Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Cleaning

The weather is starting to get nice and it's a perfect time to get the spring cleaning done. I want to get this done before my sister, brother and nieces are here for their Easter visit.

This weekend I got started a little bit on the inside of the house. My next major cleaning project is to get the carpet shampooed. I bought some carpet cleaner for the heavy traffic area to help get that part of the carpet cleaned up. I have been using my new steamer mop that I bought a few weeks ago and I love it. I tried in on my carpet and think it will work ok for spot cleaning.

Our next project is the outdoor stuff, I wanted to start working on the yard, but we got our porch cleaned up.

It took us 4 hours to get everything done, but we got it done. Several years ago we had the bright idea to put the old tae kwon do mats down so that we could work on our forms and such. Then when Gary worked at the school, the school got rid of some old carpet and we laid that down all over the porch.

Through the years the carpet started getting rotten with the weather. When we had the flooding last spring alot of water seeped in the carpet. Also snow would blow inside. It was time to get rid of it.

We took two loads of junk to the the dump. Mostly old carpet, mats and tarp. We thought that there would be mold underneath all of that, but the cement is actually in good shape. A good power wash will take care of that. We also cleaned out stuff that was stashed in there. About 15 years ago I inherited some ugly brown dining chairs that were in the old tae kwon do school when we first took over. We never used them, all we did was bring them out, clean them up and stack them back in the porch. We kept two chairs and threw the rest out. It was afterwards that we thought to use our little utility trailer. Would have made things easier.

I have an old tv and dvd player that we don't use and I will be taking those up to Good Will along with some clothes. Most of the stuff that we had got ruined with the weather.

We had to buy a new push broom to sweep up the porch and my allergies flared up. My neighbor's cat Oscar is mad at us because we ruined his sleeping spots, but he will just have to find new one, hopefully at his own home.

Porch looks real nice, our goal is to seal the cement out there and that should do it for the porch. Next weekend I want to tackle the yard. We need to trim a bunch of limbs and need to cut down the bush that is in front of the house where the pine tree used to be. Half of the bush got knocked over during a wind storm and I want to plant grass in the empty spot where the tree used to be.

Want to get all this work done before riding season really kicks off.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St Patrick's Day

Had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day on Saturday. For once the weather cooperated and it was beautiful, 70 degrees couldn't ask for better this time of year. Again we rode in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Billings.

We left Hardin early to eat breakfast in Billings, we were going to eat in town but both cafe's were closed. So much for wanting local business. It was a little chilly riding to Billings at 7:45 am but not too bad. We ate breakfast at Denny's downtown as it was close to where we had to stage for the parade.

This year both the Patriot Guard Riders and HOG chapter were in the same group. Most of the HOG members are Patriot Guard Riders so it just made more sense to be together. With the nice weather had about 60 bikes in the parade. Alot of people were out watching the parade and we really had to watch out for little ones running out to get the candy. There were people riding bicycles along the route reminding the people that they had to get back.

I packed my camera so that I could take some photos but I didn't have a sd card in the camera. My sd card was still in my computer when I downloaded the tae kwon do photos. Good thing I had my cell phone, so got a few shots with that. I managed to get a video of our biker piper.

Right after the parade we headed home to get the pickup and pack up for the dinner party. I made a pistachio salad for the dinner and we decided to spend the night in Billings. Back to Billings we went, got checked in to our motel room. Decided to spend the night as we had a HOG chapter meeting on Sunday and we just didn't want to drive back home after a night of drinking and dining.

Made our way to our hosts, Dean & Lynn for corned beef and cabbage dinner. They had invited 50 people to their party and had about 24 there. Gary and I were early, apparently two e-mails were sent out and ours said 2:30, we didn't get there until 3:00. Lynn had most of the stuff going, she had 3 crock pots of corned beef going. We sat around and got some visiting in, they wouldn't let us help them with anything.

People started showing up around 4:00 and that is when I was able to help set things up, I had some backup. The meal was very delicious and the theme of things was to keep it green. We all sat around and visited.

I did end up playing a game of pool with Lynn's two grandchildren and we played by different rules. I was not allowed to use the cue ball to hit the other balls. I could only hit the stripe balls.

The party was over around 8:00 and once we got to our motel, we went down to sit in the hot tub which was very crowded with kids. Felt good.

On Sunday morning we just lazed around the motel, did go back and sit in the hot tub after breakfast. We didn't have to check out until 12:00 so we took advantage. We checked out around 10:00 and ran some errands before heading to out HOG chapter meeting. This is the last indoor meeting, starting in April we will be riding.

At the meeting I won a visor organizer as a participation prize. I need to win an insulated coffee mug for Gary. I won one in November now need one to match.

We had a very fun weekend, too bad it went by so fast. I put my party photos on picasa.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tournament Winners

I have the Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 photo editor that I have been playing with. I have had this program for a couple years now and have just now been using all the fun features on it. I would always use it to clean up the photos with auto sharpen and such. Here is the group photo that I took the other day for the newspaper. I will also submit this photo for my final photo project with the class that I have been taking. I have to submit a group photo using triangles.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tournament And Ride

What a busy weekend it was for us. Friday night we had the black belt test, no students of ours this year. The test starts at 6:00 pm and since we don't get done early, we just spend the night. Makes it easier than getting home late and turn around and come back to Billings the next morning. I took the afternoon off and got us packed up with all of our stuff. I even had time to wash my car, at least I got the first layer of dirt off.

We got to Billings in plenty of time to check in and unload the truck. Then we made our way to Park's. First we stopped at McDonald's and got a quick snack as it would be late before we would be able to eat. Luck was on our side, we found a parking space in Park's lot, usually we end up parking across the street.

The test went off without a hitch and we were done by 8:30 pm. It was a small test this year. We changed real quick then off to eat supper. Over the summer we found the Burger Grill. It is inside a casino, but they serve the best burgers and they are only $3.50. After supper we played the machines for about 15 minutes. Didn't take long before we were broke. This year Montana started the line games for gambling, but they are just not as fun as Nevada.

Saturday morning was the tournament. We had 11 students compete, only 3 had tournament experience. With 11 students, they competed in 25 events and the Hardin school came home with 25 medals. We are all very proud of them. One of our little guys got a gold medal in sparring, he was happy that he won but then he was sad because he had to fight his friend. I told him that as long as the boys remained friends then it's ok. Now the students just have to remember to bring their medals to class on Tuesday so that I can take the group photo for the paper. The tournament was done by 5:00 and we didn't get out of the school until 5:30 with helping clean up and loading. Park's fed us at Golden Corral and Gary is pleased that he can get the senior discount there. We got home around 8:00.

Sunday we went on a motorcycle ride with our friends to Red Lodge. The weather is getting nice and we are going to take every chance we get to ride. For us it was just under 300 miles. We went to Red Lodge for lunch and back. We don't take the most direct route either.

We met all of our friends at the gas station then headed out at 10:00 am. We took what I call the River Road which comes out on the other side of Laurel. At Joliet we took the highway to Columbus then through Roscoe and into Red Lodge. We ate lunch at Bogarts. Turns out our waitress was the daughter to one of our friends, so it was nice to meet her. Gary and I shared a small pizza. Our other choice was Mexican food and we have eating quite a bit of that. Besides, the pizza was just enough for us.

Last year the state started working on the highway between Bridger and Belfry to take out that one bad curve. We were wondering if the road was done and no one knew for sure. Only one way to find out and that is to go on it.

We gassed up in Red Lodge, took the Bear Creek cut across into Belfry then made our way to Bridger. The road is not done. There is a two mile stretch of hard, rough gravel. In fact it is in the same condition as when I went over it in October. Probably going to be that way this summer too.

We got home around 4:00 pm. Mom had come to Hardin for a very quick trip. She went through Powell so didn't know about the Bridger-Belfry highway. I told her, so when she left this morning back to Meeteetse she said she would go through Powell. Anyway, Mom took us out for supper at the Chinese restaurant in town. This was Jennifer's late birthday dinner from her. It was very nice.

A very busy weekend and I had to come to work to rest. Our original plan for Sunday was to start working on cleaning out the porch.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Date

On Monday I had a movie date with our granddaughters Alexus and Mariah. Jennifer and I had wanted to see the movie "The Lorax". We both remember the story that I used to read to her when she was small. I always joke around that in order to see a kid movie I would have to rent some.

Anyway, the grandkids have always wanted to do something with us besides the Christmas shopping trip. Thought this would be a perfect event.

I got the okay from their mother, wasn't sure what her rules were on school nights. I picked the girls up at the other grandparents house and they were very excited. Brandon had a school thing going on and he didn't want to go to the little kids movie. I did invite him along too but figured he wouldn't go.

I ended up taking an extra kid, their cousin Sierra wanted to go and she had her own money. No problem we know their cousin, she says we are her grandparent too. The girl is a cousin on their stepfather's side. Glad I took some extra money with me, besides Jennifer had brought some extra too.

I paid for everyone to get in, I forgot how expensive taking a family to the movie was. For two adults and three kids it cost $31.50 to get in. It was another $25 for the snacks. Sierra bought her own snack so that helped. Both girls had a small pop and candy, while Jennifer and I shared a popcorn but we had our own pop. The girls both asked if they could have candy and I said yes. Then they tell me that they never get candy at a movie. Oops, but I didn't get in trouble with their mother.

We found our seats and settled in. Sure enough another family came in and sat in front of us. There was plenty of seating for them that they could have thought this process better, but the dad sat right in front of Mariah. She was upset because she couldn't see, so me in a voice loud enough for the family to hear told the girls to move down.

It may just be me, but when I go to a movie I always make sure that I don't sit in front of little ones if I can help it.

We had a good time and I would like to do this again in the future. Now Mariah says that her Grandpa Gary looks like the Lorax. I guess in a way he does with his moustache.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jennifer's Birthday

I am a week late in getting this posted. We celebrated Jennifer's "6th" birthday on Wednesday. Her birthday comes once every four years so we always celebrate it on the leap years.

She had to work on her special day and didn't get off work until 7:00 pm, so no dinner out in Billings. We took her to the Mexican restaurant La Chalupa here in town. It is a very nice restaurant and the parents of two of our tae kwon do student's own it. Jennifer got a free dessert from the kids that she was kind enough to share with us.

The other diners were so shocked to find out that she was a leapling that they had fun with it. Some said that she is the first person that they met who is a leapling.

I had some flowers with a birthday balloon delivered to McDonald's and she got a present from one of her old teachers. She said that people always remember her birthday on leap year. She got alot of hugs from her co-workers. I always get her an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (her favorite).

We were so stuffed from dinner that we didn't eat any cake but had it later. We just finished it up yesterday.