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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Playing in the Dirt!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Playing in the Dirt!

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yavanna earth
This past weekend, I disconnected from my computer (mostly) and Bobby and I spent the weekend planting and getting our gardens ready. As a wee lass growing up, I loved to play outside and play in the dirt. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it; even better than that, it meant that Bobby and I got to spend the entire day together interacting rather than sitting back to back in a silent room on our respective computers.

We knew, going into the weekend, that we wanted to take one of our flowerbeds and use retaining walls stones (for lack of a better word) to create a low wall and raise and even out the ground behind it a bit. I've always loved gardens where there are multiple tiers versus everything on a single flat surface, and Bobby was right with me.

We bought our stones at Lowe's and (literally) about a half-ton of dirt and got to work. We were really pleased with the final product. Then I suggested, off the cuff, partitioning a bit of it off even further and raising it another level so we basically have a flowerbed with three different levels. We had a couple of extra stones, so I laid out what I meant, and Bobby's eyes lit up, and we were back off to Lowe's to get enough stones to finish it.

Our next-door neighbor Bob, seeing us working outside, was over in our yard a couple of times to, as he put it, observe productive people. Now Bob is an awesome gardener. My cousin Jamie compares his backyard to Narnia. After we finished our little stone structure, he came wandering back over, took one look, and exclaimed, "Wow!" I think we really surprised him!

It looks awesome.

Of course, a couple stone walls and a bunch of dirt isn't much fun. So what's going in there? We've planted a butterfly and hummingbird garden there. I think it'll look really cool once everything has grown, which will probably take awhile.

(No pictures until there are some plants in it as, now, it is just a fancy receptacle for dirt!)

Something else cool: Bobby and I started ballroom dancing lessons last night, beginning with the waltz.

It started because someone suggested to Bobby and our friend Patrick that heavy fighters really benefit from learning salsa dancing. So Bobby looked into salsa dancing lessons and found a whole lot of schools in our area that teach all sorts of dance. Turns out that learning to really dance is something that he's always wanted to learn to do (heavy fighting aside). We're registered for salsa classes, but then there was a chance that they'd be canceled, so Bobby also registered us for waltz.

We were easily the youngest couple there. (There was another woman there possibly younger than me or around the same age, but she was there with an older guy, I think her dad.) The instructor started having us listen for the waltz beat. Easy ... I've been playing music since I was a kid, and Bobby's a percussionist. Then we marched in place to the beat. Then we marched to the beat and turned in place at the same time. Then we learned the box step individually, ladies and gents separately. Finally, we partnered up and put it all together.

After a forty-five minute class, Bobby and I were competently waltzing around in a circle! And we had a great time!

Then we came home and waltzed some more on our back patio.

At one point, the instructor had us count out loud while we danced. Well, we got pretty tired of one-two-three one-two-three, so we started making up other three-beat counts: one-two three, Elves-are-cool, one-two-three, leaf-shaped-ears, cracking up all the while. And we were no sooner in the car after class and I was suggesting practicing to Nox Arcana's "Crystal Forest," which is a waltz (but too fast for us as utter newbies). I guess once a nerd, always a nerd.

And Bobby just got word that salsa class is on, so it looks like we'll be taking salsa and waltz simultaneously. That's not a bad thing. We had so much fun (Elves aside!) and it's really good exercise.
  • salsa is just too much fun for your own good so I think you guys will enjoy it. :D Hubby and I took ballroom lessons before the wedding and did a waltz for our dance, which he determined to be his favorite with tango as a close second (though I think that one is my fave). Samba is the biggest workout I've had EVAH. O.O But really it is very awesome and it is great to see you guys doing that. :D
  • *Sigh* Just got 6 inches of snow and it hasn't all melted yet.

    Oooh! the dancing sounds like fun! So great that Bobby is willing.
    • Thank you for reminding me that, even though I always claim that it does, Maryland does not suck that much. :^P All winter, I can be heard muttering, "This state sucks. Always so bloody cold. Why don't we live in Florida??"

      *nudges Spring in your direction*

      So great that Bobby is willing.

      Agreed! :) Ballroom dancing is something that I've always wanted to try (since I love dancing), but I don't want to become one of those wives that is always dragging her husband off to things that he doesn't want to do. He doesn't do that to me. Bad enough that I make him take me to Stars on Ice every year. (It's next week, w00t!) But he set up the dancing lessons and is really excited about it. Here I've known him for almost thirteen years now, and I had no idea that he ever wanted to learn to dance! Though we did get together at a dance twelve years ago, which should have been a clue.
  • Yay, you're dancing! You probably know this already, but I love dancing, and I love when other people pick up social dance, too. I absolutely adore waltzing -- it's the easiest dance ever, but there's such wonderful music out there for it. I think I learned to waltz when I was around twelve or thirteen, and my piano teacher decided that I didn't "get" the waltz she was teaching me to play. She decided that I needed to know what the associated dance felt like so as to get an idea of the schwung, so she took five minutes and taught me to waltz. I have never regretted having that skill.

    Now, the hambo, that's hard. The hambo is what they have in mind when they say that one should try everything once except incest and folk dancing. I've had an intense hambo lesson, and I still have no idea how it works.
    • Okay, you got me ... I had to look up the hambo on Wikipedia!

      I think I'll stick with waltzing ...

      Waltzing is indeed easy. Even Bobby finds it easy (which I don't mean to sound insulting, but he's never had to learn dance choreography--even very simple dance choreography--before, so he's taken to it really well, imo.) Of course, there are a few in the class who just can't get it, but that's always the case. I mean, I was in the most advanced skating class for my program with girls who still didn't know how to skate. Forward.

      But I digress. I love dancing too! Bobby didn't have to ask me twice to take dancing lessons with him.

      On Saturday, we start salsa! I'm really looking forward to this.

      And you're right: There is some absolutely gorgeous waltz music out there. I've also realized that some of my nerdy Nox Arcana songs are waltzes, which is twice as cool.
  • I hope there'll be pictures eventually... :)
  • Ooh! Salsa is fun, but my favorite is TANGO. Omg, love.

    Dancing is also much better when you have a partner, then you don't feel like a dork. ;) So I am jealous.
  • Heh, I bet from now on I'm going to keep accidentally writing "Waltz" as part of your name. ;) I love the names of those dances--"waltz," "salsa," "tango," etc... though they make me hungry and now I want a burrito and a hot fudge sundae with walnut topping. :P

    < /rather pointless comment>
    • Pointless?! Not at all! I laugh out loud every time I read it! :^D

      Heh, I bet from now on I'm going to keep accidentally writing "Waltz" as part of your name. ;)

      That's okay. Growing up, no one could accept that my name was not "Dawn Wells." >:^|

      Waltz is much better!

      Also, new puppies = love. 8^)
  • The garden sounds awesome!

    (Reminds me I need to attack my wilderness soon!)
    • Psst, Moreth! Attack your wilderness soon! ;)

      And thank you! So long as the Goldens don't dig up what we've planted, I hope that it will someday be awesome indeed.
  • (is the last & only person around who wishes it was still wintery) ._.

    Am trying to exercise myself. But because i don't think the campus gym will let me in wearing jeans & combat boots & i'm not lugging clothes around (got enough to carry already), am trying to do sit ups & things in the bathroom at home. (That sounds so weird & undercover.) -_-;;; i'm special...

    Usued to be semi-interested in gardening, once upon a time. Have now given up. Realized i am no Sam Gamgee & would rather just leave things to do whatever. (lazy) Hate yard work.
    • I'm sure you're not the only person who wishes it was winter still, but I can say that I'm not inclined to agree with you. ;)

      Exercising in the bathroom isn't so weird. I did my stretching in the bathroom for years. It was how I learned the proper leg position for spirals in skating (on account of the big mirror).

      I'm not sure how green my thumb is. But I like playing outside in the dirt, so we'll see! :)
  • The image you gave me of you and Bobby waltzing on the front porch, it was an extra beautiful, romantic and positive image to enjoy this week. The usage of words while 'counting' the steps immediately reminded me of your beautiful story The Dance (which I still want to review), where Nerdanel and Feanor do the same. Thee are moments to cherish, enjoy, to be so gracefully close with the one you love (I think my Maglor muse needs some time with me, hmmm.). I think if you finish the beds coming weekends, you will already enjoy the fruits of your labour in May and June, throughout the summer. That is what I love about Spring and Summer into Autumn: tending to the garden, making time to water it, walk through it, being outside... (This is Tyelko I think ;)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing Dawn *hugs*

    Edited at 2008-04-04 10:53 am (UTC)
    • Awww ... you're welcome! :) *hugs back*

      I love growing things! It's so cool to put seeds in the dirt and get life. Or get food to feed our family right off of our own land. My father-in-law has elected our house to be the bunker in case of emergency since we'll have so many foods growing in our yard. We'll have so much that we've actually started a co-op with our neighbor! :^P
  • Tango? Why does everybody like tango so much? I know very few people here who dance tango and only one under 60. It reminds me of the saying about liking what other people have and you don't (The grass is greener..?) Now tropical dances like salsa or cumbia or rumba are much more fun! I love dancing but I'm not very good at those and my husband is even worse. He's really lousy at dancing (though he thinks he's quite ok) but it's enough for weddings and end of year parties. I can't picture him at ballroom dancing classes. It might be fun, though
    • I think it's definitely an example of how the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. :) Here, the tango is considered to be a very dramatic, very passionate dance. In fact, I have trouble picturing anyone over 60 dancing the tango!

      We start salsa classes this weekend, then next session of ballroom will be the rumba. I'm excited for these, as I like fast, energetic dances as well. (Though, if my experiences as a skating performer are any indication, I will excel at the slower, more dramatic dances. *grumble*)
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