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Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

posted the other day about the excitement (and trepidation) associated with going back to school.  Here’s the rest of the story…

I originally planned to go back to school for a Master’s in Equine Reproductive Physiology, with the goal of working for a private equine repro firm, or breeding farm, or possibly in research.  I was very close to doing this immediately after I graduated from undergrad–I had met with the program director at Ohio State several times and thought I was ready to go–but at the last minute I found out I was missing a bunch of pre-requisite classes.  (Neither the program director nor my academic advisor had thought to check on that.)  That development combined with a few other factors (i.e. life) convinced me to put off grad school until a yet-to-be-determined later date.

Last winter I contacted the new program directors at OSU and, over the summer, trekked to Columbus a couple of times a month to shadow their research lab and clinical patients.  Towards the end of the summer, I had a bit of an epiphany: I was bored to tears about 80% of the time I spent there.  Around that same time, I did some additional research into the profession and found some key new bits of information.  Namely, that the economic slump hit the tiny little equine repro industry hard and had turned it into a contracting career field.  Also, the repro world now values hands-on experience above extended education, the average starting salary is about $40,000/year (not worth 2 more years of student loans), and I could go to a tiny handful of locations that *might* be hiring at the same time I’d be job hunting.

Can you blame me for reconsidering my chosen career path even before I’d really started down it?

So, I made a list.  (I’m really, really good at lists.)

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What I want in a career:

1. Intellectual stimulation

2. Emotional fulfillment

3. Financial freedom & the ability to support my hobbies (travel, horses, etc.)

4. Expanding job market

5. Multiple job location choices

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Shortly thereafter, I stumbled across the Physician Assistant profession and began researching it.  I met with the admissions advisor at the KCMA program here in Dayton, did a lot of reading & research, and went on some job shadows. 

And the PA profession and I…well, we just clicked.

I sort of feel like I’m divorcing the equine science/animal health fields.  But, you know what?  I’ve paid my dues and it’s my right to walk away.

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to job shadow a Physician Assistant in the ER of one of our local hospitals.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of action, but I’m tentatively scheduled to go back in June and hopefully I’ll get to see more then.  This was the second PA I’ve shadowed (the first was at my neurologists office) and a very different setting from the other experience.  I love that I leave excited and ready to learn more about the profession!

I’ve been struggling with the “what I want to be when I grow up” question for quite some time now.  Now–finally, finally!–I have a plan.  On Tuesday, May 10th, I officially became a college student again when I registered for class at Sinclair Community College.  I’ll have 9 prerequisite classes to take before applying to Kettering College of Medical Arts’ Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program

For now I’m planning to ease myself back into things by taking a “soft”(er) science class–psychology–this summer.  Starting in the fall though, it’ll be all chem, o-chem, and bio for me!

And so the journey begins…

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Gone, But Not Forgotten

Last March, I made a decision. 

I’ve wanted to go back to school for a graduate degree since before I graduated with my Bachelor’s.  I had already decided to start that ball rolling in 2010.  Very sadly, the first step is to sell my horses.  For a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into, keeping Pea and Beau during this phase of my life is neither feasible nor fair to them. 

Unless you’re networking with the right people or have built a reputation in the industry, selling a horse is practically a full-time job.  You get your horse clean and spiffy, you take photos and video, you edit said photos and video, you post ads, you post photos and video, you update ads, you post more ads, and you respond to the replies to your ads.  Maybe one out of every 20 of these replies turn into legitimately interested potential buyers, but you have to treat them all like they’re that 1 in 20.

So, my decision in March was to literally throw myself into this 110% and get it done.  No dinners with friends, no blogging, no fun time until my horses were sold.  Did I mention that the horse industry is crap right now?  Selling horses takes time and patience and no small amount of luck.

Beau and I after bringing home 3rd at the 2010 MVH Memorial Day Hunt Pace

Thus, I have been gone from the internets and my blog for many months, but I haven’t forgotten it.  It’s been a busy, full spring and summer with lots of horsey fun.  Once they are gone, I will look back on this time and be happy I spent this time with my horses.

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2010 brings a new format to my goal-making.  My priority for the next few months is our House Project List.  So, for the next few months my goals will be 80% home improvement, 10% 101 in 1001, and 10% other.

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1. Find and buy a dress I can wear in the winter. (#42)

2. Read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

3. Apply KILZ paint primer to stains on dining room, guest bedroom, office, and living room walls.

4. Paint downstairs ceilings & office ceiling (white semi-gloss).

5. Clean grout around bathtub.

6. Re-seal grout around bathtub.

7. Paint upstairs ceiling repair.

8. Move old water softener, hot water heater, and dryer out of basement & discard.

9. Purchase and install blinds on front door.

10. Look for a new refrigerator.

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For us, the first half of 2010 is going to be all about house projects.  Mucho house projects!

The plan, thus far:

Install 8 new windows upstairs

Install railing in stairway

Install new basement accordion door

Install light fixtures (3) upstairs

Install blinds on front door

Install blinds on upstairs windows (after new windows are installed)

Replace a couple of boards around the barn

Install drywall over left corner of fireplace

Tile back porch

Install smoke detectors

Install cover plates on all outlets & switches

 ~

Apply KILZ paint primer to stains on dining room, guest bedroom, and living room walls

Paint dining room, living room, guest bedroom, office (beige flat)

Paint downstairs ceilings & office ceiling (white semi-gloss)

Paint upstairs window frames white (after new windows are installed)

Paint back porch

Paint over nail holes

Caulk behind kitchen counter, cracks above fireplace, and in bathroom

Fix/replace baseboard in bathroom

Fix chair rail in bathroom

Clean grout around bathtub (use Zout or….?)

Re-seal grout around bathtub

Re-caulk around bathtub

Fix kitchen ceiling

Paint upstairs ceiling repair

Fix loose bricks on chimney

Burn brush pile @ manure pile

Move dirt pile & sand pile

Move old water softener, hot water heater, and dryer out of basement & discard

Winterize garden and side bed

De-clutter office & basement

Lime-Away bathroom fixtures

Clean up gardens

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Clean up loose carpet threads in living room, guest bedroom, and dining room

Clean and polish upstairs wood floors

Replace burner pans on stove

Complete edge stones around front bed

Add mulch in front bed

Power wash siding

Suspend® basement in spring

 

Let the mess–err, fun–begin!

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As expected, the total number of days in December, measured in “actual time”, was 15.  Yes, I swear to you, December is half as long as other months.  The good news is that January and February generally run about 35 and 40 days, respectively.

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1. Finish knitting project before Christmas.  Partially – I worked on it and now have until next weekend to finish.

2. Winterize my garden and flower beds.  Partially – They’re cleaned up, but the ground froze before I could completely winterize everything.  I’m just waiting for a thaw so I can finish up. 

3. Complete 5 items on our home improvement “to do” list.  Done – We de-cluttered our office and basement (a huge project, really), cleaned bathroom fixtures, painted over nail holes, installed clover plates on outlets/switches, and installed smoke detectors.

4. Finish reading DuneNot happening – I just can’t get into this book, which frustrates me because I really, really wanted to like it.

5. Move more sand into the arena.  No – due to the aforementioned frozen ground.  Stupid Ohio winters! 

6. Give blood.  Done – First week in December. 

7. Write and send Christmas letters & Christmas cards.  Done – Sort of.  I ended up consolidating this into an e-letter.

8. Make cool, fun, interesting plans for New Year’s Eve…and send 2009 out in style!  Partially – We made fun plans to hang out with friends, but ended up getting lazy and staying home on the couch instead.  Which, by the way, I was totally OK with.

9. Come up with a super cool, super unique New Year’s resolution.  Done – Although I didn’t come up with anything super unique.

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One of my goals for this month and my 101 in 1001 was to write a Christmas Letter.  It’s done (yes, it’s late–it’s going out as an e-letter this year), so here it is:

Happy New Year from Our House to Yours!

Dear Family & Friends,

We hope this finds you in the best of health and enjoying the holiday season!  As we look forward to the New Year and reflect on 2009, we thought it would be nice to let friends and family know what’s been going on in our world. 

On May 19th, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by visiting The Wilds, a 10,000 acre wildlife conservation center in Cumberland, Ohio.  Besides that it was FREEZING COLD and—of course—we chose the open air tour bus to see the animals better, we had a great time.  In August, we spent a week on Bald Head Island, NC with Tim’s parents, brother, and sister-in-law.  It was an absolute blast (despite the millions—literally—of stinging jellyfish) and we dream about a repeat trip.  On our way home from NC, we took a detour through Richmond, VA to visit a long lost friend of Alverna’s.  It was a VERY happy reunion and the guys got acquainted in the way grown men prefer: playing video games.     

Tim has become quite the handyman this year.  He replaced our hot water heater after our old one went kaput in the middle of the winter (brrr!) and, at the same time, he installed the almost brand new, high end water softener system we were generously gifted with.  The combination of the two new systems has made a huge difference in our ultra-hard well water situation.  Tim also built a new door for our chicken house, built porch steps, and installed a tile floor in our formerly carpeted kitchen.  (Seriously, who carpets a kitchen!?)  He also worked on his golf game, but unfortunately the weather prevented him from showing off his mad skills at the Bugh Family Reunion.  Instead, we mingled with the rest of the family on the Inn’s porch and generally goofed off.

Alverna has now been working at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant for a year.  Although it doesn’t offer her a career path, she enjoys the work and the people, feels blessed to have a job during these tough economic times, and LOVES the shorter commute.  Alverna’s also been trying to keep up a regular reading habit, and in the process has been bitten by the Twilight bug.  (Well, she IS in the over 25 demographic after all.)  Other books she’s found especially enjoyable this year are The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (in fact, she still can’t stop talking about it) and the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.  Alverna also keeps a blog (www.AlvernaH.wordpress.com), which keeps her writing, if on an admittedly irregular basis.  

Life on the farm continues.  The horses are ornery as ever and the dogs love their yard just as much as always.  Karli (the Border collie mutt) managed to get her paws on a squirrel.  We’re still not sure if she caught it herself or found it already dead.  Of course, she’s convinced that she caught it herself and is about to catch another at any moment.  Kori (the Pembroke Welsh Corgi) has decided that our new horse farm neighbors across the street have four-legged aliens which must be watched (and barked at) at all times.  In June, our meager flock of 3 hens was joined by a brood of baby chicks which arrived in the mail all the way from Webster City, Iowa.  The “baby” hens are now laying eggs along with the “big” girls, which means we collect upwards of 6 eggs a day.  (Anyone need some eggs!?)  Tim was instrumental in the garden expansion project we undertook this year.  We were able to enjoy fresh fruits & veggies for most of the summer and are fortunate enough to have some veggies in the freezer to eat over the winter.  The highlight of our garden was our first watermelon EVER!  Tim waited SO long for it to ripen, but it was worth the wait. 

Basically, life is very, very good.  As we look ahead to 2010, we wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Happy Holidays,

Alverna & Tim

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