9/2/11 – Friday

The okra talk reminded me that I wanted to ask about pickled okra. I made some last year that was really great, but can’t remember where I got the recipe. I don’t see it in your recipe list — did you post that or did I find it elsewhere? Thanks. P.S. I’m assuming “waller” is … Continue reading “9/2/11 – Friday”

The okra talk reminded me that I wanted to ask about pickled okra. I made some last year that was really great, but can’t remember where I got the recipe. I don’t see it in your recipe list — did you post that or did I find it elsewhere? Thanks.

P.S. I’m assuming “waller” is Southern Speak for “wallow?” Took me a while to figure out what waller meant.

I did pickle okra once, but neither Fred nor I cared for it, so I didn’t keep the recipe (and I never posted it), so you must’ve found it elsewhere.

And yeah, “waller” is Southern for “wallow.” I picked it up from Fred (who, I think, uses it ironically).

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Hey, whatever happened to the chicken with the crooked toes/feet? I seem to remember it not being around anymore, and am too lazy to search your site. It would probably take me HOURS to find the info. 🙂

Aww, good ol’ Charlie, with her twisted-up toes.


She died in June of 2010 and we buried her in the yard of the blue coop, where she was happiest. She was quite the character – when the blue coop was our maternity coop, she was the mascot of the maternity yard. The hens never considered her a threat to their chicks, and they never worried about her getting too close to the little ones. If any other adult chicken had gotten this close to her babies, Silkie Mama would have run them off, but she knew Charlie wasn’t a threat.

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Good ol’ Charlie.

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If someone was thinking about starting a blog, would you recommend going with Blogspot or something like that, or is having your own domain name preferable? Didn’t you start right out with your own domain name? Any general thoughts about this much appreciated!

I think that I’d recommend starting with Blogspot (or WordPress – I like WordPress, I think it’s easy to use) and then, if you know for sure that you’re going to stick with it (not that I think you won’t – just, a lot of people start out strong and then fade away after a few weeks or months) you can buy your own domain and move your stuff over.

Why, back in The Day when I started, I had to buy an html editor to write my entries on, and then FTP everything up to my domain. It sure was a pain in the ass. It’s a lot easier these days, thank god!

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I think this may be the first banner I’ve seen without a cat photo in it. Is the world ending?

It’s not the first one – but it certainly doesn’t happen very often that I have a non-cat banner. This reminds me that I need to get my butt in gear and make a page where I can post all the banners I’ve used over the years. It’d be neat to have all of them in one place!

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Loony Jake’s loony face reminds me of Christopher Lloyd’s face in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” when he finally let his true, crazy, cartoon self show through.

I can totally see that!!!

Flixster – Share Movies


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Our Bailey is about the same age as the Peppers, but he is so much smaller than they are. I guess he was the runt of the litter and I wonder if he will be smaller all of his life. Any ideas on that?

It’s possible he might be smaller all of his life, but it’s not at all guaranteed. Sugarbutt was the runt of his litter, and was much smaller than his siblings, but these days he’s a very muscular 12.2 pounds.

Alice – remember tiny Alice, who we thought was 6 or 7 weeks old when she showed up in December and then found out she was six MONTHS old?


The vet told us that she didn’t think Alice would get much over six pounds – and she was almost 8 pounds at the end of June.

On the other hand, Beulah – remember Beulah? This is her, smack dab in the middle of her much bigger siblings:

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Beulah, last I heard, stayed small. Here she is, near a year old, with her normal-sized sister.


So really, the answer is that it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing. Bailey may stay little, or he might grow to be normal-sized. It’s pretty much impossible to know at this point.

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de-lurking to share this video with you. it makes me wonder what would happen if the superbox was “right side up” instead of on its lid…

SO cute. I can totally see Elwood sitting on top of the box like that!

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You (or he) may have already covered this, but why did Fred stop blogging?

First (and foremost) he lost interest, and then when his company went out of business and he had to get a job working for THE MAN, he didn’t relish the thought of any new coworkers reading about how he farted out a walnut in the bath tub. So he shut it down.

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Did you recently have a cat with a name similar to Harlan? A Harley or Marlon, perhaps? It’s driving me nuts. Nuts-er. More nuts. Whatever.

The only kitten I can think of might be Martin – he was around a year ago, so if you’ve recently read any entries from this time last year, that might be who you’re thinking of.

Martin and the pink floof.

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In the second picture, it looks like the head of the black kitteh in the front has come off his/her neck!! Maybe it’s just me ….

I can see that!

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Now that I read about the fence you use I thought I’d ask you about what my cats do. We have the same brand as you, but the little fuckers know where it’s located, so they go and stand super close to it then make a run for it like the devil is chasing them and cross to the other side. I have its settings at the highest value for both the collar and the wire and they still go over it :S

Has this ever happened to you? Any ideas? 🙁

Well, we have an underground fence, but we also have a physical fence, too – the underground fence is at the bottom of the physical fence, so if the cats want to climb over the fence, they’ll be zapped the entire time they’re climbing up, and that doesn’t seem to be something they enjoy. Actually, the underground fence is buried at the bottom of the physical fence, and then Fred went around with more wire, and ran it around the fence at the top, too, so if they aren’t zapped at the bottom of the climb, they’re zapped at the top. (Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, let me know and I’ll take pictures to show what I mean.)

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Robyn, what do you use for household cleaner? I’m worried about one of our kitties, who likes to get into the shower after we used it and lick the shower pan. I use Tilex on it to clean it, but always makes sure I rinse it thoroughly. Still, I’m worried there is some residue left that could make him ill.

I think that if you rinse thoroughly, your kitty should be okay. HOWEVER, I use this bathroom cleaner that I found over at Crunchy Betty’s site, and it works really amazingly well. I highly recommend it – and she’s got a lot of great cleaner recipes over there, her site is definitely worth poking around.

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My cat vet has HSP. It’s why he specializes in cats, the noise dogs make really bothers him. His office is very quiet, the cats don’t meow much because he has a pet pigeon that flies around in the building. The cats (who are in cages) obsess on the pigeon and stay quiet.

If it weren’t for the bird poop, I’d totally demand that we get a pet pigeon in the house to keep the cats occupied! Well, except that they’d chase the damn thing all over the place, and you KNOW that Elwood would be hauling his big ass across my face in the middle of the night, ripping my cheek open with his long talon-like rear claws.

I guess perhaps it’s better that we don’t need a pet pigeon. (But still, that’s a neat idea!)

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Have you seen The Fancy Farmgirl’s chicken coop? She put more thought into decorating her coop, than I did for my house!

and Elayne said:

I can’t decide whether to be in awe of her obviously abundant and overflowing resources of time, money, energy, motivation, and creativity, or to feel that some people need to be locked away (in chandeliered chicken coops, perhaps) for the good of all humanity. To be honest, I feel both sides in equal measure.

I mean, I know it’s mainly envy and self-pity and bitterness taking (I’m having a really rough week, and might actually manage to take a shower today, if the pain pills kick in strong enough, soon enough), but if she channeled only one-third of the resources (time, money, energy, motivation, creativity) that went into that chicken coop into something like running a food kitchen, volunteering with the disabled in her community, working with at-risk teens or, say, fostering cats, imagine what an impact she could make on the world! (An impact beyond an obviously heavily-moderated comment stream, that is.)

On the other hand, what do I know – someone who has enough energy to clean out their chicken coop every day, with a thorough cleaning biweekly, probably already does all those things, as well as saving the whales AND the rainforest and fomenting a cure for cancer in her Crockpot (using organically grown vegetables, with a side effect of removing unwanted hair and regrowing that hair where it is wanted, even on other people), while spending her nights playing the Tooth Fairy so tired parents don’t have to stay up to sneak into their kids’ bedrooms.

Now that I think of it, it’s probably the useless unaccomplished folk like me who should be locked in the coop.

Which, hey, a chandelier! AND I don’t have to clean it – win-win!

Elayne said a mouthful there! I think that the fancy chicken coop is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want one of my own. There are places that I’ll

Okay, no. I just went and looked at it again, and that is some crazy-ass shit. Interesting to look at, but you keep that crazy far, far away from me. I have 138+ things I’d rather be doing than scrubbing out the goddamn coop every day. Bless her heart – I guess you decide what’s important to you and you go at it full-tilt, and artwork on the chicken coop wall is not even in the realm of… anything for me.

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One of my cats, Cassie, is a tortoiseshell, and I think she’s one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. My mother, on the other hand, constantly refers to Cassie as “that awful ugly monkey-cat” and says it’s a good thing I adopted her because she’s “so ugly” that surely no one else would ever have wanted her. What?? She’s GORGEOUS! Her colors blend beautifully, she’s got orange Cleopatra-stripes against dark fur on one eye, not a speck of white on her anywhere but rather a lovely buttery cream color as her lightest shade, and her fur is the softest, silkiest, smoothest fur I’ve ever encountered on a grown cat. Ugly??!?! (Obnoxious at 3 A.M. when she stands outside my bedroom door keening, yes, but never ugly.)

I quote this comment only so I can tell y’all that Fred once said that Flossie – do you remember Flossie?



Fred said that Flossie was “SO UGLY” because – I am not making this up – “her markings are asymmetrical.”

There’s no accounting for taste.

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Thanks for such a great post. I do feel compelled to say that those first two videos are the reason you have so many chickens!! The things which help with broody hens whose eggs you want are work gloves (esp. the ones with leather backs) and speed!!

Ha – no, the reason we have so many chickens is that after trying to break a broody hen (we have a cage he refers to as a “broody buster” that works about 3/4 of the time) for several days, if the broody hen will not be dissuaded from her broodiness, Fred doesn’t just put one or two eggs under her to sit on – he puts six or seven. He’s always worried, if he only puts one or two under her, that they won’t be fertile and she’ll sit there and sit there and waste away with the anguish of never having her own babies. And of course, the eggs turn out to ALL be fertile and hatch. I think we’ve got a pretty good number of chickens right now, though – enough to lay eggs for us, and some extras to sell!

I usually find that approaching the egg from the chicken’s back end – so they can’t see what I’m doing – works best. And even if they get me, it doesn’t really hurt. Well, unless they get a pinch of skin and twist. But that only hurts for a few seconds.

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I want to find who makes those boxes and send you a dozen. Get the printed with something like paws and fishes. Has Loony Jake always had such a loony expression? Does he look that loony in real life? His little mug cracks me up!

Oldcat pointed out: You could make one from a regular shoebox and lid by cutting off one edge of the lid and taping it to one side. Glue or use contact paper to make the patterns on the side that you want.

I had three of these shoeboxes in an area waiting for a use when she first wrote about them. They are pretty popular – even the ones that don’t sleep in them rub on the edges of the top.

Fred got some sneakers at Kohl’s – Sketchers, I think – and they come in the superbox type of box. We’ve got two boxes as backup in case (as inevitably happens) someone pees on Superbox.

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The Irene 6 — Nothing cuter than kittens and firemen, and it’s good to see a small bit of good news in Irene-damaged New England.

Love it!

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Is Elwood as big a lovebug as his brother is?

Except for Tommy and the occasional headbutting with Kara, Elwood prefers people to cats. He especially loves bedtime, when he climbs into bed with us and walks back and forth to be petted. Then, when Fred goes off to his own room, Elwood will lay right up against me, roll around, and purr and purr while I rub his belly. He looks very stern and severe, but give that boy a pet or two, and he loves you to death.

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Is it the lighting or is one of the Peppers a silvery tabby?

Molly Peppers is a silver tabby.

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So now that the kitty-cats are pavlov trained to their collars, how high is the fence they won’t go over? And how come Maxi was in the veggie garden with you?

The fence in the back yard is five feet tall. And they KNOW that those collars are what’s keeping them in the back yard. Last weekend, Fred left Tommy’s collar off all day, and after a few hours, I looked on the side stoop to see that Tommy had climbed over the fence and was waiting to be let back into the house. It’s definitely not a matter of them making the connection that the fence is a no-no; if their collar doesn’t warn them away from the fence, they’re OVER it.

Maxi and Newt are our cats who are free-roamers. They came “with” the house, and they freak out quite a bit if we try to keep them contained to the house and back yard. They’re not TECHNICALLY our cats (they “belong” to a lady down the street), but really at this point we’ve taken them both to the vet often enough and they spend enough time here that the case could be made that they’re ours.

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“Y’all can keep partying, but I’m going to bed. It’s exhausting, being this cute.” (Harlan really likes that bed.)

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Lucy almost looks like she’s not cross-eyed here, doesn’t she?

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“Derpy der, I’ve got my Starbucks and the paper. I’m going to go poop in my water bowl and then smear poop around on myself with paper and then push on the lever to make a loud noise!”
Molly: ::giggle::

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“Derpy der, ::giggle::, I’ve got to hurry, I’m late for work! I need to type and type and type! ::giggle:: Hand me my smartphone, I need to send an important text! I am very import–”

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“Uh. Oh. Hi.”

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“Uh. Just stretching my back.”

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“No, I wasn’t mocking how funny you look, walking around on two feet. Why do you ask?”

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“Was there something you needed?”

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I’m pretty sure that you almost forgot how beautiful Corbie is. How COULD you? Hmph.

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2010: If you came sauntering across the room slurping on a Diet Coke right now, I would cut your throat and steal your Diet Coke as you fell to the floor.
2009: No entry.
2008: For the next half hour, it sounded like a TB ward in our house as we tried to expel from our lungs the fine powder we’d stupidly breathed in.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: My god, has Bill O’Reilly always been such a pontificating blowhard?
2004: (No, he’s not going to remove her eye. Thank god.)
2003: The first time I did actually inhale was the last time I ever put a cigarette to my mouth.
2002: “What’s “porn”, Mama?” she would ask.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.