Tucker House offers tips on finding a petsitter

Cats like to stay home
Cats like to stay home

You’re going on vacation? I think I’ll pass.

Make your dream vacation a dream for your pet, as you prepare to head for Tucker House Inn at Friday Harbor.

Some pets love to travel; we have all heard stories about the motorcyclist whose terrier likes to sit in his lap as they motor down the highway, and animal rights activist Cleveland Amory, who took his pet cat Polar Bear, on worldwide travels. Here at the  Tucker House, on San Juan Island, we love animals, love to pamper them as much as we do our human guests, but we recognize that some pets do NOT have travelling on their bucket list.

We offer these tips to you in case your pet would rather stay at home with their familiar surroundings. Hiring a house/pet sitter is an important process in creating a stress-free atmosphere for your beloved pet while you are away on vacation.

When to Start Looking?  As soon as you have your travel dates! The best house sitters are booked months in advance, and you will want the best.

What are you looking for?  Is your sitter going to stay the night or just stop in to feed and water the animals? Clear expectations are critical, and it will help you to consider making a list of your needs.

Where do you look?  First, ask your friends, fellow frequent travelers, and your veterinarian. If there are no results, check out classified ads at a local pet store.

What do they charge?  House sitters set their own rates, and those rates are based on how many animals, walking times, overnight stays, etc.  Because you have already taken the time to outline your expectations and have your dates, you should be able to get a price quote in the first phone call.

What next?  The sitter should provide you with three references, and you should call those references. If that all goes well, set up a meeting with the sitter, yourself, and your animals at your house. Trust your instincts and those of your pets when interacting with the potential sitter. Set up a second visit a week before your departure, to go over everything in detail. Lastly, call your sitter the day before you leave, just to ensure all is in place.

How do I prepare?  An experienced sitter will probably have their own checklist, but here are some of the subjects you need to cover before you catch that plane: Plenty of pet food on hand? Where do you want the sitter to sleep if it is a stay over? When does the trash get picked up at your house? Does the sitter need to water plants, get the mail or newspaper, start the family car, put out bird feed? Who can the sitter call if there is an emergency at the house? Can the sitter use the family computer while you are gone? More information is better than not enough.

Once you find a responsible and caring pet sitter, offer to serve as a reference. Stay in touch, by email or a call every couple of months – and tell your friends about this sitter. A busy house sitter will stay in the business and therefore be there for your next trip away! If you decide to bring Fido and need a pet sitter for an afternoon outing, let us know, there are some great resources in Friday Harbor.



New Faces Around the Inns

Breakfast at the Tucker House Inn Friday Harbor
Breakfast at the Tucker House Inn Friday Harbor

Michelle in the Morning

Michelle in the Morning

Meet Octavio!

As the season begins to gear up, you will be find new faces here a the Inn, busily working towards providing the most comfortable and friendly environment for our guests.

Here is Michelle at her new position with the Inns – Breakfast Chef. After 4 years working at Coho Restaurant, Michelle’s working world is expanding. She is quite talented and versatile and can work the front and the back of the house with ease. Look for her at Coho during the weekends and at the Inns behind the grill in the mornings. After breakfast, Michelle turns to making the yummy cookies and tasty granola you enjoy. When not working, Michelle loves to hang out with her family and especially her son Sean, who is in kindergarten. As Sean grows up, she will transition to days to spend more time with him.

Fourteen year old Octavio is a jack of all trades here at the Inn, doing power washing, gardening and other odd jobs, and all with a smile on his face. Octavio has plans to finish school and begin studying as a veterinarian, as he enjoys working with animals.

Farmers Market – Saturday Winter Market 2014 – 2015

Farmers Market Display Cropped

The San Juan Island Farmers Market is your source on Saturdays for beautiful and bountiful island produce, fine crafts, and delicious prepared foods.

Stop by the market for fruits, flowers, herbs, goat cheese, eggs, tomatoes, jams and jellies, baked goods, sushi, sausages, sustainably harvested tuna, shellfish, grass-fed meats, and much more.  New this season:  mushrooms!

  • Fill your market basket with the freshest local produce, meats, eggs, cheese, and prepared foods.
  • Tap your toes the music of the market band and guest musicians.
  • Enjoy delicious, locally prepared, breakfast or lunch fare.
  • Mix and mingle with friends and neighbors; it’s the social event of the week.
  • And check out the fine selection of locally made arts and crafts.

Meet the locals. Chat with friends. Or simply sit down and listen to music by the market band and guest musicians.

The San Juan Island Farmers Market is located  at the Brickworks, 150 Nichols, right next to Coho Restaurant.

Spring & Schedule:

March 7, 2015 and a weekly market starting in April.

Hours: 10am-1pm

Wenda’s Cranberry Tea Cookie

Cranberry Cookies - Tucker House Inn

Cranberry Cookies_resized











This recipe is an old family favorite from Wenda’s kitchen.

Yield: 12 dozen tea sized cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 egg
3 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together.
2. Beat in milk, orange juice and egg.
3. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to wet ingredients.
4. Stir in chopped nuts or cranberries.
5. Scoop onto parchment or silicon-lined baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Note:  1 tsp orange extract may be substituted for orange juice. Increase milk to 1/3 cup.



Gingerbread Cranberry Cookies

Ginger Cranberry Cookies

Ginger Cranberry Cookies









3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup candied ginger
3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground clove
½ tsp sea salt
3/4 cup butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup molasses
1 oz milk
1 cup dry cranberries

2 Tbsp orange juice, optional
1 cup powdered sugar, optional

  1. Pulse brown sugar and candied ginger in the food processor until no chunks remain.
  2. Combine brown sugar/ginger, flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in the big mixer with the paddle attachment; mix on low.
  3. Add chunks of butter and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
  4. Stream in the milk and molasses and continue mixing until it just about comes together.
  5. Add the dry cranberries.
  6. For Glaze:  Add orange juice to powdered sugar until it is the consistency of glaze. Drizzle or pour over cookies after baked and completely cooled.

Vegan Variation: Substitute coconut oil or Crisco for butter and almond milk for cow’s milk

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275 C Street Friday Harbor WA 98250 | 360.378.2783 or 800.965.0123 © Tucker House Inn | Photography: Michael Bertrand Photographer & Others