The Empress

UPDATED 7/21/21: I saw a post from Katherine last night (7/20/21) as I was going to bed. After 76 days of ruling the farm and the farmer, The Empress unexpectedly passed away. We were lucky to have snuggled her on Day 11.

Only 11 days old with a name bigger than she is: The Empress Isabel Paloma Consuelo Dioge.

This was back in mid May when an Adventure Buddy who wanted to try goat yoga came along. The Empress was not yet big enough for yoga because at the time she was not even the size of a newborn goat. We got to snuggle her and hear her story after the yoga session. As Katherine Harrison the farmer and owner told it, she found the premature baby goat in the straw left for dead. Katherine also thought the baby was dead until she moved her head slightly. The Empress became a “kitchen goat” with round the clock care and bottle service as well as a Pyrenees caretaker. The Empress has continued to grow and is learning “how to goat.” The farm’s Instagram is @harrisonfarm13 ; it is worth the follow simply for goat antics.

Goat Selfie

Per usual there were plenty of regular sized baby goats and adults to assist with yoga poses. I came back from the bathroom to find a goat on my mat as a greeting. I get a pretty minimal amount of yoga done during these sessions. I try, but I’m there for the silliness, the interactions, and to hear which rooster will reliably interrupt the instructor.

This baby was yet to be named on our visit, but I believe has been dubbed Ferris Bueller.

Adventure Buddy said that she would go again so that’s a win for me.

Being an unruly baby goat is exhausting!

Yoga and…. strawberries!

I haven’t had a new “yoga and” combination in a while so I jumped at the opportunity to do yoga and pick strawberries one afternoon.

When she’s not torturing me with hot yoga,– it’s all good, I love it— my regular yoga instructor also organizes outdoor classes at different spot in the city. When she announced to our class that she had a yoga and strawberry picking event scheduled at Mitchell’s Berries, nostalgia took over.

Until roughly when I was in the 4th grade, we lived beside a strawberry field. “Beside” meaning about 10 feet across the gravel driveway. I remember the road at the end of our yard being lined with cars on summer mornings by people who came to pick their own quarts. Our proximity meant also picking berries regularly with MomBert’s warning that we had to pay for them. At one point the farmer had two big work horses– to my mind they were as huge as Clydesdales— to plow with and had the Amish come in to train them. This approach did not last long, but I remember the overhead wires shaking because the horses liked to use the utility poles as back scratchers.

I’ve not really had the opportunity or inclination to go berry picking since then unless you count throwing elbows at the grocery store for those really good berry sales. Maybe berry picking isn’t a cute look for me. I went through my photo album and only found this picture of my smelly sister and our dog circa 1981-82-ish. I texted MomBert, but she only came up with a picture of the horses!

This was a day with a lot of direct sunlight for me, and 4 p.m. exposure in Ohio is no joke; so I stuck with my gardening wear and maintained my cowboy hat for at least part of the practice. After yoga, the owners talked to us about the history of the farm and all the things that they grow.

These berries were gorgeous and sweet. Sampling while picking was encouraged. As a finishing treat, the owners served us a brownie with strawberry sauce on top to which she had added jalapenos! It had just a little warmth and I thought I was just making it up until someone else asked about the flavor. Recommend! I also left with a purchased bundle of really plump asparagus. They have certainly found ways to keep their business and farm functioning.

Me in yoga these days

“You want me to bend what way now?”

Sookie and I currently have the same body type. Whole lotta floof.

Incidentally during a power yoga class recently, the proposed pose was so bizarre that I actually whispered (THOUGHT I whispered) to myself “WHAT now?!” from my safe spot in the back of the class The instructor heard it at the front and was like,”Yes, you may be asking yourself ‘what?’”

“When life gives you lemons…throw them.” Yoga and Axes

 I’ve done a lot of “yoga and…”

Yoga and:

In keeping with my own trends and those trending culturally, I can now add yoga and axes.

“When life gives you lemons…throw them.”August2019

I’ve thrown an axe unsuccessfully before under the vague tutelage of a viking horde at Lilyfest. Viking Advice: Hit the target.

During this session, I got just a little more guidance. We did an hour of yoga on the indoor turf of the football bowling field…somehow my mat migrated a foot to the left during the class. GoYoga provided an excellent, bendy start to the day.

Fully flexible, our Throw Nation hostess, gave us a quick tutorial on throwing form.


Turns out, form helps. However, I did much better when I didn’t overthink it. Nothing like axe throwing to make you really look at your butt.

What you’re not seeing are the 20 million tiny video clips of me completely missing everything.

Adventure Buddy and I agreed that we could see the appeal; there was the impulse to keep throwing again and again to try to get it right. However, we only used about 45 minutes of our allotted throwing hour and much of that was spent standing around wondering why on Earth anyone would add alcohol to this environment. Yes, to ideally be on trend you’re supposed to add drinking to the “and axe throwing.” Alcohol fueled competitiveness, and coordination plus deadly weapons. Bingo.

Part of the standing around in a  state of “meh” was also due to our hostess. She didn’t want the dozen of us to touch any of the other throwing lanes which meant lots of waiting, and was not inclined to organize any games. Basically, she seemed unprepared for the event, and kept saying things like “there’s not a manager here today” and “mmmmm yea that game is not open right now.” But OMIGOD she is going back to college this week! Squeeeee!

So we threw axes. It was okay. We are badasses….in theory.

Check mark. No major need to repeat this adventure.



I went back…

My first visit to Harrison Farm for goat yoga was so much fun that I planned another trip. I felt so happy and energized to have been outside and interacted with animals in a gorgeous setting, that the idea of coming back in October on a crisp morning with changing leaves sounded ideal.

The reality: 41 degrees. Colder than the damned cave, and it’s Ohio so the leaves hadn’t even thought about changing yet.IMG_9511


Best hat ever.

Fortunately, I planned ahead, layered up, and brought those fuzzy socks with plastic nubbins on the bottom that people constantly give women as “thoughtful” gifts. Sure they came in handy the one day I’m doing yoga in the cold, but why do I need a million of those socks. They are tits on a bull useless otherwise. You can’t wear them with shoes!

I digress…


Cold did not deter the goats and chickens from snacking and exploring. The goats were particularly interested in exploring handbags, and a black goat named Rosé decided a woman in yellow was her forever friend.


While no goats befriended me, a friendly gray barn cat cuddled with me on my mat during one of the many times that my phone died either due to the cold or its personal issues.


This cat was awesome even though the one photo I got makes it look possessed.

After yoga, Oreo and Sylvia got their bottles, lambs were passed around for snuggling, more barn cats were petted, and general merriment ensued.


We then visited the Fig Newton eating alpacas, and I purchased alpaca yarn as gifts for my knitters. As a parting treat, Katherine Harrison always offers cookies from her grandmother’s recipe and sweet rolls. I’ll be back.


Noella loves newtons.

Cave Yoga: Keepin’ it weird

September was my month for weird places to do yoga. I signed up for both goat yoga and cave yoga after a fairly daunting hot yoga class that left me feeling a bit out of it. (I later realized that I had neglected to take my pills the night before. Hello, crazy town.) Much as I bitch and complain about Facebook, it does clue me in to local events; and without its stupid algorithms, I would not have found either class so easily.

This definitely falls into the little local adventures category as I had not previously visited Olentangy Indian Caverns despite driving by billboards for it for years. It appeared to be a kid focused tourist trap. From where I parked, I could see a maze, jungle gym, outdoor games, mini golf, and a petting zoo that disappeared ominously into the woods. As one of the women there for the class said, “Oh, I can give my son $3 and he’s off for hours.” Babysitting courtesy of tourist trap.


It was surprisingly hard to round up an adventure buddy for this particular event. They all voiced the same concerns that I had used over the years about goat yoga, but after a brief but positive conversation regarding the cave yoga, there had been silence. I wasn’t sure if I was flying solo and was relieved to pull in to the lot by a friendly face.


Adventure Buddy and I entered the little brick building covering the cave entrance and prepared to descend 75 feet down 55 narrow, wet steps. Above ground, the day was sunny and temperate, a perfect fall morning, but the temperature dropped immediately inside the cavern entrance. For whatever reason, my right knee decided to age 90 years in two minutes as I tried to grip my mat and the railing, navigating the slick steps. Each step sent hiss worthy pains shooting through my leg and knee. I let Adventure Buddy know that I would probably use her to cushion my fall.


With great relief, we made it to the cave without anyone squishing anyone else and followed a trail of tea lights into the main cavern.



The Olentangy caverns were inhabited caves. Our yoga instructor who used the stone table as her area to direct the class, assured us that it was a work area and meeting point for the tribe members. While she was centered on the table, other yogis had to find spots in the pathways that branched off from the table area.


We had been told to bring an old beach towel because the “cavern floor can be damp and somewhat muddy.” What should have been said was the cave floor is wet as hell and you need a garbage bag.


I wasn’t concerned for my mat. It had migrated to the status of “outdoor mat” long ago and still had some chicken poo on it from goat yoga. What I didn’t realize was that as the practice progressed, water would seep through the mat particularly in the spots where I consistently placed my feet. Unfortunately, I was very conscious of the dampness. In a normal studio, placing my hand or foot off the mat would be no big deal. Here it meant cold, wet mud which I confirmed by firmly planting one ass cheek in a puddle. ****Side note: Cave mud does NOT just wash out of yoga pants. Soaking required. A garbage bag under the mat might have been better than a towel.

Also while I was sweating under all my layers, my body never really loosened up. It was, as predicted, about 55 degrees in the cave. Talk about being conscious of your breaths, I could see mine.

If you squint with one eye, you can kind of see a cloud of steamy breath during this pose.


While there were tea lights and candles placed in various nooks and crannies, at no point did the the glaring overhead spotlights dim or go out. I was really hoping that at least during Shavasana, we could just relax by candlelight. I’m assuming it was a safety issue and there was no turning them out, but, damn, that would have been cool.


Of all my adventures so far, this is one that I would probably not repeat unless another adventure buddy really wanted to try it. I don’t mind getting dirty and I’m certainly glad I tried it, but it was not the most comfortable yoga experience I’ve ever had.





Na-meow-ste Guide

Twisted Confusion

This pose requires a strap. Twist head and front legs in the opposite direction of back legs. Strap may appear to come out of butthole.

Possessive Mousie

Curl around block. Close eyes and acknowledge your breaths. Extend front legs for full possession.

Power Toes

Roll, stretch as long as possible, spread toes claws extended. For an extra deep stretch fold ears back.

End on flat tummy.

Reality Pose

Wrap self in blanket. Firmly grab remote. Extend hand. View latest episode of The Walking Dead.

Little Adventures: Goat yoga…I am soooo trendy


Goat yogi says, “Namaste right here.”

I’ve always said no to goat yoga to the point that my friends can quote my standard reasons back to me. I grew up with goats. They are adorable. I love squishing floppy ears and running a hand over the textures of curved horns.


Topless goat viewing. It was the 70’s, man.

However goats all come with hard pointy hooves, a love of jumping on things including people in downward dog, and a propensity for mosh pit style head butting. Additionally, the world is a goat’s bathroom. There’s no early warning system. That goaty butt hole just flowers open and you can get anything from bunny turds to diarrhea.


She’s a lady so she’s squatting to pee. Slight early warning.

So I took no small amount of grief when I signed up for a session at Harrison Farms. My excuse is that it was an un-medicated decision. I’d just come from hot yoga, I didn’t feel great, and signed up for not only goat yoga but also cave yoga- more on that later. I realized later in the day that I forgot to take my pills the night before. Oops. Goat yoga.

Harrison Farm is a working farm with a spreading front yard for yogis to set up mats in the grass. We had a picturesque fall morning for our session. Bright blue skies, and cool air heading towards a warmer afternoon. When I signed in there were already more chickens circulating than I have ever seen in one place. They were wandering under the trees with a handful of ducks, and there was a pile up two chickens or so deep under a row of bushes. Toonces the International Cat was also working the sign in table and made himself available for scritches.

The chickens strolled around the yoga mats as people set up. We got to witness an epic game of keep away when a fat caterpillar dropped from a tree into the midst of the flock.


The caterpillar was just an extra treat. The chickens knew the drill. Workers set up three shallow food bins which immediately filled with cackling chickens.

September20183Then came the parade of goats. Ears flopping, a line of gamboling goats followed another worker out into the barnyard, heading for snacks.



But nothing was as precious as the two bottle babies who came out next.

The farm uses wine bottles with a nipple to bottle feed the babies. My teetotaler grandparents stuck with the old glass Pepsi bottles.


With goats among us, Dana the yoga instructor walked us through some basic goat yoga know-how as well as introducing the goats by name. Workers were observing and available if we needed help, or a “body spill” clean up. I’m using that euphemism the next time I pee my pants while sneezing. Goats or chickens might choose to curl up on your mat. Goats dig behind the horn head scritches.


Dana correctly suggested that part of the goat yoga challenge was trying to remain in the moment, sinking into a pose and observing your breath while wandering WHAT ARE THE GOATS DOING?! With this in mind, she occasionally directed us to “goat observing pose” which meant sitting back on our heels to look around. “Dolphin pose” was also amended to “Goat pose” because goats do a bent front leg bow to nurse, and sometimes still to eat from the ground as adults. Nobody has ever seen a dolphin do that.

At the end of the session, everyone was encouraged to hang out as long as they wanted and interact with the animals. Different workers would be giving small tours at different points at the farm.

This is the best sequence ever of someone wallering a baby goat. Go, Adventure Buddy!


In addition to the goats, there were alpacas who are used to produce yarn at the farm. The two in the foreground were pregnant and were available to nibble fig newtons from visitors’ hands.


There were also 10-day old lambs who needed hugging. My lamb still had its umbilical cord. It also may have gotten a slight “body spill” on me, but I clean up okay.

Every photos looks like I want to put its head in my mouth, or am trying to whisper it into joining my cult. It was sooooooo soft.


I ended my visit by purchasing fresh eggs. I was amazed by the variations in shapes and colors. It would be pretty cool if grocery store eggs were like that.


Overall, I was extremely happy with my morning. I got to hang out with a friend, got a decent workout, and I got to interact with animals outside the feline persuasion. I’d absolutely do it again.

FYI: Goats also make good reindeer for Christmas cards.


Yoga and…..

Yoga and…

Yoga and…

(My sister and I have an unhealthy love of Super Troopers. “Do you boys like Mexico!” is family code for getting tacos.)

Yoga and….FOOD!

I’ve done yoga with cats: awesome! Yoga with some friends and hundreds of strangers in a giant soccer stadium: pretty cool, but almost barfed a little. The instructors kept trying to one up each other and suddenly 50 minutes of yoga turned into 90 minutes on a July evening.


However yoga with the promise of food is on par with petting cats during poses. The local trend seems to be bars and restaurants that will clear out their dining space, bring in a local studio teacher and hold yoga sessions with anything from craft beer to full meals afterwards.

When I’m done flipping my dog, I’m more of a full meal type of girl. If that full meal involves plantains and black beans all the better! El Arepazo, which serves a combination of Venezuelan and Colombian foods, has hosted two yoga brunches that I’ve coerced friends into attending.

Trying to be subtle about setting the camera timer and taking pictures while following instructions was a challenge. The instructors took a ton of photos and continue to use one where my warrior 2 looks like I’m a whiskey barrel with arms and legs attached to promote additional brunches, but I won’t steal pics from them.


The most recent brunch left me moving like I was ready for the retirement home this weekend. Yesterday my hips refused to work which meant lots of hobbling and an inability to try on shoes at DSW unless they were slip-ons. Today my hips are better, but my abs are screaming which means sneezing is an adventure in bodily fluids going everywhere.

For $25 we got a pretty challenging 50 minute session. Part of the challenge was mentally tolerating the ongoing yogi “change your outlook, change your life” life coach monologuing. My glass is often half empty with dead bugs floating in it.

However the pre-fixe meal options afterwards were worth it. The first time I got the chilaquiles (top photo), but this time I tried the tostada (bottom photo). Chilaquiles win due to the overall quantities of plantains and beans. The tostada was good, but was essentially a salad with a few desirable items hidden inside tons of lettuce. I’m no rabbit. That green sauce on the side that is a combination of cilantro and some highly addictive street drug is the magic that holds all Arepazo meals together. I want to bath in this sauce.


Yoga and cats and food so far are the winning combos. Yoga on stand up paddle boards?

I just don’t know.