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.

More Pics!

Friday, September 12, 2008


The Realtor who captured this shot is someone I need to talk to! (click the second listing)
The house lists at $850,000 but the view is worth it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So I need to chose a place to visit for a get-a-way weekend.

  • Thompson Falls
  • West Yellowstone
  • Virginia City
  • Phillipsburg
  • Polson
  • Big Hole battlefield
  • Big Horn battlefield
  • Pictograph caves
  • Dillon
  • Ennis
  • Lewistown
What do you think?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I have the answer

To my own question

1 Meters (m) = 3.28083989501 Feet (ft)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Van update

So the new belts apparently aided in removal of the alternator. One sheared bolt.

It is still up on the ramps in my garage while I drive the Hubby's car and he rides the motorcycle. I hope he can stay warm.

Any suggestions for a new or used vehicle UNDER $17000? No trucks please.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Van repair- revisited

Van repair- revisited
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Apparently he did not over tighten one belt enough


the alternator was trying to let him know that it lost a bolt & was falling off...

"In a world where..."

Don LaFontaine will forever be "the voice".....


Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day hijinx

Washington - Seattle Mariners
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

What else can I call them? "Fun in the Sun" was soooooo not appropriate.

Sunday was our semi-annual "Clean-the-garage" day which I am still working on Monday night. Monday was "take-Son#2-school-shopping" day...yes, we shop later because of payday! I had the $300 stimulus money set aside especially for today. Get the boy some new, decent pants & shoes! So off to the stores we go- we hit ShopKo, Target, Kmart, every clothing store in the mall, Old Navy & the BX. We spent a grand total of $14 on shirts, couldn't find one pair of pants he liked and purchased lunch and a snack! He picked up two DVDs as well.

3 hours and $70 later we are home and Son#2 is still wearing those raggedy torn camouflage pants! Now I get to scour the Internet.

Wish me luck.