HI. I'm Val. After 2 decades of being a graphic design professor, I walked away to start a new life with a focus on finding joy and living a creative productive life. I found some property in rural Tennessee about 90 miles drive to Nashville. It's super exciting, but a bit overwhelming juggling the variety of tasks around the property with other goals to get my new life moving out of the station. I have 17 acres along the Buffalo River in farm country about 20 minutes drive to any town. I went all in and have donkeys (standards and minis), chickens, cats that help with rodents or to sit on laps, 2 rabbits in my almost set up art studio, and 2 dogs - one has 3 legs and one has 1 eye (she's 14). But I'm not looking for help with the animals in this post.
Over the last decade or so, I've had the ability to travel and really want to meet other travelers in this new chapter of my life. I often stay at hostels or guest houses and used that as inspiration for setting up my retreat. I've been to Japan 7 times now for work and a travel photo project. I've also been to Copenhagen, Dublin and a road trip in Ireland, whitewater rafting in Costa Rica, a conference in Sydney, a few visits to Barcelona and one to the south of Spain, London, a month in Egypt for a work Fulbright-Hayes group project (mostly Cairo and Alexandria during the summer of the Arab Spring), Italy, and a road trip in Europe with my mom in 1997. I have been to many states either as road trips or attending conferences.
Help in the house
This part of Tennessee is really lovely. As my home turns into a art retreat, there hopefully will be more and more art around the property as well as travelers or longer term guests in the residency program. I am willing to offer an exchange of design lessons or pottery lessons or access to the pottery equipment with more contribution such as helping to organize and keep the space tidy.
It's probably best if you have your own transportation. My property is on the Buffalo River where there is a swimming hole. A 10 minute drive to a drop in is a 4 hour ride on the river. (I still haven't had a chance to do this because of how busy I've been and the need for 2 cars.) There are nature parks including the historic Natchez Trace Parkway nearby. Nashville is just under 2 hours. Columbia TN and Florence AL are about an hour. Lots of little towns and even thrifting/antiquing in this area. With planning and the right candidates I can offer transport to/from the Nashville airport. I'm a part time lyft driver and could coordinate rides to grocery or into Nashville with discussion and planning. The closest groceries are 20 minutes drive.
Most importantly I'm looking for help in my garden ranging from weeding, trimming, and even caring for the compost. I would love to get some things planted for the fall harvest season and then plant my second year of garlic. I would also love help mowing (riding mower) possibly 2 hrs once a week or every other week with a rotation schedule on various parts of the property. I also have fruit trees that I'm trying to keep an eye on and prune in January. In addition, sweeping outside porches and helping me keep things tidy. I'm suggesting about an hour or so a day for the lodging and fresh eggs. Or on average 7-10 hrs a week. There may be a rare occasion where I would love help with animal chores but I can explain for those interested.
English. I understand some Spanish. Very few words in French, Italian, and Japanese.
Ideally this is for one person at a time or 2 with separate beds. Willing to discuss arrangements for couples based on the calendar. I have 2 guest rooms in the house where I reside. One has a twin bed with an arm-less couch that can double as a very comfortable bed. It has a desk and small dresser and some space in the closet. This has a shared hall bath. The more private larger room has a Queen bed with bunk bed and an ensuite bathroom. The house has a large living room and dining area that also has a small corner for a mini-office. My kitchen is relatively big and often overflowing with eggs from the free range chickens (about 2 doz a day and working on finding customers). I have another den workspace near the kitchen where I work more regularly. The house is on the back of a 5acre track that features the art studio steps away from the house, a house for the residency program, and a lodge for rental. House has central air and heat with ceiling fans. I love having fires in the fireplace in season. I have satellite tv and wifi. Ask that do not stream movies on wifi as it's a data plan. The cell phones don't work very well here so I have a landline. There are dogs and cats that also live in the house so you can't be allergic. The animals do not go in the guest rooms. Stay includes linens. There's a washer/dryer in the house. Stove is propane. Water is from a well that supplies all of the houses and the studio. There are several decks outside. I have a small library of design books and general reading.
NO SMOKING including Vaping!! limited use of alcohol or none preferred. No drugs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Approximately 7-10 hrs a week
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