Changing of seasons

Changes can come rather unexpectedly some times. Winter was not expected for a few more weeks. This weekend was very cold but sunny and dry.

Today it began to snow.

Over the last several days change has come to my life rather unexpectedly.

A job opening was posted in Hanover (the town I dream of settling in), at a facility that was just finished being built and I’ve been anxiously waiting for them to list a social worker job.

I was very excited when I finally saw the position open. Starting pay 70k a year. Brand new state of the art building opened by a world renowned hospital. However the job requires a Master’s degree. I applied anyways, thinking they might make an exception due to my work experience.

They called me to ask I keep in touch with them, but that the state requires they hire someone with a masters.

After much thinking and contemplation over the last few days, today I did something I never in my life imagined myself doing. I applied to grad school.

Here’s to new seasons and new chapters in life!

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The storm

It’s been a fairly mild summer/fall in New Hampshire. Mostly sunny, warm gentle breezes, few rainy days, mostly 70’s temps. Watching the news all this time of the wildfires in the West, flooding and tornadoes in Mid USA, and hurricanes in the south… seemed the whole nation was getting bombarded while the northeast sat back and enjoyed the day. I guess it is our turn now. 

The past 24 hours have been a drastic difference from the norm and it’s got quite interesting. Hurricane strength winds,  torrential rains, and momentary breaks where the sky is actually blue giving one hope that the storm is over, before clouds move back in and pour again. The wind sounds like an angry howl. 

The flag at the entrance of my apartment was perfectly intact a day ago. 



David Livingston Park

Over the river and through the town, to Livingston Park we go…

My first few weeks living in New Hampshire, my job had me driving through Manchester quite often. It was impossible not to be intrigued by the giant green space, I kept passing,  beckoning me to come explore. 

My first time making it to the park was on a snowy Saturday. 


It has become a  favorite go to when I’m needing to burn off energy. Taking exit 9S off I-93, it’s hard to miss, about a mile down Hookset Rd.  Located about 10 minutes from my home. 


My one major recommendation for one who may want to visit, is to not bring dogs. There’s about a million others, some too friendly and some not at all friendly. Every owner one passes, wants to stop and ask what gender, name, age, breed you have. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a New England thing to ask 20 questions about people’s dogs. 

Usually it’s a pleasant encounter for me with other dog owners. However, in the 1 mile long loop around Dorr’s pond, getting stopped 14 times to answer the same questions, when all I wanted was to walk and listen to music, always has me finding I have a headache by the end of the trip. 





It wasn’t until I moved to NH that I learned how famous the state is for its fall colors. 

People come from all over the world to see it. Locals refer to fall tourists as “Leafers”. (Fun fact: a large portion of the New England population lives up north for spring, summer, and fall, but live in Florida for winter. They are referred to as “snowbirds”)

I truly wasn’t prepared for how amazing autumn would be. Livingston park is the perfect place for viewing. 

I tripped on a root and tumbled to the ground right as I took this pic


Almost 11 months now, I’ve been living the dream here. It’s been fun to watch the changes in the park. 

Hanover NH Norwich VT

Several months back, on a cold rainy weekend, my brother Nick and I went on an aimless drive North West. 1 1/2 hours later we stumbled across a beautiful place known as the Upper Valley. Upper Valley consists of several towns on the NH VT border. In the middle of it is the town of Hanover, NH. It was love at first sight.


Through the months I have gone back to Hanover several times and fall more in love with every trip.


In the heart of the town is the Ivy League school Dartmouth. On the outskirts of town, Dartmouth owns one of the best hospitals in the state (which I hope may some day have a medical social worker position for me!) Nearby is Hanover High, which I have since read, is a part of one of the top 5 public school systems in the nation.

At any given time Main Street is flooded with smiling, beautiful people hitting one of the many shops and cafes. It feels like one has stepped into the best place on earth.

That being, real estate and taxes are astronomical. The average median income in the town is $129,000 (vastly trumping my hometown Molalla, Or at $52,000). And one pretty much needs to make more than the median to survive long term in the town. Property taxes are more than I pay in a years amount of rent.

But cross the bridge over the Connecticut River and one will find themselves in Norwich, VT. More country estates, a little cheaper, and lower taxes, but conveniently still a part of the great school system of Hanover.


The Appalachian Trail runs through the Upper Valley, as well as several other hiking, skiing, and river sports opportunities.


I am convinced that when the right time comes, this is where I want to settle.

Home decor

A brief glimpse of how I like to decorate my living quarters 


On the front door

^^ Nick found this sign in the woods. The couch delivery guys were nervous and asked if they should be wearing special gear. 


Every afternoon I walk in and say hello to Joe. We named him Joe. 



We named him Ted. Ted is dead. 


Haven’t come up with a creative name for our newest friend. 

One would think we did it just for Halloween, but no, it’s been like this all year. 

100 days

It’s hard to believe it’s been 100 days since that fateful night that I drove out of Tulsa for the last time. 

It’s been 100 days in my new life in New Hampshire, and every day continues to be an adventure. 

It’s been about a month since my last post. Here is another photo dump for your liking. 

Yummy food after a day on the Maine coast. 



Cool hiking trail I found after taking an alternate route home from work. 

I’ve definitely had to get used to snow in my life. And this funky formation that appears on my car every time it’s warming up. 

A nice mile long walk around a lake 10 minutes from me. 
We drove down to see Harvard University. Ended up visiting the Harvard Art Museum. The expression on the people’s faces in this piece cracked me up. 


Nick and I had our first escargot 🐌 

Maple syrup season was kicked off with a drive into the hills to get some farm fresh syrup and maple spice cake. 

The creatures are starting to appear! 


With spring comes the best…. beach season!! 

Cruising down Broadway 

As a kid I always thought it would be cool to be one of “those people” who spend their weekends having a blast in New York City. But it’s a life I never imagined for myself! 

Living in Manchester, I have all the amenities of city life, with country living, mountains and the ocean all just minutes away. Boston is 40 minutes away if I’m ever up for a night out in the big city. Even better though, I’m perfectly distanced 4 hours from NYC to where I can enjoy it when I want to, but not having to deal with the crowd when I don’t want to. 

This weekend was my first trip to NYC since moving to NH. It’s my 3rd time ever being to the city. 

My brother, dog, and I drove out Friday night after work. Saturday morning we went and picked up my friend Andrea in Pennsylvania, then headed out to explore the city. 

The ferry to the island was closed so this was the best I could get of the Statue of Liberty. 

One thing I’ve learned in my 3 visits is that driving in NYC is very expensive. My friend Micah has lived in the city for a year now and was horrified to hear we were driving around. She said she was too scared to try and maneuver the crazy roads. People everywhere, one way streets, sudden sharp ties, and many $10-20 toll bridges, streets, and tunnels. 

We walked around the city, got some pizza, and watched the sunset. 



Driving thru the city I squealed a little when I saw we were driving down Broadway. 

We had found literally the only parking spot open in the entire city. While out walking, all three of us thought we had found a parking garage,so minutes before we were supposed to meet with Micah for dinner, we moved the car to the “parking garage” only to discover we had entered a one way tunnel that led to the other side of the city, and would take an hour to get back to where we were. 

There was certainly a little bit of laughing going on in the car then. 


45 minutes later we met Micah and had a great dinner. Unfortunately we had so much fun we forgot to get a picture. 


By desert the Andrea, Nick and I were all ready to get back to our small towns in PA and NH, that we didn’t stick around much longer. 

On the way to taking Andrea back home, I couldn’t help but hope nobody thought I was carrying a dead body in the back seat. 


All four of us agreed to do this again some time, but leave the car behind and take the subway every where! 

The next day Nick, Lily, and I had a little fun in Connecticut before getting home. 


‘Twas a good weekend! 


Ps. Fun fact. Andrea and I became friends when I was in 9th grade. She was in 5th. 

Bugging me

The following story is not for those with a weak stomach. 

For 16 months, in Tulsa, I rented a bedroom from a lady who rented out 2 other bedrooms in her house. It was nice while it lasted but I wanted more space and privacy, and I discovered I was paying as much in rent for a bedroom, as I would for a whole house. So in May 2016 I rented a house. 

From the outside it was a cute old house in a quiet neighborhood. 


On the inside, at first glance, it was nice. 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, and large windows letting in lots of light. 


And it had a nice, big backyard with large shade trees that I imagined would make sitting outside in summer very pleasant. 


I signed the lease on a Wednesday, moved in that Friday, then left Friday night for a weekend in Galveston with friends. 

I was full of excitement. My plan was to get settled in and then use the 2 extra bedrooms to become a foster parent. 


That next Monday was my first night sleeping in the house. 

I shut off all the lights, climbed into bed, and turned on Netflix. As I started a movie, I saw what I thought was a tick, crawl across the screen. I’m highly phobic of ticks and thus when I thought I’d spotted one, I leaped out of bed screaming. 

As I turned the lights back on I found my bed was cover in them. I sent pictures to a friend who informed I had a bed bug infestation. I had never seen a bed bug before but now they were all over my bed and walls. 


My landlord called an exterminator who informed me it would take weeks to fully rid the house of bugs. 


The weeks that followed I was covered in bug bites, but remained hopeful that once the process was done the house would be great. 


Weeks went by and the house eventually appeared better. 

But soon I went to enjoy my backyard and found mosquitoes swarmed all around. I didn’t dare spend more than 5 minutes outside. I tried countless treatments, candles, sprays, trying to lessen the mosquito population but they thrived on. And the yard was also infested with fleas. My dog got covered in them even though she was on a flea preventative medicine. Lily also made a rather bizarre find outside…


August rolled around and I found myselfsweeping up more and more bugs in the house. Bugs of every kind; cockroaches, Beatles, ants, potato bugs, and more. One day I came home to giant, loud, June bugs swarming in the house. 


I became super careful with making sure the house was spotless clean, I put new weather stripping on the doors, bug bombed the house, used professional grade bug repellent in every corner of the house, but the bugs kept coming and increasing in quantity. 

I was sweeping and mopping every other day with piles of bugs. 


When it rained I discovered there were cracks all over the house and the water poured in. Soon fall came and I was dealing with even slugs and snakes getting in the house. The walls were literally covered in slug slime. 


One day I noticed some cracks in the wall were so large that the sun shined thru 


I found a dead bird skull in an unused closet. Notice there are no signs of the body. I presume they were carried off by all the bugs! 


At night when all was quite, I could hear the bugs crawling all around. 

I would step out of bed in the morning and crunch my feet on bugs where I had just swept the night before. 

I would go to make breakfast in the morning and find a clumsy cockroach flipped over on its back, clanking in the sink as it wiggled around trying to get back up. 

I finally quit keeping food in the house all together. I was scared to eat anything fearing I might end up biting down on a bug. 

The landlord said she had done all she could do and I must just be keeping a dirty home. She said nothing of all the cracks they were getting through. 

I filled in every crack I could find with sealant but they still kept getting in. 

By November I was beginning to get painful, itchy bites all over me again. 

A friend who knows a lot about bugs said it appeared I now also had a fiddleback spider infestation. 

This was my breaking point. 

In July 2016 I had vacationed to New Hampshire and my 5 year plan to move was shortened to a 2 year plan. By late November/ early December my 2 year plan was shortened to “I’ve got to get out of here now!” As fate would have it, that’s right when a job lead came in NH. 

I was working a job that was killing me with stress. And I was coming home to a house that was eating me alive. 

A week after the bites returned, I put in my 2 weeks notice and prepared to leave the state…never to return. 

I now live in a clean, crunch free, beautiful apartment. 

Awe, much better. 

Photo dump

It’s been nearly a month since my last post. I’ve had 3 flat tires, 2 blizzards, and gained 1 roommate since then. 

Oh and got chased by a bear! 


Sorta…

I’ve done a bunch of hiking, sat around being a beach bum, and witnessed my brother walk on water!


Sorta…

Without further ado here’s my photo dump for the month…

Hiking in Mass. 

I fell off these more than once. 

Fave pic ⬇️

Yummy fish at Mass Buffet. 

Hiking in Hookset, NH

We went to Boston for REAL New England clam chowder 

More hiking in the Great Whites. 

Blizzard. 
She refused to come in.  She loves the snow. Friends say this pic will end up on an abused animals commercial. 

Brother got a job and relocated 3,000 miles to be my roommate 
Cool find on the beach.