Category Archives: Pets


DSC_9577 [1600x1060]Mmm… posole with a few garnishes with quesadillas.  The dish is similar in spirit to the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.  I made a huge batch of posole a few months ago and pressure canned several quarts of it to put back for quick dinners.  I think there are six quarts left.  The quesadillas are beef, cheese, and bean.DSC01284 [1600x1060]Mrs J spotted Miss Bea  down in the yard trying to decide if the deer was a threat.  She decided the answer was no and proceeded to ignore it.  She treats me the exact same way.DSC_9564 [1600x1060]We had chili one day this week,  I used some ground beef and threw in some chorizo meatloaf that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and had frozen.  Worked better as chili than as a meatloaf.DSC_9567 (1600x1060)There was enough chili left over to make a few chili dogs.  These are garnished with chopped pickled jalapeno, fresh onions, and shredded cheese.  The dogs are actually smoked sausages that claim to incorporate Vidalia onions in the recipe.  I didn’t notice any particular onion-y taste but the natural casings did have a nice snap to them.DSC01348 [1600x1060]This little pup took a few seconds off from the towel fight to pose for a picture.  All the new arrivals get a flea bath whether they like it or not.DSC_9556 (1600x1060)Hard to beat a nice steak.  I boiled the potatoes first and then squashed them a bit before frying them in duck fat and olive oil.  Tasty little things with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper!  The veggies were stir fried in a little stock with a dab of soy, and a spoon of chili garlic paste.DSC01310 [1600x1060]One more puppeh!  I think he likes her!DSC_9560 (1600x1060)I’ll wind this up with an enchilada platter.  These are beef, bean, and cheese rolled in corn tortillas and are baked with a roasted red pepper sauce.  The corn salad with black beans was pretty good, it has chopped celery, onions, red and green peppers, garlic, and is dressed with a seasoned rice vinegar/garlic oil vinaigrette.

This Is What’s Been Going On At My House

See what I have to put up with

Every. Night.


And she is unrepentant.

Paw print

Bixby Diaries: I’m 6 Months Old

Bixby 12 15 14 a

I turned 6 months old on Friday. My person says I’m getting to be such a mature puppy. Some days I agree, but some days I just want to run around like a crazy thing. I do try and listen to her cues, which got me lots of praise the other day when a little terrier mix got all up in my business. When I couldn’t make friends, I lay down at my person’s feet and waited until the fuss was over. My person was pleased and that little terrier’s person was impressed.

It really wasn’t his fault, he’d had a rough life to date, but it looks like he has a great person now. I bet next time I meet him on a walk we’ll be best of friends.

On another walk with my person and my best playmate LFern, we met a man who I liked right away. He just had something about him that made me want to meet him. Turns out he works with all kinds of dogs. Trains them to do something called search and rescue. All I know, as he talked to me and watched what I could as we all walked around the park, those dogs must have lots of fun. He told my person I was very smart and had a good nose. Then he gave her a couple of games to play with me. (TaMara’s note: This was a very nice man visiting Colorado to see family. He was really taken with Bixby and watched me work with him and really thought he had a lot of potential. We’ve been having fun with the games)

One of the games my person calls, find. She gets me a treat and puts it under a yogurt container and puts two or three other yogurt containers on the floor and tells me to find the treat. Which is easy, but I have more fun stacking the cups together. Then I eat the treat. (TaMara’s note: It’s hysterical and I’ll try and get video. He stacks them very neatly together and then eats his treat)

Bixby 12 15 14 b

I had a great playdate with Tater again this weekend and later this week I get to meet my new friend, Talos, a big mastiff. He’s had a rough couple of weeks, but he’s safe now with a good person, so I’m very happy for him. (TaMara’s note: I’ll have more on his story and photos by the weekend).

Can I tell you about the cats? I’ve been doing my best to make friends with them (TaMara’s note: well, that’s debatable) but lately they’ve been very mean to me. Two of my favorite people, Larilyn and Alton (not that one) gave me a new bed for my crate. It’s big and fluffy, so big and fluffy I kept falling off of it, onto the floor, the first time I tried to sleep on it. (TaMara’s note: that was funny!) Now every time I want to sleep on it, there a stupid cat on it and I can’t sleep on it because they hiss at me.

Bixby 12 15 14 c

And the other day, Missy and Emma were both swatting and hissing at me and all I was doing was standing next to the table. I don’t know what to do to make them happy. (TaMara’s note: they have been terribly mean to him lately and I’m working on trying to mediate…)

That’s it for it for now. My person says as soon as I hit 100 lbs (I’m 85 lbs now) we’ll celebrate somehow. I’m hoping it’s a picture of the two of us together. I love her  – Bixby

Love you, too, big guy. <3

Paw print


DSC_9526 [1600x1060]We have a couple of freezers jammed full of items that may not be labeled with all the info you might wish for but usually enough if you have a good memory.  I pulled one crusted zip lock bag with “brisket” scribbled on it and the sammich here is what came of a portion of it.  I smoked a brisket some time ago and this is part of that, there may be more – I dunno.  It made a decent lunch.  On top is some ancient giardiniera that I added some olives to because of reasons.  The sauce is a new to me item from Texas Pete they are calling sriracha-cha.  Works for me.DSC01302 (1600x1200)And a puppy!  I have no info at all on this one, nor the ones to follow in this post.  I ordered a battery powered LED light so Mrs J could have a portable source she could use while at the shelter.  I mounted it on a tiny tripod meant for tabletop photography but it can be easily hand held.  Results so far are encouraging.DSC_9530 [1600x1060]I used some of that duck fat to roast these potatoes, they were pretty good but I’m sure I’ll do better the next time.  The chicken was fried in some of it as well.  The breast came pre-sliced to about 1/4″, I dusted it with seasoned flour and plopped it directly into the hot fat.  I parboiled the potatoes, then tossed them with the duck fat, rosemary, and kosher salt and roasted them on a tray in the oven.  They needed more time to brown but everything else was ready to go so I went with them as they were.DSC01301 (1600x1200)Moar puppeh!  I think the new light is bright enough to bounce off the ceiling there at the shelter.  It does have a frosted plastic diffuser mounted to soften the light, and it can be dialed down if needed.DSC_9541 [1600x1060]Mmm… brisket and egg burritos from this morning.  The last of the thawed brisket with scrambled eggs and cheese.  I like that new sauce, it has more of a cooked taste compared to basic sriracha – the brand with the rooster on the label.DSC01293 (1600x1200)One last puppy to wind this post up.  Remember to look at the shelter’s Facebook page for more info on adoptable pets and (hint hint) contribution links.


DSC_9518 (1600x1060)Don’t ever ask me what my favorite meat is when I’m eating a nice juicy cheeseburger but at most any other time I’ll answer that with a “hmm… chicken, I guess”.  These are chicken enchiladas with jack cheese in a tomatillo sauce.  Yummy!DSC_9519 (1600x1060)I made some beans to go with them, and added a daub each of guacamole and sour cream.  I like the chips for the crunch they add.DSC_9508 (1600x1060)I ordered in a bucket of duck fat after a search turned up a source that wasn’t asking an arm and a leg for it.  I have the tub broken down into smaller containers and most of it is frozen save for about a half pound in the fridge.  I read all kinds of good things about it and am really looking forward to some turkey leg confit.  I did use a spoonful of it when I browned these thighs and really got a nice color on them.  I braised the thighs in stock and squeezed in the juice of a lemon and added capers at the finish to make a nice lemon sauce.  It was good on the steamed broccoli, too.DSC_9506 (1600x1060)The rice is a box mix that works well for me – Zatarain’s is a good brand.  I really like their wild rice mix.DSC01248 (1600x1060)… and a puppeh!  I love the expression on his little puppy face.  Mrs J says he is a chihuahua terrier mix and was adopted today.  Yay!

Bixby Diaries: On the Fast Track to 100 lbs

The teenage years have hit big time, and like any teenager, Bixby is too busy to be bothered updating his diary, so I’ll have to give you the scoop.

First, I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve moved his latest photo below the fold, because I want you to have the full effect. LOL. I know, I’m a tease.

Wait until you see this! Click to read

Bixby Update: Growing Up Fast

Bixby 11 20 14 final

Bixby is busy doing Bixby things, important things, like rolling on the floor chewing on his favorite stuffed dog and chasing playing with cats, so I thought I’d give you a quick update. First I went looking for photos for the week and realized I didn’t have any. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how difficult it is to get photos of a very rambunctious puppy. Especially when I have the camera, he always wants to ‘see’ what I’m doing and the best I can get is a photo of his left nostril.

No one wants to see that.

So I convinced him to sit up on the couch and be still for all of 5 seconds (treats may have been involved), so I could get this shot. That’s right, you’re looking at a photo taken just moments ago. And I’m fairly certain that he’s grown about  a 1/4 inch since I snapped it.

At five months, he’s just so very smart and so very easy to train. We are working on more complex problems right now, like not being in the kitchen while I’m cooking, asking to be on the couch, understanding that while I’m working, I cannot also be petting, playing or otherwise entertaining him. He’s a quick a study. He also has a stubborn streak and will give me a look and then do exactly what I just said he couldn’t do. Because, well because he’s Bixby.

Some video from two weeks and 10 lbs ago:

The video isn’t much, but I’ve been trying to get video of him flying off the deck (stairs, who needs stairs?) like super-dog. I was not completely successful, but I’ll keep trying. And the play stance of him, butt up, tail wagging is one of my favorites, it really reflects his whole view on life right now. Happy, fun, tail wagging. He reminds me everyday to stop taking it all so seriously.

I’m trying Bixby, I’m trying.

Paw print



DSC01045 (1600x1200)This pretty girl has been at the shelter for a while now.  She was a surrender – the owner became unable to care for her due to infirmity.  Mrs J hoped to promote her adoption prospects by placing her prominently in the shelter’s Facebook page but no luck so far despite going home with a prospect for a visit, and some inquiries.  DSC_9454 (1600x1060)The last batch of cayennes I picked went into my fermenting jar, the same rig that works so well for counter top sauerkraut.  It’s pretty easy to make your own hot sauces and you can tailor the recipe to your own tastes by using different peppers or liquids.  Not that I have any great expertise since this is my first batch.  I forget exactly which recipe I used but this one seems very close to it. The ratio of salt to peppers is the same, I used a white wine to cover them in the jar.  Cayennes aren’t the hottest peppers out there but they do have some heat.  I don’t remember now how long these spent in the jar but going on two months seems close.  I didn’t use any whey or starter to hurry the fermenting.DSC00977 - Copy (1600x1200)This is Jack, a bashful sort.  He has since been adopted.DSC_9433 (1600x1060)It’s been a long time since we’ve had pork chops for dinner.  These simmered in mushroom cream for a good hour.  The potatoes were mashed with garlic and sour cream, the broccoli were steamed and treated to a lemon butter sauce made with white wine and thickened a little with cornstarch to help it cling to the veggies.DSC00982 (1600x1200)This is Toby, a terrier mix.  Mrs J thinks he’s gone on to a new home.DSC_9442 (1600x1060)I’ll close this out with a stir fry, this one is chicken and various veggies in a brown sauce with a batch of fried rice.  “Brown sauce” is a generic term and there are tons of recipes out there.  I generally use a little of this and a little of that in mine – IIRC this one has soy sauce, black vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth, sesame oil, Hoisin sauce, garlic chili paste, cornstarch, and a dash of Maggi branded seasoning sauce.  The chicken marinated for an hour in similarly seasoned marinade – heavier on the cornstarch.


DSC_4986 (1600x1060)Homer has been an outside kitty lately because of his ongoing battle with Toby.  He does come in everyday to spend time but gets ousted if he acts up.  I think he may be mellowing a bit – the cuddle on the sofa with Bitsy was rare enough that I thought a photo was warranted.DSC_9402 (1600x1060)I picked all the remaining jalapenos so Mrs J could take the pot away and dump the old potting soil.  I sliced and froze these.DSC_9390 (1600x1060)A couple of tacos with guac and sour cream and a few of the last peppers.  I think these were ground beef cooked in a mole made from dried ancho peppers.  More of that sauce is on top, covering the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar.DSC01113 (1600x1200)Here are those pups from the other day that were smiling for the camera.  Mrs J says they are terrier poodle crosses.DSC01086 (1600x1200)They are really rocking their little doggie sweaters.DSC01106 (1600x1200)I think she said they were eight weeks old and would be released for adoption pretty soon.  I bet they go fast.DSC_9429 (1600x1060)Here’s a sammich I made the other day.  I had a chunk of hot coppa in the freezer that I thawed and sliced thin.  It also has traditional ham, a slice of roast pork, provolone, and various veggies in a vinaigrette made with dijon and balsamic vinegar.DSC_9416 (1600x1060)This looks like spaghetti and meatballs but the meat is just sliced link Italian sausage.  The sauce was from this year’s tomatoes and has a lot of Parmesan in it.  Good stuff.DSC_9431 (1600x1060)It’s been ages since I made bread in my machine.  This loaf really puffed up when it baked, I thought it might raise the lid before it quit growing.  The soup is a basic chicken noodle made with wide egg noodles and various veggies.  I always add too many noodles to the pot.

Bixby Diaries: I’m 5 Months Old Today

Bixby 11 8 14

UPDATE: We finally made it to the vet for a weigh-in. My little guy is at 67 lbs. Looks like we’ll be adding another cup of food to his day.

It’s been a while, I know, but my person and I have been so busy. She’s been working and looking for a new home for us. I’m mostly just having fun. I’m five months old today. I weigh ??? (TaMara’s note: Today was the day to go get weighed but snow and cold kept us housebound, I’ll update tomorrow with his weight, but it’s likely 65 lbs) and when I stand on my hind legs, I can easily hug my person around her neck.

Bixby 11 8 1422

Big doings lately. I’ve been riding in the car without my crate for quite a while now and my person says I’m doing awesome. Well, mostly. She’s pulled the car over a couple of times when I wouldn’t listen and tried to climb in the back area of the car. She says it’s not safe. She says it very loudly.

I’m doing well on all my commands, my person has added “come” and “down” (which she reminds everyone is not the same as “off”). TaMara’s Note: Come still seems to mean, run around the yard like a crazy thing.

11 8 14 River

I had my first (well if you don’t count my trip to come to my new home) road trip. It was great fun. I felt like I was in the car forever, but I got a lot of walks in very interesting places (my person called them ‘rest stops’ though we didn’t rest there at all).

When we finally stopped driving we were at my other family’s home, filled with other kitties, a sweet little girl and my person’s brother and sister-in-law. So many new things to see and take in, and little kids to play with, I really like them.

The best part was one night we went for a long walk with lots of kids and big people, stopping at house after house. Everyone was soooo excited, it was hard to not run around crazy like they were doing, and everywhere we went everyone wanted to pet me and tell me how handsome I am. I can’t wait to do it again.

Quiet Time for 2

All that excitement, I missed a lot of my naps. Finally crashed while my sweet little girl read me a bedtime story. Another whole day of fun and then it was time to go back home.

Back in the car, we drove forever again, but finally we were home and I really think my kitties missed me because they are all hanging out with me a lot more. That makes me very happy.

Not really friends but trying

Everyday my person and I go out to the ponds for a long walk. I really like this, so many smells, so many birds and just enough people to make it interesting. We practice all kinds of things there: come, stay, stop, walk, heel and how to sit when bicycles fly by. I really want to chase them, but sitting makes my person so happy, I’d rather sit.

Love my stuffy2

TaMara’s note: I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast Bixby in photos:

11 9 14 stuffy

This week (above)…and his first week with me(below):

Bixby Sleep

I still love my stuffy, even though I don’t fit on him quite the same.

Love my stuffy

That’s it for me, I’ll update when I can. Until then, know I’m having a blast and growing every day. – Bixby

Paw print


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