Monday, January 30, 2012

Munchie Bowl III

We went to the Third Annual Munchie Bowl at the Harley dealership on Saturday. This time we didn't win any prizes.

For $2 per person we got to sample 13 tables of Super Bowl munchies and then we vote on the best muchie and the best booth. Only a couple were decorated while the rest were just normal food tables. This year the proceeds went to the Billings schools Angel Fund. The money goes to purchase needed supplies for students.

Had a good time and we were able to visit with our friends. We didn't stay long enough to find out who won for best food or booth. Only two tables were holding drawings and we didn't win those. Last year I won the BBQ basket. None of the samples really popped this year. Some were better than others, but not where I would go out of my way to eat.

We made an early day out of it, ate breakfast then ran some errands. Gary filled his prescription for eye glasses that he got from the VA. The VA wouldn't fill the prescription and they won't pay for his glasses. I was with Gary when the eye doctor told him not to let the eye places talk him into getting bifocals as he doesn't need them. I looked at his prescription and told Gary that the eye doctor wrote the prescription for bifocals, but at the same time said he didn't need them.

We filled the prescription at Wal-Mart and he got his single vision lens and frames for a grand total of $47. They should be in at the end of the week. I have been after him for years to get his eyes checked, I knew he needed glasses but he just wouldn't admit it.

He finally admitted that he really couldn't see that clear. I convinced him that since we are now riding alot more, that it would be a good thing that he can see clearly. He still won't admit that he needs to wear glasses all the time, just to read.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vacation-Use It or Lose It

For the first time in 26 years, I was in a use it or lose it situation with my vacation at work. I always take enough time off during the year to get under my max hours allowed. Not for 2011. My Minnesota vacation was all sick leave, if it wasn't for that I would have been under.

I was 40 hours over. I took one day off with Gary earlier in the month, which left me 4 days. Since we get Martin Luther King day off as a holiday it was perfect, take my remaining 4 days with the holiday. Counting the weekends, I had 9 days off.

I didn't go anywhere, had plenty of time to clean out the back bedroom. This was my sons bedroom and when they moved out a few years ago, stuff just got put in that room that we didn't know what to do with. Soon it got so full that you couldn't walk into the room without stepping on something. Cleaning and organizing was my project for the week.

I took it is small steps, just sections at a time. Monday was spent throwing out garbage. For some reason we had boxed up old magazines and was going to keep them for something, not sure what, but to the garbage they went. I spent two hours each day working on a section.

In the afternoons I watched my Harry Potter movies. For Christmas I bought the 8 movie collection, I had watched some of the movies already when I had time off for holidays, just had three more left to complete the series.

Tuesday Jennifer and I went to Billings for some shopping. She needed new work shoes and I bought two book cases for the room. One to display the knick knacks I got from Grandma, the other for all my books. I had them packed in boxes. We had a good time, the weather was nice and we got it done before the storm.

I needed help getting the book cases into the house, so they just stayed in my car until Saturday. The weather got nasty, the storm hit on Tuesday night and it snowed until Friday morning. Most of the snow came on Wednesday, it had let up some on Thursday and by Friday morning we got another 3 inches. The storm also brought in very cold temperatures. Perfect weather to get my project done.

I finished cleaning on Thursday. Found an extra air mattress that I didn't know we had. It was stuffed in the closet. Boxed up a bunch of clothes to take to Good Will and threw out some more garbage. I got as far as I could, just needed the shelves before I could clean up some more. It is so nice to be able to see the floor and walk into the room.

Helped Gary clear snow off the sidewalk and also cleared snow from the parking lot at our Tae Kwon Do school. We didn't get all of it, but most of it. After we shoveled, the snow plows came by and plowed all that right back onto the sidewalk. By this time, it was very heavy and we got what we could. Temperatures are warming up so hopefully most of this will melt soon. Thankfully, Mmom's neighbor cleared her sidewalk. All I had to do was her front steps. Whew!!!

I got my shelves put together on the weekend. My original plan was to drive to Meeteetse, but the roads were not the best and we were to get some freezing rain on Saturday afternoon. Will have to go down later. Called Mmom and they didn't get any of the storm in Wyoming.

All I have left to do is sort the china out of boxes that Mmom and I brought back from Spuddies a couple years ago. The room looks nice and will get the tv and home theater system hooked up in there.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Red Lodge Weekend

Last weekend we were invited for an overnight party in Red Lodge. Our friends had won a weekend in Red Lodge to stay at one of the new condos. They invited us to spend a night with them. There were four couples in all.

The condo has four bedrooms, naturally our hosts got the master bedroom, the other three were on a first come basis. We were to be there at 4:00 pm, but if we got their earlier that was fine. We got there around 3:00 pm and we were the second guests to arrive. So we had a choice of two bedrooms, naturally I took the bigger one. Good thing, another couple arrived 10 minutes behind us.

For dinner I took two salads, a macaroni and potato salad. Our hosts fixed a baked ham. Our other friends made a home made German chocolate cake, the other couple brought dinner rolls. We all had to bring our own alcohol. Had a great time visiting. Later on in the night, us women sat in the hot tub. It was very peaceful sitting is the nice hot water with Rock Creek gurgling. The guys stayed inside and watched the football games.

We stayed up and visited. Laughed alot. One of our friends is going through a very difficult time right now. Her son was killed in an accident just right after Christmas. He lived in Florida, so she just made it home before the party.

In the morning, we had ham & cheese omelets in a bag. It was very fun to make. What a wonderful idea, no mess. I brought fruit cocktail, there were muffins and we even had mimosas.

We had to be out of the condo by 11:00 am, so it was time to clean up. We all had to strip our beds. Our hosts car battery died on them, so the guys had to push the car out of the garage. Gary has an emergency car kit in the pickup. We just got that a week ago when we went to our bank. Got them up and running.

We made it to Billings with plenty of time to spare. Sunday was our HOG Chapter meeting. It was late by the time we got home. First there was an accident on the interstate that shut down both lanes of traffic for a time. The accident was on the Pryor Hill, second we stayed and watched the football games. By the time we left for home, the interstate was open.

Had a very good time and so glad that our friends invited us to share in their weekend. The guys decided that we could rent this condo later in the year and it wouldn't cost very much for each couple.

Our friends get another free weekend at the condo in April, however they will be sharing that with their children. We tried to talk them into inviting us again, but they already told their children, so that is out of the question.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo Fixes

I took the professionals advice and cropped the two photos he suggested. The deer and football photos. I have to say that I like the football one better cropped, but my deer one I like my original. I like the shadow on the ground. Just me. Anyway, here are the after and before, what do you think?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Photography Course

I've been taking a photography course through the New York Institute of Photography. The course I'm taking is the Fundamentals of Digital Photography. I am learning how to use my Nikon D5000 camera as a SLR instead of a point and shoot. I am half way through the course. I started in October and should be done in a couple of months.

My first photography assignment was sending in five photos with certain aspects. The first one a photograph using the rule of thirds. The second was a stop action photo. The third was creating a motion blur. The fourth was difficult lighting and the fifth was photographers choice.

I submitted my first assignment in December and received my evaluation by a professional photographer. I got good marks, said I had a good start and I'm understanding apperture and shutter speeds without any difficulty.

Here are the photos and what he said.

He liked this photo of Jennifer. Suggested that I should have went to the other side to capture this, this way I could use the wall in line with Jen. This is my rule of thirds photo.

This is my stop action photo. It was taken at Gma's house in October. He liked this one said I should have cropped out the shadows on the bottom and maybe cropped enough to make the deer off center.

This is my motion blur photo. I had a hard time with this one but managed. I should have cropped the helmets on the bottom.

This is the tricky lighting photo. It was taken on the Oregon coast at sundown. He liked this one.

This was my choice photo. He really liked it and said that I do have an eye of a photographer. He suggested that I wade into the water to get some good shots of the cabing and windows.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Fun

I was just looking at my photos from last year and thinking about all the fun we had. Looking forward to fun in 2012. Thought I would share with you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Again it is time to make those New Year resolutions that are never kept. I had to go back and see what my resolutions were last year. I only had two; to lose 10 pounds and be diligent in taking my calcium suppliments. I didn't keep either one.

Instead of losing 10 pounds, I gained 15. This is because of having surgery in July and since I'm going through menopause I am just having a very hard time keeping the weight off. I am at a plateau now which is good, but just wish the scale would move down. I am still exercising and watching what I eat. It doesn't help with all the biking we do in the summer and also I was not allowed to do anything for six weeks. It was hard getting back to normal but I got there.

The calcium supplements that I was taking were horse pills. I have always had a hard time swallowing pills, small ones not so much but when the pills are huge I just can't swallow. Then I discovered Viactiv. Those are chocolate chew calcium. Taking a chocolate chewy calcium supplement is a big improvement over the horse pills. I did get better, just not every day like I'm supposed to.

For 2012, here are my resolutions.

Going to lose these 15 pounds that I have gained. Can't be that hard, just a pound a month is all that I ask. I am still exercising 6 days a week. I go twice on Mondays & Wednesdays and on Saturdays I go for a longer time.

Take my calcium supplements daily. So far I am doing good, but then again it has been 3 days. The chocolate chews are ten times better than the horse pills. Even though they are a bit more pricey, at least I can take them.

Be more diligent in going to church. I took the whole year off last year from going to church. It was so easy to come up with excuses for not going that I just ended up not going. Got off on the right foot this year. Went to 8:00 mass, then we went to Billings to meet our friends at 10:00. It's going to be harder next month. There is only going to be one mass on Sundays now at 9:00.

Drink more water. I don't get enough water during the day. Again this all goes to menopause as I get dehydrated more than before. I am doing better, but probably not getting all that is needed. I've read that you are supposed to drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. I am getting about 40 ounces a day. It's easy at work, but not so much at home.