Good morning! It’s Day 1 of NaBloPoMo! (And NaNoWriMo!)

Hello friends and bloggers! I am so excited to be participating in this month's NaBloPoMo hosted by the amazing BlogHer! By adding GypsyRue to the official blog roll at BlogHer I have set a goal for myself, my readers and the other (around 400!) bloggers who are part of this, to write one new blog post a day or share a photo, poem, drawing. I am delighted to have a chance to learn from more experienced bloggers, find new blogs to love and share a lot more of my world with you! Oh, and if that's not enough, I'm just crazy enough to be signed up for NaNoWriMo as well! I've been meaning to try to reach the elusive 50,000 word fiction goal for NaNoWriMo for over a decade now, but I'll be honest, I've never gotten past the first typed page!

Not only am I psyched to start writing the novel that has been slowly unfurling in my brain for years, but it will be such fun to be writing fiction for NaNo (shortened names saves writing time!) and also write about the topics I am passionate about here- things I love that I want to share, including how we manage to get through life with no "real" jobs, why I have been called the Queen of Odd Jobs- and more importantly how you can pick up extra work for the holidays through one of the many great businesses I will profile each week, recipes that my family and I love, book reviews, learning aromatherapy and medicinal herbs with the goal of being certified in both next year and sharing ways to use natural, healing ingredients such as essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax to make lovely homemade gifts for the upcoming holidays. I spend much of my day in my kitchen, listening to the roosters (yes, plural- the extra two really need a new home!), cooking meals from scratch for my family, trying desperately to keep the herbs in the windowsill from dying, making new batches of lotion, diaper cream, solid perfumes and so much more!

This month will also challenge me to get a lot better about time management and meal planning- things I have been letting slip for too long now. I work as a freelancer and I also have a rare, chronic, very painful disorder and mild disability, which makes getting through easy days challenging. 3 and 1/2 years of failed surgeries and medical treatments, too many medications and failed procedures have led to me getting very far from where I hoped to be in life. My husband is a disabled Army veteran with wretched migraines and spinal pain, so two parents who are more often than not hurting badly plus the demands of life with healthy, hyper children makes some days a challenge. Since Western Medicine has failed to help both my condition or improve my husband's, I am studying all I can about natural healing remedies and taking it upon myself to get back to eating as little processed food, factory farm meat, anything with GMOs and fruits or vegetables sprayed with any of the -cides. I have so much to share with you!

I have a tendency to be quite wordy. In the case of NaNoWriMo, this will be a benefit, but for those of you who just want a quick glimpse into what you'll see on GypsyRue this month:

1. Recipes! Mostly vegetarian, vegan, minimally processed for ethical reasons. Lots of baked good recipes because I love to bake! I will practice meal planning and hope to learn and share ways to make meal planning easy, fun and ultimately be things my very picky eaters will love!

2. Fun with Fermentation! I just got my first three crocks. I have many, many SCOBY pancakes in my kombucha, but I can’t wait to try other things like sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar from apple peels and cores.

3. Essential Oils and Aromatherapy- I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils, but I appreciate all the quality essential oil companies out there. I turned to Young Living after trying some and getting some relief from my 3 + year nerve disorder, and getting one too many essential oils from eBay and Amazon that smelled like ammonia. Blech! I am not certified yet, but plan to be soon. I’ll share uses of certain oils and some lovely items to make for yourself or others using essential oils and medicinal herbs, which I am now studying and attempting to grow. I do not have a green thumb. It’s nothing short of a miracle that the basil I have in the windowsill has survived for four months now! There’s hope for me yet!

4. How To Work From Home (and Perhaps Make Enough to Pay All Your Bills!) I have been an independent contractor for over 18 years. I have worked for a very wide variety of companies and individuals doing all manner of tasks that people would rather pay others to do for them. I have a knack, a penchant or perhaps just an odd but handy skill for finding ways to make money that are off the beaten path. Not illegal- don’t worry- just unique, which means there is a better chance that you too can make money from it because it’s not say, getting paid to take surveys online (which you really don’t get paid for and are not worth bothering with!) I’ll share some of the best companies for those of you looking for a few extra  dollars or a full-time job. I have found many scams, but I have also made a living working from home, through mystery shopping, customer service, editing, several odd jobs and more. I hope to help others find a job or short-term gig, and also know where to look for future opportunities.

5. Time management. Aside from being a requirement if I hope to do this much writing for the next 30 days,  I need help planning my days and weeks much better. Yes, I work from home, but I find myself sitting at the computer for much too long each day. I want to create a schedule that includes time to read (and write book reviews here!), time to start meditating…finally, time to cook, craft natural, homemade gifts and things for my home, body, family that are cheaper and healthier to make then the toxic cousins at the grocery store or online! Time management will be a work-in-progress-project.

6. Support for those who also suffer life-altering diseases, disorders and disabilities. I hope this will be a place where we can support one another, share stories and find ways to live life fully despite pain, fear, exhaustion and side effects of medication or treatments.

7. Farming, kind of. My family and I live in the Southwest where there is only one season-summer-pretty much all year round. While I prefer this to snow, it makes it quite the challenge to keep any plants, veggies, fruit or herbs alive. This month I’ll be focusing on rare plants, mostly edible that are possible to grow in drought conditions and  temperatures outdoors during summer of 110 and up. When we started our homestead a little over three years ago our intention was to raise heritage breed (endangered) chickens. We have a motley crew flock of chickens now, as a result of wandering feral dogs and other predators. The main problem we face each day is that we began our little farm right as I was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder and my husband began having severe spinal pain and migraines. As a result we may have to cull our flock down to our lifers- those few hens and one rooster who have names and our love. It’s heartbreaking to have to put a stop on our dreams for now, but I look forward to a day when we are well enough to get heritage breed chickens and a couple Nigerian Dwarf goats for milk, cheese making and soap making! One day! I just have to help my husband and myself feel better first- with or without the help of medical professionals.

That’s about it for now! I did mention my inability to be concise, right?! Thanks for visiting! Introduce yourself and stop back any time. I am new to the blogging world, so Gypsy Rue will be improving and growing each day. Have a lovely weekend and be well!

9 comments on “Good morning! It’s Day 1 of NaBloPoMo! (And NaNoWriMo!)

  1. Hi RueAnn,
    I’m excited to read what you have in store for us this month! I love book recommendations and good recipes and reading about life that is different than mine. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m going to try my best to entertain myself and anyone who reads it. Sounds like you have plenty of ideas for that!

    • Gina,

      Hi! I am incredibly sorry for my long delay in replying to you. I’ve been struggling with some major health issues, and for the past month have been fighting a never-ending sinus infection on top of it. I feel horrible it has taken me so long to reply to your kind message. I’ve been spending too much time at doctor’s offices sorting out my next surgery.
      Thank you so much for stopping by to read my blog. I am honored when other bloggers take the time to read mine, and especially when they reply. I have been enjoying reading your blog as well! Have a lovely Sunday!


  2. Hey there, I found you via the NaBloPoMo blogroll.

    My girls are noisy enough, if there were a rooster I might lose what little sanity I have left. 😉 But I do love them deeply and so I’ll tolerate their bagerking and trumpeting.

    As part of NaBloPoMo I try to comment on as many participating blogs as I can, and I add participating blogs to my feed reader.

    So I’m just dropping by to let you know I’ve added your blog to my feedreader, I’m reading you loud and clear, I have a link up going at my place so my readers can find participating blogs which you are more than welcome to add your blog link to.

    Looking forward to seeing your posts, and you’ll likely see me drop by again during November.

    Happy NaBloPoMo to you!

    • Snoskred,

      Thank you for stopping by! I apologize for my incredibly delayed response. I have been fighting a month-long sinus infection, and have been too ill to reply to anyone, which I feel awful about.
      I have been enjoying your blog posts very much! I’m so glad you stopped by so that I could follow your lovely writing.
      We’re getting to the point with all the extra roosters where I’m considering paying someone to round them up and take them home. They’ve decided that our very kind neighbor’s yard, and our other rather spooky, unsmiling neighbor’s yard are their new stomping grounds. I’m honestly surprised Mr. Scary Neighbor has not caught them up and put them in a pot for dinner. We have 3 hens and a rooster that we’re all very attached to, but the rest of the flock has grown much too large, due to my husband and my own continuing health problems. The reason we have not taken any action is that my eldest is very attached to all of the chickens and she sobs if we talk about finding some of them a new not-to-be-eaten-at home. We’ll have to figure something out soon, but for now I just keep my fingers crossed that our neighbors don’t hate us for all the noise!
      Have a lovely weekend! Thank you again for visiting!


  3. Love that you are following your dream! Congrats

    • Essentialoilmama,

      Hi! I love that you are as well! I was reading over the information on your page on Ameo. I’m signed up with Young Living, but my health has been too poor to do much with it. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts, and I’m always happy to have someone else to talk to about essential oils!

      Hope you have a great weekend!

      • I love to meet others in the Essential Oil World aswell. I am reading through your blog and will stay in touch! If you add your address into the contact sheet on my blog I will send you some free samples of the Ameo Oils, since you know oils feel free to suggest what oil samples you would like. It is my first oil company and am making a couple thousand a week in 2 months. Can’t keep the stuff in stock

      • Wow- You are doing amazingly well- Congratulations! By first company, do you mean you created this company or you’re selling Ameo Oils? (It’s not my business, so feel free not to answer, but I am blown away by how much you’re making!!) I will fill out the form on your page. Thank you for the offer of some samples! I love getting great things in the mail, and samples of essential oils are on top of that!
        Looking forward to talking more soon,

      • Hi! I just filled out the form on your site, however it seems to have posted on your main page. Perhaps I should have sent my address to you here. Can you please delete my contact info if it is indeed public, when you have a chance? Thanks and sorry!

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