In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Open Windows

This past Thursday was my first day without teaching a yoga class, or classes in 10 days!  The cold or whatever I’d had was finally on the way out, it took forever.  I really missed swimming, but I made it two days this past week and I didn’t feel like I’d fallen too far behind. 

The weather has been absolutely amazing and Thursday did not disappoint.  I headed out into the yard by 9:00 a.m. and loved every minute of it.  My flower garden on the north side was a disaster of debris.  I ended up using the lawn tractor and trailer most of the day and hauled off 12 loads down back.  I also chucked the 16 milk crates of walnuts that I didn’t get a chance to sell.  Bummer on that deal. 

Jackson, the white cat, is loving this weather as well.  He was outside with me all day and spent a great deal of his time lounging in the pear tree.  That pear tree needs to come down, most of it is dead, but here’s why we can’t cut it down just yet. 

Half of it still blooms and produces pears.  It also smells so good and it’s so pretty.  The pears are small and not really that edible.  The squirrels usually destroy them before they get a chance to do anything.

My hibiscus tree also popped one flower open yesterday!  I think it really enjoyed that steady rain that we received all day on Friday.  I liked the rain as well.  Nothing like a rainy, chill out kind of day after you’ve spent 10 hours in the yard.

The visit with my family went great.  My parents showed up with a ton of grapefruits as they always do.  Mom even attended 3 of my yoga classes and we gave a bunch of grapefruits and jars of calomundin marmalade (that she’d made) away. 

She also brought me 5 gallons of calomundins.  That took us a couple of hours to process.  There were four of us working.  First you have to cut them in half and remove the seeds.  Then after you’ve done that, you can squish them through a collander to juice them.  But we used my juice extractor instead.  We made a calomundin pie before they left to see how it turned out.  It tasted the same, but the filling was a deep orange instead of yellow and it didn’t have that glistening sheen.  But hey, we’re not making it for a a contest on food network so it’s all good.  Plus it saved a LOT of time!

I’ve had the windows open all day and the air has never smelled so good.  I plan to spend some quality time in my swing this week.  Life is good.  Enjoy.


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Merry Christmas

We didn’t get a real tree this year, nor did we last year.  A few years in the past, we’ve had a live tree.  We’ve always donated them to Bass Pro as they use them for fish habitats after the holidays.  At least that way, it doesn’t seem so wasteful.

Frank has a small, artificial 5 ft. tree with weak branches and lots of bare spots that we’ve used in the past.  One year we even put up my huge, fake tree.  We had to leave off the bottom two or three rows of branches because it was so full, and the top hit the ceiling.  No vaulted ceilings at this place.  This house has needed a slim tree since the day I moved in and this year, I headed to K-Mart and bought one.  It came with lights already on it which is a total bonus.  I put it together and fluffed it up.  Ready to go in an hour.

  

Jordan and his girlfriend, Breanna.

Lauren decorating

 While the kids decorated, I enjoyed a glass of wine and hung out with Lucy and Jacob.  It’s nice that the kids took over the tree decorating. 

Since we got rid of that big, ugly sectional (sorry Frank) we put the tree in the front window.  Our street is somewhat busy at times, so all the people driving home from work can enjoy the holidaze on their commute.  And since it’s a slim tree, I can still enjoy the view which is much better with a smaller car in the driveway.

May your holiday be safe, warm and fun-filled with the happiness of family and friends!


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Walnuts Keep Falling On My Head

I love Fall.  I love the leaves.  I love the smell of the wood the guy burns next door.  I love the cool air and the walnuts falling from the trees.  Ever since I moved here, like 5 years ago, I’ve been picking them up.  I used to do it all on hands…and knees.  We have a few walnut trees in our yard.  Our home is 50 years old and the trees are much older.  Our largest walnut tree, shades our deck and is home to an awesome rope swing and a ton of squirrels.  We call it the beast.  Every other year, it over produces walnuts.  You can’t walk outside without twisting your ankle.  Plus, I have this thing for straightening things up.  So I guess that’s why I like collecting them.  My way of cleaning up nature.  

I have received as much as $300 for walnuts before.  I do our yard, the guy’s yard next door and my in-laws on the other side of us.  I also take our riding mower and the little trailer and head down to the walnut fairy forest around the corner from our house.  I picked up forty-two, 5 gallon buckets of walnuts.  I gathered most of them today!  What a great day to be outdoors. 

Whenever I’m out picking up the walnuts, I think of all the people, that are stuck inside, in a cubicle someplace, wearing nice clothes while I’m out in my sweats and old tennis shoes enjoying the day.  It’s hard work.  You have to have a lot of walnuts in order to get much cash.  It’s also a dirty job.  After you store them, they get all nasty, and this icky sludge accumulates in the buckets.  Milk crates work the best, so do burlap sacks, they let the air circulate.  Last year, my husband bought me one of those walnut picking tools.  It’s like a big basket, on a stick.  Reminds me of a pregnant paint roller.  No more bending over! 

 

Sometimes, I don’t like this tree.  It drops big limbs.  And walnut trees are really messy.  Leaves.  Stems.  Sticks and walnuts!  But, I hate to think of it not being there.  We’d miss the shade it provides for our western facing backyard.  I’d miss gathering her nuts.  I’d like to know how old our beast is.  This tree reminds me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings.  I purchased this cool tree face from my friend at the Urngarden.  Now our tree, really is Ent-like!  She creaks and groans and gives me extra cash this time of year!