Category Archives: Birthdays

My Chariot Quit But My Birthday Rocked

Yesterday was my birthday, my husband and I took the day off from work.  We didn’t have any plans in particular but I told him I just wasn’t going to work on my birthday. 

We haven’t had a day off of work since September 30, 2010, working six days a week.  The only days off have been Christmas and New Years.  I was on strike. 

We  stayed at home in our pajamas until around 11 am and decided to hop on our snowmobiles and hit the trails near our home.  My husband led our trip down the trails and to the nearest gas station because both sleds were almost on empty. 

 We got almost to our destination, a gas station, when my snowmobile went slower and then stopped.  I figured that I must have run out of gas so I sent my husband to get some gas and I waited on the trail for him to return. 

He returned with a gas can and poured it in and pulled the rope.  Nothing, no compression.  The problem appears to be bigger than no gas.  He got a chain from a local logging company and pulled my snowmobile off the trail.  I hopped on the back of his sled and we continued on our way. 

We went to our local favorite bar/restaurant for lunch and were provided each with a birthday beer.  My husband’s birthday was last Saturday.  After lunch we got back on the sled and on to my parent’s home just down the road. 

I wanted to get a picture of the ice houses on the lake from my parents home for my photography blog.

After I took this photo I walked into Mom and Dad’s kitchen and I saw this wooden box on the kitchen counter. I said “What’s the box for Dad?” 

He said “I use it for raising bread dough.”  There is a local bakery that sells frozen bread dough that Mom and Dad like.  It’s the only bread that they eat other than bread that Dad makes from scratch. 

Dad said they usually try to speed up the rising process by heating up their oven and putting the frozen bread dough to rise and the later bake it in the oven.  Dad didn’t like how long they had to have the oven on, but still wanted to speed up the process.  

Dad is a retired Electrical Design Engineer so he made his own box for his bread dough. The box is complete with a heat source and thermostat to keep it at the temperature he desired.  This is what the inside of his bread box looks like.

 He sets two bread pans in the box on the screen, sets the temperature and closes the lid until the bread is risen.  He then transfers the loaves to the oven for baking. 

In a previous post, I mentioned a hammered dulcimer that my Dad made.  Yesterday I took this picture of his dulcimer. 

After visiting Mom and Dad we got back on the snowmobile and headed home.  When we got home we headed into our shop to get the flatbed truck to pick up my snowmobile.  We dropped off the snowmobile at our home, took the truck back to the shop and came home.  Exhausted from all the fresh air and exercise, I was in bed with my latest book and asleep by 9:30pm.

One of my favorite parts of snowmobiling is all the things that I can see on the snowmobile trails that you can’t see from the car when driving in the same area. I had high expectations of taking a lot of pictures with my new camera but riding snowmobile didn’t allow for many pictures. I will have to take my camera on a walk on the trails to see if I can capture a few of the beautiful sights I saw yesterday.


Posted by on January 26, 2011 in Birthdays, Family, Life Happens, Photography


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Our Family’s Favorite Birthday Cake is of the Cheese Variety…Southern Pecan Cheesecake to Be Exact

Southern Pecan Cheesecake, photograph by Mike Huibregtse


Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday and she is away at college.  I talked to her this morning to wish her a Happy Birthday.  She is 22 years old.  If she were home and I asked her what kind of birthday cake would she like for her birthday, which is our tradition, she would surely choose Southern Pecan Cheesecake.

I found the recipe for Southern Pecan Cheesecake in a cookbook that I received from my mother-in-law for my birthday in 1991.  The recipe can be found on page 76.  Katherine Brown of Minot, North Dakota contributed the recipe to the cookbook.  It has been a favorite ever since.

For those of you who are intimidated by making homemade cheesecake, you shouldn’t be.  This recipe is easy and it tastes like you have baking for hours.  It goes together quickly and easily.  The cheesecake serves 12-16 people and keeps well in the refrigerator for days after baking.


1-1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup melted butter


5 packages cream cheese (8oz each) softened

1-2/3 cups light brown sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans, divided

To make the crust, place oats in food processor or blender; process to consistency of flour.  Combine oats with remaining crust ingredients; press into bottom of 10-in. spring form pan.  Chill.

To make the filling, beat cream cheese with the mixer until fluffy; slowly add the brown sugar and mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla and half of the nuts. Mix and pour over crust.  

Southern Pecan Cheesecake ready for the oven

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  If using a darker or non-stick pan reduce oven temp by 25 degrees.  Turn the oven off and leave the cake in oven for an additional 30 minutes. 

To reduce chance of cracks on top surface, run a knife around edge of cheesecake as soon as you remove it from the oven.  Let cool to room temperature, chill for 8 hours. 

Southern Pecan Cheesecake cooling to room temperature before refrigeration.


Remove sides of pan. Press additional chopped pecans around sides and pipe with whipped cream if desired.( as shown in the picture at top of post)

Christy won’t be home for her birthday and her cake will be a day late but tomorrow my husband and I will drop off the cake for her on our way to a school board convention to share with her roommates and friends.  A little bit of home,  a little bit late but  Happy Birthday Christy!


Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Birthdays, Family, Favorite Recipes, Holidays


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