*Life-long Apartment Dweller Bloomin' Where Ever I'm Planted and Making It Home. For more about me, click here.*
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Welcome, Winter!



Happy Solstice!

May you find, and be filled with, the light and warmth of Winter. 

(Photos taken during our Winter Solstice Holly Forest walk. More to come, stay tuned).

Monday, December 15, 2014

A little update on my previous post


So I mentioned in my previous post about my battling various incarnations of the plague since at least Thanksgiving (more like since Veterans Day) and the last couple of weeks being particularly awful. 

Well, I went back to the doctor again this morning and as it turns out, I do not have the flu like I suspected. I have MONO! 

Well knock me over with a feather! Mono?! 

I had no idea you could get mono as an adult. I had it when I was 16 and it was bad enough back then! And thus far it's been no fun as an adult either.

I shouldn't be contagious anymore given I've been this way over two weeks now. I do however have to limit my exposure to other people/germs so I don't end up with a secondary infection, which could turn things into a very serious situation for a healthy adult, but for someone like myself...? I don't plan on spending Christmastime in the hospital! (knocks on wood) So, very limited outings, if I must (for Sanity's sake or back to the doctor's office), avoiding enclosed/indoor places where frequented by many people (like stores, restaurants, the library :-( the VFW and so on).

I started another antibiotic this evening (my third round since mid November) in case the tonsillitis I still have isn't part of the mono and is actually a secondary infection. (Since it came out during the second round of antibiotics, I'm thinking it's part of the mono, but better safe than sorry). Basically my agenda for the forseable future is: Rest, take my meds, and be sure to eat & stay hydrated (I have no appetite or thirst to speak of). Maybe I will be able to do some reading and journaling too, but I'm not getting my hopes up as I've barely been able to so far. 

Until next time, friends!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beginning to look a lot like...


Christmastime!

Although I'm honestly surprised I'm finished decking the halls and shopping already. 

I've been battling various incarnations of the plague over the last month, especially since Thanksgiving, and the last week has been downright awful. Awful! It's made me remember when I was in third grade, and I was sick with the flu for all of December into the New Year. My cousin B felt bad for me and took my mom and I to see one of those drive through Christmas lights displays, and I laid down in the back seat to & fro. I haven't thought of that in years!

I started and finished my Christmas shopping on Monday and all of the gifts have arrived as of yesterday! Not only was the budget super tight this year, more so than in recent years by a long shot, but with being so sick, physically going shopping, even locally, for gifts is out of the question this year. I am so thankful for awesome sales, coupons, and free shipping! 

I've taken my time since the day after Thanksgiving and used only those Winter & Christmas decorations I couldn't imagine our Christmastime without, especially the twinkle lights! Even the tree is smaller (I picked up a new one on a great sale before I got so sick) but with just multi lights & ornaments, it's so pretty! I don't mind the pared down look, which I've been more into overall as of late anyhow. I'm sure to an outsider looking in it may not seem pared down and they would probably be afraid to know what Christmastime has looked like in the past here at The Portable Homestead! :-)  ;-)

It's been rough losing so much time this Autumn to debilitating injury and illness. I'm a tad out of sorts and feeling inadequate, not to mention having a hard time believing 2014 is nearly over! But, I'll just keep taking it day by day, get as much rest as possible and hope I'm well enough to enjoy the Winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Years! 

How is December treating you thus far?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

On a Sunday Afternoon


A red Amaryllis in the window as the sun sinks behind the trees.

There is always something to be thankful for, no matter how 'small' it seems.

What does your Sunday look like today?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


I have much to be thankful for in my perfectly imperfect life on this drizzly holiday morning! There is always something to be thankful for. 

Wishing you many blessings and much gratitude today, and every day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

No Ordinary Jars


I've talked about my 'happiness jar' which I call my Happy Moments, Gratitude & Goals jar before (click here), but recently I started a new jar that I wanted to share with you today.

I am a worrier. To the nth degree. And that's likely an understatement. I've always been a worrier, but it's gotten worse, and I wanted to try a more hands on approach in helping myself cope with my worries, and hopefully ease the stress during challenging times. 

I was talking about happiness jars the week before last with a friend, and in the middle of that conversation, I came up with the idea for a Give it up to God jar!  It's my take on a God box

I used to write down something I was extremely worried about or upset over, go out to my garden to the raised bed around the Dogwood tree, dig a whole, tear up the paper into small bits, and bury it. In doing so, you essentially give that particular issue up to God (or which ever deity you prefer), and the paper disappears in the soil over time.

As the years have passed, digging in that raised bed has become more & more difficult because of the Dogwood's roots. With the rest of my garden in containers, and flooding issues in the yard (and not wanting bits of my soul being washed away an possibly being read by The Portable Homestead tenants), I got out of the habit. 

Fast forward to the week before last when I came up with my Give it up to God jar

I decided that any time I begin to become deeply worried or upset over something, I will write what it is on a slip of paper, ask for help, fold the paper so that I can no longer see what it is I've written down once it's inside the jar (unlike the notes I place in my happiness jar which I can see snippets of), and place the folded note in the jar. A couple of weeks later and I can see that the jar is already filling up! But, it is a comforting ritual, because I've made up my mind, once it's in the jar, I am going to do my best not to stress over it. Otherwise, I will spend some more time writing that thing down, asking for help, and placing it in the jar. (There's one topic that has come up again since first putting it in the jar, and I did just that yesterday).

I leave my Happy Moments, Gratitude and Goals jar on my nightstand where it is usually the last thing I see before I fall asleep when I turn off my light, and the first thing I see when I wake. I did not want to leave my Give it to to God jar on my nightstand. I do not want the worry, stress, and negativity in that jar to be that close to me in a comforting and positive space, so I've placed it in the hall, on a shelf where I can see it and find it when I need it, but it's not so readily visible that I'm constantly aware of it and what's inside of it. 

In thinking about my old God box ritual, I may empty the Give it up to God jar, rip up each note into pieces which I will then place back into the jar so that when it's full, I can create a ritual to get rid of the contents.

Challenging times are upon us for the next few months with The Marine's winter layoff, and not only will appreciating our blessings help me to help us through, but I believe my Give it up to God jar is going to come in handy in helping me to help us through! (I tend to stress a lot more than he does). 

What are some of the ways you take stock of your blessings and cope with worry?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letting Go of Old Dreams


I realize this is a process we all go through as we get, heh hum, older, but I think it may happen sooner than expected for many who are living with disease, like me. 

When the holidays get closer, especially once Halloween is over, I miss the retail industry. In one area of my past, I ran retail businesses, from mom & pop shops (my favorite) to big box chain stores. It was exhausting work, not always the most rewarding (apologies, but the customer is *not* always right), but overall I enjoyed it and excelled at it.  

My favorite part of it all was when I worked in the mom & pop shops doing merchandising. Creating themed displays and windows, especially during the holidays, was so much fun! I think it's what I miss the most. A creatively productive outlet that was fulfilling. 

I always thought I would end up owning my own retail business. Garden nursery, books, office supplies, decorations. Something along those lines. Or a retail merchandising business where I did the displays and windows for mom & pop shops. (It's not easy to own and operate a business plus have the time to make your products/store visually attractive to consumers, especially if you're short on staff). 

It hit me last week that these particular dreams weren't likely to come true because of my health. You think it would have dawned on me sooner. Maybe I would've preferred it hadn't come to light at all. But, it did and that's alright. At least I can mourn them and move on. Quickly, no dwelling. Yes, mourn. I stood at the livingroom window Wednesday and cried like I had just lost a friend. In a way, I had.

It's upsetting even now, typing this. It's so new. And scary. Letting go of who I was, who I thought I was and wanted to be is absolutely one of the most anxiety inducing things I think I've ever done! (In fact, I feel like I want to throw up right now). But, I'm pretty sure it's also a good thing. I can get to know who I am now, who I want to be now, and create new dreams.