Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dancing Through Winter 2015-2016

      This has been an unusual winter for us, as I’ve been busy with that four letter word, “WORK”.  As I mentioned in the last blog, just before we left Show Low, Weight Watchers contacted me to see if I was still interested in being a leader.  I told them I was and we set up an interview for after we got to Casa Grande.  All went well and I was offered a position as a receptionist in Casa Grande, with leader training to follow.
     I started with an online orientation the next week.  That was followed by a once a year class called “Innovations” in Phoenix.  They sent a bus, starting in Tucson and picking up myself and two others in Casa Grande on the way.  This was for all the Weight Watcher employees in Arizona and a few hundred attended.  It was fun and exciting to be a part of.  This was followed by on the job training for the receptionist position at the two Monday evening meetings in Casa Grande. 
    In December, I attended a three day leaders training in Phoenix.  Because of the distance involved they put me in a hotel while attending this.  It was a fun few days with a couple other new leaders.  January brought mentoring in Tuscon.  I visited one orientation and two meetings led by my mentor and then led an orientation and went back to lead another meetings.  They were all fun and my mentor was terrific. 
     Finallly I was able to lead my own meeting and in February, Weight Watchers started a Monday,10am meeting here in Casa Grande.  I have a great group and it’s been a lot of fun.  Because the morning meeting is so popular, I’ve had from 30-45 members each week.  The other leader here in town does the reception work for my meeting and I do the reception work for the two evening meetings that she leads.  That means on Mondays I work from about 9am to 11:00 and from 3pm to 6:15pm.  Its a long day, but its nice having it all done on one day too.  The other leader is also a winter visitor, so the last morning meeting will be April 18th.  We’ll head for Show Low and she’ll head for Minnesota, where they summer. The Weight Watchers office in Phoenix will send someone to cover at least one afternoon meeting during the summer.  
      The leader in Show Low has already contacted me about subbing for her this summer.  As to whether I'll have a meeting of me own, we’ll have to see what the demand is for more meetings. The good part of that is I’m at both places (winter & summer) when they’re the busiest. 
     After I committed to work for WW, we structured all of our other winter activities around my training schedule. Unfortunately, that meant not going to Quartzsite or Yuma this winter.  We managed to stay busy though.  There isn’t any square dancing in Casa Grande, so we drove to Mesa (about 60 miles), for an afternoon dance once a month.  We also attended an evening dance once a month in Florence, (about 45 miles).  The caller in Florence is the sister of our caller in Show Low.  We’re looking forward to only driving 6 miles to dance this summer.
     We went to the Hummingbird Hoedown Square Dance Festival in Sierra Vista, (south of Tucson) the last weekend in January.  We took the Class C and stayed in an RV park not far from the dances.  It was really stepping our of our comfort zone, as the caller was much faster than we were used to, but we caught on and came away feeling more confident about our dancing.  We plan on going again next year.  We plan on taking the Plus dance lessons this summer.  This is the next step up form Mainstream we took last summer.
IMG_2015The park didn’t have an entry this yeear, but we went to enjoy the Electric Light Parade in Casa Grande.  This is a fire truck from Eloy, bringing up the rear of hte parade. 
IMG_2120Santa and I having fun at our Christmas party.  (Note the snazzy pants!)
     Gary’s pool league started up again and he enjoyed that, as well as weekly tournaments.  He usually places in the top third and wins enough to keep him going back. 
     I enjoyed more line dancing at our park, as well as some card playing.  We didn’t get any Mah Jongg in, but play once a week during the summer.  I didn’t get as much quilting done as I usually do, but was was able to squeeze in some small projects.
IMG_2105The sign on their laps reads, “Please tell our wives we’re waiting,” and is located in front of the 3 Dudes Quilt shop.  Here are some small table toppers and table/couch runners I made.
      Our park celebrated Hillbilly Days this year for our annual festival.  We signed up for clans and competed in several events.  Here are some pictures.  I think you’ll agree that Gary was very fetching in the Daisy Duke contest.
IMG_2382     IMG_2389         IMG_2426Gary and friend, Aileen competing in the Almost Amazing Race.  Gary was drinking a not quite cooked egg as they hurried around the course.  It was a hilarious few days and kept us laughing for many days after.
     I walk from 3-5 miles just about every morning here.  It sure helps keep the weight in check and I enjoy the early morning time.  I stay in the park with a flashlight until the sun comes up, and then venture out on some of the dirt roads out here in the country.  Last fall I was getting bored and needed an incentive, so I decided to enter a half-marathon, walking.  I decided on the Lost Dutchman, in Apache Junction, as its fairly flat, well run, & has great shirts/medals.  I walked it on Valentine’s Day.  Hoping to finish the 13.1 miles in 4 hours, I was pleased to finish in 3 hours and 24 minutes.  I averaged 15.37 min/mile, which is good for me.  I was 388 out of 410 females and 11 out of 13 in my age group.  Of course, most of the other competitors were running.
     I also walked a 5K on Apr. 2, at the Scottsdale airport.  It’s called Run the Runway and they actually close the airport and the course is on the runways.  Very smooth and flat of course.  I was aiming for 45 minutes and finished in 40 minutes and 18 seconds, averaging 12:59 min/mile.  This time I finished 2nd out of 10 in my age group. 
Katy Run
    We’re closing out our winter season with a wonderful treat for us, Family!  We love having family visit and Riki, Kevin, and Kai came by for three days after visiting her California family.  We know they really wanted to see us, but it helped that their favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks.  As I type this, they’re on their way to the game. 
     We’ll be heading for Show Low in another two weeks, so please don’t mail any thing else here.  Our Show Low address is 1051 N. Central Ave.  Space 272  Show Low, AZ 85901.  A special thanks to my good friend Diane, who taught me to use Live Writer, so I could once again include pictures with the blog. 
     Dancing up to the cool mountain air……………………
Hugs, Katy, Gary, and Bandit

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