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Settling In

February 4, 2010

I’m about a month into living in Ft. Collins and the moving dust is just now starting to settle.

I’m finally getting my life here in order. School is going well, I have the majority of my grad school application stuff in, and I’m starting to find productive job leads. I have seriously been on a job hunt of epic proportions. I figured that with my impeccable work history and college degree, I’d be guaranteed a job. Especially since I wasn’t even looking for a professional job, just a menial retail job to pay the rent. Well…Barnes & Noble wasn’t hiring, Chili’s wasn’t hiring, PetCo wasn’t hiring, Sports Authority wasn’t hiring, H&R Block wasn’t hiring, Panera Bread wasn’t hiring, Great Harvest Bread Company wasn’t hiring….NO ONE WAS HIRING. In a moment of desperation I even applied to be a waitress at a strip club…they weren’t hiring either. You know the economy is bad when if the local strip joint isn’t hiring.

Luckily, I came across an ad for community organizers for a non profit. The schedule is right, the pay is right, and I get karma points. The interview is tomorrow.  I’ve worked in social advertising and have canvassing experience, so I should be a shoe-in. I don’t want to jinx myself though. I NEED this job. I need to remind myself to breathe before the interview…desperation isn’t sexy.

Thanks to my lack of job, I’ve been impecunious, indigent, and penurious (Thanks GRE!) as of late. In order to better cling to my rapidly dwindling funds, I’ve imposed a pretty strict $20/wk on groceries budget. I’ve managed to stick to it by delegating $5 each to produce, dairy, protein, and carbs. As a credit to my thrift, I even managed to stick to the budget at an organic grocery store. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the availability of inexpensive produce there. 5 grapefruits for $1? Yes please. Unfortunately, the cheap produce was offset by the pricey milk ($3/gallon). But hey, it’s local milk. A nice byproduct of shopping on the cheap is the amount of cooking I now have an excuse to do. There’s no budget for prepared food, so I get to break out the pots and pans. Recent eats from kitchen of Mountain Chicken have included made from scratch sloppy joes, homemade bread, gingersnap cookies, and tortilla soup. Mmmm…

Speaking of local, I’m trying to get myself situated in the sustainable community  in Ft. Collins. There’s a lot of green initiatives out here, along with lots of farm friendly ranching folk, so I haven’t had to hunt too hard. There was a poster on campus for a winter Farmer’s Market, which is sponsored by a Grow Local, Eat Local group out here. The poster listed a few websites which I checked out. They make me want to be a big player in the sustainable culture out here. I’ll definitely make it to the farmer’s market (hard cider…mmmmm) and will try to get to some of the various film screenings, discussion panels, gardening FaQs etc.

My gardening urge is somewhat satiated by my little herb garden. Cilantro, basil, chives, oregano, and thyme are struggling toward the light. They’re adorable right now.

I’m also starting to count down the days til it’s ranchtime again. Now that its February, there are really only two more months before I’m back in Middle of Nowhere, Colorado  riding in the mountains, sitting on fences, and sweating through my plaid. I can’t wait. But I really do think this will be the last summer. When all is said and done, I will have put in 24 months on the ranch. And what a fantastic 24 months….but still a 24 months where I’m achieving my dreams through someone else instead of on my own. I think it’s time I start my own little homestead with my own horses, goats, and veggies.  I dream desperately of a little 2 acre place with a small arena, a dog run, a chicken coop, a garden, and a kitchen decked in gingham. There will be a breakfast nook. And a sleepy cat in the window. I’ve been dreaming this dream for a while now, and it’s bout time that it comes to fruition.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 6:56 am

    Forget about working for the “Other Guy”.
    Start your own “Gig”.
    I attended the Winter Farmer’s Market in Fort Collins.
    They had 3000 people attend that event.
    You talk about growing Herbs, well that could be just one prodict.
    Education is somthing you must complete.
    However while doing this, you can have other occupations.
    About that Home Stead ______________ Go for it.
    Now is the time to buy land.
    Great article.

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