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Feb. 6th, 2009 | 11:40 am
mood: lazylazy

12:02 Friday morning.
I just turned off the TV. I watched Ugly Betty. I don't see it often and really enjoy it when I do.

The combination of my husband's snoring and the fridge whirring gently and the cat purring behind me (we are sharing a chair right now and I think she is very happy that my butt is a lot smaller than it used to be), sounds like the gentle strumming of chords on a bass guitar. It sounds like the score from a western, sort of like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. How oddly soothing.

I had a good day. I took my dear step-daughter to lunch. I thought a nice bowl of spicy noodle soup would warm me up, but when we got to the restaurant I saw they were serving dim sum. I love dim sum, but it isn't the most nutritious thing one could eat, so I ate it anyway.

It's been years since I've had dim sum! It's all white rice noodley and soy sauced, deep fried and hardly a speck of vegetables. As I was eating it I was thinking all of that PLUS "this is so freakin' good!! It's been years. Oh my god this shrimp dumpling is to die for!" So it was a scary but delicious lunch. I refrained from eating most of the deep fried white things that I ordered just because dim sum is cheap and I wanted to see what the dish was like. My step-daughter was elated that I gave her the entire doggie bag! I was relieved. I don't think I did too much damage. I stopped eating before I got full. After lunch we went shopping and this is what happened.

I went to the fat lady store to get new jeans. I didn't find jeans but I did find a dark grey pair of casual pants that have a cut similar to jeans. The size 18 was too big!! I tried on the 16 and they are a little tight, but my step-daughter looked at me and said, "In a month, they'll probably be too big." That was sweet. I bought a size 16 pair of pants today. Imagine that.

After the clothes for me, we went to Zeller's so I could pick up a few things and then my step-daughter  went shopping. I bought her a new bra - it's pink and grey and has skulls and crossbones on it - so cute! I wished they'd had one in a 38D for me. LOL! And I bought her a few other things that she liked - a black skirt (very functional and needed for work) and a couple of tops. I also bought her knitting needles and a couple of balls of yarn. She learned how to knit in school and really enjoys it.

I learned to knit when I was in Brownies, but I never got my knitting badge because the Brown Owl told my mother that I hadn't paid my fairy gold nor had I completed my knitted square for Brown Owl's afghan. That was a crock. Brown Owl always had booze on her breath. I knew exactly what SHE was doing with that fairy gold. Lord only knows what happened to my knitted square. I do recall though that even I thought it was bad.

After our shopping spree, all aglow with the anticipation of wearing our new clothes, I dropped my step-daughter at home and I made my way towards my belly dance class, but I was too early. I had an hour to kill, so I went shopping again, still looking for those elusive jeans and (stop me if you've heard me say this before) I am getting to the point of making my own pattern and sewing my own jeans because everything I try on gapes in the back. My ass is round and my back is small and even those grey pants may end up getting returned in the end because I think they may gape as well. It's just that they were a little tight and I didn't notice gaping, but I was also in shock at the time having just fit into size 16 pants.

I went to dance class and unfortunatley I felt that my class wasn't very good even though my students had loads of fun. I was feeling sluggish and a little brain tired. When I got into the car to head home, I realized that I'd forgotten to eat dinner, then I got really hungry! I found an apple in my gym bag and it was really tasty. I made it home and had a little dinner - a bit of brown rice pasta with my homemade veggie pasta sauce.

**Note to self - white rice noodles + meat does NOT = enough good nutrition to teach 2.5 hrs of dance class.

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Jan. 20th, 2009 | 10:49 am
mood: optimisticoptimistic

I decided to go for a walk. I put on my new jacket and headed out by myself into the greyness and growing twilight of 4:30 p.m.

The road from my house to the highway is 30 metres one way. I began my walk, trudging up the road, just placing one foot in front of the other, sticking to the broken trail in the snow by a car tire.

I thought about how much weight I've lost and the last time I walked down that road I was heavier. I thought how today I felt lighter on my feet. I felt an orange glow on my head.

I got up to the end of the road and saw more grey, the sky darkening. I thought to myself, "Why did I expect to see something different? Why did I think I would see a little orange glow?" But something was different, yet I did not know it then.

I turned and started my walk back. I took a few steps down the road. It declines and I walk faster. The walk turns into a jog. I'm jogging.

I usually jog until I feel as if I'm going to expire then I walk. This means I jog for about 20 seconds or less, then walk until I stop feeling faint or as if I'm about to die, then jog again.

I'm jogging through the snow. I don't feel like stopping. I don't have to stop. I can jog up this little incline. I can jog to the fork in the road and then, I tell myself, I will stop if I have to, but I don't stop because by now I am high with the feeling that I can jog all the way home without stopping at all. And I did!! I jogged for almost 30 meters without stopping and without dying. I was winded but I recovered fast. I have not run at all since I was a child.

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A New Year Begins

Jan. 4th, 2009 | 06:19 pm
mood: organized!

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, yet here it seems to be an ongoing theme with most, so contrary to my normal behaviour I've been thinking about making changes in 2009.

There are more than a few things that I would like to do or try before my time is up - things like writing a book, travelling to Egypt and taking up competitive ballroom dancing. Then there are little things like fixing the elastic of the laundry basket liner, cleaning up the pottery shop from the holiday sales, and writing a new choreography for upcoming classes.

I really want to, and intend to fix the laundry basket liner, in fact I really want to clean the shop and write those choreographies too. These aren't things that I'm avoiding purposefully. They've just been put on the back burner for one reason or another.

When I think of all the books I would like to read, all the hobbies I would like to try, all the places I have yet to see, I feel giddy. When I think of all the tasks that I have yet to attend (mending, sorting, filing, paperwork, applications, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping), I begin to feel overwhelmed.

This year my big change might just be to make up my mind to approach everything with calm resolve. I think I will begin by taking stock of all that needs to be done (that in itself will undoubtedly be very overwhelming) and priorize instead of running about like Chicken Little freaking out.

My Priorized Top Ten List:
#10 - take that weekend workshop of belly dance with Cassandra Shore in Kingston in May 2009
#9 - work on belly dance costume pieces
#8 - stretch more which may include doing some yoga (which I have a history of hating, but lately it's somewhat appealing)
#7 - clean off my desk and take care of all that stuff that's been put aside
#6 - clean the studio and get started with my new clay projects
#5 - finish the living room curtains
#4 - choreograph 4 new songs by next week (seriously!!) and start lesson plans for new session
#3 - cardio (7x weekly) and strength training (3x weekly)
#2 - sew button holes on my coat
#1 - go have a hot tub

Yes, I think I finally have my priorities straight!

In end of year news...
I am very happy to report that I have lost a total of 39 lbs and 9 inches since August 2008. 
I had so much fun teaching classes and workshop this year!  I loved every minute I got to dance.  I can't wait to get back to it and can't wait to expand my dance horizons!
I feel that I can finally dance for an Arabic crowd without embarrassing myself...but I could be wrong about that!  LOL. 
I'm very happy with my pottery sales this year.  Things were more relaxed for me where shows are concerned.  I know the drill and what to expect now and have learned to not sweat any of it, because ultimately it's about the pot that is for sale, not whether or not my display has lights.  I'm looking forward to getting back into my  studio and working on clay projects that have been brewing in my head. 
I'm excited about my application for 500 Vases - a Lark book

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Solstice Eve

Dec. 20th, 2008 | 11:19 pm
mood: coldcold

The wind has picked up tonight.  It's a northern one coming off the lake and blowing right through the house. I've made no headway with the curtains I've been planning to sew, but it's been an eventful few days. The curtains would certainly cut our heating bill. The fabric is out to be pressed, then measured and cut. I will get a chance to do that tomorrow before we head out to T2's Grinch Party.  Speaking of which, I wonder if we'll be making it.  The forecast is for lots of blowing snow.  Last year we headed out in a snow storm to go to two parties and we had to turn back.  It was just all...white!  We could see nothing but snow swirling around us.

Wednesday night was the night of the big belly dance recital and I met up with my excited students at the Bronson Centre where Halyma generously puts on a show twice yearly and invites other teachers and their students to come and show off their stuff. My students did wonderfully well and they had a lot of fun! 

In the lobby I met up with Denise Enan, one of my teachers over the past few years. Denise is a world renowned dancer and choreographer who, in her twenties, danced with the Egyptian National Folkloric Troupe. Denise came to Canada maybe 30 years ago and she's been teaching dance since then.  Her troupe - The Enan Egyptian Troupe - has been performing for over 20 years. Denise no longer performs, but still teaches and at 64, she can kick my ass! So Denise says to me, "I loved the dance your girls did! It was very nice." I thanked her and then she went on, "It's a very good choreography. I wouldn't say that unless I really meant it, you know." I was so flattered and honoured by what she said! Getting a compliment like that from someone who's been dancing longer than I've been alive...it's...like....woah! I was floating for hours.

On Thursday I went to see my chiropractor and then to a new guy for a massage. I really needed both. Marque worked me over good! He's a keeper.  After the massage I had more shopping to do so I went to the mall in Gatineau so I could get out of Ottawa before rush hour.  I pity y'all who use Ottawa's transit system. Anyway, I found some really wonderful gifts! There was art being sold by the artisans themselves, right there down the centre of the mall in their own makeshift booths. In particular there's a talented fellow named Pierre who spent several years in Cairo learning the craft of glass blowing, etching and painting. He makes breath-taking glass Christmas tree ornaments. I bought one for us and three more for gifts. I know where one is going, but the others...??? Two of the glass ornaments I chose have an Egyptian theme. One is a Aladdin's lamp and the other is a camel. Just lovely! I LOVE spending money that way!! When I can put my heard-earned dollars directly into the hands of the artist and I can speak with that person too and have a great artists' exchange, for me it's the most enjoyable way to shop.

As a treat, I bought myself a gorgeous silver wire ring, wires wrapping up a black stone that has layers of crystals criss crossing just under the surface, giving the stone such depth. I couldn't believe my good luck. Two young women make and sell these lovely pieces of jewelry. The make earrings and necklaces as well, but it was all the rings that really caught my eye.

JF and I had a really relaxing day.  We wrapped Xmas gifts, drank wine, played Wii tennis, watched a movie, and lazed about.  It was just what the doctor ordered.

I'm frozen like a popsicle.  I'm going to hide in a fluffy, cozy, warm bed.

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Sha' Vega's Winter 2009 Schedule

Dec. 9th, 2008 | 03:02 pm
mood: chipperchipper

Hello Lovely Friends and Dancers,
I hope you are all feeling the good vibes of the beautiful snowy weather and upcoming winter solstice.  I very much enjoy that shortest day of the year because it marks the return of the light - the days once again getting longer and brighter.

Here is my schedule for the upcoming session that begins in early 2009:

South Fallingbrook C.C. (aka Maple Ridge Elementary School), 998
Valin Street, Orléans
day, January 12 – March 9, 2009
Level 1 - 6:30p.m. - 7:45p.m. Course code 370151
Level 2 - 7:45p.m. - 9:00p.m. Course code 370159
Cost: $41.50 for 9 weeks. Call 613-824-0633 ext. 221 or register
online at www.ottawa.ca

McNabb Recreation Centre, 180 Percy St. (at James), Centretown
Tuesday, January 6 – March 24, 2009
Level 1 - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Course code 361343
Level 2 and 3 - 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Course code 361360
Choreography Class (Level 2 and up) 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Course code
Cost: $81.25 for 12 weeks. Call 613-564-1070 for more information.
Register online at www.ottawa.ca

Hunt Club Riverside C. C., 3320 Paul Anka Drive, South Keys
, January 15 – March 26, 2009. (No class March 19)
Level 1 and 2 - 6:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m.
Level 2 and 3 – 7:40 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.
Cost: $88 for 10 weeks. Call 613-521-1392 or visit www.hcrcc.ca to register. **I have some coupons for 15% off the belly dance courses
at Hunt Club Riverside CC.  Email me if you want one! First come, first serve.

Enjoy the snow, stay warm and I'll see you soon!
Sha' Vega

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Ou est ma petite danseuse?

Dec. 5th, 2008 | 10:01 am
mood: mellowmellow

Dance has been getting most of my energy lately and now the end of session is here.  I have two more weeks of Monday classes and there's the big show on Dec 17, then I'll get a much needed rest and recovery period (which really means re-evaluating my classes, writing new choreographies and getting my shit together where costuming is concerned).

I took on too much last session and let one class go - Wednesday nights in Nepean.  I have no idea who is taking over though.  I was told that my Level 2 class would forever be cancelled as there were too few or none signing up for it.  My boss asked me if I still wanted to drive 142km round trip to teach for one hour, and just get paid for one hour.  Originally I was hired by a different person who understood my distance situation and agreed to always pay me for 2 hrs regardless of whether or not the Level 2 class ran.  So when asked to do the same job for half the amount of money, I thought,  "Hmmmm.  $32 for the hour ot teaching minus $20 in gasoline = $12 for 3 hours of my life/time/brain/feet/heart/soul/blood.  Ummm, no thanks.

The minute after I sent off my email answer of "no thanks" I wrote another email to the fabulous Bahia  telling her of this opening and that since she was in Nepean, she ought to contact my boss to ask about it.  She did so immediately, but she was told the position was filled.  Even before I was asked the question that would inevitably be a "no" someone else had been hired.  I don't like the way things were done, but I am really happy to have my Wednesdays free, so it's all good.

The winter session that begins in early January has me in Orleans on Monday, Centretown on Tuesday and South Keys on Thursday.  I'll post info for all classes soon.

Last night I went over to one of my student's homes for our end of class party.  Doris is a completely delightful 60-something Peruvian artist who captured my heart with her absolute honesty, openess and just being soooo cute! 

When we walked into her home, it was like we walked into another country.  She has antiques from around the world, Peruvian silver (the REAL silver - as Doris calls it), her artwork adorns every wall in her house and even though the house was expansive, it was cozy.  She is a collector of beautiful things - hand blown glass, pottery, delicate porcelain tea sets - and a nurturing mother-type who fed us lasagna and beer and then we had apple pie and tea in front of the gorgeous marble fireplace, fire blazing.  It was simply divine. 

Doris is off to Peru to visit family so won't be back for the winter session, but I sure do hope I get to see her again and go to her house for another visit.  She's so interesting!  She told us many stories last night and we were all in awe of this amazing woman.

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Etsy and Shimmy

Nov. 22nd, 2008 | 09:48 am
mood: awake

I've known about Etsy.com for some time now and recently I decided to join as a seller.  I'm going to begin with Yule decorations and pendants and see where it leads.  Larger pieces cost a small fortune to ship, so I'm not all that eager to go there.

I'm pretty much done with my Etsy page except for listing stuff. I have to get to town today to figure out shipping charges and get details on tracking packages. After I do that, I can start listing.

In the meantime, if you're the curious sort, you can view the page here: www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6472762.
Take a peek at my bio/profile too (link on right side of the page). Please feel free to let me know what you think.  I welcome all comments.

Today I woke up just in time to view (and participate in) Shimmy, the instructional TV show on Vision that airs at 8am every morning.  I have Bell ExpressVu and it's on channel 267 on my side of the river.

My Level 2/choreo only student Sylvie told me about this program and I was channel surfing one day recently and caught a bit of the show.  I was impressed!  They use good technique and it's fun to learn some different moves - some that I didn't even realize existed, like the belly roll which is a backwards camel. 

I've noted that Shimmy is on daily at 8 am with an instructional half hour yoga show called Namaste following it.  It's the perfect combo for first thing in the morning.


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Thank YOU!

Nov. 18th, 2008 | 09:05 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative

Oh my!  It's been awhile.....

First of all, THANK YOU for coming to my pottery sale on Nov 8 & 9.  The sale was a big success and I really appreciate your support!

Traditionally, we have a potluck on the Saturday night of the sale.  For 3 years now we've made it a Pasta Potluck.  We make homemade traditional egg noodles and guests surprise us with their yummy sauces.  This year we had so much fun!  There was a lot of great food, LOTS of wine, laughter, but sadly no dancing.  I, for one, had too full of a belly for dancing. 

Last week I was preparing for the Ottawa Guild of Potters Fall Sale, which was this past weekend.  The sale was not stellar for me, but then again, my work has never sold exceptionally well at guild sales.  It may be because I'm not a permanent fixture as some potters have been for 20 - 30 years now.  I'm there rather sporadically.  Still I sold some wonderful pieces, like my covered cheese dish and a textured pitcher, as well as dozens of Yule decorations and a few soup bowls. 

Whatever remains of my pottery has returned home once again but my shop is in a state of chaos.  I must get it back to "normal" this week.  The other task I have for the week is to work on my Etsy page.  That's right, I have registered at Etsy.com as a seller and I'm quite excited to be offereing my pieces for sale through Etsy, which seems like less of a problem than waiting for my software architecht of a husband to tend to my website and get it set up for commerce.  Besides, Etsy has a built in customer base and I feel that more people will see my work through Etsy than they will trying to discover me in cyberspace.  Having both an Etsy page and my wesbite set up for commerce (eventually) will be beneficial to my business.

Today I had three women come to my place for Tarot Card Readings.  It was a good day, but I feel slightly drained by the experience.  I'm going to eat lunch now and then have a wee rest before I leave to teach my belly dance classes. 

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TV Land

Nov. 4th, 2008 | 02:37 pm
mood: busy

I just did my first TV interview for a local French television station!  They are going to air it this week and since my big Holiday pottery sale is on this weekend, I hope it'll bring the much needed business to the pottery shop.

BTW, I did not speak in French during this interview.  My French isn't very good at all.   :-(

The fellow who interviewed me however, said that it was his first interview in English, so that was cool!  His English is very good.

I'm so happy that one can live in Québec and not be ostricized for speaking English only as many people in Canada think.  As long as I try, the Francophones appreciate it.  They've never ignored me in any way for being English and are always happy to practise their English...avec moi!

Anyway, if you are in the Buckingham, Québec area, the interview will air on local access channel 22.  As to the date and time, I have no idea!  But I can find out if you want!  Just let me know.

Gotta get back at the pots.  I have knobs for lidded serving dishes drying and I need to go attach them.

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Pottery for Sale

Nov. 2nd, 2008 | 12:30 pm
mood: busy

Poterie du Lac la Blanche
6th Annual Holiday Sale
110 Giroux Pvt, Mayo, QC
(just 45 mins from downtown Ottawa)
Saturday, November 8th and Sunday November 9th
From 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily 
I’ve been working to create many beautiful pieces
for holiday gift-giving, so whether you’re shopping for loved ones or looking for just the right piece
as a holiday treat for yourself, we hope to see you at our little poterie this fall.
Please join us at
Poterie du Lac la Blanche
110 Giroux Pvt., Mayo, QC
Saturday, November 8th and Sunday, November 9th, 2008
From 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily
for directions
Cash and cheques gladly accepted. 

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