10/8/10 – Friday

The Crooked Acres jam (and hot sauce) shop is now open! Go buy jam and hot sauces here. (And there’s a permanent link in the left sidebar, for future reference.) + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   Of course, yesterday morning … Continue reading “10/8/10 – Friday”

The Crooked Acres jam (and hot sauce) shop is now open!

Go buy jam and hot sauces here.

(And there’s a permanent link in the left sidebar, for future reference.)

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Of course, yesterday morning when I got up I felt pretty close to normal. A little pain when I peed, but not nearly as bad as it had been. But I wasn’t being fooled by my body again and did NOT cancel the appointment. So, I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and peed in a cup. Apparently there was “some” bacteria in my urine and a trace of blood, so they put me on antibiotics and are doing a culture.

I would like to never have a UTI again, please and thank you. (But the awesome thing is that my antibiotic was FREE! Yay!)

Last night Fred and I were laying in bed, and I said “I feel kind of high. What the hell?”, whereupon Fred reminded me that last month (remember the bout of digestive issues that I thought was food poisoning at first and ultimately caused me to lose 15 pounds in a week and a half and then put it all right back on?) when I was prescribed the same antibiotic, it made me feel super sleepy and high. At least this time around I only have to take it for three days.

Miz Poo, who went to the vet yesterday because she’s been overgrooming the fur on her stomach which led to a nasty rash and a couple of particularly nasty-looking sores, got a steroid injection. Hopefully that cures that issue until next Spring. Miz Poo, for those of you new to the site, is our money pit. She’s always got something going on with her – a couple of months ago, the rodent ulcer on her lip, which flares up a couple of times a year, flared up in a big way, which required a steroid shot. The steroids always work – and they’re the only thing that works reliably – but they’re not a good long-term solution. SIGH.

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Robyn, you may have mentioned this before, but what are the colors on the wall of your guest bedroom? I LOVE them! It’s just what I’ve been looking for.

This is the paint color on the top.
And this is the paint color on the bottom.

I think (though I’m not positive) that on the before-and-after tour page, there are links to the paint colors in all the rooms. I may have missed a room or two.

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I am moving soon to a city where backyard chickens are allowed. I am so excited! I want one or two, and I want a breed that’s both a cuddly pet and a good layer. Out of the breeds you’ve kept, which do you think fits the bill? And would you suggest keeping one or two?

Without a doubt, I highly recommend Buff Orpingtons. They’re the calmest, they’re excellent layers, and as long as you handle them lots when they’re little, they should be cuddly. Or at least put up with you cuddling them! (You’re probably not necessarily looking for them to hatch chicks, but if you were, they’re also really good mothers.)

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You probably know this already but just in case-they sell the stuff for UTI symptoms – the pills that make you pee the scary orange over the counter at the drugstore now. It really helps while you are waiting to get into the drs. for antibiotics.

I actually had some of that stuff in the medicine cabinet. The expiration date on it was 10/2008, but I still took a couple. And it really did help! That orange pee is super scary, though, isn’t it?

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What scent is that Yankee Candle in the bathroom?

Cinnamon & Sugar! I bought a ton of candles earlier this year when the Hallmark store in the mall was going out of business. First everything in the store was 30% off, so I bought a few Buttercream scented candles (my absolute favorite scent). Then everything in the store was 50% off, so I bought the rest of the Buttercream and a few Sparkling Lemon candles. THEN everything in the store was 75% off, so I bought every scent I even sorta-kinda liked.

Needless to say, I have a candle hoarding issue. (But I DO burn the hell out of them, and I do NOT keep the empty jars when the candle is gone. I SWEAR I DO NOT, DR. ROBIN ZASIO!)

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I have never seen walls like the ones in your house before — we have the typical lath-and-plaster New England house. Is it common to have wood paneling like that in the South, or did you manage to scoop a lovely antique before somebody covered it in sheet rock?

I had to ask Fred for the specific names, so now I can tell you that the walls in the hallway and bathroom are beadboard and the walls in the front room (at least some of the walls) are tongue and groove. I know that I’ve seen beadboard in other houses around here, so perhaps it is a Southern thing? Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

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I’m no cook. I can follow recipes and the stuff usually turns out. If I experiment, watch out. So I have a stupid question. In your Green Tomato Chili recipe, it calls for 10 medium tomatoes. Can you give me any idea how many pounds of tomato that would be? IT will save me a field trip to the store.

I’m going to be making this recipe with the little Roma tomatoes that are left after the killer frost hit this week. I had one tomato plant that was loaded with tomatos and I don’t want to let them go to waste. I almost have 2 large mixing bowls full of green tomatoes and alot of them are the size of a cat turd (sorry – I could not resist the comparison that you and I both know all too well!).

I can’t give you a pounds estimation, but I CAN give you a cup measurement estimation, if that helps! The last time I made a half batch of the green tomato chili, I used 8 cups of chopped green tomatoes. But keep in mind that you can’t really overdo it on the green tomatoes – I think that if they fit in the pot, there aren’t too many of them, because they cook down so much.

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I LOVE the ceiling in the guest bedroom. I don’t think I have ever seen natural wood on a ceiling, except maybe in a log house kind of thing. But that room is all finished out, and that ceiling is FAAAAANCY!

I love the hell out of that ceiling! The ceiling in the front room and in the dining room is the same way. I’m not sure, but I think that at one point in the past, that ceiling actually had wallpaper on it. Wallpaper covering up that gorgeous wood! Can you imagine?

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Do you leave your toilet lid up all the time, and if so do the cats not drink out of it/play in it/ throw toys in it?

I swear-the second anyone leaves it up in my house, it takes .2 seconds to have both cats throwing toy mice in it/drinking out of it/putting their paws into it with awe like ‘I have never felt water before’.

They ALWAYS have fresh water but for some reason they are toilet fanatics. (and don’t get me started on trying to brush my teeth or wash my face with a cat on each side of the sink, trying to stick their head under the tap and drink)

I do tend to leave the toilet lid up (unless I have very small kittens running around the house, in which case I keep the toilet lid down so they don’t fall in and drown. Wouldn’t that be a horrible thing to find?), and I try to clean the toilets every day or every other day, because yes, we have cats who love to drink out of the toilet. (If it’s been more than a couple of days since I cleaned the toilet, I keep the lid down.) ::SIGH:: And yes, our cats can barely go two feet without there being fresh water available to them in the form of cat water fountains and if they don’t like the water fountains there’s also a fresh bowl of water NEAR the water fountain, but still some of them HAVE to drink out of the toilet. Actually, the toilet that they drink out of is the one off the computer room, which gets very little human use – isn’t that weird, that I’ll get up and go to the bathroom down the hall rather than use the one that’s right there?

I’ve never found cat toys in the toilets, though, thank god. That would drive me nuts!

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How odd about the “unexplained weight loss” google. When I entered that phrase (along with a couple of other symptoms), I got everything BUT cancer. Guess what? I have cancer. Stupid google.

Stupid google is right!

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I fear I am going to be labeled a SKIMMAH, but have you always had a boy and a girl pig or are you planning on piglets this time around? And, question number two/SKIMMAH threat, why don’t you have any goats (again)?


I know this is a question you asked Robyn, but when pigs are raised for food rather than breeding purposes, the boys are castrated when they are little. So no little piggies!

We’ve had one boy and one girl pig before (I think), and we’ve had two boys a couple of times and two girls once. But like Maureen said, when we get boy pigs, they are already castrated by Egg the Pig Man. The sex of the pigs we get is determined by what Egg has available, though if I’m given the choice I’ll always choose girl pigs because I think they’re more personable.

If I have my way, we are NEVER going to breed pigs, though Fred would love to give it a try. I don’t think I could handle the stress of being worried that the momma pig will inadvertently roll over on her babies and “mash” them, as Egg puts it.

And we don’t have goats ’cause I don’t want goats and I don’t think we need any more animals. Fred CLAIMS he wants goats, but he hasn’t annoyed me to the point of giving in (yet), so I don’t think he wants them all that badly either.

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I LOVE your house tour. It amazes me that you can have little statues with all the cats. I have two cats and one of them regularly clears all surfaces. So I would think, percentage-wise, you should have at least one that would do the same!!

The only place I have statues is where the cats don’t go. If they really wanted to, they could jump up on top of that dresser, but they never (or rarely) do, so that’s one of the safe places in the house.

Of course, now that I said that, there’s going to be a rush of cats jumping up on that dresser, knocking figurines to and fro!

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Have you named any kitties after the Dexter characters?

I haven’t, but only because “Dexter” has been used in the past. That certainly would have been a good naming theme. Actually, “Dexter Morgan” hasn’t been used, so I may have to keep that in mind for the future!

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Those “cat lover” mugs in the photos in yesterday’s entry? Yesterday, I got my coffee served to me in one of ’em at a local diner. When the waitress brought it I cried “LOVE this mug!” She was relieved because she said some customers complain about it (wtf?).

I got those mugs at Old Time Pottery – aren’t they awesome?

I can’t imagine why on earth people would COMPLAIN about “cat lover” mugs – wtf is right!

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I’d be seriously interested in where Debbie saw that pattern that was so expensive. I want to stitch it! I tried googling it and didn’t find it.

She tried to find it again and had no luck, unfortunately! 🙁 Here it is!

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Click here for an interesting article about how long to keep food in the freezer. It says fruit has the longest “freezer life.” That surprised me!

How long can you freeze food?

Interesting link – thanks!

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Kitties in a cup reminds me of those signs you see in coffee shops: Unattended children will be given a free espresso and a kitten.

Can I steal the picture and make one?

Absolutely! And for the record, y’all, as long as you don’t try to pass off a picture I’ve taken as your own, or try to make money off it (good luck with that), please feel free to use any of my pictures. As long as they’re attributed to me, I’m happy!

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I’m assuming you have a backup generator just in case of a power outage — that’s a lot of stuff to lose if the freezers go down for a period of time.

We definitely have a generator – and fortunately, haven’t had to use it yet!

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Sorry about all the kitty drama. Carrying four cat carriers AND going under the house too? No one can accuse you of being a princess, Robyn. You are tough. I feel quite wussy compared to you!

That’s right! I’m a badass! 😀

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Hey Robyn, regarding that broken coffee maker on the dining room table: Throw that shit away!

You’re goddamn right, Laura! I read your comment on Friday, and then I immediately said to Fred “If you don’t fix that coffee maker this weekend, I’m throwing it away.” AND I DID.

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Love the house tour–I asked for it! (“You asked for it, you got it, the house tour.” Does anyone remember the scenes in the otherwise forgettable “Forget Paris” w/Debra Winger & Billy Crystal, where her father sings jingles under his breath & says “Toy-ota”??)

My favorite part of that movie is the part with Debra Winger and the pigeon when she walks into the vet’s office. I laugh until I cry every time I see that!

(I have to leave my piles of clean laundry in the bedroom behind a closed door. I can deal with a little cat hair from laundry being slept on in the basket, but leave it overnight and someone will decide to p*ss on the pile. Lovely.)

I left a pile of cat beds on the table just this week and one of them got sprayed. You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you?

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Where did you find purple reusable grocery bags??? I covet something fierce!

That is a Hannaford bag, and the Hannaford bags are still far and away my favorite!

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I have the golden key to growing the most perfect awesome tomato plats Ever. Ready???

Every year I plant four or so tomato plants that I faithfully dote over, read to, water diligently, and basically cater to their every need… including feeding organic… umm… stuff… that promises to make them the best plants ever. When something eats into the fruit or the branch gets funky, I would toss the useless tomato behind the plants. This year I gave up and didn’t plant any plants. Why bother, we barely get any decent produce from them. Well… this year, I have the most beautiful, huge plants you have ever seen. There are in excess of 20 plants all growing communally behind the garage that I had never even noticed until there were perfect blooms all over the place. They have provided hundreds of the sweetest cherry tomatoes you have even tasted. The big tomatoes didn’t turn out so well since the plants for those are heavy, the fruits are laying on the ground and there are often 4 tomatoes fused together. The plants have rerooted themselves from laying on the ground so they are the healthiest plants ever. There is not one yellow leaf anywhere. So, all of the tomatoes that have split or have inhabitants are getting tossed back in for next year. This partially infuriates me due to the investment I have made in prior years, but we are eating good so I am not really complaining.

Figures, doesn’t it? We have a volunteer squash plant on the side of the garden that looks happier than any of the squash plants we intentionally grew this year. I guess “neglect” is the most important ingredient!

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Someone asked (over at Love & Hisses) what Georgie guards.

George (back) and his sister Gracie are Great Pyrenees. They’re Livestock Guardian Dogs, and they guard…

the pigs…

..and the chickens! (But mostly the chickens. They can’t actually get into the pig yard, but they’re there to run off any predators who might come sniffing around the pigs.)

Some history – we moved our chickens out to the back forty (not really forty acres, that’s just what we call the three acre field at the back of our property) in the Fall of 2008. And then we started losing chickens, at the rate of about one a week. We discussed ways to protect the chickens. Fred was in favor of getting a donkey, but I thought dogs would be a better choice. Fred researched Great Pyr rescues, and found a few possibilities, but the problem was that first of all, they wanted $500 per dog and we couldn’t justify spending $1,000 on dogs to protect chickens that had cost $2 each. Second, none of the rescues wanted to adopt out Great Pyrs to act as livestock guardians, they were adopting them out as pets only. We happened across an ad in one of those free supermarket papers, and a week later, we brought George and Gracie home.


They were four months old, they’d been around chickens, and they were super friendly puppies. A few days after we got them, I was out in the chicken yard gathering eggs, and someone stopped by. I didn’t hear him until he approached the fence of the chicken yard, and then I was startled to see him. When I jumped and said “Oh!”, George and Gracie reacted immediately. They put themselves between me and the guy at the fence, and barked their heads off at him. It appears that we’d found our protectors.

It took a while longer for them to bond with their flock, but they did. They live out in the chicken yard with the chickens, they’re always happy to see me coming (though that might very well be because I usually have a snack for them!) and they’re very happy pups.

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Climbing into my lap so he can bat at my hand and bite me seems to be just about Hutch’s favorite thing to do.


Starsky, mildly floofed.

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Coltrane is curious if it might be snackin’ time.

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2009: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2008: And since there’s not a lot going on around here (except that it’s raining for the first time in forever, yay!), here are some pictures from around Crooked Acres.
2007: Whither Tom-Tom goest, the Stank will follow.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I’m just going to sit here and whine about being cold and thirsty, I suppose. Sounds like a plan!
2003: Just know that it was a little SKEERY.
2002: This is a mighty exciting entry, isn’t it? Could I be any more interesting? Should I do an entry about watching paint dry, or what?
2001: “Farm boy, fetch me some ice! Farm boy, fetch me a diet coke, chop-chop!”
2000: No entry.