Saturday, 3 August 2013

Travelling at the speed of light!!!!!

I was told we would have weeks like this, when everything seems to happen at once. We seem to have been travelling through the days at the speed of light just lately. We have caught up with family, friends, there have been birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations (and a sad one too)  but I think for the next few days we can get stuck into some of the things we had planned to do a while ago.

The garden is glorious and in all it's summer colour. The roses are having a great summer and have given us a multitude of beautiful flowers.
It really has been a good growing year...
....they just keep on coming...
It's been way too hot for me just lately. I know many people complain about the weather we have, ( there's no point in complaining really. You get what you get!) but with our temperate climate we get some of everything. I adore the cold days as much ( if nor more) that the hot days, but that's me!
Today the weather is just right, breezy and about 22 degrees.
I have lots planned for today, it's just a matter of how much I accomplish. a bit of gardening, maybe some ironing, catch up on emails, and time for some work on one of my digital projects. Later on we might just take a leisurely walk up to the marina and see if I can get some more wildlife shots along the canal tow path.
Busy but glorious days!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Weight to Go!!!!!

Don't worry, this isn't a post about expensive diet foods!  This is about what's happened to me in the last 18 months, what I've done (and not) done and hopefully what I'm going to continue to do.
In  December 2010 I had a fall and fell on my knee. An x ray showed no bones broken, and I was told that there was ligament damage. So it was pain killers and rest. Over the next six months, my knee got steadily worse, the pain was terrible to say the least, and my knee and surrounding area was filling with fluid. I could barely bend it. Walking was painful and difficult and so were stairs. I had had two visits to the hospital and they said it was definitely ligament damage and to carry on with the pain killers, and there were many I tried.
After six months it was no better in fact it was getting worse, my knee was getting more and more painful and the swelling was even more. The doctor decided it was time to see the consultant again.
At last I went for an MRI scan. This showed that I had arthritis in my knee cap and the fall had made it worse. There were also cysts in my knee, due to the fall he tells me.
The treatment was firstly for me to have a cortisone injection directly into the knee. I wasn't happy about that because I'd had one a few years ago in my foot and it caused nerve damage.
I've always had problems with medication. I was the one at school, when we has injections, who had the bright red golf ball on her arm for at least a week. A few years ago I had root canal surgery done. The dentist filled the root space using whatever it is, then I ended up like a crazed person for about 36 hours, I couldn't keep still. It was awful. "Oh you must be one of the two in every hundred it affects then!" was what my dentist said. Thanks for that!! Never again!
Anyway, the consultant said not to worry because it's different in knees and arms. I believed him, and boy did I suffer the consequences! Three weeks of excruciating pain on top of my already painful knee, I saw him again to see what was nest, the upshot was, he wasn't going to do the athroscopy because it would make it worse in the long run and a knee replacement was a no no ,so I was sent to physio.
That was fun!  I was put on a cycling machine. Bear in mind that my knee could barely bend, and it was so fat with fluid I could have screamed.   I couldn't do it. My instructions from the physio was to go back to the consultant and to tell him, that for this exercise to do any good he had to remove the cysts.
I relayed to the consultant  what the physio had said, and the answer was, "no I can't, it will make it worse". I asked him what about the fluid, it was getting worse and it was so uncomfortable?  The consultants answer was "No idea!" Well you're the expert, I was screaming in my head!
I am not a wimp, never have been. I've spent almost all my working life in jobs where I'm standing, moving about all day. Lifting, carrying etc, and now I was feeling useless, and putting weight on with getting no exercise and not being able to get out and about.
"I know, we'll send to to the pain clinic" was the answer. Well I'd had so many types of painkillers and most of them has almost poisoned me. One of them I think it was Gabapentin or something like that was really bad. I took one and thought I was having a coronary. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest!  No thanks, no more!
I waited five months for this ( urgent) appointment. When I saw the "expert" he said and these are his exact words..... " You are in your 50's now, you don't have to live like a 16 year old. Go and relax, take paracetamol, don't stop taking them, and use your Tens machine 24 hours a day if you have to. Sit and do nothing".................
That was really helpful, don't you think?
I didn't take his advice, who in their right mind would? After spending that evening crying, not only with pain, but anger too, I took the bull by the horns and did my own research.If they thought that I was going to live like this for the rest of my life then they were mistaken! Oh I must add, I did have 5 sessions at the hospital, at the acupuncture clinic.  That was interesting, the nurse may just as well have been throwing darts. After the second session, she said, " I don't know why you've bothered to come back, it's  obviously not helping!" I was told to try it, so I did. It was a waste of time!
Well, I spent six months finding everything I could about exercise and fitness training, read everything I could about arthritis and ligament damage. It paid off. Last May  (May 2012) I bought a second hand one of these.

.....not exactly the same but very similar. Anyway I thought I would give it six months and by that time if there was no change, then I would get rid of it.
I could only manage about 2 or 3 minutes at first, but I did it. There's very little impact on the knees you see. 
Over the next six months I built up my time on it, a bit each day. After a month I was beginning to see a difference, by six months the fluid was going down and I had more flexiblity in my knee.  By January this year I could manage an hour no problem. The fluid in my knee has gone and the muscles are stonger. Not only that, but I've  lost almost 6 inches around  my hips and thighs.  Because I was now getting proper exercise my weight had changed too. I never was a big eater and I don't have a sweet tooth, although I do like a treat or two. I had lost 20 lbs by March. Was I feeling good? You bet!
I had to visit my doctor a few weeks ago. I told him everything I'd done and also asked him why couldn't the people who know(?)  have given me this advice instead of me having to find out myself. After all they are supposed to be the experts! " I don't know", was his reply, but he did say to me, "What you have achieved in the last 12 months is amazing".   I was so pleased with myself and told him that I had still more I was going to do. 
Well now I can now put these back on.....

..... and it's wonderful!  But, I have something else too. I've now no need for my glider and have passed it on to someone else. A few weeks ago, after yet again, doing research into "equipment" I bought one of these....'s a magnetic and weighted hula hoop. I did laugh at some of the reviews which people had put when they'd bought one ( and sent back it seems) when I was researching. Someone had put, " It's heavy" ( yes, it says 1.5 kilos)  " I used it once, and it hurts so I sent it back" ( yes, it does say it will hurt slightly and you will get bruised until you are used to it.
I hadn't  "hooped" since primary school and I was utterly useless then, but it wasn't going to stop me from trying. So I purchased one. I told myself I would give it 3 months and if I still couldn't "hoop" after that time, I would again pass it on to someone who wanted it.
The first two weeks I tried for about 15 minutes every day. I was still totally useless at it. I couldn't  keep the hoop going at all, and by the end of the week I was bruised. (It looked like I'd been in a fight) but it didn't  hurt that much. The second week I could manage  a few revolutions and then it dropped to the floor. "Keep going, don't stop", was my motto. By the third week I could hoop, "yes!" (sorry, that's the 16 year old in me!
and to date I can do  over 1000 revolutions without it falling. And yes, I do count them. I've had it for a few weeks now and I'm getting more flexible and the best thing is that I've lost THREE inches from my waist.
I am 28 lbs lighter than I was a year ago, I'm fitter, my knee is stronger.( I still have something which moves inside it and it can cause some dreadful pain.) So I'm careful. The doctor asked if I wanted it investigating, I declined. I think I'll manage, thanks!
I still have treats.....

......and will do so occasionally.  
All my family can see such a difference in me, and it makes me feel good. The best thing is I'm down tow dress sizes too. I'm happy with what I've achieved and all it took was time to research what I needed to know. If it hadn't have worked then I would have tried something else. I am disappointed that the people who should have been able to help, couldn't, and gave me the wrong advice, (for me).  I've always been active and want to carry on being so. I may be a 57 year old grandma, but elastic stockings  and comfy chairs for the rest of my life, there won't be!!!
Get out there, do your research, and go for it, carefully, at first, but you'll get there. Trust me!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Slow down.... you move too fast!

I seem to have missed something......April!  There has been so much going on here I can't believe that it's now May.
Hubby finally got his early retirement and so we thought we'd go away for a few days. But first we travelled down to Wiltshire to see our daughter and family. Hopefully they'll be coming up to spend a few days with us soon. Then we went off to York for a midweek break. We even managed a day in Whitby....

......I got to try out my new camera, which I'd had for my birthday........

........maybe one day I'll get a perfect shot......

.....but I'm in no hurry, I just love  experimenting ( playing), just to see what it can do.
As the weather is now warming up (well, almost) it's nice to get into the garden.....

.....there's been a lot more growing since I took this shot last week, and Mick's repainted all the fencing. I did keep the tea and cake coming whilst he was doing it! The next step is to do a spot of reorganising in it. But that will be an ongoing project throughout the year.
Last Thursday we went up to Ilam Hall, from there we walked to Milldale  stopped for our packed lunch and tea and then back through Dovedale and back to Ilam.  It was a glorious day....

..... far too nice to be at home doing housework......

...... this little chap came to see what we were up to......, I think he was looking to see if we had anything to eat. Sorry, it's all gone!
Oh well, I'll save you some, next time we're there!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

It's all in the maths....isn't it?

Sometimes, you  notice things which make you think " Are people crazy!"
The cost of living is going up daily, no one is getting a pay increase, and bills just keep soaring. So why is it, that some people still seem to have money to burn? Do they have no idea what they spend, or is it a case of "when it's gone , it's gone?"
Whenever I need to buy anything I look for the best value. I don't mean the cheapest, because that can be false economy. I also want things to last.
Over the last week or so there have been a few instances which have amazed me.
I was sitting having a well earned cuppa  and I switched on the telly to "channel hop" for a few minutes. There was a "Superscrimpers" programme on and  someone was telling us all how to "frugally" clean our toilet. I watched in amazement as she proceeded to shake about half a tub of bicarb all over the toilet basin, then she added about one third of a bottle of white vinegar, and then to top it off used essential oil.
Sorry, that is not frugal.Modern flush toilets don't require much cleaning solutions if they are flushed and brushed regularly.  Ordinary brown malt vinegar can be used for any cleaning job, and is cheaper that white. The smell evaporates quickly and does just as good a job. I wouldn't waste essential oil in a toilet, I don't see the point!

Anyway, back to the channel hopping.  I noticed that these were being sold in a pack of three....
.....sticky pens, to pick up tiny beads etc. These were being sold  for £8.99 for the pack of three plus £2.99 postage and packing. WHAT!!!!
These pens are used for nail art. They pick up your tiny embellishment with the sticky end.  These particular ones are similar to the chinagraph markers, where you pull the thread instead of sharpening with a pencil sharpener.
I bought two of these pencils (mine are the ones which you have top sharpen) and it cost me 99p for the two, with free p and p. I bought mine for craft use, on cards and boxes.
I was totally amazed as the presenter said that the item was "flying out of the door".  By this time I was doing my Victor Meldrew impression!
Enough, turn it off and carry on doing what I was doing.
I'm always looking to increase my Sizzix die collection. But they have to be ones which have multiple uses and not "fashionable"  ones. Well what really amazes me is when second hand dies sell for extortionate amounts. For example I saw one of the Tim Holtz bigz dies (used) and it sold on EBay for over £28, people were putting bids on like crazy, plus the p and p was £3.50!.I bought the same die, brand new, from a craft shop via the web for £10.00 and it was free p and p!  Why don't people shop around, don't they want to save money?
it's all in the maths... isn't it?

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fast Forward.....

Well, here we are again, at the end of another month. This year we seem to be going in fast forward mode. I wouldn't mind a freeze frame for a while.  But once we get into March then we know that spring is truly on it's way, no matter what the weather. We've had some dull and dreary weather, and no doubt we'll have some more. But at least the gardens are once more bursting into life. I did manage to get out into the back garden and get all my trays, pots and other gardening paraphenalia sorted ready for the new growing season, and this weekend I will be seed sowing, in doors of course!
We have several large empty pots and this weekend we'll be taking a trip to the local nursery which is just a couple of miles from home, and treating ourselves to some glorious spring flowering plants. ( I've got my eye on some gorgeous plants.
 Anyway, this last month I've been sorting, cleaning and clearing. My little craft room had been done from top to toe. Eventually it will be decorated and have vinyl floor covering put in, but that will be later this year, once the living room has been decorated. It's still looking much better though, here's a glimpse of my little creative space.... you can see, it'd very small, but I now have everything to hand but neatly stored away. The Ikea shelving unit was perfect for the space. The top holds my Slice, Big Shot, and my A4 printer. The other unit,, which I was given, hold my A3 printer and paper file, and underneath is stored all my paper, card etc. .... ..... ...the shelves above hold my Sizzix dies on one side and my paints on the other... .... ....behind the door is the over stairs storage space. This hold boxes of fabrics, lace, ribbons and threads. There's also boxes of stamps too. .... ...that end of my big desk, which Mick built in holds my paper projects files. Yes, they're old " Ground Force" ring binders. They are going to get a makeover with some fabric. So too, is the Ikea small wooden file. This holds ink pads and embossing powders. ( I've only had it two years, but this is the year it will be repainted! Yes, there are two empty milk cartons on my desk, these have many uses, especially if you cut them up! .... ....I have my Ott Lite and ipod on this side of my desk, with Norman ready and waiting! ........ ....under my desk sits both my sewing machines and my embellisher. I will move these into the spare bedroom once I've reorganised that too. Also under here are my boxes of stamps. There's still plenty of leg room. So all in all I'm very pleased how my small room is now organised. All I've got to do now is keep it tidy. (I can hear laughing in my head!!!) If your'e wondering what I'm going to do with the empty milk cartons, then all will be revealed on my craft blog, in the next post.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

30 days later....

Well, that's January gone and this is my first post of the year! I had planned to post a couple of weeks ago, but I just didn't get around to it. I always begin sorting and moving things in January, and it's this which has kept me busy (along with hubby having a weeks holiday too) and I've managed to get through quite a lot. No cupboard, wardrobe, shelf, box or container will be left unturned. I started with my little craft room.It wasalready tidy and everything stored, but the accessability to everything was a bit difficult. So I now have some Ikea storage in there and it's looking good. I shall post pictures when I have everything in it's rightful place. Hopefully I'll have it completed tomorrow, just the last couple of boxes to go through. I have no pictures of the snow because I didn't take any. However we did take a trip up to Ilam on Sunday. There was still quite a bit of snow around, and a lot of flooding in the area too. I took these pictures of the river Manifold and you can see how high it was..... was flowing very fast......
...the wildlife didn't seem to be worried though.....
I've also managed to get some of my knitting projects finished whilst the weather was rough. But I've posted about them on my craft blog. It was nice to spend a couple of days just cooking and baking to fill the freezer up again, (another job crossed of the list) it's nice to have meals ready made, it saves a lot of time for the days we're out. They'll be a lot more soon, I hope! I've notice the green shoots appearing in the garden, so if the weather stays mild for the next couple of days, I could well be spending some time outside and cleaning and sorting out pots and planters for the new growing season. The evenings are already getting lighter, have you noticed? I have, roll on spring!

Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 here we come!

It only seems like a couple of years ago, that we were looking forward to the new millenium. Now here we are, on the eve of 2013! Time really does fly. Have you made any resolutions? I don't really make them, but I do tell myself that I will try to do certain things differently or more efficiently. I don't look back, that's not the way I'm going. I hope the New Year has some wonderful things in store for all of us! All I want is to be happy and healthy, and I wish everyone of you the same too!
Here's to 2013!!!