Belly Dancing, Learning In Spite Of My Brain

August 20th, 2017

My Zills

Last week Jon bought me Zills.

Zills are the little cymbals you wear on your middle finger and thumb when Belly dancing.  Not all Belly Dancers use them, but the Bennington Beledi Tribal Bellydancers, who I’m taking lessons from do.

As if just learning  to move so many different parts of my body, in different ways, at the same time isn’t difficult enough.  I also have to keep a beat using zills.

It seems impossible to me.

I keep thinking that maybe this is what it feels like for babies trying to walk for the first time.

Two weeks ago Kathleen, one of the teachers, told me that although I wasn’t keeping up with everyone else, I was still keeping the beat with the zills. I was just doing half as much as they were.  But that was okay.

I was thrilled.

Because most of the time,  I actually have not idea if what I’m doing is right or not.

Don’t worry, everyone reassures us new dancers, it takes years to learn all of this.  Julz, the other teacher, says they’re all still learning all the time.

Luckily, I can take the beginners class as many times as I want.  One woman in my class has been taking it for a year and a half.

I’m encouraged.

If all you’ve learned  in the past six weeks, is the dancers stand,  Julz told us last class, than you’re doing great.

Chest out, shoulders back, butt in, knees bent, I said to myself, my body following my words, coming into the dancers stand.

I’m doing great.

I practice the moves when I get home.  Or I forget them before I get home.

After I shower and before I get dressed, I practice naked in front of the mirror in the bedroom.  I think I may be doing a shimmy right (as long as I  don’t have to march while doing it  and don’t have to move my arms and hands) but I don’t really know.

Then, I’m in my studio sewing,  listening to the mix of Belly Dancing music that Julz made us, and I find my body moving in one of the ways we were taught in class.  I’m not thinking about it, I’m standing at my sewing machine, guiding a piece of fabric through the presser foot and my hips start to circle around, or move side to side.  I stop sewing, and raise my arms and start to move my hands, the way we were taught.

The next day Kitty sends me a video of her last performance with Bennington Beledi .  I’m sitting at my desk watching it and I realize I’m seeing it different.  I’m no longer just the audience, I’m recognizing the moves and seeing how they’re supposed to be done.  I’m still sitting in my chair, but now my body, from the waist up, is mimicking what  Kitty and the other dancers are doing in the video.

It’s like my body is learning in spite of my brain.  In spite of what I think I know and don’t know.

This is all so new to me.

I gave up trying to dance after taking a few Ballet Classes when I was in Kindergarten.  But as foreign as  Belly Dancing is to me, there’s something familiar about it too.  Like I’m remembering something, instead of learning it for the first time.

Right now it’s just a whisper in my body.  Something long hidden in a deep, dark, hole at the bottom of my being.  I don’t know how far I can go with this, if I’ll get frustrated and bored or if just taking the classes and slowing “getting it” will be enough for me. But I feel like somethings awakened in me.  And I’m curious to see what comes next.








Suzy Fatzinger’s Handspun and Hand Knit Shawls at the Bedlam Farm Open House

August 20th, 2017

Suzy’s Shawl

Suzy Fatzinger has been hand spinning and knitting her beautiful work for The Bedlam Farm Open House for a few years now.

Last year she made a bunch of fingerless gloves.  They sold out quickly and she made more for people who couldn’t come to the Open House.

Suzy also made a few shawls, they also sold out.

This year, Suzy was planning on making more fingerless gloves,  (I have pictures of Suzy on vacation at the beach knitting gloves and shawls), but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

She is however making shawl after shawl.

I told her to keep going with what she feels drawn to make.  Whatever you make, I texted her, I’ll sell.  

I believe in trusting the artist, not trying to tell them what to create.

So this year at the Bedlam Farm Open House we’ll have Suzy’s hand spun and hand knit shawls.   So far she sent me picture of three of them, but there’s still two months before the Open House.

The Shawl in the picture above has several different types of wool in it.  The gray wool is from my Romney sheep, Griselle.

I told Suzy, that it made me think of the Rings of Saturn, a paper wasp nest or a sea shell.  That it has nature in it.

Suzy will once again be at the Open House at Bedlam Farm on October 7th and 8th selling her work and  spinning her wool.  So you’ll be able to see at least part of the process that goes into creating each shawl.

And I’ll get to visit with Suzy for a while.  She lives in Pennsylvania so we don’t get to see much of each other.  But we do keep in touch by texting and sending photos and videos back and forth to each other.  Not as good as the real thing, but it works.

Linda Corrow’s Hand Woven Bird Houses At The Bedlam Farm Open House

August 20th, 2017

Linda’s handwoven bird house

I can’t even remember how it came about.  Jon and I were in the Valley Artisan’s Market in town and I was getting a ceramic tile with a frog on it for Jon and he was buying me a hand-woven bird house.

It all happened so quick.  Within moments Linda was handing me her card and telling me she’d make a bunch of birdhouses and have them for me in two weeks.

I couldn’t resist them.   I knew people coming to the Open House would want them.

Linda  Corrow is a basket weaver.   I remember meeting her about six months ago.  I was taken with her passion and enthusiasm for her work.  She explained the small details on each basket that made them special and unique.

Linda said she got the idea for the bird houses from the gourd bird houses she’s seen.   She thought that she could weave a bird house based on that design.

It took her a while to perfect, but eventually she figured it out.

The red around the doorway of the house attracts the birds.  When they leave the nest for good, you can easily clean the house out by pushing something like a screwdriver in the spaces in the bottom of the house and removing the old nest through the doorway.  You can even hose them down with water.

In the winter you can use the bird house as a bird feeder by  laying some paper in the bottom of the house to block the spaces then filling it with bird seed.

Because it’s woven the birds find it easy to land on the outside of the house and poke their heads in to get the seeds.

Each Bird House is expertly and beautifully hand-woven.  I’m so happy to have them at the Bedlam Farm Open House which is October 7th and 8th from 11-4pm.





Can’t Make Them Quick Enough

August 20th, 2017

My Little Window Potholders are flying out of my studio.

I can’t seem to make them quick enough.  I’m planning on making some for the Open House (Just two months away, October 7th and 8th) and I want to make some to sell at the Round House Cafe.

Lisa, who owns the cafe with her husband Scott, wants to sell my potholders and House of Heart Potholders in the cafe.  I going to try to put some of my potholders aside for her so I can deliver them at the same time the House Of Hearts Potholders come from India in September.

I’ll be selling the House of Heart Potholders here on my blog and at the Open House too.

More “Little Window Potholders” Sold Out

August 18th, 2017

Yellow Butterfly SOLD

I just finished sewing 10 more Little Window Potholders.   I sold three already, but have seven still available.

They’re $15 each + $5 shipping for 1-2 and $7 shipping for three or more.

If you see any that you think would be just right for you, or someone you know, you can email me here at

Just let me know which potholder(s) you like and if you want to send a check or I can email you a paypal invoice.

Here’s the rest of the potholders….



Yellow Beet SOLD

Waterfall Sold

Universe SOLD


Gus and The Donkeys

August 18th, 2017

Lulu’s finishing off an apple, Fanny’s hanging out by the gate and Gus is enjoying their company.

A New Garden For Next Year

August 17th, 2017

My new garden, filled with manure from the barnyard.

Vince was here dropping gravel and moving earth around in the barnyard.  We have him come once a year to replenish the gravel in the pole barn and help with the drainage so there’s less mud.

Every year it gets a little better.

Scott, from Pompanuck, brought his truck over so Vince could load it up with manure.  We had an extra big pile this year, mostly because of Chloe, and here was plenty left over.

So Jon came up with the idea of expanding the garden. And since Vince was here with his tractor it became easy work.

What would have taken me days to do by hand, he did in a half hour.

He scraped up the top layer of grass and replaced it with the manure.  Then he left a pile of more manure for me to move, in the fall,  into the part of the garden that’s already planted.

Next year’s garden will be three times bigger.  Jon and I are already talking about what we’ll grow.

I never wanted to grow vegetable before, we have so many farmers in the area and fresh veggies are very available.

But since starting my Three Sister’s Garden last year, I’ve come to love the whole process of planting seeds and watching them sprout.  Then coming up with ways of cooking and eating what grows.

I also like how a garden makes me think about the next year. I guess because for so long I never wanted to stay in the same place.  It wasn’t until I met Jon that I had the urge to stay put in one house, without thinking about where I’ll move next.

Thinking about next years garden, gives me a sense of stability.  How ever false it may be.   There’s something comforting in planing for next year.  And it takes the edge off the melancholy that comes, for me,  with the  end of summer.

Vince dumping manure into the new garden.

Flo, Cool and Camouflaged

August 17th, 2017



Can you see Flo’s face in the garden

I was pulling some weeds didn’t see Flo sleeping in Dahlia Garden until I was right on top of her.  It’s the perfect place for a cat nap, cool and camouflaged.

Our Wildflower Garden

August 16th, 2017

A neighbor, who had a very big and beautiful garden, told me the best way to keep the weeds out was to have lots of flowers all close together. I’ve tried to take his advice. This is a wildflower garden Jon and I planted this year, with loads of seeds.


“How I’m Feeling” All Done

August 16th, 2017

I finished my quilt called “How I’m Feeling” this morning.  I’m not sure what to say about it.  It really is all about feelings that I don’t have words for.

I’ll be sending it to it’s new home tomorrow.

The Back of “How I’m Feeling”