Archives for January 2017

January 31, 2017

Moving On!

No more sitting at home and waiting for the right time to move on, now is the time!  I’m craving a big adventure, and it is starting now!  Since being diagnosed with RA, I have not been on any vacation that requires air travel.  For the longest time I wanted to get back up and moving, but there was the fear that I may not be able keep up or the travel would spark frustration and pain.  So I’ve been investigating all types of tours and even looked into travel agencies that specialize in, “Travel and Arthritis”.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to create the adventure, and arrangements myself.  I’m not in need of any special access, wheelchair, accommodations, or attendant care, so I’m the only one responsible for me moving on!

I did what I do best, tackle the important parts of the trip first.  I ordered  a new passport cover and card case from Aspinal to travel with!  I narrowed the places I was interested in going to, places that I could take a direct flight from Boston,  Reykjavik, Iceland or London, England.  Both places are beckoning me to visit so I investigated the airlines and their answers to my specific needs when flying.  All I really wanted from any airline I contacted was to know about guaranteed bulk head seating (extra leg room), ability to move around the plane, and help putting carry on into the overhead compartment.  British Airway was contacted and has a priority status whereas I would supply a medical certificate, verifying that what I was requesting was necessary.  The representative also mentioned, when I arrived at airport, assistance is also available, with luggage or ambulatory assistance.  These accommodations are at no additional charge. Icelandair  airline was a whole different story!  They would be more than happy to make the seating accommodation for an additional charge, they couldn’t guarantee the help with the carry-on being put and retrieved from the overhead, but suggested I use a smaller bag and place it under my seat.  I was disappointed with the “try to assist” attitude of Icelandair and the additional fees there, but I am still considering going to either place.  Nothing is set stone yet, I will keep you updated on what I decide!  You may not think what I’m doing is such a big deal, but it is when you have RA!

January 24, 2017


a vacation spent at home or nearby-noun

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of staycation was 1944.  I find it odd that Merriam-Webster has entered this word into online dictionary, yet my spell check doesn’t recognize this word, and suggests maybe I am trying to spell starvation or stagnation correctly. Taking a staycation is written about all over the internet, local chamber of commerce advertisements, and magazines write about the stay-at-home vacations!

So, never one to not jump onto a bandwagon, I made a unilateral decision that on January 20th at sundown to January 23rd at sunrise, we would be on staycation.  It seemed right up my ally, no housework, food shopping, cooking, laundry, only  take out, fun stuff,  and restaurants.  So that Tuesday night, after seriously reading about the different types of staycations,  I devised a plan.  Our staycation would be based from our home, not a local hotels/motels, there would be no cooking, cleaning, shopping, and limited electronic activity.  The only concession allowed, that Jeff would watch the Patriots game on Sunday night. 

The prep that was involved getting ready for this staycation began in earnest on Wednesday night, after returning home from work.  I made out a shopping list and went food shopping while the laundry that usually was done on the weekend was in the washer.  I made sure anything that would not be appropriate during staycation; bill paying, ironing, dry cleaner pick, for example was done before sundown Friday.  I was really gung ho, looking forward to this staycation until I bottomed out Friday night, totally exhausted. 

Saturday morning we both awoke to; “What are we going to do”?  I was looking around the house thinking that all I wanted to do was lay on the couch with my coffee and watch TV, but I didn’t.  I went for a walk with Sean Patrick and returned to find Jeff, washing my car, clearly in violation of the staycation itinerary.  He convinced me it was not work, he was just playing with water.  At this point, I knew this staycation was in trouble.  We ate and talked for the rest of the day, I finally went over to Jackie’s to knit and watch TV while Jeff read a magazine. 

We awoke Sunday with the best of intentions to do something cultural this day.  On the way to the RISD Museum in Providence, we came upon Hemenway’s Restaurant.    Mighty hungry and only having coffee for breakfast, since it was a staycation, we would do lunch and then attend a birthday party.  

We couldn’t deny how hungry we were, and had to stop for lunch!                                                                                                        

We immediately felt at home and ordered drinks! My kind of staycation!                                                                                                                    

Creamy New England Clam Chowder, perfectly cooked and succulent Shrimp Cocktail with cocktail sauce and horseradish. I was in heaven! But what most impressed me was our meals!

Jeff enjoyed a grilled rib chop with cranberry-apple chutney, potatoes au gratin, and broccoli rabi.                                                               

My Surf & Turf, a grilled petite filet, seared scallops, sweet potato gnocchi, spinach, pork belly, gorgonzola, with demi glace was much loved and enjoyed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

After our leisurely lunch, it definitely felt as if we were staycationing, I was ready for a nap! Next was a stop back in the neighborhood to wish Val a “Happy Birthday”, We then came home to compare notes on what we did do and what I expected to happen for the rest of this weekend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you need to call living a balanced life boring, and if you are in need of a staycation, think again.  I thoroughly enjoyed preparing for this weekend until the exhaustion hit.  But I realize my life is pretty gosh darn good, so good I don’t need to pretend it is anything more than what it is!  So for that reason I am grateful enough that I shouldn’t make more work for myself by going on a staycation.  The next time I exert this much prep for any type of “cation”, my passport better be with me!  Have a great week!

a vacation spent at home or nearby

January 17, 2017

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Weather!

Each and everyday I work at putting a positive spin on my life, while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis! This has been one of my coping mechanism since the initial diagnosis.   Yet, I am no longer celebrating my ability to predict the weather.  Last week’s storm that barreled into the northeast, knocked me for a loop!  Early morning, January 7th, I awoke to a strange sensation of the skin tightening in my fingers and toes.  Not wanting to be an alarmist or act the afflicted, I dressed and walked, not a stroll, not a half hour, nor half mile, I walked for hours.  It seemed to take the edge off of whatever was happening in my body.  When the storm was in full force, my Sean Patrick and I walked the shoreline, that had no snow, so I would not fall!  It was absolutely beautiful, and I can’t be sure, but I felt less pressure while we battled the wind!  Sadly, I was having what I believe was my first full-fledged rheumatoid arthritis flare.  I won’t go into details, but for six days, it was extremely uncomfortable (polite way of saying painful), yet bearable because of the positivity that surrounds me!

During this week-long struggle, my Sean Patrick and husband, lessened the load during this trying time.  It was frightening at some points, I had composed an email to the rheumatologist a few times during the week, but always wanted to wait another day until the pain subsided, so never sent it!  I forced myself to honor appointments and a brunch date this past weekend at my niece’s home, 70 miles away. What I realized as I drove home from her house was how happy and exhilarated I felt after this visit. There is something about spending time with people you love, holding your great-niece and feeling euphoric, as this 6 month old baby smiles, as she looks at you adoringly!  It only made me more determined to not let this bump in the road change my commitment to how I handle this disease, and not allow this disease to determine how I live my life!  

Carla and Isabelle

January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

martin luther king jr, civil rights, civil rights leader, black history, nobel peace prize, nobel peace prize winner, 1964

  • In living his dream we honor his life!
January 10, 2017

Some New Things!

This week’s entry is not intended to showcase what I got for Christmas, but to showcase some remarkable products I’ve been using lately, and some items I’ve received as Christmas presents, that I think are worth mentioning!

For years, the purchasing of beauty gift sets, for myself at Christmas time, has been one of the most enjoyable secular activities of the holiday.  Since I’ve been doing this for years, I had a difficult time ignoring some new additions to beauty sets that I’ve already used. It was too good to give up, so I purchased the Josie Maran Infinite Argan Enlightenment Duo and the First Aid Beauty Fab Holiday Trio, both containing an item I’ve never tried.  The first new product, part of the Josie Maran  duo was the Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil.  According to “How to Use”, you are directed to:  “Smooth onto face before applying makeup, or use to smooth flyaways, or condition lips or…” that was it.  So I visited the Sephora website and learned that there was over 20 uses for the this product. The Josie Maran website makes claim to this product being used on eyes, lips, or any other part of body.  It can smooth rough patches, and can be used as a highlighter.  Wow, the Holy Grail! Sounded a little too good to be true, yet if you remember my Josie Maran “Whimsical Wonder” critique, you would know how much respect for the brand, I have.  So I gave it a whirl, for approximately 20 days I used this product under my eyes, even when I didn’t leave the house, and squeezed a dab of this into my moisturizer each morning,  liked it, a lot!  The results were; reduced puffiness under my eyes and I did not experience any major dryness on my face when using this product.  The descriptions of Josie Maran products as stated, have always  been accurate, which speaks to the integrity of the brand. The other new product in the First Aid Beauty Fab Holiday Trio was the Ultra Repair Lip Therapy . Their face cleanser and facial radiance pads are truly remarkable, but the lip therapy was nothing to write home about.  I did not dislike nor like the product, but I do like an angled dispenser that dispenses a limited amounts of product,  which this lip product had.  

One of my suggestions for a Christmas present from my husband was the Christian Louboutin Velvet Matee Lip Colour in “Just Nothing”.  This was an expensive, frivolous, request that I am so glad I made.  I have been known to be occasionally distracted by shiny objects, this time it worked out.  “Just Nothing” is a strong beige full coverage lipstick.  My lips have darkened as I’ve matured and neutral shades lipsticks have disappeared after application.  After reading many of the reviews for this product, I knew it would work for me.  It starts with the most flattering color, unlike any other neutral I’ve used.  The smooth texture makes for an easy application that is highly pigmented and buildable.  I find the lipstick easy to wear, casual or occasion with a slight shine and most importantly, it did not dry out my lips.  I must stop, before I gush, I love this lipstick!  

The presentation is beautiful, and that is not the best part of this expensive experience!
On the last day of work before Christmas break, I found a really cute looking gift in my mailbox.  Robyn Peterson, a Pure Haven Essential  representative left a Pure Haven essentials lip balm for me.  After taking a picture of it, I tried it and was very impressed. What hit me first was the pleasant aromatic nature of the product.  It is a 100% natural lip balm, which makes sense, the scent was subtle, not pungent.  This lip balm has a smooth and even application, that is long-lasting and moisturizing.  This is a product I believe you cannot go wrong with!  
My Week In Pictures!  Let it Snow!!!!!