Friday, September 29, 2006

Here Comes the Weekend!

It's almost the weekend and I am so excited. I have a lot of things planned this weekend, but they are all fun, so that's good.

Tonight, I am going to work on my house a little bit. I have some rearranging and organizing to do in my bedroom so it will be a mellow night. I am also working on a birthday present for one of my friends and I need to finish that tonight too.

Tomorrow, I have hypnotherapy in the morning, which I love! It gives me time to look inward and I always walk out of there refreshed and ready for the day. For those of you who imagine hypnotherapy the old fashioned way, where you are under the control of the therapist, you are mistaken. This is more like a guided meditation so you do a lot of the work yourself and make decisions while under hypnosis that are best for you and make you feel comfortable, so you are conscious the entire time. It is really cool.

I get to ride Apache tomorrow afternoon! I hope to take some photos of him so I can post them for all of you to see. He is so beautiful and I can't wait to see his face tomorrow. I can't wait to walk him, groom him and "talk" with him. We understand each other, I can't explain it. I enjoy my time on the ground with him as much as I enjoy my time in the saddle.

Tomorrow night, I am attending a spice theme birthday party. There will be some good food and some good people there for sure. I am looking forward to that.

Sunday, laundry in the morning and then dinner at Betelnut with Tim and Jadin. It should be nice. We are going to meet up and walk around first. She is a ballet dancer and there is a dance store over there that we are going to check out before dinner (sorry Tim).

All in all, I am excited and hoping to have a great weekend. I am still sick, went to the Doc yesterday and she said just take it easy and keep doing what I am doing and get enough rest at night and stop activities if I am tired. I have not done yoga in 3 weeks and am going nuts, but I can't breathe so I can't imagine taking a class yet. Perhaps next week, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

13 Days until Malta!

Mascara Mayhem

Longing for luscious lashes? Craving curl? Salivating to lift and separate? I am! I cleaned out my little make-up box the other day and found not a couple different mascaras, but six different kinds! So, before you go out and spend money on more mascara I thought I would review my findings on what I tested out. At the end I will give you my top pick for perfect lashes.

Reviewed from left to right in the photo.

L’Oreal Panoramic Curl – sounds great, right? I wanted the “wide eyed look” that was promised in the ad. The product contains olive wax, which is cool, I like olives. The applicator is nice, has a slight curve but left clumps that I had to comb out. I didn’t get the lift I expected. Well, I should rephrase, I got the lift once I put it on but it didn’t last. I thought I was trying out the wonder bra of mascaras but felt deflated after wearing it for an hour.

Max Factor Stretch and Separate (waterproof) – if I had to comb my lashes after applying it, then it didn’t really separate did it?

Maybelline New York Lash Stylist (waterproof) – this was rated the best mascara in a couple of magazines this summer so I had to try it. I like the comb applicator, I thought there was no way it would clump, but it did. I tried to wipe some mascara off of the comb thinking maybe it was clumping because there was too much on there, but no dice. I think the teeth of the comb need to be a little longer and then they may have the golden ticket.

Cover Girl LashExact – Who ever invented this new brush is a genius. Have you seen it? It is not your normal mascara applicator and it works great. No lift or curl, but separates well and stays on all day without flaking.

Maybelline New York Volume Express Turbo (waterproof) – YIKES, after putting this on, I looked like one of the burn outs that used to smoke behind the bowling alley when I was in junior high school. If you long to look like spider woman, use this mascara, it will make daddy longlegs run for the hills when he sees the tarantulas you are carrying around south of your eye brows.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara (waterproof) – Nice applicator and sexy bottle, they are both kind of hour glass shaped. Really smooth application, not too many clumps, nice lift. This mascara was way too expensive for what it is. The waterproof formula burned my eyes all day and took a lot of work to remove (I even used cold cream). Some day when I have a lot of money to spare, I may bust out and try the non-waterproof version. But that is only if they discontinue my favorite mascara.

My Favorite out of all of these is…

Cover Girl LashExact!
Queen Latifa says, “the clump stops here” in the commercial and I was sold. You know…she was RIGHT! I love this mascara. I wore the non-waterproof version on a really bad allergy day and you know, with sneezing and watery eyes, I didn’t even have anything flaking off or running down my face. That made my mascara decision very easy and this soon became my favorite. It comes off really easy at the end of the day with makeup remover or just soap and water.

For lashes that look you stole them from Sophia Loren, I use a lash curler first and then apply the Cover Girl LashExact mascara. Beware; people may want to take your picture.

**DISCLAIMER** - I am not responsible for your lashes if this does not work for you. Afterall, we were all born with different features, etc. This is just what works for me. Yes, I have lots of lashes, but they are clear on the ends and you can't see them without a little help from the cosmetic companies. If you don't have great lashes, take a risk and glue some on, they are fun!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Trying to Make a Come Back

Geeze, my life hasn’t been very interesting since I got sick and I am still fighting a cough, plugged ears and now my nose is all stuffed up again. Come on, this crap needs to get out of my system now…it is bringing me down in SO many ways.

I went out last night for Indian food (my favorite ) and had the spiciest dish I have ever had. I was hoping that the spice would burn out my illness. When I woke up this morning though, I felt like I was getting sick all over again though. Perhaps it is drawing all the stuff out, I don’t know.

Anyway, I do have news in the world of horses! I found a new instructor a couple weeks ago and have had two lessons with her and love it. I am at a really nice place now compared to where I was before – I didn’t know that until I started at my new place. My instructor, Carol, is really professional, consistent and takes everything super slow, which all work for me. I have been riding a horse named Apache, and you know, I am in love. He is so sweet. His personality is kind of like Snickers (who I miss) but even sweeter. He likes to “kiss” my arms and neck by puckering his lips and nipping at me with them. He is a dark buckskin color and is so silky soft; he has a black mane and tail. The cutest things about him is his mane in the front, it doesn’t lay down like the rest of it, it looks like a little afro, like Buckwheat! I will get some photos of him soon. My lesson experiences have been so great. When I show up at the stable I have to go and get him myself, put the halter on and walk him to the barn and groom him, saddle him up and get to the arena for my lesson. When the lesson is over, I get to spend more quality time with him out of the saddle which I think is the best part of the lesson. I take the saddle and bridle off, give him carrots and apples. Wipe him off where dirt may have collected (around the saddle area and girth) and groom him again. I then walk him back to his stall give him more treats, make sure he has hay for the night, tell him I love him and wish him a good night and sweet dreams. I may be able to sponsor him soon which means I could go and ride him anytime, which would be awesome! I would love to just go and visit him after a stressful day at work. I can’t wait to see him this weekend. I have already had dreams about him too!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn is here!

Today is the first day of Autumn, my favorite season! I couldn't pick a better day to embarrass myself completely by sharing this poem with you. Please keep in mind, THIS IS NOT NEW - I found this the other day while looking though my journal from 7th Grade (I know, scary, I need to throw it away). I was sick and bored and found reading them entertaining.
Anyway, here it is.

Autumn Is Here

Summer time has come and gone and fall is on its way
All of the fresh green grass is about to turn to hay

The baby birds have flown the nest and left their parents alone
All of the bears are getting ready to settle into their winter home

The air is crisp and the colors are bright
Time to put on an extra blanket at night

The days grow shorter and night falls quickly
Fog and rain will come and then snow will cover us thickly

Spending more time in doors with family
Means more time to fight with Andy and Emily

-Katie Lemke, 9/87

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Down for the count

Sorry no recent updates. I have been sick for a week now and missed 5 days of work! I have never been out for that long. It has been horrible. I still have a ferocious cough that would knock any unprepared waif over and probably send migrating birds off their paths. Both of my ears are also plugged and have now started clicking each time I swallow – can anyone else hear that? It is so annoying. I hope it gets better with the quickness; I have a life to jump back into. I am tired of being at home all the time. I want to go to yoga, walk around without wheezing and sing at the top of my lungs in my car without coughing.

One cool, mellow thing I did do the other night was learn how to apply henna tattoos. I learned the history, the recipe to mix it and application tips, etc. Both of my hands are done and I love it. I actually can’t wait until it wears off so I can create a new one on my left hand. I am hoping to practice and get pretty efficient and then help out the woman that taught me as she is looking for a couple new henna artists to help her with events, etc. It would be a fun way to earn some extra pocket money.

That is about it from me.
Stay tuned…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Return of the Dog Tag

I know a lot of you are interested in how the return of the dog tag went since my post on September 7th so I thought I would post an update.
It went fantastic. On Sunday, September 10th the tag was returned. Gary (the Veteran) was very happy to get his dog tag back. We met him down in San Jose for lunch and he told us stories of his Vietnam experiences and shared with my Mom a little about the area where he was stationed, since he was in the same place where Steve was stationed. He arrived 5 days after Steve was killed so he never did get to meet him. I took photos of the area and what it looks like now so he could check it out and I think that made him happy. I thought it would be nice for him to see that it is peaceful and lush green now. He wants to return to that area at some point and see it for himself and I think that is just wonderful.
When I asked him how he lost his tag, he just said that it was one of those things like he may have left it in a pair of pants, a boot, etc. and had to leave without it. After talking to Jess at TOP it sounds like a lot of tags were lost that way and new tags were made for the soldiers when they were back in the rear.
All in all, it was a great experience and I feel so honored and blessed to be able to have been a part of it. I got an email from the Veteran (Gary) today and he was still beaming, I could see it in his email. It is amazing what the return of something like that can do for a person.

For the 4 years that I have been involved with TOP Vietnam Veterans I have learned that life is full of little miracles and that dreams DO come true. My life has changed for the better because of TOP.

Pumpkin Dumplin’ Cookies

I am calling these dumplins’ because they are more cake like than cookie like and I thought it was a cute name.


2 Cups Brown Sugar (packed)
2 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups canned Pumpkin
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg r
½ tsp Ginger
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Cups Whole Wheat flour
1 Cup Chopped Nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat brown sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla together until smooth.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture until smooth.
Add nuts and stir.
Drop by spoonfuls on parchment covered baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes 5-6 dozen

Alternative additions:
* 1 Cup Dried Cranberries, Raisins or Currents
* 1 Tbls Orange zest
* Frost cookies with vegan cream cheese frosting made with sweetened vegan cream cheese.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A little side tracked

This week is going to be a little crazy so I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with the posts, sorry. Life has kind of taken over the last couple weeks and I can’t believe it is already September 4th!

Tomorrow, Tim’s brother Solomon is coming to visit us for a couple days. Tim’s cousin is getting married Tuesday, so we are all going to the wedding reception together in the evening. It should be a blast; I am excited to get a little dressed up for a change and have some fun with Tim and his brother and the Somera clan. Solomon leaves on Wednesday night, just a quick visit because…

My Mom arrives Thursday night for the weekend! I am looking forward to hanging out with her PLUS I have Friday off, phew! We are planning to take a drive up north and go antiquing, check out some museums and have a nice dinner one night in the city. Sunday we have pretty big plans to return a dog tag to a Vietnam Veteran who was separated from his tag while stationed over there. The tag is part of the TOP Vietnam Veterans personal effects program where we try to locate veterans or family members that match with names in dog tags, etc. that we find over in Vietnam and return the items to the vet or the family. This is my first return mission and I am so honored to be able to do it. The ironic thing is the veteran was stationed in the same location as my Mom’s first husband however this man did not know him as he was stationed there right after Steve was killed. It will be an interesting day for sure. I have no expectations and am just going to let it unfold in front of me. I have the tag and a little something to say prepared, the rest is up to the universe to create for us. Mom departs on Monday morning and back to work for me and back to a somewhat normal schedule until I leave for Malta in a month.

I will write what I can this week but there may be a gap in posts.
Stay tuned…


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