Category Archives: Pets

Seed Packet Said Peppers

I spent a good deal of time this week rearranging and preparing the raised beds. So of course Bixby and Bailey had to add their paw prints to them. We are heading out to the local lumber store to buy some slats to complete the fence. So enjoy it while you can crazy ones. Enjoy it while you can. LOL



Mmm… another Reuben.  We’ve pretty much settled on an assembly standard:  The corned beef, sliced just so, homemade sauerkraut, and cheese all warmed in a skillet – adding the cheese only when the beef and ‘kraut are warmed through.  The rye slices are started in the toaster when the cheese goes on.  The thousand island dressing goes in a small bowl to be used as a dip – this helps to keep the sandwich intact because it is not soaking through the toast.  Pickle spear garnish is optional but encouraged!We’ve been seeing a lot of rain, 10 inches in the last week, and rivers and creeks are overflowing.  Whenever we get high water  one of the obligatory stops on the gawking tour is this municipal band shell at the aptly named Riverside Park.  The Big Muddy River (actual name!) is a tributary of the Mighty Mississippi, it enters a few miles below Grand Tower, IL.An access road loops around the park.  It would be visible below the shell but for the high water.  Right now we are kinda “meh” – we’ve seen it higher.  All bets are off should the rain come back.  Crews are sandbagging the big levee along the Mississippi just in case and they are keeping a 24 hour watch.We’re using those naan loaves for pizzas, and here is one replacing a tortilla in a vaguely Tex-Mex hodgepodge with rice, beans, chicken, cheese, eggs, and a salsa verde.Another selfie with Bitsy that I’ve run through the Prisma app.  This is using the Heisenberg filter.  My favorite filter is the one they call Gothic.Time for another pineapple upside down cake!  I used dark brown sugar in this one rather than the light brown I usually go with.  Pour melted butter mixed with brown sugar in the bottom of a pan, this one was made in a 9-1/2″ x 12″ hotel pan with 3/4 cup of butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  I drained the juice from a can of pineapple tidbits and used about half of them in the recipe.  Use the pineapple juice to replace some of the water needed for a yellow cake mix and pour the prepared mix over the pineapple bits.  These baked at 350 for 20 minutes and were not quite done so I added 10 minutes to the timer and reduced the temp to 325 because the top was browning nicely.  If you would rather go from scratch this recipe should work fine for you.These are a favorite and this surely won’t be the last one you’ll see here.  We are just getting warmed up for those summer garden tomatoes.


Mrs J adds Russian Sage to her garden.  She has been looking for it a while and finally spotted a set at a big box store.More naan pizza!  These are closer to pitas than the last batch we bought and a bit smaller.  I made a white sauce with garlic and stirred in provolone to make it a mornay sauce for the base.  Chopped roast chicken was the main topping with Brussels sprout slices and a bit of balsamic glaze.  More cheese was sprinkled on before these went into the oven.They worked out very well.  I added some red pepper flakes and a grind of black peppercorns to mine.Some BLTs with my own homemade bacon.  Too early for fresh garden tomatoes so we went with some from the Kroger garden.More breakfast for dinner.  We love those little sausages.Kittehs!  These are two of our own kittehs – Ginger Boy and Ollie.

But I Don’t Want To Get Up

The struggle is real. Every. Single. Day.

Well, I can’t really blame her…it’s Monday after all. Have a great day!



The pond did fill and it’s draining out the overflow, but not as fast as earlier.  Compare with this one:All the frogs are happy!

All of them, except for this one, perhaps:


Whoo Boy!  We got some rain last night, the thunder seemed constant all night long.  Bitsy just crawled out from underneath the sofa a few minutes ago.Here’s Gabe and Homer Kitteh messing about by the pond a couple of days ago.  It’s been down a little all winter long, several inches below the overflow pipe.  I haven’t looked this morning yet but it has to be up close, now.I’ve found that using a can of refried beans in my chili recipe really adds some body to it.  I used refried black beans in this but the regular refries from pinto beans should work fine.I’ve been making gravy from the chicken fat captured when I roast a chicken beer-butt style:I pour off the fat (and the water I’ve added to the pan) and refrigerate it to make separating the fat easy.  Make a roux of the fat and flour then add stock to make gravy.  You can also add milk to make it creamy but I don’t except when making it for a pot pie.  We eat half the chicken the first go, then bone the rest for later.  The carcass goes into the pressure cooker to make a stock, takes an hour at pressure rather than all day on the stove-top.Kittehs!  There are a couple of brand new momma cats at the shelter, they were brought in pregnant.  The shelter will eventually spay her but the kittehs have to be weaned first.  Mrs J says 6 to 8 weeks is normal.Rib steaks!  Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These spend the afternoon at 138 degrees in their vacuum sealed bags.  Kroger sells whole slabs of these, I slice and bag them with salt and pepper and then freeze.  They go right into the hot bath frozen.Another batch of cuties!  Mrs J says they had to open the overflow kitten room because they have too many right now for the dedicated kitteh nursery.


I have a few acres rented out to a local farmer.  He has bigger equipment that he uses on bottom land he farms but my small plots are hard to get to so he uses what he can get down a single lane gravel road.This is all the farming I care to do.  I found some flat leaf parsley, finally.  My herb bench is almost full but I still have an eye out for different stuff.Mrs J has been hard at it.  She has a lot more in different areas of the front garden.Breakfast for lunch!  Whoops!  Got some syrup on the bacon.  I guess I’ll just have to lick that off!Puppy!  This is one of a litter that a pregnant rescue just delivered.Bea takes a chance walking out over the back pond on a small downed tree.  I do note that she isn’t too far out on that limb.Haven’t had a cheeseburger for a while.  The slice of provolone was so big it melted into a puddle around the patty and started to scorch.  The sides are my usual baked beans, a loaded baked potato salad, and a vinegar slaw.  Every time I make slaw and have leftover red onion from some other use I decide to go ahead and put it in.  Every time I use red onions for slaw it bleeds purple and I wish I hadn’t done that.  The frugal in tension with the aesthetic.  Yeah, I’m a cheap-ass.Should be plenty of peppers to make another batch of my hot giardiniera.Here’s Ollie, laying out on Mrs J’s layout table.

Me, Smiling, With Cat

Best smile I am able to muster, anyway.  I just can’t do anything with my hair today.  Bitsy is practicing her serious face.

Happy Easter From My Two Easter Danes (Bonus Bixby Puppy Pics!)

It took some doing but I was finally able to snap a picture of the elusive Dabbit’s that live in my backyard.

They really aren’t as unhappy as they look…it’s all fun and games until I tell them to hold.

I’m getting ready to put the rib roast in the oven. We’re keeping it simple today with garlic mashed potatoes, and cucumber tomato salad and a spinach walnut salad. Easter candy for dessert.

When I downloaded the bunny ear photos, somehow a file full of Bixby puppy pictures showed up. I don’t remember seeing most of them. He was 8 weeks old. OMG! That face. Those wrinkles. And that tag is the same one he wears today…which is conspicuously missing in today’s photo. Time to buy a new one – no idea where or when it disappeared.

That is Jake’s bunny and he is not amused. No one touches his rabbit. Which is why 2 1/2 years later, that bunny is still in one piece on my bed.

Happy Easter everyone. Here is to new beginnings!

Puppy Update: Lolly and Her Pups

My heart still belongs to Lolly. She had her checkup last week and besides being extremely underweight, a lot of her teeth are broken from gnawing at wood, wall board and other things while locked in the abandoned house. It looks like she’ll be with LFern until she’s ready to leave foster care, so I’ll get to see her again with any luck. She’ll be fully recovered and healthy in no time.

The puppies are all doing well and are 7 weeks old. They are weaned and four have gone on to another foster home so everyone gets lots of personal time in order to help them socialize. I know it was difficult for the Fern family, but important for puppy development, so they were happy to do what was best for them.

Click on any photo to see pups full size and start the slide show.

Original post is here.