Thursday, 31 January 2013

Buzzing blogs.

Good morning fellow voyeurs. Now come on admit it, the reason we read other people's blogs is because we are all a tiny bit voyeuristic or to put it another way, downright nosey! 

So I thought I would share two new blogs that I have recently found. The first one is written by another Deborah (Deb B.) who was originally a smoulderer, but is now a fully paid up member of the UK club. She seems to have an extremely interesting life and I'm a tiny bit jealous of that. :-) You can read her stuff here.

The second is completely unrelated to myeloma, but is by a strange coincidence linked to Deb B. who works in mental health. On Saturday we went to a fund raiser for a small charity called Volunteers For Mental Health more specifically for Sam and Laura who are about to go out to Romania to work in a psychiatric department. They have sold a lot of their belongings and had tried to sell their house to fund their trip. They are going to keep a blog which you can read here if you fancy it. 

I am also busy keeping up to date reading about RugbyHubby's exploits as he goes through his SCT. I'm sure he wouldn't mind more cheerleaders should you wish to add your two penneth (two cents worth.) 

In other news, I have lost 1/2 lb this week, I think the copious amounts I drank over the weekend might not have helped. ;-)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Post 300!

According to Blogger, this is post number 300. I think that calls for a celebration. No hang on, I said yesterday that Mike's birthday was the last one until May so instead of cake I will ramble on about everything and nothing all at the same time. 

Three years ago Mike and I were sitting here in a dazed state, well I was sitting here, Mike had his job to go to every day, he had something to take his mind off what might be said on February 1st. With time on my hands and an internet connection I was soon reading all about Myeloma. Now people say you shouldn't Google Myeloma, but if I hadn't I wouldn't have found Paula's blog, and from there Roobeedo's. I wouldn't have gotten to know DeniseSandy, Sean Murray, Susie or Rugbyhubby, who are now all Facebook friends. I wouldn't have known the joy and hope of sharing a tiny bit of the family life of Phil and Cassie as they took on a SCT and had a new baby all within a few weeks. We have gathered new friends and their blogs along the way and lost some too. 

I like to think that one day, our little blog, might be that little ray of sunshine that lifts the spirits, just as Paula's was to us. 

Thank you all for writing and reading. I don't know what I would have done without you. xoxox

Friday, 25 January 2013

Happy Photo Friday

Or should that be Happy Birthday Photo Friday!

Today is Mike's birthday. It is also Deb's, Happy Birthday Deb. For those in the club, each birthday is a major milestone and where once they might have dreaded "another year older" birthdays are great markers to be celebrated even if it means you're older. 

Three years ago we were waiting for Mike's "official" diagnosis but we had been given a rather nifty leaflet entitled "Lymphoma, Leukaemia and Myeloma" so we had kind of guessed things weren't looking too rosy and I for one was in the depths of despair and had a general "this will be his last" attitude.  Of course as is so often the case, I was wrong, thank goodness. 

Two years ago Mike had literally just come out of hospital after his SCT and celebrating was the last thing on his mind. 

Last year Mike was still getting over a chest infection so I think that this year is probably the first birthday since 2009, that Mike and I have really both felt up to celebrating. 

Mike's 11th Birthday party.

So this morning I have been baking Mike a fruitcake and because not everyone likes fruitcake I've made cupcakes too. I reckon the day is special enough for me to forget the diet for one day and any way, today is the last birthday in the house until May when we celebrate Toni's and then middle daughter's within a couple of days of each other. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The snow remains

Those of you who know us lot on those little islands stuck somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean between America and Europe will understand what happens when we get what is considered a bit of snow. The whole country closes down. There is a lot of complaining by the media about it. But if you consider that the weather is so changeable that we cannot even guarantee we will have snow or rain or sun in any given year then you will also understand  that we just aren't set up for extremes. We don't do 3 months of snow which doesn't thaw until Spring or long hot summers that stretch for months.

The canal which froze covered in snow. 

So we still have snow. Snow that has frozen onto the pavements, which makes walking Toni a nightmare as despite several "no pull" harnesses and several years of attempted training, Toni will insist on pulling and then suddenly stopping as she picks up any interesting scents that might be wafting about. So in short I haven't done any walking for a week now. 

I am hoping that it is the lack of exercise which is responsible for my slightly less impressive loss of only 1 lb this week. Still a loss is a loss and so I can't complain too much! 

In other news, Mike had an appointment on Monday with his haematologist. It took all of 2 minutes to be told nothing has changed and come back in three months! I guess I shouldn't complain about that either. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snowy Photo Friday

Like most of Great Britain we have snow today so my photo opportunities have been  limited with my very basic digital camera. The snow is that very fine stuff which always settles. It reminds me of something I heard as a child on a 1970s TV programme called HOW. They explained an old weather saying, "Big snow, little snow. Little snow, big snow." The bigger the flake the smaller the amount of snow on the ground. 

Toni loves playing in the snow, but only when it has stopped falling, so for now she is just looking out of the window to check what is happening outside.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

You see I can do it!

Home made low fat coleslaw 3.4 g fat per 100 g. 
I struggled to find a witty title for today's post. I have days like today when my brain seems to be made of cotton wool and trying to think is like wading through treacle. Mike is lucky, he can always blame chemo brain, I have to blame my age! 

After last week's major moan there was a mega "heated discussion" that lasted a couple of days, but eventually the air was cleared. I think that is why the past week I have behaved myself. I decided to go back to keeping a record of everything I eat and drink, so that if I have a good week in terms of weight loss I can go back and do the same should another week be less successful. This week I have eaten sensibly and walked about 10 miles.  The meals haven't been boring either, Saturday was a low fat beef, onion and pepper burger with salad and low fat coleslaw, Sunday was a proper roast and Tuesday was Southern fried style chicken with wedges and coleslaw. I have lost 4 pounds. 

Let's hope by tomorrow my brain is a bit more with it so I can think of a witty photo for Photo Friday!!!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Photo Friday

Thank you for your kind comments on yesterday's post. Co-incidentally a facebook friend shared a "43 lessons of life written by a 90 year old" post yesterday and one of the points was that only you can make yourself happy, which  I guess means I'm not responsible for having to make anyone else happy, that concept might take a while to sink in, but I'll try and remember it. 

Any way, I've decided to try a new idea of putting a happy photo on every Friday. I'm not an expert at getting the focus perfect, my eyesight has reached that stage where I need glasses to read and a different pair to see distances and the fine area in between is illusive, so trying to see what is on the little screen on the camera is a real challenge. Most of the time it won't matter as I'm sure you will still get the idea. 

This week I have two photos that make me feel happy. First there is the amaryllis that my eldest daughter bought me for Christmas and which started flowering about a week ago, with  at least another four flowers still in bud.

The second one is of the willow by my pond in the garden. The pussy willow makes me happy for quite a lot of reasons. It reminds me of walking to the pub with my granddad when I was around seven years of age, as we passed large areas where the willow was used as a natural hedge. It's a very early reminder that the darkest days of Winter are over and that Spring is making its way to us. 

The willow that grows in my garden was actually part of a beautiful bouquet given to me by a florist that I helped during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day in 2008. The pussy willow in the arrangement took root in the water and so I planted it in the garden. A permanent reminder of someone's kindness. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Emotional eating.

As you have probably guessed I haven't lost any weight this week or if you are an optimist I haven't put any on. I only managed two healthy days before I returned to my bad habit of eating and drinking to satisfy my emotional hunger, a phrase I heard twice last night during two different TV programmes. I cannot really go into everything that has made me emotionally hungry here. 

I often find myself in an endless downward spiral of I'm overweight, so I'm unhappy and unable to do things, which makes me eat, which makes me hate myself, which make me eat, which makes me unhappy, which makes Mike try and help by suggesting I try exercise, which I struggle with as I get very short of breath, which makes me eat, and so it goes on and on. I have to break the cycle, but to do so I have to try and make both myself and Mike more content, not an easy task. 

I still can't believe Paula has been gone 7 months to the day. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Epiphany? Not quite.

Today is 6th January. Epiphany. Three Kings Day. Women's Christmas. There was a time when people celebrated the festival with Twelfth Cake and Epiphany Tart. Today it is simply marked by those of us who have stuck to tradition as a day to take down the decorations. One of my pet peeves is people who put the decorations up 1st December only to take them down New Years Day. I know we've all lost the real meaning of Christmas, but given it was based on a pagan festival that lasted the same length of time, even heathens could leave the tree up until today. 

Such a shame really. I wonder if other countries have lost their customs too? No more brave young men jumping into the freezing rivers in Bulgaria, OK that's a dangerous custom. Do Argentine children still leave grass and water out for the camels along with their shoes in the hope of a gift? Do people still make King Cakes with a bean or porcelain figure hidden in it? 

So today the decorations come down leaving the house feeling bare. Tomorrow my youngest turns 18. I will no longer be responsible for anyone but myself. For 25 years I have been the one to blame for the health (the eczema was caused by the washing powder I bought), behaviour ("people like you shouldn't be allowed to have kids" when an extremely naughty toddler refused to walk and sat on the floor, so I went on without him), eating habits ("you should have made her eat something other than chips and pizza, in my day we ate what was put in front of us or went hungry"), homework ("you really should make sure he/she does the work set"), exam results (obviously I didn't nag them enough to do revision), you name it I get blamed for it, for one child or another or even all! I have been blamed by everyone from health visitors,doctors and teachers to my own kids and family at various points in their lives, funnily enough no one ever seemed to blame their absent father who took off 13 years ago. 

That's more than half my life so far! 25 years of bearing the burden of having to kiss it better and solve all the problems children tend to have. So how am I going to celebrate this new found freedom? I really don't know. 

Happy Birthday littlest one!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Here's to 2013!

Happy New Year everyone. It has just occurred to me that for those very superstitious people out there  it is going to be a very long year especially if they have to write down the shortened date on a daily basis! Luckily I'm not superstitious, but I am ever so slightly apprehensive about the milestone birthday which will arrive in June. 

As we start a new year with a nice fresh diary (actually I haven't got one, I forgot both diary and calendar) I am resolute that I won't be "fat and fifty". So I will try my best over the next few months to lose a bit of weight and get into a reasonable shape. It won't be easy, as I've mentioned before, my relationship with food tends to be rather chaotic, food to celebrate and food to commiserate, either way it is always the unhealthy stuff that makes it to my plate. I need to be in a permanent state of neutralness! I'm a total food addict. 

After the success of Thinning Thursdays two years ago I realised that having to report back to all my blog readers (real or imagined) spurred me on to actually lose weight each week for fear of the shame of reporting a gain. So I hope you will all indulge me and allow me to take up valuable space in the blog-o-sphere with my dieting anecdotes.  I might even post some really lovely recipes for low fat healthy meals including home made burgers and coleslaw (home made too), low fat Southern fried style chicken (baked in the oven) and of course my butter nut squash and  bacon soup. Tonight it is a healthy chilli con carne, the only argument will be how spicy to make it.