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We are a family of two - a mother and an 19 year old son - with one lovely cat. We live most of the year in our southern California home here; part of the year on our New York mountain property, and part traveling the country a bit. I am largely at home building my simple gardens and, mostly, strengthening my health. I am an herbalist, yoga teacher and expressive arts teacher, enthusiastic about earthy, creative, and peaceful living. My son loves conversation (sometimes) and being active occasionally, uninterrupted time playing music or games on the computer, and learning computer programming and website design.
We live on top of a hill with gorgeous views of the sunsets and sunrises. For city living, it is very peaceful, rich with bird song and fresh ocean breezes. At the same time we are in walking distance of stores, hiking trails and public transportation.
I think you will find it a relaxing place to be, whether you wish to stay close to home or explore the area. I think you will find us easy to get along with. We are inviting and appreciate a more family feel to our visits. Though, these days my son tends to prefer a little more independence from meals and socializing :)
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Between our home here and another on the east coast, we have been hosting people from around the world for over eight years now. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for us and, from what I have heard, for most of those who have stayed with us. We enjoy meeting new people and having interesting discussions, sharing world views, and evening card games :)
I am happy to share my knowledge of the area and getting around on public transportation. I am passionate about simple healthy living, yoga, expressive art, and plants as medicine. I love sharing with anyone interested. So feel free to ask questions!
We live only 5 miles in from the ocean, and in between San Diego and Los Angeles, both incredibly rich in culture and activities. We are outside of the cities enough to have open space, but near enough to take easy day trips by bus or train. Daily trips to the local beaches are easy enough as well. Within walking distance are hiking trails.
The thing I most want help with here is housecleaning, occasionally some meal preparation:
Cleaning - Our whole house is only a studio, 560 square feel total (52 square meters)! The size of some people's bedrooms :) So keeping the kitchen, bathroom, living and sleeping areas clean is a pretty easy task. I am asking you to do all or most of the daily basic cleaning of sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, dishes, counters, laundry, trash, etc., as well as the more detailed cleaning that is usually only done once weekly - toilet, sinks, showers, mirrors, windows. Outside we have sidewalks and a nice adobe brick round patio that I would like kept swept and neat.
Cooking - This I may or may not need help with, depending on your stay. There is only myself and my 19yo son, and of course you, to cook for. We can all eat together, though it is not required. We are pretty adventurous eaters so can balance our usuals with your creative new meals. I may eat a bit less or specialized meals on my own as I am strengthening my health, so some meals may be only you and my son. Of course, you don't need to do all meals, nor do you need to be here for each. We can make a schedule if that helps, and some meals can be prepared in advance. I do like to cook, so sometimes I may simply ask for your assistance cooking.
If, beyond these two things, there is more time for work, some other help would be welcome in any or all of the following, as needed:
~keeping our gardens watered, raked, weeded, and neat; carrying debris to compost; perhaps some planting and potting
~food shopping at the stores in walk-able distance, and/or the local farmer's markets
~creative building ideas for some fun garden expansion projects
Since you are responsible to prepare and clean after your own meals, and keep clean after yourself, I need to take this in consideration when figuring hours. I ask about 25 hours a week since doing this work would take care of your own personal cleaning and cooking as well. I do not keep a time clock. I ask you to make sure you put in your hours. Since some food prep can be done in advance and cleaning, though done daily, can be done most any time in daylight hours, you do have the benefit of setting a schedule that follows your personal interests about the property or out and about. I am flexible and we can always discuss schedules in advance. I only ask you keep to any commitments you make to a particular meal or cleaning.
In trade for your assistance you can stay here and have access to any of the food in the house and gardens. As mentioned the whole house is a one room studio, so your sleeping space would be a futon laid out in front of the couch on the floor, and put away during the day. If you prefer, for more privacy and more permanent setup, I can provide a simple tent set up on the property with the same futons and bedding; the weather here is mild and dry enough so this can be a pleasant experience, except perhaps December through February.
There is so much to see in the area. It is southern California! The weather is very pleasant and great for an outdoor life. Once we get up in the morning the doors go wide open and stay that way all day as we easily come in and out. The public transportation is easily accessed from here (if you don't mind a little hilly walking) and reasonably priced. So are Uber and Lyft. I am happy to help you navigate your options.
While I may have a glass of wine or such now and then, I ask that there is no heavy drinking here. I do not want any smoking here, or even tobacco smoke exuding from a person who steps away to do so. I am raising a young man so am particular about some influences. This is a hard to define aspect and truly has only been a concern twice with all the people who have come through. The one concern that stands out other than the two mentioned is excessive swearing.
Because of the small space I ask that if you have times out at night, to not return later than 10pm, unless worked together first, since that could be disruptive to our sleep. Likewise, if my son is wanting to stay up past when you wish to sleep, on the computer or watching a show, I would like you be able to express your needs.
There is lots of outdoor space so when you are not working there are places on the property to lounge or read or write, paint, etc. and have your own independent time. I can be social, yet still enjoy and respect private time for myself and others.
I am currently working on building my health. Your assistance will give me time to focus on that and on enjoying my gardens. For my health, this largely means more time for me to relax and heal, do more yoga, and focus on the diet that is most nurturing for me at the moment, knowing that my son is meanwhile well fed.
We eat a wide range of foods here, with a central focus of organic, mindful, and locally sourced foods.
We do have wireless internet here. There is no tv, though we do watch shows and listen to music from the internet. There is a shower, no bath tub, and a laundry on the property. The laundry costs quarters which I am happy to provide for regular laundry loads during your stay.
Please note that we have an indoor/outdoor cat, in case you have allergies. She is friendly and may even try to sleep on your bed with you.
When you write, please let me know that you understand the size of the house and sleeping arrangements, and let me know what in particular attracts you to this listing.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
About 25 hours a week