Thursday, January 31, 2008

Huh!?

What do you title a blog you don't intend to go anywhere? So, if you're really interested, this is just a hodge podge of stuff from the past couple days.

First, I am going to leave because I am craving coffee and since I have been eating raw (for the most part...I took the day off yesterday), I don't have half-n-half, in fact I have nothing in my fridge that can't be planted...ok, that's an exaggeration, but not much of one. Anyway, must jog to Walgreens for some half-n-half. Oh man, I need to change out of my pj's first...hmmm, if I drive I can just put my trench coat on...yeah. Ok, so I am going to drive 1/2 block to Walgreens. :D
Ok, coffee is brewing...ahhh the sweet smell of Boca Java's Courtside Chocolate...mmm.
(__)> yum, just what the doctor ordered (well ordered me not to drink anyway).

Ok, yesterday: What a cool day. I got to meet some blog sisters for lunch. Oh, they are such wonderful people. I, of course, am painfully shy so I felt a bit akward and out of place, but they are such lovely & friendly people the akwardness didn't last long. Joanne was the hostess, and did such an awesome job with everything...the gathering was absolutely charming. Let's see, Holly was there (which I am so grateful for 'cause she was the only real live person I knew), and the other ladies, Meridith, Angie, Kimberly, and Kari (although I had frequented most of their blogs) I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. They all had camera's, but I was in such a hurry to finish my paper and get over there that I forgot to grab the camera; however, I have the best picture of all.

Oh yeah, eat your heart out ladies...photography is highly overrated when it comes to the artistic visual mastery from the heart of a child. BUT...if you must see a pic of us all, I believe just about everyone in the group posted the actual gathering picture...just click on their name. :)

Today: You know...work and stuff. But tonight, I put on some Elijah Streams internet radio (prophetic worship), and didn't cook dinner...lol...I love it. I had soft taco w/fresh tomato salsa...I think I over did it with the spices in the salsa though 'cause my chest was burning, but it was awesome. The shell was a collard green leaf, and the filling was made with walnuts, cumin, coriander, & Nama Shoyu (aka health freak soy sauce), and of course the salsa (tomato, cilantro, onion, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, cumin, & coriander).


My studies: I thought I would introduce you to my homework helpers. This is Chloe in action:





Of course she has to perch herself on top of the pillows I have used as a lap table and contemplates her next naughty move.






Drawing her claws and moving in for the kill.














She's a stinker, but ahhhluvher!












My Simon isn't so aggressive...he just sits between my feet while I work on the 'puter.





There ya have it...a day in the life of Kate and her kitties.







Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Break Time

Hi all. Many apologies for not keeping up with the blog. I started back for my final semester in school woooooo hoooo. Anyway, I am taking five classes in order to get through it this semester. It was 6, but I was booted out of one of my classes because the enrollment was too high...that class will have to be completed after graduation.

Let's see...where did I leave off...oh Houston. Well, I had a wonderful time with my beautiful niece Nikki...we had a great time. I had to do my duties and wake her up the first day...girl could sleep forever...I mean really...it was 7:30 when I started singing and making loud rise-n-shine noises...ah youth, but I'm sure she'll love this picture! hee hee That's what Auntie's are for.


Note worthy event: My hair was AWESOME. Maybe that's why I love Houston so much, I have great hair days there. Must say though, I had a couple of travel size items...one was face moisturizer and the other was hair gel...well, I kind of got the two mixed up 'cause I was talking and primping at the same time...that just doesn't work...I put face moisterizer in my hair...my niece just stood there and smiled, then said "what are you doing?" Of course she said that after the fact, so I thanked her kindly and we laughed.


Anyway, we went to La Madeline for breakfast (yumm), then I dragged her all around the Galleria and watched the ice skaters. I think it's pretty cool that they have an ice arena in the middle of the mall! We have a couple ice arena's at malls here, but it's cold enough to keep them outdoors.

We had a great time just hanging out with each other. It was so cute seeing her all grown up and in her own place...she actually unplugs all her appliances before she leaves her house...lol...I remember when I was that responsible. :) When I left she called her mom and cried 'cause she didn't want me to leave (I'm not supposed to know that of course). She's a doll; I can't wait to go back. I'll see her in Kansas in May for her little sister's graduation.

I started school the Wednesday after I got back...woo, class until 10pm, a 40min drive home, and at least an hour wind down before bed...it was rough getting up the next morning for work, but I am back in the swing of things. Well, sort of...I have two papers to write for tomorrow and I am so disciplined that I am writing you all...I'm a last minute sort of gal. I have a work best under pressure sort of thing going on. You know, in my psych studies I found out why I do that. I can't remember where I got this, so take it with a grain of salt, but I read that the reason for procrastination in studies is actually a fear of failure. For instance...I typically make A's on my papers, so I think "Wow, that's awesome, and I did it all last minute." However, if I make a B on my paper, I can say "well, it's ok 'cause I did it in a bit of a hurry." Good excuses. Here's the kicker: If I spend quality time on my papers and do not make an A, then I have failed at my endeavor to make an A and therefore, I have failed. It's true too. My first B I was devastated...I even cried. I called a friend of mine all boo-hooing and she said "who told you that you have to make an A?" I did of course, so she said something to the effect of - they don't stamp your degree with your grade. From then out, I decided to scrape by with C's and D's...ha ha...kidding...just seeing if you were still with me. I'm up late posting 'cause I took tomorrow off to meet up for lunch with some blog siesta's. I'm excited about that! Of course, I can't go if I don't get my homework done because class is tomorrow evening...eek...I think I'll make a last minute A...lol.

Well, school isn't all I've been doing. I've had to take a couple breaks and head to the hills...a must for educational as well as everyday morale. Here's a couple lovely pic's from a hill in Keystone:
















Heading back up for some ski time on Saturday with a couple friends of mine.

Ok, I best sign off. Thanks for checking in while I was away. Monica, all is well. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Houston...Here I Come

I'm leaving for Houston today to hang out with my niece Nikki. I love Houston. I used to travel there for business and loved it so much. I would live there, but I would miss the mountains too much...and the 4 seasons. I'm not a mall person, but for some reason, I can't wait to go to the Galleria again. I have done some of the best shopping in Houston. When FAO Schwartz went out of business there, my co-worker and I purchased over $600 in toys...everything was 90% off...yes, I said it right...90%. It was so much fun, it actually cost us more to ship everything back than it did to purchase the stuff...even still, you couldn't beat the price. I din't have to purchase toys for three years. And, actually, I just gave away the last of the Star Wars action figures this past Christmas.

Ok, so I am, for the most part, an organized person. I work for Colorado Baggage & Paridise pen part time...very part time. I must keep my love for fine writing instruments and beautiful luggage at an affordable price. If I loved shoes, I would work at a shoe company; if I loved jewelry, I'd work at a jewelry company...'cause I'm pretty cheap, but I do love nice things. Anyway, there is one company I must plug here...Eagle Creek...they make the best travel accessories (which I get at around 65% off...woo hoo). Why am I telling you this??? Check this out.


Do you know I packed for the entire weekend in this 11x16x8 boarding bag. Three outfits, jammies, uhh the extra clothing bits and pieces, two pairs of shoes, and all my toiletries & cosmetics (of course those all have to be in 3oz containers in a ziplog bag...classy!). Pretty sweet huh. My helpers: 1 EC packet folder, 1 EC packing cube, and 2 shoe-ins (a must for keeping shoe grimies off the other stuff). I should be hosting some online packing seminars. Here's the #1 question I get from travelers "How do you keep your business attire from wrinkling?" I'll share a secret...you can't! lol However, there is a way to minimize the wrinkles...when you place your clothes in your suiter, wrap each item in dry cleaner bags. The constant shifting during travel is what creates the wrinkles in your clothes, but if you use drycleaning bags, your clothes are less likely to wrinkle because they aren't getting hung up on other clothes or fasteners that cause them to bunch up...and I think it may have something to do with the static that is left in those bags, but that's just my opinion.

Ok, that's all I have for now. I'm off...leaving the 40's/20's weather for 60-70's/40's weather. woo hoo...spring time in the middle of winter.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Woo Fun

Oh this day was just AWESOME!!!! I took off from work and headed to the hills (since I missed out on Saturday's ski time). Just so ya know, the weekends are for skiing, and the weekdays are for snowboarding. There's much more room to jib during the week. :) Anyway, here's a photo tour of my day.

The breathtaking scenery. Vail pass was closed both ways for avalanche control, so, as you can see, traffic was backed up forever, but the hills were a radiant white...and calling our names. It took us 3.5 hours to get there...but, full tank of gas, good music, good company, and good looking boys to smile at in the passing cars...who could ask for more? Of course, my friend Cindy's dad was on the phone making sure we had a full tank of gas and food with us...lol...we had no food, but we certainly didn't forget our Starbucks! Starbucks...it's the important things that matter. :) (side note: dad's don't seem to stop being dad's even when you're in your 30's.)



Well, we finally made it and of course we had to get ready by doing the snowboard doo...it's the thing. :) Mine doesn't spray out like Cindy's does, it just kind of flops...guess it's too long.



We then took a gondola ride to the lifts.



Kicking back...oh yeah.



) Nice boots.


( Thanks, they match my outfit.




Apparently some of the gondola operators were pretty bored. They were utilizing their literary freedom in a snow pile at one of the gondola stops...quite possibly a play on words...but ya never know, and I didn't have time to ask...we were all laughing...even the guys in their cage. I never thought of New York City as being boring, but then...I've never lived there.




We then strapped in and took off down the slopes....ahhhh fresh powder! (Note: fresh powder is a necessity for soft landing...which I happen to do plenty of.)


I didn't do what this kid was doing...I should have. I made many prints in the snow, but none of them were angelic.

(note to self: stop to make some angels next time)











We ended our day as any die-hard Colorado ski/boarder would...at the infamous (at least in Colorado) Idaho Springs Beau Joe's Pizza. MMM...we split an individual pizza and had salad...yumm.

Look at the big fluffy snowflakes!

The drive back was much better than the drive there...even though the roads were actually in worse condition.

So, that was my day...now I'm going to soak my soreness away and prepare for a new day.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

These Hands...Lethal Weapons???

Welcome to the ugliest room in my house...the garage.































I turned it into a sort of gym/garage. I thought it was time for me to stop hanging my laundry on my exercise equipment and actually put it out somewhere. I also thought I would make some use of all the left over paint I had...yeah...it's ugly. Anyway, since the winds were too strong and the temperature too cold, I didn't head to the hills for my planned ski time today...a storm is blowing in and I'm a chicken on the I-70 mountian drive during storm weather. So, I decided this morning to finally put together the Total Gym that had been sitting there for six months (or so) and get back into the workout groove. It only took me two hours to figure the thing out, but when I did, I put it to use for another hour.
I was feeling pretty pumped after working out, so I decided I would get some kickboxing time in. I started to shuffle and gave it a good jab, then another...ducked back and hit it with a couple cross punches and some hook shots...I was in my groove! Do you know my worthy opponent jumped out at me...all 80lbs! If there was a referee, that bag would have been penalized. Anyway, apparently I won 'cause it's still passed out on the floor.

I'm actually kind of bummed...'cause the metal
snapped and I haven't got a clue how to fix it.
Guess I can't work out anymore. haa haa haa
just kidding!
I guess my hands really aren't lethal weapons, unless I'm using them in prayer...wooo look out. :)

I really feel good having worked out today. Now I just have to keep it up...it's not like I am very far away from the gym. :)

Ok, this has nothing to do with working out, but I have to share this clip. My little nephew is so darling...he sang me a "Christmas song" last night...if I had all the energy my neph's do...I wouldn't need to work out.

video

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Health Journey - Ahi...Aha

So I am on a quest for healing. I have slightly altered my diet. I generally eat vegetarian...well, that is the easiest way to explain the way I eat. Technically, I'm considered a "pesco-vegetarian" because I eat fish, eggs, and dairy products. I don't have convictions about eating meat, I simply cannot process meat due to severe pancreatic damage. So, I have struggled with weight issues because I don't get enough protein. Last month I attempted NutriSystem for vegetarians (please note: I have no "beef" haa haa with NutriSystem), and became extremely sick. I was unable to process their food no matter how many enzymes I took. So, after two or three weeks of being off the diet and on the mend, I decided to go back to a diabetic/PV diet...it's just easiest.

I always purchase fish when I have the budget for it, and freeze it for when I don't. However, I generally only eat fish once or twice a week...don't know why, so I have a decent selection of fish in my freezer. My latest purchase was Ahi Tuna. I have never made Ahi before, so I took to the Internet to see what I could make. I came across this wonderful recipe at a men's fitness site (uh...another side note: I was not actually hanging out at the men's fitness site...I just googled ahi tuna and it sent me there. whew *wiping the sweat from my brow*). I did not notice the lovely picture, only that all the ingredients were live, fresh ingredients. I was soooo excited to make this, so I stopped by the Vitamin Cottage to get some ingredients I don't generally keep at the house, and went home to create my healthy dinner.
I chopped my jicima, tomato, cucumber, red onion, and carefully picked my cilantro leaves and arranged them beautifully on a nice platter (I must have the visual beauty of my chopping skills before I hastily toss them in a bowl). I then mixed my seasonings, as the recipe calls for, set it aside, and began making the salad. I mixed the juice and vegetables and realized it called for papaya vinaigrette. Ohhh man! So, I hopped in the car (hee hee) to get some papaya from the Safeway on the corner, and went home to puree some delicious vinaigrette. Having prepared all the food, the recipe then said to slice the ahi tuna in thin strips and serve it over the ceviche salad. OK...so maybe some of you know what ceviche is...I DIDN'T! I thought...oh no, this recipe is incomplete...it didn't even tell me how to cook the ahi! Panic hit, so I stopped and started over at the beginning (duhhh, about 3 times), each time stopping at the wine selection for serving. Finally, I read to the bottom and a rush of anxiety flooded me...OH NO, I'M SUPPOSED TO EAT THIS FISH RAW!!! What if I die! What if I get some kind of funky raw fish disease! When I finally calmed down, I tried it...oh...was it ever fantastic!!! I had a 3oz steak which I couldn't finish because I couldn't stop thinking about raw fish and grossed myself out (some things just have to grow on you). Since the recipe called for 2 steaks (tuna steaks that is), I made two but was quite nervous about putting the other steak in the refrigerator overnight...so I cooked it. Don't try this at home! I tried a bite ... I have never had anything so disgusting in all my life...had to discard my beautiful tuna. Lesson learned.

I thought about this event and reminisced back to a stint in my childhood. On Friday's, if all our chores were done, the family would go out for dinner and a movie. The twist to our evening out was that our dinner always consisted of ethnic foods. It was tragic dinning for a child...lol. The rule was "you don't have to eat it, but you do have to try it." I am thankful for that; if I had not experienced those days, I doubt I would have tried this recipe at all.

As for healthy, I have to say, this was the first meal in over a year that I did not experience any negative digestive effects. I felt great, I woke up feeling great...and ALIVE. haa haa

Click on the above recipe link if you would like to try this yourself...it's a lovely adventure.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Beginnings

2008! Wow! Where did ’07 go?
Over and over I have heard the words “new beginnings” being stated about this year. Those words resonate deep within me.
Every year, not unlike most people, I make resolutions, but always seem to forget them or just flat out break them week two of the new year. I feel so very different about this year because I truly do see it as a time of new beginnings. Last year, was a very difficult year for me. It was a year in which I found out my career would be ending. While I thought I was prepared for the change, I really wasn't. It wasn't just my career, I found out about some health issues (I knew something was wrong, but the doc's ignored my symptoms and did not actually diagnose it until I demanded an MRI). I panicked. I decided that I needed to fix everything before "the end." I think I destroyed most of what I was trying to fix, and my stress levels only added to my health issues. Then an awesome thing happened; a verse from The Bible came to mind "[b]e still and know that I am God..." so I sat down and listened. God spoke those words (Ps 46) at a time in which chaos was all around, and He reminded me that He is my refuge, my fortress, my protection, my God...all I had to do was trust Him. From there out, all I have done is listen...and it is so amazing how the Lord has gotten through to me. I have made decisions in which He gave me dreams directing me not to do what I had planned...He was so right. He also had people walk down from the platform at church and pull me aside to talk to me. I even attended a conference (what a conference...it was like Woodstock meets Jesus...whew, but that's beside the point) in which I knew no one, and He had someone stop in the middle of teaching to speak to me. Nothing impacted me like the words that were spoken that day. It was when the lights went on and I realized the Lord has plans far beyond my insignificant attempts at living.
So, my life is changing, and this year will definately be a year of new beginnings. The first four months, I will be locked up in my house finishing off the last of my classes (6 courses...ouch). My job end date is up in the air. Since I know every position in my area, some are rallying to keep me until June so that I could train all the people who were hired on with the new trust company; however, the current manager would like to wing it with her new people and let everyone here go in March. I didn't apply for a job with the new trust company, I never felt a peace about it, and I am suprisingly confident in my decision. So, if my employment ends in March, I'll have some fantastic study time; if it ends in June, I'll have some time to build where God says build. Whatever the future holds, I am so looking forward to it and will do what the Lord instructs me to do...and go where He says go. I am free, I am ready, and I am more than willing to meet this year head-on!

I hope this year is a year of new beginnings for you as well!

Isaiah 43:18-19
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.