June 20, 2017


Back on April 18, 2017, my blog post Made In The Shade!  was published.  The post was about a dermatological appointment,  the results of my biopsy, and most importantly the preventative measures that I should follow to prevent further sun damage to my skin.  At the time, it was explained to me that I was being treated for solar keratoses, as a result of long-term sun exposure.  I shared with my readers some of the preventative measures that were explained to me, and I now follow.

Well, here in Rhode Island we experienced torrential downpours all of Friday night and into Saturday morning. As soon as it cleared I headed to the beach with my dog, Sean Patrick.  Because it was gray and overcast I wore a sweater, but eventually removed it during the walk.  When I arrived home I realized I had a sunburn on my face, chest, and exposed arms.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how this could be, since I had only been out an hour, and it still had not completely cleared up.  I was confused on why this happened since I religiously apply SPF 30 on my face, arms, and hands each day.  Jeff suggested that I check all my medications, and see if any causes photosensitivity, and therefore may cause sunburn or rashes in a brief amount of time.  I researched my medication’s side-effects and realized that three of the many caused protosinsitivity.  Methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, & my occasional ibuprofen were the culprits.  

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that treating RA stinks, at best!  But to learn and treat RA each day for over 3 years and still get stumped at what it throws at you, is a rollercoaster ride that I want off of!  We do what we can at the time the challenge is presented and hope the challenges decrease.  Even thought the weekend was a washout, I spent last Tuesday in Boston, hanging at the Pru and watching the B 52’s at Symphony Hall, it was wild!  

Have a great, pain free week!  



May 30, 2017


On and off for the last 6 years, I spend a night or two at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel on or around the Memorial Day weekend alone.  Last year I wrote a bit about my stay and visit with my friend Irene.  This year my visit was with Jeff and Sean Patrick earlier this month. We stay at the Fairmont because I feel a connection to the hotel, and most importantly, it never disappoints!  I love the central location, my friends still live in the area, and it is a great jumping off point to do anything in Boston!  

I’m real familiar with the area, I went to school around the corner on Commonwealth Avenue, and spent numerous hours diagonally across the street at the main branch of the Boston Public Library.  On many occasions waiting to be picked up by my Mom or sister, I sat on the cold stone bench that encircles the library, eating roasted chestnuts and burnt popcorn!  My mother told me the story of that fateful day she got married on January 6th and was snowed in, due to a blizzard.  She spent the first three nights of her married life at the Copley Plaza, while waiting to catch the first flight to New York City.  I know she spoke highly of the hotel when she regaled us with stories of her wedding, and realize she never spoke of where she stayed in NYC.  That speaks volume of the Copley Plaza, and its place in her heart.    I seem to have gone off on a tangent, mainly because I adore this hotel but all I really want to do is share my visit with my husband and pup, and the great time we had at this beautiful hotel.  The whistle tour starts now…….

We were lead to the….

on the 5th floor, overlooking Copley Square and the Boston Public Library!

The boys were extremely comfortable and I went for a little workout upstairs!

The view was spectacular from all angles, and the snacks were okay!


One of the really unique things they have at this hotel are their canine ambassadors. 

Catie & Carly Copley

Both of these dogs are rescue dogs, and are usually at the hotel together when we visit.  On our last visit, only Carly was present, Catie had gone home for the day!  Sean Patrick is very friendly with Catie, knowing her for years and missed her!  Last week I learned that Catie had passed away, and we will miss her!  I leave you with a picture of Sean Patrick and a very special lady, Catie Copley!

Have a great week and I hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into our life!  

March 28, 2017

Staycation #2!!!!

a vacation spent at home or nearby-noun

On this past rainy and overcast weekend  Jeff and I embarked on our second attempt at a staycation.  Unlike our first attempt, spent at home, we went to a hotel, for one night, 26 miles away!  I’ve been home for a little over an hour and find myself not only refreshed, but thinking about the remarkable time we had at the Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI.  Comparing the two staycations we have had, this one was approximately 40 hours less than the one in January!  So how much fun can you have at a semi-isolated location, during a rainy 23 hour stay?  Loads of laughs and doing as little as possible and not actually going anywhere other than the bar and restaurant.  Castle Hill sits on 40 acres on a peninsula overseeing the East Passage and the Atlantic Ocean.  Our stay may have been short, but it certainly is memorable.  You are greeted warmly on your arrival by attentive staff, and ushered to a room with spectacular ocean views and a welcomed fireplace!  I didn’t take many photos, I was busy doing nothing, but here are a few!

Ariel view of the hotel, picture courtesy of Castle Hill!

Entrance to the Rose Room

Toasty and Comfortable!

Remnants of 3:30 PM High Tea!      

We ate, drank, and watched the world sail by until it was time to go home!  I realized you don’t need to name an occasion to slow down and enjoy life!  I’m looking forward to many more “cations” whether near or far, for hours, days, or weeks!  

February 14, 2017

Blizzard of 2017!

The threat of a major downfall of snow is invigorating, especially when schools close down for the next two days.  I decided to share with you some images I snapped, celebrating the beauty of the Blizzard of 2017!  

Thursday, 2/9/2017 @10:30 AM

2/9/2017@Noon-Start of the blizzard in the East Bay!

2/9/2017@2:00 PM-Snow is beginning to fall fast and furious!

2/9/2017@3:00 PM-Visibility is diminishing!                                                                       

The “Awakening” Bright and Sunny, Friday, 2/10/2017@7:00 AM

The snow sat heavily on the trees, breathtaking!

Friday, 2/10/2017@8:00AM

Blizzards are playdates for Sean Patrick…

and later in the day, ring around the moon, snow in the forecast!

Early Saturday morning, the neighbors were out bright and early, playing around! 2/11/2017@6:30AM

Back to work early Monday morning, the wind still blowing…

the snow piled high…

and the hope that this wintery weather stays for a few more days!

The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them:

there ought to be as many for love.

– Margaret Atwood




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

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