12/1/09 – Tuesday

New month, new logo! This was created by the wonderful Christine, who must have sensed that I had JUST realized that I didn’t have a December banner yet, and whipped one up for me. Thanks, Christine!!!   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue reading “12/1/09 – Tuesday”

New month, new logo! This was created by the wonderful Christine, who must have sensed that I had JUST realized that I didn’t have a December banner yet, and whipped one up for me.

Thanks, Christine!!!


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So, a couple of people pointed out in my comments yesterday that I mentioned we watched a bazillion movies over the long weekend, but I didn’t say anything about any of them. I meant to, actually, but completely forgot in my zeal to talk about food and turkeys.

The movies we watched:

1. The Ugly Truth: I think I’m starting to have a real dislike for Katherine Heigl. I don’t know if it’s the drama queen horseshit she pulls or her increasingly smug, smackable face, or what. I actually fell asleep during the first half hour of the movie, and I can tell you that I did not miss a THING. Predictable, kind of boring. I don’t recommend it.

2. Drag Me to Hell: I can’t believe I watched the whole thing. Alison Lohman might need to think about learning a second facial expression. Even when she’s supposed to look terrified, she mostly looks bored. Or stoned.

3. Transformers 2: We got about 10 minutes in before Fred declared it bad and we turned it off. For the record, I wasn’t even bothering to watch the movie because I had NO desire to see it in the first place.

4. Four Christmases: Cute enough, I suppose. Who doesn’t love Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon? Predictable, but then most romantic comedies are.

5. My Sister’s Keeper: Eh. I read the book, so I knew how it was going to go. However


if you read the book, you know about the twist at the end. They took that out. I guess it was too unbelievable even for Hollywood? I was disappointed, though.


6. Bruno: Eh. There were some funny parts, but I don’t much care for it when movies make me cringe so often.

7. Food, Inc.: Really the only movie worth watching again (though if pressed, I could probably sit through Four Christmases again). Every time I see a movie like this one, it makes me think about how much more we could be doing. We don’t eat much meat that we don’t raise ourselves anymore, but I really want to see about buying half a cow (or even a quarter of one) from a local farmer who doesn’t raise cows to a certain size and then ship them off to a feedlot. If we had more land, we’d certainly own our own cow or two by now – though I’m starting to think we may actually have enough land already.

I am, obviously, not opposed to eating meat. What I’m opposed to is how the factory meat we buy in grocery stores is treated before it’s slaughtered. I mean, good christ – have you SEEN the footage of what goes on in feedlots? The piles of dead animals? The way they’re crammed together so tightly they can barely move? The way they’re knee-deep in their own waste?

I can’t stand it.

I’m trying to convince Fred that we should take a vacation in the Spring and visit Polyface Farms.

8. Funny People: Self-indulgent piece of crap, for the most part. This movie went on about 45 minutes longer than it needed to. Some funny parts, but not funny enough to ever cause me to want to see it again.

So, out of 8 movies, one I liked and a bunch of “meh”s. That’s about par for the course!


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All day Sunday, I cooked the chickens Fred had processed late last week. I like to simmer them for a couple of hours, let them cool, and then debone them for canning. I use my dutch oven (I LOVE MY DUTCH OVEN), fill it mostly full of water, put the chicken in, cover it, bring to a boil, then turn it down so it can simmer. I could accomplish basically the same thing by cooking the chicken in our pressure cooker, but then I don’t end up with all that broth, and I actually think the chicken tastes better after a long, slow cook anyway.

So I’d gotten four chickens done and in the fridge to cool, decided I had time before bed to do one last chicken, and put it in the dutch oven and on the stove.

We were watching Funny People (it’s the movie that never ennnnnnnds, yes it went on and on my friends!) and I glanced at the clock and realized it had been about two hours since I’d put the chicken on, and told Fred we needed to take a break so I could get the chicken into the fridge. As I neared the kitchen, I smelled something that told me immediately that I’d fucked up.

Instead of turning the temperature on the stove down so the chicken could simmer, I’d left it on high, so the water had been boiling for the past two hours, and had boiled away completely. Leaving the chicken in the dutch oven to burn.

And a whole burned chicken? Not a pleasant smell. I got the dutch oven outside and took the cover off so that the house wouldn’t fill with smoke. When I went back to get it ten minutes later, I saw the bottom of the inside of the pot, and I was pretty sure I was going to be needing a new dutch oven.

But after three rounds of boiling water and baking soda, and lots of elbow grease, I got the better part of that burned spot off the bottom, and my dutch oven was saved!

The chicken, not so much.

And no matter what I do, the faint smell of seared chicken hovers faintly throughout the house.


But at least I had enough deboned chicken to fill seven pint size jars. I also ended up with lots of broth, which I let sit overnight in the fridge. Yesterday I defatted the broth and combined it in a couple of big containers. Later today, I’ll be canning chicken broth. Tomorrow, I’ll be using the leftover chicken bones to make stock, which I’ll then can.

Along with cooking the last two chickens yesterday and canning chicken, I also put together a turkey and rice casserole (bottom layer of cooked rice, middle layer of shredded or chopped turkey, a layer of gravy, and a top layer of stuffing. Cook at 375 for 30 – 40 minutes.) and a pot of turkey soup. We will literally be eating turkey for the rest of the week, if not longer.

I’m not complaining!


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So, guess who’s going for retesting later this morning?

I emailed the shelter manager and asked if taking the Wonkas a few days early would make that much of a difference, and told her the waiting was KILLING me, and pleasepleaseplease could I take them this week instead of waiting ’til the 9th?

She said that was fine, and so yesterday I called to make the appointment.

Pleasepleaseplease keep your fingers crossed that these guys come up FIV negative. Yes, I know that cats with FIV can lead long and healthy lives. That’s fine. But I want these guys to test negative anyway – is that so much to ask?

Fingers crossed!!!!

Edited to add: ALL FOUR TESTED NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now guess who’s going to be spayed and neutered tomorrow? 🙂

My sweetheart, Mike. Or Mikey, as we usually call him. Sometimes I call him Mickey-Mack. Whatever – he’s gorgeous, isn’t he? I love his eyes.

Bath time for sweet and gorgeous Veruca. This litter is super friendly, but the girls? Super SUPER friendly. They are just so sweet.

Did you know that Gus is the King of the Floof? I probably haven’t pointed out his floof before, have I? I’ve been remiss in pointing out that Gus? He has him some floof. Just a bit. Which he will use to take over the world.

Sweet and gorgeous Violet.


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Going off to the vet with us will be Pink (Milano). Her eyes have been pink, on and off, and nothing I try has made a difference. They don’t seem to bother her, and they aren’t goopy at all. They’re super pink when she first wakes up from a nap (see the picture below), and then they get less pink, but they still look pink and swollen to me most of the time. We’ll see what the vet has to say.

They’re super pink when she first wakes up, but then settle down to a less pink color.

Can’t decide between the sparkly toy and the always-appealing packing strap.

She’s Blue, dabba-dee, dabba-dah.

Adorable, yes. Don’t try to pick him up and squeeze him to bits. You’ll throw your back out!



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Pretty, pretty Kara.


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2008: Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe the caramel popcorn is calling my name. It’s what’s for breakfast!
2007: Where Muh Daddy?! Starring Fricasee “Frick” And3rson
2006: You know, Maxi and Newt. The cats who AREN’T OURS.
2005: “Vivacious! Tell her she’s VIVACIOUS, Dr. Phil!”
2004: I eat too much of the wrong kind of food and am lazy.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Here’s a tip: If they’re your own children, it’s NEVER “babysitting.”
1999: I’m feeling incredibly lazy today (like that’s something new).