The everyday life of a New England woman.

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  • The whole family!


Quick Update

My student loan lenders neglected to inform me that two of my loans are in a mandatory grace period until early November, so at that time I have to reconsolidate my loans and reapply for a payment plan. I won’t know anything further about my Appalachian Trail hike-in-planning until then, unfortunately…but at the same time it will work out well. As it stood, I was going to have to try and find a computer to reapply for my payment plan during my thru-hike, which would’ve been an inconvenience, especially if I had to submit any documentation. Hopefully this way, I won’t have to reapply for anything until after the hike. So, stay tuned and I’ll update you all again this fall!


100_0530I know that I have a lot of folks eagerly anticipating whether or not I’ll be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail next year or not…believe me, there is no one who is more eagerly anticipating the answer than me!

Things are still up in the air right now. I am being patient, and hopeful. My student loans should be consolidated by the end of June and I should be able to arrange a repayment plan with my lender in July, so hopefully I will have a definite answer in July. The “answer” I’m awaiting is whether or not I’ll get an affordable student loan payment. I have saved a finite amount of money that I would need to stretch from July to when I land a job, which would be after my return from the Trail in Fall 2015.

If all systems are “go”, I’ll be making a few gear upgrades to lighten my pack and revising my current “anticipatory” training to “let’s do this” training. My “anticipatory” training regimen currently is:

Day Workout
Sunday DAY OFF
Monday 2-mile walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells
Tuesday 2-mile walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell
Wednesday 2-mile walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells
Thursday 2-mile walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell
Friday 2-mile walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells
Saturday 2-mile walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell

As far as my walks are concerned, I don’t just walk on nice, sunny days. I also have been walking in anything up to a heavy mist (no lightning, of course). My walk consists of a road walk that is flat-to-gentle-hills. If I am able to do the hike, I’ll also walk in light and moderate rain and will be doing steeper hills and more trail terrain. I will also be adding an introductory announcement video to my YouTube channel (which will also be posted here). In an effort to not clog my blog up with too many updates about this, I won’t be updating about it again until I’ve settled a repayment plan with my lender.

Stay tuned!


Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

As the temperatures climb this summer, we should all be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in ourselves and our outdoor companions. Let’s beat the heat!


Lightning Safety

Thunderstorm season is well on its way. The following infographics illustrate what to do when lightning is near, how to assume the “Lightning Crouch” in case you are caught outside and lightning is imminent, and a lightning risk assessment for outdoor terrain and the safest places to be if you are caught outdoors during a thunderstorm. Remember, “when thunder roars, go indoors!” (If you can!).

Credit: NOAA


Credit: John Gookin, NOLS


Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac

Learn how to identify poison ivy, oak, and sumac…where it’s found, what to do if you come into contact with it, and some common myths about those pesky “poisons”!

Sooner Than Later

I decided to check my University e-mail the other day to see if I got any information that I might need for my summer course, and I saw an e-mail from the Registrar’s Office. I have to admit, my immediate reaction was nausea, a jumpy stomach, and a surge of blood through my veins. “What now?”, I thought aloud. The reason I thought this was because a few months before graduating, the University tried to tell me I was three courses short and wasn’t graduating. After a number of weeks of self-advocacy, I won the battle.

So, understandably, when I got this e-mail, I wondered if I was in for another fight. When I opened the e-mail, however, I was shocked to read that my diploma was being sent to me, that I was dropped from the summer course and that I did not need the summer course. After blinking, rubbing my eyes, and a few re-reads, I realized, I am free.

What does this mean? This means now that I will get to my exit counseling, loan consolidation, repayment plan, and decision on a 2015 Appalachian Trail hike sooner than later. I’m super excited! I will begin the process on June 1st, so stay tuned!



Tick season is upon us, and it’s especially important for folks who love the outdoors to do a thorough tick check after spending any time outside! The following infographics contain great information on Lyme Disease-carrying ticks, how to remove ticks safely, where Lyme Disease is most prevalent on the east coast of the U.S., and insect repellant chemicals. CHECK FOR TICKS!

Credit: Sara Plourde, NHPR


Credit: Yale School of Public Health


Credit: Jan Diehm of The Huffington Post



Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

It’s that time of year again!


2014 Hooding & Commencement Ceremonies

I GRADUATED! I’m now a Master of Social Work (MSW)!

(Hooding Ceremony photos from May 16, Commencement photos from May 17.)

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