Countdown to Belize

Things are moving along nicely!

Olympus Tough TG-4

Whoo hoo! My new Underwater Olympus T-5 camera came today and is getting charged up! For a small, underwater camera, it sure has a lot of features! I can't wait to try it out!

But the most important thing is the house/cat sitting problem is sorted out and I have a couple coming from Austin! They responded to my post on and I actually had a lot of people respond and I worked it down to this couple. There was an older lady (ha! My age) in France who sounded really nice so I have kept her info for next time. So that's a load off my mind especially as they will take me to the shuttle and we will rendezvous at the airport when I get back and have the car.

I went for my bi-annual eye exam and am quite impressed with myself! My vision has barely changed and the optometrist has this brand new fancy camera that can take images of the inside of your eyes - front and back of the eye and can tell if there are any issues and I have none! He was very complimentary, said "You must eat very well," and went on to explain how the back of the eye turns yellow with age and it is where the cataracts form. But I have no signs of any nasty stuff. It was actually interesting to see the images and he explained the whole thing. I ended up spending a lot on new glasses but they are essential.

So now with my new prescription I can get the bifocal snorkeling mask! No point in having a good camera if I can't see to focus. Today I went to the dive shop in Puyallup and got a mask fitted. Now it gets sent to California for the prescription lenses. It was funny talking to Mike, the guy at the store. He asked if I was going on a trip and when I told him Belize, he said, "Can I come?" I laughed and said, "It's a boatload of older women!" He came right back with "I'm an older guy!" Hot to trot, I guess! I think this boatload might be more than he could handle!

Boomstick trio by Cindy Joseph

I discovered this new skin care program and decided to find out if they would be interested in having all the Belize Babes check it out. And yes, they would like to and are sending a bunch of goodies to take to the boat. I had ordered some for myself and it also arrived today. Boom! by Cindy Joseph! is an interesting story. She was 49 before she was a model, then moved on to develop this line which is all natural and is geared to the "Pro-Aging Revolution," meaning staying away from makeup that just makes you look older than you are! It's very minimalist and feels good!

I had a late call on Friday afternoon from a couple for Airbnb this weekend so ended up busting my butt to get things tidied up and sorted out for them to arrive later on after 5. Luckily for them, the weather seems to have cleared a lot - at least for now - so they won't be drowned when they get here. Really nice people! This experiment is turning out well.


housesit600Today I made progress on the New Zealand planning. My biggest issue is someone to take care of the kitties while I am gone. I know, it's silly. But these little guys have been my anchor through a lot of s**t over the past few years, so I can't just leave and have someone come in to feed them occasionally. They would pine away, they are such people kitties.

So...I put an ad on Jenni told me about it and I had heard about them, in fact was registered as a house sitter but had forgotten!

This is a great service - it doesn't cost anything for people offering a house sit situation. If you want to house sit, then...

Next Day

I started this post last night...and this morning I was completely blown away! Four responses to my ad already! And they all sound qualified! I've been reading their references and will respond later today but I think I already know who I will engage.

But back to what is - and does.

On their website, they say, " is online search and screen database for house sitters and homeowners to share information." There are two sections; one for available houses to care for and the other for potential house sitters, who can peruse the listings and apply. It doesn't cost anything for home offerers and just $50 for a membership for house sitters, a fee that would repay itself in no time.

For travelers, this is a great way to experience the world, not as a tourist but as a local, which is the way I love to travel. A sitter's responsibilities are defined by the home owners whose house they will care for. Some need pet care, like mine. Others are strictly just to have someone there while the owners are gone; a good security measure. Still others require more gardening and maintenance. It all varies and house sitters and owners work out what is best between them.

In my situation, which seems to be the norm, it's pet sitting more than house sitting. So when whoever I select moves in, they will just be living here with normal chores - keeping the house clean, etc. The house sitter, in a long term house sit, also pays utilities. A good thing because, especially here in the cold country, the heating can get out of hand if you aren't conservative and conservation-minded.

What a great deal - for both parties concerned.

Can you tell I am stoked?