In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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The Tattoo

I’ve always like tattoos.  Since way back when I was a teen.  I wasn’t ever really sure if I’d really get one, but I did.

When my daughter started kindergarten, after my second divorce, I got my first tattoo.  It took 20 minutes and cost $65.  I chose the Kanji calligraphy symbol for Patience as that is something I felt I had learned in a huge way over the last few years.  It was down my spine, about 7″ and it covered easily with a racer back sports bra so I didn’t have to show it at yoga if I didn’t want to.

Fast forward to April 1st of this year.  I had had some artwork in my head for a long, long time.  Oddly enough, it even resembled a water color painting on bamboo that was sent to me when I was 16 from my pen pal in Hong Kong.  Her name was Jo Jo Wong.  It hangs at the end of my tiny and somewhat dark hallway.

I didn’t tell anyone that I was going to get a large tattoo across my upper back, not even my husband.  I checked out a few places and felt the most comfortable at a place close to home that was ran by all women.  I paid my $40 deposit and set my appointment and went on my way.  A few weeks later, April 1st came.  Being old like I am, I had not had a cycle for a long, long time.  That morning, I started a period…from hell.  I ran home from work, ate a small amount and grabbed a can of Coke.  Off I went.

I sat there for 45 minutes while she drew up what I wanted.  I had given her several pictures when I paid my deposit.  I guess they wait to see if you’re really going to come back before they make any effort.  Most of this was just ideas and the design was pretty much free-handed on my back with an orange Sharpie.  The branch was a wing job and it’s beautiful.

I put on my jacket backwards and sat down.  She cleaned my back with this green soap that had a burn to it right from the get go.  I had chosen a cherry blossom branch with flowers across my upper back.  On one shoulder blade would be two birds with the date 11/7/80 which was the date I met my husband, now and then.  On the other shoulder I had my daughters’ birthdate and the phrase –

It’s impossible – said pride

It’s risky – said experience

It’s pointless – said reason

Give it a try – whispered the heart

It was a toss up.  I had a few others, but this one truly spoke to me in a big way.  Especially with the events leading to where I am right now.  So.  The tattooist dug in with her gun, on the lettering first.  It burned.  It burned bad.  Then she asked if I was on any medication (which she had already asked me) because she said she’d never seen anyone bleed so much on a liner.  Great.  I was going to bleed to death and we had two letters done.

It ceased up after a bit, perhaps it was the adrenaline.  Who knows.  I was in that chair for like 3 hours.  My lettering was done, my birds were mostly done, the branch was done and the flowers were outlined.  I left.  Another appointment was to be had in 2 weeks.  They cleaned the wound and sealed it with something called Saniderm.  That stuff was the best ever.  I am alone most of the time so cleaning would’ve been a challenge.  This stuff is like a saran wrap that sticks to your skin, not the wound.  It’s used for burn victims.  She said I could go swimming if I wanted.  No.  Way.  I showered every day and left that shit on for one week.  It was annoying towards the end and it did leave strong red marks where the adhesive was, but that’s all gone now.

I felt very sick about a week after getting the tattoo.  I went to my doctor and he said everything was fine.  I am a paranoid person at times and I do believe that my mind made me ill.  I didn’t have anyone to talk to about what or how I should’ve felt afterwards so where did I go for information?  Why the internet of course.  By the end of one night I had diagnosed myself with Staph, Hepatitis of all letters, HIV, Sepsis, MRSA and Strep.  I’m sure there was a host of other illnesses that I’ve forgotten by now in there as well.

I cried.  It hurt.  I couldn’t lean back in a chair.  It was hard to sleep at times.  It hurt to stretch.  My stomach was upset.  And all I could think of was I wanted this, I paid for this, I deserve this and I’m an idiot.  It was my favorite time of year and it hurt to be outside!

I could not go back in two weeks.  I was still sore and the burning sensation had not really ceased.  You don’t realize how much you use your upper back until you get it pretty much totally tattooed!  Mind you I didn’t miss a day of work except the couple of hours I spent at the doctor that one day.  I was diagnosed with a sinus infection.  I was given antibiotics that would make me sicker than I was before.  I quit taking them!

I changed my appointment.  It would be April 28th until I would be able to return and believe me, I almost didn’t.  It looked good like it was.  I would live with the outline on the flowers.  After all, it was for me and no one else!   I made the appointment a tad bit later than the last time.  I ran home from work and showered quickly.  I put on yoga pants and ate half a rotisserie chicken from Wal-Mart.  No Coke this time, just water at my side.

She started shading in all the flowers and I swear I could’ve fallen asleep.  What in the hell is up with that?  It was death the first time, the second time made me want to get my entire body covered (which I will not be doing, in case you’re wondering).   I’d mentioned the feeling I had the last time and she cleaned my back with different soap.  It was so much better.  No more green soap for me.

After another almost 3 hour session, I was done.  I would’ve liked to have had a tad more detail, but one can only take so much.  It’s lovely.  It’s soft looking like an Asian painting.  I see so many tattoos today that are so saturated with ink.  That’s a brightness I wasn’t after.

I’d post a picture, but I think I’ll just leave it to the imagination.  My birds are purple, orange, turquoise and black.  My phrase is black.  My branch is gray and the flowers are pink with some skin showing through.

It’s beautiful.  It’s finished.  I lived.  No regrets.

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What Would You Do For $1,600?

Back in January of this year, New Year’s Eve to be exact I stayed up too late watching TV which is quite odd for me.  A commercial came on about a medical study.  I was fascinated as I had heard of people doing this, but knew absolutely nothing about it.  I checked out their website immediately and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Oddly enough this facility is located not far from my home.  Why did I not know this?

A few weeks later I found myself standing in a huge line around the medical study building for a physical.  It was cold out.  And the line?  It just kept getting longer.  I got there 40 minutes early too.  They opened the doors at exactly 3 p.m. and the fiasco began.  I showed my drivers’ license and was given some paperwork.  More lines.  We had our blood drawn, our heart listened to, and ECG, a urine test and other vital signs taken.  Then they said “Thanks, call us back on this day at this time.”  Groovy.

This study was for two weekend stays and it paid $900.  How easy is that?  Pretty easy I thought.  Instead of me calling them they actually called me and let me know I’d passed the physical (half the people there did not pass they needed 56) and they had to change the weekends.  I told them no problem I would be there.  So the Thursday before check-in they called to say that it had been changed again.  No problem, I would be there.  Finally the week this was supposed to go down they called me again.  This time they called to tell me that the study had been canceled.  Ok.  Great.  This was a waste of my time.

But.  I was still hell bent on getting into one of these.  Why?  I guess because it was something I’d never done before.

They list new studies all the time and I just kept checking to see if I would qualify for one.  Finally one opened up.  It was a 9-day study (March 8-17) where we would be given a sleeping medication and an anti-depressant.  I’ve never taken either one and I figured there were worse things I could do to my liver so what the heck.  I tried once again.  I had to stand in the line.  I had to pass the physical which this time included a breathalyzer.  My first one of those ever and I am 45 years old.  I passed.  I got in.  I rearranged my life with the help of wonderful yoga teacher friends and sent my kid to live with her friend for 9-days.  There would be 24 people in this study.  7 chicks and 17 dudes got in.  What a ratio. 

We checked in on March 8 and ate dinner after an all day fast.  I was starving.  We had to eat all the food they gave us.  No problem for me that night.  We were on a high carb diet and everything we were given was pretty much, well……yellow.  Friday they got us up at like 4:30 a.m. as we were on daylight savings time in this building already.  We had blood drawn and were given a sleeping pill.  While we were on this drug we had to sit at a table for 4 hours.  Oh, but during this 4 hour sit we had our blood drawn every 15 minutes for 2 hours.  I assumed they would put a port in our arm because of the 16 blood draws for the day.  Nope.  They just stick you every single time.  Nice.  This went on until 7 in the evening.  After about the fourth time you don’t even feel it anymore.  I am serious.  I hate needles but by the end of day I was joyfully watching her suck my life away.  I even said thank you when she was done.  Was it the drugs?  I don’t know.

The other days, Saturday through Thursday, we got up and took an anti-depressant at 7 in the morning.  We had to sit upright for 4 hours but not at the table.  We could kick back in the recliners, watch one of two movies that were playing, watch TV, or read.  After our 4 hours we could sleep, listen to music, visit or whatever else we had brought to do.  Sweet.  I have never slept so much in my life!  I had minimal effects from this medication.  The same kind of feeling one might have when taking antibiotics.  I met several nice people and found a couple of people I had connections with.  Two were former video store customers.  One guy knew my neighbor.  Another knew a few other yoga teachers.  Everything is done on a very strict timeline.  When you eat you hold your tray until they record the time and tell you to go.  Blood draws and medications are done the same way.  I was pretty much fascinated by this whole process and thought that I might just like to work at this place. 

The things that were hard for me were eating all of the food.  One morning we were given a bagel with cream cheese at 8 a.m. which was great.   At 11 a.m. which was lunch we had to down 3 pieces of hand tossed pepperoni pizza and 3 breadsticks without sauce.  It was a food fest and without much movement which was hard to stomach at times.  We were not allowed coffee, caffiene, fruit or chocolate.  But we did have Sprite sometimes and other sodas.  I did do a little yoga in the mornings but no strenuous exercise is allowed.  I felt like a total sloth as I have never been so inactive in my entire life!  Another thing that was hard for me at first was sharing a room with 4 other girls that I didn’t know.  This got easier and before I knew it I was sleeping great.  I was up by at least 5 each morning and pretty much one of the first out of bed.

On Friday, our last day, we marched to the lab for a blood draw.  A bunch of people appeared to watch us dose (drug reps I would assume) and we were given both medications at the same time.  We had to once again sit at the table and have our blood drawn on the clock, every 15 minutes.  This was a drug interaction study so I was a bit concerned about getting sick, but low and behold, no one did.  Most of us agreed that on Friday we felt the best that we’d felt all week long.  Perhaps we should’ve scored that drug combo for later use.

I met several people that make a career out of this.  I was shocked but they do.  One girl had made over $20,000 in one year doing just this.  You are not supposed to participate in a study at this place again without 30 days in between studies.  A lot of these people travel to other areas and this is all they do.  I can’t imagine it, but to each his own.  I never imagined myself doing something like this but I am so glad that I did.  It was a great study for my first experience and I do hope that in some way I have helped those who may need these medications.

This morning, Saturday, we had a massive blood draw and an exit physical.  Then we were free to bolt.  The air outside smelled so good (we were not allowed outdoors during the study) and when I got in my car, well, it smelled like a Volvo.  I drove straight to the grocery store and bought strawberries and vanilla yogurt, walnuts, oranges and chocolate covered orange sticks.  When I got home I sat outside in the sun and enjoyed my purchases and thought about the people I’d just met, where I’d just been and what I’d just done.  I also thought about the money that I just made and what I might do with it.  Would you do this for $1,600?  If so and you have questions, feel free to ask.  I feel it was more than totally worth it.   I would definitely do it again.

I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post that 2012 would have changes in store for me.  So far, I am right on the money.  No pun intended.

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We Made It Home

Delayed.  Again.  There’s that word you hate to hear at the airport.  On our way out of town, we suffered with this issue.  On the way back into town, we suffered yet again.  This time they put us on the plane, right on time.  Then we taxied and taxied and taxied on the runway in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Forever.  I told Mady, who was flying home with me, that something was wrong.  I was right.

We turned around and headed back to the terminal.  We were informed that the back door of the plane wasn’t secure.  Duh oh.  Nothing like sucking a few folks out the back eh?  Anyways, it turned out it was secure, but there was a sensor that said otherwise.  When this stuff happens it takes time.  The pilot came on the speaker and said that aerodynamics don’t make planes fly, but FAA paperwork does.  Then he said that this paperwork was going to take a little while.  One hour and fifteen minutes to be exact.  We sat on the hot airplane and listened to people complain and waste their energy fanning themselves with the emergency flyers.  Mady whipped out her notebook and pencils and started drawing.  I entertained myself by watching her talented hands glide.

We arrived in Springfield, late of course, and our descent was a bit scary.  Apparently there was some serious weather on the ground in town and we had to cruise through the clouds.  It was an extremely bumpy ride coming in, but we made it.  The sky looked real creepy at the airport and everything was very calm.  We got our luggage in the car just as it started to sprinkle.  Frank had called me and said a mini tornado had ripped through our hood and there had been flash flooding.  We still have lots of tree limbs to pick up, maybe we’ll do that today.

When we pulled into our driveway, I had a new front porch.  We also had no electricity from 6 at night until 11:30.  We sat on the new front porch awhile, then went in and lit some candles.


Frank started on this deck on Sunday evening.  He worked until one or two in the morning every night to have it finished this far by Friday when I returned.  He still has to build the little steps and curve the ends of the arbor boards.  I was so surprised.  I’ve wanted this for like 5 years.  I’d also wanted it to go across that concrete step, but he said he spent a long time with a jackhammer and that the step is solid concrete.  I’m thinking about having him build a small bench, or some square planters to help it blend in a little better.

It’s good to be home, but I am missing walking the beach already.  I am slowly getting back on schedule and I think that today, after I teach a class and swim this evening, I’ll be totally back on track.  I’m hoping anyways.

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Our Son Rocks

Our son, Jordan, is amazing.  He’s taught himself quite the technique on working the discus for track and field.  He even bowed out of most running events to concentrate on his passion, throwing discus.  He placed first in the Sectional meet yesterday in Lebanon.  I couldn’t be there, I had to teach a yoga class, but his father was there and so were a ton of other relatives to cheer him on.  The Springfield News-Leader interviewed him and took his photo after the event.  He didn’t land his photo in the newspaper, but he gave a decent interview and got his name in the headline.  We are super proud of how hard he’s worked and how dedicated he remains.  Good job Jordan!

Our daughter, Lauren, is becoming quite the seamstress.  She’s on her 7th sewing lesson, she has one more next weekend, then I think she wants to break for the summer.  So far she’s made a pillowcase, a pair of bermuda shorts and yesterday she made the cutest little skirt.  She’s taking a class with her good friend Madeline as they both received sewing machines for Christmas.  Talented girls they are.  I cannot use a machine to save my life, but I can sew by hand.

My car.  Another story.  It will be repaired but who knows when.  They have to get parts from a few different states, since the car is ten years old.  So far the repairs are up to $3,052 and that’s OK.  The insurance company already issued me a check with a letter that says they will pay for anything over that amount.  Then why not just wait until the car is finished and cut the body shop one check?  Who knows?  What I do know is this.  I deposited that check and I’ll put the repairs on my Discover card, pay it off immediately and enjoy my 5% cash back bonus.  Thank you insurance company.  The accident got into my front wheel drive, so though the Volvo doesn’t need much in the way of body work, it needs under carriage crap.  Hopefully it will drive just as good, if not better when I get it back.  And oh, am I missing it!  They gave me a 2010 Pontiac G6 to drive.  It’s a brand new car, I guess I should love it, but I don’t.  It’s nothing like my Volvo.  Nothing at all.  I like my 10 year old car and I will have myself a serious little party when I get it back!

Off to work some more in the garden.  We finally have a day without rain (so far) but it’s pretty hot and humid out there!  I weeded half of the garden already and have decided to blow the other half off.  I didn’t plant much this year, so we’ll be moving the fence to make the garden smaller here in a little while.  That is, if I can get Frank to help me.  Enjoy the day.


Just Dive In

I’ve decided that I weigh too much, or maybe I’m just too short.  Yeah.  That’s it, I’m too short.  I love the warmer weather when I can ride my bike to work and get exercise in that way.  I do see lots of people riding bikes in this kind of weather, but I just can’t get into it.  Maybe that’s because I’ve never tried it, who knows.  I saw someone ride by when it was close to zero.  They were so bundled, I don’t know how they could ride.  His head was totally wrapped with a scarf, then covered by a ski mask.  Then he had a motorcycle helmet (complete with shield) over that.  I’m thinking that person didn’t have a choice.  I also love to walk in nature when the weather is good, or not so good.  I’ve been known to head to the nature center when it’s going to storm.  So far I haven’t been struck by lightning with my car keys in hand.

I work at the YMCA so I can go there for free.  But do I?  Nope.  Why?  I have no idea.  I think sometimes when you work someplace, you just want to leave there when you’re finished.  I love the water.  I love to swim and years ago, before I had children and I owned my own business, I would drive all they way across town to swim at the Y at six in the morning.  It was kind of intimidating.  Why you ask?  Because it was a bunch of athletic business guys and me.  I’d been reflecting on that time way back when during that one winter where I swam away and I really enjoyed it.  

The quest was on.   I had to get a one piece bathing suit because my flaw hiding, designer suits just weren’t going to cut it for lap swimming.  I don’t think anyone I know likes to go swimsuit shopping, especially in the wintertime.  Since we live where we do bathing suits aren’t readily available this time of year.  So I did what any computer geek would do.  I ordered three, online.  I scored as one fit.  I scored again because when I peeled it off (and was thinking that the pattern was too busy for me) I found out it reversed to black on the other side.  Awesome.  Black is good, especially when you only sport six inches from your navel to your pelvis.  Next up I had to find a pair of swim goggles.  MC Sports usually has this sort of thing.  Not this time of year.  They had plenty of flippers and masks but no Speedo goggles.  I was bummed, thinking this was yet another item I would have to order online.  Then I remembered Bass Pro!  Heck it’s right up the road from where we live.  They had a ton of Speedo goggles. And they had the junior size for people with smaller heads like myself.  I was ready to swim.

Our Y offers lap swimming early in the morning, during the lunch hour and right after work from five to six.  I didn’t feel like doing early morning again.  I wanted to do the lunch hour, it’s less crowded, but I will be teaching every single day at lunch with the exception of Friday.  No complaints there.  So the five to six time it would be.  I headed out on Monday night and got there ten minutes early.  People (men) were already swimming, so I chose a lane that was not roped off and hugged the wall.  I didn’t feel like getting trampled.  It had been a long time since I’d swam like this.  Would I last longer than five minutes?  Yes, yes I would.  I swam laps for thirty-five minutes with a few short breaks.  I did what most people do when they start out.  I swam too fast.   I was excited.  The water felt good and I was really happy to be there.  Even if it was just me, and a bunch of other guys, I got over it.  I’ll be going back and who knows, maybe I’ll continue through the nice weather.

Feeling stuck in your exercise routine?  Try something new or return to something you once loved.  I think that’s the key.


Stimulating The Economy Volvo Style

Since 1998 or so, I’ve wanted a Volvo S70.  Volvo only put out this body style for a few years.  Some people think it’s totally ugly.  Eleven years later, I still think it’s totally cool.  Back in 1998 or so, this car retailed for around $27,000.  Back then, I could’ve purchased it but I thought that was silly when $27,000 could buy part of a small dwelling here in Springburg.

I go through these phases of endless internet searches for Volvo S70s that leave me strung out, red eyed and ignoring my family.  I bring myself back to reality with my yoga practice on being happy with what I have and that would be a 2003 Ford Windstar mini van.  I’ve owned it since March 2004 and it’s mine free and clear.  On Wednesday I found a Volvo S70 that looked awesome on the internet, so I made a call and the dude on the line sounded decent.  Since the kids were out of school today, I decided to get someone to teach my morning yoga class and drive to CLAREMORE, OK to check this car out.    


Since Frank is living at the mall these days, I went alone.  The weather was great for a road trip.  I figured all I would be out would be some gas money and the $70 for that check I borrowed from the bank in case I didn’t need it.  Whatever.  Small change compared to what settling for what I’ve already seen and regretting it later might bring.  I arrived at 10:45 a.m.  and tried not to pee my pants as I looked at the car staying completely emotionless.  But inside I was like OH MY GOD this is the nicest Volvo S70 I’ve ever seen and it’s a 2000, not a 1999, not a 1998, and OH MY GOD it really does have 48,700 miles on it.  And the seats are NOT cracked.  At all.  I drove it and it was perfect.  Shit.  This is really going to suck because I know he’s not going to give me crap for my hail damaged van, plus do I have enough money in my yoga checking account to buy this car when I need more than what I got from the bank?

McDonald’s.  That’s where I went after he told me to go and eat some lunch because I’d already been there for almost two hours.  I sucked on my sweet tea and gazed out the window at this car knowing I could have it.  I was happy but also sad knowing he probably wasn’t going to budge because if I didn’t take it today, someone would take it tomorrow on a sunny Saturday in Claremore.  I returned from my rush of fat and sugar to ask him if he would take XX amount of $$ and my van.  Nope.  Sorry.  Ok then.  How about XXX amount of $$ and my van?  Nope.  Sorry.  Hard headed he was, because duh, it’s the nicest S70 in the freaking midwest.  I tried the, “But it needs a new keyless remote and I will need to have a wing on the back because it’s so grandma-like and the door panels have a tiny problem (like they all do) and it has no sun roof and it’s priced like a GLT and it’s an SE.” 

None of this crap worked, none of it.  Amazing.  That totally sucked for me.  I wouldn’t even take the water he offered me because I thought I might throw it up.


I’ve never wanted an Audi, a BMW, a Lexus or even a Mercedes, only a Volvo.  At 2:45 p.m. I caved.  I whipped out my yoga check book (thank you everyone) and gave him the extra that was needed to seal the deal.  He went down an entire $50 after I asked him to at least take off what it would cost for the divorce I was in for when I got home.  After it was over I told him it was the nicest S70 I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot) and that something had to be terribly wrong with the car because it was too good to be true.  Nope, it’s just a good, clean, well cared for S70.  I also asked him if he had an extra room at his house that I could stay in until my husband decided to take me back.  I drove it home.  I finally took that bottle of water.  Done deal.

It’s mine.  I love it.  I don’t think I’ve felt this way about a vehicle since like 1986 when I had my Mustang GT.  When Frank checked it out tonight, he was like “WOW” very nice car.  I still have a home and a husband.

Now all need is a Namaste sticker for the bumper.

What can I say?  They’re boxy, but they’re good!!


Where’s My Kitchen? Part 3

Our kitchen has been and still is, an ongoing project.  It’s OK though.  When we finish something it looks like we just got a NEW kitchen….again……this year. 

The latest was our track lighting.  It has elbows and we wrapped it around our pot rack. 


We’ve got nice lighting pointing at our counter now too, as well as dark corners.  Dr. Woo Hoo really shines now.









I love it.  I can totally blind myself with this lighting, which is probably not a good idea.  We’ve had our under the cabinet halogen lighting since we put our cabinets in and I do love them, but they get hot.  Really hot.  Especially if you’re using them ALL the time because there’s no other lighting unless you’re using the sink or the stove.  For instance, they can get so hot that the covers will just fall off.  I actually gave someone a batch of green beans in a clear plastic container not too long ago.  My friend called me later that night to ask me if a clear glass disc that says UV something meant anything to me.  I was all, heck ya, I’ll be right over.

Next up was that nasty, wooden window sill that I’d painted white about a million times because that’s the only way to keep it looking good, and that’s an understatement.  You can decide for yourself.  It always looks dirty, was not meant to get wet and definitely was not wide enough to hold anything except a cherry tomato.  Totally useless.  I took this photo after I sanded it down, cut the ends of it off and trimmed the edging in brown.  Huge improvement already.








But then, the coolness arrived.  Ozarks Cultured Marble.  You guys rock.  I’d forgotten about that place until fellow blogger Ann, was doing a bathroom remodel and it came back to me then.  Thanks for shaking my brain up.  We attached the new sill to the original sill with some carpet glue, because this totally looks like carpet.  Just kidding.  We couldn’t find our tile mastic.  Misplacing stuff is classic around here.  The cost?  A whopping $48, this piece measures 35 inches long in case you’re interested.    IMG_1223







Anyways, it’s totally gorgeous and functional.  The pattern is so neat.  And it’s not stone, it’s a paper transfer.  Can you believe that?  A paper transfer.  I can put my dish soap up there.  I can put a full size tomato up there.  Or hey maybe a gallon of milk, a full pot of coffee, or even a 2 liter!  It’s 4 1/2 inches wide, that’s a saucer people.


I played hookie from teaching yoga tonight.  The weather was awesome and the yard was flooded with walnuts, again.  I even hit the houses on both sides of us and I’m not done yet.  Thanks for the tips a few of you have sent me on free walnuts.  If I ever get this area finished, perhaps I’ll branch out.


Yoga Boutique Revamp

Labor Day weekend.  What did I do?  I labored.  Awhile back, I repainted our entry way and lounge area to the studio.  It was long overdue and it looks beautiful now.  The store was next.  The week I’d planned to do it, I came down with a stomach virus.  No need to say anymore. 

The boutique had been painted the same fleshy, neutral color as our lounge area about 10 years ago.  I also had some great wall grid left over from my video store that I thought would be cool to hang our new line of clothing on.  By the way, all of our Stonewear Yoga wear is 75% off now.  That’s like… clothes people and it’s going fast.

Of course, what was supposed to be a two or three hour project turned into a nightmare. 

After the yoga class on Sunday, my fellow teachers helped me clear out the store which involved the heavy rug I’d brought from home way back when.  The rest of the stuff wasn’t too bad to move.  The boutique is actually an old bank vault as our building was a bank at one time.  The floor is concrete like the rest of our lounge and entry space, except in this vault they had painted the floor about 24 inches (or more) all the way around with the wall color.  We’d noticed it had been getting sticky and wondered who had spilled something in there.  Once the rug was removed, I mopped it.  Revelation time.  The floor had been painted with flat, latex paint which cuts with water.  So with the high humidity in the basement, this paint had turned tacky. 

Uh oh.  This is the part where all the other people leave because they have something else to do.  And it’s OK.  This was my idea, my project and I was going to handle it.  Classic independent Kirsten.  Not needing any help from anybody.

Practicing what I preach, I decided to nip this in the bud with no anger.  I stayed calm and focused on what I had to do.  I ran home.  I got a swiffer-like paint scraper on a pole.  I did a small area before I thought I would die.  I tried to not think too much about the outcome.  I stayed present with the task on hand knowing that this paint would eventually dissolve.  

Then, I asked for help. 

I called my husband to see if he had any other ideas.  He showed up shortly with a shop broom and an extra bucket.  We scrubbed the entire floor with water and that shop broom.  Then we scraped the rest of the paint away.  We had a bucket full of paint when we finished.  Too bad we didn’t have a place to use it.  This took about three hours and mind you, this area is only about 9 x 15 feet or so.  I was extremely grateful for the help.

After that was  finished and I’d mopped it a couple more times, I could prepare to paint. 

Finally.  Sheesh. 

The painting only took a couple of hours.  I let the paint dry over night and returned on Monday to put the place back together. 

Boutique Before

yoga space 7PDRM6743









Boutique After



Chocolate & Avacadoes

Chocolate and avacadoes, I know.  I thought that sounded like the strangest combo ever as well.  Until this evening when I made this.IMG_0596  

 2 Avacadoes

3/4 cup Raw Cocoa Powder (I used Green & Black brand)

1/3 cup Agave Nectar

Pinch of Sea Salt


1Vanilla Bean (I didn’t have one, so I used the flavoring about 1 1/2 tsp.)

1/2 cup Water

The recipe also mentions adding 2 tsp. of cinnamon if you prefer, I didn’t this time.  Makes me want to go and watch the movie Chocolat again.

Put everything into a food processor, except the water.   Slowly add the water.  The more water you add, of course the thinner it will become.  I used the entire 1/2 cup above.  After tasting it, it was still too bitter for me, so I added more sweetener.  I think next time I’ll add less cocoa as the brand I used was really strong.  I suppose bigger avacadoes might be the ticket as well.  I had the smaller ones here at home.

This whipped up a smooth, light, creamy mousse.  I was tasting this and thinking how good it would be on vanilla ice cream, or mixed in with plain yogurt.  I guess you could thin it out with more water and have a nice sauce as well.  Looking forward to my yummy organic treat the rest of the week.  Just a few spoonfuls take away the chocolate craving.  And what a great alternative to those avacadoes that at times tend to ripen so quickly.


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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.