Guest Post: Client’s Perspective on Work Done While Traveling

In honor of today being one year since we left for Vancouver to start house sitting, one of our client’s wrote this post about how we got work done for her even while we were traveling.

My Reduce the Chaos website sat idle for months because it was difficult to change anything on it, so I decided to move to WordPress when the time to renew the contract was coming up. The first person I contacted was unable to assist me, but they recommended Joel and Sue Canfield, which I had met just a couple of times.  Other people had mentioned what great work they did, so I was excited to work with them.

So on Aug 14th I contacted Sue to ask if they would be interested in assisting me with moving the website, and they agreed to do the transfer and set up for me.  They were fantastic, getting back to me right away.  Once I sent them the information they needed on Aug 18th,  they started on the website. The draft of the website was ready for my review right away and by Aug 22 the Website was completed and approved by me.  They even did a training session with me to walk me through how to use the site, all while they were on the road.  The new website is everything I had hoped for and any time I have a question they are willing to assist me.

Not sure at what point I knew they were traveling, but finding out only made me appreciate Joel and Sue’s exceptional customer service even more.   They have always responded to my requests in a timely and professional manner. They check on my site regularly and let me know if anything needs attention.

A couple of months ago I was trying to make a webpage for my Reduce the Chaos Facebook  Page when I ran into trouble, part of the problem was accidentally changing the theme on my website.  Joel and Sue scheduled a phone call session, logged onto my computer remotely and walked me through getting things straightened out.  Thanks to them everything is back up and running smoothly on Facebook and WordPress.  I know that I can count on them whenever I need support and no matter what location they are in. The big plus is getting to hear of all the adventures they are having along the road as they travel.

They are everything I dreamed of when it comes to having website support and great customer service.

Susan Mayfield
Virtual Office Assistant/Professional Organizer/Speaker
Reduce the Chaos

Our Guest Post at

Recently we received this email:

Dear Joel and Sue,

My name is Nicole Willson and I’m a Community Specialist over at, a community site where RVers from all walks of life can review their experiences at the now 18,000 parks that are listed with us in the U.S for free. We also list detailed information on the parks: power, showers, WiFi, etc. that we think will be useful to our readers. Our goal is to make it easier for RVers to find trustworthy & current information about the parks that they wish to visit.

I recently came across your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. I pick guest bloggers for the blog. I am starting a series on getting online from the road, based on the fact that one of our most popular guest blog posts is about Going Online Without Blowing Your Budget. We have also featured a very post about the pros and cons of using a HughesNet satellite dish. Tomorrow, we are featuring a similar post about Verizon Mifi. Tonya Prater of Live the Adverture, another blog featured on Families on the Road, has recently guest blogged for us as well. Would you be willing to write a guest blog post about finding places with WiFi while on the road?

I would love it if you could write a guest blog post on the blog: It would be great if I could have the post by the end of the month. I’d also appreciate it if you could supply your own biography. This ensures that you will be represented the way you want to be.

Please let me know if you are interested.


Of course we were happy to oblige. You can read our guest post, The Best Tool for Finding Free Wi-Fi On the Road: Resourcefulnesshere.

Runanrunanrun Treat!

(Today’s guest post is by Bob and Bentley, the mini-dachshunds who are caring for us.)

two of them are big like our other people but one of them is little like us not quite as little though she throws the ball BALL BALL BALL shut up bob i’m writing she throws the ball for us and bob never shuts up HEY HEY HEY bob will you shut up it’s hard enough typing with paws without you barking in my ear is flapped over and it feels funny not bad funny good funny we run around the living room run and run and run and BALL BALL BALL sweet merciful heavens bob will you please go away and quit interrupting this is TREAT TREAT TREAT treat? treatreatreatreatreat gotta go

Guest Post by Sara Gaffney: You Have My Blessing and Envy

Sara is a virtual assistant who founded the Northern California Virtual Assistants Meetup Group. We’ve been able to get to know Sara quite well over the last year or two. She recently sent us a couple of emails that she has agreed to let us share as a guest post.

Hi Sue & Joel,

I have been following your blog. I think it is great what you guys are doing! I am enjoying reading your posts :) Where are you heading next? Do you have your two months planned out?

Make sure you have a good GPS, and good set of tools with you and your battery is always charged on your cell phones. Never take a detour if you are not sure if the weather is bad, and always let someone know where you are heading to. OK, those are my motherly tips for the day :) BE safe, have fun, enjoy, and experience life as it was meant to be experienced; meeting people in their own environment, face to face, seeing life through your own eyes; instead of what you hear on T.V, or in books.

This is an experience every child and adult should have.

What a history lesson. Fiona can really experience how others live, not just those in Roseville California. It is not always easy when your child/children asks you those difficult questions that most parents try to protect our children from. When you pass through a town that you want to lock the doors or a city that looks deserted because all the factories and businesses have closed down. Or where the majority of people have different skin color then you. If more people were able to get out of their back yard and travel around we would be a better place.

I would add that you make time for play groups. I would hate to think she has an imaginary friend :) That could be fun too… I seem to remember I had an imaginary friend. I didn’t turn out too bad!

This is from the Webster Dictionary: Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse

Wow, for some reason I don’t see how you fall under the category of guilty.

So don’t have any guilt. You’re giving your family an opportunity to live outside your backyard and make friends with people that have all different kinds of stories to share about their life. And for a person to grow, they need to get out of their own backyard sometimes. Who’s to say when that time is? Live in the moment, who knows if there’s a tomorrow?

You have my blessing and envy.

Take care,


P.S. One more thing, you are not cheating the system… We created virtual businesses so we didn’t have to work for any one. That we could work on the beach if we wanted to. Well, you have choosen to work driving around in your car right now, home to home. What’s is wrong with that? You are working, making money, doing what you like, while others are hating life, losing their home, fighting with their spouse and getting fired.

So I say, when you pack the car, smile wide and wave good-bye knowing at least for now you have done the right thing. You can always rent a place again. You can even move in with your kids :)

OK, that will be $55 hr for my counseling services :)

When we asked her if we could post this as a guest post she replied, “OK, sure. If it makes you not feel guilty and gives hope to others to see that living is not just behind four walls then go for it.”

Guest Post by Brodie the Canine

I asked Brodie, the dog we’re sitting for, to write a guest post for us today. I thought it would be a good idea for him to share his viewpoint of having us house sit and take care of him. I had a little trouble translating so I apologize to Brodie if I didn’t get this word for word correct.

Brodie here. So I’ve been asked to write this guest post. If you plan on having the Canfield Family house sit or dog sit for you in the future, perhaps what I share here will be useful.

Though my family tried to explain what would happen, I was quite surprised to find these three people show up at my door one day and move in and suddenly my family was gone. Sure, mum had taken me on a walk with the family and showed the little one, they call her Fiona, how to handle the leash. But by the end of the day I had wondered where in the world my family had gone.

The Canfields took good care of me that day, making sure I had food and water, taking me out for walks. I kept looking out the window and all around the house for my family but they never came home. It was quite unsettling. That night the Canfield family went upstairs and took over the bedrooms. They wanted me to sleep on my pillow in Fiona’s room when I usually slept in the other bedroom. I really didn’t understand what was happening and decided I’d just wait downstairs near the window for my family to come home. I must have fallen asleep because next thing I knew it was the next day, my family still wasn’t home, and the Canfield family were still there.

I did settle in though and finally realized that my family wasn’t going to be around for a while. I got used to sleeping in Fiona’s room. And the Canfield family is taking very good care of me. Fiona makes sure I have water and food every day and periodically gets me a treat. She loves to take me out for walks and sometimes we race to see who can get to the corner fast enough.

Sometimes they are gone for longer periods of time and I’m so glad when they get home. I really like having them around. It was hard enough to keep track of the two in my family when they were in separate rooms. Now there are three and sometimes they all end up in different rooms. It gets very confusing. Last night the mum and Fiona were reading upstairs and the dad was still downstairs. I kept waiting at the top of the stairs for him and couldn’t settle down till he came up.

This morning I did have to wake the mum to take me out. Guess they were a bit worn out from their day out yesterday traipsing in Lynn Canyon Park. Sometimes too the mum forgets that I like to curl up on the floor under her feet while she’s at the couch and she’s accidentally stepped on my toe a time or two. I had to let her know that hurt and she apologized so it’s okay. She’s trying to be more careful and I’ll just watch out for those big feet.

It’s been different but not bad. I really couldn’t have been more prepared I suppose. The family did their best to prepare me and the Canfield family has taken excellent care of me. I still miss my family and hope they come home soon. If they ever do have to leave for an extended period of time again, I would gladly have the Canfield family take care of me again.

Are there any canines out there who have had similar experiences? How did you deal with the changes?

Guest Post: Ken Grossman on Brilliance and Absurdity

Ken has been a good friend to our family for many years. He’s a deep thinker with a sense of humour skewed in directions we like. He sent this as an email, and at Sue’s request is allowing us to post it here.

The nomadic lifestyle took awhile to sink in with me but I’m on-board now. I cannot say whether it is an absurd idea or brilliant but I suspect it is a bit of both. Here is what I like about it:

  • It serves that inner voice in many of us to live life with gusto
  • It also serves the inner voice that speaks to our wanderlust (But we may need to be aware of too many inner voices as we may end up on medication:)
  • A chance to meet people and REALLY get to know them
  • I think you and Sue have the brainpower and personality to pull this off
  • The world has become very virtualized and there are not many things you cannot do over the Internet
  • Freedom, not total freedom, but freedom to a degree that most industrialized people will not voluntarily seek
  • Exposing Fiona to an unconventional and rich array of experiences, I suspect she will grow up to be a different sort of person and I can’t wait to see
  • I would hope there is a potential through your website to catch an audience that may fuel you both spiritually and financially
  • If you can be successful, I would think you would achieve a comfort with living your life in a predatory world and not fear the future. (See Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

There are probably more things I can think of I like but on to the things I am fearful of:

  • You WILL be very dependent on the Internet; stay tuned into potential changes there
  • I don’t know what kind of safety nets you have in place but I suspect that it is not many. Your level of vulnerability concerns me
  • A big safety Net issue is Health care…
  • Traveling the roads makes you very dependent on your vehicle
  • There are bad people out there. Some of them really really seem like good people. Be careful
  • Fiona is blessed to have you both but I would be concerned about her none the less. I don’t wish to verbalize all the reasons…
  • It is a truly crappy economy out there and this might be the perfect way to face it, but, we relentlessly move towards the future and preparing for that should be somewhere on your radar.

OK, a couple of thoughts.

  • The My-Fi from Verizon is very good for browsing the Internet but it sucks for file upload/download especially outside the 3G range. I’ve read about new technology for cars but I don’t know anything about it. You will need to find hot spots.
  • You may want to put a Android phone near the top of your list. If you can try one for 15 days before returning it (Verizon included a $35 restocking fee for my Droid X) then that might be worth it. If you cut loose on this project, I think a Droid phone would be like a Swiss Army Knife for you.

What do you think about Ken’s lists? Are the pluses enough? What about the concerns? We’d love to hear your comments below.

Getting Ready for the Canfields (Another Guest Post)

Caitlyn  James
Caitlyn James
Caitlyn is back. I am not sure what that means; does she keep coming here because we’re coming there? This is something to be looked into, eh? In the meantime, here’s Caitlyn . . .

I should have taken a picture of myself last night. It was getting dark and I was covered in muddy streaks. Cute. Or, maybe not … having no photographic evidence to the contrary – oh, did I mention I was soaking wet in patches and my left hairs were drenched and stuck to my face? – we’ll go with cute.

In my enthusiasm to make your lives, and mine, better ( I have invested in a hose timer. I got it last year at end of season for half the regular $50 price. Problem is, I need a hose going to the front and one going to the backyard. Okay, hose splitter.

We have those cute little click-on/click-off gadgets for the hoses and all the attachments that are used with a hose. At one time I thought this meant I only needed one gun-like nozzle and it could go wherever I went. Turns out, really I need one for each hose and rarely have to click them off or on. Before I had two, I did click more, but I was always going out the “wrong” door so I would end up waiting until a later that never came (hello dying plants), or moving the potted plants to the hose, or using the watering can. All annoying and more time consuming than hunting down the nozzle. Obviously, having one at each side of the house is more convenient – and I do click-on and off for sprinklers.

As you can see, I am invested in the clicking technology. So, I buy a special $10 splitter thing with the pokey-out click part on it. I could have bought a 2-hose attachment for $4 with the regular screw-them-together system. Should ‘a done it.

The hose does not have a receptacle for the pokey-out part. This means buying a special adapter click piece or attaching the sprinkler right to the tap. It is possible that I could … shocking … take it back. Start over.

Canadian Tire is a pretty dependable taker-backer of things so I guess I’ll dig the packaging out of the recycling and give it a try, in spite of it being used twice. Once to see if it worked (I had one special adapter already) and once this a.m., when the sprinkler came on automatically while we slept. Cool.

Sounds like I’ve solved all the problems of efficient crop watering.

Not so fast.

The reason I was striped with mud last night is that there are only a couple of sweet spots for the sprinklers. Unless the Canfields are inclined to “enjoy” their own muddy striped messing about, I want to position hoses and sprinklers in such a way that everything gets watered at once. It is possible. Easily, when there are two hoses linked together.

Almost possible with one hose. If I thread it through this garden, move the wheelbarrow, under the soaking wet 6 foot high rhododendron, while dragging the whole schmozzle through the mud that is the filled-in-new-sewer-connection-trench-soon-to-be-garden-shed-pad-and-walkway.

And, anyone who has ever tried to position a sprinkler perfectly knows that even if you start out by turning the water on and off, you eventually do the ‘watch and leap’ while the sprinkler sprinkles … full force in your face, on your head, through the left side of your t-shirt, and now all over the porch and its furniture as you swing things around wildly trying to save yourself from drowning.

Now, you have your picture. I sure hope you Canfields appreciate it when you wake to an already watered homestead! ;-)