In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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12 Days of Christmas – A Little History

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?


This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in
England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.


-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
  Faithfulness,  Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

This knowledge was shared with me today thru an e-mail and I found it interesting and enlightening. 

Now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington,Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.


Warm & Toasty

$61 for a new furnace igniter.

$192 for a new gas valve. 

A husband that somehow knows how to install all this stuff?


Of course, this took awhile.  Starting with a Friday afternoon run to the parts store.  The igniter they sold us was bad, but it was too late, the place was closed.  It was a new kind, they’d just got them in.  Not the best thing to give someone to try out on a FRIDAY NIGHT!!

The weather wasn’t too bad over the weekend so we were fine.  We could light our furnace manually with a lighter (not recommended by the way) if we had to use it.  On Monday, new igniter was installed and the furnace fired every time.  I can only imagine what the HVAC guy would’ve charged by the hour, and then there’s probably extra $$ tacked on the parts, I’m sure.

We don’t have a fireplace but we do have a really nice kerosene heater that we use sometimes as supplemental heat.  Saves $$ on the gas bill.  We’ve been checking out small wood stoves.  Does anyone have experience with one?  We would need ours to be free standing, not an insert (no fireplace) and I don’t want anything huge.  We’ve got a TON of wood on our property from the ice storm(s) so purchasing wood wouldn’t happen for a very long time, if ever.  If you own one, let me know.  I’d like to know how you feel about it.

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Stuff On My Cat

Came home from yoga today, to find, the furnace was making a weird noise.  What did I do?  I called my husband, he told me to shut it off and I went shopping!  Finished the holiday stuff.  Speaking of holiday stuff, we were supposed to drag that out tonight, but it’s now about 9:45 p.m. and my husband is still working on our furnace.  He’s been at it since he got home at 5:00 (which is unheard of this time of year) boogied over to get a part (ingnitor was cracked)  and installed it.  The furnace kicked on once, but never more.  What’s up with that?  Hell (or our house) will freeze over before we call a repair man.  He will most likely fix this himself.  He’s been researching all night online and of course thinking out on the driveway and I’m sure, smoking (I never see him smoke, but I know he does it) more than normal.  In the meantime, I’m packing some e-bay boxes, doing a little laundry and running down the hall to “kick the furnace ON” when summoned.

I intended to post about cats and got sidetracked, which is, the story of my life by the way!  I love cats!  I like dogs.  We have three cats in our house and one dog.  I like the dog, she’s OK.  You can go away for a weekend and just leave your cats.  Can’t do that with dogs.  I could go on about the differences, but I won’t.  I just love the independence that cats own up to, dogs are too needy.  Two of our cats are, well, geriatric.  One is a youngster, almost two. 

When my brother was here for Thanksgiving, he showed me this website100_0653mia-all-hawaiin1100_0656.  I submitted a couple of photos to it and they’re not up yet.  So, here they are for you to enjoy.  The black cat, is Mia.  He belongs to my sister and she didn’t know he was a boy until after she’d had him awhile.  That probably explains a lot.  The white cat, is my youngster.  This is a prank my family pulled while I was at work.  Who knows what goes on here when I’m out sharing yoga!  Enjoy.


Fruit of the Womb

Yoga has been kind of exciting lately with all of that fruit I’ve been giving away!  What a hit!   At the end of most of my classes (the larger ones) I’ve been having a drawing for ginormous grapefruits, lemons and normal sized oranges.  All compliments from my mom and dad, organically grown, in their backyard in Florida.  

I’ve had a few girls in my Y class that are pregnant.  Three exactly.  One left to deliver.  Today, one of the girls (who won fruit last week) brought her new baby to class for the second time today.  He’s four weeks old, adorable and slept in his little car seat.  She’s a beautiful girl and to be back in class so quickly is really cool.  If there’s any regrets I have about yoga, it’s not knowing about it sooner.  My daughter was two when I figured it out! 

Anyhow, when her baby awoke towards the end of class, we took a quick waterfall pose (on our backs, legs up the wall) to quiet down from all the strong standing work we’d just taken in.  She placed him on her belly and he just hung out.  When he started making noises, she bent her knees, pressed her feet into the wall and let him rest on her shin bones.  What a lucky baby, to have such a great experience at only four weeks of age.

After that soft inversion, we headed into relaxation.  She ended up resting on her side and letting him nurse away.  What a beautiful sound, I don’t think it bothered anyone in the room.  It was all women, most who had already been through that experience, myself included.  I only have one biological child and and the pregnancy wasn’t easy.  When the birth came, it was even worse.  I chose to stop there.  I do sometimes, envy those who really take on motherhood in such an easy, natural way.

On the drive home after that class, I got to thinking.  The youngest person in my class was four weeks of age and the oldest was 79.  What a beautiful class.  What beautiful people I get to share my day with.  Thank you.

My daughter at 4 weeks old

My daughter at 4 weeks old

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Economy Seems Alive & Well

I did a little shopping (for others) with my mom while she was here, which meant I had to make a return.  I hate to shop on Saturdays, or any day, this time of year.  I have stock piled toilet paper and toothpaste, I do not want to get in a cash register line unless I have to.  So after work yesterday I headed out.  At approximately 12:30 p.m. the lot in Target was packed.  Inside was worse.  Pure craziness.  Was there some secret sale I was missing out on?  I thought the economy sucks and no one has any money.  I traded out, bought some Ibuprofen, downed 3 in the car and headed to Petsmart.  That place wasn’t so bad, but busier than normal.   From there I had to go to the post office, eeeek.  Long lines, xmas packages and e-bay sales.  I’ve stood there with 25 e-bay boxes myself and now, I print out the postage sticker online, call the post office and they pull up to my house and haul it off, for FREE!  So by the way things were looking yesterday, I can’t tell our city is suffering much.  People seem to be dropping $$ in full force, in our town anyways. 

Talking with my sister yesterday, was an entirely different story.  She lives in Florida, enough said, if you follow any news.  That state was top in home foreclosures, until recently, they were just passed by Nevada.  I do feel bad for those that have lost their jobs.  What I don’t understand, is a bank, that says “you qualify for a $200,00 loan on a $50,000 a year income” and the buyers go “OK.”  I remember the first house we bought.  The bank said we qualified for a $92,000 loan.  Our jaws dropped, we were making about $32,000 a year between the two of us at the time.  Did we take that loan?  No way.  We went for the $54,000 home, it was brand new, and it was affordable.  We still had money left for one car payment, gas, food and insurance.  I don’t get it.

My sister is one of those “lost job” individuals.  She worked for a huge building company, HUGE.  Everything has come to a screeching halt, offices shut down, model neighborhoods are empty, lawns are tall.  She said it’s odd, like driving through a ghost town in many places.  Lots of people have just packed up and left the area.  People that have lived there for 25+ years.  She can now drive to work in half the time she could this time last year, not too many snowbirds.  Her husband is also in building and construction, on the water feature end.  He works very little, but will be doing 11 pools in Palm Springs, CA in January.  For now, she’s back to working retail at a ritzy kitchen store.  Four years ago she worked there at Christmas, it was packed, registers were cracking.  This year, it’s way different.  I suppose because not everyone can afford to pay $800 for a coffee pot this year. 

I love this kitchen store, it has lots of cool stuff, and some of it will last a lifetime.  But they are also very wasteful.  If they get something in, and it has a scratch on it or a chip for instance, they take it outside (another person goes with you, to be sure you do the deed) and compact it.  She’s had to compact Emile Henry platters and All-Clad cookware.  Not kidding.  Stuff like that makes me sick.  Everything they sell, must be perfect, no scratch and dent here!  Ridiculous.  The store is located in a high-end, beautiful, outdoor Mall.  A few nights ago, the fancy jewelry store was robbed at closing, at 9:00 p.m.  She’d left her Gucci watch there to get a new battery, no word on that yet.

I don’t get the people that “camp out” in parking lots on Black Friday either.  The only time I shopped on Black Friday, was once, when I was pregnant.  And apparently, delirious.  What can you possibly need or want, that possesses you do to that in order to save like $15?  And what could you possibly need or want so bad, that you must be the first person to grace the store at 5:00 a.m. and trample a person to death?  A person that got up in the middle of the night, to simply unlock the door, for $8 an hour? 

I’m not anti-holiday, I’m not.  I just feel like there’s so much more to it than all “that” and I think lots of people have lost it.  Credit card spending is out of control.  For instance, my parents recently closed their video store.  The credit card company was holding their money for 45-days before depositing it into their account.  Whoa.  Kind of crazy.  Especially when you rely on cash flow to pay business bills.  People were dropping $200-$300 on movies, per transaction, on plastic.  They finally had to put up a sign.  No credit cards over a certain $$ amount, cash only. 

I did read somewhere the other day, that Missouri is running low on their “unemployment funds.”  What happens then?

I borrowed this from Post Secret.  Not because I want everybody to “go under” not at all.  It’s just exciting to know perhaps, some may be forced to change their ways, be more simple and get back to basics and shop responsibly!