7/29/11 – Friday

Hey! Do you live in or near the Orange County part of New York? Were you just saying to yourself “I sure do need a sweet little brown tabby and white kitten to love and hug and call George”? Or were you like “I think Mom needs a kitten so she won’t be so lonely. … Continue reading “7/29/11 – Friday”

Hey! Do you live in or near the Orange County part of New York? Were you just saying to yourself “I sure do need a sweet little brown tabby and white kitten to love and hug and call George”? Or were you like “I think Mom needs a kitten so she won’t be so lonely. I should get one for her!” ? Well, fret no more. This little monkey needs a home. Go check him out!

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Sweet pickled jalapenos??? Is there such a thing??? Where can I get the recipe?? :0)

There is! And you can get the recipe right here!

Sweet Pickled Jalapenos

4 c. sliced jalapeno peppers
4 c. onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced thinly

Pickling liquid:
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp celery seed
3 c. sugar
2 c. cider vinegar

Combine all pickling liquid ingredients. Bring to a hard boil. Add veggies; bring to a boil again and seal in hot, clean jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

*Notes: I don’t always use an equal amount of jalapenos and onion – it all depends on what I have on hand. Same with the bell peppers.

The printable version is over yonder.

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My daughter’s new BF came over last night for a meet and greet, during which we learned that in addition to his mother having a nasty-ass Chihuahua and his having an iguana, they also raise chickens. Without even thinking I asked if they raise them for freezer camp. That brought the conversation to a screeching halt while everyone stared at me. Turns out they raise the chickens for eggs. FINE, THEN! WHATEVER! It was a perfectly rational question! Geez. Kids today.

What I love about “freezer camp” is that it’s self-explanatory! Heh.

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Fried green tomatoes seem to be an American thing. I know I could google recipes but they wouldn’t be And3rson endorsed so is there any chance of you posting or linking to the recipe you use for oven fried green tomatoes? Downunder, we seem to only eat our tomatoes red and I’d love to try the green version.

Any current fosters that Fred knows by name?

I use this recipe right here (be sure to read the note at the bottom for an update). I keep a container of that breading in the fridge all summer long, and it makes oven-frying super easy. Love the oven-fried veggies!

Fred calls the current fosters “Maggie’s baby” (Ciara), “AJ/ Alice Junior” (Coriander), “The Brown Tabby” (Clove), and “Not the Brown Tabby and Not AJ” (Cilantro). So I’d say, no. He doesn’t know any of them by name! He thinks they’re at the perfect age, though, I can tell you that.

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You know, sometimes it’s tempting to glamorize your Crooked Acres life — it sounds really lovely, and I often think about how nice it would be to have such a big nice garden or keep chickens or live out in the country. And then you go and write about those goddamn spiders, and I realize, NEVER NO WAY UH-UH STAYING RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Well DAHHHHHHHHHHHLING, not every can handle such a glamorous life. 😉 (Glad to help out!)

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Robyn, enjoy this article I read today about a man possibly killed by 19 black widow spider bites. You’re welcome!

You are eeeeeeeeeeeeevil. (Fred swears that Black Widows don’t come into the house. Uh huh.)

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I see your brown recluses and black widows and raise you… WOLF SPIDERS. They often hang out in our sprinkler box and HOLY HELL they give me a serious urge to grab a shotgun. Check this shit out. They’re not poisonous but that doesn’t matter ONE BIT.

UGH. My metaphorical testicles just crawled up inside my body. Those things look like they’re practically big enough to roast over an open fire. GAH.

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The New York Times has a “Think Like a Doctor/Medical Mystery” column that can be pretty interesting. They had one a couple of weeks ago about a mysterious ailment in a gardener that turned out to be a black widow spider bite. It was fascinating. If it doesn’t squick you out too much, check it out:

The mystery.

The followup.

That is simultaneously interesting and creepy! I’ve always heard (well, from Fred, anyway) that Black Widow bites are particularly painful – that even if it doesn’t kill you, you’ll wish you were dead.

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Ugh. I just read on Wikipedia about a case in Kansas where 2000 brown recluse spiders were removed from a house in Kansas. The 4 people living in the house had never been bitten, though. Two THOUSAND! Man, I just gave myself the shivers.

I had to go look that up, and let me quote from this page:

(In 2001, more than 2,000 brown recluse spiders were removed from a heavily infested home in Kansas, yet the four residents who had lived there for years were never harmed by the spiders, despite many encounters with them.[12]) The spider usually bites only when pressed against the skin, such as when tangled up within clothes, towels, bedding, inside work gloves, etc. Many human victims of brown recluse bites report having been bitten after putting on clothes that had not recently been worn or lying undisturbed on the floor.

Just CREEPY. The thing I find most repulsive about Brown Recluses is that they’re so LEGGY. They’re like all LEGS and I cannot abide a leggy insect. Gah.

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Do you ever get nervous/annoyed having random strangers stop in for eggs? God, I hate it SO MUCH when anyone comes to my door for any reason whatsoever.

I’m usually more annoyed than anything, and nine times out of ten, if someone pulls into the driveway and I see/ hear them in time, I’ll go hide in the center of the house so I don’t have to deal with them. I don’t take too kindly to strangers, y’know. But the times when I’m outside when someone pulls in, or the driveway alarm doesn’t go off and I don’t spot them until I glance over to the side and they’re standing at the bottom of the stoop and I’m stuck having to deal with them, it’s actually not so bad. It doesn’t happen a LOT, thankfully.

I never ever ever answer the front door if someone knocks if I can help it, because no one who’s been here would ever come to the front door. We always use the side door, so anyone knocking on the front door is going to be a stranger, most likely trying to sell me something.

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Could “yeff” be yes?

It’s possible, but I got the impression that “yeff” was what he wanted rather than a response to my asking if he wanted eggs. Someone suggested that perhaps he was trying to say “Ouef” (French for “eggs”), which I suppose is also possible. I think what I need to do is actually take a Spanish class so I can communicate at least in rudimentary Spanish with our egg customers!

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I just read about purslane on Suzanne’s site. Have you eaten it yet? It sounds… interesting. We have had it growing in the flowerbeds here and I have been pulling it out and ditching it for years. It is pretty when it first starts but then takes over so quickly.

We have eaten some purslane, and it was pretty good. We ate it raw in a salad, and I’ve also stir-fried it with onions in a little olive oil, and it was good both ways. I may try planting it in the big garden next year (was it on Suzanne’s site where I read that it’s a good companion plant for corn?), because the raised bed is really too small to grow a decent amount. I’m impressed at how tenacious it is, actually. I cut it down to the dirt several weeks ago, and it just grew back bigger and bushier than before.

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The picture of Joe Bob and Ciara made me think of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. LOL.

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HA! Yeah, I can definitely see that.

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So wasps DO have a useful purpose in life? They eat other nasty insects? Who knew?! Seriously, I thought they existed just to sting us and maybe provide food for birds.

I figured they existed just to dive-bomb my head and make me run around in circles like a big baby!

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I bought that “kiss my ass” magnet last weekend in Las Vegas. My icebox is now nearly completely covered in irreverent, sarcastic magnets. It’s taken years to collect them but I can’t imagine having a magnet-free icebox.

I love a good sarcastic magnet!

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Yikes, big waspy scary bug thing! Have you tried www.whatsthatbug.com? They might be able to tell you what it is. I think it’s skeery and am glad you posted teeny pictures!

I went and looked, and have decided that it might be a red paper wasp, only the back end on “my” wasp is darker than the rest of its body, so I sent in a picture and asked for help. If they get back to me, I’ll be sure to let y’all know!

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I have a kitten who is roughly the age of the McMaos, maybe a week older. I also have 2 older cats, a 7 year old and a 14 year old (my Miz Poo clone). The kitten has had free reign of the house for about a week and a half now.

Boundaries between the kitten and the 14 year old are well established — the 14 year old is a hisser/growler/spitter, and the kitten has learned to keep his distance.

The problem is with the 7 year old (Tashi). The kitten follows her around like a shadow, always poking at her and trying to jump on her. Tashi has started growling and hissing more, but the kitten isn’t really getting the hint and it’s stressing Tashi out. Poor girl feels like she has to hide all the time.

Any suggestions for getting the kitten to back off a bit? I’m hoping Tashi will start to be more aggressive and assert herself and that the kitten will start to get into a normal routine, but in the meantime Tashi looks like she needs a valium. If I’m home I can mediate a bit, but I’m out of the house at least 3 days a week.

Help, oh guru of kitty integration!

When you originally introduced the kitten to the other cats, did you do it gradually, or did you just kind of let him have the run of the house? Because I’m thinking that you might want to go back a few steps and keep the kitten contained in a room by himself and introduce him slowly. You also might want to try Feliway (I don’t know that it really makes a lot of difference in our house, but some people swear by it), and possibly also some Rescue Remedy for Tashi might help chill her out a bit. Other than that, I’m kind of at a loss, so I’m tossing this out for others to chime in on! (Make sure you check the comments at Love & Hisses, too, I’m going to post it over there as well!)

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Spanky looks SO SOFT and fluffy. Is he?


Spanky, as you all probably know is my favorite. He looks so soft. Is he a lap cat? Actually I prefer a side cat. Meaning I like to have a sweet kitty cat laying next to me on the couch.

Spanky has very silky fur which makes him a pleasure to pet. I also think he has the prettiest eyes, they’re such a lovely sea green.

He’s not a lap cat at all, though every once in a while if you’re snoozing on the couch he’ll settle in between your legs so that you’re stuck in one position for the duration of your nap, whether you like it or not. Most of the time he prefers to sit next to you, and if you’re not paying enough attention to him, he’ll touch his cold nose to your hand or leg – or any exposed skin, really – until you give in.

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I loved Gus and his floof, I wonder if he is still as floofy?

I suspect, given the amount of ear floof he had, he’s probably still just as floofy. Here’s a shot of him when he was less of a wee kitten, and it cracks me up because of the ear floof:


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Pancho has the Mark of Zorro in his ear!


Somehow I’ve forgotten about Pancho….maybe you could refresh my memory your Friday post? I’ve never had a solid white cat! No idea why not, except that all my cats have been strays, and a white cat just never wandered into my path. In my neighborhood most cats are either black or grey tabbies.

Pancho was one of Los Gatitos, a litter of white cats (their page is here). They were only with us very briefly – July 15th – 23rd, 2010 – and were given Spanish names because their date of birth was guesstimated to be May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. Pancho had two green eyes, his brother Hermano had two blue eyes (he wasn’t deaf, as some blue-eyed white cats are), their sister Evita had green eyes, and Sofia had one blue and one green eye.

The kittens had numbers written inside their ears at the vet’s office so they wouldn’t be mixed up, and Pancho was number two, which explains the Harry Potter lightning bolt inside his ear!

We have only seen one white cat come through here – yesterday, Fred looked out the side door, and said “We don’t know that cat, do we?” I looked, and there was a white cat casually laying under the truck. When I opened the door, the cat looked over, got up, and moseyed off. I suspect he belongs to someone in the neighborhood, but if he shows up again, I’ll try to get a picture (right before we trap him and whisk him off to the vet for testing and spaying/ neutering!)

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Robyn, have you seen this? Woman With 700 Cats Says “I’m Not Crazy, What I Do Is Crazy”

Could be your future ;-p

Oh no no no, I’m perfectly happy to be a foster home, NOT an actual shelter!

That said, I cannot wait to see that special!

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Wow, the Spices have hit that long, lanky stage! When did that happen? And Clove is turning from the cutest little ball of fluff into just the loveliest girl. Want!

I think it pretty much happened overnight, as they always seem to. I swear, I watch them and watch them, saying “They’re going to hit their lanky stage any moment now!”, but then I blink and they’re all of a sudden long and lanky! I need to keep a video camera on them at all times to capture the moment of lankiness-onset, obviously!

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A suggestion for your camera – assuming it has a memory card – do you remove it and put it into the computer, rather than hooking the camera to the computer?

A while ago I took a class from National Geographic photographers and they stressed *very strongly* to move the memory card from the camera to the computer when transferring files.

Also, after moving all the files from the card to the computer, they also stressed that *reformatting* the memory card, in the camera only, erases all tid bits of leftover data when one erases/deletes the files. (End of suggestions. ->^..^<- )

I do have a card reader for my memory card and look at the pictures that way (mostly because I hate using up the battery while looking through the pictures!) I also reformat the memory card in the camera, though I don’t reformat it every time I erase pictures, more like once a week or so.

The issue I was having getting the pictures off my camera is that SOMEONE chewed through the cord to the memory card reader. I don’t know who, but I have my long and lanky suspicions!

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Does Cori still have her sweet little meep eep eep eep eep! meep! meow? I kind of… you know… melted into a puddle when the video featuring it was posted before.

She doesn’t actually meow very often these days, but I’ll see if I can’t get another video of her doing so. She’s got more of a husky meow, now that she’s a big girl.

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Just wanted to say that I might be inexperienced, but I don’t recall ever seeing a shoe box with the lid attached. Is that because I do all my shopping at discount stores and on ebay? My two love ‘traditional’ shoeboxes, the tighter the better, but I bet my big guy would love one of those with the attached lid.

That shoe box is actually one that a friend sent me some cool stuff in. I can’t tell what kind of shoes came in it, but a Google search showed me that they’re called “flip lid shoeboxes”, and the first couple of links are about how to wrap them. It’s still the most popular box in the house, and if Jake or Elwood isn’t in it, then one of the little girls is. Who knew it’d end up such a hit?

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You have had Corbie checked for FIV, haven’t you? I had a beautiful shaded silver Persian who was diagnosed with FIV at several months of age. She kept getting ear infections. The vet was fairly certain she got FIV from her mother.

All Challenger’s House cats are tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia. Corbie and his brothers all initially tested FIV positive because their mother was FIV positive. They were tested when we first got them (around five weeks, I think), then again at four months, when they were a very faint positive. They finally tested negative at (I think) six months, and Corbie’s been tested again since then, just to be safe. He was definitely negative.

On a side note to newish readers, Corbie and his brothers (collectively known as The Bookworms) are half brothers to the litter known as The Wonkas (they had the same mother). The Wonkas initially tested FIV positive, too, and then eventually tested negative once the antibodies had left their systems.

That poor mother cat (who was absolutely feral) produced the best babies – I was absolutely in love with all the Wonkas AND all of the Bookworms, and I still miss all the ones who went on to forever homes.

(Okay, wait. I guess I’m always in love with ALL my fosters, aren’t I!)

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Do y’all remember last week when I posted this picture of the pigs:

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and said: Is it just me, or does this look like a Charlie’s Angels pose?

Well, Sofia ran with that concept!

robyns angels montage

Crack. Me. UP!

Thanks, Sofia!!!

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“I see what you’re doing, and I’m appalled. APPALLED, I SAY. Stop it right now!”

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Clove reminds me very much of Fergus Simon in this picture.

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Nap time in the sun!

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Until Cori comes along and has to be put in her place.

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Ferocious creatures.

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Clove is pretty sure she’s the boss, now.

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Sisters snoozing in the kitchen.

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Now! Winner of The Most Beautiful Cat Ever! As judged and awarded by the completely impartial ME! I bet you will be SO SURPRISED!

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That’s right, it’s Corbie! I know you’re shocked. You shouldn’t be. I mean, look at that gorgeous boy!

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2010: Unimpressed with me, was Mr. Frog.
2009: No entry.
2008: Hint to the chickens: You can ensure yourselves a long life by being friendly.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “Did you fart?” I said accusingly.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: “KITTIES!” I scolded, and after a moment the thumping and running stopped.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.