11/30/09 – Monday

Not only did we not have one of our turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, we didn’t have turkey at ALL for Thanksgiving dinner. And we didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving, because Fred’s niece couldn’t be there due to other obligations, and since no one really cared when we had Thanksgiving dinner, we pushed it off … Continue reading “11/30/09 – Monday”

Not only did we not have one of our turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, we didn’t have turkey at ALL for Thanksgiving dinner. And we didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving, because Fred’s niece couldn’t be there due to other obligations, and since no one really cared when we had Thanksgiving dinner, we pushed it off ’til Friday.

So on Thursday, we didn’t do a whole lot. Fred processed some chickens (unless he processed them on Wednesday. I honestly don’t remember which day he did it on.), we hung out with kittens, and then around lunchtime we headed up into town. We rented some movies at Blockbuster, then drove around looking for a place to pick up food and take it home. There was – not surprisingly – not much open, so we ultimately ended up picking up frozen shrimp and fries, and cooking them at home.

It wasn’t bad, as dinners go.

We watched some movies, snuggled with kittens some more, and just generally relaxed.

Mid-morning on Black Friday, we drove to South Huntsville. It was actually not as bad as we’d feared, though the mall we drove by was SUPER packed. I’ve never done the shopping on Black Friday thing, and I never plan to. I do like hearing about the awesome deals people got, though, is that weird?

Anyway, we had Thanksgiving dinner at Fred’s sister’s house. She’d told us that she planned to have the food ready to eat around 11, so we showed up at 10:30 because we’ve always been under the impression that it’s rude to show up at the time food is ready to be served. We are ALWAYS the first ones to show up, and although the food was ready to be served at 11, we didn’t eat until everyone had shown up 15 minutes later.

There was no turkey because someone in Fred’s family doesn’t care for turkey. We had chicken and dressing (I spent all day Tuesday cooking and deboning three chickens, and saving the broth in a pot. The next morning I skimmed the fat from the broth and put it in an empty milk jug. Fred’s sister came by Wednesday to pick up the chicken, broth, giblets for the gravy, and eggs for deviled eggs. We also brought squash casserole and dessert with us on Friday. BUT AT LEAST I DIDN’T HAVE TO CLEAN THE HOUSE. I would have made every single dish and brought it to Fred’s sister’s house to save myself from having to clean the house.), ham, deviled eggs, and (my favorite) sweet potato casserole.

Let us take a moment to silently appreciate the sweet potato casserole. DAMN that stuff is good. It’s like dessert WITH the meal – and then you still get dessert at the end of the meal! It’s total win-win!

We sat at the table after we ate and talked for a long time, then we moved into the den. Fred’s niece and nephew had brought their… Nintendo? Play Station? X-Box? One of those game-playing systems, I don’t know which one. I’m too old to care about the details – alls I know is that they brought it with them, hooked it up, and put in Rock Star. Rock Band? Whatever that game is where people “play” the “guitar” and “bass” and “drums”.

Jesus, what am I, 95 years old?

Anyway, we watched his niece and nephew play and sing a couple of songs, and Fred smirked and laughed and just generally mocked them before he could stand it no longer and snatched the microphone out of her hand and began singing.

Actually, he had a hard time finding songs because we are 130 years old and had heard of almost none of the songs in the list. Ultimately, he did a couple of songs and then rounded out the show with “Still Alive“. I half expected that he’d want to stop on the way home and buy a Nintendo Station Box, but he didn’t. He didn’t completely discount the idea of buying a karaoke machine in the future, though.

We got home, took naps, hung out with kittens, and then watched movies.

Saturday, we had to take a trip to Lawrenceburg. The Amish guy who’d made us our pantry several months ago had sent us a letter telling us that the bookcase (which will go in my bathroom) we’d ordered was done. Fred wasn’t feeling well Friday night before bed, and I told him we could put off the trip for another weekend, but he just wanted to get it over with.

I always think of the trip to Lawrenceburg as taking about 45 minutes, but I finally timed the trip this time, and it’s actually an hour and 15 minutes, each way. That’s a long fucking trip, believe me.

We picked up the bookcase, and came straight home without stopping to buy stuff we don’t need, which is our usual M.O. when we go to Lawrenceburg. We ate lunch, puttered around.

Took naps.

Hung out with kittens.

The usual.

We watched more movies that night, and then before bed I put the turkey in the oven. This wasn’t one of our turkeys, ironically (I’ll get to that in a minute), but a Butterball I’d picked up at the store at the beginning of the week. I happen to really like turkey, and was sad that we weren’t having turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Since the sales on turkey were decent, I figured why not have a scaled-down turkey dinner on Sunday?

Also, I was dying to give this recipe a try.

I put the turkey in at 10:00, and Fred took it out of the oven when he got up at 5:00. That turkey was absolutely falling off the bones. The last instruction of the recipe says to slice the turkey and put it on a platter, but there was NO slicing that turkey. All I had to do was pick the pieces of turkey out of the broth and put it in a container. I saved most of the carcass to make turkey soup later this week.

The turkey was REALLY good. And it was nice to pick the turkey apart when I got up, because then the turkey was ready to eat whenever we wanted to eat, and I didn’t have to mess with it later.

We ate at noon, and along with the turkey we had stuffing (Stove-Top, if you must know. Don’t mock.), scalloped corn, and cranberry sauce. Hey, I said it was going to be a scaled-down turkey dinner, didn’t I?

The scalloped corn was a challenge. It looks super easy, but first of all I didn’t have any creamed corn in the house. So I ran over to the dollar store hoping against hope that they’d have some. They did, to my relief, so I figured I was all set. I got ready to put the recipe together, figuring it’d take just a few minutes then I’d pop it in the oven, but of course


I had no bread crumbs on hand. Back to the dollar store I went, hoping they’d have bread crumbs. They did not, so I ended up going up into town to buy bread crumbs. I finally got home, got it tossed together, and then put it in the oven. Then, since we had half an hour, Fred and I decided to take the pig trailer out to the back forty. They’re going to Freezer Camp next Sunday, and so Fred wanted to start feeding them on the trailer so that next Sunday they’ll be easy to get into the trailer.

He ended up getting the truck stuck in the mud, and had to get the tractor out to get it unstuck. By the time he got it unstuck and out to the back forty, the corn was done cooking, and so was the stuffing.

We ate, and it was everything I’d hoped for. The scalloped corn was good, but I don’t know that I’m going to add it into regular rotation.

We napped, we hung out with kittens, we ate dinner (a bowl of bran flakes for him; leftovers from lunch for me), and then we watched movies.

Oh, but I forgot to mention what happened earlier in the day.

Actually, I need to go back a few days. Thursday morning, the turkeys rampaged. They kept coming over the fence and going all over hell and creation. Fred had to go out at one point and herd them off our next door neighbors’ property. They’d stay in the back forty for a little while, then jump over the fence and maraud around like assholes.

We talked about it, and decided that despite our desire to raise turkeys next year from the ultra-personable Hjonkie, it was time to process them. It’d be one thing if we lived in the middle of 40 acres or more, and it didn’t matter that the turkeys were marauding assholes, but we live on 4 1/2, we don’t want them tromping across our neighbors’ property, and I’m sure it was only a matter of time before they’d go tromping into traffic and get hit.

Fred had intended to get up Saturday morning and process them, but he wasn’t feeling well, and had pulled a muscle in his back, so he opted to put it off for another day. He still wasn’t feeling so hot Sunday morning, but when he looked out into the back yard and saw that all six turkeys were in the back yard, surrounding Tommy, and displaying in an aggressive manner (Tommy was freaked OUT), he knew it was time for them to go.

It took him almost two hours to process all six of them, and when he came inside with the mostly-cleaned turkeys, he announced that he never ever wanted to have to process another turkey again. Apparently it’s a great big pain in the ass.

So we’ve got six turkeys sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, “aging” before they go out to the freezer. I’ve already told Fred that I want to have one of them for dinner on Christmas day.

We weighed the largest turkey, and he weighed just under 8 pounds. Not huge, but certainly big enough for the two of us.

That was our weekend: eating, napping, hanging out with kittens, and murdering turkeys.

I consider it a good one.


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If you didn’t read Love & Hisses in the past several days, you missed Hydrox’s new career, excellent True Blood news, and some adorable kitten movies.

Speaking of kitten movies, I just want to make sure all y’all have seen this one. Warning: You will die from the cute.

Pretty Veruca.

Silly Violet.

Augustus Gloop: The Floofening.


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I’m surprised she’s gaining any weight at all – she doesn’t appear able to get any of it IN her mouth. (I still add pumpkin to their canned kitten food occasionally, mostly because they seem to really enjoy it.)

Snoozin’ babies.

Don’t be fooled by the sweet little face. Blue wasn’t grooming that poor sleeping baby – she was biting him. She wanted to PLAY!

I was wrong yesterday when I reported that Hydro X is his rapper name. It is, in fact, his superhero name. Of course.

Just a boy and his pink feather boa.


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Jake and Elwood, atop the cat tree in the front room. (MAN that thing is looking ratty. I need to figure out how to get that sisal rope to stay up. Super glue? Anyone?)


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2008: No entry.
2007: MOOOOOOOOOM! Make the shirt stop touching me!
2006: That’s really a bitch of a way to start the day.
2005: “Au contraire,” said the ringleader. “We found a SESAME SEED!”
2004: I give it two weeks before someone barfs on the new comforter.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: “What will I do now that I don’t have to clean dust off my ball?”
2000: I’ll just not think about that.
1999: When she came to a stop, she sat up and swayed back and forth, blinking sleepily up at me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Are you sure they said we were invited to dinner? I don’t see anything in there but a big pot.” Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US – and Happy Thursday to the rest of you! 🙂

“Are you sure they said we were invited to dinner? I don’t see anything in there but a big pot.”

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US – and Happy Thursday to the rest of you! 🙂

11/24/09 – Tuesday

Note: I’m taking the rest of the week off from posting. I’ll still be updating sporadically over at Love & Hisses, though!   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   I need to make an … Continue reading “11/24/09 – Tuesday”

Note: I’m taking the rest of the week off from posting. I’ll still be updating sporadically over at Love & Hisses, though!


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I need to make an announcement here, and I hope y’all aren’t too disappointed: we’re not doing the holiday card exchange this year. The price of the cards combined with the price of postage has just gotten way too high and I really can’t justify the expense anymore.

I know you guys understand.


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On Sunday, I didn’t do much of anything. It was gray and rainy (or threatening to rain, in any case) and cold, and I just wasn’t in the mood to do ANYthing. So after a run to the grocery store, I hung out with the Cookies for a little while, and then went upstairs to hang out with the Wonkas. After a short nap with the Wonkas (really, you lay down and are immediately covered with warm purring little bodies. How can you NOT fall asleep?), I walked into the foster kitten room to put something away, and glanced out the window.

And saw our mailbox and the post it had been on strewn in pieces across the lawn.

Sputtering obscenities, I came downstairs and beckoned Fred onto the front porch. We stood and stared in amazement.

“When THE HELL did that happen?” I asked. I’d gotten home from the grocery store less than an hour before and I was pretty sure I’d have noticed if the mailbox was in pieces on the lawn.

(My Mailbox is in Pieces on the Lawn would be an excellent name for a country song.)

Fred thought about it and said that he’d heard a loud sound while I was in with the Cookies. We have a lot – A LOT – of 18 wheelers going by our house, and he’d heard a loud noise and then the sound of air brakes, and then the truck had kept going. He figured it was nothing, so didn’t even bother to look out the window to see what was going on.

There was no putting the mailbox back together – the post was in pieces, the mailbox was in pieces. So Fred picked everything up and tossed it in the trash.

It really really really really fucking PISSES ME OFF that that douchebag couldn’t even be bothered to stop after he hit the goddamn mailbox. Fucking douchebag.


I can only hope that hitting the mailbox did some damage to his truck, but I’m going to guess that it probably didn’t do any at all.


And of course yesterday, because we have no mailbox, the mail lady didn’t leave our mail. She may have driven into the driveway and blown her horn, but I wasn’t home, so no mail for us today.


Fred stopped at the post office on his way home and talked to the lady who works there. She said they could hold our mail for us at the post office and he could pick it up every day until we get a new mailbox in place. Then she told him to write down our names and address, and as soon as she saw my name, she laughed and said “Oh, I know who you are!”


Every time I think of that douchebag hitting the mailbox and continuing on, it makes me want to devote my life to tracking him down and kicking his ass.


As we were laying on our respective couches later, talking about it, I kept saying “I cannot believe that utter fucking ASSHOLE just hit the mailbox and KEPT ON GOING!” and Fred kept saying “I can’t believe I didn’t even turn around and look out the window when I heard the noise!”

When we bought this house three years ago, there was no mailbox. The lady who sold us the house said that they didn’t have a mailbox because they were afraid it’d get hit by a drunk driver. Yesterday, Fred said “I wonder if that means it DID get hit by a drunk driver!”

The fucking cars on this road seem to spend an awful lot of time going off the road RIGHT ONTO OUR LAWN. In the two and a half years we’ve lived here, countless cars and trucks have left tire marks on the edge of our lawn near the street. A guy in a truck went off the road, across our lawn, through the ditch, before finally stopping over on the church property. An 18-wheeler came across the road into the ditch. I’m sure there’s more I’m not remembering. AND I’M SURE THEY WERE ALL TALKING ON THEIR CELL PHONES AT THE TIME.

It makes me want to put a cement wall across the front yard protecting the house, because you just KNOW some douchebag is going to come flying up the road and then going flipping across our lawn onto the front porch and into the living room.

Fucking douchebags.


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I know it’s deer-hunting season (or so I assume, by the fact that I’m seeing men in hunting gear, and yesterday I saw a truck with two dead deer in the bed), but good lord – I have seen no less than 8 deer laying dead by the side of the road in various parts of this area. I’m thinking cars and trucks are doing a better job of killing those deer than any hunter could!


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“YES, MOTHER, that IS a booger on my forehead! It’s the new cool thing all the kids are doing! GEEZ!”

“No! You go away! This are MY lap for snuggling in!”

“I said go away!!!”


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“First I stunned him with the ear floof, and then I stole his hat! Take that, fat man!”

“I dub thee… Sir Stinkybutt! HEE HEE HEE!”

Pretty Mikey in the sun.

He’s not all ear floof. He’s got some pretty impressive whiskers, too!

Gigglin’ Veruca.


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“Hello, hi, HELLO? I’d like in, please!” I spend half my life letting Maxi in and then out. Then in, then out. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Repeat FOREVER.


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2008: Google is such a goddamn know-it-all.
2007: Questions, answered.
2006: No entry.
2005: I think I need to go eat some deviled eggs to assuage the pain.
2004: And I just glared at him and thought to myself Just because you’re too stupid and scatterbrained to read and watch TV at the same time doesn’t mean I am, jackass.
2003: “Purring? You don’t like the sound of them purring?”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Just a little more knowledge o’ Robyn y’all can add to your notes.
1999: No entry.

11/23/09 – Monday

If you belong to the Google Groups notify list for this site, my apologies: I don’t know what’s going on. I try to post a message, but it doesn’t seem to go through for about two days. This morning I had an email from Google Groups telling me I had messages to modify from Friday. … Continue reading “11/23/09 – Monday”

If you belong to the Google Groups notify list for this site, my apologies: I don’t know what’s going on. I try to post a message, but it doesn’t seem to go through for about two days. This morning I had an email from Google Groups telling me I had messages to modify from Friday. Hopefully whatever the hell is going on with the notify list will work itself out. It ain’t me, it’s Google Groups, I swear.


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FOAM pics of the day.
Food: Half-full bottle of kitten formula.
Outside: The clouds in the sky. I need me some sunshine and warmth, damnit. Wonder if I can convince Fred to move to Florida?
Abstract: Ceiling light in the guest bedroom/ Cookie room.
Myself: Proof that I (very rarely) wear something other than gray hooded sweatshirts. Only when I’m going out into public, though. Who do I have to impress at home?


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I am entirely VERY FUCKING TIRED of cats trying to put their assholes directly on my face.

In case you wondered.


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Fred made me come out toward the back forty on Saturday because there was something he was pretty sure I was going to want to see.

It appears that the head airheaded turkey in charge, Hjonkie, has decided that he’s a boy. How do we know this? Because he’s been doing a lot of this:

Puffing up his feathers, lowering his wings, strutting back and forth. I am 99% sure he was putting the moves on me.

He looks like a real turkey now!

If it weren’t for their faces, turkeys would be really pretty. But those faces – good lord. That is not a pretty face, right there.

The marauding band of asshole turkeys terrorized a truckload of guys who’d stopped to buy eggs. The guys were waiting for Fred to come back with their eggs, when all of a sudden the turkeys came stomping up from the back forty. And then Hjonkie started displaying his manly feathers, walking around the truck in circle.

I’m 99% sure Hjonkie was putting the moves on the truck.

I suppose, given how big the turkeys are, that it can be a bit daunting to see them all stomping at you. I don’t blame those guys for jumping into the bed of their truck.

But still, it’s funny.

I guess we have guard turkeys now.

“Don’t stop at Crooked Acres! Those turkeys will MESS YOU UP, and then try to sex up your vehicle!”


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I’ll be leaving here in a little while to take the Cookies to the vet to be Combo tested. I really could have taken them last week, they were all big enough, but I put it off ’til this week.

For the love of god, please keep your fingers crossed that they show up negative across the board, would you? Like I told Fred, the way this year is going they’re either going to all come up positive for Feline Leukemia or they’ll end up having some sort of extremely rare Siamese-mix disease that the vet has only ever read about in some obscure journal, which will require transplants.

Maybe brain transplants. They could remove the marshmallow Fluff and replace it with pudding! Then we’d have to call them The Puddin’ Heads.

“Hellooooooo, laydeez. Welcome to my lair!”


Pensive Blue. I got concerned last week, because Blue had only gained an ounce in the previous week, even though it seemed like she was eating plenty and should have been gaining like her siblings. The shelter manager suggested I give Nutri-Cal a try, so I gave that to her two days in a row, and after that, she needed no help. She’s up to almost a pound and a half – now Keebler’s the smallest of the litter, but he’s gaining just fine.

Advice from me to you: Don’t do a Google search on “Kitten failure to gain weight.” Do yourself a favor and stay FAR away from THAT search string.

Bath time for Baby Blue.

The Cookies get very excited when I open the closet door to put laundry away. They spent over an hour running in and out of the closet on Saturday, sniffing around, climbing on things, falling into the laundry hamper, and then climbing back out. Who knew the closet would hold so much fascination?


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Twoooooooo more weeks ’til the Wonkas are retested! I tell them every single day that they’re FIV negative. They just shrug and say “Oh, whatEVERRRRRRRRR.” They’re firmly into that teenage stage. They’re not babies any more!

“I’m growing up, but I still get snuggles…. right?” Of course, goofy Gus. I can’t stop snuggling that ear floof!

Pretty Veruca.

For the life of me, I don’t know what had Veruca in a tizzy, but it cracks me up when they get this floofed.

Mike, also floofed. Jake or Elwood was on the other side of the door in the hallway, trying to figure out how to get through. Mike does not appreciate the idea of interlopers.


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Oh, how I adore Elwood‘s goofy, grinning face!


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2008: No entry.
2007: The woman did 9/10 of the work to be done, and I was NOT complaining.
2006: No entry.
2005: I think he might be half skunk.
2004: I do love, love, love the gmail!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: If you look closely at the picture, you’ll note that it’s very close to the color of bile.

11/20/09 – Friday

Vote for Suzanne!!! Good Mood Gig from SAM-e   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   FOAM pics of the day. Food: Dehydrated zucchini slices. Outside: The Hydrangeas in the front flower bed are happy … Continue reading “11/20/09 – Friday”

Vote for Suzanne!!!

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e


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FOAM pics of the day.
Food: Dehydrated zucchini slices.
Outside: The Hydrangeas in the front flower bed are happy as can be.
Abstract: Orange (Lorna Doone)’s ear (and part of her head).
Myself: Bonding with a Wonka in the foster kitten room. (I assure you that although it looks like that picture on the wall looks super crooked, it’s completely straight. Something weird with the camera angle, I guess.)


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New jam flavor available! This is Painapple-Habanero Jam, and was Fred’s idea. It’s a temporary flavor – I don’t expect demand for pineapple-habanero jam to be overwhelming, so once the jars I’ve got are gone, they won’t be available again.

If you missed it before, there are three other new flavors available, too – Cranberry, Apricot, and Apricot Confetti.


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Those of you who advised me on making stock – I still haven’t made any, but I’m getting closer. My question for today is, letting the stock boil will make it cloudy, I know that much. But if I don’t care whether my stock is cloudy, does it matter if I let it boil? Will boiling it do anything bad to the flavor?


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For those of you who mentioned clipping the turkeys’ wings in yesterday’s comments, I responded by saying that Fred and I had discussed it, but he was opposed for a reason I couldn’t recall. When he got home, I asked him what the reason was, and he reminded me that it was because the turkeys can actually JUMP to the top of the fence and then jump down, they’ve gotten big and strong enough. So we could clip their wings, but it wouldn’t stop the marauding.

The funny thing is that yesterday, after I posted that entry, the turkeys did not leave their yard at ALL until literally two minutes before Fred got home. Then they all came over the fence and marched toward the driveway, then stopped under the bird feeder (hanging off the Poltergeist tree) to partake of some dropped bird seed.

It was like they knew, in some dim corner of their turkey brains (though of course, we all know that turkeys do not HAVE brains) that it was just about time for Fred to come home, and they wanted to be there to greet him.

Apparently they think they’re puppies.


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You know, I love Woot beyond all reason. Every morning, I get all excited and surf to Woot to see what they’re selling, and I just KNOW that this will be the day that they’re selling EXACTLY what I needed (but didn’t know I needed, of course). Usually, whatever they’re selling is interesting, but not really something I need. The next morning, though, I’m not any less excited to see what they’re selling. I’ve actually only bought from there three times (phones, lights for the big coop, and a netbook), but one of these days I’m going to surf over there, and it’s going to be something I really, truly need more than anything on earth.

Maybe tomorrow!


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I also have a kitty question – my wonderful feline companion of 9 years died suddenly this week of undiscovered tumors. He died while they were taking the x-rays that showed he was full of them. After sobbing for 36 hours I started reading the website of a local pet shelter and I’m thrilled to say I’m adopting a beautiful Maine Coon cat on Saturday. One of the stipulations in the adoption decree is a guarantee that I will not de-claw him. My cats have always been at least front-declawed, otherwise they rip up the furniture. Do you still use those those claw caps? What do you think about de-clawing? Thanks!

Aww, Kathi, I’m so sorry for your loss!

I’m glad you’re adopting a Maine Coon, those cats are so hideous that it’s hard to find people to adopt them.

I’m kidding, of course! Everyone loves Maine Coons, they are so gorgeous!

As far as declawing, I recommend against it. What a lot of people don’t realize is that in the declawing procedure, it’s not just removing the nails, but actually removes the actual toe bone. It’s really an amputation rather than a simple removal of the claws.

We have gotten horribly lazy and lax about putting the Softpaws nail caps on the cats, actually haven’t done it in several months. But if you keep up with it, it’s a great alternative to declawing. At first the nail caps fall off and need to be replaced every few days (and they don’t all fall off at once, but one or two at a time, so you have to keep an eye on their claws), but after a few weeks, they stay on for longer and longer periods of time, and won’t need to be replaced as often.

(Tip: buy your Softpaws/ Softclaws on eBay; it’s a lot cheaper. Also, it’s fun to experiment with different cap colors! I always enjoyed using pink caps on Tommy’s paw because the pink was offset by his black fur quite nicely. It was pretty!)

If you’re not willing to go the Softpaws route, simply clipping their nails on a regular basis can keep them from tearing up your furniture. Clipping their nails is fairly simple, just use clippers (which you can find at any pet store or even Walmart or Target, I believe) to clip off the end of their claws. You’ll want to watch out for their cuticle (which you can generally see), but if you don’t try to cut them too short, you shouldn’t have a problem.

PS: Send pictures!


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Robyn, I just recently purchased the Rota-Dent, but I haven’t used it yet. Can you tell much of a difference when you brush with the Rota-Dent? Do you like it? (I am trying to feel better about spending a chunk of money on a toothbrush.)

Andrea, honestly I don’t notice that much difference, but my dental hygienist swears by it and I am an obedient dental patient (though I still haven’t bought the water pik she insisted I need. YET.). So I use the Rota-Dent in the morning, the Braun in the evening, and the regular toothbrush when I’m feeling too lazy and just want to get ’em brushed and done! 🙂


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The lady who had the kittens I babysat last weekend suddenly had to leave town (her father in Texas went into the hospital), and so she turned the kittens over to Challenger’s House.

Well, more specifically, to ME. When the shelter manager told me that the woman had to leave town, I said that I could take them for a few days, if need be, but didn’t have room for them long-term. Yesterday morning, I took possession of them, and I’ll have them until Sunday, when I’ll turn them over to their new (permanent) foster mom.

They’re awfully sweet. The woman who had them told me she’d tried to stretch their feeding time to every 4 hours, but they were losing their little minds at the 3-hour mark, so she’d been feeding them every 3 hours (last week when I babysat them, she had been feeding them every TWO hours). At nearly 3 weeks, I believed they should be able to wait four hours between feeding, and so I determined after their 10 am feeding that I’d wait until 2 to feed them again.

Yeah, right. At 12:30 – 2 1/2 hours after I’d last fed them – they started screaming. And they were not KIDDING, they wanted food RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW, MAN.

So I fed them at 1. And then at 3:30 I was sitting at my computer (they were in a big carrier in the computer room), and I heard smacking noises, and so I went over to see what was going on.

When they’re this tiny, it’s instinctual for them to search for their mother’s nipple when they’re hungry or just want comfort. In the absence of a mother? They find other things, usually on each other. And that can be a problem, because these tiny kittens suck really hard, and they can cause some serious physical damage to each other. Not to mention that drinking each others’ urine is not a good thing.

After feeding them at 4:00, I separated them, put them in separate carriers, each with their own heating pads (that they could get away from if they got too warm) and warm fuzzy blankets, and each with their own stuffed momma kitty with a beating heart (only, in orange instead of gray. And thank god that I have two of them!). They griped a little bit, but each settled down pretty quickly and didn’t peep again.

I actually had to wake them up at 8:00 to feed them. I stretched their next feeding to 4 1/2 hours later, and they were fine.

I’m guessing that being in the same cage, one would wake up and be hungry, so root around and get the other one riled up, and they’d both start screaming to be fed. With them in separate carriers, they seem to sleep better.

I’ll only keep them separate for a total of a couple of days. Saturday afternoon I’ll put them back together and see how it goes. Usually (so I’ve heard), a couple of days is enough to break the pattern.

The little girl. They’re not named – I’m going to leave naming them up to their foster mother.

The little boy.

Little boy, with milk face.

Boy on the left, girl on the right.

We have located the complainer!


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Blue (TimTam). Kind of looks like she has long monkey arms, doesn’t it?


I’m imagining a Barry White voice, here. “Well, helloooooooo, laydeez!”


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Veruca, concerned.

Violet, slurping.

Mike, considering.

I’m starting to think that the ear floof is taking on a life of its own.


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Tommy, trotting across the yard for a snuggle.


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2008: “Mom” jeans are okay with me, I’m no fashion plate, believe me.
2007: Are you SHITTING ME?
2006: Meme-licious.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2002: At least it knocked Johnny Poopoopants out of the loop.
2001: How the hell can you cheat on Survivor, for the love o’ god?
2000: Oh, you’re giving us the COT free of charge? Well, let me do a friggin’ happy dance for that!”
1999: No, I’m the same old awful, lazy, horrid person I always was

11/19/09 – Thursday

Vote for Suzanne!!! Good Mood Gig from SAM-e   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   FOAM pics of the day. Food: Teeny, tiny egg. Looks like we’ve got a new lay-er. Outside: The cat … Continue reading “11/19/09 – Thursday”

Vote for Suzanne!!!

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e


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FOAM pics of the day.
Food: Teeny, tiny egg. Looks like we’ve got a new lay-er.
Outside: The cat bird house on the front porch. Well, it’s made to be a bird house, but I just use it as decoration.
Abstract: The sun through a sheet on the line.
Myself: Couldn’t get a picture I liked, so I used them ALL.


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Turkeys, I think you will be shocked to find out, are amazingly stupid. If the Cookies’ heads are filled with marshmallow Fluff, then chickens’ heads are filled with lint, and turkeys’ heads are filled with nothing but pure air.

Chickens are stupid, but compared to the turkeys, they are the EINSTEINS of the poultry world.

Every morning – EVERY SINGLE FUCKING MORNING – the turkeys fly over the fence at the front of the back forty. And then?

Then they get lost. They wander around the side yard, making sad weeting sounds, like “We are lost. Where is home? Is this food? Let me try to eat it. Why is that cat looking at me. Are we home? Where’s home?”

See, the problem is that they are big and strong enough to fly OVER the fence, but they are too incredibly stupid to know how to fly BACK over the fence.

So every morning, when I judge that they’re getting too close to the driveway (I know it’s just a damn matter of time before the fucking idiots go wandering up the driveway and into the road, where they’ll become roadkill AND THEY WILL DESERVE IT), I go out and herd them back to the back forty.

They are always SUPER relieved to get back into their yard, and they practically kiss the ground and go around the coop to make sure nothing has changed in their absence, and they eat like they haven’t eaten in days.

And two hours later, having FORGOTTEN that they are easily lost when they fly over the fence, back over the fence they fly.

My day consists of scooping litter boxes, wiping kitten asses, and leading GODDAMN STUPID FUCKING TURKEYS back to their yard.

I know you envy me.

“Are THIS my home?”

“Are THIS my home?”

“Are THIS my home?”

“Are THIS my home?”

“Are THIS my home?”

“This are not my home! This are a Poltergeist tree!”

Here. Watch a five minute-long movie of me herding the goddamn turkeys back into their yard. I think I tell them 300 times how fucking stupid they are. Try to contain your excitement.


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I had my appointment for my annual gynecological exam on Tuesday morning. Why is it that when they tell me to get undressed and put on the cheap paper cape and lap cover, I always get undressed SUPER FAST and run over to the exam table (which starts out as a chair, then reclines when the gynecologist is going to do the exam), because I am EVER SO CERTAIN that she’s going to come in any second now?

And then I sit there on the table and I wait. And I wait. Then I wait some more. And I can always SEE my book across the room, sticking out of my purse, which is sitting on top of my pile of clothes (underwear neatly tucked under my jeans because OH MY GOD WHAT IF THE GYNECOLOGIST SEES MY PANTIES!). My book mocks me, and I consider running over to get it and then running back to the table, only I never do, because I am the ultimate optimist, and I am EVER SO CERTAIN that she’s JUUUUUUST about to walk in and OH MY GOD WHAT IF THE GYNECOLOGIST SEES MY BARE ASS!

So I sit and I sit and I hear her going into allllll the rooms around me, but never mine. I imagine hell must consist of an eternity of waiting for the gynecologist to come in and stick that GODDAMN BOTTLE BRUSH up where the sun don’t shine and then SCRAPE IT ALL AROUND. The anticipation is always the worst part.

At least I never get cold while I’m sitting there waiting, so there’s that.

Also, I learned (because I could hear her talking in the next exam room over) that cervical cancer is an extremely slow-growing cancer and it’s generally caught with pap smears before it goes from dysplasia to cancer, and never once in her 130 years of practice has my gynecologist had to treat a case of cervical cancer.

Because they always catch the dysplasia with the pap smears and then remove the dysplasia-ed area, I guess.

Or something. I don’t remember every word, but I think that was the gist of it.

Finally, she came in and we discussed that I am on birth control and yet still spotting like a spotting motherfucker and I said to her “Whatever it takes, I’m getting tired of this, it’s gotten to be a HUGE PAIN IN THE MOTHERFUCKING ASS (except it sounded more like “It’s gotten to be a real pain.”) and I know women who dealt with this shit for years and I AM UNWILLING.”

She looked at the ultrasound I had back in June, and said something about the fibroid that would make it difficult to do… some procedures that she might recommend. She did not clarify what those procedures might be, now that I think about it.

And I straightened up in my classy paper cape, and I made meaningful eye contact with her and I said “Oh, I don’t mind getting SUPER AGGRESSIVE, THAT IS PERFECTLY FINE WITH ME, THE AGGRESSIVENESS, AND IF I AM NOT MAKING MYSELF CLEAR LET US DO THE YANKY-YANK ON THAT MOTHERFUCKING UTERUS, SHALL WE?”

She made a note (“patient does not get along with uterus, wants to break up”, I assume) and said that before she could make a suggestion on what the next step would be, she’d want to get an updated ultrasound and I considered saying “Couldn’t you just rip that bitch out?”, but she’s the professional and all, and I have fairly decent insurance, so what the fuck? I suppose I can withstand another transvaginal ultrasound. I have no pride left.


So next week I go for an ultrasound, and I do not doubt that she’ll suggest something like an endometrial ablation, but if I’m lucky, she’ll be all “Oh, whatever. I’ve got nothing fun going on next week. LET’S RIP THAT BITCH OUT!”

A girl can dream.

PS: The physical exam showed no problems, which DUH, I knew it wouldn’t. I think we can all agree that my uterus needs to be set free to wander the world and cause spotting elsewhere, don’t you think?


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Bratty teenage attitude commencing in 4… 3… 2…

What you cannot tell from this picture is that Hydrox is a solid little thing. I swear to god, it’s like picking up a brick.

Also, he likes to be kissed.

Did I mention that Pink is now bottle-free? I stopped giving her her bottle three days ago, I think, because at feeding time we were taking her out to the living room to give her her bottle, and she was acting like “Oh, ::sigh::, alRIGHT, I’ll drink the bottle.”, so at the next feeding time we didn’t give her a bottle, and guess what?

She lived.

And she’s gaining weight. I never see her eating, but she’s gotta be eating something – she’s up to a pound and a half as of last night!

Sneaky little brat.

As of today, we’ve had the Cookies for one month. I can’t believe it’s only been a month – it seems like we’ve always had them!


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I’d say Mike’s got the head tilt down pat.


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Please understand that this is Spanky’s box, and if you touch it, he will MESS YOU UP. Sure, he looks like a sweet old guy, but he’s no lightweight.


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2008: Can’t connect to the internet, new entry will have to wait ’til tomorrow.
2007: “IF HE RUINED THIS CAMERA, I AM GOING TO TAKE HIM OUT TO THE BACK FORTY AND SHOOT HIM IN THE BACK OF THE GODDAMN HEAD!” I bellowed at Fred, who made an I’m-listening-really-this-is-fascinating noise and kept clicking around the internet.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Questions answered.
2003: Pictures.
2002: Just another example of my weirdness.
2001: God in heaven, has the WORLD GONE NUTS?
2000: “Oh, you’re giving us the COT free of charge? Well, let me do a friggin’ happy dance for that!”
1999: “Lookit them buildings, Fray-uhd! They’s so TALL! And look! A homeless person. Give him money, Fred! Give him money!”

11/17/09 – Tuesday

FOAM 9: Food: Shrimp and penne Alfredo, and green beans. Leftovers from Sunday dinner. Outside: The Azalea in the front flower bed. Abstract: Thread sticking up from my jeans. I’d clip it off, but the kittens like playing with it. Myself: My boots. I love these damn boots, they’re super comfy.   * * * … Continue reading “11/17/09 – Tuesday”

FOAM 9: Food: Shrimp and penne Alfredo, and green beans. Leftovers from Sunday dinner.
Outside: The Azalea in the front flower bed.
Abstract: Thread sticking up from my jeans. I’d clip it off, but the kittens like playing with it.
Myself: My boots. I love these damn boots, they’re super comfy.


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For lunch on Saturday, Fred and I had steak and shrimp. We usually eat lunch or dinner out on Saturdays, but the last few weeks steak and shrimp has sounded really good to us, along with salad and a baked potato (for Fred) and baked sweet potato (me). We buy the two-pound bag of jumbo shrimp at Sam’s and then Fred cooks them on the grill (in a pan) when he cooks the steak.

This past Saturday, he only cooked half the bag of shrimp because he was low on charcoal. We decided to have the rest of the shrimp Sunday evening, and after I thought about it for a while, I decided that I’d see if I couldn’t find an easy Alfredo sauce, buy some penne, cook the shrimp, and mix it all together.

Most of the Alfredo sauce recipes I found involved a ton of butter and heavy cream, and although I’m sure they would have been fabulous, I didn’t want to make anything quite so heavy for dinner. I Googled around some more, and then came across a “light” Alfredo sauce recipe.

I gave it a try, and I’ve gotta say – it was damn good, definitely a keeper. We’re going to try it next with angel hair and chicken, and I expect it’ll be just as good then, too.


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Speaking of shrimp, at the corner of our road and the highway it intersects, there’s now a booth where they sell “Gulf Shrimp.”

“I wonder if that’s the Gulf of Mexico or the Gulf of China,” Fred joked as we drove by on Sunday.

I think I’ll stick with the tried-and-true Sam’s shrimp for now.


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Really, I’ve got nothin’ for you today, so I’m going to do this meme and call it good enough.

The Strange Question Meme, Part 1.

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Uh. Blue? Maybe? Actually, I have three toothbrushes. My regular toothbrush is either blue or green. Maybe yellow. My Braun electric toothbrush is… white? Maybe? And my Rota-Dent is white with a pink head. Alright, goddamnit, I had to know, so I went upstairs and looked. My regular toothbrush is purple and white. My Braun is blue and white. And my Rota-Dent is pink and white.

2. Name one person who made you smile today. Fred, of course.

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? It’s not 8 am yet. I’ll probably be either sitting in front of the computer dreading having to leave for my annual appointment with the gynecologist, or hanging out with the Cookies or Wonkas.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Herding turkeys back into the back forty.

5. What is your favorite candy bar? Depends on the day. Right now, I’m partial to KitKats.

6. Have you ever been to a strip club? No, and I have no desire to go. I don’t think I’m missing anything.

7. What is the last thing you said aloud? “Did you wipe your BUTT on me? You are such a nasty little thing.”

8. What is your favorite ice cream? Vanilla Bean. I know, exciting.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Water.

10. Do you like your wallet? I don’t feel strongly about it either way. It does the job, but I wouldn’t cry if it suddenly fell apart and I had to get a new one.

11. What was the last thing you ate? Half an “Everything” bagel with cream cheese (for a snack last night).

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? I have not. I stole one of Fred’s shirts yesterday, though, because I didn’t want to go back upstairs to get a t-shirt. So it was new to me!

13. The last sporting event you watched? It’s been so long, I can’t recall. Whatever it was, I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? I like the Smartfoods cheddar. I’m not a huge popcorn fan.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? The spud, most likely.

16. Ever go camping? Yes, but not in years and years. Not since I was a kid.

17. Do you take vitamins daily? I do, every morning.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? I do not.

19. Do you have a tan? Nope.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Most of the time, unless I’m in a pizza mood – but even then, I’d probably be okay with Chinese.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? Only if I’ve gotten a soda from McDonald’s or other fast food restaurant. At home, I don’t use a straw.

22. What did your last text message say? God. You’re really going to make me work to answer this shit, aren’t you? “Good god. That’s too bad!” is the last one I sent.

23. What are you doing tomorrow? Hanging out with kittens, scooping litter boxes, trying to clear off the dining room table, figuring out what the hell to do with the 4 cups of pineapple in the fridge, maybe watching some TV.

24. Favorite color? Yellow.

25. Look to your left; what do you see? Newt trying to decide whether to settle down in the bed next to my keyboard. And beyond him, out the window, a marauding band of asshole turkeys.


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Hydrox was in the box hanging out, and Keebler was smacking at him.

Pretty baby.

“There was somethin’ smackin’ at me, and I was SKEERED!”

Blue (TimTam), giving me a considering sideways look.

Blue and Hydrox, fighting.


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I love how Mike always has his claws out and ready for business.

I love the fact that way back when we first got these kittens, Veruca was the “hissy, spitty” kitten, and now she’s the biggest lovebug of the bunch.

Hard not to be a little awed by the ear floof.


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Kara, considering whose butt to kick next.


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2008: Fred snorted “You should just start wearing overalls!”
2007: Hey! I was decluttering last year at this time, too!
2006: Here’s Doctor Robyn’s list of diagnoses.
2005: Cat hair on the seat of your pants! It’s the Next Big Thing!
2004: Do you suppose that cats realize that when we kiss them, it’s a sign of affection?
2003: NAS-TAY.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Thanks, y’all, for your emails regarding hamster sex.
1999: So, I didn’t get the kitten.

11-16-09 – Monday

Brian Ferdman is participating in Mustaches for Kids. That’s right, for the next four weeks, I will be subjecting myself to public humiliation and private doubt by growing what will no-doubt be a ridiculous looking Mustache. In order to justify this endeavor I need your support. Please sponsor my Mustache, El Conquistador, by picking a … Continue reading “11-16-09 – Monday”

Brian Ferdman is participating in Mustaches for Kids. That’s right, for the next four weeks, I will be subjecting myself to public humiliation and private doubt by growing what will no-doubt be a ridiculous looking Mustache. In order to justify this endeavor I need your support. Please sponsor my Mustache, El Conquistador, by picking a classroom project from the list to support. And wish me and my Mustache luck.


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In my comments for Friday’s entry, m.allen said:

I think you use only Freshstep litter. However, if Challenger’s House has to buy litter, they might be interested in a PetSmart Deal. PetSmart currently has Tidy Cats 35lb scoopable containers on sale for 12.99. They have special containers now that have $5.00 off PetSmart coupons inside. The coupons are good on any PetSmart purchase until 5/2010 with perks card. Also, Purina has blue flyers of coupons as you walk in the door of PetSmart. There is a $2.00 off coupon for any package of Tidy Cats scoopable. It is valid until 11/30/2009. So, with a bit of wheeling and dealing, Tidy Cat will be $12.99 – $2.00 purina – $5.00 PetSmart coupon = $5.99. This works out to about $.17 lb. Freshstep at my Sam’s is 14.49 per 40lb container. It works out to $.36 lb (plus tax).

You do have to buy a container and open it to get the first $5.00 coupon. So there is a bit of work involved but I think it is a good deal.

You may not be interested but if any of your readers are looking for inexpensive shelter donations – this is a good option! Shelters don’t care if the litter has been opened to fish out a coupon. 🙂

That is such a good deal that I wanted to make sure y’all knew about it!


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FOAM 8: Food: Jalapeno Jelly. I think I went a little heavy on the food coloring this time around. That is NUCLEAR green, right there.
Outside: Off the side porch into the back yard.
Abstract: Kara’s fur, up close.
Myself: In the recliner in my bedroom. These pictures of myself are starting to all look alike. I need to mix it up!

FOAM 7 is here.

FOAM 6 is here.


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I have to admit: I’m not entirely sure why this is considered an awkward family photo. I think it’s kind of nice.


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On Sunday, Fred and I were both in the computer room talking about something or another. I’m sure it was fascinating. I heard a wasp hit the window, glanced up to see which window it was in, and grabbed a piece of paper towel to grab and squish it. I lifted up the blind, reached my hand (with the piece of paper towel in it) toward the wasp. The wasp reacted by flying at me, and I felt it hit my hand.

Because I am such an utter badass, I ran in place and screamed. Fred turned around to see what the hell I was doing, and then laughed at me. Then I started looking to see where the wasp had gone, so I could grab and squish it. It wansn’t in the window where it had been, it wasn’t in my hair or on my sweatshirt (Fred even checked in the hood of my sweatshirt), it wasn’t in the pocket of my sweatshirt. It wasn’t on the floor or the walls, in any of the windows, none of the cats had gotten it.

It was a total mystery. I shrugged and figured it would show up sooner or later, and headed for the bathroom. Fred followed along, and went past the bathroom into the front room. I had peed and flushed the toilet (and I know if I don’t mention this specifically, SOMEONE will call me on it – YES, I wiped after I peed and before I flushed, okay?) and was saying something to Fred (we do not hold on ceremony in our house, and if it’s only the two of us here, we pee with the door open. I know, I know, it’s horribly disgusting and you’d never do such a thing, but shaddup.)

I was standing and beginning to pull my underwear and jeans up, and then suddenly I felt as though a DEMON FROM THE PITS OF HELL had descended upon my arm and was poking it with his flaming pitchfork. I screamed and danced in place, flinging my arms out. Fred came from the front room just in time to see me, pants around my ankles, pulling my sweatshirt over my head.

And then the DEMON FROM THE PITS OF HELL poked his flaming pitchfork at my wrist, and I screamed again whilst dancing a jig. I got the sweatshirt pulled off, and as I tossed it onto the floor the DEMON FROM THE PITS OF HELL went buzzing by my head.

I screamed again.


Fred helpfully collapsed against the wall of the hallway and laughed very hard.

I ran out of the bathroom and stood in the hall, pulled up my underwear and jeans, and buckled my belt.


Fred dutifully went into the bathroom and located the fucking wasp in the window.


Fred dutifully checked my sweatshirt for further wasps and then handed it over to me.

In the end, that goddamn wasp was in just the wrong position to be smacked by the fly swatter, so we used the Dyson and sucked it into the canister. I hope it died a horrible, painful death. Fucking fucker.

Would you believe I made it almost to the age of 42 without ever being stung by a wasp or a bee? I had hoped it would be a lifelong non-stinging streak. Fucking wasps.

On the other hand, I’ve probably killed 1,000 of the fucking things, and this is the first time one has stung me. It’s CERTAINLY the first time one has flown up the arm of my shirt and stayed there for several minutes before stinging me.

On the other other hand, I can report that actually, it’s not so bad. It hurt like a motherfucker for three or four minutes, but after that, it didn’t hurt at all unless I pressed right on the spot where the fucking thing stung me. The puncture wound Violet gave me in my thumb with her back claw hurt way worse than that, and for a lot longer.

Maybe I need to foster wasps instead of kittens.

(Too bad wasps aren’t nearly as cute. Also, I bet it would be a bitch to get them adopted out!)


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If you didn’t check Love & Hisses over the weekend, you missed some pictures of the kittens I babysat on Saturday – and some awesome True Blood news!


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Someone commented yesterday that Gus looks like he might be made solely of dryer lint. When I read that, I laughed out loud because it’s kinda true!

Bitey little Violet.

I know it looks like I’m torturing him here, but I was really rubbing under his chin, and he was purring so hard his ear floof was vibrating.

Every morning and evening, when the Wonkas get their snack, Gus is always the first to decide he’s full, and then he comes and finds me (which isn’t hard, I’m always in the chair in the foster room, waiting), and he jumps up on my lap and gets me all to himself for a few minutes. When it’s a choice between eating or getting some love, Gus is a lovah, not an eatah.


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The past few days, I’ve been a little worried about Blue (TimTam). She’s a good three ounces lighter than the sibling who’s closest in weight (1 pound, 2 1/2 ounces as of yesterday), she only gained half an ounce over three days, and I swear she just seemed too skinny to me. She’s very active, she plays with her brothers and sisters a lot, she loves to be held and petted, she doesn’t seem to be in distress.

So yesterday she climbed in my lap and meowed up at me, and I had an idea. I picked her up, took her over to the food, and put her in front of it.

She proceeded to eat with gusto.

Last night, same thing. She climbed into my lap, meowed up at me, so I put her in front of the food.

She ate with gusto.

So, it’s not that she doesn’t WANT to eat. It’s that her head is filled with marshmallow fluff and she doesn’t always remember that the plate of food, that she passes 300 times a day, is FOOD and is meant to be eaten. My new plan is to set her in front of the food every time I go into the room. We’ll see if she packs on a few ounces – and hey, maybe one of these days she’ll figure out how to walk over to the plate of food on her own!

“I am NOT a Fluffhead!”

Hydrox and Pink (Milano) love to snuggle. Many times, the other cats will get out of the bed and run over to me, and these two will keep on snuggling. (The look on Pink’s face is cracking me UP.)

The whole bunch. From left to right, in the front that’s Blue (TimTam), Orange (Lorna Doone), and Keebler with the big round eyes. In the back, you know Hydrox and Pink (Milano). Pink actually has a white spot on her head; she looks like someone spilled bleach on her head.


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Stinkerbelle keeps a close eye on her beloved Tommy.


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2008: No entry.
2007: “I am NOT ‘ratty looking’ and YOU, M’dme, are a pure-d grade-a gutter slutting WHORE. Good day to you.”
2006: He’s such a know-it-all motherfucker.
2005: Elizabeth Wurtzel strikes me as spectacularly self-absorbed (pot! kettle! black!)
2004: Stuff I’ve bought.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: “Hey!” I said, shaking the cage. “Stop that!”
1999: No entry.

11/13/09 – Friday

I am from Austin, TX and this area, like most, is flooded with abandoned and homeless animals. The Centex Humane Society is about 90 minutes north of here near Fort Hood and is one of the only no-kill shelters serving this part of the state. Last week a fire occurred in the middle of the … Continue reading “11/13/09 – Friday”

I am from Austin, TX and this area, like most, is flooded with abandoned and homeless animals. The Centex Humane Society is about 90 minutes north of here near Fort Hood and is one of the only no-kill shelters serving this part of the state. Last week a fire occurred in the middle of the night and over 100 animals (99 were cats) were killed and it destroyed a large part of the building, severely limiting the ability of the shelter to keep animals until they find a forever home. They are really in need of donations to rebuild and get back on their feet.

Read more about the fire and see a picture of the aftermath here and here.

Go read about the Centex Humane Society shelter and donate if you can!


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FOAM 5: Food: Eggs, fresh from the coop, just washed. (We don’t usually wash eggs, but these needed it.)
Outside: The Poltergeist tree in the side yard. My favorite tree.
Abstract: The comforter on my bed. I adore it, but it’s getting old and dingey.
Myself: Look, me with a kitten! What a shocker. That’s Orange (Lorna Doone), and we’re hanging out on the bed in the Cookie room.


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Hey Robyn-about the water fountain. Do any of your other cats use it to drink from? I am contemplating buying one, only because my cat Basil (who is the spitting image of Sugarbutt) LOVES to drink from the tap in the bathroom. I hate leaving it dripping-he and his brother Monkey get paw prints all over the counter, and then they shake their head and get water spray all over the mirror.

One of my clients told me that her cat won’t even look at it, so i am having second thoughts. (since they go for $40 a pop)

I have two of the Petmate fountains upstairs (one in the foster room, one in the bathroom) and a Drinkwell downstairs in the laundry room near their food. They all get plenty of use. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all our cats use the fountains at various times – some of them drink from the top, where the water comes out, and some of them drink out of the “bowl” part at the bottom.

The fact that your cats like to drink out of the faucet certainly makes me think they’d like the fountains. And hey, think of it this way – if you get it, give it a try, and they don’t like it, you can always sell it on eBay. 🙂

Personally, I prefer the Petmate fountains, because they’re quieter. The Drinkwell, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be filled as often.

We did have a Cat-It fountain for a little while, but Miz Poo was the only one who’d use it, and then I broke the globe when I was cleaning it, and that was it for the Cat-It as far as I was concerned.


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So what’s the Crooked Acres opinion on chicken tractors?

I have 4 chickens in a chicken tractor. It was moved over the summer but it’s parked (on top of my former garden site) for winter. They get scratch and kitchen leftovers for entertainment, in addition to chicken feed. You know…they seem happy enough but they are also dumb, dumb animals. 😛

I would like to have a bigger yard for them or free range but I couldn’t be sure of their safety/suffering avoidance that way, either.

Oh, I think chicken tractors are awesome! I’ve tried for the last couple of years to convince Fred to build a few so the chickens could keep down the weeds between the rows of plants in the garden, but he just hasn’t had a chance. My usual gripe with chickens who don’t get space to roam is that they’re generally confined to one small space, they peck all the bugs and grass and weeds up, and then they’re left on this little dirt-covered space. With the chicken tractors, they can be moved so that they get fresh ground and all that healthy greenery and bugs, and I think that’s pretty cool.


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not.a.skimmer.swear! I haven’t seen any posts or pics lately about the pigs….. what’s up with that? Are they gone to pig heaven (the butchers?).

No, not yet – the latest two pigs are going to freezer camp at the beginning of December. We’ve opted to go back to the guy who did our second set pigs, because we like the job he did (though we truly don’t have any gripes about the job any of the three places we’ve taken pigs have done), he’s the closest to us, and (most importantly), he’ll process the pigs. The other butchers in this area stop processing anything but deer this time of year; this guy doesn’t do deer at all.

I probably should write about the pigs more often, but I tend to forget to take the camera out to the back forty with me, which is a reason you don’t see a huge number of pictures of the dogs and chickens, too!


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Robyn, I was just checking my Twitter feed and Whoorl recommended a site new to her and I wondered if you knew about it? Foodzie is like Etsy but for food. People place their home made food items there to sell. You probably do OK selling stuff directly from your own website but I just thought of you as soon as I saw Whoorl’s recommendation.

Oh, I know about Foodzie – I try to stay away from it, because I’m pretty sure I could spend $200 there without thinking twice. That place makes me DROOL.

The main reason I don’t sell stuff on Foodzie is because I feel kind of, well, outclassed by the sellers there. I mean, look at my jar of jam. Now go look at this fancy shit. I COULD go the fancy route, but I’m not that creative when it comes to that sort of thing and honestly? I don’t got time.

Of course, $4 for mine buys you 8 ounces of jam rather than the 4 ounces you get from them, so there’s that.


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Hey. Remember how we weaned the Wonkas and I was all “Yeah, I don’t think I want any more bottle babies” and then God laughed and sent me the Cookies?

Well, we’ve gotten the Cookies mostly weaned (except for that spoiled rotten Pink, who really could be perfectly well weaned by now, but when you’re faced with the Eyes of Hope and “Ba ba? Ba ba?”, only the most heartless person would deny the little princess.) I said to Fred the other day “Oh, thank god, the bottle feeding is now mostly at an end!”

Fred’s even feeding the Cookies when he gets up in the morning and giving Pink her bottle so I don’t have to get up at 4:30 any more! It is GLORIOUS.

So then.

The day before yesterday I was in the kitchen, and the phone rang. I saw by the caller ID that it was the shelter manager.

“Hi,” she said when I answered the phone. “Is this the kitten daycare?”

“Oh, god,” I groaned. “Whaaaaat?”

Two 11 day-old kittens had been abandoned by their mother on this woman’s patio. She wasn’t necessarily looking to get rid of them, she was doing okay with bottle feeding them, but she has a job and can’t take the kittens with her.

Susan reassured me that I didn’t have to, that I could say no, but honestly, I didn’t mind taking them for a few hours. I mean, I get them for the day, I feed and snuggle them and kiss their little faces, and I hand them back over.

AND I don’t have to get up at 4:30 to feed them!

(Seriously, though. God really wants me to have bottle babies in my life, huh?)

She dropped them off yesterday morning, and they ate pretty well, they pottied just fine, and they purred like mad for me. They’re not named, and I don’t know if she’s planning to give them up – she said she was going to try to find a home for them because she travels a lot, but then she said she might get attached to them – but they’re awfully cute.

(I wasn’t able to get good pictures of them this time around, but they’ll be back Saturday, so hopefully then!)

The all-black one (I think it’s a girl, but I didn’t look that closely, so I could be wrong).

The black and white one – definitely a boy.

Mr. Black and White has a ring around his tail. It’s so cute! (I was calling him “Ringo” in my head, of course.)

They’re adorable, but I have to admit – at this age, all they do is eat and sleep and they’re kinda boring. Shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that! They’ll take my Crazy Cat Lady title away!


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My poor Wonkas. They had their vaccinations on Wednesday, and all day yesterday when I’d pet them, I’d accidentally pet the injection site, which was still sore, and they’d cry at me, and I’d feel like the most evil person alive.

They forgave me, though. They always do, thank god.

Kitty yoga.

Violet practices her awesome karate moves.


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The Cookies are doing well. I put them in the bathroom for a little while yesterday so I could get their room cleaned. Have I mentioned that the way they track food and god knows what else all over the hardwood floors drives me nuts? I finally convinced Fred that we should move the desk out of that room and then put all three litter boxes where the desk was. I vacuumed and mopped the floor, and it looks a million times better in there.

Now that they’re mostly off the bottle (except, of course, for Princess Pink, who’ll give up that bottle when we pry it out of her cold dead paws), we put the kitty condo over next to the bed, so they can climb up on the condo, and then climb up on the bed. They don’t do it when they’re in there alone, but when I go in and lay down on the bed, they about have a shoving match to see who can get up on the bed the fastest.

Pink and Hydrox both require a little help to get up on the bed, but they seem to have no problems getting down.

Did I mention that I weighed Hydrox two days ago and he’s at a pound and a half? He is one solid little guy.



When you mix canned pumpkin with canned kitten food and feed it to light-colored kittens, you inevitably get orange noses.

Is it just me, or does she look strikingly like a Gremlin?


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Snoozin’ Spanky.


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2008: (You should imagine that I was swearing at the top of my lungs, this entire time.)
2007: Well, of course. Of course he was in the house. Where else would a squirrel be, after all?
2006: In lieu of an entry today, you get a plea.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I’m not holding much love for Tubby at the moment, believe you me.
2002: And also, I have short and stubby legs.
2001: I think that our dog thinks she’s a Mexican jumping bean.
2000: In fact, my new motto is going to be “Bitch, whine, moan. Lather, rinse, repeat.”
1999: I would name her Molly.

11-12-09 – Thursday

FOAM #5: Food: I pressure cooked 9 chickens on Tuesday and canned them yesterday. 9 chickens = 6 quarts of chicken. Outside: Turkey on the porch. I guarantee you that if I’d stepped back, that turkey would have come right into the house. Abstract: My grandmother cross-stitched this cat picture for the spud when she … Continue reading “11-12-09 – Thursday”

FOAM #5: Food: I pressure cooked 9 chickens on Tuesday and canned them yesterday. 9 chickens = 6 quarts of chicken.
Outside: Turkey on the porch. I guarantee you that if I’d stepped back, that turkey would have come right into the house.
Abstract: My grandmother cross-stitched this cat picture for the spud when she was little. It’s currently hanging in the foster room, and every time I look at it, I think of my grandmother. I love it.
Myself: Lap full o’ Wonkas! (Gus is not really three times bigger than the others, he’s just closer to the camera.)


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If you’re interested, there are new jam flavors available hither.

1. I do not know if the Apricot Confetti Habanero Jam is going to remain a regular item or will be a one-time thing. Fred called it “odd”, but my other taste tester liked it. Depends on demand, I suppose.

2. The Cranberry Cruelty Habanero Jam is going to be a seasonal thing – available ’til mid-December, depending on supply and how hard/ expensive it is to find cranberries ’til then.

3. There is no #3. That’s all, folks!


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I imagine that if our next door neighbor’s son – the one who likes to stand in his back yard and “fish” – had a blog, his entry on Tuesday would have gone along the lines of something like…

Dear Diary,

It rained all day. I hate it when it rains. Then I can’t go outside and practice my fishing. I can’t wait until the talent scouts realize what an awesome fisherman I am, and come knocking on my door to make me the King of Fishing. It was so wet and rainy that I couldn’t even go into the shed and work on my super secret project.

(I know it drives those nosy-ass people next door NUTS when I go in and they can hear the hammering but can’t see what I’m doing. That’s half the reason I wait until they’re both home before I do it! They sure do spend a lot of time watching me to see what I’m going to do next. I think they might need to get a life.)

I was trying to decide whether I should watch Oprah or take another nap when Ma said “Oh CHRIST. Come see what these idiots are doing now!” So I went to the window where she was staring into the back yard. They had those two great big white barky dogs practically on our property (it’s not enough their goddamn cats tromp across the back yard all the time?), and Mr. Idiot was holding them down on the ground while Mrs. Idiot was all waving her arms all over the place yelling at him.

She sure yells at him a lot. I wouldn’t put up with that shit from no woman on earth.

He said something back to her, and she turned and walked across their back yard.

“What are they doing?” I asked Ma.

“Those two great big galumphing dogs found that the gate to their fenced-in area was open, and they came running out. The idiots chased them and tried to lure them back into the fenced area, but the dogs ran off and were prancing all over hell and creation. Mr. Idiot finally caught them and held them down on the ground -”

“That’s to show dominance,” I told her. “That Dog Whispering guy said so!”

” – and now I think they’re trying to figure out how to get them back in their fenced area.”

I watched for Mrs. Idiot to come back, and while I watched, this fucking FLOCK of turkeys came around the fenced-in part of their back yard, and headed for Mr. Idiot and the dogs. They clustered around Mr. Idiot and the dogs, and finally Mrs. Idiot came moseying across the back yard, holding a couple of leashes.

“TAKE YOUR TIME!” Mr. Idiot said through clenched teeth. Mrs. Idiot picked up the pace, and the faster her feet went, the faster her mouth went. I counted 23 “fucks” before I stopped counting.

She sure does say “fuck” a lot. I wouldn’t put up with that from no woman.

They messed around with the leashes and the dogs, and then Mr. Idiot stood up and started pulling the bigger dog toward the fenced in area. When he was gone, the turkeys stood together in a group and conferred with each other, while Mrs. Idiot continued to hold onto the smaller dog, who just laid on the ground and wouldn’t move.

The turkeys moved past Mrs. Idiot and the dog, and ended up smack-dab in the middle of our back yard. They stood around and stared at the little tree in our back yard, and I thought sure as shit one or the other was going to jump up in the tree and roost, but then Mrs. Idiot stood up and convinced the dog to start moving, and the turkeys got all interested in what was going on, so they started to follow her.

Turkeys are some nosy friggin’ birds. I swear if I see them on our property again, I’m going to grab one up and kill it for dinner.

Mr. Idiot came running up and took the dog from her, and from the fenced-in area where the bigger dog was, came the loudest howling and barking and whining I’ve heard out of those dogs yet. Apparently Big Dog wanted his sister to come keep him company and wanted the entire county to know about it. Those fucking dogs sure get on my nerves with all the barking half the night.

I wouldn’t put up with that from no damn dogs.

I never knew it was going to be so loud, here in the country. Between the big white dogs in the fenced area, and the beagle next door, and the turkeys running around being nosy and needing the Idiots to come herd them back into their fenced area, and the roosters crowing and the cats fighting, I don’t know how on earth I ever get a decent night’s sleep.

Mrs. Idiot sure does spend a lot of time in her kitchen at her sink, glancing out the window. She’s there right now, matter of fact. She’s old as dirt, but I bet she has a crush on me. I’m gonna go give her something to look at. Maybe I’ll practice my fishing some more. Got to keep the skills sharp!


Fishing Frank.


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Oh, my Wonkas. They sure would like to be set free to run through the entire house. I know this because every time I go upstairs, they crowd the door at the end of the hallway and try to slip through. Mike’s made it halfway down the stairs; Gus was pretty close behind. And after I spend time with them and have to leave to go do something (whether I’ve spent five minutes with them, or an hour, it makes no difference), Mike tries to herd me away from the door.

Actually, I guess what they’re really telling me is that they want to be able to follow me around and sit on my lap 24 hours a day!

LESS than 30 days ’til their Combo test, which (I am certain) will show them to be FIV negative, and I guarantee you that when we get home from the vet that day, the first thing I’m going to do is introduce them to the rest of the house!

Sometimes a man’s gotta DANCE.


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So, feeding time in the Cookie room goes like this: we put canned food on two plates, and carry two saucers of watered-down formula into the room. Everyone but Pink runs over and either starts eating off the plate or lapping out of the saucers. Pink comes over to us and gives us the Big Eyes of Hope and meows.

I pick her up and take her into the living room and give her a bottle. And she drinks about a tablespoon at each feeding. Last night, she drank far less than that. But she’s still gaining weight, she’s still healthy, and so I strongly suspect that when we’re not in the room, she’s eating out of the bowl of Baby Cat we keep full at all times.

In fact, Tuesday afternoon I was sitting in the room with them, and I glanced over to see her eating a piece of food from the bowl. Then it was like she remembered – “Oh! If they think I’ll eat on my own the bottles will stop!” – and she scurried away from the food.

I’m wise to your game, bratty little Pink!

“Who, ME?”

“Did you say ‘bottle’?”

“I’ll just wait right here for my bottle, thank you.”

Belly = full. Brain = in shutdown mode. Zzzzzs to commence in 4… 3… 2…

“We don’t think it’s fair that Pink still gets and bottle and the rest of us don’t. I’m heading up the protest.”

Yeah, I’d buy into your protest a little more if you didn’t outweigh every other kitten by at least four ounces, porky. I don’t think you’re starving.


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Something has disturbed Miz Poo.


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2008: Fucking drama queen.
2007: Whatever I do, I’m sure it’ll be exciting!
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: NOTHING gets by him. NOTHING.
2003: Yep. When you have a crush on a fictional character and whine about how no one in a NOVEL is telling you anything, it’s about time to get a life, say true.
2002: Obviously she’d never taken Customer Service 101, wherein the “‘Thanks!’ = go away” equation is covered thoroughly.
2001: Poor Sadie. Those damn mean cats just refuse to play with her…
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.