7/1/11 – Fridayyyyyyyyyyyyyy

New month, new banner! Another great banner from the talented Christine. Thanks, Christine!!! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Just wanted to say I just spent an hour in the hot, hot sun picking green beans. (I was … Continue reading “7/1/11 – Fridayyyyyyyyyyyyyy”


New month, new banner! Another great banner from the talented Christine. Thanks, Christine!!!

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Just wanted to say I just spent an hour in the hot, hot sun picking green beans. (I was volunteering with a harvesting group.) Oh my, what a PITA that was. I have newfound respect for you.

To be fair, I do my picking before the sun comes up, for I am a delicate flower. Also, I’m on antibiotics, so I’m supposed to stay out of the sun. Also also, I have a rolling cart that I sit on and roll along the row (my back thanks me), so really my picking is a lot easier than yours, it sounds like! But it’s borrrrrrrring. Thank god for podcasts to listen to!

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How old are the kittens? I thought they should be done with nursing after 2 months.

They are THREE months old as of Saturday, can you believe that? And yes, they should have been done with nursing long ago, but it looks like they’re going to be nursing as long as Maggie puts up with them. I actually have a movie of Kara’s babies, at 16 weeks old (!), still nursing!

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And here’s something for you to think about when you’re groping through those damn bean bushes: snakes just luuuurrrve to hide out under them. Trust me, I speak from personal experience.

I ain’t skeered of no snakes! Actually, it’s kind of odd, but I haven’t seen a snake in the garden. YET. Of course, now that I said that, I’m sure I’ll see 73 of them the next time I go out there.

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The fate of Summer Robyn reminds me very much of this post about Future Kate.

HA. I love it!

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I planted an heirloom tomato plant. Ripe, they’re green with yellow stripes. I have no idea how to tell when they’re ripe because they develop the stripes very early. Any tricks?

I also planted ancho chili peppers and cilantro, I’m awaiting some heirloom tomato salsa later this summer 🙂

My only thought is that ripe tomatoes are easier to pick than green, so if you try pulling them off the vine and they pull off easily, then they’re ripe? Maybe? Honestly, I’m hoping someone out there has words of wisdom. Readers?

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Is the camera you use one with a lot of bells and whistles? I like the “point and shoot” cameras but the close up pictures you get are so clear that I have a feeling I’ll have to dish out some bucks to get one that good. 🙂

The camera I use most of the time is a Sony Alpha A100 with a… um. A 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens. (I had to go get the camera to figure out what the lens is.) It is a camera that really outweighs my capabilities and many many bells and whistles. I have two books that supposedly will teach me how to use it properly, but my good lord do books about how to use cameras bore the everloving snot out of me. (The only thing I find more boring is books about writing.) Also, the information refuses to stick to my brain cells. It’s like the information is made of Teflon and slides right off my brain and out my ears.

That camera was expensive, yes. Just seeing how much the lens cost makes me want to cry. I don’t think that you have to have the big fancy camera to get good pictures, though. I also have a smaller Sony, the DSC-W300, that I use to shoot videos and get pictures of kittens who prefer to be on me (which makes it hard to get a decent picture with the bigger camera!). It was with the W300 or possibly the camera I had before that (I don’t remember which one it was, it had a lower megapixel – but it was definitely a Sony) that I took these pictures with, and I think they’re pretty good.

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What’s most important, no matter what kind of camera you have, is that you be willing to mess with the settings, and be willing to take a LOT of pictures to figure out what settings work for you!

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Seeing the first picture of this post this morning made me remember that I had a dream about you and your sweet kittens last night! I was cuddling kittens and telling you that I can’t tell which is which, except for Ciara. Which is true, but I love them anyway!

How obsessed with your blog do I have to be to dream about it at night?

Aww, surely not THAT obsessed. Really, they’re so cute, how can you NOT dream about them!

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Is it just the camera and lighting, or is Clove growing up to have tiny bits of Calie-Tabby in her fur? I’ve seen mostly brown ticked females like that before, mostly brown tabby but with hints of orange or gold in a few places.

She does seem to have several splotches of goldish orange on her, especially on the back of her head and some spots on her back. When we first got her, those splotches seemed to be a golden brown color, like Corbie has, but the older she gets, the more orangey they seem to be.

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The picture of Alice and Jake reminds me of some comic book or cartoon with Alice being the smart one trying to take over the world and Jake being her looney sidekick. Very Pinky and The Brain.

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Alice and The Loon!

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Did that big Amazon box Spanky is in originally arrive with cat toys in it? 😉

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Noooo, that would be silly! I don’t get cat toys from Amazon!

(I do not think we could fit even half the cat toys in this house in that box, though. Shhh, don’t tell Fred!)

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I was wondering, Coltrane looks like a bigger cat, how much did he weigh? Since he was an outside cat, did he get along or socialize with any of the other cats or animals in the yard? It looks like he had some sort of rivalry with Maxi at least.

I would say that he was about Joe Bob’s size, and Joe Bob weighs almost 12 pounds. He was long and lean and pretty tall (that sounds like a country song!). Maxi is kind of a small-framed cat, so being next to her might have made Coltrane look even bigger than he was.

He got along really well with other cats, as long as the other cats got along with him. Maxi hissed and smacked at him if he got too close, so he’d hiss back, but Maxi hates all the other cats except Newt (and sometimes that’s debatable). I think that if she weren’t such a brat, he would have gotten along fine with her. I know that he snuggled with Jake from time to time when he was in the house, and he liked (or at least tolerated) the kittens. Really, he was an all-around good boy!

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I was wondering if your male cats ever “mother” the kittens? My three male cats have taken to kitten raising like, well, a cat to catnip! My 14 yr old cats follow the young’uns around the apartment and bathe and cuddle with them. of course, the kittens were younger (4 weeks) but they still all sleep together now at this age (they are 4 days older than the Mcmaos).

I wish so so SO much that one of my boy cats would step up and mother the fosters who wander through here. The only cat who comes closest is Jake, and he doesn’t so much mother them as play with them like an older brother.

I envy you your boys who are clearly in touch with their mothering side!

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I was wondering, what is it like when you and Fred eat dinner? When my fiance and I eat dinner at our house, we each have one arm scarfing food in our mouths and the other pushing at least one of our two cats away. When they finally “give up,” they sit there and Stare. So of course, I have to wonder what it’s like at your house with much more cats around!

Now, y’all know that I am a pushover when it comes to my kitties. However, when it is breakfast/ lunch/ dinner time, I do not tolerate the nonsense. When I am eating, I keep a can of compressed air next to me, and if ANY cat in the house starts with the “OH MY GOD I AM STARVING DO YOU HAVE FOOD GIVE ME SOME FOOD I AM DYING DYING DYINNNNNNNNG” hysterics, I shoot a blast of air in their direction (never directly at them, just enough so that the noise startles them a bit) and they immediately back off. At this point, they’ve all learned to leave me alone while I’m eating, and if they forget themselves, I remind them with a quick blast of air.

You don’t have to use compressed air – you can use a squirt bottle of water or a can of pennies, or whatever works for you. The most important thing is to BE CONSISTENT.

I figure, I don’t come complain at them when THEY’re eating, so they don’t need to complain at me while I am!

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Aww! So are Fergus Simon and Clove the new cat couple? Good mix: he is mild to her spicy. I read it in the Encaterer.

I have to say, the McMaos and the Spice Girls have integrated really well. There was some hissiness from a couple of the McMaos at first, but now they eat together, play together, and sleep together. The only thing they don’t do is spend the night together, and that’s only because I figure they can use a break (and 10 cats is an awful lot to cram into the guest bedroom!) Fergus Simon, Macushla, and Finnegan spend the most time curled up with the girls, but all the McMaos have been spotted snuggled up from time to time. It’s just a big lovefest!

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“Stomach on legs” YESSSS that’s the term I’ve been looking for to describe my Maine Coon kitteh. She is a year old and only 6 lbs. Was a stray brought in off the street. Loves tomatoes, lemons, pickles (no onion/garlic), bread, beer, strawberries, avocado, you NAME it, she eats it.

Yesterday, I got groceries. As soon as I got home, I put alllll the groceries away while Maggie followed me around in hopes that I would give her food. I realized I’d left my purse in the car, and went out to get it. I was gone PERHAPS two minutes. By the time I got back inside, Maggie had discovered the pack of tortillas I’d stupidly left on the counter, chewed a hole through the plastic, and ate a small piece off of every single tortilla, thus making them not fit for human consumption (I do not care for the idea of cat spit on my food).

I have to make sure not to leave ANY kind of food on the counter – in a package or no – because she’ll give it a try. Drives me crazy!

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I have a cat that tries to bury his food bowl. He is a messy eater so I have his bowl on a placemat, but he will try to cover the bowl with the placemat-sometimes for 5 minutes straight. I looked it up online and it said that cats in the wild may try to bury their food so they can come back later to eat it. I have tried everything to stop him from doing it-it drives me crazy and he ignores everything around him when he does it. Have any of yours had this problem?

I’ve definitely had cats who try to bury their food bowl! When Maggie was in the foster room with her kittens, she’d almost always cover their food after they ate; once she dragged a cat bed across the room to cover it. It is definitely an instinctual thing, the kittens do it, too.

I ended up putting a (clean) cleaning rag near their food every day so that she could drag it over the food and be satisfied that it was covered. Then, if the rag had food on it, I’d toss it into the hamper and put another rag down for her at the next mealtime. It worked out pretty well!

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Maggie is a saint. How is she getting along with the resident kitties?

She’s got to be the most laid-back mama cat I’ve ever seen. Strike that – the most laid-back cat ever, mama or no. As long as no one is threatening any of the kittens, she has no issues with any of our adult cats. She hasn’t tried to make friends with them, particularly, though I’ll occasionally see her touch noses with them, and they’re pretty relaxed about her, too.

I actually saw her PLAYING with one of her kittens yesterday, and that’s the first time I’ve seen her playing since before the kittens were born. I think right now she’s so focused on getting food in her belly that she can hardly think of anything else.

I weighed her the other day – she weighs 7 pounds, 14 ounces, which is one ounce more than what Alice weighs. She actually weighs less than Kara, and Kara’s a much smaller-boned cat.

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we need advice…Just rescued a 6 week kitten, female. She’s in a dogpen separated from our other cat (who needs his shots up to date). She appears to use the litter box but DOES NOT cover her poo! any advice? Kitten v. healthy, we adopted thru our friend the AC officer, so everything has checked out otherwise, except a superyoung kitty livin’ on the mean streets….

I do not have any advice here at all, so I’m hoping someone out there does – if you’ve got advice on training a cat to cover their poo, please speak up. Sugarbutt also does not cover his, and I’m pretty sure the gates of Hell are located in his bowels.

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Just curious as it seems you have such a menagerie of animals — do you guys have any ducks/geese?

We do not have any ducks or geese. Ever since the day Fred and I were feeding geese at the UAH lake and a geese bit me on the butt, I have not cared for geese. We’d like to have ducks, but we don’t have a pond for them. We want to get someone out here to dig a pond for us in the back forty (so that the back forty doesn’t flood all winter long), but that hasn’t happened yet.

The irony is that there actually WAS a pond here when we moved in – it was located behind where the back yard is right now. But it dried up, and we decided to have it filled in and now we’re regretting it.

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I love all the photos, but that chicken flock pic is great! Is that the entire flock?

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That’s not the entire flock – I’d say it’s maybe half the flock. Some of the chickens were under the coop hanging out, and I think some were out toward the back of the back 40, and the rest were probably in the pig yard (they love the pig yard!). Fred estimates that we’ve got 50 – 60 total chickens.

Are those chickens eating popcorn?


Yep (you can really see the popcorn when you blow the photo up in Flickr). So, Robyn bakes cookies for the piglets and, apparently, makes popcorn for the chickens. That farm is animal heaven!

::sputter:: I don’t make popcorn for the chickens! Ha ha, that would be, why that would be craziness! That was leftover popcorn from Fred’s snack the night before, and he always saves the extra for the chickens.

Oh, OKAY. I USED to pop popcorn for the chickens. In fact, at some point in the past I bought a 50 pound bag of popcorn kernels at Sam’s. I popped so much popcorn at once, that the top of the air popper melted. Chickens are so funny when you give them food that they love (tomatoes!) that I always want to give them lots of food they love. I’m a sucker, what can I say?

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All six McMaos and all three Spice Girls are present and accounted for!

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Maggie and the Spice Girls. This is like a vacation for her!

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Spice Girls at the milk bar.

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Finnegan’s face is cracking me up. “THIS ARE MY SPOT YOU GO AWAY.”

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I should just squeeze Clove ’til the marshmallow Fluff comes out her ears, shouldn’t I?

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Such a happy girl.

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Poor Maggie.

But let me tell you a quick story: the other day all the kittens were devouring Maggie ALIVE, and so I pulled them off her, and I took her into the guest bedroom, where there’s a bowl of the really good kitten food on top of the dresser. I put her there, and not ten seconds later, she was back in the kitchen calling to the kittens. She can’t hate it too much, is what I’m saying.

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Nothin’ happier than a Loony Jake.

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2010: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2009: Mister Boogers.
2008: I find that I’m filled with hatred a lot these days.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: That Tom Cruise. What a fuckin’ loon, huh?
2004: Jesus christ. After almost five years of marriage, wouldn’t you think he’d KNOW that there are only two ways to answer that question?
2003: And then she vaulted her portly ass across me to say good morning to him, cracking three of my ribs in the process.
2002: We went to see Minority Report on Saturday, and though I really liked it, I did NOT enjoy sitting next to Billy Bob ShutTheFuckUp, who was compelled, when not clearing his throat loudly and phlegmily, to remark upon each and every plot point.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.