Monday, December 31, 2012


I went to Meeteetse last weekend to help celebrate Bill Bain's birthday and retirment party on Saturday.  Mom had made a quick day trip to Hardin just before Christmas so that she could get some of her Christmas cards read before Christmas.  She asked if I could come down for the party.  No problem as long as it doesn't storm.

Jennifer's schedule worked out that she had the weekend off so we made the trip with me.  We did get a storm on Christmas Eve but the weather was nice all week, just on the cold side.  Mom had called me on Thursday asking what the weather in Hardin was doing, it was snowing in Meeteetse that day.  We had nice weather.

Had nice weather all weekend, the roads were clear until I got to Meeteetse and the road to Grandma's house was on the icy side.  First we had to stop in Billings to pick up some whiskey and we got a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream.  We had to get some luggage tags for our trip to Hawaii which we leave on Saturday bright and early.

Jennifer and I got into Meeteetse around 1:30, we then visited until it was time to leave for Worland.  Grandma didn't make the trip as it was too late and she can't sit for long periods of time.  We left for Worland at 4:30 to give us plenty of time to get to Worland by 6:00.

We got into Worland at 5:30, found the Elks Club and we got a great parking space right out in front.  Found the relatives and a place to sit.  The only people I knew were the Bain's all the others I didn't know.  We had a good time, the food was good.  It was a potluck buffet with brisket, different salads, meat & cheese trays and veggie trays.  Bill said that Judy had half of Worland cooking briskets.

It was nice to see the relatives, we got back to Meeteetse around 10:30.  I drove home at night.

On Sunday we went to church, then back to the house to visit a bit more.  I came home with some more candy and some of the brisket.  We ate lunch in town at the Elk Horn, then Jennifer and I came home.

I was able to get a four generation photo before leaving.  I was practicing with the timer on my camera.  I have 10 seconds to get into the photo.  Works great if I don't have very far to go.  My choices are 2 seconds or 10.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

My what a busy holiday Christmas was this year.  I thought I had it all in hand and getting all of my stuff done in a timely manner.  Soon it all caught up to me and then I got behind.  Figures.

Friday on the 21st we picked up the three grandkids Brandon, Alexus and Mariah took them to Billings for dinner and then shopping.  We ate at the Pizza Ranch figuring that the kids like pizza and they could eat what and how much they wanted.  Pizza Ranch also has buffet items besides pizza, you can get a great salad, chicken, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy.  It is pretty good.    We usually take them to the mall to eat, but since they took out half the food court, there are not any places to sit.  The mall put the kids play area where the food court used to be.  Now there are only about 8 tables to sit and eat.  Not sure what the thinking was on that.  Every time we have gone to the mall, the food court was packed with people.

We gave the kids their Christmas money and they could get whatever they wanted.  What a difference a year makes with Alexus.  She is now 12 and her shopping sure has changed.  Last year she was into the little girl stuff, now she is interested in the bigger girl stuff.  All she wanted was a pair of shoes that she liked.  We went to three different shoe store before finding a pair that she liked and could afford.  One store the shoes were $80 on sale and all she had was $50.  I told her that we would find her Grandpa Gary and talk to him to see if he was willing to give her the extra $30.  Alexus kept telling me that she wears a size 8 1/2 shoe, which I found surprising that she wears a bigger size than me.  The shoe store measured her foot and she is actually about a 7 to 7 1/2.  This store got her a pair in the size she wanted 8 1/2.

We went into another shoe store and they had the same kind of shoes she liked but they were on sale.  The guy measured her foot and she is a size 7.  He got a size 7 and Alexus kept telling him that it was too small.  I asked if he has the next half size up and he did.  She liked the 7 1/2.  The salesman told me that my "daughter" has been wearing the wrong size all this time, so now that she is in the right size it feels too small.  I told him that I wasn't the mother, just the grandmother.  I ended up giving Alexus the extra $10 for her shoes.  She was happy.

Mariah had fun shopping and she got alot of items on her $50.  She found some bracelets that were on sale, then some fingerless gloves.  She wanted a snow globe so took her to the Happy Days store, she didn't like that store so out we went.  I took her to the Hallmark store.  She found some snowglobes, but then she found the Charlie Brown book that has stories for the 5 holidays.  She told me that she really likes to read and she could read that book.  She ended up buying the book and a bag of candy.

Brandon was hard to find what he wanted.  He was looking for tips that fit over his cue stick.  We ended up going to a specialized sports store on Grand Ave.  Mariah found some more stuff that she could buy unfortunately she bought Denver Bronco stuff.  I think she just liked the horse head on her items.

We had a good time and I posted a couple photos on facebook.  Tristan is wanting to go with us, so next year we are going to have to figure out how to get all 5 of them together for Christmas shopping.

Jennifer and I went to the movie "The Hobbit" on Sunday night.  We enjoyed it but I was dismayed to find out that this movie is a three parter.

Christmas Eve Day the Courthouse had our annual Christmas Eve Brunch.  Everyone brings their favorite brunch food and then at 10:00 we all get together to eat.  It is alot of fun and we get to eat very good food.  A snow storm hit us on the 24th and it snowed all day.  We got a white Christmas after all. The Courthouse was closed for the afternoon and employees had the choice to take vacation for the afternoon off or we could stay and work.  I took the afternoon off.

Christmas Day was very quiet at the Liming house.  We were invited for dinner at our friends house in Billings and Jennifer was included in the invite.  I had to bring the au jus sauce.  Our friends Dick & Joan hosted the dinner.  There were 10 of us all together.  Another couple was kidless for Christmas so they came and ate too.  Joan's sister was there and so was Dick's son and grandson.  We had a good time and the meal was delicious.

Joan and her sister made prime rib roast, creamy potatoes, homemade dinner rolls, waldorf salad.  I had the au jus sauce for the roast and the other lady made the green bean casserole and a very yummy dip.  For dessert we had cheesecake with our choice of blackberries or blueberries.  When Joan cooks for a group, she makes enough to feed an army.  If you walk away hungry from her table then it's your fault.

We had a great time.  Dinner was at 2:00 and we didn't leave until 5:30.  Jennifer had a good time, she was a bit worried because she would have been the youngest one there.  She said that our friends were great and she was included in the conversations.

Our main Christmas present is the trip to Hawaii, so we agreed to save our money for the trip.  We all got new carry on suitcases for Christmas.  We leave January 5 and come back on the 13th.  Our original plan was to be in Hawaii on Christmas Day, but the prices were so high, that we are going afterwards.  It was $400 cheaper per person on the air fare.  Jennifer didn't care just as long as we get to go.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekend Update

Last Saturday we went out to dinner with some of our friends.  It was not only a get together to celebrate Christmas but also to celebrate our friend Dick's birthday.  Dick's wife Joan usually hosts a party at her house for Christmas but this year it just didn't work out with her schedule.  She canceled her party all together so I suggested that we get together for dinner.

We met everyone at Cactus Creek, there were 8 of us all together for dinner.  Cactus Creek was not too busy and we had an enjoyable evening with alot of laughs.  We spent two hours for dinner.  The food was good and company great.

We had to bring some Amish butter to give our friends.  This is the best butter and the only two places in Montana to get it is Hardin and Bozeman.  The butter comes in two pound rolls and we brought three for our friend Sandi and then we gave one to Joan.  Joan is the baker in the bunch, her father owned the bakery in Lead SD when she was growing up.  When Joan bakes stuff, she bakes enough to feed an Army.

Joan invited the three of us to her house to eat on Christmas Day, she felt sad for us because our family wasn't coming home for Christmas.  Joan's sister just recently moved to Billings from Colorado Springs so we got to meet her.  Joan asked when was the last time each of us had the whole family together for Christmas.

I got to thinking about it and I don't think we have had our whole family together for Christmas since we were in high school and that has been many, many years.  We may have to plan on that in a few years, but logistically don't know how we will manage it.

It was so nice having all of my kids together for Mom's party and just think how much fun it would be to have all umpteen of us together for Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Car Repairs

Last week when I got the oil changed in my car at Subaru I was told that the CV boots were cracked and leaking and that I needed to get them repaired right away.  Subaru made it sound like my car would break down as soon as I drove off their lot.  I don't have Subaru repair my car because they are so high priced that it's ridiculous.

Got home and told Gary so he told me to make an appointment with our local mechanic to have a look, sure enough the CV boots were cracked and leaking, at the time he wasn't sure if I needed the CV joints replaced has he wouldn't know until he got into it.  As luck would have it I needed new joints, so told him to fix it.

That was last Wednesday, got my car back the next day and it wasn't running right.  It sounded very gravely to me.  Hard to describe but my car wasn't right.  Gary thought I was crazy until he heard enough of my complaining that he drove the car around the block.  I was not crazy.

Called the mechanic and he asked if my car was like this before I brought it in.  NO!! So back to the mechanic we went.  He didn't drive the car after the repairs were done, had his helper do it.  Found out that I needed new front wheel bearings and the struts replaced. In the mean time he also tuned up the car.

OK get it all done.  I was without my car for the weekend and didn't get it back until Tuesday.  It wasn't too bad but we had to play musical drivers on Monday with the pickup.  Gary goes to work at 7:00 am and gets off at 4:00 pm, while I work 8-5.  I took him to work then we traded drivers at lunch.

So glad I got my car back, but I still think that it doesn't sound right.  Gary and the mechanic think I'm crazy.  Gary said that it's probably running right but drove it when things were going bad for so long that I just got used to it.  Anyway, $1300 later I have a car. I think that I'm right and it's not sounding right after all I have driven this car for 8 years.

We are going to look for a new car probably next year.  With as much money as I have sunk into this thing and I have to renew my plates this month, we are going to get our money's worth out of it.

I have had this car for 8 years and this is the first time that we have had to do anything major with it.  I just keep reminding myself that it is just maintainance. 

I did check with Subaru to find out how much all this repair would cost and they quoted me over $2000.  They did tell me that only their work is qualified on my car, but not at their prices.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

City Council

Two weeks ago there was an opening on the Hardin City Council as an alderman had moved out of the district.  We just happen to live in this district.  The City was taking names of people interested to fill in this spot, so Gary threw his name into the mix. The worst that could happen was he wouldn't get it.

All the requirements to apply was to live in the district, give your name, address and phone number.  Gary went to the city offices and did all of that.  He was the 6th one as of the closing date at 1:00 pm.  The closing date was November 30.  He was told that the mayor would be giving all the applicants a phone call for a short interview.

To date, Gary has not heard a word.  We have heard that the mayor did make a decision but we don't know who it is.  Gary never did get a phone call.  We have heard through the grapevine that there were 9 people who applied.

The city clerk said that they should just run an ad to fill in a city alderman position that way we can have an actual election.  Normally when it comes time to file to run for a position it usually ends up with just one person.

We personally feel that with the 9 people some was a knee jerk reaction to an emergency ordinance that the city council enacted regarding the painting of murals on outside walls of buildings.  Since that time, the city council did rescind the emergency ordinance.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and also a HOG Officer Meeting, so just made a day out of it.

My dentist appointment was for a filling, I was so hoping that I wouldn't have to get any more shots in my mouth, but that was not to be.  It actually wasn't that bad, the sound of the drill is the worst.  Was not comfortable with all that stuff in my mouth.  They put this tent like thing around my tooth with uncomfortable clips so I have this big plastic thing in my mouth.  It didn't take long to get the filling, I was done in an hour, however it took two hours before the novocaine wore off.

My dentist is very pleased on how well I have healed when I had all this dental surgery done four years ago.  He said that I may be able to get a couple implants and a bridge for the lower teeth and possibly for the upper ones as well.  I will have to think about that.  I have had no problems with the partials and will have to check with the insurance on what they will pay.  I know they won't pay for implants as those are cosmetic and last time I checked implants were $1000 per tooth.  Also I don't want to have to go through dental surgery again getting implants requires drilling in my jaw bone. 

After my dentist appointment I then got the oil changed in my car.  I have to get new CV boots on the front axles as mine are cracked and leaking.  The mechanic made it sound like my car would quit working as soon as I drove off the lot.  I think it can wait, Subaru would charge me $700-800 for this repair.  There is a mechanic in Hardin that will do the same work for quite a bit less, so will have him check it out.

Went to Wal-Mart for some shopping, can't eat lunch until the numbness in my mouth is gone.  My next stop was Best Buy, as I was stopped at the light there was a silver subaru just like Mom's in the left hand lane, this car even had 22 county plates.  I couldn't see the driver, as soon as the light turned green I got a quick glimpse of the driver and it sure looked like my Mom.  I got into the parking lot and made a quick call to my Mom.

Sure enough that silver subaru was my Mom.  She was in Billings running an errand and was on her way back to Meeteetse.  She couldn't meet for lunch as it was late and she wanted to get back before it got too late and all the deer come out.  Afterwards I thought I shouldn't have called her as Billings has the hands free ordinance.  I didn't tell her that I had to be in Billings because she already had been to Hardin to pay bills and had already gone back to Meeteetse, besides I had to be in Billings all day because I also had the HOG Officer meeting that night.

The rest of the day was spent mindlessly wandering around.  I went to Barnes & Noble to read on my kindle before heading out to my meeting.  It was nice to sit in Starbucks with a latte and just read.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Park's Christmas Party

Saturday was the annual Park's Christmas Party held in Billings at the Billings Convention Center.  This is a dress up party which I enjoy very much but Gary hates wearing his suit.

The party started at 6:00 pm with a dinner.  This year we had an assortment of delicious salads, a seafood fettucini, turkey & stuffing and roast beef plus assorted desserts.  We had green beans and also mashed potatoes and gravy.  The food was very good this year, however they called table numbers to get food and started out with table number 21 first.  We were table three.  Still food left, except for the seafood fettucini.

After dinner we have our awards presentation.  In the meantime a couple kids are selling raffle tickets.  I always buy $10 worth each year.  But I buy 5 one time then wait and buy 5 more.  I like the space with the ticket numbers.  Most of the time I do come home with at least one prize.

After the awards presentation then it was time to start dancing.  Naturally this year Gangnam was the dance.  One of the ladies at our table didn't know what that was and it was hard to explain it.  Basically I told her that you pretty much hop around like you are riding a horse.  It didn't take long to show her how the dance goes.  She loved it.  It was fun especially watching Grand Master and Mrs. Park Gangnam.

Soon it was time to draw numbers for prizes.  I won a prize in the first group and that was a silver photo frame with a tag on it reading "The Girls" and a little photo album that will hold about 20 photos.  In the second round I won a key fob with a huge butterfly on it. 

The grand prizes are awarded at the end of the night around 10:00.  Every year the big grand prize is a tv and then he has another grand prize,usually a dvd player or a gaming console.

I won the tv this year.  It was funny because I told Gary that this was going to be my year winning the tv.  This tv is a Sanyo 39" flat screen hi-def tv.  Very nice.  It has taken me 20 years to win the tv.  One little boy came up to me and said that he would trade me his trophy for the tv.  I said no thank you very politely.

Not sure what to do with this tv.  It's too big to put in the bedroom and if I put it in the extra room, will have to buy a new stand as it won't fit in our old entertainment center.  The tv in our livingroom is bigger, so have some decisions to make.

I have had a couple offers from people who said they would buy it, I do know how much it cost in the store but will have to talk to Gary and see what he says.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grandma Fix

I got my grandma fix over the weekend.  I was originally going to go two weekends ago but a storm came through and they were busy. 

I left town on Saturday morning and had a beautiful drive.  I got to Meeteetse at lunch time.  I had to call when I was in Cody so that Mom could get lunch ready.  My job was to help them eat up Thanksgiving leftovers.

It was a nice weekend just to visit.  We didn't go to town for anything.  Grandma is just getting over a touch of the stomach flu so she had no energy to do anything.

It was trying to snow on Sunday so I left after lunch.  Grandma told me to get on the road before it go too bad.  I also wanted to get home before dark to avoid the deer.  I did come home with some stuff, two crocks and two commemorative whiskey bottles and some books.

I did run into snow between Meeteetse and Cody and then again just out of Cody.  Ran into rain from Clark to Bridger.  Snow again about 10 miles from Hardin.  The snow was not bad yet and very light.  The roads were just wet but by nightfall it was snowing pretty good in Hardin and roads were slick and icy.  Glad I got home when I did.

I hope to make another trip for a short visit in January sometime.  It will have to be after our Hawaii trip, this way I will have pictures to show.

Friday, November 23, 2012

HOG Secretary Again!

Sunday was our chapter HOG meeting and the White Elephant Auction.  It was also the meeting where officers are elected or in this case who ever said yes.  This year the officer positions up for election were Director, Secretary and Membership.  I am doing another term for secretary which is two years but I'm term limited this time.  We have a new director as our old one was term limited.  He sure did appreciate me driving from Hardin to the meetings and the very few that I missed.  I only missed those due to weather.

The White Elephant Auction meeting is one of our most attended.  During the winter we meet at Bones Brewery and the chapter buys the meat from Bones while members bring the side dishes.  Bones has new management and this is our last year of pot luck, they are going to want to have us buy our meal from them, which makes sense. 

During the year for every meeting or event that we attended we got a ticket.  For the riding meetings we got not only the meeting ticket but we also got a ticket for every 100 miles we rode to get to the meeting.  Also during the year we got an extra ticket for every 1000 miles.  As a passenger I get credit for 80% of Gary's 1000 miles.  This year we put on 7171 miles on the new bike.  We were amazed because we didn't go on any big trips, but all those little trips added up.  Every ticket was then but into a box and names were drawn for prizes.  Gary and I didn't win any of the prizes but it was fun.  Maybe next year. 

There were many items to auction off and I came home with a pair of Griz slippers.  They don't fit me but my original plan was to give them to one of the grandkids, but when I got home the slippers fit Jennifer and I haven't seen them since.

We had a good time, it always is when we get together with all our biker friends and we get to eat good food. Looking forward to a fun year ahead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Fashion Show

Saturday I went to the Fall Fashion Show at the Fort Custer Golf Course.  This was a fund raiser for the golf course.  I only went because a friend gave me her ticket when she couldn't go.  Tickets were $30 a piece.

The event started at 3:00 pm and got over around 5:00 pm.  We were served hors dourves buffet style and punch.  Alcohol beverages were available for purchase.  There was also a silent auction and many door prizes. 

There were about 50-60 women there, so a good turn out.  The models were local women and the styles were very normal that you could wear here.  Nothing outlandish at all.  I have a coupon for a boutique that Jennifer may like.  They modeled clothes for all ages from young children all the way up to older women. 

We were to wear our favorite boots to the event, so I wore my Harley ones.  We had to runway model our boots to the song "These Boots Were Made for Walking" which was fun.  My boots didn't win, the winning pair of boots were some very colorful cowboy boots.

It was a fun afternoon and a nice way to spend a couple hours, but not really my thing.  The two women who organized this did a great job and alot of work went into it.  They want to make this an annual event.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The closing of the Sweetheart Bread bakery in Billings has saddened quite a few people around here.  It has impacted some people that we know.  The Hostess brand will probably be sold but it won't be the same.  The bread shelf at the IGA store is pretty empty today.  We can still get bread, just not alot of variety.  Glad I have a bread maker.

Stores in the area are scrambling to find another bread distributer, but don't know when shipping will start.  I think that the small town stores are going to suffer the most with the bread issue and if they can get bread, will be expensive to the consumer.  This is really going to hurt the mom & pop stores.

Anyway, I bought a package of Twinkies today.  I don't really like them but bought it just because.  Some other company may buy the brand but that won't be the same.  A lady in line behind me head that people are selling them on e-bay.  I will probably end up eating these.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Provisional Ballots

Tuesday we were able to count the provisional ballots.  These are ballots that people could cast and then had to wait to be verified before they could be counted.  This ranges from people moving from county to county or precinct to precinct.  This also included name changes and such. 

State law requires that the ballots can not be opened and counted until 3:00 pm.  Why that time, I don't know.  We had 70 ballots to count and there is a certain process to go through.  First there were two independent observers to watch the count.  They were from the group Western Native Voice.  Then there were four others, two to tally the votes, one to read out the votes and the election administrator. 

My boss Sandy was included in this, she is an elected official and the election administrator wanted one involved in this process.  I was one of the tally markers.

We didn't get done until 5:45 pm.  I didn't know that I would be in on this process so had to call Gary and tell him that I would be late in picking him up and I wouldn't know what time we would be done.  He managed to get a ride home after waiting for half an hour in the store's parking lot.  He could have walked to the court house and picked up my car.

We got done and all of our numbers matched which was a good thing or else we would have had to do it all over again.  Tuesday was not a good day because I have class at 6:30pm.

This count did not change any outcomes of the races in this county.  Now the state is gearing up for the statewide recount on the Office of Public Instruction race.  This recount won't be done until after Thanksgiving.  The state will schedule this and then all counties will have to hand count each ballot.  That is 5,000 ballots here. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Las Vegas Trip

Gary and I had so much fun last year on our trip that we decided to take another one this year.  We booked this trip back in March and it was the first time we have booked a trip on the internet.  This trip was through Expedia and we think we got a pretty good deal out of it.  For the two of us with air and motel is was $885.

We flew Frontier Airlines this time which took us from Billings to Denver to Las Vegas and back.  At the time of booking I was able to pick out seats but was not allowed to chose seats next to each other on the flight from Billings to Denver on both legs.  We were able to chose next to each other on the Denver to Las Vegas legs.  I was told that usually when this happens the airlines fix it by the time your have to check in.

We left on Friday the 2nd and returned home on Tuesday the 6th.  I printed out our boarding passes the night before and sure enough we were together on the Billings to Denver leg.  We had good times, left Billings at 10:20 am and arrived in Las Vegas at 3:00 pm.  We had a two hour layover in Denver which gave us time to find our gate and get a drink.  All of our flights were on time and we breezed through security.  We also just had carry on bags, no checked bags. Our luck was with us before we left Billings, the long term parking lot was full and we had to park in the overflow lot.  Didn't have to pay for parking, but had to walk a long ways to the terminal.

The Las Vegas airport had built a new terminal since last year which we arrived.  Found the shuttle bus place and bought our tickets.  Learned our lesson from last year to make sure I got four tickets.  It was $26 round trip for the both of us.  All I had to do was call the day before to make arrangements for the pick up shuttle.

We got checked in to the hotel without any problems.  A big tour bus was in front of us and we managed to make our way to the registration desk in front of the tour group.  We were on the 22nd floor in Tower 1.  We didn't have a view of the strip, our view was the roof of the hotel.  We also signed up for a time share tour on Monday morning.  These people were out and about last year but just ignored them, we though why not.  Had nothing to do on Monday morning anyway and just by going we got $100 worth of dinner coupons.

Send a message to Ed and he met us at the casino with Eden.  We took them out to dinner at the burger place then just walked around and visited.  Gary went up to the room to take a nap after dinner, so Ed, Eden and I checked out the casino.  When I checked in I was given a book with coupons.  There was a coupon for the game area and I let Eden have that.  He went home with a little prize.  Had a good visit.

Played a bit on the machines wasn't winning to I left.  Saturday morning Gary and I both placed bets on the college football games.  One game I was going to bet on was taken off the card, so had to pick another team.  Good thing because the team I was going to pick ended up losing that day.  I was so excited as I won $500 on my picks.  Gary also won $2100.  We lost on the football games on Sunday.  Oh well, that's how it goes.  Still was successful.  I told Gary that he has me hooked on sports betting.  It was exciting sitting there watching the games with all the other people.

Monday morning we went on the time share tour.  It was interesting and lasted about three hours.  We got some pastries and drinks had fun telling the salesperson no, we were not interested.  It would be a great program if you traveled alot which we don't.  We got our dinner coupons and went on our merry way.  We had $50 at the Excalibur and $50 at the MGM Grand.  It would have been better if they gave us cash, but still got some free meals.

In between times we walked up and down the strip.  It was fun watching people and we even stopped to watch a street magician.  He was pretty good, Gary enjoyed it enough to tip the guy.  Didn't make it up the whole strip really need a vehicle to see all the sights. We did walk further than we did last year.

Met up with Ed again on Sunday, we sat in the lounge at the Excalibur as they had a live band performing.  I bought Ed and I some beer and told him to drink every drop.  Beer was $11.89 for two during the first round.  Bought Ed and I another round and it was $13.89.  Since the band was performing there was a live entertainment tax.  That's all the drinking we did.

Tuesday morning we had to be ready for the shuttle by 5:30 am. We got our boarding passes printed and this time we were not sitting together on the Denver to Billings leg. Security was a bit harder this time.  I didn't have a problem, but Gary had to go back several times.  The first time he had his truck keys in his pocket so back he went to take them out, the second time the machine didn't like his glasses in his shirt pocket or the papers that he had in his pants pocket.  I wondered what happened to him as he was right behind me.  He finally made it through.  We got to Denver and he couldn't find his truck keys.  We went through everything.  He had left them in the little bowl at the Las Vegas airport.  No problem since we get into Billings at 2:30 we can just go to the Nissan dealer and get a new key.  I had my truck key with me. The flight to Billings was not full and the seat next to me was empty so Gary was able to sit with me anyway.

We had so much fun again that we are planning on going again next year.  I have posted my photos onto Picasa.  Didn't take my big camera, too much to carry without a checked bag so the photos were taken with my cell phone.  Not the best quality especially the night and lounge photos.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This year I have been working part time in the elections office.  About a year ago the county commissioners separated elections from the clerk and recorders office, so a new positon was created for the election administrator.  This jobs runs the elections plus takes care of the phone system and computer system.  It is an office of one person.

Back in April the election administrator asked if I could help stuff envelopes for the primary election as she had to get her absentee ballots mailed out.  No problem I can sit at my desk and stuff envelopes.  This is what I get for helping.  The commissioners asked my boss and I if I would be willing to help out in the elections office for this election cycle.  It was no problems as long as I got all my work for the schools done first.

Gary and I had booked a trip to Las Vegas for November so I would not be available to work on election night in November. 

Most of my time is spent entering registered voters into the system and updating voter information.  I have access to everything on my computer in my office.  Works out well as my office is very quiet and not so busy, so I can get a bunch of registrations entered.  A whole different story in the elections office.

As it got closer to election time I worked part time for the schools and the other part for elections. Made for very fast days, especially when we had to get the absentee ballots out.  Fortunately we were able to at least prep all the envelopes about a week ahead, then just insert the ballots.  It went smooth, only about 150 to get ready at the last minute.  Had to get the regular absentee ballots out on Oct. 9.

After Oct. 9, then the elections office had to stay open from 8-5, worked out good.  My mornings were spent with schools, then afternoons spent in elections.  It was pretty steady the first half of October, then the last half things were really busy.

Three counties in Montana were sued by a group because the counties wouldn't open up satellite offices for late registrations and people picking up their ballots.  Big Horn, Rosebud and Blaine Counties were sued in federal court.  The election administrator here had to prepare for that so I worked many hours in elections.  For the two days while she was in federal court, I worked the office.  The judge dismissed the case based on the fact that nothing was proved in court that votered were disenfranchised.  The was the week before the election.  All that is left is to verify the provisional ballots and get the canvass done.

It sure has been a learning experience and I learned alot about the behind the scenes in elections.  Hopefully the county will hire another person for elections (not me).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Party

Last Saturday Gary and I were invited to a Halloween Party at our friend Dean & Lynn's.  They host the annual Halloween and St. Patrick's Day parties at their house.  They live in Rehberg Ranch by the airport.  Lynn makes crocks full of delicious chili and we all bring side dishes.  I took cinnamon rolls.

We missed the party last year since we were in Las Vegas.  Felt bad about missing it but when we planned our trip we didn't think about the party.  Lynn felt bad because many people didn't go to her party.

This is a costume party and this year we went low key.  We dressed up at tae kwon do people wearing our old uniforms.  I took my sais and Gary had num chuks.  A few people dressed up.  We had a couple witche's, three hippies, a demon, a gangster,a vampire, a devil, a ghost, a leaf blower and one couple came with candies.  She was smartie pants and he was dum dum.  She had the smartie candies sewed on her pants and he had the dum dum suckers on his shirt. A few didn't dress up.

We had a good time, as always with our biker friends.  It is nice to get together during the non-riding season.  Many desserts to chose from and all the food was delicious. 

I took some photos, but got busy visiting that I didn't get everyone so will have to "borrow" from Lynn.  She got photos of the couples but she hasn't posted them up yet. 

I decided that next year we need to go out for costumes.  The first year we went I was a flapper and Gary was a gangster.  I'm floating around the idea of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthday Parties

Last weekend we were invited to a birthday party for our friends, both guys had birthdays in October.  The Butterfields hosted this party, mainly for them to see their friends one last time before they head off to Arizona for the winter.  They won't be back until April.

There were 15 of us at the party and we spent the night at their house.  Dale & Kitty always have us stay because of all the adult beverages we drink.  Kitty made pulled BBQ pork sandwiches and the rest of us brought side dishes.  I make a pasta salad (shells, tomatoes, black olives, green, orange and yellow peppers with ranch dressing)  It was very colorful and delicious.  Got alot of compliments on it. 

Our friend Joan made the birthday cake which was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  Her father owned a bakery in Lead South Dakota so when she bakes it is alot.  She bakes her cakes in a casserole pan.  The cakes are very thick and so is the frosting.  Very delicious.

We all had a good time visiting.  While the others went home, 5 of us stayed at the Butterfields visiting and drinking.  They had an extra guest as she was in no condition to drive home.  We stayed up until 2:45 am and then got up at 7:30 am.  Been a very long time since we have done this.

We got home around 10:30 on Sunday morning.  In our younger days we would have been going on strong all day long, but Gary and I ended up taking naps during the day.  Good thing we don't stay up like this all the time.

Had a great time and our friends Dale & Kitty left Tuesday for Arizona, they did make it safe and sound.  They are living in a small town just out of Phoenix.  We have been invited to visit sometime in the winter.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

End of September

Not much happened in September the only thing left was the tae kwon do tournament in Dayton WY. The Sheridan and Cody schools take turns hosting the fall tournament.  Sheridan gets the even years while Cody get the odd.  This year the tournament was in Dayton at their little comminity building.

We only had two students compete and they were Brandon our grandson and another boy Dominic.  Both boys are 15 years old so it worked out.  We had to give Brandon a ride as his parents both had to work that weekend.  We didn't mind one bit.

The fall colors around here are gorgeous this year so I was able to get some photos on the way down and back home.  The colors around Lodge Grass are the best especially along the creek.  I had already posted these photos on my picasa site and some on facebook.  The photos just didn't get the colors as I got with my own eyes.  The leaves are still holding their pretty colors, but now that we are getting cooler temperatures that will change.  Won't be long until the trees are bare.

Brandon and Dominic did very well at the tournament, both boys came home with nothing but gold medals.  This was a small tournament so a great confidence booster for Dominic.  He only competed in forms, we tried to talk him into sparring but he just wouldn't do it.  He and Brandon are sparring partners in class so I think that scared him a bit as Brandon is a higher rank.  We tried to convince Dominic that he will only compete kids at his level. 

Brandon competed in weapons and sparring.  It was a small tournament so we got done early.  Also we had to get Brandon back home as he had to play in the band later that night.

I just have to get the photo of the boys in the paper.  This time of year we get bumped because of school sports.  I just have to keep on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blog Negligence

It was pointed out to me last week that my Grandmother has missed my blogging and that I am behind on keeping the family posted on the news.

In my defense I have been super busy.  So I will try my best to keep up to date.

September we went on the Yellowstone Park Ride with an overnight stay in Chico.  The first time we went on this ride was two years ago and the weather was awful, pouring down rain all day long.  Couldn't enjoy anything.  The route two years ago took us over Beartooth Pass and we entered the park through Cooke City.

This year we had great weather, nice and sunny.  The route this year we went to Cody for breakfast and then made our way to the east entrance.  There were about 30 of us in the group, had a fun ride to Cody.  As we left Billings we took the River Road route to Laurel and had to avoid turkeys.  Then about 10 miles out of Cody a fox ran across the road in front of our leader and a couple feet up the road a coyote was sitting on the side.  He was hard to see as he blended in with the weeds and such.  We ate breakfast at Cassies.  We were too large a group to sit together so we were spread out all over, but they did a good job getting us seated and served.

As we entered through the east gate, pulled over to regroup and take off some layers, it had warmed up quite a bit.  We made our way to Old Faithful.  We couldn't all park together so we got separated here.  Had great timing, we only had to wait about 30 minutes before the eruption.  We couldn't find the main group and had no clue where they were.  Lesson learned get the plan before stopping.  The group we were in made it to our bikes and we waited and waited.  Figured that somehow the others are ahead of us, we know where our end point is so we made our way to Gardner.  Didn't see anyone so we waited at the gas station in Gardiner for 30 minutes and still no one.  The guys decided to head on to Chico, took a back road into Chico and it was very scenic.  Saw an eagle sitting on the rocks above us.

Our group was the first ones to arrive in Chico and we got there around 5:30 pm.  Got checked in and then we waited for the others.  They were about an hour and a half behind us.  Like I said lesson learned get the plan before stopping and find a gathering spot.  Everyone made it safe and sound.  The fires around Livingston didn't bother us, but you could sure see and smell the smoke.

Had a great time in Chico, enjoyed the warm waters in the pools after a long day of riding.  We ate supper in the bar and Gary and I split a whole order of ribs.  They were sure good.  Every weekend the Chico bar has live music so we got to enjoy good music.  The group was based out of Bozeman and called Six Strings Down.  Rumor had it that the lead singer is a grammy winner.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast in Gardiner, which is not an easy thing to do.  Most eating establishments are closed and don't open early.  We ended up eating breakfast in a bar.  It was good, but we had to get our own coffee and silverware.  This time we rode through Lamar Valley and out at Cooke City. 

We got into Red Lodge around 2:00 in the afternoon.  Most of the group went to the brewery to eat, but we decided to just head on home.  Had a great time and we already made reservations for next year.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dream

This is my dream.  Since I have my motorcycle endorsement I want to be able to ride and Gary won't take me out.  He did once and that was at the school parking lot. This is the Harley Davidson Dyna Switchback.  Have to save my pennies or win big in Vegas.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

End of Summer

Hard to believe that summer is over and we are headed into fall.  We did quite a few road trips for people who weren't going anywhere this summer.

In June we went to Deadwood for the annual Gambler's Run with our HOG Chapter.  As usual ran into rain on the first day as we were headed to Deadwood, but this year had beautiful weather for the rest of our stay.  This year I won the "leather" coat that is always given away on this ride.  That was not the case, I ended up with two cloth coats.  I wasn't going to pay for something that I "won".

We did several poker runs this summer, two runs took us over the Beartooth and Chief Joseph highways.  Gary won best poker hand on one of the rides and he won a $150 gift card to the Harley dealership.

Had the big 3/4 of a century celebration for my Mom in Meeteetse in July.  Had a great time with family.  All three of my kids were together which had been 5 years since they were all here.  The end of July Gary and I went to Deadwood for a weekend get away.  Didn't win any money but had a good time.  This time we played tourist and got to see some of the Deadwood sights.

We did make a quick trip to Idaho Falls when we took Robert's motorcycle from Meeteetse to Idaho Falls.

Now we are gearing up for our fall and winter trips.  In November we are going to Las Vegas and in January the three of us are going to Hawaii.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nation of Patriots

This was our third year of participating in the Nation of Patriots.  It is a fund raiser for veterans groups.  This is where motorcyclists escort the American flag through the lower 48 states.  The Billings group escorts the flag from Billings to Cody to Jackson.

We met our friends Dale & Kitty Butterfield at their house on Friday night, went out to eat pizza and visit.  They always have us stay with them as we leave at 8:00 am from Billings Saturday morning to get to Jackson.

This year we had an extra flag, somewhere along the line a POW flag ended up in the escort.  Not too sure if this flag started at the very beginning or jumped in along the line.  The flag was attached onto a thick dowel stick and must have been tied onto the back of bikes, it was pretty tattered.  The dealership bought a telescopic pole and regrommetted the flag so that it would be easier to transport, then the dealership donated the pole for the cause.  It would have been too hard trying to figure out how to tie this flag to a bike and then travel at highway speeds.

There were 13 people and 8 bikes who traveled from Billings to Cody.  It was raining in Billings when we left at 8:00 am but as we got to Bridger we got out of it.  The road from Bridger to Belfry is done with the road construction, however the turnoff has been moved about 300 feet.  I bet that causes confusion with GPS systems.  It is a nice road now.

We got into Cody around 9:30 am to beautiful weather, made a quick stop at the gas station and got the flags ready for an impromptu parade through town.  The townspeople had no idea what was going on, just a bunch of people with flags.  We stopped at the Cody dealership and took a group photo.  The first year we did this we had news coverage, now nothing.  The girls inside the dealership said that they had called the paper but was told that this event is not news worthy.  As we were taking a short break in Cody, we were told by other bikers that the entrance into the park was closed because of a mud slide.  I had called the road number and got a recording that all roads in the park were open.  Two guys who rode with us then made their way back to Billings.

We ate lunch at Pahaska Teepee, which was a good thing.  We could see road equipment up the road and by the time we got done with lunch they were gone.  All that was left was debris on the side of the road from the slide.  The slide was just before the gate entrance.  Rode through the park and the only animal life we saw were two birds.

We got into Jackson around 4:00 pm, got checked in to our motel.  We stay at the Rawhide which is perfect for us.  A liquor store in front of the motel and the Harley dealership across the street.  The Rawhide caters to bikers and it is also one of the cheaper motels in Jackson at $150 per night.  We don't get anything extra here. 

Sunday morning after breakfast we met the guy who escorts the flag from Jackson to Rock Springs at 9:00 am.  Usually the guy is by himself to take possession of the flags, but this year he had a group with him.  Visited with them for a while, then on the road we went.

Going home we always go through Idaho then to West Yellowstone and into Bozeman.  This year a couple of the guys didn't want to go through West Yellowstone as there is a 20 mile section where the speed limit is 55, also they didn't want to have to slow down for rv's.  We went to Ennis then over to Bozeman.  It really doesn't make a time difference, it is longer by about 20 miles.  Ate lunch in Ennis, which is a cute little town.

Stopped one more time in Big Timber to say our goodbyes.  We got home around 6:30 pm. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Deadwood In July

I know these are out of order, but I wanted to keep you informed on our last trip in July.  Gary had two days of vacation after a mistake on the store's part.  When we went to Deadwood in June with the HOG Chapter, the store didn't credit him his two days of vacation, he got no pay.  So he took his two days the last weekend in July.

We decided to go to Deadwood for some gambling fun, Jackpot is too far to drive for just a weekend, but Deadwood is just down the road.  This time we stayed at the KOA in a cabin.  It was half the cost of a motel room and with the Day's of 76 Rodeo going on, prices were high.

After the stress of Mom's 3/4 of a Century Celebration over it was time for me to just relax.  We left Hardin on Thursday morning and got into Deadwood around 3:00 in the afternoon.  We stopped in Gillette for a bit and then at the rest stop just as we got into South Dakota.  Got checked in and things loaded out of the truck and in the cabin.  The cabin was nice, the ones here have small flat screen tv in them. 

The KOA in Deadwood is nice with camping tiered in the hillside.  Our cabin was off to the side a bit and at first we had a hard time finding it, things are not clearly marked.  There is an old yellow house just off to the side and that is where the cabin area is.  It looks like somebody's property the way things are set up.  This KOA has a shuttle that will run you into town and leaves on the hour from 11am-10pm.  We took the shuttle into town several times.

The shuttle drops you off at the Silverado and you just walk down main street.  Deadwood does have parking meters in their parking lots, but only charge from 8am-8pm, so the free shuttle was great.  After 8 pm we got in the pickup and found great parking.

It was fun just playing tourist, we took the Original Deadwood Tour which gave us the history of Deadwood and took us to Moriah Cemetary where we saw the final resting places of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.  The tour guide made it fun, he reminded me to our tour guide Bernie in Ireland.  It was very informative.  The tour is just over an hour and it cost us $8 per person because we were both over 50.  Don't tell them I lied.  In fact they didn't even ask how old I was, Gary just paid $16.  We got coupons for the Morning Star Casino which is owned by Kevin Costner, so we ate lunch with our coupons. 

We tried to get done before the parade started but that didn't happen, so we ended up watching the parade.  When we first got into town, we stopped at a visitor center to see what was happening and the people were excited to tell us about the western parade.  We didn't really want to watch a western parade as we have seen plenty of those.  This parade had only two floats and the rest horses.  To our surprise Al Sargent from Hardin had his Belgian horses and wagon in the parade.

We had fun gambling in the different casinos and we both got players cards for two of them.  Ate good food, had some free drinks and we came home with some money.  Didn't win big, but still came home with a  little bit more than when we left.

It was a nice get away.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mom & Dad To The Rescue

Two weeks ago Gary and I hauled Robert's bike from Meeteetse to Idaho Falls.  Robert broke down when he came for Mom's celebration.  His clutch cable broke and he got stranded in Cody.  We managed to get a temporary fix for him and he made it to Meeteetse.  That was as far as he made it.   Told him that sorry he broke down but so glad that he was broke down in Meeteetse and not some small town in Wyoming.  Fortunatley we were lucky that the owner's of the Vision Quest granted permission for us to keep his bike there for two weeks.

I took a Friday afternoon off and to Meeteetse we went.  I told Gary that it would be easier to just haul the bike on our trailer.  The trailer has a ramp and it would just be easier to load than into the bed of the pickup.  Gary pointed out that the trailer doesn't have a chock to stabilize the front wheel.  Once we got down the road, the bike would just tip over.  It would be easier to just load in the pickup.  He said that the bike is small so it would be no problem. Called Robert to tell him what we were doing and he said that he wouldn't get off work on Saturday until 2:00 pm.  I told him to have some help when we unload it.

Gary borrowed a ramp from one of his friends and off we went.  Got to Meeteetse and loaded up the bike.  It was not an easy task.  The bike is a pretty heavy one and once we got it on the ramp, we just couldn't get it into the bed of the pickup.  The bike was just too heavy.  It was not looking good.  Fortunately there was a small hill at the back of the motel.  Gary backed up to it, then we pushed the bike up on the hill and rolled it into the bed of the truck.  Success!!!  We then tied the bike down and met Mom for dinner at the Cowboy.

Gary and I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and we were on the road at 6:00 am.  We ate breakfast in Cody.  Our route took us through Yellowstone Park, we had plenty of time to spare so we wandered around West Yellowstone for a bit.

Made it to Idaho Falls, Robert met us at the Dennys just off the highway.  Got to Roberts place and he had three friends to help unload, they were a welcome sight.  His friends were glad that we had a ramp, think they had visions up lifting this bike out of the pickup.  Robert said that he has the right clutch cable and that he would work on it.  Most people that Robert and Gary talked to think that because we didn't have a clutch cable that it wasn't connecting to the switch which wouldn't start the bike.  It started at first because Robert got it right the first time.  Haven't talked to Robert to find out if he is up and running yet.

Gary and I left Idaho Falls around 2:30 and headed home.  It sure was a long day but we made it.  Both of us were tired.  Gary did all the driving, I drove the last 300 miles.  We got back to Hardin around 9:00 pm.  Made quite a few stops on the way just to get out and stretch our legs.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

3/4 Of A Century Celebration

This year my Mom turned 75 years young.  I say young because she is a very active and youthful senior.  We started planning for this party back in October.  It was a bit difficult with everyone living in different states, but we got it all together.  The hardest part was finding a weekend that would work for all of us.

Everyone was able to make it with the exception of my two nieces Katie and Lexie and their boys.  Just didn't work for their families :(  The best part was that all three of my kids were together for the first time in 5 years.  Hard to believe that it was that long, now I understand why my Mom gets excited when the four of us are together.

The weekend was great, had nice weather and Mom had alot of people come to her party.  Alot of family came to help celebrate.  We were also able to help Meeteetse celebrate the Day of the National Cowboy.  Told Mom that I pray she doesn't want a huge party like this every year, she assured me that the next one will be in 25 years.  That will give us time to recuperate from this one.

                                                                               With the Limings

The birthday girl

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jason & Jeni Visit

My son and his wife came to Montana and Wyoming to celebrate my Mom's 3/4 of a century celebration.  They flew from California and was able to spend a week.  It has been 5 years since Jason was in Hardin and he was excited to show Jeni where he grew up and to visit and meet his friends.

It was so hot that the two kids were roasting up here.  Jeni couldn't believe how hot it got up here, but they survived.  I took the week off to spend time with them and we had fun.

We visited the Pictograph Caves and Little Big Horn Battlefield.  We drove over the Beartooth and Chief Joseph Highways, very scenic views. The kids were able to enjoy the Shakespeare in the Parks performance Hamlet.  It was fun playing tourist in my backyard.

Here are some photos of our fun filled week.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photo Project 2

I finally completed all the photos for the project on the photography course that I am taking.  This time I had to take photos of a landscape or cityscape, head & shoulders portrait, group photo, elemental portrait and an animal portrait.

I had the landscape, head & shoulder and group photos done quite a while ago.  It was harder for me to get the animal portrait since I don't have any pets of my own.  Getting the elemental one was hard because the two people I live with are difficult in participating.  I finally got them done.

The landscape is of the Absaroka mountains near Grandma's house, the group is of my tae kwon do kids, the head & shoulder is of Grandma.  The animal one is of Oscar, my neighbors cat, who wants to live at my house.  The elemental is of Jennifer.

This time I had to save the photos onto a cd and send that in.  Will be getting it in the mail on Monday after filling out the paperwork for them.  Once I get this in, then I will receive my certificate from the New York Institute of Photography.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Veterans Fun Run

Saturday Gary and I rode in the Veterans Fun Run.  It was a poker run that took us over the Beartooth and Chief Joseph Highways.  Our friends the Butterfields went on the ride also.  This one cost us $20, that got us a poker hand, a patch and meals.  Gary got the poker hand and patch I just got the meal.    Our stops on this run was the dealership in Red Lodge, Top of the World Store, Painters Outpost, Eidelwiess and then back at the Billings dealership. Last year we didn't ride the Beartooth and now we have gone over it twice within two weeks.

The run started at 10:00 am and there were 5 bikes and 8 people.  One woman rode with us as she is just new to Billings and didn't know where she was going, she did not ride a Harley she had a Yamaha.

We had great weather on the route, it was not as cold on top of the Beartooth as it was a couple weeks ago. 

We stopped at the Vista Point rest area for a bathroom break and that is where I fed the squirrels.  When we got there a man was sitting on the curb feeding the squirrel in his lap.  Those squirrels and chipmunks are not afraid of people.  A woman was feeding them some peanuts and when she had to go she just handed me the bag of nuts so I got to feed the little guys.

There were two squirrels by me fighting on who was getting the nuts.  I was afraid that they would bite, but no problem.  They just take the peanut with their tiny paws and stuff them in their cheeks.  Then they would run off and come back with empty cheeks.  I ran out of peanuts and one tried to jump up my leg, good thing I had my leather chaps on.  It was fun and very cute.  My friend Kitty had some granola in her hand but all the squirrels did was sniff it and then run off.

We ate lunch at Painter's Outpost which is on the Chief Joseph Highway.  Very good food and not pricey at all.  That is when we heard that a motorcyclist had hit a deer just down the road.  Pretty soon we heard the helicopter landing nearby.  We didn't see the accident but saw the aftermath.  From our vantage point we didn't see a wrecked bike or a deer on the side of the road.  By the time we got to the gorge, the ambulance was behind us with lights and sirens.  I heard it and told Gary to pull over.  Good thing we have cb's to talk to each other.

We managed to pull over as best we could, then continued on the road.  There was a second ambulance without lights and sirens right behind us.  Not sure if that was a good sign or not.  Gary had put a cd in to listen on the road and the one song on it was "Wipeout".  Not a good song for motorcyclists.

Eidelweiss was our next stop and Gary was so glad.  We have never been inside this little bar.  The woman who bought it just took ownership about two weeks ago and it looks like a nice little bar.  Will have to stop there more often, but we always by pass it on the way to Meeteetse.  By this time Gary has a good hand going, he had a pair of queens.

It was also very hot once we got off the mountain.  We turned off at Belfry to head back to Red Lodge as we all wanted to miss the road construction by Bridger.  Head that three bikes went down in that construction last week.  We got to Billings around 5:00.  The dealership had free beer for us which was very tasty after a hot ride.  Gary got his 3rd queen.  He is in the running for best hand.

Since this poker run had an after party at the Legion, we spent the night with our friends the Butterfields.  We went to the house to freshen up before the party.  We got there a bit late and were the last ones to eat.  I was not impressed with the food we paid for.  I was the last one in line and all that was left was a hot dog.  It was so small that it didn't even cover the bun.  Gary got the last dried up burger.  We also had what was supposed to be potato salad.  It was just boiled potatoes cut up with some bits of celery.  The coleslaw was just chopped cabbage, no slaw dressing at all.  I couldn't eat my snack, it was not good at all.  Told Gary that we would have been better off grabbing some fast food and bringing it with us.  I have decided that if we do this run next year, I'm not paying for the food.

Gary did win for best hand and he got a $150 gift card for the Harley dealership.  Not sure what he is going to get, but I will certainly help him.  I still have my $50 coupon that I got for completing the rider safety course.

We had a good time at the party with our friends, each of us ended up buying a round.  That was sure alot of beer to drink, good thing we all went to eat something before going home.  I was starving.  We stayed up until well after 1:00am.  Been a year since we stayed up this late.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little Big Horn Days

We usually try to get out of town for Little Big Horn Days but this year we ended up being in the parade.  While we were in Red Lodge signing up for the Father's Day Fun Run, the marketing director for the dealership asked us if we would ride in the parade in Hardin escorting a float with veterans.  We didn't know anything about a veterans float.

The marketing director, Colette, said that she got a phone call from a woman in Hardin asking if the Harley group would ride in the parade as an escort.  Colette was trying to get the word out to people she knew and that she only had 4 of her friends.  Colette was wondering if Gary would get the word out to other veterans. Gary was upset at first because nobody in Hardin contacted him to do this.  I had to remind him that not everyone in Hardin knows that he is a vet and active in veterans groups.  Besides they probably got ahold of the VFW and those guys are not bikers. 

In the end it all worked out, we had confirmation that the Butterfields and Davis's would ride in the parade.  Gary also got ahold of the PGR to get the word out and we had one couple for sure confirm.  With such short notice we didn't think we would get very many anyway.

I had called Colette on Thursday before the parade to get as much information on where we had to stage as I could.  With the directions Colette gave me I asked her where are we to go when you get to the 4 way stop.  Colette had nothing written about a 4 way stop.  Colette asked if I would call the lady in Hardin and get all that information and then Colette put me in charge.  It was decided that we would meet Colette and her group at the Town Pump in Hardin and we would lead them to where everyone needed to go.  Gary told the others to just go to the Western Motel to group up and we would go from there.  We had offered to store helmets and coats at our house for the riders since we live a block away.  Only a couple took us up on this.

Saturday morning arrived, we met Colette and her group at Town Pump, they were the only ones who stored helmets and gear at the house.  We had a bigger turnout with bikes than we thought.  Ended up having 20 bikes and about 30 people ride in the parade.  It also turned out that we were not escorting a float with veterans, we escorted the Jailhouse Gallery float.  We were our own entry, so in a sense we escorted ourselves as many of us riders are veterans, the group had Gary lead us in the parade since we live here.  It all worked out in the end, even though we were announced as the Harley Group when it wasn't a Harley thing.

Gary and I had made a reservation for 15 people at La Chalupa for lunch, no way would we get anything downtown and parking was a nightmare with the streets blocked.  We were worried at first but not everyone was able to eat with us.  After lunch our friends all headed home.  They were going to take the old highway back to Billings, but I reminded them that they would get caught in the reenactment traffic.

Later that night we went to the street dance.  This year the city blocked off the two blocks on Center but they also blocked the two blocks on 3rd street at the stop light.  It was nice to wander around and not worry about traffic, however parking and getting around town was a nightmare, but it's only for a weekend.

This year the entertainment for the street dance was Gunnar & Matthew Nelson performing their concert Ricky Nelson Remembered.  They played all of their fathers hit tunes and their own.  It was all very interesting as we got the backstory on how some of the songs came to be.  They also showed a slideshow about it too.  It was alot of fun and good music.  Rocky Hert and his band opened and closed the show.  We didn't stay long enough for the closing. 

I took some photos of the parade and street dance however the street dance ones are not that good.  I struggle to get the right settings on my camera for night shots.  Also I was bumped or someone would get in my way, so many are blurry.  Need more practice on that.  Here I am with a big camera and zoom lens getting ready for the shot and someone would get in my way.  I did post the photos on picasa and some on facebook.  The parade line up photos were taken with my old camera.  That one is more manageable on the bike.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ingomar Montana

Our June HOG Chapter meeting was held in Ingomar at the Jersey Lilly Saloon.  I have never been to Ingomar and didn't have a reason to stop there.  The Jersey Lilly Saloon is world famous for their beans and good food.  Now I can say that I have been to Ingomar and the Jersey Lilly and don't need to go back.

We met at the dealership at 10:00 am and then left for Ingomar.  With the HOG group we never take the most direct route to anywhere.  On this trip we left the dealership went up Zimmerman Trail and made our way to Broadview/Lavina.  From there we turned and headed to Roundup. 

We gassed up in Roundup not knowing where the next gas station will be.  Usually on this trip after meeting in Ingomar would go into Forsyth to gas up.  Due to road construction we had to head back to Roundup.  This stretch of road is 100 miles from Roundup to Forsyth.  Ingomar is about 70 miles from Roundup.

There are several small towns along the way, but not knowing if there is a gas station we filled up the tanks to almost overflowing.  The towns along the way are Musselshell, Melstone and Sumatra.  There is a gas station in Melstone but it was closed on Sunday and the pumps didn't have the new technology to take credit cards.  Also we had wind the whole way.

I can see why I have never been on this road, there is nothing here.  Melstone is the only town with any sign of civilation, meaning school and gas station.  Sumatra is just a spot in the road and Musselshell is off the main highway a couple miles.

We arrived in Ingomar and I am wondering what on earth is keeping this establishment open.  Apparently the local farmers and ranchers and some tourists who take a wrong turn.  The only thing around here for 100 miles is the saloon.

As you can see by the pictures, nothing here just the saloon (I got these photos off the internet and forgot what site to give credit.  These are not my photos).  The people were real happy to see us and with prior arrangements had food ready for us.  We had a short meeting, then on to eat.  The food was good, we had roast beef, scalloped potatoes and of course the world famous jersey beans.  We were charged $7.50 for all we could eat.  The food was good, but I didn't thing the beans were that outstanding.  I could make them myself.  Just before we left, the owners wanted to get a group photo of us in front of their establishment.  We had fun with that because they had a big cardboard cut out of John Wayne and he posed in our photo with us.

The history about the Jersey Lilly was interesting, however no public bathrooms.  I should take that back, there are public bathrooms but they are outhouses.  I waited until we got back to Roundup.

I was able to highlight a new highway on our map this year.  When the road construction is finished we are going to have to go to Forsyth to mark off the last 30 miles on this stretch of highway.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Honor Flight

Last Saturday Gary and I were in the flag line with Patriot Guard Riders to welcome home the WWII vets on the inaugural Montana Honor Flight.

We didn't know anything about this until our friends told us at breakfast in Rockvale.  Gary didn't get the e-mail from the Patriot Guard on this event.  The flight wasn't coming into Billings until 8:00 that night.  There was no way we could do this that late.

Our friends Dean Luptak and Lynn Davis invited us to stay at their house so we could participate.  We took them up on their offer.  They live in Rehberg Ranch near the airport.  This is the couple that hosts the Halloween and St. Patrick's parties.

We so unprepared for this, didn't have our flags and most importantly no change of clothes for the next day, our chapter ride and meeting.  I also didn't have my notebook so that I could take minutes.

We went to the house to get freshened up before heading over to the airport.  Had to be at the airport at 7:00 pm.  The airport has special parking for people to welcome home the WWII vets.  We were in the over flow parking which would mean alot of walking to get to the terminal, but there were shuttle buses running.

The airport was packed, must have been at least 500 people to welcome the vets home.  Many were family and friends.  One of the local high schools had their band playing the theme songs of the branches and other patriotic songs. 

As luck would have it, the flight was delayed an hour.  The vets didn't land until 9:15 pm.  The flag line was on both sides of the stairway and by the elevator.  What a sight to see when the vets deplaned.  The crowed cheered for everyone and the cheers were loud for the very last vet as the first vet.  There were some in wheelchairs and they were rolled to the top of the stairs so that they could see the crowd, then went down in the elevator.  The vets were very surprised at their homecoming. 

There were a couple that wore their original uniforms.  The Navy vet was a pretty spry man, he went down the stairs, kissed all the women and shook all the mens hands.  Gary said his grip was very strong. My friend Lynn was so impressed by her first kiss by a sailor.  She asked me how I felt about it and had to admit that I've been kissed by a sailor before.  People forget that I'm a vet.

After it was over, we were able to visit with some of the vets.  Everett Bullis and Bill Smith from Hardin were on the flight and I was able to visit a bit with a Woman Marine vet.  She was very surprised to learn that I'm a Marine vet.  I thanked her for blazing the trail to allow women like me to enlist and she thanked me for blazing the trail for younger women.

These vets were sure tired.  They left early Friday morning, did all the touring around Washington DC and then flew back on Saturday evening.  Everette said that it was worth every minute and he has plenty of time to rest at home.

We were so glad that we were able to participate in this.  The next flight will be in September and we are definately going to donate more money.  At first we didn't understand why so much money had to be raised.  Each vet was allowed to bring an escort.  There was also medical personnel, reporters and other dignitaries.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day Fun Run

Saturday Gary and I rode in the Father's Day Fun Run sponsored by the Beartooth Harley dealership.  Sign up for the event was in Red Lodge at the dealership's store between 8-10 am.  We met our friends Marty & Vickie in Rockvale for breakfast at 8:30 am.

We got there a tad early but only had about a 10 minute wait.  This gave us time to gas up before heading out to Red Lodge.  To our surprise our friend Pat Breckenridge was with them.  We are the three that ride trikes together all the time.  As we were getting seated our friends Dean & Lynn stopped to eat with us.

We got to Red Lodge just in time to sign up for the poker run. It cost us $40 to participate, $25 for the rider and $15 for the passenger.  We got can coozies, tickets for the meal afterwards and Gary got the t-shirt.  I would have had to pay $10 more for a t-shirt.  We decided that we would trade years for t-shirts.

The poker run takes up over the Beartooths, down Chief Joseph Highway and back to Red Lodge through Belfry and Bearcreek.  Our stops were Vista Point, Top of the World, Painter's Outpost on Chief Joseph, Eidleweiss, the Belfry Bar and our final stop The Snag in Red Lodge.

We had good weather, it was very windy and cold on top of the Beartooths, but as soon as we stopped at Top of the World, it started to get warmer.  I ended up getting a great poker hand, two pair queens and 10s.

It took us a couple hours to finish the loop.  We stopped at the Belfry Bar to get our last card and we got a drink there.  It got hot as soon as we came off of Chief Joseph Highway. 

Our meal at The Stag was very delicious.  We thought that we would be getting the standard burger & chips.  We had a choice of ribs, brats, brisket or corned beef.  Had potato and macaroni salads and for sides had baked beans or corn.  It was all very good. 

We ended up into two groups, our little group was the last to leave Red Lodge, but we were the first to finish.  Most riders on these poker runs spend money at the bars.  After our stop at Painter's Outpost, we ended up into two groups and we were in the first group.

We waited for over an hour for the second group to get to The Snag, but then we found out that one of the riders went down and ended up in the hospital at Cody.  Not too sure what happened but the guys could only speculate.  For a fact her rear wheel locked up and they think she hit the rear brake too hard, once she started to wobble she must have panicked and hit the front brake which caused her to go over her handlebars.  Fortunately she was wearing a helmet and leathers.She is going to be ok, broke her collar bone in two places, has a dislocated elbow and a broken foot.  She will need surgery on her foot.  This happened before one of the cattle guards on the highway.

Once everyone got to the final stop, they awarded prizes for the poker hands.  They only gave prizes for first and worst hands.  I didn't win, the guy who did had two pair also, kings and aces.  The one time I actually have a great hand I don't win.  I did come in 2nd though.  I got a t-shirt out of the deal, but it is not one that I will be able to wear in public.  That will be my lounging around the house on laundry day t-shirt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dentist & Doctor Appointments

Thursday I had a dental appointment in Billings.  I was originally to have x-rays taken and a cleaning.  I got a phone call from the dentist's office and was told that I won't be having an x-ray since the doctor will be gone.  I do however, get my cleaning.  I make my appointments in the morning and that will give me the afternoon to shop.

I don't really relish getting my teeth cleaned, but since I've had all this dental work done four years ago I want to keep up my good dental health.  I will have a long life if I do.  I know that this is just a cleaning, but the tools used are just wicked looking.  It takes about an hour to get done and then my teeth are polished afterwards.  I think I would be done faster but I visit with the hygenist and she is really a nice person.  My teeth are pearly white for the summer.

I spent the rest of the day shopping.  Started on buying the supplies for Mmom's birthday party.  I got the napkins, cups, plates, forks and spoons.  Will be getting the food stuff when it's gets closer to the party date.

After lunch I went to the Harley dealership to see about the leather coat that I won on the Gambler's Run.  I told the guy in charge of the run that I would be at the dealership in the afternoon.  That gave him 5 days to get there and pick out a coat.  When I showed up and asked what I need to do, I was told that nobody knew anything about it.  The owner of the dealership was out for the day and he didn't say a word to the second man in charge. I had time to spare before going home, so I drove up to the top of the rims and took some photos of the Billings skyline.


I was in the meetings when the chapter was told that the man needs to pick out a coat and the winner can come in and get the right size.  This happened last year and it took the winner three months to get her coat.  Looks like it's going to take that long for me.  The assistant told me that he would get it worked out and will call me.  We were going to ride in the poker run on Saturday and he said he would let me know.  As of yet, I still don't have a coat.

Monday I had my yearly check up with my VA doctor in Sheridan.  Jennifer was off so she went with me.  Nothing new to report here.  I am healthy and things are going ok.  Still struggling with my weight but she told me to just keep doing what I'm doing.  I have a friend on the Atkins diet and he swears by it. I know enough that a diet that wants you to eat foods in high fat is not good for you.  She told me to stay off of any fad diets and if I do anything, Weight Watchers is what she recommends.  They also gave me a tetnus, diptheria and pertussis shot.  Whooping cough is spreading and for a person getting older, it is highly recommened that I get this shot.  OK fine.  Now I wonder how much they are going to charge my insurance.  When I got the flu shot last fall, they charged $117.  I don't think about this until after it's done.

Afterwards Jennifer and I did some shopping.  I should say Jennifer shopped I just wandered.  We ate lunch and then I did take the car to the car wash to get it clean.  I would much rather use their vaccum than mine to pick up the the small rocks.

Now I'm healthy won't get whooping cough and have shiny teeth.