December 19, 2017

Why Wait for Change?

It’s that time of the year when life is hectic and time seems to fly by!   Enjoying the holidays is a high priority on  most  people’s list.  All the gift buying, food preparation, and decorating can certainly exhaust you!  I’m sitting back, still out of work, and waiting for a date for my shoulder replacement.  Most of the holiday preparation is not doable so I spend my time being miserable and very unhappy with my life.  Well, in early December I recognized that I had more problems than a damaged shoulder.  My biggest challenge has been my weight, and being as heavy as I am, I realize it affects my damaged shoulder.  You may remember some of my posts mentioning my determination to lose weight, that lasted a New York minute.  I shared with my readers the excitement I felt when I embarked upon The Microbiome Diet, it was slow burn that fizzled quickly.  At this time I would be embarrassed to rejoin, for the umpteen time, Weight Watchers!  So instead of waiting for New Year’s Day to start working on a weight loss resolution I contacted a Registered Dietitian, and had my first video Telehealth appointment with her this past Sunday.

Before joining Patty Berry Registered Dietitian online, all I could think about was the changes I would have to make and all the foods that needed to be eliminated in my diet.  Surprisingly this initial meeting was painless, thought provoking, and exciting all at the same time.  She spent quite a bit of time gathering my medical information, my personal goals, and explaining how we were going to work together.

I wanted to share this experience with you because after the meeting was over, I felt a sense of hope and optimism. This could very well be a sustainable plan that would allow me to reach my weight loss goals but most importantly, break the cycle of constantly trying and failing at too many to mention diets.

It seemed to click when I heard that certain foods are not off-limits, I would be eating a healthy diet, not overly complicated, or drastic, just a manageable plan.  I will be keeping food records and Patty will be overseeing my progress by reviewing the records and making suggestions.  She made it clear that she is available to answer any questions I may have before our next mutually agreed upon meeting.  All materials needed for this plan were emailed to me, I was printing them moments after the appointment was over. 

I’m really enthused and anticipate success as well as setbacks that are part and parcel toward improved health.  It is my intention to stick with this plan, hell or high water, I will do it, and rather excited to be part of this program!  So occasionally I will be sharing with you my progress and thoughts on my journey!  Have a great week!

The Seasons First Snowfall

December 12, 2017

Under the Weather!

Normally, the holiday season is a stressful time for me, that is why I’ve become a list maker and prepare early for the season. Well, this year it didn’t matter that I was prepared early, Christmas Cards made out, stamped, and ready to mail. A shoulder injury, so severe, it would damage anyones holly jolly mood, I’m downright miserable! I mention this because I’ve missed a weekly blog post, something I haven’t done in over a year in a half. Muscle relaxers and pain medications make me tired, groggy, and sometimes forgetful. Reading books or magazines put me to sleep, knitting is definitely out, and movement is sometimes excruciating. So what to do? Take some of my own advise!  I’ve used a positive outlook to help me deal with RA, so I enlisted that outlook to help me soldier on. This is what I do day and sometimes all night when I can’t sleep!

Listen to audio books, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and a Elin Hilderbrand selection, Winter Stroll.

Play games on the iPad.

Meditate a couple of times a day, it works!

Look at and categorize old pictures and shred unwanted ones.

Try to walk short distances regularly.

I saved the best for last!

Shopped and learned all my charge card numbers, expiration dates, & security codes.  This has been my biggest accomplishment, since October 2nd!

It helps to remember this is not for the rest of my life, but I am eager to learn how my injury will be addressed. Tomorrow is my appointment with the surgeon, and hopefully a plan will be in place. Stay tuned and have a great week!

November 28, 2017

Count Your Blessings!

Last Thursday as I was thoroughly enjoying our Thanksgiving feast,  I began to think about all the things I was grateful for. Living with a chronic pain makes it extremely difficult to stay positive and be able to express gratitude; rheumatoid arthritis and gratitude don’t seem to mix.  I continued to eat and think about the hardships the Pilgrims experienced, yet they dedicated a day for thanking God for their bounty of food they were blessed with.  What I realized was even though the Pilgrims experienced such hardships in the new world, they still expressed gratitude, leaving me to believe that pain or illnesses don’t necessarily have anything to do with feelings of appreciation. Gratitude  is a feeling of happiness that comes from appreciation.  So, me being treated for a chronic disease should have no bearing on my ability to express gratitude.  Thanksgiving 2017, I am grateful for:

My rheumatologist, for his ability to treat the disease and his efforts to ameliorate my level of pain.  

Sean Patrick, my personal trainer,  whether I’m happy, sad, or in pain, his love is constant and his commitment to me is unyielding.  

Family and friends in my life that stick around during challenging times.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, has made me mentally stronger and aware of my own body and taking good care of it.

Chatter strips on highways, help me stay in my own lane!

The opportunity available, living in a time that I can express my opinions in cyberspace!

The list is long and varied, but when you really put things in perspective, life may not be perfect, but it was never intended to be perfect. Life was intended to be lived and above all appreciated.  Have a great week!  M



November 21, 2017

It’s That Time Of The Year!

Since early October I have felt pressure to compose a gift guide in response to the intense advertising in magazines, on television, & other media outlets, sharing Christmas gift guides. Last year in early December I reacted to a gift guide I had read and responded to in my blog post A Jolly Thought!   This post addressed my disdain of suggestions of Christmas presents  specifically geared for individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  In retrospect, my blog post seemed to read as a polite rant ending with my suggestions of what any individual with or without Rheumatoid Arthritis would like.  Well, this holiday season is different.  I’ve come up with a holiday gift guide that consists of presents I have received and items I have purchased over the years that merit recognition.  This is my tried and true gift guide that I hope you enjoy!

My good friend Jackie is a tremendous gift giver!  She bestows presents on you that you would never think of buying or needing, but now would never want to live without!  The Henry and Friends™ gray cushion cover with Henry the Jack Russell Terrier proudly displayed, has found a home on my bed in both winter and summer.  

The monogrammed cotton, white with navy piping, J Crew Pajamas are an example of something I purchased for myself and think it would make a great present.  These pajamas are holding up beautifully after a multitude of washing and are comfortable and take up little space in a suitcase.  

 The two monogrammed Garnet Hill Signature Bath Sheets  are a Christmas present we received years ago that are still used a few times a week. Whenever I’m putting them into the washer I think about my niece Carla and how thoughtful the present was and how much we have used them.  Years have gone by and they are still plush and absorbent.  

The last item in the above picture is the coveted Fairmont Hotel bathrobe.  This full length, thick shawl collar, terry and velour bathrobe is a dream to own and wear.  This was last years present from my husband and hopefully he purchased it on the Fairmont Black Friday days.  This year all Fairmont Stores are 25% off everything from November 24-26th.  You could never do wrong with a cozy bathrobe!

The LL Bean Moonbeam Alarm Clock is the best alarm clock to wake up with.  The blinking light  before alarm sounds is a welcome change, as is the gentle sound of the alarm.  This retro looking alarm clock has a light up dial making it easy to read.  It has an electrical power source with a battery back up, as well as USB port.  What more could you ask for?

Lush Bath Bombs are my absolute favorites.  I love a good soak with one and particularly enjoy the soft water and the different scents of the bombs. The Luxury Lush Pud is a seasonal bath bomb that I enjoy with its lavender scent. The Reusable Bubble Bar Magic Wand turns your tube into a pink bubble bath with a candy scent that feels devine.   

Hope this gift guide is helpful, and your holiday shopping is as painless as mine!  Have a wonderful holiday week!


November 14, 2017


Last summer I started swapping out kitchen ware and kitchen gadgets that challenge me when I cook.  In my September 5th blog entry, FIRST KITCHEN SWAP OUT!  I explained how I focus on items that will not pose a challenge for me in the kitchen as well as being non-adaptive products.  Within the past two months I’ve made a few additions to my new arsenal of kitchen tools that are functional and easy to use, even on the toughest days!


These reasonably priced avocado huggers used to store left over avocados are terrific.  I purchased them in an attempt to limit my sparing exercises with plastic wrap, the huggers are light weight and easy to use.  Any uneaten half, I squirt on some lemon and  store in the fridge, for use within two days.  They come in two sizes, accommodating small or larger avocados.  They are made of 100% FDA Silicone and are BPA and Phthalate Free, and best of all dishwasher safe.


This is a granite and stone sponge stand.  I really purchased this because it was attractive and it would dry out the sponges in between usage.  I was never real comfortable with sponges, I would find them laying in the sink out of the holder and worry about growing bacteria.  Well, this holder seems to stimulate good sponge hygiene,  and it looks great on my counter, practical and esthetically pleasing, a keeper!


It is a joy to use my dishwasher safe, stacked liquid and solid measuring cups in a self-contained design.  This  jiffy storage concept is a space saver and eliminates the time spent looking for individual measuring cups floating around the gadget abyss.  


This is my beloved stoneware berry bowl!  It was expensive, but has proved its worth.  I replaced my berry bowl… due to the small capacity.  Since I rinse and dry pints of berries to freeze and use in the winter, it was a necessity to purchase a larger vessel.  It was worth the price, which lead to the reduced time to rinse/clean berries! 

These are the latest additions in my kitchen swap outs, I will continue to keep my eyes open as well as find solutions to obstacles in the kitchen.  Have a great week, and be well!

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