8/2/11 – Tuesday

I don’t know if it’s the particularly hot, dry weather we’ve had this summer, but it certainly seems to be the summer of BUGS here at Crooked Acres. Last night, Fred and I were walking out to the back forty to give the pigs their cookies and the dogs their snacks, and I looked down … Continue reading “8/2/11 – Tuesday”

I don’t know if it’s the particularly hot, dry weather we’ve had this summer, but it certainly seems to be the summer of BUGS here at Crooked Acres. Last night, Fred and I were walking out to the back forty to give the pigs their cookies and the dogs their snacks, and I looked down to see a bright red ant-shaped bug walking across the top of the grass.

Back when we bought this house, in 2006, we were walking around the back of the property, and I spotted one, and then a few minutes later, another. After some research online, I found that they’re called “velvet ants” (info and pictures of them at Wikipedia), although they’re actually wingless wasps rather than true ants. They’re also called “cow killers” because their bite is very painful and is said to be strong enough to kill a cow (it isn’t really, though; that’s just hyperbole).

Fred’s stepmother told me that if you corner one of them, they’ll squeal. I haven’t found this out for myself because, although they are really interesting and exotic-looking bugs, when it comes down to it they’re BUGS and they have a painful bite and I don’t think we need them roaming around the property, thank you, so when I saw it last night I stomped on it.

Ten feet away, I spotted another one. And the ones we saw back in 2006 were tiny ones, but the ones I saw last night were huge, about the size of my pinky (which is not huge, unless you’re looking at a bug that size), and I feel that that does perhaps not bode well for us. Like maybe I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night face-to-face with one of the fucking things.

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


The middle of last week, I did a search on how to order a copy of Fred’s birth certificate. At some point in the past, we HAD his birth certificate – or at least I imagine we did, I’m pretty sure we had to have a copy to get our marriage license – and now I have no idea where it is. I’ve been through every file in the house and while I have every single report card that Fred got in his entire school career, along with every special award he got (attendance award for Bible School when he was five!), no birth certificate.

So I found that I could order it online from Vitalchek.com, and so I went and filled out the form and provided all the information they required. They were all “And you are…?” and I was all “His wife!” and they were all “Very good, then.”

But they didn’t require PROOF that I was his wife, in case you were wondering. Of course, they asked questions (his mother’s full maiden name, for one) that your average person isn’t going to know (I had to call and ask him what her middle name was, actually), so maybe they aren’t all that worried about it.

I placed the order, and what happens after you place the order is that Vitalchek passes the information along to the Alabama Vital Records division, and then they pull the birth certificate and send it to you in an expedited manner. “Expedited manner”, in this case, means that they sent it via UPS with a signature required.

I placed the order on Wednesday. Friday, late morning, I went out to the back yard to dump the stuff in the kitchen compost bucket into the compost bin. The compost bin is at the back of the back yard, perhaps eighty feet from the house. In the two minutes that I was out of the house – THE FIRST TIME I LEFT THE FUCKING HOUSE ALL DAY LONG, MAY I ADD – UPS came, knocked on the door, and then left a “We were here and you were not, sucks to be you” note on the door.

So I turned the note over and signed where it had the “No really, it’s okay, use this as my signature” line.

Friday night, Fred and I were sitting in the front room – the room where the front door is located – watching TV from about 6:30 on. No one ever knocked on the door. According to the tracking info on UPS.com, UPS attempted a second delivery at 7:11 pm.


Saturday morning, I looked on the front porch and found a second “Sucks to be you” note next to the first one, with “The sender required a signature at the time of delivery” circled. They indicated that they’d attempt delivery again on Monday between, basically, 10:30 and 5 pm.

I did not set ONE FUCKING FOOT outside the house after 9:00 yesterday morning, and at noon I glanced at the front door to find the third and final “suck to be you” note hanging on the door. I was within earshot of that fucking door with the exception of the five minutes I was upstairs in the foster room, which is located partly directly over the front room (where the fucking front door is located) and partly over the porch.


I was so beyond pissed off that I went into the bathroom, closed the door (I truly cannot for the life of me imagine what you think I’m going to say next) and screamed obscenities at the top of my lungs.

(I didn’t want to scare the cats. Though they did look pretty freaked out when I came back out of the bathroom.)

I shot off tersely worded “I’d like to know how you’re going to fix this” emails to UPS and to Vitalchek (though I think we can agree that Vitalchek could not possibly care less about this whole thing and if they ever respond to me, it will be to tell me that although they took $55 from me, I have to deal with Alabama Vital Records and it sucks to be me.)

The best part is that I could have just filled out the fucking form and taken it to any area county health department and they’d have printed the fucking thing right there for me, for fifteen fucking dollars, but I was so thrilled that I could just order the fucking thing online that I failed to notice that part.

I have zero love for UPS at this moment, believe you me, and I think what I’m going to do is immediately go and order as many extremely heavy things to be delivered by UPS and UPS alone so that my douchey UPS guy will throw out his fucking back and will be replaced by one who might understand the concept of knocking on the goddamn motherfucking door.

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


Ciara’s trying to decide who she’s gonna cut.

2011-08-02 (4)
“Maybe I’ll cut this bratty little Spice for flipping over the Ham-mick.”

2011-08-02 (2)
“Maybe I’ll cut the Ham-mick for letting itself be flipped over.”

2011-08-02 (1)
“Maybe I’ll cut YOU.”

2011-08-02 (3)
“Yeah, you. You look like you deserve it.”

Evil thing. (Except that she totally isn’t – she’s a complete sweetheart!)

2011-08-02 (6)
Sleepy Clove.

2011-08-02 (7)
That cat hair on the couch behind Clove horrified me enough that I immediately got up and ran the Fabric Sweeper over it. Nas-TAY.

2011-08-02 (5)

2011-08-02 (8)
Cilantro, sharpening her claws in the front room.

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


2011-08-02 (9)
When Sheriff Mama (Kara) is asleep in the house instead of in the back yard keeping an eye on things, you know it’s GOTTA be hot!

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


2010: “You’re a douchebag category all your own!” he said.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Really, here at Crooked Acres, it’s sometimes best to just look the other way, and not ask aaaaaaany questions.
2006: No entry. Sorry!
2005: I wanted to lay in bed and sniff my hair all day long.
2004: me: “Brian, I sure do love you, but I’m glad we’ll never have to sit this close to each other ever again.” Brian: “I feel the same.”
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: $1200 for one single washer. What the fuck’s up with that?
2000: can you say “Bring a book”?