Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Laughing at Ourselves...

For the next eight weeks on Monday afternoons my friend and I will be doing an exercise program which lasts for an hour at the Sportsplex.  We have had two classes so far and I'm enjoying it very much. I'm finding out that as I age I'm not quite as steady on my pins as I used to be.

We do one exercise where we stand behind our chairs and put one foot in front of the other, our feet touching and my muscles are a bit shaky. Then we are to take three steps forward, then backwards with feet touching again, toe of left foot touching heel of right foot..then the instructor tells us to close one eye. What a difference in perception then! I can get a bit wobbly and have to put one finger on the top of the chair. The good news is the more I review the exercises at home, the steadier my muscles get.

This past Tuesday was a free class at the same place to try out line dancing. My friend said she was going, did I want to join her. As I discussed it with my husband during supper the night before he told me to go and have fun. I reminded him I can be rather uncoordinated at times. He reassured me that he was sure people would "laugh with me" and not at me. I decided that he was probably right and called my friend in the morning to tell her I'd go.

When we arrived I was delighted to see another lady there I know well, I also knew she had taken line dancing lessons for a few years so would know her way around. The room started to fill up, I think at last count there were close to twenty people there, including several men. In fact our instructor was a man and he said he recognized me from somewhere...wonder where?

Our first dance was the electric slide. He would do the whole dance himself first then "chunk" it down, repeating a few steps over and over until we had it. This was all fine, I watched his feet and felt I had the steps. After quite a few repetitions,  he turned on the music which speeded up the routine. Well was I lost! What was wrong with my feet, felt like I had two left ones..

We were taught a waltz next which had more to remember but I could do that fine..then we learned a Greek dance to music where the tempo would be slow then speed up..I was able to do that most of the time although sometimes my legs and feet looked like a twisted pretzel. Although I was really warm from this last dance I really started to sweat when the instructor said we would do review. Which meant starting with the electric slide again. Oh NO!

Each time you do that dance you make a quarter turn to the left, so when I ended up facing the front of the building, everyone else should have been behind me..how embarrassing,  I'm facing everyone else! Suffice it to say I eventually just stood back against the wall until the music stopped and watched those more expert on their feet. It was the only dance where my head and feet just didn't want to co-operate.

Three ladies came quickly up to me when it was all over and told me not to get discouraged or quit, that they were exactly the same the first time they took the class last year. I had to laugh at myself in order that others would laugh with me and not at me plus I know I wasn't the only one who had difficulty that afternoon. I think we expect too much of ourselves, after all it was the first class I'd taken,  there were six more classes to take if I signed up. My friend turned to me and said she really liked it and was signing up, so hoping I would improve over time I signed up also.

I'm hoping eventually I'll remember all the routines and dance expertly around the floor with all the other participants. But if that is not to be, if memory fails and feet fall all over themselves, at least I'll increase my endorphins by laughing at myself...My husband chuckled as I related my afternoon. He repeated how I would have lots of fun and it's an afternoon out to meet new people. It's a win, win situation if I don't practice in my sleep, fretting over what foot goes where. At the very least I should lose some weight, now if I can just get my friend to skip the donut shop after our lessons!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saying Good-bye to Summer

We are saying good-bye to summer here in Muskoka and perhaps saying good-bye to the fall season too. Yesterday in a period of three or four hours we had sunshine, heavy rain and a few seconds of hail. The weather channel and radio weather announcer keeps mentioning the unwelcome word "snow" the last couple of days. Of course it won't remain long but still it makes me shiver.

Looking ahead to cooler temperatures I put away the shorts, sleeveless tops, the sandals and bathing suits. Out came the long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, warmer coats and scarves. I have a weakness for a pretty scarf and added to my growing collection yesterday.

We have a huge candle store here in town called Rich Hill Candles. Every year at Thanksgiving they have a giant 3 day sale. I should not have gone out to it, should have stayed home but I had good intentions of looking for Christmas gifts for a couple of girlfriends. And what did I spy but a huge selection of new scarves plus many other delights to tease the eye. So another lovely scarf was added to my supply but I made sure it would go with more than one jacket or coat. It has red, orange, purple and a deep rose in it, so will go with my new deep plum hoodie from Victoria, B.C. plus my black 3/4 fall coat and red winter coat. Takes some of the guilt away you see...

I did not see something for my girlfriends this trip but truth be told I'm quite advanced on my Christmas shopping. Our Zellar's store is closing here in March as well as the one in the next town. They are not being replaced by a Target Store much to my dismay, making it very hard to shop for clothes in this town. It was the store I went to for my bedding, towels, area rugs and many other items.

Thinking I should go and see what kind of sales they are having last week, I ended up getting quite a few gifts for Christmas which are now spread all over the spare room bed. Two great outfits for the granddaughter, a  man's shirt and two spring form pans, one of which is for myself..I saw a great recipe on an afternoon TV show for a homemade ice cream cake which I beleive I can make.

Several weeks ago we took my husband's daughter, husband and our granddaughter out for brunch for his daughter's birthday. Before leaving the city, Jim asked if there was anything else I wanted to do. Knowing I didn't need anything I said "no" at first, then thought: "well, I never get to Winner's that often, so changed my mind." Since hubby has his Kobo reader with him he is quite content to wait in the truck while I go shopping..well at least he was for the first hour and a half..he came looking for me, I said: "have I been that long already?"..it seemed like minutes. So I agreed to be done in another half hour. All my purchases except one were for Christmas gifts so I felt I did well..

A friend's granddaughter is expecting a baby in January so I was able to pick up some gifts to add to the baby blanket I'm knitting in the evenings while watching television. Once that blanket is done one of my girlfriends hinted that a bunch of cotton wool I purchased while shopping with her would really suit a throw for her upstairs chesterfield. So the rush will be on to start that as my next project, but I know I can't finish it before Christmas...they take a long time, my right wrist often suffers when knitting for long periods so I have to take breaks away from it. At least she will know it's forth coming..

I keep a Christmas gift book, writing down year to year what I give and to whom, making comments in the book of suggestions I hear people make throughout the year which helps in gift selection. With my children living quite a distance away they usually get money which suits them. I'm one of those mothers who doesn't have a clue what clothes to buy them anymore, they'd rather pick their own.

I have to have things to look forward to you in the winter months so over my yard sale travels I purchased four interesting jigsaw puzzles. I am taking a ten week exercise program starting next Monday with a friend and I believe she will want to take another one after that, or classes in line dancing which would be a fun way to lose weight also.

The winter months aren't looking quite so bleak as they can when I've no plans in place. Last week I completely rearranged all the furniture in my living-room. It's not finished as it's not quite where it should be yet, but it encourages me to tear apart the house room by room, putting it back together hopefully with less in it! At least now I have some goals for when those white flakes start to fall for real, a time when I might be more house bound but with lots to do..(unless I start reading!).....