March 13, 2018

March Stormin’ 2018

Three storms within the last 11 days!  It is incredibly beautiful, but individuals with rheumatoid arthritis will tell you, these days can be extremely difficult. Individuals with different forms of arthritis are known to predict the weather with joints acting up when a rainstorm is approaching or flares may occur for those with rheumatoid arthritis when a blizzard hits.  

At 4 am this morning when I awoke to a light dusting of snow in the driveway and the brushing of a tree against the side bedroom window, I knew why I awoke so early!  It was going to be a challenging day, considering my experience with previous storms. I knew I could weather this blizzard with the help of my tool box of bad weather necessities and my walks on the beach that loosen me up.

With the impending storm barreling through the northeast and the knowledge that many with arthritic issues may be having a rough time, I decided to forgo today’s scheduled post and let all who are having a difficult time know that I am thinking of you and hoping this storm has not overwhelmed you and you are all well!  Here’s to a great week!


March 6, 2018

Nor’easter 2018

March, 2018 came in like a lion and hopefully will leave like a lamb!  After 2 1/2 days of brutal,  wet, and windy weather, I awoke this Monday morning to a light dusting of snow and winds whipping through my side yard. Being a true New Englander, severe storms and hurricanes are what one grows accustomed to living here!  I don’t know whether it is the rheumatoid arthritis or I’m not a kid anymore, but I realize you need more than milk and bread to survive a Nor’easter. A young Mary Ann would love sitting around in candle light having a few cocktails and playing games while listening to the transistor radio, eating junk food.  Well, this past weekend it was mighty difficult putting together combinations of healthy food and limited exercise, leaving me in a blue funk craving healthier food choices and wallowing in the carb doldrums.  Even though I didn’t stray very far from nutritional balance, I really missed the energy and sound sleep I’ve grown accustomed to when eating healthy.

So, this morning I’ve started to compile an “ICE” file, suggested by my RD, Patty Berry!  My “In case of emergency file” will be supported by a gas fireplace, gas stove top, and great neighbors. I will not be dependent on the 3 day supply of non-perishable food products commonly suggested by emergency readiness organizations.  My supplies are going to be the large amounts of batteries I will need to allow me to read my large print books and dine sensibly.  I will now structure a three-day meal plan that will contain ready-made salads and protein, stored in a cooler on the porch.  On the stove oatmeal, soups, and omelets will be a mainstay, and I will have that bottle of wine ready to be uncorked.  Writing this after weathering the storm I realize the cavalier attitude I had that placed me in an awkward position whereas we didn’t have a great selection of healthy food available.  I hem and hawed a day before the storm and didn’t make it to the store, therefore our food selection was limited.  Thankfully, our neighbors fed us Friday night, and Saturday we hunkered down, listened to the wind howl, and ate soup!  

I’m sharing this in an attempt to explain how complacency bit me in the butt, and I’m glad because I’ll be ready when the next storm hits!  It is always a wake up call when you wander the neighborhood and realize just how powerful Mother Nature is!  

Aftermath of the Nor’easter!

Have a great week!  


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!