Monday, July 28, 2008

DRM Dedication

Thursday afternoon the three of us along with Cari packed in the van and headed over to Helena for an overnight.  Dustin had a board meeting and we all wanted to attend the Friday dedication/open house for the new Disability Rights MT (Montana P & A) office.  The ride over to Helena was enjoyable as always with the mountain scenery going by.  It really makes the two hour trip over there go by pretty quick.

Dustin spent the evening at his meeting while we went over to the hotel to unload our luggage and respiratory paraphernalia.  It was Cari's first trip out of town with us and needless to say she was pretty excited.  There were so many things to check out at the hotel and she wasn't going to miss anything.  She was a pretty pooped Pug by the end of the evening.  
Friday we attended the noon dedication for Disability Rights Montana's (DRM) newly renovated building .  The dedication was brief and it was cool to see those who worked on this project get the recognition they deserve.  Dustin serves on their BOD and it was nice to be there with him.  After the dedication they served up hot dogs to those in attendance and it was a great way to end the festivities.  This new headquarters will serve DRM well as they continue their advocacy on behalf of Montanans with disabilities.

We returned to Missoula on Friday night and it was a pretty laid back weekend.  My weekends will be getting much busier soon when school starts.  School starts on August 25th and the only thing left to do is purchase my textbooks and get them scanned onto CD.  It feels good to be heading into my 2nd year and hopefully things will go well for me this fall.

Well before school starts, I plan on enjoying the rest of my vacation.  We have a few things planned to do in August with the Western Montana Fair being at the top of the list.  Can't wait to satisfy my fair food cravings :-)

Hope everyone is having a enjoyable summer so far and I'll be back next week.

Stay well...Mark

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's been a week of fantastic summer weather here in Big Sky Country and I've been enjoying every minute of it.  We  are now in our dry season here in Missoula and its beginning to show.  Fire season is upon us and we were quickly reminded of that when Mt. Sentinal caught fire last week.  350+ acres were burned in the fire but it was put out fairly quick with the assistance of a bucket carrying helicopter.  Thankfully nobody was hurt and no property was lost.  I've included a few pictures of the fire in this post.

I went to the Steve Earle concert at the University Theater last Saturday night.  I've enjoyed Steve's music for a long time and it was great to finally get to catch him live.  His mix of folk, blues, and rock didn't disappoint and the crowd cheered intensely after each song.  Many of the songs dealt with our criminal in chief AKA Dubya and how our civil rights and beloved democracy have been trampled on during the past 8 years.  So many Americans are fed up with the status quo and needless to say Steve's songs of protest were well received at Saturday's show.

Yesterday we went over to Norco to fine tune my new backrest and we made some significant progress.  They ended up trimming away much of the left support and that was fine because I wasn't using much of it anyway.  This made getting me into my chair much easier and the backrest still holds me great.  The backrest went back to Denver for some more fabrication but it should be back to us in a week or so.  I can't wait!  

Here ends another update but I'll be back next week with another installment.  I'll fill you in then on a new hobby that I'm giving a whirl.  Stay well until then...Mark

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've returned from a wonderful vacation to North Dakota and boy it feels good to be home. It was good to go back east and visit family & friends that I haven't seen in ages. Here's a brief wrap up of the trip.

The trip back to North Dakota went really good and there were no glitches along the way. This made for fairly easy travelling which was really nice. We spent the first night of the trip in Miles City and that went ok. Motel 6 is one of the few chains where I can get my lift under the bed but the mattress was nothing to write home about. Oh well before I knew it morning arrived and we were on the road again.

The excitement kept building as the miles went by and I was glad to be returning to Jamestown a liberated man. It was a strange feeling as we made our way through the town that I left behind for a wonderful new life. Things looked good around town and it was just good to be home.

I crammed in as much as humanly possible during these few days and had a good time doing it. Besides visiting with my friends and family, I did many other things while home. I went up to see the famous Jamestown buffalo, hung out at a street dance, saw some spectacular 4th of July fireworks, ate out at one of the new restaurants in town and finished up by attending the big 125th anniversary parade.

One of the big highlights of being back home was getting to see my grandparents. We were able to spend a great afternoon together and nothing could have been better than that. My mom provided some awesome home cooking which made the day perfect.

The week went by so fast but I was ready to get going back to Missoula. It was a 13 hour long drive back home but it’s a great feeling to have a life of freedom waiting for me. We pulled in around early evening and all the Pugs were at the gate chomping at the bit to welcome me. I think they missed me!

I want to thank my family for taking care of me all week and for putting up with me. This trip wouldn’t have been possible without your efforts.

On a sad note, we are mourning the passing of Theresa’s mom this week. She passed away Monday and she’ll definitely be missed by those whose life she touched. These moments in life are hard to get through but we will support each other and get through it. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.