Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Six Word Saturday – Wrapping up with the Heath Fair

Our four and a half month house sit in Heath, MA is coming to an end. From the moment Mark and I arrived here in April, there was a lot of talk about one event we should not miss: the annual Heath Fair in August. So, we marked the dates in our calendar and found out what all the fuss was about, last weekend. To fully experience the atmosphere, we volunteered at the gate for two hours on Friday evening and on Saturday. The Heath Fair turned out to be an extremely popular attraction (much busier than the Reggae Festival in Charlemont) and the weather was gorgeous. We went two of the three days and that was enough for us. On Sunday, we resumed our usual weekend hiking with dog Jenny.

The fairgrounds

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Wordless Wednesday – Rare

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. Also, I can’t manage completely “wordless”, but I try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

Since I have archived thousands of photos over the years and can’t easily pick what to post, I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “rare“.

I talked this interesting but “tough” topic over with Mark in the car, not immediately thinking of something myself. The first thing that came to mind when brainstorming was “male breast cancer is extremely rare”, but that wouldn’t make for a cheerful photo, so we had to come up with something else to stay in the right spirit. Then, we drove past a sign for the cute town of Shelburne Falls. Their fame is their “Bridge of Flowers”,  the only one in the world. Pretty rare, but I already posted photos about that, so what to do?

We reminisced about our happiest times aboard, in the Bahamas, long before life started showing its ugly sides, and came up with the following photo: a rare moment of complete bliss, with our dogs, in a most amazing place! It is the only photo we have of me swimming with Kali and Darwin, in water as clear as gin…

Swimming from our sailboat Irie to the sandbank in Double Breasted Cays, the Abacos (Bahamas) - It is the only time that we swam together to shore

Swimming from our sailboat Irie to the sandbank in Double Breasted Cays, the Abacos (Bahamas) – It is the only time that we swam together to shore

What does “rare” mean to you?

A Day in the Life of a House Sitter – Heath, Ma

This is the third blog in my series “A Day in the Life of a House Sitter”. The first one described an average day during our two-week house sit in The Villages, FL last December and the second one reported on our days in Kent, CT for three winter months.

Every house sitting assignment is different and the tasks, requests and expectations depend on the house, the property, the owners and the pets. Some home owners require you to do some yard maintenance, water the house plants or collect the mail; all of them, naturally, expect you to keep the house tidy and “return” it as clean as you found it or better. Usually there is at least one pet to take care of, which means setting food out once or twice a day, making sure the water bowl is always filled with clean water, taking the dog(s) out for daily walks, and sometimes administering medicines or brushing the animal. Although not every pet owner expects it, Mark and I have the tendency to shower dogs with love, attention and company. It goes without saying that a responsible house sitter is prepared to take the pets to the vet or emergency room when necessary and reports general issues back to the owners, while trying to fix or solve problematic situations. And yes, sh*t happens.

Jenny loves the front porch

Jenny loves the front porch

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Six Word Saturday – Reaping the Fruits of our Garden

The fruits of our labor have been very tasty in the form of a  small selection of vegetables we produced in our (current) yard. It was our first ever attempt at gardening

My  Six Word Saturday is full of vegetables. How is yours?

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WW – Carnival is Fun!

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. Also, I can’t manage completely “wordless”, but I try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

Since I have archived thousands of photos over the years and can’t easily pick what to post, I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “fun“.

A lot of things are fun to me: hanging out with friends and family, attending festivals, doing exciting activities like tubing or rafting, spending time with pets or going on vacation (soon!).  But, for this entry, I followed the lead of my best friend Rosie who is still cruising on her sailboat Wandering Star (for over a decade already!) and is currently enjoying Grenada. She recently immersed herself in the island’s carnival scene and that brought back memories of vivid colors, beating drums, big smiles and lot of fun…

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Hiking to Tannery Falls

Sign at the park entrance, a few miles off Route 2 (Mohawk Trail)

Sign at the park entrance, a few miles off Route 2 (Mohawk Trail)

A few months ago, I did some research about interesting sites in our current area of the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts. Tannery Falls in Savoy Mountain State Forest seemed like a great afternoon excursion. Especially after driving by the State Forest sign on Route 2 – also called the Mohawk Trail – frequently when running errands in North Adams, I moved the trip higher on my list of “Things I want to do before we leave Heath”.

Mark and I decided to make the trip to Tannery Falls the day after we attended the annual reggae festival in Charlemont. Continue reading

6WS – Feeling Irie at the Reggae Festival

Having thoroughly enjoyed cruising the waters of the Caribbean for four years in our sailing catamaran named Irie, we knew we would have a great time at the Charlemont Reggae Festival.

On this Six Word Saturday, we are still feeling the irie vibes…

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Can you describe your Saturday in six words?

WW – Morning Scenes

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. Also, I can’t do completely “wordless”, but I try my best with “almost wordless”. 🙂

This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “morning”.  Since Mark and I live everywhere and nowhere, our morning looks quite different depending on which place we call home for the time being. Here are some morning photos of the past and the present…

A morning along the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), heading south to Florida with Irie

A morning along the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway),  taking the dogs ashore

A typical morning from Irie in Huahine, FP - front view

A typical morning from Irie in Huahine, FP – front view

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Monthly Expenses – July 2016

Expenses - image

Every month, I post a report of our expenses to show that it is possible to live a comfortable, exciting and relatively adventurous life without being rich. Or even without owning/earning a lot of money. That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is car, plane, travel or computer-related. Luckily, we live totally rent-free and in comfort, wherever we end up. 🙂

This report includes ALL of our expenses, in US$, for the two of us. Under groceries we incorporate all the food, produce and non-alcoholic drinks (100% orange juice, oat milk for Mark and organic 2% milk for me) predominantly bought in supermarkets. Toiletries belong in that category as well. Dining out means eating at a restaurant/event or purchasing take-out food. I read somewhere that "dining out" is meant to happen in fancy places. Not here! But, I do like the term "dining out" better than "eating out", so I'm keeping it. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always Skype-related, now that our internet is free and our phone costs are business-deductible.  You don't see heath care costs, because Mark and I are eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts, since our income is  in the lowest bracket. I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on at the end of the year.

Here is an overview of our expenses in July.  After months of trying to stay under $1000, we finally succeeded! Still, our daily expenses while traveling on our sailboat or our camper were much lower.  Blame it on all the seducing and endless choices of and in US stores... Consumerism is slowly getting to us. Help!

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IWSG – Writing Articles

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Last month, I gave a summary of my book project. The question IWSG would like to see answered this month is “What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer and where is it now?” Since my only success as a freelance writer is getting articles published in boating magazines, I would like to share some insights about article writing.

Caribbean boating magazines

Caribbean boating magazines

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