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2/27/09

by @ Friday, February 27th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life, TV

Four half-pints of fruit-habanero jam left!

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I am shaving my head for the 3rd year for St. Baldrick’s Foundation on March 28th. This year it means even more to me as I now know what it is like to receive a diagnosis of cancer since I was diagnosed in September of last year with Renal Cell Cancer.

Even the smallest donations are appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Donate here!

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From reader Nicole, regarding her friend’s daughter:

Holly has applied for the “World’s Best Job” on the Barrier Reef. I’m not sure of the total number of applicants, but I think it’s something like 35,000.

The site is incredibly overloaded, and it takes forever to download her application video, but I hope you will be patient, view it and rate it. The ratings will help to influence the judges, who will select the top 50. They will be chosen 8 days from now, at which time the public will then actually vote to choose the top 10. It’s a bit presumptuous to look that far ahead. For now, enjoy the video, and rate it, if you will, please.

http://www.islandreefjob.com/applicants/watch/boz1mBbEpgk

To view the competition, click on this:

http://www.islandreefjob.com/#/applicants

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Yesterday, after I checked the big chicken coop for eggs I stopped by the little chicken coop to see if Sassy had left an egg in one of the nest boxes.

Turned out, she was hanging out in the nest box, and REALLY pissed off and appalled at my utter gall and NERVE.

For you, a movie starring Sassy McGee, Angry Chicken. I call it “SHUT THE DOOR! I’M LAYING AN EGG! GOD!!!”


Sassy McGee, Angry Chicken from Robyn Anderson on Vimeo.

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Robyn, how does it feel to be a thin person now? I once lost 80lbs, and was thin for a couple of years, I really miss how “light” my body was. How has being thin changed things physically for you?

I have to admit, I don’t really think of myself in terms of being “thin.” Most of the time I just kind of go along and don’t think of the fact that I’ve lost, pretty much, an entirely other person. Every once in a while, though, I’ll do something – I’ve started running around in the back forty with the dogs, I start running and yell “Come on, puppies! Come on, puppies!” and they’ll join in the chase – and I’ll think “Huh. I could never have done that before!” And before the surgery, I never went back upstairs during the day unless I absolutely had to – if there was stuff that needed to go upstairs, I’d just pile it at the bottom of the stairs. Now, I’ll just run upstairs and put whatever it is away, or run upstairs and check on the kittens, or whatever, and not really think much about it.

I thought, before I had the surgery, that I’d feel so much lighter after I lost all that weight, and I guess I do, but for the most part I just feel like… me, I guess.

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Did Delmar ever get adopted? I know he got returned once, but is he still at the pet store or did he find a home?

He did! He got adopted a couple of weeks ago, and the same people who adopted Delmar also adopted Lem. I was pretty happy to find that out. Funny thing is that earlier in the day I had been thinking about trying to convince Fred that we should adopt him. Apparently the universe doesn’t think we need any more cats!

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Robyn, I know this gets asked every few months, and if I wasn’t so damned lazy I could do a search for it, but….. what camera do you guys have? It takes incredible shots.

It’s a Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 (I always have to look at the label on the camera, I can never remember what it is!)

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side note about the skin: in my experience with white dogs, and dalmation dogs, sometimes they are more prone to skin irriations. What always worked for us was feeding them carrots. We’d get a big bags of mini-carrots at c0stco and serve those in place of dog biscuits.

I have so much to learn about dogs – I tossed half a head of cabbage to the chickens the other day, and George darted in and grabbed it and took it off to the back of the field and then ate it. It had never occurred to me that they’d eat raw vegetables! But they really, really like carrots. Now, how much of the carrots they actually eat, I’m not sure – I find carrot pieces all over the place after I give them carrots, but they certainly like to chew on them.

Also, those of you who suggested getting Kongs for the dogs? Genius! I fill them with treats (cut up carrots, a homemade cookie or two) and plain yogurt, then freeze them for a few hours, and when I walk through the gate and give the dogs their Kongs, they immediately retreat to their corners and concentrate on those Kongs like there’s nothing else on earth.

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Puppies eating carrots.

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“I has a Kong! I has a Kong! It’s MY Kong, I has a Kong!”

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This may be a little late but when you watched Zack & Miri did you watch it all the way through the credits? There’s more movie 1/2 through the credits.

No – damnit! I think this means I need to get it from Netflix again so I can see what I missed!

Edited to add: Fred found it for me at YouTube! See it here. (Very much not safe for work!)

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I can find goat cheese at Kroger and Walmart, so I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be able to get it at Publix! Most often it’s labeled as chevre.

I looked in both the cheese sections (the one by the deli and the one near the milk), and never did find goat cheese. That doesn’t mean Publix doesn’t carry it, just that I got overwhelmed by the amount of cheese, couldn’t find goat cheese, and gave up and left. I’ll check again this weekend when I go! Actually, I think we’re going to the feed and seed store

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I love the picture with Fred and the chicken. My first thought was I wonder what that shirt looks like on the back? I’m really commenting because I am buying chicks tomorrow and I wanted to remind you that it is completely and totally All. Your. Fault. (I’m trying to find my camera)

Fred would like you to know that Mr. Friendly does NOT poop whilst being held. Ever. (Yet.)

Baby chicken pictures, please. If y’all are going to blame me for you getting a chicken or a cat or a dog or a pig, y’all are going to have to come through with the pictures. It’s the law – don’t make me sic Sheriff Mama on you!

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Re the slankie, there is actually a spoof of the ad on YouTube that is just hilarious!

I think I must have seen that, because I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a real Slanket/ Snuggie commercial, and the parody has to be how I found out that it’s just a ROBE that you WEAR BACKWARDS.

Because I mock the Slanket, I think we all know that by this time next year, I’ll own sixteen cat-hair-covered Slankets and will wear them 24 hours a day.

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Regarding raw diets, the cat my DH grew up with ate only raw horse liver, which was apparently sold at the pet store many years ago. My MIL chopped it into small pieces and kept it in an old fashioned glass refrigerator container, with the loosely fitted lids.

Anyway, when it was time for “Buttons” to come in she would go to the back door and rattle the lid and he would come running lickity split.

Most of the time, all the cats have to do is hear me getting their snack plates down, and they come running. The only ones who don’t are the ones who are hanging out in the back yard and don’t hear the rattling of the plates.

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ROBYN! Have you seen the show Assy McGee?? (Knowing how you love the name “McGee!” (which by the way, we call our animals, “Dickball McGee, and Shitpie Magillicutty.” They seem to like it and it sure makes us laugh.) ANYWAY, the show is really dumb but MY GOD, it’s hilarious.

I have not yet watched any episodes of Assy McGee, but it’s certainly on my list of stuff to check out!

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Have you seen this article and website? A man in Florida has developed 30 acres just for cats, rescues, strays, and those people can’t keep.

Here’s the article.

And here’s the website.

Oh wow – that is just too neat! He apparently never ever turns any cats away!

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I’d be careful with high-protein diets… especially in male cats. I had for almost 14 years problems with my cat and protein in his diet. He’d start to pee everywhere, get urinary tract infections and it eventually cause liver and kidney damage. He finally passed away about two years ago from severe kidney failure. It’s a balancing act. if you have cats that are healthy and can handle it, then good… if not though, you could upset the balance and then have to try and figure out which cats are sick, which are healthy…. it’s up to you but… i’d just be careful. I know I spent probably $10,000 in bills over the years. Maybe more! Don’t tell my mom… and that’s just for one cat.

I doubt we’ll ever go to a 100% raw food diet just because I sincerely doubt that some of our cats (Miz Poo, in particular) would ever eat anything but the dry food we provide for them. Giving them raw food would probably be more supplemental than a complete replacement for our cats.

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What movie did the Donald Sutherland “skimmer” photo come from?

skimmers

That’s from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Fred told me that, I haven’t actually seen it myself!).

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Love the new piggies. The picture of George and Gracie running along the fence surprised me. I thought all they did was lay around in the sun proving gravity.

They have bursts of energy if something excites them – something like the pigs (they don’t bark at them anymore, at least!), or one of their humans approaching with a snack. Also, they like to chase each other around from time to time. I would estimate that they have the occasional ten-minute burst of energy followed by six or seven hours of recovery time wherein they are absolutely dead to the world. Fred and I are fond of saying “Looks like something killed the dogs.”, because when those dogs are out, they’re OUT.

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oh, my! Those are the cutest little things! I soo could not eat them. As a kid, I had a pet pig named Curly. Then all of a sudden he was nowhere to be found. I asked Mom where he was and she asked if I remembered eating the Christmas ham. I was very sad. I loved my Curly.

That is just sad. But funny. But mostly sad. Poor Curly!

We’re lucky that as cute as the pigs are right now, they will grow to be big and obnoxious and demanding, and when it’s time for them to go off to be processed, we’ll be glad to see ’em go.

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I guess this would be a question for Friday but I was wondering how much you save by buying and raising pigs, chickens, etc? I can’t remember if you had a cow. If not, would you consider it? I’m sure you are seeing some savings by raising your own food including vegetables and fruits. But I’m also sure there are some costs involved beside your time. Have you begun to see any savings or is this more of a hobby but the savings in a bonus kind of thing?

Honestly, I think we’re saving money by “growing” our own meat, but I can’t put a dollar figure to it, I just have no idea at all. I haven’t bought anything but beef in almost a year, and it’s nice to have a freezer full of pork and chicken on hand.

We didn’t have a cow. We talked about it, but I don’t think we really have room for a cow anymore, with the pigs and chickens taking up so much of the back forty. The guy who sold us the pigs also raises cows, and he’s willing to sell us a cow that’s ready to be processed – in other words, he’d deliver the cow to the butcher, we’d just have to pick it up. Fred’s considering it (we’d likely split the cow with his business partner, because I don’t think we have freezer space for an entire cow – I’m not sure we actually have freezer space for HALF a cow!).

More important than the money we save by raising our own pigs and chickens is knowing that they’re well-treated until the last possible moment.

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I know you’ve said that you’ll never get geese, but have you ever seen Indian Runner Ducks? Our neighbor has them and they’re hilarious!

No, I had never seen those before (or at least, hadn’t noticed them). They’re awfully cute!

(But I don’t want ducks either. We have no bodies of water for them to swim around in.)

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Have you gotten the house pictures yet? Now that you “know” what the cement pad was for, you think about building an XL pantry out there to store all your creations? I thought of you today when we went to Walmart. Hubby went to get a box of ammo for target shooting and our Walmart was sold out of most everything! Eek I thought, well if we are gonna be attacked, at least Fred and Robyn will be stocked up and could survive.

The house pictures haven’t arrived yet – but the woman who has them said it would be a little while before she could put her hands on them, she has them in storage.

We haven’t even discussed putting a super-sized pantry out there, but I think I’d rather have a deck over that cement pad, instead. (Someday.) If we were going to build a really big pantry, I think I’d rather have it in the house than in another building – maybe one wall of the guest bedroom, or of the dining room. That way, we could better defend our food against the starving masses when the economy REALLY goes into the toilet.

(Or, you know, it’ll be handy when we invite the starving masses in to eat with us, which is probably more likely!)

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Cute little piggies! 🙂 Have you named them yet? If not, might I suggest Martin and Lewis? Tom and Jerry? Sylvester and Tweety?

Thus far, our pigs seem to be generally named “Big Pig” and “Little Pig” because one’s always bigger than the other. This time around we’ll likely go with “Black Pig” and “Striped Pig”, because we are creative geniuses!

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I don’t know much about pigs but – why are they hairy? I’ve never seen hairy pigs here before… not here anyways!

I… don’t know. I guess it’s due to the type of pigs they are? The other pigs we had (Yorkshires) had some hair (bristles), but not nearly as much as these pigs do. These pigs have a Yorkshire mother and I don’t know what their father was. They look like little wild boars to me!

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I do not believe I knew that chickens could sneeze. Sounds obvious, but do all animals sneeze? Hmm….

It took me a long time to figure out that that’s what that noise is – they make the exact sound that you get when you squeeze a squeaky toy. It’s pretty funny!

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Freezer camp!! Snort, guffaw, snort!

and

Freezer Camp is my new favorite term. May I steal it? Is that hen blue? She looks like she is almost indigo (heh, pretty fancy talk). Very beautiful hen. Although I am a native Hoosier and see chickens at farms all the time, I never realized that both male and female had the red on the head. Thanks for teaching this old dog something new.

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You may certainly steal Freezer Camp, but in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I didn’t come up with it – I saw it on LisaNH’s flickr stream at some point in the past, and have used the hell out of it ever since.

The hen’s black, and has kind of an iridescent blue look to her in certain lights (I’d tell you what kind of chicken she is, but I think she’s just a mutt – I’m 99% sure that either we hatched her ourselves in the incubator, or she was hatched by one of the older hens at some point in the last year, rather than being a purebreed bought from the hatchery). Both males and females generally have red combs, but the males’ combs are big and dark-red and showy, and the females’ combs tend to be smaller and less fancy.

That’s your exciting chicken lesson for the day.

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I guess you have 3 piglets. Two outdoor and one indoor/outdoor bed hog. Of course, I have 3 piglets myself. All three of my cats are bed hogs. Unfortunately it’s MY BED! I swear! I deserve more than a sliver of the side of my queen size bed. You think a human (albeit large) and 3 cats should be able to co-exist on one bed. I’ve started taking charge though – they are learning to move or get the ultimate heave ho.

Every night when I lay in bed and read, Mister Boogers drapes himself across my legs, and then when I want to go to sleep and I push him off my legs (I’m a side sleeper), he growls at me like he thinks he is the BOSS OF ME. It drives me NUTS, because apparently the little bastard thinks I should just stay in one position forever and ever until he’s ready to get up and go his own way. GRRR. And he’s the one cat who isn’t scared of the can of compressed air! Every other cat in the house only has to SEE the can and off they go, but Mister Boogers just lays there like “What?”

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Does this mean that Mr. Friendly gets a “stay of execution?”
And I’m curious, what is the life-span of a chicken if it isn’t eaten first?

Mr. Friendly does, indeed, get a stay of execution. As long as he stays as friendly as he is now, I’m willing to keep him around. I’ve tried to TELL the chickens that it’s in their best interest to be friendly (like Frick was) or personable (like Sassy McGee) or too small to eat (like the Featherheads, Rock Star, and Silkies), but they just never listen to me!

According to this page, the average life expectancy for a chicken is 8 years.

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How does the homemade vanilla extract work with using rum and vodka?? Does it have to age so the alcohol content goes away? I am confused.

I believe it has to age so that the flavor of the vanilla bean infuses the alcohol – otherwise you’d just be adding vodka with a touch of rum to your recipes. Vanilla extract – at least the bottle I have in my kitchen cupboard – is 35% alcohol. The only thing that’ll be missing from my homemade vanilla extract (that’s in my commercially made vanilla extract) is corn syrup. (I don’t know why they put corn syrup in vanilla extract…?)

According to this page, Vodka is often mentioned as the ideal liquor for this because its neutral flavor won’t overshadow that of the vanilla.

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Does Jane know you named a chicken after Mr. Friendly?

I totally did not name that chicken after Jane’s ex-husband, I swear it! I was just tired of trying to discuss the chicken with Fred and not having a name for it and “That friendly chicken” or “Our little buddy” wasn’t working for me.

(Although maybe Buddy McGee would have worked. Hmmm…)

But I’ll admit that occasionally I think of Jane when I’m talking about the damn chicken. Obviously I need to just start naming chickens after journalers.

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I liked Cleese’s house tour video on his blog–note the enormous cat tree in front of the window. But why does he apparently keep some of his cats in a large outdoor cage??

That’s an excellent question! I have no idea – it’s certainly a nice big cage with plenty of plants, though, isn’t it?

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When you say Original 12, do you mean THE VERY FIRST chickens you guys started with? How cool!

Yeah, we still have a goodly number of our original 12 chickens – Oscar for one, I think we have most (if not all) of the Buff Orpingtons (the yellow chickens), and probably a Barred Rock or two. Fred knows better than I do which chickens came from where, but I like the fact that there are some original chickens still around. This makes them… (I had to go check my archives. How the hell did I know when stuff happened before I had an online journal, I ask you?) they’ll be two years old in March.

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Your animals are all gorgeous. Have you thought about doing a coffee table-type book to memorialize them and Crooked Acres?

I hadn’t – but Fred’s got a picture of a White-Crested Black Polish (ie, one of the Featherheads) that will be published in a book about chickens that’s coming out next month!

I miss your commentaries on those nutty Housewives (NY and OC). Did you see the OC end of season get together? Wow, now I think they’re ALL evil, except Lori and Lynn. Not sure about Gretchen. As for Lynn, when they call her dumb I think that’s their euphemism for not a heartless bitch like the rest of them.

I did see the OC end of season get-together, and at this point I loathe Tamra so much that it could come out that Gretchen bilked Jeff out of all his money and tossed his kids out on the street, and I’d still like her more than the bitter, evil, bitchy, hypocritical Tamra. GOD.

Also, I laughed out loud when it came out that Jeanna’d been gossiping about Gretchen on the drive to the set. BUSTED!

I don’t even know why they bothered to bring Laurie to the set, it was like “Hi, how ya doin’, how’s Josh, BYE!”

Lynne lives on her own planet.

As far as the NYC ladies – I’m still blind from seeing Simon in his Speedo and he is the creepiest man on this planet. UGH.

(One day, Ramona’s eyes are going to pop right out of her head and go bouncing across the floor!)

Also, Bethenny makes me laugh my ass off with her one-liners! I loved her “Dis-Countess” remark.

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The day before yesterday, it was kind of chilly and rainy out, so I went upstairs and stretched out on my bed and read for a little while. Rumba was in the cat bed at the end of the bed, and every time I spoke to her, she’d purr loudly for a few minutes before quieting back down.

Eventually, Samba jumped up on the bed and nervously settled against my leg as I read.

As generally happens when I lay on the bed and read on chilly, rainy days, I started to get sleepy. I put down the book and rolled over on my side, and I snoozed for ten or fifteen minutes. When I woke up, I found that Samba had crawled up the bed and was curled up against my stomach. And when I began petting her, she rolled around and purred.

This is the first time she’s actually come to me and let me pet her – usually I have to grab her as she’s running by and pick her up, and she just tolerates my petting (and kissing!) her. It was nice to know that deep down in her skittish little heart, she kinda likes the love!

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Samba, running around like a wild thing.

More kitten pics over at Love&Hisses.

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That must be some dream he’s having.

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Previously
2008: All that said, I can tell you that, somehow, Paula Deen annoys the fucking shit out of me.
2007: Just call me Betty Homemaker.
2006: I swear to god, I have NO CONTROL over what comes out of my mouth sometimes.
2005: No entry.
2004: Dude, what the fuck? I don’t talk for 20 to 30 minutes on the phone to people I know and LIKE, let alone some strange man from the CDC!
2003: A Day in the Life of Mr. Fancypants.
2002: No entry.
2001: But I kinda like the irritability.
2000: My heart stopped, my jaw dropped, and I whispered “Oh, shiiiiiiiiiiit!”

2/26/09

by @ Thursday, February 26th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Life, Picture Entries

Fred sent me to John Cleese’s blog this morning so I could watch this video.

LOVE IT.

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George and Mr. Friendly. (Note: Mr. Friendly did not actually get up on the dog himself, he was placed there.)

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Mr. Friendly has better places to be, apparently.

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The white Silkie. She is SO purty.

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George is such a good boy – I walk through the gate, he runs over to greet me, and then he immediately sits, ’cause he knows that’s the way to get a treat. Gracie, on the other hand, has recently lost all memory of sitting – “What’s this ‘sit’ they keep saying to me?!” – and just looks at us like we’re idiots when we tell her to sit. She’s slowly re-learning it, though.

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Head Rooster in Charge Michelle is keeping an eye on YOU.

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Featherhead keeping an eye on me in case treats should suddenly appear.

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Oscar (so named because she resembled an ostrich when she was little), one of our original 12.

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One of the chickens we got from the flea market last Fall.

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Rock star, just inside the coop – staying out of the wind, but taking some sun.

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Giggling pup.

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Bob chases off one of the young roosters. “Them’s MY WIMMIN!” says Bob.

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Keeping an eye out for trouble.

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The Buff rooster and one of his wimmin.

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Last night, after I played with the kittens in the foster room with the laser light, I went into my bedroom where Tommy and Sugarbutt were waiting for me, and I let them chase the laser light for a few minutes. Sheriff Mama (Kara) watched with quite some disapproval as they raced around after the light, and then Sugarbutt ran too close to Kara. She had had QUITE enough of this foolishness, so when he came within smackin’ reach, she reared up and boxed his ears. I laughed until I wheezed.

She has NO tolerance for foolishness.

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Previously
2008: “You (kick) are such (kickkick) an asshole (kickkickkick) get in that goddamn house!”
2007: Christ, what a weekend we had.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: God, why why WHY do women do this to themselves?
2003: A Day in the Life of Spanky.
2002: No entry.
2001: Saturday was my dumbass day.
2000: No entry.

2/25/09

by @ Wednesday, February 25th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

There are a few jars of fruit-habanero jam left, if you’re interested!

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On Friday I noticed that my vanilla extract was getting low. I remembered recently reading a recipe to make your own vanilla extract on Suzanne McMinn’s page, so I sent Fred an email asking him to pick up a small bottle of vodka and one of rum on his way home.

He did – alcohol’s much less expensive than I’d expected! I should totally take up drinking! (not) – and after a trip to the grocery store on Sunday, I made a double batch of vanilla extract in one of the (empty, never-used) hot sauce bottles we had laying around, and put it up in the cupboard, where it will sit and age for a few months before I start using it.

After I’d gotten the vanilla extract (to be) made, I said “We have all this rum and vodka left. We should do shots!”

Then I paused and thought about it for a moment.

“Do people DO vodka and rum in shots?”

He laughed and said “They do sometimes, I think.”

I have so much to learn.

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I’m looking for a good way to organize my recipes. Currently, I print them out on 4×6 recipe cards and keep them in a recipe box, but it’s a pain in the ass to dig through the recipe box to find recipes, and I can’t always fit the entire recipe on one side of the card (or I can, but I have to do it in tiny type, and I have aging eyes). I’m thinking of printing each recipe out on a full-size sheet of paper, then putting each recipe in a sheet protector (well, two in each sheet protector, one on each side), and organizing them in a three-ring binder by recipe type.

Alternately, I could print each recipe out and laminate them, then punch holes and organize them in a three-ring binder, but the laminating sheets are rather more expensive than the sheet protectors, and I’ve never been good at using that self-laminating stuff.

I don’t know. How do y’all organize your recipes?

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This little chicken – who we think is a Barred Rock – is about the friendliest chicken we’ve ever had. He came from the hatchery in our November batch, and he was friendly from the very beginning. These days, if we do something that startles the chickens, they all run away from us, except for this one, who runs toward us. He likes to stand between my feet when I toss out scratch for the chickens. When Fred sits on the bench out in the chicken yard, this little chicken approaches and wants to be picked up.

He – though I’ll admit we don’t know whether he’s male or female – has earned the name “Mr. Friendly.”

We’re actually talking about putting two or three chickens in the back yard because they’re pretty good at pest control and because we like seeing them run around the back yard. Mr. Friendly and the silkies might be turn into our backyard flock.

I don’t know, though – I’m not sure Kara can be trusted around the little chickens. She’s got the look of the killer about her.

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I got Rumba to snuggle with me, and she didn’t even try to pretend that she hated it! Her favorite place to be these days is in my room (when she’s not skulking around the downstairs, that is).

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Peekaboo.

More kitten pics over at Love&Hisses.

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Sugarbutt looks just a little too pleased with himself, doesn’t he?

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Previously
2008: “Well,” I said. “You really hit the fuckup trifecta this weekend, didn’t you?”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “That’s all she had to say! A simple ‘thank you’ would have made Doug as happy as a sissy with a dick in his mouth!”
2004: This DOES NOT STRIKE ME as a government that is staying the FUCK out of my face!
2003: A Day in the Life of Miz Poo.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ahhh, sweet blessed Friday.

2/24/09

by @ Tuesday, February 24th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Life

The Crooked Acres Jams are going fast (the hot sauces have already sold out!) – better jump on it if you’re interested! Like I said, once the stuff I have in stock is gone, that’ll be it ’til mid to late summer.

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Fred recently put an ad on Craigslist to sell some of our eggs for people interested in hatching them (he also put ads on eBay and… somewhere else, I don’t remember where all he put ads). He did this a couple of times last year, too, and it’s kind of interesting how many people bought fertile eggs from us to hatch in their incubators.

Since he put the ad on Craigslist, he’s had people email him because they’re interested in buying chickens from us. We don’t sell chickens (we did it once last year and then both felt so bad about it that we vowed to never do it again), and he told them all that much. One of the people who emailed him, though (she said she’d recently lost her rooster) had a web page for her farm, and after Fred went and looked at her web page, he directed me to it, and once we saw that they have free-range chickens and have a setup much like ours, we decided that we’d be willing to sell one of our roosters to her.

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Bob, to be exact. I like Bob, he’s a pretty rooster and he’s quite the stud, if his mating-flamenco-dance is anything to go by, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to have too many roosters, and some of them need to be sent to freezer camp.

If we can find a happy home for Bob instead of eating him, I’m okay with that.

She and her husband were going to stop by and pick up Bob yesterday, but Fred noticed on Sunday that Bob had sneezed once or twice, and in the interest of full disclosure told the woman. She opted to not bring Bob home, but she may buy fertile eggs for us at some point in the future when her hens go broody.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I finally got to the bottom of the bucket of laundry detergent that I made back at the end of October, using this recipe. Basically, I got a six month supply of laundry detergent for about $39.

That kicks ass.

I made a batch of the liquid stuff over the weekend – the powdered detergent works great, but I have to use warm water to dissolve the powder, and I prefer to wash clothes in cold water to avoid whatever extra it costs in electricity to heat the water to warm.

I do more laundry than you’d expect, given that it’s just the two of us. There’s always something that’s been peed on, or cat beds that have gotten dirty (I can’t stand the sight of a dirty cat bed), or dish towels that have piled up. I mean, I don’t do a TON of laundry, nothing approaching the loads of laundry those of you with kids at home must do, but still more than you’d expect, probably.

Speaking of dish towels, I usually keep out two dish towels (one by the sink, one by the stove) and one dish cloth. In the morning, right after I put the dishes in the dishwasher away, I toss the dish towels and cloth from the day before into the bucket of dirty laundry in the laundry room. It may sound wasteful, but it takes about a week for enough dish towels and cloths to build up into one load, and I like having clean stuff to use.

Is that weird?

(“Yes, Robyn, that’s very weird. Are you not the woman who allows her cats to tromp around on the kitchen counters at Snackin’! Time! ?” Um, shaddup. I always wipe down the counters once Snackin’! Time! is over. Also, did I mention shaddup?)

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I made cookies and a cake last Friday. When I asked Fred, Thursday night, if he had any baking requests for Friday, he suggested “A cake or something cake-y.”

That’s helpful.

Finally, I decided on a lemon pound cake that was pretty easy to make, and kind of tasty (though for the most part I’m not a huge pound cake fan), and best of all the pigs enjoyed the leftovers!

I also made chocolate chip cookies because I think I’ve mentioned in the past that these Cooking Light chocolate chip cookies are my favorites and I think they’re the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. But then I was reading BakingBlonde’s blog, and she was like “These are the BEST chocolate chip cookies EVEREVER!”, and of course that was a challenge to me and I had to make them so I could be all “Well, they’re okayyyy, but they ain’t ALL THAT!”

Except that they kinda ARE all that. They’re some damn fine chocolate chip cookies. I still slightly prefer the Cooking Light cookies, but these run a very, very close second. Also, they are magic pig-charming cookies, because for the first time ever, Fred lured a pig close enough to eat directly from his hand on the second day after we brought them home. That never happens!

Last thing I made was honey sugar cookies. Didn’t like ’em at all (the honey taste in a cookie did NOTHING for me), and Fred agreed. I didn’t even eat one entire cookie, and for me to not finish a cookie I’ve started eating, there’s got to be some serious dislike there. Luckily the pigs’ll still eat them!

If you’re a big honey fan and are dying for the recipe, leave a comment or email me, and I’ll rustle it up for you.

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Good LORD do the hens get peeved if you act like you’re going to reach under them and take their egg. They want you to back the fuck OFF, and when they’re ready to vacate the nest, then and ONLY then may you take the egg. You got it? Good. Today this pissed-off hen won’t peck your eyes out. Tomorrow, she won’t be so nice about it.

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Suggie appreciates that I made more room on and around my desk. Now he can really stretch out and take up TWO beds instead of one.

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Previously
2008: Every now and then the finch would flap his wings and squawk indignantly.
2007: No entry.
2006: I hate spoiled rotten princesses.
2005: “4.2 billion,” he said suddenly. “Not 4.7. Because a regular signed 32-bit integer only goes up just over 2.1 billion – that’s 2 to the 31st power – and an unsigned would be one more power of two onto that, so–”
2004: Is it easier to write bad poetry, or am I just naturally a bad poet (and didn’t know it)?
2003: Let’s see whether or not I can give Lisa what she wants!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have you noticed that I feel like an idiot a lot?

2/23/09

by @ Monday, February 23rd, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

The last of the Crooked Acres jams and hot sauces have been made and are available at Crooked Acres. I used up every last habanero, and now there’s a wee bit of space in my freezer, thank god.

When the jams that I have in stock are gone, that’ll be it ’til at least mid-summer, when the habaneros start to come in again (though truth be told, I’m usually busy enough with canning and freezing in mid-summer that I may not get around to making more jams and hot sauces ’til early Fall). Just so you know!

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Saturday morning, I slept in ’til almost 7, then got up and puttered around the house for a bit ’til it was time to head out for a very important date.

I made sure to dress appropriately.

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We drove up into Northern Alabama, very close to the Tennessee state line, down a lazy country road, and I wished that we could find about 30 acres of land in the area.

(And then Fred reminded me that we’d probably go stir-crazy out in the middle of nowhere. We consider ourselves to live in the country right now, but it takes us about 10 minutes to get to Wal-Mart, the grocery store, Lowe’s, the co-op. We’re in a very convenient location!)

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We thought it was going to take 45 minutes to get to our destination, but it really took more like 30. That was okay with the man we were going to meet, though – he was ready for us.

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Fred had told him that we wanted two small pigs, so he’d penned up three smallish ones. I really liked the smallest one because it was little and cute, but Fred said that he thought it’d be best if we got two pigs at least close to the same size, so I said that was okay with me.

The pig man caught the two piglets we’d decided upon, and Fred held the carrier. The piglets did not care for being put into a carrier, for the record.

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And then Fred and the pig man stood and talked and talked and talked, so I walked around and snapped some pictures.

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I do not like these birds. They are weird-looking and obnoxious.

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The pig man told Fred that he didn’t think he could have pigs if it wasn’t for this dog, who is apparently a very good herder. He also told Fred that he accidentally ran over the dog with his truck the other day – both tires went over the dog – and he thought for sure the dog was a goner, but the dog is just fine. He was moving okay as far as I could see!

We got home in no time, took the pigs out to meet George and Gracie, who did not much approve.

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“What the -?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t like it.”

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Then we let them go in the pig yard, and they explored and explored and explored. Fred tried to get them to take a cookie out of his hand, but they weren’t much up for that. George and Gracie chased the pigs around (with the pigs in the pig yard and the dogs outside the pig yard), but eventually gave up once they realized they couldn’t actually get to the pigs.

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Yesterday, Fred went out and with some coaxing, got the black pig to take a cookie from him. He informed me several times that he’s NEVER gotten a pig to take a cookie from him on only the second day before.

It’s only just begun, little pigs. You have no idea how many cookies are in your future!

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The latest chicks are two weeks old, and the two born from eggs laid by either the Featherheads or the Rock Star (or some combination thereof) seem to be developing little baby mohawks.

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I absolutely cannot wait to see what these babies look like when they’re grown up!

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As more time goes by, Samba and Rumba spend more and more time venturing forth throughout the house. Rumba’s the more adventurous of the two, but Samba makes it downstairs all the time now, too. I wish they didn’t get nervous and run back upstairs if I run into their general direction, like they think they’re in trouble. I am perfectly fine with having them explore the house!

They know the routine of bedtime, that’s for sure. Every night after we turn the TV off and go upstairs, the kittens run up ahead of me, and then run into the foster room when they see me coming. Sometimes they need to be coaxed into the foster room with the use of the laser light (Samba, especially, loves the laser light!), but most of the time they just run into the room and wait for me to shut the door.

I let them out first thing in the morning, as soon as I get up, and they’re always waiting for me to open the door.

Samba caught sight of herself in the mirror on my closet door the other day:

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More kitten pics over at Love&Hisses.

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Outside Mama, glaring malevolently. She will mess you UP.

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: Seriously, I might be a bit lackadaisical in my housekeeping, but I wouldn’t let CAT POO sit around on the floor, let alone let it show up in a picture!
Previously
2006: Second of all, we both hate our voices and to release them forth into the world would be a cruelty beyond measure.
2005: Impromptu day off.
2004: I’m going to save a fortune on tampons, that’s for sure.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Damn that Sam’s.
2000: Heartless bastard.

February 20, 2009.

by @ Friday, February 20th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Crooked Acres, Life

I can witness for Fred…. there was a discussion the other day on Kidd Kraddick in the Morning (KISS-FM here in Dallas) about the pros and cons of Snuggie vs. Slanket. I got a Snuggie for Christmas, and it is nice for curling up on the sofa on cold mornings. You’re right, though – a robe put on backwards would accomplish the same effect (though the Snuggie is a bit longer than a robe – good for tucking in around your feet). I actually thought Kidd was making up the “Slanket” (to me it sounds like a Saturday Night Live fake commercial product name) until I Googled it and yep, it’s a real thing.

Fred said that exact same thing, that he thought the Slanket was a joke. It does sound like an SNL commercial, doesn’t it?

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Was wondering if you or any readers can help with my cat. He’s had pooping and peeing outside of the litter box issues, anxiety related according to my vet. Those seem to be okay right now but now she thinks he has cat IBS. She wants me to buy the vet brand of cat food but I just don’t have the $$ for that. Does anyone’s cat have this problem and what do you feed it?

How about it, y’all – anyone have a cat or cats with IBS? Suggestions?

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Regarding feeding of cats – I began raw feeding after meeting Dr Tom Lonsdale. Not only have my cats got gorgeous shiny coats, but the only time they need to go to the vet is for a yearly checkup!! And, big bonus…..because they use all the nutrients from the raw meat diet, their poo is smell free!!! Check out his website for yourself…

We’ve actually discussed moving to a raw food diet for the cats since we have so many chickens!

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Your 2008 quote is priceless. Can you imagine if your current flock escaped their yard?! The chaos, not to mention George & Gracie’s response! LOL!

I still cannot for the life of me believe that a year ago we had 13 chickens and now we have… well, I don’t even know HOW many damn chickens we have! If the chickens ever found a way to escape the back forty, we’d be screwed!

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How the heck does Joe get up there?

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He jumps from the floor to the counter, from the counter to the top of the fridge, and from there either to the top of the kitchen cabinets and then to the top of the bookcase or, if he’s feeling froggy, he’ll jump directly from the top of the fridge to the top of the bookcase.

Reminds me… My sister-in-law just finished up with a contractor who installed a kitty-sized set of wooden stairs running from their cellar to a cat door in their bedroom. This is in addition to a series of cat walks and ramps that traverse throughout the cellar. They have no children, and I was made executor of their wills, which include the instructions to not sell the house until all the (5 as of now) kitties have been placed in good homes. My husband can’t understand this.

I totally understand wanting to make sure that your pets are all placed in good homes if you die! So who wants which cat? Y’all claim ’em now, we could die in a car accident on the way to or from one of the flea markets we’ve been haunting on the weekends!

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The clown is creepy but cool. Did you not want it because of It? I bet Fred wanted it because it reminded him of that book. It’s probably my favorite after The Stand. Stephen King is my favorite author too. Have you read any of his sons’ stuff yet? I just saw that they are writing on a Stephen King forum on amazon a week or two ago.

I mostly didn’t want it because it was creepy – but we also don’t need more crap cluttering up the house! Damnit! (Now, if it had been something I wanted, I would have totally managed to find room for it. Y’know how it is.) I’ve read books by both Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box, 20th Century Ghosts – liked the former, wasn’t crazy about the latter) and Owen King (We’re All in this Together, which I really liked). The King boys are pretty talented, I’d say.

Did you try the goat cheese yet? I really like the tangy taste on a pizza.

I’ve tried both kinds that we bought, but they were both flavored goat cheese (one’s Tuscan and the other is.. Ranch, maybe?). I want to try just regular goat cheese, so I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for some!

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So Fred was scared of the roads, not the clown. I’ll write that down on my list titled ‘Weird Things About Fred.’ Right next to the fact that he likes cheese, just not on a salad. (Why is that fact still in my head?!)

EVERYONE knows that Fred likes cheese, just not on a salad. What everyone forgets is that he ALSO doesn’t like cheese on a burger. He’s such a weirdo.

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Zach and Miri was such a funny movie, wasn’t it? I saw it in the theater with friends and we laughed so hard! Have you seen Pineapple Express? I thought it was going to be funny too because “Zach” was in it, but I didn’t like that movie at all.

We both really enjoyed Zack and Miri, although when it comes to Kevin Smith movies, Clerks will always be my favorite, followed closely by Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Seth Rogen’s laugh irritates Fred; I can see why, it’s kind of annoying.

We did watch Pineapple Express and I remember kind of enjoying it (while surfing the internet on my laptop!), but I’ll be damned if I can remember anything about it.

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Do you clean your walls and ceilings and if so, how and how often? And how often do you clean the blinds, and how do you do that? Your house is always so clean, I thought I would ask the expert.

I can’t say that I’ve ever cleaned the ceilings. It depends on the room as to whether the walls get cleaned. The walls in the foster kitten room get wiped down maybe three times a year, same with the laundry room, and I think I’ve done the kitchen walls twice since we moved in. I usually use my spray bottle of all-purpose cleaning spray, spray a small area at a time, then wipe it down with a cleaning rag. I think I’ve also used a bucket of hot water with a touch of ammonia in it, wet the rags, squeezed ’em out, and wiped the walls. It mostly depends on what I feel like using at the time.

I try to dust the blinds every few months, and I just use a dry rag and wipe along the slats of the blinds. Well, except for the blinds in the laundry room (which hang right behind the litter boxes), which I vacuum with the brush attachment on the Dyson whenever it occurs to me to do so.

Readers – got cleaning tips you want to share?

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It’s not always the cashier (although I suspect in this case it was). I’m an art student and use craploads of those foam paintbrushes. Normally they’re 39c, but every once in a while Joann’s or Michael’s will have them at 20 for $1, so I usually buy 80 or 100 when they do. In both places, can I tell them I have 100? NO! The registers won’t do that (cashiers have told me this in BOTH stores). They have to SCAN the brushes 100 times, and I get a receipt a mile long (because it has to print on one line that NORMALLY they’re 39c, and then another line to tell me that TODAY they’re 5c. EACH!

Do you tell them that they’re single-handedly killing the planet when they waste paper like that? 🙂

Yeah, I’ve had cashiers at the dollar store not be able to just hit a button on the register to show that I’m buying multiple items, but at Target I know they have that option, ’cause they do it for me all the time.

Now I’m getting irritated at that cashier all over again! It wasn’t so much the fact that she didn’t know what she was doing that got me – it was that she acted like I was trying to get away with something! Yeah, let me sneak these four (THERE WERE FOUR, LISA!) 28-pound buckets of litter out under my coat!

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Clearly, I’m behind. You got DOGS??? I thought you were not a dog person.

skimmers

(Hee. I love using that picture!)

Yeah, we got dogs back in December to protect the chickens from hawks and other predators. We are NOT dog people – we ARE George and Gracie people, though. But they’re working dogs, not pets.

Not pets! I mean it!

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Do both pups have speckled bellies?

and

Please explain the dog’s spotty belly. That is charming and so cute that I first thought it was a post-neuter band-aid (until I realized that immediately post-neuter, the dog wouldn’t want a belly rub).

Both dogs do indeed have speckled bellies, though George’s belly is more spotted and Gracie’s is more splotchy, like such:

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George.

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Gracie.

Y’all will have to tell me – is it usual for dogs to have bare bellies? Because both George and Gracie have bare bellies, and you’d think they’d get cold!

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Did you watch the Real Housewives OC Finale? Please say you did, because I’d like to know what you think about how Vicki acted over the little wallets Gretchen bought everyone. Also, please comment on all the other over the top shit that went on on the Finale. Wow. I hope you watched it.

Indeed I did, and I’ll cut and paste from a couple of emails I sent about it – but first I’ll say that I hate the way Vicki and Tamra act about Gretchen, like she’s trying to pull one over on them when she’s being nice. As far as I can tell (and yeah, I’ve never met Gretchen and this is a “reality” TV show), Gretchen seems like a sweet girl and I really like her!

Okay, now to the cutting and pasting:

I think it is HILARIOUS that Tamra made comments about Jeana’s boobs hanging out – pot, kettle, black!

I canNOT believe the balls on Vicki – what a thing to say about Gretchen. JEESUS. Do these women have any concept of the reality that when they say evil shit like that, the other women are going to hear it? I hope she gives ’em hell at the reunion next week. Granted, I found Gretchen occasionally annoying with the shrieking and the over-the-top guffawing, but she really seems like a sweetheart and I felt really bad for her.

Jo looked horrible with those bangs, and Slade Smiley (worst name ever – and you KNOW he came up with it himself. Maybe with copious amounts of pot involved!) is such a tool. Jo, when someone tells you you look like you’re 13, it’s not always a compliment!

I think that Vicki was probably right about this desire to join the Army being something that was caused by Brianna’s boyfriend breaking up with her. I noticed at the end that she’s put off joining the army and is exploring “other options”, at least. I could understand Vicki bugging out about Brianna joining the military, but I kind of understand Brianna’s desire to go off and explore the world too. I have to say, I was surprised to see that Michael actually graduated from college, doesn’t he strike you as the party-’til-he-drops-out sort?

I don’t like Jo’s hair like that at ALL, and Slade – UGH.

When Simon (is that right? Is Tamra’s husband Simon? I’m not getting mixed up, am I?) gave her the bracelet and then proceeded to tell her what the design was and what these stones were or whatever, she looked distinctly underwhelmed. When they had that stilted conversation about how they don’t spend a lot on gifts for each other EVERY year, I was thinking “Yeah, just on the years the camera is around!”

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Oh please! The belly rub and “hello gorgeous”? Those dogs are totally your PETS.

WORKING DOGS. NOT PETS. The dogs are no more pets than the chickens are.

For god’s sake, it’s not like we PET the chickens or Fred walks around with the friendly little speckled chicken on on his shoulder or anything, that would be CRAZY.

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When I moved into my first house and started landscaping the yard, my mom had one piece of advice: Don’t plant a sweet gum tree! She planted one 40 yrs ago because the nursery worker said it was fast growing and a great shade tree but he didn’t mention those “sticker balls”–she’s been cursing them ever since!

We have a couple of HUGE sweet gum trees, and we had a wind storm last week. With those fuckers raining down, I felt like I was in a war zone. I do NOT recommend any kind of gum tree at all. When I am old and frail, I will likely slip on the damn things and break my hip!

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George and Gracie do not seem to be getting much bigger. I was thinking that they would get really big. How big do you think that they’ll get?

They’re getting bigger, just now that they’re seven months old, they’re not growing quite as fast. Fred weighed George earlier this week, and found that he (George, that is) has gained 13 pounds in the past month. Male Pyrs usually weigh 100 – 160 pounds, and females usually weigh 85 – 125 pounds. It’s anyone’s guess right now how big they’re going to end up being, but I’m going to guess they’ll both likely be over 100 pounds.

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Hi Robyn – Wow your jam is delicious!!!! I made a plate with whipped cream cheese on the bottom and the strawberry habanero on top, to be eaten with crackers for the Daytona 500 party we went to! Wow – was it hot and yummy. The more our nose would run – the more we ate! Thank you!!! This weekend I am going to open up the raspberry jam! I bought the trio and yummy – it is worth the shipping costs – I recommend that everybody try it out!

Why, thank you! I always like hearing that you guys are enjoying the jam!

I’ve got one more day of jam-making to do, and then we’ll officially be out of habaneros ’til mid-summer! New jams and hot sauces will be available late Sunday/ early Monday. Maybe Saturday, depending.

(And as a side note, if you email me about placing an order and don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, I didn’t get your mail. Usually I email back within a few hours (depending on when you emailed me – if it’s the middle of the night, obviously I don’t get back to you ’til the next morning), so if you don’t get a response, email me again. And I’ll keep a closer eye on my spam folder, just in case!)

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Fred has an ex??

and

I’m with Becky…I didn’t know Fred had an ex either. I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years now but that one escaped me. Do tell.

and

Fred has a whackjob ex??? Details, please!

and

And, I’m echoing Becky, Jillybean, & Marilyn — “Fred has an ex?” Oh yeah, details could provide a good read in next journal entry.

Aw, you guys – I didn’t mean to get you excited! When I said “ex”, I meant ex-girlfriend, not ex-wife. There’s no real story there, Fred hasn’t heard from her since before I moved down here. He wrote about it five years ago, in this entry (skip down to the blue section).

I don’t know her, never met her, “talked” to her once or twice in passing (she liked to hang out in the IRC chatroom Fred ran back then), but I’d still kind of like to scratch her eyes out for the bullshit game-playing mindfuckery she pulled on Fred.

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2009-02-20 (5)
Did you know that Mister Boogers has an opinion on Valentine’s Day?

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Previously
2008: About ten minutes after Lupe started her circuit of the kitchen, I heard her sing a happy little song and went into the kitchen to find that she’d docked herself and was happily recharging.
2007: “Hey,” I said despondently. “He’s dead.”
2006: But I’m afraid that now it’s tasted human blood, it’s going to require a periodic human sacrifice.
2005: No entry.
2004: The Bean appeared before me, eyes wide and dark, a sad little I’m a poor kitty who has lost his way look on his face.
2003: They freaked out.
2002: Um. In yesterday’s entry, I MEANT to link to Fred with the words “nice butt”, not MYSELF.
2001: We got proof today that we, in fact, do not have two gay hamsters.
2000: No entry.

2/19/09

by @ Thursday, February 19th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

Couples meme, stolen from Dooce.

What are your middle names? Mine is Leslie. His, I’m not sharing because the idea of having his entire name out there creeps me out. (I’m only comfortable sharing my middle name ’cause y’all don’t know my maiden name!)

How long have you been together? March 10th will mark 13 years since the first time we met online; Memorial Day weekend will mark 13 years since we met in person, and August 13th marks 13 years since we’ve lived together. And last Halloween marked our 10th anniversary!

How long did you know each other before you started dating? We didn’t really date. Why pussyfoot around?

Who asked whom out? No one ever really asked anyone out. Fred asked if we could meet for Memorial Day, does that count?

How old are each of you? We’re both 41; he’ll be 42 in May.

Whose siblings do you see the most? His sister, I’d say – we always see her on Thanksgiving and at Christmas. Although now that I think about it, I didn’t see her at Thanksgiving OR Christmas this year but I did see my sister, so maybe it’s a draw.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? The situation where I’d like to occasionally go away overnight and he’s terrified at the idea of leaving the chicken coop unlocked after dark. Even though we have two DOGS to protect the chickens. I guess you could say he’s a homebody and I’m a free spirit. ::snicker::

Did you go to the same school? Nope.

Are you from the same home town? Nope – he’s from Alabama, I’m from Maine.

Who is smarter? He thinks he is. He’s smarter at knowing how things work; I’m smarter at knowing how people are, most of the time.

Who is the most sensitive? Probably me. I’m a special, sensitive snowflake.

Where do you eat out most as a couple? We don’t really eat out much; when we do, it tends to be at a chain restaurant.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? I guess the trip we took several years ago to Maryland/ Washington, DC.

Who has the craziest exes? He does. Well, just the one whackjob.

Who has the worst temper? I do, but at least when I’m pissed you can tell I’m pissed. And for the most part I get over it pretty quickly.

Who does the cooking? I do, because I love it so.

Who is the neat-freak? Neither of us. I’m more the clean freak than he is, though, and I’m not all THAT clean. A few weeks ago we were going somewhere and we took his car because the gas tank didn’t need to be filled, and when I saw the state of his car, I immediately made him swear that if I die first he’ll hire someone to come in and clean the house twice a month, because the idea of my house looking as bad as the inside of his car made me sad.

Who is more stubborn? Probably me; depends on the situation. If I feel someone’s playing games or attempting to manipulate or bully me, I’d probably set myself on fire before I’d give in to their bullshit.

Who hogs the bed? The cats. (My bed, at least. Cats aren’t allowed in HIS bed because he’s a PRINCESS who sleeps LIGHTLY and cannot have little cat feet tromping all over him at night.)

Who wakes up earlier? He does, by several hours. I know he’s up by at least 5 on the weekends, if not earlier.

Where was your first date? In a motel in Pennsylvania, I guess.

Who is more jealous? I don’t think either of us is particularly jealous, though we each have our flashes of jealousy.

How long did it take to get serious? It was serious pretty much immediately.

Who eats more? He can eat more in one sitting than I can; I could probably put away more in a day if I really tried.

Who does the laundry? It defaults to me, since I don’t have a job.

Who’s better with the computer? He is; I usually fuck mine up and then bitch at him ’til he fixes it.

Who drives when you are together? He does. I drive too slowly for his tastes. Ask me who got stopped for speeding most recently. (Hint: NOT ME.)

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Every evening when we go out to put the chickens up (ie, lock the coop) and hang out with the dogs, I stop at the pecan tree to see if this bird is in her nest. If she’s not sitting there looking down at me, I jiggle the branch a little, and she pops her head out. I kind of love her.

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Sassy (our true free-range chicken who leaves the chicken yard every day to venture to her old childhood (chickhood?) coop to lay her egg, decided too do cleanup duty under the bird feeders. (Please note all the damn gumballs on the driveway behind her. I hate those freakin’ things.)

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Gracie pulled a gumball out of her fur and spat it out; I snapped the picture right before she spat it.

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George loves the belly rubs.

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Hello, gorgeous.

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Buff rooster looks for a hen to defile.

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“If I don’t look at those annoying chickens, they’re not there.”

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Michelle, appalled. (Or mid-crow. Whatever.)

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“You tawkin’ to ME?”

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“Where my food, lady?”

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The kittens are starting to venture further and further into the house during the day. This afternoon I walked into the kitchen to find Rumba sitting in front of the big bowl of (adult) cat food, eating like I’d been starving her. She had a look on her face like “Oh, so THIS is where they keep the good stuff!” She also went into the laundry room to check out the litter boxes (“They get the GOOD litter boxes!”).

Both girls spend most of their time during the day hanging out in my room – it’s kind of funny how all foster cats seem to really like hanging out in my room even though it doesn’t get half the sun that the foster room gets. This afternoon they were snuggled up in a cat bed on the recliner. When I sat down on my bed and spoke to them, Rumba actually came over to the bed to be petted. Samba was less interested in me, but I think that’s because she spotted a toy on the floor and had to show it who the boss was. (Hint: The toy is NOT the boss!)

So sweet, these girls. I probably haven’t mentioned that before, have I?

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Poor Samba – she’s the bigger kitten, but Rumba always gets the best of her when it comes to kitten fightin’.

More kitten pics over at Love & Hisses.

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2009-02-19 (12)
It’s a Spanky Pizza.

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Previously
2008: “And the next, you and Franklin are being chased across the back forty by a really pissed-off injured pig who has slop in her mouth and murder in her heart.”
2007: We’ll be spending all day at the house.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Bet I was a cold splash of water in HIS night.
2003: Poor Miz Poo.
2002: Give me a guy with a great smile any day.
2001: Yeah, I know, it’s goofy.
2000: No entry.

2/18/09

by @ Wednesday, February 18th, 2009. Filed under Life

OddsNEnds

Did I mention that there are some jams and hot sauces still available?

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So I had a dental appointment yesterday and they did all the fun things they do, including taking x-rays and picking at my gums with the metal pick o’ torture and lecturing me about my brushing technique.

(At least they lecture in a nice way. My brushing technique gets sloppy ’cause brushing your teeth? BORING.)

While the hygienist was flossing my teeth, the floss kept getting caught on one of my fillings, and they did another x-ray, and apparently the filling is attempting to come out and needs to be replaced. This makes the second filling in less than a year, and I think you can imagine how thrilled I am.

I left there with the intent of heading for Sam’s. I told Fred last night that I was going to go to Sam’s because we only had three buckets of litter left in the garage, and running low on things like litter makes me nervous.

(Fred’s response: “We have 120 pounds of litter in the garage. This is ‘running low’ to you?” When you have 12 cats in residence, yes. That IS running low!)

I ended up stopping at Target to look at their curtains, because Fred specifically requested that I buy some sort of curtain to put over the back door. It makes him nervous when he goes downstairs in his underwear and walks across the kitchen, knowing that someone could be in the back yard watching him.

(Why would someone want to watch him walking across the kitchen in his underwear? The aforementioned cute butt, of course. I don’t know how they’d be IN the back yard without George and Gracie sending up the warning call, though.)

I didn’t see any curtains at Target that would do the job, so I headed toward the front of the store, saw that their 28 pound buckets of Fresh Step were on sale for $12 each, reflected that I didn’t REALLY want to have to go all the way to Sam’s and deal with all the people, and loaded four buckets into my cart.

(Side note: a 40-pound bucket of Fresh Step from Sam’s is $14.28 (plus tax). That figures out to a bit more than 35 cents a pound before tax. A 28-pound bucket of Fresh Step from Target was $12 (plus tax). That figures out to almost 43 cents a pound before tax. I am single-handedly stimulating the economy, people!)

I grabbed a couple more things on my way to the register (stimulate! stimulate!), and then I got in line at the register.

So I got to the register, right? And I didn’t want to lift all four of the buckets of litter onto the conveyor belt, right? So I put ONE on the belt, and I waited until the cashier looked at me and we made eye contact, and I said loudly and clearly, “I have a total of four of these.” She nodded her understanding.

She rang up my stuff and I busied myself with running my card through the card reader, and I was juuuuust about to hit the “accept” button to accept the total when she said, all panicked-like, “Oh, I didn’t see that litter in your cart! Wait, I need to ring them up!”

Then that bitch gave me the accusing look, like I was trying to pull one over on her.

“As I mentioned,” I said through clenched teeth, “I have a total of four of them.”

She did not understand.

“I have this bucket here,” I said, gesturing to the bucket on the belt. “That’s mine. And I have three more.”

Too confusing.

I held up four fingers. “I. Have. A. TOTAL. Of. Four. Buckets. Of. Litter.” I said slowly.

Whaaaaa?

The woman standing in line behind me patted the bucket of litter on the belt. “This is hers,” she said. “And she has three more. That’s four.” And then she counted all four buckets.

The light went on, and the cashier managed to ring up all four buckets, I paid, and I went on my way (and I THANKED HER, EVEN).

Y’know, if there’d been a language barrier there, I would have been a little less peeved, but there was no language barrier, just apparently an intelligence barrier.

I really wanted to smack her upside the head and bellow “HELLO! ANYONE HOME?!”, but I didn’t want to get my ass banned from Target for life.

I did find curtains for the laundry room in Bed, Bath and Beyond. I put them up when I got home, and although it bugs me a little not to be able to see out the back door when I glance in that direction, they make the room look cozier.

I need to get serious about finding curtains (mostly valances, I think) for the rest of the house. I always forget what a difference they make. I mean, I like the clean look of just blinds, but curtains add a warmth to rooms and since we’ve lived here almost two years now, it’s time to make this house look like a home!

(If I weren’t such a slacking slacker, I’d get my damn sewing machine out and make some curtains, because I refuse to believe they can be all that hard to make.)

While I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I stumbled across the pillow section and then Twittered something along the lines of “Do real actual humans BUY $200 pillows?”

I’m into stimulating the economy, but not THAT much, thank you. (Except that when I got home, I read Rachael’s Twitter that she bought $100 pillows like 10 years ago and they’re like new and very much worth it. Hmmm.)

And then I went to the grocery store, picked up a prescription for Fred, and came home.

Exciting, no?

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2009-02-18 (1)
Lori, your wish is my command. Here’s a Stinkerbelle picture, snapped five minutes ago as she glared hatefully at me from her perch atop the kitchen cabinets.

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Previously
2008: And then I went back for another one, and I tell you what, I could not lift a second 80-pound bag of cement mix to save my LIFE.
2007: No entry.
2006: Don’t call me paranoid – it happens to me ALL THE TIME.
2005: I feel like every time I run an errand in the Jeep I’m tempting Fate.
2004: I am blogrolling’s bitch.
2003: We figured if nothing else, we’d just start killing and eating cats.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: ***Warning! Adult language and situations ahead! Skip the first three paragraphs if you’re easily offended***

2/17/09

by @ Tuesday, February 17th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Did I mention that there are some jams and hot sauces still available? We’re running out of some flavors, though, so I guess I’d better get my butt in gear and get to canning!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Reader DeAnn, I think you’re not getting my reply to the email you sent – I responded to the first one and the re-send, but didn’t hear back, so I suspect I’m ending up in your spam folder. To answer the question:

With your shock collars and fence, do you recall the box mentioning if the fencing system could be rigged up to doors to prevent them from escaping? Also are the shock collars you have specifically for cats, or are they for dogs? Do you remember the brand you used?

I don’t remember the box saying anything about being used to stop animals from escaping from the house, but I asked Fred (who really knows more about it than I do), and he says that he thinks that it could definitely be used for that. He said that if you have a crawlspace under your house, you could actually run it a few feet back from the door so they couldn’t get anywhere near the door.

Our fence is made by PetSafe, and Fred said that he’s pretty sure the collars are technically made for small dogs, but they’re marketed to be used for cats.

I hope that helps!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The other night we watched the second episode of Trust Me, the USA series starring Eric McCormack and… Thomas Cavanagh (sorry, I had to go look up his name. He’ll always be Ed to me).

They play ad execs at an advertising company, and they had to come up with a new slogan for a cell phone company because the one they’d previously come up with, “What can you do with one hand?” was deemed by focus groups to be about masturbation.

So their second slogan, the one that everyone on the show absolutely loved?

Do Thumbthing.

Oh my god in heaven, I loathed it. Fred liked it, though it was kind of catchy, but every time a character on the show said the slogan out loud, I did a full-body twitch. I thought it was AWFUL. I still do. It was like nails on a chalkboard every time someone said it. Ugh.

Other than that, and the fact that Monica Potter manages to be annoying and have a voice that grates and makes me want to shove a pencil in my ear every time she speaks, I kinda like the show.

And speaking of shows, it cracks me up that Mike White is on The Amazing Race. They showed him and I hooted and yelled “IT’S MIKE WHITE!” Fred looked and said “Holy cow, it’s Chuck!” (Except that he was actually Buck in that movie, not Chuck.)

I have to say that the grin Mike White has on his face every time he’s on camera makes him seem a bit simple-minded and he’s always struck me as kinda creepy, but I kinda like him anyway.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I made Pioneer Woman’s cupcakes on Friday. They were pretty good, though I found that the more time went by, the dryer they got even though they were stored in an airtight container.

I also made a batch of Girlfriend’s Graham Cookies on Friday. Instead of walnuts, this time around I used chopped, toasted pecans (from our own pecan trees!), and they were even better than before. This time, Fred even liked them!

By Monday morning, we were both tired of eating sweets (if you can believe it), and I put all the sweet stuff away – except for the cupcakes, which I tossed in the bag we keep in the freezer for the next set of pigs.

(We didn’t find any pigs at the flea market yesterday, by the way. Which didn’t surprise us – we didn’t really think there’d be any there, but figured it didn’t hurt to look.)

Last night for dinner we had pork shoulder steaks, rubbed with spices and baked, then cut up and served over angel hair. On the side, we had green beans. Except for the angel hair, everything came from our land.

I love meals like that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Samba and Rumba are doing well. We kept them separated over the weekend and they continued being super-friendly and “I love you! Pet me! Let me flop over into your lap! I LOVE YOU!” When I couldn’t stand the sad meowing from behind two bedroom doors, I let them out of their respective rooms, and almost immediately their super friendliness went away. They’re still friendlier than they were before they were spayed, but they’re not the super-friendly lovebugs they turned into over the weekend, so I’m going to recommend that they go to the pet store separately. I’m afraid if they go together and are in the same cage, they’ll be skittish and unfriendly and hard to adopt out.

And they’re such sweet girls, they deserve to find their forever homes fast!

2009-02-17 (1)

More kitten pics over at Love & Hisses.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

2009-02-17 (7)
“How YOU doin’?”

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Previously
2008: We’re very protective of our property, if you couldn’t tell.
2007: No entry.
2006: Don’t call me paranoid – it happens to me ALL THE TIME.
2005: I feel like every time I run an errand in the Jeep I’m tempting Fate.
2004: I am blogrolling’s bitch.
2003: We figured if nothing else, we’d just start killing and eating cats.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: ***Warning! Adult language and situations ahead! Skip the first three paragraphs if you’re easily offended***

2/16/09

by @ Monday, February 16th, 2009. Filed under Life

In case you missed it, I put up an entry on Saturday complete with pictures of a little dog who needs a home.

(This time, the dog didn’t show up at our front door, thank god.)

She’s a sweet little thing, but as far as what kind of dog she is, I have no idea. Fred thinks she looks like a Min-Pin. I think she looks like a dog.

(We really only saw her in person for about ten minutes altogether and while she was very active and inquisitive, she never barked at all.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I still have some jams and hot sauces in stock, for anyone who’s interested! I didn’t make any jam this weekend, but I need to get some made in the next few days, since I’m starting to run low.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I think I found a blog through one of your links once but can’t remember the name. Does this ring a bell? A woman died suddenly in the hospital shortly after childbirth. The father is blogging now. I’d love to find it again

It doesn’t sound familiar to me, but I know one of you out there knows where it is. Help?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

So, Saturday morning after I slept in ’til 7 (SLACKER) and took my shower and scooped the litter boxes and just generally puttered around, Fred and I got into the truck and headed in the direction of Tennessee. We stopped in Elkmont at our favorite Feed ‘n Seed store (the one with the dog, linked above) to trade eggs with the owner of the store. Since our hatching was so dismal last week (7 survivors out of 9 hatchings; and we began with 42 eggs!), we decided to trade some of our eggs for some of his (he insisted on giving them to us for free – Fred offered a trade instead), and then Fred and the owner talked for several minutes while I wandered around and looked at all the animals.

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We also bought some chicken feed and some goat cheese while we were there. We’ve been meaning to buy goat cheese to try, and we finally remembered to do so. Once the truck was loaded up, we left and headed for Tennessee.

In our kitchen, there’s a seven-foot bookcase where I store a bunch of canning stuff, cookbooks, and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. Like such:

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It works out pretty well, but it drives me nuts, because it looks messy to me, and it doesn’t really go with our cupboards and I’d prefer to have everything stored away behind doors to hide the mess.

So recently I started harassing Fred to build me something that would fit in that space, and that would have doors and that would go better with our cabinets. (Let me note here that I’ve gone from “Oh god, I HATE these cabinets!” when we first bought the house to “These cabinets are perfectly fine!” Swear to god, I changed the pulls on the cabinets and it made an absolute world of difference. Before/ After.) Fred finally said that he didn’t think he has the skills to make something nice (I completely disagree, for the record), and I whined and pouted and just generally acted like a big baby and then stopped talking about it.

Which is when Fred said that we should drive up into Lawrenceburg, TN and see if we could find someone in the Amish community who could build something to our specifications. And that’s what our goal was on Saturday.

The first place we stopped, the guy in charge of making the furniture wasn’t around, so we kept on looking. At the second place, Fred went inside the shop and talked to the guy for a long, long time. I sat in the truck and waited, and eventually Fred waved for me to come inside. We discussed whether we wanted the cabinet/ pantry to be made of oak or poplar. I liked the look of the poplar more (plus, it was slightly less expensive, and also our stairs are made of poplar and so it kind of seemed like it would be a sort of theme, so we went with the poplar). Fred went off into another room with the guy, so I snapped a picture of the table and chairs that appeared to be waiting for someone to come pick them up. They were well-made, very simple, and very solid.

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When it comes down to it, the simpler and more straightforward furniture appeals to me. (Actually “Simple and straightforward” could describe how I like just about everything!) Fred sometime tends toward furniture with fancier details, but if all our furniture was Shaker-style, I’d be happy.

So Fred left our name and address, and paid 10% down. The estimated time frame is 3 – 5 months, and I’m perfectly happy to wait that long. As long as I know it’s coming eventually, I can be patient.

(Fred is enthralled with the idea that the guy is going to send us a letter when the cabinet is done.)

We left the furniture shop and were driving around to see if we could see anyone advertising that they had pigs for sale (we’d brought the big carrier, just in case), and as we drove slowly down a road, we spotted a youngish (maybe 10 or 11) boy running full-out down his driveway. It was a long driveway, and I said “Boy, he’s really moving, huh?”

“Forrest Yoder,” Fred said, and I laughed until I wheezed.

(The majority of people in the Amish community of Lawrenceburg seem to have either Yoder or Gingerich as their last name.)

We made a few more stops, Fred bought some more fertile eggs (hey, the incubator holds 42 eggs. Why waste the space, I ask you?), and then we went and ate lunch. After lunch, we searched for a house someone had told him about, where the man had pigs for sale. They were, unfortunately, larger than we wanted, but he pointed us down the road to someone else who had pigs for sale. That guy’s pigs were more the size we wanted, but he’d promised them to someone from Birmingham, and HE pointed us down the road toward someone else who might have pigs. We never did find the third house, but we did end up driving down some very isolated roads that I thought were very neat and Fred thought were very scary.

(He’s easily scared, I think. CITY BOY.)

We finally gave up and headed for home. We stopped at an antique store on the way home, where Fred scowled after I said he couldn’t buy the scary clown.

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We got home and puttered around, then started watching TV earlier than usual. We’d stopped to pick up a pizza on the way home and since the pizza store is next door to the movie store, we went in and rented Zack and Miri Make a Porno. So we watched the movie – and both liked it quite a bit – and watched an episode of Burn Notice, and then went to bed.

(This is what big losers we are – when the movie was over, Fred said “Burn Notice?”, and I looked at the clock and said “But it’s 8:20!” and Fred agreed. Because if we watched a 42-minute show, we might head for bed two minutes after 9. WHO CAN POSSIBLY STAY UP SO LATE?! So we mocked ourselves for being dorks and watched the show, and Fred fell asleep for a few minutes at the end of the episode.)

So, that was my Valentine’s Day – spending the day with the man I love, driving around, looking at cool things, solving my kitchen storage dilemma, eating pizza, and finishing up the day with a funny romantic comedy. I’d say that was a pretty damn good way to celebrate the “holiday.”

Sunday morning we left the house kinda early, then went into town to return the movie and get cash at the ATM. On our way to the ATM, we passed a house with almost as many cats as we have:

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Note that there are two dogs in the background. I counted eight cats gathered around the cat food. I don’t know if those cats belong to the people in that house, or if there’s a feral colony there, or what.

So we got our cash and headed to Lacon Trade Days, which is essentially a flea market with livestock. This is the place where we got McLovin’ over a year ago, actually, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any pigs there, I’m not sure why we went except that it certainly didn’t hurt to look. We bought some produce and looked around, then headed for home. We stopped on the way home for breakfast, which was okay but nothing to write home about.

We got home, and I got all inspired and cleaned all the bathrooms, vacuumed the downstairs, cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, and finally – FINALLY – went out to start cleaning the garage. I used the shop vac to vacuum up the thousands of dead ladybugs from around the windows upstairs (the ladybugs that died last Fall, ugh), and moved some stuff around. I took a break to walk up to the dollar store with Fred (and someone driving by honked in a jaunty manner and waved happily at us. Fred waved back at her, and then we both wondered for half an hour who the hell that was.) and when we got back I started on the downstairs.

Fred’s mother gave us their old freezer at Christmas. Fred and Brian went and picked it up when Debbie and Brian were visiting at Christmas, and it’s been sitting, unused, in the garage. I finally got things rearranged so that we could plug the freezer in and put it next to the freezer we already had.

(If you’re keeping track, this is three freezers we have – one upright freezer in the laundry room, one chest freezer in the garage, and the smaller chest freezer Fred’s mother gave us. The freezer in the laundry room holds mostly vegetables and pork. The freezer Fred’s mother gave us will likely hold mostly chickens. Yes, we have a small generator, just in case.)

The garage is mostly arranged the way it needs to be arranged, but this week I need to get out there and sweep it out and maybe do some more rearranging in the upstairs before I’ll be happy with the way it looks.

Today, I think we’re going to the flea market in Tennessee on the off chance that someone might be selling pigs. I don’t think we’re going to be successful, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to look, right?

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2009-02-16 (7)
Smilin’ Joe, atop the bookcase. (Yes, the new cabinet will have room on top for Joe Bob storage. Priorities, you know!)

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: (”Rescue me! I’m a sad little practically-orphaned waif, adrift in this cold, cruel world, wahhh! Save me! Pity me!”)
2006: So, in summary, if we are to judge all female cats by Miz Poo, then male cats are nicer, but female cats are clingier.
2005: Don’t you wish I was responsible for your books?
2004: I WANT TO FUCKING KNOW WHAT HE SAID.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001.: And almost wet my pants in terror.
2000: So, the nausea continues.

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