My Relationship with Money

Photo courtesy of (public domain image)

Photo courtesy of (public domain image)

I have to admit, even thinking about this post’s topic makes me a little uncomfortable. So that tells me it’s something I need to face and to write to get some clarity for myself.

I’ve started listening to a lot of personal finance and simple living podcasts lately and one of them usually asks the guests what their relationship to money was, growing up. I definitely have an answer for that but it’s longer than just a one-word answer. Continue reading

Signs That You Live in a Small Town

view from my city park of the cliffs that surround the town

view from my city park of the cliffs that surround the town

I thought some of you might appreciate the humor in some of these.

  1. When giving directions, you say something like “you know where the stoplight is? Ok, take a left there…” (Even though now there are two, everyone refers to the main one as The One. Or maybe that’s just me.)
  2. You know the first name of your UPS delivery guy – btw, it’s Wade, in my case. He even has time to have a quick convo with you after he hands you your package for the evening.
  3. The fact that you know your UPS delivery guy is because you order so much on amazon, or online, since you can’t get it in town or without driving 70 miles to the closest Walmart.
  4. Go back and read Number 3 – yes, the closest Walmart is about 70 miles away.
  5. When you start at your new job, your boss says “so I saw you out running the other day!” Because, you know….there really aren’t so many people out there running. There are a lot of pickup trucks, however.
  6. You have two grocery stores, and neither is a chain. Of those two, one is not open on Sundays. Ever.
  7. You have two drug stores. One closes on a Saturday at noon and doesn’t open again until Monday.
  8. You have one movie theatre in town.  As in one screen. At the beginning of October, the marquee still has info up on the local Utah documentary it showed back on September 10-12th. (I wish I was kidding. Supposedly it’s been taken over by management. All I can say is that they better get their butts in gear if they want to keep any customers.)
  9. Pretty much everyone you work with all live in the same town.
  10. The hardware store closes at 6 p.m. Every night. And oh yes, it’s closed Sundays. (You were ready for that one this time, weren’t you?!)
  11. The big deal for entertainment on Friday evenings is the local high school football team’s games.
  12. When I take little Osito for walks, there is a 9 year old boy who lives down the street and he always keeps an eye out for us so he can lead Osito on her leash. This would  probably never happen in a big city like Boston.

I’m sure that as time goes on and I become more familiar with the place, this list can and will grow. If you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe, or drop me a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Getting Rid of My Debt: A New Beginning and Focus

This is a post I’ve been contemplating writing for the past two or so weeks, but for some reason, couldn’t bring myself to hit the “publish” button. I’m not sure why. I have just felt out of sorts when it comes to my financial situation because I still haven’t been able to look at a full month’s worth of expenses and salary, to see how it’s really setting itself up. Maybe that’s why. I’m pretty sure it is the reason, actually.  Continue reading

Have You Ever?

Zion National Park, river after the storm.

Zion National Park, river after the storm.

Have you ever….

  1. Had one of those days where you can’t stop smiling?

    Zion National Park, before the storm.

    Zion National Park, before the storm.

  2. Been so happy you find yourself hugging your knees to your chest, and thinking, now THIS….this is what life is all about?
  3. Been so excited to accomplish so many things and dreams and goals that you don’t know where to even start, or which to focus on first?
  4. Found yourself looking at such gorgeous scenery around you and wondering how it is you are so lucky to be able to experience it?
  5. Had so many ideas flowing from your brain you wonder how to go about writing them all down without missing one?
  6. Wanted to share every beautiful image you’ve come across in one day with another or others, but been afraid to overwhelm them?
  7. Been so thankful to be alive?
View of the incoming storm from the Lower Pool, of the Emerald Pools Trail at Zion National Park.

View of the incoming storm from the Lower Pool, of the Emerald Pools Trail at Zion National Park.

Please drop me a comment below and let me and other readers know! Thank you for reading, as always!  Hope you enjoy the pictures, all taken with my phone at Zion National Park!

Simple Things I Love

Now that I’ve been in Utah for a month, I thought I would take a moment and write about the simple things I love about my life. These are the things that make me smile inwardly and outwardly every day.

  1. Seeing all of my animals eating every morning and every night.  I now understand the passion behind my mom’s statement we heard while growing up: “I would take the shirt off of my own back for you or give you the food out of my own mouth – you will always be taken care of.” (That may not be the exact wording but you get the idea.)
  2. The quiet time I have every morning to write. Everyone else in my RV park is asleep at that time, so it’s just “me” time.
  3. The beautiful view I see on my drive to work every morning – seeing the cliffs and canyons surrounding my town. It’s something you can’t put a price on.
  4. The feeling I get when chopping up veggies for a good healthy dinner, or chopping up bananas to put into a healthy smoothie. I’m doing something good for myself, and creating, and it feels really good.
  5. Looking at a clean and empty kitchen sink and counter with no dirty dishes or extraneous “stuff” laying around. (There’s just something about an uncluttered counter that is so calming.)
  6. Talking to my best friend on the phone and feeling like she’s right there next to me, not over 2500 miles away. She’s so smart, generous and giving. I am so glad to have her in my life and can’t wait to see her again next spring. 
  7. Opening up my pantry cupboard and seeing it full of food, knowing I can provide for myself, and knowing that if I were to just need to live off of that storage for the rest of the month, I could, and that it would make me get creative with my meals.
  8. The feeling of waking up naturally, not to an alarm clock. Feeling well rested,and seeing so many of my animals dozing on the bed near me.
  9. Using pencil and paper, realizing that even though I have a much smaller salary now, I can still afford to pay off things or save a little, every month. All it takes is a little discipline.
  10. My nightly walks with little Osito.  We walk past the big RV park and look at all the big fancy rigs, and I wonder where those people may find themselves the following day. (I love sitting at the airport and realizing how far all these people can travel in a single day.) We like to go around sunset so it’s not so hot.  On our last walk, she met a 9 year old boy and continued her simple way of being an ambassador for dogs everywhere, just by being her super sweet self. :-)
  11. This shows you how much my world has changed – Utah is definitely not Boston in some aspects. I just got contacted by the recycling guy and I’m going to be able to continue recycling – this brings me so much joy, you have no idea.

What are some simple things that you love or make you happy in your life? Please drop me a line below and let everyone know! And as always, if you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe. 

One Month

Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell - this place is one I will return to again, and again, and again.

Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell – this place is one I will return to again, and again, and again.

First off, I would like to thank everyone for reading my blog. This week has seen the most views of it since I started it two years ago. Not sure why, but I’m so glad people are reading and seem to be enjoying it. Thank you so much.

On the 11th, it’ll be one month since I pulled into my RV spot. One month since I could stop the cycle of loading all my furballs into the car every morning, praying the hotel clerk wouldn’t see that I had five carriers loaded into my small car! One month since I didn’t have to get up and just drive, drive, drive, every single day.


Ok, sorry, I just had to yell that. I’m back now. And calm. :-)  And I do remember what happened 14 years ago on this date. How could any of us forget?

Lone Rock Beach at sunset. Every minute, the view changes - it's wonderful and enchanting.

Lone Rock Beach at sunset. Every minute, the view changes – it’s wonderful and enchanting.

Over the past month, I’ve had issues with the RV (don’t you love getting to know your neighbors because you’re apologizing for sewage coming out of your abode onto their property? Yeah…….) (In my defense, the folks who transported my trailer put the sewer hose into the wrong place.) The second day, I was just getting out of the shower when I heard a knock on my door. The owner of the park had stopped by to see about my sewage problem from the day before, and realized i was spewing my grey water all over the neighbors (yep, same ones), but again, in my defense, there was a Y connector that my neighbors had set up, and something was worn out. Oh, and the fourth night I was there (a Friday night, of course), I locked myself out of the RV. With the spare keys inside……yeah……. so that involved me and a neighbor trying to break into the RV, finding out that was useless from many different aspects (windows, the skylight over the bathroom, etc.), before I finally called a locksmith. She swore up and down it would have cost a couple hundred dollars, but in reality, it cost only $45. Needless to say, I made copies of my keys and hid them outside the next day.  And one day, a few fellow campers heard my AC unit making a horrible racket and one also works for my organization. She called HR and asked them to contact me, as she knew it would be a very hot day and I had animals inside the RV. (That was the day I went to the Grand Canyon, actually.)

That was my welcome to rv living, or RV Living 101 class, you could say. By the way, to those of you who are RVers, I watch youtube videos, etc., but are there good websites to learn about RV maintenance in general? As in checklists of what to check for and do before winter hits, etc.? 

Taken from inside Lower Antelope Canyon, outside of Page, AZ (close to Lake Powell).

Taken from inside Lower Antelope Canyon, outside of Page, AZ (close to Lake Powell).

I’ve also gone to numerous national parks – the $80 it costs to get an annual pass pays for itself. Each visit to a national park on its own would cost at least $25-30.  I’ve been to Bryce National Park (twice), Grand Canyon North Rim (second time in 13 years), Zion National Park, Arches National Park (last night of my cross country trip), and Lake Powell (twice). It’s hard to pick a favorite among them, honestly. They are all so different and beautiful in their own right. Lake Powell was the most recent, and it was the only time I have heard honest-to-goodness waves crashing against the shore in over a month, so I think that might be edging itself out there in front for that reason.

Another shot of Lower Antelope Canyon. The light changes constantly, and is amazing. It's on Navajo Tribal Land, so all tours are guided.

Another shot of Lower Antelope Canyon. The light changes constantly, and is amazing. It’s on Navajo Tribal Land, so all tours are guided.

I’m in the middle of my fourth week at the new job. I feel like I’m establishing a new routine, both at work and in my personal life. I’ve carved out time in my day (very early in the a.m.) to get to the gym, and have started taking my chromebook to the sanctuary so I can work on things over my lunch break (including blog posts!) My “weekend” days are not on the actual weekend which is good and bad. When you’re trying to meet people, it can be hard when your only days off are the ones when they are at the office or their job. But if there is one thing I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s to not be complacent. So I put myself out there, and try to meet others. And in my days off, I’m making sure I see more of this beautiful land called southern Utah. 

The beauty of this area is a huge part of why I moved out here. I wanted to see beauty and get out there and have an outdoor lifestyle. I’m sure that come winter, it may be more difficult to do so, but until then, baby…..I’m getting out there as often as I can! I’ve pushed myself to walk in places at the parks where before I would have been scared to walk due to my fear of heights. With every “push” I give myself, I feel myself getting stronger. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you can be at any age and still be growing. 

My phone doesn't do the best with the lighting in the canyon, but I just love how the sandstone looks, and curves.

My phone doesn’t do the best with the lighting in the canyon, but I just love how the sandstone looks, and curves.



I see views like this every day – it just blows my mind.

Rainbows are so amazing out here - you can usually see a full one.

Rainbows are so amazing out here – you can usually see a full one.


I love the way you can see rain far off in the distance out here. Loved the contrast between the dark and white billowy clouds off in the distance.

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From my walk on the K-Hill Trail the other day. I often find myself just looking at the clouds and scenery in amazement. I have to pinch myself that this is around me every day now. It’s not just a vacation where i have to try to soak it all in and take back the memories until the next year.


Yep, another shot of the Grand Canyon from my trip there two weeks ago.

That one word sums it up. How I felt last night. How I feel when I am at work these days. How I feel when I’m home in the evenings and take little Osito for a walk down past the RV park near me and we check out all the big fancy motorhome rigs that have set up camp for the night. How I feel when I sit outside of my RV and just have a good book to read, and I marvel at the wonderful, fall-ish, dry air of the southwest. How I feel when I see a rainbow so often these days. It’s just amazing.

There were definitely days over the past year or two when I thought this time would never come, and when I thought I would never figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew that what I was doing at the time was not it. My good friends would listen to me tell them about my newest idea, or newest place I wanted to move. They never laughed at me, but would chuckle with me as I said, “ok, so here’s what I am thinking this week.” I just always had that date of Aug. 2015 in my mind and knew it would come to me by then. Every change in thought brought me closer to where I needed to be in the grand scheme of things.  My life is much simpler now, and I’m so grateful for that.

I remember the days when I would have to listen to people throwing all those questions/roadblocks in my way, saying, why would you want to give up everything you have to go and scoop animal poop all day long? There were days when people would send me job descriptions for jobs similar to what I had  but in different locations. As if the change in location was all that I needed. It was definitely a test of patience, and I had to remind myself that people were projecting their own fears onto me. I always needed to remember the source of the concern. Their fears, and their love for me. It wasn’t a criticism of me.

I’m doing the online dating thing now. Some might find it weird that I signed up for it so quickly after having moved here, but I purposely didn’t date for the last few years because I didn’t want any person to distract me from my goals. I didn’t want to take the chance that someone might want me to change my mind and stay put, in Boston. Because I knew in my heart, staying put was not an option. I’m hoping it works out, but if it doesn’t, I’m also ok with that too. At least I will know I’ve tried. And if I meet cool people along the way, and maybe make some friends out of it as well, then it will be one more positive experience for me. The thing is, I’m not looking for someone to complete me or fill a hole in me or feel like I’m lacking or deficient being by myself. And that’s how I know I’m ready. I’m happy with me.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. Not sure why they all loaded into my page the way they did, all together, but anyway, there you go! If you ever have a chance to get out to the southwest, do it!! Your stress level will go down remarkably. I promise you. (And a PS to those of you who know I have been weaning myself off of Prozac now for the past few months. I’m down to half the dosage I was on for several years. I’m doing it, and feel great. It’s just a matter of time until I’ve got it completely cleared out of my system. I’m no longer afraid of the “what ifs” that held me back from doing this before. If you’re new to the blog, you can read more about that here.)

As always, thanks for reading, and if you have enjoyed this post, please hit like or subscribe or leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you (seriously.)