Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a fun filled weekend.  On Saturday we went to Billings for a trash can turkey feast at our friends Marty & Vickie Davis.  They invited the HOG group for the feast.  We went early on Saturday to help them set up for the event.  They had about 30 people come for the party.  We had to bring pot luck dishes.  I made a snickers salad which was a hit.  It was determined that the salad was more like a dessert than a salad.  Snickers and apples in whipped topping can't get better than that.  We had so many choices of side dishes.  Had a great time visiting with our biker friends. 

I had an appointment at Lowes for the new kitchen design.  That took two hours but I have the renderings for my new kitchen.  Lowes was having a sale on kitchen cabinets and countertops.  I am getting the cabinets and countertops for just a tad over $5000.  I chose hickory cabinets and a quartz countertop.  They were having a sale on the quartz.  We found out that we need to have the cabinets installed on our own but Lowes will install the countertops.  The cabinets are custom built.  It was fun watching the design on the computer.  When I called for the appointment she told me just to bring my wall measurments and window placement.  Do not measure my existing cabinets.  With the new kitchen my must haves are a built in dishwasher and an over range microwave.  I could live with out the microwave if needed.

The sale they were having was that I got two base cabinets free, on being the sink base and the other is waste basket base, she felt that was real important to have.  I got a free undermount sink, stainless steel and the hardware for the cabinets.  I also got a drawer divider for silverware free.  I didn't think I could get a better deal than that, but the sale ended on Monday so we had a couple days to think on it.  If we decided to do this we got a $400 instant saving off the cabinets plus we would get a $326 Lowe's gift card that we could purchase the appliances.  We priced the dishwasher and over range microwave, the dishwasher is $500 and microwave was $150. 

We got back to our friends and started getting ready for the party.  Marty is a drywaller and he said that we are getting a very good deal on this stuff.  He gave us a name for a cabinet installer.  Gary got a number of a local guy who does this kind of work.  I called  both men on Monday morning and the Hardin guy called me back.  Our friends guy still hasn't called.  The Hardin guy will charge us $35 per hour, we don't have to pay mileage. 

Monday we decided to just go ahead and do this, so things are in motion.  My cabinets will be here in about 5 weeks.  The cabinet installer will get with us later this week to look at the kitchen and we can get a ball park figure.  We are hoping that we can remove the cabinets ourselves.  Once the cabinets are installed then Lowes will come down do the template and then countertops will be installed.  Looks like we are going to be under budget on the kitchen which I'm excited about.

Sunday I was able to visit with an old childhood friend who came to Hardin for a family reunion. Sunni Drake was a friend from 3rd-6th grade, she moved after 6th grade.  We got connected through Facebook.  While I went to visit with Sunni, another classmate was there, Kathy Conzelman.  I haven't seen Kathy since we graduated.  Even though the visit was short, it was nice.

I am very excited about my new kitchen and 5 weeks is going to be a long time.  I will make sure to take pictures of the before, during and after.  So glad that this will be done.  We may have enough money left over to redo our bathroom this fall but will have to see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Garage Party

Wednesday I went to the Women's Only Garage Party at the Harley dealership.  The garage parties are geared to get women interested in riding.  The motto is "Go From the Back Seat to the Front".  At this particular garage party we were able to enter into a sweepstakes to win some great prizes.

There are four prizes, a motorcycle safety course, a trip for two to Milwaukee for the 110th rally, a $1,000 Harley gift card and the grand prize is a 2014 Harley sportster super low.  Gary had me go to win the bike. 

The only prizes I'm interested in winning is the gift card and the bike.  I already went to the safety course and got my endorsement last summer and we are not going to Milwaukee this year.  Unless I can get the cash equivalent then I would be interested.  This is a national sweepstakes so there will be thousands of names for the drawings.

Had a good time, usually do at these.  Met up with two friends Vickie and Kitty.  We were fed a dinner of pulled BBQ pork, chips with three different kinds of dips, lemon bars for dessert and frozen juice bars.  No adult beverages on this one but pop was provided.

For going we also got a $10 coupon for shopping, so I bought a shirt, a simple white tank top.  I also tried on a pair of riding boots, which I told Gary that they can get me for my birthday. 

I did win a prize locally from the air shock vendor that was there, I got a baseball cap which I gave to Gary.  Now he can't say I don't give him anything.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Yesterday was our HOG Chapter meeting and we were supposed to ride to Rapelje, the only problem is that Mother Nature had other ideas.  It rained for 4 days starting on Thursday.  In fact it was raining so hard yesterday that it woke me up at 4:00 am and I couldn't go back to sleep.

Usually when it rains like that it will quit after a while, not yesterday.  We had to be at the dealership by 10:00 am.  It was a steady downpour rain all day long.  Checked the weather on line and it was just as bad to where we were going.  Since I'm the secretary, it's important that I go to the meeting so we decided to go in the car.

We called our friends Marty & Vickie to see if they were going, but they decided to take their car too so we met them for breakfast.  Other chapter members met at the dealership but most were in their vehicles, no their bikes.  There were three hearty souls who were going to ride.

After some discussion, it was decided to go on ahead to Rapelje.  The activities director had made arrangement with the cafe a month ago for food for us.  Since it was just a very small cafe and they had already prepared the food she really wanted us to go.  We had to cancel last month's ride to Fishtail due to snow.

Rapelje is 25 miles north of Columbus, we rode with Marty & Vickie and followed the bikes to Rapelje.  The whole way over we kept telling ourselves that we were so glad we didn't ride.  Riding in a few showers is one thing, but riding in a downpour all day just isn't fun, especially when you don't have to.

There were 13 of us in total and the cafe was sure glad to see us.  They were afraid that we weren't coming.  There is nothing in Rapelje except for a few houses and a school. 

The cafe is very interesting in Rapelje, it is not owned by a person, the community owns it.  One lady does run it and she gets paid but not much.  They do host the senior citizens and fix food for them.  We were genuinely welcomed by everyone, had about 5 people waiting on us. 

The food was very good and we will ride there again just because.  The special of the day was a roast beef dinner, we ordered off the menu because we ate a big breakfast.  Gary and I both had a cup of soup and 1/2 sandwich.  The soup was homemade turkey and noodle.  The cup was actually a bowl size.  We also go dessert.  I knew the ones who ordered the special got dessert, but we all got one.  Spice cake.  It was all I could do to eat, I was very full.

After eating we had a short meeting, this time Gary and I both won a door prize, he got a travel coffee mug and I got a beer bottle coozie.  Our friends Marty and Vickie won also.  Hope our winning streak continues as Vickie and I are going to the Women's Only Garage Party on Wednesday.  They are giving away a 2014 sportster bike, $1000 Harley gift card, a trip for 2 to Milwaukee for the 110th and a motorcycle riding safety class.  I want the bike or gift card.

It was a good day, especially when we can be with our friends despite the weather.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Montana Women's Run

Saturday I walked the two miles in the Montana Women's Run. I have done this before, but it was years ago.  One year Jennifer walked with me. The courthouse got a team together which we were called Hardin Hotties.  The team leader was Dulcie Bear Don't Walk who is the elections administrator.  She wanted to do this as a challenge to herself.  She is a very large woman and wants to get into better shape.

She thought it would be a good idea to have a team together, there were 9 of us all together, one didn't make it on Saturday.  With a team you pay your individual entry fee, however the team leader pays $45 total.  Dulcie had us pay an extra $5 each to help defray the team entry fee for her and she had hair clips made for us.  If you registered online the fee was $20, but if you mailed it in it was $25.  With this fee you got a t-shirt. This way we could spot our team members.

Dulcie didn't get much support from her husband, he kept telling her that she couldn't do it, 2 miles was too far for her and if I walked with her she would be slowing me down.  I told her not to worry about me.  I'm not going to win a medal or anything.  For that I would have to run.  I did tell her to get out and walk so that when the time came she would be ready.

Dulcie picked me up at the house, Gary met me later in Billings.  Dulcie picked me up early and we ate breakfast in Billings, her two younger brothers came as well.  We were lucky and found a parking space a block from the starting line.  The 2 mile race started at 9:00 am.  It didn't take long for the rest of the team to arrive.

I walked with Dulcie, the rest took off on their pace.  Dulcie thanked me to staying with her and she apologized for slowing me down.  I told her not to worry about it.  She made it.  She kept asking me how much further we had but she was a trooper.  Once we made our last turn you can see the finish line.  After we crossed I told her to look behind her and see all the women still coming in.  Her greatest fear was that she would be the very last one.  Every woman received a pink carnation as she crossed the finish line.

We didn't stay for the finish line festivities, she was tired her ankles and feet were sore.  We had to walk 7 blocks back to her truck.  Again she thanked me to staying with her.  She had all of us give her our cell numbers and who to call in case one of us "biffed" it.  I was worried about her.

After I dropped Dulcie off I met Gary at Tiny's Tavern, which was just a few blocks from the starting line.  He kept sending me text messages asking where I was.  I told him that I was on my way and to just look for me, I'm wearing a pink shirt.  He just laughed, said that there were alot of women inside wearing pink shirts.

There were 8500 women registered this year, we looked like someone had spilled a giant bottle of peptol bismal.  Here is the photo of our team.

Left to Right:  Veronica, Georgette, Tammy, Gayle, Anne, Sandy, me and Dulcie.  Emi in the stroller.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

School Elections

Tuesday were school elections and I survived my first one.  I had to work from 8:00 am and we finished at 11:00 pm. 

The only election that we had to do was for Hardin, the other school districts ran their own.  All we had to do for them was print out the voter registers and answer their questions.  It went smooth.

Hardin did a mail ballot, so every voter in the Hardin school district received a ballot.  This year there was a mill levy request for spending authority of more money and in one zone for trustee.

We mailed the ballots three weeks before the election and received a majority of them back right away, then there was a trickle.  About three days before we got alot of ballots back.  We couldn't count them until after 8:00 pm.  Had to give the voters time to get their ballots in.  Found out that for next year, we can count ballots early on the mail in election if we advertise two weeks before to give the voters notice.

We had to hand count all the ballots, we had received over 1200.  Four clerks from the district office came to help count which was a big help.  The mill levy failed by 31 votes.  Last year the mill levy failed by 22. 

It was a learning process for me and school elections are every year.  At least we have it down that we can count ballots early for next year with proper notification.  We are still getting ballots in the mail after the election.  Can't count those.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mortgage Paid Off

What a way to celebrate our anniversary.  On Friday Gary and I went to the bank and paid off our mortgage to the house. 

I bought the house in 1986 and have been making monthly payments for 27 years.  During that time we have refinanced twice.  The first time was back in 1995 so that we could get the steel siding for the house and get me out of the FHA subsudized loan that I had, the second time was in 1999 just so we could get a lower interest rate.

It will take about two weeks to get the lien release, then we can file that at the courthouse.  We are also going to put Jennifer's name on the house title.  This way if anything happens to either of us, Jennifer has a house to live in.  Now we have to remember that we are going to have to pay the insurance and taxes ourselves, no more escrow.

It is nice to know that all the hard work in scrimping and saving has finally paid off, hard to see that our savings has dropped but just have to keep reminding myself what our final goal was.  It won't be long before we get our saving back up. 

We are going out to celebrate on the 11th with our biker friends.  I will post the mortgage burning photos up later, haven't burned it yet but we will.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Laughlin River Run

We spent last weekend participating in the 2013 Laughlin River Run motorcycle rally.  This is like a mini Sturgis. We went with our friends Marty & Vickie Davis.

We didn't ride down due to weather, the guys tried to figure out a way to trailer them down but the time frame didn't work with all of us working.

We spent Wednesday night with our friends as we had a very early flight out of Billings at 6:00 am on Thursday morning.  We had to be at the airport by 4:00 am so that we could get through security.  Didn't get much sleep, stayed up visiting until 11:00 pm and then we had to be up by 3:00 am.  Our friend Dale Butterfield picked us up and took us to the airport.  He said he wanted to do this that way we wouldn't have to pay for parking.  That is a true friend.

It was a good thing we got their early, about 10 minutes later security was backed up with people catching flights.  We had a quick cup of coffee and shared a roll at the airport.  Our past experiences with Alaska Air hasn't been good, but this time we had no problems.  On this leg we went from Billings to Seattle, had about 1 1/2 hour layover then on to Vegas.  We landed in Vegas at 11:00 am, got on the shuttle to the car rental place.  Marty & Vickie made the reservations for the car rental and we split the cost.  The car we got was a white Nissan Altima, not as fancy as Mary's.

Got the maps, GPS programmed and made our way.  Marty wanted to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Henderson that he liked many years ago, but couldn't remember the name.  He had sort of an idea where it was.  Needless to say we couldn't find it.  Oh well, we did find one called Rubio's in Henderson and it was very good.  Managed to get on the road to Laughlin by GPS, which it really wasn't that hard to figure out.

We got into Laughlin around 2:00 pm.  Found our hotel and got checked in.  Traffic was pretty busy with all the bikers coming in.  Our hotel was the River Palms, it was nice but you could tell it was on of the older ones.  After checking in and regrouping we then made our way down to registration to pick up our packets.  Registration was at the Riverside Hotel which was about a mile walk down the little strip.  We walked, would have been too hard to find parking down there. It was also very hot temperatures in the mid 90's.  We are not used to this hot this time of year.  We did meet up with the group from Billings who did ride their bikes all the way.

The weekend we spent wandering around, looking at all the vendor tents and t-shirt tents.  Had a good time but it go to the point where everything starting looking the same.  We were there two days before we figured out that the river walk goes all the way up and down the river side of all the casinos.  That made the temperature a bit cooler.  We did ride the water taxi once.  Did gamble a bit, won enough money to pay for dinners.

Our last day we drove up to Vegas.  Our flight out on Monday morning was at 10:00 am, this way we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, we could sleep in a little bit.  It was recommended that we turn the car in around 7:00 am, that would give us time to do the check in bit, catch the shuttle to the terminal and get through security.

Checking the car in was a breeze, we were directed where to stop, they scanned the car and we were free to go.  It took us longer to get our stuff out of the trunk.  The process went very smooth, got on the shuttle, made it to the terminal, got checked in for our flights and boarding passes printed.  Security was a breeze, no lost car keys this time.

On our return flight home we went Vegas, Portland then Billings.  We had about a 3 hour lay over in Portland so had plenty of time to eat and just relax a bit.  Our flight was on time landing in Billings, in fact we were about a half hour early.  Dale picked us up and took us back to Marty & Vickie's house.  We got back to Hardin around 8:15 pm.

Had a good time and would like to go back.  We took our rookie lumps on this trip but now we are wiser.  We would most definately go back.  The guys were talking about taking turns doing this and then Sturgis.  I have my photos and will be getting them up on picasa here soon.