In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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New Year’s Day Hike

I love to walk. 

As a matter of fact, if I’m out in nature I could probably kill an entire day. 

But I didn’t have an entire day on the first day of 2011, so I killed a couple of hours.  The Nature Center is a great place to go.  The place was actually closed, but everyone pretty much parks beyond the gate and scales in anyways.  Me and about 3 other people that is, because that’s how many I came into contact with.  What a quiet day.  The deer were tame, the birds were plenty and the landscape was serene.  It was a pretty cold day but that didn’t bother me.  Not until I realized I’d left my fingerless gloves in the car.  The ones that my mom got me on her trip to New Zealand.  My hands got a tad cold toting my camera.  But I was able to shoot several photos none the less.  For those who haven’t seen them on Facebook, enjoy.

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Amazing Nature

Nature.  It never ceases to amaze me. 

I found this praying mantis on our deck last week. 


She accidentally stepped into the edge of this web, owned by this spider.  It was also accompanied by two huge egg sacks.  I watched her struggle for a little while.  Meanwhile, the big spider didn’t even know she was there.  Her web was very big and the praying mantis was stuck in the part that was attached onto the deck railing.  IMG_1267

She was able to free herself and if not, of course, I would’ve helped.   Afterwards, I watched her cruise away.  At one time she turned her head to look at me.  Probably because I practically had my lens touching her head.  I’ve got a nice blurro shot of her alien-like face against a clear background.  Still working on the use of the macro on the new camera.  I’ll figure it out soon.

On Sunday, October 25th before heading to the yoga retreat I noticed these jet streams that had crossed one another.  They made a huge X pretty much dead center in our picture window.  My camera was at the studio, so I told Frank to grab his.  Isn’t this cool?  This was taken around seven or so in the morning, facing east.


The day before yesterday, I was up early as I have been lately because my body goes by the the sun.  I don’t adjust well to daylight savings time and neither do our animals.  So at 4:30 a.m. I’ve been up feeding them because they know it’s 5:30 a.m.  The moon was huge out back and the yard was flooded with light.  So what the heck.  I grabbed a cup of coffee and my camera.  I took this around 6:00 a.m. and I love it. 


The trees look so spooky and the moon is so bright.  I took several, but this one where the zoom is tight is the best.  I love this time of year.


Taking It Easy

This past week has been a full one.  We had middle school open house on one night, and another evening was spent shopping for dress attire for our son.  He was headed to Homecoming which happened last night.  I’m not much of  a shopper and in fact, possess zero fashion sense, but I think we did OK.  My sister actually called while we were out shopping.  I totally needed her to be there at the time, but since she resides in Florida, that wasn’t an option.  She knows what to buy, how to wear it and where to shop.   His date was wearing black and white and they had ordered yellow flowers.  I haven’t seen her photos yet.  Frank had to work late last night, and I have a killer cold, so we didn’t get over to her place for the massive parental photo shoot. IMG_1217







The weather yesterday was amazing.  I came home from yoga to find this butterfly on the hummingbird feeder.  I grabbed my camera and got a few shots.  One of her wings was quite tattered.


 A few minutes later I found out why.  My cat Jackson, jumped out of no place, grabbed the butterfly and made a snack out of her.  Ah, the circle of life.








I also heard screeching birds later that same day.  In the walnut tree I spotted a Tufted Titmouse hanging upside down as she pecked away at a web.  I’m assuming she was after the insects or worms inside.  I love these little birds.  On the other hand, I don’t really enjoy the sounds that they make.  They’re smaller than a Cardinal, but larger than a Chickadee.  I like the little crest on their head and their soft, pastel coloring on their underside.  They usually travel in groups of at least two.








A friend called me to sub a yoga class this morning, but unfortunately I am unable to help.   I’m also missing Yoga on Trail this nice morning, which was my original plan.  I was really looking forward to it.  Yoga in the morning, outside on the Iron Bridge at Springfield Lake.  All the money raised went to the Greenway Trails.  And they were able to secure two matching grants.  So if I showed up and gave $15, that turned into $45.  I was also looking forward to picking up the walnuts, we’ve already got a ton on the ground.  So far, I’ve had the stomach flu and now an upper respiratory infection.  After this, I’m taking a flu shot and hopefully done being sick until next winter!  This cold is kicking my butt, so it’s time to put in a movie, have some soup and hang out on the sofa.

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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.








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


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.








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


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















All in all, a perfect end to August.



Fender Benders, Hamsters & Yoga

This has been a crazy week.  Totally crazy.  I’m talking about last week, that started on Thursday for me.   Frank has been on vacation and my dream was to finish the details in our kitchen that we remodeled two years ago.  After some serious moving of electricity (because I wanted a light switch on a different wall) that took most of the day on Thursday, we now have over head directional lighting.  It’s awesome, I love it.

 Two hours later we heard a loud thud outside.  Another transformer blown?  Someone else have an accident at the intersection?  Nope.  It was our son who had just ran his truck into the telephone pole in front of the church across the street.  Nice.  He’s been driving all of two months.  The road takes a little jaunt there and the curbing is all broken as people hit it all of the time.  We place the hubcaps that people lose when they side swipe the curb out against the street sign poles hoping they’ll see them on their way home from work.  Our son didn’t recover from the curb.  He hit the pole which sits an amazing two inches from the curb.  To make a long story short, he purchased part of a truck just like his for $300.  Together, father and son rebuilt the front end, tie rod ends and whatever else you need to steer a vehicle.  This took 4 days, and they just finished a few hours ago.  Amazing.  He can drive himself to school.

Our daughter attended a sleepover the other night.  The girl had two hamsters to unload.  Can I say no?  Nope, not good at it.  Never mind that we already have 3 cats, 1 dog, a fish tank, an alligator gecko and some hermit crabs.  What’s another thing to care for?  She’s in love with the hamster, completely.  I let her keep one.  She carried the cage around all day long outside, next door, or she kept it on the couch next to her.  Fast forward to 3:50 a.m. when our white cat,  Jackson decided to knock the cage off of her desk onto the floor in her room.  Lovely.  Hamster litter, busted up pieces of plastic cage and my child standing there wide eyed, with a death grip on a hamster.  Not exactly what one wants to view at 3:50 a.m. on a Monday.  I did not go back to sleep, I was wired and I will say I was angry.   When Lauren woke up the next morning, the fun began as we cruised pet shops for a new habitat.  I wanted her to have something easy to clean.  The easy to clean cages are not cheap, but it’s done.  Over with.  Hamster (Priscilla) has a happy home.





I still have no kitchen floor, no front on my bar and unfinished trim in my kitchen.  Priorities I know.  We’ve been having incredible weather for August, and I spent the beautiful Sunday morning at a wonderful yoga class, at a center where I’ll be teaching a class that starts this week.  I also spent some time on our deck, with my camera capturing hummingbirds.  This one is my favorite.




Travelin’ Fool

I came home from Eureka Springs on Wednesday only to leave again on Friday.

This time it was to the exciting town of Bolivar, Missouri for the Kukal Family Reunion.  This shin dig only happens once every two years for my father-in-law’s side.  My mother-in-law on the other hand, has a family reunion every single year, in the same big town of  Bolivar.  I’d never been to Bolivar before I met Frank.  Several of his relatives live on farms so that’s always on the agenda.



I didn’t grow up on a farm nor did I ever spend any time on or around a farming community.  Frank’s aunt has a lovely, huge garden where she grows the best sweet corn ever.  Of  course she grows all the other good stuff too.  Sporadically throughout her garden she’s planted beautiful flowers.  I just got a new camera and this was my first venture with it.  I had a great time with the macro option.IMG_0121  I took all these with the auto settings.  Need to read up on the manual stuff.










For lunch we met at a church.  Around the church, I looked for things to take pictures of.  I found a wasp nest, a bunny and some baby birds. 









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I spent a lot of time playing with my new camera and reading a book.  I’m not an anti-social person.  But, I am five years new to this family and when every one has known every one since they day they were born…..well, you get the idea.  I will miss the next reunion the end of this month as I’ll be in Florida.  Hopefully taking lots of great photos with my new camera that I will have learned much more about.  Until then, it’s back to the regular grind until July 21st.


Easy Sunday

We did have some weather yesterday.  Weather in the way of cold, nasty rain.  It later turned to sleet and then to snow!  I don’t mind March snow, it doesn’t last long. 

I went to yoga at 8:30 this morning.  A class just for me.  No thinking, no teaching, no trying to remember anything that I might take to one of my classes.  Nope, none of that.  It was awesome.  The only part that wasn’t awesome about the morning, was the getting in the car part.  My car sits outside.  It was pretty much iced over, but had begun to melt.  Fast forward to this afternoon. 

The day was sunny and bright and the kids wanted to go to our nature center, so we went.








On the left, is my niece Hannah, she was hanging out next door with granny today.  Lauren (my daughter) is in the center and Jordan (son) is on the right.  We saw some deer, chipmunks, some turkey, lots of birds.   Jordan even got a close up photo of a pretty good sized frog!  Lauren skipped her first rock today.  She was ecstatic!  Jordan can skip them for miles, the discus thrower that he is.  Hannah has a hard time skipping, but she didn’t really seem to care much about it.

There’s Lauren on the left and there’s me on the right.  This was taken at my favorite part of the trail, where the creek takes a deep curve or a bend.dsc00575  The water gets deeper, it’s very clear and you can usually see lots of fish!  It was up quite a bit, due to the moisture we’d just had.






We spent a couple of hours out there which isn’t hard to do! 

Spring break is now over.  Back to school for the kids tomorrow and back to adding three more classes to my week!  I’m glad.  I like my yoga schedule and feel that’s it’s more than just a net for catching days!