Monday, April 30, 2012


Evening Grosbeak. Male and female together.

Evening Grosbeak. Male and female.

Black-Headed Grosbeak, male.

Just sharing some more bird photos!!! I finally got a couple good ones of the Evening Grosbeak and one good one of the Black-Headed Grosbeak, male.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Nature Rocks

Flower petals.

Flowers and leaves on my rocks!!


Grouping of four of the same flower petals.

My table of rocks!! These are not glazed yet. 

My new hobby of late!! Decorating rocks!! Here are a few pieces of my latest artwork. This is so relaxing and  fun all at the same time!! I don't know what exactly I will do with all of them....some for myself and some for gifts. Maybe I will sell them....still thinking about that one. I have made many crafts in my life and when I decided to sell them it took most of the fun and relaxation out of it. For now.......I will just enjoy myself!!!!  Update: okay....I decided to sell them down at the Farmer's Market as a fund raiser for my niece.  JUSTICE FOR JESSICA. (long story)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made some mini chocolate chip muffins today. They are so delish! A couple of things I really love about the recipe is that it is low calorie and gluten-free as well.  Two of the tiny divine chocolaty morsels are only 58 calories!

The recipe is not mine. It is a recipe that is a take-off of the chocolate vita-muffin tops. I got it off of Pinterest which led back to a Tumbler blog. I do not claim any credit for how great these muffins are but am very thankful for the person who came up with it!! 


1 3/4 C old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 C hot water
3 egg whites
3/4 C cocoa powder
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C  Plain Greek yogurt (calls for low fat, I used non-fat and it worked fine)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt  (I used sea salt)
1/4 C plus 2 TB stevia
1/2 C chocolate chips
1 1/2 TB vinegar (I used rice vinegar/worked fine)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you are making the batter.

In a blender or food processor (I used my Cuisinart blender) put in the hot water and the oats add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Because of the vinegar and baking soda it will foam up a bit, that is a normal reaction...just stir down and then you can start blending it. Blend well...stirring down until the oats are well blended and you can't see them any longer. The batter will be thin at first...keep stirring down and blending. It will thicken up a bit but not as thick as most batters do. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in half of the chocolate chips. They will melt into the batter because it is still warm...that is okay. Keep the other half set aside to put on top after you bake part of the way through. Or just put all in...I saved some for the top for the vita-muffin look.
Baking times are:
Large (12 muffins) 25-30  Check with toothpick and watch carefully after 20 minutes as all ovens are different.  Add chocolate chips just before you feel they are almost to the clean toothpick stage.

Medium (24 muffins) about 15 minutes (After 10 minutes remove from oven and add a few chocolate chips to the tops and return to oven for about 5 minutes...checking for clean toothpick.

Mini (48 muffins) Bake for 10...add chocolate chips return to oven and bake additional 2-4 minutes...check for clean toothpick. Cool....or not...and get a cup of joe and sit down and enjoy!!

The original recipe said it made 12 large or 24 on the smaller size. The 12 large are 116 calories and the 24 smaller size made in 2 x regular muffin pan are 58 calories each and the mini ones I made are 58 calories for two mini or 116 calories for 4!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fields of Color!!! Yes...I Mean Tulips!!

Aunt Jo came to visit...or I should say came to see the tulips!! The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the clouds were white and fluffy....a perfect day to stand in awh of the never ending fields and fields of color. What a view. The wind was a little brisk when it hit our cheeks causing our eyes and noses to run a bit but it did not take away our joy of standing out in the "Country Country Livin'" surrounded by tulips and daffodils. My granddaughters had fun walking in the mud and trudging through the ditch and just being silly enjoying their selves. I took hundreds of photos but I am just sharing a handful of my favorites. We all had a grand time looking at God's Handiwork and then we bought bunches of tulips to take home with us. We then went for pizza together. What a perfect fun day! I also would like to add that we enjoyed our visit with Aunt Jo very much. We cackled and chewed the rag for hours on end. She shared with us some amazing things she experienced throughout her lifetime.