In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


Just Swipe It

The yoga studio I teach at does not take credit cards.  We have a special situation.  The kind where we are all self-employed, so it’s a co-op type of a deal.  We don’t even have a phone line hooked up down there because we really don’t need it.  We all carry cell phones and thank goodness we’ve never needed to use them in the case of an emergency.

I’d been reading online about the mobile credit card readers.  I’d considered getting one for my laptop, but then I’d have to always have that with me.  And since I have a Blackberry, I don’t need to carry around a laptop, that’s for sure.  I’ve had a paypal account for an eternity, and sometimes students will pay online using that service.  Their fees are starting to suck though so maybe we can do away with that here pretty quickly.

My husband asked me why I needed this.  I told him it was because I have several appointments at different hotels during the day while he’s at work and this way, I can accept payment for my services.  He said, “Oh, OK.”  Then he said, “What?”  He also has trouble hearing and listening to me anyways, so I thought it was quite funny.  So did he.

I decided to upgrade my phone because I hadn’t had a new phone in like 6 years.  I know, I know.  I loved the phone that I had.  It was tiny and it worked all the time.  It didn’t matter if you dropped it on the concrete.  It was tough.  It was a Samsung.  But since I hadn’t had a new phone in forever…….you know the sales pitch here I’m sure.  I was eligible for a new phone for much less cash up front that I could’ve imagined.  I went for it and upgraded my Blackberry.  I’d purchased a used one from a friend for $30, just to see if I wanted one.  And I like it.  I like it a lot.  In order to actually swipe credit cards on my phone, I had to upgrade.  Otherwise, I’d have to punch in all of those numbers and who wants to do that right?  Not me.

My new phone arrived, but the swiper was to come later.  In the meantime I was punching in credit card numbers as students paid for classes.  I even sold some props to some people in my class off location and I could just take payment right then and there.  It’s been pretty sweet even without the reader.  When my card reader arrived I went to download the actual mobile application for my phone.   Low and behold, I couldn’t download the application.  What?  I have a new phone what could be the problem? 

After several phone calls to tech central, I found the problem was this.  My new phone was so new that the application wasn’t available yet.  No way.  Could I be so high techo after being so low techno after all this time?  Why yes, yes I am.  My new phone uses a different operating system called OS6, the other phones that were compatible were OS5.  I am happy to say, I was one of the first people to encounter this problem as the tech folks scrounged to figure out what in the heck was going on.  They said it would be 3 months before this application would be available.  What?  No way.  Three months of punching in credit card numbers, blech.  Not really.  I don’t make a million bucks doing this job, trust me.  I would punch away and be patient.

By surprise within one week, I had an e-mail informing me that the mobile application was now available for my phone.  I downloaded it right away and plugged the swiper into my audio jack.  I immediately swiped my own Discover (just try to guess the rest of those numbers, I dare ya) and shazam, I paid myself right there while I sat in my comfy chair.  The swiper and the service are FREE.  The credit card fees are tiny, like .20 on a $10 transaction.  Within three days (or less) I have the money, minus the fees in my personal bank account.

This is a very handy service.  And if you happen to meet with Charlie Sheen at some fancy hotel every now and then, I’m sure you already know how convenient this is.  In the tradition of Night At The Roxbury with Will Farrell and Chris Kattan, you could swipe it all night long.

Intuit Gopayment, check it out.

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Obsessed with the Moon

Lately I’ve been obsessed with the moon.  I love watching it.  I love the way it changes from day to day and night to night.  I got a new camera last year and I’ve been playing with some moon shots here lately.  I took this (and several others) late afternoon on February 13th, without a tripod.  Fun stuff.  The moon was shining in the east, so I propped my elbows on my car and snapped away.

Back in January I was up around 7 in the a.m.  I looked out back and though the sun was up, the moon was out as well.  This was taken in the lightness of day in the morning.  The moon was in the west this time.  I held my breath and stood on the deck, snapped a few shots and watched the transition.  Amazing.

We also had a few warm days here of late.  That was nice, but at the same time all it did was tease every body into wearing shorts and flip flops for two whole days.  I couldn’t do that, as my summer gear is packed away.  Probably best.  I’d hate to see what my white legs look like in shorts right about now.  Anyways.  We’ve got a family of groundhogs that reside on our property and the property next door.  I tried to get a shot of these two together.  But (no pun intended) as you can see, I didn’t have much luck.  Maybe next time.

These groundhogs are the same size as our small dog if not a tad larger.  Crazy.  I hope they have more babies this year.  I think the year before last, they had three small ones.  They are pretty darn cute.

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Cupcakes from Amy

The night before last, or something like that, I was sitting in my favorite chair getting ready to check out the news on TV.  Out the big window, I could see across the street.  On the corner stood a cute, young girl toting a brown box.  She was handling it carefully and she was heading up our drive way.

I met her at the door and invited her inside.  She handed me the box and told me that inside, were 6 cupcakes from her bakery.  Wow.  She owns Amycakes downtown!  Score for us!  Frank had secretly plowed her drive way and this was her thank you.  Very nice.  And very good those cupcakes were.  Three of them were decadent chocolate, two were raspberry filled and one was lemon.  Dreamy on a snowy day.


Today brought on some sunshine and some serious melting.  I’m wondering if perhaps we’ll starve to death after the snow melts.  Maybe Frank can start secret mowing once the weather turns nice.  I’m digging all of these goodies!  Hope you got your vitamin D today, it was in the 60’s.

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Snow, Rum and Cookies

As I write this, it’s snowing a blizzard.  Again.  Enough already.  Really.  The kids have been out of school for four days now.  At this rate they won’t be going on Monday either and I’m not liking that at all.  I finally got out yesterday, no problem whatsoever.  My car handles well in this stuff and believe me, the side roads are terrible.  So are some intersections on some pretty heavily traveled roads.

My husband will love this.  He will get to drive around on his tractor with his blade and push snow for people.  Heck, on Tuesday he plowed the entire street across from us.  That’s him on his tractor.  That’s our daughter on the deck.  He usually clears the sidewalks as well, but not this time.  Snow plows kept that from happening.  But they were cool enough to lift their blades as they passed our drive and the mouth of the street he’d just plowed.   And plow he did.  He resorted to doing a few driveways instead since the sidewalks were out of commission.   He loves doing this and does it for nothing, until last night.

We heard a knock on our front door.  It was a guy that wanted to talk to my husband.  We had to find my husband first as he pretty much lives outside no matter what the weather’s doing.  Well, this guy at the door happened to be a neighbor.  A neighbor I hadn’t met before.  My husband had plowed his drive way and he brought us a gift for doing so.  Wow.  How cool is that?  Pretty cool if you ask me.  Good thing we enjoy a drink now and then because it was a bottle of Zaya Rum.  I’d never had this before but believe me, when we finish this off I have a feeling it will be a staple in our liquor cabinet.  We opened it up and it smelled awesome.  I tried it straight (unheard of, I’m a baby) and it was really smooth.  Hints of caramel and vanilla.  Creme Brule comes to mind so picture drinking that.  I was in the process of making cookies.  I’ve done that every single day since the snow’s been on.  We’d had Thai food for dinner so I guess our neighbor knew that this rum with a subtle hint of coconut would finish off our evening nicely.


Good thing I volunteered to take my mother-in-law to the doctor and to her hair appointment early this morning.  If not, I could’ve easily overindulged myself with the Zaya.  Later this afternoon I took a walking camera meditation and got some great photos of Fassnight Creek.  This was before the blizzard started.  The blizzard has now grown to ginormous flakes.  Dang.  I’m not liking this one bit.  Three days in my pajamas has been quite enough.  I want my life back as scheduled.  Anyways.  Today, the mailman dropped off a package at our place.  It was from my folks and when I opened it, I found this.

Grapefruits from their yard.  Honey from their bee hives.  Their first attempt to make these rockin’ pickles that I order from this chick in Oklahoma.  I know.  They are that good.  Can’t wait to see how close their duplication is.  There’s also two small bottles of Cello, the Italian Liquer kind.  One bottle is Lemon the other is Calamondin.  Yikes.  Looks like the blizzard’s brought us liquor and cookies!  Would love to dive into this cello but I shall refrain.  I’m helping with a yoga class tomorrow from 11-5.  But wait that’s not very early in the morning now is it?  Hmmmmmm.

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Serious Snow Day

School was called off yesterday.  The threat of snow was all around us, so by 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, school was canceled.  Mind you, nothing was happening outside.  Not yet anyways.  By around 4 a.m. I heard the tick, tick, ticking of the sleet on the windows.  Oh boy.  Not another ice storm, please no!  We got some sleet and by about 8 a.m. on Wednesday we were experiencing a full-blown snow storm.  I’d picked up necessities at the grocery store on Sunday and I’m really glad that I did that.  I’m sure the stores were in a frenzy on Tuesday with the threat of the snow coming.

The weather media was having a grand old time with this.  At times, I think the job of the media is to drive every one into consumption through fear.  Ridiculous.  Like if you don’t drink milk for one whole day, you just might die.  Right?  So run to the neareat grocery store and buy all the milk and the bread just in case!  My husband was actually scheduled to be out of town this entire week, in KC none the less, so I’d stocked up on some stuff we could heat up on our gas stove just in case of a power outtage.  We have a kerosene heater and I knew that the kids and I would definitely not starve nor freeze to death while he was away.

He drove out of town for about 30 miles until they called him back.  I guess they needed him here, in case of the winter storm.  Needless to say I need more bread and milk now because he’s like home…..all week long.  He spent the day yesterday driving his John Deere tractor around the hood with the blade.  The city plow trucks were even kind enough to raise their blades when they passed our drive way as they noticed how clear our drive way was.  Sweet.  We will not be getting stuck at the end of our drive way, like my husband’s employees did this morning.  And let us know they were stuck at 3:30 a.m. today, they sure did.

We had a quiet day yesterday, and I got a lot done that I needed to accomplish.  Things like drink hot tea and read a book about Sedona, AZ which is where I’ll be heading with my daughter and a couple of yoga friends for Spring Break.  I also stripped naked (sorry for the visual) and headed into the shower and scrubbed the crap out of that ordeal.  Long overdue.  I can say it’s done now and shine it did in the brightness of the sunlit snow today!

Today was not so quiet and I knew it wouldn’t be.  There should actually be a snow day for the grown ups, without their kids.  By noon I had two extra girls over here, running in and out, wet snow, wet clothes the whole ordeal.  They ran the netfix on the Wii all day when they were in the house.  I stayed in my pajamas all day today, and baked some cookies, did some laundry and waited for the day to be over with.  After all, I’d been awake since like 3:30 a.m. as we didn’t receive just one phone call, we got like 5.  Sheesh.

There’s no school AGAIN tomorrow and I’m totally bummed.  MSU is out as well, so I bet I won’t have to teach any yoga over there.  I was really looking forward to that.  But, if not, I’ll be heading to the pool at the YMCA to burn off some serious cabin fever energy!  Seriously ready for the melting to get under way.  Did I mention that it was 67 degrees on Saturday?  Nuts.