Self-awareness

Please do not think of me as whining

IMG_0648

I do not own this image. I am respectfully using it on my blog.

I know that I made a post today, I am not trying to overdo the postings.  I saw this on Facebook today and I had to repost it here.

I realize that some (or many) of my posts may sound like whining.  I certainly do not mean for that tone to come across.  As the statement above says:  I embrace being wrong because I am wrong so often.  I better embrace it or I will be miserable.  I feel free of the illusion that this quest I am on will ever be complete or even become clear.  I think that is just how life is, a little veiled in mystery.  I do, obviously, care what people think of me but not to the extent that it used to be.  I used to be paralyzed by what others thought. Finally, I am questioning everything, especially myself and my motives.

As I go along this journey, I will continue to question and fail.  It may sound like whining but it is just me putting my thoughts and concerns to the page.  I am blessed in abundance with so many good things.  The bad things in my life have served the purpose to teach things like empathy and compassion.  So even those things are a blessing.

I expect certain intangible things (mostly of myself), but I hope I never come across as feeling entitled.  That is a real problem on our society today and I certainly do not want to be one of these people who walks around wanting and wanting.

I am not sure this post was necessary, but I want this blog to be as transparent and as real as possible.  The things I write are really things I am thinking.  Right or wrong…it is how my brain works.

Thank you to whoever created the words above and the photograph.  It so completely is how I feel.

Here is to being as real as possible and I hope a little entertaining(?).

 

The Two Sides of Me

Happy

I do not own this image but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

Last night I watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller (the remake obviously).  I was moved by the story and the absolute breathtaking scenery.  Then I had an epiphany.  I know why I never seem happy…because there are two different sides to me.  If one is happy, the other cannot be happy.

I long for the quiet life I wrote about a few days ago.  Stability and structure are key to that lifestyle.  Then I see images of Greenland or Alaska and I ache to grab a backpack and just go.  I cannot seem to wrap my head around either lifestyle right now.  I am absolutely conflicted.

Really quickly, in the movie Walter Mitty is the kind of guy who did the right thing.  After his father died, he started working and taking care of things.  He had planned to travel but life stopped him in his tracks.  In order to cope, he developed quite a unique imaginary life; a life where he was significant.  Then a situation arises and he has to step up to the plate.  Out of his shell and full-bore into life.  I ended up crying happy tears for Walter and sad tears for me.  Oh, to have that kind of adventure and purpose in my life.  Yes, I know life does not work out like the movies.  Alas, there are no scripts, unlimited bank accounts or stunt doubles in real life.

So I am left to figure this all out.  Some days I hate to being so self-aware.  Why can’t I just plod along asking “Do you want fries with that?” and be happy.  Why do I always have to look at the other side of the fence and ask if it is really better?  I try to just resign myself but something inside keeps awakening the turmoil inside of me.  I give up and then I come back more resolved (yet seemingly unequipped) to make that BIG major change.

In the end of the movie, Walter’s travels and meeting of people change him profoundly.  His fear is gone and his ability to actually live life to the fullest is stronger than ever.  I ask myself if that is just a Hollywood ending or if that same feeling, albeit not the actual events of the movie, can happen in real life.  I am aware enough to know that there is no happily ever after, but what about that part in the middle?  The part that is so terrifying and so exciting at the same time, the part that transcends you to another level of awareness and the part that feeds your soul in a way nothing else can. How do I get that?

I thought the Epic Journey would do that for me.  I expected to come back from that trip completely changed and when it did not happen I was really depressed and lost all over again.  But how can just jumping in a car and running away from everything make that kind of difference?  It is just not possible.  I expected the things to change me when it was me who needed to change from the inside.  I took that journey with all the fears and insecurities I have carried my entire life.  Basically, instead of jumping off the cliff I jumped over a water puddle and expected the end results to be the same.

Where do I go from here?  I still do not know.  I highly doubt that I will be backpacking in Chile anytime soon or climbing any mountains.  So what do I do?  The sensible thing-settle down and forget all this nonsense.  I should just “get over” myself and go back to normal.  Part of me is okay with that, but part of me is screaming inside “NO!!”.

I have “officially” been on this journey for about a year and I feel no closer to an answer then I did in the beginning.  I thought by now the universe would have made itself clear to me and I would be merrily on my new path to whatever-I-am-looking for, but that does not seem to be the case.

I feel a bit like early-in-the-movie Walter Mitty.  I have my pen and travel journal ready, I just do not know what to do with it.  How pathetic am I?  For today, I guess, I will live my life as best I can and look for the adventure in every day life.  Maybe I will write a story about a woman who is adventurous, brave and everything I seem not to be.  I could live through her until I figure this out.

No answers. I hate that.  I sometimes come to conclusions as I am writing but not this time.  I guess the question is just too big for an easy answer.  I will keep pondering it all and look for that proverbial open window or door.  For now the two sides of me will have to play nice until such a time as I have a plan.  Looks like the Epic Journey is no where near complete and that the ride has barely even started.

Here is to self-awareness:  you make me miserable, but you also make me grow.  I wish it was easier, but that is not how this whole life thing works.

 

I Wish I May…I Wish I Might???

wish board

Pathetic as it may be, this is my wish board.

This is going to sound idiotic, but I never understood the purpose of a wish.  I get that when you wish for something you are asking for something in particular or some other tangible item that you do not currently have.  It could also be something intangible like a superpower or the like.  But when you wish, who are you talking to?  It is not a prayer like to God, so who is listening to all these wishes?  I am so confused.

In my last career position, we had a corporate strategy meeting where we all added ideas to a wish board.  I was new to the concept and found it intriguing.  Everyone contributed ideas about how to make the company better for employees and customers as well as stronger financially.  There were no wrong ideas, so we were all free to add things that would have been considered over-the-top in a regular corporate meeting atmosphere.  Then the best-of-the-best were picked and added to a wish board that hung in the lobby as a reminder of where we wanted to take the company.

I have to admit I snickered a little under my breath at the idea.  Then after one particularly desperate day, I thought I would make my own wish board (I actually called it a dream board, but I believe they are the same thing).  It was way harder to do it for things I wanted in my life, there was no real out-of-box thinking.  The reason, I think, for that is because it is my life and I know I am never hitting the road with Bad Company or shredding down a mountain slope on a snowboard.  Not happening, so I felt the need to be a little more realistic.

I purposely used a smaller sheet of paper because I wanted everything on my list to be of importance to me.  I started with a picture of a tiny house.  I have wanted a tiny house for years.  I have read the books about the lifestyle and watched the television shows.  I am having doubts about it becoming a reality for me, but I put it out there as my foundation.  So, let’s just call it the fact that I want to live with a much smaller footprint whether it be a small apartment or a tiny home.  Smaller is really the key for the base of my board.

Then came what to do with my life.  I would like to work from home as a writer.  Yet, another thing that might not be in my future.  I am going to write no matter what, but I cannot see it paying rent or feeding me.  But again, it is the foundation for all of this.  I really think I should not be negative at this point, but I am also very realistic.  Unfortunately.  I used to dream big, but life sort of took that ability away from me.  Too negative?  Maybe.  This concept is harder than it seems.

Since I do not see a New York Times Bestseller in my immediate future, I need a job.  I just want a job that I am trained to do and one that I love.  I want to feel like I am making a difference and supporting myself in the process.  Having not “worked” at a regular job for a while, I have to admit the thing I hated about a regular job is the thing I miss the most.  The structure or you could call it having a purpose (that sounds much better).  I need that sense of on-going purpose.

Tiny footprint, writing and purpose.  Good start.  A few other things that followed included:  daily Bible study, volunteering, consistent exercise, frugal living, eating clean and making my own food as much as I can and my own cleaning products.  That is basically my dream board.  Funny, how when I put it this way, I see that I actually have some control over these factors.  Not really wish material (other than the tiny home).  So, do I not understand the concept after all?  I am still so confused.

What about my wanderlust?  I still want to continue the Epic Journey, but it needs to be thought out better.  I never realized just how expensive a journey like that would be (I could never have done it without your support), or how grueling it would be.  I need to take some time and reconsider the remaining portion of the trip. It will happen, I promise.  I just need to regroup.

What about home/farm stays?  I am struggling with my true abilities to do this type of work.  The past 53 years of my life have done nothing to prepare me for this particular lifestyle.  I feel useless at times and that just plain makes me sad.  Another thing I need to rethink.

To sum it all up, my wish board is more like at To Do List.  I can keep wishing for these things but without taking action, they will never happen.  Getting back to my original thought, I guess I really do not understand the concept of what a wish is for.  Do you go into a wish knowing it is just a pipe dream or somewhere in the back of your mind, do you think it could happen?  What happens when you wait and wait and the wish does not come to pass?  Seems to me wishes are pathways to be disilllusioned.

I think I will put my wish board away somewhere and turn it into my To Do List.  That is concrete and measurable.  I will leave the wishes to others. I honestly wish I could believe in the power of wishes, but I guess I am too pragmatic.

Here is to a healthy and attainable To Do List for those of us who are uncontrollably realistic…

and here is to those lovely souls who have dreams and wishes, may they become real and change your life in a way that adds more light to the darkness of this world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Comes Early

Having never been one to jump out of bed and start the day, my new life requires that I do that now.  The morning comes early when there are horses, dogs, cats, birds, turkeys, ducks and the occasional goats to feed.  These lovely living creatures need me to care for them.

Walking outside to see the sun starting to stream over the mountains, smelling the pure mountain air and feeling the cool breeze on my skin has transformed me into a morning person.  The absolute quiet of the day and the stillness have made me fall in love with this new, albeit temporary, lifestyle.  As the kitties rub my leg and the horses nudge me toward the barn, I realize that there is much more to life than I had ever imagined.  My view was certainly very narrow.

The day continues as it always does with more chores to do and errands to run.  Then the cycle starts again as night begins to fall.  I will hear the animal voices reminding me not to forget to feed them, as if I could.  But now the sun is disappearing behind the mountain and the fresh air still brushes against my face but just with a cooler temperature.  Life is good on the farm.

I am learning that taking care of something other than myself is its own reward.  I so quickly fall into a pattern that revolves around myself.  That only leads to frustration and depression.  Caring for others opens the heart and the mind to a new way of thinking.  It makes no difference if you are helping another person or a furry friend, the mind cannot seem to concentrate on both self and others at the same time.  Thinking of others is not an automatic response for me, but the more I do, the easier it becomes.

A few more things to do then off to bed as morning does come early to the farm.

Here is to the opportunity to see a new and different life than the one I knew and to constantly expanding my horizons.

A Time for Reflection 

  
First, let me say to everyone out there…I am wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a new year full of blessings, health and joy!!

I know it has been a while since I posted anything.  I traveled a little bit, made it to Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law, got sick and started a new home stay.  As usual there is a lot going on but I was just too ill to write about it.  I am finally feeling better, thanks to my host family and a local free clinic.  

A year ago today I was at home in Ohio thinking about taking an extended trip to the Wesr Coast.  I had a job that I had to figure out and logistics.  I was aching to hit the road but was pretty sure it was not going to happen.  Here I am a year later and I did the Epic Journey (at least part of it), left my family home of 49 Years and am living somewhat nomadic for the time being.  What an incredible and terrifying year.  

My highs have been very high and the lows below low.   I, truthfully, have been afraid most of the time.  Change is hard for me and I have had a lot of it.  I have cried more this year than I ever have and I have also laughed more than I ever have.  I have felt more isolated than I ever have and more connected than ever.  The year has been full of contradictions and confusion.  But looking back all I can really see are the people I have met.

The people who  have crossed my path have touched my life in ways I could never have imagined.  I reconnected with many of my family and long-time friends before taking this trip and that was a blessing I can never forget.  We all got busy with life and this trip seemed to bring us all together again.  My work friends supported me from the very beginning and I could never have done this without that support and love.  On the road, I met amazing people taking their own personal journeys.   I learned the trips were different but the need to dream and explore were all the same.

I have met people who have traveled the world and walked across the country in search of the perfect place to be.  I have met single women traveling alone and  finding independence and strength.  I have met many people on quests to find peace by pitching everything and starting over.  I have met people willing to take strangers into their homes and provide shelter, food and purpose.  I have had complete strangers watch out for me to be sure I was safe when traveling alone.

When I planned the original trip I thought it was going to be about the things I saw and the things I did.  I was wholly and completely wrong.  Those things made an impression but it was who I met along the way that have changed me.  I have grown in ways I could never have imagined a year ago.  I have learned lessons and heard stories that have literally blown me away.  

There are times when I miss my own couch or bed.  Sometimes while driving, especially at night, I look at homes with the warm glow of light shining through the windows and I miss my own space but then I realize that I am on a different path right now.  I may settle down in one place again but for now I still need to expand my comfort zone and learn more of the lessons life has for me.

To everyone who has followed this crazy journey with me and to everyone who has supported me, my gratitude is unwavering. I could never have done this without you.  There are new plans being made for 2016, so the journey is not over yet.  I hope and pray that you will continue to be with me as I try new things.  My life is blessed because of you and I thank God daily for your love.

Here’s to family and friends this Christmas season and to all the best life has to offer in 2016!!  Thank you again everyone!!

Fresh Brewed Unsweetened Iced Tea with Extra Ice

iced tea

In the past, I have been very specific about certain things in my life. Iced tea is one of those things. I would only go to certain restaurants to get it because I knew who used powdered tea and who fresh brewed their tea. Getting a sweet tea by mistake would just about ruin my day. I always figured I know what I like and that is that.

Times they are a changing. I no longer have the luxury of having that mindset. I used to wear two or three outfits a day, now I wear one outfit for two or three days (as long as it stays clean). I used to have a pantry full of food, much of which I would never get around to eating. I would only have organic Half and Half in my coffee. My bathroom was full of bottles of scrubs, astringents, lotions and many other concoctions that I felt I absolutely needed to have. I never realized how wasteful I was.

Once you decide to downsize, you have to start rethinking everything; what is really important, what would be nice (if you had the room), and what is completely ridiculous to carry. I wanted to have just what I could carry in Devi (my Mitsubishi Endeavor). So I got rid of most of my stuff and packed up Devi and found that I still had too much stuff. Now I am in the midst of downsizing yet some more.

The point for me is that I always thought I had all this stuff that I could not live without and I had to live in a non-bending, specific way. I have learned one bar of soap washes my hair and face as well as my body; I no longer need soaps for different body parts. Three shirts and two pair of pants can make complete outfits for over a week. There is no room in the car for junk food (that is a fairly new rule and I do not always live by it…but I am trying) and so on.

I have a little respite today, so I am going to try to consolidate and get rid of a few more things. I will consider what is important or has some sentimental value and what is unnecessary. I will probably look back sometime today and wonder how I ever got by with my old way of thinking. I am embracing this new lighter lifestyle as it just seems more organic. Please do not get me wrong, I have a long way to go but, at least, I am on a path-not sure if it is the right path but it is a path. Learning to live with less and without a lot of extra conveniences is a process and I am assuming it is one that is learned over a long period of time.

For today, I will forego a few more of those “things” I thought I had to have and learn to embrace it. If I am out and about today, I may stop at Mickey D’s and get a fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea with extra ice (a girl cannot give up everything)! Here’s to living with less and loving it!!

 

 

How to Find a Host Family for a Farm or Home Stay

Helping Others

 

Lately, I have been talking about the Farm or Home Stays I have been participating in. I have been asked how one finds people who need HelpXers (as we are called). It is easy, through an online site called Help Exchange (or HelpX for short). The following blurb is straight from the Help Exchange Website and describes the theory behind the program much better than I ever could.

 “Welcome to Help Exchange (HelpX)

HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.”

 “HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.”

The only difference is that I have decided to stay within the United States (I cannot even imagine the mess I would be if I was traveling abroad). If I was interested in traveling overseas, that would be an option. There are all kinds of working opportunities as well as locations. Some places need experienced help and others are willing to teach, train and coach you to learn a new skill.

The program is amazing as are the people who participate as Hosts. They are awesome and generous. This is a great program for young people to learn about different cultures and learn all kinds of skills, but it is turning into an option for more experienced (dare I say older) people who want to get off the corporate treadmill and start living an alternative lifestyle. I have run into more and more “older” couples who want to ditch the mortgage and the stuff and hit the road.

HelpX is a great way to give back and pay forward. It opens doors to let the participants help each other as well as people who are in need of assistance. I want my life to start being about others instead of always being about me (if you have read past posts, it really is all about me).

So what have I learned so far from my HelpX experience: (1) How to lay field stone and gravel to make a mud-free walkway, (2) How to make better a better food product by using sustainable and organic means, (3) How to paint a porch, (4) Goats are really fun to take care of, (5) How to make coffee with a French Press, (6) The more you move the better you feel, (7) After all these years, I am still allergic to hay, (8) Some outside people do not understand the concept and are not trusting of your motives and so much more. This journey has just begun, so I am looking forward to what other lessons I will be learning. Here’s to a wild ride!!

The Weird Alternate Universe That is The Laundromat

laundromat no 2

I love going to the laundromat; it is like “me” time when it is not busy. Now when the laundromat is busy, it is a different story. A few weeks ago, I found the Hilton (or, at least, the high-end Holiday Inn) of laundromats.   It was a Saturday night, when I suppose other people actually have places to be, and I was able to do my laundry without much fanfare. I was able to read a book guilt-free; I mean what else are you going to do? The experience was truly relaxing and nothing out of the ordinary.

I went to the same laundromat a week later and it was a completely different story. The “mat” was full of people with LOTS of laundry. One couple was using eight double-capacity dryers….how many clothes is that? I cannot even imagine folding and putting all those clothes away. I can do all my clothes in a single load which is one advantage of living with less!!

So I made a beeline to the back of the mat by the dryers where no one else wanted to sit. It was too loud to read, so I have to come up with something else to do to take up the time. The day was grey and rainy, which made the overhead fluorescent lights seemed extra bright while the spinning ceiling fans made an eerie strobe light effect on the shocking light.

I became hypnotized by the circular hum of the dryers as the clothes crashed against each other like waves in the ocean. I have never seen a washer that was front loading, so I was completely enthralled with actually being able to watch my clothes being washed; going round in circles watching them spin, then fill with soapy water, and spin again. The surrounding sounds of voices turned to a dull murmur.

My world right now is definitely in flux. Moving from place to place and relying on the kindness of people I do not really know at first. Sleeping in guest rooms, sharing bathrooms, and living out of a tote are some of the things that are new to me. Yes, it is what I wanted but I never thought about all of the realities. It is all good, I am getting used to it but I realized that the little laundromat I visited felt like home. Most laundromats have the same industrial look to them and smell like dryer sheets and fabric softener. It was truly comforting. I actually looked for excuses to go back.

My newest realization is that no matter how adamant you are about leaving your past behind, you still inwardly long for those small vestiges of comfort or reminders of a different time. For me, right now, it is the laundromat that gives me a sense of home and roots. I know that sounds really strange but it is my truth for now. Here’s to clean clothes, the fresh smell of clean laundry and the feeling of home!!

laundromat

Thank you for listening.

What Happens When You Try Too Hard To Fit In?

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I am quirky, I get it.  I have always had this thing about not making trouble for anyone, not being a bother.  I tried to always fit in with the group I was with at the time as I was petrified of being different.  I could cuss like a sailor or be as quiet as a church mouse.  I could talk cars (a little bit anyway) or exchange recipes.  I was delusional that everyone always liked me; why wouldn’t they, I was just like them.  Then one day I had an epiphany that there were people who did not care for me and I was blown away.  How could they not like me I was trying so hard to fit in?

So what happens when you try too hard to fit in?  I think I realized it today.  You are not authentic, everything in your life is based on some constantly moving scale of normalcy.  Playing nice does not necessarily mean you are a nice person.  Honestly, I have no idea if I am a nice person, I play the part everyday with the theory of “Fake it Until You Make it.”  I am not saying that I am a serial killer or a puppy abuser, but I talk and talk about being authentic and yet I have no idea what that means.

My sojourn was supposed to show me that.  I kept saying that I had lost myself and that I needed to find myself again, but I did not really know what I meant by that.  I just knew something was not right.  Every day my life gets a little clearer regarding what is wrong with it (a painful process); answers, however, are not as forthcoming.  I sit and try to be grateful for everything I have, yet my life feels like I am wearing the wrong size clothing.  Metaphorically speaking, I do have clothes to be thankful for,  but they are uncomfortable and do not fit right so I am ugly and unhappy even though I should be grateful.

I know this blog should be lighter and more playful, but that is also something I cannot do at this time.  I apologize if you are reading this thinking “get over yourself”, but the idea from the start was to open some doors and find some truths.  I have opened doors but the truths are still lurking in the dark.  I am sorry.

My next objective, try not to try so hard.  I do not even know if I know how to do that.  I want so badly to be everything to everyone, for I think that will make me happy.  But that is an illusion that can never happen and it is exhausting.  What good would it do to be accepted by everyone?  Would it not mean that somewhere along the line I buckled against something, large or small that I stood for, in order to not rock the boat or cause a stir?

All my life, one statement has been consistent in my vocabulary…”I’m sorry.”  I’m sorry I bought the wrong brand of coffee.  I’m sorry I did not wear the right outfit.  I’m sorry I spoke my mind and get someone upset.  I’m sorry I tried something new and it did not work out (add it to my failure list).  I’m sorry I folded the laundry incorrectly.  It does not matter what the situation, I am always sorry.  I said I was sorry this morning for something totally insignificant and it felt like my heart broke in two and I have been crying ever since.  It is like that last “I’m sorry” was the key to open a new door.  I am tired of being sorry for everything that happens.

Where do I go from here?  As usual, there is no real plan. I guess I better take a few baby steps today. I have to up my own self-worth.  Apparently I feel I cannot accomplish even the simplest of tasks without doing it wrong and being sorry.  So I have to start looking for accomplishments.  No more walking on eggshells everywhere I go.  I have found that the harder you try to be “perfect” the more mistakes you make, so no more trying to be perfect.  That should be enough for today.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I am going to start being open to those lurking truths.

Thank you for listening and following the exploits of an unsure, dorky girl.  I appreciate all of you!!  What is the rule for today:  DON’T TRY TOO HARD TO FIT IN…you are just right the way you are!!  Who is with me?

What is it Like Working on a Farm/Home Stay?

Just a few of the tools I used this weekend.  Okay, maybe not the hammer.

Just a few of the tools I used this weekend. Okay, maybe not the hammer.

I have had a few inquiries into what it is like to work on a Farm/Home Stay.  This is only our second one, but I am thinking it will be similar in other places.  First, it really depends on what the Host is looking for in terms of work to be done.  Many of the stays we have looked at include fixing thing, gardening, caring for livestock, building barns and other buildings, cutting trails, clearing land, painting and general farm work.  In return for this work, the “help-x’er” (that’s us) will receive room or a place to pitch a tent and sometimes meals.  Each Host decides how many hours a week is needed (usually between 20 and 32).  Many of the hosts do not require a lot of experience, this process is designed to expose people to things in order for them to learn something new.  It is really quite a unique program.

Then there is us.  I cannot verify this fact for sure, but I think we are fairly old compared to other help-x’ers.  But Mike has a lot of varied experience; so when seasoned help is needed, he is the guy to call.  I, on the other hand, have spent the last 30 years or so working behind a desk.  I can paint a little and do some things, but my skill set is not in huge demand.

Last weekend was a good example of a typical home stay workload.  Mike was involved in doing some brush clearing, tree trimming, raking of leaves, and other landscaping-like tasks.  The weather was nice, so it seemed like the perfect set of tasks to start on.  While I worked in the house a little bit, doing general cleaning and some cooking.  Then on Sunday while Mike was trimming I started to paint the house around the front door and Mike ended up finishing it.  After working all day and having a meal together, our Host Family invited us to join them in watching a movie.

It is a lovely mix of varied work and being social.  Some Farm/Home Stays simply want the work done and afterwards you are on your own.  That is fine too.  That is why it is so important to read Host profiles and reviews to see if a particular stay is the right fit for everyone.  We have been extremely lucky with our two Farm/Home Stays, as the people could not have been nicer or more generous.  I am fortunate that my “Martha Stewart” skills are being put to use; even though they were not detailed in the profile, it turns out our busy working mom Host can use an extra hand.  I am so very happy to help.

I am not sure how long we will be doing this bartering for room and board, but for now it is a wonderful experience.  We are meeting some of the most interesting people along the way.  Every day there is something new to learn from our Hosts.  Although the process can be a little daunting for someone like me (basically who hates to be out of their comfort zone), it is the most blessed of experiences as it makes me do things that are uncomfortable (not in a bad way) and is making me stronger for it.

I hope that painted a generous picture of what it is like.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to let me know and I will be more than happy to answer them.

I am sure each situation is unusual, but that is just an example of what we have experienced in our three weeks of Farm/Home Staying.  Thank you for listening!!