I was thinking about the 'short-cuts' I could use for making Thanksgiving dinner and got to thinking more about the things in my life I have changed because of pain and exhaustion from PsA.

For Thanksgiving, I am planning on buying pre-chopped veggies for the stuffing for Thanksgiving (I have never done that before!) and I am considering using Trader Joe's already prepped, frozen sweet potatoes as the base for my praline candied sweet potatoes vs. having to bake, peel, mash.

I have set aside my eco-mindedness and started using paper plates and bowls on a regular basis. Less work of washing dishes and one step closer to being able to sit down when exhaustion hits. I think we will even use (fancy) paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner.

Several years ago I made a bunch of fabric gift bags that just need ribbon to close. I can wrap gifts for my family lickity-split. I am thrilled that I have that stash of fabric bags ready to go this year - wrapping with paper/tape is so much more time consuming and if I were hurting/flaring would be really painful too.

I am doing as much holiday shopping as possible on-line. Saving my energy (my spoons) for other tasks.

Everyday changes include naps. I do so much better if I can squeeze a nap in sometime during the day. I have cut back on my commitments outside of the home considerably.

How have you simplified your life to accommodate your PsA aches and pains? How are you simplifying the holidays?

Talk to me Saturday. For food we ask guests to bring a dish, and use some store bought items. Usually I do take a nap, so I am already dreading Thursday and Friday. We have company arriving at 2pm Thursday, and my almost 12 yr old special needs nephew will be staying overnight with us. Which means that my quiet time will be messed up in all sorts of ways. And then my brother and his girlfriend will be back and hang out for a while. And then we go to a friends house Friday afternoon for Thanksgiving with friends. Which will be fun, but I'm going to be completely shot by then.

I pretty much never plan back to back days like this, because I know I need to rest.

After I go shopping today or tomorrow, I'll be able to make at least one of the Thanksgiving dishes in advance. And thanks for the reminder about paper plates. I think I need to go through my supply and see what supplies are needed still.

Sorry for complaining. . . This week just suddenly got out of hand with helping out at school, planning for Thanksgiving, etc. Oh, and we're throwing my son's 6th birthday party on Sunday.

My husband and I re-arranged the living room and den (we actually switched the furniture and function of each room) to make my usual days easier. We are driving about 6 hours on Wednesday to pick up our son from college. My husband raised some turkeys this summer so our freezer is full this winter. We will serve up a 38 lb turkey on Thursday for just the 3 of us! Our other son, Adam was killed in Iraq in 2007. No family is joining us this year. We are each having Thanksgiving with our own families this year. My sisters are vegetarian and serve stuffed Hubbard squashes to their families LOL! One of my sisters is having some big surgery for stage 3 cancer at Mass General on December 6 so our energies are being centered there. Prayers for her please. This year I will have the time (my husband does most of the cooking. Our son will have to play sous chef for him this year!) to build a list of things I am grateful for. It usually gets lost in the chaos but this year I will build the list and use it as a prayer while I am resting before dinner. And being grateful for this site will top the list. Be well my friends.

Michael, I am very sorry for the loss of your son. Was he serving the US military in Iraq? Prayers for your sister.

What a blessing to have a freezer full of turkey! 38 pounds! That is a HUGE bird. I am pretty sure that wouldn't fit in my 60 year old oven! LOL! Our Thanksgiving will just be our immediate family as well, just the 4 of us so nothing will be over the top or fancy. Perfect for my energy level.

Wow, 38 pounds! Will you please take a picture of it??

My husband says I got it wrong it is 321/2 lbs! Yes I will take a picture of it if you still want it will such a skimpy bird!

Yes Adam was serving with the military. He was deployed to Iraq but his Humvee hit an IED in just under 45 days there. We had just gotten use to his deployment and he was gone. He was 21. This time of year is always tough, he died 11/5/07. Thank you for your kind words.

Thank you for prayers for my sister. I am praying daily now.

I will say a prayer for you too Stoney. I know what you mean about chaos and I hate it. Sending you a warm hug too.

Michael, No words can adequately thank you and your family for the sacrifice you have made. I am so sad that any lives are lost but so thankful for the men and women who stand up to defend our freedoms. Thank you and I am sorry. I will say an extra prayer for Adam, for your other son, for your heart (as a Momma I just I cannot imagine the pain you carry) and hug my little boys (7 and 9) a little tighter this week in memory of your son.

Yes, 32.5 pounds is still photo worthy.

One of my very best friends is awaiting results from testing for a suspicious mass. It is so hard to be unable to fix those we love. I am sure they feel the same way about the pain we carry every day.

Our other son is David. He is in college and wants to be an ambassador. My heart has been full about Libya lately. One son a soldier and the other a poet with words. Life is strange. Thank you for you kind words, Organic Ketchup. I will keep you and your two young sons in my heart too.

Thanks to you all, OrganicKetchup, Stoney, michael in vermont. You're given me some much needed perspective with your honest posts. Heartfelt sympathies to you, michael, for your terrible loss. Holding each of you in my thoughts.

Even with simplifying, doing work in bursts with rests in between and splitting the cooking tasks with my husband - my feet are swollen up like balloons, my back hurts and my ankle/knee joints are starting to ache. Good thing I had no intention of battling the Black Friday crowds tomorrow because I am guessing it is going to be a painful day.

Survived the day mostly. But still need to deal with getting my kids plus my nephew off to bed. And then his parents coming back in the morning. And then going to company tomorrow.

Much as I am looking forward to spending time with my friends tomorrow, I may wind up bailing out if I'm too shot tomorrow.

Organic Ketchup,

I am trying to post a picture of our turkey on to here but having a terrible time! All these technologies are tough on old brains...... I'll see if I can accomplish it!

Michael - how long did it take to cook it?

Jim, my husband says 6.5 hours. He put it in at 9, I didn't get up until 11! I was feeling good yesterday, like I had had prednisone, which I haven't. Today I am stiff and sore, trouble bearing weight without my cane. We drove 3 hours to Albany to pick up our son and 3 hr home. I don't know if that is enough to cause a flare for me or not. Jim cooked the whole meal and cleaned up! David has been on his laptop all day with the black Friday sales! Though he did help Jim move a TV into the bedroom for me. I have been looking foreword to it for months. I am sorry you are so sore now.

I had a long drive this summer before my PsA was diagnosed and before I started any meds (besides pain meds) - 10 hours each way. The time in the car made everything SO much worse. I am sorry you are hurting. Do you have to drive your son back to school at the end of the weekend?

No today David and I spent shopping then I took him out to dinner then we met up with his Dad who will have him until Sunday and drive him back to school. I asked David to check the price on trips the whole way here by plane and bus for Christmas. I have trouble believing just riding in the car could cause such trouble. i am going to take note of it from now on and see if I see a trend. I got a massage and excercised in the warm pool and it is better. Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. I did some online Christmas shopping but avoided all stores. You are brave that you went out there! At least you had your son to protect you from the crazies out for good deals!

My feet still seem rather swollen - probably a combo of being on my feet so much yesterday AND too much sodium. I just took my weekly mtx so tomorrow will be low key.

A massage sounds lovely! I was doing water fitness class when my PsA symptoms started last summer - so I am anxious about trying it again. The pool that I go to doesn't have a beach entry so I need to be able to navigate the stairs in/out of the pool. I am not sure I am there yet. My legs just feel so weak even when they aren't sore.

Black Friday shopping in Vermont is really not like it is elsewhere. There are no nasty crowds. We go mid day and I take my cane. Sometimes we have to stand in a line at the register but usually not. We really do have more animals than people in this state, I have to drive home carefully if I drive at dusk or dawn so I don't hit a moose or deer or bear! They are more of a problem than crowds!

I sometimes go into the warm pool with my cane. I then but it up on the side. I do have some problems getting out but my arms are getting strong enough and I take my time. When I go in the evenings, like last night I don't have to deal with kids and don't feel as self conscious. I even do yoga and dance. I am trying to figure out how to slip a MP3 player up under a cap so I can do so with music! Too funny!

I am glad you had a good Thanksgiving. I have my feet up too but they are not too swollen.

Hey Organic Ketchup,

I just got my picture uploaded to this site. It landed over with the other pictures that rotate. They are to the right of the discussions on my computer! At least that is where I think it landed!!!!:-)