I’m Alive!

My Max. You just wanna squeeze him in this photo, don't ya??
My Max. You just wanna squeeze him in this photo, don’t ya??

Sorry if any of you have worried about me over the past few weeks but a lot has taken place. I started school and was taking 11 credits of classes in addition to working about 42 hours per week. In short, it was too much. The five credit BIO class was killing me. It took up literally every single free moment of my time. And I found myself asking “how does my knowing about photosynthesis actually help me help animals?!” So I ended up dropping down to just 6 credits. Well, 7 credits when I start the Intro to Vet Tech class next week.

Winter scene on land I hope to soon take care of (because really, do any of us really own the land we live on?)
Winter scene on land I hope to soon take care of (because really, do any of us really own the land we live on?)

I went to North Carolina last week and think I found a place to live. And a little house in which to live. It will likely be about 396 sq feet and on a 2 acre wooded lot. Some of it will have to be cleared, of course, and I’ll either hook up to city water or dig a well (the lot is up an incline so it may be more expensive in the long run to connect to city water due to the size of the pipe, but we’ll find out about that as time goes on.  It’ll be a little bit outside of a small town outside of Charlotte, and I think it’s what I need right now. When I was down there, I went to the property one time on my own (I let the builder’s property manager know what I was doing) and just kind of wandered around a bit and listened to the breeze in the trees. A car passed, and once it was gone, I realized how quiet it was. And I thought of myself, sitting outside with Osito on my lap about a year in the future, just listening to the breeze and the birds in the trees.  It will be so different from how I live now, in a big city, in an apartment, but I think it’s just what I need.


Living in a smaller space will mean giving up or letting go of more stuff from my life, and it’s something I look forward to doing. Every time I let go of something else, it makes me feel lighter and freer.

I also met with two different vet offices when I was down there. One was a companion animal office in a part of town that I learned was not so great, by personal observation and by talking to a new friend (who feels like an old one, I am very glad to say.)  The other was an equine vet practice that I learned was a bit unusual due to its size and the fact that it actually had a vet tech. I guess a lot of equine vets don’t usually have their own vet techs. Usually, they rely on the horse owner and at most, have a receptionist.

<3 my Bonkers

So, my plan will be to try working with companion animals (with which I feel very comfortable right now) and volunteer with larger animals. I also found from talking to different vet techs that the hands-on experience is definitely more needed for me right now than to be taking a ton of classes through a distance-based program. I’m going to continue on with the classes I’m already taking and take a Medical Terminology class this summer, for sure. But I think the regular Bio and Chem can wait until I’m quite certain that formal schooling is the way to go and worth the small bump in pay it would give me as a result.

Just when I wondered whether I should keep my cat condo, this happened.  <3 HoneyBun!
Just when I wondered whether I should keep my cat condo, this happened.

I can’t wait for the next phase of my life to start. Until then, I’m going to save every penny I can to put down on the house and to make sure I have enough savings. I know my salary will likely be a third of what it is now and I’m preparing myself for that mentally. I may have some medical stuff coming up in the next month or so that will require me to spend some time out of work and if I do, I know it will be a good break to keep myself focused and on the positive, right track. (And who knows, maybe I will even have more time to blog?!) 🙂

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Big Changes (News!)

Isn't Fancy georg
Isn’t Fancy gorgeous? Such beautiful markings.

So, after months of Paralysis by Analysis or Decisional Impairment, I pulled the trigger, and have decided I’m going to NC. I’ll be traveling in February (let’s just leave it a bit vague since this is the internet) to do a couple things. One, hopefully find a place to live, and two, (2) check out the area, and (3) hopefully meet some veterinarians or vet techs that I can just talk to about their jobs, their field in that area of the country, etc.

I’m not sure why – maybe it was the sheer number of vet offices and animal hospitals I found within the Greensboro area, or the fact that my weather app told me it was in the 50s there this week, while we’re freezing to death up in Boston. Maybe it was the prices of homes down there and the realization that I could actually afford to buy something and have it cost less than renting.  Maybe the fact that taxes in the county areas outlying Greensboro have taxes of about one-tenth (yes, you read that right) of what I used to pay for a house in the suburbs of Boston.  I told my sister about some of this and she just laughs. I sound completely amazed and keep saying “OH MY GOD, it’s SO CHEAP!” and she’s like “um, yeah…that’s what it is for most places in this country.” (Remember, she’s in MI, a state pretty much in the shitter, but still…) Or the fact that some of my online research confirmed that there is a large number of horses that can be found in NC, along with horse events. And where there are events, I think they need vets, and where they need vets, I hope they also need vet techs.  And even if I don’t work with horses, there a ton of companion animal vet practices down there as well, and you all know how I love those types of animals too.

And maybe it was the luck that when I looked into flights to get there, I could find a non stop flight for $177 on jet blue, so I can check a bag for free.  (Good thing because little Baby O is going to go on her first flight with me. I’m going to be gone for five nights, and I always miss the furballs when I am gone. Plus, it would actually cost more to leave her at home.  And, believe it or not, but she actually will cost more to go on this flight than I will. For the bargain basement price of $100 each way, NON-REFUNDABLE of course, your pet can fly with you as one of your carry-ons. Yep, she costs $200 while, taking up a human size seat, cost less. Figure that one out…

Anyway, I was able to find a really nice place to stay through airbnb, and it’s actually on a horse farm. So yes, I get to see horses there too! I feel like things are starting to really come together. The lady with the horse farm is married to a real estate broker so he was able to refer a realtor to me who I have really liked working with so far, and she was able to refer me to a few lenders, one of which I contacted the other day and really like. So, I’m already pre-approved for a mortgage.

Now, I want you all to know – my plan is to only buy a place that, if I were to only make 10-12/hour, I can still afford the place and even be able to save money every month. That’s a possibility down in NC.  I REFUSE to be house poor.  Just because I got approved for about 5X as much as I want to spend on a house doesn’t mean I need to spend it. And I don’t plan to. I want a small house, something that is in decent shape, and not too large – a 700 square foot house or smaller would be ideal, as that’s pretty much the same size as my apartment now.  (I think i surprised the mortgage broker too, when I said, oh no, this isn’t just what I want for a few years while going back to school – I want a small home, permanently!)  And in case you are wondering why I am looking to buy rather than rent, well, it literally will be cheaper to own than to rent down there. And I would like to build some more equity in my life in addition to my retirement funds.

I’ll write more about the lending process as get further into it, but so far I’ve found that it’s actually harder to take a smaller mortgage from a lender than a big one – there is a federal law that aims to prevent small mortgagees from paying large fees relative to the amount of the loan. So I may not be able to borrow less than $50K – needless to say, I’m going to do some more research into this.  But I’ve decided, if that’s the case – if I can get a smaller home, with maybe more land, then I would be able to take care of more animals down the line. And that’s hugely important to me.

I’m really feeling like this is the plan that it has rightfully taken me a long time to come across. I know I have changed my mind more times than I can count but with every false step I took in one direction, it taught me more about myself. Small is still great for me. I still love the outdoors, and having a small space forces you into the outdoors. I still want to experience warmer weather during this time of year. And I DEFINITELY want to have animals in my life in a big way. This morning, Max rubbed up against me as I was doing some handwashing in the bathroom, and I thought to myself “how could I NOT want to work with animals every day??!! They make me so happy.”

Well, it’s time for me to get a move on, on this MLK Day. My plan is to get a lot of my letters written up so I can snail mail them tomorrow to vets down in the NC area. Now that I can tell them when I am coming down there, and school starts tomorrow! (yay!), I can demonstrate even more my commitment to the move and to the new way of life.

I swear, she knew I was taking photos of her for the blog - she stood very still for this one!
I swear, she knew I was taking photos of her for the blog – she stood very still for this one!

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