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Since I’m currently in sweater slogging hell, I thought I’d take this opportunity to give a blog tour of my lovely and cozy abode. But I guess it’s going to be a limited tour, since my camera batteries died before I could take pictures of the whole house. So it’s a er…limited tour. Yes, only select places. I also didn’t actually take any pictures of the sweaters in question, so I will distract you with cute animals.

This is Oscar.


Like all of our kitties, Oscar is a foundling. He’s kind of the blub’s cat, since the blub brought him home. He was driving home one day, on the winding rural roads that lead to our house, when he saw a tiny orange kitten at the side of the road. So he pulled over and threw open the truck door. According to the blub, “He just jumped right in and started purring! I couldn’t just leave him there!”

When Nels got home that day, he came inside and sat next to me on the couch, his eyes Bambi-huge.

“I have a friend I want you to meet,” he said.

“Oh yeah?” I said. (We already had two cats at this point and I wasn’t particularly keen on getting any more.)

“He’s very nice,” Nels said.

I sighed and followed him outside. Inside the pickup was a scrawny dirty kitten, laying on the heating vent and purring like a motorboat in high gear.

The blub’s eyes got even bigger, which I didn’t think was physically possible. Then he said, “Can we keep him? Please?”

How could I say no?

I think Oscar was either abandoned by his mother, or dumped. The latter is sadly common around here–I live between two state parks, and it’s pretty rural and wooded. A lot of people see this as a perfect dumping ground for unwanted animals. Poor things. But Oscar was never weaned. He had a habit of sucking on our fingers when he was a kitten. Even now, he is very fond of licking us. Especially our hands.

licky cat

We don’t really know how old he is, but I think he’s around six. (We’ve had him for about five years, I think.) And he’s gone from scrawny kitten to big fatty. He’s on diet food, but still has a tummy that would make Buddah proud. I don’t mind so much. I feel he’s making up for his undernourished and sad kitten-hood. He’s a very nice kitty, although he’s a bit agressive with foreign cats. He is constantly trying to fight our neighbor’s Big Mean Cat, who’s about three times as big as Oscar. Dummy. But that’s why he’s missing a piece of his ear, as you can kinda see in that first picture. He always purrs when I bandaging him up, though. Weirdo.

Okay, I didn’t mean for this to be the Oscar show. Moving on.

Here’s Kelpie. She’s my kitty.

the kelpers

Nobody puts Baby in a corner

And she has a bit of a cranky disposition. She’s ten. I got her from my landlady when I first moved to Bloomington. They had named her Baby. I quickly changed that to what I thought was a cute name. It turns out a kelpie is a Scottish water fairy, like I first thought. However, it’s actually an evil fairy that takes the shape of a horse and gets unwitting mortals to ride it. Then it runs straight for the nearest river, jumps in, and pulls the rider down to their death. Cute, huh? The blub says this fits. But I think he’s just mad because Kelpie only started letting him pet her last year. What can I say? She’s discerning.

We have a third cat Izzy, but I couldn’t find him before my batteries died. That’s sad, because he is The World’s Best Kitty. He’s cuddly and friendly and cute, and thinks he’s a dog. (He likes to be thumped instead of petted. He also plays fetch and comes when he’s called.) He was my little brother’s cat, but I took him in when Erik moved in with someone allergic to cats. So Izzy went on an airplane from Denver to Chicago. My mom was the one who took him on the plane, and said he only gave a little mew when they pushed back, and another small peep when they took off. And he loves the car. He’s a big sweetie.

Izzy also taught himself how to climb the ladder up to the loft. It’s where we have our bedroom. Izzy likes the bed.

top of the ladder

Seeing him do this makes people say things like “Holy shit!” and other four letter words. It’s pretty amazing. Oscar can do it too. Kelpie’s the only one that can’t.

The blubster and I live in an A-frame, that was built around 1940. It was a hunting cabin for a long time, then some other people bought it and turned it into a house. They put a two-room addition on the back. When the blub bought it (which he did before we were married, or even dating) he gutted the whole thing, and redid most of it himself. (He had help with the wiring, and ripping out part of the ceiling to make the big front room.) The whole place is about 850 square feet. With no closets. And the walls in the front are tilted. This makes decorating difficult.

the tilt of the wall

But see those things on the wall there? I just got those. I’m so excited–they’re stickers with not very sticky adhesive, so they won’t harm the paint. (Not that it matters too much, can you see all the spackle there? Sheesh.) I got them from Photojojo and I heart them.

I can has pictures!

The blub doesn’t like them much, but he can go hang. I’m very excited.

The other side of the A-frame wall has a climbing wall on it.

the wall

The blub put it up. We have a big mat that drops down, so we don’t hurt ourselves when we fall. No, we just hurt ourselves on the wall itself. Since it’s overhanging, it’s pretty hard. I was on there Saturday night and my shoulders are still killing me.

Um, what else? Oh yeah, our house is also wood heated. Sometimes, like when there’s a power outage and everyone is cold but us, this rocks. Other times, like when you’ve been gone all day and all the fire is burned down and it’s freaking freezing in the house, this sucks. It also kind of sucks when it’s really cold outside, because you can’t just turn up the heat. It also also sucks that the house is so dusty all the time from all that wood ash, no matter how often I vacuum. Oh, but it also rocks that we usually pay only about $400 per year to heat our house.

It’s also nice to have a tea warmer.

how I keep my tea warm

No cozies needed! That blue kettle is our humidifier-we keep water in it. Until it turns to steam. Then we put more water in it. Wow! Interesting!

I also made cookies yesterday.

oatmeal raisin clumps

They were supposed to be oatmeal raisin cookies, but they turned out more like oatmeal raisin clumps. They didn’t actually flatten out any when they cooked. I also played around with the ingredients a bit. I’m reading On Food and Cooking right now, particularly the chapter about sugars. It’s really interesting, I highly recommend it. Anyway, I swapped honey for the white sugar and also added some nutmeg and played with the baking powder/baking soda ratio. I guess a bit too much, since they are so poofy. I just think they’re okay, but the blub hearts them. Which is weird because he usually doesn’t like sweets.

Then I found Izzy, but my batteries died. So that’s all you get. Fascinating, no? Maybe next time I’ll actually have pictures of a finished sweater. Pray for me.

Have a nice Monday.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
January 2009