Category Archives: Pets

Kitty Hungry?

From the left:  Ginger Boy, Ollie, Miss Bea, and Toby.  Bitsy was sleeping in, and Homer couldn’t be bothered.


What A Great Day!

Jake is in remission and no longer needs any diabetes medication. It was a terrific surprise. Here he’s giving Maddie the once over as she wanders by.

I love my vet – Dr. Steve has an entire mobile van and is as reasonable as our old vet clinic – and today I had him not only do a routine check on Jake, but everyone else in the tribe (well not the ducks, but more on that later).  My credit card is still smoking, but everyone is healthy and happy and the whole visit was stress free. And of course the great Jake news made the whole day.

This was Bailey’s first full vet check since she came to live here (the rescue group vet did one before I adopted, so I didn’t see a reason to stress her anymore those first few months). And she is as beautiful as her photos would indicate. Dr. Steve says her bone and muscle structure are good and she doesn’t look like she’ll have any structural issues down the road.

Bixby is not so lucky – he broke a toe early on and it’s going to continue to give him issues going forward that we’ll address as needed. He also, because he’s so rough and tumble, has a continued strained muscle along his shoulder and rib cage. Not that any of this stops him from anything. Just things I’ll keep an eye on as he ages.

Right to left: Emma, Mabel and Maddie

Emma is doing well, but a little arthritis, so she got some supplements, but for being the oldest member of the family, she’s doing excellent. She and the ducks seem to get along together.

Zander is oh-so photogenic. He didn’t need a visit today, but he did get weighed and his share of treats, so he’s all good.

Dr. Steve is looking for a family for the Ladies and I have to tell you, I felt a real twinge as we discussed it. We’ll see what he comes up with before I go all to pieces.

Now that I’ve lived here a year (!!) I’ve finally felt comfortable letting the cats out for backyard time. So far we just spend time together while I drink my coffee in the morning and they get to wander around. They are really enjoying it. Still limited because there are dogs on all sides and I don’t trust them not to try and jump the fence, Zander already tried, so supervision for the near future.

Emma seems fine with that….



Mmm… sloppy joe with giardiniera and a side of chips.  Those are Utz salt ‘n vinegar flavored chips.  Amazon had a deal on them for Prime members, alas the deal has moved on. [ETA:  They’re back in stock!]Mrs J sent me this pic of Toby at the vet’s office.  He tangled with a feral cat and got a bite on his tail that abcessed.  He’s fine now.Gabe waits by the door with Homer keeping him company.  Mrs J has just left for the vet with Toby.  She told Gabe he wasn’t going but he hoped she would change her mind.Franks with beans on the side.Franks with beans on the top.Mmm… gumbo!  This recipe came up first with a Google search and it looked pretty good.  I took my usual liberties with the ingredients, crawdads for the shrimp, and chicken because I like chicken.  I used a small can of tomato paste and added four fresh ripe tomatoes sans their skins.  It does have andouille sausage.Ribs and fries.  I need to work on my presentation – the half slab doesn’t look “ribby” enough.Here’s a fresh loaf in a plastic bag.  Do you tie?  I often use small office binder clips if the loaf is going into the freezer but the twist and tuck under is the way I go if the bread is going to be used that day.Gabe likes to climb on my lap to be reassured Mrs J will come back home.

I Always Feel Like…Someone Is Watching Me

Looked up from my work to see this….

Duck Watch: Day 5

Good news today, the Rouen (the brown one on the left) has finally started eating. And she really hasn’t stopped all morning. I was worried and was going to start dissolving the duck crumbles in their water. She wasn’t walking well…and would actually trip over the big rocks and just picked at food. My hope was it because she was so stressed. This morning it looks like she’s turned the corner. The Blue Swedish (on the right) has been watching over her, never far from her side.

We had some fun moments this morning – I sit out and drink coffee while the cats get their daily dose of backyard time every morning. Everyone is coexisting. Emma being the alpha animal in this crazy pack has checked them out and deemed them unworthy of concern.

I needed to water this morning and thanks to my Dad, I now have the best backyard sprinkler ever (for his 80th birthday this past week, he received an in-ground sprinkler system). I set it up, turned it on and the ducks were at the gate (I have them confined to the garden when the dogs are out) and making it known that they needed to be where the sprinkler was…these gals were clearly yard ducks. So I let them out and they booked it to the sprinkler. I have video I’ll share later, along with pool time. Figure it would make a good Monday distraction.

I was sitting with my phone – to time the water – and I had an idea. Whenever I fiddle with the ring tone, the cats come running. I assume they think I’m killing something and they want in on it. Ring phones aren’t necessarily melodic.  It took about three different tones and suddenly I had ducks at my feet, listening with rapt attention.

I am not only the goddess of water, I am now the music maker. Goof balls.


Ducks? What Ducks?

Here is what I originally wrote about the rescue and forgot to cross-post here:

After a very long week away and an even longer 8 hour drive home, this happened. A neighbor spotted these two at the local playground (with pond) and they tried to follow him home. This was yesterday and he was worried. So, since my niece and I had been driving all day, we decided we could use a walk and went to see what we could see.

These two came right up to us. They were hungry, friendly and completely ill-equipped to survive on their own. I had brought cat food along (mine ate cat and dog food along with chicken feed for that well rounded diet, LOL – or just to annoy the four-footers in the family) and they took it right out of my hand.

The only thing I had to capture them with was a cooler a friend had lent me for the trip. Deciding I’d just buy her a new one, I corralled them (one in the grass, the other I had to snag from the water) and brought them home.

Their photo is now on the neighborhood lost and found website page and they are tucked away in the garage, with food, water, cilantro – a duck favorite. Bixby is beside himself with curiosity, but I don’t want to stress them, so he’s banned from the garage.

The good news, the excitement has tempered any disapproval from the dogs about my long absence. The bad news? I’m attached (I love ducks) but am in no position at the moment to add more critters to my menagerie. There may need to be an intervention.

The ducks are still here, we are evaluating the re-homing options – I want to watch them a bit longer to see if they’ll fare well in a farm setting or if they are tightly bonded to people. They were clearly someone’s pets before being dumped. They’ve held their own with the dogs and cats and enjoy human contact – at least mine, since I’m the one who feeds them and I’ve picked them up regularly.

Ducks are generally free-range. While chickens seem okay with a small penned area, ducks want the entire yard. They’re a bit messy, but good at keeping weeds and bugs under control. These two are still very underweight and spend a lot of time resting under the bushes in my yard. But they are eating and drinking well and enjoying the pool (much to Bixby’s dismay, as it’s HIS pool), so I think they’ll be okay.

I’ve closed off the garden area so they be there and safe when the dogs are outside. Bailey has shown little interest in them, but Bixby wants to play with them. He loves the geese at the lake and he’s always been respectful with them. With the ducks, he hangs back and watches….and watches…but when they suddenly start quacking, he races over to them. Doing my best to discourage that, but it will take some time…or not…he may not be a dog who can be around birds.  They on the other hand stand their ground, so that’s good to know.

I’ll get video of them in the pool and post soon. Trust me, it’ll make you smile.

Menus will be up tonight.



What The Duck??

We Do Not Eat Duck In This House

There is a duck rescue story here – but it’s been a very long day. I’ll detail tomorrow.



Call 911!

Miss Bea has OD’d on the catnip!


Pastrami hash has to be right up there with the all time great breakfast anytime dishes.  I like my hash with eggs on top and a grind of a dry pepper mix.Chicken pot pie is in the running with the hash.  I prefer whichever one I’m eating at the time.These pan biscuits are my goto for pot pies these days, I make a half or third sized batch else the crust is too thick.  You’ll be asking “where’s the chicken” if you use the full recipe in this size pan.  I make it in the same pan, just take it out, pour the chicken and veggie filling, replace the biscuit, and bake at a lower temp than you would ordinarily to keep from burning the top.  You could cut the biscuit and piece it on if you think about it, or, if you break it getting it out of the pan the first time you could break it on up and say you meant to do it that way.Break for cats and dogs.  Homer gets along with dogs just fine, it’s other cats he has trouble with.I have these pickled red onions I need to use up and these hot dogs seemed a great place.  There’s raw onion, jalapeno, sweet relish, and mustard on there, too.  Somewhere I heard that Utz potato chips were the world’s finest.  I found some at Amazon.  It seemed a decent price per ounce in the case lot.  I’ve been giving bags of them away to UPS drivers and the postman.  I don’t know if they are the world’s best but they are very good.You would think that these tacos were full:  Chicken, pico, queso fresco, refried beans…..there’s always room for pickled red onions!

Sous Vide Ribs

I almost waited too long to put the ribs into the water bath.  I was thinking the morning of the 4th would be good for the holiday dinner.   The slab  was cut into two pieces, rubbed with seasonings, and sealed in vacuum bags well in advance.  Then I looked at the recipe over at the Food Lab site the day before: “TOTAL TIME:16 to 50 hours”!  I set the bath up and started it up around 2PM on the 3rd with the temp at 155 degrees.They spent the night at 155, then I boosted the temp to 165 the morning of the 4th.  Around 11Am they came out and were placed in an ice water bath to cool.  Here they are after blotting with paper towels.And after brushing with BBQ sauce while the oven was heating to 400.  The one on the right was wanting to break in two, all they needed was reheating to seal on the sauce.The ribs were as tender as any we’ve ever had, the bones sipped out of the slabs cleanly.  Two thumbs up!Got bone?