Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!




Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah 
Zip-A-Dee-A 

My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah is a song from the Disney movie Song of the South! It is such a happy song and I thought it perfectly reflected how I feel about today being the last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Woo Hoo! I made it!!! Two years in a row!!! I am doing a happy dance right along with the very colorful bear at the top of the page:)

Reasons why I am happy today...
  • Last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge...till next April that is!
  • I went to the Chiropractor yesterday and, bar doing something stupid, I am good to go:) After falling in January, it is a blessing to only need two Chiropractor visits to put me back in shape.
  • The weather this week is glorious--warm, sunny, blue sky!
  • I am sitting in my chair (yes, the one the dog chewed up) with a cup of Yerba Mate tea--bliss
  • I get to order my NEW Annual Stampin' Up! catalogs tomorrow and a few pre-order items as well--woo hoo!
  • I am looking forward to a road trip with dear friends the first two weeks of June...in a motor home from Washington state to Missouri! I sure hope the tornadoes behave themselves--hibernate; something!
  • Tomorrow I will start writing Morning Pages -- 3 pages written longhand every day (more on that later).
Tomorrow will be back to my normal blogging fare! Hopefully will have a card or two to share with you but if not, then perhaps a recipe. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Have a great day and I hope you can get Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah out of your head:)

Kat

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for You


Can you believe it, the month long A to Z Blogging Challenge is almost over! While it has been fun...and challenging, it will be fun to get back to my normal blogging fare; for me anyway!

I chose You for the Letter Y because I am so thankful for all of You, my readers! You have been so patient to stay with me throughout this month of eclectic posts. I have so enjoyed all the comments...keep them coming!

Thank you for visiting today and everyday!

Kat

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum
Xanthan Gum (Photo credit: keira-anne ♥)
Oh how boring! Xanthan Gum??? What in the world is it and WHY would I chose to use it for my X word? First of all, how many words do you know that start with X? It is appropriate to use words "that sound like" for the challenge but I thought Xanthan Gum might just be a good X word:) The link above will take you to Wikipedia so you can learn everything about Xanthan Gum you ever wanted to know!

Most likely if you read the ingredients label on your salad dressing or ice cream you will find Xanthan Gum listed as one of the ingredients.

From Dairy-free Cooking Ashley Adams gave this definition:

Produced primarily from cellulose from corn or cabbage, xanthan gum functions similarly to gelatin in recipes with regards to stabilizing suspensions, but it is completely vegan and great for cooking and baking for persons with food allergies and restrictions, especially for those who are omitting dairy, eggs and soy from their diet.

I have have primarily used Xanthan Gum in Gluten Free baking. I have toyed with Gluten Free baking at different times because I believe it would probably be better for me but I hesitate to give in to it completely because it's a lot of work. It seems Gluten is in everything. 

Have you tried using Xanthan Gum in cooking or baking? What did you use it for? Had you heard of Xanthan Gum before today?

Only two more days of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Woo Hoo! I'm actually going to make it!!!

Kat




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Sunday, April 27, 2014

W is for Wildlife Safari


My daughter, granddaughter and I went to Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon on April 3 and what a grand experience it was! I hadn't been in over 30 years so had forgotten how much fun it was. Wildlife Safari is an accredited non-profit wildlife park dedicated to education, conservation and research.


First off, there were so many animals for us to see while just walking around. My granddaughter was mesmerized by the Flamingos! She said they looked just like the ones people put in their yards...how funny was that! She was super excited when we came back around and they were walking on both legs:)


This beautiful white Peacock kept turning just like a Vegas showgirl so we were able to get several lovely shots!


We were able to go into a Budgie house where there were about 300 Budgies! We bought a "seed stick" so my granddaughter could feed them. She held it out and the bird landed on it! So fun!


The camel ride was a real highlight for my granddaughter! 

Then we started the drive-thru portion of our adventure! The animals roam free; people are captive in their cars!


The giraffe was walking toward our car and actually came so close to the side of the car, I could have touched it. WOW! They are huge!


The only animals in enclosures are the lions and bears. 


The Hippos were incredible!


During a stretch of the road, we purchased a cup of food for my granddaughter to feed to the animals. She loved it! These little deer actually nibbled on her fingers...she said it tickled!

All three of us deemed this "the best day EVER!" I was particularly impressed with how happy each of the employees we encountered appeared. Each one seemed to be genuinely happy to be working there! 

If you get the opportunity to visit Wildlife Safari, it will be well worth your time and money.

Kat


V is for Vegetables

I have had sooo much trouble getting this blog post written:( I went to the Chiropractor on Thursday and have been discombobulated ever since! Truly he helped because now I can turn over in bed without pain but we still have a little ways to go.

So I was trying to think about what to write about for the Letter V but had a real mental block. Then I decided on Vegetarian/Vegan because after all I am a Vegetarian and becoming Vegan. So that would work, right? But then I decided on Vegetables:) Vegetarians and Vegans eat Vegetables, right? Well, not only do we eat Vegetables but we grow them as well!


Hubby has been starting tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and cabbage in the greenhouse. 


He also purchased some beautiful tomato plants and some onions plus some pretty flowers to pretty things up a bit!

Currently we have Sugar Snap Peas planted plus spinach, kale and Swiss Chard planted in the garden but the greenhouse plants will soon join them!

Next up, the Letter W!

Kat

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Uncoordinated

I feel like I am starting to lag a little behind with this A to Z Blogging Challenge!  But no matter how much I lag behind, I will finish:)


To give you a complete picture of ME, I need to tell you that I am terribly uncoordinated and have been since I could walk. My mom says that as a toddler/child I would trip over the pattern in the linoleum and it wasn't even raised. My husband has asked many times if it is possible for me to stay upright!

Part of the problem could be that I am pigeon-toed and knock kneed:( I look great in a pair of shorts...NOT! Fortunately my daughter didn't inherit this problem from me but my niece got it instead--poor thing!

I read some studies showing the Vitamin D3 was helpful to prevent falls in people living in Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes so I thought I should try it. I started taking the Vitamin D3  about 5 years ago and I do think it has been helpful.

So, that's one more little tidbit about me!

Have a great day!

Kat



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





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for My Favorite Things

Another day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Tomorrow will be the half-way point--Woo Hoo! The letter M was really hard because I had several directions to go. But finally I decided what would tell you the most about me would be to list some of My Favorite Things.

I don't know what's going on with my blog but yesterday's post seems to be wonky. I am so sorry but don't know what to do to fix it. 



My Favorite Things (just a few):

  • Hugs from my granddaughter
  • Time spent with good friends
  • Debbie Macomber books
  • Iced drinks--water, tea, Chai
  • Stampin' Up! stamps, ink and paper
  • Miche Bags
  • Lined-dried sheets
  • Dove dark chocolate
  • Ice Cream--actually non-dairy frozen dessert
  • My iPad
  • Shoes--I'm a shoeaholic!
  • Yoga Pants--and I don't even do Yoga:)
  • Yarn--especially natural fibers
  • The color lime green
  • Comments on my blog posts:)
Well, that's it for today--short and sweet! 

Tomorrow is the letter N and so far I've got Nothing! Hmmm...that may be the post for tomorrow!

What are a few of your favorite things?

Kat

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lollapalooza Stampers

We are starting another week of the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This is a super busy week for me so I hope I can keep up:)
Would you do me a favor? If you visit my blog regularly or think you might like to, would you please sign up to be a Follower on the right side bar? I am currently at 92 Followers and would love to make it an even 100 by the end of this month!


On to the letter at hand...L is for Lollapalooza Stampers! 

I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and have been for 4 years now! I love, love, love it!!! Well, I have a team of wonderful, fun, creative ladies and we are called the Lollapalooza Stampers! I was sooo excited to get this name for our team and couldn't believe that someone else hadn't snapped it up waayyy before me!

Lollapalooza--noun (Slang)
1. an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.

I think my ladies are pretty extraordinary and they do some pretty extraordinary stamping projects so the name fit perfect!




The card above was sent to me by one of my Lollapalooza Stampers, Margarita. In addition to being on my team, she is a good friend. She has exceptional talent! She colored the stamped image with Prismacolor pencils. Prismacolor pencils are on my wish list! By the way, I plan to purchase this stamp set, Pure Innocence--Close Knit, to add to my "stash" of cool stamps:)

Kat

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Well, the A to Z Blogging Challenge has really kept me on my toes so far this month! I hope you have been enjoying learning more about me! The blogging challenge has stirred up some ideas in my brain that I hope to be developing in the next few weeks and months. Plus I think my blog needs a bit of a facelift so will be working on that as well.

But, alas, it is time for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat hosted each week by Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. She is amazing! If you haven't visited her blog yet, check it out! That woman has 4 kids, homeschools, blogs two or three times a day and could run circles around me! I love seeing the beauties she creates with fabric! My current favorite is her Pleated Wristlet with matching coin purse! It is definitely on my wish list:) 

NOTE: At the time I am posting this, Carla has not put up her Chit-Chat but when she does I will link to hers. Didn't want to keep you waiting! lol

Check out this photo I took this morning! I call it the Kitty Sandwich:) See Graycee in the middle?



I could not resist getting a picture! Usually Rocky is trying to lie ON the cat! They stayed like this for about half an hour! Now, before I get lots of comments about how skinny Beau is, he is a rescue dog with eating issues PLUS he is super neurotic so even when he eats he doesn't gain weight. Believe me, we feed him plenty and I even doctor up his food to get him to eat! Now, Rocky is a chub, weighing in at 60 pounds! He has no issues with food at all except that he wants to eat waayyy too much! We have HIM on a diet!

On with the Chit-Chat...it appears I am more chatty than normal tonight:)))

What...

  • Am I watching...Just watched Austenland! Hubby had to comment throughout the movie about how stupid it was. I loved it for it's absurdity! 
  • Am I reading...I didn't end up starting The Paradise after all. I decided to read Body Surfing by Anita Shreve instead.
  • Am I looking forward to this week...Oh, so much going on this week! Happy Stampers meet on Wednesday night; dinner with hubby's brother and sister-in-law on Thursday night; staying in Portland till Saturday--a little motel time for me (love it)!
  • Am I obsessive about...Stamping! I love, love, love stamping! I never get tired of it and most of my extra money gets spent on my stamping! So hard to say no to stamps and paper and ink, oh my!!!
  • Is my #1 goal for next week...I have to finish getting ready for my Happy Stampers Club! I am such a procrastinator:(
  • Is my Best/Worst financial decision over the last week...I didn't spend anything this week which is great! I had a few temptations but kept telling myself NO!
  • Am I most happy I accomplished this week...I managed to stay on track with the A to Z Blogging Challenge plus visiting other blogs on the list.
What are you obsessive about? It would be fun to hear! I will be back tomorrow with the Letter L:)

Kat

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kathryn

Today is Day 12 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge and since I am telling you about me, A to Z, this month, I thought it was only fitting that K should be for my given name, Kathryn!

Some sources say the name Kathryn is Greek and others say English but all say the meaning is "Pure"! Not sure I was aptly named but it's a nice thought anyway. My mother got the spelling for the name off a dress shop.

As a child I was dubbed Kathy by my parents; I have been Kathy ever since. I always thought as an adult I would want to be called Kathryn because it's such an elegant name for an aging woman. However, I find that as I stand on the brink of 60, I much prefer the sassy name Kat! Many of my close friends call me Kat; sister-in-law calls me Kit-Kat.



This is one of my favorite pictures of myself when I was little. It was my first grade picture and I was six years old. The funny thing is that previous to this picture, my hair was long enough for a pony tail but my mom had it chopped off and permed before the picture. Thanks, mom!



I'm not sure if I was 8 or 9 in this picture. Fortunately my mom didn't do the frizz-head thing with my hair before this picture!

So, what have you learned about me so far this month?

  • I was born and raised in Ashland, Oregon
  • I love to blog
  • I also enjoy knitting, crocheting and cardmaking
  • I have two dogs--a Great Dane and an English Bulldog
  • I hate exercise but do it because I want to age gracefully
  • I am the oldest of four children; I have a sister and two brothers
  • I am a Gramma to one beautiful granddaughter
  • I have Fibromyalgia; am allergic to peanuts, watermelon, dairy and eggs
  • I love ice cream but eat the non-dairy stuff and also eat pizza with no cheese
  • I am choosing Joy as my theme this year
  • From the picture below you will learn that I have long, dark hair; wear glasses and have a big smile!
I'm not sure what more there is to tell about me but I'll think of something even if I have to make it up...just kidding!!!

Sunday is a day off for the blogging challenge but I will be back Sunday night for Carla's Sunday Night Chit-Chat:)

Kat
I really need to get a new picture of myself! I take pictures of everyone else but I am usually the one behind the camera, not in front of it! This one was taken with my brother's phone!


Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Joy

Welcome to Day 11 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! 
J is for Joy:)
So sorry this one is late posting! I usually schedule for 6:00 am but somehow this one scheduled for 7:00 pm:( I should have checked!


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galations 5:22-23

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13

Joy /joi/

  1. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

At the beginning of this year, I dubbed 2014 as the year I Choose Joy! I borrowed the phrase from Ashley Hackshaw at lil blue boo. She blogged about Joy the whole month of January! If you have a chance, read her January posts...you will be so inspired! She.is.amazing!!!

So, what am I doing to promote Joy in my life this year?

  • Spending time reading my Bible
  • Letting go of harmful relationships. You have no idea how freeing this is!!!
  • Decluttering my craft room--it's going slow but it is going:) I thought I might play "Let it Go" from Frozen in a continuous loop while I am working! LOL
  • Finishing projects -- I have two afghans beside my bed that need to be finished; does that count?
  • Send at least one handwritten (or typed if my hand isn't cooperating) note per week -- I need to step it up on this one...lagging behind! I want to share Joy with others this year as well.
  • Practice contentment --most days I am content!
  • Spend at least one hour per day being creative -- I haven't felt very creative lately:(
  • Work up business expenses for taxes on the first of each month instead of waiting till December! I have been able to keep up with this one so it will be a HUGE relief when January 2015 rolls around:)
  • List business contacts each month that will be needed for Christmas cards in December. Hmmm...think I am a month behind on this one but it will be quick catchup!
  • Start buying/making and wrapping Christmas gifts in January--NOW! I have been working on this one and am pretty much where I want to be.
  • Write Christmas letter for family and friends by November 5--update first of December. N/A
  • Schedule blog posts ahead -- Still blogging "in the moment" but maybe that will be part of my Joy:)
Actually the Joy button I made at the top of the post makes me pretty happy!!! Don't you love that Polka Dotted layer? 

Tomorrow is the letter K. Can you guess what K is for??? Here's a hint: I am blogging about ME this month! Just trying to help you get to know me just a little bit better!

Kat

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Ice Cream



Welcome to Day 9 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Since I am telling you more about me, today is about my favorite food--Ice Cream! Can we consider ice cream a food? 

Until last year my favorite ice cream was Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia! Hubby would buy it for me as a treat and a treat it was. 

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream

So you can imagine my disappointment when the doctor told me I was allergic to dairy:( My dairy allergy wiped out my TWO favorite foods--ice cream AND pizza! I was devastated. However, where there is a will, there's a way!

So Delicious Chocolate Frozen Dessert

I discovered So Delicious Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert and it is truly delicious! I barely miss Ben and Jerry's anymore! As for pizza, we just order it with no cheese and it is still good!

Have you tried ice cream alternatives? What did you think?





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Health

I really want to thank Jeremy at Being Retro for the amazing badges and alphabet he made for us to use for the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Some people are sooo talented!


Health is a huge part of who I am from my health issues to what I do to maintain good health.

So as not to bore you to death with this topic, I will just make a list:

  • I was a very sickly child; if it was going around, I caught it and caught it bad!
  • I became a vegetarian in 1980 
  • I'm not sure when I got Fibromyalgia because it kinda sneaks up on you but have had it for at least 15 years. I had to retire 4 years ago because the stress of my job was making the symptoms worse.
  • I am becoming a vegan--most days I do fine but then a fish taco attack happens! I do have to stay away from dairy and eggs because of allergies
  • I am allergic to peanuts, watermelon, dairy and eggs
  • I am 30 pound overweight:(
  • I exercise 5 days a week; use our Infrared Sauna 2 times a week; make fruit smoothies for breakfast and a handful of supplements every day
What do you do to maintain good health? Do you have any health challenges/food allergies?

Thanks for stopping by today! Have you learned anything surprising about me yet???

Kat

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Gramma

Just a reminder that for the A to Z Challenge, I am trying to keep my posts shorter than normal. I hope you are enjoying the Challenge! I have visited some amazing blogs and will share some of those with you later this week.


Last year for the A to Z Blogging Challenge I used Grandma for the letter G but blogged about my very special grandma. This year I am blogging about being a Gramma to my precious granddaughter:)

My son-in-law asked me from the beginning NOT to post pictures of my granddaughter online or to use her name so that is why those things are missing from this post.

I became a Gramma almost 9 years ago at the age of 50 (I turned 51 about 3 weeks later). It really changed my life! 

Being a Gramma means...

  • I go to visit her every three months--twice a year for one whole week:)
  • I get to buy American Girl and Barbie dolls
  • We do lots of crafting when I visit
  • I want to be for her the kind of person my Grandma was for me
  • Looking at EVERYTHING differently--the trip to Wildlife Safari was truly amazing because I got to see it through her eyes!
  • I exercise and take care of myself so I can keep up with her
I am so thankful to my son-in-law and daughter for making me a Gramma! It is truly a great experience. Now, if my son would just get married and give me a few more grandchildren I would be ecstatic!!! Not sure how I would afford more though!

Do you have grandchildren? Did they change your life? Was your grandmother a big influence in your life.

Kat

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Family

I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge this month. Each day Monday through Saturday is a different letter of the alphabet. Today is the letter F. I wasn't sure whether to write about Family or Fibromyalgia today but thought you might like seeing some old pictures of my family! 

This is a great challenge for me to write about topics I might not otherwise write about. My theme for the month is ME! I am hoping that you will learn a little more about me this month. What is the favorite thing your have learned about me so far?


I am the oldest of 4 children and will be 60 years old this summer! I am the girl on the right in the picture above! All of my siblings are still living and all are in good health except my sister. I think I was about 9 years old in this picture. 


This was my precious grandma who died just a few months shy of her 90th birthday. I probably look most like her and I hope I act most like her as well. 


This picture is of my paternal grandma (left)--we called her Granny! Next to her is my Uncle Jack then my dad and mom--oh so young! 


This is a favorite picture of mine--me and my sister! I think I was either 4 or 5 in this picture and my sister was 3. My mom made most of the clothes for my sister and me from birth through high school. I did buy some clothes with my babysitting money but mostly would purchase fabric for my mom to make my clothes.

My daughter, granddaughter and I visited family last week--my mom & stepdad, sister, brother, two nieces and their children.

My sister is the keeper of the family information. She loves accumulating and sharing all the family info and pictures. I am glad she does it. I love getting the information and pictures but don't want to research it all myself. She has spent hours scanning all my mom's and grandma's photo albums!

Do you have someone in your family who researches and shares family history and photos? Is it you???

Hmmm...what should I write about for the letter G? 

Kat