Got any Route 66 and/or Grenada Recommendations?

Got any Route 66 and/or Grenada Recommendations?

Paul and an Arizona Saguaro on a 2010 Road Trip

Paul and an Arizona Saguaro on a 2010 Road Trip

October 1, 2013 marks our New Mexico departure date.  We are busy firming everything up and I can’t wait to share with you a couple of epic New Mexico blog posts I have in the works.  In the meantime, I have a question or two for you.

We will have a few weeks off between sits and you know what that means…ROAD TRIP…and some possible flights, as well.  Our road trip will start here on Route 66, which we will follow across Arizona and into California (our next sit destination).  From there, we are thinking about flying to Grenada for a week.

So, here are my questions to you…

Do you have a favorite place, either along Route 66 (in NM, AZ, or CA), or in Grenada?  And, if you haven’t been yet, are there any places you have been wanting to go to?  If so, what is it about those places that appeals to you?  We have all kinds of ideas to share, but I want to hear yours first.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY to you and yours!

Book Love: Be A Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell (Win a Copy!)

Book Love: Be A Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell (Win a Copy!)

I came across a mention of Marianne Cantwell’s new book, Be a Free Range Human – Escape the 9 to 5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills while perusing the facebook page of Barbara Winter.  Per her suggestion, I contacted the book publisher and was sent a copy in exchange for sharing my thoughts here on our blog.

Escape the 9 - 5, Create a Life You Love, and Still Pay the Bills

Escape the 9 – 5, Create a Life You Love, and Still Pay the Bills

Soon after receiving the book, I found myself working for someone else and struggling to find the time to actually read it.  The irony was not lost on me.  Paul makes this “location independent” stuff look easy, while I have struggled to earn a decent living on the move.

I am enjoying my new job at Estrella Del Norte Vineyard, but it is important to me that I find a way to support myself financially from wherever it is we wish to be (our sit here in New Mexico ends in October) without relying on an outside job.

I’ve been able to save us LOTS of money with Caretaking Couple; now it is time to make us some money.  I want to be my version of a Free Range Human!

You may be wondering what free ranging even means.  According to Marianne Cantwell, “Free ranging is about creating your ultimate life.  Reaching your potential, building on that moment of magic you have to offer and creating a darn good income to boot.  Freedom and fulfillment and a great income.  No compromises.”

For me, free ranging means true location independence.  For some people I know, it means walking away from jobs they hate and towards a lifestyle they love.  This book will help you to clarify what free ranging means to you and encourage you to live accordingly if you aren’t already.

Be a Free Range Human is broken up into four parts.  The first half will help you to decide what it is you want exactly and the second half shows you ways in which to put your plan into action.  There are a lot of written exercises in this book, along with complimentary online resources.  Do not ignore either ~ both are invaluable.

You will be given projects to work on, as well.  Example: my current Play Project (i.e. a project that excites me) includes monetizing this blog with relevant affiliate links, setting up an e-Book shopping cart, and reaching out to potential sponsors.  I am giving myself one week to finish this project, with the help of someone who can actually set it all up in a fraction of the time it takes me.

In this book, you will hear from others who are getting paid to do what makes them come alive.  You will learn how to start a business for under $100 and how to set your salary.  You will learn about branding and niches and how to get free press.  You will be given advice on how to avoid “the beige army”, that group of scared but vocal people that try to talk you out of living your happiest life.  Prepare to be inspired.

My copy of Be a Free Range Human is full of ink and plans and dreams, so you can’t borrow it.  Two of my friends have purchased and are reading it at present, and I cannot wait to exchange ideas and epiphanies with them!

If you are interested in reading this book as well, please leave us a comment here on the blog.  It can be about what free ranging means to you, or anything else you would like to discuss.  I will have Paul draw a name next weekend (April 12th) and send a copy out to the winner.  Book club, anyone?!

 

Sculptures and Structures of Canyon Road ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sculptures and Structures of Canyon Road ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yesterday was one of my favorite days in Santa Fe yet.  Paul dropped me off on Canyon Road while he went off in search of culinary shops.  I planned on taking random photos, but there were so many amazing outdoor sculptures that they quickly became my focus.

I was SO inspired that I have decided to do a drawing.  It has been a while, and I thought it would be fun to do something Valentines-themed.  Simply leave a comment on this post and your name will go into the drawing hat.  You can let me know if you have a favorite sculpture, or share a Canyon Road experience or whatever you want, really.

The Gallery at 822 Canyon Road

The Gallery at 822 Canyon Road

 

Helicon

Helicon

 

Parking Lot Mural

Parking Lot Mural

 

Cool Classic Car

Cool Classic Car

 

Imagine

Imagine

 

Society of Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse

Society of Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse

 

Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art

Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art

 

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

 

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

 

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

Adieb Khadoure Fine Arts

 

SR Brennen Gallery

SR Brennen Gallery

 

Patricia Carlisle

Patricia Carlisle

 

Shadows

Shadows

 

Street Cred

Street Cred

 

Door Leading to the Santa Fe Historical Society

Door Leading to the Santa Fe Historical Society

 

The Santa Fe Historical Society

The Santa Fe Historical Society

 

Coyote Fencing

Coyote Fencing

 

Street Address

Street Address

 

Morning Star Gallery

Morning Star Gallery

 

Adobe

Adobe

 

Sage Creek Gallery

Sage Creek Gallery

 

Carol Laroche Gallery

Carol Laroche Gallery

 

Mark White Fine Art

Mark White Fine Art

 

Wiford Gallery

Wiford Gallery

 

Canyon Road Contemporary

Canyon Road Contemporary

 

Old, Old Window

Old, Old Window

 

Meyer East Gallery

Meyer East Gallery

 

Meyer East Gallery

Meyer East Gallery

 

Meyer East Gallery

Meyer East Gallery

 

adobe gallery

adobe gallery

 

CVG Contemporary

CVG Contemporary

 

CVG Contemporary

CVG Contemporary

 

CVG Contemporary

CVG Contemporary

 

CVG Contemporary

CVG Contemporary

 

Reflection Gallery

Reflection Gallery

 

Charles Azbell Gallery

Charles Azbell Gallery

 

Charles Azbell Gallery

Charles Azbell Gallery

What a perfect day.  Remember,  I was SO inspired that I have decided to have a drawing.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and Paul will pull a name out of a hat on February 7th, so that one lucky winner (YOU?!) will receive their prize just in time for Valentine’s Day.  XOX,

Valynne and Paul

 

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!

Letterlust

Letterlust

A Glimpse of The Collection

This isn’t the first time I have written about collections, or handwritten letters in general. Both topics fascinate me, after all. I typically have an easy time letting go of material objects, and I don’t buy much “stuff” for myself or others, unless I truly believe it will be appreciated by the recipient and I can truly afford the expense. Yet, I am a hoarder of ephemera. Honestly, what you see above is just part of my collection. At least it is relatively light-weight and easy to haul and/or ship.

What does being a hoarder of ephemera even mean? It means that I am the person that has saved just about every little ticket stub ever handed back to me, every wedding invitation extended to me, and every post card and letter sent to me (how else could I keep track of all of the places I have lived?). I treasure journals and yearbooks, love notes from grammar school crushes, matchbooks from favorite establishments, creative business cards, and let’s not even get started on old photos. Oh, and it isn’t just personal. I love all ephemera, especially of the vintage variety.

I know that I am not alone, but it does seem that I am increasingly in the minority when it comes to things that have been easily replaced or tossed aside by technology. Please tell me. Do you collect ephemera? What kind? Or is there anything else that you collect that you feel you can’t/won’t ever voluntarily let go of? Books? Beads? Guitar picks? Records? Crystal? Matchbooks from vacations past?

*Leave me a comment between now and Saint Patrick’s Day and I will draw a name and send the winner a handwritten letter with my Waterman pen on some stationary or an old card. Your comment can be about anything – what you collect, why you collect it, the (lost?) art of all things handwritten, etc. etc. Rapport. It (still) matters to me.

 

 

 

Holiday Giveaway Time!

Holiday Giveaway Time!

It is hard to believe this is my second season sans Mountain Girl Organics.  I do miss it sometimes but am super happy that Paula is doing so well with it!

In celebration of Paula and MGO and this little blog up and running again and it being the most wonderful time of the year and all, it is Holiday Giveaway Time!

All you have to do is leave a comment on any post here on this blog between now and Friday, December 16th.  If your name is drawn, you will be the lucky winner of a handful of hand selected MGO goodies (sigh).

Of course, if you don’t want to take your chances, and/or you are searching for lovely gifts for lovely people, you can always go here and order directly from the site. She has completely revamped it and it is gorgeous! OR, if you are a Colorado friend, you can look here for local shops that carry MGO.

Again, just leave a comment on *any* post on the blog (there are two years worth of posts to choose from) and your name will be entered into the drawing.  Good Luck and Season’s Greetings to you all!  Love,

Valynne & Paul

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