7/30/10 – Friday

So, when I work in the garden, I wear these gardening gloves that I picked up at Lowe’s. My hands still get a little dirty, but not nearly as dirty as they would if I didn’t wear gloves at all. I have two pairs of gloves, because I am JUST THAT FANCY. When I’m done … Continue reading “7/30/10 – Friday”

So, when I work in the garden, I wear these gardening gloves that I picked up at Lowe’s. My hands still get a little dirty, but not nearly as dirty as they would if I didn’t wear gloves at all. I have two pairs of gloves, because I am JUST THAT FANCY. When I’m done working in the garden, I hang whichever gloves I was wearing on the clothesline so they can dry before I need to use them again.

If you are thinking to yourself “Robyn, hanging gloves on the clothesline for days at a time is just askin’ for trouble!”, you might be right, you damn know-it-all.

Yesterday, I went out, grabbed a pair of gloves off the clothesline, put them on, and continued across the yard toward the side gate. And then there was a vibration against the pinky of my right hand, and an angry buzzing sound coming from the same location.

If I possessed my very own set of testicles, I can tell you that they would have crawled as far up into my body cavity as possible at that moment. There was this long pause of incredulous disbelief as my brain scrambled to catch up with just what the holy hell was going on, and then I went into a full-body dance across the yard, my feet barely touching the ground as I frantically pulled the glove off and threw it to the ground.

Just thinking about it gives me the willies.

I threw the second glove to the ground too just in case, and then I stomped on both of them several times, as hard as I could (did I mention that I wear an old t-shirt, old shorts, and my boots when I work in the garden? I am always a vision of loveliness, if you were wondering. They write poems in tribute to my loveliness.) When my pulse was back to something approaching normal, I turned the gloves inside out, and found a dead baby bee.

From now on I’ll be hanging my gloves inside to dry.




I have a YouTube video from almost two years ago, when Kara’s babies were still here. Those babies would occasionally nurse until they were 4 months old – and she let them. Now, I know they didn’t NEED to nurse at that age, they were just taking advantage of her, but she let them do it sometimes, and it didn’t seem to bother her. She certainly didn’t mind getting up and walking away when she felt like it. I felt like it was up to her to cut them off, and she did eventually. They weren’t doing it all the time, either, just every now and again.

Every now and then I get an annoying comment on the YouTube video telling me that those kittens should NOT be nursing, that kittens should be weaned by then, WHAT AM I THINKING?!

And it drives me fucking nuts. Every fucking time. Finally, after the latest comment, I logged in and shut down comments on that video.

But I’m still feeling very stabby on the topic. The video is TWO FUCKING YEARS OLD, am I to go back in time and make the kittens stop? ARRRRGH.




I do kind of think it’s funny that you were checking them out when they were next door, curious about who they were, but then didn’t open the door to find out. Not that I would have either, but I think it proves that you weren’t really all THAT curious.

I was curious because I’m nosy like that – but I’m also too nice to say “no” to salesmen, so I solve that problem by not dealing with ’em.

Don’t they make some sort of directional microphone that I could keep by the sink and point toward their deck when my nosiness overcomes me?






How you keep yourselves from wanting to keep all your foster kitties is beyond me…those who have come here, have stayed…young and old alike…I love them all!! But kittens…how do you hold yourself back : )

These days, I’m walking a thin line between “I LOVE my Bookworms!” and “TOO MANY CATS UP IN MY SHIT!!!” Because when the cats swarm, they are crazymaking. I know I’ll miss the hell out of the Bookworms, but I really am looking forward to having them find their forever homes and making mine a little less crazy.

(That said, I can admit that when I think about taking the Bookworms to the adoption center, whenever that happens, I tear up. MAH BABIES!)




I guess I’m paranoid, but I don’t think the few bucks you make on eggs is worth dealing with nosy strangers on your property when you’re home alone. Just my opinion, of course.

I think you’d be surprised at how the money from those eggs adds up. Saturday is our day for eating dinner out, and most weeks the money that buys our dinner out comes from the sale of eggs.

Plus, when I’m home alone and have to deal with unknown egg buyers, I’ve usually got a gun in my pocket.

Three years of walking around the property armed, and I haven’t shot anyone. YET.

::crazy eyes::




I have a food question that I thought someone here might be able to figure out. Remember that glowing, almost fluorescent yellow chicken gravy from back in the day? I’ve been wishing I knew how to make it, but I have no clue, and my searches have been fruitless. Can anyone help me in my quest for creepy gravy?

I’ll be interested in seeing if anyone has a response to this one. I am not remembering the fluorescent yellow chicken gravy, but I’m certainly curious about it!




I don’t know if you are aware of a new group here in Alabama for getting legislation passed to help companion animals, cut down on kill shelters? If not, here’s a link to their website:

Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL)

Please pass it along to other rescue people/shelters, etc. that you know. Maybe we can create enough interest for some serious activism regarding abandoned/mistreated companion animals!

I hadn’t heard about AVRAL – thanks for the tip!




Do you like smoked salmon/lox? My favorite way to have fresh dill is scattered over a plate of smoked salmon, over which crème fraîche (or sour cream) has been (HEAVILY!) drizzled and a handful of capers sprinkled on top. Even better if all of this is on top of freshly made blinis, but that’s asking a lot.

You know what’s sad? I don’t know if I like smoked salmon! I don’t believe I’ve ever had it. I’m going to have to change that, I think, because 99% of the recipes I came across when I was looking for a way to use up that dill were for salmon.

Here’s something else that’s sad – I’ve never had capers! What are they, y’all? Will I like them?




Have the cat/kitten adoptions slowed down since the economic depression hit? Sorry if you’ve addressed this before. I don’t skim, I’m just senile.

Right now adoptions are really slow, but I think they usually are at this time of year. This area hasn’t been hit nearly as hard by the economic downturn as other parts of the country – between the defense and aerospace industries, Huntsville is the place to be!




Is that really Spanky snuggling? He must be mellowing 🙂

That was, indeed, Spanky sleeping next to Reacher, but it was more a matter of Reacher sneaking up and laying down next to Spanky while Spanky was sound asleep and unaware of what was going on, than Spanky deliberately being within touching distance of another cat. The kittens are such sneaky little brats.




You live out in the country… so I know that is going to play a role… but is there a limit on the number of animals you can have on the property? I’m thinking that pretty soon you and Fred need to consider setting yourself up as a Kitty Rescue yourself. — God knows you are well equipped for it.

There are no restrictions on the number of animals we can have on our property. As long as we take good care of our animals, we can have as many as we’d like. And if we didn’t take good care of our animals, one of our neighbors would notify animal control. She loves animals as much as we do, and she’s always got an eye on the animal owners in the neighborhood.




May I suggest a counter in the header to keep track of the animals? Something like “X chickens, Y cats, 3 dogs, 2 pigs and a frog.” ;D

I just might have to do that.


(Famous last words, right?)




Your chickens have such beautiful feathers … do you gather them up and do anything with them? I “collect” feathers (beautiful feathers) … and basically just look at them, no crafty-stuff involved …:-D

No, I don’t really gather then up. I ought to, though, I could make cat toys with feathers hanging off them. The cats would love that!




Do you rotate what is planted in your rows? That might be an issue. Plus, the weather was weird this year. Too cold, too wet, too hot … for too long.

We do. We’ve never gotten a decent crop of regular-sized tomatoes, either. Next year we’re planning on raised beds, and we’ll see how that goes.

It’s very odd – the white scalloped squash, which was planted right alongside the yellow summer squash, came in like gangbusters this year. The yellow squash, on the other hand, didn’t do so well. Which annoys me because I much prefer the yellow squash – it’s got more flavor than the white.




Bad news, good news, and a happy ending for two Challenger’s House cats!

Bad news: Franco and Garrity are going back to the adoption center. They were adopted by two roommates last Friday, and as it turns out, one of the girls has allergies. I’m sad for the kittens, but I know their forever homes will come along, and hopefully soon.

Good news: Gavin and Lieu have both been adopted! Not together, but to very good homes.

The happy ending: Monarch is 7 years old and Georgia is 10 years old. They’ve been residents of Challenger’s House since they were days old, literally – Georgia was 5 days old and Monarch was 3 days old.

Earlier this week, they were adopted to a great guy who works at Petsmart. Monarch’s still a scaredy-cat and hiding, but Georgia has been out and about and has been hanging on one of the two cat trees their new daddy bought for them.

I love a happy ending, no matter how long it takes to come!




Yesterday, of her own volition, Melodie came down and not only approached me to pet her, but even played with a toy I rolled across the floor for her!

Baby steps.

In the evenings, at bedtime, Fred goes upstairs before I do, and has some time alone with the kittens while I putter around downstairs. As it turns out, not only has Melodie approached Fred for petting, she’s been very aggressive about demanding the petting.

Why do all the scaredy-cat girl kitties love my husband so, I ask you?

Moxie loves me, at least. Right, Moxie, you love me?
“Sure, lady.”

Melodie eyeballs me from atop the cat tree.

Caught in the act! Martin and Melodie, snuggling.

“See mah feets?”




For a time yesterday, this box was verrrrry popular with the Bookworms. It’s been sitting there for a couple of days, I’m not sure why it was the place to be, all of a sudden. This is Reacher, enjoying a little quiet time. (I like to call him “Reacher Creature” because I’m a dork.)

Rhyme suddenly realized he was being followed. (“Rhyme time!”)

Bolitar leapt in to try to gain control of the box. (I call Bolitar “Buster” and usually say something along the lines of “Buster Brown gets around!” Did I mention I’m a dork?)

This did not go over well with Rhyme, who just wanted to chase his tail in peace.


Bolitar fled for friendlier pastures. (Yes, I removed the strap from around his neck and tucked it out of the way so he can’t strangle himself.)





“You been eating crickets again? Your breath – whoa.”




2008: Creating a Monster.
2007: Now THAT is a signal I understand.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: My crap, is my scalp FRIED.
2003: I’m still thinking of killing her.
2002: Getting impatient, because Fred hadn’t carried the bag of food upstairs and poured some fresh food for his majesty, Tubby started bitching “Give me food, damnit!”
2001: “Remember when you moved that dresser? That was cool.”
2000: No entry.

7/29/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Yesterday morning, I spent almost two hours yanking up squash plants. They’re dying off due to those FRIGGIN’ squash bugs, and I took great pleasure in squishing every one of the fuckers I came across. I don’t know how many squash and zucchini plants I pulled up, but I filled the wagon up four times … Continue reading “7/29/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday”

Yesterday morning, I spent almost two hours yanking up squash plants. They’re dying off due to those FRIGGIN’ squash bugs, and I took great pleasure in squishing every one of the fuckers I came across. I don’t know how many squash and zucchini plants I pulled up, but I filled the wagon up four times with squash plants that I then pulled over to the compost heap.

There are, I don’t know, five or six squash plants left. One of them is covered in baby summer squash, so I’m hoping we get at least one more harvest of yellow squash before we give up for the summer.

The weeds in the garden have gotten out of hand due to my lazy ass (and the fact that squash plants are scary in the morning because they are absolutely covered in bees). I did start yanking up the weeds in the squash patch, but it’s such an overwhelming job that I gave up pretty quickly.

I find that spending time working outside in the morning puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day. Go figure.




Scenes from around Crooked Acres.

Our blueberry bush. Ha. I ordered this from somewhere last summer, and at the end of last summer it was just a stick in the pot. This spring, it grew some, and I actually thought we were going to get a couple of blueberries, but it was not to be. Maybe we’ll plant it in the ground before Fall comes around. We’ll see!

I think these are our key limes. They might be the oranges, though, I’m just not sure. Whatever they are, they’re happy. I don’t honestly expect these trees to make it through the winter, but it would be cool if they did.

A month ago, this ground was bare. I yanked up every bit of wisteria. Now the wisteria’s come back. Given that it grows so easily and is so tenacious, I may yank it up again and toss it in the woods at the back of the back forty. I wouldn’t mind if that area (beyond the fence) was covered in wisteria.

Sungold cherry tomatoes.

What’s left of the row of tomatoes. I took this picture to show the feed bags on the ground around the tomato plants. They’re doing a fine job of keeping the weeds at bay.

Jalapenos! I told the jalapeno plants that they’d better step up production because I’ve gotta make more sweet pickled jalapenos. They didn’t seem all that impressed with my instructions.

Japanese eggplants.

Okra flower.

Look away! I AM DISEASED! Fucking blight.

Cherry tomatoes in the raised bed.

Lemon thyme.

We’ve got an obnoxious number of little chicks right now.

Pretty Gracie.

This frog lives under the hose reel by the pig yard. I touched him with the toe of my boot to make him jump, and he just looked at me like “I don’t even THINK so, lady.” Unimpressed with me, was Mr. Frog.

Gracie and the chickens.

I call this chicken “The pigeon” because she’s shaped like a pigeon, in my opinion. The only reason she hasn’t been processed is because Fred couldn’t catch her.

Sweet Gracie.

The only adult rooster we have left. Fred processed the rest of them.

George under the coop. It’s cool under there.

We call this baby “Screamy” because if he’s more than 6 inches from his mother, he screams for her. What a drama queen.

This hen and her chicks spend all day wandering around the property. Last night one of the chicks got into the back yard but couldn’t figure out how to get out. Sugarbutt was stalking him when I realized what was going on and went out to rescue him.

Dog wandered onto our property. When George and Gracie charged the fence, the dog rolled over onto his back. They just stood and stared at him and wagged their tails.

I got a package in the mail. Bolitar checked out the box, and then checked out the produce while he was at it. He is the nosiest cat in the house, and that’s saying something!




Check out Martin’s crazy eyes.

He’s a bitey little brat.

But cute. SO cute.

I am a tiny bit too amused by this picture.

Snuggly Moxie.





Joe B. in the Joe Cave.




2009: No entry.
2008: Hint to the chickens: You can ensure yourselves a long life by being friendly.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “Did you fart?” I said accusingly.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: “KITTIES!” I scolded, and after a moment the thumping and running stopped.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

7/28/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

Everybody loves Martin. (Or loves to taunt him, anyway!) ::ignore:: ::ignore:: “Hey! Where ya going???” “Come on, punk. Come here and do your best. You know I’ll wipe the floor with you.” ::plbbbbbbt:: “Whatsamatter, little man? You scared of the GIRL?” “Whatcha doin’ with that paw, you little BABY?” “That’s right, ya little wimp. Run … Continue reading “7/28/10 – Kitteh Wednesday”

Everybody loves Martin.
(Or loves to taunt him, anyway!)



“Hey! Where ya going???”

“Come on, punk. Come here and do your best. You know I’ll wipe the floor with you.”


“Whatsamatter, little man? You scared of the GIRL?”

“Whatcha doin’ with that paw, you little BABY?”

“That’s right, ya little wimp. Run off and cry to MOMMY.”

A mancat can only take so much, y’know.




2009: Maddy does not approve of this “Twitter” nonsense.
2008: Oh tomatoes, how you PISS ME OFF.
2007: No entry.
2006: Y’all are good for my yellow ego!
2005: Maine recap.
2004: Hawaii recap.
2003: Maine recap.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: The cats are suddenly deciding to take closed doors as a personal affront.

7/27/10 – Tuesday

Thanks, you guys, for your suggestions on what to do with the dill. Right now my plan is to use most of it to make Ina’s chicken stock (which I will then can!) and some of it to put in egg salad. The rest, I’ll print out and use next year when I have my … Continue reading “7/27/10 – Tuesday”

Thanks, you guys, for your suggestions on what to do with the dill. Right now my plan is to use most of it to make Ina’s chicken stock (which I will then can!) and some of it to put in egg salad. The rest, I’ll print out and use next year when I have my very own fresh dill from my very own herb garden!

Our garden this year is just head-to-toe FAIL, I’m telling you. The goddamn something-or-other bugs have hit the squash. And while it’s fine with me if we don’t get any more scalloped squash, I’d like more yellow squash, and I’ve been so intent on shredding and freezing the zucchini we’ve gotten so far that I haven’t even made any zucchini bread yet.

The two regular tomato plants are putting out nice green tomatoes, but they’re getting big mushy spots before they have a chance to get more than half ripe. I told Fred yesterday that we’re going to pick the tomatoes green from now on, and oven fry them and use them in green tomato chili. Oddly, the cherry tomato plants are going like gangbusters, so I guess I’m not going to complain.

We got a ton of spaghetti squash, but when I started roasting them so I could pull the squash out and freeze it for future use, the squash wasn’t stringing. It wasn’t a matter of the squash not being ripe – they were definitely ripe – and it wasn’t a matter of being undercooked, so fuck if I have any clue what the problem is.

Did I tell you about the corn? Fred planted 7 rows of corn. Guess how many ears we ended up with.


17 fucking ears. Luckily, we still have a ton left over from last year, so we won’t go corn-less for the next year, but GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, this year has sucked garden-wise.

Oh well. Maybe the second round of green beans will do better than expected. Here’s hoping.




Yesterday morning I was sitting at my computer, and I heard the driveway alarm go off. I glanced out the door and saw a regular egg buyer walking toward the door. I opened the door and he called that he wanted two dozen eggs. I got them for him, and went out to hand them over to him.

“I was here, oh, two weeks ago?” he said. “Both vehicles were here – ” he motioned toward my car and the truck, “but the house was closed up tight and no one came to the door!” (“Both vehicles” amused me, because I don’t think anyone in town knows that Fred actually has his own car, since he parks it in the garage.)

He put both hands on his hips and looked at me like he expected an explanation for this. Like it’s a rule that if both vehicles are here SOMEONE BETTER BE HERE TO SELL HIM EGGS DAMNIT.

(The “Eggs for sale” sign wasn’t up, for the record. It bothers me a lot less than it used to when people stop by to buy eggs even when the sign isn’t up because the driveway alarm goes off and alerts me that people are approaching. I guess my real issue before was that I’d be sitting at my desk minding my own business and then look up to see someone RIGHT THERE on the other side of the door which always startled the hell out of me. Now that I know they’re coming to the door it’s still an annoyance, but one I can deal with.)

“I was on vacation in Maine,” I said.

He nodded, handed over his four dollars, thanked me, and left.

I went into the kitchen to make lunch, and as I did so, I glanced out the window over the sink. This window, I’m sure I’ve only mentioned 340 times before, looks toward the next door neighbor’s back yard, and I could see her sitting on her deck talking to two men who were wearing suit pants and button-down shirts.

I immediately wondered who they were. They seemed like some sort of professionals, maybe lawyers in business casual clothing. They would talk and she would talk, and they were filling out some sort of form. There was a large book they’d occasionally refer to.

Obviously my inner Gladys Kravitz was in residence, because I spent far too much time watching them through the window while I made my lunch.

I actually went out at one point to move the water in the garden (I watered the garden row by row, all day long, so of course it rained yesterday afternoon.) and oh-so-casually didn’t look over in their direction, but I had my ears perked and listening, and couldn’t hear a damn thing.

They must have been there sitting on her deck talking for at least 45 minutes – don’t look at me like that, I didn’t stand there and WATCH them talking the whole time, I’d just peek out there every once in a while. Nosy, me? NAH. – and when I went into the kitchen to check on my green tomato chili, they were gone.

I’d just started chopping up yellow squash to boil, when the driveway alarm went off. I went to the porthole window in the dining room to see who was out there, and as it turned out, it was the two guys who’d been sitting on her deck for the last 45 minutes.

My reaction, when I look out into the driveway and see a stranger getting out of their car, is inevitably “Oh, hell no.” If I don’t recognize the person/ people, and I’m not expecting anyone, I don’t answer the door. This might be a bad habit, because maybe they’re thieves and if I don’t answer the door they’ll think no one’s home and they’ll break into the house and steal all the cats (IN MY DREAMS), but it’s a habit I intend to keep up, ’cause ah hates strangers.

They went to the front door (another reason to not answer the door – if someone has bought eggs from us before, they know to come to the side door. If they haven’t bought eggs, the sign isn’t out and I’m not expecting them, why would I want to deal with them? Ed McMahon will probably come back with my $30 million check if I don’t answer the first time.) and knocked. I didn’t answer, just kept chopping squash, and they left pretty quickly.

When I heard the driveway alarm go off again, I went and watched them pull out of our driveway, to see where they’d go. They pulled into the driveway of the house across the street, but either those people weren’t home or they didn’t answer the door, or possibly they sent the strangers on their way when they heard what they wanted, but in any case five minutes later the car was gone.

Wow. I just used an awful lot of words to describe a completely unfascinating afternoon, didn’t I? Don’t you wonder how I get shit done around here, given that I spend all my time with my nose pressed to the window watching to see what’s going on?

Funny that when I lived in a subdivision and there was always stuff going on outside, I rarely even looked out the window, isn’t it?




Poor Miz Poo. She’s all “Do you SEE what I have to put up with, here?”

Sugarbutt thinks Bolitar’s just a little too close. Bolitar doesn’t care.





Something I learned yesterday – Moxie is scared of thunder and will hide under the chair in fear every time the thunder happens. She doesn’t want to be coaxed out from under the chair, she doesn’t want to be snuggled safely in your arms. She wants to hide under the chair, thank you.

Melodie could not be less scared of the sound of thunder. A particularly loud crash of thunder happened yesterday afternoon and Moxie dove under the chair. From her perch on the cat tree, Melodie just sat and gazed out the window at the rain. I would have surely expected it to be the other way around.

Martin and the pink fluff.

That’s Moxie’s tail he’s chewing on. She puts up with this for far longer than I would expect, and then when she’s had enough, she turns around and smacks him. It’s a system that seems to work well for them.

Melodie, following Martin around.


This morning, Melodie came immediately out of her Melodie cave (the condo on the cat tree) to greet me when I went into the room. Either she’s getting more comfortable with me (she was ALL OVER Fred last night, purring and rubbing on him. The lady cats love Fred, for sure.) or she’s figured out that when I come into the room for the first time in the morning, I give them canned cat food. Either way, it’s progress!




A couple of weeks ago, I said that Stinkerbelle spends 99% of her time on top of the bookcase in the front room. Well, she must have gotten word of what I’d said, because she immediately set out to make a liar out of me. She’s been coming out more and more, sitting angrily in the computer room glaring at me, climbing up onto the top of the cupboards in the kitchen, sitting on top of the canning cabinet in the dining room. She’s been a social butterfly, if by “social butterfly” you mean a cat who stalks around the house smacking at any kittens who venture too close to her, that is.




2009: I screamed at the top of my lungs, and then I took a gasping breath, and I screamed some more.
2008: No entry.
2007: (Unless there’s a secret “Robyn is a blithering idiot” message board somewhere, which is possible but – given that the world apparently does NOT revolve around me (even though it should), my blithering idiotness probably doesn’t occupy the minds of others the way it occupies mine.)
2006: I look like a fucking Simpson!
2005: “I dropped my purse!” I lied.
2004: I’m a slug in a family of energizer bunnies.
2003: No entry.
2002: My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts.
2001: No entry.
2000: I’m just not feeling very chatty today.

7/26/10 – Monday

I made refrigerator dill pickles over the weekend to use up all the cucumbers in the refrigerator, and for the rest of the day my hands smelled like dill, and it was surprisingly pleasant. Now I’ve got a package of fresh dill in the fridge and the cucumbers are mostly played out, so I don’t … Continue reading “7/26/10 – Monday”

I made refrigerator dill pickles over the weekend to use up all the cucumbers in the refrigerator, and for the rest of the day my hands smelled like dill, and it was surprisingly pleasant. Now I’ve got a package of fresh dill in the fridge and the cucumbers are mostly played out, so I don’t think there’ll be any more refrigerator dill pickles. I’ve been half-assedly searching for recipes to use the dill in, but haven’t really seen any that strike my fancy.

What’s your favorite way to use fresh dill?

I didn’t grow dill in my tiny herb garden this year, but only because I thought I’m not crazy about dill. As it turns out, it’s the dried stuff I’m not crazy about. I grew cinnamon basil, but one day last week I finally got around to trying a leaf of the cinnamon basil, and it had a black licorice aftertaste to me. I loathe black licorice, so I yanked the cinnamon basil up.

I’ve got sweet basil in the herb garden, lemon thyme, and rosemary. I planted cilantro, but it died out (probably Jane was sending hate rays toward it).

Yesterday for dinner we had pork shoulder steaks (if I haven’t mentioned it before, pork shoulder steaks, when grilled, taste exactly like beef steaks), zucchini sticks, zucchini pie, and pineapple casserole. It was a pretty fabulous meal, and the best part is that there are plenty of leftovers.

Apparently I’ve got food on my mind this morning.

I made these no-bake cheesecake bars on Friday, and realized (or I guess I should say “remembered”, since I always seem to forget somehow) that I’m not really so crazy about cream cheese unless it’s on a bagel. I liked the whipped cream part, and the melted chocolate drizzled over the top part, and of course the graham cracker crust part, but the chocolate cream cheese part? Not so much.

I’ve got nothin’ to say today. I’m going to blather on about the kittens, then vacuum the house, spend some time with the kittens, and catch up on some vital tv-watching.

Stay cool.




Los Gatitos are now at the adoption center. I haven’t heard that any of them were adopted, so I’m assuming they were not. That surprises me, honestly, because I was sure they’d be snapped up in no time flat.

However, I DID get to witness Garrity and Franco being adopted, FINALLY. Friday marked three weeks since I took the Rescuees to the adoption center, and while Sheila was adopted fairly quickly, the boys just sat there, unadopted. Every time I went into Petsmart the four of them were either playing or snuggled up to each other, and they seemed happy enough, so I wasn’t too worried about them.

Garrity and Franco were adopted by two girls, roommates (each girl adopted one kitten), so they’ll have each other to play and hang out with. That leaves Lieu and Gavin, and I hope it won’t be long for them.

When I put Los Gatitos in their cage, Pancho was all “Hey, look! TOYS!” and Evita and Hermano went into the litter box to hide.

I HATE IT when they hide in their litter box!

They’ll adjust, they almost always do. I’m not surprised that they were scared at first, but I’m glad that they have each other for comfort.




Meet Martin’s new sisters!

Moxie. Doesn’t she look like a little panther?

Melodie. She’s in the condo on the cat tree, snuggled up to her stuffed cat “baby.”

Moxie is a lover. She’s a people cat. She wants you to pet her. She wants you to snuggle her. If you stop petting her, she lets you KNOW that things have gone amiss and there is no petting going on, please resume the petting.

Melodie is a skittish, sweet girl. She’s a cat’s cat. She’s been hiding out in the condo on the cat tree a lot. I go up and hang out in the room, pet Moxie and Martin, and talk to Melodie. She usually starts out in the condo, then comes out to see what’s going on. A few times she’s come down off the tree to walk around the room.

She seems to like Martin. And for his part, when we walked into the kitten room and let Melodie and Moxie out of the carrier Friday night, you should have SEEN Martin’s face. Oh, did he think it was Christmas! He said “You brought me friends to play with!”

Moxie, for the most part, thinks he’s annoying – but she’ll play with him when the mood strikes.

Melodie definitely likes Martin – and when I walked into the room yesterday afternoon, who came out of the condo?

Martin! Have you been SNUGGLING with Melodie??

So far, things are going well. I’m letting Melodie go at her own pace. I always greet her when I come into the room, pet her (and she starts purring immediately, so underneath the skittishness she’s a lover, too.) I know she’ll come to me asking to be petted when she’s ready. We’ve already had a few “conversations” where she meows at me and I meow back. I don’t know what I’m saying to her, but it gets her to come out of her cave, so it can’t be bad. I hope!




“What? We’s snugglin’. Go away.”

So, I might have put a little basket of laundry (dish towels and cleaning rags) on the table, and Bolitar might have found it and turned it onto its side and climbed in to hang out on the clean laundry. Annnnd three days later, it might still be there. What? You don’t leave your clean laundry on the table so the cats can sleep on it? It’s a good excuse not to fold laundry! (Which will need to be washed again, I suppose. At least the stuff on the top of the pile.)

One day I should walk around the house and take pictures of all the boxes I have sitting on the floor just in case the cats want to sleep in them. In the kitchen alone are at least four boxes. When WILL House Beautiful call to ask if they can feature my fabulous home, do you suppose?




It’s gotten consistently hot enough outside that even Newt is spending his days inside trying to stay cool. Now THAT’s hot.




2009: And no one was even drinking!
2008: No entry.
2007: I think y’all know that I happily contribute to charities and have donated to a lot of your causes and will continue to do so, but I don’t support Blogathon, haven’t for a couple of years, and don’t intend to in the future.
2006: I may have Hepatitis.
2005: But not to worry, it was just cramps. Whew!
2004: I want to rip her goddamn fucking ::fliiiip::TAP::TAP::TAP::FLIIIP::TAP::TAP::TAP::FLIP::TAP::TAP::TAP::FLIP::TAP::TAP::TAP:: head off her stupid fucking goddamn neck
2003: No entry.
2002: I caught the eye of one of them, who noticed my intensely guilty terrorist-like face, and waved me over to wand me down.
2001: No entry.
2000: Because, you know, my life is so damn chaotic. Yeah.

7/23/10 – Friday

I asked Fred to wake me up at 5 yesterday morning so I could get my entry posted and get out in the garden before it got really hot. It was just after 6:30 when I made it out to the garden, and the sun was barely up. The garden is shaded until about 8:00, … Continue reading “7/23/10 – Friday”

I asked Fred to wake me up at 5 yesterday morning so I could get my entry posted and get out in the garden before it got really hot.

It was just after 6:30 when I made it out to the garden, and the sun was barely up. The garden is shaded until about 8:00, but holy CRAP was it already hot at 6:30. For two hours I yanked up blight-ridden tomato plants, and by the time I was done yanking up the ones that were the worst, only about 1/3 of the row of tomatoes was left. I see the spots on some of the leaves of the plants that are left, but maybe a spray of fungicide will stop that damn blight in its tracks. I’m not counting on it, but a girl can dream, right?

While I was yanking up plants, I plucked the tomatoes off the plants and put the decent ones in one bucket and the spotty, mushy ones in a different bucket to give to the chickens. It was so gross, the way I’d reach out to pick a partially ripe tomato and find that it was so mushy it felt like a hot water bottle. I ended up with one bucket of tomatoes to keep, and TWO huge buckets of tomatoes for the chickens.

The chickens were appreciative of their early morning snack.

Once that was done, I went around to the tomato plants that were left and picked ripe cherry tomatoes. I ended up with a large bowl of them, which was nice. I’m just sad about my stupid blighty tomatoes. I spent so much time pruning those stupid tomato plants that I was sure this was going to be the year we were going to get some decent tomatoes.


Ah well. Maybe next year will be a good tomato year for us. We haven’t actually HAD a good tomato year, so I think we’re due for one.




So, Tuesday was the day I spent almost all day out of the house. First I got my hair cut, which was nice because at least it’s short and looks okay. But I have to admit that I ran across a picture of me from when I was in Maine, and in retrospect I kind of liked having it longer.

I’m not growing it out, though. Every time I grow it out some, I want to chop it off. It’s staying off, at least for now!

From there I went over and wandered around Kohl’s for about an hour. I’ve discovered this fancy new way of buying clothes. First, you walk around and see some clothes you might like. Then – get this! – you TRY THEM ON. You try them on! That way, you can look at yourself in the mirror and decide whether you want to buy them or not, figure out whether they’re comfortable, whether they’re worth the price.

I just may patent this revolutionary new idea, this trying on clothes. I know, right? AMAZING! The old-fashioned way of eyeballing clothes, getting them home, putting them on, and deciding they don’t work, then leaving them in a pile for a month before lugging them back to the store is NO MORE!

So I bought three shirts that I liked, and I DID NOT buy about 30 shirts that didn’t work for me.

Pardon me for a moment while I bask in my own brilliance.

After I left Kohl’s, I went to Target, where I wandered around for another hour. While I was there, I checked out the netbooks they had, and decided pretty quickly that I wasn’t crazy about either of them. I only bought a birthday card at Target (I had no idea it was legal to leave Target without spending at least $100!), and then headed to Sam’s. At Sam’s I fondled the netbooks they had on display and decided that I liked the HP and the Dell was okay, but I’m still leaning toward the Toshiba.

From Sam’s I went to Costco and fondled the netbooks THEY had on display, and am still leaning toward the Toshiba.

From Costco I went to McDonald’s to get lunch (a grilled chicken snack wrap is just the right size for me, I’ve learned), then went to Rite Aid to buy a bottle of water. I’ve learned that when I go to the hematologist’s office, I’m going to spend, at bare minimum, an hour waiting for a 45 second face-to-face, so I wanted to make sure I had something to drink while I waited.

I made it to the doctor’s office right on time, and to my surprise they took me right back and put me in an exam room.

Then I sat there for an hour and a half. But I had my book and I had my water, so I sat and slurped and read the time away. It’s a good thing I waited so long to see the doctor, because in the 45 seconds I spent face to face with him, I learned the (not) surprising fact that my iron and everything else is fine. My magnesium is low, and I need to start taking a supplement, but otherwise? Fine.

I need to go back every 3 months for blood work and don’t need to see the doctor for a year.

I headed home and got to spend half an hour cooling my heels before it was time to grab up Sofia and take her to Petsmart to meet up with her new mommy. While we waited for her new mommy to show up, Sofia sat in the carrier and was completely calm. I’ve never seen anything like it – she just sat there and watched the people go by. Some people had their dogs with them, and she just watched them and wasn’t freaked out at all. When they looked in the carrier at her, she just blinked at them, and everyone commented on how gorgeous she was.

It was about 8 by the time I left there, and I got ten minutes down the road before I remembered that I’d forgotten to get something the shelter manager had left for me, so I had to turn around and go back to get it. By the time I got home, it was 8:45, and I had just enough time to check my email and say hi to all the cats, then it was bedtime.

I have to say, I much prefer the days – like Wednesday and Thursday – when I get a chance to breathe. Luckily, most of my days are like that!

The plan for today is to spend a few hours in the garden, a few hours making pickles and boiling and mashing yellow squash, and then this afternoon I’m taking the rest of the white kittens to Petsmart. I’ll drop them off, run a few errands (including going to Best Buy in hopes that they have the Toshiba netbook in stock so I can see it in person), and then go back to Petsmart to pick up Martin’s new sisters. I can’t wait to meet them!




No 2 son and his girlfriend are holidaying in Japan and he is amazed at the size of certain anatomical parts of un-neutered toms – if you get my drift (and there seem to be an awful lot of entire males). Which got me thinking, if Coltrane DOES have another home what his other family must have thought when he came home with certain bits missing!

Let me tell you what – I am SO accustomed to only seeing neutered male cats that when unneutered ones come along – like Coltrane, and Roscoe before him – those things are very jarring to see. And they’re HUGE.

If Coltrane DOES have another home, I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when his people spotted what had been done to him!




How about a Christmas present for your readers/internet friends. Upload some of your cat photos and captions/stories to a publish on demand site like Lulu. Your readers/internet friends will be pleased because they will be able to buy a very funny book for themselves or their cat obsessed friends & relatives. Challenger House will be pleased because they can get all the proceeds…. and you will be pleased because I will quit bugging you to do this every six months. What’s not to love?

The work of going through my site and pulling out the photos and captions to upload, is what’s not to love. 🙂




Love the gorgeous blue eye of the white kitty. Stunning. Think it will stay that brilliant?.

I bet it will – Stinkerbelle’s pretty blue eyes are still as blue as they were when she was that age.




Robyn, I was reading USA Today and there was a story about animal hoarders. It said how one lady had 15 dogs (I think) and 10 cats. I thought of you (wonder why?!). I’ve often said if I had a big house, I’d have 10+ cats, too. With the feral, the fosters and your permanant cats, how many do you have now? 😀

There’s our 12 (I’m including Coltrane even though he doesn’t come in the house), plus the Bookworms, plus Los Gatitos and Martin, so that’s 12+4+3+1=20. Tonight we’ll be losing the three white kittens and gaining two, so we’ll be down to 19.

Anyone with 15 dogs, though. THAT’s just crazy! 🙂




I see you now with your Scoop Hands trying to herd dozens and dozens of cats into the coop. It’s amusing me. At what point do you and Fred move into the coop and give the cats the entire run of the house? 🙂

We’d have to have separate coops because Fred snores and I like to stay up later than he does. Fred better get to building!




do you buy your Advantage online, and if so, where? None of the vets or pet supply stores around here carry it.

Lately, I’ve been buying Advantage and Frontline at Canadian Medicine Shop. I’ve also bought from PetsuppliesNet.com, and from USA Sales Outlet.

Also, do you worry about the cats grooming each other and consuming Advantage or Frontline? Our cats are constantly licking each other on the exact spot where it’s supposed to be applied.

I don’t worry about it, because I believe that Advantage and Frontline were tested and shown to be safe if cats inadvertently lick some up. From my experience, though, any cats who get some of it in their mouth don’t care for the taste, at all, and will stop licking at it immediately.

My Friday question: Will you still have an indoor kitten room, too?

Absolutely – in fact, inside will always be the preferred place to keep fosters. The kitten coop is meant to be more of an overflow location. If Los Gatitos were going to be around instead of going to Petsmart later, then Martin and his new sisters would be going out to the coop as soon as we got the air conditioner installed.




I love the checkered shirt you’re wearing in those photos. I want one in that color and in red.

Oh, I am absolutely ridiculous when it comes to those shirts. Not only do I now have one in green, I have one in sort of a cream color, one in a purplish-red, and on Tuesday I bought one in blue. If you find a shirt that fits and is comfortable, I say buy one in every color!




Edited to add:

I have a litter of feral kittens (six kitties and their Mom). Mom “Marley” showed up in our barn in the spring very pregnant, delivered six beautiful kittens in May and I fed her while she was pregnant, of course, so she became friendly and has now brought her kittens up to the house. I feed them all Kitten Chow which they love. The runt has some health issues that need veterinary attention, and we simply can’t afford vet costs for 7 cats (they run about 200 – 300 per cat for spaying or neutering and needling etc). Momma Marley and “the runt” are friendly. The others put up with me sitting there and no longer run off but if I move suddenly they are gone.

After that long background, here is my question. How on earth did Fred catch that feral kitten? I have feelers out to get them in foster care but will have to catch them first. I spend a LOT of time sitting near them and sometimes a few of them edge close to me, especially if I’m petting their Momma and runty. They have made great strides but it’s taken weeks so I’m hoping you can share some tactics with me to either make them approachable or to capture the 5 that are skittish? Keep your fingers crossed for these babies that the Humane Society will come through and find a foster care situation for them, please!

I have two ideas – and if any of y’all have suggestions, PLEASE feel free to jump in here! The first idea is to have a large crate, put it outside, and begin feeding them in there exclusively. Do that ’til you’re able to get all of them in there at once, then shut the door. Voila! Caught kittens!

(That sounds kind of dumb, now that I re-read it. And that would have to be one big crate!)

My other idea is to stock up on Gerber Chicken and Gravy baby food, and when you put out Kitten Chow for them, put some of the baby food on a couple of plates and put the plates right next to you. They’ll eventually be overwhelmed by their desire for the baby food, and come over next to you to eat, thus allowing you to pet them and eventually snatch them up.

I don’t know, that seems too simplistic, too, doesn’t it?

Maybe a trap?

People, jump in here with suggestions, please!

As far as how Fred caught the feral kitten, he chased it around ’til he caught it. But Martin’s pretty young and I’m not sure the chasing scenario would have worked with a kitten older, or if there’d been a large number of them.

I hate that it costs so much to have cats spayed and neutered where you are. They just opened a spay and neuter clinic in Huntsville, and it costs $35 to neuter and $45 to spay a cat at the clinic, with an additional $10 for a rabies shot.




Say goodbye to Los Gatitos! They’re headed to the adoption center this afternoon, and I’ll be surprised if they’re there past the weekend.

Hermano, hanging out.

Sofia shows her sass.

Pancho. Fred laughed when he saw this and said that it looks like a Glamour Shots portrait!

Sofia was all disapproving, “Lady, you keep saying you’re going to take this door out to the garage and strip it and repaint it. How long are you going to talk about it before you do it?” It’s SUMMER in Alabama, Sofia! It’s supposed to hit 100 today and tomorrow, and going outside is like walking into a sauna. I’ll do it this Fall when it’s cooled off some! (Yeah, right.)

How can you not fall to the charms of Evita?

Flirty Hermano.





“I hope my new sisters are nice.”

Poor Martin. He’s so lonely – I go in to spend time with him, and the moment I walk through the door he howls with his squeaky little howl. I can’t wait ’til he meets his new sisters! Last night he came face-to-face with Jake, and he was only mildly freaked out by the experience. Hopefully the same will be true tonight when he meets the new girls!




Three of the four. Corbett’s always off marching to the beat of his own drummer.

Jake, Rhyme, and (you can barely see him) Elwood.

Reacher, Jake, Rhyme, and Elwood. They love to hang out in the kitchen in the morning, when the sun shines through the windows.




Spanky’s also a fan of the morning sun in the kitchen.




2009: I have sprouted six zits in the last 24 hours, just because.
a href=”http://www.bitchypoo.com/date/2008/07/23″>2008: Grrrr.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I really REALLY want a monkeypod tree for my back yard.
2003: Bonus entry, just for you!
2002: Sit on it.
2001: Packing, packing, packing.
2000: No entry.

7/22/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Scenes from around Crooked Acres. (But first! Some leftover vacation pics.) I got this t-shirt at the Pet Pantry in Freeport. I was going to provide a link to where y’all could buy your very own (they had a dog version, too), but I don’t see it on their site, and I’m not finding it … Continue reading “7/22/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday”

Scenes from around Crooked Acres.
(But first! Some leftover vacation pics.)

I got this t-shirt at the Pet Pantry in Freeport. I was going to provide a link to where y’all could buy your very own (they had a dog version, too), but I don’t see it on their site, and I’m not finding it online anywhere.

This is the house on the other side of my brother’s house. No one lives there, and I don’t think it’s actually been abandoned – I think someone shows up from time to time to make sure it’s still standing – but still, what a waste. It’s right on the water.

This is the view from my brother’s house, and to the side a bit. You have to walk, like, 30 seconds to get to this view.

Same place, pivoted to the left a bit.

I think of chipmunks as a forest creature, so it was surprising to see this guy on the rocks near the water.

And still from the same spot.

My parents got out the furbie for the baby. They gave one of these to the spud the year they were the big toy, and it freaked the spud out a little. I found it facing the wall in her closet, with the closet door shut. Heh.

Oh my god, the bread from When Pigs Fly (in Freeport) is SO GOOD. They also have a blueberry/ raspberry lemonade bread that is TO DIE FOR. I brought a loaf of the Carrot Cake bread and a half loaf of the blueberry/ raspberry lemonade home with me in my suitcase. It’s enough to make me take up artisan bread making. Almost.

Please note that I am halfway wet, here. I got into the pool a little past my waist, and decided it was too cold. The pool finally got up to about 90 the next day, and it was perfect.

Yesterday, Fred sent me an email telling me that it was supposed to get very hot, and asked if I’d run the hose over to the pigs’ wallow and fill it up. (It’s been really dry around here lately.) I went out there a little after 9:30, and pulled the hose over toward the wallow, but the fucking thing didn’t reach the entire way. I stomped and swore.

Then I solved the problem.

The pigs were appreciative.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go yank up some tomato plants that have THE MOTHERFUCKING BLIGHT, so I’m going to yammer on about the kittens and call it an entry.




I adore Martin’s eye makeup. See how it goes around his eyes at the bottom and then goes out at the sides with a dramatic flair?

This boy, oh he is SO CUTE. He’s gotten past this whole “feral” nonsense at breathtaking speed. Now when you walk into the room, he doesn’t run and hide, he just sits there. And then when you lay down with him, he comes right over to play. He purrs, he rubs, he rolls onto his belly and play-fights with you.

I think he’s lonely, honestly. I think giving him some playmates will be a good thing. I hope they get along!

We’re still worried that he must have siblings out there somewhere. Last night, Fred put the trap out with a plate of tasty mackerel inside, hoping that we’d catch one of them, or possibly even his mother. (Martin’s mother, that is. Not Fred’s. Fred’s mother isn’t partial to mackerel.)

We caught Maxi. Probably tonight we’ll catch Newt or Coltrane. Hopefully our cats will figure out to stay away from the trap eventually. All we can do is keep setting it.

In the meantime, Martin is safe and well-fed. He’s using the litter box like a champ (he’s such a skillful litter box user that for the first two days I was beside myself with worry because he wasn’t using the litter box. Then I went digging with the scoop and found out that he’d been using it plenty. He just managed to make the litter box look completely untouched!), and he’s putting up with being kissed.

It’s hard to stop kissing his sweet face.

Someone asked if we might make Martin a permanent resident. In the past when I’ve categorically said “NO MORE CATS,” we’ve gotten another cat within seconds. So I’ll carefully say that at this point, we do not intend to keep him. We plan to raise him ’til he’s neutered and there’s room at the adoption center, then we’ll kiss him and wish him a happy life.

We’ll see how that goes.




Sofia, mid-knead.

Sleepy Hermano.

I love that all the kittens love this hammock on the cat tree.

Sending Sofia off to her new home seems to have changed the dynamic in the kitten room. Pancho’s as friendly as he ever was, but now Hermano’s started to come around. When I walk into the room, they both come right over and purr and rub against my ankles. Evita, on the other hand, runs and hides behind the chair. She’s a bit skittish – and thus the reason you haven’t seen many pictures of her. She’s starting to come around slowly, though. Last night she almost let me pet her.

I figure she’ll turn friendly about ten minutes before I have to cart them off to the adoption center tomorrow!




Corbett, in his favorite spot on the couch. Which used to be Spanky’s favorite spot.

Bolitar makes himself at home on top of the pantry. We put that cat bed up there when we brought the pantry in from the garage, intending for Joe Bob to sleep in it (he always slept in the cat bed on top of the bookcase that used to be there), but he wasn’t interested. I guess it’s good that someone is getting use out of it!

Pretty Rhyme.




Someone asked for an update on Coltrane.

Coltrane is doing just fine, after his neuter surgery. He’s mostly forgiven us for that.

We don’t always see him every day (I’m still not completely sure whether he belongs to someone in the area, so he very well might be spending most of his time there), but he’s around most mornings and evenings. I think he spends a good part of his night in the back yard (which is fenced in and safe, though small possums can get under the fence, apparently), and usually Fred sees him in the mornings. He hangs out in the back yard ’til it starts to get warm, then he disappears for the better part of the day.

If I have my way, we’ll set up a place where he can stay safe and warm when it starts to get cold out. He could hang out on the front porch, but Maxi is pretty sure that that territory belongs to her and Newt, and she’s not inclined to share.




2009: Dehydrating zucchini slices.
2008: It’s a rough life, but someone’s gotta live it.
2007: No entry.
2006: Maine facts.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Okay, first of all she wasn’t married to Frank Gifford, that was Kathie Lee, and secondly FRANK GIFFORD ISN’T DEAD!”
2002: “Hallo, Clarice,” he said.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

7/21/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

Speaking of white kitties…! I have a question about mine. I don’t know anyone else who has had as much experience with kittens, so I’m going to ask my question here. Robyn, have you ever had foster kitties with conjunctivitis? I just got two new kittens, sisters – one tiger and one white with a … Continue reading “7/21/10 – Kitteh Wednesday”

Speaking of white kitties…! I have a question about mine. I don’t know anyone else who has had as much experience with kittens, so I’m going to ask my question here. Robyn, have you ever had foster kitties with conjunctivitis? I just got two new kittens, sisters – one tiger and one white with a tabby patch on her head. They are about 11-12 weeks old and the tiger has conjunctivitis. Do you or any of your readers know how long this lasts or what possible complications may be? I know to be careful about spreading it: the sisters are separated and I wash my hands – including a quick rinse with a bleach solution – after I handle the tiger. I did take her to the vet and got some eye ointment, but I was hoping for some advice not just from a vet or the internet but from someone who has actually had to take care of a kitten with conjunctivitis.

Also, how long after getting spayed can they play together? Zelda (the white kitty) was just spayed and I had them separated for about a day and a half, and then I let them together but they were playing so roughly. It was only a couple of days later that Mrs.Parker (the tiger) got conjunctivitis so I had to separate them again anyway, but also, one of Zelda’s stitches had been pulled out. I don’t know if she herself licked it so much that it came out or if Mrs.Parker ripped it out while they were fighting. Mrs.Parker didn’t get spayed at the same time because she was too little, but she’s scheduled for Thursday. How do you deal with so many spayed kittens at the same time?

I’m going to throw this one out to the readers – I don’t remember having a cat diagnosed with conjunctivitis or how long it might last. Readers? Experience?

As far as how long to wait before you let kittens play together, I would think that by the third day after surgery, they’d be healed enough to play together, even if they’re rough. I’m lucky in that the vet who spays and neuters our kittens uses surgical glue to close the incisions, not stitches, so there’s not as much of a threat of them reopening the incision by playing roughly. I could be just not remembering correctly, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with any of the incisions on any of my fosters.

(Someone also asked last week why my just-spayed Bookworms weren’t wearing collars, and that’s why – I’ve never had an issue with them worrying the incision or pulling out stitches (since there aren’t any), so I’ve never put collars on just-spayed/neutered kittens. The only time I’ve had to put collars on kittens was last year when the True Bloods had their eye surgeries, and even that only lasted a day or two.)




“Momma! Momma! MOMMAAAAAA!”

“HEY. What do you want? Why are you banging on our door? STOP MAKING ALL THAT NOISE!”

“I want the Momma! I’m hungry! Why is she hanging out in there where I can’t GET to her? Do you have food in there? I smell food!”

“There’s no Momma in here.”



“But she’s right there. Sitting next to you. Pointing the camera at me.”

“You don’t see nothin’. You understand me? NOTHING. No Momma. No food. No white kittens. It’s a figment of your imagination, you big baby. Now, quit banging on the door. We’re discussing the correct way to pet a kitty. With the Momma who isn’t here.”







Sofia has gone to her new home – I got to meet her new mom last night, who was VERY excited to be bringing Sofia home. I’m sure I’ve got more pictures of her to share, because she’s such a gorgeous cat that I couldn’t stop snapping pictures of her!

The rest of Los Gatitos are going to the adoption center on Friday – and I’ll be bringing home two new kittens to put with the little feral so he won’t be lonely. Their names are Melodie and Moxie, so going along with the “M” naming theme, I circumvented Fred’s demand to name the little guy “Tony Rocky Horror” (The guy in Pulp Fiction who got thrown out of a window for giving Marsellus Wallace’s wife a foot massage.) and named him Martin.

The name Tony Rocky Horror will be showing up again, though, I guarantee it. Had Melodie and Moxie not already been named, I had thought we might go with a naming theme of characters who are mentioned in a movie or TV show, but never actually seen. Unfortunately, the only other character name I could think of off the top of my head was Maris (Crane, wife of Niles on Frasier).

More on him (and pictures, too) tomorrow, I promise.

I actually had the option of taking the Bookworms (at least a couple of them) to the adoption center on Friday. But I know Los Gatitos will be adopted very quickly, so I figured it’d be best to take them and let them be adopted rather than having them sit here waiting for room to open up at the adoption center.

When I told Fred, he accused me of just wanting to keep the Bookworms around longer.

I deny that.




I have a dream that one day, I’ll figure out how to consistently take pictures that aren’t all crooked as if I’d just held out the camera and snapped a picture without looking.




2009: (Don’t answer that. Let me live in my dream world.)
2008: Out of curiosity – anyone still think we won’t eat those pigs?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Handwritten.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Jemima J.

7/20/10 – Tuesday

I just went out and took a dead mouse away from Elwood, who was tossing it in the air and batting at it. Now Jake, Elwood, and Tommy are all diligently sniffing the ground where the mouse was laying. Then George and Gracie started barking wildly, both looking at the garden shed, so I ran … Continue reading “7/20/10 – Tuesday”

I just went out and took a dead mouse away from Elwood, who was tossing it in the air and batting at it. Now Jake, Elwood, and Tommy are all diligently sniffing the ground where the mouse was laying.

Then George and Gracie started barking wildly, both looking at the garden shed, so I ran out to see what was going on. I’m still hoping that the litter mates to the feral kitten who showed up on Sunday will show themselves. There was nothing by the garden shed, but George and Gracie are still out there barking. They like to bark at nothing an awful lot. I’m thinking they see something in another dimension that mere mortals can’t see.

I hope it’s not a dog going after my other-dimensional chickens.

I got a fantastic night of sleep last night, for the third or fourth night in a row. It’s amazing how much better I sleep when I don’t have Bolitar (bless his wet nose and snuggly little heart) climbing all over me. At bedtime, I go into the guest bedroom and call “Little bitty kitties, little bitties, little bitties!”, and all four of the Bookworms come running in. Some of them come in sooner than the others, but they all eventually come in. For the past two nights, Jake has been running in there with them, so I shut him in. They’ve got a litter box, food, and water. What else do they need? Jake loves his Bookworms.

I was concerned about the new feral kitten yesterday, so I mixed up a batch of KMR and took it out to him. I tried giving it to him in the bottle – he mostly licked at the nipple. Then I tried syringing some into his mouth, and he swallowed what I put in his mouth, but he wasn’t that interested in it. He was mostly curious about it – but after I’d given it to him, he became super friendly. He goes back and forth between skittish and friendly at the moment. Right now he’s spending his days in Fred’s room and his nights in the downstairs bathroom. He’s a jet setter!

I shouldn’t tell y’all this, but we’re planning to turn the blue coop (not the big coop in the back forty – the medium coop in the side yard near the garage) into an outdoor kitten room. I had the little feral out there for most of the day yesterday. Even with the windows open and a fan on, it got hotter than I liked (I know, right? Alabama in July. Who knew it was going to be hot? CRAZY!), which is why we brought him inside. We’ve ordered an air conditioner, which should be here before the weekend. The plan is to use it as is for the time being if we need to, and then this Fall we’ll get serious. We’ll have an electrician out to run power to the coop, Fred will build a screened-in entrance so the kittens can’t escape. We’ll insulate and sheet-rock the inside, paint it. It’ll be awesome – or at least that’s the plan! Right now even though Fred spent a good part of Sunday cleaning the coop, it stinks in there. Which is to be expected – it was a chicken coop, after all. I’m going to get out there before the weekend and do some more scrubbing. I fear that it might always smell faintly of chickens, but it certainly could be worse. I have PLANZ for that coop, believe you me. There’ll be shelves under the windows! There’ll be toys hanging from the ceiling to bat at!

It’ll be spectacular. I hope!

Before I went wandering off up there, I meant to say that I brought the kitten bottle in to clean, filled it with water and left it in the sink. When I went to actually wash the bottle, the nipple was missing. I have no clue where the damn thing is – but I know that Bolitar’s the one who stole it, because at one point yesterday afternoon he had the scoop that I’d used to scoop out the formula with, and he was licking it, then proceeded to bat it around before I rescued it. He’s a little thief, that one. When I was giving the feral his flea bath yesterday (the Advantage killed the fleas, but the poor guy was covered in flea dirt and he was one stinky little guy, so he needed a bath), Bolitar was sitting on the kitchen floor howling and howling like he was afraid he was missing out on something good. He’s such a brat (and I love him).

Today, I am scattered (which is no different from any other day, I know) because I have a lot of stuff to do. I have a hair appointment, an appointment with the hematologist, and then tonight I’m taking Sofia to the adoption center to meet up with her new mother and go home. There’s a gap of about two hours between my hair appointment and my appointment with the hematologist. I’m trying to decide whether to come home and shower before I head back out, or just stay out. Both appointments are in the same general direction, and coming home to shower would be backtracking. I have errands I can run, so I may just stay out. I want to go by Sam’s and Costco and Best Buy to look at the netbooks they’re selling. Someone made a good point in my comments yesterday – I should actually put my hands on the netbook I’m thinking of buying rather than just ordering it online.

But before I leave for my first appointment, I need to put together a turkey and rice casserole for dinner tonight (I’ll cook it this morning so we can just reheat it tonight), do some laundry, figure out what I want to do with the squash Fred brought in from the garden last night.

So let me babble on about the cats for a bit and then we’ll call it an entry!




Pancho is a little goofball. And SUCH a snuggler. When I go into the foster room and sit on the floor, he climbs into my lap immediately.

The bros. Pancho, left, and Hermano, right.

Three of the four. But their eyes are closed, so I don’t know who’s who! (Tonight, I buy collars.)

Hermano, left, and Sofia, right.

Pancho, the luvah.

These kittens, I swear, have got the softest, silkiest fur. It’s such a pleasure to pet them! I mean, it’s always a pleasure to pet kittens, but these guys are especially pleasurable to pet.

Tonight, Sofia goes to her new home! I think she’ll be happy with her new parents and her new brother. It was nice to have her here, even though it was for such a short amount of time.




The feral (who pretty much has a name, if Fred gets his way. We’re negotiating.) is doing well. He was tested yesterday and is negative (yay!). Right now he’s living in Fred’s bedroom during the day and in the downstairs bathroom at night. He’s scared and skittish, but also playful and likes to be petted. He SO did not care for his bath yesterday afternoon, but he was terribly stinky and covered in flea dirt, so he desperately needed it.




Corbett, on the tree in the front room.

Looking up at Stinkerbelle, who pretty much lives on top of the bookcase next to the cat tree.

Rhyme, about to fall off. Does he care? Not in the slightest.

Snoozin’ Bolitar.




Suggie say relax.




2009: I should have demanded a decorator’s fee.
2008: The last time I wore a bikini, I was around five, and I expect that unless I lose my mind, that’s the last time a bikini will come anywhere near my body.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: And then he looked at ME, like I was the instigator or something!
2000: “Where’s my food?! Where’s my FOOD, bitch?! I need fat, I need salt, I need sugar, and GIVE IT TO ME NOW, or I’ll drive you completely insane!”

7/19/10 – Monday

Things on my recent List of Annoyances. 1. The company that provides our phone service and internet. I’m pretty sure they’re trying to make me have an aneurysm. SLOW SLOW SLOW FUCKING SLOW. Every single day I can be found in front of my computer screaming “EVERY DAY! EVERY FUCKING DAY! GODDAMN YOU TO FUCKING … Continue reading “7/19/10 – Monday”

Things on my recent List of Annoyances.

1. The company that provides our phone service and internet. I’m pretty sure they’re trying to make me have an aneurysm. SLOW SLOW SLOW FUCKING SLOW. Every single day I can be found in front of my computer screaming “EVERY DAY! EVERY FUCKING DAY! GODDAMN YOU TO FUCKING HELL EVERY FUCKING DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” And what’s worse is that we thought we were SO FUCKING SMART, that we decided to host our own server, and with the slowness and the always going down, guess what? Every time the internet goes down ALL OUR FUCKING SITES GO DOWN TOOOOOO.

Fred was instructed to find us a new host while I was on vacation, but didn’t even pretend to look. Fucker.

So tell me about your host, but only if you think they are the BEST! HOST! EVARRRRRR! (Or, you know, if you’d like to bitch about your host, too, go for it. You know I feel your pain!)

2. Fred

a. Laying in bed the other night.
Me: So, I was listening to Bob and Sheri, and this female rocket scientist called in, and she said that she was ditched in the middle of a blind date. It was going well ’til the guy found out she was a rocket scientist, then he went to the bathroom and never came back.
Fred: Huh.
Me: What is it? Do guys not like smart women?
Fred: (long pause as he considers the question) I don’t know.

It took him a long moment and a “Hmph!” from me before he realized what he’d said and started laughing.

b. I want a netbook. I WANT A NETBOOK. Lugging the laptop to Maine and back reiterated to me that I WANT A FUCKING NETBOOK. I know I bought one from Woot last year and it didn’t work out. I know I only travel a few times a year and hardly ever use the laptop while I’m at home, but did I mention? I WANT A NETBOOK.

I cannot get Fred to even feign any kind of interest in my need for a netbook.

“You’re not even feigning interest in my desire for a netbook!” I whined the other day.

“That’s because I’m not interested,” he said.


“I didn’t say you couldn’t HAVE a netbook,” he said. “I just don’t know anything about them and I’m not interested.”

I sent him an email that said I’m thinking that when it’s time to buy a netbook, we should go for either the Dell Mini or the Toshiba Mini – I’m thinking the latter. They both got pretty good ratings on Amazon, the Toshiba’s ratings are slightly higher, and I’m leery of Dell.

His response? Okay.

Is it too much to ask that he pretend to be interested in the topic? Apparently so. HMPH.

You guys love me, right? What kind of netbooks do you recommend? I’m leaning toward the Toshiba, but I’m open to suggestions.

3. We were watching Friday Night Lights the other night, and there was some important play or another going on, one that could take them to… the semifinals? State? Something like that? But anyway, this play was going on and the camera panned to the sidelines, where several of the players were standing watching the play with sweaty intensity.

“Huh,” I said. “That looks like an important play.”

“Yeah….?” Fred said.

“So why are QB1 and the running back and the greasy Tim Riggins* standing on the sidelines?”

“Because defense is on the field,” Fred said.


“Because it’s a defense play, not an offense play.”

It took a long time before I understood. Apparently in football, a team does not have its offense and its defense on the field at the same time.

I am 42 years old. I have watched (though not particularly paid attention to) many football games. Both my brothers played football when they were small. I was a CHEERLEADER when I was 8. WE’VE GOT SPIRIT, YES WE DO, WE’VE GOT SPIRIT, HOW ‘BOUT YOU??? Also when I was 8, I declared that I was going to be the first woman playing football in the NFL.*

(You see how that worked out.)

How did it escape my notice for all these years that a team’s defense and offense are not on the field at the same time?

Days later, this still BLOWS MY MIND. I keep trying to find the loophole. In the car yesterday, I said to Fred “But if one team’s offense fumbles the ball, the other team’s defense could take the ball and run it to the goal, right? THEN AREN’T THEY ACTING IN AN OFFENSIVE MANNER, MAKING THEM THE OFFENSE?”

Yeah. He seemed unimpressed with my argument. I can’t imagine why.

*I jest. Tim Riggins seems to have taken a shower over the summer.

**Can you imagine? Coach would be all “Anderson, it’s time for you to take the field and lead us to victory!” and I’d be all “But the defense isn’t on the field yet, Coach!” I DODGED A BULLET THERE!

4a. Arbitron, a marketing research company, called the house in mid-June. I squinted at the caller id, and doesn’t “Arbitron” sound like it could be a company that hires software engineers? Well, it sounded like it to me, so I answered the phone in hopes that someone might be calling Fred for an interview. (This was before he got the job where he is now, and is deliriously happy, might I add.) Anyway, I answered it and the woman told me that they wanted to conduct a radio survey in my area, blah blah blah, would I be willing to keep a diary of the radio stations I listen to?

Because I was feeling charitable, I agreed, and then we hung up the phone. The next day, Arbitron called again to let me know my radio diaries (I agreed that Fred would keep one, too) were on the way. A few days later, I got a letter from them with a crisp dollar bill in it, letting me know that, hey, my diaries are on the way! A week later, the diaries, each with a crisp dollar bill, arrived. Arbitron called to let me know that I should have my diaries. They took to calling every single goddamn motherfucking day. I stopped answering the phone. They called twice a day, hanging up on the answering machine each time.

I filled out the goddamn diaries (and we got yet another crisp dollar bill in a letter letting us know that the diary-keeping period was over and we should send the diaries back) and I sent them back but CHRIST ALMIGHTY, let me tell you what. Next time Arbitron needs me to fill out a diary detailing my radio listening patterns (and I spend maybe 20 minutes a day TOTAL listening to the radio, unless I’m going somewhere), they are SHIT OUT OF LUCK. Talk about your needy motherfuckers.

b. UAH, Fred’s alma mater, wants to put together an alumni directory. They desperately want Fred’s contact information. Fred is uninterested. Every 10 days or so, we get a postcard in the mail letting us know (in case we’ve forgotten in the past 10 days) that the deadline is approaching, and they want to be sure Fred’s information is correct. Fred doesn’t call them. I don’t call them FOR him. It sounds like UAH is shit outta luck. Maybe they could get together with Arbitron and start up a needy relationship where they call and write each other constantly.

5. “He actually swore yesterday,” Fred said, of a coworker.

“Really?” I said. “What did he say?”


Now goddamn it, I OBJECT. I will never fucking understand why “crap” is not a swear word, but “shit” is. THEY MEAN THE SAME GODDAMN THING. But “shit” is always bleeped out on TV and “crap” never is. NOT FAIR.


(Don’t be fooled. I took one step outside and it went POOF.)

I SUPPOSE, if you must be technical, it’s my own damn fault. Back when Fred first lost his job, I was in “I shall spend not one penny more than I absolutely must!” mode (pay no attention to those cat toys behind the curtain), and I cancelled my hair appointment the first week of April. Then Fred got a job, and I didn’t make an appointment. And my hair grew. Three months later, here we are: a big frizzy shapeless mass of what the fuck.

I have a hair appointment tomorrow, and that shit’s going to be chopped off, believe you me.

7. Cats. Seriously. See the next section for the “WHAT THE FUCK?” of THIS weekend.




I was preparing to get into the shower yesterday morning, and I heard Fred come upstairs and down the hallway. There was a pause, and then a knock.

I opened the door and said “What?”

Fred found himself a feral kitten. Going out into the back yard, he saw something dart from next to our fence to the massive boxwood bush a few feet away. The neighbor who was in his back yard practicing his fishing technique, told Fred that he thought it was a rabbit. Fred thought about just going out to do his chores, but his innate nosiness overcame him, and he went to investigate.

Hello, feral kitten.

He had to do some chasing before he caught the little guy, who fought and hissed and growled like a good little feral. Fred put him in a carrier and then came up to get me. I took my shower (come on, I had hair color on my head and needed to rinse it out!) and then went downstairs to check out the situation. In the carrier on the front porch was a little guy, voraciously eating the canned food Fred had given him.

He had fleas (I put Advantage on him), he’s got the big round belly that usually indicates worms, and he desperately needs a bath, but all in all he seems to be in pretty good shape. But this morning with the help of Gerber Chicken and Gravy (which is like crack to kittens), not only did he let me pet him, he stood on my leg and kneaded, and then he rolled over and presented the belly for rubbing.

At the moment he’s not in the house, but once he’s been tested (which he will be in a few hours), we’ll bring him in. Or maybe we won’t – the shelter manager might have a lead on a foster home for him. We’re not going to name him just yet – if he goes to another home, his new foster parents can name him. (Annnnnd, not ten seconds after I wrote that, Fred informed me that he’d like to raise this guy ’til he’s ready to be adopted. I… guess we have a new foster!)

He’s a boy, a brown and white tabby, and initially I thought he was 7 or 8 weeks old, but this morning I weighed him and he’s just over a pound, so maybe 5 weeks old? I don’t know, I’m terrible at aging kittens. In any case he eats well, he’s lively, and he even played with a toy mouse briefly this morning.

I suspect there’s a mother and/ or more feral kittens out there somewhere, but we both went all over the property yesterday morning looking, and found nothing at all. We’ll have to wait and see.

I guess this is the year of the stray for us!




Los Gatitos are doing well, their first weekend here. They spent a lot of time sleeping (they had their first vaccination Friday night, which always knocks them out for a day or two), and I could hear them up there playing, and they spent plenty of time keeping a wary eye on me. Sofia and Pancho were the first to break and come to me for petting.

This is Sofia. Don’t get too attached…

Sofia’s already been adopted!

She goes to her new home tomorrow.

This is Pancho. He’s the friendliest of the bunch. You walk into the room, and he comes over and falls at your feet. Silly boy. (His eyes are green.)

Evita’s a little shy, but give her some time. She’ll warm up, I’m sure of it.

People have asked whether any of these kittens are deaf. Initially we thought that Hermano (the blue-eyed boy) was because he wasn’t responding to any of the noises I was making. However, on Saturday he was sleeping, and I rattled a toy behind his head. He woke up and turned around to look, so he’s got at least some hearing.

The rest of them appear to hear just fine, too.




Bolitar and Elwood.

Bolitar. I love this guy; he cracks me up. He likes to get whiny and howl at me, and I say, in a mocking voice, “Wahhhh! I’m da babyyyyy!”, and he howls again.

He doesn’t mind being mocked.

Sleeping Reacher.

Four nights ago, I hit my limit. After being woken up every half hour by marauding Bookworms, I decided I’d HAD it. The next night, we put the Bookworms in the guest bedroom and shut the door. There were some puzzled meows, but they were quiet all night.

I got a great night’s sleep.

And now at night, the Bookworms go into the guest bedroom, and I sleep most of the night through without cats climbing all over me.

I find that when I get a good night’s sleep, I can put up with the daily cat-related annoyances a lot more calmly than I do when I’m sleep deprived. Go figure!




Elwood is going to be a big, big boy.




2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Goddamn squirrels.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: OR I may have thought to myself, well, every author is entitled to a horrid piece of excrement or two.
2001: I’ve been packing in a desultory and lazy fashion this week, and have about half the upstairs done.
2000: I think if any of the kitties lose their mind and go on a human-throat-gnawing spree, it’ll be her.