In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


1 Comment

Happy Holidaze

We’ve been busy.  I’ve been busy.  Blogging hasn’t been on the frontlines here lately.  And since I got a Blackberry I’m spending much less time at my actual desktop and I don’t mind that.  This way my kid and her friends can geek all over Facebook. 

Lauren and her friends have been enjoying First Friday Art Walk downtown.  Pretty much every first Friday.  I do like to go to this, but I’m not a huge social person and I find that’s really the reason to go.  It is fun though.  Lots of pretty things to look at, lots of food to enjoy, live music, wine and more.  The photo below was actually taken at the new Price Cutter Bistro Market on Walnut and South.  Lauren is in the green jacket.  I cannot wash that green jacket.  Lauren received a hug from Christopher Drew Ingle.  He’s the singer in a band the girls are crazy about.  Never Shout Never I guess.  Izzy is dead center.  Izzy loves the cartoon Adventure Time, hence her funky hat that Mady made her for Halloween.   Mady is wearing the huge sunglasses.  Oh to be 12 going on 13.

 

A FREE photo op at a photography studio where some cool bands were playing.  I love this photo!  Lauren, Izzy, Mady, Kenzie and Sarah.

Jordan has been busy with off season track.  He’s so happy it started.  He’s also been busy with the ladies!  I think he went out with two different girls last Friday night.  Whoa.  I think one was a friendly date and the other was an actual date-date.  He’s also been busy working as much as he can.  Once track starts full throttle, he won’t be able to work as much.  We are still searching for a college and we’ve found a few that are searching for him as well.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make a decision on this sometime after the first of the year.  It’s stressful and I’m exhausted just writing about it.  When one wants to play sports in college, there’s lots to do.  Stuff like signing up for the NCAA, talking to a ton of coaches about athletics and academics and more. 

Yogaville is going well for me.  I’m enjoying the classes that don’t quit for the break.  The only ones that really take a break are the MSU classes.  But I am doing two intersessions for those folks (per their request) so that’s awesome.  A paycheck is always a nice thing to have.  The YMCA is still a lot of fun.  One student gave me a beautiful, live, potted norfolk pine tree this morning adorned with tiny little decorations.  Someone else gave me a lovely bag of assorted teas and homemade goodies.  They were SO good.  Someone in my free class at the studio, gifted me a loaf of bread sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with chocolate creme.  Oh man, that was blissful with coffee for sure.  I feel incredibly lucky to have such a fun job that connects me with such amazing people on a regular basis.  I cannot complain.

Frank.  Of course he’s slammin’ busy.  He’s the director of public safety at the Mall.  This time of year means longer hours for him.  It also means he’s out in the cold directing traffic for hours and taking care of all of the other petty things that happen more this time of year.  We are (sad to say) usually pretty thankful when the holidays are over.  If you or any of your family are stuck in retail, you can relate. 

I remember having the video store.  The store was open 12 hours a day, every, single day of the year.  We opened gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve, we ate Thanksgiving dinner the night before, the day after, or whenever we could all find the time.  I actually rented 4 movies at Blockbuster the other day.  The guy that waited on me actually dropped $1,500 in my store at our closing sale.  He had all the cool indie films and foreign things in his hands.  I knew he had to have a store someplace so I asked him where his store was.  He replied, “Blockbuster.”  Nice.  Of course I took his cash, but honestly I wanted those films to remain on the shelves for customers who were interested.  But when one is closing shop, one does what one has to do.

Christmas vacation starts today.  The kids are out of school December 23 until January 4th, 2011.  We’ll be baking up a storm and hopefully I’ll find the time to swim off all the sugar I will consume.  I’m off from yoga for 4 days as well, but I’m thinking about attending a meditation speaker and practice the day after Christmas.  What a wonderful way to come down from the hustle and bustle don’t you think?  That’s it.  I’m going. 

Happy Holidaze to you and yours!


2 Comments

Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving.  Again.  Time seems to move faster and faster all of the time.  I don’t know.  Which would be worse?  Movement or stagnation?  It’s a question I ask myself often. 

Today will be a quiet day.  We’re hosting the dinner here at our place.  My whole family is scattered about, so Frank’s sister, niece and his folks will join us later around 1:00.  We’re doing the turkey, potatoes and rolls.  It’s an easy day.  Every one else will bring pies and veggies so it’s all good. 

It’s been a bit since I’ve sat down here to actually blog.  Why you say?  Because.  My husband gave me a Blackberry and I can check my e-mail while I’m driving down the road.  Did I really just say that?  Yes I did.  And I’m just kidding.  Sort of.  Checking e-mail, maybe.  Responding, no way.  I like having it.  I spend less time here at my computer so I’m free to do the things I need to do without being in the office.  It’s a good thing.

I ended October with a yoga retreat.  This was the 4th year one of my favorite teachers came to town.  We had a great weekend of yoga, meditation and pranayama as well as an organic, catered, vegetarian lunch.  He’ll be back again next October.  And in fact he’s stopping by for a day practice in April.  He’s also seasoned in astrology and I find that stuff interesting.  So when he returns I’m going to have him do a reading for me.  I was born on October 31, 1966 at 3:30 a.m.  Sounds kind of creepy to me.  I can’t wait to see what the stars say about when I was born.  Who knows?  It might be something lame, like I was a homely milk maid.  Or perhaps I was an ax murderer?  It will all be in good fun though.

My brother was also here the end of October.  He brought his girlfriend.  She’s from Bulgaria.  We stayed up super late catching up.  I hadn’t seen him for two years!  They’d recently been to Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.  We headed to Canton Inn for Chinese food and then finished the evening with wine and authentic Turkish delight candy.  Good stuff!  I’d like to see them again soon, but every one has their own lives and their own sort of busy-ness.

Evan and Kirsten.  Dig that Turkish Nike Shirt?  This was taken around one in the morning!

Irina and Evan.  Halloween.  Think “I’m not quittin’ you!”  Love it!

My free yoga class presented me with the most beautiful birthday card.  Inside was a gift certificate for a massage at Zen 3.  Wow.  I about fainted.  I hadn’t had a massage in a very long time.  I took advantage of this last Saturday after meditation class.  I still have money left on the card so I hope to return again in December.  Zen 3 is a beautiful place in a quaint area of town.  The massage was great.  Another student baked me a pretty, round loaf of peasant bread.  It was perfect.  It actually looked fake it was so perfect.  And how did it taste?  Not fake that’s for sure.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have to freeze any of it.  The four of us chowed that down pretty quick-like.

The kids are staying pretty busy.  Jordan is getting ready to start off-season track.  And the college search is on.  He has yet another visit this coming week.  I hope we can get this finalized soon.  It’s actually really exhausting just talking about it.  I know he would like for it to be over with too.  And he can’t quit thinking about it, he’s obssessed.  Lauren is busy with her girlfriends and the latest thing they’re into are Shrinky Dinks.  She loves the plain paper where she can create her own.  She really likes tiny, little things.  Whenever she works with clay, it’s the same way.  She’s been creating the tinest, littlest monsters I think I’ve ever seen.  Cute stuff!

Lauren’s new hair cut.  She’s looking so grown up, and she looks exactly like her father.

Jordan –  Go Parkview football!

Frank will be very busy at work starting tomorrow until Christmas.  In the meantime on his days off, he’s been deer hunting.  I won’t say anymore about that, because if get started it will be a long, negative rant.  And I’d rather not go there on Thanksgiving.  What I would like to do, is dump out this pot of coffee and start again.  This has got to be the shittiest coffee I’ve ever made.

Have a great holiday!


1 Comment

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?


2 Comments

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. 


Leave a comment

Yoga On Venice Beach

My folks took the girls camping up north yesterday to be exact.  They’re up at Rainbow River Campground.  It’s a state park with crystal clear rivers and springs.  I think they might retrieve water for bottling from Zephryhills Springs or something like that nearby.  Today they floated the river for two hours in brightly colored inner tubes.  The water was a cool 72 degrees.  I would imagine that they all looked like fruit loops cruising down the river.  I can’t wait to see some photos from their journey.

I on the other hand am holding down the fort and the cats and the beach and the pool here.  I walked the beach yesterday morning and then floated in the pool with a great book.  I’m reading Freedom by Malika Oufkir.  I got it before I left town for $3 at the Dollar Store.  It’s a hard back book and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this woman.  I think she was on Oprah once and maybe I’d just forgotten about her.  Anyways her first book is called Stolen Lives and I tried to find it here, but can’t.  I’ll order it from Amazon when I return.  She’ s a good writer with a story worth reading that’s for certain.

Awhile back I gave up on paying $35 for a hair cut.  I’m keeping my hair short and frankly, I can’t really tell the difference between an expensive cut and a cheap one.  I got a great trim at Great Clips back home a few months ago.  My hair is pretty fried on the ends with all the swimming I’ve been doing.  Not just here, but from the massive doses of chlorine in the pool at the YMCA.  My hair actually looks OK with these bleached highlights.  Oddly enough, I’ve had several people ask me where I got my hair colored.  I just say it’s Loreal Ash Brown with YMCA chlorine, because it’s true.  Anyhow, with the beach wind, the salt from the sea and the chlorine here at the pool, my ends were almost completely white.  I found a Great Clips up the road.  When I got there I saw this funky grandma and I was hoping she would cut my hair.  And she did.  She used a razor for texture (thank god) and used words like chunky and piecey.  Thank you Great Clips for a $13 cut.  But the best part was this.  She informed me that every day on Venice Beach they offer free yoga.  Say Whaat?  Yep.  I went today and it was great.   There were around 25 people there.  An equal number of chicks and dudes and most were my age or older.

That’s our teacher in the sand.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man.  I wish I would’ve got a haircut the first day I arrived so I could’ve found out about this class much sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venice is a quaint little town.  On the way out, I took a few beach shots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I left the beach, I stopped under the bridge. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s an old train station there that now serves as a fully, functional bus stop. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bridge goes over the intracoastal waterway.  This is also the same location where we stopped to take shelter from the rain in the boat the day we got stranded. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think these condos are so pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I arrived back home and went hunting for sharks teeth at the beach.  I kicked my shoes off at the beach entrance just like you would in a yoga room.  I guess you could say the beach is God’s yoga room.  We have done our shoes this way for 20 years.  Not just us, but others do it as well.  Anyways, two hours later I returned to get my shoes and they were gone.  No way.  Are you serious?  Totally.  I wouldn’t have been that bummed except I just purchased them last week.  Jeanine took me to DSW Shoe Store in Ft. Myers to check out their Tevas.  I bought two pair and of course, I was wearing the prettiest pair yesterday.  No place has my size in the entire state of Florida.  After a massive search, I found the last pair of Teva Mush size 7’s in Oriental Electric Lime in the entire world. 

I hope the person that borrowed my shoes really needed them.  Or perhaps, someone thought they were abandoned.  I suppose they looked pretty lonely sitting there with no other shoes to party with.  Tonight when I go to the beach, I’m going barefoot.  I hate to carry my shoes and walk the beach, don’t you?


Leave a comment

Ryan the Yogi Cat

The morning after our arrival, my body was feeling it.  We spent hours stuck in the airport, two and a half hours on an airplane, then almost two more hours in the car.  I dropped down into pose of a child, Balasana in the front room the next morning.  My parents have a very eclectic style, check out their living room. 

 My mom really likes red.  They also had a hard time giving up the movie business as you can plainly see.   The movies that you see here, only go to the letter F.  I know, insane.  My dad built that movie wall shelf with some of the oak movie shelving from my video store when I closed it.

Back to childs pose the morning after.  I dropped down and stretched out.  Their cat Ryan climbed on my back.  He buried his head in my back, it was funny and it felt pretty good.

I stayed like this for quite awhile and Ryan really got into it.

I love cats.  Especially when they help me with my yoga.


1 Comment

Convict Cards

A few months ago I got a call from a yoga student that had an interesting question.  He knew someone who was incarcerated.  His friend and about 15 other guys practice yoga in the prison.  The bad news was this.  They’d just had their yoga mats taken away due to some sort of regulation, like a fire hazard, etc.  They were issued some different mats but they were told they were too long.  Looks like someone was making it hard for them to practice if you ask me.

The new mats that they were approved to use were $65 a piece, retail price.  Yikes.  They needed like 15 of these and of course, when you’re locked up you get like $8.50 per month.  If you have a job assignment while you’re in there, you can make like $20 a month.  Big money.  Another yoga teacher and I put our heads together.  We were thinking the Yoga Mala could help but did we really want to wait until June 19 to get the loot?  Not really. 

We sent out e-mails to students and teachers that we knew would be interested in helping.  We made announcements in our classes too.  Within 10 days (yep) we had the money that we needed.  We also purchased the mats at the wholesale price since we already had an account with the company that sold them.  It’s amazing what people will do to help when times are apparently so tough.  I received this thank you card in the mail the other day.  It was done in pencil and crayon.  They even made the envelope for it out of folded paper and they created a convict card logo for the back as well.  Each inmate signed the card with a special note of thanks. 

I think it’s great that yoga has found it’s way into facilities of this nature and perhaps when they are released, they will see the world in a different light.