Category Archives: Pets


20170115_140439-1600x1200Ollie is all about helping Mrs J with her sewing.20170114_141203-1600x1200He provides invaluable feedback on the kitteh beds she assembles.  I think the one he is test driving now is shrouded for secrecy.  The cat bed manufacturers are always on the look-out for new designs.20170116_120430-1600x1200Made some fried rice for dinner the other day.  Those dumplings are from frozen and are pretty bad.  20170118_115635-1600x1200I’ll drop a photo here in case I forget the brand name.  Bad tasting, and the portions are so small!  LOLdsc03865-1600x1200Here’s another shelter kitteh.  I’m told that 90% of these ginger kittehs are males but this one is a girl.  Staff have named her Tina Turner – Mrs J says it was just Turner until they discovered on the operating table that the neutering procedure they had planned was inappropriate.  20170117_082225-1600x1200Here is one of those beef roasts that was on sale last month.  I dry brined this one and vac sealed it, it spent the month in the fridge.  Yesterday I rinsed it off and gave it a dry rub prior to placing it into the smoker.20170118_080236-1600x1200Pastrami!  I left it in the smoker for 8 hours, then brought it into the house, covered it with foil, and placed it into a 200 degree oven where it stayed all night.  Here it is this morning, it started to come apart when I transferred it into this hotel pan.  I covered it with foil and it’ll spend time back in the fridge to firm up for slicing.dsc03867-1600x1200This is Flip, a 10 month old male.  Both Flip and Tina Turner are up on their shots and are ready to go home.

Best Commercial Ever: FurKids



20170106_110453-1600x1200A little breakfast pr0n to start.  The patty is from that batch of homemade garlic pepper recipe sausage.20161230_162702-1600x1200This is an older picture from a meal we had a couple of weeks ago.  Not sure if I have used it so here it is.  I bought a batch of purple potatoes and mixed them in with fingerlings and a cubed sweet potato.  The pork tenderloin was done sous vide and then seared in a hot pan just before plating.  There is a pan sauce made from red wine and the pan juices.  I reached for the white but it wasn’t open so the red went in.20170108_163513-1600x1200Gumbo!  This one has andouille, chicken, and shrimp.20170108_133521-1600x1200A couple of pineapple upside down cakes.  There was a little pineapple left over from Mrs J’s carrot cake, and we finally used up the last of the maraschino cherries that have been lurking in a dark corner of the fridge for ages.  Not the prettiest cakes ever but they tasted great.  There is one small slice left but it will not last out the day.img_20170110_093935_processedHere’s Ollie!  He’s been mixing about with the other kittehs and we think he’s fitting in quite well.  He and Bitsy spent the night chasing up and down the hallway.20170110_164542-1600x1200I dug one of the rib roasts out of the freezer.  It was one of those the market had on sale for the holidays.  It was oddly cut, the two end ribs were sliced down the middle, making the piece about 1-1/2 inches altogether.  I promised Mrs J that I would turn out the next steak medium done and so set the water bath temp to 140.  When it came out I sliced it in half and seared the pieces in a hot pan.  The pan sauce was made of butter and the same red wine that I used on that pork tenderloin.  The potatoes were rubbed with olive oil and generously salted, then baked in a 350 oven for an hour.20170111_090545-1600x1200Mrs J left for an appointment this morning.  Gabe waited by the door for her return.  He misses his dog mama every time she goes away.20170107_171349-1600x1200That garlic pepper sausage makes pretty good chili.20170110_164600-1600x1200I’ll close with this salad.  It’s a bagged salad topped with a deli made Greek salad with a little extra feta.

Bixby and Bailey: Love and Discipline

bixby-and-bailey-in-reposeInteresting times here. First of all, Bailey had her first nail trim today and was a trooper. She weighed in at 109 lbs, which means she has gained 17 lbs since she moved in. She’s still skin and bones, but I did have to move her collar out a notch recently. She’s taller and a bit broader. If she keeps this up, I think she might top out at 140 lbs and be an inch taller (though never bigger) than Bixby.

We’ve had an interesting few weeks here. It feels like we’ve had company since Thanksgiving and everyone has been dealing with the chaos well. But we’ve had a house guest since Christmas that has challenged the status quo a bit. Especially for Bailey.

Bad Horse is hanging out for a while and I’ve been letting him find his way with the animals. Zander of course has completely welcomed him. Emma sits on his lap while we watch movies. Jake, well, Jake is in it for the treats, but other than that, he’s generally not impressed with BH. Bixby has been a bit more reluctant, which has surprised me…more on that in a minute.

Bad Horse Bakes!

Bad Horse Bakes!

Bailey is smitten…and also miffed. She cannot understand why she’s still low puppy on the alpha scale when the new guy is here now. So she spends a great deal of time making doe eyes at him and then biting him and jumping on him. We’ve been working with her on it, but I have to be honest, because of her rough start in life, I haven’t been as firm with the discipline as I should be and she has started to take advantage.

So I began to implement time-outs. I put the crate away at Christmas – it takes up half a room and I was only using it when I went to work. With Bad Horse here, they are seldom alone for long periods, so we’ve been using two baby gates to contain her when we are both gone. So I needed to figure out a time-out strategy.

They take place in the laundry room with a baby gate across the door so she’s not totally closed off. She gets time-out when she refuses to stop her bad behaviors after one warning. It only took twice for her to understand what was going on and now her behavior has greatly improved. She just needed some firm boundaries and I should have jumped in sooner. But she’s such a sweet girl…the biting and jumping took me by surprise…BH has been very patient with her, too, so I think we are past the worst of it.

Bixby, Bixby, Bixby – he’s not happy with all the intrusions – first Bailey, now BH. We had an incident about a week ago where Bixby decided he did not like how things were going and jumped up on Bad Horse and then when that didn’t work, jumped on me and WOULD. NOT. BUDGE. It took both of us to get him back down. We decided that night to each sit with a dog on separate couches, to give them extra time. That helped and Bixby now seems more at ease with everything.

But he has decided he’s going to use his size lately – he moves the baby gate and walks through it (opens it like a door), he uses his full weight on walks to express his displeasure and is basically make it clear he’s done with all of this. He instigated a game of tug with BH (which made Bad Horse very happy) only to have Bailey try and horn in. Without missing a beat, tug towel still in his mouth, he took her down and made it clear she was not to interfere. She got the message and tug went on without incident.

None of this is aggressive – when you’re 160 lbs of muscle,  you just need to be firm to get your point across. And Bixby’s point is, “I’m done being neglected, pushed around and generally having my life disrupted”. He’s still a big love, just a big love with a bit of an attitude. Extra scritches and some alone time with me and his kitties have helped.

Never a dull moment here. I have Cranberry Bean Turkey Soup on the stove…a few more recipes I need to post soon, too.

I made my first Pad Thai!

I made my first Pad Thai!

Until then….


Life Goals


Bixby and Bailey Wish You A Very Merry Christmas



20161222_174653-1600x1200Moar tacos!  That taco rack is pretty handy, I’ve been brushing oil onto the tortillas and placing them like so and then popping them into a 350 oven with the beans, meat, and cheese.  Warm the tortillas and the fillings in the microwave first because five minutes in the toaster oven is only enough to melt the cheese and give the tortillas a light toasting.  They are easy to dress with the cold toppings while still in the rack before they go to your plate.20161222_171038-1600x1200Top of the world, Ma!  Christmas tree?  Haven’t seen it.  Ginger Boy gets his wildcat on during a walk past the brush pile.ginger-boy-1600x1200Mrs J’s favorite cake is carrot cake.  She mostly begins them with a box mix and is content to add extras like crushed pineapple, fresh grated carrots, nuts, and the like but went with a scratch build this time.  She assembled hers in two 8 inch round pans because that’s what we have.  The canned icing looked so lame she decided to help it out:20161224_101031-1600x1200I think I read somewhere that they’ve fiddled with the icing recipe to eliminate some unhealthy ingredient.  Maybe this particular brand is just not very good.  Dunno.  This one has chopped pecans and toasted coconut to make it more appealing.  The cake tasted great!20161223_163743-1600x1200Took another run at a puff pastry pot pie.  The sheet of dough needed only minor trimming to fit.  Worked well, cooked it in the toaster oven at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Lost track of the total time because I kept adding minutes when it was looking like the top wasn’t brown enough yet.20161223_164248-1600x1200

I gave the dough an egg wash on both sides before covering the dish for baking.  Alton Brown mentioned this in one of his recipes, I think to help keep the gravy from soaking through the dough and not letting it puff.  It worked, I guess.  Sorta.  Maybe not!  Be sure to sprinkle the top with kosher salt before baking.


20161218_174338-1600x1200Here’s Ollie enjoying some scritches.  He’s easing himself into the thick of things, he does spend most of his time in the basement where all the food bowls stay.  A few low growls from the other kittehs  are about the only overt notice the rest of them take.  That’s about all the notice they take of each other aside from the occasional hissy fit Homer engenders.20161221_164025-1600x1200I really need to get some individual casserole dishes.  These bowls are a tad too deep for these beef pot pies.  Puff pastry worked fine, though.20161219_165223-1600x1200Burritos!  These are mostly bean with a bit of pork and some cheddar.20161122_195044-1600x1200It’s a three kitteh sofa.  Never more than three and usually fewer.  The cast rotates.20161222_120832-1600x1200Tacos!  I’m wishing I had put tortillas on the shopping list before we made that store run yesterday.  I remembered to  get celery and carrots.dsc03817-1600x1200Here’s a shelter kitteh with an interesting coat.  I don’t know much about him/her.

Bixby and Bailey: I Didn’t Do It

Bixby made it clear he did not do this. I told him I totally believed him (possibly because I found it where Bailey was parked).


First tree related casualty. Reindeer my Aunt Marcia made me (many, many) years ago. Survived five Great Danes, one greyhound,  eight cats, numerous toddlers, and many moves. Bailey, Dane of Destruction. This is the least of her crimes these past few months. #loveheranyway


Here’s Ollie!

20161218_174208-1600x1200We’re keeping him.  I hope it’s a him, he’s on his way to the vet right now so we will know soon enough.

[edit to add]:  Confirmed, Ollie is a boy kitteh.