Big News!!

Hi everyone, I’m so sorry it has been a few weeks since my last post, but believe me, I’ve been very busy and productive! Because times/things? They are a-changing!! (I’ve even had this post mainly written but haven’t had a chance to add photos until today.)

Ok, so first off, I’m moving to Albuquerque! I went there almost two weeks ago and found an apartment that will allow me to have my pets, and is in a safe neighborhood, is clean, and is just what I was looking for. Linoleum floors – awesome for animals and picking up animal hair! It’s about 380-400 sq feet, so it fulfills my dream of living tiny, and there are a lot of trees in the courtyard right outside my window! I can park my car close by, and keep an eye on it, and it’s close to school – only about a mile and a half away. There is a golf course close by so I can go for a run and see beautiful scenery.

Isn't she a cutie?? Her name is Morgan - this was taken on her first overnight visit with us.

Isn’t she a cutie?? Her name is Morgan – this was taken on her first overnight visit with us.

Oh, and guess what?? I am adopting a 3 year old beautiful cattle dog that I have fallen in love with at the Page Animal Adoption Agency! She is my favorite dog there and the one I always make sure to walk, no matter what. She just loves loves loves walks, and she is going to be my new running partner once I move! We will start out gradually, of course, since I think we both need to work up to running distances of 3-5 miles, but I’m looking forward to having that baby girl join my family. She has been with us for an overnight visit, and yesterday for a 5-6 hour visit, and it’s like my cats are invisible to her. The only time she even reacts to them is if they hiss at her, and then she just kind of looks at them as if to say “sorry!” and then moves away. No barking back, no chasing, nothing. And she is fine with having little Baby O around – she is only selective about dogs when they are larger or close to her size. They have met and she seems to “read” Baby O well. Many times, when Baby O meets a younger, friendly dog, they sniff at her and sniff and sniff and sniff…you get the idea, even as she tries to walk away from them. Morgan realizes that Baby O is done with the meet and greet and pretty much leaves her alone.  She loves to go for walks, and she loves doggy jogging! So I am looking forward to her getting me out there every day and getting exercise again.

Now, the question everyone asks is – do I have a job lined up yet? NO. Am I terrified of not finding one? YES! I have been trying to get schoolwork done, do prep work to move (i.e. trying to figure out the most cost effective way to do it with all the animals and the few things I have acquired over the past year), and look for jobs, jobs, jobs! Seriously, people, I am TERRIFIED of not finding a job!  I do have some savings, and thanks to a very generous friend in my life, I was able to put down a deposit on the new place without having to touch those funds. And I have applied for financial aid with the college – not that I want to have to take out any more loans, but just in case it takes me a bit of time to find something. Who knows, maybe I can even get some work study funds?!

Morgan, sitting near me, even though she had a comfy blanket just a few feet away.

Morgan, sitting near me, even though she had a comfy blanket just a few feet away.

I’ve been applying to vet receptionist, and vet assistant type positions, and am applying to retail spots in places like Petco and PetSmart,  and plan on applying to hotels as well. I’m also setting up a profile for myself with, and have sent resumes and letters to some pet sitting services I’ve come across. I’ve applied to an animal sanctuary, and am happy to say that I have an interview set up with them just a few days after I arrive in ABQ.  Also, I plan on applying to seasonal jobs. I’m a hard worker – maybe it can turn into something more permanent.

Also, this past weekend, I went to Phoenix to celebrate one of my nephews getting married. I was able to see my younger brother (who many of you may think of as the crazy runner who does all these ultimate distance races like 100 miles) who came with his fiance all the way from NYC. I don’t dance, but while I was there, looking out at the dance floor, I looked at so many family members who I don’t get to see too often, just thinking how lucky I was to be able to spend the time with them. I realized then that there had been a change in my thinking. I used to go to weddings and look at the guests and wonder how happy were they really? Was everyone just faking being happy when really their lives weren’t? Or maybe their happiness that I saw that day was fleeting, just a moment in time. I know, it sounds very cynical, right?

You might be wondering, why Albuquerque? Because I want to give the southwest another shot. I’ve not felt completely at home where I’ve been so far but maybe because it’s been small towns, and I’ve come to the realization that I am more of a city girl. I need to live in a place that has more amenities and the possibility of more jobs. It’s a very dog friendly town, and there are many rescue groups as well as veterinary clinics. The weather is milder than the northeast – there are some cold(er) days, but hardly any snow, and it’s still an outdoor-activity friendly town. Lots of places to run and bike. There are mountains to the east, and lots of trees (it’s at a higher elevation than Lake Powell)< so I’ll be able to go hug trees whenever I feel the need.🙂 The cost of living is low (necessary if you are looking to work in a field that doesn’t pay huge wages), and also, it’s where the community college is located that I am attending. It has a good vet technology program, and once I become an in-state student, the tuition is incredibly low. Since I am moving now, I should only have to pay out-of-state tuition for the first semester. It’s a 5-semester program, and it only begins in the fall (otherwise I’d just wait another semester until residency has been completely established.)

Again, sorry for the delay between posts. I wasn’t sure the Tuesday postings were working for me, honestly. I’m going to try to be more organized, going forward, and get posting more regularly. Thanks for sticking around with me.

As always, thanks for reading.


Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness and Some Cool Links


Taken at Buffalo Creek Park in Flagstaff – I loved how low the clouds were sitting over the San Francisco Peaks.

School began last week but I still took a day off to get out of town and go visit Flagstaff with a friend.   I’m so grateful to have a good friend here, one who I can talk with about just about anything. It’s made such a huge difference.  I hope you will enjoy the photos!

It’s funny – when I was on the east coast, Cape Cod was my escape place. I could be there for just one night but feel like I had been away for a weekend. A weekend there felt like a week away from life. Flagstaff has the same effect on me now. To be there for a day feels  like a weekend’s escape. It’s just beautiful (of course, I’ve not gone there in winter, I’m sure with the snow, I might feel differently.🙂 )


I found this spot to be incredibly calming as I sat and talked with my friend. I really didn’t want to leave it – the sound of the breeze rustling through the leaves, the squirrels scurrying about, the birds singing. I just loved all of it. 

Call me a geek, but I am actually happy to be taking classes again. I like being a sponge and learning new stuff. I just hope some of this is relevant to actually working as a vet tech! I’ve already missed some deadlines, but I plan on having those be my last. From now on, the student cap is firmly placed upon my head. And thankfully, I have today and tomorrow off so I can get right into the thick of things.

So, for links – if you are trying to come up with ways to earn extra money while never leaving the comfort of your home, you might want to check out Survey Police.  (I’ve given the link to the page for the US.) They rank the various survey sites out there on the web, and have lots of reviews from others just like you. I may try some of the ranked sites out, and if they seem decent, I will let you know. One thing I always do is weigh the amount of time a survey is estimated to take and if it seems too long, then I don’t do it. (It’s why I don’t usually do stuff through swagbucks anymore. It took too much time to add up to anything of value.)  The way I look at it is a dollar here, a dollar there, it all adds up in the long run.

Granted, surveys don’t pay as well as other “side hustles” but they do allow the flexibility of your being able to do them in your pajamas, or at 2 a.m. in the morning, etc. And by the way, I didn’t see Survey Savvy on their list, but I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a good site, they pay in cash, and they pay pretty fast. And they have some survey software that you can install on your pc or ipad and have the opportunity to earn more. I’ve had it on my laptop in the past and didn’t have problems with viruses, etc.   If you do decide to give it a try and sign up, please use my referral link.

I’m sorry for not having more links to include this week but some nights when I’ve come home lately, I’ve just crashed. I try to not turn the TV on as it just becomes background noise, and I remember the days when I didn’t have a TV. I liked those times.

What are you thankful for this week? And have you ever done a lot of surveys? What were your thoughts?


Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness

Sorry for posting this so late in the day. I went to work by 615 a.m. this morning and worked my third 11-12 hour day in a row (inventory.) But better late than never, right?

About two weeks ago, I introduced myself to the girl who was answering the PBX phones at the hotel – basically acting as back up to the front desk folks. I saw she was studying and asked what it was. She was studying law, and in her second year. Now, there’s no law school anywhere near where I live, so it turns out she would travel back and forth to Colorado every week. She looked to be in her twenties, had kids and a family and seemed like a very pleasant person to be around. She was really excited to be learning law.

Last week, I came in at night  to make the night deposit and saw a sheet printed with color photos on it, and the words “In Memory of a Dear Friend” and what appeared to be photos of that same girl. I have to admit, I didn’t believe it. I was like WTH happened?! But no one was around for me to ask. So, I found out  a few days ago – she was killed in a head-on collision, with the other driver being drunk. Whoa.

Over the past month, a family I grew up with has lost two siblings. One died from a car accident, and the other just passed away this past weekend from ovarian cancer, with which she had been diagnosed for the past year. I guess it was already advanced pretty far when they discovered it. I can’t even imagine what their older sister and younger brother are going through right now. Thinking about that really puts things in perspective, though, doesn’t it? I know my problems now seem trivial in comparison.

Life is too short. It really is. And you never know when your time is up. It’s a cliche, yes, but it’s also very true. So, if nothing else, after reading this story, please tell your family how much you love and appreciate them, or if you live alone and have pets like I do, hug them extra hard.  I’m writing this post on a Sunday because my next few days at work will be filled with inventory, but as I write, I’m looking out my window at Lone Rock at what appears to be a beautiful, if somewhat muted, color-tone sunrise. I will never take sunrises or sunsets for granted. If it’s a beautiful one that I am missing and someone yells at me to come see it (as my grandma used to do), I will run right out there. I don’t ever want to be that person who says “eh, there’s going to be another one, I can see it tomorrow.” Because you know what? Not to be morbid, but you might not.

So, instead of adding links today like I normally do, I want to share a video with you that a good friend, Helen, shared with me a few days ago. (No copyright infringement intended, I would give credit to the creator if I knew who it was.) Anyway,  I’ve not seen Helen in a few years due to the fact that she lives in the Caribbean, and I do not. But she’s an amazing woman. Someone who just exudes gentleness, and a calm, loving nature. You know how with some people, you just get a good vibe when you meet them? Yep, that was Helen for me. So, Helen, if you are reading this, please know how much you are appreciated, and how much I loved this gift of this video. I hope you will all enjoy it.

As always, thank you for reading. Please drop me a line below and let me know if there’s anything you are particularly thankful for and appreciate.

Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness, Totally Awesome Links


I was so grateful to see this way-too-cute-for-words pairing yesterday. Usually HoneyBun moves when she sees Osito heading toward her bed, but right before this photo was taken, they were snuggled up and sleeping together.❤ HoneyBun and Osito

Good Tuesday to all of you! This week, I’m thankful for the Patriots having won against the Cardinals on Sunday night’s football game. I admit, without Tom Brady, I was a bit worried about how we would do, but I have a lot of faith in Bill Belichek. To watch the game with some Arizona Cardinals fans, and have the right to talk some smack was just awesome! LOL.  They knew it was all in good fun.

As I announced last week, in my post called What the Heart Wants, I’ve decided to go back to school to become a vet tech, with an eye to possibly working with wildlife in the future, or hospice care for animals. (We’ll see what happens!) Being older and wiser than the first (or second or third) time I achieved a degree, I’m determined to find as many options for scholarships and free money to go to school.  Last week, I mentioned FastWeb. Today, I came across an app called Scholly. They charge $2.99 to join and that’s the only charge, and the app itself is free to download for iPhone and Android.  I don’t watch the show Shark Tank, but I understand his app was featured on that show! Another website I’ve just come across is – it’s a free database that you can use to look for scholarships, and supposedly is updated every day. I’ll be testing it out this week.

Now, I know not everyone reading this is thinking of going back to school, so I’d like to share another website that I’ve come across recently, and it’s about intentional living (and in part, minimalism, which usually goes hand in hand with intentional living.) It’s called Break the Twitch.  In case you prefer to watch videos over reading text, he makes a lot of videos that you can see on YouTube at this channel

And with this, I need to get off the computer and get ready to go down to the local animal shelter so I can walk some doggies!! Then it’s off to the gym again to try to push myself and sweat a lot! I hope you will all have a wonderful Tuesday! Please feel free to drop me a line below and let me know if there are any amazing links you want to share or think I should highlight in a later post, or what you are feeling thankful for this week!

Also, let me know if you think these posts should come later in the week – would Thursday or Friday be better?

As always, thanks for reading!




What the Heart Wants


The night I took this photo, it had poured rain, so the sun was peeking through the clouds, shining on the large rock formations at Lake Powell.

What the heart wants and what the mind thinks it can do are sometimes two totally different things. Allow me to tell you a short episode from the other night. If you’re friends with me on facebook, you may already have seen this, so I apologize to those of you in that category.

The other night, I was driving home from having dinner with a friend in town. As soon as you drive out of town, it’s quite dark. The national recreation area is what they call a dark sky area, so there are no street lights and such like you would find in a city. It can sometimes make things feel pretty desolate, honestly. But, that night, I saw an animal in the middle of the road. It looked like it was just sitting there, but it was a jack rabbit. They don’t sit in the middle of the road and wait for cars to come by. They get the hell out of dodge and fast! So I knew that it must have been at the very least, injured. I quickly pulled over and turned around to try to take a look at it. Cars were coming along and I somewhat hoped that if it was injured, that someone might strike it so it would die quickly and not feel any pain. You see, out here, it’s not like there is an emergency vet I can take it to within a few minutes. The local vet isn’t open on weekends and the closest vet (even for domestic animals) is in Flagstaff, which is about 132 miles away. I don’t even know if they take wild animals. Best Friends is about an hour away, but I doubted that someone was there after 10 pm at night. (Actually, it would be even later them as Utah follows daylight savings time and Arizona does not.) Continue reading

Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness, and Totally Awesome Links


View from the AirBNB my family rented last week in Flagstaff, AZ. I was only there for a few hours but it was SOOO relaxing to look at this beautiful view.

Today, I’m thankful for being in the new apartment. It is much less furnished than the other place, so it feels more minimalist and it’s more relaxing for me to be in. It may sound weird to say this, but I think even The Herd is much happier here. Callie has been out and about more often, and HoneyBun has been quietly finding her “spot” to relax and sleep in. (As I write this, she is laying down with her head on my leg. It’s a very AWWW moment.)  Max, of course, thinks he rules the roost, and Osito just loves to sleep and cuddle, as usual. And I’m feeling more inspired overall. To write, to think about my next moves, what I should do with my life. I have a better view of Lone Rock (the image you see in my blog header), so I’ve been spending some good time on my patio, reading and looking out at it.

I’m also thankful for the Passion Planner that my friend Claudia sent me. I haven’t used a planner in a while and I think this will be helpful to me in reminding me to do a little something every day to get me closer to fulfilling my dreams. Or, rather, to figuring out what those dreams are.  It’s a different kind of planner and at the end of every month, it has a lot of self reflection kind of questions. Even though I just got it, I went through the questions at the end of August, and it helped me to think about a lot of different things, like what I was most grateful for this past month, what major lessons I’ve learned, etc. You can also download extra pages and insert them into the planner, like this finance insert.  I can’t wait to start using all of these, but especially the finance pages.

In keeping with my financial goals, I’m always looking for ways to save money. I read through the book, Frugality for Depressives, and it had lots of suggestions that anyone can use.  Among them was the website, 365 Days of Slow Cooking, and it even has a vegan page! I can’t wait to try some of them out – the awesome thing is that it usually includes a lot of ingredients I already have at home.  Another good one was Gift Card Granny, which compares prices on gift cards that can be bought via a few different websites.  Right now, I’m living in a small town, but I can definitely see myself making use of it in the future for items I do use and things that I normally buy, like gas, and groceries, etc. Some discounts are better than others, of course, but any little bit I can save will be good. It’s the small things that add up over time.  I’ve been constantly reminding myself of this at work and  when I get paid this week, I’m going to make a transfer into my savings account of $2.35 for each day I didn’t buy crap at the campground store where I work. I think it’s really going to add up over the next few months. I have an idea of what to do with the money I save up, but I’m going to leave that for another post.🙂

Anyway, I hope that all of you are having a great Tuesday – with my work schedule, Tuesday equals Sunday, so I plan on making a productive day of it. I have animals to snuggle (they are all on the bed with me as I write this, which I absolutely love!) and animals to walk at the Page Animal Adoption Agency and Page  City Shelter. (By the way, if you shop on Amazon, please consider using their Amazon Smile link and doing your shopping, as a portion of the proceeds will go to them!  It will cost you absolutely nothing.

By the way, I am taking part in a fundraiser called Strut Your Mutt in a few weeks, at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Any funds raised by our team members will go to help the shelter with its medical bills. The shelter doesn’t get any funds from the city, and there is only one paid staff member who even comes in on her days off to take care of the animals. If you would like to support me in this endeavor, please visit my fundraising page. I will be taking little Osito with me but we will be doing more of a “carry” than a walk, since she has slowed down somewhat these days and sprained her shoulder a few months ago.  But I promise you, she will look as adorable as ever, and I will probably put her in a dress.🙂 Laugh if you want, but you can’t look at her and not smile when she’s wearing a dress. LOL

I hope that some of these links are helpful to some of you. I’d love to hear about any websites you have found to be helpful with saving money, or following your dreams.

As always, thank you for reading!









Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness, and Totally Awesome Links

This photo was taken while on the Panoramic Cruise around Lake Powell yesterday. Enjoy!

This photo was taken while on the Panoramic Cruise around Lake Powell yesterday. Enjoy!

Why Tuesdays?  Well, I know on Monday we all have to get back to work. By Tuesday, we’ve caught up and if we work in an office, we might have some time to take a few moments and check out blogs or whatever else we like to surf on the net. So, I hope that this post will be a good distraction for you and if you’re reading it in the morning, help you get your day started on a good note. And I promise to keep them short!

They will include some new links of possible interest to  you, thoughts about things for which I am thankful (it used to be its own series on this blog, so this is my way of bringing those back to life), and possibly different perspectives to help you get through the day. Hope you like this new series!

By the way, if you need some cuteness overload, check out my new blog page: The Herd. Yep, there you will find pics of my awesome furballs.

  1. If you’re sitting at your desk, and not  loving your job, think of it this way – you are earning a paycheck, and outside of work, you can work on changing our work situation. Spend some time updating the resume, or take time to research into other options, even if it’s only on your lunch break. If you feel stuck, take at least one small step today to make yourself unstuck. It’s empowering. Trust me. For me, I’m grateful to at least have money coming into my life that allows me to put a roof over my head and that of my pets. I just need to stay disciplined, and it can help me to save money for my new future that I’m envisioning right now.
  2. I’m very thankful that my family (my older brother and his family) have been able to travel to the southwest for a week. They are spending a few days in Lake Powell, and then heading to Flagstaff on  Tuesday. I’ll be hanging out with them for the day!  It has been over a year since I saw them.
  3. As I’ve been trying to gain control of my financial life, I’ve started seeking out others who write about this field and came across some awesome podcasts: Budgets and Cents, and Martinis and Your Money.  Both make me feel like I’m listening to a conversation between friends, and I’ve definitely been binge listening! The latter had an amazing episode called Frugality for Depressives. Having struggled with depression, it really hit home and the lady she interviewed had some really insightful comments.
  4. Sometimes you need a little inspiration or to see beautiful things to help you get through your day – I hope you enjoy these two photography blogs that I’ve just added to my links (can’t believe I didn’t do it before): Adventures of Dorrie Ann and Joyfully Green.
  5. Like I said above, check out the newest page on this blog, The Herd!!

As I said, I want to keep these posts brief, so I hope you will all have a good Tuesday!  If you have anything you are thankful for in your life right now, please feel free to drop a line below and let me know what it is! And if there are some good links you want to share with others, please do that too!

As always, thanks for reading!