Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yeah sure it'll fit

Aaaaand done!

In my last post I noted that if we didn't sell our house by the time we left that we would need to try again in April. Well, as most of you know by now from Facebook, we DID sell our house!  So yay!

Except yay?... we now have to completely empty our house and have it move in ready for the new owners before we leave on Dec 13?  Uh, sure... NO PROBLEM!

But hey, we're doing it, and it's going fine so no worries. Although I'm pretty sure we underestimated the amount of things we were planning on carrying in the back of our car. For example...

THIS luggage


and THIS 88 note keyboard


oh, and THESE couches


No seriously... we're taking these couches with us to Las Vegas, behind our Prius, so we can hand them off to Brandon.


I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Yep, all this plus a bunch of other stuff I'm sure we haven't even realized yet. But if you think there's no way all these things are going to fit well then you're wrong.  Because we did THIS vacuum shrinky thing with some of our clothes.


So I'm pretty sure we'll be fine.

Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

Friday, November 14, 2014

Changes in Latitudes

Ooh... nothing like a vague story in the local paper to gin up the rumor mill!  Well then, I guess this would be a good time for an update.  It's really quite simple... In January, Charli and I are going to Connecticut for 3 months to house sit for some people we've never met before.  There, that should clear things up.

What's that... not really?

Alright, if you really must pry (we must, we must!)

Here's the scoop. Because my job allows for me to work remotely, I have the freedom to basically work from anywhere there is an internet connection. AND, because all our kids are gone, Charli and I have decided to put our house up for sale and travel for awhile. However, simply traveling around and living in hotels is expensive, so we decided to take advantage of a little thing called house sitting. This is where you can live in a person's house and take care of their pets etc while they travel. No money is exchanged either way and it's a win/win for both parties. So, after signing up on a few house sitting web sites, we met a great couple in CT who will be gone from Jan - Mar and we will be taking care of their dogs and birds while they are away.

But... but... but?

I know, you still have questions. What will you do after that? Where will you live?  What is the easiest way to reduce your 401(k) fiduciary risk?  The truth is, we don't know.  We're just going to do this one gig at a time and see where it leads us.  Right now our plan is to spend Christmas in Vegas with our kids, then turn our car around and head to CT for the winter. After that, thanks to the miracle of social media, you'll know when we do.

In the meantime, we'll be here until Dec 13, so make sure to join us at DB Searles tomorrow night (Sat, Nov 15 from 8-midnight) for a huge party to celebrate an epic 20 years of The Receders.  I'll also be at the Pioneer Place with Grant F. Haake on Nov 21 for his awesome George Harrison tribute, as well as back at the Veranda one last time on Dec 12 with The Acoustics of Nelson/Lee. 

Right now our house still has not sold, but we do have some interested parties. However if it doesn't sell before we leave, we'll likely be back in April to try again.

There... that's all I got.  You now know everything we do. See ya around!

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― Tolkien

Saturday, November 1, 2014

References - Jeff and Charli Lee

Noelle - Beverly Hills, CA - December, 2016:
Charlotte and her family were so wonderful to have taking care of my house. I feel so lucky to have had them looking after my dog and kitty. The house was in perfect condition, and my animals were all loved up when i got home. I received lots of updates and the comments they sent about my animals showed me how much they really were paying attention to them. I hope to book my vacations around their California schedule! Highly recommend.
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Barbara and Art - Fullerton, CA - December, 2016:
Charli and Jeff were awesome house sitters. From the time they walked in our cats were at ease with them, especially Rex. Rex would sit on their laps for hours . When our plans changed (flight was cancelled) Charli and Jeff were very accommodating and even made us a vegan lasagna for dinner. It was very tasty. Upon arriving home and seeing how clean the house was I cancelled the house cleaners. We were very happy with Charli and Jeff and would absolutely use them again. They were more than house sitters they became our friends.
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Jean and Jay - Scottsdale (Troon), AZ - November through December, 2016:
Charlotte and Jeff are outstanding pet and house sitters. They are caring, competent, reliable, resourceful, excellent communicators and wonderful with animals. They recently took care of our 8 year old calico cat and her best friend, our 1 ½ year old rescue dog, for 5 weeks while we were out of the country. They updated us with email and pictures of both animals, which was heartwarming and very comforting. When we returned it was obvious that both had been cared for with love and affection. And, our home was spotless and everything that had been used was replaced, with a few extras thrown in. They took us to the airport and picked us up, in addition to having dinner ready for us when we got home. To say the least they went above and beyond! Most important of all, they are honest, charming and up beat people you will love, and so will your animals! We plan to schedule our future vacations around their schedule. They are simply the best!
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Ernest (Marty) and Gail - Panama City, FL - September through October, 2016:
Charlotte and Jeff were wonderful house and pet sitters. They took great care with our pets, walking the dog, Lizzy daily, giving ample lap time to Mr. Darby the cat and even winning over the most distrusting, Zeus the cat, (thank you Jeff, no one thought it was possible). Charlotte is very organized and before arriving we had communicated several times and upon their arrival I felt I was greeting friends I had known for years! Our home, yard, gardens and pets were happy, well tended and loved during our time away. I would not hesitate recommending them as pet and house sitters for anyone and look forward to having them back some time in the future.
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Holly and Jami - Vancouver BC, Canada - July through August, 2016:
There is not enough paper in the world to write a reference for Jeff and Charli that would sufficiently acknowledge and appreciate the attention and care they gave our home and our animals. Our cat, which can be skittish and aloof around new people, lost her wariness right away, hung out with Charli and Jeff as they worked during the day and slept with them at night. They took our dog, which had injured her foot just before we left for vacation, to the vet four times, wrapped her foot to keep it clean, took her out for car rides when she couldn’t go for walks, and organized their free time around her needs. They kept in contact with us every day, letting us know how both animals were faring. This was our first time using Trusted Housesitters. It was also the first time we had left our home and pets with someone besides a friend or family member. To be honest, we were a bit apprehensive about having strangers in our home, at how it would all go, especially as our dog is a 70 pound muscular (playful and friendly) Staffie who some people mistakenly think is vicious because of her appearance. We also wondered if our cat would hide under the bed for three weeks. Thanks to Charli and Jeff, our experience was nothing but splendid – we were reassured constantly by text and pictures at how well it was going at home and every day we went about our holiday, delighted and relieved we had Charli and Jeff in our home. Upon arriving home Charli and Jeff had dinner waiting for us – an amazing treat for weary travellers. They left our house clean and our animals healthy and happy. We hope our thanks to Charli and Jeff fully expresses how grateful we are for how they respected and enjoyed our home and how they loved and cared for our animals. Charli and Jeff are wonderful people and extraordinary housesitters. By taking care of our home and animals, they took care of us too, and we’re hoping we have lifelong friends as a result.
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Kelly M. and Mark D. - Lake Oswego, OR - June through July, 2016:
Charli and Jeff house sat for us this summer (2016), in Portland, OR, and were fantastic. They are easy to work with, straightforward, responsible and go out of their way to make everything smooth. This was our first time using this service and it could not have worked out better. Prior to arriving Charli send me a short write up of questions about our pets and house. She was prompt in returning emails and helpful in getting everything set up. They were both easy going about arrival and departure details, which was helpful to use because we were on a road trip and didn't exactly know our schedule. Our dog likes a lot of exercise and through the trip we periodically got pictures from his adventures. He was happy, in shape and content when we returned. The same can be said for our cat, less friendly but won over by their attention and care. The house was pristine, and by far in the best shape of any return we have had when using house sitters. The process of leaving our house and pets with strangers could have been disconcerting and I am immensely grateful for Charli and Jeff's professionalism and attention to detail both before we left and during the trip. I never worried and as things came up during the trip (things shipped to the wrong location, etc.) they were dealt with easily. I would unequivocally recommend Charli and Jeff for house sitting. I would also be very happy to discuss our experience with them and this recommendation. If interested please ask Charli for our contact info.
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Tina and Peter - Point of Rocks, MD - June, 2015:
I highly recommend Charli and Jeff for anyone looking for reliable, friendly, trustworthy, loving people to care for their home and pets. We were able to get away without a care knowing that all would be handled and that anything critical would be promptly communicated. We would love for them to house sit for us again in the future, and truly cannot say enough great things about them!
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Bob and Polly, Hull, MA - May through June, 2015:
Charli and Jeff are exceptional house sitters. For six weeks they cared for our two indoor cats and two feral cats, who needed to be fed in the nearby neighborhood. They kept in regular e-mail contact with us, updating the health and welfare of all the animals. Charli and Jeff sent pictures and anecdotes of what the animals were doing. They gave both our indoor cats Advantage. Jeff solved a problem with the dishwasher. The gardens were planted and well cared for by Charli. The house was immaculate when we came home. You can not find a better team to care for your house. If you are lucky enough to get them, you will want them every time you go away.
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Wini and Dick - Marlboro, VT - February through April, 2015:
Jeff and Charlie are amazing. Our animals loved them and the darn cat cried for 3 nights after they were gone. Love affair with JEFF we figure. Pets were so well cared for and any health questions were addressed with our Vet. You will be so blessed to have them - if they chose you!
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Rae and JC - Santa Fe, NM - December through January, 2015/2016:
Charli and Jeff Lee were, by far, the best house and dog sitters we have ever had. We have been using dog and housesitters for decades and never came home to such happy dogs and such a clean house. Charli and Jeff raised the bar on our measurement of a great house and dog sitter. Our dogs were not happy to see them leave and neither were we. We have already booked them for next year. I would not hesitate to recommend them highly for ANY house or critter care. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about having Charli and Jeff care for your home and furry family. They cared for our home and two dogs for over a month during winter 2015/2016.
Rae Sikora and JC Corcoran, Santa Fe, New Mexico 505 690 0702 rae@plantpeacedaily.org
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Marty and Nancy S. - Portland, OR - October through November, 2015:
Our introduction to Charli and Jeff came by chance while we were seeking someone to watch our home and 10 year old Great Dane while we visited family in Australia for 7 weeks during October and November 2015. We heard of housesittersamerica.com from friends and thought we would give it a try. We looked online through the list of house sitters and tried 2 sitters, one who didn't respond and one who responded within a day but was unavailable. We tried again a few days later and found Charli and Jeff who responded immediately to our inquiry. We had a lot of questions so we asked if they would call us to discuss our needs more fully. Charli called immediately with enthusiasm and courtesy ready to answer any questions we had about them and their ability to meet our needs. It was quickly apparent that she was well grounded and professional about her responses as well as very cheerful about their previous experiences with past families and a host of different pets. Charli offered a plan to have them come visit us a month before we were to leave for Australia. They visited us as planned and stayed for a couple of days which worked out perfectly to show them the house, appliances, utilities, peculiarities, and meet most of our neighbors. Our Great Dane fell in love with both of them immediately and vice versa. Jeff proved to be very knowledgeable about home maintenance, I would call him a home operations engineer. They stayed in touch with us weekly and as time grew closer for departure, then even more so. They honored our mutually agreed schedule. This continued throughout our time in Australia. Their care of and communication about our home and our Great Dane was exceptional. We returned from Australia to a wonderfully appealing clean home and a healthy Great Dane. We continue to keep in touch frequently and now have two wonderful beings we call friends.
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Claude and Zan - Port Townsend, WA - September through October, 2015:
Charli and Jeff cared for our home and dog for 6 weeks. They were fantastic! They were respectful and treated our home as if it were their own. We are pretty sure our dog never missed us, as they were attentive and loving to her - they really seem to like pet care. Great communication and organizational skills as you would expect from a professional couple. And just plain nice folks too! Highly recommended. We would use them again anytime.
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Cindi and Jim - Ridgway, CO - July and August, 2015:
Charli and Jeff did a fantastic job for us. We were away three weeks and never had to worry about a thing. They stayed in touch the whole time. We had a large garden they looked after. When we returned the garden looked great, and I don't know if my house has ever been this clean. Plus, they are just really nice people. We really enjoyed getting to know them and felt very comfortable leaving them in charge of our home.
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Jan and Mike - Orangevale, CA - May through June, 2015:
Charli and Jeff Lee dog and house sat for us for 3 weeks in May of 2015. It was a wonderful experience start to finish. They are honest, respectful and very capable as well as kind, interesting and enthusiastic. Everything we needed taken care of was done beautifully and they went above and beyond in so many ways. We cannot recommend them highly enough. Please feel free to contact us at 916-425-2077 or jmdmcgee@sbcglobal.net if you have any questions we can help with.
Jan and Mike McGee
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Steve and Allison - Kent, CT - January through April, 2015:
Jeff and Charlotte are wonderful and extremely reliable people. They exercise a lot, which was fantastic for our dogs. They got along with our birds too. They were able to take care of everything with the animals and the house. We were hoping they would return next year but they'd prefer a warmer climate. You will be very lucky and happy if you get them to housesit for you. They are perfect!!!
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Carla and Mitch - Kamuela Hawaii - June, 2013:
Jeff and Charlotte Lee were house sitters for our home in Kamuela Hawaii. Our main objective in finding house sitters was the need to have someone care for our cat and water our plants while we were gone for 10 days to the mainland Jeff and Charlotte were very mindful of our requested tasks and did an excellent job of taking care of our home in June of 2013. Our cats has specific medical needs and Jeff and Charlotte made sure that the cat was feed with her medicine twice a day. The nice thing was we got to spend time with Jeff and Charlie before we headed out on our trip and had a very pleasant time with them. My husband and I would highly recommend them for any house sitting situation and we know they will be respectful and execute your requested tasks. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call me on my cell phone. 206 643 0042.
Mitchell and Carla Ecland