Monday, 7 December 2015

Me on a Monday

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


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.


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!


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!


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! 


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




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:


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.


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!


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!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Me on a Monday

Joining in again with Sian!

It was a ‘welcoming Lucy home again after her 2 week business trip to USA’ sort of weekend.  We enjoyed hearing her stories over a couple of glasses of wine.  She has been decorating her bedroom, so it was a shopping weekend (the best!).  We shopped on Saturday for curtains, lampshade and bedding for her room, and curtains for my new craft room. Then on Sunday we shopped at Ikea for chest of drawers for her room, and desk and shelves for my craft room.  Sadly, the packages were too big for our car, so we have to have them delivered.  But we did enjoy our day!  It’s quite a drive to Ikea, we go to Southampton, which is just over 1 hour away if the traffic is good.


It was a ‘making a bigger mess before it looks tidy’ sort of weekend!  I sorted the wool and yarn in bags and baskets in the corner of my lounge, and dumped them in the dining room on their way to my craft room!


It was an ‘overwhelmingly sad and shocking’ sort of weekend when we heard of the awful terrorist attacks in Paris.  Our thoughts are with all the people caught up in the turmoil.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Fiona from Staring at the Sea started this idea:


Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:


I made these little trees with my craft cabin friends Burnice and Tash. We pooled our Christmas scraps and Burnice cut the strips, Tash sewed them together and I cut them out using the template.  We sewed them with a scrap of wadding and a red and white gingham back.  They will look great on the Christmas tree or as labels for gifts.

Here’s a link to the orginal.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Me on a Monday


It was a gastronomic sort of weekend!  A thai meal at a lovely restaurant in the town centre, where the waiters do a little bow to you as they serve the delicious, colourful food!


It was a family weekend, with BIL and SIL coming down from Scotland for a visit, dinner out and a roast dinner on Sunday with the other BIL too!  We all trooped along to MIL’s nursing home.  I think she appreciated the visit, but perhaps found us all at once a little overhwelming.

I also had time for my scrapbook crop on Saturday.  More on my 1970s album later!  I have been scrapbooking my childhood photos, and reading old teenage diaries for the journaling. 

I’m sorry that it wasn’t a very photographic weekend.  I completely failed to take any photos of the family or at scrapbooking!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015




This quote I saw on Facebook this morning really spoke to me!  I know this works if our wifi is on a go-slow, we are always unplugging it! 

It’s made me think about what I do to unplug myself. 


At the moment dog walks are not stress free as we are still trying to get Barney to walk to heel, and he is prone to running off.  The little black dot in this picture is him!  I’m sure in the future dog walking will be a good unplugging!


I unplug in the evenings by watching tv for an hour or so with something to do with my hands, simple crotchet for example.  Here’s my latest blanket, the Mixed Stripe blanket from 


And there’s gardening!  A recent study has found that people with allotments are much less stressed and healthier.  I’m guessing that works for gardens too.  My routine is to take Barney outside for about 1 hour each lunchtime and I garden, he likes to dig with me!  It’s nice when he just potters about.  The fresh air does us both good!

What do you do to unplug?

Monday, 2 November 2015

Me on a Monday

Here I am joining in with Sian’s Me on a Monday for the first time!DSC_7915

It was a spooky, pumpkin carving sort of weekend.  A gathering of sweet things to offer any trick or treaters – not one ghostly person came!  (Not so many young children in our street now, they’ve all grown up!)  But the Halloween Strictly Come Dancing made up for it, love the costumes, the glitter and the glamour!  Do you like my doodled pumpkin?  Thanks to Deb for the inspiration!

It was a painty sort of weekend - we finished off painting my new craft room. We have decorated Nicholas’s old bedroom, and it looks fab!  Now I need to sort out furniture, shelving etc.  More on this later!

And it was saying goodbye and bon voyage to daughter Lucy, who flew off to America for a 2 week business trip.  I’m missing her already!

How was your weekend?

Friday, 23 October 2015

2/3rds of the way through–no longer a lurker!


No longer a lurker on people’s blogs, I have come out of the closet and am commenting left, right and centre!  I am 2/3rds of the way through my 300 blog comments in 30 days.  I’ve just written my 200th comment!  Here are some of my thoughts so far:


I have left lurkdom behind!  In the past, I did not comment on many blogs that I visited.  I hardly ever commented on sewing blogs, especially the more well known ones.  I guess I didn’t feel confident to comment, not worthy of their greatness in the online sewing community, and anyway they already got loads of comments!  Since I plucked up the courage to comment (and subscribe to their comments), some of them have commented on my comment, ie communicated with me! Not only that but lots of people I’ve left comments for have been back to visit me!  It’s a two-way communication, and that makes me very happy.  No more lurking for me!

I’ve found lots of new-to-me blogs that I will go back to have a longer look. I’ve mostly found them through blogs I know, for example, Julia’s Stamping Ground WOYWW.  I took part in an online blogging course some years ago, and have followed a few of fellow participants through the years.  Now I have connected with the others in that little community. 

Through Sandie’s blog I have found 30 days of blogging challenge. I have signed up for the 30 daily emails.  I can see that it is aimed at businesses, but am hopeful that I can use some of the ideas for my photo blog, as well as my Etsy business SewLindyLou.  That will be November’s challenge!

I have realised what I like in a blog post.  Not too long (some of the sewing blog posts are really long when they write about a particular pattern and how they made it up.)  I really like crafting blogs.  I’ve looked at some gardening blogs, but I don’t find them as compelling as paper crafting or sewing. I also like to get to know the blogger, so a few personal details and what they’ve been doing is great.  I particularly love the memes like ‘Pairs’ on Helena’s blog and Me on a Monday on Sian’s blog.  Watch out!  I’ll be joining in next month!

There is some fabulous inspiration out there!  I have noted some dressmaking patterns and fabrics that I would like.  There are some great sites with sketches and inspiration for my scrapbooking.  I have discovered some wonderful art journallers (through WOYWW) and really want to try it out for myself.  I am thinking of including it in my goals for next year, and maybe do an online course.

Now for the negatives:

Boy, does this take up a lot of time on the computer!!!  I have followed my usual blogs a lot of the time rather than always finding new blogs, as this has saved me time.  When I visit a new blog, I like to take some time to look around and read a few blog posts.  Sometimes I haven’t commented, for example, if the blogger hasn’t blogged for a while.  300 blogs in 30 days is 10 blogs per day, and there have been many days when I haven’t commented at all, especially at the weekend.

This means that I have been feeling behind all the time!  Even now, it’s the 22nd and I have only made 209 comments.  So even today I am 11 behind!  And feeling behind is stressful!

Consequently I haven’t done many of my own blog entries!  I did a post about my quilts on SewLindyLou because I was leaving comments on quilting blogs, and a post about Barney to keep my photo blog going.  I’m hoping to rectify this and start to blog much more regularly from next month on, especially with my 30 days of blogging challenge.

I need to find a way for people to follow me!  Somebody asked me how they could follow me, but I don’t know!  I think I will have to look into Bloglovin’, in fact I think I did register on there a while ago.  I am a little bit lazy when it comes to technology.  Something to put on my to-do list, along with learning about the statistics available.


It just remains for me to say ‘thank you’ for all the return comments you have made on my blogs, and I hope that we can continue communicating.  That’s what makes me happy!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Barney at 6 months

Actually he is nearly 7 months old as I write this, but these pictures were taken when he was 6 months old. 


Barney loves ‘helping’ with the gardening.  Here we are trying to rearrange the ‘rockery’ ready for planting.  It looks like we’ve pinned Barney down with the fork, but I promise, no tails were hurt during this shoot!  Barney is quite good at the ‘stay’ command now, as evidenced here.  He loves digging holes, as evidenced all over my garden and lawn, and if I am not careful he empties my pots all over the patio, trashing the plants in them.



Barney loves to play with his toys, and sometimes things he thinks are his toys!  Here he has his chicken which has sadly lost it’s squeak now it has a hole in it!  Anything squeaky is a great favourite, but so are shoes, slippers and socks –he loves to pinch a sock (clean or dirty) from the washing basket and run round the garden with it!


He is not so keen on having his paws wiped after a walk.  I had forgotten how muddy your house gets with a puppy/dog!  Barney has particularly furry paws that mud sticks to, only to let go all over my kitchen floor!  Walking on the lead is getting easier, although he is still not brilliant.  He loves to go to the local park and play with the other dogs – his favourite is a lurcher cross called Hairy McClary (Hairy for short!)  We are coming to the end of our second session of puppy training classes.  Barney is learning to walk to heel, stay, leave, to name but a few commands.

He is a very cuddly dog and loves to be stroked!  He is great fun, but hard work.  I keep saying I’m never having another puppy!  But he is so cute, I’ll forgive him almost anything!

Monday, 5 October 2015

My Garden at the end of September

We’ve had a lovely end to Summer with  a week or so of warm, sunny, dry weather.  I love the low sun at this time of year, turning everything golden.  The only problem is that it is behind a big cypress tree in our neighbour’s garden which throws our garden into shade for much of the day.


The border I planted last year has grown and filled out.  It has been quite successful this year with lots of colour.  Less colour at this time of year, but lots of different textures


I have started to replant my pots on the patio for autumn/winter and am filling the greenhouse with the summer flowering perrenials


Finally a fuschia border near the house is really filling out.  I tried to take some photos of the lovely little fairy flowers.


Friday, 2 October 2015

300 blog comments in 30 days

I’ve decided to take up the challenge set by Julie of Notes on Paper to write 300 blog comments in 30 days.  Here’s why:

* I’d like to get back into blogging regularly. My blogging has lapsed this year for several reasons: not having anything interesting to blog about, not having time at the computer because of having a puppy to look after, and having 2 blogs, I often can’t decide which one to write!Linda 008

*I am everso guilty of reading blogs and not commenting.  I would hate to think that people read my blogs and don’t comment.  I simply don’t know if people read my blogs or what they think about my posts if they don’t comment.  I aim to rectify this and aim to comment on every blog entry I read from now on.DSC_6097

*Like Julie I want to write considered comments, so this will make me think deeper about the blog entry.  I’m hoping to get some new ideas from the blogs I read, both new things to do and ideas on how to improve my blogs


*I’d love some new readers!  I’d love to connect with more people in the blogosphere, and the only way to do that is to leave comments!

*With all the other ways of connecting with others, ie facebook, instagram, twitter, there is often talk that blogging will disappear.  I hope not!  Blogging is more in-depth, and I love it!  I’m going to do my own little tiny bit to keep blogging going.

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Like Julie I am going to keep a record of the blogs I visit, and the ideas I would like to come back to.  I’m not sure whether I will read 300 different blogs, or whether I will leave several comments on some blogs.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been thinking about how to find new-to-me blogs.  I recently started dressmaking again, and decided I’d like to read sewing blogs.  I simply googled ‘sewing blogs’, and soon worked out which were the leading sewing blogs.  I did the same for gardening blogs, and found a lovely blog that I regularly visit (but don’t always comment!) When I first started blogging 10 years ago(!!) I had recently started scrapbooking, and had soon linked up with other scrapbookers, writers and photographers.  Over the years the bloggers I have connected with have changed.  I’ve dallied with art appreciation (a painting a day), family history, organisation (Simplify) and health issues such as my recently diagnosed diabetes. 

Other ways I use to find new blogs:

*Other people’s side bars (I used A Stitching Odyssey’s side bar for sewing blog reading for ages before I started SewLindyLou)

*Comment-a-thon.  Start on one blog, choose a comment, then visit that blog and so on.  This way you get to visit blogs on entirely different subjects.

Linky’s.  For example, Rinda’s Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt

Swaps.  I’ve found several new scrapbooking blogs this way.

I like to keep my favourite blogs in a list on my side bar.  I don’t use blog readers.

I’ll keep you up to date with my progress, and what I learn.  Are you going to take up the challenge?  How do you find new blogs?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Scavenger Hunt 2015 - A rather pathetic attempt!

Oh dear!  I don’t seem to have done very well with this year’s scavenger hunt!  I offer you a rather pathetic attempt, just half of the items.  I offer no excuse, except to say that my mind has been on other things, ie Barney the puppy!

Anyway, I thought I would show you what I have.  All are taken with my phone, which is very handy as I have it with me all the time, but the quality is not up to usual standard.

1 Bouquet of flowers – picked from my garden back in August. Don’t you love the grass that explodes like a firework!



3 A person walking a dog – an easy one to get!  Here’s Maurice walking Barney on the beach and in the countryside


7 A turtle – one of Barney’s squeaky toys!


9. A tent – a play tent at the Hampton Court Flower Show.  Reminds me of the one in the film ‘The Holiday’ so cute!



14. A traffic signal – a really bad phone picture from the car!


15 A flag pole with 3 flags.  This is perhaps my favourite picture!  5 flags, Scotland, Wales, the Union Jack, England and European Union on Worthing seafront.  The memorial is for soldiers who fought in the Boer War.


16. A panoramic view from the top of the Portsdown Hills overlooking Portsmouth Harbour, with the Isle of Wight in the background


17 2 or more people wearing uniforms.  Here are a samba band that were playing on the front at Littlehampton on the August bank holiday weekend.  Looks like fun!


18.  An overloaded truck or car.  Another bad photo taken out of the car window!


19.  A natural body of water.  The river Arun at Littlehampton again at the bank holiday weekend.  You can see how grey the weather was!


20. A ticket booth.  I give you 2!  One is the entrance to Hampton Court Flower Show, and the other is at the fair on the seafront here in Worthing




I did have ideas for the rest of the photos, but just didn’t get out to photograph them.  For example, we have a metal footbridge over the railway just down the road, along with several mobile phone masts!  And I really should have got a photo of our local college with its colourful window shades!

Thanks to Rinda for coming up with such a great list again, and I look forward to doing better next year!