May 29, 2018

The Unofficial Start of Summer!

Memorial Day weekend is when we remember all who courageously gave their lives for our freedom!  Growing up, in addition to the ceremonies at local VFW Posts I would attend, it was also the unofficial start of the summer, white shoes and bags could now be used!  If memory serves me correctly, I don’t remember many Memorial Day weekends that weather was not conducive to outdoor activities.  Unlike this Memorial Day weekend that challenged my balance, short sleeve shirts and shorts during the day, the fireplace on in the evening, and leaving home with an umbrella.  I’ve had a lot of time to read while recuperating and I thought with the summer approaching, I would share some of my favorite reads from previous weeks!

‘Simplified Life: Tactical Tools For Intentional Living by Emily Ley’

Yes, a self-help book by the creator of the Simplified Planner, a daily agenda. This is an easy read, totally relatable content that includes practical steps to simplify your life.  I found it to have useful ideas with the outline of steps to take one by one, day by day, easy to follow and doable.  Not a big fan of self-help books, but this one is a worthy read.  

‘Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes by Angela Liddon

I’ve mastered meatless Monday meals and needed to find quick and easy vegan recipes to add variety to my Monday menus.  I enjoyed the full-page pictures and the recipes I have tried have been full of flavor and satisfying.  I’ve only tried the Thai Crunch Salad, Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato, Smoothies, and Chia Pudding recipes and loved all!  

‘Design Your Life:  Creating Success Through Personal Style by Rachel Roy’

This was a grab and go on the bookshelf while I was exiting the library.  It encourages you to present yourself in your best way and therefore you will feel good about yourself.  I liked it!  The advice regarding developing your own personal style, given by way of tips on how to use clothing was rather interesting.  It is an easy read, I read it on the train in one round trip and took some good pointers away from the book.  

‘An Irish Country Courtship:  A Novel by Patrick Taylor

This was not the first book I’ve read from Taylor’s series of Irish Country Books. The books are set in Ballybucklebo, Northern Ireland, during the 1960’s.  A general practitioner is mentoring a young doctor and you are entertained by the many characters they interact with.  It is a relaxing and humorous read, as you follow the goings on of the characters in this small and rural town.  

Have a great week!

 

 

December 26, 2017

Picture Perfect Christmas!

Christmas is the holy day/holiday commemorating the birth of Christ!  The Christmas Season has been dubbed; “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”!  Whether you observe this holiday or not, it is virtually impossible to ignore the splendor that besieges you wherever you look at this time.  This holiday season I was inundated with visual representations of Christmas, some outstanding, others missing the mark entirely.  It didn’t matter to me because it really put the holiday season into prospective, because the meaning and rituals of the holiday change as you grow older.  As you get older, the holiday season is not solely about the presents, the traditions, or the foods you eat.  As you get older, the receiving of gifts is of little importance, traditions become memories as the people you have shared holidays with are no long living or no longer live close by, and foods that you normally associate with the holiday, you don’t pretend to like, when you really didn’t.  What made this holiday season, a true joy in the secular sense was the efforts of my neighbors, friends, and family with their effort to celebrate this Christmas!  So I share with you the pictures of the decorations I see when I walk in the daylight hours, drive by in the evening, some home pictures, and Jeff’s attempt to compete with our artistic neighbors.

Each morning Sean Patrick and I walk by this decorated tree that I equate to a train wreck!  It is fun and bizarre, brings a smile to my face, but is totally ridiculous!

Love the way this guy makes Sean Patrick howl with delight!  

Talk about attention to detail, I look for the elves who make the cookies when I walk by!

All year long this holly tree is a sight to see, yet it takes on a more significant meaning during the Christmas season!

Christmas Blooms!

Riding along side the river, it always makes me wonder why they put a Christmas tree on a dock!  Probably to put a smile on my face!

Last year Santa was riding a bicycle, this year he switched to a tractor!

Love this home with the understated lights, shooting star on the roof, and the deer antlers decorating the wreath.

A tasteful reminder of the reason for the season!

Christmas Eve!  Light up the night!

Our tree and decorations!

Jeff’s attempt to get into the game and light up the front of our home!

Nothing deep or profound to say about the holiday season!  I hope all enjoyed their holiday in the way they chose to observe or celebrate it.  Warm wishes to all and may we all have a pain free 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!

 

October 24, 2017

I Didn’t Get the Memo!!!!!!!

It has occurred to me that I am out of the loop in relationship to the holiday of “Halloween”!   Growing up in Boston, it was always freezing cold and we wore our winter coats under our store-bought costume.  Nothing was over the top, it was a short jaunt around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, and early to bed! My friends and I quit the trick-or-treating in the 4th grade, and looked forward to have November 1st off each year, in observation of All Saints Day!

Lately I have noticed the way Halloween has been turned into just another commercial come-on.  Homes are decorated to the nines and the decorations are no longer pumpkins on the porch, or a scarecrow here and there.  People are spending ghoulish amounts of money, not only to frighten us, but to compete with their neighbors.  I didn’t get the memo!  When did Halloween become the warm up for the upcoming winter holidays?  It occurred to me, Halloween has become corrupted by greed.  With all the displays in the stores before Labor Day and decorations spilling out of front yard graveyards, trick-or-treating is just one of the components of this commercialized holiday. It’s turning into a monthlong holiday with pop-up stores selling costumes, decorations, and Halloween makeup.  It’s no longer a simple holiday, some of the decorations and costumes are downright frightening.  

I may long for a simpler time, and not be part of the commercialism of Halloween, but I surely enjoy everyone’s efforts as you can see in my snapshots. Have a great week!