Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The end of the 'Burg

Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Not that I ever eat there or even drove on the ramp... it's still part of the good ole days disappearing...

Welcome SONIC!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow guage

Snow guage
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

taken at 7:20AM December 26, 2008.

Thanks Dave!

Elvis lives!

Elvis lives!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Christmas is family

Turtle surprise!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Although we did not give or receive many gifts at my house I feel my family is truly blessed. My niece, Turtle, is so much fun to photograph. She is so expressive and open.

My she never loose the wonder...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Ornaments on the tree
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Happy Holidays!

From the ZenPanda House to your!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


How did I manage to delete every picture off of my cellphone?

I'm going to cry in the corner for a bit...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter morning at the Black Eagle Dam Powerhouse

Winter morning at the Black Eagle Dam Powerhouse
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I was up & out very early today and snapped this when I noticed how beautiful the powerhouse looked lit-up with the snow.

Practice beard

Practice beard
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Someday he can play Santa but for now it was just 6 days of leave & no shaving!

He got a nice break from work last week and is now back in the grind. This week and next are only 3 days of work each so he should be good to go by January 5!

I, of course, still have no ink for my printer (going on 14 days now), the internet is so slow at work I can hardly use it and the phone is intermittent. I will be doing paperwork from home this week. No returning calls once I leave the office & no in-person assistance.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Everytime I get gas

the next day prices drop more!

I am not complaining.

I would just like it to be the same price for a week after I buy it.

I paid $1.49 a week ago Friday & Saturday it was $1.43! Of course the fact that I filled up my van (from next to fumes) for $20 was EXCELLENT!

My Christmas shopping is closed to finished and I am under budget!

It is a great week in my house!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hiding behind my tail

IMG_0285-Hiding behind my tail
Originally uploaded by moosewhisper

If I can't see you - you can't see me!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Somedays I get the feeling

Originally uploaded by Capital Photography

that I am just barely hanging on.

Today is one of those days.


Now I feel better.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nutcracker of the day

Today's nutcracker of the day
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

My kids gave me the idea to put up one nutcracker a day from December 1 until Christmas... sadly I have enough to do just that!

I'm really trying to feel it!

I'm baking cookies as I type... yah me!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

So Winter 2008 has started... a bit late but better late than never!

Son#1 got out to shovel our walk & noticed no one on the block had done any shoveling so he did our side of the street. He returned with icicles on his lashes.

Now for some hot cocoa!

It's up!

It's up!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

The tree is up. We purchased a pre-lit 4.5 ft tree and sofa table to put up in the front window without having to rearrange the livingroom (just moved the couch out enough for the table.)

It is only partially decorated but it up!

Now I get to bake all weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A 5 1/4 inch FLOPPY!!

A 5 1/4 inch FLOPPY!!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Friday is shred day at the office. Since we moved in March I have shredded over 10 file boxes worth of files. We are trying to keep our records streamlined so I shred ALOT.

I was surprised to find this today in a file.


Does anyone still have a drive for one of these? I bet the documents on this will not be readable by any computer either!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family gift exchange

Back in the day we used to cram 30 people & 3 or 4 pets into my Grandmother's house (about 900 square feet on the main floor) and have a mountain of gifts to unwrap, ooh & aah over...

As time passes there are fewer of us to gather and my Aunt who lives with Grandmother is not too appreciative of the mountain of gifts, thus we now have the "gift exchange." I assumed that all the names of everyone over the age of 18 were actually put in a hat & drawn- WRONG! Apparently they divide the names by generation and then my Mother & Aunt V just pick who should give to whom! Of course every year without fail the Hubby gets Cousin L and I get Sister#3...surprise this year I got Cousin L & the Hubby got Sister#3!!! I REALLY hope that Cousin D DOES NOT get me! She buys the worst gifts -even with the suggestions! Son#1 and Step will exchange with Big J while Son#2 & Turtle will get as many gifts as people want to buy them (since they are still under the magic age of 18!!)

To help the family with the exchange this year I requested 3 gift ideas from the Hubby, Son#1, Step & Son#2. The cheapest gift will be suggested to the person giving in the exchange, the most expensive (within reason) will be from "Santa" or Mom&Dad and the middle one for my Mother (since we have to have gifts at her house as well)

Don't get my rambling wrong- I enjoy exchanging gifts and having fun with the family but I really don't relish having to shop for all of it. Christmas shopping is NOT retail therapy!

The truly funny thing is I can find things for the kids & even Cousin L online no problem but shopping for the Hubby is the worst! I have no idea what bi-pod he wants/needs for his spiffy new gun! How do you pick a rifle sling?? Maybe I'll just give him a gift card to Scheels!

Of course I don't want much:

Big Buddha Melrose bag in Yellow
A Nikon D60!!!
(I'm not really betting on either!)

I'll be lost in the mall about 4PM today... wish me luck!


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Can't say I blame him...

He is getting a colonoscopy in the morning!

*BTW* Found my phone case with cc & ID intact!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just checking...

Just checking...
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I had to make sure my head was still attached.

Yesterday I managed to loose a $100 bill. I hope who ever found it has a nice Christmas.

Today my van broke down & after I removed all the vital stuff I discovered I lost my cellphone case which has my military ID & debit card in it.

SO now I am without a way to buy food for 4 days. yah.

Go me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trying to get the spirit

Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Just not getting much yet....

I did break out my nutcracker collection and start to get it set up!

Maybe we'll get the tree up by Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I miss my Friend

~Darryl Worley

I miss the look of surrender in your eyes
The way your soft brown hair would fall
I miss the power of your kiss when we made love
Oh, but baby, most of all
I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say
To make me laugh again
And let the light back in
I miss my friend

I miss the colors that you brought into my life
Your golden smile, those blue-green eyes
And I miss your gentle voice
In lonely times like now
Sayin' it'll be alright
I miss my friend

I miss those times
I miss those nights
I even miss our silly fights
The makin' up
The mornin' talks
And those late afternoon walks
I miss my friend.

I truly miss my friend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A brief synopsis of the holiday break

Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

OK- Turkey Day was a bust. The family gathering was lame, we said no prayer and it really was just uncomfortable. The Hubby & I agree that next year we will do or go anywhere else.

The USAF did not take a break so the Hubby worked Thursday, Friday & part of Saturday. He hunted on Saturday & Sunday with no luck.

Saturday my Aunt took me on a long drive looking for turkey to photograph with her spiffy new camera. In the van we carried 6 cameras, two humans and one dog. We saw one group of turkey so far from the road that even her 80-300mm didn't help. The only saving grace was taking the wrong turn and ending up in the middle of a cattle drive. About 500 photos later we headed home.

I caught a cold or maybe a sinus infection.

I didn't think about work one day over the break! Now, I'm behind on the website. I hope I will have it up soon! Stay tuned.

The Owl is still alive & doing very well! I hope to have more photos of him soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Geese in the fence

Geese in the fence
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

It looks so real! I stopped & drove around the block to make sure it was a decoy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

This is the time of year when I really miss the good ole days.

Growing up in a very large family we had traditions. Thanksgiving was spent with my father's side of the family. That meant the traditional turkey and ham at Aunt Betty's house where the cousins from Helena would show up around 1 in the afternoon. We would split the living room in half- one side for the Cowboys and the other for Green bay! (Being a Bears fan meant you just played both sides until you ended up on the winning side!) It was a great day to watch all the guys argue each and every call and then the winner would be dogging the losers throughout dinner.

Dinner was the buffet style with all the younger kids (me included) stuck sitting at the card table or on the floor with the plate in our lap. Uncle Fr. Tony would lead the prayer, usually the angelis (sp?) which was a bout 10 minutes of grace with a few hail mary added on. Looooonnnngggggg. I remember just closing my eyes and reciting it in cadence with the family just hoping someone would start talking faster. Once the food started to hit our mouths conversations would slow but my family never stops talking. I think the only time it would be truly quiet it when the pies were being cut. My Aunt Betty didn't just make a small pumpkin pie or even 3 she made them on a cookie sheet and we all got squares! It was a treat to get the one with more than bottom crust. Cool whip never lasted past the older cousins so I had to squeeze into the line to get some.

After the food if there was another game on then it was back to the shouting matches while Uncles Bill and Fr. Tony would fall asleep in the recliners. There would be hide-n-seek in the dark and someone would end up crying over a skinned knee but it was fun and we were a family. That was all that mattered.

This year again I will be with that side of the family but with out any of the Uncles or Aunts. My Cousin Mary will cook the bird at her house and I will bring the veggy tray. No football games because they have no TV in the living room and the kids will take over the basement with pool and Xbox. No cousins from Helena. No card table. No hide-n-seek. Just family- a very small one at that. I'm sure someone will lead us in the angelis, painful as it may be.

This year has disappeared so quickly and I have hardly had time to breathe. It will be Christmas before too long and then on into 2009. Time never stops.

I am very thankful for my family.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not my mess

Not my mess
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I almost wish it were but the cost of this pile of boxes is equal to 2.5 house payments!

I want a new camera but this is way more than I will ever need.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ethics and me

In my "new" job I have discovered that I was not well versed in the ethics of a Law Firm and it's employees. I hate to say my mom is right but tonight she pointed something out that is 100% correct. I need to reevaluate my commitment to this job.

I have allowed my job to not only come home with me but to come between The Hubby and Me.

The good thing about the internet is I can quickly find several views which tell me my mother was right! LOL.

I bookmarked this one which I will have at work as well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am a bad influence

The hubby finally had a day weekend off with no phone calls and no heading into the office at 0-dark-30 for some pinhead screw-up airman.

We had a nice Sunday brunch and then stopped by the mall to *look* at a hunting rifle. He looked a lot & I checked out all the cool mounted animals before he found the one! So he now is the proud owner of a .270 whatever/thingy gun.

Maybe I should say "only if I get my new camera"?? LOL

He can have his toys... he works very hard for them.

I'll be cooking up a lot of deer this weekend while he is out killing the next one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

$343 Million!?!!??


That is a lot.

this guy articulated it best:

“What this is about is an orgy of spending. An orgy of borrowing,” said Jim Goetz, an attorney who represented cycling star Greg LeMond and others in a lawsuit against the club that was recently settled for $39.5 million."


Today is Veteran's Day. Thank you to everyone who has served and is serving in the military.

Today is also my SIL Birthday! Happy BDay Sis Stephanie!

I need to take a break today and wish a belated birthday to Mystery Daughter, who turned 24 on Sunday.

No update on the owl yet. I'll be checking in with her today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Owl Rescue

Owl Rescue
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Sunday I set out with my Aunt & Cousin to Freeze out Lake to see the snow geese. We were traveling on I-15 north when I noticed an owl sitting on the shoulder of the road. He did not move when cars passed and I feared he was dead. I knew he had to be injured to be there.

My Aunt knew a wildlife rescue lady here in town so we called her and she picked him up shortly after.

We went about our trip stopping in Fairfield to visit the elk and camels; then we hung around the lake seeing very few geese. Our stomachs lead us to Choteau to the Log Cabin cafe and some yummy buffalo burgers served with "buffalo chips" (thick-cut potatoes fried up) then we headed home.
We drove to see how the owl was fairing.
He suffered a broken bone in his right wing, his right eye is gone and he appears to have a skull fracture. The prognosis is guarded at best.
I'll keep you posted.

See more photos on my flickr photostream

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Get out & Vote!!

image-vote panda pinCast your vote online now

Voting begins Monday, November 3 and ends at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3. The winning name will be unveiled during the cub’s 100 Day Naming Celebration on December 8.

name pronunciations meaning source of names

Xiao Laoxiong


“little buddy”

Giant panda keepers

Xiao Nan


“little man”

Zoo Atlanta Staff and Volunteers

Hua Sheng



Zoo Atlanta Members

Xi Lan


“Atlanta’s joy”

Zoo Atlanta Board of Directors

Wei Sheng


“greatness is born”

Zoo Atlanta MySpace Community

Shu Shu


“kind and gentle”

B98.5 FM

Wei Li


“large and strong”

92.9 Dave FM

Ling Li


“alert and quick”

VIVA 105.7FM

Shen Shi Lan


“Atlanta’s gentleman”

Star 94 FM

Li Lan


“Atlanta’s strength”

V103 FM

Fu Mei


“handsome and happy boy”

Chengdu, China

Mei Chuan


“handsome Sichuan boy”


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A random reoccuring thought

I want to live in Denmark.


I looked on their website & I could teach there!!!

That would be cooler than winning the lottery & marrying Kenny Chesney!!


I'm ordering the Rosetta Stone set today!

Lobby Cafe

I have decided that since I work downtown I should eat at all the different places instead of just grabbing the same old fair.

Today I convinced one of the paralegals from upstairs to go with me to the Lobby Cafe.

It was really empty at noon, a surprise to me since it's downtown! We sat down & a very nice man took our order- I had the beacon cheeseburger, she the porkchop sandwich. Both get a thumbs up. Fries were awesome. Beacon was fresh-cooked, perfectly & just yummy. The price was not bad either- $8.95 for meal with a drink. My lunch companion was very happy with the taste of her sandwich, too.

I didn't see one ghost, bummer.

Yes, I did!

Yes, I did!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Not the best quality shot but I was all excited! LOL

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tell the city what you want

Great Falls Park & Rec wants your input!

Have your voice heard!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How did this help anyone?

This affects my life. My husband works on the missiles here in Montana. This incident ruined my anniversary and July 4th celebrations because every site here had to be inspected.
The moral at Malmstrom in the missile section is already at an all-time low... this will just make it worse.

I hardly see my husband as it is.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In the case of intentional poisoning of a Border Patrol Agent in Cut Bank, MT

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Why have a blog & disable the comments?

Monitor them & toss the ones which annoy you.....

It's an immature Golden Eagle. The break is wrong for an osprey.


Here is my opinion

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why do they ruin everything?

I'm really tired of the media telling me TODAY that Obama is projected to win.... there are still 7 days until the election.

How many people will be swayed by the media hype?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

*OMG* What was I thinking!??!

So today was one meeting after another followed by working the "Will Clinic" so I was going crazy trying to keep all those thoughts straight. I sat down for lunch and started to reflect on what I needed to tackle first. What out of this insanity was MOST important? Here is what I came up with:
  1. website (begining to end)
  2. logo (maybe before website but either way in the top 3)
  3. catching up paperwork (otherwise the rest is pointless)
Next came panic!

How the hell do I get that done by 1 January?!!!

I'm going to find a paper bag to breathe into for a bit.

P.S. I ended up not being needed today for the Clinic which was good I got to do research from the comfort of my sweats! LOL

I have a plan

Freeze out 225
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I plan to get one view on all 10,000+ photos on my photostream!
This is one of 552 which have 0 views....

I guess I took a lot of uninteresting photos.....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Red, orange, brown, green

Red, orange, brown, green
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Totally uninteresting....

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I received a call from a "friend" from college. I had not spoken with her in a long time. She asked me to complete a form from the state which is doing a home study for her so she can get her two boys back from her parents.

I have many issues with this request.
  • she lied to me about her health in hopes I would take her children so she could do whatever she wanted
  • she sent her children to Georgia to live with another friend when no one here would help
  • she shows open disdain for her oldest boy
  • she has a very different parenting style which I am not sure is best for these two boys.
I don't want to lie on the form. I also don't know that what I say will help or hinder her cause.

I'll be wrestling with my conscience for a bit before I decide to fill it out or send it back.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oldest photo with 0 views on flickr

slash pile #1
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I have been posting my photographs to since 2005. I currently have over 10,000 photos in my stream.


The oldest one without any views is from August 2006, photo #7253, on page 363.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Such a waste

Many years ago we had a friend of the family who was a fun kid to hang out with. We did a lot and got into a bit of trouble...chased my sister with a snake, left her by Giant Springs because just to be mean and basically did the things kids do when they are 10 years old.

I lost track of him and my sister mentioned him the other day. Turns out at barely 18 years old he attempted to rob an older man and ended up killing him. He is currently serving 150 years for it.

My sister didn't see the sadness of it... not only did this sweet old man die for no reason whatsoever but a kid never got the chance to live his life. She only has anger towards him.

What a wasted life. He simple chose the wrong path.

The hypocrite that I am lit a candle for him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A conundrum

My camera choices:

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS
  • 10 megapixel
  • 20x optical zoom
  • similar to my current camera
  • $399
  • no real lens options

Nikon D60

  • 10.2 megapixels
  • faster shutter speed
  • many lens options
  • Digital SLR instead of point-n-shoot format
  • similar to my son's so I have a bit of experience
  • $695
  • zoom limited by lens size
  • lens cost $$$$
  • size is too big to carry in my purse
I just have to decide if I want convenience or more options....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thank you Airman M!

This weekend ended up being a stay at home one after all... not because of the weather but thanks to Uncle Sam!
The hubby worked Friday until late and then all day Saturday and was scheduled to work Sunday but it was only a half day. I got my nails done on Friday and learned that my nail tech was giving away a couch, love seat, crib, changing table, dresser and bookshelf. Step needed all those items so I gladly offered to take them off his hands.
Saturday evening the hubby was still working so one of his boys volunteered his truck and showed up at the storage unit to help move the stuff. Step got lost and all our other help fell through so Ki, Airman M and I moved it all....actually Airman M did 99% of it without help. He refused my offers of food, drink & money.

I really appreciate what he did so I'm planning to give him a Christmas card with a gift certificate in it.

Why won't Step date someone like him? Damn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things to do in Montana when you are stressed...

I like to plan road trips!

Last time the Hubby & I made a quick trip to Lewistown so I could waymark a few things including a Medal of Honor recipient's grave. Now, I'm planning a similar trip to BUTTE, USA!
I have a list of waymarks, a few geocaches and just places I think Son#2 may enjoy.
Here are the highlights:
  1. waymark the MoH graves in Butte & Anaconda
  2. waymark the pit- but I am not sure they have a "Superfund" category...
  3. photograph the Silver Bow county courthouse
  4. visit & way mark as much of Uptown & historic Butte as I can stand
  5. waymark United States High Altitude Sports Center
  6. hunt for at least 12 caches
Anyone have a "must see" for the Butte/Anaconda area?

What a sad statement

What has society come to? Why is it OK for people to abandon children?

The truly sad part is I get calls everyday at work from people wanting to give up their parental rights .... mainly to avoid paying child support.


*end rant*

Hubby shadow

Hubby shadow
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

So we bought the Hubby & Son#2 new cameras. I'm thinking it may be time for an upgrade to mine.

I like both but not as much as mine.

Hubby- Panasonic DMC - TZ4
Son#2 - Canon A720
both are small point-n-shoots.

I'm thinking Nikon D90! I only need 4 lenses for it:
1. macro
2. 18-55mm
3. zoom (up to 300mm)
4. fisheye

Monday, October 6, 2008

Better late than never

I submitted a photo..... but you have to pay the $50 to see it!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Too much fun!

How to make a ZenPanda

5 parts friendliness

5 parts ambition

1 part beauty
Layer ingredientes in a shot glass. Add a little lovability if desired!

I haven't done one of these in a long time so.....

Here are things you never wanted to know about me. LOL

A-Age: 41
B-Burger favorite: bacon cheese burger ( buffalo meat makes it even better)
C-Car I drive: mercury villager
D-Dog: allergic to them
E-Essential daily item: camera
F-Favorite show: L&O
G-Game: Luxor
H-Home: GF MT
I-Instrument: piano, trumpet, guitar & french horn
J-Juice: pineapple-orange-banana
K-Kick their bum... long list
L-Last Restaurant I was in: Applebees
M-Muppet: Fozzy & Rowlf
N-Number of piercings: just ears
O-Overnight hospital stays: for birth of my kids
P-People with me today: family
Q-Quiet time activities: photography, reading
R-Regret: none
S-Status: Married x7 years
T-Time I got up this morning: late
U-Unique about me: I collect geocoins
V-Veggie favorites: snow peas
W-Worst habit: procrastination
kidney stones
Y-Yummy foods today: have not ate yet
Z-Zodiac: Leo

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandcub update

Grandcub Ultrasound
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

It was exciting to accompany Step to her ultrasound appointment on Monday. I'm still a little torn about the situation but I can almost see my daughter growing up! She is really trying to recover from the shock of BFD walking out. She truly believed every word he had said.

She has made an effort over the past few weeks to talk to my Hubby, really starting to bond with him. I can see her honestly contemplating how she will be a mom and take care of herself.

Today she tried a position in a daycare and quickly discovered that she has no clue how to deal with children. It really made her think about what it is going to take to be a mom.

At 20 weeks she is quickly facing the parts of pregnancy that her friends never shared with her. I think she has many more learning experiences ahead of her- they are coming fast too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I have to remember sometimes that I am a student of life. I learn something new everyday.

I am very grateful to realize this.


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Macro fun

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Enough thinking

I got up and went to work.

I wasn't sure I wanted to.

Then I picked up breakfast & found a bit of local inspiration...
Larry the Bum
The city takes away his cart every once in a while. That must be traumatic to him, but every time they do he just starts a new one.

I will not let one guy out of the hundreds who come through my office run me out of a job!

I had a good day.

Tonight I had to get some last minute shopping in for Son#2...
Advanced Bio Trip
Advanced Bio Trip
Advanced Bio Trip
(actually came in the mail today)
Advanced Bio Trip
So he is all ready to go!
3 fun-filled days in YNP! The trip only ran me about $300! LOL
Germany is going to be over $4000 when he is all finished.

I am not complaining one bit. My son will get some great experiences and have life-long memories of both.

My YNP experience:
Yellowstone Trip 1985
(I think I have about 3 rolls worth of pix from it)

I don't like the changing seasons when it comes to work

I love Fall! It is my all-time fav season! I just love the colors, the way the earth just glows.

I don't like how changing seasons affects my job.
I thought it was just a fluke that on the first day of Spring I was inundated with applications for Divorce and Parenting Plans. It had to be the nice weather. People just wanted the romance of Spring!


On Monday I was just overwhelmed by the number of phone calls, applications submitted and all-around craziness at the office.
I think I would have been fine if one client hadn't made me really think about my personal safety and that of my intern. A while ago I was given a gift by an old friend- pepper spray. I figured I would have it handy just so I could feel "safer" in the corner of the basement I call my office. Monday I actually pulled it out of the drawer with the anticipation that I would need it. I did not really want to use it. After the client left the office I had to close so I could collect myself. I don't remember ever feeling a wave of fear like that before. When I discovered my house had been robbed in Pryor I moved into a motel for a few days but that was my home. It took me over an hour to really stop shaking. I'm not sure how to walk back into that little room.

I have only slept in spurts, kind of napping versus really sleeping.

I'm trying to get a perspective on this where it will not negatively affect my ability to do my job.

Maybe I am just over-thinking it here.

My last "unusual" client- one who made me think I should notify someone- ended up as headline news here in GFMT. I don't feel like I am doing my job if I don't at least let someone know he needs help.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Somedays I actually like my job

There are so many days that I leave the office with the sense that I am facing a mountain with no path around or over but every once in a while I get a hint to where those paths are hidden.
The majority of people who come through my office are living at poverty or sub-poverty level and seeking to "fix" a bad situation. The rare client is one who is just looking for guidance through the court system.
The client I had this morning was one who made my week. Mrs. C was an older lady who has been selling Avon for 42 years! She lost her husband 4 years ago and says that the business gets her out of the house and keeps her involved in the community. She has met a wide range of people and been many places. She came to me to finalize a small-claims against a customer. How sad she was to have to go through the courts. I would guess she is over 75 years old but it didn't seem to bother her to have to do this herself. All she needed from me was to notarize her signature.
I think I felt better when she left because she seemed to be confident about what needed to be done and that someone cared enough to reassure her.

This afternoon I have an interview with the Tribune. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't want my picture in the paper nor do I want to take anything away from what my office does for the community. I hope I can give the reporter enough information to create a positive piece about us.

So, for right now, I like my job.... I probably won't by 5PM...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The weekend went well

We chose to just do a day in Lewistown.

Side trips included waymarking the Post Office in Raynesford! (I also got the Moore Library & Post Office)

I had to capture the last "R" created by students of the Raynesford school before they closed in 2006.

Once we hit Lewistown we revisited the cemetery since on our last visit we did not know where to find the grave of Medal of Honor Recipient Andrew Cummins.

Then I grabbed a few shots of the details on the courthouse and the surrounding memorials.

The nicest part was finding that they have a Carnegie Library and a large Veteran's Memorial park!

We did a lot of wandering around. The local Chamber of Commerce has a Minuteman I missile and Vietnam Veteran's memorial in the park next to it as well as a replica of the Statue of Liberty dedicated to Boy Scouts.

It has to be the most gracious town I have visited in a long time. Every park has some memorial dedicated to those who have served in the military. All branches as well as ones for both living and those who died in service. It made the Hubby feel a lot of emotions. He chose to join the military to serve the country but has not seen battle or conflict because of his career field. It seemed to really tear him up. I'm very proud of him.

It was a very nice trip which we ended with dinner at The Black Diamond Supper Club in Belt. The food tasted great but the service was very poor- the waiter was confused and slow, complaining to customers, blaming things on the busboy and making excuses for everything. We waited over an hour for our food which we had pre-ordered while we waited in the bar. Very sad.

As we drove onto the highway from the Belt turnoff I noticed a semi hit what I first thought was a box but a split second later realized was a deer. We hit it as well. Luckily no one was hurt and it turned out we just hit the end of the part that stayed intact after the initial hit. Thank goodness!

I will say that this was an especially wonderful time to be alone with the Hubby- no kids, no cellphones ringing and just spending time together. We talked about things which have happened recently and how they are affecting our plans for the future. It was great to reconnect and just enjoy one another.

Step is now 18 weeks pregnant. I will be going with her on the 29th for her ultrasound! That is when we will find out the sex of the little cub! BFD decided he was no longer interested in being a daddy so Step is left to do it alone. The Hubby & I are not surprised but she is very hurt over it. He was a bigger liar than we even believed. At least she is looking toward what she needs to do without him.
It will all work out. I know she is strong enough.

Life is good. really, really good.

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