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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Taco Soup, Hay, Calves, & Bella Jo

Bella Jo is such a sweet dog. She's trying so hard to do everything right! I'm not worried about her taking off; she's thinkin' this ranch life is the life for her!

I start out the day with feeding the horses of course, so we head to the barn on leash. Then after determining where Tat the cat is and Bella gets told "no" when she wants to go aggressively toward Tat, I let her off leash. BTW, Tat is always on top of the hay stack in the barn and knows to keep his distance. Bella is definitely getting the idea that Tat is off limits!

Then I load up the wheelbarrow with hay and we go out behind the round pen. Colt's the only horse at that point. I lay out the piles of hay while Bella stands by the round pen watching intently. Then I let Whiskey and Brego out of their pasture to come eat.

Bella's finding her comfort zone. She sticks with me
but keeps her distance from the horses.
She's figured out that fences are her friend and
knows how to get around the barn to keep
me in her sight, but away from the horses.

On Sunday, we helped Rusty and Sam at the TI Ranch
run their calves through for their last shots.
Bella sat on the flat bed and watched.
She got a little excited when some of the calves
were banging around in the chute and she started
barking at them. I told her "no bark" and that was
the end. She sat and watched intently.

My Man ran the chute this time.

After the calves were done, Bella got to smell her
first cow manure...she loved that!

I walked Bella on leash along the inside of the calf pen and she got to see the calves moving away from her as we walked along. She needs better leash control still because she pulls back when she panics. It'll take time, but it feels like she's making improvement already.


On the hay front...I really like this photo:

The two rows of 1st cutting are all gone!
You can see where the bales had been sitting
since last July...empty is good!

And this is the last semi truck load of 2nd cutting!
So, it's all gone too! All that's left is 28 bales
of 3rd's sold, they just have to haul it.


It's that time of year when soup, stew and chili are on our dinner plates quite often. This is an easy recipe for Taco Soup that you can make either on the stove top or in a crock pot.

Simple Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 - 1/2 cups water
1 can (15 oz) mild chili beans in sauce
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies (optional)
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

Brown beef; drain. Add taco seasoning and mix well. Transfer meat mixture to large soup pot or crock pot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If using the stove top: simmer until heated through and flavors are blended, stirring occasionally (I like to let it simmer for a couple of hours). For the crock pot: Heat on high for 4 hours.

Yield: 6-8 servings (about 2 quarts)

Serve with cheese, sour cream, chips, and avocado. Corn bread is wonderful too!

BTW...I don't put in the small can of chilies...that makes it way to hot for us.




mj said...

Sweet Bella. It's so surprising how a dog can learn to trust again. It looks like she's already looking to you for security and confidence after probably coming from a home where she couldn't rely on anybody...

Mikey said...

That just made me hungry :)
Love what you're doing with Bella. We're doing exactly the same thing here with Lexi the feral dog, and she does the same thing. Pulls back and panics, mostly when all the other dogs run out the door to bark. She's headin back to the safe kennel. But same as Bella, she's getting used to this life and liking it :)
Boy do I wish I had a stack of hay like that sitting here. I miss green grass more and more these days.

Country Whispers said...

That is my favorite soup and now you have made me hungry.
Glad to see Bella is catching on.

Anonymous said...

I can't get over how much Bella Jo looks like my Maggie Mae! I've copies and filed you Taco Soup recipe, can't wait to try it.:) I am making my cabbage soup today with one of my Chinese cabbages. :)

gtyyup said...

mj~that's exactly how her first owner was so she couldn't trust and had no guidance.

Mikey~we'd be glad to ship hay down to you next year ;~)

dibear~Maggie Mae just needs a bunch of spots on her white and her and Bella Jo could be twins!

Jayke said...

Bella Joe sure was lucky to find you in her life! She seems so somber in all of her pictures, a real mark of how uncertain her life must've been before this.

Glad to hear she's catching on to the ways of life, I'm sure in no time she'll be running with the other dogs like she's been doing it her whole life.

Kathleen Coy said...

It sounds like Bella's learning the ropes quickly. I'm so glad she found you! :-)

The Wife said...

Oh, Taco soup is one of my favorite cold day dishes! Can't wait for it to get cool enough for it here. Bella looks like she's learnin' quickly!

Faithful said...

Yummo!! Love Taco Soup! I will hafta try that recipe!
Bella Jo sure found a great home with you..she sure looks like a keeper! Good luck with her..sounds like you got it under great control! Nothin' like a heeler..except maybe a Cindy Sue!!

Shirley said...

Bella Jo looks like a smart dog; she'll find her niche soon. You're doing a good job with her.

Paint Girl said...

I am so happy to hear the Bella is doing so well! Smart dog!
I love Taco soup, although I have never made it myself. I think I will do that this Sunday, throw it together in the crock pot, make a fire in the woodstove, and watch football, sounds like it is going to be a lazy day!

CCW said...

So happy to hear that Bella Jo is doing well! TillyRat sends kisses & says to tell CindySue she's lucky to have a new sister AND such a great Mom!

Ed said...

Bella looks too cool and the Taco Soup is making me drool..:-))
I hope my mom gets the recipe..

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Bella sounds great! Those ACD's are smart dogs.

That Taco Soup sounds awesome. I make a chicken taco soup but will have to try the beef.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I think Bella-Jo found a great new place to call home!!

Anonymous said...

manker aka the "B&B dog" has learned the ropes here so 's not to get underfoot with the horses.. .he's learned that one the hard way.... looks for you like another day in paradise
enjoy the taco soup

gp in montana where the snow is STILL falling.. hmmm maybe we could use some soup apres ride later...

mugwump said...

I am so going to make this soup.

HBFG said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! What a great life you have, and wonderful animals! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Mmmm! Sounds delish! Thanks for sharing that. I'm off to the do the marketing tomorrow and will add those items to my list!

Glad to see that all your hay has been sold. I'm sure that is a relief!

I'm also impressed at how smart Bella is with you. She picks things up fast!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hmmmm, seeing all that wonderful hay made me get a lightbulb moment and think about sending my hubby and his big 18 wheeler to your ranch next summer to pick up a load of hay for me! hah! Do you sell privately?
We get all our hay from Colorado or California. The hay that is sold in NM isn't very nice and is often over-priced. bah.


Heart of a Cowgirl said...

Mmm... that looks yummy. Gonna have to try this recipe out. I've been in a mood for soups and stews lately.

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