Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sometimes things are not as they seem...

When you think of Colorado, do you think of fresh, crisp, mountain air and health-minded people?  I used to.

We have moved from Colorado after living two years of absolute hell next to people in a new subdivision who burned wood constantly in their wood burning stove, even though eight neighbors who lived down wind of them complained about the smoke and smell coming from their house.  We moved into a brand new home, that was very energy efficient and it couldn't keep the smell from invading our home and our lives.  We could no longer open our windows or enjoy our own backyard.  The stress from dealing with such inconsiderate people was too much for us.  For us, there is no clean air in Colorado.  For us, the thought of breathing in Colorado only brings back thoughts of coughing and burning in our nose, and that horrible, horrible smell - constantly in our own home.  We don't smoke and we don't let anyone smoke in our home, but here we were - smelling that nasty, rancid smell in our home because of what the neighbors were burning. 

We were lied to when we looked at this house, when we asked the realtor showing the home what the smoke was coming from the neighbors house next door - that we saw as we were looking at the home for sale across the street.  She knew what it was and had told other neighbors she didn't think she'd be able to sell this house, if the people kept burning.  But to us she answered, she had no idea what it was!!  We asked her twice even!  And she even jumped out of her seat and ran to the window to look!  But she continued to lie right to our faces.  She lives in that subdivision and had to sell another home down the street which also was affected by the smoke to a lesser degree than the home right next door to the smoke.    Yes, I guess it was our fault to not investigate further, but she made it sound like nothing and we had NO idea what kind of hell we were in for the next two years!! 

I would have never thought before living there, that a wood burning stove would smell anything other than that kind of pleasant smell that you get a wisp of on a crisp, cool evening.  No, this wasn't like that AT ALL!!  This was like a putrid, enveloping smell that made you sick to your stomach and the only way to breathe at all was by putting a cloth over your mouth and nose.  The worst part was - there was no where to escape from the smell - it filled our home and made us sick.  Our clothes smelled of it, our hair smelled of it, our dogs smelled of it, our whole home smelled of it!  I hate Colorado because of it.

So we sold our home and left Colorado for good.  I could care less what other people think, but until you've been in a situation like that, you'll never know just how bad it was.  Believe me, I would never have known.

Now we live free from the smoke and smell and feel like we can live again.  NOTHING that we encounter now can ever be as bad as that was.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We've Moved!

This is the view out our back windows!! Talk about a big change...from Kansas flatland to wondrous mountains. We're about 40 minutes from Estes Park...and there are lots of trails to take the doggies for nice long walks. Haven't gotten completely unpacked yet, but we're getting there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Moving to Colorado...sometime in the near future!!

I'ts been a loonnnnng winter this year. More snow than I've seen for a long time! Hoping that spring is just around the corner and that the flowers will be blooming again soon. We have our house on the market and are really not loving the showing our house every other day stuff. We're anxious to get on with living our lives and getting on to our next adventure!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is what I've been up to...

Cakes by Nancy....

Took a cake decorating class...

Working in my garden....

And my mom and son-------------------------

and my mom and my sister

and we couldn't keep track of who was supposed to close their eyes while we took this picture...

And a couple of my sweet babies...

Kelby loves the grass = )

and then there's Ozzie who can get comfortable just about anywhere...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I'm going to take a hiatus from baking and blogging for a little while. My mother has been ill and in the hospital and will probably need to move to an assisted living facility. So whatever free time I did have will be taken up with the work that needs to be done to accomplish that. Till sometime in the future...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

Whitney from What’s left on the table? chose Caramel Crunch Bars for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie. You can find the recipe on Whitney blog or on page 112-113 of Dorie Greenspans cookbook "Baking From My Home to Yours".

These were easy to make and taste great. The little bit of coffee and cinnamon flavor really shine in these cookies. Although they are maybe a little too sweet for my taste, the family really liked them. Great choice Whitney!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TWD: Devils Food White Out Cake

Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater chose this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie baking project and what a project it was...I think everyone was waiting for this recipe to be picked since it is on the cover of Dorie Greenspan's cookbook "Baking From My Home to Yours".

I've learned over the months that I've been baking along with the TWD group, that it's very, VERY important to read Dorie's recipes through and then read them again and maybe even read them a third time to make sure I know exactly what she's saying. For instance, in this recipe I wasn't sure when making the frosting what stage the egg whites needed to be whipped to before I started adding in the syrup, because she says to begin whipping them on medium, but if they get firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches 242 degrees then you have to slow them down. I personally would like information that said beat the whites until they were at such and such stage, then add the syrup, which should be 242 degrees. And then if she would want to add the part about how she might want to go about doing that, at least I would understand where I wanted things to be when they go together. I know...picky-picky. I just have a difficult time understanding what she's saying many times. I get so caught up in the recipe, I forget to take pictures as I go. Oh well!

After reading the P&Q this time and everyone having problems with the cake rising very much, I was a little hesitant to try. And I didn't have 8 inch round pans. But I found a couple of 8 inch square ones and decided to give it a go anyway. And of course, my cakes didn't rise very much either. One of the difficult tasks of this recipe was cutting the layers in half since they were so flat anyway. The picture on the cover has much fatter layers than my cake!! But the cake does taste delicious! More like a cakey brownie! The frosting tastes like whipped marshmallow and the mix of the two is just pure bliss.

Yum! Thanks Stephanie for a great choice! Go check out the recipe on Stephanie's blog and taste it for yourself!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TWD: World Peace Cookies

These cookies are definitely yummy enough to create world peace! Jessica of cookbookhabit chose World Peace Cookies , for Tuesdays with Dorie this week. The recipe is on pages 138-139 of Dorie's cookbook or you can get the full recipe on Jessica's blog.

When I was mixing these up and the directions said to pulse the mixer on low and that the mixture would be kind of crumbly, I had no idea how crumbly Dorie meant. I really never thought I was going to get them into a roll to refrigerate them to slice them later! I dumped a bowl full of barely mixed flour on the counter. Somehow I got the two logs rolled and in plastic wrap. Slicing them was a new adventure. I had serious doubts that they would even come out at all! But yummy they are...so rich and dark and deliciously chocolate! The taste of the salt with the sweet of the chocolate was just another wonderful surprise! Luckily my cookies didn't come out too large...I don't think I would have wanted a larger cookie, they are so rich! I've never made a cookie without some other kind of liquid or egg or anything else to hold it together! But it works...

...and warm from the oven - they were especially yummy! Thanks Jessica!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TWD: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Heather of Sherry Trifle chose Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie.

There was a LOT of ginger going into this recipe. I'm very surprised that it didn't taste more gingery. It was kind of like spicy chocolate cake to me. I have to admit, I'm not a big gingerbread fan, so I was a little reluctant to try this week and give an opinion because of that. It was a very quick dish compared to other recipes that we've tried from Dorie's book.

Go to Heather's blog for the full recipe or Dorie Greenspans cookbook and try this one for yourself!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TWD: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake by Rebecca chose Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins on page 6 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie project.

I think a lot of people had the same idea about a nice pot of chili and these muffins - and well...it goes wonderfully together on a cold January night - the chili, the muffins and the warmth you feel after eating these.

I would have to say, they are very colorful, even though I didn't use the cilantro. (We are a 'no cilantro' family.) They tasted fine without it, I will have to say. The only problem I saw was that mine were a little on the dry side. I'm used to corn muffins that stick together a little bit - and these just seemed to crumble in my hand. I didn't think I baked them too long, the only thing I can think of was that I used frozen white shoepeg corn that seemed a little smaller than the usual yellow corn. (I couldn't find any frozen corn in the store that didn't have butter sauce in the package!!) My husband really enjoyed these.

It looks so pretty getting all mixed up!

Mmmm...warm and buttery fresh out of the oven! Thanks Rebecca for this weeks pick and thanks that it wasn't something sweet! You can find the recipe on Rebecca's blog or in Dorie's cookbook.