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10/5/06

by @ Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, reader cats

Dsc02339 A “before” shot of one side of the closet. DSC02354 This top shelf is the last one I did before we left. Took me about 45 minutes. This is before… DSC02352 They appear to have glued old magazine or newspaper articles to random places on the shelves. I didn’t see a date anywhere, but they’re old enough that the phone numbers are listed 5-5555 instead of 555-5555, or even (256) 555-5555. DSC02356 Clean shelf. When I first went into the closet, I thought a quick wipe of the shelves with a wet rag would clean them up nicely, but like I mentioned, there was a ground-in dirt issue. I got out the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (which I invariably refer to as “magic sponges”, because please. They’re sponges!) and that helped get up the grime, but it was taking forever to get one little section done, and those sponges don’t hold up all that well. I was going through them pretty quickly. I got Fred’s keys and went to Wal-Mart for a second bucket and some of those Scotch Brite scouring pads. By the time I got back from Wal-Mart, it was 7, so we took a break and had snacktime (another apple for me – I love it when apples are in season) on the front porch. Oh, and I should point out, I didn’t spend all the time until snack time scrubbing shelves – I took a break to tape around the trim in the spud’s bedroom so that when Fred’s ready to start painting in there he won’t have to wait. Anyway, after snack time we went back inside and I broke out the scouring pads. They worked a lot faster than the magic erasers had, and so for the next hour and twenty minutes or so, I scrubbed the hell out of the shelves. By the time we left, the top shelves were clean around the entire closet, but I still have most of the middle shelves to do, and all of the bottom shelves. Guess I know what I’ll be doing on Friday, huh?

Dsc02355 “So, when they put up the December 1953 calendar, do you suppose they were unaware that December 1953 was going to end, and then the calendar was going to be useless?” “Not very forward-thinking of them, was it?” Dsc02358 The rags used on that closet: ONE MEELLION. DSC02359 We found these old cans of floor cleaner in the guest bedroom closet. I don’t know how old they are – there’s no date on them – but there’s still liquid in both cans. Not that I’m going to try to use them. God knows what the stuff inside has turned into! DSC02346 There was apparently a ladybug orgy at some point in the past. They didn’t care that their houses were afire and their children alone, I guess. DSC02344 Abandoned dirt dawber nest in the guest bedroom chimney access. DSC02343 Spiderman might protect us from the evil bugs, but does he clean? NO HE DOES NOT.
Tonight we’re taking a break from house-cleaning and -painting to sit on our asses at home. Well, except that the lumber yard will be delivering a load of crown molding and corner molding at some point this afternoon, so one or the other of us will have to go out there and meet them. Then tomorrow we’ll be out there after Fred gets off work until late, all weekend, and Monday as well. Hooray for holiday weekends!
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Maddy continues to grow and be a little feisty, wild thing. She’s learned bouncing, so now she goes bouncebouncebounce across the room, and then she scares herself and fluffs up her fur and runs sideways and is so damn cute I have to pick her up and kiss her, which makes her want to bite me. She’s a bitey little monster. Warning: cat cannot hold her licker.   If I had mad Photoshopping skillz, I’d totally Photoshop that sproingy thing out of the picture so it looks like Maddy has troll hair.   More pictures are here.    
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Yawny pet pics!
Laura says, This is our cat, Norman. He’s a big tomcat that loves to play. Six years ago, Paul picked him up from a guy he works with, his name is Norman, so Paul decided to name him such. He’s the best cat ever. I love how it looks like Norman is yelling “GOT IT!” Teri says, This is my kitty yawning pic. This is Claire and she is Trouble with a capital T (and that rhymes with C and that stands for Claire!)(yes, I sing to my cats all the time!) Anyway, she thinks she rules the house…ok, she DOES rule the house and our other two cats. You… sing to your cats? We NEVER do that. Ever. Really! Heh. Miss Pink Ponsonby says, Here is the Back of the Head yawn by Mackie! And also, I know you would like to take up quilting but let me assure you, the amount of eager ‘help’ you would recieve would make it darn near impossible to ever get a quilt made. Witness THIS: (notice what he is crushing beneath his rhythmical feet), and this (my blog archive entry in which I get a LOT of assistance in making an apron) I hadn’t even thought about that. Considering how “helpful” they all are when I’m trying to cross-stitch (sometimes it’s more than they can bear, and suddenly I’ve got a cat in my lap with a length of thread in his mouth because I’ve apparently been teasing them with the back and forth of the thread), I’m sure it would take me six years to get a lap quilt finished! Maren says, I thought I would send you a yawning picture of my son’s kitten Freddie – he’s 5 months old & is a real cutie. I must have chased him around for weeks trying to get a decent yawning picture of him. He’s feeling pretty puny today as he spent part of the morning at the vet’s with vomiting & diarrhea. Turns out he has roundworm! UGH! Poor Freddie. Worms are the worst! We’ve seen Amy‘s Zoe before, but Zoe was nice enough to pose for another yawny pic! Such a thoughtful girl, that Zoe. Brenda says, My Yenta is a talker, been talking since the day we met her and she and I have running conversations all the time. When we first brought her home from the shelter, and realized just what a talker she is, I told me hunny we needed to come up with a name for someone who talks all the time. He replied ‘oh, a yenta’ which is Yiddish for a female gossip. Well, that was just perfect. She’s my little Yenta. The smaller picture shows her in mid-speech, not yawning. The second pic shows her in her favorite spot on top of my old monitor. She thoroughly disapproves of my new flat panel monitor, especially after leaping onto it and discovering she had no purchase. Was scary and hilarious at the same time!! I LOVE that monitor picture – I could totally see Sugarbutt doing something like that! Jupe says, This is my mom’s cat, Pasha. Do you think he has enough toys? He was also found at about 3-4 weeks old and bottle fed before my mom adopted him. He is now almost 20 pounds. One year he absconded with a Christmas ham almost as big as he was (thankfully still wrapped), and had it halfway up the stairs before he was stopped. There’s no such thing as enough toys for a cat! I can totally see Tommy stealing a ham and dragging it up the stairs!
Laura, Teri, Miss Pink, Maren, Amy, Brenda and Jupe, thank you for sharing your cat pictures with me! Thanks to everyone who’s shared their cat and dog pictures with me. That’s it for this go-round – I’ve posted all the pictures I received; let me know if you sent me one and I didn’t post it – maybe we’ll do it again in a few months!
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Previously 2005: And then the last straw came along and broke the fat woman’s back. 2004: Because he’s a skinny bastard. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: Day One. 2000: So obviously I don’t know nothing’ ’bout picking out no paint.]]>

10/4/06

by @ Wednesday, October 4th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, reader cats

* * * People, I just don’t get it. I don’t get how the previous owners of our new house lived in it like that. Because seriously, the paint job makes my teeth hurt. There’s a spot in the yellow bathroom where they apparently needed to do some touch-up painting, and what color paint did they use to touch up the yellow bathroom? Why, orange. OBVIOUSLY. It was my hypothesis that the previous owners and their five (!) kids moved into the house and thought they’d be there for years, and that they could take their time to get the house looking the way they wanted. Then her mother went into a nursing home and they wanted to be closer to her, so they had to give the house a lick and a promise and hoped to sell it to people who could recognize the lovely underlying bones of the house. Like us. If I could point to one single room where the paint job was anything better than slapdash, I might be able to stand behind my hypothesis. However, I cannot say “The master bedroom (or the living room or the computer room or ANY room) is well-painted and the trim is neatly painted. Obviously they finished off this room and then realized they were going to have to move.”, because there ARE no rooms like that. And it isn’t like the rooms were carefully painted and it’s just the result of wear and tear that they look like they do now. On the ceiling in at least one of the rooms, the ceiling is painted pretty well, but they painted up TO the light fixture, and then there’s this whole area around the light fixture that is unpainted. Then there’s the dirt. See, I really like the previous owners, and they seem like nice people, but the fact that I spent an hour and a half cleaning a CLOSET last night (scrubbing the floor twice to get it somewhat clean, the walls, the ceiling, the shelves) makes me wonder what was going on. He seems to work long hours and she’s a stay-at-home mom with five kids (the oldest three being college aged) and I’m sure her life is a busy one, so did she think the kids were keeping their rooms and closets clean, but they were just shoving everything in the closet and when it was time to move it was just like “Oh good lord, just pack everything up and we’ll let the new owners worry about cleaning the closet!”? I don’t know. But I must say, it’s more gratifying to clean a filthy closet than a mostly-clean one, because you can see a huge difference when you’re done. I was originally going to help Fred put a second coat of primer on the walls in the guest bedroom, but Fred ended up determining that one coat was enough, so after we went and registered my car, we went to Lowe’s and decided on a paint color, and when we got to the house Fred carried everything upstairs and I went upstairs to look and get my painting mojo going, but then I opened the closet and LORD. “Oh, NOTHING’S happening in this closet ’til I clean!” I declared. And like I said, I spent the next hour and a half cleaning the closet, taking down nails and screws, and scrubbing the floor, twice. (And I still feel like it could use a third scrubbing.) Once the closet was done, I taped around the baseboards and doorways so Fred could do around the trim without painting it blue (a lovely smokey blue is what we decided on for the guest bedroom, by the way), and then we took a break and sat on the front porch in the dark and had a snack (I had an apple, and it was good) and we watched the cars go by. So then he went upstairs and painted around the trim and I took the blinds and went into the other room and cleaned each and every slat of the blinds, and then I scrubbed the baseboards around what will be the spud’s bedroom, which took us past eight o’clock, so we headed for home. Tonight, I’m cleaning the closets in what will be the spud’s bedroom (there are two!), which are even worse than the closet last night (and tonight I’m taking the camera with me to show you!), and then I have to tape around the baseboards and doorways so Fred can begin with the primering priming of the spud’s bedroom. I feel like we’re making really good progress. Originally Fred was going to primer the entire house before he started painting, but now he’s thinking he’ll completely finish out one room at a time, instead. I can’t wait to show you pictures of the guest bedroom, once it’s finished!

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Because when I have the radio going, it’s usually country music, I generally hear Paul Harvey at least once a day. I like Paul Harvey enough, I suppose, I usually hear at least one interesting tidbit of news each time I listen to him. But he annoys me a little, too. For one, he likes to say “Half a hundred” instead of “fifty.” Why? WHY, Paul Harvey? “Fifty” is so much more timesaving than “half a hundred” and so much less ANNOYING, too, why be pretentious? WHY? And the other thing he does that invariably annoys me enough so that if I realize it’s coming I’ll turn the radio off or to another channel, is the bit at the end, where he tells a story that is – at the most – mildly humorous. Then he signs off the broadcast by saying “Good day!”, but he says it with this sound to his voice like he is THIS CLOSE to busting out laughing, because the story he told? SO FUNNY. SO SO SO FUNNY. Paul Harvey can barely contain his hysterical laughter at such a funny story, but because he is a PROFESSIONAL, he will contain himself, though you should know that the instant he signs off the air, he will fall over backwards and hold onto his gut and he will let forth gales of laughter. This reminds me of the people online who use LOL as a punctuation mark. Now, I’m not a fan of LOL, but I do realize that it’s gone from meaning “I am sitting here laughing out loud so hard I’m PEEING MY PANTS, JANE!” to “I think that is kind of funny and it made me smile, possibly even laugh quietly to myself, so here is notification of that fact.” At least, that’s how it SHOULD be used. But then there are people who just randomly LOL out of nowhere, for no reason. Like it’s a punctuation mark. “Dear Robyn – Hi, how are you? LOL! I was just thinking that I should email you and tell you I love cats, too. LOL I live in California, and it’s pretty nice, weather-wise, lately. LOL I was wondering, could you tell me when you had gastric bypass surgery? I can’t seem to find the exact date in your archives. LOL Sincerely, Suzie Q.*” Don’t get me started on ROFL. Anyway. What was I saying? Whatever. Paul Harvey? Annoying but informative. LOL? Unnecessary and annoying. LOVEYOUBYE! *Fictional email, totally. But you get the idea. LOL!** **I couldn’t resist.
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All is well in Maddy-ville. She’s getting feistier and more playful by the day. She can go up and down stairs (though that last step down makes her a little leery, since she’s going from carpeted step to wooden floor) and can climb up onto the couch. The big cats are starting to play with her, and since everywhere she goes, she goes at a run, Mister Boogers likes to chase her around like she’s a toy. Or prey, one or the other. Bitey McBiterson strikes again.   More pictures here.    
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Caren says, Since you are crossing over (to the dog side) you have to see my dog Abby. She is yawning in the picture but I swear it looks like she is screaming “I can’t take this crazy place any longer”. She does! Or like she’s screaming “Make the lambs stop screaming…” Heh! Bev says, This is my kitten, Stanley. My hubby found him standing in the middle of a highway. He’s ADORABLE!! This is pretty much my favorite picture of him. EXCELLENT picture! Don’t you love it when all the stars align and you happen to have your camera handy and ready to go and get a picture like this? Chris says, This is my 13 year old cat named Katie. Katie is a tiny little thing but she’s got no less moxie than the biggest cat in the world. The poor thing was rescued by my husband when she was about 4 weeks old and weighed less than a pound, and we brought her in to a home with two other dogs. She held her own and is still doesn’t take any shit off of them now. She does love to snuggle with them and we swear she laughs at their antics, but don’t tell her I told you that. Anyway, I think she’s actually meowing here, but we like to think she’s laughing at another thing those damn dogs did. It looks like a yawn right? Andria says, You said you liked pictures of cats with their tongues out, so I thought I’d send you my favorite picture of my cat Chile, from when she was a kitten. Chile looks a LOT like Tommy did when he was a wee one, before he grew into the behemoth he is today. I love it when cats are at the rumpled stage before they grow out of their kitten-ness. t0rie says, Ever since your request for yawning kitty pics I’ve been trying to get a picture of our cat, Inca, yawning. Sneaky thing yawns all the time, but not in front of the camera. Finally caught one, but it’s not the greatest shot. (Hey – it’s a camera phone, whaddya expect!) But here you go. And had to attach a couple other Cute Kitty Pics of Inca, who is our rescue Burmilla from Mallorca. (Long story, but involved a long weekend in Mallorca then flying back with extra hand luggage of her at my feet on the plane!) What gorgeous green eyes! She reminds me a little of Fred’s old cat Poot, for some reason. Maybe the eyes! Thank you Caren, Bev, Chris, Andria, and t0rie, for sharing your pictures!
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DSC02333 Not as innocent as he looks. * * *
Previously 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!]]>

10/3/06

by @ Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, reader cats

here.

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Things I forgot to mention yesterday: 1. The garage at the Smallville house is very much open to the elements. I was in the upstairs of the garage on Saturday sweeping up all the crap, and I realized that you could see directly outside from the second floor. No wonder there are so many dirt dawber and yellowjacket nests. We’re going to have to do something about that if we’re turning part of the second floor of the garage into a foster kitten room, since exposed to the elements = too hot in summer, too cold in winter, and a window air conditioner/ heater won’t help all that much. I actually tried to convince Fred that we should turn half of the front room (which will be half living room, half sitting area/ reading room) into a foster kitten room, just put up a wall and door, but he wouldn’t go for it. 2. We stopped at a little country store less than half a mile from the new house on Sunday. They have a little deli section at the back of the store, and we’d brought bread and condiments with us, and bought some deli ham and cheese at the store, so we could make ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. The cheese was DIVINE. As I was eating one of the extra slices of cheese, I said to Fred, “I don’t guess this is 2% cheddar, huh?” “I doubt it,” he said. No wonder it was so damn good! 3. As we were eating lunch on Sunday and watching the traffic go by, Fred said that he kind of wished the house was a little further from the road. “We could just tear the house down and build a new one at the very back of the back forty. And then we could have a long driveway with huge trees lining the driveway, like the road in Forrest Gump!” Fred said, “Yeah, except the trees wouldn’t get that big in our lifetime!” He’s always a party pooper. 4. I tried to convince Fred that we should put a pool in the middle of the back forty, and put a screened-in gazebo next to it. It would be quiet and peaceful, and all we’d hear would be the sounds of the crickets singing, birds chirping, and the gentle splash of the tequila as it hit my glass. (Or not – one of the sucky things about being diagnosed with a liver disease is that you can’t drink much because it taxes your liver. This is heartbreaking to me because I am SUCH a big drinker.) Fred pointed out that probably after the first few months of having to trek back to the middle of the back forty to use the pool, we’d get tired of it and never go back there again. This is true – but Fred’s still a party pooper.
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We went to Lowe’s and bought a refrigerator last night. The space where the refrigerator will be going is kind of small, so our choices were limited. We found one that would fit perfectly, and then it was just a matter of choosing the color – black, white, or bisque. I kind of wanted the black one, because our white refrigerator gets so grimy, especially on the handles, but I thought a black refrigerator would look odd in the kitchen, so we opted for the white. There was a stainless steel one that I REALLY liked, but it would have stuck out too far. Also, it was way more expensive than the one we got, so there you go. They’re going to call when it arrives at Lowe’s to set up delivery. I hope it’s soon, because lugging the cooler back and forth is getting to be a bit of a pain in the ass. We stopped by the house so Fred could try to get the rollbar on the tractor put down (which he did) and I could drop off the clean cleaning rags. Neither of the bird feeders I hung up on Sunday had been touched at all; I guess it’ll take a few days before the birds decide to start checking out the feeders. The dirt dawber was still hanging out in the laundry room. If I’d had something to smack at him with from a distance, I would have killed him, but I didn’t (need to get a fly swatter), so he’s still there. Tonight, we’re heading out there as soon as Fred gets home. We’re going to finish primer-ing the guest bedroom, hopefully, and perhaps start on the spud’s bedroom. I’ve never painted a damn thing before; hopefully I won’t fuck it up too badly.
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Maddy is officially off the bottle! She hasn’t had any formula in two days, and she’s still using the litterbox plenty and is bouncing around with as much energy as ever – if not a little more. She and Sugarbutt actually PLAYED this morning, and I got a little movie of it, but it’ll be a few days before I get around to putting the movie up for y’all to see. This morning Maddy weighed in at 1 pound, 3 ounces (or thereabouts – it’s hard to get an exact weight on her at this point, she’s so wiggly and squirmy), which means that she’s almost doubled in weight (and probably size as well!) since we got her. As of Thursday, she’ll be guesstimated to be 6 weeks old, and I’ll be giving her her first vaccination. They grow so fast, don’t they? Maddy does her rabid bat impression.   Sleeping. The only time she’s still.   More pictures over here.    
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Reader yawny pet pics:
Ariel says, I couldn’t resist contributing to your yawny pet pics section and the chance to give my kitty her 15 minutes of fame. 😉 This is Neko, who is about 10 years old and has been my companion since she was maybe 6 months old. She’s the sweetest cat on the planet, but these pics crack me up because they make her look so decidedly evil. Awww, she doesn’t look evil. She looks like she’s giggling! Okay, maybe in an evil way… Melissa says, Kitty pictures, my favorite! I’ve included a few of my little boy, Mr. Puss (or Stinky as we so lovingly refer to him) … he’s still a baby and not too cooperative with getting the yawn pictures caught on file, but I’m working on it! I love the way Mr. Puss looks like he’s smiling in the top picture! What gorgeous eyes he has. Hey mom, is it hockey season yet??! Psycho kitty with curved fangs She thinks you’re REALLY funny! I mean REALLLLLLY funny! She doesn’t like stupid people… Isis (the top two pictures) and Murron (the bottom three) belong to Lisa. I LOVE that second picture of Murron – she looks like a little vampire kitty. Alice belongs to Turtlemama, who says, This is just one of our three cats. This is Alice, whom we call Pretty Miss Alice or “Ow! Don’t fucking bite me!” Sometimes it’s both, “Hey Pretty Miss Alice! OW! DON’T FUCKING BITE ME!”. She likes to bite for no good reason…she’s always done it, she’s her own cat and no one can make her change. yeah. Anyway, it’s not yawning, but they are good ‘Kitty sticky tonguey outie’ pictures! Is it just me, or in that first picture does Alice look like she’s thinking “You want a piece of me? ‘Cause I will MESS YOU UP!”? Lisa says, Here’s my yawning Smudgie, tending bar! Looks like Smudgie’s been partaking of the bar a little, too! Thanks for sharing your cat pics, Ariel, Melissa, Lisa, Turtlemama, and Lisa!
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Previously 2005: If I hadn’ta covered my head with my hands, I might be DEAD right now! 2004: No entry. 2003: “No,” Fred said. “You’re the muffinhead. DID SHE STAND OVER YOU AND MAKE YOU INSTALL IT??” 2002: Spanky is the Lance Bass of our family. 2001: I guess if tomorrow’s Day Zero and Friday is Day One, that makes today Day Negative One. 2000: No entry.]]>

10/2/06

by @ Monday, October 2nd, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, Picture Entries, reader cats

logo, this one created by the wonderful Carol! Thanks, Carol! And speaking of logos, I could use a Thanksgiving/ Turkey themed logo for next month, if anyone’s feeling creative.

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What I love the most about living in the country (though we’re not living there yet, and it’s not like middle-of-nowhere country) is the complete and utter randomness. I walked through the back yard yesterday, and I’d be walking along and then it would be like “Oh, look. A brick. Right there in the middle of nowhere, for no apparent reason. A brick.” Or a chunk of cement, or a golf ball – apparently the owner’s kids liked to hit golf balls into the back forty (why is it, I ask you, that it’s spelled “forty” and not “fourty”? That just doesn’t seem right, and every time I need to type it, I have to debate with myself the correct spelling) and they’re all over the place. Here are some pictures of randomness for you. Random5 Random pile of bricks in the yard. What were they going to use them for? I don’t know. Maybe to finish off the driveway? Maybe to edge a flower garden? Make a walking path? It’s a mystery! Random1 Frying pan in the front flower bed. Random4 “Maaaa! What should I do with the roll of rusty wire fence and the cinder block?” “Put it by the magnolia tree of course!” Random3 “I put a random brick by the wood pile, Ma.” “Perfect, son!” Random2 Set of wheels by the wood pile. Maybe they were on the wood pile wagon and just fell off? Unrandom Not so random – they put these bricks here to step on when it rained very hard and the yard got a little swampy. We’re going to replace them with stepping stones at some point.
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So, Friday afternoon Fred got home from work ready to head for the new house, only to find that I wasn’t up for a trip to the new house. Apparently something I’d eaten had disagreed with me, and I was laying on the couch, sleepy and nauseous and gassy (oh my!). Since the tractor was being delivered at 5 and the roof guy was supposed to meet him at the house at 4:30, he headed out there, and I said I’d come out if I started feeling better, knowing that probably wasn’t going to happen. Surprisingly enough when he called to check on me a few minutes before 5, I was feeling a great deal better, so I jumped into my brand-spanking-new car and headed out to the house. I arrived just as the tractor guy and his wife were getting there, so I went into the house to drop off a few things (a cooler of ice and some bottled water), looked around a little, did a “Ours! All ours!” dance, and went back out to watch the tractor guy instruct Fred in the finer points of tractoring. I made awkward small talk with the tractor guy’s wife (she said she’s more of a town girl than a country girl; I pointed out that we’re only about five minutes from one city large enough to support a Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and a thousand other stores, and about ten minutes from another, larger, city so we weren’t missing out on too many conveniences), and then the tractor guy and his wife headed out. It was really too dark for Fred to do anything with the tractor, so he spent about 45 minutes putting the various tractor implements away, put the tractor away, and we headed out for dinner. There’s a small restaurant not more than half a mile from the new house that we decided to try out. It ended up being REALLY good food and very inexpensive, so we’ll definitely be going back there. Saturday morning we were up and out of the house a little after 9 (with Maddy in a carrier at my feet – we were planning to be at the house all day, and I didn’t want to have to drive back to Madison to feed her and check on her. Luckily she’s portable, so I loaded her and her toys and litter box and food up and took her with us.). We’d intended to be at the house as soon as possible, but we needed to find a certain gas station that has diesel fuel, and GoogleMaps showed us the general direction of where it was located, but we couldn’t seem to find it and Fred’s car was running low on gas, so we turned around and went to the gas station by our house. Fred gassed up, got something to eat and a few sodas, and asked for directions to the place that sells diesel. Apparently if we’d kept going for another few hundred yards, we would have found the place. So Fred filled up the gas cans and we headed to the house. We unloaded everything into the house, and Fred went out to hook up the mower to the tractor, and I put Maddy in what will be Fred’s bedroom, shut the door, and started cleaning the upstairs bathroom. Seriously, I thought it might take me an hour, hour and a half, tops, to clean the bathroom. It took me three hours. THREE HOURS. Three hours and a ton of cleaning rags and half a bottle of Pine-Sol and toilet bowl cleaner and shower cleaner. I scrubbed every inch of that bathroom, and by the time I was done you could have eaten off any surface in that bathroom. When Fred came in to tell me something or see what I was doing, I said “I would really, really, REALLY like to pull down that plastic stuff around the bathtub and put up tile.” He looked at me as though I were brain damaged. “Well, yeah,” he said. “I thought we’d decided we were going to do that.” “Before we move in, though,” I said. “Yeah, of course.” Whew! The plastic stuff around the bathtub is just to protect the wall, and it’s pretty ugly. Not only ugly, but there was soap scum an inch thick on it. So basically I spent a lot of time scrubbing down a plastic wall that we’re going to be ripping down before we’ll have a chance to use the shower, anyway. Urgh. Also, the mildew was so bad that it’s gotten under the grout around the tub and as much scrubbing and digging as I did, I couldn’t get the damn stuff out. DAMNIT. The upstairs bathroom, after: UpstairsBath3 UpstairsBath2 UpstairsBath1 This cubbyhole, I think, would be perfect for a linen closet. I’d love to put a wall up here and build a linen closet from the hallway (on the other side of that right-side wall), but I’m sure I’m the only one who feels that way, and also it’s probably beyond our beginner’s skillz at this point. Once I was done with the bathroom (which will be the spud’s/ guest bathroom, by the way), Fred and I took a break and had lunch. I went out and admired the back forty, which he’d spent a couple of hours mowing. It had been bushhogged last week, but the idea at this point is to keep it mowed every couple of weeks so we won’t need to have it bushhogged again. When lunch was over, I headed back inside to feed Maddy and once she was done eating and I’d played with her for a little while, I put her back in the guest bedroom and went downstairs to start on the downstairs bathroom. And there went another two hours of my day. The master bathroom was, if possible, even dirtier than the upstairs bathroom, and I ended up having to scrub the shower down three times (yes, even the plastic walls, which we’ll be replacing with tile), and the outside of the tub was pretty bad, too. But like the upstairs bathroom, you can now eat off any surface in the bathroom without fear. DownstairsBath I took a break for a while when I was done with the master bathroom, went upstairs to see what Fred was doing (puttying holes in the guest bedroom) and told him I was ready to try driving the tractor. I went out toward the back forty so he could disconnect the mower from the tractor, and waited for him to bring the tractor to me. GuestBedroom2 And then I drove the tractor! It was a little confusing at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and drove all over the back forty while Fred watched and snapped some pictures. DSC01866 DSC01872 I turned the tractor back over to Fred – who was visibly itching to get back behind the driver’s seat – and went back inside to clean the last bathroom. The third bathroom – it’s just a half bath – off the computer room took me maybe half an hour to clean, since there’s not much to it. I thought about starting to clean the kitchen, but it was starting to get late, I was running out of cleaning rags (of the two 24-packs of rags I’d bought at Lowe’s last week, I’d used all but three or four on the bathrooms), and I just didn’t wanna clean anymore that day. So I went out and watched Fred clear up some of the brush around one of the trees in the back yard, snapped a few pictures, and went out on the front porch to sit in a rocker and read. ClearingLand ClearingLand2 After I got bored with reading and rocking, I went upstairs and hung out with Maddy until Fred was ready to go. I packed her up in her carrier, we grabbed a bunch of stuff we needed to take home with us (trash, dirty cleaning rags that needed to be washed), and loaded up the car and headed for home. We unloaded the car at home, I threw the rags into the washer, put Maddy in her room, and then we headed out to eat dinner. We decided to try a “country cooking” restaurant not far from home, and while the food was very very good, there was only one waitress working, so we had to wait forever for our food. Not the waitress’s fault (we left a good tip; I ALWAYS leave a good tip. The one thing about working as a waitress for my very first job is that I will, for the rest of my life, leave good tips.), but I don’t know that we’re going to go back there real soon. Saturday evening we watched TV and were planning to stay up until 11 so we could make sure the spud got home okay, but I whined and bitched about how tired I was, so we went to bed and talked for a while, then said goodnight, and Fred went to wait for the spud and I went to sleep. I fell asleep pretty quickly, too – apparently the spud rolled in about ten minutes before 11 (which is almost unheard of – she tends to push it up to the last minute) and I didn’t even hear the garage door go up. Sunday morning I’d intended to sleep in a little, but I woke up a little after 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and did all my morning stuff (clean the litter box, do laundry, open the door to Maddy’s room and greet her, encourage her to follow me downstairs), then took a shower and was actually ready to go a little after 8. We left the house at about 9, Maddy in tow, and made a few stops. We stopped at Lowe’s for work gloves for me, Fred’s new favorite store for a couple of bird feeders (me), a hat (Fred), and some bird seed (the birds, obviously. DUH.). We got to the house, unloaded, and Fred went out and worked on getting the post-hole digger attached to the tractor, while I got Maddy settled and started cleaning the kitchen. FarmersShop GasPrices !!!!!! May I just say “OY”? That kitchen, I looked at it, and I swear to god, it looked perfectly clean, but once I started cleaning, it became apparent that it was going to be a whole-day thing. And it was. I spent all day cleaning out cupboards (things I found while cleaning out the cupboards: a “Sno-Motion” snow-cone machine, Magic Chef dehydrator, pizza (?) pans, a framed gardenia picture, a corn cutter & creamer, about a thousand straight pins, and a key to a GM vehicle), wiping down the front of the cupboards, crawling around on my hands and knees and cleaning the bottom cupboards (and wiping those down as well), pulling out the stove and cleaning behind it, and the side of the stove (nas-TAY), and at the very end, I Swiffered the floor four times before getting down on my hands and knees with a soapy bucket of hot water, a thousand cleaning rags, and scrubbed the entire floor twice. (Fred helpfully said “You didn’t really need to clean the floor, since we’re having them redone!” HE JUST DOESN’T GET IT. HMPH.) People, if you love me, you will go pull out your stove and clean behind it, and clean the side of the stove. Because that shit apparently gets quite nasty (who knew?!). Just call it your good deed for the day. Also, at one point I had to stop cleaning and go outside to help Fred dig a hole for the mailbox post. It’s a two-person job I guess, at least if you need to dig a hole straight down on a hilly area. Fred actually held the auger while I ran it (don’t ask me how I ran it; I just followed the directions he yelled at me). I noted that Fred likes to stand FAR too close to the tractor while I’m behind the wheel, making me want to yell “The tractor is a wild beast, mate! I canna control it! STAND BACK!” (I imagine yelling that in a Scottish accent, for some reason) When I accidentally (or should I say “accidentally”) run Fred over with the tractor next weekend because he’s standing too close, you can consider that above paragraph foreshadowing. KitchenCleaning2 The second pass with the Swiffer. Just as dirty as the first. KitchenCleaning Side of the stove. Ugh. I’m pretty sure it could have been much, much worse, though. KitchenClean2 Clean kitchen. KitchenClean More clean kitchen. When the kitchen was done, I told Fred (who was upstairs painting the guest bedroom with primer) not to walk across the kitchen. He was ready to take a break, so we met on the front porch and rocked for a little while. He said he was going to try to get the guest bedroom walls completely painted with primer before we left, so I told him I was going to get the bird feeders filled and hung up and then read for a little while. (I’m such a slacker compared to him!) I realized, as I wandered around the back yard looking for a place to hang the bird feeders, that I needed (a) a stepladder, because there were no low branches to hang the bird feeders from and (b) chains to hang the bird feeders on, because all the branches were very thick. I ended up hanging one bird feeder from the post that holds the laundry lines and the other on a stump of a branch sticking out of the side of the cedar tree. I sat and watched for a few minutes, but no birds showed any interest, so I went off to the front porch to watch traffic and read. BackForty1 The back forty, after Fred cut it. The black Momma cat we first saw about a month ago was back Friday night. I gave her food and water and she ate some, but didn’t appear to be starving. I’m afraid she might be pregnant again, because she’s not nearly as skinny as she was. Then again, maybe her kittens are weaned, and she’s just gained back some of the weight she’s lost. Anyway – does she look like a bat in this picture, or what? Mailbox The mailbox (the previous owners didn’t have a mailbox; they used a PO Box instead). MagnoliaTree Magnolia tree. LongLegs1 Daddy longlegs on the door Saturday. LongLegs Daddy longlegs on the back of the house Sunday (probably not the same one, unless he got into a fight at some point between the two pictures and lost a few legs). Katydid I didn’t know what this was, so asked Fred. He thinks it’s a Katydid. It’s kind of scary looking, if you ask me. HomeSweetHome Home sweet home. FrontYard Front yard. FredPainting Probably wishes he had a less slackery wife. Curtains I don’t know if I like these curtains or not. I just can’t decide! CrazyCatLady Does leaving out cat food and water for the neighborhood cats (and possums, most likely) make me a crazy cat lady? CementSlab The cement slab where the dog run was. We were talking about putting a gazebo on it, and then we were talking about putting a hot tub on it, but I don’t know that we’d use a hot tub all that much, so we’re talking about putting a deck over it. We haven’t decided, though. CedarTree Cedar tree avec bird feeder. Too bad this tree’s coming down; I’m starting to like it more and more. BirdFeeder Yes, the laundry lines are going to need to be restrung. Bug2 Dirt Dauber? Wasp? I don’t know. Alls I know is that they SCARE me with their buzzing and their flying around. SideDoors Side doors leading to the computer room. I think we’re just going to put some simple steps there, unless I can talk Fred into a small deck. Today, muscles all over my body are hurting. My quads and hamstrings from balancing on one foot on the ladder in the kitchen for so long (I needed the ladder to get to the top shelves), my back from crawling around on the floor scrubbing, but what hurts most of all is my right forearm. My right arm is my scrubbin’ arm, and god knows I did a LOT of scrubbin’ this weekend! We’re not going out to the house tonight, because Fred needs to mow the lawn here, and then we’re going to Lowe’s to buy a refrigerator for the new house. The one we have here is too big and won’t fit in the space (we’re going to keep it and put it in the laundry room when we move, though), and we really need to have someplace to put our food while we’re working on the house for the next several months, so it’s off to Lowe’s we go.
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First of all, I made a movie of Maddy. This movie illustrates why Fred calls Maddy “Miss Squeaks.” YouTube link. Secondly, Maddy is pretty much off the formula at this point and eating nothin’ but soft cat food. I’m such an enabler, though – ever since she started eating the soft cat food, she’d eat a little and then squeak at me, and I’d push the pile of cat food up into a little mountain so she could eat it more easily, and I’d say “Look, Maddy! Meat mountain! Meat mountain!” and tap on the plate, and she’d go over and eat some more. She was hungry this morning, though, and I was distracted, so when she squeaked at me I didn’t respond quickly enough, and know what she did? Did she sit there and starve? Why, no. She went over and ate the cat food that was NOT in a meat mountain shape. Apparently she’s able to eat non-mountainous cat food, she just wanted to put me through my paces. In a few more days I’ll start introducing her to dry cat food and water and see how that goes.   “What’s brown and sticky? Give up? A STICK! Bahahahahaha! Heeheehee! Hahahaha! Oh, boy, that joke ALWAYS gets me! Hee! Hee! Heh. Hmm.”   She’s gotten very talkative lately.   Princess Maddy.   More pictures hither.    
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Reader yawny pet pics! This is Gus, who belongs to Fran. Fran says, This is Gus, a Maine Coon Cat who is exiled in California. Sometimes he is too tired to yawn and meow separately so he combines it in a “meow-yawn” He has a very exhausting life. A me-yawn! Heh. Miz Poo does that, too, and it never fails to crack us up. Sarabeth says, I’ve tried to catch my cat yawning. I’ve followed her around, watched her closely, camera nearby for a few days now and I’ve come to one conclusion. Cordie doesn’t yawn. She doesn’t yawn because SHE NEVER SLEEPS. She may close her eyes from time to time, but she’s really just plotting on how to shred and destroy something a little later on. These pictures should give you an idea. She may look innocent in the first one, but I had just caught her sinking her claws into that roll of paper towels that she had STOLEN FROM THE KITCHEN. The second picture shows her true nature. Why do cats love destroying paper towels? WHY? Probably because it makes such a mess, the little brats. Jennifer says, Chloe is the yawning kitty, Izzy is the one staring at her like she’s sprouted two heads. Chloe’s 4 years old, and Izzy’s just a little over a year now. They get along, when Izzy isn’t trying to copy everything Chloe does. I love how Chloe’s white patch looks almost like it’s heart-shaped. Alicia says, Here’s a couple pictures of Max! He doesn’t have quite the same piercing stare as Mister Boogers, but I think they share the same sassy attitude. Heh – I think you mean Max doesn’t look as EVIL as Mister Boogers! In that second picture, the look Max is giving you as he lays in the sink? I’ve seen that exact same expression on Tommy’s face a million times. I can’t decide whether it means “I love you” or “Come over here and let me rip your throat out while I purr madly.” I keep my distance, just in case. Megan says, Here is my cat Jimmy, yawning and showing us his broken fang. We took Jimmy in a year ago on September 22nd. He was a stray that we became fond of and thought we’d give a home. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned how much I adore orange kitties, have I? I think the broken fang gives him a rakish air! Thank you to Fran, Sarabeth, Jennifer, Alicia, and Megan for sharing your pictures!
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: She seems a little wishy-washy about it. I think she might secretly like the book. 2002: (He always calls when I’m in the shower or eating. I think he has a hidden camera somewhere in hopes of catching me with my non-existent luvah-on-the-side Juan.) 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry.]]>

9/29/06

by @ Friday, September 29th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, reader cats

Proud owners of a second home – at least for the next several months. I can’t wait to get started!!!

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Things that have made me laugh out loud lately: Fred did both of these, but the one that really made me laugh out loud was this one, which he posted over on his site: All of the three above are in the vein of this, in case you’re wondering. Sent to me by reader Penny. I opened the picture and looked at it, and literally laughed out loud.
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A few days ago Fred and I went to the water and sewer authority to have the water/ sewer service at the new house turned over to our names as of… why, today, as a matter of fact. Anyway, there was a form I had to fill out with our names and social security numbers, and all that good stuff. One of the questions was “List ALL individuals who will be residing at this address”, and I was equally torn between writing down “Fred And3rson, Robyn And3rson, Danielle HerLastName, Spot J. Buhhhdy, Spanky Q. Annoying, Miz Pootie McPooterson, Stanley J. Boogerstein, Sugar Buttocks, and Thomas Cullen the Third, along with temporary resident Miss Maddy Mack (Mack! Mack!)”, and just writing down “That is none of your goddamn business, you fuckers, as long as the water and sewer bill gets paid, you just don’t worry your PRETTY LITTLE HEAD about who-all is beneath MY ROOF. GODDAMN GOVERNMENT.” In the end, I just opted to put Fred’s, mine, and the spud’s names down. No need to send out the announcement that we’re freaks just yet, I suppose.
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I’m seriously considering changing my name. Not my first name (I am nothing if not a “Robyn”, after being “Robyn” for 38 years) or my last name (since I share it with Fred and about 16 million other And3rsons), but my middle name. I don’t like my middle name – Leslie – and have never really liked it. Which is not meant to insult any Leslies out there – it’s a perfectly nice name, but I just don’t like it as MY name, you know? What I’ve been thinking of changing my name to is Robyn [My Maiden Name] And3rson. Obviously I’m not going to tell y’all what my maiden name is, but I like the ring of having my maiden name as my middle name. So how does one go about changing their name, someone tell me. Do I need to go to court and swear to the judge that I’m not trying to dodge a crime or bill collectors, or is it just a matter of changing my name with social security? I know someone out there knows the answer to this. Tell me!
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Last week, I started having some slight abdominal pain, right around my belly button. I thought perhaps I’d overdone it in the previous few days, so I took it easy for a few days, and the abdominal pain never really got better, so I started to worry. It wasn’t hurting all the time, or all that badly, but of course my immediate thought was that I’d been lifting too much too soon, and popped a hernia. I waited for a few more days, hoping it would go the hell away (sometimes that works, you know. Just wait and it goes away. Like magic! Or like there was never anything wrong…), but Tuesday was the worst day yet and so I resolved to call and make an appointment with my primary care physician the next morning. I called promptly at 8:00 when the office opened, and got lucky because there was a 9:30 cancellation. I took that, and a few minutes after 9:00 I headed for the doctor’s office. After waiting for an hour (thank GOD I brought my book), I finally got to see the doctor, and she felt the area and found the part where it really hurt the most, directly above my belly button. “Please tell me it’s not a hernia,” I said. “I don’t think it’s a hernia,” she said. “But I need to get some x-rays and bloodwork.” She asked several times if I was having any urinary problems, I guess thinking that it might be a urinary tract infection, but I hadn’t had any problems, and I told her so. After bloodwork and an x-ray, I sat back in the exam room and waited for her to come in and tell me what was going on. She did, and guess what? I’m full of shit. Literally. “There’s stool backed way up,” she told me. “I’m pretty sure the problem is that you’re constipated. Get an enema and take a couple of Dulcolax and stay near the bathroom.” “Really?” I said. “But I’ve been going just fine, no problems.” She repeated the bit about the stool all along my intestines, then told me she was sending me for a CAT scan, just to be sure. “Also, there’s a bony abnormality on your right hip, and I’d like to have that scanned, too. It’s probably nothing, maybe arthritis that developed when you were so overweight. ” She showed me where the “bony abnormality” is, but I’ll be damned if I can find it again. My right and left hips feel exactly the same as far as I can tell. And I’ve never had any problems with my hips. I went by Wal-Mart for the enema and Dulcolax, and when I got home I used both the enema and the Dulcolax and sat back, waiting for the wave of poo to crash upon Casa And3rson, but I’ve gotta say (TMI! TMI!), the results were fairly underwhelming. So today, after getting up early and eating breakfast, I got to fast for six hours and go in for a CAT scan. And guess what I got to have? OH LUCKY ME. I got to spend almost an hour choking down two HUGE cups of barium. Even just typing the word “barium” gave me goosebumps and made me shudder. Because that stuff if FUCKING NASTY, I know y’all know that, but let me repeat: FUCKING NASTY. It’s like liquid plastic with a little soupcon of ass and maybe a sprinkle of dirty feet, all mixed together and treated with a fake berry taste to hide the nastiness. (It doesn’t work.) I choked down the first one, then had to chew gum for a few minutes to get the ass taste out of my mouth. I got into a rhythm of drinking as much as I could before I started gagging (at first, that was four or five sips. Toward the end, it was a single sip at a time.), then flipping through a Martha Stewart Living magazine (holy god, does that woman cook ANYTHING without oil? Because it would appear not.) to take my mind off the torture I was inflicting on my tastebuds. I called Fred and my sister to bitch about the nastiness of the crap I was drinking, but neither of them answered their phone so I left messages. Finally, the CAT scanologist came out to get me, had me take my shirt and bra off and put a classy, stylish, yet FUNCTIONAL hospital johnny on, and then she commenced the scanning. I didn’t see any cats, though. At one point, she injected me with contrast and told me that I’d feel warm all over “Especially your bottom.” INDEED. All in all, it took about 40 minutes to do the whole thing, and the only thing that sucked is that the barium had gone through my stomach so fast that I had to drink some more while I was laying on the table. And it was WARM, and it was citrus-flavored, and if the cold, berry-flavored barium tasted like it had a soupcon of ass added, the warm citrus-flavored barium tasted like they’d added the whole left cheek, and I thought for sure I was going to barf, but luckily I did not and only had to endure the whole thing for another few minutes before she let me go. I suspect my scan’s going to come back just fine. That, or they’ll need to do another one JUST TO TORTURE ME.
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Last weekend, Fred and I started talking about new cars. Specifically, a new car for me. The spud had saved up enough money for a down payment on a car, and we decided back at the beginning of the summer that she would buy my car from me, and I’d get a new one. I love E’gar, but as someone in my comments posted, the spud has put more miles and wear and tear on it than I have, so why not sell it to her (I owe less than $5,000 on it), since we know it’s in good shape and has low mileage (a year and a half old, and it has about 12,000 miles on it) and it would most likely (god willing and the creek don’t rise) get her through college quite nicely. What I really wanted was a Toyota Yaris. They’re adorable, not too expensive, and get good gas mileage. We stopped at the Toyota dealership in Huntsville while we were out having dinner Friday night, and they didn’t have any Yaris hatchbacks, so Saturday we stopped in Decatur and I drove a 4-door Yaris. I liked it, but I didn’t want to drive one car and decide that I liked it, so we exchanged names and numbers with the salesguy and went on our way to the fair. Saturday evening, Fred was looking around online and found that Hyundai has a small car, the Accent, and when he showed me the picture, I decided it was pretty cute and I wanted to drive it. We drove into Huntsville to the Hyundai dealership and I drove an Accent. I liked it, more than the Yaris, actually, but Fred was pushing for me to at least test-drive a Suzuki (they’re inexpensive and we get a “loyalty discount” from Suzuki for buying more than one car through the dealership). We stopped by the Suzuki dealership on the way home and got a couple of informational flyers about a couple of Suzukis – the SX4, and the Reno. Monday I picked Fred up at his office and we went over to the Suzuki dealership. I drove a Reno around, and really, really liked it. I decided I didn’t like the look of the SX4, but there was a red Aerio sedan I thought was cute, so I test drove that, and after driving the Reno I didn’t much care for the way the Aerio sedan handled. So we got me a Suzuki Reno. In red. Yes, I’m back to a non-yellow car, but I like it, I think it’s adorable (I was thinking of getting the blue, but when I saw the red, I thought it was so pretty that I decided I wanted that instead), and I can pay that baby off in just a few years, and start saving for my next, more expensive car. (Who wants to bet I’ll just end up with another Suzuki?) Anyway, that’s what I’ve been alluding to this week, when I said that I ran an errand I couldn’t tell you about. We were shopping for, and buying cars. And without further ado, meet… Dsc02040 Delmar. (Named after Tim Blake Nelson’s character in O Brother, Where Art Thou?) (“We THOUGHT you was a TOAD!”) Dsc02044 TWENTY miles on it. Time to sell!
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Miss Maddy continues to do well. Last night when we watched TV, she spent the entire evening curled up on me. If I moved a little too much for her liking, she’d lift up her head and meow at me, then go back to sleep. She also started yawning last night! I didn’t happen to have my camera handy when she was a yawning fool, but I think y’all can expect some yawny pics in the near future. She’s eating well, though for her last feeding in the evening, she hasn’t been much interested in anything to eat. She eats plenty in the morning and afternoon, though, and she’s continuing to gain weight every day, so I’m not going to worry about it. Someone asked yesterday what I meant when I said I put Maddy up on Saturday. When we’re not home, we don’t let Maddy roam the house, because I trust that most of the cats wouldn’t hurt her, but Mister Boogers makes me nervous with his angry growl if she annoys him and I’d hate it if she got hurt. So I put her in the kitten room (I leave the cage door open all the time now), so she’ll be safe. I’ve thought about putting Tommy in there with her, since he’s the gentlest, most good-natured, and is most interested in her, but then I’d have to put a litter box in there for him (his big butt wouldn’t fit in her little litter box), so no. It’s good for her to learn to play by herself every once in a while, I think. This can’t end well.   More pictures here.    
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Reader yawny pet pics! This is Amy’s bulldog, Rene. Amy says, Robyn – I finally captured my dog yawning! I couldn’t decide which pic to send so I’ll let you choose which is best. This is Rene, she is a French Bulldog. I don’t mean to sound cocky but she is THE best dog in the world. She is hilarious and has more personality in her right bat ear than a 1000 dogs put together. We joke that she is part dog, cat, pig, bat, rabbit and rhinocerous. She is a very special girl – and very spoiled. You can TELL she’s the best dog in the world. I love the way she looks like she’s laughing! This is Anita‘s baby, Frank. In the interest of full disclosure, Frankie and Miz Poo have had a torrid… er, lukewarm… er, okay, TEPID love affair going on. They’re both whiny babies whose owners LURVE them to death. Mo says, I can never capture the little bastard yawning, but I did manage to get him right BEFORE he yawned. Last night he was sitting on top of the tractor wheel, and I managed to get him in between a yawn and a whine. Ain’t he cuuuuuuute? I love me some Frankie, yes ma’am. This is Jeannine’s Sofie. Jeannine says, i don’t have a yawny pic but i do have an incredibly cute one of my Sofie. i was on the computer and i looked up and saw this…… This is one of the problems with a flat-screen monitor – the cats can’t quiiiiite fit on top of it. I kind of miss looking up and seeing Spanky’s goofy face. This is Suzy’s Leo. Suzy says, My daughter’s cat Leo is a character who thinks he is human and sits to watch TV – its not a yawn picture, but it sure does make him unique! That’s for sure – I expect to look over and see Tommy sitting just like this one of these days! This is Hulda’s cat Zoey, who reminds me SO much of Tom Cullen, especially the second one down. That is a TOTAL Tommy face. Hulda says, She is the princess around here and everytime she’s done a number two in her box she calls for me and I have to come wipe her ass with a moist baby wipe. She can’t clean herself because she is so big and she can’t quite reach her bits if you know what I mean, she’s almost 20 pounds and that’s on a controlled diet. Some cats are just meant to be big and that’s just fine as long as she’s healthy 🙂 You know, I was going to say “Now, that’s a dedicated cat lover!”, but really – I think that we all know that if it came down to it, I’d TOTALLY wipe any of our cats’ butts if they needed to be wiped. I’d probably bitch about it, but I’d do it! Thanks for sharing your pictures Amy, Anita, Jeannine, Suzy, and Hulda!
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Previously 2005: What a fucking day, I tells ya. 2004: Which makes me think he’s out there talking shit about me, of course. 2003: He’s an awfully cute little kitty. 2002: No entry. 2001: I swear, my work is NEVER done. 2000: No entry.]]>

9/28/06

by @ Thursday, September 28th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, New house, reader cats

DSC01639 There were several of these growing near the house, and neither of us had any clue what they were. Fred’s stepmother informed us that they’re spider lilies. Since they grow from bulbs, I may dig them up and transplant them. Then again I might not – I’m not sure where the bulb garden is ultimately going to be. Dsc01655 Pardon the blurriness, but these fuckers can MOVE. I saw one of these last month in the front yard of the house and tried to get a picture of it, but couldn’t. On our trip to the house Saturday, I saw several of them and finally managed to get a picture. I was going to put it up and ask y’all what it might be, but on a whim I Googled “Red velvet ant”, and found that – amazingly enough – it’s called a “Red velvet ant.” Or you can call it by its other name – “Cow Killer.” It’s not really an ant, it’s a wasp, and you can read more about it here. I thought they were kind of pretty, but if the fuckers have a painful bite, I’m just as happy to stomp on them. DSC01657 We walked out to the back forty. DSC01665 DSC01658 From the back corner of the back forty, looking toward the house. The owners’ son had started to bushhog the back field, but their tractor broke down before it could be finished. The tractor Fred almost bought, but decided not to. Dodged a bullet on that one! DSC01666 Leaves starting to change on the black gum tree. DSC01668 In the back forty. Dsc01669 Huge tree in the back forty. DSC01672 Pecan tree overlooking the “pond.” When we left the house, we headed toward Decatur to do something you don’t get to hear about yet (patience, grasshoppers. All will be revealed tomorrow. Or Monday. Nothing huge, I promise.), but on the way we passed a tractor place, and since it was apparently Fred’s intent to visit every single tractor place in the state of Alabama, we stopped. I sat in the car with my book while he went in and talked to someone. Half an hour later, he came back outside. “I’m going to drive a tractor,” he said. “And there’s a cat in the store!”

DSC01682 She was friendly, but started getting bite-y after a while, so I left her alone. DSC01688 Fred, driving his very first tractor.
When I was done petting and taking pictures of the cat, I went outside and watched Fred drive around on the tractor. The salesman turned to me and said “I hear you’re a fan of cats.” “I am,” I said. “We have six of our own.” He shuddered. “No offense, but I’m not a cat person.” I shrugged. “None taken. I’m not a dog person.” “I’m not really a dog person either,” he said. “I’m retired, and I might get home today and my wife might say “Let’s go to Tunica for a few days!”, and we won’t have to worry about the pets.” “That’s true,” I agreed. I watched Fred for a few more minutes, and when he headed inside with the salesman to talk numbers, I went back to the car and read some more. We went to Decatur, did the thing you’re not allowed to know about yet, and then headed for the Morgan County Fair. After all the talking-up Fred had done, I expected this fair to be HUGE and AMAZING. We went into the Expo Hall first, and I admired the quilts, while Fred talked to a couple of guys at a booth about – what else? – TRACTORS.
Dsc01693 This is my favorite. Dsc01694 My other favorite. Makes me want to take up quilting.
After the Expo Hall, we went and checked out the livestock, and fed some goats. Well, Fred fed some goats. I wandered around and took pictures.
Dsc01698 Dsc01720 Dsc01723 Dsc01709 I haven’t got a CLUE what this thing is. It kind of looks like an ostrich, but I think it was some kind of sheep.
After the livestock, we wandered around the fair grounds checking out rides and games. It was a pretty small fair and there were no rides we wanted to go on, and Fred played one game and won a cheap little prize for me, and then we walked around a little more, bitching about the heat, and finally left to find something to eat. We ate at a buffet – where I ate too much, damnit, but it was good – and then headed for home, after stopping off to do something else y’all don’t get to hear about yet. (This is not sex-related, in case you’re worried. Though telling you that we’ve decided to become swingers would probably be a tad more interesting than what it’s really about.) On the way home, Fred suddenly exclaimed Ere he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” “Hey, look! It’s Donald Sutherland!” And we spent about ten minutes trying to catch up to the SUV Donald was driving, so I could so-very-subtly snap his picture.
Dsc01730 Not really Donald Sutherland. Or IS IT?
I spent the afternoon bonding with Maddy and then taking a nap, and Fred and I spent the evening watching TV until the spud got home (Fred can’t sleep until he knows she’s home safe). All in all, a good Saturday!
* * *
A couple of cat questions, answered: Ummmmm…… You *warmed* Maddy’s food? That must STINK to the high heavens!!!! Yeah, I warm her food because I’m a total sucker, and god forbid she have to eat COLD food. She might starve to death! And yeah, it does stink. By the end of the day, after smelling the soft food I give Maddy all day long, when Fred opens a can of soft food to feed the big cats for a snack (and we wonder why Tommy is such a porker), it makes me a little nauseous. Also, I worry that I walk around all day smelling like cat food and just don’t realize it! Maddy is SO cute. Question from a non-cat owning person…will her eyes always be blue or will they change color as she gets older? Still think you can give her up? Her eyes will probably change from blue; they’re already lighter than they were, and I think I see flecks of gold in them. I’d love it if she kept her big blue eyes, though. They’re gorgeous! And yes, I think I’ll be able to give her up. It won’t be easy, but y’all forget – I’ve actually given up more foster kitties than I’ve kept. Excluding Maddy, I’ve had 11 foster kittens and given up 9 of them. So, see? I can do it! (And I know that if I give her up, there’ll be more fosters in my future. If I keep her, the fostering will have to stop because there is NO WAY Fred would ever let me foster again.) I work with [deleted] and she has been showing me pictures of this perfect little angel kitten. I can’t believe that after you has nursed this little beauty that you can give her away….What kind of mother are you?? You are all she knows. You will damage her for life you know. I’m actually not the only mother she’s ever known – I’m the third mother she’s ever known, at least of the human persuasion. God knows what happened to her “birth” mother. And let’s get serious here – she’s a CAT. I’m not going to damage her for life, because her brain is the size of a pea. If I went away for two days and came back, she’d be like “And you are…?” I’m giving her away to a very good home, because the shelter I work for is extremely careful regarding who they allow to adopt their cats. And like I said above, if I keep Maddy, the fostering will have to stop. I talked Fred into letting me foster again even after we adopted Tommy and Sugarbutt, but I have no doubt he’d put his foot down if I tried to keep Maddy and then foster again.
* * *
Maddy (or as I’ve taken to calling her lately, Miss Maddy Mack (Mack! Mack! With stripes of black! black! black! And fur that’s gray! gray! gray! All down her back! back! back!) continues to do well. She’s solidly over a pound, she’s using the litterbox exclusively (I do NOT miss stimulating her to pee and poop. No matter how fastidious you are about it, you end up with pee and poop on your hands at some point, and you don’t always necessarily realize it.), and she’s past the diarrhea stage. I got her to eat soft cat food twice yesterday, though at her evening feeding Fred tried to feed her, but she wasn’t that interested, only ate a little bit. I tried a while later to feed her, but she wasn’t at ALL interested in food or formula, just spent the evening exploring and sleeping on me. She is just so unbearably cute that I have to bite my tongue so I don’t squeeze her to death, and now my tongue is sore all the time. Everything I’ve read says that when you give a baby cat a bottle, you should have them on their stomachs at a 45-degree angle. But this is the ONLY position she’ll take her bottle in, standing on her back legs with her back against me. Also, very important to grab my hand so the bottle doesn’t go anywhere. More pictures hither.    
* * *
Reader yawny pet pics!
This is Angie‘s Eden, relaxing in the leather recliner. Nice life indeed, Angie! Dana’s Gracie… And Dana’s Maxine. Who apparently live very exhausting lives. How hard ARE you working them, Dana? Danielle says, This is Gilbert, an italian greyhound. I think he was about 8/9 weeks here, and ok, technically he was after his tail, not yawning. But the effect is the same, and I thought it was pretty damn cute. And the second picture, Gilbert is, again, not yawning, but instead trying to eat Hamlet Truman, my adorable new kitten. They’re about the same age, and really best friends. Hamlet spends a lot of time trying to carve Gilbert up into little puppy pieces, so they’re even. Y’all know I’m not a dog person, but Gilbert really kinda makes me want to get a dog so he can harass the cats! This is Susan‘s Ruby. Susan says, Here’s another laughing kitten picture – a picture of one of our kittens, Ruby. I accidentally snapped it one day as she was crawling across my lap (that’s why it’s out of focus) but I absolutely love it. Is she laughing, or does she want to bite you like a vampire? Those are some seriously sharp-looking teeth! Y’all can see more of Susan’s kitten pics here. This is Kelly’s Stella, who is an absolute dead ringer for Sugarbutt! I don’t think Sugarbutt could fit his big butt in the sink anymore, though. And Kelly’s Jupiter. The look on Jupiter’s face just cracks me UP.
Thanks, Angie, Dana, Danielle, Susan, and Kelly, for sharing your pictures!
* * *
Dsc01731 He straddled the bird bath like this for the longest time, staring off into space at something. It’s like he was posing for me!
* * *
Previously 2005: Phear my l33t fotograffic skillz. 2004: Dear Stephen King: Stop defending what you did, and just write the goddamn story. 2003: Meet Gizmo. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry.]]>

9/27/06

by @ Wednesday, September 27th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, Picture Entries, psc, reader cats

very annoying self-important neighbor)”,” I suggested. Fred laughed appreciatively. “That would be the ultimate in passive aggressive,” he said. Hey, we’ll only be living here for another six months or so. Let’s BURN THOSE BRIDGES!

* * *
Several of you have asked whether the weight loss surgery could have caused the Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. I’m pretty sure Fred asked Dr. GI that very same question, and Dr. GI danced around the question a little, but in the end said he didn’t think so. They don’t know what causes PSC, but it’s widely believed that it’s an autoimmune thing. In fact, it’s possible that a few years ago, when I first saw Dr. GI, when he tentatively diagnosed (is it just me, or is it scary how the older you get, the more you realize just how uncertain doctors can be? I want a FIRM diagnosis, a “I have no doubt that you have this, and this is how we’ll cure you, and you WILL live forever!”, but that doesn’t seem to happen all that often, at least not with ME.) me with a fatty liver and told me to come back in six months so he could monitor my numbers and perhaps get a liver biopsy if things hadn’t improved AND I FORGOT AND NEVER WENT BACK, that could have been the beginning of my PSC symptoms, only the symptoms of the onset of PSC are so subtle that it never occurred to me that there was a problem ’til I turned all Marge Simpson.
So no, we can’t blame weight loss surgery for the PSC. We CAN blame it for the gallbladder, though. Stupid weight loss surgery! (Yeah. At this point, I’d still do it again without even hesitating.) And on a side note, both Fred and reader Cristin sent me the link to this article. It certainly gives me even more hope that I might not be facing a liver transplant one day!
* * *
Saturday, I dropped off my prescription for Urs0 Forte, the medicine Dr. GI prescribed for me. The pharmacist told me they didn’t have that in stock, but she’d order it and it should be in on Monday. “Do you want me to see how much it’ll cost?” she asked. “Yeah,” I said, then remembered that Fred was waiting for me. “No, never mind. I need it no matter how much it costs, so just go ahead and fill it.” “Okay, see you Monday!” said the pharmacist. Saturday afternoon, as I was sitting in the kitten room feeding Maddy, Fred came to the door. “You need to call Pharmacist Chick,” he said. “She said the Urs0 Forte is very expensive, and with the generic version it could save you about a hundred bucks a month, so I can only imagine what the cost of it is!” I handed Maddy off to him and went to call the pharmacy. “Yeah, your prescription is going to run you about two hundred and thirty dollars a month,” she said. I made some sort of horrified sound that went a lot like “Yeek!” “But there’s a generic version,” she went on. “It only comes in 300 mg pills, though, so you’d have to take it three times a day instead of two, but it’ll save you about a hundred dollars. Would you like me to call your doctor and see if he’ll write a new prescription for the generic?” “Yes, please,” I squeaked, doing the math and figuring out that even the generic was going to cost $130ish a month. Good god. At least our insurance company covers 80% of generic drugs. Yesterday morning the pharmacist called to let me know that Dr. GI had okayed the generic, and I could pick up the prescription anytime after 2. With that $100 a month I’m SAVING by getting the generic (I call that Robynomics – Fredonomics would be where I’d point out that I could just not take the medication, put the money in a savings account every month, and my funeral would be paid for by the time my liver exploded) I think I should be allowed to go on a book-buying spree, don’t you?
* * *
I went to physical therapy yesterday to report to my physical therapist that I was having no back pain at all, and she – well, she and I together – decided it was time to discharge me. We spent most of the hour filling out the discharge report, and at one point she said “How long can you sit without back pain?”, and I said “I sat at my computer for three hours the other day and had no back pain at all.” Then I couldn’t just leave it at that, noooooooo. I had to open up my big fat mouth. “Well, if I sit in the recliner with the laptop on my lap, my tailbone starts to hurt after about an hour and a half, but that’s just because of all the cushioning I’ve lost back there!” And I laughed gaily. The physical therapist, on the other hand, did not. “Your tailbone shouldn’t ever be hurting,” she said sternly. “But it’s just when I sit in the recliner in the same position for a long time,” I said weakly. “It still shouldn’t hurt, no matter how much cushioning you’ve lost.” I sighed. “If we have time, I’ll take a look at it before you go,” she said. “But… it’s really not normal?” I said sadly. “No, not at all.” I immediately remembered something she’d told me the first time she was working on my back. Apparently a lot of people come in with hip problems that end up being tailbone issues, and if the tailbone is flexed outward (you don’t really think of your tailbone as being a flexible thing, do you?) they have to fix it by coming in from behind it. It involves gloves and lube. I didn’t want to do anything that involved gloves and lube with my physical therapist, thank you. I berated myself for opening my BIG FAT MOUTH, and hoped she’d forget about it. But of COURSE she didn’t, and I had to climb up on the Table of Doom so she could see (feel) what was going on with my tailbone. To my IMMENSE relief, it wasn’t flexed outward, it was just rotated to the left, and she worked on it for a while and swore it was back where it was supposed to be. I thought I could feel the difference for a while, but last night it pretty much felt like it always did. As far as I knew, anyway. I got a free t-shirt and a hug from the physical therapist, and I was out of there lickety-split, before she could change her mind about the gloves and the lube. I’m going to miss the hell out of those back massages, though. I might even have to suck it up and start going to a masseuse. Probably not, though. I still don’t much like being touched by strangers.
* * *
I am way way WAY too pleased to announce that last night a little after 9, while we were watching TV, Maddy (who had been alternately sleeping and playing all evening) started howling like she was starving to death. Never mind that I’d shoved three syringes of cat food down her throat not two hours earlier, AND about a tablespoon of formula to top it off, she was starving. STARVING. PEOPLE I AM STARVING, HOW CAN YOU STARVE SOMEONE THIS CUTE? HOW? So I got all determined that if she was hungry, by god, she was going to eat some soft food on her own, and I was NOT going to give her formula TOO. I went and put some cat food on a plate and warmed it up, then went into the living room and sat on the floor and called to her. And she climbed up on me, all whining and sad about how hungry she was – STARVING, I SAY! – and I pushed some food in her mouth, and she got even sadder like, “Why you hate me, lady? Why you not just give me food in my mouth that I only have to swallow? A LOT OF FOOD.” And Fred said “You’re not going to give her some through the syringe?”, like I was a BAD MOTHER, and I said “All right, go get me a syringe!” He did, and I filled it with food and put it in her mouth and squirted food into her mouth, and then she swallowed it, and I squirted more, and she swallowed it, and I was once again resolute. “If you’re hungry, Maddy, EAT!” I commanded. I held a finger with cat food on it up to her mouth, and she wailed and squirmed away. And so I grabbed a syringe and dabbed the end of it in the cat food and held it up to her mouth, and she licked the food off. “WHY won’t she eat off my finger, or off the plate if she’s so hungry?” I appealed to Fred. “I don’t know,” he said helpfully. Maddy squirmed and wailed some more, and so I held her in her favorite feeding position, where she stands with her back feet on the floor and her front paws wrapped around my hand, and put some cat food on the end of my fingers and held it up to her. She started eating it off my fingers, so I got more for her, and more, then showed her where the plate of food was. But she wailed and squirmed. “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” I wailed along with her. “Whyyyyyyyyy, Maddy?” “Wait,” Fred said. “Stand her back up and feed her like you were doing before.” I did, and Fred came over to us and crouched down. He grabbed the dish of cat food and held it up right under my fingers. “Now put your fingers on the dish,” he instructed. I did, and I’ll be darned if that cat didn’t start eating off the plate. Slowly, as she ate, we moved the plate to the floor, and I took my hands away from her, and she kept eating. She ate all the cat food on the plate, and then Fred went and got some more, and with a little help from me (I had to push the cat food up in little piles so it was easier for her to eat), she ate almost all the food he’d gotten for her. So Fred, he’s not only a handyman, he’s also a cat-feeding genius, that’s right. Now my next question, those of you who’ve dealt with kittens this small – when will she start drinking water? I keep a small bowl of water near her cage, but she shows no interest at all in it. Is there something I should be doing? I wouldn’t want her to get dehydrated. I adore this picture. She looks like a little cartoon! More pictures hither.    
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Reader yawny pet pics!
Mary says, I know you love cats, but here is a picture of Nieko and Gracie. They have the same parents but were born a few years apart. Nieko really preferred being an only child! Gracie worships the ground he walks on, follows him everywhere and basically annoys him to no end! I LOVE this picture. It’s like, “I’m bad! I’m bad! I’m the baddest badass ever!” “Yeah, darlin’, sure you are. Whatever.” Stephanie says Okay, so Ace isn’t yawning in these pics, but he would be if he didn’t have his face stuck in a glass and a canteloupe! I’m only amazed that I don’t have pictures of Sugarbutt with HIS face stuck in a glass. I better be careful – if he sees that picture of Ace, he might get ideas… This sweet little fluffy cat is Kizmet, and she belongs to Shelly. She’s got some attitude going on, doesn’t she? And Shelly says, here is Baxter, our dog. In one of the pics, he is actually singing (he howls along when you blow a harmonica). That reminds me of when I was a kid and my brother Randy would get our dog Taffy to “sing” with him. I love cats, but they’ll rarely sing with you. Well, Miz Poo will try, but she just ends up whining annoyingly instead. This is my sister’s feisty little monkey, Punki. I LOVE pictures of cats with their tongues sticking out. They crack me up.
Thanks for sharing your pictures, Mary, Stephanie, Shelly, and Debbie (though Debbie didn’t probably intend to share that picture of Punki with y’all – but I’m sure she doesn’t mind!)!
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Dsc01837 “That screamy little kitten scares me.”
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Previously 2005: Did I bring “a book” with me? HELL NO I didn’t bring “a book” with me – I brought FIVE books with me. 2004: No offense to you stoners out there, but the Warrens totally look stereotypical stoners. 2003: No entry. 2002: I think I’m going to start calling him The Todd. 2001: Does that kid’s face just scream “dilemmanated”, or what? 2000: No entry. ]]>

9/22/06

by @ Friday, September 22nd, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, Picture Entries, reader cats

* * * Fred sent me this link earlier this week and it made me laugh like a goon.

* * *
If I were manic-depressive (wait. Do they call it bipolar now? I haven’t kept up on my psychiatrically politically correct terms lately), I think I would have been considered to be in a manic state yesterday. I woke up a little after 5, got up to pee, and went back to bed. And I laid there, my mind racing, until I accepted that I wasn’t going to go back to sleep. So I got up, went into the bathroom, and started cleaning out drawers. We have three drawers in our bathroom, and they were crammed full of all kinds of shit, making it almost impossible to find anything in any of the drawers. Last week I went to Wal-Mart and bought a plastic single-drawer storage thingy (kind of like this, only blue; and it wasn’t a set of four, it was just the one) with the intention of putting it in the closet, putting the extra stuff in the drawer, and just keeping the stuff we use on a daily basis in the drawers by the sink. Only problem is that once I emptied out the bottom drawer (by the sink), the single-drawer storage thingy was packed with shampoo and hair stuff, and there was nowhere to put all the crap in the OTHER two drawers by the sink. So yesterday I went to Wal-Mart with the intention of buying another couple of drawers (they’re stackable), only when I got there, I found that there was a single piece with three drawers about the size of the one drawer I had at home (similar to this, only bigger), so I bought that and decided to use the single drawer I had at home to put in the kitten room because I had blankets and towels and shit strewn all over the kitten room floor and it was making me cranky to see how messy it was in there. Then I came home and manically wrote an entry, went through the house putting stuff away and thinking about how desperately I needed to vacuum (but not actually vacuuming), answered email, straightened up my desk, and then spent the afternoon running around unorganizedly in circles, trying to do a ton of stuff, but not really getting anything accomplished. I have a hard time focusing lately. Maybe I have ADD! This morning I got up right after Fred left for work, finished organizing the bathroom (the three-drawer unit works out quite nicely), did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and now I’m sitting here thinking about how much I need to vacuum the house. But I so don’t wanna.
* * *
Maddy continues to do well. She was screaming to be let out of her cage last night, so I went up and got her around 7 and brought her downstairs to the living room with us while we were watching TV. She crawled around and explored, then I fed her (she continues to be mostly uninterested in the soft food – those of you who have dealt with this, is she going to just suddenly one day be very interested in the soft food and start eating it? Because she couldn’t be less interested right now.) and then handed her off to Fred. She climbed ended up curled up next to his leg, sound asleep. After I finished eating, I took her back upstairs and settled her in for the night – though I did have to give her her nightly dose of Albon, which kind of woke her back up again. This morning I let her wander around the room while I was organizing it (it looks so much better in there now that I have a place to pile the blankets and towels) and Tommy went in to check her out and hang out. She saw him and got ALL excited and ran over to him to sniff him. She’s starting to get a lot more curious, sniffing stuff, and actually starting to play with things. She continues to use the litter box to poop in, but I haven’t seen any pee yet, so I’ve still been stimulating her to pee at feeding time. Will she just start using the litter box to pee in, or what? Any advice those of you who’ve dealt with this have to offer, I’m all ears. She is just the SWEETEST THING ever, and I love how she’ll crawl up me and just lay on my chest with her front paws stretched out. She’s so cute it hurts, she really is.   Okay, how much do I love this kitten? I let her chew on my lower lip (didn’t hurt), even though she had cat food all over her face and mouth (bleh).   Sleepy kitten.   “I could eat you in one bite. Maybe two.”   “I needs me a snuggle.” All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither.    
* * *
Reader yawny pet pics! This is Amy‘s Daisy. I just adore it when cats yawn so wide it looks like their teeth are sticking straight out! This is Amy’s Chloe. I just love how clear the picture is. Check out all those whiskers! Yawning Chloe with her sister, Zoe. They crack me up, these two. Zoe’s turn to yawn! I love how Zoe’s all off yawning, and Chloe’s looking up like “Hey. You got food, lady?” I’m not sure what cracks me up more, here. The yawn Zoe’s got going on, or the look on Chloe’s face, like she’s thinking “Dude. WHAT are you DOING?” Maisey is GOING to suck your BLOOD! Amy takes some awesome pictures and occasionally puts them up in her journal (though not often enough!). Also, Amy is like a crack dealer, ’cause she said: I discovered a new blog called Birdchick blog and she doesn’t have cats but has a rabbit. Her photos of her rabbits past and present are hilarious. Often times I see photos of Mister Boogers and think he is disapproving as much as Sharon’s rabbits are. Or maybe Miz Poo is the more disapproving of the two. Anyway, check her out. And then I spent forever on Birdchick blog. This disapproving bunny picture is SUCH a Mister Boogers look I can barely stand it. Thanks for sharing the cat pics (and the links), Amy!
* * *
DSC01199 A great big grasshopper got into the house. What else would you expect a bunch of cats to do?
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Previously 2005: Never-ending. 2004: If you had any idea how much time I spent backspacing and retyping words when I write my entries, you’d burst into tears of sympathy. 2003: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paris Hilton, and why would I give a good goddamn what they’re wearing or doing or driving or fucking? 2002: No entry. 2001: You know you’re getting old when you have to ask a 12 year-old girl who’s on the TV. 2000: No entry.]]>

9/21/06

by @ Thursday, September 21st, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, reader cats

reading: Playing with Boys, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. So far I’m liking it more than I liked The Dirty Girls Social Club, which I liked well enough, but did not love. Finished recently: A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon. It was okay, certainly worth a read, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I liked The Curious Incident. Kind of dragged on a bit there at the end.

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Now, I know that I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve met readers of this web site in person. Back when I walked the 3-Day, I met a reader from… North Carolina, maybe? We had a brief conversation and then I promptly twisted my ankle and had to go home. And last year I met Whitters, who wanted to play with Peanut (I could have sworn that I wrote about that, but I can’t seem to find the entry, so perhaps not). And both times it was a little weird to meet someone I’d only ever communicated with online, but both Whitters and Susan (the other 3-Day-er) were perfectly nice and didn’t hit me or yell at me for swearing so much or even make me cry. So when Nance told me that Rick was coming to Alabama, my immediate response was “Well hell, tell him to come over and have dinner and hang out with us!” Then his trip was pushed back a bit, and I forgot all about it, and then Nance emailed me to let me know he was really coming, and so I said to Fred “Hey! Nance’s Rick is coming to Alabama on business, and I want to meet him!” We talked about various things to do, and I looked around at our nasty, cluttered house and said “We cannot allow the man to step foot into our house, because he’ll take one look at the mess and run away screaming!” Fred suggested that we pick him up at his hotel and take him out for some good southern cooking. Which necessitated looking online to see where we could take him for some good southern cooking. Heh! Anyway, to make a long story short, last night Fred and I had dinner with Rick! Nance‘s Rick! I was so very nervous on the drive to get him, because I am a dork, and I was worried that there would be long awkward silences and Rick would call Nance and say “Why did I want to meet these people? THEY ARE NO FUN!” There were no long, awkward silences! At all! There were long, un-awkward conversations, and we learned many things, though Rick didn’t let any family secrets drop, so I can’t be the one to break the news to y’all that Nance is completely bald and when she claims to have just had her hair done, all she really did was run out for another Dolly Parton wig. That is news I am not breaking. In case you were wondering. Fred and Rick bonded over handyman stories, and goats (Fred’s still trying to talk me into goats at the new house) and all manners of guy things. It was fun to sit there at the barbecue place (more about that in a minute) and just talk for a couple of hours, and when we drove Rick back to his hotel, I kinda wished he was staying another night so he could come over and hang out with us and watch TV and admire my Mad Kitten Parenting Skillz. I’m told that next time, Nance is coming with him, which would rock, because it would be about damn TIME for us to meet face to face! Oh, and the funny thing is that when we picked Rick up at the hotel, I immediately gave him a hug. This is funny because a few years ago when Nance, Jane and I were discussing having a Smart&SassyCon, we said we were going to wear t-shirts that said “No goddamn hugs” on them, because none of the three of us are huggy people. Warning, Nance: I might be turning into one of those huggy Southern types. Next thing you know, I’ll be getting a great big beehive Southern woman ‘do, topped with half a can of hair spray. Photographic proof that I met a (Not So)Scary Internet Person and lived to tell the tale!
Okay, Nance doesn’t put pictures of her family online (you damn stalkers!), so I had to blur Rick. And then once he heard that Rick was going to be blurred, Fred demanded to be blurred as well. So there you go – me and two blurs. That’s Fredblur on the left and Rickblur on the right. Dsc01498 Also, there was this cute (very friendly!) kitty who hangs around the hotel, and apparently the people at the hotel encourage him to hang around, ’cause Rick said they feed him and take care of him (he was wearing a flea collar) (the cat, that is, not Rick), which is very cool.
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Miss Maddy is doing much better today, thanks for all your good thoughts! I must announce that not only is she much better today, she is a GENIUS. See, before I realized she’d lost weight and that I should spend the day worrying about her, I decided it was time to introduce her to the litter box. So I put (non-clumping) litter in the box and then put her in the box and showed her how to dig in the litter. She could NOT have been less interested, and immediately climbed out and crawled away. I put the litter box in her cage so that she could get used to the idea of it, even if she didn’t use it. And yesterday at noon I went into the kitten room to feed her, and DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FOUND? A little squirt of diarrhea in the litter box! Okay, so, maybe it was a fluke, right? Like she just HAPPENED to be in the litter box when she pooped. So I cleaned out the litter box and then? Yesterday evening? POOP IN THE LITTER BOX! She’s pooping in the litter box, and I didn’t hardly have to do a damn thing! Now if she’d only start peeing in there… This morning she’d gained back about half the weight she’d lost and she was so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or stubby-tailed, as Fred calls her) that she was clearly feeling okay. My email to the shelter manager yesterday brought a response suggesting that I start giving her soft cat food (mixed with formula) and weaning her from the bottle. Giving her the soft cat food was… not a rousing success or anything, but I think I got enough of it down her by shoving it in her mouth and putting it on her face (which she’d immediately lick off) that it filled her up. She did drink a little formula from the bottle, but mostly she was interested in exploring the room and checking out the big cats. Her poop is starting to solidify a little, and there’s been no blood in it today, which is a step in the right direction (bloody diarrhea being a sign of coccidia. You weren’t eating, were you?). I’ll be glad when she’s to the point where she’ll eat out of a dish and I can make sure she’s getting enough food in. I imagine that point in time isn’t too far off. Licking cat food off her face.   “What’s going on there, small fry?”   Maddy and me.     She fell asleep like this for a few minutes.   All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.    
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Reader yawny pet pics!
This is Fudge, who belongs to Martha. She’s like a little Miz Poo! And this is Vincent, aka Vinnie Mac. I love the swirls! You can see more of Martha’s cat pics here. By the way, Martha has TWELVE cats. Which I am pretty sure means that WE don’t have enough! This is Christine’s Lily. I think I’m going to have to report you, Christine – whatever you’re doing to this cat, it’s EXHAUSTING. Christine says of Lily, Her turn-ons include: playing chase/hide and go seek, attacking laser lights, kisses from the parrot. Her turn-offs are: too much cuddling, seeing that the toilet seat is down when she wants a drink, getting yelled at for chewing on plants. You can tell just by looking that she’s SUCH a character.
Thanks for sharing, Martha and Christine!
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Previously 2005: I mean, it’s not bad enough the man has road rage, he’s got to have fucking walking-through-the-house rage too? 2004: “No, this is real time!” Fred sighed. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: Written by hand. 2000: No entry.]]>

9/20/06

by @ Wednesday, September 20th, 2006. Filed under Fostering, Life, Picture Entries, reader cats

Say!!!

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I got up early this morning to take Fred to work, because I have an appointment this afternoon on the other side of Huntsville that I want him to go to with me, and I would prefer to just drive home together after the appointment rather than have to drop him off at his office to get his car, or drive home alone. So I used his car to drop him off at work then come home, and this afternoon I’ll pick him up at work, we’ll go to the appointment and drive home together. Convoluted enough for ya? Anyway, I got up early to take Fred to work. We left a little earlier than he usually does because he wanted to stop at Lowe’s for steel wool (I swear, he’s gone to Lowe’s every single day this week. He’s turning into such a GUY.) and to stop at his favorite coffee place to (can ya guess?) get coffee. I dropped him off and headed for home. At one of the many red lights I had to stop at on the way home, I looked around me and realized I was surrounded on all four sides by plumbing trucks. Apparently 7 am is when the plumbing trucks head from Huntsville toward Madison, and they were all around me. I suddenly felt like I was in an episode of The Sopranos, and the doors of all the trucks were about to fly open and I’d see a bunch of angry plumbing southern goombahs pointing silencer-laden guns at my head. But the light turned green and I breathed a sigh of relief. You really don’t want to fuck with the Plumbing Mafia.
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I was in the grocery store the other day, and saw that there are a couple of new – “bold”, according to the packages – flavors of Tic T@cs. Since I’m always concerned about breathing bad breath on other people, I bought a pack of the “bold” fruit flavored Tic T@cs to carry around in my purse. When I got home I put the groceries away, and grabbed up the container of Tic T@cs to give them a try. They were AWFUL. Now, I’ve never actually tasted boiled ass myself, but the “bold” fruit flavored Tic T@cs were pretty much what I’d expect boiled ass to taste like. I spit out the one in my mouth… and immediately tried a second one to be sure it was as assy-tasting as the one I’d previously had in my mouth. It was. “Bold” Fruit Flavored Tic T@cs – two thumbs down.
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When we were in Mennonite country last weekend, Fred held up a jar of apple butter and asked if I wanted to get it. I’m always willing to try just about any fruit-based thing that they sell up there – I LOVE their strawberry jam; I don’t eat much jam these days, but every now and then I’ll eat some – so I said he should buy it. That evening when we got home, he tried a spoonful of it out of the jar, and gave me a small spoonful of it. It was very, very good, which didn’t surprise me, since the ingredients were apples, apple butter, sugar, and… something else I don’t recall and am too lazy to go look. Monday evening I was hungry and wanted something to tide me over ’til snack time at 7. I looked through the refrigerator and saw the apple butter, and decided I wanted some of that. I didn’t want a spoonful of it, though – I wanted to eat it on something. I looked around for something to eat it on. Toast? No. I didn’t want that much. Half a bagel? No. I definitely didn’t want that much. I opened the pantry and looked around, and then I saw the box. Melba toast. Apple butter on melba toast sounds kinda good, right? I pulled the box out and looked at it, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t just any melba toast – it was onion melba toast. I started to put the box back, then stopped and reconsidered. I’ve been known to eat (light) strawberry cream cheese on onion bagels, and it is DAMN FINE (light cream cheese, low-carb bagels, don’t need any “should you be eating that” comments, thanks). So maybe apple butter on onion melba toast would be equally as DAMN FINE. I’m here to tell you, folks. It’s not damn fine. It’s not fine. It’s on the other side of the room from “fine”, curled up in a corner and sobbing for its Momma. It tastes, in fact, what I imagine boiled ass would taste like. Apple butter on its own? YUMMY. Two thumbs up! Apple butter on onion melba toast? Two thumbs down!
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I am concerned about Maddy. She’s had several bouts of diarrhea, and she’s not been eating as much as she should. I consulted with the shelter manager, who suggested giving Maddy something called “Reb0und”, which has L-glutamine in it and helps to stop diarrhea. She also recommended starting Maddy on Alb0n, which treats diarrhea and coccidia. So I met up with her and got the Reb0und and the Alb0n. Last night, Maddy just flat-out didn’t want to drink that Reb0und. I tried and tried to get her to eat, but she wasn’t interested, and since she had just eaten a few hours earlier I gave up. Her urine was perfectly fine, and she had a little squirt of diarrhea, but she was bright-eyed and very interested in exploring, so I let her explore for a while, then put her up. I gave her her first dose of Alb0n. This morning I walked into the kitten room to find that she’d had a bout of diarrhea in the middle of the night, with a small amount of blood in it. That didn’t worry me so much, because bloody diarrhea can be a sign of coccidia, which I was already treating with the Alb0n. I pulled her out of the carrier and cleaned her up, then offered her the bottle of Reb0und. She flat-out refused to eat any of it, and after a while I came back downstairs and made her a bottle of formula, which I – after a LOT of coaxing – got her to eat 2/3 of a Tablespoon’s worth. She did a little bit of exploring and remained fairly bright-eyed and perky. My concern is that since Monday she’s lost almost half an ounce. I don’t know if that’s due to the diarrhea and once the Alb0n kicks in she’ll be okay, or what. Half an ounce is a lot for a little kitten to lose, and so I emailed the shelter manager about it and am waiting to hear back. It worries me that she ate less than a Tablespoon of food this morning, since her first morning feeding is when she usually eats the most, around 2 Tablespoons. So I keep peeking in at her (she’s laying in her cage snuggled with the stuffed monkey) and worrying about her, because that’s the way I am. I’m a worrywart. I’m sure she’ll be fine once the Alb0n kicks in, but if y’all want to send “Knock it off, Maddy, and stop worrying your Momma” thoughts in this general direction, maybe they’ll help. Maddy and Miz Poo come face-to-face over Tigger. And then Miz Poo ran away from the terrifying kitten.   “Are you my mother? You’re not my mother! You’re a Tigger!”   She’s more interested in biting than actually eating.   Maddy smiles. ‘Cause it’s warm under there, and there’s lots of bare skin to dig her claws into!   All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Yawny reader pet pics!
This is reader Blair’s 5 month-old kitten, Gwen. Blair says, I DARE ANYONE TO BEAT THIS ONE IN CUTENESS! That’s quite a challenge – she’s awfully cute! She kind of looks like she’s yelling “Mom! I can’t believe you got me The Simpsons! It’s what I always wanted!” This is Anne’s Mini. Anne says, When she’s not unhinging her jaw or being a pain in the ass, she kind of looks like a girly Sugarbutt. I see the resemblance. And Sugarbutt, too, very much enjoys being a pain in the ass. They’re soulmates! This is Teresa’s Buddy. Teresa says, My almost 12 yr old cat Buddy yawns all the time, but I have never been able to catch him at it when holding my camera. And, His almost 1yr old sister Reverb would get jealous if I didn’t show off her as well. Here she is in HUNT mode.
Y’all have got some seriously cute cats. I love the pictures you guys share with me! Thanks for sharing, Blair, Anne, and Teresa! The rest of you – keep ’em coming.
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DSC01195 Sleepin’ Sugs. * * *
Previously 2005: “GodDAMN you, Mister Boogers!” I yelled. 2004: “This book makes me want to have a baby!” I said to Fred when I was about halfway through the book. “Let’s have a baby!” 2003: No entry. 2002: Gag city. 2001: I think you know what I’m thinkin’. 2000: I’d like to return to my regularly scheduled life, please.]]>

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