Friday, November 29, 2013

These days.....

I know I'm getting older.  I can 'feel it in my bones' as my mother used to say.  She also wished she could afford to hire someone to decorate for Christmas for her.  I thought she was silly!  Not so much any more.  I totally get it!  I used to be able to decorate in a day....the tree, all the fun inside things, lights in the windows, etc.  Now it takes me several days.  I'm tired.  I just want it to be done and all the totes and boxes put away.  

I would love to take pictures after Christmas this year - then hand them off to the magic Christmas decorating fairy next year.  Then, on the appointed day -  I would come home from work, or shopping, or the movies ---  and --- ta-da!  I would walk into my perfectly decorated home.  And I wouldn't be exhausted!  

One of my Christmas decorations is a wreath that a good friend, Kathy H. made for me back in 1981.  It has been 'front and center' in our Christmas decorations every year.  It has hung in 7 different homes in 3 different states.  It's one of the first things out each year.  It reminds me of Christmases long ago....when I was single and dating the man who is now my husband.  It reminds me of friendships that endure.  It makes me feel love.

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, November 11, 2013

It must be fall.....

You know how there are things that are synonymous with other things?  Well, it's full on fall weather here.  The leaves have all turned color and most of them have dropped from the trees.  Today the temperature took a nose-dive and it's feeling a lot like fall.  It's supposed to be 18 degrees tonight!  Brrrrr.......   And it's the month of my hubby's birthday.  We like cake in this house, but we like cheese cake better!  And we really love Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake!  So this was the weekend to make the cheesecake. We're having some friends over tonight to help eat it.  And will probably take some pieces to others.  It's too much yummy goodness to keep to ourselves!

Here's how you make this yummy goodness!

1 1/2 cups thin chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
(about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
4 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
coarsely chopped
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 cup caramel topping
*to toast pecans, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until pecans begin to brown, then stirring constantly until light brown.

1) Heat oven to 300. Wrap foil around outside of bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan to prevent drips. Spray bottom and 1 inch up side of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press crumb mixture on bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake crust 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature 5 minutes. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.

2) Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour filling over crust.

3) Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set but center still juggles slightly when moved. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.

4) Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.

5) Just before serving, sprinkle pecans over top of cheesecake. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on high 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pecans.

6) To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake; carefully remove side of pan. Drizzle caramel topping over each serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

High Altitude Directions > Before preheating oven, place pan of water on oven rack below rack cheesecake will be baked on. In step 3, bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Do not run knife around edge of pan until after cheesecake has cooled 30 minutes.

Carden Park School

Progress!  Pretty soon we won't be able to see what they are doing!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thank you Pinterest!

Have you ever seen something on Pinterest, and thought, "I'm going to do that!"  Well, I have lots of those moments on Pinterest, which you would understand if you checked out my boards.  I'm kind of a Pinterest junkie!  So I've committed to trying at least one thing off of Pinterest every week.  This week was a simple, easy-peasy thing.

I love scarves.  I used to have them draped over a hanger like this:

It seemed to take up a lot room because it was pretty bulky and I would have to dig and pull to find the one that I wanted.

And then one day on Pinterest I saw the simplest and most amazing post.  Why hadn't I ever thought of that?!

Shower curtain rings!


Look how wonderful my scarves look now and how easy it is to reach in and pull off the one I want to wear!  I love it!

So, thank you very much DIY Ideas 4 Home for posting on Pinterest.  You have made me happy! Click here to see the original post.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Sunday Walk

The hubs and myself went for a walk yesterday afternoon.  We went down along the river and enjoyed the cool breeze (aka - wind!), and the beautiful fall colors.  Usually here in northwest Missouri, the fall colors are muted and not very pretty.  This year with all of the moisture we've had, the colors are brighter.  There weren't a lot of trees with 'red' leaves, and it was overcast, so you don't get the benefit of the sun shining on the trees, but it was a pretty day.  I'm glad we went outside.

We met some friends along the way who were Geo-cacheing.  I showed them this picture of something that we 'found' along the way. 

Some of the trees up on the bluff.  A train went by a little earlier.  You can see the track bed there.  Yes - I did pump my arm in the air and yes - the engineer did blow his whistle!  Loved it!
A beautiful Missouri Sunset

Carden Park School

More pictures of the school.