Monday, October 28, 2019

My Grandson's Graduation from Marines Boot Camp

 Graduation Day from the Marines Boot Camp took place in San Diego!  

 Family Day was the day before graduation when we first got a glimpse of Connor, during practice, after almost three months! 

 After the new Marines got in formation before the crowd, they were released to find their loved ones.  Here's Connor with his girlfriend and his Mom.  We had the rest of the day to spend with him on base,  until 5:45, when he had to return to his barracks.  He was so excited and so happy to just be with us, and he chatted away about his experiences and his time doing the Crucible.  He was so thoughtful and answered all of our questions that we had.  He also ate, and ate, and ATE!  He had ice cream first, then candy, a burger and fries, and our leftovers, and more candy, ice cream, and Nutrigrain bars.  He didn't want to go to the arcade, the bowling lanes or anything on the base, but just sit and talk to us!!

 Here's the family with our new Marine!

 This is his platoon on Graduation Day.  San Diego happened to be having a heat wave while we were there.

 We found our Marine!

 We were so excited to congratulate him!  He quickly got his bags and was out of there lickety split! 

 The first thing he wanted to do was to go to In and Out Burger and to take the food back to the condo that my daughter and son-in-law rented.  My son, Kevin, on the right, flew in the night the night before graduation.

 Connor and Rachel out on the sunny deck. The condo was a few steps away from Mission Beach.

 We did enjoy some beach time while we were there.  Riley is throwing the football to Caiden and Cissy, who didn't mind being in the cold Pacific Ocean.  Connor didn't even want to see the beach since he said that he had to hike in the sand for 8 miles in his boots, and part of it was in water. 

 Molly and I had some fun in the sand!

 The sun was just about done for the day, and we were a happy bunch!

 Cissy and Kevin doing handstands in the sand, with Caiden about to join in.

Before we headed to the airport, my daughter suggested we head to La Jolla, where Kevin, Caiden and Cissy tried out the scooters, and we had lunch.

Here I am with two of my four children, my youngest and my oldest.  Goodbye California!  We really enjoyed our time here and we have so many wonderful memories to hold on to. All the new Marines get 10 days to be home, but Connor gets an extra 7 days, to help with recruiting.  After that he returns to California for School of Infantry training, which every Marine is required to do.  Congratulations to Connor!!  He was so happy, mature, and confident.  We are all so very proud of him!

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Please join me for some Pumpkin Cheesecake on the patio, while we admire the haunted house that Harper and my son, Mike, put together.

  I made the tea cozy last year with vintage-look fabric that I had bought several years ago. 

Yield: About 8

Pumpkin Chesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I adapted my plain Instant Pot Cheesecake recipe in order to make a pumpkin flavored one. I think I like this better than pumpkin pie!


  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup gingersnaps (I used pumpkin gingersnaps)
  • 3 tablespoon butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 16 ounces cream (2 blocks) cream cheese (I used Nuefchatel)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (freeze the rest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature


How to cook Pumpkin Chesecake

  1. Make crust:  Spray a 7" springform fan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps, melted butter and salt.   Spread evenly  in the bottom and partially up the side of the pan.  Freeze for 20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
  3. Make cheesecake:  In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon , nutmeg, and salt.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just blended.  Don't overmix.  Por batter into springform pan.
  4. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water into IP and place trivet in the bottom.  Wrap the entire pan in foil, covering the top, also.  This will prevent water from falling onto the cheesecake.  Lower the pan on the trivet.
  5. Lock the lid in place and select  High pressure.  Set timer for 35 minutes.  Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the IP and carefully remove the foil.  Place in a wire rack and allow to cool for at least an hour.
  7. Cover the springform pan with foil and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  Garnish with whipped cream. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

My son, Mike, and Harper had fun putting this together while my youngest son and duaghter-in-law were in NYC for a benefit.  We kept the littles busy with crafts, and activities for three nights and four days.

Harper actually placed all the candies (along with a few nibbles) on to the house. She's very careful and precise!

Hayden loved playing with the homemade play dough, which stays so soft and pliable. 

The weekend before was Hayden's 2nd Birthday Party, which was a theme of ice cream, a favorite of Hayden !

It was such a nice day, that the party was outside.

Here is my son Kevin, with his wife, Kristen, and Hayden and Harper (who changed her clothes mid party!). 

Here we are at the kids' craft table with Cissy, Hayden and Molly, my daughter.

Hayden opened her gifts inside.  My son, Mike, is with us, enjoying the fun time.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Charleston Wedding

My  sister and I met for our niece's wedding in Charleston, SC., and stayed in a rental home.  For our first evening we walked several blocks and found S.N.O.B's (Slightly North Of Broad).  The wonderful thing about Charleston is that you can walk to restaurants, sights, and stops.  

We had the shrimp and grits meal and it was so fabulous.

Along the way we admired beautiful window boxes. 

The rehearsal dinner was at Saltwater Cowboys.  My niece, Maggie, is with me and my sister.

Here's Maggie, our brother's daughter, on her wedding day, which was at the most beautiful setting at a plantation in Charleston.

The tables were set so perfectly!

The newly married couple's first dance.  You can get a glimpse of the wedding cake, to the right, inside the room.

At the reception, there was an omelet station and a biscuit bar, with spreads, and also fried green tomatoes. 

Our great nephew, Carson, was all tuckered out!

After enjoying that relaxing reception, all the guests boarded a bus and we went to another venue for more food and fun.  My sister is in the back, me, Shane, my nephew and Maggie's brother, Madison, his girlfriend, and Sean, my nephew and sister's son.

The next morning, my sister, our great nephew, and I went to a restaurant that served the most delicious crepes. We shared a savory, egg, ham, and cheese crepe, and also a Charleston Crepe, which was raspberries, blueberries and Chantilly good!  

What a fun time we had!

**An update on my grandson, Connor, is that he finished The Crucible.  The boys then climbed the reaper, had chicken broth and apple slices,    received their Eagle, Globe and Anchor from their Drill Instructor and  transitioned from a recruit to a Marine.  After that they had a Warriors Breakfast of eggs, potatoes, steak and chocolate cake!  

Thank you for keeping Connor in your thoughts and prayers as he went through this.  It meant so much for everyone to be rooting for him.  Soon he will graduate from boot camp!

I am sharing this with:

Monday, October 7, 2019

Apple Date and Nut Cake

After having a record high of 97 degrees yesterday,  I have good news to share...our "Hotumn" (a new word I learned!) is over, at long last, and I'm celebrating with a recipe that I have been searching for in my files for sooooo long.  I made this cake from a recipe that I clipped from the newspaper in Columbus, Ohio, in the early 70's.  I remember making this for my Aunt Kitty and Uncle John.  It's a very moist cake, and I was so happy to finally find this clipping again.  Yes, I put a dollop of Cool Whip on top, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I love that stuff.  I also have equal love for whipped cream. 

 I'm using this favorite Autumn teacup that my friend, Rosie, gave me from her late Mother's collection.  It's Woodland Series Robin by Royal Albert.  Isn't it a beauty?  I love getting out my seasonal teacups to sip from.

 I was sitting out one evening, near dusk, and birds were flying to my waterfall like crazy.  Can you spot the cardinal on the left, and the tiny goldfinch on the right?  I had never seen goldfinches visit before, but I think they're living in the shrub behind the waterfall.   Bluejays were darting in and out, too, but I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of them.  This little waterfall gives me so much enjoyment. 


My grandson will be starting The Crucible on Tuesday morning.  Please, if you can, keep him in your thoughts and prayers. 

Yield: About 15-18

Apple Date and Nut Cake

This is a nice, moist, delicious cake, and I was happy to find this in my files. You could easily serve this for brunch or dessert.


  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • about 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1-8 ounce package of whole dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts


How to cook Apple Date and Nut Cake

  1. In a large bowl, cut the apple pie filling into fine pieces. 
  2. Add the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda and spices together. 
  4. Turn the dry ingredients into the first mixture and mix well.  Stir in the dates and nuts.
  5. Bake in a lightly grease and floured 13x9" pan in a 350 degree oven (if you use glass, turn the oven down to 325 degrees), for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. 
  6. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream, or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  7. I grated some fresh nutmeg on top.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

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