New Years Soup

by Marianne on 02/12/2015

in Eat, Home

Yah, I know it’s a bit late for New Years.  Half-way into February, and here I come with a post for New Years Soup.  This is why blogging isn’t the job that pays me… or maybe it’s because of that?  (Stay tuned for my Valentine’s Special, coming this fall! haha!)  I’ve been making this soup for the past 2 years because it’s an easy way to get the minimum things that you must eat on New Years Day.  Everybody knows that if you don’t eat black-eyed peas and something green on January 1st, then trolls will wreak havoc upon your life, and pilfer your bank account for an entire year.  Something like that. Maybe it’s not true, but I never risk it.  Anyway, it’s also delicious on other days of the year.  That’s why I’m sharing it.   Plus, there are meatballs, which just make me happy.

It’s easy, and if you are making your own broth (like I told you to), then it’s even more awesome.  Here’s the recipe.  I’ll catch up with more stuff soon.  I’m already a dog-story or two behind!

New Years Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 Quarts Chicken Stock/Broth
  • 1 Potato, peeled and cubed
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 1 piece Salt Pork (approx 3" x 2")
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 rib Celery, diced
  • 1½ cups (frozen) Black-Eyed Peas
  • 14 oz. pkg frozen Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt (to taste - depends on broth)
  • 1 can diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup small Pasta
  • 4 Cups chopped Kale
  • Tabasco (to taste)
  1. Add all ingredients except for Pasta and Kale to a large stock pot, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  2. Add Pasta, and simmer for 20 more minutes.
  3. Add the Kale, and continue to simmer another 10 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt/pepper/Tabasco.
  5. For leftovers, you may want to add extra broth, as the pasta will soak up a lot of the liquid.

You know what’s even sadder than sharing a New Years post mid-February?  Sharing a New Years post 13 months late!   I actually meant to post this LAST YEAR!  Here is the 2014 version.  Same soup, different pasta.  Also mmm.



One for the Good Guys

by Marianne on 01/19/2015

in Dogs, Home

This weekend I was taking my new foster pup, EmmyLou, to meet some potential adopters, and hit a little traffic snag en route. I mumbled “Asshole!” to the driver of the car who had been behind me in the slow-moving traffic jam, as he decided to use the entrance ramp lane to jump maybe 8 cars ahead, and I had a thought:  What if every heartfelt “asshole” that was lobbed at you in the course of your life stuck to you, and accumulated like points, until randomly cashed-in on some well-earned suffering?  I passed some time thinking up suitable tortures for this inconsiderate driver, who at that moment embodied everything that disappoints and infuriates me about the human condition.  I did not wish him bodily harm, really, but maybe just a little poetic justice, such as

  • 3 flat tires in the middle lane during rush hour.  Cell phone battery dead. Has to pee.  People are honking and flipping him off.
  • Girlfriend leaves him — for another girl.  Takes all of the remote controls.  Leaves litter box, and sack of potatoes under the bed.
  • Doomed to never catch a green light for the rest of his life.
  • Dog pees on pants-leg of $600 suit while on the way to some douche-y bar to hang with douche-y friends.
  • Trips and falls in the middle of crowded street.  Rips pants right up the back, and loses one front tooth.  Epic tantrum caught on now viral video.

I could have gone on for hours. But, while I was sitting there stuck in traffic, lobbing thought-darts at some faceless jackass eight cars ahead of me, EmmyLou is in the back seat and

  1.  Throws up
  2.  Eats it
  3.  Poops
  4.  Now has a giant Cujo-style drool hanging off her mouth

All I could do is tell her I was sorry that happened, roll the windows down because it stunk like hell, and hope that she could manage to stay out of it. (Note to self: Keep wet-wipes and paper towels in the car at all times.)  Were these my own “Asshole points” being redeemed?  Could be.  Sure hoping my tab is all paid up now!

EmmyLou trying to keep warm

But that’s not really what this is all about.  Despite the eventful commute, we made it to our meeting place and met the family and their dog, Jack.   The meeting was great.  I really liked these people, the dogs got along, and we decided to go forward with a home visit and finalize the adoption.

Their home was fantastic!  Great neighborhood with folks out walking their dogs.  Walking paths and parks nearby.  HUGE back yard. A daughter that was super-excited about having a new snuggle-buddy.  The family took great care of their pets, but had sadly lost one recently to cancer.  Jack (their senior dog) had been missing his friend, but was now happy and trying to engage EmmyLou in some playful doggie-games.  They all loved her!  Jackpot for EmmyLou!   Before I got home, they had texted me a picture of her on the couch, laying her head on her new mom’s legs. 

I love these kind of endings.  Just a little over a week ago, this sweet little pup had been on death row, after spending a month in the city pound.  A pup that it seemed nobody wanted now has a dream life.  She finally gets the life she should have always had.  I know it’s just one small story, and every day there are thousands of other sad stories, but I think we have to celebrate all of the successes.  I don’t try to keep score… I only count the plus ones.  Otherwise, it’s just too depressing. So, today it’s plus one for the good guys, and minus one for the assholes.  Take that, bad guys!!!

Have a great life EmmyLou! So happy to have been able to help you get there.



Big Thanks to Red Collar Rescue for making this happen! High fives all around!






Merry (Doggy) Christmas

by Marianne on 12/25/2014

in Home

From bottom left: Maggie, Nadine,Molly, Rusty, Dora, Novella

Twas the night before xmas, and all through the house,
   Not a creature was silent, not even Maggie!
The brown dogs had dug up the plants, I see
   and had Molly on another all-night barking spree.
Rusty is here to share in the joy
   and make sure we shred every last toy.
Dora will spend some time in the crate
   to make amends for the shoe that she ate.
Novella, so sweet, she makes it a point
   to share all of the dog’s bones, even when they don’t want.
Nadine’s in the business of instigating
   a thousand rousing rounds of fun bitey-facing.
Then what to their sensitive ears should appear? 
   Is it a car, or a squirrel, or a leaf that they hear?
They dash to the fence, and they jump and they chatter,
   and the neighbors, oh how they love such a clatter!
It’s nothing, again, but that doesn’t matter.
   And even as I exclaim "Don’t step in the poop!"
I’m quite certain someone has stepped in some poop.

Merry Dog-mas to all, and to all a good night!

{ 1 comment }

Sweet Potato Kale Hash

by Marianne on 12/21/2014

in Dogs, Home

Sweet Potato Kale Hash

There is nothing that cures what ails you quite like a warm sunny-side up egg layered atop something delicious. And what ailed me this morning was about 2 gallons of wine, staying out past my bedtime, and way too much laughing last night.  Yes, another fun (and loud) Fraser family Christmas has come and gone.  We certainly had a very merry time.  And while we don’t technically do gifts for the adults other than maybe little things,  I was overjoyed by the bag of dog treats and dog toys from my sister (for the doggies, not for me)!  Judging by my response, you would have thought it was a large sack of money.

My headache this morning was a doozy.  The dogs don’t seem to understand about sleeping-in opportunities, so when the bitey-face games started, I reluctantly got up and planted myself on the couch.  A few hours later I found the energy to crawl to the kitchen.

This is seriously my favorite thing to eat lately.  Here’s how I do it. This is per person:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2-3 Slices of Maple Bacon – cut into small pieces
  • 1 Sweet Potato (smallish) – nuke it in the microwave while the bacon is cooking (poke some holes in it, and cook about 4 minutes).
  • 1 Jalapeno – sliced
  • 1 large handful of chopped Kale – just get the big bag of pre-chopped – it’s way easier that way.
  • 2 Eggs

Fry the bacon pieces in a skillet until almost crispy brown, and drain the excess grease.  Add the pepper slices, and cube up the cooked sweet potato and add that to the pan too.   When the bacon is crispy and the potato has some browning on it, dump in the large handful of chopped Kale, and cook down until wilted.  Salt & Pepper to taste. Then (in an oven safe pan), top with 2 eggs.  Bake @ 350 degrees for about 17 minutes, until the egg white is just set (or longer if runny egg yolk skeeves you out).

Yes, Yes, and Yes!  It’s like the universe took one look at me and said “Girl, you look like you could use a do-over.  You’re Welcome.”


If you like it, put an egg on it.



Of Dogs and Upholstery

by Marianne on 12/07/2014

in Create, Dogs, Home

There are some risks inherent in fostering dogs.  Not the least of which is the possibility that they will take a piece of your heart with them when they go (to their forever home.)  Oh, they will, no doubt.  But when you factor in the fact that your heart grew ten-fold the day you brought them into your home, you will realize that you’ll be ok.  They can keep that piece.  And you can always try and fill that hole with another foster.

The other risks are more trivial.  That is, as long as you keep a level head, and have a healthy supply of patience and compassion.  Poop happens; it’s a given.  Along with maybe some other stuff.

So this happened last week:

Ottoman Damage

I’m not going to call out the perp by name, because she seems sufficiently remorseful, and promised not to do it again… but she’s tall and a-DORA-ble, and is new around here.  I take partial blame, because I left her un-crated for a bit longer than I intended. (The three minute trip to the store around the corner turned into a hour or more trip to the store down the street…)  She didn’t know, or she was nervous, and so now we are working harder on learning about acceptable chew-things.


I was pissed… for about a minute.  It’s a thing.  An ottoman.  I mean, I like my stuff, and like it to look nice, but I’ve never really been too hung up on it.  I’ve already been through 2 kids a puppy.  I still have furniture that Maggie customized for me more than a decade ago with her puppy teeth.

That ottoman never licked tears off my cheek when I was crying, or made me laugh out loud at it’s silly antics.  It never loved me unconditionally. (Although, it does kind of make me smile now!)  It’s a thing, and things are way lower on my give-a-shit list than my sweet, loving pups.

Besides all that, I’ve been itching to try my hand at upholstery, but had not found a good starter project.  I’m a little terrified of tearing something apart that is “still good” for fear that I will not be able to put it back together.  Well, that little worry was just taken care of for me!

Ottoman Damage  Ottoman Repair

A trip to Jo-Ann’s, and $60 later, and I’ve got my first upholstery project!  This was actually pretty easy.  No sewing involved, just folding and stapling. The 54” width of the fabric was exactly perfect for the width of the ottoman.  I purchased 3 yards, and have enough left for a pillow.

Ottoman Repair   OttomanRepair2

Ottoman Repair

I love it!  Way more fun than brown on brown. I just hope it’s less delicious now!

Dora on ottoman

There’s a lesson or two here if you are bringing a new pet into your home:

  • The crate is your friend
  • Shit Happens
  • Be patient, and keep an eye out for teachable moments
  • Keep “things” in perspective
  • Enjoy being loved unconditionally
  • If you are looking for a new hobby, consider upholstery. Smile

Remember… Practice safe chewing!

Dora ChewBone

{ 1 comment }

Pumpkin Spice Dog Cookies

November 30, 2014

Nadine has been at it again… this time she’s whipped up some pumpkin cookies!  I know that making cookies for dogs probably just reaffirms my ‘Crazy Dog Lady’ status, but for Nadine it’s really a necessity.  Poor girl was having some serious tummy issues until we switched her to grain-free food.  Not sure really if […]

Read the full article →

Spicy Salty Dog

October 23, 2014

Because it’s almost Friday! Getting ready for a little girls reunion weekend with my crazy, dear friends from high school.  Nothing too outrageous (this time!), just a quick trip back to the Texas Hill Country, where all the memories happened.  Should be a fun weekend, and a nice break from “it all”.  I imagine us […]

Read the full article →

Green Curry Meatballs

September 17, 2014

Green.  Do you crave in color?  I do.  Today I was craving “green”.  And I don’t mean rabbit food.  Sure, I eat my share of salad, and many times it’s what I WANT to eat, but rarely do I CRAVE one.  So what does crave-able green taste like? Herbal, Pungent, Spicy, Bright, Warm, Fresh, Cool, […]

Read the full article →

Big Girl Cherry Limeade

September 12, 2014

Cocktail time! Because it’s Friday, and I rocked this week!  Woke up every morning, and put on clothes that do not double as pajamas. Walked the dogs…all of them… every day. Forgave the jack-asses and morons who either truly don’t know how to merge in traffic, or actually believe that it does not apply to […]

Read the full article →

Jack Bowser, Dog Extraordinaire

September 7, 2014

This is Jack Bowser, my sort-of-unplanned foster dog.  I guess you could call him an Extra Dog, but I actually already have a couple of those.  He’s pretty awesome, so we’ll call him Extraordinary instead! This little guy ended up at BARC (the city shelter), and managed to get into their adoption program (no small feat), […]

Read the full article →