A Letter to the House-Sitter…

July 24th, 2009

Dear Mom,

Thanks so much for coming and staying at our house during our vacation.  It is kind of strange that you would wait to come when we are gone, but I am glad someone is going to be around to keep our home from getting lonely.   Following, are a few special instructions to help you take care of all my problems as I will be taking a vacation from all my problems (name that film).  I have divided my problems into categories to make it easier for you to grasp the overwhelming responsibility of being me.  



Show-cats - It is especially nice that you will be staying with our beloved show-cats, however, it took them weeks to recover from the last time you stayed with them.  As I remember, they seemed to have forgotten how to carry themselves to the door and they cried until someone picked them up and carted them wherever they wanted to go.  They also turned up their noses at their regular cat food for weeks.  You must practice tough love on them… or my favorite… benign neglect.  Our cats are surprisingly used to being ignored most of the time.  Please try and remember to put them out at night.  As genteel as they appear, they are also fierce nocturnal hunters, and if they aren’t allowed access to fresh game in the great outdoors, they will opt to hunt you… while you are sleeping… all night long.




The Garden in Three Sections - 


a.  I watered the garden right before I left.  It will be good for three days and then will need to be watered again.  To water it, I use the red tractor sprinkler.  Run the hose around the middle flower patch to give the tractor a path to follow.  Watch it like a hawk from the dining room windows as it will surely tip over every three minutes, get stuck in a mud hole just as you sit back down on the couch or impale itself on the wooden stake as soon as you pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. 


b.  I check the garden for produce everyday.  I bring the tomatoes in when they are orange-ish and let them fully ripen on the kitchen counter.  I wash up the green beans and the cucumbers and add them to the plastic bags in the fridge until the plastic bags are full to bursting and then I start a new plastic bag.  My fridge is full of plastic bags.  Feel free to eat as much as you want and to give away as much as you want and to throw anything that is even slightly unappealing into the compost pile.  If for some reason the show-cats are slightly unappealing, please resist the urge to throw them into the compost pile.  They do not decay fast enough and their rotting carcasses will only draw flies.


c.  My garden needs to be admired everyday.  It has come to expect this.  Even if it is an overgrown jungle of insanity, it still needs to be looked at with much love and care.  I also tour the other flowers and shrubs on a daily basis and check for signs of want.  If they look dry, I water.  If they look weedy, I weed.  If they look like they could benefit from a puppet show, I hastily erect a stage and put on a two hour performance. They also like modern dance routines, especially when I wear your orange double knit polyester evening gown with the coordinating jacket.  

Show Cat Petty Jealousies…

d.  You will also need to admire the show-cats every day.  You don’t even want to see the rage of a show cat who feels that he/she has been up-staged by a lilac bush. 


3.  April’s rug rats…

I have heard scary rumors that April’s children might visit you while we are gone.  I have never forgotten the time that Ellen bit her way down a freshly painted piece of trim on my banister in our house in Salina.  She left tooth-marks the entire way and I had to re-paint it.  Isaac and Levi have a strange tendency to open all the game boxes in the entire house and pour the contents out in the middle of the living room floor.  Seth usually just wants to play with the most expensive electronic item he can find… outdoors… while standing up on the canoe… in the middle of the pond.  So please watch them carefully.  Extra carefully!




4.  Chocolate cake…

If you feel the need to bake a chocolate cake for us to eat on our arrival back home… or to do all my laundry… or to make curtains for all the windows… or to wallpaper my bedroom… that is fine with me.  I certainly want you to enjoy yourself, but whoever said it wasn’t enjoyable to wash windows and mop floors while house-sitting for your favorite daughter? 

Thanks for coming to visit mom.  Even if we aren’t going to see you.





  • jean:

    I hope you have fun!

  • Inga:

    It must be rough to be you!! All that work! The dedication and admiration alone wear me out. I spent so much time admiring, watering, weeding my garden other parts of my yard grew into a jungle while I wasn’t looking.

    I hope your Mom enjoys all the chores you have given her and I do hope you get that chocolate cake! Or Zucchini cake!

  • If she’s as good a housesitter as me, she’ll be eating all the good stuff in the house pronto! Have an awesome trip!

  • Aren’t moms wonderful? :) Have a great time on your trip!

  • Love the letter! Would love to have access to all that fresh produce. Yum!

    Have a wonderful trip!

  • Your mom sounds like my mom…I think. When we lived near enough for her to house sit I had my house redecorated and totally and spotlessly clean. We tried to leave a lot.

  • That is hilarious! Your mom will be very busy while you are away…

    Now – I wonder if there is a reason she is going to your house when you are not there… hmmmm…

  • What About Bob….best movie EVER!!!

  • WELL how fun are you!!! I LOVE this! This is my first time here but I will be back for sure when I have more time!

    Have a safe & wonderful trip

  • Rechelle!!!

    Major Banksy exhibit at museum in Bristol. Don’t let me down!


  • I love your blog!
    You and April are a team that is for sure!

  • I’ll come house sit for you anytime. Your house is beautiful!

    Aren’t moms great?

  • I topped by and boy am I glad I did. Thanks for the laughs this morning.

  • So cute!

  • I look forward to viewing your travelblog.

  • I love that white wood table in the top picture.

  • I love that white wood table in the top picture.

  • caren:

    i fell in love with your house…i have always wanted a big country house with a wrap around porch. one day….

  • Grandma Rita:

    I’m certainly glad you have your mom to house sit because I’m not starting that one. Too many kids, too many houses, too many vacations—can you blame me?

  • Grandma Rita:

    I’m certainly glad you have your mom to house sit because I’m not starting that one. Too many kids, too many houses, too many vacations—can you blame me?