We are leaving on July 30th, returning in mid-November to early December. Thus, we need help all during our absence. We would prefer that our workawayer arrive by July 26th, and if possible, stay the entire length of our trip. If that's not possible, at least overlap further workawayers so that you can give them instructions about the tasks required to keep the house and yard in good shape, and Gemma wagging her tail.
Micheal and I are a retired couple living outside the Austin, Texas area in the lovely old Texas town of Wimberley. Our home is on 1.2 tree-shaded acres, with some raised vegetable beds, a few flower beds, plants in pots, and mostly natural plants as ground cover. We are always in need of help maintaining the yard and gardens, especially in the summer when watering is required almost daily. We also need help with house work, maintaining the exterior of the house, and all those normal tasks that come with home and pet ownership.
Our dog, Gemma is a Briard, which is a large, shaggy French herding dog. Look up the breed online to see them. Gemma is sweet and easy. She needs to be brushed 2 times/week, and checked regularly to make sure that burrs are not in her coat. It would be great to walk her a few times per week, as well. We also have two Labradors living at our home, which belong to my brother-in-law, who now shares our house with us. All dogs are well behaved and shamelessly seek pets and attention. Gemma is the only dog that our workawayers care for.
Our household is comprised of myself, my husband, Micheal (both of us are in our late 60's), my son, Sam (age 40), and my brother-in-law, Will, age 65. We are a fairly active bunch, though we also enjoy sitting and talking on our back porch or by the fireplace in the living room. I love to garden and try to grow vegetables, if they survive our Texas summer heat. Cooking is another favorite activity of mine, and wine is my favorite beverage. Micheal is an avid reader. He is a former art teacher and sometimes dabbles with 3-dimensional art. We both love music and enjoy dancing at some of our wonderful old Texas dance halls. We have often taken our workawayers to Gruene Hall to hear some local bands and to see that people do actually wear cowboy boots and hats in everyday life.
Micheal and I have traveled extensively in Europe since 2005. We love the cultures and slower lifestyle of many European countries and seek to incorporate them into our Texas life. We are leaving for France again at the end of July, and are taking Sam with us, leaving Will to reside in the house. We need one or two workawayers to take care of the house and yard in our absence, as well as Gemma, who likes lots of attention and pets. Having Will here means that you can leave for a day or two (as long as he will be in town) to explore this area of Texas, as Will is normally happy to take care of Gemma.
For accommodations we offer a guest suite with a queen bed. Our common areas consist of an open living/kitchen/dining area, covered porches, large front and rear gardens. We have full household internet and cable TV in the living room.
Our most successful workaways are not clock-watchers. They are people who want to help us do what we are doing. And this kind of attitude is ALWAYS rewarded. I am flexible about hours to work. I prefer to leave your a food allowance so that you can purchase what you want to eat and you can prepare those meals whenever you want to eat them. When we are here, we enjoy evening meals together and convivial conversation. Sometimes I cook and other times our workawayers cook. It's been great to sample foods from other cultures. Our household rule is that those who cook do not have to clean up so we hope you are the kind of person that is willing to pitch in with normal household tasks such as kitchen clean up and taking out the trash when needed. We prefer that our workawayers stay two weeks or sometimes more, though I will consider a week minimum on an individual basis.
If the above sounds appealing to you, please get in touch.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
There are numerous opportunities to explore this area of Texas, which is the Live Music Capitol of the US. Our lovely little town has a river and large creek for swimming, a vibrant artist community, and is close to two major universities: Texas State University and University of Texas at Austin. We have a quaint town center with lots of shops and restaurants, a hike and bike trail, and one of the most famous swimming holes in Texas: Jacob's Well. This area has many wineries, distillers, and artisan beer makers to sample, as well. San Marcos is an interesting college town where you can float down the San Marcos River in an inner tube, or shop in the huge outlet mall.
Austin boasts the largest Mexican free-tail bat colony, which lives under a bridge downtown and delights viewers with their nightly flight to catch insects. It's also the capitol of Texas, and the capitol building is the largest in the US, with a beautiful rotunda. Spend a few nights in Austin's entertainment district, where you can hear all genres of music 7 nights of the week.
San Antonio is the home of the Alamo, where a famous fight for Texas' independence took place in 1836. Built in 1718, it is one of the oldest buildings in Texas. After visiting the Alamo, stroll along the famous River Walk, which runs all through downtown.
I like to think of workaway as an investment in the future - future understanding of other cultures for both the homeowner and the workawayer. I have hosted approximately 40 workawayers, both in Texas and in France, plus Micheal and I have been workawayers in Germany and Austria. Thus, we can appreciate what it's like to come into someone's home, try to get settled and establish a working relationship in a relatively brief period of time. We have made many friends worldwide through this program. In fact we have had "workaway exchanges" where a workawayer has come to our house and then we have been workawayers at theirs. That was a truly great experience for all parties. We hope you will feel the same about your experience as a workawayer in our home.
We can decide on your work schedule together, which days, hours, and times to work. If you prefer to work several long days then take several days off, that's okay, too. During your free time, I am happy to help you get to some nearby sights or into Austin.
It's important to me that you enjoy your time here and get to accomplish some of your goals for traveling.
I am not a micro-manager so it is important to be a "self-starter" with initiative. Also it's important to see the daily tasks that need to be done and do them. We operate like a family: everyone pitches in to make things go smoothly. We treat this property and contents with respect and care. I am here to help insure that future generations can continue to enjoy my home and land. If you have similar values and work ethics, then this may be great fit for you.
English, some French
We offer a large, fully furnished bedroom with a queen bed and full bath. The bedroom can accommodate a couple or two individuals as long as you are willing to share the bed. We also have a study" with a single bed. Since my son will be leaving with us, it may be possible to use his bedroom, which has a queen bed, as well. The guest bedroom is on one side of the house. Sam and Will live on the other side of the house. The house has an open living/dining/kitchen area with wood burning fireplace, and a utility room containing a washing machine and dryer. There are covered porches on the front and rear of the house where you can relax. Wimberley has several places to swim: Blue Hold and Jacob's Well. There are many places in San Marcos to float on the river in inner tubes. Please look up these towns on the internet to get a good sense of our community.
It's important to have a warm and harmonious atmosphere in the house and in which to work. I strive to make this a most pleasant and welcoming home in which to live and to complete the various projects. Normally we enjoy a lively discussion around the table during dinner. We love it when our workawayers share in meal preparation or fix a meal from their culture. Our household rule is that whoever cooks does not clean up; so if I cook, normally the workawayer(s) would clean up and vice versa. In the living area, there is a TV with cable channels, and the internet is generally reliable and fast throughout the house. If we are not here, of course, then you are responsible for meal preparation and clean up.
Please let me know if you are interested in participating in the activities required, while enjoying this lovely area of Central Texas.
This is a fantastic area to explore. It's only 35 minutes to Austin and an hour to San Antonio. It's a great place for relaxing and/or you can enjoy the busy city life of Austin. So, this is a fantastic place to spend some time - not touristy. Instead, experience the genuine small town Texas life.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
15 hours/week- no food, 25 hours/week- food