10/2/09 – Friday

New month, new logo! This one was created by the wonderful Christine, isn’t it awesome? Aly also created an October-themed one, so I’ll put that up around mid-month. Thanks, Christine!   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue reading “10/2/09 – Friday”

New month, new logo! This one was created by the wonderful Christine, isn’t it awesome?

Aly also created an October-themed one, so I’ll put that up around mid-month.

Thanks, Christine!


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After spending all summer canning green beans and tomato sauce (not much tomato sauce, though – have I mentioned that the tomatoes were a bit of a disappointment this year?) and chicken and various other things, my canning cabinet is close to bursting.


(Yes, there are bottles of Ragu hiding behind the tomato sauce. Don’t judge me.)

I guess there’s still room for more.

Yesterday I spent several hours making jams. The day before, I made hot sauces. I have a few more batches of jam to make, and then there’ll be Crooked Acres jams and hot sauces up for sale soon, probably over the weekend. Those will be for sale ’til we run out of habaneros – and I froze a lot of habaneros over the summer (and they’re still growing!).


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I was dead asleep last night at 11:30 when I was awakened by a banging noise. I turned over, took out my ear plug, and listened. More banging. I decided that it was coming from the foster kitten room. I hoped it would stop, but it didn’t, so I grabbed the can of compressed air sitting on my bedside table (you know, the can of compressed air you guys ALWAYS think is a can of whipped cream!) and went out into the hallway. Jake (or maybe Elwood) was sitting by the door to the foster room. They love to sit outside the room and stick their paws under the door. I figured there was a kitten on the other side of the door who’d decided he’d had enough of this being in one room nonsense and was determined to dig his way out.

I shot a blast of air at the door, and heard the thumping sound of a running cat. I waited, and didn’t hear any more banging, so went back to bed. Naturally, as soon as I sat down, the banging started again. I got up, shot a blast of air at the door, then went to the bathroom. The banging started up again, and I finally decided that I’d open the door and see if it was just one kitten (I suspected Hoyt) trying to get out, and if it was, I’d let him out into the house. I don’t want all six of them running around all night, because I value my sleep, but one kitten would probably be okay.

I opened the door, and Sugarbutt came slinking out.

Apparently when Fred gathered up the True Bloods to put them up, he hadn’t noticed that Sugarbutt was hanging out in the room, and so Sugarbutt got locked away with the babies. Kudos to Suggie for toughing it out for two and a half hours before frantically digging his way out.

Of course, when I opened the door and Sugarbutt came out, Elwood went running in because he has decided that the True Bloods are His People, and he always wants to go in their room at night. I let him stay in there.

Then at 4:23, I was awakened by Elwood’s very identifiable questioning meow. He’d had enough of this one-room nonsense and wanted out. I got up and let him out, and a few minutes later Fred got up, and we started our day, with the feeding of the baby cats and such.

I’d say it would be NICE to get a full night’s sleep every once in a while, but I usually sleep pretty well with few distractions, so I’m not going to complain.


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Since there isn’t much on today’s page, I will share a link for The Animal Rescue Site.

Once you click you can then scroll down and vote for any animal shelter to hopefully win some money!

I of course vote for Challenger’s House daily! Even though I live in New York!


I’ve been meaning to link to this for ages and ages – thanks for the reminder, Debra!

You might need to do a search for Challenger’s House in Alabama to get to the place where you vote for it. So, go vote for Challenger’s House, y’all!

Speaking of Challenger’s House, did y’all know that there’s a Facebook page for the shelter now? One of the other foster moms runs it – go friend Challenger’s House, she puts up lots of cute kitten pics (and there are pictures of Ike on there!)


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I notice that you don’t have the recipe for the Caramel-Apple jam posted in Nom on This….is it available?

I got the recipe over at Suzanne McMinn’s site, in this post. I think the Caramel-Apple Jam is fantastic, but I prefer mine with small chunks of apple (as in the original recipe) rather than with apple puree. With apple puree, it’s more of an apple butter than jam. It all depends on what you prefer.


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I was wondering if you ever had people that want to adopt the kitties you foster. Is or has that ever been a possibility?

I’ve had several people ask, recently, about adopting fosters. It is possible for readers to adopt them – Nance adopted Maddy a few years ago, and Katherine adopted River and Inara (now Nate and Dora) last summer. Anyone who’s interested in adopting any of the fosters will have to go through Challenger’s House – you can call and speak to Susan, the shelter manager. There’s a procedure that includes filling out paperwork, and there’s an adoption fee.


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Do you wear men’s long sleeve T’s in the winter, for around the house? I’m looking for something reasonable have some spotted at gap, but are there any other suggestions.

I have a large collection of long-sleeved t-shirts I’ve picked up at various places (a few years ago when I visited Maine, we went to Reny’s (GOD I LOVE RENY’S) and I ended up buying some Life is Good t-shirts for $5 apiece. They didn’t have the design on the front, and some of them had weird dye marks on the front, but I was buying them just to wear around the house, so I didn’t mind how they looked.

I usually either wear one of those long-sleeved t-shirts around the house, or a short-sleeved t-shirt with a zip-up hoodie over it. I love my hooded sweatshirts, but the sleeves get in the way if I’m cooking or doing some intensive cleaning.

(HA HA HA “intensive cleaning.” As if I EVER do that.)


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I don’t know if you like anchovies and garlic, but if you do, I cannot say enough about Nigella Lawson’s bagna cauda recipe. I don’t have it to hand, but from memory, you mince 15 anchovy filets and 8 garlic cloves, and cook in a quarter cup of olive oil until the anchovies melt (yes they do) and everything is all gorgeous. I know it sounds way over-the-top, but it’s delicious. (I believe Nigella’s recipe also calls for butter, but the authentic way has only anchovies, garlic, and oil – I am told.)

I ADORE garlic, but would you believe that I have never once had a single solitary anchovy? I’ve only ever heard of them being referred to in a joking manner, like something gross you’d find on a pizza. So, would I like anchovies? I like most fish and seafood. Readers? What say you?


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I found a humorous piece on a joke website, just thought you and all cat/dog lovers would enjoy it. Here’s the link:

Pet Diaries

That always cracks me up!


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My sister’s name is Kristi Ann, she has 3 kids. I’m a goober, I call her “Kris-ann-the-mum”.

I think that’s adorable, personally. (And I’m glad I’m not the only goober around!)


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Sam is a “Kitler“!

Fred calls him Adolf. (Last night we were watching TV, and Fred said “Which kitten is it that looks like Hitler?”, because he can never keep their names straight.)

One of the kittens from our very first batch of fosters was a Kitler, too, little Flossie:


Though actually, I think that’s more of a Clark Gable ‘stache than a Hitler. I have no doubt that if she’d been a boy, Fred would have insisted on naming her Adolf.

I still use that picture as an avatar in a lot of places. And it’s the picture that’s been (as far as I know) most stolen and used without permission or attribution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to send out copyright violation emails to have it removed. Everyone loves a Dr. Evil kitten pic, apparently.


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From Rachael:


Watch this for a few seconds and the cool stuff starts.

That is so neat!!


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So, on Tuesday I called and made an appointment to take Lafayette, Sam, Hoyt, and Bill to the vet so that she could look at their eyes and determine whether they’re ready to go to Petsmart for adoption. I waited until about three minutes before I needed to be on the road, then snatched them up (they were all snoozing on my desk) and put them in the carrier.

(I really should have put them in two carriers, but I was also taking Sugarbutt with me, because the rodent ulcer on his upper lip was acting up again, requiring a shot of steroids. Two carriers, I could just about handle. Three? Not so much.)

We were within sight of the vet clinic, which is a 25 minute drive from here, when either Sam or Hoyt pulled a pungent maneuver known as “Had I known you were going to snatch me up and keep me confined for a long road trip, dear lady, I would have used the litterbox before we left.”

Good LORD, the smell.

But by happenstance, I had actually stopped for one moment and thought before I left the house. The last time I had the kittens in carriers, when I took them to the shelter for their vaccinations, Sam vomited on Hoyt. So just in case, I grabbed a handful of cleaning rags to take with me.

I pulled into the clinic parking lot, and went to the back seat to see just how bad the damage was.

Whoever’d pooped in the carrier had been kind enough to do it at the end where the door was, and he’d done it so neatly that the bed in the carrier was untouched.

(But good god, the STENCH.)

I used the cleaning rags to clean up the poop, and then I dug through my purse for a wet wipe, and cleaned it up some more.

Then I took all the dirty rags and shoved them into a plastic shopping bag and left it in the car.

(As you can imagine, when I came out and got into the car, I was very much wishing I’d thought of a better place to put the poopy rags. I immediately drove to McDonald’s and deposited the bag in one of their trash cans.)

The vet looked at the kittens first, picking up each of them and looking them over carefully. She said that she wished Bill and Lafayette’s grafts had taken a bit more before peeling off, but they all look really good. The goal of the surgery was not to make their eyes look perfect, but to make them more comfortable. If Bill’s anything to go by, they are definitely far more comfortable than they were before.

She said that, in her opinion, they’re ready to go. They should still have ointment in their eyes once or twice a day, and it wouldn’t hurt to send a tube of it home with whoever adopts each cat, to use as needed. The ones with the worse eyes – Bill and Lafayette – might need ointment on and off through their lives, it’s kind of a wait-and-see thing.

When I got home, I emailed the shelter manager and told her what the vet had said, but made sure to let her know that there is NO hurry as far as I’m concerned.

So that’s where we stand right now – when room comes available at Petsmart, the first four will be going.

(HOW HOW HOW am I going to give up my sweet Bill, who has quietly wormed his way into my heart?? AGH.)

I bought this SnooZzy Cat Cave because I’m a terrible impulse shopper, even when I’m shopping online. When it arrived, I took it out of the box and put it on the floor. Terry came over and flopped down on top of it, so I put him inside it. He loved it and stayed in it for a couple of hours. Since then, I can’t convince a single cat to stay inside. They all prefer to sleep on top of it.

The kittens check my groceries to see if there’s anything in there for them, while Hoyt supervises.




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The Wonkas are doing well. Veruca had us worried earlier this week, because she wasn’t eating much at feeding time, and she’d actually lost the ounce and a half she’d gained since we got her. She seemed to spend most of her time in the meatloaf position, watching her brothers and sister play, and she just didn’t look right to us. Fred stopped and picked up some canned high-fat cat food on Wednesday, and when he got home we mixed it with formula. He fed it to her with a needleless syringe, and she seemed to like it quite a lot. She ate a bunch more on Thursday morning, and then when I went in later to hang out with them, I took a plate with the food (mixed with formula) on it, and she said “GET OUT OF MY WAY!”, and just about dove face-first into the plate, and ate every bit of that food.

She’s perkier, she’s running around and playing, she’s using the litter box like a champ (they all are!), she’s doing just fine. The only danger is that I might squeeze her to death because she is SO CUTE.

Veruca kills me with how CONCERNED she always looks.

Veruca demands to know just what the heck is going ON here.

“NO, this are MY belly rubbin’ time, you go away and wait your turn!”


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I call Jake my little lunatic, because he’s always got this loony grin on his goofy little face.


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2008: Mostly because that Bella girl is SO FRIGGIN’ ANNOYING.
2007: Crazy Eyes say, “I am a fearsome creature.”
2006: Frying pan in the front flower bed.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: She seems a little wishy-washy about it. I think she might secretly like the book.
2002: (He always calls when I’m in the shower or eating. I think he has a hidden camera somewhere in hopes of catching me with my non-existent luvah-on-the-side Juan.)
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.