Archive for September, 2010

9/30/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, September 30th, 2010. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

The first part of the house tour!

The front of the house from across the street.

And the front of the house, from closer. The upstairs windows are the foster room. The downstairs windows are the front room.

Resident greeter Maxi would like you to know that she disapproves of this “house tour” nonsense.

Front door, plant stand, the house Fred made for Maxi and Newt so they wouldn’t freeze to death in the winter. They used it the first winter, and then decided they’d rather huddle in misery on the side porch than snooze in luxury on the front.

The right side of the porch. Yes, this is a lovely place to sit and talk – but we never sit out here.

Left side of the porch. I sit in that swing and stalk the hummingbirds.

Standing just inside the front door. After living here for 3 1/2 years, I finally got pictures hung on that wall. Which I’ve been planning to do… for about 3 1/2 years.

The right side of the front room. That table to the far right of the picture is where my sewing machine sits, ignored. On the bookcase is all my material and sewing supplies. Those are also ignored.

Left side of the front room – the living room section, if you will. Where we spend most of our evenings.

Same side of the room, from the hallway. The couch under the windows is Fred’s; the other one is mine. Yes, we COULD share a couch, but I like to lay down and stretch out while we’re watching TV. And there are usually 43 cats on the couch with Fred. These couches used to belong to Fred’s father and stepmother, and they are the MOST comfortable couches ever. Fred’s couch, you might have noticed, has a slipcover on it. I need to order one for my couch (I just ordered the one to make sure it was going to work out before I ordered a second). These couches are TORN UP. Stupid cats.

And from the hallway, to the left.

Another shot of the TV area. The table next to Fred’s couch (over there in the corner) drives me NUTS because it’s always got a ton of shit piled up on it.

Dodger, atop the bookcase in the front room.

That’s it for the tour for this week. NEXT week, we’ll go down the hallway and see the bathroom and guest bedroom! Can you stand the excitement?

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Scenes from around Crooked Acres.

Do you see what those fucking chickens did to my little herb garden? They hollowed out beds and took dust baths and fucked it all up. Fuckers. Now that I’ve made it so they can’t get out of the back forty, I pulled up the herbs, added some soil, and planted radishes in this bed, and carrots in the bed next to it. Then I covered the beds with chicken wire so Maxi and Newt can’t dig in the beds and use them as a litter box.

Come on, habaneros, ripen! I’m running out!

Baby bell peppers.


Have I mentioned my love for Morning Glories?

The okra are just about done for the season. Fred is sad (but I have two bags of sliced okra in the freezer, so we’ll have plenty of roasted okra between now and next summer!).

Volunteer squash plants. I don’t know that we’ll actually get anything from these, but it’ll be interesting to see.

Autumn Clematis.

I was surprised to find a Rose of Sharon growing among the shrubbery in the back yard. Purty.

One of the chickens, back when they were able to wander out of the back forty. They always came running when I was picking tomatoes. There’s nothing chickens love as much as tomatoes!

Okay, Georgie’s looking at me. Gracie, look at me! Over here, Gracie. Graaaacie! Gracie?

Damnit, George, look at ME, not over there! George!

Good Georgie! Good boy. Ugh. GRACIE! Everyone look at ME.

You guys, come on. AT me, I said! AT ME. Not away from me!

UGH. Brats. Well, at least they’re both looking at me!

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The Reacher creature.

Reacher, sneaking in the cat door before I spot him and yell at him.

He has such gorgeous eyes. All my Bookworms do.

Oh, how Marty loves the Skinneeez teaser.

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These kittens have the prettiest markings.

I love the two light brown stripes down Hutch’s back.

Hutch, skeptical.

I don’t know what Starsky’s looking at, but it appears to be pretty amazing.

Starsky. Who does little Starsky remind me of? He reminds me SO MUCH of Bolitar, not only in looks, but also in temperament.

Bolitar, back in March:

Anyway, here’s the story behind Starsky and Hutch. I got a call from the shelter manager Sunday evening. Another Challenger’s House foster mom had gotten these two little kittens from a friend who found them. They’d been tossed out of a car along with a third kitten. The third kitten was in such bad shape and hurt so badly that there was nothing that could be done for it, and it had to be euthanized.

Since all my little guys are going to Petsmart on Friday, I knew I’d have the room, so I was more than willing to take them.

These two were LOADED with fleas when I got them, and so the first night we bedded them down in a big carrier in the blue coop with a heating pad.

On a side note, I have been REALLY lucky as far as fleas go. The only time I ever spotted fleas on fosters is when we got the Cookies last Fall, and they only had a few fleas. When I say these two were loaded with fleas, I’m not kidding. They had fleas crawling in their eyes. It was awful.

By mid-day Monday, the fleas were eradicated, and I bathed them and set them up in a cage in the guest bedroom.

They’re doing well and are pretty healthy. They’re a little bony, but they’re both eating well and putting on the ounces. They’ve been using the litter box I put in their cage, Starsky has been eating a little of the bowl of Babycat kibble I left in their cage, and last night Hutch lapped some formula off a plate.

They’re sweet and snuggly and friendly. They’re at that age I love so much, where they’re just figuring out how to play with toys and how to play-fight with each other, where everything is AMAZING, and their favorite thing to do is climb into my lap, purring and kneading.

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VERY MUCH do Kara, Sugarbutt and Tommy disapprove when we have the nerve to leave the back yard. Look at the judgmental faces on those three!

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2009: Flat Holly
2008: “Paul Newman is dead too! What are the chances that… Oh.”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’m a badass, that’s right.
2004: I
2003: In adults, I am anti-”bye-bye”.
2002: Day in the life.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/29/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, September 29th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Donna, Love & Hisses does, in fact, still exist. It’s located here, and there’s a link in the left sidebar, under “misc.” It’s updated every day that Bitchypoo is, which means most weeks it’s updated Monday through Friday.

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Martin and Jake: it’s a love-hate-love-hate relationship.

“What do you MEAN I have a big butt and you cannot lie?”

“That’s right, right there. That’s the spot!”

“What do you MEAN you can’t stand the way I purr?!”

“Just SMILE for the stupid picture so she’ll go away. I’ll deal with YOU later, mister!”

“I know, I know, I’m sorry, too.”

A blissful moment.

“You’re kind of getting on my nerves, with the hovering. I need my space.”

“Do you always have to be RIGHT NEXT TO ME?”



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Okay, they’re named!

Meet Starsky:

and Hutch:

Put ’em up!

Y’all had some REALLY good suggestions, thanks for those. I liked Frasier and Niles, too, but couldn’t talk Fred into it. I thought Axl and Slash were good names, but couldn’t talk Fred into that, either. After some negotiation, we settled on Starsky and Hutch. I’ve saved all your name suggestions, though, for future fosters!

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Miz Poo would like you to know that TODAY it’s a Poo cave, not a Suggie cave or a Spanky cave. In case you were wondering.

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2009: Is it not amazing how the tiniest things can make the worst smells?
2008: Did I mention SHADDUP, YOU?
2007: No entry.
2006: No need to send out the announcement that we’re freaks just yet, I suppose.
2005: What a fucking day, I tells ya.
2004: Which makes me think he’s out there talking shit about me, of course.
2003: I know I’ve lived in Alabama too long when 70 is a bit too cool for me.
2002: No entry.
2001: I swear, my work is NEVER done.
2000: No entry.

9/28/10 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, September 28th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Cetta, I haven’t a clue how the hell I got my music and videos from my iPod to my computer. I plugged the iPod in, iTunes said “There’s shit on here that isn’t in your library. You want to reformat your iPod or transfer the stuff on your iPod to iTunes or what?” and I said “Please transfer all the stuff on my iPod, thanks.” and it did!

I recommend plugging in your iPod, and if iTunes suddenly starts reformatting your iPod, scream and yank out the cord. That’s what I’d do!

(Also, swearing a lot helps, too. True story!)

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I have, in fact, watched Sister Wives. I found it interesting (I especially found the part where they showed a diagram of where each wife’s house is in the house as a whole interesting) and they certainly manage to make it sound like a reasonable way to live, with the wives supporting each other and helping out and all that. Almost seems like a valid life choice, really (isn’t it big of me to allow that other people might have their own lives that they choose to live differently than I live mine?).

But it fell apart when they showed Kody kissing one wife and then another and then the third. Not that he kissed them one right after the other, they were different houses and different times, but I just don’t get it. I guess I’m a weird and selfish bitch, but the idea of my husband spending one night in my bed and then the next two nights in his other wives’ beds, gives me the ookies.

(I much prefer it that he spends every night in his OWN bed, of course! Har! Har!)

I’m a generous person, but there are certain things I prefer not to share, thanks. When wife #3 (Christine, maybe?) said something like “Gosh darnit, they better!” about her husband having sex with his other wives, I cringed a tiny bit.

I think it’s no surprise that all three wives grew up in polygamous families (I don’t know if wife-to-be #4 did or not – they didn’t mention it either way, did they?). Did anyone else notice that wife #3 is less than thrilled about the idea of adding #4?

I’m not particularly fond of Kody, he strikes me as kind of annoying to be around, though probably he’s not quite so annoyingly rah-rah all the time in real life.

I’ll keep watching, of course, because I want to see what happens and it’s hard to look away!

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Good lord, do I feel scattered today. I was a jam-making fool yesterday, and I have several batches to make today as well. In the midst of all the jam-making, I had to stop and go to Madison for my six-month dental appointment, then stop and buy a few groceries, then it was back to more jam-making.

I’m trying a fancy new trick this time around when I make my jams – I’m actually WRITING DOWN what the hell I’m doing, how much pectin I’m using, how much sugar, all that, in hopes of actually getting some consistency going in my jam, so that if you order a jar of, say, peach-habanero jam and then order another jar in six months, you’ll get about the same heat and flavor.

We’ll see how long I keep that up – or rather, how much attention I pay to my notes. I made a batch of apricot-habanero jam yesterday morning, and wrote myself a note that “apricots come to a boil quickly, keep an eye on them and stir frequently!” A few hours later I decided to make a second batch of jam (I used dehydrated apricots, rehydrated them overnight, which gave me enough for two batches of jam) and when I saw my admonishment to keep an eye on the apricots, I rolled my eyes and said “Yeah, like THAT bitch has any idea what she’s talking about.”

As a result of Afternoon Robyn thinking she knew better than Morning Robyn, I scorched the fucking shit out of the apricots and had to give ’em to the pigs.

Stupid fucking know-it-all Afternoon Robyn.

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Is 43 the age when all men become obsessed with looking at the fucking weather map, or is it just MY husband? Numerous times a day we discuss what the weather has done and what the weather will do, and how we’re “just on the edge of this band. While it comes in useful, because he knows at any moment in time what the weather is expected to do, it is MOTHERFUCKING ANNOYING because he insists that I come look at the goddamn weather map.

I DO NOT WANT TO LOOK AT THE WEATHER MAP. I just want to know if it’s going to RAIN, or if it’s going to be SUNNY or whatever. Sunday I was ready to grab the nearest cat and smack him upside the head with it because I wanted to know if it was going to rain and he badgered me until I came over and stood next to his chair and pretended to look at the goddamn weather map.

Next he’s going to start spending all his time looking up his family tree, isn’t he? Isn’t that what old southern men do? (Judging by the fact that I have a bound book of my family tree written by my paternal grandfather on the bookcase right next to a notebook of Fred’s family tree compiled by his father, I’m thinking all signs point to “yes”.)

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Apropos of nothing he says his name is William but I’m sure it’s Bill or Billy or Mac or Buddy but he’s plain ugly to me, once upon a time I used the Ouija Board (does one “use” the Ouija Board or does one “play” with the Ouija Board, or what?) with some friends – I was 13 or 14 – and the Ouija Board informed me that in a past life, I was Betsy Ross.

I must have used up all my sewing skillz back then, ’cause I sure didn’t bring them through to this life.

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As the time draws ever closer for Reacher and Corbett, Melodie, Moxie, Martin, and Dodger to go to Petsmart (they go Friday morning), I’m remembering to take time to just enjoy having them around. I love the fact that they’ve become such good friends with each other (Martin, especially, loves to tussle with Reacher) and with Jake and Elwood. We’ve got a great bunch here, and I like to watch them play.

(Then I snatch them up and kiss them until they get disgusted and stalk away from me with their ears back. Nothing cuter than a disgusted cat, unless it’s a hissing kitten.)

Corbett got his claw caught in the dishtowel, and Martin’s mocking him.

“NOM. Kitten paws are the tastiest!”

Bath time (is it ever NOT bath time?).

Snack time is over, and a marauding band of kittens go from plate to plate to make sure not one single morsel of food was left behind.

“What, lady? Go away. We’re talking about you.”

The eyes just kill me.

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Newt is such a quiet, unobtrusive presence. He likes to sleep in out of the way places where no one will bother him. Lately, if he’s not sleeping on the cat tree, he’s sleeping under the dresser in the guest bedroom. Usually I don’t even realize he’s there until he strolls out into view, stretches, and heads off to the food bowl.

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You know, I keep feeling like there’s something I’ve forgotten to tell you. I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Oh, right! The new guys. Meet ’em.

You didn’t think I was going to let all my kittens go off to Petsmart without some emergency kittens in place, did you?


More about them tomorrow (by which time we might even have names for them!).

(Name suggestions more than welcome – they’re both boys. Names I considered and then discarded: McGarrett and Danno (Danno had already been used), Castor and Pollux (Castor had been used), Hurley and Charlie (Charlie had been used). Fred’s not loving Riggins and Saracen. We’re stumped.)

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2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Everyone, go forth and give me a “hubba hubba” in your blogs!
2005: Phear my l33t fotograffic skillz.
2004: Dear Stephen King: Stop defending what you did, and just write the goddamn story.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/27/10 – Monday

by @ Monday, September 27th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Hellooooooooooo, I am back!

Limping along on my computer. It’s not 100% what it was before (which wasn’t nearly 100% what I WANTED it to be), but it’s good enough. I’ve backed up my important documents and pictures to an external, uh, thingy. That won’t be affected when my computer shits the bed in ten minutes. The thing, you know, that attaches with the USB cable.

Whatever it’s called, I backed up to it. Which probably means it’ll shit the bed, too, taking all my pictures with it.

In these troubled computer-shitting-the-bed times, I thank god for two things:

1. My iPod. All my iTunes shit disappeared off my computer, but NOT TO WORRY, everything was on my iPod, and I was able to copy it all back onto the computer from my iPod, WOOT.

2. Google Chrome. Did you know that in Google Chrome you can sync your settings and bookmarks to your Google account, and thus when your computer shits the bed, after you get it up and running again, you simply sync Google Chrome to your Google account, and – BAM! – there are all your settings and bookmarks, safe and sound.

I am both updating to Windows 7 AND giving Linux a try. Fred’s in the process of installing Linux on my computer on a different hard drive so I’ll have Windows available to me if I give Linux the old college try and loathe it. Even if I love Linux, I’ll still have Windows on my computer. The best of both worlds!

Thanks, you guys, for your meatloaf suggestions! I made the Mennonite Girls Can Cook meatloaf Thursday night because I had everything the recipe called for on hand. It was really good, but I’ve printed out about twenty of the recipes y’all left for me, and I think I’ll be working my way through them slowly.

We are some meatloaf-loving motherfuckers.

Thanks, also, for your blender suggestions. I ended up ordering an Osterizer blender that (though I didn’t realize it at the time I ordered it) came with a food processor cup. I’ve tried using my food processor when I make habanero jam, but it’s never chopped up the habaneros fine enough, which is why I’ve always used the blender. I got the Osterizer blender/ food processor Saturday afternoon, and made a batch of habanero jam that evening. The blender worked well enough, eventually, but it seemed to take a long time to really get going. Sunday morning I made two batches of habanero jam and used the food processor, and that worked a lot better for me.

The weekend flew by. I woke up Saturday morning intending to work on the fence, but it was spitting down rain. And then it proceeded to rain almost all day. We desperately needed the rain, so you’ll hear no complaints from me. I mostly puttered around the house, cleared off my desk, made habanero jam, and relaxed on the couch and finished the book I was reading.

Sunday morning, it still looked like it wanted to rain, but I gathered my supplies and headed out to work on the fence. It never did rain, and I got the fence finished. Fred and I herded a large number of wandering chickens back into the back forty, and for the rest of the day we kept an eye out for escaped chickens. We didn’t spot any at all, which means I am tentatively optimistic that the fence is going to keep those damn chickens in.

Or, more likely, they’ll follow the fence around the back forty ’til they find the part where I stopped, and will start slipping under those gaps. Fucking chickens. They have the whole back forty! Why they gotta have more space than THAT?

Once I was done with that, I started making jam. I got a batch of caramel apple habanero made, and then a batch of strawberry. I’m going to be a jam-making fool this week, because I still intend to start selling jam on the 1st, which is coming up a lot faster than I expected.

I put a pot roast in the crockpot to cook, made a batch of apple crisp (peeling and chopping apples for the jam put me in the mood for apple crisp, which I don’t think I’ve made in at least a couple of years), did laundry, did 10,000 dishes, filled cat food dishes and water bowls, took a million and three pictures.

You know, the usual.

I felt like I had a productive weekend, and I love it when that happens.

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Well, it’s been a month since Bolitar and Rhyme went off to Petsmart. They haven’t been adopted yet. And I think you know what that means…

“I need to stay here and help you make jam, lady!”

“If I don’t look at her, she won’t say it!” (Doesn’t he look like a smug little brat?)

“Whoops. I did NOT mean to look at her! Now she’s gonna say it!”

On Friday, I’ll be taking Reacher and Corbett to Petsmart, installing them in the cage where Bolitar and Rhyme have spent the last month.

And then I’ll be bringing Bolitar and Rhyme back here! They’ll stay here until Reacher and Corbett are adopted (hopefully) or until a month goes by without either of THEM being adopted, in which case I’ll switch ’em out again.

I sure am going to miss Reacher and Corbett. They are such sweet, good boys, and so nice and patient with the little ones.

But they’re going to be here ’til Friday, so I’m not going to start crying and feeling bad just yet. I’m going to spend the next few days giving them all the love I can, and I’m going to hope that someone sees their sweet little faces and falls in love.

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But wait! That’s not all!

Guess who else is going to Petsmart on Friday?

Martin, Moxie, Melodie AND Dodger! Adoptions were good last week, which freed up some cage space at Petsmart, so there’s room for my little guys!

“A FOREVER HOME? For ME?!” I hope so, little girl.

I won’t lie – except for Martin, this is a timid bunch. I mean, they’re not timid here, but that’s because they’ve had time to acclimate and are starting to really relax. I hope that they don’t go hiding in the litter box at Petsmart, and instead come out and let people see just how awesome they are.

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Sometimes it’s a Suggie cave.

And sometimes it’s a Spanky cave.

It just depends on who gets there first!

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2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Little kitties on my desk top, little kitties made of fur and hate, little kitties on the gatetop, little kitties, not the same. There’s a gray one and a black one and an orange one and a calico, and they’re all made out of fur and hate and they look not the same.
2006: Hey, we’ll only be living here for another six months or so. Let’s BURN THOSE BRIDGES!
2005: Did I bring “a book” with me? HELL NO I didn’t bring “a book” with me – I brought FIVE books with me.
2004: No offense to you stoners out there, but the Warrens totally look stereotypical stoners.
2003: No entry.
2002: I think I’m going to start calling him The Todd.
2001: Does that kid’s face just scream “dilemmanated”, or what?
2000: No entry.

9/23/10 – All computers must die Thursday

by @ Thursday, September 23rd, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Before 9:00 yesterday, I:

1. Made a batch of pineapple-habanero jam

2. Broke the blender base (well, it broke itself – it sparked and then there was smoke, and then it worked no more. I wasn’t even using the goddamn thing at the time!).

3. Broke the blender glass blendy part (the cup?). No sooner had the thought “Well, maybe I could just get a new base and then I’ll use this, it’s still perfectly good!” gone through my mind as I was washing it than I dropped the fucking thing in the sink and it shattered. That blender wanted me to know it was retiring itself.

4. Broke my computer. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. Alls I know is that I sat at my computer to check my email, and the screen was frozen and I rebooted 300 times, and then it was like it reverted to Vista’s new install screen (Fred later said my profile was corrupted) and I couldn’t do a goddamn thing. I had to spend the rest of the day on Fred’s computer and I HATE sitting at his desk, since he’s several inches taller than me and has long ape arms, and NOTHING about sitting in his chair with his desk at chin-level, trying to reach the keyboard fifteen feet away, is comfortable.

5. Banged the shit out of my hand by accidentally squeezing it between my closet door and the frame of my bed. Today it’s achy and slightly bruised.

6. While getting eggs from the nest boxes, I banged the everloving shit out of the back of my head.

So, it was a day. And I am still dealing with trying to get my fucking computer working right. And I can FEEL my blood pressure going through the roof, so I need to get the fuck away from the fucking computer.

Which is my way of saying that there’s no Crooked Acres Thursday today, and I’m taking tomorrow off as well. Hopefully over the weekend we’ll get my computer to stop being a fucking pain in the ass and even if I have to use my netbook to do it, I’ll be back Monday.

Until then, I’m going to try to achieve a state of Sugarbutt-type zen.

Wish me luck!

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Wait! Don’t go! I need two things from you!

1. Blender suggestions, and if I can get it off Amazon with prime shipping, all the better. I’m not looking to spend an arm and a leg, but I need a good little workhorse, something that can blend the hell out of habaneros and fruit. Until it shit the bed, I liked my blender, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what kind it was. Black and Decker, maybe?

2. A good meatloaf recipe. I made the recipe on the back of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix last week, and it was horrible (in my opinion – Fred liked it. The onion soup mix was just overpowering, though). I’m thinking of just using the mini meat loaf recipe and making a big loaf out of it, unless someone’s got a better (and easier) suggestion. The Pioneer Woman recipe won’t work for me, though – we don’t have any bacon! (Our bacon will be arriving tomorrow – but it’s not thinly cut bacon, in any case.)

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Wait wait! One more thing!

Fred is talking about upgrading me to Windows 7 (I’m currently using Vista). I feel like I heard that Windows 7 is a great big bloated piece of crap, but I don’t know if I really heard that, or I’m just assuming.

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 7, tell me if it’s worth my time.

Also, Fred’s talking about switching me to Linux. The thought scares me, because new things scare me. If you’re an idiot like me and have successfully made the switch from Windows to Linux, tell me if it really was painless, as he claims, or if he’s blowing smoke.

Okay, I think that’s it. I need to get away from this computer before I lose my mind. I think I lost my entire iTunes library. ARGH.

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2009: Things that are annoying the SHIT out of me lately.
2008: I’m sure SOMETHING will get peed on while she’s here, anyway.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2004: Questions and answers.
2003: I feel like Eudora’s a creepy old lady hovering over my shoulder, reading my email, and threatening to tell my mommy on me.
2002: Anything more complicated than that, and I think you’ll have to look elsewhere.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/22/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

The Many Moods of Martin.
(Or: Marty Haz a Flavor.)

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Joe Bob knows you wanna rub the belly. YOU know you wanna rub the belly. Get over there and rub the belly!

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2009: That was one big fucking dose of Benadryl and I was high as a kite.
2008: “Shit!” he exclaimed. “We forgot to check Nick for toots!”
2007: No entry.
2006: If I were manic-depressive (wait. Do they call it bipolar now? I haven’t kept up on my psychiatrically politically correct terms lately), I think I would have been considered to be in a manic state yesterday.
2005: Never-ending.
2004: If you had any idea how much time I spent backspacing and retyping words when I write my entries, you’d burst into tears of sympathy.
2003: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paris Hilton, and why would I give a good goddamn what they’re wearing or doing or driving or fucking?
2002: No entry.
2001: You know you’re getting old when you have to ask a 12 year-old girl who’s on the TV.
2000: No entry.

9/21/10 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yesterday was my errand-running day. I was getting low on essential stuff that I usually buy at Sam’s, and since I was headed that way, I opted to stop at Michael’s and Target and Petsmart and get all my errand-running done on the same day. I got up and got a bunch of stuff done around the house (I’m finding that leaving a list of essential stuff that needs to be done that day taped to the microwave is a step toward actually getting it done. Well, at least until I wake up in a bad mood and tell the List of the Day to go fuck itself, that is.), got some packages ready to go, and left the house a little before 9:00.

Driving to Sam’s was a breeze. I have the bad habit of leaving the house at 8 to go to Sam’s (so I can get my shopping done before the peasants show up, since I have the super-special GOLD membership, FEAR ME), and then being taken by surprise by the morning traffic. But I got there about 9:30, which is a good half hour before Sam’s is open to the regular members. I intended to go in, grab the stuff on my (lengthy) list and get out of there before 10, but as it turned out, I wandered around that damn store for over an hour. They’ve changed the locations of a lot of my usual stuff so I did a lot of backtracking. I also remembered several things I hadn’t put on the list (Granny Smith apples, for one), and as a result, I would head for the checkout, then have to go way back to the back of the store to get what I needed.

I know they change the location of stuff regularly so you’ll end up wandering around the store and hopefully make impulse purchases, but I have to say that it is REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING to have to search all over hell and creation for stuff that’s been in one particular location for years. Probably doesn’t help that I’m apparently half blind, because I walked by the 3-pack of compressed air no fewer than three times before I actually saw it.

I got out of there, loaded everything into the car, thought about getting an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s (my favorite fast food breakfast, by far), decided I wasn’t hungry, and headed for Michael’s.

Remember how every year I send out a Christmas card? And then how last year I didn’t because we were afraid Fred was going to lose his job at any moment and I was trying to cut costs? Then I said that the cards WILL be going out this year, but in an attempt to spend less, I’d be making them myself? And I was going to make sure I made a certain number every month so that when December rolled around, they’d be all ready to be signed and sent out?

Yeah. Guess who hasn’t done a damn thing about making those cards? And guess who hasn’t got one single crafty bone in her body?

Oh, the cards ARE going to be going out, but you’re basically going to be getting a picture stuck to the front of a card, and something written inside. Because, really, that’s what I’ve sent out in the past, it just happened that the picture’s been printed on the front of the card by a professional printing company. THIS year, you’re going to get a picture that will no doubt be crookedly affixed to the front of the card, and the sentiment inside will be crooked and sloppily written, and it’ll look like a 3 year-old made it.


So I bought the stuff I needed for that (and wait ’til you guys see the picture I’m using it. It makes me giggle every time I look at it!), then I puttered around the store, looking at various and sundry things that I did not need. And lo and behold, I left the store with only what was on my list.

Then I went over to Target and I bought a lemon juice extractor thingy and I looked at the cat stuff, and I looked at the hair stuff, and then I bought the lemon extractor thingy and left.

THEN I went over to Petsmart and walked around the store looking at the stuff and it must have been a banner day, because I did not buy one single solitary toy. I KNOW, right?

I went over to see what Bolitar and Rhyme were doing, and they were curled up sound asleep in their cat bed. I thought about going in and waking them up, but decided not to because that would have been mean.

I thought about stopping at TJ Maxx on the way home, but decided it was time to get my ass home, and by the time I was home and had the car unloaded and everything put away, it was time for lunch.

I like getting out of the house, but it kind of messes up the rest of my day when I’m gone so long. Today, I’ll be doing all the stuff I didn’t do yesterday because I was out running errands. Fixing the fence, making muscadine jam, making habanero jams, filling bird feeders, cleaning out the bird bath. The list is endless!

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Also, why the hell were there no fresh cranberries at Sam’s? What the hell? How’m I gonna make cranberry-habanero jam?!?!

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Did I mention that it was around 100º yesterday? And it’s going to be around that today? I better get that fence work done early, before it gets too hot. If I don’t post tomorrow, it’ll be because I collapsed of heat stroke and Fred came home to find that the chickens had pecked my eyeballs right out of my head.

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Moxie has a crush.

It was so hot here yesterday that cats were melting right out of their beds!

Moxie, helping with the groceries.

All four of the upstairs fosters really like to hang out in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. I guess so they can flee upstairs if they feel threatened.

Pretty miss Melodie.

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Tommy and Sugarbutt (inside the back yard fence) keep an eye on the chickens I call The Wanderers. The Wanderers escape the fence around the chicken yard regularly and wander around our property all day. I’ll be working on fixing the fence so they’ll only have their 2 1/2 acres to roam. Oh, the humanity! (I don’t mind having them wander on our property, but it bugs me to see them go onto the neighbor’s property. She’s never complained (and I don’t think it bothers her), but I don’t like it! Also, if they’re not inside the fenced area and a stray dog comes onto the property, George and Gracie can’t protect them.)

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2009: If it had been an orb weaver, I’d be writing this from the Great Beyond, having died due to a heart attack brought on by the horror of having something the size of my head crawling down my face.
2008: No entry.
2007: I think I need more sleep.
2006: Photographic proof that I met a (Not So)Scary Internet Person and lived to tell the tale!
2005: I mean, it’s not bad enough the man has road rage, he’s got to have fucking walking-through-the-house rage too?
2004: “No, this is real time!” Fred sighed.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Written by hand.
2000: No entry.

9/20/10 – Monday

by @ Monday, September 20th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Saturday was a busy day for us. First we had to drive into the country, down long and windy and hilly roads to see our friend Egg the Pig Man and pick up our two new little pigs. Because I’m not the one driving the truck with the Pork Chop Express attached, I really like the drive – it’s pretty scenery as we head up toward the Tennessee border.

Egg the Pig Man met us at the lower part of his property. He had the two pigs already sequestered in a trailer, and all Fred had to do was back our trailer up to his so Egg could run the pigs from his trailer to ours. While we waited for Fred to back up the trailer, Egg told me that he was still “down” in his back and that the doctors were going to put a needle in his back and inject Super Glue. At least, that’s what he thought they said, but now that he thought about it, they probably meant silicone.

After the pigs were run into our trailer, Egg and Fred started talking about food. This was at 10:00, and I hadn’t had anything to eat yet, so I was drooling about 30 seconds into the conversation. Egg had a leftover pork chop for breakfast (he doesn’t like to warm his food in the microwave, it doesn’t taste right. He puts the oven on about 200 and puts the food in there ’til it’s nice and warm) and he was thinking about seafood for dinner.

Egg loves seafood, but his wife isn’t partial to it. He gave us a few tips on where to get some good seafood (there’s a place that has a seafood buffet on Saturdays and he likes to go load up on frog legs and oysters and then he gets a salad for her.)

Poor ol’ Egg – not only does he have a bad back, he also has an aneurysm (he pointed vaguely to his lower abdomen, so I’m not sure where the aneurysm was located) and a kidney stone. They can’t treat the kidney stone (which is too big to be passed) until they’ve taken care of the aneurysm, and they won’t (or can’t) treat his back ’til the aneurysm and kidney stone are taken care of.

Egg’s grandson raises cattle to sell – Holsteins, not meat cows – and he goes down to Florida every so often and loads up his trailer with Holsteins and brings them back here to raise. It takes him a day and a night to get down there, get loaded up, and get home again. He turns a tidy profit, though, apparently. He helps Egg with the hogs, but once Egg is retired, that boy doesn’t want to see another hog. He has no interest in hogs. (This prompted Fred to say that perhaps when Egg retires, we should find ourselves a sow and start breeding her so that we don’t have to worry where we’ll get our pigs. The idea of breeding a sow freaks me OUT because – as Egg says – yeah, a sow’ll roll over on them sometimes and “mash one or two of them.” I don’t want to find a “mashed” wee baby pig, if you don’t mind.)

After about fifteen minutes of conversation, we left and headed home. The pigs (you’ll see pictures on Thursday) are cute – they always are when we first get ’em – and Fred has begun teaching them that he’s the one who brings them their food. They haven’t actually taken a cookie from him yet, but they’ve come close. I’m sure by the end of the week they’ll be eating right out of his hand.

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So after we got home with the pigs, I puttered around the house for a while, then napped on the couch for a couple of hours (shaddup, I felt like I was getting a cold). Then I puttered around the house some more. THEN I changed my clothes and put on makeup (!), and Fred and I went over to his boss’s house for a cookout with all the other people who work for the same company and who are working on the same contract.

Fred’s been working at his new job for two and a half months now, and I was both looking forward to meeting some of the people he works with (not all the people he works with were going to be at the cookout, because a lot of them are employed by other companies. This whole contractor stuff is kind of confusing.) and kind of dreading being at a gathering of people I’ve never met before. I’m not the most social of butterflies (I know! You’re shocked!), and was afraid I’d just be standing there alone while everyone else socialized.

(“Don’t you dare go wandering off and abandon me!” I warned Fred repeatedly. He promised he wouldn’t, and he didn’t.)

I shouldn’t have worried – everyone there was super nice, and no surprise to me, the people he particularly likes are people I particularly liked, too. We talked, we ate, we bonded. One of them brought pictures of her dogs and her boat (which is moored in Maine at the moment!) and I got to poke fun at Fred a few times. Really, what more can you ask for in an evening of socializing?

Fred’s boss’s house is niiiiiiice. We spent part of the evening out on the deck which has this HUGE covered section with a fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, furniture, a ceiling fan. Really, I kind of wish I’d brought my camera, because this place was SPECTACULAR. If not for the fact that the roof of the covered deck was comprised of 2000 pound beams that had to be FLOWN in and put into place, I’d be harassing Fred to build me one. (I’m still harassing him to build me a covered deck over the patio, but one not quite so amazing.)

Before we went to the cookout, Fred and I discussed how early we could leave (we were getting there at 6 – that’s past dinnertime for us, y’know, and halfway to bedtime!) and Fred declared that 7:30ish wouldn’t be too terribly early.

And, of course, we were so caught up in talking and eating that it was well after 9 when we left – and we weren’t nearly the first ones to leave.

I’m pretty sure that makes me a social butterfly.

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Two things of interest:

1. AmySATX left a comment sometime Saturday asking if I’d ever considered making an apple-habanero jam. I asked Fred if he thought that’d be worth making (since I can’t eat the hot stuff, I usually ask his opinion on this topic), and we talked about it for a bit – would I make an apple butter type jam with habaneros, or would I make the chunky caramel-apple jam and add habaneros to it?

(Y’all may certainly chime in here with your opinion on the topic! I’m going to Sam’s later and will be buying a bag of Granny Smith apples. I’m leaning toward the chunky caramel-apple jam with habaneros added.)

At the cookout, there was a table of stuff to nibble on while we were waiting for the brisket to finish cooking. There was some sort of jam over a block of cream cheese. Fred tried it (he’s my guinea pig) and told me that whatever it was, it wasn’t hot. I tried it, and agreed with him. There was NO heat to the stuff, but whatever it was, it was good. A few minutes later, someone else started talking nearby, and as it turned out, it was apple-habanero jam. “The heat is kind of like an aftertaste,” the guy who was talking about it said. Now, y’all know that I am the wimpiest of the wimp – if there was any heat to that stuff, my face would have gone up in flames. Sunday I Googled around, and judging by the color and the lack of heat, I’m pretty sure that the stuff was apple-habanero jelly rather than jam. The difference being, after the apples and habaneros are cooked, the apple pulp is strained out before sugar and pectin are added to the liquid. Straining out the habaneros = no heat.

2. I tried Coke Zero, and y’all are right – that stuff is pretty good, and Fred agrees. We’re on the way to becoming a Coke Zero household. If you hadn’t suggested I give it a try, I never would have. So thanks, you guys, for suggesting it!

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In the guest bedroom, Martin shows that cat bed who the boss is.

Moxie, hanging out in the guest bedroom. (They always end up in the guest bedroom – it’s directly across from the stairs, and there are 300 cat beds on the bed.)

I wish Dodger would spend more time hanging out with us downstairs. He comes downstairs, but if we so much as glance at him, he goes running upstairs. But when we go upstairs, he comes running to be petted. I guess it’ll take a little more time before he’s completely comfortable downstairs.

Marty keeps an eye on things.

“I am hanging out with my bo’friends, lady. You go away!”

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Check the attitude, mister, I’m just trying to get a shot of your pretty eyes!

Oh, Corby. Why you so stressed out? You need to learn to relax!

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Elwood, atop the canning cabinet in the dining room, keeps an eye on the birds.

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2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Hmm,” I say to Mister Boogers. “It’s almost 80 outside, but only 74 inside. Imagine that!”
2006: You really don’t want to fuck with the Plumbing Mafia.
2005: “GodDAMN you, Mister Boogers!” I yelled.
2004: “This book makes me want to have a baby!” I said to Fred when I was about halfway through the book. “Let’s have a baby!”
2003: No entry.
2002: Gag city.
2001: I think you know what I’m thinkin’.
2000: I’d like to return to my regularly scheduled life, please.

9/17/10 – Friday

by @ Friday, September 17th, 2010. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

Hey, look! Here’s one way to use those 30+ English muffins I found in the freezer the other day! I like that you can make a batch and then freeze them so that when you’re having a hankering for a breakfast pizza, all you have to do is pop one in the microwave.

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How are your fruit trees coming along?

The citrus trees seem to be doing really well. We’re not really sure when we need to harvest the fruit from those trees, but Fred suggested that when the oranges are ready to be picked, we should pick the key limes as well. (I did not know until I saw a bag of them at the grocery store that key limes are tiny.) I’m hoping to make key lime curd this winter!

Here’s an interesting note: the leaves of the key lime tree? SMELL LIKE LIME. How cool is that?

Fred got a small bowl full of tiny peaches last month. According to him, they were really good. I don’t think we got any plums, and only a handful of apples and a couple of pears. Seriously, our “orchard” is letting us down. I guess it takes a few years for the trees to get established and start bearing fruit for real. Hopefully some day I’ll be able to make peach-habanero jam from our own peaches!

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I LOVE Hoarders (A & E). Will watch “Hoarding: Buried Alive” (TLC) in a pinch–the pacing is just Not Right on that show. We tend to fast forward through Hoarding, while watching every cat shit-laden minute of Hoarders. We even sat through two straight hours last week, including Sir What’s His Name (who was really sweet, and reminded me of something out of “Arsenic & Old Lace” or “Harvey.”). Also, “Hoarding” makes me feel like jumping up & cleaning afterwards, while “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” not so much. And I love the guy on Hoarders who shows up with the Got Junk crew and gets very, very cranky after awhile…

(If you don’t toss those English muffins, they may send the other Robin out to “counsel” you–my husband calls her “The Hair.”)

(In the interests of accuracy, I should report that we watched the second Hoarders last night, & I realized I was wrong. He calls her “Dr. Hair.”)

I agree that the pacing on Hoarding: Buried Alive isn’t right (and how dumb am I that I didn’t realize ’til I read your comment that they’re on different stations? DUH.). Buried Alive seems to be kind of “Let us meet some hoarders and see how they deal with their hoarding lifestyle!”, whereas Hoarders is more “Let us meet some hoarders and give them tools to figure out their shit.”

LOVE LOVE LOVE the guy who shows up with the Got Junk crew (Matt? I’m thinking that’s his name), and I LOVE the fact that he gets cranky and he doesn’t bother to hide it.

Dr. Robin Zasio (I always yell “ZAZZZZZZZZIOOOOOOOO!” when she comes on the screen.) has got herself some crazy, twirling eyes, doesn’t she? I love it when the cleaning-out process starts, and the hoarder is going all gangbusters, and then they run across some scrap of paper from 1978 that stops them dead cold, and Dr. Zasio starts gently trying to coax them into talking about how they’re feeling, but you can just SEE from her eyes that she’s dying to haul off and start throwing everything into the dumpster.

The shows that get me the most are the ones where peoples’ homes are chock-full of garbage. I cannot stand the thought of how their homes must SMELL. Too much stuff? I get that. Garbage rotting on the floor and animal feces everywhere? I do not. Homes with nonfunctioning bathrooms and NO running water? GAH. The lady with the used adult diapers everywhere? NIGHTMARES.

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The creepiest episode (we saw several) featured a family of four: Abusive father, hoarding mother, and two middle-aged kids who never moved out or got lives outside the filthy, dysfunctional house. What made me really mad is that the county gave them their cats back (after discovering the cats living in horrible conditions).

YES. And didn’t they say that the house was structurally unsound and they were going to have to condemn it, and the father was super-pissed and blaming everyone else?

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What KIND of english muffins?

Thomas english muffins, of course! Is there any other kind?

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I wouldn’t dither over a rotten cantaloupe, but just yesterday I pulled the sticker off one of those round cup-like containers of gum after we chewed the last piece of gum, because “I could wash it out and use it to… store things in.” I don’t know what things, mind you, I just know that at some point, soon, I’m going to think to myself, “I wish I had a container about *yea* big and *so* round to put these ____ into – if only I hadn’t thrown away that empty gum container!”

I’m sitting on the top of the hoarder slide, holding onto the sides, looking down and yelling about being scared, but the kids coming up the ladder behind me are getting impatient so I’m going to push off any moment now…

Oh god, the “This container seems like it would be REALLY useful!” disease! I totally have that. At one point, I had something like 40 baby food jars, because don’t those TOTALLY seem they would be useful for….something? Cottage cheese containers! I had almost 30 of them because they seem like they would be SO HANDY. I finally recycled all but 5 of them (because if I need to take a kitty poo sample to the vet, that is the PERFECT size), but every time I rinse one out, I clutch it to my bosom frantically and think “You would be SO USEFUL!” before I recycle it. The buckets that Fresh Step used to come in! I have a pile of them – but in my defense, they really DO get used.

You are not alone, Elayne. I know we’re not the only ones who look at a container and think “Oh, that looks SO handy! I can’t possibly toss it!”

The rest of you, fess up. What containers are you hoarding in the back of your cupboards because you absolutely KNOW they’ll come in handy some day?

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There’s liquid bandage you can buy too for paper cuts etc. Works the same as super glue, but is perhaps less toxic?

Yeah, we have a bottle of that stuff around here somewhere. I couldn’t find it, though, so I had to resort to super glue! How toxic is the super glue, anyway? Am I going to develop super powers?

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Oh. And I don’t know what it’s called when you remove the corn, but the tool we have to do it, I call a “corner” and crack myself up. I = easily amused.

I am also easily amused – I cackled when I read this!

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*snort* I’m a geek, but when you were talking about the chickens with the ? over their heads, I could not help think of this: http://warcraftpets.com/guides/images/chicken/prairie_chicken.jpg. It’s a quest in World of Warcraft called Cluck! You go to a farm where there are some chickens running around, and you buy a bag of chicken feed from the farmer. Then you go up to one of the chickens and proceed to “cluck” at it while waggling your arms like wings. You do that a couple dozen times and then the chicken gives you this quest, and gets the ? over it’s head, you give it the feed. When you’ve completed the quest, the chicken lays an egg, which you pick up and open to receive a tiny pet chicken 🙂

You will not sucker me in to playing WOW, Aimee. Will NOT! 😛

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I’ve never heard of cob jelly. What is this stuff? 😉

Jelly made from corn cobs, of course!

I saw the recipe over at Suzanne McMinn’s site, and I thought “Hmm. I have lots of corn on the cob!” and decided to give it a try. What really made me interested was that she said it tastes like honey.

So I made it, I tasted it, and I don’t know that it tastes like honey, but it’s not bad. Fred doesn’t like it, because he says it tastes like corn. It does NOT, but I don’t know how quickly I’ll end up using the three half-pints of jelly I ended up with. Was interesting to make, but I doubt I’ll do it again.

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Growing up, we always called sweet cornbread “city” cornbread. So you’re not a Yankee, you’re just high falutin’ cityfied.

I always suspected I was born to be high falutin’. 🙂

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“Every morning for the past three days, he picks up the skunk – which somehow ends up upstairs every evening – and he carries it from my bedroom upstairs, down the hallway, down the stairs, down the downstairs hallway, through the dining room, and into the kitchen. The entire length of his journey, he keens at the top of his lungs as though he’s caught and killed a real skunk, and he’s coming to show me his “kill”.”

I was wondering if any of your cats do this! We have an extra large furry mouse (which is in very bad shape, no tail and gobby fur) and Buddy will actually carry it upstairs and then come back down meowing at the top of his lungs, wander through the first floor, and arrive in the living room caterwauling the whole way. Drop toy, jump on lap, fall asleep as if nothing happened.

It’s kind of funny except he drowns out the TV when he does it, and he’s also been known to come into the bedroom 2 or 3 times in the wee hours in spite of “Buddah shaddap I’m tryna sleep!”

This is fairly new behavior on Jake’s part – but Miz Poo has done it for years. She loves to do it in the middle of the night, and she ALWAYS starts at the farthest point possible and ends up in my bedroom. I’m pretty sure I yell “MIZ! POO! SHUT! UP!” in my sleep when she does it these days. She also doesn’t drop it and go on with her day once she’s arrived at her destination. She drops it, and then she makes these little chirpy noises like “Did you see what I caught? You see what I got, there? I caught that my own self! I am such the good hunter! Go, me!”

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Yaaaay!!! Bitchypoo appeared in my rss feed this morning. The link’s been broken for weeks, and I’ve had to come to your site manually (HORRORS!!!!).

Whatever you did, thank you!

While I’d like to take credit, I don’t think it was anything I did. Maybe someone kicked a tire and the internet fixed itself.

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Just rename your Strawberry-habanero jam, Strawberry-habanero syrup and sell it that way. 😉 Some people might like hot syrup for their pancakes.

I very well may have to end up doing that! I processed it a second time yesterday (it was as runny as water when I dumped it from the jars into the pot) and it’s slightly thicker now, but still not at the point where I’d call it jam. I’m going to give it a few days to gel, and if it doesn’t, I’m going to give up and call it syrup!

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Can one hoard cats? Just askin’!

I don’t get where you’re going with this completely out of the blue question. What are you implying?

(Shaddup, you.)

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My million dollar idea is a reality show called “I Will Throw All Your Shit Away.” I will let you be on the show with me – we’ll throw everyone’s shit away!

DREAM JOB! I accept your job offer and will pack my bags post-haste.

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I adore this picture. Martin is clearly thinking “WTF?”

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I was outside picking cherry tomatoes, and Maxi came over to see what I was doing. On the other side of the fence (in the back yard), Corbett did the same. Maxi apparently felt that Corby was in her space, and did some hissing and smacking.

What cracked me up is that Maxi didn’t even stick her paw through the fence to smack Corby, and he still fell over like she’d made contact. I guess he knows who’s in charge around these parts.

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2009: “In a world where human babies are abandoned and allowed to die on the street because they were born female, I’m having a hard time mustering up too much sympathy for male chickens.”
2008: The Godfather Catmother
2007: I don’t know what you do to surprise your husband – lingerie, or a gift from the local “adult” store, perhaps – but I know the direct way to Fred’s heart, and mowing the lawn so he was free to come home and work on his shed instead of having to mow the lawn made him one happy man.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: How’d you like to wake up in the dark and see the Baldwin noggin coming toward you? I bet your life would flash in front of your eyes.
2003: “Freakass freak” is two words.
2002: As I pointed out to Fred this afternoon, it makes me uncomfortable when Dr. Phil is nice.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/16/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, September 16th, 2010. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

funny pictures-itty bitty kitteh  taste test committeh
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Thanks, you guys, who commented and emailed to let me know that my picture of The Seven had been used over at I Can Haz Cheezburger. I happened to see it at ICHC right before I went to bed last night, so I emailed them, and should receive credit for having taken the picture at some point.

That picture is one of my favorites, and it was kind of nice to see it surface, a year and a half later. It was featured over at Cute Overload last May, too, which I think means… well, I’m not sure what it means. I’m very special, I guess!

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I have nothing brilliant to say here, because I was up ’til 1 am reading Backseat Saints. I could NOT put the damn book down, and the only reason I didn’t finish it is because I literally fell asleep with it propped up on my chest around 1. I woke up at 3 to put the book down and turn the light off, but then I got up at 5:30, which means I am SLEEPY and no good at coming up with anything interesting to say. So let’s get to the Crooked Acres pictures, shall we?

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Sights from around Crooked Acres

Mama Silkie and one of her babies.

Cabbage! Once they’re a bit bigger, I’ll plant them in the garden. I think I planted late this year (so what’s new??), and we may not actually get any cabbage, but it’s certainly worth a try. I’m also going to plant carrots in one of the raised beds and radishes, too. We’ll see how that goes.

One day I’m going to sneak out with the spray can and paint “Oink oink” on either side of the “Pork Chop Express” and we’ll see how long it takes Fred to notice.

Not even half the chickens we have.

Happy Gracie.

The Rock Star. I think she’s our prettiest chicken. Some of her head feathers have gone white, and I’m not sure why.

Mama Silkie and her babies, out exploring.

Mama Silkie, having a tizzy about something while everyone ignores her. She’s a drama queen.

This Mama and her babies were way over on the other side of the back forty, then she caught sight of Fred by the coop and decided that that meant he was going to toss out scratch, so she started hauling ass in his direction, and her babies came right along with her.

The co-mothers.

Bee on the Azalea bush in the front.

From the swing on the front porch. Looks like rain.

I don’t know what this thing is, but I say he’s overdone it on the mousse.

Miss Gracie, again.

Inside the maternity coop.

Things I have recently made:

The fabric that came with the Ham-mick I got last Fall (or perhaps it was earlier this Spring?) is starting to get kind of ratty looking because certain kittens (ahem, Reacher) like to knead on the fabric for seventy-two hours before they get in and lay down. They use their claws, and the fabric gets pulls in it, and Fred doesn’t care for the patterned fabric anyway. I thought about buying some new ones from the lady I bought the Ham-micks from, but I have a TON of material and a rarely-used sewing machine, so I thought that I’d see if I couldn’t use the fabric that came with the Ham-mick to make a pattern to follow and make one myself. Well, I made a pattern, and it actually worked out pretty well. But you’ll please note that I’m not showing you the damn thing in DETAIL or anything, because I can’t sew a straight line to save my life. Who do I have to impress, though? Reacher likes it, and when Reacher’s not in the process of liking it, Sugarbutt also likes it. It’s almost always occupado, which says “two thumbs up” as far as I’m concerned!

Blackberry-habanero jam. (Don’t get excited, I’m not taking orders ’til around October 1st. I want to have a decent stockpile before I start selling. And I need to stock up on flat-rate boxes from the post office, too!)

Strawberry-habanero jam. This stuff’s not jelling, so I need to reprocess it, damnit.

I didn’t actually make this, but I – uh – coordinated it. We were at the shelter a few months ago, and there was a cedar scratching post in the big cat room. I started looking at it and said to Fred, “We could make something like that, couldn’t we?” A few weeks later, we went to Lowe’s and found this cedar post, which is not nearly as nice as the post in the cat room at the shelter, but it was cedar and I thought it would work. Last weekend, I harangued Fred into getting something done with it, so he cut the post down, made a base for it, and screwed it in. I stapled some yarn toys to the top and sprinkled catnip on it, and the cats are liking it quite a bit. Especially Reacher! It’s not particularly gorgeous, but I like it. I’m going to sand and paint the base, and probably sand the post itself a little.

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I think next week I’m going to start doing the room-by-room tour of the house that one of you suggested way back when I started this Crooked Acres Thursday thing. I really want to do a room-by-room Fall cleaning of the house (when was the last time I washed the walls in the downstairs bathroom? How about never? And every damn time I go in there, I look up at the walls and I shudder and think about how the whole damn house needs to be scrubbed from ceiling to floor and wall to wall.) and taking pictures of the house, room by room, is a good incentive for doing some hardcore cleaning.

I maybe don’t say this often enough, but if there’s something y’all are dying to see pictures of around here, feel free to let me know.

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What I really want to get a picture of is the tiny patch of white fur Dodger has at the base of his ear. When I got him, there was a bare spot there. I realized one day last week, as I was petting him, that the fur there has grown in white. It’s very neat.

I love what a non-issue it was to integrate the Bookworms and the MMMs. I was afraid, given Bolitar’s drama queen ways, that Reacher and Corbett might be hissy and smacky, but they act like they’ve known the little ones forever.

So many toys, so little time.

Can you tell where Corbett’s favorite place in the foster room is? No? It’s a mystery!

Corbett, in the back yard. When we bought this house, there was a cedar tree there. It wasn’t in great shape, so Fred cut it down, leaving a bit of a stump behind. Corbett has claimed it as his own.

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From mostly feral to being held like a baby in, what, three months? Coltrane has turned out to be a lover.

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2009: (Thank god – being unable to understand someone with a thick accent always makes me feel incredibly stupid.)
2008: I’m certainly enjoying all the naked male behinds that pop across the screen pretty regularly, too.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Just call us the three bears.
2004: small things that will remind me of my grandmother.
2003: Man, this whole running-a-business thing is strictly FOR THE FUCKING BIRDS.
2002: Fred (as if narrating a book): “She was a bitter-butted woman….”
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

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