Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

A Day in the Life of a House Sitter – Rocklin, California

Most of the time when Mark and I do a house sit that is longer than one week, I create a post about how an ordinary day in our life as house and pet sitters looks like. Many of the tasks are the same, but there are always some unique aspects that have to do with each home, area or pet. Past “A Day in the Life of…” posts cover our time in The Villages, Florida, which is the biggest retirement community in the world, Kent, Connecticut, where we took care of four pets for a highly creative and accomplished couple and Heath, Massachusetts, where we lived on a maple farm.

As I was thinking about this particular house sit, I couldn’t help but realize that our days are probably pretty similar to most people of our age living an “ordinary” life, with the main differences that we both work from home and don’t have kids.

This is how a normal workday for us looks like in Rocklin during our three month sit:

6:30am: Mark gets up and readies himself for the day. He disappears in his temporary office to take care of support tickets and phone calls that came in at night and in the morning. In California, we are three hours behind East Coast time, where The Wirie business is situated. He has breakfast when the most urgent things have been taken care of.

7:00am: I read through emails, house sit listings and blogs I have subscribed to, while still in bed. Sometimes, I invite Herk up with me. After an hour or so, I get ready, do exercises for 10 minutes and have breakfast

8:00am: One of us feeds Herk after letting him out in the back yard.

8:30am or 9:00am – 12:30pm: We work on our computers. Mark does research, development work, communicates with customers, makes phone calls, takes care of website-related issues, ads and the like. I write a blog, an article or work on my memoir.

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch break that involves eating our sandwiches in the kitchen and drinking our tea on the couch while catching up with each other and cuddling with Herk. We let him go out for a potty break.

1:30pm-3:30pm: We return to our computers for more work-related activities.

3:30pm-4:30pm, or sometimes earlier: walk with Herk in the neighborhood or park around the corner.

4:30pm-5:30pm: Wrapping up work, writing emails, reading… It is dark by then.

6:00pm: One of us feeds Herk.

5:30pm-7:00pm: Snack time and dinner preparations, plus clean-up.

7:00pm – 7:30pm: Playtime for Herk. He picks different toys out of his basket, one by one, we play and he does not stop wagging his tail.

7:30pm – 9:30pm: We watch Netflix series, a movie or read in a book, with Herk cuddled up next to us or on our laps. Sometimes, we take him for another walk or talk about our plans.

9:30pm: Last potty break for Herk and for us, before turning in for the night. Usually, we spend a bit more time on our iPads to catch up with the news, Facebook and I write my diary. Some evenings, Herk joins us on the bed for more snuggles. 🙂

Throughout the day we swing by Hercules who adores his two couches, to give him an extra portion of love.

On Tuesday afternoons, I pick up all the poop in the yard, which is easily a few pounds. Our temporary dog prefers to “go” in his own back yard than abroad. Wednesday mornings, I put the garbage out and every late afternoon, we pick up the mail across the street. Every two or three days, Mark checks the pool and adds products when needed. About once a week, one of us sweeps the pool with a long broom and whenever the patches of grass get long, Mark mows the yard.  One month long, I tried to do an hour a day of yoga at a studio I could walk to in ten minutes.

During the weekends, we take care of some chores, go for longer walks with Herk and when the weather is nice, we try to go hiking in the hills.

The first two months, we also took Hercules to a dog park regularly, so he could run and socialize. He truly loved it! I will touch on why we had to abandon that plan in a future post when I write my overview of this sit, something I do after every house sit assignment Mark and I fulfill.

22 Comments

  1. Yep. You’re day-to-day life sounds pretty familiar to me. I’m surprised at how demanding The Wirie is though considering how independent sailors are.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • Not sure what you meant with “how demanding The Wirie is”, Stephanie. As for us or for the customer? Running a business is hard work. Way more than we ever anticipated when we started in 2009. There are so many aspects that need to be taken care of (research, keeping on top of new technologies and the competition, creating ads and renewing them, checking stats, keeping track of threads about our product on forums and social media, developing new software, improving hardware, sourcing and ordering all the parts, dealing with issues that rise internationally, like postal problems, communicating with customers, answering questions from potential customers, keeping all the orders from our suppliers and customers straight, updating the FAQ, releasing new firmware, dealing with issues due to our suppliers in China and cell phone companies, book keeping, every time something changes with the look or parts of the product, all the manuals, photos and the website need to be updated, building all the units, shipping them out, printing labels, dealing with the credit card companies… the list goes on and on. Luckily, we have help from our partner! 🙂

      As for the cruisers… they all NEED internet on board, the faster the better. They want it now and they want it flawless! 🙂

  2. The people that you pet-sit for (and the pets themselves) are extremely lucky to have both you and Mark. Your photos speak 1000 words and show just how caring and attentive both of you are. Being a long-time home-exchanger, I find this version of “home-exchange” very intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • We still like the exchange principle as well and are happy to finally put our “responsible nature” to good use. We seem to get more and more attached to the pets we sit, the longer we do this. We just love dogs and there’s nothing we can do about it! 🙂

  3. Herk looks like he is getting all sorts of wonderful attention and exercise… I bet his parents will be very pleased. I love these little windows into your roaming about life!

    • I guess the interesting part about the lifestyle is that we will have new experiences to share as we move from house to house the coming weeks. We usually seem to have way more time to spend with the pets than the owners themselves, because we work from home and are around the dogs all day long. In regards to Herk, we wish we could give him more exercise, because he really needs to run and run fast, but we did not have much opportunity to have him do that, unfortunately.

  4. You are definitely taking very good care of that pooch! I wish you were available for week-long house/pet sits. 🙂

    • We sometimes are, especially in between other, longer-term, sits. But, you are somewhere far away and in a cold region right now! And, unfortunately, Mark is allergic to cats (I do love them), so we have to ignore the house sit opportunities with indoor cats… 🙁

  5. Here looks adorable, and very happy to be with you and Mark.

    • He is so darn cute. It took him a while to warm up to us and he has a very interesting personality, but he is adorable and extremely sweet in his own way.

  6. What a sweet dog! I love the photos of him and his toys! Sounds like you have a good routine.

    • Lucy, I don’t know about Hastings, but Herk is so funny with his toys. He has a play basket, where they are all stored and every evening, he picks one out, brings it to us to play and we have fun with it, until he gets bored and grabs the next one. He does this for about five different toys every evening after his dinner. 🙂

  7. The pets you take care of are very lucky with all of the love and attention you give them! Thanks for the fascinating glimpse into a “Day in the Life of…”

    • I don’t know whether it is just us or a pet sitter habit in general, but we love spending a lot of time with the dogs we sit.We feel so connected to them and enjoy it immensely to see them happy and tail wagging! If anything puts a smile on our face these days… 🙂

  8. What a very lucky pooch to have you guys as house/pet sitters! Such a cutie. Lovely photos.

    It seems very suburban for adventurous sailors such as yourselves…do you miss being on the boat and water?

    Peta

    • You hit the nail on the head with your remark about suburbia, Peta. I didn’t mention it in this blog, because I wanted the focus to be on the home and pet sitting part, but I will in a future one. This is the first time we ever live in the suburbs and every experience is an interesting one for us. Whether we like it, is another matter. 🙂 We miss the peace and quiet of living on the water and being one with nature. But, we do not miss all the challenges, hassles, discomfort and work involved with that lifestyle. So, in general, no, we don’t miss it. Yet…

      • I have found living in the suburbs/ suburbia to be very isolating and usually way more conservative than being in a city. That may just be my experience… raising kids in a suburb with a “good school sysytem”. Everyone in their box. Especially in winter.

        I hear ya re tge challenges of the work it must take to be afloat as sailors. One day you will have a “full crew”to do all the grind work, so you two can actually relax.

        But yes, every place and most lifestyles have their pros and cons. Hopefully we shoot for more pros than cons. That poochie is a huge “pro” in favour of that housesitting job!
        Peta

        • I think that was part of the problem for us, Peta, that we didn’t expect the suburbs to feel isolated, since there are so many people around. I truly expected to meet people, since this is the first time that we are living so close to neighbors. Funnily enough, we met less people here than while we were house sitting on farms or in the hills! The song “Little boxes on the hillside…” from the TV series “Weeds” sure came to mind a lot. 🙂 Being surrounded by lovely dogs is one of the main reasons we like this lifestyle so much!

  9. And here I thought you were living a hum-drum life in the epitome of suburbia! Like others have shared, Herk has had a blast with you, and he is sure to miss you. Your days are full indeed!

    • We hope to make enough money one day to retire early. Unfortunately, that would mean finding a real “well-paid” job and leaving this “unsettled” life behind. Something we are not willing to do. So, I guess the days will remain busy and travel-less for now. 🙂 We will miss Herk as well. A few more days of “transition” period for him and then we are off to… You know where. 🙂

  10. So fun to see all of the photos of the two of you with Herk. Yes sounds like a ‘normal’ routine for those who live permanently in the home or those who house sit. Hoping you have been able to find a spot for the upcoming month that you were looking for. Also hoping the temperatures aren’t too chilly for you. This coming from us currently at -20C ( -4F).

    • So far, we managed to fill half of the month long gap, Sue… In Southern California, to warm up a little bit. I can’t imagine -20C. Wow. I think we had one day like that in the hills of New England last winter and said to ourselves “never again!” 🙂 Stay warm!!!! While we call our temperatures chilly, they would feel tropical to you!

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