Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness, Totally Awesome Links

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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 Scholarships.com – 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!

 

 

 

Lot Going On…

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Taken during my off-roading adventure yesterday, something I won’t ever forget.

Sorry it’s been a few weeks since I last updated everyone as to what is going on. It’s been a busy few weeks, and I have been working a fair amount of hours, only to grow larger, I suspect, over the summer. That’s ok, because any overtime I make will be going to pay off debt and save up cash for the leaner times.  Also, the way the internet works out here is not so reliable. For me to even be typing this, I have my chromebook tethered via USB to my phone and am using my cellular data. To get satellite internet at my apartment was going to be a huge hassle and a half, involving drilling through the roof (don’t even get me started) and quite expensive. I have decided to just buy more data for my phone if the need arises.

So…ok, where do I start?!

So, you might be wondering – did I sell the RV? Yes!!! I sold it to someone who used to work at the resort where I currently work. He was so happy when he drove away with it. I’ve moved into an apartment and there was a bit of a hassle over the furballs. That’s all I can really write about it publicly, but suffice it to say, it was stressful.  Then about a week and a half ago, when I went to a neighbor’s to hang out, I left my door closed (or so I thought) but unlocked. I came home a few hours later to find my door standing open, and Max and HoneyBun had flown the coop. We get high winds here sometimes, and the wind had blown the door open.  To say I was panicked is an understatement!

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HoneyBun, exhausted after her second escape to the outside world. Never letting that little one out of my sight again!

Max was returned to me the next night, but HoneyBun was on the lam for almost a week until I was able to catch her in a trap that a friend loaned me. She has since made a break for it once, and now I’m even more paranoid of opening the door and OCD-ish when making sure the door is locked every time I step foot outside of the apartment, even if it’s to sit on my own patio. I’ve ordered a flexi-gate to put near the door to act as another barrier – it should arrive in a few days.

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This photo epitomizes the sweetness of Bonkers, how he used to curl his paws when he slept, and how sweet and big his heart was. In his sleep, he kept moving closer and closer to Osito until they were touching. ❤ Bonkers. RIP.

I have some sad news, and it relates to my oldest cat, Bonkers. On the day after Max and HoneyBun escaped, I left work early to come home and search for them. Bonkers was having issues pooping, as he has had over the past year or so (he has dealt with constipation issues, an irregular colon, kidney failure and a heart murmur.) I called the local vet immediately, who was triple-booked, but they urged me that if I could bring him down within the hour, I might be able to get him seen.

Well, a few weeks before this episode, I ended up having to drive 150 miles one way to the town of St. George, in Utah, to help Bonkers out with another pooping issue that required sedation. At that time, because of his heart murmur and other health issues, the doc had wanted to do some blood work before putting him under sedation. His blood work came back and showed high calcium levels, which I learned usually means cancer. However, they couldn’t see a tumor at the time.

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After only one day of being on the run, Max seemed very happy to be at home and has stuck close by my side ever since. This photo was taken the day after he was returned (a helpful neighbor called me when Max found his way into their courtyard.)

Fast forward to the day that I took him to the local vet, who felt around his bum area and noticed it felt quite hard. He felt his colon and said that the lactulose which I had been giving him religiously was doing its job and his stool was soft as it should be. But he had a tumor growing near that area which was making his “exit” hole that much smaller, and therefore harder for him to defecate. The doc said that with anal gland tumors, they usually grow fast and are very malignant. If I wanted to consult with a specialist, he predicted it would mean a large medical bill, surgery, chemo, and in the end, a totally incontinent cat of 15 years. It was clear Bonkers didn’t feel well that am, and I had noticed he had not been eating as much the past few weeks, nor was he sitting still for his subcutaneous fluids like he used to.  So, I decided to do what was best for Bonkers, and he crossed over the rainbow bridge on April 15th.

Now that Max and HoneyBun have been safely returned to me, I feel like I can finally properly mourn Bonkers. I’ve arranged for him to be individually cremated, and I plan on donating all of his unused medicines to the local vet. The local vet said that while he can’t re-sell the meds himself, he can offer them to an owner who might come in in the future with a pet needing such expensive meds but can’t afford them. (I was able to buy them all at cost from the animal clinic with my former employer.)

I’ve been working as a supervisor of the resort’s campground, but have recently acknowledged what my physiological system has been telling me, and which I suspected was the case – I don’t like being The Boss, and dealing with all those stresses being The Boss entails. So I have asked to be moved to the role of Team Lead. I will still do a lot of what I am doing now – dealing with campers/customers, but not with all of the stresses of having to discipline employees, etc.  So right now I’m in a transition period where we are hiring lots of new employees for the summer, and working with my (temporary) replacement in the supervisory role. And yes, there have been some rough patches. Nothing is ever easy. I wish it was, but lately, that just doesn’t appear to be the case where my life is concerned.

I do like living in the apartment. I love taking long hot showers, and being able to even turn around in my bathroom! I love being able to do a load of laundry while I sleep at night. I love living close enough to work so that I can drive home the 2-3 miles at lunch and visit my furballs. I love living so close to Lone Rock that I can even see it from the front patio of my apartment. I love the fact that in April, just yesterday, I was in a tshirt and shorts and sitting at the beach, even if only for a short while after I volunteered at the local animal shelter. And yes, I have loved taking some of their energetic doggies for walks.

I am having a problem setting into a routine, however. I’ve not worked out in weeks now (shock, gasp!) because getting to work by 7 or 7:15 in the am already requires me to get up pretty early and after being on my feet all day, I just don’t feel like going for a run. And I’ve not been writing (obviously, as you’ve seen from the lack of posts on the blog). Until a few weeks ago, I’ll be quite honest. I was so stressed out of my mind on a daily basis from one thing or another that it was all I could do to get msyelf to eat an entire bagel for breakfast without feeling like I wanted to puke. That’s how I get affected by stress.

But lately, my stress level has been coming down somewhat, and I’m working on getting my positive attitude back on a more regular basis. I’m feeling like I can eat food again.  i did lose some much needed weight during those stress-filled weeks, so that was actually a good thing, in retrospect. And, I learned some valuable information about myself, so that was also good.

Well, this has been a rambling catch-up post, and I hope some of you are still out there, interested to read it. Please drop me a line or comment below if you like. I promise to write more now that I am slowly getting established. And I want to write more fiction as well. The book dream has not left me – it just got misplaced during the move and the following stress.

Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

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Lake Powell from near my RV about an hour before sunset. Yes, I’ve edited the pic for color but it gives you an idea of just how beautiful it is. 

So it’s been a busy few weeks since I last posted. I finished up the job at the animal sanctuary and then moved a few days ago to the small (but still bigger than where I just left) town of Page, AZ. You might not have heard of the town’s name, but it’s home to a huge lake (2nd largest reservoir) called Lake Powell. Simply put, it’s gorgeous. I don’t care what the naysayers say about “oh the lake’s level is down so far right now, it’s just a pond compared to what it once was… blah, blah, blah.” You know what? I’m not gonna let them rain on my parade because the view I see every morning and every evening makes it all worthwhile.

The move here was a bit rough at first – some downed trees, and the campsite I wanted didn’t have water running to it. So I ended up taking the site next to it, and am now just hoping the downed trees get cleaned up sooner rather than later. There are also some problems with the water at the new site, but they are workable. I also can’t wait to make my space more inviting – it will have to wait until I get a paycheck as I’ve used the credit card too much lately. But more inviting, it will definitely be! Luckily, the animals seem to have adjusted to the move rather quickly. For the first day, Callie and HoneyBun hid a lot and were clearly freaked out, but they seem to have recovered just fine by now, as you can tell from the photo below.

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HoneyBun appears to have settled in comfortably.

So I also just started my new job this week.  I will be supervising and yes, it’s been a while since i did that in any official capacity, so I’m a bit nervous, but think I’ve learned  a lot over the years from my supervisors, both bad and good. Going to try to discard all the bad habits and things I saw, and do my best to keep the good, plus tweak those things with my own personal style. And you all know me, I like to research the hell out of anything so I’ve been reading some self-help/teach-yourself books on management, and will be trying to hone my people skills as well. I know it won’t all be easy but I hope to not disappoint the ones who believed in me enough to offer me the job.

When it comes to managing, in the past, I’ve tried to always lead by example and make it very clear to folks that I will never ask them to do something I’ve not done or won’t do myself. I hope that will come through loud and clear. And God knows, for 6 months, I took care of a lot of animal poop so I think it’s safe to say there isn’t much I won’t do, if it needs to be done. From what I hear, we get extremely busy in the summer and there will probably be some overtime in my future. If that’s the case, I’ve already decided I will be trying to save as much $ as I possibly can. If it works out for me here, I could see myself trying to buy a small house or condo.

I finally got to take a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam. It’s the second largest, and also Lake Powell is the second largest reservoir in the country, trailing just behind Lake Mead in terms of capacity. I will also be attending a fundraiser for the local animal shelter/adoption agency, known as PAAA (Page Animal Adoption Agency). Hoping to meet other like minded people there – something tells me I will!

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One of the most gentle dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. After his initial shyness, he and I are buddies now. I’ve been licked on the face several times to prove it. 🙂

I just started pet sitting for a good friend, and will be for the next week or so in the evenings. He has the most awesome, old-souled (yes, “souled” is a word, I’ve just created it!) dog that I swear is part Australian Shepard and Lab by the looks of him, shy but super-loving dog. (In the pic, he has a dog treat on his head. I was trying to bond with him at the time by lying next to him on the floor in the closet where he went and hid when I tried to take his pic. I think the treat convinced him enough to sit still for this one pic.)  He also has a very handsome and talkative Siamese who has epilepsy and thus requires medication twice a day. I’ve never seen a cat take a pill so easily in my entire life. You just pop his mouth open and shove it in, and you’re done. Awesome! If I go to Lone Rock tomorrow (as  you all know, one of my favorite places to be out here), I may be taking his dog along for the ride and an involved game of Fetch. (In case you are all wondering, yes, Baby O is doing just fine and she’s snoring next to me as I type this, in fact.)

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Balloon coming in for a soft landing on the third and final day of the Kanab Balloons and Tunes festival. That was a perfect weather morning and as the balloon landed, I could hear the birds singing. 

Before I left UT last week, I was able to take in a balloon festival with a new, but very good friend of mine. For three days, the balloons were able to get into the air, which is just awesome. They also had a Balloon Glow portion to the weekend where they had all the balloons set up on the street and at certain times, all would light up their balloons with the propane-powered hot air. It was a pretty amazing sight to see, and it just felt good to be leaving Kanab on an up, rather than down note.

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It was so difficult to snap a photo at just the right time as the balloons were lit up! 

In case any of you are wondering, yes it’s been two weeks since I’m completely Prozac free as I mentioned in my last post. I’m feeling great. I’ve been getting up and running in the mornings, and went to the local gym for the first time today. Had a great workout that left me feeling tired and famished, and a bit sore, which is just the way I like to feel at the end of a great workout. It’s a feeling I’ve not had in a long while, so I think things are looking up in that department and in so many others as well.

And on that note, I think I will end this post. Thanks as always for reading.

 

Getting Rid of my Debt (What # am I up to now?)

Shhh...the baby is sleeping....
Shhh…the baby is sleeping….

I seriously have lost count. I know I have not been talking about the Debt Killing much lately and that’s because it has slowed down,while my savings has really ramped up. Now that I know I definitely want to move to WA state by September of next year (and possibly as early as August if I get accepted to the Outdoor School I mentioned in my last post), I have figured out how much I need to save to feel comfortable when making the move. I want to have at least 4-6 months living expenses saved up, a scooter (which I estimate will cost me about 2K), and have planned on saving up about $3K for the move. I figure the motor home will cost me probably about $1200 for gas alone, and I’m thinking right now my budget for the motor home purchase will probably be around 10K. I’m not expecting to get the latest model but want something dependable, and I don’t mind putting in some sweat equity to make it my “home” Ii.e. my goal is to make it feel “beachy” by probably painting the walls, and possibly the cabinets depending on what color they are to start with.) Read more

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

My baby girls, Callie and HoneyBun. So cute and snuggly (HoneyBun is kneading her bed in bliss.)
My baby girls, Callie and HoneyBun. So cute and snuggly (HoneyBun is kneading her bed in bliss.)

I wish I could say I was thankful for the extremely cold weather we are having in the Northeast, but I can’t. I hate the cold. That’s why I want to move someplace a lot milder!  However, there are many things I am thankful for this week.

  1. I was officially offered a part-time front desk job at the gym where I work out – yay! I’m hoping this means that my monthly membership is going to be free, as that would be a savings of $59/month. I’m also really hoping to gain a lot of knowledge about the inner workings of the health and fitness industry. Not to mention that I will be taking all the money I earn from it and put it in my tiny house fund, or to pay off debt! (I’m thinking the tiny house is the place I would most like for it to go.)
  2. Though it’s been frigid all week, it has made for some incredible sunrises. As I walk into the gym from the bus, I have a great view of the Boston skyline. Some mornings, the sky is a fiery red. The other day, the grayish clouds hanging over the skyline were so solid and opaque looking that they looked like mountains behind the buildings.
  3. Really frigid mornings make for extremely short “pee and poop” trips outside with baby Osito! If time permits, when we come back in, I hold her on my chest like a baby to help her warm up. Doing that, she gives me lots and lots of doggie kisses!
  4. I was also contacted by someone to do some freelance research on a book – yay again! This lady is super awesome and so down to earth. And, right now, I’m very focused on doing the best I can do at whatever project I set out to do.
  5. I’ll be gaining more space in my studio tomorrow when I give my old bike to someone off of Freecycle. It feels good to be giving it to someone who can really use it, and I can already tell by our phone call and our emails, that she is going to REALLY appreciate it.
  6. The heat broke in my apartment last night, but the guys who take care of the building are so awesome, they had it working again within a half hour! Warm and toasty!
  7. After the payment I just made today on my personal loan clears, the balance will be about $633!!
  8. Memories. Yes, memories. They remind me of what life used to be like, and while sometimes they can make you sad, or nostalgic, you can learn from them, time and time again. Literally.

What are you thankful for this week?