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.

6/25/09 – Thursday

So after Miz Poo drove me nuts all Tuesday night and a good part of Wednesday by howling, whining, and chatting, Fred called the vet to find out that she was likely having a reaction to the medication. One of the side effects of the medication she was on (at least in humans) is that … Continue reading “6/25/09 – Thursday”

So after Miz Poo drove me nuts all Tuesday night and a good part of Wednesday by howling, whining, and chatting, Fred called the vet to find out that she was likely having a reaction to the medication. One of the side effects of the medication she was on (at least in humans) is that it makes you “talkative”, and I’d say that that’s for sure what was going on with Miz Poo. We stopped the medication, and will go back in a few days to get Elavil for her.

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This has been the week of the spider for me. Monday and Tuesday mornings, I went out to weed the tomato rows. Monday, I was about halfway down the first row of tomatoes, and as I pulled a huge handful of weeds out from under a huge tomato plant, a garden spider the size of my hand came sauntering out.

“What up, bitch?” he said, his 73 eyeballs glittering at me.

“I am not scared of you,” I said, keeping a respectful distance. “For I know you are but a helpful garden spider, hanging out under the plants and eating all the bugs that try to eat my tomatoes. I appreciate that. But now I’m going to use this hand hoe to herd you over to the pepper plants while I finish weeding under the tomatoes, and then you can return home. You might have to rebuild your web, if you have one, though. Sorry ’bout that.”

Then I leaned down and waved my hand hoe behind the spider, and he saw it with his 73 glittering eyes, and he moved in the direction of the pepper plants. I took my eye off him for one second, and he immediately zagged left and began skittering up my boot.

I reacted calmly, of course. I mean, it’s only a SPIDER.

The size of my hand.

With 73 glittering eyeballs.

Making a sound of horror, I flailed about, threw my hand hoe at my boot, and danced a getitoffme! GETITOFFME! jig. The spider landed near a pepper plant and rolled his eyeballs at me (which took some time, as you can imagine). I looked around to make sure that no one had seen me, wiped off the gash the hand hoe had left in my shin, and went back to weeding. The spider stayed under his pepper plant for a long time (I kept an eye on him), then disappeared. Maybe he was looking for friendlier pastures.

Tuesday morning I was walking across the yard toward the gate, on my way to the garden, when I glanced over at the cement pad and saw Tommy sitting there, watching something with interest. I went over to see what it was, and saw a beetle, the size of my thumb. It was caught up in a web, and as Tommy and I watched, a jet-black spider came sauntering out from under the metal hanging over the side of the cement pad, and began doing whatever the hell spiders do to their prey.

I waited until I saw the red hourglass shape on its abdomen, but I was pretty certain from the first glimpse that I was looking at a black widow. They are so fucking EVIL looking, those spiders. Once I saw the red hourglass, I kicked at it with my boot. I managed to miss the black widow completely, but I crushed the beetle and put it out of its misery. The black widow ran off and hid for a moment, then came rushing back out to see what the hell was going on.

Whereupon I crushed it with my boot.

Black widows like to hide under things, and I think what we need to do is pull up all the metal around the cement pad so that we don’t get a damn colony of them hiding under there. (Although I actually think that black widows are pretty solitary creatures.)

I’m sure tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and find a brown recluse on my freakin’ pillow or something.

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Regarding the Gosselins (ie, Jon and Kate Plus Eight).

I have to say that I was kind of surprised to find that Jon and Kate Gosselin really are divorcing. I half expected they’d sucker everyone in with their ads about “Jon and Kate have made a decision!”, and then there would be Jon and Kate, all cozy on the interview couch, holding hands and talking about how they’ve started counseling. It’s disappointing that they’re divorcing, because obviously you want people to stay together, and you’d hope that the kids would be enough of an incentive for them to work through their issues.

I think that Kate is very sad about the split up, that she’s still working through it, and that Jon checked out a long time ago. I get the feeling that he’s ready to par-tay, and I expect to see lots of pictures of him partying it up with 21 year-olds.

(Earrings on Jon: Not a good look. Some men can carry it off. He’s not one of them.)

Also, I dearly wish Aunt Jodi and skeevy Uncle Kevin would shut their fucking faces instead of sounding off about every move Jon and Kate make.

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Annnnd regarding the NJ Housewives, Reunion Part 1 (and I’m sorry, how ridiculous is it that they’re splitting the reunions into two parts now? Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see Part 2 tonight!).

Warning: Possible spoilers within.

I don’t know that that reunion was all that exciting – although it certainly looks like tomorrow night’s is going to involve everyone ganging up on Danielle.

While I understand Teresa’s defense of Joe (that he’s not homophobic and that he’s not “like that”, why some of his best friends are gay!) I know that I grew up saying “That’s gay” and “you’re so gay” and certainly NOT meaning anything homophobic by it. It’s sometimes a knee-jerk reaction on my part to reach for those phrases just because I grew up hearing and saying them for so many years, and you can train yourself to not say things like that, but you can’t stop them from coming to mind.

BUT. I also know BETTER THAN TO SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH THE FREAKIN’ CAMERAS AROUND and in front of complete strangers. I’m glad Teresa apologized for him. Also – bless her heart, that woman has a disconnect between her brain and her mouth. “Cleansiness?” Wha-? Also, Teresa’s not invited over to my house anytime soon because I’m sure the state of my house (can’t remember the last time I cleaned the floors!) would horrify her. She’d probably start itching two inches inside the door.

Danielle looked like she’d rather be scrubbing Teresa’s floors with a toothbrush than be at that reunion. She didn’t have much to say, did she? And is it just me, or is her color odd? Too much fake tan? I wish someone had called her on her “I’ve never had plastic surgery aside from the bubbies!”, because come ON. She’s had at the very least an eye lift if not a face lift. Eyebrows don’t get hiked up that high by Mother Nature.

I like that Dina addressed the fact that her husband has no desire to be on the show. I don’t remember much about what Dina had to say, actually. She certainly is pretty, and I’ll reiterate – she SO looks like a young Lorraine Bracco.

Jacqueline and the crying over the miscarriages – I felt bad for her. You KNOW Bravo was hoping like hell she’d go into labor during the reunion. I’m surprised they didn’t tell her to call them when her water broke so they could do the reunion on the way to the hospital! Was it just me, or did she spend a lot of time NOT looking at Danielle?

Caroline just scares the hell out of me. She is the most intense little spitfire I’ve ever seen. I will never never mess with her family, she would fuck me UP. So sad to hear about her father in law (did you get the impression that Dina didn’t want to talk about that topic? She tried to change the topic a few times.). I’m anxious to see what has her teary-eyed in part 2 of the reunion! I get how tired they all are of hearing the mafia question, but COME ON – maybe the Manzos aren’t mobbed up, but five bucks says Teresa’s husband is!

Okay, that’s all I can think of. I wonder why they wouldn’t disclose where they were having the reunion? It’s not like it was airing live.

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The babies are back from their spaying & neutering/ id chipping/ rabies shots none the worse for wear. Phyllis was a little cranky last night (as the tiniest of the three, I think she feels a little more discomfort from the id chip and the rabies shot – plus let us not forget that her spaying was a more major surgery than the boys’ neutering. They might disagree with that, though.), and Creed spent the evening sleeping on Fred’s lap, but this morning they’re racing around as if nothing ever happened.

They need their second vaccination shots (which will be either today or tomorrow), and then it’s just a matter of waiting their turn ’til space opens up at PetSmart. There’s a flood of kittens right now, so it could be soon, or it could be a few weeks. All depends on where we are in the queue, and how fast adoptions go!

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Gone campin’.

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Dwight enjoys hanging off the cat tree.

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“Daaaaang, woman, you desperately need a pedicure!”

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Princess Phyllis.

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Smilin’ Joe.

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2008: I know, I’m lame. But you’ve gotta have priorities!
2007: Three times in the course of an hour, the same conversation, word-for-word, I swear it.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’d say this country is going to hell, but that handbasket sailed a loooooong time ago.
2004: Yes. Robyn DID recently learn how to do popup windows. Why do you ask?
2003: Do I LOOK like an outside kinda gal?
2002: Which is when I realized that I’d actually dreamed the conversation and hug and kiss.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.


Four half-pints of fruit-habanero jam left! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   I am shaving my head for the 3rd year for St. Baldrick’s Foundation on March 28th. This year it means even more to me as I … Continue reading “2/27/09”

Four half-pints of fruit-habanero jam left!

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I am shaving my head for the 3rd year for St. Baldrick’s Foundation on March 28th. This year it means even more to me as I now know what it is like to receive a diagnosis of cancer since I was diagnosed in September of last year with Renal Cell Cancer.

Even the smallest donations are appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Donate here!

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From reader Nicole, regarding her friend’s daughter:

Holly has applied for the “World’s Best Job” on the Barrier Reef. I’m not sure of the total number of applicants, but I think it’s something like 35,000.

The site is incredibly overloaded, and it takes forever to download her application video, but I hope you will be patient, view it and rate it. The ratings will help to influence the judges, who will select the top 50. They will be chosen 8 days from now, at which time the public will then actually vote to choose the top 10. It’s a bit presumptuous to look that far ahead. For now, enjoy the video, and rate it, if you will, please.


To view the competition, click on this:


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Yesterday, after I checked the big chicken coop for eggs I stopped by the little chicken coop to see if Sassy had left an egg in one of the nest boxes.

Turned out, she was hanging out in the nest box, and REALLY pissed off and appalled at my utter gall and NERVE.

For you, a movie starring Sassy McGee, Angry Chicken. I call it “SHUT THE DOOR! I’M LAYING AN EGG! GOD!!!”

Sassy McGee, Angry Chicken from Robyn Anderson on Vimeo.

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Robyn, how does it feel to be a thin person now? I once lost 80lbs, and was thin for a couple of years, I really miss how “light” my body was. How has being thin changed things physically for you?

I have to admit, I don’t really think of myself in terms of being “thin.” Most of the time I just kind of go along and don’t think of the fact that I’ve lost, pretty much, an entirely other person. Every once in a while, though, I’ll do something – I’ve started running around in the back forty with the dogs, I start running and yell “Come on, puppies! Come on, puppies!” and they’ll join in the chase – and I’ll think “Huh. I could never have done that before!” And before the surgery, I never went back upstairs during the day unless I absolutely had to – if there was stuff that needed to go upstairs, I’d just pile it at the bottom of the stairs. Now, I’ll just run upstairs and put whatever it is away, or run upstairs and check on the kittens, or whatever, and not really think much about it.

I thought, before I had the surgery, that I’d feel so much lighter after I lost all that weight, and I guess I do, but for the most part I just feel like… me, I guess.

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Did Delmar ever get adopted? I know he got returned once, but is he still at the pet store or did he find a home?

He did! He got adopted a couple of weeks ago, and the same people who adopted Delmar also adopted Lem. I was pretty happy to find that out. Funny thing is that earlier in the day I had been thinking about trying to convince Fred that we should adopt him. Apparently the universe doesn’t think we need any more cats!

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Robyn, I know this gets asked every few months, and if I wasn’t so damned lazy I could do a search for it, but….. what camera do you guys have? It takes incredible shots.

It’s a Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 (I always have to look at the label on the camera, I can never remember what it is!)

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side note about the skin: in my experience with white dogs, and dalmation dogs, sometimes they are more prone to skin irriations. What always worked for us was feeding them carrots. We’d get a big bags of mini-carrots at c0stco and serve those in place of dog biscuits.

I have so much to learn about dogs – I tossed half a head of cabbage to the chickens the other day, and George darted in and grabbed it and took it off to the back of the field and then ate it. It had never occurred to me that they’d eat raw vegetables! But they really, really like carrots. Now, how much of the carrots they actually eat, I’m not sure – I find carrot pieces all over the place after I give them carrots, but they certainly like to chew on them.

Also, those of you who suggested getting Kongs for the dogs? Genius! I fill them with treats (cut up carrots, a homemade cookie or two) and plain yogurt, then freeze them for a few hours, and when I walk through the gate and give the dogs their Kongs, they immediately retreat to their corners and concentrate on those Kongs like there’s nothing else on earth.

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Puppies eating carrots.

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“I has a Kong! I has a Kong! It’s MY Kong, I has a Kong!”

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This may be a little late but when you watched Zack & Miri did you watch it all the way through the credits? There’s more movie 1/2 through the credits.

No – damnit! I think this means I need to get it from Netflix again so I can see what I missed!

Edited to add: Fred found it for me at YouTube! See it here. (Very much not safe for work!)

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I can find goat cheese at Kroger and Walmart, so I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be able to get it at Publix! Most often it’s labeled as chevre.

I looked in both the cheese sections (the one by the deli and the one near the milk), and never did find goat cheese. That doesn’t mean Publix doesn’t carry it, just that I got overwhelmed by the amount of cheese, couldn’t find goat cheese, and gave up and left. I’ll check again this weekend when I go! Actually, I think we’re going to the feed and seed store

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I love the picture with Fred and the chicken. My first thought was I wonder what that shirt looks like on the back? I’m really commenting because I am buying chicks tomorrow and I wanted to remind you that it is completely and totally All. Your. Fault. (I’m trying to find my camera)

Fred would like you to know that Mr. Friendly does NOT poop whilst being held. Ever. (Yet.)

Baby chicken pictures, please. If y’all are going to blame me for you getting a chicken or a cat or a dog or a pig, y’all are going to have to come through with the pictures. It’s the law – don’t make me sic Sheriff Mama on you!

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Re the slankie, there is actually a spoof of the ad on YouTube that is just hilarious!

I think I must have seen that, because I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a real Slanket/ Snuggie commercial, and the parody has to be how I found out that it’s just a ROBE that you WEAR BACKWARDS.

Because I mock the Slanket, I think we all know that by this time next year, I’ll own sixteen cat-hair-covered Slankets and will wear them 24 hours a day.

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Regarding raw diets, the cat my DH grew up with ate only raw horse liver, which was apparently sold at the pet store many years ago. My MIL chopped it into small pieces and kept it in an old fashioned glass refrigerator container, with the loosely fitted lids.

Anyway, when it was time for “Buttons” to come in she would go to the back door and rattle the lid and he would come running lickity split.

Most of the time, all the cats have to do is hear me getting their snack plates down, and they come running. The only ones who don’t are the ones who are hanging out in the back yard and don’t hear the rattling of the plates.

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ROBYN! Have you seen the show Assy McGee?? (Knowing how you love the name “McGee!” (which by the way, we call our animals, “Dickball McGee, and Shitpie Magillicutty.” They seem to like it and it sure makes us laugh.) ANYWAY, the show is really dumb but MY GOD, it’s hilarious.

I have not yet watched any episodes of Assy McGee, but it’s certainly on my list of stuff to check out!

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Have you seen this article and website? A man in Florida has developed 30 acres just for cats, rescues, strays, and those people can’t keep.

Here’s the article.

And here’s the website.

Oh wow – that is just too neat! He apparently never ever turns any cats away!

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I’d be careful with high-protein diets… especially in male cats. I had for almost 14 years problems with my cat and protein in his diet. He’d start to pee everywhere, get urinary tract infections and it eventually cause liver and kidney damage. He finally passed away about two years ago from severe kidney failure. It’s a balancing act. if you have cats that are healthy and can handle it, then good… if not though, you could upset the balance and then have to try and figure out which cats are sick, which are healthy…. it’s up to you but… i’d just be careful. I know I spent probably $10,000 in bills over the years. Maybe more! Don’t tell my mom… and that’s just for one cat.

I doubt we’ll ever go to a 100% raw food diet just because I sincerely doubt that some of our cats (Miz Poo, in particular) would ever eat anything but the dry food we provide for them. Giving them raw food would probably be more supplemental than a complete replacement for our cats.

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What movie did the Donald Sutherland “skimmer” photo come from?


That’s from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Fred told me that, I haven’t actually seen it myself!).

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Love the new piggies. The picture of George and Gracie running along the fence surprised me. I thought all they did was lay around in the sun proving gravity.

They have bursts of energy if something excites them – something like the pigs (they don’t bark at them anymore, at least!), or one of their humans approaching with a snack. Also, they like to chase each other around from time to time. I would estimate that they have the occasional ten-minute burst of energy followed by six or seven hours of recovery time wherein they are absolutely dead to the world. Fred and I are fond of saying “Looks like something killed the dogs.”, because when those dogs are out, they’re OUT.

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oh, my! Those are the cutest little things! I soo could not eat them. As a kid, I had a pet pig named Curly. Then all of a sudden he was nowhere to be found. I asked Mom where he was and she asked if I remembered eating the Christmas ham. I was very sad. I loved my Curly.

That is just sad. But funny. But mostly sad. Poor Curly!

We’re lucky that as cute as the pigs are right now, they will grow to be big and obnoxious and demanding, and when it’s time for them to go off to be processed, we’ll be glad to see ’em go.

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I guess this would be a question for Friday but I was wondering how much you save by buying and raising pigs, chickens, etc? I can’t remember if you had a cow. If not, would you consider it? I’m sure you are seeing some savings by raising your own food including vegetables and fruits. But I’m also sure there are some costs involved beside your time. Have you begun to see any savings or is this more of a hobby but the savings in a bonus kind of thing?

Honestly, I think we’re saving money by “growing” our own meat, but I can’t put a dollar figure to it, I just have no idea at all. I haven’t bought anything but beef in almost a year, and it’s nice to have a freezer full of pork and chicken on hand.

We didn’t have a cow. We talked about it, but I don’t think we really have room for a cow anymore, with the pigs and chickens taking up so much of the back forty. The guy who sold us the pigs also raises cows, and he’s willing to sell us a cow that’s ready to be processed – in other words, he’d deliver the cow to the butcher, we’d just have to pick it up. Fred’s considering it (we’d likely split the cow with his business partner, because I don’t think we have freezer space for an entire cow – I’m not sure we actually have freezer space for HALF a cow!).

More important than the money we save by raising our own pigs and chickens is knowing that they’re well-treated until the last possible moment.

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I know you’ve said that you’ll never get geese, but have you ever seen Indian Runner Ducks? Our neighbor has them and they’re hilarious!

No, I had never seen those before (or at least, hadn’t noticed them). They’re awfully cute!

(But I don’t want ducks either. We have no bodies of water for them to swim around in.)

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Have you gotten the house pictures yet? Now that you “know” what the cement pad was for, you think about building an XL pantry out there to store all your creations? I thought of you today when we went to Walmart. Hubby went to get a box of ammo for target shooting and our Walmart was sold out of most everything! Eek I thought, well if we are gonna be attacked, at least Fred and Robyn will be stocked up and could survive.

The house pictures haven’t arrived yet – but the woman who has them said it would be a little while before she could put her hands on them, she has them in storage.

We haven’t even discussed putting a super-sized pantry out there, but I think I’d rather have a deck over that cement pad, instead. (Someday.) If we were going to build a really big pantry, I think I’d rather have it in the house than in another building – maybe one wall of the guest bedroom, or of the dining room. That way, we could better defend our food against the starving masses when the economy REALLY goes into the toilet.

(Or, you know, it’ll be handy when we invite the starving masses in to eat with us, which is probably more likely!)

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Cute little piggies! 🙂 Have you named them yet? If not, might I suggest Martin and Lewis? Tom and Jerry? Sylvester and Tweety?

Thus far, our pigs seem to be generally named “Big Pig” and “Little Pig” because one’s always bigger than the other. This time around we’ll likely go with “Black Pig” and “Striped Pig”, because we are creative geniuses!

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I don’t know much about pigs but – why are they hairy? I’ve never seen hairy pigs here before… not here anyways!

I… don’t know. I guess it’s due to the type of pigs they are? The other pigs we had (Yorkshires) had some hair (bristles), but not nearly as much as these pigs do. These pigs have a Yorkshire mother and I don’t know what their father was. They look like little wild boars to me!

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I do not believe I knew that chickens could sneeze. Sounds obvious, but do all animals sneeze? Hmm….

It took me a long time to figure out that that’s what that noise is – they make the exact sound that you get when you squeeze a squeaky toy. It’s pretty funny!

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Freezer camp!! Snort, guffaw, snort!


Freezer Camp is my new favorite term. May I steal it? Is that hen blue? She looks like she is almost indigo (heh, pretty fancy talk). Very beautiful hen. Although I am a native Hoosier and see chickens at farms all the time, I never realized that both male and female had the red on the head. Thanks for teaching this old dog something new.

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You may certainly steal Freezer Camp, but in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I didn’t come up with it – I saw it on LisaNH’s flickr stream at some point in the past, and have used the hell out of it ever since.

The hen’s black, and has kind of an iridescent blue look to her in certain lights (I’d tell you what kind of chicken she is, but I think she’s just a mutt – I’m 99% sure that either we hatched her ourselves in the incubator, or she was hatched by one of the older hens at some point in the last year, rather than being a purebreed bought from the hatchery). Both males and females generally have red combs, but the males’ combs are big and dark-red and showy, and the females’ combs tend to be smaller and less fancy.

That’s your exciting chicken lesson for the day.

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I guess you have 3 piglets. Two outdoor and one indoor/outdoor bed hog. Of course, I have 3 piglets myself. All three of my cats are bed hogs. Unfortunately it’s MY BED! I swear! I deserve more than a sliver of the side of my queen size bed. You think a human (albeit large) and 3 cats should be able to co-exist on one bed. I’ve started taking charge though – they are learning to move or get the ultimate heave ho.

Every night when I lay in bed and read, Mister Boogers drapes himself across my legs, and then when I want to go to sleep and I push him off my legs (I’m a side sleeper), he growls at me like he thinks he is the BOSS OF ME. It drives me NUTS, because apparently the little bastard thinks I should just stay in one position forever and ever until he’s ready to get up and go his own way. GRRR. And he’s the one cat who isn’t scared of the can of compressed air! Every other cat in the house only has to SEE the can and off they go, but Mister Boogers just lays there like “What?”

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Does this mean that Mr. Friendly gets a “stay of execution?”
And I’m curious, what is the life-span of a chicken if it isn’t eaten first?

Mr. Friendly does, indeed, get a stay of execution. As long as he stays as friendly as he is now, I’m willing to keep him around. I’ve tried to TELL the chickens that it’s in their best interest to be friendly (like Frick was) or personable (like Sassy McGee) or too small to eat (like the Featherheads, Rock Star, and Silkies), but they just never listen to me!

According to this page, the average life expectancy for a chicken is 8 years.

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How does the homemade vanilla extract work with using rum and vodka?? Does it have to age so the alcohol content goes away? I am confused.

I believe it has to age so that the flavor of the vanilla bean infuses the alcohol – otherwise you’d just be adding vodka with a touch of rum to your recipes. Vanilla extract – at least the bottle I have in my kitchen cupboard – is 35% alcohol. The only thing that’ll be missing from my homemade vanilla extract (that’s in my commercially made vanilla extract) is corn syrup. (I don’t know why they put corn syrup in vanilla extract…?)

According to this page, Vodka is often mentioned as the ideal liquor for this because its neutral flavor won’t overshadow that of the vanilla.

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Does Jane know you named a chicken after Mr. Friendly?

I totally did not name that chicken after Jane’s ex-husband, I swear it! I was just tired of trying to discuss the chicken with Fred and not having a name for it and “That friendly chicken” or “Our little buddy” wasn’t working for me.

(Although maybe Buddy McGee would have worked. Hmmm…)

But I’ll admit that occasionally I think of Jane when I’m talking about the damn chicken. Obviously I need to just start naming chickens after journalers.

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I liked Cleese’s house tour video on his blog–note the enormous cat tree in front of the window. But why does he apparently keep some of his cats in a large outdoor cage??

That’s an excellent question! I have no idea – it’s certainly a nice big cage with plenty of plants, though, isn’t it?

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When you say Original 12, do you mean THE VERY FIRST chickens you guys started with? How cool!

Yeah, we still have a goodly number of our original 12 chickens – Oscar for one, I think we have most (if not all) of the Buff Orpingtons (the yellow chickens), and probably a Barred Rock or two. Fred knows better than I do which chickens came from where, but I like the fact that there are some original chickens still around. This makes them… (I had to go check my archives. How the hell did I know when stuff happened before I had an online journal, I ask you?) they’ll be two years old in March.

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Your animals are all gorgeous. Have you thought about doing a coffee table-type book to memorialize them and Crooked Acres?

I hadn’t – but Fred’s got a picture of a White-Crested Black Polish (ie, one of the Featherheads) that will be published in a book about chickens that’s coming out next month!

I miss your commentaries on those nutty Housewives (NY and OC). Did you see the OC end of season get together? Wow, now I think they’re ALL evil, except Lori and Lynn. Not sure about Gretchen. As for Lynn, when they call her dumb I think that’s their euphemism for not a heartless bitch like the rest of them.

I did see the OC end of season get-together, and at this point I loathe Tamra so much that it could come out that Gretchen bilked Jeff out of all his money and tossed his kids out on the street, and I’d still like her more than the bitter, evil, bitchy, hypocritical Tamra. GOD.

Also, I laughed out loud when it came out that Jeanna’d been gossiping about Gretchen on the drive to the set. BUSTED!

I don’t even know why they bothered to bring Laurie to the set, it was like “Hi, how ya doin’, how’s Josh, BYE!”

Lynne lives on her own planet.

As far as the NYC ladies – I’m still blind from seeing Simon in his Speedo and he is the creepiest man on this planet. UGH.

(One day, Ramona’s eyes are going to pop right out of her head and go bouncing across the floor!)

Also, Bethenny makes me laugh my ass off with her one-liners! I loved her “Dis-Countess” remark.

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The day before yesterday, it was kind of chilly and rainy out, so I went upstairs and stretched out on my bed and read for a little while. Rumba was in the cat bed at the end of the bed, and every time I spoke to her, she’d purr loudly for a few minutes before quieting back down.

Eventually, Samba jumped up on the bed and nervously settled against my leg as I read.

As generally happens when I lay on the bed and read on chilly, rainy days, I started to get sleepy. I put down the book and rolled over on my side, and I snoozed for ten or fifteen minutes. When I woke up, I found that Samba had crawled up the bed and was curled up against my stomach. And when I began petting her, she rolled around and purred.

This is the first time she’s actually come to me and let me pet her – usually I have to grab her as she’s running by and pick her up, and she just tolerates my petting (and kissing!) her. It was nice to know that deep down in her skittish little heart, she kinda likes the love!

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Samba, running around like a wild thing.

More kitten pics over at Love&Hisses.

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That must be some dream he’s having.

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2008: All that said, I can tell you that, somehow, Paula Deen annoys the fucking shit out of me.
2007: Just call me Betty Homemaker.
2006: I swear to god, I have NO CONTROL over what comes out of my mouth sometimes.
2005: No entry.
2004: Dude, what the fuck? I don’t talk for 20 to 30 minutes on the phone to people I know and LIKE, let alone some strange man from the CDC!
2003: A Day in the Life of Mr. Fancypants.
2002: No entry.
2001: But I kinda like the irritability.
2000: My heart stopped, my jaw dropped, and I whispered “Oh, shiiiiiiiiiiit!”


At Sam’s Club yesterday, I discovered that you can buy a 105-ounce can of tomato sauce for ONE DOLLAR AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS. Given the amount of time and effort expended on the pints of tomato sauce I ended up with, made from tomatoes grown in our own garden, by all rights tomato sauce should cost … Continue reading “10-15-08”

At Sam’s Club yesterday, I discovered that you can buy a 105-ounce can of tomato sauce for ONE DOLLAR AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS.

Given the amount of time and effort expended on the pints of tomato sauce I ended up with, made from tomatoes grown in our own garden, by all rights tomato sauce should cost at LEAST one hundred and seventy-five dollars for 105 ounces.

If I can go to Sam’s and buy that much tomato sauce for that little cash, you can bet your Aunt Fanny that I will NEVER make my own tomato sauce again. EVER. Because my time is valuable (to me, at least) and that is just some bullshit.

I don’t even CARE how those tomatoes were treated, they could have been factory-raised in substandard soil and sprayed with poison that was subsequently only brushed off before processing, they could have been mocked and abused and called names and cried silent tears of terror every night at bedtime and chomped upon by all manner of bugs before they were mercifully slaughtered and put out of their misery, for ONE DOLLAR AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS for a huge-ass can, I am THERE, I am buying that shit.

Which is not to say that I’m not raising tomatoes next year – you bet your ass I am, and I’ll even can them diced or crushed or even whole, but I’m totally not bothering with trying to make my own tomato sauce. My time is valuable, yo!

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So, speaking of Sam’s, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the fact that, ten years after I first got my membership (through Fred’s company, which is where I was working at the time; I still get a membership through his business) I discovered that my membership is a “Gold Key” membership. You’d think that if I have a Gold Key membership that “Gold Key” would be printed somewhere on the card, but apparently not. Apparently any membership attained through a business is considered a Gold Key membership, and you’re just supposed to know that sort of thing.

What are the advantages, you might ask, to a Gold Key membership? So far as I can tell, the one and only advantage is that Gold Key members get extended shopping hours. While the commoners have to wait until 10:00 during the week to shop at Sam’s, we high-and-mighty Gold Keyers get to begin our warehouse shopping at 7:00 if we wish. Take that, unwashed masses!

I mock, but to tell the truth, it’s pretty nice being able to go into Sam’s and shop for what I need before it gets packed and busy with people snatching up the $1.75 cans of tomato sauce and getting in my way. What’s especially nice is knowing that on Thursdays, after I’m done at the pet store, I can run over to Sam’s and get whatever I need, without having to wait until 10:00, like I’ve thought I had to do, all these years.

Sam’s might be the ruination of this nation, but GODDAMN do I love that store.

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Someone asked in my comments whether I’ve checked out the new “Real Housewives” series, this one set in Atlanta. But of course! So far I’ve caught the first episode, and I actually sent an email out about it yesterday that I’m just going to cut and paste here:

Holy COW, I finally watched the Housewives of Atlanta and I just don’t even know where to begin!

NeNe is annoying in that kind of over-the-top shrieky way, but she so didn’t deserve the embarrassment of being kicked out of a party she didn’t belong to!

Sheree is kind of super-intense in a weirdly controlled way. Which is to say that one day, that woman is going to snap, and it’s going to be NASTY. And anyone who is THAT stressed about her birthday party, when she’s supposedly got like five people who are supposed to be in charge of the details is just too much. I mean, I get that she wanted to have a good birthday party, but to apparently have SO much riding on it? What a freak. (I don’t know why she even bothered to invite NeNe, given her utter disdain for the woman!)

I agree that Kim looks a lot like Lori from OC. I suspect that her high-profile boyfriend is probably someone we’ve NEVER heard of and I bet he’s married, too, especially considering the fact that some of her girlfriends have never even met him and don’t know who he is. I like that she was loyal to NeNe and left the party with her, though.

That woman – was it DeShawn? – who hired the “estate manager” to run interference so DeShawn and her husband would never have to deal with the hired help directly just made me roll my eyes. Could you imagine if someone was coming to visit and stay with you, and the ESTATE MANAGER called them and said “Is there anything special you’d like to have available to you?” Hell, I’d be all “Yes, please make sure that I have seven pillows and some extra blankets and also THREE TINY LITTLE FLUFFY PURRING KITTENS, thank you! Also, one million dollars in cash, thanks!”

These houses are just absolutely insane. And the way these women spend money makes me worry for them, I mean it’s their money and all, but I’m thinking “NO, put the thousand-dollar pants back, you don’t need those! The money won’t last forever, girls!”

I love the way the Atlanta wives are just way over the top. I’m going to enjoy watching this show and seeing their crazy drama unfold!!!

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I was sitting on the floor of the kitten room yesterday and I leaned way over to kiss a kitten atop his head (a kitten that was in my lap, by the way!), and I got something that felt very much like a charley horse in my abdomen and I thought I was going to DIE. I had to breathe shallowly and gasp “Ohgod ohgod ohgod” very quietly so I wouldn’t alarm the kittens, and after some breathing and stretching, the muscle let up and I felt perfectly fine.

It sure did hurt like a motherfucker while it lasted, though.

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I broke the monkeys! The boys, at least. When I went into the kitten room yesterday, I’d go over and pet each of them just a little bit, and then I’d go across the room and sit on the floor and talk to them. The girls would just ignore me, but the boys would look at me and meow like “Come back here!” I’d talk and talk to them, then when they’d start to settle down, I’d go back and pet each of them juuuuust a little, just until they were starting to like it, and then off I’d go to the other side of the room.

Lem jumped down off the tree onto the condo (which is right next to the tree) and he hung out next to the condo and eyeballed me and thought about it, but refused to come any closer.

Finally, Delmar was like “FINE!” and jumped down and came over to be petted. After some petting, he and I stretched out on the floor, face-to-face, and he purred and slept a little, and then eventually Lem was like “Hmmm. He seems to be safe over there with her. Maybe I would be safe, too!”, so he came over for petting, though he didn’t stay for long.

My tongue is absolutely in shreds from my biting it so I won’t squeeze them to death. They are SERIOUSLY cute and sweet, these kittens.

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Delmar lay next to me on the floor for a long time yesterday afternoon. I said, “You’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?” and he said “That’s my plan, ma’am.”

(More pictures over at Love & Hisses.)

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Smilin’ Joe.

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2007: if you set foot in Crooked Acres, the law is that you admire not only the And3rson kitties, but also the And3rson fosters.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Pretty beach pictures!
2003: I’m afraid Miz Poo’s reign as Queen Shit may be coming to a close.
2002: Elvis sneer, zits, weird wiry hair. What next, I ask you?
2001: Cheater entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: Fascinating, isn’t it?!


peritoneal lavage*, I got very confused. Turns out I was mixing up theperitoneum and the perineum and couldn’t figure out why they’d need to do THAT. (I did know what “lavage” was, though – washing something out. Just call me Robyn And3rson, GMD**.) 3. That little speech Izzy gave? I’m sorry, no. It was self-serving crap and I think George should have slapped the fuck out of her. The attitude she has toward Callie just annoys the motherfucking fuck out of me and makes her look like a spoiled bitchy bitch and it drives me nuts. NUTS, I SAY. 4. You think after this year lightbulbs are going to pop on over everyone’s head and people are going to start avoiding Meredith in February (see last year re: bomb killing the very hot hot hottie Kyle Chandler (whom I will always think of as the very hot hot hottie Jeff from Homefront, hmmm. Kyle Chandler playing two hot hot hotties. What are the chances? He’s typecast!) bomb guy)? Or will it take one more year? *Upon reading about what exactly a peritoneal lavage entails, I do not believe it was indicated in this instance, and was just Addison throwing around big words trying to impress us. I love Addison, but NOT IMPRESSED, Dr. Montgomery. Step aside and let Dr. Robyn slap some life back into that milquetoast annoyance they call Meredith Grey in this strange TV land of apparently blind men who cannot stop drooling over her for some (“Rescue me! I’m a sad little practically-orphaned waif, adrift in this cold, cruel world, wahhh! Save me! Pity me!”) reason. **Google MD, of course.

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Remember when I was going to make a .wav for y’all of me imitating what Myrtle sounded like when she went into Hellbeast mode? Well, I taped myself imitating her, but I can’t get the camera to let me download what I taped (I need to download drivers or something), so in the meantime, here’s pretty much what she sounded like, courtesy of reader Debbie, who sent me the link. Myrtle maybe didn’t do it for quite so long, but the ferocity and the creepiness (imagine sitting at your desk in a silent house and hearing something like that!) are strikingly similar.
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BobPod continues to hang on, kind of. I tried all the stuff y’all suggested (except for the banging it against something, which I’m saving for the very last thing to try) and nada. When I hook BobPod to the computer, iPod doesn’t “see” him and BobPod just sits there with the Apple logo staring sadly up at me. I think he might be brain dead. I keep hoping he might come back to life on his own, but I don’t see that happening. I guess I’m going to see about taking him to the Apple store and see if they can fix his sorry little ass. Come back to me, BobPod. I NEEEEEEED YOU!
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I left the house a few minutes after 8 yesterday morning and didn’t get back home until almost noon. First I had to drive out almost to the Tennessee border to drop Joe Bob off at the vet. Joe Bob wasn’t thrilled with that, but he did give me the Love Eyes when I stuck my finger in the carrier (more on how I got him INTO the carrier in a minute), so hopefully he’ll forgive me. Then I drove back to Madison to hit the T-Mobile store, because although my cell phone has a camera in it and I can take pictures with it, if I try to email or send the pictures anywhere, I get an error message. I didn’t get the phone from T-Mobile, so I guess there’s something they have to do to make it work? I don’t know. Anyway, I walked in and had to wait and wait and wait until the two salespeople were done doing whatever they were doing, and I gave the one saleswoman my cell phone number, and then she told me they couldn’t do anything without Fred’s authorization, since the account is in his name. And we will be rectifying THAT little situation tout-de-fucking-suite, believe you me. So I left there and went over to Lowe’s to look at their cleaning stuff, because I had hoped there’d be something in the cleaning aisle that would take paint off windows and mirrors with no elbow grease from me. I didn’t find anything that fit the bill, but I did find other things I desperately needed, so I bought ’em. From there, I went to the post office to drop off some packages and pick up the mail, then over to Wal-Mart to do a little looking around. The clothes I’ve been wearing out at the new house to paint and clean in have gotten absolutely coated with paint, and there are holes in the ass of the pants, so I wanted to buy some cheap clothes to replace them. A bunch of winter clothes were on sale for $5, so I ended up with a pair of pants, a snarky t-shirt (“I’ll be nicer if you’ll be smarter”) and a flannel shirt to wear over it for less than $20. Woot! From there I went home, chilled out, and spent most of the rest of the day surfing the web and looking sadly at BobPod. A day well spent, I say.
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So before Joe Bob and I left the house, I naturally needed to get him into the carrier. Joe Bob has himself a very strong go-limp instinct when you grab him by the scruff of the neck, so I knew all I needed to do was grab him and lower him into the carrier. I got up from my desk and went to see where he was. He happened to be walking down the hallway where the cat carrier was sitting (the goddamn things are laying everywhere in this house), so I opened the top of the carrier and turned around to grab him. No fool he, Joe Bob went flying into the living room and hid behind the TV. I used a feather toy to try to coax him out, with no luck, and I tried to lure him out with a laser pointer, and he was not to be lured. Finally, I decided to pull out the big guns, and reeled around the house screeching “Snack Time! Who’s ready for the Snack Time! Snack Time, Boogie!” The cats, who are accustomed to Fred handing out Snack Time, ran in fear from the screeching and were only brought back into the kitchen by the smell of the pouch of treats opening and being dumped onto a plate. The other cats settled in to Snackin’ Time, but Joe Bob was no fool, and he stayed behind the TV until I realized that my hovering above the Snackin’ Time plate was far too obvious, and so I wandered off to get a few tasks done. When I walked back into the kitchen, Joe Bob was bellied up to the Snackin’ Time plate and just starting to eat. I grabbed him up, carried him into the hallway, and put him into the carrier with nary a fight. “But I don’t wanna be in the carrier!” Joe Bob protested, and I lifted up the carrier, speaking soothingly to him as I did so. And then he darted out the front door of the carrier. Because why would it occur to me to check to be sure that the front door was closed? THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE, STUPID. Joe Bob went hauling ass up the stairs, and I stomped and cursed, and then went up after him. Conveniently, he’d run into the master bedroom, so I closed the door and chased him around the room for a few minutes before he went flying into the bathroom to hide in the tub. I shut the bathroom door and chased him back and forth a few times (not easy in a fairly small bathroom, yet somehow we managed it) before he huddled behind the toilet, believing I couldn’t see him, and I grabbed him up and carried him to the carrier. He made one feeble attempt at getting away – he pushed at the carrier with one of his big rabbit-like back feet – but since I had him by the scruff of the neck, I got him in there carrier pretty easily. He didn’t utter a peep on the way to the vet’s office. I guess he didn’t get the Hellbeast gene his sister got.
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I tried to convince Fred that we should flip this house, but he thinks it’s too small. Hmph.
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Smackdown! Spot and the Eyes of Lurve. He’s IN the basket, but he’s not HAPPY about it. Hatin’ you.
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Previously 2006: So, in summary, if we are to judge all female cats by Miz Poo, then male cats are nicer, but female cats are clingier. 2005: Don’t you wish I was responsible for your books? 2004: I WANT TO FUCKING KNOW WHAT HE SAID. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001.: And almost wet my pants in terror. 2000: So, the nausea continues.]]>


Nicole 1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be? Well aside from the fact that I want it to not ring in the first place, I guess I’ll say I want it to be Fred or the spud or Debbie. 2. Do you take compliments well? I try to smile and say “Thank you”, but a lifetime of scoffing at compliments is a hard habit to break. 3. Do you like to ride horses? Unfortunately, I don’t. I wish I was a horse person, because we’ve got enough land for one or two of them, but I’ve just never been into horses. Though when I was a teenager I was, and when we were on a family vacation we went horseback riding where my horse kept walking so close to the horse in front of us that the horse in front of us kicked and his hoof caught my knee. And it fucking hurt. And then later, I was sitting in the saddle and it started going sideways and I’d never really been on a horse before, so I had no idea I could have stood up in the stirrups and put my weight on the other side so the saddle would straighten out, and I fell onto the ground. 4. What was your favorite game as a kid? DOCTOR DEATH AND MISTER ALIVE! It was a dorky game my brothers made up wherein one of them was Dr. Death and the other was Mr. Alive, and if Dr. Death got us we were “dead” and could only come to “life” and rejoin the game if Mr. Alive came along. Or something like that. 5. Can you speak another language? I know very few words in French. Not even enough to carry on a conversation. So, no. 6. What is your favorite children’s book? The Little House series. I saved up my allowance for ages to buy those damn books, and I still have them all. 7. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? I… don’t know. Maybe around Christmas time? Debbie and Brian and my mother picked us up and we went out to lunch. I don’t know if that was at Christmas time or last Summer or just exactly when the hell it was. 8. What are your keys on your key chain for? One to the house, one to the car, one to the PO Box, and one to the new house. I think that’s about it. 9. What’s your favorite color? Yellow, though I have a definite fondness for blue, too. 10. Where is your current pain at? I’m feeling no pain. 11. Do you look like your mom or dad? My Dad, at least according to my mother. 12. What movie do you want to see right now? At this point, I can’t think of a single movie I want to see. Mostly because I don’t know what’s out, I guess. 13. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats? We used to put lotion on Spot (they make a hydrocodone hydrocortisone lotion for animals) because he was overgrooming his stomach and we thought it might be because of an itching issue. 14. What did you do for New Year’s? I… don’t know. Went to bed before midnight, I’m sure. 15. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Not terribly so. 16. What was the cause of your last accident? My incredible clumsiness, I’m sure. 17. What do you buy at the movies? Usually just a bottle of water. I sneak weight watchers candy in with me, and steal some popcorn from whomever’s with me. 18. What do you wear to sleep? Not a damn thing. Unless you count the inevitable cat draped over my hip. 19. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Stephen King grew up across the river and went to my high school. It hosts the Moxie Festival every year. I think that’s about it. 20. Do you use cuss words in other languages? No, but that sounds like something that would be fun to take up. Y’all teach me how to say fuck, shit, and goddamnit in other languages, eh?

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Yesterday after I got home from the pet store, I took a shower and decided it was too goddamned cold in the house to be running the air. Our thermostat is from the ancient ages where you have to have it on either “heat” or “cold”, along with the temperature you want to keep the house at. If you have it on “cold” and the temperature drops to like 55 degrees, you could freeze to death waiting for the heat to come on. That’s how it is at the new house, too, and I’ve decreed that come hell or high water, SOMEONE is going to install a thermostat you can set so that if it goes below 68 the heat will come on, and if it goes above 72 the air will come on. I don’t care if I have to pay a professional, it’s gonna happen in the new house, because this time of year it’s a pain in the ass to always be switching it back and forth between “heat” and “cold”. Anyway, I stopped at looked at the thermostat and saw that the current temperature on the stairs (where the thermostat is located – one of the things I hate about this house is that it doesn’t have separate thermostats for upstairs and downstairs) was 70. I decided I’d turn the dial thingy to 70 and switch it over to heat. I went downstairs, ate breakfast, puttered around, and thought “GodDAMN, why am I still so cold?” I wrote my entry and got colder and colder. When the tip of my nose was about ready to turn blue with how stinkin’ cold I was, I went upstairs to get my slippers. Usually if my feet are warm, the rest of me tends to stay warm, too. On the way up, I stopped and looked at the thermostat. Not only had I NOT set the dial thingy on 70, I’d set it several degrees below 70 AND I’d forgotten to click the thing over to “heat”. No wonder I was so goddamn cold. I set the dial thing to 75 and clicked it over to heat, and was toasty warm for the rest of the day.
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Oh, I forgot to mention my doctor appointment on Friday. As I mentioned, it was with an orthopedic surgeon, about the “possible Osteochondromas” on my hips. The surgeon told me that they were, indeed, Osteochondromas, and that they treated it by doing nothing. Since I was having no pain or symptoms and they weren’t bothering me, it wasn’t necessary to remove them, but I should come back if I started having pain or they started bothering me. He did say that in some cases they could turn cancerous, but the chances of that were slight and if it did happen it wouldn’t be until my 70s or 80s. And since I’ll be dead long before then from (1) PSC, (2) Weight Loss Surgery (3) Heart Murmur or (4) Throat Chewed Open By Crazy Wild Cats, I’m not going to worry too much about it. He did show me where the Osteochondroma on my left side is and the fact that it’s on the left side, not the right, and a lot higher than where I thought it was, probably explains why I couldn’t find it on my own. Duhr.
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“Hahahah! Ha! Ha! Mom, you are SUCH a dork!”   “Hahahahah! Ha! Ha! Mom, you are SO funny!” (Maddy learns the art of sarcasm)   “Bring your hand down here. I won’t bite. Promise!”   More pictures hither.    
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DSC01231 Nothing makes him happier than airin his harbl. * * *
Previously 2005: And I like Nicole Kidman and I loathe Sean Penn and didn’t want to see him rubbing his liver lips all over her. 2004: No entry. 2003: Poor Stanley. All he wants to do it play, and none of the big cats will play with him. 2002: That’s a lot of poop to scoop. 2001: “I don’t like it,” he said haughtily. “It’s not even REAL lemon juice. It’s citric acid!” 2000: Now I just have to decide what to spend it on. 1999: When I got to the top of the stairs I found Tubby huddled there soaking wet, and Mr. Fancypants circling him in a hostile manner. ]]>


reading: A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon. So far, I’m liking it quite a bit, though perhaps not as much as I liked The Curious Incident, etc. Recently finished: my bathroom book (took me two months to read it – you’d think I would have finished it in a couple of weeks at the most, given how much time I spend in there!), Now or Never, by Elizabeth Adler. Not a bad book – easy enough to keep up with if you’re only reading it in short spurts (HA!), anyway. I totally guessed the killer wrong, which is always a plus in my book.

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Two notable conversations took place while we were watching The Amazing Race last night. Conversation 1 On the TV: Father and daughter. Daughter says something. Father says something, then gets all choked up, tears in his eyes. We watch, baffled. And an instant later – before they say anything on TV – I know what the deal is. Me: Oh, she’s gay. Fred: That’s why he’s all choked up? Me: Yeah. On the TV: daughter says “I’m gay.” Me: (Trading a look of disbelief with Fred) Can you imagine EVER caring that much who your child is sleeping with?* Fred: I really can’t. *Of course I want my daughter to be in a relationship with someone who treats her well, isn’t a criminal, and is carrying no communicable diseases. But I flat-out do not care whether that person has a penis or a vagina. Conversation 2 Fred: Do you suppose Muslims have to ask people which way Mecca is? Robyn: I don’t know. Maybe they carry a little compass with them. Will Allah be mad if they intend to face the right way, but mess up? Fred: Maybe. Robyn: “Sa’eed, that’s ONE LESS VIRGIN for you!” “Aww, Allah! I’m already down to 53! I’m going to OWE you virgins if I don’t die soon!” Fred (a few minutes later): Oh Bessie, we’re so dumb! Robyn: Why’s that? Fred: The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. As long as you know that, you can figure out which way is North, South, whatever. Robyn: What about on cloudy days? Fred: You still can tell where the sun is coming from! Robyn: No you can’t, not if it’s behind the clouds. Besides, they’re visiting countries they’ve never been to, they don’t know which side of the hotel the sun usually comes up on in strange countries. And what about at night? Don’t they have to pray at night? Fred: Five times a day. Robyn: Well, there you go. How do they know the right direction if they’re running through the airport when it’s dark outside and it’s time to pray? Fred: I don’t know, Bessie. It’s a mystery. DO NOT READ THIS NEXT LINE IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE AMAZING RACE YET. I guess it’s also a moot point now, eh?
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Saturday morning we left the house early once again, after I’d fed the kitten, and headed up toward Tennessee. A couple of weeks ago Fred mentioned the idea of attending an auction or two, so I found a few upcoming auctions that looked like they might have things we’d be interested in. Specifically, we’re looking for something to put in the master bathroom downstairs (in the new house, I mean) for storage, and something to put in the kitchen, also for storage. We figured, if nothing else, we’d hang around for a while and watch the people. The auction started at 10, and we got there just a few minutes before it started. We’d intended to get there half an hour or more before it started, but left the house late (story of our lives!) and so all the good spots in the shade had been taken before we got there.
DSC01309 Dsc01315 We saw an orb weaver that I thought Fred was going to try to capture and bring home. He estimated it to be about four inches from end to end. It was HUGE.
There ended up not being much that we were interested in, though we hung around for about an hour watching the auction and the people. We sat on a towel in the shade of a beat-up old car for a few minutes, then Fred’s back started hurting, so we headed out. We didn’t want to go home – we’ve really liked going out and doing things on Saturdays these past several weekends – so we headed for Mennonite country, aka Lawrenceburg. The thing about the Mennonites is that they scare me a little. They’re very serious-looking, and they have sometimes difficult to understand accents. It’s funny that I’d be scared of them, since they’re known for being so peaceful, and I’m sure they have plenty of laughter and joy in their lives, but they always seem really grim when we’re dealing with them, like they’d just as happily smack us as look at us. Maybe they think we‘re scary. After driving around and making a couple of stops, we ended up finding a family that sold exactly what we were looking for – rocking chairs. Big sturdy rocking chairs to go on the front porch of the new house, and only $60 plus tax. Naturally we hadn’t brought enough cash with us, so we had to drive out of the Mennonite community and find an ATM, then get back to where the chairs were. We didn’t think both chairs would fit in the back of Fred’s car, and discussed coming back next weekend with his stepfathe’s truck, but I suggested we just give it a try, and after some moving stuff around, Fred managed to make them both fit.
DSC01329 The sheaves. Which I didn’t have to bring in. Dsc01325 Dsc01332 Dsc01338 Dsc01337
We made a few more stops so I could buy some baskets and we could pick up some apple pies and a few other things on the way home, and then stopped to have lunch. We stopped at a little Mexican restaurant, stupidly opted for the buffet (they close down the buffet at 2, and we got there right before 2, so everything was kind of old and dried-up. Like me!) and had some bad (tasting, that is) Mexican food. We finally made it home a little after 4:30, and I ran upstairs to feed the baby while Fred brought everything in. We had talked about going to an auction in Madison that started at 5, decided not to, and then decided we DID want to. So we left the house a little before 5 and got to the auction just a few minutes before it started. There was TONS of furniture there, and we eyeballed a dresser for the spud. This auction was WAY better than the one we’d attended in Tennessee. This auctioneer moved a lot faster than the one in Tennessee, and I quickly learned that if you hesitated just an instant too long, you’d lose out. We were sitting there watching a lamp being auctioned, and suddenly Fred raised his hand to bid on it. “What the hell are you doing?” I said to him, bug-eyed. “Bidding on the lamp,” he said. “That’s a good lamp for $7.50!” He wasn’t willing to pay $10, though, so was outbid. All in all, we got some excellent stuff. A gaming table came up for auction and we decided it would fit perfectly in a certain spot in the new house, so Fred bid on it, and we got it for $110. Then, of course, an even more perfect wall table came up, and we ended up getting that one for $100, too. We were willing to spend up to $250 on the dresser for the spud, a lovely old maple dresser. How much did we get it for? $110. We were absolutely floored at how low some of the furniture was going for. Like I said to Fred, “We are NEVER going into an antique store again!” Some of the stuff was going for less than $100, and there was no doubt in my mind it was going to show up in an antique store for $600 or more. On the other hand, we were amazed at how much some of the stuff was going for – there was a fast and furious bidding war on an old anvil, and we just looked at each other like “Why?” and shook our heads. Fred did get a jigsaw and a router for $10 each, though, which was cool. After we’d spent almost $350, Fred said “We’d better get out of here before we spend any more money!”, so we did. We packed the game table, the saw and router, and the wall table into the car, and decided we’d borrow Fred’s stepfather’s truck on Sunday and come back to get the dresser.
Dsc01334 Wall table. Dsc01335 Game table, closed… Dsc01355 …halfway open… DSC01354 … all the way open. Dsc01353 Spud’s new dresser.
We got going around 9 Sunday morning to go over to Fred’s mom’s to borrow his stepfather’s truck. We got to the auction house, loaded up the dresser, and were home well before 10. I puttered around the house for the better part of the day, while Fred went out and stained the rocking chairs a nice light pecan color.
Dsc01349 Fred’s mom and stepdad have an outside cat. He just showed up outside their back door one day and stayed around, so they make sure he gets fed and stays warm and gets his shots. He stays outside, though, because their house is really too small for another cat. Dsc01344 Bandit, the pampered indoor kitty. Dsc01411
All in all, it was a very, very good weekend. And what’s even better? We close on the new house in less than two weeks! Woohoo!
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Maddy continues to do well. Last Wednesday (the morning after I brought her home), she weighed in at 10 ounces. This morning, she weighed in at 13 ounces. I worry about her not getting enough to eat – for two feedings yesterday she barely drank half a tablespoon of formula at each – but she’s still gaining weight, so apparently she’s getting enough. I think she’s teething – she’s been chewing on stuff a lot lately, and I see tooth nubs in her mouth, but I don’t think any of them have popped through yet. She’s been doing a lot of “exploring” lately, venturing further and further from me, but then if she gets too far from me she gets nervous and runs back. It’s seriously cute. What I saw when I went upstairs to feed Maddy yesterday.         “Oh! Yes! RIGHT THERE!” Maddy loves the belly rubs.     You have no idea how very, very, very much these little claws hurt. I finally went out and bought some work gloves to wear while feeding Maddy, because she digs in so hard with them. Good for her she’s so cute! All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.  
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Yawny reader pet pics!
This is Lola, reader Melinda’s Beagle. Melinda says, This is Lola, my 4 yr old beagle. When I snapped this picture last spring I thought of your yawning kitties so it is only appropriate to share. What a cutie! Almost makes me want a dog. 🙂 Look! It’s a Sugarbutt lookalike! (A Sugalike!) This is reader Leanne’s cat Basil (and that looks like a disapproving Boogalike over there on the left!). I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I love orange kitties, have I? These two are Pita (on the left) and Pepper (the yawner). They belong to Donna, and if you want to see some cute cat pictures, you should check out Donna’s site, ’cause she puts up some really good ones.
Thanks, Melinda, Leanne, and Donna, for sharing. The rest of you, keep ’em coming ’til the end of the month!
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Dsc01438 The price of gas this morning. I wonder if it’s going to get below $2 a gallon before it starts bouncing back up?
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Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: Dirk is a happy, happy man. Dirk is very close to orange. 2002: Instead of finding it cute and amusing, I am, instead, bitter that I’ll never get that 94 minutes of my life back. 2001: (he’s a dumbass, she’s a dumbass, they’re dumbasses, wouldn’t you like to BE a dumbass too?!) 2000: No entry.]]>


Rescue Me. “Lou sure does have pretty eyes,” Fred said. “Don’t you think so?” I looked at the TV. “Yeah, he does.” “No, wait. I didn’t mean Lou. I meant Kenny,” he corrected himself. I looked at him, so he felt the need to elaborate. “I said Lou, but I meant Kenny.” “That’s Lou,” I said. “No, that’s Kenny.” “That’s Lou AND Kenny, babe. “Lou” is short for “Lieutenant.”” “Oh.”

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When we got to the end of season 2 of Rescue Me, I harassed Fred about downloading the available episodes of season 3. Finally, he showed me how to do it on my computer, and I downloaded two episodes a night and burned them to DVD. We’re about halfway through season 3 now, and that thing with Tommy and Janet? UNCOMFORTABLE. Fred was aghast. I know this because he looked at me with a blank face and said, deadpan, “I am aghast.” Janet bugs me, because I feel like the actress had a lot of plastic surgery between seasons 1 and 2. The woman’s face doesn’t move. She’s got the same blank expression no matter how she’s supposed to be feeling. I think our favorite comic relief, though, would have to be Probie and Sean. When those two start talking, they always make us laugh. I’ve liked Denis Leary since his MTV days, and love to go watch the Asshole and Life’s Gonna Suck videos. He’s just really not an attractive man – I think his love scenes in Rescue Me must set the record for number of sex scenes where people are practically fully clothed. And his O face? He looks like a troll, he really does. Also, I think we ALL know the only reason all those women throw themselves at Tommy Gavin is because Denis Leary is the co-creator, producer, and sometimes writer of the show.
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I’ve also been downloading the entire season of Starved, the Eric Schaeffer series that only lasted for seven episodes DAMN IT. BitTorrent ROCKS.
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Fred and I have been talking INCESSANTLY about the new house and came to realize one thing – most of what’s going to need to be done to the inside of the house before we move in will be painting it and changing out the light fixtures. The light fixtures, we do not like. They’re all tin (the woman owner said she found them all online) and though they go well with the house, I find them not at all to my liking. Luckily, Fred and I are in agreement on this. We want to do things like replace the counters in the kitchen and replace the bathroom stuff (especially the tubs and possibly the sinks), but that’s stuff that’s not a priority to us. We’ll do it eventually, but we can live with what’s there for now. We’re going to be hurting a little for storage space in the bathroom, but luckily there’s room behind the bathroom doors where we could put freestanding shelf units (preferably with doors), so hopefully that’ll help out a bit. One thing we could do, I told Fred, is get a vanity to put in the master (mistress!) bedroom, which would cut down on bathroom clutter. When I was in Maine, I sat at the built-in desk in the room where I was staying to blow-dry my hair and put goop on my face, and it was kind of nice to just relax there and do my morning stuff, instead of standing in the bathroom like I do at home, looking around, and stressing out over what needs to be cleaned. Fred went out to the house yesterday morning with the housing inspector, who said that the house is in really good shape for its age. He found a few small things – leaks – that the owners will need to repair before closing, but nothing big. THANK GOD. The phone kept ringing yesterday morning, and I’d look at the clock and panic. Because I wasn’t expecting Fred to call before noon, and every time the phone rang I’d think it was him, ready to sadly tell me “The inspector sunk a knife in the joist and the entire house collapsed!” or something like it that meant we wouldn’t be able to buy the house. But it was never him calling – twice it was the gastroenterologist’s office*, once the physical therapy office, and once Liz – until a little after noon when he called, I saw his number on the caller ID, and answered it with “Tell me the good news!” And he did. Yay! Also, while he was out there, remember how I mentioned in the tour of the new house that the owners had a cat who’d had a litter of kittens they couldn’t find (she’s an outdoors cat, and they left her at the house to help control the mice population. No, I didn’t say “Get that cat fixed, woman!” I WANTED her to sell us the house, not piss her off.)? Well, Fred found them in the garage. They’re still so new their eyes aren’t open yet. kittens2 kittens1 *When the gastroenterologist’s office called the second time, I knew it was them because I had been waiting for them to call me back and tell me when my appointment for the MRCP was scheduled. I was out in the back yard putting peanuts on the fence for the squirrels (can you IMAGINE how many squirrels we’ll be seeing in our yard in the new house? The mind BOGGLES.) when I heard the phone ring. I was way out at the end of the yard, even, which makes it amazing that I heard the phone ring. So I turned and hauled ass toward the house, ran the length of the yard, managed to get to the phone before the end of the fourth ring, AND I wasn’t even out of breath. Go, me!
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I dare you to watch this and not get teary-eyed (in a good way).
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Someone mentioned in the comments to yesterday’s entry that her husband had one shoulder higher than the other, and it turned out to be scoliosis. Which reminds me of my visit to the physical therapist on Tuesday. I saw a new PT – they like to have you see three different therapists, because they all have their own approach to the therapy, and this was the third one I’ve seen, and I like each one better than the one before – and my PT appointments have fallen into a routine where I climb up on the massage table, they work on my back for 20 minutes or half an hour (sometimes even longer), then they show me a new exercise to do. Anyway, during Tuesday’s appointment the PT who was working on my back got called to another office to discuss something with another PT, so she asked yet another PT to work on my back for a few minutes. And this PT – Karen, I think her name was – pointed out that the left side of my back is so stiff and elevated compared to my right side that it was amazing. She suggested to the other PT – Brandy – that it might be a scoliosis issue. They had me stand and bend over to touch my toes, and apparently in that position my back isn’t scoliosis-looking at all, which I guess was a relief. But during the part where they were working on my back, it seriously felt like they were trying to poke their fingers directly through my ribs. It hurt like hell, but in a good way, if that makes sense. By the time they were done with my back, I was yawning constantly, and felt like I needed to go home and take a nap. In fact, I yawned for the rest of the day and slept like a rock that night. I saw Brandy again this morning. She worked on my back for half an hour, and we discussed the fact that I’m not having much back pain at all. We’re cutting down my PT visits to once a week for the time being unless I start having problems again.
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We had yet another fabulous crockpot recipe last night. Of the four crockpot recipes we’ve tried in the past two weeks, all but one have been a big hit. I love it when that happens.
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Last night, we were sitting in the living room watching Rescue Me. “Who was that?” Fred asked after Tommy (Denis Leary) had taken a call. “Janet,” I said. “Who’s that, his cousin’s wife?” I gave him a look. “HIS wife. His cousin’s wife is Sheila.” (Sheila annoys me, by the way, but not as much as she did during season 2.) Let me point out that we’re currently watching season 3 of this show. Two minutes later, he said “Who do you think took it? Lou?” “No, Lou was with the other guys.” “No he wasn’t, he went off after he told them about the p0rn ban, remember?” he pointed to the TV. “That’s Lou, Bessie.” “That’s not Lou, THAT’s Lou.” “That’s Kenny!” he said. “Oh my GOD. Are we REALLY going to have this discussion again?” I said, bugging my eyes out at him. “”Lou” stands for “Lieutenant”, babe! Kenny IS Lou. THAT’s not Lou, that’s Jerry. Also known as “Chief”!” He truly amazes me.
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Dsc00304 Sugs and Boogs, bird-watching. DSC00298 “Bahahaha! You think you’re going to move us to the country and we’re NOT going to bring field mice in every single day? Suckerrrrrrrrrrrr!” DSC00294 Such a rough life. All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither.
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Previously 2005: If I insert a brillo pad into my ear, will it eventually get to my brain and scrub that song out, or is that an urban myth? 2004: You know, I’m getting PRETTY FRICKIN’ TIRED of finding cricket legs all over the damn place. 2003: “Mother,” said the spud, “That is an excellent idea, for I am going to melt into a motherfucking puddle of goo in about 10 seconds.” 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: In the future, the spud will be cleaning her own bedroom, since I took one look at her room and said “Fuck THIS.”]]>