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On one of the cards I got when I went to the post office yesterday, Yunlin asked a question that maybe not everyone who reads here knows the answer to: why do we call it Crooked Acres?

It’s a pretty simple answer, actually. This house is 81 years old, and over time, the house has settled, and everything isn’t as square as it was when it was built. It was while we were renovating the house (we spent seven months renovating the house before we moved in, and wasn’t THAT a lot of fun!) that I realized just how crooked some areas of the house are, and I said in frustration “God, everything in this house is crooked. Even the property line isn’t straight! Everything is crooked!”

A minute later, I said “Crooked Acres! That’s what I’m calling this place!”, and it’s stuck ever since.

(If you’re interested, you can see a room by room comparison of the house, before and after, here. The majority of the renovation consisted of painting, putting up molding around the ceilings, and having the floors done.)

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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We haven’t decorated for Christmas in three or four years – at least, not in the house, I decorated the front porch a couple of years ago – but I really love Christmas lights, and so this year I bought a small tree to hang on the wall! I need to do something about hiding the cords, and the tree is shaped oddly (needs to be floofed, I think), but walking down the hallway and seeing the reflection of the tree lights in the picture hanging near the front door makes me happy.

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Catie made a set of these, and I love them.

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I was stumped for a tree topper, didn’t like any of the ones in the store, and then I was looking through my ornaments and found this. Cat angel – please, is there anything more perfect for us?

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This is my hands-down favorite ornament of all. I think I bought about 10 of them, several years ago.

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Santa-hat bumblebee.

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Another fisherman-with-lobster ornament.

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Made by a reader. Aren’t they adorable?

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That’s right, a nativity in my house, and lightning did not strike me dead!

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I love this floppy-legged cow. I’m actually not quite sure why it’s considered a Christmas decoration, except that I bought it at Christmas time, and it’s wearing a bright red sweater, so there you go.

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I know these are cheesy, but I just love to turn them on at bedtime and lay and watch the lights change. Don’t judge me.

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Cardinal with a mouth full of seeds.

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Tufted Titmouse.

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Tufted Titmouse and… Sparrow, maybe?

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Sparrows, perhaps.

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Angry Muppet is annoyed. You’d know that if you could see her face.

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The rooster with, as someone so aptly termed it yesterday, the feather leggings. We have other feather-legged chickens, but this guy’s legs are especially feathered.

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The head rooster, on his way to do something important, apparently.

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Chickens love pasta.

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Head rooster, keeping an eye on Angry Muppet.

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Chickens are good for taking care of the leftover junk food.

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Panoramic shot of the chickens.

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Zombie hen is purty (as Mary Ellen pointed out, Zombie hen wants graaaaaaaains. Graaaaaains.)

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According to Fred, this is a kestrel. Whatever it is, he was eyeballing the chickens. Edited to add: apparently it’s a Red-tailed Hawk (thanks, Nevermind!)

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(It wasn’t as low as it looks in this picture. I had the long lens aimed at it.)

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No chickens for you, Mister Kestrel Red-tailed Hawk!

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We put straw in and around the cat house in the back yard. The cats weren’t sure what they thought about it at first, but if you look closely, you’ll see Tom Cullen’s green eyes peering out from the back of the cat house.

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OldCat has an interesting post up about tails, go check it out here.

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Finally, a shot of all four of them! That’s Clay in the front, and of course y’all know the gorgeous Jax. Next to Jax is Opie, and in the scratcher is Tig.

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I don’t know what’s going on over there, but Opie clearly finds it interesting.

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Tig gives us his smoldering look.

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The gorgeous Jax with water on his chin.

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Opie (front) and Tig (glaring in the background).

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His eyes have mostly changed, but I love that you can still see just a bit of blue around the edges.

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Joe Bob is a shoe hoarder, obviously.

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“What? I’ve got four feet. I need a lot of shoes!”


2010: “My nose is dirty and I DON’T LIKE IT.”
2009: If that look on her face doesn’t say “smug”, I don’t know what does.
2008: I suppose I can live with being woken up at 4 in the morning, stumbling to the door, and opening it to let them out into the house.
2007: No entry.
2006: Last night, I had every kitten but Merry asleep in my lap
2005: No entry.



12-15-11 — 20 Comments

  1. Your cat ornaments are adorable, especially the smiling ginger one!

    Rebus received his card yesterday and sniffed every square millimetre of it. I think it means he appreciates it… 🙂 Thank you!

  2. I love that you have a bird called a Tufted Titmouse,I love seeing tits on the nuts in my feeder, but we only have blue,great and long tailed.The Cardinals are so red too, very colourfull.
    Your hens are lovely and so are your comments but today I just want a kitty angel on my tree!!!!!

  3. I’m sorry but are you crazy putting up all of that stuff with so many cats? Do you ever see them coming into a room, look at that stuff and think “that’ll be in pieces by nightfall.”

    • So far they’re leaving it alone – and nothing on the tree is breakable, so if someone decides to climb it, at least I won’t find shattered ornaments everywhere. Momma needs her Christmas lights!! (They also can’t get to the shelf where the globes are.)

  4. I love your Christmas decorations! I bet you could do a whole cat tree, just using ornaments that looked like each of the permanent residents. I’m lucky that Jinx and Trixie usually leave my decorations alone, though I’m still using the non-breakable balls on the big tree this year. Jinx had discovered, though, that if he starts batting at the small tree in my bedroom in the morning, he will get me out of bed. What he hasn’t learned is that if it’s 5:30am, the only reason I’m getting out of bed is to throw his butt (and Trixie’s) out of the room! 😉

  5. Many thanks for giving me my Joe Bob fix, Robyn — hail, well-shod sir! And re the possible sparrow: in his wonderful memoir “How to Be a (Bad) Birdwatcher,” Simon Barnes the birders’ all-purpose phrase “LBJ” — “little brown job.”

  6. I loved seeing the before and after pictures of your house. The front is wonderful – I’ve always dreamed of living in a bungalow with that type of front porch. Makes me want to just sit out there all day in a rocking chair or a porch swing or a hammock.

  7. I love your tree. I have a tree that goes on the wall too. I bought it many years ago after a horrible incident of my 8 month old kitten eating a piece of garland, and had to have it surgicaly removed. I first started hanging a small tree from the ceiling, then I found the wall tree. It is the best. Ever since I have been putting the tree on the wall my cats have not bothered with it. It is perfect for any one with animals or even small children. Your ornaments are fantastic.

    PS I received your Christmas postcard. Thank you, I love it !

  8. I also love the before-and-after shots of Crooked Acres. You and Fred have done quite a bit of work quite nicely! Now, how about fixing up the garage so we can all visit and stay out there without bothering you too much?!

    Also, I love the panoramic shot of the chickens. Especially since the speckled grey hen to the left has two heads!! And another speckled grey one – along with a brown one – in the middle have had their heads choped off and not re-attached correctly. Gotta love panoramic shots! 🙂

    Thanks for yet another wonderful post. I’m breathlessly awaiting the arrival of my holiday postcard since they are getting rave reviews! Thanks in advance!


    • Hey, if you want to come stay in Brown Recluse Central (they’re everywhere in the garage!), you are more than welcome. 🙂

      What, have I never told y’all about our two-headed chicken?? (Ha, I expect that if we had a two-headed chicken, she’d get her own day of pictures every week!) Those goofy chickens just refuse to stand still. So rude!

        • Yeah, we’ve got sticky traps out there, and all through the house. The very first one we found was in the house – in the LITTER BOX. And I actually got bitten by one in the armpit over the summer (I was carrying feed bags out to the garden and annoyed a sleeping Recluse), but luckily didn’t rot away. There are way more in the garage than we’ve found in the house, though, thank god.

          • Is there anyway to banish the lot of them? Turn on some lights out there or something. They really creep me out!!!

            Love all the pictures…really love the most feather-legged chicken! LOL

  9. It totally cracks me up to see the ducks and chickens marching about on their Very Important Business… 🙂

    Also, I am besotted with the new kitten crew!! Any purrs from the Sons yet?

    • Yes, lots of purrs! They’re still a bit nervous when I walk into the room, but once I sit down they gather around to be petted. This afternoon, Clay actually climbed into my lap. 🙂

  10. Tree on the wall is a great idea. I shall have to remember to shop after the holidays. We just ran lights across the catwalk (yes, they still use it and, yes, they leave the lights alone), wrapped the lights down around the kitteh spiral stair case, plugged ’em in and called it a day.

  11. Eeuu, we don’t have brown recluse spiders (lucky us) but we do have lots of others. i know there are trap door spiders and tarantulas and even funnel webs but luckily i’ve not seen the last varierty – phew! The boys like to munch on the trap door spiders…eerrgh! I like the before and after photos. and the wall xmas tree, may have to see if i can track one of those down. and those wittle kittens should be squished daily, helps acclimatise them to humans…honest…:)