Help send Lanna Lee to Kansas! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ When Fred runs errands in town, he uses my car. His car is better on gas than mine, but my car is bigger and will hold more bags of pig and chicken feed and stuff like that. When he uses my car, he leaves the seat all the … Continue reading “10/4/12”

Help send Lanna Lee to Kansas!


When Fred runs errands in town, he uses my car. His car is better on gas than mine, but my car is bigger and will hold more bags of pig and chicken feed and stuff like that. When he uses my car, he leaves the seat all the way back (RUDE) and leaves the radio on the station he likes to listen to (also RUDE). Lately, he’s been listening to a radio station that plays old country songs.

He explained to me that he likes that station because “Back then, songs told a story and these days, songs really don’t.”

(Tell me more about the olden days, Methuselah!)

So I’ve been subjected to old country songs lately, because unless there’s a blithering idiot of a morning team on my radio, I don’t tend to notice what station it’s on unless there’s a particularly annoying song playing, whereupon I change the station. The old country songs station doesn’t have an annoying, unfunny morning team, just a DJ who mostly keeps his yap shut and plays music.

I was running errands last week, and half paying attention to the song on the radio, and then my brain kicked in, and I thought “Wait, what? What’s this song saying?”

My brain seemed to be under the impression that the plot of the song could be summarized like such: I got a letter from an old girlfriend who’s still hung up on me. She was all “Blah de blah” and asked me lots of questions, and then she said, all casual-like “Call me sometime, and oh by the way, are you still drinking these days? JUST CURIOUS!” So I called her up and managed to stumble over my words, but eventually told her that no, I wasn’t drinking any more. Then we hung up the phone and I was all “Grrr! I’m such a LIAR! How am I gonna tell her the truth? She DESERVES to know the truth for some reason!” I pondered and thought and pondered some more, and then I was all EUREKA! So I sent her wine-colored roses so she’d know I’m still on the sauce! So I did! And I guess she did! But this story has no follow-through, so it shall be left to the listener! I assume she was all “Roses, he loves me! But they’re WINE-COLORED! He’s still throwin’ ’em back! Le sob!” The end.

The more I thought about it, the more I was like “That is an utterly ridiculous – seriously? She gets wine-colored roses and is supposed to extrapolate from that that he’s still drinking? I think you heard that incorrectly, dummy, because you were only half-listening since the other half your brain was thinking about KITTENS. You got it wrong, I’m sure.”

Then I forgot about it for a few days, and one night at bedtime, Fred and I were talking about something, and I remembered and told him the plot as I remembered it. He laughed, and then after he went to bed, I searched for the lyrics (I remembered the “Wine-colored roses” part of the song), and voila.

I was right.

Is it just me, or is George Jones being juuuuuust a little too subtle with the message-sending-through-rose-delivery? Because I feel that the old girlfriend could very likely be utterly THRILLED to find herself the recipient of roses, and the color (which some of we ignorant types might just refer to as “reddish-purple”) might go right over her head. She might be all “Roses! He DOES still love me back!” and then start planning their wedding. So he’s all “Hmm. She knows I’m drinking, and she’s A-OK with it!”, and she’s all “He’s not drinking any more (he told me so!), AND he sends me roses to show me that he loves me!”

Maybe once she discovers that he likes to send messages via rose color, she’ll learn to respond in kind. What color rose indicates “I’m leaving you for a richer (nondrinking) man”? Green?

No, wait. I think green indicates “You gave me herpes.”


By the by, if you’re ever looking for a country song that is EXCELLENT for singing along to, one that’s SUPER twangy and country, you can’t do better than D-I-V-O-R-C-E. I discovered that I know every damn word to that song, and sang it at the top of my lungs in the shower the other morning. Gotta love Tammy.



PS: This is just a little Peyton Place and you’re all Harper Valley hypocrites.

PPS: Someone needs to remake that one and tell the Harper Valley PTA to go fuck themselves.


2011: I swear to god it’s about time to turn on the closed captioning when I watch TV.
2010: Oh skimmers, why can’t I quit you?
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No, my number one concern is that a woman, somewhere in Alabama, might have purchased a device to ensure that she’s able to get off.
2006: The stinkin’ kitten is not so cute!
2005: Annnnnnnnd that’s just a little glimpse into the dorkiness that is my life.
2004: ARRRGH.
2003: No entry.
2002: Wow. Apparently I’ve been doing the pet store thing for three years now.
2001: Day Zero.
2000: I’m back!


The weather here lately has been absolutely freakin’ gorgeous (at least, it was until this past weekend, and right now it’s raining – but that’s okay, because we needed some rain!). After the long hot summer we had, it’s more than welcome. I could use daytime temps lower than the 80s but I know that’s … Continue reading “10/1/12”

The weather here lately has been absolutely freakin’ gorgeous (at least, it was until this past weekend, and right now it’s raining – but that’s okay, because we needed some rain!). After the long hot summer we had, it’s more than welcome. I could use daytime temps lower than the 80s but I know that’s coming. But when the temps get up into the low 80s, something happens that encourages all the house flies in the area to come on inside and hang out with us. The kittens will chase the flies, and sometimes catch them. Other times they chase the flies and tromp across my keyboard, hitting some key that makes everything go wonky, and then I have to have a hissy fit.

So, same old same old around here, in other words.

Fred started making a case to keep Magoo (AKA Tony Rocky Horror) a few weeks ago. As I opened my mouth to respond with the usual “We do NOT NEED ANY MORE FUCKING PERMANENT RESIDENT CATS” argument, I saw that someone – one of the permanent residents – had sprayed the foot board of my bed, and though I might have been convinced to keep Magoo’s crazy little potentially-loony self before I saw the spray, afterward that kitten had no chance in Hell of staying here for good. It ain’t happening, no matter what a cute little character he is. I love the hell out of our fosters, but have no desire to keep any more cats. Our permanents are in good shape – Spanky’s even put on about half a pound in the past few months – so for the time being we’ll be remaining at 13 permanent residents thankyouverymuch.

The garden’s pretty much done for the year. We’ve still got a few tomato plants chugging along, giving us a handful or two of Sungolds every week, and the okra plants are still hanging in there, but other than those and the catnip in one raised bed and the garlic chives in another, we’re done for the year. Well, I do have garlic coming, so we’ll be planting those in the big garden, but despite my big plans to plant cabbage and carrots this year, I am finding myself seriously unmotivated to do anything in the garden at this point, and so I’m guessing it’s not going to happen. We’ve got enough green beans, greens, carrots, corn, okra, and squash to get us through to next Summer. Maybe next year my get-up-and-go will have returned (maybe not).

I always get SUPER excited about the garden in the Winter, retain a little of the excitement through ’til early June, and then around the sixth or seventh time Fred walks through the door with a huge bucket of squash, I pretty much wish the garden would go fuck itself. This year we planted too much squash and not enough tomatoes. Next year I’ll be bitching about having too many tomatoes. That’s just how it goes.

Things are going fine; I made and canned a couple of batches of jalapeno jelly last week, and I’m about to start making habanero hot sauce and jams in the next week or so. We didn’t end up with a huge number of hababeros (probably because we didn’t plant many pepper plants this year), so the jams and hot sauces will be limited. When they’re made and available, I’ll announce them here, as well as at Love & Hisses.

(I’m still posting at Love & Hisses five days a week, for the record.)

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Have you checked out Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza lately? We’ve made Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings, Crockpot Beans and Hot Dogs, Sugar Cream Pie, and Sauteed Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes. Check ’em out!

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2011: The Catpranos
2010: Much like the cobbler’s children who go without shoes, we significant others of those who deal with computers have to beg and plead and limp along on crappy computers before the computer geniuses in our lives fix whatever is ailing our stupid computer.
2009: Life is good.
2008: How about that, genius?
2007: Except that seeing me so enraged the praying mantis that it took flight and flew at my head.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I could have done a faster job with a measuring spoon and my ass.
2003: She was stymied by her big butt, which wouldn’t fit under the shed.
2002: Here’s my question: It’s open 24-hours, so why the FUCKITY FUCK FUCK can’t they stock in the wee hours of the morning when NO ONE IS THERE?
2001: It’s funny how two people can look at the same thing and see it differently, isn’t it?
2000: No entry.


"These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." Rebuilding Ground Zero. + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003 2002 2001 2000

"These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

Rebuilding Ground Zero.

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2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.


Complete and utter randomness (sorry I haven’t been posting, I suck, etc. etc.) Fred and I went to Lacon Trade Day last Saturday. Lacon Trade Day is basically an outdoor flea market where they sell all manner of things. If you can think of it, they probably sell it there – especially if you’re looking … Continue reading “8/28/12”

Complete and utter randomness (sorry I haven’t been posting, I suck, etc. etc.)

Fred and I went to Lacon Trade Day last Saturday. Lacon Trade Day is basically an outdoor flea market where they sell all manner of things. If you can think of it, they probably sell it there – especially if you’re looking for something like used t-shirts from the ’80s or rusted farm implements, canned goods, dented box food, the occasional produce. It’s kind of a crapfest, to be honest, and we rarely spend more than a couple of dollars. But it’s a place to go and spend some time, gets us out of the house, and I like the drive home. We usually drive there via the interstate and then drive home up a highway that meanders a bit.

We always start at the front of the flea market and work our way toward the back. The back is generally where the interesting stuff – chickens, turkeys, occasionally goats and pigs – is. Back when we were starting out and had our original 12 hens, we got our very first rooster, McLovin’, at Lacon.

So this time we were there about 45 minutes, and we decided to stop in Decatur on our way home to pick up subs for lunch. We were driving toward Firehouse Subs, when I noticed a small airplane towing a banner. I squinted up at it, trying to read what it said.

“Hey, there’s an airplane towing a banner,” Fred pointed out.

“Yeah, I see,” I said.

“What does it say?” he asked.

“I can’t tell.”

Fred drove, occasionally squinting up at the sign, and I kept trying to figure out the words.

“I see ‘Kyle’,” Fred said.

“Yeah… Visit? ‘Visit Kyle 4?” I said.

We squinted some more.

“‘Visit Kyle for…. Water,'” I finally declared. “Today!”

“Where are we supposed to visit Kyle for water? And why does it have to be today? Is this a one-time thing?” Fred pondered.

“That’s a bad sign,” I said. “It doesn’t even say where to find Kyle!”

“Bad advertising,” Fred agreed.

And just then the plane swooped closer.

“‘VOTE KYLE 4 MAYOR’,” Fred said. “‘TUESDAY’!”

That made a lot more sense but, y’know? I think I liked ours better.

After we’d picked up our subs and were headed home, we actually passed a small group of men waving “Kyle for Mayor” signs. Fred wouldn’t stop so I could say “WHERE’S MY GODDAMN WATER, KYLE?!” He’s no fun.

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Over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, Nance and I have been making all kinds of stuff. Banana Split Icebox Cake! Steel Cut Oatmeal in the Crock Pot! Blueberry Cream Cheese Hand Pies! And mooooooore!

Go check it out if you haven’t in a while.

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Pro tip: If you walk by a cat toy 3,000 times in the course of a day, and every time you pass by, a little voice in your head says “That REALLY looks like a dead mouse. For serious.” and another little voice says “Yeah, but remember that one toy? It always makes us think it’s a dead mouse. Why would a dead mouse be under the dining room table? It’s just that toy.” If that happens? Then I recommend you stop and actually directly look at the goddamn thing.

Because it’s a fucking mouse, and it’s been sitting there ALL DAY LONG.

What made this particularly horrifying is that when I was scooping litter boxes in the morning (around 7), I looked down and said “Huh. That looks like a Navy Bean. What’s a Navy Bean doing here on the rug in the front room? And why is it attached to something long and grody looking?” I picked it up by the long and grody looking thing (don’t judge me) and called Fred over.

“What the holy fuck is this?” I asked.

He examined it. “It’s some sort of organ,” he said. “See the veins?”

I did indeed.

“I think it’s a bird testicle,” he said.

I shuddered, tossed it in the bag of litter box scoopings, and went to wash my hands.

Later, around noon, I went out into the back yard to hang something on the clothes line. There, laying in the middle of the walkway between the back steps and the cement patio, was a pile of what looked very much like small rodent organs that had been ingested and then vomited back up. It was covered in flies.

“UGH. Go out there and scoop that pile of nasty up and toss it out of the back yard!” I demanded.

“I’m not going out there,” Fred said.

Later, I was sitting at my desk, and Fred went out into the back yard. He bent over, examined the pile of nasty, and then






I’m sorry, motherfucker, did I ASK you to nasty up the rest of the back yard? Did I? DID I?

That motherfucker.

But in any case, after all that, it still took me COMPLETELY by surprise to find a little disemboweled mouse under the dining room table.

I love my cats, but sometimes my cats are huge assholes. Sometimes I’d be willing to sell them all for $1.95.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: The excitement yesterday morning is that when Fred brought Hjonkie into the kitchen, he first hissed at the kittens (I had no idea that turkeys hissed!), and then he registered his displeasure by shooting out a great big Turkey poop on the floor.
2008: Who knew we’re such cranky motherfuckers?
2007: On my way back home.
2006: And I thought Fucker, at least they don’t leave me to cool my heels for over an hour without bothering to let me know they’re running late.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: These kids need someone to come organize their lives is what they need.
2002: “What the hell?” I said, amazed. How far could the fucking thing have gone?
2001: Gah. I’ve got that unsettling panic-causing “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feeling, and I don’t know why.
2000: “An E-scort. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of those. I wonder if they’re new.”


This weekend, we started watching The Wire. This is, I think, the third time we’ve tried watching it, and though we were unable to get into it before, this time it clicked with us. And we have an entire five seasons to look forward to! I have to have my iPod Touch with me while … Continue reading “8/6/12”

This weekend, we started watching The Wire. This is, I think, the third time we’ve tried watching it, and though we were unable to get into it before, this time it clicked with us. And we have an entire five seasons to look forward to! I have to have my iPod Touch with me while we’re watching it, though, because we have many instances of “He looks familiar! Who IS that?”, and I look them up on IMDB.

IMDB came in handy when I started wondering if Dominic West (McNulty) was American. I suspected he wasn’t, and wasn’t surprised to find out that he’s British. Not long after I confirmed that (and told Fred), there was a scene where McNulty is awakened by the phone, and when he answered the phone, his “Hello” sounded VERY British.

“He sounded really British just then,” Fred said.

“I know!”

“‘ALLO!” Fred said.

“Pip pip!” I said.

Oh, we crack ourselves up so very much.

I think that when we finish The Wire, we may give Deadwood another try. Both of these shows were highly recommended by Fred’s work friend, Mike, who likes a lot of the same shows that we do.

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This has probably already been answered by you, but I can’t find it. We have way too much summer squash in our garden (what were we thinking with six plants???) I love it, but no way we can eat enough to keep up, and our neighbors are starting to hide when they see us coming … my co-workers cringe at the sight of yet another basket of “free” squash. So – we bit the bullet and today bought a Foodsaver vacuum sealing machine. I’ve never used one before, and have no idea the best way to preserve it. We have patty-pan, crook neck, round zucchini, and some other darker round summer squash. Any advice?

I would shred the zucchini and freeze it like this, and then you can use it for all kinds of things – zucchini bread, zucchini tots, zucchini muffins, toss it in stews or soups or spaghetti sauce. I actually feel like we didn’t get enough zucchini this year – it’s so versatile (and so much less seedy than other squashes) that it’s my favorite.

With the other kinds of squash, I preserve them in the following ways:

1. Cut them up and make Oven-Fried Summer Squash, only instead of baking them for the entire 20 minutes, just bake them for 10 minutes, then flash freeze them (I usually just let them cool, on the pan, and then stick the whole pan in the freezer) and put them in a big plastic freezer ziplock bag. To eat, bake the (frozen) squash at 425 for 10 minutes, flip, and then bake another 5. (You could also just prepare the squash like you were going to bake it, and then put it, unbaked (and flash frozen) into a big plastic bag, but I think it holds together better if it’s been partially baked first.)

2. Cut up the squash and boil it until it’s fork-tender. Drain for about 10 minutes in a colander, and then put the boiled chunks into a Foodsaver bag and seal (I usually put the squash in the Foodsaver bags, stick them in the freezer for the day and then seal them, because you can drain squash forever, and it’s still going to put off a ton of water.) Then to eat the squash, I either heat it and then mash it, add salt and pepper and butter, and serve. Or you can just heat the chunks and eat it like that. ALSO, you could use it to make Baked Squash. I’ve also mashed the squash before I froze it, to make it easier to serve mashed squash or to make the baked squash.

3. Slice the squash in 1/4″ slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper and maybe a little parmesan, and then bake for 10 minutes at 425ºF. Let it cool, freeze it, and put it in a big plastic bag. I use these slices of squash in casseroles, as if they were noodles, like such. That recipe uses freshly roasted summer squash – I’d stick the frozen roasted summer squash in a 425 oven for 10 minutes each side, then use as if they were fresh.

That’s what I do with my squash – if anyone has more suggestions, please share!

And on another completely unrelated topic … what did you think of Ann Curry’s last morning on the Today Show?

I actually don’t watch the morning shows, and only knew that Ann Curry was leaving after she’d gone. I understand Matt Lauer was reportedly behind it, part of his contract negotiations that she’d leave the show. I don’t have any real opinions on the topic – know who Ann Curry is, but haven’t watched any morning shows in years.

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Isn’t David Morse only 3 years older than Tom Cruise?

Also, Robyn if you still have a green pond, you can throw some barley in there to clean it up naturally.

I had NO idea that David Morse is only 3 years older than Tom Cruise. Clearly Tom Cruise has sold his soul to the devil to remain looking so young for his age!

We got a bale of barley, and Fred stuffed a bag with it, and tossed it in the pond. I understand it’ll take a few weeks to make a difference, so I’m keeping an eye on it!

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They just ended the blackout of the viacom channels after ten days and a new contract. I was still getting AMC somehow. But hold the phone…there’s a dvr that records FIVE shows at a time? I have the boring 2 show recorder. Hmph. Did u get the whole house dvr set up? I want to do that. I have had very good service from DirecTV. I only lose a signal when the storms get really bad which hasn’t happened often.

There IS a DVR that records five shows at once! It’s not the one you get automatically, and they actually brought us the wrong DVR the first time, requiring that Fred spend more time on the phone to get them to come out and replace the one we had with the 5-show one. I don’t know that we actually NEED to tape 5 shows at once, but it’s nice to have the option!

We only have one TV in the house, so didn’t get the whole-house set up. I wouldn’t mind having a second TV, but there’s a DirecTV app that you can download for your iPad, so once I get my new iPad (which I am currently saving up for), I’m going to install the app and will be able to watch TV in the kitchen while I’m making dinner or whatever. Woohoo!

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Last week my friend said “Hmm, I’m gonna check out Breaking Bad, everyone says it’s sooo good. You should too.”

So I fired up Netflix and now, less than a week later I am on season 4 and already getting the shakes because my Breaking Bad episodes are almost over.

I may or may not have called in to work last Monday to watch more.


Man, is it weird that I wish I’d never seen an episode of Breaking Bad so it could all be new to me?

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Elaine hit the nail on the head, why I can’t stand Tom Cruise as an actor. I never lose the sense of the fact that “here is Tom Cruise, acting” when I watch him. I compare him to someone like Russell Crowe, who I know got a lot of bad press, but is a hell of an actor. I saw him in The Insider and Gladiator in one week, and couldn’t believe it was the same guy. More than just the physical transformation-he just inhabits the characters.

Terrible miscasting for the Reacher film.

Annnnnd now they’re talking about Russell Crowe to play Roland of Gilead. Fred’s having fits.

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I bookmarked this blog post for when I finally get my act together and plant some garlic. I hope it helps!

Thank you! I’ve got my garlic ordered, so I will be planting it in October and hopefully harvesting it next summer!

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I have geezer eyes (tm Jane) and I thought there was two hippie neighbors playing a guitar off to the left side of you in the pool. Turns out it’s an upturned wheelbarrow. heh.


Sometimes I just need a real good belly laugh to lift my spirits. You did it for me tonight Libby. I am still chuckling.
Reminds me of the time my sister asked to borrow my Oil of Olay and I said I don’t think it’s a horrible day.



At first I thought you were wearing water wings in the pool (ha!), then I figured those blue things must be the ends of a noodle?

2012-06-28 (5)

Yes, those are the ends of a noodle, which I was sitting on.

Also, about the pool: it’s dead. The inflatable top part started deflating, and despite much examination, we couldn’t find where the leak was. We haven’t been swimming in a week, and I miss the damn thing!

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Don’t you have to aerate your pond to keep the water moving around so you don’t attract mosquitoes? (Or other hideous bug creatures. ::shudder:: EWWWWW!!!!)

We have actually had zero issues with mosquitoes this year. I think between the catfish, the bats, and the dragonflies, the mosquitoes are being eaten as soon as (or before!) they hatch.

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I had trouble reading this because I was so anxious about Tommy (even though I saw that you’d found him!).

Did Stinkerbelle notice he was gone, or react in any way when her beloved boy reappeared?

Stinkerbelle didn’t seem to notice that Tommy was gone, but I wonder if she sensed he was in (under) the house, so wasn’t worried about not actually seeing him!

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My first thought was, FRED GOT A BABY DUCK! 😉

There have been NO baby ducks, thank you! 🙂

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I’m not understanding how people give out the wrong email address. I mean, REALLY?? How do you not remember that when you signed up at gmail or wherever that your name was already taken and so you had to add numbers or words to your name to make it unique. I just can’t believe that people are really so dumb, and yet… they ARE.

Last week, I got a notification that “my” resume had been submitted to a company. Further investigation showed that someone had signed up with an online temp agency and gave my email address as their own. I logged in, changed the password, and then changed part of the general description to “I am too stupid to know my own email address. Please don’t hire me.” Probably no one will ever see it, but it made me feel better!

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A couple of weeks ago I got an email about Vacation Bible School for some other Elayne’s daughter, who wanted to bring a friend who wasn’t a member of the church. I replied with my stock, “You have the wrong email address, please contact your intended recipient for his/her correct email information” and thought nothing more of it. Then the other day, I woke up to three or four emails from various people at that same church, including two that had another version of an “elayne” email address (like elayneXYZ@… or elayne99@…). So I googled for instructions on how to spoof the return email address.

Now, I don’t know if I did it right, but if I DID, then a bunch of people that day got an email from “God & Jesus C. Almighty,” saying “We’ve always been pretty big on the ‘love your neighbor’ and ‘don’t antagonize each other’ stuff, and that applies to people on the internet, too. Now: Take three seconds to delete that email address because she’s already told you it’s not the right one, and Elayne? You’d BETTER NOT give that email address out as your own again. You really don’t want to test Me on this one.”

Good thing I’m not a believer, or I’d be nervous that I’d just helped myself to a nice single-bed spot in Hell…


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Saw this, thought of you:

funny facebook fails - Man-Spider
see more Failbook


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2011: There are five of them, obviously.
2010: Oh, I crack myself UP with that picture.
2009: I like how he thinks he has any choice in the matter.
2008: Meet Michele the chicken!
2007: (Miz Poo, upon seeing me pick up a fly swatter and walk toward her, whines and runs away. Like I beat her spoiled ass on a regular basis! I don’t, but I oughta. She deserves it.)
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: The morning I wake up and find a cricket in bed with me is the day I start closing the cat door at night, believe you me.
2002: No entry.
2001: Yeah, like YOU don’t have a voice in your head that reads things to you…
2000: No entry.


Yesterday I saw my doctor for my every-six-months checkup. I had my blood drawn the week before, so she went over the test results with me. All the numbers are where they’re supposed to be, my blood pressure was 110/70, I am healthy as a horse. All I needed was another prescription for my thyroid … Continue reading “8/1/12”

Yesterday I saw my doctor for my every-six-months checkup. I had my blood drawn the week before, so she went over the test results with me. All the numbers are where they’re supposed to be, my blood pressure was 110/70, I am healthy as a horse. All I needed was another prescription for my thyroid meds, and I was good to go.

If you’re in the Madison area and need a good Primary Care doctor, let me know. I absolutely adore my doctor, I love everyone who works there, I very highly recommend them. Love ’em!

Of course, isn’t it right after you get the “You’re healthy as can be!” diagnosis from your doctor that you have an aneurysm or heart attack or die of some mysterious disease? I’m sure the instant she said that, that a clock started counting down to my demise.

I give it two weeks.

I stopped on the way home to pick up baby food (for the kittens and Spanky). I tend to always buy every jar of Gerber Chicken baby food that they have on the shelf because it’s the sort of thing that I always need to have on hand, and usually they don’t keep that item particularly well stocked. This time around, they must have stocked pretty recently, because there were 30 jars on the shelf.

That’s right, I bought them all.

Then I walked down to the pharmacy section and picked up a box of ear plugs for Fred. We both wear ear plugs at night, but can’t wear the same kind (the ones he likes are too long for my ear canal, and that sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it?). So I tossed the ear plugs in the cart and headed over to check out.

I’d just gotten all the jars of baby food onto the conveyer belt and was putting the box of ear plugs next to them when an elderly lady came up behind me. I was standing there looking at the covers of the tabloids (it’s how I keep abreast of the important news!) when I thought to look over at her to see why she was standing there, unmoving, instead of unloading her groceries.

She was staring at the baby food and the ear plugs. She gave me a Look, then glanced back at the baby food and ear plugs, and gave me another Look.

I can’t imagine what she thought I was going to do, but she clearly didn’t approve. I only wish I’d been buying a case of beer while I was at it. THAT probably would have blown her mind.

(I wish I’d thought to look in a judgmental manner at HER groceries. I could have been all “Mmhmm. I see. You’re buying bread. You’re THAT kind of person, are you? Please stay back.”)

Then I had to endure a long, involved conversation with the bagger, who wanted to know how old my baby was. Then she was surprised that I would give the baby food to kittens because she thought it was for babies. I told her that it was made for human babies but that kittens like it, and she was all kinds of amazed by that.

Why do I have to earnestly answer these questions that strangers ask me? WHY couldn’t I have just said “Two babies. And yes, they adore chicken baby food.” Then probably she would have been all “Are they twins?” and I would have had to stop and consider the likelihood of my wandering out to the grocery store on a whim, because WHO was watching the twins? I bet she would have wanted to know who was babysitting, and then she would have gotten all pushy about how she’s a great baby sitter, and she would have been all “You should go out Friday night and I can babysit!”

Oh, but wait, she couldn’t have babysat the twins – Claude and Chauncey. They’re redheads and big for their age.- Friday night because her Mom is taking her to the beach to go swimming this weekend. (I wish I was kidding about knowing her plans for the weekend, she told me ALL about her beach plans, and excuse me HOW long does it TAKE to ring up 30 goddamn jars of baby food, DAVID THE CASHIER, for fuck’s sake? This is why I try not to leave the house. The chattiness and the mumbling. And why is it that the chattiest people are the worst mumblers? What the FUCK? I just smile and nod and hope I haven’t inadvertently agreed to wear a puffy shirt on the Today Show. For fuck’s sake, people, SPEAK THE FUCK UP.)

The chattiness I could have done without, but when all my groceries were bagged and I was ready to go, she didn’t even act like she was dying to take my groceries out to the car. That’s how I prefer my baggers, personally – the ones who are all “No, really! I’ve got it! Let’s go!” and then zoom off with my fucking cart drive me nuts. It’s bad enough I’ve gotta chitchat with the people inside the store, I need to chitchat all the way out to my car? NO THANK YOU.

Usually if they try to insist, I smile a smile that doesn’t even try to resemble a real smile, and I say “I’m stronger than I look!” and off I go.

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Speaking of being stronger than I look, last time I was at Sam’s, I bought a couple of 40-pound bags of Fresh Step.

(Actually, they might have been 42-pound bags. They did away with the awesomely convenient and handy 40-pound buckets in favor of earth-saving plastic bags, and make it up to the consumer by making them two pounds heavier.)

I’d put the first one in the cart, and was reaching for the second one, when a little old lady who worked there came toddling over.

“Oh my goodness!” she said, all full of concern. “You shouldn’t be lifting that! Let me do it!”

She was like four feet tall and frail. I could have broken her in half if I’d laughed too hard in her direction. In retrospect, I wish I’d let her do it, because I’m curious as to whether she would have been able to. Instead I just smiled, said “I’m stronger than I look!” and grabbed the second bag.

Hmm. Maybe SHE is ALSO stronger than she looks! I hadn’t considered that ’til now.

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Some time ago, I got really into listening to Bob & Sheri on the radio in the morning. It’s a syndicated show, and Fred started listening to it on the way to work. He talked about it so often that I started listening to it in the mornings when I was taking a shower. Eventually, I started downloading the podcasts and listening to it when I was doing chores and working in the garden, because I always felt like I was missing something – they’d do a “Blah blah blah something interesting something you wanna hear – coming up in 30 minutes!” teaser, but HELLO. I’ve got shit to DO, I can’t be cooling my heels waiting to hear what you’ve got to tell me, even though it DOES sound really interesting. (The bonus is that when listening to the podcasts, you don’t have to listen to that pesky “music”, just the talk-show part of the show.)

I continued to listen to them when I was showering and getting ready in the morning, because I really like the show.

And then.


The radio station stopped carrying Bob and Sheri. THE FRICKIN’ NERVE of them. They’ve replaced them with a (I’m sure much less expensive) local team that I absolutely cannot stand. The woman of the team has been on this station for years, and Fred loathes her. She laughs and laughs and laughs at every innocuous, unfunny thing her morning show partner says – this is not her first “morning team” situation, she’s been part of other morning teams, as well as on her own – and I really can’t stand it.

(Fred’s sure she’s either related to or sleeping with someone who has final say about the deejays at that station.)

So now my morning showers are without joy. I can still listen to Bob and Sheri via the podcasts, but I don’t listen to the iPod in the shower (I could get speakers for the iPod, but eh. I don’t wanna.) and I don’t much care for any of the other morning teams on the local stations. I can stand whozits on WZYP (Mojo, I think?), but I prefer to listen to nothing at all.

Fucking program managers – or whoever the hell is responsible for that kind of decision-making. I used to listen to Ace and TJ several years ago, but they all of a damn sudden stopped carrying them, too.

Fucking fuckers.

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PS: I know I’ve been sucking at responding to comments. I’m going to have a big comment-answering post on Friday. Possibly Monday. One or the other!

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2011: “Sweet pickled Jesus is it hot out there!”
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: We’re fun like that.
2007: Did the Zodiac Killer curse them with doughy bodies, was that the unspoken conspiracy?
2006: No entry.
2005: Debbie: “Oh, right. I used to boil Brian’s nipples when he was a baby.”
2004: Hawaii.
2003: No entry.
2002: Y’know, I have way too much fun making fun of that man.
2001: Excuse me, he’s known about this closing for well over a month and still can’t manage to be on time? How self-important can you be?
2000: Fucking every time I drive through Pennsylvania it fucking pours down rain.


Y’all, talk to me about garlic. Burpees tells me it’s time to start thinking ahead about Fall crops, and as garlic is supposed to be planted in the Fall, I’m thinking about it. (I’m very obedient.) Do I want hardneck or softneck? I’m thinking hardneck because I read somewhere that it stores longer, but then … Continue reading “7/19/12”

Y’all, talk to me about garlic. Burpees tells me it’s time to start thinking ahead about Fall crops, and as garlic is supposed to be planted in the Fall, I’m thinking about it. (I’m very obedient.) Do I want hardneck or softneck? I’m thinking hardneck because I read somewhere that it stores longer, but then I read that softneck lasts longer, so what the hell? I know zilch about garlic aside from the fact that I like it, and I’m not planning to go hog wild with the growing of it, just want to plant some for my first try at it. So my ears are open, give me some advice, and if you have a favorite variety, let me know. I’m willing to try anything!

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Look. I know you probably can’t tell this, but I try not to be a snob. I really really try. But when it comes to things like casting the tiny Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, I can’t get on board. I mean, COME ON. Jack Reacher is a huge hulk of a man. Tom Cruise is a tiny, elfin thing.

(Okay, I exaggerate. But seriously, he is neither huge nor hulking.)

I hoped and prayed that I’d be proven wrong – I wanted to be proven wrong, I did! – but after viewing the trailer, I’m concluding that Tom Cruise is no Jack Reacher. Not only is he too small, but his voice is too high, and he’s trying too hard when he says “Remember, you asked for this.” He’s too obviously ACTING, because Jack Reacher would say that sentence without trying to make it sound menacing – and it would make you shit your pants. When Tom Cruise says it, trying too hard, it just makes me want to boop him in the nose, all “Oooh, little man, who’s the little man? Who’s going to kick my ass? I’m soooooo scared!”

David Morse would have been an excellent Reacher (though I think he’s probably too old for it now). Now THERE is a man who can be menacing without having to work at it.

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Recently, after being repeatedly warned that Dish Network would no longer be carrying AMC, and knowing that one of the best shows ever – Breaking Bad – airs on AMC, we switched from Dish Network to DirecTV (or however the hell they capitalize it).

What a friggin’ undertaking. When Fred called DirecTV to sign up with them, he was on the phone for something ridiculous like 45 minutes. He finally got done with that call, which was basically just setting up the appointment to have it installed, and from then on the phone rang what seemed like constantly. An automated call to let us know that we’d set up the appointment for this day and this time. An automated call to remind us again. Another automated call to remind us that the appointment was the next day. A call in the morning to make sure someone would be home. The installer called later in the morning to let us know what approximate time he’d be here. A call when he was on the way. And then? A call to ask if the house number was on the mailbox. (At that point, I was able to say “You should be able to see a man in a red shirt mowing the lawn. That’s the house.”)

They got it hooked up and the guy left and then we discovered that the DVR they’d installed, rather than being the one that can record five (!) things at once, was the regular, boring two-things-at-once DVR. I was not having this, not because we necessarily need to record five (!) things at once, but because there have been many times when we’ve needed to record three things at once, but couldn’t and thus had to decide which show to skip. So Fred had to call and make another appointment for another installer to come out. Cue the incessant phone calls.

In the meantime, since we had our DirecTV service set up, Fred called Dish Network to cancel. Weren’t they so very sad, Dish Network was, that after they gave Fred the BULLSHIT spiel about how Dish wasn’t REALLY going to drop AMC, they were still in negotiations, blah de blah (which is total bullshit, as they do NOT carry AMC any longer), to find out that Fred had already signed the contract with DirecTV and there was nothing Dish was going to be able to say to change that. So they told Fred that they’d send a kit to us so we could send the DVR, remote, and something else from the satellite dish back to them.

For the next week, we got calls from Dish letting us know that our mailing kit was on the way and that if we didn’t send their shit back to them within 30 days, there’d be a charge. Every fucking day, multiple times a day.

I started referring to Dish as “our psycho ex-boyfriend” and DirecTV as “our insecure new boyfriend.” After Dish called, I’d hang up and say “That was our psycho ex-boyfriend letting us know that he still wants his shit back.” After DirecTV called, I’d hang up and say “Our insecure new boyfriend wants to make sure we’ll really show up for our date.”

Of course, as soon as DirecTV got the new DVR installed, we started getting the “How’d we do?!” calls. And once Dish got their shit back, they stopped calling, though they’re still sending letters in the mail trying to woo us back. “Dear Fred Anderson, We’ll do anything to get you back!” they say. Yeah? Okay, buy out our two year contract with DirecTV, start carrying AMC again, and give us the cool five-tuner DVR. Somehow when they say they’ll do “anything”, they mean “anything but that.”

Do I love DirecTV more than Dish? Well, the DVR that records five things at once is cool, as is the three months of free HBO, Showtime and Cinemax (I think Starz, too, but who the hell watches that channel?), but I think in the scheme of things they’re all the same.

Alls I know is that Breaking Bad premiered this week, and we were all OVER that shit. Love that damn Jesse Pinkman. Bitch.

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2011: Probably the early-onset Alzheimer’s.
2010: Things on my recent list of annoyances.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Goddamn squirrels.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: OR I may have thought to myself, well, every author is entitled to a horrid piece of excrement or two.
2001: I’ve been packing in a desultory and lazy fashion this week, and have about half the upstairs done.
2000: I think if any of the kitties lose their mind and go on a human-throat-gnawing spree, it’ll be her.

7/6/12 – Friday

Warning: There are bugs in this section. Skip to the next section if bugs bug you. HA. So, we don’t have a cap on the chimney in the front room. Actually, we did, but it blew off and then the company that put it on in the first place went out of business, and we … Continue reading “7/6/12 – Friday”

Warning: There are bugs in this section. Skip to the next section if bugs bug you. HA.

So, we don’t have a cap on the chimney in the front room. Actually, we did, but it blew off and then the company that put it on in the first place went out of business, and we haven’t had any luck finding someone to do it. So we put a piece of styrofoam across the bottom of the chimney and have successfully ignored the issue. Last week, Fred came downstairs in the morning and found that a big piece of a nest had fallen down the chimney with three little birds inside. They, unfortunately, were beyond saving when he found them. The nest and the baby birds were heavy enough that when they hit the styrofoam, they knocked it out of the chimney.

I should add here that there are two litter boxes in that fireplace because we needed a place for litter boxes, and we don’t use that fireplace.

The next day, I came downstairs and went into the front room to scoop those litter boxes. And then I squinted down at the litter boxes, and I said “Well, that doesn’t look right.” I turned the overhead light on, and saw the ugliest bug I’ve seen in a while, laying in one of the litter boxes (the one directly under the chimney opening).

I don’t know what it is, but I hope I never see one alive. Anyone know what it is? (I know I could search on What’s That Bug?, but I cannot look at that site without feeling like something’s CRAWLING on me for the rest of the day.)

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2012-07-05 (47)

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Just, GAH. If one of these comes flying at my face, I will tip over dead of a heart attack immediately.

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Delores, the Orb Weaver who lives in the front flower bed. I think she’s about doubled in size since she first showed up a few weeks ago.

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I know not what this is, but I think it has really pretty colors.

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I hope y’all had a fabulous 4th of July. Ours was nice – very relaxing – until the sun went down and the douchebags came crawling out of the woodwork. What is it about fireworks that attracts assholes so much, do you suppose? Some fuckwads in our area set off fireworks until MIDNIGHT. Now, Fred didn’t have to work yesterday (he took Thursday and today off so he could have a nice long stretch of time off), but surely there are SOME people in this area who had to get up early? What sucked the most was that there’d be a long enough period of silence that we’d think that they were done, and then they’d start up again. Grrr.

Combine that with the fact that Tom Cullen settled into bed against me and proceeded to spend AN HOUR licking his ass – and he is not a small cat, so when he grooms, the entire bed shakes – and it’s kind of amazing that something didn’t get shot last night, I was so irritated.

Of course, that well-known holiday July 5th follows July 4th, so we were treated to another evening of sporadic fireworks.

It sucked, but when I think of living in Madison and walking out the front door the morning after July 4th to find that the douchebag neighbors, who’d been setting off fireworks the night before, left all their fucking fireworks shit all over our front lawn, well.

I guess I can handle a little lost sleep.

(However, I don’t think it’s fair that Madison waited for me to leave to put in that Target literally 3 minutes from where we used to live. HMPH.)

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For those of you who wanted to see the “redneck” (according to Fred) pool, here it is.

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Also, the pond as of last week:

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Now that it’s full enough to keep the catfish alive, I’m trying to convince Fred that we need an aerator out there to get rid of the green crap. He doesn’t seem to agree with me that we need to do anything – of course, what will probably happen is that he’ll present the idea of an aerator for the pond to me as if he suddenly thought of it himself, and we’ll have to immediately go out and get one.

Whatever works, I s’pose.

6/20/12 – Wednesday

Happy Summer Solstice! Don’t party too hard. I can’t believe the days are going to start getting shorter. That is just WRONG. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   I know, I suck, I have been so incredibly scattered … Continue reading “6/20/12 – Wednesday”

Happy Summer Solstice! Don’t party too hard.

I can’t believe the days are going to start getting shorter. That is just WRONG.

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I know, I suck, I have been so incredibly scattered lately that I haven’t taken the time to post over here. What can I say? That fucker keeps bringing me buckets and buckets and BUCKETS of squash and green beans, and who gets to deal with them? That’s right, I’ve been spending days upon days dealing with this shit. On the up side, when the zombie apocalypse occurs, we’ll be able to bring down the hordes by beaning them with frozen squash and green beans. If you play Words with Friends with me, you’ll note that I’m playing awfully slowly these days. Things will chill out soon enough, I suspect.

We’ve also been eating a LOT of squash. The majority of the meals around here have consisted of some sort of squash main dish with another sort of squash side dish, and a second side dish of green beans. We’re getting our veggies in, that’s for sure.

I’ve been bitching at Fred about planting so many squash plants, and trying to convince him that next year he should plant ONE row of summer squash instead of two and ONE row of winter squash. I like to act like it was all his decision, but back in May when the planting was going on, I was all for planting as many squash plants as humanly possible.


We planted lemon squash this year because I read something about them last year and thought “We should grow those!”, and sent off for the seeds. The plants are HUGELY prolific, and the squash are tasty and less seedy than the crooknecks. (You see mostly lemon squash in that gray bucket in the picture.) They’re called lemon squash, by the way, because they look like lemons. They don’t have any sort of lemony taste to them.

Fred thinks – and I agree – that the produce our garden is, uh, producing this year is particularly pretty. We did a lot of work up front at the beginning of the growing season, and now we don’t do much more work in the garden than picking produce.

We’re growing banana peppers this year for the first time – obviously – because I have a banana butter recipe I want to try. The funny thing is that I’m not a fan of any kind of pepper, but I always insist that we grow some. The jalapenos are pretty this year, too.

All in all, a good garden year. I’m growing one row of tomatoes this year, but the mistake I made – and didn’t even think about – was that I planted mostly cherry tomatoes and Compari tomatoes (which are bigger than cherry tomatoes, smaller than plum tomatoes). I planted one kind of full-size tomato, which doesn’t really lend itself to the amount of oven-fried green tomatoes that we like to get in our summer diet. I need to remedy that next year.

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If you’re reading Fred’s blog, you know that we successfully had a well dug right outside the back yard. The next step was to have an electrician come out and run electricity to the well pump, which they did last week. They had to use a trencher to dig a trench from a corner of the house, across the back yard, to the well. Three guys showed up bright and early to do the job.

It never occurred to me to shut the back door, which I of COURSE should have thought of. All of the cats except Miz Poo are skittish if not downright terrified of strangers, so I figured that when strangers entered the back yard, the cats would all run inside. And they did – but it STILL didn’t occur to me to shut the back door so that all the cats would be inside.

I didn’t sit and watch the work, because I had shit to do, and so about mid-morning when I sat down at my desk and glanced out the back window, I was horrified to see Tommy sniffing around the trench in the back yard and the side gate standing wide open. I went out and shooed Tommy away from the trench, and shut the gate.

Once again, I did NOT shut the back door, because I’m an idiot.

They got the electricity run, the trench filled in, and then were on their way. I walked out into the back yard to examine the filled-in trench, and that’s when I realized that the front gate was standing wide fucking open. I came inside and ran around the house, calling cats and trying to figure out if anyone was missing. After about 10 minutes, I came to the conclusion that Tommy, Jake, and Corbie were all missing. I spent the next hour walking around the property calling for them at the top of my lungs.

Finally, as I was approaching the side stoop, I saw Corbie huddled under the side stoop. It took a lot of convincing, but I finally got Corbie herded into the back yard, and then he ran for the back door. Half an hour later, I found Jake in the same spot. I got him inside (though not before he gave me a heart attack by acting like he was going to run into the road. I screamed so loud my throat hurt for the next two days. It scared the fuck out of him, luckily, and he swerved and ran behind the garage.)

But no Tommy. I walked around the property and called and called for him, I checked every spot I could think of, and couldn’t find him anywhere. I opened the door on the side of the house that leads to the creepy crawlspace under the house (the electrician had to go under there at one point) and called, and no Tommy. When Fred got home he did the same.

I was positive that Tommy would show up at dusk, but he didn’t. We left the gates to the back yard open that night in hopes that Tommy would find his way home. I was sure that when Fred woke me up before he left for work, he’d report that Tommy was home.

He wasn’t.

All that day, I walked around the property and called for Tommy, to no avail. Fred did the same when he got home. We both worried that Tommy had wandered too far and had been attacked by a dog or a coyote or just couldn’t find his way home again.

That evening, I was doing something upstairs, and Fred walked into the room with Tommy in his arms.

As it turned out, Fred thought of looking in the crawlspace under the house one more time. He opened the door and called and called for Tommy, heard a distant meow, and waited and called some more. Finally, Tommy came nervously toward him. All that time we’d spent walking around the property, that poor kitty was literally right under our feet.

THANK GOD Fred thought of looking under there again. Tommy had to have escaped through the front gate, gone all the way around the house, and then slipped into the crawl space while the door was open. He was a determined boy!

Tommy was subdued for a couple of days, but he’s back to his usual self now, thank god. He doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects from being without food and water for a day and a half (Fred said “Maybe he was eating mice under there!”). If he had meowed while he was down there, we would have heard him – once upon a time, back when we first got him, Joe Bob got into the crawlspace through a gap around the air conditioning unit and I could hear him meowing under the floor in the front room (we’ve since blocked that gap, of course). Poor Tommy.

I was, of course, irritated with the electrician – I mean, the gates are there for a REASON – but I am mostly irritated with myself. I should have thought to close the back door so the cats couldn’t go into the back yard, and I should have been more vigilant, and – hey, here’s a thought, dumbass! – I should have mentioned to the guys working in the back yard that the gates needed to be shut so the cats didn’t escape. We were really lucky this time that we didn’t permanently lose any cats.

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“I hope you feel so guilty you give me lots of treats, you awful woman.”

You better believe it’s not going to happen again.

The same company who did the work running the electricity was supposed to come out Monday to run the water line from the pump by the pig yard out to the pond. I was worried that they’d leave the gate to the back forty open and that George and Gracie would escape.

“Should I make a sign for the gate?” I fretted to Fred. “I should, shouldn’t I?”

“Yeah, sure,” Fred said, clearly not listening to me.

So I made a sign and hung it on the gate.


And then I laughed and laughed and LAUGHED (inappropriate use of punctuation annoys us both) and sent the picture to Fred at work. He apparently got a kick out of it, too.

(And then I took down that sign and hung up the real one that doesn’t include quotation marks. I also used matching zip ties, because we want to keep it classy, yo.)

In the end, Fred cancelled having the guys come out and run the water line, because it was going to be expensive and really there’s no reason our current system (PVC pipe running along the fence line from the pump to the pond) won’t work perfectly well. Who are we trying to impress, after all?

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Since we have the well now, we’re using that water to water the garden and to fill the pond. Once we have the water professionally tested (Fred tested it with an at-home kit once the well was running), we’ll start using it in the house, too.

AND since we have all that free water AND since it is hot as fuck here and it’s only mid-June, we went full redneck and bought a 15 foot by 42-inch pool and set it up right outside the back yard. We’ve been swimming (I should say “swimming”, because it’s neither deep nor wide enough to do anything more than float around) multiple times, and it is really freakin’ nice. The first day, it was FREEZING because the water from the well was about 20 below zero. The second day, it was a bit warmer. Yesterday, it was sheer perfection.

It’s not the beautiful in-ground pool we had at our first house in Madison, but it works well enough, and it cost, literally, 1% of what that pool cost.

Works for me!

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2011: “OH MY STARS! Doesn’t ANYONE ever vacuum this room? Look at this mess!”
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: This weekend I’ll probably give vacuuming a try and give the Roomba a break.
2007: And since it’s still muddy in the garden, no weeding for me again today. Darn!
2006: “Save your breath,” I said, gasping for air. “I don’t believe a word you say, you lying liar.”
2005: “Spot caught a copperhead!”
2004: No entry.
2003: Poor Gram.
2002: Oh, quit with the gasps of horror.
2001: Lynn is very very nice, but as I’ve mentioned, she doesn’t appreciate the beauty of silence.
2000: I was giving out dirty looks left and right, let me tell you.