Author Archives: TaMara

A Little Blues To Get Through The Night

Colorado Originals

Playing at the best concert venue in the states.

Fall Gardening


About midway through August, I decided that I was going to just let most of the gardens do their thing while I focused on the section I knew I was going to eliminate and revert back to grass.


I had my hands full with grapes, tomatoes and trying to figure out how to water properly and efficiently.


As fall has progressed I’m feeling pretty good about that decision. I had summer to get well acquainted with all the flowers and develop my own vision. Now I have a clearer idea of what needs to be culled, transplanted and completely revamped.


I’ll spend most of the winter culling what I know for sure I no longer want. I’ve photographed what I know I want to transplant, because I know come spring I won’t remember anything. (All these photos were taken this week, btw)

My biggest concerns for the next couple of weeks will be redoing the strawberry bed and readying it for winter. And winterizing the grape vines.


I’m seeing a real vision for the excellent beds that are the bones of my yard. I’m also having a lot of fun discovering all the rocks, crystals and fossils the previous owner has spread all around the beds. I have a plan for those, too. I think it will be fun.

To be continued….


Debate Night Moment Of Zen

Here, this might help:

Bixby and Bailey, Sittin’ On Me



I was trying to watch the news. It’s a little hazy because cell phone. They are doing well on day 2. Bailey weighs 92 lbs. She had her first bath this morning and I took them out for their first joint walk. It all went pretty well.

For reference, Bixby was about 110 lbs at 9 months.


The Bixby and Bailey Diaries: Day One


Whirlwind day. Bailey is settling in like she’s always been here. She and Bixby have been playing non-stop since we got home last night.


They did take a break to sleep through the night. Well except when Emma went full on Exorcist on a fully asleep Bailey. Poor thing. Both of them actually.

Then this morning, Bailey has a bad habit (as most puppies do) of biting at me. We are working on it, but because she’s had so much negative feedback training, I’m walking a tightrope of stern but gentle redirection. She nipped a little to hard and wouldn’t let go, so I raised my voice and the next thing I know, Emma burst out of the closet and  she went after Bailey like she was taking on a home intruder. Now you know who my real protector is here. Unfortunately, she snagged her nail (nicely trimmed, I might add) on the carpet and ripped it out. So there was blood. Lots of blood.


I believe she’s just making her presence known right away, letting Bailey know who actually runs this house. Fairly certain Bailey has gotten the message, as much as a puppy can.


Bixby is loving the playmate, not so much the sharing. He’s got a full on food aggression going on, which I’m working on, he’s always been so easy going with other dogs, I was taken by surprise. He also doesn’t like sharing his toys, bed or anything else Bailey might show interest in. It’s only been a day, I believe we will work it out.

Bailey has shown herself to be a talker! I love Bixby to pieces, but always a bit disappointed he wasn’t a talker. Bailey is finding her voice and using it to express herself. It’s adorable.


She’s having some potty issues, but I think it’s a matter of just not knowing who and how to ask at the new house. We’ll get her bell trained in no time.

One day down….

Meet Bailey


She’s 9 months old. Mantle Dane. She won’t be as big as Bixby, but she’s going to be taller, for sure. I don’t think he’s ready for that.



Had a very interesting time driving an hour with two Danes in the car, who had just met. But they were angels and settled right down. Home has been another story. Already one full bowl of water dumped on my floor.

Interesting times ahead. Wish me luck!


Might Have To Give These A Try


Friday Recipe Exchange: Got Soup?


Well it’s been a whirlwind of activity here and I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with the house and garden. Lots of cooking going on for friends and family because I love working in my new kitchen. It hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging. But dinner is in the slow-cooker and I have a moment before it’s time to walk Bixby, so tonight there is a recipe exchange.

JeffreyW and I once again had a mind-meld moment and both made a batch of Beef and Barley Soup this week. His yummy photo is pictured above.  My recipe is here and JeffreyW’s recipe is here, accompanied by great photos.

Chuck roasts were on sale this week, so I stocked up. I love a good pot roast and have a few recipe variations. I have a recipe for a Tangy Pot Roast here.  For a more traditional take on a yummy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast  including a full menu and recipes, click here. My new favorite ingredient is a dash of good whisky to deepen the flavors.  One of the roasts will be cut up and frozen for soup or stew.

The garden is still producing an abundance of ripe tomatoes, so I made a batch of Tomato-Spinach Soup, recipe here. For a vegetarian version, just omit ground beef. I make it both ways depending on my mood. Serve with grilled cheese sandwich on Easy Slow Rise Crusty Bread, pictured below and recipe here.


Another batch of tomatoes, along with zucchini, green peppers and eggplant (all garden fresh) went into a fresh dinner for guests this week, Garden Fresh Pasta, recipe here.

What’s on the menu tonight? Any fun plans for this first weekend of October?

Turkey Bean Soup1

Tonight’s featured recipe is what we’re having as part of a get-together tomorrow night. It’s simple, hearty soup that we can put together earlier in the day for a quick dinner. Then we’ll be heading out to the local historical farm for Wildlife Night. There will be owls.

Cranberry beans are usually easy to find, but if not, substitute cannellini white kidney beans – you can use dry or canned.

Turkey Bean Soup

  • 1 lb smoked turkey sausage, diced (or ground turkey, browned)
  • 1 lb dried cranberry beans (soaked overnight, drained)cranberry-beans-close-up
  • 8 cups of water (or 6 cups water, 2 cups chicken broth)
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to the slow-cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Serve with fresh hot bread and salad for a complete dinner.

That’s it for this week. I’m heading out to buy paint…starting on the living room this weekend. Have a great weekend – TaMara

Turkey Bean Soup1

Garden Fresh Pasta Dinner

I had friends over on Sunday and by request, made a garden fresh entrée. The advantage with this type of dinner is, it is quick and easy to prepare while guests are there. We had pleasant conversation as I put it together, which from start to finish was less than 20 minutes.

I apologize in advance, I have no photos of the final dish because I was having such a good time I completely forgot to even get my camera out.

Garden Fresh Pasta

  • 4 tomatoes
  • about 4 basil leaves (or 1/2 tsp dry)


  • 12 oz linguine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper (or red or orange as desired), chopped into large pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tomatoes (I used a variety from my garden and my friends’ garden), chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dry)

saucepan, skillet, large pot

Blend 4 tomatoes and 4 basil leaves together until smooth and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer while prepping the remainder of the dinner.

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Drain, but don’t rinse.

In skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil, add onions. Saute for a minute and then add peppers. Stir occasionally until they are softened and onions are translucent. Add additional tbsp of oil, once heated, add garlic, zucchini and eggplant. Saute until tender. Finally, add tomatoes and basil, cook for one to two minutes and then add the tomato mixture from the saucepan. Stir together gently and bring to a low boil for about 1 minute. Serve over pasta.

I served it with grated Parmesan, tossed salad and fresh baked bread

Go wild and add whatever fall garden vegetables you have on hand….