Category Archives: House Sitting Adventures

House-Sitting with Daphne the Wonder Dog

Meet Daphne the Wonder Dog ~

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We had the pleasure of spending ten days with this sweet girl on our most recent house sit.  One of the true joys of being house sitters is bonding with the animals in your care.  Everyone is a little nervous and unsure at first…but I find that getting down to eye level and having a good chat about who you are and why you are there goes a long way to quickly making friends.  A treat or two never hurts either.

Daphne is a mama’s girl and she and I bonded pretty quickly.  We took morning strolls around the yard, played hours of toss and fetch.  Stretched out on the couch to watch the Ellen show together each afternoon and even watched the Westminster Dog Show.  Daphne barked at every dog as they crossed the screen.IMG_2066

Smart as a whip and with more toys than your average two year old child, Daphne joyfully shared her home with us.  Last night I had a message from the lovely folks who are Daphne’s humans.  They called to thank us for making it so easy for them to enjoy their vacation time away and to say that Daphne missed me.  How sweet is that!

This is the view that we woke up to every morning.  Not too shabby.

 

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Hubs and I are actively seeking house sits for June, July and August on the West Coast.  We would love to take care of your home, your plants and your pets so please contact us if you live in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island, Seattle area, the San Juans, Northern California, Nevada, Arizona or Mexico.

Cheers,

Nancy and Les

 

The Real Chicken Dance

Surely I’m not the only crazy old fool who still loves to do the chicken dance.  I’ve flapped my arms and clapped my hands to this catchy tune at kid’s birthday parties and fancy dress wedding receptions.  It’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Why is it called the chicken dance?  Well, now that I have a few chicken wrangling experiences under my belt, I’m here to tell you that chickens really do dance.

There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But, when it comes to chicken wrangling, I say grab your cell phone and shoot some video.  How cute are these ladies?

 

Hubs and I are actively seeking short term house sits on the west coast (California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia) for January – June of 2015.

We would love to take great care of your home and pets so you can travel worry-free knowing everything is in very capable hands.

Cheers!

Nancy & Les

House Sitting in the Country ~

I am currently enjoying the best house sitting assignment ever – on a vineyard overlooking a beautiful valley right in the heart of Oregon wine (and farm) country.  On a clear day, you truly can see forever.

For ten days of chicken wrangling, bird feeding, garden watering and loving-up a grey-haired-handsome-boy-kitty named Winston, I am living la pura vida in the hills of Dundee.  I am also learning the ins and outs of rural living.  And, in case you were wondering, life is pretty good out here in the country.  And just a little bit different than this city gal is used to. Not a Starbucks in sight, but the wine is top notch!

The only downside so far?  The Green Acres theme song keeps playing in my head.

And now you are humming it too.  You’re welcome!

I don’t know if the country life is the life for me, but I am savoring every moment of my country adventure.  Here are a few snaps I took the other day.

You know you are in the country when…

Fashion takes on a whole new meaning.

Maybe they make shoes to go with the outfit?

Making hay while the sun shines.  You've gotta be quick in Oregon

 

So, a gnome wanders into a vineyard...

Never seen this in the city.

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Yes indeed!

And my personal favorite ~

Farmer humor

Stay tuned for more adventures.

Cheers!

*originally posted on Nancy’s retirement blog Just a Backpack & a Rollie June 2014

Smitten with Chickens ~

Yep.  After a week on the farm, I am officially smitten with chickens.

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Especially the five ladies I’ve taken under my wing (so to speak) for this house sitting adventure.  I had no idea what beautiful, smart and delightfully entertaining creatures chickens are.  They are feathered comediennes and you can’t help but smile when you interact with them.

I’ve been getting to know “the girls” for several days now.  Each has a unique personality. They are very social and quite talkative.  I am totally gaga over these feathered beauties.  Last night I sat in the grass and tried my hand (with moderate success) at chicken portraiture.  chickens in the vineyard

Every evening I let them out of the chicken pen to wander freely around the lawn and into the edge of the vineyard.  They are lined up and waiting by 5:00 p.m. calling me to hop to it and open the damn gate already.  They make a break and their first stop is usually a nice dirt bath.

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Around dusk I head out to wrangle everyone back into the coop for the night.  My secret weapon is a big bag of Happy Hen Treats aka dried mealworms.  A few hardy shakes of the bag and the girls come running.  They are a sight to behold! DSCN3883 chickens2 chickenbutts2 Spending time with these feathered lovelies has been one of the highlights of this house sit. You never know what adventures life has in store. I am so glad I said yes to this opportunity.

Cheers from the vineyard,

Nancy

*Originally posted in Nancy’s retirement blog Just a Backpack  & a Rollie in June 2014.

Meet Les & Nancy the Global Housesitting Pros

Hello, Hola, Bonjour, Ciao and Hej!

We are Les and Nancy aka the kitty whisperer (Les) and the chicken wrangler (Nancy).

 

We clean up pretty well too!
We clean up pretty well too!

For the past 30+ years we have enjoyed rewarding and successful corporate careers, Les as an electrical engineer turned sales ninja and Nancy as an award-winning corporate meeting, event and travel manager. We’re retiring from the corporate life to focus on our new career as full time global house sitters.

Walking the Camino de Santiago
Walking the Camino de Santiago

 

Why House Sitting?

As long time homeowners with beloved pets of our own, we were delighted to find trusted house and pet sitters who cared for our furry family members, our house and our plants with such enthusiasm, respect and considerate care that we (finally!) felt free to go off on a vacation without worrying if a pipe might break or the plants turned brown. On top of that, our kitty (currently Mr. Ricky) could enjoy the comfort of his own home and a friendly snuggle or two.

Win. Win. Win.

It’s not always easy allowing strangers into your home, we know that. But, we also know from experience that once you make that right connection, communicate expectations clearly and develop a level of trust – house sitting will change your life. Whether you are the home owner or the house sitter.

We want to pay it forward and that’s why we started house sitting earlier this year.

Why Choose Us?

~ We are committed to being the absolute best house and pet sitters you will ever have.

~ We have an abundance of life, professional and travel experience and we’re very comfortable and adaptable in new surroundings and cultures.

~ We will confidently handle most emergencies with calm, quick-thinking action. If we can’t handle it ourselves, we’ll know who to call. That’s where our management and leadership experiences come in handy!

~ We will be respectful of your home, your possessions and your privacy. We’re homeowners ourselves and will treat yours as if it were our own.

~ We are excellent communicators. We will keep you updated as often as you like so you know everything is in good hands. We love to send photo updates!

~ We love animals of all kinds (sorry not snakes) and have shared our home with dogs, cats, hamsters, white mice, tropical fish. We’ve also learned the fine (and very fun!) art of chicken keeping through several house sits and home exchanges.

~ We’re fun, friendly, detailed oriented retirees with a zest for life, curious minds and and energetic healthy bodies. We welcome the opportunity to get our hands dirty in your garden, take long walks with your pups and keep your house in tip-top condition.

Our Skills and Experience – here’s why we are such a great team ~
The Skills Les brings ~
The Kitty Whisperer
The Kitty Whisperer

• handyman/Mr. Fix-it
•enjoys puttering in the garden
•chief trash carrier and mail retriever
•good with a vacuum and a mop
•manager of home security
•family chef
•pooper scooper
•kitty cuddler
•extremely organized and detail oriented

and more*

 

 

 

 

The Skills Nancy brings ~
The Chicken Wrangler
The Chicken Wrangler

•communication expert
•loves to garden and has a green thumb
•lead dog walker (Les always seems to tag along) and ball tosser
•keeper of schedules, lists and all other very important details
•chief bottle washer and laundry detail
•chicken wrangler, egg gather and coop scooper
•experienced with giving pet meds and care of aging pets

and more*

 

 

 

As a Team we ~

•believe that taking good care of your home is our most important responsibility
•are honest and reliable with local and state background checks
•work well together and with others
•appreciate the importance of maintaining a clean, well-maintained home and garden
•share house sitting responsibilities based on our individual skills and interests
•are grateful for the opportunity to travel and the wonderful new experiences that house sitting around the globe provides.

We are non-smokers who enjoy a great glass of wine and all kinds of food, we have excellent references, a strong sense of adventure and a can-do attitude.  We work hard to be the house sitters we’d want to hire!

If you are looking for a fantastic house sitting duo to care for your home and furry family members so you can relax and focus on your time away, contact us today!

A few of our furry and feathered friends stopped by to say Hi! and give us their stamp of approval.Pups on parade

 

 

 

*but wait there’s more …

Les was Director of New Business Development for a large exposition and trade show company for many years. He worked with clients from around the world to understand their specific needs and deliver their expectations on time, on budget and make it look easy. This required outstanding listening skills, the ability to communicate ideas and manage large, complicated projects. He has also been the president of our home owners association for the past five years leading our town home community through a major construction project. His vision and ability to lead both the board and the multiple contractors was key to the success of this project.

Nancy is currently the Manager of Corporate Travel for a multi-national corporation. She leads a team that supports over 1500 corporate travelers, developing travel policy, negotiating hotel and airline agreements while ensuring the security and safety of every employee while on the road. Prior to becoming travel manager, Nancy managed corporate meetings and events. Her creative vision, team building and leadership skills combined with a focused attention to detail were crucial to her award-winning success in this arena. Nancy is also a published author with essays in two books on retirement. She blogs about retirement, travel and living the good life at www.justabackpackandarollie.com