Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Elephant Auction

Last Sunday was our HOG Chapter white elephant auction and officer election meeting. I was nominated last month to be the chapter secretary which I accepted. Gary will have to teach my class on the one Tuesday a month that I have to go to a meeting. Nobody ran against me so by default I am the Beartooth HOG Chapter secretary for the next two years. I officially take over my duties in January.

The winter storm hit us on Thursday night and continued on through the weekend. There was a small break in the weather, so we took advantage and went to the meeting. This is always a fun meeting. We get great food and can bid on some nice items for the auction.

We left earlier than usual to Billings. Our meeting didn't start until 1:00 pm, but we had to shop for the Thanksgiving meal. Our original plan was to shop after the meeting, but with the storm we decided to get the shopping done first then after the meeting just come home.

The driving lane was pretty good going up, the passing lane was snowpacked and icy. As long as you stayed in the driving lane, you were good. Until we reached the Billings hill, that is where we ran into ice all the way into Billings. We did pass a very slow vehicle and then just had to laugh when we saw where they were from. This young girl (20ish) from Georgia was driving white knuckles and this is on the dry part of the road. Apparently she thought is was cold out as she was bundled up real good. Guess the heater on the car doesn't work. She was going around 40 mph and was probably scared to death when a semi and two pickups passed her. We were the second pickup. I wondered what happened to her when she got to the Billings hill when it was very icy. On our way home the roads were in better condition. The driving lane was clear but the passing lane was snow packed. We got home before it started snowing again.

We made it to Billings in one piece, ate breakfast got our shopping done and headed to the meeting. We were there an hour early, so watched some of the football games in the sports bar. Made our way to the meeting with our goodies. I made a macaroni salad for the meal and we brought a football shaped grill for the auction.

I came home with a new pair of riding boots and two holiday coffee mugs. I got the boots for $24 and the coffee mugs for $2. The boots were only worn a couple times and the lady who brought them told me that she couldn't wear them as they were a bit small for her. I had tried them on before I bid on them and they fit me. There was a nice coat that fit Gary but he wouldn't bid on it. He said what does he need another coat for. Our friends were getting after him for not bidding on it. The coat is a $300 coat and it went for $35.

The box the boots came in said they were a size 7 1/2, but the tags inside the boots say size 7. I normally wear a 7 1/2, but these fit great. A tad big for me in the heels, but just have to wear thicker socks. I figured that when I got them home and decided that they really didn't fit me, I can give them to Jennifer, she wears a size 7. The original price on the boots was $130. Gary rolled his eyes, said just what I need another pair of shoes.We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves. Now I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving. Jennifer invited her friend Arthur over and Gary invited one of our biker friends to eat. Hope I have a big enough turkey. We may not have any left overs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jackpot Nevada

This past weekend Gary and I took a road trip to Jackpot Nevada. This time last year we went to West Wendover with some friends on a gambling junket and had a great time. This year the deals for Wendover didn't work out.

Gary had two days of vacation to use or lose. We were originally going to take this trip on Thanksgiving weekend, but too many people from the store already put in for vacation on the holiday.

We stayed at Barton's Club 93, the rooms were very affordable $60 a night. The rooms were nice and very clean. The only thing we didn't have was a fridge and microwave like the rooms at Cactus Pete's. However, Cactus Pete charged more for rooms on the weekend, while the 93 kept their prices low.

Jackpot is not a very large town, just has 5 casinos, a gas station and a store. There are shuttles that will take you to the other casinos at no charge, just tip the driver. The shuttles were 24 hours and came by about every 15 minutes. Was not a long wait. Our other option was walking as three casinos are within walking distance. But why walk when you can ride, especially when is was on the cold side.

We left Hardin Friday morning after dropping Jennifer off at work. Had great weather. We stopped in Big Timber for breakfast. We decided to go through West Yellowstone on the way down with a stop in Idaho Falls to get in a visit with Robert. The only weather we ran into was from West Yellowstone MT to Ashton ID. It was spitting snow and the roads were wet, fortunately not slick. Gary had me drive this stretch as I know where to turn off and meet Robert. Had a nice visit with Robert. He had some good news for us, he got accepted into the college program for auto mechanics. He will start Jan. 10. He wasn't sure because they only took 8 candidates and he was 11, but he got in.

Got back on the road, this time Gary drove and I navigated. Wasn't too hard until we got to Twin Falls. You turn into town and then get through the town traffic and have to make a hard right hand turn. There is a funky intersection and if you are not paying attention you can get lost real quick. We arrived in Jackpot at 4:00 pm.

We spent most of our time at Cactus Petes, that one has the sports betting that Gary wanted to do. We mostly gambled at the two casinos Cactus Pete and Club 93. Both are nice and they both have the restaurants and buffets.

I broke even and Gary won this time. I spent my time playing the penny machines, my money lasts longer. I don't know if it is just me but it seemed like the machines were nicer to me at night and early morning. In the afternoons they seemed a bit tight. I also did better putting cash in the machines instead of playing on the cash out tickets. At least that is what worked for me. There were three times when I put $20 in the machine, hit the button once and cashed out anywhere between $75 to $95. I was happy. The first time I did this the woman next to me told me to keep playing. I told her that I was happy, I only put in $20 and I'm walking away with $80. Works for me. Gary won on the football games, which was very nerve racking especially one the game he bet went into overtime. Had to win by 4 or more points and he knew for sure that he would lose. With 30 seconds left in overtime the team threw a touchdown pass. He was pretty excited and jumped out of his chair. It was funny.

We left Monday morning at 6:00. We were going to eat breakfast at Cactus Petes but the restaurant was closed and didn't open until 7:00 am. Only 24 hours on the weekends, why we didn't go back to the 93 I don't know. We decided to eat breakfast in Twin Falls, it's only 45 miles up the road. I was navigating again and reminded Gary that I have never been home this way and don't know where the turn off is. We saw the signs pointing the the interstate and we had options. Instead of turning left we went forward. This actually ended up being the better route. You bypass all the down town traffic, but we missed the restaurants. We ended up eating breakfast in Burley.

We decided to take I-15 to Dillon on the way home for something different. We wanted to see which route was shorter. Turns out there is no difference at all. Going through Dillon then cutting across to Whitehall is about 50 miles more than going through West Yellowstone. If you want a scenic drive, go through West Yellowstone but probably not a good idea in the winter. We lucked out. Time was it the same.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Veteran Day

I just love November. There are three holidays in the month this year and I get them all off. Too bad that they don't fall on a weekend to make it three days off.

I had the day off, so off to Billings to get some errands done. I had to take the pickup to get the oil changed. Wanted to get that done before leaving on our road trip the next day. I was told not to worry it should only take a few minutes. A few minutes at the dealership turned out to be two hours.

The Nissan dealership is not very speedy on getting things done, so I took a book to read. I do have to admit that this is the first time I had to wait two hours to get the oil changed. Naturally there are a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done right now. They made is sound like that I wouldn't be able to leave the lot without getting all the extra stuff done. I just smiled and told the service people that I would tell my husband. I did make it home all right.

Now that I got the "honey do" errand done, it was time for me. I got my hair cut very short this time. It is taking some time getting used to. Still not too sure if I like it, but it will grow out fast. I have been contemplating growing my hair a bit longer again, but I can't get past the shaggy phase. This time I really took care of the shaggy stuff.

Went to the mall and half of my co-workers were there shopping too. I also visited with some of my biker friends who were out and about that day. Walked into JC Penny and they were having a great sale. I was able to buy a new pair of jeans, three shirts and four different pieces of jewelry for a great buy. The jeans were under $20, the shirts were all $4.80 each and the jewelry was under $10. I bought two bracelets and two necklace and earring sets.

It was a very enjoyable day and I had a good time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Road Trip

Saturday Gary and I went to Missoula for a Patriot Guard Board Meeting. We decided to make the trip in one day instead of spending the night. We figured with the two of us driving, the trip won't be that bad. That's what we get for thinking.

Gary came down with a cold and on Friday night he didn't get any sleep at all. He would cough whenever he laid down, so off to the couch he went. He can at least recline and get some sleep. Once he got up he played on the computer for a while, still coughed here and then, no sleep just some cat naps.

Once he started to sleep, Jennifer woke up to get ready for work. She had to open Saturday morning. He figured he better leave the lamp on in the livingroom so he wouldn't surprise her when she got up. I got up at 4:30 am and immediately told him that I would do the driving, since he didn't get any sleep. This way he could nap in the truck.

We took Jennifer to work by 5:00 am and off we went. Gary started out driving, said he was ok. We stopped in Big Timber for gas and ate breakfast at the little restaurant next to the gas station. Our friends swear by the breakfasts here and said that they serve the best scones. I ordered a breakfast with a scone. It wasn't a scone at all, it was just fry bread with honey butter. It was good, but not as good fry bread as what you can get around here. In my opinion fry bread is not a scone.

I was driving when we left Big Timber. We stopped in Anaconda for a short break. It has been quite a while since I have been west that I forgot Anaconda is not just off the interstate. You go about 6 miles before hitting town. It was a good stop to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. Gary couldn't remember if the meeting started at 12:00 or 1:00 so off we went.

We made it to Missoula at 12:00 pm. Found our meeting place without any problems. We were very early as nobody was there so we decided to find the Harley dealership. According to the signs, it was on the same street as our meeting place, however, we couldn't find it. Must have been further into town. We found a gas station and decided to gas up here that would save us a stop before leaving. Back to the meeting place. We were still the first ones there, so we went inside. The place we met was a casino with a nice restaurant off to the side. We were able to watch some football before the meeting. It wasn't long before the others started to show up.

I can sit in the meetings but I have to be quiet. Since I am a Patriot Guard member I am allowed to attend all the board meetings. They actually got quite alot done and this time they even conducted a real meeting. In Sept. when the meeting was in Billings, the guys made motions and seconds but then didn't vote on the motions. This time they did, they even verified the quorum. The meeting lasted about 2 1/2 hours, we left Missoula around 3:30. They were surprised that we were headed home.

I was driving again, this time we stopped in Butte for a break. I had Gary drive from Butte to Bozeman, just to give me a little break. We ate supper in Bozeman. We ate at Wendy's and this one had a tv with football on. Leave it to Gary to find a football game in a Wendy's. Called in to Jennifer to keep her posted on our whereabouts. Once we arrived in Bozeman, it was a three hour drive home, not bad.

We got home at 10:00 pm and promptly went to bed. Good thing we got the extra hour of sleep in due to the time change.

In the future we have decided that next time the meeting is in Missoula we will spend the night. We were both tired at the end of the day. It wouldn't have been so bad if Gary had some sleep and could help with the driving. We forgot our cd's, so once we got out of radio contact it was pretty quiet driving. Talking helped in that area.

Driving 800 miles is quite boring so we counted how many counties we drove in, came up with 13. We argued if you should count Big Horn county. I said yes, because we had to drive through it to get to the next county. We had good weather, except in Missoula. It was rainy in Missoula. I wasn't able to get any photos because I drove. Gary would have thrown a fit it I took photos while I was driving.

Now we are gearing up for our road trip to Jackpot Nevada on Friday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Election Day

Every two years I get election day as a holiday. A perk for being a county government employee. Didn't do anything special, just stayed home and got some work done.

Our poll opened at 7:00 am, so this year we decided to get to the polls early. Gary didn't want to use up his lunch hour to vote and he didn't want to wait in line after work, besides we have class on Tuesdays and wanted to relax after getting home.

In Montana you can vote absentee any time, you don't need a reason. We did that one year and liked it. We had time to go over the ballot and read the initiatives real good. At the polls you kind of feel rushed, especially if there is a line.

I got a sample ballot for our precint and that helped too. We were able to go over the ballot and read the initiatives real close. The wording on those can be tricky at times. One of the Montana initiatives you had to vote for it to be against it. That can be confusing.

Gary and I were the first ones in our precint to vote, I was #1 and he was #2. I was surprised at how many people voted at 7:00 am. There were quite a few coming in. Jennifer didn't want to get up early so she voted before she went to work.

Now that I voted, I have plenty of time to get some house work done. I got caught up on some laundry. The only thing I didn't get done was clean out the refrigerator, will do that this weekend.

Mom was still here, so we went out for coffee and had a good visit. Then it was time to get home and take Jennifer to vote and work. While she was voting I sat and waited. The town of Hardin has three precints and we all vote at the Middle School Auditorium. While I was sitting there were some voters wondering who I was. One of the judges said that I was a poll watcher. I was just waiting for Jennifer.

It didn't take her long, she was in and out. Took her to work then picked up Gary for lunch. After taking him back to work my plan was to clean out the refrigerator, but I ended up taking a nap instead.

That was the extent of my day, just stayed home and relaxed. Did get a couple things done just not all of it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Party

Last Saturday we attended a Halloween party at our good friends Dean & Lynn in Billings. We got an invite many months ago and the only rule was that we couldn't dress up as bikers. We do enough of that anyway.

We thought long and hard and what to dress up as and finally decided on the gangster/flapper theme. I bought our costumes online in September.

Gary's costume came with the pinstripe suit, white tie and shirt. Mine came with the dress, gloves, headband and jewelry. I already had the shoes for the outfit. I bought a wig and tried to find some pantyhose with the seam but that was hard. We bought Gary a fedora hat to wear.

Saturday came and what a busy day that was. First we had a Patriot Guard mission for one of our own that morning. We finished with that in plenty of time to get home and get ready for the party.

I had made a carrot & pineapple salad to take. Figured with the orange and yellow colors that was halloweeny.

While getting ready I was having wardrobe malfunctions with my dress. To start off the dress felt very short and I was thinking that my butt was hanging out. I was assured by both Gary and Jennifer that the dress was fine. The fringe on the dress was down to my knees. The dress was strapless and just had a very tiny piece of velcro to close the back up. Every time I moved that velcro would pop open. I could not find one single safety pin in the whole house. We looked everywhere. Gary finally drove to Pamida and bought a bunch of safety pins.

Now I was ready to go. Gary got his costume on and he decided that he didn't want to mess with the tie that came with it, so he used one of his own. He even found his old shoulder holster and we used one of our practice tae kwon do guns for it. He could have used his real gun, but decided to play it safe. The hat we bought just didn't look right with the costume, so he just wore his dark sunglasses. We managed to get out of the house without the neighbors seeing us.

We arrived at Dean & Lynns and we were right on time. There were 21 one us there, one husband was out hunting but his wife came anyway. Only one guy didn't dress up so he was the group photographer. We had a great time.

Lynn had made 4 different kinds of chili, there was onion chili, chicken and white rice chili, jalapeno chili and chili without beans. We ate the onion chili and it was delicious. She also served up some veggies that you could either make into a salad or just snack on. For desserts that was a chocolate cake, chocolate rice krispie bars, pumpkin bars and dirt(chocolate pudding with crushed oreo cookies on top with gummy worms mixed in).

I took a bunch of photos and put them all on my picasa site that you can check out if you haven't already done so. We had such a good time and we got home before 11:00 pm. We got an invite for next year and now we are trying to come up with some ideas.