In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Happy Holidaze

We’ve been busy.  I’ve been busy.  Blogging hasn’t been on the frontlines here lately.  And since I got a Blackberry I’m spending much less time at my actual desktop and I don’t mind that.  This way my kid and her friends can geek all over Facebook. 

Lauren and her friends have been enjoying First Friday Art Walk downtown.  Pretty much every first Friday.  I do like to go to this, but I’m not a huge social person and I find that’s really the reason to go.  It is fun though.  Lots of pretty things to look at, lots of food to enjoy, live music, wine and more.  The photo below was actually taken at the new Price Cutter Bistro Market on Walnut and South.  Lauren is in the green jacket.  I cannot wash that green jacket.  Lauren received a hug from Christopher Drew Ingle.  He’s the singer in a band the girls are crazy about.  Never Shout Never I guess.  Izzy is dead center.  Izzy loves the cartoon Adventure Time, hence her funky hat that Mady made her for Halloween.   Mady is wearing the huge sunglasses.  Oh to be 12 going on 13.

 

A FREE photo op at a photography studio where some cool bands were playing.  I love this photo!  Lauren, Izzy, Mady, Kenzie and Sarah.

Jordan has been busy with off season track.  He’s so happy it started.  He’s also been busy with the ladies!  I think he went out with two different girls last Friday night.  Whoa.  I think one was a friendly date and the other was an actual date-date.  He’s also been busy working as much as he can.  Once track starts full throttle, he won’t be able to work as much.  We are still searching for a college and we’ve found a few that are searching for him as well.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make a decision on this sometime after the first of the year.  It’s stressful and I’m exhausted just writing about it.  When one wants to play sports in college, there’s lots to do.  Stuff like signing up for the NCAA, talking to a ton of coaches about athletics and academics and more. 

Yogaville is going well for me.  I’m enjoying the classes that don’t quit for the break.  The only ones that really take a break are the MSU classes.  But I am doing two intersessions for those folks (per their request) so that’s awesome.  A paycheck is always a nice thing to have.  The YMCA is still a lot of fun.  One student gave me a beautiful, live, potted norfolk pine tree this morning adorned with tiny little decorations.  Someone else gave me a lovely bag of assorted teas and homemade goodies.  They were SO good.  Someone in my free class at the studio, gifted me a loaf of bread sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with chocolate creme.  Oh man, that was blissful with coffee for sure.  I feel incredibly lucky to have such a fun job that connects me with such amazing people on a regular basis.  I cannot complain.

Frank.  Of course he’s slammin’ busy.  He’s the director of public safety at the Mall.  This time of year means longer hours for him.  It also means he’s out in the cold directing traffic for hours and taking care of all of the other petty things that happen more this time of year.  We are (sad to say) usually pretty thankful when the holidays are over.  If you or any of your family are stuck in retail, you can relate. 

I remember having the video store.  The store was open 12 hours a day, every, single day of the year.  We opened gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve, we ate Thanksgiving dinner the night before, the day after, or whenever we could all find the time.  I actually rented 4 movies at Blockbuster the other day.  The guy that waited on me actually dropped $1,500 in my store at our closing sale.  He had all the cool indie films and foreign things in his hands.  I knew he had to have a store someplace so I asked him where his store was.  He replied, “Blockbuster.”  Nice.  Of course I took his cash, but honestly I wanted those films to remain on the shelves for customers who were interested.  But when one is closing shop, one does what one has to do.

Christmas vacation starts today.  The kids are out of school December 23 until January 4th, 2011.  We’ll be baking up a storm and hopefully I’ll find the time to swim off all the sugar I will consume.  I’m off from yoga for 4 days as well, but I’m thinking about attending a meditation speaker and practice the day after Christmas.  What a wonderful way to come down from the hustle and bustle don’t you think?  That’s it.  I’m going. 

Happy Holidaze to you and yours!

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You’ve Got To Be Kidding

Christmas Eve morning, I returned from the grocery store to see an AT & T phone truck parked down on the corner near our house.  We switched our phone service back to AT & T from Mediacom two months ago because their phone service was terrible.  I hadn’t called for any service.  I went ahead and picked up our receiver anyways.  It was working fine.  There are three phone boxes out front spanning from our house down to the corner. 

I retrieved the mail and noticed this phone guy had all three boxes open, in the pouring rain mind you, doing whatever phone guys do on Christmas Eve day.  I thought about asking him what was going on but I didn’t.  That was mistake number one.  Then he pulled a bunch of wires out of our phone box, cut them off, slammed the box shut and jumped in his truck and drove away.  I didn’t chase him down.  That was mistake number two.

I picked up our receiver only to hear the loudest static I’ve ever heard.  I was totally thinking, no way.  I don’t know about you guys, but we tend to use the phone a little more over the holidays, especially since my family is all out of state.  In the meantime, our phone was ringing off the wall.  The phone would ring but if you answered it you got static.  The static was so loud that we couldn’t even record a voice  message to let people know our phone was out.  All the people calling left messages and assumed we weren’t home.  We quit answering it.  There was nothing we could do. 

I called At & T only to be on my cell for who knows how long, punching one for this and two for that.  The only thing I could do was order service that would happen on Wednesday, December 30th.  Because when they called and did a phone test, heck it was ringing, so the recording basically assumed we weren’t an emergency situation.  We can’t wait to receive our massive cell phone bill for the holiday overload.  Looking forward to January 15th already.

Let’s jump to Christmas Day shall we?  People are e-mailing us holiday photos and what nots wishing us well.  At 11:30 a.m. our internet decides to bite it as well.  I know you’re thinking I’m making up one hell of a story now don’t you?  I’m not.  It was true.  No land line, no internet.  And what, we got a dusting of snow?  Sheesh.  We called Mediacom since we’ve got that direct life line to their retention center now you know.  The word was 500 people are out in your area, we’re working on it.  Kewl.  We kicked back and enjoyed the quiet, minus the phone ringing and ring it did.  All night long.  It started to get really possessed and ring half a ring or just one ring at like two in the morning.  Crazy, I know.

Finally on Saturday, December 26th, I called AT & T again.  This time I just started punching buttons and got to talk to a real live person.  He was extremely nice.  And just for a heads up, it’s not the zero that gets you through to a heartbeat, it’s the POUND sign.  In case you’re ever in need.  He told me so, hit it once, twice or even three times (a lady) if you will.  Someone from AT & T will be here tomorrow, December 28th, a Monday, to repair our box. 

Around seven that same Saturday evening, our internet came back up and we got to have some sort of communication.  Does anyone have any luck with tin cans and wire?  How about a crank box?  I’m thinking with all this positive yoga energy I should be more than able to power something up for awhile.  Our holiday wasn’t all bad.  We actually had a very nice one and I’ll bring some of that in tomorrow now that we’re back online.  Stay warm.


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Merry Christmas

We didn’t get a real tree this year, nor did we last year.  A few years in the past, we’ve had a live tree.  We’ve always donated them to Bass Pro as they use them for fish habitats after the holidays.  At least that way, it doesn’t seem so wasteful.

Frank has a small, artificial 5 ft. tree with weak branches and lots of bare spots that we’ve used in the past.  One year we even put up my huge, fake tree.  We had to leave off the bottom two or three rows of branches because it was so full, and the top hit the ceiling.  No vaulted ceilings at this place.  This house has needed a slim tree since the day I moved in and this year, I headed to K-Mart and bought one.  It came with lights already on it which is a total bonus.  I put it together and fluffed it up.  Ready to go in an hour.

  

Jordan and his girlfriend, Breanna.

Lauren decorating

 While the kids decorated, I enjoyed a glass of wine and hung out with Lucy and Jacob.  It’s nice that the kids took over the tree decorating. 

Since we got rid of that big, ugly sectional (sorry Frank) we put the tree in the front window.  Our street is somewhat busy at times, so all the people driving home from work can enjoy the holidaze on their commute.  And since it’s a slim tree, I can still enjoy the view which is much better with a smaller car in the driveway.

May your holiday be safe, warm and fun-filled with the happiness of family and friends!


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Downward Spiral of Festive

Our day was quiet, just family, no running, just staying at home.  We celebrated the holiday with the in-laws on Monday evening.  Today was just the four of us, opening gifts and hanging out.  Super nice way to spend the day.  We baked a ham and all the goodies to go with it.  No over do though.  Simple.  We didn’t even do a dessert.  There were enough cookies and goodies around, that we passed on that!  We did invite the in-laws over for dinner.  My dad (who lives in K.C.) also stopped by this evening for a little while.  He made us a beautiful, large, bird feeder.  I will be posting photos of it! 

The kids made a haul.  Lauren got a Nintendo DS and Jordan got an iPod Touch.  Gifts from my parents.  Lucky kids they are and what cool technology!  I hadn’t held either one of those items, so it was all new to me as well.  I’m not really a gadget/gizmo person.  My cell phone doesn’t even have a camera on it and I just got a laptop this year!  I gave Frank some cool tools and I got:

faux-fur-bootsI’d seen these in the Sierra Trading Post catalog and then, someone came into yoga class wearing them.  Same brand, Sorel.  It was all over then.  I checked them out (but I didn’t try them on) during relaxation.  Shhh….I usually dig through people’s purses too…….just kidding.  We ordered them online from Sierra and they were on sale, $74.  They fit, they’re so comfy and I can get them wet, unlike my snuggly Ugg boots that I love!  I like stuff that I can wear barefoot, easy to and from yoga classes!  For all of those who are wondering, YES, the fur is fake!! 

 

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We also got this.  An Omega 8003 juice extractor!  I’m excited.  We got this used (like 3 times so they say) on e-bay for less than 1/2 the price of a new one!  It’s still in the box and looks totally brand new!

 

Now it’s back to stuff as normal.  Frank will be doing the Mall thing early, it will be worse than Black Friday.  I’ll be teaching a yoga class in the morning (I am so ready to get back on schedule) and the kids will sleep in I’m sure.  Speaking of yoga, I’m blogging while I’m waiting on the Yoga Community group e-newsletter to go out!  I have to do the reminder…..the New Year’s Day Yoga Mala  2009.  We do 108 sun salutes to live drumming and Sanskrit chanting for charity and it’s really cool.  This year, we’re collecting food to replenish the food pantry after the holidays.  I think I’m helping in the chanting department this year, so it will be powerful, good fun!  It’s always an exciting event and we have a great turnout!  This year, we’re holding our event in the sanctuary of UU (Unitarian Universalist Church) it will be nice.  PA system already there, windows, carpet, small kitchen…….

The newsletter takes awhile.  There are roughly about 650 on our list.  I do it in small groups and probably won’t finish it tonight.  Doing stuff from home rocks.  After I hit send on the next big group, I can wash my face and head to bed and just let it roll. 

Hope your holiday was filled with family, fun, food and joy!


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Santa’s Coming……

I admit it.  I love Will Ferrell.  I do.  The film Elf is right up there with my favorite Christmas movies!  Christmas Vacation is still #1.

My brother, can do the best imitation of this scene ever!  I should’ve put it on youtube myself (my brother yelling “Santa’s Coming”) maybe next year. 

Also, there’s a girl that works at the Starbuck’s by my house that looks exactly like Zooey Daschnel.    When I see her, I always think of Elf and all the other cool movies she’s been in!


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Christmas Trees Around the World

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 The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the ‘Pathway of Peace’ represent the 50 U.S. states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gerrmany2‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree’: Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany‘s Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 A token of gratitude for Britain‘s aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London‘s Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid‘s two-week celebration makes
millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world’s biggest lottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost’s arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under  the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.

 

 

 

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 Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer Frankfurt‘s city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.

 

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Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic.  With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

 

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The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, PortugalThousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

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Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague’s Old Town Square, and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains in the southern Czech Republic.

 

 

 

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Before the ball drops in Times Square, the Big Apple turns on its holiday charm with the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

 

 

 

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In addition to the Vatican‘s heavenly evergreen, St. Peter’s Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.

 

 

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A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo‘s nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

 

 

 

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 Venice ‘s Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glasswork is home to the tallest glass tree
in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

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Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).


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12 Days of Christmas – A Little History

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

 

This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in
England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
 

 

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.


-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.


-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.


-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.


-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
  Faithfulness,  Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.


-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.


-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


This knowledge was shared with me today thru an e-mail and I found it interesting and enlightening. 

Now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington,Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.
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