Where To Next?

Where To Next?

Paul and Valynne at The Smallest Bar in Key West ~ 2008

Paul and I aren’t wandering much farther than Portland this summer, aside from an occasional drive to the Pacific or train ride to Seattle.  This is because Portland is absolutely gorgeous in the summer and we have local pet sits lined up through August.  In late August, Paul is spending a week in Orlando, Florida with his boss and co-workers from around the globe.  I will meet him there the first week of September (yay!).  Yes, this is a hot time to be in Florida.  That is why we are renting a convertible and heading for the Florida KeysKey West, to be exact.  But not before visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.  Cannot wait and am actually wearing a Muggle shirt as I type this.  Feel free to call me a nerd.  Don’t care.

I'm a Muggle

OK, back to Key West.  Key West is one of our favorite places here in the US.  Nothing is set in stone, but I will be keeping an eye out for a potential long-term sit of the island variety beginning in late fall/early winter. Both Key West and Northern California are on our radar at present.  We love Portland and would be happy to stay here, as well…it is just that yours truly has a serious case of Wanderlust (by the way, have you seen the movie yet?  I got a total kick out of it) and it is true what they say about Portland being a bit…soggy for a good several months of the year.  And the tagline for Caretaking Couple is “Caring For Properties and Pets Across the US”, after all.

Have you been to Key West?  If so, tell us about it.  If not, where have you been that you would love to get back to?  Or, where haven’t you been that you would really, really like to visit?  Leave a comment on this post or any other for a chance to win a prize (details here) and I will draw a name on Monday, 5/28.  Thanks for keeping in touch!

29 Things to Love About Being Joyfully Jobless (Written by Barbara Winter)

29 Things to Love About Being Joyfully Jobless (Written by Barbara Winter)

Napping With Charlie (See #26)

I was introduced to Barbara Winter online a couple of years ago and share her words of wisdom often on our various social media sites. When I came across this list in her most recent newsletter, I immediately felt the need to share it here on the blog (with her blessing, of course). I’m thinking a lot of you will nod and relate (kindred spirits). For those of you who don’t get why I am the way I am, this list might shed some light…

29 Things to Love About Being Joyfully JoblessTM

Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit.
Jobs are not big enough for people.
~ Nora Watson

When Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,” she wasn’t talking about her life as a poet, but  I’m borrowing that idea anyway.  My list isn’t nearly as poetic as hers, but it’s every bit as passionate and includes things that other self-bossers love about working on their own.

  1. 1. Control over time. Self-bossers are more likely to plan their work around their biorhythms, not a time clock.
  2. 2. No supervisor. Being self-directed builds confidence and maturity.
  3. 3. Imagination stays fit. Our creative spirit is like a muscle and needs frequent workouts to keep it in top operating form. The entrepreneurial life depends on constant creative thinking.
  4. 4. Office can be anywhere. We get to decide if we’ll work at the beach, in our RV or in our home office.
  5. 5. Time for creative excursions. Knowing how important it is to gather ideas all the time, we work frequent jaunts into our schedule and let ourselves be inspired.
  6. 6. No rush hour traffic.
  7. 7. No fast food. Not only do we save money but eating healthy is easier when we have time to prepare good food.
  8. 8. A more balanced life. Smart self-bossers begin by figuring out what’s important to them and find ways to spend time on the top priorities which include not working too.
  9. 9. Lifelong learning. Having experienced jobs where continuous learning was not valued, we now design our own curriculum of formal and informal learning.
  10. 10. Pet friendly office. Fluffy and Fido can be part of our staff.
  11. 11. Custom-tailored benefits. While we have familiar benefits like health insurance and vacation time, self-bossers might give themselves other benefits like weekly massages or exciting sabbaticals.
  12. 12. Constant personal growth. Our businesses call us to keep growing and discovering new talents and wisdom.
  13. 13. The coolest friends. Entrepreneurial souls tend to be fun and fascinating. Building a personal network of such friends is a joy.
  14. 14. No office politics.
  15. 15. Great tax deductions. Our tax system favors the very wealthy and the self-employed.
  16. 16. No dress code. Whether you’re funky or conservative, your wardrobe won’t be decided by a memo.
  17. 17. A variety of work. We resist doing the same thing day in and day out and our businesses reflect our love of different activities.
  18. 18. Learn talent management. Self-discovery leads to finding our biggest assets and making the most of them.
  19. 19. Be a positive role model. When we follow our dreams, we set the best example for our kids and others who we don’t even know are taking inspiration from our lead.
  20. 20. Longevity. Yup, we’ll probably live longer and happier lives by honoring the prompting of our hearts.
  21. 21. Master crowd control. We can go to the movies on Tuesday afternoon or to the bank when there’s no line. Not only is this efficient, it eliminates a lot of stress.
  22. 22. Practical mental health. Do you think it’s healthier to spend time problem-solving or complaining? Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, enhances mental health.
  23. 23. Meet fascinating people. As our businesses take us out into the world, we begin to encounter new and interesting folks we’d have never met any other way.
  24. 24. Feed our adventurous spirit. What others call uncertainty, we see as a passport to a rich life that keeps our curiosity busy.
  25. 25. Learn personal responsibility. If our parents and schools didn’t teach us this vital lesson, our businesses certainly will.
  26. 26. Naps.
  27. 27. Unlimited financial potential.  We get to decide our money goals and create ways to reach them. What a lovely notion.
  28. 28. Harmony. Self-bossers are more likely to live in alignment with their deepest values.
  29. 29. FREEDOM.

    Barbara Winter, author of the bestselling book, Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love,  is also a business owner, itinerant teacher, and self-employment advocate who found her own right livelihood after overcoming her early notions that work was meant to be  drudgery. Be sure to check out her Winning Ways newsletter publication and various Teleclasses and Workshops at www.JoyfullyJobless.com or www.BarbaraWinter.com.

    PS WOW ~ Lots of hits on this page!  I am guessing that is because you are either joyfully jobless or interested in becoming joyfully jobless.  I think that this calls for a prize drawing!  Simply leave a comment, letting us know one or two things you love about being joyfully jobless, or that you think you would love about it and I will pick a name on Monday, 5/28.  The lucky winner will be sent a copy of Barbara Winter’s book, Making a Living Without a Job

Raised Garden Bed Love in NE Portland, Oregon

Raised Garden Bed Love in NE Portland, Oregon

Raised Garden Beds ~ Before

Paul and I started looking for rentals here in Portland, Oregon last fall and found a sweet little Craftsman in the Alberta Arts District. The house had almost been sold but the deal fell through and we were given the opportunity to rent it month to month. One of the things we loved best about it was the fact that it had a backyard with raised garden beds. We couldn’t wait to start playing in them come springtime!

Weeding, Fertilizing & Planting a Bed at a Time

The house was unoccupied for a while, so there was some catching up to do. We tackled the beds one at a time, netting each one upon completion in order to keep the cats out (strays had taken to using the back yard as their hang out and the garden beds as jumbo litter boxes). We pretty much had to start from scratch with these beds (weeding, then digging out old soil, then adding new soil/fertilizer, then planting and covering with net). By the way, the strays are still welcome, but not in the garden beds.

Sweet Pea Prep

We used a combination (about 50/50) of seeds and starters to fill the beds with, depending on what needed to go in when and what we were able to find locally and were able to find just about everything we wanted at Portland Nursery, Marbott’s, and Garden Fever.

Pea Progress

Paul planted the peas about a month ago, and here they are a few weeks later. The combination of sun and rain has done our little garden beds lots of good. We are both super excited about enjoying and sharing the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers of our labor, including raspberries (already growing wild), strawberries, leeks, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, string beans, peas, eggplant, collard greens, bib lettuce, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, basil, oregano, dill, and dozens of different wildflowers (making sure to choose ones that attract bees and hummingbirds).

Raised Garden Beds ~ (Almost) After

This can’t really be called an ‘after’ shot as there is still much growing and maintenance to do, but I really couldn’t wait any longer to share with you what we have been up to these past few weekends. I will add another picture or two in the coming weeks if I see that there is interest here on the blog (feel free to ask questions, give gardening advice, etc. via the comments button).

I Love Garden Gnomes

It has been sunshiny these past few days and today we are getting just the right amount of rain, it seems. The Pacific Northwest is in it’s glory this time of year and Paul and I continue to love it here. Now, to pick out the perfect gnome (or two) from Garden Fever. Paul is not convinced that we need one ~ what do you think?

PS Thought I would add another garden shot, a month or so after this post was written.  We have enjoyed this back yard SO much!

Raised Garden Beds ~ A Month (or so) Later

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