1/3/11 – Monday

Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you VERY much to Kristen, who let me know that my picture of The Seven made it into the Cute Overload calendar! That’s what I get for opting for the Bad Cat page-a-day calendar this year, isn’t it? I’ll have to remedy that – who says you can’t have two … Continue reading “1/3/11 – Monday”

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thank you VERY much to Kristen, who let me know that my picture of The Seven made it into the Cute Overload calendar! That’s what I get for opting for the Bad Cat page-a-day calendar this year, isn’t it? I’ll have to remedy that – who says you can’t have two page-a-day calendars, right?

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Didya miss me? Here’s what happened while I was gone:

1. Christmas Eve morning – Fred’s mother and stepfather came to our house. His sister and her husband were supposed to come, too, and her son, daughter, and son-in-law. His mother and stepfather showed up 20 minutes early. 40 minutes later, after his sister and her husband were supposed to be here, he called Fred’s cell to let us know that she had woken up sick and they wouldn’t be here. The kids showed up a few minutes later. We had a scaled-down meal, since we didn’t have the food his sister was going to bring, but our girlz pulled through, and we scrambled 1 1/2 dozen eggs to add to the meal.

We weren’t supposed to exchange presents with Fred’s mother and stepfather, but Fred’s sister had declared that we should get her a router, and so we did. Fred’s mother was some kind of annoyed with us, and kept saying “We said we weren’t exchanging presents this year!” That hadn’t stopped her from giving us a big bucket o’ cookies and some dish towels, though. We gave them some cookies and jams, too.

2. Christmas Eve evening – we went to Fred’s father and stepmother’s house for dinner. The email from his father had said that we’d be eating at 5:30, and according to Fred “You don’t SHOW UP when it’s time to eat!” We left the house a little later than we’d intended, and the entire way there, Fred fretted “We’re going to be the last ones there! Everyone’s going to be waiting for us to get there so they can eat!” In return, I snarled “We’re going to be the first ones there by at least 10 minutes.” Well, hello. Who do you suppose was right? Fred’s father answered the door and seemed surprised to have us there AT FIVE FUCKING FIFTEEN, given that he’d expected everyone to show up at FIVE FUCKING THIRTY. I’m 93% sure that the same goddamn thing happened last year, too, now that I think about it. Fred’s such a fucking weirdo – if we’re ever NOT the first ones to show up on Christmas Eve, I’ll likely fall over and die from the shock.

3. Christmas food – We had a breakfast type meal in the morning, which included cinnamon rolls made by Fred, sausage balls made by his mother, and Strawberry Jello Salad made by me. For Christmas dinner at his dad’s house, we brought broccoli casserole, and we also brought sweet potato casserole. We made a change to the sweet potato casserole, though. The recipe calls for a heavenly topping of brown sugar, pecans, and butter, but we were pretty sure that Fred’s stepmother was recently diagnosed with an allergy to tree nuts. So I made the sweet potato part the same, and topped it with marshmallows instead of the pecan topping. As it turned out, she can’t sit and eat handfuls of tree nuts, but the incidental eating of tree nuts – as in, say, the heavenly pecan topping on sweet potato casserole – is fine.

And, as it turns out, she hates marshmallows. His father hates turkey, his stepmother hates marshmallows. HOW DO THEY MOVE THROUGH THIS WORLD HATING SUCH AWESOME FOODS? We had smoked turkey, Boston Butt, and various other side dishes. They’ll probably run me out of the South for saying this, but I cannot stand cornbread dressing. I have never had any EVER that was worth a second bite, and from here on out I AIN’T EATIN’ IT TO BE POLITE NO DAMN MORE. So there. We ended up bringing home 3/4 of the sweet potato casserole, but the broccoli casserole was such a hit that there was none left over, and Fred’s stepmother asked for the recipe.

Fred’s stepsister made a torte, and when I took a bite of the piece I’d cut for myself, I knew immediately that it was the torte Fred wooed me with wayyyyyy back when I first moved to Alabama. It was FABULOUS, and I loved it, and then he lost the recipe and never made it again. Despite my many requests over the years, he never got around to asking his stepsister for the recipe. It was just as tasty as I remembered, and guess what? I got the recipe from his stepmother, and I WILL be requesting that he make it for me for my birthday on Sunday!

4. Christmas morning: We woke up to snow. I slept in, got all my morning stuff done, made some mandarin muffins, watched the snow, puttered around the house, and opened presents from my sister.

The ditch by the back forty.

Looking toward the back forty.

Snow does not keep the cats in the house – instead, they like to go outside, tromp around in the snow, then come inside and track footprints everywhere.

We had decided the day before that we’d have pizza for lunch on Christmas Day (last year we ended up driving into town in a desperate search for food, and ended up buying food from a deli in a gas station. I’m not kidding.), so Fred started the dough and when the dough was done, he turned on the oven.

Annnnnnd as it turned out, all the butter and cinnamon that had dripped from the cinnamon rolls he’d made for breakfast the day before had dripped onto the heating element and after I made my muffins, the element died. So we ended up with a half-cooked pizza (he put it under the broiler to cook it that way) for lunch, and it sucked. But oh well, whatcha gonna do?

The day flew by in a blur of Xbox games (Fred) and laying under the electric blanket in my bed, covered in kittens and reading (me), and it was all very nice and relaxing. We ended up getting several inches of snow.

5. The day after Christmas: We got up and going pretty early, dithered over whether the roads were too bad to attempt the drive into town, and decided to give it a try. The roads weren’t too bad as long as we went slow.

(Aside: Fred loves to tell me what it’s like to drive on icy, snowy roads. Really, slippery is it? Super slippery on the overpasses? I had no idea. I’d certainly have no way of knowing that for myself, given that I only spent the first 10 years after I got my license driving in Maine and Rhode Island.)

At Lowe’s, we looked at the stoves and chose one, then since there weren’t any sales associates around, we went over and looked at the toaster ovens. He’s been talking about getting one for some time. I’ve never had a toaster oven, but it seemed like it would be convenient to have one around, so we chose one and he went back to ring for a salesperson, and I went to the bathroom.

(The nice thing about Lowe’s: there’s never ever ever EVER a line in the ladies’ room. In fact, if there’s ever been another woman in there when I had to pee, I don’t remember it.)

This is the toaster oven we got, though apparently it’s not called a toaster oven, it’s called a convection oven, which… okay. Whatevs. I’ve never had a convection oven, either.

I got back to where Fred was, and he had the look of assholery about him. It turned out that the stove we’d picked out, there was nothing in stock but the floor model. I looked at the other stoves, and decided I could live with the floor model. We went and paid, set up delivery for the next morning (free delivery!), and went home.

Round about mid-afternoon, I was sitting at my computer, and the air unit outside my window made a most alarming death-throes sound. Fred went out and looked, came in and fiddled with the thermometer, went back outside, fiddled some more, etc. He turned the “emergency heat” on, and it worked well enough overnight to keep the house heated. When we went to bed that night, we fumed about the fact that we’d JUST had the motor replaced back in April (right after Fred lost his job), and Fred was 99% sure we were going to have to get a new motor. I looked through all my receipts, but for the life of me couldn’t find the one from when we replaced the motor in April. What’s worse is that we couldn’t remember who had done the replacement. Grrr.

6. Monday: Fred called the place that deals with heat and air conditioning units at 7:30 – the big company, not the one we’d had replace the motor in April, since we couldn’t remember who’d done it – and they were at the house by 9:00. I was walking into the kitten room when I looked out at the driveway and saw the big-ass Lowe’s truck backing into the driveway. I ran downstairs to yell at Fred for not letting me know they were on the way (they were supposed to call when they were on the way, and I still needed to pull out the drawer under the stove, empty it out, and pull all the cat toys from underneath the stove). He was out back with the guy working on the heat unit, so he went to deal with the Lowe’s guys, too, and I went back upstairs to resume litterbox scooping.

The stove was installed with no problem, and I was glad to see the ass-end of the old stove go out the door. It was old, it was crappy, and although Fred had suggested we just replace the heating element in the oven, I pushed hard for a new stove because I hated the old one so.

The amount of time the stove was in the house before a batch of lemon marmalade boiled over and burned to the top of the stove requiring me to spend an hour scraping and cleaning it: 25 hours.

The heat unit? Needed a new motor. But as it turned out, the motor we’d had replaced in April was the OTHER motor. Luckily, the guy had a new motor in his van, so now both motors are new and hopefully nothing will break down again anytime soon.

I went out and ran errands late Monday morning, stocked up on gift wrapping and boxes and cookie tins for next year at Big Lots, went to the bank, went to the pet store to buy cat food.

7. Tuesday: We went out to eat for lunch. Mexican food. It was pretty damn good.

8. Wednesday: I had an appointment in South Huntsville with my plastic surgeon for a consult (remember how a couple of weeks ago I had the appointment with him, but rescheduled due to the weather?). I’ll cover that in detail in tomorrow’s entry, ’cause this one’s getting very damn long. I was gone for the better part of the afternoon.

“Plastic Surgery Breast Procedures.” They had me watch a couple of movies before I saw the surgeon.

9. Thursday: All the kittens went to the vet for spaying and neutering. I dropped them off, then went to breakfast with friends (there’s very little I like more than breakfast out – and if it includes talk about cats, so much the better!), ran a ton of errands, and didn’t get home ’til 1:00. I ate a quick lunch, spent an hour scrubbing down the foster kitten room, then called the vet to see if the kittens were done. They were, so I made Fred go up with me to pick them up. We got home, got them settled in, played a couple of games on the Xbox, then watched the first episode of Sons of Anarchy. Fred was very NOT into the idea of trying Sons of Anarchy, and we’ve had the first disc of the first season sitting in front of the TV for about two weeks now. Finally I told him we needed to either watch it or send it back, so we watched it.

To say that it was a hit around here is a HUGE understatement. We LOVED it, of course. My only gripe is that I’m never ever ever going to be able to look at Ron Perlman without seeing him as he was in Beauty and The Beast and it’s kind of distracting. But, y’know, good for him for having a successful and busy acting career! So we’ll be working our way through the first season of Sons of Anarchy for the time being.

10. Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Xbox playing, puttering around the house, snuggling with kittens, getting laundry done, and so forth. The usual weekend stuff, and preparing to get back to a regular schedule.

It’s been very nice having Fred around for an entire week, and I would have kind of liked a second week of it, but I’ll be glad to get back to life as normal, believe me. We both will!

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The Bradys have all had their spaying and neutering, their rabies shots, and their id chips implanted. They need to go through another round of medicating for a few days, but hopefully after that they’ll be ready for the adoption center and it’ll just be a matter of waiting ’til there’s room available for them.

They are such sweet little kittens – every one of them is a serious love bug who wants to be petted and snuggled and kissed. If you pick up Cindy Brady, she flails around in an attempt to help you get her into position for maximum belly exposure. She looooooves to be cradled like a baby.

Cindy Brady is a little lady who loves to sit in my lap with her paws neatly crossed.

Likes belly rubs, chasing her tail, and great big smooches directly behind her ear.

Bobby Brady and Jan Brady, hangin’ out in the cube. (We saw this cube at Walmart and were so thrilled with the price ($3.99), that of course we threw it in the cart. As it turned out, we were looking at the wrong price, and it was actually $14.99. Still – not bad, right?)

Someone looks super guilty here, am I right?

Of COURSE they like to lay on top of the cube. They’re cats, after all.

“Hallo, I am gorgeous.”

(Those are Fred’s hairy legs, not mine.) Greg Brady makes himself at home.

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I showed this picture to Fred so he could see how gorgeous Reacher is (as if he doesn’t already know), and Fred thought it was from when Reacher was a kitten. Nope – it was from the day before!

Nappin’ time for Rhyme.

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Here’s something for you to ponder ’til tomorrow, when you’ll get the whole sordid story:

Who’s THIS, and where’d she come from?!

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Sugarbutt’s resolution for 2011: To stop working so hard and relax more.

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2010: “If you call her my ‘little girlfriend’ one more time, I’m going to cut you.”
2009: JESUS CHRIST that GPS lady is one pushy bitch.
2007: Good ol’ Jerry Ford. Remember when he… pardoned Nixon? Yep, them were the days.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: My God, I love Sam’s, have I mentioned?
2002: Why, that’s almost as exciting as the fact that my birthday’s in less than a week!
2001: Fred, being the man, is legally required to deal with all car-related crap and I, being the woman, am legally required to bitch at him until he does so.
2000: So we apparently had a 2.8 earthquake today about which I knew nothing.