Rocks and Animals in South Dakota


November 18, 2023

We had the perfect rental for animal watching while I was having my morning coffee. It was a great way to start my day, so relaxing!

We also discovered on a little walk that there was an old mine up the hill from us. We were at a dead end road and were the last house. I found rocks and lots of them! I was thankful we didn't have the computers with us so I had a lot of room for rocks...quartz and slate rocks!

I definitely want to go back to this rental...hopefully next year!

Pumpkin Crisp


Pumpkin Crisp

3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup pecan halves, chopped

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Crisp Filling

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350F.

In an 11″ oven-safe skillet (this is what we will bake the crisp in), add 1/2 cup of butter.

Melt down and continue to stir as it browns. RIGHT when it starts to darken, add in the oats and pecans.

Continue stirring and toast the oats and pecans for about 5 minutes.

Then pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of butter (sliced). Do not clean the skillet.

Once the butter is melted and mixed in, stir in the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Crisp Filling

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and maple syrup.

Once smooth, mix in the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and spices.

When that's well combined, whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture should be pretty thin.

Pour the batter into the skillet that was used to brown the butter. Top with the chilled crumble, making sure to cover every single inch of the batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. It's done when the crisp is golden brown and the very center has a slight jiggle.

Allow the crisp to cool for about an hour, then scoop and top with ice cream.

Joke of the Week

Rick had been in police work for 25 years.

Finally sick of the stress, he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet.

After six months or so of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. He opens it and a huge, bearded man is standing there.

"Name's Cliff, your neighbor from forty miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night. Thought you might like to come at about 5:00."

Rick said, "after six months out here I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you."

As Cliff is leaving, he stops. "Gotta warn you. Be some drinking."

"Not a problem" says Rick. '"After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of 'em'."

Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. "More 'n' likely gonna be some fighting' too."

"Well, I get along with people, I'll be all right! I'll be there. Thanks again."

"More'n likely be some wild sex, too."

"Now that's really not a problem, says Rick, warming to the idea. "I've been all alone for six months! I'll definitely be there. By the way, what should I wear?"

"Don't much matter. Just gonna be the two of us."


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