In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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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.


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Spring Yoga Mala 2010

 

Spring Yoga Mala once again!  Join us on March 21, Sunday from 3:00 6 :00 p.m. at the Hammons Tower Club for 108 sun salutes!  We will move through 4 sets of 27 sun salutations with a short break between each set.  Instead of hangin’ out and snackin’ on the breaks, hydrate and join us as we break out in a Kirtan (call and response style).  Beth and friends will be chanting the Sanskrit mantras and Eric will accompany her on the drums. 

Curious?  Come check it out.  Do a sun salute, do 50, or just sit and meditate on the vibration.  Event is free with a suggested donation of $15.  All proceeds collected will be sent to Ramana’s Garden in India where a couple of yoga students are working right now!  Event is family-friendly and babysitting will be provided free of charge if you’re in need. 

This may be the only chance you ever have to wear your “day pajamas” in the Tower Club.  Physical address is 901 St. Louis Street, Springfield, MO.  

See you on the 22nd floor on Sunday! 

Sat Nam 


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Walnuts And Wind In My Hair

walnutvilleSo far this fall the weather has been really crappy for picking up walnuts.  But at the same time too much rain followed by a cold snap and a couple of warm days, allowed for me to gather a decent crop.  The bad news is that by the time I got our walnuts picked up and sold on Wednesday the price had dropped to a whopping $6.  That’s the lowest I’ve ever seen it.  They usually start off the month of October with a price of $13 or $11 for 100 lbs., then it usually moves to $8 later in the month.

The weather was amazing.  Nice and warm and dry with an awesome breeze.  I was able to soak up some much needed vitamin D since we hadn’t seen the sun for like 10 days!  After these walnuts were hulled, they weighed in at 954 lbs. and I received a check for a whopping $57.24.  Not so great.  Someone asked me the other day how many walnuts they’d have to pick up to make $20.  I told them an awful lot.  I picked all of these up (pictured) from our yard and from one tree next door on Sunday and again on Tuesday.  The bad news is our largest tree still hasn’t let go of her walnuts and the last day to sell is the 31st.

If you don’t really like to do manual labor outside and if you don’t like to get dirty, I highly recommend that you don’t pick up walnuts.  It can be a pretty nasty job.  But I don’t mind.  In our case it’s not just the selling them, it’s a matter of safety.  We have several trees and cannot mow or walk the dog unless they’re cleaned up.  I actually find the whole process to be very meditative. 

On another outdoor note, we did dig our sweet potatoes and the shallots before the big rain.  For having too much rain, a garden without enough sun and planting them a bit late, we didn’t fair too bad.  They’re really good too.   Mama Jean’s, eat your heart out.

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Our green beans also went totally crazy and so did our peppers of all varieties.  I’ve never had so many peppers in my life.  I’ve given away quart bags full and there are still a ton of green ones out there.  I have a nice bunch hanging to dry.  Chili peppers anyone?

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Our broccoli didn’t do anything at all.  It got tall, it got flowers and nice thick stalks but never produced anything worth clipping off.  Not enough sun, too many walnut trees.  Our asparagus produced one stalk and by next year, we should have a bunch.  The squirrels and raccoons pretty much destroyed most of our tomatoes, but all of my herbs faired very well.  Hopefully the mint will come back next year.  My sage is also loving this cooler, wet weather as it’s grown really tall the last few weeks.  I’ve clipped a bunch of herbs and given them away as well.  I had no idea that two Basil plants in the garden would get so big.  I usually grow the herbs on our deck.  I brought in some oregano and rosemary and potted them in a big pot.  Then I placed it in our bathroom.  It smells really nice when you get out of the shower now.  How did your garden grow?


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The Garden In Pictures

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Jackson loves to help me in the garden.  Help as in chewing the asparagus and rolling around in the dirt!

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Look at those sad sweet onions, this was after I weeded them.  There are three rows, too close together for the hoe, so I had to remove all the grass that had grown there by hand.  It was solid grass, the width of my yoga mat.  It actually looked pretty cool, but it had to go!

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Whenever I dig in the garden, I run across a lot of glass.  Mostly clear and brown.  I save all the pieces that are cloudy, a pretty color or the pieces that are earthenware.  I’ve uncovered some really unique pieces of old stoneware, mostly green in color.  Some have really funky textures.  Did people used to dump trash and bury it in our yard?  Who knows.

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Nice looking broccoli and basil.  I harvested the cilantro and arugula before I shot the photo.  They were both up above my waist.  There was so much, I had to give some away.

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Blue lake green beans, yum yum!  The thing about working in the garden, is you snack as you go.  I ate all the strawberries out of the box before I took this.

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A reminder that my cup really is half full.  If I still had the business on this coffee cup, I wouldn’t have this garden, or two solid days to play in the dirt!  Check out that sweet potato plant.

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Weed free for a day!  Sending a garden wave your way.


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Malasana Garden

shed-garden-21A few years ago on Mother’s Day, my family gave me the beautiful lily you see at the left.  I’m only around 5′ 3″ tall, and this lily is now taller than I am!  The main stalk of the plant is almost as large as a .50 cent piece.  It has multiplied and I have divided it up and given some of it away to others.  The lilies haven’t bloomed here in our area yet, that usually happens in June. 

We have extreme black dirt here at our house especially in the backyard.  This whole area used to be a farm.  Frank’s parents live right next door to us and they have lived there for 55 years!  Their house was built in 1924 and the house next to them, is even older.  Most of the homes on our street were built in the 50’s (including ours) so that left several years of open space for farming.  Years ago, Frank used to ask me to come over and see his horses.  My reply was usually, “You’re full of crap, you live in the middle of town.”  He wasn’t kidding.  Their farm was grandfathered in and they had horses and other critters here until the mid eighties.  I never came over to find out and I always thought he was full of it, until 19 years later when we reconnected.

Yesterday I finished the garden.  But I can’t say that’s true, as a garden is probably never finished.  So our line up is as follows:  Hybrid Tomatoes, Cayenne and Jalepeno Peppers, Asparagus, Broccoli, Yellow Sweet Onions, Blue Lake Beans, Sweet Snap Peas, Whopper and Jewel Strawberries, Arugula, Rosemary, Sage, German Thyme, Tarragon, Thai and Italian Basil, Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Oregano, Mint, Dill and two pretty pink Cosmos just for the heck of it!  I found some thin, old wood and dug a trench to make a wall to keep the strawberries contained.  The last two days have involved lots of squatting, hence the Malasana garden.  Malasana is the squatting pose in yoga.

I also picked up a new plant I’d never seen before.  It’s called Corkscrew Rush.  I usually don’t like to blow my money on annuals, but I couldn’t resist it.  It will add cool texture to my north side shade garden.  I haven’t taken a photo of it, as it’s been raining buckets since I finished planting yesterday, but here’s one I found online.  It’s a spiral and it feels pretty tough!  It reminds me of that stuff they dry and put in flower arrangements, and hey, maybe it is!corkscrew_rush2  I also blew a few bucks on some really pretty Geraniums and Gerbera Daisies for the deck.  I also bought some Fiesta Impaitiens (they’re pink and white with green and white leaves) for my shade garden.  I hope I can winter the Corkscrew Rush inside, it’s such a cool plant!

Another cool thing my in-laws used to keep on their farm were bees.  The last few years the bees have been back.  In fact, from my kitchen window the other day, I saw my 83 year old father-in-law, dressed in the bee garb pitching the tallest ladder ever (imagine wooden, rickety, old) against one of our walnut trees.  This didn’t look good.  He’d moved some bees into a hive a few days prior and I guess it wasn’t good enough for the queen, so they bolted.  He was going to “brush them down” with a broom.  Sounds like a bad idea to me.  Frank arrived home from work to head straight out back to help.  They ended up getting the chainsaw and getting the bees on the ground.  Good thinking.  I didn’t get a photo, but here’s one I took of bees from another time.

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This many bees weigh around one pound.  That’s a lot of bees.  And I’m not sure how many it takes to weigh in at that.  Frank’s dad now has 6 hives full of bees.  Maybe we can talk the guys into robbing them for honey this year, as we didn’t last year.   The bees will also pollenate all kinds of stuff in the garden as well as the great rash of wild, Black Raspberries that grow here as well as next door.

I went to yoga this morning and the rain was a nice backdrop for our class.  We didn’t do any squatting (Malasana) and I was pretty thankful.


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How Does Your Garden Grow?

north-side-3This will be the third year we’ve planted a garden.  Not a flower garden, but a food garden.  I have a few flower gardens.  The one pictured at left is from the year before last.  My blog header, is actually one of my gardens as well.  This garden is on the north side of our house and it’s in the shade.  That called for lots of hostas, perennial begonias, ferns, lilies and impatiens.  I can do flowers, I can.  The veggie thing is somewhat new to me!  The first year we planted a food garden, the squirrels literally ate everything.  I mean all of it.  We have lots of walnut trees, so we have lots of squirrels.  They ate the tops off of the sweet potatoes, they ate the green tomatoes, they destroyed the garden.  Last year we planted peppers between each tomato plant and guess what?  We got maters, that’s what! 

So tip number one.  Plant peppers, any peppers between each tomato plant to deter any critters.  This would’ve been nice to know, especially after I spent god knows what on different repellents!  We also have several mature trees in our yard which I adore, so this makes some serious shade near our garden.  I found by trial and error that leafy greens do really well in partial shade.  Corn on the other hand, sucked.  It needs sun!!  But we harvested some micro-corn last year and it was tasty, but small.

So this afternoon I planted 10 hybrid tomato plants, 10 asparagus crowns (that’s a new one for us), a bunch of yellow, sweet onions, snap peas (yum), some arugula and a row of broccoli.  The strawberries from last year have taken up another row and that’s a good thing.  I will have a hybrid of Jewel and Whopper strawberries this year!  Tip number two.  Buy some cheap netting and cover them up because the birds will eat them before you get out of bed in the morning!

Tip number three.  A good friend told me to get a couple of tires and stack them.  Fill them with mulch and plant potatoes in them, instant potato garden.  I have not tried this yet, but we intend to.  We can put the tires in any sunny spot in the yard this way!

Tomorrow I buy the pepper plants and get them in the ground.  Hopefully.  Our weather has been pretty much hit and miss for any yard work here lately, that’s for sure!  How does your garden grow?


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Wishing

moms-backyardThis is my mom’s backyard right now in Florida.  They’re all the time sending me pics like this, rubbing it in about how they’re freezing and it’s down to 60 degrees.  Give…..me……a……break!  Of course I love seeing these photos that they send.  I love flowers, gardening and spring time.  Which got me thinking about my new and cool spring time stuff.

 

 

 birdfeeder-and-jacksonFirst up, is this huge awesome bird feeder built by my dad (biological dad) who lives in the K.C. area now.  He makes these to sell as a hobby.  They had already reserved a space at the craft fair in Ozark this past October (my stepmom does beautiful floral work and I’m certain she made that green bow out of ribbon) and planned to peddle these bird feeders and her arrangements.  Anyways, they got sick and didn’t get to the show!  We lucked out and were given a bird feeder for the holidays.  It’s made of cedar and they sell for around $70 if you’re interested.  It’s a big bird feeder and I would like to put it out front, so I can see it through our huge picture window.  Jackson (the white cat) is pretty excited about it too!  I can just see him now, chirping at the birds and trying to jump through the window!! 

  

recycled-birdfeeder1Craft fairs have their share of crap, but when we did the one in Ozark (our first experience ever) I got a chance to leave our space and browse.  I love pottery, and there was lots of it!  I don’t necessarily dig country quilts, I cannot sew, but I have great appreciation for those who can, my sister included.  I ran across this tent with these sunflower things.  What in the heck is that?  It’s a bird feeder, it cost $16, and it’s made out of the side wall of a tire.  I watched the guy and his wife make these.  They took a tire, they had several side walls ready to go.  He would then scallop the edges with some sort of saw.  Some were flowers with pointed edges, some were rounded, some were larger, and some were smaller.  After that, they whipped out the spray paint, mostly using yellow, the underside is painted all green.  Then they spray-stenciled a little ladybug on the edge.  Next up was the soft screen center that they stapled in with a staple gun.  Then they hooked a chain on all three sides and brought it together in the middle with one of those heavy duty, plastic, no-slip ties.  Amazing!  What you see on mine, is the pulp from three apples and two pears after the kids juiced this morning.  Squirrels and birds, love it alike!

 gnomesI love garden ornaments and sculptures.  My favorite set of gnomes, was purchased at a garage sale.  Four gnomes, a mushroom and a snail to be exact, all made out of ceramic for $10.  They’re getting chipped, I didn’t even bother to bring them in this winter like I usually do.  Before Christmas, I was at Hobby Lobby gathering some stuff for the craft fair this year.  Almost everything in the store was 50% off.  Even the holiday stuff, it was wild.  Of course, I always get sucked into the garden decor, it was 1/2 off as well.  I got these two guys (made of resin) and this mushroom with bits of glass pressed into it, as it’s made of heavy ceramic.  Can’t wait to plant some stuff, but I guess I’ll have to be patient.  Just like I have been, while I wait for our big front porch/deck to appear, so I can landscape the front of the house!!

In time.