by Valynne | Oct 28, 2009 | Caretaking / House and Pet Sitting, Travel |
These were all taken at either the house on the Bay (where we are staying) or in Falmouth, where the beach house is located. I am dedicating this batch to all of you Cape lovers living in Colorado who have asked for (demanded, actually) more pictures. Loving the water, the Fall, the people, the light, the fireplace, the woods, the walks, the seafood, and two very sweet Greyhounds.
Last Hydrangeas of the Season
Late Autumn Light
First Fire in the New Digs
In other words, life is good.
by Valynne | Oct 26, 2009 | Caretaking / House and Pet Sitting, Simple Living, Travel |
Missing You, Sweet Kritter Kat
It has been a fun week since I last blogged! We are meeting new people every day and becoming more and more familiar with our surroundings. The dogs seem to be taking a liking to us in their own shy Greyhound way, and we are loving having them for company. Most everyone we strike up a conversation with is intrigued with the idea of us taking a long-term caretaking job 2000 miles from home. Different people ask different questions, but the two that I have heard over and over have been “Why Are You Caretaking?” and “How did you find this position?”. In this blog, I will address the “why”.
Paul and I have spent the last several years living in his house in lovely Evergreen, Colorado. We have had many a conversation around where we would go once said house sold. Originally, we considered buying a smaller home in the area, but as time went on our talks evolved. We day dreamed of living by the sea (something Paul has always wanted to do and that I always loved); maybe moving to the Pacific Northwest (I’ve been drawn to Oregon/Washington ever since I started my own bath and body products business)…we even talked of opening a cafe with antiquarian books and exquisite handcrafted soaps (made by yours truly, of course), in Tuscany, Italy. Our storefront would be an old villa, and we would live in the quarters above – that kind of thing. Ahh, Tuscany…OK, I am back now. Basically, we had many an interesting conversation about the pros and cons of buying versus renting and staying put versus experiencing something new. So many possibilities!
During one of these conversations, I mentioned to Paul how I spent my early twenties house and pet sitting throughout Southern California (come to think of it, I was house and pet sitting for my friend Tony in Conifer, Colorado when Paul and I first met in my early thirties). This allowed me to have animals in my life without the years-long committment of adopting my own (I am all for adoption – I’ve just always moved around so much). Also, I was able to stay in places that I would not have known about otherwise, and could not have afforded to rent on my own, much less buy. And I met very interesting people who then referred me to other interesting people. My only real limitations were geographical, as at that time I had two jobs and college classes to commute to on a daily basis. That, thankfully, is no longer the case. Anyway, Paul and I got to talking about the possibility of us caretaking as a couple. We actually came up with lots of pros and very few cons.
Caretaking is definitely not for everyone; however for us, it makes sense. Our lives are pretty simple, really. Neither of us have children. At this time we have no animals of our own. The house has sold. We are clean, caring, organized, and responsible people. Paul works remotely for a large software company, and we have a home based business. Actually, two businesses, now! So, we can maintain an income, experience the joy of pets and home without the costs of ownership, and explore new locales without the committment of a lease or mortgage. It feels good, providing peace of mind to people who are trusting you with their property and pets. So, here we are, living on the water with two sweet dogs in a more than comfortable home, and meeting new people in a beautiful part of the Northeast (Cape Cod, Massachusettes). Of course I am partial, having been born in Connecticut, but Paul has assured me he is loving our new life also : )
If you have any other questions regarding why we chose to caretake, please click on the comment button below and ask away. If there is something specific you would like me to blog about regarding caretaking, I would love to hear what it is and possibly address it in a future blog. Or if you simply feel like saying hi, and letting us know what you’ve been up to, that would be great, also!
by Valynne | Oct 18, 2009 | Caretaking / House and Pet Sitting, Friends of Caretaking Couple, Mountain Girl Organics |
It has been almost two weeks since we left Evergreen. Today is our first official “lazy day”. Paul has built a fire and is watching an old Cary Grant film while I catch up on my correspondence. It is pouring down rain – the perfect day for hunkering. The dogs are tucked in (yes, we tuck them in, Greyhounds don’t have a lot of meat on their bones, you know…nothing to do with being spoiled…). Paul ran out this morning and picked up three big Sunday Papers (The New York Times, The Cape Cod Times, and the Boston Sunday Globe) which we haven’t even opened yet. I love lazy Sunday afternoons.
A few observations:
I feel very comfortable being back on the East Coast. It is almost as though I never left. That is not to say we don’t miss our Colorado friends and local haunts. Today, our friend Gary e-mailed from Java Groove. It is beginning to sink in (now that we are sitting here relaxing) that I can’t run and meet a friend or two for a quick cuppa at the Ice House or Java Groove. No Bloodies with Maria at Bear Creek or Sesame Tofu with Em at Saigon Landing. No more manufacturing fests with Laurie. No more Bear Mountain walks, no more views of Mt. Evans from the back deck. Frank won’t be coming over any minute for movie night. No more bartending on Fridays – no more listening to John and Lisa on a Thursday evening. No more happy hour with friends at Rio Del Sol…or Rocky Mountain Markets and Music Fests. Still, I am comfortable here. It just feels right. Paul and I are already enjoying this next chapter in the story of our lives. Corny, but true.
Tomorrow, Paul will get to work at his new “desk” (see pics below). I will set up opposite him. Mountain Girl Organics continues to grow, even while I am away. Things are evolving in mysterious and exciting ways. MGO is ready for bigger and better things, but still I find it all a little discombobulating. My ingredients and products are all in Colorado, and I am here. All of the Holiday shows are coming up…and I am here. Believe it or not, there is still much work to be done, even from 2,000 miles away. I just don’t know how to not to constantly think about this business I have lived and breathed these past three years! So, during this transition phase, I have been researching. Jotting down ideas. Brainstorming with people, catching up with others. And breathing. Really breathing. Being at sea level again seems to agree with me.
Paul will be coming back to Colorado to sign the official closing paperwork any day now. We sold a lot of stuff before leaving, however there is still a lot to be sold. You can see a list of what is left by scrolling down a few blogs. I am suffering just a little from separation anxiety over my books and photos. I keep thinking I could reference this or that so easily if I only had this or that soapmaking or herbal book. And while I TRY to embrace this online photo phenomenon, I really do…it just is NOT the same as looking through an old album. Or putting a new one together. Oh, and even though I rarely read old cards and letters, I do find great comfort in knowing the boxes that hold them are just a room or two away. The beauty is this issue will resolve itself in a matter of weeks, if not days…just feeling a bit sentimental, is all : )
Speaking of sentimental, I know people are reading this blog (thanks to analytics) which is pretty cool since I am not advertising it at all (I want this to be about our personal journey without intruding on the homeowner’s privacy). So, if you happen to be reading this and have anything you would like to share, please do! I am still getting the hang of this blogging thing, so if you aren’t feeling it, no pressure. I understand all too well. However, if you are cyber savvy and want to post a comment, we would love to hear from you! In the meantime, thank you for spending time with me on this lazy Sunday afternoon…
by Valynne | Oct 13, 2009 | Caretaking / House and Pet Sitting, Friends of Caretaking Couple, Travel |
For some reason, these pictures just POOF disappeared. I am putting off uploading them again as it is a lengthy process. So, unless someone actually notices that they are gone and decides to call me on it, I am going to pretend not to notice…
by Valynne | Oct 9, 2009 | Travel |
We are here : ) Got in yesterday after driving through New Jersey and Connecticut on a perfect New England Fall Day. We didn’t go through Hartford, etc. – took the shore route instead. Just thought I would throw that in there so we don’t get in trouble with our CT crowd!
Well, this spot is absolutely wonderful. We are settling in to the Cape on The Bay. There will be family and friends in and out through the weekend and we already feel a sense of community. I am busy reading Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. These dogs are very sweet!
Today, we will be wandering around Buzzards Bay to help get us acquainted with the area. Paul is making us all shrimp risotto for dinner. Still feels a bit like vacation; a little surreal. We are both very happy we decided to do this, and that we were chosen for this particular sit.
Paul and One of Our New Roomies (Milo)