House Sitting

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Sandy

Solo Senior Exploring the World

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews (2)
  • Susan – Caucel, Mexico
    31 March – 18 April 2017

    She is a GREAT house sitter. I can not recommend her enough. One in a million. You will be lucky and delighted to get her.
    This was the second time Sandy has house sat for me. She dropped everything to come as soon as she. could since my original sitter cancelled at short notice. She calmed me down, and quickly had everything under control. I was not able to be there on her arrival, finding alternative help for the first 10 days. It was wonderful to relax knowing she knew the house and the dogs (who were ecstatic on seeing her again! )
    She is calm and collected and has great initiative, very adaptable, and understands what house sitting entails, which is not living in a house like a tourist and leaving the house unoccupied for hours at a time. If she went out she rarely left it alone for more than half a day, making sure the dogs were left inside and not in the broiling sun.
    Having lived in Arizona and Southern California she understands living in the heat and tropics. She knows about the costs of Air conditioning etc. and is very capable living in any country which does not always have first-world amenities. It was LOVELY to come back and see her again she is now a good friend and kindred spirit. I was thrilled to be able to recommend her for sits in Cancun and Merida, I have to leave again in July and I am planning this trip around her, so she can come again.

    Organised –  * * * * *
    Reliable – * * * * *
    Self-sufficient – * * * * *
    Tidy – * * * * *
    Pet care – * * * * *

     

  • Susan – Caucel, Mexico
    14 August – 15 September 2016

    Sandy looked after my dogs well. My house in good order. She showed great commitment considering she had suffered a really bad fall only a few days before arriving, and though arriving in pain, she did not want to leave me stuck at such short notice.
    Luckily she came early so I was able to take her to the doctor and rush to before I had to leave to fix up a room downstairs for her so she didn’t have to use the stairs.
    She had the initiative to get someone to help with the garden and clean up after the dogs, even though she spoke little Spanish.
    I was concerned she would be fit enough, as she had to rest her leg and was taking a lot of medication. She was able to look after everything. Thanks to her commitment I was able to leave my home and animals for a month and come back to find everything in order. Thank you Sandy .

    Organised – * * * * *
    Reliable – * * * * *
    Self-sufficient – * * * * *
    Tidy – * * * * *
    Pet care – * * * * *
External references (2)
  • Joyce – Character Reference
    24 May 2016

    I’ve known Sandy for over 40 years, since before she had kids and their portrait over the fireplace was of them and their dogs. That always struck me as funny that someone would consider their pets as kids.

    They always had dogs, usually multiple at once. Some died of old age, some (the Springers they were breeding) were sold, and a few were given to friends and family who had become attached to them. After she was widowed, she lived dogless, but eventually adopted 2 senior dogs because she missed having dogs around. I know my dogs have always been happy to see her. Even the one who normally ignored guests would drag himself up & wag himself off his feet when she’d arrive.

    I’ve seen the emotional ups & downs while she cared for her husband during his illness of 20+ years, nursing him through countless life-or-death situations. My late husband & I had expected this ‘flighty blonde chick’ to disappear when Steve suddenly got sick, but, instead, she was his rock. He really relied on her for everything, including his hemodialysis at home for awhile. Meanwhile, she was raising their kids (toddlers when he got sick) & keeping a roof over their heads one way or another. He never would have lived so long without her.

    Her own house isn’t what you’d call tidy, but in a hotel, she’s almost obsessively so, keeping her own things in specific areas instead of all around the room like I do. She has spent up to a week at my home and you’d hardly have known she’d been here, except her sheets & towels would be in the dryer and my kitchen looks better than when she arrived. I have never had any qualms over leaving her at my home alone. She even has my garage code so she can get in & out if I’m not home and I’ve urged her to use my home (and pool) for mini vacations whether I’m in or out of town.

    Sandy has always marched to her own drummer, daring to be different, while I’ve been in the corporate world. She has worked for herself and/or owned her own businesses with employees depending on her most of the time I’ve known her. She birthed 2 of her 3 kids at home. When we travel together, she does all the research & booking herself, finding us the best deals, where I would have turned it over to a travel agent. So yes, definitely self-sufficient.

    She did almost all the care for her husband for years, so very reliable. She may arrive later than she expected coming to a party or for an extended visit, but she does show up. If we are meeting somewhere for lunch or catching a plane – a set time commitment – she’s never the one who is late.

    I would not hesitate to recommend her to house/pet sit.

  • Laurie – Character Reference
    21 May 2016

    I’ve know Sandy most of my life. She would be a great housesitter for anyone. She is great with pets too. She even used to breed dogs.

About Sandy

I am Sandy, a widowed retiree drifting around the world, usually traveling by myself. I no longer own a car, house, or other ‘stuff’ so I can travel indefinitely, footloose & fancy-free! My blog is frugaldrifter.com which says it all.

Where I’ll be at any given time is not set in stone until I’ve made reservations or a commitment. Right now (ealrly June) I’m doing the last of 3 back-to-back housesitting gigs in the Yucatan. At that point, I’m heading for Australia and New Zealand, so looking for house sits in that area. At this point I plan to be on that side of the world until October/November. The rest of the year will be spent in Phoenix, hopefully with a housesit or two. Jan/Feb I’m hoping for a housesit in Guatemala & the first half of March I’m scheduled for one in Granada, Nicuragua. After that, I’ll drift towards Europe. Or so is the plan now!

I am a native English speaker, I can get by in Espanol, and had 4 years of German in high school a hundred years ago. I have an ear for language and am expecting to improve my Spanish, revive my German, and learn a smattering of several other languages in my travels. Meanwhile, I have Google translator on my phone.

Yep, footloose & fancy free is the life for me!

Why I want to house sit

DUH! It’s cheaper than hotels! But seriously, it does help me stay on budget.

As part of traveling the world frugally, housesitting fits right in. I’ll get the feel of your neighborhood and city from a resident’s viewpoint, which is a large part of why I want to travel! While there are noted sites and museums I want to see in my wandering, I’m more of a Traveler than a Tourist.

If I’m not sitting a house, staying with friends, or couchsurfing, I’ll rent a furnished house or apartment in an area for a few weeks or a few months. Living in a local neighborhood rather than expat or tourist enclave gives me a better feel for the culture. I’ve never been a hiker/camper/live in a tent kind of gal and not about to start, so backpacking my way around the world is out!

Besides, house sitting for family with a dog gives me my ‘doggie-luv’ fix while I don’t have one of my own.

The world beckons and I follow.

My experience

Do you have a dog I can snuggle? I miss that. I’ve almost always had at least one. They have ranged in size from Chihuahua/Papillon mix to Lab mix, with 10+ years of breeding Springer Spaniels, and ages from birth to grave. My latest sits have included a Chesapeake, a bulldog mix, and a collie mix and I’ve owned a lab, so big, strong dogs don’t faze me. I will be happy to give your baby(s) a lot of attention while you are gone. All our dogs thought they were lap puppies, even the lab, and yes, they were all welcome to sleep on my bed (if your house rules allow).

I have experience taking care of cats & reptiles, too. Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, pot bellied pigs, smaller birds, fish, etc should not be a problem. If your parrot does not bite (my daughter’s does) I can take care of it, too. Chickens/ducks/geese are easy, and goats and other small-medium barnyard animals are fine, too (if I don’t have to milk them).

I can tend your inside plants, water your yard or garden, pull the occasional weed, and harvest ripe vegetables, but that’s pretty much the limit of my gardening skills. I have never owned a home with a pool, so have zero experience with pool maintenance, but have had a hot tub and can manage testing and adding chemicals. If you require more extensive pool or yard maintenance while gone, I can hire help with the best of them, at my expense.

If you have a vehicle available to me, rest easy knowing that I have not had an accident in over 40 years and even drove a taxi for several years, so it’s not like I haven’t put on any miles. Otherwise, I have Uber on my phone or can take a taxi or bus if Uber is not in your area yet. Most of the time, I’ll just be hanging out with your babies, so renting a car for the whole stay just to run for groceries every 7-10 days or the occasional museum or tour & then park in the driveway the rest of the time is not usually the economic choice.

As to experience, I did a house/dog sit off here this last summer and she has had me come back, as well as recommending me to several pet owners I’m sitting for now.

In the late 80’s, I cared for several furnished beach rentals for absentee owners. They were rented by the week or month & I’d need to let the guests in, be available for questions or problems, then pick up the keys, clean the unit, check the inventory, and send the owner a report before transferring it to the next renter. In 1974, we cared for a home in the mountains for 3 months while renting out our home in the desert. (No, it did not occur to me to get a referral then.) Of course, over the years, I have done daily checks on homes for friends that were gone and taken care of their pets, too; I just have not stayed there, as I lived close.

My background includes numerous positions of responsibility: real estate Broker, retail store manager, teacher/trainer in various fields, and I have owned several other businesses. Among them, I was in the event planning and promotion field for 12 years with several dozen employees and hundreds of attendees depending on me. Since 1999, I’ve had an online sales business with up to 5 employees at a given time (currently 1, since I’ve all but retired). My certification by the state of Arizona to transport women and children who are victims of abuse to and from shelters, counseling, and doctors just expired.

As a prior homeowner and landlord, I have the knowledge and experience in caring for your home and handling whatever comes up. Those who have only been renters tend to treat a house however they want and leave the repairs for the landlord. As an experienced homeowner, I understand your home is both an emotional and financial investment for you and will treat it accordingly.

But, perhaps the strongest argument in my favor is my maturity. I have not hosted a party since my hubby’s memorial service in ’03. I rarely frequent bars, so there is no risk of me dragging unsavory characters home for the night. I’ve never smoked and have no intention of starting. I am not an illegal drug user (It’s enough to stay up with my own prescriptions, thank you).

Having almost always been a pet owner, I understand it’s not just about food and water. It’s traumatic for them whenever you leave and those fur babies need snuggling and love all the more. That’s what I’m best at.

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