5/28/10 – Friday

Occasionally when wandering around the internet, I come across a recipe I’d like to try. And in the recipe, it has you cook chopped onions as the first step, but warns you not to let the onions get brown. Why is this, does anyone know? Does it affect the taste of the final product, or … Continue reading “5/28/10 – Friday”

Occasionally when wandering around the internet, I come across a recipe I’d like to try. And in the recipe, it has you cook chopped onions as the first step, but warns you not to let the onions get brown.

Why is this, does anyone know? Does it affect the taste of the final product, or is the recipe creator just being annoying? I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN HOVER OVER THE PAN TO MAKE SURE THE ONIONS DON’T BROWN.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I thought you would like this link Robyn–cats and Lost!

(WARNING: Lost spoilers!)

I LOVE it! “I’m gonna make sweet-ass love to the island.” HEE!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I LOVE how Gavin always looks so pissed off in all his photos. Do you just happen to catch him that way, or is he really a sourpuss, pun totally intended.

He’s a bit of a sourpuss. It seems that he likes to complain (scroll down to the kitten section to see a short movie of his complaints) and I can’t quite figure out how to make him happy.

Does he want a snuggle? He does not.

Does he want food? NO. If he WANTED food, he’d go GET some food. What, you think he’s STOOPID or something?

Does he want to play? He does not.

He just likes the sound of his own voice, is what I’m guessing.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Huh, I didn’t know that is what cat acne looks like. One of my cats, Bitty Kitty, has some of that dark-looking acne on her chin, but since it is so small, never bothered her, had not taken her to vet for it.

Do you have a home remedy for that? She does eat off of a plastic dish, so could that be the cause? How does the vet treat it?

The vet gave us Clavamox and told us to try wiping his chin with Stridex pads. The shelter manager told me that she uses Calendula Flower Oil extract in warm water – A few drops (around 6 or so) in about 1/4 cup warm water & scrub with a gauze sponge or wash cloth. Takes care of it quickly. I’m going to try the Calendula Flower Oil extract next time Miz Poo has a flare-up. Spanky’s acne is slowly going away, so I guess the Clavamox is doing its job.

I’d definitely switch from plastic to ceramic or stainless steel. Though someone told me in the last day or two that their vet recommends against even ceramic and suggests only stainless steel. If Spanky’s acne turns into an issue, I’ll switch over to stainless steel, but for now we’re going to stick with our colorful Fiesta bowls!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


What an adorable bunch! I think it’s so good for the kitties to be in a home with lots of other kittens and cats. Maura has been SO laid back about getting to know Beau – I’m sure it’s because she came from a multi-kitty household. Now the dogs, that’s coming a little more slowly. But we are making progress! Check it out:

You can see more pics of Maura and her siblings at Kathy’s Flickr page. I especially like this one. 🙂


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


LOST.UGH. So disappointing! Have you seen this video yet? Kind of sums up how I feel!

(WARNING: Lost spoilers in this section!)

I hate that there were so many unanswered questions about that goddamn island, but I loved seeing everyone find each other again in the alternate storyline. I can tear up just thinking about Jin and Sun. ACK.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Yay for Fred and his new job. I really want to see some of his wardrobe choices because I am a person who loves brighter colors too. His (or should I say yours as in a collaborative effort) paint choices have always been great in your house and around the property.

Fred gets all the credit for every single paint choice. I just don’t have the “eye” for knowing what’ll look good on the walls and what won’t, so when we were renovating the house I said “I want this room to be blue” and he’d carefully consider the choices and present me with one that invariably turned out to be pretty amazing.

His only two missteps (and this is just my opinion) were (1) the guest bedroom at the old house, which he painted a Pepto Bismol pink and (2) the original color of the upstairs bathroom. We went with what was supposed to be a neutral beige-y color that turned out to be the same color as Barbie Doll skin. I like it much better in purple.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Question -I thought that Fred had his own business and then lost a big client. I’m confooosed. But happy that he’s working. 🙂

He did, and they did, and now he works elsewhere. 🙂


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Every time you get new kittens, I think THESE are the cutest kittens ever and no other kittens will ever be as cute. Then you get MORE and they are EVEN CUTER. How do you stand it? 🙂

I know, right? I think “Okay, we have reached the peak of kitten cuteness. There’s no way on earth that there can ever be kittens CUTER than this. I’ll be lucky if they’re like 2/3rds as cute. But I’ll love them anyway!”, and then the next batch comes along and they’re so cute it makes me just about pass out. It defies logic, but they just keep getting cuter!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Robyn, this totally relates to yesterday’s post, but I saw it on FB today and thought you’d appreciate a chicken language scholar! Chicken Talk.

How neat is that! I always wondered why hens cackle after they lay an egg. I love the descriptions of the noises chickens make and what each noise means.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


“I have been taking my dog hiking alot lately. I have put Frontline on her, but most people don’t realize that it doesn’t keep ticks from getting on your animal, or even from biting, it will only kill if they do bite.
Anyway, I hadn’t even considered her getting ticks because we had just started this new activity. One night we were laying in bed (yes, she sleeps with us) when I look over and see a tick in the bed! I jumped up, screamed hysterically, and then had a nervous breakdown because I found THREE MORE TICKS in the bed! Now we check for ticks after every walk.”

Hi – just a comment for the poster who left this…I live in NC and hike with my dogs often – OMG the ticks! I hate them so much and wish I could say I haven’t been bitten by ticks numerous times (can we get Frontline for people?!) but I have found that using a Preven-tic collar in conjunction (or alone but then there’s less flea protection) with Frontline really keeps them off. Ticks won’t even get on the dogs when they wear the collar & it lasts about 3 months. It is a little more scary pesticide-wise but still proven safe for mammals. You can get it through a vet or one of the websites that sells Frontline, Heartguard, etc. Also, they only cost about 16 bucks a piece!

I just wanted to make sure the original poster saw this!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I have an old man cat, Jake, who used to be portly and is now getting scrawny in his old age. I’ve been trying to keep his weight up by supplementing with wet food (like 1/2 can of Fancy Feast in the morning), but he still does like the dry and doesn’t devour the wet food. (In the meantime, my tuxedo boy, Barney, is turning into a butterball. A demanding, cute, butterball!) I think I remember you talking about feeding baby food to the cats and kittens. Did they seem to like it more than Fancy Feast? Is there a favorite flavor they seemed to like more than others? And what does a jar of baby food cost, anyway?

They do like the baby food quite a bit – I have yet to come across a cat who doesn’t adore baby food – and Gerber 2nd Foods Chicken and Gravy is what I always buy (at the suggestion of someone who does feral cat rescue). It’s like crack to them.

It’s kind of expensive, though – about $1 a jar, and those jars are SMALL. When I occasionally stumble across them on sale for 90 cents or less, I buy every jar on the shelf.

The only suggestion I can think of is to maybe try giving him Fancy Feast Kitten – it’s got more fat in it (to help kittens grow) and he might like it. Our fosters really like the Fancy Feast Kitten Turkey Feast. Also, I don’t know if it’s feasible for you, but maybe put him in a room by himself while you’re giving him the canned food so Barney doesn’t get too much of it.

Also, when Spot was aging and had lost weight, the vet gave us a tube of Nutri-Cal to give him a few times a day. He didn’t love the stuff, but he didn’t hate it, either, and I think it might have helped some.

Readers, do you have other suggestions on how to help an aging cat put some much-needed weight on?


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


So, is Fred going to blog soon about his new job? I’m dying to find out how its going.

I doubt Fred will ever so much as mention his new job on his blog; he never talked about the old job either, if you’ll recall. 🙂

Things are going just fine so far!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I am curious as to how you juggle the dietary needs of your cat clan. We have finally gotten the two new cats settled in a bit. The boy is always hungry (= pot belly!) and the girl is quickly learning that she better act quick to get the good stuff.

But we have the geriatric 21 year old cat that usually has Science Diet Senior always available with a morning and afternoon dose of wet food to make him happy and try to keep his weight up.

The new cats LOVE old cat’s snack time so I have taken to giving them just a teeny tiny bit so that they will leave old guy alone. Then they race upstairs for a quick bite of kitten food. But they don’t finish the kitten food, they would rather eat the senior cat food and the senior would rather eat the kitten food (he has urinary and hairball issues – not sure that is a good choice for him).

So how do you keep everyone straight at your house and HOW do you manage to live within your home with so many cats afoot? With 3 and a dog we are experiencing quite a bit of chaos. Doesn’t help that we went from two old, lazy cats to one old lazy cat and two obnoxious youngins (though so far they don’t wake us at night – just can’t seem to get a moment of peace during waking hours when we are home).

Could you maybe lock old cat in another room to give him his snack? For a while Spanky was on a special canned food at snack time (I’d give you the details, but for the life of me I don’t remember what the food was or why he was on it. Good thing I’m in charge of my cats’ health, ain’t it?) and we’d put him in the small bathroom with his plate of food at snack time. Nowadays he eats the same snack as everyone else, so it’s this mad rush to give everyone their plate of snack at the same time, and then make sure no one is bullying anyone else to get to their snack.

Snack time at our house looks like this: I call the Bookworms into the guest bedroom, close the door, and give them their kitten food. Then I go into the kitchen and divvy canned food onto 8 plates for the adults (Sugarbutt and Tommy share a plate). Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Joe Bob eat their snack on the counter, Jake, Elwood, and Kara eat their snack on the kitchen floor, Spanky has his snack in the dining room, Maxi and Newt have their snack on the side stoop (in inclement weather, they have their snack in the computer room), and Stinkerbelle has her snack wherever Fred puts her plate. She’s extremely skittish and if you look at her sideways while you’re carefully putting her plate of snack down and pushing it gently toward her, she’s apt to run off and sulk. Which is fine with me, because if she doesn’t come get her snack, do I look like I care? She’s certainly not STARVING, but Fred practically bursts into tears at the idea that his poor beloved Stinky might not get her snack. I have put that damn cat’s snack plate on top of the bookcase where she spends 75% of her time, so she can just sit there and daintily eat her snack like she’s ROYALTY.


So I’d recommend putting the old cat in another room so he can get his old-people snack without the kittens all getting up in his face.

As far as how we live in our house with so many cats afoot, let me tell you – when I fall and break a hip, it will be because I tripped over a goddamn cat. I have to walk through the house like I’m wading through water so I don’t kick a cat, trip over a cat, step on a cat, or in any way harm or bother a cat. You’ll get used to it. 🙂


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


A shout out to your readers and yourself to vote for S.A.I.N.T.S. and hopefully helping them garner some much needed money for their end of life animal rescue. Such a wonderful woman and volunteers giving last hope/chance/ days animals their loving due.

Hit the purple button and vote for them as often as you can! They are under the name S.A.I.N.T.S in Mission BC Canada.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Gavin’s a wee complainer, and I remembered to bring the camera into the kitten room with me and get his complaints on tape (Garrity jumped in there to share HIS complaints, too, since I was documenting complaints). Gavin’s husky little howl just cracks me up.

Please ignore the fact that that door behind the kittens desperately needs to be stripped and repainted. I’ll get to it some day. Maybe. If that room is ever empty, which I hope it never is!

Franco and Garrity, hanging out on the cat tree.

It appears there’s something interesting going on over THERE. I couldn’t convince him to look at me.

“Who, me? What?”

Sheila, mid head-shake.

Gigglin’ Garrity.

Sheila likes to let the boys know just who the boss is ’round these parts.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Here’s a purring kitten video for you – Rhyme spends the majority of his life purring so loudly you can hear him from three rooms away. So, for that matter, does Reacher.

(These videos would be so much better if I just kept my mouth shut, I swear.)

Corbett, snoozing.

Bolitar and Reacher. I love it when they stretch out on their backs and sleep like that.


Yesterday, I couldn’t find Corbett anywhere. Since we’ve been having an issue with him going outside, I worried that he’d gotten into the back yard, climbed the fence, and was headed toward the very busy road. I didn’t see him anywhere outside, and I called and called for him. As it turned out, he’d climbed behind my monitor, stretched out, and gone to sleep.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *



* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: I traumatized Fred by telling him I was going to have it professionally framed.
2008: Now that I have only the one drain, which will be tucked under my clothes, I don’t have to worry about the kittens puncturing anything and blood spurting all over the place.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Today I’m still burning with curiosity, and I wish I’d asked anyway.
2002: So yes, the vacation rocked.
2001: If vacation pictures aren’t your thing, I’ll see ya tomorrow.
2000: I’m so so SO glad to be home.

5/27/10 – Thursday

Yesterday was my errand-running day, and BOY did I get some errands run. I left the house right after Fred left for work and took all our recyclables to the recycling center. Then I swung by Walmart to see if they had any more Fancy Feast canned kitten food. The Tender Turkey Feast flavor is … Continue reading “5/27/10 – Thursday”

Yesterday was my errand-running day, and BOY did I get some errands run.

I left the house right after Fred left for work and took all our recyclables to the recycling center.

Then I swung by Walmart to see if they had any more Fancy Feast canned kitten food. The Tender Turkey Feast flavor is a hit with every foster kitten I’ve ever had, so when they’re on sale I like to stock up. Right now they’re on sale for 30 cents a can, which is a GREAT sale price, so on Sunday I bought every can they had in stock, and yesterday I went back to see if they had any more. They had another box of 24 cans, so I snatched them up.

From there, I went to Publix. The sales switch over on Wednesday, and in the past I’ve gone through the flyer, chosen what I wanted to buy on sale, and eventually moseyed over to Publix to get what I wanted. The problem with doing it that way is that someone always gets there before me and wipes out the inventory of whatever it is I’m looking to buy (hey, kinda like me with the Fancy Feast Kitten! You gotta get up pretty early to beat me to the Fancy Feast, SUCKAS), so I figured that if I got there the day the sales started, I might have a better chance of getting the stuff on my list.

And I was successful. I guess that’ll be my new M.O. from here on out. Not that there was much I wanted to buy, but I got what I wanted, which made me happy.

I went home to drop everything off and ate breakfast while I was there. Then I put a bowl of cat food and water in the guest bedroom and lured the Bookworms (and Jake, who just can’t mind his own damn business when (1) food and (2) kittens are involved) and shut the door.

A few weeks ago, Reacher figured out the cat door, and we found him in the back yard a couple of times. We made a big deal about what a BAD BOY he was and would spray the compressed air at him any time we saw him sniffing around the back door, and we were successful in deterring him from going outside again. And now, suddenly, THIS week Corbett is all about the back door. So we’re doing the same thing with him, but he seems to be a little harder to break. I knew I was going to be gone for at least a couple of hours yesterday, and I didn’t want him to get outside, climb the fence, and be gone forever. Which is why I locked them in the guest bedroom before I left. (Yeah, I could have just shut the back door, but why punish our cats?)

I left the house and drove to Madison to visit Old Time Pottery. I needed more Snackin’! Time! plates and that’s the best place to get most any kind of plates or glasses for a pretty low price. I wandered around in there for about half an hour and ultimately ended up with what I wanted.

I’d like to think this is a play on words (“So stainless it’s a steal!”), but I kinda doubt it.

From there, I headed to Huntsville to go to that Walmart and see if they had any of the Fancy Feast kitten food. They did, and I ended up with another 38 cans of the stuff.

I went over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to see if I could find a plate hanger. I have some small mirrors that I used to have hanging on the wall in the foster room, but the kittens kept pulling them down. I wanted to find something that would hold them to the wall more firmly, and a plate hanger is what I thought I’d try. I had no luck finding any damn plate hangers at BB&B, so I was just going to give up. Then I realized that Michael’s was RIGHT there, and went in to check it out. I was successful, but of course now I don’t know where the holy hell I put the mirrors.

I’m sure they’re around here somewhere.

I went over to Target to buy a few things and while I was there, I looked at the tote bags. Fred takes his lunch to work in a reusable Publix bag, and he’s been complaining about it. I thought that his issue was that the bag is bright green and has the Publix logo on it, but as it turns out, his complaint was only that the bag is old and battered and he needs a new one. At the time I didn’t know that, though, so I was looking for a plain, unobtrusive tote bag that he could use.

I seriously considered buying one of these, just to be funny.

In the end, I found nothing that I thought he’d use, so I bought a few other things (I’m not being coy, I really don’t remember what the hell I bought at Target.) and then headed to Petsmart. I looked at the kittens in their cages, looked around at the sales, and ended up buying some bird seed.

By the time I got home, it was 1:00. I walked by the guest bedroom door and expected to hear the kittens (and Jake) howling to be let out, but didn’t hear a thing. I opened the door, and they were all laying on the bed, sound asleep. As soon as they saw me, though, they flooded off the bed and came over to howl at my feet about how I must have accidentally locked them in the guest bedroom and I’d BETTER not let that happen again.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


“She’s petting me, but what she doesn’t know is that I dipped the very end of my tail in poo, and I’m flicking it back and forth against her leg. Won’t she be happy when she finds little splatters of poo on her leg later? She’ll NEVER figure it out.”

::Evil laugh::


“Is it time to eat?”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


“I understand a wee tiny kitten PWNED you. You got kitten poo on your leg and walked around for an hour without knowing it!”

::Mocking laugh::


“What just happened here?”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Sugarbutt, watching the squirrel in the seed cage. That squirrel drives him NUTS.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: So we moved George back out to the big coop, and George’s baby could not possibly care less, he’s staying up late and making prank phone calls and eyeballing the girl baby chickens, and I think he’s going to be nothing but trouble.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I have renewed faith in my fellow man.
2004: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: The man is full of compliments, ain’t he?

5/26/10 – Wednesday (kittehs!)

Happy birthday, Fred! New job = best birthday present ever, am I right?!   * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *   I’m pretty sure if he could figure out how to flap those things, he could totally take flight.   * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= … Continue reading “5/26/10 – Wednesday (kittehs!)”

Happy birthday, Fred!

New job = best birthday present ever, am I right?!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I’m pretty sure if he could figure out how to flap those things, he could totally take flight.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


“Zip it. ZIP it. ZIP. IT.”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Happy Sugs, looking guilty.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: He’s such a liar.
2005: But by the time I was about three words in to the text message to the spud, I was using “u” and “2″ and “gd” with abandon, and it STILL took me 4-fckng-eva 2 get th gd msg typd n & snt.
2004: I started to answer her, when I realized to my horror that Fred was leaning forward, CUPPING HIS HAND TO HIS EAR to illustrate that he hadn’t heard what she said.
2003: “I breathe oxygen!”
“Me too!”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Our first trip to G’burg.

5/25/10 – Tuesday

Happy happy birthday, Nance!!!   * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *   LOST finale spoilers in this section. Skip to the next if you haven’t seen it yet! In an email this morning, I said: I cried and cried and then at the end I was … Continue reading “5/25/10 – Tuesday”

Happy happy birthday, Nance!!!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


LOST finale spoilers in this section. Skip to the next if you haven’t seen it yet!

In an email this morning, I said:

I cried and cried and then at the end I was like:




“Wait, what?”

Jin and Sun, especially, got me. So did Claire and Charlie. And Kate and Jack (though I was never a big Kate and Jack fan).

Then this morning I woke up with the burning desire to know just how the holy hell Lapidus explained to the tower at LAX (I assume that’s where they were heading) that “Hi, yeah, remember the survivors of Flight 815? Well, we were going to Guam, and the DARNEDEST thing happened. I mean, what are the chances, right? Now they’re the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 AND Ajira Flight 316. Oh, and by the way, we have an extra or two.” And the PRESS. Now they need to have a follow-up series, LOST: Life After the Island.

This site did a pretty good job of explaining to me just what the hell happened.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Fred had his first day yesterday, and it went pretty well. It was strange to have him gone all day, and at one point I actually called for him to come help me with something, and it was a long few moments before I remembered that he wasn’t here.

For those who asked, I’m not really looking for a job any more. I mean, if I run across a great job, I might send out my resume just to see, but I don’t really have a screaming desire to work and Fred’s okay with me not working, so I don’t intend to keep vigorously working.

Plus, he’s going to be doing some work-related traveling soon, so SOMEONE has to be around to take care of the farm, am I right?

A couple of people asked what Fred’s commute is like. It takes him about 20 minutes to get to and from work. Considering that it took him half an hour to get to and from work before, he’s pretty happy with 20 minutes.

Also, NO I didn’t get any pictures of him in his pretty new work clothes. He wouldn’t let me!

Now if you’ll pardon me, I have a row of tomatoes to weed and a bookcase to sand and stain.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


For those who asked, I wasn’t able to get a shot of Spanky’s acne area because he’s a skittish and wily one, and if you come toward him with a camera or a syringe of medicine or even nothing at all, his Spanky sensors send out a Warning! Warning! Attack is imminent! signal, and he’s gone like a cloud of smoke.

His acne isn’t quite as bad, but this is what it looks like.

We don’t have plastic dishes for the cats, they eat off of ceramic only and have for years – Miz Poo had acne a few years ago, and we switched to ceramic at that time. Had we known that it was acne that Spanky was suffering from, we likely wouldn’t have even taken him to the vet, just dealt with it here at home. We had no idea what was going on with his chin, and Fred suggested that it could be ringworm or a TUMOR, so off to the vet we went.

Next time (I’d like to think there’ll be no “next time”, but I think we all know there WILL) we’ll know what it is and won’t have to traumatize him by a visit to the vet.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Reacher and Bolitar: Brudderly Love.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I’m sorry if I worried any of you yesterday – upon a reread, I can see where you might think I was leading up to telling y’all that Sheila didn’t make it. Not only did she make it, she is THRIVING. She’s packing on the ounces, and when she gets going, her brothers don’t know which way is up.

I love that these four kittens came from three different places, but they almost immediately bonded and seem to think they’ve always been siblings. Franco and Garrity, especially, love to play together.

Sweet Sheila.



Is that a smug look, or what?


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Smilin’ Joe.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: “Go get the ladder, Joe. GO GET THE LADDER. I’m a portly cat. A jump from here would kill me!”
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Goofy cats.
2005: Grackles are kind of evil-looking and have great big beaks and I’m sure their bite is far, far worse than their bark.
2004: I sure am MIGHTY FUCKING TIRED of going to the FUCKING doctor’s office all the damn time.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

5/24/10 – Monday

Guess who has himself a shiny new job and is heading off for his first day of work as I type? That’s right, folks, after 7 weeks of unemployment, 99 resumes sent out, occasional calls from recruiters, head hunters, and various and sundry other people, Fred got himself three interviews, was deemed overqualified for the … Continue reading “5/24/10 – Monday”

Guess who has himself a shiny new job and is heading off for his first day of work as I type?

That’s right, folks, after 7 weeks of unemployment, 99 resumes sent out, occasional calls from recruiters, head hunters, and various and sundry other people, Fred got himself three interviews, was deemed overqualified for the first position he interviewed for, and was offered the other two. He’ll be working for a large company with room to advance, so here’s hoping he LIKES the job! He really, really likes the people at his new company, so that’s half the battle.

I have to say that in retrospect this 7 weeks went by a lot faster than I would have expected. We didn’t get nearly as much accomplished as we’d hoped to, but that’s the nature of time off, isn’t it? Hey, at least we got the pantry inside the damn house!

On Saturday we went to Kohl’s to buy Fred some new work duds. In his old job, he wore shorts to work every day (nice pleated dress shorts, but shorts nonetheless). The dress code at the new job is “business casual” which I am told consists of something in the khakis and button-down range. We got to Kohl’s right after it opened, and Fred went off toward the men’s section while I went to look at jeans and underwear. When I went looking for him about half an hour later, he had a pile of khakis and button-down shirts.

Oy. One thing y’all do not know about Fred And3rson is that when it comes toward clothing, he gravitates toward the bright, flamboyant colors. If left to his own devices, he’d have gone off to work on his first day dressed like so:

I convinced him to go for the more muted colors until he’s been at his job for a while.

After he’d chosen his clothes, we had to go over to the shoe section.

“You HAVE shoes!” I grumbled helpfully. And, “No one CARES if a MAN wears the same shoes every day! Are you afraid that the other geeks will say ‘Oh, he was wearing THOSE shoes yesterday!’?” And, “NO ONE CARES what you wear on your feet! Just get something comfortable!”

He found shoes he liked, grabbed some socks, and we were on our way.

Sunday, he started agitating to go up into Tennessee to the flea market. I couldn’t figure out why he wanted to go instead of waiting for Memorial Day weekend, which is when it’s really a big event, tons of people there selling stuff, and worth going. As it turned out, he decided that he needed a new wallet, because the wallet he had was falling apart.

I bought him a wallet at a leather outlet store in Boaz fourteen years ago, and he’s been using it ever since. I’ve been telling him for at least the past five years that he needed a new wallet, but he’s been resisting spending the money. It turns out that the idea of pulling out his old hoopty wallet in front of the other boys did not appeal to him.

Instead of going up into Tennessee, we went up to Walmart. He headed off for the wallet section, and I went over to the pet section. Fancy Feast canned cat food is on sale for 30 cents a can right now, which is a pretty great price, so I stocked up. Once I had what I needed, I went looking for him. They’re rearranging the whole friggin’ store, so he’d had to wander around to find the wallets, and then went looking for me.

I swear to god, whenever we go shopping together, I spend 95% of the time I’m in the store looking for him.

So he’s all set, he’s headed off to work in his pretty new clothes and fancy new wallet, and I have the house all to myself again.

I believe I’m going to celebrate by landing my ass on the couch and watching the final episode of Lost.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I saw this advertisement on Facebook yesterday:

I don’t know who the hell that man is, but he is NOT Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher looks NOTHING like that, am I right?

(You’re saying, “Robyn, you stupidhead, that is clearly the man who READS the Jack Reacher books!” Well, this is what Dick Hill looks like, and I don’t think it’s the same guy, so shaddup.)


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


So last Monday I brought the Rescuees home, and they were all perfectly fine, healthy, running around like their tails were on fire. Especially Sheila, who won me over with her wild ways at the vet. I weighed them all Monday night to see where they were.

As the week wore on, Sheila got quieter and quieter and stopped eating, and it got to the point where every time I walked into the room, I was carrying something to try to tempt her to eat. She seemed to rally Thursday – I got her to eat – but when I walked into the room a little later there was a large puddle of vomit. By Friday, she’d lost 4 ounces from a beginning weight of 1 pound, 6 ounces. She was seeming to rally again, she ate Friday morning, but then vomited again. She’d go over and sniff the bowl of food, but then walk away and sit there, hunched over, looking miserable. She clearly wanted to eat, but was nauseated by the smell of the food. We had an appointment for Spanky Friday afternoon, so I called the vet’s office to make sure it was okay to bring her with us. It was, so we did.

The vet looked her over, they did a fecal, and the vet offered up a couple of suggestions as far as what could be going on with her. She gave us a few things to give Sheila, and we were on our way home.

(Spanky, by the way, at the age of almost 14, has ACNE on his chin. He’s never had that issue before, but in his senior years he’s all acne’d up like a, well, a 14 year old boy, now that I think about it. He’ll be fine.)

So poor Sheila, all weekend long every time we went into the kitten room, we were putting medicine or PediaSorb into her mouth, and she was getting pretty tired of it, thank you. But she seemed to be doing better on Saturday, and last night she was back up to 1 pound, 4 1/2 ounces. The best thing, what really made us feel better, is that she was playing. She hadn’t really done any serious playing since Tuesday night, but yesterday she was chasing the boys around and showing them who the boss is.

(Hint: SHE is the boss.)

So she’s doing well – they all are – eating well, and now every time I walk into the room, they all howl at me because they got accustomed to my constantly bringing tasty food to tempt Sheila to eat.

Garrity, on the cat tree, where he’s safe from Sheila. Check out his gorgeous eyes – here’s a closeup:

How neat is it that the gold is spreading outward from his pupils like that? SO neat!

Gavin kicks some toy mouse butt. He’s got the really cool eyes, too:

Sheila, kicking some Garrity tail.

“I was just playin’ dead so she’d go away. When she’s not looking, I’m totally going to jump on her and bite her neck!”



* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


The Bookworms are also doing well. They’re now in the house 24 hours a day instead of being locked up in the guest bedroom at night. I had planned to start letting them stay out all the time a few weeks ago, but ended up deciding to keep putting them in the guest bedroom as long as they didn’t fight it too hard. Friday, they fought it, and I decided we’d just leave them out and see how it went.

It’s going okay. At various times through the night, I wake up and have all the kittens in bed with me. There’s been the occasional Bookworm-Elwood/ Jake spat, and they LOVE to race through the house like a herd of elephants the instant all the lights are off, but I’ve been sleeping okay, so I’m not going to complain. Rhyme and Bolitar take turns sleeping curled up right next to me. They both purr constantly, and waking up to a sweet purring kitten curled up next to you is always a good thing.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Kara in her favorite sleeping place.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: No entry.
2008: One of the many things I don’t get: sour cream.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2004: ”It’s HOT in the SOUTH in the SUMMER?! You don’t say!”
2003: No entry.
2002: I hope you’re planning on marking the occasion with style and panache, people.
2001: And so on until it’s lunchtime and I’m so excited at the thought of Lime Jello for dessert (it being Tuesday and all) that I hang up on her and go hobbling out to the lunchroom with all the other old people.
2000: Fuuuuuuuuuuuck.

5/21/10 – Friday

Reader Heather told me that in California, the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society had a fire yesterday: In the early morning of May 20, a major fire destroyed a large section of our shelter. We lost our entire cat sheltering area as well as laundry facilities and offices. We are currently without water, electricity and phone … Continue reading “5/21/10 – Friday”

Reader Heather told me that in California, the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society had a fire yesterday:

In the early morning of May 20, a major fire destroyed a large section of our shelter. We lost our entire cat sheltering area as well as laundry facilities and offices. We are currently without water, electricity and phone service.

We lost 15 of our beautiful cats that were ready for adoption but all the dogs survived and are being cared for in our kennels and at a veterinary emergency service.

They desperately need donations, foster homes, and volunteers to help with the cleanup. If you’re in the area, you can contact them via email or phone – the information is on their web site.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Wow – that Oca looks really cool! Which kind did you guys get? I wish I actually had more than just container gardens when I come across neat stuff like this!

We got our Oca tubers from Seeds of Change, here. It does say, on that page, that Oca also shows promise as a container plant for indoor cultivation. I’m hoping we end up with a decent harvest and that Oca is as good as it sounds!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Someone may have asked this before….before you had many more chickens probably. But can you really tell them apart? Or are you able to tell just a couple of them apart? You mentioned the buffs being from the original eggs from 3 years ago so that’s why I wondered.

I would hope that if I had 20 black cats I’d be able to tell the difference between them – but I’m not sure I could do it.

Myself, I’m only able to tell a few of them apart. It’s Fred who told me that the Buff Orpingtons were from our original batch of 12. Buffs are good mothers, good layers, and pretty gentle, so we opted not to process any of them. When we have a large number of a certain kind of chicken (like the group of Light Brahmas we have), I can’t tell any of them apart.

When Maura was here and we had three black cats, it wrecked my nerves. I was forever letting Maxi out the side door and then worrying that I’d let Maura out, so I’d have to go find Maura to make sure I hadn’t. I can’t imagine having 20 black cats!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


From Maura’s mom, Kathy in Birmingham:

So to update everybody on Maura, since I suck at updating my own sites, Maura is doing AWESOME! She and Beau are good buddies. He’s so different with a little friend to play with. They are both getting excellent exercise, chasing each other up and down the stairs (between 2-6am only, of course!). Her litterbox issues seem resolved, her appetite is good, and she seems to be having lots of fun. The guest room which was her “acclimation chamber” is still her favorite hang-out spot, but she comes downstairs with Beau to greet us when we come in the front door, too cute! She seems to be a perfect fit. I’m sure it helps that she came from a busy house fulla kittens & cats! I’ll post a link with pics here once I get some more. Thanks again!

I told Kathy that I am tickled pink to hear that it’s working out so well with Maura. Not that I had any real doubts, but you never know ’til you know. You know?


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


How does Fred feel about the sales of his kindle book, “No Limit” on Amazon.com? I left a review on his book and he is getting some other very good reviews and comments. I want to encourage everyone to check it out. Thanks for telling us about the free PC Kindle software to download for us without a Kindle. I didn’t realize that there are many free books on Amazon to download, too.

He’s happy that people are getting to read it now – and very much appreciates the reviews on Amazon. Thanks, reviewers!

I love that there are so many free Kindle downloads on Amazon, isn’t that awesome? If I didn’t have my Kindle, I might be tempted to download the PC Kindle software onto my laptop and use that as a reader.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Survivor spoilers; skip this section if you haven’t seen the season finale yet. (What are you waiting for?!)

No one else has commented about Survivor yet. Russell is a douche bag! The previous season he pouted like a child because he did not win the game. We half expected it this time too but he was a little more grown up about it. He got the Sprint $100,000 award both times. I personally think it is absolutely delicious that he took Sandra to the end thinking it would give him a huge advantage and she wound up winning! He even told her several times through the season that she “won’t get a vote”. Well -he- didn’t get a vote! ha ha.

Russell is, indeed, a douche bag. I think that he did play an excellent game, but he fails to understand that it’s impossible to win the game if you don’t at least make an attempt at playing the social aspect of it. If the jury hates you, for the most part they’re NOT going to vote for you.

I think Parvati played the game better than Sandra did, but I like Sandra a lot and think it’s telling that she posed no physical threat to the other players, and still won the game twice. Which points up that if you’re not willing to play a social game, you’re screwing yourself.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


My question is where does one get a “ham-mick”? Since its so popular with your kitties I would love to give it a try with ours!

Get yer Ham-micks here! We have two of them, and they are super-popular (check out Sugarbutt at the end of the entry, enjoying the computer room Ham-mick).


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Strawberry Lemon Marmalade!!! Recipe please!!!!

As a side note, when I mentioned making strawberry lemon marmalade earlier this week, I said it wasn’t very lemony. I was wrong – it’s definitely lemony and it is SO good. Also, rather than crushing the strawberries, I throw them in the blender and, well, blend. I love strawberries, but don’t care for big chunks of them in my jam-type foods.

I got this on Facebook, from Cait.

From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserves.

Makes seven 8-oz jars

1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
4 cups crushed strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 package 1.75oz regular powdered pectin (I use yellow Sure-Jell)
6 cups granulated sugar

1. Prepare canner, jars & lids
2. In a small non-reactive saucepan, boil lemon peel in just enough water to cover it until softened, about 5 mins. Drain and discard liquid.
3. Add strawberries, peel and lemon juice to a large non-reactive saucepan and mix well. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, still stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam.
4. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, 1/4″ headspace, wipe rims, tighten lids down with bands.
5. Place jars in canner, covered 1″ with boiling water, process for 10 minutes, turn off heat and take off canner lid and let sit in water for 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Did I miss the part where you explained why Fred couldn’t take the tick off of his own arm? I don’t think he’s an amputee (that I know of; boy, am I gonna feel dumb if he is), and if he was pointing it out to you, he could obviously see it, so…???

He claims that he tried, but couldn’t do it, and didn’t know that I was in the middle of my peeing-and-progesteroning routine. LIKELY STORY.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


What’s up with the mirror site? Is that so someone can read your journal while at work?

Yep – some people have been unable to get to my site because of the domain name, so I thought I’d provide an alternative. It’s literally the exact same entry you see on Bitchypoo, just cut and pasted and published.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I have been taking my dog hiking alot lately. I have put Frontline on her, but most people don’t realize that it doesn’t keep ticks from getting on your animal, or even from biting, it will only kill if they do bite.
Anyway, I hadn’t even considered her getting ticks because we had just started this new activity. One night we were laying in bed (yes, she sleeps with us) when I look over and see a tick in the bed! I jumped up, screamed hysterically, and then had a nervous breakdown because I found THREE MORE TICKS in the bed! Now we check for ticks after every walk.
Funny story: I was telling a friend about it and she said her husband got one on his “taint.” (If you don’t know what that is, it “taint” the pee-er and it “taint” the pooper, it’s the space in between!) Tell Fred he better be checking! haha!

UGH ticks. I loathe those things!!!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Question for Friday-have any of the older cats gone looking and gotten upset when the fosters leave?

Not that I can tell, actually. They seem to realize that there’s something different, but don’t seem to know exactly what it is. I was afraid that Jake would be upset when the Wonkas and the Cookies went off to be adopted, but he really took it in stride. I think that if we only had two or three cats, they’d be more apt to notice the absence of kittens, but as it is they don’t seem to be terribly bothered.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I am a skimmer when it comes to links (I seldom click on links after an unfortunate goatse related incident some years back), so forgive me if this is old news to you, but have you seen the Kittens in AutoTune video?

The guy is annoyingly douchey but I’ll forgive him.

I had not seen that – and that is HILARIOUS!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


We have one tortie and one orange cat… the orange cat clears the house each time he takes a poop. Also, he snores like a chainsaw. It’s a good thing he’s cute.

Sugarbutt snores like a chainsaw, too. It’s pretty funny when Fred and I are laying in bed at night talking, and Sugarbutt’s snoring up a storm over in his cat bed in the recliner.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


So tell me, did you like the Petpride cat litter, or did I steer ya wrong?

The Petpride litter isn’t bad, actually. I think it works better than Arm & Hammer, and not as good as Fresh Step. I knew going into it that it doesn’t clump as quickly as Fresh Step and didn’t think that would be an issue for me, but apparently it is. I’m thinking about mixing the Petpride and the Fresh Step together to get a decent litter hybrid that won’t break the bank.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I keep meaning to leave you this tip (totally off subject, sorry!) about comparison shopping in the grocery store. The trick is to look at the price per unit for similar items and then make a decision. Obviously, this is only helpful if the items are being measured using the same unit (price per pound, for example). I don’t always buy the cheapest price per unit item, but it’s a good (& quick) place to start.

Most of the good grocery stores do that, but do you suppose I EVER think to look at that information? Of course NOT. I need to start doing it, damnit!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I’m owned by 2 orange tabbies and oh Lawd! The Stank! I’m always amazed that such cute, cuddly fluffy beings can make the most heinous smells! And the breath! Stunning.

We can always tell when one of them takes a dump because we hear them digging for China (usually happens 15 mins. after we go to bed at night) and then they start up with a very mournful dirge. We think they’re grieving for the poo. Seriously nasty shit, but I love my boychiks.

The mournful dirge is cracking me UP. HEE.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Since you mentioned George and Gracie, I’ve been wondering whether you’ve lost anymore chickens?

They look like the sweetest dogs!

Nope – since we got George and Gracie, we haven’t lost a single chicken. And they ARE the sweetest dogs. Now if I could just get George to stop touching his cold, wet nose to the back of my bare leg when I go out to visit them, the whole “dog” experience would be perfect!

“I can’t help it, it makes her jump and scream and that makes me laugh and laugh.”

Also, look who’s on the front page of PetsAdviser.com for today and through the weekend! (It’s this picture, in case you’re reading this at a later date.)


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Remember how I said the other day that Franco’s a talker? Apparently Franco passed on the talking torch to Gavin. I was awakened this morning by a VERY loud Gavin, who was howling sadly at the door to the foster room. Judging by the way Gavin was sticking his paws under the door last night, I’m guessing that he’d REALLY like out of the room. He’s going to have to wait, though. There’s another 10 days in solitary confinement for the Rescuees before we let them out into the house. I’m pretty sure that mayhem will ensue, once there are EIGHT kittens racing around the house, hissing and growling and smacking at each other.

I can’t wait!

“I couldn’t help it! I just wanted a snuggle and some canned food! I AM NOT a big baby! Okay, maybe I am. But I had to register my complaint, didn’t I?!”

I cannot seem to get a picture of Sheila that conveys exactly how adorable she is. I’ll keep trying, of course.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *



Rhyme in the front and Corbett in the back.

Yes, Bolitar, that is an EXCELLENT idea. Let’s see if we can break that feed tray right off the printer, shall we?

“Hey! He’s fallin’! Someone HALP!”

“That’s okay, bro, see? I saved you! Well, I yelled for someone to save you. Same diff!”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Suggie on the Ham-mick!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: Is there anything less scary than a hissing kitten? I think not!
2008: These pigs, I’ve gotta say, are coming in handy as garbage disposals on legs.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: We’re off to Memphis.
2003: Possum #2.
2002: Mean mommy.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

5/20/10 – Thursday

Sights from around Crooked Acres. The garden, from the front left corner toward the back right corner. Like I said, there’s not much there yet. (That red building is the garden shed.) The garden, from the back toward the front (that house you see belongs to our next door neighbor. Our land is in kind … Continue reading “5/20/10 – Thursday”

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

The garden, from the front left corner toward the back right corner. Like I said, there’s not much there yet. (That red building is the garden shed.)

The garden, from the back toward the front (that house you see belongs to our next door neighbor. Our land is in kind of an “L” shape, so our garden is behind their house).

This year, we’re growing Oca. I’ve never grown or even eaten it before, so I hope it’s good!

The garden shed and the orchard. I use the word “orchard” lightly.

A baby pear growing on one of the pear trees (we also have peaches, apples, and plums. Maybe this year we’ll actually GET some fruit from those trees).

Muscadine vine. We originally had two muscadine plants – one died, this one’s thriving.

Baby muscadines!

“HEY! Quit lookin’ at the muscadines and come give me some pettin’!”

Poor ol’ Charlie, with the twisted-up toes.

Copper Marans rooster. Headed off to Freezer Camp one of these days.

Copper Marans rooster and his wimmins.

I don’t know what kind of rooster this is, but Fred’s decided we’ll be keeping him around for a while.

Three broody Buff Orpington hens, sitting on eggs. These three are from our original batch of 12, which we got three years ago.

This is the back side of the big coop out in the back forty. That little tan addition on the back side of the coop was meant to be a dog house where George and Gracie could get in out of the bad weather. However, the dogs used it ONCE, and never again no matter how much Fred begged, cajoled, and climbed in there to show them how super-fun it could be. It appears those two damn dogs enjoy them some bad weather. After much nagging from me, Fred finally turned it into a maternity coop. It is my goal – nay, my DREAM – to get all the goddamn chickens out in the same yard, so that those two dogs up there? They can do their jobs and protect ALL the chickens. In a perfect world, we’ll figure out how the hell to get the blue coop out there so that the broody hens and their babies can have a decent coop and a small fenced-in yard and still be protected by the dogs. Maybe someday we’ll be able to be away from the house at dusk without Fred worrying himself gray about the chickens.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


It’s funny – if I pick up and snuggle Miz Poo or Elwood and then pick up and snuggle a Bookworm, I practically end up accidentally tossing the Bookworm over my shoulder, they’re so light compared to the grown cat.

But if I pick up a Rescuee (that’s what I’m calling them, the Rescuees. Cydney, who’s another Challenger’s House foster mom as well as the sister of the woman who gave me sweet little Franco, suggested that name for the group – since they were also rescued from an engine block, behind a wall, and a cage at the vet’s, it fits pretty well, and it rolls off the tongue a lot more smoothly than “The 99s”!) and then pick up a Bookworm, I feel like I’m about to throw out my back, since the Rescuees weigh about 1/4 of what the Bookworms do.

Between the Rescuees and the Bookworms, my home is awash in sweet kittens. And I’d have it no other way!

Franco checks out the green tube.

Sheila keeps an eye on one of her brothers.

Franco looks like a wee bear cub, doesn’t he? And Gavin CLEARLY does not approve.

Gavin is killing me with that stink eye he’s shooting at Franco.


Gavin examining the inside of the green tube, while Garrity checks out the toys.

Gavin’s aghast at the intrusion from Franco. “Sir, I am in MY PRIVATE ABODE, you cannot just PEER through the windows at me! Gendarme! Arrest this man for invasion of privacy!”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


“What doin’, lady?”

Rhyme, balanced on the end of my bed and staring up at the ceiling fan.

Rhyme, trying to decide where to go from here.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Maxi, trying to look innocent.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: Way to look ferocious and defend those chickens, puppies.
2008: And I’m sure there’ll be plenty o’ bitching.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: It is, in fact, a happy-go-lucky-shpadoinkle-dy daaaaaaaaaaaaay.
2004: First day with the new brain, you know.
2003: So, Fred got it into his head a few weeks ago that he wanted a kayak.
2002: And further, you don’t get to be indignant and hurt when they act pissed off and boo you off the stage.
2001: No entry.
2000: Yesterday, I sneezed twenty-three times in a row. Fucking allergies.

5/19/10 – Wednesday

The many faces of Gavin. “HA HA HA you guys! I’m in the condo on the top of the cat tree and it’s all mine and you can’t have it! HA HA!” “So there.”   * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *   The Bookworms live a … Continue reading “5/19/10 – Wednesday”

The many faces of Gavin.

“HA HA HA you guys! I’m in the condo on the top of the cat tree and it’s all mine and you can’t have it! HA HA!”

“So there.”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


The Bookworms live a sad and stress-filled life. NOT.

“HA HA HA, you guys! I get to snuggle with Jake, and YOU don’t have anyone to snuggle with!”


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Smilin’ Joe.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2008: With my bionic legs and arms I’ll just be able to prove it much more easily.
2007: No entry.
2006: And we might have expected Mommy/ Whatever to tell the Little Prince “no” and, well, we can’t have THAT.
2005: We’re foster parents.
2003: The words “ass ugly” were invented to describe these shoes.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: She hasn’t claimed boredom since.

5/18/10 – Tuesday

Okay, I finally got a chance to watch last week’s Real Housewives of NYC, and I have this to say: 1. Kelly is a complete blithering moron and Sonya hit the nail on the head when she said that it bothers Kelly when anyone talks about their feelings. 2. When Luann was singing – I’m … Continue reading “5/18/10 – Tuesday”

Okay, I finally got a chance to watch last week’s Real Housewives of NYC, and I have this to say:

1. Kelly is a complete blithering moron and Sonya hit the nail on the head when she said that it bothers Kelly when anyone talks about their feelings.

2. When Luann was singing – I’m sorry, I mean “singing” – I was very much reminded of this:

3. That guy Luann was out on a date with? What a cheeseball. Total cheese from beginning to end. I’m not seeing any chemistry there, as much as you try to convince us, Luann. Ugh.

4. I love Bethenny, but my god, what is going ON with her head? When they showed footage of her on the yacht and then switched to the talking-head interview, it was jarring. Bethenny’s head – specifically, her jawline – was HUGE. I don’t believe it’s a weight gain thing, is it? What the hell? What kind of alien child was she carrying that could cause that sort of mutation??

Also, as far as Housewives, I watched the NJ episode from last week (I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet) and I have this to say:

1. Christine is a knockout – she reminds me of a young Mariel Hemingway.

2. I DO NOT LIKE it when they talk shit about each others’ kids. First Danielle with “I don’t know if Gia has what it takes to be a supermodel, she’s like 4 feet tall!” and then Caroline and Teresa talking about how Danielle’s kids are missing a “light” in their eyes. That’s uncalled-for, and I think the kids should be off-limits. (Caveat: I, of course, am allowed to talk shit about the Housewives’ kids, and Gia annoys me.)

3. The whole made-up drama about Caroline’s daughter dating Albie’s best friend is not working. Time to drop that story line.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Speaking of TV, Fred declared the other night that this was the best season of Survivor ever. I think it was pretty damn good, but I have to point out that when you start out the season with a bunch of people we already know – though we skipped last season, so didn’t know who Russell was – it makes the show more appealing from the get-go. There’s no two-month struggle to figure out who is who and which blonde is which.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


So, when Maura went to her new home, I said to Fred “You know, that foster room up there is empty and available…”

And he said “We HAVE four fosters already!”

We agreed that I wouldn’t go looking for new babies, but if they dropped into my lap, I could take them.

So on Saturday night when I got an email from another foster mom saying that her sister had found a kitten who needed a home, I told Fred, and he reluctantly agreed that we could take the kitten. (He’s so funny – he’s always reluctant about taking new fosters, but once we get them, he’s all “I LOVE THESE KITTENS THEY ARE AWESOME!!!”)

On Sunday I talked to the shelter manager who said “Cydney said you could take this one?”

I said, “Yes!”

She said “Would you want another one or two?”

“YES!” I had been concerned at the idea of only having one foster, because I didn’t want him to be lonely, and I think kittens need to be raised in sets of two or more.

So Sunday afternoon, I went and picked up the first kitten. His name is Franco.

He’s a talker, our Franco. A little shy at first, but when I picked him up, he’d snuggle with me. I probably didn’t endear myself to him by immediately shoving dewormer down his throat, then giving him a bath (he was hiding up inside the engine block of a truck in a parking lot when Cydney’s sister and her husband heard him and coaxed him out, so he had some oil in his fur and on his paws).

He did NOT like being alone – I’d go into the foster room to hang out with him, and he’d play and run around and then snuggle, then as soon as I left the room he’d howl sadly at the door.

Yesterday morning, I packed him up and took him to the vet for his combo test. He tested negative (THANK GOD).

I got the other two kittens at the same time. They are…


and Garrity.

Gavin and Garrity were found inside the wall of the company where another volunteer’s mother works. They’re a little older than Franco – Franco’s estimated to be about 6 weeks old, and Gavin and Garrity are 7 weeks old.

But wait! That’s not all!

When I walked into the vet clinic to pick up Franco and get Gavin and Garrity, there was a little gray kitten in a cage by the door. She was ADORABLE, and she was a little wild thing, spinning around that cage like a little Tasmanian devil. I went over to say hi to her, and she pressed her little face up against the bars of the cage and howled and rubbed against my hand.

Oh, I loved her immediately.

The shelter manager came in and eyed the kitten, asked a few questions of the clinic staff about the kitten, and could SEE the love on my face, because she asked if I wanted to take the kitten along with the others. I think I was wildly nodding “yes” before she could finish her question.

This is Sheila.

Expect to see lots of blurry pictures of Sheila, because girlfriend does not stop for one moment. She’s a wild little thing, super-friendly, and boy is she letting those boys know who the boss is. I had all four of them in one carrier when I left the vet’s office, and by the time I got to the shelter to pick up some supplies, the boys were all on one end of the carrier falling asleep together, and Sheila was chasing her tail.

They’ve settled nicely in the foster room, where they’ll be quarantined for the next couple of weeks. They’re a very playful bunch, and I’m so glad they have each other to play and cuddle with!

In case you don’t recognize the names, they’re named after characters from the series Rescue Me. The firehouse is Ladder 62 / Engine 99, so I’ll call these guys the 99s. Hey, it rolls off the tongue better than “The Rescue Me Gang”, right? I’m open to suggestions as far as what to call this bunch, though.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


The Bookworms are not quite sure what to make of this new development. Suddenly there’s a room they can’t go into, and I keep going in there and coming out smelling like OTHER KITTENS. What on earth?! We have a fireplace screen set up in front of the foster room doorway so the 99s can’t get out, and the Bookworms (and Jake, who’s really interested in what’s going on in that there room) can’t get in. When I walk out of the foster room, there’s usually at least one Bookworm sitting there waiting for me.

Oddly, the Bookworms have been even more friendly toward me than usual. Maybe they need reassurance that they’re still my babies, too!

Super-friendly toward ME – but still fighting like crazy with each other!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Elwood in the Ham-mick (buy them here!) in the middle of the living room floor – the most popular bed in the house. I’m going to have to start taking reservations for it, they practically stand in line to get in that bed!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: Joe Bob just kept smiling.
2008: No entry.
2007: Ten.
2006: I walked over to them and threw Cheerios at them, and they looked at me as if I were mentally disturbed.
2005: Which he proved by dancing lightly about the room once I’d said we should just stay home.
2004: He asked questions, he really listened to the answers, and he was just really a nice guy.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: She’s obviously picked up her mother’s bad attitude.
2000: My day in pictures.

5/17/10 – Monday

Readers, Grace needs some help: I do the flea – advantix, whatevs – stuff on the cats. I do not like them going out but hubs does let them out “with supervision.” Which today? There are a zillion mosquitoes (big rain = mosquitoes). And while the critters do not bother ME, because I have Cutter … Continue reading “5/17/10 – Monday”

Readers, Grace needs some help:

I do the flea – advantix, whatevs – stuff on the cats. I do not like them going out but hubs does let them out “with supervision.” Which today? There are a zillion mosquitoes (big rain = mosquitoes). And while the critters do not bother ME, because I have Cutter on, they are buzzing around the kittles. Is there any treatment you know of to keep mosquitoes from them, that you can put on them like the flea stuff? (Which does not keep fleas OFF, but does kill relatively fast?) We do spray the cutter stuff monthly and use yard guard etc. (OK, bad environmental policy, but to me? Better Living Through Chemistry, sorry y’all.)

Also? When we lived in H’ville they sprayed for mosquitoes, also they did in NO. They don’t here in the Houston Suburbs. Which means LOTS of mosquitoes. Seriously, lots. They do not care about West Nile AT ALL. In fact they told us in March to quit bringing birds, that Yes, there was West Nile and DEAL WITH IT HERE ARE THE SYMPTOMS.

Help from you and readers really appreciated.

I don’t know of any treatment to keep mosquitoes off of cats, hopefully someone else will have some good advice.

I do know that Bounce fabric softener sheets do amazingly well at keeping mosquitoes away – on the rare occasion I work in the garden, I tuck a sheet of Bounce in the waistband of my shorts, and the mosquitoes stay far away. Maybe you could make bandannas for the cats out of fabric softener sheets? (I’m mostly kidding. But if you do that, send pics!)


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Saturday night, bedtime. Fred was in bed, waiting for me. He always ends up in bed before me, waiting for me to brush my teeth, take out my contacts, and pee one last time before I join him. Probably if I didn’t spend the time he spends getting ready for bed in front of the computer surfing aimlessly, we’d end up going to bed at the same time.

But, y’know, something might happen on the internet, and I’d hate to miss it.

I was sitting on the toilet, about to pee. In my left hand was a dose of progesterone, which I was about to rub into the skin of my inner left arm. It’s the last thing I do before I head for bed, and I always pee and progesterone at the same time. It makes me feel efficient.

Fred appeared suddenly in the doorway, and I sat and stared at him like a deer in the headlights. He gave me a bug-eyed look and then held his arm out to me.

“GET THIS TICK OFF OF ME RIGHT NOW!” he said. I stood up and peered down at his arm. (PEERED, Jean. PEERED. I did not pee on his arm. Slow down with that reading!)


“RIGHT THERE, GET IT, GET IT!” he said, gesturing. I had to squint to see the tiniest little bitty tick on his arm, moving ever-so-slowly around in his arm hair. Given the way he was acting, you’d think it was the Speedy Gonzales of ticks, racing to and fro, avoiding capture.

I squeezed the tiny thing between two finger nails, and Fred walked out of the bathroom. I stood there, a tick in one hand and a blop of progesterone in the other, and waited for him to come back. I heard the sound of the bedroom floor creaking for a few moments, then the sound of him getting back in bed.

“Douchebag,” I grumbled. I wiped the progesterone onto the cap of the progesterone container, and grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol, put the wee baby tick down on the side of the sink, and dumped a generous amount of rubbing alcohol over the tick. The tick swam around merrily.

“Rubbing alcohol doesn’t kill a tick,” I said informatively after a few seconds.

“No, it doesn’t,” Fred called from the bedroom. “Crumpling it up in a piece of toilet paper and flushing it down the toilet kills it!”

I got a piece of toilet paper, and then envisioned the wee baby tick swimming merrily around in the septic tank for the next several months, until it got to be the size of a Buick, whereupon it would swim back up the pipes into the toilet and attack me at an unfortunate moment.

I squashed the wee baby tick with the side of the progesterone container, then crumpled it in a piece of toilet paper and tossed it in the toilet.

Then I peed and put the progesterone on my inner arm, and went to bed.

Whereupon I told Fred what a douchebag he is.



* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Saying “Speedy Gonzales” up there in that section reminds me that on Friday, Fred and I went up into Tennessee to Amish country just to get the hell out of the house, and after we drove aimlessly around the Mennonite settlement and bought a few pepper plants, we stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. When Fred’s order came, the guy delivering his food held out the plate and said “The Speedy Gonzales?” Fred had ordered his food by the combination number, so he hadn’t realized it was called The Speedy Gonzales until then. As the server walked away from the table, Fred pursed his lips in mock disapproval and said “THAT’s an awfully racist name.”

A misleading name, too, for that matter. There was nothing speedy about THAT meal.

Seriously, the food was really good (I had a shrimp quesadilla), but it was the slowest service we’ve ever had in a Mexican restaurant. Usually the food comes in an amount of time that can be measured in seconds, but this time around we had to wait at least ten minutes.

I know! Except for that big bowl of tortilla chips we were cramming in our tortilla-holes, we might have starved to death!

(Seriously, spell-check, you don’t recognize “quesadilla”, but you have no issues with “tortilla-holes”?)

When we watch Kitchen Nightmares, it always boggles my mind when the voice-over guy says “An HOUR into service, and no one has received their appetizers yet!”, because hello? If I had to wait an HOUR for my fucking appetizer, I’d be out of there. An hour after I’ve first walked through the door of a restaurant, I want to be at home on the couch, sleeping off the carb coma, not gnawing on my fingernails and wondering which circle of Hell I’m occupying.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


Let’s see, my weekend:

Friday: Amish country. Home by 2:30, napped on the couch. First baby chicks of the Spring were finally born. The hens started going broody awfully late in the season this year for some reason. Fred caught a mole and killed it. I reflected that it was funny that on Thursday we did everything we could to save one rodent (the squirrel) and on Friday we (he) did everything we (he) could to catch and kill another. (I’m assuming moles are rodents.)

Saturday: Woke up with a million things to do, but that all went out the window when Egg the Pig Man called to let us know we could come get our pigs. Left here at 9, got the pigs, talked to Egg for half an hour, home at 11. Got the pigs set up in their new home (they seem to be under the impression they’re cows – they didn’t touch the pig food in the trough, instead spent the day eating grass). Vacuumed. Cleaned the kitchen. Napped on the couch. Puttered around, accomplished approximately zip.

Sunday: Made Strawberry Lemon Marmalade (it looks and tastes just like strawberry jam to me, but Fred says he can taste the faintest taste of lemon). Intended to sand and stain the bookcase in the garage so I can get the damn thing into the house, but didn’t. I don’t know what the hell I did on Sunday, but it sure went by quickly!


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


The Bookworms had their last vaccination Saturday afternoon, so for the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday, they moped around, slept a lot, and occasionally whined at me for no reason.

Today, they’re back to normal, of course.

Until Saturday, I was giving the kittens their snack in the guest bedroom so that they wouldn’t have to fight off the bigger cats to get food. They’ve essentially been trained to come running when I call “Little bitty kitties!”, and so Friday night I was standing in the guest bedroom calling and calling, and Reacher, Rhyme, and Bolitar were dancing around my feet. But there was no Corbett, no matter how much I called. Fred went looking for him, and found him.

Apparently Corbett WANTED to get down, but Stinkerbelle was sitting there glaring at him, and he was too skeered. We rescued him and fed him, and all was well.

Rhyme in the sun.


Rhyme and Reacher were tussling, and Jake had to get in the middle of it.



* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


I don’t know what the issue is, but Spanky absolutely loathes Joe Bob, and so he often follows Joe Bob around and stares creepily at him. We call him “Creepy Cousin Spanky” when he does it. This picture makes me guffaw every time I look at it. It’s the quintessential “Creepy Cousin Spanky” picture.


* =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= * =^..^= *


2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Goddamn!” I said. “I’m going to have them haul your ass away to the nursing home! YOU WERE THERE WITH ME AND PICKED OUT THE GODDAMN SKIRT FOR ME!”
2006: Sorry, no real entry today.
2005: Fucking cats. They sure are a money pit.
2004: Oh, look. It must be a day that ends in “y.”
2003: No entry.
2002: You know, this whole band shit drives me nuts.
2001: The spud’s band is having another concert tonight.
2000: I would put a sign announcing the name of the house: Horseshit Alley.