Category Archives: Pets

Bixby Diaries: Too Big

Wanna play tug1

Wanna play tug?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written, but it takes a lot of energy to grow. And there is so much too learn. Like this week, I learned how to unscrew my food “dish” and get the food out faster. My person doesn’t seem as excited about this as I am.


She’s been muttering about having to find some other way to feed me. I don’t know why, this is working for me. (TaMara’s note: Little beast. Now instead of taking 15 minutes to eat, he gobbles it all down. I’m heading to the farm store today to see if I can find something, probably horse related)

Office mate

My office mate.

My days are pretty routine: get up, jump on my person and wake her up, carry the cat litter to the trash, wait for the cats to eat so I can have my breakfast, good game of tug, nap, bug my person while she works, lunch, nice long walk, nap some more, then it’s time for dinner. By 8 pm, I pretty much done.

Action Shot1

Action shot!

My only complaint these days is that all I ever hear is, “Bixby, you’re too big…” usually followed by something I used to be able to do. Sit in laps, take naps with my person on the couch, sit with company on the couch, jump around and tackle my person, run full out when I’m on my leash. Even last week, I found a new friend, a puppy like me, and we were playing and having a great time, then her person said, “I think he’s too big for her” and she left with her. I was a little sad, but then my person threw a stick for me to chase and the world was sunny again.

We did have some excitement last week. Men did the weirdest thing, they climbed up on TOP of the house. People are not suppose to be on top of a house. I was freaked at first, but then my person took me in the bathroom while she showered and I totally forgot about the men on the roof. Because, did you know that water comes out of the wall?? I climbed in the tub with my person (she yelled, but I just ignored her) and put my head under the water. It was the funnest thing ever.

How do I turn this on

How do you turn this thing on?

And then after that, my person said, “well you’re all wet, might as well give you a bath.” Which was even more fun. Then we went outside and all the roofers came down and petted me, so I was fine with them being on the roof. Them being new friends and all. (TaMara’s note: nicest guys and so grateful they took time to meet Bixby, because after that he was completely fine with the whole process, except he was afraid to go outside  when the compressor was running, so potty breaks were a challenge)

Where's my tug toy lady

TaMara’s Note: Above is the face he makes when I take away his tug ball and say “wait” while I snap a photo. He is NOT amused.


Missy would prefer he not get so close

That’s pretty much my life to date. It’s pretty ok, even Emma seems to like me more, but I still can’t win over Missy. I try every morning, though. I don’t give up easily. See you next time. – Bixby

Paw print




B7wWYKwIAAAxe7F.jpg largeI saw this photo at another site and thought right away of TaMara’s new pup.  I have no idea who this is or where it was taken but the scant info that accompanied the picture says that he is a wolf hybrid.  DSC01674This started out as an underexposed picture of a black kitty with interesting eyes.  I played around in a photo editor until there was little left except for the eyes.  I am easily amused.DSC_9759 (1600x1060)I had all those baked chicken thighs left over and a new-to-me pasta shape to try out so this dish made a lot of sense.  The sauce is the chicken in a cheese sauce made with muenster and Parmesan.  The broccoli works well in there, I think.  The pasta is trottole, which means top – the spinning toy, not this side up.  Feel free to correct me if that’s wrong in some way.DSC_5019 (1600x1060)Toby rests up atop the sofa in the front room.  That spot is a fave of all our kittehs, especially when Kitteh Momma (Mrs J) is on it.  There’s room for three or four up there but the practical limit seems to be two.DSC_5012 (1600x1060)Ginger takes his turn.

Bixby Diaries: Seven Months Old

Office Mate1

My office mate. This is my view while I work most days.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Bixby is 7 months old this past week. He’s 101 lbs, 31″ at his shoulders and 40″ from snout to butt. And he’s a big snuggler. He seems to be going through a crisis of size. He gets very upset when he no longer fits places he fit before – on the couch napping with me – there is just not room for two, but he tries and often ends up sleeping ON me. He wants to sit in my lap, even though no matter how he moves and adjusts, he just doesn’t fit. He usually sighs and ends up just putting his head in my lap. But you know what big puppies are great at? Hugs. He’s at the size that when I’m sitting, he can come up and put his head on my shoulder and hug me. Tail wagging the entire time.

Bixby toy box

This is his toy box. He’s sure his bone is at the bottom.

Size is also playing a role in some difficult walks. He has been throwing his weight around and just dares me to try and stop him. This means he ends up walking at ‘heel’ a lot, walking at the full length of the leash is only for puppies who don’t misbehave.

Bixby  Long's Peak

Hard to believe my puppy is so big. He’s handsome, isn’t he?

Though he is not a food motivated dog, apples being the exception, treats are helping with issues on walks. Dried apples, dried beef liver and small dog bones keep him from jumping on strangers or trying to play with every dog we meet. But once he hits his limit for being well behaved, about twenty minutes on a walk, treats have little effect.

For seven months old, though, he has amazing memory and control. And I find I have to remind myself he is ONLY seven months old when the puppy takes hold and he can’t behave. But at 101 lbs, I have little patience for behaviors that can be dangerous – pulling on ice, jumping up when he meets people, and throwing his weight around when he decides he wants to be in control. Changing those are my focus these days.

How do you slow down a rambunctious 7 month old when you want to get some photos? You tie his lead to a fence. I snapped a few nice ones. Click here to view the album.

Bixby Who me

That’s it for this edition. It’s 10 am and 60 degrees right now, so I’m off to play some tug with the puppy. He still lets me win. – TaMara

Paw print

How To Snap a Wild Puppy

Love his ears

Love his ears

How do you slow down a rambunctious 7 month old puppy when you want to get some photos? You tie his lead to a fence in a field of tall grass. It took him a few minutes of bouncing around and then he settled enough for me to get a few good shots. Luckily I have a burst function – I found a few out of the 75 I snapped. Hover on any photo for captions or click on any photo below to start the slideshow.


Pasta and a Sausage

DSC_9727 (1600x1060)I found some unlabeled sausages in the freezer and just assumed they were the store brand Italian sausages that I buy in bulk and repackage for freezing.  Turns out they were bratwurst.  They weren’t any worse for simmering an hour in the sauce but I did miss the nice fennel flavor I was set to enjoy.DSC01479 (1600x1060)Bonus puppeh!  Katie has made a home out of the corner in the library, with a able assist from Mrs J, of course.

Fish Filet with Slaw

DSC_9720 (1600x1060)Mrs J thought it high time we had fried fish so I dug out the last of the frozen cod and thawed it this morning.  I like slaw with my fish sandwiches, this one took most of a head of cabbage, an onion, one green pepper, and a fair sized carrot.  Bobby Flay has a nice creamy slaw dressing recipe I used as a start.  Mine used Splenda in place of the sugar, and I used 4 Tbsps of malt vinegar.  I like ground white pepper for these creamy dressings.  The filets got the standard breading treatment: flour, then egg, then a seasoned corn meal, shake off excess and fry for a short time in at least 1/2 inch of 350 degree oil.  Flip once as it browns and then drain on paper towels.  I used a minor variation of my tried and true recipe for the beans.DSC01632 (1600x1200)Bonus Kitteh!  This is the Maine Coon we first saw at the tail end of last year, still a little woozy at the time from his gender “unassignment” surgery.  He was introduced into the general play group in the kitty house the other day and is fitting right in.  He’s 2 years old,  the previous owner surrendered him to a rescue operation and he came to St Francis from there.


DSC_9673 (1600x1060)I busted the rest of those biscuits out of their can because I was really wanting biscuits and gravy. It’s not the best gravy but I had some leftover from a pork chop dish. I had a few of those homemade Andouille sausages to use up and it seemed a great time to fry a couple of eggs.  The five pepper jelly works great on a hot biscuit.DSC01526 (1600x1200)There was a litter of Great Pyrenees/German Shepherd Dog mixes dropped off the other day at St Francis, this is a female.  She is 6 or 7 weeks old here.DSC_9707 (1600x1060)Cheesesteak!  I tried my hand at baking baguettes the other day but without much success.  This is as close a picture of one as I’m going to post. Let’s just say that 500 degrees for 12 minutes then turn to 400 for 20 minutes more will not be the method in future attempts.  The birds made short work of the rest it.DSC01512 (1600x1200)Here is a brother to the puppy in the picture above.  A little more of the GSD shows in his color.  There are 5 of these and they are all spoken for.DSC_9706 (1600x1060)Tacos!  I like to fry the flour tortillas when I make tacos with them.  Put a 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet and heat it to almost smoking and plop one in.  It will only take a few seconds if the oil is really hot, flip it over for a few more seconds and then lay it on paper towels to drain.  They will tend to puff up but you can press the bubbles down in the pan and after it’s out but be quick and flatten them while they are still hot.  I fold them in half right away, too, so they don’t break.  These have grilled chicken on a smear of refried beans.  I have sliced green peppers, fresh jalapenos, onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, and a hot sauce for a finish.DSC01494 (1600x1200)Moar puppehs!  These are a dachshund/terrier mix and they are just the cutest things.  Aww…  There are 6 total, the others are different colors.  They are 8 weeks old.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Happy 80th, Elvis

Fools Gold SandwichYesterday would have been The King’s 80th birthday. I like Elvis, but I’m young enough that I missed out on the frenzy of all things Elvis. Though, I’ve managed my own six degrees of separation…

My friend has an adorable, sweet story of how he hit on her (she was very much engaged at the time) when she worked on a film with him. She remembers him as a complete gentleman and had a lovely conversation between takes.

I met his step-brother years ago and he also had only wonderful things to say about him, especially when he was just a young boy and Elvis was already an American icon. Family was important.

So how does this get us to the recipe exchange tonight? All over the news last night was the story of how one of his favorite sandwiches was created right here in Denver. It had bacon, so I had to try it.

I’m not well versed in Elvis’ favorite foods. Fried banana sandwiches (recipe here) were about it, but I searched around, turns out there is a whole cookbook of his favorite foods, recipes and links here. Seems to be a lot of bacon involved.

How about you, what unusual things do you like to make into a sandwich? My brothers like peanut butter and dill pickles. I love lettuce, tomato and mayo on whole wheat. What else is on the weekend menu?

Tonight’s featured recipe is my take on Elvis’ favorite Mile High sandwich and you can find the whole story and video here.

Fool’s Gold Sandwich

  • 1 foot-long loaf Italian, French or Sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 16 ounces creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy, because that’s what I liked)
  • 16 ounces grape or blueberry preserves (I used an all fruit style, no added sugar)
  • 1 pound bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the bread in half, length-wise, coat with butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes

While the bread is in the oven, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Hollow out one of the bread halves, fill with an entire jar of peanut butter and an entire jar of preserves. Top with bacon and top with the other half of the loaf. Slice to serve. I have no idea how many this would serve, I made enough for 2 servings instead of the entire recipe.

That’s it for this week. For the pet lovers, here’s some new Bixby, and here and his favorite new treat here.  Next week…I think something chocolate – TaMara


Bixby is Growing

A few photos. They’re not great. It’s not easy to get him to be still enough to get anything good these days. He’s at full tilt most of the day. He tries to be good and not get into too much trouble, but sometimes the puppy just takes over.

Puppy peanutbutter1Best way to occupy a puppy while trying to get some work done? Give him a 32 oz empty peanut butter jar.

What cat toy

What cat toy? I don’t see any cat toy. (Neither do I, since he seems to have eaten it).

Whatcha doing

Whatcha doing? Something fun? Is that an apple? Wanna share?

Tired Bixby

It’s hard being a puppy. And, no, that’s not an optical illusion. He is as long as his crate now.

Paw print


DSC_9654 (1600x1060)Orange chicken is one of our favorites but for whatever reason we don’t do it that often.  I’ve been getting navel oranges at the local Kroger store that are very good, nice and sweet, so I was disappointed when they didn’t have any the last trip we made.  They did have a sack of regular oranges so I bought those.  Alas, they weren’t as good as the navels, a little too acidic for my taste.  Perfect for cooking, though!  I like RasaMalasia for their take on Asian cuisines and that is where this recipe came from.DSC_9646 (1600x1060)I used chicken breast meat for this one but boneless skinless thigh meat would be great.  I’m using a deep cast iron skillet for this batch, keeping an eye on the temperature with a thermometer.  I kept the temps around 350 for this, and added the chicken a piece at a time so it wouldn’t clump together.  Take the pieces out with a slotted spoon as they reach the color you are looking for and drain them on paper towels.DSC_9647 (1600x1060)While the last of the chicken was frying I started the orange sauce in another pan.  Bring it to a simmer and check the taste, add cornstarch in a slurry if it’s too thin.  Keep an eye on the other pan so you don’t overcook those last few chunks.DSC_9648 (1600x1060)When you are ready to serve, dump the chicken into the pan with the sauce…DSC_9649 (1600x1060)…and flip it a bit to coat everything.  I waited until the rice cooker told me the jasmine rice was ready before I took this step.PICT1540 (1600x1060)And now for a different orange… LOL!  The crittercam caught Ginger Boy trying to sneak up on a Cardinal.  I can assure you no birds were harmed during the making of this wildlife cameo.DSC_9634 (1600x1060)Blueberry muffins!  Google told me that a yellow cake mix would work just fine for these, and Mrs J turned out these after getting the specifics from here.  (ProTip:  these are filled just a wee bit too full.)DSC_9637 (1600x1060)I noticed that the recipe didn’t include any information on the yield.  It definitely makes more than eight, a dozen might be the right number.  The crumble topping was good on these.  We give them two thumbs up!


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