Sunday, 7 February 2016

My Month in Numbers - January

 

Its been a very wet month, so here is 1 very muddy puppy!  I tried to bath him on my own, but he jumped out of the bath 3 times!  It took me at least 60 minutes to scrub the bathroom clean afterwards!

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We had 7 days where the temperature was below 0 degrees Celsius.  Here’s my garden on one of those days

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We had 3 birthdays in the family this month.  Archie turned 1, Tillie was 3, and my Mum was 81!  Here’s a picture with 4 generations.  Tillie and Archie, their Mum Michelle (my niece) her mother Lynda (my SIL) and Lynda’s Mum Brenda.

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Here’s Tillie with her Mum and Dad blowing out her 3 candles on her cake.

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The oldest and the youngest!  My Mum and Archie.  Isn’t he cute?

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And I sat in the hairdressers for 3 hours to have these highlights.  I read 2 magazines from cover to cover.  I wonder how many highlights I have got?

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  A look back into 2015, and forward to 2016

Hope I am not too late in wishing you all a very Happy New Year!  I hope you have all had a relaxing and peaceful Christmas.  We had a lovely time celebrating with friends and family, and now I feel rested and looking forward to what 2016 brings!



This is Christmas morning.  Lucy wanted the little plastic drawer set for her cupboard, so we filled it with presents instead of her stocking.  Nicholas had a loft ladder, so that he can get up in his enormous loft, and you can see it under his pile of presents!

Looking back on 2015, my word ADVENTURE served me well, with 3 big adventures!

Holiday in Australia and New Zealand – a holiday of a lifetime and overcoming my nervousness of flying.

Welcoming our new puppy Barney into our lives – putting in the time to train him.

Setting up my Etsy shop selling vintage sewing items – and making some sales!

Looking forward to 2106, I’d like to build on these 3 adventures, and so I have chosen 3 words: GROW, DEVELOP and FLOURISH.

I am in the process of going through some exercises in a  little book on Life Coaching to enable me to get a better understanding of what I want my life to be like, and therefore write some goals for 2016.  I will keep you posted!

Have you chosen a word for 2016?




Monday, 7 December 2015

Me on a Monday

It was a ‘is it a dog or a reindeer?’ sort of weekend!

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I opened my advent parcel number 6 yesterday and was delighted to find a pair of pink Christmassy doggie socks!  Tash (who organised my advent box) insists that it is a reindeer!  I can see that you might think that it is a reindeer as it has a red nose, but I’d really rather they were doggie!  What do you think?  (By the way it’s lip gloss in the little gingerbread man!)

Talking of doggies, it was a ‘trying to keep our little dog quiet’ sort of weekend after his little op last week – not easy when you’re a springer spaniel!.  He is bashing into everything with his ‘lampshade’!  Here’s a blurry picture of him.  There’s a few more days of wearing his lamshade, but he is on the mend now.

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Joining in with Sian for Me on a Monday.  Do hop over and see who else has taken part.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Me on a Monday

It was another gastronomic weekend, with a night out with the girls on Friday, and the first Christmas-do of this year on Saturday.  It was the gym friends dinner.  They were both very enjoyable. I didn’t take a picture of my me-made Christmas dress, but here’s a picture of the salmon I ate!

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It was a fun with flat packs kind of weekend, with 3 Ikea items built.  My craft room now has 2 Kallax units, one with a desk, and a small wardrobe.  I can’t wait to get it all organised!  I’m sure I will spend many a happy hour in there!  Pictures to come later.

It was a present wrapping kind of weekend.  My 2 craft friends and I decided to do the ‘advent parcel’ again, 1 present for every day in December.  So I have been buying and making 24 little presents for Burnice.  She has done Tash’s an Tash has done mine.  More to come on that later!

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Me on a Monday (on a Tuesday!)

It was a cold, frosty weekend.  The first cold snap of this autumn always feels the coldest doesn’t it?  Saturday blew in with a cold, cold wind, BRRRRR! 

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Time to bundle up in my newly made vintage style scarf.  I actually knitted it! (I don’t do a lot of knitting)

 

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On Sunday it was less windy, but bright and frosty, so we took Barney for our favourite walk on the downs behind our town.

It was a shelf fixing sort of weekend too!  The shelving is going up in my new craft room!  The Ikea order is due on Friday, so hopefully some pictures next week!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is ‘diabetes awareness month’, so as a fairly recently diagnosed diabetic, I thought I’d give you some info about this disease.

People with diabetes cannot control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.  We require glucose for energy, and a hormone called insulin allows the glucose to enter from the blood into the cells in our bodies.  Our bodies have some fantastic mechanisms, and one of them is blood sugar regulation.

We get glucose from the carbohydrates we eat.  In a non-diabetic, two hormones; insulin and glycogen work to stabilise the amount of glucose in the blood.  Normal values are between 5 and 7 mmol of glucose per litre of blood.

Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and acts like a key, letting the glucose in the blood gain entry into cells to be used for energy.  When blood glucose rises, eg after eating carbohydrates, the pancreas produces more insulin and the excess glucose goes into the cells.  If the blood sugar drops, there is another hormone called glycogen, that causes the liver to release some of its stored glucose.

In type 2 diabetes, the receptors on the cells do not work properly – they do not recognise the insulin, so glucose cannot enter the cells.  The pancreas works harder to create more insulin and eventually 'tires' and stops producing insulin all together.

In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (beta cells) are attacked by the immune system, and there is no insulin produced. Type 1 diabetics always have to inject insulin.

There are over 3 million people with diabetes in the UK (29million in the USA).  By far the majority – 90% are type 2. 

I am a type 1 diabetic, so not producing insulin.  I have to inject insulin 3 or 4 times per day.  Insulin comes in 2 forms:

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Basal insulin.  One injection per day of long acting insulin, a kind of background insulin that counteracts the liver’s own production of glucose.

Bolus Insulin.  Injected at each meal depending on amount of carbohydrate consumed.

I use this ‘Multiple Dose Insulin’ regime, but some people have a pump, permanently attached which drip feeds small amounts of insulin constantly, more like the pancreas in a normal person.

There is always the possibility of the blood sugar going outside the ‘normal’ range, especially as other factors can affect the blood sugar too, such as activity levels, illness, stress and alcohol.

Hypoglycaemia.  When the blood sugar goes below 4mmol/l, it is called a ‘hypo’.  Hypos can be a bit scary, as you can feel quite unwell, sweaty, dizzy, jittery, nauseous, confused.  (A bit like when you’ve had too much coffee)  You need to treat the hypo as soon as possible by consuming fast acting carbohydrate such as fizzy sugary drink, jelly babies, dextrose tablets etc.  If not treated, it can become a medical emergency as you can slip into a coma and die.

Hyperglycaemia.  When the blood sugar goes high, ie above 7mmol/l, it is a ‘hyper’.  If blood sugar is constantly above 7, the risk of complications gets much higher.  There is also the risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), a nasty condition where the blood gets acidic and you can become very unwell very quickly and require hospital treatment.

Consequently, I have to check my blood sugar at least 5 times per day, by pricking my finger and using a drop of blood on the test strip that goes in the meter.

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I always carry a blood sugar meter and hypo treatments.  Right now my choice is jelly babies!

The risk of complications such as blindness, heart attack, stroke, nerve damage leading to amputation and dementia increases the longer the blood sugar is above normal range. 

Many diabetics are finding that a low-carbohydrate diet helps, and some type 2 diabetics have been able to reverse their disease with this diet plus exercise.  I have been trying to eat low-carb, but it is difficult!  At the moment, I am eating some carbs, as I am still trying to stabilise my blood sugar, as I have not been using MDI for long. 

It is an emotional rollercoaster.  From shock at first diagnosis that I have a life long medical condition, to fear about the future and the complications, to sheer desperation that I can’t seem to get my blood sugar levels right, and depression for the sheer slog of having to think about it all the time.

But… there are worse diseases to have!  I can continue my life reasonably normally, I still exercise, I still drive, I can still do all my crafts.  I am grateful for that, and that Insulin was discovered and it keeps me alive. I am grateful too that I became diabetic in my 50s and haven’t had it all my life.  It must be really hard if you have a small child with type 1 diabetes.

Do please let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer them.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but it’s amazing how much I do know about the disease now!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Storm Barney

It seems that we in the UK are naming our winter storms just like they do hurricaines and cyclones/typhoons around the rest of the world.  This despite the fact that they are no where near as forceful!  Anyway, we had storm Abigail (A-BIG-GAIL LOL!) last week and then Storm Barney rolled in from the Atlantic last night!  We had winds of 50+ mph here, not too bad where we live. The only damage was a bit of roofing felt blown off the shed roof. The news has just told me that the midlands have had some disruption, so hope you are Ok where you live.

But, we know about Storm Barney here!

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This little pup has stormed into our lives like a whirlwind!  He is nearly 8 months old now and very teenage!  You can almost see the hormones racing around his body!!  The puppy training books tell us to be consistent and keep on top of his behaviour.  We’re trying – but it’s hard work!

As I sit here typing he is yapping at me.  We have been for a walk and play in the park with the other dogs, he should be SETTLING down now.

Oh the mud!  He has furry paws that trail mud through into my nice new kitchen!  When I try to clean the floor, he chases the mop around, and if I leave him outside, he yaps and jumps up at the back door.  (I hope the neighbours can’t hear me as I shout like a mad woman at him to ‘LEAVE IT’.)

We are trying hard to get him to walk to HEEL.  But being an inquisitive little pup, he is distracted by other dogs, people walking towards us, people getting in and out of cars, birds, squirrels, leaves blowing, shadows and sometimes it’s just a feeling!

He jumps up to the worktops and people, despite us us telling him OFF every time!  I have muddy paw prints on the doors and worktops! Luckily they wipe off easily.

BUT, he did come back to us when we blew the whistle.  We have been training him to a dog whistle, and this was the first proper RECALL.

Lucy and I gave him a bath the other night which went very well.  He looked all lovely and white and fluffy again. 

He is a very friendly little dog, always wanting to say hello, and will sit and be stroked or brushed for a long time.

I wouldn’t be without my Storm Barney!