August 9, 2007

Housed Sitting

For nine days I will have watched house for two dear friends in the mountains. I've been accompanied by two small terriers and a tank-full of freshwater exotic fish. We've learned a few things in the past week that I'd like to share with others who may find themselves sitting on a house--or having one sit on them, as this case shows.

1. Garden only when necessary. The storms flew in on swift winds this afternoon and knocked over almost all of my friend's pepper and tomato plants. After a few minutes of Lucy-style stomping around the plants, I decided that I'd beaten gravity enough and was dirty enough to go inside and say that I have a semi-green thumb.

2. Keep everything out-of-reach. Dogs like to chew things. I have a feeling that they're kind of stressed, too, so they chew practically anything for relief. I thought it was kind of cute at first, but when the male dog got hold of my friend's boot, I had second thoughts. Liability lies with the human in residence.

3. Sweets are the enemy, particularly when they are on the counter. My friend bought a small package of mini cupcakes. She said I should have one, and I did the first day. I've had one each subsequent day I've been here. They stare at me on the counter, but I've decided to move them to a nearby cupboard. Perhaps this is overstepping housesitter protocol or something, but I'm decidedly against eating the entire, delectable, sweet container-full...I will have willpower. I must!

4. Dogs will pee. I made the mistake of only letting the dogs out the allotted times given by my pals, and one left a lovely little puddle on the linoleum, twice. I've decided to let them out as much as possible. The dogs are crated during the day and they go out when I return. When they come in, we chill a while in the air-conditioning, and then the boy dog disappears. I hate cleaning up excrement. I'm not really a dog person, but we are getting along most of the time. This is just a reminder that I should not have dogs, nor date anyone that likes dogs. :-)

5. Life is different. You can't find the lightswitches, even though they were pointed out to you. The shower makes an erratic spray that your back isn't used to. The remote control seems more like a computer science project than convenience. Things are different, and novel. I've been alone most of the week here, and it's a strange joy from home. I like home for the company, showers and cats, but there's a peace here. There are blackberries the size of my pinky in the yard and horses prancing across the way. Different, but usually in a good way. Life will go back to normal for a bit, but this away-from-home trial is a definite help for the things to come.

If you get the chance to housesit, do it. There's nothing like jumping into another environment for a while.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at August 9, 2007 6:27 PM | TrackBack
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