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.