In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Gratitude

SAMSUNG PHONE PHOTOS 176I have always guarded and very much enjoyed my time alone.  But not here lately.  Perhaps I’m getting old.  Perhaps I need a hobby.  Wait.  I have plenty of those, but none of which seem that engaging at this very moment.  I don’t even want to read.  Or maybe.  Just maybe that one person that I’d really love to be with right now isn’t here.  That’s it.

I took a vacation day from work today.  It rained.  It didn’t just rain.  It rained a nasty ass drizzle the ENTIRE day.  And it was only around 50 degrees.  I didn’t really take a vacation day because I had something to do.  I took it because I simply feel as though I need one whole weekday off – per month – from my job.  I know.  Do I want some cheese to go with that whine?  You bet.  Excuse me while I get a glass – of wine.

I only had one plan for today.  It didn’t happen.  I got the little weekday only kind of things taken care.  The car serviced and all that jazz.  Of course the place I take my car to is open on Sunday.  But do I want to spend my Sunday over there?  No.  No I do not.

The rest of the day was spent fighting with this rain, running about tending to things that came up unexpectedly with my daughter.  Things that I wished I wouldn’t have had to deal with.  I am though, thankful that I had the day to take care of these things but at the same time I am choosing to complain.  Why is that?  I guess I wanted to do something else today but I don’t really know what that would have been.

Funny isn’t it.  We have everything we want yet we complain.  I’ve started a gratitude journal once again.  I need to hit my yoga mat as well.  I know why I practice and I know why I choose not to.  And guess what?  It’s none of your business.  Today anyway.

So tonight I am thankful that I am here and that I am healthy.  That my kid is healthy.  That my family is healthy.  My pets are all awesome and healthy.  Apollo, the new dog is going to daycare once a week. He’s making improvements.  Oh and we got him a shock collar with a zone and he hasn’t touched the furniture since.  Who knew?  I am thankful for the job that got me this house and in turn, I wish I never had to leave it on a daily basis.  I am thankful that my washer and dryer are cranking away at this very moment.  I could after all, be in a Laundromat.  No thanks.  I am grateful that I actually have two more days off.  And that they’re supposed to be warm, bright and sunny and maybe, just maybe filled with yoga.

Think I’ll go and grab that gouda now.  My work here is done.


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Earth Day, Yoga Day

For the last several years, I have been responsible for bringing one of my favorite yoga instructors to town.  I do the promoting, and all the arrangements.  This year we closed our studio and one of the guys that taught with us opened his own place.  He has a beautiful studio but it’s just not the same of course.  Meaning it’s not downtown in the heartbeat of the city.  But none the less it’s awesome. 

Since this was his studio, I let him take care of all of the event stuff.  That also meant that he would receive the split of cash and I was very much OK with that.  All I had to do was write a check and show up this year.  I didn’t have to check people in, I didn’t have to meet the caterer when she brought lunch.  I didn’t have to make sure folks were feeling OK – too hot or too cold?  Who cares?  I was taking the class.  And a great class it was.  What a way to celebrate Earth Day with Thomas.  Nothing like 6 hours of yoga to make you feel vibrant and ready for spring.  Thanks  Thomas – see you again in November.

yoga kirsten 3 yoga kirsten 1 yoga kirsten 2

 


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Yoga Rocks

A few weeks ago I had some energy I needed to release.  I love yoga and it’s a good way to gain and let go of energy.  It can work either way for me depending on what I choose to practice.  So.  I wasn’t really feeling angry or anything, I just felt…..I don’t know.  Like rockin’ out.

So.  I threw down my yoga mat and put on some classic rock and roll.  I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of yoga practitioner/teacher is this?  The non-traditional kind I would guess.  But.  I wasn’t teaching a class was I?  I was simply throwing down my mat and throw down I did.  To AC/DC. 

I didn’t meditate obviously.  That would’ve been mighty hard to do with Back In Black blaring in the background as, yes indeed it was.  I decided on sun salutations, the perfect way to release pent up energy and sweat at the same time.  All the while – while staying incredibly calm.  It worked.  Totally.

As I cruised through the greatest hits and others from AC/DC , I couldn’t help but think this.  What if right now, this was a real yoga class with this kind of music?  Hilarious!  I like music in a yoga class.  In fact I use it in almost all of my classes.  I won’t ever forget the first time I had my class totally choreographed to a CD and then low and behold the CD player didn’t work.   Hence was the first time I had to teach without music.  From then on I told myself I’d never choreograph another class and I really haven’t.  Though I still like to teach with music and take a class with music, I’ve learned to take it or leave it.  I’ve learned to teach without it and at times the silence is very welcoming.

Back to my experience of yoga and AC/DC.  As I cruised through, I don’t know how many sun salutes and strong standing postures I started to think.  What if we actually opened a heavy metal yoga studio?  We could call it Metallic Yoga or something like that.  My imagination started running wild with crazy ideas.  What if all the students had to wear spandex or some form?  What if all the teachers had to have big, rock and roll hair?  Everyone would have to have a bandana tucked into their pants or on their heads.  In our boutique we could sell ripped up tank tops with big arm holes.  Only for the women of course, because the dudes could wear a vest or go topless.  We could offer yoga mats with lightning bolts, skulls or roses painted on them.  I’m sure we could find a student who would do the art work for free.  We could sell black and black light nail polish.  Big skull/crossbones and snake finger rings.  We could place a big chain around everyone’s neck upon entry.  Chains that we would charge a rental fee for of course, but a mandatory rental fee.  We could gauge the integrity of their Chatarunga (yoga push up) by the clanking of the chain on the floor.  Too loud means you went too low and too fast and so on.  We could offer an Alice Cooper and Kiss class.  This of course would include yoga in full facial make up, eye liner, white paste, the whole deal.  Maybe we could offer wigs and goatees and mustaches as well because, they’re in you know. 

Of course this would have to be a fairly intense class because of the nature of the music.  I’m thinking for our softer postures, and I’m talking the stuff we do on the floor like forward bends and twists and such, we could play a long, drawn out instrumental.  I was thinking Eruption by Eddie Van Halen, but then I changed my mind.  We could go with Jeff Beck’s Bolero instead, a little less intense.  Yeah, that would work.  And maybe for final relaxation we could break out Led Zeppelin’s Going To California and Tangerine or something. 

We could play the Allman Brothers instrumental Jessica on constant replay as our signature welcome to our studio song.   What would we have to pay out in royalties?  It wouldn’t matter.  We would be rockin’ our yoga in a space of at least 8,000 square feet with rent of $5,ooo per month and we would still have a ton of dough left over.  We could spend a fortune in dry ice and fog the place out in a theatrical haze.  Instead of cute little lamps we could use Lava Lamps in a variety of colors.  The studio would be painted black of course and be located preferably underground.  Like a basement for sure.

Then the CD quit.  I rested in my sweaty shavasana/relaxation for 15 minutes.  I left the cloud of rock and roll and re-entered the real world when my dog decided to lick my fingers and one of my cats decided to dig her claws into my foot.  Ouch.  Wake up call.  What in the hell just happened?   I suppose I just had a dream but I was awake.  And Wide Awake I was. 

Hey.  Isn’t that a song by Katy Perry?  Oh wow.  Now we’re opening studios depending on the genre of the music!  I may be onto something here.  Ahead of my time and exhausted just thinking about it.

What did I do next?  I put on Alanis Morrisette and cleaned my house.  Acoustic version if I may add.

For those about to rock……………we salute you!


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Seriously Sushi

I am still cleaning.  And I am cleaning more than I ever thought that I would. 

When I started cleaning the IMAX theater, it was just Saturdays and Sundays.  That’s now turned into Fridays too.  I also clean there on Thursdays whenever needed.  I’ve decided that I have a tendency towards craving and aversion with the theater.  Total love hate relationship for sure.  When I wake up at 4 in the morning and drag myself out of bed, I often ask myself, “What was I thinking?”  But that goes away pretty quickly.

I don’t have to look good and I can wear whatever I want.  I have also lost 11 pounds since I started this job.  Woo Hoo!  I am getting an amazing workout and I am getting paid to do it!  Very cool.  I can pretty much run up and down the IMAX stairs now, without the fear of tripping over a cord and breaking my neck.  I’ve learned what I can and cannot sweep up.  For instance, napkins, straws, soda pop bottle lids, licorice and the plastic that 3-D glasses come packaged in, can pretty much wreck your day.  What I can sweep up pretty much and a lot of, is this.

I mean really.  This is actually a minor popcorn spill compared to some that I’ve seen.  I do realize accidents can and will happen.  I think otherwise.  So bascially, I hate to admit it, but yes.  I’ve developed a bad attitude towards 80% of the movie going public in general.  Some people leave everything they bought or brought inside the theater.  The stuff that people bring in there is mind blowing.  Curious?   I thought so.

Bottles of liquor – all sizes.  I even found an empty fifth of 7 & 7.  If it wouldn’t have been empty, I would’ve been tempted to finish it off.  Granted it would’ve been like 5:30 a.m……just kidding.  Cans of beer in lots of cool and interesting varieties.  Lots and lots of Skoal, in cans and unfortunately in spit cups.  Gross!  Packs of cigarettes, brand new and opened.  Some folks don’t/can’t eat the popcorn shell, or kernels.  So they chew up the popcorn and then just spit out the kernels on the floor!  I know, gross.  The kind people put it in a napkin and leave it there for us.  The really kind people, take it to the trash can on the way out.  Lots of candy, some of it brand new in the box.  All I know is this.  If I paid $5 for a box of candy, I’m taking it with me when I leave that place!  Jackets.  Cell Phones.  iPods.  Hats.  Debit and Credit Cards.  Spare change.  Thank you all for the tip.  Please leave more, we totally deserve it! 

The list goes on.  Wallets.  Hair bows, bobby pins and headbands.  Dirty kleenexes.  Fingernails.  I know.  I guess 50% of the public actually bite their nails at the movies.  I suppose they think that those things just disappear when the lights come on.  Food wrappers from Subway, Steak-N-Shake, McDonald’s (fries still intact).  The biggest and funniest thing I’ve found so far was this.  A round sushi tray, complete with chop stix and two artifical flowers.  Awe.  What a sweet date night!  But really, that thing was the size of a pizza pan.  Speaking of pizza.  One time we tossed out 14 pizza boxes from the IMAX and found pizza slices on the floor.  I often wonder what was the average age of the people who saw the movie the night before.  Is it only kids who trash the theater in this way?  I don’t think so.

Let me tell another little story.  I am in line at the grocery store.  Some ladies are talking about going to the movies.  They said they took their grandkids and just told them to leave all their crap in the theater because it was so incredibly expensive.  Nice.  I was very tempted to say, “Hey.  The theater has to pay a cleaning company to pick that crap up and maybe that’s why the treats are so high!  The longer it takes us, the more it costs them.  But I get paid by the hour, so go ahead, leave it all.  Please drop a $5 with that mess if you don’t mind.”  But I kept my mouth shut.

I like the job.  I do.  I also started cleaning another place, a commercial building.  It is sheer heaven compared to the theater.  I think cleaning anything would be heaven compared to the theater.  But I had no idea because this is all new to me.  Well.  I have seen that film Sunshine Cleaning, so that would be worse I guess!

Yoga is still rockin’.  I drove to Mt. Vernon yesterday and did a restorative class for 2 1/2 hours so that was pretty decent dough.  I am thankful I have yoga and I am thankful I can clean when I’m not doing yoga.  I love the idea of being flexible and getting into something I really never considered doing.  I have met so many cool people through this job. 

For instance.  I clean with one person that’s just about totally deaf.  I’ve cleaned with one person who’s also a probation officer and worked as a corrections officer.  I’ve cleaned with single mom’s, college students, high school students and people with a couple of degrees.   I totally think differently about people who clean for a living now, that’s for sure.

Off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.  The theater’s clean, but I teach yoga at 4:00.  Did I mention that I don’t have a complete day off anymore?  Big deal.  I am heading to Florida on June 11th and will be gone with my kid until the 27th.  And I am really appreciating the fact that I’m going on vacation this year, much more than the year’s gone past.  My brother is flying to Florida as well and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen him so this is going to be a super cool and very fun time.


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Happy Harvest

I made it to Arkansas for the Harvest Music Festival, but not without stalling of course.  On Tuesday I pretty much had everything ready to go.  It started storming Tuesday night and well into Wednesday morning.  I was getting bummed.  Finally the weather cleared up a bit and I headed out alone.  My sister was supposed to fly up and go with me, but that didn’t happen.  Off I went.

I’d never been to Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas before.  The drive is stunning.  I took this route – 65 South, 412/62 West, 23 South.  That’s it.  Easy drive.  23 South of course is the most beautiful roadway as that is the road that heads up the mountain.  Of course since I was driving on a curvy, two-lane road, I didn’t get to turn my head as much as I wanted to.  My car handles great on curves, so it was fun to drive.  I arrived and found my contact person.  I followed him (he was in a golf cart) to my campsite.  I pitched my tent in no time and then he gave me a tour ride in his golf cart of the grounds.  Beautiful location for sure.  But I think I already said that.

The first night was a bit creepy.  The wind started blowing and I mean fiercely around midnight.  I grabbed my phone and logged onto Facebook.  Why?  Who knows.  Someone I knew said to look for someone named Nina.  They said she would be selling her tie dyed tees there.  Cool.  I only knew one person so far so that would be nice if I found her.  Around 1 a.m. I heard someone pitching a tent next to mine.  The wind was crazy so I got up and offered to help.  I introduced myself and she said her name was Nina.  No shit. 

She’d already set up her canopy for her dyes and it was whipping in the wind.  Her tent was getting tattered.  By 3 a.m. we took all of her stuff down, stowed the merchandise in her car, threw her tent in the trash and off she went to stay with friends.  My shelter was still standing but I pretty much got no sleep.  I told her something good would come from the destruction and it did.  On Friday she set up a nice tie dye workshop.  She was so busy she couldn’t keep up with it.  She made more than enough dough to purchase a new canopy for the next fair.

I awoke to wind again on Thurday morning so I opted for not using the campstove.  I paid $2 for some shitty coffee and had peanut butter and crackers, an apple and an orange.  I was exhausted.  I am not an all night person and I never have been.  Those of you who know me, already know this.  I was scheduled to teach yoga everyday at 10 a.m.  and I was pretty excited about that as well as meeting other yogis.  I grabbed my mat and headed over the fence which was close to my campsite.  Another girl showed up and asked where she could plug in her music.  What?  There’s like music all around us was my thought.  Then she said she was there to teach the yoga class.  Really?  Anyways, she firmly believed she was supposed to be there.  So did I, but not as firmly as she did.  She said how about if she taught the first two mornings and I taught the last two.  OK.  Problem solved.  I participated in her class, it was hot out.  The sun felt great.  Our teepee that we were supposed to practice under had been destroyed by the wind the night before.  Yoga outdoors was great even though I was totally exhausted.

After the class my thought was wow, what shall I do with the rest of my day?  I didn’t have to do anything or be anyplace.  I took several walks around the property.  Music started around noon so I enjoyed the small stages that were around us.  My camp as I would find out later, was parked too close to an entertainment tent.  I decided if I was going to make it through the next 3-nights, I would need to sleep in shifts.  So Thursday evening around 8, I crashed.  I woke up to beautiful music around midnight.  I got up, sat in my chair, poured a glass of wine (from a box) and listened.  It was Railroad Earth and they were playing “Lovin’ You” – what a great song.  The air was crisp and cool and the sky was totally clear and the blackest black.  No wind.  The stars were unbelievable and so was the moon.  Every now and then I would see these orange paper lanterns go floating by.  They looked like small hot air balloons.  I dug it and decided that I was very happy to be there experiencing all of this right now.

Friday morning some yoga friends from Springfield appeared and man was I happy to see them.  There was about 5,000 to 7,000 folks at this thing and I really didn’t see anyone that I knew.  We took the yoga class together and then I walked with them to their camp.  What was once a beautiful field was now a sea of tent tops, cars and flags.  I realized people flew flags so they could actually find their campsite.  I did feel a bit claustrophobic at times.  The wide open space was completely gone by Saturday morning.  I downed several glasses of their ice water, engaged in conversation and probably talked too much.  After all, I’d been completely alone for like 72 hours so it was nice to chat.

There were several stages.  One was in a tent right outside my tent.  It was smaller and hosted more local acts, a burlesque show and some Q & A sessions.  One small stage, was down a cool tree lined road full of vendors.  Another stage was under a huge, white tent not too far from me.  The main stage is totally gorgeous.  It is big and the trees are the backdrop.  Every night a band called Yonder Mountain String Band played.  When they went on, most other stages went dark.  The nightly entertainment was awesome.  Girls were dancing with hula hoops that lit up.  Some of them were actually on FIRE.  I like fire and a group of Piyo people (dancing with balls of fire on chains) were showing their skills as well.  There were also these huge puppet people that would walk around the grass and just stalk you.  They were pretty neat to look at.  On the down side, there were a lot of drunk people and the things that go with that.  No need to elaborate.  I never felt unsafe even though I was alone.  Everyone was so very nice and friendly. 

After the yoga class on Friday, the teacher asked me if she could just please teach one more day because she was supposed to do it all.  I said you know what, you can just teach Sunday as well.  I didn’t teach a class the entire time I was there and I got over it pretty quickly, because that’s how I roll.  I got my campstove out Friday night and made pasta and toasted garlic bread in a skillet.  More people arrived and 3 tents were all of a sudden being pitched on top of mine.  This was a band and their people and they played great music in the tent outside of my campsite on Friday night.  I spent that night wandering about watching lanterns, listening to music, watching people and drinking wine.  As I said before, the entertainment in the evening was very cool.

Friday evening I did not get a nap in so by ten I was dead.  I crashed out pretty hard until the people in the next to mine decided to party in more ways than one.  They’d invited me over but I wasn’t interested.  Probably a good call on my part.  At 1:00 a.m. Speakeasy started playing in the tent outside of my campsite.  Whoa.  They are rambunctious, loud and have a massive light show.  No sleeping through that for sure.  There was also a lot of smoke from campfires and lots of other things and I knew I would die from carbon monoxide if I didn’t emerge from my tent soon.  I caught a glimpse of a tasteful burlesque show, watched more people, listened to music and felt totally delirious.  I had no idea what time it was.  My phone was dead and so was the battery in my car from charging it so many times.  I think it was almost daylight on Saturday when I fell asleep.  I woke up to the sun earlier than most people.  I started my campstove, chatted with the security dudes and made hot tea.  I sat in my chair and let the sun hit my face and started to peel off the layers of clothes that I’d slept in.  The nights were cool and the days were hot.  It was like being in Colorado.  I opted out for yoga on Saturday morning. I wanted to get my car started.  Finally it turned over and I let it run for a little bit.  I’m sure I asphyxiated all the people who were still asleep.  Paybacks are hell I know.

I decided since I wasn’t going to be teaching on Sunday, that maybe I would just head on home.  I grabbed my hot tea and headed to the encampment of my friends.  They were making whole wheat pancakes with yogurt and had cantaloupe.  I ate a great breakfast with them and told them I’d catch them later.  I headed back and packed up my campsite in all of 15 minutes.  I took another walk and noticed the line at the shower trailer was 50 people long.  I was glad I got mine in on Friday.  They had one shower trailer with 6 stalls for women and 6 for men.  It cost $5 and I would’ve paid $10.  Money well spent if you ask me.  I did a little shopping before I left too.  Had to have a Harvest T-shirt and I found Lauren a beautiful woven bracelet.  She wears about 20 on one arm.

I headed back to my car and decided that yes, it was probably time to go.  A day early at that.  I was tired and I would have time to totally recuperate and be rested for Monday if I left now.  The drive is about three and half hours. 

Would I do this again?  Maybe.  I’m not sure I’d pay to go though.  Hopefully the yoga thing will work out if I attend again.  I know what to do and what not to do next for next time.  I would definitely camp further away from all the action.  If you do not like outdoor toilets, don’t go.  There are plenty of them, but with people who party they can get nasty pretty fast.  They did do a good job keeping the toilet paper up and getting them hosed out.  There were also handwashing stations and that was a good thing.  You can bring your own liquor but no glass.  You can also buy it there, but it’s costly.  There’s also a lot of smoke, campfires and otherwise.  So let’s just say it’s definitely a harvest of many different kinds.  If you don’t want to pay to shower, then you’ll have to do without.  There are reserved campsites in the wooded areas, they are costly and fill up fast.  They have showers and toilets for those folks only.  The fields where the majority camp have no shade so bring a canopy of some sort.  Even though it wasn’t super hot, some shade is nice now and then.

This was an event filled with all kinds of people.  People of all ages.  There were to my surprise a lot of children there.  I don’t think I’d take my own daughter though. I did find that when I got home the biggest adjustment was simply going indoors.  I thoroughly enjoyed being outside, almost all the time, totally for 4 days. 

Happy Harvest for it’s that time of year.


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Nature of Yoga

I’m stalling. 

It’s raining here and it’s raining where I’m supposed to be traveling to here in a bit. 

I am scheduled to teach yoga for the next four days in Arkansas, on a mountaintop, at a music festival.  I wanted my sister to come up and go with me.  That was the original plan.  But someone asked her to have 8 chairs reupholstered by the end of the month.  So her travel plans were pretty much nixed.  I am going alone.  In a tent.  For 4 nights.  The good news is this weather will be over by tonight and the next 4 days ahead look absolutely fabulous.

I started a new yoga job last week at the Rehab Hospital in Mt.Vernon, MO.  What a great place and what awesome people!  They turned the chapel there into a wellness center and it is really lovely.  I like the way they left the stained glass windows as they do not have any religious connotation to them.  The healing garden outside the entry is really pretty as well.

I think I may get to add a couple more classes there.  The one I started is pretty full so there’s talk of possibly adding another class right after the one I’m teaching now.  And the maintenance guys need to stretch too, so I’m told.  But they don’t want to go to a class called yoga.  I suggested we call it Maintenance for Men.  We’ll see what happens.  I love how my job opens up new possibilites all of the time. 

Just look where I’m headed here shortly!  All because I teach a free class on Tuesday mornings and an event planner attended the class.  Looking forward to just teaching yoga one hour a day for the next four days.  The rest of the time?  I’ll be reading, napping, visiting, hiking and listening to music and enjoying the great outdoors.

I’m sure I’ll have some great things to blog about when I return.


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Get Your Groupon!

Whoa.

We just put out our second Groupon at the yoga studio where I teach. 

If you have a small business I think Groupon is a cool way to spread the word.  Groupon is something you sign up for and it comes in your e-mail box almost every day when there’s a deal in your area.  You have about 24 hours I think to purchase the deal, then it closes.  We received a decent response from the first Groupon so we thought we’d try again.   This one was a different offering.  An offering of 24 classes for $24 with a six month expiration date.  Our response has been crazy.  So much that I actually had someone teach for me last night. 

I know.  That’s pretty lame.  I taught 3 classes on Monday and in between each class all I did was this.  Answer my cell phone and return e-mails and texts from Groupon folks.  Tuesday was pretty much a rerun.  I only had one morning class on Tuesday.  After that I spent the rest of the day returning calls and e-mails.  I picked the kids up from school, I made dinner and did a little grocery shopping too.  Twice on the last one because I forgot something on the list like I always do.  Classic Kirsten style.  By the time my evening class came around I was exhausted.  I was supposed to teach at 6, but I let someone else do it for me.  I was spent and needed to wind down.

The phone has not quit ringing yet.  I decided to put up a  Groupon holder information page on our website to help with all of this talking.  It’s working.  People are e-mailing and sending a text message to reserve their spot in class.  Cool.  I like it when I have decent ideas and they actually work!

I am off from teaching all day tomorrow.  Good deal.  I will be able to use my cell here at the house instead of while I’m walking in to teach a class or driving down the road.  It’s amazing to see so many people interested in yoga.  I’ve been teaching a FREE class at the studio for two years now and though that class is large, it’s nothing like the fall out from the Groupon.  We sold a total of 448 and that’s quite a few.  I had no idea there were that many people in our area even interested in the practice. 

One of us even received a phone call about whether nude yoga classes were available.  Not the first time that’s happened.  I think if anyone out there is interested in starting a nude yoga class, there’s a niche for it.  It might just be the million dollar income you’ve been looking for.  Don’t look for me to be teaching that one, but you just never know.  I might show up in your class.


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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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Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving.  Again.  Time seems to move faster and faster all of the time.  I don’t know.  Which would be worse?  Movement or stagnation?  It’s a question I ask myself often. 

Today will be a quiet day.  We’re hosting the dinner here at our place.  My whole family is scattered about, so Frank’s sister, niece and his folks will join us later around 1:00.  We’re doing the turkey, potatoes and rolls.  It’s an easy day.  Every one else will bring pies and veggies so it’s all good. 

It’s been a bit since I’ve sat down here to actually blog.  Why you say?  Because.  My husband gave me a Blackberry and I can check my e-mail while I’m driving down the road.  Did I really just say that?  Yes I did.  And I’m just kidding.  Sort of.  Checking e-mail, maybe.  Responding, no way.  I like having it.  I spend less time here at my computer so I’m free to do the things I need to do without being in the office.  It’s a good thing.

I ended October with a yoga retreat.  This was the 4th year one of my favorite teachers came to town.  We had a great weekend of yoga, meditation and pranayama as well as an organic, catered, vegetarian lunch.  He’ll be back again next October.  And in fact he’s stopping by for a day practice in April.  He’s also seasoned in astrology and I find that stuff interesting.  So when he returns I’m going to have him do a reading for me.  I was born on October 31, 1966 at 3:30 a.m.  Sounds kind of creepy to me.  I can’t wait to see what the stars say about when I was born.  Who knows?  It might be something lame, like I was a homely milk maid.  Or perhaps I was an ax murderer?  It will all be in good fun though.

My brother was also here the end of October.  He brought his girlfriend.  She’s from Bulgaria.  We stayed up super late catching up.  I hadn’t seen him for two years!  They’d recently been to Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.  We headed to Canton Inn for Chinese food and then finished the evening with wine and authentic Turkish delight candy.  Good stuff!  I’d like to see them again soon, but every one has their own lives and their own sort of busy-ness.

Evan and Kirsten.  Dig that Turkish Nike Shirt?  This was taken around one in the morning!

Irina and Evan.  Halloween.  Think “I’m not quittin’ you!”  Love it!

My free yoga class presented me with the most beautiful birthday card.  Inside was a gift certificate for a massage at Zen 3.  Wow.  I about fainted.  I hadn’t had a massage in a very long time.  I took advantage of this last Saturday after meditation class.  I still have money left on the card so I hope to return again in December.  Zen 3 is a beautiful place in a quaint area of town.  The massage was great.  Another student baked me a pretty, round loaf of peasant bread.  It was perfect.  It actually looked fake it was so perfect.  And how did it taste?  Not fake that’s for sure.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have to freeze any of it.  The four of us chowed that down pretty quick-like.

The kids are staying pretty busy.  Jordan is getting ready to start off-season track.  And the college search is on.  He has yet another visit this coming week.  I hope we can get this finalized soon.  It’s actually really exhausting just talking about it.  I know he would like for it to be over with too.  And he can’t quit thinking about it, he’s obssessed.  Lauren is busy with her girlfriends and the latest thing they’re into are Shrinky Dinks.  She loves the plain paper where she can create her own.  She really likes tiny, little things.  Whenever she works with clay, it’s the same way.  She’s been creating the tinest, littlest monsters I think I’ve ever seen.  Cute stuff!

Lauren’s new hair cut.  She’s looking so grown up, and she looks exactly like her father.

Jordan –  Go Parkview football!

Frank will be very busy at work starting tomorrow until Christmas.  In the meantime on his days off, he’s been deer hunting.  I won’t say anymore about that, because if get started it will be a long, negative rant.  And I’d rather not go there on Thanksgiving.  What I would like to do, is dump out this pot of coffee and start again.  This has got to be the shittiest coffee I’ve ever made.

Have a great holiday!


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Yogaway

September. 

It’s almost gone.  This happens every year.  The month of September just disappears.  This September has been especially busy for me in a good way.  In a yoga way. 

September is also National Yoga Month, so it seems fitting for the month to be overfilled with yoga for sure.

First off, some college students started a FREE yoga class in Phelps Grove Park on the tennis courts.  It happens every Sunday and Wednesday evening from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.   A little late for an old person like myself, but I’ve been and I loved it.  Yoga under the stars.  I live close enough to walk over so that’s a plus.  Another bonus of that class is that I didn’t know a soul over there.  That was cool.  No chatter, no questions, no answers just me and my yoga mat.  It was like I was invisible and that was pretty cool.  I’ll be going to that class again.

I also had to sub two extra classes this month on a Sunday at another studio that I used to teach at.  That was good.  The class was a restorative class and I love teaching that kind of class.  But wait.  I love teaching pretty much any kind of yoga.  I miss teaching over there but the studio sold out and of course, the owner needs to teach as much as she can in order to make any dough.  It’s what you have to do these days.

I had plans with a good friend to go to St. Louis for yoga September 17, 18 and 19. 

We both love Saul David Raye and he usually shows up in St. Louis every November.  But this year he showed up early.  We got our hotel reservations and sent in our yoga registration.  Then a week before the event my friend had to bail.  Instead of finding someone else to go with me last minute, I took advantage of the time for myself.  And of course I had to eat the hotel expense since we usually split it.  The weekend of yoga was fantastic and I enjoyed the time alone.  I never once turned on the TV in my hotel room.  But my husband had just given me a Blackberry (crackberry for sure) so I was able to entertain myself with e-mails and Facebook.  My mom and dad were in New Zealand for almost the entire month so it was cool to be able to read their e-mail adventures and view their photos while I was in St. Louis as well.  They took some amazing photos and just made it home safely.  Earthquake adventure aside.

I returned from St. Louis to the slap of reality when I pulled into my driveway.  A week filled with things like two dental appointments, a late night movie carpool, a trip that I promised to the mall (blech), a late night meeting at the YMCA , open house at school and moving props to a different location for yet another yoga workshop.  Whew.  There was something happening virtually every single day and night of the week.  Why does everything have to happen at once?  Ah.  The weekend would arrive and what would I do?  Yoga of course!  I wanted to attend this entire weekend of yoga with Sandy Anderson of the Himalayan Institute (hence the prop movement) as she was here in town.  But I could only spread myself so thin so I tried to hit a little bit of everything  happening yogically.

A friend of mine was hosting a meditation, bonfire and drum circle of women at her home on Friday night.  Was I going?  Heck ya.  I only knew one other person and made some new friends.  We ate great food, we sang, we sat around a bonfire and we meditated together.  This was a very cool and worthwhile evening and a great way to start a weekend.  Only one problem though.  I was totally exhausted from the prior week.

The weather  finally turned fall-like so that’s been a little energizing.  Saturday morning  two other good yoga teacher friends were hosting an event on the Old Iron Bridge over Lake Springfield to raise money for the Greenways.  I wanted to go because I’ve been teaching yoga on Saturdays forever until here recently, so I’d always missed this event.  As tired as I was it was the best way I could’ve started my Saturday.  The weather was perfect and the view was amazing.  We all faced west looking over the water.  It was neat to see canoes and kayaks going under us as we stretched our bodies into the morning sunshine.  I believe we raised around $1,000 with the matching sponsors that we had.  Nice.

After that event I was totally ready for a huge nap.  But my daughter’s plans were canceled and she wanted to be outdoors.  At the zoo none the less.  I took a deep breath and laced up my tennis shoes and off we went.  It was a gorgeous day and most all of the animals were out.  I really don’t know how I walked around the zoo for three hours.  Someone was definitely leading me around by my elbow for sure.

Sunday. 

I woke up to a nasty, dreary, drizzly kind of day.  The kind of day where you just want to stay inside and drink an entire pot of coffee.  But could I?  Nope.  I was a scheduled greeter for the Sandy Anderson workshop and I’d already paid for the class that day.  Off I went.  The group was large.  So big that we used Nick Sibley’s studio upstairs.  The space was beautiful and she was an awesome teacher.  I enjoyed the class quite a bit.  The first part was light asana, the second part was lecture on meditation followed by a long sit.  Who knows?  Perhaps the studio that put on this event will be affiliated with the Himalayan Institute.  That would be great for Springfield for sure.

I’m teaching two more classes this week and I’m excited to do so.  But I’m also looking forward to a weekend of no commitments and no serious plans.  It is so amazing to see yoga so alive and well in our city.  I look back and think of what was available back in 2000.  Not much.  I heard someone say they were at a bookstore in 1999 and asked for a book on yoga.  The clerk sent her to the science fiction section.  Yikes.

I totally sing the theme song to Close Encounters every time I practice, don’t you?