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?