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.