Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paper! Paper! I do LOVE paper!!!

Finally, my promised PAPER blog!  I have enjoyed paper for as long as I can remember.  As a child I loved to write so developed a pen to paper relationship.  As I grew older, I became aware of different paper textures and designs and started a paper "collection" of my favorites.  I used to insist that my husband have his business stationary printed on 25% cotton paper--very yummy stuff if you are a paper lover.  On our trips into Portland I wanted to stop at Arvey Paper.  It was a huge paper warehouse.  My hubby finally banned me from the store because I was like a kid in a candy store--I wanted it ALL!  Hmmm! It's been several years but I'll bet the store is still there.  Maybe I'll check it out sometime soon:)

Fifteen years or so ago I was introduced to the world of rubber stamping/paper crafts/scrapbooking.  I was in love!!!  Now I could actually DO something with my paper besides write on it!  Well, I am still a paper hoarder. I can't part with the last piece of any of my favorite papers. I even have journals I have deemed too pretty to write in.   I enjoy making cards, paper crafts and scrapbooking when I get the chance.  Last spring I saw a demonstration on making paper beads from scrapbooking paper.  I went nuts!  I made over 100 beads--every piece of paper suddenly made me wonder what it would look like as a bead!  Now there is even a paper punch that punches out buttons!  How cute is that?!!!

Recently, I sent my granddaughter a little purse gift card holder I made out of paper.  Instead of a gift card, I put a package of her favorite gum in it.  She was amused because as she said, "it was a package in a package in a package!"  I had put the purse in an envelope only to decide the gum needed a little more protection so put the whole thing in a padded CD mailer.  She had to open the CD mailer, then the envelope, then the purse to get to the gum--"silly gramma!"

Now in my retirement, I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator (very, very part-time) and like finding fun paper projects for others to enjoy making.  It is rewarding for me to watch others having fun making paper crafts they can share with family and friends.

A few of my favorite websites for ideas are:

For supplies these websites are favs:
  • (of course!  To get their preferred pricing, you need to go through a demonstrator so contact me to get the best prices.  I can also add you to my stamping club email list to receive updates, specials and free gifts from "Stamp Happy Kat"!)
Well, that about wraps it up for my paper addiction.  Have a great day indulging in YOUR "addictions". I will be making some Thank You cards today so may post them for you to see tomorrow:)  
Till then, Kat

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am a Knitter--Part 2

After reading my post about being a knitter (and crocheter), I decided I needed to write an addendum.  You see, I love to start new projects; love to see new patterns start to reveal themselves; see how the yarn is going to look.  At that point, I want to move on and often do.  I knitted one sock!  I have six afghans 1/2 to 3/4 completed but I lost interest.  And there are the various other projects that didn't quite get finished.  I am a knitter with ADD!  This will be another item added to my growing list of things to do during retirement---finish ALL those unfinished projects!!!

I have been asked numerous times since deciding to retire--"What are you going to do?  Won't you be bored?"  First of all, boredom is a choice.  It will take me at least a year to finish all the unfinished projects I have and that's if I don't start any new ones.  And I will start new ones!!! Recently I saw a gorgeous shawl pin so need to make a shawl to put it on!

Well, here's to knitting a mate for my one sock before winter!  Kat

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From Knitting Gramma to Motorcycle Mama?

ST1100Image via Wikipedia
One of my darling husband's (dh) retirement goals for me is to ride on his motorcycle with him.  However, I have been somewhat reluctant--actually inwardly rejoicing when the weather has thwarted our plans to go for a ride.  Today he got me on the back of his Honda ST1100 for a trip that took us a little over an hour.  I was starting to relax a little by the time we got to our destination.  We were picking our car up at the shop so I only had to ride one way--whew!  I might just get used to it but am suggesting a few more short jaunts before we tackle one of his all day or weekend trips.

Funny story.  You knew I had one, didn't you?!!!  Well, about five years ago, dh had the idea he wanted me to ride with him so coaxed me to ride to Hermiston and back--a little more than an hour each way.  The only helmet he had for me was one of his old ones which was too big.  The whole trip I felt like a bobble-head doll with my wobbly helmet and my neck was sore for weeks.  I haven't ridden since till today.

This time I had a helmet that fit nice and snug and even had a fancy jacket to wear for protection.  However, we had to shed our jackets early on because of the heat.

Don't know if I will ever get comfortable enough riding on the motorcycle to do some knitting but that is my goal.  A nice little fanny pack with a grommet in the top to feed the yarn through.  Suggested projects for motorcycle knitters are socks, dish cloths and other small projects.  Some women really do knit while riding on the backs of motorcycles!!!  Can you see me now...Knitting Motorcycle Gramma!!!  I'll wave as we pass--if I'm not too busy knitting, that is:)))

Vroom! Vroom!  Kat
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Harvest Time

A wheat farmImage via Wikipedia
I remember about 25 years ago driving through eastern Washington and seeing the golden wheat rolling in the wind like ocean waves.  It was beautiful.  I told my husband I would love to live in country like what I was looking at.  Well, not too many years later we moved to north central Oregon in the midst of those beautiful rolling wheat fields.  I enjoy each stage of the growing process from the freshly tilled earth to the tiny blades of grass to the green wheat to the precious golden grains!

Though this is a beautiful time of year with the wheat ready to harvest and being harvested in many areas, it is also a dangerous time.  This is the time that frequently brings fires.  Some are caused by lightning but yesterday a fire was started by someone carelessly driving into the wheat field.  The catalytic converter on a vehicle can and will start a fire in the dry wheat or tall grasses.  Yesterday this fire brought out at least three rural fire departments.  Today, the wind caught some sparks and off it went again.  My son and many others have been fighting this fire since about 1:00 this afternoon.

The wheat harvest for most of the farmers in this area looks to be a good one.  The springs rains made nice plump wheat kernals which makes a higher yield per acre.  This will benefit many in the local economy.

Though I know this post is about wheat, I would just like to thank all the rural firemen out there!  If you know one, pass along my thanks for all they do and add your thanks as well.  Till next time--Kat
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Name is Kat and I am a Knitter!

Actually I knit and crochet.  My real addiction is yarn--sock yarn, baby yarn, worsted weight and bulky!  Cotton yarn, bamboo, silk and acrylic.  The colors, texture and feel.  I have enough yarn to start my own yarn shop but when I start a project I go to the Yarn Shop to purchase more! This past winter and spring I made numerous scarves for friends.  One favorite was a long scarf made of pink Bernat Boa yarn for my granddaughter. Then there was the Lotus Leaf Scarf which became an addiction in itself.  Every skein of yarn was a new possibility for this scarf.  I made so many of them that my husband started asking if I was ever going to knit anything else.

Today I was reading an article in a knitting magazine by one of my favorite knitters, Debbie Macomber.  She wrote a wonderful series of books called The Blossom Street series where everything revolves around a The (yarn) Shop on Blossom Street.  In the article she shared about being dyslexic at a time when teachers didn't even know what dyslexia was.  She had the stigma of being "dumb" because she couldn't learn to read.  At the age of twelve she was taught to knit.  Instead of the "dumb girl" she became known as "the knitter" and even taught others to knit.  What a blessing this was for her and for those of us who caught her enthusiasm through The Blossom Street series and her accompanying knitting pattern books.  She makes the suggestion that if you are a knitter, teach a child to knit!

I knit and crochet to relax; to keep my hands busy; and for the sheer fun of it.  I knit or crochet when watching a movie, riding in the car, listening to music or visiting with friends.  Currently I am crocheting a baby afghan for a young mother who has two boys and is expecting a GIRL!  And yes, the baby afghan is PINK!!!  I will post a picture of the finished blanket in a few weeks.  I love giving hand knit or crocheted items as gifts.  Every hand knitted or crocheted item I give is given from my heart.

On my list of goals for retirement is to do some knitting and crocheting for a charity called Stitches from the Heart  They send knitted and crocheted baby items made by volunteers to hospitals nationwide.  The other goal is to make Prayer Shawls for our local hospice to give to Hospice patients or their families members.  Isn't it wonderful that God can even use my addiction:)))

Coming soon will be a post on my PAPER addiction!  At this point I'm not sure which is worse, the yarn or the paper but I love them both!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Kat

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This is my favorite time of year.  The sun is shining; the temperature is warm and sometimes hot; and the garden is producing all kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables. Lawn chair, tall glass of iced sun tea, and ME!  Sounds perfect!

This morning after my walk, I picked about a quart of beautiful ripe strawberries.  The smell was heavenly and the taste was scrumptious!  The bush beans are ready to pick and eat; tomatoes are starting to ripen; cucumbers will be lucky to make it from the garden to the house for a salad; and the zucchini are just the right size--better get them before tomorrow as you know what happens to zucchini overnight!!!  Apricots have about a week to go to be ripe and juicy.

The flowers in the yard are beautiful--English lavender, dahlias, cosmos, four o'clocks, roses, sweet Williams, lilies and many flowers given to us by friends and family that I can't identify but they are pretty nonetheless.  The bamboo was looking pretty shaggy a month ago but has sent up many new shoots and leafed out with new green leaves.

Enjoy all that summer has to offer.  Kat  

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been asked, "Why a blog?" and "What is a blog, anyway?" and "What can you do on a blog that you can't do on Facebook?"  That got me to thinking and researching so I could give more than a "deer-in-the-headlights" look the next time someone asks one of these questions.

"A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web."  On my blog I am able to share favorite websites, blogs I visit, recipes, craft ideas, random thoughts, etc.  The blog has a template where I can update specific areas, move sections of the template around, change the background, etc.  Facebook has a 420 character limit per post whereas Blogger has a 1 GB limit per post--huge difference!  Those of you who know me personally know that I can't begin to get started in 420 characters!!!  One Gigabyte--now you're talkin'!

"Well, first of all, it depends on the type of communication.  When I post here, it's not intended as private, one-to-one communication, as it is in email.  It's one-to many (publishing, I think they used to call it).  Face book is not intended to be a fully open and public communication medium -- it's one-to-not-so-many." quoted from Scott Karp in the web article, Web Communication Experiment: Blog vs. Facebook vs. Twitter.  Scott's paragraph pretty well explains the "Why not Facebook" question for me.  I would love you to share my blog site with all your friends but I most likely will not accept your friends as my Facebook "friends".

The questions were good for me because I hadn't thought about "Why a blog?"  I simply knew I had thoughts and ideas I wanted to share and a blog seemed a good way to do it.  Now I know a blog is the perfect medium for my thoughts and ideas because of it's versatility and flexibility.

For more information on Blogging:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fresh Homemade Granola

One of my favorite smells to wake up to is Granola baking.  It smells like oatmeal cookies and you kinda move... nose first to the kitchen anxious for the first bowl of hot, crunchy granola--with or without milk!  As promised, I am going to share some recipes with you and today is my Granola recipe.  I started with a recipe from my sister-in-law but after substitutions when I was out of something and accidents, I think I have the perfect recipe--at least we think so.  I make a double recipe at least once a month. You tell me what you think.

Kat's Granola Recipe
5 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup honey
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 13.66 oz can coconut milk
2 Tbsp water
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans are my favorite for this)

Mix well first thing in the morning and let sit, covered, all day.  Just before going to bed, heat oven to 150 degrees, split granola mixture between 2 cookie sheets then slip them into the oven.  When you wake up in the morning, you will have perfectly cooked yummy granola.  I add raisins when I turn the oven off and leave the granola in the oven to cool.

The usual method for cooking granola is to bake at 250 degrees for 2-2 1/2 hours stirring every 1/2 hour.  I always had soggy spots that didn't get baked long enough.  Since instituting the above baking method, I get perfect results every time.

Since it's still coolish outside, I have a batch ready to go into the oven tonight.  Bon Apetit!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday Brunch Cruise

Our Sunday Brunch Cruise aboard the Willamette Star was incredible!  The trip was supposed to be on the Sternwheeler but three weeks prior the Sternwheeler threw all it's gears and had to be tugboated to Louisiana for repair.  I don't even want to think what the logistics of that trip would be!  We boarded at Cascade Locks. The weather could not have been more perfect; the food was delicious; the service was superb!  We felt totally pampered.

The captain did a commentary about the history along the Columbia River.  It reminded me of reading some of Jane Kirkpatrick's books.

The picture at the top is the Willamette Star; bottom left are Indian fishing platforms where the Indians use their dip nets; bottom right is our food (yummers!).

Thanks for sharing our adventure.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is my dear husband's birthday.  Our son is taking us on the Sternwheeler for the brunch cruise tomorrow to celebrate Bob's birthday and mine which is on Thursday so thus the post tonight.  I made my husband a birthday card with a motorcycle on it since he loves his motorcycle almost as much as he loves me--at least I am still in first place.  Thought you would enjoy seeing the birthday card before he does:)  I need a little work on the photography but will keep working on it.  My stamping club will be making this card called a Reverse Negative on Thursday night . This technique has so many possibilities! I "borrowed" the design from Dawn Griffith, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator at  She has sooo many great ideas!! Have a great day and will let you know how the brunch cruise goes.  Kat

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crazy Lady

Wait till you hear what I did yesterday (besides make changes to my blog page 20 times)!  One of my fears is to run out of toilet paper so we have A LOT of toilet paper stored---just in case.  Another fear is to be so poor I can't afford craft supplies.  Now, isn't that just plain silly?!!!  Poor, yes, but craft supplies are EVERYWHERE or so I found out yesterday.  In an e-newsletter I receive from the editors of Crochet! and Crochet World magazines, I learned you can make yarn from old t-shirts!  No more t-shirts to the rag bag but now they go in my knitting stash!!!  Well, I am not sure about that yet as I haven't knitted with the yarn so don't know if I will even like it.  I know what you're thinking--"somebody find this woman a J-O-B and quick!!!  Thank you for the encouraging emails about my blog.  Keep them coming.  And don't forget to leave a comment and become a member.  Have a great Friday!  kat
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time for Celebration!

I think my blog is FINALLY ready!!!  So today I am going public--sending emails to friends and family telling everyone I finished my blog page a week ahead of schedule!  Now that's an accomplishment as all who know me know I am ALWAYS LATE:(  Maybe I should make a list of things I want to change about myself.  So please, applaud from the balcony, blow kisses into the air and send your well-wishes.  This is going to be a fun journey--I can tell already!  Kat

Easing into Retirement

I officially retired from Pioneer Memorial Home Health and Hospice on June 22.  Though I loved my job and everyone I worked with, it was a huge feeling of relief to know I didn't have that pressure anymore.  For the first two weeks of retirement, I did some cooking, some cleaning, lots of relaxing!  What a joy!
This week I am beginning to plan.  Yes, I am a planner.  Love to plan.  One of my favorite quotes is "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!"  Well, I don't PLAN to fail!  Sooo, have set a schedule for myself to start on July 12 that includes time for Spiritual, Mental and Physical growth.  And, yes, I have even PLANNED time for fun and relaxation:)  Enjoy your day and check back to see how my Retirement Journey is going.  Kat