“Kate’s Grace”…That implies I have Grace LOL!

I apologize greatly about the unexpected hiatus I ended up taking from my blog.  Nothing devastating or tragic has happened to cause it, but I have found that in the phases of parenting, the months of  “I can get away with multi-tasking” all too quickly turned into “What are you doing?” “What are you into?”  “Get that out of your mouth!” and even a lingering stare in the direction of my laptop during kidlet’s waking hours leads to her asking “Up?” (meaning sitting on my lap) and that’s completely unproductive.
Thus the days of RL have completely taken over, and honestly by the time I get some time at night to think about getting on-line, I’m too tired.  Yes, that is an admission that I’m getting old.  Don’t tell anyone. Thank God Blackberry has entered my life!  At least that way I can still keep on-top of e-mails and try to keep up with Twitter, so I’m not completely gone.

What has happened since I’ve been gone?  Well let’s see….I completed the local “Biggest Loser” program at the YMCA and to date have lost (and kept off) 24 lbs.  I’m still working on more, but getting the gym seems harder.  Lol.
My husband and I also looked into buying an existing Coffee Shop in our downtown, but it took us 2 weeks of homework to discover the owner lied to us and only made $7,000 last year being open 6 days a week year-round.  Yeah, no thanks.  Luckily we found out all of that before ever spending a dime.
In the meantime, my knitting has exploded.  I knitted a hat for kidlet in Feb. and when the girls at the shop saw it, they put in a combined order for 10 of them.  Not only that, but I also have a wholesale order through the floral shop I work at for 200 hand knit ornaments by Oct.  Thus, this has all turned into a small business I’ve named “Kate’s Grace.”  I”ve gotten clothing labels, hang tags and business cards to tie it all together.  I’ve also gotten as far as establishing a business e-mail but no on-line shop (yet).  I have to fill these orders before I can knit inventory for the on-line market.  My biggest fear is that I won’t complete the wholesale order in time, even though I know I will.  There’s a lot to do!

These are the last 3 hats I knit for my order of 10.  Only 4 more to go!

These are the last 3 hats I knit for my order of 10. Only 4 more to go!

The Hang Tags I Have for My Knitted Pieces With my Logo and Info on the Back

The Hang Tags I Have for My Knitted Pieces With my Logo and Info on the Back

So, the nights after kidlet goes to bed, going on-line also takes 2nd place to the knitting needles.  I already have a feeling that when these orders are done, I’m going off the deep end creatively knitting to change things up.  This should be considered a warning to my friends and family come Christmas.  If I knit you something, just smile and nod no matter what it is.  Deal?
On the Orchid front: They are doing WONDERFULLY!  I have a mini Catt in bloom, another in bud and 2 full size Catts in sheath.  I’ll make sure to post pics as soon as they bloom!
And kidlet:  Oh, kidlet…she’s doing amazing!  She’s starting with full sentences, she calls our bluffs, and relevantly chimes in on conversations between hubby and I in the car.  We took to the zoo last weekend and out of all the exotic animals she saw, the big, black ugly pig was her favorite.  That’s our girl!  Here are some pics:

Kidlet's Favorite Animal at the Zoo...Go Figure

Kidlet's Favorite Animal at the Zoo...Go Figure

Us Girls at the Zoo

Us Girls at the Zoo

It Was a Good Day at the Zoo.....

It Was a Good Day at the Zoo.....

So, I guess that wraps up life here at the moment.  Both Hubby’s and my jobs are crazy right now, but that’s the same story every year.  Spring means prepping camp to open and Gardening Season at the shop.  Hopefully, we’ll be back to normal soon.  Wait….us normal?  Nevermind!

Smooth Away…Far, Far Away

Okay, I’ve never been big on infomercials.  Call me a skeptic.  So, when I saw a commerical for something called “Smooth Away”–where you buff away your hair, I dismissed it and mentally made fun of the suckers who would order.  It wasn’t until my sister-in-law actually got and said it worked that I got thinking.  Now that I’m at the gym 5 days a week, I do the majority of my bathing there and as anyone (okay-girl) knows, shaving in a locker room bathroom isn’t exactly comfortable.  So, I bit–Thinking that this would be a great way to maintain my girly-ness during the week.  
The package arrived here Weds. night.  In a lull between kidlet being happy and supper getting underway, I took it into the bathroom to give it a test run.  Having recently shaved, I didn’t really have much to work with so I thought I would do my upper lip. 
*Rub, rub, rub* “Hmmm..seems to be working a little, but I should press harder. ”
*Rub, rub, rub* “That’s the ticket.  Feels okay so far…..lemme finish up here….and done.  Oh wait, missed a spot….” *Rubbing harder* “Okay, really done.  I should lotion.” 
*Applying cream…pausing…starting to feel pain as a pink mark spreads across my lip…pain turning to burning….pink getting red.  Wanting to scream but kidlet is just down the hall.  More lotion should help–another wave of pain and burning.  More lotion still.  More pain and burning still. 
“Well, I guess I just figured out what it’s like to take a power sander to my face.”   With nothing left to do, I went out to see my husband with a tell tale red mustache of doom.  The look on my face told him not to mess to me, and my mark told him I had been through enough, so he was kind–not even laughing in front of me. 
I applied 5 more coats of lotion that night, praying for the best the next day.  
The best didn’t exactly come.  As I wandered into the gym, my “red mustache of doom” had tamed to pink, but all in all, I still looked like I just blew the Koolaid Guy.  “Ohhhhh, yeah.” 
LUCKILY, by Friday (and work) it was tame enough to cover with make-up.  Praise the Lord.
In the meantime, you’d think that all of this would be enough for me to pitch them.  Maybe it’s because of the recession or more realistically, because I’m slow, I’m gave them another whirl last night.  This time on my legs.  Surprisingly, it was this time that they actually worked like a charm, so I guess it’s not a complete waste. 
Life Lesson #156 Taking ANY kind of sand paper to your face is a BAD IDEA.  Hope this helps someone.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Gang….or not.

Wow.  I know it’s been a while since my last post.  I apologize.  There’s just something about RL that seems to take over.  Who knew? 
Anyway, I’m doing well.  I’ve dropped a total of 10 lbs. so far but have been stuck in a plateau for 4 weeks now.  I’m officially on the cusp of desperation.  I’m in the gym 5 days a week now for at least an hour each session.  I’ve even tried doing straight shots of Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings….until my stomach said “screw you” in so many words.  That in itself was so nasty that I dare not puke to have to re-live it again.  Ack.
I know I’m gaining muscle mass as my clothes continue to get looser and I can now beat my Hubby in full-body push ups.   I’m also lifting 50-60lbs. on all the weight machines across the board and I can now run a mile without needing to call EMS.   But the number is still frustrating me.  Hopefully something will give soon.    Otherwise, my dad always said that if one wanted to drop 20lbs. of ugly fat ASAP, they can always cut off their head.   Something to think about.
In other news, life is good.   Work is still quiet, but the days are getting warmer which is triggering Spring Fever here and thus more customers, if nothing else, to look.
I’ve also reconnected with some old friends and that has been great.  It’s funny how time flies.  My best friend from college has also been kind enough to come and visit twice in 3 months, and each time is amazing.  It’s one of those relationships you can pick up right where you left off, be yourself, say anything and it all just works incredibly well.  You don’t come across those kind of relationships too often.  I am certainly lucky.
Our summer is looking busy, but a busy that I can’t wait for.  Admittedly, with my husband’s line of work, our “Family/recreational” summer doesn’t kick off until the end of August, but come Sept. there’s an amazing group camping trip to the U.P. in the works, and on Labor Day my Hubby and I will be going to our first Brewer’s Game.  I had so hoped to be able to see U2 this summer, but after looking at venues and ticket prices…..yeah…not gonna happen.  I’m pretty bummed about that, but this summer should still be good nonetheless.  If anyone has another concert they want to see, let me know!!!!!!!
Otherwise, that’s about it for now.  My life at the moment is the gym, work and kidlet.  Oh, and kidlet is doing great.  She now sings with the radio including the All American Rejects “Hope it Gives you Hell.”  Unfortunately, the only word she sings is “hell.”  Oops.  She’s growing like a weed and continues to surprise us everyday with something new out of her mouth.

Is It Spring Yet?

It’s been awhile since my l ast post, but here is the update.  I’m still living at the gym and have dropped a total of 10 lbs. and a pant size so far.  Of course, I’m hoping to do more, but I guess there’s something called patience that I have to have as well.  Bah.
Otherwise, things have been quiet here.  Kidlet is doing amazingly and surprising us everyday with something new.  Today she sang an OAR song on the way to Day Care.  Who knew? 
Work has still been slow, but I keep focussing on the idea that I still have a job and I’m grateful for that.  Spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and that will mean better times.
I have a hauge case of Spring Fever.  I’m already talking to Hubby about scheduling things for Sept. (as we don’t get to have much of a life during summer with Camp.)  The vegetable garden is all planned out and the shopping list of supplies is made.  Sad, I know.
Oh, and I also think it’s terribly wrong that U2 drops a new album and no tour????????  REALLY??  THAT’S NOT RIGHT I TELL YOU…..Not right at all!!!!!!!
We got our Federal Tax money today, so I’ve been sorting through bills looking for things to pay off.  Wow, that’s odd…looking for bills to pay.  Hmmm….I think I need help. 
I’m sorry things aren’t more eventful at the moment, but winter’s tend to be that way around here.  I’m still up at 5:00 or 6:00a.m. headed to the gym most everyday.  Pain and yelling are now my 2 best friends….Yikes.

My Winter of Discontent

Ahhh, another V-Day survived in the Floral Shop.  Granted this one was a lot slower than any in my memory.  When V-Day falls on a weekend it’s usually slower for Florists anyway, but couple that with the economy and it was down all the way around.  All we can do is hope next year is better.
With down business means lack of stories this year.  I usually have a good tale or two about guys sending to multiple girlfriends or any other number of creepy events, but no such luck this year.  Oh well.

I’m frying a bigger fish in my life right now.  And I sit here angry at myself.  I have a really great life.  A wonderful husband, a beautiful little girl, a roof over our head, and I still sit with a void in my life.  I don’t know what it is, but the feeling of this empty hole in the pit of my stomach is eating me alive.  I’m restless 24/7 and always feeling like I should be working on something bigger, but I have no idea what that something is. 
On the other hand, I sit here yelling at myself.  How dare I ask for more when so many have less.  How dare I not feel satisfied.  How dare I want more.  How selfish of me. 

I have tomorrow off and think I will spend my day here at this computer, looking up charities or projects that are bigger than me that might offer a shot at filling this void.  Maybe, just maybe I’ll get lucky and get an answer.  A girl can only hope.

Friday the 13th Came Early. Trust Me.

It’s been a very busy few days here.  Friday at work was just STRANGE.  First, I had a guy come in the shop and ask to use the phone.  It wasn’t until he was ON the phone that I over-heard “Yeah, I just got out of jail.  You still got that ride for me?”  Wonderful.   Dear God, I wanted to go out with a bang, but like this?  Figures.
I then fielded a call from one of the local funeral home directors who opened with “Do you have one of them, there Singing Valentine’s?”  Not knowing who it was I politely replied “We sure do,” and it was then that he revealed himself and told me that he was just kidding.  He proceeded to place an order for an upcoming funeral and when I asked for the last name of the deceased he says, “Butt. B-U-T-T.”  I didn’t say a word as I squelched a giggle.  It just figures that the name was the one thing he WASN’T kidding about. 
Saturday brought kidlet’s 2nd Birthday Party.  It’s true that her birthday isn’t until this week, but with V-Day falling on a Saturday this year and I working in a Floral Shop, it worked better to have it early this year.  We enjoyed family and friends, and it was a great afternoon.  Kidlet had a blast of her own seeing everyone.  It’s so hard to believe she’s 2 already!
On a different note, I’ve been blessed to have some former friends cross my path again.  I’m so happy to hear from them and get in touch with their lives.  It’s astonishing how fast time flies!
Otherwise, I’ve been living at the gym.  Friday was my day OFF of working out and it figures that I spent that whole morning trying to figure out when I could squeeze another workout in.  Sure enough, 6:45a.m. Sat. morning where was I?  In the gym parking lot waiting for it to open.  Yeah, I don’t know what’s happened to me either.
This week brings 5 more hours at the gym, and an additional day of work this week with Valentine’s Day.   It’s this holiday that always brings interesting stories.  I’ll be sure to share.

Crap.

Today was….well terrible.  Sorry.  Work has been so slow.  All of us have been laid off various days, which cuts into our paychecks.   I just keep remembering that I still have a job, and that seems to make it better.  My co-worker not only broke her shoulder last week, but her husband had a coronary and is not doing well.  I had an 85 year old woman come in and apply for a job today because she lost hers.  There has not been much good news today.
I’m just coming back from class where we did positive visualization….only mine didn’t turn out so positive.  We were told to envision the new, fit us: what it felt like, the confidence derived from it, the happiness….and with that I realized that this mission I’m on still won’t lead me to ultimate happiness.  Yes, I’ll feel better and look better, but when our instructor said: “Envision feeling like you can accomplish anything,” my mind asked what I wanted to accomplish and I didn’t get an answer. 
I sit here frustrated tonight.  I’ve started this overall mission of choosing new goals and accomplishing them, but none of them are leaving me feeling satisfied.  You can bet I’ll finish this road to a healthier me, but it pains me to know that I will most likely still not see myself differently.  I still won’t be truly happy, truly satisfied…..and what frustrates me the most is that I don’t have the answer to what will. 
After every adventure I’ve had, every course I’ve taken, every memory I’ve made…..I’m still truly at square one, and I’m feeling so very selfish for that fact.  I’m blessed with so much, yet here I sit terribly thinking “it’s not enough.”  Crap.

Ow.

Ow. Ow. Ow.  I think typing even hurts at this point.  I had the world’s hardest workout this morning, and learned a few life lessons in the process:
Life Lesson #168: Eating oatmeal the night before a morning workout is a BAD idea, unless you like being jet-propelled.
Life Lesson #169:  Never, EVER piss-off your Trainer.  You may not live to see tomorrow, or you may not want to.
Life Lesson #170:  Not eating anything before a workout will leaving you wanting to die after a workout, no matter how mad your trainer is.

Word got out that the other trainer’s work-outs were harder than our trainer’s.  Our trainer didn’t like that.  That complaint is no longer true.
This was the first time ever I came close to throwing-up after a workout, but that also may be because of Lesson #170.
All of this pain, instances of my life passing before my eyes, and sweat at least is paying off.  Yes, I dropped a stinking POUND the first week, but I dropped 7 lbs. this past week.  I’ll take it.
And after this morning’s workout, I think I  also sweat off any calories I ever DREAMT of consuming.  Yikes. 
I’m off to recover.  I have an hour and a half tomorrow in the gym.  Pray for me.

In personal news, I had a glorious “girls weekend” this past weekend.  We didn’t DO a whole lot, but with both of us being mom’s, we didn’t really need to.  Relaxing was vacation.  I also got to see an old friend from High School which was great.  All in all, I would love to do it again soon. 🙂
Otherwise besides this physical torture I’m paying people to put me through, there’s not much news here.  I’ll take it.

WHAT?!?!?!

I’m coming off a day of disappointment.  Even after spend 5 hours in the gym the first week and dramatically changing our diet to lean proteins, super-foods, whole grains, watching sodium levels, cutting sugar, etc.   I lost a pound.  A *&$(!ing  pound!!!!!!!!
I know it’s in the right direction and I know the weight needs to come off slowly, but I sit here still feeling defeated.  I’m disappointed in myself somehow–even though I  intellectually know there probably nothing else I could do.    All I can do is pick up, pack for tomorrow morning, hit Boot-camp at 6:00a.m. and pray for better next week. 

In other news, like the rest of the Nation, I got to witness history today, even though President Obama’s Inaugural Speech had over-tones of “Tickle-Me Elmo” thanks to kidlet.  It was special all the same, and I am very hopeful for the next 4 years.  It’s about time! 
 
I hope my next post is more hopeful.  I’ll keep you updated.

Flat-Out Pizza

Well, it’s been quite a day.  Up at 5:00 a.m.  Boot-camp at 6:00 a.m. Work at 8:00 a.m.  2nd Workout 6:15 p.m. 
Back in the Gym 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.  And I’m paying people to do this to me?  Yeah, sounds about right…..
Anyway, I promised people that I would post our Pizza Recipe that we had the other night.  Here goes:

Exquisite Pizza Sauce

1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
6 fluid oz warm water
3 Tbl Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbl Honey
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Dried Basil
1/4 tsp Dried Marjoram
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes
Salt to Taste

In small bowl, combine ingredients and mix together, breaking any clumps of cheese.  Sauce should sit for 30 mins to blend flavors before use.

Flat-Out Pizzas:

1 Italian Herb Flatout Wrap
1/3 Cup Sauce

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees.  Lay Flatout Wrap on Cookie Sheet and Bake 7 mins.   Take out of oven and prepare pizza as desired.  Place back into oven and Bake Pizza for 15 Mins.

We made the pizzas as specified and added Goat Cheese and Mushrooms.  They were so great AND healthy!

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