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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I put together my "Quote Post" as I watched Baltimore crash and burn.  Then I thought, really Patti?  Motivational quotes as this city is in such turmoil.  I traveled to Camden Yards many, many times with my friends, Graziella, Angie and Jess, to watch the Sox play the Orioles. 

The second time we traveled to Baltimore, the four of us wore this shirt...we thought we were funny.

The shirt, as you can imagine, was the source of many humorous and not so numerous comments from Sox and Oriole fans alike.  

We made jaunts to Baltimore for several years...sometimes twice a year.  Camden Yards was a beautiful park.  Outside Camden Yards, there were vendors, the good, hard working people of Baltimore, selling water (2 for a dollar), bags of pistachio nuts (2 bags for $5.00) and Red Sox gear.  All of which you could bring into the park.  The feel outside the park was festive.  You could walk up to the box office on game day and buy great seats.  The bars and restaurants surrounding the park are overflowing on game day or game night. 

When I think of Camden Yards I think Sox v. Orioles, hotdogs, rain, good games and bad, ticket scalpers, laughter, sun and relaxation.  There were Sox wins and Sox loses.  There was friendly banter with O fans.  I always felt safe.  I never felt threatened. 

The Inner Harbor, Fell's Point, Pitango Gelato, Bonaparte Breads and Café and Mo's Fisherman's Wharf (also known as Julio Lugo's place and yes that is an inside joke.) were traditions for us.  We couldn't leave without visiting each one.  

I had my own personal tradition of taking early morning walks around Camden Yards and hotels.  I enjoyed finding different coffee shops and meeting other early risers. 

Two of my favorite memories of interactions with people of Baltimore....

The Celtics were the in the playoffs during some of our visits and I always wore my Rondo shirt at least once.  As a result of wearing that shirt I had numerous conversations about the Celtics, Rondo, Boston and Baltimore.  It was surprising to me how much the people I met loved the Celtics.

The other has to do with this sign at a church near Camden Yards...

The sign was out every time the Sox played Baltimore.  We always joked that the church changed the sign when the Yankees were in town to say, "Maybe the Yankees."  As we were walking by during one visit, a security guy was outside.  One of us said, I bet Yankees and Sox are changed when the Yanks are in town.  He said nope, even when the Yankees are in town this is what the sign says.  Orioles fans don't like Sox fans but they like Yankee fans even less.  He had to add it drove him crazy because he was a Yankee fan.

I love Baltimore.  I enjoyed the time I spent there.  I miss the people, the businesses and time spent with friends.  Oh I know we spent time in tourists areas but that doesn't mean we didn't have meaningful interactions with the very good people of the city. 

I don't wear rose colored glasses.  Baltimore is a big city with big city problems.  Still, it is with great sadness, that I watch it crash and burn. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

And I quote

Strongwomen of the 1800a

Within the next few days I will update the blog with how I am feeling as a chronicle for me and for those who are interested/left me kind. words.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today was the first time....

Today was the first time in over 9 years that I have not been able to open the front door.  This simple door knob was impossible to turn.

Me v. The Door Knob

Today was "jeans" day at work.  No jeans for me.  It was skirt day.  You see, I couldn't button the jeans...not because they didn't fit because they did but because my hands aren't working.

I started this blog posting several weeks ago but have been able to complete it and I am not sure entirely sure why.  The reason may be that it is difficult to re-live my RA journey and I don't want it to be part of the present.

Three or four years prior to diagnosis in 2006, I controlled the symptoms with diet and exercise and I thought I was invincible but I wasn't.  Those symptoms came back with a vengeance.  And that door knob in the picture above, I couldn't open it for a very long time.  I couldn't open bottles or cans or my car door.  I couldn't carry laundry up and down the stairs.  It took me a very long time to just walk up the stairs to the second floor of my house.  If I tell you 15 minutes I would not be exaggerating.  I used a cane at times.  Dressing myself was a difficult and exhausting experience.  Getting out of bed in the morning was an ordeal.  The worst part of an auto immune disease is the exhaustion.  You could get a good night's sleep, 7-8 hours, and wake up exhausted.

After about 6 years of taking Methotrexate I decided to just stop and it was all good....for a very long time.  I do believe that healthy living can solve many of our ailments.  I went another 3 years without medication.  Now the symptoms have returned and the timing could not have been worse.  Last Saturday was the first session of certification training at Iron Body Studios.  I don't think I can begin to tell you how defeated I felt.  It took me at least 2 years to work up to committing to this certification.  Unfortunately, I made the decision to restart the medication.  That is how important this certification is to me.  I don't have the time to work through healthy solutions.

The medication had not entirely clicked in by last Saturday.  So I did what I could and it felt great.  I hadn't done much heavy lifting since the last signs of symptoms.  This week I started following the program.  That bell is swinging and the get up is getting up...

Now, you ask, why did I say last signs of symptoms?  Because I had the early signs for a while but I was oblivious to them.  It was not until I could not use my hands that I realized what was happening with me. 

That is how it goes...But in the end it will all work out.

Some facts about RA

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about one-tenth as many people as osteoarthritis.  The main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks the body's joints and its internal organs.

Osteoarthritis is the  most common arthritis.  On the other hand, rheumatoid arthitis is recognized as the most crippling or disabling.

And a great article on RA and fatigue.  Note: Although this talk was presented in a workshop on rheumatoid arthritis, its message applies to people with many types of systemic rheumatic disease, including lupus(SLE), fibromyalgia, scleroderma, and others.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Food is a bonding experience.  It brings together friends and families.  As I've said before there is nothing I enjoy more than picking out fresh food and meat, uncorking a bottle of wine and enjoying a beautifully prepared meal. 

The best veggies ever come from my garden....scenes from the past few years...

Late summer pickings

Sweet Potatoes



Green Pepper but we also grow habanero, jalapeno, banana peppers,
and serrano peppers


 Coming home from work and picking dinner from the garden is my favorite part of summer.  Tomatoes are usually overflowing.  On the menu at least once a day is a BAS brought to you by Jill Coleman.  Check out her ideas on making salads yummy and filling.


Let's talk local.  Find a farm you trust buy there fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat.  Know where your food comes from.  Check out this clip.

The first woman's weight lifting blog I started reading was Krista Scott Dixon's.  She has an interesting out of the box take on everything including food.

I have a love of farms.  I probably romanticize them a bit.  Some interesting articles on farming and learning to farm.

First time I had these raw oysters was at Short and Main in Gloucester....$1.00 each the first hour they were open.  Best oysters ever.  Now, you can visit their oyster farm.

A goat farm...Toad's Farm

Find a CSA.  Support a local farm.  Visit a local farm.  I promise you won't be disappointed.