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Old 01-22-2015, 11:33 AM
 
26 posts, read 23,630 times
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Ciao,

I am originally from Oklahoma, I live in Oklahoma now but have lived in several states, Susanville, Ca. very snowy and rural and in Colorado about 9 years, so yes, I am used to the snow. My husband is from Sardinia, Italy. However, a man from a Mediterranean Island loves snow. Who would have thought. He is back in Italy getting free healthcare he has had a rare tumor. We are dealing with it. I have researched your small town and school for some 2 1/2 years. Things being what they have the last year and a half have just made us take a leap of faith. I applied last week for our son to start the 2015/16 school year, our oldest is now a freshmen, we have a 12 year old in 6th and a nine year old in 4th. All boys. Lord help us!! If he is indeed accepted then the decision will be made to move to St. J or not. I am aware of the economy, lack of jobs, etc. We love the small town, we do not need hustle and bustle and would not miss it. I grew up in the country in Oklahoma and a very small town in Colorado where everyone knew everyone. I wish my boys had that. My oldest son goes to the High School I did and my mom and uncles, and you know how the story goes. Sequoyah High School, named after the Indian Sequoyah, who created the Cherokee alphabet, just a little history lesson. It is a good school, small, no nonsense, not really bullying or drug problems, or fights or any such nonsense. However, it being small, we have no AP classes and no diversity really. St. J Academy is ranked one of the top schools in the nation, the class diversity is astounding. We say you can always visit and your friends can always visit but you have to think about your future. Not that he is that apprehensive but he did just turn 15, so you know. I know attending your fine school and finishing his last years in your beautiful small town would be of a huge benefit to all the kids, and good for our family.

I have done many things, I can do office/administrative work, customer service, collections (unfortunately), I am a photographer (but would rather not rely on that for my main income), right now I do work from home customer service. I was a full-time student until my husband became ill and I had to stop my classes. I am a Military History major and hope to finish that in the future. My husband is a certified teacher in the state of Oklahoma and has taught 4 years as an adjunct instructor at Rogers State University in our town. He speaks 5 languages, 4 of those fluently. He has taught Spanish here. He is trying to finish his Masters degree while receiving medical care in Italy, it was bankrupting us here and they were denying tests he needed. He is doing well now in Italy, probably going to have to have another surgery soon, but they are doing ALL of the tests and things he needs and to date in the last 4 months since being home he has paid the equivalent of $30 USD. We hate the separation but we are incredibly THANKFUL for the opportunity he has being dual-citizen.

Ive been looking on Craigslist, have noticed some housing that has to do with income, not so sure about that, they looked like decent places and then I read the descriptions and didn't really understand any of that. If anyone has an idea. Also, the very nice lady in the admission office will forward which towns pay the voucher for St. J. if he is indeed accepted into the school. How are the other area elementary/middle schools? Is there a source people use locally for rentals, and jobs etc?

How do the utilities work? Deposits etc? Is there local thrift stores we can get decent 'winter' clothes as Oklahoma doesn't have much in the way of that. When I visit friends or family in Colorado I usually stock up! My friends always ask, on the off chance it snows a lot here, where did you find those?? We arent looking for the Taj Mahal, but wouldnt like to live in a 'bad' part of town. Decent home, decent rent, no bugs, and no druggies! That's about it. Do you have any decent used furniture stores or bustling Facebook sale sites where we could refurnish our home if we chose not to move all of our stuff all that way. He took a job in Martha's Vineyard, which was a NIGHTMARE!! So we would seriously think about selling most of our stuff and shopping frugally once we got there.

Does anyone work for the local schools, are there job openings posted certain times, etc? Anything else you can think of would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Michelle.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:58 PM
 
809 posts, read 677,214 times
Reputation: 1333
You can probably furnish your entire house just from Vermont yard sales alone. Thrift stores might price locally, but ours in Springfield prices via eBay; I'm sure you will find yard sales cheaper, and they are all over the place, usually starting on Memorial Day. I'm a bit of an insectophobe myself, so I might be going overboard in advising you not to buy mattresses and pillows, since bedbugs have turned up as a problem in a couple of places-- Rutland and Burlington are two I heard of. And there are three or four pennysaver publications covering every town in the state, so you'll have a lot of bargains on hand.

I think you can get on the Internet and check the Vermont Department of Labor's job site to see what employers are advertising in the NEK, which will give you a head start in landing one.

Vermont doesn't have a tradition of automatically installing the football coach as the departing principal's replacement, and we don't have corporal punishment, so you might be in for a bit of scholastic culture shock. And I'm sure you'll join the Parent-Teacher organization; they need all the allies they can get. Too many Vermont towns tend to have a tradition of voting against the school budget to express their dissatisfaction with the town budget they just voted for at the same time.

Low-income housing in Vermont is generally excellent. Section 8 has landlords begging to get in, it has very high standards they have to meet, and it rewards them quite handsomely (two months' rent after the renters depart), so you can be sure if you qualify that you will have a place both very affordable and very nice. However, there is usually a backlog of applicants-- in my town, it's two years. If you feel like a pioneer family, you could do a month-to-month rental and use the time to find a nicer place. What is a white trash neighborhood for some is a Cannery Row (one of my favorite books) experience for others. And if you can't find a job right away, volunteering in a field of one of your interests could lead to inside information on vacancies.

"No druggies"-- simpler than you think. The problem is not the abusers, but the people who think they can make money off the trade-- both the pushers and the DEA. The users are sort of like Satanists-- they got into it because they don't have a life, they mostly do petty crime to support their habit, and they don't prey on children. Your kids are not going to be misled by them. If you want to make sure you have all the bases covered for your kids, connect with the local Parent-Child center to see if your communication skills (listening and discipline) are where you want them to be, and find out if the local [substance abuse] Prevention Coalition is doing what needs to be done. You can also get the results pertaining to substance abuse for the town or county you settle in by getting the Vermont Youth Risky Behavior Survey (YRBS) and checking out the numbers for your neighborhood of choice.

I think you'll do very well, and Vermont should be grateful to have you. Best of luck!
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
2,867 posts, read 2,985,667 times
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Good luck. Wife and I lived and worked in St Johnsbury for 6 years.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:21 AM
 
26 posts, read 23,630 times
Reputation: 46
Thank you both. Yes, I have no idea about low-income housing. I guess with things up in the air about my husband I would probably surely qualify. However, I really have no idea how it works, and if I could find a job just find my way. I just wondered if these rentals were only for low-income families since it said must meet income requirement. Or if someone could just pay their own way with out the assistance of this program. Totally not bashing it at all but if I were able I would prefer to allow someone else whom might need the help more.

I definitely do not worry, at this point, about my kids and drugs or smoking. However, I have read reviews (believe me when I say reveiws I take with a grain of salt) just that makes the towns sound horrible. My town here is nice, there are a couple small portions where you might not want to live, but very small. However, you can live in affluent neighborhood and have worse problems! I am realistic. But if someone were to move here I would say stay away from these streets to these streets. It leaves a huge amount of other places to look. However, Claremore is much bigger than St. J or surrounding towns.

Awesome, I find the idea of purging most everthing very freeing!! I would never buy a used mattress there...lol I have had the unfortunate experience in Cape Cod and it was horrible. However, if I could sell the bulky belongings and pull a trailer behind my car this would save me a ton of money and headache!

I will look on the Vermont Department of Labor website, is that the same site for unemployment? Ours in Oklahoma is a different site. I also look in all the usual places online as well. Ive also been looking at the classifieds in the paper as well.

I do know one thing, the north is definitely different than the south. However, I know a family from Northern Vermont who live here and we have a lot in common. Most of the time simple down-to-earth folks. We lived in Martha's Vineyard for 5 months and it was like the twilight zone. Yes, we do have corporal punishment but my children have never had to use it. (I will never forget the look on the counselors face when she found out we still had it in Oklahoma...FUNNIEST thing ever, people are so judgmental and intolerant haha) We don't sprare the rod to spoil our children however, nor do we abuse them. They are good kids. I told my two oldest this last summer to run down and help the little lady (in her 80's) who was trying to rip up the grass and weeds around the mailbox. They left and returned almost 5 hours later. They came and got the lawn mower, and mowed, trimmed, trimmed her trees, and weeded her flower beds. I guess she realized there were some kids in the neighborhood that were helpers and boy did she put them to work!! So, I know view points will be different but I am just a country girl, with an intellect...lol I am a kind person with a good heart that respects other peoples beliefs systems and expect the same.

I will definitely look up some things and appreciate all the responses.

Cgregor, since you have a bug phobia, in the summer do fleas, chiggers, and mosquitos carry you away, I know there are probably ticks, there were in Colorado as well, but nothing like Oklahoma I can assure you!! My husband will probably very much want to know!! lol
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:19 PM
 
809 posts, read 677,214 times
Reputation: 1333
nevecappai, I have lived in the woods in Vermont for decades-- it's a quarter of a mile from where I park the car to my dwelling, so the bugs get a fair shot at me. In all that time, I've been stung by two bees, bitten by two ticks and maybe by half a dozen mosquitoes and deer flies. Black flies have been a lot more of a nuisance, because I often neglect to put on long sleeves when I got outdoors, and they're faster to detect me than the others. It also helps that all these years living in actual woods has convinced me Mother Nature is out to eat me-- drinks on the patio are just a form of ritual sacrifice to the insects, and I know that walking to the car without protection means lunch time for somebody.

The trick is bug spray. You can make your own from a recipe on the internet (there are several), but if you buy, you'll want to get the one with the highest concentration of DEET. You can also lure mosquitoes to their death with a saucer of water with a little lemon-scented detergent in it. Or so they say; I don't have enough around here to bother trying it.

The predominant mosquito species here is culex pipiens, which is very slow to land. If you can see it, you can swat it, and they aren't that particularly good penetrating fabric.

If you're living in town, generally you'll only have a mosquito problem in the evenings. If you have your own place out of town, two guinea hens will keep each other company and take care of any ticks. Toads are also good insect control.

Wear dark headgear to keep the critters from circling your head; one of those French Foreign Legion kepis with the handkerchief hanging down in back will keep them off your neck, too.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:44 PM
 
26 posts, read 23,630 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgregor View Post
nevecappai, I have lived in the woods in Vermont for decades-- it's a quarter of a mile from where I park the car to my dwelling, so the bugs get a fair shot at me. In all that time, I've been stung by two bees, bitten by two ticks and maybe by half a dozen mosquitoes and deer flies. Black flies have been a lot more of a nuisance, because I often neglect to put on long sleeves when I got outdoors, and they're faster to detect me than the others. It also helps that all these years living in actual woods has convinced me Mother Nature is out to eat me-- drinks on the patio are just a form of ritual sacrifice to the insects, and I know that walking to the car without protection means lunch time for somebody.

The trick is bug spray. You can make your own from a recipe on the internet (there are several), but if you buy, you'll want to get the one with the highest concentration of DEET. You can also lure mosquitoes to their death with a saucer of water with a little lemon-scented detergent in it. Or so they say; I don't have enough around here to bother trying it.

The predominant mosquito species here is culex pipiens, which is very slow to land. If you can see it, you can swat it, and they aren't that particularly good penetrating fabric.

If you're living in town, generally you'll only have a mosquito problem in the evenings. If you have your own place out of town, two guinea hens will keep each other company and take care of any ticks. Toads are also good insect control.

Wear dark headgear to keep the critters from circling your head; one of those French Foreign Legion kepis with the handkerchief hanging down in back will keep them off your neck, too.
Well, it honestly sounds like a lot less of a problem than here in Oklahoma. You literally can get carried away. It is a nightly routine to check for ticks...just like the country song well maybe not in the context the song is in but we always have to check. They are everywhere. My husband swears by the strongest spray with the most deet and bathes in it if he has to go outside. I would honestly like a home remedy, however, the couple we tried from a good friend did not work as well and he was once again eaten alive. I think he could spray down and deal with some bugs if summers were mild. Here it is a torture as he would say.

I love guineas, even though they are the dumbest animal known to man, and they poo all over everything and tear of the grass...or can, but you know we had like 15...however, they do eat the heck out of insects! It is hot and humid here so we have flies, so many flies, horseflies, mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, fleas, omg the fleas are so bad here and gnats!! I live in what we call Green Country, very beautiful area of Oklahoma but it is torture.

Do most people grocery shop locally or drive to say, Wal-Mart, etc to save money.
What does the average heating bills run for the winter or utilities in general.
What are gasoline prices right now? Ours are down to $1.60. Just curious.
Is there a local meat market like a butcher or wear you could buy bulk to save if you have a freezer?
Shooting ranges? Archery club?
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:03 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,946 posts, read 22,260,462 times
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Black flies are worse than mosquitoes here.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:50 PM
 
809 posts, read 677,214 times
Reputation: 1333
Slaughterhouses and meat lockers are in this area, as are shooting ranges. Gas today is $2.15. If you're lucky, you'll be able to change your mindset about owning/driving a car, but it isn't easy. Vermont was not meant for cars. You simply cannot drive into the sun for half an hour, period. The only archery ranges I've seen are the lawn ornament deer statues studded with arrows, which I find eminently practical. Kids have set up targets on the very large public playgrounds here and done archery, and your town might have an archery program.
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:21 PM
 
1,094 posts, read 2,659,574 times
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What is black fly season? Also, mud season- how long is that, and can someone describe it?
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,942 posts, read 3,235,693 times
Reputation: 1085
Black fly season is mostly spring ha ha...when the black flies are out. They are annoying little flies that bite, though we were lucky and didn't have them that bad last year. I find them mostly in the woods up here, not so much out in the open, but that might be a case by case basis. Once they leave, we get the mosquitoes and worse, the deer flies.

Mud season, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, changes every year. It is completely dependent on the weather, and the winter/snow pack, how fast it melts, etc. And it is also very dependent on where you live. When we lived on a paved road, we weren't really bothered by mud season much. Now we're at the end of a 1.5 mile dirt road, totally different experience lol. Dirt roads turn into rut filled messes, and you shouldn't be out hiking or doing anything else on trails that will ruin them (walking in soft dirt/mud will cause a lot of damage). Up here our trails do not officially open til Memorial Day.

This is a video I shot in March, 2013 of the road leading to the house we eventually bought...it was particularly bad as they were doing construction in a house further down the road, so the heavy trucks were causing big ruts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-c...&v=Srf1KVDSpY4
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