9/30/11 – Friday

Vote for Gracie! (Thank you!) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Have you ever pickled green tomatoes? My husband does it every year and they are sooo good! I haven’t, but maybe I should. We tend not to … Continue reading “9/30/11 – Friday”

Vote for Gracie! (Thank you!)

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Have you ever pickled green tomatoes? My husband does it every year and they are sooo good!

I haven’t, but maybe I should. We tend not to eat much pickled stuff, but I’m thinking that it’s time to make a point of doing so!

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I love George and Gracie! So I know you used to say they are working dogs not pets, has that changed? I think if they decided to stop guarding the flock and the hens were taken by hawks daily you would still decide to keep them.

You know, I’d answer this question, but it truly is a moot point. If they up and decided to stop guarding the flock, I’d have to assume that there was something really wrong with either them or the flock – and I think they’d die from boredom if they didn’t have the chickens to guard. They are really good dogs and if the flock was completely gone for some reason I’m sure we’d keep them – but I still have NO desire to have them in the house, so I imagine we’d have to find something else for them to do!

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As for old man Spanky, he does indeed look good. The first cat late hubby & I ever had lived to be 20, Punkin. We got her the first year we were married, so you can imagine how hard it was to lose her — just old age health problems. I was 40 by then, and had several other cats too, but still. Punkin was almost completely deaf, and she had lost most of her teeth. I guess her eyesight was poor too. I’d have to gently shake her awake, since she could barely hear — sometimes I’d clap my hands over her, and she’d wake up. I’ve never had a cat live that long before, and maybe Spanky will set a new record for a long life. Does he have any health problems as of now?

Spanky has no health problems, amazingly enough! He moves with no problems, his senior bloodwork panel came back good. He’s crazy healthy for such an old guy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him still walking around howling in five years.

Speaking of Spanky howling, this is from years and years ago (when we lived in Madison, so it may have been 7 or 8 years ago), and still my favorite Spanky movie, even though the quality is terrible:

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Just wondered if you keep a private journal only for you, besides your online journal? Do you use one of the many software available for journaling?

I actually don’t keep a private journal just for myself because I’m pretty sure I’d never take the time to write in it. If I did, I’d likely use the old-fashioned notebook and pen method.

I use WordPress for this site, Love & Hisses, and back when I had the Giveaway site, I used WordPress for that, too. I think it’s easy to use, and if I wanted to use it to journal stuff for myself, it would be easy enough to password. (Though with my luck, I’d forget my damn password!)

I used to use Movable Type, then I decided to switch to WordPress, but I don’t remember (1) how long ago the switch was (though I do know it’s been years and years) or (2) why I decided to switch!

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The movie cracked me up – Elwood MAY have a higher jump than George Costanza, but just barely! 🙂


Elwood is pretty slick on his feet for a big fella ay? He doesn’t get much vertical in his leap though does he?

Hey, that kind of mass will only move so far off the ground! 🙂

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Robyn, have you seen these? Chilli Willy. You should grow some next year, just for the giggles. Also, you could’ve had a Willy Peppers!

I totally should! (And Willy Peppers would have been an excellent name!)

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Today’s action series? Fantastic! Have you thought of making a “comic strip” type of book with sets of pictures & comments? Best of “Live Action” Bitchypoo or something less awful. Kidding on the title but serious about the idea. Thoughts?

I’ve thought about putting together a book of all the picture entries I’ve done, but man – I’m not sure I’m up to that much work!

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I thought Fred used to do a lot of hiking….didn’t he used to do that geocaching? I’ll bet there’s a really expensive GPS unit gathering dust!

The GPS Fred had back when he was geocaching would be, compared to the GPS units that are available now, like an 80s cell phone compared to an iPhone. (I also don’t think we have it anymore – and if we do still have it, I have NO idea where we put it!)

Maybe Fred needs a new GPS for Christmas so we can try our hand at geocaching again!

Fred used to hike several times a week, but that stopped pretty much when we bought this house. There’s not a lot of hiking paths convenient to where we are now, unfortunately – though I guess we could certainly drive into Madison and go hiking there!

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Robyn, have y’all been to the Nashville flea market before? If not, it’s really worth the trip. True, it does have some of the same old crap – tube socks, dvd’s, knock-off purses, etc., but out back where the…um…I don’t know what they’re called…big roofed areas that are open on all sides. You can find some *amazing* stuff out there. Lots of antique and vintage stuff, lots of it at really good prices. There are lots of interesting stalls in the enclosed buildings, too. I kind of giggled when you said you’d spend an hour then drive home, because we’ve stayed there four or five hours before, and didn’t come close to seeing everything. If y’all get antsy in October, I highly recommend a visit!

No, we’ve never been, but now I certainly want to go! It won’t be in October (I’ll be recovering from my neck lift revision when the October flea market takes place), but maybe I’ll convince Fred to check it out for real in the Spring. It really sounds like it’d be fun!

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As a looooong time reader, Miz Poo and Spanky are my favorites by default (Okay, mainly Miz Poo) and I must have missed the original post with the cat chart because now I am heartbroken that Miz Poo gets no kitty love. So very sad. And probably entirely her fault, but still, I like to picture her as the “cat who oversees all” that the other cats come to. And on that note, I’ve obviously spent too much time imagining your cats interacting. LOL

Do not cry for Miz Poo, the reason she gets no kitty love at all (except when she’s sound asleep and a kitten climbs into the bed with her) is because she has NO USE for other cats. She doesn’t want them in her space, she doesn’t want them head-butting her, she doesn’t want them snuggling with her, and she will whip out the Paw o’ Doom in no time flat if they invade the bubble. However, she canNOT get enough love from any human who crosses her path. Woe betide anyone who steps through the door and doesn’t pay attention to her, because she will NOT be ignored. I’ve always said that if I put her in a baby carrier and strapped her to me 24/7, she’d be SO happy.

I mean, she’s pretty happy anyway – I’ve never known another cat who purrs constantly the way she does. I go to sleep with her purring in my face and wake up the same way. No wonder I sleep so well!

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The kittens playing with lightsabers were cute, but have you seen the leopard cub who thinks s/he IS a lightsaber?

Actually, I had not. That is seriously CUTE!

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Ok…so are you taking all these action shots by yourself?? or is Fred assisting?? They are just awesome!!!

The action shots I posted this week of the big Peppers, I had Fred assisting – same with the pictures/ video of Buster, Elwood and Alice. The pictures I took of Charlie in action yesterday, I took alone. It’s easier to get pictures when Fred’s running the feather teaser, but if pressed I can get some fairly decent shots on my own.

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Will Charlie have to have his damaged tooth pulled or is it a kitten tooth?

It’s a kitten tooth – but even if it was a permanent, I don’t think he’d need to have it pulled. It’s just the very tip that chipped off, and it doesn’t interfere with his eating and doesn’t cause him pain. It kind of gives him a jaunty air, actually – I’ll have to see if I can get a picture of it.

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and WHEN are you going to get those poor kittens a few toys!!

I know, isn’t it disgusting? I’d tell y’all that I’ll take pictures of all the cat toys in the house AND the ones I have secreted away in my closet, but I’m too afraid you’d call the people at Hoarders on me!

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Here’s a little something to put a smile on your face.

Crack me UP!

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Seeing the photos of Miz Poo brings back memories. She looks very much like our Sunshine, who passed away in 2001. Sunshine was a ‘talker’. She had a very distinct trill-like meow that she would raise or lower depending on what she was trying to say. She mostly ‘talked’ only when spoken to, and ALWAYS had to have the last word. Just curious if Miz Poo happens to be a talker as well.

Usually Miz Poo does most of her talking when she’s trying to soothe me. If I yell or laugh really hard or get mad, Miz Poo decides that I’m in distress and she must soothe me, and she rubs against me and trills softly at me. If she walks into the room and I greet her, she’ll brighten up and usually responds to me with a trill. For the most part she’s pretty quiet, though.

She’ll go through stages, though, where she finds a toy and decides it’s her “kill” and drags it through the house, keening the entire time. She’s fond of doing that in the middle of the night, and she doesn’t just do it for, oh, ten feet or so. No, she appears to find the toy at the farthest possible point in the house and then drags or carries it through the house, keening as loudly as possible, the entire way to my room where I’m usually yelling “Oh my god, Poo, please stop!!!”

Here’s a video I shot years ago showing what it sounds like (I posted it on YouTube in 2008, but I made the video when we lived in the house in Madison, so it would have been before 2007).

She is SO PROUD of herself!

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Anyone in the NW Virginia area want a very friendly, very purry tortoiseshell kitty who likes belly rubs?

Mrowbecca, send me some pictures, I’ll post ’em!

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My lady cat says that ladies NEVER FART. In a book by Anne Perry, a Victorian lady was said to make a “personal noise”, which cracked my DH up, so now we say that our ladycat makes a “pawsonal noise”. She also reckons that tabby brudders are ALL HORRIBLE*. I must explain that while not suffering from farting, she does suffer from a tabby brother.

*this opinion is not shared by the author of this comment.

How much do I love the phrase “personal noise”? SO. VERY. MUCH.

(Also, Miz Poo suffers from tabby brudders, and she agrees that it’s pretty horrible.)

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What pretty blue eyes the Buster Man has. Or is that just the camera angle?

They’re green, actually – and very pretty, the way they’re dark green in around the pupil and then lighter around the outside.. All of the Bookworms have really really pretty eyes. What’s that, you say? You need proof of that? Well, if I MUST.

Buster (about a year ago) :


Reacher (in February, right before Kathy came and stole him away) :


Corbie in February:


Rhyme, last October:


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Robyn, you *need* one of these! Think of the photo opportunities!!!


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How old are the chicks, relatively? Small children, tweens? Never had any, so I’m curious!

At this age – a week to ten days old – I’d call them preschoolers, they still stick pretty close to their mothers. In a couple of weeks they’ll be a little taller and a bit ratty looking as their feathers start to come in, and I’d call them maybe middle-schoolers. I’ll try to remember to get pictures of them as they grow so you can see the various stages!

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Please link the fountain again? Or just give me the name. Does it have ‘pool’ at the top and then cascade down? Is it easy to clean? I am sorry I have not paid attention to it before…

The ceramic fountain that someone else mentioned in my comments was this one, the Pioneer Big Max. It is very very easy to clean, and after you put it together the first time, it’s very easy to take apart, clean, and put back together.

HOWEVER, someone who is a klutz, was cleaning our Big Max a month ago, and dropped the top piece, and it broke. Grrrr.

I did have an extra fountain on hand, the Cat Mate fountain, so I set that up where the Big Max had been, and the cats like it just fine. My cats seem to prefer the fountains where there’s a pool at the top and then the water cascades down over the ones where the water pours out into the bowl at the bottom, so both the Big Max and the Cat Mate are fine with them.

My only issue with the Big Max is that the hum of the motor was loud enough that when I put it in the bathroom across the hall from my bedroom, I could hear the motor through the ear plugs that I wear at night, so it didn’t work for me. At the moment, I’ve got Cat Mate fountains in the laundry room, upstairs in the bathroom, and in both kitten rooms. I like how quiet they are, and I like that they can go in the dishwasher (I run each of them through the dishwasher once a week). They aren’t the prettiest fountains on earth but, well, you’ve seen my house. It’s not like they detract from our fabulous decor!

On a side note, reviews of the Cat Mate fountain on Amazon have pointed out that the pump doesn’t last, and that the company doesn’t sell a replacement for it. My fountains are working okay so far, but I’ll report back when/ if the pumps break!

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I was wondering, if a person has catnip tea, if that person is then found rolling on the floor in delirium?

I spent a little while reading about catnip for humans yesterday, and it appears that catnip has the exact opposite effect on humans. It relieves anxiety, helps with insomnia, and with nightmares. There are a whole list of things catnip helps with. It’s a miracle drug!

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My coworker and I both have kitties who scratch at the door jams. My sweet girl has all but engraved a novel on three door jams around my house and her kitty has one that she is set on destroying. Is there something all natural we can spray on the door jams to get them to stop or is there a commercial spray available that works?

The only thing I can think of to suggest is to try putting double-sided tape on the door jam – cats don’t like the feel of tape on their paws, and they’ll avoid scratching there. I don’t know of any natural cat repellents – that is, I’m sure they’re out there, I just don’t know of them! Anyone out there have suggestions of repellents or other ways to keep cats from scratching on door jams? Please share!

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“OH, scratching post, you are so big and strong!”

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(Like YOU never kissed your pillow when you were a kid!)

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“Stop kissing the scratching post, WEIRDO, I’ve got places to go!”

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“Four o’clock and all is well!”

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::fume:: “I was NOT kissing the scratching post. We were having a deep, meaningful conversation!”

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So, one thing that Lucy Peppers does that I have been completely unable to capture on video, is that when you’re petting her, if you start scratching her back, she humps up her back, then she does this very dramatic looking thing where she straightens her legs completely, and she slow-motion flops onto her side. It’s hilarious and impossible to accurately describe, but SO funny.

Fred says she looks very much like Nature Boy Ric Flair when he flops. I didn’t know what he meant (I’m not a wrestling fan), so he sent me the link to this video and I have to say that yeah, she totally does.

I tried for the zillionth time yesterday to get her flop on video, but didn’t really have any luck. I did get a video of all the Peppers milling around, purring their heads off. Crank the sound and ignore the idiot (me) who occasionally says something. It’s a purrapalooza!

She does kind of do a modified flop in the last ten seconds of the video. I’m going to keep trying to get it on video, though!

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Molly and Everett watching something. Probably the rest of the litter running around like goofballs.

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I used too much flash here, but you can see Sally’s stripes, which is neat.

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Playing on (and around) the Ham-mick.

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“Hey! Where’d everybody go?”

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And you know what that means!


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Buster, on one of the cat walkways in the kitchen, keeping an eye on… who knows? One of the other cats, I’m sure.

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Corbie wondering why, once again, my collapsible laundry basket is sitting under the tree. (Answer: because Tommy dragged it there!)

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Buster, investigating.

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Corbie and the ears of semi-annoyance.

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2010: House tour, part one.
2009: Flat Holly
2008: “Paul Newman is dead too! What are the chances that… Oh.”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’m a badass, that’s right.
2004: I
2003: In adults, I am anti-”bye-bye”.
2002: Day in the life.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.