In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


Glorious Glensheen

My mom and my dad are both from Duluth, Minnesota.  We still have a ton of relatives there, so I’ve been there a bunch of times.  The latest was just two years ago.  Duluth is a pretty town, on Lake Superior.  It’s up high on a hill and the water views are really pretty.  It’s also really cold.  I remember going down by the water one time in July, the wind was blowing and I was wishing I had ear muffs!  

Duluth is also home to a stately mansion, or castle I should say.  I’ve been there several times over the years.  I remember the first time I went there.  I thought that the home of the caretaker (on the left) was fabulous, and I still do!  I also thought I could live happily ever after in the carriage house (on the right)!  Then, you see the entire house!  It was built in 1908 and I’m not sure of the square footage, but let’s just say it’s gargantuous!glensheen-21

This house is owned by the University of Minnesota and has been open for tours for quite some time.  Some bad stuff went down at Glensheen in 1977.  Bad stuff meaning a couple of murders.  No one will talk about any of the “bad stuff” on the tour.  Certain floors have always been closed for viewing.  The grounds are lovely featuring massive gardens, a small river and what was once an extremely awesome boathouse for the day.  A book has been written about the killings at Glensheen



My mom finished the book on her trip here and just handed it to me.  I’m supposed to send it to my grandma (who lives in Duluth) when I’m done.  Oh, the pressure of having to finish a book.  This is why I cannot use the library!  Rumor has it, the tour guides are starting to include more details of the secret stuff when you visit.  Guess I’ll find out next time I go to Duluth.  If you’re interested in what my mom said is a great murder/mystery, the book is called Will to Murder.

I just finished another really good book,  Not Fade Away.  True story.  Sometimes, the hardback books you can find at Deals for $1 are totally worth it!  I have an obsession with death.  Not so much with murder mysteries, but with dying in a graceful fashion.  That’s an entire day’s worth of blogging, for another time!

P.S. If you like cold blooded murder stories, I just finished one of those as well.  Check out Tragedy in Tin Can Holler.  Yikes!  Chilling, totally.  For the record, I’m still reading Into the Wild and A New Earth as well.

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My Lucky Day

*Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We brined a huge turkey and chowed.  Frank’s sister brought Quinoa stuffing and man was it fantastic!  I love quinoa.

*My brother also made it in.  He flew stand by on United and arrived at 5:45 just in time for the “second” dinner!  As a heads up, if you fly as a guest of United, you have to wear slacks, nice shoes and a collared shirt.  He lives in Boulder and I hadn’t seen him for almost three years!!

*My sister and her husband stayed in Florida.  Her husband builds pools and water features which means he works with a ton of illegals.  Unemloyment is 8% in Florida now and probably like 12% if you count the ones you can’t really count.  They invited two guys from Guatemala and one Mexican to join them for dinner.

*Us chicks walked over to Phelps Grove Park and did a couple of treks around the track after the big meal.  Then we came back and had pie.  It’s all good.

*The guys went to the Mall and checked out the Segway.  I would’ve loved to have seen my 83 year old father-in-law on that thing!

*My parents are camping at Taneycomo.  They seem to be adjusting to retirement very well.  This is the first time they’ve traveled and not had to worry about a “business.” 

*In the video business, you are open every single day of the year, 12 hours a day, so that also presents a problem on holidays.  Some years, we had Christmas at midnight the day of.  When you hired people, they said they could always work on the holidays, but when the time came.  Guess what?  It was usually us and a few others behind the counter!

*I’m passing on the camping since I really DO NOT want to shop today.  My husband, had to be at work at 5:00 a.m.  At 7:00 a.m. he said traffic was gridlocked from the Mall to Target.  I’ll be going to the Gratitude Yoga Class at 10:00 a.m. instead.

*I hit the Mall on Wednesday to return an item I purchased on Evening of Giving.  The Lucky brand stuff was marked down 40%.  Oh…my…..God.  The sales clerk must’ve heard me gasp.  She said she couldn’t believe it either as they never have sales, only clearance.  No kidding.  Whoa.  I returned my top that didn’t fit quite right.  They gave me a gift card (since I wrote a check) for my purchase (we don’t use credit cards unless we travel) and I put it towards the Japanese People top I’d been eyeing!  I paid $27.88 after my exchange, the top was originally priced at $58.  My Lucky day!!

*My parents brought us some great furniture.  My sister, who used to make scads of cash, has had approximately 10 couches in 15 years.  I scored one of her great sofas she got at Burdine’s, a leather ottoman/coffee table, and an end table, plus a barrel chair from the house that I grew up in. 

*Anyone interested in a big sectional, with two recliners and a sofa bed?  It’s blue, it’s comfy.  It was here when I moved in and I am unable to rearrange our living room as long as we have it.  I”m looking forward to getting this out of our house to open up the HUGE picture window even more!  Look for it on Craig’s List soon!

*Speaking of scads of money, my brother used to manage a nice bike store.  This guy, a president of a “company” would fly in on a private jet and buy stuff.  Usually thousands of dollars in bike clothing and sometimes bikes.  He would hand my brother one item and that meant he wanted it in three different sizes.  

*One time, my brother asked him why he never tried anything on.  He said because his company pushed the pencil and the time that he would take was not worth it.  The pilot would then come in and pay for the stuff, with an American Express black card.  They’re made of metal and you have to spend like $250,000 a year to be considered.  What did he do with the stuff that didn’t work out?  He passed it on to his employees.  Cool.


*The family is hoping for snow this weekend.  So is my husband.  He spent all summer welding a bracket for his Lawn Boy Lawn Tractor, so he could attach a snow shoveling bucket.  He was pushing leaves around the yard with it the other day.  I did not know this, but a Lawn Boy Tractor, is NOT a Lawn Boy riding mower.  Who knew, or it was more like to me, who cares?  He’s so excited about this snow bucket.  Look for Jefferson to be clear and plowed this year, by yours truly!

*He drove to Branson three years ago and hauled home two riding mowers (the Lawn Boy was one of them) for $80.  After some minor stuff, the Lawn Boy was up and running.  The other one?  It’s stripped and combined with some other mower, so now his dad has a good one too.  Where’s the rest of it?  Don’t ask, but I want it out of here soon!

*Looking forward to hanging with my family again, when they come back in the morning!  I don’t think, I know I can’t handle Branson today!

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Tao Afternoon Delight

sunlit-bridgeThis morning, I missed my Sunday yoga!  I’d been hard at it, grouting the tile in the kitchen last night, which does look great, and I still had lots of clean up to do.  But, this afternoon, I made up for it!  Steve Eiffert, did a great presentation on Tao teachings (I love all things Asian) and energy movement.  The turnout was really great and so was the class!

We listened to Steve lecture a little bit then we did some moving of energy with a partner.  Really interesting stuff.  We also did some basic Tai Chi (I’ve never done any) and it was really cool.  He had all of the elements in chinese calligraphy on paper.  I thought it was cool, because I have a glass mobile here at home with the same elements painted on it.  It was acutally a gift, from the girlfriend that I shopped with this evening.  He showed us some Tai Chi, that we could do every day, that corresponded with those elements.  My mobile, now, has an entire new meaning when I look at it.

There were some good questions asked and good discussion as well.  I think people are hungry for more of this type of thing.  I know I would like to learn more.  Excellent way to enter into an Evening Of Giving at the Mall with a good friend.  They had a wine/cheese/chocolate fountain bar in front of Old Navy.  Can you guess where we spent our time?  Not too much though, there were stores to browse!  The Garbonzo’s were strolling around playing tunes, the Jarrett band played as well, Santa Claus was out and my husband was cruising on the Segway.  We spent most of our time in Dillard’s.  All the stores tacked on an extra 20%-30% off the already marked sale price, so stuff was cheap.  I bought a knit cap, two long sleeved shirts and two pairs of earrings.  Total of $80, and that’s a lot for me!  I really love Lucky Brand stuff, but it’s ridiculously expensive.  The top I was after was not on sale (of course) and I can’t justify paying $69 for a long sleeved T-shirt, really.  I will wait, it will be on e-bay and if it was meant to be, it will be.  It was red, with Geisha girls and I loved it!

Looking forward to teaching yoga in the morning, looking forward to being off this week from teaching yoga at MSU as well.  It’s going to be a busy week of food, family and fun.  Hope yours is too!


Too Much at Once

  • Orthodontist consultation for our daughter today.  $5,200 for upper and lower braces.  Her teeth aren’t bad, bite does need correction, not an emergency.  We have no ortho insurance, we will hold off a year, and shop around!
  • While I was at this ortho appointment, the person scheduled to sub my yoga class………forgot to show up.
  • Later in the afternoon, while cleaning the studio, the vacuum cleaner bag exploded on me!  Serious mess.  Way worse than when I started. 
  • Picked my kid up from school, only to find out they were in lock down.  Bank very close by had been robbed.  Dropped her home, got another sweeper, finished the HUGE mess.
  • Tile is up around our kitchen window, this took all of two hours to complete, but two years to get around to it!
  • Cruising on the group e-mail newsletter for the yoga community.  Lots of things are happening.  New location for the Yoga Education Center, additional classes and lots of other things, all good.
  • Good things are needed on crazy days like today!
  • My husband and my son deer hunt.  It grosses me out. 
  • His family actually process the deer here at the house, which blows my mind.  I’m not from a farm.  My parents weren’t either, nor are my parents elderly.  I don’t get it.  My kitchen, was a butcher shop the last few days.  My mother-in-law can process a deer all by herself. 
  • After this week deer season is not over for us.  There’s like black powder season, bow season, trip a deer with a wire season, rope a deer when it runs by season……it just goes on….and on!
  • If we could plan the finishing of the kitchen, like we do the deer hunting, we would’ve been done before we started.
  • My childhood dollhouse is out of the attic and my kid loves it.  Haven’t seen her that happy in awhile! 
  • The yoga studio parking lot, is full of leaves from the Gingko trees.  Totally made my day today, wish I had a camera phone, to capture that pile of golden beauty!
  • Off season track has started for our son.  He’s into something new.  Indoor meets.  You get your own self there.  They’re held out of town.  This will cost money.  We will figure out how to budget and go, somehow!
  • My parents will be here on Tuesday.  They’ve closed their last video store, and are officially retired…I think.  My stepdad is only 53, so we’ll see on that one.
  • My parents are bringing their camper and parking at Lake Taneycomo.  I’m thinking, I will spend a night or two down there, check out the Landing in B-Town.  Only been once, I’m not into much shopping. 
  • Evening of Giving is Sunday at the Mall.  It’s cool and I always get free tickets, cause I have the hubby hook up. 
  • Sad thing is, that after this busy weekend, I’ll be too tired to go!
  • Saturday restorative yoga for the female physicians of St. John’s, I’m looking forward to new faces, new places and helping people relax. 
  • Sunday I’ll go to yoga class followed by a Tao Workshop.
  • They’ll have free wine at the Evening of Giving.
  • I might talk myself into going.
  • Stay warm and enjoy the weekend.

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Yoga of Family

I didn’t go to my usual Sunday class this morning.  I am spent.  Busy day yesterday that included a three hour class with a master teacher from Chicago.  The entire class was all based on the shoulders.  One of my tightest areas indeed.  I’m still feeling the class today and the stuff we did involved no weight bearing, except a downward facing dog or two!  Most of it was new, or old stuff I’d forgotten, so that’s a good thing.  It will be put to very, very good use! 

Sharing yoga is unique concept.  And every now and then, I’ll get a call to go off site someplace.  For instance this Saturday, there’s a brunch for the women physicians of St. John’s.  It’s a pamper yourself theme.  I’m heading over and doing a couple hours of restorative yoga for them.  I really enjoy gigs like this.  The people you meet, and the places you get to go.  Just being in that moment, helping people reconnect with their bodies and opening them up to relax in new ways.

Speaking of places.  I had lunch after yoga class the other day with a friend and her husband.  We were talking about yoga adventures and how awesome it would be to just take off for three months and teach in Costa Rica, take some classes in India or do some volunteer work abroad.  Of course, with no obligations or responsibilities, it would be plain cool is what it would be.  I don’t have a trust fund and I have a family.  Her husband told me this story.  Here goes………..

There was once a Sadhu (saint) visiting a family.  The family, was curious of the life of the Sadhu and vice versa.  The Sadhu was instructed by the devine to go outside, into the cold, windy night with a lit candle.  He was to walk around the house three times and keep the flame from burning out.  After three times around, he came back inside the house.  He was excited, the candle was still burning.  “You did well”, complimented the devine.  “But did you remember to call my name?”  “Of course not,” said the Sadhu, “I was too busy trying to keep the flame alive!”

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Thought for the Day

Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day


November 14
I think the world today is upside-down and is suffering so
much because there is so very little love in the homes and
in family life. We have no time for our children, we have
no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

An obsession with hurry has been so worked into our social
system that we scarcely notice we do not have time to love.
Everywhere the slogan is “Hurry, hurry, hurry.”
Yet to be aware of the needs of others, to spend time with
others, to speak and act with thoughtfulness, patience, and
consideration, we must give time – a lot more time
than most of us are willing to give at present. 

We all need warm, deep, personal relationships to thrive,
but modern life seems to place such a small value on them
– compared with the high value placed on money and
prestige and pleasure. It is so easy to be distracted and to
fritter our attention away in countless ways, until we find
we have little left for family and friends. By simplifying
our lives, dropping less important activities, we allow more
time for what matters most. But it is also essential to slow
down our pace of living, so that we can free ourselves from
the grip of time-driven thinking and behavior. 


The Thought for the Day is today’s entry from
Eknath Easwaran’s book Words to Live By:
(Copyright 1999-2005 by The Blue Mountain Center of

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Jack in the Bowl

Almost two years ago, in May, I made a trip to K-Mart to buy a new vacuum cleaner.  When I walked in the store, the Humane Society was there with several cages of kittens needing homes.  Uh oh.  I’m a cat person, totally.  After talking to, petting and cuddling several kittens, I purchased my sweeper.  I took it out to my car.  I meant to drive away, but no.  I went back in the store, and chose the kitty that was speaking my language.   I didn’t consult the family on bringing in another cat.  We were and still are, laden with pets of all sorts.


We had TWO cats at home already (and now we have 3).   One is 18 and a female.  The other, a male and he’s 16 at least.  My male cat still hates the cute little guy above.  But our dog took to him like crazy!  She mothered this kitten like no tomorrow!  She still plays with him and grooms him on occasion!  I’ve never had a white cat before.  Every now and then, he gets outside, by accident of course.  We play the run and chase me back and forth, hide and seek game, usually until I get tired.  He also turns completely grey/black after these little romps!  He’s really pretty and has an amazing personality, like cats do.  My dad, gave me this huge, stainless steel bowl above.  The only thing we’ve found it really good for, is when someone has the flu!  I know, gross.  But, Jackson disagrees.  When I grabbed the camera to get a shot of him taking up residence, he got curious and I ended up with this as well.

 He’s awesome.  Right now, he’s asleep on top of the hermit crab cage. 


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Where’s My Kitchen? Part 2


It’s all happening, sort of!  The tile, is going up on the backsplash for the kitchen remodel that we started in February 2007.  Patience my friend.  It’s tattooed on my back as a reminder that one must not get in a hurry!  Hit a couple of snags, as usual.  Can’t call it a “true project” without some not so smooth sailing.  I’d purchased some neat little creamy glass tiles, to insert you know, here and there.  Total pain in the ass.  Decided against that, too time consuming.  And the fit wasn’t quite right and it looks great without them!  I thought we’d trim the window with them instead.  Also, instead of wrapping the tile on the corners, I’m going to paint the wall.  Just tile the back wall only and be different! 

Here’s where the smooth sailing comes in.  This tile, flushes up to the edge of the window frame with a finished edge, perfectly, no cuts, no buts!  The glass tile is out!  Oh, but it will be used.  I have a couple of mosaic projects in mind for it, and, I got the glass stuff for $20 so it’s not a big deal. 

Hope to finish the opposite wall this evening.  This tile is heavy, and reminds me of stoneware.  It was hard to nip it when needed.  Even when scored, I had a hard time with it.  Of course, that’s why I have Frank!  I can’t believe how straight he got these tiles, inserting them one at a time!  We got a great deal, on discount, since these were loose.  Just kidding.  They were on a 12×12″ sheet.  We’re not that cheap, or that crazy!  In stock at Lowe’s if you’re interested and not expensive!  Thanks honey, you rock!  Can’t wait to finish the opposite wall, I love it!



50 Questions

I borrowed this from my blog stalking escapades –

1. Were you named after anyone?  My parents heard my name in a movie.  The actress in the “Days of Wine and Roses.”   Though the name is more popular now, some people still can’t say it!  I’ve been called Christian, Kristen, and Kursten, the list goes on.  My grandmother said, “Why don’t you just name her Jesus Christ?  Everyone can say that!”

2. When was the last time you cried?  Saturday morning.  PMS. 

3. Do you like your handwriting?  It’s changed over the years.  I used to like it better, I write too quickly now.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?  Turkey

5. Do you have kids?  One daughter, one son. 

6. If you were another person would you be friends with you?  I think so.

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?  Um……yes.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?  Yep.

9. Would you bungee jump?  Nope.  Not since I saw my sister do that years ago at Cartoons. 

10. What is your favorite cereal?  Grape Nuts.

12. Do you think you are strong?  Yes, both mentally and physically.

13. What is your favorite ice cream?  Baskin Robbins Daquari Ice!

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?  How they carry themselves.

16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself?  My tummy.

17. Whom do you miss the most?  My sister, move back here!

18. Do you want everyone to send this back to you?   No.

9. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?  Grey sweatpants and black Ugg boots.

20. What was the last thing you ate?  Oh man.  Oreo’s are now out for the holidays.  The peppermint ones, are better than Girl Scout cookie Thin Mints!

21. What are you listening to right now?  My son laughing at Youtube.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?  Blue

23. Favorite smells?  Fresh Flowers.  Sweet stuff baking.  Rain.  Burning Wood. 

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?  Joan.

25. Do you like the person who sent this to you?  I’m a blog stalker borrower, so it wasn’t e-mailed to me.

26. Favorite sports to watch?  Gymnastics and ice skating.

27. Hair color?   Brown

28. Eye color?  Hazel

29. Do you wear contacts?  Nope, don’t need to.

30. Favorite food?  Anything from the sea.

31. Scary movies or happy endings?  Happy endings.

32. Last movie you watched? Almost Famous

33. What color shirt are you wearing?  Flannel shirt, sage and light red, plaid.  Eeeek, I know.

34. Summer or winter?  Summertime.

35. Hugs or kisses?  Both.

36. Favorite dessert?  Cherry pie.

37. Hot or cold beverages?  I like a little of both.

38. Favorite room in your house?  The deck.

39. What book are you reading now?  “Into the Wild” and “A New Earth” at the same time.  One book, in each hand……..just kidding.

40. What is on your mouse pad?  The Japanese symbol for Eternity. 

41. What did you watch on TV last night?  The news.

42. Favorite sound?  My kids, when they’re not picking on one another.

43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?  Rolling Stones

44. What is the farthest you have been from home?  Cancun, Mexico.  One, too many times!

45. Do you have a special talent?  Probably.  I just haven’t discovered it yet.

46. Where were you born?  St. John’s, Springfield, Missouri

47. Least favorite household chore?  Mopping floors

48. Most precious object on your computer desk?  The computer 

49. A special possession?  I’d say my kids, or husband, but I don’t own them.  So, I’ll have to pass on this one.

50. How many e-mail adresses do you have?  One.