Monday, December 23, 2013

Office Move

Two weeks ago I was moved from my third floor corner office to the main floor of the Courthouse.  This move was in the works for about a year, at least that was the talking stage.  About 5 months ago it was going to be a done deal.

This is a move of three offices.  The Dept. of Revenue moved up to my old office space, we moved to the old Elections space and the back of the Dept. of Revenue and Elections moved into the Dept. of Revenue space.

While all the planning went on, we looked at where things would be and mapped out where all the office furniture would be.  We were told by the commissioners to work things out, which we did( at least we thought).

Sandy and I spent a month weeding out old stuff and packing up our stuff.  Moving day arrived on Dec. 9th. 

That was a day from hell for me.  First Sandy ended up having surgery on the Friday before and she would be out of work for about 10 days.  It wasn't anything serious but it was something that she needed to have done right away.  That left me to move our office by myself.

We moved to smaller space.  Before we had two offices, a conference room and two closets (one was used for my DUI Task Force stuff).  Our conference room had about 12 book cases to put all of our stuff on.  We have moved to two offices and one closet.

The county got the road crew to move all the heavy stuff and it was organized chaos at best.  It was not easy moving all of us in an orderly fashion.  The poor elevator got more use in that one day than it has ever had.

It was a day from hell for me.  I was physically and emotionally drained by the end of the day.  I had to move all of our stuff by myself, which was in essence three offices.  Not to mention that at the last minute the powers to be changed  how the layout of our office was going to be.  I called Sandy to tell her about the change and she came in to try to stop it.  That didn't work.  The day ended with me being bullied and intimidated by the higher powers.  Sandy had to leave after being here a couple hours, she was not supposed to be here in the first place.  That left me catching the brunt of everything and I sure caught it. 

It has been two weeks and the flow of the office has changed and in my opinion not for the better.  I am stuffed away in the corner where it is hard to find me, but since I'm shared with the elections office, I'm in the middle.  The public is having a hard time finding us, but I guess that will get easier.

I have to remind myself that I have just over 21 more months.  Unless I win the lottery first.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Instructor Of The Year

We went to our Tae Kwon Do Christmas Party and Awards Banquet on the 7th.  Jennifer took the day off from McDonald's to go to the party.

Jennifer and I bought new dresses for the occasion.  This is the one time of the year where we get to dress up.  I enjoy this party but Gary hates wearing his suit since he retired 13 years ago.  I keep telling him that one night won't kill him.

It never fails, that when Grand Master Park schedules this party in a year advance we always have bad weather.  This year the storm came earlier in the week, but is was bitter cold on Saturday and the roads were very icy once we hit Arrow Creek and into Billings.

Despite the weather there was quite a few people at the party.  Most were Billings people but us out of towners showed up too.  At our table we sat with Gary & Annette Hart.  Gary's mother is our neighbor and Annette was a couple years ahead of me in school.  Annette is the superintendent in Judith Gap and they are hosting two foreign exchange students.  Both are boys and were from Taiwan and Thailand.  Those boys were having a hard time adjusting to the cold.  They come from huge cities and I bet they had a huge culture shock when they went to Judith Gap.  It was fun watching them interact and participate in the dancing.

This year I received my 4th degree black belt certificate and a surprise Gary received Instructor of the Year. 

Our dinner was delicious, we had assorted salads, mashed potatoes and gravy, roast beef, turkey with stuffing, sea food alfredo and assorted desserts.  It was announced to the children that they only get one dessert.

We didn't win any prizes this year.  Guess I used up my chances for a while since I won the tv last year.  I was close to winning again this year.  The winning ticket number was 501 and my tickets started at 504-509. 

We had a good time.  I have a photo of me and Jennifer dressed up at the house.  Gary wouldn't get in the photo.  I put it on facebook and got quite a lot of nice compliments on it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Storm

Mother Nature is striking us with a vengeance.  I like her hot flashes better than her cold freezes.  We are not going to warm up until next week some time.

It had been a long time since we have had a storm this early in the winter season, usually our big snow will arrive in January and stay until February.  This year we have had a couple small storms where the snow only stayed a day or two, this one is going to last quite a while.

It rained all morning and afternoon on Monday, which turned to snow that night.  The temperatures dropped quick which made for icy roads with all the rain.  The wind came and caused blowing and drifted snow on Monday night.

Yesterday it snowed all day and windy, our temperatures were in the low teens and fell to single digits above zero during the night. I was supposed to go to Billings for our HOG Officer meeting last night, but stayed home.  Was not going to drive on the icy roads with poor visibility due to blowing snow.   We got a good two feet of snow since Monday night.  We got home from work yesterday and Gary got our snow blower out to clear the driveway and sidewalks.  Jennifer and I went to class to teach, I didn't think I would get many kids as most schools in the county except Hardin were closed.  I ended up with a full house.

As I was getting ready to go, I got stuck in the alleyway to get onto the street.  It doesn't help that the snow plows come along during the day and plow the snow into huge heaps.  I would have been fine if I didn't have to stop, but a car was coming.  As soon as I stopped, the car slid into the deep snow and I was stuck, couldn't get out.  Gary and to come and shovel a bit then managed to push me out.  He got me onto the main street, but had to wait for some traffic.  I was late getting to class.  I was glad to see that the landlord has hired someone to clear the snow at my school.  I had to get out my rock salt for the sidewalk in front of the door with some ice.

I got home ok, Gary had blown the snow away from the entrance to the driveway.  I sure do miss my Subaru with all wheel drive during this kind of weather.  My new car just doesn't do well in this deep snow.  I have been driving our pickup, at least I can get around.  The side streets are horrible and main streets are too keen either.  Doesn't help that people will shovel or blow their snow back into the streets.  I really hate winter.

Today still snowing but it is very light.  I have been driving the pickup today, at least I can get around but we have more snow to get rid of on our sidewalk tonight.  The plows came through and plowed that snow right back.  We can never win.

It is not going to get better soon, the temperature is going to drop, it is 2 above today and we are to get down to -12, tomorrow our high is going to be -2 with a low of -20.  We won't see warm temperatures until next week.  Good thing both our vehicles have head bolt heaters, at least one will run.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a nice and quiet Thanksgiving.  It was only the three of us at home, Jason and his bunch went out for dinner in Billings.  I was worried on how I was going to get everyone in my little house,  there would have been 8 of us.

Jeni & Susan would have had to make some extra dishes, I really wasn't expecting them to be here this soon.  The last time I had talked to Jeni, she said that it would probably be after the holidays before their move, but things moved fast.

They aren't settled in their new home yet, still sorting out boxes and trying to figure out where to put things.  They bought a new stove, said the old one was just horrible, and it hadn't arrived as of yet.  We will try to all get together for Christmas dinner and they want to host it.  Not sure I will be able to handle that with my allergies, they have 5 cats and 5 dogs.

We just stayed home, I fixed a small dinner with all our favorite dishes and then we watched football all day.

I took Friday off from work, the courthouse is usually so boring on Friday and my office is not busy with schools out for the holiday.  I don't do the Black Friday shopping, no way am I going to get involved in all that chaos.   Gary and I did go to Billings later Friday afternoon and it was still crazy.  The traffic was horrible and people needed to be patient.  We witnessed a near accident right in front of us by the mall.  I was in the right hand lane, a lady in the left wanted to get over she had her blinkers on.  I gave her some room after all she was driving a Dodge Dart.  Once I made that gap, an older lady who was trying to turn onto 27th  decided to turn and she didn't see the dodge getting into the lane.  The older lady ended up on the sidewalk.  Fortunate that there weren't any pedestrians on that corner.

We met our friends the Breckenridge's and Davis's to make plans for our summer motorcycle trip to Newport Oregon.  The guys want to go deep sea fishing, while us ladies will have a leisure morning drinking mimosa's.  We haven't figured out anything beyond the mimosa's.  Pat Breckenridge is our map guru and he planned out a perfect route.  Gary's job is to call the fishing excursion places and get prices and all the information needed for them to fish.  Vickie Davis will be gathering information on the motels/hotels and she will make all the reservations.

There is another couple that wants to go.  We are going to give the information out to our other friends and if they want to tag along that is fine but they will have to make their own reservations.  We will all be getting together in January to finalize the trip.  We will be going at the end of August just before Labor Day.  It will be fun.

After all the planning, we all ate dinner at the Rib & Chop House.  On Black Friday they had a special on gift cards.  If you bought a gift card for the Rib & Chop you got another gift card for Rio Sabinas for the same amount.  Basically you are getting a free meal out of the deal.  The same people who own Rib & Chop own Rio Sabinas.  I got $100 worth of gift cards for $50.

While we were eating dinner Pat & Sandi told us that they are leaving on their annual winter vacation and will be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary on Dec. 28.  We got to talking and we are going out to dinner at Rio Sabinas on Dec. 14 to celebrate their anniversary.  It is my job to make the reservations for this.  We are all going to use our gift cards.

The rest of the weekend was spent just relaxing.  Having a 4 day weekend was nice and I wish all my weekends were 4 days.