11-15-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

This is the sight I see when I look out the window over my desk. That trash can on its side at the right side of the picture was intended for the cats to hang out in, and they did when we first put it out there. But they decided they don’t like it for some reason, so I think I’m going to put another plastic Rubbermaid container out there in its place. They love to curl up in the house and the Rubbermaid container on days when it’s cold or rainy, and sleep. That metal on the tree is there to prevent them from climbing up into the tree – before it was there, Tommy climbed way up high in the tree, and I had to climb up a ladder to save him. These days, when the cats are feeling wild, they’ll often climb up as far as they can (until they get to the metal, which they can’t get past), and hang there.

On the compost heap, romaine lettuce suddenly popped up. We’ll be having salad with dinner one night soon.

I love it when the chickens stretch their wings.

I also love that I got this hen, hopping down from the coop. How awesome is that? She was like “Oh, is there scratch? I better get down there fast and get me some!”

Then she was like “Outta my way, I need some scratch!” while her sister was all “Wait for me! ::hop::!”

Girl duck. Have I mentioned that I think the girl ducks are so so so pretty?

The boy ducks are, y’know. Meh. Whatever. (Okay, I guess they’re kinda pretty, too.)

First Gracie said ::THLURRP!::

And then George added ::THLURRRRRRRP!::

The Americauna hen said “Stop all that slurping out there, I’m trying to molt! I need to concentrate!”

The Rock Star said “Is someone out there?”


This plane flew overhead, but lest you worry that I might not be safe, be assured that George chased that plane until it left Crooked Acres airspace. Now we can all rest easy.

This ponds needs some bushes around it, is what it needs. It needs LANDSCAPING. Doesn’t it look boring and plain?

George and Gracie test the water.

Gracie takes a dust bath.

I think she’s been spending too much time with the chickens.

Silly pups.

Okay, check out that reddish-gold hen in the middle of the picture. Do you see the LOOK she’s giving the black and white hen?

Those hens are TOTALLY gossiping. “Oh, she thinks she’s so FABULOUS with her black and white pattern and her stupid feathered legs and her fluffy petticoat. She thinks she is ALL THAT. I heard Toasty asked her out and she couldn’t be bothered. She’s a SNOB. I hate her.”

“TRYING to MOLT here, lady. I’d like some PRIVACY if it’s not too MUCH to ASK.”

Poor Cruella. Fred went out to feed the chickens over the weekend, and Cruella walked directly into the side of the coop. So we gave her a haircut (feathercut, to be more precises.) This picture is from before the feathercut. Her head feathers aren’t as fabulous as they were, but she can see where she’s going now.

The Angry Muppet, hanging out in the coop.

And today’s video is of Gracie (and George – but mostly Gracie) racing around on Dirt Mountain. They certainly are some mighty sweet pups. (Fred would like it known that George desperately needed to be brushed, and he was brushed later that day.)

YouTube link

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Polly believes in keepin’ it clean.

If she’s not grooming herself, she’s grooming one of the Weeds or one of her brothers.

She is just the sweetest girl.

“Hey! I’m sweet TOO!”


Snoozin’ in the afternoon sun.

Oh, look. It’s that terrible, horrible, VERY BAD Joe Pickle, acting a fool in the back yard.

Last week we had an appraiser come to the house (we’re refinancing), and the Pickles and the Weeds followed him from room to room, and smacked at his tape measure and sniffed at his boots and wrapped their paws around his ankles. They were complete terrors, but they loved him immediately.

Then they followed him to the door and meowed heartbrokenly at him when he left. It’s too bad they’re so unfriendly, isn’t it?


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Jake seems to have a slight case of the loonies. How unusual for him.


2011: Try to relax, Chuckles.
2010: He is SUCH a happy boy.
2008: No entry.
2007: β€œHALP, I SAY!”
2006: I hope he gets adopted before next Monday, though.
2005: Good thing for him he’s so cute, I suppose.



11-15-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 50 Comments

  1. Poor little Rock Star. I love how Gracie was running around like a silly girl! Such fun.
    My Sidney followed the Comcast guy around so much and got into his tool kit. By the end of it, Comcast guy was calling him and saying to him, “Hey little buddy!”. πŸ™‚

  2. I enjoyed the entire post, as usual, but I laughed out loud when I got to the part about refinancing. Not that refinancing and appraisal is funny, but we started the paperwork for a refinance yesterday. Brian looked at me like my head was on backwards when my first response to hearing we needed another appraisal was “Where the heck will I put all of the kittens?” I hope they send me your appraiser… after all of the kittens at your house, mine will seem almost normal πŸ˜‰

    LOVE those photos of the hens jumping down. I know you’ve answered this question before (at least I *think* you have) but what kind of camera do you use? Mine is just a breath away from dead… flash doesn’t work, picture taking button broke off and I have to stick my finger in the hole to take a picture. I’m going to be taking real photography classes soon, so I’m looking for something between a decent digital and a professional camera (with the thought that I’ll get a professional one if I ever, you know, become a professional).

        • Robyn’s already had a Steel Magnolias themed litter πŸ™‚ it was one of my favorite themes!

        • And I’ve already used Shelby (and we called Eloise “Ouiser” or The Wheeze). I will have to find a way to work it though when I get an all girl litter.

    • It’s a Sony SLT-A55. I use it with a 18-200mm lens most of the time, but I have a longer lens if I need it (I just hate having to switch out the lenses). I also have a smaller, simpler Sony Cybershot DSC-WX9. All of the pictures I took in Myrtle Beach were with the Cybershot (I was very concerned that I might drop the bigger, much more expensive camera in the sand, so I didn’t take it to MB with me), and I also use the smaller camera a lot when I first get little fosters who are prone to climb into my lap, because the bigger camera is hard to deal with when I’m trying to focus on them.

    • I’m curious about that as well. Was Fred out there explaining that no, you guys aren’t animal hoarders and no, kittens aren’t really controllable and yes, he was lucky none of them hurked up a hairball on him?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

        • I can’t wait! Does it involve Fred pinning the responsibility for thelarge number of cats on you?

  3. I think it’s wonderful that you have all that space for George & Gracie to run around in and be the playful pups they are. What I can’t stand is to see a dog tied up…grrr! Dogs just naturally like to run and be playful sometimes!

    • I just don’t get people who get a dog and then leave it tied up all the time. I love watching George and Gracie romp around the back forty. πŸ™‚

      • I think it’s about ownership of a possession more than partnership with an animal or having another member of the family. One of my sisters has a dog who ran away from his previous owners all the time. No mystery why — his previous owners either kept him tied up or in a crate — and he’s a BIG dog (German Shepherd and Rottweiler, the vet figures). They just wanted him as a guard dog, but he never really guarded their home. He just tried to get away from it.

        After he ran away for the umpteenth time, Animal Control told his previous owners that they had to pay for the expenses of catching him and returning him all those umpteen times. They declined to pay. The Animal Control officer, being a smart cookie, offered him to my sister and now that dog is as happy as happy can be. Seriously. His tail never stops wagging. Someone is almost always home (my sister telecommutes some days and her husband works part-time) and he has kids to play with.

        The best part is that he hasn’t run away once since he’s been with his new family and he is an excellent guard dog for them (a great combination of watchful and calm). And I’m serious about his tail never stopping. It’s great to see!

  4. So here’s the setup you need to supply the punchline:
    Rock Star walks into a coop…

    Hahahahaha. I laughed and laughed. Poor Rock Star.

    I love the vid of the Gs. I love dirt mountain and that you kept it for them. They are in heaven. And thank goodness they are there our you could have been attached by the sky monster.

  5. Ummm. Where you trying to gracefully gloss over the lack of pigs this week? For that uh, camp reason?

      • I’m reminded of this…

        Hello muddah, hello faddah
        Here I am at Camp Granada
        Camp is very entertaining
        And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.

        I went hiking with Joe Spivy
        He developed poison ivy
        You remember Leonard Skinner
        He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

        All the counselors hate the waiters
        And the lake has alligators
        And the head coach wants no sissies
        So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.

        How I don’t want this should scare ya
        But my bunkmate has malaria
        You remember Jeffrey Hardy
        They’re about to organize a searching party.

        Take me home, oh muddah, faddah
        Take me home, I hate Granada
        Don’t leave me out in the forest where
        I might get eaten by a bear.
        Take me home I promise I will not make noise
        Or mess the house with other boys.
        Oh please don’t make me stay
        I’ve been here one whole day.

        Dearest faddah, darling muddah,
        How’s my precious little bruddah
        Let me come home, if you miss me
        I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me.

        Wait a minute, it’s stopped hailing.
        Guys are swimming, guys are sailing
        Playing baseball, gee that’s better
        Muddah, faddah kindly disregard this letter.

  6. Thank you Robyn for the great post today. I love Polly and the chickens, dogs, and even the lettuce! Jake is looking especially gorgeous. I think he looniness is just the Russian in him coming out. I’ve said it before but he SOO looks like my cat I had while growing up.

  7. How do you keep the metal wrap on the tree? Great idea for the neighborhood cats and Jack and Percy who are always waiting for the perfect opportunity to get themselves a fine looking birdie!

    • That’s a good question – I don’t remember, and I’m too lazy at the moment to go out there and look. I’ll answer this in tomorrow’s post! πŸ™‚

  8. Awwww racing Gracie and Georgie!!! And Gracie with her paws in the air like she just don’t care!!! Thank you!

    When I was reading about Cruella’s feather cut, I could just see the top of the next photo, and I was horrified that you had completely shorn the poor thing!! Only when I looked closer, and realized that it was an Entirely Different Chicken, did I feel better (and not a little bit dumb, too). πŸ˜›

    So, did that addition of kittens to the house add to its value?? πŸ™‚

    • Oh, it has been a PROCESS with this refinancing, let me tell you. The appraiser initially (at the mortgage broker’s request) did an “exterior” appraisal where he drove by, took pictures, and then went by old documentation to determine the value of the house. When we got the report and pointed out all the inaccuracies (for one, he claimed the house was only one floor. The three bedrooms and full bath on the second floor object to that!), the mortgage broker said he’d have a full appraisal done and pay for the difference. The house grew by 400 square feet and increased quite a bit in value in the second report – but he didn’t mention the kittens. πŸ™‚

      • I wonder why we even need to have the house appraised for our refinance. We just bought the house 15 months ago. It hasn’t changed THAT much. Well, except for the number of cats we house on a daily basis. But I’ll grit my teeth and bear the judgmental dude tromping through cat litter for the numbers we were quoted the other day. He doesn’t have to LIVE here, just come up with the right value.

        • I remember getting my appraisal done 2 years ago. He was in the house for all of about 5 minutes. Spent more time outside. Took pictures of every room I think. Hardly saw any of my 5 cats except probably Cocoa who likes to follow visitors around in hopes of being petted (most oblige except for the DirecTV guys who thought any cat is the Devil’s pet). My worry with my appraisal was not showing the termite damage (they had been gotten under control by then) and a one time leak in the smallest bedroom ceiling. I painted just that ceiling and one coat of pain in the bathroom where we’d repaired the wall from the termites.

  9. I shouldn’t laugh, but I have this vision of Cruella walking into the coop and it keeps making me snicker…

    Love the dogs on dirt mountain. Couldn’t we all use a little bit of that kind of unrestrained joy sometimes??

    You should have stuck a kitten in the appraisers pocket….more than one way to do adoptions. πŸ™‚

  10. I agree, your pond needs landscaping…and a willow tree. I love willow trees by water.

    Have you counted the kittens since the appraiser left?

    I wondered if chickens with the fancy headdresses could see where they are going!

  11. I promise you, if a cat gets up a tree, they can get down. You know Bailey. Several years ago she got up in a tree so high she was above the second level of the house. Ed got out on the roof and put a board across from a branch to the roof. No going. I sat on the patio for AT LEAST three hours and begged and pleaded for her to come down. No going. After those long hours, I HAD to visit the girls room. Guess what?? In the few minutes I was gone, she managed to come down! Brat!

    • Wow, over 3 hours? That’s like watching an entire Lord of the Rings movie, only with fewer elves and more yelling at a cat stuck in a tree.

  12. It’s the adventures of Joe Pickle: Amateur Roof Inspector! “Ma’am, you’re gonna need to re-shingle this whole section. Not cheap work, I’m afraid!”

    Also, Gracie seems to be channeling Charlie Chaplin’s pratfalls as she dust-bathes on dirt mountain. Those flailing legs are hilarious!

    • Actually they are from Japan, but that story is so great! An orange- and blue-eyed cat and her granny friend; so happy together!

      • Matthew, you are correct, and I just came back in to correct my statement. They are in Japan, not China. πŸ™‚

  13. You should get right on that landscaping project. Judging by the amount of fish Fred bought, if you tell him, he will buy you many bushes.

  14. I have to say, even though I’m not particularly fond of anything with feathers, the girl duck has some pretty feathers above her eyes! Very vogue!

  15. I hope whoever Joe Pickle adopts keeps his full name. It suits him. I like the cut of his jib.

  16. I assumed that the dogs were kinda chubby and unfit from laying around and watching the chickies. Man,o man,Gracie proved me wrong!

  17. I just adore Purslane and her grouchy little face! Also — did the appraiser love the kittens as much as they loved him?

  18. I liked the ‘pups testing the water’ photo and then Gracie falls over deaded! Bad, bad water. and the kittens following th4 appraiser around is a most funny visual. not a cat-man then? or surely he would have had to take a kitten or two home…