All Day with Nothing to Do?
It hasn’t happened yet, though it might, that it takes all day to tend to our house-sitting chores: the cleaning, the pet care, dog walks and lining up future house sits. Some of the homes we’ve stayed in are enormous with quite a few pets. Still, we usually end up with a lot of time on our hands, at least when I’m not working.
Most of our posts concern house sitting and related topics. However, lest our loyal readers think we sit around waiting until it’s time to open the next can of cat food, here are some of the things we put time and energy into, our other interests.
I love growing plants, any and all; vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Caring for the earth, digging with tools and working with my hands in the soil is therapeutic for me. I love standing with the hose in hand ensuring each plant gets the right amount of water. It is a peaceful and relaxing way to spend time.
I love the doing and learning, and Jim enjoys the doing, the physical aspect more. That is a good thing as my body can’t handle the heavy work!
Of course, at this point, we don’t have a home, (find out why here) a yard, or even a windowsill, so we water the gardens and yards of others. We look forward to a time when we can take a long house sit during spring and summer and grow some vegetables and herbs of our own!
Well, we both enjoy eating it! I have been around the organic food movement since childhood. My father was a huge proponent of Bio-Dynamic agriculture (think Organic) and taught about it to anyone who would listen.
We don’t need anyone to tell us it is healthier to eat organic food; we can taste the difference, pure and simple. It seems clear that organic food is better for the body, the soil, the environment, the farmer and lastly the earth.
Buying only organic food takes an enormous part of the budget, but it is the only area in our life where we do not skimp. It’s tricky figuring out what to buy within our budget and how to plan meals since each of us follows a different diet. Not to lead you totally astray, we do get yearnings for less than perfect food on occasion, and we indulge!
Reading & Music
We both gave away all our beloved books before we hit the road. However, it hit Jim harder so now he goes to local libraries to find books to read. He also reads a lot online. Open Culture is a personal favorite: economics, history, politics, culture, comedy too.
Will he ever finish a diabolical level Sudoku puzzle? Hasn’t yet – will keep trying, quite addictive! He genuinely loves music and listens to it all the time. Pandora, Amazon Music, and YouTube are great (gave away all the CD’s too.) Not to give you the wrong impression, I also read – child-development, mysteries, (and now house sitting and travel).
I grew up using homeopathic and natural medicines and still use them almost exclusively. On the rare occasion that Jim has a need, he gets some as well. In my experience, while some natural medicines may take a bit longer to work than allopathic medicine, many of them work faster.
Also, there are no side effects, and who wants all those chemicals in their body. We also use acupuncture and chiropractic care as needed.
Learning which plants heal what ailments is interesting to me and I look forward to learning how to make some natural remedies. In a future post, we’ll share our most important remedies!
Given my upbringing, motherhood, and career for the past 20 years, I’ve had lots of experience making dolls, animals and craft items from natural materials. It is something I enjoy. Other artistic endeavors such as painting, sculpting or drawing are stressful to me, and not satisfying. Making the dolls, however, is enjoyable and creative.
On occasion, I also knit, crochet, and sew a bit, though without much skill. I use natural fibers almost exclusively even though they are more expensive. (That was part of the reason I wanted to keep all my crafting supplies during our major downsizing; it wasn’t only materialism.)
Animals & Pets
We both have a soft spot for pets but have not consistently owned a dog or cat since our living situation didn’t always provide ample room for them to roam. So pet sitting is the perfect solution.
We have many opportunities to spend time with great dogs and cats even though we don’t have any of our own. That’s a win-win for us. We sincerely hope that we will get a house sit with goats, sheep or even a cow! Most likely that won’t happen until we leave Los Angeles, but we are looking!
Jim discovered a new and unexpected interest in biking. Our last apartment came with one parking spot; the Camry got that one. Jim gave up his car and bought a bike (a Specialized-Hard Rock), and that’s how he got around for over a year.
It turns out he loves riding, trails especially. So far, he’s had only two trips over the handlebars: ouch. We bring the bike on most house sits. It’s a great way to explore new places and get some exercise. Oh, just to be clear, I don’t exercise.
If we go a week without spending time in the wilderness, we get a bad kind of antsy. Mother Nature, in her unspoiled version, is the perfect antidote to shopping malls, asphalt, electronics and all that. We love to plan day trips to remote places. That’s one of the main reasons we want to leave Southern California and head to the northwest states where it is lush and green!
Our interests allow for a nice mix of quiet time at home and getting out and about. We always meet interesting people and find beautiful parks and trails to hike. We’ll probably touch on a few of these interests in future posts. We’d love to hear from you if you share these interests, or others you would recommend.