Sunday, March 8, 2009

Winter Sunshine - 2009

   I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I’ve written.  Ethel, a dear friend of my Mom’s,  just sent us a postcard, because she hadn’t heard from us lately and I checked to see when our last travelog was sent.  I couldn’t believe it was Nov. 1st., four months ago.  Time has flown by this winter.   We’ve kept busy working our part-time jobs, Gary at the golf course and me at Kokopelli Quilts.  I was also Secretary of our Board of Directors here at the Co-Op.  While still on the Board for another year, after two years as Secretary, I turned over that job to another Board member.  It just seemed to be a little overwhelming this year, with working and trying to find time to quilt.  We both feel it’s been the nicest weather of any winter we’ve spent in Arizona with minimal rain and days in the 70's.  We had a few weeks of 60's of course and nights in the 30's, as the desert cools down.  We’re so lucky to be able to spend winters here..       
    On of the highlights, was our daughter Riki and her family coming to Arizona for Christmas.  It was the first time since 2004 that we’ve been with family for the holiday.  Once again we were grateful for our shed, as everyone stayed here.  It was the coolest week of the year for us, but everything is relative, and the kids thought weather in the 50's and 60's was great compared to Wyoming winter.   They played golf one day and we did some sightseeing as well as just relaxing and enjoying each other.  They got to enjoy a SKP Christmas dinner and see that while we miss family, we also enjoy our SKP family during the holidays.
    Gary has enjoyed his pool league in town and has been slowly climbing the ladder with his average.  He’s been going between 4th and 5th place, out of about 60 guys, the last few weeks.  They play every Tue. evening, and he usually plays in a tournament once or twice a month on Sunday.  He also plays every Tue and Thur morning at the Senior Center, as well as many evenings here at the park. 
    We went to a Geocaching event at a beautiful desert park in Casa Grande last month.  While there, we found our 600th geocache!  We did a poker run and found all the new caches that had been placed for the day, as well as visiting with, and meeting area cachers.  We had gorgeous weather that day with just enough cloud cover to keep it from getting too hot.
    My running has been nonexistent this winter due to injuries for the first four months and laziness the past month.  I just recovered from a pulled groin muscle, when I severely pulled my hamstring.  After a month I was able to start a walking program.  Our exercise group here at the park, does power walking with tapes every morning from 7-8am and I attend those most mornings.  I had preregistered for the Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon and decided with a four hour time limit I could walk the 13.1 miles.   I made it in 3 hours and 44 minutes and 39 seconds.  I finished in 20, 808th place out of about 23,000.  Add another 10,000 for the Marathon and it was quilt a crowd, but a lot of fun too.  What no one counted on, was the Arizona Cardinals playing at home, in the playoffs the same day.  I’m sure the Phoenix police had their hands full that day.  It was fun having a home team to root for in the Superbowl and they did great, even if they didn’t
win.  They sure made it an exciting game.  We were glad to see Kurt Warner (the Cardinals quarterback), win the NFL humanitarian award too.  He does so much for the kids in the Phoenix area. 
    Gary had a minor mishap on Thanksgiving. Because of a downpour the day before, he had to go in an finish some mowing at the golf course.  While there, he knelt down and felt a pop in his left knee.  It was immediately very painful.  After Urgentcare the next day (impossible to get into a Dr. the day after Thanksgiving), and the expected referral to an Orthopedist the next week, we found out it was a bruised hamstring.  He went through several weeks of physical therapy, and light duty (off his knees) at work, but all is well now.  It really makes us thankful for our good health and mobility.
    Our park had wonderful February Follies this year.  It’s our annual time to raise money for the Co-Op and have fun too.  Gary ran the pool tournament and won the Men’s Division.  We had a casino night, skits, great meals and we tried to help as we could around our other busy schedule.  The week concluded with a dance and drawing names for the raffle prizes that had been donated.  I had donated a tablerunner I’d quilted.  We won two tickets to one of my favorite places, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and Botanical Garden in Tucson, donated by another leaseholder.  That’s always a fun day. 
    One of the reasons I’m always anxious to find time for quilting, is my new sewing machine.  Bernina Connection from Phoenix came to Kokopelli’s to do a truck show on their machines in Nov, Dec, and again in Feb.  With Gary’s generous blessing I bought a new Aurora 440 Quilter’s Edition.  It’s a wonderful machine that has done so much to improve my quilting, (with a lot of practice of course).  It’s my Xmas, birthday, anniversary, etc. present for the next several years and that’s fine with me.  I love it!  They also came to Casa Grande to give the free Mastery classes to those of us who bought new machines.  They were great, but another gal and myself are also going to Phoenix this month to take some more classes, so we can get the most out of our machines.  There is only one problem with it.  When I’m using it, something seems to go wrong with the clocks and the time speeds up.  Yesterday I sat down at 1:30pm to sew for an hour and the
next time I looked at my watch it was 3:45.  How does that happen?  While I’m on the subject of quilting, I just attended my first Quilt Camp.  It was held at a YMCA camp in the mountains north of Tucson; a beautiful area, with great views, good food, superb company, and time to quilt all day and into the night.  It was three days and the leader presented us with a couple small new projects.  We also took whatever we wanted to work on.  There were 18 of us, with 3 to a room.  While I only quilted from 6am to midnight, a couple gals went to 2:30am.  Did I mention we didn’t have to cook or clean up?  Only toss a blanket over our bed in the morning and head for the quilting room.   I completed 3 projects and worked on 2 others as well.  I hope we can make it an annual event.
     This past week we made our annual trek to Yuma and Algadones, Mexico.  It’s hard to believe how much cheaper meds and drugs of all kinds are.  Even toothpaste, a large tube of Crest for 61 cents.  Of course we had lunch at La Fonda’s Gary’s favorite Mexican restaurant and took five dozen rolled Sonoran Tacos home with us.  On the way home we stopped at Dateland for wonderful Date Shakes and some dates to take home too.  We also found 10 geocaches from Yuma to Dateland. 
    Now, hard as it is to believe, we’re getting ready to head north in another four weeks.  We expect to be back in Evanston, WY by tax time.  A reminder to everyone that we no longer have pocketmail, so please continue to use this yahoo address for e-mail, (   Once we leave here, I’ll no longer have WIFI access on a regular basis and will need to go to my daughter’s or the library to check our e-mail.  That means I won’t get it as often, so as much as we enjoy them, I’d also like to ask everyone to please take us off their automatic forwarding lists, whether it’s a joke, cute picture, or prayers.  I just won’t be able to sort through all of them when only checking the e-mail once or twice a week.  I don’t want to miss something important from  you or accidently delete something.  We really appreciate it. 
    Please don’t mail anything to our Casa Grande address after March 25th.  You can use our summer address at Riki’s: 401 Twin Ridge Ave.  Evanston, WY 82930.  She’ll keep it until we arrive in April.  That is also the address to use for the rest of the Summer.
    Take care everyone and to all our SKP friends, travel safely this summer.  Don’t forget to stop and see us if you’re in Northern Utah.  As soon as the snow melts, we’ll be at Stillwater Campground on Hiway 150, about 30 miles south of Evanston, WY.   We should definitely be out there by Memorial Day weekend.
    Dancing to the beautiful Winter Arizona Sunshine.......................................
Hugs, Katy, Gary, Rusty, and Spicy