5/18/10 – Tuesday

Okay, I finally got a chance to watch last week’s Real Housewives of NYC, and I have this to say: 1. Kelly is a complete blithering moron and Sonya hit the nail on the head when she said that it bothers Kelly when anyone talks about their feelings. 2. When Luann was singing – I’m … Continue reading “5/18/10 – Tuesday”

Okay, I finally got a chance to watch last week’s Real Housewives of NYC, and I have this to say:

1. Kelly is a complete blithering moron and Sonya hit the nail on the head when she said that it bothers Kelly when anyone talks about their feelings.

2. When Luann was singing – I’m sorry, I mean “singing” – I was very much reminded of this:

3. That guy Luann was out on a date with? What a cheeseball. Total cheese from beginning to end. I’m not seeing any chemistry there, as much as you try to convince us, Luann. Ugh.

4. I love Bethenny, but my god, what is going ON with her head? When they showed footage of her on the yacht and then switched to the talking-head interview, it was jarring. Bethenny’s head – specifically, her jawline – was HUGE. I don’t believe it’s a weight gain thing, is it? What the hell? What kind of alien child was she carrying that could cause that sort of mutation??

Also, as far as Housewives, I watched the NJ episode from last week (I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet) and I have this to say:

1. Christine is a knockout – she reminds me of a young Mariel Hemingway.

2. I DO NOT LIKE it when they talk shit about each others’ kids. First Danielle with “I don’t know if Gia has what it takes to be a supermodel, she’s like 4 feet tall!” and then Caroline and Teresa talking about how Danielle’s kids are missing a “light” in their eyes. That’s uncalled-for, and I think the kids should be off-limits. (Caveat: I, of course, am allowed to talk shit about the Housewives’ kids, and Gia annoys me.)

3. The whole made-up drama about Caroline’s daughter dating Albie’s best friend is not working. Time to drop that story line.


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Speaking of TV, Fred declared the other night that this was the best season of Survivor ever. I think it was pretty damn good, but I have to point out that when you start out the season with a bunch of people we already know – though we skipped last season, so didn’t know who Russell was – it makes the show more appealing from the get-go. There’s no two-month struggle to figure out who is who and which blonde is which.


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So, when Maura went to her new home, I said to Fred “You know, that foster room up there is empty and available…”

And he said “We HAVE four fosters already!”

We agreed that I wouldn’t go looking for new babies, but if they dropped into my lap, I could take them.

So on Saturday night when I got an email from another foster mom saying that her sister had found a kitten who needed a home, I told Fred, and he reluctantly agreed that we could take the kitten. (He’s so funny – he’s always reluctant about taking new fosters, but once we get them, he’s all “I LOVE THESE KITTENS THEY ARE AWESOME!!!”)

On Sunday I talked to the shelter manager who said “Cydney said you could take this one?”

I said, “Yes!”

She said “Would you want another one or two?”

“YES!” I had been concerned at the idea of only having one foster, because I didn’t want him to be lonely, and I think kittens need to be raised in sets of two or more.

So Sunday afternoon, I went and picked up the first kitten. His name is Franco.

He’s a talker, our Franco. A little shy at first, but when I picked him up, he’d snuggle with me. I probably didn’t endear myself to him by immediately shoving dewormer down his throat, then giving him a bath (he was hiding up inside the engine block of a truck in a parking lot when Cydney’s sister and her husband heard him and coaxed him out, so he had some oil in his fur and on his paws).

He did NOT like being alone – I’d go into the foster room to hang out with him, and he’d play and run around and then snuggle, then as soon as I left the room he’d howl sadly at the door.

Yesterday morning, I packed him up and took him to the vet for his combo test. He tested negative (THANK GOD).

I got the other two kittens at the same time. They are…


and Garrity.

Gavin and Garrity were found inside the wall of the company where another volunteer’s mother works. They’re a little older than Franco – Franco’s estimated to be about 6 weeks old, and Gavin and Garrity are 7 weeks old.

But wait! That’s not all!

When I walked into the vet clinic to pick up Franco and get Gavin and Garrity, there was a little gray kitten in a cage by the door. She was ADORABLE, and she was a little wild thing, spinning around that cage like a little Tasmanian devil. I went over to say hi to her, and she pressed her little face up against the bars of the cage and howled and rubbed against my hand.

Oh, I loved her immediately.

The shelter manager came in and eyed the kitten, asked a few questions of the clinic staff about the kitten, and could SEE the love on my face, because she asked if I wanted to take the kitten along with the others. I think I was wildly nodding “yes” before she could finish her question.

This is Sheila.

Expect to see lots of blurry pictures of Sheila, because girlfriend does not stop for one moment. She’s a wild little thing, super-friendly, and boy is she letting those boys know who the boss is. I had all four of them in one carrier when I left the vet’s office, and by the time I got to the shelter to pick up some supplies, the boys were all on one end of the carrier falling asleep together, and Sheila was chasing her tail.

They’ve settled nicely in the foster room, where they’ll be quarantined for the next couple of weeks. They’re a very playful bunch, and I’m so glad they have each other to play and cuddle with!

In case you don’t recognize the names, they’re named after characters from the series Rescue Me. The firehouse is Ladder 62 / Engine 99, so I’ll call these guys the 99s. Hey, it rolls off the tongue better than “The Rescue Me Gang”, right? I’m open to suggestions as far as what to call this bunch, though.


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The Bookworms are not quite sure what to make of this new development. Suddenly there’s a room they can’t go into, and I keep going in there and coming out smelling like OTHER KITTENS. What on earth?! We have a fireplace screen set up in front of the foster room doorway so the 99s can’t get out, and the Bookworms (and Jake, who’s really interested in what’s going on in that there room) can’t get in. When I walk out of the foster room, there’s usually at least one Bookworm sitting there waiting for me.

Oddly, the Bookworms have been even more friendly toward me than usual. Maybe they need reassurance that they’re still my babies, too!

Super-friendly toward ME – but still fighting like crazy with each other!


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Elwood in the Ham-mick (buy them here!) in the middle of the living room floor – the most popular bed in the house. I’m going to have to start taking reservations for it, they practically stand in line to get in that bed!


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2009: Joe Bob just kept smiling.
2008: No entry.
2007: Ten.
2006: I walked over to them and threw Cheerios at them, and they looked at me as if I were mentally disturbed.
2005: Which he proved by dancing lightly about the room once I’d said we should just stay home.
2004: He asked questions, he really listened to the answers, and he was just really a nice guy.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: She’s obviously picked up her mother’s bad attitude.
2000: My day in pictures.


Real Housewives of NYC Reunion show (cut and pasted from an email. To Shelly, if you MUST know): Okay, I couldn’t get to sleep because I knew the Reunion was sitting on the DVR taunting me, so I got back up and watched it! Man, I don’t WANT to feel bad for Simon and Alex, … Continue reading “4-24-08”

Real Housewives of NYC Reunion show (cut and pasted from an email. To Shelly, if you MUST know):

Okay, I couldn’t get to sleep because I knew the Reunion was sitting on the DVR taunting me, so I got back up and watched it!

Man, I don’t WANT to feel bad for Simon and Alex, but it’s kind of hard not to! I mean, I agree with Bethenny telling them to just own their behavior, but with everyone jumping on, I was starting to feel bad for them!

The look on the host’s face when Ramona got up and walked off cracked me UP, ’cause he was all “What the hell am I supposed to do NOW?”

I didn’t understand Bethenny’s non-answer. Are she and Jason still together, or not???

Who are these idiots emailing the countess about manners and making her think she needs to write a BOOK? Does she not realize that there have been 10,000 books written on the subject, for the love of god.

I still don’t know who Ramona thinks she’s fooling, claiming she’s never had plastic surgery. MY ASS. Brow lift AT THE VERY LEAST.

Jill was fairly restrained, but I don’t know how on earth she and Ramona can claim to be friends, because if I had a friend I got along with (or DIDN’T get along with!) the way those two do, I’d cut my losses!

Okay, my eyes are crossing, I’m going to bed. This was a REALLY good reunion show. They’re not NEARLY as nice to each other as the OC housewives. And I love it! 🙂

(and then)

Ramona is just an idiot. She doesn’t see that she’s being a TOTAL hypocrite, though to be honest even if she did see it, I don’t think she’d care. I can’t stand the way she talks, either, and she sits there and makes faces like a little kid ever time she says something – like “Why is he here?!”, and then does a total bug-eyed look to the side. Did you notice that she refused to even look at Simon when he was talking? She has SUCH a chip on her shoulder! And I think it’s funny that she was the most disgusted by Alex & Simon’s house when she’d never been there!

I totally noticed that the Countess brought up the idea that they should finish their house before they go dropping tons of money on clothes. She stole my point! Obviously she has her spies reading my email. I could never be a Countess, though, I’d have to toss a “du” or “de la” into my name, and Robyn de la Anders0n…. Hmm. Actually, it has a ring to it!

Did Alex actually say something about them being the sort of people who like to “get their hands dirty” renovating houses, or did I make that up in my head? I don’t see either of them being in any way shape or form into renovating. Though if they’d pay me the amount of money she spends on a SINGLE DRESS for the OPERA, I’d renovate their damn house for them! And I’d be all “Yeah, that linoleum came directly from the sweaty brow of an old Italian man in :coughcoughcough:opoly! I know, you’d think I nipped down to Lowe’s and grabbed it, but totally not!”

I don’t know if they’ve even started filming the NJ Housewives, but it can’t be soon enough for me!



Instead of waiting ’til today to get potting soil so I could pot the plants on the front porch, I decided to run to Wal-Mart yesterday and buy potting soil and a few other things I needed. I picked up some eggplant plants for Fred (he adores those Japanese eggplants!) and a few other things, but I looked every damn where and couldn’t find potting soil anywhere. Since I knew that Lowe’s would have it in bigger sized bags and it’s not very far from Wal-Mart, I just went ahead and ran over there.

Two huge-ass bags of potting soil later, I was home. Instead of doing the potting right away, I opted to wait ’til the afternoon and spent the morning watching Work Out. As the show was ending, I got a call from my plastic surgeon’s office. The woman I spoke to had just gotten off the phone with my insurance company and wanted to let me know that they’d denied my pre-approval for plastic surgery.

I was turned down for not meeting criteria, so the nurse said I could come back to have more pictures taken, and if I wanted to write a letter to send in with the appeal, that would probably be very helpful. I spent the afternoon Googling around trying to get an idea of how to start such a letter – I knew what I wanted to say, but I had no idea, seriously, of what the first few sentences should consist of. After much Googling and ending up on very unhelpful pages, I discovered that To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter to appeal the decision of [Insurance Company], which denied me preapproval for a panniculectomy. was a good way to start, and once I got those first few sentences written, the rest came pretty easily. It’s always getting started that’s hardest for me, I find. After some writing and editing and tweaking, I was done.

So after I’m done at the pet store this morning, I’ll be going to the plastic surgeon’s office, where I’ll be getting naked for a strange woman, who will take pictures of me.

One hopes they won’t end up on the internet.



Okay, the kittens have been named. Fred and I had discussed going with a Shakespearean theme, and he had a lot of different suggestions, all of which were good ones, but I wanted pretty names for these babies, not silly or goofy ones. I know, I’m a dork. Probably once these kittens are adopted, their names will be changed anyway, so it doesn’t matter THAT much, but it does to me.


Elayne made a suggestion in my comments mentioning names from Firefly. I’ve never seen Firefly (it’s on my mental list of shows to watch on DVD some day), but the names she mentioned were pretty enough that I went to the link provided and looked ’em over. And I liked them enough, that that’s what I went with, a Firefly theme. So meet the newly named babies:




River. I know that the character of River on Firefly is a girl and this kitten is a boy, but it was a name that could be either a boy or a girl, and at the time I matched the name with the kitten, we weren’t sure, so River it is.

(We double-checked last night. River’s the only boy; the rest of them are definitely girls.)

Momma Kara and Zoe.



2007: Behold, I have The Internets in my home!
2006: So they had a baby. BIG FUCKING WOOP-TI-DOO. Now can we give it a freakin’ rest?
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: $65 for that bullshit. Bargain, eh?
2001: Dumbass, take two.


This section regards last week’s episode (and season finale) of Real Housewives of NYC. Skip to the next section if you haven’t seen it/ aren’t interested! I’m just basically cutting and pasting an email regarding this show so I don’t have to type it up again! Bethenny was cracking me up at the beginning, with … Continue reading “4-21-08”

This section regards last week’s episode (and season finale) of Real Housewives of NYC. Skip to the next section if you haven’t seen it/ aren’t interested!

I’m just basically cutting and pasting an email regarding this show so I don’t have to type it up again!

Bethenny was cracking me up at the beginning, with her reaction to Alex saying that she wanted men and women to be equal which, you know, of course they should be IN THE WORK PLACE, but it’s a crime to want to spend time without the opposite sex around? And then her saying (regarding vibrators) “Why is she plugging it in, what generation is she?!” made me laugh, too. She doesn’t hesitate to say anything about anyone, and I wonder if she’ll end up getting shit for that from the other women.

When she flipped out on Jill though, if I were there, I would have been horribly uncomfortable. I mean, what the hell? Couldn’t she have been a wee bit nicer about it? I was impressed that Jill didn’t flip out in return, since she usually adores her some drama.

The whole thing about Bethenny’s father interested me enough that I went looking to see who he is. He’s apparently some big deal horse trainer. YAWN. That was weird at the race track with her father’s friend giving her lingerie. AWKWARD.

OH, and look what else I found:


Her boyfriend lost his job due to his involvement with the show! Damn Bravo, wrecking careers!

Francois cracked me up when he was intentionally doing the puzzle wrong, because he was so obviously doing it on purpose, then the “What year is it?” and “What country do we live in?” was making me laugh, because please. What four year-old knows the answers to those questions??

Ramona was an ass at the end, at dinner, when she was pushing Alex about what she did when Simon was gone. Well, you know, Alex apparently works during the day and takes care of the kids at night (and suddenly, given the shape of their house, I’m wondering if the au pair is live-in. They usually are, aren’t they? What the hell must her room look like? Is it the closet under the stairs, or what??), so maybe she didn’t have time to go out flitting around and meeting up with her girl friends, RAMONA. Jesus. And she had some nerve, showing up so late, I thought Jill would flip out on her but was nicely surprised again.

I just cannot believe that with Francois running around screaming like that, Alex and Simon did NOTHING. And when he was stabbing Jason’s $30 burger that MUST BE MADE OF GOLD ($30 for a BURGER. Seriously?), I am amazed that Simon was just all “Oh, you have boys, you know how it is!” HA.

I cannot. Cannot. CANNOT WAIT until the reunion next week. I had to go make sure it was set to tape, because I am SO not going to miss that! That is going to be the trainwreck to beat all trainwrecks, I can’t wait to see Ramona stomp off!

I just read that Bravo gave the go-ahead to start filming Real Housewives of New Jersey. That’s just too damn close to NYC for me – I’d rather see another area of the country. Atlanta? Chicago? Seattle?



This section regards last week’s episode of Survivor. Skip the next section to begin the Comment-Answering Extravaganza.

I liked Ozzy, a lot, I love the fact that he’s an unassuming little powerhouse, but when the FUCK are these people going to understand that the instant you think you’re in the power seat, the instant you feel okay to start getting cocky, is when you’re GONE? And how stupid is Ozzy to mention the idea of using the Immunity Idol and then NOT DOING SO? I liked Ozzy a lot, but I LOVED seeing him get his ass blindsided. A good blindside is worth its weight in gold. Or somethin’.

I loved seeing Eliza’s reaction to Ozzy getting voted off.

I think if Parvati makes it to the final three, she’ll be able to use the fact that she talked everyone into voting Ozzy off in her favor. It’s just going to be a weeeeee bit uncomfortable around camp between now and then!

Also, I think it’s shitty that people at that challenge would promise not to vote whatshisname off and then go right ahead and vote for him. Crossing your FINGERS? What are you, two years old? Assholes. On the other hand, he was an idiot to believe anything they’d say.



soooo, I’m thinking pork and Kahlua? That’s a strange combo – then I looked at the recipe. I just might have to try it!

When I told Fred the name of the recipe, he made a face and said “It has KAHLUA in it?!” I cannot think of a single entree that would be improved by the addition of Kahlua. Luckily, there’s no Kahlua in Kahlua Pork – and we managed to get three meals out of what we made, with a little left over. I love only having to cook once, and ending up with three meals from what I’ve made!



I always think the fosters are so cute and that you have to be crazy to let them integrate with the other cats because they almost always seem to fit in so seamlessly – but for the first time in a long time I want you to keep this one. An impossibility perhaps but damn he’s so cute!

I have to say, HG is a little sweetheart. I had my doubts at first – I’m always worried when we get the ones who won’t let us touch them at first – but he’s integrated really well with the other cats, and that doesn’t always happen. There’s usually some hissiness involved, if not flat-out fighting, but HG is submissive enough that if another cat hisses at him or smacks him, he just goes on his way, no hard feelings involved. I’ve been calling him the little Ambassador-in-training, because the other cats seem to like him quite a bit. Even Miz Poo doesn’t have a fit when he rubs up against her, and that’s unheard of. Unfortunately, though, we’re just going to love him while we’ve got him, and when there’s room at the pet store I’ll take him so that someone else can fall in love with him and bring him home with them.



www.thecountryhouse.com is an awesome catalog for curtains also. I was lucky to be in the area where they actually have their store and I think you would go nuts in there. I spent over 5 hours in there and still didn’t get to see everything! I have bought curtains from them below online and they are really good quality.

I really like the curtains I’ve looked at so far – but I don’t know who I’m kidding. I’m starting to think that curtains just aren’t in the cards for this house, because I’ve been looking for over a year and I’ve liked a lot of the curtains I’ve seen, even bookmarked a bunch of them, but have I ordered any? No, I haven’t. I don’t know what my issue is with just ordering the damn things and getting it over with!



Have you heard of the Kong Cat Zoom Groom Robyn? It really works. I bought one at Pet Smart but I see you can get them at Amazon. It really pulls the loose fur out. The fur can indeed go flying in fluffs into the air so be careful what area of the house you use it in. My cats love it. I imagine it must feel like a real good massage to them. It works so well you might want to be careful not to brush them pert near furless!

I actually thought we had one of these, but after looking in all the usual places, I’m not seeing it. I’m starting to think that either we had one and it ran away with the Feliway, or I just thought about buying one but didn’t. I’ll have to think about giving it a try – none of our cats particularly like being brushed, so if I can trick them into thinking they’re getting a massage when I’m actually getting rid of the loose fur, I think it’d be a good thing all around.



I read one of the syndicated advice columns recently (can’t remember which one) in which a person complained because his/her partner allowed the cats (dogs? maybe?) to eat from “the dishes that we eat from and cook with.” Is this really an issue? My animals all have their own bowls in which the vast majority of their food goes, but I *ALSO* have a dishwasher and, before I had a dishwasher, had these really amazing things called “soap” and “water” and “dishcloths,” and if I want to put the goddamned plate down on the floor for the dogs and/or cats to eat the scraps off of it, as long as I was it, or put it in the dishwasher – where it gets bombarded for eleven hours with all sorts of caustic chemicals and water that’s like 8 million degrees – afterwards, what is the big fat hairy deal? “OMFG your CAT licked your PLATE! Remind me never to eat at your house again! OMG THAT’S SO GROSS!” I mean, what the hell? How do people function if an item exposed to momentary unsanitary-ness is forevermore tainted and UNCLEEEEEEEAN? I cook with the same hands that have cleaned up baby poop (and grown-u… well, never mind), but hey, guess what, I’ve WASHED them since then! What a radical concept!

Heh – I’ve heard of people having ISSUES with animals eating from people plates, but I’ve never understood it, myself. We do have special plates for the cats at Snackin’! Time!, but that’s just because we use so many of them that if we used people plates for cat snacks, there’d be no plates left for us when we wanted to eat. And I actually do run the cat snack plates through the dishwasher, though to be honest I’m sure I could just use the plates over and over without ever washing them, and the cats wouldn’t give a shit.

But anyway, yeah. I don’t get why it bothers people that animals would eat from a people plate, as long as the people plate is washed before people eat from it! Maybe it’s just a mental thing, like they look at the plate and think of the cat licking it clean, and it triggers a gag reflex?



Also, the FurBuster seems to be the same basic concept as the Furminator. It works very well, and is (from what I can see) about half the cost of the Furminator.

Thanks for the link. It does appear to be about the same thing!



If you don’t already have these, you need them.

I agree!



Speaking of disapproving animals, you have seen this, right?

But of course. Nothing disapproves quite in the way bunnies do.



I watched the mascots video and started watching others. Got a question and would love for someone to answer it. http://www.maniacworld.com/cat-confused-by-scratching.html My cats do that too. Why???

That’s an excellent question – just rest assured that your cat is not alone. Various of our cats will do that whole stare-off-into-space licking-the-air thing if you scratch hard at or near the base of their tail. I have no idea why they do that, just always assumed it was hitting some kind of nerve. When I was Googling around looking for an answer, I saw somewhere that it might be a built in reflex – when they’re babies, the mother cat licks them in that area to stimulate them to nurse. I haven’t seen any evidence of that with our current mother and babies, but if I see anything like that, I’ll be sure to let you know!



The plant reminds me of Pachysandra, a ground cover. Does it all grow from a single spot or are they like a bunch of separate plants growing together to look like a single plant. Also, if it is Pachysandra it will spread each year.

I think I agree that it’s Pachysandra. It appears to be several different plants growing together (though I haven’t actually poked around much to see for sure, because I don’t want to run into anything that might be living under there!). It’s pretty and the leaves are green and very glossy, so I’m going to let it keep growing. There’s nothing else growing in that area, so why not?



I’m pet sitting for my sister’s two cats, one is a six month old tiger and the other is a grown up ragdoll. He doesn’t seem too big under the fur and the other one is still mini but MAN ALIVE these cats are producing some monster dumps! I’m scooping every day and it seems like the piles are unending. And some of them are disturbingly substantial. (They haven’t really mastered the art of burying either so it’s kind of a constant litter box monitoring gig.)They only have been eating dry food but these babies are still potent.

Is this normal? I was going to get a second cat for myself after graduation but if the litterbox is going to be so…scary then I’m not sure I’m up for it. Also, I’m not sure I’m getting paid enough for this. Robyn I know you’ve said before how many boxes you have set up and how often you change them. She’s got a small place (and I likely will too) and shouldn’t one for only two cats be enough?

My only other explanation for this abundance of poo is that they’re nervous with their mommy gone and are taking it out on me via enhanced digestion but they seem perfectly comfortable with me.

I really think that one litter box for two cats – as long as you scoop regularly – is plenty. I think a possible issue here might be what the cats are eating. If they’re eating food that has lots of filler or fiber, that could be causing larger litter box piles. My cats don’t fill them up too terribly much (though I do have to scoop twice a day, or it can get bad; that’s probably because I have three litterboxes for nine cats – though Maxi and Newt don’t use the litterboxes, since the entire WORLD is their litterbox) and I feed them pretty decent food that doesn’t include a lot of fillers.

So anyway, my point is that what they’re eating could be the cause of their litterbox shenanigans. OR it could just be that they happen to be two cats who, um, go a lot. Or you’re right, it could be a stress sort of thing – they can be perfectly comfortable with you, but still stressed about their mommy being gone. Cats like to have things follow a certain routine, and when things are changed up, they freak a little, each in their own way. If I were you, I’d ask your sister what the usual litter box situation is like, find out what she’s feeding her cats, and make a determination from there.

Readers, as always, your experiences are appreciated!



Okay, woman: What was the pet store where you found the Stink Free? Petsmart, Petco??? I swear I’ll buy it by the case if it really works that well …

I get 99.9% of my pet supplies at PETsMART – when I refer to “the pet store”, that’s the place I’m talking about. Occasionally I pick stuff up in other places, but usually it’s PETsMART, and that’s where I bought the Stink Free. I’m not crazy about our local PetC0, it just kind of gives me the willies.



A dumb question just occurred to me when I saw the pig pictures. Do pigs wash themselves at all? You know, like dogs and cats do. Inquiring minds want to know. :))

Nope, they sure don’t. They’re fairly clean pigs (except when they roll around in the mud like they did this weekend) and aren’t terribly stinky, but I have to admit I’d like to see them plop down on their butts and stick their rear legs in the air like the cats do. That would be a seriously funny sight.



I have read several reports of people who used various odor-removing products and it took a while for the odor to go away. One guy treated his hardwood floors three or four times – cat piss soaked by the previous owners – but the smell was still so bad that he finally just closed off that room. A few months later he was doing something to the house that wound up with him sanding the floors in that room (I don’t remember the details of what he was doing) and he says that he realized as he was sanding that there was absolutely no odor – even when he sanded down deep into the wood, where you’d expect some odor to remain. So sometimes the smell might remain initially but if you give it a little time it’ll work. As I understand it, the enzymatic stuff contains… little things that eat the bacteria that cause the odors. So if there’s a lot of bacteria to eat, they maybe will take a little longer to finish it all off. (Does that make sense? I’m tired.)

It makes sense, and that’s actually what I heard, too, that it takes time to work, but the back of the Nature’s Miracle said that if it dried and you could still smell the odor of urine, to reapply. And after reapplying three times and still smelling cat pee, well, I got impatient, man! My life is not such that I can sit around and patiently wait for the stinky smell of cat pee to fade slowly from my couch, y’know? So far, the cat pee smell has NOT come back – and I’ve checked regularly. Two thumbs up (so far!) for the Stink Free!



What about trying a Dog Whisperer technique on Splash? Sit in the room with her, but don’t look at her, don’t talk to her, and don’t touch her. I’m not sure how long it would take, but if you take a book in to read, maybe you could do it for an hour or so a day. What happens if you take the kitty ambassador in with you and she sees you interact with a kitty that likes you?

I do sit in there and just read for at least part of every day. Moving her from the foster kitten room to the guest bedroom has apparently traumatized her, because she’s refusing to come out in “public” while we’re in the room at all. I know she’s coming out, because she’s eating and using the litter box, and I know she’s in there, because I check to make sure she’s still alive, but nothing I’m trying is working. She reacts to an attempt at petting by hissing and clawing, if I just sit and look at her, she actually shakes. I feel bad for her, but I’m not seeing that anything I’m doing is making any difference.

I did think that if she could see another cat reacting toward me in a friendly manner it might help, which is why I put HG back in the foster kitten room with her for several days. I’d go in there, hang out, pet HG, he’d climb all over me and purr, and she’d see it happening, but it hasn’t made any difference at all.



hmmm. Am I the only one who thinks the Vidalia Chop Wizard makes MORE work? I mean, I have to cut the fruit or veggies into pieces of a length that are “handle-able” in the Chop Wizard. So I usually end up just keeping hand chopping till its all done. And then, I have to clean not only the cutting board, but the chop wizard and those awful grates that don’t easily come clean??? Maybe I am doing it wrong.

I actually just toss all the pieces of the Chop Wizard in the dish washer, and it comes clean. I use it mostly so that I get uniform size pieces, because if it’s left to me to do the chopping, I end up with wildly different sizes, because I’m unskilled when it comes to chopping. I also like to chop several onions at once, then freeze the leftovers for future use. I figure if I’m going to get it dirty, I might as well do extra onion-chopping so I won’t have to in the future!



Robyn, do you ever order from Penzey’s? penzeys.com, one of my favourite places on the Internet. Doesn’t matter how arcane the spice, herb, or seasoning mixture, they’ll have it, and it’s always very, very fresh and the flavour just zings. I love it. And if you ask for their paper catalog, it has GREAT RECIPES, the never-fail, not-complicated, delicious kind of recipes. I clip them and save them.

I have actually never ordered from Penzey’s and had never heard of them, then Nance and Rick sent me a collection for my birthday (actually, now that I think about it, they might have sent it for Fred, but I claimed it for myself!). I’ve been using those spices ever since – usually on steak, a couple of times on chicken – and really like them a lot. When I visited Nance and Rick, we actually stopped at the Penzey’s store, and it smelled fabulous and looked intriguing, but I was a little overwhelmed and ended up not buying anything. I have to say, I’m definitely a Penzey’s fan, and I’ll be checking out their online site!



I dreamed last night that your bottle of Feliway was sitting in amongst all the shit I have stacked on my dryer. For the record: I did not steal your Feliway.




I am industriously grading papers while I sub a class this morning. Then I have my own class to teach tonight. In between I am going to take a nap. I am in the early days of baby making and am sooooooo tired.

Please be advised that I am very good at taking care of those in the end stages of baby making – just ask Momma Kitty! I give many belly rubs, I tell the baby maker how pretty and smart and good she is, and I offer several tasty snacks a day. Just keep that in mind when your time comes. Also, I will make for you



Hey do you like high thread count sheets? Overstock.com has an awesome looking set on sale right now, 1200TC all sizes $69.99. Read the reviews – these are apparently some stout sheets, some like em, some hate em. But if you like heavy, high TC sheets, this looks like an awesome deal.

I actually cannot stand sheets with a high thread count – sheets that are really soft drive me crazy. I much prefer the 250 thread count percale sheets. Clearly I am not made for the finer things in life! However, if any of you out there are into high thread count, there you go. That’s a damn good price!



Long time reader here, bad bad lurker. BUT! I had to pipe in about the Sideswipe. I have had one since Christmas and I LOVE IT! One of my biggest pet peeves with my baby (oh, I’m sorry, I mean my KitchenAid) was that I could never scrape down the bowl without making a complete mess of my hand or the spatula. Well, the Sideswipe completely takes care of that. It’s a lot lighter (its a plastic material) than the attachments that come with the mixer and depending on what you are mixing it is a bit harder to scrape off the batter, etc. from the blade itself, but like I said it is totally worth it.

Lauren, on your say-so I actually went ahead and ordered the Sideswipe. I’ve only used it once, but already I have to say – you ain’t kidding! That blade is awesome. I think it’s totally worth the price, and from the one experience I’ve had with it, I highly recommend it!



Hey, I have a question: if, God forbid, poor Splash never learns to trust and be friendly, what will happen to her? Will she live forever as a foster hiding in your kitty condo? Or what? I mean, I get that it’s a no-kill organization but what the hell do you do with a cat like that?

Splash is actually going to be going back to the woman who had her, later today. She was hoping – we both were, really – that since I had more time to devote to taming wild kittehs, I could work with Splash and at least tame her a little. She knows someone who wants to take Splash and her sister (who the woman was never able to catch), to keep them as barn cats, so that might be where she’s going.

The shelter does have a few cats who are so feral that they can’t really be adopted out as house pets, so they’re adopted out as barn cats, but the shelter makes sure that they’ll be in safe, protected environments.

I’ve tried to convince Fred that he should put up a building in the back forty, one big enough to shelter twenty or so cats, and we could keep cats that are just really unadoptable – hell, he could run a fence around the building and give them safe outdoor access, even! He won’t go for it, though. It’s like he has a day job and can’t always do my bidding or something. Hmph.



Do you find it hard to cook for two, or do you just make big meals all of the time and eat on the leftovers for a couple of days? I love to cook but always feel so wasteful because it’s just my boyfriend and me so we have way too many leftovers. Do you have any favorite two-people recipes?

I actually don’t find it very hard to cook for two. We end up with plenty of leftovers, but we either save them and have them another night for dinner or Fred claims them for himself for lunches to take to work. So, I’m no help here – but I bet MY READERS are! Readers? Got a favorite cooking-for-two recipe? Share with us!



Robyn, I was wondering…. My roommate has 2 cats and I’m new to this whole cat thing. I ordered the FURminator after you mentioned it a while back (on eBay) and it just came today so we haven’t used it yet. It never occurred to me until just now that maybe the SoftPaws would be a good idea too. I was wondering how you determine whether you need small, medium or large though. Her cats are almost a year old or just about. She got them in July…. and I have no idea which size we need to order. So if you end up posting the comments answering extravaganza and can happen to answer my question, I’d be appreciative cuz I’m lost. Addendum, I just wanted to buy them for the cats as a surprise for the roommie, and I have no idea how much they weigh. And I just realized that’s how you determine the size. I guess I’ll have to ask her how much they weigh. So…. nevermind. I guess I should think before I post.

I know you’ve probably already asked your roommate how much her cats weigh, but in case you haven’t, you can probably do a decent job of guessing what size her cats will need by looking at the size chart. If they’re adults but on the small side, I’d go with size small – if they seem pretty average size for adults, the medium. A note, though – if you’re uncertain, it’s better to go with the smaller size, because you can use a smaller size on their claws, but if the caps are too big, they won’t stay on the claw. Does that make sense?



I am unable to access the rest of my comment email (I save the comments I plan to answer in email format. I can’t access it for reasons I’ll get into in tomorrow’s entry.), so if you asked a question or expected an answer to a comment and didn’t see it, feel free to ask again, and I’ll get to it in Friday’s entry!



I know y’all are only here for the bebbe pictures. Momma Kitty and her babies are doing just fine, I finally got a picture of each one of their little faces individually, and I intend to do that every three days or so, so we can marvel at the changes.

I really wish Fred had bought that webcam for the eggs in the incubator, because how much fun would it be to have a kitten cam? SO MUCH FUN. The internet would have exploded from the cute.

So, the kittens are as yet unnamed, just so you know. I think we’ve got at least three girls (it’s too early to figure out their sex – though to be honest, we also haven’t really tried) because three of them are tri-colored which almost always indicates females. The fourth, the little gray tabby, I just realized this morning has a little bit of orange on the face – though it could just be a trick of the light, I’m not sure – so might also be a girl. Time will tell!

I’ll stop yapping and just show you the pictures, shall I?

Momma Kitty and her babies are doing just fine, I finally got a picture of each one of their little faces individually, and I intend to do that every three days or so, so we can marvel at the changes.

I really wish Fred had bought that webcam for the eggs in the incubator, because how much fun would it be to have a kitten cam? SO MUCH FUN. The internet would have exploded from the cute.

So, the kittens are as yet unnamed, just so you know. I think we’ve got at least three girls (it’s too early to figure out their sex – though to be honest, we also haven’t really tried) because three of them are tri-colored which almost always indicates females. The fourth, the little gray tabby, I just realized this morning has a little bit of orange on the face – though it could just be a trick of the light, I’m not sure – so might also be a girl. Time will tell!

I’ll stop yapping and just show you the pictures, shall I?

Momma and babies.

Note that Momma Kitty is kneading the air, and in the background, the little gray tabby’s got her paws in the air like she just don’t care.

The bitty pink paws are going to be the absolute death of me.

The kittens, in birth order (though I may have switched #2 and #4, I’m not sure):

#1, the little gray tabby. I definitely see some peach coloring across her cheeks, so I’m going to guess we’ve got 4 girls here.

#2, with the bitty freckle on her nose. Don’t those bitty claws just KILL YOU?

#3, who looks JUST like a little raccoon. Both “Rocky” and “Bandit” have been used as names in the past, though. Hmph.

#4. She looks very much like #2, only without the bitty freckle on her nose. Also, she’s got orange on her forehead, and #2 doesn’t.

Pile o’ bebbes.

Momma and babies. She likes to be petted while they’re nursing. Well. She likes to be petted whether they’re nursing or not, but she particularly likes it when they’re nursing.


Bed full o’ kitties.



2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I want to hear “Fine, thanks. Here’s your Supah-sized Diet Coke. Have a nice day!” Understood? I swear, I’m just going to STOP asking, that’s all.
2003: Some day I’ll create a housecleaning schedule and actually keep to it. Ha!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: So, my last official day at work. Ho-hum.


Real Housewives of NYC (spoilers within): Look, I understand that there are things that make people uncomfortable, things that kind of trigger their instinct to cut and run. However, the fact that Ramona FLIPPED OUT because Alex brought Simon to the “girls-only” party and then she lectured the table on what class is, and THEN … Continue reading “4-11-08”

Real Housewives of NYC (spoilers within): Look, I understand that there are things that make people uncomfortable, things that kind of trigger their instinct to cut and run. However, the fact that Ramona FLIPPED OUT because Alex brought Simon to the “girls-only” party and then she lectured the table on what class is, and THEN she was all “Gotta go, buh-bye!”? What an asshole. Did she need to keep screeching “WHY IS HE HERE?”? Did she need to do her best to make everyone else feel uncomfortable?

I don’t care for Simon, I think he’s smarmy and creepy, but Ramona managed to make me feel bad for him. And let’s get this straight: that man did not belong at that dinner party, when Alex asked if she could bring Simon, Bethenny should have said “No, it’s girls only!”, but I understand why she didn’t, because I’d have had a hard time saying it, too.

I think it’s interesting that we haven’t seen the shape Alex and Simon’s house is in until this show, and I think it’s funny that they’re all social-climbing wannabes but their house needs a desperate overhaul. Hey, here’s an idea – instead of wearing $10,000 worth of jewelry and couture to the OPERA, why not use that money to whip your house into shape, huh? Just an idea. (And now I’m looking around at my perpetually-a-work-in-progress home and thinking I should shut the hell up. But hey – at least I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on a dress I could only wear once!)

Um, that’s it. I’m sure more happened, but I was so blown away by Ramona’s assholery that I can’t remember what else happened.



Survivor (skip the next section if you didn’t see last night’s show – spoilers within!)

How much do I LOVE the fact that Eliza tried to play the faux Immunity Idol? Oh, I love it SO VERY MUCH, but at least she suspected beforehand that it wasn’t really the Immunity Idol, so she wasn’t completely blindsided, because then I would have felt really bad for her.

I also love the fact that Eric MADE UP a new name for the tribe and convinced everyone that it meant “Good” (or whatever he said it meant). I thought for sure that Jeff Probst was going to bust him at Tribal Council, but I’m glad he didn’t!

Ozzy really ought to win this game, but I suspect that in the end, it’s going to be a woman who wins, unless Ozzy can muscle his way into the final three by winning immunity challenges.



Do any of your cats not eat people food? The reason why I ask is that our cat will not eat anything but his cat food (both wet and dry). We’d give him raw or cooked hamburger or chicken and he smells it and walks away. What a weird cat. (At least this means he’s not begging for food, I guess.)

Miz Poo has never been interested in people food at all. Mister Boogers has taken to sitting next to Fred and bitching at dinnertime until Fred offers him some of whatever’s for dinner, and Mister Boogers invariably sniffs it and walks away. I’m pretty sure that all the other cats will eat the occasional piece of people food, though now that I think about it, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Miss Stank eat anything not meant for cats.



Also re the Bathroom lady: who in the hell brings food to someone in the bathroom?! (You don’t have to answer this one, it’s kind of rhetorical.) I mean really! We only have one bathroom, so this probably won’t be an issue, but the time my husband asks me to bring him food when he is on the throne is the time I say “get it your damned self.” I am pretty sure he’d say the same. It should be a rule or something. A code. Man!

Yeah, I imagine the first time I was all “Hey Fred, bring me my dinner in here, would you? Don’t forget the napkin!”, there’d be firemen breaking down the door. Though obviously there are mental issues at play here – according to an article, the woman came from a very abusive family and she felt safe in the bathroom and I suspect there were some kind of weird control issues on the boyfriend’s side – if he hadn’t provided food for her, she would have come out of the bathroom pretty quickly.

And I want to know what the bathroom-lady’s housemate did when he needed to go to the toilet…

I heard or read somewhere that there was a second bathroom that he used. I hope that’s true!

“Whipple was the second law enforcement officer to go to the mobile home where McFarren and Babcock were living. Whipple, who described Babcock as a “thin, petite woman,” used a pry bar to take the seat off the toilet so the woman could be taken to hospital where the seat was removed.”

No pictures, E, but maybe that’ll convince your mother?



Also, on a side note, I was looking through all the books on your list, Robyn, you’ve read a few Wally Lamb’s but not “I Know This Much is True” – if you really haven’t read it, you sooooo should! Its possible you’ll like it even more than his others.

I actually did read I Know This Much is True when it first came out – and I will always and forever remember Oprah with Wally Lamb on her show, and the way she constantly called it “I Know This Much to be True” and he never once corrected her – but it’s on my bookcase so I can read it again. I remember liking it a lot; hopefully I’ll like it as much the second time around!



They are going to start calling you the Cat Whisperer. Or do they already?

They don’t, to my knowledge. I’m afraid Splash is going to be a hard nut to crack. I hope she’ll come around!



Question about shedding: I was just noticing last night that my Nash and Pushkin are shedding like crazy right now. Should I try brushing or combing them? Does that help? Or one of those grooming glove things?

It always helps to brush them – that way the fur is in your brush and not on the floor – but what to use really depends on the cat. None of my cats like being brushed (poor dear departed Spot LOVED it), but I’ll occasionally go after them with the Furminator, which is the most awesome grooming tool around. Most of them will put up with a few swipes with the Furminator and the amount of hair that comes out with just a couple of swipes is AMAZING.

Anything that grabs the fur and keeps it in the brush (until you pull it out) is a good brush, in my opinion, but you might have to try a few different brushes to find one they’ll put up with. I don’t recommend the grooming gloves, though – they’re kind of weird and awkward to use, and I don’t think they do that great a job.



What do the boys’ middle initials “J” stand for?

Your guess is as good as mine. They won’t tell me!

All the cats have “J” as their middle initial, including the girls (Pootie J. Pooterson, Stanker J. Belle, and Miss Maxi J. Momma).



So, it was Joseph J. Bobbington, was it??

That would be Joseph J. Roberts, of course.

Is JoeBob getting a little plump or is it just the pose in the picture? If it’s the pose, you might want to suggest to JoeBob that pose isn’t his best side!

Joe Bob’s a big cat, but he’s not fat at all. I mean, give him time – he eats like the end of the world is coming – but for the time being, he’s just a big cat with no weight issues. He cares not how he looks in pictures, though – he’s a badass who commits crimes and then fools Crooked Acres’ premier (also, only) detectives!



Seriously, Robyn…that logo is just cracking me up because i can’t believe you actually have that many cats. I mean it doesn’t seem like you’re overrun or anything like that at all, so that’s why it’s so shocking and hysterically funny to me to just see them all lined up like that. All lined up it kind of screams “crazy cat lady!”. but anyway one time on Oprah I saw this thing about this woman that had like fifty cats and every week she would cook them two turkeys, and she’d just leave the pans on the floor and the counter and let them eat it themselves. So until you start roasting turkeys just for the cats, you won’t be a crazy cat lady in my eyes, if that makes you feel any better!

Except for Snackin’! Time!, I don’t think it seems like there are that many cats around, either. They’re rarely all in one place, so with them spread out, you can hardly tell this is Crazy Catsville.

I could never do the two turkeys thing, not because it’s such a loony thing to do (which it is), but because I wouldn’t be able to stand the mess. Also, Fred would have a cow. THE MAN IS ALWAYS HOLDING ME BACK.



Have you considered doing a print on demand book through Lulu? Your stories/photos always crack me up and I would definitely buy some.

I actually hadn’t considered that, but maybe! I’ll have to think about it and dither and put it off and procrastinate before I actually do anything, though.



Your bathroom purple color looks great! Have you ever considered purple AND pear green towels? I’ve seen them before and it’s a great color combination. Just make sure the green is muted and medium to light in tone and it’s gorgeous.

I know exactly the look you’re talking about, and I like that color combination. I’d already ordered my purple towels, so I’m sticking with them for now. I might look for a few small green accessories, though!



One thing I love about reading your website is that you stay a home and enjoy life! I wish I could have done that when I didn’t have to work. I had all the time in the world for myself but wasn’t able to utilize it and be content. What’s your secret?

Good question. I don’t know! The funny thing is that you’d think since I don’t work and am home all day most days, I’d get bored. I very, very rarely get bored – in fact, most days I don’t get everything accomplished that I wanted to. I don’t know how on earth you people who have real jobs ever get anything done!



Did Mr. Boogers have a vet visit? Looks like he has shaved forearms. Hope he is okay.

I actually had to call Fred and ask him, because I knew Mister Boogers had been to the vet and I knew they had to shave his forearms to get blood, but I could not for the life of me remember why he’d gone. Fred reminded me that a few months ago, Mister Boogers peed in the kitchen sink right in front of me, and we were worried that it meant that he had a urinary tract infection, so Fred took him to the vet for a workup. Turned out, Mister Boogers is just an ass. Go figure.



Did I read that right, your medicine cabinet is in your dining room? I am confused. Although it might come in handy if you accidentally stab Fred with your fork.

No, if I stabbed Fred with my fork, I’d have to go from the computer room to get bandages, ’cause we almost always eat in front of our computers (bad habit, we know).

We put the medicine cabinet in the dining room because it’s a central location (considering we spend a large amount of time in the computer room), and you’re not supposed to keep medicine in your bathroom ’cause the humidity’s not good for it. But mostly, it’s just the convenience factor, and that that’s where we happened to have space.



Who on earth would you have to please besides yourself and Fred? If you want different kinds of shades on doors than you have on windows, just go for it. Choose a fabric that appeals to you, and have fun. That overly matched look is silly, anyway.

Heh – you sound like Fred! I know, as long as we like it, who cares what anyone else thinks?

Have you ever checked the Country Curtains catalogue? It’s one of my dream-books. You can find every really pretty kind of curtain, drape or shade in there, things I don’t see in stores. You do pay a bit more, but they last a whole lot longer. My ex-husband, who stayed in our house, just told me yesterday that he is finally going to replace the kitchen curtains, which were from Country Curtains, and which I bought when we redid the kitchen in 1991. They just didn’t need replacing until now, which seems to me to be a good long life for curtains.

I ADORE the Country Curtains site and catalog. I’ve never ordered anything from them, but I have about a thousand different curtains bookmarked. I tend to get overwhelmed and can’t make a decision, though, which is why I haven’t ordered anything!

I want to get cafe curtains for the upstairs bathroom, though, and I’m considering these.



Out of lurking with a suggestion as to the blind strings. If the doors are wood put a couple of cup hooks, spaced about 10″ apart, to wind the strings in a figure 8 so they aren’t hanging. Besides, you’ll have strings with roman blinds also.

That’s a good idea! I might have to do that, at least temporarily.

Fred did point out that there are blinds that don’t have strings to pull them up, there’s a button on the front that you press, and then you pull the blind up and the bottom stays where you leave it (I’m not explaining this very well, and can’t provide a link, because I can’t find the damn things on the Lowe’s website!), so we’re probably going to go with those on the computer room doors and the foster kitten room.



We let HG out of the foster kitteh room yesterday afternoon and let him stay out until bedtime. He seems to like having the run of the house, if the fact that he ran around like a bat out of hell the entire time is anything to judge by. We put him back in the foster room with Splash at bedtime, and I’ll probably let him out again this afternoon. He seems to be adjusting well.

Splash, on the other hand, spends her time split between the bed under the dresser and the top of the cat tree. She hisses if you get too close, and I haven’t dared trying to pet her (though I might put on some gloves and give it a try). She’s going to be a tough one, apparently.

Please don’t talk about love tonight
Please don’t talk about sweet love
Please don’t talk about being true
And all the trouble we’ve been through

Ah, please don’t talk about all of the plans
We had for fixin’ this broken romance
I want to go where the people dance
I want some action

I want to live
Action, I got so much to give
I want to give it
I want to get some too

Ooooh I, I love the nightlife
I got to boogie

On the disco ’round, oh yea

Oh, I love the night life
I got to boogie on the disco ’round, oh yea



The evil criminal mastermind, Joseph J. Roberts, smiles smugly with the knowledge that he has, once again, evaded the long arm of the law.



2007: The man loves nothing so much as getting his fret on.
2006: Smart man, that one.
2005: Back from Gatlinburg.
2004: No entry.
2003: I love Von, and questions answered.
2002: No entry.
2001: Miz Poo gives me a scare.
2000: My husband, the diplomat.


Your comments, my answers! so, seeing that the Washingtonienne is rancid marshmallow fluff, how about dishing on some of the books based on blogs that ARE worth reading, if only in the bathroom? The books that come to mind – that I’ve read, that is; I have one or two written-by-bloggers books on my bookcase … Continue reading “3-28-08”

Your comments, my answers!

so, seeing that the Washingtonienne is rancid marshmallow fluff, how about dishing on some of the books based on blogs that ARE worth reading, if only in the bathroom?

The books that come to mind – that I’ve read, that is; I have one or two written-by-bloggers books on my bookcase that I haven’t yet read – that are worth a read are as follows:

Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl

Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass

It’s not out yet, but I’m looking forward to Half-Assed.

Tales from the Scale (though I might be just a teeny bit prejudiced about that!)

And of course, what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t mention the very enjoyable From Chunk to Hunk?

I’m sure there are other blogger-written books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and I’ll add them to the list if I think of them; those are the ones that came immediately to mind.

* * * * * * * * * *


I think I have found Miz Poo’s doppleganger

I can’t deny I see the resemblance, but Frankie doesn’t have that frantic, needy love-me-love-me-please-please-please-love-me look that Miz Poo has.

* * * * * * * * * *


Your fosters are adorable. But not as adorable as my new fosters! That’s not fair, though, as mine are only four weeks old and are Persian mixes, so they look like fuzzy tennis balls with legs and funny looking tails. I don’t have pictures yet, but I hope to get some soon.

Did I mention that I almost got me some bottle-fed babies, but I just missed out? Wah!!! I’m getting me some itty-bitty babies this summer at some point, if it kills me! (Also, TEASE. You cannot bring up adorable bitty baby fosters and not provide pictures!)

* * * * * * * * * *


Have you read the Stephenie Meyer series? I love them and now I have to wait until August for the 4th! I couldn’t believe how they sucked me in, it has been a long time since an author could do that.

I have not – but I have Twilight in the queue. Because of its position in the queue, it’ll probably be a couple of months before I get a chance to read it, but I’m looking forward to it!

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After nearly seven years of kissing frogs (I’m happily divorced), I’ve finally found me a terrific, smart, funny, wonderful guy, and we’re in wuv… TWUE wuv. But there’s a problem (isn’t there *always* a problem?): he’s an avowed dog person. This is not an issue for me, as I quite like dogs. But I also love cats, and I’m finally ready to get another (having lost my beloved kitty Ophelia three years ago).

My honey doesn’t dislike cats, although he strongly prefers dogs. The challenge is, he’s *allergic* to cats. It’s a mild allergy, but an allergy nonetheless.

Making things worse, a coworker of mine has found the most ADORABLE stray kitty (he looks like a Siamese), and she’s trying to talk me into taking him. And I wanna! But the SO and I will probably be cohabiting within the next six months, and I don’t want to adopt a kitty only to turn around and give him to someone else.

Are there any successful treatments for cat allergies that aren’t ridiculously expensive or filled with side effects? Or am I doomed to finally have found love, and never have a pet cat again?

Honestly, I don’t have a clue – I’ve always said that if I developed a sudden allergy to cats, I’d take something for it, but I have no experience with that at all. I’m tossing this one out to the readers – readers, your opinions/ suggestions?

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I thought I had heard that if a white cat has blue eyes they could probably be deaf. Have you heard anything like that?

I’ve heard that there’s a possibility of deafness in white cats, and after Googling around, I found this:

* 95% of the general cat population is non-white cats (i.e. not pure white) and congenital deafness is extremely rare in non-white cats.
* 5% of the general cat population is white cats (i.e. pure white). 15-40% of these pure white cats have one or two blue-eyes.
* Of those white cats with one or two blue eyes, 60-80% are deaf; 20-40% have normal hearing; 30-40% had one blue eye and were deaf while 60-70% had one blue eye and normal hearing.
* Of the 5% of white cats in the overall population, 60-80% had eyes of other colors (e.g. orange, green). Of those 10- 20% were deaf and 80-90% had normal hearing.
* Deaf white cats with one or two blue eyes account for 0.25 – 1.5 of total cat population
* Total number of cats with white coat and blue eyes account for 0.75 – 2.0% of total cat population

There’s a long explanation that explains deafness in white cats, here, if you’re interested.

In any case, our (mostly) white foster kitty is not deaf; that was one of the first things I checked (out of curiosity), and she can hear quite well.

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Um ok, so this is a weird and probably stupid question so feel free to ignore it but… Why does one ever need reading material in the bathroom? I’m honestly just asking cause I know people do but I’ve never known why. How long does it possibly take and how can you read and…go at the same time? Or is it for…after? I’m so confused!

Sometimes it takes a minute for things to get going, and that minute is long and boring if there’s no reading material!

I think this calls for a poll, don’t you?

Bathroom Reading

Do you read whilst sitting upon the throne?

I DO read in the bathroom.
I DON’T read in the bathroom.
I don’t poo. Or pee. GOD. Y’all are nasty.

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What do you think of “The Housewives of New York City”? I think they are so catty! OMG that Ramona just plucks my last nerve!!! I think it is so funny that they call LuAnn “The Countess”. Your thoughts??

I wrote about RHoNYC two weeks ago, here.

Ramona is utterly unlikeable, and she can insist all she wants that her kid is talented and desperate to do commercials and act in movies, but I saw that child’s face when the idea that she might miss some school sank in, and that child WANTS TO BE IN SCHOOL, not out swanning around trying to win her mother’s approval. There’s nothing about Ramona I can stand at ALL.

When Bethenny said about Alex (I don’t remember if it happened during this week’s show or the preview for next week’s) “She’s insecure and she compensates for it by being pretentious”, she absolutely hit the nail on the head. Alex and her creepy husband are completely over-the-top pretentious and that whole “Francois has to sing “Farmer in the Dell” in French every night before bed”, or whatever the hell it was, was just totally eyeroll-ville. Also, girlfriend looks frazzled and if she’s that desperate to claw her way up the social ladder, she needs a haircut.

I like Jill, though like someone I know in real life, if there’s no drama going on in her life, she works very hard to manufacture it. Also, her daughter is a DOLL.

The Countess seems like the most well-adjusted of the bunch, but I think I said before that when you’ve attained the social status you want, you can be a lot less desperate and grasping about it. Whoever it was that was all “I can’t believe she TALKED about her kids having lice!” totally missed the point. That woman’s status is secure enough (and I suspect she doesn’t give much of a shit about social status, ain’t it always the way?) that she could probably talk about something truly nasty and she wouldn’t end up sobbing outside the fashion shows in last year’s Galliano (Galliano still design?) any time soon. Also, the Countess’s daughter is adorable. I wonder if Rosanna, the Count and Countess’s housekeeper/ raiser of their children, will catch any shit when the footage where she expresses her wish that the Countess would bother to hang around and spend some time with her children airs.

I still love poor little overworked Rosanna. I hope she’s well compensated.

Bethenny is too damn desperate to rope that boyfriend of hers into marriage, and she’s freaking him out. Wanting to talk about whether she’s going to move in with him while she’s a bit sloshed and the cameras are breathing down his neck? Good for him for refusing to do so. Also, he looks like Jeff Bezos to me, only a bit better looking. If next week’s previews are anything to go by, it kinda looks like they broke up.

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So did you see the Jon and Kate Plus 8 show that was all about her plastic surgery? Pretty detailed and interesting…..

I did, actually!

And speaking of Jon and Kate, that bit of the show I was talking about earlier this week that makes me laugh out loud? I made a little movie of it so I can watch it at my computer whenever I want. It’s not very good – it’s just me, filming the TV screen – but you get the general idea of it.

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I, too, will be watching the FRJ [flab removing journey] avidly – especially the lifting part. I am okay with the size, don’t want bigger, but I wouldn’t mind a lift (like I’ll ever be able to afford plastic surgery! HA!) – except I’ve heard that they apparently… move things around. Certain things. You know. Those. That they take them from one place and reattach them somewhere else, a little bit higher maybe.


Hope this is not too much info but I had reduction one one side at the same time I had a mastectomy on the other side. Things do get moved around but end up where they are supposed to be. I do have scars but they are very light and very thin, kind of like a pencil line. Really was not that bad pain wise thanks to the vicodin.

This reminds me of years and years and YEARS ago when Roseanne and her then-husband Tom Arnold were on Phil Donahue, and they were discussing her plastic surgery, specifically her breast reduction (or maybe it was a lift, I don’t remember), and Tom talked about how they cut off her nipples, and Phil said “Yes, so her headlights wouldn’t point at the floor”, which made me laugh and cringe. But yes, I believe they cut around your nipples and move them around (who’s screaming and clutching her chest now, hands up!), but they keep them attached to the nerves and such. Or maybe I’m just making that up to make myself feel better!

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What, exactly, are you thinking of having done [plastic-surgery-wise]?

I’m considering a tummy tuck or lower-body lift, breast lift, and whatever they can do to get rid of that damn wattle I have. It’s all going to depend on the cost and whether insurance will cover any of the cost.

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120 tomato plants?!!!!! When my mom had a garden, she’d plant about six, and have tomatoes stacked on the counter and in bags and baskets to take to people at work or give away to anyone who came over. And that was from SIX plants. Y’all are going to have… four, carry the eleven, divide by eight… TWENTY TIMES as many plants! Holy cow!

I swear to god, I thought we had like 100 tomato plants last year, but after asking He Who Knows, I found out that we had 30. So, um, yes. I will be dealing with a damn lot of tomatoes this year! It’s okay with me, because we didn’t get nearly enough tomatoes last year (I didn’t get to make enough tomato sauce or any ketchup at all), so hopefully I’ll have more than I want this year. Whatever we don’t eat or can or freeze can go straight to the pigs or the chickens.

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Did you read about this? 800 dogs seized from mobile home? Lest you think my finger stuttered, that’s eight H-U-N-D-R-E-D. Dogs. In a mobile home. And they were breeders. (Elderly who might have had a dementia and/or hoarding problem, but breeders.) My stomach lurched when I read that. I would say, “How can people get a license to breed and sell animals without anyone checking up on them,” but hell, I guess if we don’t even keep a sharp eye on the people we’re fostering our nation’s KIDS to…

Honest to god, the fact that you can even fit 800 animals in a mobile home (even a triple wide!) is stunning. I cannot even imagine that.

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I have a request. I was looking thru the virtual house tour and I was saddened you haven’t done pictures with your furniture in it. I would LOVE to see house pictures from now. Would you consider it? Thanks!

Yeah, I plan to do it. It’s just a matter of getting around to taking the pictures and putting the pages together. Maybe by the time we’ve lived here for two years I’ll get it done!

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For those of us who don’t have cable, http://youtube.com/user/RIPLeuchtenberg has uploaded lots of full episodes of “How Clean is Your House?” Love that show.

I’m going to have to check that show out so I can look around my own house and say “Hey. This isn’t as bad as THAT ONE! I can totally put off vacuuming for another day!”

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Is Ohio really that bad? *tears* I wuv Ohio.. and I live in it

Ohio wasn’t so bad in and of itself – it just seemed nonending. I thought we were never ever going to get out of Ohio. And then we got out of Ohio and were in Kentucky forEVER.

Of course, by this time next year I’ll have forgotten the long, long ride (which honestly wasn’t all that bad) and I’ll be all “Road trip, Nance?” and she’ll be all “Um… ‘kay!”

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I think a manipulation of “shoots out a poo of displeasure” would be a great tagline in one of your logo banners, one of these months.

I’m a little afraid of what the design to back that up might look like. 🙂

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I have a *huge* thing for orange kitties. Can the orange kittens come to live with me, please? We’re down to 4 old cats and one blind dog Chez Cathovel and must find fresh blood … uh … new babies to cuddle.

The orange kitties went to the pet store last Friday, and as of Monday morning, one of them had been adopted – another one (or both) of them may have been adopted by now, since Tuesday nights are also adoption nights at the pet store.

But as I’ve mentioned before – the foster kittens aren’t mine. They belong to the shelter, so any adoption requests would have to go through the shelter manager. Also, the adoption fee for any cats from the shelter is currently $150 per cat.

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Ok, what is the Crooked Acres stand on teeth cleaning(s) for the kids of the feline persuasion. My vet has been wanting to do my siamese for a while now, but I’m scared as he’s around 12-14 years old. There is so much conflicting advice out there! Help!

We’ve really only had one cat that needed his teeth cleaned – Spot, a couple of years ago, had his cleaned. They put him under to do it (I don’t know if they do that for all cats or not – I would suspect they probably do) and had to pull one tooth because the decay had gotten so bad. If your vet really wants to do it, you trust your vet, and your cat is in decent shape, I’d say go ahead and do it!

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Now that you are a professional chick wrangler, you must be in the know about all things chick-ery. Is it typical to lose a certain number of new chicks? Do experienced chicken ranchers, such as yourself, generally order more than they hope to raise, in anticipation of losing some?

Fred’s really more the chick expert than I am. I would hazard a guess that when ordering chicks you can expect there to be some loss, but the kind of loss we’ve had (almost half of what we ordered) is unusual. I don’t think we thought to order extra chicks, but I guess we should have!

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Are you watching the Biggest Loser, and if you are, could Mark touch and fondle his beard a little bit MORE because I am not nearly creeped out by it enough. I just want to say… Mark, you and your beard go get a room!

It’s been a couple of seasons since we’ve watched Biggest Loser. We lost interest because the thing they do where something happens, they go to commercial, and then when they come back from commercial, they recap the last 30 seconds of what happened before they went to commercial really drives me NUTS. However, your description is making me want to start watching it!

Morbid curiosity here, what do you do with those dead baby chicks… tell me it doesn’t have anything to do with the piggies, right?

No, you’re not supposed to feed pigs meat, but in any case, we wouldn’t feed dead baby chicks to them anyway. The chicks go into the trash can and out with the trash, poor things.

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Are you still watching Survivor? Who are you pulling for? Wasn’t it crazy to watch the fans attack each other from within? What a bloodbath.

We are still watching (and enjoying) Survivor. I have to say that I’m still rooting for Ozzy, because I just love him to death. You’d never know by looking at him how gifted he is, physically, but he’s just a little powerhouse, and he plays the mental game, too. LOVE HIM.

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Have you seen this??!!

I had, but I don’t think I’ve linked it before. That is a seriously cute video, isn’t it?

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Do you find you’re having any qualms, or feelings of sadness about slaughtering the animals? I ask because – well, I grew up on a farm, so I know how these things go – will it make it more difficult since you’ve bonded with them, named them, discovered personalities, and spent time with them? I think I wonder mostly because you’re new to farming, not long time old folks!

I’m not really feeling qualms, but I’m certainly not looking forward to it, and I expect it to be pretty difficult. It’s probably not any coincidence that I don’t spend any time with the pigs at all – Fred’s the one who feeds them morning and night, and while I look out to see if they’re hanging out in their yard during the day, I don’t go out and talk to them, and you may have noticed that there haven’t been a lot of pictures of them recently. I’m kind of distancing myself from them so that when they’re gone I won’t miss them that much. I worry that it’s going to be really difficult for Fred, but he assures me that he’s got the right mental mindset.

I fully expect that the first time we kill a chicken I’ll be crying like a big damn baby. But I’m not particularly attached to any of the chickens – except Frick – so maybe that will make it a little easier. Did I mention that I’m not looking forward to it, though?

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Has anyone used a product called Feliway? It is a Feline Behaviour Modification Pheromone Spray & Diffuser. My 14 year old cat was pooping outside the litter box because I think he was constipated. He is no longer constipated but has gotten into the habit of pooping wherever. I took him to the vet, he is fine, so she thinks it is behavioural, that is upset about something. This Feliway stuff apparently is phermones that help to alleviate anxiety. Just wondering if anyone had ever used it and how well did it work or not work?

We’ve used Feliway a few times, and it did seem to calm the cats down a bit – to be honest, I’m not sure whether it really calmed them down, or I just wanted to believe it was working.

Readers, your experiences?

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Years ago when I first bought baby chicks ,the “chick people” told me that you had to clean their butts while they were little or they could “get clogged up and die” well, my husband actually did spend plenty of time ,making sure all the little chickens had clean ,clog free butts. Do they not say that any more? Have your chicks that died, had clog free butts?

Pasty butt, you mean? I myself avoid looking at the business end of the chickens as much as humanly possible. Fred, however, is all up on what to watch out for, and has been known to wipe a chicken butt or two. I had to help him clip a clump of chicken feces from the behind of a baby chicken a few weeks ago.

None of the chicks who died had pasty butts.

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Yesterday morning, after I announced that I’d gotten love from Smudge Bunny, I went upstairs into the foster room, and the little brat hissed and ran and hid from me. Apparently, the trick is that you have to pick her up and hold her for a minute, and then the light goes on in her head that “Hey! I like this petting stuff!” and she turns into a love slut. If you just try to coax her over, you won’t have any luck.

HG still isn’t up for the petting, but he’ll chase the toys I toss for him, and he doesn’t hide from me, so that’s an improvement over the first day.

You can see the streak of orange on her tail.

GORGEOUS blue eyes.

The foster kitties over the past couple of years have done some serious damage to this guy.

“Hellew.” (You can see the hourglass shape on his stomach.)

A wee bit high.

HG plays with a straw, while Smudge Bunny looks on disapprovingly.


Fred put this cat bed up on top of the bookcase in the kitchen. Joe Bob claimed it as his own, but this morning when I walked into the kitchen, the bed was on the floor, and Joe Bob hasn’t been back up there since – but Stinkerbelle has. Hmmm.

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2007: Turns out Maxi had found herself a desiccated frog and was chewing on it.
2006: Whereupon Nick Stokes, Ace Detective and CSI Genius jumps in and says, a dark scowl upon his face, “What is that, some kind of nickname?”
2005: Because there’s nothing worse than having your eyes scooped out with a spork when you’re not quite dead yet, believe you me.
2004: No entry.
2003: Your “shit” discussion is now over. You may move on.
2002: “Momma!” he cried “Momma, I’ll be good! Let me in Momma, let me in!”
2001: “Owowowowowow,” I whined, hand over my eye, and then stomped my foot in frustration.
2000: When I saw it in the theater, the ending so disturbed me that I sobbed all the way home from the movie theater.


Here’s a rare treat for you – I spend a little time stalking the cats and asking them what they’re doing. What doin’? What doin’? What doin’? I sound, if I might be frank, like a complete goober, especially when I ask Newt if he’s alive. “Are yew ‘laaaaaaahv?” YouTube link   The pig section. … Continue reading “3-14-08”

Here’s a rare treat for you – I spend a little time stalking the cats and asking them what they’re doing. What doin’? What doin’? What doin’?

I sound, if I might be frank, like a complete goober, especially when I ask Newt if he’s alive. “Are yew ‘laaaaaaahv?”

YouTube link


The pig section.

Holey-moley! Being a city girl, well, suburban girl I guess, I had no ideas that pigs will get that big in 5-11 months. I have to say, I thought the pigs would be cute…. But to me they aren’t. They actually kind of gross me out. Are they going to be killed at the same time? Roughly, how much meat are they going to provide? It sounds really labor intensive to go from a live pig to pretty white packages in the freezer!!

Well, now FarmWife’s got me nervous thinking that the pigs are going to be several hundred pounds by December. Does it make a difference that we’re not confining them and feeding them out, FarmWife?

Anyway, yes – the pigs are going to be slaughtered together, and I’m told that we can expect to get 150 – 200 pounds of meat from each pig. Only one of the pigs is ours; Fred’s friend Franklin, the one who grew up on a farm and has slaughtered many pigs, is getting the other one.

Those pigs are toocute. How come they don’t have little cork-screw tails? I always thought pigs had that… I love their little grunting pig noises and their pink snouts. Too cute.

I don’t know why their tails aren’t cork-screwy. Their tails usually stick out (and when they’re eating, they tend to wag them), but every once in a while their tails are curled up. I don’t know if it’s something that comes with age, or if it depends on their mood, or what. I’ll report further as they get older!

Oh and Robyn, if you are looking for pig penis — it’s not visible from the rear, it’s in the middle of their stomach.

I can assure you – I am totally NOT looking for pig penis, nor do I intend to. 🙂


Could someone point me to the post where all the chickens were named? I still don’t know who’s who. (Aside from McLovin)

There’s no post where they were named, ’cause they don’t all have names. In fact, if you include McLovin, only three of them are named. Pictures and names are as such:

(pic) McLovin. Everyone knows McLovin!

(pic) Flappy McGee, the giant-mega-mutant-egg-laying Americauna.

(pic) Frick, the one we love the most. She’s an Americauna, too.

(pic) We have several Black Jersey Giants. We are creative, and call them “The black ones.” There was one that was kind of the runt and looked like a little ostrich, so we were calling her “Oscar” for a while, but now I can’t tell her from the other ones.

(pic) We have several Buff Orpingtons. We call them “The buffs.”

(pic) Plymouth Barred Rocks, and we have several of these as well. We call them “The specks.”

Did Fred call the hatchery and give them heck for shorting your order? Are more going to be coming or a credit being issues? For chuckles, how much does a one-day old baby chick cost?

He called and reported it, and they credited us for the ones we were shorted, the two that died in transit, and the two that died within 48 hours. It depends on what kind of chicken you get, but they cost between $2 and $3 each.

Slightly confused: Y’all get your mail at six thirty? In the A.M.? And the post office is even OPEN at that hour??? *brain reeling*

No, the post office wasn’t open, but there was someone there to receive the early morning mail shipment; they had Fred’s number because he’d called and alerted them to the fact that the chicks were coming, so as soon as they got the box o’ chicks, they called Fred. I had to pound on the door so they’d let me in, but yeah – your postal workers work hard!

How about a chick-cam? They are so cute and entertaining!

I would LOVE to have a chick-cam. It’s on our long list of stuff we want to have one day. I also want to have a cam on the front porch so I can see exactly what comes up and eats the cat food I leave there! (I suspect possums, squirrels and stray dogs and cats, but photographic evidence would be cool.)

The more I look at these pictures of the fuzzyheaded chicks, the more I want to try to pop them. That just ain’t right. Is their skull that shape, or is it all just feathers?

It’s all fuzzy little fluff, there’s no misshaped skull under there. And don’t try to pop the puffy-headed chicks or I’ll set Mister Boogers on you. I don’t think you want that.


I can’t remember… do you guys eat the chickens, or keep them solely for laying eggs?

Of the ones we ordered this time around, 12 of them were supposed to be for eating and the rest for laying eggs. Unfortunately, the 4 chicks we were shorted were meat chickens (white orpingtons), and the two that died after they got here were also meat chickens, which brings us down to 6 meat chickens. Which might be for the best – it probably wouldn’t hurt to have to only do 6 chickens when it’s killin’ time, considering it’ll be our first time.

At 00:31 through 00:33, tell me it doesn’t look like that little poufy headed chicken by the … big tall feedy thing.. whatever… is wearing a baseball cap on his head, backwards, all gangsta style.

He totally does – I hadn’t noticed that the first time around! (Here’s the movie, for those of you who didn’t see it when I posted it a few days ago.)

What do you do with the dead chicks? Please tell me you don’t feed them to the cats or chickens or pigs!

We put them gently in the trash. I feel kind of bad for admitting that – like we should have a baby chick graveyard somewhere – but that’s what we do. We’re heartless.


The The Office section.

I presume you are watching the USA version of the Office – if you can get hold of the British version, starring Ricky Gervais, I know you would love that also!

Yeah, it’s the US version of The Office we’re watching now, but we’ve seen the British version. Actually, I think we watched the entire British version in one weekend, and we liked it a lot. The first time we tried watching the US version of The Office, we weren’t crazy about it – Michael can be a little hard to take and somewhat overwhelming – but the second time was the charm.

I went to grade school through Freshman year of high school with Rainn Wilson (Dwight) in Seattle. He was awesome then, and he’s awesome now. I’m so thrilled for his success. Go Rainn!

Fred sent me a link to Rainn Wilson’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, and I was stunned at how non-Dwight-like he was. It’s almost like he’s an actor of something! Fred adores – ADORES – Dwight.

Not only is The Office available on Netflix, it is available for Instant Viewing. You know what that means? No waiting for the next disc!

Yeah, but then you have to watch it on your computer, don’t you? I’m not a fan of watching anything on my computer – I have to be comfy on the couch, in front of the big TV.

We have a local branch of our bank right down the road from us and I groom the manager’s dog. She has the biggest crush on Rainn Wilson. She has a bobble-head, a poster (signed), a mug for Pete’s sake. In her office. That’s some love right there.

Last Friday, Fred spent the entire day sending me Dwight quotes that he’d found online. He’s got some Dwight love going on – I might have to start stocking up on Dwight memorabilia for him.

Although I loved the British version of The Office, I HATED the American version. I guess that’s unusual?

We didn’t like the US version the first time we tried it – maybe it’s an acquired taste?

I have a friend who just got me interested in the Office. I love it so much. For April Fools day we are putting our boss’s stapler in jello. Also, my friend just got a yellow lab and named him Dwight Shrute. poor dog fits his name. They call him Shrute.

I know this is a completely dorky thing to be worried about – but wrap that stapler in plastic before you Jell-O it, would you? I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble for ruining it. Unless it’s a cheap one, then Jell-O away!

The next batch MUST be named Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, Jan, Ryan, Kelly, Toby, etc.

I wanted to go with Pam, Angela, and Jan this time around, but Pam had already been used, so I abandoned it. I’ll have to check and see if all the names have been used, because who wouldn’t love a little kitten named Dwight?


I don’t know why, but whenever I hear your voice on your ‘movies’ it sounds so strange! Its like when you read a book and develop an idea of what the character looks/sounds like, and then they make a movie, and its not quite what you had in mind. I guess I ‘picture’ you with a southern twang, and when I read how you talk to the cats, I can totally hear myself talking that way, except my way is somewhat child-like and goofy.

I’m telling you – I really don’t have a southern accent unless I’m trying – or, apparently, talking to the cats. I don’t know what that’s about.


Totally OT but had to share…imagine my surprise when I popped in a Netflix DVD last night and all of the sudden Robyn and Fred are ON MY TV!!!! Somehow I missed the whole Penn & Teller thing a zillion years ago, so now I’m catching up on DVD. That was so cool, you crazy kids made my otherwise dull Friday evening

Yeah, Fred and I were on an episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, the episode entitled “Eat This” from the first season (I wrote about it when it happened – hard to believe it’s been five years!) . I think it never occurred to us when we were doing the episode that it would be out there FOREVER. It was an interesting experience, but it certainly confirmed my idea that I have no desire for any kind of fame. AND THEN FLAPPY HAD TO GO LAY THAT DAMN EGG.


Robyn, I think that one day you should name a batch of kittens/cats after “Friends” characters!

I’ll have to keep that in mind – although, the idea is to use names that haven’t been used before, so if someone else has used that naming scheme, I can’t. Someone once named a couple of kittens “Jennifer Aniston” and “Angelina Jolie”, which cracked me up.


Hmmm. Could you not ship the three kittens to MA (wherever that is. I live in Vic Australia!)?? Almost worth setting up a donation site to enable people like me to help get kittens to people who would love to have them but don’t live close by.

What y’all need to keep in mind is that the kittens aren’t mine – they belong to the shelter I volunteer for. I don’t know what their policy is on adopting cats out to far locations, but they might not be up for it. One of the things you have to agree to when you adopt a kitten from the shelter is that if you ever give up the cat, it has to go back to the shelter and adopting them out to people a long distance away makes it more difficult to enforce (or expect) that. If anyone ever sees a foster kitten they’re interested in adopting, I will happily give you the name and number of the shelter manager and you can discuss the logistics with her.


You’ve never mentioned shopping at Old Time Pottery…. I am pretty sure you have one in Huntsville. It is one of my favorite stores and I was just wondering if you’ve ever been to one and like it or it’s just not your cup o’ tea.

Oh, I LOVE Old Time Pottery! There’s one in Madison, and I’ve been there several times. They have everything on earth in that store. If I ever needed to fully restock a kitchen, that’s the place I’d go, first thing. In fact, back around Thanksgiving when I was worried about finding glasses that matched, I totally should have gone there. They rock!


they don’t really scream “country kitchen”, but they’ll keep the damn moths out that’s for sure Actually the bugs to make the moths are already in there. It’s the warmth (of being out on the counter) and the food source that makes them hatch and become moths. (try not to think about it, you’ll only get grossed out!) Freeze the bags of flour, cornmeal etc for about 24 hours before storing them on the counter. I always store my flour-y things in the freezer because I go through spells of either using it all the time or not at all so I am safer storing it there.

So, if I put the flour and cornmeal in the freezer, will that kill the bugs before they hatch and take over my pantry?

It’s probably gross, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that there are bugs in my flour. As long as I don’t have to see them crawling around, I just don’t care.


I have to bring a dessert to work Monday for our St. Patrick’s Day party. Will the Paula Dean banana pudding be okay sitting out for a couple of hours? Will it hold up or will it turn nasty?

I can’t say for sure, but I’m afraid that the pudding would get kind of runny and warm and gross. Readers, your experiences?


How is the Spud doing? You don’t talk much about her these days and I was wondering how things are going with her?

She is doing just fine! She was working two jobs before Christmas, but they were seasonal jobs and they ended after the holiday. She applied for a lot of different jobs, and ended up back at McDonald’s. She’s not thrilled about that, but you do what you’ve gotta do. She’s sent in her application for the local community college (with the intention of starting this Fall), she’s working hard and hanging out with her Dad and stepmother, and waiting for her boyfriend (who’s in the military) to get back from training school. She’s hoping to come back to visit in the next few months, and I can’t wait to see her!


Do you have one or two quilts that are mostly pink? They seem to be made of about 3 inch squares. I think I have seen pictures of both of them with cats on them. One has more of a pattern to it than the others. Would you mind putting up pictures showing about 1/4 of the quilts? I would love to try and make something similar. Thanks!

I have two with pink in them.

(larger picture here) My mother made this for me when I was little. She thinks it’s horrible, but it’s probably one of my favorite possessions – if I’m not feeling well, that’s the blanket I want tossed over me.

(larger picture here) Fred picked this one up in an antique shop, I believe. It’s heavy and very warm.

(larger picture here) This doesn’t have pink in it, but the faded red around the edge looks kind of pinkish. It’s another of Fred’s antique store finds.

Is it one of those? If not, let me know and I’ll dig around to see if we have any quilts in hiding!


Did you ever think about going back to Tigers for Tomorrow? I guess you have enough of your own animals now.

We do plan to go back – it’s just that there’s always something to do here so we haven’t gone on many road trips. Maybe this summer I’ll be able to talk Fred into taking some time away from the farm for a trip back there.


Are you giving autographs?

I totally thought the cashiers were going to ask for my autograph in the grocery store!


I have a blog and I just got a visit from Saudi Arabia! My question is where is the farthest away that you have been visited from?

That… is an excellent question! I don’t really know the answer to that, but I can tell you that around 10:30 last night, someone from Hobart, Tasmania was on my site (helloooooooooo Tasmania!). I can give you a quick photographic (in the form of a screen capture of a Sitemeter graphic) representation of some of my readers, though.


One day, I’m going to travel around the world and visit all of you.


If you ever run out of things to write about in a given week, you could put a call out for all us orange tabby owners to send pics! It’s probably a big pain in the ass for you, but I’m curious to see how others’ orange kittehs look.

I’m actually thinking of having y’all send me your pet pictures (not just orange tabbies – and not just cats, for that matter!) and putting them all on a page together.


Have you watched Real Housewives of New York? I can’t remember their names, yet, but the tall very skinny blonde making her babies learn to speak French? Holy Jesus, I would like to slap her!!!!! Wow, and I thought the Orange County girls were over the top!

I did finally watch the first two episodes of the show, and I have to say, that is QUITE a show. If I ever started worrying about my social status, I encourage y’all to throw me off the nearest cliff. The only NYC housewife who doesn’t seem like a complete insecure mess desperately trying to climb up the social ladder is the countess (whose name I cannot recall. LuAnn, maybe?).

Ramona is completely annoying, she dresses far too young for her age (does no one on TV understand the concept of growing old gracefully?) and her husband seems like a sleaze.

Jill has a grating voice, she was totally trying to wring some drama out of that idiotic cooking-party situation with Ramona, and the relationship between her husband and her daughter is awkward and strained and weird, and she needs to stop pushing them into a close relationship and let them find their own common ground (“Go give Bobby a huuuug!”). Also, her daughter is completely adorable and someone needs to tell her that SHE IS NOT FAT. Way to set up the child for an eating disorder, Jill. Start her young!

The token single girl (whose name I cannot recall) is a mess, with her concern about where her relationship is going and whether her boyfriend’s parents approve. She’s also got the squarest jaw I’ve ever seen on a human being in my life.

And Alex – oh my good god almighty, Alex. She and her weird husband and the shopping and his overwhelming concern and putting together outfits for her, and the desperate need to climb up that social ladder. When they were in St. Bart’s, first of all, I did NOT need to see her husband in a bikini and second of all, the whole “I am the luckiest girl in the world and we are so in love and life is perfect” bullshit? Please. Any time someone feels the need to go on about how in love they are and how perfect their life is, that sets off my bullshit alarms all over the place. And it’s none of my business, but where do they get their money? From what I could see, he’s the manager of a hotel and she’s a graphic designer. They’re spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on clothes? What’s up with that?

My favorite “character” in that show has to be Roseann the countess’s housekeeper. Every time they show her long-suffering face, it cracks me up.


You both have such pleasant voices! Somehow not at all like I expected you to sound (not that I expected you to sound unpleasant.) I listened to the blooper reel and your potty-mouthedness seems so incongruous in your sweet-sounding voice.

Oh, how I love the incongruity of having a girly voice and swearing like a sailor. I know that no one who sees me in the store or working in the yard would ever suspect my love for the many variations on the word “fuck.”

I would listen, if you guys decided you wanted to do regular Crooked Acres podcasts.

I don’t know if I’ll ever convince Fred to do a podcast (he hates his voice, I don’t know why because I think it’s quite a nice voice), but I have toyed with the idea of doing a weekly reading of a journal entry. The idea of reading this journal entry, in particular, makes me giggle.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular y’all want to hear me – or us – say?

In the blooper reel, when you were making fun and reciting your line, you sounded just like Peggy Hill from King of The Hill.

Ha – I can definitely hear the resemblance!


You have mentioned before about using a brine for your turkey – do you really taste a huge difference? Do you have a favorite recipe? Is it a huge pain in the rump to make?

I used this recipe to make a brined turkey – it calls for a turkey breast, but I’m pretty sure I made the entire turkey using that recipe. It definitely made a much moister turkey than I was used to, and it’s certainly worth the effort.

HOWEVER, I have since learned an even easier trick to getting a nice moist turkey. It’s something I stumbled across accidentally, but it’s apparently something some professional cooks recommend – roasting the turkey breast-side down instead of breast-side up. Apparently the fat from the dark meat kind of bastes the dryer white meat, and it is FABULOUS.


I just wanna squoosh her.

They’re so happy in the sun.

Sleepy baby.

Yummy water.

All three girlies in a row.

She loves that feather toy.

The little pink nose and lips kill me.


Tommy’s praising the lord.


2007: No entry.
2006: They are SO pretty to look at, but my GOD do they stink.
2005: Questions answered.
2004: No entry.
2003: Yeah, don’t look at me. I have no idea what goes on his head, either.
2002: I think I could kick her ass, personally, and I’d be happy to do it. Bitch.
2001: “That’s okay,” I said cheerfully. “Those things are a pain in the big butt, aren’t they?”
2000: Fred sings again.