In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Christmas Trees Around the World

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 The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the ‘Pathway of Peace’ represent the 50 U.S. states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gerrmany2‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree’: Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany‘s Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 A token of gratitude for Britain‘s aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London‘s Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid‘s two-week celebration makes
millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world’s biggest lottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost’s arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under  the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.

 

 

 

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 Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer Frankfurt‘s city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.

 

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Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic.  With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

 

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The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, PortugalThousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

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Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague’s Old Town Square, and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains in the southern Czech Republic.

 

 

 

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Before the ball drops in Times Square, the Big Apple turns on its holiday charm with the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

 

 

 

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In addition to the Vatican‘s heavenly evergreen, St. Peter’s Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.

 

 

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A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo‘s nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

 

 

 

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 Venice ‘s Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glasswork is home to the tallest glass tree
in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

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Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).


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Citrus on Steroids

My parents have lots of citrus trees in their yard in Florida.  They grow navel oranges, Calomundins (tiny oranges native to the Philippines) grapefruits and lemons.  They loaded their camper full of fruit for the drive up for Thanksgiving.  I’ve given a lot away, and I still have a LOT left!  My mom and I, made jars of Calomundin jam.  It’s like a marmalade, and it’s awesome.  The lemons they grow, are huge and so are the grapefruits.  They have to prop the tree branches up with milk crates and buckets to keep them from breaking!  Pictured from left to right below we have……a yummy navel orange (normal sized), a Ponderosa Lemon (best zest ever) a Pumello Grapefruit, and a batman cup with coffee!  The lemons are really good, and the grapefruit needs no sugar.  That one, is actually a bit small.  They brought some, close to the size of a soccer ball, which I’ve already given away!  I think we’ll play who wants to win a grapefruit tonight at yoga.  It’s my largest class, so this should be fun!  Pucker up!

 

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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!


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Global Yoga Mala Musings

The Global Yoga Mala was awesome!  It’s part of International Peace Weekend and studios all over the world participate in some sort of, well, peaceful activity.  Meditation, yoga or something, for charity.  We held our event in an old Firehouse with the windows wide open.  The building backs up to the railroad tracks and now and then, a train would chug by.  It added a nice effect to the event.  The weather was really nice and the light filtered in softly.  The morning time slot was also a hit with everybody!  We had a decent turnout, probably close to 50 and raised a tad over $500 (before our event expenses) which weren’t that much.  Our collections went to Trees for the Future and SAAF – Springfield Animal Advocacy Foundation, no kill, animal rescue and shelter here in the burg.

I actually hung out and laid low.  I didn’t lead any sun salutes this time.  I didn’t talk on the microphone thru the warm up or the cool down!  What I did do was this; a bunch of sun salutations and shot a gazillion photos and some video!  Beth and Abbe did some harmony together for the last two rounds and it changed the energy.  It was really, really nice.  You can check them out below if you want.

I had positive energy the entire rest of the day.  I spent it out back, picking up walnuts.  It’s my sideline this time of year.  I’ve been known to haul in 1,100 pounds, we’ll see what happens this year!  The best thing you can do after the mala, is move!  I tidied up the deck, repotted plants, filled birdfeeders, stuff like that.  All good stuff!  I was not excited about the mala event yesterday, if you checked out my post.  That changed of course.  I love the Mala and look forward to it, as we try to do it four times a year.  I’ve never missed one and I probably never will (unless I’m sick, or dead). 

There is a lot of work for me to do after the event which is as follows:  I have to add a new Mala page to the website.  Then I have to edit, and drag the photos, one at a time, onto that new mala page.  Then I upload the video to youtube and insert their links on our site.  After that, I make up an e-newsletter to let everyone know how much $$ we raised, that the pictures are up on the site, and that the videos can be viewed. 

I know.  You’re thinking, big deal eh?  It takes time.  I get in a groove and can do it somewhat quickly.  Once I get started, I don’t want to stop.  So, last night, I stopped at midnight.  Today, I finished the site details and published them.  Then I made the e-newsletter and clicked to send.  All of this before I left to teach a class that started at 9:30 this morning (I got up at 5:45 a.m.) it’s all good.  I love doing it and now tomorrow, I can chill and work on my craft stuff, knowing I do not teach until 6:00 p.m.  Mala photos below, enjoy!