In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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The Best Chai Tea Ever

I made it through the week.  An entire week of teaching classes and getting back to some sort of normalcy here around the house.  This was after being away for 24 days.  I even made it to the pool to do laps twice and I didn’t feel like I’d taken any time off.  Bonus.  I did wake up one night around 1:30 a.m.  Frank was awake watching TV in the other room.  I remember walking down the hall and saying out loud that I felt like I was walking down my own hallway.  Duh.  I was.  I am glad that a nice, long vacation can mess with ones brain in this way.  Instead of complaining, I shall be thankful.  For sure.

I flew home last Friday only to leave again the following Friday, but only for the weekend.  Thank goodness.  I was just getting adjusted.  We headed to Bolivar, Missouri – Frank, Jordan and I to spend the weekend at a hotel for a family reunion.  I missed this shin dig last year because I was in Florida retrieving my kid.  This reunion of course is for Frank’s family.  We stay at a hotel for two nights.  The only hotel with a pool if I might add.  In Bolivar.  We spend our Saturday at the 4-H building eating and talking and eating some more.

This year the hotel has changed hands.  The previous owners knew all of us.  They had a lobby full of snacks and drinks for next to nothing.  You could microwave a bag of popcorn at midnight and drink a beer by the pool.  Not anymore.  The new owners are Indians.  As in India.  A lot of folks were frustrated because when they checked in, they couldn’t communicate.  Which in turn created an us against them attitude.  I’m sure this poor couple, in their mid 60’s,  felt like they were being squashed every time one of us blew in for a cup of coffee.  That was still free and so were the tiny little donuts.

Saturday morning I practiced yoga on a sidewalk that was sort of out of the way.  I had a nice little view of a garden, full of Indian herbs, beans and other things.  I wondered, did these people practice yoga?  But I would probably never ask.  Enter Frank.  If you know Frank, well, you know that he knows no strangers.  At times I find his friendliness to be a bit annoying actually.  Not this time.  This time I thanked him.

Fast forward to Saturday evening.  It rained a monsoon on that night.  The Indian owners had their vehicle stowed under the guest check in awning and again, some of the folks in our party were a bit peeved.  Me?  I told them I liked the sticker of Ganesha on the hood of their van.  They smiled at me.  Frank started a conversation with the Indian man as we were all enjoying some adult beverages in the lobby.  In the next few minutes Frank had the OK to take their barbeque grill out of the trash out back.  They were throwing it away.  They were regetarians.   This is when Frank asks him to taste this great sweet tea lemonade with vodka in it (Frank wasn’t drinking it, he rarely drinks anything ever) and the Indian guy says no.  He is a vegetarian, he consumes no coffee and no alcohol.  This is when Frank asks him if he practices yoga and he says yes, every morning at 5:30 a.m.  Uh oh.

I get invited to drink tea and practice yoga with the Indian guy and his wife the next morning at 5:30 a.m.  “I unlock the door early for you, OK?”  Don’t worry, it’s only 11:30 p.m. and I’m on my third glass of red wine.  No problem.   I can hardly sleep because I am excited and I’m a bit buzzed at the same time.  What if I don’t wake up in time?  Me?  Unheard of.  But this would be that one time that I would over sleep, I just knew it!   I got up at 4:45 a.m. and showered and seriously scrubbed my dirty feet.  I arrived on time in my pajama pants and the only t-shirt that I brought.  Ironically the only t-shirt that I packed, had an OM symbol on it.  The other tops I had with me were tanks and I wanted to cover my shoulders. 

He greets me as I remove my shoes.  He wore glasses and white, which is the only color I’ve seen him wear since I arrived.  His wife had long, pretty hair loosely tied back and she wore gray.  She also wore a red gem on her forehead.  The space we were in was small.  A tiny room behind the front desk area it was.  In the corner sat a full sized bed, neatly made with lots of blankets folded on it.  On the floor a big blanket was folded in a long rectangle about one foot wide.  This is where we sat.  We sat and were quiet for a few moments and were also interrupted a few times by the ring of the desk bell.  They turned on their television and told me that this is an Indian broadcast station.  Cool.  But the yoga class is not on on Sundays.  Not cool.  Instead a program on Auyervedics is on.  I’m all for that.  We watch some of these programs together which are in Indian and subtitled in English.  Some of them are actually in Indian and then spoken again in English.  We take part in some of the ideas or exercises that they are talking about.  His wife leaves to go put on the tea as he sees to a customer.  It is now 6:30 a.m. 

When she returns she hands me the best cup of Chai Tea I’ve ever had in my lifetime.  I am in heaven.  I ask them about their children, their life here and their life in India.  We talk about yoga, about holistic medicine and about God.  She says more than one time to me, “God is great.  He is called many different things, but there is only one God.”  I like this lady and I want to hug her.  We have some trouble communicating but as we get comfortable the trouble lessens.  We are laughing, we are smiling, we are crossing cultures.  We watch a Satsang and it’s beautiful.  They showed me a couple of traditional and modern Indian music videos as well. 

They offered to fix me breakfast but our group was meeting for food at eight.  Believe me, I’d rather have eaten with these people.  Not to knock our crowd, not at all.  It’s just that after that great cup of chai, I was wanting more.  I left shortly after seven thinking to myself –  I’m in Bolivar.  Missouri.  I just sat on the floor with some authentic Indian people.  I just watched Indian programming with them and drank chai.  In Bolivar. Missouri.  When I turned in our room keys, they smiled so big.  It was nice to see them this way.  They invited me back again and I left there thinking.  It would totally be worth the drive and the loot to head back down on a weekday to practice yoga with them.  Maybe I’ll just do that.

I guess if you really want to go to India and cannot go at the moment.  Perhaps India will come to you. 


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Three Days

At times I wish my family lived nearby but it’s also a blessing that they don’t. 

This provides the opportunity to take a little (or a big) trip in order to spend some time with them.  My dad lives in Centerview, MO out in the country on 8 acres.  I enjoy going there and doing basically nothing.  This last weekend the kids were out of school on Friday,  so I took my daughter Lauren and headed out.  She’s a great little traveler and I would guess it’s because she’s been doing it since she was born.  She packed her own stuff and was ready to head out while I was still enjoying my morning coffee.

My dad has a giant dog that she loves!  His name is Jack, he’s a Chow and German Shephard mix.

It rained the entire time we were there, so our planned trip to Powell Gardens was out.  What did we do?  We ate, that’s what we did.  I think I gained 10 pounds!  We made BLT’s for lunch on Friday, then headed to Warrensburg to the Copper Coyote for Mexican on Friday night.  Great food it was.  We also stopped at the grocery store on the way home from dinner and bought a small cheesecake and a bunch of candy.

On Saturday, it was still rainy so we slept in and made a huge breakfast that day.  They received a total of around four and a half inches of rain in about four days.  Later in the afternoon we made cashew chicken, Springfield style, for lunch and dinner.  It turned out really great!  Rhonda, my stepmom had a great recipe, she’s an awesome chef. 

On Sunday we ate cashew chicken and I made a Calomundin pie with the juice that I brought.  It turned out really great and it was something new and different for them to taste.  I left a bottle of juice for them so they could make another pie, or two or three.  We also planted a redbud tree that I had Frank dig up from our yard.  We have several wild ones around here, so if you want one, knock on the door.  Be sure to bring a shovel and a bucket to put it in. 

Even though the weather was not great, we had a nice visit and great food.  Thanks guys for a wonderful weekend.


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FREE Yoga on Tuesdays

This is a photo from my KSFX taping last week.  This nice lady pictured in Warrior II, is Susan.  She gave me the most beautiful journal for the holidays made with paper from a Lokta tree.  It’s so soft.  All I’ve done with it is run my hands over the paper.  I cannot wait to place a pen on that paper and see what it feels like to write on it.

The people in this class are amazing.  In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite classes of the week.  I never know what kind of crowd I’ll have and it’s a great, exciting energy.

You can view the full taping that aired on the news here http://ozarksfirst.com/content/fulltext/?cid=236501.

Peace Out.


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Headin’ North

Sometimes, you just have to get out town.  School was out last Friday, October 2nd so I grabbed my kid and headed to Centerview, Missouri (KC) to visit my dad and Rhonda.  I think she’s not that much older than I am.  But guess what?  My mom is married to someone who’s only 11 years older than me.  Age.  Makes no difference.  Everyone’s happy and that’s all that matters.  They live in the sticks on 8 acres and it’s pretty relaxing to just go up and hang.  Of course, if you have to go someplace, it’s a trek. 

I’ve wanted a Volvo S70 since 1998 when they came out.  Of course in 1998 they were a fairly expensive car.  And guess what?  I could’ve afforded one back then easily.  But I didn’t break down and buy one, though I should have!  I found a great one in Nixa.  But as soon as you find one, someone else nabs it.  Same story in KC.  I called about one and it was being sold as I asked questions about it.  We looked at one in Lee’s Summit.  Huge dent in the door, and another in Independence, only to find super high miles, mismatched wheels and bad interior.  I’m over trading my van.  I’ll keep it.  That is, until the right Volvo S70 presents itself to me.  And in time, the universe will reveal it.   End of car story.

We drove in to Raytown on Friday night.  Hit a place called Funhouse Pizza.  I will say the pizza there was incredible.  If you can stand a bar atmosphere, go.  If you can’t take those things, then definitely get take out!  I’m talking people smoking while they eat pizza, pitchers of beer being balanced and live karaoke all the way.  Some good and some really bad.   Before we left, this one girl (black chick) got up and belted her heart out.  I almost cried. It was awesome!  Here’s a photo of my dad, Lauren and their dog Jack on their back porch swing.  Don’t tell me I look like him, I already know that!

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Thanks for a super great and very relaxing weekend guys!  Love you both!


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Global Yoga Mala News

On Sunday, September 20, our yoga community participated in the Global Mala Project.  This was actually the tenth yoga mala that we’ve put on and with great success indeed.  That same Sunday, there was a lot happening in our town.  Cider Days on Walnut street, a Loft Walk on Commercial street and the MS 150 Bike Ride.  We had yogis that missed the mala because of their prior commitment to these other events.  But none the less, we still brought in $441 for Doctors Without Borders.  We’d been having some pretty gloomy weather and the clouds did part that particular Sunday as our event ended, allowing us to view a spectacular sunset.

Our next yoga event will be a Yoga Free Dance, at this same venue the Tower Club.  Hopefully, we’ll have a wide variety of live musicians participate, engage in some chanting and just have an all around good time.  This should happen some time in November.  After that, it’s back to the UU Church for the New Year’s Day Yoga Mala, our largest ever as people renew their commitment to the practice at the beginning of the year.

I’m off to lead my FREE yoga class.  The response is huge and the crowd is awesome.  I so look forward to my Tuesday mornings.  View a complete mala photo album here.

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Enjoy the day.


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GLOBAL YOGA MALA

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Global Yoga Mala

September 20, 2009

5:00-7:30 p.m.

Hammons Tower Club

901 St  Louis St., Springfield, MO

Join us in a charity celebration as we cruise through 108 sun salutes for Doctors Without Borders.

We will move to the vibration of live chanting and drumming as we take in 27 sun salutes followed by a short break.

Do all 108, or do few.  Sit.  Meditate.  Chant.  Reflect.

Babysitting will be provided.  Please bring a finger food to share if you wish.  Otherwise, bring your own mat and bare feet.

Watch the movement of the sun over the Springfield skyline.  Meet like-minded people.  Renew your commitment to yoga.  Get involved.

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For more information visit www.bowstudios.com or contact Kirsten at 417.830.9528


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Secret Lake

My husband has access to a secret lake not too far away.  Today was a beautiful day so after I got home from teaching my yoga class, he asked me if I wanted to go shooting.  I always laugh as he knows I don’t really care for guns.  I said, “No thanks” and he replied with, “I meant you and  your camera.”  I grabbed my camera and he loaded several guns (for himself to shoot) and off we went.  The gate at the property is locked with a giant padlock.  My husband and others use this land to hunt, fish and shoot guns.  There’s a good sized lake out there as well.  It was built in the 50’s.  None of this can be seen from the road.  One has to have a four wheel drive to even think about entering.  It’s awful.  Awful like your head bounces up to hit the headliner in the truck.  More than once.  Big ruts, crevices and steep hills with the added crossing of a creek all before you hit the lake.  Then you arrive.

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I don’t know who built this chair, but I love it.  It’s sturdy and stuck into the ground.

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While he was shooting his assortment of ammunition that he’d reloaded himself, I took a huge hike.  Some people have built little shacks with smokers and what not for hunting in the cold weather.  Some people have just brought in sheds (I would’ve liked to have seen how that happened on this type of terrain) and some people went all out and have sweet little house like cabins with docks and the whole bit.

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I think there’s like 180 acres out there, it’s quite a large space. 

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My husband said this is called Goldenrod and supposedly it means there will be frost six weeks from when it blooms.  To that, I say duh.  It will be October.  Might be a chance of frost ya think?  Old timers are interesting. 

 

  

I spent lots of time looking for different kinds of insects, flowers and wildlife.  Got some great shots of funky spiders and webs.  I saw lots of flowers, but not much in the way of wildlife.  I wonder if the noise from the shooting of guns had anything to do with that?  I think so.IMG_0694

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All in all, a perfect end to August.

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