Category Archives: Pets

Monday: Playing Hooky to Lunch with Friends and a Recipe

Bixby 7 27 15I was hoping to get a picture of Bixby with LFern’s mom, Miyako, who stands all of five foot tall, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do it without endangering her. Bixby was much too happy to see his company. Meanwhile, an out of town visit from anyone’s mom is a good enough excuse to play hooky, go to lunch and follow that up with ice cream. I actually did get some work done today, but there will be a couple of long days to make up for the rest. It was worth it.

summer pasta salad

JeffreyW puts together an easy pasta salad: fresh veggies, cold pasta and tossed with oil and vinegar.

I have a little different version, a Greek Pasta Salad (recipe here) with black olives and feta cheese. Perfect quick dinner on a hot night. That’s the great thing about pasta salads, you can mix it up and create a different meal easily.

We are suppose to cool off a bit later in the week but I’m still thinking I’ll keep the meals light and cool. And cold pasta salads are great for that.

Life with Cats – Who Me? Guilty? Never.

Zander Belly Rubs FinalOnly cats. I awoke last night to a huge crash.

Jake 3 Sept

Bleary-eyed I stumbled out of bed to look for the source. What did I find? My entire desk on the floor. Computer, speakers, keyboard, files.

MK in a Basket

What else did I find? Three cats, casually sprawled across the room. Not one of them looking guilty or in the least worried about the mess on the floor. I still have no idea who did it (I have my suspicions) and no one is going to rat the other out.

Puppy peanutbutter1

That’s cats for you. Bixby would have crated himself and hung his head in shame (for all of 2 minutes, his guilt is short lived).

But cats? Cool and collected no matter the disaster.


Werewolf Cat Made My Day


This little cat made my day.  His name is Atchoum. He has hypertrichosis. Not scary, just adorable.
His hair grows uncontrollably, but that doesn’t stop him from being cute as can be.


Head over to his instagram page to see all his wonderful poses.


Critters Do Crazy Things and a Recipe

Alas I have no pie photos, but I do have Key Lime Bars.

I was shopping the other day and found myself wandering through the cookie aisle. I really wanted something lemon or lime, but couldn’t find anything that fit the craving. Probably because these Key Lime Bars are difficult to beat. They’re simple enough to make and really hit the spot when you want something cold and tart. You can find the recipe here.

I'm in black and white to look classy, how am I doing?

Kitteh update. They are doing well and have grown accustomed to Bixby. Everyone has their own routine with him. Jake (above) has just started to take him on by standing his ground and daring the Beast to invade his space. It took him a while to come out of his shell after Missy died, but the last few weeks he’s more his old self.


I have a vibration plate that I use every day. It sits between the cat tree and a shelf that serves as a cat perch. Jake and Zander have decided the time working out is a good time for a scritch and perch on either side of me. It doesn’t matter that I am actually working out, they make their demands known and woe to me if I ignore them.

One day, I picked Jake up and held him while the plate was on. He clearly liked it. The next day when I plugged the machine in, he jumped up on the plate. Human nature dictated that I must turn the machine on, at it’s lowest setting. I assumed he’d jump right off, but I was wrong. He stood on it and rubbed against the cat tree and thoroughly enjoyed it. It lasted for two minutes and then he was off on his way. Every once in a while, he again jumps on and I turn the machine on. I’ve up the speed a bit…the higher it goes, the smoother the vibration. I now have to limit him to five minutes, because I think he would stay on the full ten minutes if I let him.

Jake  Ahem

I keep thinking I’ll get video, but I’m guessing the moment I pick up the camera, he’d be off and throwing me a dirty look. No patience for paparazzi.

I have all the ingredients for the Jicama Slaw and I’ll put it together tomorrow. Today I made a granita and I’ll post photos and recipe tomorrow. Until then…. TaMara


DSC_0638 (1600x1060)Mmm… thick slab of ham with a fancy redeye gravy.  The home fries were cooked in duck fat and were fantastic.  The gravy was developed for a chicken fried steak dish but I went with it on the ham despite it being maybe over the top because it has diced ham and bacon in it.  It would be fine for biscuits or mashed potatoes.DSC02601 (1600x1200)

Kittehs!  This momma cat and her 10 kittens were abandoned in a parking lot in 95 degree weather.  A good Samaritan brought them in to the shelter before the heat got to them but the mother cat was in some distress.  She’s fine now, or as fine as a busy momma can be with 10 youngsters to feed.20150718_151002[1] (1600x1060)Buns, fresh from the oven and brushed with melted butter.  I’m getting better at shaping these things but it’ll be a while before I can claim real expertise.DSC_0646 (1600x1060)Mojo chicken with a mojo dipping sauce.  It’s a half cup each of sour orange juice and olive oil, with plenty of minced garlic, a couple tablespoons of white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  In the background is a variation on the classic Cuban black beans and rice – I added tomato bits and fresh corn to the beans.IMG_3025 (1600x1200)Mrs J left a cat bed and a few pet cage pads out.  Most of her output goes to St Francis but she offers them around to other local shelters and they are usually happy to have them.DSC_0642 (1600x1060)I keep a jar of refrigerator pickling brine on hand to use up some of the peppers the patio container garden is producing.  Whenever I cut up an onion I toss the excess in with the peppers and it works great as a topping for the occasional hamburger.DSC_5298 (1600x1060)

Bixby Diaries: Awesome Dog

Bixby aren't you done yet 7 17 15I thought I would check in real quick. I’m thirteen months old and life is good. And yes, I am still growing. There were some ruff days there for a while, but now all I seem to hear is, ‘what an awesome dog’, so I must be doing something right.  Walks have been so much fun lately. Everyone stops to talk to my person and pet me. I love me some pets. My person says it’s because I’ve learned not to jump up and overwhelm everyone with my excitement and love. Above you can see the face I make when my person says she has to work another hour before we can walk. She. Works. Too. Much. Play more, work less, that’s my life philosophy.

Bxby pool 6 15

I did get my pool and I love it. Don’t let the photo fool you, I fit in it just fine. And it keeps me from flooding the bathroom, which makes my person much happier.

Bixby 7 17 15a

Scritches are always welcome. I’m not suppose to be on the couch, but my bestest friend LFern was visiting and I just had to sit next to her. How else would she know how much I LOOOOVVE her?

That’s it for now. There’s a fresh beef bone waiting for me and I must get to it (thank’s LFern). See ya later! – Bixby

Paw print


DSC_0623 (1600x1060)We had a nice caprese salad with a burger today for lunch – pearl mozzarella with grape tomatoes and shredded basil with olive oil and a balsamic glaze.DSC_5400 (1600x1060)Our habaneros are starting to ripen.  I have a good crop of jalapenos coming along but none have started to turn red, yet.DSC02562 (1600x1060)This is one of Mrs J’s favorites.  She’s a Maine Coon mix, named Clara Bell, and staff estimate her age to be 2-1/2 years.  Those eyes!DSC_0619 (1600x1060)The King Arthur better buns recipe works great for hoagie rolls!DSC_0616 (1600x1060)This roll isn’t from that batch but it is the same recipe.  Sloppy joes are a family fave.DSC02547 (1600x1060)Moar kitteh!  This is Donald, a 3 month old male, one of a litter of 5.  Mrs J tells me that this is “kitten season” at the shelter.  St Francis’ new building has a room set aside just for kittens.  They spend all day playing outside of their cages:DSC02552 (1600x1060)

DSC_0610 (1600x1060)We don’t eat sammiches all the time.  LOL

Sammich Pr0n – Cheesesteak

DSC_0601 (1600x1060)I really like the flat iron steaks for these, they are so easy to slice into thin strips and are good tasting, tender, and much cheaper than the rib eyes that are a standard for steak sandwiches.  The cheese sauce has Swiss and provolone.  The roll is from my now standard recipe from King Arthur – the dough divided into 6 pieces and shaped into logs.  Bonus Kitteh!DSC02544 (1600x1200)Amelia is a Siamese that has been at the shelter for a while.  This retired gentleman recently lost his 20 year old cat and came to the shelter a couple of times, taking pictures of candidates so his working wife could help him choose.  He came back the other day and took Amelia home with him.  He reports that Amelia has made herself right at home.


PICT9603 (1600x1060)Random wildlife – Ginger checks out a backyard visitor.  This was captured by the backyard camera in a happy accident.  There is a setting on the camera that allows you to space the time between shots and we have it set for 5 minutes, iirc.  That cuts down on the number of pictures it will take if, say, the deer here stays and mills around for a while but it may miss whatever shows up during that hiatus.DSC_0559 (1600x1060)I mentioned the other day that I bought the ingredients for mojo marinade thinking about doing a pork butt for a more authentic Cubano sandwich.  I marinated this one overnight then roasted it low and slow.  It was covered for most of the cooking time but I did take the lid off for the last 30 minutes.DSC_0561 (1600x1060)Here’s the sandwich I had in mind the whole time.  It’s basically a layered assembly of Swiss cheese, pickles, ham, and the mojo pork.  The bun halves are smeared with mustard, the other components assembled, and cooked in a grill press.  These are great tasting sammiches even without the mojo, any roast pork will work fine.DSC_0576 (1600x1060)Mrs J planted some cucumbers in with some clematis where it climbs up a wired in enclosure down on the south side of the house and the vines are starting to produce.  (You can just barely see them in the picture with Ginger and the deer, above.)  We had a couple rounds of the classic cucumber, tomato, and onions with vinegar and oil so we used the last half dozen to put together a refrigerator pickle recipe.  Can’t wait to try them, we’ll give them a week to come together but I’ll bet they get better after that.  DSC02505 (1600x1200)Kitteh!  This is one of several in a litter at the shelter, I have no more info than that, alas.DSC_0570 (1600x1060)Mrs J saw a much earlier photo of roast pork and gravy on egg noodles and she remembered that she really liked it and we haven’t had that in a long time and we do have some roast pork and egg noodles, don’t we?  She who must be obeyed!  The fact that these were slices from the mojo pork butt made no difference.  I simmered the slices in chicken stock with onions, colored it with Kitchen Bouquet, added a bit of beef soup flavoring and thickened it with corn starch.  Not the ideal gravy but it worked well enough!PICT1343 (1600x1060)More random wildlife – a few wild turkeys browsing for insects, I assume.  This camera is on the opposite side of the house and is looking North.  It doesn’t get nearly as much action as the one overlooking the spot where Mrs J scatters corn and sunflower seeds but we see a fair selection of critters.  I understand that they have cameras with wi-fi transmitters built in that can broadcast their captures to a centrally located receiver.  Sounds interesting, we gather the memory cards and view the take via a screen in the house.  From what I’ve seen the wi-fi range isn’t far enough to be all that useful for us.

Happy 4th of July from Bixby and the Gang

Bixby 7 4 15

“Whatcha doing?”

Trying to get a picture of Bixby’s big ole paws….he had other ideas.Bixby paw 7 4This was the best I could do. I have really big hands (I can palm a basketball), his are bigger. Bigger than a few months ago:HandsSurprised me, too. I’ve lost all perspective. People say, what a horse (like I’ve never heard that before) and I think, oh, he’s not that big.  I keep thinking he’s stopped growing…but it’s only slowed.

Bixby 7 4 profile

Those white marks around his face? He decided he was going to do some landscaping in the backyard by trimming the bushes that line the fence. Those are scratches from the thick brush and bites (from what, I don’t really want to know).  Silly boy.


We’ll be missing the fireworks this year. I’m worried about leaving Bixby home alone for his first July 4th. They don’t seem to bother him too much, but for this first one, I think I should be home. Even if it is my absolutely favorite holiday. Have a safe and fun day!

Paw print


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