In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


Leave a comment

My Journey in Photos

My beautiful niece Ava.  She’s six and way too smart for her own good.  While swimming in the gulf we saw some dude working out on the beach.  After his workout, he broke out into a dance.  Ava swam over to me and said, “Hey Aunt Kirsten, I hope that guy doesn’t capture me in his dance.”  Oh the hilarity, who talks like that?

Ava and my daughter Lauren at Pine Island Sound on the 4th of July right before we shot fireworks over the water.

Pine Island Sunset on the 4th of July.  Bugs were bad, seriously bad.

My dad’s bee hives.  We went on a rescue mission to Little Gasparilla Island while I was there.  The ferry ride was real nice.  The bees weren’t.  More on that later.

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren and Ava at Gracie’s Cup Cake Store at Bell Tower in Ft. Myers.  My sister works here on ocassion.  We got snacks, and they were really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bag of sharks’ teeth and fossils that I found walking the beach at mom’s.  That’s really all I like to do when I go there for a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing the beach already.  Until next year I guess.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Rested and Ready

I’m home.  18 days really flew by.  I know.  That sounds totally selfish.  A few days into my vacation, I came down with bronchitis.  I feel like it’s still lingering and I don’t like it.  I’m hoping it will disappear on its own.  I won’t wait too long to find out though.

My mom and dad headed out of the house with my kid on July 7.  They camped out and saw the shuttle launch on July 8.  I watched it on TV right before I headed to the airport.  And what a drive that was.  The drive is only about 1 1/2 hours from my mom’s.  But 30 minutes into the drive I ran into rain.  Not rain like we have here, but monsoon Florida rain.  The sky was incredible but I didn’t take any photos with my phone since I was driving and in these conditions, no way. 

Just as I paid my toll and was about to go across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, it started raining harder.  I drove over the bridge in a total white out only viewing the hazard lights of the car in front of me.  I’ve driven over this bridge many times before and it’s always been a scenic pleasure.  Not this time.  I had a strong grip on the steering wheel and I could feel my chest tighten.  I sat up a little taller, loosened my grip and tapped into my yogic breathing.  Life saver.  No one had to peel my hands off the wheel in the rental return lot at the airport.

It was still raining as I pulled the rental into the car return.  And I had a large suitcase, my purse, a laptop and a carry on.  Nice.  If I would’ve had an umbrella I wouldn’t have been able to hold onto it anyways.  I waded through ankle keep puddles with all of my luggage and stood in line to return the car.  After that I headed to the check-in line.  I had to pee but couldn’t because I had all of this stuff.

After I ditched my luggage I breezed through security and headed to the bathroom where I took off my sandals and dried them with the hand dryer.  One lady walked in and said she couldn’t believe I’d take my shoes off in a public restroom.  I told her I pretty much lived my life barefoot as I was a yoga teacher.  Several other people decided to dry their shoes as well.  I’m glad a few people thought I had a good idea.

My plane took off in the storm and I arrived to sunny Springfield right on time.  My kid is staying with my folks in the camper as they are traveling up north.  My daughter loves Billy Bob Thornton.  I know what you’re thinking.  I let my kid watch Bad Santa.  Not only that, we also watched Euro Trip as well.  How many kids can say they watched that with their grandma?  It’s all good, she’s smart kid and has a sarcastic sense of humor.  My kid called me today.  They are camped out in some small town in Georgia and get this.  A film is being shot at the place that they’re camping at.  Guess who’s there working on the movie?  Billy Bob Thornton.  My kid enjoying the trip of a lifetime with my parents until the end of this month.  How lucky is she?


Leave a comment

Antibiotics and Narcotics

Well.  I  ended my last post on Pine Island with Dayquil and hot tea.  I was hoping all I had was a bad cold, but nope it was more than that.  Lauren and I left Pine Island on Monday afternoon and headed back to mom’s beach here at Englewood. 

When I awoke on Tuesday morning I decided to head to a walk-in clinic in Venice.  I got there early and was only the second person in line.  I’d called our insurance company ahead of time and I can use this new insurance that Frank has anyplace with any doctor.  Wow.  I don’t even have a co-pay.  I got in right away to find that I didn’t have strep throat, I had bronchitis.  Nice.  I left with a prescription to Wal-Greens which is the place I use at home.  It also happened to be conveniently located not far from the clinic I just left.  I exited there with $18 worth of drugs in the form of a 5-day Z-pak of antibiotics and some heavy duty cough syrup that I’ve only been using at night. I know.  Go ahead and don’t believe me.

It stormed most of the day yesterday and I was pretty happy about that.  Later that same evening we took in a couple of movies that I hadn’t seen.  First we watched the Social Network.  I liked it.  Perhaps the star was a bit of a jerk, but he was also damn smart and a super hard worker while the others were – well out rowing boats (I know rowing a boat is hard work too) and going to parties.  Quite the driven dude if Imust say.  After that we watched True Grit.  I loved that and surprisingly enough my daughter liked it as well.

I took a short walk on the beach last night with my mom and my kid and inhaled the humid sea air.  I swear it’s better than any humifidier I’ve ever used.  We found several sharks’ teeth and headed home as it started to rain again.  I woke up today feeling the best I’ve felt in days so naturally I headed to the beach.  I walked too far.  Why you say?  Because when you walk a long ways you have to walk back.  I found some great teeth and fossils today and when I arrived back at the house I ate lunch and floated in the pool.

I’ve been a busy wizard with the jewelry wire wrapping sharks’ teeth and using up things I’ve been meaning to use.  Frank’s family has a huge auction at the big family reunion and my sutff goes fast and sells for decent prices.  It’s really fun.  All the money goes back into the reunion so I don’t receive any of it.

My sister and her daughter will come to Englewood tonight to spend a couple of nights.  I think we’re going on a picnic by boat tomorrow to our favorite sand bar.  One side is the Gulf the other the intercoastal.  There’s also a lot of sea urchins there.  It’s a secret.  I don’t want the Asian eateries boating over there.  Just kidding.  I have no idea really what the longititude and latitude of the place is.  On Saturday Lauren and I will head to Ft. Myers to get her hair cut by a girl with purple hair and lots of jewelry in her face.  After that we’ll spend another couple of nights on Pine Island.

Pine Island has a 4th of July parade every year on the actual holiday.  They’re totally old school VFW and I love it.  The kids will decorate a tandem bike and we’ll have a feast all day.  Of course we’ll do fireworks and Lauren and I will probably head back here late that same evening.  I’ll finish my week up here and then head home. 

Hard to believe how fast 18 days away from home can go.

Sorry for the lack of awesome photos.  I brought the old laptop and I can’t insert the card from camera directly into it.  Last year, someone from an online magazine in Ft. Myers contacted me and asked if they could use some of my photos.  I didn’t get anything for it, but I didn’t care.  It’s nice to know that someone took the time to view them.


Leave a comment

It’s Hot Down Here

I headed to Florida with my daughter Lauren for a few weeks last July and it was so great, that I wanted to do it again this year.  My husband has a new job this time.  He’s the Director of Public Safety at the Landing in Branson and he really likes it.  Summertime is really busy down there so he stayed home.  Our son is participating in off season track and he has meets every single weekend.  He’s an amazing athlete.  More about him, graduation and college later. 

My vacation actually started early with a quick and spur of the moment journey to St. Louis last weekend.  Someone in my family isn’t feeling too well.  He’s been hanging out at Barnes Hospital and hopefully he’ll be going home soon.  My mom flew in to St. Louis and I picked her up at the airport.  A few other family members showed up as well.  It was wonderful to see everyone, circumstances set aside.

We left Springfield on the 22nd.  Allegiant Air rocks and offers a straight flight into St. Pete.  We picked up our bitchin’ Ford Focus and hit the highway.  An hour and 15 minutes later we arrived at my mom’s.  My sister and her daughter were there when we arrived so we had some snacks and a couple of Stella Artois poolside.  I wasn’t feeling too hot.  Some time within the last few weeks, I’d been bitten by something.  The site screams spider and it was totally screaming by Thursday.  I’d purchased some “drawing out salve” before I left.  Have you ever used that stuff?  It looks like black tar and smells like it too. But hey, it worked.  Sort of.  Neosporin is pretty much kicking it now and I am so glad.  I really didn’t want to spend time sitting at a walk in clinic while I’m here.  But.  It’s not healed yet so we’ll see.

My parents invited their friends over for dinner on Thursday evening.  She’s from Cuba and came over on a 3-day boat ride.  Her husband is from Peru and oddly enough, they met in Oklahoma.  They have two adorable little kids.  The Cuban lady helps my dad do the whole bee rescue thing.  They went over to this lady’s house after dinner to check out her bee invasion.  Turns out the bees were actually yellow jackets.  No honey bees happening there.

The next day we hit Manasota Beach which is a hop, skip and a jump from mom’s place.  Like a 10 minute walk to be exact.  We walked down the beach and saw some bearded man, in good shape, working out.  After several rounds of push ups and what nots, he broke out into this ecstatic dance.  Maybe he didn’t receive the memo that the flash mob was canceled.  It was really funny but he seemed to be having a good time.  About this time, my niece Ava (she’s 6) swam over to me and said, “Aunt Kirsten, I hope that man doesn’t capture me in his dance!”  Who talks like that at the age of 6?  She does and she’s damn funny.

After a day at the beach, the pool and a few thrift stores, we loaded the Focus and shoved the kids in the car.  We arrived here on Pine Island (at Jeanine’s) Friday evening.  The mosquitoes are the worst I’ve ever seen in my life down here this time.  The planes have been flying over spraying who knows what for bug control.  It’s also much hotter this year. Extreme temperatures so we’ve been staying inside.  Last year when I blogged here from Pine Island I mentioned my sister’s workplace by name.  I also mentioned the fact that she’d sold me something from her workplace at cost.  Bad idea.  Don’t ever think that nobody reads your blog, because they do!  She was greeted at work with a hard copy of my blog a few days later.  It made for a crappy rest of the vacation as we walked on egg shells wondering if she was going to lose her job.  To make a long story short, she didn’t lose it, but did quit later. The merchandise she sold me was stuff she had purchased for herself that she actually had duplicates of.  It’s not like I walked through the store and picked out a bunch of stuff.  So know that pina coladas, corporate names and blogging are not a good combination.

We headed to town yesterday and hit Target and A.C. Moore.  We don’t have one of those at home and Jeanine always has great coupons.  The kids scored some indoor art activities and I got some things for jewelry.  I haven’t made any in a long time so I shipped all of my beads and things ahead of time.  We attend a large family reuinion the end of July and we raise money for the next reunion with an auction.  My necklaces with the sharks’ teeth always go the fastest and I have nothing to offer this time so I’d better get busy.

I think I got through this without the mention of any corporate names.  I’m drinking chamomille tea and taking Day Quil.  Better combination?  I guess so.

 


Leave a comment

Yoga On Venice Beach

My folks took the girls camping up north yesterday to be exact.  They’re up at Rainbow River Campground.  It’s a state park with crystal clear rivers and springs.  I think they might retrieve water for bottling from Zephryhills Springs or something like that nearby.  Today they floated the river for two hours in brightly colored inner tubes.  The water was a cool 72 degrees.  I would imagine that they all looked like fruit loops cruising down the river.  I can’t wait to see some photos from their journey.

I on the other hand am holding down the fort and the cats and the beach and the pool here.  I walked the beach yesterday morning and then floated in the pool with a great book.  I’m reading Freedom by Malika Oufkir.  I got it before I left town for $3 at the Dollar Store.  It’s a hard back book and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this woman.  I think she was on Oprah once and maybe I’d just forgotten about her.  Anyways her first book is called Stolen Lives and I tried to find it here, but can’t.  I’ll order it from Amazon when I return.  She’ s a good writer with a story worth reading that’s for certain.

Awhile back I gave up on paying $35 for a hair cut.  I’m keeping my hair short and frankly, I can’t really tell the difference between an expensive cut and a cheap one.  I got a great trim at Great Clips back home a few months ago.  My hair is pretty fried on the ends with all the swimming I’ve been doing.  Not just here, but from the massive doses of chlorine in the pool at the YMCA.  My hair actually looks OK with these bleached highlights.  Oddly enough, I’ve had several people ask me where I got my hair colored.  I just say it’s Loreal Ash Brown with YMCA chlorine, because it’s true.  Anyhow, with the beach wind, the salt from the sea and the chlorine here at the pool, my ends were almost completely white.  I found a Great Clips up the road.  When I got there I saw this funky grandma and I was hoping she would cut my hair.  And she did.  She used a razor for texture (thank god) and used words like chunky and piecey.  Thank you Great Clips for a $13 cut.  But the best part was this.  She informed me that every day on Venice Beach they offer free yoga.  Say Whaat?  Yep.  I went today and it was great.   There were around 25 people there.  An equal number of chicks and dudes and most were my age or older.

That’s our teacher in the sand.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man.  I wish I would’ve got a haircut the first day I arrived so I could’ve found out about this class much sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venice is a quaint little town.  On the way out, I took a few beach shots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I left the beach, I stopped under the bridge. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s an old train station there that now serves as a fully, functional bus stop. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bridge goes over the intracoastal waterway.  This is also the same location where we stopped to take shelter from the rain in the boat the day we got stranded. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think these condos are so pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I arrived back home and went hunting for sharks teeth at the beach.  I kicked my shoes off at the beach entrance just like you would in a yoga room.  I guess you could say the beach is God’s yoga room.  We have done our shoes this way for 20 years.  Not just us, but others do it as well.  Anyways, two hours later I returned to get my shoes and they were gone.  No way.  Are you serious?  Totally.  I wouldn’t have been that bummed except I just purchased them last week.  Jeanine took me to DSW Shoe Store in Ft. Myers to check out their Tevas.  I bought two pair and of course, I was wearing the prettiest pair yesterday.  No place has my size in the entire state of Florida.  After a massive search, I found the last pair of Teva Mush size 7’s in Oriental Electric Lime in the entire world. 

I hope the person that borrowed my shoes really needed them.  Or perhaps, someone thought they were abandoned.  I suppose they looked pretty lonely sitting there with no other shoes to party with.  Tonight when I go to the beach, I’m going barefoot.  I hate to carry my shoes and walk the beach, don’t you?


1 Comment

Spectacular Sunset

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

Manasota Beach.

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

I was seeing some serious spots after the photo session.

Love it.

Zoomed too tight, pink sky.

Beautiful.

Look to the left, or you’ll go blind.

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

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


Leave a comment

Today’s Find

The parents took Mady and Lauren to Busch Gardens today.  Why didn’t I go?  I’ve been there, it costs $75 to get in and it’s not very relaxing, that’s why.

I hit the beach by 8 a.m. and after an hour and half, this is what I found.  The teeth were harder to find today.  The last couple of days the beach has presented huge bars of shells, which is where a lot of the teeth get caught up.  With a little raking you can find what I’ve got below in a short amount of time. 

Today was a different story.  The shell bars were mostly gone.  What remained was no wider than one foot.  So, I had to resort to standing at the water’s edge.  I like doing it that way.  But it can also make me rather dizzy.  And you have to be fast.  The ocean gives just as quickly as it takes.  You might see the coolest tooth ever and then watch it be taken away just as fast as you saw it.

 

I also found a ton of mouth plates that belonged to stingrays.  They are pictured on the left in the photo above.  They’re like a little rectangle with slats in it.  I like finding those.  I also found a nice barb from a stingray, but my kid took off with it.  I’m sure it will surface sometime soon.   My folks have prehistoric horse teeth, and bones from mastadons as well.  I found a big bone this evening, but I don’t know what it’s from. 

I pick up almost everything that is black.  You might find a vertabrae from something, or a drum fish tooth.  Both of those items are round.  I like the way that the fossils can be different colors.  Some are black, some are gray and some are more of a brownish or orange in coloring.  It all depends on what color of sand the fossil has spent its lifetime in.  This area here has the largest contintental, coastal shelf, so that’s why the fossils are in abundance.  I know some people have found teeth in the rivers of the Carolinas as well.  But mostly they are found right here, where I’m at, right now!