In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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St. Louis or Peru?

I’m heading to St. Louis (not Peru) with a friend this weekend for a day of yoga with Saul David Raye.  He’s an amazing teacher and I can’t even explain why, so I won’t try.  I was not able to travel last year for yoga (I think).  This was a spur of the moment trip as I believe Saul is stopping in St. Louis after the Midwest Yoga Conference in Chicago.  There will be a great kirtan concert on Sunday evening, but we both have to teach on Monday morning so we’ll have to miss it.  I’m too old to get home at 1:00 a.m. and get up to teach yoga the next day.  Bummer, the last time he was with Dave Stringer was so great.  I actually purchased an old harmonium when I got home after that kirtan concert and I love to play around with it here at home.  Saul is traveling with a different musician this time, and perhaps there will be live music during our yoga Sunday morning.  I sure hope so.

My mom and dad did just return from Peru and they’ve got their travel blog 1_1243210200_3321up and running.  If you like to travel vicariously through others (like I do) it’s awesome!  I’ve never been to Peru, but I do so want to go someday.  If you ask me why I want to go there, I couldn’t give you a solid answer.  I just want to go.  And I’m sure I will someday.  I’m posting a few of my favorite photos from their trip.  What beautiful colors, what beautiful people and what gorgeous scenery!  If you have lots of time to kill, their entire trip is documented (with 271 photos) on their travel blog.

Mom and Dad at Machu Picchu 

Beer making operation in Peru


Moray Experimental Terraces
















My mom and the kids








Check out my parents in their native Peruvian garb, 15,000 high at Lake Titicaca










Alpacas and Bob (my dad)








One of the many cathedrals, most you cannot take photos of the inside, that’s my mom








I think this is one of my favorite people pictures (my dad on the right)








One of the many cool places that they stayed



It’s Still Hot In Here

hot yoga 1I took my second Hot Yoga class this morning.  My first time was last Sunday so it had been one week.  I got a serious headache a couple of hours after the first class and it happened again today.  I drank more water afterwards this time, but it didn’t make a difference.  I feel drained.

The class was pretty much exactly the same.  Postures may’ve varied a bit towards the end, but all and all, even the dialogue was exactly the same.  I guess there’s not much room for creativity in a hot yoga class.  I practiced Ashtanga Yoga for a couple of years, three times a week at six in the morning.  It was a warm class and we even ran some heaters to create more heat.  But it was not 111 degrees like it was today!  I will say, I like Ashtanga better.  I feel like it’s more of a moving meditation than this hot yoga.  I also remember feeling more focused and definitely more alive during that practice.  I also feel like Ashtanga follows the Eight Limbs.  I do not believe that hot yoga does.  When the teacher says, “And push, and push and push and  bend your back until it hurts,” I have a hard time believing that hot yoga is following the law of Ahimsa (non-violence).

I don’t believe yoga should hurt.  I do believe it can be challenging but without dire pain.  I do believe that practicing in a tropical atmosphere is a good idea.  I also believe that if you are so incredibly warm, and you stretch your muscles beyond 25% or so of their resting length, there’s room for damage.  I’ve practiced yoga for almost 10 years now.  I didn’t push until it hurt today.  I know my body and I did rest  when I felt extremely overheated.  What scares me is this.  There’s a lot of folks doing hot yoga that’ve never taken a yoga class at all.  I feel these are the people that will be competitive and that’s when injuries occur.  I know, I’ve done that.

After the class I ran home and got cleaned up and met the girls that attended the class with me at Ocean Zen for lunch.  I only wore mascara and a little eye shadow.  My face was red for a couple of hours after the class, no makeup needed.  My headache is gone now.  And my achy back and sore foot feel good.  Was it the yoga?  Maybe.  Will I go back?  Yes, I will.  I truly believe you need to try something several times before you decide if it’s working for you.  I love yoga and though this hot yoga reminds me of the bikini boot camp they offer at the YMCA, it’s not.  It’s yoga asana inasauna and I’ll continue to think of it in that way until I change my mind.

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Garage Sale Characters

I survived another garage sale! 

garage sale

For three days this last week on a Wednesday, a Thursday and a Friday we held our sale.  Our street is a fairly busy thoroughfare during the week as people use it on their way to and from work and to and from the schools nearby.  Garage sales held on the weekends usually turn out bad for us.  We also had the most beautiful weather ever.  Almost too pretty for a sale.  I know that my husband would’ve rather been in his boat.  I know that, because that’s where he’s been since we finished the sale!

We didn’t advertise in the newspaper as we used to.  We found that by doing that,you have people knocking on your door at six in the morning looking for furniture and other things for their antique booths.  Plus it costs a fortune.  So this year we went with signs and Craig’s List.  Someone did steal two of our signs that we left up overnight the first evening, but lesson learned.  Bring them in when you close down and it’s all good.  We sold a ton of clothes that our daughter had outgrown, toys, a few computers and a bunch of racks and file cabinets from the video store.  People were really purchasing things they needed and could really use.  Economy?  I think so.

The most entertaining thing about a holding a garage sale are the people.  There was the van filled with the developmentally disabled.  I don’t know how many they had in there, but they just kept filing out.  They loved our bubble machine that we had cranking in order to draw attention.  And it’s a big plus for the childen.  It kept them busy while mom or dad looked around.  There was the lady searching for toys to send overseas.  Her son was in a high profile murder case in our town several years ago and was acquitted.  I didn’t want to elaborate on that and I was blown away when she started talking about it.  When I ignored her she started talking to my husband.  She mentioned that she hoped he was not in law enforcement.  He didn’t respond, because, well, he is.  There was my friend Mary, who just finished her book.  There was the guy walking down the sidewalk with a tie dyed cooler.  He had one eye that was partially open.  He talked so much and for so long, other people started to leave when I couldn’t get away to help them!  We sold an old, cruiser Otasco bike to a hipster that works at a coffe house downtown and we sold our son’s bike to an ecstatic little boy who’d been bike shopping.  It was his last day of school and the bike was a reward for doing so well.  Thanks to the yoginis that showed up, you guys scored some great stuff for your kids!

Then there was that little girl the very first day.  She was adorable and was wearing the cutest hat.  She’d picked out a few toys and some books.  She came up to pay with her mom and I noticed her left eye had a sore above the brow line and her eye was slightly bruised.  I asked her how she hurt her eye.  Her mom replied, “We were hit by a drunk driver in Arkansas and she has a plate in her face.  We’re on our way to the hospital to have that removed so we’re loading up on stuff to do.”  Whoa.  I asked her mom how old she was and she said she’s 6 now.  She was 4 when the accident happened.  I asked her if everything else was ok.  Her mom said, “No, not really.  She’s actually missing the entire left side of her brain.”  I felt something totally drop inside of me.  No way.  There was no indication of this.  Her motor skills were not funky, she was quick to talk and think.  I was blown away.  I wanted to know more, but the sale was busy and it felt weird to pry.

Garage sales are a lot of work.  I don’t like having them, but I love how I feel when they’re over.  I spent the entire sale wondering about that little girl and her outcome at the hospital.  What sort of challenges will she have to face?  How unfair.  All because someone was drinking and driving, and all because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.  I quit thinking bad thoughts about all the accumulation in our garage that we didn’t have time to purge.  I also quit thinking about all the time I felt was wasted on the sale when I would’ve rather been doing something else.  Both of our kids are healthy.  So am I and so is my husband.  Who would’ve thought that the connection made at a garage sale could be such a remimder of what’s really important.

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It’s Getting Hot In Here

bikramWe had unusually warm temperatures for a few days this last week, which meant when the rain came it brought a cold front.  Since I was missing those warmer temperatures (and a good friend invited me) I ventured out to the new Sumit Hot Yoga Studio that opened in our city yesterday.  I’d never been to a hot yoga class before.  In fact, we didn’t even have a hot yoga studio in our town until yesterday.  Bikram (pictured left) is responsible for starting the “hot yoga craze.”  When I mean hot, I mean the room is heated with artificial heat to around 110 degrees.  He franchises out, so one cannot just open a hot yoga place and use the word Bikram or even his series of postures.  In turn, just “hot yoga” has pretty much been running like wildfire.  I was reluctant to go as I was busy preparing for garage sale hell, and I also thought that if I went that I might die.  But my friend convinced me that she’s 66 (I’m 42) and she was still alive after attending the class yesterday. I decided I would try yoga hell instead.

I’ve taken a yoga class in Florida where the back door was open and it was stiffling hot!  But that was a more natural, humid, jungle type of heat.  The class was Ashtanga-like and I loved it.  But, there was not a thermometer on the wall, so I don’t know how hot it actually was in the studio that day.  All I know is I felt totally cleansed when I left, kind of like today.

The new center is located in a shopping center and is inviting to the eye once you enter.  I only brought one bottle of water and a small towel and my own mat of course.  I wore bermuda length yoga shorts and a tank.  As soon as I entered the yoga room, I could feel the warm, dry heat.  The space is heated with 6 heaters, two on each wall close to the ceiling.  Tip:  If you go, get a place closer to the wall, under the heaters, that way they won’t be blowing directly on you.  I figured that out half way through the class.  He uses music.  Some I liked some I didn’t but I wasn’t paying that much attention to it.  I was too busy focusing on the different names he had for each pose.  One thing I couldn’t get myself to do was to lock my knees.  My knees do not like that and I don’t feel it’s that safe, but maybe it is when the room is 109 degrees.  And it was, 109.  The thermometer was right behind me, in big digital numbers I could read it.  I also noticed some flashing light every now and then and I began to wonder if the iPod mounted on the wall, was shooting pictures and how scary that will be if and when those surface.

We started right off into postures and I don’t remember what ones.  We did mostly standing stuff, lots of Warriors, lots of balances and lots of sideways bending.  I have a partial fallen arch in my right foot, so I had to surrender and come out when it hurt.  Towards the end, we took several mini shavasanas (relaxation on our backs) for like 20 seconds, eyes open, arms close to the body.  Then, we had to pull ourselves up with our hands reaching our toes working our core.  Then we’d stand back up again, flow or do standing postures or both, then back down again, mini shavasna time.  It will take a getting used to, the stand up lie down part for sure.  In most yoga classes, you start off with meditation or breathing, or both.  Then you do standing work, the class peaks and you return to the floor.  Not at hot yoga.  No meditation, no pranayama, not at all.  I left the class feeling totally cleansed.  My face feels soft and my body feels good as of right now.  I stopped at the health food store on the way home and grabbed a couple Kombucha’s to hydrate and picked up some quinoa for a new salad I saw in a magazine.

I like yoga.  All of it.  In the world today, there are people offering wine and yoga, chocolate and yoga, yoga on a slackline and yoga with your dog.  You name it, it’s out there.  I know people who will never try this hot yoga because they feel it’s wrong, or unsafe.  I say try it and if you don’t like it, don’t go back.  I don’t do a lot of cardio and I know it’s good to get your heart rate up  and sweat for at least an hour every single day.  I don’t like aerobics and I hate to run.   All I know is this.  Hot yoga will be a nice compliment to my already steady yoga practice and perhaps a substitute for exercise that I should do, but won’t do.  After all, you might as well be doing something that you love or you’re probably not going to do it.

The weather is amazingly lovely today, so much that I’m posting from my deck.  But it’s time to slam this Kombucha and descend back into garage sale hell.  Wish me luck.

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A New Post

Sea horse we accidentally caught in our cast net on our way out into the Gulf!  Don’t worry, we let him go, but not until we shot his sweet little photo first!


A few people have e-mailed me, wondering if I’m still alive since I haven’t posted lately.  Yep, I’m alive, just haven’t posted.  So here’s the low down, quick like –

*Jordan (our son) broke the Parkview sophomore discus record of 152 feet with a 157.5.  Look for that youtube video to surface soon!

*My sister, got that job at that place and will start June 29.  In the meantime, she’s interviewing with an interior design company.  Shhh….don’t tell anyone.

*My brother is floating all over the country, sporting the Yakima car at conventions.  He’s been to Louisiana, Texas and to see Mt. Rushmore.

*We had some great company over on Monday night and fixed dinner.  We definitely do not socialize enough with anyone, so it was nice to connect with others.

*We are having a garage sale next week!  Somehow, we didn’t have one last year which means this year will be a ton of work.

*I went to the grocery store today and bought a box-o-salad.  Tonight, I found out I didn’t get home with it.  I called, they don’t have it.  I’d brought my own grocery bags as I often do and they’d starting bagging in the plastic first.  I’m sure the salad went home with someone in a PLASTIC bag that checked out after me.  Bummer.  I was looking forward to my mandarin oranges, leafy greens and asian dressing! 

*The kids sprayed the bug spray inside of the house tonight, in the office and I’m getting a serious headache from the stench.  At least it’s Burt’s Bees and I feel better knowing I’m not inhaling DEET.

*If we have any more tornado sirens, I will be forced to take my daughter to a shrink.  While we watched the weather in bed last night during the storm, our daughter was hunkered in the hallway (duck and cover style) with about 2o Webkinz.  She asked us when we were going to duck and cover.  I told her when we could hear the tornado coming.

*Lauren will be gone a good deal of the summer.  My parents are showing up early in June and taking her to Wyoming for the Quigley Shoot Out, to Mt. Rushmore, to Duluth, MN and then to Florida.  I will fly to Florida and pick her up in July sometime.  I’m looking forward to it, sometimes I really miss my family.

*I’m ready to get up and drink a cup of coffee with my sister and talk about stupid shit.  What sucks is, she’ll have a full-time job when I get there!

*Did I mention we’re having a garage sale next week?  I’ve done a lot to get ready.  My husband will start cleaning out his crap the night before.  Oh joy.

*Yoga rocks.  I’m giving private lessons two days a week with a girl and it’s awesome!  Even the FREE class I started is rocking out.  I love it.  I feel so lucky to have such a great job.

*I’ve been walking at the park three days a week.  I’m too fat.  No, no, no.  I’m just too short.

*I am totally ready for the weekend. 

*I’m going St. Louis soon for a day of yoga with Saul David Raye.  You have no idea what that means to me and how much I need this right now!   I was unable to travel for yoga at all last year, so this last minute trip is a godsend.  Only downfall, we cannot stay for the awesome concert, but hopefully, there will be live music during the yoga practice!

*I got Sylvia’s website up and running and it’s simple, but to the point!  I also need to update this one!  So many websites, so little time!  Just kidding.  I love web design, I really do!

*My back hurts, the bug spray is pleasantly overwhelming and I’m heading to bed, yes, it’s only 10:00 p.m.


Wildlife In The Hood

buntingThis morning we looked out back to find this tiny, bright, blue bird hunkered in the grass.  To our surprise it was an Indigo Bunting.  He was feasting on some grass seed we’d thrown out.  Instead of taking root, it’s been washed downstream as a bird smorsgasbord due to all the rain.  The first time we saw one of these birds we were down at Swan Creek  where we saw one right in the middle of the white gravel road.  Truly an unusual and colorful bird.  We couldn’t get a photo since the deck railing was partially in the way.  I found this photo on this website and you read can more about this cool little guy here.  I wonder if they have a nest nearby?  I’d love to see this bird again. 





We also have a family of groundhogs that have been living under the in-laws garage for years.  One of them is as big as our dog, and our dog weighs about 12 pounds or more.  Last year there were three babies and I captured this neat photo of one of them (above), below is a borrowed photo.  They are adorable and I love their tiny paws that resemble black, leather, boxing gloves.  This was back before I dropped my really nice digital camera with the telephoto lens!  I had it fixed once, only to drop it again.  Jinxed I am and have not splurged on a new one yet! 

We have a white cat.  He’s an indoor cat, but of course, he’s wildy running out the door every chance he can get!  So far, his outings have cost us around $200 in vet bills in the way of almost needing stitches from a bad cut or bite and a serious eye infection.  When he gets out it’s a game.  He runs from the under the boat, to the car, to the yard next door, to our backyard, under the camper and the deck.   We have gone fishing for him using a piece of chicken on a string, but that’s getting old now.  On this particular afternoon, I just gave up.  A couple of hours later, I looked out back and I saw this.




This groundhog totally did not care that our cat was hanging out with him.  This went on for a good half an hour, otherwise, the photo opportunity wouldn’t have happened.  I was able to creep closer and closer and not scare them away.  What did scare the groundhog away finally, was the outdoor cat that hangs out in the area.  Such entertainment and right in the middle of town.

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Video Store Reminiscing #2

Back in the day, I owned a video store.  Lately I ran across something which I kept, because it was damn funny.  When customers would come in the store wanting a specific film, they didn’t always know the name of the movie.  So they made one up.  We logged their requests in our Alternative Title List and kept it our secret.  OK.  We did share it with those customers that could totally relate.  I’m going to share some of the hilarity with you right now.  I put the name of the film they were actually asking for in parenthesis.

Air Affair  (Air Up there), Johnny Nomadic (Johnny Nmemonic), Jurastic Park (Jurrasic Park), Silkwood (French Kiss – don’t ask me where that one came from), Last Night (First Knight), Tetnis (Tetris), Sleeping in Seattle (Sleepless in Seattle), Shattered Glass (Glass Shield), Timestone (Tombstone), Too Fu Manchu (To Wong Foo…..), Stagecoach (Tombstone), Grievance Dogs (Reservoir Dogs), Farewell My Cucumber (Farewell My Concubine), Shammy (Chameleon), Dust (Powder), Dumb & Dumble (Dumb & Dumber), Bean Bacon (Canadian Bacon), Total Velcro (Terminal Velocity)

Siblank Redemption (Shawshank Redemption)…..Shankshaw, Sharnsharnk, Shimshank…..I can’t even list how many options people had for the name of this film!

The Fern (The Firm), Rapaphobia (Arachnaphobia), Boys From the Side (Boys On The Side), Duhmanji (Jumanji), Don’t Drink Juice In the Hood (Don’t Be A Menace to Society While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood), Saved By The Bell Stripshow (Showgirls), Rural (Juror), Farrow (Fargo), The Fat Boy (Nutty Professor), Liz Claiborne (Delores Claiborne), Winning Exhile (Waiting To Exhale), Multiple City (Multiplicity), That Movie Where John Travolta Moves Shit With His Head (Phenomenon), Leavin’ Minnesota (Feeling Minnesota), Premarital Fear (Primal Fear), Tomahawk (Broken Arrow), 13 or 7 Monkeys (12 Monkeys), Let’s Get Shorty (Get Shorty), Marilyn Marilyn (Mary Reilly), Boys In The Bubble (Bio Dome), Spitfire Girl (Spitfire Grill), Soft & Sensual (Sense & Sensibility), Watercolors (Waterworld), While Youns Ere Sleepin’ (While You Were Sleeping), Young and Famous (Quick And The Dead), Moah’s Art, or Mo’s Art (Amadeus), Color Me Purple (Color Purple), Shoney’s Playstation (Sony Playstation, includes breakfast bar)!

Imagine trying to keep a straight face while behind the counter at a video store when someone was asking for some of this stuff in a very serious demeanor.  It wasn’t always easy.

kg3Me and my sister Jeanine, in front of the Jurastic Park car at a video convention.

kg11That’s me, with Charleton Heston in the early 90’s.  I have a lot of photos of me with famous people and if I ever find the time, I’ll scan and share.  I’ve got some good ones!

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Video Store Reminiscing

big-fish-4Years ago, I had a video store.  One April, the film Big Fish was released.  I was super lucky to have several talented people working with me.  One in fact, was and still is, an amazing artist.  She offered her skills and painted window sized art for many of our promotions.  This was the first window she painted and she did it on reverse!  From that painting on she chose to paint on the outside taking the risk that hoodlums might destroy her work.  They usually didnt! 

Right inside of our front door at the store we had a showcase that we changed out with different themes.  For Big Fish we filled the showcase with dafodils to mimick the dafodil field scene.  When we took the display down my daughter and I took the flowers to the cemetery by our house and placed them on all of the super old graves.








hellboy-3Another fun film she painted for was Hellboy.  Amazing detail, that you cannot even appreciate with that glare and reflection!  Once again, we scoured the city for action figures for our showcase.  We usually had a contest that folks could enter to win whatever we had in the showcase.  Big hit for kids and adults as well.









van-hel-1Enter Van Helsing.  Huge hit.  Something about vampire movies that drive people to rent in droves.  I found an awesome Van Helsing castle.  We put it together and once again, rocked out our showcase.  The person that won this about passed out they were so excited.










lotr-paint-3lotr-paint-2Welcome Lord of the Rings.  Thank you, Peter Jackson.  This film had an amazing run for us, and in turn, we had an amazing contest.  Once again we filled the showcase with a ton of action figures and had a drawing.  Check out that tree that Stacy drew on the glass below!  Awesome!  We also left Gollum on our front door for a very, very long time.  People loved him!


We ordered and sold, so many cardboard stand up figures, it was unbelieveable!  My daughter was in love with Legolas.  After convincing her that Legolas was really Orlando Bloom, she’s now in love with him!  We even took a cardboard stand up to the photo place at the Mall and had her picture taken with Legolas.  My mom picked that dress up in a thrift store in Wales.  How perfect is that?














shark-tale-2We also had a good time with Shark Tale.  We loaded the showcase with stuffed animals from the film and we did the same with Finding Nemo.

We had a good 12 year run with this video store.  We were pretty much forced to close in September of 2005.  There are days I miss the business and of course all of the people who helped make those 12 years possible.  I was blessed with a wonderful group of employees!

But today, I am thankful that my days are filled with less film, in more ways than one.