All Year: Yes
Host ID: 34862
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Last Updated: June 1, 2020
Homestay in the Southern Indiana Forest
** Willing to host a healthy and honest person(s) who needs a safe place during this pandemic. I am worried about all of you travelers and worry you are being overlooked in all this. I am at high risk so good communication before we decide is vital **
A year ago I was trying to come to terms with a possible MS diagnosis and things were looking pretty bleak. The good news / bad news now is that they did not confirm or rule out MS. But they did find severe arthritis, degenerative spinal disease, a few bulging disks and pinched nerves. And thatís just in my upper back! When I can get back to the specialist we are going to start looking at my lower back. Fun fun!
I have to take it easy, no heavy lifting and all that jazz but at least I have a plan for achieving better health now. I donít have a lot of stamina and need to rest often. I have a long way to go but am more optimistic than I have been in years and that is a very good thing. I am working to return mindfulness, meditation and spirituality to my daily life, to re-energize my Reiki skills, to find my center again, work on eating better and gaining muscle strength and finally, to declutter the houseÖ. major emphasis on the decluttering.
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.
Please read ALL of this for more details. I keep trying to make it shorter but canít manage it.
We have room and need for different types of helpers. There is a bit of overlap in the kinds of things one guest might be asked to help with so please read all of the description.
- A committed couple or friends traveling together, to share a room and split the work.
- Solo travelers who can stop by for a week or two on your way out West or South or to wherever you are headed. ;-)
- A personal assistant / ďGal FridayĒ type who can stay for a longer tern.
Long-term Personal Assistant -
The most urgent need is for a long-term guest who can function as a personal assistant, to help around the house and with meal prep and to assist me on days I canít walk, maybe even manage short-term guests. It would be ideal for someone who has their own vehicle and who can errands to town. It is NOT a deal breaker if you donít have a car.
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.
I am planning charity auctions / online sales to pay for all these expensive tests and medical treatments. I am liquidating all of my antique inventory then will start on the excess household items and sell them too. I may still need a wheelchair and hope to raise enough to cover that. We currently have an online fundraiser but Iím afraid it will time out before we reach the needed goal.
If you have photography skills and online sales experience, that would be awesome. My eBay skills are rusty and Iíve been mainly using Facebook marketplace and Craigslist for sales. I would appreciate learning about your experiences with social media / marketing. Teach me about Instagram! We would like to offer a small stipend for this position eventually and are looking at ways to achieve that. A business partnership would be one way to achieve this if you can stay for a lengthy amount of time.
Another big project on the list is cleaning and organizing the ďbasementĒ area. I have a ton of art / craft supplies and sewing projects but canít access these things until the craft room is set up. Itís been way too long since I let my artistic side out but once this room is ready, many wonderful projects can spring to life! Jewelry making, painting, making candles, soaps, bath salts, sewing and needlework are things I want to return to. Making orgonite devices is next on the list!!
Short-term Helper Guests -
Basic stuff includes tending the lawn, vegetable and flower gardens, starting seedlings, transplanting trees and shrubs, minor repairs to retaining walls, basic carpentry projects, building a compost bin, picking up fallen branches, etc. Inside there are a few rooms to be organized and/or painted.
We would love some ideas for establishing 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.
If you like it here and we hit it off, you are welcome to stay as long as you like. There are other projects available that would take a longer commitment.
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 talk people through most things if they are good listeners with common sense and a bit of experience. What neither of us knows, we will research together and make a plan.
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 stay for a while.
Please be compassionate, friendly, helpful, responsible, kind, thoughtful, nonjudgmental and a good listener. :-)
Please 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.
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 teach you about essential oils, foraging wild plants, herbal remedies, supplements, homeopathic and alternative health remedies, reflexology, flower essences, gemstone essences, spirituality, etc.
There are dozens of wild medicinal plants on our property and if you will collect them, I will teach you what to do with them. Or maybe you can show me something new. :-) Right now is the time for violets and dandelions - jelly is the first thing on the list then on to tinctures. Will you gather the flowers for me?
I can teach you how to make a bakery worthy cake and decorate it too.
I have knowledge of gemstones, geology and fossil collecting. I will teach you how to spot a geode and split it open to expose the crystals inside.
I love watching a great film and discussing it over a beer. I have collected antiques/vintage/collectibles my entire life and love sharing that info.
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!
A private bedroom big enough for two, fully furnished with vintage furniture and linens and a view of the lake.
A small room on the lower level, just right for one and also furnished with vintage coziness.
(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, a lake view and could also be used as a private guest living room/bedroom.)
The laundry, main bath, kitchen, living room are on the upper floor and are shared. You will have access to satellite tv and the land line phone for domestic calls.
Every guest is expected to keep their area tidy and help with meals.
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 some menuís 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 and ferment yummy things!
You will need to provide your own travelers/health insurance.
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 DVR or DVD 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.
We need to talk on the phone and exchange email addresses before you arrive.
Smoking outside only. Iíve got an ecig and am trying my best!
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 us at this time. While I have all the compassion needed, I do not have all the strength or ability necessary to help you right now.
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.)
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 donít like being wimpy and will admit to being frustrated by that on occasion. So patience and time are important gifts to bring, as are compassion and flexibility. Please bring lots of good energy, kindness, a sense of humor, creative thinking, and friendship.
You will have plenty of time for sightseeing, poetry, reading, camping, going to festivals, photography, art, meditation, or yoga - whatever feeds your soul.
Oh and just so you arenít too surprised - Iím a Pagan hippy punk rocker masquerading as a mid-western housewife. I am an introverted extrovert and I cuss too much. We are totally supportive of LGBTQIA individuals. 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!
Yep, there is more!
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.
(Activities and social scenes are curtailed right now of course but leaving this in anyway. Seriously, more cool people need to come to this area!)
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. You might even decide to put down roots. :-)
Are you a student? IU and Ivy Tech are nearby. A previous long term 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 hour 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!
Bloomington is 45 minutes aways and itís 1 hour to Louisville, 1.5 hours to Indianapolis, and 4 hours to Chicago.
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.
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. I can't wait to meet you.