5/31/11 – Tuesday

Since I did nothing of interest yesterday (worked in the garden, vacuumed, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, snorrrrre) and need to clear off my hard drive before I go through the ten million pictures on my camera’s memory stick, I present nothin’ but kitty pics to you. THOU ART WELCOME. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “5/31/11 – Tuesday”

Since I did nothing of interest yesterday (worked in the garden, vacuumed, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, snorrrrre) and need to clear off my hard drive before I go through the ten million pictures on my camera’s memory stick, I present nothin’ but kitty pics to you. THOU ART WELCOME.

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Miss Dorfy loves her some Jake.

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She’s so happy, she’s making biscuits on the back of his neck.

Did I mention that pile of cat beds? I took them off the guest bedroom and tossed them near the back door, which is by the washer and dryer, intending to wash them at some point. Before I could wash them, the cats discovered them, and there’s been at least one cat on that pile of beds at all times. Usually it’s Dorothy, sometimes it’s Alice, occasionally Jake’s there, too. Had I realized what a huge hit that pile of beds would be, I’d have put some there long ago.

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The Spice Girls are settling in nicely. We’re having some litterbox issues, which really is a theme for us – we get kittens who have perfectly perfect litterbox leavings, and after a few days things get soft and messy. These girls – at least one of them, probably all of them – have roundworms and are currently being treated. It’s not slowing them down any, though.

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Cilantro and Clove.

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Clove at the water bowl.

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I don’t know what it is about this scratcher, but all the kittens who have entered the foster room like to sniff this corner while they’re considering their next move.

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Sweet Cilantro, perfecting the look of innocence (don’t be fooled).

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Coriander, relaxing…

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::maniacal laughter::

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The McMaos, before I moved them to the guest bedroom.

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Declan, sniffing the stuffed parrot whilst considering his next move.

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Cillian in motion.

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Declan, watching whatever it is that’s going on over there.

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Finnegan surrenders. “Ya gots me, copper!”

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Fergus Simon’s spotted belly just kills me dead. He is such a beautiful boy.

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My favorite part of this picture is Declan over there to the right with the green plastic ring in his mouth, all “Eh? What’s he doin’?”

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I’m pretty sure that all kittens are 89% insane, as illustrated by Macushla. If those aren’t crazy eyes, I don’t know what is (are?)

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“Up or down? Climb up so I can throw myself off the top platform, or down so I can kick my brother’s tail? Oh, the dilemma!”

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This is totally like that episode of Friends where they were trying to poke Ugly Naked Guy to make sure he was still alive, no?

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Like mother…

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…like daughter. ‘Nipheads, both of ’em!

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Thanks to reader Cyndi, the McMaos are undergoing rigorous box training. Here we see Cillian doing his best to get his daily intake of cardboard.

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I suspect when I’m not around, Fergus Simon gives up all pretense and actually walks around on his hind feet all the time. Then it’s like “Oh, here comes the human!” and he drops to all fours.

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I’m not sure what caused it, but Declan was feeling a bit floofy.

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I love how Macushla’s all frantically “No! Stop! Don’t!” and Declan’s not even aware Mac is there.

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Ciara in motion.

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Cillian’s got the crazies.

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::chompchompchomp:: “This stuff is almost tasty. I hope it really does help me grow up big and strong!”

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“You want to feed me. Youuuuu waaaaaant to feeeed meeeee…”

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“I’m IN the box. NOW what?”

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Sheriff Kara keeps an eye on things. Who’s misbehaving? Or rather, I should ask: who ISN’T misbehaving?

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: The thing I hate about canisters is that that goddamn canister is always in the way.
2005: No entry.
2004: It was like being in a flying SUV.
2003: No entry.
2002: It was a stank that coated the inside of my nostrils, and was so thick and noxious that I could actually TASTE it.
2001: A buncha links.
2000: Something about that rictus grin just gives me nightmares.

5/30/11 – Monday

Saturday morning I got up before I wanted to, not only because Miz Poo was wheezing her usual death-rattle in my face (that cat wheezes like she’s been smoking three packs a day every single day of her 11+ years; in the course of one of her many surgeries, there was some scarring to the … Continue reading “5/30/11 – Monday”

Saturday morning I got up before I wanted to, not only because Miz Poo was wheezing her usual death-rattle in my face (that cat wheezes like she’s been smoking three packs a day every single day of her 11+ years; in the course of one of her many surgeries, there was some scarring to the tissue at the back of her throat, and spit or phlegm gets caught there every once in a while, and she wheezes raspily until it annoys her (which is long after it’s annoying to everyone else in the vicinity) and she coughs and clears her throat), and not only because there was a mourning dove mourning in the tree outside my window, but also because the alarm clock in the back of my brain sounded because I knew Fred wanted to go somewhere bright and early.

So I got up and got dressed, and we headed for Decatur. Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, they have something called Jubilee, which is a hot air balloon “classic” (according to the web site), and a million (est’d) hot air balloons go up into the air. Fred remembered that it was going on, and wanted to go see the balloons go up.

I have to admit, it was pretty neat. Once they’re up, the balloons actually go a lot faster than you’d expect.

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After we stood and watched the balloons for a while, we headed toward home, which is actually in the same directions that the hot air balloons were headed. We saw a couple land, and later a few went over our property, spurring George and Gracie to bark their fool heads off in defense of their chickens.

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Reflection in a ditch.

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When we got home, we worked in the garden for a while. Then I hung out with the kittens and did some housework and laundry ’til Lisa stopped by to visit with the McMaos and The Spice Girls (and me!), and at one point she had Clove laying asleep in the bottom of her shirt, and it was so adorable that I was silently cursing my failure to bring a camera into the room with us.

Lisa left, and I did a little (very little) more housework before I landed on the couch and took a nice long nap.

Really, I’m pretty sure they only invented weekends so everyone could take Saturday and Sunday afternoon naps. I hope y’all got yours in!

Sunday morning I was up and dressed by 6:30, and we were out working in the garden by 7. Fred came back inside to do something, and I weeded the compost heap (there are so many volunteer tomato plants growing on the compost heap that we’ve decided to let them be and just pick the tomatoes they offer all summer long. But there was so much Amaranthus and Bermuda growing alongside the tomato plants that it was getting difficult to even see the tomato plants, so I yanked up the non-tomato stuff, tossed it in the cart, and then pulled the cart out to the pig yard. I tossed everything I’d yanked up into the pig yard and called to the pigs, and they ambled out of their shelter, where they’d been snoozing (I swear, these little girl pigs are the laziest pigs we’ve ever had. They’re always piled up in their shelter sleeping!) and the spotted the pile of greens and acted like it was the best treat EVER.

Then I finally planted my three watermelon seeds in the bale in my little raised-bed garden (I’m experimenting with limited bale gardening this year – two tomato plants on one bale, and three watermelon plants on another), and finally got the soaker hose run to all my various raised beds and bales and pots of herbs, tested it to make sure it would work (it does!). I then spent about 45 minutes raking up the leaves and random detritus in the side yard and carting it all out to the spot where we decided to start the new compost heap. Then I was done – DONE – working outside for the day, because it was after 9, and already hot, and I refuse to work outside past 9:00 during the summer.

After I ate breakfast, we went up into town to Tractor Supply and bought a yard sweeper. It was a big one, one that could be pulled by the riding lawnmower. Fred mowed the back forty on Saturday, and we had decided that we’re going to put weed-blocking fabric in the garden so that he doesn’t have to spend all his spare time weeding the damn garden. But we needed to put something down on top of the fabric, and I’ve been lobbying for years now to put grass clippings down on the weed fabric, and he apparently decided that that would work.

So we got the yard sweeper, and when we got home Fred started putting it together, and wouldn’t you figure? The fucking thing wouldn’t go together right no matter what he did, and Fred was ready to drive directly to the company that makes the yard sweeper and burn it down (figuratively speaking, of course), but in the end we simply returned the goddamn thing. We’re still talking about what we’re going to do. SIGH. I’m up for doing whatever it takes in the garden that will require the least amount of work, long-term. It’s too damn hot here for him to come home from work and spend time weeding in the garden, and honestly? I have no desire to do it either, buh-leave me.

We’ll see.

While he was out working on getting that piece of shit put together, I was inside making cookies. I’ve been seeing the recipe for OMG THESE ARE THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER for ages now, and finally I decided to give ’em a try. I made the dough on Friday and then let it sit for 36 hours in the fridge, and on Sunday I scooped the dough out and sprinkled it with sea salt and baked them, and after much careful consideration, here’s my opinion:


The Cooking Light Chocolate Chip Cookies are still far and away my favorite cookies and the best chocolate chip cookies ever AND you don’t have to use cake flour and bread flour and let the dough sit in the fridge forever and a day and then carefully scoop out dough and ask Your Lord and Savior to help these cookies rise and tiptoe around the house and kiss each kitten twice on the nose and once behind each ear and caaaaarefully remove the cookies from the oven only to be completely disappointed by the spectacular unspectacularness of the damn things.

But that’s just my opinion.

And while I’m talking about baking, I made a chocolate cake with whipped cream icing as a belated birthday cake for Fred (since his birthday was on Thursday and we don’t eat that stuff during the week) on Saturday, and again I say: meh. I should have just made a damn Black Forest Torte because THAT, my friends, is something to write home about.

There was another nap on Sunday afternoon, and lots of snuggling with kittens, and the best part is that Fred has today off. I don’t know what we’re going to do (my prediction: nothing much), but I’m sure there’ll be a nap involved!

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Someone asked the other day, Someone else asked, and I was wondering too actually… what will happen to the lovely Maggie?

Once her babies are spayed and neutered and have gone off to Petsmart to be adopted immediately (fingers crossed!), Maggie will stay here with us. I’ll wait about a week to be sure her milk has dried up, and then I’ll have her spayed (id chipped, rabies shots, all that) and she’ll hang out here with us until room opens up at Petsmart for her, whereupon she will go to Petsmart (and hopefully be immediately adopted!).

I will tell y’all, I would really like to release the McMaos to explore the rest of the house, but I’m worried that Maggie’s protective instincts will kick in. Jake was so desperate to get into the guest bedroom Saturday that we let him in to see what would happen. What happened is that he bellied up to the kitten food and ate while growling at any kittens who came near, and then Maggie went ::FLOOF:: and started chasing him in a threatening manner around the room, so we ushered him out of the room. I’m tempted to let just Maggie out into the house to meet the other cats (without the kittens around for her to feel protective over) and see how that goes.

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“I’m flying! I’M FLYIIIIIIING!”
“Holy cow! He’s flying!”

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“So then I was all ‘You want yerself a real man, you know where to find me!’ She’ll call, right?”
“Sure she will, bro. Sure she will.”

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“I’ve got it! I’VE GOT IT!”

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I don’t know what kitten tails taste like, but they must be really tasty given all the chewing that goes on.

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Attitudinous little brat.

I have this cheap little rechargeable sweeper that I use in the foster room when the floor has gotten so bad I can’t stand it, and don’t want to put all the kittens into carriers and bring them out of the room. It’s fairly quiet, as that sort of thing goes, so I’m not too worried about scaring the heck out of the kittens the way a real plug-in vacuum would. However, the McMaos are not the bravest of kittens, and last time I used the sweeper in the room, they all ran to the closet and hid from me.

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“That is SKEERY, lady!”

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“I don’t like it. I tried to cram myself in this old baby wipe container, but I wouldn’t fit all the way.”

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“We was ALL skeered, even Fergus Simon the hellion.”

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“Ferguson tried to get into the wipes container with me, but I told him ‘Bro, if I won’t fit, we’re not BOTH going to fit, and this is MY safe place!'”

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Since there’s been such a lot of interest in Dorothy lately, I’ll break my usual don’t-want-to-jinx-anything stance on the topic and let y’all know that Dorothy has a forever home, and she’ll be going there this weekend. I won’t give you details ’til after the adoption is done (see above about not wanting to jinx anything), but I think she’s going to be very happy in her new home!

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Dorothy and Alice, hanging out in the sun.

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The Spice Girls are doing very well. They’re healthy and happy, and in the evenings when we’re watching TV, we can hear them running around like little wild things, playing. Jake really wanted into the foster room on Sunday, so I let him in. He walked to the middle of the room, looked at the girl kitties, and then walked out. They, in turn, were interested in Jake, but a little leery of him as well. They all floofed up a bit, but weren’t terribly freaked out.

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Cilantro, trying to decide in which direction to run.

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Clove. I love her markings.

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Coriander, considering.

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Snoozin’ Coriander.

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They sure do love that scratcher.

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Clove demonstrates that these girls are well-trained in the litterbox arts.

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Coltrane, hanging out near the pig yard. One day last week, I was out checking on the pigs or feeding them, and I heard George bark, and looked up to see he and Gracie running full-tilt toward the far back corner of the back forty. My heart almost stopped when I saw that they were running toward Coltrane, and I thought I was about to see some carnage (I yelled for the dogs to stop, but they didn’t seem to hear me), but as it turned out (it’s hard to tell from a distance), Coltrane was outside the fence. George and Gracie stopped short of the fence, seemed to recognize Coltrane, and turned and ran back toward me.

(For the record, I really don’t think G&G would have killed Coltrane, but I also can’t swear that they wouldn’t – it’s possible they would have seen him as a threat to their flock.)

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: I always forget what bitey little brats they are at this age. They’re so MEAN.
2007: “I’m so happy,” he said. “That if this were a movie, in the next scene you’d be raped or killed.”
2006: No entry.
2005: Every time I type in “u” instead of “you”, I die a little inside.
2004: No entry.
2003: What happens if you put a box on the floor?
2002: “Where was it, Bessie?” he asked, trying to draw me into the trap with him, so he could perhaps trip me and then run away, leaving me there for her to latch onto.
2001: What do you s’pose a realtor’s house looks like? I always assumed it’d be a real showplace, with everything just so, all appliances gleaming and so on.
2000: Every time I blow-dry my hair, it sounds like the phone is ringing.

5/28/11 – Saturday

“Hmm… this seems to be about the right size for me!” “A little tight, but comfy.” The perfect vantage point to see what’s going on… Bath time. Checking to be sure he didn’t miss anything… So sweepy. Ciara investigates… …then keeps on moving. Room for Cillian? Guess not. “Eh?” Zzzzzz. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “5/28/11 – Saturday”

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“Hmm… this seems to be about the right size for me!”

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“A little tight, but comfy.”

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The perfect vantage point to see what’s going on…

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Bath time.

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Checking to be sure he didn’t miss anything…

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So sweepy.

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Ciara investigates…

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…then keeps on moving.

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Room for Cillian?

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Guess not.

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Sugarbutt hopes y’all have a nice, relaxing Saturday.

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2009: I traumatized Fred by telling him I was going to have it professionally framed.
2008: Now that I have only the one drain, which will be tucked under my clothes, I don’t have to worry about the kittens puncturing anything and blood spurting all over the place.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Today I’m still burning with curiosity, and I wish I’d asked anyway.
2002: So yes, the vacation rocked.
2001: If vacation pictures aren’t your thing, I’ll see ya tomorrow.
2000: I’m so so SO glad to be home.

5/27/11 – Friday

Goddamnit, Robyn, I was going to suggest you name your pigs Pork and Mindy, but since you’ve got a third one, that doesn’t work. I cackled loudly when I read this. We tend not to name our pigs (usually there’s a “big pig” and “not-so-big pig”), but I’m going to have to keep Pork and … Continue reading “5/27/11 – Friday”

Goddamnit, Robyn, I was going to suggest you name your pigs Pork and Mindy, but since you’ve got a third one, that doesn’t work.

I cackled loudly when I read this. We tend not to name our pigs (usually there’s a “big pig” and “not-so-big pig”), but I’m going to have to keep Pork and Mindy in mind for the future!

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Since you turned me on to Snood a few years ago, I’ve always been grateful! I recently got a new computer so downloaded the latest version 4.10. Oooh! There is a puzzle preference option where you can pick puzzle games made by other snood players! SOooo much fun! Thought I’d tell you in case you didn’t know. I only like the easy/medium ones not those evil evil levels!

I tend to stick to the medium level because I am a lazy ass and prefer not to be challenged in the slightest. Every once in a while I try one on the “evil” level, but then I go fleeing back to medium. I sure do love the hell out of Snood, even after all these years.

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If they ever make a Crooked Acres Movie, they need to get Jack Nicholson to voice Loony Jake.


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Here in The Little Lair, we call that lounging on the back of the chair thing being a “lard doily”…

Nice to know our house isn’t the only one with lard doilies!

HA – lard doilies! We have many lard doilies in our house, Sugarbutt and Tommy chief among them.

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I’m visiting my mom this week and in her MASSIVE collection of garden catalogs, I found this and wanted to make sure you saw it: Asian Ladybeetle Traps.

I couldn’t remember if you’d already solved your ladybeetle invasion problem. 🙂

The year before last, I got two of those traps and put one in each of the worst locations (ie, where those awful Asian Ladybeetles were coming in the most). I didn’t notice it making much of a difference that Fall, but the following year (last Fall), the invasion wasn’t nearly as bad. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the traps or if it just wasn’t such a bad year, but I’ve decided to believe it was due to the traps. And they’re a little expensive, but since they last for 2 – 4 years, I think they very well might be worth it.

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I’ve been curious about this, and I can’t remember if you mentioned it before – why does the shelter not like to repeat names? I get that you don’t want twenty kittens named Spot running around at once, but it must be hard to think of names after a while.


What happens if the shelter gets a cat that HAS a name, and it’s a name that’s already been used? Like, someone adopts Uniquenamecat and in their home he becomes (say) Rufus. Then two years later something happens and they have to return now-Rufus to the shelter – since he’s been Rufus for so long, would the shelter continue calling him Rufus even though there was already a Rufus I? Or if, for another instance, a stray was found with a collar that had the name “Rufus” on it but no contact info. Would they make an exception to help (I would think) make the transition(s) easier on the cat? I’d think it’d add to the stress to suddenly have a new name on top of everything else.

Oh, the things I think about, trying to get myself to go to sleep…!!

(The name “Rufus” is now nonsense to me, by the way.)

The shelter prefers to use names that haven’t been used in the past just because it’s simpler for record keeping purposes – if there are 15 black and white cats named “Spot”, it’s hard to know who’s who after a while. I know that after a certain amount of time, or if a cat passes on, the name is allowed to be used again, so it’s not like once there’s a cat named Spot, it is NEVER used again.

I’m honestly not sure what happens if the shelter gets a cat with a name that’s been used in the past – if, say, I turned Sugarbutt in to the shelter and there’d already been a Sugarbutt, I suspect that they’d probably just list him as “Sugarbutt Anderson.” Or if a cat showed up with a name that had been used before (this is just a guess on my part), they’d either keep the name as is (assuming that the previous cat or cats with that name weren’t the same kind of cat) or add a second name.

There are ways to get around the whole naming thing – for instance, I was pretty tied to the idea of naming one of our then-fosters “Cara”, but since that had been used before, I went with “Kara.” Had “Dorothy” been used in the past (can you believe it hadn’t been?), I would have gone with “Dorothy Gale.”

I’m forever surprised by names that haven’t been used, and as of yet I haven’t had a terribly hard time coming up with names. I actually have a whole email folder of names that I go and look through if I’m stumped. There are a lot of names out there. I name kittens expecting that they’ll be renamed when they’re adopted and go to their forever homes, so I don’t get TOO attached to the names, and I’m never ever insulted when one of my fosters is renamed.

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The mom wants to know if you ever take a crummy shot…she can’t imagine it. LOL.

I take a MILLION crummy shots. Seriously, earlier this week I spent some time in the foster room with Maggie and the McMaos, taking picture after picture. When I got to my computer later and plugged it in, I had just under a thousand (THOUSAND) pictures on the memory stick. Of that almost 1,000, after I went through and deleted all the blurry shots and all the duplicates, I went through them again and deleted the ones that weren’t so hot. In the end, I had less than a hundred left. So when I say I keep about one of every ten pictures I take, I am totally not kidding. Thank god for digital cameras – if I had to pay to have all those pictures developed, I’d be one broke woman!

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Is it me or Maggie looks smaller now? I know she gave birth but she is smaller than what I expect she after she gave birth.


Hey, looks like Mama’s tummy is starting to tighten up! How is she doing with weaning the kittens? Are they nursing much now, or is it mostly when they pounce her and she goes along with it? I remember pictures of Kara sort of getting up abruptly with an irritated expression on her face, haha.

Maggie is much, much smaller now – in fact, I think she’s too thin. Every time I go into the room, I give her a can of kitten food or some other sort of treat, because she really does need to put some weight on.

The kittens are still nursing every now and then, but Maggie doesn’t think twice about getting up and walking off if she decides she’s had enough.

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From earlier this week.

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I was at an estate sale early this morning that had an hors d’oeuvres dish, but it was Spode and it was $40. Sorry! 🙂

What, my babies aren’t worth it? Hmph!

I kid, of course. I’d KILL anyone who spent that kind of money on something like that for my babies. I thought about buying a deviled egg platter, but in the end just putting seven blops of food around the edge of a dinner plate is working out surprisingly well.

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Further to the divided-dish discussion, you might consider a Seder plate — seriously!

I actually saw a couple of really cute Seder plates, but I was worried that it might be considered, y’know, offensive or something.

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Miss Maggie McMeowball is a brown tabby herself, isn’t she? I can never remember.

Indeed she is! And a very pretty one, too, if you ask me. 🙂

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Love the teenage pics of George and Gracie! I remember you’ve said before that they keep your chickens safe. How did you train them to do that? Are they just super smart and intuitive, or did you have to specially instruct them in protecting your animals?

Their parents were working livestock guardian dogs, and they grew up (for their first few months, anyway) around chickens.While they were still awfully young when we got them, they apparently got and understood enough of the training from their parents that they became good protectors.

A few days after we brought them home, I was in the back forty gathering eggs. When I stood up and turned around, I saw someone standing at the fence, and it startled me. I gasped and said “Oh!”, and George and Gracie immediately got between me and the fence, and the entire time I stood there talking to the guy and his wife (they wanted to buy eggs, I think), George and Gracie barked at them.

Then, a few days after that, someone we knew stopped by while Fred and I were out in the back forty, and we stood and talked to them. George and Gracie barked a few times, but what I found most telling is that they stayed between our visitors and the chickens at all times.

They’re awfully good pups.

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Does Fergus Simon have the longest whiskers of the bunch as well?

No, his are pretty comparable to the rest of the litter’s whiskers.

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I just noticed the little round mirrors low on the wall (reflecting the kicker-roo). Do the kittens like them?

They do – every now and then I’ll see a kitten looking at himself or herself. Here’s Ciara checking out the view:

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And Maggie:

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“How do I get into THAT room?”

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“I bet THOSE babies would be nicer than the brats in this room.”

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Little Miss Dorothy is going to grow up to be one gorgeous cat.

(Are her legs a little short, or is it just the angle of the photo?)

It was just the angle of the photo. Miss Dorothy is perfectly proportioned!

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So, Miss Dorothy has been spayed and got her ID chip and was tested for parasites (negative! Yay!). She’s all set to go, and for the time being she’ll cool her heels here, play with the permanent residents, and just basically make herself at home.

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“High five!”

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Declan is very daring little BatCat.

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Cillian swings! He misses!

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There’s that Ferguson latte you ordered. I hope it didn’t get cold.

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“You forgot the catnip sprinkle on top. AS USUAL.”

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The McMao babies are going next Thursday to be spayed and neutered. They’re all over two pounds, and will be eight weeks old, and so it’s time. This means, of course, that the time is drawing near where they’ll be going off to Petsmart to be adopted – I mean, it’s not like they’ll go off immediately or anything, but we’re counting the time in a matter of weeks rather than months – so y’all start preparing yourselves.

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Yesterday, after I dropped Dorothy off at the vet for her procedures, I had breakfast with the shelter manager and other friends.

(There was a baby there. He was tiny, and his Nana said “Guess how old he is!” and I demurred, saying “I’m as bad at aging humans as I am at aging kittens!”, but I was thinking “Six months?” Yeah, no. That baby was two months old. I am SERIOUSLY bad at aging babies! Also, a while later after the baby had eaten and fallen asleep, they were putting him in one of those car seat carriers, and he looked so comfortable that I turned to the shelter manager and said “Don’t you wish they made those for humans?” Then I realized what I’d said and was like “I mean ADULTS!” You really can’t take me out in public, I’m afraid.)

The shelter manager was talking about these kittens that had been abandoned at a local business, and how she really didn’t have room for them but what are you gonna do, right? They were about five weeks old and all girls, a calico, a calitabby, and a brown tabby. We commiserated about the total flood of kittens going on right now, and ate breakfast and talked and so forth.

When we left the restaurant, she headed off to the clinic to pick up those kittens (who were being tested), and I called Fred. Then I went to the clinic.

Would you like to meet The Spice Girls?

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This is Clove. She’s a brown tabby, and the tiniest of the three (just under a pound). She’s also the sassiest of the three, and is the first one to greet me when I walk into the room.

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Cilantro is a calitabby. She’s almost as friendly as Clove, and very very playful (they all are, but Cilantro’s especially so).

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Coriander is a calico. She was a little bit nervous at first, but warmed up pretty quickly and now when I walk into the room, all three of them run over to be petted.

They are all three very sweet, friendly, playful girls. They’re in really good shape, and I looked them over carefully, but didn’t see a single flea or tick on them. I would like to offer, given how friendly and in what great shape they are, that they were probably living in someone’s house (they’re not scared of people) up until they were abandoned.

By the way, when I got home with them, I moved Maggie and the babies down to the guest bedroom (it’s a bigger room), and put The Spice Girls into the foster room (after I cleaned it). Dorothy, given that she’s parasite-free, is now out in the house 24/7. She’s not sure what exactly is going on, but I do believe she likes having her freedom!

*Edited to add: Yes, I know that Coriander and Cilantro are the same thing – or rather, that Coriander is the seed and Cilantro is the plant. That’s why I thought it was so cute, although Coriander & Cilantro might have been better mother-daughter names now that I think about it!

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::slurrrrp:: Tommy, sauntering across the back yard.

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2010: I’d like to think this is a play on words (“So stainless it’s a steal!”), but I kinda doubt it.
2009: So we moved George back out to the big coop, and George’s baby could not possibly care less, he’s staying up late and making prank phone calls and eyeballing the girl baby chickens, and I think he’s going to be nothing but trouble.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I have renewed faith in my fellow man.
2004: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: The man is full of compliments, ain’t he?

5/26/11 – Thursday

Today Fred turns 44! (It probably doesn’t surprise you to read that I had to stop and do the math to figure that out. One day last week I said “I’m forty… how old am I? Forty-two?”) Happy birthday, baby!!! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “5/26/11 – Thursday”

Today Fred turns 44! (It probably doesn’t surprise you to read that I had to stop and do the math to figure that out. One day last week I said “I’m forty… how old am I? Forty-two?”) Happy birthday, baby!!!

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Last weekend, we finally got our pigs for this year. We went with the intention of getting two, but a couple of people at Fred’s job expressed interest, so we ended up with a third. The man we get our pigs from is known as “Egg”, as some of you know, so here are some sights from around Egg’s farm.

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Cute little baby pigs (these guys were too small to be separated from their mama yet. I did get a shot of their mama – who kept giving me the “Don’t you think about touching my babies!” eyes, but it didn’t come out.)

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Puppy, keeping an eye on the pigs.

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Our pigs, not sure what on earth was going on.

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What’s a farm without a barn cat or two?

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White donkey, hangin’ with the cows.

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And, of course, sights from around Crooked Acres.

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One little,

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two little,

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three little girly pigs.

Thus far, one of them will take a cookie from Fred’s hand, but the other two are too skittish. They wait ’til Brave Pig takes the cookie from Fred, then follow her around, trying to take the cookie from her. They’ll learn soon enough – they always do!

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That’s Gracie in the front and George in the back.

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“Hallo, shweetheart.”

Even though George and Gracie never come into actual contact with the pigs (the pig yard is fenced off), they still get excited when we get new pigs.

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This is inside the pig shelter (before Fred added straw, not that it’s been cold enough for them to burrow down inside the straw lately, but still) a few days before we went to get the new pigs. This hen decided this was a good place to raise some babies, so she made a nest, laid a clutch of eggs, and sat on them looking angry when anyone came close. Fred moved her to the maternity yard, and she decided she didn’t want babies after all, and abandoned her eggs.

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Mamas and babies.

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They’ve hit their gawky stage.

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If you look closely, you’ll see Gracie inside the fence and Coltrane outside the fence, on the other side of the ditch. He comes and goes constantly, and the dogs completely ignore him.

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First fresh veggies from the garden for 2011 – baby romaine, purslane, and radishes.

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Happy Hydrangea.

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Pansies have taken root in the cracks on the front steps. I should probably pull them up, but they’re so pretty I don’t want to!

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Dorothy loves to pick fights with Jake, and he puts up with her shenanigans for far longer than you’d expect him to, but eventually he snaps and fights back. Then she gets all “Oh, wah! I am but a wee baby! Please save me from this horrible beast who would pick on a tiny helpless baybeeeeee!”

Dorothy is off to the vet today to be spayed and ID chipped and all that. I’d say y’all should wish her luck, but she will be perfectly fine, and I expect she’ll be racing around here tonight like nothing ever happened.

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Oh Cillian, how I love your worried little face.

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If you couldn’t guess, I was waving the feather teaser around wildly, and they were pretty interested in what was going on.

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He leaps! He misses!

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This is a pretty good shot of all six of them.

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And this.

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Declan and his toes.

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Ciara really likes to hang out underneath this cat bed for some reason.

Maggie’s been getting some alone time this week – not every day, but about every other day, I put her in the room at the other end of the hall and leave her in there for two or three hours. She doesn’t really care for it, I think it worries her to be away from the babies, or possibly she just doesn’t like being in a strange room. The babies don’t even notice that she’s not there until I bring her back in, which is when they gather around her like “Mama! We missed you! WE THOUGHT YOU WAS A TOAD!” and she gets a look on her face like “I wanted to come back in here why, exactly?”

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Snoozin’ Spanky.

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2010: “Zip it. ZIP it. ZIP. IT.”
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: He’s such a liar.
2005: But by the time I was about three words in to the text message to the spud, I was using “u” and “2″ and “gd” with abandon, and it STILL took me 4-fckng-eva 2 get th gd msg typd n & snt.
2004: I started to answer her, when I realized to my horror that Fred was leaning forward, CUPPING HIS HAND TO HIS EAR to illustrate that he hadn’t heard what she said.
2003: “I breathe oxygen!” “Me too!”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Our first trip to G’burg.

5/25/11 – Wednesday

Happy, happy birthday, Nance!!!! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   For those of you who asked where I got those adorable plates in yesterday’s Snackin’! Time! pictures, here’s a closeup of them: I got them at Petsmart, quite … Continue reading “5/25/11 – Wednesday”

Happy, happy birthday, Nance!!!!

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For those of you who asked where I got those adorable plates in yesterday’s Snackin’! Time! pictures, here’s a closeup of them:

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I got them at Petsmart, quite some time ago. It just so happened that I had seven of them on hand. I don’t use them for snack time for the McMaos because it’s a huge pain to try to carry 7 plates at once, just used them the once so I could get some pictures of all of them in a row. These days I’m doing what I thought of last week: I mix up their snack (one can of kitten food, one jar of Gerber chicken and gravy baby food – they don’t need the baby food, but they like it, and I like to make them happy as I’m sure you’re shocked to hear) and then put seven blops of food around the edge of a regular sized (human) dinner plate, and that works out really well.

I need to get a picture of that, too, while I’m thinking of it!

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Poor Maggie. She sure does put up with a lot from those bratty little brats.

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“Hi Mama! ::thwap::”

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“HI Mama! Make way!”

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Note, please, that he’s standing ON her.

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And now he’s biting her tail. She just lays there and puts up with it.

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That look on her face epitomizes ::SIGH::, doesn’t it?

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“HI MAMA! Hi!”

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“You takin’ a nap? You takin’ a nap, huh, Mama? You gonna take a nap? You want me to take a nap with you? Huh, Mama, huh?”

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“Lord help me from killing this mouthy little child.”

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“Just a little bite on the side of his neck will make me feel so much better.”

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“HOLD STILL, child, I’m gonna bite you.”
“No, Mama, noooooo! Mama! Hi Mama! Hi Mama, what you doin’?”

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“Come on, guys, Mama’s drinking water! That means WE need to drink water, too!”

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“Hi Mama, hi! Hi Mama!”

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“MAMA! I said HI! HI Mama, can you HEAR me?”

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“Mama, I smack you on the face! I smack you, Mama! Hi!”

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“Mama, I’m hungry. Is it time to eat, Mama?”

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Note that she’s holding Declan down with one paw while she bites Fergus Simon on the neck. She’s multi-talented!

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Boy, someone’s a little crankypants and apparently missed her afternoon nap.

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Miz Poo in the Poo Cave.

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2010: Now they need to have a follow-up series, LOST: Life After the Island.
2009: “Go get the ladder, Joe. GO GET THE LADDER. I’m a portly cat. A jump from here would kill me!”
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Goofy cats.
2005: Grackles are kind of evil-looking and have great big beaks and I’m sure their bite is far, far worse than their bark.
2004: I sure am MIGHTY FUCKING TIRED of going to the FUCKING doctor’s office all the damn time.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

5/24/11 – Tuesday

So, I didn’t lay on the couch and watch TV all day yesterday as I thought I might, but I got a lot of small tasks accomplished, so that’s good. But don’t worry – I know you were worried – I got caught up on some of my reality TV while I went through the … Continue reading “5/24/11 – Tuesday”

So, I didn’t lay on the couch and watch TV all day yesterday as I thought I might, but I got a lot of small tasks accomplished, so that’s good. But don’t worry – I know you were worried – I got caught up on some of my reality TV while I went through the three-foot stack of paper that’s been sitting next to my desk for ages. The stack was comprised of mostly recipes, and I ended up dividing the recipes into several different categories and paper clipped each category together, then stuck a post-it on the front page of each so I’d know which stack belonged to which category.

It was all very harrowing, as I’m sure you can imagine, trying to decide whether frozen hot chocolate (these are recipes I’ve never made, by the way, once I make the recipe I either toss it or commit it to a recipe card in the recipe box – and that one’s been sitting in my stack of “make this someday” recipes for about a year) belongs in “breakfast” or “dessert.” If I called it “drinks”, it would have been in a category by itself. Oh, the dilemma!

(I put it in “dessert.” You know you wanted to know.)

I also found a large number of printed out comments from last year when some of you gave me some gardening advice, and maybe this year I’ll actually take some of that advice now that I know where it is!

(In the “gardening” category, obv.)

Speaking of the garden, yesterday I saw that there are flowers on the tomato plants that were planted before the tornado went through. And there are tiny little tomatoes-to-be on a couple of the tomato plants I transplanted from the compost heap to the garden. The corn and beans Fred planted are coming up nicely and the squash plants… well, they’re hanging in there.

We just may have a decent garden this summer after all!

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I got my dumbphone from Virgin Mobile last week, and it’s working out pretty well for me. I got the Samsung Restore and so far the only thing I don’t like about it is the way it “threads” text messages. Well that, and the fact that the pull-out QWERTY keyboard is bigger than the one on my Kyocera Wild Card was (which is what I had before the LG Optimus V), and I find it awkward with my tiny doll hands and short fingers to type messages on it.

Never happy, am I?

(I admit, I miss my Wild Card a wee bit, but the camera on the Samsung is better, and I can check my email on the Samsung too, so I guess I’ll learn to deal.)

Also, I charged the new phone on Thursday and didn’t have to charge it again ’til Sunday EVEN THOUGH I sent and received text messages IN THE DOUBLE DIGITS. Go, Samsung Restore!

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Alice is all “If I wasn’t so sleepy, I would NOT be putting up with this, you little upstart.”

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“Dorfy sweepy too. I can haz a snuggle?”
Alice: “Don’t push it, whippersnapper.”

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More snackin’ time for the McMaos. Note that even though Maggie has her very own plate, she goes up the line partaking of the kittens’ snacks.

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I can’t swear to it, but I think the lineup is, left to right: Macushla, Cillian, Ciara, Fergus Simon, Maggie, Finnegan, and Declan. It’s hard to know for sure from this angle.

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The McMaos tussle.

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Maggie takes a breather.

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They really really love this little basket. Sometimes one of them will sit in it and another one will bat at them through the openings. Also sometimes we put the basket over the top of one of them, and the others gather around and mock him.

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Finnegan makes with the crazy eyes.

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Cillian. Don’t you want to kiss his little nose?

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Fergus Simon, about to tip over backwards.

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Macushla in my lap.

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Loony Jake is annoyed.

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2010: One thing y’all do not know about Fred And3rson is that when it comes toward clothing, he gravitates toward the bright, flamboyant colors.
2009: No entry.
2008: One of the many things I don’t get: sour cream.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2004: ”It’s HOT in the SOUTH in the SUMMER?! You don’t say!”
2003: No entry.
2002: I hope you’re planning on marking the occasion with style and panache, people.
2001: And so on until it’s lunchtime and I’m so excited at the thought of Lime Jello for dessert (it being Tuesday and all) that I hang up on her and go hobbling out to the lunchroom with all the other old people.
2000: Fuuuuuuuuuuuck.

5/23/11 – Monday

On Saturday, after taking a road trip to Tennessee that took up most of the morning (and somehow, I managed to not take a single picture while I was up there, wtf??), we swung by Egg the Pig Man’s place and got ourselves some little pigs. I took a bunch of pictures around Egg’s place … Continue reading “5/23/11 – Monday”

On Saturday, after taking a road trip to Tennessee that took up most of the morning (and somehow, I managed to not take a single picture while I was up there, wtf??), we swung by Egg the Pig Man’s place and got ourselves some little pigs. I took a bunch of pictures around Egg’s place (which I will share with you on Thursday), but for now you can feast your eyes on the three little cuties.

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Egg is always having issues with his back, and it hurts me just to see him walk. He’s 78 years old, and it’s been a rough 78 years. His wife’s trying to get him to give up the piggin’ business (and probably the cow business as well), but I think he just loves it too much. The day after the tornadoes went through (he had no damage to his property), he was checking his fence, and got his boots stuck in the mud and couldn’t pull them out, so he was barefooted. He was pulling himself up with his arms and got tangled in his electric fence, and when he got zapped by it, he pulled back and twisted his back which made him fall, and he busted his hand up when he fell.

Last week, he forgot his truck was in park and started to get out, then got his head stuck between the steering wheel and rearview mirror, and got a bruise on his head.

Poor Egg.

In the past, Egg’s always been the one to wrestle the pigs we were buying into the carriers, but this time he let Fred do it. We had told him that we wanted two pigs, but on the way up there we got to talking, and Fred’s got a couple of people at work who want to buy pigs (or rather, half a pig). We decided that if Egg had another pig around the same size as the other two for sale, then we’d buy a third. If not, then the people who want to buy pigs from us would have to wait. (We determined, after the other two pigs went to be processed in February and it was a godawful mess getting them into the truck because it was so wet in the back forty, that we’re only going to have pigs once a year from here on out.)

As it turned out, Egg had five little pigs for sale, so we got that third pig. Then he and Fred talked about how we should buy a sow from him and raise our own pigs, and yeah. I don’t think so. Especially after Egg casually says things like “She had about twelve of them, but she mashed a couple.” I’d rather not have to see any piglets who got mashed by their mama rolling over on them, thanks anyway.

There was a mama pig there with a large number of tiny little piglets (much smaller than the three we ended up getting) and I would have dearly loved to touch a wee piglet, but mama pig was giving me the “I will mess you UP, lady” eyes, so I didn’t even think about trying that.

We got home and then carried the carriers out to the pig yard and set the girls free, and they immediately ran around and ate grass and chased each other. They are certainly cute girls, but we realized that one of them has a bulge in her mid-section and that means one of the following: (1) It’s a boy OR (2) It’s a hernia OR (3) It’s an umbilicus (this is a Fred And3rson theory, and I don’t know what the fuck he could possibly be talking about, the pigs are NOT newborns, but he says it with enough self-assurance that he seems to think it’s a real theory, so I’m going to leave it in) OR (4) It’s a hermaphrodite pig. After much quality time spent staring at Bulgy’s back end, Fred is pretty sure that she’s a she and that the bulge is a hernia because it’s not pointy enough to be, y’know. Male equipment. The last time we dealt with hernia-having pigs, it didn’t work out so well and we ended up taking the pigs back from whence they came, but Fred doesn’t seem inclined to do that with this pig, so I don’t know. Whatever. Pigs are his area of expertise, not mine, so I’m going to let him figure out what he wants to do as far as that goes.

Saturday evening, I was wiped out (I think due to a Zyrtec I’d taken earlier in the day. I felt sleepy all day long, and that’s what I’ve decided to blame it on.) and we put in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and I watched it when I wasn’t dozing.

Sunday morning I was awakened bright and early (5:45!) by Fred, who came upstairs to tell me that he’d seen the possum who eats out of the food bowl on our side porch, and the poor guy doesn’t have a tail anymore. We discussed what could have happened to it, then Fred told me something else that I don’t recall, and he went downstairs.

Since I was awake, I got up and got dressed, then went into the foster room to give the kittens and Maggie their morning snack and scoop the litter boxes. I found a kitten pee situation that required getting all the McMaos out of the foster room so I could do a thorough cleaning, which took about half an hour. I got all the litter boxes scooped and took a few minutes to relax before I headed out to start working in the garden.

I spent the next couple of hours cutting empty pig and chicken feed bags open and cutting a slit down the middle of each so that I could put a bag around each and every tomato plant so I won’t spend my summer weeding. While I did that, Fred got out the tomato cages and put one over each tomato plant. We took a break to eat breakfast, then he started driving T posts in the tomato row and tying twine along the row of cages, attaching the cages to the T posts.

It was all very exciting, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Then I put drip hoses along each of my rows of tomatoes and one along my row of onions and cucumbers, mowed the grass around my raised beds, planted two tomato plants in my straw bale (it’s an experiment), and declared that I was done working outside for the day. I went inside, took a shower, and then proceeded to putter around the house for a few hours. Fred’s father and stepmother stopped by and we spent about an hour chatting with them before they headed home.

It was a fairly productive weekend (well, Sunday) for me, but I have so much more on my to-do list that all I want to do is lay in front of the TV and do nothin’.

Sounds like a plan!

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As the oldest cat, Spanky thinks that what to watch should be HIS decision.

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“But *I* wanna watch those wacky Real Housewives!” says Dorothy.
Jake: ::facepalm::

(Dorothy won. She always does.)

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Seven weeks old! Can you believe it?

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Ciara goes for the butt bite as Cillian attempts to flee up the cat tree.

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Declan (left) and Fergus Simon (right) in my lap. They’re looking all wild-eyed because the camera strap is hanging down, tempting them.

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Their little faces crack me up (please note the foot-sniffer in the background).

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Macushla and his fangs.

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Finnegan at play (note to self: someone really needs to paint those baseboards.)

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“I feel skeered, but I don’t know WHY.”

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Ciara, hanging on the cat tree while Cillian’s over there all “I don’t know why you’re taking HER picture, she’s not doing anything all THAT impressive. I can hang there like that. I can hang there from only ONE paw. She’s nothin’ special. Hmph.”

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“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the Bat signal, and I am BatCat!”

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“::sigh:: Picking that up would be SO much easier if I had opposable thumbs.”

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Are we comfy, Suggie? (Sugarbutt and Tommy love to lay like this on the back of Fred’s chair.)

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Home! Will post when I can, don’t know when that will be.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yes, a child’s dose of Benadryl on an empty stomach, and I’m about ready to dance on the bars and twirl my bra over my head.
2004: No entry.
2003: He’s a badass motherfucker, that’s right.
2002: Little baby piglets!
2001: “This is our song, Robbie,” she said.
2000: I can’t believe I’ve been doing this journalling thing for over 7 months now.

5/20/11 – Friday

Have you ever heard the This American Life story “Squirrel Cop”? This is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard. This is totally worth the 15 minutes to listen to. The longer the story goes, the funnier it gets! The “Squirrel Cop” story from Jack OnFlickr on Vimeo. I LOVE This American Life, but … Continue reading “5/20/11 – Friday”

Have you ever heard the This American Life story “Squirrel Cop”? This is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard. This is totally worth the 15 minutes to listen to. The longer the story goes, the funnier it gets!

The “Squirrel Cop” story from Jack OnFlickr on Vimeo.

I LOVE This American Life, but hadn’t heard that story before! It does just keep getting funnier, doesn’t it?

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A new video! Be sure to watch to the very end!

That is a very catchy song! Heh.

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I got an email last week about someone doing the photography at my wedding. She broke down how much her fees were by each set of photos, including one that said she’d charge ‘a little extra’ for the sitting with the mother of the bride and mother of the groom, seeing as they ‘do not care for each other or approve of the marriage at all.’

I emailed her back and told her that would be the highlight of the job and she could probably get some very candid shots of the two of them fistfighting, as that is what they do best when in each other’s presence.

And then at the end of the email I told her I was just joking and that my name was not Kim and she had in fact, emailed the wrong person.

You made me LOL. 🙂

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Your squirrel reminded me that the radio station I listen to posted a video about a little girl playing with a dead squirrel. It’s actually kind of funny. Poor squirrels!


Pardon me while I go take a Silkwood shower.

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I’m sure you’ve Eddie Izzard’s bit on printers. I totally thought of this as I was reading 🙂

LOVE it!!!

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I don’t have a printer yet. My laptop is still on the kitchen table. I did have problems with gmail and lots of things freezing all the time. If I didn’t like the colorfulness of igoogle so much I’d switch to yahoo. I know too little but feel better when you say it’s acting up for you too so I know it’s not just me.

Rest assured that it is never EVER just you. If I took the amount of time I spend swearing at my computer on a daily basis and spent it doing something productive like studying science, I could probably have cured cancer by now.

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Forgive me if this is too nosy a question, but how will they handle the billing for the revision? Are you going to have to pay for everything twice? That’d piss me off, even though I understand the mechanics of medical billing.

Y’know, originally I thought that there’d be no charge at all, then after I read your comment, I was like “Oh, fuck me. Am I going to have to pay for this again? Because if so, there’s going to be no revision in my future, I cannot handle the thought of having to pay again!” But then yesterday my surgeon’s nurse called to talk to me, and told me that it wouldn’t cost anything and I just needed to tell her when I wanted to have it done. After finding out how long the recovery would be (about two weeks of not lifting anything heavier than 5 or 10 pounds), I told her it’d either need to be right away or put off until the Fall. The soonest it could be scheduled was for June 13th, so it looks like it’ll be this Fall. She’s going to talk to him to be sure there’s no problem putting it off ’til October (she expects that to be fine) and should give me a call back later today.

With the gardening revving up (FINALLY), I just thought it made sense to wait ’til I could afford to sit on my butt for two weeks.

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Have you seen this? I love the very end when he says “cheese”….


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My husband had a dream that we were animal control officers, and we would trap animals of all kinds and the city would pay us per animal to euthanize them. What the city didn’t know was that we would secretly in the middle of the night, load up the truck and take all the animals out to live with you and Fred. Thanks for helping us cheat the city and save the animals. 🙂

Oh, it’s our pleasure. 😉

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Apart from scooping poop most of the day, do you spend the rest of the time brushing the herd? They all seem to have amazing coats.

I brush the ones who’ll put up with it, because I LOVE using the Furminator on the cats. It’s so satisfying to get so much fur so quickly! Some of them – especially Spanky – don’t care for being brushed, though, and in fact will run when they see the brush. Which always makes me laugh – you’d think I use the thing to beat them with instead of helping to get that annoying loose fur off their bodies!

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In the kitten photos, are those double bowls attached to each other? Close up photo and purchasing information, please.

They certainly are! Here’s a closeup:



I got them at Old Time Pottery (I always want to call it “Old Tyme Pottery”) last year sometime. When you have a large number of kittens, it’s easier to use the attached bowls rather than trying to balance 6 individual dishes at snack time. I was actually looking for one of those hors d’ oeuvres dishes, one of the round ones with several individual bowls around the plate? That apparently doesn’t exist except in my own mind, since I can’t seem to find an example online anywhere. But now that I’m thinking about it, a deviled egg tray might work pretty well.

Actually, what would make the most sense would be to take a regular dinner plate and put blops (that’s the scientific term) of canned food around the plate and let them figure it out. It’s not like they stick to their own plate anyway, is it?

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The Andersons know NOT the insane amoount of photos I have stolen from them…I just use them as inspirations of future art works, nothing untoward!

I just would like y’all to know that as long as you aren’t using my pictures to make money, or claiming that you took them yourselves, feel free to use them as wallpaper or whatever it is you want to use them for – it makes me happy to think of my babies making y’all happy!

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Do you mean to say that that cheeky Alice has worked out how to exit the backyard? Why else would she be wearing the “special” collar?

The collar is just a preventative measure. She’s actually small enough that I don’t think she could get over the barriers we’ve put in place around the fence posts, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Fred would be very sad if he lost his bratty little princess!

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For some reason, I didn’t think Miz Poo ever went outside. She looks extra-lovely in the open air!

She doesn’t spend as much time outside as the other cats, but except for Stinkerbelle all the cats go out into the back yard from time to time. For that matter, Stinkerbelle could go out into the back yard, but she’s never quite figured out the cat door, and since she’s what we refer to as our “house feral”, I’d rather not have to worry about her getting outside and then figuring how to get over the fence, so I’m okay with her being inside-only.

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Oh wise (and slightly crazy) cat lady, I need your help.

For a few weeks, one of my 4 cats has been pooping in the corner of one of the bedrooms. Doesn’t matter if the litter boxes are clean or not. Keeping the door closed solved that problem. Then, on Monday, my husband decided we needed a dog. He’s an outdoor dog, the cats are both indoor and outdoor. None of the cats are happy about this at all. And now the oldest of our cats, an 11 year old male is spraying (I didn’t know fixed cats could do that!), peeing and pooping on all the bathmats/bathrooms in the house. Short of never letting him in the house again, what do I do? I promise to send you cookies if you can solve this problem for me! we are pretty sure the bedroom pooper is the same cat, but have no proof.

I’m sure there’s advice out there to be had – and anyone with advice, do feel free to leave it in the comments! – but despite the timing I’d still suggest you take the offending pooper to the vet to be checked over, just in case. The fact that the pooping started before you got the dog indicates that it could possibly be a health issue, especially given his age. If he checks out as healthy, all I can suggest is to try Feliway (the plug-ins and the spray).

I’m sure someone out there has more/ better advice for Jennifer. Chime in here, folks! (Note: Jennifer, make sure you check over at Love & Hisses, I’m sure there will be advice in the comments over there, too.)

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Gracie and George are the prettiest puppies ever. Do you have any baby pictures of them?

Have you met me? 🙂 OF COURSE I have baby pictures of them. Well – toddler pictures, I guess. They were about four months old when we brought them home.





There are a TON more of them, of course, over at Flickr.

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Someday soon, could you post individual photos of the McMaos and point out their distinguishing features? I know it’s a lot to ask, but they’re so darn cute!

I’ll have you know that I didn’t even have to go take more pictures to fulfill this request – the amount of pictures I take of these kittens is absolutely ridiculous – but I can’t help it! So in no particular order, here they are.



Before I taught myself which kitten was which, I secretly called Declan “nostril” because one of his nostrils is black. In a comment, McFinn said Declan has always been the Batman kitty to me since he looks like he’s wearing a dark (tabby) cowl that comes down to his nose, exposing his lower face. Even has the bat ears going on. I can definitely see the resemblance, and now I like to hold him up and say “I’m Batman!”, which he does not appreciate in the slightest.



Macushla has a black nose and white whisker pads. He’s also a snuggler, and he and Fergus Simon are almost always either in my lap or about to climb into my lap. Macushla and Ciara are the darkest kittens.



Ciara’s the only girl, of course. She’s got the pink nose and then all that white on her face, and then the very dark fur. I’d almost call her black and white except for the brown tabby stripes on her sides and legs.



Finnegan also has a pink nose, but his dark fur is a lot lighter than Ciara’s. He’s always the first one to run for the closet if startled, usually closely followed by Cillian. Finnegan plays really well with the other kittens, but is also just as happy to play with a toy by himself.



Cillian has that pretty clay-colored nose with the dash of white above it. He has such a serious little face, and he always looks like he’s worried about something. Whereas the other kittens jump right into playing, Cillian will observe what’s going on before he joins in. I call him my little detective, because he misses nothing.

Fergus Simon:


Fergus Simon is my little lovebug, and will usually fight with Macushla for dominance of my lap. He likes to sit in my lap and swipe at the other kittens as they race by (though he’ll eventually be overcome with the need to fight, and will go racing after them).

Can you believe these little monsters are 7 weeks old as of tomorrow? The time has flown by! I weighed them the other day (I don’t know that my scale is all that reliable, though, given that it told me Dorothy was over 2 pounds when we got her, and she was quite a bit less at the vet’s!) and except for Ciara, they’re all right around 2 pounds. Which means it’ll be time to spay and neuter the little monsters in a couple of weeks. But no hurry, we can wait a little while to be sure they’re all solidly over 2 pounds before I take them to the vet.

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Miss Dorfy, hanging out in her favorite cat bed.

::maniacal laughter::

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Stinkerbelle, atop the kitchen cabinet, keeping an eye out for her beloved Tommy.

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2010: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2009: Way to look ferocious and defend those chickens, puppies.
2008: And I’m sure there’ll be plenty o’ bitching.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: It is, in fact, a happy-go-lucky-shpadoinkle-dy daaaaaaaaaaaaay.
2004: First day with the new brain, you know.
2003: So, Fred got it into his head a few weeks ago that he wanted a kayak.
2002: And further, you don’t get to be indignant and hurt when they act pissed off and boo you off the stage.
2001: No entry.
2000: Yesterday, I sneezed twenty-three times in a row. Fucking allergies.

5/19/11 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Okay, those of you who use Google Chrome as your browser and use Google Reader as your, uh, Reader: are you having an issue with Google Reader freezing? I was having that problem, and I was about ready to unplug my computer and toss it out the side door (I am so not kidding), and … Continue reading “5/19/11 – Crooked Acres Thursday”

Okay, those of you who use Google Chrome as your browser and use Google Reader as your, uh, Reader: are you having an issue with Google Reader freezing? I was having that problem, and I was about ready to unplug my computer and toss it out the side door (I am so not kidding), and after Googling frantically around the internet, someone somewhere (sorry to be so specific) said that it was an extensions issue. So I checked my extensions (wrench –> tools –> extensions) and found that Avast had installed an extension without my realizing it (or who the hell knows, maybe I installed it and didn’t realize it. What I’m saying is that I didn’t know it was there ’til I looked at my extensions.), so I uninstalled it. I won’t tempt the fates and swear that it solved the problem, but I’ll say that Google Reader hasn’t frozen on me since I did that yesterday morning.

Also in computer issues, over the weekend I got a new (to me) computer. Fred installed Windows 7 on the computer we used as a server last year, and I moved all my important stuff over to the new computer. The problem came when I wanted to print something and we realized that the “new” computer didn’t have a printer port. I ordered a printer port-to-USB adapter, but when it came and I hooked up the printer, the computer recognized the computer but it wouldn’t work. When I went to download the drivers from the HP site, it said “STUPID, the driver is already on Windows 7!” and I was all “But it’s not working!” and the site was all “DUH, update your Windows shit!” so I did, and got a great big fail-whale on the HP driver download. I tried it again, and still the FAIL.

So I said “Fuck you, you fucking printer, I am OVER YOU” and ordered a new printer that will be here on Friday.

The printer we had is probably close to 10 years old (if not older) and it’s worked well for us lo these many years, but it’s gotten slower and slower as time goes on, and it’s been past time to upgrade for a few years now. I ordered one of these because all I need is a black and white printer and I like the fact that it prints on both sides, which will save me some paper in the long run since I print way too much stuff out.

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

2011-05-19 (1)
We planted some grapes in the back yard. So far, they seem pretty happy. Maybe in ten years, we’ll be able to drink some of our own grape juice!

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Squash flower! Maybe we really will end up with some veggies this summer. Fingers crossed!

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Rooster, flappin’.

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Mama chicken and some of her babies.

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Meredith Gray, strutting with attitude.

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Gracie’s always trying to goad George into playing. Sometimes he indulges her, sometimes he doesn’t.

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Happy Gracie.

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Can you tell there was some Furminating going on out here?

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Silly girl.

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Snack time!

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Furminating in progress. Gracie LOVES to be brushed, and she’ll flop over on her back and roll around, she’s so giddy with delight.

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Yesterday I got word that Rufus was adopted on Tuesday! He spent a week at Petsmart, and honestly I don’t think that’s bad at all.

Yay, Rufus!

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Snackin’ Time for the McMaos.

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Note that Maggie works her way down the line, elbowing kittens out of the way. Like I said to Fred the other night, “You know how they say a mother is a person who, seeing there are only 4 pieces of cake for 5 people, promptly announces she never did care for cake?”

“Yeah?” Fred said.

“Maggie is a mother who, seeing there are only 4 pieces of cake for 5 people, promptly announces ‘You kids don’t need cake, anyway.””

You can hardly blame her, I guess – the babies are almost 7 weeks old, and can still be seen nursing several times a day.







I still think it’s about the sweetest thing ever. We’ve talked about moving Maggie to another room for a few hours during the days just to give her a break from the kittens and to give them some idea that life goes on even if Mama’s not right there. I may start doing that this weekend and see how it goes.

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2011-05-19 (23)
Miz Poo would like to know just what I think I’m doing out here in the back yard.

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2010: The many faces of Gavin.
2009: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2008: With my bionic legs and arms I’ll just be able to prove it much more easily.
2007: No entry.
2006: And we might have expected Mommy/ Whatever to tell the Little Prince “no” and, well, we can’t have THAT.
2005: We’re foster parents.
2003: The words “ass ugly” were invented to describe these shoes.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: She hasn’t claimed boredom since.