Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tulips and Easter Eggs

It was a good and productive day. While I was out running errands I came across some beautiful bunches of tulips. I don't typically buy myself flowers, but, as Betsy would say, "they jumped into my cart." I couldn't help but think of Linda whose pink tulips looked so pretty a few weeks ago. My color choices were red or yellow and I picked up a fresh yellow spring bouquet and enjoyed it all the way through Wegman's and home to my kitchen table.

Once my groceries were put away, I headed outside to do a bit of spring cleaning. I raked out one of my garden boxes and cleaned sticks and leaves out of an over grown used to be flower garden. And then... then I went on an Easter Egg hunt, in my backyard. I collected a whole bagful of "treasures" only the "bunnies" in this case were named Sofie and Jasmine. Blech! (Sorry, no pictures...)

Tomorrow we are going to have dinner with my sister Priscilla.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I haven't felt so out of words in a very long time...

Mom has gone to Rachel's house for the weekend. I have no plans for Easter except maybe a "sunrise" service and breakfast at church, although I didn't sign up...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

K is for Kinglet

K is for Kinglet, Golden Crowned Kinglet.

I found this cute little bird outside my kitchen window one morning last fall on my way out to the bus stop with the girls. At first I thought it might be injured, but after posing for my camera for a few minutes, it jumped into the air and took off for the backyard pine tree.

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

New Life

Spring has arrived with great determination. Last week's snow led me to believe that nothing much could be happening in my backyard gardens, but I was mistaken. Just a quick glance about the yard this morning opened my eyes. God is faithful and spring is on her way after all.

Much remains stark, brown, and naked, but here and there the shoots of future flowers are showing themselves; tulips, daffodils, and crocus. How did I miss the fact that my daffodil buds are already bulging? Bright yellow flowers wrapped safely in a womb of their own, awaiting the light of the sun and warm spring winds.

My lilacs too are hopeful, hopeful for sunlight and warm, gentle rains. No matter how they make my nose itch, I am in love with lilacs, especially the light purple ones. Likely I will bury my nose in the flowers and sneeze my head off. I may even find myself fighting allergy headache, yet every spring I breathe deep the scent of lilac blossoms. Either I am slow to learn or find the consequence worthwhile.

My little crocus flowers will be the first to dress in bright spring colors. They are made to smile and they do it well.  Would that there were more of them out there, but I am grateful for the few that brighten up a little spot of yard each April.

We didn't do a fantastic job of clearing away all last autumn's fallen leaves but the new sprouts don't appear to mind. The dead leaves are pushed aside or lifted high as this year's fresh leaves reach for the sky. I even found myself, with eyes closed, soaking in a ray of sunlight which streamed in through my kitchen window just the other day. It was awesome.

Thank you God for spring and new life! And thank you also for my new and tiny grandson who will join our family this August. Yup, we're getting another boy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fill in the Blank

I have nothing to say. :(

I must be either really tired or really distracted.

Maybe I will think of something wonderful tomorrow. Well, it could happen.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Added Surprise

It's Palm Sunday. I arrived in this world one Palm Sunday in 1964, and so Palm Sunday has always been an extra special day, almost like a second birthday, and today it really was. My girls put their heads together and threw me a birthday party. It was a wonderful event with almost everybody available to help celebrate and make the day special. We were only missing a few family members and half of those live much too far away to come.
I had all my sweet, ram- bunctious grand- children in one place, and five of my seven children. Talk about blessed! We ate together, played and colored, shared some yummy cupcakes and ice cream, and I soaked up the wonder of my grandbabies.

I think my little grand-daughter has one of the sweetest faces I have ever seen. Then again perhaps she just looks so very much like my own babies that I can't help but find her irresistible.

What a great way to end one week and start another! I'll go to sleep smiling tonight.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

And a Birthday to Boot!

Yup, I did it again. I had another birthday, and to help me celebrate, the kids had a day off school. Rather than one small child for the entire day, I had five children of varying sizes. Two little girls arrived with a gift of pumpkin oatmeal muffins made by their daddy, a whole stack! I baked white cupcakes and when Bethany arrived in the afternoon with some confectioner's sugar, the treats were topped with fruity, pink frosting and sprinkles. (A little Kool-Aid in the frosting makes cupcakes fun!)

It was a busy, noisy day full of too many treats and wonderful baby snuggles, but Bethany, wanting to make my birthday special, had another treat up her sleeve. She and Hannah took me out to see "The Sound of Music" at the local high school. What fun! I really should patronize their shows more often. The cast gave an excellent performance and we even got a hug from a happy, smiling, Mother Abbas on our way out the door.

My Darling, also wanting to make the evening special, took on the very brave job of keeping two small grandsons while we were gone to the show. He did a stellar job! Jakie-the-miracle-boy had his first taste of avocado while we were gone. Hasn't that baby got a wonderful grandpa? (We were out of applesauce and half a banana just wasn't enough.) Jakie was all smiles when we returned and so was Josh.

And now, since I am still counting backward, I am all the way back down to being 41 again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I suppose you could say I am in the job market, but just what exactly does a middle aged woman, who hasn't worked outside her home since her days of being a cashier at the local grocery store, do to earn money, especially with an elderly mother to look after?  I've babysat for six and a half years now and I am tired. I want to have something left to give my grandchildren at the end of the day. There must be something I can work my way into as I work my way out of doing childcare, but it has to be something I can learn from home, preferably something I can do from home as well, and not something with a huge upfront investment, which is why I am babysitting...

Today was even colder outside than yesterday. No snowballs at the bus stop, and no mud. Everything was frozen solid. I'm always relieved on these days when the bus comes over the hill and I can go back in the house. Soon, hopefully very soon, we will be soaking up warm air and sunshine while we wait.

This evening the sun decided to show itself for just a few minutes before disappearing for the night. I think I shall always count the evening sun and shadows on Bob's barn a gift of brilliant color. Something about it always makes me smile. It was especially pretty today, even wit the crusty, crunchy covering of snow.

J is for January

J is for January (Last year at this time it could have been for June...)

It is cold outside, well below freezing, and there is snow on the ground. It looks and feels more like January than the first day of spring. Today I am grateful for hot coffee and a small pile of fire wood, a very small pile, out on the back porch. I'm also thankful for a crock pot of hot food, blankets to wrap up in, and someone to help me keep the bed warm on cold, stormy nights. Mostly I am thankful that winter doesn't really last forever, even though at present it feels like it might.

Every spring is different. (Didn't I just say last year J could have been for June?) A year ago I hauled out the lawn mower, took pictures of daffodils (see here), and played outside with small children. Today it appears there is nothing but cold outside, but do not be dismayed. Spring is right around the corner.

 For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Crooked Path

In my heart I desperately want to do the right thing., but determining exactly what that is can be a challenge, Sometimes it feels like I am walking a crooked path into the unknown. Whatever decision I make, I do know that my heart and mind must find peace in the doing...

I took Mom back to the eye doctor, and once again she was not entirely sure who we were going to see or why. She always smiles at Dr. Lerner when we are in the office and she acts like she knows him, but when the time comes to go back for another appointment, she is unsure all over again. I'm not even sure if she actually remembers her cataract surgeries or just pretends to remember. What I do know is that she can now read the eye chart on the doctor's wall and she's no longer guessing.

On the way home today we stopped at the bank, Mom's bank, and added my name to her bank account. We made it a joint account and I needed her physically there to do it. Since I already had her out, it seemed an appropriate time. Now, if something happens to Mom, I can still access her funds. This would have been the only thing to force her will into probate. Now we can avoid that and if there is anything left in the account by the time all of this is over, I can divide it equally between my sisters and myself. I'm pretty sure I can be trusted not to run off with it...

The remaining issue is how to care for Mom and cover our own expenses in doing so. Being somewhat frugal, and a bit of a tightwad as well, I find actually spending her money to be quite the struggle. Since I have few marketable money-making skills of my own, and am somewhat unable to go out and look for a job or take on more childcare jobs, I am left with little choice but to dip into Mom's accounts. I suppose tightwads are, in some ways, a money-maker of their own accord. We just happen to make money by not spending or being thrifty. And, no, I am not about to start swiping napkins and toilet paper from restaurants and public restrooms. (I read about people doing that and I think that is just wrong.)

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Here it is, the middle of March. I know my birthday will be here in a little less than a week, but I honestly haven't had the brain room to think much of it. Perhaps this is one of the perks of growing older. As the excitement of rising numbers wanes, so also does the time to dwell on it. However, when a friend purposes to remember my birthday and unexpectedly sends me something special? Well, that just makes the day sweet all over again.

Yes- terday's mail brought a package from my dear friend Judy in the Bronx. (She has done this before...) I've been thinking about her lately, wondering how she and her husband Danny are doing. I'd planned on sending her an email, but hadn't done it yet. I wondered at the envelope on the dining room table, and after putting my groceries away, set out to open it. What I found inside made me smile.

Inside the package was a small book, an auto- graphed copy of "A Sense of Place" by Daniel Hauben, a bookmark, and a small card from Judy. The book is a printed collection of the paintings Danny did over the course of three years for the Bronx Community College, some of which he was working on when Hannah and I visited New York City a year and a half ago. I found myself feeling blessed.

There have been days when I remembered birthdays much better than I do now. At this point in time, the special occasion typically creeps up on me, not quite totally unseen, but not altogether noticed either. Maybe one day I will have the presence of mind to do better and have the privilege of blessing my friends and leaving them smiling too.

Thank you, Judy Lane! You are truly a special friend.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Tired and easily amused, I am posting more of yesterday's kid pictures. Someone (sometimes called "Grandpa" or "Uncle James") told a kid to open his mouth and then looked inside through the magnifying glass. "Eeeewwww!" he said, and so began a new game. I call it "Dentist" but I don't have a clue what the rest of them call it.

I love the finger spread there in the third picture. I wonder if it helps Lucas get his mouth opened any wider?


This little sign made me smile and recall the days of my own mother helping me search the house for an item I had misplaced and was unable to find. She often asked what I would do if she wasn't around to find it for me. Once in a while she said I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached, and she was probably right.

This afternoon we have an appointment with an elder care attorney. We are once again going over Mom's finances, looking for wisdom in planning for the future, and trying to make sure everything we do is fair and legal. Although I am looking forward to getting this done, I am still finding myself tense, anxious, and in want of a nap.

In the midst of figuring out "mom stuff," we are also attempting to plan for our trip to Minnesota next month. There is a shower on Sunday afternoon (I won't be going...), a dress to buy, and all kinds of details to figure out. Fun, exciting, and scary all wrapped up into one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Toy and Books

I've decided to begin in earnest the task of cleaning out, and I am starting with our bedroom closet, which has become an "attic" of sorts. It has become increasingly difficult to walk into the closet, and there is little to no space left where things can be stored. Our clothes are in there somewhere... I think... and even those need to be sorted.

It was my son's recent request for children's books that got me started on my recent quest to downsize my "stuff" collection. Some of his favorite childhood stories included Dr. Seuss, books by Bill Peet, and Uncle Remus. I gave it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that, although I love my Uncle Remus book, it brings nobody any enjoyment stowed away in a box on the shelf. I sent my boy a note offering him a huge box of Legos, and, along with a warning that some children actually morph into Brer Rabbit, offered him the treasured story book. Yes, Uncle Remus tends to be rare and collectible, but one of my own favorite childhood memories is snuggling up next to my dad and listening to him read Uncle Remus.

So, yesterday my daughter in law came over with her little ones for a short visit. We hugged small children, ate cookies, and sent them home with a big box of Legos and two story books; Uncle Remus and Richard Scarry's Mother Goose. I hope they make for many hours of fun and a lifetime of memories. I know they did for me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I is for Instead

I is for instead.

I thought my grandchildren were coming over today, all of them, but instead I received a call from Bethany who informed me Josh was ill.  Josh and Jake would not be coming over. Instead of five grandchildren there would be three. I decided to ready the coffee maker and bake cookies in anticipation of their arrival around eleven o'clock. At 10:30 I pushed the button to start brewing the coffee I would share with my daughter in law. Instead, the phone rang at 10:40 am. On the other end was Leta who had decided if Bethany couldn't come, then perhaps, if it was okay, she come later in the afternoon instead, around 4 pm, on her way to dinner at her dad's house. By then my house will be full of school children and Mom will be gone with Rachel to visit my brother. It will not be quite the visit I had envisioned. It will be something else instead. (It turned out fine in the end. Busy, but still fun.)

I was disappointed with the change of plans, but instead of sulking, I decided to ice the cookies. Aren't they pretty? I was going to share, but maybe I'll eat them instead. ;)

PS. I did not eat the cookies. I gave them to children instead.

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Mom's second cataract surgery was yesterday (she's forgotten all about the first one), and today was the follow-up appointment with Dr. Parks. Mom is doing well and will be blessed with greatly improved vision for many days to come... whether she knows it or not. Now we have four weeks of eye drops ahead and a few more runs to Dr. Lerner's office. Oh, and very likely a new pair of glasses once the healing process is done. After that I am going to set up some bird feeders outside her window. Once upon a time she enjoyed birdwatching. I'm hoping there will be a renewed interest.

We took a different route home from the city and crossed the Irondequiot Bay outlet bridge by Lake Ontario today. (They'll soon take it out for the summer and then we'll have to drive all the way around.) I brought a bag of oyster crackers along for Rocky to toss to the birds. She was not a bit intimidated by the large fowl and I must admit they seemed especially docile today.

The weather has been gray, overcast, and drippy, but not especially cold. It was a good day to meander our way back to home and both Rocky and I enjoyed the hills and curves of the road along the lakeshore.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I don't post many pictures of Little Cat, although she is quite sweet and beautiful. She was born in our other house on September 1, 2000 while James and I were gone to Pensacola, Florida with our oldest son Jim. We arrived home several days later to a small heard of kittens living in our kitchen. James and I often turned off the lights at night and listened to seven kitties tearing through the house in the dark.

My wonderful children, especially Dave, helped find homes for six of the little furballs, and Gloria, heretofore known as "Little Cat" (because she was at that time the smallest, and I didn't like the name Gloria), found a home right here with us. She is the low man on the totem pole as Oreo and Sofie boss her about. She spends most of her time outside or hiding in an out of the way spot, especially when kids are around, but this morning, since there were no children to be found, she snuggled up for a visit with Grandma.

My cats are all getting old. It's kind of hard to believe Little Cat is twelve years old already. It seems like she was born just yesterday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

That Funny Television Show

I don't watch much television, but tonight we sat down to watch America's Funniest Home Videos. We were looking for a clip with the familiar face of a little boy. He didn't win any money, but he did make us smile, even though he was crying... again. One day it would be fun to meet my niece's little guy in person. I know from pictures I've seen that he is adorable, and the video clips on Facebook tell me he is as smart as a whip. (Just like his auntie, of course.)

Saturday, March 09, 2013


My girl missed out on horseback riding this week, so I promised to take her out to the farm today. She "caught" herself a horse to ride and took him down to the barn to tack up. I don't know much about horses, but was blessed to watch Hannah with her equine friends.

After her ride in the barn with Chase, she took some pepper- mints out to her friend Mack and his buddies in the pasture.

I'm on my way to find some Benadryl and put myself to bed early tonight. I've got one of those hormone headaches that just doesn't want to give up, and with the time change coming I think a good night's sleep is calling.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Precious Memory

In a concerted effort to make up for lost computer time, I am writing a third post today, but the first one scarcely counts. It was mostly a picture. :0)

Tomorrow begins a new set of eye drops for Mom. I expect she will be full of questions as to why, and I will likely answer them for the next several days. I'm going in prepared, or at least I'm trying to.

Yesterday morning took us back to the eye doctor for another check on Mom's progress. Tuesday evening at dinner, I told her I would be helping her with a shower as we had an appointment with Dr. Lerner in the morning. "Dr. Lerner!" she replied with a smile, "I haven't seen him in a long time." (She saw him last week.) Though she remembered the good doctor Tuesday evening, by the time Wednesday morning arrived, she again appeared clueless. Rocky had a better idea of where we were going than Mom.

At supper we were surprised to have Mom comment on a miniscule bit of raw broccoli, part of our garden salad, stuck in the end of my hair. James commented on her vision and asked how she liked her new eye, but Mom has forgotten all about the procedure she had done three weeks ago. The second one, scheduled for this coming Monday, will be another new experience for her.

Tonight, when supper was over and Mom headed out to the kitchen, she stopped to look at my white board. Having neglected to post an update on today, the board was still sporting "yesterday's news". Mom stopped to look at the board which said "Dr. Lerner- March 6, 11 am".
"What's this?" she asked.
"Oh, that's from yesterday," I said.
She replied, "Did we go to that?" and I felt myself get sad inside.

But my mother is not miserable. She spent the morning fielding questions from Rocky and reading her a story. The child once again climbed in and out of Grandma's chair, and on and off her lap. Grandma tolerated the attention, even though she'd prefer to read her newspaper in peace, and I took pictures because the moments were just too sweet to pass up.

PS. This afternoon at lunch Rocky was reciting The Lord's Prayer. She does remarkably well for a being just three, but then her daddy is a pastor... I had to coach her a tad, but smiled when she said, " ... and lead us not to vacation..."

Thursday Thirteen

Today was refreshingly different from most weekdays. It started out the same, but progressed in a different direction. Rather than spending unheard of hours at the computer, I did some other things.

1. Put in a load of laundry.
2. Rocky helped me stir up a boxed mix of blueberry muffins (with real blueberries).
3. We had some visitors this morning. My sister Rachel and her son Steve came for a visit.
4. Washed dishes.
5. I put a braid in my hair, a feeble attempt to tame my long and unruly locks.
6. Baked pumpkin muffins (again).
7. Mixed up a batch of gluten free sandwich bread.
8. Dug a partial skein of yarn out of the closet and found the knitting needles I bought a few weeks ago.
9. Watched a YouTube video on learning to knit. (This did involve the computer, but it was a little different than checking Facebook or email.)
10. Practiced "casting on".
11. Did a bit of knit stitch and found that maybe I do remember what I learned in fifth grade.
12. Pulled out all my stitches multiple times and did them over again. (It is looking improved upon each successive attempt.)
13. Watched Jeopardy with Hannah.

I didn't stay off the computer altogether, but my day was more varied than usual and it felt good. Tomorrow the girls have a half day of school. I'm thinking maybe we'll make chocolate chip cookies.

Kodak Moment

Every once in a while I catch a picture that makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

H is for Hands and Hearts

H is for hands and hearts.

I'm sure you've all seen them, those photographs of two hands, fingers curved and brought together in the shape of a heart.They're often used in wedding or maternity pictures and have become almost as common as "duck lips" though not near as annoying. Well, they got me to thinking.

I take care of my mom. She lives with us. Sometimes, especially at the end of a long week, I get to feeling exasperated, but, because she is my mom, my hands continue to exhibit love. They wash and fold her clothes, make her meals, and put drops into her eyes. They change out her oxygen tanks, shampoo her hair, and put jigsaw puzzle pieces together. They hold her arm when we walk outside, and they bring her newspaper in each morning. They write checks, pick up prescriptions, and dial the telephone. All because the heart loves.

And you know what? Years ago, when I was small, Mom's hands began the work of love too. They stroked my face, changed my clothes, and bathed me. They folded my clothes, made my meals, and put drops in my eyes. They drew pictures for me, turned the pages of books, and taught me to do puzzles. These hands, now old, once lifted me up, held my hands, and pointed me in the right direction.They taught me to do the job of taking care, even in the face of frustration, all because they loved.

I wasn't always quite sure what to think of the heart hands, but the more I do think, the better I like them. (Those are my mother's hands.)

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


I have something to write, but I just can't think of what it is...

My befuddled brain is relatively calm at the moment, but not calm enough to draw deep thoughts into comprehensible paragraphs. Sunday night found me driving west on Rt 104 after dropping Hannah off at church in town. I was headed to our old church in Webster, the one where I still attend Ladies' Prayer and Bible study on Tuesday mornings when Mom doesn't have eye doctor appointments. Pastor Ray read through Psalm 55 which was totally appropriate to how I had been feeling, and I felt some more of the tension drain out of my body. It was a short Bible study and then they broke up into groups for prayer. I na strange atmosphere I would have been somewhat freaked out, but I already knew all but one or two people. I went home relieved that evening, and was blessed again today at being able to gather with the women.

So, yes, I am feeling more relaxed, and I also have some near future plans for ironing out some other tensions. This is good. Maybe one day my little brain will no longer be quite so befuddled and I will write something grand and glorious. (Well, it could happen.)

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Quiet Day

Only school kids today. I put two on the bus and one got off this afternoon after school. I've done some laundry, some dishes, and a bit of vacuuming and dusting. I took a nap, an early one, before lunch. I took a phone call, checked my emails, and played with Facebook. There is some beef and broth simmering on the stove. It will be made into soup or stew for this evening's dinner. Oh yes, I've dropped medicine in Mom's eyes too, and stoked the fire, but it's been a quiet day. Well, mostly. I did run the vacuum cleaner and that was noisy. Maybe I ought to wash the kitchen floor, and fold the rest of the laundry...

Saturday, March 02, 2013

More About Mom

It's been an interesting week with Mom. As I said, her visit to the eye doctor found her vision much improved. Now if only she was cognizant of the change. We worked a jigsaw puzzle together this week, partly a test to see if her spatial skills had improved along with her eyesight. I haven't made a definite determination on it yet, but we did speak a bit of color recognition. I mentioned that her ability to see and differentiate color should be much better now that one surgery is complete. She answered, "Well, I don't know... I thought I was seeing just fine before." I am somewhat resigned to the fact that she may never truly appreciate what was done, and she may always deem it an unnecessary nuisance. At least I know better.

On Thursday this week I noticed Mom's oxygen concentrator seemed different. I could hear the air leaving the nasal cannula in a constant hiss under her nose. There were no leaks in the line and the noise was only apparent on her end. I looked at the machine but am clueless as to setting the actual airflow. I purposed to ask James later in the day, but both James and I forgot to check the contraption's settings that evening and he was gone to work the next day when I remembered. I went in and stared it, not knowing how to read it or make an adjustment. The machine seemed unusually quiet Friday morning, but being blond, I thought little of it. Mom was relaxing in her chair with her morning newspaper and a cup of coffee. Rocky climbed in and out of the chair with Grandma and I went about my business.

I was in the computer room when Mom called from behind the bathroom door at the other end of the house. "Mart! Mart!" she called, "There's no air coming out of my hose. Somebody must have turned my machine off." This is when it dawned on me why the device had been so quiet. (Did I mention being blond?) I immediately knew the culprit. She is about 3 1/2 feet tall, has blond hair and big blue eyes, and had just recently been sharing the chair with Grandma. I flipped the switch back on and turned my attention to one small girl who was severely warned to stay OUT of Grandma's room  and NOT to touch her machine.

Somewhere mid week I totally forgot Mom's Wednesday night shower, but this evening I made up for it by giving her hair a good scrubbing (I washed it twice), and tucking her into clean sheets for the night. She should be smelling sweet for church in the morning.

Payers would be appreciated for my sanity. I am finding it difficult to keep up with the growing responsibilities of caring for my mom, keeping a house, tending to my family, and babysitting too. I have come to realize my desperate need for downtime and yet we find ourselves dependent on the little income I earn watching children. I am well within the legal limit with those I have now and have no intention of taking on anymore as long as I have my mom to care for. Sometimes I get a bit panicky, especially by the time Friday rolls around.

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Bake Shop

On cold wintery days sometimes baking helps, so this morning I mixed up a batch of pumpkin muffins. Truth be told today's "pumpkin" is really butternut squash. I pulled it out of my freezer yesterday and let it thaw overnight.
Though it may have been thick and bulky when it went into the deep freeze, it became thin and watery after thawing. I decided to remove some of the water and let it run through a coffee filter before scooping the pulp into my measuring cup. Worked like a charm!

This is my niece's gluten free recipe. It's made with sorghum, tapioca, and coconut flours and even licking the bowl is pleasurable. The only ingredients I am not absolutely certain are gluten free are my spices and vanilla flavoring, but I didn't use the vanilla this time around.

Since I make this recipe from scratch (no boxed mix), I'm often left with just a little too much batter for my muffin tin. I used to pile it into the muffin cups anyway, but it made "muffin tops" on my muffins and I found them unsightly. Now I scoop the extra into a mini Mason jar and they all turn out perfect.

Who's bringing the coffee?