4/30/09 (Thursday)

Swine flu may have hit the area. They’ve closed all the schools in Madison ’til Monday. Fred said it was like a ghost town on the way to work. I blame these guys. “That’s RIGHT, we started the Swine Flu! Would this have happened if you gave us all the cookies we wanted, like we … Continue reading “4/30/09 (Thursday)”

Swine flu may have hit the area. They’ve closed all the schools in Madison ’til Monday. Fred said it was like a ghost town on the way to work.

I blame these guys.

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“That’s RIGHT, we started the Swine Flu! Would this have happened if you gave us all the cookies we wanted, like we demanded? It would NOT. You have no one to blame but yourself, lady! Three cookies in the evening is hardly enough to survive on!”



For today, a picture entry consisting of pictures that are taking up space in my “to post” folder. You’re welcome!

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Little Polish chick is getting head feathers. I love the way it looks like a flat top.

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Check out the leg fuzz!

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Charlie, in a nest box with one of the broody mommas. The broody mommas are endlessly patient with Charlie and if they’re outside with their babies and Charlie comes close, they don’t get fierce and protective the way they would if any other chicken came close to their babies. I guess they don’t consider her a threat.

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These guys love to hang out on the coop steps. (Nance, these are some of the ones who hatched when you guys were visiting!)

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Silkie Momma’s babies. Fred particularly likes the one with the tan face.

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Poor fucking bluebird. I found him dead by the back steps yesterday. I TRIED to convince him not to hang out in the back yard, but he was stubborn about getting worms from the back yard. He said they were tastier ’cause they’d marinated in the het of Mister Boogers.

After I found the bluebird, I called Fred and demanded that he come home and kill all the cats, but he refused. Hmph.

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Polish cross, about 10 weeks old. We moved all seven of the chicks from that batch out to the big chicken yard. They seem to have adjusted well, but Tuesday when I walked by the maternity/ little chicken coop, this one had escaped the big chicken yard and was trying to get into the maternity yard. I let him in and he hung out there for the rest of the day, then we moved him back out to the big chicken yard where he appears to be willing to stay. For now.

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“THTOP calling her a bad mother! She is a good mother! I luff her!”

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Saturday, Fred was working on the shade structure on the big coop (something I still need to get a picture of), and I was inside puttering around. He came in and said “Did you see the show?” I said “No, what happened?” Apparently he’d been up on the ladder, lost his balance, and FELL. Right on top of the ladder. He hurt his elbow and bruised up his leg, but the worst bruise by far is the one on his ass cheek.

You know you’ve been dying to get a good look at his ass.

The bruise is about the size of a softball, but as is always the way, it’s the areas that aren’t as badly bruised that hurt the worst.

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We’re getting to the point (AGAIN) where we’ve got too many roosters. They sure are pretty. It’s too bad they’re such assholes.

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For a while there, we had such wet weather that there was nowhere for the chickens to take their dust baths. In desperation, some of them started doing it inside the coop. Fred caught this one on camera.



What I love about having little kittens: watching them curl up and sleep with each other. So cute I go into sugar shock every time.

Bed capacity: holds four.

I love how he’s holding on to her like she’s a stuffed animal.



Joe Bob saw Newt run up the Poltergeist Tree and decided to join him. Then he wasn’t quite sure what to do. In the end, he had no problems getting down. Newt stayed up in the tree and took a nap.



2008: It smelled like evil.
2007: I think you can imagine our happiness.
2006: No entry.
2005: Always/ Sometimes/ Never
2004: Erin should be more concerned with the fact that he’s been killing people and burying them in the back yard and less with his lying.
2003: I believe there’s a seat in the ass-singe section with my name on it.
2002: Sucks to be her.
2001: “Fuuuuuuuuck,” he said.
2000: Don’t come back here looking for no entry, my friends.

4/29/09 (Wednesday)

Happy birthday, Mom!!! Troubles says “hi.” **dividerlinewondersifitsfridayyetdividerlineisexhaustedwithallthishardworkdividedividedivide**   So, I walk into the blue chicken coop, the one I also refer to as the “medium” chicken coop (because there’s one smaller and one bigger, obviously) and the “maternity ward coop.” As I walk into the coop, George the chicken (named after Curious George for her … Continue reading “4/29/09 (Wednesday)”

Happy birthday, Mom!!!

Troubles says “hi.”

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So, I walk into the blue chicken coop, the one I also refer to as the “medium” chicken coop (because there’s one smaller and one bigger, obviously) and the “maternity ward coop.” As I walk into the coop, George the chicken (named after Curious George for her curious ways when she was a baby chicken) is stomping back and forth, squawking and bitching and whining.

This is George the chicken:

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It takes me a few minutes of peering at the chickens, but eventually I realize that something’s wrong in the maternity coop. One nest box is empty, of course, because Silkie Momma (aka The Bad Mother) is outside, this time with all four of her babies following her around.

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In the next nest box is Red Momma, who’s sitting on eggs that are due to hatch any time now.

This is Red Momma:

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She’s in the correct nest box.

The third nest box over is empty. No chicken, no baby chicks, no eggs. This is Buff Momma’s nest box; she hatched one baby a few days ago, a cute little black chick.

This is Buff Momma:

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The fourth nest box over contains Buff Momma. This nest box does NOT belong to her, and it takes some investigation on my part, but I realize that she’s sitting on six eggs. That do not belong to her. The nest box Buff Momma is in belongs to Black Momma.

This is Black Momma:

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Black Momma is in the fifth nest box over, sitting on eggs that do not belong to her. This nest box belongs to George the Chicken who, as I mentioned, is having herself a hissy fit. Here’s a reminder – this is George the Chicken:

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She is having herself quite the temper tantrum, and no wonder – her eggs are being warmed by a strange chicken, and what if the eggs hatch and the babies think Black Momma is their Momma, when really George Momma is their Momma?!

In the sixth box is Americauna(ish) Momma, who is minding her own damn business and prefers not to be involved, thank you.

This is Americauna(ish)Ma:

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I am befuddled. Where the fuck is Buff Momma’s baby? Why are these stupid chickens sitting on the wrong eggs? For that matter, why is Buff Momma sitting on eggs at all – her baby hatched (only one egg of four hatched; perhaps she’s mourning the loss of the other three babies?)

I poke around some more, and I see a small black baby chicken with Red Momma who, as I mentioned, is sitting on eggs due to hatch at any moment.

More befuddlement on my part. I poke around under Red Momma and find eggs there, no egg shells, and the little black chick.

I go inside, get the phone, and take it out to the blue coop with me. After some discussion with Fred, I realize that none of Red Momma’s eggs have hatched, that the baby hanging out with Red Momma belongs to Buff Momma. Buff Momma is sitting on Black Momma’s eggs, Black Momma is sitting on George Momma’s eggs, George Momma is having a possessive temper tantrum, and AmericaunaMa is minding her own damn business.

So I get down on my knees and I pull Buff Momma out of the nest box she’s in, and I put her in her nest box. She does not care for this maneuver. She shrieks at me and calls me names. I quickly dig around under Red Momma and pull out the baby chick, and put the baby chick under Buff Momma. Baby Chick says “Are you my mother?” Buff Momma says “You again. I thought I gave you the slip.” Baby Chick climbs over Buff Momma and slips underneath her feathers. Buff Momma looks grumpy, but settles in.

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I pull Black Momma out of the nest box she’s residing in, and she shrieks in a most unladylike manner, kicking and flailing and calling me names. I put her in her nest box, and she gets in, shakes her feathers, and looks around.

“This will not DO,” she says, tsking, and immediately begins arranging her eggs in the preferred pattern. A few moments later, she settles down and glares at me.

This leaves George Momma’s nest box – with six eggs in it – empty of a Momma, and I go outside to look for George Momma. I don’t see her anywhere, decide she’s gone under the coop to pout, and go back inside to make sure the Mommas have not gotten all crazy and switched nest boxes again. While I was outside, George Momma slipped past me, and is now sitting on her eggs.

All is well in the maternity ward. For NOW.

I’m telling you – it’s always SOMETHING.



Yesterday I walked into the front room to find a puddle in the middle of the floor. I sighed, stomped to the laundry room, got the bottle of Stink-Free and a couple of rags, and stomped back into the front room. Then I stopped and looked closer at the puddle. It looked less like something an angry cat (I AM LOOKING AT YOU, BOOGIE) would have left, and more like something that had dripped from the ceiling. I looked up at the ceiling and saw a single drop of water hanging there.

It hadn’t rained in days, and aside from that, we’d never had an issue with the roof leaking in that particular location. I sniffed the puddle to be sure it wasn’t cat urine. It wasn’t.

I stood and pondered some more, staring up at the ceiling, and then realized that where the water was dripping from (or rather, had dripped from) was exactly where the water bowls in the foster kitten room are located.

I went upstairs and found I was right – the little brats had overturned a waterer at some point, which ultimately caused the puddle downstairs.

I should totally be a detective, dontchathink?



Speaking of detectives, I’ve gotta say – doesn’t it seem that the bad guy in just about every detective novel ends up going after the cop/ detective’s family? I think it’s time to get a new plot device.

I’m curious to know how often it happens in real life that a criminal goes after a cop/ detective’s family, because judging by the world o’ fiction, I’d say it happens about 75 percent of the time.



While my parents were here, Caleb earned himself the nickname “Troubles”, because that boy is into EVERYTHING. He races around and races around and races around, and gets into everything, chews on every wire he sees, jumps on all his siblings and kicks and bites them ’til they cry. And then when he gets tired, he climbs up on and cries like a big baby. Even if you snuggle him and kiss him and tell him I know, it’s a hard life, it’s okay baby, still he cries until he falls asleep.

Then he sleeps for about ten minutes, and he’s refreshed and ready to race around some more.

He loves to play with his brothers and sisters, but what he REALLY wants is to be buddies with the big cats. The big cats, however, are not all that interested.

They’ve got plenty of friends already, THANKS FOR THE OFFER, KID.

Poor Troubles.

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Inching ever so closer to Mister Boogers (who did not put up with this for long).

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Like a rock, this one sleeps.



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Suggie goes for a ride on his Daddy’s shoulder.



2008: I thought you guys would want to know.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: So, Fred has now been officially neutered.
2004: All I have to say about the kayak is this: those fuckers are HARD to get out of!
2003: Except that best laid plans and all that jazz.
2002: I love old houses with deep porches.
2001: No entry.
2000: Even now, Fred and I talk about that, and we refer to it as my “Walking the gauntlet.”

4/28/09 (Tuesday)

Before I forget – I emailed those of you who asked where we get our Frontline online, but in case I missed one or two of you, or my email got tagged as spam, I said: In the past, I’ve ordered Advantage and Frontline from this site in New Zealand with good results, but Fred … Continue reading “4/28/09 (Tuesday)”

Before I forget – I emailed those of you who asked where we get our Frontline online, but in case I missed one or two of you, or my email got tagged as spam, I said:

In the past, I’ve ordered Advantage and Frontline from this site in New Zealand with good results, but Fred discovered another site over the weekend that’s a few dollars cheaper – AND in the US (so, one assumes, we’d get it quicker).

This is what we order – that’s about what we paid for three tubes at the local Co-op, so it looks like a good price.

I haven’t tried that site yet, so I can’t recommend it yet, but it certainly seems worth a try.

In my comments yesterday, Elizabeth added:

I urge you guys to check your vets office of Frontline pricing! I know things are cheaper online, but its not always true! We keep ours below online prices and right now (and usually) the makers of Frontline are offering a buy six doses, get one free deal. PLUS, Frontline bought thru your vet keeps your money locally and supports them AND comes thru legal channels. The drug company does NOT sell to anyone but practicing veterinarians so who knows where the stuff you buy elsewhere really comes from.

And yeah, obviously if you can get Frontline through your vet’s office for a comparable price, you’ll want to do that. In our case, the vet charges more than the Co-op does – and the Co-op’s price is twice as expensive as the online price.



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(Click on any picture to go to a larger version of it)

George and Gracie are doing well. They’re happy in the back forty with their flock, and they’re happy when we go out to hang out with them – and they’re ESPECIALLY happy when I bring snacks out for them. I’m trying to limit how many snacks I bring them because too many snacks isn’t good for anyone, of course. But they get SO HAPPY when I make them sit and give them snacks that it’s hard to refrain.

They spend a lot of time sacked out under the coop (it amazes me a little that they can actually FIT under the coop, as big as they’ve gotten), but they’re happy to crawl out under the coop and come greet us when we come to visit.

I made a movie of them back in March, and of course I’m just now getting around to uploading it. It probably wouldn’t hurt to turn your sound all the way off so you won’t be irritated by hearing me incessantly asking the dogs what they’ve got. At one point, I swear that George looks at me and he is clearly thinking “Lady, I’ve got a carrot. You GAVE me the carrot. What the fuck do you THINK I’ve got here?”

George & Gracie, March 2009. from Robyn Anderson on Vimeo.



“The Silkie is broody again,” Fred said. “Should I try to break her? Maybe we should put her in the blue coop with a few eggs under her, and let her hatch some babies. Everyone says Silkies are really good mothers.”

“I’ve heard that too,” I said. “Silkies are really good mothers. Everyone says so! And I’ve heard they go broody at the drop of a hat. We should let her fulfill her destiny and have some babies!”

So Fred put the Silkie in the blue coop with some eggs under her. She brooded and brooded and brooded. And then after three weeks of brooding, she had her four babies.

On Friday as I was on my way out to the big chicken coop, I saw that Momma Silkie had her babies outside, and she was walking around the chicken yard with them, showing them what to eat. Mother chickens make a very distinctive “Hey! Food!” sound that baby chickens know, and when they hear it they come running, and they eat whatever Momma’s showing them to eat. About an hour later, I decided to go outside and take some pictures of Momma Silkie and her babies.

I walked around the entire chicken yard, looking for Momma and her babies, but they were nowhere to be seen. I decided that they’d likely gone under the chicken coop; they like to hang out under there, where it’s cool. I decided to go out to the back forty to visit George and Gracie, figuring that Momma Silkie would just come out later. As I was walking by the little chicken yard which contains our youngest chickens, the ones we got from the hatchery and our purebred Marans, I glanced over, and then I took a second look.

There were two little chickens that were much, much smaller than the chicks that surrounded them. It took a moment of hard thinking, but I realized that somehow two of the Silkie’s babies had escaped the medium chicken yard and were yucking it up with the chicks in the small chicken yard. I have no idea how they did it – the two yards share a common fence, but there’s chicken wire all around the inside of the small chicken yard and they shouldn’t have been able to squeeze through it.

I went into the small chicken yard and – after quite a bit of chasing, and with the eventual use of SCOOP HANDS – caught them. I took them into the medium chicken yard and put them down, sure that Momma Silkie would see them and call to them, and there would be a joyful reunion.

Except that when I put them down, the babies wandered around the yard cheeping sadly, and Momma Silkie was nowhere to be found. Which is when it finally occurred to me that Momma Silkie could possibly be inside the coop. I opened the big door to check it out, and that goddamn chicken was in the coop with two of her babies, gaily kicking shavings around and looking for food.

“Momma!” I said. “Your babies are looking for you!”

She ignored me, just kept on with the kicking and the pecking. Kick and peck. Kick and peck. Kickkickkickpeckpeckpeck.

In the yard, her babies cheeped sadly.

“You,” I said to Momma Silkie, “Are a bad BAD mother.”

She ignored me. Kickkickpeckpeck.

I turned and began chasing her babies. I managed to catch one of them pretty quickly, and I went to the door of the coop to place the baby inside the coop. The baby cheeped in alarm. When she saw me walking toward the coop with one of her babies in my hand, Silkie Momma came running over, making her Alarmed Momma sound, and puffing her feathers up so she’d look as big as she possibly could.

“OH,” I said, setting the baby carefully down. “So NOW you’re all the concerned mother! You didn’t give a shit about this baby two minutes ago when you were kicking and pecking!”

She glared balefully at me and herded her baby into the coop and began again with the goddamn kicking and pecking, joined in her dance by three of her babies.

Behind me, baby number four cheeped sadly.

I grabbed the SCOOP HANDS and began chasing the last baby around the chicken yard. Here’s the thing y’all probably don’t realize about tiny baby chickens – not only do they run fast as the wind, they are also TINY and thus very fucking hard to catch. I would come THIS CLOSE to catching the little fucker, and it would slip through my SCOOP HANDS. Or it would run under the coop. Or it would disappear and reappear behind me.

I got so pissed off that I finally bellowed “FINE YOU LITTLE FUCK THEN DIE OF LONELINESS!, threw my SCOOP HANDS as hard as I could over the fence, and stomped inside to call Fred and blame it all on him.

He gave me a few good ideas, I eventually calmed down, and I went back out to try again. Last time we had a number of mother and baby chickens, Fred took a cat carrier and put a piece of wire across the front of it. That way, you can put a mother chicken in the carrier, and – in an ideal world – the mother chicken will call to her babies, who will come running and slip through the wire into the carrier, which you can then take into the chicken coop to release the chickens.

It works really well when the mother chicken isn’t a flighty little bitch who is STUPIDER THAN THE STUPIDEST CHICKEN EVER KNOWN IN ALL OF HISTORY. I put that goddamn Silkie in the carrier, and she squawked and shrieked and just generally acted like an idiot. I took the carrier outside and put it near the coop so that her baby (who was under the coop the last time I’d seen it) could hear her. Except that she didn’t make her “Come here, baby” noise; she made her “OH LAWD JESUS HELP ME I AM BEING TORTURED” noise, and that is not a sound that attracts wee baby chicks. I sprinkled some food in the carrier and she went “LAWD JESUS GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSA- Oh hey look, food!”

Still no baby.

And I got down on my hands and knees on that dirty ground and I looked under the coop, and there was no baby to be seen. So I looked in the coop in case the baby had somehow figured out how to go up the ramp into the coop, but there were only three bewildered baby chickens in there, and so I threw up my hands and I stomped around the yard and I looked for that baby. Which is when I glanced into the little chicken yard, and that baby wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to get to his Momma, but he was apparently smart enough to get into the little chicken yard AGAIN, and I still have no clue how he did it.

I went into the little chicken yard and chased that little fucker around, and finally when he was trying to fit through the chicken wire, I caught him and I carried him into the medium chicken yard, and I put him and his mother into the chicken coop. And Momma Silkie began kicking and pecking, and her babies began pecking at the food she unearthed, and all was right in Stupidville again.

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The Bad Mother.



First, the mother bird on the nest:

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Then, the eggs:

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I saw the mother bird headed for the nest with a worm in her mouth over the weekend, and I decided to check the nest. Then I promptly forgot about it. Two days later I went and checked, and voila:

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There are at least three of them, maybe more. I’m doing my best to stay away from the nest ’cause I don’t want to traumatize any of them, but it sure is hard!



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Tom on a mission.



2008: And Mister Boogers lives to het again.
2007: No entry.
2006: I love my cats, but sometimes I really HATE MY FUCKING CATS too.
2004: The mind boggles, does it not?
2003: Sam’s! Whoo!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ah, the intrigues of 11 year old girls…


George and Gracie lovers, pictures (and a short video!) will be up tomorrow. dividerlineissohappytobebackdividerlinewasboredonvacationdividerlinelovesyousooooo   Anita sent me the link to this page, and it cracks me UP. dividerlineissohappytobebackdividerlinewasboredonvacationdividerlinelovesyousooooo   You know what annoys the shit out of me? When I am required to call a company to cancel my account. When I signed up … Continue reading “4/27/09”

George and Gracie lovers, pictures (and a short video!) will be up tomorrow.



Anita sent me the link to this page, and it cracks me UP.



You know what annoys the shit out of me? When I am required to call a company to cancel my account. When I signed up for Stamps.com back in 2000, did I have to call to sign up with them? Why, no. No, I didn’t. I was able to sign up right on the computer, never had to talk to a living person even once.

Last Friday when I was balancing the checkbook, I realized I was still paying $15.99 per month for the privilege of printing out postage online, and that’s ridiculous. Know what? When you print out postage at USPS.com, it costs less than when you print out postage at Stamps.com. As an example: if I send a 3 pound 2 ounce package to my sister via Priority mail, it costs 66 cents less if I print out the postage at USPS.com than if I use Stamps.com or took the package to the post office. Granted, 66 cents isn’t SUCH a big difference, but it adds up.

So I was paying $15.99 a month PLUS full price for postage – and I suspect that Stamps.com pays the lower price and pockets the difference. Which, I know, they’re a company and they’re in it to make a profit, but I DON’T LIKE IT.

I tried to cancel my account online, but apparently it is not possible to cancel your Stamps.com account online “due to security and privacy concerns.” MY ASS. I note that they were never all that concerned about my security or my privacy at any point in the past nine years of my account.

I got all fired up and called the customer service number, ready to be an asshole when they started offering me special deals and trying to talk me into staying. The longer I sat on hold, the more fired-up I got, knowing that it would be pointless and that I’d end up talking to someone in India and have I mentioned that I hate talking to strangers on the phone in the first place, let alone someone I can’t understand?

But then I got to balancing my checkbook and by the time the customer service rep – who did not appear to be located in India – answered the line, I was so distracted by what I was doing that I was perfectly nice. (It helped that she was perfectly nice, too. But then, most customer service reps are.) She tried to talk me into saying, offered me the cheaper $9.99 plan (which, I note in retrospect, was not listed on the site when I went to see if there was a cheaper plan), and eventually she said “Is there anything I can do to convince you to stay?”, and I said “I’m sorry, no.”

Yes, I APOLOGIZED to her for not keeping my account. I guess that showed THEM.

So my Stamps.com account is closed, and I’m totally going to use that $15.99 a month to parTAY.



Know what else annoys me? When you’re looking for something in particular online – like such – and instead of listing the price, the site says “Call for pricing.”

Um, no. If you can’t be bothered to list your price on your web page, I have no desire to call you up so you can try to get me to buy 6 other things along with the ONE THING I’m interested in. If I can’t find it somewhere else, I’ll go without, THANKS.



Last week, I finally got my ass in gear and updated my links page.

Man, I read too many blogs and journals. No wonder I’m perpetually behind!

The link to that page resides in my sidebar to the left, the one with the picture of Miz Poo that says “blogs i read.” I’ve noticed a lot of people doing site searches for my links list lately, and so I thought I’d point out the link in the sidebar. To the left.



My friggin’ iPod shit the bed last week, doing the same thing it was doing before I sent it off to be fixed (I get a screen with vague unreadable blue lines on it). I ordered a Zune off eBay on Wednesday, and it arrived here (from San Francisco!) on Friday. Of course, by the time it got here, my iPod had started to work again. I figure I’ll just use the iPod ’til it stops working completely, and then I’ll sell the stupid thing on eBay. It amazes me that people buy iPods that don’t work on eBay, I assume they use them for parts.

The Zune is about a third the size of the iPod, which should make it easier to use when I’m puttering around outside doing stuff.

Speaking of puttering around outside doing stuff, yesterday I finally got my plants planted in the planters on the front porch (Caladium bulbs, with Impatiens and Pink Splash), but of COURSE it wasn’t ’til I finished the planting that I remembered that I’d intended to plant banana peels in the pots since I’ve read that they’re good for most plants. Figures.

Then I cleaned out the brooder in the garage to ready it for the newest chicks (a woman in Madison borrowed our incubator and bought a dozen eggs for hatching so that her grandkids could see eggs hatching; then she gave the resultant chicks back to us. In other words: MORE CHICKENS, eight of them, to be exact. Thank god, because I was afraid we were going to run out!), vacuumed the house, and did some laundry.

Saturday was actually a busier day for me – in the morning we went to the feed store where we buy some of our cat food, we went to the co-op to buy pig and chicken food and Frontline for the dogs (and I kicked myself for that – it’s so much cheaper online, I just forgot to order more, and we needed it immediately), we stopped by Lowe’s so Fred could buy a few things and look at their fruit trees, and we went to Wal-Mart to buy a take and bake pizza.

On a side note, I went to Sam’s one day last week, and while I was there, I picked up a pepperoni take and bake pizza that we were going to have for dinner Saturday night. I also bought flour and sugar while I was there. When I got home I put the pizza atop the extra freezer in the garage (which we don’t currently use) so that I could put the flour in the freezer we do use, and then I was going to put the pizza on top of the bag of flour and shut the freezer. Well, I got distracted, put the flour in the freezer, and then wandered off – LEAVING THE TOP OF THE FREEZER OPEN AND THE PIZZA ON TOP OF THE OTHER FREEZER. When Fred got home from work Friday (Friday being THE DAY AFTER I’d left the freezer open; I don’t know why he didn’t notice it that morning when he left for work), he saw the freezer open, the pizza set on the unused freezer, thought I’d been abducted, and came running into the house to find me laying on the couch, covered in kittens, watching The Reader. We didn’t dare eat the pizza, since it’d been sitting out for a day and a half, so we ended up going to Wal-Mart Saturday to buy a (more expensive, grrr) pizza there.

(Same pizza, same size, a dollar more. Not that great, either.)

When we got home, Fred went out to start working on the new shade structure on the front of the big chicken coop and I cleaned up the kitchen and started baking. I made:

Tomato Soup Chocolate Cake. Neither of us really cared for it, each ate a small piece, and the pigs are getting the rest of it.

Chocolate Chip Teacakes. Surprisingly good! I rolled half of them in powdered sugar and put the other half to the side for (you guessed it!) the pigs.

Amanda’s Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies, with some changes. First, I didn’t have an entire cup of dried cranberries, so I used about 3/4 cup of cranberries and 1/4 cup of dried blueberries. Second, I didn’t have – and don’t like – white chocolate, so I used milk chocolate instead. They came out really good – though Fred said that the cranberries and blueberries were sticking to his teeth. I didn’t have that problem, though, and I liked them a lot.

So all in all, a pretty good weekend as far as baking goes. I’m really disappointed in that Tomato Soup Chocolate Cake, though. I had hoped it would be good, but it was just blah. (Fred, of course, said “What did you expect? It has TOMATO SOUP in it!”)



Friday evening, I was in the house putting the kittens in their room. At this point, they’re being let out into the house around 8, and then I give them their evening snack and put them back in their room around 6 – sometimes later, depending on what they’re doing. They are awfully cute and sweet, but having seven of them bouncing around like wild things can be a TAD overwhelming, and not only to me. They’ve pretty much taken over the cat beds on my desk, and Mister Boogers (I assume) registered his displeasure by peeing on a magazine I’d left on the couch.

The latest issue of Backyard Poultry, damnit, and I’d only read half of it! FUCKING CAT. Now how on earth will I ever find out what good alternatives to Cornish Crosses are???

So I was putting the cats up, and the phone rang. Fred, who’d been in the back forty digging holes with the tractor to set posts for the shade structure, wanted me to come let him (on his tractor) through the gate. I told him I was putting the kittens up and I’d be just a minute, then I rushed through giving the kittens their snack and scooping the litter boxes, and as I rushed to the back door, I saw that His Highness Princess Fred had tired of waiting (LITERALLY TWO AND A HALF MINUTES) and let himself through the gate. So I’d rushed for nothing.

I charged him a $1 Douchebag Tax. AND HE PAID IT.

In fairness, if he’d realized what I was asking for the dollar for, he might not have paid it. But as I told him, the fact that he paid the $1 indicates acceptance and thus he is required to pay the Douchebag Tax WHENEVER I DEMAND IT in the future.

I foresee big bucks from this new venture.

(Yes, he did threaten to turn around and charge ME the Douchebag Tax when I’m being a Douchebag (which is often), but I informed him that (1) I do not accept the Douchebag Tax and will not pay it and (2) If he tricks me into paying it, I will then turn around and charge him an Copycat Tax of TWO dollars, so there.)



If you don’t read Love & Hisses, you missed some really cute pictures last week. I’m just sayin’.

Beulah roared past the one-pound mark this week – she’s now at one pound, five ounces. She’s still far outweighed by her siblings (Bessie’s the closest, weight-wise, and she weighs a pound more than Beulah now.), but she’s getting there!

Bessie and Caleb are both over two pounds now, so they’ll go to be spayed and neutered this week.

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Doesn’t it totally look like a patch of orange tabby leaked off her brother onto her stomach?

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I swear she looks just like a little bulldog.

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I don’t know just how she does it, but somehow she manages to get cuter with every minute that passes.



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“Quick! Behind you! A serial killer! Or maybe nothing at all! Same diff!”



2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: I have no skillz, but I’m a quick learner!
2005: Spot let out a sad, drawn-out demon-from-hell sound.
2004: Meme-licious.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: I live to please you, my beloved readers.

April 21, 2009 (Tuesday)

After today, I’m taking the rest of the week off from journaling, just ’cause I’m feeling uninspired. I’ll be back Monday bright and early! I’ll be updating over at Love & Hisses through the week, though, if you’re craving cute kitten pics. **dividerlinewillmissyousodividerlinebegspleasedontgonooneeverlistenstodividerlinesobsobsob**   Recently I was looking at the pictures that my Flickr contacts … Continue reading “April 21, 2009 (Tuesday)”

After today, I’m taking the rest of the week off from journaling, just ’cause I’m feeling uninspired. I’ll be back Monday bright and early!

I’ll be updating over at Love & Hisses through the week, though, if you’re craving cute kitten pics.



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Recently I was looking at the pictures that my Flickr contacts had uploaded, and I came across a cool picture Aimee had taken. Immediately, I knew I was going to try it myself. I took two cups, filled them with vinegar, and put an egg in each cup – then hid them in the laundry room cabinets.

The next day, I took out one of the cups and rinsed off the egg to find – voila! The shell was gone, and there was just a flexible membrane holding the egg together. I showed it to my parents, told them NOT to tell Fred, and went out and put it in a nest box in the little coop. Since Fred broke Sassy McGee of her broodiness several days ago, she hasn’t been laying eggs, and we’d just discussed that fact the day before.

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When Fred got home, he went out to feed the pigs and check for eggs and all that. Trying not to be obvious, I watched him as he went to the small coop to check Sassy’s nest box. Then I grinned like a fool as he walked back to the house. He walked through the door and looked at me with suspicion.

“What are you grinning about?” he asked suspiciously.

“I, uh, just an email,” I stammered.

“Want to see something really cool?” he said.

“What’s that?”

“Hold out your hand.”

I obeyed.

He put the egg in my hand and as he did so, he said “Sassy has started laying again!”

Then he went out and showed my parents, and they ooohed and ahhhed appreciatively.

“I told you they aren’t getting enough calcium!” I said, and then “We should try to hatch it!”

Then he started talking about making a video of himself breaking open the egg and putting it up on YouTube, and I couldn’t help myself – I got a great big shit-eating grin on my face, and he scowled at me and said “Am I being Punk’d?” I admitted that he was, and he said “You know, I should have known when I walked through the door and you were grinning!”

Too bad I can’t keep a secret, ’cause I was ready to keep the weird eggs coming for a few weeks before I told him the truth.



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I saw this “garbage bowl” in Kohl’s. A “garbage bowl” made of some lightweight material. $19.99.

Are you fucking kidding me? A special bowl to put by the sink and toss your scraps in? Is everyone aware that you can use ANY bowl for that, a bowl you already own, not a $19.99 bowl?

I wanted to station myself next to the display of bowls and if anyone looked particularly interested in buying the bowl, offering them $5 NOT to buy the goddamn thing.

Okay, I’ll say it: if you’re buying a $19.99 bowl to put your kitchen scraps in just because it has Rachel Ray’s name on it, YOU HAVE TOO MUCH FUCKING MONEY.

Better to just set that $19.99 (plus tax) on fire. At least it’ll keep you warm.

The “garbage bowl” will not.



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This remind anyone else of those “best friend” necklaces, where you get one half and your best friend gets the other, and you wear them around and everyone envies your friendship? No?



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If this thing hadn’t cost $59.99 (at TJ Maxx), I totally would have bought it for Nance‘s birthday (which is next month), just to fuck with her. I can only imagine her opening up the (big-ass) package and saying “What the fuck…?” and it makes me laugh.



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This is the bird’s nest that a bird (possibly a Nuthatch, but I’m not positive) built in the tarp above the littlest chicken coop. I put up a picture of the nest with the momma bird on it, but I happened by this past weekend when the momma bird was absent, so I took advantage of her absence to stick the camera in there and get a closeup of the nest.

Two eggs, looks like, and what I think is super cool is that there’s dog hair in the nest. When Fred brushes the dogs, I tell him to toss the hair outside the fence so any birds building their nests can use it. It’s nice to see they actually do.

Though with the amount of dog hair he gets when he brushes the dogs, an entire country full of birds could use nothing but George and Gracie hair to line their nests!



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Bluebird, keeping an eye on me through the kitchen window. That he’s still around is a good thing, right? Probably he has a nest somewhere close by?



The eggs the Silkie was sitting on hatched on Sunday. Baby chickens are cute – baby chickens sticking their heads out from under their Momma are cute times 10,000.

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Elijah, Ezra, Jasper and Phinneas are all going to be neutered on Thursday.

I’d say “poor babies”, but in my experience once I get the boy cats home at the end of the day, they don’t seem to realize anything’s happened at all. I’m sure Thursday evening they’ll be bouncing around without a care in the world!

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She’s such a pretty girl.

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“Helloooooo good-looking!”

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“Who, me? No, what? I didn’t do it!”

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Caleb has earned himself the nickname “Trouble.” He was chewing on the cord to an alarm clock, so I unplugged it. He immediately went over to the wall where the end of a cable cord is sticking out, and started chewing on it.

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Crazy eyes!

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If I’d had any idea THIS was about to happen, I would have lifted the camera a little and used the flash to get it in focus. It makes me laugh and laugh.



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Miz Poo tried to get my parents to take her home with them. She was unsuccessful. Probably for the best – she’d miss Mister Boogers far too much. (HA.)



2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I want to hear “Fine, thanks. Here’s your Supah-sized Diet Coke. Have a nice day!” Understood? I swear, I’m just going to STOP asking, that’s all.
2003: Some day I’ll create a housecleaning schedule and actually keep to it. Ha!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: So, my last official day at work. Ho-hum.

4/20/09 (Monday)

My parents left for home yesterday morning, taking the nice weather with them. It rained all freakin’ day long, and after I made a batch of Piggerdoodles and a batch of dog treats, I vacuumed the downstairs, hung out with the kittens, puttered around the house, and then Fred and I spent the afternoon watching … Continue reading “4/20/09 (Monday)”

My parents left for home yesterday morning, taking the nice weather with them. It rained all freakin’ day long, and after I made a batch of Piggerdoodles and a batch of dog treats, I vacuumed the downstairs, hung out with the kittens, puttered around the house, and then Fred and I spent the afternoon watching movies and TV.

Well, he watched a movie – I stretched out on the couch with a pile of little kittens snuggled up to (and on) me, and snoozed during most of the movie.

The house is quiet without my parents here. I hope they enjoyed their vacation, although we didn’t really do anything exciting. I think they enjoyed watching the kitten circus racing through the house, anyway.

They went up into town Friday and walked on the walking path that goes, in part, around the high school. They reported back that there was going to be a plant sale on Saturday from 9 – 2, and though Fred wasn’t interested at first, I talked him into going and checking it out.

We walked into the greenhouse (yes, the local high school is small, but they have a greenhouse!) and Fred asked the woman working there how much the plants were. When he found out that the flats of 6 plants were $1 each, I thought he was going to pass out from sheer excitement.

We ended up spending $12 and got pepper and tomato plants, and some flowers for the front porch. Now, did we NEED pepper and tomato plants? No, not at all. But for a price like that, we figured we could make some room in the garden.

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$12! (I had to go back later and get eggplant plants.)

Last year, I had some issue or another with the way Fred planted and/ or cared for the tomato plants (I no longer remember what the issue was), so earlier this year I declared that the tomatoes were going to be MY responsibility and he should just back off. When we were coming home with 36 tomato plants, Fred gleefully said “I guess you’re going to be doing a lot of planting!”

Ugh. I SO did not want to do the planting. I’m a pretty, pretty princess, and I shouldn’t have to woooooork, should I?

But I did, I planted every one of those 36 tomato plants. Those 36 tomato plants, plus the five Black Russian tomato plants I ordered through the mail (which Fred planted last week) took up one row and about a quarter of a second row. There are more tomato plants slowly growing upstairs in the garage, and when they’re ready to be planted, they’ll take up the rest of the second row.

Last Fall we decreed that this year we’d only have one row of tomato plants, since I don’t intend to make tomato sauce this year. Now we’re going to have two rows.

Two long rows of tomatoes for two people. That’s not too much, is it?

It’s hard to believe that I loathed tomatoes when I was a kid.



The monkeys had their usual Saturday weigh-in. Beulah just refuses to hit one pound – she weighed in at 15 7/8 ounces, and I swear she gave me a triumphant look before she ran over to the food bowl to eat.

She eats often, but not a lot at one sitting; I guess that’s how she plans to keep her kittenish figure.

Four kittens – Jasper, Elijah, Ezra, and Phinneas – are over two pounds. Phinneas is well over two pounds, he weighed in at two pounds, nine ounces. I’m going to call in a little while to make an appointment for the four who are over two pounds to be neutered this week; I think it makes sense to do it that way rather than wait ’til they’re all over two pounds. The way Beulah’s gaining weight, it could be two months before she hits two pounds!

My parents were here visiting, and I think they enjoyed seeing the kittens run around like wild things. My mother fell in love with Elijah and Caleb (who is earning himself the nickname “Trouble”), and Beulah considered my father to be her own personal playground.

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How is it that the recliner gets so torn up? It’s truly a mystery.

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“Hey, yady, where my snack?”

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These kittens sure do like to fluff up at the slightest provocation.

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“Hey, Mister, you sure smell purty!” All the girlies sure do love that Tom.



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Sheriff Mama keeps an intense eye on the back yard. There’ll be no tomfoolery when she’s around!



2008: No entry.
2007: “Baby, I think someone in my comments just called me a complete idiot.”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: So, to sum up: for almost a year, they’ve spent time staring up their property line, ostentatiously walked up and down it, yet it’s never occurred to them to come knock on the door and say “Hi, blah blah our side of the property line, blah blah, stop? Thanks!”
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: “If we manufactured bon-bons, I would have sent you a package of those. Instead, this package should assuage the pain and horror of not working while you lay on the couch and watch Oprah and the soaps.”

4/17/09 (Friday)

I’m sorry the divider line thing confused a bunch of you yesterday – I tend to just type ’em in and then not think about them again. I’m glad you figured it out. I’ll beat divider line with a wet kitten and hopefully it won’t happen again. (But you know it will!) **dividerlineisheartilysorryforhavingconfusedtheedividerlineisheartilysorryforhavingconfusedthee**   Yesterday … Continue reading “4/17/09 (Friday)”

I’m sorry the divider line thing confused a bunch of you yesterday – I tend to just type ’em in and then not think about them again. I’m glad you figured it out. I’ll beat divider line with a wet kitten and hopefully it won’t happen again.

(But you know it will!)



Yesterday my mother and I got out of the house and did some shopping. We hit TJ Maxx and Kohl’s, and then stopped by PetSmart to pick up some cat food. I was intent on buying nothing but cat food, but the minute I walked through the door, the employee who greeted me pointed out that there were a bunch of cat toys on sale, and although the last thing our damn cats need is more toys, I stocked up anyway.

(What can I say? They were priced REALLY well, and I’m a sucker for cat toys.)

And hey – if anyone out there subscribes to Cat Fancy magazine and wants to send that coupon for a free 3.5-pound bag of Royal Canin Babycat my way, feel free!

So after we browsed through PetSmart, we headed to the mall. I ran out of the Victoria’s Secret So Sexy shampoo I’ve been using for years (I always imagine a man with a cheesy mustache crooning “My lady is soooooo sexy” when I say the name of the damn shampoo) a few weeks ago and I bought some cheap-ass stuff at Big Lots, but I’ve really been missing the So Sexy (I love the smell of it), so it was time to get some more.

We wandered through the mall a bit, browsed Bath and Body Works, checked out Dillard’s, then I bought my shampoo and we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. I’d never been there before and we had no idea how things work (you choose what you want, then choose what kind of BBQ sauce you want on it, then what you want for a side. We were a little confused, to say the least.) It was good, but I don’t know that I’d ever go out of my way to eat there again.

She’d mentioned maybe looking for a Coldwater Creek, and I knew that Bridge Street Town Centre had one, so I took her there. It was really the first time I’d been there (except for a trip to Red Robin when my sister and Brian were here), and it was nice to walk and look at the stores, but it’s mostly upscale clothing stores, so I didn’t buy anything. I did find out that Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret both have stores there. Given that Bridge Street is very close to the mall, I’m wondering how long stores in both locations will stay open.

Then we came home, where my father was hanging out with the kittens (he was more than happy to stay home rather than go shopping. Go figure!), hung out for a while, and then had dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse, which was excellent as always.

(I discovered that my mother and Fred both share a dislike of cheese. Well. They like cheese, just not on a salad. Or a burger. I never knew that about my mother before now.)

Today, I need to get some dog treats made ’cause we’re running low. Also, I’ve got to wrangle the baby chickens and release them into the fenced area around the little chicken coop. Baby chickens outside in the sun are some happy little birds, believe you me.

(Also, this house desperately needs vacuuming, especially the foster room!)



That baby kitteh is creepy looking. She reminds me of Gollum. Every time you post a picture of her, I think I hear her hissing, “Where is my preciousssssssss.”

Awww, mean! (But funny – and I have to admit that I can see it!)



If you do end up with Beulah, how many cat beds will you need to purchase? Don’t want to tick Miz Poo off – she might swatch poor Beulah out of a bed, and she would go flying out the window…

I think if we get any more cat beds, we very well might have to get a whole new house to put the cat beds in. We’re running out of room for them unless I just start randomly putting them in the middle of the rooms.



OMG, that kitty is SO cute… hmm – how about for names, Gizmo? (he’s the gremlin dude)… or Stripe was the other… but, Gizzy sounds pretty cool

Well, my brother has a cat named Gizmo, actually, so it’d be kind of weird to give one of our cats the same name – assuming we’re keeping her, that is, and at this point we’re kind of swinging the other way on that decision. We’ll see.



I am THRILLED that Beulah/~ is on the road to becoming a permanent member of the household!!! And Val asked the question I intended to ask. I’m guessing, what, four or five beds per cat?

Without actually walking through the house and counting them, we have approximately 21 cat beds in the house – that’s just actual cat beds and does not include places to sleep on the cat tree, or kitty condos and things of that sort. It also includes the five cat beds we usually keep in the guest bedroom, so that number drops by five whenever we have guests.

10 cats, 21 beds. That’s not so outrageous, is it?

Oh, wait. Make that 22 – I just remembered the one on Fred’s desk!



My grandma used to have these white glass eggs that she put under the hens. Were those to make broody hens lay eggs? I can’t remember and she and my Daddy are gone so I can’t ask either one of them. DAMN–there is always some unasked question I want answered by those two!!!

I believe – and Fred can correct me if I’m wrong – that they put golf balls in nest boxes so that the hens know where to lay, so maybe the glass eggs were for the same reason. Though if the glass eggs your grandma put under the hens were cold, maybe it was to break them from being broody? I know that one of the things you can do to break a broody hen is to put ice under her.

Having a block of ice under me would cure me of my broodiness right damn quick!



You haven’t mentioned that the Countess is separated from her husband! I wonder if she can still call herself Countess after the divorce is final? Jill’s apartment is hideous! And I wonder what they did with all their old stuff because it didn’t look like they kept a single thing. I just hope the New Jersey housewives are as entertaining and batshit crazy.

I’m pretty sure the Countess will be keeping her title – I’ve read that in several places, at least. Though I wonder how that happens – if the Count remarries, does his new wife not get the title, or do all his exes get to keep their title, or what?

I’ve watched the New Jersey housewives premiere, and so far it looks very The Real Housewives of The Sopranos to me.

If someone could explain to me why so many of these women are under the mistaken impression that fake tans are something to strive for, I’d appreciate it.

(Also, that blonde is a dead ringer for a young Lorraine Bracco.)



Boy, the picture of Ms. B and Mr. E really shows how tiny Ms. B. really is. She’s not the runt of the litter, she’s THE RUNT!

She’s like a superhero, wearing a tiny little cape and flying through the air with the greatest of ease (or being carried through the air with the greatest of ease, anyway). SUPER RUNT!



I don’t know why you’re thinking of renaming Beulah. She looks like a Beulah. I think it fits her perfectly! And yes, you’re keeping her!

While I do agree that she looks like a Beulah, my great-grandmother’s name was Beulah, and I think it’d be weird to have a cat named after her.



Can you ask your vast readership a question for me, please? Does anyone know of a cell phone you can get that doesn’t have an activation fee or monthly fees and has minutes that don’t expire? I am trying to find one for my grandmother who will maybe use the phone once every decade. I just want her to have one in case of an emergency when she’s out driving. The “disposable” phones I have tried thus far don’t have activation/monthly fees, but you can only purchase minutes that last for a certain length of time before they expire. & of course, the less you spend, the sooner the minutes expire. It’s so frustrating, especially because this kind of information isn’t listed on the packaging. Is there really no such thing as an “emergency only” cell phone?

Lots of people had suggestions in my comments, but just in case anyone out there doesn’t read my comments regularly and didn’t see Shelly’s question, I’m posting it here in case one of you has any additional ideas.



This is an article about the new Jackie Warner show on Bravo.

Is it wrong that I’m kind of disappointed? I’d much rather see Jackie Warner and her hot trainers (to be truthful, I’m more interested in the hot trainers than Jackie. I don’t have a crush on Jackie, because she scares me a little. She’s so intense!) than Jackie Warner taking over a gym and making it run right.



you made me cry with the baby chick that was getting pecked! damn chickens. leave the baybee alone!

If it helps any, they weren’t really picking on the baby chick – someone pecked at the top of her head because they thought it might be food, made her bleed, and seeing blood made the other baby chicks peck too. The Blue Kote both disinfects the wound and covers the red so that the other chicks won’t peck at her. She’ll be fine, don’t worry about her.



I was watching Alton Brown the other day and he was making some french chicken dish (Co Co La Vin or something like that) and it calls for a rooster. He went thru a speech saying the stores won’t carry them etc etc…and I thought wow, Robyn could make it correctly. Well, until I saw all the steps and said Robyn has way too many more interesting things to do with her time than to make that dish. lol


I think Audri is correct; I think you have much more important things to do than make this! But it sure sounds really good!

It does sound really good, but just looking at the ingredient list made me need a nap. The entire recipe made me need two naps. I’m not sure I’ll ever be up for making anything that requires that much work for one dish.



I belong to kiva.org and I’ve made 13 loans of $25 each so far (many of them with the money I’ve been repaid from the first people I’ve loaned to). Have you ever considered making a loan to an entrepreneur in a third-world country? For some reason, this woman made me think of you. 🙂

That very well might be the neatest thing I’ve seen this week! It’s kind of amazing what you can help accomplish with $25, isn’t it?



My mom always said that when you can’t find them (cats/kittens), but you know that they are there; that they have gone into Cat Space. It’s like a 4th dimension that humans can’t see. Our cats would always do that.

I’m imagining cats in tiny space suits, floating around and trying to jump on each other in a zero gravity setting. Phinneas would kick ass as a kitty astronaut!



I thought Beulah was going to be called “Pip”? *nudge nudge wink wink*!!

After she spent ten minutes perching on my shoulder yesterday morning, I’m thinking Polly might be a good name for her, too! (Also, given her size, Polly Pocket!)



So Tommy the Playa likes the younger women, huh?

He’s a man whore with an eye for the younger ladies, and they likes him back.



It would be helpful if you could also put the day of the week at the top of your entries too so I can tell at a glance if you’ve updated or not, i.e. Thursday April 16. Thanks for your consideration.

Howzabout the date, with the day in parentheses after? I can’t guarantee I’ll remember every time, but I’ll certainly give it the ol’ college try.



Robyn, can you repost the recipe for the mushroom risotto? There’s nothing at the link on your recipe page.

Can you see it now? If not, let me know and I’ll post it in my Monday entry (or email it to you if you need it before then! We’re actually having it tonight with mushrooms).



Beulah does look like an alien! I love the photos with her next to the other cats, she looks so tiny and precious! That first photo with her and Tommy looks like she is saying “I can has coolness?”

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I have to confess – Tommy was actually less than impressed with Super Runt, and he had just hissed at her when I snapped the picture. She immediately went submissive and laid down in front of him.

Tommy likes ’em submissive.

Oh, my question: Have you ever submitted your pictures to Cute Overload?

Every time someone says “You should totally submit this picture to Cute Overload”, I do. Apparently they’re not impressed. Bastards!



I used to shop WalMart exclusively. But then, something happened. It got more crowded, and with ruder people. People who didn’t look where they were going with their carts, who didn’t mind bumping into you while you were standing considerately on the sideline scrutinizing your choices. And then WalMart implied I should ring up and bag my own purchases (which sounded good to me at first) but then sabotaged the experience with the whiny B voice ordering me to bag an item or accusing me of not bagging a light one. Gah.

That goddamn “PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA” really makes me want to go on a shooting rampage, and I avoid the self-checkout as much as possible, but when I have to deal with the self-checkout and that fucking voice starts up with me, I tend to talk back to it. I don’t swear at it, but I am SERIOUSLY TEMPTED.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I was one of those annoying-ass people who was blocking the end of the aisle the other day. I was just hanging out there, talking to my parents, and then I turned around and saw a woman patiently standing there waiting to get by me. At least I immediately moved and apologized when I saw her. That gets me points, right?



I remember that a while back you used sisal rope on the cat tree in the foster kitty room. Was there a certain way you wrapped it around the poles? Did you glue it into place? I am sick of the little bits of carpet coming off our cat tree from the shredded carpet on the poles, so I’m going to buy some sisal rope and try to get some more life out of that cat tree.

I’m embarrassed to admit that while I did get a shit-ton of sisal from an eBay auction, it’s still in the unopened box and it’s been six months or more since I got it.

Me = procrastinator.

I do remember reading up on it, though, and what I recall is that you’re supposed to use glue, wind the rope around the pole as tightly as possible (use a hammer to tamp the rope down regularly during the winding process), then put a nail in the end of the sisal to help hold it all in place.



You can’t think of three things you can’t live without??? Uhm…Miz Poo, Sugarbutt, and Beulah ring a bell??? As much as I curse about my cats, I can’t imagine a day without them.

In the question, I understood “things” to mean “possessions”, and since I consider our cats to be part of our family and not “things”, they certainly didn’t come to mind. Which I think was clear by the answer I gave.



Go to the Land o Lakes website and you can print coupons, to use on top of that Walmart price. There are some great coupon sites out there telling you how to save. Try www.hip2save.com and check out some of her links to other sites.

Great link! I’ve already added it to my list of sites to check first thing in the morning!



So, to be honest, I’m waffling about whether I want to permanently keep Beulah. I do like her, and she’s a sweet little thing, but the peace among our cats is tenuous in the best of times, and I really don’t know that I want to add another cat to the permanent population.

I know, I know. Y’all love her and you want to see her grow up and you don’t believe I could ever give her up, but y’all say that about AN AWFUL LOT OF THE KITTENS I FOSTER.

No permanent decision has been made and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of waffling ahead, but if anyone out there is seriously interested in adopting her – or any of the fosters! – let me know and I’ll send you the name and number for the shelter manager.

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Though the kittens are enthralled with Miz Poo, she hasn’t got much use for them. I did catch her playing with them briefly yesterday, though. She’s like Ouiser from Steel Magnolias – (I’m pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I couldn’t help myself.) She saw the kittens playing, and she played with them before she could help herself. But then she caught herself and hissed at them and ran away.



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Smilin’ Joe Bob. He’s such a bad boy!



2008: “So, would you want a pregnant cat?” she asked hopefully.
2007: It can’t happen soon enough, if you ask me.
2006: Taking the week off.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Helloooooo, Fancypants! Hey, buddy, whatchoo doin’?” I said in my special Fancypants voice.
2002: Know what I’m thinking? Psycho stalker, desperate to come into the house, rape and rob us and leave us for dead, stealing the computers and the big-screen TV on the way out.
2001: I should have stayed in bed this morning.
2000: No entry.


So on Monday, I had to get groceries. I decided that I’d do my initial grocery-getting at Wal-Mart, since the list wasn’t too terribly long, and then I’d get the things that Wal-Mart doesn’t carry (2% large-curd cottage cheese. Don’t look at me, Fred’s the one who eats it.) at my beloved Publix. Most of … Continue reading “4/16/09”

So on Monday, I had to get groceries. I decided that I’d do my initial grocery-getting at Wal-Mart, since the list wasn’t too terribly long, and then I’d get the things that Wal-Mart doesn’t carry (2% large-curd cottage cheese. Don’t look at me, Fred’s the one who eats it.) at my beloved Publix.

Most of the stuff I was buying at Wal-Mart was in the baking aisle, and I was out of butter, so I needed to get some of that. I absentmindedly jotted down the price of the yeast and bread flour I was buying, just because I was curious how much cheaper Wal-Mart really is than Publix. Then I moseyed down to grab a pound of butter (typing that makes me feel particularly fat.) and when I saw the price, my eyes bugged clean out of my head.

A pound of unsalted Land o’ Lakes butter at Publix: $3+. A pound of unsalted Land o’ Lakes butter at Wal-Mart: 2 for $4.

I bought six pounds of the damn stuff, because you can freeze it ’til you need it.

(KATG listeners, imagine me saying that in Keith’s “fat voice,” please.)

When I got to Publix, I went down the baking aisle first and found that a package of yeast at Publix is fifty cents more than at Wal-Mart. Now granted, it’s only 50 cents, but damn. DAMN. That can add up!

(Newsflash: Stupid Alabama woman is the last person in existence to realize that shit is less expensive at Wal-Mart than the local yuppy grocery store.)

So I grabbed the things I needed to get – frozen fruit, half-price Easter candy (Which conveniently can also be stored in the freezer. OR MY BELLY. Whichever.), something else I don’t recall – and I stood in line and had quite a nice conversation with the cashier as she rang up my purchases. We commiserated over the fact that there were no Reese’s peanut butter eggs in the half-price cart and how damn good those things are, and then I finished paying, we thanked each other, and I went out to the car.

Luckily, I hadn’t actually left the parking lot when I realized that the number one most important thing I’d visited Publix for? You know, the cottage cheese? I’d forgotten to buy any. So I went back in, grabbed eight cartons of the cottage cheese (it was on sale, and they last for weeks. Shaddup. Why am I defending my purchases to you, I highly suspect you don’t care all that much. Do you? Ah, you do, I can see it in your crazy stalker eyes. Nevermind.) and ended up back in line at the exact same cash register.

You know, the one where we’d had a deep, meaningful conversation about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs literally three minutes before?

She rang up my cottage cheese, asked why I was buying so many, and asked if I’d ever tried the store brand cottage cheese, and nodded sympathetically when I told her it was for my husband and he’s not picky about many things, but he’s picky about his cottage cheese.

And never once did she indicate in any way that she’d ever seen my face before in her life.

So anyway, much as I hate Wal-Mart, and much as I hate the fact that they are assfaces to their employees, I cannot deny that a penny saved is a penny motherfucking earned. In the face of saving 50 cents on yeast and over a dollar on butter, I will likely be doing the bulk of my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart from here on out.


Ooh, but you know what? They have this AISLE now, this brand-new aisle of mostly food items that are priced at $1 or less. I like that aisle. I introduced my mother to this aisle, and she likes it too. Won’t you come to Wal-Mart and meet the $1 or less aisle?

I imagine us all wandering blank-faced into Wal-Mart like zombies, moaning “One dollar! One dollarrrrrrrr!”



To round out this entry, a meme. It’s from the “Sunday Stealing” site and it’s not Sunday, but who cares, right?

Sunday Stealing: The Green Meme

1. What is your current obsession? More ways to save money – and is it cheaper to shop at the Dollar General Market than Wal-Mart or not?

2. What’s a good coffee place? What is this “good coffee” you speak of? I don’t drink coffee, so to me it’s all the same.

3. Who was the last person that you hugged? Fred, I’m sure.

4. Do you nap a lot? I can’t remember the last time I took a nap, so no. Wait, that’s a lie, I do remember – last week on the floor of the foster kitten room, with warm and purring kittens piled atop me. I dared not move lest I wake them up, so I figured I might as well nap, too. (Usually, though, I’m not a napper.)

5. Tonight, what’s for dinner? We’re taking my parents to Logan’s Roadhouse.

6. What was the last thing that you bought? Birthday presents for my littlest nephew’s 4th birthday at Wal-Mart yesterday.

7. What is your favorite weather? 73 and sunny, maybe a gentle breeze.

8. Tell us something about one blogger who you think will play this week? I… do not know.

9. If you were given a free house that was fully furnished, where in the world would you like it to be? Somewhere where it’s 73 and sunny year-round. Oh, and if there were ocean nearby, that would be smashing.

10. Name three things that you could not live without. My heart. My liver (I assume). My brain. HAR. I can’t think of one possession I would die without, so I’m going to say nothing at all. Everything can be replaced. Don’t get me wrong – I’d be sad if my house burned down and I lost all the pictures I’ve taken over the years, but I wouldn’t die without them.

11. What would you like in your hands right now? Um. ::smirk::

12. What’s one of your guilty pleasures? Those damn Real Housewives shows. I don’t actually feel all that guilty about watching them, though.

13. What would you change or eliminate about yourself? My wattle. It drives me nuts.

14. As a child, what type of career did you want? Depended on what moment you asked me. For a while I wanted to be a vet, ’til I realized how much school it involved. When I had the tumor removed from my knee, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeo. I think I wanted to be a nurse, also a secretary (I would kick ASS at being a secretary, I’m excellent at determining and meeting expectations before the person having the expectations knows they even expect them), Psychologist, and something to do with computers.

15. What are you missing right now? Heat. GODDAMN it’s cold in here right now!

16. What are you currently reading? Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. Also, the latest Playboy. I haven’t been reading much lately, though.

17. What do you fear the most? Having a stroke or in some way being incapacitated and bedridden permanently.

18. What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently? I really liked Yes Man. I could watch Jim Carrey read his grocery list out loud for two hours, as long as he made those faces and threw himself around. (On a side note, have Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper ever been in a movie together? Because I suspect the earth would implode from the impact of having so much pretty in one movie.)

19. What’s your favorite book from the past year? Find Me, by Carol O’Connell. Just thinking about the end makes me teary-eyed.

20. Is there a comfort food from your childhood that you still enjoy? Whoopie pies. Is lobster comfort food? I’ll say lobster, too.



My parents are visiting, and to my dismay Beulah loves my father more than she loves me. In fact, she loves my mother more than she loves me, too. The only thing she wants me for is to give her food that she can gulp down before she goes back to hang out on my father or mother.


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More pics over at L&H.



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I’m fairly certain heads would roll if Stinkerbelle got an eyeful of THIS situation.



2008: And then I will duct-tape the stupid thing to me so that I don’t lose it!
2007: It’s a rough fucking life.
2006: No entry.
2005: The freakin’ notify list.
2004: You could take notes, motherfucker.
2003: Okay, okay! Just please stop asking!
2002: I guess I was a doofus even way back then.
2000: I had to refrain from picking her up and squeezing her to bits.


Sights from around Crooked Acres: The Crooked Acres Bluebird. (I told my father that we had one Bluebird hanging around. He said “They don’t hang around singly, they’re in pairs!” I told him I’d only seen the one – yesterday, I realized that female Bluebirds look quite a bit different (in fact, they look like … Continue reading “4/15/09”

Sights from around Crooked Acres:

The Crooked Acres Bluebird. (I told my father that we had one Bluebird hanging around. He said “They don’t hang around singly, they’re in pairs!” I told him I’d only seen the one – yesterday, I realized that female Bluebirds look quite a bit different (in fact, they look like Mockingbirds to me), so it’s entirely possible (probably likely) that there’s a female around, I just didn’t realize it.)

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Baby chickens – two weeks old, I think? The others had been pecking at this one’s head, causing her to bleed, so we had to put Blue Kote on her to disinfect the wound and stop the other chickens from pecking. So far, so good.

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Such pretty little things.

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What I love about chickens is that I see the pretty little ones like this, and I say “I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s grown!”, and I don’t have to wait years and years to find out, only a few months.

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Polish cross with a mohawk. This one’s gotta be a rooster.

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“You has food for us?”

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Fred and my father built a longer, less steep ramp for Charlie, the chicken with the twisted-up toes. Yes, that is correct – our chickens now have a handicapped-accessible ramp. The chickens who are pretty, and the chickens who are friendly are doing it wrong – apparently engendering pity in your owners is what gives Crooked Acres chickens a longer life span.

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Twisted-up toes and Blue Kote on her neck. She’s a mess, god love her, but she’s the queen of the baby chicken/ maternity coop and yard.

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Broody mamas, each sitting on three or four eggs. The Silkie is due to start hatching this weekend. Hopefully Silkies really are the good mothers they’re purported to be!

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Rooster in the sun.

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It appears that Michelle – formerly the head rooster of the chicken yard – has been toppled from the throne by this pretty Buff rooster. It makes me sad to see the other roosters chasing Michelle off – and Michelle sleeps in a nest box rather than roosting with his wimmins. I hate seeing it. Poor Michelle.

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Michelle performs the maneuver we refer to as “umbrella neck.” The wimmins seem unimpressed.

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This white rooster (one we hatched ourselves last Fall from a batch of eggs we got in Amish country in Tennessee – therefore, we call him “The Amish Rooster”, of course) seems poised to kick the Buff rooster off his throne. I have to say, I’d like to see him kick some Buff butt.

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Still love the rock star.

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This might be Mr. Friendly – who isn’t as friendly as he used to be. In fact, when I check for eggs, he comes and supervises and gets all up in my space. He’s not showing me the proper respect, and I’ve told him that he better stop harassing me, or we’ll be eating Mr. Friendly stew.

I’m not impressed by the umbrella neck, Mr. Friendly.

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This rolled-up fencing lives in the wood shed ’til the time comes that Fred needs it.

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They’ll build nests anywhere, won’t they?

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This tarp covers a rain shelter by the littlest (unused for now) coop. This bird built a nest in it, and I assume she’s sitting on eggs. I snapped this picture, then the bird freaked out and flew off and scolded us, so I left it alone. I want to get better pictures, but I don’t want her to abandon her nest, so I’ll behave. Maybe. (I don’t know what kind of bird it is – I think it might be a Nuthatch.)

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“You has food for us?”

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Such good puppies, waiting for their treats.

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Did I mention pretty?

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“Do ya feeling lucky, punk? Well? Do ya?”



Naturally, as soon as I said how we were going to deal with letting the kittens out into the rest of the house, that changed. Yesterday morning I went up and let them out of their room, and they promptly went to the bottom of the stairs and meowed sadly at how all they wanted in this world was to be let out into the rest of the house, but that mean lady wouldn’t let them.

I can only stand so much sad meowing from tiny kittens, so I caved pretty quickly.

Everyone except Beulah immediately came down and spread out through the house. Our cats were NOT impressed with the tiny interlopers, but they didn’t actually smack anyone, just hissed a lot.

After a couple of hours of the kittens exploring and sniffing at the big cats and eating some of their food, I realized it was pretty quiet, and then I heard an inquisitive meow. Miss Beulah had figured out those stairs and come to see where everyone else had gone. Where was everyone? All curled up in a cat bed, looking kind of scared and lost.

I put them back in their room for a few hours, and then let them out again in the evening. When they’d been out for a few more hours, we decided to put them back in their room (so we wouldn’t be racing around trying to find them at bedtime), and we located everyone but Phinneas and Beulah immediately.

We could not find Beulah and Phinneas ANYWHERE. We looked in all the nooks and crannies of the house, called and called for them, and nothing. I wasn’t worried, because I knew they had to be in the house somewhere, but I WAS very confused.

I was looking around in my room, then suddenly heard a wee meow. I turned around, and Beulah was coming out from behind my laundry basket, looking sleepy. So now we had everyone but Phinneas, and after five more minutes of searching, he just kind of appeared in the middle of my bedroom.

In retrospect, I think that he and Beulah had gotten behind my bookcase – there’s a gap between the bookcase and the wall – curled up in the hollow place under the bookcase (you can’t see under the bookcase from the front, because there’s wood there) and gone to sleep.

Kittens find the most amazing places to curl up and hide, don’t they?

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Kittens looking through the screen at Miz Poo, who cannot be bothered to even look their way.

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Possibly this would be a better picture if I could ever hold the camera straight, ya think?

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Snoozin’ Jasper.

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“Tryin’ to sleep here, lady!”



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She has such intense eyes. She scares me a little.



2008: It just looked like a great big blob of tumor, is what it looked like.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “Light” my ass!
2004: An odd duck, that one.
2003: Unfortunately, he lived.
2002: 10 Things I Learned Last Week
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Recently I was catching up on my blog reading. I am perpetually behind and usually have 500+ unread items in my Google Reader – sometimes it gets up over 1000 unread items (in which case Google Reader doesn’t even tell you how many unread items you have, just “1000+”) and then I delete the Tastespotting … Continue reading “4/14/09”

Recently I was catching up on my blog reading. I am perpetually behind and usually have 500+ unread items in my Google Reader – sometimes it gets up over 1000 unread items (in which case Google Reader doesn’t even tell you how many unread items you have, just “1000+”) and then I delete the Tastespotting posts without reading them all (I do glance through the titles before I mark them as “read”) and usually that makes it drop back down below 1,000. Apparently 1,000 is the number that drives me crazy when it comes to Google Reader – what really sucks is that I tend to work my way down the list alphabetically, so if your blog title starts with one of the first few letters of the alphabet, I’m generally up to date on reading you. If, on the other hand, you are XKCD then I hope I haven’t missed anything in the past six weeks or so.

Well – that’s an exaggeration, actually. Sometimes I go to the end of the list and work my way back up. If you’re in the middle of the alphabet, god knows when I last read you.

Anyway. What was I saying?

Oh, right. So I was laying in bed last night catching up on blog reading (I love my laptop!), and I read this entry of Melting Mama’s, and I got kind of confused. Is it just me? I never thought that the Easter Bunny actually LAID those eggs s/he left behind, I thought s/he… Well, I don’t know where the hell I thought the Easter Bunny got the eggs and the candy, but I never thought they came OUT OF the Bunny.

Am I alone in this belief, or am I the only one on earth who didn’t know that the Easter Bunny laid ten million eggs (and candy items) before delivering them to the bad little heathens of the world?



Okay, people, you gotta help me out – does anyone know if there’s going to be another season of Work Out on Bravo? I have Googled high and low and I can’t seem to find any kind of concrete answer. I can’t find ANYTHING on the Bravo site, and the Work Out section of their site doesn’t appear to be working any more, and I MUST KNOW. Will I get to see a bunch of pretty trainers prancing around, flirting and sleeping with each other, and putting their clients through their paces, OR NOT?

Anyone know anything? Help?



So on Friday I bitched about people who put up way too fucking many pictures of the recipe they’re creating and posting. I said something along the lines of “I don’t need to see a picture of what the salt looks like, then a picture of the salt being measured, then a picture of your face as you ponder the salt, then a picture of the salt being added to the mixing bowl. A picture of the ingredients, the finished product, and then the recipe is JUST FINE.”

On Saturday Pioneer Woman wrote about how badly she wants to have chickens.

You know what happened next, right?

To my horror, Ashleas (please report to me so I can beat you soundly with a kitten) posted in the comments (kudos for being only the 5th person to post in her comments – she gets like 300 comments in the first ten minutes after she posts!) that some crazy bitch in Alabama (me) and her equally crazy husband (him) have 120 chickens, I write about it, and she enjoys reading about their antics.

So hundreds of people read that comment, flocked to my site, and were greeted by a profanity-filled diatribe about how I hate it when people take picture after picture of the cooking/ baking process.

For the record, I actually wasn’t talking about Pioneer Woman when I wrote that. I mean, it does annoy me, the myriad pictures of the cooking/ baking process, but it’s not like I don’t KNOW she does that in every single post on her Cooking site, and I usually just scroll directly to the bottom of the page to see the difficulty of the recipe if I’m interested in it. I’m not going to say who it was that caused the annoyance, someone whose blog I read (who does not read me – it’s NOT YOU) though if you’re dying to know email me and I’ll tell you. Trust me, though, it ain’t that exciting.

It took me about 2.3 seconds to decide to delete that section of Friday’s entry, because Pioneer Woman drives some serious traffic, and I really didn’t want any of her readers deciding I was talking about her and coming after me. She has a lot of devoted readers and as badass as I (like to think I) am, I can’t really fight off thousands of pissed-off women.

Okay, well, I COULD. But that’d just be showing off.



Naturally, because I said yesterday that the kittens have shown no interest in climbing over the gate keeping them in their room and the bathroom, Fred was walking down the hall and found that a curious little kitten was wandering down the stairs.

(He might not have noticed, except that Sugarbutt walked by the bottom of the stairs, turned and stared at the kitten, hissed, and ran away.)

It was Caleb, and I picked him up and went upstairs to see what was going on, and as I approached the top of the stairs, Beulah came over to look at me. As it turned out, all the kittens had climbed over the gate and were wandering around the upstairs.

So yesterday morning I put up the baby gates at the bottom of the stairs and let the kittens have the run of the entire upstairs. They LOVED it, of course. Kittens always love having new territory to conquer. They spent most of their time playing in my room, raced back and forth, and then curled up on my bed with me to take a nap.

Every now and then everyone but Beulah would come to the bottom of the stairs (the stairs are still a little too much for Miss Beulah) to see what they could see, and I’d hear a sad little “Why can’t we come out THERE?” meow.

All in time, little kittens. We’re going to keep them confined to the upstairs for a few more days, then see what it’s like to let them have the run of the house.

Like a circus, is what I expect it’ll be like!

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More kitten pics over at L&H.



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“Really? You’re going to kick me out of the upstairs so those rotten kittens can have room to run? I don’t think so.” (I did.)



2008: Places where the Feliway bottle is NOT
2007: No entry.
2006: God save me from the permed ‘fro.
2005: Why do I bother to make New Year’s resolutions, I ask you?
2004: Bastard.
2003: “That’s right, you LITTLE SHIT, get the hell out of here!” I yelled, stomping at him.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Not much of an entry.