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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Two Three UGH

I almost dislike having to write this post. I am not sure it will help anyone. It should at least be entertaining in a sort of slightly morbid way.

I will go in ascending order with three icky stories I have heard about or experienced lately. We would like to all think we are wise or even a little bit savvy. No one wants to be taken advantage of or scammed. Still life just happens sometimes.

Recently I trading some items I was hoping to sell. Different deals came my way that were equally win-win with no cash exchanging hands so I took them. With the first one I did I gave away an item with accessories that I should have kept or charged extra for.

It was a silly over sight. It took me two weeks to realize what I had done. This was clearly my fault. The person I traded with either did not know any better either, thought I was being generous or just accepted my mistake. I guess I could ask her but it is not that big of a concern. Lessons learned. Check and double check the details of items you are trying to sell or trade.

Next I just heard about a woman who was scammed into paying the money for a real debt to a phony company. They contacted her about a debt she knew she had, saying they were a collections agency. I don’t know many of the other details to the story or if they offered her a discount. You can imagine the worst however. 

She paid them this time last year. She never got a receipt and now she is realizing that the company she owes money to not only never got paid but was never in business with the company that contacted her. YIKES

Maybe she missed some vital clues, a few extra phone calls might have been advises before forking over hard earned cash. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn't, it’s all water under the bridge now. The good news for her perhaps is that the shady company is already under investigation by authorities who have frozen their assets.

Lastly I just stumbled upon a landlord tenant horror story. A local man tried to give some people a break and rented them a piece of property he owns. Two years and legal troubles later the tenants are finally out. They had not been paying rent. There was drug use and inappropriateness going on at the residence. Squatters were residing there and the place is TRASHED not to mention severely damaged.

When things started to go downhill the landlord tried to be a hands on and deal with things. The tenants took out a restraining order against him. The nerve of some folks. I told him it sounds like the making of a great story. He said someone is already working on that. You heard it here first folks. Be careful out there. It is a dangerous world where people can take advantage of our ignorance and mistakes. 

Does this make you feel creepy? Does it make you more paranoid? Do you sigh in relief that none of these things have happened to you? Will you blog about it if they do or they did and you have not yet? Our stories help and warn others. Consider providing that small measure of community service.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tardy to the Party It's My Life

If the pursuit of your life is to be normal well then God bless you. The last time I checked no consensus could be found on what normal is yet getting there remains a lofty seemingly honorable goal. 

I will settle for being reasonably happy a majority of the time. As I have discovered and discussed on this blog I am NOT Type A. 

I am smart but I am not persnickety. I can pay attention to details without going over board.

One of the things keeping me happy is being able to dance to the beat of my own inner drummer and go at my own pace. I am a night owl who prefers staying in to getting out the door early. 

I really prefer all meetings and events to be scheduled after lunch. 2pm is a perfect time of day. Sadly some events just don’t fit on my perfect time line. 

Another thing that is a long standing issue with me which I have also shared here on the blog is that I can be (late) aka tardy to the party.

All this strolling along at my own pace often pays off in ways I could never have expected. Case in point this picture. 
That dark short figure is yours truly. The women above and behind me are the moms from the mom group I was in that was supposed to all meet at the same time for a photo shoot… 

That day worked my nerves. I am already brown. The last thing I wanted was a brown shirt. Then there was the idea of getting my hair and make up ready for a photo shoot that started earlier than I wanted to be there. Add to that the idea of arriving only to have to take off whatever shirt I was wearing and put on a t-shirt with a standard neck. EKE! 

I thought about wearing jeans but I wear brown so seldom that I was thinking khaki or tan for some reason. Many of our pictures only made the cutting room floor. I know much of that is normal. 

When I arrived the shoot was wrapping up. The photographer still needed some small group shots. That is how I was roped into the deal of being on display. In another life I could be a model.
In this one we need a step stool to get me fully above the fold. I wish I had the picture as an online file instead of just snap shots from the newspaper page that I keep. 

In memory of mi vida loca photo shoot.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Uber Moist Chocolate Cake

I used to bake a lot. I mean 25 pound bags of flour and sugar from Smart and Final a lot.
These days things have slowed way down. My oven is on more to help heat up the house than to cook or bake anything.

Still every so often I get a wild hair.

This time I was inspired by bother the recipe on the back of the Hershyes cocoa powder box and an Irish Tipsy cake recipe I have used many times before.

The latter of which calls for a box mix and a box of pudding mix to be added together.

I wanted to make a nice moist chocolate cake and my pantry is stocked with odds and ends for dessert baking.

I threw the following ingredients together and it came out so moist it is almost like baked pudding but a tad under sweetened so I covered the slices with powdered sugar.

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

¾ Cups Powdered Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Stick Salted Butter

2 Eggs

1 Cup of Milk

1 Cup of boiling water

1 ¾ Cups of flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 ½ Teaspoons each

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

1 Cup Apple Sauce

Melt the butter and combine it with the condensed milk and chocolate powder. Beat in eggs. Add the boiling water and the milk separately mixing well after each.

Sift the dry ingredients all together. Now slowly add the liquid mix to the dry mixture. Beat well. Batter will be thin.

Pour into two 9by9 baking pans or one large baking dish that is buttered and floured.

Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

At about 20 min when I looked at it things looked good but it was way wet inside. So I covered it with foil.

Remove from heat and allow to cool 10minutes in pan or pans. Turn out to cool on a rack. Slice and serve.

The cake was a hit at the step family BBQ my daughter went to with it. I was going for a bit more of a normal cake mouth feel so it’s back to the recipe drawing board. 

I will use sweetened cocoa, ½ a cup of apple sauce, bread flour and only two table spoons of butter.

I will taste the batter before pouring next time. I waited until I was putting the dish in the oven with this cake and knew it probably was not sweet enough. I will add ½ to one whole cup of sugar as needed.

Whipped Cream might also make a nice topping for the original cake. I dislike frosting so I am always seeking alternative cake toppings. I don’t much care for icing either so that is out. When people serve me cake I scrape off or eat around most of the toppings they provide.