Four half-pints of fruit-habanero jam left! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   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 … Continue reading “2/27/09”

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.


To view the competition, click on this:


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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?


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!


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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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!”