Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's gone. I sold my little car in 1 DAY on Craigslist. From my short real estate "career" I know that means I sold it a little too cheap. It was a good car with a lot of happy memories. It made me feel young to get in and crank up the radio and roll down the windows (with a crank handle). I love our crossover, SUV, or "the vehicle" as we call it, whatever it is, for hauling all the kids around, but this little car was mine, bought with a lot of help from my "boyfriend" -- now my husband on a very hot day in 2005. A couple of nice people were fighting over it, but a nineteen-year-old named Tiffany got the car. She said she was going to give it a name and a wax job. I think it has a good home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

something special on the side of the road

Jaime and Sean pulled up last evening and took something out of the car trunk. A little car stroller just like Jonah used to have! But this one is pink instead of red! Perfect. So Mia and I went for a long walk around the golf course. Then we cleaned out the compartment in the front and put in a toy tiger which she pushed all around the yard. She refused to take off her little sweater (with a hood in back) even though it was getting much warmer. Finally she insisted on her nap on the couch before she even had her lunch. You can see her little purple vinyl glove by her side. Happy find on the side of the road. I wish whoever left this little stroller at the curb could know how much joy it brought today and many days to come. When I get access to a scanner, I will upload some pictures of all the fun Jonah and Jill had with the old one.

the sleepy bowl

sleepy bowl

This bowl was a gift to my daughter from her stepmother, Joyce. She has a talent for finding all kinds of quirky gifts from a variety of catalogs. I believe she also gave Jonah his beloved and well-worn dinosaur quilt. I will have to get a picture of that. Anyway, there were four bowls but this is the only one left. I use it to give chicken noodle soup to Jill when she is sick and I often use it for Mia's breakfast or lunch. It is so cute to hear Mia say, "Wake up, bowl. Time to get up!" She also loves the little hearts.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What to bake when there is NOTHING in the pantry

Blackbottom (chocolate and cream cheese) cupcakes

I wanted to bake something and I was out of everything -- even milk! The only "exotic" ingredient I had was an almost full brick of cream cheese. That and a magazine article with a really enticing picture made me think of blackbottom cupcakes. I searched through my cookbooks. Then I got on the internet. I found a lot of recipes - many of which called for a teaspoon of vinegar in the chocolate layer. (Didn't have that either!) I finally found this recipe which called for common ingredients and not many of them. I will definately make these again. Not only were they easy, they were moist and delicious. The recipe made 12 cupcakes but I did run a little short of the cream cheese mixture, so instead of making two layers as the recipe suggested, I used less cream cheese on some cakes and swirled it a little with a kitchen knife. Both versions were good. Even with this recipe I didn't have vanilla or chocolate chips, but it was still good. P.S. If you are really low on ingredients, the chocolate part alone was very good and it didn't need milk, egg or butter!

I found this recipe on

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 8-ounce package of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, oil and water until smooth.

In a smaller bowl, combine softened cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners (or butter cupcake pans). Pour equal amounts of chocolate mixture in each cup. Top with cream cheese mixture. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.