Driven to Distraction

Renoir-woman-at-the-garden-1873self-portrait-pierre-auguste-renoir-SAFEThe pain, fatigue, and malaise of RA can be completely overwhelming. It can keep us from working, going out with family or friends, or simply stop us dead in our tracks. How was the beloved Impressionist Pierre-August Renoir, who had severe, disabling RA during the last 20 years of his long life, able to keep on? His art–and with the power of distraction.

Read about how Renoir’s drive and courage can apply to our own lives with RA in my latest post at

The Storms in my Joints

Everett Shinn, "Snowstorm on Broadway"

Everett Shinn, “Snowstorm on Broadway”

With winter still pummeling large parts of the U.S., it seems like a good time to talk about how the weather may affect rheumatoid arthritis. Because I’m here to tell you, I don’t care what those skeptical scientist/doctor-types say. For an awful lot of us with RA, the weather does have a rather big effect on how we feel …

Read the rest here.

Posted in RA


Remember mood rings?

Heh. Well, unless you’re of a certain age, you probably don’t. Created back in 1975, mood rings were these quirky, goofy rings with a fabricated stone that responded to–the makers claimed–your mood. If you were happy, the stone was a lovely aquamarine blue. If you were depressed, it was gray. Angry? Red. And etc. They were all the rage for a couple of years, and then, like most gimmicks (think Pet Rock), they faded mostly off the market.

 *Note: A quick googling tells me that mood rings are still out there, now in a huge variety of shapes and settings. Who knew?

Anyway. Back in August of last year, when I was in the middle of packing up and moving Mom and myself to our new apartment, I bought not a mood ring, but one of those little solar-powered toys for a couple of dollars to cheer myself up. It was a rough time for both of us: physically and emotionally exhausting at once. My toy is a daisy that nods its flower head from side to side, and sorta flaps its little leaves up and down when the sun hits the sensor. I used a black Sharpy to draw a little smiley face on the yellow middle of the daisy, too. It just tickled me.

Since then, I’ve gotten into the habit of setting it in my window when I get up in the morning so it nods happily nearby as I work. No matter how much pain I’m in or how blue I might feel, it makes me smile whenever I look at it.

So you can imagine how I felt this morning when I started to move the blinds aside a bit for my Happiness Daisy–and discovered


BrokenHappyDaisy1Oh, woe! Somehow my toy daisy’s stem got broken at the curve. It’s little head was drooping sadly.

Now, here’s the thing. When I saw it, my mood just flopped to my slippers. It’s silly, I know. I can replace that toy without much effort or cost. But it was special because of when and why I bought it, and that time is past, gone, and can’t be reproduced.

And that’s what made me think of those goofy mood rings. If I had one now, I wonder what color it would be. Black? Olive green? Brown?

I’m going to try a drop of epoxy or tape or something to fix my Happiness Daisy. In the meantime, I’ll just have to remind myself that life does go on, and in spite of the highs and lows, it’s usually pretty darned good–today included.

Here’s hoping that your Happiness Daisy, whatever it is, is smiling for you today.

Posted in RA