Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously, I'm bad at updating...

Weekend fun was loads of fun! I forgot to post but I'm sure my readers forgive me!

Second month of unemployment down & no I still don't miss the old job... I miss working though. I watch the G-cub full-time but starting tomorrow it will be a bit less and spread over more days because my daughter GOT A JOB! YEAH!!

I became a grandmother again(3 weeks early) on October 21st! My oldest (mystery daughter) had a 6lb 4oz baby boy via emergency c-section. He was breach & they had planned the cc-section for November 2nd but Gar-bear(my nickname for him) had other ideas! I am not complaining.

I will be heading to Billings in the next month for a visit. I am debating if I should go alone, take my mother or take the hubby. The solo trip is sounding the best as I can't really see spending 3 days with my mom non-stop & the hubby can't ever get time off. OK,OK, I really just want to be away for a bit! lol

My Billings trip will include a side trip to Miles City to do some waymarking & hopefully some geocaching.

My next trip will be a 4 day trip to Butte-Anaconda-Dillon area for geocaching, waymarking & maybe enrolling in a few classes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A real post!

OK, I've been tweeting a lot more than blogging lately.

I have been without a real job for a month. I still don't miss it.

I have been spending most of my time with my grandcub and doing a bit of geocaching.
This weekend (October 3 & 4) I will do a bit more fun stuff. On Saturday I will be driving to Superior Montana to meet my cousin & bring her daughter back. (I know, I know, I said I would do thins anymore but...) I plan to photograph the Mineral County Courthouse, Superior Post Office, school, cemetery and do a bit of geocaching (there are over 50 within 10 miles)!
Then on Sunday my family is celebrating my Aunt Catherine's 80th birthday! She is a wonderful person & it is going to be a great time!

I will post all the photos and update after the weekend.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lack of motivation

I am lacking motivation to write anything of substance recently.
Actually I lack the motivation to even get out of bed some days.
My head is spinning. really.

The dizziness issue is getting worse. To add to the fun my extremedies go numb randomly. This makes work, life very hard to do.

On Tuesday my ED told me I was fired. Luckily, the Treasurer overruled him on that. I returned to work on Wednesday and decided that I really can't work for this man under these conditions any longer. This next Thursday will be my last day. I figured I would finish the pay period and be done.

I have no ill feelings toward most of the board or the ideals behind the Law Clinic but as long as they have the current ED they will have little success. You can't succeed under inept leadership.

On to my next phase in life.

I hope to be substituting shortly and I have found some temp and part-time work. I think the less intense work schedule will help me to deal with my illness.

I will not get any unemployment benefits but the hubby and I have planned for this for a bit so I'm covered for the next month or so.

Onward & upward!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WHAT is THIS!??!

WHAT is THIS!??!
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

I love taking photos of my grandcub

Friday, August 14, 2009

Big label

Big label
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

The ENT has helped to rule out:
liver issues
inner ear

So I am taking antibiotics an prednisone for the next few weeks

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I seem to tweet more than blog these days simple because I can just throw out thoughts through my phone with twitter.


What is going on in my life? LOTS!

August 1, 2009
I awoke very early and scurried through the house frantically packing then ushering people into vehicles.
Today's the day!
We hit the road about an hour and 1/2 later than planned but the hubby tried to make up for it with speed. No MHP and no tickets so that was good.
Arriving in Billings, we headed toward ZooMontana. I was very, very, very nervous.
My thoughts raced.
We walked in the gates and I hear "Are you (insert childhood nickname)?"
Stunned I replied "yes"
Next thing I know I am getting hugged by someone and ushered quickly into the giftshop.
More hugging.

It's really her!

Two days of blur followed.

She is no longer a mystery.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

IRL meets

I attended both the Great Falls Tweetup & the Electric City Blog Fest.

They were very different events with equally great people.

The tweetup was a very relaxed, informal eat & chat session. It was perfect for the crowd that showed and really made everyone want to do it again. I'm excited to see what comes next for the GF tweeters!

The blog fest was a more structured event in that Gregg had a discussion session first then BBQ after. I was only able to stay for the first discussion session since I had the grandcub and Karma had a vet appointment. It was a great discussion. Wulfgar was a great speaker and initiated some very thoughtful conversations. I meet several bloggers I had hoped to and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

Between the two meets I think I started to focus more on the "why" than the "what" I post. I don't post to really have discussions but I think the several different incarnations of my blogs have been a vent for my random thoughts. One of my first blogs was started after I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt. It helped me with the thoughts I had and trying to get them out so I could "deal" with everything.
Today I focus more on the happy parts of my life which is why this has a photo component to it.
I still try to help people to understand that not everyone who is diagnosed Bi-polar is unable to function in society in a "normal" way. I know that I will have to take my medication everyday for the rest of my life and I am fine with that. I also know what my ability to function is closely tied to my ability to force myself to leave the house everyday and go to my job.

When I awaken in the morning I take a minute to focus my thoughts on the positive parts of my life- my family, my health and my friends.

This post did not go as I had planned but I think it still conveys the thoughts I had to get out.

Next month is a fun geocaching event and *hopefully* the flickr meetup!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

These are my tweeple!

On Saturday evening many of the local tweeters meet in real life at the Downtown Doghouse. We were treated to awesome food, beverages and conversation!
A BIG shout out to Dave the owner of the Doghouse! Thank you for opening your business to us and the community. You are an asset to Great Falls!

It was so nice to meet the faces behind the tweets! I can now put voices with those words.
I was impressed that we had more attendees than the Michael Jackson Memorial in Missoula and the St. Louis Tweetup combined!

I'm looking forward to the next Twitter event!

In the mean time - we have the Blogger event coming up on July 18th!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meetups planned

WHEN: July 11, 2009 6PM
WHERE: Downtown Dog House
#4 5th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59401

Blogger bash
WHEN: July 18, 2009
WHERE: See website for details & instructions to attend.

Camera club/flickr meet up
When: Looks like early August so we don't overwhelm the GF cyber-community
Where: Taking suggestions

Friday, June 26, 2009

Great Falls Flickr meetup/camera club get together

So I'm thinking we can get a good group of GF Flickrites/photogs/cameranuts to get together one evening, walk around downtown, shoot a few frames & grab a drink (not necessarily adult beverages) with conversation after.

Pick a day:
July 11 5-7PM
July 17 6-8PM
July 21 6-8PM


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Great Horned Owls

June 2009 043
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

My second time to find babies at Giant Springs State Park.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I do believe in miracles

Thursday night one happened!

I was doing a random search for Mystery Daughter on facebook & actually found her...

She was searching for me too!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


More addictive than Facebook and probably meth! (I know nothing of the latter so this would be exaggerated a bit)

Follow my tweets with the top button ----->>>

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I feel a bit better. I visited my regular (although new) Dr. and he gave me meds to help with nausea. I have no clue about the allergy stuff since the old Dr. left without saying anything & new Dr. is not an allergy guy.

Been busy at work- cases are closing and new applications are pouring in.

Karma is fitting into the family well.
The Grandcub is growing like a weed...
So I guess things are normal... whatever that means

Monday, April 6, 2009

I hate being sick

On Friday I was getting ready for work, rushing around then I quick jumped into the shower. As I was getting out the Hubby was getting in & I mentioned I was feeling dizzy. He told me to just stand there & hang onto him. I remember putting my arms on his shoulders the next thing I knew I was laying on my back in the tub. Whoa. He was very concerned and I was kinda freaked because he had surgery just over a month ago. I was more concerned that I had hurt him than I was that I had fainted.

I got out of the tub and laid down on the bed. I didn't go to the doctor. (I know, I know)

I have felt faint ever since so I went to the doctor today. I prefer to see my PCM at the base clinic but he was not available so I went to the GF Clinic. NEVER AGAIN. The PA I saw was an ASS, rude & basically dismissed me with "It's a virus, you should drink lots of water." Wow. I hope they aren't billing TriCare for much.

So here I sit at work feeling very weak and hungry. I ate lunch but it wasn't very good. Nothing tastes good when I am sick. I hate the idea of eating even.

On the plus side I lost 5 pounds according to the clinic scale!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Funny thing...

Over the past two months I have adopted a dog, purchased a new car & witnessed my grandson's birth...

I am still taking less pictures than I have over the last 2 years!

(OK- I think my camera is dying or in need of maintenance)

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Nitro!

better view
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

OK- I found out this week that I have better credit then my hubby! So I got to pick the new car! My van has been on her last legs for a while. We plan to put the last bit needed into her & give the van to Step so Grandcub has a safer ride to Dr. appointments.

I feel in love with this when I drove it! Feels like a Jeep with more leg room!

I'm happy

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm thinking

Who uses twitter?

I may jump in since it appears easier to blog there then here.

What ya' think?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flickr Game

the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).
the questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

(I forgot to copy the URLs for here...oops)

Thursday, March 5, 2009


My sister sent this email today:
Most of you know that I work with pregnant and parenting teens from the lowest economic levels who have been traditionally unsuccessful at school. Last year they lobbied successfully to get a prom at our school. Through much hard work they raised enough to have it at a local hall with security at the doors and good music etc. This year they are doing it again and this program came up which can be a great help to us to make the night even more special for them.

We also get help from the local group Operation Glass Slipper which connects donated gowns, shoes and accessories with girls who cant afford to buy them. (most of the gowns are new and donated by the stores and others)

Here is how you can help:

Give 30 seconds of your time to vote every day until March 13th.
Go to: for the Prom Across America contest (link is located on the left column of the main page)

Find MN- Broadway Technical High School Minneapolis

Click and Vote!

** only (1) vote per IP address and computer network is allowed each day.

We appreciate all your votes and support to Broadway High School!!

(Broadway High School's Student Council has committed to donate 30% of prom funds raised to a local charity: Catholic Charities)

Thanks so much on behalf of my girls: (all 187 of them as of today)

I know it's not local but I hear the stories everyday about these girls. Help them out!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Isn't she cute?!

The kids named her... I agreed it was a fitting name.


  • The hubby had his disk replacement surgery on the 26th. He is doing great. He was up & walking within 4 hours of coming out of the OR! He is off the IV, IV meds, cath & oxygen! I'm guessing he will be home by Monday & have the next 20 days off. *fingers crossed*
  • Baby Adrean is doing well. The hospital & Social Security misspelled his name so he will be refered to as Adrian in the future. (easier than fighting with the agencies)
  • We got a DOG! I wanted the Saint Bernard at the pound but the hubby talked me into the sweet little Beagle/Australian Shepard mix. She is the cutest thing.
  • Did I mention I am a addict?totally addicted!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I have come to understand that many of the people I "help" through my job are not rational and not always sane but I think that sometimes I get too emotionally attached to the case anyway. Take the case of Alicia.

I know the father because he dated my daughter. The biological mother of the injured baby also came to my clinic for help. I met the baby and she was a sweetie. These two young adults both loved the baby.
I am just sickened by Alicia's actions.

I actually went to visit my daughter to check on my grandson after work yesterday.

I'm physically & emotionally exhausted after dealing with this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

Step with sisterK & Son#2... oh yah, Baby Adrean too!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

This unexpected pet turned out to be a blessing for me over the last two years. This morning she died in The Hubby's arms.

It was a very tough day.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Who paid for Nayda Suleman to get IVF 5 times?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Adrean Michael

7lbs 4oz 20in


Exhausted Mama

Exhausted Mama
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

24 hours of labor & 2 hours of pushing. Our little "girl" turned out to be a boy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I miss the ears that really listened to me & the eyes which really saw what I was feeling, thinking and doing...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Valentine geese

Valentine geese
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda

The owners dress these two different throughout the year. Sadly someone stole the cute penguin outfits they had on in December.


Many things are on my plate this week:
  1. My job - I am concerned as to whether or not I will or want to continue on with this job. I will stick it out to the bitter end.
  2. Surgery & baby - The hubby's surgery finally got a date, February 26. Which is good since it is after the baby's due date of February 11. He will be hospitalized for 5 days and then convalescent leave for up to 90 days after.
  3. The ex will be here February 4 to "help" with the baby. No stress there *insert sarcasm*
  4. Family pet - we are considering getting a dog... seriously. After many months of looking at different breeds the Newfoundland is my personal choice. But you can't find a breeder, rescue or one in a pound within 500 miles of GF. *ugh*
I have been very stressed and angry over the first 3 but tonight I had to make the decision to either cry it out or chose a different approach. I went with the latter. We will see how that works for the anger/stress/frustration.

Any suggestions for doggie names?? :-D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There is only one word to say...


I love Suze

Ok maybe love is too strong but I really respect her.

Suze Orman is obnoxious on her TV & Radio shows but the message she is putting out there is right on!

Go get her latest book! FREE!!!!

The winds of change

They are a-blowin'!
With the closing of many local businesses and the one chain here in Great Falls, I have to say the recession is hitting us.
The loss of small business is our own fault though, we bought into the greed. Do you shop at Wal*Mart?Target? Eat at Burger King? McDonald's? Yah- that helped. I know that I contributed too. I also know I never ate at the Big Sky Bagel Bakery and very rarely at either Burger Master, Zandy's or Park-n-Ponder. When my son worked at Zandy's- we ate there but not before nor since. That was my choice. My family loves to eat Best Wok, Maple Gardens, and Howard's Pizza. We also eat BK, Subway and Noodles Express. There are many local choices mixed with those chains.

When Barnes & Noble first arrived in GF there was an awesome local bookstore I loved. I spent a ton there. Not six months after B&N opened they closed- cheap books beat them. Box stores have a solid business model that draws in customers and pushes mom & pop stores out. But the consumer drives businesses. Business is in business to make money. Greed leads companies (& people) to make & sell more products because that is what produces more profit. If you want to see greed in action just turn on the TV! Every commercial sells you a product. When the Red Lobster commercial comes on I think about how great it would be to have one here BUT I also know that it would not be a place I could afford to eat at every day. The once a year trip to Billings makes it "special" to eat at RL.

You want local businesses to stick around? Spend your money at the local stores! The whole "sustainable" movement is not just about the environmental impact of big business! Buying local products keeps your neighbor as your neighbor- builds your community and if when the economy seriously tanks - your know where you can still buy your groceries!

Where are you going to get your food if you can't buy it at Wal*Mart? Where are you going to buy your clothes if the chain stores are closed? Will you be eating out if Burger King is gone?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things are different in Winnett

55 - Petrolium County
Originally uploaded by ZhenPanda


With a population of just under 500 people in the county I figured I'd never see this one in GF!

I am now at 43/56 counties!

It will be work to get the last 13.

Holy S*it!

It's snowing


Saturday, January 10, 2009


So I frequently view sites that people click in from..... I found this one interesting- it randomly clicks through blogs. You can stop it or skip faster.

Totally cool!
I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Improving Organized Money Manager

The best line of this quiz was in the results:
"0% of the 55761 people who have taken this quiz are like you"

Does that mean I am totally unique or what!??!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is there something special going on this weekend?

(I really was stumped as to why I saw so many different out-of-county plates today in the mall!)

1. 1 - Silverbow County,
2. 8 - Fergus County,
3. 12 - Hill County,
4. 14 - Custer County, (rare)
5. 15 - Lake County, (somewhat rare)
6. 26 - Pondera County,
7. 46 - Granite County,
8. 48 - Liberty County,
9. 7 - Flathead County, (somewhat rare)
10. 5 - Lewis and Clark County,
11. 31 - Teton County,
12. 27- Richland County, (rare)
13. 3 - Yellowstone County

Friday, January 2, 2009


ZooMontana just announced that they have acquired a female red panda! This means they have a breeding pair!!


As so as the Hubby recovers from surgery we are off to meet Zoe!!

(do I sound excited?)