Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Home is the nicest word there is."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

We are home. 

Ahh... what a good feeling it is
to be back among our favorite things.
Things like my Lazyboy recliner, my jacuzzi bath tub,
my own bed, and my internet.

Goodbye Kansas City!
We have been gone for two weeks helping Kdaughter move.
I will miss their neighborhood,
it's walking trails, lakes and
proximity to so many choices you get
when living in the city.

It began with a major purging of household items, clothes and lots of shoes. I love it when she purges. I get a new wardrobe complete with matching shoes, purses and jewelry to bring home with me. 

She is a fashionista
(my word, not hers) and she stays up on the latest looks and fashions. 

 I am NOT a fashionista
as shopping and trying on clothes is my least favorite thing to do. 

 She makes it so easy for me and I am so blessed to wear the same size as her. I put this bulletin board on a closet wall to hold some of the jewelry she gave me.
This will be so convenient for me to
find that perfect jewelry piece. 

I went a week without checking emails, reading blogs and staying in touch with everyone on facebook. We were so busy, and so tired at the end of the day that I didn't miss it. Now that we are home, I am enjoying the slower pace, sitting in my Lazyboy, reading my ipad and catching up with everyone.

We also celebrated my 56th birthday by going out to a nice dinner. I wanted Italian and my only experience with Italian food is the Olive Garden. I love their salad dressing and keep a bottle of it in my pantry. 

Well, Kansas City, Missouri has so many choices in restaurants, when you say you want to eat Italian food, you have to choose which Italian restaurant. Kdaughters favorite Italian food is served at Cascones, a small little place that plays Frank Sinatra music and serves hot, fresh bread with real butter. Our waiter was a family member who spoke Italian, real Italian, not our Missouri version of Italian. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was like I was actually in Italy, and the service was amazing. We had a fun, relaxing and delicious evening.

I am so grateful for the blessings of another year of life.
I thank God every morning for another day, another 24 hours,
to live my life. He blesses me so.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I want cheesecake!

Diets, like clothes, should be tailored to you.
Joan Rivers

I gained about 15 extra pounds this past winter.  Cold weather is perfect for baking cookies, cakes, pies, fudge, and hot rolls.  And I did a lot of baking this past winter.  In the past, the weight has just fallen off when the spring chores begin.  With flower beds to clean and plant, a garden to grow, long walks near the lake, and swimming those extra pounds just disappeared. But not this year.

Those extra 15 pounds have stayed, they have lingered long past their season. I have tried to cut back on calories when and where I can. I have turned down extra helpings of mashed potatoes, refused dessert, and tried to walk more. Five of those pounds are gone now but those last ten may be here to stay.  

So... I am using less butter in my cooking, more fresh vegetables, grilling more, and frying less.  But we love cheese cake around here.  I started making this cheesecake about 35 years ago and is still one of our favorites.  It isn't heavy, it is light and fluffy but has that cheesecake flavor that we love.  I made it recently for a family gathering and topped it with fresh strawberries and it was so good.  I thought I would share it with you.

Jello Cheesecake

2 graham cracker pie crusts

1 large package of jello, any flavor

1 cup boiling water

8 oz. Cream cheese at room temperature (low fat is ok)

½ cup white sugar (or splenda)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 can Milnot evaporated milk (Milnot whips better than other brands)

Add jello to a cup of boiling water, stir till dissolved, then chill about 20 minutes (just till it cools slightly)

While the jello is cooling - Mix together room temperature cream cheese and sugar till well blended and sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla, stir till mixed well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, Whip one can of Milnot Evaporated Milk until stiff peaks form.

Add cooled jello mixture to cream cheese mixture and stir till mixed well, scraping sides of bowl. Then fold in the whipped Milnot till blended well.

Pour into graham cracker crusts, chill for three hours.

Top with fresh fruit before serving.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Raintree

WE have been in Kansas City for the past few days helping Kdaughter get ready to relocate and come back home.  They left their "home" about 5 years ago for career changes that involved three new construction houses, 6 moves and lots of packing and unpacking.  Their 5 year plan is now close to completion.

Southwest Missouri is not the greatest place to build a career, relocating is almost a must in order to get the experience necessary to move ahead.  I am just so happy it only took five years and now they will be coming back home, only an hour away from me. I have enjoyed their moves, as inconvenient as they were, as meeting new neighbors, making life long friends was the best part of the whole experience.  I will miss the adventures of learning new places, getting lost in traffic, and eating new foods.  

But having them come back home
is a prayer answered.

The last move is now only a week away.  We will leave again tomorrow, to head back for Kansas City to help with all the details, a garage sale, packing, loading and moving down the road.  I want to share some photos of their neighborhood taken during my 6am walks.

Raintree Neighborhood

I counted 6 lakes, 5 smaller ones and one large one.

The neighborhood is filled with walkways, flower beds, clubhouses, and boats.

I will miss the paved sidewalks,
a real treat for a country girl.

Goodbye Kansas City!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Photo Challenge

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” 
― Ansel Adams

Today I am linking up with
for her monthly photo challenge
over at her blog

I must thank BJ over at
the referral.

I took this photo a few years ago and it captured my heart, brought a smile and a tear. I thought it was a pretty good photo and figured I got lucky getting a shot that seemed to speak to me such innocence and simplicity.  

I printed one and gave it to my aunt.  Just last week at our family reunion, I noticed that my Aunt had framed it and hung it on her wall.  Again, it captured my heart and spoke of such an innocent time. It was taken with a kodak point and shoot, I hope the size and pixels (?) are good. I then uploaded it into Picmonkey and added the frame and used the Sepia feature.

I just discovered Picmonkey a year ago, and still have so much to learn. But I find Picmonkey relaxing and fun to play with.

So I am entering it into her challenge.  

Thank you Sara Marie
for your innocent smile!