday was a fairly productive day for me. In the morning I spent a few minutes with the baby kittens, then headed out early. I went to Madison to have blood drawn so that the week after next when I go for my three-year followup visit with the surgeon who performed my weight loss surgery, he’ll have the results.

The guy who took my blood was hands-down the BEST phlebotomist I’ve ever had blood drawn by. He looked at my arm, grabbed the needle, and inserted it before I knew what was going on, and I did NOT feel it go in at all. I’ve had blood drawn by skilled technicians before, but this guy was exceptionally good.

I left there and went to the grocery store in Madison where you can renew your driver’s license (and get tags and, I think, pay taxes). I realized yesterday that my license expired on the 13th, so it was time to get my ass in gear. I got there a few minutes after 8:30 (they open at 8:30), only to find several people in line already. I was all annoyed, because I’d apparently decided that I’d go in and be done in five minutes, but now I had to stand in line OH WOE IS ME.

I ended up standing in line for MAYBE fifteen minutes, and it wasn’t so bad. When it was my turn, I handed over my license and told her that I had a new address. I dictated it to her (I swear to god, every time we move, we end up on a street name more convoluted than the one before) and then I was writing out my check when she said “And is your height and weight about the same?”

“Yeah,” I said. There was a prolonged moment of silence and I glanced up to see her staring at me with a funny look on her face. “Oh,” I said, and glanced down at my old license, which she was holding. The weight on my license? 250 pounds.

(And I KNOW I was lying when I gave that as my weight at the time!)

“It’s changed,” I said, and gave her the new number.

First time in my life the weight on my driver’s license has been anything but a flat-out lie, believe you me.

When I left there, I ran over to Kohl’s to return some jeans I bought in December and ended up wandering around the store for a few minutes. It turns out that Kohl’s is now selling fold-up reusable shopping bags, and they’re pretty cute, so I grabbed three of them.

(At $1.99, they’re more expensive than my beloved Hannaford Fold-A-Tote bags, but like I said, they’re pretty cute, so I had to have some! I got one of each design (there were three). Folded up, they’re a bit bigger than the Hannford bags; unfolded, they’re virtually the same size, but have longer handles. The Hannaford bags are still my favorite, though!)

I also grabbed two Fiestaware Gusto bowls – one in Sunflower, one in Scarlet – because I think we need bigger bowls than the cereal bowls we have, and I want to see if we’ll use the Gusto bowls or not before I get more to add to my collection.

Then I headed over to visit with a friend – remember Katherine, who adopted River and Inara, who became Nate and Dora? Well, she invited me over (or perhaps I said “I’m going to be in your area and I’m inviting myself over!” WHATEVER.) so I went and we talked and we watched the cats, and I completely forgot to snap pictures of the cats, but let me tell you – those two are growing up PURTY.

It’s funny – Kara’s kind of a short, stubby, muscular girl, but her babies have grown to be long and lanky and sleek. They are so gorgeous and they were not interested in me, ’cause they had THINGS to do and PLACES to go, the brats. (Next time, I’ll get pictures!)

When I left Katherine’s, I headed to Target. I bought Fred this Bubba Keg Travel Mug several months back to drink his coffee out of, and during the week he takes it to work to use so all is well at Crooked Acres. But on the weekend he brings it home to drink his coffee out of, and JESUS CHRIST I HATE THAT GODDAMN THING. He leaves it by the sink, and if you so much as look at the damn thing sideways, it topples over. I have, in annoyance, picked that goddamn cup and tossed it across the room to get it the fuck out of my way more times than I can count.

(Side note: Bubba Kegs are durable!)

Finally, I decided I was going to see if they had any Bubba Kegs that would NOT fall over if I sighed in its general direction, thus the reason for my trip to Target. They did have a Bubba Keg that isn’t smaller at the bottom than at the top, so I got it. He seems pleased with it, so the fact that it’s even bigger than his old Bubba Keg is apparently not a bad thing as far as he’s concerned.

While I was at Target, I went over to look at the space heaters. The foster kitten room, because we’re keeping the door closed, can get pretty cold at night. Katherine had a couple of tower space heaters at her house, and she told me she got ’em at Sam’s Club, but I thought if Target had them, I wouldn’t have to go alllllll the way to Sam’s.

(Sam’s is like a three minute drive from Target. I am a lazy-ass.)

The space heaters were all on clearance – and though they didn’t have the exact heater I was looking for, they did have a comparable Holmes heater that had been marked down from $60 to $14.99, so I snatched it up and was all proud of myself for saving all that money.

Which I promptly blew on ShamWOW! ShamWOWs? A box of ShamWOW? Whatever, I bought the box of cloths that will make me say “Wow!” every time I use one.

AND THEY BETTER BE AMAZING, OR BELIEVE YOU ME I WILL RETURN THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS.

Then I headed for home, stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up groceries, and by the time I got home, it was lunch time.

BUT.

I had to go out and visit George and Gracie and check for eggs, first. Those dogs are such good puppies. They come right over to me when I come through the gate, and they sit and look hopefully at me, and if I have treats for them, they are polite about waiting to be given their treats. And if there are no treats, they are polite about waiting for me to pet them and rub their ears.

(I really like rubbing their big soft ears.)

Then I checked for eggs and petted George and Gracie some more, and came back inside where I ate lunch.

And spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the floor of the kitten room.

Productive day? Yes, very much so. I still need like hell to vacuum the house today, though. And clean out the fireplace (it’s going to get up into the mid-50s today!). And maybe clean the bathrooms.

But most importantly – I have an episode of Real Housewives and an episode of Lost to watch!

Priorities, y’know.

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So, I spent a couple of hours hanging out in the foster kitten room yesterday. At first, Samba and Rumba hid behind the door in the closet. Then they got curious, and they peeked out. And ran back and hid. Then when it became clear that, hey, I was just minding my own business, man, just laying here on the floor reading and not interested in no little bitty kitties, they came out. They sniffed around the room, sniffed at the space heater I’d brought in with me, sniffed at my water bottle, sniffed at my feet.

Then they settled on the cat tree and snoozed, then kept an eye on me and snoozed. Rumba occasionally jumped down to see what I was doing that sounded so interesting (I rolled some toys across the floor). Neither of them actually approached me for petting, but when Fred got home and walked into the room and approached them, they allowed him to pet them briefly before they skedaddled back into the closet.

Last night, Rumba let me pet her quite a bit (it’s not that she wanted me to pet her, really, just that she was chasing a toy and I happened to be there, so I’d pet her as she went by, and she’d tolerate it) and even purred. I suspect after I spend some time in there today, they might even approach me on purpose and want to be petted.

We shall see!

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Pretty Rumba.

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Samba in the sun.

More pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Maxi does her best Tony Soprano impression. Seriously, check out those serial killer eyes! (The funny thing is that she’s such a lover that when Fred pets her, she gets so happy she drools all over the place.)

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Previously
2008: If you can’t wander around in your nightgown and parka in the country, where can you?
2007: more than once I got frustrated and called Fred at work and wove an impressive tapestry of profanity that impressed him
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: You don’t actually have to say the words “You’re a dumbass” to get the idea across, and thus when your wife is mad at you later and you so very innocently say “Are you mad about something?” and she says “YOU CALLED ME A DUMBASS!” and you say “I did NOT call you a dumbass!”, you are wrong and she is right and you’d best commence to begging for forgiveness, you fucker.
2003: Little bastard.
2002: I can’t believe I’m FUCKING FALLING DOWN.
2001: No entry.
2000: I apologize for the lameness of this entry.

1-21-09

by @ Wednesday, January 21st, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yesterday was pretty low-key for me – I got the important morning stuff done, then hung out on the couch under my electric throw (like an electric blanket, only smaller!) for the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon, switching between catching up on the shows I watch, and the inauguration.

Grey’s Anatomy fans, please remind me why the hell Meredith and Christina aren’t talking? For the life of me, I can’t remember and I don’t feel like slogging through recaps to find out.

Also, remind me how Derek’s father died?

Eric Stoltz makes a REALLY good creepy serial killer.

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Speaking of TV watching and such, Fred and I gave Burn Notice a try, and we liked it so much we watched Season 1 in no time flat.

And then we were lucky, because USA is showing the HELL out of Season 2, part one, this week, apparently ramping up to starting up the second half of Season 2. So we’ve managed to record most of the first half of Season 2 on the DVR, and once they’re all recorded, we’ll watch them.

I really, really like the show despite the fact that (1) Jeffrey Donovan has got a very smackable face and (2) I’m no fan of Gabrielle Anwar, because she seems like a real pain in the ass (JUST MY PERCEPTION). But despite the smackable face on Jeffrey Donovan, I love his character, and despite the fact that Gabrielle Anwar seems like a pain in the ass, I love her character too (also, she’s got killer abs). And how can you not love Bruce Campbell?

I highly recommend the show, if you hadn’t guessed.

Also, last weekend we were in the movie store, searching desperately for movies to watch (because it was cold out and we wanted to sit on our asses and watch movies all day), and finally I picked up Baby Mama and said “I think Tina Fey wrote this. We should at least give it a try.”

Turns out Tina Fey didn’t write it, but it wasn’t a bad movie – certainly worth watching, in any case. Made us laugh out loud at least a couple of times.

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I’ve been having really odd dreams lately – very vivid ones – and I don’t know why, but I’ll admit that they’ve been pretty entertaining.

The other night I dreamed that my doctor told me that I had “chicken cancer.” And that I had two to ten years to live. And I was all “THEN I’M GOING TO LIVE ELEVEN YEARS, BECAUSE I’M GOING TO KICK THIS CANCER’S ASS!” The next day I kept thinking about my diagnosis and laughing my ass off.

(I don’t even want to think about what the hell “chicken cancer” might entail.)

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I took Marion and Claudette to the pet store last night, and let me tell you – it was quite some job getting those two girls into the carriers! They did NOT want to go (not that I can blame them!) and it took Fred and I about twenty minutes to wrangle them up and put them in the carriers.

At the pet store, when I put them in the cage, they just kind of huddled there in fear. Reports from the adoption counselor are that they continued to be pretty scared, but hopefully after a few days they’ll realize it’s not that bad.

Fingers crossed!

The sad news is that Delmar was returned by the people who’d adopted him. He’s apparently too bitey, and didn’t get along with the other kitten they’d adopted the week before. I can’t really blame them, they have a four year-old and a little kid combined with a bitey kitten, well, not good!

Poor Delmar.

So, my poor babies – not adopted! Wah!!!!

A few days ago, an email went out looking for someone who could take a couple of three month-old sisters who are suffering from upper respiratory infections. Since Marion and Claudette were going to the pet store, I offered to take them.

Last night, after I got Marion and Claudette settled in their new cage, I met the foster mother in front of the pet store.

She needed someone to take the kittens because she and her husband were going out of town. I told her I’d be fine with keeping them from here on out, or if she wanted them back, that was fine with me, too. She’s pretty attached to them, so I suspect that they’ll be going back to her.

They’re skittish, but so far I’ve spent time just hanging out in the kitten room with them, and they’re very VERY curious. They’ve come out to play and sniff around. I put a small space heater in the room with them, because it’s been cold lately, and since the door to that room stays closed, it can get cold.

Only one of them is still on medication for the upper respiratory infection, the other one seems to be doing just fine. Even the one still on medication is very bright-eyed and curious. She’s an angel when it comes to medicating her, thank god.

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Samba.

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Rumba.

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Another shot of Rumba.

(My apologies for the bad pictures – I didn’t want to use the flash, ’cause it was making their eyes shine.)

I’m going to spend some serious time with them today – I expect the curiosity will be too much for them to stand, and I’ll be snuggling with them soon enough!

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2009-01-21
Sugarbutt suffers from what we like to call “Ass-on-fire-itis.” The instant after I took this picture, he went racing at the window, then did a Matrix move off the window, raced through the house, and ran out into the back yard.

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Previously
2008: We were in bed asleep by 10:00, because we are such the party people.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yeah, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make us laugh, I guess.
2004: Now isn’t there anything we can do to force Joey Buttafuoco back into obscurity?
2003: So if you meet me in person and expect a “Mighty fucking fine to meet you, fuckface!”, you’ll likely be disappointed.
2002: Wrong on that one, Brigitte. Trust me.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

1-20-09

by @ Tuesday, January 20th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Isabella

Chasity‘s daughter Isabella needs a liver transplant, and they need help to make that happen.

Go check out Isabella’s page and donate if you can!!!

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Don’t feel bad, over-explainers – a lot of people over-explain stuff. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I only over-explain when I feel like I need an excuse (like last week when the dentist’s office called to remind me of my appointment on Thursday, and I told them I needed to cancel and reschedule, and then went on to tell them that my daughter was in town and sick and had to reschedule for the next day and blah blah blah, the complete disinterest from the woman calling from the dentist’s office was practically visible through the phone line).

Most of the time I’m an under-explainer. Like, when I show you my driver’s license and you look at my license and then at me and then you say “You’ve lost a lot of weight!” (since my license picture is from, like, five years ago), I will likely smile and say “Yes, I have.” And then you might look expectantly at me, and I will smile and wait for you to hand my license back. It’s not ’til maybe three days later that it occurs to me that you were hoping I’d mention how I lost that weight.

I tend to assume if someone wants to know something specific, they’ll ask. Which is ironic, because I might be DYING to know the details of something, but I try not to get all up in other people’s shit and demand details, because I don’t want to be perceived as being rude.

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I forgot to mention it in yesterday’s entry, but regarding Miz Poo and the visit to the vet: a few weeks ago I noticed that she was doing an AWFUL lot of grooming, and upon further inspection, I discovered that the hair on her stomach from the waist down (not that cats have waists, but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) was pretty much completely gone, and she had a bit of a rash as well. Since she’s our money cat, off to the vet we (eventually) went.

The vet inspected her all over, discussed her history with me, and finally opted to give her a steroid shot. We’re augmenting that at home with a dose of essential oils to help her skin dryness, and a Chlorphenaramine tablet each evening to help with the itchiness. So far, it seems to be working well, but we need to be diligent about keeping up with the oil and pill every day instead of slacking, as we tend to do.

(This is how I’m diligent: “Can you give Miz Poo her pill and oil, please?” to Fred. Because he’s so much better at that sort of thing than I am!)

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So yesterday afternoon, the adjuster from our insurance company came out to check out our roof. It hadn’t occurred to us that our homeowner’s insurance might cover part of the cost of replacing the roof (did I mention that we had a lot of leaking inside the house during the last couple of sets of storms?) until one of Fred’s coworkers mentioned it. The guy showed up, Fred took him around the inside of the house so he could see the damage in the laundry room ceiling, the damage in the computer room, and the damage upstairs.

Then – and it was cold and windy and spitting snow at the time, thus a prime time to be stomping around on the roof of a house – the guy went up on the roof. And the dogs, who’d been snoozing out in front of the chicken coop (the colder it gets, the happier those two dorks are), were all of a sudden “Hey, Gracie! There’s a GUY! On the ROOF! Of the HOUSE! And I think he might be trying to get OUR CHICKENS!” and “GEORGE! GUY! ROOF! PROTECT THE CHICKENS!” and they barked. And they barked. Then they barked some more. Bark. Bark. Bark.

The entire time the guy was up there, they stood at the fence at the front of the back forty and they barked. Even after the guy left, Gracie barked for a little while as if to say “I saw you! And I’ll remember your face! And I will RIP YOU FROM LIMB TO LIMB!”

I said to Fred “Those two are so freakin’ cute, I don’t know how anyone could ever be scared of them.”

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So I mentioned last week that I was going to try making cookies with frozen (then thawed) eggs with a completely different cookie recipe. I made the cookies with the thawed eggs and… they were like cookies. Not cake-like at all!

Apparently it’s only the Sundry cookies, made with frozen (and then thawed) eggs that come out that way.

Just to double-check, I made a batch of the Sundry cookies for Fred over the weekend, leaving out the chocolate chips and adding a cup of peanut butter, and they came out cake-like. Saturday evening, he asked me to hide them from him, ’cause he was eating too many of them. I did – and the good thing is that I won’t be tempted to eat a peanut butter cookie here or there, ’cause I’m no fan of peanut butter cookies.

Anyway, there you go.

As for me, I’ll probably always prefer the Cooking Light chocolate chip cookies. They’re like crack to me!

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I spent a good part of the morning on Saturday making fruit-habanero jams. I started to set up an Etsy store, but after listing a few jars of jam, I stopped and rethought it. Since people have to pay directly to the seller for their purchases, I could put up a self-hosted page with the jams and hot sauces I have available, along with the estimated shipping costs, and I won’t charge myself 20 cents per listing the way Etsy does.

(I considered an eBay store, but at $16 a month just for the store front and the percentage eBay takes from each purchase, I don’t think so.)

So I’m going to set up a page and give that a try. I’ll link to it when it’s live for anyone who’s interested.

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The news on Lem and Delmar: Delmar got adopted on Saturday! Lem still hasn’t been adopted, though. Wah!

Tonight, Marion and Claudette go to the pet store, hopefully to be adopted quickly (not that I expect it, but a foster momma can hope!).

From the terrified, practically-feral kittens they were to the kittens who actually seek out human interaction they are now, they’ve changed a lot. They’re still skittish, and if you walk toward them they’ll run off and hide (especially Marion), but once things are settled, they’ll come and ask for petting.

Last night as I watched TV, with Miz Poo on my lap, Claudette settled down next to me and stayed there for a long time. I honestly never thought we’d get to that point back when we first got them.

Keep your fingers crossed that someone walks by the cat cages at the pet store and can see past their scaredy-cat exteriors to the lovable little sweeties they really are.

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More pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: I think I took my first steps toward being an adult yesterday.
2005: Who the fuck knew?
2004: A Kitchenaid mixer!
2003: “My ass. Please let him go for my ass, and not my throat or my eyes, I’ve got plenty of ass to spare.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Double ear infection, thankyouverymuch.

1/19/09

by @ Monday, January 19th, 2009. Filed under Life

Isabella

Chasity‘s daughter Isabella needs a liver transplant, and they need help to make that happen.

Go check out Isabella’s page and donate if you can!!!

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Fred came in the house Saturday afternoon and said to me, “I need to come up with a good excuse for why we don’t sell our chickens.”

“Was someone getting pushy about wanting to buy some?”

“No, he just asked and I said we don’t sell them, and then I was like ‘I’m weird about selling our animals, I don’t like to do it, blah blah blah.'”

Fred is, as I have mentioned before, an overexplainer. If you ask him something and he answers you and then you don’t say anything, he will rush to fill the silence by explaining himself. Sometimes at night I’ll ask him a question I already know the answer to, and then when he answers I don’t say anything because I want to see how long he’ll keep talking before he stops and then says “Y’know?” in a bid for a response.

“How about you just say ‘No, we don’t sell chickens’ and don’t say anything else?” I suggested. “Because we don’t sell chickens. Those chickens are for us, not them.”*

“Yeah, I know…” he said.

Sunday, a family stopped by to buy eggs, and this time when the guy asked if Fred sold chickens, he simply said that we don’t.

“But he kept giving me looks,” Fred told me later. “Like he was looking for an explanation! I finally told him we eat them ourselves.”

*We did sell some little chickens once to someone who stopped by, back in April. But we both felt really bad about selling them and decided we wouldn’t do it again, because we know that here they’re treated really well and given lots of food and room to roam and (now) protection, but we certainly can’t know that in their new home they’ll have the same. We’re weird that way, I guess.

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Sunday morning, Fred wanted to go to D0g Days (a flea market in Tennessee where we’ve gotten a lot of chickens, and in fact where we got our last two pigs) to see if there were any pigs there. He was also interested in buying a fig tree. We got five cherry trees at D0g Days a couple of weeks ago, as well as a Weeping Willow tree. The cherry trees are doing fine so far, but the weeping willow didn’t make it a day before the dogs chewed it down to a nub.

Lesson learned on our part! No planting small trees in the chicken/ dog yard.

So we were surprised, pulling into the D0g Days parking lot, to find that there weren’t many people there. Usually it’s bustling, but we also arrived there a lot earlier than we usually do. We walked slowly through, looking at what was for sale, until we reached the table we’d been aiming for. The guy there was selling cooked pork, butter, milk, and eggs.

Oh, eggs.

When we were there a few weeks ago, Fred asked if the eggs were fertile (that is, if there was a rooster in with the hens). At that point, the guy told him that none of them were, but that he’d have fertile eggs in a few weeks.

Yesterday when Fred asked if he had any fertile eggs yet, the guy answered in the affirmative.

First we bought two and a half dozen, and then we walked through the rest of the market, looking to see what there was. There were plenty of chickens, plenty of puppies, plenty of turkeys and geese (HATE), but no pigs.

On our way back to the truck, we stopped and got another dozen eggs. Hey, the incubator holds 42 eggs; why not take advantage of the space? Yesterday afternoon, Fred put 35 of the eggs we’d gotten at D0g Days and 7 of our own eggs into the incubator. In three weeks, we should have some baby chickens.

Yes, it’s an illness.

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2009-01-19
When my sister and Brian were on their way here at Christmas, she saw these license plates in a gift shop and sent me the picture.

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(More George & Gracie pics up over at Flickr.)

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2009-01-19 (10)

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Three and a half years old, and brudderly love lives on.

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: “Oh!” he said, with a big smile. “You’re pregnant!”
2006: A SHELL ON A STICK.
2005: Every movie and every show we watch, he’s in there deconstructing it.
2004: Memes.
2003: A day in the life of Spot J. And3rson.
2002: No entry.
2001: Blech.
2000: I now officially have too damn many books to read.

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]