Living A Simplified Life!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Picking Up the Pieces

Do you often feel like you are picking up the pieces of your life?  As I came to my blogs today I realized that what I thought was going to be a short break from writing has ended up being several years. It wasn't until I looked at the dates on my last posts that I realized how long it had been since I had shared information with all of you. With that said, I've decided that I am going to only continue on with Kays Country Cottage and the Climbing the Genealogy Tree blogs. Since I have completely retired from the work force and there are so many changes in the industry, it is time to also retire that blog.  Since last posting on the genealogy blog, I've been doing a lot of work on several family trees for friends and other family members. I hope to be able to share some of those adventures with you soon.

This next week I will share with you some of the exciting changes that have occurred in my life during the time that I was away from my blogs. I plan to show you the new raised flower beds that are in the works along with my mini growing area for the melon farm.

Till then, stay tuned for the revitalization of both  of these blogs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making Transitions and New Adventures

I am really noticing more and more families wanting to move out of cities into small towns, or out into the country where their children will have lots of room to spread their wings and room to roam. They will be in smaller classrooms where there will be about 15 students rather than in a classroom with 25 - 28 students. They want their children to experience getting out of the house and not sitting in front of a TV or computer, or continually talking on a cell phone, but the fun of playing with and caring for farm animals, going to the pond out back and throwing a fishing line in the water, swinging on an old fashioned tire swing or catching fireflies or as some call them "lightening bugs" in a mason jar as dusk begins to fall. The picking of fruit from the tree or a fresh tomato from the vine in the garden out back.

Mom and Dad may have to work in the city, but are now anxious to get home to their new lifestyle and relax. They like going back in time, to being more self sufficient, with their own vegetable garden, raising chickens for eggs and meat, maybe a goat or a cow to milk  and a horse or two to ride along dusty trails, soaking in the beauty of the country that surrounds them. We now live in such a fast paced world, rushing here and there, relying so much on all the fantastic electronics in our lives, that we forget to take time and appreciate the simpler things in life and I think the thirty and older crowd are now beginning to realize that.

I basically have been a city girl most of my life, only having the luxury of living out in the country for about six years, when we lived in the Austin, Texas area. Being born in the Midwest, in Michigan, I always joked with folks that when they said booties I thought they said boots and that is why my heart has always been in the wide open spaces!  We may no longer be in Texas but we are in Oklahoma and we love it here as well. There is nothing better than trading in a suit or a dress for a pair of jeans, a simple T shirt and a pair of boots!

I am so thankful that my grandchildren are going to have the experience of living in the country I know they are going to love it. From the gathering of eggs, chasing and playing with goats, to participating in 4H and attending the local rodeo!

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Computer is Fried!

Aka...........What do I do now?

Eventually that dreaded day is going to come, like it or not, when you are going to have something happen to your computer. You will log on and get nothing but the “blue screen of death and doom and gloom” or it won’t turn on at all.

Your first reaction of course is what happened? Well, it could have been a power surge that made it past your power strip. You do have one installed on your unit right? If not that is your very first line of defense.

There could have been a severe thunderstorm with lots of lightening and you didn’t totally unplug your computer from the electrical socket before the storm struck and whammo! You got fried!

The next thought, at least in my case is “all my important contacts and information is on my computer.”  I do lots of genealogy work and my mind is instantly reeling because I know I’ve not backed up the files in forever.  Lesson learned, back up all your files every single month. Put EVERYTHING onto a DVD /CD disc. At least your information can be easily installed onto a new computer and all your hard work hasn’t been in vain.

The other thing is, even though the motherboard is dead in the water, chances are if you have a good technician, he will be able to retrieve all your information off of your hard drive. Enter Mitch from PC Headquarters, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I contacted him and he could hear my fears and frustrations of what had happened. After calming me down, the instructions were to send him the hard drive and he would try and get everything he could off of it for me. 

Within just a couple hours of receiving my hard drive, Mitch gave me a call and said that we were in luck he was going to be able to retrieve everything for me and would be putting it onto a disc for me. Now when I say everything, I mean everything. He was able to not only get every file for me, but every bookmark as well.

Within 5 days I had my package back, along with the old hard drive reformatted and installed in the external drive unit that I’d purchased and sent to him.

Now I have the external hard drive where I can put all of my genealogy work separate and if I need to run to the storm shelter because of tornadoes, I can grab that unit and take it down into the shelter with me, knowing that information will be safe and secure. Now I also have a family site where I have information posted as well, but 9 times out of 10, it isn’t as up to date as the records on my computer.

So no matter where you live, if you need a good technician that really “knows his stuff” and is reasonably priced, give Mitch a call. Tell him Kay sent you!

Thanks Mitch for saving the day and my sanity!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Too Hot To Cook

As summer temperatures begin to soar, most of us not only don't feel like standing over a hot stove cooking, detest heating up the house unnecessarily, as well as most of the family really doesn't feel like eating hot foods anyway.
So take this time to create some quick and simple menus that require little or no cooking, that will be satisfying to everyone.

If you have portions of the meal that do require cooking, try to do that in the early morning or later in the evening. Here where I live, we have the "Smart Meters" on our electricity usage. From 2PM-7PM is considered "peak hours" so I do everything that I can that requires using lots of electricity outside of that time frame. Besides, cooking early in the day or later in the evening, either for the night meal or prepping ahead for the next day, is easy to do.

So here are some of the things that I've been making which require little or no cooking that might be of interest to you as well.

Tuna Salad. Make up a large batch that can be used in several ways. The conventional sandwiches, or on a bed of lettuce with some tomato slices and crackers, or try scooping out the insides of a tomato and put a big scoop of salad in the center. Make a Tuna/Macaroni Salad where you cook up your macaroni noodles, mix in the tuna salad and chill it for eating later on.

Fruit platter delight. Set out a large platter with different types of fruit and let everyone fix their own. A variety of Grapes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew . Make a dressing out of honey and mayonnaise or miracle whip (if you prefer something a little lighter) or even just put out a tub of Cool Whip.

Strawberry Shortcake. I remember Grandma making up  huge cake pan sized shortcakes. She would core and sweeten the strawberries while the cakes were cooking. Then hot out of the oven, the cakes would get sliced and berries and whipped cream would be layered in the middle and on top. Then cut into big pie shaped wedges and served with a tall glass of ice tea.

Ice Cream and Cantaloupe  Cut a cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds, fill the center with Vanilla ice cream.

Hoggies are also always welcome in the summer. Using a loaf of french bread or hoggie buns, have ready a variety of luncheon meats, pickles, onions, olives, peppers, lettuce cheeses and condiments. Let everyone fix their own sandwiches. Since some adults might rather use vinegar and oil than regular condiments, put out a shaker bottle for them as well.

Hopefully these will give you some new ideas on fixing something that is not only quick and easy to prepare but also a new "twist" on summer eating.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

With the onset of high 70’s and low 80’s for temperatures here the next few days, I do believe that spring has finally sprung!

My daffodils and jonquils bloomed early and then got hit by the cold temperatures. They were so pretty for the short time they lasted this year and I was sorry to see their little heads drooping with the second cold snap that hit them.

Today I have the windows open wide, curtains are blowing gently in the breeze. Little bit is snoozing on the bed and Misty is up on the window ledge watching the robins pecking away in the yard looking for something to eat.

Our recent heavy rains have made the grass and weeds really grow and everyone in the neighborhood is taking advantage of our beautiful day to mow their yards. The humming of the lawnmowers is a welcoming sign that spring is indeed here. It’s a beautiful day to get outside and visit with your neighbors.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Have You Been Doing?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve actually been working on accomplishing my New Year’s Resolutions.

Getting Organized

The big one for me, since I’m also in the process of downsizing my house. Trying to decide what I really am willing to part with has been difficult to say the least!  The one thing I have to remember is that I just won’t have the room for it all in an apartment. 

This next week, I am going to schedule a day when I can go look at some local apartments and get a feel for how much room is actually there to work with. Even though I’ve drawn out several layouts on paper and arranged furniture, actually seeing the space should help more in my decisions of what to keep and what to get rid of. I’m also thinking that psychologically it is going to be a good thing, bringing me closer to the realization that this has to be done.  We all fear the unknown, it is a known fact, so the more I can prepare myself the better off I’m going to be.

I’ve already boxed up many of my books, "knack-knacks" and craft supplies but I’m afraid I am going to need to go through everything and let go of even more than I already have. At least I know that they will be going to new homes as I’m either giving things to the Salvation Army or listing them on free cycle.

So how are you doing?  Are you getting that “Spring Fever” cleaning feeling yet? I’d like to know what all you are doing around your house.