Friday, December 26, 2008

White Christmas

We had a very nice quiet Christmas at home. I took Christmas Eve afternoon off so that Jennifer and I could take a quick drive to Billings to do some last minute shopping. Billings was pretty busy, but we managed to get around without any problems. Just had to be patient. Our first stop was the mall. I had to get some last minute presents for Gary. I told Jennifer that this was her last chance to get her photo with Santa taken.

When she was little she was afraid of Santa and would never sit on his lap. I do have one photo of her but that was the year she was born. I even tried getting her to sit on his lap with her brothers at her side, but no go. She would kick and scream and it just wasn't worth it. So all these years I don't have a photo of my youngest with Santa. Now that she is grown I tease her about it.

When we got done in the mall, she was hungry so we stopped at Applebee's for lunch. She ate while I just had a soda. After eating we made our way to Wal-Mart. It was very busy in Wal-Mart. We didn't need to get much but had to stand in the check out line for about 20 minutes. Just our luck, we get behind a woman who had one item without a price tag. The checker had to run and get a price tag put on the item. Then we made our way home. We got home around 6:00 pm.

Once I got home, I wrapped up the last of the presents and put them under the tree. Then it was just time to relax. Jennifer and I had plans to go to midnight mass, but we were just too tired to go.

For Christmas we opened our presents and then Jennifer and I went to church. After church I fixed our dinner and we spent the rest of the day grazing on food. Got phone calls from my family and I even talked to my future daughter in law.

This morning we got back into our normal routine, when we went to go swim it was snowing again. It snowed all day long and we got about 6 inches today. In total for the month of December we must have a good two feet of snow on the ground. We got more snow this month than we have had in the last two winters total.

Gary shoveled snow this morning as he had the day off, but he has to work tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Mom's neighbor will shovel her walks. I checked on her mail today and they shoveled a small path but only from their driveway up to her steps. They didn't do the rest of the walk. I hope they do it tomorrow so that I won't have to.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cabin Fever

After spending five days inside the house, I am getting cabin fever. I have ventured out in public twice already. I went to tae kwon do class last night. Gary signed up two new students who also need uniforms and he has no clue on sizes for the kids. Now that I saw the kids, I know what to get them. The uniform sizes are not what the kids normally wear. I love them because I wear a size 5.

It was funny because the first things the kids noticed was that my mouth looked different and I talked different. At least they can understand me. They did ask what happened to my teeth. The woman who was with me when I fell just feels so bad that I had to have my teeth pulled. She still feels that it was her fault that I fell. It's not like she pushed me or anything like that.

Today I went to the bank. I put my teeth in had to have them in for five hours today. Towards the end I was ready to take them out. All that plastic in my mouth is just annoying. It is just going to take time. Anyway I was able to drive around and get some fresh air. Need to start getting back into a normal routine. I haven't worked out for over a week and feeling it.

I have been eating soup all week, so tonight I was able to eat a hamburger. It took me a while to finish eating, but I managed to eat real food. It sure was tasty. It is going to be a while before we can go out to eat, but once I get my partials that is going to be on the top of my list, going out for a nice dinner.

Tomorrow Gary and I are going to Billings, we have two Patriot Guard missions at the airport. The missions tomorrow are the good kind. One of for a kid who is coming home from boot camp and the other is for a kid coming home from Iraq for the holidays. Both are going to be at the airport, so we will be indoors and not freezing outside. It snowed this afternoon and it supposed to be cold tomorrow, below zero again. This will be a huge test for me with my teeth, but I need to get used to having them in all day anyway. I can drink with them in, just not eat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feeling Better

It has been 4 days now and I'm feeling much better. I no longer have to take the pain pills, in fact I only took those for the first two days. Monday I needed two pills and on Tuesday I only needed one and that was at night.

Every day I put in my temporaries an hour longer than before. Today I'm up to 4 hours. I am getting better at getting them in, but it is going to take some time getting used to having all that plastic in my mouth. Right now it feels like I'm wearing mouth guards. At least when I talk now, Gary & Jennifer can understand me. I have to wear the temporaries for 6 weeks. I will just get used to them and then have to get used to my real partials. Those won't have as much plastic at the temporaries.

I'm still eating "soft" foods like soup and oatmeal. I haven't tried eating any solids yet, will have to get brave and try something, but probably over the weekend. I can't eat with the temporaries in, as they cover over the top of my back teeth, but I can drink with them in. I have to take very small sips, so it takes me a while, but I can do it.

I am going to venture out today, will be picking up Jennifer from work. I haven't had fresh air since Monday. I will be ready to go back to work on Monday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yesterday Was The Day

Yesterday I had my teeth pulled. It really wasn't that bad at all.

The night before I took one of my happy pills, boy did I sleep good Sunday night. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, after all getting 10 teeth pulled would make anyone shudder.

Woke up as usual in the morning and it was cold -20, but I got ready. Mom drove up from Wyoming to take me to my appointment. She got here on Thursday before the frigid cold and storm hit. We left town around 8:45 am. I had to go to the post office to get some stamps and then before we hit the road, we got one of our fru-fru coffees. I don't know when I will get another one any time soon. Besides I had to take the last happy pill an hour before my appointment.

I ate pretty good over the weekend. On Friday I went to Taco John's and had a nacho's navidad, then on Saturday was our Christmas party for tae kwon do and I ate a pretty good dinner, even had red velvet cake for dessert. On Sunday when we went out for coffee I had a McDonald's cinnamelt. It was all very yummy. I must had gained 5 pounds over the weekend.

Got to my dentist's office and checked in. We got there about 10 minutes early. I told Mom that if she had anything to do it would be ok for her to leave because it would take a couple hours for me to get done. She had everything done, so she stayed. Good thing she brought a good book to read. We were there for three hours.

The dentist asked me if I was ready for all this. Not really but lets get it done. The shots in my mouth hurt worse than the extraction itself. Nothing like getting shots in the roof of your mouth, not to mention that my top gums are still sore from my fall in August. Before I knew it, he had all my front teeth out. Didn't feel a thing at all, very easy extraction. He pulled my wisdom tooth last, he was pretty sorry that even though my mouth was numb, he can't numb the sound. That is the worst.

My face was numb from my nose to my chin. The dental staff kept talking to me and I would answer, but it was very difficult. There was one point when I told the dentist that I could feel a flap of skin on my lower gums. That was my lip. My mouth feels pretty weird now.

It took about an hour for him to get my temporary teeth in. It is just a plastic tray with teeth in the spaces I need. I have to wear these for six weeks until my partials come in. I can't eat with them in. They just fit over the top and snap into place over my teeth. The dentist wants to make sure that my gums are healed very good before they come in. Said that it would be easier to have them fit right the first time instead of coming in to get them fitted. This way gives the swelling time to go away.

I had to wear the temporary's for an hour yesterday, which was pretty easy on the way home. They had to come out right away, it was pretty bothersome. Going to take time to get used to that. Mom dropped me off at the house and I gave her my prescriptions for Gary to fill. I have to take amoxicillin and hydrocodone. The antibiotics I take until they are gone. He gave me those because of so much dental work done to fend off infection and the pain pills I only have to take as needed.

Mom even came back to the house to stay until Gary got off work. I told her that it wasn't necessary as I would be taking a nap and by then Gary would be home with the pain pills. But she came and did her mother duty.

I took a pain pill when I woke up after my nap, was able to eat a bowl of soup and drink some water, then I took another pain pill before I went to bed.

So far this morning I am feeling fine. However, I'm not looking forward to putting in the temporaries today. I have to wear them for 2 hours today and increase the time each day. I don't think I can get them in, but will. May have to take a pain pill for that.

I really do look different. It is strange looking in the mirror, I have straight teeth. This will all take some time to adjust, but at least the hard part is done.

I go back to the dentist in 3 weeks for a check up and also I need to have some more fillings. Great, more shots in my mouth and drilling.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Won

Yesterday Gary got a phone call informing him that I had won two free tickets. The phone call was from the Harley dealership. Anyway, he called me at work and asked me if I had remembered filling out slips of paper at the dealership. I did, but it had been last month and I had forgotten about it.

I had to call the dealership back and let them know that I wanted the tickets. Who in their right mind would not accept two free tickets. I called them back and verified my information and they are going to mail me the tickets. I thought they would be in the mail today, but no such luck, should get those tickets tomorrow.

Now our dilemma is what to do with these two free tickets. When I filled out the slips of paper, we said that we would never win. We never win anything like this.

I know you wondering what I won. I won two tickets to the Denver Bronco-Buffalo Bill game at Invesco Field in Denver on the 21st. We won't be able to make it to Denver, so will probably send them to Gary's brother. What a surprising Christmas he will have.

This would be a dream come true going to a pro football game. Neither one of us is a Bill or Bronco fan. The timing is not going to work out. Now if the Bronco's would be playing Green Bay that is another story. We would be doing everything in our power to go.

Right away Gary had offers to buy our tickets at the store and I have offers at the court house. The right thing to do would be to give them to his brother, but first Gary needs to call him and see if that would work for them.

Just my luck, I win something very exciting and I can't use it. Not in the cards right now, but someday we will make it to a pro football game. Our goal is to go to Lambeau field.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fondue Party

Last night Gary and I went to a fondue party. My old boss and his wife host this party which they started last year. This time there were 5 couples in all. Our job was to bring the wine. We had bought three bottles, chardonney,riesling and a red rose. Not only that but the host had a bunch of wine too. Their house is just around the corner from ours so we just walk.

We had shrimp, beef and venison marinaded in different marinades and some veggies. We also had a broccoli rice dish and another salad. For dessert we had chocolate cake with whipped cream topping. It was all very tasty.

It was alot of fun, you cook your own food. They had three fondue pots ready to go, she even had a batter for us for the veggies. You get to eat how much you want.

Gary and I were the second ones to arrive and the first thing we had to do was have a drink. Gary had a beer while I had a glass of red rose wine. For dinner everyone drank some of the chardonney then we ended up drinking some cabernet sauvignon. That one is a very dry wine, then we finished off the chardonney. In all I had 6 glasses of wine and Gary had 5.

It's a good thing that we didn't have to drive. We were both feeling pretty good. We were at the party for just over 4 hours. Had alot of good laughs and great conversation. We did sleep very good last night. Also walking gave us a bit of fresh air which felt very good.

Woke up this morning with a slight headache, but once we got some fresh air we were both fine. We had gone to McDonald's for some coffee.

We really enjoy this party and now we want to get our own fondue pot, this would be a great thing for Super Bowl.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Can Finally Get Audio Books

Good News, I can finally get audio books. I was in my office talking to my boss about not being able to get audio books and it has been forever. Every time I go in the library I'm told that they are having problems with the computers. I've been waiting very patiently for about three months to get audio books. My boss is on the library board.

It just happened that one of the librarians was in the court house and she stopped in my office to visit. I was telling her how disappointed I was in not being able to get audio books. She looked at me like I was crazy, what was I talking about.

She showed me how I can check out audio books right from my home. I used my work computer with the ok from the boss. Went through all the steps accordingly. Now I have a problem with the work computer, keep getting an error notice about the digital rights management component. I tried downloading the program every which way I can think of, read all the instructions and I followed the steps to a t. Even my boss was having problems.

She called the head librarian and told him about our problem. The librarian told us that we can check out audio books from our own home, just can't use the library's computers. Those aren't working. Apparently if you are a state computer you can't get the program to work. The only thing we can figure is that the state has a block so that employees can't download copyrighted material.

I downloaded the program from home and guess what, it works. All I have to do is log in, chose my local library and then type in my card number and I'm ready to go. The system is pretty screwy though. Seems like there is only one book available to download. If I find a book that I want to listen to and it says to add it to my list, that means that someone else in the state has already checked it out. If I put the book on my list, then I will get an e-mail notice letting me know that it is available and I can then download it onto my computer. If the book says add to my cart, then I can get that book right now. Now that I can get the audio books from home, I don't need it at work.

You get the books for two weeks and then they get checked back in, the funny part is that I can't check the book in early, I get it for two weeks no matter what.

I don't have my new MP3 player yet, I've been waiting for the library to get in gear. I'm so happy, now I can go get my new player. I know what kind of files that are used and I just have to get a player that is compatible.

Right now I am downloading the books onto my computer and listening while on the computer. It works for now. I can also burn the books onto cd's besides my player. Here is the funny part. Everything I have read says that after two weeks the books will just disappear. Will have to see on my computer, but if you have the book on your player or copied to a cd, they are hoping that you are honest and will get rid of them.

Not all the books are downloadable to the players. Some you can only download onto your computer. Some won't let you burn onto a cd, you have to read the digital management information. It all depends on what the publisher is allowing the reader to do.

It is going to be convenient not having to go to the library all the time. Their hours not really user friendly. The hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. There are times when this just doesn't work.

I will still go to the library and actually check out books that you have to actually read, but it is nice to know that I can now get the audio books for when I go on trips. Now I just have to get my new player and that in itself will be a new venture.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eating And Shopping

We survived our Thanksgiving feast. Jennifer's friend came over to eat and he stayed for about 3 hours. We all had a real nice visit and enjoyed some good cooking. Jennifer helped me quite a bit this year. Told her that it was time for her to learn how to cook a holiday feast. We still have alot of left overs to eat up. We watched the football games until Gary got bored with them. Both games were pretty boring. Then we watched movies.

Today, Gary and I went to Billings for some shopping. I was surprised that he wanted to go shopping, especially on this day of all days. I took the day off from work as Gary already had it off. I did stop by my office to pick up pay checks, then left. First we stopped at McDonald's for a cup of coffee and shared a cinnamon melt. Saw an old high school friend of mine there, so visited with her for a bit. She just got done shopping at one of the local stores in town. We also saw one of our tae kwon do kids and her family there.

We got on our way to Billings, first stop was the bank. We are a victim of fraud so had to get that taken care of. We have to file some papers and hopefully will get this all taken care of. First order of business was to shut down the card that was used. I also cashed in my jar of coins. Surprisingly I had $154. Well actually I had $153.99, I did manage to find a penny in the bottom of my purse. I didn't think I had that much. I'm saving that to buy a new mp3 player or ipod so that I can listen to audiobooks from the library. The library doesn't have it up and running yet, I've been waiting patiently for two months now. First I have to find out what players will work with the system. I do have my shuffle that I won last summer and will have to try and see if that will work first. If it does, then I'm in business, just have to wait for the library to get in gear and get their system up and running. I already bought the converter so that I can listen to the ipod through my car speakers. In the mean time, I have to actually check out books and sit down and read them.

After we got our bank business done we then made our way to the Harley dealership. I won $70 a couple weeks ago at the chapter meeting and we saved our money to buy some Harley Davidson jeans. When we bought the bike in April, we got a card with all kinds of discounts, so today we bought a pair of jeans and got the other one free. Nothing in the dealership is affordable, things are just way too expensive. My pair of jeans were $10 more than Gary's. I tried on my normal size but they were just a bit too tight. I could get them on and zipped, but it was just a bit too tight for my taste. I would be uncomfortable wearing them while riding on the bike. So I had to go up to the next size, which actually fits like my normal sized jeans. I just have to remember that the Harley clothes are smaller than normal. I'm not going to let it get to me, but it is frustrating. Especially when the quality of the jeans is not better or worse than what I can get at Wal-Mart and such. But we are paying for the name. Our next purchase will be 15% off on any item in stock at the store, including clothes. We are going to think about what to get before we spend money, but will more than likely buy some clothes.

After the dealership, it was time for lunch. At first we were going to go to the mall to eat, but then decided that it wouldn't be a good idea with all the shoppers and kids visiting Santa. We went to a couple restaurants, but they weren't open for lunch so we did end up in the mall. It really wasn't that bad, we did get a place to sit in the food court right away. The mall is where we saw everybody. First we met up with Gary's daughter in law and her daughter Shayla. Shayla had been looking forward for Black Friday shopping, but she ended up getting sick. She still went anyway, but she sure didn't look good. While we were eating, we met up with my cousins from Buffalo. Beverly and her sister Barbara saw us, along with Tina, her husband and daughter. We visited with Bev and Barb for a bit, then they went on their way and we finished our lunch.

We saw Bev and Barb a couple times in the mall, one they were all separated and the next they had all managed to find each other. After the mall we went to Wal-Mart just to look around, nothing in particular. We saw Bev and Barb again, we just laughed at this and accused them of following us around. They were hoping that we would pay for their stuff too. I did buy a sd card for my camera. A 2G card for $7, now I'm all set for Ireland. We did buy a couple gifts for people too.

Gary was bored with shopping, once we got done at the dealership and ate he was ready to go home. I was ready to shop. After a while it was just better to head on home. In the afternoon the traffic was horrible, it was like the early birds got their second wind and started on the next shift.

We survived our shopping excursion. Saw alot of people from Hardin we know shopping, now we can just relax and eat left overs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dentist Visit & Thanksgiving

Yesterday I had a dental visit. This was just supposed to be a quick check up and then I would get the next one to have my teeth pulled. My daughter was off yesterday so she made the trip with me, after all I need my therapy. She decided to be dropped off at Wal-Mart and she would wait for me there. No problem.

I dropped her off and then made my way to my appointment. I got in right away. I've been having problems with oneof my teeth with being sensitive to cold. Well, my quick check up ended up being three fillings and a mold of my bottom teeth. I was at the dentist for two hours. So much for a quick check up.

The doc had a cancellation and since I was already there, might as well get the fillings done, especially since one is sensitive. I got moved from one room to another. The dentist gives me te good stuff to numb my mouth, since it takes quite a while to get numb. Getting the fillings was quite the ordeal. First he puts the thing that he calls a button, it feels like a bear trap getting put into my mouth, after he puts the botton around my tooth, I then get a big plastic thing around it so that the water doesn't drown me. The drill is the worst part. He did hit one part of the tooth that about sent me to the roof. Once we got past the most sensitive part it really wasn't that bad. The only thing is that he kept hitting my sore teeth in the front.

Once I got the fillings put it, he decided that he would take the mold of my bottom teeth. The only thing that I have to say about that is why can't they make the paste tasty. It felt like my mouth was stuffed full of mashed potatoes, only mashed potatoes tastes so much better. He wouldn't do my upper teeth because he didn't want my front teeth yanked out.

My next appointment is in two weeks. This is when I get my 10 teeth extracted. He is also going to shape my gums. I am not going to be knocked out, he is only going to numb my mouth, but he did say that the extractions will be very easy. He did give me a prescription for some happy pills. I will be taking 2 pills to make me relax. He said I would be relaxed like I drank a liter of wine. I will take one pill the night before and the other one an hour before my appointment. He was very explicit that I don't drive, I will need to have someone drive me up and back home. Really not looking forward to this but I want to get this done and not have to wait forever.

After my appointment, Jennifer and I had some therapy. I bought a new pair of jeans and a book. Jennifer asked if she could invite a friend over for Thanksgiving, no problem because we aren't going anywhere or doing anything special.

Her friend will be coming over tomorrow to eat. He is by himself and all he was going to do was go to Subway to get his turkey dinner. My pies are done tonight and now I can relax and get ready for some heavy duty cooking tomorrow.

Friday, Gary and I are going to Billings, not bright and early but we are going to spend my winnings on some Harley Davidson jeans. We get a buy one get one free special that we need to use up by April.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

White Elephants

Last week we went to the HOG chapter meeting in Billings. It was a pot luck dinner and a white elephant auction. I had made my layer jello salad to take. We didn't have anything for the auction and I wanted to see what else the others were bringing. Besides that I couldn't find any white elephants.

We had our meeting first and we had to vote for the assistant director of the chapter. Got that done, then they awarded prizes for the mileage contest and also gave out patches for members who have been in for 5 or more years.

They were selling raffle tickets and I had Gary buy some. We didn't know what they were for so I figured that maybe the tickets were to raffle off the white elephant items, but then that kind of defeats the purpose of the auction. Anyway he bought $10 worth of tickets.

One of the most popular rides the group takes is the Gambler's Run to Deadwood. Gary really wants to do this ride so we listened intently to the information and took down the phone numbers that are needed. The ride is in June and we will spend four wonderfully fun days gambling and riding.

After we ate, they drew numbers for the raffle. I won $70, it was actually a 50-50 raffle and my winning ticket was the very end one. I was shocked because we usually don't win anything like this. We are going to use the money to buy some Harley Davidson jeans. When we bought the bike, Gary got a card with some discount stuff on it and one of the items is to buy a pair of jeans and get the other one free.

The auction was alot of fun, some very good items and some gag items. One of the gag items is the Harley Davidson phone. I guess this was the 3rd year that it has been up for auction, will see if it makes it for next year. We didn't bid on anything, didn't feel right because we didn't bring anything.

I did get alot of ideas for next year. We are still learning all the tricks of the group and next year we will be seasoned.

I did make our reservations at the hotel for the Gambler's Run. I was the 4th person to do so. My friend who works in the office next to mine recommended that I make my reservations now. Her son is getting married in June at Deadwood and they are staying at the same hotel we will be staying and she said that when she made her reservations, they were full. The chapter did block off a group of 35 rooms. So for sure we are taking at least 2 days vacation in June.

This is a short week of work for me. I only have to work for 2 days. Tuesday is my dental appointment. This is when I get a check up and they will schedule the date for me to get my teeth pulled. Thursday is of course turkey day. We are just staying home watching football and eating. Gary has Friday off so I took it off too. We plan on going to Billings for some shopping, but we aren't getting up bright and early. We plan on leaving Hardin probably around 9:00 am.

I will run down to the office to pick up my paycheck information. I have direct deposit, but will have to get the other paperwork for the office and then I'm out of there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Flu Season

Flu season is officially here. I got my flu shot on Friday at work. The county works with the public health nurse and they schedule a day for employees and their families to get the flu shot.

I get one every year, mainly because if I don't then the VA gets after me, so it is easy to just get the shot at work. This way I don't have to take any time off and my health insurance pays 100 percent.

I got my shot right away, but not after filling out paperwork. This year we had a choice on flu shots. We could either get the shot or the nasal spray.

After reading the information on the two, I decided to go with the shot. The nasal spray is a live virus. Now who in their right mind would want the live virus sprayed up their nose. Well, people who are afraid of needles. I told the nurse to give me the dead stuff.

I had a choice in that too. I could get the kind with the preservative or without. It didn't matter to me, I just go the shot.

I sat down at the table and visited with the health nurse. We got caught up on what our kids were doing and where they are. Her kids swam on the swim team as Jennifer both with the Otters and the Bulldogs.

I got the shot in my left arm as I need my right arm. My arm doesn't hurt at all, it was all pretty painless. However, I just had to laugh to myself on how the nurse was giving me the shot. She was aiming like I was a dart board. I wanted to ask her if I should draw a bulls eye on my arm. I kid you not, she was really aiming. Most of the time when I get a shot, I just get it.

So, I'm protected for this year and I shouldn't get sick.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Church Breakfast

Every second Sunday during the months of September through May, the church has breakfast. There are enough groups that each one only has to cook once. November was my groups turn. We always fix french toast, scrambled eggs, ham, regular toast, coffee and juice. It takes at least 3 women to cook. I was asked to help and I told them that I would, but that I would be out of town Friday and Saturday, but would be back to help cook. That means someone would have to get the groceries. I was told that would be no problem.

Sunday morning I got up bright and early to get to the church to start fixing breakfast. We serve at 8:30 and 10:30. Setting the tables takes the longest. I get there and was the first person. I checked the refrigerator and it was empty. I tried calling the woman who was supposed to get the groceries with no answer. Great, no one else is coming so far. By now it is about 7:15, so I go to Father Fabians house. I ring the doorbell and no answer. I figured maybe he was in the church. The doors were unlocked. No sign of Father in the church, but there was a man practicing the organ, getting ready for mass. I asked him if he has seen Father and he hadn't.

I go back to the house to try again. I rang the back doorbell, the front doorbell still no answer. By this time I'm in a panic to figure out what to do. No cooking helpers have arrived, it is 7:30, no sign of Father Fabian. People are starting to arrive for mass and as far as anyone knows Father is supposed to be there. I just can't run to the store and get the groceries right away and fix breakfast by myself. The store doesn't open until 8 on Sundays.

Finally Father answered his door. He said that breakfast was canceled because they couldn't get any workers. He knew I was out of town, but I didn't get any messages. I have given them my number, but no one can remember it or hasn't written it down. Father left a message on Mom's answering machine for me. I never check her machine. That was such a relief.

I decided then to go to early mass since I was already at church anyway. This way I was able to go with Gary to Billings for a Patriot Guard Rider mission.

Afterwards I thought how horrible for my group. I'm in the group of working women. I was so disappointed that at least 2 other women wouldn't or couldn't give up their time to cook breakfast for church.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day

I don't know about you, but I am so glad that the election is over and we can move on. I got so tired of all those political ads and they seemed to get more ridiculous as the election moved on. Not only did we get national and state, but we also got Wyoming political ads. No matter which one was airing, they were all the same, just the names were different. At least we get a break for a while from all those ads.

I had election day off as a holiday. I get general election day off every two years. This year we voted absentee. Montana has no excuse and it was so much easier. I really didn't have a good excuse not going to the polls. The biggest reason for voting absentee was that I was able to have my ballot at home and really go over it. At the polls, there are times when I feel that I have to hurry, especially when there is a line. For the state initiatives, I was able to read my voter information pamphlet and that made it so much easier.

It wasn't hard at all getting our ballots. Since I work in the court house, the election office is only a floor below me. Gary and Jennifer had to write a letter requesting their ballots and giving me authorization to pick it up for them. I just have to fill out an affidavit at the office. I brought them home and all we had to do was make sure the ballots were delivered to the election office by election day. I personally handed our ballots in, saving money on postage.

Living in a small town, we didn't have long lines like the bigger cities did. We did have a large voter turn out this year. Alot of state offices were up this year and because of term limits, they were all new people for the state senate and state house.

For my day off, I went out to coffee with Mom. We went to MoJoes and had one of our fru-fru coffees. It was very tasty and we visited with alot of people that we knew. Mom was able to show off her new photos of her newest granddaughter. I then came home and watched mindless tv with Jennifer. She had the day off too. We then picked up Gary during lunch and met Mom at Subway.

After lunch, Mom headed back to Wyoming and Jennifer and I still watched mindless tv. It was nice to just relax. I did manage to get a loaf of banana bread made. We then had our classes last night and the kids were pretty excited to have Obama win.

Now that Obama is the president elect, I can really kick myself for not going down to Crow when he was there in May. At the time I didn't want to deal with the large crowds, but now looking back I should have. When will I get another chance to see a presidental candidate in person.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting New Teeth

Last Tuesday was the last of my dental visits for the probing and scoping. This time they did the upper right side. My daughter and her friend went with me, but I dropped them off at Wal-Mart before going to the dentist's office. We went shopping after my appointment. I did buy a new pair of boots, I call them my therapy boots.

I got the the office and I'm greeted by my first name, I figure this is not a good sign. I've been there so often that they call me by my first name. I didn't have a long wait, got into the torture chamber and ready to go. First thing they do before they numb my mouth, I get my mouth stuffed with cotton swabs with this awful tasting stuff that is supposed to taste like cherries. Not. Then the fun part, getting the shots to numb my mouth. I get the normal three, then wait to see if my mouth is numb enough. Naturally it isn't so I get three more shots. One is in the roof of my mouth, ouch. We wait a few minutes. Thing are going good until she hit one tooth and I literally came out of my chair. She couldn't figure out why my mouth isn't numb with as many shots as I got, so here comes the doc with some stronger stuff.

He comes in and starts giving me a bad time, starts to laugh and rub his hands together. Not a good thing for a patient who hates dentists in the first place because of all the pain. So I got another set of three shots. Wow, nine shots in all, just to numb the upper right side of my mouth. By this time, my mouth is numb, so she was able to probe and scope away.

After she was done, the doc came in to give me the bad news. My two front teeth that I knocked loose when I fell two months ago just are not healing, in fact one is them is starting to die. I will be getting ten teeth in all pulled. I told the dentist that I want them taken out all at once. I don't want a few done then have to come back and get the rest pulled. I will be having the four upper front, the wisdom tooth on the upper right, and five lower front. He said that a bridge won't work, not for that many teeth. Said it would put too much pressure on the rest of my teeth and besides it isn't cost effective. About $1000 per tooth, so you can see this adding up. He has recommended that I get partials. They will just be for the eight front teeth on the upper and lower. They will just hook onto the side teeth.

It will take four visits to get all of this done. One will be getting the teeth removed. He said I will be sore for a while and I will have a cap to put in for a temporary basis. It will make me look like I have teeth, but I won't. He wants me to heal up first before getting the mold taken. He said it would be a real pain to get the mold done right after because I will be so swollen and then it will take many visits to have the partials fitted right. He would much rather get it done right the first time.

My next appointment is on the 25th. This is a follow up for all the scoping and probing. According to the treatment plan sheet he gave me he has the removal scheduled at the same time. I have to find out tomorrow to confirm if my teeth will be removed on this date or not. I can't imagine that he will pull my teeth just a couple days before Thanksgiving. I'm hoping that it will be done after, but will do what he says. I do want to get all of this done before I have to start my deductable again with the insurance.

I have already talked to Mom and she will come with me to take me home. If need be, the grammas will be in Hardin for Thanksgiving. No sense in having Mom come up here, then drive back to Meeteetse the next day. If need be Gary will take the day off without pay. He doesn't get any sick at the store and he already used up all of his vacation over the summer. He only got one week of vacation and took that in August when we went through Yellowstone on the motorcycle.

I told my boss that I will be using up quite a bit of sick in December. Won't be too bad because our office isn't busy that time of year anyway. We already have reports done and the next batch won't be due until February. By that time I will be back to normal, at least I hope.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awesome Driver

While I was in sunny Southern California, I found out what an awesome driver my sister is. This was on Thursday when we were to go to San Diego to meet cousins for lunch. We were sitting around the house, waiting for my younger niece to get home from school. My oldest niece was deciding if she wanted to go with us or not. We soon got the lecture from her on how she was the best person to drive us down to San Diego. San Diego is about 60 miles south of Murrieta. We weren't sure who was going to drive, but we were going to have to go in Mary's van. That was the only vehicle large enough to take all of us without taking two cars. Mary said that if she didn't feel like driving I could. That sure perked up Katie's ears.

Katie then decided, no offense to us, that she is the best choice to drive to San Diego. She was the only one out of all of us that was taught how to drive in traffic and in California. Mary and I learned up here in Montana and Gramma learned so long ago in Wyoming. Katie has only been driving for 2-3 years. Between the rest of us, is many many many years.

Mary reminded Katie that I had lived out in California for 3 years and did drive in traffic. I also drove out to visit them twice and had to drive in traffic. You should have heard the bantering back and forth on who would be the better driver for the trip down to San Diego.

By the time Lexie got home from school, she was pretty tired and didn't want to go. The two girls decided that they were going to relax at the beach. They really would have been bored visiting with the "oldies" in San Diego. No other people their age was around anyway.

Mary decided that she wanted to drive. This was her first outing since Libby was born and she wanted some freedom and she knew where to go. If Mom or I drove, Mary would have had to direct us. We all managed to get in the van, the two little ones in their car seat and us older ones buckled in our seat belts, and away we went.

Backing out of the driveway, Mary asked us if we would be ok with her driving, since she wasn't an awesome driver.

I'm here to announce that Mary is an awesome driver. We got down to San Diego and back all in one piece and no scratches on the van.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Road Trip

When your little sister has a new baby the only good news is a road trip. Loaded up the car, picked up Mom and headed for sunny California. I was a bit worried that Libby wouldn't be here when I got to my sisters, but she made it in the nick of time.

I left Hardin bright and early at 5 am. Had to take Jennifer to work, then I went on my merry way. I got to Meeteetse at 8 am and got a short visit with Gma. I was going to help Mom load up the car with her stuff, but by the time I got outside she had it loaded in no time. We went back inside and Gma started getting after us to hit the road because we have a long ways to go. She was so funny. We left Meeteetse at 8:30 am. We cut through Yellowstone Park, not necessarily saving time, but we saved some miles. Besides we wanted to stop in Idaho Falls to see Robert.

We stopped in West Yellowstone for a short break and Mom didn't recognize it at all. Back in the day she said there was only 1 main street, she was completely lost. The morning was rainy and cloudy but just a few drizzles. We called Robert from West Yellowstone and made arrangements to meet him for lunch.

We got into Idaho Falls around 2 pm and Rob was already at the restaurant. Even though it was a short visit, it sure was nice to see him and get caught up on all the news. I even delivered some of his stuff that was at my house. He didn't have much, he had already picked up most of his stuff when he made some trips up here. We left Idaho Falls around 4 pm and headed on down to Provo. Naturally it was dark by the time we hit Provo, but we were able to find a motel just off the interstate. We wanted to get through all that Salt Lake traffic before Monday morning.

That night we checked in with Gma and Gary and we managed to get ahold of Ed, made arrangements to meet him for lunch. Our motel had a small continental breakfast, but it really wasn't much of anything. We were able to get a cup of so-so coffee and some rolls. Ed had called that morning and gave me directions on where to meet him for lunch. His directions had me driving into Las Vegas, but they weren't that bad.

On the road again. Had a bit of excitment, the fire alarm at our motel went off. The Provo fire department was at the motel. The fire truck was right next to my car, but the firemen were getting ready to leave, we didn't have to wait long just a couple minutes. Fortunately it was a false alarm, we never did find out what set it off. It was a bit cool in the morning, but the further south we get the warmer it got. By the time we hit St. George I had the air on.

The last time I was through this area was 4 years ago and St. George is really growing. Driving through the Virgin River Gorge was just awesome. That is such a pretty canyon. Mom was really happy being a passenger, she was just snapping away on her camera. I was laughing at her.

Once we got into Nevada we gained an hour. Made it to Las Vegas to meet Ed with no problems. The directions he gave me were right on. I figured he got them from someone else, but he gave me a map of Vegas from his work. I didn't recognize him at first, he has changed so much. Good thing he spoke to us first. I saw this guy walking toward us and just figured he worked at the resort right next door. Nope that was my brother. We had a good 2 hour visit with him.

Then we headed on to Murrieta. We called Lexie before leaving Vegas and she told me that it would be about 4 hours and she was right. Remember, when Mom and I travel together we never get to our destination when others think we should.

We finally got to the Schumacher's house around 8 pm. Keith and Gracie were outside waiting for us. Gracie was so excited to see Gramma and Patty.

We had such a good time all week taking care of the Schumachers. One of our jobs was taking Lexie to school. That poor girl has to be at school so early 7:30 am. She was just beat by the end of the week. The only bad part of our trip was that we weren't able to spend some time with Katie and Lexie. They were so busy with work and school. Maybe next time.

On Wednesday, we made a trip up to Oxnard to see Jason and Jeni. We spent most of the afternoon with them and we took them out to dinner for their 1 year anniversary, which is later this month. Met Jeni's family. They were so surprised that we drove all that way to California. Jason & Jeni and Jeni's aunt Susan made a trip to Murrieta on Friday. Mary took us to Pechanga for lunch at the buffet. It was very good and we got alot of visiting in just sitting outside.

On Thursday we made the trip to San Diego to visit with Bob & Patty. Sharon was there with her two boys and Gary came over for lunch. We were there for 4 hours and it sure didn't seem that long. That was Mary's first outing since Libby was born. She was sure tired when we got back to Murrieta.

Saturday was our last day there, so Mom and I made sure we got the last of the housework done. We went out and did a bit of shopping, but not much and we did see where Katie works. Later we met Keith and looked at some houses. Then we met their friends the Blocks at their new house. That night Mom and I took Keith, Mary and Libby out for dinner for the Schumacher's 20th anniversary. Keith took us to eat Mexican food and I had a great margarita.

Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the trip back to Wyoming and Montana. The weekend before we left and snow storm hit up here and it was pretty nasty. Roads were very bad and some were even closed. Good thing I had an extra day off from work, as when we left the storms were over and the roads were bare and dry all the way.

We had a very nice visit and waiting for the time when we can make this trip again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday Bonnie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONNIE!!!! This is the day that my baby sister was born, 40 years ago. When she was younger she was such a good little sister. She would mind her big sister with no problem. She didn't cause any problems, she was so cute.

It was when she got older that she started to become a brat. I'm really just kidding, she is still a sweet little thing. I had waited years to get even with her on this day. She had teased me unmercifully when I turned 40, I couldn't believe it. My baby sister would do this to me. I got even with her though.

She had been stewing all day about how I would get even. I bought her a card that played the theme to Star Wars and it teased her about how long long long ago she was born on this day. Her boys would get a kick out of it. I even put in a package of confetti inside the card. My idea was for her to open the car and all this confetti would be strewn around. She got my card, but she was so suspicious that she opened it very carefully. It is hard to get even when we live in different time zones. Even my daughter thought I was so mean to my sister. But she thought it was funny, especially when I explained to her how her aunt teased me.

I'm glad that she has embraced being 40, it really isn't all that bad. She even had the courage to tell her son's her true age. All these years she had her boys convinced that she is 29. I would give her a hard time about lying to her children.

Happy Birthday Bonnie, love ya.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy 20th Anniversay

Just a short note to wish Mary and Keith a very happy 20th anniversary. What a way to celebrate when your youngest daughter was born just yesterday. Here's wishing you more 20 years. I'll be seeing all of you in 5 days.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welcome Elizabeth

Happy Birthday Elizabeth. I'm so glad that you finally arrived. You were born into a very fabulous family and you have three great older sisters. Not to mention the aunts, uncles and cousins who are glad you are here. I better not forget your parents. When I come see you next week, I'll fill you in on them and what you will need to remember.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Retail Therapy

I highly recommend retail therapy. On Thursday I had my dental appointment. After spending two hours in the dentist's chair, I was so traumatized that I needed therapy.

The dentist took a bunch of x-rays of my teeth, measured my mouth and a bunch of other stuff. Then they numbed my mouth and my lower right side was cleaned and probed. They didn't do the upper right because my front teeth are still pretty tender. The dentist is pleased at how well I'm healing. Now my teeth are just tender, no longer sore. When I go back in a month, that's when I get the rest of my teeth cleaned and probed.

It took about a couple hour for the numbness to go away and then I was just sore the rest of the day, but my therapy session really helped.

First I did something sensible, got the oil changed in my car for my road trip to California. Then the therapy session started. I first bought two new pair of jeans. Tried on a bunch of clothes, very fun. Only came out with the 2 pair. On to the next store. It was here that I bought my snickers. I got 2 bags for $4. I left one bag here at home, but a little imp who lives in my house found them. Today there are only 2 left and I only ate one at home. The other bag I took to the office. These are used for my chocolate fix. Snickers is my favorite candy bar. The bags I bought are the mini sized ones. Since they are on sale for Halloween, I have plenty of time to stock up.

Next stop was the mall. I wanted to get a new pair of shoes, but couldn't find the pair that I wanted. Will get that on my next therapy session.

Got home in plenty of time to relax before heading off to our martial arts classes.

I highly recommend this type of therapy for everyone. It was so relaxing and fun.

I was bummed out when I found out my newest niece is being a difficult child. She decided that she didn't want her birthday on Friday. But that's ok, as long as she decides her birthday is before I get to her house for a week long visit.

Friday was also a good day. I got a huge raise at work. With retroactive pay included, my check was pretty nice. Wish all my checks were like that. I am excited, first we were only going to get $1 an hour raise, but I actually got over $2 an hour. I was in shock, but I'll take it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally Able To Ride

We were finally able to take the bike out for a ride today. After two weeks of rain and me recovering from my injury, we got the bike out today for the Chapter meeting and ride. It was a little foggy this morning, but burned off fast. We did go out for coffee with the bike and it was pretty cool out. We met up with a couple friends at the truck stop. They were going on a different ride with a different motorcycle group, but we all ended up at the same place.

We made our way to the dealership and I tried on some chaps. We now know why people wear chaps, to help stay warm on cool days. Also it helps protect you from bugs and tiny rocks. Let me tell you, trying on chaps is quite an ordeal. First of all, sizes at the dealership run small, so nothing like having to wear the next size up. Second, one needs to remember that chaps goes over jeans. Keeping all of that in mind, it's not so bad wearing a larger size than normal. Didn't buy a pair, not at $190. There is a site where we can get leather gear alot cheaper. The group met at the dealership. Today was the day for the chapter picture, then on to the meeting.

The picture was taken at Veterans Park which is next to Rocky Mountain College. There were about 50 bikes all together today. When we arrived at the park, there was a young mother with her children who were going to get out and play in the park, but as soon as all these bikes arrived, the kid slammed the door and the mom just wanted to get out of there. I thought she was going to run us over, but she did manage to keep her cool. She did get out of there unscathed. All of us were laughing about how mean we bikers are. We all got together for the photo. It will turn out nice, we had the eagle statue in the background. After the photo, we all made our way to Strokers in Huntley.

We arrived at Strokers and you should have seen all the bikes parked in the lot. The other bike group was having their September 11 Memorial Poker Run and Strokers was a stop off point for them. There must have been about 80 bikes in the parking lot, not to mention that the bar was full of bikers eating. It was quite a sight to see.

We had our meeting, which are never very long, then made our way home. From Huntley we took Pryor Creek Road. It is only about 5 to 6 miles and we cut out about 10 miles going on the interstate. Pryor Creek Road hits I-90 just at the bottom of the big Billings Hill.

All in all it was a very good day for a ride. The weather was perfect. No rain, no wind and it was comfortable.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Yesterday I got my stitches out. YEAH!!!!! I was supposed to get them out on Thursday, but when I made the appointment at the Hardin Clinic, I couldn't get in until yesterday. Since I wasn't treated here, the doc wanted to make sure I was healing, especially since I'm "older". I told the receptionist that all it takes is a snip snip and tug tug. If I had tweezers and small scissors here at home, I would have done it myself.

Our doctor friend even offered to take them out for me, but since I already had the appointment I appreciated his help, but it was ok for me to go into the clinic. Looking back I should have taken up his offer. I didn't want to have my stitches taken out in the martial arts school.

I got to the clinic early because I knew I would have to fill out a ton of paperwork. The paperwork wasn't that bad, all I had to do was update my insurance information. I only had to wait in the waiting room for about 10 minutes before being called. The nurse called my name and then asked me what I was in for. Don't these people read.

She took my vitals and all of that good stuff. At least I didn't have to step on the scale. Then it was about a 30 minute wait. I had taken a book with me and got a couple chapters read. The doc finally came in and I had to retell my story to him.

This doc said that normally I should have come in 5 days after my accident. He said that he likes to take out stitches in 5 days to help avoid scarring. Scarring is the least of my worries. The doc at the ER in Columbus said to keep them in until Thursday. Give me a break.

He did say that I healed quite nicely for being "older", just treat it like a scratch. I still have to keep putting neosporin on it. I don't have to go back unless it gets infected or any problems.

I went back to the dentist on Wednesday. When I first went right after my accident he couldn't take any x-rays, I was too sore and swollen. At first he thought I would be ok, but now that has changed. I did more damage to my teeth than what was originally thought. I have to go back in two weeks and will let time tell. The dentist thinks that I will lose both my front teeth. He did say that one of the options available is to have a root canal, but he did say in honesty that a root canal probably won't work. One tooth did tighten back up, but not the other one. The lose one he sort of welded it to the next tooth and it does feel so much better now that it is stabilized.

Now that I got the stitches out I have to make an appointment to have my eyes checked. I do need new glasses anyway but the accident just moved it up a bit. I can't wait and see what the eye doctor says when he hears about my head trauma. When I fell, my glasses just fell off my face and I do have a deep scratch on the lens. I was very fortunate that they didn't break.

The scar above my eye doesn't look that bad and it will be hard to see. It is just above my eyebrow and if a person doesn't know that it is there won't notice it. I'm sure over the years it will fade.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unforgetable Weekend

We had a very unforgetable weekend. We were invited to a BBQ at a friends cabin out of Absarokee along the Stillwater River. One of our adult students invited the whole martial arts school up to his cabin for a BBQ and Camp Out. It was the weekend before school started and he thought that it would be a great time to have everyone relax and just have fun before serious business started.

Not everyone was able to come due to other committments, but there were 12 of us there. Gary and I arrived at the cabin at around 2:00 in the afternoon after a bit of searching. We forgot to bring the map that was made and we drove up the road too far. He did say that he would have his turn off well marked with streamers and balloons. We found it on our way back, never did see the streamers and balloons because there wasn't any. His son had put out a paper plate that read "Doc's Cabin". Our friend is a medical doctor and everyone in class just calls him Doc.

When we got there Doc and his family and another student of ours was already there. It was about an hour later when the other family of 5 arrived. The kids had a good time swimming, tubing, canoeing and fishing in the river, while us adults sat on the cabin's porch watching.

The cabin was located in a beautiful and peaceful place along the river. The current wasn't strong at all and the water was calm for the kids to enjoy. Since we were in the foothills of the Beartooth mountains it was very comfortable to enjoy the outside.

Here is where the unforgetable part comes in. I had decided to go for a walk up river with another couple just before dinner. Doc was doing all the cooking and wouldn't accept any help, except Gary was able to help cut up vegetables. My friends and I were enjoying our walk and we must have walked about half a mile up river on the rocks. A deer even cut in front of our path and there were times when we stopped just to enjoy the view. Visited with a couple of fishermen along the way. We were about half way back when tragedy struck. You got it, I lost my footing on a loose rock and fell down hard. We were on the little rocks by this time. I was able to cut my eye and knock my two front teeth loose. Needless to say I scared the daylights out of my friends. He went running up ahead to get Doc. I really couldn't see anything because my glasses fell off my face and I had no clue where they were or if they were in one piece and I had blood running all over my face. My first thought was great here I go again and I didn't want any of the kids to see me bleeding all over. I was just upset with myself for ruining everyone's weekend. My friends were blaming themselves.

I got cleaned up as best as I could and Gary made the drive to the ER. Keep in mind that the closest ER is 30 miles down the road. Gary made the drive in no time, I wasn't sure if we were going to get there in one piece. He was speeding and passing cars when it wasn't necessary. We arrived at the ER and I got 7 stitches above my left eye. Gary had my glasses, so I was finally able to see. After we were done in the ER and got my instructions, I insisted on getting a mirror so that I could see what I looked like.

Gary wanted to come home to Hardin, a 90 mile drive, but I insisted on going back to the cabin. I wanted to assure everyone that I was ok, especially the kids. The Doc's 4 year old daughter in her wisdom had informed me that I had gone too far on the rocks. Gary wasn't happy about it, but we did go back to the cabin. I had to stay awake until after midnight anyway and I figured that nothing else could go wrong. Gary was envisioning a mad dash back to the ER in the middle of the night. He was thinking that the worst was going to happen. I was fine.

We came home Sunday afternoon and I spent the rest of the day napping and relaxing. My eye is very colorful right now. I did go back to work on Tuesday and I do get tired at the end of the day. The top of the eye is yellow, my eyelid and towards my nose is red and now I'm bruising up above the gash on my forehead. I didn't swell up as bad as everyone expected and my glasses and hair cover up most of the stuff. My knee is also very colorful and it hurts worse than my eye.

I get to have the stitches out next Thursday and I'm looking forward to that. I can just go to the clinic here and have them taken out instead of going all the way back to Columbus.I did see a dentist and he said that my teeth are ok, but only time will tell if I loose them. I don't look as bad as Mom did when she wrecked on the bike. She has me beat there. My nose isn't broken, but since my eye is bruised it is sore.

I am going to have to get new glasses though, as the lens has a deep scratch on it from rocks. But I won't be making that appointment until I am healed up.

I aged Gary a few more years, poor guy. Mom did tell me to take it easy on him. I am only allowed to walk on level ground. Doc saw me yesterday and he was so surprised at how well I look. Not too sure what I am supposed to look like, but I think it's bad enough.

That was my unforgetable weekend. On top of all of this I did have a tetnus shot, so it will be easy to remember when I got one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary

Forty some years ago I was blessed with a life long best friend. Yep, my little sister was born on this day. Growing up we had our usual sibling fights, but since we reached our adult years and moved many miles apart, we are the best of friends.

It wasn't easy growing up with a little sister just a couple years younger than you. She was so stubborn, that at times she forgot who the big sister was. I tried to boss her around and she wasn't going to mind me. I think she forgot where her place was in the family line. No matter what, I was always going to be the oldest and I wouldn't let her forget it. I can proudly say that we've never had a fight where we didn't speak to each other. Looking back all our fights were very petty way back when, but at the time they were important to us.

Through the years I learned how great it is to have a life long best friend. One who would always be around and listen to your lifes problems. Growing up we have also gone on our own ways and started our own lives and moved many miles apart.

Every chance we get, we always stay in touch and it is so nice to finally get together on all those special occasions.

Have a very Happy Birthday Mary. I love you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Harley Vacation

We survived our Harley vacation. The first thing I had to learn was how to pack light and I mean very light. We both had to share one small bag with all of our stuff. I managed to get all of that done. Not much room left before all the necessities like helmets, rain gear, leather coats. Our trunks actually hold quite a bit. We left on Saturday morning for our first stop in Gardiner. It was a nice day for riding, we ran into road construction just before Gardiner. It wasn't that bad, had to follow a pilot car for 12 miles. The road was chip sealed but it was pretty well packed down when we went through. By this time there was some very dark rain clouds overhead and we beat them to Gardiner. The storm hit about 2 hours later. We had just parked the bike and got inside the restaurant when the storm hit. We got hail and heavy rain. We stayed inside until the storm blew over, but it sure was a wet and cold ride back to the motel. Fortunately we didn't have to go very far. It had rained all through the night.

Woke up the next morning and it was pretty cloudy and gloomy. We put on our rain gear because the bike was all wet and needed the extra layers for warmth. Good thing we put the gear on inside, it took us about 15 minutes to get it on. If a storm came through we would just get all wet before we got all of this gear on. We headed on to Yellowstone Park. Even though the speed limit in the park is 45, it was very cold. We stopped in Mammoth to check out the map and decide where we want to go. Our first stop was the Upper Terrace at Mammoth. We sure liked walking around to get warmed up. From Mammoth we made our way to Canyon. By this time it was warming up pretty good, so at Canyon we peeled off our rain gear and put on the leather coats. My goal at Canyon was to see the lower falls, but not to be. The road was closed for construction, so we drove the South Rim. We went to Artist's Point to see the falls. I have never been to Artist Point and it sure was a very pretty view. From here we did stop to see the view of the Upper Falls, then we made our way around to the Brink of the Upper Falls. From here, you are just above the falls. Walking around in riding boots is quite a work out. It feels like I literally have 5 pound weights on my feet. From Canyon we made our way up to Tower. The road started out pretty good, but soon we ran into switch back curves. Gary has been avoiding going on any switch backs because steering the bike is alot different than the 2 wheelers. He did a fantastic job. He was glad to get to Tower to have a break. We went to the falls overlook and then had our ice cream. From Tower we went to see the petrified tree. The few miles it took was the worst roads ever. The stretch had holes, ruts and everything you could think of. We reached the petrified tree and then from there we made our way back to Gardiner. Gary was tired from all of that driving.

The next morning we had to pack up and head on our way to West Yellowstone. Today was a short drive. Made our way, but first we stopped at Norris, went throught the Ranger Museum and then walked the Porcelain Basin loop at Norris. From Norris made our way to West Yellowstone. We were a bit early so we ate lunch and walked around town a bit. Gary's bike was a hit with the foreign visitors. Our pictures were taken alot. I told Gary that he could stand on a corner and make money to pay for our vacation. He could even charge to give rides. We went to the hotel and was told in no certain terms could we check in until after 3:00 pm. It was 2:30 when we went to check in. After we checked in, we went to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. It was very interesting and I got alot of good photos of the bears and wolves. We stayed at the Days Inn because we like the hotel and the breakfasts are usually pretty good, except at this one. There is a restaurant attached to the motel and guests are supposed to get a free breakfast. When you check in, you receive your coupons for the breakfast. They only give out 2 coupons per room. For us it didn't matter, but for people with more than 2 that would be a problem.

Tuesday morning we headed down for our free breakfast. You don't get a choice for breakfast, it is only one, eggs, hashbrowns, choice of bacon, sausage or ham and toast. The breakfast was horrible. First everything was cold. The toast was so cold that it wouldn't melt the butter. We even had to pay for our tea and coffee. We ordered a side of pancakes and had to pay for that too. After breakfast we left to see Old Faithful. No more rain, but the mornings are cold enough to wear our leather coats. Our first stop was the Fountain Paint Pot and then Old Faithful. We knew we were going to be at Old Faithful for a while. We had just missed the eruption so had to wait for about 90 minutes. We walked around Geyser Hill first then made our way to see Old Faithful. We had about a 30 minute wait but it was starting to get full of visitors. After the eruption, we made our way to Morning Glory. This was a 3 mile walk round trip. Not the easiest walk wearing riding boots. Those boots were not made for walking. My feet hurt so bad after the walk that all I wanted to do was take them off. The only wildlife we saw this time was one buffalo and one coyote. Just before leaving the park, we did see a herd of cow elk.

After eating our cold breakfast, we checked out of the motel and got ready for the ride to Cody. This time we went to Fishing Bridge by way of Canyon. We hit Hayden Valley and a ton of buffalo. We got caught in a buffalo jam for about 15 minutes. Got a ton of pictures of all the buffalo, but being on a bike with the buffalo right there is pretty nerve racking. I was more worried about what the idiot visitors were going to do. There were some baby calves in the heard, and of course that was the picture the visitors wanted. A few were even inching their way close to the babies. We did manage to make our way through the jam. One buffalo was so close the road road that I could have reached out and petted him. Not too sure how the buffalo are going to react with the noise of the bike. We figure that by this time of year the buffalo are so tired of people that they don't care. Made our way to Fishing Bridge and it was a good time for a break before heading off to Cody.

Left the park, but the ride to Cody was pretty smoky with the fire in the Shoshone National Forest. There were alot of signs warning motorists of fire activity, but we got through just fine. You can see where the fire got close to the highway, but we were fortunate to just have smoke. No smoke in the park, but very smoky in Cody. We checked into our hotel, relaxed a bit before dinner. After eating BBQ made our way back to the motel.

Got up early because the weather forecast didn't sound good. It was very windy and cold on the way home, we managed to miss the rain storms. We were just behind them. It was good to get home.

It was a nice vacation and ended too fast as usual. Riding through the park on a motorcycle is a very pleasing experience. You get to see the park in a whole new way. I think you see more than you would in a car. I got to enjoy the views very well, but Gary had to drive and pay attention. I did get alot of great photos and working on getting those sorted and ready to post on my flickr sight.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Class Reunion

We went to the Lodge Grass All Class Reunion over the weekend. The reunion was held at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. Lodge Grass is not big enough to hold something this big, in fact Lodge Grass is barely a livable town anymore. The locals jokingly call it "Little Beirut". People kept telling me what a great little town it was, but I just can't see it. I do believe them and I've seen the photos. It really is a shame how this town has turned out.

We didn't go on Friday as there wasn't anything planned for his class. The only class that really had anything going on Friday night was the class of 58.

Saturday we checked in at the registration table to pick up our tickets for the dinner and picnic. There was a cocktail hour from 5-7 and then dinner at 7 with dancing at 9. We didn't get there until about 5:30 and milled around a bit, found a table to sit at and then visited with some of his friends. There was a good turn out but the younger set didn't come. Most of the people there were from the 30's, 40's, 50s and 60's. A few from the 70's, but no one from the 80's on. There were only 2 from Gary's class and he said 15 graduated. One of the ladies who sat at our table was his mother's very best friend. She was also a teacher at Lodge Grass. She was a very funny lady and she had us all laughing with her stories. My favorite story was when she sent another teacher a sympathy card. She said that she had this problem student and when he transfered to another school she found out who his teacher was and she sent the teacher a card. We had a good dinner and ate quite a bit. The dinner was buffet style. We didn't stay for the dancing. The band didn't play our kind of music. We didn't win any of the door prizes or the teepee that they were raffling off.

Sunday was the picnic. The picnic was held at the Convention Center. Again we ate very good food. One of the people at our table this time was a mother to one of my childhood friends. You remember Bonnie Watson and you guys would probably remember her younger brother Cody. I got caught up on Bonnie and Cody. It sure was nice to visit with Lupe. Today was the day to say good bye to everyone. Gary did get to visit with some more people who he went to school with. He did run into a woman that he hung out with. She is living in Billings and they exchanged addresses and phone numbers. She would sure like to get together with us. She was excited to see Gary. They didn't date in school or anything, she was just part of the group that hung out together.

Gary had a good time, but he just won't admit it. He did say that we are not going next year. Lodge Grass has a reunion every year. He would like to go when he finds out some very good friend come. That will probably be in three years when he will have his 40th.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Harley Picnic & Olympics

Today we went to Huntley for the Beartooth HOG Chapter picnic and olympics. It was alot of fun and we got to have a good time with our new friends. There is another couple from Hardin in the group. In fact they are neighbors of ours just around the corner. We had good food catered in. We ate burgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad, fruit, chips and drinks. There must have been about 30 of us there. It was a family picnic, so there were a few kids present. After we ate, the games began. We got in on the balloon toss. The balloons were filled with water and had been sitting in water, so nobody got a dry balloon. We made it to the final round, but I didn't throw the balloon far enough for Gary to catch it. He didn't get wet, the balloon landed on the ground. You should have seen one catch I made with the balloon. I caught it between my pinky fingers and didn't drop it. Just laid it on the ground to get it back in my hands to toss back. For the bike wash game, the driver had to go under a rope and the passenger had to throw a water balloon over the rope and catch it without breaking. We were going to do this together, but one of the kids really wanted to play, so he was Gary's passenger. He threw the balloon too hard. It hit Gary on the shoulder and then fell to the ground. Neither one of them got wet with a water balloon. Some of the drivers did get wet when the balloons landed on them. The next game was the plank race. You got into teams of 4 and you have your feet strapped onto a plank. You have to work together to make it across the finish line. It was alot of fun to watch. We were going to get in, but let a couple kids get in on the fun. The third game was to see how slow the driver could go before putting his foot on the ground. Gary didn't get in on this game because he has the advantage. With a trike, he could go as slow as a snail and his foot would never touch the ground. The highlight of the games was the pie eating contest. Only 4 people got in on this and one was a kid. It sure was fun watching these guys eat the pies, but what a mess. There was pie in their hair and one guy has a beard and mustache. One was a kid and he did pretty good at first but then he got too full. The other two people were father and daughter. They had 5 minutes to eat as much pie as they could. The lone female won, at least according to the official. To me it looked like the father ate the most. He only had the bottom crust left of his pie. The pie eating was the highlight of the games. The prizes were pretty good stuff, from the Harley dealership. There were cups, water bottles, mouse pads, coasters. Afterwards everyone left. It was hot today, but at least a breeze was blowing to cool things off just a bit and the park was shady. It sure was a fun day for all. Next year we both are going to be more prepared.

I almost forgot, we got to Huntley early so we stopped at the local bar to get a diet coke. Gary stayed outside and was checking things out on the bike, so I went in to get the coke. There was a guy in there talking to me and welcoming me to their little town and then he asked me to have a seat. I told him that my husband was outside waiting for me. He assured me that he wasn't hitting on me and I told him of course he wasn't. I thought I was going to have to take Gary inside just to prove to the guy that I really have a husband. It was funny. Gary has been teasing me about getting hit on. I figure what the hey, I still got it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dr. Appointments, State Games, Harley Meetings

Life is just busy as the summer moves along. What a busy week we had last week. On Wednesday the head wolf had his annual doctor appointment at the VA. We both took the whole day off from our jobs and it sure was nice. Nothing like driving 85 miles to the VA, but it was a nice day. His appointment was at 11 am, but he had to have all of his lab work done 2 hours before his appointment. The lab opened at 7:30, so we got there as soon as it opened. He had to fast before the lab, so afterwards we went out and ate breakfast. He got a great checkup, said that he is as healthy as a 20 year old. Boy was the wolf gloating. The doc took hypertension off of his chart and just told him to keep up what he was doing. Next week he has to see a dermatologist. He has a spot on his back that has changed and a new one has appeared on the back of his leg. Now he is not worried about it and thinks I'm crazy to have him check it out. He will thank me. I have to go to show the doc which one to check out. The first doc didn't see anything wrong, but he was looking at the wrong spot.

Friday was an exciting day. We had 3 of our martial arts kids have a promotion test, so we had to be there. It was also the opening ceremonies for the state games. I decided to go to the test instead of going to opening ceremonies. It was a good choice. That afternoon a storm came through fast and hard for about 30 minutes. We had golf ball sized hail and heavy rain. The rain coming off the roof of the court house looked like a waterfall. I've never seen that much water come off the roof. My car looked like a boat in the parking lot. So much water that the drain couldn't handle it all. I literally had to take off my shoes, roll up my pant legs and wade through the water to get into my car. Later that night while I was at the test, high winds came through and a rain shower fell on the people at the opening ceremonies. At least I was warm and dry.

Saturday was the day of the tournament and we had 7 students competing. This is a different format than what we are used to. Usually we are done by 3 in the afternoon, but there were so many competitors that we didn't get done until 6:30 that night. Naturally one of our student's was the very last competitor. We are proud to say that every one of the students received a medal. Unfortunately one of them was in a big mess. They first awarded her a medal, the took it away from her. Needless to say we were upset and so were her parents, but we got it all straightened out. It was after the tournament was over that we got it straightened out, and they had already left. We have her medal for her. It sure was a long day, but at least it wasn't beastly hot. Usually it is in the triple digits for the state games and this year it was in the 90's.

Sunday we had a Harley chapter meeting in Roscoe. We've never been in Roscoe, and why should we. It's just a little spot on the map and off the interstate. It sure was a nice ride on the bike getting there. For the group rides, we stay on the little two lane roads. We are never going to leave the state on the bike, so many two lanes roads in the state to check out. We ate a very delicious lunch at the Grizzly Bar. After our meeting was over, we headed over to Red Lodge to see some of the Iron Horse Rodeo festivities. By the time we got to Red Lodge most of the people were gone. There was some vendors still there and a few bikers. The head wolf wants to go to the festivities next year. Sounds like we need to be there on a Saturday. There was some controversy about the event in Red Lodge this year. Seems like the locals hate it because of all the noise and lack of parking when the bikers come through. They are afraid that it will start turning into another Sturgis as the event gets bigger every year.

For now life is back to normal, but will start to pick up again on Sunday. That will be for another post. August is filling up fast too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Patriot Guard Riders

So far this month we have had two missions for the Patriot Guard Riders. Our first mission in July was in Laurel. Kimberly Johnson was an active member of the Navy. She was stationed in Virginia and was killed in a motorcycle accident. We got the call for the mission but it was short notice. Her funeral was on the 3rd. We went because we were both off anyway and we figured that they needed as many members as they could get. There were about 15 of us for her family.

The mission today was for Donald Wolfe who was from Hardin. He was killed in action in Viet Nam in 1967 and was laid to rest today. For many decades his remains were lost and was just recently identified. His daughter was born about a week after he died. His family was here in town today and he was buried at the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Our group was called and we ended up staging in two different areas. We stationed with about 30 others at Bullis's funeral home and we escorted him to the cemetary. The family came out and talked to each and every one of us. We were even invited to come inside for part of the service. Gary had the honor for the missing man formation. When the motorcycles escort to the cemetary, they are side by side. There is one spot saved for the missing man and we got that honor today. The only problem with being in this spot, is we don't get to see the procession.

There were about 100 other Patriot Guard Riders who has staged at the cemetary. Not only were the Patriot Guard Riders there, but also some Viet Nam veterans. It sure was a sight to see all the flags. Gary and I were both honored to be a part of this.

Quite a few of us came into to town to eat lunch at the 4 Aces. We do have support vehicles and one lady in her vehicle was having problems. Some of the guys with us are mechanics, so they went out got her car going and brought it into town. We took it to the Chevy dealer for her Ford vehicle. It was determined that her fuel filter wasn't working properly, anyway she got fixed and on her way home to Billings. About 8 of us stayed with her to make sure that she would make it home. I told her that if needed we would give her a ride back to Billings. The others made sure that she got home ok, they followed her on their motorcycles.

There were at least 65 motorcycles at the cemetary, some came from all over, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska and one woman came all the way from Florida. She had a MIA bracelet and it was Donald Wolfe. She felt that she needed to come. We did get to meet her and she was a very nice lady. She couldn't believe how friendly everyone was and she felt right at home. The photo is from today of the Patriot Guard flag line.
We are both honored to be able to perform this duty for our fallen veterans and service members.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America

Just wanted to take this time and wish America a Happy Birthday. Want to wish a Happy Independence Day to all the men and women serving our country.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Trying the Blog Thing

Here I am trying a new venture, blogging. I got the idea from my sisters who have their blogs. I enjoy reading them and can catch up on family news. I have many adventures here in the wolf den, even though my children are all grown. Two have left the den, one is still here. When she is not working, she stays in her lair most of the time. She comes out just to let us know that she is still here.

Thought life would be easier when the cubs left the den, but life seems to be busier. I always have something on my calendar.

Not only do I work full time, the hubby and I also run the martial arts school here in town, so we are never bored.