Archive for December, 2009

12/31/09 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, December 31st, 2009. Filed under Fostering

It’s funny that Mike looks so much like our Maxi, but as far as his temperament goes, he’s like a clone of Tommy. He is so patient with the Cookies, will curl up with them and sleep, lets them lay half on top of him, and there’s nary a hiss or growl from him. At this point, Gus is just as patient, but Mike’s been patient with them from the beginning. Probably I haven’t mentioned how much I love this cat, have I?

One of Gus’s many favorite places to hang out: Fred’s chair.

Orange is such a smug, sweet little monkey.

I think… Keebler? Maybe? Keebler or Blue.

They pile up on each other and sleep like the dead. SO CUTE.

I am 93% sure that the cats have figured out how to bypass the alarm system and open the door to let neighborhood cats in to use the litter boxes because HOLY COW was there a lot to scoop this morning. And I had just scooped 12 hours previously! And they don’t eat THAT much – the output isn’t matching the input, I’m tellin’ ya. It was stunning!

(When I win the lottery – and oh, I SHALL – my first move will be to hire someone to come scoop the litter boxes three times a day. And I’ll even hire someone to come do it on the weekends, too. And I will pay them WELL and make sure they have health insurance and all that, because a job like that, they deserve to be compensated well!)


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Elwood ADORES Tommy. Tommy puts up with the constant grooming. Orange is over there to the left saying “Please make him stop. I’m trying to sleep!”


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2008: Debbie and Brian got to witness the fearsome SCOOP HANDS, and I think they were impressed.
2007: We were expecting a snowstorm, and we certainly got one.
2006: No entry
2005: No entry
2004: No entry.
2003: My year in review.
2002: Are you jealous of my readers? You should be, because they ROCK!
2001: What if?
2000: No entry
1999: Total potty mouth at the drop of a hat.

12/30/09 – Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, December 30th, 2009. Filed under Fostering

Today, two kitten movies for you.

The first, some close-up footage of Orange, twitching and nursing in her sleep (only to be awakened by Keebler, and boy – when she first wakes up, the lights are on but no one is HOME, believe me. Talk about your blank look!), and then Pink has a complaint or seven.

The second, Fred and I bought two Turbo Tracks and set them up in the kitchen. Most of the kittens approved highly.


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2008: No entry.
2007: (Just kidding! I know perfectly well that the Patriots play baseball!)
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: At what point do you cease wailing and moaning the absence of a part of your life that didn’t go the way you wanted, and just move the fuck on?
2002: “No,” I said. “She feels nauseous, and then she either belches or farts, and feels better.”
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: I’m turning 32 on January 9th.

12/29/09 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, December 29th, 2009. Filed under Fostering

Cat-only entries for the rest of the week, I think. I’ve got nothing exciting going on ’round these parts ‘cept the kittehs.

You guys want me to mark the cat-only entries with some sort of something in the title of the post? Like 12/29/09 – Tuesday – CatCentric ? I can if anyone so desires – in any case, just know that they’re all about the pussy for the rest of the week and they’re apt to be shortish.


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I love it when as many Cookies as possible cram themselves into one bed. There almost always seems to be one holdout, though.

The Cookies have had all their vaccinations, they’re spayed and neutered and id chipped. All we’re waiting for now is for there to be room for them at the adoption center. Depending on how adoptions go, they could go soon, or they could be here for a while longer. Who knows? All I’m doing now is spending half my day picking up kittens and kissing them.

I have a rash on my chin from where Orange and Blue love to sit and rub their wet noses on my chin. The rash is annoying, but they purr SO loud when they’re rubbing their noses on me that I can’t bear to make them stop.

It seems that every litter has one kitten who’s the quiet observer of the bunch. In the Cookie litter, that’s Hydrox (or, as Fred insists on calling him, “Hydro X”.) He’s more prone to sitting and watching than the rest of the litter. Don’t get me wrong, he does plenty of playing, and if his tummy rumbles he is SURE to let us know, but observing and taking mental notes on how stuff works seems to be his forte.

Orange has the most open, friendly, sweet face. Just looking at her sweet little face makes me want to squeeze her to bits.


Aww, look what I found! Gus’s floof, and Veruca in the background!

GOOD LORD it kills me, how sweet Mike is. We’ve both started calling him “Mikey.” Sometimes I call him “Mickey-Mack.” If he’s misbehaving (or thinking about it), I call him “Michael James.” (I don’t know where I got the ‘James” from.) Also, I think he kind of looks like a “Steve” for some reason. Whatever we call him, he doesn’t care. He’s the happiest boycat on earth.

Gus is concentrating so hard on that feather teaser that his tongue is sticking out and it cracks me UP.


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Oh, I love how mellow Miz Poo has gotten in her old age. I mean, don’t get me wrong – if a kitten needs a smack, she’s up for the smackin’, but she’s kind enough to share her heated blanket with any kittens who wander by, and a few years ago I never would have believed it.


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2008: Giant chicken!
2007: I was incandescent with rage.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: New camera!
2002: 12 days of Christmas.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: Try to contain your excitement!

12/28/09 – Monday

by @ Monday, December 28th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

I hope everyone’s Christmas or Kwanzaa or weekend went well – ours went pretty well. We went to Fred’s father’s house for Christmas Eve dinner – we had to wait ’til the chickens were up and didn’t leave here ’til 5:00. He had told his father we’d be there about 5:30, and so apparently his father told everyone else (Fred’s sister and her husband, and Fred’s stepsister and her family) to be there at 5:30.

Now, I’ve done a total of 13 Christmases with Fred’s family, and every single year we’re the first ones to arrive. Everyone else tends to run late, we tend toward being early, and thus – we’re always the first to get there. This year, on the drive to his father’s house, Fred fretted and worried and fretted some more.

“We’re going to be the last ones there!” he said. “They’re going to be all standing around waiting for us! Maybe they’ll have already sat down to eat!”

“We’re going to be the first ones there,” I said.

“I bet everyone’s there, and they’re all annoyed at having to wait for us!” he fretted.

“We’re going to be the first ones there,” I said.

Guess who was right? You don’t even need to guess because IT WAS ME, OF COURSE. We were the first ones there by about fifteen minutes.

Finally, everyone else showed up and we sat down and ate, and talked, and ate and talked some more. Fred’s niece and nephew couldn’t come (they were working), but her husband showed up. He’s joining the Army in a few months, and he decided it was time to lose some weight so basic training didn’t kick his ass, and he looked pretty damn good. Sixty pounds, he’s lost.

(Fred whispered to me, out of Dan’s hearing, “Has he lost weight?” and I said “YES.” Clearly he had, but I guess Fred didn’t want to ask and be rude. That was okay, though, Fred’s father didn’t mind asking. Guess how Dan has lost that sixty pounds? GO AHEAD GUESS, YOU’LL NEVER GUESS, IT’S RIDICULOUS, THE WAY HE DID IT! He stopped eating so much and he started exercising. I know! I told him he oughta write a book.)

Also, Dan has a Hispanic background (I swear to you, Fred said to him, “Dan, you have a Hispanic background, right?” and Dan laughed and said “Yes.”) and so Fred asked him what the deal was with our Hispanic egg-buying customers never ever using the word “docena” (which is Spanish for “dozen”), and as it turns out, it’s because it’s slang.

Interesting, the things you learn.

So, we had a good time at Christmas Eve – we brought dessert, Paula Deen’s banana pudding. DAMN that stuff is good. Fred’s sister’s husband, who is French, showed us up by bringing a lemon tart, and DAMN it was good.

We got home after 9:00, which is super-late for us. I took my makeup off and we went to bed almost as soon as we got home.

We are such partiers.

Christmas morning, we had to leave the house at 8:30, and we did even though I lazed around in bed ’til after 6 (SLACKER!).

Even though we were doing breakfast at Fred’s sister’s house, we brought Paula Deen’s Strawberry Cream Shortcake rather than any kind of breakfast dish. It was, to say the least, a hit. Everyone ate it and loved it, and we got to have leftover lemon tart that Fred’s sister’s husband had made, and I even got to bring a big wedge of the lemon tart home with me, and DAMN THAT STUFF IS GOOD.

So, we ate breakfast and sat around and talked, and then went into the TV room where Fred and his niece and nephew and her husband and his sister’s husband all played Rock Star. Fred sang three or four songs, and his sister sang a few, and Fred tried to get me to sing a song, but HELL TO THE NO, I wouldn’t inflict my singing voice on other people. Fred’s mother and stepfather seemed to enjoy watching, but I strongly suspect that Fred’s mother would have liked to get up and sing a few.

We finally left there close to 12:30, and intended to go to the theater to see Avatar. Unfortunately, when we pulled up to the theater, we found that the listings Fred had seen online were WRONG, and nothing was showing until after 3. We went by the movie store and then went home.

We eventually sat down and watched The Taking of Pelham 123. Well, I should say Fred watched it – I slept through the first 45 minutes of it, then watched the rest and that 45 minutes I missed? I didn’t miss a thing. I’m starting to think movies are MADE so you can snooze through the first 45 minutes and not miss anything.

Around 4:30 or so, we decided to go up into town to see if there was anything open where we could find something for dinner. It didn’t occur to us to think ahead and make sure we had food in the house (that didn’t have to be thawed and cooked), of course. As it turned out, the only place open was Waffle House, which was PACKED. We ended up getting some stuff from a gas station deli, and it wasn’t bad (corn dogs, chicken fingers, and an egg roll, if you must know), but next year we will definitely think ahead. Though I think what threw us off was that most years we bring food home from Fred’s father’s house. This year we had spaghetti and meatballs for Christmas Eve dinner, which doesn’t really lend itself to leftovers, so we had nothin’.

And the weekend was pretty low-key. Saturday, I took Violet and Veruca to the adoption center, then ran over to Target to grab a few things. Later in the day, we went to see Avatar, which I highly recommend because it was fucking AWESOME.

Sunday, Fred processed 10 more chickens. We watched movies, we read, we snuggled kittens.

You know, the usual.


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I finally got my Kindle version of Under the Dome, but I was in the middle of a Laura Lippman book (the more I read by her, the more I like her). Yesterday morning I finally finished that book, and then had to beg for help from my fellow Twitterers. If there’s a way to go to a certain page in your book, I haven’t discovered it yet, but I knew I had gotten to page 150 before I gave up on the printed version. Then I sold the printed version on half.com, so I didn’t have any way to figure out where the holy hell page 150 was on the Kindle version. I Twittered, asking if someone would tell me what the first sentence on page 150 was, and got several responses.

My fellow Twitterers, you rawk.


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We made another attempt at getting a good Christmas card picture for next year. While we were shooting pictures, a Cookie came along, and well, I’m pretty sure she was screaming “I ARE NOT SANTA!!!!” after Fred put the hat on her tiny little head.

Santa make kitty scared.

I don’t know what it is, but something about Mike’s sweet profile just melts me. He is the sweetest cat on earth.

Gus and his floof.

“Ah, zees lahf. Eet ees, how you say? So deefeecoolt to be thees beyootifool.”

I can’t stop taking pictures of the floof. It fascinates me.


That cat bed (well, really, TWO cat beds) Miz Poo is laying on over there to the right? I had no idea that location was going to be so popular, but there’s ALWAYS at least one cat over there. It’s Hydrox’s favorite place to knead and suck fleece.


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Fred put this poor, unsuspecting Cookie (I think it’s Blue) in the cat bed with Sugarbutt. As you can see, it didn’t go so well. Sugarbutt has no use for little kittens.


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2008: No entry.
2007: “Your flight’s been canceled.”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Let’s see if this puts you in the mood for a nap, huh?
2003: If you’re wandering through the Cincinnati airport around 10 am tomorrow and see someone with a hideous bag, say hi. It’ll be me.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: Best laid plans, and all that.

12/27/09 – Sunday

by @ Sunday, December 27th, 2009. Filed under Fostering

All is well here. Violet and Veruca weren’t adopted yesterday, unfortunately, but I imagine it’s a slow time for adoptions. At least they have each other for company, which always makes me feel better. I’ll be going by Petsmart on Wednesday after an appointment, and if they’re still there (maybe they’ll be adopted before then!) I’ll stop and give them snuggles.

It’s funny to say this, but the house seems quieter with them gone. I don’t know how a house with 18 cats currently in residence could ever be considered quiet, but somehow it is. I miss those sweet girls!

We got this wash stand from Fred’s mother a few years ago – it belonged to her mother and probably even her mother’s mother – and I’ve used it to store extra towels. The cats discovered that they could pull the doors open, and that’s all she wrote. Here we have a Cookie and Elwood, snuggled up, sound asleep.

Keebler, asleep on a cat bed in the corner of the kitchen.

Snuggly Cookies.

I got this pop-up cat carrier at Walmart last week. $11! I opened it up as soon as I got it home, of course, and the cats have been playing in it ever since. I actually used it as a carrier yesterday when I took Violet and Veruca to Petsmart (I put a cat bed in it, and it fit perfectly), and it worked really well. So far, I’m giving it two thumbs up!

Keebler’s a clean Cookie.

The basket where I toss my junk mail and magazines, to recycle. It was full last week, so I took it to the recycling center, and when I brought it home, the kittens immediately pulled it down and started hanging out in it. I just left it – I try to choose my battles, and this is one I suspect I wouldn’t win.


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2008: No entry.
2007: Seven random or weird things about myself.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: “Mom, you’re going to be bigger than Britney Spears!”
2003: I tossed the muffins in the trash, although it did occur to me to leave the one the Bean had had his ass upon – the assmuffin, if you will – for Fred.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Though to be truthful, I was the Monster Who Ate Alabama for a period of about 24 hours…
1999: “You must not be using the stairs at your house Freddie! You haven’t lost any weight!”

12/26/09 – Saturday

by @ Saturday, December 26th, 2009. Filed under Fostering

Today, Veruca and Violet have gone to the adoption center, hopefully to be adopted by the end of the day (doesn’t hurt to be optimistic, right?).

They were a little nervous in the carrier on the drive to the store, but they didn’t howl, just sat there and periodically looked up at me for reassurance. When we got into the cat room, I let them out to explore while I got their cage ready, and they did okay. They came over to me for petting, but mostly they were interested in what was going on, they were all “Hey, toys!” when they climbed into their cage, and although I got all teary-eyed when it was time for me to leave, they were mostly “Okay, you may go. We have toys!”

I’m so glad that they have each other for company. I’d love it if they went to the same home together, but I know the chances of that aren’t particularly high. Like I said, though, it doesn’t hurt to be an optimist!

Mike and Gus are going to their new home in about a week and a half. I absolutely refuse to talk about that until it happens, though, because I’m terrified of jinxing it and I very much want it to happen! So let’s just say that they’re here for now and when they’re elsewhere, I’ll give y’all the details, okay?

Before I go on to share with you the rest of the Veruca & Violet pictures I’ve taken recently, let us remember what adorable little monkeys they were when they first came to us three months (!) ago:

Veruca the worrywart. Remember before we named her, how I was calling her “the hissy-spitty calico”? Yeah, that didn’t last long. She sure turned into a love bug!

Violet “the friendly calico.” She not only got even more friendly, she turned out to be pretty fearless. Not a lot scares our girl Violet.

Violet enjoyed “Star Trek” so much she had to get up close and personal with the TV. (I think she’s got a crush on Spock)

Pretty, pretty Violet.

Veruca with her tongue stuck out, teasing one of the Cookies.

Violet and Mike, on the cat tree in the front room. Note that they’re sleeping with their backs to the window because they can’t stand how BADLY those windows need to be washed.

Pretty Veruca and the Look o’ Love.

I love it when they snuggle up to sleep.

Veruca (I think), getting a bath from Mike.

The Wonkas AND a Cookie. I know the Wonka girls had to be sound asleep when that Cookie crawled into the bed, because I’m fairly certain there’s no way they would have put up with THAT if they were awake.

Wonka girls and a Cookie.

Mike and Veruca.


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2007: And now life may return to normal, if you please.
2006: No entry.
2005: Such a dork, I am.
2004: I had oyster dressing and mandarin muffins for breakfast yesterday and then again for lunch, and a better Christmas day breakfast does not exist.
2003: Is it a sign of old age that I’m this excited about getting a new vacuum cleaner?
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

12/24/09 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, December 24th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

From us and all of ours, to you and all of yours, wishes for a happy, safe, healthy holiday!!!!


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2008: Featherhead keeps an eye on you.
2007: I had no idea 11 years ago that Fred was going to turn into a Handyman.
2006: What a difference a year makes.
2005: No entry.
2004: Fred thought it was funny that his sister had to explain to her boyfriend, who is from France, what “French toast” is.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

12/23/09 – Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Every year right before the holiday, I get a bug up my ass and decide there’s something I absolutely MUST HAVE, cannot WAIT to have it, it MUST be in my possession before the holiday.

One year, I was desperate to find matching serving dishes so that when Fred’s family came for breakfast all the serving dishes would match, even though they truly do not care about the matchiness of my serving dishes, I assure you. I went from store to store to store, looking for decent dishes at a reasonable price, and I think I ended up buying a bunch of plain white bowls and serving platters at Big Lots. We used them that once, and they’ve sat up in the cupboard ever since. But, hey – I’ve got ’em if I need ’em, right?

This year, the bug up my ass is a desire for a dark-green (Christmas green!) blanket. We’re intending to get a good Christmas picture for next year’s cards (I think I mentioned I’m planning to make cards by hand for next year’s card exchange. Me + construction paper + glue + cat pictures = HILARITY ENSUING, I’m sure.), and suddenly I decided that nothing but a dark green blanket as a background would do. NOTHING BUT DARK GREEN DO YOU HEAR ME?!

So yesterday I went to Target and PetSmart and I also went to Michael’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and I also went to Big Lots, and guess what? Not a single goddamn dark green blanket to be found ANYWHERE. Apparently dark green is not in fashion this year.

Finally, I snapped to my senses, realized I was being a dumbass, and bought a green blanket that was NOT dark green, but certainly green enough, and seriously, who gives a shit how green the background is? Y’all will be looking at the CAT, believe me.

Target, three days before Christmas? Surprisingly, not too bad. The parking lot was packed and I expected it to be a madhouse inside, but as long as I stayed away from the toy and electronics section, it was fine. I even spent a good long time browsing through the Christmas decorations, and there was hardly anyone there.

Bed, Bath and Beyond, on the other hand, what a fucking nightmare. Some ASSFACE even cut in front of me, but all I did was sputter quietly to myself and roll my eyes at the guy in line behind me.

CLEARLY I am filled with the Christmas spirit.


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OH. I almost forgot. You know what? If you’re going walk around Target wearing a sweater that has some sort of flashing light on the front of it, said flashing light located directly between your breasts, guess what? PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GLANCE AT THE FLASHING LIGHT.

Don’t fucking give me A LOOK like I’m trying to get a look at your rack, lady, because guess what? It’s NOT THAT IMPRESSIVE.

Also, fuck you.

(Like I said, imbued with the Christmas spirit am I.)


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Oh, Elayyyyyyyyne….

Refer to your comment from Saturday the 12th if you don’t remember this request – you said I think we should come up with song lyrics that you (AND FRED) have to act out photographically with cat props. It could be a fundraising thing for the shelter – I’ll donate $10 for you to post a picture of “Wonk’s* to the left of me, Cookies to the right/Here I am, stuck in the middle with Poo.”

Your wish, my command. Kinda. Fred’s not in the picture, but he TOOK the picture, so I’m proclaiming your wish fulfilled. 🙂

Wonk’s to the left of me
Cookies to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with Poo.

(Plus, a bonus Blues Brother thrown in there!)

Click here to see the large version to verify that, indeed, all four Wonkas are to my left, all five Cookies are to the right, and Miz Poo is, indeed, stuck in the middle with me. Or I with her. Whichever.

You may make your donation at your leisure. 😀


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Yesterday, CatFancy asked if I put up Christmas decorations. I have put up Christmas decorations in the past, but when it became clear that we were going to have 20 (!) cats running around the house this holiday season, I opted not to put up decorations at all. I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights, but I couldn’t stand the idea of having to continually right the tree or chase down ornament the cats had knocked off the tree and kicked to the other end of the house, so no. No decorations this year.

However, I’ve come to realize that they make a “half” tree that you can hang on the wall and put lights and ornaments on, so I’m thinking that that’s going to be the way I go as far as decorating next year!


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Pardon the HORRIBLE lighting on these pictures. Some day I’m actually going to read (and put into practice) those “how to use your digital camera” books that are sitting on the bookcase.

You can’t see the feather toy, but rest assured that that’s what they were all looking at, and what Gus was jumping for.

I love this one because it looks like Veruca’s riding on Jake’s back, doing circus tricks.


So close!

She’s walking on sunshine!

My absolute favorite shot. Not only because of Gus and the outstretched paw, but also look in the lower right of the picture. See that deranged grin on Jake’s face? It cracks me UP.


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2008: It’s nice to have a clean house. I should probably try it more often!
2007: The eyes of a lover, the heart of a monster the world has never seen before.
2006: No entry.
2005: I have the best readers EVAH!
2004: Gotta love that Jack Bauer.
2003: When it’s such a noteworthy event that my child stops and stares in wonder, it’s possible I’m just not cleaning often enough, ya think?
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: That’s my girl!

12/22/09 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Last week, Katherine asked if I’d ever heard of Pineapple Casserole. I hadn’t, so she sent me the link, told me she’d made it, and it was a HIT. It certainly sounded interesting, so I printed out the recipe and decided to give it a try soon. Last night, we had pork chops, Pineapple Casserole, and green beans.

Pineapple Casserole? REALLY FREAKIN’ GOOD. I certainly would never have thought of putting pineapple and sharp cheddar in the same dish, but somehow it works out. Well, of course it works out – it’s a Paula Deen recipe! I have only ever made one Paula Deen recipe that I didn’t really care for (the Crunchy Butter Cake, I think it was? Something like that.).

I made some modifications to it (halved the recipe, since it’s just the two of us, for one), and the recipe is here.

What new recipe have you tried that you weren’t sure about, and which became an instant favorite? You know I’m always on the lookout for new recipes!


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Mike & Gus: Brudderly…. love?


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I bought this cat basket a few years ago in Gatlinburg. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat using it the way it’s meant to be used. They all prefer to turn it upside down and then smush the top down and sleep on it that way. (That’s Jake in the picture.)


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2008: It was kind of a cooking-themed weekend for me.
2007: I expected to read “And after we had fabulous chocolate crepes for dessert, we moved on to Bob’s house for the key party to end the night on a high note.”
2006: It burns, Jane! The applique, IT BURRRRRRRRNS!
2005: I’m a creature of habit, what can I say?
2004: No shit, Matt. Ya think? Ya think she might like to eat?
2003: “You are NOT allowed in Maine!” I informed him.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Except for world peace and all that. Yadda, yadda.
1999: No entry.

12/21/09 – Monday

by @ Monday, December 21st, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

I expect posting will be sporadic this week, what with the holiday coming up and all. Not that I have a whole lot to do, but hey, I’ll take the excuse to slack, thank you!


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I was a baking motherfucker this weekend.

Friday, I made (at Fred’s request) a batch of Sweet Potato-Pecan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. What I forgot about this particular recipe until I was halfway through making it is that it doesn’t just make a dozen cupcakes, like any reasonable recipe. What it makes is at LEAST 24 cupcakes, and probably more like 30 (but after I got to 24 muffin tins filled, I tossed the rest of the batter. There are two of us. Who the hell needs that many cupcakes in the house, especially since I don’t particularly care for the damn things?) Fred said that they were good, but they weren’t as good as he remembered (he remembered them being really REALLY good, apparently), and after he’d had his fill of them, he wrapped up the rest to take to his mother’s this morning*.

Saturday, I didn’t make a damn thing (we’ll cover Saturday later).

Sunday was my super bakin’ day. Once I rolled my ass out of bed (at SEVEN O’ CLOCK! But only because Veruca and Violet are prone to waking me at 1:30 am by rubbing their cold, wet noses on my face. I suppose WHEN YOU NEED PETTIN’, YOU NEED PETTIN’ NOW DAMNIT), I did my usual morning stuff, ran to Publix for a few things, and then got started on everything I wanted to get baked.

I started a batch of Chocolate Mint Cookies (a recipe I stumbled across last week and decided I needed to try), and then when the dough was sitting in the fridge, I whipped up a Honeybun Cake. The Honeybun Cake was a trial run – we’re supposed to bring something sweet to breakfast at Fred’s sister’s house on Christmas morning, and I had considered trying Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls, but they look like a huge pain in the ass, to be honest, so I thought I’d give the Honeybun Cake a try.

In short, I don’t really care for the Honeybun Cake. Fred said it was okay, but you only get Christmas breakfast once a year and I don’t want to bring something that’s “okay.” I also don’t want to make the super-fabulous Easy Sticky Buns, because they’re best when they’re warm.

Any suggestions? I’m listening!

The Honeybun Cake came out of the oven at the perfect time, so I could start messing with the Chocolate Mint Cookies and getting them ready for the oven. By the time I scooped out 40 cookies’ worth of dough, I realized that the recipe makes a LOT of cookies. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to have enough mints for all the cookies I was going to end up with (you melt a chocolate Andes mint on top of the cookie while it’s still warm). I ended up making 80 cookies, and only had enough mints for about 55 cookies.

Fred and I discussed it, and he thought maybe we should use the extra mint-less cookies to make peanut butter sandwiches. In the end, once the cookies were cool, I talked him into making the chocolate frosting, and he did an excellent job of it. I had to taste-test one of the chocolate-peanut butter sandwiches, and it was really damn good.

The Chocolate Mint Cookies are pretty good, too – they remind me a lot of Thin Mints.

Chocolate Mint Cookies and Chocolate PB Cookies recipe here.

I took a break from baking to make Sunday dinner (spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, YUM), then puttered around the house for a few hours.

Then I made a batch of Cooking Light Chocolate Chip Cookies, only instead of chocolate chips, I used the red and green M&Ms, just to be different.

Cooking Light Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, here. (I don’t know how “light” they are, given that there’s a stick of butter and ten tons of sugar in them, but they are the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever, light or not!)

And almost all of those cookies are going in the mail tomorrow, so they won’t be sitting around here suggesting that I have cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Stupid tempting cookies.

*Fred’s dropping off not only leftover cupcakes at his mother’s, but also a bag of various pork products and a turkey. Oh, and a jar of Splenda Strawberry-Habanero jam for his stepfather. Every time we have pigs, his mother saves their food garbage for our pigs. I swear, the woman must give us 50 pounds of food for the pigs. Only fair to pay her back in pork, right? But every time Fred gives her some meat, she tries to give him money for it, which is very sweet, but they’re on a fixed income and for god’s sake WE’RE NOT TAKING MONEY FROM THEM FOR THE PORK THEY CONTRIBUTED TO. She still tries, though, bless her heart.


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Saturday, I got up and emptied and scrubbed out the litter boxes and refilled them with clean litter. I swear to you, I had no sooner gotten the last litter box scrubbed and refilled, and there were kittens in every single litter box, stinking up the joint.

Stupid poopin’ kittens.

Did you know I currently have TEN litter boxes in my house right now? Three in the laundry room, three in the Cookies’ room, one in the upstairs bathroom, and two in the foster kitten room.


Did you know I currently have NINE litter boxes in my house right now?

I scoop them all once in the morning and once at night, but I’m thinking that I need to go to scooping in the middle of the day, too, at least as long as I have 20 cats in residence. These cats can FILL UP those damn litter boxes in no time flat.


I got the litter boxes scrubbed and started a load of laundry, and then Fred and I started talking about how we both kind of wanted to get out of the house, but didn’t know where the hell we wanted to go. I would have liked to make a run to Petsmart, but asking Fred to go into a store on a weekend day that ISN’T the weekend before Christmas is hard enough. There was no way I was going to get him anywhere near any damn stores.

We finally ended up going to the Limestone Flea Market. There’s always lots of junk on display there, and we invariably end up finding books to buy, and sometimes a movie or two. This is why the Kindle will never completely replace real live books: you can’t go to the flea market and buy a Kindle book for $1.50.

(Well. Not YET, anyway.)

At the last section of the flea market, there was a vendor who had t-shirts and sweatshirts hanging up. I can always use another oversized hooded sweatshirt, so I picked out a gray one and a blue one (they were $8 each, or $15 for two), and Fred came over to mock me for picking out such “bland” colors.

“I can’t get dark colors because it shows the cat hair, and I can’t wear white because I’m apt to spill shit down the front of me!” I protested.

“You always wear gray!” he said. “Gray sweatshirts, gray pants!”

People. I have been wearing jeans EVERY DAY for at least the last year. I have worn the gray pants perhaps twice in that time. My husband, Mr. Observant.

In the end I gave in and got a purple sweatshirt and a pink one. It remains to be seen just how much I’ll be wearing them. I’m wearing the pink one today, and it’s awfully cozy and warm. Hopefully it doesn’t fall apart the first time I wash it.

The vendor came over and asked if we needed help, and Fred told him that we wanted the two hooded sweatshirts, but that we wanted to look at the books too, before we paid.

“I’ll put these in a bag for you,” said the vendor.

“Oh, we have a bag,” Fred and I chorused. Fred held up the bag that we’d put our earlier purchases (books) in.

“Well, I have a bigger bag,” the vendor countered.

“We have more bags if we need them,” I said.

“She’s – she doesn’t like to bring home plastic bags,” Fred said by way of explanation. The guy shrugged and turned away to put the sweatshirts on a nearby table.

We looked at the books, each picked out a few, and went back to pay. The guy took the books, looked them over, and before we knew what was happening, stuffed them into a plastic bag.

“We have a bag,” Fred and I chorused.

“Okay!” the guy said with a smile, and put the plastic bag of books into our bag.


I suppose I could have dug the plastic bag out of our bag and given it back to him, but I didn’t. I just let it go. Fred and I grinned and shook our heads at each other, paid for the books and sweatshirts, and left.

On a side note, I carry in my purse at least five reusable bags at all times – four Baggu bags (for the love of god, don’t pay full price for them – wait ’til they go on sale, or look for them at eBay) and a small Dollar General bag the manager of the dollar store across the street gave me (all the regular dollar store employees know that Fred and I never want them to put anything in plastic bags). When I get groceries, I carry several of my beloved Hannaford bags in with me. I do my very best to make it so that I never have to bring any plastic bags into my house. Like I’ve recently told several people in the past few months, every time I accept a plastic bag at a store, I swear I can feel the entire planet gasping for air, and I feel guilty.

I think 2010 is going to be the year I get super-vigilant about not accepting plastic bags.


We left there, and headed toward home. On highway 72, there’s this little thrift store that popped up in the last few months – the Hard Times Thrift store, I think it’s called. I always glance over at it as I drive by, and think about stopping. Fred apparently does the same.

On Saturday, we stopped. The guy who (I assume) owns and runs the place was working, and greeted us. He said that he was wiring the building, and so things were a mess because he needed to move them out of the way. Things were, indeed, a mess. The building was cool, though, and we took our time looking around the front room before we moved toward the back of the building.

“This is very much like the beginning of a horror movie,” I murmured to Fred. Things were piled every which way, and it was dark and deserted, and if someone in a mask had rushed out and grabbed me by the throat, I don’t know that I would have been so very surprised.

In the end, we bought a couple more books, thanked the guy, and left. I’d like to maybe go back in the Spring, when it’s not so cold (it was VERY cold in that building) and when hopefully the guy has things arranged a little better and poke around again.


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Our boy Keebler has NO fear. He’ll flop down next to any cat, anywhere. Actually, now that I think about it, he may have a thing for torties. He’s always flopping down next to Miz Poo (no matter how much she hisses and growls at him), and he can often be found next to Violet or Veruca.

I’m sorry, HOW CUTE is Miss Orange over there in the back, all flirty and adorable?

Violet and Mike, snuggled up against the cold weather.

Hydrox just cracks me up more and more every day. He’s such a character!

I’m starting to think that maybe the floof is in the Kudzu family and we’ll wake up one morning to find it wrapped around the entire house.

“Hellewwwwwwwww, laydeez!”

Good lord, does it kill me when they groom each other. Kills me DEAD.


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If you were wondering, that is not so much a look o’ love Stinkerbelle‘s got on her face.


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2008: No entry.
2007: Kismet! Match made in heaven! Fate!
2006: I said to Fred, “I know you think we have too many cats, but -”
2005: I imagine that when all three of our phones are in the same vicinity, we’ll get them confused and hijinx will ensue.
2004: Reader questions, answered.
2003: “Um, no,” I told Fred when he asked. “And not only no, but HELL no, and I’ll be out of the house whenever they come to interview you and tape you exercising and all that goofy-ass shit.”
2002: No entry.
2001: I guess he defines “tension” as “getting drunk and pawing every female in sight.”
2000: I practically woke up screaming, I tell you.
1999: Suddenly, it occurs to me that nestled next to my underwear is not the best place to put a bag of very potent catnip.

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