Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tristan Football

This year our grandson Tristan played 7th grade football.  We went to all but 2 of his games.  Tristan and his sister Alyse belong to Donnie and they go to school at Huntley Project.  This is Tristan's first year playing football for school.  At Huntley Project it is a combined 7th & 8th grade team, not enough kids to field a team for each grade.  Tristan wore #50, which was the same number as Donnie when he played.

Their mother works in the Courthouse so she keeps me posted on their activities.

It was fun, but very busy.  Looks like we are going to be very busy with the grandkid's activities.  We have 3 in Hardin and then the 2 in Huntley.

I took a ton of photos of his games and copied them onto USB drives, one for Donnie and one for Sasha (mother).  I took over 900 for the season.  Love digital.  I also got to play with my new zoom lens that I bought in August.  I bought a lens that is 18mm-200mm, just wish it was a bit bigger. Glad that I was able to crop the images on my camera to bring them in closer.  Might be my next purchase for all the activities we will be going on.

I only posted some of the photos on picasa.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family Visit

Got some extra family visiting in Meeteetse over the weekend.  It was nice that Mary, Ed and the girls were able to make the trip to Wyoming.

I at least get to visit with my siblings once a year.  I got to visit Mary and Ed in April and Bonnie in August, this time I got an extra visit with Mary and Ed.  One of these times they will actually make it to my house in Hardin, but I have fun traveling to where they are.

Had a great time, climbed the hill with Gracie and Libby.  The girls made petroglyphs on the side of the road up the hill.  Gracie remembered what Aunt Bonnie told her on how the Indians in the old days made paint.  That was fun.

Ed set up his slack line in the yard and we all had fun playing with that.  No one was brave enough to balance on the thing, just Libby and only if I held her.

We went through the museum and had our pictures taken with our ancestors.  The girls were excited to see pictures of their Great Grandma in the museum.  They also were able to grind coffee beans, which we took home and brewed for morning coffee.  It was real good.  The girls decided that it is way easier to just buy the coffee already ground up, too much work to grind them yourself.

It was a nice and relaxing weekend just visiting.  Sure glad that the weather cooperated and we could get out and do stuff.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Yellowstone Ride

Went on the HOG Chapter's Annual Yellowstone Ride.  This is our 4th year participating and we enjoy it.  We spend the night in Chico and enjoy the hot pools.

For some reason, Gary and I are the experts on Cody.  They asked us where the best place to eat was. We mention Granny's because it's large enough for us, or there is the Irma or Sunset House.  It was decided we go to Granny's.

We had to be at the dealership before 9:00 am as the ride left promptly at 9:00.  We made our way to Cody for breakfast.  We ate at Granny's, they are very good at getting our large group inside and served.  We were smart this time getting gas.  The group always stops at the gas station at the top of the hill as you get into town, we gassed up at the station right next to the restaurant.  We also got a good parking space.

We made good time getting into the park.  Right at the entrance there was a moose down the hill but we couldn't see him very well and nobody really stops so that I could get some photos.

With all the road construction in the park, we rode to Canyon Village.  We made a stop at Artist Point for a break and photo ops.  We got a group photo but not on my camera.  One lady was kind enough to take the photo, then she asked if she could get in our group photo and send to her family.  It was fun.

We made it to Chico and got checked in around 6:00pm.  We had wonderful weather, nice for a September day.  The water in the pools wasn't as warm as it usually is.  One of the guys talked to worker and they think that the earthquake the park got last week some how messed up the water temperature.  The water was warm just not as warm as usual.

We didn't ride back with the group on Sunday morning.  They always ride back into the park and take the Northeast entrance and down the mountain into Red Lodge.  We had things to do at home.

We had a nice ride home, left Chico pretty early around 7:00 am, had breakfast in Big Timber.  We were home by 11:00 am.

Had a great time and look forward to next year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Homeward Bound

Time to head home and we have some long days ahead of us.

We left Newport on Friday and it was sunny, on this day we are making our way to Kennewick WA.  It was on this day that we had a disaster with GPS.  Our friend Marty will follow a GPS to the letter instead of using it as a tool.  He will not read road signs, which I did so I knew where we were going.  Some how his GPS was all screwy, so he would get on the CB and ask Ron (who had his) which way to go.  It got very tiring.

I should go back here.  Our friends Pat & Sandy Breckenridge were going to go on this trip with us but due to Pat having to have shoulder surgery that was no way he could go.  He is our mapping guru.  He spent alot of time mapping out the route and making sure we would see some sites.  Marty felt that it was important that we follow this route to the letter.

Listening for 2 hours if Marty was headed in the right direction and driving though heavy city traffic near Portland we had about enough of GPS.  It was near Estacada that we all got separated.  At a traffic light we and Marty made it through but Ron got stopped, we pulled over to wait for Ron but he had pulled over further back.  We decided to turn around to find Ron.  This is where we got separated from Marty due to heave holiday traffic.

We didn't see them, so rode up the road about 5 miles before we could pull off in a safe manner.  This was a small two lane road with alot of traffic.  We pulled off into a gas station.  While we were filling up with gas, Gary was asking the attendant how do we get to Hood River as that was our next stop.  He gave us directions.

We all got back together and I told Marty how we are to get to Hood River.  He said that the GPS says we are to go up the road a ways.  I pointed out to the sign that said Hood River.  He reluctantly took it but was determined that we were wrong.  Turned out that the road the GPS wanted us to take took us to the same intersection in this little town.  The route that we took was about 10 miles shorter.  Marty so wanted to follow Pat's route, but I don't think 10 miles is going to hurt Pat's feelings.

Saturday we made our way to Missoula, again listening on which way to turn with the GPS.  Told Gary to just be quiet about it.  We managed to find our way to Missoula.  We had pulled over just before hitting Lolo Pass, when Ron said he wanted to lead.  I had overheard him tell his wife that it was getting monotonous listening to Marty ask which way to turn.  We managed to find our motel without any problems.

Sunday we made our way home.  Gary had told the others that we were going to head down on the interstate as we had 400 miles to go.  They agreed as they wanted to get home too.  Gary was even told to lead the way.  I was surprised because we didn't have a GPS to lead us home.

We do have a GPS unit and we even brought it on the trip but didn't use it.  We don't have the right mount for it on the bike.  Gary has a hard time seeing the screen and he couldn't hear it talk on the bike.  It works ok in the truck because he can hear it.

We had a good time despite GPS.  Our last bike vacation with GPS was 3 years ago and it might be another 3 years before we take another group bike vacation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Newport Oregon

We spent 4 days in Newport.  The main goal was for the guys to go deep sea fishing.  They left bright and early on Tuesday morning, had to at the docks by 6:00 am.  The wives were able to sleep in and have a leisure breakfast.

In Newport we stayed at the Best Western which is right on Agate Beach, we all got water view rooms with small balconies.  No air conditioners in the room, so we just opened the sliding door and let the cool ocean breeze cool the room.  It was very relaxing and we slept very well.

While the guys were fishing, we took a taxi down to the Bayfront to meet them later on, we did some shopping.  They were done fishing at 12:00pm and all three said never again.  They all caught fish.  They caught 11 fish, 2 crabs and 3 sick men.  The water was so rough that they all got seasick.  Of all the fish they caught they only kept four fillets for all of us to eat.  Marty caught the first, Gary caught the biggest and Ron caught the most.  Ron also rented a couple of crab traps but he was only allowed to keep 2, had to throw all the females back.  The guys donated the rest of the fish to the crew on the boat.  No way we could get that home and shipping would have cost a fortune.

We found the restaurant that would cook the fish for us.  The rest of Tuesday was spent at the motel, all the guys took naps and we just relaxed which was nice.

On Wednesday we rode north and made our way to Tillamook.  Toured the cheese factory, ate some ice cream and bought some cheese for snacks in our rooms.  We ate a late lunch in Lincoln City at Mo's.  Their claim to fame is the best clam chowder, but I actually liked the chowder at the restaurant in our motel.

Since our lunch was so late, we didn't eat supper just snacked on cheese and crackers in the room with cocktails.  It was very good.

Thursday we rode south to Coos Bay to stop at the Harley Dealership.  We made several stops to enjoy the scenery and photo ops.  We had to get back to Newport before the fishing place closed to pick up the fish the guys caught.  It was on this morning that the fog was thick, we couldn't see the beach from the motel.

We took a taxi down to the Bayfront, got the fish took to the restaurant.  They cooked the fish 4 different ways, battered, blackened, baked and deep fried.  We were charged $10 per plate, we got a salad, the fish with fries.  It was all we could do to eat.  I liked the fish equally but my favorite was the blackened and baked.  The fish that we kept was ling cod and it was very tasty, not fishy at all.  Didn't stay out too late on Thursday, had to repack everything and start making our way home.

Agate Beach view from our room


Fishing rules

Our fish dinner

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oregon Trip

Just got home from a 10 day motorcycle trip to Newport Oregon.  We went with our friends Marty & Vickie Davis and Ron & Patty Steigerwald.  Had a fun time but as usual glad to be home.  Trials and tribulation with GPS that Gary will never ever take a trip with one.

Our worst weather was in Montana when we had rain.  It was bad when we left on the 22nd and made our way to Butte.  Got caught in a downpour 20 miles east of Livingston.  We wanted to make it to Butte before the bad stuff came.

On this trip we stayed in Best Western motels, you know what you are going to get and they are always nice.  We have stayed at the Butte one before.  We were going to walk across the street to eat at the Mexican restaurant but it was raining so bad that we ate in Perkins inside the motel.  Since we were guests we got a discount.

Saturday morning was nothing but rain for 400 miles.  It was just socked in at Butte.  From Butte we rode through the Wise River Valley and then made our way south through Salmon Idaho.  It was a long day over 400 miles to our next stop in Ontario Oregon.  We were glad to reach Ontario, finally got out of rain.

Sunday we made our way to Redmond Oregon.  Our friend Marty lead the whole way on the trip.  He just got a new bike and it came with GPS already on it.  Needless to say we had an interesting trip following the GPS instead of the road signs.  We found where the onion fields are in Oregon.

Driving in Oregon is slow, 55 on the two lane and you are not allowed to pump your own gas.  The attendant's wouldn't let you swipe your own card.  Some didn't care.  The attendant would hand the guys the pump and then they could pump.  Gas was expensive in Oregon, so you paid for it.

We made it to Newport on Monday, found where the guys fishing charter was located, got all the information that they needed for Tuesday morning.

Saw some beautiful sights to Newport.  No photos the first two days, just too rainy to get the camera out.  We saw the Painted Hills, a covered bridge and a ton of trees.

The group photo was taken at Mount Washington in the Deschutes National Forest just out of Sisters Oregon.
Marty & Vickie Davis; Patty & Ron Steigerwald; and us.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meeteetse Weekend

Went to Meeteetse to visit with the Bley Family and of course the Grandma's.  Jennifer went with us as she wanted a few days off from her work to get out of town for a while.  She has been very busy at McDonald's.

We arrived in Meeteetse on Friday, took our time no rush.  We stopped in Eidleweiss for a drink.  The bartender was funny, asked for Jennifer's ID then he apologized about it.  Said that with all the law enforcement around due to the Hell's Angels being in Cody he needed to be on the up and up.  He then warned us to be careful and drive the speed limit.  Said us Montanan's like to speed in Wyoming.  He's right we do.  The speed limit in Montana on two lanes is 70 while the limit in Wyoming is 65.

We visited with the Grandma's for a bit, Gary read the paper and found out that Cody was going to have an Iron Horse Rodeo Saturday afternoon.  We were thinking of what to do on Saturday.  The Bley's wouldn't arrive until Saturday afternoon.

We went to the Cowboy for supper, shared a large pizza and it was huge.  Mom came later and ate a couple pieces and we still took some home.  Nice that Mom has her house, plenty of room to take home left overs.  We had some drinks and listened to the band that was playing.  We didn't stay long.  Jennifer ordered a Smirnoff Ice, what she got was a shot of Smirnoff on ice.  Hawk said that they didn't have that, but the other bartender said they did.  Jennifer surprised the guys in the bar by drinking shots.  We are not straight vodka fans, so her second drink was a shot of Jack Daniels.

Gary and I met quite a few veteran friends of Hawk's, and of course they all know Mom and Grandma.  Gary put some money in the bowl towards their t-shirt fund.

The same weekend there was a Warrior's Gathering.  When we delivered my old furniture in June, the bartender Hawk told Gary about this.  Perfect we planned on coming down anyway.  The gathering was basically Hawk's unit getting together.

Saturday we went to Cody to watch the Iron Horse Rodeo.  Red Lodge has one every year which we are going to see one of these days.  This was the first in Cody and they hope to make this an annual event.  They want to get the riders heading to Sturgis.  It was advertised as a pre-Sturgis bash.

It was supposed to start at 12:00 but didn't get moving until 1:00.  We watched some events and left after the break.  Jennifer was bored anyway.  We did see quite a few Hell's Angels walking around Cody.  We stopped in a little ice cream shop downtown for some ice cream before heading back to Meeteetse.

The Bleys had arrived by this time, so got visiting in at Grandma's.  We got the sleeping arrangements make, Bleys had the rooms in the basement, we took the upstairs.  Jennifer slept on the couch.

Big Jim is in a nursing home in Sheridan and it sounds like he will be there for a while.  We were going to eat ribs for dinner, but the only kind you can get are the regular BBQ, we can't get the Morgan or Jack ribs anymore.  Ken asked the waiter and we were told that the guy who makes the sauces isn't here anymore.  Bummer. We didn't get our rib dinners.

Bonnie and I have a winter project, we are going to try to replicate the sauces.

Spent more time in the Cowboy, on Saturday they were having karaoke.  It was fun watching the people sing and as the night went on the singing got worse.  Gary and I both got Warrior Gathering t-shirts and we were invited to next year.  They want to have this on the first weekend in August every year.

Had a great time.  The weekend went fast and the visit with the Bley's was too short.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bulldog Bingo Ride

Saturday we rode on the Bulldog Bingo Ride, all proceeds went to Montana Special Olympics.  This is the ride that the Undersheriff of Big Horn County worked hard on and put together.  He worked with our friend Colette Haun, who is the Marketing Director at Beartooth Harley.

The Undersheriff came up to my office several times for me to get the word out to our HOG Chapter way back in May.  We checked our calendar and we had nothing planned that day, so we said we would ride in it.

The Undersheriff told me that he has a bunch of prizes and not just t-shirts.  Two of the big prizes that was up for a raffle were a pistol and a rifle.  He had a bunch of other prizes too. 

Registration was at the Harley shop from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  There was going to be breakfast served, but we were on our own for meals. 

We left Hardin a bit early just before 8 and got to the Harley shop in plenty of time.  The group serving breakfast made their version of the McMuffin, ok it was really a mcmuffin and they are delicious.  The group doesn't charge for it, but takes donations.  They have served their breakfast for us on other rides as well.  They belong to our Chapter.  It was good.

I got us signed up, I was confused about the poster, it didn't really specify how the bingo was going to be run.  The poster said the blackout was $15, but you could play regular bingo for $5.  I was under the impression that on the regular bingo you would get one number at each stop.  Nope, a game of regular bingo was played at each stop for $5 each.  There were 5 stops in all.  I just played the blackout, as that was all the money that I brought.  Not too many rules but the main was that we had to be at the 4th stop in Billings before 4:00 pm.  The Undersheriff had arranged an escort from the 4th stop (which was in Billings Heights) to our final stop (Hudson's which was on Grand).

The raffle items were on display at the dealership, this was a raffle that you bought your tickets and put them in a basket for the item you wanted.  The one item that Gary really wanted was an autographed football by Kroy Biermann.  He plays for the Atlanta Falcons and he is a Hardin boy who Gary coached in high school.  He is Hardin's pride and joy.

We have never played bingo on a run before and didn't know what to expect, but it was a lot of fun.  With poker hands you know after the 3rd stop how well you are doing or not doing.  With bingo you can win at the very end.

The route was a simple one, just 75 miles.  We went from Billings to Hardin to Custer to Huntley then the last two stops were in Billings. Yep, we rode Billings to Hardin and back twice.

There were about 30 riders in all, we didn't ride the with main pack we were ahead of them.  Our friend Ron rode with us.  We took our leisure time getting from stop to stop.  At the stop in Custer the bar had a lunch special for the ride and he makes outstanding chili.  Our friend wanted to eat, so Gary had a bowl of chili and I took a couple bites.  I was still full from our breakfast at the dealership.

At the stop in Huntley we had to wait for the bingo numbers to arrive, so just had a drink then we made our way to the 4th stop in Billings.  Got our numbers and I was in trouble.  At each stop we got 10 numbers in all, 2 for each letter. I needed 11 numbers at the last two stops.  If no one got a blackout on the ride, then numbers would be drawn at the last stop until someone did.  By the time I got to the last stop, I only needed 5 numbers.  Our friend Ron went home after the 4th stop (he lives in the Heights) so he gave us his card to finish out. 

We rode to the last stop with the group, Gary doesn't like riding in parades and we weren't really comfortable riding with this group.  They are seasoned riders but they don't ride a lot in groups and it showed.  No clear rules on what to do at traffic lights and the law enforcement escorting us didn't stop traffic.  Needless to say we got separated into three groups by the lights.  Oh well.

I bought our raffle tickets we bought $10 worth and we put of the tickets for the autographed football.  Guess what we won, yep the football.  Not only did we get the football, we also got a Law Enforcement Torch Run t-shirt, a sheriff coffee mug and a Big Horn County Sheriff's patch all autographed by Kroy.  Kroy's wife Kim Zolciak also autographed the t-shirt and coffee mug.  She is a tv personality on some reality shows.  In fact the Hardin group did very well with raffle items.  Two Hardin guys won the guns and a bunch of other stuff.

We had a good time and would do this ride again next year.  The Undersheriff is already making plans but he is getting help this time by the Undersheriff from Yellowstone County. 

We ended up spending the night in Billings, our friend Colette and her husband had us stay with them.  Colette said it was ridiculous to ride back to Hardin again after the day.  They fed us supper and we had a good time visiting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Iron Horse Rally

Sunday Gary and I went to Red Lodge to check out the activities of the Iron Horse Rally.  We met our friends Marty & Vickie at their house at 8:00 am then rode to Rockvale for breakfast.  We had to leave our house at 7:00 and it was nice and cool in the morning.  The temperatures forecast were high 90's and into the 100's.

We got into Red Lodge around 10:00 am.  Red Lodge was pretty busy and there is road construction just as you get into town.  The state is building a round about at the intersection of the highway where you turn to go to Absarokee.  Fortunately no work was being done on Sunday.  We found a parking spot just off of Main Street.  No sense trying to find one on Main Street, nothing but bikes.

We walked up and down the street, checked out some vendor tents and looked at some pretty neat bikes.  Gary and I even saw an old co-worker of ours from the Sheriff's Office, David Stirling.  Saw some of our HOG friends so got some visiting in.

It was starting to get warm as we made our way up Bear Tooth Pass, once we passed Vista Point and made our way to the top it was very cool and windy.  Didn't see any wild animals on this trip, but did see some kids snowboarding on the snow.

We stopped at our usual places-Vista Point, Top of the World store and The Gorge.  Once we got to the store then it got warmer as we made our way down.  By the time we hit Dead Indian it was hot.  It's always hot on that side of the mountain.

Marty & Vickie bought a new bike and this one has a digital thermometer it read 104 degrees when we turned towards Belfry. 

I told Gary that he needs to have the air conditioning on the bike looked at, first it was cold then it was hot.  Doesn't work well at all.

We got home around 4:00 and had a good time.  We stopped in Billings and had lunch with our friends at the Montana Brew Pub downtown.  We are going to have to spend some time downtown, have eating places that we need to explore.

Ski Bench

Ski Chair

Mountain and Meadow

Still snow on top

Pretty lake on Chief Joseph

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

State HOG Rally

We participated in the State HOG Rally over the 4th weekend.  The rally was held in Billings July 3-5, our chapter was the host.  We were not part of the planning committee but we did volunteer to help out.

When we registered we also made our hotel reservations for the whole weekend.  We debated back and forth about staying in Billings, but it would have been late.  We knew we would be drinking anyway so just stayed.

Registration was $55 per person and with that you got a rally t-shirt, rally pin and entrance into the banquet.  The host hotel made a deal on rooms and it was just under $100 per night with tax.  Not bad.  We had to buy breakfast as this hotel doesn't have complimentary breakfasts.

Gary and I volunteered to be dealers on the two poker runs.  As it turned out we only had to deal on one run.  It was a full scheduled for the days.  Thursday was registration all day long and there were bike games at the dealership from 4:00-6:00 pm.  On Thursday and Friday night were mixers with live music.  There was a poker run on both Friday and Saturday along with two observations runs.  One went over the Beartooths and the other was to McLeod to the Natural Bridge site.  Saturday was the banquet.

We played the games, there was only two.  The first was the balloon toss, I had to toss a water balloon over a bar and catch it.  I missed the balloon but Gary didn't get wet.  The other game was the buffalo shoot.  You shoot a buffalo with paint balls.  Let's just say that buffalo are safe with me shooting a paint gun.  It was all in fun.  Thursday's night mixer we had a BBQ of burgers and brats that the hotel cooked for us.  It was $5 per person our chapter paid the other half, the live music was a band called 7th Avenue.  They played rock and roll music.  Had a good time.

We were dealers on Friday and our stop was at Fat Fender Freddies in Laurel.  This bar is located just out of town on the way to Rockvale along the river.  We had to be there from 12:00-2:00.  We ended up staying to 3:00.  We were nice and cool inside the bar, many of the participants were coming in fanning themselves so we figured it was pretty warm.  Not used that the heat, as June was rainy and cold.

Friday's poker run started from the dealership, made it's way to Ballentine then into Billings with a stop at the museum by the airport, then down to Laurel and back to the dealership.  Had to be back at the dealership by 4:00 so that everyone who wanted could participate in the parade.  We just had time to get to the hotel to drop off some of our stuff then make it to the Metra by 4:30.

Had a nice turn out for the parade, Billings police dept stopped traffic at intersections for us and it was fun running red lights.  The route took us downtown Billings, up 27th St towards the airport, across the rims and back to the Metra.  As we were making our way back to the hotel for the mixer we got caught in a short rain storm.  We weren't wearing our helmets and that rain sure hurt.  We were only in it for a couple minutes but enough to get us wet.

I forgot what the band's name was for the mixer but they were more of a blue grass type of band, not bad just not our kind of music.  The hotel cooked a BBQ for us again, same as Thursday only we had to pay full price of $10.  Had a good time visiting with people.  It was all fun.

Saturday we rode on the poker run.  This one took us from the dealership to Columbus, over to Red Lodge, then across Bear Creek and back to Billings.  If you wanted you could pick up an extra card in Cody but had to be back in Billings by 4:00.

I had a good hand going, a straight until I drew my 3rd card.  That blew that out of the water.  We led a couple people on this ride.  Instead of heading straight to Columbus we took them on a scenic route.  We left the dealership, then took river road to Laurel and then Joliet, took the cut across into Columbus.

For lunch we ate at Bear Creek at the little cafe called Hungry Bear.  Their claim to fame is their world famous banana cream pie.  Gary and I shared a cheeseburger then we each had a piece of banana cream pie.  It was good but not what I would consider world famous.

We got back to Billings pretty early.  My hand was screwed up big time.  My first two draws were a 6 and 7.  Then I drew a 2 and my 4th was a 3.  By the time I made it to the dealership for my last card I was on a role for low hand until I drew a queen.  I can't even lose to win.

It was pretty hot out in the high 90's.  We went back to the hotel and got into the pool to cool down.  Our friends had to run some errands in Billings but would meet us at the banquet.

Doors for the banquet opened at 6:30 and would start at 7:00.  We went down to the bar at 6 for a drink and visited with people.  Found a table to sit at.  For the meal we were served prime rib and chicken with a salad and vegetable and dessert.  Food was good.  Awards were handed out for the oldest rider, the youngest rider.  Who rode the oldest bike and who traveled the farthest.  Poker hand winners were handed out and also for the games.

The biggest surprise was a group from Korea had popped in, they were invited to stay and eat.  They were staying the night at the hotel and was told about our rally going on.  That was nice.  HOG is worldwide.

There was a sad moment at the rally when a participant was hit by a car in Billings on Thursday.  It was the biker's fault for not yielding to traffic.  He tried to make a left hand turn across two lanes of traffic.  Didn't see the car in the far lane.  He is going to be ok, he had to have surgery to remove his spleen.  He is from Canada so they are going to be in a  huge shock when they get the bill and get first hand experience about the American medical system.  Not sure how that would work for them.

After the banquet we went back to the bar for more drinks.  Really enjoyed ourselves.  A group from Red Deer Canada sat with us and they were funny.  We laughed alot.  We have been invited to visit them in Red Deer.  I can see a road trip in our future.

All in all we had a good time and it was a fast weekend.  Glad the weather cooperated and we are finally getting summer.  Looking forward to our next get away in August when we visit the Bley's in Meeteetse.

Here are some photos of our weekend.  The rest are on picasa.
Our poker dealing spot

1930 Harley owner rode in parade

Saturday night mixer

Poker stop in Bear Creek

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Closing Our School-Temporary

We have to close down our Tae Kwon Do School at the end of July.  We have been in our current location for 4 years and the owner has sold the building.  The new owners do not wish to extend our lease as they are going to open a deli.  I did track the new owner down and talked to him.  I was hoping that we could have a few months reprieve but that is not the case.  He told me that as soon as the sale is final he will be in there getting it set up for a deli.

We are in the process of looking for a new location, but so far that is proving to be difficult.  It is hard to find a building that is big enough to hold the school, but also affordable.  Most of the buildings around are for sale and not really interested in leasing.  Also the rent that they want is too expensive for us.  I did call up one place and owner is only interested in giving me a month to month lease.  Told me that if someone came and wanted the place for what it was designed for I would be out.  I am looking for a long term lease.

July is our last month in operation.  We do have a color belt promotion test and have students testing, I won't be charging monthly dues for July as I don't have to pay rent.  I told the kids that I will work with them on a private lesson basis if they want to continue.  We have two students who are able to test for their first black belts next spring.

I had the sad duty of informing our students and telling Grand Master Park.  That was hard, but Grand Master Park did say that our students can train in Billings.  I was bummed at first, but have accepted our fate.  We worked hard on our little school and put in a lot of time and energy which I have enjoyed tremendously.  We have been teaching in Hardin for 18 years (hard to believe). 

We figured it out and we have moved 5 times in that time span.  I was told in May that the building was for sale by the current owner.  He offered it to us first but at this point in our lives we don't want to buy.  We would have years ago, but then we didn't have the money.  I didn't think the building would sale so fast but it did.

The new owners are the family that bought Dollies about a year ago.  They also bought the empty lot in between.

As the saying goes, "All Good Things Must Come To An End".  Another chapter in our lives has closed (on hiatus) and a new chapter will open.

Monday, June 9, 2014


This is our annual trip to Deadwood with the HOG Chapter.  This is our 6th year going.  After working the primary election and putting in very long hours I was ready for a vacation.  I like going to Deadwood because I get to celebrate my birthday.  What a fun way to celebrate.  Next year we will be traveling on my birthday.

We left Thursday morning and met friends at McDonald's.  This is the only ride where we don't have to ride 50 miles just to start.  The weather was nice, we had sun.  Our friend Marty called us when his group left Billings.  There was only another couple with Marty.

We had coffee and a nice visit with two other couples who met at McDonald's, then we waited on the overpass for the other two.  Made our way to Sheridan for a gas stop before traveling to Spotted Horse.

We ate lunch in Gillette, then it was decided to just get to Deadwood.  The original route was to go to Newcastle then take the scenic route into Deadwood.  The guys just wanted to get to Deadwood.  It was 1:00 when we left Gillette, then the 2nd group started showing up.  The guys figured that it would have been 5:00 before we got to Deadwood.  We just took the interstate the rest of the way.

Arrived in Deadwood around 4:00, got checked in and settled.  We then signed up for the slot tournament that the First Gold Casino puts on for us.  Thursday was the only nice day we had for the whole weekend.

The rest of the weekend was very rainy, so not a lot of riding.  We did our usual route of going to Sturgis then to Rapid City.  It was raining so just went back.  Saturday it was just cloudy and cool, we rode through Vanocker Canyon then into Rapid.  We stopped in Sturgis and went through the Indian dealership, then on our way back we stopped again in Sturgis and had a bite to eat at a new restaurant called Easy Rider.  Very good food, decided to go back there next year.

On Saturday, the chapter gets together for a bit, everyone gets a prize and then they raffle off for the big stuff.  A leather coat and the 50/50 raffle.  In fact the raffle is usually 60/40 (one wins 60 another wins 40).  Gary and I didn't win at all this year.  I won the leather coat two years ago and last year I won the 60 pot. 

I should clarify, you don't actually win a leather coat, just $200 towards a purchase of the coat.  It is still advertised at winning a leather coat.  I managed to get two cloth coats out of my deal as I refused to pay for something that I "won".  Since I won, I am not eligible to win again.  That's fine.

It was so cold and weather crappy that our get together was no enjoyable (at least for us it wasn't).  This year we weren't so lucky.  Won just enough money to keep playing but not a lot.  I guess I did win because I bought lunches with my winnings.  I still came home with some money, just not at much as I started out with.

Seems to me that the machines in Deadwood are tight, very stingy.  We did play 3 card poker and won a few hands, but then the dealers just took the rest of our money.

On the way home Sunday it was pouring down rain.  I really thought about calling in sick for Monday and staying another day in Deadwood, but I had to run the office because the elections administrator had federal court on Monday.  We rode in rain for 200 miles, didn't get out of it until Sheridan.

We did stop in Gillette for gas, then went to the McDonald's for something warm to drink and dry out our stuff.  We were using the hand dryers to dry out our gloves and neck warmers.  We were cold to our bones.  After eating lunch in Sheridan, the sun was out and it felt very good, finally got to warm up.

We had a good time despite the weather, as the saying goes "A bad day of biking it better than a good day at work".  Looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Back Splash Project

The Memorial Day weekend was a very busy one for us.  It started on Friday night.  Work is getting pretty stressful with me working both schools and elections.  I am running the primary election this year due to the husband of the election administrator running for sheriff.  It really isn't a problem as far as the state is concerned but there is a small faction already complaining about it.  So to prevent any sort of question on the election, I am handling most of the duties.

We met our friends the Butterfields in Hardin for dinner and drinks at the 4 Aces.  Kitty's sister was in town so that they could pay their respects to their parents buried here.  We met them at 6:00 and we didn't leave until 1:30 am.  Had a great time, alot of laughs and just a great time.

Saturday morning we decorated the graves in Hardin, then went to Billings to run errands and pick up our bike that was in the shop.  The Sunday before while we were going to the meeting, the speedometer, tach and radio quite working.  It was recommended that we don't ride, so got it in for repair.  Wanted to get the problem take care of before the ride to Deadwood in a week.  Bike is fixed and running well, now just have to reprogram everything.  Saturday evening we went to Lodge Grass to decorate the graves up there.

Sunday, I put up the back splash in my kitchen.  It took me most of the afternoon to get it done.  I am by no means the perfect installer but it turned out pretty good.  I have a blister on my finger from cutting the tiles with the tin snips.  Don't look too closely in the corners, you will see my mistakes.  The hardest part was cutting out the spaces for the outlets and light switch.  While I was working in the kitchen, Gary cleaned out the porch.  Now all that is left is to paint.  Have to find the right color now.  I picked out two samples, but now those colors are not exciting me.

Monday morning I cleaned the tae kwon do school.  It took me several hours but I cleaned everything.  My business neighbor has moved out, so I was stopped by someone who would be interested in renting the other side, then the landlord came over with an insurance adjuster to check out the roof damage from the hail storm.  He is wanting to sell the building and is willing to sell it to me.  Told him that I would have to talk about it with Gary.  By the way we are not interesting in buying the building.  While I was cleaning, Gary mowed the lawn.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing, now I am gearing up for this busy week before election.

Here are photos of my back splash.




Saturday, May 10, 2014

Montana Women's Run

I ran the two mile portion in the Montana Women's Run.  I have participated before in this huge event but I have always walked the two miles.  I decided to run it this year considering that I'm 50 now.

I wasn't paying too much attention when I filled out my application on line.  I had marked the box saying that I would finish the race in 20 minutes or less.  Like I said wasn't paying attention.

I didn't find out about this until I got my packet with all the instructions.  My boss Sandy picked up my packet for me.  I got my bright orange t-shirt, bib number and time chip.  Boy was I going to be bright wearing the t-shirt and bright blue bib.  That's when I found out that my bib color stated that I would finish under 20 minutes.  Oops.

The weather forecast was calling for rain on race day, but it turned out beautiful.  The sun was shining, a slight breeze and it was nice for a morning run.  Not too hot.  My race stated at 9:00 am.

Gary went with me to Billings as we were going to spend the whole day there.  I had scheduled to get my car finally fixed that afternoon and then we met our friends for dinner that evening.  We left for Billings at 7:00 am and didn't get home until 10:30 pm.  A very long and fun day.

We found a parking space by Tiny's Tavern.  Gary met me there last year after the race, so we decided to go there again.  He would buy me a beer for completing the run.  He then walked with me to the starting line, then we walked to the finish line.

Found a little coffee shop for a cup and a potty break, then it was time to get to the starting line.  The people who ran the 5 mile race were starting to finish at this time. 

Since I made the mistake with my bib, my theory was to be in the back of the blue bibs, but in front of the white bibs, this way I won't get in the way of a faster runner and get run over.  I made my way into the corral and was getting edged towards the front.  I had to keep going back and I wanted to be on an outside.  Didn't want to get caught in the middle of the mob.

We got our instructions on what to do and the end of the race and then we were off.  It took a couple blocks to get out of the congestion and then I made my way down the course.

I need to get in better shape, I did finish the race and I admit that I walked a couple blocks but I did run the majority of the course.  My clock time was 24:55, I was excited to be under 25 minutes.  I had to wait until my chip time was posted.  I was able to scan the code on my bib and got all my information.

I was excited, I finished in the top 50 in my age group 50-54.  My official time was 24:30.  I finished 42nd out of 393 officially.  According to my chip I placed 41 out of 490.  I was 588 out of 5899 in the 2 mile race and was 580 out of 5890 of my gender.  Now I have a goal for next year.

There was a woman from Hardin who finished 4 places before me and she was 45 seconds faster.  We are the same age, in fact I am about 6 months older than her.  My goal for next year is to beat her time.

I am now in training for next year.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mom's Choice Ride

Today we rode on the Mom's Choice Ride with our HOG Chapter.  The weather didn't look too good but this morning we didn't have rain, just a few black clouds.  Didn't look menacing so we decided to go.  This is my first bike ride of the season and I was looking forward to it.

We left Hardin at 8:30 so that we could get to the dealership on time to visit with our friends.  It was a bit on the cool side, but not too bad.  We have ridden in colder weather.

Met our friends, not too many people were on this ride due to weather, about 10 of us who went.  My friend Vickie and I were the only mom's on the ride so it was up to us where to go.  We chose to go to Legends just out of Absarokee. 

We took the scenic route to get there.  We took River Road out of Billings, then made our way to Joliet, took the cut across from Joliet to Columbus then on to Absarokee.  Legends is just out of Absarokee at the junctions to Fishtail.

We have been to this bar before on some rides and it is very nice.  We were their first customers so they were glad to see us. 

Had a good time, visiting with friends.  On our way home we had some sunshine peeking out.  Made for a very nice day.

We got home around 2:30 so it was a very nice day.  It rained later that night, so once again we lucked out.

It was also a nice way to celebrate our anniversary, a great day bike ride and spending time with friends.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Vegas Vacation

Last week Gary and I spent a very relaxing week in Las Vegas.  This is our semi annual trip to Vegas.  Two years ago we bought into a time share and we own in Vegas.  With this we get two free weeks a year and one week of points, so we basically get three weeks of vacation a year staying in condos.  We use our free weeks in Vegas where we own, then use our points for one other stay.

We flew this year as you never know what the weather will be like in April in Montana.  It is not easy flying out of Billings.  You either fly early in the morning or late and you connect in Seattle, Denver or Salt Lake.  We flew Alaska Airlines and left Billings early at 6:00 am.  We had to be at the airport around 4:30, this way we can get through security pretty quick.  On the 25th it turned out that there were three early flights out, so the line at security got long.  Gary's boarding pass as TSA Pre check on it, so he didn't have to take off his shoes or hat.  This is designed to get people through the security check fast, but in the little airport in Billings there is only one security check point.  I guess this works well in the bigger airports.

Our flight took us to Seattle first, we had a three hour lay over so we were able to find a café inside the airport to eat breakfast.  This little café was so busy with people, that we managed to get a table right away.  A couple was leaving where we were standing.  We grabbed the table.  We ended up sharing our table with another couple and we had a real nice conversation with them.  They gave us pointers of where to vacation, mainly in Mexico.

The Seattle airport has free internet so we found a quiet corner to sit and browse, read up on news and check weather.  It was time to board our plane, we were delayed about 30 minutes.  Apparently a bird hit the plane while it was on the ground so they had to check it out to make sure everything was good.  We had to wait on the plane.  Don't know why they didn't make us wait at the terminal.

Had an uneventful flight to Vegas, it was very windy in Vegas.  Found the shuttle to get to the condo, got checked in received our coupon books for the South Point Casino.  We found our room, got settled then made our way to the casino to place our bets on the basketball games.  Gary even bet on the baseball games for fun.

We wanted to sit out by the pool, but the pools were closed due to inclement weather.  The inclement weather was wind.  People living in cold weather states like us couldn't believe.  The weather straightened out after two days, pools open so we lazed in the afternoons soaking up the sun and enjoying the warmth.

We took the shuttles to Fremont Street on Monday night, saw all the sights, listened to a couple good bands and music, watched the light show on the canopy and saw all the weirdos out and about.  We had fun.  Then on Thursday we took the shuttle to the strip.  This time we went to the northern part of the strip and wandered around Treasure Island, The Venetian, Caesar's Palace and The Mirage.  It was later when we said that we should be out here at night to see all the lights.

I won during the week, about $800 in total.  We ate breakfasts in the condo and then went out for nice dinners, since I won I paid for it. We considered this our anniversary vacation even though we were a week early.  I even treated myself to a pedicure at the spa.  It sure felt nice to have a foot massage.  I only twitched a couple time with my ticklish feet.  My toenails got painted so my feet are pretty and happy.

One day I went to school to learn how to play craps.  It is a complicated game and you have to be fast.  Betting is a bit complicated.  Since we went to the school we each got a $5 match play coupon which Gary gave to me.  I won about $40 on craps.

We had to take the shuttle back to the airport, this driver took us on a different route.  Got checked in at the airport and again Gary got TSA Pre-Check.  At the Vegas airport, he had to go in a different line than I did.  We got separated but found each other.  Thank goodness for texting on our phones.
Our route home we went Vegas to Portland to Billings.  That last flight home seemed to take forever, even though it was only a two hour flight, felt like four hours.

Our week went fast and before we knew it time to go home.  Our Vegas vacations we hate to see end, looking forward to going in November.  Jennifer will be coming with us and we are going to drive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mary's List

I spent 9 wonderful day with my sister Mary and her family.  Wish it was under better circumstances but I am glad that I was able to drop everything here to be able to take care of her.  My job was to help with cleaning her house, taking care of the kids and any other stuff that I needed to do.

Mary had made a list of things for me to do, good thing she told me after I got there.  I was able to knock off a lot on her list, some she was able to do by the time I arrived like brushing her hair and putting it in a pony.

I didn't clean her car, help with her socks & shoes (she wore flip flops), visit with her neighbors over the fence (they weren't out), I did talk to one out in the front of the house.  Didn't train the puppy, go to Hobby Lobby or return books.  The trunk was already emptied. Keith took the trash to the corner on Monday night.  The school wouldn't allow the paperwork to leave the office, she can take care of that later.  Mary hasn't decided what her "retail" therapy will be yet, but she does have some ideas.

I did clean house but not the entire house, had help from Lexie.  Laundry detail I had help from Lexie and Keith.  We had laundry going all the time. 

I did make hot tea for Mary, but by the end of the week she was able to lift and pour the kettle herself.

Aunt Patty's Chore List:

Wake up too early with the kids, help them go potty, get dressed, brush teeth and find matching socks.
Feed the kids eight times a day.
Clean up after said feedings.
Feed and water the dog. PS - we're out of dog food.
Make lunchboxes
Homeschool Gracie and Libby. Catch up on their homeschool folders.
Check with their teachers and find out if they are caught up, behaving, etc.
Take the girls to school and go pick them up again.
Explain to Charlie why he didn't get to go to school too.
Empty the trunk of my car. It's full of donation bags that need to go in the donation bin. They've been there for over two weeks.
Clean my car. Good Lord, it probably needs it by now!
Clean my house. The whole entire house. It's not terrible, but it's neglected.
Take out the trash. I nag and nag and nag, and yet, the trash cans are all full.
Monday night take it to the curb.
Mop my floor. Oh please! It's just nasty!
Open the door for me. Shut the door for me.
Open my water bottles.
Open my medicine bottles.
Make coffee. Make hot tea. I can't lift the pot of water to make it or pour it.
Bring me food and beverages and medicine as requested.
Help me put my socks and shoes on. In fact, I lost my shoes. No clue where they might be these days.
Help the kids with their socks and shoes too.
Listen while I take a shower just in case I topple over in there.
Save me if I do.
Take the kids to the park and run the hyper right out of them.
Brush my hair.
Put my hair in a pony tail.
Give the kids baths, brush them, and check for lice. I always think they need to be checked for lice.
Change the sheets on the girls' beds.
Clean the girls' room. The lost their floor (among other things)
Train my stupid puppy.
Visit with my neighbors over the back fence.
Go to the Farmer's Market and get me a green smoothie. I've wanted on for a long time!
Visit with my friends as they come over, return their dishes to them, etc.
Take some paperwork to an office and turn it in for me.
Take me to the school and help me fill out the paperwork for next fall.
Take Gracie to the movies.
Trim Libby's nails.
Go to Hobby Lobby and buy half yard of fabric, I'll give her a swatch. It must match perfectly.
Return library books to Michelle's Place for me.
Help me with my "Retail Therapy" since I just had a major surgery, hmm, what should I buy to treat myself for it? She can help me shop!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sister Visit

I spent a week with my sister and her family.  My sister had a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery about three weeks ago and I went out to help her.

I wish I was able to go on better circumstances.  I was glad that I was able to leave for 9 days and I spent a wonderful time taking care of the family.  My brother in law had to go back to work and my older niece had many appointments.

It was a busy week and it all went so very fast.  It has been a while since I had to chase three little kids but it was all fun.  Had to give a time out only once and the only casualty of the week was my phone.

It was hard to leave yesterday, especially when Mary had just received the diagnosis from re oncologist.  We didn't have time to talk about it. 

It was a busy week by going to parks, the movie, the zoo, school and running errands.  I didn't have to cook any meals as friends were bringing dinners every other day.  The only time I cooked was on Saturday when the kids wanted eggs.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

San Diego Zoo

I wanted to do something special and fun with Gracie, Libby & Charlie.  My first thought was to take them to Disneyland.  Mary nixed that idea, first it's just too expensive.  It was $120 per person to get in and since it's spring break would be too crowded.  We would have spent our time waiting in lines.

So I thought I would take the kids to the zoo, Lexie too.  Gracie was up for the idea, but Charlie wanted to go to the trampoline place.  Libby wanted to spend the day with Charlie so jumping won over the zoo.  Gracie still wanted to go to the zoo.

I gave Lexie money to get them into the trampoline place, then Gracie and I left for the zoo.  It was a fun afternoon just having Gracie time.

We got to the zoo in no time and it was easy.  I followed the directions on the GPS in the car, it took me on a strange route through a neighborhood, but we arrived.  I thought it was a strange route, but since I'm no familiar with the area then ok.  The place was very busy and full.  I got there and young kid tried to direct me to park in a dirt lot, but I kept going.  He then put out the sign that read "Lot Full".  Thanks, next time have that sign out first then I will know what you are trying to do.

I made my way around and we parked in the overflow area.  It was way in the south 40, had quite a walk to get to the gates.

Mary has season passes to the zoo, but she didn't receive Gracie's yet just Libby's.  Gracie used it, they didn't ask her name, besides Mary gave Gracie instructions to be Libby just to get in.  Mary also gave me a coupon so that I could get in for half price.  Normal price was $46 and I got in for $23.

I went to start to take pictures, but I didn't have a sd card in my camera.  I left it in my computer when I downloaded photos from the other day.  Drats, had to buy a sd card at the zoo and it was a bit pricey.  Lesson learned.

Gracie and I had a good time, we got to see a lot of stuff, we even experienced the 4D movie of Ice Age.  It was fun. 

Not all the animals were out, we didn't get to thee the tigers, apes or monkeys.  The zoo closed at 7:00 and Gracie was ready to go home at 6:00.

We stopped at the gift shop and I bought the three kids a stuffed animal, Gracie picked them out, a flamingo for her, a peacock for Libby and a cheetah for Charlie.  Libby did a report on peacocks for school so she was excited.

While we saw the giant pandas we had our picture taken.  We had three poses, one where we were holding a baby panda, holding a parrot and one where a herd of rhinos were chasing us.  I bought two and let Gracie pick them out.  She liked the parrot one which I brought home with me and the rhino one, I let her keep that one.

The only casualty of the day was my phone.  I dropped it and the screen is shattered.  Couldn't believe it.  I thought I had it in my purse, but apparently not.  First it hit my foot then the ground.  At first I thought it was ok until I picked it up and looked at the front.  I do have a screen protector on it so that held all the glass in.  I don't have any jagged edges to get cut on.

Keith thinks I can get the screen repaired and he told me not to pay more than $50 for it.  Naturally I don't have any insurance on it because I am always careful with my phone.  Right.  Once I get it fixed for a reasonable rate, then I am going to buy a case for it.  If I can't get it fixed, then I will have to deal with a shattered screen until November of 2015.

My phone works, I can get internet, text and talk on it.  The camera works both front and back.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Going To School

The girls have school 3 days a week, the other 2 days are spent home schooling.  On Wednesday morning I took the girls to have a donut before school.  The donut shop is near the school and it was very easy.  A right turn to get into the donut shop then a right hand turn to get out towards the school.

Mary knew I was going to do this, in fact she was the one who mentioned it. I just had to make sure that they got to school before 9:00.  It was a snap.

Libby wanted me to park and walk in with them.  Gracie was fine with this too, but as soon as she got into the school off she went I could go.  Libby wanted me to walk to her classroom, then I got a bunch of hugs before leaving.

I met many parents and teachers.  Wednesday morning a couple of Mary's friends came over for coffee, one had a young daughter Charlie's age, so those two played. 

I met many of the Schumacher friends, just don't ask me their names right now.  It was a very nice morning.

I had to pick up the girls at 3:00, thought I was in trouble when there were detour signs getting out of Mary's neighborhood, but I was able to get to the school by the normal route, no problems.  One of the major streets had a water main break so traffic was rerouted through Mary's neighborhood.  Wasn't bad getting out in the afternoon, but mornings were awful.

Thursday morning Libby wasn't too excited about going to school, she was taking her time eating breakfast.  I had to hurry her along.  She told me that their Mom lets them be late for school.  I know this is not true, so I told Libby that Aunt Patty is taking them to school and Aunt Patty's rule is nobody is late for school.  Libby wasn't happy about that, especially when I told her she was done with breakfast.

The detour traffic was awful, it took me 10 minutes to get out of Mary's neighborhood.  The problem was all the rerouted traffic and the morning school traffic on Nutmeg.  There is a school just up the street.  Good thing we left a little early, no donuts today.

I was able to get in a visit with one of my classmates, Debbie Adcock.  She lives in Menifee which is very close to Murrieta.  Debbie and Mary hooked up on facebook and since they are Hardin girls just clicked right away.  What are the odds of two Hardin girls living in the same area.  It was a nice visit.

Friday was a donut day, got the girls up a little earlier because of the rerouted traffic.  Had to take Charlie this morning as Lexie had an early appointment.  It was fun and we enjoyed our donuts.

The girls are on spring break now so they get about 11 days off from school. 

I had no trouble at all with directions to the school, it was very easy, just have main traffic streets and lights. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Going To The Movies

Today I took my nieces and little nephew to the movies.  This was one request that Gracie wanted.  She had three movies on her list to see, "Lego Movie", "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and "Muppets Most Wanted".

I googled the theater that we were going to and all three movies were playing.  Gracie had a choice.  The one movie that she really, really, really wanted to see was "Mr. Peabody & Sherman".  Mary told me that if I went to the first showing in the morning then it was cheaper than the other showings. 

No problem movie started at 10:15 am and it was pretty easy to navigate.  Gracie is a good navigator telling me where I needed to go, the only problem was she didn't tell me when to turn until it was too late.  I was in the wrong lane.  No problem I will just go down the street and turn around.

Gracie thought the world was going to come to an end, we would never make it to the movie.  I kept reassuring her that if we miss the first showing we would catch the second.  She was worried because the price went up that way.  No problem I would pay anyway.

We made it to the movie in plenty of time, no worries.  The kids made a beeline to the concession stand.  I ordered a large popcorn with boxes for the kids so we can share, then I ordered a large Sprite to drink.  Mary told me to get the large because you get a free refill on it.  The kids don't really drink soda with Mary, but I bought it for them anyway.  Gracie whispered in my ear to make sure they put butter on the popcorn.  I gave her a look that said "why wouldn't I".

We found the theater and got our seats, one nice feature of this theater is that they had booster seats for the little ones.  Libby & Charlie both grabbed one and we found our seats.  The theater is a stadium type with nice comfy seats.  It wasn't crowded so we didn't have an issue of finding seats together.

I shared the popcorn then went and got some more.  I got me a diet coke which Charlie helped me drink.

The movie was cute and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it.  I am the best aunt ever.  I really scored a lot of best aunt ever points this week.

I told Mary about the butter on the popcorn and she told me that she doesn't get butter on popcorn.  Oh that makes sense now.

The rest of the day was spent at home and I knocked off some more stuff on Mary's list.  One of the things on the list was helping the girls clean their room.  We managed to get it done later that night, Gracie found her school project which was lost.  Mary was feeling a little better and started cleaning the girls' room, until I stepped in and made her sit down and relax.  Had to take her arm extensions away from her.  She was using the grill tongs to help reach things.

The room got clean and Mary found Gracie's school project.  Whew!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Los Alamos Park

I arrived in California yesterday, Keith and Gracie picked me up at the airport.  The kids were so excited to see me, guess Charlie was looking for me all day.  I got big hugs from everyone.  Charlie was upset that I kept my jet at the airport and wouldn't give him a ride in it.

Today the kids wanted to do something fun so I took them to the park.  Mary suggested Los Alamos as it had shade on the equipment and it would be easy for me to find and get to.

I was able to drive her car with has navigation in it so I was able to get around pretty well.  It was easy.  The hardest part was getting Charlie buckled in his car seat, it has been a long time since I've had to deal with these.  Good thing he knows how to buckle himself.

The kids wanted to get ice cream before playing, so I found the park and then made my way to the ice cream shop, which was very close to the park.

We had a good time and the ice cream was very tasty.  It was a small shop and very affordable which surprised me.  After ice cream we played in the park.

It was a hot day, in the 90's but the kids had a lot of fun and they were able to run off some energy.

Tonight one of Keith's co-workers brought over dinner and it was very delicious.  She brought chicken with peppers, and yummy green salad and ice cream for dessert.

It was a very tiring day and I was tired.  I am getting up early in the morning because of the time difference.  My body is working on mountain time, no pacific.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Joined The Anti-Chub Club

My friend Dulcie has started the Anti-Chub Club to get into better health.  She has started a blog called Anti-Chub Club and here is the web address for it.  I will let you read her story.

I have joined her club, it is not about how much weight to lose but to get into better health.  She is a good friend of mine and also my office neighbor.  Together we can get into better health.

We can help each other stay on the right track.  I am bound and determined to lose the weight that I gained back since my surgery almost three years ago.

Several years ago I lost 30 pounds and managed to keep 25 of them off for three to four years.  Very disappointing when I gained all of that back rather quickly, amazing what menopause does.  I have been able to keep my weight on an even keel, haven't gained but I haven't lost either. 

A month ago we had a wellness fair at work and we got our results back.  It's an eye opener when you get that report, this is the third one so we can see our trends.  Some are good, others not so much.  Overall I am a healthy 50 year old woman.  According to all the charts and such I am considered obese.  Seeing that on paper is very disappointing.  I have decided that I am going to show them next year.

This is going to be an uphill battle but one that I am determined to conquer.  I know that I may roll back down the hill, but I will get over it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day was very low key at the Liming house.  We had planned on riding in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Billings, but the weather was cold and windy.  We were both battling colds so decided that we didn't want to get worse by riding in the cold weather.

Sunday was our chapter meeting, after the meeting we had corned beef and cabbage to eat.  The American Legion fixed the main meal while the rest of the chapter brought side dishes.  It was all very good.

Gary and I drank green beer with our meal.  It was afterwards that I thought about drinking a pint of Guinness.  Oh well, next time.

Monday was very low key, a lot of green worn in the courthouse.  I wore my shamrock earrings that I bought at the "fine" jewelry store and my Ireland t-shirt.

Since it's only the two of us at home, I didn't fix a corned beef and cabbage meal for us, we already had it Sunday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This year we didn't have many students participate in the tournament.  We had one student.  Seemed like the others had school things going on or something else.  That is life.

Tournament was held at Billings West and it was a pretty good sized one this year again, about 300 competitors.  Gary and I were the highest ranking black belts to run rings, the masters were there but they don't have to run a ring it they don't want to.  We had enough black belts to run 9 rings, made getting through forms quick.

The tournament was over by 4:30.  Our lone student had a hard time making it, but he was able to make his sparring competition.  He missed his forms competition.  His grandmother had vehicle problems.

He placed 2nd in sparring, he was in my ring so I was able to watch it.  He was winning the match but towards the end he was getting tired and dropped his arms.  The two boys were tied and I thought we would go into a sudden death round.  This is a round where the first one who scores wins.  No, the other boy managed to score one on my student at the very end.

It was a good bout and both boys did well.  My student has a bad habit of dropping his arms so hoping that this will teach him to keep those arms up.

I have photos to put in the paper about our black belts and tournament competitor.  He didn't want his picture taken, he is a shy boy.

Our next big tournament is in October in Sheridan and we are hoping that we can have our whole school compete.

I have a bunch of students, but most are too new for this tournament.  I could have had them compete but they would have been so overwhelmed and wouldn't fare well with the seasoned competitors.

I didn't want them to get demoralized and not compete again.  I think we will do well in October.  The kids can compete in the Big Sky State Games, but they are on their own for that.  The State Games are not associated with Park.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Black Belt Testing

Last Friday was the black belt test, we had four students from our school test.  One was our grandson Brandon.  They had all worked very hard for this and of course nerves were in play.

We spend the night in Billings because on Saturday it is the tournament.  It is more convenient to spend the night.  Otherwise we would have left the test at 9:30 pm, get home sleep for a bit then have to wake up early and leave town just to get to Billings again by 8:0 am.

I took the afternoon off so that we could relax before heading over to the test, which was at 6:00 pm.  Jennifer took Friday & Saturday off so she could be at the test and help with tournament.  She was my photographer Friday night.  Even though she is a 2nd degree black belt, not high enough rank to sit on the testing board.

Since we were in Billings early, we ate lunch at Applebee's.  This is Jennifer's favorite place and we always take her here for her birthday dinner.  Since it stormed on her birthday she got to eat at her all time favorite place now.  We had plenty of time to check into the hotel and just relax before test.

We thought we would be smart and get to the school an hour before the test so that we could get a good parking space, so much for thinking.  The lot was full, we ended up parking across the street, I asked permission from the building before parking.  Even though it was Friday and well after 5:00 pm, the business before did not want anyone parking in his lot after hours.  This one said it was no problem as long as it was after hours.

The test went well, our students were very nervous when they saw how many black belts were on the testing board, they were glad that there were more testing than just them.  They were the only ones for the pre-test.  We assured them that they had this, the pre-test was harder because that determined if you would test.  This would be a breeze.  They were happy when it came time to line up that they were all in the back.  It was a very proud moment when Brandon received his black belt.  After the test, we went out and ate with his family to celebrate.

My friend Paulette tested for her 4th degree black belt, I was happy for her.  We have tested together since our 2nd degree test.  Grand Master Park wouldn't let her test last year with me for some reason, not sure what it was.  We agreed that when we test for our master in 5 years, I will wait for her and we test together.  She and I are now the highest ranking women in the federation.  Makes me proud that I was the first.  One of the master's even mentioned it.

Gary and Jennifer were both told by Grand Master Park that they will be testing in October.  Gary will be testing for his 5th degree which will make him a master and Jennifer for 3rd degree.  When Jennifer was eligible to test, she decided to go on the Korean trip instead.  She couldn't afford to do both.  She made a good decision.

Grand Master Park had met another grand master in Cody a few weeks ago and invited him to come to the test and tournament.  Master Park wants the new one to join our federation.  The new one has a school in Star Valley Wyoming, which is in Etna.  I had to look it up on the map, it is just south of Alpine Wyoming.  He has two schools, one in Etna and the other in Thayne.  I hope that he does join our federation.

The Grand Master from Star Valley was surprised to see so many masters, but was shocked to find out that 4th degrees are not masters in our federation.  In most tae kwon do and other martial art federations, 4th degrees are masters.  Hmmm.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snow, Snow and More Snow

Last week we were hit with two snow storms, I don't think it was necessary to get the whole winter seasons' worth of snow in one week.

We got about 6-8 inches last Monday then it warmed up enough to melt most of it away until last Thursday.

At first it started out as rain, which made a nice sheet of ice on the roads, then the snow hit and it snowed for three days.  We got a good foot of new snow on top of what we got earlier in the week.

Really made it hard to get around in my little car, had to drive the pickup all weekend. My car was drifted in at the house.  I finally got my car out on Monday morning.  The snow got compacted down from the traffic.  Getting around town is an obstacle course.  The city and state are plowing the main streets, but piling all that snow in the middle of the street. 

Gary got the snow blower out to get rid of the snow on Saturday morning, still snowing but he wanted to get it off the sidewalk before we got in trouble with the city and before it got deeper that it would have been hard to get the snow blower working.

The snow finally quit on Saturday afternoon, we even had a hint of blue sky out there.  We drove by Mom's house to check and see if her neighbor cleared her walk.  She pays him to do it, it wasn't done.  Gary and I were going to remove her snow on Sunday morning.

I ended up giving Jennifer a ride to work Sunday morning, so drove by Mom's and the neighbor did remove the snow off her walk.  Not a very good job, but at least there is a path of cleared snow so that a person could walk on the sidewalk.

It was very cold Sunday, I had to run an errand in the afternoon and there were two Mormon boys walking and carrying shovels.  They were shoveling snow off of walks for people as they went down the street.  They were not dressed for the cold, they were wearing their dress pants, shoes.  They at least had on coats, hats and gloves.  I wanted to give them some money so they could buy a hot chocolate. 

I finally found them down 3rd street.  At first they wouldn't take my money as they are not allowed to.  I finally convinced them to take it as a donation for their church.  As long as it was a donation then they were allowed to take the money.  I told them how much I appreciated the kind gesture.

They did not shovel everyone's walk, only those who had made an attempt to clear off the snow.  If the walk was buried they just kept going.

This morning we woke up and our cars were covered in a layer of ice.  Made driving and walking a challenge.

March certainly roared in like a lion, hope it goes out like a lamb.  This has been a very long winter and I hope we are done with it.  Still blame Jason and Jeni.  Ever since they moved to Hardin in November, we have had snow storms and bitter cold.