Sunday, June 28, 2015

And They're Off!

Our homeowners, Rae and Marty, with Bill's shadow, to show how brightly the sun was shining.
Up early for Rae and Marty to catch the taxi to the airport.  They are flying to Illinois for the start to their five week vacation.  The sun was shining brightly; perfect weather for flying. They laughed that as soon as they were leaving, the sun would start shining.  No worries, it's suppose to rain tomorrow!

Rae is American, but has worked for the past 20 years out of country, first in the Middle East and now in Scotland.  Marty is 100% Scot!  He speaks Doric, the local dialect, as well as Posh, as he calls English.  They are a delightful couple.

One of the big negatives of house sitting?  We meet a couple who we really hit it off with, then they leave on vacation.  When they return, we leave.  Thank goodness for Facebook and email, so we can continue our friendship!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

First Walk Around Newtonhill

Our car for the next month, a Vauxhall Astra coupe.
Our first day in Newtonhill, Scotland is quite, except for Bill's soft snoring during his nap.  The homeowners, Rae and Marty, are busy upstairs packing, so I decide to go for a walk to try and get some of the stiffness out from sitting so long yesterday.
The local pub is just around the corner from the house.  I talked to the bar man who saw me taking pictures and invited me to come back for a drink anytime.
Lovely tree with yellow hanging blossoms.
The village is small, with the commuter train tracks running through the middle.  We are on the ocean side of the tracks.  There is a village store, pharmacy, Chinese take-away, two pubs and a hairdresser near us.  On the other side is more village with more shops, a community center and a Tesco.
Orange poppies are everywhere and they are huge.  These are as big as my hand.
The area reminds us of the coast of Northern California; even the plants are similar.  We were greeted by fog coming in off the sea last evening and it has been spitting rain most of the day.  However, as I went for the walk, I was dry until nearly home.
The cliffs are so steep, even the sign leans.
I think this is going to be a beautiful place to spend the next five weeks!  All the people we have talked to are friendly and welcoming.  The next door neighbor is an older gentleman who speaks Doric (the local language) as well as Posh (what they call English).  Oh, the things you learn when you travel!
The view at the end of our street.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cookie and BunBun

Cookie in her Rin Tin Tin pose.

She is a very pretty dog.

Senor BunBun is a small black and white rabbit.
I'm very fortunate to have found a place to work where I can take care of animals and homes, while still being in Tucson.  The pay is good, it's a non-stress job, and I get lots of love.  Most of the owners are on holiday.  Cookie and BunBun's are in Italy.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ancient Places in Cornwall

Carn Euny

The Merry Maids
Cornwall has many ancient places, but they can be hard to find.  We used our GPS and co-ordinates from a website that lists them all.  Molly the Collie was our tour guide.  She was really quite an explorer!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Declutter Your House to Unclutter Your Life.

One thing I have learned from house sitting so very many different houses, in different cultures, is the importance of lightness.  We travel with one carryon size suitcase and a small backpack, each.  Most everyone could learn from this.

How much extra baggage do we have in our homes?  Books we will never read again or even for the first time?  Multiples of pans, chairs, things that take up space and require cleaning over or around? Decorative accessories  stored in drawers and closets which we will never display again?  Things we do not use or even need which might go to someone who needs them? Or at least clutter their lives instead of ours!

After we cleaned up the mess from Hurricane Katrina, we still had things left, some of which we had no use for.  Over the past few years, we have sold, given away and thrown away most of it.   There are boxes of papers that have reached there time to shred date, a yearly event.

My goal is simply this:
to get our stored items down to the bare minimum,
to get our saved treasures down to things which really are treasures,
to get our multiples of items, be it dishes, pans, books, linens, clothing, or little doodads passed on to others who need them.  

Declutter your house to unclutter your life.  That's my new motto.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, a man who was the power behind the throne as Regent for James I of Scotland,...