Therapy for the Travel-Weary

Here we are, with feet firmly planted on Canadian soil, house sitting in British Columbia’s Okanagan region. We’ve been home for almost a month, and I can’t blame the jet lag for the lack of updates.  I guess I’m just having fun!  Join me as I play catch up.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you may remember that after last year’s flight from Australia to Winnipeg, I was a mess. Insomnia, mood swings, and hot flashes were off the charts for a full two weeks to recover.  For whatever reason, this year’s trip to Thailand and the trip home were far easier on my system (and, as a result, on poor Karen).

In a previous post, I mentioned how great the flight to Hong Kong was (I mean: as great as flying coach can ever be).  The trip home was a little less brag-worthy.  The plane was full to over-flowing, so there was no empty seat allowing us to stretch out, and it was harder to get up and walk around (or do mile high yoga by the exits).  To make matters FAR worse,  our seat mate, Mr. Fartsalot, seemed to be having digestive issues.  FOURTEEN HOURS OF THEM. I can’t count the number of times I whipped out my little bottle of essential oils (the fart-attack victim’s version of smelling salts).

After that horrific ordeal and a couple days in the comfort of Karen’s parents’ home, we were back on the road.  This time, we were blasting across the Rocky Mountains, making our way to an off-the-grid custom log house in the hills near Lumby (we’d never heard of it, either!).

About half an hour east of Vernon, at the northern end of the Okanagan, Lumby is a little village of about 1,700 people.  The main industries are logging, manufacturing, & agriculture, but none of that was overly important to us.   We slipped right on past the community, turned down a narrow logging road, and found our way to the gorgeous house and 80 acres that would be our home for a few days.


If the sight of snow-capped mountains, towering evergreens, and crisp blue skies don’t help you regroup after a trip oversees, hanging out with these lovely animals should do it. We had three dogs, six horses, a kitten, and some chickens to take care of.  We had that and nothing but absolute silence.


Animals are good for the soul.

My fancy winter wardrobe was perfect for days in a barn!


Logan, Jasper, and Dakota were some of the most affectionate dogs we’ve looked after.  The two big boys acted as the property’s security system, guarding against any wild animals getting too close (the list of possible visitors included cougars, bears, coyotes, and wolves).  We were just as thankful for their presence as were the chickens.

Of course, the chickens had their own work to do.


The ladies produced about five eggs a day.  Sometimes they would be easily found in the nesting boxes; a few times, I had to go hunting for them.  We were always thankful for their gifts.


In the house, we had Malcolm.

Lumby Malcolm 18

For some reason, we find fewer gigs with cats than dogs, so when we get a kitty, especially a friendly one, we’re very pleased. This kitten started out hiding under our bed and playing peak-a-boo from behind the curtains.

In no time at all, he became the kitchen supervisor, ever watchful of our activities.



In addition to caring for (and being entertained) by the animals, we had a few easy duties related to the powering of this home.  Solar panels charge batteries which run the house, so we had to keep an eye on the charge levels, turning on a back-up generator as necessary.  In-floor heating kept us toasty and warm (and provided us with hot water), so each day, we would load up the outside burner with logs.

This system ran very smoothly, and we were happy to have the experience. We’d be quite happy to go off-the-grid at future gigs.  Every house sit is different, but we’re certainly coming to the conclusion that the rural properties hold a special appeal.


It’ll be pretty hard to beat this gig’s natural light and stunning views for my travelling sewing station!



Joanne, I’m sorry for any trauma caused by the pictures in this post.  You know I have chicken love, and it can’t just be helped.

Shirlee, welcome to the party!  I appreciate every one of my readers, and welcome all comments and questions. I’m happy to have you along for the ride.


24 thoughts on “Therapy for the Travel-Weary

  1. Gorgeous photos Leah!! Love all the animals pictured. I am looking forward to doing this way of travel sometime soon. Great way to get small doses of pets too.
    Sometimes I find that it’s the returning to actual literal home and the readjusting that causes the slump…. but luckily you will busy with the Spring jobs and planting then. (Or making snowmen….yes, more snow last night. ) Enjoy your last bit of being away! Look forward to seeing you both soon!


  2. This is great! I really laughed at your story of the farting guy – what a HORRIBLE situation, especially on those long flights! Glad to see you having a good time on this journey! 🙂


  3. Oh my god… Mr. Fartsalot! I think I was sitting by the same guy on a recent trip. I love the picture of the kitty looking up at you at the sink. It didn’t take him very long at all to realize he was missing out on a lot of cuddles and ear scratches by hiding.


  4. Sue, I do sort of think the return to home is part of the problem. Lucky me, I’ve managed to stagger that with the actual flights. Maybe it’ll all be a bit easier.

    We’ll have a get together to share all of our travel stories!


  5. There oughta be a special Farsalot section. At the very least, when I ask if you’d like to get up and stretch your legs, feel free to take me up on the offer. Share the joy!


  6. Leah, saw the chicken hug. Closed my eyes and did a few shivers and then a big big smile with a little giggle at the ending comment!!!! The chickens are a nice colour.


  7. The picture of the eggs is interesting. Looks like a pre-dyed selection of Easter eggs. One looks almost blue. Perhaps Mr. F. ate too much of the local fare just before he boarded the plane. He was likely in agony as well.


  8. The eggs were from an assortment of hens. The blue ones are from specific hens, bought for the colour!

    I’m sure Mr. F. was in agony. I did not care! Walk it off, dude. I have no empathy by hour 2, let alone hour 14.


  9. Hi, Leah! I am your Mom and Dad’s friend from Uranium City – knew you when you were a very young child. Your Mom told me about your blog and I am loving it! You two are living life to the fullest – I admire and envy you! So look forward to hearing more of your adventures!


  10. Of course, I knew who you were, as soon as I saw the name! Thanks for following. I look forward to meeting up again, in person, sometime.


  11. We’d never looked after horses, before. There were six at this spot, and they didn’t need more than food and water and a little stall cleaning.

    We got much more out of the deal (and that’s not even counting the omelettes!).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh boy, you deserved this piece of heaven after that flight! I’d like to bet he was practiced in manspreading too!
    The animals look gorgeous, but Malcolm…….WOW HE’S A CUTIE!


  13. Hell, no! The idea is to make it home alive!

    The only horses I’ve ever ridden have been the ancient trail riding type. I would love to be able to ride, but I don’t have that skill.


  14. What an amazing housesit! I actually spent 3 weeks in Lumby last summer volunteering at a boarding kennels there, with over 20 dogs to fuss over! Lumby clearly is an animal lovers heaven! It was also where I got to taste bannock for the first time! Great read 😊


  15. Pingback: It’s a Marathon | Travel Taste Create

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