In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Blessed By A Bat

The new place has a pet door. The old place didn’t. I have two dogs and I had three cats. One of the cats decided to leave here after one week. I am still sad about that but there’s nothing I can do about it. At the old place we had no fence around our yard, so the dogs had to go out on a leash. Sadie the cocker spaniel is a very leashable-walkable kind of dog. Eleanor the some kind of bird dog/chihuahua is not. She’s very zig zagable and jumpable though!
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You can totally imagine the time they had when they first arrived here. They almost didn’t know what to do. But once they figured out they could go in and out at their leisure we had it made. After a few days here one of the animals brought me a dead rabbit. A dead rabbit into the kitchen. It didn’t have a head. Nice. I’ve been graced with 2 drowned mice during the rains we had and a whole bunch of baby birds. One night about 4 a.m., my cats had a full grown robin in the laundry room. No more. I was done. The animals were to be locked out here in the back office/porch with their dog door and their kill. That lasted about 4 whole hours. The dogs whined and barked the entire time!   It’s been over a week now and they have not brought any animals in the house. I’m guessing because there’s nothing else out there to kill.
Early yesterday morning, my parents took off with their camper back to FL. They left around 6 a.m. I went into the laundry room and noticed a BAT high above my cabinets close to the ceiling. Great. What do I do now? I had to go to work. I got the litter box and all the animal food out of there and shut the door. I figured the bat would still be there when I got home. And it was.
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I have two huge windows in my laundry space, so I took the screen off of one window, raised the blinds and opened it from the top. I got a great seat on the deck with a glass of wine at dusk and waited for the exit. It was cool to watch her spread her wings. I guess she was getting warmed up for the flight. She made a few practice flights, but never hit the opening. Great. What do I do now? It was too dark for me to view her anymore, so I gave it up and went inside. I considered sleeping with that window open but you know, I’m on the north side. It would’ve totally been fine and I think I would’ve done it if I had to! But around 12:30 a.m. (bat hour) I peeked in the utility area. I cracked the door, I flicked on the light. No bat, that I could see anyways. Still afraid she might be there, I shut the window and locked it. Then I shut the utility room door as well.
I slept and checked the space again in the morning. No bat. But I have lots of clutter in there due to the move and the garage sale that I just had. I shut the space up just to keep the animals out of the bat space in case she was still around. After work today I felt positive that the bat was gone. I am doing laundry as I write this and lots of it. That little critter but a damper on my clothes cleaning party last night for sure.
How she got in I’ll never know. I’m having someone check the attic for bats just to be sure there’s not an entire colony up there.
I feel blessed by the bat. They’re cool animals and often arrive in times of transition. I feel that’s just why this one came to visit. Have a safe flight my friend.

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HOME

Whoa. Has it really been this long since I blogged? I guess it has been. I think when you’re unhappy or too focused on something, that you actually quit doing the things you love. Enough said. That’s what happened to me. I slowed way down on yoga. I quit blogging entirely. I focused on where I wanted to be and what I needed to do. I said it out loud to people that I knew. The universe finally dropped it in my lap. Sort of. Not without my help of course. It has been exhausting.

I think I have a ten year attention span for things. Things like jobs. Things like relationships. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m done trying to figure it out. All I know is that where I was – was where I didn’t need to spend the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t a bad, dark, evil place. I just knew in my heart I needed and wanted something different. And I got it. Finally!

You may remember I cleaned a movie theater for an entire year or more. It sucked but it got me the money I needed to be where I am right now. I’ve had a dream of owning my OWN place for a very, very long time now. And I’m happy to say that – that time is pretty much now. For as I write this, I pen from my computer on my OWN sun porch in the house that I bought with my own blood, sweat and tears. Nothing has felt more complete. Huge stress on the nothing, that’s for sure.

I’ve been on a house search for years now. A secret house search that my husband was unaware of. I know. I’m terrible. I knew what kind of place I wanted to live in. I knew how I wanted to live. The place I landed at with him just wasn’t cutting it. In more ways than one. So. I saved some cash. I got a full time job that doesn’t pay super great, but it pays enough. I don’t need nor do I want a lot anymore. I like simplicity. Food. Shelter. Gas. You get my drift.

A few years ago I found a house. I loved it. My parents had this great realty lady. She showed me the home. I told her my yoga income and all the sources from which it came. Not a happy thing. So. I kept looking at homes. I kept searching for a full time job. I got the job. And in March of this year, I got the house. It had been listed for two whole days. I’d been getting extremely antsy. I wanted to move. I wanted a bungalow that wasn’t too old. One that wasn’t too big. One that didn’t need too much work. I wanted a garage. A fireplace with windows on either side and a pretty, but small kind of yard. Too much too ask? Pretty much. I started looking at houses openly once I told my husband of my intentions. So with my daughter in tow, we looked. We looked in great hoods, we looked in bad hoods. I was about to give up. And then I told her this. I told her we will find a place just for us, in a place that we never considered living. It will have everything we need and everything we want. She rolled her eyes and pretty much told me we would be moving to the ghetto.
I laughed and seriously thought she might be correct. I thought about getting a gun and the permit that would be necessary to carry it in one of those purses we sell at my work. I hate guns.

We found a house. It was on the NORTH side. OMG I know. How would I deal with the flack? How could I leave my lovely, clicky neighborhood of Phelps Grove Park? Easily. That’s how. It just felt fantastic from the get go. The house had everything I wanted with the exception of a fireplace with windows on both sides. But it does have a gas fireplace which I have learned to use and totally love!
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It was spur of the moment. We were out looking at several ranch style homes in the center of town in the school district that we needed. I said I’d like to view this one so I can forget about it because it’s on the north side…lol. Off we went. It was perfect. Then the realtor said, “What a shame, it’s such a pristine property, I can’t let you live over here with your daughter all alone.” OK. The street’s a bit janky. There are about 5 homes on this street that are vacant. But you know what? It’s freaking quiet as hell. Long story short she finally said, “Let’s walk.” So we did. First house we hit was a dude wearing a bathrobe. He was smoking on his front porch at 2 p.m. Child molester? Probably. Turns out he was a bartender at Parlor 88 where she’d had a party a few weeks ago and he remembered her. He had just got out of bed. OK. Good sign. Let’s walk some more. So we did. We met several folks, most elderly and most had lived here for like 45 years. Rock on. We sat on the couch in the house, we checked the crime reports. Pretty much about the same as the hood I was leaving. My thoughts were, we’re buying the house. And so we did.

We’ve lived here for almost one month now and I don’t think I’ll ever get unpacked. I have a shop out back that measures 18×30 so that pretty much takes care of all the clutter. I have a carport and an attic. I have a fenced in yard and dog door for my animals. I have a garden shed with skylights and a beautifully landscaped but small enough to take care of kind of yard. I have hardwoods and carpet and an awesome bathroom and kitchen as well as a big front porch. Built in 1954 when ranches were a big deal, but it looks like an older bungalow. The place was completely remodeled in 2009. How lucky are we?

I think when we say things out loud they are more apt to come to us. No lie. I did a lot to help this along the way, but I also put it out there into the universe. I waited. I worked. I saved. The people that lived here before me had a lot of crystals, rocks and books on Reiki. I told Lauren that I thought that these were “our people” and oddly enough she agreed. She’s 16 and she’s probably smarter than I give her credit for.

So. If you’re not afraid to travel through the ghetto to the “north side” stop by and clink some glasses on my back deck, front porch or kitchen. Life is amazing when you just let it unfold. Cheers.


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The Fox & The Ground Hog

We do not live in the country.  Heck we don’t even live on the outskirts of town.  We are located on a busy street and yes, we have a creek out back and lots of trees but the wild life over here is crazy sometimes.  We share our yard with families of ground hogs every year.  This is the first year they’ve burrowed under our shed.  That totally drives our dog crazy.   

I’ve seen foxes now and then, but this year we have an entire family.  I’ve seen one big one and two smaller ones.  They do make a terrible sound and if you’ve ever heard one then you know what I mean.  Foxes actually sound like a wounded woman yelling for help.  It’s bone chilling.  But I don’t think they’re going anyplace and I think they’ve made friends with the ground hogs.  Check it.

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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.

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WOLF School Is WOW

When my daughter was in 5th grade back in 2009, she attended WOLF (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) and it was a great experience for our entire family.

2009 was the first year that this conservation based school was in business.  The classrooms were located in the old K-Mart building just West of Bass Pro.  They didn’t have a playground.  They had a parking lot.  They didn’t have a lunch room.  The lunches were catered by Parkview High School and they ate their lunch on the floor.  The kids didn’t care they loved the school, the field trips and the teachers.  One of which is still teaching there and the other?  Unfortunately moved on.

Fast forward to now and if you live here, I’m sure you’ved noticed serious construction at the corner of Sunshine and Campbell.  We live extremely close to this intersection so getting Lauren to this school was no problem for us.  WOLF School is now located in a brand new building and it is totally amazing!

We attended the Grand Opening last Thursday evening.  Lauren still volunteers when she can and it’s getting harder with school activities.  She does travel most of the summer with my parents as well.  But we do our best to get some hours in.  After school is out most of the time.  My yoga teaching requires me to be at work when she could be attending animal handling classes.  Lauren had already been inside the new shcool once.  She attended a lock-in prior to the public opening. 

This is the Grand Hall or the entry way.  The classrooms are on the left and are completely secure.  The green wall at the end of the hallway will be removed eventually.  This will allow a connection to the Bass Pro retail store and the WOW museum.  Basically the school will be open to the public so hence for the secure location of the classrooms.  Each area has a neat diorama by the door that features the theme.  So there’s a River Room and so on. 

The classrooms are really cool too.  They have neat stuff on the ceilings just like the Bass Pro store.  One room has the experience of water and a cave system.  One room has grass and flowers like the plains.  Of course there’s no lack of taxidermy and other outdoor gear on the walls as well. 

The ceilings in the main hallway and in the convention rooms are beyond high.  Just massive and beautiful.  The  convention room has a beautifully painted wall mural of the outdoors that was still in progress.  I believe the speaker said it will also feature a real waterfall too.  The gigantic chandeliers in that space are covered with what looks like animal skins.  Real ones?  Probably.  The concrete floors are embedded with animal tracks and the bathrooms?  No mirrors and the stalls appear to be metal with scenes of the outdoors overlayed into them.  And they also have gorgeous stained glass windows and a big round stainless system for handwashing like 6 kids at one time.

While wondering about Harry Potter came to my mind with the dark, thick wood and stone in the architecture.  My favorite space was a big room with big round tables.  The West wall houses the biggest stone fireplace that I’ve ever seen.  We attended the Awards Banquet this week and enjoyed a really nice dinner in this cozy space complete with the fireplace roaring.  The walls are adorned with vintage photos (big ones of course) of the Morris family on outdoor activities. 

Once the place is landscaped the kids will have a playground.  A place for archery.  A fully stocked fish pond where they can fish, clean and cook fish.  The yard will also feature a nature trail with native plants and a cave.  Heck.  They might not need to go on field trips as everything will be in-house.  Was my daughter jealous to see all of this?  Not really.  She mentioned how her class was the first class and they were the pioneers.  I do feel like chances of getting into this great program will be harder now because the building is so incredibly cool.  But if you have a child entering 5th grade, I highly encourage you to apply.  We feel honored to have had this experience and very lucky to be part of such a beautiful new space.


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Captain Fantastic

I feel very lucky to have been raised in a house filled with music.  My mom played the accordian, my brother and my sister both played the piano and I played the violin.  From early on we listened to a lot of music at our house.  And from early on we listened to lots of different kinds of music.  Country was minimal, though we watched a little Hee-Haw and some Porter Wagoner.

We had one of those cool stereos that hung on the wall.  It was like a cabinet and when you flew the doors open they turned into speakers and the turn table dropped down.  We had a ton of records and we played them quite a bit.  I remember listening to Johnny Cash, the Eagles, Jim Croce, America, Simon & Garfunkel, Carly Simon, The Beatles, James Taylor, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Gordon Lightfoot, the Rolling Stones and Elton John.

I think the first time I saw the Captain Fantastic album I was in my uncle’s bedroom in Minnesota.  He had the coolest room ever.  It was located in the basement at my grandma’s and it was a pretty decent sized room.  Someone in the family was in the carpet business so the shag carpet in his room was all different colored squares.  Remnants I guess, but it rocked.  It was also really dark down there and pretty private.  I don’t think he liked us in his space but we felt pretty cool when we were invited in.  He had beaded curtains, lava lamps, a chess set made of stone and lots of record albums.  He also took me to see my very first rated R movie (I know he didn’t want to take me) which was American Werewolf in London.  Man I thought I was pretty uptown cool on that night.

Anyways back at my house in Missouri, my mom was in love with my now step-dad and he was in love with Elton John.  Hence Elton was turned on the table quite a bit in our household.  It was announced that Elton John would be coming to town on April 16 and the tickets would go on sale on March 19.  Great, I was going to go to that concert!  I thought so anyways.  Sadly, my plane to Sedona would be in the air when those tickets were unleashed.  I had someone try to get them for me, but it didn’t work out.  They told me through Facebook while I was in Sedona that I could still purchase a ticket online.  I quickly logged on to find that they were all sold out.  It was all good, it just wasn’t meant to be.  I got home from my wonderful trip to Sedona and the South Rim and decided to look on Craig’s List for an Elton John ticket.  Whoa.  People were wanting to sell their tickets for ridiculous amounts.  I was not going to pay more than $200 for one and that was too much if you ask me.  Remember.  I’m a yoga teacher. 

I decided to place my own ad on Craig’s List which plainly stated that I wanted a ticket to Elton John within ethical reason.  I immediately had folks e-mailing me their phone numbers.  I made a few calls to find out these folks were taking names and dollar amounts.  The tickets would go to the highest offer.  Whatever.  I only wanted one ticket.  Just one.  I left my ad up and on the second day of April , I was out walking at Close Park.  I had my phone with me and I can receive e-mail on it.  I heard my phone buzzing and almost ignored it.  But I was glad I didn’t.  Some kind soul had just sent me an e-mail that the arena had just released several single seats and that I should not have to pay scalper’s prices.  I didn’t get too excited.  This was Craig’s List and I’d been down this road already.

I finished my walk and when I got home I decided to call the JQH arena.  Low and behold the nice person that had sent me that e-mail was correct!  They had tickets and they weren’t the crappy ones.  The tickets were selling for $30, $80 or $139.  I scored an $80 ticket, no price inflation.  The night of the concert I downed two glasses of wine and walked over there.  I stopped to take some photos of the beauty along the way.

This was my fist time inside the new arena and it’s pretty nice.  I don’t think there’s a bad place to sit in this new arena if you ask me.  I took three photos at the concert with my phone and enjoyed myself thoroughly. 

Elton sang everything that I wanted to hear as well as three new songs that I wasn’t familiar with.  He played for almost 3 hours straight.  There was no warm up band.  He still has his original drummer from like 1969 or something and a guitar player from like the early 70’s.  The arena also had two jumbo screens so the close ups of his hands on the piano and facial expressions were really neat to see.

Afterwards I joined the sea of people on the yellow brick road on the way out.  The air outdoors was nice, the moon was full and the sky was clear.  I pretty much walked home before half of the people made their mass exits from the parking lots.  I can now cross this entertainer off of my list.  Great Saturday night that included no fighting for sure.


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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?