The world started rocking and it hasn't stopped yet. Fucking seventy degrees, boom boom sun, feeling like the whole neighborhood is all smiley. Oh yes. Huge difference from three days ago when the rain was freezing once it hit the earth, icicles and black ice and a sheet of clear ice on everything, temperatures dropped for the whole day and now we have sun and it feels like spring but everything is still all bare and little birds scavenge as best they can.

I got wolf-whistled at when I walked to the mailbox today, guy driving too fast and pulled into the parking lot yelling "Beautiful! beautiful hair! Hey! You wanna go out sometime! Hey, what's your name!" He got out of the sedan, a bit too cool for his own bad self in camo pants and sunglasses and a white jacket, funny shaped fez-lookin hat on his wet-behind-the-ears head. I wanted to tell him really I'm about ten years older than he thinks I am but just shook my head and let the smile and sunshine and ogling eyes lift me up happy.

The class I taught on Saturday was a trial in patience. Thankfully, I had one of my long-term students there, and she made it easier. The only others who came to class were one girl who has never had any dance training, ever, who was very inflexible both in body and in thought, who didn't listen to my instruction or watch what I was doing at all. The other was a quiet little girl who no speak English, but is an amazing mimic. Unfortunately, she also mimics the things I demonstrate not to do. But she does understand "No." I was very conscious of forming simple sentences. Which made it hard to communicate the thoughts to the inflexible girl. Ah, teaching. I believe I am learning more than I teach.

My dance instructor offered me one of her class times while she's in Egypt after February 15th. I'll be teaching a beginning belly dance class that will hopefully prepare students for her intermediate class when she returns. Wish me luck. Wow first I typed wish me lick. Licky me.

Tonight is the Bellydance Superstars show at the grungy old WOW Hall and yes of course I'm going. I can't wait to see their amazing hips.

We went hiking up the mountain yesterday with dogs, kept to the small trails that cross the face and switch back and forth through woods and steep grassy fields rather than walk the gravel fire road. More to see, fewer people. We saw a salamander crossing the path, and a red-tailed hawk rising on the fast wind. He circled and gained altitude without flapping his wings, and we were impressed. I wonder what that must feel like. It poured rain on us and we were soaked to the skin but it was a balmy storm up from the South and we weren't cold, but climbing down the back slope was a trial of muck and brambles and rocks and we were breathless and grimy but smiling when we returned to the car.

There is so much more than all that. No time right now to type it right.


Sorry I have been a while. Thank you all for your vigilance and continued interest, and those who have come to peruse for the first time, I hope you'll return.

My dalliance has wandered. Dilly dally zilly zally such a lover of nonsense am I. I've been making scarves and hats with fuzzy yarn and a hook. French knitting, crocheting, it's a bunch of loopsy loops. I have been experimenting with different patterns, different textures, and am almost out of all the raw wool I purchased last June. It smells of lanolin and feels soft against my fingers as I work it. It's nice long fibered stuff, not too scratchy. I love to combine it with those silly fringe yarns. My favorite scarf is one in which I combined some dark brown lincoln wool with black fringe and it looks like something dead, like mink or beaver fur. It is super warm. The black fuzzies tickle but not too much.

I'm also the new editor of a small regional publication for the local dance guild, and my deadline is February 1st, so yes I am busy right now. I have one friend and my dear patient husband helping me, but it is taking much of my time and effort. Not that I am complaining. My only complaints involve a complete lack of information forthcoming from the previous editor, regarding advertisements (how much to charge, that sort of essential thing...), printing cost, etc etc. She told me, "Oh well, I had to make it all up from scratch, and since my computer just crashed, I am afraid you will, too." Huzzah.

The days have gone speeding past fast like the tiny little birds that crapped all over my car. It looks like snow. Confetti poop. But this being Oregon and prone to wet weather I rest assured it will all be washed away by the next rain. And I'll do better to make record of what transpires in the days and weeks ahead.

I've been dancing like a fool, since my class started on Saturday. I reworked the lesson plan and added more stretching and strength-building exercises, and spent much time considering what, exactly, are the most basic movements for belly dance. I've comprised a list that includes horizontal slides, vertical and diagonal lifts, and undulations. The class was fantastic; the energy level was amazing and everybody was smiling and sweating at the end. I have three repeating students and four more who have taken dance classes before, and so I was able to really work them hard on Saturday because they're all about the same level of ability and experience. It was gratifying. Unfortunately, I believe I need a total of eight students, or else the community college will cancel the class. I might try renting the studio space on my own. I really love teaching.

My dance instructor is here for only one more month before she returns to Cairo and the other half of her life. I will miss her very much. She has studies and performances in Egypt far away under the sun. Each time she returns from her studies and performances she seems even more sculpted and brilliant, a creature of desert wind and heat. She is always still my dance instructor and friend, but she is also this exotic rare gem, serpentine and wilder than most. Some day I think I would like to go with her.

Our eight year anniversary is coming in two weeks. I look at S and can't believe it has been eight years, the time has gone too quickly, and the years blur together, but I also think about all we've done, and those memories bring me joy. I love him. I think before I met him I didn't know what love was supposed to feel like. It is supposed to feel good, not uncomfortable, or anxious, or jealous. I believe if you look for it, you will find it. Happiness is possible. Believe in you.


We travelled far and long, and I see only snapshot memories, little half-developed glimmers of vision born from fevers and the sound of children on the stairs and the whole world shifted.

The early morning we left in the freezing fog, I saw a herd of five black angus steers huddled beneath the mossy rocky cliff and the narrow black branches of the dripping fir trees. It had rained in the night and all the world felt damp. The cattle and the firs stood black in the fog, with ice on backs and branches. Ice outlined the trees on the tops of hillsides and the dawnlight glimmered through the silver.

Downhill we drove, great sweeping expanses and vistas of another world, the sunlight came in a rush when we reached the rainshadow, the brown lands. Stunted oaks and scraggled pines twisted out of the rocky ground, badlands stretched flat and craggy away to the east. Up again, up up up to the top of the pass and then down, clear sky cold with wintry sun, shaggy horses in the high valley breathing plumes of smoke.

The mountains collide at Shasta, the Siskiyus and the Cascades rise up and clash together, thunder from some ancient eruption and earthquake can be felt in the basin.
The up again, high into the wild unkind spurs of barren rock and forbidding dark gnarled trees. The pass spills out of the mountians abruptly, down and down, sweeping first east then west, a long grade to the hills then down to the valley.