Day Two of Art Project

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Retama Village, in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Another scorcher.  High 100

Today is a continuation of the artwork project.  On the main wall (of kitchen/dining/living area), we have 2 picture frames with photos of some of our housesitting sites.  They are a great way to remember lovely experiences.

Here is a description of the two sets of photos.  Starting with the one that has the title Trusted Housesitters. 

Top left photo –

1.  Lola, probably the nicest cat we have taken care of.  This was in Portland, Oregon.  The homeowner’s backyard was like a Japanese woodland with tall bamboo trees and a koi pond.   One of our favorite housesitting assignments.

Going clockwise..

2.  A pub in a tiny town called Whithouse in the Cotswolds.  The town had 2 pubs and a church.  That is all.  Pubs in England are very dog-friendly.  When we walked with one of the dogs – a devilish Springer Spaniel  – to the pub, everyone greeted us: “Oh, you must be the chaps taking care of the Smith house” (as they recognized the dog). The flowers around the pub were so beautiful. 

3.  This was in a small town near Ballarat, Australia – west of Melbourne.  The homeowner (pictured) renovated a stable and bakery, built in Australia’s Gold Rush period of mid-1800s.  He converted the buildings into their home, combining the two buildings  in keeping with the architecture of the time.  Sadly, their dog died right before our assignment took place, but they asked us to housesit anyway.

4.  This is me, impersonating one of the nurses on the BBC show “Call the Midwife”.  While we were in England, we tried to go to all of the filming locations of our favorite BBC shows  – like Downton Abby, The Vicar of Dibley, Doc Martin, and here – Call the Midwife

Bottom left –
5.  Back to another house in England’s Cotswolds area, one of our favorite places to be.  We hiked around this small village, and of course stopped for a pint at the pub.  Keep calm and carry on!

6.  Bainbridge Island – across the bay in Seattle.  We stayed in a beautiful home on the island, caring for a cat that needed asthma treatments.  The homeowner was very appreciative of our care (as you can imagine the cat was not too fond of the treatments)

7.  In the US Virgin Islands.  Here we housesat for a little dog that was used to his owners not being around much.  The homeowners loaned us their car and recommended that we spend time driving around to the various beaches.  George met a little chickie at this beach – she brought him his rum drink right to the water

Second photo collage –

Top left –
1.  At a vicarage in Sheffield, England – near where BBC filmed “Last of the Summer Wine”.    Here we cared for some cats, chickens, and goldfish.  The backyard was literally this 18th century cemetary.  I loved spending time reading the tombstones.

2.  Middle left

At a mansion that was a restored barn.  The homeowners did all of the work.  I explored the house, counting at least 7 bathrooms.  This was in the western part of England, not far from Wales.  The dog we cared for there was a sweetie.

3.  Bottom left

We did two assignments at this organic farm in northern California – one for 3 weeks, and the second for 6 weeks.  We harvested their veg and took it to the farmers’ markets on the weekends.  A lot of work!  We were off the grid, surrounded by wildfires, amid lots of rattlesnakes! 

Top middle…

4.  One of our favorite of all locations – Tasmania (Australia).  This is called Wineglass Bay as it looks kind of like the bottom stem of a wineglass.  After we did the assignment with 2 sweetie pie dogs and a big bird,  the homeowners loaned us their RV and we spent about a month traveling all around the island. One of our best experiences housesitting!

5.  Middle

This cat gave us a scare.  This was in Singapore.  The homeowners told us that the cat liked to go exploring and would return each evening.  Well, she didn’t!  She was gone for 2 days, and I was frantic.  Finally, she returned home, a bit bedraggled from a male friend’s attention.  We spent our days touring around this unique city – great fun

6.  Middle
This was near Adelaide, Australia where we took care of an elderly tiny dog.  Adelaide has a great tram system, so were able to explore the area a lot.  A kind neighbor took us on day trips, including to this area with lots of kangaroos.

7.  Botton middle

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota – our home town!  This was one of the first housesitting assignments we had.  Our daughter had cared for their dog before, and this time we subbed for our daughter. 

Top right

8.  Fifeshire, Scotland.  This was a very nice, young couple from France teaching at St. Andrew’s University there.  We rented a car and drove around the countryside, looking for some of my family roots.    Here we took care of 2 cats and 2 chickens.

Middle right

9.  The Ghan – a luxury train that we took from Adelaide, Australia, up to Darwin (picture a route similar to New Orleans to Minneapolis).  It was a real splurge, but really worth it.  We spent a total of 5 months in Australia, housesitting all around the continent.  

Bottom right –

10.  Heaven on earth.  This was in Abruzzo, Italy.  The homeowners used one building as an AirB&B, where we stayed with this beautiful swimming pool overlooking vineyards and mountains.  Here we took care of a cutie dog, 2 cats, and a wild fox!

We spent some time arranging the photos for the 3rd photo grouping.  Watch for it on tomorrow’s post!  I can’t provide too much excitement to you in one day….thinking of your blood pressure!!!

Another highpoint of the day (wow – we really crammed in a lot of activity!) was a telemed conference between George and his doctor.  It is such a great way to be cared for.  She reviewed his blood work, status, etc.  He reported on his vital signs – blood pressure, weight, and temperature.  This might be the new future of medical care. 

Today on Facebook, a memory of what we were doing a year ago popped up. We were housesitting at Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara, Mexico. These photos were taken in the homeowner’s back yard. We are modeling shirts we bought at the market that morning…

DINNER:  A bit of an Asian theme…..Grilled ahi tuna steak.    I cook them so that they are brown on the outside and still pink in the center.  I finished it with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. (One steak is enough for the 2 of us).   Sides were rice and Asian-style veg – zucchini and onions stir-fried in sesame oil.  Another side was some quickly sauteed asparagus.  This is the 3rd meal of one bunch of asparagus, which I just love in the spring.  Tomorrow for breakfast, I will cook up the rest using a recipe I found combining asparagus, an egg cooked over easy, with some good cheese sprinkled on top.  It is supposed to be a delicious combination. 

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