Adventures of an Air BnB host

I’m done hosting on Air BnB, by the way. I gave it a good run. I live on a farm and have hosted travelers for a decade. The good majority of people who I’ve hosted are friendly, happy and thankful to have a safe, friendly place to stay. I’ve hosted for several months and the first wave were great people. A couple comments about “could be cleaner”, agreed, so I increased my efforts. I’m loving how clean my house is now by the way and maybe that was the lesson for me.

There is a change in attitude when you are “paying” for a room.  I did my best to meet the criteria, it’s just not worth it to me to open my home to people who see only what’s wrong with the property and have no gratitude for what’s right.

This is a bunk house, on a farm, with livestock AND FLIES.  The flies get in the house, every time you open the door.  We have fly swatters readily available for use.  These people want to be pampered and catered to for a pitance.  I finally lowered my nightly rate to $18+ (cleaning fee, tax, Air BnB fee, etc) and still someone came in and went right back out the revolving door.  Do you know how many hours it takes me to clean this space? 4-8 hours to prepare for 1 stay.  Vacum, beds, windows, mirrors, porch, shared spaces, parking, yard etc.  For $18 and the priviledge of seeing someone make a snarky expression because there are flies in the house.  No thank you.  I’m out.

Give me the weary travelers from Couch Surfing, Warm Showers, Work Away, Wwoof, Global Freeloaders and like minded communities.  I offer you a warm, safe bed, a private/shared room (depending on who is here), a hot shower, washing facilities for your clothes, indoor storage for your bikes and trailers, a firepit and wide open skies that can be viewed inside or out.  Share a meal with me, share your stories and I’ll share mine.  I offer you laughter, love and acceptance as we walk this road together even if just for a day.

I digress.  I’ts 8:40 am and I have done nothing but feel deflated today.  I have calls to make and a

I have a business to run.  I’ve had breakfast and coffee and it is a Blessed Day.  I know this because today I woke up and said “Good morning, God.  What will we do today?”

Hope to start writing more again, maybe from the road.  Most of the next 2 weeks I’m off work.  I’ll be riding and cleaning and planning and following through with my plans.  I think that’s it.

Love you all.


PETA – People for the Elimination of Tame Animials

Some dough ball subscribed my name to PETA and I got their calendar in the mail which went straight into the burn pile.  I’ve mentioned my dislike of this organization a couple of times before.  They are self-promoting narcissists using the plight of animals to further their own fame.

Case in point:  (rumor) a large number of cats and dogs were forfeited to PETA on the assumption that they would be found new homes.  In fact as soon as the individuals who brought the animals to them left all of the animals were transported to a veterinarian’s office and euthanized.

Euthanasia is a viable option for now at least for controlling overpopulation due to humans refusing to spay and neuter.  I don’t like it but I like this option more than turning Fluffy and Rover out on a gravel road to find a nice farm house where they will be adopted by the friendly farmer and they can kill mice and live happily ever after.  Or for the city dwelling pet being left in an abandoned apartment or turned out into the street when the owner no longer finds the antics of said pet cute and were horribly unprepared for life with a domesticated animal in the first place.   Fact:  Most of these people are passing on their problems to others because they don’t have the kahoonas to make the difficult choices for an unwanted pet.  Fact:  Most of these animals die of starvation, cold or wild animals who see an easy meal or get in the case of “the country life” they get shot by those farmers mentioned above when they are found chasing or killing livestock.  Both are a horrible end to an avoidable situation.

Fact:  Former dog show life.  PETA members make their way through dog shows opening kennels and letting animals out which results in chaos, often fighting and injury to animals.

Fact:  I spoke with a hog farmer this fall who was at sale with his stock when a hog from the truck ahead of him had the following happen.  One of the hogs in the alleyway leading into the plant got turned around and headed back toward the truck.  The PETA representative stopped all production of the line for an hour and a half attempting to get this one hog turned back around.  Meanwhile, hundreds of hogs waiting outside in the heat of steel trucks were suffering from the effects of heat exhaustion and several died (if I remember correctly) due to the delay.  Anyone who truly has an animals best interest in mind would have let the hog figure his way out to the back of the herd, where he could have been quietly redirected in far less time.

Same farmer stating that he can’t even lift a foot higher than a foot off the ground while working in the herd without some PETA freak calling “abuse”.  Clearly those who are active in this organization don’t actually have any experience working with large animals.  If it comes down to getting trampled by a steer, knocked over by a hog or being stepped on by a horse I, for one will do what I need to do to keep myself out of harms way.

In short nothing I have seen, heard or read about PETA supports what their public image would like you to believe.

Here’s a thought.  If you have “Ethical” at the center of your name, maybe you should behave appropriately.

Sale or Trade: Vintage Childs Walnut Rocking Chair

Estimated Value $450.00 (still looking at antique valuations)

Walnut Vintage Childs wooden Rocking Chair.

This was mine when I was a child, so it’s at least 40 years old.  Normal varnish wear on arms, seat otherwise is in excellent condition.

Inquiries please respond in comments or send private email to gypsyinthecastle [at]


April Fools Day, 2010

I think it’s my Aunt Bev’s birthday, if I remember correctly.  I was sleeping pretty well when I became aware of a skunk in the vicinity, it’s passed through now.  Juice was curled up next to my head on the pillow and then (voila!) I was awake!  Good morning.  ugh  I used to wake up like this regularly to find that someone had left me an email message, I haven’t checked yet, but maybe he’s thinking about me.  It always felt like I had been “called” to rise and then I would smile knowing I was important to someone somewhere.  That may still be true, it’s winter in this relationship.

Naive or clueless?

revised 3/11/10 0138

In reference to my tendency to take people at face value.  Is there a difference between being naive or clueless?  Does it matter?

That sounds pathetic!!  LOL

Actually, although I have ruminated on the above question it’s been a really, really good fun 24 hours!!!  (you’ll have to guess) lol

I went out to get the mail and noticed the worms are up!!  Worm holes all over the yard (for you city folk) means that the frost line is out and the moisture levels are high enough to coax them out of their dungeons. 

About half hour ago I looked out the window to see Autumn laying down in a fairly small space between the paddock fence and the hay bale.  This is a concern only if she gets cast (gets her legs jammed in or under the fence) and can’t get up.  I watched her for quite a while and realized laying on the hay feels so good to her body that she is determined to find a way to enjoy it, none of the others have tried it.  Then again, she’s the only one of the bunch smart enough to stand straight back up without entangling her legs-we are a lot alike in that regard!!  I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from teaching her and I think we’ve developed a healthy level of mutual respect.

She’s up now-no big deal!

What Women Can Teach You About Strength

I often read Men’s Health articles online for a couple of reasons.  First the male species is a total mystery to me-I love and care about my male friends and family members but their thinking and logic patterns are so completely foreign that often it’s baffling to me to comprehend; second, it’s interesting to see what topics are hot and third some of the articles or responses to the articles make me laugh.  The following article has some valuable information in today’s economic times so here it is.

“In the modern workplace, the best way for a man to succeed might actually be to suppress his caveman and try to think like a woman instead.”  (link follows)


I didn’t know this:  “[…] combat, the stress hormone cortisol will wreak havoc on you and your fellow workers. Chronically elevated cortisol causes physiological mayhem and may lead to cell death in the hippocampus, a brain region critical to memory.”
“The lesson is that thinking like a woman can often be a smart way for a guy to get ahead in the modern world.

But sometimes it’s also good to have the real thing.”
Free association:
There was a nice looking, clean-cut, smiling young man at the Abbe Center office with his parents yesterday.  His mother was reviewing pictures in a magazine and asking him to identify things-maybe at a kindergarten or first grade level and he was often wrong.  His father was wearing a Marine jacket.  The young man looked to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s.  I will remember them for a long time.  It made me think of all those who have been effected by Traumatic Brain Injury, see for more information.

It is a sublime thing to suffer and be stronger.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American educator and poet

This quote was sent by Runner’s World and seemed appropriate to my day.

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