Anyone Want to Put the Canfield Family Up for a Night or Two in Portland Next Week?

The best of plans sometimes have to change. We just found out this morning that our lodging accommodations in Portland, Oregon next week fell through. Due to an unforeseen family need, the wonderful family that were going to let us stay with them in return for our coaching services are unable to do so.

That leaves us without a place to lodge for a night or two. We have lodging in Washington on Saturday, July 31. We’d hoped to arrive late in the day in Portland July 29th and stay that night and July 30th with the family in Portland, leaving their place mid-day Saturday. If necessary, we can drive all day Friday, July 30th, stay a night in Portland and leave Saturday for Washington.

Ideally though we hope to leave Thursday July 29, arrive late in Portland, spend all day Friday July 30th in Portland and leave Saturday.

So if you are a Virtual Assistant and would like to receive our action guide, Building Blocks: Succeed as a Chief Virtual Officer, and one-on-one in-person coaching for your business from two great business coaches in exchange for a night or two lodging, please contact us asap!

Or if there is anyone else in the Portland area that’s just thrilled to have us and our six-year old visit, give us a shout!

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? In 11 days (love that new countdown over there in the right sidebar) we’ll leave for Canada. The first overnight stop will be in Portland, Oregon – a-10 hour drive from here. Does anyone know how many times a six-year old can say ‘are we there yet?‘ in a 10-hour period?

So we need some suggestions for great road games to help her keep her mind occupied. Remember, she’s not your average six-year old. She’s much more likely to play these games is she knows her ‘fans’ are suggesting the ideas and watching to see how it all turns out. In fact, we’ll write a blog post about how the games go. She’ll love that. Especially if we post something about it also at her 900 Funny Thoughts blog.

Please, add your great road games ideas as comments below! Thank you!

Guest Post by Caitlyn James: Who Are These Canfields?

Caitlyn 'Smokie' James
Caitlyn 'Smokie' James
I’ve busted in here to ask you something. It’s Caitlyn … the Canfields will be staying at our place in August.

Joel & Sue agreed to give me some space to do a fun little post pre-launch of their nomad’s adventure. I’ll hit send before they can do a full proof-read. You’ll see why.

Seriously, folks, who are these Canfields? Have any of you met them in person? Would you let them stay in your house?

I don’t have time to be cautious and subtle so I apologize in advance for being a bit crass….

First, I get they’ll be living in the house so opening up the medicine cabinet is reasonable. We’ll take most of the anti-psychotic drugs with us; the Warfarin can be moved into the shed – we rarely use it for people, but we have friends with a tendency to forget to go home and at the right dose, the Warfarin just makes them feel a little woozy and they decide it’s time to go. Nothing serious. Of course, we use it on the pests, too, but it smells so nasty when they die in the walls. Anyway, my question is, are Joel and Sue the kind of people who will use up your Tylenol if you leave half a bottle sitting there?

Second, Fiona seems like a cute kid, but is she really 6? Apparently, she reads chapter books, flies at the sight of dogs, and has her own website. Makes me wonder if this is one of those sting operations the cops do when they pose as teenagers online to lure pedophiles. In this case, someone may have mentioned all the 6 foot deep holes we’ve been digging in the yard. The cops may have set up this kind-of-quirky family to infiltrate our home and networks. Fiona may very well be a donut eating 35-year-old with his own kid in kindergarten.

You see where I’m going with this. The Canfields might not be normal.

There’s this other thing. We LOVE our dog. Not in that nutty way that people can be with dog nail polish and bows in the hair; it’s just that we don’t see why people make their dogs eat on the floor. RK (Racoon Killer) has his dog dish on the table when we eat our dinner. I’m afraid Joel might try to change this. I dunno, I’m thinking he might be worried when RK takes an innocent little lick off Fiona’s plate. Problem is, RK has never taken direction all that well. Without a whole long story, let’s just point out that I only have 3 fingers on one hand. That’s 3 fingers total, out of 2 hands total. My question to you? Do you think I should tell them in advance about this?

As long as they don’t deviate from the regular routines nothing will go wrong.

In fact, I’m writing up some stuff for them (you can read about that at http://ImaginingBetter.com on July 7th) so they will know what the routines are and a few helpful hints. Don’t look Bruce, the neighbour, in the eye, that kind of thing. It’s a nice neighbourhood, but Bruce is a little touchy. Most of the rest of them just leave us alone. Walk on the other side of the street, skip us when collecting for charities – really respectful. Not too many nosey parkers.

Other than feeding the dog, we aren’t expecting much. Lock the doors when you leave, water the crop on schedule. Harvest time should coincide nicely with the Visa bill arrival, if the watering is done right. That’s it.

If there’s anything you believe is important for us to know before we turn our house and our dog and the crop over to Joel, Sue, and Fiona (if that’s even who they really are) can you leave some comments here… or send me an email, easy2remember@caitlynjames.com, you know, so they don’t intercept the communication?

Yikes, gotta go. Send.

Canada Itinerary

Bearing in mind that nothing’s final until noon on June 28th, here’s the tentative itinerary should this Canadian shakedown cruise take place:

  1. Thursday, July 29th—Drive 10 hours to Portland Oregon. Stay with Debi Leonard and her very own Craig.
  2. Saturday, July 31st—Drive 4 hours to Everett Washington and stay with Brad and Kristy Trnavsky.
  3. Monday, August 2nd—Drive 2 hours to Vancouver where Caitlyn and Ian will give us a place to stay for approximately 3 weeks, depending on their schedule. During our stay, we plan to
    • find places for me to do house concerts
    • put on training/coaching events for virtual assistants
    • host VA mixers, perhaps once a week, at a deserving local eatery
    • connect with as many friends-of-friends as possible
    • walk, nap, smell, hear, enjoy, hold hands, dream, write, smewch, snack, cook, and more
  4. Wednesday, August 25th—Depart Vancouver. I wonder where we’ll go. We don’t need to be home until September 3rd.

Streamlining, Paring, Tossing and We have to go!

So I’ve been working on streamlining our possessions. I’ve pared down the clothing quite a bit, tossed a bunch of trash, took 12 bags of clothing to Goodwill today. There’s lots more to go. I’ve been holding on to clothing for years that no longer fit or are worn or that don’t have as much sentimental value as I thought. Gone!

Fiona, our six-year old, is very excited about going to Canada for our trip in August. She knows it’s still tentative for a little while longer. She also knows we’ll be staying with a family that have a dog and Fiona says, “We have to go!” She wants to take care of the dog.

Don’t let Fiona down! Help her get to Canada to take care of the doggie. :)

More of the Plan

The long-term goal is to own nothing but what we can carry in a few suitcases, besides a few possessions too expensive or emotionally precious to replace. This isn’t meant to be Sherman’s march to the sea, slashing and burning as we go. At some point it’s likely we’ll come back to a more traditional lifestyle, and I’ll regret getting rid of all my books and my Dad’s stuff.

We rent our home right now, so we won’t have to sell anything that huge. Sue’s son might find a roomie or two and stay here, meaning we’d have an attic to store stuff in, an address to get mail at, and a place to sleep when we’re in town. Otherwise, we have dozens of friends who’d offer a room, an address, whatever we need.

We’ve got a tentative test trip planned for August 2nd through the 24th-ish. We’d be house-sitting just outside Vancouver, British Columbia. I mentioned the trip to a close friend today and he talked endlessly about the marvelous vacation he and his wife took there; about the mind-boggling beauty of the scenery.

Sue discovered that another one of her virtual assistant contacts is in Vancouver. She was going to track her down when she noticed late this afternoon that said VA had Tweeted something about looking for accountability partners to help her take her business to the next level . . . so tomorrow, we have a call planned to talk about arranging some sort of workshop (or workshops) while we’re there.

In the spirit of transparency, if we can make $600 in extra income while we’re there (beyond what we would have earned staying home) it will completely cover the cost of the trip. And if the big web job we’ve signed issues the first payment within the next month (almost a foregone conclusion) we’ll even have the funds up front, seed money, so to speak, and earn it back on the trip. Lather rinse repeat.

Might make a pre-dry-run (yeah, I just make this stuff up) to San Diego in July. Don’t tell Sue. If we can arrange a small informal event in LA and one in San Diego, we could make up the $300 that trip would cost.

These trips would let us test out what it’s like to work completely remotely. My wonky little Sony Vaio laptop; Sue on her son’s borrowed Dell beast (don’t tell him, either.)

Skype calls? Have to test. No headphones. Do we take speakers? Do we take the musician-quality microphones we’re used to using?

House concerts: if I could connect with folks who’d host a house concert, I show up, play music for an hour, pass a hat, play for another half hour.

Video everything (already a habit.) Take notes about everything (already a habit.)

Van needs rear tires and rear brakes. And windshield wipers.

There must be a dozen things I’m forgetting.

Renewing Fiona’s Passport

When we went to Ireland in 2005 Fiona was not quite a year old. For children under 16, passports are only good for 5 years. So hers expired last October. Now that we’re thinking of traveling the world again, even to enter Canada we need our passports. And so we’re going to start the process to renew Fiona’s today.

Going Nomad—Or Just Mad?

. . . and so I said “I was thinking about how much less it might cost to live if we didn’t have a house or a car . . . ”

How many wives would even have that conversation? Mine did.

It’s been less than 96 hours, and so much has happened that I don’t have time tonight to write it all, so I’ll summarise:

  • We’ve decided to investigate the possibility of living without a fixed residence.
  • We’re going to find a way to travel without owning a car (they’re no good for driving across oceans anyway.)
  • Both adult kids who live with us are on board with us moving out before they do.
  • Much support from folks who’ve done this, or dreamed of it.
  • Found some excellent books by people who’ve done this.

Sent two tentative emails this morning saying basically “Can we come stay with you, indefinitely?” in one, and after that answer was “Absolutely!” sent another that said “We’ll be driving by your door late this summer; can we drop by?” and got this in response (again, my summary)

Sure, and plan on spending the night; or, perhaps you’ll come August 2nd and house/dog-sit for two weeks while we’re on vacation, or three weeks, while we’re on two vacations.

Can a family from California leave behind nearly all their possessions and embrace a sort of nomadic lifestyle?

We’re gonna find out.