Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

I took these at our town's annual Fourth of July fireworks yesterday. This year's celebration was special because it is the 150th anniversary.

Anniversary of what, you may say? Well, I'm not really sure. I thought it was the anniversary of the founding of the town, but on the last day of celebrations, I learned that the town was founded less than 150 years ago, so I think this is a celebration of how long they have had Fourth of July celebrations. I'll have to look it up sometime and find the actual answer.  The question is, why don't we have the celebration on the actual 150th anniversary if this isn't it?

Things Morgan wonders. . . .


Monday, February 16, 2015

Recipe>> Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

As I promised, here is the recipe for, in my opinion, one of the best cheesecakes ever. :)

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

1 (9.8oz or 21.5 oz) package fudge brownie mix
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom only of 9-inch springform pan.

2. Prepare brownie mix as directed for chewy brownies. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set.

Note: The brownie always overbakes when we make this so this time we followed to instructions on the brownie box( in our case 350° F for glass and metal pans and 325° F for dark coated pans) so we baked it for 25 minutes at 325°F  and it worked out perfectly.

3. Meanwhile, in a larger mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk.

4. Add eggs and vanilla. Pour in prepared pan.

5. Pour into prepared pan. Reduce over temp to 300° F.

6. Bake 50 minutes or until center is set. To test for doneness, stick a clean butter knife in the center of the cheesecake. If the knife comes out clean, your cheesecake is done. Melted chocolate chips on your knife don't count. Only the cheesecake part counts. ;)

7. Cool.

9. Chill thoroughly. Remove side of springform pan.

10. Serve and enjoy.*

*Serving doesn't necessarily sharing. Although your friends and family would probably be happier with you if you share it with them. ;)

I didn't take very many pictures, but here are some pictures of the finished product. :)


What is your favorite dessert or type of cheesecake to make?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

10 Things To Do On Valentine's Day(Instead of Sitting Around All Day)

Yes, I know it's been a while since I blogged. And Valentine's Day is almost over. And I should have thought of this post a little earlier so you guys could actually make use of it on Valentines.

But enough apologies, let's get to the actual post.

Some people who are single take Valentine's Day as an opportunity to sit around and mope and complain about their singleness. Instead of this, why don't we make it a day to spend with friends and family and show them how much we love them?

If you don't know where to start, here are some ideas for you.

(Note: These things work best when Valentines Day is on a Saturday or Sunday, like it is this year, because then you don't have other things like school or work to do instead of celebrating. You can still do these things, you'll just have a little less time for them.)

 10 Things To Do On Valentine's Day (Instead of Sitting Around All Day)

1. Bake something
Instead of eating plain chocolate all day long(although there's nothing wrong with that), bake something. Or make something no-bake, if you don't feel like baking. I made a brownie chocolate chip cheesecake today for supper, and it was delicious. :) I'll try to post the recipe sometime before the end of the month. (We'll see if that actually happens.) You could also make and decorate sugar cookies.

Here is a recipe I posted awhile ago for brownies if you want something chocolate. 

2. Cook Something
Not everything we eat on V-Day has to be laden with sugar, although all the best foods are. For supper tonight, we had lettuce salad and steak and baked potatoes. You can cook a meal for your family or have your family help you and make it a family affair.

3. Listen to Music
Not necessarily love songs, but if you do choose those, here are some recommendations.

- You Are My Sunshine
- Have I Told You Lately That I Love You by Rod Stewart
- Singin' In The Rain from, you guessed it, Singin' in the Rain
- Dream of You from Singin' in the Rain
- What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
- L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole

You can listen to Taylor Swift if you want, but I think all her songs sound the same, so I'm not putting them on my list.

4. Watch Movies
Same as with music. If you want love stories, here are my suggestions.

- Singin' in the Rain (Yes I love it. In fact, I'm watching it right now.)
- North and South (based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell)
- Pride and Prejudice(1995) I prefer this one, but there are other versions.
- Any Jane Austen book made into a movie

5. Burn a Candle
Or diffuse essential oils. We have a cat who likes to get into things, so a candle probably wouldn't work too well, but we just put essential oils in a diffuser with water and turn it on. You still make the room smell nice, but with a lot less risk of damaging things if the cat gets into it. :)

6. Do Something Crafty 
Papercrafts, yarn crafts, whatever kinds of crafts you want. You can make cards or valentines for your friends and family, or you can sew something for yourself. If you want, you can knit or crochet or cross stitch.
If crafts aren't really your things, try writing something. Poetry, short stories, portions of longer stories, or just writing random things in a journal are some ideas.

7. Send people valentines 
You can make them out of paper or buy one or send one electronically. I texted some to my friends earlier today, but I think I may also make some paper ones tomorrow. Yes, I should have thought of this earlier so they could get them today, but better late than never(or next year), right?

Searching "fandom valentines" on Pinterest is very entertaining. If you don't want spoilers, you might want to stay away from it. Or you can search for specific fandoms that you don't have to worry about spoilers.

8. Paint your nails
-solid colors
  - themed colors such as red, pink, or white
  - winter colors(blue, white, sparkles)
  - bright, spring colors(if you want it to get warm already)
  - designs such as such as hearts or flowers

9. Relax
Take a bubble bath. Listen to music. Read a book. Or anything else you find relaxing. :)

10. Host a Valentines Party
You can invite your friends over and decorate for them. When they arrive, you can do all the above things. :) And, since everything is better with friends, your Valentines Day will be even better.

Even if its a bit late to do these things on February 14th, you can do them anytime during the year or save them for next year.

I hope you enjoyed my little Valentines list!


What do you do to celebrate Valentines Day? Do you have anything to add to my lists?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Luthien Tinuviel

Luthien Tinuviel

"The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinuviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold.
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beachen leaves
In wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came,
Tinuviel! Tinuviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinuviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinuviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless."

-J.R.R. Tolkien

A little Tolkien for you in honor of National Poetry Day.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Frostbitten Spring

So, here it is April, and it decided to snow again. But I guess I don't get to complain because snow in April is better than the snow we had in May last year. And I live in Iowa so I guess the weather will do whatever it feels like.

Anyway, snow makes for really cool pictures when it stays around long enough for you to snap some pictures of it. About an hour or two after these pictures were taken the snow was melting into a muddy mess in the mid-40's temperatures.

My goal was to maybe get some good snow pictures to be entered in our county fair and I think I succeeded in that. :)

Well, this has been a quick post, but I hope you enjoy it.


Does you have any favorites?