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MindMyHouse News 24 June 2006

by Susan Holtham, 24th June 2006

Check out this very hardy edition number twelve of MindMyHouse News for all of the following: our humblest apologies for having to re-set your passwords for you (not our fault honest!); what happens when house sitter’s email addresses no longer work; our regular feature ‘what else can I do?’ – workamping; house sitters – post us your REAL job description; our latest sitter wanted adverts from Ireland to North Virginia (USA); and finally a little eulogy to our beloved Jack Russell terrier who passed away 20 June 2006.

Posted in: MindMyHouse News2006
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Dear MindMyHousies,
It is with a heavy heart that I begin this twelfth edition of MindMyHouse News. A few of our members who are fellow dog-lovers may have noticed the photographs of our mother and daughter team of Jack Russell terriers on our Home and Dedication pages. Our furry princess, Doody Bell, has just passed away at the age of 13; I’ve included a little eulogy to her at the end of this newsletter.

Check out this very hardy edition number twelve of MindMyHouse News for all of the following: our humblest apologies for having to re-set your passwords for you (not our fault honest!); what happens when house sitter’s email addresses no longer work; our regular feature ‘what else can I do?’ – workamping; house sitters – post us your REAL job description; our latest sitter wanted adverts from Ireland to North Virginia (USA); and finally a little eulogy to our beloved Jack Russell terrier who passed away 20 June 2006.

We’ve re-set your passwords for you

I know I’ve already sent out a broadcast email out to members on this subject but it’s worth repeating here. Due to a recent system upgrade by our web hosting service provider all members who joined before 3 June 2006 have had their password re-set for them. We’re sorry for the inconvenience! You should have a new temporary password waiting for you at your email address. Changing your password back to the one you usually use on the site is as easy as 1.2.3.4.5

  1. login to your account with your email address (username)
  2. copy and paste your new temporary password into the password field
  3. as soon as you are in your account area choose ‘change password’ from the left-hand menu
  4. type your regular password into the fields twice
  5. click on the ‘change my password’ button

To reset your passwords owners click here, or sitters click here.

It’s done!

If you can’t find your new temporary password or don’t seem to be able to login to your account area with it, please get in touch – it’s no problem for us to re-set your password manually for you. Anyone who registered with us after 3 June 2006 is unaffected.

Some of your house sitters’ email addresses have expired – how do I make contact?

Yes, our house sitters do change their email addresses and some of them (not too many thankfully) forget to update their address in our database. Luckily the vast majority of our sitter available adverts contain a few forms of contact information. If you email a house sitter and their message bounces back to you as undeliverable you could try to phone them instead. And if that doesn’t work out, well, they have potentially missed out on a great assignment!

‘What else can I do?’ – workamping

Workamping is a great idea (with a great name) for those folks who feel a little trapped in their conventional homes and jobs. If the occasional respite from your usual routine (in the form of house sitting assignments for example) isn’t enough for you, consider the possibilities that lay in the burgeoning phenomena that is workamping (you will need your own RV to get started).

Read about an American experience of workamping in the delightfully titled article in our Media section Take this job and love it.

The following is the official http://www.workamper.com patented definition of workamping:

Workampers are adventuresome individuals, couples and families who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines ANY kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping. If you work as an employee, operate a business, or donate your time as a volunteer, AND you sleep in an RV (or on-site housing), you are a Workamper!

Attention house sitters – your services are required here!

(To contact these home owners you need to login to your account area first.)

Stunning modern house on 600 acres between the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh needs you this July
Six days of luxury in the Scottish Highlands could be just the ticket this July. This gorgeous property overlooks a loch which is teeming with birdlife. Bikes are available for shopping trips at the nearest village (five miles away). Three sweet doggies (see the advert for a picture of them in a loving pile) need your companionship.

Anti-war house sitters required for 7500 square feet of luxury in Northern Virginia
Could you give these home owners a lift to the airport before retiring to enjoy their luxury home for three weeks? At 7500 square feet this mansion is 64 times the size of our flat (could that be right?). Hmmmm you’ll need a good pair of walking shoes to get around this place! Or maybe just stagger between the heated pool and the gourmet kitchen.

Could you use a year’s retreat in County Kerry in south-west Ireland?
Two dogs require your companionship and care while you experience village life in country Ireland. At only two miles from the beach this place could be good for those interested in fresh walks and shorelife. Broadband Internet has been installed to keep you connected with the world.

House sitters – post us your REAL job description

I found this rather stilted job description of just what it is that house sitters are actually required to do at www.careerplanner.com:

Occupies and oversees house to maintain order and security of property and conduct necessary business transactions during temporary absence of owner, renter, or other occupant: Monitors entrances to property and secures locks and other devices to prevent access of unauthorized persons. Answers telephone and doorbell, takes messages, and forwards information to employer as requested. Forwards or files mail. Pays current bills from designated funds and makes deposits to accounts as required. Cleans, vacuums, and dusts house, using vacuum cleaner and other housecleaning aids. Feeds and waters pets and takes ill pets to veterinarian for treatment. Inspects utilities, such as plumbing and air-conditioning, to detect problems requiring services of repairer and contacts repair establishment to arrange for necessary repairs. May care for swimming pool or grounds or perform other related duties.

It occurred to me that you, our 1500-strong house sitter membership, may have something to say about what you ACTUALLY have been asked to do as part of your house sitting responsibilities. Don’t be shy – send me an message with your story and I’ll publish choice extracts in next month’s edition of MindMyHouse News. I’ve got a few funny ideas to start you off: help a constipated doggy to do his do-dos, be a sleeping companion for a dog missing her owners, make cups of tea for the visiting builders…it goes on!

A eulogy for Doody Bell, our Jack Russell terrier

Doody in the loungeOn 20 June my big 13-year-old girl, Doody Bell, died peacefully in her human daddy’s arms in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. She had a brain tumour which took her within 24 hours of becoming unwell. She leaves behind her lifetime companion, an 11-year-old daughter, Hobbe Horse, (as well as three sons) and two grieving human parents too. This site is still dedicated to Doody Bell, the finest squeaky-toy crazy, frenetic swimmer and loving mother that Australia has ever known. Missing her terribly.

Happy house sitting (or best of luck with your sitters!)

Susan Holtham
aka the team at MindMyHouse

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About the author: Susan Holtham

Susan Holtham

The editor at MindMyHouse is a fun gal, intrepid traveller (in a former life), holder of three passports and enthusiastic house sitter. A book editor by trade, she did a three-year stint with Lonely Planet Publications at the start of her career. During her time at LP she shepherded many titles through the production process. Baaaa-aaaa-aaaaaa! Now that two gorgeous little girls call her mummy she's a very busy woman tending to their needs and to the occasional cries for help from among our 5000+ membership. No really, she's always keen to help!