In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Ritter Springs is Yoga

The WOLF School (conservation based 5th grade) that my daughter attends held their camping trip this weekend at Ritter Springs Park.  We had great weather with the exception of lots of wind Friday night!  We rented a tent which was missing some poles and heck, I don’t even think the rain cover went with it, but you make do with what you have and it’s all good.  Check out our weekend pad.  Stellar.  Actually, it was great!  More room than we really needed that’s for sure.  

100_37521Fast forward to that same evening.  We were scheduled for a Night Hike.  I had no idea where we’d be hiking, or what we’d be looking for and neither did anyone else.  We hiked to the mouth of a cave and checked out the bat flight.   We all stood around the mouth of this cave (like a huge sinkhole actually) and watched around 3,000 bats (not kidding) come and go.  They flew over our heads and side swiped our cheeks.  It was cool. 

Sleeping that night was cool as well.  The breeze was a little bit too much at times and it really kept whipping at our tent.  In turn that kept me awake, being the light sleeper that I am.  I didn’t think a bottle of wine was appropriate for this trip so I dealt with the wind.  I sat outside for awhile and checked out the stars and felt the wind on my face, I went to the bathroom (which was a hike) and watched my kid sleep like a baby.   





I was up at 6 a.m. and took a jaunt down to the creek and meditated for half an hour.  I had originally planned to be in STL this same weekend with one of my favorite yoga teachers, but this trip was yoga in itself.  The grass around this creek was so lush and green.  I truly felt like Frodo might pop out from behind one of those trees any second.  I took advantage of the early morning sun to capture some of the beauty. 




There were several activities we could sign up for and I let Lauren pick them all.  So on Saturday morning I found myself signed up for Trail Running.  Uh oh.  I’m no runner.  It was obvious that our guides were serious runners but they weren’t intimidating one bit.  In fact, a few of us found ourselves connected by some other time or place and I always enjoy reconnecting with people under different circumstances.  We learned about trail running do’s and don’ts.  We then headed to the lake and creek for a short little run.  Here’s a photo of our trail running team.  Go WOLF School!








After lunch (all the food was provided) we met up with our cave guides and headed to Junction Cave.  This cave is up high, steep high above the river.   We stopped at an outbuilding and grabbed flashlights, hard hats and gloves and onward we went.  Actually, 3 people from Nebraska just happened to be walking by and the guides asked them to join us.  They’re probably thinking that the parks here in Springfield, Missouri totally rock right about now!  We had great guides and we were amongst another fun group of people.  When we arrived at the cave, we did a little cleaning.  This cave is open to the public and people like to leave lots of marks in the way of graffiti, candles and broken glass.  You remove graffiti with water (preferably cave water) and a wire brush.  How simple is that? 








After a bit of cleaning, it was our turn to enter.  We were able to go in about 150 feet or so.  At one time, we all turned off our flashlights.  I have never, ever experienced darkness like that in my life.  You literally could not see your hand in front of your face.  It was awesome!  I shot a great photo of a cave salamander and a bat.  Below is my daughter Lauren, her friend Sierra and Sierra’s aunt, Jeri100_37592


We slid on out of the cave and down the hill back to camp!  We played some  games, challenges and puzzles with groups that were fun, but I will say by the time we got to that event, I was spent! 


I’m hoping for a smooth transition from this very cool 5th grade, to 6th grade when we re-enter civilian school.   And, if you have a 4th grader that likes being outdoors, applying for WOLF school is a great idea as well.

Go camping, it’s so worth it.


Malasana Garden

shed-garden-21A few years ago on Mother’s Day, my family gave me the beautiful lily you see at the left.  I’m only around 5′ 3″ tall, and this lily is now taller than I am!  The main stalk of the plant is almost as large as a .50 cent piece.  It has multiplied and I have divided it up and given some of it away to others.  The lilies haven’t bloomed here in our area yet, that usually happens in June. 

We have extreme black dirt here at our house especially in the backyard.  This whole area used to be a farm.  Frank’s parents live right next door to us and they have lived there for 55 years!  Their house was built in 1924 and the house next to them, is even older.  Most of the homes on our street were built in the 50’s (including ours) so that left several years of open space for farming.  Years ago, Frank used to ask me to come over and see his horses.  My reply was usually, “You’re full of crap, you live in the middle of town.”  He wasn’t kidding.  Their farm was grandfathered in and they had horses and other critters here until the mid eighties.  I never came over to find out and I always thought he was full of it, until 19 years later when we reconnected.

Yesterday I finished the garden.  But I can’t say that’s true, as a garden is probably never finished.  So our line up is as follows:  Hybrid Tomatoes, Cayenne and Jalepeno Peppers, Asparagus, Broccoli, Yellow Sweet Onions, Blue Lake Beans, Sweet Snap Peas, Whopper and Jewel Strawberries, Arugula, Rosemary, Sage, German Thyme, Tarragon, Thai and Italian Basil, Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Oregano, Mint, Dill and two pretty pink Cosmos just for the heck of it!  I found some thin, old wood and dug a trench to make a wall to keep the strawberries contained.  The last two days have involved lots of squatting, hence the Malasana garden.  Malasana is the squatting pose in yoga.

I also picked up a new plant I’d never seen before.  It’s called Corkscrew Rush.  I usually don’t like to blow my money on annuals, but I couldn’t resist it.  It will add cool texture to my north side shade garden.  I haven’t taken a photo of it, as it’s been raining buckets since I finished planting yesterday, but here’s one I found online.  It’s a spiral and it feels pretty tough!  It reminds me of that stuff they dry and put in flower arrangements, and hey, maybe it is!corkscrew_rush2  I also blew a few bucks on some really pretty Geraniums and Gerbera Daisies for the deck.  I also bought some Fiesta Impaitiens (they’re pink and white with green and white leaves) for my shade garden.  I hope I can winter the Corkscrew Rush inside, it’s such a cool plant!

Another cool thing my in-laws used to keep on their farm were bees.  The last few years the bees have been back.  In fact, from my kitchen window the other day, I saw my 83 year old father-in-law, dressed in the bee garb pitching the tallest ladder ever (imagine wooden, rickety, old) against one of our walnut trees.  This didn’t look good.  He’d moved some bees into a hive a few days prior and I guess it wasn’t good enough for the queen, so they bolted.  He was going to “brush them down” with a broom.  Sounds like a bad idea to me.  Frank arrived home from work to head straight out back to help.  They ended up getting the chainsaw and getting the bees on the ground.  Good thinking.  I didn’t get a photo, but here’s one I took of bees from another time.


This many bees weigh around one pound.  That’s a lot of bees.  And I’m not sure how many it takes to weigh in at that.  Frank’s dad now has 6 hives full of bees.  Maybe we can talk the guys into robbing them for honey this year, as we didn’t last year.   The bees will also pollenate all kinds of stuff in the garden as well as the great rash of wild, Black Raspberries that grow here as well as next door.

I went to yoga this morning and the rain was a nice backdrop for our class.  We didn’t do any squatting (Malasana) and I was pretty thankful.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

north-side-3This will be the third year we’ve planted a garden.  Not a flower garden, but a food garden.  I have a few flower gardens.  The one pictured at left is from the year before last.  My blog header, is actually one of my gardens as well.  This garden is on the north side of our house and it’s in the shade.  That called for lots of hostas, perennial begonias, ferns, lilies and impatiens.  I can do flowers, I can.  The veggie thing is somewhat new to me!  The first year we planted a food garden, the squirrels literally ate everything.  I mean all of it.  We have lots of walnut trees, so we have lots of squirrels.  They ate the tops off of the sweet potatoes, they ate the green tomatoes, they destroyed the garden.  Last year we planted peppers between each tomato plant and guess what?  We got maters, that’s what! 

So tip number one.  Plant peppers, any peppers between each tomato plant to deter any critters.  This would’ve been nice to know, especially after I spent god knows what on different repellents!  We also have several mature trees in our yard which I adore, so this makes some serious shade near our garden.  I found by trial and error that leafy greens do really well in partial shade.  Corn on the other hand, sucked.  It needs sun!!  But we harvested some micro-corn last year and it was tasty, but small.

So this afternoon I planted 10 hybrid tomato plants, 10 asparagus crowns (that’s a new one for us), a bunch of yellow, sweet onions, snap peas (yum), some arugula and a row of broccoli.  The strawberries from last year have taken up another row and that’s a good thing.  I will have a hybrid of Jewel and Whopper strawberries this year!  Tip number two.  Buy some cheap netting and cover them up because the birds will eat them before you get out of bed in the morning!

Tip number three.  A good friend told me to get a couple of tires and stack them.  Fill them with mulch and plant potatoes in them, instant potato garden.  I have not tried this yet, but we intend to.  We can put the tires in any sunny spot in the yard this way!

Tomorrow I buy the pepper plants and get them in the ground.  Hopefully.  Our weather has been pretty much hit and miss for any yard work here lately, that’s for sure!  How does your garden grow?

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Slipcovershop Dot Com

Back in November, my sister gifted us her furniture.  She usually changes furniture every few years and she’s gone through a gazillion couches!  Lucky for us this time, she gave one to us!  My mom and dad brought it with them (along with a leather ottoman/coffee table an end table  and a barrel chair from the house I grew up in) when they showed up for Thanksgiving. 

The only problem in November was this. 

We hadn’t really tried to get rid of our furniture yet.  And I don’t think my husband really wanted to let go of his huge sectional.  We ended up storing the new/used stuff cheaply for a few months.  We finally sold the sectional to someone he worked with and the ugly loveseat sold within a few hours on Craig’s List.  Highly recommended is Craig’s List by the way!  We’ve rocked out with it, buying and selling here lately.







The couch we inherited is a great casual style.  My sister purchased it new at Burdine’s.  The pillows and cushions are down- filled.  The sofa is around 10 years old now.  It was covered with a buttery, yellow duck fabric with lots of stains, lots of fading, a couple of tears and what nots.  Plus, there’s no way in hell a piece of furniture that light in color would last long around here as we really live in our home and we have 4 animals indoors.  I chose to cover it.  First choice would’ve been to have my sister make the slipcovers.  But, I’d have to fly her here so I weighed my options.

I surfed the internet and locally for someone to sew for me.  I can embroirder, I can cross stitch and I can sew on a button, but no go on running a machine!  I located this place in NY and I highly recommend them if you’re ever in need,  I chose their ready made slipcover then ordered 4 pillow coverings for the seat and back cushions.  I had the back pillow coverings made a tad bit smaller, as the down had really settled.  They have a wide range of fabrics to choose from.  They even sell the fabric if you want to sew something yourself!  Turn around time was only one week, and the price?   $300 with shipping, $1,000 sofa resurrected.



Peeps & Yoga Are All That

This is a dangerous time of year for me. 

Every year I say, “No, I’m not gonna do it.” 

Peeps are pretty much available for all the holidays now, not just Easter.  But for some reason they taste way better in the spring than say they do at Halloween.  At Christmas they had gingerbread, sugar cookie and who knows what other flavors of peeps available.  I caved.  I tried some. 

They all sucked. 

To me anyways. 

Even the orange pumpkins at Halloween just aren’t up to the Easter par.  I’ve even figured out that if you buy the bunnies instead of the chicks, you get two extra, but they cost the same!  What’s with that?  I guess the chicks are more popular and they used to be my  first choice until I started going for more peep for my buck.  And I do mean a buck as they cost around .96 cents a package.yogapeep1

Today at the big box retailer, they had a ginormous candy isle.  My cart automatically turned to head that way.  My excuse?  I had to get some stuff for the kids ya know.  All of the candy was in order by color.  It was really pretty.  Orange peeps, orange M&M’s, orange jelly beans and chocolate decorated with orange stuff.  Same thing went for blue, green, yellow and pink!  You could totally overdose someone in neon blue Easter candy, stuffed animals and all.  But it was nice to see so much color on such a shitty day.  It’s cold, it’s windy and it’s starting to rain.

Why do I care?  I’m home, I’m warm and I’m on the computer.  I care because in 30 minutes I have to go to a track meet, that’s why!

The book in the photo is Yoga In America by Deborah Bernstein and Bob Weisenberg.  It’s awesome.  If you’ve been living in yogaland for very long at all, you really should take the time to read it.  The book is a collection of shorts from not so famous yoga teachers around the globe.  I submitted a story, but it wasn’t chosen.  I see why now.  Tough competition.  This book is filled with great writings of inspiration, laughter, personal triumph and tears.  I love it so far and I’m more than half way finished with it.

You can purchase the book if you’re interested through LuLu. 

The peep on the other hand is mine.  And so is that hot cup of coffee not pictured. 

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Another Amazing Weekend

This weekend was yet another amazing one.

Starting with Friday afternoon, our son totally kicked butt at the track meet at Parkview.  The day was beautiful, not much wind, no clouds and tons of sunshine!  He ran in three events, and came in second in two and first in one!  Way to go Jordan, you’re awesome!

Saturday morning I found Lauren a bike on Craig’s List.  I drove out South of town to check it out.  It turned out to be a basically brand new bike, for a not so brand new price!  Sold. 

As I left there my cell rang.  It was my sister who was on her way to check out some authentic Indian rugs that she’d found on Craig’s List in Florida.   I’d been wanting a runner for our super long hallway, but they cost too much.  I told her I was in the car and trusted her to make the purchase, she’s got good taste like that!  This lady had 4 rugs and 1 runner for $50 each.  I asked my sister about the quality.  She said, “She was wearing a Sari and spoke broken English, what do you think?”  Sold.  runner4

Saturday afternoon I checked my auctions.  I ran a bunch of yoga clothes on e-bay as I often do and they were doing OK.  I also ran a little 6″ vase, circa Nippon.  It was holding at $20 for a few days, but Saturday, it shot up to $102.  It had an hour left.  I decided not to waste time and watch it end.  Where did I go?  Yoga, of course!  When I returned the auction was over.  Someone really liked that vase as it sold for $350.60.  I wish I had another one, or two, or three……  Sad thing is, it’s probably worth 3 grand or something.  I’d had it a long time.  I like Asian inspired things.  I like bright Asian inspired things and as you can see, it’s pretty muted.  I like Lusterware, it’s shiny!  100_35591

Saturday evening came around and it was time for me to back up everything I cared about so Frank could hook up my new (used) computer!  The computer I have is older and I’ve never had a problem with it,  but it was starting to run really slow.  Too many high end programs.  Too much stuff not enough space.  (Sounds like my house and my internal organs).  Anyways, we spent the evening hooking up, re-installing and copying files over.  It’s really fast now!  I cruised through the yoga community group e-mail awhile ago.  The internet really loads fast too, so I’m excited.  Free computer, yippee!!

Sunday came.  More of the same, computer stuff, etc.  Until my friend  Sylvia (the artist) called.  She had something to bring over.  OK.  I’m home no big deal.  She walks in the door with this.  dr-woo-hoo-ohm

Yep, another beautiful painting framed and ready to go!  This is her new character, Dr. Woo Hoo.  She called this one “At OHM with Dr. Woo Hoo.”  Amazing, absolutely!  Just check out that detail and those colors!   She needed to borrow the other one she’d just given me (Dr. Woo Hoo Cooks) and we hung this one in his place for now.  How lucky am I?  Totally lucky.  I am building her a small website to showcase her art.  The world really needs to see her heartfelt brightness!!

Perhaps the goodness of the weekend was fueled by that yoga class and the power of Dr. Woo Hoo!!  That vase action didn’t hurt either. 

Peace Out.