Walk Across America

As part of a work wellness program, Blue Cross/Blue Shield had a challenge called Walk Across America.  It was a 9 week event and the idea was to get 10,000 steps each day for a total of 630,000 over the entire Challenge.  Participants formed teams and we had weekly updates.  My results are below:


Not only did I hit the goal, but I exceeded it.  And walking that much for 9 weeks, after doing a 4 week challenge in the spring has made my legs tight and strong.

Here are some of the ways I got my steps recently:

bSailing along Narragansett Bay.  I know it seems that I wouldn’t get that many steps sailing, but getting to and from the boat and to and from a restaurant and loading and unloading gave me alot of steps.

IMG_9087  IMG_4857

We had a beautiful day.  The couple that own the boat are old friends and she has RA.  She’s one of my only really close friends with RA and we are on the same meds and I think probably have about the same level of disease activity – which is that we lead busy, active lives and try not to let the RA keep us down.

IMG_1270   IMG_1276

One last Trip to Fenway Park for the last home game of the season.  This involves a lot of walking through the city.  The Red Sox have not had a very good season.  Better luck next year.

With all this walking, I should have lost some weight.  I definitely slimmed up a bit, but all this activity can’t be done without some eating.  And we’ve had some good eating, including a trip Friday night to Frank Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT.  20150925_182318 That was the summer sensation pizza.  Fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Garlic and Basil and Mozzarella.  They’ve been making pizza since 1925 and it’s the very best I’ve eaten.  I wish I could say that was all I had……but it wasn’t!

My favorite way to get steps through the entire summer was like this:

abbieOn the bikepath next door with Abbie the Jack Russell.  Those walks should be able to continue until the snow flies!!  Gotta keep my legs in shape for Ski Season?!?

DSC02405It’s coming quickly!!!

What Have I Been Doing?

This Phat54chick has been very busy.  Which is why you haven’t seen any posts from her until this morning.  Today is one of the first days with NOTHING on the agenda in a long time.  And by NOTHING I mean babysitting the grandkids later this afternoon while their parents celebrate their 6th anniversary.

After our visit to Cape Cod earlier this summer, Mr. Phat and I decided to install an outdoor shower.  We thought it would be an easy, inexpensive house upgrade.  It was neither, but worth every penny and sweat equity.  20150907_113222

20150907_113239We had help from a plumber friend who did the plumbing work.  We had help from a carpenter friend with the fencing, but Mr. and I hauled 3 yards of stone – that was bull work over a couple of weekends.  I spent most of a morning staining the fence.  All in all, it’s been a great home improvement and it was fabulous last night to take a shower under the stars.

Image  20150919_095027I needed a shower last night because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in tomatoes.  We got 2 large bushels that I peeled and put in jars and today which I have to put in a water bath for 45 minutes.  Will take all day into tomorrow as I can only do 6 at a time, but I always feel accomplished when done and the freshness of the tomatoes in February is something that can’t be duplicated.   Mr. makes Sunday Gravy on a regular basis for family dinner and these tomatoes are the keystone.

Several weeks ago we celebrated our granddaughter’s first birthday IMG_1111We call her the button, because we say she’s cute as a button.   That weekend we also went to a concert fundraiser at Sergio Franchi’s Estate in Stonington CT.  It’s something we might not have done, but were given tickets.  What an afternoon at the estate listening to his music and viewing his classic car collection.  20150829_152324 20150829_152411

Mr. and I  also had our annual anniversary trip to Fenway Park to celebrate our first date 9 years ago.  I tweeted out a picture of us with #myfenway and Fenway Park obliged by putting us on the jumbotron which made us laugh for the rest of the night.

Image1  We also ventured nearby to the TPC Boston one day with friends and we got to watch the golf pros.  Beautiful day weather wise and my girlfriend and I got to watch our boy crushes.  db Image2

OK, that’s not my girlfriend, that’s Mr.  We had a great day and lot of walking.  Which is what this blog is about  – me, health, RA and staying active.  I’ve had a good number of days with results like this.  Screenshot_2015-09-09-20-29-35I’m still involved with a work challenge for 8 weeks which is 10,000 steps per day.  I’ve managed to keep up and average over 10K steps per day.  That is over in a week, but I will keep up that pace until the snow flies.

I’m going to leave you with some of my favorite end of summer New England images.  I love September because we finally get the chance to be locals and partake of the bounty that is New England – be it seafood or the landscape.

20150916_174055  20150916_180138

Looking forward to Fall!!!

Lyme Disease

This is a totally unscientific blogpost about Lyme Disease.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  Over the years I’ve known a lot of people who have had Lyme Disease.  I live out in the woods and always wondered if I would know that I might have gotten Lyme Disease because the symptoms are similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  The one difference is that Lyme Disease’s onset typically coincides with a bull’s eye looking mark where the tick bite occurred.

So this spring I woke one morning and found this on my shin.  There was a large black tick inbedded in my leg which I attempted to remove with Tweezers.


The next day it looked like this and I realized that perhaps part of the tick was still inbedded so I had to perform more surgery to remove the tick.


You can see that there was a lot of red around the initial bite, but it sure didn’t like look the bull’s eye photos I’d viewed online.  In addition, everyone says that the Deer Tick is almost invisible to the human eye and this tick was pretty large.

The following day it looked like this:


Which was a tick bite, the scar and perhaps some poison ivy.  I had been doing a lot of yard work and there is a lot of PI out there and I had a lot of it on my.  However, I still decided I should call my primary care doctor to pay a visit.  You can’t be too sure, can you?

He looked at it and agreed that it was not classic symptoms, but he thought based on my RA, it would be a good precaution to start me on the standard anti biotic doxycycline. First line for lyme disease.  He sent me for a blood test and then gave me a slip to go in 2 months for a follow up Western Bloc blood test.  I think it was 21 days for the doxycycline and then I went about 6 weeks later for the follow up test.  The doctor’s office called and wanted to see me.  The Western Bloc had shown that I indeed had Lyme disease.  I think I’m scheduled for a follow up blood test later this fall.

So the moral is that not all Lyme Disease follows the classic patterns.  With RA, you have to be more cautious in dealing with changes to your body. You have to pay attention and be your best advocate.  Incidentally, I saw my Rheumatologist in between the 2 blood tests and he said that my Primary Care Doc did exactly as he would have and he was happy that I have pro active doctors.

A Future’s Challenge

My blogging friend Bridgette at Bridgette’s Digits has invited me to do a challenge on WordPress.  This is not one of my favorite things because they remind of the chain letter from our youth that resurfaced recently with email.  But I really like Bridgette and am proud of how motivated she has been to become more healthy.

These are the rules:

#1: Thank the blogger who nominated you. Thank you, Bridgette.   And Yes, I’ll get you back for this by the way!

#2: Link back to the challenge creator, Dreams and Movie Screens so the blogger can track your progress.

#3: Share five (5) things about your future, i.e., jobs, kids, marriage, travel, etc., so when you’re old and grey, you can look back to see if any of your future predictions came true.

So here are 5 future predictions from me:

  1.  I expect to hopefully finish the landscaping under the new outdoor shower that Mr. Phat and I had installed recently.  Mr. has been excavating, we’ve procured stone and fencing and a promise for a platform.  So now we have to put some muscle in to get it useful.


2. I am going to finish the 8 week step challenge that I’m doing at work.

go to wellness

We have to do 630,000 steps in 8 weeks.  The log says I’m a bit off pace, but I should be able to catch up today when I work on Future goal #1 above.

3.  I expect these two grandkids to grow up healthy and be successful in their endeavors:


4.  I expect to continue to enjoy the fruits of this life that I have been blessed with.  I have good friends, good health, good family and a great love.

5.  This afternoon when some high school friends come for a mini party, I am predicting that there were be laughter and love.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Summer 2015

I just said to Mr. Phat that all things considered, it’s been a great summer.  We are truly blessed living in New England because we have Ocean, Lakes, Mountains and forests and we’ve partaken of all of them this summer.

20150711_105117This picture was from earlier this summer in Franconia, New Hampshire – we walked around Echo Lake and those are the Peabody Slopes at Cannon Mountain.  This is our home away from home.

20150724_13232620150724_173923Then we spent some time during July at Cape Cod.  We had the awesome experience of 4 wheeling on Nauset Beach with our friends and we even stayed and cooked out for dinner.  It was such a fabulous experience.  The water was cold but clean and refreshing.

20150728_142842While we were at the Cape we also spent an afternoon at The Belmont in W. Harwich with my brother and Sister inlaw so we got another Cape Cod Beach perspective.  And another fabulous day.

20150802_105229This is a picture I took 2 weeks ago at East Beach in Charlestown RI.  The very best beach in the world, in my opinion.  90 parking spots and 3.5 miles of beach.  Views to Block Island and Long Island Sound.  This is our “home” beach, and when we go, it’s either 7am or 3pm otherwise you can’t get a parking spot.

20150809_173615Last weekend we had the chance to visit friends in Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire.  They have a house on an island in Meredith and we have an annual night with them at the lake.  It was a gorgeous day and we always have a sunset boat cruise with 4 couples – we’ve been doing this for 20 years.

The Sunset that night was gorgeous.


As it was last night on Narragansett Bay in RI.

20150814_192755We are truly fortunate to have all these natural resources and beautiful places in nature within our grasp.  I’ve been fortunate to be feeling very good this summer.  I have hit 10,000 steps walking almost every single day. Perhaps that has something to do with it as well.  I’ve been involved in 2 walking challenges at work and I’m holding my own.  Blessed indeed.

On Vacation

Relaxing on the beach

Relaxing on the beach

July 25.  Cape Cod.  2 days before I become Phat54Chick.  I’m still phat.  But I am fitter.  I work out regularly, I walk alot!  I’m over 7,000 steps today even though I went to the beach today with Mr Phat, his daughter, son in law and the 2 grandkids.  Managed to get in some steps.  And had a couple beers.

54 means I’m comfortable with myself.  My doctors are happy with my tests and my health.  They are impressed with how active I am. I’m really enjoying this part of my life right now.  Life goes by very quickly.  Lightning speed.  You can’t spend all of it stressing over every little thing.

So I’m out here in Cape Cod, which is God’s country.  Chatham the very center of God’s universe.  Life is good my friends.

Walk The Rhode Ahead Status

I’m in week 4 of my 6 week challenge of 420,000 steps.  Quite honestly I thought it would be more challenging for me to average 10,000 steps per day than it has been.  The only time I fell behind was when we had 2 days of rain.  I don’t have a treadmill and didn’t get as many steps in during that time.  But I’ve managed to be a little bit ahead of my goal so far.  To be on pace, I would need to be at 238000 steps at the end of today and I’m already at 245000.  I’m planning on walking after work tomorrow, and Friday we’re going to golf which is a great way to get steps in.

I bought a set of Keen walking sandals last week – mine are similar to the picture above, but they’re just plain brown.  I’m not one that loves to wear socks and I love sandals, but wanted a good pair for walking.  I love these even more than I expected that I would!!  They’re functional, comfortable and cool for summer.  Great purchase and I will continue to wear them as often as possible after the Walk The Rhode Ahead Challenge is finished.  Not sure how good they would go over at the Insurance office where I work, but I’ve been tempted to test the dress code.

See you out on the Rhode!!!

footprint : receding footprints