Happy, happy birthday to my baby sister, who turns 39 today! (This year, I had to subtract my birth year from the current year to figure out my own age, then subtract two years from that to come up with her age. Probably next year I’ll have to call someone and ask them what year … Continue reading “3/19/09”

2009-03-19 (1)

Happy, happy birthday to my baby sister, who turns 39 today!

(This year, I had to subtract my birth year from the current year to figure out my own age, then subtract two years from that to come up with her age. Probably next year I’ll have to call someone and ask them what year it is.)

Happy birthday, Deb! May you have a day that does not involve cat barf or poop in any way, shape or form!

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Fred and I watch Hell’s Kitchen every week, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that. One of the dishes they make regularly on Hell’s Kitchen that I’d never had before is risotto. Someone’s always fucking up the risotto, sending Chef Ramsay into apoplectic rages wherein he bellows at whichever hapless fuckup is in his crosshairs.

When I was reading a magazine last week, I came across a recipe for mushroom risotto that didn’t look too terribly difficult – in fact, it was made in the microwave. I asked Fred if he’d eat it if I made it, and he moaned and groaned and rolled his eyes, then said he’d try it.

He’s not a big fan of rice, and also I’m pretty sure he thinks it’s pretentious.

So yesterday I roasted a chicken, made vegetable medley (yellow summer squash sauteed with an onion and cherry tomatoes (the yellow squash and cherry tomatoes came from our garden last year and have been sitting in the freezer)), and made the risotto as well.

I have to say – that risotto is some DAMN good stuff. Even Fred said that it was really good, and he even got himself a small second helping.

The recipe is here.

I may toss some baby peas in next time I make it, because I do love peas (my friend Liz, on the other hand, regards peas as a personal insult when she comes across them).

Also, the recipe calls for “Arborio or long-grain rice.” Save yourself six bucks and buy the long-grain rice. I Googled Arborio rice and found that some people insist risotto just isn’t the same if you don’t use Arborio, but fuck if I’m going to spend that much on any kind of rice that doesn’t involve gold flakes.

Now if I could only find a super-simple recipe for Beef Wellington – that’s the other dish they always make on Hell’s Kitchen that I’ve never had and want to try.

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Nance will be SO proud of me (or will roll her eyes, more likely) because I finally FINALLY sat my ass down and used my sewing machine yesterday. A year after I got it, I finally made something on the damn thing.

What’d I make? Cat beds, of course. DUH.

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I picked up this basket a few months ago with the intention of putting a cat bed in the bottom, since the cats like to curl up in confined spaces. I made the bed and put it in the basket and thus far the cats have shown no interest, but it’s still early yet.

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I got these beds at Big Lots last year when I visited Nance and Rick, and the centers come out, but when you wash them the insides kind of get bunched to one side. So I made new inserts for the beds – two of them, anyway. I would have used purple if I’d had any purple fabric to use, but I didn’t, so I didn’t.

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Cat bed for the set of stairs Fred made to sit under one of the windows in the front room. The cats like to sleep there, but it’s been driving me crazy that none of the cat beds we had fit the space. So I finally made a bed for the space. It’s probably too floofy, none of the cats have shown any interest in sleeping there, but like I said – it’s early yet. Someone will give it a try sooner or later.

If I feel like it later, I may make some pee pads to put in the cats’ favorite places to pee (the washer gets sprayed every now and again I DO NOT KNOW WHY, and the baseboard in the computer room bathroom gets it now and then, too. UGH.). I currently put towels there to protect the surfaces, but I’d rather not use towels, even if they’re old and crappy ones. Also, I need to make a cat bed to put in the old Coca Cola crate we bought in Tennessee. I was going to make a bed for that yesterday, but decided to scrub the crate down first – it was pretty dirty – and now I want to let it dry before I bring it back in the house.

I’m not particularly good at sewing – I have an inability to sew a straight line, let alone cutting a straight line – but honestly, I’m making cat beds and pee pads, and who the hell is ever going to be close enough to critique my sewing technique, right?

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Scenes from around Crooked Acres:

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George regards his chewy.

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George makes sure no one’s coming to steal his chewy.

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“This are MY chewy, Lady.”

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The handing-out of the chewies. (Note Gracie’s green lower lip.)

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The chickens enjoy some leftover pasta.

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At almost 6 weeks old, this bunch has hit their gawky & goony stage. The two chicks in the middle with the tiny mohawks are half crested Polish and half who knows what. I can’t wait to see what they look like when they’re grown!

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The black silkie has gone broody. She is an angry, pecky little thing in the best of times. When she’s broody, she’s twice as angry, and she pecks HARD. She also gets super pissed-off when I pet her. Brat. I’m sure she’s got some rage going on right now – Fred put her in a cage to break her of the broodiness, and they always hate that.

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I don’t know what kind of chicken this is – it’s one of the November bunch we got from the hatchery, and that was just kind of a mishmash. We thought it might be a Wyandotte at first, but now we have no idea. Fred thinks this one’s a rooster, though we haven’t caught it in the act of crowing or getting some lovin’, so who knows?

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Michelle is such a good head rooster. He’s McLovin‘s son and he acts a lot like him, but he’s a lot less prone to clutching his pearls and running around in circles than McLovin was.

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Don’t know what this one is, either, but he’s definitely a rooster. He’s started up with attempting to crow. They’re always funny when they first start, they sound so rusty.

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Mr. Friendly isn’t as friendly as he used to be. I guess he’s growing up and has better things to do than being held by the humans.

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One of the chicks we hatched from Amish eggs at some point in the past (I don’t even remember where these chickens come from, half the time). He’s a rooster – they’re always the prettiest.

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Joe Bob is all “No dude, I swear it! I had it by the tail and then it got away and ran over in that direction. It was HUGE, it was like the size of a kitten!”
And Newt is all “I do not believe you.”

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2008: That Pioneer Punk is a bad, bad influence.
2007: I am such a prize, I really am.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: “Have you noticed that it smells like the bodies of fifteen [gentlemen of Chinese descent] laying in a pile in the ditch, rotting?”
2003: Always something, you know?
2002: “I’m starving to death. Meh. STARVING, I’m STARVING. Meh.”
2001: My baby’s growing up!
2000: No entry.