1/31/11 – Monday

Peeper and her three kittens are at a vet, where they’ve been since October. They are well now and ready to travel to their foster homes, but their bill has to be paid before the vet will release them, plus they all need to be vetted and spayed/neutered too. Her ChipIn page is here. If … Continue reading “1/31/11 – Monday”

Peeper and her three kittens are at a vet, where they’ve been since October. They are well now and ready to travel to their foster homes, but their bill has to be paid before the vet will release them, plus they all need to be vetted and spayed/neutered too.

Her ChipIn page is here.

If you would like to confirm with the vet or donate directly, the contact info is:

Pet Vac Animal Hospital
2920 Reidville Rd.
Spartanburg, SC 29301
(864) 574-6200

I know I’ve been posting a lot of these pleas lately, but it’s that time of year when the need is great and funds are low, you know?

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I swear to god, this has been THE slowest friggin’ month in the entire history of months. And NOW I have to get through 10 days of February before I can go in and get my damn surgery over with.

(I see you, skimmers, hoping that I’ll tell you what the hell surgery I’m talking about. You’re hoping I’ll just tell you so you don’t have to search on it, aren’t you? Very well. If you MUST know, I’m going for brain surgery. They’re going to remove my brain completely and see how long I can yammer on about cats before my body gives up the ghost. The prediction is that I can go for a year or more.)

Yesterday marked five years since I had weight loss surgery. I need to do my yearly update over at OneFatBitchypoo, but still need to have Fred take pictures of me so that I can post them, so everyone can see that nothing’s changed since last year.

I came so very, very close to blowing off my yearly appointment with the surgeon who did my weight loss surgery. Mostly because I had to go see the nutritionist first, so they could do the InBody scan and the surgeon could have those results.

Now, look. The nutritionist is a really nice guy, I have NO problems with him at all. But the yearly appointment with him is absolutely mind-numbingly torturously BORING. Because I have yet to learn anything that I didn’t already know. I take in a list of what I ate over the previous week, he looks at it and suggests a few tweaks, tells me to keep doing what I’m doing, and then I leave.

For the past five years, he’s told me to come back again in a year. This year, he wanted me to come back in six months. In previous years, the nutritionists (there used to be more than one who worked with the surgeon’s office) used to be in a different office space across the hall. This year all the equipment has been moved to the surgeon’s office space, and when I went across the hall to the nutritionist’s office, there were boxes everywhere in a clear indication that they’d be giving up that office suite.

So is it such a stretch for me to conclude that the only reason I would suddenly need to meet with the nutritionist twice a year instead of once is because they charge $75 (which is an out-of-pocket expense, as insurance doesn’t cover it) and the surgeon’s office is taking a hit on account of the economy? Because let me tell you what – I would happily pay TWICE that to NOT have to go through the godawful BORING ASS appointment in six months.

Which is to say, I will SO not be attending any such appointment in six months. Because I don’t believe it’s warranted, and while I am sympathetic to the economy woes being suffered by my surgeon’s office, I can’t possibly force myself to attend that appointment. It’s cruel and unusual.

I have my appointment with the surgeon later this week and then, THANKYOUBABYJESUS, it’ll be over for another year.

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Speaking of medical things, I had my mammogram last Tuesday. It went fine, and I got a letter from the breast center on Friday letting me know that there were “no significant signs of abnormalities.” I’m guessing that if there had been signs of abnormalities, that would probably have delayed my surgery.

Haven’t heard anything about the blood tests, but no news is good news AMIRIGHT?

I had to have more blood drawn on Thursday, because my WLS surgeon orders those every year. I went back to the same testing center where I went the week before (when I had two lab slips from two different doctors, one covered by insurance, one not, which threw the admittance clerk and phlebotomist into a bit of a tizzy). When the admittance clerk called me back, she squinted at me and said “Weren’t you just here?” I started to remind her of the two-lab-slip kerfuffle, and she remembered me right away.

This time there were no issues, and I was in and out of there pretty quickly.

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We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend. It got up into the 60s both days. Saturday was bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky, and Sunday was intermittently sunny and cloudy. We’re supposed to have a couple more days of warm weather before it drops back down for a few days.

Fred puttered around outside a lot this weekend, and on Sunday morning processed 11 roosters. The rooster population in the back forty has really gotten out of hand. There were way too many roosters out there for the number of hens we have, and it was well past time for processing.

(He actually intended to process them last weekend, but it was so cold that he put it off for one more week.)

Instead of plucking or skinning the entire chickens, this time around he cut the breasts off the roosters so I’d have some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and then he skinned the legs, brought the breasts and legs inside for me to package up, and gave what remained of the carcasses to the pigs.

Turning chicken into bacon, if you will.

There are probably another 10 roosters out there who need to be processed, but they’re still fairly young and aren’t terrorizing the hens just yet, so Fred will wait a while before processing them. The back forty is a lot calmer and quieter now, and it was nice to see the hens out enjoying the sun yesterday afternoon instead of hiding under the coop from the asshole roosters.

Roosters are absolutely gorgeous, but almost every one of them is a complete asshole. I’d like to see the rooster population culled down to two or three, total.

The chicken legs and breasts will sit in the fridge for a couple of days. I’ll put the legs in the freezer Tuesday or Wednesday, and then I intend to lay the breasts out on a cookie sheet, flash freeze them, and then put them in a big bag in the freezer.

I’ve been wishing I had boneless, skinless breasts for a while now, so that I could make some of my favorite recipes that call for them, so it’ll be nice to have them on hand.

I’ll be spending this week making meals that can be frozen, so that when I’m recovering and healing after surgery, Fred can just pop a pan in the oven for dinner, instead of having to do any kind of labor-intensive cooking. So far, I’m planning to put up a couple of pans of chicken and rice casserole, lasagna, meatballs, and Crockpot Texas Goulash. Oh, and of course a big bunch of Chimichangas.

Like I told Fred, I’ll get all these meals stowed in the freezer, and then neither of us will feel like eating any of it. We’ll end up eating a months’ worth of egg sandwiches instead!

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We had turkey for dinner Sunday afternoon. Now, I am 43 years old, and we’ve been eating our own chickens and turkeys for about three years now.

At what point do you suppose I’ll figure out which way is breast side down when I’m getting the turkey or chicken ready for the oven? For some reason, I can look at a chicken, and I’ll know that those are the legs and those are the wings, and I can even hold the chicken with its legs down, and yet somehow I cannot force myself to understand that THAT is the breast and THAT is the back.

It didn’t help matters on Sunday that when I had the turkey in the oven bag and held it up for Fred and said “Is this breast-side down?”, he misunderstood what I was saying, and said “No, that’s the wrong way.” because he thought I meant breast-side UP.

We got it figured out, but good god almighty. It ain’t rocket science! Why can’t I figure this shit out?

(Note to future Robyn: legs down = breast-side down. Not that you’ll remember, dumbass.)

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Miz Poo, Jake, Elwood, Reacher, Tommy, and Sugarbutt, hanging out in the kitchen.

Rhyme loves him some Loony Jake. EVERYone loves Loony Jake.

Corbie in the Room with a View (aka: The Sug Cave.)

And now Reacher.

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In case you missed it on Saturday, there was an entry posted with some bad news, good news, and updates. Cindy was returned Friday night, and then adopted again on Saturday, which doesn’t surprise me at ALL.

Poor Jan still hasn’t been adopted, but I expect it won’t be long until the right person comes along, she’s such a little lovebug. Fred says that I condemned her by naming her after the most annoying Brady!

Speaking of names, Alice has earned herself some nicknames from us.

Fred likes to call her “Alice MOrales”, or “Alice Moe” for short.

I think “Mini” (or, I suppose, “Minnie”) would be a good name for her.

“Princess Alice of Smugonia” also fits very well.

I’m working on getting pictures of her with some of the grown-up cats, so you can get a feel for her small stature. I expect that’s what Wednesday’s entry will be comprised of.

Yesterday, I made blueberry muffins. I left one on the counter, wrapped in a piece of paper towel. A few hours later, I walked into the kitchen to find that Elwood had knocked the muffin onto the floor, and he and Alice were busily eating it.

I took the muffin away from them, and for the rest of the day every time I set foot in the kitchen, Alice was there meowing at me to let me know that she’d like some more blueberry muffin RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

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Maxi in the sun.

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Time to clear off the memory stick!
2007: Spring, where art thou?
2006: No entry.
2005: Hey, can you eat raw kale?
2004: No entry.
2003: My whole life is a vicious circle, really.
2002: No entry.
2001: I mean, what the fuck did I do?
2000: Yeah, I know, woe is me.

1/29/11 – Kitteh Saturday

Peeper and her three kittens are at a vet, where they’ve been since October. They are well now and ready to travel to their foster homes, but their bill has to be paid before the vet will release them, plus they all need to be vetted and spayed/neutered too. Her ChipIn page is here. If … Continue reading “1/29/11 – Kitteh Saturday”

Peeper and her three kittens are at a vet, where they’ve been since October. They are well now and ready to travel to their foster homes, but their bill has to be paid before the vet will release them, plus they all need to be vetted and spayed/neutered too.

Her ChipIn page is here.

If you would like to confirm with the vet or donate directly, the contact info is:

Pet Vac Animal Hospital
2920 Reidville Rd.
Spartanburg, SC 29301
(864) 574-6200

I know I’ve been posting a lot of these pleas lately, but it’s that time of year when the need is great and funds are low, you know?

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First, the bad news: Remember Drum and Clairee? They were two of the Magnolias from a year ago. They were only here a couple of weeks before room opened up at the adoption center).

Well, Drum and Clairee were adopted together, and I got word last night that their owners are returning them to the shelter. Not because of Drum and Clairee (they said that they’re great cats), but because of life circumstances making it impossible for them to keep them.

Then, more bad news: Cindy Brady was returned last night. Again – not because of anything Cindy Brady did, just because of other issues in the lives of the people who adopted her.

(Okay, hold on. Just got an email from the shelter manager letting me know that Cindy had been adopted again! So that’s bad news turned good for Cindy!)

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Now, updates!

First, remember Melodie and Dodger? They were in the same bunch (but not related to each other) as Martin and Moxie back in the late summer, early Fall. They were at the adoption center for a long time, and then were adopted together.

From their new mom:

Just wanted to update you on Dodger and Melodie. It’s been about 6 weeks and they have each gained a pound – maybe even more since being weighed 2 weeks ago! Our family has completely fallen in love with them both and they have the run of the house. We call Melodie Tabitha or Tabby now – for Tabitha Twitchit the cat in the Beatrix Potter stories. Dodger – well he’s just Dodger. No other name will do.

Are those some happy cats, or what? I am SO glad they were adopted together!!

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Of course you remember Peter Brady (it hasn’t been that long!). He was adopted with Newton Q, another Challenger’s House kitten.

Their update:

We have renamed them, Peter Brady is now Mat, and Newton is now Perrin. These names are from the Wheel of Time novels, and their personalities do fit the names. Mat is into everything, running all over. Perrin is quieter, and slow to run in, investigating before.

They both quickly discovered our Cat Bridge, and are running acroos just like they were on the ground.

We are looking forward to sleep. they are calming down, but still want to play at 2am.

Isn’t that Cat Bridge neat? I’m trying to convince Fred we need something like that. I need to hush up ’til he gets around to finishing the front room before I start harassing him to add a bridge, though!

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Jake, keeping an eye on the back yard.

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2010: “God, what is that horrific SMELL?!”
2009: “Thank GOD you’re going for a cut and color. I didn’t want to say anything, but you have got some SERIOUS gray going on. It’s rather disturbing.”
2008: This is my entry in honor of [Spot].
2007: Obviously he just doesn’t love Joe Bob enough.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Okay, I promise that’s the last weepy I-miss-my-kitty entry.
2003: Bleach is the shit.
2002: Just for the record, Mike Tyson is the biggest fucking idiot in the entire world.
2001: How the hell am I going to get my ass on Survivor 3 if they’re looking for model types??
2000: I was quite excited, as I recall.

1/28/11 – Friday

I use a liquid bandage but if the cut is too deep for that, I pack it full of ….what the hell is the stuff in the green tin? It just flew out of my head. Oh, Bag Balm! I pack it full of Bag Balm before double bandaiding it as you describe. Helps keep … Continue reading “1/28/11 – Friday”

I use a liquid bandage but if the cut is too deep for that, I pack it full of ….what the hell is the stuff in the green tin? It just flew out of my head. Oh, Bag Balm! I pack it full of Bag Balm before double bandaiding it as you describe. Helps keep the edges of the cut soft and promotes healing. Vaseline would probably work similarly.

I don’t have Bag Balm (anymore… don’t know what I did with the tin I had), but I have vaseline, so I’ll definitely give this a try!

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How old is Spanky now? How about the age of the other cats? He sure is a gorgeous creature — but so are all your other cats. (And, of course, I’m one of those people who’s never seen an ugly cat; they’re all beautiful in their own unique way!)

Spanky’s just over 14 (I got him as an early Christmas present in ’96), Miz Poo is 11 (got her the day before Thanksgiving ’99). Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Joe Bob are 5 1/2. We’re guessing Maxi is around 7ish and Newt is around 5. Stinkerbelle will be 4 in March. Kara will be 4 in April. Jake and Elwood will be 2 in June. I haven’t got a clue how old Coltrane is, so I’m going to assign him the age of 4, and call it close enough.

So, in conclusion, the cats in order of age:

Spanky (14)
Miz Poo (11)
Maxi (7)
Sugarbutt, Tommy, Joe Bob (5 1/2)
Newt (5)
Kara, Stinkerbelle & Coltrane (4)
Jake & Elwood (2)

We are going to be hurting when the 4 and 5 year-olds hit their old age. Hopefully they don’t all fall apart at once!

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All I can think of is this song. (LANGUAGE)

I’m in a BOX! I’m in a BOX!
Everybody look at me ‘cuz I’m playing in a BOX!
I’m in a BOX! I’m in a BOX!
Take a good hard look at the motherfucking BOX!
I’m in a BOX, motherfucker, take a look at me!
Straight playing in a box on the carpet, see

Now I’m laughing too hard to do any more.

“I’m in a BOX, bitch.”

(my favorite lines in the Lonely Island version: “I’ve got a nautical-themed pashmina afghan” and “the boat engine make NOISE, motherfucker” LMFAO – I wanted to adapt Newt’s situation for those but I just can’t)

Fred said it reminded him of The Singing Shark.

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Here in Michigan they have quite a few sav-a-lots and I find them great, price wise. The canned goods aren’t name brands but taste just as good. I’ve bought just about everything in the store and haven’t found anything that I was disappointed in. It’s well worth your time to give this store a visit.

That’s kind of what I was hoping to hear. They haven’t finished our local Sav-a-Lots yet, but when they do I’ll be first in line!

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I am loving me some Newt! Is it just an unfortunate camera angle, or is he quite…ahem…corpulent? Not that it matters, of course – just adds to his overall charm.

Newt’s a short cat, but a very muscular cat, so I’m sure he looks a bit porky. He’s also carrying around some of that winter weight (he and Maxi both bulk up in the winter and slim down in the summer), so that probably doesn’t help matters.

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That is a sad sad picture. Is it the angle or was his head really that much bigger than his body?

A combination of the two, I think. He was a skinny little thing, but not as undernourished as he looks here. Bobby and Cindy were the two smallest Bradys for the longest time, but toward the end of their stay here, Jan and Cindy were the smallest, and Bobby was solidly in the middle of the pack.

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I’m with you Devil – my favorite thing for dinner is reservations! I do cook but out of economic necessity not for the JOY of Cooking!

I’m with both of you! If I never had to cook again, I’d be perfectly fine with that. When I win the lottery, I’ll be hiring a cook, first thing.

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I like this site for ideas. : What the Fuck Should I Make for Dinner. It basically searches keywords (vegetarian, eggs, soup, etc.) and throws up a hyperlink with a bit of snark and foul language. Also Post Punk Kitchen or any of the many cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: Veganomicon, vegan with a vengeance, Appetite for reduction. I’m going to have a bigger garden this year and if I get my act together I may blog about it, including recipes, etc. If I happen upon anything stellar I’ll give you a holler. Also, (sorry to be so linky) I just found a website that matches up gardeners with too much produce up with people who would love fresh, healthy produce (buy, sell, trade): The Farmer’s Garden.

Thanks for the links!

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You’re a DDD? I never would have guessed, but then I don’t spend much time staring at your chest. hahahahaha! I’d ask the doc then I’d buy bras in a few different sizes just in case.

I asked the nurse, and she said to get a bra in the size that I wear now. So I got two, and if they don’t work out, I’ll send Fred to the store to find me something better!

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Cat question for you and the readers. My co-worker, who adopted my cat’s three siblings, is having trouble with one cat who wolfs down all the food. He’s chubby, and the other two are skinny, and would probably eat a bit of their food when they’re fed and come back and pick at it later if there were any left. But there never is because “Buffalo-Butt” has glommed it all. The other two cats are starting to eat faster than they would otherwise because of this, and they often throw up from eating too fast. Have any of your cats ever been wolfers, and is there a way, other than feeding them in completely separate rooms and leaving them there for hours, to avoid this?

My cats aren’t wolfers, but I feel like I’ve seen this question before, and I believe one of the solutions was to put golf balls in their food so that they can’t just stick their faces in their bowls and chow down – they have to pick around the golf balls, which forces them to eat slower.

Readers? Suggestions?

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You gotta read this:

When Hormone Creams Expose Others to Risks

The original article was in the NY Times but the link for this goes to an animal hospital.

Kinda scary! I had to stop using cedar litter here because the volatile oils got to the skin and three of the six started fur-mowing in areas that came in contact with the litter. Made me much more conscious of things that are touching their fur!

Jean actually sent me the link to that article last Spring, and I meant to link to it, but forgot. I always apply my progesterone cream to areas of my body that are covered by my nightgown, or that the cats don’t come into contact with. There’s certainly nothing I need LESS than the cats suddenly getting hormonal, I’ll tell you that!

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Now, did you make the candy as written, or did you do it (what I consider to be) the “right way,” with mashed potatoes? 😉 It’s an Appalachian thing; I grew up with Potato Candy, and there were always at least two or three different kinds brought in for every bake sale I ever attended. People not from Appalachia give me the strangest looks when I tell them about it; it may even be a regional thing within Appalachia, because my West Virginian husband hadn’t heard of it before he met me! But it’s worth trying, even if it turns out to be an acquired taste thing. (Raw rhubarb is another thing I can’t get him to accept as normal. You dip it in salt, and it’s deliciously bitter.)

Katherine and I had both seen the potato candy recipe version of the peanut butter candy we made last week, and talked about how odd it sounded. (Here’s one example of the potato version.)

I can’t imagine raw rhubarb dipped in salt, but when I was younger and the spud and I lived in Maine, our next door neighbors used to give her rhubarb (although they called it “ru-bub”, so that’s the pronunciation she picked up) and sugar to dip it into. I never tried it myself, the only place I’ve ever eaten rhubarb is in jam with strawberry!

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Someone online raved (& ranted when they were out) about Starbucks petite vanilla bean scones a LONG time ago. I finally tried them about a year ago and…they were a big (tiny) nothing. I’ve had that happen with recipes, too. It’s like, WTF? All this work & $$ for some bland pile o’food?? (And no pigs to feed it to!)

That’s exactly what that scone recipe I tried last week was supposed to taste like, the Starbucks scones. I’ve never tried the Starbucks version, but the scones I ended up with at home were nothing to write home about, believe me.

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You should go make those iced cherry scones that you found on my blog a while back. Those things are FUCKING DELICIOUS, they’re crack-in-a-scone.

If you ever have to go to a new hematologist, you should write a letter to the old one telling them how much they suck and now you’re going to Dr. Newguy and see ya later! That’s gonna burn! Doctors HATE to see their competition get business.

You know what? I’d like to know why it is, when I HAD the perfect scone recipe (ie, the one at your site!), I felt the overwhelming urge to make a different scone recipe. Why is that? I think I was seduced by the “vanilla bean” name of the scones. I almost always have the ingredients on hand for the Iced Cherry Scones, and I believe I’ll make a batch of them this morning!

(And if I end up going to another hematologist, I will DEFINITELY write a letter to the old one!)

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So glad Alice is home and through her procedure! Has the vet considered whether it might be asthma? And/or an allergy? We have a cat with the wheezies and that’s what our vet thinks it is. Many purrs and best wishes for Alice.

I… do not know. I need to find out, I guess! 🙂

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I remember you mentioning potential problems from the other cats when Coltrane first started coming into the house. I’m curious how the other cats are reacting to Coltrane? Is there (relative) peace among the kitties with Coltrane now?

There seems to be complete peace when it comes to Coltrane. I don’t know how it is, but none of the other cats hardly ever give him a second glance. He’s fit in well, and when we had our big snow storm a couple of weeks ago, Coltrane didn’t step foot outside for three days, and there were no issues at all. It probably helps that he’s not got those annoying “alpha cat” behaviors, and he’s quite willing to be submissive.

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I’m dying to adopt Corbett, but I’m at college and my parents said no! 🙁 I’ve wanted him since the Bookworms first arrived, but my parents won’t get another cat. Sigh. I hope he finds a forever home soon!

Awww! Parents just don’t understand, do they?

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I think I forgot to mention that Bobby and Peter Brady were adopted on Tuesday! Bobby was adopted alone, and Peter was adopted with another Challenger’s House kitten.

This leaves Jan as the last Brady standing. I will be very surprised if she isn’t adopted this weekend – she’s such a sweet little lovebug.

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We’ve taken to calling Alice “the princess”, because she’s such a smug little brat. Fred loves how tiny she is, and how sassy she is, and how playful she is.

Which is to say, the love affair between Fred and Alice is NOT one-sided.

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I’ve probably never mentioned before that I think Corbie is the prettiest cat on earth, have I? No, surely not.

SO SO pretty.

Rhyme (snuggling with Tommy) ain’t bad, either.

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I’d say that the cat shelves in the kitchen are definitely a hit…


Kara (that bed above her is where she spends a lot of time.)


And Jake.

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2010: Let Me In/ Let Me Out
2009: Today marks a year since Spot died. And yesterday marked four five years since Tubby died.
2008: Yes, he is a good dog. No, we’re still not keeping him.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yesterday marked one year since Tubby died.
2004: Tubby is dead.
2003: No entry.
2002: Signs of spring.
2001: No entry.
2000: Some work day, huh?

1/27/11 – Thursday

The other day I was sitting at my desk cutting up a credit card (one that expired in October. I prefer to use my debit card). I was snipping through the last little bit of plastic, and the tip of my pointer finger got in the way, and I snipped through the end of my … Continue reading “1/27/11 – Thursday”

The other day I was sitting at my desk cutting up a credit card (one that expired in October. I prefer to use my debit card). I was snipping through the last little bit of plastic, and the tip of my pointer finger got in the way, and I snipped through the end of my finger.


Two days later, it still hurts. It’s not infected, it’s just deeper than your average cut, and it keeps gaping open. I cannot fathom putting super glue on it because it would sting like a motherfucker. The only thing that works is to put one bandaid over the end of my finger and another around the end.

What a fucking annoyance – and I still can’t believe I did such a boneheaded stupid-ass thing. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that my finger wasn’t at a different angle, I could have snipped the fucking thing right off my finger.

(Which would have been badass. I could have made up a story about being on the run from the LAW and getting the end of my finger shot right off my hand. But alas.)

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I’ve been on a roll lately as far as coming up with nicknames for the cats. I probably haven’t mentioned this before (or maybe I have, don’t know), but we tend to add “butt” or “pants” to the end of the cats’ names when we’re talking to them. Reacher becomes “Reachie-pants” and “Reachie-butt.” (He’s also “Creechie-butt” too, which comes from his other nickname Reacher-Creature, also sometimes just plain Creature.)

Fred was talking to Corbie, and he called him “Corbie-butt” several times. I thought for a moment and said “Cor-butt.”

Fred laughed.

(Oddly, I often call Sugarbutt “Sugarpants” and announce “He’s wearing his Suggie-pants!” as Sugarbutt walks through the room. I do not know what the hell I mean by that.)

It’s not so much an issue lately, but after we first got Alice, she had some killer breath. Fred went on and on about it, and after a little while I called her “Alice-tosis,” which he appreciated.

A few weekends ago, we were in Walmart, and Fred tossed a box of the Walmart version of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls into the cart. When we got home, I called them “Swiss Fake Rolls” (and then laughed and laughed at how funny I am).

Like I said, I’ve been on a roll.

(But not a Swiss Fake Roll.)

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Wow. That was a lame and weak ending to that section. I’m going to put a little section here so that that section doesn’t infect following sections with its lame and weak suckitude.

Okay. Let’s take a deep breath and move on.

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I don’t know what set them off, but the cats (I suspect Sugarbutt and Joe Bob, though it’s possible Maxi is involved, too, and really who the hell knows just which cats are involved? There are 58 of them up in this goddamn house.) have been on a pissapalooza. I don’t know if it’s because the Bradys are gone or because Alice is still here, or exactly WHAT the fuck the issue is. This happens from time to time (maybe twice a year, I’d guess) and it always pisses me off.

(See what I did there?)

Before it got light up yesterday morning, I ended up going around the front room and the computer room (the rooms they usually target) with a black light, a handful of cleaning rags, and the bottle of Anti Icky Poo, and cleaning up all the pee I could find.

Fucking cats.

On the up side, all the cat pee I could find was on the baseboards or floor and thus easily cleanable.

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I was up at 3:30 yesterday morning because I’d put Alice in the foster room overnight, and girlfriend wanted OUT. At 3:30, I could no longer sleep through the howling and the banging on the door, so I got up and showered and started my day.

At 7:30, I left the house with Alice in a carrier, and took her to a vet clinic 25 minutes away. I left her there (and how pleased was I that the receptionist recognized the name “Alice Nelson” as Alice from The Brady Bunch? SO pleased!), and picked her up yesterday afternoon. She had a nasal endoscopy to see if she had a polyp above her soft palate, and as it turned out (because it can never be something simple, you know) she does not. So I’ll let y’all know what the next step is when I know. At least we were able to rule out a polyp!

Alice was REALLY happy to be home, and despite being a little groggy from the anesthesia, she was playing and rubbing up against Reacher, and eating as soon as Fred let her out of the carrier.

I really need to get a shot of Alice next to one of the big cats so you can see just how tiny she is.

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Corbie is one beautiful boy, is he not?

Indeed he is. “Pay no attention to the Rhyme behind me.”

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Spanky’s pretty spry for an old man. I mean, he’s not being particularly spry in this picture, I know. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

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2010: Cheesecake pose.
2009: “I sense oncoming snacks!”
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Fuck you, Lesley Stahl.
2005: Yes, I look like a dork.
2004: Better paranoid than hitchhiking across the country to meet some perv though, eh?
2003: No online presence in the day and age where every Joe Dork has a page? Inconceivable!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ooooh, lucky me, I got to go to the gynecologists’ today!

1/26/11 – Kitteh Wednesday

Newt and Corbie (with special appearances by Jake) in: The Box. “I’M IN THE BOX!!!” “I’M IN THE MOTHERFUCKING BOX!!!” “I am in the box. And as you can see, I am very fragile. The box says so.” “Do not raise a paw to me, Loony Jake. I am fragile. And also I will let … Continue reading “1/26/11 – Kitteh Wednesday”

Newt and Corbie (with special appearances by Jake) in:

The Box.



“I am in the box. And as you can see, I am very fragile. The box says so.”

“Do not raise a paw to me, Loony Jake. I am fragile. And also I will let go of this flap and it will thwap you in the face.”

Corbie: “Did you notice there are OTHER boxes over there? Perhaps you should check them out. They might be more awesome than that box. Not that there’s anything wrong with that box but, y’know. You should keep your options open.”
Newt: “Perhaps you’re right.”

Newt: “I don’t know, these boxes seem a bit small for me, I’m thinking that maybe the box I was in is really the one that I should stick wi-”

Newt: “That are MY BOX.”
Corbie: “Momma says possession is twelve-fifths of the paw. Or something. Weep, loser. WEEP.”

Note that Jake is staying OUT of this particular conversation.

A moment later, Newt stomped off in a huff.

The end.

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Look what I found! This was Bobby Brady on the day I got the Bradys. He was a sad little ragamuffin, and I don’t even know WHAT the heck that was all over his bitty face.

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2010: Do I know how to show my guests a rollicking good time, or what?
2009: You are correct, sir.
2008: The dog continues to improve. (Read here to see how the dog came to be in our possession.)
2007: Are ya feelin’ bubbly, punk? Well? Are ya?
2006: I think it would be hilarious if someone started manufacturing imitation Maui Jim sunglasses and called them “Oahu James” sunglasses.
2005: I figure they’re professionals and know what they’re doing, so I have no desire to clutter up the small amount of space left in my brain with that kind of information.
2004: I sense that there is a battle of epic proportions in my future, a show-down between Miz Poo and I as to just WHO the blanket belongs to.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: But don’t tell Miz Poo I’m admiring another cat, please…
2000: It’s a conspiracy!

1/25/11 – Tuesday

Fred thought he might have to work late yesterday, but when I hadn’t heard from him by 4:00, I picked up the phone and dialed his cell phone number. A moment later, my cell phone rang. I picked up my cell phone to see who was calling, and saw that “Home” was calling. I had … Continue reading “1/25/11 – Tuesday”

Fred thought he might have to work late yesterday, but when I hadn’t heard from him by 4:00, I picked up the phone and dialed his cell phone number. A moment later, my cell phone rang.

I picked up my cell phone to see who was calling, and saw that “Home” was calling.

I had a “THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE! THE! HOUSE!” moment, and then I realized that I’d dialed my cell phone number rather than Fred’s.

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Okay, who here can tell me whether or not I should be excited that they’re putting a Sav-A-Lot about 10 minutes from here? Is it worth checking out, or should I stick to Publix with the occasional foray into Walmart (and Target, when I’m in that area)?

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Sunday for dinner, I made a white chicken chili that was okay, but Fred liked it more than I did, so I told him to package up the leftovers to take for lunches. Then yesterday, I couldn’t think of what to make for dinner, so I stood and stared into the freezer and decided that nothing in there was too exciting. Then I looked in the fridge, and ditto. I was thinking of just making scrambled eggs and oven-fried potatoes, when I remembered that I’d recently seen a recipe for an oven-baked omelette at Hungry Girl, so decided I’d make that, and instead of the oven-fried potatoes, I’d make Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes.

Turned out to be a pretty damn good meal. I made changes to both recipes, of course. I don’t do “egg substitutes”, so I just started cracking eggs into a 2-cup measuring cup until I had 2 cups’ worth (10 eggs, as it turned out). I don’t do bell peppers, so I left those out and increased the amount of onion I used. I don’t like big chunks of vegetables, so I chopped everything into small pieces. And I sure as hell don’t do “parmesan-style grated topping”, so I used a sprinkle of shredded parmesan. I also used a 9-inch square dish instead of a round casserole.

Really, it’s kind of amazing that it turned out so well – but it ended up being REALLY good, and I know that this summer when we’re awash in eggs and have lots of veggies straight from the garden, I’ll be making many an oven omelette. I don’t know if it was due to my using real eggs instead of the egg substitute, but when I pulled the omelette out after 30 minutes to sprinkle parmesan on the top, it was done, so I didn’t have to cook it another 20 minutes.

I mostly made the potatoes by the recipe, except that I used a lot less olive oil (when it comes to Pioneer Woman’s recipes, I pretty much reduce the butter, oil, and bacon grease by at least 3/4, if not completely) and I never use any herbs on the potatoes, just salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the tiniest bit of parmesan 3 minutes before the potatoes are done.

Despite this pile of ever-growing recipes on my desk, I am compelled to ask y’all: I’m always on the lookout for good recipes. What have you made for dinner recently that turned out better than you expected? Or alternately, is there a recipe you want to share? Gimme!

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Okay, these are the last of the Brady pics I have (unless I stumble some that I’ve stashed away in a folder and forgotten about – that’s definitely happened before!)

Jake and Bobby Brady.

I was laying under the heated throw on the couch, catching up on some vital television viewing (if you want your foster kittens to truly appreciate the nutty “Real Housewives”, you’ve gotta start ’em early!) when I realized that most of the Bradys had climbed up to keep warm. No dummies, these guys. At the end is Peter Brady (sitting next to him, Rhyme), then Cindy and Jan snuggled up, and then (I think) Marcia. Greg Brady was present, but you can’t see him in this picture because he was curled around my neck, purring to beat the band.

Bath time for Cindy Brady.

Alice, rolled up in a bed. She sure puts up with a lot from Fred. That’s because she looooooves him. When I get up in the morning, she plays for an hour or so, then snuggles up somewhere upstairs and I don’t see her again until it’s almost time for Fred to get home from work. At 3:00ish, she comes down the stairs, blinking sleep from her eyes, and wanders around the house until Fred gets home, whereupon she runs to him, gets her hugs and kisses, and then runs off to find something better to do.

Yesterday, she snuggled up for a nap with Rhyme. And at bedtime, we spotted her rubbing up against Reacher. It seems that, despite herself, she’s turning into a sweet, friendly, well-adjusted little girl!

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Coltrane, hanging out on the Bootsie’s Bunk Bed in the computer room. Have I perhaps mentioned that he’s made himself at home?

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2010: No pig shit fish for me, THANK YOU.
2009: No entry.
2008: Yes, he’s cute. No, we’re not keeping him.
2007: That damn sponge will never glare malevolently at me again, I’m sure of it.
2006: “Thy-y-y-yme is my crack! Yes it is!”
2005: He emailed me back immediately. You’re already too old to die tragically young.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: And Mildred and Myrtle were hanging out merrily in their very sheer bright yellow bra, waving at all and sundry.
2001: Just thinking about it makes me grumpy.
2000: Y’all stay warm, now!

1/24/11 – Monday

I posted an entry on Saturday with a Starsky & Hutch (now Percy & Jack) update! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   I just spent at least two minutes talking to a cat who was sitting under my … Continue reading “1/24/11 – Monday”

I posted an entry on Saturday with a Starsky & Hutch (now Percy & Jack) update!

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I just spent at least two minutes talking to a cat who was sitting under my desk, up against my foot. I talked to it, petted it with the foot it wasn’t laying up against, and then finally peeked under the desk to see just which cat it was.

It was a slipper. No wonder it wouldn’t purr.

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I had a productive day on Saturday, cleaned the hell out of the kitchen, vacuumed the entire house, put a lot of stuff away. By the end of Saturday, I was looking around the house, pleased and feeling a sense of accomplishment.

And then Sunday morning I walked downstairs, skidded through a pile of cold cat barf, and found half a pound of litter kicked out of the litter boxes in the laundry room.

You just can’t have anything nice with these damn cats around, I’m telling you.

Sunday morning, we went to Lowe’s as soon as they opened, and bought four pieces of wood. When we got home, Fred unloaded the truck, and then made a raised (garden) bed out of the wood. Behind the back yard, there are now two raised beds, which are the property of me myself and I, and this summer I will have an herb garden, I’ll grow some tomatoes, and I haven’t decided what-all else. I’ll probably give catnip a try again. Fred’s promised to fence in my two raised beds so that cats can’t use them as litter boxes this year.

Next weekend we’re going to fill the raised bed (and top off the other beds) with compost and soil, and then when planting time starts, they’ll be all ready for the planting. I wanted to get them done and ready for planting, since I’ll have about six weeks after surgery where I won’t be able to lift much, and will have to take it easy. When I’m able to lift again, it’ll be planting time – or just about – and I won’t have to fret about getting the raised bed built and filled, it’ll be all ready for me!

Oh, and speaking of the surgery, I had my pre-op appointment with the plastic surgeon on Friday. I had to have my pictures taken for their before-and-after files, and got all my instructions on when to show up, got my prescriptions, a list of what to buy beforehand to have at home.

I need to buy a zip-front sports bra in a NON-cotton material to wear for a few weeks after surgery. This might be a spectacularly stupid question, but feel free to weigh in: how the hell do I know what size to buy? I assume there’s going to be a difference in my bra size after surgery, but I didn’t think of asking the surgeon for an estimation on what cup size I’ll be after surgery. Right now I’m a 36DDD. Should I assume I’ll go down to a C or D, and go by that assumption? What y’all think? Suggestions, opinions? (And, yes, I’ll call and talk to the nurse, but it’s hours yet ’til the office opens and I wanna know NOW.)

When I left the plastic surgeon’s office, I went to a testing center near the hospital to have my blood drawn. Now, last Wednesday when I had my physical, my doctor knew I was going to be having blood drawn as part of my pre-op hijinx, so she gave me a lab slip to give to the lab tech, so I’d only have to be stuck once. When I signed in at the testing center, I told the lady at the front desk that I had two lab slips.

As it turned out, the tests ordered by my primary doctor are covered by insurance and the tests ordered by my surgeon are not (he has a contract with the testing center, so it cost me $50 out of pocket for those). No one at the testing center knew what the hell to do about my two lab orders from two different doctors, how to enter them into the computer (together? separately?), and so there was much conferring and side glances in my direction. It didn’t help that my primary doctor hadn’t dated or signed her lab orders, so they had to call her office and get them to fax over new orders.

In the end, the lab tech took 10 vials of blood, told me that since both doctors had ordered a CBC, he’d put that under my primary care doctor’s name, along with a note for them to fax over the results to my surgeon.

I predict lots of confusion this week as my primary doctor’s office and the surgeon’s office try to figure out what the hell is going on.

Tomorrow, I have my mammogram. If something’s going to show up on my labs or mammogram to fuck up surgery, this’ll be the week.

Thank god the 12 inches of snow they were predicting for Tuesday night/ Wednesday is now no longer supposed to arrive here in Alabama. Last Fall, Fred told me that he’d read somewhere that we were supposed to have a fairly mild Winter. NOT SO MUCH, we’re finding out.

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Friday night, Greg Brady was adopted – and his new Mom left a comment here, yay! Things are going well, and Greg Brady is now Riley, and has charmed his new family. That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, because he was certainly a total lovebug when he was here!!

No Bradys were adopted on Saturday, which means that Bobby, Jan, and Peter are still at Petsmart. I think that three adoptions in less than a week is pretty good, and I don’t doubt that the other three will go quickly.

Some more Brady pics from my hard drive:

Sweet Cindy Brady.

Cindy, snuggling with Peter. LOVE the stretching toes.

Cindy, Bobby, Greg & Peter, on the Ham-Mick in the front room.

Cindy, on the Ham-Mick in the computer room, playing with a toy mouse (you can see the pink tail of the toy mouse by her front paw).

“If I don’t look at them, they aren’t there…” (Miz Poo with Alice and Jan.)

Cindy and the sparkly ball.

Since the Bradys have left the house, Alice has really come out of her shell. She was getting playful while they were here, but now she’s SUPER playful. Every night, you’ll see her run into the front room at top speed followed by Jake or Reacher, and then a moment later Jake or Reacher runs out of the room followed by Alice. She’s got a favorite sleeping spot in every room, and she’s turned into the friendliest little girl. She loves to be held, she loves to be petted, and she particularly loves to be kissed.

She’s been doing this thing, pretty much ever since we got her, where she sounds congested several times a day. At first we thought it was an upper respiratory infection, so treated it with antibiotics. Then we thought it could be due to worms, so we treated her with dewormer (which we would have done anyway). Both of those helped a little, but didn’t eradicate the problem. Lysine and chlorphenaramine made it worse. Friday, we took Alice to the vet.

The vet checked her over and pronounced her healthy (Alice now weighs 4.5 pounds – the vet doesn’t think she’ll get much bigger), and after talking to us for a while, said that she wanted to rule out a polyp. Alice needs to have a tiny tube threaded up her nostril so that they can see whether she’s got a polyp growing behind her soft palate and if there’s one there, they’ll pluck it out. Unfortunately, the vet we usually use for Challenger’s House cats doesn’t have the equipment to do that procedure, so we’ll have to go elsewhere. Hopefully that’ll happen this week.

In the meantime, Alice doesn’t seem the slightest bit concerned about her occasional snarfling, but it certainly bugs ME.

Alice loooooooves Fred.

Loves to BITE him, that is!

Smug little face.

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Last night, I had a vivid dream that I received an email from someone who was desperate to adopt Corbett and promised to do whatever it took.

I woke up excited, thought perhaps it was a prescient dream, and ran to check my email.

Alas. No such email. No one dying to adopt Corbie.

I’m offended on his behalf. Hmph.

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Maxi does her Tony Soprano imitation. Really, you just don’t wanna mess with her.

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2010: Update on Gus & Mike (now Topher & Dorian)
2009: No entry.
2008: The Annoying of the Poo, a step-by-step instructional guide.
2007: I’d sell all the kitties into kitty slavery for an iPhone.
2006: “Y’all shut UP. I don’t hear you complaining when you run around FARTING on everyone.”
2005: Letters.
2004: No entry.
2003: I swear, I have no control over my body sometimes.
2002: The shithole on Goddard Street.
2001: Lucky for her I’ve calmed down to a growling grumpiness, or it wouldn’t be a very good time to be the spud.
2000: We’re a pathetic lot, aren’t we?

1/22/11 – Percy & Jack (formerly Starsky & Hutch) update!

Hey, remember Starsky and Hutch? Of course you do! You remember how they were adopted together and went off to live in Indiana with Jennifer and Kiefer back in November. Well, the wonderful Jennifer and Kiefer sent an update (which I LOVE)! Hi Robyn It has been a while but thought I would send a … Continue reading “1/22/11 – Percy & Jack (formerly Starsky & Hutch) update!”

Hey, remember Starsky and Hutch? Of course you do!

You remember how they were adopted together and went off to live in Indiana with Jennifer and Kiefer back in November. Well, the wonderful Jennifer and Kiefer sent an update (which I LOVE)!

Hi Robyn

It has been a while but thought I would send a quick update on the boys in Indiana..

The Christmas tree survived by being held in place/upright by 4 cinder blocks. Yeah, it got roughed up and the lights moved around a bit, but it survived. Next year oughtta be a hoot since they will be even bigger. If that tree’s a rockin – – RUN!. They are slowly getting bigger. They are mostly legs still. Very teenager acting. It is all about playing and tormenting the older cats now.

Jack finally convinced Percy the ladder to the bunk bed was a cool thing to climb. Percy still isn’t crazy about getting down and it is far from graceful. And of course – -Kiefer thinks the extra cat in the bunk visiting him is great.

So they like to think about running outside every time the door opens? Think that snow looks great? Go ahead, let me know whatcha think. Obviously, they thought it was cold but not smart enough to figure out to run back to the door to get warm. Big brother Kiefer settled for throwing snow at the back door for their enjoyment.

They are absolutely hysterical and sweet as can be (when they are asleep). They rule/run the house right now. Kiefer mentioned last night – – the house used to be quiet before the kittens lived with us. Yeah, and there wasn’t cat hair on my kitchen table either. But it looks great there! And I do believe Big Bird looks like he lost half a pound. Probably because he is running for his life most of the day!

oh yeah – – it may not be more than 4 cats lined up for tuna treat time but this is an accomplishment!!!! Jack and Percy start standing in their food and the plates go everywhere. Newman usually scatters out of the starving kittens way, and Bird – – believe it or not, he isn’t crazy about tuna… To top it off – – – Willie dog is sitting there waiting for leftovers!!!!

From left to right (or smallest to largest!!): Jack, Percy, Newman, and Big Bird

Thank you so much, Jennifer and Kiefer – I sure do like seeing those boys grow. You aren’t kidding about them still being all leg!

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2010: From here on out, when discussing the upcoming surgery, I will say the date in Pig Latin – Ebruaryfay enthtay – as the uterus is known for being unable to speak foreign languages.
2009: First time in my life the weight on my driver’s license has been anything but a flat-out lie, believe you me.
2008: If you can’t wander around in your nightgown and parka in the country, where can you?
2007: more than once I got frustrated and called Fred at work and wove an impressive tapestry of profanity that impressed him
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: You don’t actually have to say the words “You’re a dumbass” to get the idea across, and thus when your wife is mad at you later and you so very innocently say “Are you mad about something?” and she says “YOU CALLED ME A DUMBASS!” and you say “I did NOT call you a dumbass!”, you are wrong and she is right and you’d best commence to begging for forgiveness, you fucker.
2003: Little bastard.
2002: I can’t believe I’m FUCKING FALLING DOWN.
2001: No entry.
2000: I apologize for the lameness of this entry.

1/21/11 – Friday

Please note: this is NOT a story with a sad ending. Wednesday evening, Fred and I were in the living room watching TV. Whatever we were watching ended around 8:40, and we got up from our respective couches to start getting ready for bed. (Yes, at 8:40. We are such the party animals.) Miz Poo … Continue reading “1/21/11 – Friday”

Please note: this is NOT a story with a sad ending.

Wednesday evening, Fred and I were in the living room watching TV. Whatever we were watching ended around 8:40, and we got up from our respective couches to start getting ready for bed. (Yes, at 8:40. We are such the party animals.)

Miz Poo had been laying on the heated cat bed on Fred’s couch for most of the evening, and we both glanced over at her at the same time, and it looked like she wasn’t breathing. I stared at her for the longest time, my heart skipped a beat, and I thought After all the times I’ve said she was going to live to be 30 because of all the money she costs us at the vet, that goddamn cat has gone and died on me AND I AM NOT READY FOR THIS. Then Fred touched her, and after a moment she lifted her head and chirruped at us, all “What up, y’all?”

::Resume breathing::

Yesterday morning, Fred was looking for Miz Poo to give her a dose of chlorphenaramine. He didn’t find her, so left a note on my desk that he hadn’t dosed her and the tablet was on the counter. It just so happened that I slept in later than usual yesterday morning, so I didn’t get to my desk ’til 7:30. I saw the note from Fred and the email from him asking if I’d found her at the same time. I got up and started calling for her and began looking in her usual spots. Nothing. I looked under the couches and in all the closets. Nothing. I called Fred and asked if he’d seen her at all before he left for work – maybe when he first got up? – but he couldn’t remember. He didn’t think so.

I thought That goddamn cat has gone off somewhere to die AND I AM NOT READY FOR THIS. While on the phone with Fred, I looked under the couches again, and was just about to go outside and look around the back yard when I thought to double-check the padded cube where she likes to hang out. And there she was.

So that’s twice in the space of 12 hours that I thought Miz Poo was a goner, and both times she was like “What the hell is YOUR problem, lady?”

I am NOT READY for Miz Poo to shuffle off this mortal coil, thank you very much.

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1) Have you made an official transition to Coke Zero?

I haven’t! After I tried a can of the Coke Zero at a cookout this past summer, I liked it. But then I bought a two-liter bottle of it and Fred and I tried it at home, and we both decided that we don’t like it enough to switch. That could change – but for now, I like the regular Diet Coke just fine.

2) How is Coltrane handling being inside all the time with the other cats because of the snow? (there is just something that pulls my heart strings about that orange boy).

He handled it really, really well. He’s such a laid-back boy that the other cats hardly even seem to notice him. I’ve never seen any of them hiss or smack at him, and he’s very well behaved – uses the litter box just fine, asks politely to go outside. When we had all that snow, he spent three days straight inside with us and was no problem at all. He’s such a sweet boy.

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Hey Robyn,

Thought you might be interested in a quick update on the litter of feral kittens (6 of them plus Mom) that are living on our farm here in Ontario, Canada.

I was lamenting to you and your readers a few months ago about the cost of neutering/spaying (over $200 per kitten) which we just couldn’t afford. Well, the SPCA came through and allowed the kitties to be spayed (or neutered), needled, blood work done, flea treatment, a long lasting antibiotic, and micro chipping under their TNR -trap, neuter, return- program!

We were asked to donate $30 per kittie if we could which we were glad to do. In return, I signed a contract, promising to provide food, water, and shelter. The one thing that saddens me is they insisted on notching an ear on each one to mark them as a member of a neutered feral colony, and the notches virtually removed half an ear. sigh. They look odd but are happy, healthy, well fed and surviving the snow and cold so far.

Also, during the time we were doing this at a rate of one kitten per week, the SPCA implemented a program of spaying pets for low income families at rates adjusted to what they can afford. 🙂

The picture of your cats looking out at the snow is the exact opposite of what happens here. I have six of them out in the snow looking in. I have tried letting them on the back porch but they throw themselves at the large windows trying to get back out to the bitter cold and snow. Go figure.

Pat, you are AWESOME for taking care of those kittens and making sure they’re all spayed and neutered. And YAY! to the SPCA for coming through! Thanks for the update, I love happy endings.

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Have you seen Kristen Wiig’s Lawrence Welk character on SNL? That character must have Reynaud’s!

Now THAT is some super creepy shit!

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What is the importance of the estrogen Dr. Robyn? Why can’t they leave well enough alone since you feel fine? Why INVITE menopause? There must be a good reason.

Apparently lack of estrogen in your 43 year-old body can lead to bone loss and the thinning and atrophying of some fairly important skin in a fairly important area where you don’t want the skin thinning and becoming fragile and prone to tear IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

I’m in menopause whether I’m taking estrogen or not – I have no ovaries to make estrogen naturally – and I don’t think that the estrogen patch (which is the lowest possible dose of estrogen there is) will make me have menopause symptoms. I don’t think it will, anyway – if it does, I’ll be complaining to my gynecologist at a high volume, believe you me.

(And I will be using a progesterone cream as well.)

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Reading about your “talking phone” reminded me to tell you that I have a GPS which, of course, “talks”… I have it set to the British Female voice.

One day, I decided to have a little fun… I programmed some places that I go but gave them more interesting names…

So, now I go to “World Market Dammit” and “Walmart For Fuck’s Sake” and it NEVER FAILS that I crack up when the GPS says either of those things.

I bet that “Walmart for Fuck’s Sake” in a proper British accent is funny as shit!

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Oh, how I love fresh-made bread. I’m looking for a bread machine. I had one years ago and it didn’t work so well so I’m hesitant to get another. But when we visit my MIL and she makes bread/cinnamon rolls, etc. with her breadmaker, I always promise to myself that I’d look for a good bread machine. Any recommendations, especially one that won’t make me broke? Thanks!

What we have is a Zojirushi BBCCX20 – and it’s really expensive. Fred used the money he got for his birthday a few years ago to pay for most of it. I think it was worth the price – it does a great job – but I’m going to post this in hopes that someone out there has a recommendation for a bread machine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

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Robyn, I saw your update the other day about Stephen King possibly publishing another Dark Tower book and was wondering if you had a chance to read his Kindle book, UR? I downloaded it yesterday – just a short novella, but our favorite Tower puts in an appearance. Good for a quick evening read, anyway!

I sure have. I think it was probably the second or third thing I downloaded when I got my Kindle, and it was certainly worth a read!

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BTW – have George and Gracie and the cats (any of them) ever met up? Was it funny or were emergency evacuation procedures put in to action?

George and Gracie have never met up with any of our cats face-to-face, but one day Coltrane was following Fred around the property as he did his chores, and Fred opened the gate to go into the back forty. Coltrane zipped right through the gate, and Fred was sure there was going to be a kitty death, but he managed to get Coltrane shooed back through the gate before the dogs had any idea what was going on. They’ll bark at Coltrane, Maxi, and Newt as they run across the property between the back yard and the back forty. If one of the cats goes running across the back yard, they’ll bark at it, too, but for the most part they ignore the cats.

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Yesterday I went over to Katherine’s house to make this candy (which turned out to be really good!).

Do you remember that Kara was pregnant when we got her, and she had four babies, and then Katherine adopted River (now Nate) and Inara (now Dora)? (It’s okay if you don’t remember that – you can always go read the Kara saga starting with this post if you’re interested.)

This is what Inara/ Dora looked like then:

and this is what she looks like now:

This is what River/ Nate looked like then:

and now:

Haven’t they grown up to be absolutely gorgeous? Katherine and I have determined that Nate belongs in Hollywood. Or at the very least, on the cover of magazines.

Nate is a scaredy-cat when it comes to strangers (of course he doesn’t remember me), and at one point he came running through the room – not realizing I was there – and when he saw me, he stopped dead in his tracks, spun around, and ran in the other direction. He stopped in another doorway, gave me a disbelieving look, and then ran for safety. Made me laugh out loud.

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You saw the pictures the other day of Jan “Hussy” Brady snuggling with Reacher. Now you can see her getting some love from Elwood.

The kneading paws KILL ME DEAD. Is that one happy kitten or what?

Cindy Brady and a sparkly ball.

Kinda looks like she’s practicing her kissing technique on that toy, doesn’t it?

Bobby tries to decide whether to jump for it.

The scratching post we made. The best thing I did was to use the staple gun to attach that drawstring cord (pulled out of one of my hoodies) to the top of the scratching post. The kittens will bat at it for HOURS.

Peter pops out from behind the scratching post.

Adoption hours at Petsmart take place tonight and tomorrow – I highly suspect that at least a few (if not all) of the Bradys will have new homes by the end of adoption hours on Saturday. Of course I’ll keep you informed!

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Stinkerbelle, atop the bookcase in the guest bedroom, keeping an eye on things.

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2010: Gloat on, my friend.
2009: Eric Stoltz makes a REALLY good creepy serial killer.
2008: We were in bed asleep by 10:00, because we are such the party people.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yeah, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make us laugh, I guess.
2004: Now isn’t there anything we can do to force Joey Buttafuoco back into obscurity?
2003: So if you meet me in person and expect a “Mighty fucking fine to meet you, fuckface!”, you’ll likely be disappointed.
2002: Wrong on that one, Brigitte. Trust me.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

1/20/11 – Thursday

I have no Crooked Acres pictures today, unfortunately, so you’ll have to put up with me yammering about a variety of topics, and then cat pics. But I know that’s how you like it, you naughty readers. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “1/20/11 – Thursday”

I have no Crooked Acres pictures today, unfortunately, so you’ll have to put up with me yammering about a variety of topics, and then cat pics.

But I know that’s how you like it, you naughty readers.

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On Tuesday morning, I left the house at 6:30. I had an appointment at the hematologist’s office in South Huntsville to have blood drawn (they have a lab on-site in the office) at 8. When kittens are going to the adoption center, I like to take them as early in the day as possible so that they can have several hours to adjust to being in a cage and having people walk by, and all that. So I got to Petsmart, got the kittens settled in, and then headed to the hematologist’s office. I got there right on time, went and signed in, and then settled in the waiting room with my iPod.

People were moving through the waiting room at a pretty quick pace, so I figured I wouldn’t be waiting long to be called back to the lab. Eventually, a small group came in, sat down, and then the woman went back for her treatment, leaving a grandfather and grandson behind. I don’t know how old the boy was – I’m as bad at aging humans as I am at aging kittens – but I’d guess maybe 5ish. He had some toy that looked like a pretend laptop, and was playing a spelling game on it. After he’d played a couple of games, his grandfather asked if he was hungry, and they went off in search of a vending machine.

They came back a few minutes later, and Grampa opened a bag of chips and handed it to the boy.

I glanced at the clock on my iPod to see the time, and thought judgmental thoughts about feeding a little boy potato chips at 8:30 in the morning.

And then I thought “WTF, it’s 8:30? What the fuck is the holdup?”

(Yes, yes, I see you there, your hand up in the air, all “Ooh, ooh, Mister Kott-air!” No, Horseshack, I’m sorry, I DID have an appointment (I called the day before to double-check) and the receptionist DID see me, because after I signed in, she told me I didn’t have a co-pay. So sit the hell down and let me tell the story.)

The little boy, who had a case of ants in his pants, fidgeted all over the place, then knelt down on the floor so that he could use his chair as a desk. The trumpeting sound of a fart came a moment later, and he laaaaaughed and laughed. I glanced up at him, and it was all I could do not to laugh along with him, but I managed to keep a straight face.

(Can I help it if farts are funny?)

For the next half hour, people kept coming into the waiting room and were then called back within three or four minutes. There I sat, getting more and more pissed off, and at the one hour mark, I got up and walked out of that goddamn waiting room and vowed never to return. When I got to the parking lot, I called Fred on my cell phone, and as I stomped across the parking lot my voice got louder and louder, and I don’t even remember what I said, but there were many many instances of “fuck” thrown in. (This is notable because – probably contrary to how y’all think I am – I don’t generally swear in public, not unless it’s under my breath to the person next to me, and not unless I actually KNOW the person next to me.)

Fred agreed that they were motherfuckers and told me to go get something to eat. So I hung up the phone and continued my mini come-apart in the privacy of my car.

My doctor referred me to the hematologist/ oncologist in the Fall of 2009, and I’ve been to that office probably 7 or 8 times. Never once – except for a couple of the lab appointments – have I gotten out of there in less than an hour and a half. One memorable time, I spent three goddamn hours waiting to see the doctor, and saw him for a grand total of about seven minutes.

Now, I KNOW that my life is not such that I have a large number of SUPER important things to do, and I know my time is NOT SO VALUABLE to anyone but me. I know that I don’t have cancer and perhaps my little iron-level check is not so very important in the grand scheme of things, but JESUS GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ON A TASTY RITZ CRACKER it is incredibly fucking offensive to me that EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN TIME I’ve been to that office, they’ve let me COOL MY FUCKING HEELS for hours and then come in WITHOUT APOLOGY and spent the minimum amount of time required so that they can bill my insurance company hundreds of dollars for the honor of being in the presence of a hematologist/ oncologist (oh, except wait – SOMETIMES I get to cool my goddamn heels for hours and saw the nurse instead. I wonder if they charge the same whether I see the doctor or his nurse? Bet they do.) and I have fucking SAT THERE AND SMILED AND TAKEN IT AND RETURNED TO THAT GODDAMN OFFICE REPEATEDLY.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I offer to you: FUCK THAT SHIT.

So I pulled myself together, and I went and got myself an egg mcmuffin, and I headed to wherever the hell I went next.

Where the hell did I go next?

Oh, right. I went to my gynecologist’s office to pick up estrogen patch samples. Because when I was there last week, she sent me to have blood drawn to have my estrogen levels checked since I’d taken myself off the estrogen. As it turned out, I have just about no estrogen in my body (“I don’t know why you aren’t having hot flashes,” she said to me on the phone. I don’t know, maybe not everyone who goes through surgical menopause has hot flashes? Perhaps?) and blah blah blah SO YOUNG and blah blah blah IF YOU WERE 53 INSTEAD OF 43 and blah blah blah lowest dose of estrogen, let’s give it a try.

So I picked up the patches and drove to Petsmart to see how the Bradys were doing, and then I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and browsed for a bit. I headed into Madison, and stopped by TJ Maxx to kill some time, and then I headed to my Primary Care doctor’s office for my 11:30 appointment.

I got to that appointment at 11:15, told the lady at the desk that I knew I was early, paid my co-pay, and had barely sat down when they called me back to be weighed and have my blood pressure checked and all that. My doctor came into the room about five minutes late AND SHE APOLOGIZED FOR MAKING ME WAIT, and began the physical.

Since I’d seen the gynecologist the week before and am having a mammogram next week, it was mostly a matter of going down the checklist and making sure everything was in order before she had me undress and did a skin check. She recommended that I wait until after my plastic surgery next month to restart the estrogen patches because starting them can cause breast tenderness and increase clotting, and you don’t want that to happen during surgery. So wait I shall.

Then she said “And you’re having iron infusions, right?” and I said “Well, now, THAT we need to discuss.”

I told her of my issues with that particular doctor’s office, and I got all worked up again, only I didn’t swear a single time (I bet you didn’t know I could do that, did you?) and I finished with “Since the iron infusion in the Fall of 2009, I’ve been fine. Can’t you monitor my iron levels?”

“I certainly can,” she said. “And if they drop and you need to see a hematologist again, I’ll refer you to another office, because there are plenty of them around!”

I really really love my doctor. A lot. She is The Awesome.

She said that ordinarily she’d have blood drawn, but since I’m going for my preop appointment with the plastic surgeon on Friday, she’d just give me a lab slip, and they could do all the blood tests at once.

Then I ran over to Publix, bought a ton of stuff, and came home.

It was almost 1:00 when I got home, and BOY was the house quiet without a big bunch of Bradys running around. Alice was curled up in a cat bed on the guest bed and looked very satisfied with herself. I spent the rest of the day trying to recover from the rage headache that had sprung up as I stomped out of the hematologist’s waiting room, took a nap on the couch, and did very little else.

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I got up early yesterday morning, puttered around the house, and decided that it was time to make the vanilla bean scones I’ve been thinking about making since I first saw the recipe last week. I made them, got them in the oven, and then decided to go ahead and make the macaroni and cheese with shrimp I was planning to have for lunch. (I had half a vanilla bean scone with my breakfast, and it was blah and bland and just generally a great big motherfucking disappointment.)

This mac and cheese with shrimp is what I had to buy a ton of stuff for at the grocery store on Tuesday. It takes half a pound of feta, half a pound of gruyere (which was so expensive I wanted to cry, but I was dying to try the recipe), fresh parsley, and fresh dill. It was an involved sort of recipe that required shredding of the gruyere, crumbling of the feta, making a white sauce, making a topping of panko bread crumbs, and chopping the hell out of parsley and dill.

After all that work, the shredding, the chopping, the yanking the tail off the shrimp and fighting off every cat in the house who went on alert when they smelled shrimp, after all that, the mac and cheese with shrimp?

It kinda sucked. There was too much pasta, not enough shrimp, and the fact that there was lemon zest in the recipe made it just taste plain weird. I usually like lemon quite a lot, but it didn’t taste right in this particular dish.

I ended up picking out the shrimp and eating that and a little of the pasta, and dumping a lot of pasta in the pig bucket.

All in all, a very disappointing day on the cooking and baking front. The pigs really liked their vanilla bean scones and cheesy pasta, though!

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Lisa, who was doing adoptions Tuesday night and adopted Marcia and Cindy out, sent me this picture of the boys in their cage (and that’s Jan in the front, all “Why are you looking at THEM instead of petting ME?”)

Are they not the cutest little snugglebugs?

“Well, well, well. Now that those little brats are gone, I guess you’re stuck taking pictures of ME, lady. WOE IS YOU.”

More pictures of the Bradys from my hard drive:

Jan in action.

Greg, keeping an eye on things.

Cindy, watching the birds. You should have seen her tail whipping back and forth!

Would you look at Cindy, being all bratty? “Lady, we is tryin’ to sleep! You go away!”

Playful Bobby. Who says he can’t entertain himself?

I love it when they put their ears back like that.

“Who, me? Playin. With this toy. Why you ask?”

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“I can’t believe you took that hussy Jan Brady away from me. Who’m I gonna snuggle with NOW?”

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Joe Bob, resting up and conserving his energy for picking on Stinkerbelle.

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2008: I tend to assume if someone wants to know something specific, they’ll ask.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: I think I took my first steps toward being an adult yesterday.
2005: Who the fuck knew?
2004: A Kitchenaid mixer!
2003: “My ass. Please let him go for my ass, and not my throat or my eyes, I’ve got plenty of ass to spare.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Double ear infection, thankyouverymuch.