Caretaking Couple Now Offers Midday Dog Walks

Caretaking Couple Now Offers Midday Dog Walks

I (Valynne) will be handing out these sweet flyers and displaying them at local businesses here in Northeast Portland over the weekend and can’t wait to see what the response is like.  BIG THANKS to Maxwell at No Limits PDX for a less than one day turn-around (!) and I really appreciate that this locally owned business charges LESS than the box stores, as well.

Also, I am going to do my best to track the response to this old-school flyer in comparison to the response I am getting via social media. Because we are newcomers to Portland, I think actually getting the word out in the community will be more effective than my various social media campaigns at this point.  What do you think?  Got tips?  If so, we would love to hear them…

PS Time for another prize drawing.  Leave a comment on ANY blog post here at Caretaking Couple and automatically enter to win a week’s worth of Shakeology, starting NOW and ending this Friday (10/14/11).  I will send the prize out on Saturday.

Share The Love Contest

Share The Love Contest

Share the Love Contest Time!

Here it is, a week before Valentine’s Day (and Anniversary #5 for Paul and I) and I am on a head cold high.  I think my body is acting out in protest as I enter month number three of good, clean livin’.

That’s right – I have been exercising and eating right going on three months now…with the exception of this past week (no appetite, and lots of ab crunches in the form of coughing fits).

Alas, no need to call the w-a-a-a-mbulance,   because I am officially on the mend.  I finally went to the Dr. today (that’s when you know things are dire in my world) and am *TCB for real.

So, the point of my post…This is probably more for me than you; still…there is fun to be had all around. Just read ANY of my posts (there are PLENTY to choose from, going back to 2009) and leave a comment.

***I will enter your name for each comment you leave (what can I say, I am a comment slut).***

Leaving a comment automatically enters you into the prize drawing (it is a surprise, but there will definitely be hearts involved)!  Thank you for sharing the love and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! XOXXOXO,

Valynne (and the Brit)

PS If you have not “liked” our facebook page yet, please click the “f” symbol at the top of this page and then click “like” when you get there.  This will enter your name again.  Same goes for “following” us on twitter. FUNness!

* Taking Care of Business (it’s an Elvis thing).

Macs, Goals, and Winners

Macs, Goals, and Winners

Flashback - Paul and I in Italy, Summer 2007. Thought I would share as most of my pics are in between laptops at present and I get complaints when there are no blog pics : ) AND this is what I want to look like again, which is why I am using Beachbody Products!

Honestly, the old hp has done me well, considering I have used it every day for over four years now…but it hasn’t been the lowest maintenance of computers (understatement).  Not being one to throw away a (barely working) machine, I have been waiting and wondering when it would finally go.  And it went. 

So, guess what is charging up right next to me?  My early Christmas present: a brand new MacBook Pro.  I am VERY excited!  AND Santa is bringing us an iPod nano (actually, it was a promo with E.Webscapes when I had my blog redesigned but I am sure Santa would have brought it otherwise).  YIPEE!  Can you believe neither of us has even used i-Tunes???  Instead, we have been lugging thousands of CD’s around with us.  Uncool but true. 

Of course there will be a bit of a learning curve with the new lappy but I have seriously wanted an Apple for years and years and have looked over many a Mac user’s shoulder so I don’t think it will be too painful.  If you are a Mac lover and have any pointers or want to share what you love most about it, that would be super appreciated!  Just click on the comments link above and tell us all about it.

***Speaking of appreciation:  I have an announcement to make regarding yesterday’s prize drawing.  The lucky winner is…David!  Thank you for your comments (even the feisty ones)…I will be sending your Tennessee prize package in the next few days : )***

A couple of blog posts back I decided I would share my monthly goals with you.  I’ve always done this for a new month – sort of.  As in I wrote down my goals somewhere but didn’t always remember where and didn’t always remember to see how I did at the end of the month, etc. etc.  So I am turning over a new leaf.

The man who inspired me to take monthly goals seriously can be found at http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com/.  I found him (or he found me – can’t remember now) on facebook and have been following his blog ever since.  I am seriously impressed with the progress Chris Ducker has made with regards to his quest for a truly Virtual Business Lifestyle this past year.  Seriously. Impressed!  Not to mention inspired. So, here goes…

My December Goals:

Blogsville:  My goal for November was to get this blog redesigned and transferred over to it’s new platform.  I hope you like our new look and find the social media links above to be useful (as in, I hope you are using them).  My first goal for December is to work on a few quirks with the blog that have been brought to my attention.  If you notice any, please let me know.  My second goal is to figure out how to use my Mac..I cannot waitto give you podcasts and other cool features I see popping up on my favorite blogs.

My Writing: I am currently taking a memoir writing class through Gotham Writers Workshop  and am pretty disappointed in myself for not dedicating more of my time to it these past few weeks.  These classes are great and deserve my full attention.  I just submitted two more chapters of my book for critique, so I did accomplish last months goal…but just barely.  The class ends soon.  My goal is to refocus and to polish up two more (very rough) chapters.  I am working on an FAQ’s page as well, so if you have any questions for Caretaking Couple, please fire away.

Health and Fitness:  Last month I told you I was considering becoming a Beachbody Coach.  I decided to go for it and am so happy I did.  This company is great – the online office tools are phenomenal, which makes my new job that much easier.  They immediately hooked me up with websites, an e-mail address, and a great “Getting Started” kit.  So, I get to sell products that help others which in turn keeps me focused and accountable for my own health and wellness goals.  BONUS – I am actually losing weight and getting in shape over the Holidays! 

Speaking of the Holidays:  My goal for this year is to continue to simplify and to celebrate the Season by sharing the love in ways that allow me to live within my means and beneath my seams (I think that is how that old saying goes).  That doesn’t mean I won’t leave a little extra come time to tip or anything miserly – it just means that I won’t overdo it like I have in the past. 

Thank you for stopping by.  As always, we would love to hear from you…my goal for this blog is to make it as interactive and user friendly as possible.  If you have friends that you think would like to join in the conversation, please tell them about us.  The easiest way to keep in touch is to subscribe via the “News and Updates” box to the upper right of this post.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

A Journey Into Enlightenment (Part II)

Here we are in Tennessee, on our third official sit as a couple (and my fiftieth or so as an individual).  It has been a whirlwind of a fall and we are both looking forward to hunkering down for the winter up on Signal Mountain.

Now that I am finally and fully embracing the wonders of blogging and social media in general, I find that I can be more distracted than ever if I am not careful.  In the past I have had specific job duties, like mixing drinks or selling soaps or entering data…now I am mainly accountable to…me.  Yikes. 

Time to retrain my brain.  Time to walk down a different street!  If I want to make a living online, I need to be super organized and results-driven.  I need goals, and I need to accomplish them.  I can’t simply wait for someone else to tell me what to do, whether it be work related or otherwise.

So, each month I am going to hold myself accountable to not just me, but to all of you as well.  Each month I am going to post a goal (or four).  I know we are almost halfway into November, but I have been working hard on the following and feel the need share now, so here goes:

November Goals:

Blogsville: I am currently working with Lisa Sabin-Wilson (author of WordPress for Dummies) on this blog.  It is being completely restructured in order to be more user friendly and interactive.  You will see the new look this month (can’t wait to show you)!

Other Social Media: You can now find either myself or Caretaking Couple on twitter and Linked In as well as facebook.  I am not sure if I will be adding to or subtracting from this list – I am just going to have fun with each and see where my time is best spent.   Do you have a favorite?  If so, please share.

My Writing: Most of you know that I am taking writing classes and working on a book.  I have eight chapters outlined and three written.  I will finish Chapter Four by the end of the month. How many rough drafts does one woman need to write, anyway?

Health and Fitness:  I am looking into becoming a Beachbody Coach.  There is still a bit of research to do with regards to this.  I am considering Beachbody because I have seen the results in people who are consistent with it, and it is something I can do from anywhere in the US.  And it will hold me accountable!

The goals above are more challenging than I thought they would be but there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now.  Except for maybe going for a bike ride and getting to know the new neighborhood…another benefit of working from “home”.

Thank you for reading this, our 100th blog post here at Caretaking Couple!  As always, I would love to hear from you.  Enlighten me ; ) Just leave a comment on any of my 100 posts between now and December 1 and I will enter your name into a drawing for a special CC gift from Tennessee!

Road Trip 2010 – Colorado

Road Trip 2010 – Colorado

Oklahoma Rest Stop

From Mississippi, we drove right through Arkansas and stayed one night in Oklahoma City.  I am sad to say that the only thing I remember about Arkansas was the amount of squashed armadillos on the highway.  Asked Paul to help a girl out but he had nothing to add.  And Oklahoma City in August was simply too hot.  We wandered a bit, had a bite, melted.  On the way back to the nondiscript chain hotel, we came across a small wedding party.  And here is my favorite memory of Oklahoma…

An Oklahoma Wedding

If I were getting married that day in OK, I would have done the exact same thing.  My least favorite memory of Oklahoma?  Worst huevos rancheros ever in a restaurant in a town with no people on it’s streets…or in it’s shops…or restaurants.  That should have been our cue to drive straight through.

Um...Where is everyone?

I know I am not being very fair to Arkansas and Oklahoma…I know if we had stayed longer things would have been different.  And when I say different, I mean better.  if you have a fun memory of either place you would like to share, that would be great.

And now.  The state we took to the road for in the first place.  Colorado.  Where Paul and I met.  Where Mountain Girl Organics was born.  Where most of our friends are.  Ahh, it’s good to be back in the ‘hood! And since every picture tells a story, and since I’m hoping for some rapport via your comments…here goes.

How Sadie rolls on Bear Mountain

Dakota Blonde with Ernie Martinez at The Comfort Cafe in Denver

Meeting Em at my old stomping grounds, the Bergen Park Farmers' Market

Em, Sadie and I, showing off our new pedis

Looks like Aussie Ken's been shopping again

Jodee, John E, Tom C, and Me at Rio Del Sol

Paul (always a hit with the ladies) and Casey at Rio

Robb & Mary, this one's for you ; )

Michele's shop, Bella Vita, in Kittredge, CO

One more of Bella Vita. Cause I love it.

Billy's Pub

Paul has help blowing out his belated Birthday candle

Hanging out at the old digs

Bear Mountain Barn

Latest addition to Bear Mountain - Wyatt

Oliver, playing "pull my finger" with Paul. Scary.

Yay for babies! Congrats, Jon and Lee!

My current favorite Colorado church sign

Evergreen Lake, pre-concert

Sadie, Barre and Tom at the Lake

Jakarta at Evergreen Lake

John E & the Ladies (aka Jen, Kit, and Kathleen)

BYOK (Bring Your Own Keg) Night with Ken

In case you were wondering where the spots on my lens came from ; )

Denise, hitchin' a ride

Until next time, Evergreen!

Stay tuned for Santa Fe, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio!  Oh, and the contest is still on – you have between now and tomorrow night (Sunday, 10/10/10 at 10:10pm) to leave a comment on any Caretaking Couple blog post!  XOX, V&P

Road Trip 2010 – (Mostly) Mississippi

Road Trip 2010 – (Mostly) Mississippi

Yes, it is October, and yes, this road trip did take place throughout the month of August.  Sigh.  Still, I am determined to give you the scoop because it was such a GREAT trip!  I am now writing from lovely Provincetown, MA where we have rented a sweet apartment between sits.  Then it’s Tennessee, here we come!

Creepy. Pretty. Pretty Creepy!

After North Carolina, we drove through a bit of Georgia and spent one night in Tennessee, where we met with the homeowners we will be sitting for as of next month.  I will ply you with TN pics then…for now, on to Mississippi.  But first, what is this stuff growing over everything?  Will someone please enlighten me?  Someone familiar with the South?  Thank you.

We didn’t have much time in Mississippi – just one night.  We tried to get two, but the Inn we were staying at was fully booked.  You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, judging by the exterior of the place.  But it was, and now I know why.  On the way to Clarksdale, we stopped in Oxford for lunch.  What a cool town! 

Yes, Please

"Say, aren't you William Faulkner?!?"

Our lunch break was short and sweet and like so many places we happened upon in our travels, I wanted to know more.  However, until I can convince the S.O. (Significant Other, aka Paul) to go in on an Airstream, we’ll just have to keep movin’.

I went down to the crossroads...

We ended up in Clarksdale Mississippi because Paul and I both share a deep appreciation for blues music and wanted to find out more about the Delta blues in particular.  That, and Paul found the site for a place called the Shack Up Inn while surfing the web one day.  It was love at first click. 

Welcome to our shack for the night

We stayed in the Pinetop Perkins shack.  This (along with the rest) is an original sharecropper shack.  The Shack Up Inn is located at an old cotton plantation…Hopson Plantation.  An eye opener as to how things were not so long ago in these parts.  By the way, Pinetop Perkins is ninety-seven and still going strong. 

Pinetop mural in the living room

Shacks (from the back)

RV Art

I'll take mine silver ; )

And rusty teal

the Juke Joint Chapel

Chevy & The Cotton Gin Inn

Hopefully I have given you a good feel for the premises.  It really is one of those places you have to see for yourself.  I suggest you go there.  And now, for what we chose to do with our one night on the town…

Blue Cheese Fondue with House Fried Potatoes at Rust

Parking at the Ground Zero Blues Bar

I think I'll just grab a seat at the bar...

Razorblade takes the stage

Razorblade & Yours Truly

Ground Zero Blues Club  is just one of the local joints and I have to be honest, I did go there knowing that Morgan Freeman is a co-owner and…how cool would it be if he just happened to stop by?  What?  At least I’m being honest.  I’m not starstruck in general, but, come on…Morgan Freeman! 
 
Alas, no Mr. Freeman that night, but we did have the honor of meeting Josh “Razorblade” Stewart. 
Another unforgettable evening on the road.  Go to www.reverbnation.com/joshrazorbladestewart and have a listen.  My favorite song is “Every Goodbye Sure Don’t Mean I’m Gone”.  I can’t wait to be back in Clarksdale.

The Crossroads, made famous by Robert Johnson

Biscuits and Grits for the road at the Rest Haven Restaurant

P.S.  Thanks to you, we’ve had over 10,000 hits to this little blog; and almost 1,000 comments!  This calls for a celebration in the form of a PRIZE drawing.  Just leave a comment on ANY post ANYTIME between now and Sunday night (10/10/10 – how cool is that?) and I will announce the winner/prize first thing Monday morning : )

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