Archive for July, 2009

So where the heck have we been living? Animal Tails:

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

SOOO, this whole buying-a-house-with-tenants-in-it-until-September thing left us homeless until September or October, right? Well, not exactly. I don’t think that I have mentioned our house sitting sagas! I can’t believe I haven’t taken time to write about this. When we first arrived, we house/pet sat for these great people. For part of the time, they were there, but let us stay anyway! We were there for about a month and a half, and we took care of their Great Dane, Stella, and their very round cat, Baci.

Baci is this grumpy old man who wants attention on his own terms, but you should also know that he’ll attack you whenever he feels like it too! In fact, if he wants to go outside, and you walk by the door and don’t let him out, he’ll tackle you at the ankles, claws out! I grew quite fond of him, despite all that, and he was quite fond of my suitcase (slept on it every night – in between taking up the entire bed).

Stella is a big (duh), black, goofy Great Dane (pictures to come). She was a rescue and unfortunately suffered some of the emotional problems that rescues often do. Apparently, she used to be out of control and scared of everyone (especially men). The owner brought her to training and has done a magnificent job with her. She is just as sweet as pie. It took us a while to gain her trust, but now she greets us at the door with leaps and bounds and big kisses (which is actually frightening)! When we took care of her, we would take 3-4 mile walks with her at night (in addition to the shorter walks in the morning). We’d go down the bike path to the beach – can’t beat living walking distance from the beach for a while! She was perfectly well-behaved on the leash, and loved to run – so there we are in our flip flops, running down the bike path with this loping, crazy dog – must have been some sight. Also turns out she hates turtles – of all things?!?! She’s the most gentle soul, except when it comes to turtles. One morning on her walk, there was a HUGE (like big enough to ride, though that would not at all be advisable) snapping turtle crossing the path. Instead of being freaked out by it, she was snarling and growling and trying to attack it. Then later, we were playing in the back field, and there was a painted turtle laying eggs there. She had the same silly reaction – ATTACK! She hates all turtles, great and small.

Even a gentle Great Dane (which most of them are) can get a little excited and cause a person serious pain (yes, those are three distinct claw marks):
Courtesy of Stella Jane, the Black Great Dane

Anyway, after about 6 weeks, our pet-sitting services were required somewhere else. This time, we moved into a colleague’s condo. She had a family emergency and had to take a trip to Russia. We stayed at her place and watched Dymka, her huge gray cat. Man was he a talker – always making cute noises and purring. I played hide and seek with him, which was hilarious. He hid on one side of the wall in the stairs and I crouched down on the other side. I would peak around the corner at him, and quickly draw back – then I would wait. Next thing I knew, he’d pounce around the corner into my face, then meow and roll on his back. He’d do this over and over again….how funny! He also had an interesting encounter with a bird. It was taunting him on the other side of the sliding glass doors. At one point, the bird flew up and almost into the glass, and Dymka jumped 3/4 of the way up the door to try to get him – man he was springy!

Here is Dymka – though I don’t believe any picture could do him justice – he is beautiful!

And, as for our 3rd move in 6 weeks, we are now staying at a nice place in Centerville – this time not exclusively pet sitting. We are renting a room from a great couple, and the house is a 1/2 mile from Craigville beach, which is sweet! They have two dogs, Lexi and Loot. Very cute and very, very well trained – they know hand signals and everything. I don’t have any great stories about them yet, as we’ve only been here a week! Anyhow, I believe we will be here until we close on the house – can you call that “settling down”?

House update

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

To make a long story short (which I never do, so don’t get your hopes up), we have signed a purchase and sale agreement on a house! We are buying the house that Jesse used to rent when he lived out here before – kind of funny. There are people renting it right now, and they have a lease until the end of September, which would put our closing on October 1st. The owner (formerly Jesse’s landlord) has presented them with a monetary incentive to leave at least a month early, so there is a chance that we might close on September 1st. We are planning to do some renovations before we move in – wood floors, paint, new carpets upstairs, epoxy the basement. This all depends on cash flow, of course.

So, it appears we could be famous. . .

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

So, not much has happened on the house front – we have pretty much decided that we are buying the house that Jesse used to rent when he lived here before we moved to Vegas. The one problem with that house is that there are tenants in there until the end of September, which leaves us homeless until early – mid October! We’ve been searching for temporary or month-to-month housing to no avail, SO, I did the only rational thing I could do: I put an ad on Craigslist. Now, of course, I’ve received a slew of spam and scam emails. “Click on this link to get a free credit report,” “Go to this website and have landlords bid for you,” blah blah blah. TODAY, though, I got the best one of all, and it wasn’t even fake:


I’m a reporter with the [local newspaper]*, writing a story about what residents go through trying to find housing in the summer. I’m hoping to talk with people as they go through the process of finding a place and moving for a series to be published this month.

Unfortunately I do not have a place to offer you, but the exposure might help you find one. Would you & your family be available for an interview this week? I’d like to know your take on the advantages/disadvantages of renting seasonally.

Thanks for your time. I hope we can be in touch!

Jane Smith*”

OH, real nice…other people capitalizing on our pain! Eh, we might do it anyway. Why the heck not? Tune in later – I’ll post the article if we do it!

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.