Tag Archives: Lyme Disease

Lesson 1517 – Hey, I tried

On St. Patrick ’s Day we took the kids out to dinner. Our family is not Irish, but because we have so many kids many people assume we are – so I think that kind of makes us honorary Irish.

Anyway, I’m still eating vegan and have discovered that it’s near impossible to order a vegan dish in a restaurant (unless you are happy eating salad and carrots sticks for dinner.) I did the best I could, so while everyone else got dishes like Buffalo chicken mac and cheese, lamb pockets, shrimp scampi, and yes, even a boiled corned beef dinner, I order Spanakopita  – which is a Greek and feta cheese pie.

I know, I know, feta cheese isn’t very vegan but I tried my best and it was lovely (and bonus points for being green.) This morning it’s back to oatmeal, lentils and beans with vegetables, and salads.

In just about a week, I’ll be leaving for Spain and France and veganism be damned, I assure you that I will be trying every new experience and adventure I come across (yes, I’m even determined to try Octopus.) My travel philosophy has always fallen along the lines of “when in Rome…”  Those of you who followed my border-to-border walk know that in the spirit of “Rome” I tried wild boar during that adventure (meh, it was okay, I don’t need to have it again, but that wasn’t the point.)

There will be time (roughly two weeks) after I return from Europe to clean up my diet and return to a vegan plan in order to be ready for my scheduled two (2!) skin cancer surgeries. (I’ll write more about that when I get back, don’t really want to deal with it now.) I firmly believe that nutrition and exercise (and water and hope) play a *huge* role in healing and disease management (whether it be from a chronic disease like Lyme disease or from something traumatic like surgery.)

And I plan to heal quickly so that I can attend a son’s college graduation in mid-May.



Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.



Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1505 – 10K steps at the outlets


When you live in New Hampshire, you accept there is snow during the winter. For those of us who can’t maneuver as well in the snow and ice, it can present a bit of problem when it comes to walking. Roads are narrower due to snow build-up and even sidewalks are  icy. There are many days  it’s just not worth trying to get in a walk.

But one good thing is that our town hosts an outlet shopping center. It’s a loop of stores where the walkway is always plowed and salted. They even have music constantly playing so you don’t need to carry any ear buds.  Granted our outlet is at the top of a hill so it can be chilly, but if you plan for it (a hat and gloves is a must) then it’s not bad (at least not once you get going.)

Each loop is about 1.5K so 9 -10 laps around does a walk very nicely.

I have some walking friends who have met at the outlets to do a few loops and my daughter Emma and I have gone up a few times to get some steps in. Granted it’s no trek through the woods, but at least it gets us outside and walking. Here are some views from a recent 10K step walk at the outlets proving that there are interesting things everywhere, you just have to look.

An outdoor fireplace (that I have never seen lit)


Walker friends. (I’m the light blue on the left.)


Even rain will not hold me back as long as the ground is cleared to walk.


This is about as close as I could get to any signs of Spring.  sigh.


What would an outlet be without colorful strollers?


This particular outlet needed to be carved (blasted) from the rock (Granite State, remember) check out that vein.


If you’re lucky, you  might even come across some favorite childhood characters, like Lowly Worm here.



Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.


Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1504 – Coming in at my end of the list


I ran a 5K road race yesterday – or more accurately I participated in one. I walk, I can’t run anymore. My left knee and hip is so unstable that if I even tried to run, I know I’d end up on the floor (if not the hospital.)

I have several friends who regularly join these local races and when they send out an invitation – if I can, I go. To date, my walking  instead of running has never been an issue. Usually there are enough people to ensure that there is a “walker’s group.”

But the race this weekend was small  – less than 300 people signed up.  When the guy at the front of the line wearing shorts(!) took off his shirt before the race started, I knew I was in trouble. While waiting those last few seconds before the horn blared, I looked around. There were plenty of people in full running attire – bright neon – colored shoes, light-weight jackets, and so, so, may different patterns of running tights (can you really call them leggings when they are so darn expensive?)

These were serious runners. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1500 – Forks over Knives


Oh hurrah for the optimism that is January. After doing a little bit of reading from the Forks over Knives cookbook given to me at Christmas, I decided to go full-on vegan with a plant-based diet this week. I sat down and explained what I was going to do with the kids and they (somewhat reluctantly, at least at first) agreed to go along with it. For the entire week, we are going to try our hardest to not eat any animal products.

Our first dish was Tofu Taco boats. The kids were a little squeamish about the tofu, but I got extra-firm and I pressed the water out of it and so when it was finally sauteed with onions, corn and spices it tasted fine. Continue reading

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Lesson 1471 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 11 (Ice towels and friends)

This was our 11th day. If you looked at a map, you’d see that we were roughly 2/3 of the way through New Hampshire. Although there were a few scattered mountains in our path for the most part, the big ones were behind us. We’d be seeing more people and businesses from now on.

People tend to put down roots where the land is flatter.

Susan offered us breakfast, and although I was jonesing for a cup of freshly brewed coffee, we were anxious to be on the road. Griffin and I declined the meal. We said our grateful thank-yous, pet the dog one last time and hugged Susan – our friend in the beautiful calm house and set off down her long driveway. I hadn’t yet told Griffin about the five bears that visited Susan’s yard and so it was I who cautiously looked around, on guard at each noise from the woods, while he happily whistled, excited at the new day.

Today was going to be another day when one of the red cars we saw on the road was going to be Marc. We had finally made it so that a drive up to see us was reasonable and didn’t take all day. He had arranged to meet us in Sanbornton where he would take us to lunch.

Today was going to be another good day. Continue reading

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Lesson 1470 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 10-4 (Telling Stories)

Day 10 Campton to Ashland cont.

We reached Ashland – which if we had thought Plymouth was a big town, we discovered Ashland was a metropolis.  We passed car dealerships, trucks, Dunkin Donuts (!), and stores with names I was familiar with. Now we were talking.

I had arranged to meet our contact, Susan, at the Ashland Post Office.

“Do you know what she looks like?” asked Griffin when I told him the plans.

“Not at all.”

Griffin sighed. “I’m not sure that I like this” he said in his most parental voice. “I think you’re forgetting all about Misery again.”

“Actually, Misery is the wrong reference, this would be more like House on the Hill.”

“Not making me feel better mom” Continue reading


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Lesson 1469 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 10-3 (Hello Bambies)

Day 10 Campton to Ashland cont.

Our path took us through Plymouth, a college town, where we stopped for Thai food (Thai food) for lunch. Griffin and I had learned that we could extend our stay in a restaurant (and therefore extend the time we were off our feet) by ordering an appetizer first and then eating our main meal veeeery slowly.

Even though it was a college town, two people with slightly grubby people with full backpacks draws some attention.

“Where are you coming from?” is what began a conversation with the people the next table over. We told them about our hike, noting that each day we had established more distance from our starting point of the Canadian border. The looks of amazement got more pronounced.

I loved telling people how far we had already walked.

“Yes and it took 10 days of walking for us to get right here, right now.” I said with an arm flourish, ta-dahh!

Even the pain I constantly felt wasn’t able to dim my sense of the dramatic.

After our lunch, chicken, curry, vegetables, with brown rice we walked across the street to some white Adirondack chairs sitting on a vast lawn, set up for anyone to use. We sat in the chairs and just peole watched. It was like sitting in the theater while incredible action shows on the screen. Plymouth wasn’t big, but it was the biggest town we had seen to date. People were talking and joking as they walked by us. Students bopped to music that only they heard through their ear buds. There were bikers. People, lots of people very busy just doing things.

We felt a little disoriented. So much activity after so many days of so little. Continue reading

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Lesson 1468 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 10-2 (100 Bottles)

Day 10 Campton to Ashland cont.


Griffin and I never ran out of things to talk about. Sometimes there would be silence and sometimes there would be discussion. It was always comfortable.

“What’s your next goal after this?” I asked him, looking at the white of the birches gracefully bowing over the water on my left. “Your next goal on your bucket list, what are you going to do when this is over?”

One of the reasons Griffin and I had undertaken this trip was to prove to ourselves that even with Lyme disease and chronic illness; we could still accomplish walking from one end of the state to the other.

Now that it was Day 10 we were starting to see the finish line. What we had doubted on a daily basis in the beginning (and even as late as last night when we thought we wouldn’t be able to continue) was starting to look like a distinct possibility. We were going to do this.

I could tell that Griffin was chewing on the thought, considering what would be a good next goal.

“I want to learn how to walk on stilts.”

I was surprised. “You mean the type of stilts that you hold onto?” I told him about the stilts, which were nothing more than a stick with a cross piece to stand on that I had used when I was a kid.

“No I want to learn how to use the type that strap onto your legs.” Continue reading

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Lesson 1467 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 10 (Being Badass)

Day 10 Campton to Ashland

The incessant beeping was not part of my dream. It was the alarm letting us know it was 6:00 A.M. – time to get up.

I gingerly stood bracing myself against the wall expecting my feet to be so tender they wouldn’t hold me up. Having a chronic illness means forever being disappointed with your body and what it can do and I had been bitterly disappointed last night wondering if we should end the trip, the pain level reaching a new level that indicated damage.

But come the morning, we both discovered that we didn’t hurt as much. We could walk.

The day in front of us was doable.

Having a chronic illness also means that you are continually amazed at what your body can do.

Never a dull day.

“When this is all over, I’m going to sleep late for a whole week,” grumbled Griffin as we started our early morning routine. His bed was covered with bandages, tape, moleskin, and a pair of scissors. I sat on my bed rubbing HikeGoo on my feet.

At the end of the day we were supposed to meet up with some town officials from Ashland.  Arrangements had been made for one person in the town to put us up for the night – weary travelers at the Inn.

“Do you know this person?” asked Griffin as I told him the plans.

“Nope, but I’ve communicated through email to a friend of hers.”

“Do you know that friend?”

“No, but she seemed nice.”

Griffin muttered something about “here we go again with Misery” as he opened the bandages for his feet. I clearly was the risk taker of the two of us.

The rains were on the way out, and when we hit the road, we saw clouds hanging low in the valleys and even a few rain spouts that like a dream slowly disappeared the longer we we stared at them.

We were starting to see more houses and businesses. We weren’t particularly hungry, we had picked at our leftovers for breakfast, but at the first gas station we came upon we ordered bacon and cheese bagel sandwiches. Surprising ourselves, we gobbled them down and washed it all down with cold lemonade – although we were now officially heading into the southern part of the state where there would be more people and more commerce, we still weren’t going to take our chances.

We got food when we could. Continue reading

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Lesson 1466 Border to Border New Hampshire Walk – Day 9 cont. (Local Delivery)

Day 9 – Lincoln to Campton  (continued)

We still had 5 miles to go to get to our hotel and when you’ve pushed your feet to the limit too early, it makes for a very long afternoon.

We couldn’t go more than half a mile without taking a rest for our feet. We had given our all and there was no more left in the tank.

And still we walked. Rested and then walked some more.

Griffin noticed that I was in some serious pain. “We’re almost there, mom” he said looking at the map he had downloaded the night before. “It’s right up there, around the bend.”

We passed under a bridge, the sounds of cars on Route 93 above us.

“I have to stop, Griffin. I need to stop. Now” I groaned getting ready to sit on the rocks even though they were covered with bird poop.

“Mom, I swear, the hotel is just around this corner. Come on Mom, we can do this. You can do this.”

I sighed and adjusted my pack.

“Okay, let’s go.”

The hotel was around the corner (and up a small hill.) Griffin stayed outside of the main office while I checked ourselves in.

We hadn’t seen any restaurants or stores since we had stopped earlier for our sandwiches. It looked like those sandwiches were going to be our lunch and dinner for the day.

“There isn’t any place around here that delivers is there?” I optimistically asked the woman behind the check-in counter.

“There sure is,” she said and with a certain amount of pity in her eyes she dug out a menu from a folder.

“Griffin, we’re saved!” I reported to him as I waved the menu over my head. Continue reading

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