All Year: Yes
Host ID: 34862
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Last Updated: January 14, 2020
Homestay in Southern Indiana seeks friendly and compassionate travelers
We had big plans for this piece of property but life is changing in profound ways and I am unsure what the future holds. The interests and activities in my profile are still true but unfortunately, Iím becoming more of a spectator than a participant.
I am being evaluated for MS and getting wimpy quicker than expected. I canít tolerate the heat or the sun nor can I walk very far. Some days I canít walk at all. Thee Dr says I am a ďfall riskĒ and I have fallen enough this summer that I agree with them!
My lifetime goal / dream of opening an antique shop is gone and all this inventory needs to go to. It looks like time to move back to town sooner than we planned, to a house with no stairs.
So it is time to simplify, steer back to mindfulness and try find a nice balance so I can relax and concentrate. I need to re-energize my Reiki skills, find my center again, work on eating better and declutter the houseÖ. major emphasis on the decluttering.
We are a blended family (meaning we already had 2 of everything!) and have recently inherited huge amounts of stuff from 3 different family members. Please help me organize what we are keeping and find homes for what we are not. And maybe, just maybe, if I can get all this organized, I can will still able to see some of my dreams come true, such as getting a small booth in an antique mall in town.
Please read ALL of this for more details. Iíve tried to make this more concise but canít promise there are no typos. lol
Indoor jobs include:
- The most urgent need is for someone to function as a personal assistant, to help in the house and assist me on days I canít walk, maybe manage other helpers. Ideally, this would be a long term stay and someone who has their own vehicle.
- The second half of a personal assistant is helping with online sales. If you have photography skills and online sales experience and are good with organization, you are needed here!
- We are getting ready for a charity online auctions/sales to assist with the decluttering/sales and help pay for all these expensive tests. We will be liquidating all of my antique inventory and then will start on the stuff that is currently in use and sell it too. I desperately need a wheelchair so I can leave the house more often and hope to raise enough money to cover that too. I still have more to learn about online marketing but can share what I do know. I would also appreciate learning about your experiences with social media / online marketing. Teach me about Instagram! I would also like to figure out how to pay a small stipend for this.
- Household cleaning
- Sharing of meal preparation
- Cleaning and organizing basement. I have a ton of art / craft supplies and sewing projects to get to but canít access the stuff until the craft room is set up. There are a lot of boxes to shred for worm compost and a truckload of stuff to go to Goodwill. Help!
- Running errands in town, such as trips to the post office, grocery or to drop off donations and possibly helping me to get to some of my doctor appointments.
- Help establish a sustainable and easily repeatable recycling and composting plan. There isnít enough room in the kitchen for a recycling center but we have a large courtyard and driveway so Iím sure that with your help, a convenient area can be set up with the proper containers.
We also need helpers who can stay for shorter visits to help with heavy lifting, yard maintenance and small carpentry projects. If you like it here and we hit it off, you are welcome to stay as long as you like. If applying for this position, please be experienced with weed eaters, leaf blowers, garden tools, woodworking tools, etc.). I would love to teach you if I could but I canít walk the property or do any heavy lifting. I can however, talk people through some things if they are good listeners with common sense and a bit of experience.
Outdoor jobs include:
We currently have a couple of major, need to be done asap outside priorities iff you can arrive before winter sets in.
- I need to lift 100ís of bulbs from a very large flower bed so it can be redone in the Spring.
- Minor repairs to a couple of retaining walls. A previous guest rebuilt one end of a small decorative retaining wall, but took the curve out of it so now the rain water will go right into the house and directly into my bedroom. I donít care if we just knock it down for the winter but would rather just rebuild it as it was before. Shouldn't take more than one day to complete this. Other retaining walls are actually holding the land in place and there are a few areas that need a bit of attention to make sure they are solid.
- Remove/cut up tree stumps and fallen trees.
- Moving / transplanting a few shrubs.
After winter is here, we will need assistance with clearing the walkways, making sure no water gets into the house and taking out the trash. Itís a very long walk to the trash can. We also have to take our trash to the recycling center every week as there is no trash pickup here.
Iím hoping to fill the calendar for the entire year so if you canít visit now, let me know when you can. Weíve hosted 20-some travelers over the last 5 years and would love to make friends with you too.
Age doesnít matter nearly as much as maturity, honesty, flexibility and a true desire to help change lives for the better. I want you to feel like part of the family, like a cousin or friend who has come for a stay to help out for a while.
Guests who are a good fit for us are -
- Responsible, dedicated and friendly solo travelers who can stop by for a week or so on your way out West or South or to wherever you are headed. ;-)
- A committed couple or friends traveling together, to share a room and split the work.
- Compassionate, friendly, helpful, kind, tidy, thoughtful and non-judgemental good listeners with their common sense intact and good listening skills.
- NOT afraid of cold (it doesnít always snow here but ya never know these days) and willing to stay through the winter. The work will be indoors and the company will be greatly appreciated.
- Folks who keep their word. Those who will show up when they say they will, stay the minimum time agreed upon and complete the projects volunteered for.
Daily alcohol consumption and hard drug use will NOT be tolerated.
If you are an active alcoholic, have other untreated abuse issues or untreated mental illness, please do not visit. While I have all the compassion in the world, I do not have all the strength or ability I need to help you right now.
Be aware you will mostly likely be arriving mid-project. This means there may be boxes in the hallway and lumber/bricks/stone stacked next the mini-barn or in the courtyard. These unfinished things are exactly why I need your help. :-) *
YES THERE IS MORE THAN CORN IN INDIANA!
It is so beautiful here! We live on a private lake in the forest. Basically a big house dropped into the middle of a campground, so a bit like camping but with beds and air conditioning. lol. We are surrounded by National, State and County parks and forests as well as private protected lands. Deer, foxes, coyotes, hawks, beavers, ground hogs, skinks, frogs, heron and birds of all kinds are sighted or heard on a daily basis. You can fish to your hearts content or take the paddle boat out to see where the Bald Eagles live.
The retreats/camps/ecovillages nearby host cool festivals/celebrations/seminars just about every month of the year, on just about every topic or holiday you can think of. Many of these offer opportunities for you to present a class or provide a service or sell your wares to fund your travels. You can also barter a few days work for free admission.
I highly encourage everyone to come and meet the vibrant community that is hidden here. We even have a budding intentional community about 5 miles away as the crow flies. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by all the cool people and things to do in this region.
Are you a student? IU and Ivy Tech are nearby. A previous guest took classes part time to finish her ESL certificate and that worked beautifully for all of us. There is also a culinary school and a world renowned carpentry school within an hours driving distance.
If you have transportation, there are some great night spots and restaurants in the nearby college town. Some folks have gone camping for a day or two each week for their time off, checking all the parks in the area off their listsÖ and there are a LOT of parks here! So if you have a tent and camping equipment, bring it with you!
If you donít have your own vehicle, you should be comfortable with quiet evenings spent at home, either hanging out together or relaxing in our separate spaces. The only night life around is the wildlife outside. If youíre into nature photography and birdwatching like I am, you will be heaven.
Bloomington is 45 minutes aways and itís 1 hour to Louisville, 1.5 hours to Indy, and 4 hours to Chicago.
WHAT I OFFER -
Yes, this is a bit different from many volunteer opportunities and that is exactly why you should come! Maybe you need a break from hectic cities and airports or are ready to sleep in a comfy bed instead of a hammock for a while. Come hang out with me for a while in my ďtree houseĒ. We will get a lot of work done but we will also talk and laugh and learn from each other, bird watch the evenings away and bond over sunsets and shared stories.
I will teach as much gardening/landscaping stuff as I know and we can crack open my library too. I can share info of essential oils, herbal remedies, supplements, homeopathic remedies, etc.
I can teach you how to make a bakery worthy cake and decorate it too.
I have collected antiques/vintage my entire life and love sharing info on that topic. I have knowledge of gemstones, geology and fossil collecting. I love watching a great film and discussing it over a beer.
Other interests are birdwatching, genealogy and photographing headstones for FindAGrave. Letís pack a picnic lunch, find some old cemeteries and wile away an afternoon chasing the ghosts of our ancestors!
You will have plenty of time for sightseeing, rock collecting, poetry, reading, photography, art, meditation, or yoga - whatever feeds your soul.
You should be comfortable staying in a secluded area and driving on rural and gravel roads. We are NOT within walking distance to town and there is no public transportation. Going to town every day is not practical. Let me be clear - I will not drive to town every single day.
Since I can no longer travel, share with me your stories and photos of all the wonderful places you have seen while you let this beautiful place rejuvenate you for the next step on your journey.
If you read all of this, I like you already. :-) If you canít visit now, schedule a stay with us on the next leg of your journey.
A private bedroom big enough for two, fully furnished with vintage furniture and linens and with access to the screened porch, view of the lake and a full sized bed.
A small room on the lower level, just right for one.
(Setting up a 2nd living room on the lower level is on the ASAP to-do list! This area has a tv, a pullout couch and a lake view and could be used as a private guest living room.)
The laundry, main bath, kitchen, living room are on the upper floor and are shared. You will have access to the land line phone for domestic calls and satellite tv.
Every guest is expected to help with their own meals and keep their area tidy.
A basic vegetarian diet is pretty easy to provide, but if you are vegan, raw or gluten free, you will need to prepare those meals and teach me as I have no idea. If you only eat cherries and nothing but cherries, you need to bring them with you or pitch in on the grocery bill. If the local stores donít have everything you need, there are giant health food stores in Bloomington. During the first few days AFTER your arrival, we will make a menu and go shopping. Unless you bring stuff with you, this would be the time to grab any special items you may need to purchase. I have a juicer, a dehydrator and a bread machineÖ letís use them! Teach me to make kombuca!
You will need to provide your own travelers/health insurance.
We need to talk on the phone and exchange emails before you arrive.
You will need to provide your own cell phone service. Verizon works best here, others are a bit spotty.
If you are used to streaming Netflix via wifi for hours every evening, be prepared to skip that while you are here and pick something from the CD library instead. If you need wifi for more than the occasional email, you can bring a Verizon hot spot stick for your personal use or purchase one in town once you get here.
No daily drinking or hard street drugs. Smoking outside only. Iíve got an ecig and am trying my best!
We are not heavy drinkers at all but I like a nice glass of wine or a good microbrew now and then and look forward to taking you to my favorite local wineries and breweries.
Daily alcohol consumption and hard drug use will NOT be tolerated.
I have a indoor only cat that stays on the lower level with me. The next round of carpet cleaning should erase of all traces of cat on the upper level. As that is the goal, we can not accommodate additional pets. (Unless you travel with an RV and they can stay there. We have a large flat driveway and a spot to park near water and electric.)
While I have a lot I to get done, the atmosphere here is super laid back. My wimpiness makes me slow and unable to handle the heat or work for long periods of time. I don't like being wimpy and I'm not used to it yet. So patience and time are important gifts to bring, as are compassion and flexibility. Please also bring lots of good energy, kindness, a sense of humor, creative thinking, and friendship.
Oh and just so you arenít too surprised - Iím a hippy punk rocker masquerading as a mid-western housewife. I am an introverted extrovert and I cuss too much. My husband and I both are music junkies but sing off-key and dance badly. lol There will be rock-n-roll, silly jokes, life stories to share, down home Hoosier food, and letís not forget the progressive political activism. Wanna help me work on a couple of local campaigns?
UPDATE!!!! I have begun the hypnosis tapes, got a couple of e-cigs and am weaning off the tobacco. I have nicotine patches and lollipops to give me a handÖ I WILL make it. Give me no lectures, instead offer me hope and encouragement. Iíll see you soon. We look forward to meeting you!
Weifesteria - (Old English)
To wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery.
Shinrin-yoku - (Japanese noun)
A visit to the forest for relaxation. Literally: forest bathing.