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VOLUMES 187 & 188-------- JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

June 17, 2018

Must be on a roll!  Just finished the Shot Show 2018 report and now here I am trying to catch up on the Newsletters!

Believe it or not, 2018 began on January 1st, New Year's Day!  As in past years our 2018 began with dinner at our house featuring a genuine USDA Prime rib roast, this year prepared on the CharBroil grill.  The roasts have been cooked in various ways over the years, including on the Holland grill and
encased in rock salt in an electric roaster .  In spite of the various cooking methods, if one buys real USDA Prime beef, it seems to turn out tender and tasty!  (The price may leave a bad taste however.)

Prime Rib Roast - YUM

Other staples of the day always include Little Heifer's deviled eggs, black eyed peas, and morel mushrooms frozen from the previous spring.

Ann's famous deviled eggs (a little horseradish is the key)

Black Eyed Peas (note the onion, bacon, etc added to keep them from tasting like dirt)

Morel Mushrooms - fried up and frozen from the previous spring

This year we missed Jennifer being with us, as she was tied up with something in Pullman at WSU.  Rick and I ate enough to make up for her absence however.

January 3rd began a long series of medical appointments in preparation for my knee replacement surgery scheduled for February 28th.  This one was for extensive MRI's to evaluate and measure for the replacement parts that will be made for the knee.

The next stop after the MRI was Les Schwab tire store in Post Falls, ID to order new tires for the Yukon.  The original tires had a bit over 30,000 miles on them with enough tread for another 10,000 or so on dry pavement.  Unfortunately, one can't always depend on dry pavement when traveling to Las Vegas in late January, so our trip to the Shot Show will be on new aggressive tread tires that were mounted on January 5th!  Also bought a new set of tire chains for the Yukon, 'just in case.'

Elks Lodge news includes the current Lodge property being sold.  The property was sold to a developer who will raze the old building and build condos or apartments.  There are some issues with an existing cell tower lease that will hold up closing for a few weeks.  In the meantime, I'm part of what we are calling the 'New Home Committee' looking at properties for a new location.  We are being flexible on whether to buy an existing building or vacant land to build on.

One mission was accomplished with the Local Elks By-laws.  Grand Lodge requires that local by-laws be updated periodically, and I was tasked with the chore.  After making recommendations to the Board of Directors and getting approval, the elks.org website tools were used to make the appropriate revisions.  The changes were ratified by the Lodge membership, then received final Grand Lodge approval on January 15th.

Ann and I left home for the trip to the Shot Show on January 17th.  As usual, we can't pass up an overnight stay in Missoula when we pass through, so we laid over there and awoke to rain.  A little slush on the road, but no problems for us.  We did see what looked to be a serious accident between two pickups and a trailer a few miles east of Clinton, MT.  Only disaster; we left our travel LED night light in the bathroom at the Best Western in Missoula!

Made Pocatello, ID that evening, stayed at a new Holiday Inn Express, and had prime rib french dip sandwiches at a nearby Jaker's restaurant.  (Delicious, by the way.)  When the server brought our check, she informed us that the two couples who had just left a nearby table, had paid $40 toward our meal!  What a surprise!  Our total turned out to be $6.

January 19th was a short driving day to Provo, UT.  Short in miles, but long in time!  Early that morning, a tandem gasoline tanker truck had crashed and burned at the junction of I-15 and I-215 at the south end of Salt Lake City.  Driver not hurt, but screwed up the traffic on both southbound routes through Salt Lake for hours.

Checked in to Hampton Inn in Provo, and went to bed with the beginning of a snow storm.  Supposed to be a lot of snow.  Sure enough, we awoke to a lot of snow so decided to hole up and stay another night.  Did do some shopping at a nearby shopping mall and spent the rest of the day watching it snow and reading.

After our second night at Hampton Inn we arose to a bright, sunny day.  Travel was sometimes dicey, as there were still some snow and slushy spots on the highway.  Made it to St. George, UT for the night, where it turned warm and sunny.

Monday the 22nd we arrived in Las Vegas and checked in at Casino Royale Best Western.  When the Shot Show is in town, rooms are hard to find close to the Sands Expo Center, so the hotels take advantage.  Our ordinary room, while very nice, was nearly $300 per night!

Attended the Shot Show on the 23rd, and left Las Vegas the next day.  (See Shot Show 2018, HERE, for that report.)

Our return home trip, staying in Provo, UT, Dillon, MT, and Missoula was mostly uneventful.  We did have a bit of a surprise in Missoula when we checked in to the Best Western on Friday the 26th.  We got the same room we had on the 17th and Ann's night light was still in the bathroom!  She didn't forget it this time.

We spent most of the afternoon in the Southgate Shopping Center as usually happens when we are in Missoula.  I, of course, spent some time in Bob Ward's Sporting Goods store looking at guns.  When I came out I decided to take some pictures of new buildings near by.  I have written before about the restaurant called Curley's Broiler and their famous chicken bisque.  Curley's is no more!

Movie Theaters in spot where Curley's Broiler used to stand

We drove through rain, turning to snow on the passes, and found plenty of snow when we got home on the 27th.  Rick had been kind enough to keep the driveway cleaned up with the tractor and blower while we were gone, so all was well.  Our trip total was 2,369 miles of no car troubles and safe travel!

About February 1st, the Elks Lodge rented some temporary office space as we have to move out of the present building soon.  The search for new quarters continues.

February 4th marked Ann and my 56th anniversary!  Don't know how she put up with me that long.  I hate to admit this, but would you believe I forgot until Ann presented me with a card that morning!  OMG, did I feel stupid!  Two dozen roses later in the day, and I think I may have been forgiven.

In spite of my idiocy, I do love this woman very much!

We did have a 'late' anniversary celebration at Texas Roadhouse in Coeur d'Alene, ID on February 23rd with good eats and a ride on their 'Celebration Saddle' for Ann.

And here she is

Ann on the Celebration Saddle (I'm making sure she don't fall off)

While all this was going on, preparations continued for my knee replacement.  Blood draw on January 29th, Pre-Op education session at Sacred Heart Hospital on February 6th, EKG at Kootenia Heart Clinic on the 19th, and Pre-Op meeting with the surgeon on the 22nd.

Finally, knee replacement surgery on February 28th.  More to come on this in the next edition!

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote by Henry Ford:

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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