Halloween fun in Duluth, MN

One thing I have wanted to do for a while is go through the William A. Irvin Haunted Ship that is docked in Duluth.  We finally went through it last night! The scenes the group put together were all very creative. I can’t imagine how much work it must be to put something like that together. I think my favorite scene was the Beetlejuice room. The guy playing Beetlejuice looked exactly like the Beetljuice from the movie!

It felt real at times with sounds of footsteps and a chilling feeling of someone behind me when no one was.

There are stories of maintenance staff hearing spirits and seeing apparitions of William and Emily. William was scalded to death in 1964 and I’m not sure who Emily was. There are recordings of the spirits communicating with investigators and videos!

Check out the footage here:

Paranormal

More good recipes

via GIPHY

I absolutely love fall in Minnesota. It is that time of year when we have the most beautiful weather and pretty colors all over the landscape. It’s also when we can start wearing our cozy, warm clothes and enjoy that extra cold snap in the air. The other day we got our first snow! That was nothing – it melted right away, but freaked people out enough on the roads to make our commutes a little longer! I came home later than planned and started making one of my absolute favorite fall soups. Perhaps it will become one of your favorites too:

Deborah Madison’s Potato and Green Chile Stew found on Food52.com

*If you are a carnivore like me, adding about 4 slices of chopped up bacon about the same time you add in the onions is really tasty. Also – always use broth in this recipe. It is way more flavorful than adding water.

As long as I am in the mood to share, here is another good one for a cooler evening:

Lynne Rosetto Casper’s Pasta e Lenticchie (Pasta and Lentils) found on TheSplendidTable.org

 

 

Mmm pumpkin bars (aka Pumpkin Sheet Cake)

I found this delicious recipe on the Novice Chef blog recently: https://thenovicechefblog.com/2016/09/pumpkin-sheet-cake/

Obviously, it’s wonderful and has become one of my favorite fall recipes.

The frosting calls for 5 1/2 cups of powdered sugar! That did not seem right to me, so I figured out my own frosting recipe that was amazing on these bars!

Jaime’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin (you will have some left over from the bar recipe)
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly on pumpkin bars. You may have some left over. This stuff is really good on chocolate graham crackers!

Landscaping at our house & Grandpa Walter’s birthday

We bought this house a year ago in a small town on the northwest side of the Twin Cities. We love it, but now there are a few improvements to be made. Of course we want to redo a bathroom, our kitchen, and a couple landscaping projects like our horrible hill in the backyard – turn that into something we don’t have to mow. The first of many improvements was made this week and we are very excited about it! We had a new fire pit installed.

Here is what it looked like before:

Here is what it looks like now:

I’m excited to use it tonight! Thanks to Ben and his team at Nature’s Care Landscaping for their fantastic work!

Grandpa Walter

Grandpa Walter when he was in his 20s, going to Germany to help people get their lives back!

I also need to pay tribute to a fantastic person, my grandpa Walter today. Today was his birthday. He passed away this previous March due to complications with dementia. He would have been 91. I love him so much and miss him a ton, but I am still very glad he is finally at peace after years of battling dementia.

Dementia is a disease that is so cruel and terrifying to witness. Grandpa Walter was so sharp all of my life and it was really sad the day he had to ask me what my name was. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal, told him I’m Pat’s oldest daughter Jaime, but inside I was sad for him. He was such a good person and I wish he didn’t have to leave us that way. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose all memories.

I hope I never have to find out.

New website with blog

Anyone who has their own website will understand. If you maintain a website during your day job (or if that is part of your job, but not the only thing you do), the last thing you want to do when you come home is maintain a website. Granted, it’s fun because it’s yours!

I put my own together years ago when I was about to receive my graphic design degree. I was looking for a new job and it’s good for graphic designers to have a website to showcase a portfolio to anyone checking out their resume. Plus, it also shows you know how to build a website!

Because maintaining a website is one of the many things I do for a corporation during the day, I don’t always feel enthusiastic about updating my own. I will check in on my website from time to time, making sure all is well. This morning to my absolute horror, I figured out my domain had expired behind my back!

It turns out I was paying to keep my privacy, but not renew my domain. What is disturbing is – I went through my payment history and I was told I was paying to renew my domain. To make a long story short, I re-purchased my domain, signed up for five years before I had to renew again and am now going through a different hosting company.

I am adding a blog to my portfolio website so hopefully, I am updating and refreshing it with new stuff a little more often than I had been. It is definitely good to keep the website fresh and I hope my new plan works!