Monday, September 24, 2012

Everyday Minuets #3

Our car has a flat tire today, so Beezy and I ran errands on foot. Well, she road her bike, and we walked the dog to Main St. It's not a far walk, but I admit to being a little lazy lately and driving the car unnecessarily. Belly dance classes start up again on Thursday, so I need to start thinking about better health and fitness (again)! Fall allergies have kicked in full throttle. It's my favorite season, especially the Indian Summer days like today, but physically I feel the worst. At any rate, the cat was out of his soft food, and he was not happy...

The discount grocery we went to was, alas, completely wiped out of soft cat food! But I needed white and whole wheat flour and couscous, so it was still worth the trip. My backpack was then very heavy, though, but I figured it was great strength training! Beezy had brought her own money and shopped in the attached flea market, finding a beautiful China doll. I thought it was neat that she wanted to spend her own money and didn't even ask if I would buy it. Somehow homeschooling gets the credit for this independent gesture! Since she was on her bike, guess who got to carry the doll in its box, along with the backpack, while simultaneously walking the dog? We then went to the gas station for the cat food, which I had Beezy hang from her handlebars, and we prodded back home.

Last evening I was talking with a retired teacher who assumed that we use the computer a lot since we homeschool. When I said no, we rarely use the computer, she questioned how we are then held accountable. Interesting the preconceptions people have, and what a great opportunity to educate someone to a better degree of understanding of the process! While I appreciated her insights as a former schoolteacher, I sensed her trying to tell me how to go about teaching reading, and I ended the conversation by extolling the beauty of being able to do what works best in our family. One reason I am letting my hair go gray is that I am hoping my elders will realize that I am way past old enough to make good choices and to know what I am doing as a mother/teacher. I am in my early 40s but don't look it, except that now the evidence of my hard won wisdom is showing on my head! Mothers, have faith in the holy wisdom that God grants you, and do not waiver in your mission.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Belly Dance 2012 in Bryan, OH

Belly Dance Classes (age 15 and up)
Bryan Parks and Recreation
Fall 2012

Amplify your level of fitness with the feminine art of belly dance! Improve grace, beauty, flexibility, strength, rhythm and body image while learning to dance Egyptian style. Students may dance barefoot or in socks or ballet flats and should wear a scarf around the hips. A full body warm up and yoga cool down will be included in each class. Each session will run for 5 consecutive Thursdays (no class will be held on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22), and the cost is $40.00. All classes will be held at the Community Center on Buffalo Rd., upstairs. A minimum of 8 students must be pre-registered, and prepayment is highly encouraged to reserve your space. Call the Parks and Recreation office at 419-633-6030 to register. Instructor: Rita Helena

Basic Belly Dance—starts September 27
5:30-6:30 p.m.
This class is open to both new and continuing beginners and will cover the history, music, and movement foundations of the dance, putting the basics together into simple combinations to provide a low impact workout. No prior dance experience is necessary.

Beyond Basics—starts November 8
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Prerequisite: Students must have completed at least on prior session. Dancers will focus on transitions between movements and incorporate arm positions in a lead-and-follow style format. This class will keep you moving!

Intermediate to Advanced—6:45-7:45 p.m.
Prerequisite: Students must have completed at least 4 previous sessions.

Session 1—starts September 27
Dancers will learn the classical style of the Golden Era of Egypt from the 1950s and 1960s and refine methods of personal interpretation.

Session 2—starts November 8
Dancers will learn a set of combinations in the upbeat, folkloric style of the Egyptian Saidi. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Everyday Minuets #2

Today was "Kids Day" at our county fair, which means that every school in the county was closed, leaving all the children free to converge upon the fairgrounds on the same day. I believe kids got in free, and they could ride all the rides they wanted for the price of one wristband. While I certainly understand the economic convenience, especially for large families, going to the fair on Kids Day, to me, qualifies as sheer madness. But it was so peaceful in town, so homeschooling on the porch was not compromised by neighborhood children, even though they had the day off. Maybe it's a result of having lived in a large city for 20 years, but purposely exposing myself to crowds of people, the smell of disgusting carny food, long lines, and what qualifies for traffic here simply no longer appeals to my senses.

Instead, I was dying to get out of town and connect with nature! So Beezy, my husband and I set out to a rural park with two ponds which connect under an old, wooden bridge (perhaps this actually qualifies as one pond, but it looks like two). Beezy was really wanting to look for turtles, and we happily spotted several, many of which were cute little babies. We have been reading the American Girl book, Kaya's Hero, and last week we read that a Nimiipu Indian baby had on a diaper made of cattail fluff. Beezy could not remember what cattails were at the time, so it was marvelous to find them at the pond today and be able to take a couple home. There is that segue style learning in action once again!

 George Bible Park, Ohio

We also found a tree frog, which Beezy had the patience to catch (it was a fast little thing!), and then while we were sitting on a fallen log still communing with the frog, I spotted two deer. My husband saw that there were three. Since they were perfectly still, I assume they spotted us first! A doe and two fawns. We also discovered two teepees that someone had made from sticks, which were really cool, and we collected leaves. My husband knows his trees, so we will be able to label them for our collection. Of course there were squirrels, dragonflies, butterflies, and waterbugs, and we also brought home a patch of bright green moss. Fresh air and exercise amongst the trees and God's woodland creatures--that has got to beat long lines, deafening noise, and hordes of people any day!

We'll still spend at least one day at the fair this week. Beezy loves the animals, and I look forward to the homemade doughnuts every year!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everyday Minuets #1

 Minuet by Frederick Hendrick Kaemmerer

Sometimes a topic for this blog easily comes to me, but sometimes I just want to write--like in a journal. Not necessarily about anything in particular, but still with some centering purpose. Perhaps rather than the grand, universal  theme, it's the little details comprising a typical day that can inspire the most contemplative food for thought.

This morning after playing with her cats and getting dressed, Beezy wanted to go outside to the trampoline and practice her tumbling. Yesterday she had discovered that she could do somersaults on the trampoline, which she had learned a few years ago in tumbling classes but had since forgotten how to do. She created two variations on the somersault, one of them being the simple, standard type, the other done with more forward-propelling energy and panache. She decided she liked the 2nd one best!

So this morning I watched out the window unbeknownst to her and saw her lying on her back on the trampoline. Then she got up and practiced the somersaults, talking to herself along the way. At another point she was lying down again. There was a definite system at work here, organically developed. On a late summer day while most children are confined to an indoor classroom, Beezy is teaching herself something important, evaluating her own progress, working toward her own method and goals. Out in the fresh air, soaking up sunshine. Resting when she needs to rest, working when she is compelled to work. Self-directed.

This is like a minuet--an old-fashioned, slow, graceful dance, done in 3/4 time... We will get to our formal "school" time, but first we have a heavy, mysterious package to open from Beezy's grandmother who lives in New Mexico. We have the pleasure of allowing our day to unfold.

So here is my proposition: I will write from now until I am done with the experiment in a series of minuets, reminding me that life is a dance, and it is a slow one to be savored. We will pay attention. Listen for the inner promptings, the whispers that will guide us if we are willing to hear the musical strains all around us; find the freedom within the form.