Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kitchen Remodel

We have started on our kitchen remodel, we spent months looking at kitchen ideas and now it's coming to fruition.

Last night we took down the east wall cabinets, which wasn't hard at all.  They were only held on by a couple screws.  While Jennifer and I were at class, Gary started to take down the homemade cabinet that the previous house owners put up above my cabinets.  He said that those were so easy he was on a roll.  Jennifer and I got home, had to box up all my dishes that Gary took out of the cabinets, then we held on while he used the drill to remove the screws.  Down they came, very easy.  Gary and I then loaded up the old ones and took them off to the dump, I also threw out some old stuff that was falling apart.

I have ceramic tile on the walls which I hate, after all these years the grout is yellowing and I hate the tiles.  They are very hard to clean.  I took the flathead screwdriver and a hammer and started to chisel the tiles off.  Since they are so old they are coming right off.  I have to finish up that project tonight.

We are leaving the base cabinets up on this side, will let the contractor take those down.  That is my sink and since it deals with plumbing we are going to leave that alone.  Friday we will start taking down the cabinets on the west wall by the stove and refrigerator.

Tonight Gary and I are running up to Billings to buy the dishwasher, microwave and kitchen faucet.  When I bought the cabinets I got a 10% gift card which we are going to use towards the purchase of the appliances.  Saturday we will pick up my cabinets.  Lowes would have charged me $250 to deliver to the house.  We have our utility trailer so will use it.

I took my before pictures last night which was a good thing.  Started taking some of the during and will definately get the afters.

My new cabinets are hickory and I went with a quartz countertop.  The microwave is an over the range.  I am so excited and can't wait to see the transformation on my new kitchen.  I got the cabinets & countertops for $5600.  My appliances will be around $600 and then I will just have to pay the contractor for his labor which he charges $35 per hour.  With Independence Day coming up next week I may get some sales on the appliances.

I bought everything at Lowes.  They were having a sale on Memorial Day so I got the sink base and another base cabinet for free, the stainless steel sink free which is an undermount and all the hardware for the cabinets free.  This was such a frustrating process that we just decided to get everything at Lowes.  Our friend Marty who does this kind of work said we are getting a very good deal.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Step Contest

I won a prize for the weekly step contest that was held at work.  We started on May 1 and we were each given a pedometer.  We were to keep track of our steps, record them and then at the end of the contest winners will be drawn for prizes.  This contest was open to every county employee.

Today was the end of the contest and we had to turn in our logs by 11:30 this morning for the drawings.  I won a $50 gift card to Scheels.  That will come in handy for some new shoes.

There were only 6 people who turned in their sheets and they drew for 3 prizes.  I don't think we won because of who did the most, least or whatever, it was just a random draw.  The other two were Betty Brauer the head of the maintainence dept, and Dulcie Bear Don't Walk the elections administrator.  We each won a gift card.

We won't get them until tomorrow, they want to have a little ceremony for us.  Our prizes will be presented and we get our pictures taken for prosperity.

For the record I walked 756,835 steps.  That is roughly 378 miles (2000 steps is considered 1 mile), 54 miles per week, 7.7 miles per day.

Wearing the pedometer makes you more aware to get your steps in, they want people to get 10,000 steps a day.  I would make the extra effort to get up and move.  We were also given a chart for other activity that we could count as steps.  For swimming I was able to take 120 steps for every minute of swimming.  When I would work out on the elliptical machines I was able to take 270 steps for every minute.  It really wasn't hard to get 10,000 a day.

Monday, June 10, 2013


This has been the 5th year that we have participated in the HOG Chapter's Deadwood Gambler's Run.  We have a great time on this ride.  We spent Thursday through Sunday riding in the Black Hills and then gambling at night.

The best part was that we didn't get rained on this year.  It did rain in Deadwood on Friday night but we had finished riding in the afternoon.  Hope this trend keeps up.

We stayed at First Gold again and we get a pretty good deal on rooms.  The casino gives us coupons for a free breakfast buffet every morning and this year we each got $10 promo cash on our player cards.  We were charged $311 for 3 nights stay. On Thursday evening they have a slot tournament for our group which is fun.  We didn't win this year, but there is always next year for the tournament.

Gary and I both came home with money.  I won on the promo cash we got all weekend.  Gary doesn't like playing the machines, so I get to play with his money too.  Gary came out even on playing cards.  I even tried my luck at cards, wasn't doing well on the machines on Saturday.  I won on cards.  Seems like since I won $1100 two years ago my luck has vanished.
Friday we rode to the dealerships in Sturgis and Rapid City.  In the afternoon we walked downtown Deadwood and ate lunch at the Bodega.  We get live entertainment there.  This year we went up to a different casino on the hill called The Lodge.  I got a players card there and since I had a birthday during the week, I got $5 promo money on that card which I turned into $60 on a machine. 

Saturday we rode through Needles Highway.  Our friend Marty was leading the way and he goes by GPS, swears by it.  We stopped in Hill City for a bit, then made our way.  He missed the turn off to Needles and we continued south to Custer.  He had to pull over to read the paper map that he had to find Needles.  I didn't bother to tell him that he missed the turn.  So we went up Needles from the south and made our way up.  It had been many years since I have been on Needles, but I don't remember paying a park fee to travel.  We were charged $10 and it was good for 7 days in Custer Park.  It was nice riding up the highway, very scenic.  We did stop at a pull out at the Needle's Eye.  I will be getting my photos on picasa soon.

We made our way to Keystone, found a place to park but was limited to three hours.  Parking in Keystone is at a premium.  Downtown limits you to 3 hours and so does the city parking lot. The lot at the Borglum Museum charges $5 for all day parking.  We ate lunch in Ruby's Saloon which is always good, then walked up and down the boardwalk looking in the shops.  It was a very nice day.

Made it back to our casino and rested up before the chapter get together.  This is where we get our patches for the event and also we get small prizes.  I won last year for the jacket so was not eligible this year, but if my ticket was drawn I would have given it to Gary.  We didn't win this year.  We did win small prizes, Gary got a t-shirt and I got a bandana.  I won the 60-40 raffle.  I won the 60 portion of $130 and another guy won the 40 portion of $80.  We used this money to gamble on.  I gave Gary $50 and I used $50, this way I still came home with $30.

We went back to The Lodge and I played 3 card poker.  I played $20 and walked away with $24, cashed in so that we could make it down to First Gold as they were drawing for a 65" HD 3D tv that we were all entered in.  Nobody from our group won.

We played Mississippi Stud, we both played $40.  Gary promptly lost his money, but I was winning.  I walked away with $102.  Started losing so I stopped playing, better to stop while I was ahead.  It was a fun game.  Think next year I will play cards, money goes just as fast as the machines.

We had a great time, it went by fast as it always does and we are looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Birthday Celebration

A person needs to have a 50th birthday everyday.  My day started out normal, but when I got to work the celebration began.  One of my co-workers had baked a cake for me.  It was originally supposed to be a surprise, but as I was getting water for my coffee pot, she was coming out the elevator and we met.

I have to let you know about the cake deal.  Last year for my birthday I did not get a cake at all.  I was miffed at the two people who I live with that they didn't take the time to make or get a cake.  I always make sure that Jennifer gets her ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and that Gary gets his lemon merangue pie.  The least they could do was have a chocolate cake for me.  Gary works at a store with a bakery so there really isn't an excuse.

At the courthouse we had cake in the morning, I got some cards and my friend Dulcie made me a pair of earrings that she beaded and a card.  Dulcie also made the cake.  I got a card from my boss and a card from the commissioners.  It must be a new thing with them to give employees a birthday card because Sandy (my boss) got one too.  Sandy came in and she bought a carmel pecan roll and a cinnamon roll from the bakery which we shared.

I had a HOG Officer meeting right after work, so made my way to Billings.  The guys surprised me with a cake at the meeting.  Nothing like beer and cake.  It was a nice surprise. 

When I got home from the meeting there was a cake from Gary on the table.  He didn't forget after all.  It was a chocolate cake (my favorite) and he even had it decorated.

I managed to get three cakes in all yesterday.  Yep, a person needs a 50th birthday everyday.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fun Weekend

We had fun over the weekend riding.  May was such a rainy month that the only ride we went on was our chapter's school charity ride. 

We had rain for the past 10 days that it wasn't looking good.  Saturday morning was nice and sunny, we hadn't seen the sun or blue sky for so long that we were beginning to forget what they looked like.  Saturday was a chapter ride to Belgrade to meet up with the chapter there.  The Belgrade chapter hosted a BBQ lunch for us.

We left Billings at 9:00 am, there were 11 bikes in all.  We tried to stay off the interstate as much as possible headed to Belgrade.  We would be on the interstate for a bit, then get on the frontage road, traded back and forth.  We arrived in Belgrade around 11:30.  The Belgrade chapter was excited to see us, they had the BBQ going, fixed us burgers, brats, assorted salads and brownies for dessert.  We were able to check out the dealership.

Later they escorted us to Bozeman to the nursing home for the car and bike show.  The residents were excited to see the bikes.  Not only did they have bikes and classic cars, there were vendors.  We spent time checking out all the venders.  We got tickets for prizes and apparently we didn't win, no phone calls.  One said that we had to be present to win and another said no they will call.  We are guessing that you had to be present to win.  There was really nothing I really wanted but put my two tickets in a basket for scentsy candles and a knife.

On the way home we took the interstate back.  We didn't get home until 6:30.  Had a new rider in our group and he wasn't comfortable zipping down the highway at 80 mph, he was more comfortable at 60-65 mph.  Made it a long trip to Billings.

Sunday we met up with our friends for the Helping Hand Poker Run.  This run helps families of children who have cancer.  We have been on this before but lately it was held when we were in Deadwood.  Again we took advantage of the good weather.  We ate breakfast at the Muzzleloader where the sign up was.  We bought one poker hand and Gary let me play it.

This route took us to Columbus, Absarokee, Red Lodge, Roberts, Laurel and back to Billings where we ended at Montana Chads.  With my poker hand I also got a meal catered by Fuddrucker's.  I had a good hand going for a long time.  I had a pretty good straight flush of hearts going.  My first three draws were all hearts in range of what I needed.  I had a 7, 9 & Jack.  My fourth card I drew a Q of clubs, but I had two more draws left.  With six draws one was thrown out. 

My fifth draw was  5 of hearts, there went my straight flush, but I still had a flush going, just needed one more heart at the end.  Gary was giving me a bad time about not having a heart and I needed one.  We got to Montana Chads and that was when I lost the whole thing, drew a 5 of spades.  Our friend Marty drew all my hearts on the last two stops.  It was fun and nice to know that I was in it till the end.  Usually when I do this, my cards are all over the place.  We also bought some raffle tickets, but didn't win any of those prizes either.

At each stop there were 11 raffle prizes.  They had a sign with all the numbers.  Had a good time.  We put 650 miles on the bike.  At first we weren't going to do the poker run, we needed to get some work done around the house but we were easily persuaded.

Now we are gearing up for Deadwood.  Hope the weather holds up, according to the forecast we should be ok on Thursday but there is plenty of time between now and then for the weather to change.  Today it rained a bit this afternoon and it's windy out.