Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Resolution update...Group Fitness Class

January 16, 2014
One of my resolutions this year was to take a group fitness class. Today was the day for that. I coerced my friend, SLC, to join me. We decided to join the Basic Step class. Remember, I was concerned about taking someone's place. Well that was not a problem...the instructor was very nice and there were no space issues.  We honestly tried to be successful but the pace of the class was just too much for us. And I could not follow the instructions....who would expect that I would have difficulty following directions? We gave it a shot but that class was just not for us beginners. But we are not finished with this challenge. Next week we are stepping it back and joining the Silver Sneakers class. I've been told that it is a good workout so let's see if I can keep up with the other seniors.
January 22, 2014
SLC and I checked out the Silver Sneakers II class at the Y today.  Hey....we are young Silver Sneakers....we don't need the beginning class.  It's a full class....both men and women "of a certain age".  I knew right away that this class was going to be much different than our Basic Step classes.  The men in the group started right in, carrying chairs (yes, I said chairs) and carpet squares and setting up the room.  (Gentlemen do still exist!)  Since I was clueless as to what to do, SLC got me outfitted with my exercise bands, my Silver Sneakers official ball and led me over the weights.  I went with the 4 lb weights when a little  Oriental woman raised her eyebrows at me while I was reaching for the 5 pounders.  The other, more experienced class members came up and started to introduce themselves and (covertly) question our ages and ability to keep up.  Our new friend, Margo, introduced us to a very sweet lady in front of us (cannot remember her name....I'm old enough to be in the senior fitness class so I am allowed a memory lapse or six.) who is 86 years old and has survived two heart surgeries.  Margo told us to just watch this lady and we would be just fine.  In addition to being 86 years old, this sweet lady has been taking this class for 10 years.  She invited us to join them for coffee before class because we could learn a lot about insurance and taxes from this group.  (I'm not sure what insurance and taxes has to do with fitness but......)
The music is good....mostly disco and things I actually have heard in my younger days.  The instructor is perky.  The class members all know each other and the class started with announcements about who was in the hospital and who has rejoined the group after a hospital stay.  (That, my folks, is my future!)  All of the aerobic moves can be adjusted to your fitness level and some class members (not me) actually used the chairs the entire time.  (There were some exercises done sitting in the chair but the chairs are actually used more for balance.)  There were lots of balance exercises which I really need.  They even have two ladies whose job it is to keep an eye on everyone and make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.  (I also think that they might be the ones trained in CPR and be the designated "catcher" if someone goes down mid-class.  They station themselves near the door to quickly summon aid!)
So...the verdict.....I think that SLC and I are really too young for this class.  (I've already picked out the guy most like my father-in-law....chatting with the ladies and generally joking around!)  But, that being said, any form of exercise is better than nothing so I plan to make this a part of my weekly schedule.  In time, I hope that I can progress to a younger class but who knows, I might be the 86 year old who has been coming for 26 years in the future!  Maybe I can be one of the first responders!  You know how I like to make sure that everyone is doing the right moves!
An ending note on Tuesdays with Nonie.....Mr. Perfect still does not want to put on that swim diaper and swim suit.  But he likes the songs that we sing and sang all the way home from lessons.  He was able to tell Mommy all about what we did so maybe we are making progress even though he really is not a big fan of the water.  I would like to add library story time to our perfectly in to the schedule....but that would mean changing clothes at the pool and I am not ready to share the spider monkey wrestling bout with any other parents.  Stay tuned for updates next week.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesdays with Nonie...the return of the spider monkey

Today was episode two in the ongoing saga of Tuesdays with Nonie. 
I am not sure what it is about Tuesdays and traffic but I got caught up in it again today.  DIL is under the weather so I was to pick up Mr. Perfect at home.  What is usually a 25 minute drive turned into a 50 minute ordeal this morning.  I debated going the "long way" but since traffic was moving at that point, I decided to just go with the usual route.  And of course, no sooner had I made that decision than traffic slowed to a crawl.  Now, I am sure that there are more than two ways to get to DS#1 and DIL's house but I'm not good with directions and Gabbie, our trusty GPS, was home probably offering home invaders directions from the living room to the kitchen.  The big flashing TxDOT sign declared that there was an accident ahead and to expect delays.  When I finally reached the bottleneck, there was nothing police, no wrecked cars, no ambulances, no bodies by the side of the road....nothing! I have absolutely no clue what caused this major delay because there certainly was nothing to look at.
Finally got home with Mr. Perfect and my weekly lessons commenced.  Today I learned that:
1)  The idea of swimming lessons was no more appealing this week than it was last week.  I started with the happy...."It's Swimming Lesson Day!  I'm so excited!" and was met with a firm "NO!"  I decided that since the weather was much nicer this week, we would do the changing from clothes to swim stuff here at home.  This week's spider monkey problem was not the shirt....or the socks..or the shoes.  It was the pants and the Superman Pull-Ups.  I swear that I no sooner got his legs into the swim diaper before I saw it go sailing across the room as he kicked it off.  Finally succeed with the swim diaper (don't ask how many times it went on and came off but that little monkey is fast!) only to repeat the whole process with the swim trunks.  And then was over.  He allowed me to put on the swim shirt and helped to pack the backpack but insisted that he carry his own towel.  I learned that perseverance pays off.
2)  I learned that seeing Unca Tim on the IPad via Hangouts is not the same as seeing him in person.  Even though we did a quick connection before we started the swim apparel war and got in our minimum daily requirements of fist bumps, Mr. Perfect still had to check Unca Tim's room to be sure he wasn't just taking a nap.  On a more positive note, when we connected during lunch so that Unca Tim could get a lesson report, Mr. Perfect did tell him several things that happened at the pool.
3) I learned that all swim instructors are not created equal.  On the way to lessons, I told Mr. Perfect that we were on our way to swim with Ms. Madison and was informed...."No, Unca Tim takes me swimming!"  Not long distance, he doesn't!
4) I learned that apple juice tastes differently in a different cup.  Mr. Perfect tried his AJ in his blue sippy cup with the reclosable lid  and told me that he didn't like it.  I poured more juice in the green cup and it was fine.  Then he told me to put the juice from the blue cup into the green cup, watched me do this and drank it all.  I guess green plastic tastes better than blue.  Who knew?
5) I learned that not just any quilt will do for naptime.  We didn't have our Nonie blankie (He is the ONLY one allowed to refer to a quilt as a blankie!) and had to audition several quilts until we found one that Mr. Perfect deemed worthy as a nap companion.  It was a four season wallhanging that I made years ago and is now referred to as the tree blankie.  I'm just glad that we found one that would work.
6) I learned that a thirty minute swim lesson results in a long nap...not for me...for Mr. Perfect.  Of course the whole spider monkey thing might have added to the exhaustion.  I just hope that DIL isn't suffering with a toddler who refuses to go to bed because he had a great nap!

All in all, it was another informative Tuesday.  Who says you can't teach a retiree some new tricks?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesdays with Nonie OR What I learned from a 30 month old today

Today began our weekly Nonie and Mr. Perfect adventure Tuesdays.  (Mr. Perfect is aka The Most Perfect Grandchild in the World.)  Because it is important to us that Mr. Perfect learn to swim, or at least be comfortable in the water, we decided to sign him up for a Water Babies class at our local Aqua Kids.  Since he is under 3 years of age, this is an adult/child activity.  Mr. Perfect's parents would have signed him up but this swim center is closer to us and since they both work and I do not, (yippee) it seemed easier for me to be the responsible adult in this activity.  I picked him up from DIL's office and we spent the morning playing before our class.
I learned a few important lessons from Mr. Perfect today.
1) When he looks at you and using his most stern voice says, "Dummy" he is not making a comment about your intelligence (or lack thereof).  He is merely asking that you read his new book, Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb.  It includes the refrain, "Dum Ditty Dum Ditty Dum Dum" and is therefore referred to as the dummy book.
2) It takes 2 Lego people and 7 rubber ducks to convince him that we need to put our coats on and get in the car for the trip to swimming lessons.
3) Shoes and socks are some of life's great mysteries.  Mr. Perfect insists that he keep his shoes and socks on in the house but the minute that he is strapped into his carseat, they must be removed.  At least he has recently begun to tuck the socks into the shoes so the hunts for the missing Frankenstein socks are becoming fewer and less traumatic.  And he no longer flings the shoes into the way back of the Honda so I don't need to climb all the way in to the car to retrieve them.
4)  Trying to get a toddler out of his shirt when he does not want to be out of his shirt is a little like wrestling a spider least, I think that it would be similar.  I've never actually wrestled a spider monkey. Next week, I am asking Mom to pack an extra shirt so we do not have a repeat episode and and he can swim in his shirt.  Getting in the pool is non-negotiable.
5) Having someone softly sing the ABC song in your ear makes is much easier to attempt to float on your back.
6) It is absolutely necessary to search for Unca Tim all over the house even though you have been told over and over that he is not home.  You never know, that rascal Tim might actually be hiding under the bed.  And when your Nonie makes a 30 second HangOuts connection with said Unca, all is right with the world. And "Unca Tim's in tree" which is Mr. Perfect speak for "Uncle Tim is in Calgary" is the appropriate explanation.
7) All good things come to those who cooperate in swimming lessons.  There will always be a stop for "bites" on the way home and "fa fries" can be on the menu if you ask nicely.  And did you know that white cream gravy mixed with ketchup makes a tasty dipping sauce of chicken strips, fa fries and bread?
8) Whatever Nonie is drinking is infinitely more desirable than what is in the Mickey Mouse sippy cup.  Thanks goodness, I don't drink adult beverages during the day...usually.
So, all in all, it was an enlightening day.....the first of many Tuesdays with least I hope so.  And I hope that this "elderly" adult can keep up with the spider monkey speed and agility of Mr. Perfect.  I think I need to work out more....I am exhausted!

Monday, January 6, 2014


The new year is begun and it's past time for my resolutions. 
Like 75% of the rest of the world, I want to improve my health and fitness in 2014.  DH and I hate this time of the year at the Y because of all of those other resolution makers!  It will be a crowded mess until mid-February.  About that time, the crowds will fall off because most of us only keep these resolutions for about 6 weeks.  These crowds will have one benefit for us long-time members.  I don't usually participate in the fitness classes because the classes are filled with members who have been in these classes for years....literally.  They all have "their" spaces in the room and woe unto those who stand in their space.  They all know what the instructor expects them to do and understand all of the shouted instructions.  "Oh, just tell the instructor that you are new to the class (like she wouldn't notice?) and she will make sure you know what to do," is the advice from the Y administrators.  These bosses obviously have not been in the classes because they have no idea about the wrath of the regulars.  But there are a few brave souls with new resolutions who will attempt to join these classes and be unaware of the importance of a particular space.  My plan is to follow a few of these newbies (their new Christmas gift/workout clothes give them away every time) in to the classroom and hide out behind them.  The regulars wouldn't dare attack a GROUP of newcomers and we can take up several of these special spots.  So that's one resolution...Take a group fitness class at the Y and live to tell about it.
I also want to improve my quilting skills.  I am happy with my piecing skills but my machine quilting leaves much to be desired.  Oh, I'm OK with a straight line but anything else is a mess.  When I quilt for a customer, I do the quilt design and construction and sub-contract to a professional longarm quilter for the actual quilting.  (I do tell the customer so this is no bait and switch scam.) I would like to be able to quilt commissioned quilts but it's difficult on a home sewing machine.  It can be done and skillfully by many but not by me.  I have considered purchasing a longarm machine but the cost ($10-25K) is prohibitive as is the space needed.  So here is my improve my machine quilting skills on my home machine and to take a class or two on longarm quilting with the plans to rent time on these machines at local quilt shops.
And finally, when I retired I promised myself to organize several areas of our home including the sewing room, the linen closet, the pantry and the kitchenware storage.'s been 6 months now and I have "straightened" the sewing room but it is by no means reorganized and none of the other areas have even been touched.  I could promise myself that I would tackle one of these areas each week until they have all been de-cluttered but my weeks are fairly busy....there are those visits to the Y, my Friday sew day with my sewing sisters, my weekly visit with Transplant Sue, my Tuesdays with Ben (we start Nonie and me swimming lessons tomorrow) not to mention the time devoted to Facebook and email.  So my resolution is the reorganize something once a month.
So there they are...only 3 resolutions and nothing earth shattering.  And if I don't follow through no one will be harmed....except for me, of course.  Being able to actually find something in the closet that fits would be nice.