Ducks in the Pond Behind the Library in Mesa

Yesterday we took Fiona to the library again. She had to return those 20 books so she could get 20 more.

Behind the library here in Mesa is a pond with ducks. Nearby is a park and even a small observatory. We’ll have to go back to see about that observatory.

Enjoy the pictures of Fiona!

Hole in the Rock at Papago Park in Phoenix Arizona

Today our hosts, Terry and Virgie Wilson, took us to see the Hole in the Rock at Papago Park in Phoenix Arizona. Since Fiona is home schooled, it was a field trip for her as well. We had a lot of fun climbing up to the hole in the rock and back down.

After we ate our picnic lunch, we fed the birds in the pond. Then Virgie and Fiona did some exploring while Joel and I had a chance to relax and enjoy the perfect weather today. It was sunshine and 76 degrees with a nice breeze!

Enjoy our pictures!

Seven Weeks in Arizona

We’re settling in at the Wilson’s here in Arizona. We’ve been here a week now and have six more to go. And we’re loving it! Right now I’m sitting outside listening to the waterfall running into the pool and Fiona’s enjoying some outdoor time in the sun.

We’ve known the Wilson’s for seven year. We met when they still lived in Roseville California. Terry and Joel both play bass and enjoy music – a lot! It’s like being with family here. Fiona has her own room and she loves Virgie. Joel has his musical instruments in Terry’s music room. I’m loving the sunshine. Fiona was able to check out books from the local library and we’ve located a nearby park where Fiona played last night.

And business continues. Joel’s working with Terry on his second children’s book and he just placed the order for Jessi Lohman’s proof copy of her upcoming book. Other prospects are contacting Joel as well to help get their book out of their ‘someday’ box.

I’ve also contacted some local virtual assistants and am planning an informal meetup soon. And we were just contacted by another community college in Illinois about possibly using our materials in a class for virtual workers.

So things are moving forward and we’re excited to be in a  great home with great friends and in a routine for a bit. Knowing that we’ll get itchy feet to move on in a couple of weeks, we’re planning a long day’s drive to deal with that. But it will be nice for Joel to be in one place with his music stuff all set up since February is FAWM.

Ideally we hope for a similar situation in April. Some place we can park for anywhere from two to eight weeks house sitting. Maybe somewhere in the south.

Anyone need a  house sitter in April? We’ve got references!

Settling in and Starting Over

We’ve been in Mesa, Arizona with our friends Terry and Virgie for 4 days and it’s beginning to feel like we’re settling in. It’s always a little challenge, getting meals sorted, finding everyone’s favorite place on the couch for movies, where laptops go for work and play, bedtime routine for the Little One.

Though we don’t have much truck with New Year’s resolutions, it’s only natural to think about direction and beginnings this time of year. Here’s a comment I made over at Caitlyn’s blog about where I was mentally around year’s end:

The night of December 29th I spent sitting on the couch, staring into the dark, wondering what on earth I thought I was doing. Who am I to eschew the job/credit/school/commute/sitcom disreality everyone else seems to embrace?

Longest darkest night since that night 9 years ago when I decided to end my life—and start a new one.

Somewhere around January 3rd I realised that the gut-wrenching disorienting spinwobble that slapped me insensate was a corner being turned.

I’m a magician; watch me turn a corner into a new life.

Okay, it’s just business changes, but it’s been a bit like having a new foundation inserted under the house.

We’ve spent the past year focused on our virtual assistant coaching over at Chief Virtual Officer, the past six focused on the CVO Source, our business-training resource for VAs. While things there still need attention, I realised that the plates are spinning, and what we need most there is to keep ’em spinning; we don’t have to stand there and watch.

Some years ago we noticed that our web business, Spinhead, does approximately the same amount of work regardless of our marketing. It’s on autopilot; we just give it a nudge now and then, but mostly, it just happens. Those plates have been spinning nicely for five or six years.

We love The Source and the opportunity it gives us to create content: video, audio, written, interactive. It will also be a source of passive income, since it’s subscription-based. We even ask members to post questions for us to answer, so we’ll always be challenged to provide new content.

But it’s time for me to focus on a pie I started baking January of last year, my book coaching.

If you or anyone you know wants to write a book, or is writing a book, or should be writing a book, let me help you get it out of the Someday Box.

Cupcake for Breakfast Before Hitting the Road Again

Monday morning we met a fellow FAWMer at a Starbuck’s in San Diego. Billy was kind enough to buy us coffee and get Fiona a hot chocolate and cupcake. She’d already eaten cereal for breakfast. So why not!?
Yes, a cupcake for breakfast

After visiting with Billy we stopped briefly at my mom’s house to visit and see how she was doing after having knee surgery last month. She’s doing quite well. We then stopped by a grocery store and stocked up on our usual food supplies for the road:

a loaf of sourdough bread
a loaf of french bread (Fiona isn’t crazy about sourdough)
baby carrots, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber
a few treats: Gatorade for Joel and Fiona (I can’t stand the stuff myself), corn chips, sour cream and onion potato chips and a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms

Fiona enjoys cupcakes
Monday we drove from San Diego to Mesa Arizona where we’re staying once again with our good friends Terry & Virgie till the end of February.

There’s that feeling of excitement again as we have a driving day. And though we’ll enjoy today’s drive, we’re also looking forward to being settled for a few weeks. It will allow us time to concentrate on business. And of course Joel’s looking forward to FAWM in February. Since we’re staying with another musician, maybe his buddy will even join him this year as a FAWMer. (Hint, hint Terry)

Yummy cupcake

Fun in Phoenix

We had a great stay with the Wilson’s in Phoenix over the weekend. Joel was able to play music Sunday evening with Terry and his friends. Fiona helped Terry’s wife make cookies for the road on Monday. When we left early Monday morning we saw a beautiful sunrise. At a rest area, we found a ‘home on wheels’. Cool but not quite what we’re looking for.

Montreal 2nd Leg: Phoenix to Albuquerque

Tonight is our first couch surfing experience. Hoping it works out to drop in on a total stranger with all our stuff and not totally freak out on both sides.

One of the many funny things: driving south through California’s central valley, it was brown and dead. On one side of the freeway, dead brown grass. On the other side, just for variety, brown dead grass. For 7 solid hours.

Driving through the desert from Phoenix to Albuquerque, Fiona kept saying “Look! It’s all green! Why is the whole desert green?” And it was. Green cactus. Green trees. Green shrubs. Put that in the red sand under the blue sky filled with crisp white clouds, and I kept saying “This is why I love the desert.”

We keep leaving later than intended and arriving in the dark. I’d like to get to new places in late afternoon so we can see where we’re going. I’d also love to see more of the spectacular scenery.

Swimming is Fiona’s P.E. for Homeschooling Today

Fiona is homeschooled and needed something to do today for P.E. Fortunately, the Wilson’s have a pool. Fiona did a lot of swimming when she was very little since we lived in apartments with pools until she was 2. However she hasn’t done much swimming in the past 4 years. Periodically she has been able to swim at Pam and Phil’s house in Roseville. She always starts out quite timid but before long she gets brave and loves the water.

Enjoy these pictures of Fiona’s day swimming in Arizona. She’d love to hear your comments.