*Life-long Apartment Dweller Bloomin' Where Ever I'm Planted and Making It Home*
(Please, no Pins. Although blogger gives that as a share option, I am not on Pinterest. Thank you!)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Exciting Going's On! (A Southern Lit Lovers update)

I have been biting my tongue for a couple of weeks now, until all of the details were worked out, but now it's time to let y'all in on a little (BIG!) secret: 

Southern author Sarah Addison Allen is going to do a chat with my Southern Lit Lovers group on Goodreads *and* we have 3 ARC's of her upcoming novel, First Frost, to giveaway to 3 lucky members on November 4th! 

I believe First Frost is a followup to her debut novel Garden Spells.

Holy cow have I been excited to share this news!!

For all of the info on the chat and giveaway rules, click here

I can't thank Angie from Sarah's publisher enough for reaching out to me to set all of this up with Sarah and for sending me my own ARC of First Frost!!!

Now, these sweet looking little candies came with my copy of First Frost and they were supposed to be a part of the photo above, but...

Just before I set everything up, Mama kitty decided to make herself comfy and in the process, knocked the candies onto the floor!

Naughty kitty! 

Just to let y'all know, at Southern Lit Lovers, we're currently reading Ann Hite's Ghost On Black Mountain for our October group read & chat, and coming up for our November group read & chat is Susan Rebecca White's A Place At The Table.

If you love Southern reads as much as I do, I'd love for you to join me over at Southern Lit Lovers

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Writers Journal - 'When Inspiration Strikes'

It has been a rough couple of weeks (scroll to previous post or click here), and this Thursday was an awful living with disease day, but this week has also been a productive one writing wise.

Usually in the morning, after I wake and before morning pages journaling and breakfast, I add my favorite moments of the previous day (or what I was most thankful for the previous day, or a goal I want to accomplish) to my happiness jar. (For the down low on happiness jars, click here to be taken to author Elizabeth Gilbert's post). 

As I was finishing up my note paper for Tuesday, 10/7, the day I had an MRI after which I was in awful pain, I wrote down "Finding books I have had on my list for some time on the bargain rack! Simplest pleasures = greatest joy!!!" 

Simplest pleasures = greatest joy.  

I continued writing about this in my journal. In a nutshell: Simplest Pleasures = Greatest Joy will be a new featured post here at The Portable Homestead and #simplestpleasuresgreatestjoy a new Instagram & twitter. Then I set about creating a feature image and came up with this:

This is a photo I took on the drive to the diner from our camper in the Northwestern NJ Skylands region, up in the Kittatinny Mountains, last Sunday morning. It was in the 30s, crisp and clear; a picture perfect Autumn morning! The stunning Autumn foliage was at peak, and in spots a bit ahead or behind. As I've mentioned numerous times here over the years, the colors and weather of Autumn fill me with an intense joy, and last weekend was no exception even with the pain I was in. And this photo stood right out to me when I started looking for one to go with this new theme.

Also during Wednesday morning's morning pages journaling, I wrote about how so often, "living with disease means living in a constant state of upheaval and trying to create something (revival) out of it so we're not lost in the overwhelming-ness of it all!" 

And that's when it hit me: Living with disease = turning upheaval into revival. Living With Disease = Upheaval Into Revival

Yes, I am going to combine my Living With Disease and Upheaval Into Revival features posts to better share my experiences living with disease, chronic pain, chronic fatigue and chronic illness, as well as migraines.

Plus, while I feel there is a lot of great stuff out there for folks who are newly diagnosed or who have mild/moderate cases, I don't feel from what I've seen over the years that there is much out there for folks like me who are beyond the possibility of remission and are at the indefinite limbo stage of symptom & pain management phase of living with disease. I told my Mom the other day that I wished I could put out a publication for folks like me. And during Wednesday morning's morning pages journaling, I realized I can, through The Portable Homestead.

While it is heartbreaking to know others suffer in relatable ways, it's also a comfort knowing we are not alone in this despite the isolating affects of living with disease. And if just one person finds comfort in my tellings, it's absolutely worth it!

Last, but certainly not least as the ole saying goes, I've also been working on my fiction writing as of late. I've made more progress over the last month than the last who knows how many years! And all because of a wonderful yet do-able suggestion from a non-writer bff: "Hand write one or two pages on each of your (four) topics. Whatever comes to mind about each topic, write it down and fill at least one page about it. You don't need to begin, you just need to write.


The funny thing is, for whatever reason, we had never really discussed my writings to such a deep degree before, but that rainy Saturday afternoon in September was different. We both talked with one another about things we hadn't in years or hadn't delved deeply into or ever. And we've been friends for 14+ years! And she's been one of my best friends now for 13 years.

Since that conversation with bff K, I have been exploring each of my four novel ideas, researching and taking & organizing notes. 

Yes, much of my recent writing and such is happening while in bed - Google author Laura Hillenbrand before you knock it!

For my writing & blogging friends out there, what are you creating so far this Autumn?

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I'm Still Here!

Autumn is well under way at our Northwestern NJ home as you can see here. We awoke this morning to a crisp 37*! Such a beautiful day.

Well, let's see... Autumn arrived on a Monday and I threw my back out on Wednesday. And that triggered the worst sciatic nerve flareup I've ever had and the worst pain I've experienced in a decade. This past Wednesday, a week to the day this all started, I went to my Rheumologist and was treated to two shots, one in my spine and the other in my upper right... Glute. Heh, hem. He increased the anti inflammatory and nerve meds I'm already on for at least the next two weeks. In two days I go for a MRI to see exactly what's what because it's not getting significantly better. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, I started at 1,000 and I've been hovering at 990-995 since the day after this all started. 

I have to alternate between lying down and taking short walks because sitting only aggravates the nerve something awful. Of course I can't avoid sitting altogether, but I'm trying my best because it really does make getting up and then around a lot worse. 

For the first time in a few years I've had to use a cane. 

Actually, this is a new cane. I had to 'upgrade' to one with a padded handle because using my old one (which was my father-in-law's) was hurting my palms too much and flaring the arthritis in my hands. 

Once a day or two had passed, I got very angry and upset. Autumn is my favorite time of year and the time of year when I am usually most active! I don't want to be in this kind of pain, high off the meds trying to calm the nerve and even more physically limited than I am normally! Not now! Summer? Sure! Winter? Sure? Even  Spring! But now, in Autumn and October? UGH!!! 

Deep breaths... 

I wasn't going to let this stop me from going with the Marine (Hubbs) yesterday. I saw one of the updated foliage maps recently and it indicated that we are nearly at peak with our foliage in our little corner of Northwestern NJ and I don't want to miss it! Seems we're a bit ahead of schedule with foliage overall this year. I did alright with the ride up, though I'm sure today's ride back down to the shore won't be as pleasant. 

This view alone made it worth it to me:

I believe I gasped when I saw this mountain view. Even felt the beginning of tears. Oh my heart! My dear October, how I love thee let me count the ways! Since I was a little girl, Autumn has filled my soul with awe consuming joy and I cannot tell you why, it just does. 

I have much more to write and many more photos to share (of course) so once we're no longer en route and I'm settled again, there will be more posts to come! 

Stay tuned friends! I hope all is well in your necks of the woods.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Favorites

What you're seeing here are my favorite shots from today. The weather was perfectly Autumnal all day. Sun up to sun down, classic September! Perfect. Windows open wide to chilly breezes & nonstop sunshine inspired me to start decorating for my favorite time of year! Yes folks, and so it begins... 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday Favorites: Sunrise Mountain

There are places which call to me. Places I sometimes have the overwhelming need to visit every so often. Thankfully, this past Labor Day Monday morning, the Marine (Hubbs) and I had the chance to visit one of these places: Sunrise Mountain and the Scenic Overlook in Northwestern NJ.

Of course I took many (many) photos! Here are some of my favorites:

It was disgustingly hot and humid, but, for once that didn't bother me much. I was winded by the time we got to the pavilion, but not nearly as bad as in the past, even with the oppressive air! That made me very happy. Proud even, since I've been working on some of my physical aspects as of late. 

It smelled like Autumn atop Sunrise Mountain, looked like it too. Many of the trees near the pavilion have already lost their leaves. 

So gorgeous up there!

I can't explain it accurately enough, I don't think, but, it was like a sigh when I got up to the pavilion, like my body sighed. Or perhaps it was my soul. Regardless, it felt like such a relief to finally be there again! 

On the way back down, I stood in place, my feet planted on a giant slab of boulder, hoping my love and appreciation for this place came through into the mountain and felt my connection to it as deeply as ever. 

What are your favorite places to visit, ones that call to you like this? Share with us in the comments below!