9/26/11 – Monday

Vote for Gracie, pleeeeease! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   From Elayne: Can anyone recommend a WordPress expert who won’t charge thousands of dollars? My site’s seriously outdated (my fault entirely) and appears to have been compromised and … Continue reading “9/26/11 – Monday”

Vote for Gracie, pleeeeease!

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From Elayne:

Can anyone recommend a WordPress expert who won’t charge thousands of dollars? My site’s seriously outdated (my fault entirely) and appears to have been compromised and I would deeply appreciate any help in getting it sorted, where by “help” I mean “someone who’ll say, ‘I’ll handle all this, you just give me some money and appreciation at the end’ because I’m utterly clueless.”

The only place I could think to recommend would be Make My Blog Pretty. I haven’t used them myself (because CLEARLY I’m a super-awesome blog designer myself ::coughcoughHAHAHAHcoughcough:: ), but I’ve read enough blogs who recommend them that the name has stuck in my head.

Y’all have any other suggestions? Please share!

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Fred had Friday off (he’d worked enough hours the week before to earn the day off), and we talked about going up to Nashville to visit the big flea market up there – my idea – but I decided that it wasn’t going to be worth the drive, because when it really comes down to it, (1) we don’t need any more shit in this house, and (2) flea markets tend to be the same old shit, no matter where they are. Would it have been fun to to visit and people watch and see what there was? Maybe. But I didn’t want to make the drive to get there, spend an hour walking through, and then have to drive all the way home.

We tossed around ideas for things we could do (a day trip to Gatlinburg, you might be amazed to hear, was not something I could interest Fred in. What? It’s only a five hour trip each way!), and finally Fred suggested that we check out the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro. I’ve been there twice – once with my parents and the spud, once with Nance and Rick – and found it pretty interesting, and got some good buys.

So early Friday morning, we headed out. It took us a little over an hour to get there, but Fred took us on an alternate route down some country roads with pretty scenery, so I had no complaint.

Unfortunately, in the years since the last time I visited Unclaimed Baggage, they’ve apparently wised up to the fact that they had really good, really low prices, and have upped the prices and gone a little more commercial looking. The electronics were not priced low enough, in my opinion, and the clothes were way too expensive. The books were, well, a little pricier than I would have liked, but I did end up with two hardbacks in spite of myself. In short, we drove over an hour to get there, spent $15 on books (Fred bought one, too), and drove over an hour to get home.

We really need to take up hiking or something, I guess, something to do that will get us out of the house on nice days so we’re not sitting at home 24/7 and slowly going crazy.

(I should add that it doesn’t really bother me to sit at home all the time, I manage to keep myself busy, but by the end of a three-day weekend without going anywhere, Fred is on the verge of losing his MIND.)

So we were on our way through Madison, which is on the way from here to Scottsboro, and I realized that the land where they’ve been promising a Walmart for at least the past five years was completely cleared. There’s been a sign up on that property (which was about 85% forested) since we bought the house in 2006, and I’m pretty sure that originally it said that Walmart was coming in 2010, and then the date kept getting pushed back.

Apparently I hadn’t noticed last time I went up the road that they’d started clearing the land in preparation for actually building the Walmart, which is now slated (I think) for Spring of 2012. I suspect they finally got moving on building the Walmart because a Target is in the process of going up just down the road, and it’s slated to open on March 11th.

(So instead of having to drive 30 minutes to Huntsville to go to Target, I’ll only have to go 20 minutes to go to the Madison Target!)

(Also, it’s rumored that one of the stores going in around the Target is a HomeGoods store, which I’ve heard about but never been to, so that’s a potential “Woohoo.”)


Right next to the Walmart site is a strip club, Jimmy’s. I love to drive by Jimmy’s because there’s a billboard next to Jimmy’s, and of course some church or another is always advertising their Sunday services or whatever in hopes of guilting the god-fearing men who might potentially be about to have a weak moment. I can only imagine how much money Walmart has offered Jimmy’s to vacate the premises, but it appears that Jimmy’s is owned by someone who has no intention of moving.

I kind of look forward to seeing Walmart and Jimmy’s existing side by side, is that wrong?

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Saturday morning, I got up and went out to work in the garden. I pulled up four or five tomato plants that were on their way out, and tossed them on the compost heap. I picked tomatoes from the remaining plants and ended up with just a handful worth keeping, but a bucket’s worth for the chickens and pigs. Honestly, the only reason I haven’t pulled all the tomato plants up is because the chickens love nothing so much as tomatoes, ripe or not, and they especially like the wormy ones, so it’s worth going out there and pulling tomatoes for them a couple of times a week.

The okra plants are still producing, but very slowly. They’re on the way out too, I suppose.

I got half a bucket full of bell peppers, which I sliced and put in the dehydrator. I don’t like peppers – bell or otherwise – but Fred does, so he’ll have plenty ’til next year.

Fred picked the muscadine vines clean. We ended up with exactly a gallon of them, so I made a batch of muscadine jelly. I still find it amusing, how much jam and jelly I make, given that we hardly ever eat the stuff.

Sunday I did laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and just kind of puttered around. I made a batch of Green Tomato Chili for Fred to divide up into single serving containers and stick in the freezer to take to work as lunches. Since I was making it just for him, I added several bell peppers to the recipe, and then he went out and picked a couple of Ghost peppers for me to add as well. When the chili was done, he tasted it and said he couldn’t even taste the heat of the Ghost peppers.

(Which made me roll my eyes, because I’m SURE anyone with NORMAL taste buds would have detected them just fine!)

All in all, a really good, productive weekend here at Crooked Acres!

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Update on Coriander and Ciara! No pictures, but one of the Saturday adoption counselors reports:

The girls are doing great. The mother & sister (and 2 year old nephew) of their new mom came by Petsmart today. The extended family thinks the girls are the greatest cats in the world. They are getting along with the Lab and Coriander runs to the door with the dog when their humans get home. Coriander likes to play soccer with her ball and the girls take up the whole sofa

I can absolutely see Cori racing to the door with the dog when their humans get home. How CUTE is that?!

I love hearing that my girls are happy. And just so y’all remember what they look like, here’s one of my favorite pictures of Cori:

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And I just love this one of Ciara:

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I love SO MUCH that those two went to their forever home together. I love that Ciara was Maggie’s only girl, she had ALL those brothers, but she ended up with a forever sister anyway!

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In the last few days, when we go into the guest bedroom to hang out with Charlie and Patty, they do their level best to get out the door. This is normal kitten behavior, of course, but new behavior for these two. They’re easy enough to catch – or stop from escaping the room – but I had stuff in my hands Saturday evening and before I could stop him, Charlie went marching out the door and down the hall to sniff wildly around the living room before Fred scooped him up and returned him to his sister.

For a very short period of time yesterday, Fred took first Patty and then Charlie up to see how they’d react to the Peppers Gang. Both kittens were interested but intimidated by the bigger kittens, and after a little while Charlie went into the closet and hid behind the door. Patty hid, too, and watched them play. The big kittens hissed and growled at the little ones and then ignored them.

After that, Charlie and Patty didn’t try to get out of the guest bedroom. I guess now that they know those BIG SCARY KITTENS are out there somewhere, the guest bedroom isn’t so bad!

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Pretty Patty Peppers.

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Charlie Peppers, the little poser.

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When the feather teaser comes out, Everett gets…

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Oh, what’s the word…

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..it’s on the tip of my tongue…

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…it’ll come to me…

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“dramatic” isn’t it…

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“grabby” doesn’t quite cover it…

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..what’s the word?…

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FLAILY. That’s the word. He totally gets all flaily, with his claws flying.

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What? Flaily IS SO a word!

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“Hey, you little whippersnappers! Get off my lawn!”
Old man Spanky keeps on rollin’. He just turned 15 on the 15th. Looks good for an old guy, doesn’t he?

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: So am I getting this right – if you have nothing of substance to mock about a woman, you talk about her huge v@gina? Is that how that works?
2006: Sugarbutt lolled seductively on the counter, giving me his best “Hey Momma, what you got there for the Sugarman?” eyes.
2005: I’m sure I’ll get used to it, though, the way I got used to the neighborhood kids always running across our yard and always setting up shop in our driveway.
2004: No entry.
2003: Immediately, screaming like a little girl, Fred levitated across the room to the fireplace, where he began dancing a jig, slapping at his legs, and screaming intermittently.
2002: But it’s still tempting.
2001: J’accuse.
2000: No entry.