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.
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.