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4-9-08

by @ Wednesday, April 9th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house

A couple of weekends ago, Fred was kind of bored. He was caught up on all the farm stuff and looking for something to do.

Casually, figuring it would lead nowhere, I said “You know what we need?”

“What?”

“A medicine cabinet. I bet you could build a good one we could hang on the wall and put all our medicine in so we can stop using the secretaire as a medicine cabinet. It’s a pain in the ass having to dig through it when we need cold medicine or whatever.”

A while later, Fred came inside. “I was looking through the wood in the shed, and there’s a cabinet door. I think it came from the original cabinets that were in the house!”

Eventually, I came outside to see what he’d found, and I approved. “That would be the perfect size for a medicine cabinet!”

Ten days later, having built and painted it, he hung it on the dining room wall and I moved all our medicine from the secretaire to the medicine cabinet (after tossing out everything that had expired years ago, that is). It’s even big enough that an entire shelf can be devoted to cat medicine!


(pic) Pardon the crooked picture.


(pic) We clearly believe in keeping stocked up on band-aids!

I absolutely LOVE it. I’m a lucky gal, believe me I know that!

Now if I can just convince him to get going on that closet for the corner of the computer room….

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I think I mentioned that Fred and I moved a lot of (HEAVY) furniture on Saturday. This is because we’d talked about it at length, and decided that we’d switch my bedroom and the guest bedroom around. It makes Fred a little nervous to have me on a different floor and he’s mentioned the idea of moving me upstairs a few times. After a year in the same bedroom, I decided I was up for a change, but I had conditions: 1. I needed a ceiling fan, 2. I needed decent blinds, 3. I needed to paint the bookcase, and 4. I needed to paint the upstairs bathroom.

While I was in Pennsylvania, Fred installed a ceiling fan in the guest bedroom, and blinds as well. A few weeks ago I painted the bookcase. And then I decided it was time to just move my ass upstairs and not wait until the bathroom had been painted. So Saturday, we moved the beds and the dressers. Let me tell you SOMETHING, that dresser of mine is fucking HEAVY. It seems okay when there are two of you and you’re moving it across the room or whatever, but once you start going up the stairs and you’re in the lead and it feels like the entire weight of the dresser is on you, you realize how heavy that fucker is.

But everything got moved, and I spent the rest of Saturday organizing the rooms and moving closet stuff around. In my new bedroom, I have TWO closets – a cedar closet where my clothes are hung, and a closet with shelves. I’m still kind of deciding where everything’s going to go, but I’m pretty settled in.


(pic) My new room.

It looks kind of cramped in this picture, but it’s not at all. I had no choice but to angle my bed, because the only other option was to put it in front of the windows, and I didn’t want to do that. What you can’t see in this picture: the dresser, to the left, and the bookcase to the right. I didn’t notice it ’til I’d moved in, but I can lay in bed and watch the birds and squirrels run around in the big tree.

That comforter’s just for now – I’ve got a new one coming, along with new (blue) sheets. The comforter works for the room (it’s a very light blue), but it’s too light. The cats and their grimy paws have already dirtied it up. I’m okay with a dirty comforter, I just don’t want to have to SEE the dirt, y’know.


(pic) The new guest bedroom.

But more than just a guest bedroom, it’s also going to be…


(pic)

a sewing room! That is, if I ever get the damn sewing machine out of the box! I’m going to set it up on that desk, which used to be my vanity. I don’t know that I’ll be doing a LOT of sewing, but at least there’ll be a permanent home for it and I won’t have to move it out to the dining room when I need to use it.

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Last year when Fred was choosing paints for the various rooms in the house, we decided that he’d choose a neutral beige color for the upstairs bathroom. He picked two nice shades of beige, but once I got the bathroom painted, we realized that they were a little more pink than we’d expected – the darker color, on the bottom, looked just like the color of Barbie doll skin (caucasian Barbie, that is) to me. We talked about repainting it, but GODDAMN I hate painting, so we left it. It’s not like I ever had to use it anyway, right?

Well, now that I was moving upstairs, I was going to move all my bathroom stuff upstairs as well, and obviously I wanted to repaint the bathroom a color I liked. On our road trip from Pennsylvania to Alabama, Nance and Rick and I stopped at the JC Penney outlet store and while we were there, I saw a set of deep purple towels that I really liked, which got me thinking – why not paint the bathroom shades of purple? I told Fred that I wanted purple in that bathroom, so when he made one of his regular trips to L0we’s, he picked out the paint for me.

So then, the rooms moved around, I fully intended to paint the upstairs bathroom on Sunday. I started getting all my stuff together, which is when I realized that the paint roller was nowhere to be found. I could have hauled my ass 7 minutes up the road to L0we’s to buy a new one, but I jumped on the “Oh! I don’t have a roller! Can’t paint today! Too bad!” excuse with both feet.

Fred promised to stop at L0we’s on the way to work on Monday, so when yesterday dawned, I had no excuses at all.

I so love to paint, you know.

I got up early and after my shower the first thing I did was scrub down the bathroom to remove all the dust from the walls (there’s a litter box in there, which creates a lot of dust), then I spent two freakin’ hours taping around everything. Bathrooms are a bigger pain in the ass to paint than bedrooms, because there’s so much more to tape around. With bedrooms, you move everything away from the walls, tape around the trim, and get it done lickety-split. With bathrooms, even if you remove light fixtures, there’s so much more you have to tape around. I hate the holy hell out of taping. If I could get someone else to prep a room for painting and just swan in, paint, and swan back out, I wouldn’t hate painting nearly as much as I do. I might even like it!

I taped, took a break for breakfast, and started painting a little before 10:00. It took me two hours to get the first coat of paint on the upper part of the bathroom, so I took a break, spent time with the kittens, and then put a second quick coat on. A break for lunch, then two hours of painting the lower part of the bathroom. Getting behind the toilet was a NIGHTMARE, and if I have to paint that bathroom again, the toilet tank is going to have to be removed so I can get back there. Fred got home just as I was finishing up the lower part of the bathroom so I took a break, then put a second quick coat of paint on the lower part of the bathroom.

The paint dried pretty quickly, so I pulled up the tape and put everything back where it belonged.

I think I like the new colors – but the darker color is a bit more purple than either of us expected. It kind of looks like the color a preteen girl would want in her bedroom. It’s going to take some getting used to. But I tell you what – it’s better than it was, and I’m not painting that goddamn bathroom again.

Not for at least another year, anyway.


(pic) Before.


(pic) After.


(pic) This gives you a better idea of what the purple really looks like.

On the top: B44-1 Guardian Angel, Olympic Paints.
On the bottom: B4404 French Violet, Olympic Paints.

The trim could use a fresh coat of paint, I might do that this weekend.

I’ve got purple towels coming from JC Penney (in the same shipment as my new comforter), so the beige towels will be going.

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Poor Splash. She just wants to be left alone and we keep coming in and trying to make friends with her. She finally came out from under the dresser – Fred went into the room Monday evening, and she was up in the top of the cat tree. Instead of sitting there looking terrified, she hisses, and she actually took a smack at me when I had the nerve to get too close and offer her a snack.

I’m going to consider that progress.

Last night, Fred wanted to give her a cat treat without getting too close, so he BALANCED the cat treat on the end of a feather cat toy and put it next to her, and the sight made me laugh. It’s like “Your majesty, if you don’t mind, would you like this tasty cat treat?”

HG has completely come around and will let Fred pet him now. Every time I walk into the room, he “talks” to me. I think that, tonight, we’re going to let him out into the house for a couple of hours and see how that goes.

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I try to tell Fred that Splash isn’t any more feral than Miss Stank was when we first got her. He’s not buying it, though.

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Previously
2007: “What the fuck did you DO?” I accused Sugarbutt, who looked up at me with the most innocent face in existence.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Stupid Steven Cojocaru.
2003: I think I speak for most Alabamans in this area when I say “Uh, what the FUCK?!”
2002: sights from my walk
2001: I am SO PISSED OFF.
2000: It’s not stealing if I give them credit, right? Uh… right?

5/16/07

by @ Wednesday, May 16th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

Google Desktop: Do I want it? And if so, why? Is it the coolest thing since sliced bread, or just more crap cluttering up my desktop?

* * *
Our house was originally located on 5 acres of land. When the Banks family bought this house, they cut out an area of about half an acre and sold it to her father, who put a manufactured house on said half acre, and he and his wife moved into the house. Mrs. Banks’ mother eventually got sick and had to be moved into a home (I think) and since Mrs. Banks wanted to be closer to her parents, they sold this house to us. Since we bought this house, the house next door has been occupied by Mrs. Banks’ brother, who has been a perfectly fine neighbor, though sometimes he liked to wander around his yard wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, so every now and then I’d glance out the kitchen window and my corneas would be seared by the sight, and I’d stumble around blind for a day or two. Mrs. Banks’ brother is apparently considered the black sheep of the family, and lately there’s been a bit of activity next door culminating in a nasty note being taped to the back door (and I think you KNOW I snuck my ass over there at dusk one evening to read the note in all its glory, and I am only saddened by the fact that I didn’t take a picture of it to share with y’all), and finally in Mrs. Banks and a couple of her sons moving all of her parents’ furniture into the shed in the back yard late last week. So anyway, that house has been up for sale for a few weeks now, and there have been two or three instances where I’ve looked over to see potential buyers wander through the yard. I turn into a total fucking Mrs. Kravitz, peering out the window while trying to look like I’m going about my business with no interest in what’s going on over there. Yesterday I was doing dishes when I saw a couple of young guys walk through the yard with Mrs. Banks’ father (let’s call him Mr. Hooper). I stood and watched them walk around the back of the house, pointing out various things on the foundation and the windows and various things like that. Fred came in the house a minute later to see if I’d noticed the potential buyers walking around with Mr. Hooper, and we discussed them. “Why are two young guys interested in buying a manufactured home on half an acre in Smallville?” I asked. Now, when I say young, I mean that these guys were definitely youngish, but whether they were college-aged or in their early 30s, I have no clue. All I know is that they were younger than me, or at least that was my impression. “Maybe they’re a gay couple!” Fred offered. I don’t know why, but I am completely enthralled with the idea of having gay neighbors. Gay people are – pardon the stereotyping – the coolest, and the idea of having two young good-looking gay men or women move in next door is something I can get on board with. They’d surely have fabulous gay parties and invite their fabulous gay friends and give my inner Mrs. Kravitz something to spy on. “Maybe, but I don’t think so,” I said sadly. “They look like brothers. Probably they’re going to move in with their wives and have lots of small children who don’t know nothin’ ’bout honoring no property lines. Fucking breeders.” (Yes, I have a child. I suppose that makes me a breeder. But I taught her the fine art of honoring a property line and you’d never find her tromping through someone else’s flower bed. That I’m aware of.) The guys stood in the front yard and talked to Mr. Hooper for a few minutes, then left. “Did Mr. Hooper leave?” I asked Fred when he came in with our steaks, which he’d just finished grilling. “Yeah.” “He didn’t come over and tell you what was going on?” “Nope.” “Well goddamn, that’s rude. Call his ass up! Tell him you want to know what’s going on!” I demanded. “Because it’s clearly our business?” Fred said. “Indeed.” We went outside to eat at the table on the concrete pad. We like to do that when the weather is nice, so that Maxi and Newt can share in our meal (Maxi is pickier than Newt. I think Newt doesn’t chew a single damn thing he eats.), and Fred can toss scraps to the chickens. While we were sitting there, the two guys showed up again. Then it was like a clown car – more people kept appearing around the side of the house. “There’s a third guy,” I narrated to Fred, who had his back to the house. “And another one. Damn! And another one!” “Maybe it’s a family of twentysomethings who are going to buy the house together and throw loud and obnoxious parties. Sucks to be the person whose bedroom is on the side of the house facing that house.” “Quick! Take your shirt and pants off, and traipse around the yard!” I ordered. “Scratch your ass, too! That’ll scare ’em off!” Then a twentysomething girl appeared, and the whole crowd walked around the house, pointing at the foundation, looking under the deck. Newt went wandering across the yard, then stopped to look at the crowd. He looked at them, then looked at us. Them. Us. Them. Us. I could see the “Hey. I don’t know THOSE people!” lightbulb go on over his head, and then he ran over to us and gave us the “I’m starving!” eyes. The crowd hung out in the front yard for a little while, then left. “Call Mr. Hooper and find out what’s going on!” I demanded, but Fred wouldn’t. Bastard. And before you suggest it, I should point out that we seriously considered buying the house, selling the house off the land, and keeping the land for ourselves, which is what we’d really like to do. (We also considered buying the house, then renting it out, which is a much less appealing prospect, because we have no desire to be slumlords.) But Mr. Hooper is really asking more than we can afford to spend for half an acre of land, and chances aren’t great that we could recoup much money from selling the house. I will, of course, keep y’all informed on what happens over there.
* * *

Every night around 7 – sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later – it’s snackin’ time for the kitties, our kitties, and the two who hang around outside and DO NOT BELONG TO US. After dinner – usually around 5 – every time I walk through the kitchen or stop to get a drink or whatever, the cats (especially Spot) run into the kitchen with the “IS IT SNACKIN’ TIME?!” eyes, and they mill around then decide it’s not snackin’ time because I haven’t bellowed “WHO READY FOR THE SNACKIN’?” like I always do. Last night, Fred was taking a shower before we started watching TV, and I went into the kitchen to get the kitty snacks. “WHO’S READY FOR THE SNACKIN’?” I bellowed, and they all started doing what they do every night at Snackin’ Time. Sugarbutt and Tommy jump up on the counter so that the instant I open the cans of cat food, they can stick their little pig noses in and start licking whatever they can get their tongues on. Spot sits in the middle of the kitchen and meows his weird soundless meows (you can hear his mouth opening and closing as he does it). Spanky sits in a corner of the room and gives me the “I am so hungry, but I am a big wimpy wimp who cannot fight the hordes of cats for a taste of the tasty snack. Help?” (he gets a little bit on a dish to himself). Mister Boogers stomps back and forth waggling his stump and meowing bitchily. Miz Poo might wander in to see if she’s interested, but she’s usually not. Anyway, as soon as I bellowed “WHO READY FOR THE SNACKIN’?”, I heard the sound of a human running goonily down the hallway. I instantly knew it was Fred, and he was going to show up in the kitchen doorway and either meow or give me the crazyhungry eyes. I glanced around at the cats, sure they’d be freaked out by the sound of a person running down the hallway, but they were all eyeballing the can of cat food in my hand. As Fred approached the doorway, I turned around to give him a grin. He popped into the doorway, and the instant he did, the cats lost their minds. As one, they levitated and ran into the laundry room. There was a loud clanging noise, and then they reappeared, some of them scrabbling to regain their balance as they ran across the hardwood floor of the kitchen, and they raced through the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room, and then they vanished. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pass out. For the rest of the evening, the cats walked around low to the ground with big, dark eyes, tails puffed out, trying to remember why they were so freaked out. And I’d remember them racing into the laundry room, hearing that loud clanging noise, and then them running back through the kitchen, and I’d laugh all over again. Even now, writing about it, I’m giggling.
* * *
Tommy makes like a bat.
* * *
Previously 2006: I’m READY FOR SUMMER, THANK YOU. 2005: I like cats. They’re good to eat. 2004: No entry. 2003: We’re some calendar-loving motherfuckers, that’s right. 2002: Kitty meeting. 2001: So… I guess we could probably sell your shithole… 2000: It sounds like there’s a lot to do in Gatlinburg, so it should be fun.]]>

5/15/07

by @ Tuesday, May 15th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house, Picture Entries

I bought this t-shirt when I was in Hawaii a few years ago. I got it home to find that it wouldn’t fit, so I put it away. I rediscovered it last month, and have been wearing it a lot. When I first bought it, it smelled like chocolate (it was dyed with chocolate), but it no longer does. It’s actually about two sizes too big for me now, but that doesn’t stop me from wearing it! I think the shirt is broken, though. No one ever offers me chocolate!

* * *
Bad picture, but I think you can tell it’s a mother Robin on her nest, and there are a couple of hungry baby Robin beaks sticking up out of the nest. I don’t know how long this nest has been there, but Fred just noticed it yesterday – it’s in the magnolia tree, and we must have walked beneath it approximately ten thousand times without noticing it.
* * *
The mantel in the front room. That’s a picture of the Sacre Coeur my mother bought in Paris and gave us as a Christmas present. On the mantel: egg cats (I’d link to where you can buy them, but Google isn’t giving me anything), and Willow Tree figurines.
* * *
The spud got a laptop for graduation from us (a little early), so decided she didn’t really need her desk anymore. Since storage space in our bathroom is close to nonexistent, I took the opportunity to claim her desk to use as a vanity. It sits in a corner of my bedroom. I intended to get a mirror to hang on the wall, but forgot that the chair rail would make that difficult. It works out well for me. (By the way, I had no idea when I purchased that lamp shade that it was so shiny. I’ll be replacing that pretty quickly.)
* * *
This is the first thing I hung up, a housewarming present from Nance and Rick soon after we bought this house. I LOVE it. That table Sugarbutt’s sitting on is now sitting next to the side door – we use the side door more often than the front door, now that we’ve moved the recliner so it’s no longer in the way.
* * *
I didn’t actually intend to hang three pictures over the mantel in the dining room, but there were three nails there already, and I wanted to hang up the spud’s senior picture, so I dug through the pictures I had and found two others to go there as well. I’m thinking that the spud’s baby picture would go well where that picture of Miz Poo is, and maybe one of her other school pictures where the Tubby picture is. Or maybe I’ll just leave it like it is!
* * *
I have no idea what this bird is. He reminds me of a finch, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a blue finch before. Whatever he is, he’s purty. (Edited to add: pretty sure that’s an Indigo Bunting.)
* * *
Honeysuckle’s in bloom, and it smells DIVINE.
* * *
* * *
::grumble::grumble:: “Come ON, Newt, time to follow the freaks around the back forty!”
* * *
“Hellew.”
* * *
Newt amongst the clover.
* * *
We have a lot of cupboard space in the kitchen, but none of it is particularly conducive to being used as a pantry. We bought this pie safe from JC Penney to use as a pantry, and it works perfectly. At least until Fred decides he’s interested in woodworking and can build me something bigger!
* * *
What the front porch looks like now.
* * *
Newt admires the Gerbera daisies.
* * *
Verbena. Maybe next year I’ll go wild and plant more than one kind of flower in each pot!
* * *
Side steps. Those are impatients, which prefer shade, according to their little card. I obviously haven’t planted anything in the ground yet – maybe in the next month or so. I have to procrastinate for a while first, y’know.
* * *
“Let. Me. OUT!”
* * *
Note the new high score. I’m edging Fred off my high score board, slowly but surely!
* * *
All of the above pictures were uploaded here over at Flickr, in case you wanted to see them in a larger size.
* * *
Previously 2006: Mystery solved, I guess. 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: So far, I believe she’s ahead in the fart wars. 2002: That damn PTA. I will NOT be suckered in again by them, damnit! 2001: Realtors. 2000: New eyes, new hair – I’ll practically be a whole new woman!]]>

5/14/07

by @ Monday, May 14th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

* * * Fred sent me the link to this video yesterday morning, and I immediately favorited it. It makes me cackle every time I watch it, and I think I’ve watched it about ten times. YouTube link I’m not a big fan of their other stuff, but this video is HILARIOUS.

* * *
I had a seriously productive weekend FOR ONCE, and I love it when that happens. Saturday morning I woke up with the “I don’t wanna!”s, and I puttered around the house in an annoyed manner until Fred tentatively asked if I’d “sometime” think about maybe weeding the row of sugar snap peas, since they were getting seriously overgrown. I haven’t done much (ANY) weeding so far, because most of the plants are still kind of small, and I am not familiar with what most of the vegetable plants look like, and I was afraid that I’d yank up vegetable plants instead of weeds. The sugar snap peas are pretty big now, and I can tell what’s sugar snap peas and what’s weed (for the most part), so I got dressed and went out and started weeding. I ended up weeding not only the sugar snap peas, but half the row of squash, and the entire row of onions. And there were some WEEDS, I tell you what. In the end, I weeded for four hours, all of that time with my back to the sun. Hey, guess what? Did you know that if you put sunblock on your face and arms, then go out and stand in the sun for four hours with your back turned toward the sun when you’re wearing shorts, you’ll end up with sunburned legs? I KNOW! It surprised me too! I don’t feel like I even made a freakin’ dent in the weeds that are growing in the garden, so I’m thinking I’ll need to start going out there every morning and weeding for at least a little while, just to keep on top of the weeds. Stupid weeds. Saturday afternoon, Fred and I went to a small flea market type store, where we traded in some old phones for a VCR for the garage/ gym (the one we had out there died recently, and Fred likes to have old videos to watch while he’s exercising), a little shelf unit and the hokiest little wooden chicken that I have ever seen. Ugly, but somehow oddly appealing to me. And at 59 cents, how could I pass it up? New (to me) shelf unit (I need to do something about those hearts – paint them or take them off, or something. I don’t like them the way they are) with my salt and pepper shakers on display. On top, the chicken! I don’t know why I find it so strangely appealing. I just do! We rented some movies on the way home and pretty much took it easy for the rest of the evening. We started watching Freakshow (well, Fred did – I just read), but gave up on that after about a minute and a half. We watched Planet Earth: Pole to Pole – the first Planet Earth show we’ve seen, and it was AMAZING, I highly recommend it – and then watched Music and Lyrics, which we liked. We were almost done with the movie when the spud told us that she’d turned the washer on and only a trickle of water was coming out. Fred went to investigate and ultimately discovered that a big water main had burst somewhere (he found that out by calling the water company). I got all worried that I might need to flush the toilet in the middle of the night (if it’s yellow let it mellow, etc), so at 11 pm Fred and I were standing over the pond, me with a flashlight, he with a bucket on a rope, dipping water out of the pond so that if the need arose, I could use pond water to flush the toilet. “I know ONE THING,” I bitched at him while little insects swarmed around my face. “Come Monday, I’m going to buy THE FUCK out of some gallons of cheap bottled water and keep them in the garage in case this happens again!” I got up a couple of times during the night and checked the water. It didn’t come back on during the night, but Sunday morning Fred woke me up around 7:30 to let me know that it was back on. I was a little relieved that I wasn’t going to have to use nasty pond water to flush the toilet, to be honest. Sunday was a puttering-around-the-house day, but I felt like I got a LOT accomplished. I got the computer room straightened around so that my printer’s off to the side instead of sitting in the middle of the room like it was before. We moved the recliner out of the computer room to the front room, so that now we can use the side door to come in and out of regularly. The side door is just more convenient to use, and I moved a table from the front room to the computer room so Fred will have a place to drop his keys and wallet when he gets home. I finally started hanging up pictures, and it’s amazing how just hanging up some pictures makes a world of difference. I balanced the checkbook and paid some bills, moved all the empty boxes from the corner of the computer room to the guest bedroom closet (why have such a big closet if you’re not going to use it for storage, after all?), straightened up the closet, scrubbed out the litter box, and myriad other small tasks that needed to be done. There are still things to be done around the house – pictures to be hung, stuff that needs to be stored somewhere – but I think it’s really coming together nicely. Tomorrow, I’ll post random pictures of stuff I’ve done around the house. I made beef stroganoff for dinner (it was really damn good – a Cooking Light recipe I’ll post later this week), and we had ice cream while we were watching TV (GET OFF MY BACK, IT WAS MOTHER’S DAY!). Speaking of TV, skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t seen the season finale of Survivor. WHAT A FUCKING TRAVESTY. Fucking Dreamz, what an asshole. I’m tempted to just never watch this fucking show again in my life, but I know I’ll never give it up because I’m an addict. I haven’t watched the reunion show yet (I’ll do that later today), but I can guarantee you that Dreamz did NOT take the truck with the intention of screwing over Yau-Man. You know when he decided to screw over Yau-Man? When Yau-Man said the words “If you change your mind.” I could see the fucking lightbulb go on over Dreamz’s stupid fucking head when Yau-Man said that, because you know what? It never occurred to Dreamz until that point that he COULD go back on his word. Also, I have to confess: From about the midpoint of the season, I’ve been calling Dreamz “the dumb blond” because he sounds like such a fucking airhead. (Yeah, yeah, I know – people who live in glass houses. SHADDUP.) Fred predicted that it’d be a unanimous vote for Earl, and I wasn’t that surprised to find that he was right. That was also the assiest-acting jury I’ve ever seen in the history of that show, between Lisi and Alex. Even Rocky wasn’t as much of a douchebag as those two, and when Rocky’s less of a douchebag then you are, that’s when it’s time to take a quick jump off a high cliff, hear me Lisa and Alex? Annnnnd that’s all I have to say about that. ‘Twas a good weekend, and now I’m sitting here waiting for the guy to come replace the windows on the second floor of the garage. I suppose while I’m waiting I’ll go put groceries away, do some laundry, and maybe vacuum the fucking house (it is, after all, a day that ends in “y”).
* * *
I love it when Maxi and Newt rub up against each other. Sometimes The Boog gets overwhelmed with being outside and starts acting like a jerk, so The Daddy has to pick him up and carry him.
* * *
Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: Memeriffic. 2003: “One of the cats brought in a baby possum and it appears to be dying.” 2002: A mother can dream, can’t she? 2001: I almost shot a red bean out of my nose, I was laughing so hard. 2000: No entry.]]>

5/11/07

by @ Friday, May 11th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

Our Roomba went missing and it wasn’t until I REPLACED my bed with a new one that I found it. Underneath my bed,it had traveled over and around mega piles of junk,and a huge underbed storage box to wedge itself in the FAR CORNER. I was spooked because it was kind of like finding a missing small pet, dead and covered with dustbunnies. Is it wrong that I found this hilarious? Like, “Where the hell did the Roomba go?!”, followed by frantic searching for it, followed by mystified shrugs and a decision to just not think about how the Roomba must have escaped to live with a family that would love it properly.

* * *
In 2004, you put it this way: “Lord, I need a house on 50 acres in the country, with no neighbors anywhere around.” Well, you don’t have FIFTY acres, but you did get your home in the country. I guess you imagined it and made it so. I’m not dead yet – there might be 50 acres in my future yet! A girl can dream, anyway.
* * *
Is that a can of whipped cream on your bedside table? 😉 No, we’re much kinkier than whipped cream. That’s a can of compressed air!
* * *
Your [Snood] score makes me have serious self worth issues Robyn!!!!! Thanks! Well, Fred’s Snood scores make ME have serious self-worth issues, so I’m just passing along the love.
* * *
How cool that you’ve discovered Weeds. I love that show and it’s so hard to describe it’s unique awesomeness to anyone who hasn’t seen it. Once you start with “well, it’s a about a suddenly widowed woman who starts selling pot to support her two sons.” It’s about SO much more than that. It’s about the boredom of suburbia and the unhealthy ways its inhabitants choose to cope. The situations that result are crafted for maximum shock value and hilarity but, even at its most bizarre, there’s something so uniquely genuine and incisive that even the teetotaler mom can recognize herself. There was this scene where Nancy was watching a home video of she and Judah*, and the “How did I get here?” look on her face was just heart-breaking. You can describe the show by saying it’s about a mom who’s selling pot to support herself and her family, but it’s completely NOT about that. *There are not enough men named Judah. I love that name.
* * *
Maybe Fred could put a couple of boards in the chicken shelter so they can roost in the dry area instead of half out in the rain. Or they could haul their asses into the coop and roost out of the rain there if they’re so intent on roosting, the spoiled little brats. (I don’t think they were actually in the rain – there was a lull in the rain, and they all came out to roost, then when it began raining again, they went under the shelter.)
* * *
I don’t comment much at all, but I just had to say that I haven’t been playing snood nearly as long as you have (you got me started on it), but I hit 500 games total last night. Apparently I have a nasty addiction. Now I’m embarrassed and wondering if there’s some sort of support group or something. It seems that you’re not alone.
* * *
Mr Boogers loves me, too. He texted me and told me. Mister Boogers doesn’t have opposable thumbs and finds it too difficult to text anyone – he gives up and stomps off in a huff after texting a few LOLs. I think you’ve been targeted by a Boogalike.
* * *
So, what are you going to do with that “prime real estate” when you no longer have a pond? Hell if I know! Maybe make the chicken yard bigger?
* * *
I suddenly thought as I drove home last night — Fred hasn’t mentioned hiking in a long, long time on his blog. Nor you. Now that you are one-home owners again, and the “to do list” is a lot smaller — are you guys going to hike any more? Or are the hiking places too far away with the move to Smallville? We actually talked about this last night. We might start occasionally hiking again in the future, but Fred has kind of lost the drive to hike now that he’s got stuff to do here in Smallville. I’m sure there’ll be occasional hiking over the summer, but I doubt he’ll be hiking as often as he used to.
* * *
You two totally have two extra cats. Who ya foolin’? OURSELVES, of course.
* * *
What in the world are you going to do with the boog man [escaping]? Doesn’t this make twice? I think what we’ll probably do, at least until the fence around the back yard is up, is this: We’re totally going to become the talk of Smallville. (More Booger leash pictures hither.)
* * *
So, you like Nicholas Sparks? I would never have guessed. So, what are his books about? I have never read them but with you being such a huge fan apparently since you have every book he wrote.. figured I would ask you what they are about. I DO NOT LIKE NICHOLAS SPARKS. I’ve only read one of his books and didn’t care for it. JUST ONE. ONE BOOK DOES NOT MAKE ME A NICHOLAS SPARK LOVER. They are about CRAP is what they’re about. Hmph.
* * *
Zippy is one of my all-time favorites, too. Did you like the sequel? I haven’t read it yet. I read She Got Up off the Couch and loved the hell out of it. I like Zippy a bit more, but Couch is definitely worth reading. In fact, I think I’m going to read them both again, soon.
* * *
OK, I love orange kitties, too. When my cat was missing, a stray showed up (eating the food I’d put out to lure my cat home). I befriended him on the porch, sitting with him, petting him, letting him sit in my lap. As soon as I brought him in, he became his now usual bitchy self. He aggravates the older cats (the kittens get him back, though), and meows bitchily if you touch him other than the occasional head scratch. He will sit in my lap occasionally, causing me to suspect his motives. Is Rufus broken? Rufus isn’t broken – he’s clearly just the exception that proves the rule!
* * *
Hey Robyn, I’m sure you told us but I forgot. How many acres is your house on? Your property looks huge. It’s on 4 1/2. And I love how much land we have, but I’d love to have a bit more. Maybe a total of 10. See? I’m just never satisfied. Give me an inch, I want a mile.
* * *
I know what I’d be thinking about if I didn’t have my headphones whilst on the mower and that leads me to the question: How’s the writing coming?? Any more book excerpts in our near future? I’ve been doing no writing at all (and there was never any book in the works to start with). Maybe one of these days I’ll get my ass in gear…
* * *
I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before, but what year was your house built? It’s really, really cool! It was built in 1935. And thanks – we think it’s really cool, too!
* * *
Any tiger trips lately? Not recently, no – but we’ve been talking about it lately, and think we’ll be going in the next month or so.
* * *
I also don’t work and people think its really odd… although we are comfortable we are by no means rich, so I was wondering if people think its odd you don’t work and also wondering if you ever have and if so how many years have you worked? I feel so stange when people ask what I do for a living… and I never know what to say…. If people think it’s odd that I don’t work, they haven’t said so to me. I’ll occasionally have someone ask where I work, and I just say “I don’t.” If they ask what I do all day, I just smile and say “Whatever I want to.” It’s been about seven years since I quit my job at Fred’s company (I was the office manager), and I can’t say that I miss working at all. I keep pretty busy most days (in fact, it’s embarassing how much more people who have actual jobs get accomplished in the course of a day than I do), and every once in a while I consider looking for a part-time job. I like not working, though, and I don’t expect that to change.
* * *
I apologize in advance, but I had to show you this link. At the same time disgusting and really funny. I think Fred needs a tattoo!
* * *
I’m not a skimmer, I promise, but I’m afraid to ask my question in case you’ve already mentioned and I’ve forgotten the answer (FORGOTTEN the answer, I say, not skimmed it) and I don’t want to incur the wrath of Robyn. so very timidly I ask … when will the chickens start to lay? Don’t be afraid to ask – because I have to ask Fred at least once a week when the chickens will start to lay. It’s the kind of information that absolutely refuses to stick in my brain for some reason. I just called and asked him, and he said that they’re about 8 weeks old now and will start to lay around 18 – 24 weeks, so it’ll be at least another 10 weeks before they start. So maybe the middle to end of July? I can’t wait!
* * *
Here’s another tip for anyone who has stainless steel sink. To shine it up like there’s no tomorrow, keep a spray bottle of Baby Oil (that stuff you used to use for tanning oil back in the really OLD days) and just spritz it onto your dull stainless steel sink (AND FIXTURES) and buff with a paper towel. IT’S UNBELIEVABLE! I’m loving the cleaning tips you guys are leaving in the comments. So here’s an assignment for you – what’s your #1 favorite cleaning tip you use often and are proudest of? Leave it in the comments so we can all benefit!
* * *
I was severely tempted to download this ringtone for my phone, but I don’t guess I want Cartman bellowing “Moooom, kitty’s being a dildo!” when I’m browsing in Target. I have this ringtone assigned to my sister’s home and cell phone numbers, and she called last night when Fred and I were out running errands. I’ve been singing the song ever since, mostly to the cats. “Miz Poo is my best friend! Through thick and thin, we’ve always been together!”, etc. The cats don’t seem to appreciate it much. I have this one assigned to my friend Liz’s number, and it always freaks me out at first when it starts. It cracks me up – Liz and I were big Beavis and Butthead fans back in the day. I thought about downloading the Cornholio ringtone, but I don’t particularly want “I have no bunghole!” blaring across Target. I haven’t yet found an appropriate ringtone to assign for when my parents call. I thought about this one, but it could very well come back to bite me in the ass, so I’d rather be safe than sorry. This is the one that plays when someone calls me from our home phone number. I may have spent just a little too much time fretting over my ringtones, ya think?
* * *
* * *
Previously 2006: Which to ME means “I’m not interested,” but to the operator apparently was code for “I might be interested. Try harder!” 2005: Now, I don’t know. I think that if your life is SO BUSY that taking the time to put a little pill in your mouth throws your entire schedule off, then perhaps it’s time to reorganize your life. 2004: You can’t have genius every day, y’know. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: SHE WAS FIXIN’ TO GO DOWN THE HILL. 2000: Poor overworked, abused child…]]>

5/9/07

by @ Wednesday, May 9th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

Long story short, my husband is being stationed at Pearl Harbor. You know, for the first time in his 17 year career the Navy is actually moving TOO fast for our comfort, and we’re leaving in the next 30 days. Unfortunately, we have a beautiful housecat that we just don’t want to subject to the stress of a crosscountry move and quarantine. I am desperate to find her a good, loving home, but because we just moved to this area (Pittsburgh) six months ago, I don’t have a whole bunch of contacts. Obviously, then, the reason I’m writing you is to see if you would maybe post something on your site to help us find a new home for Rubykins. A little background-we rescued Ruby from the Newport News (VA) SPCA the day she was dropped off two years ago. I had taken my girls there to look for cats, but thought I was being slick when I said, “We’ll only get a cat if it’s declawed and fixed” thinking there was NO way there would be one there. Yeah, well…there was Ruby. We think she’s about 4 years old, and she’s pretty mellow; only once in a while does she do the crazy cat run up and down all of the stairs and over the couch! She’s loving and affectionate, but only on her terms. It took her a while to warm up to us, and she is still pretty skittish if you sneak up on her. She doesn’t mind children or noise, and if she’s feeling overwhelmed she’ll go off on her own rather than bite. We’ve never had a litterbox incident, and she is a healthy eater with no hairball issues. One thing that’s so lovely about her is her fur–I don’t think I’ve ever felt a softer cat! Unfortunately, she doesn’t like it when I pick her up and baby her, but she tolerates me with wild kitty eyes. She loves to look out of windows and sleep on your feet, and she’s just about the most perfect cat. Here’s a picture of Miss Rubykins in all of her glory- I’d just appreciate any help you can give. I know your readers are, for the most part, cat lovers and maybe one of them can help find Ruby a new home. Thank you, Angie So come on, can’t y’all help out? IT’S FOR THE TROOPS (who are moving to Pearl Harbor to bask on the pretty, pretty beach, but that’s NOT the point). If anyone can help out or knows someone who can, email me or leave a comment and I’ll pass your email on to Angie. And thank you!

* * *
Yesterday, what did I do? Oh, right. SIX HOURS OF CLEANING. Cleaning is my favorite thing ever, you know, so it was a happy, happy day for me. NOT. Okay, so it maybe wasn’t too bad. There was no furniture to clean around, no stuff in the closets or cupboards to clean around, so things went a lot faster than I expected. The most labor-intensive part of it all was scrubbing the bathrooms, and luckily I did that first. I did the entire upstairs first, and other than scrubbing the bathrooms, I had to haul a lot of stuff out of the closets and toss it in the trash (this was stuff not worth keeping, believe you me). I did a lot of vacuuming too, obviously, and mopping, and scrubbing down the fronts and inside of cupboards, and now the place is spick and span. As I was mopping the garage (DON’T JUDGE ME), I wondered if the neighbors thought I was a complete lunatic for MOPPING the GARAGE (I said shaddup), but I don’t know. It just seemed like the thing to do. Anyway, I discovered something yesterday. Now, look. We’ve been friends for years, you and me, right? I’ve told you my deepest, darkest secrets, and you’ve withheld your deep dark secrets from me, but that’s okay. You like your privacy and all, and though of course I wouldn’t JUDGE you, I understand that not everyone can be as free and open as I. It hurts a little, but I understand. Maybe sometimes late at night, I think about how you don’t trust me with your most secret of secrets, and I cry a little bit of the Ugly Cry, but that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel bad. That said, we’re as close as any two people who’ve never met and who share their secrets in a one-sided sort of way can be, right? I knew you’d agree. And maybe you consider this too personal to answer, and if you can’t stand to deal with it, I understand. I’m sweet and kind and understanding that way. You know it’s true. If it’s too much for you to face, just look away and we’ll suffer through a short, uncomfortable silence, and then I’ll babble about my cats. Okay? Good enough? Here goes. Why did you never tell me that Pine-Sol will get my bathroom fixtures shinier than they’ve ever been before? Why? Last night I sobbed in my bed, heartbroken, wondering why you’d never share what is perhaps the most important piece of cleaning information that exists these days. All these years! I’ve been using the ammonia to clean my bathroom fixtures! And sure, they got shiny…ish. But they didn’t gleam and glow with the light of a thousand candles. They didn’t shine so brightly I needed me some shades. Is it because you believe Pine-Sol is bad for the environment? You figured it would be okay for you to use the Pine-Sol – just a little! – to shine your bathroom fixtures, but to tell me about it would push the environment right into Super Duper Hot, and polar ice caps would melt and we’d all be living on boats like in Waterworld? (Pine-Sol did not cause the horrific hair that Kevin Costner sported in that movie. If it was particularly shiny, we might cast a gimlet eye at the Pine-Sol, but it was not, so we shall not.) (Dear Kevin: When one has thinning hair, having long hair only emphasizes the lack of hair. A word of wisdom from me to you. Also, Pine-Sol will shine the FUCK out of your bathroom fixtures. See? I SHARE the important stuff!) I think that none of us particularly want to see Al Gore zipping around in a paddle boat yelling “I told you bitchez it was coming! I TOLD YOU!” Is it… because you didn’t know? I thought you knew everything. Whyyyyyyy wouldn’t you tell me? WHY?
* * *
::short uncomfortable silence::
* * *
Also, it makes the room smell fresh and piney instead of stale and farty!
* * *
::short uncomfortable silence::
* * *
Every night, Fred and I take a walk around the back forty. Always, if they’re around, Maxi and Newt accompany us on our walk. They are always very, very serious about accompanying us, as if it’s their job to follow us around the back forty and protect us from rogue squirrels and rabbits. They crack me up, with their serious little faces. Newton of the Corn. “Behind you! A serial killer! Or a ray of sun! One or the other!”
* * *
Previously 2006: 18. Have you ever been in a fight? Nothing stronger than a slap-fight. Are you kidding? I’d shit myself and pass out before anyone got a chance to hit me. 2005: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT COREY CLARK. 2004: No entry. 2003: You know you’re hormonal when the video for Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” (hee! I almost typed “Fancypants”) makes you all teary-eyed. 2002: It rocked. I loved it. I see a strong love for sushi in my future. 2001: I’ve managed to stay strong. 2000: Poor, poor pitiful me.]]>

5/8/07

by @ Tuesday, May 8th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

Nance and Rick were coming to visit. They showed up, and Fred was thrilled to see them, because he wanted to play 10,000 games of Catch Phrase. But then he discovered that they’d stopped overnight in Idaho on the way to Alabama (because Idaho is very clearly on the way when one drives from Pennsylvania to Alabama, of course), and they’d stayed at the Shalom in the Home trailer park. Fred was PISSED because he’d been harboring a secret yen to stay in the Shalom in the Home trailer park, and he stomped off to sulk, thus making Nance and Rick uncomfortable and not in the mood to play Catch Phrase. (I do not know whether there’s truly a Shalom in the Home trailer park in Idaho, though my guess would be that there’s not (I’ve only ever heard of the TV show, though I’ve never watched it.) I don’t know, either, why Nance and Rick would stay in the Shalom in the Home trailer park when there are so many crack den motels to stay in, but it’s not my place to judge.)

* * *
Stolen from Nance: Here are 50 questions for the people who are a little more “mature”… 1. What bill do you hate paying the most? All three mortgages. Luckily, I just paid my last round of three mortgages – we close on the old house at the end of the month, thus paying off the mortgage on that house, and ending up with enough money to pay off the second mortgage on this one. 2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner? We don’t really do romantic dinners. 3. Last time you puked from drinking? Fifteen years ago, maybe. I had a fight with Liz on the night before she was leaving to join the Navy, and Debbie and I went to her friend’s house and I drank until I was shitfaced. I don’t think I’ve had more than one or two drinks at a time since, and haven’t had anything alcoholic at all since way before I had weight loss surgery in January of 2006. Can’t say as I miss it at all. 4. When is the last time you got drunk and danced on a bar? I’ve never danced on a bar. 5. Name of your first grade teacher? Mrs. Radecki, maybe? 6. What do you really want to be doing right now? Laying in bed reading, then taking a nap. Then reading some more, then more napping. Then lunch served by a half-naked man. Then more napping. Anything but preparing to go to the old house to spend the day cleaning, which I’m about to do. 7. What did you want to be when you were growing up? For a while, a veterinarian. Then, an orthopedic surgeon. Then I didn’t know, and I still don’t. 8. How many colleges did you attend? Two – New Hampshire College (on the base in Brunswick, Maine) and the University of Southern Maine. Graduated from neither. 9. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now? It’s my nightgown, and I chose it because it’s clean. 10. GAS PRICES??? Suck. 11. Where would you move if you could move anywhere? If it was just me, the coast of Maine. But I know I’ll never convince Fred to move that far north, so I’m going to say the Gulf coast. 12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? “Fuck. Already?” 13. Last thought before going to sleep last night? “Don’t forget the vacuum. And the cleaning rags. And a radio!” 14. Favorite style of underwear? Comfortable ones. Barely There, I think? 15. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex? Boxer briefs. That’s really boring, isn’t it? 16. What errand/chore do you despise? Putting dishes away. I’ll wash the damn things ’til the cows come home, but I LOATHE putting them away. 17. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer? I don’t, and I do. 18. Get up early or sleep in? Sleep in, if it didn’t make me feel so guilty. 19. What is your favorite cartoon character? Cartman! (Or Bugs Bunny) 20. Favorite thing to do at night with a girl/guy? Watch TV and snuggle. 21. Have you found real love yet? Indeed. 22. When did you first start feeling old? I’ll let you know when it happens. 23. Favorite 80’s movie? Xanadu. Or She’s Having My Baby. 24. Your favorite lunch meat? Ham. 25. What do you get every time you shop at Sam’s club. Bottled water, paper towels, Trident White Wintergreen. 26. Beach or lake? Beach. 27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? I think anyone who wants to get married should be able to, and no one should be bullied into it if they don’t want it. 29. Favorite guilty pleasure? Laying in bed and reading. (I only feel guilty when it’s morning time and I’m putting off things that need to be done.) 30. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about? I have no shame – I admitted to Xanadu being one of my favorite movies, after all. 31. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? The kind with no alcohol in it. 32. Cowboys or Indians? I don’t know – depends on the Cowboy, depends on the Indian. Are they naked? 33. Cops or Robbers? Cops; the badass ones like Vic Mackey. (Only, not really. I’m a sucker for a goody two-shoes, Detective Wagenbach.) 34. Who from high school would you like to run into? I’d like to run into my then-best friend Tammie and see what she’s up to these days. 35. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now? 103.9, which isn’t a radio station – it’s tuned there so I can listen to Keith and the Girl on my iPod with the help of my Griffin iTrip. 36. Movies or Documentaries? Depends on the movie or documentary. 37. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons? The Simpsons, I think. Though I did like me some Cosby back in the day. 38. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back? If I changed any relationship mistakes I made, it’d be like removing a stick from the carefully constructed (or carelessly tossed-together, take your pick) tower that is my life, and I might find that changing one little thing means I end up a single Peace Corps volunteer in the wilds of Rwanda being torn apart by wild monkeys rather than cooling my heels in the comfort of a home I love. I think I’d change nothing, thanks. 39. Do you like the person who sits directly across from you at work? I don’t work, but I’m sure I’d hate the bitch if I did. 40. If you could get away with it, who would you kill? No one – the guilt would eat me alive. 41. What famous person(s) would you like to have dinner with? Oh, I don’t know. Sandra Oh or Kate Walsh or Chandra Wilson, maybe. 42. What famous person would you like to sleep with? None of them. I’m sure I couldn’t handle the disappointment. 43. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose? No, thank god. 44. Last book you read for real? Last book finished: Jericho Point. Meg Gardiner fucking ROCKS. Currently reading: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. 45. Do you have a teddy bear? I do. You press his paw, he croons “I loooooove chocolate!” 46. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth? I’ve pretty much stuck to brushing my teeth in bathrooms, never anywhere strange. (I’m struck with the urge to say “In the butt, Bob!”, though.) 47. Somewhere in California you’ve never been and would like to go? San Francisco. 48. Do you go to church? Nope. 49. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationships? Uh… neither? 50. Just how OLD are you? 39! I always feel like people think I’m lying when I say that though, like they’re thinking “Oh SURE you’re 39. For how many years now?!”
* * *
Okay, I’m headed off to the old house to spend the damn day scrubbing and cleaning and hating. See you tomorrow!
* * *
“In 1982, Rodney Squirrel stuck the landing so hard that the judges had no choice but to give him 10s across the board, leading to an upset victory and the first gold medal awarded to an Alabaman. To this day, no one knows how this squirrel – an alternate who was a last-minute substitute for the ailing Charles D. Chipmunk, who was rumored to have accidentally eaten a green acorn – managed to spring his way into Rodentlympics history. It’s been suggested that cashews in the feeder were responsible for the amazing performance from this scrawny young squirrel.” “Squirrels do love cashews, Bob.” “Indeed they do, Jim. Indeed they do. After winning the Gold, Rodney immediately retired from competition and has spent the last 25 years touring the country, living off the fat of the land, and lecturing young rodents on how they, too, can force their way into sports history through sheer physical prowess. He’s fond of saying “It only takes once to make a career, kids!” He’s never managed another landing like the one he stuck in ’82. For sure, a once-in-a-lifetime move.”
* * *
“Okay, so you go left at the bird feeder… No, wait. You go right at the bird feeder, then left at the tree… no, that’s not right, either. I gotta confess, I was pretty whacked out on the ‘nip when we found the mole head, so I’m not sure exactly where it was. There was a ditch, though, I remember that. Probably if you follow the trail of tiny intestines, you’ll get to the mole head. Take a left, and you’ll find the rabbit leg Maxi left behind. I don’t guess that rabbit foot gave that guy much luck, huh? No small animals are safe when the mighty mighty Maxi is on the hunt, that’s for sure.”
* * *
Previously 2006: I ran out the back door, yelling the entire way for Tommy to “Drop it! Drop it, Tommy! DROP IT!” 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: It’d certainly be interesting, at least until it came to blows, I’m sure. 2002: Of course, the mother of the bride is a total sobbing mess. 2001: My butt hurts. 2000: I meant to pick up the razors for Women with Big Asses.]]>

5/7/07

by @ Monday, May 7th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

My Personality

Neuroticism
98
Extraversion
20
Openness To Experience
12
Agreeableness
79
Conscientiousness
13
You are introverted, reserved, and quiet with a preference for solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends. You can be easily upset, even by what people consider the normal demands of living. People consider you to be sensitive and emotional. As a practical person you like to think in plain and simple terms. Others describe you as down-to-earth, practical, and conservative. You have a strong interest in others’ needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You like to live for the moment and do what feels good now. Your work tends to be careless and disorganized.
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I agree with most of the results of this test, but I disagree that my work tends to be sloppy and disorganized. The questions tripped me up – once I can force myself to buckle down, my work is well-done and thorough. It’s just forcing myself to get my ass in gear and do my work that’s the trouble. Also, I don’t like to think that people think I’m “pleasant”, because if that isn’t the world’s most boring word EVER, I don’t know what is. (I prefer to think of myself as Ouiser Boudreaux screaming “I’m PLEASANT. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton at the Piggly Wiggly this morning, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I could help myself!”)
* * *
Best thing I’ve purchased lately: A window hummingbird feeder. I filled it up Sunday afternoon, and within half an hour, there was a hummingbird at it, slurping up as much hummingbird food as his little belly could handle. Considering that in Madison I wasn’t seeing hummingbirds ’til late summer, I think that this is fucking AWESOME. I hung another two feeders off the front porch, and I may hang some more in the back yard. I want Crooked Acres to be a total hummingbird paradise!
* * *
Anyone read that Cormac McCarthy book that Oprah chose for her book club? I’ve only read one Cormac McCarthy book – All the Pretty Horses – and didn’t care for it at all. Anyone hate Pretty Horses but like The Road? Should I check it out? Or should I keep in mind that Oprah chose the book about Those Goddamned Mulvaneys and give it a pass? It’s been 15 years since Pretty Horses came out, and I think I read it pretty close to the time it came out, so maybe my reading tastes have matured and I can appreciate Cormac McCarthy. Or maybe not. I do like me some postapocalyptic novels, though. Maybe I should check it out? Advice appreciated, here. It’s not like I need any more books, but will I kick myself for missing this one?
* * *
This weekend was a damn good one, at least in my opinion. I’ve been putting off clearing out the front flower beds for months now, and so while Fred mowed the back forty, I started clearing stuff out of the flower bed. I quickly got overwhelmed, bitched at Fred, whined and moaned and stomped around, and finally he came around to help me. By “help me”, what I mean is “cleared the flower beds while I flitted around and did other stuff.” Though I should note that I did load up several wagons of weeds and discarded plants and bushes, and dumped them in the mulch pile. Which was hard enough work that I woke up Sunday morning with my shoulders and quads hurting. So I did help a little. (A VERY little.) After Fred dug up all the bushes and plants – which I hauled off – he got out the cultivator and ran it across both flower beds, digging up rocks and random crap, such as big rusted metal hoops, an old pair of pliers, an old lighter. You know, the usual crap. I would offer, for your perusal, a picture of the front flower beds before the clearing began, and then another picture after the clearing had been done, except I didn’t take pictures, because I didn’t think of it. Also, if I did that, no doubt someone would be all “::gasp!:: You didn’t save the clematis? You dug up the (whatever)? I would have saved those and used them again, if I were you!” and then I’d have to go bitch at Fred and I have no energy for that right now. So once the beds were cleared – something that took a large part of the day, which surprised me, because I didn’t think it would take so long – Fred put down weedblock fabric, we weighted it down with rocks, and then went inside to take showers and lay around for a little while. We left Smallville and headed for the flea market, where we bought a rug for the kitchen, a runner for the upstairs hall, one for the front room (angled from the front door to the hallway), and a small rug that goes right inside the front door. Now all we need is a rug for the stairs landing, and we’ll be all set. From there, we stopped by the Madison house to check the mail (which is supposed to be forwarding, but apparently isn’t doing so yet for some reason, goddamnit), went to Kohl’s for new clothes for Fred, and then to Ruby Tu3sday’s for dinner. At Ruby Tu3sday’s, I like the turkey sandwich combo (I think that’s what it’s called), which is a turkey sandwich with your choice of the salad bar or a cup of soup. I like to get a plate from the salad bar, eat half the turkey sandwich and a couple of fries, and take the rest home for lunch the next day. It’s a damn fine turkey sandwich, let me tell you. The only problem with the Ruby Tu3sday’s in Madison is that the majority of the staff is comprised of very good-looking college-aged waiters and waitresses. Personally, I am against the employment of very young, very good-looking people as waitstaff, because I don’t want to tell Joe Cutie-Pie College what I want to be stuffing in my face, because I’m sure they look at me and think “GodDAMN I’m good-looking. Why am I taking orders from this old hag? Am I making enough money to put up with this over-polite shit*? I think NOT. GodDAMN I’m good-looking.” After dinner we went to a nursery and checked out the plants, decided they were a tad expensive, so went to Lowe’s instead. Where we bought Encore Azaleas, Daisy Gardenias, and Boxwoods for the front flower beds. Then we headed home, unloaded the car, and spent the evening watching TV. Sunday, Fred put edging down around the front flowerbeds, then planted the bushes while I flitted around some more being very unhelpful. Once the bushes were planted and the mulch was put down, the flowerbeds looked about 10,000 times better than they had before. Now, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE annuals, but I hate planting them in the ground and having to spend all that time weeding the flowerbeds. I much prefer to have something low-maintenance in the ground and to plant annuals in flowerpots on the front porch. In fact, I’m going to run to Lowe’s later today and buy some more big pots and annuals for the front porch. Fred bitched about the fact that he spent so much time doing “my” stuff when he’d intended to get started on the fence around the back yard (“his” stuff), but he had to agree that the front looks much better than it did. Also, Fred got my clothesline up and running (I don’t know if he came up with the idea on his own, or if he read a comment one of you left, but he found a local ironworks place to create two t-poles for us), so I did three loads of laundry and hung them out to dry. Just in time, too, since the dryer died Friday evening. Nothing like the smell of sun-dried clothes, I’m telling you. *I swear to god, I thank my waiter or waitress every time they so much as look in my general direction.
* * *
Pretty, pretty Newt.
* * *
Previously 2006: No entry. (But check out the dancin’ kitties on the 5th) 2005: No entry. 2004: Questions answered, and a meme. 2003: Once again, pot-kettle-black. 2002: You can imagine the temper tantrum that followed. 2001: I would have preferred a candy bar, but unfortunately, we don’t got none o’ them ’round these parts. 2000: No entry.]]>

5/4/07

by @ Friday, May 4th, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

American Express commercial with Shaun White came on, and Fred glanced up for a minute. He went back to whatever he was reading for a second, then looked up again. He started laughing. “I totally thought that was France McDormand!” he said. No offense to the totally awesome Frances McDormand, but I can kinda see the resemblance.

* * *
Do you see what I see? How about now? How about… now? When I spotted Newt up in that tree, sound asleep, it startled me so badly – just because I wasn’t expecting to see that – that I gasped and went running outside. I guess I’ve forgotten that he’s a salty country cat who does things like climb trees and sleep up there without hurting himself. I went out and spoke to him, and he got so happy that he started rolling around and purring, and I got worried that he’d fall out of the tree, so I came back inside. And he bounded down the tree with no problem whatsoever, and went along his merry way.
* * *
This entry is going up later than usual today, because I spent this morning mowing the front and side lawn. It took me about two hours, and would have taken much longer, except that Fred got annoyed with how long the grass (and weeds) in the back yard had gotten and mowed the back and part of the side yard yesterday (well, he started the day before, but then blew a tire on the lawnmower, so had to get that fixed before he could do more mowing). If I’d had to mow the back yard as well as the front and side, I’d probably still be out there. Down side to owning so much land: All the mowing. Not because I don’t like mowing (I do, except for the parts that are too steep for the riding mower, so I have to do those parts with the push mower, and it’s a pain in the ass), but because the mower’s so loud that I can’t listen to my iPod whilst mowing. In fact, the riding lawnmower is so loud I have to wear earplugs, which I’m sure makes me look HAWT.
* * *
Fred’s gotten all the supplies to start the fence around the back yard. I’m beyond excited that our spoiled citified cats will be able to go outside soon – I know that Mister Boogers, for one, is just dying to get out there. I’m concerned that Maxi and Newt will feel slighted, since they’ll no longer be able to get into the back yard, but since they have the ENTIRE WORLD at their toes, I’m not going to feel too bad about blocking off a little bit for our cats to have for their own.
* * *
Mister Boogers: “Look at her out there, all impressed with herself. She thinks she’s really SOMETHING, all ‘I get to run around outside and kill and eat squirrels if I want to! And I get to lay on this deck and you DON’T, ha ha!’ I HATE HER.” Tommy: “::sigh:: I think she’s beauuuuuuuuuutiful.”
* * *
Previously 2006: And I mean that “woohoo!” in a completely sincere and non-ironic way, which is a little sad, but whatEVERRRR. 2005: Did I really write a chapter about my sex life? Eek! What was I thinking? 2004: “YES! Yes, she’s sick! No, she’s not sleeping, she’s SICK, and SHE’S ABOUT TO DIE, NOW WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP?!” 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: It wasn’t until I said “I think she’s messed up in the head” that something clicked for her.]]>

5/3/07

by @ Thursday, May 3rd, 2007. Filed under Life, New house

The faux Berber rug we bought for $20, which we put in the kitchen, is no more. Tommy and Sugarbutt kept getting their claws caught in the loops of the rug (there’s a space between the end of the cap and the paw itself when you’re using SoftPaws) and freaking out. I had to cut the rug in three different spots to save Tommy, and finally I was just tired of it. I rolled it up and tossed it out on the back lawn (there might have been a mini temper tantrum involved, with much swearing), and then Fred carried it up to the end of the driveway. It stayed there all night, then the next morning it was gone. The cool thing about living on a busyish road in the country is that when we want to get rid of something, we don’t have to wait ’til it piles up, then call a charitable organization to come get everything. We just leave it by the side of the road and someone eventually comes along who wants it, and they stop and take it with them. Nothing sits there for longer than a few hours, usually, except for the rug. Though to be fair, Fred did put the rug by the road at night, so it probably wasn’t as easy for passersby to see what it was. We’ve talked about going back to the flea market this weekend to look for a runner for the upstairs hallway, and maybe we can find something better for the kitchen while we’re there.

* * *
Hmm. So we have one black indoor cat and one (NOT OURS) black outdoor cat. One orange indoor cat and one (NOT OURS) orange (more buff, really) outdoor cat. I think this means we need a NOT OURS tortie, a black and white, a white and orange, and a gray to create a true feng shui balance. My feng is not shui’d, and it’s annoying me.
* * *
I’ve been making the hell out of zucchini bread lately, using this recipe, sent to me by lovely reader Kristen. I don’t even know how many loaves of bread I’ve made in the last week, but it’s certainly been more than one. I’ve made loafs with and without chocolate chips, with and without nuts (oddly, I think toasted pecans are the most amazing nut ever, but I just don’t care for nuts in my baked goods), and I have enough grated zucchini for one more loaf before I give it a rest (we don’t want to get tired of it before our zucchini even starts growing!). It’s such a lovely, moist, delicious bread that I give it a hearty two thumbs up. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday not only baking a loaf of zucchini bread, but also making dinner for last night and dinner for tonight. Dinner for tonight is going to be chicken and rice casserole, because I have lately gotten into buying rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, eating it for lunch for a couple of days, and then sticking what’s left in the freezer, because I cannot abide the idea of leaving a chicken in the fridge for more than a few days. So I had three partial chicken carcasses taking up space in the freezer, which was the perfect amount for chicken and rice casserole. While I spent all that time in the kitchen, I put the laptop on the counter and watched episodes from the first season of How I Met Your Mother. I just love the hell out of that show. They reran the Swarley episode a couple of weeks ago, leading me to ask Fred if we could rename the router “Swarley” (he named it FuckerMother a few years ago when we first got it, but thought renaming was in order before we moved to Smallville). We didn’t rename it Swarley, but I think we all know that I am TOTALLY going to name a foster kitten Swarley in the future. Anyway. Zucchini bread: Good. How I Met Your Mother: Good. Chicken and Rice Casserole: Damn Good.
* * *
The Newt-alike can occasionally be spotted in our yard. He looks so very much like Newt that the only way I realize it’s not Newt is when (1) He doesn’t flop over and whine for a belly rub, (2) He takes one look at us and runs away, or (3) I can see Newt and the Newt-alike at the same time. Fred says I should name him “Nawt”. He’s very nervous when he sees us walking in his general direction, so I’m guessing he’s feral. I’d like to trap him and have him neutered (NEWTered. Ha!), but he doesn’t come around with any regularity and I haven’t successfully gotten within fifty feet of him yet, so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be at that. Also, it’s entirely possible he’s a she. Like I said, I haven’t gotten terribly close to him/her.
* * *
The plumber for whom I was waiting yesterday morning, finally showed up around noon to run the water line from the house to the shed. I cannot describe for you how very fucking much I hate having to deal with workmen. I don’t know why I hate it so much, except maybe it’s just my general loathing of strangers and my dislike of feeling like an idiot when said workmen describe what they’ve done (I always want to say “Don’t bother my pretty little head with details. Just tell me how much I owe you.”), but the plumber guy is very cool, he’s done plenty of work for us before, and yet I still hate having to deal with him. This has been a week of dealing with workguys, actually, and even though I didn’t deal with any workmen on Tuesday, I still waited around for 3/4 of the day waiting for the plumber to show up so I considered it a day wasted. I need to haul my ass to Lowe’s for plants and planters for the front porch, and I’ve been wanting to do that all week long, and it’s still not done. NOT DONE. Also, I had one last light to send out from the eBay auction of lights, and I prefer to mail it out from the mailing place in Madison, because the guy who works there will take one look at a box I’m sending and say “You are crazy if you want to send that via the post office. You want to send it Fed Ex. Seriously, you’re a ridiculous fool for even considering sending anything over 5 pounds through the post office.” I need to be bossed around when it comes to stuff like that. Speaking of, I am a severe idiot who should not be allowed to put things up for sale on eBay, because of the 9 light auctions I had, I took a loss on the shipping on all except for one of them. That is, I undercharged for shipping on all but one, because all I did was fill in the weight section of the item when I was filling out the eBay auction form, without considering the size issue. It appears that you have to take size into account when it comes to shipping stuff. Who the fuck knew? Anyway, the best part of the whole plumber thing is that he finished running the water here in Smallville, and he talked at me for a little while, I paid him, and then he headed off to his next job. I came back inside, walked to the computer room, sat down at my computer, and remembered that he was supposed to meet me in Madison so he could take care of the washer hose problem there. I ran back out, but he was gone. Which means what, exactly? I think we all know what it means – I get to cool my heels today, waiting for them to call and let me know the plumber’s on his way to Madison, so I can drive over there and meet him. UGH. Annnnd, since I wrote that, I ran to Lowe’s, where I bought a few bird-related things, then got so overwhelmed with the selection of planters and plants that I left without buying any plants OR planters, and was on my way home when the plumbing company called to let me know that the plumber was on the way to the Madison house. I drove there and he showed up a few minutes later. While he and his helper worked on the laundry room hose, I went through the house and gathered up everything that was left behind, some to throw away, some to bring back to Smallville with me. After half an hour of working on the laundry room hose, the plumber told me he needed to get a part, and left for 45 minutes. I finished gathering up all the crap left behind in the house and would have started cleaning, except that the water to the house was turned off (see: leaky hose in the laundry room) so I couldn’t really clean anything. The plumber came back, finished his job, I paid him and came home, and I am in such an incredibly crappy mood that I think I have no choice but to go take a goddamn nap and then maybe watch Lost. I am SO OVER this whole goddamn waiting every single day for a workman to show up bullshit.
* * *
You may not touch the Suggie toes.
* * *
Newt and Maxi approve of the new steps.
* * *
Previously 2006: It’s a Suggie in the Sug Cave! 2005: I RUE THE FUCKING DAY I decided to buy a car from this guy. 2004: I snorted. “This from the man who put Oxi-Clean in the dishwasher over and over and over last summer.” 2003: No entry. 2002: I am now sporting a fashionable little red mustache. 2001: What? You don’t think bugs would use the word “abattoir?” 2000: Why all of a sudden is her big scary clown face all over the place talking about it?]]>

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