February 20, 2018

Older Woman Learning A New Language!

Lately, it has become clearly apparent that I am acquiring a new language, at this late stage of my life!  At times I do peruse online sites and will marvel at the new verbiage that is being used, to describe clothing, behavior, and ways of living, with new monikers.  

Growing up I was clothed with the basic necessities that I assumed all of my peers were wearing, as well.  Another term for basic necessities I’ve learned is now called a “capsule wardrobe” or “minimalist clothing”.  There really is no significant difference when an individual wears clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions, so why change the moniker?  I always dressed in a minimalist fashion even as a  young girl. On one occasion, for my first high school dance, I was allowed to go to Jordan Marsh and pick out a spring jacket, being it was the end of March.  I returned home with my mother’s charge card and a red blazer similar to the one George Harrison wore on the cover of the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, it went over like a lead balloon!  She immediately put on her trench coat, now called a rain coat, and we left to find a more “suitable” item of clothing.  Little did I know on this day my mother taught me the basics of capsule/minimalist wardrobes.  She marched me through the Jordan Marsh main building towards the annex where on the bridge connecting the two buildings were many display cases containing a rainbow assortment of twin sets.  I immediately gravitated to the chartreuse twin set, the color of the liquor I now know as Midori. As we walked a little distance away, she strongly whispered; “Choose a color you’ll wear this spring into summer or get a color you can wear now and in the fall.”  I chose hunter green, being it was the color of March and would match my school uniform.  On the way home, my mother didn’t tell me to meditate, she mentioned I should think before I make purchases, and make wise decisions.  Who knew at this early age, I began to  utilize the practice of “self-talk” before making decisions.  Self-talk is a really popular thing to do these days, and I  agree with the positive motivational effects of self-talk, but I’m sticking with the compass I’ve used to navigate life thus far, plain old thinking and talking to myself. My inner voice and compass guide me and I have learned to trust them. 

Even though I am resistant to gratuitous change, I’ve absorbed and retained the changes that are necessary for me not to be perceived as an ossified fossil.  I no longer look in department stores for reasonably priced clothes, I now know they are in the contemporary department.  I no longer use the word slacks when referring to my pants or woman trousers, and no longer reach for a chapstick as a remedy to soothe my winter lips, I apply my lip treatment, what all the gals in the know use. For whatever the hip term is these days, it’s all about self-care and self-acceptance. Follow your inner voice. Follow your bliss. Have a great week!


February 13, 2018

Little Changes That Have Yielded Significant Results!

Everyday, sharing my life with rheumatoid arthritis is nothing to sneeze about!  Luckily for me, there are more good days versus challenging days, but when the weather swings from snow to rain, temperate, and  colder days, it can be taxing.  This past week, the weather changing at times by the hour, triggers my actions to confront the discomforts that accompanies these fickle weather patterns.  I mentally open my rheumatoid arthritis tool kit and work my way back to a comfortable life.  Just a few techniques/behaviors that I’ve adopted that make life so much more bearable when the rheumatoid arthritis rears its ugly head!

 Get moving!  It has been my experience that walking in snow or rain lessens the pressure in my joints, resulting in much-needed relief.  The addition of ice packs on swollen joints have yielded good results as well!

 Napping or bedtime I have found it best to follow the directions given to me after my hip surgeries, side sleeping while using a pillow between knees.  It is important to have quality rest and using pillow props can help you find comfortable positions.  I also meditate before I go to bed and use the essential oils to help me relax, especially when in active pain.

 There are not too many things that I’ve grown to like, but a turmeric latte is one of my favorites.  It didn’t happen overnight, but I gave it many tries before I discovered a teaspoon of maple syrup, certainly makes it a delight!  Drinking a beverage that contains two ingredients that contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties is a good choice. Here is how I make my occasional turmeric latte!

In a small pot over low heat, add 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup, heat.  Garnish with a generous amount of cinnamon, and enjoy!

Since being diagnosed with RA, I realized that it was not enough to follow my doctors orders and take medications exactly as prescribed.  Life is sometimes consumed with changes and adjustments when you want to live your life with style and flare!

A few pictures from the past week!  






February 6, 2018

Snap out of it!!!!

Starting my fourth month out of work and still awaiting a shoulder replacement;  “Boy, am I bored and stressed out!”  I’ve had injuries and operations before, but there have been too many uncomfortable days and nights because of this injured shoulder!  What is one to do?  I think about the two hip replacements and how happy I was progressing from walker to cane and eventually without any aids.  There will be no end game in sight for my busted shoulder until I have this surgery, which I’m not looking forward to having.   So I retreat to my bedroom, turn on my snowman diffuser and wonder how I’m going to get through the day. One can only read, watch TV, take walks, or sleep in a day without feeling bored and mentally capable of more.   So I’ve created the waiting for surgery master plan!  For the past three weeks I’ve given myself a weekly project to complete.  A plan is now made each morning when I wake up, that not only includes my meal prep, but a road map of where I’m going and what I’m doing for the day.  Here is a sample week of my attempt to ward off the stress and boredom I have been feeling. 

 Each Sunday night, the weekly project is decided upon.  This week’s project is getting all paperwork together and reviewed so the taxes can be filed on time without an extension!

 Self-Care, morning medications, meditation, and stretching (10 min) before the day’s meal plan and prep is done!

 Light housekeeping!  (throwing dirty clothes down the steps for Jeff to wash, putting my tea-cup in sink, making a list for Jeff to do!)

A walk to the beach with Sean Patrick is always on my daily activity.

 Sorting out boxes of pictures taken from my parent’s home that haven’t been opened up in decades.  (How many pictures do you need of you, your siblings laying on a changing table, sitting in a rocking chair, or propped up on a pillow?  Hopefully not many because I shredded tons!)

I could go on with my daily mundane activities that seem to be stressing me out but, stress is a normal reaction to everyday part of life.  What I believe I am reacting to is the uncertainty of what is to come and what I expect will happen!  I’ll continue to soldier on, sending Jeff out to buy acrylic containers to store and organize the kitchen cabinets, and anything else I can find a use for them.  Sean Patrick will be challenged to learn new tricks, he is either intellectually unavailable or smarter than me because he knows the treats will keep coming if he only keeps trying to do the trick, but not fully executing!  Have a great week!



January 30, 2018

Lifestyle Update!

Approximately 6 weeks have passed since I’ve started nutritional counseling with Patty Berry, RD.  I honestly believe that I’m breaking through my self-imposed hurdles that have kept me in the past from losing weight and keeping it off!  Developing a positive relationship with food and my body has never been a part any of my weight loss attempts, but is now a dominate part of developing healthy eating habits.  I purposely will never again think about the ill-fated attempts at weight loss nor regret those attempts, they will be part of my past, not part of my future.

Nutritional counseling is much more than a diet, it is shaping my healthy eating habits, meal planning, and changing beliefs about weight loss.  I am slowly making changes and feeling confident and strong about achieving weight loss.  It will be a long road to weight loss freedom, but I believe it is going to be full of new ways of thinking and many successes along the way!

My successes to date is not in the number of pounds I have lost, I haven’t weighed myself since December 14th.  I’m most proud of what I have learned, but most importantly I am proud of what I am retaining and using everyday, and feeling so much better!

Have a great week!

January 23, 2018

Tried & True!

Late December at the end of my scheduled rheumatology appointment, I was asked if I had any questions.  I asked; “When will I be able to live my life and not think about rheumatoid arthritis every waking hour?” My rheumatolgist explained that I will not be able to lead such a life as RA is chronic condition that is present and persistent, even when you are without pain.   In an odd way, it made me feel relieved, because it validated how I live my life, even though I vehemently resent the time and energy I spend addressing the disease. Waking up, meditating, stretching, ensuring that my day starts out on a level plane is a constant chore.  Continuously  assessing how life in general may adversely affect me is exhausting.  

Yet,  on a positive note, I’m pleased as punch to have collected an arsenal of products that have not left me, nor my will behind. I have used the following products for years and they have not abandoned me.

  Sephora Collection Dark Rainbow Antibacterial Brush Set

In my Favorite Day to Day Items!  post from July 26th, 2016, I first reviewed this brush set.  Nothing has changed with this set, I find the price point of $62, acceptable for a 7 piece brush set, but the new one I just purchased from Sephora after Christmas, I picked up for $29. It is no longer available for the lower price but another version is available for $62. I find this an invaluable set, being antibacterial, it may lower my chances of acquiring an infection, due to my compromised immune system.  It is also a good quality brush set that is full, soft, no shedding, and blends beautifully.

 Atelier Cologne Jasmine Angelique Cologne Absolue 200mL and a Personalized Travel Spray 30mL

My August 16th, 2016 blog post The Heat!!! , summed up the difficulty of finding perfumes, body wash, and body lotions that agreed with me.  The staying power of particular scents no longer were the same since the RA diagnosis.  I’ve read that medicines will change your body chemistry, and encourage skin to throw off the scent of perfumes.  I don’t know if that was the case with me but, it has been my experience that perfumes I’ve used for decades, a summer and winter fragrance, no longer smelled the same since the RA diagnosis.  I was introduced to the Atelier Cologne by way of samples and found sweet success. It is pricey and for that reason I did not jump ahead and purchase this big bottle until I had used all the samples I collected at fragrance counters, and had enough confidence in the cologne and my relationship. We have been together for almost a year and have had no adverse or diminished reactions from this product. I love the smell of jasmine mixed with lemon, rather a strong scent that has a major staying power and lingers for hours.  Hopefully I will be able to have a long and loving relationship with this cologne!

  Buxom Lips Off Leash ™ Plumping 15 Piece Mini Lip Collection

A selection of 15 shimmer shine lip polishes and glassy smooth lip creams.  Mini in size, maximal in color, these lip plumping polishes pack a wallop.  In the past I have purchased a full size Buxom Full-On Lip Polish for $20.  thoroughly enjoyed wearing it, loved the color, but it was not worth the price since it only lasted a couple of weeks.   After Christmas, I purchased this collection for $29.50 and I was extremely pleased and didn’t care that a few of the polishes were odd colors.   I can honestly say that I’ve tried all 15 shades (even the ones that did not appeal to me), and loved each and everyone.  Astonishing!!!  They all went on easily and left you with a pleasant tingling sensation.  The moisturizering, non-drying formula was never sticky, greasy, or tacky.  The bonus for using this product is they contain Vitamin A & E, the reason they are so moisturizing.  

 The Buxom lip polishes were an after Christmas splurge since I had already purchased 3 new lip products early fall, and they have been a joy!  I am a fan of the Dior Lip Maximizers and decided to try Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub.  It was my intention to use this sugar scrub for sloughing off winter dead skin, but never expected this sugar scrub to exfoliate and leave my lips moisturized and soft.  Always preparing for the fall/winter climate change I also purchased the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil.  I was enticed to purchase this lip oil by magazine ads, and it was a score!  The lip comfort oil hydrated and soothed my dry skin.  As well as nourishing my lips its fruity smell and hint of color is more than a bonus!  The final lip product, Tatouge Couture Mate Stain by YSL is a new product to market.  It received rave reviews, I fell for it, and all the hype over this product was accurate and true.  YSL states; ” A liquid-matte lip stain that offers a high-impact, ultra-matte color with a lightweight, naked feel.”  true on all accounts and it was non-drying and long wearing.  I have tried many matte stains and have yet to find one that equals this YSL product.

  Becca Beach Tint Fig  

Within the last 14 months whenever I applied make-up, Becca Beach Tint Fig was definitely in the mix.  In My Squirreling Ways!post from October 14, 2016, I mentioned that this product was recommended to me by a cosmetic rep from a store that did not sell this product. Luckily I took her advice and have no regrets.  This cheek and lip tint, (I only used it on my checks) produces a nice, natural, subtle glow to my checks.  It is a nice pop of color in every season, best of all it is enriched with antioxidants and Vitamin E and smells divine!  I especially love that I’ve had no adverse reaction from this product.  

Learning to live with the challenges of Rheumatoid Arthritis is a time-consuming physically challenging grab-bag of learning experiences.  If there is one thing that I can honestly attest, your self-image and happiness are not dependent on how this disease may affect you, self-care, whether medicinal or cosmetic is just as important!  Have a great week!

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