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6/30/11 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, June 30th, 2011. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

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©Lisa

I’ve been terribly remiss in announcing this. Remember Newman from way back at the end of March? You might not, because I only mentioned him the once – at that time, we were waiting for Maggie to drop those babies, and Rufus out running around the house. So once Newman was tested and neutered, he went to the shelter to be treated for parasites. Everyone who got to meet him invariably said that he was an awesome cat. A few weeks ago, he went to Petsmart.

Well, last week Lisa sent me the picture above, with the subject “Guess who got adopted!” Then a few days later, the lady who adopted Newman sent an update email to the shelter:

I adopted Newman from Petsmart on Tuesday, and I just wanted to send a short update email. He is doing great! We haven’t yet introduced him to the other cats in the household, but he is doing fine in my room / the adjoining game room. He’s using the litterbox fine, eating well and drinking. He does a good job of entertaining himself when we are gone. He seems to really like the scratching post and his various mice/feather toys. He’s very cuddly and sleeps at my feet, and he loves to lick while being petted. When we leave during the day, if it isn’t going to be too hot I leave the window open (there is a mesh protective layer so that he can’t get through) and he likes to sit on the windowsill and smell the scents and hear the birds. The only “problem” we had was that after eating, he tried to “bury” his food and water bowls with the towel upon which they were sitting, resulting in the towel repeatedly soaking up all his water. This was less of a problem and more of an adorable behavior, so we just removed the towel and he has learned that the carpet won’t budge. Haha! 🙂

Anyways, we are loving Newman, and he has never shown any sign of being afraid or unhappy or disturbed by the move. Quite the contrary, he seems very happy and rambunctious!

Don’t you love a happy ending? I sure do!

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Sights from around Crooked Acres

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The former compost heap, current tomato heap. I harvested the first tomato from those plants yesterday – just a cherry tomato – and ate it last night with dinner!

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One of the Mums I tossed last Fall when (I thought) it was mostly dead. It THRIVED on the compost heap. You can’t tell how big it is, but it’s HUGE. If I can keep the tomato plants from smothering it, I’ll dig it up this Fall and put it on the front porch.

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Baby pecans. Hopefully they’ll keep doing well, and we’ll be able to harvest them this Fall. It’s been three years since our last harvest, and we’re running low on them!

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This is what I love the most about vining plants – the little, fragile-looking (but tenacious) vines that reach out and grab hold. This one was from one of the muscadine vines.

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We are going to have approximately one bazillion muscadines this year. Last year I used the pulp from our small batch of muscadines to make muscadine jam. This year, we may have enough so that I can make jelly. (If we were wine drinkers, I might try my hand at muscadine wine! But alas we are not.)

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We might get at least ONE apple this year!

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The corn’s getting tall – a couple of them are taller than I am (I’m 5 feet, 5 inches tall, for the record).

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Cucumber vine.

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Busy busy bees fertilizing those squash blossoms.

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Jalapenos!

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Eggplant. We’ve only got three or four eggplants planted this year. I’m not a huge fan of the eggplant.

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The cherry tomatoes in the garden have finally started to ripen!

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Volunteer tomato plant, among the carrots. It’s already got a couple of cherry tomatoes coming along, and it’s only about four inches tall!

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Cauliflower, eaten alive. I finally yanked them up.

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Part of the harvest from one day last week – cucumber, zucchini, pattypan squash.

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More cucumbers.

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And green beans, of course.

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We’ve been eating a LOT of oven-fried zucchini, squash, and green tomatoes. I used to use this recipe, but now I just mix equal amounts of cornmeal, flour, and parmesan cheese, and keep a container of it in the fridge at all times. We don’t keep buttermilk on hand, so I just use skim milk instead.

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Maxi likes to help in the garden.

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We had three broody hens, sitting on 18 eggs between the three of them. TWO eggs hatched, and both chicks decided this hen was their mother. (The second chick, a little yellow one, was under the hen’s wing when I snapped this picture.)

Last year we had a similarly miserable hatching experience and swore we’d never let broody hens sit on eggs when it gets this hot. But did we remember that this year? Of course not. Grrrr.

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Three little girly pigs, standing next to one of their wallows. I HATE that it’s got that gross green stuff growing in it, and whenever I go out there, I stir up the water with a long stick, but once the water settles, the green stuff is right on top again. It doesn’t bother the pigs, but I hate how evil and fluorescent it looks.

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“You has a cookie for me?”

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“COOKIES PLEASE.”

I made a movie of the pigs at cookie time. You’ll see that rather than shying away from Fred when he hands out the cookies, two of the girls would CUT each other to get their cookie first. As it turns out, the biggest pig is also the most gentle and patiently waits her turn. Good piggeh.

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George loves his rawhide bone.

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Happy pup.

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::chomp::

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Declan loves his Mama.

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Macushla.

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The Spice Girls love them some Macushla.

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Also some Declan.

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Please note that none of Finnegan’s paws is actually ON the floor.

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Hovercat.

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Your weekly reminder: Corbie is beautiful. That is all.

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Previously
2010: “He was skeery.”
2009: The shit that is PISSING ME OFF these days.
2008: I’ve warned Nance that the house is a pig sty, but I don’t think she believes me.
2007: No entry.
2006: Must be ’cause I’m so approachable.
2005: Hobbies.
2004: Fred calls Miz Poo “Musty.”
2003: He sighed. “Because everybody knows that 256 (the total number of pages in the book) is 2 to the 8th, which is 2 to the 6th times two squared, which is 64 times 4, so you should print four blocks of 64 pages.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Folks, it’s Dumbass Day.

6/29/11 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, June 29th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

So, a couple of you – several of you, really – noticed that Alice is not the teeny tiny miss she used to be.

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Truly, I don’t know when it happened – one minute we were talking about how small she was, and the next she was pretty much full-sized! I weighed her over the weekend, and she weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. (She also turned one year old on June 6th, which we completely failed to notice!)

Let me remind you, when the vet saw her at around 8 months old, she said she didn’t think Alice would get much bigger than 6 pounds. She was 4.5 pounds when we got her!

I guess it’s amazing what regular feeding will do.

A couple of you also thought – when I posted the picture of Maggie and all those babies nursing – that Coriander was Alice. Alice has no use for the little kittens, but I managed (with Fred’s help) to snap a few pictures of the two of them for comparison.

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Cori, swiping at Alice’s tail.

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Sharpening her claws… (That’s NOT a look of love she’s getting from Alice!)

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Her reaction after Alice smacked at her.

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Alice is all “Seriously?”

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::fume::

So there you go: Alice is now full-sized (maybe on the small side of full-sized – at least for now!), and she and Cori look like they could be mother and daughter. Or sisters. Or cousins. They resemble each other, is what I’m saying, but Alice is three times Cori’s size.

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One thing all the fosters we’ve ever had in this house have in common: they all eventually love to hang out by the back door! (That’s Macushla and Fergus Simon in the back, and Ciara hanging off the front.)

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“If I don’t look at him, this isn’t happening.”

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I love it when they sleep like this, all curled up in a sweet ball of unbearable cute.

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From the ham-mick to the scratcher!

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Jake likes to follow Cori around and stare adoringly at her.

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Cori’s not quite sure what she thinks of Jake, though.

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Miz Poo stays where she can keep a close eye on those kittens – and push them off if they get too close!

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Previously
2010: I was about to lose my shit, slam the gate closed, and yell at the chickens that they could just SUCK IT.
2009: Our dogs are awfully sweet and it amazes me that anyone could be scared of them, but I have to admit that when they bark with their serious bark, they can sound kinda scary.
2008: No entry.
2007: Gives new meaning to the term of endearment “shithead”, doesn’t it?
2006: No entry.
2005: I said “You shut up, motherfucker, or I’ll unleash my wifely instincts on you” and he said “Shut your unmaternal mouth, woman.”
2004: Wound report: It’s sensitive and weepy. Just like me!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have you ever felt like your hair looks like a really bad wig?

6/28/11 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, June 28th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

I went to Publix yesterday because I needed to pick up a few groceries (“No, really, Robyn! You don’t say! What a fascinating reason to go to the grocery store!”). In front of Publix, there was a wrought-iron table and chairs. I think they were selling that kind of furniture for a while and were down to just the one table.

As I headed from my car to the store, I noticed that there was a man sitting at the table, all kicked back and relaxing. What caught my eye, though, was that he was wearing a purple t-shirt with white letters on the front. Fred has a purple t-shirt with white letters on the front – I think it’s his “Does it look like I care?” t-shirt. Fred likes the snarky t-shirts, if I haven’t mentioned.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also like the snarky t-shirts. Please admire the latest addition to my collection:

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So it became, for some reason, very important to me to find out if it was, indeed, the same t-shirt that Fred possesses, but I didn’t want Mr. Kicking-Back-and-Relaxing to think I was staring at him or anything. I’d walk a few steps and glance over at him, then repeat it. That went well for a brief amount of time, but as I approached the building, I lost track of myself and eventually realized I’d been staring at him. I glanced away, and a moment later he said “Hello.”

“Hi!” I said, all perky-like, and smiled.

“I’m at Publix,” he said.

Which is when I realized he was on his cell phone and melted into the ground in a puddle of embarrassment.

(I never was able to tell if it was the same t-shirt or not.)

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I happened to read Swistle’s Baby Names over the weekend, specifically this post. I guess, after reading the comments, that I was one of the lucky ones in that no one objected what I decided to name the spud – though I’m pretty sure my mother lobbied for “Molly” at some point or another.

The spud’s real name is Danielle, for those of you who don’t know. Early on in the pregnancy I decided on Jessica and the spud’s father was okay with that (he was pretty easygoing on the subject). Then, not long before she was born, I heard or read the name Danielle somewhere and immediately changed my mind. Of course, I don’t think there’s anything TO object to in the name Danielle, but you never know. I don’t even remember what I was going to name her if she was a boy – possible Jeffrey. I liked Christopher, but my oldest brother had already used that. Actually, I think we’re a family of pretty good, solid names. Chris, Danielle, Brian, Mireya, Jeff (and Jordan for my great-nephew). The only slightly unusual name is Mireya, but even though I had never heard the name before (Spanish I think?) I thought (and still think) it was pretty.

(Though it is occasionally mispronounced as “Mariah.”)

Back before Fred and I decided we didn’t want to have any children together, we decided on the names Samantha Jayne for a girl and Seth Forrest for a boy. I still like those.

Anyway, before I went off on a tangent, all I meant to say is this: I’m pretty sure I’ll be naming a kitten “Everett Peppers” in the future, because I REALLY like that name for a kitten. Is that weird? If I get a litter of boy kittens, I’ll probably name his brothers “Henry Peppers” and “Waldo Peppers.” The Peppers Gang!

You have been warned.

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Cilantro (left) and Cori. Sweet snugglin’ sisters.

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Ordinarily, Clove would be there with them, but she must have wandered off. Probably harassing poor Maggie.

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Now Cori’s on the left and Cilantro’s on the right. They sure do like to move around.

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There’s Clove!

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Grumpy are we, Clove? Don’t like Cilantro’s tail over your face?

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Pile of McMaos.

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Such a happy, happy boy.

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I’m seeing all three Spice Girls, but only half the McMaos. Why, it’s practically a vacation for Maggie!

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Cillian (I think) on the left, Cilantro on the right.

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“MY stump.”

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Previously
2010: Look, when you’re woken up at 4 am by a screaming little kitten wanting to be let OUT of the horror that is a room fully stocked with food, water, and all the toys he could ever possibly want, I think a nap on the couch is warranted.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Hey! I’m not a complete idiot. Of course I know who Vernon Jordan is!”
2006: It was the weirdest hyper-real instant of cognitive dissonance I have ever experienced in my life.
2005: “Oh, look a finger! I feel so relaxed and unfrightened now…”
2004: Then I sang “Iiiiiiiiiiii am the Stuuuuuuuuump of Constant Sorrowwwwwwwwww!”, which amused Fred to no end.
2003: No entry.
2002: Readers, if you love me, you will never, NEVER allow someone you don’t know who isn’t a cop (ask for identification, and LOOK at it, don’t just glance at it) inside your home when you’re alone.
2001: No entry.
2000: Black widow. Lovely.

6/27/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, June 27th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

I would like to know what motherfucker thought it would be an excellent idea to plant bush beans this summer. What a fucking PAIN IN THE ASS it is to go down a row of those fucking things and find all the beans that are big enough to pick.

That motherfucker was me, by the way. I was all “Nah, let’s do bush beans this year instead of pole beans!” and Fred was all “But what a pain in the ass!” and then I was all “Well, I’ll take care of picking them. You always pick them when they’re too big and they get all stringy and shit.”

Spring Robyn is always FAR too happy to sign up Summer Robyn for shit like that, and as Summer Robyn, let me just say: Shut the fuck up, Spring Robyn, you fucking asshole.

Next year we’re doing pole beans (and no doubt Spring 2012 Robyn will be ALL too happy to sign Summer 2012 Robyn up to pick those fucking beans, too). Why do we grow so many goddamn green beans, anyway? Who loves beans THAT much? We always end up with ten tons of them in the freezer and have to eat them at every meal and by December we’re all “O goody. Beans again!”

Note, because I know someone out there is wondering and doesn’t know the difference (I sure didn’t before we had our own garden): bush beans grow in bushes so that the beans hide under the leaves of the plant. Pole beans grow up a pole or – in our case – a fence panel. The pole beans can still hide under the leaves of the plant, but you don’t have to spend as much time bent over, digging through the fucking plant to see them. Also, bush beans produce beans all at once and then stop, whereas pole beans keep producing them – thus, with bush beans the work of blanching and freezing (I don’t much care for canned green beans, for the record) happens all at once, but with pole beans the work is more spread out.

I’m sure next summer I’ll be bitching about the pole beans and swearing to do bush beans in 2013.

One thing I bought this year that has come in really handy is a garden cart, like this one (I bought it at Lowe’s, though). I was able to sit on that thing and scoot down the row of green beans rather than having to stand bent over. It was a lot easier on my back. It also came in handy when I was going down the row of tomatoes pruning and checking for early blight (which I haven’t seen since I sprayed for it twice).

Speaking of tomatoes, we’ve eaten exactly three cherry tomatoes. We have a bazillion green tomatoes that are inching ever closer toward ripening, and hopefully that’ll happen this century.

We’ve been eating the hell out of squash and zucchini – for dinner last week, we had scrambled eggs every night, with sides of veggies. Thursday night, I made pattypan squash stuffed with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash, roasted yellow squash, and sliced raw zucchini with ranch dressing for dipping. Oh! And leftover zucchini fritters. When dinner was over, Fred said “This is the most squash-centric meal I’ve ever eaten.”

The squash side dishes have just begun! ::evil laugh::

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Last week I got an email from Burpee exhorting me to start thinking about my Fall garden (seriously, wtf? It’s not even July, motherfuckers!), and one of the links in the email was to their selection of garlic. So I clicked on that to go over and see what was what with the garlic they had (I’ve never grown garlic before, but I’m thinking of planting it this Fall so it’ll be ready to harvest next summer. I love me some garlic.). A few days later, I got an email from them proclaiming that I could get FREE shipping on garlic.

Fucking stalkers. They could be a LITTLE more subtle about the fact that they were following me around the internet looking over my shoulder as I perused their site, no?

(I haven’t decided about the garlic yet. If I do plant some this Fall, I’ll probably get it from the local co-op.)

Speaking of, um, stinky veggies, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but this Spring I planted about 150 onions. Currently, I’ve got about 20 growing. I find that SO FUCKING ANNOYING. I love onions! (Between my onion and garlic love, don’t you wish you were kissing acquaintances with me?) Fred mentioned the possibility of doing a long raised bed next year for the onions, so that’s something to look forward to.

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All the kittens are doing well. It’s like a crazy house in here these days, with kittens hopping everywhere like fleas. It’s surprisingly quiet in the middle of the day, with them flopped everywhere sleeping – but wild little monkeys first thing in the morning and at dusk.

I weighed the Spice Girls over the weekend. Cilantro and Cori are both a couple of ounces over 2 pounds, and little Clove is at 1 pound, 10 ounces, so it’ll be a bit longer before they all go to be spayed. Fred reported that he saw Clove rooting around in Miz Poo’s belly fur, clearly looking for a nipple, and Miz Poo was not appreciative of this development, so hissed and smacked at her.

Poor Clove (but I can’t say that I blame Miz Poo!)

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Macushla’s in charge of guarding the food.

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Ciara, trying to latch on. Poor Maggie – she tries her best to ignore them when they do this. Eventually, she either gives in, or jumps up where they can’t get to her.

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Sleeping McMaos.

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There’s a bed RIGHT THERE, but noooo, he has to curl up in a miserable ball on top of my sewing basket. Weirdo.

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They’re so ridiculously long and lanky at this age.

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Okay, well, THAT looks comfy.

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So proud of herself for flinging that pink hat off her head.

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Cilantro, eye on the feather teaser.

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Planning her jump.

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Whoaaaa…. back she goes!

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Still swingin’!

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Clove in profile.

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Cilantro in profile.

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Her little smile just slays me.

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Maxi keeps me company when I do outside chores.

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Previously
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: You spoil them rotten until they get big-ass, then you slaughter and eat them, of course!
2007: Is it just me, or do these look like weirdly posed scenes, like something you’d see in the JC Penney catalog? I imagine a photographer yelling “Frick! You WANT him, you want him with every feather on your body, but Sugarbutt! You don’t even notice Frick, you’re just standing there being beautiful. Be beautiful, Sugarbutt! Be beautiful and feisty and unattainable, and Frick! Want him! Want him badly, but sadly, knowing that you can never have someone that beautiful. He’s out of your league! PERFECT!”
2006: The meals sucked, but we got t-shirts that were pretty cute, so I guess it all worked out.
2005: Can I sue for emotional distress?
2004: No entry.
2003: I never said I had a long attention span.
2002: You can imagine the zany situations.
2001: No entry.
2000: Beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.

6/24/11 – Friday

by @ Friday, June 24th, 2011. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

Have you ever read this blog? Her entry for Tuesday is hysterical!

And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles.

I read that earlier this week – and it made me laugh out loud. Can you think of anyone on earth who needs a giant metal chicken more than I do? I would put that thing on the front porch and it would scare all the door-to-door salespeople away. Or if they persisted on knocking on my door, I’d say, “Well, let me ask Alfred. Alfred, do we need supplemental insurance?” and I’d cock my head to the side as if listening to the chicken, and then say “Well, Alfred says we’re fine, but thanks anyway. Alfred! How rude! Don’t say mean things about this man’s tie. I’m sure he’s doing the best he can.” Also, I’d put Christmas lights on it. AND A WREATH AROUND ITS NECK.

Man. I wish I had a giant chicken.

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Have you seen this?

Cracks me up!

Yes! It cracks me up, too. (Also, that is one pretty, pretty cat.)

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I thought the first two pictures were of Alice, so then I continued to think that the calico was her, and was astonished to see her nursing. I had several seconds of, “WOW” before I remembered about the Spice Calico.

I think Alice would have to be sedated to be anywhere near Maggie. They don’t care for each other at all – but I kind of wish she would, if only for the picture-taking opportunities. Of course, Alice would lead to Elwood, and then Jake and perhaps Tommy, and then there’d be no Maggie left, she’d just be a dried-out husk in the middle of the floor!

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Don’t know if you’ve seen this video of a “barking” cat on CNN. I just watched it, could NOT believe that cat sounded exactly like a dog barking. When the cat sees owner approaching with video-cam, it switches to meowing. Amazing!

That is so neat! I thought at first it had to be a trick – like, there was a dog outside barking, but nope. That cat was barking!

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Oh! I think the show you were watching was “Too Cute” on Animal Planet? I saw it over the weekend. There was a Persian litter, an Abyssinian litter and a Bengal litter. Was that the one? If it was, did you see when they used the blow dryer on a brand new Persian? The poor widdle ting, with his lips in a little “o.” Oh, and “Tiny Dancer!”

That’s it! It was amazingly adorable – I loved the kitten being blown dry. And it made me realize something that should have been obvious: if I want to get cats accustomed to something, I need to start while they’re still teeny tiny. Thus, with my very next foster litter, I swear I’m going to take them on regular (short) rides in the car (in a carrier, of course), and then give them a treat when we get home. That way, they’ll link the car ride with something pleasurable, and won’t freak out about being in the carrier, in the car! Right? Right!

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I’m not going to cut and paste Elayne’s whole comment, but you can read it here. This section especially interested me:

I have known someone with a history of painkiller addiction who would have a glass of wine once every two or three weeks, whenever he and his wife went to dinner – just the one glass, because his wife enjoyed having a glass or two of wine but felt uncomfortable “drinking in front of him” if he wasn’t drinking.

because I’ve heard of this concept, where people are uncomfortable drinking in front of other people. I listen to the KATG podcast, and Chemda (“the Girl”) doesn’t drink and has said that people tell her they don’t trust people who don’t drink. What I want to know is, who are these people who CARE whether other people are drinking or not?

I will say that I immediately thought it might be like when I’m out to dinner and want dessert, but don’t want to be the only one eating dessert. BUT, if you have a glass of wine and your dining partner has a glass of Diet Coke or whatever, you’re both drinking something even if both drinks aren’t alcoholic (ie, if I get the chocolate whatever for dessert I’m not going to insist you also get the chocolate whatever, you can get the blueberry pie, as long as you’re eating dessert and not sitting there watching me eat mine), so what’s the difference?

Clearly I’m not a drinker at all, so maybe I just don’t have the right mindset to understand?

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I went to look at all his [Coltrane’s] pictures and ran into a little hitch – all the links to kitty pages go to private pages on flickr that cannot actually be seen. All links from here.

When I had to switch from self-hosting my pictures to having them all hosted at Flickr, I had to make it so that all the pictures I share (even the ones on the sidebar) link back to Flickr. So if you clicked on the picture to go to any of the cats’ pages, you would have gotten to a page at Flickr that wouldn’t allow you to see the source picture, because I had set them to private. There are links under all the pictures that actually go to each cat’s page – I hope! If anyone is still getting the private page at Flickr, please let me know. It’s kind of a pain, but I don’t want to chance being shut down by my host again!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I came here today to show you a website with cute kitties wearing ties

Father’s Day Ties.

SO cute!

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You did forget to address Jill, though! I probably like Jill the most, although she is also nosy. I’m so sad she had such drastic plastic surgery and now looks like she has Scotch tape pulling her temples toward the crown of her head. (Do you read Jay Mohr’s recaps on the Bravo website? They are HILARIOUS! Seriously, he is incredible, and boy does he hate Ashley.) Jay Mohr says that Ashley makes Eeyore look like Richard Simmons. Bwahaha!

I can’t believe I forgot about Jill! I have to say that this season, now that the Bethenny drama is over with, I find Jill less annoying and even occasionally entertaining. I love that she’s so nosy and doesn’t hesitate to ask ten million questions (as in Morocco!) But I wish she would never ever wear her hair pulled back into that tight ponytail, because I don’t think it’s a good look. I like it when her hair is down!

I have now read all the Jay Mohr recaps, and you’re right, he’s absolutely awesome, not LEAST because of his Ashley hatred.

I keep meaning to bring this up about the opening credits to RHoNJ – you know when Melissa’s in the cat suit for Halloween, and she makes the purring noise and then she does these odd jazz hands? Can someone explain to me what this is about, please? Because it makes me want to fly through the screen and decapitate her, it annoys me so much.

Did y’all see the OC “Lost Footage” episode? Because I have to ask: Did Gretchen really keep saying that she wasn’t a good “drawler” (instead of “draw-er”), or was I hearing wrong?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

BTW, I think I saw that guy in some funny YouTube videos. In fact I’m sure of it; and they were about cats. Too funny.

That would be the Professional Engineer’s Guide to Cats and Advanced Cat Yodeling.

Love that guy! (And his “assistant” TJ.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Wow! Elwood is one big (and kinda intimidating) boy, isn’t he?

He is 14 pounds of lurrrrrrrrrve. He looks intimidating, but really he’s a great big lovebug. Until you annoy him, in which case he will put the smack down. You be nice, he’ll be nice. He and Kara have a love-hate relationship. One minute they’re doing this:

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The next he’s chasing her around the back yard and she’s hissing at him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

When and why did you stop cleaning at Petsmart? Surgery related? Are you going to go back? Just curious! 🙂

Oh, it’s been a while, definitely before surgery. It just got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it, and it felt like a hassle to get up and go to Petsmart. Basically, I was hurrying through it instead of taking my time and playing with the cats, and I felt that they deserved better than that. I do occasionally fill in for other cleaners who are going to be out of town (though it’s been a while since even that), and I enjoy that.

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I just want to say thanks for still being around. Do you know that you are the very first blog I ever read?

Hard to believe I’ve been around for 11 years, isn’t it? I know that when I first started this site, I didn’t figure I’d to 30 days, let alone 11 (and a half!) years. So thanks for reading, all of you!

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I have one thing to say.

PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!!! 🙂

Would you believe, for once in my life I didn’t even think about grabbing the camera when I saw that pile. So, no cat vomit pics for you! (Everyone else: you’re welcome. Heh.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Did you notice that in the cat tree pic, one little monkey is in mid-air?!?!? LOL

Indeed I did! That’s Fergus Simon, and that describes his personality completely – he’s always flying through the air like a wild thing. Nothing slows this boy down.

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I keep on thinking that Coriander is actually Alice!! They have quite similar, gorgeous coloring, and are both small! 🙂

It’s my goal in the next week to get a picture of Cori and Alice side by side, so y’all can compare. They do have the same colors, but Alice is not nearly the tiny thing she used to be – in fact, I’d say she’s pretty much an average-sized cat now.

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Reminds me of a story here where a woman was arrested at a casino when someone found about 35 animals (cats, dogs, and kittens) in her CAR in the parking garage. She’d been kicked out of her apartment (go figure) and was using the casino’s computer to look for new housing. She’d cracked the windows of the car–this was in summer! None of the animals were hurt or harmed or sick from the heat.

I cannot imagine having, say, THREE cats in my car, let alone 35 cats, dogs, and kittens. Craziness!

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As for your (non-hoarded) cats and kittens, Robyn, I swear they get cuter everyday… or maybe that’s just the hats! I swear that Alice has become a full-size cat based on how big the collar power supply is. Is that true?

It really is – I’ll see if I can’t remember to weigh her in the next week so I can see just how big she’s gotten. I had kind of hoped that she’d stay tiny, but I guess she needed to get bigger to fit all that personality in!

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I went back looking because I remembered a video of him saying hi. Isn’t it nice to have videos to remember with?

It really is nice to be able to see him again and hear his voice. I actually posted two videos of him – one recent, and one from 9 months ago. I called them both “Coltrane says hi,” as a matter of fact!

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By the way, I noticed the traffic noise in the video of the baby robins. Is that “the” road? Sounds like there is quite a lot of traffic.

The road in front of our house is actually busier than you’d expect. It’s the main road leading to one of the area’s biggest employers, so at shift change there’s a lot of traffic. The tree is also very close to the road – here’s a shot from the end of the driveway. That tree near the mailbox is the one with the nest in it.

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And here’s a shot from the end of the driveway to the house (you can’t see the tree, but you can see the shadow of the tree on the ground).

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We’re closer to the road than I’d like to be – I’d actually prefer it if our house was at the very back of our property. I don’t love living on such a busy road, but if we didn’t live on such a busy road, we never would have seen this house and ended up living here.

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IS THAT A GUN in the picture of Newt in his Newt cave??? Do you really discourage outsiders to the farm that strongly?? 🙂
It looks like a pistol with a really long barrel, but then again, I’m from Englandshire, and I don’t think I’ve even held a real gun in my life!

That’s a shotgun. Here at Crooked Acres, the cats don’t take too kindly to strangers.

(I actually had a “the cat don’t take too kindly to strangers” doormat, once upon a time.)

Living in the country, someone (who is not necessarily me) feels safer with firearms with which to protect ourselves. Despite the traffic at certain parts of the day, we do still live out in the country, and some scary people walk past here on a daily basis.

So when I’m home alone and working outside in the garden, I almost always have a gun on me – though not THAT gun.

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I’ve never had to use the gun I carry, and to be honest I don’t know that I could shoot someone unless they were coming at me in a crazy-eyed crack-induced rage (or made a disparaging comment about one of my cats)(I kid!), but I know how to aim and fire it. I’m not the best shot on earth, but I could get the job done if I needed to.

(Are ya scared yet?)

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In the meowy Spice Girls video, I can distinctly hear two girls yelling for food, but then there’s one who has a teentiny adorable little squeak! Who is that? I almost melted from the sheer cuteness of whoever was going meep! ee-eep! meep! eep! meep!

That’s Cori!

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Not to be a busybody or anything, but in future years you’ll need a more hefty support for the grapevine. Think about vineyards in France with wooden fence posts and heavy wire supports — the vines get so heavy that they need that strength of support. Hope this helps. Thanks for letting me be a know-it-all.

Doodle, anytime you want to be a know-it-all, I’m listening. 🙂 I don’t know about needing a heftier support for the grapevines, though – we’re growing muscadines on a similar fence, and they seem to be okay.

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Though they are only about three years old. In any case, if we need something sturdier in the future, I’m sure Fred can figure something out. The main reason we planted grapes in the back yard is that we hope they’ll spread out along the fence and provide us with some privacy (the house next door is very close). If they get to be too much for the fence, we can always trim them back.

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This has been around several years. Have you seen it? I was able to download this song & it’s always on my playlist!

I had not; that’s very cool. And here I was all impressed with myself for cutting a few holes in a big box and getting Spanky to think it was pretty neat!

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Do you recarpet your cat trees? I have a couple that need it, and I have a nice piece of carpet my neighbor gave me when he recarpeted his bedroom, but I’ve never done it before. Do you take off the old carpet? Do you glue it down (what kind of glue?) or staple it or both? I figure if you don’t know, some of your readers will! 🙂

I have never recarpeted a cat tree, so I’m posting this in hopes that someone will have some words of wisdom!

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I bought a t-shirt from icanhascheezburger.com a couple months ago, and every time I wear it, it makes me think of poor little Maggie (and I laugh at the same time!). I’ve been meaning to post a picture of it for you for ages!

That is AWESOME! (And in Maggie’s case, SO true!)

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We were wondering when Maggie’s babies will go up for adoption?

They’re all set now – we’re just waiting for room to open up at Petsmart. Could be any day. I am going to seriously miss these guys when it’s time for them to go.

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Cillian’s just not sure…

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“Are you sure these Declan hats are all the rage in England?”

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Macushla in a basket!

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Looks like Cillian might have a touch of the Loony Jake about him.

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Declan’s a helper, making sure there are no groceries in that bag.

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I wonder if we could have fit a few more McMaos in that ham-mick.

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Cilantro on the scratcher, keeping an eye on her tail.

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Clove, batting cleanup. (In the morning, the Spice Girls get their snack upstairs in their room while I’m scooping litter boxes. Usually by the time I’m done scooping, they’re done eating, so I let them out. Then I go downstairs and give the McMaos their snack, and on this particular day, Clove wandered along and realized there were leftovers to be taken care of.)

Dorian suggested, a couple of weeks ago, using a muffin top pan to give the McMaos their snack. It works wonderfully (I usually put a couple of dabs of food in the middle in case Maggie wants to join in – which she doesn’t, lately.) and it’s a lot better than having to juggle an armload of dishes! Thanks, Dorian!

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Clove and Fergus Simon, in the cat bed under the table. That cat bed was originally on one of the chairs, but they kept knocking it down, so I gave up and left it there.

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Sweet Miss Cori, on the ham-mick in the kitchen. We have three ham-micks in this house, and that one’s the most popular by far.

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Sleepy Spices. (Front to back: Cilantro, Clove, Coriander.)

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She looks oh so sweet and innocent, doesn’t she? Don’t be fooled! (Clove)

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Loony Jake and Alice snuggle up.

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Previously
2010: “YOU BETTER KEEP THOSE KIDS QUIET OVER THERE. I KEEP MY KIDS QUIET, YOU DO THE SAME WITH YOURS, YOU HEAR ME?!”
2009: I don’t mind telling you that I’m ready to burn the goddamn house down.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: For the record, that’s the sort of thing that gives me a fucking stroke.
2004: Oh, Rayford Steele, you manly stud.
2003: Now, do I look like the kind of gal who enjoys hiking?
2002: Some people have wild sex dreams. I dream that I’m chatting with my husband and kissing him goodbye for the day. Somebody stop me!
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

6/23/11 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, June 23rd, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

P.A.W.S. Wakefield, an animal rescue shelter in Wakefield, Massachusetts, just rescued eight mothers and thirty-five kittens from one house (let me repeat: FROM ONE HOUSE) in Melrose, MA. They desperately need funds to get the cats spayed/ neutered and cared for,
and if there’s anyone out there in the Melrose-Wakefield, Massachusetts area, I’m sure they could use more foster homes, or adoptive homes for kitties! Their website is here, and you can donate here.

Y’all help out if you can, and help spread the word, please?

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No Crooked Acres pics today – it’s been kind of overcast and drizzly all week, which doesn’t lend itself to great picture-taking. There’ll be pics next week, I’m sure!

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The baby robins have moved on, it appears. Or they’re learning to fly – I went out to check the mail yesterday morning, and stopped by the tree to look in the nest. I saw no babies in the nest, but two robins were squawking and diving at me, so they may have been in the tree somewhere.

I did make Fred stop feeding the babies so we wouldn’t interfere with the natural course of things, but he insisted on going out to the front yard and tossing worms for the parents to snatch up and carry to their babies.

Those worms, let me add, were not worms he was able to dig up, because it’s been so dry here (well, at least until the last couple of days). They were worms that he bought at a convenience store (some convenience stores around here sell bait)(you know you’re jealous), which cost him $10.

Do you think I’ll be bringing up that $10 (FOR WORMS) every single time he tries to give me a hard time about money I’m spending on toys for the cats? Oh, yes indeedy I will. I look forward to it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

So, on Sunday I was out working in the garden. I was laying feed bags down around the peppers. Fred had been piling feed bags in the blue coop all year long so that come this gardening season, I could use them to block weeds. I carried 10 bags from the blue coop to the garden, carrying them up under my arm. I worked in the garden for a couple of hours, and when I was done, I was headed back to the house when my armpit started itching like crazy. I scratched at it a few times, but the problem is that half of my armpit area is still numb from the surgery I had in February, so even though it was itching, scratching it wasn’t really helping. Which was odd.

It itched for a while longer, and I asked Fred to look at the area and tell me what the hell was going on, but he couldn’t see anything. The itching finally went away. Sunday evening, it started to hurt, alternately aching and stinging. I actually took a hydrocodone to make it stop hurting and also because I figured it’d help me sleep.

Monday morning it was neither better nor worse than it had been the night before, so I decided to just keep an eye on it and go without a bra.

(What? The bra strap was irritating the swollen area. And any excuse to go without a bra, amIright?)

Tuesday morning, Fred looked at it before he left for work, and said he thought it was getting bruised-looking and that I should go to the doctor. I did – well, saw the nurse practitioner – and she prescribed an antibiotic and told me to come back if it got worse.

All this time, Fred had been INSISTING that I probably got a bite from a brown recluse, that there MUST be brown recluses living in the piles of feed bags in the blue coop, that my side was going to rot off. I would say, in fact, that he was disappointed the nurse practitioner didn’t insist I immediately check myself into the hospital and undergo lifesaving surgery (or whatever). He was also disappointed that it wasn’t anything that had to be lanced so that gallons of crap would come shooting out.

He was mostly disappointed, though, that he had to stop on the way home and pick up my antibiotic prescription for me because I didn’t want to wait around for it. (He was NOT disappointed that it was free, though. Gotta love Publix!)

As of last night, the swelling had gone down considerably. I think I’ll live.

Someone Fred knows was actually bitten on the cheek by a brown recluse. He had to have skin removed from his butt to replace the necrotic tissue caused by the bite. Gives a new meaning to “butthead”, no?

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Tuesday afternoon, I had to take Declan to the vet. I noticed that he wasn’t playing with the other kittens, all he wanted to do was lay in the cat bed near the back door and watch the kittens run by. He also seemed to be favoring one paw, and felt warm to me. He howled and howled on the drive to the vet, only quieting down when he realized he could crawl under the blanket in the carrier. Once he did that, I didn’t hear another peep from him.

The vet looked him over thoroughly – he did have a temperature – and couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with him. She prescribed antibiotics in case he had an abscess forming. By the evening, he was hanging out on the couch next to Fred, chasing his tail.

Tuesday evening, I made dinner. The veggies have started coming in from the garden, most especially zucchini. I decided to make baked zucchini fritters (I use plain panko bread crumbs, though, because I’m not crazy about the Italian herbs. Don’t look at me like that, I just don’t like them! I think it’s the basil. Did I mention don’t look at me like that?). Sooooo we were eating dinner, and Fred went into the kitchen to get something, and he called “She ate one of the fritters!”

“She” would be Maggie, who is pretty much a stomach on legs. I can’t blame her, she is letting nine kittens nurse, for the love of god, but it’s kind of annoying that if I even think about walking near the kitchen, she appears and gives me the bright-eyed hopeful look.

We’d stupidly left the leftover fritters on the counter while we were eating dinner, and Maggie saw her shot and took it. The problem is that there was not only onion but also garlic in those fritters, both of which are toxic to cats.

(Human foods to avoid feeding cats.)

Now, there wasn’t much onion in the fritter she’d eaten – the recipe calls for 1/4 of an onion, which was spread over 8 fritters – but I didn’t want to take any chances. I called the vet and talked to her, and she suggested that since it had just happened, we should try to make Maggie vomit. If we weren’t able to, we could check her red blood cells every couple of days to make sure there was no damage.

We grabbed Maggie and took her into the bathroom, then gave her 3 cc of hydrogen peroxide. She was surprisingly good about letting Fred shoot it down her throat, and then she paced around the bathroom, licking her lips and swallowing. After 10 minutes, we gave her another 3 cc, and then both left the bathroom to get some evening chores done. Five minutes later, Fred went to check on her.

“You have GOT to see this!” he yelled, and I went to see.

I’m pretty sure she vomited up everything she’d eaten over the past week. It was awe-inspiring, to say the least. And there, in the middle, was every bit of the fritter she’d eaten. She recovered pretty quickly, and by bedtime was back to her usual “You have food for me?” self.

For dinner last night, I made more fritters (we are seriously getting quite a bit of zucchini from the garden right now and we both like these fritters). This time, I made two without onion and garlic, and let her have one of them. It’s not anything we’ll make a habit of, but after making her vomit the night before, we figured she deserved a treat.

It’s always something around here, y’know?

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“Here, here, pass it here! PASS IT HERE!”

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“PASS IT TO ME, YOU STUPID CENTER!”

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So close, and yet so far.

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Doesn’t seem to bother her that she keeps missing, does it?

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Clove loves to stand there and watch Maggie lovingly as she eats.

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Clove.

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Coriander.

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Cilantro (couldn’t get her to look at the camera!)

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“Why yes, I AM sitting in the basket watching my brothers drink. What of it?” (Declan in the basket, Macushla front left, Finnegan front right)

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Have I mentioned that they love this cat tree beyond all reason?

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Ciara, up close.

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Macushla, up close.

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Fergus Simon and Finnegan. I love how FS has his big ol’ rabbit feet pressed against Finnegan.

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It’s time for your weekly reminder: Corbie is gorgeous. That is all.

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Previously
2010: All the fosters, ever.
2009: (A story we recounted, and I do not exaggerate here, at least five times over the course of the weekend.)
2008: Taking a few impromptu days off.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’ll try to drum up some drama for tomorrow, m’kay?
2004: (For the record, I do vacuum out there every couple of months…)
2003: A Day in the Life
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: I will be hurting bad tomorrow, though.

6/22/11 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

P.A.W.S. Wakefield, an animal rescue shelter in Wakefield, Massachusetts, just rescued eight mothers and thirty-five kittens from one house (let me repeat: FROM ONE HOUSE) in Melrose, MA. They desperately need funds to get the cats spayed/ neutered and cared for,
and if there’s anyone out there in the Melrose-Wakefield, Massachusetts area, I’m sure they could use more foster homes, or adoptive homes for kitties! Their website is here.

Y’all help out if you can, and help spread the word, please?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

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One of these things is not like the others….

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Two of these things just don’t belong…

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Can you tell which three things are not like the others…

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By the time I finish my song?

(You can click on the pictures to go to Flickr, where there are notes on each picture pointing out who the interlopers are!)

So yes, as you might have guessed, the Spice Girls have gotten the run of the house along with the McMaos. It is, let me tell you, utter madness. But it’s also kind of delightful. I let them out in the morning, and then at bedtime we put the McMaos in the guest bedroom and the Girls in the foster room. We discussed putting all of them in one room, but I think it’s best to keep them separate at night for now. A couple of the McMaos (Ciara and Macushla) were a little hissy at first, but they relaxed pretty quickly.

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Cori at the trough.

Let me tell you, I actually pulled all of those kittens off Maggie after a few seconds (before I snapped those pictures up there), because I was afraid she was being overwhelmed, but she gave me a dirty look and then called to the kittens to come to her. Who am I to interfere with her mothering?

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Maggie, in the window in the dining room.

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“What’s over HERE?”

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Macushla, with Clove snuggled up behind him. Yeah, I’d say he’s adjusted well.

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Coriander would like you to know that she’s no fluffhead. She’s got BRAINS in that head of hers, and she knows how to use them!

One day last week I was watching something I’d taped several weeks ago. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the show, but it had three litters of kittens, and followed them from birth to six weeks (?) old. At one point, there were baby kittens on the screen crying, and Maggie came in, all “WHY ARE BABIES CRYING! BABIES DO NOT CRY ON MY WATCH!”, and sweetness ensued. (Sorry for the length of the video, I do try to keep them to under a minute, but I am no editor!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

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Stinkerbelle keeps an eye on those kittens from her perch up high.

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Previously
2010: I’m always behind on everything always, is what I’m saying to you.
2009: The airport for the night, then.
2008: No entry.
2007: No Mister Boogers.
2006: No entry.
2005: Oh, the hilarity that ensues when your car and foster kitten have the same name! I could almost hear the laugh track in the background.
2004: PMS, anyone?
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001:No entry.
2000: Charmed life, have I mentioned?

6/21/11 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

P.A.W.S. Wakefield, an animal rescue shelter in Wakefield, Massachusetts, just rescued eight mothers and thirty-five kittens from one house (let me repeat: FROM ONE HOUSE) in Melrose, MA. They desperately need funds to get the cats spayed/ neutered and cared for,
and if there’s anyone out there in the Melrose-Wakefield, Massachusetts area, I’m sure they could use more foster homes, or adoptive homes for kitties! Their website is here.

Y’all help out if you can, and help spread the word, please?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Paula sent me the link to this page yesterday – Louis vs. Rick – and it made me cackle. He hasn’t posted anything since November 2009, but that certainly didn’t stop me from adding him to my Google Reader.

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So, recently I was laying in bed and wasn’t ready to go to sleep just yet, so I looked on my iPod to see what TV shows I had to watch. I went ahead and bought this season of Gossip Girl on iTunes, but I wasn’t in a Gossip Girl mood. I did have an episode of Private Practice – the one where Charlotte is, y’know. I don’t want to say, so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen this season.

I don’t watch Private Practice, but I’d read somewhere that that episode was a pretty powerful one, so I bought it, and then it sat on my iPod for lo these many months.

I blather these fascinating details to you so that I can then say that whatsherface, the surgeon who is McDreamy’s sister, mentioned to another character that she’d been drinking “a little too much” lately. And in an expository manner, it was revealed (though I’m sure that those of you who watch the show already knew this) that she is a recovering drug addict.

Which is when I was all, hold the phone here. Is it truly okay – an accepted practice – for a recovering drug addict to drink? I mean, to me it seems obvious that if I’ve got an addiction to drugs, I might fairly easily transfer that addiction to alcohol annnnd that could be a problem. No? What am I missing here?

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I didn’t drive the sweeper around the back forty yesterday morning because something bit me in the armpit when I was working in the garden on Sunday (some sort of bug, I mean – not like a rabid skunk ran up and bit me. Though that would be an excellent entry, wouldn’t it?), and wearing a bra is annoying because the strap rubs right on the swollen, bitten part, and also I took one step out the back door at 6:30 and it was already hot and muggy out, and I thought “I do believe I’m going to take this armpit-bite as an excuse to not do any outdoor work today.”

So I didn’t.

Which means now I gotta. Well, I don’t HAVE to, but I want to get it done and over with, so today’s the day. I’ll probably only do it for a couple of hours, though, since it’s supposed to get super hot again today and there’s no shade in the back forty. Since the back forty’s a decent distance from the neighbor’s house, I’m going to get started at about 7:00, I think. They shouldn’t be able to hear the lawnmower, but if someone stumbles out the back door and gives me a dirty look, I’ll wait ’til 9:00.

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2011-06-21 (3)
“You SEE what I have to put up with?”

2011-06-21 (1)
Fergus Simon’s goofy little face makes me laugh every day.

2011-06-21 (2)
“Why, it’s AMAZIN’!”

2011-06-21 (4)
“Yes, I’m wearing my tiny hat. What of it?” (Macushla)

2011-06-21 (5)
“Howdy, pardner.” (Ciara)

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2011-06-21 (12)
::thlurrrp:: Miss Cori.

2011-06-21 (6)
“Hello, I am beautiful.”

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I love it when they smile.

2011-06-21 (7)
Rough life, ain’t it?

We bought a cat tree for the foster room, and the girls really like it. At some point in the future, we’re planning on doing a kind of built-in tree with platforms attached to the wall and such, in which case we’ll move this tree somewhere else in the house. Kittens need cat trees, is what I think, and this one will do nicely for the time being.

2011-06-21 (8)
What’s funnier than a tiny cat on a little kitten? Nothing, that’s what.

2011-06-21 (9)
“I’m wearing my cowboy hat and you are not!”

2011-06-21 (10)
“I’m a cowgiiiiiiiirl!”

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2011-06-21 (13)
Alice, on the cement pad in the back yard.

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Previously
2010: Fred pointed out yesterday that the kittens are always free, but the puppies never are.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Needless to say, Maxi’s persona non grata when the chickens are present in the back yard from now on.
2006: The discerning decorator always considers that cats are decor accessories as well as beloved, spoiled-rotten pets and takes into account the decor of their home before adopting said animals.
2005: “If I can make four percoset get me high for the next year, you just might.”
2004: (Don’t lecture me, I KNOW. I swear I’ll wear sunscreen from now on okay, MOTHER?)
2003: No entry.
2002: Hell. O. Dolly. God in heaven, they were SO DAMN GOOD.
2001: Plus I’m taking this newfangled thing they call “pen and paper.”
2000: No entry.

6/20/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, June 20th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

In case you missed it, I posted an entry about Coltrane yesterday.

Thank you all for your kind words, here and on Facebook and Twitter. Even though Coltrane hadn’t been spending much time inside with us since the weather turned warm (he was briefly banned from the house after we realized he was spraying all over the place every time we let him in, but he looked so sad at not being allowed inside, that we relented because we are suckers. The boy had a bladder the size of Texas.), his absence is definitely felt. He was always so very happy to see us in the afternoon, when it was time to feed the pigs, and he’d follow us around and talk to us until we picked him up or at least petted him.

This is my favorite picture of him, from last September, though I didn’t post it yesterday because I was afraid he looked a little, um, not completely alive in it. (He was, though, he was just delirious with joy. He LOVED being held.)

2010-09-16-29

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So, the garden is coming along. Today I’ll be driving the sweeper all over the back forty to pick up as much as I can of the grass clippings out there. Then I’m going to dump them in the back of the trailer, and go a-sweepin’ some more. I hope I don’t pick up anything too gross (as that’s where the dogs poop and all), but you better believe I’ll be wearing my gloves when I handle those clippings, just in case.

Saturday I weeded around the watermelon and cantaloupes in the big garden (as opposed to my watermelon that are growing in the straw bale in the small garden), and then I put down feed bags around the first row of pepper plants to stop weeds from coming up. I used landscape anchor pins in each bag, to hold it down. I used plenty of those things, and I suspect that come this Fall when it’s time to pull them all up, I will be HATING myself. But at least the damn bags won’t blow all over the place.

Sunday, Fred and I put landscape fabric down around the watermelons and cantaloupes. Weeds will likely still be able to come up right around the plants, but unlike a couple of years ago – when the weeds around the plants were waist-high after a little bit of neglect, causing us to give up on them – the plants will have fabric to spread out on, and won’t have to compete with weeds for sun.

Fred went off to do other things around the property, and I finished putting feed bags down around the rest of the row of peppers I’d started the day before, and did the same on the second row of peppers. Then I started pruning tomato plants (just cutting off the lowest branches) and was about a third of the way down the first row when Fred came to see what I was doing. I asked him what time it was, found out it was 9:00, and that was all she wrote. I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t work outside after 9:00 in the summer.

So today I’ll spend as much time as I need to (EVEN if it means I have to work outside past 9:00! Gasp!) gathering clippings from the back forty. Then Tuesday I guess I’ll start dumping clippings on the garden. Perhaps I’ll take Wednesday off from this “gardening” nonsense. We’ll see.

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About those baby robins in the nest in the front yard. I told Fred what Doodle Bean said – that baby birds get all the water they need from the worms and bugs their parents feed them – so he stopped giving them water. However, it took a couple of days before he accepted that they were probably getting enough worms and bugs from their parents to keep them alive, so he fed them some more worms.

This time, I followed him with the camera.

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It was hard to make a video, because the nest is higher than I am, so I wasn’t quite sure if I was getting anything with the camera. I swear, I always thought that mama birds would eat the worms/ bugs and then vomit them back up into their babies’ mouths (or something gross like that) and I even told Fred that if he truly loved those birds he’d do the same (hee), but these babies sucked down the worms like they’d been doing it all their lives.

(I did make Fred stop feeding them. They seem perfectly healthy and active, and it’s better to let their REAL parents take care of them.)

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2011-06-20 (5)
“OH MY STARS! Doesn’t ANYONE ever vacuum this room? Look at this mess!”

2011-06-20 (6)
“::sigh:: And the MIRRORS!” Look, I clean them all the time! If these kittens would just stop sticking their noses on them!

2011-06-20 (7)
Clove takes notes on this “cleaning” business in case there are any tips she can pass on to me.

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Maggie wonders how she ended up in this room again, this time with three babies instead of six. Why, it’s like a vacation!

2011-06-20 (4)
I love Cilantro’s crazy little face.

2011-06-20 (3)
Maggie continues to clean whilst waiting to be let out.

2011-06-20 (2)
Hmm. I wonder if I could train her to sit up like this for a snack?

2011-06-20 (1)
Cilantro and the teaser.

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2011-06-20 (16)
Ciara in the sun. She knows she’s a pretty girl.

2011-06-20 (15)
Fergus Simon’s serious little face always cracks me up.

2011-06-20 (14)

2011-06-20 (13)
Newt’s keeping an eye on the kittens from the Newt Cave. The kittens aren’t sure whether it’s safe to approach or not.

2011-06-20 (12)
Finnegan wonders if perhaps it might be time for the snuggle?

2011-06-20 (11)
Sleepy Declan.

2011-06-20 (10)
Ciara really likes the cedar scratching post.

2011-06-20 (9)
Macushla gets a little time to himself.

The McMaos are still nursing – TRYING to nurse, I should say – and Maggie puts up with it for a bit, then decides they’ve had enough. Yesterday, Maggie was following me around in hopes that I might be overwhelmed with the desire to give her food, and she was in turn being followed around by Finnegan and Fergus Simon, and every time she stopped, they tried to nurse with her standing there. It was too funny.

One day last week she let them nurse briefly, and I happened to have the camera at hand. So I made a video, of course! (Please note: all that stuff was on the floor because Maggie knocked it down and I hadn’t had a chance to pick it up.)

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2011-06-20 (17)
Tommy in the back yard. I love it when they lay like this!

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Previously
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: This weekend I’ll probably give vacuuming a try and give the Roomba a break.
2007: And since it’s still muddy in the garden, no weeding for me again today. Darn!
2006: “Save your breath,” I said, gasping for air. “I don’t believe a word you say, you lying liar.”
2005: “Spot caught a copperhead!”
2004: No entry.
2003: Poor Gram.
2002: Oh, quit with the gasps of horror.
2001: Lynn is very very nice, but as I’ve mentioned, she doesn’t appreciate the beauty of silence.
2000: I was giving out dirty looks left and right, let me tell you.

6/19/11 – Coltrane.

by @ Sunday, June 19th, 2011. Filed under Crooked Acres, Life

2010-07-22-28
Coltrane.
2006ish – June 19, 2011.

Somewhere in his travels between our house and his other home, in the early hours of this morning, Coltrane wandered too close to the road and was hit by a car.

We buried him in the spot where he liked to hang out the most, beside the garden shed. He loved to nap there in the sun.

We’ll miss him an awful lot, especially in the evening when it’s time to feed the pigs. If we never saw Coltrane at any other time, we knew we’d see him then. We’d hear the undergrowth rustling, and he’d slink out to keep us company, talking with his distinctive high-pitched voice. We only knew him for about a year, but it seemed like he’d been part of the Crooked Acres landscape forever.

He was an absolute sweetheart and we are all the better for knowing him, even if only for a short time.

2010-06-21-02

2010-11-17-09

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2011-01-12-17
Goodbye, sweet boy.

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