Wife, Chicken Mommy, eBay Seller and Walking DIY Disaster

Category Archives: Chicken Babies

Meet Hugo, the latest Millionaire sob story. This little lost sweetheart showed up on our doorstep, cold and starving. I haven’t been able to locate an owner, so it looks like we have kitty number 8.


We seem to have acquired another cat. We waited several days, trying to locate an owner for this little lump of skin and bones we found freezing on the front porch. Now he has been named: Hugo. He’s scared shitless of anything that moves, but drum practice didn’t faze him at all. He’s super cute, but literally skin and bones. I can feel each bone in his body. I’m afraid to rub his fur too hard in case it’s tender to have your bones poking out so.

He’s not the kitty I would have chosen for our last baby, but he must have known which porch was the best. He’s hit the jackpot here. Isn’t he cute? He better be, ’cause we aren’t getting any more kitties for a long, LONG time.


Today is my chicken baby girl’s birthday. She decided on a room makeover. Now, I don’t know how most people go about a room makeover, but I don’t have a few grand to throw at a 14 year old’s room, so we started small. I bought a few thrifted and clearance items to get us started – wall art, an ottoman and a set of letters that spell her name. With those things out of the way, I had to start thinking bigger. It will be up to her to decide on paint, so I didn’t tackle that for her. Instead I DIYed a bedspread.

As we were talking about how she wants her room to look, I directed her to Pinterest for some eye candy. Of course she found an amazing bedspread from Urban Outfitters that was completely and utterly out of the budget. (I didn’t even spend that much on my own bedding!)

Here’s the inspiration bedding:

urban outfitters ruffle

Now, this puppy retails at over $150. Nuh-uh. No way, no how. So I set about to recreate this as best I could with thrifted materials. I knew that I would have to buy yards and yards of fabric, which wasn’t in the budget either, so I went a hunting for a blanket and sheets that I could dye. My girl asked for charcoal gray. Baby I tried my best, but apparently my fabric dying skills aren’t up to snuff.



Turns out that when you want dark gray or black fabric from white fabric, you don’t actually use black dye. I got a gorgeous purple. Three times. Then I started adding other color dye to see what I could come up with. Long story short, I ended up with a slightly green tinted gray! Success! (sort of!) The blanket and one sheet were the same color, and the other sheet came out light gray. And not a nice matchy combo. So, I ditched the light gray sheet in favor of coordinating the ruffles and blanket.

I bought a gathering foot for my machine and ruffled the heck outta those ripped strips! For a bit of interest, I added a trim of grosgrain ribbon to separate the ruffles from the rest of the blanket, and with the left over sheeting, made a pillowcase with ribbon trim! She likes it!

Here’s my handiwork, with some improvisation thrown in. It’s not a copy, but I kind of like that it isn’t exactly like what we could buy in a store.



We’ve got some work ahead of us, but I think we are off to a great bedroom makeover start! Stay tuned for more progress.

Just phoning it in today to say how little there is going on around these parts. School is back in session, people are sick, Ski club started for the middle school, the cats are cute as hell and I’m still pinning more quilts than I will ever make or need in 4 lifetimes.

Being sick has been nice in regards to my current quilt project though. It’s a lot more relaxing to hand sew when you don’t feel like moving more than a foot or two from the bed or couch. I’ve wrapped up a book or two. My new coloring book and markers arrived so I have even managed to color. Aside from that being sick sucks. I can’t breathe well and my head hurts. Somebody call the wahmbulance.


Also, LuLu is getting too fat for the tower. My sweet fat bottomed girl.


After his brief nap under the tree, Captain decided to investigate further.


We have 7 cats. SEVEN. CATS. That means seven times the love and seven times the poop. It also means seven times the territorial disputes and night crazies. I would not trade any of my kitties, but hoo-boy I would trade the spraying, scratching and litter duty.

The lovelies at Ceva generously provided me with full size samples of their pet products Feliway and Adaptil. Feliway is for cats, Adaptil for dogs. (Since I don’t have any dogs, I gave the samples of Adaptil to my mom and a friend to try out on their dogs.) Have you heard of Feliway? Well, pull up a chair because I am about to tell y’all about it. It’s my new favorite product to help deal with behavioral and territorial issues at my cat farm (as my house is lovingly referred to by a family friend.) Feliway comes in a plug in diffuser and a spray that can be applied to specific places to ward off scratching or marking. For the last few months, we have used the diffusers in combination with the spray. Can I just say AMEN!

Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.

By mimicking the cat’s natural facial pheromones, Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment.

As a result, Feliway can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation and help prevent or reduce the stress caused by a change in their environment.


And just what does that mean in a house with seven cats? It means that Kitty Cat, the oldest most jealous kitty doesn’t hiss and fuss at the youngers as much. It means that Gus, the one who sits by the door and cries to go out ALL.DAY.LONG can be redirected to play or come away from the door. It means that LuLu the fat bottom girl who is averse to anything that doesn’t involve food doesn’t mind being held so much, that Miss Ellen (or the BeeBee as  we like to call her) only hides under the bed 12 hours a day instead of 23. Feliway in my house means that Phineas and Tag, who are about the most chilled out cats I have ever met, remain chill even when Kitty Cat is being a jerk. And it means that when we brought home the 4 week old abandoned kitten, Captain, the big boys didn’t feel the need to eat him*

We have less territory marking, less torn up furniture, less hissing and posturing. Calmer kitties mean I am calmer and that our family enjoys our pets even that much more. In short Feliway has been a game changer for us. It has been studied and proven to reduce stress in cats! (As for the Adaptil, my mother and friend report the same calming with their dogs.)

Lucky for you, my lovelies, I have prizes to give away! I took all my willpower not to keep these for myself because I am SO in love with this product. Two (2) winners will each receive a bottle of spray and two (2) single-use comfort wipes, and two (2) winners will each receive 2 single-use comfort wipes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the sad, sad, event that you don’t win one of the prizes, Feliway can be found at places like PetCo, PetSmart and local veterinarians.

The full scoop: I was not compensated for this post. CEVA graciously provided samples to me and I will host the giveaway from the products I was provided. Postage is at my own expense. My cats like Feliway. It’s worth every penny!

The Millionaire and I have been cussing and discussing the idea of starting some home improvement projects for quite some time now. I, for one, am positively giddy because I hate almost everything about this place. (Marriage tip no. 483,469,921: don’t buy a house your partner hates) Our house has lots of potential, but unless we make some changes it is never going to be awesome. After living here with only minor changes in paint colors for over two years, today we took the plunge – we ripped out the carpet in our main floor living room. We pulled staples and tack strip and kicked it all to the curb. yes we did. Buh-bye ugly Berber textured carpet! Hello DIY plywood floors. (Thanks be to the Pinterest gods for the ideas and inspiration)

I give you before shots! And a perplexed KittyCat!









Every year as a family we typically adopt a family. This year’s finances have been pretty tight, so we aren’t sure if we can swing it. Instead of giving up totally on the idea of helping someone in need, we’ve offered some help to a family friend. Still, it didn’t quite feel comparable to what we’ve been able to do in the past. Watching the news coverage of hurricane Sandy wrenched my heart. Until this past weekend I’d never been to New York City, so I only knew what it was like from stories, movies and tv. The scenes from Sandy coverage of the flooding just took my breath away. How do you watch an immense tunnel fill with water? How do you watch you car float away into a river? How do you see your warehouse full of records all but washed away?

When I read that Brooklyn based Norton Records lost their Red Hook warehouse, I immediately began to form a plan. The Millionaire has been traveling to the Philadelphia area for his work with a client over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend for the past several years. We’ve been fortunate enough that the small bonus he receives to travel over the holiday covers the expense of taking the rest of the family along. We had tossed the idea of a side trip to NYC the last 2 years, and this year decided to go come hell or high water. Then, I happened to see a call for volunteers from Billy Miller, one of the owners of Norton Records, and the details of my plan fell into place.

Anyone who knows anything about me and the Millionaire knows that we love music. We met via the Goner Records message board, no less. Our love of music has translated into a love of sharing that music, and the accompanying love of vinyl with the Millioniare’s kids. We have made a point to expose them to the music we love, the records we love and the artists we love. When possible, the kids go to shows and meet our friends and favorite bands. When I proposed helping Norton out during our side trip, the Millionaire didn’t even bat an eye. The plan was complete!

Sunday afternoon after a day of walking the streets of Manhattan, craning our necks to see the tallest buildings we’ve ever seen and grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor, we set off for Brooklyn. We fortified ourselves with what each member of the family unanimously agreed was the best pizza any of us has ever tasted: Brooklyn’s Grimaldi’s Pizza. With bellies full of pizza and excitement, we took off for Brooklyn Bowl, the bowling alley that donated the space for the wash-a-thon.

Billy and Miriam couldn’t have been more gracious and patient as they showed us what needed to be done. Rows of tables were set up with record washers provided by Discwasher of Pittsburgh, cleaning solution and rolls and rolls of paper towels. And records. Oh, the records. Stacked in tilted, soggy piles, some over waist high. One entire table was dedicated to tearing off the flood-soaked sleeves, while the rest of the tables were reserved for cleaning and drying and a final staging area full of fans to dry the labels. It made my heart hurt to see all those records, and know it was a matter of time before some were too far gone to save. Needless to say, we worked feverishly to clean and dry as many records as we could, knowing we only had a few hours before we had to leave the city.

I am so very proud of my chicken babies for their uncomplaining hard work. They could plainly see all around them the variety of folks that came out to help. Not only that, with the great DJs from WFMU that donated their time, the kids had an experience of listening to a great assortment of tunes that had us clapping, swaying and shaking right along. One of my most valuable life lessons has been the opportunity to learn how to have fun while I work. This weekend, my chicken babies had that opportunity as well. In the end the Millionaire family cleaned and dried 8 stacks of records. Each stack, a different run of a single title. Some were bigger than others, but we cleaned our hearts out. Our small reward was the visible gratitude from two of our record lovin idols, Billy Miller and Miriam Linna. That’s the best souvenir I can imagine.



Whoopie pies for breakfast, that’s why. While I wish the millionaire could go have tourist fun with us, the kids and I are still having a blast. We started our day at the Reading Terminal Market: the Flying Monkey whoopie pies and butter cake, almond croissant and breakfast club on a bagel. The boy wet with hot chocolate while the girls had yummy Italian sodas. After a quick trip to the Center for Architecture where we all drooled over cool souvenirs, we checked out the Fabric Museum gift shop (museum wasn’t open.) After a short rest we walked to the Betsy Ross house because the kids had never heard of her. *headdesk*

Of course since we were so close by, we just had to have a cheesesteak at Campo’s, a Mt. Vesuvius at Franklin Fountain, and delicious candies at Shane’s Confectionary (a treat I’ve been waiting for for an entire year! They opened a few days after I left Philly last year!)

I love traveling with the kids. As much wonder and excitement as I get out of traveling, it’s even that much more rewarding to see the same sights through their eyes. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I know it will be fun!






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