Monday, March 30, 2009

I Won

Every year my work place has a weight loss contest. I won it two years ago with a loss of 14 pounds. Well I won again this year with a loss of 12 pounds.

We always start the first Monday after the New Year. Everyone pays $5 to begin and we weigh in every week for 12 weeks. If you lose weight that is great, but if you gain you have to pay $1. You have to stay at you lowest weight. So if a person gained 4 pounds one week and lost only 2 of those 4 the next, you would still need to pay $1 until you get back down to what your lowest was. I have had to pay $1 here and there.

This year our pot was huge. We had a contest last fall but nobody won. People either gained or stayed at their beginning weight. The concensus of the group was just to keep that money for this one and we would have one huge pot. It was huge, I won a total of $218.

Last time I had the trip to Hawaii as an incentive, this time I had the huge money as the incentive. Now I get to go shopping.

I am going to take Jennifer and Gary out for dinner for putting up with me, not only was I dieting so were they.

Maybe for lunch I'll have an ice cream.

The other women are asking me what my secret is, this time I had all this dental work done and couldn't eat. Still can't eat like I used to. I am still getting used to wearing these partials and biting down is still a challenge, but I'm getting better at it. I just eat so slow now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My $4000 Smile

I finally got my teeth. After three months and all the ordeals I went through I finally got my $4000 smile. This is the cost of everything from the first appointment after my fall to the last one on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tournament Winners

The day after the black belt test was the International Tournament that Parks hosts every year, this was the 27th year. It was fun seeing old friends and those we only get to see once a year. We had people from Montana, Wyoming, North & South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Texas. Our small school had a fantastic tournament. The school was entered in 15 events, came home with 15 medals-5 golds, 4 silvers and 6 bronzes. We usually have every student at least medal once, but it has been a long time when everyone medaled in all their events.

Jennifer wanted to compete this year, especially since she tested and she talked me into competing. It has been over a year since I competed in a tournament. We both medaled in our events and we are very happy about that since we didn't work too hard on tournament stuff, spent our time with the test.

Jennifer competed in forms and weapons and she placed 3rd in both her events. She is that 18-34 year age group and it's huge. She competed with her bo staff. She now wants to learn the next form for it. She also helped judge and run rings. Her job for us was to make sure that our little ones got where they needed to go. We have one student who is autistic and his Dad needed help. This particular family has 5 children and the Mom was going to be out of town that weekend, which meant Dad had them all. Jennifer would make sure the boy got where he needed to be. Turned out that Mom didn't have to leave until Sunday, so Dad came with only 2 of his 5 kids. This particular kid is autistic but he is verbal, his attention span is very minute and we have to be very patient with him.

I also competed in forms and weapons. I placed 3rd in forms and 1st in weapons. I performed with the sword. For once I was able to compete in my own age group. For weapons there was only 3 of us oldies anyway, so that wasn't too bad. In forms there were 5 of us oldies and I was the only woman. I told Gary the good news was that I was finally in my own age group, the bad news was it was all men. It is so hard to compete against men, but I placed 3rd so I'm happy, shocked was what I was. At staging I was given the choice of competing with the younger women, but that meant I would be competing against Jennifer. We already did that at one tournament last year and it wasn't fun. I wanted to stay with my own age group.

Jennifer and I are going to work on breaking boards for the next tournament in October.

We got done with the tournament at 7:00 pm, which compared to past years is quite early. The black belt adults are always last at the end of the day, but not very many stay to help judge. At least I should say not the ones who live in Billings stay. We helped clean up afterwards and then we went with the group to eat. We always eat at the Golden Corral Buffet. Not my favorite place but can't quibble when the meal is free.

I didn't get many photos of our students competing. One Dad did video me and Jennifer with our weapons. When the sparring competition started a friend of one of our students offered to take photos of the kids. She did ok and got some good shots. In class the other day we got the group photo for the paper. I just have to write up the article for it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Black Belts

Last Friday Jennifer and I had our black belt test. I took the whole day off, first I had to take Mom to the airport so that she could catch her flight to sunny California. Then came back home and just in time to pick up Gary for lunch. After lunch, Jennifer and I spent the afternoon packing up the truck with all the stuff we needed for the test and tournament. We got a motel room, no sense getting out of the test at 10:00 pm come home then get up bright and early to get back in time for the tournament. It is so much more convenient spending the night.

We got to Billings early, so we got to the school early to get a good parking space. We were a bit worried when no cars were there, but we were more than an hour early. We got our space then ran across the street to Arby's for a quick bite to eat. We were getting a bit worried when time got closer and no cars or people were coming. I gave the head guy a quick call and found out they moved the test to another location. Gary was mad because they couldn't do the polite thing and give us a phone call, after all seems like all the others knew. I told him that it was nothing to get upset over, nothing we can do. Fortunately we had enough time to get to the new location. Couldn't get good parking, so had to park across the street.

Jennifer and I changed into our uniforms and started to warm up. The test started at 6:30 and they did judo first. We just had to sit and watch. I got up to move around so that I wouldn't stiffen up. They ran the test in different groups. We originally were going to be two groups, the first group were the candidates for 1st degree. They went through all of their stuff, then it was time for our group. At first they got all the candidates for 2nd, 3rd and 4th degrees up. Fantastic we get to move as a group. Jennifer was in the front row, I was in the middle row. From there they broke us up into smaller groups. Jennifer's was up first and they really put that group through their paces. They even ended up doing some extra stuff. There was only me and another woman testing for 3rd degree. She has a back back so she couldn't do even half the stuff requried. I ended up doing just what she had to do which was 3 forms and my sword. Normally we would have had to do 14 forms and 4 weapon forms. Jennifer was mad saying how lucky I was to get out of so much. She even had to break a board for her test and I didn't.

We were awarded our new belts. Jennifer is now a 2nd degree black belt and I'm a 3rd degree black belt. Feels pretty good and glad it is over, now we just have to wait our allotted time again before we test. Jennifer has to wait 3 years and I have to wait 4. This also gives us time to save up some more money. These tests are not cheap.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wax Try In

Yesterday I went to my dentist to have the wax try in before getting my partials. Jennifer was off so she went with me again. This time I dropped her off at Wal-Mart so that she could get breakfast. This particular Wal-Mart has a McDonald's in it.

I got to the dentist office and was called in right away. He put in my partials, at first he thought that they were the regular ones, but found out they were wax. My bottom ones need to be fixed as they were slanted. He marked where they need to be. My upper ones had to be tightened as they were pretty loose and fell out. Also the back clasp has to be ground down as when I bite I hit it. He took pictures of me with them in so that he can show the people who makes them what needs to be done.

That sure is alot of metal that will be in my mouth. I will have to get used to that. I kept thinking that when I go through the air port security I will be setting off all kinds of alarms.

I get the partials next Wednesday. I can't wait. It has been three months since I had all my teeth extracted. I am so ready to get them, I want to go out to eat. In fact I have been getting better about taking out the temporaries in public. It really isn't that bad.

This is the first visit that I had at the dentist that I didn't have shots in my mouth, teeth pulled or any kind to torture tool put in my mouth. In fact I was only in there for half an hour, Jennifer was surprised that it was so short. She said that normally it takes 2 hours.

All I can say is WOW. What a huge change this is going to be. I was amazed that they were able to match my regular teeth, in fact it is hard to tell. Just wait until you see me.

My treat this time was a hair cut. I'm saving the huge shopping therapy for next week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tournaments and Testing

It's that time of year again. Our martial arts school is busy with tournaments and testing. Last Saturday there was a tournament in Powell Wyoming. We only had one student go to this tournament. Bad timing this year, as our tournament is this Saturday. In this day and age people have to make hard decisions, so most of our students are going to the tournament in Billings.

Usually when we go to Powell, we take a side trip to Meeteetse and stay the night and get our gramma fix in. We didn't get that this year. First, Jennifer has to open on Sunday mornings and that means she has to be at work by 5:00 am. We don't like her walking in the dark, but her goal this year is to get her drivers license. Second, the one student needed a ride and we took him, so no overnight stay this year.

We left Hardin bright and early at 5:45 am. Made sure Jennifer was up and about so that she could get to work by 7:00 am. We picked up our student, fortunately he was ready. We ate a nice breakfast in Billings, that is our usual routine. It is a long time before we get to eat again. We left Billings about 7:15 am and arrived in Powell at 9:00. The tournament starts at 9:30, but as usual nothing starts on time. We got there in plenty of time. Gary and I helped out with judging and making sure our student was doing ok. He gets pretty nervous. He was the only belt in his age group, so for his forms they had in with the older age group. He didn't mind that. Then for his sparring they put him in the right age group, but with a couple lower belts. Our student placed 1st in both events. His sparring event was the crowd pleaser, sure alot of people watching that bout. He sparred with a competitor that he sparred with before and lost. It was a close one, he won by 1 point. I don't think his opponent has lost before as he had a surprised look on his face when it was over.

After the tournament was over, we drove to Meeteetse to have dinner with the grammas. That was the one consulation that our student had to do, I told him I would buy his dinner anyway. He didn't mind. He is from Palm Springs California and ended up in Hardin to attend college at Crow. He has never been to that part of Wyoming before. I think he thought it was going to be a longer trip. He got a quick history lesson with Heart Mountain and the Cowboy Bar. He was amazed to learn that Butch Cassidy spent time in this area and said that he was going to call his mother and tell her he ate where Butch Cassidy did. We have the photo proof of it.

The grammas were waiting for us outside. Gary was teasing Mom about eating in the car and he got the look. I laughed. We all ate a great meal, but as usual it was too much. We didn't eat ribs this time, saving that for another trip. We did get in trouble with gramma for not coming down enough. We are definately going to have to work on that.

After dinner, the three of us made our trip back north. The wind was blowing like crazy in Cody, especially coming out of that canyon. All the times we have been in Cody, Gary and I couldn't remember when the wind was blowing that hard. They guys had to hang onto their hats. I drove home, so filled the truck up with gas. I was throwing out a plastic pop bottle, it didn't make it to the garbage and I gave up trying to run it down. Have no clue where that darn pop bottle went. The awning over the gas pumps was moving. We made it home safe and sound. We got Jennifer to work on time Sunday morning and then spent the rest of the day adjusting to the time change.

Jennifer and I are testing for our 2nd and 3rd degree black belts. We have been busy getting our books together and practicing our testing stuff. Then on Saturday is the tournament. We both will be competing. Jennifer wanted to compete as a 2nd degree and would only do so if I competed so I am. There are also 5 others from our school competing. Many of them first timers, so we will have a bunch of nervous kids on our hands.

Friday, March 6, 2009

She's 21

Last Saturday we celebrated Jennifer's 21st birthday. Hard to believe that my "baby" is all grown up and can now drink legally. We took her out to eat at her favorite Applebee's and had a very good meal. Gary was disappointed that she didn't order her first drink, but that is ok. I think she was afraid to try and they wouldn't serve her. We weren't too sure how it would work since legally she wasn't 21 on the 28th. Really not too sure how the drinking establishments work that for people born on leap year. She made the comment that now she can walk through the front door of the Cowboy. That was even written on her birthday card by her Gma. After dinner we came home and had ice cream cake. I didn't have any candles at home to put on the cake, but we still enjoyed it. I'm copying the idea from my sister with photos of her.

She was about 6 months old in this photo. It was taken in Meeteetse on a visit.

Here she is sitting pretty in front of her Gma's house in her pretty dress. She was 4 in this photo.

Here she is at the age of 21.