Saturday, November 29, 2014

Microsoft/Windows Phone Scam

What a Saturday Surprise, here I was thinking I was so smart, but I fell for a major computer phone scam. Now I feel like a huge fool.

First you receive the phone call saying that they are from Microsoft or Windows and that there have been error warning reports sent to them that there are problems with your computer. (this is the point that you should hang up, Microsoft does not track what is happening on your computer.) If you are a fool like me and persist. Next they will have you go on your computer and push some buttons and they will show you a few sites that show how many problems there are on your computer. Then a few sites later they will have remote access to your computer and then they can start showing you all kinds of things that will convince you that your computer is a total mess and each second it is getting worse. Then comes the kicker they can clean it all up and get your computer back to working order just as soon as you fill out their registrations and sign-up for either a one year, three year or whole life protection plan. I of course fell for the whole life plan, (what a deal, right) 399 dollars and can be transferred to any computer or even to your kids. ( I know, I know in hind site I can totally see the warnings. Even in the moment something did not seem quite right, but I ignored my smarter self and on I fell.) The actual total was 415 and some change, (for the taxes and fees right.)

Thankfully I have a smart and suspicious husband who looked into the whole thing and quickly discovered the danger. So now I have a canceled card, 2 hours in combing through both computers to change passwords and check to make sure there were not any other problems. I will be making a few phone calls to report the scam. I have that horrible feeling of violation and I am totally embarrassed.

Most importantly though I wanted to send out the warning. They are good, especially if you only know enough about computers to be dangerous. Some of the biggest warning signs that I thought were strange even at the time was that they are giving you the hard sell the entire time. Trying to show you just how bad it is and convince you that you have to take steps to fix it. Please, please do not fall victim as I did. Microsoft and windows will not call you if there are problems on your computer.

I really still can not believe that I fell for this.

Many blessings to you on this lesson learned night. --Kate

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Lights Parade, Caroling and Fireworks.

So every year downtown they have a parade and fireworks the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the season of Christmas. Actually they have a lot of activities down town for the season. There is a Festival of Trees, where the proceeds for the trees goes to the local hospital. There is a cruise to Santa's Village. Where they even read off the list of kids on the nice list. Everything is kicked off on this night with the parade and fireworks.

Even though we have been living here for 10 years this is the first time we have made it downtown for this event. We have watched the fireworks from the roof of our house before, but I thought this year with the weather being more mild that the kids might enjoy it.

Let's just say it was a good idea. About the time we were leaving it started raining. It was warm but quite wet. My youngest fell asleep on the drive downtown, so I had to hold him the whole time. Though we chose a great spot for watching the parade as it was right across from the fireworks and carolers and there the tree would be lit. In was an intersection and people kept pushing and crowding until the wee children in front were less then a foot away from the vehicles driving down the street. Very scary (and rude). The one very bright spot I met an exceptionally nice woman who was down there with her son, who was a great help to me with my oldest.

We did not quite make it to the end of the parade, we left just before the carolers started and we were definitely gone before the fireworks started (though we did catch then from the car.) It was a good first attempt. Maybe next year Daddy can join us and then it will not matter where we stand because we can hoist the kids on to shoulders to see.

Many blessings to you on this fine (wet) night.--Kate

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I hope that all of you have had a marvelous Thanksgiving. Our family enjoyed a delicious meal and a few fun holiday traditions. First we watched the Macy's Day parade together. Well the kids and I did, Dad was at work. Also it was the 2013 parade on You Tube because we do not have any television channels, but still it was fun. My oldest really enjoyed it, my youngest came and went.

It was fun finding recipes that worked with our new maximized diet. Of course the Turkey was unchanged and the veggies were all still on the list. We replaced cranberry sauce with homemade Granny Smith apple sauce. We made faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower instead and found a wonderful gluten free stuffing. Was a great but a late meal, (we waited for Rob to get home from work, which is sevenish) and the turkey too a bit longer then planned.

My gratitude this year if for my amazing family here and spread across the U.S, for wonderful friends, for good health and for all the wonder and blessing that come from living in this place and time. I wish good fortune to you all for this coming year.

Many blessings on this fine and thankful night. --Kate

Work in Progress Wednesday.

There are just not enough hours in the day. Since currently most of my hours are filled with my sewing contract there is not much time left to work on Christmas presents. Today I manged to squeeze a bit of time in though. So here is my work in progress not my wrap-up. I know it looks more like a mess right now, but that usually is where my projects begin. 

There are actually a few Christmas projects in this pile and one special project for my girl. Which should be done by next weeks wrap-up so stay tuned. 

Many blessings to you on this fine late night.--Kate

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Transformation Derailed

My hope in staring this blog was to give myself the motivation and accountability to reduce some of the stress triggers in my life. Well I am full in the middle of one of my biggest triggers and I am finding that things are going about as expected. My big trigger is large sewing contracts with unrealistic deadlines. Instead of setting boundaries with my client, I take on the work and work twice as hard to try to get it done quickly (or meet the deadline) and I find that all other areas of my life get neglected. Things have not totally fallen apart, but the house is a disaster and all other projects have come to an abrupt halt. I am afraid that I will once again be missing out on the fun of the holiday season because of my ridiculous need to honor this commitment. Do not mistake me, I think that it is important to honor commitments. Sometimes though I wonder if I allow this need to please to cause me to miss out on the much more important and fleeting moments with my family. Then I marvel as the selfishness of that thought because my wonderful husband misses out on many more fleeting moments because he is working outside of the home to take care of his family.

I find peace in knowing that this derailment to transformation is temporary and it reinforces the need to stay committed to this attempt to reduce stress and get my life in order.

Many blessings to you on this very early morning. --Kate

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

Here is another great use for that delicious Almond Cheese Cracker recipe from last week. 

Chicken Pot Pie
-1 lbs Chicken
-1/2 cup onion, chopped
-1/2 cup celery, chopped
-2 Tbsp Coconut oil
-1/2 cup Chicken Broth
-1 cup peas
-2 Tbsp Arrow Root
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp Marjoram
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp Basil

* In large skillet saute onion and celery in coconut oil. Add chicken and broth. Cook for 5 minutes then add spices, peas and arrow root. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Make the almond cheese cracker for the top. 

Put chicken mixture in a casserole dish and top with Cracker. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Many blessings to you on this lovely night.--Kate

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A prayer for Thanksgiving week.


For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night, 
For health and food, 
For love and friends, 
For everything
Thy goodness sends. 

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many blessings to you on this very fine day.--Kate