Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Ten Random Things


Today I am going to just tell you Ten Random Things! How fun is that?!!! We'll see if you think so when I get finished:)

  • Time Management is an issue I have or should I say lack thereof? This was going to be my topic today but...I have read so many books on Time Management but haven't stumbled across the method that will work for me. Any ideas?
  • Lilacs are blooming in my yard and they are gorgeous!!!


  • My hair is starting to gray and I am trying to decided whether or not to color. I did read about doing a rinse using tea. It can't hurt so think I will try it. Not much gray in the front but significant streaks in the back.
  • The last few days of the A to Z Blogging Challenge are truly a challenge! Only 6 posts left to go!
  • Hubby and I will be celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary in June:D
  • I will celebrate my 60th Birthday in July:0 
  • For my recent trip, I made these cute little cards to put a Ghiradelli chocolate square and a tip in for Housekeeping at the hotel. We gave one each day and my granddaughter loved it! I hope the Housekeeping staff did as well!


  • I get very sad when Stampin' Up! releases their Retired List every year (on April 21 this year) but start to feel a little better the 1st of May when I see the New Annual Catalog:) Fortunately I don't have to get rid of my favorites, just can't use them for workshops.
  • I love to knit, crochet, sew and do paper crafts!!!
  • This is so sad, but my iPad is my best friend! It is truly one of the best gifts I have ever received followed closely by my Vita Mix!!!
Woo Hoo! I came up with Ten Random Things! Can you believe how random they are?!!! Which one is your favorite?

Tomorrow is the Letter U! Hmmm...not sure what I will write about that starts with U. Any ideas?!!!

Kat

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Solar Power


If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that we live off-grid and have for 20 years! You can read my previous post at Skinner's Fractured Off-Grid Tales. That will give you much more information than this post.

In the picture above you are looking at one of three pole mounted solar arrays plus our newest roof mount that was installed last summer by Hire Electric, Inc. 


They did such a great job and we are loving the extra power! 

After 20 years, hubby has our power system working just as good as those who are connected to the grid! With the new roof-mounted solar array we are even able to run our new Infrared Sauna...Sauna starts with S too!!!



Well, I am off for now! I need to decide what the letter T will represent!

Kat

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Retirement



Again, I was struggling, trying to decide what I would share with you--about me--that started with the Letter R. Hmmm...Reading? I love to read! Raspberries? Yum, they are starting to bloom and my mouth waters every time I think about eating those lush morsels! Red? That was my favorite color for the first 40+ years of my life then changed mysteriously to Lime Green! 

Last night I still didn't have a clear idea of what to write so just let it rest. Then this morning I was emailing the Stampin' Up! Retirement Lists to my customers and it hit...Retirement! Well, duh! This blog IS called Kat's Retirement Journey, right?!!! 

I have been retired for nearly 4 years now and retired early (age 56) because Fibromyalgia was making living and working difficult. My health and energy were dipping lower and lower and it became evident that working was NOT helping me have a good quality of life! The stress was literally killing me! So I retired!  

Unfortunately hubby was not able to (nor did he really want to) retire with me so my life in retirement looks pretty much like a Stay-at-Home Wife with a few side trips:) The perks of retirement are: I am able to travel with my hubby when he goes on business; stay longer at my daughter's when I go to visit; blog; spend more time crafting, cooking and reading! Hubby and I are also able to holiday a little more than my work vacation schedule used to allow. 

My life and environment are relatively stress free so the Fibromyalgia symptoms are more manageable; I am not taking pain medication and sleeping every spare moment!

This summer I am hoping to take a road trip with friends to Missouri; go to Washington to celebrate granddaughter's 9th birthday; and maybe spend a few days at the Oregon Coast for our 35th wedding anniversary:) 

Are you retired or looking forward to retirement? Does retirement scare you just a little? What is the ONE thing you would like to do in retirement?

Have a great day! Tomorrow, Letter S! And I already know what I am going to write about:)

Kat
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quinoa



"Quinoa is gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and provides all of the eight essential amino acids, creating a complete protein." (quoted from my bag of truRoots Organic Quinoa). That is why I purchased Quinoa! I am always interested in food that will give our family good nutrition and taste good too. 

"Quinoa is an ancient traditional grain grown at 12,000 fee above sea level. It is a whole grain and has been classified by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom." (from the back of my Quinoa bag).


I did a post on Quinoa back on September 5, 2012 and you can see it here!


Today I at CedarLane Veggie & Grain Bowl that I purchased at Costco. It has 9 vegetables, quinoa, brown rice and roasted garlic hummus. One bowl has 280 calories and 7 grams of fat--not bad, right?!

Have you tried quinoa? What did you think?

I am hoping to be back on Sunday night for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat but for sure on Monday for the Letter R:) Have a great day! 

Kat

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Paper Crafting

Oh my! I have had a hard time getting this post up this morning:( Picture me sitting in a hotel room in Portland, OR with my feet up blog hopping around to see what's going on in the A to Z Blogging Challenge world! There are some seriously good P posts out there today! Good Job!

Then, my sister is in the hospital with a blood clot in her leg. They are anticipating doing a "clot busting procedure" on her today as her leg is really swollen--abnormally so even for a blood clot! So I have been emailing and texting friends and family to facilitate prayer and a pastoral visit for her. If you would pray too, that would be nice. 

Well, on to the post of the day...maybe I can finish it this go-round! I didn't keep it very short today; sorry!


As I was thinking about this post and how it related to the theme of All About Me (it is all about me, right?), I thought, "P is for Patience (don't have a lot of that); Procrastination (I'm an expert on that one); Preserving Food (well, I do and have done a lot of that); aha! (don't you love aha moments:) Paper Crafting!!! I have to work my paper crafts into this challenge whenever I can because it is what I truly love to do! Besides, what would the month be if I didn't show you some paper crafts, right?!!!

Wednesday night my Happy Stampers made a Card in a Box! It is quite the paper crafting sensation at the moment--lots of postings on Pinterest! I was inspired for this one by Tina Weller at The Serene Stamper (this link will take you to her post with video tutorial as well as printable instructions). Thank you Tina for the great tutorial!!!



Tada! Isn't it the cutest thing?!!! The box folds flat for mailing:) We did make special envelopes for our creations because they wouldn't fit in our standard size card envelopes but that was made easy using the Envelope Punch Board--love it! I could not believe how fun this was to make and decorate!


This is a side view of the box. Key is to not overfill as it gets really bulky and won't flatten well. So, less is more:)

For this project I used the following Stampin' Up Supplies:

  • Paper: Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green and Whisper White card stock; Watercolor Wonder Designer Series Paper
  • Stamp Sets: Flower Shop, Petite Petals and Chalk Talk
  • Ink: Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight and Crushed Curry
  • Punches: Pansy, Petite Petals, Bird Builder and Extra-Large Oval
  • Big Shot with Little Leaves Sizzlits
  • Other: Lots of Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Basic Pearls and Sticky Strip
It would be hard for you to enjoy this project as much as I did, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! I will be back tomorrow with the Letter Q--only 10 more letters to go!!! Last year I felt like such a winner when I completed this challenge!

Have a great day!

Kat

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Other Blogs


I promised to share with you a list of some of the exceptional blogs I have been visiting as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge and today seemed like a good day to do that!


I hope you have the opportunity to visit one or all of these great blogs! Today I found out about something called Morning Pages. The idea is to write 3 pages longhand every morning. It doesn't matter what you write just that you write. I am looking forward to starting this soon. I do love to write!

Last night was my Happy Stampers Club and we had some fun projects for the ladies to do. I can hardly wait to show you our projects:) Soon, very soon!

Have a great day!

Kat

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nutrition

Woo Hoo! I am half way through the A to Z Blogging Challenge! The Challenge is more than just posting 6 days a week. It also means I have a responsibility to visit 5 blogs per day on the list of 2083 blogs participating in the Challenge. I am now #828 (started out at 905) so some people must have dropped out after I signed up.


I really struggled with what I was going to write about today. But then it hit me while I was making my morning smoothie--nutrition! Nutrition is such a big deal for people living with Fibromyalgia! I need to stay away from chemicals like MSG; night shade foods need to be eaten in moderation and sometimes not at all (tomatoes, potatoes, egg plant, peppers). Fresh and organic is almost always a winner for me.


We drink smoothies for breakfast frequently but recently my hubby was watching a demonstration at Costco for Vita Mix (we already have one so don't know why he was watching). The demonstrator was making a smoothie so hubby brought home the ingredients to make it. I think I have made a few additions to it but I do that with everything I make!


So my gift to you today is the recipe for this delicious smoothie!

Pineapple Citrus Smoothie
(4 servings but Hubby & I share it)

2 cups fresh pineapple
1 orange, peeled leaving the white
1 lemon, peeled leaving the white
1 lime, not peeled
1 apple
2 bananas
2 Tablespoons Hemp Seed Kernals

  • Use blender to blend till smooth (might need to have heavy duty blender like Vita Mix)
  • Add 10 ice cubes, one at a time.
  • Enjoy--this tastes amazing!
Have a great day! Tomorrow is the letter O!

Kat