2/5/10 – Friday

I am having The Organ That Shall Not Be Named removed next Wednesday coughcoughcoughUTERUScoughcoughcough and thus I am spending a lot of time sitting around feeling like there’s something I should be doing, but when I try to pin it down, I have no fucking clue what it is. The house is cleanish, the laundry … Continue reading “2/5/10 – Friday”

I am having The Organ That Shall Not Be Named removed next Wednesday


and thus I am spending a lot of time sitting around feeling like there’s something I should be doing, but when I try to pin it down, I have no fucking clue what it is. The house is cleanish, the laundry is done, the bills are paid, the checkbook is balanced, and I even cleaned out the worst of my desk drawers yesterday. I’m going to get groceries later today, and will make several dishes that can be frozen so that Fred will have to do very little cooking while I’m recovering from surgery. On Monday I’ll clean the house and make sure we have sufficient supplies of cat food and litter in stock (might require a trip to Sam’s, now that I think about it).

Other than that, I can’t think of a damn thing I need to do. I always get this way when something big is coming up, I get antsy and spazzy and at loose ends. Even when I’m about to go on vacation, I get all “But this desk drawer needs to be organized RIGHT NOW, I don’t care how late I have to stay up and get it done!”

Did you know that That Organ weighs less than a pound? I think it can be bigger and weigh more if it’s been stretched out by having a lot of kids (Michelle Duggar’s must account for half her body weight). Less than a pound. That figures – there go my dreams of having mine out and shrinking to Super Model size.

Stupid That Organ.

You don’t think my appendix thinks I’m talking about it, do you? NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU, APPENDIX. GO BACK TO SLEEP.

Someone who is not blood relation to me highly HIGHLY disapproves of the fact that I am having a partial hysterectomy. This person is fond of lecturing Fred long and loud about how I should NOT have a hysterectomy, that THEY (okay, SHE) could have had a hysterectomy when such-and-such happened, but she insisted on keeping her That Organ, and on and on and onnnnnn. Her disapproval is not assuaged by the fact that I am keeping my cervix and ovaries. She is not swayed from her disapproval by the talk of painful, never-ending periods nor the small fibroid that has taken up residence. She. Does. Not. Approve.

Has she expressed her displeasure (about the removal of an organ that does not concern her in the slightest) directly to me? Why, no. No, she has not. She prefers to lecture Fred at length.

She adores the sound of her own voice.

If she were to confront me about the fact that I am having That Organ removed despite her strong disapproval, I would say:

1. “Not your decision. Doesn’t involve you.”

2. “Not Fred’s decision. Not his That Organ.” (Though I did talk to him at length before I scheduled the operation. I’M NOT A MONSTER.)

3. “And thank you ever so much for believing that I am so goddamn ignorant that I am unable educate myself, weigh my options, and make my own informed decision without your extensive input. Clearly it was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I have no idea how to do research on any subject, ever. Please, please educate me. SHOW ME THE WAY. Obviously I SHOULD have begged for your input, given that in the time I’ve lived here, we’ve exchanged perhaps 1,000 words total.”


And that’s all I have to say ’bout that.


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Warning about Kindle book prices- I heard a news story on NPR’s Marketplace yesterday that Kindle book prices will likely be going up. Apple cooked up some kind of deal with publishers for the iPad, to the general effect of Apple charging more for ebooks if publishers give their business exclusively to Apple. So now Amazon will have to charge more, too, if they want to keep access to those publishers. Crappy that more competition is resulting in higher prices.

Bastards! All of them!


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Oh, and I know you mentioned that you saw Food, Inc. but I can’t remember if you liked it. I was going to rent it yesterday and decided to wait until I knew if you thought it was worth a watch!

Oh, I liked it a lot! I don’t remember anything about it (I’m surprised I remember my name these days), but I know I liked it. A lot! 🙂


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I have a question, but you may have addressed it before. What do you scoop your litter boxes into? I have been using plastic grocery bags, but I’d like to stop using them. I just didn’t want to lug a big container (like empty litter pails, which I put the bags into, but I don’t always have one available) into the kitchen twice a day to scoop the two litter boxes, then lug it back to the garage. I’m not really sure there’s another option, though.

I used to buy plastic bags at Sam’s Club in bulk – I think they were 10 gallon bags – reassuring myself that I wasn’t killing the environment AS MUCH because they were smaller than the plastic bags you get at the grocery store, and they’re also a thinner plastic. (Also, less prone to having holes in the bottom. How many times in years past have I wandered through the house scooping litter boxes into grocery store bags, spilling nasty litter all over the place? COUNTLESS times, I assure you!) Recently, I bought biodegradable bags in bulk from eBay (“in bulk” should be my middle name) and have been using them. The upside: biodegradable! The downside: I can’t fit all the litter clumps from 7 litter boxes in one bag. Sometimes, I can’t fit all the litter clumps from 7 litter boxes in TWO bags. So, biodegradable, but I use more of them.

What earth-friendly options are the rest of you using? I’m always interested to hear other suggestions!


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Hubby works for Lowe’s. They have a new policy for employees that they ALL must be on the floor helping customers between 10-2 weekdays and 10-5 on weekends. That means no trucks can be unloaded, no forklifts (unless getting something for a customer) etc. My guess is either you went right before those hours and they were all trying to get their back stuff done or you just had a bunch of bad luck that day.

I’m thinking very hard here (can’t you see the smoke?), but I’m 75% sure it was after 10:00. I wonder if perhaps they just don’t get much call for assistance in that area, so the employees were concentrated in other areas of the store.


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Go and see Avatar – I loved it and I find it hard to sit still through movies at the best of times.


Pardon me while I guffaw at my hilarity. I love accusing others of being skimmers, maybe because I myself am a skimmer.

We DID go see Avatar, a few days after Christmas. I only mentioned it in passing, though, so I can’t blame you for missing it.

Also, no way is Fred going to leave the ranch for a holiday any time soon! You have zero chance of a trip to Florida!

Oh, I don’t think I have zero chance – especially once the chicken yards are combined and we can worry a little less about the chickens falling prey to marauding raccoons or possums or whatever. I put my odds at, oh, 25%. Maybe 10%. We’ll see! If it comes down to it, I can always take myself to Florida!


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How big is that tv, Miz Robyn???

It is… 52 inches? 46? 39? Fuck if I know. I better ask Fred.

I was right the first time – it’s a 52 inch LCD TV. I finally convinced Fred that we needed to replace our 62″ huge-ass piece of shit TV. As a result, Fred whines and moans and complains about how “tiny” the new TV is, but you know what? I can SEE the freakin’ picture on this TV, so I’m happy! When we had the old TV, we rented the most recent Harry Potter movie, but had to turn it off after 10 minutes because the picture was so dark we couldn’t see what the fuck was going on. We rented it again after we got the new TV (AND a Blue-Ray player), and the picture was crisp and clear and easy to see.

As a bonus, the Blue-Ray player will stream Netflix movies. Fred was supposed to get it set up (with a wireless something-or-other) before I have surgery next Wednesday, but I’m not sure he’ll have time.

I guess I’ll just have to content myself with endless episodes of Roseanne and Friends and Sex and the City!


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Regarding the smell of canned cat food on hands… I have no idea if this would work, but you know those stainless steel bars (shaped like soap) that are awesome for ridding hands of onion reekage? The package claims it works on other “strong scents” so I wonder if it would help with cat food. A long shot, I think, but maybe…

I need to get one of those bars, because I swear to god I chop an onion just about every day and walk around with Onion Hands, which is ever so pleasant.


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Just saw a snip of History Channel’s “Modern Marvels: THE EGG” – some really neat stuff on that show, several kinds of “free range” organic operations, and a cute funny English chicken farmer (in America) at the end. Have you seen this show? If not I thought of you & thought you’d find it interesting. Aigs!

I have not seen that show – but I’m definitely going to check it out! (Though I’m not positive that we get the History Channel.)


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Does the doll chime?

When my daughter was a wee one I bought her a pricey, at the time, chiming bird and she would never play with it. Now I’m wondering if she thought it was creepy.

The doll does not chime. Though it does breathe fire and threaten to steal my soul, is that similar?

I kid.

Y’all’s hatred for the doll in yesterday’s comments cracks me up. I kind of like it! Creepy’s not always bad, you know. I’m going to position it facing the front door so that anyone who breaks in will be frightened off by it. Or will have their face chewed off by it, one or the other!

Miz Poo has been spending a LOT of time rubbing her face on the doll. I hope the doll’s not giving her any ideas!


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You might answer this on the Friday question day, but I wondered if you were watching the “Real Housewives of OC”?? what do you think of the new girl and her husband. Am I the only one who thinks he is a pompous ass?! I forget their names. She is blonde, they have twin little ones and a nanny.

Oh, INDEED I am! Alexis and Jim is who you’re referring to, and EVERYONE thinks Jim is a pompous ass, believe me. They’re a fairly insufferable couple, the two of them (some sites refer to her as Jesus Barbie, which couldn’t possibly be a better nickname). I can barely stand to look at her, with her humongous fake boobs and humongous fake lips. She’s going to be crippled by back pain within 5 years, if she isn’t already. I thought Jim was a TAD more likable in last week’s episode, when he was trying to help Alexis’ two brain cells figure out how to force Gretchen and Tamra to get along, but still. Alexis and Jim have TWO nannies, yet still poor Alexis must break away and have a few hours of “me” time at the spa every now and then. THANK GOD she’s able to do that, she CLEARLY spends all her other time (when she’s not lunching with friends or working out at the gym or hanging out at the track) just giving and giving and GIVING.

I think the producers must have some sort of stake in making sure that Donn is the ONLY likable husband (or man, really) on that show.

I don’t know why Alexis is so hell-bent on making Gretchen and Tamra make up. The two of them get along perfectly well in social situations, who cares if they secretly loathe each other?

Lynne and her husband are a fucking mess, and I think that if they got their shit together, took the fucking PHONE away from their spoiled little 17 year-old and stopped giving her money, Princess would shape right the fuck up. I have no patience for parents who won’t parent and then whine “Where did we go wrooooong?” My prediction: Lynne will be in rehab before the next season starts.

I have actually felt sorry for Tamra this season, since she’s obviously so deeply unhappy. She needs to stop worrying about what the hell Gretchen is doing, and worry about her own ass. In case you hadn’t heard, Simon has filed for divorce (and good fucking riddance to HIM.)

Vicki doesn’t seem to be around much this season, does she? I know she was slated to have some big blowup with Alexis in last night’s show, but I haven’t watched it yet, so don’t have an opinion on that. I think that almost splitting with Donn last season scared her into realizing she’s got it pretty damn good. Her reaction was super odd when he gave her that ring last week, though, wasn’t it? She almost looked scared as she was opening the box!

I like Gretchen, but she needs to stop laughing like a hyena every time she says something even slightly humorous. Also, do we really NEED another makeup line? Please. Also also, FUCKING LOSE THAT LOSER SLADE. Thank you.

Your thoughts, OC lovers?


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So, I emailed the shelter manager yesterday to ask if there was going to be room for Steely Dan and Fagen at the adoption center soon. I’m having surgery next Wednesday (I’m going to be spayed! Well, partially spayed. I bet the vet wouldn’t charge nearly as much as my surgeon. AND I’d get to go home the same day! Too bad the vet has a no-operating-on-humans policy. Or I assume she does, anyway.) and I had hoped to get them settled before then. Not that they’re any problem – they’ve meshed pretty seamlessly with our cats, and if they needed to stay longer, they certainly could. But I won’t be lifting anything heavy for a few weeks, so either they’d need to go soon, or wait ’til I recovered enough to lift them.

(Yes, Fred COULD take them to the adoption center and get them set up, but I prefer to do it myself.)

Anyway, she said she was sure we could figure something out, and then later she emailed me and said that since I was going to Petsmart to scoop litter boxes and make sure all the cages had food and water (I was filling in for the regular Thursday evening volunteer), I could just bring them with me and get them all set up.

So, I did. Those boys went into the carrier very easily, hardly made a peep on the drive to the store, and were mostly curious about what was going on at the store.

I honestly expected that they’d both run into the litter box and hide immediately upon being put into their cage, but they looked around curiously for a long time.

(And then Steely Dan went into the litter box to hide, while Fagen sat in the cage. I rather expected it to be the other way around!)

They’ve both been given very strict instructions to look super cute (NOT a hard job for them) and to get themselves adopted before the weekend is up!

Send happy adoption thoughts this way, would you?

Steely Dan on the couch; Fagen shooting hate rays from between the couches.

Steely Dan: “I don’t know, it’s kind of nice… Our own food and water, litter box, some cool toys…”
Fagen: :::HATE:::

Steely Dan: “I think I’m going to go hide in the litter box.”
Fagen: :::HATE:::

(Fagen was hating because I had just snuggled and kissed him, then removed a few eye boogers from his eye. O the indignity!)


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This boy right here? He’s 3 pounds, 7 ounces of pure needy love. You come into the room, you pet him. ONLY him. You try to pet one of his sisters and he WILL NOT HAVE THAT.

Did I mention that these guys are enjoying the heck out of their brand new Ham-Mick?

They really are.


Also comes in handy when the fightin’ urge strikes. You can fight in comfort!


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Why so serious? (Jake the lunatic.)


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2009: The volume of a tiny pig squealing is utterly amazing.
2008: At one point I turned around to say something to Sugarbutt, who was sitting by the screen door leading to the back yard, smacking at the cat door, and I saw every single chicken sitting on the back steps, staring expectantly at me, hoping I’d send some food their way.
2007: God. That sounds just like a herd of elephants, I thought.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2003: Pictures found.
2002: That’s just the kind of sucky slacking emailer I am.
2001: You know, if I had ANY self-control at all, I’d wait to buy these books ’til they come out in paperback.
2000: No entry.

2/4/10 – Thursday

The other day, I was sitting in front of my computer when the driveway alarm went off. I got up and looked out the door to see what was going on, expecting it to be UPS or FedEx, and saw two men standing under the magnolia tree next to the driveway, looking toward the back … Continue reading “2/4/10 – Thursday”

The other day, I was sitting in front of my computer when the driveway alarm went off. I got up and looked out the door to see what was going on, expecting it to be UPS or FedEx, and saw two men standing under the magnolia tree next to the driveway, looking toward the back forty. One of them looked over at the door and saw me standing there; otherwise, I would have skulked into the inner part of the house and hidden.

I don’t like dealing with strangers. Perhaps I’ve mentioned?

I opened the door and stepped out onto the side stoop, and one of the men approached me.

“Do you have… uh… not chickens….” he looked toward the back forty, and then back at his friend, who was still standing under the magnolia tree, messing with his cell phone. His friend mumbled something to him.

“Fish?” he said uncertainly.

I’d been expecting “eggs” or possibly “turkeys” or even “pigs”, but “fish” threw me for a loop. I was sure I’d misunderstood.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Do I have what?”

He looked back at his friend, who mumbled something to him again.

“Fish?” he said, moving his hand in the vague motion of a fish moving through water.

“Fish?” I said.

His face lit up. “Yes, fish!”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry, no, we don’t have fish.”

He looked confused and then looked back toward the back forty as though perhaps I was lying to him, and he’d see an army of fish marching toward us to prove that I was a big lying liar. “I… okay, I sorry,” he said, and I assured him it was okay, and then he and his friend left.

Now I’m really wishing I spoke Spanish, because I’d love to know why on earth he thought we might have fish. The only thing I can guess is that they’ve seen all the freakin’ standing water in the back forty and think there’s a pond back there. That, or his friend was messing with him and telling him that the English word for eggs is “fish.”


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Photographic proof that (1) I occasionally wear a color OTHER than gray:

(I call this smug, close-lipped smile “The Douchey McGee.” Zoolander ain’t got nothin’ on me.*)

and that (2) I am now a proper scarf-wearing blogger, thanks to Nance.

*Could not remember the name “Zoolander” nor the name of his creator, so said to Fred, “Who is… Ben…”
Fred: “Affleck?”
Robyn: “No. Funny. Not as funny as he thinks he is.”
Fred: “Stiller!”
And then Fred was greatly amused that he’d gotten the right Ben from that cue.


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Can someone tell me how the holy fucking hell I managed to hear about Blame, by Michelle Huneven (someone somewhere recommended it, I do not retain the information of exactly where the recommendation came from, you know you envy my razor-sharp mind) and had a sample sent to my Kindle, given that apparently now it is NOT available on Kindle and in fact is not available in any form from Amazon unless I want to pay almost $30 or buy from a third party?

What the frustrating fuckity-fuck is going ON? I liked the sample I read, and now I want to read the goddamn thing! On my Kindle! ARGH!


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The morning after my parents arrived, I came downstairs and was greeted by this, sitting on my desk.

My mother said that she thought it was mine (though she wasn’t positive), and that someone gave it to me when I was a newborn.

Is it just me, or is it just a little creepy? Or maybe a LOT creepy? I need to find a place for it rather than on my desk because it keeps LOOKING at me, and I’m a tiny bit afraid it’s going to leap at me all of a sudden and chew my face off.


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Steely Dan and Fagen love to spend their days on the cat tree in the front room.

They also love glaring at me, obviously.

I was on the couch watching Lost yesterday (I LOVE YOU SAWYER!), and had my electric throw over me, and at some point I realized that someone was snuggled up to my leg. Imagine my surprise when I looked and saw Dan, snuggled up, happy and warm, and sound asleep.

Silly boy.

Then last night I was watching more TV, and looked to see that not only was Dan snuggled up to me, but so was Fagen! I consider these two scaredy-cats conquered. No cat can resist the allure of the heated throw!


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Drum is the snuggliest boy on earth, I swear. As soon as I sit down, he’s on my lap demanding love.

M’Lynn keeps a wary eye on me.

Sweet Clairee.


Guess who just so happened to be sitting at my feet yesterday afternoon? And guess who I picked up, and not only did she NOT fight me, she snuggled right into me. I’m sure the formerly skittish M’Lynn would claim that she was drunk off the sunlight pouring into the room or dopey from the warmth of the room, but I do believe she’s a snugglebug at heart.


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Jake, showing off his loony side. (ALL sides of Jake are his loony sides!)


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2009: Dogs like to chew! Who knew?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: How does one become a house appraiser?
2004: I told Fred about how little things remind me anew of our loss strike me when I’m least expecting it, and I cried again.
2003: And, oh and does fred annoy you? Not any more than I annoy him, probably. 🙂
2002: See something on the floor? Sit on it.
2001: No entry.
2000: Here’s a cute story to satiate your bitchypoo jones until then

2/3/10 – Wednesday (kittehs!)

Recent comments: Can I just say how much it cracks me up every time that you call it “gen pop”? I have mental images of very tough kittens glaring meaningfully at each other and forming small furry gangs. I have to admit that Fred’s the one who started referring to it as Gen Pop, but … Continue reading “2/3/10 – Wednesday (kittehs!)”

Recent comments:

Can I just say how much it cracks me up every time that you call it “gen pop”? I have mental images of very tough kittens glaring meaningfully at each other and forming small furry gangs.

I have to admit that Fred’s the one who started referring to it as Gen Pop, but I picked it up immediately. It always makes me laugh, too!


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One.. two… Three… FOUR … FIVE???

Umm… What was again the limit for being a crazy cat lady? 😉

The fosters don’t count, ’cause they’re not staying! That’s why I can say I’m not a cat hoarder, because we might currently have (gulp) 18 cats in the house, but only (!) 11 of them belong to us. And according to Laurie’s sidebar, you’re not classified as a crazy cat lady ’til you have 13! (I don’t know if she’s counting fosters in that total, though. Surely not?)


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Oh they are all cuties – M’Lynn looks like she could be my baby Barney’s little sister! She has more white but the colors are the same. How long will they be with you?

They’ll be here ’til February 16th at the very least, as that’s when they’re due for their vaccinations. They may be here a little longer (it all depends on how adoptions go), but they’re here for at least a good solid two more weeks!


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Claireeee looks like she might have a bit of bengal in that nose too… Does she have black feet?

I actually had to look and see, and it turns out that the only Magnolia girl who has any color on her feet at all is M’Lynn, who has a small splotch of black on one of her back feet. All the others have completely white feet. Drum does have black feet, though!


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Ouiser is taupe and white, Robyn… a very sophisticated color scheme, actually! 😉

It sounds like she came right out of the LL Bean catalog, doesn’t it? 🙂


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Yesterday, we did a bit of redecorating in the foster kitten room. We rolled up the old rug (a remnant we bought at Lowe’s about 2 1/2 years ago) and replaced it with a much smaller rug. Then we moved the cat tree downstairs and brought the BIG cat tree up to the cat room.

Of course I don’t have any pictures of the finished room to show you (that would be a very organized thing to do, and trust me, I am NOT the organized sort), but I’ll get some soon. The smaller rug makes the room look a lot bigger, even with the much larger cat tree in there.

And the cat tree is a huge hit – Ouiser must have spent twenty minutes batting at one of the toys hanging off the upper level!

Fightin’ monkeys.

Ouiser under the scratcher (there’s a toy hanging under there; kittens love to lay on their back under the scratcher and bat at the toy).

“Who, me?” (I promise, I’ve picked those eye boogers!)



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I have been terribly lax on getting pictures of Steely Dan and Fagen – I’ll remedy that before tomorrow, promise!


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We got two Ham-Micks from Forty Paws, and I set them up over the weekend. To say they were a hit would be a HUGE understatement.

Tommy approves.

Miz Poo approves.

And Sugarbutt gives four paws in the air!

For the first few days, the cats were literally standing in line to lay on the Ham-Mick. The last couple of days, they’re completely ignoring it. That’s par for the course with our cats. They’ll ignore it for a while, and then eventually someone will claim it as his or her own.

I moved one of them up to the foster kitten room, and the kittens really enjoy their Ham-Mick. When they’re feeling playful, one of them will lay on top of the Ham-Mick and another will lay underneath, and they’ll bat at each other through the material.

So, yes – we definitely recommend the Ham-Micks!


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2009: [Have you ever…?]
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “How do they grow salt?”
2004: Stalkers, beware!
2003: Did you hear that Tubby was a hero over the weekend?
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Can I just say that I loathe the hell out of those gaunt, haggard-looking bitches, Joan and Melissa Rivers?

2/2/10 – Tuesday

So, my parents (and Benjie!) have come and gone. They arrived Thursday evening and left this morning, about ten minutes ago. In between, we went out to breakfast several times (I don’t believe there’s one single time in my entire life that I have turned down the offer of breakfast at a restaurant!), spent Friday … Continue reading “2/2/10 – Tuesday”

So, my parents (and Benjie!) have come and gone. They arrived Thursday evening and left this morning, about ten minutes ago. In between, we went out to breakfast several times (I don’t believe there’s one single time in my entire life that I have turned down the offer of breakfast at a restaurant!), spent Friday in the house waiting out an ice and snow storm, did lots of shopping over the weekend, and went to Tuscaloosa on Sunday to visit family.

Fred and I made breakfast for us all on Saturday morning, serving up Crooked Acres bacon, sausage and eggs, sausage gravy, and biscuits (served with Caramel-Apple Jam and Pineapple Jam!). Once we were stuffed, my mother and I decided it was time to head out and do some shopping. I opted to swing by Lowe’s first to get it over with, because I needed a curtain rod, a bucket (to make another litter box), and some bird seed. We found the bird seed quickly enough, but that was the ONLY thing we were able to get. The size bucket I needed (2 1/2 bushels) was three shelves up, and no matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find a Lowe’s employee to give us a hand. Finally, I said “Let’s go get the curtain rod and come back.” We went to look at the curtain rods, all I wanted was a simple damn curtain rod, NOTHING FANCY, and wouldn’t it figure? The longest plain and simple curtain rod they had in stock was 84″ long, and I needed one in the area of 109″ long. After much searching, I threw up my hands, and we went back to the storage aisle.

Still, not a single damn employee anywhere to be found. I pushed the button at the end of the aisle (which would summon help), but it wasn’t working. Finally, I used a board to reach up, hook the bucket, and lower it down to our level so my mother could grab it, and we could put it in the cart.

I half wished that an employee would wander along while I was doing that, so they’d yell at me, and then I could give ’em hell, but no such thing happened. We left Lowe’s, then stopped by TJ Maxx. I don’t remember what I bought, but I’m sure it was fabulous.

Oh! A hanging bird bath, is what I bought. And I was right, it was fabulous.

We went to Marshall’s, where I stocked up on Mrs. Meyer’s dishwashing liquid among other things (lemon soap, if you must know), and then finally I said to my mother, “I keep grabbing boxes of chocolate and putting them in my cart. I must be hungry. Are you?” She was, so after I paid and we left, we went down the road to O’Charley’s and had some really good salads for lunch.

Then I dragged her into Petsmart, so we could see what cats were there. (Locals. Seriously. Someone adopt Buddy. He’s the coolest looking cat, you can tell he’s got loads of character, and his story breaks my heart.) I eyeballed the cat toys, but for the first time in my life, I left Petsmart without buying a toy for the cats!

(Mark that one on your calendar. I don’t expect it’ll ever happen again.)

We went over to the fabric store and then finally, we made it to the mall. We went to the Hallmark store (local readers: the Hallmark store in the Madison Square Mall is going out of business, and everything in the store except Valentine’s cards are 50% off. That includes a TON of Yankee Candles.), Bath and Body Works, and then hit JC Penney.

I’ve lived in this house for almost 3 years now, and all of a sudden, I’m having this very strong urge to put up curtains in all the rooms. Nothing fancy, just valances, but I’ve got valances up in my bedroom, I’ve bought them for the computer room (thus the reason I needed a curtain rod), and also for the foster kitten room. I’ve had a hell of a time finding curtains for the guest bedroom, because that bedroom is painted in two shades of purple. I wanted to find curtains with just a touch of purple in them, because I felt that completely purple curtains would be too overwhelming. I found some on the JC Penney site I thought I’d like, and since my mother and I were at the mall, what better time to look?

I found some curtains I kind of liked, but they were waaaaaay more than I wanted to spend, so I shrugged and was ready to leave when a saleslady came along. She told us that the curtains I was looking at were going on sale “tomorrow” (Sunday) for 50% off, but she could pre-sell them to us at the sales price. I asked her to double-check that the curtains I wanted were part of the sale. She said they were, and I told her I wanted them. She took me to another register, filled out a form with my name and address, accepted payment and…

And then.


She took the curtains, put them in a bag, and told me I could pick them up Sunday or after at the catalog desk. Which she had CONVENIENTLY not mentioned at any point prior. I thought I was going home with the goddamn things.

But what can you do? I wanted them, so I just nodded and thanked her and left.

We headed home, getting there just in time for dinner (pizza). Then we sat down and watched a movie.

That movie was called Whiteout, and I will tell you what, I am stunned and amazed that they were able to cram such a large amount of suckitude into a 90 minute movie. The only – ONLY! – thing worth watching was the first five minutes, when Kate Beckinsale got mostly naked and then into the shower. Aside from that, the movie was horrifically bad. It was like someone took a crappy screenwriting course, did a heavy-handed job of following the instructor’s hackneyed outline (“Movie shall contain at least three flash-backs to a traumatic event in the protagonist’s former life, explaining why she’s now where she is.”), and then got some serious blackmail material on a studio exec, ensuring that this horror would end up being released onto an unsuspecting world.

The only question is what the hell Kate Beckinsale and Tom Skerritt were doing sleepwalking through this piece of shit.

If you’re at the movie store and your significant other holds up Whiteout and says “Should we try this?” your only recourse is to cold cock him or her and run for your life. Trust me.

Sunday morning, we got up and headed for Tuscaloosa early (Fred stayed home because he’s a party pooper). Benjie went with us, and he’s such a good little traveler. He was in the back of the vehicle (the “way back”, if you will), and he had his bowl of water and his dog bed, and he made nary a peep over the two hour drive, just dozed and occasionally woke up and looked out the window. We went out for breakfast with my aunt and uncle, then went back to their house for a few hours and sat around and talked.

My aunt and uncle have a couple of Shi-Tzus (Tillie and Izzy), who were thrilled to see Benjie prance through the door.



Benjie and his wimmins.

Around 3:30, we hit the road back to Smallville.

Yesterday morning, we got up and went to breakfast (did I mention I love to eat breakfast out?), then went back to the house, and my mother and I headed for the mall again. I asked my father if he wanted to go with us, but he opted to stay home and “watch the cats.” HA.

At the mall, my mother went into the nail salon to have her nails done, while I headed to JC Penney to pick up my curtains. I half-expected that I’d been the victim of some sort of scam (like they’d try to charge me a second time, or claim to have no record of my purchase), but they handed the curtains right over to me. I browsed the purses, decided to buy one, stood in line, got annoyed at how fucking ASS-ACHINGLY SLOW the sales clerk was moving, put the purse back, and went down the mall to Hallmark. I bought some candles and some cards (everything, half price!), then went back to the nail salon to see how my mother was doing. She was almost done, but she’d made an appointment for a hair cut at the salon next door, so I put my packages in the car and went to check out the Yankee Candle store. I browsed the book store (given the prices at book stores these days vs. the price on Amazon for Kindle versions, I expect there to be a mass closing of book stores any minute now) for a few seconds, then wandered through the mall and ended up back by the hair salon, where my mother was almost done. We browsed through Dillard’s, and then headed for home.

I had to stop by Publix on the way home to pick up a few things, and when I went to check out, I took one of the reusable bags I keep in my purse and handed it to the bagger, who acted like he had never seen such a thing in his entire life. He put two items in the bag, and then started bagging the rest of my stuff in plastic bags. (Please note that if I had been doing the bagging, everything would have fit perfectly fine in that one bag.)

“I HAVE ANOTHER BAG IN MY PURSE,” I announced, and pulled one of them out. Again, he was bemused, like he’d never seen such a thing. And after thinking about it for a while, I am 99% sure that that exact same bagger has acted exactly that way in the past, and now that I have engraved his stupid face on my brain, I will bitch-slap him if he pulls that a third time BELIEVE YOU ME.

For dinner last night, steak, pineapple casserole, and salad. YOM.

Later this morning, they’re headed back to South Carolina, where they’ll be for the next six weeks or so. It sure was nice having them here. IF I weren’t having surgery next week, and IF it weren’t such a long drive, and IF tickets weren’t so expensive, I’d totally go visit them. Where they’re staying sounds really nice, and it’s on the ocean.

I wonder if I can convince Fred that we need to take a trip to Florida this Spring/ Summer?

On another note, guess who not only allowed my parents to pet her, but actually approached them and demanded it – and then spent the evening on the couch with my mother? Maxi! (AKA “Outside Mama.) Like Fred said, “This is the cat that the previous owners of the house didn’t take with them because they ‘couldn’t catch her.'” And then we all rolled our eyes at each other.

Also, Jake spent the first three days of my parents’ visit hiding from them and the dog. This morning, he decided not to only let my father pet him, he also decided it would be a good time to get up in Benjie’s face. Poor Benjie was hiding behind me, because Jake was approaching him, then growling and hissing until I shooed Jake away. What an ass.


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Last Wednesday, the shelter manager called and asked if I could take five 3 month-old kittens. I hesitated because my parents were coming, and so the guest bedroom was going to be occupied, but then I decided that I could either put Steely Dan and Fagen in my room, or the upstairs bathroom. But then I let Fagen out into Gen Pop (and yes, referring to it as Gen Pop always makes me laugh too!) for the day, and he did pretty well, so I decided to leave Fagen and Steely Dan out for the night, and see how it went.

It went just fine, except for 2:30 in the morning when I woke up to find them fighting on my feet. I sprayed a blast of compressed air at them, and they scattered and didn’t wake me up again.

Thursday, I went to pick up the new kittens. The story on these guys is that they were all five crammed into one carrier and left outside a local business. Obviously, I don’t know what their story was before they were abandoned, but the shelter manager reported that they were gorgeous and friendly, and told me I could pick them up at the vet (where they were being spayed and neutered) that evening.

When I got the five of them home, I let them out into the foster room, and they came slowly out of the carriers, and proceeded to growl and hiss at each other like they’d never seen each other before in their entire lives. They wanted nothing to do with me, they wanted nothing to do with each other, and they all scattered to various parts of the room to hide.

We wrote the hissing and growling off to the spaying and neutering (and also I’m sure the whole experience was freaking them out). They continued with the hissing and growling until Sunday. I was starting to wonder if they were going to hiss and growl at each other FOREVER, but it finally stopped.

When I first found out that we were getting four girls and a boy, I immediately decided to name them after Charlie’s Angels (totally stealing the idea from Elephants Upstairs), but when I got the name list, I found that all the names had been used in the past. We bounced some name ideas around, and half decided to name them after the characters from Glee.

(“Sue Sylvester”? Possibly the BEST cat name ever!)

Then I was sitting in the living room with my parents, reading a magazine, when a better naming scheme came to me. I immediately got up and checked the name list, and found that none of them had been used.

I named the gray and white kitten Ouiser because she was the hissingest and growlingest of the bunch (since Sunday, I have heard neither a hiss nor a growl from her, though), Drum was the only boy, and Truvy is the super-friendliest girl. M’Lynn and Clairee got their names by default, really.

For those of you who don’t know, the kittens are named after characters from the movie Steel Magnolias, and they’ll be collectively known as The Magnolias, of course. (I can’t speak for everyone else, but Shirley Maclaine as Ouiser (correctly pronounced “Weeza” in the South) is far and away my favorite character, and Olympia Dukakis as Clairee is close behind. Though honestly, I love all the characters in this movie. But I think Ouiser gets the best lines, my favorite being I’m pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I couldn’t help myself. Everyone loves a cranky old Southern woman.)

After their first few unfriendly days, the Magnolias have come around with a vengeance. Drum and Truvy are very friendly and will sit in your lap the instant you sit down. Drum’s a talker (I’m sure I’ll get LOTS of “I HAZ A COMPLAINT” pictures of him!) and Truvy will lay in your lap on her back and insist that you rub her belly while she squirms around happily. Something about her sweet, open expression reminds me of Orange (from the Cookies litter). Clairee and Ouiser will climb in your lap briefly to let you pet them before they go racing off. M’Lynn is the hard case – she’s a bit skittish and doesn’t want to be approached or picked up. At least she’s not hiding under the chair anymore, thankfully, and I suspect she’ll be climbing into my lap before the end of the week.

M’Lynn the skittish.

Ouiser. (I’m calling her gray and white, but honestly I don’t know what to call that color. It’s more gray than brown, but it’s almost a grayish-brown. Whatever color she is, she’s gorgeous!)

Clairee in the carrier. They like to hang out in the carrier. They also love to smack at each other through the carrier “windows.”

Drum. He’s a great big baby.


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“Stupid kittens. They hiss at me under the door! I just wanna be their friend!”

“I do not approve of kittens.”

Steely Dan and Fagen are out in the house all day every day, and it’s going just fine. Dan will let you approach him and pick him up, and he’ll lay in your arms like a big baby and purr. Fagen doesn’t like it if you walk toward him when he’s sitting on the floor, but if he’s a little higher (say, on the back of a couch or on my bed), he’ll let you approach him and pet him as much as you’d like.

Neither of them spent much time downstairs while my parents are here, but one night Dan came into the living room to sniff at Benjie, and he actually reached out and grabbed Benjie’s tail. So I think it’s safe to say that he’s not scared of dogs!


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Stinkerbelle, in the porthole window of the dining room. I have to guess that she gets into the window by coming off the mantel (to the left). I’ve never actually seen her move from the mantel to the window, but she’s spending a lot of time there lately. (That blue box on the wall to the right is our medicine cabinet.)


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2009: I was fairly certain one end of the piece of roofing was going to come right through the window and split my skull in half, but luckily I was incorrect about that.
2008: No entry.
2007: Spoiled rotten brats. The cats AND me.
2006: So, that’s the state of things with me.
2005: “Oh my god!” he said. “There’s a dead mole under here!”
2004: The man thinks that “hot” and “good-looking” are the same thing!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: We all know I’m lazy, but this is ridiculous.

2/1/10 – Monday

New month, new banner! This was created by the wonderful Christine, who’s done a bunch of my (awesome) banners lately. Thank you once again, Christine – you are awesome!   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue reading “2/1/10 – Monday”

New month, new banner!

This was created by the wonderful Christine, who’s done a bunch of my (awesome) banners lately. Thank you once again, Christine – you are awesome!


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In lieu of a real entry, you can ponder this question:

Who the heck are…





and Drum?

Where’d they come from? What are they doing here? And are they the reason Steely Dan and Fagen are out in Gen Pop instead of confined to one room?!

More about them tomorrow!


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In the evenings, the cats take turns coming into the living room and staring at Benjie, trying to figure out what, exactly, he IS. They don’t seem to have quite figured it out just yet.


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2009: No entry.
2008: Ripley kicks alien ass, I kick… flying insect ass!
2007: Stupid Mother Nature.
2006: No entry.
2005: What the hell is “California cuisine”?
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Just accept that I’m always right, why don’tcha.
2000: Like I’m going to just stand there all docile-like and let him kill me.