Posts tagged ‘pet sitting’

I am the richest person in the world!

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As I sit here looking out the window at the wood duck taking her early morning dip in the pond, the finches grabbing their breakfast from the bird feeder and singing their cheery songs, the antics of the chipmunks and squirrels, all the while the pups snuggled on their blankets taking a snooze I realize what a wonderfully rich life I have.

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I start reflecting on the choices I’ve made in my life.  When I was 15 years old I worked at a little café named the Jolly Boy.  The owner was my mentor and he taught me so much during the time I worked for him.  He always talked about when he retired him and his wife were going to buy a motor home and travel all over the United States.  Just months after he retired his wife had a stroke and they never got to follow his dream of seeing the country.  That always stuck with me.  I just couldn’t imagine waiting my entire life to do what I really wanted to do and then not being able to do it.

Our latest family gathering at my sisters house on Easter

Our latest family gathering at my sister’s house on Easter

I decided that making a huge amount of money was not going to be my motivation in life.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a hard worker.  I believe that you do the absolute best job that you can to earn a living, pay your bills, and feed your family.  But spending time with my children and family, traveling, and enjoying life were always my priority and I did just that.  Throughout my life my family went camping, went on vacations, and had many, many family gatherings as we still do.

Working and making new friends in Alaska

Working and making new friends in Alaska

Ten years ago my children were raised and gone from home.  I had a wonderful job but felt that time was ticking away and I needed more time to do the things I enjoyed doing.  So I quit my job, rented out my house and went to Alaska and started my new life of travel and adventure.  I met new friends and had great adventures while I worked there.

Karen and Taty, a couple of girls I met in Alaska who became friends for life

Karen and Taty, a couple of girls I met in Alaska who became friends for life

After working in Alaska for several seasons my path eventually led me to pet sitting.  This was the perfect fit for me.  I absolutely love animals and I get to spend every day loving and caring for them while having the freedom to travel when I want to.

Watching Maddie & Zoey in Maryland

Watching Maddie & Zoey in Maryland

Wally, a cat with a huge presonality

Wally, a cat with a huge personality

I also figured out how to travel inexpensively.  This meant traveling all over Alaska sleeping in a VW van, spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square while staying in a hostel in Harlem, backpacking throughout Panama and Mexico, taking a three-month road trip around the entire United States and parts of Canada in my little 8-year-old Toyota Corolla as well as many, many other trips I have taken on a shoestring throughout the years.  Here are some of the many places I’ve visited over the years.

I swam with dolfins in Jamaica

I swam with dolphins in Jamaica

I swam with Manatees in Florida

I swam with Manatees in Florida

I took an eco tour in Laguna San Icnacio and had a close encounter with a huge but beaurtiful mama and baby grey whale

I took an eco tour in Laguna San Ignacio and had a close encounter with a huge but beautiful mama and baby grey whale

I saw Mt. Rushmore

I saw Mt. Rushmore

And Mt. McKinley

And Mt. McKinley

I've seen moose in Alaska

I’ve seen moose in Alaska

And buffalo in South Dakota

And buffalo in South Dakota

I've share lobster with my sister Kathy in Maine

I’ve shared lobster with my sister Kathy in Maine

And fried sardines in the Algarve, Portugal

And fried sardines with my friend Donna in the Algarve, Portugal

I've seen the Eifel Tower

I’ve seen the Eifel Tower

And the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico

And the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico with my cousin Bruce

I've had martinis in frozen glasses at Chena Hot Springs with Kathy and Susie

I’ve had martinis in frozen glasses at Chena Hot Springs with Kathy and Susie

Mimosas at Café Lalo in New York to celebrate my daughter and her fiences engagement

Mimosas at Café Lalo in New York City to celebrate my daughter and her fiancés engagement

Sangrias in Lisbon, Portugal with Donna

Sangrias in Lisbon, Portugal with Donna

And green beer in Florida with my friends Karen and Eunice

And green beer in Florida with Karen and Eunice

I've seen black bear in Alaska

I’ve seen black bear in Alaska

And Alligators in Florida

And Alligators in Florida

I've seen world famous productions

I’ve seen world-famous performances

And not so world famous but just as thrilling performances by my grandson LJ

And not so world-famous but just as thrilling performances by my grandson LJ

I have toured DC

I have toured DC

And went kayaking and hiking in Hawaii

And went kayaking and hiking in Hawaii with my friend Susie

I visited the Kuna Indians with their "moon children" on the San Blas Islands of Panama

And I visited the Kuna Indians with their “moon children” on the San Blas Islands of Panama

I've seen the Northern Lights in Alaska

I’ve seen the Northern Lights in Alaska

And Illuminations fireworks at Disney World

And IllumiNations fireworks at Disney World

I've backpacked through Mexico and Panama

I’ve backpacked through Mexico and Panama

And walked along the beaches of Zihuatenejo

And walked along the beaches of Zihuatenejo

Just recently I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a year taking care of my two youngest grandsons.  Being a part of their lives in such an intimate way was such a gift and since I don’t live as a traditional Grandma does, I was able to form a bond with them that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  I will cherish that time with them for the rest of my life.

Happy grandma with LJ and Declan

Happy grandma with LJ and Declan

Kids just wanna have fun

Kids just wanna have fun

Brrr!

Brrr!

My bested boy!

My bestest boy!

Such sweet brothers

Such sweet brothers

I have now returned to pet sitting.  I am so blessed that I get to stay in so many different locations like the home where I’m staying right now, meeting wonderful people who have become an extension of my family and caring for all the different dogs and cats that I have fallen head over heels in love with.  Here are just a few that I get to spend my time with.

Brody and Calla

Brody and Calla

Reilly and Luna

Reilly and Luna

Poppy and Spanky

Poppy and Spanky

Maggie and Gus

Maggie and Gus

Whether venturing out on my own

Whether venturing out on my own

Or traveling with a group of friends...

Or traveling with a group of friends…

Whether having a personal adventure with one of my grandchildren

Whether having a personal adventure with one of my grandchildren

Or a huge party with my wild and crazy friends and family...

Or a huge party with my wild and crazy friends and family…

Or just cuddling up with a sweet pup that I'm pet sitting

Or just cuddling up with a sweet pup that I’m pet sitting

I know I'm the richest woman in the world!

I have enjoyed every step of my life so far!

And I look forward to where the next 10 years are going to take me.

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So as I look out at the pond again and down at the sweet sleeping pups I think about how I, someone who in this society is considered poor, am the richest person in the world!

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May 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm 1 comment

Officially babysitting

Starting on the first of February I officially put my pet-sitting on hold and started babysitting my two grandsons LJ and Declan.  What a wonderful decision this was!!!

LJ with his little brother Declan

LJ with his little brother Declan

It is so much fun doing crafts and activities with LJ!  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing…

Watering his "garden"

Watering his “garden”

LJ is so proud of his little flower garden.  He waters it every day.

My very own garden!

My very own garden!

He also LOVES to play with Play-Doh.  Now you might think these are carrots in the garden, but no.  They are pancakes with honey bottles and cinnamon shakers 🙂

Pancakes for everyone!

Pancakes for everyone!

And he plays with his color wheel.

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We made caterpillars out of egg cartons,

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And every week we make LJ’s favorite.  Oatmeal muffins!!!

DSC01622He loves to read,

Sitting in a rocking chair that's been in the family for 4 generations

Sitting in a rocking chair that’s been in the family for 4 generations

Making shapes with popsicle sticks,

DSC01621and play with his puzzles.

DSC01628I also get to make him fun things to eat, like these banana palm trees!

DSC01556And he shares my Dr. Oz green drink with me.

LJ love his "green juice"

LJ love his “green juice”

It’s also such a joy to watch his little brother Declan grow and develop.  I can’t believe he’s already almost six months old!

Declan Playing in his Jungle gym

Declan Playing in his Jungle gym

LOVES his bouncy bouncy!

LOVES his bouncy bouncy!

Enjoying getting some fresh air on our walk

Enjoying getting some fresh air on our walk

Sitting in the high chair like a big boy

Sitting in the high chair like a big boy

I had one last pet-sitting engagement.  So for a week the other Grandma and Grandpa came up from Portland to watch the boys while I watched Brody & Calla.  We had a couple of nice sunny days when the pups could enjoy being outside.

Brody & Calla

Brody & Calla

What a beautiful place this is!

Spring run off glistening in the morning sun

Spring run off glistening in the morning sun

But most of the time the pups prefer to snuggle in their blankets on the couch.

Calla snuggled in her blankets

Calla snuggled in her blankets

Brody sleeping like a baby

Brody sleeping like a baby

LJ was in pre-school but I was able to bring Declan to stay with me for one afternoon.  It was nice to have him.  I had really started missing the little guy!

Visiting grandma

Visiting grandma

Calla was fascinated with him!

Calla's trying to figure out what this little fella is

Calla’s trying to figure out what this little fella is

So for the next year or so, I’ll be posting more about my grandsons and my life away from pet-sitting.  Of course I’ll be sure to include a few pet related posts as well.  I hope you’ll bear with this proud grandma, and enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2013

I have been spending the last several New Years Eve’s in Portland, Oregon pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds, Luna and Reilly.

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

I love these two little ones so much and enjoy each and every minute I spend with them.  Luna has had a bit of a decline this year and is now blind and deaf.  Along with her having prosthetics on her two front legs, you might think she would be having such a hard time.  But not Luna!  She has managed to learn how to navigate around the house and yard, and she even still enjoys playing with her treat toys with Reilly.

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

This year my sister Kathy came down from Washington state to spend a few days with me and the pups.  She immediately bonded with Reilly and they were pretty much inseparable during her stay.

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly is just the sweetest little boy.  He loves to cuddle with me, but he also loves to cuddle with and groom Luna.  Is this the sweetest picture ever?

Reilly comforting Luna

Reilly comforting Luna

On New Years Eve Kathy and I went out to see the Christmas lights on Peacock Lane.  This is a tradition for Kathy and I.  We’ve gone out to look at lights for many years.  Some years with the kids, then with the grandkids, some years just the two of us.  We even went out one year in our PJ’s!  Peacock Lane is an entire block with every house adorned with lights and decorations for Christmas.  It was really beautiful!

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

Then we went out to dinner at a local family restaurant.  The waiter was a nice young man looking forward to finishing his shift and going out with his friends.  When we were ready to leave, Kathy decided to leave him a $50 tip!  She put the tip on the table and we left.  From the parking lot we were able to see him pick up the tip and all excitedly show it to the hostess.  What a fun, unexpected treat for him.  That’s my sister for you.  You just never know when she is going to do something crazy and wonderful!

A couple of days later we took a drive to Stevenson, WA and to the Scamania Lodge for lunch.  A friend of ours had told us about it so we decided to take advantage of being in the area.

DSC01414What an absolutely beautiful place!  We sat in the lobby and enjoyed the fireplace and mountain atmosphere.

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

We had a delicious lunch while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and the Columbia Gorge.

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Next we crossed the Bridge of the Gods back into Cascade Locks.

DSC01430Kathy had read the book ‘Wild’, the story of Cheryl Strayeds’ journey of walking the Pacific Crest Trail and was really touched by it.   She was thrilled that we were right at the trailhead so she had to get a picture next to the trailhead sign.

Kathy by the Pacific Trail trailhead

Kathy by the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead

A movie is being made of her incredible story and it was actually being filmed here in November.  Reese Witherspoon is playing Cheryl in the movie.

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie 'Wild'

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie ‘Wild’

Cheryl ended her hike at the Bridge of the Gods, walked down to the East Wind Drive-In to get an ice cream cone and reflect on her journey.

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So of course Kathy wanted to experience having one of the huge, delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirl cones to finalize her bonding with this amazing story.  Well, needless to say, she didn’t get quite the serene experience that Cheryl did.  As soon as Kathy was handed the huge cone, it ended up on her lap!

Swirl cone disaster

Swirl cone disaster

She rescued the cone and dumped it in a cup.  As we drove away in laughter she ate her cone with a spoon and decided this was probably as close as she would ever get to experiencing the life of Cheryl Strayed.

January 15, 2014 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Pet Sitting Oscar

When Oscar and I aren’t at the dog park or taking our walks around the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood…

Oscar enjoying the water at Magnuson Dog Park

Oscar enjoying the water at Magnuson Dog Park

Walking around the neighborhood amongst the fall leaves

Walking around the neighborhood amongst the fall leaves

we are hanging around the Condo overlooking the beautiful view of Seattle and Elliott Bay.  I enjoy watching planes of all different shapes and sizes circling over the city on their way to SeaTac.  I have even seen a couple of unique aircraft.

Plane pulling a banner

Plane pulling a banner

I even saw a blimp come in and land at Seattle Center and leave again

I saw a blimp come in and land at Seattle Center and leave again!

Barges and ferries are constantly coming in and out of Elliott Bay.

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Since I’ve been here there has been all kinds of weather.  We’ve had a wind storm with gusts of over 50 mph.  The big planters on the deck blew over and there were fallen branches and debris all over on our walk.  For over a week the city was covered with an unusual fog bank.  And we’ve had cloudy and sunny days.  Every day is beautiful in its own way.  Here are some shots I’ve gotten of the beautiful view.

Space Needle peeking out of the fog

Space Needle peeking out of the fog

Morning shot with the morning sun shining on the buildings

Morning shot with the morning sun shining on the buildings

Space Needle with Mt. Rainier in background

Space Needle with Mt. Rainier in background

Beautiful view of the city at night

Beautiful view of the city at night

On Oct. 26th the Space Needle was lit in Husky Purple as a tribute to UW football coach Don James.  The fog cover made it look Absolutely awesome!

On Oct. 26th the Space Needle was lit in Husky Purple as a tribute to UW football coach Don James. The fog cover made it look Absolutely awesome!

Oscar isn’t too interested in the view.  When I’m not rubbing his belly or playing tug of war with him, he’s pretty content hanging out on his bed.

Oscar hanging out on his bed

Oscar hanging out on his bed

 

When I’m not enjoying the sights of the Bay and City, I’m watching the birds coming onto the deck and getting their breakfast.  I put out peanuts every morning for them.

Western Scrub Jay grabbing his morning peanuts

Western Scrub Jay grabbing his morning peanuts

Steller Jay coming for his breakfast

Stellar Jay coming for his breakfast

The crows sneak a few peanuts too

The crows sneak a few peanuts too

And the hummingbirds come to get their nectar.  There are two that I see.  I think it’s a male and female.  They’re so sweet and delicate.

This hummingbird hangs out on the deck quite often

This hummingbird hangs out on the deck quite often

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Soon I’ll be leaving Oscar and this wonderful place, but I’m looking forward to going to the Phinney Ridge neighborhood to pet sit for a couple of pups I’ve watched before with a new little 4 month old Yorkie addition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

Walking Oscar on Beautiful Queen Anne

If you’ve been reading my blogs you will know how important I believe it is to walk your dogs.  I’ve been staying in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood with Oscar for the last couple of weeks and taking him for walks every day.

Every other day I take Oscar to Magnuson Dog Park so he can have the freedom to run and play with other dogs.  He absolutely LOVES it!  And so do I.  It gives me so much pleasure to watch him socialize and run and play in the water.

Playing in the water

Playing in the water

Social time

Social time

Having fun at Magnuson Dog Park

Having fun at Magnuson Dog Park

But on the days I don’t go to Magnuson, we walk up and down the hills of beautiful Queen Anne.  There are SO many things to see on our walk including many historic homes.  Here are just a few that we pass by along the way.

W M Chappell House

W M Chappell House

The Chappell House is a French Gothic style home built in 1906.  Chappell was one of the first men at the gold strike in Eldorado Creek in Alaska.  He came back, founded Rainier Heat & Power Co. and built this beautiful home.  The home is currently home of the Japanese Consul.

James A Gibbs House

James A Gibbs House

This massive home was built in 1931.  To the left is a separate bungalow with a garage underneath and formal gardens.  To the right is a view of Seattle and below is a second large underneath garage.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

Treat House

Treat House

Close up of stained glass windows of Treat House

Close up of stained glass windows of Treat House

The Treat House is a Gable House built in 1905.  Originally the lowest floor had a ballroom, mens gambling room and stage.  It was the largest home on the hill at the time.  For many years it was used as apartments but now has been purchased and restored to its former splendor.  The stained glass windows is what sets this home apart.  Beautiful!

Martin D Ballard House

Martin D Ballard House

This gorgeous Georgian Revival style home was built in 1901.  It now houses six luxury apartments averaging 1200 sq. ft. each.

There are several beautiful historic apartments along our walk too.  Here are just a couple of them.

Narada Apartments

Narada Apartments

The Narada Apartments were built in 1926.  The buildings unique features are its extensive and ornate use of terra-cotta.  The projecting window bays are clad entirely of it.  It’s striking!

The Victorian Apartments

The Victorian Apartments

The Tudor Revival style apartments are built of red brick and terra-cotta.  It occupies an entire block.  The U-shaped building surrounds a vast terraced lawn which allows residents to not only have views of the city and Elliott Bay but to have a garden view from virtually every window.

Not only do we pass by beautiful homes and buildings, but there are several stairways tucked throughout the area.

One of the many stairways throughout the Queen Anne neighborhood

One of the many stairways throughout the Queen Anne neighborhood

And of course since Autumn is my favorite time of year, I have to include the wonderful colors I see along the way.

Colors of fall

Colors of fall

I can hear the rustling of the fallen leaves

I can hear the rustling of the fallen leaves

The ivy turning red

The ivy turning red

More trees bursting with color

More trees bursting with color

During the first week I was here I passed an older Korean lady standing underneath a huge tree.  It was littered with spiny pods underneath.  She told me she was gathering chestnuts.  She said Koreans LOVE chestnuts and they’re very expensive so she comes every year to gather them.  I got my first lesson on the difference between horse chestnuts and edible sweet chestnuts, otherwise known as the American, European, or Asian chestnut.  I had no idea that all the horse chestnuts I had been seeing were not edible, in fact could actually be poisonous.

Non edible horse chestnuts on left, edible sweet chestnuts on right

Non edible horse chestnuts on left, edible sweet chestnuts on right

The walks up and down the hills of Queen Anne have really taken a toll on my ankles.  They are aching and swollen.  I’m not used to walking such steep hills.  But it’s been worth every ache and pain!

On my next post I’ll share the views from the condo that I’m staying in with Oscar.  Every day I look out onto Elliott Bay and the city it looks different.  Ahh, what a wonderful life I have!

October 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Walking the dog

I know that I’ve talked about the importance of walking your dog before.  Honey has reminded me of how much dogs love their daily walks.

Honey ready for her walk

Honey ready for her walk

She is the BEST dog to walk!  She checks out EVERYTHING!  There are lots of squirrels and cats in the neighborhood and she has to find them all :-).  It’s so much fun watching her snooping around.

Is there a cat back there???

Is there a cat back there???

Anyone home?

Anyone home?

And there are three spots along our walk where Honey loves to roll in the grass.  She’s very particular where she rolls.  The grass has to be soft, silky and cool.  It’s pure joy for her!

Rolling in the grass.  Feels soooo good!

Rolling in the grass. Feels soooo good!

As I walk along, I love looking at all the different kinds of architecture and landscaping.  Each yard is so unique.  There’s the one with the flamingos…

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The landscaping varies from perfectly manicured

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To au natural

DSC00514And everything in between.

One of the houses that I am amazed at along our walk is the one pictured below.  It has the most unusual fence.

Unusual fence

Unusual fence

Then I noticed that it has a globe tucked behind the tree

Can you see the globe?

Can you see the globe?

And then for the grand finale, there’s a palm tree in the yard!

A palm tree?  In Seattle?

A palm tree? In Seattle?

Amazing, right?  I wonder what I’ll find in the next neighborhood I’ll be walking in!

September 24, 2013 at 10:22 am 1 comment

The Grandma Theory

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My daughter will be delivering her second son any day now.  When she returns to work after her maternity leave I’ve decided to take an extended break from my pet sitting to watch her two sons.

Hanging out with Maddie & Zoey

Hanging out with Maddie & Zoey

This was a really hard decision for me because I LOVE all the pets that I watch and will miss them terribly.  But on the other hand I know that these little boys won’t be little for long and I’m so thankful that I’m able to be with them during their young lives.

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I read an article in the Readers Digest the other day and had to share.

It’s call The Grandma Theory.

We will always remember how Grandma gave us cookies, great birthday presents, and…longevity?  According to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, humans developed longer life spans because grandmothers began looking after their grandchildren millions of years ago.  With grandmas helping out at home (or, more appropriately, around the cave), prehistoric mothers were able to have larger families, according to study author Kristen Hawkes.  The result:  Grandmothering set into motion evolutionary changes, like bigger brain size and long-term monogamous bonding between individuals – all because Nana wanted to play tea party with the kids and read the occasional bedtime story.

Well, I plan on doing my part, just like my mother did with my children 🙂

September 20, 2013 at 5:04 am Leave a comment

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