Homestay in Southern Indiana seeks friendly, compassionate travelers

March 15, 2020

The view

Homestay in Southern Indiana seeks friendly, compassionate travelers

I have no idea if I am using this feature correctly! lol Bare with me...

A year ago I was trying to come to terms with a possible MS diagnosis andthings were looking pretty bleak. The good news / bad news now is that they did not find MS. They did find severe arthritis, degenerative spinal disease, a fewbulging disks and pinched nerves. And that’s just in my upper back!

I still have to take it easy, no heavy lifting and all that jazz but at least I have a plan for achieving wellness now. I don’t havea lot of stamina and need to rest often. I have a long way to go but ammore 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 declutterthe house…. major emphasis on the decluttering.

I’m hoping to fill the calendar for the entire year so if you can’t visit now, let meknow when you can. We’ve hosted 20-some travelers over the last 5 years andwould love to make friends with you too.

Please read ALL of this for more details. I keep trying to make it shorter but can’t manage it.

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We have room and need for different types of helpers. There is a bit of overlap in the kinds of things one guestmight 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 thework.

- Solo travelers who can stop by for aweek or two on your way out West or South or to wherever you are headed. ;-)

-A personal assistant / “Gal Friday” 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 apersonal assistant, to help around the house and with meal prep and to assist me on days I can’t walk,maybe even manage short-term guests. It would be ideal for someonewho has their own vehicle and who can errands to town. It is NOT a deal breaker if you don’t have a car.

We are a blended family (meaning we already had 2 of everything!) and haverecently inherited huge amounts of stuff from 3 different family members.Please help me organize what we are keeping and find homes for what we arenot.

I am planning charity auctions / online sales to pay for allthese expensive tests and medical treatments. I am liquidating all of myantique inventory then will start on the excess household items and sellthemtoo. I may still need a wheelchair and hope to raise enough to coverthat. We currently have an online fundraiser but I’m afraid it will time out before wereach the needed goal.

If you have photography skills and online sales experience, that would be awesome.MyeBay skills are rusty and I’ve been mainly usingFacebookmarketplace 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 forthis 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 lengthyamount of time.

Another big project on the list is cleaning and organizing the“basement” area. I have a ton of art / craft supplies andsewing projects but can’t access these things until the craft room is set up. It’s been way too long since I let myartistic 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 orgonitedevices is next on the list!!

Short-term Helper Guests -

Basic stuff includes tending the lawn, vegetable and flower gardens, startingseedlings, 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 compostingplan. There isn’t enough room in the kitchen for a recycling center but we havea large courtyard and driveway so I’m sure that with your help, a convenientarea can be set up with the proper containers.

If you like it hereand we hit it off, you are welcome to stay as long as you like. There are other projectsavailable that would take a longercommitment.

If applying for thisposition, please be experienced with weed eaters, leaf blowers, garden tools,woodworking tools, etc. I would love to teach you if I could but I can’t walk theproperty 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. Whatneither of us knows, we will research together and make a plan.

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Age doesn’t matter nearly as much as maturity, honesty, flexibility and a truedesire to help change lives for the better. I want you to feel like part of thefamily, like a cousin or friend who has come for a stay to stay for a while.

Please be compassionate, friendly, helpful, responsible, kind, thoughtful people who are nonjudgmental and good listeners.

Please be comfortable staying in a secluded area and driving on rural andgravel roads. We are NOT within walking distance to town and there is nopublic transportation. Going to town every day is not practical.

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WHAT I OFFER -

Yes, this is a bit different from many volunteer opportunities and that is exactlywhy you should come! Maybe you need a break from hectic cities and airportsor are ready to sleep in a comfy bed instead of a hammock for a while. Comehang out with me for a while in my “tree house”. We will get a lot of work donebut we will also talk and laugh and learn from each other, bird watch theevenings away and bond over sunsets and shared stories.

I will teach as much gardening/landscaping stuff as I know and we can crackopen my library too. I can teach you about essential oils, herbal remedies,supplements, homeopathic and alternative health remedies, reflexology, floweressences, 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. :-)

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 lovewatching 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 forFindAGrave. Let’s pack a picnic lunch, find some old cemeteries and wile awayan afternoon chasing the ghosts of our ancestors!


ACCOMDATIONS:

A private bedroom big enough for two, fully furnished with vintage furniture andlinens and a view of the lake.

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! Thisarea has a tv, a pullout couch, a lake view and could also be used as a privateguest living room/bedroom.)

The laundry, main bath, kitchen, living room are on the upper floor and areshared. You will have access to the land line phone for domestic calls andsatellite tv.

Every guest is expected tokeep their area tidy and help with meals.

A basic vegetarian diet is pretty easy to provide, but if you are vegan, raw orgluten free, you will need to prepare those meals and teach me as I have noidea. If you only eat cherries and nothing but cherries, you need to bring themwith you or pitch in on the grocery bill. If the local stores don’t have everythingyou need, there are giant health food stores in Bloomington. During the firstfew days after your arrival, we will make some menu’s and go shopping. Unlessyou bring stuff with you, this would be the time to grab any special items youmay need to purchase. I have a juicer, a dehydrator and a bread machine…let’s 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, beprepared 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 canbring a Verizon hot spot stick for your personal use or purchase one in townonce you get here.

We need to talk on the phone and exchange email addresses before you arrive.

Smoking outside only. I’ve got an ecigand 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 untreatedmental illness, please do not visit us at this time. While I have all the compassion needed,I do not have all the strength or abilitynecessary to help you right now.

I have a indoor only cat that stays on the lower level with me. The next roundof carpet cleaning should erase of all traces of cat on the upper level. As that isthe goal, we can not accommodate additional pets. (Unless you travel with anRV and they can stay there.)

While I have a lot I to get done, the atmosphere here is super laid back. Mywimpiness makes me slow and unable to handle the heat or work for longperiods of time. I don’t like being wimpy and will admit to being frustrated by that onoccasion. So patienceand time are important gifts to bring, as are compassion and flexibility. Pleasebring 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 aren’t too surprised - I’m a Pagan hippy punk rocker masqueradingas a mid-western housewife. I am an introverted extrovert and I cuss too much. We aretotally supportive of LGBTQIA individuals. My husband and I both are music junkies but sing off-key and dance badly. lolThere will be rock-n-roll, silly jokes, life stories to share, down home Hoosierfood, and let’s not forget the progressive political activism. Wanna help mework on a couple of local campaigns?

UPDATE!!!! I have begun the hypnosis tapes, got a couple of e-cigs and amweaning off the tobacco. I have nicotine patches and lollipops to give me ahand… I WILL make it. Give me no lectures, instead offer me hope andencouragement. I’ll see you soon. We look forward to meeting you!

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Yep, there is more!

It is so beautiful here! We live on a private lake in the forest. Basically a bighouse dropped into the middle of a campground, so a bit like camping but withbeds and air conditioning. lol. We are surrounded by National, State andCounty parks and forests as well as private protected lands. Deer, foxes,coyotes, hawks, beavers, ground hogs, skinks, frogs, heron and birds of allkinds are sighted or heard on a daily basis. You can fish to your hearts contentor take the paddle boat out to see where the Bald Eagles live.

The retreats/camps/ecovillages nearby host coolfestivals/celebrations/seminars just about every month of the year, on justabout every topic or holiday you can think of. Many of these offer opportunitiesfor you to present a class or provide a service or sell your wares to fund yourtravels. You can also barter a few days work for free admission.

I highly encourage everyone to come and meet the vibrant community that ishidden here. We even have a budding intentional community about 5 milesaway as the crow flies. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by all the coolpeople 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 classespart 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 withinan hour driving distance.

If you have transportation, there are some great night spots and restaurants inthe nearby college town. Some folks have gone camping for a day or two eachweek for their time off, checking all the parks in the area off their lists… andthere 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 it’s 1 hour to Louisville, 1.5 hours toIndy, and 4 hours to Chicago.

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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.

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If you read all of this, I like you already. :-) If you can’t visit now, schedule astay with us on the next leg of your journey.

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