Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Category: Completed House Sits

Fruitvale Stationed – A Week in the Hood

(Oakland, CA – February 14th to February 21st, 2017)

A little while ago, Mark and I saw a house sit posting in Oakland, California that sounded just perfect. We still had a little gap to fill between our time in Costa Mesa and our current, two-month house sit in Sebastopol, and the listing we were eyeing promised to be “an oasis” in the middle of the city. Mark and I immediately thought back about the time and place we met, a desirable, pedestrian-friendly area of Oakland called Rockridge. Based on the description of this potential sit, it had to be in a similar area. After our one-week sit in Fairfax, we decided to swing by the place and meet its residents on our way south to visit friends, and then continue on to Costa Mesa.

Following the GPS directions, we arrived at Fruitvale Avenue. “This can’t be right,” Mark mumbled, as we drove along the dirty road with cars haphazardly parked and small stores reminding us of the ones in Central America. Continue reading

Completed House Sits: Costa Mesa, CA – January 24th to February 14th, 2017

When Mark and I found out about a 2.5-week house and pet sit in Southern California, we applied to take care of 7-month-old Jaxx and find warmer weather. The owner chose us for the assignment and soon after, we were on our way to Costa Mesa after visiting some friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were to stay in her cozy apartment, in walking distance of many stores and amenities.

Continue reading

Fairfax, CA: January 14th – January 21st, 2017

Since this was a short house sit, I am writing our experiences as a “Completed House Sit” post.

A couple of months ago, Mark and I came across this one-week house sit in Fairfax while living in Rocklin, CA. While the assignment was much shorter than we prefer, Fairfax is an attractive, up-scale town about an hour north of San Francisco, there were a cute dog and chickens involved and the owners happily selected us as their sitters. Then, about a month later, we received the devastating news that 10-year-old dog Xander had unexpectedly passed away (from the same symptoms as our dog Darwin in 2010). We were shocked about the sad event, but considered the impact and how we would feel if this had happened on our watch. It is the nightmare of every pet sitter! The owners still preferred our involvement, to take care of their seven chickens and have a presence in the house. We obliged.

These chickens are pretty and soft!

Continue reading

Rocklin, CA: October 14th, 2016 – January 10th, 2017

After every house sit Mark and I finish, I write a quick overview for my “Completed House Sits” category. This allows readers to get a feel for our particular assignments and offers potential home owners insights into how we would function in their home, and care for their sweethearts. It also brings conclusion for me, saying goodbye to our temporary pet(s) and the place we called home for a bit.

For this three-month house and pet sit in Rocklin, California, Mark and I drove across the country and left the New England area indefinitely. I recently wrote about a typical day in our lives as house sitters in Rocklin, so I won’t repeat myself. We enjoyed our stay in a comfortable house with all the amenities we could wish for and in the company of a great pooch.

Herk is a very sweet and cute dog to care for. Continue reading

Truro (Cape Cod), MA: September 24th – September 30th, 2016

“I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Cod,” I say to Mark, “I can’t believe I have never been there in all these years of our residence being in Massachusetts!”

“You are not missing much,” Mark replies, “It is busy, built-up, touristy and the beaches are fair compared to what we have been used to all these years.” He doesn’t mention that he has only been partway up the Cape.

“Well, I’d like to see it for myself one day and I think, with our plans of going to California in a month, we have to go soon, because who knows when we will be back on the East Coast,” I add.

“You can’t be serious,” Mark continues, clearly thinking I am losing my mind with all the plans we have coming up already, “We seriously do not have time for another excursion this month and we couldn’t afford a weekend on the Cape anyway.”

And that is the end of the discussion. He is right. It is the beginning of September and we have just wrapped up our four-and-a-half-month house sit in Heath. All our stuff is spread out in the room of our home base in Newburyport, where Mark’s parents are happy to have us around for a bit. We have doctor visits scheduled, errands to run, friends and family to catch up with and a five-day vacation to look forward to…

Every day, I get house sitting notifications in my inbox from the sites we have signed up and paid for. None of them look very interesting or promising, so I delete them. One day, when sitting in the waiting room of the oncology department at Dana Farber, a particular listing grabs my attention: a one-week house sit in Truro, Cape Cod, with one dog, the last week in September. Perfect! “Listen to this…” I read the description to Mark, “And, it is the last part of the month. We don’t have much planned then.”

“Sure,” he gives in, “Write them an email and we will see what comes of it. They will probably get a lot of applications, because it is on Cape Cod.”

Within 24 hours, I have written the owner, she replied, we had a conversation over Skype and Mark and I are “hired”! We were going to Cape Cod and hoped the weather would be as pleasant as it usually is that time of the year.

Continue reading

Heath, MA: April 12th, 2016 – August 31st, 2016

Mark and I have been so incredibly busy the last month and a half that I am way behind with my “Completed House Sit” section. Today, I’ll summarize our four and a half month sit in Heath, MA over the spring and the summer.

A lifestyle of house and pet sitting offers a lot of diverse and interesting opportunities. It is a great way to meet new and interesting people, find out what you like (and don’t like) about a certain location, try out different types of houses and neighborhoods, get acquainted with all kinds of pets, breeds and behaviors, and discover the pros and cons about any situation. While we have enjoyed all of our sits, we have not found a place where we could live “forever”. And, while we have been pretty comfortable everywhere we stayed, we have also experienced firsthand the things we are less fond of.

Continue reading

South Kent, CT: January 3rd – March 30th, 2016

Mark and I can hardly believe it, but our three-month house sit in South Kent has finished. We picked the owners, Steve and Alison, up at the airport of Hartford yesterday and met their newest family member: sweet and precious Paco, a stray puppy from Mexico. It was quite a shock for him to fly on a plane, meet new people, feel the cooler climate, drive an hour and a half in the car, discover his new home, and get acquainted with his new brothers Mickey and Henry and feathery siblings Koo Koo and Tutu. All in a time span of 12 hours. He is adjusting well and will have a fantastic life in Kent, and so will their pet sitters next year! Continue reading

The Villages, FL: December 15th – December 29th, 2015

Hanging out with the pups

Hanging out with the pups

This blog is for our list “Completed house sits”, as a record of all the positions we have taken house and pet sitting all throughout the US and possibly internationally in the future. These are quick overviews of our particular house sit experiences.

While being snuggled up with a whole bunch of clothes on in cold Connecticut, it is hard to imagine that a month ago, we were enjoying the pleasant Florida weather during our two week house sit in The Villages. Two weeks is on the shorter side – for us – to house sit, especially when it is so far away from our base in New England, but we wanted to soak up the warmer weather and meet our friends Sim and Rosie from SV Wandering Star over the holidays, while visiting Florida by car. Continue reading

Greenwich, CT: October 27th – November 13th 2015

Living large!

Mark and I are spreading the word about our inclination and availability to house sit for people needing to leave their home and pet(s) for a little while, either for pleasure or for work. When we brought this up to our brother-in-law a little while ago, he agreed it would be a good idea for us to move into his cottage while he went on a two week vacation. He is the caretaker of a beautiful property in Greenwich, Connecticut and lives on-site. The Manhattan-based owners of the domain were equally pleased with our suggestion to watch the cottage (the main house is set back on the property), the dog and the two cockatiels.  We were not in charge of the property by any means, but kept an eye on things, taking action whenever something would go amiss. It would be our second house sitting position, not too long after the Gloucester one. Continue reading

Gloucester, MA: October 6th – October 20th 2015


Our wonderful companion for two weeks

When Mark and I first found out about house sitting and the opportunities it offered, we immediately knew it was “our thing”. And, when we actually started browsing the availabilities online, the real excitement could begin! We felt like kids anticipating something fun to do, like teenagers planning an adventure out of the house and like adults browsing real estate pages online. It was almost comparable to planning a holiday. Almost… We came across a few potential house sits, sent off some messages and soon after, committed to our first long term house sit, which isn’t until January 2016. Landing our initial “gig” quite easily, we were encouraged to keep looking for something that would take place a bit sooner. Continue reading

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