Career Collision

Changing seasons at our farm in Montana

The past couple of weeks and several upcoming ones have been and will be a crash course for me in managing my very different career choices. I’m having to ramp up my super powers of balancing and planning right now if I’m going to come out of it all with any semblance of sanity.

A couple of weeks ago I happily drove to Deer Lodge to once again join a veterinary clinic for 3 days of busy relief work. One of my former veterinary assistants-turned-veterinarian, Dr.Betsy (Malecha) Price has been asking me to come and hang out there over the past couple of years and the stars finally aligned and we made it happen!

Dr.Fyfe, back in the clinics!

The team of veterinarians and the entire staff at Clark Fork Veterinary were fun, energetic, positive and professional. I had forgot how good it feels to discuss a case and its possibilities with another veterinarian and bounce ideas back and forth.

I had forgot the rush of emergency visits and shelter dog C-sections and how you need a full team of helpers for puppy resuscitation, especially when those two white & black ones looked like they weren’t coming back! (They did! I was one of their final-effort rubbers!)

6/7 of the litter survived. They are, like many stray dog pregnancies, a total mixed bag of tricks. The mama was only 37lbs when she recovered but 47lbs pre-op…. that’s 10lbs of puppy! No kidding they weren’t coming out on their own.

2nd from the left looked like a little golden Cocker!

It was wonderful having every tool and product at my finger tips and even though it took me the first full day to sort-of figure out the Avimark software, I eventually did (I think) and all my notes for every day were completed.

Its definitely a different world with Covid19 and curbside appointments but it didn’t take long to get into the routine of going back out to the red truck or the grey Jeep to discuss my findings with pet parents.

The first big career collision for me happened on the third day of being a clinical veterinarian which is when my Virtual Tour of my new book, The Runaways of Missing lake launched.

I had no idea these types of tours existed until a tour host approached me after my last book came out. Think of it like a band going on tour, with stops in various cities. In this case, my book is going on tour with stops on various review sites and blog pages. I already have 6 5-star (!!) reviews up on with more due there and on Amazon. I also have excerpts from the book and interviews and guest posts on various websites. So far all of the tour stops have been absolutely fabulous, which makes my heart so happy (and maybe makes my eyes a little moist…)

Check it out!

The idea is that my fans (like fans of the band) will follow my tour and read the reviews and buy the book and tell other people to read the reviews and buy the book. And so on. You tell two friends and they tell two friends…

While I’m not actually physically on tour I do have to play a part in promoting the tour and checking out the reviews and commenting on them and thanking reviewers. Some of the tour stops got pdf versions of the book while others got hard copies. Like anything, you have to pay-to-play but there’s no money in self publishing your books when you don’t help to promote them.

off-grid listing in Helmville

The tour runs through Nov.24th so I’ll be posting a lot over the next few weeks while also balancing the real estate gig. Real estate in Montana is NUTS right now. Everyone is bugging out of wherever to come to Montana. Covid19 has a role in this mass migration to big sky country. Its fairly easy to socially distance yourself when your front yard looks like the photo taken from one of my listings.

I am completely amazed by how much attention this particular listing has received the last couple of months. Its 40 acres but its at least an hour from anywhere. By “anywhere” I mean teensy communities that have one cafe/bar and one gas pump. But it has been showing HOT and we are actually under contract!

The road in isn’t maintained and it takes over an hour to drive 9 miles. Up a mountain. After 20 inches of snow that surprisingly fell and then began melting before my scheduled home inspection at said secluded listing.

We made it!

Thanks to good tires we made it last week and the home inspection is complete. Nothing is closed until its closed, though, so we’ll see where this transaction leads.

And the collisions keep coming! Friday I had a sad but tender house call to say goodbye to a dear furry companion, then I was hiking around and taking photos of a local lot listing to send to a client in California before I sat down to preview a blog tour stop on a website for the day:(

post Pathfinder interview yesterday

Yesterday I started the day with our local newspaper interview over yummy lattes in town and then went out to take more pictures of more lots for the same California Peeps before calling them to discuss options about wells and acreage and whether or not they can get flights to Montana sooner or later.

The languages and emotions tied to each career are ridiculously different and sometimes my brain feels full while other times it feels completely empty.

And today.

Well, today I woke up knowing that later in the day, after emailing another realtor about another transaction and calling other realtors about their listing somewhere in Trout Creek for a client I’ve worked with for 2 years now and after completing a typed interview for another tour stop that took me an hour and a half to do and after hopefully getting a blog published myself that I would be changing a kind, gentle man’s life in poignant, permanent ways when I see him this afternoon.

Its mornings like this when my heart feels full and sort of, maybe, also a bit empty.

heart full, heart empty….

I usually cry during or after euthanasia appointments and this one could potentially be a blubber fest. I’ve known this dog since she was a puppy when her single-dad brought her to me. He has been a mess in planning and discussing today’s appointment and I’m not going to lie about my own choked-up voice on the phone.

I still have a couple of hours before this goes down and I will walk outside in the sunshine with the barn kitties, D’embe and Professor Higgins and I will look at the fall colors and the disappearing snow and I will breathe slowly and deeply.

I won’t think about real estate and I won’t think about my book and I won’t think about my aging feline companions who are 20 and 17 or the “young” one who is actually 13 and I won’t think about not having any dogs right now because Cleo left us almost a year ago and I won’t miss her, UB, Loki, Casey or Harry and I won’t think about all the assholes in North Dakota not wearing masks and bringing Covid19 to my husband’s clinic because he’s “of a certain age” and I won’t think about how empty my client/friend’s life is going to feel after I see him this afternoon and the Angel of Darkness does her deed.

Very important responsibility requires a very special pen!

I will also try very hard to not think about the upcoming election and how either candidate’s choice will vastly affect our lives. Our country. Our planet. Our international relations.

And whether or not Alistair and I will consider moving back north to our home and native land.

Because I need my brain empty but focused in a couple of hours and I need my heart to be as full as it possibly can so it can leak out the love and compassion my client/friend, who is a kind, gentle man, will need.

Back to my front yard….

Maybe the colliding careers are a healthy form of distraction.

I don’t know.

I could choose to feel overwhelmed or I can choose to delegate some tasks, like taking on new clients. I am comfortable with the words, ‘No thanks’ when strangers want me to help them find their Montana Dream right now.

I hope you all vote or have voted.

I hope my California Peeps find what they’re looking for.

I hope I can work more shifts in Deer Lodge because that was a super fun time.

I hope you can jump on a couple of tour stops and read reviews and check out my book.

And I hope for peace later today so that I can, indeed, maintain that semblance of sanity that I was hoping for when I started this blog.

A lovely January day… in late October!
The Bee Gees always put a smile on my face! Andy was whupped after their bath last night!
Jockey (13, top) and Sport (20) last night