12/16/11 – Friday

You know you want a Crooked Acres holiday postcard. You better hurry up, the deadline is Tuesday at midnight! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com . I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th. If you’d like to send me a … Continue reading “12/16/11 – Friday”

You know you want a Crooked Acres holiday postcard. You better hurry up, the deadline is Tuesday at midnight! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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


2011-12-16 (1)

I do not know where I stole this picture from, but it makes me laugh every time I look at it. SO TRUE.

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


Have you seen this window decal? I saw this while I was being very productive (ha!) on Pinterest and immediately thought of you.

I had not seen that! However, I very well might have those very decals in my desk drawer right now and have just been putting off applying them to the car because I’m lazy! (Also, that person has more cats than I do!)

Pinterest is a total time-suck, isn’t it? I’ve been signed up for a Pinterest account for ages, but it’s just in the last week or so that I’ve been spending a lot of time there looking at what other people have pinned.

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


Tell me, tell me, did I win one of the cat books? I’m sure I did but you just can’t find my email address. Would it help to tell you I sent you a Holiday card? Would it help to tell you that I have your post card right on the frig next to my cat Snickers picture.
Ok, so guess I didn’t win, boo hoo!

I should have announced this in an entry as well as on the post where I was taking entries for the giveaway, but I’ll announce it now: Tammy F. and Kathryn each won a copy of the book, and I mailed ’em out bright and early Monday morning, as promised. Better luck next time, those of you who didn’t win! (Hopefully there’ll be a next time!)

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


Do you think Elwood might reactivate the Crooked Acres Department Of Het? No one will ever replace Mister Boogers, but I do miss being hetted at (on?) by a cat. Elwood looks like he’s got it figured out.

Y’know, it’s entirely possible – I can see the hetred in Elwood’s face, sometimes. We’ll have to see if the hetred develops properly.

On the other hand, he might just be too nice. He spends a lot of time rubbing on other cats and snuggling with Tommy. Boogie would snuggle with kittens if they climbed into the cat bed with him, but he never went looking for love, as I’m sure he would have felt that was beneath him.

2011-10-24 (11)
Elwood and Tommy.

Good ol’ Boogie. We’ve been talking about him and missing him a lot lately. There’ll just never be another cat like him.

Da Boogs.

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


There could be a real advantage to the whole tailess thing. Elphaba likes to sit on the back of the couch and swat me in the head or face with her tail sometimes, especially if I am reading or watching TV and ignoring her. Do any of your cats ever do that, Robyn?

I actually rarely sit when I’m on the couch – most of the time I’m laying down as that makes snoozing easier. Every once in a while Miz Poo will settle on the couch behind me if I’m sitting there addressing holiday postcards or whatever, and she’ll gently smack me in the back of the head with her tail, but if I turn around and say “Quit it!”, she’ll stop.

My cats are trained to understand that “Quit it!” means “I AM NOT KIDDING I WILL BEAT YOU IF YOU DON’T STOP IT RIGHT NOW.” Heh.

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


I am interested in learning how to can. Do you have any suggestion about what is needed and how to learn how to do it safely?

I highly highly recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It’s the book I bought when I first started canning, and although the idea of canning seemed really daunting, the Ball guide was easy to understand and takes you through it step by step. Everyone reassured me that it’s not that hard, and they were right!

I highly recommend a canning kit like this one, which will give you all the basic tools (aside from the canners themselves) you need to get started.

For hot bath water canning, you’ll want a hot water bath canner like this (that’s just the first one I saw that will hold quart jars as well as pint jars, so you may want to look around, it’s possible there’s a better bargain out there)(also, that canner says that it’s not recommended for flat-top stoves. I’ve used one with no problems, but be aware that it’s not recommended). If you decide to proceed to pressure canning, you’ll need a pressure canner. I believe that this is the one that we have (yes, they’re very expensive), and I’ve always heard good things about the All American brand pressure canners, but I am certain there are other perfectly good, perhaps less expensive, ones out there.

Suzanne at Chickens in the Road – and her message board – is a great resource when it comes to canning, and the posters on the message board are really great and helpful. Any of the links on this page are worth reading, especially her step-by-step guides How to Can Hot Water Bath Method and How to Can Pressure Method. She’s easy to read, easy to follow, and has plenty of pictures (but not TOO many. She figures you know how to cut your own onion and sprinkle your own salt.)

I also follow – and recommend – Jackie Clay’s blog. She is totally hardcore and amazing, and has forgotten more about canning than I’ll ever know in my entire life.

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


Sad to say I have known people who’d probably get it wrong. I used to bake birthday cakes (from a box) for my coworkers, and at least once a month someone would RAVE over it like I had created a new Food Of The Gods, and beg me for the recipe. And I’d say, “It’s just a box mix, [whatever brand].” A few days later they’d be at my desk saying something like, “So I bought a box of that cake mix, and it says to add two eggs – do you cook the eggs first?”

“… No, it’s just the raw egg.”

“Oh, okay! Do I crunch up the shell by hand or does the mixer do that?”

(I have stuck two incidents together, but they’re both true. The second lady wanted tips on how I got the eggshells so “un-crunchy” because even when she used her neighbor’s mixer to mix it up, her cake still had crunchy pieces in it and mine didn’t have any so she figured I must have a special method of crushing the eggshells.)

On the positive side, I love dealing with people like that because you can cook them anything and it’ll be the best (whatever) they’ve ever had. You feel like a goddess. And when they ask for your “secret” you can tell them, “It’s the special way I sprinkle salt in the bowl” and they’ll be none the wiser.

You know, every time I think I know nothing about things that everyone else seems to know everything about (I’d offer an example, but I can’t think of anything at the moment, heh), I read or hear that people don’t know to add eggs to a recipe, and I feel like a genius. I mean, I know not everyone knows everything about cooking – God knows I sure don’t – but wow. That seems like it’s got to be the most basic thing you can do in the kitchen after you’ve mastered opening the refrigerator.

(PS: Once again, Elayne cracks me up!)

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


Didn’t you used to have a page that linked to some of your favorite products? I’ve been trying to find those grocery bags that turn into a little ball to stick in your purse but I can’t remember what they were called…I just remember you mentioning them!

I did and… I will again some day! I actually thought that I should have a separate blog for people to go to when they’re trying to remember a product I’ve recommended, but thumbsup.com and thumbs-up.com were taken. So were stuffilike.com and stuffwelike.com. My brain is on vacation and I cannot think of a domain that would be easy to remember and that I’d like. Fred recommended shitweuse.com, but I’m trying to keep it family-friendly. Suggestions? Anyone?

(Those bags are Flip & Tumble bags, y’all, and they are AWESOME.)

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


Why is it that most of the other cats don’t get along with Joe Bob again? He seems like a very nice kitty!

Oh, he is SUCH a sweet boy. But for some reason the other cats do not care for Joe Bob. I thought it was just that they’re jerks and bullies, but after some time, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not just all them. Joe Bob is a bit, shall we say, touchy about being looked at by the other cats. Jake (who loves everyone) tried to butt heads with Joe Bob the other day, and you’d think that he’d insulted Joe Bob’s momma. One must not invade Joe Bob’s bubble.

On the other hand, he LOVES me and Fred, adores us, and would love to be doted upon by us 24/7. I guess he’s a people’s cat, not a cat’s cat! He seems pretty happy, in any case.

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


I *vehemently* approve of you naming kittens after fictional bikers. Chibs would also be a nice name for a kitten or a cat.

What I love about the Sons naming theme is that there are plenty of names left so that we could have a “Sons v.2” litter! I love the name “Chibs” for a future kitten, and we’ve also got Bobby, Juice, Otto, Unser (heh), Half-Sack (HEE), and so on.

The funny thing is that we already have our Tara – I’ve said since we were about halfway through Season 1 of Sons of Anarchy that if Stinkerbelle were human, she’d be Tara because there’s such a resemblance when they glare. When Tara does her Stinkerbelle look, Fred likes to make me laugh by imitating Stinkerbelle’s meow.

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


Any hope of keeping Chuckles and Patty together once they go to Petsmart? They seemed so close early on…I keep hoping someone will swoop in and take them both before they have to go off. That’s my Christmas wish this year!

That’s my Christmas wish as well! We’ll put a note on Chuckles’ and Patty’s cage that it would be nice if they were adopted together (I always love it when sibling kitties get to spend their entire lives together), but it won’t be a dead-set requirement. They’ve proven in the last few months that while they’re close, as long as there’s any other cat who’ll cuddle with them, they’re happy. But fingers crossed that they do go together!

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


Robyn, I just read something about cat records and one thing made me think of you:

“Jack & Donna Wright of Kingston, Ontario made their way to the Guinness Book of Records for having 689 cats.”
So you can safely add more permanent residents, don’t you think? 😉

You hush up or I’ll come leave some cats on your doorstep, especially after I found cat pee ON MY COUCH last night. Grrrr!

I wonder how much cat pee Jack and Donna Wright have in their house right now. I bet it’s measurable in the gallons.

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


Someday you might find me curled up in your revamped little coop for strays:) Me and Jo Bob just snoozing away.

Joe Bob would LOVE to have his own pet human to cuddle with!!

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


Jax may have the flash but, I dunno… that Tig looks like a heart breaker in the making to me.


I would have to agree. He’s the quiet observer of the bunch, and the sweetest (at least that’s my opinion right now – wait 15 minutes and ask again!) He likes to come sit near me and watch his brothers roughhouse. He also likes to be kissed – he’ll deny it, but the purr don’t lie. I kiss him, and he purrs like mad.

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


Love the little flat footed stance of the black and white (don’t know which one) kitten by the food dish. Considering that even with the flat footedness, the back is about level, that means the back legs are extra long? Isn’t that a trait of manx cats? Their taillessness (is that a word?) might be genetic and the reason they don’t have a problem. That’s just conjecture on my part though.. I’ve never had a manx! I understand Manx’s hop when they run, do the little Sons? (any chance of a video if they do? hint hint beg beg!)

It’s a little hard to tell if they’re hoppers, because the room they’re in doesn’t lend itself to much all-out running. It does seem that once they pick up speed, they hop a bit. I’m planning to open the closet this weekend and move the litter boxes in there, so that should give them a little more room to pick up speed. I will, of course, do my best to get videos of them whether they hop or not!

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


So on the crinkle thermal cat mat, do you actually line dry it as the instructions say? Will drying it on low heat melt anything inside? I depend on the dryer to get cat hair off fleece beds.

We have an 18-year-old kitty and I think she would really love one of these so thanks for posting the link!

I haven’t actually had to wash them yet (I wash all the cat beds in the house on or around the first of the month whether they need it or not)(they always need it!), but I think what I’ll probably do is dry them on the “air dry” (no heat) setting.

If anyone out there uses the low heat setting to dry these kind of cat beds, would you let us know, please?

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


For a while, we had a significant feral population in our neighborhood. One day my husband went into our garage and found quite the collection of squirrel tails (thankfully, he only told me about it and didn’t show me). I never saw any tail-less squirrels running around, so I suspect that they met an unhappy fate.

This reminds me of way back when we first bought this house and after Maxi and Newt had been coming around for a while, Maxi showed up one day with her kittens. After that, she moved the kittens into the garage, and one day I found several squirrel tails in the area under the stairs. Apparently Maxi had been feeding her babies squirrels, and I guess squirrel tails aren’t as tasty as they sound!

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


You are SO trendy! Watch this YouTube video on Catvertising:

I love that video so much!

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


What are the requirements for adopting from Challenger’s House/your fosters?

Anyone wanting to adopt a Challenger’s House kitten has to fill out an application.The shelter manager checks to be sure the adopter has a regular vet (and checks with the vet as well) and makes sure that if the adopter is in an apartment or rental house, that the lease allows for a cat or cats. There are, of course, other things under consideration. Anyone seriously interested in adopting one (or many!) of my fosters, let me know and I can send an application your way and put you in touch with the shelter manager (or for that matter, you could contact her directly (scroll to the bottom for contact info) with any questions. )

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


The Sons are really coming around lately. They’re still a bit nervous when I walk into the room, but when I sit down, they come over and sit around me to be petted. Yesterday, Clay climbed into my lap and sat there and purred.

We are definitely making progress!

2011-12-16 (21)
Bath time for Clay.

2011-12-16 (19)
Tig, observing his brothers from his hiding space between the litter box and the bucket o’ litter.

2011-12-16 (18)
Tig on the scratcher…

2011-12-16 (17)
..and fighting with the scratcher.

2011-12-16 (16)
I love that you can see Clay’s faint stripes.

2011-12-16 (15)
“Hallo, I am beautiful.”

2011-12-16 (14)
“What? Just hanging out under the scratcher. Why?”

2011-12-16 (13)
Just a little bit pretty. I suppose. If you like that sort of thing.

2011-12-16 (12)
Hanging out in the tray with the litter boxes. Hey, you never know when you’re gonna have to go!

2011-12-16 (11)
That was intended to be a toy basket, not a Clay basket! (Not that he cares.)

2011-12-16 (10)
Opie’s guarding the litter boxes.

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


I hope you’re ready for a big ol’ dose of Corbie!

2011-12-16 (2)
Snoozing on the thermal cat bed.

2011-12-16 (3)
Snoozing in the cat bed on the guest bedroom bed.

2011-12-16 (4)
He has huge back feet. He’s part rabbit, apparently.

2011-12-16 (5)
“I ignore you, lady.”

2011-12-16 (7)
Charlie and Patty think Corbie’s pretty swell, too.

2011-12-16 (6)
That’s just too much brown tabby goodness in one place.

2011-12-16 (9)
Keeping an eye out.

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


2010: My boobs and I can hardly wait.
2009: That boy can BOUNCE.
2008: Hey, look! Cute cat pictures!
2007: I wonder why I wouldn’t want to take “an active role” in picking the rooster, given that I wanted it SO VERY MUCH.
2006: No entry.
2005: You know what I really fucking hate?
2004: I guess it really does pay to be in the right place at the right time, eh?
2003: No one cries alone when I’m around, I always say.
2002: Next week will be a lovely roller coaster ride of stressed-out PMS hormones gone wild.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: Have I mentioned that I sleep in the nude?