In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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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.


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New Year’s Day Hike

I love to walk. 

As a matter of fact, if I’m out in nature I could probably kill an entire day. 

But I didn’t have an entire day on the first day of 2011, so I killed a couple of hours.  The Nature Center is a great place to go.  The place was actually closed, but everyone pretty much parks beyond the gate and scales in anyways.  Me and about 3 other people that is, because that’s how many I came into contact with.  What a quiet day.  The deer were tame, the birds were plenty and the landscape was serene.  It was a pretty cold day but that didn’t bother me.  Not until I realized I’d left my fingerless gloves in the car.  The ones that my mom got me on her trip to New Zealand.  My hands got a tad cold toting my camera.  But I was able to shoot several photos none the less.  For those who haven’t seen them on Facebook, enjoy.


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Freaky Caterpillar Update

Thought I’d share the journey of the freaky caterpillar. 

 

Two days after I found this little dude, he has morphed into this.

Looks like a stick, eh?  Pretty much.  His shell is somewhat hard, and there are rough places on it.  Some are spike-like.  Can’t wait to see the butterfly he’s supposed to turn into.  We hope he makes it.  I don’t think there’s anything we can really do except just wait it out.

I’ll keep you posted.


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A Day Of Silence

Little Portion in Republic, Missouri is where I spent my Sunday.  It’s where I spent the entire day, on a silent meditation retreat.  I’d never been on anything like this before.  I’ve spent weekends at yoga workshops practicing meditation and pranayama but never a whole day of meditating and being silent.  If you’ve known me for very long you know that I have the tendency to be, well…a chatter box.  This has shifted quite a bit over the last several years though.  I’m hoping I’m a much better listener than I used to be.

We started our day in that white barn that you see.  It has been converted into a bed and breakfast if you will.  Complete with a kitchen, public use room and bedrooms that were private and what not.  This piece of property has three buildings.  The barn, the yellow house that you see that used to be a milk house and a neat stone house where some nuns still reside.  This property also has several acres, a few beautiful gardens, a huge rock, and a stream that runs through the entire place.  Beautiful location.  And just a short drive from my house.  Who knew?  I want to go back here again.

We started out as a group meditating upstairs in a public use area.  I led us through some gentle yoga stretching to prepare for our sit.  We sat for awhile as a group together.  I don’t know how long.  I quit wearing a watch when I quit punching a time clock and purchased my video store.  After our group sit, we were free to continue sitting indoors, or go outside.  We all went outside.  The morning started out cloudy and a bit on the dewy side, but it cleared off nicely for the afternoon.  A few  of us chose walking meditation like we do at the studio.  Some of chose to sit on the benches by the water, or rest in the hammocks on the property.  I chose walking meditation with my camera and it was awesome.

Walking and meditating.  One person did this barefoot, awesome!

The creek.  Sun reflecting on the water.

Frodo.  Take me away.

A view of one of the beautiful gardens.

Someone asked me the other day why I meditated.  What did I get out of it?  And was it worth it?  My only answer at the time was that I liked it.  That question reeled out of control for the rest of my day as I continued to think about it.  I like the way I feel afterwards.  I like the way I feel while I’m meditating.  I like uncluttering and clearing  the junk in my mind.  I like the mental clarity that goes with that after I’m finished.   I’ve received answers to questions that I haven’t asked yet and that can be kind of scary.  I’ve also received explanations to things that have happened in my life.   And perhaps why they happened in the order that they have.  It’s cool, it really is.  And I do see now why some people come to class a few times and never return.  There’s a truth that happens during meditation not at all unlike the truth that you experience on the yoga mat.  It can seriously creep you out.

 

I left the retreat about two and a half hours early.  I had to teach a yoga class at MSU that evening and I didn’t want to stress out about it, or be in a hurry.  When I arrived home our son was at work and my husband and daughter were fishing together.  I was thankful.  I had a few hours to spend in silence and adjust to the tasks that had to be done in due time. 

So.  Do I quit meditating and forget all this stuff that keeps coming up over and over again?  Or do I stick with it?  Do I follow my heart and deal with the pain and other feelings as they present themselves?  I’ve answered my own question already.  I’m not qutitting.  I’m sitting with it.  Where I’m going with this I have no idea and I actually kind of like it that way.  I’ve lived my life without a plan for a long time now and it seems to suit me quite well.  I know that if I have enough money for today, I will be OK.  I know that if I have my health at this moment, everything is damn near perfect.  I know that if I get a “thank you” after I teach a yoga class that that’s all I really need for the rest of the week.  It’s all good.

I’m staying on the path.  It’s a good thing and I’m happy about it. 

 At the moment anyways and that’s all that counts really.


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Freaky Caterpillar

Yesterday afternoon as I was walking up the porch steps to the in-laws I saw this crawling about.

I wish I would’ve taken more time to get a better photo of this dude.  I thought I’d try again today.  But today he’s turned almost completely brown and is hugging a dead leaf pretty hard.  He’s going to turn into a Yellow Swallowtail butterfly!  I’d never seen one of these before.  I took him inside the in-laws and he kept crawling around and raising his head up.  He looked like a snake or a fish at certain times.  He also had a red or orange tongue like thing that he would show us every now and then.  Creepy!  Definitely a weird little caterpillar.

These caterpillars are found in town, in areas that are older with mature trees which describes where we live.  I also learned that they are seldom seen and usually move about and feed at night.  We had a windy afternoon yesterday (sort of like today) so I’m guessing he was on a leaf that was blown out of a tree.  I also learned that these caterpillars are usually not around after September.  I’m guessing since we’ve had such a warm fall so far, this is why he was out and about.  I’ll post some more photos as he moves through his changes.  How cool is this?


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Saturday At Stockton

Yesterday was a pretty hot day.  Almost too hot to go to the lake, but we went anyway.  Just Frank and I.  The kids were off doing their other weekend things.  We took the boat, some chairs, an umbrella, my floaty, some snacks (sushi) and some fishing poles and the camera.  We didn’t catch much but had a great day.

We saw a total of 4 boats all day.  That’s what I like about Stockton, it’s never that crowded.  Now a Saturday at Table Rock would’ve been a completely different and totally unrelaxing story.  We parked our boat here and played most of the day.

It was so quiet you could hear the flapping wings of this Turkey Vulture.  There were several out yesterday.  I saw two beautiful hawks as well.

While Frank was off fishing I was busy floating.  At one time I had 12 dragon flies on  my legs.  Eight on one leg and four on the other. 

 

This moth was pretty bland and gray on the outside.  Once she opened her wings she was quite the show.

We trolled the bank all the way back to the boat dock.  It was around six o’clock and the sunlight on the water was beautiful.

As we came around a bend I spotted this Blue Heron.  Frank didn’t stop trolling fast enough before we got into too much sun.  Then we were too close and it flew off.  Crazy boat drivers……just kidding.

We pass this old school house (and cemetery) on the way to launch the boat.  It has a high fence completely around it with with no tresspassing signs as well.  It’s a neat old building.  It’s near Aldrich or something.  I really have no idea of the exact location or town.

You can see inside of it and through the windows that were once there.

Woke up this morning to the hummers fighting over the feeder.  It’s a beautiful day I slept in and missed yoga.  I guess I’ll forgive myself.  Get outside while it’s still cool, I’m going to.


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Spectacular Sunset

I’m not going to write much.  The photos say it all.  This was earlier this evening.  Simply.  Beautiful.  And it’s my new header as well.  I shot all of these and feel free to borrow them if you like.

Manasota Beach.

My make-shift perch as I waited for the sun to descend.

I was seeing some serious spots after the photo session.

Love it.

Zoomed too tight, pink sky.

Beautiful.

Look to the left, or you’ll go blind.

If you don’t see me post, it’s because I lost my eyesight from taking these photos.

It’s amazing how quickly it goes down once it starts.