Monday, 27 February 2012

The House Of Two Teens!!

I have to say that being recently prescribed medication to reduce my blood pressure could not have been more timely!!

Saturday saw my baby boy turn thirteen & it was almost as if his older brother saw fit to ‘show him the ropes’ of being a terrible teen, throughout the entire day!  interspersed between card openings, breakfast, gift openings, a very pleasant trip to a local outlet centre (to spend his ‘burning-a-hole-in-my-pocket’ birthday money on clothes) & a birthday tea, were bouts of bickering, abuse & general wind-up sessions in varying degrees of intensity & volume!!  Is it just boys that do this?

2 February  
That said, all in all I think Nathan enjoyed his day & did very well in the gift department! It really was a pleasure watching him choose a selection of T-shirts, a hoodie & some high-top Nike trainers, always attracted to bright colours & of course the ‘right’ brands! Thank goodness for T.K.Maxx & being able to find five items for the original price of one!!  I wish they’d been around when I was a teen!!

I was very canny when it came to his birthday cake & suggested that instead of the usual large cake, that I bake a batch of cupcakes. My ulterior motive being that it’s easier to ‘Pro-point’ an individual portion that way!! A slice can be….well a slice…or a s-l-i-c-e!!!! If you know what I mean?!!!! So, I was able to enjoy a birthday cupcake (or two!) & still stay well within my daily allowance!! :)

As far as ‘Move More Eat Well’ is concerned, February has proved, not unexpectedly, to be a bit of a challenge! I’m certainly moving more but the eating well hit a glitch just after I was told that my ‘Op’ had to be postponed! The good news is I haven’t gained any weight, the bad news is up until last Wednesday I hadn’t lost any more either!!!

BUT…a much appreciated outcome of my last BP check-up was a GP referral to Weight Watchers, funded by the NHS!!  So, last Wednesday I went along to class & have been so ‘In Control’ ever since! I have negotiated an evening out with the girls as well as Nathans birthday without a single slip! Weigh in is on Wednesday mornings, so I can’t wait to see what the scales will say this week!! Maybe February’s ‘Move More Eat Well’ album pages won’t look like such a disaster after all?!!!

I also have my next BP check-up on Wednesday afternoon, so keep everything crossed for me!! I so want my BP to be low enough for my shoulder surgery to go ahead & for life to return to some semblance of normality!

I’ve nothing scrappy to share this time, but I did take part in a photo project, called ‘The Meal’ & set up by the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn NY. The idea was that all participants, worldwide, prepare a meal/snack at 12pm EST (5pm UK) & photograph it, including themselves to some degree, & post the print off to the Brooklyn Art library. I can’t wait to see how all the photo’s are to be used!! I opted for very English toasted crumpets & jam…no butter of course!!!

22 Brooklyn Art Project  

cid_6_2506045945@web80606_mail_mud_yahoo4 I’ll leave you today with a picture that came in an email…how great would it be to have one of these?!!!

Although I don’t think my ample rear would fit in that slide (!!) it would certainly make it easier getting the boys downstairs for breakfast on a school day!!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’re all feeling refreshed after the gloriously sunny weekend we’ve just had in the UK! Come back soon! :)

Monday, 20 February 2012

I think I blinked & missed it!!

Half Term, that is!! One moment it was Friday the 10th & the boys were excited about a week without school & the next the alarm is going off & it’s this morning & time to get back into routine!! How did that happen?!!

But…the week did hold some high points!!

Firstly, I have to echo some observations that the lovely Deb made in a recent post over on her blog, about how wonderful it is that the internet can bring us together with like minded people whom otherwise we’d probably never meet in real life!

As you know, I’m taking part in Cathy Zielske’s ‘Move More & Eat Well’ class over at Big Picture Classes & through the forum & the gallery, have come across several classmates with who I feel a connection. One of these is a super talented artist called Paul Browning.  His digital album pages just jumped right out from the gallery & his ‘story’ was one I could relate to as well!!  I’ve started following his blog & have been blown away by his ‘shabby chic’ paper craft creations!

Tag-10-02-2012 I left a comment for one particular item…a tag…& before I knew it I had a message on facebook asking for my postal details, as he wanted to send it to me!! How generous was that!

It is every bit as gorgeous in real life & it now has pride of place, on its own little easel, in my scrap room!

Thanks Paul!

I’d recommend a visit to Pauls blog, The Artsiders for some creative inspiration & leave Paul some love too!

15 Feb 2012 A 006


Of course, we had St Valentines day this week too. I think I may have traumatised the Interflora man by answering the door, still unwashed, unbrushed & in my PJ’s at 10am!!! 

He brought a gorgeous bouquet of Red Roses from my lovely Hubby, totally unexpected & still looking fresh a week later!!  I had asked for NO CHOCOLATE & he obviously got the message! We did go out for dinner too…but not until the Friday…neither of us can see the point in paying inflated prices just for eating out on ‘The Day’!!

15 Feb 2012 A 002The day after St Valentines, we had the most amazing sunset! I almost missed it!! I was working at my scrap desk & happened to glance up & out of the window…I grabbed my camera & just managed to get a shot before the sun dipped below the horizon!

SSQ11 Kit


….& what was I working on at my scrap desk?  It was a LO for a Soul Scrappers challenge. Another ‘Quest’ challenge where a little package of goodies arrives in the post & you have to use ALL the items on your project!

This time the theme was ‘seeing in the New Year 2012’…I had to cheat a bit, as I spent the New Years Eve in question curled up on the sofa in a drug induced stupor, thanks to my new pain relief prescription not agreeing with me!!  So I chose a photo of Lee & I taken at a Christmas party instead!! Well, needs must!!

I managed to use everything…down to the very last sequin & bugle bead!! The tinfoil was a challenge, but I ended up scrunching it & using it to cover the alpha’s for the title!

I had another Blood Pressure check-up on Thursday & I’m glad to report, it’s coming down nicely! Nurse Barbara thinks it may well be possible for her to sign me off for the anaesthetic when I see her again next Friday, so please, keep everything crossed for me!!! Then I just have to hope for a ‘soon as possible’ surgery date!!

So that’s all from me for today!  I know some of you will only just be starting Half Term holidays & I hope yours lasts longer than ours seemed to!!! I saw a post on facebook today that said ‘Only ‎30 more ‘get up's’ until the Easter holidays’  Love it!!  Not that I’m counting or anything!

Thank you so much for stopping by & come back soon! :)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Ups & Downs of Day-to-Day Life!

I had no sooner finished posting about how disappointed I was not to be having my shoulder surgery last Friday, when I heard from the lovely Sandra over at ‘Gotta Craft’ to let me know that I had won the recent Prize Draw for a pack of American Craft ‘Flutterbys!!

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it was just what I needed to make me smile!…& not only that, but they arrived in the post the next day!! So I got to play with them straight away!!  Thank You so much Sandra!

I had been working on a ‘Grandma’ LO challenge, set by Jami over at ‘Soul Scrappers’ & had no trouble incorporating them! In fact the whole colour scheme ended up being built around the colours of the bunting!!  What a pleasure the ‘Flutterbys’ are to work with & I’ve barely made a dent in the pack so look out for them in forthcoming LO’s!!! & on the subject of LO’s, this is the one I mentioned earlier…

Nanny's Little Angels 
This photo of ‘Nanny’ Pat (MIL) & the boys was taken back in 2002, when they still could be described as Nanny’s little angels!!

Like most parts of the country, we woke to a white world on Sunday morning…

05 Feb 2012 00205 Feb 2012 007
I was glad that I wasn’t expected at work as I detest driving in icy weather conditions. But I couldn’t resist getting out for a walk around the village & even persuaded the ever reluctant Alex to leave the sanctuary that is his tech’ filled bedroom & come with me for a breath of fresh air!

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We were only out for about half an hour but both of us glowed when we returned to the warmth of home!  Nathan, on the other hand, was out all day! Sledging, building snowmen, snowball fighting!! He came home for regular changes of clothes & finally for a hot shower to regain feeling in his fingers! I’m informed that to make the best snowballs, gloves are a no-no!! Boys!!

I had a trip to the cinema & to be frank, I rather wish I hadn’t! We went to see ‘The Descendants’ starring George Clooney. This is the second film I’ve seen with Mr Clooney that has been a real disappointment.

I always think if the cast is good, the film will be too & this film had had rave reviews on everything from it’s storyline to it’s location & was nominated for no less than five Golden Globes! In fact the only negative thing I’d heard was that George didn’t wear a Hawaiian shirt too well!!!

So, forgive me if I say it did not live up to my expectations, it was depressing & just didn’t get off the ground! Yes, it was a sad story, but I was far from moved to tears & I am by nature such a sentimental blubber. All in all, it left me cold! Sorry George!!!

My trip to the nurse on Thursday held good news! My BP had reduced from last week, my Diastolic reading was down from 103 to 93, so almost there!! Apparently, once it’s under 90 & stabilised, she’ll call the hospital so that my Op’ can be rescheduled!  Yay! 

04 Feb 2012 001One thing that might amuse you…someone mentioned that Kiwi Fruit contain an anti-oxidant called Lutein, which is supposed to help reduce blood pressure, so I have been eating at least three every day this week!!! I don’t often buy them, but they are quite delicious!!

I’m also on yet another Pain Relief medication & so far, so good!!  I can only take two a day & nothing else (other than the BP meds) so there are ‘gaps’ where I really feel the pain, but it’s amazing what a hot water bottle can do to mask it for a couple of hours!!!

Jamie A sad thing happened on Tuesday.  Mr Nibbles, Alex’s Guinea Pig, died.  He seemed fine in the morning, eating & drinking as normal, but by the time we got home from school at 3.30pm, he was dead.

RIP Mr Nibbles!

So we are down to just one piggy, Nathan’s…called Jamie & seen here >

We have brought him indoors as Piggies are social creatures & I didn’t like to think of him all alone in that great big hutch at the bottom of the garden! However well insulated & sheltered it may be!  So he’s in an indoor cage, situated in front of the French Windows in the living room & seems to be enjoying our company…although the cat’s nose is well & truly out of joint!!!

Well, that’s me done for today!  We’re waiting on more snow tonight…& the boys are again hoping there’ll be enough to close school, but I’ve told them not to hold their breath!!  Keep warm, wherever you are!  Thanks for stopping by & do come back soon! :)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Storytelling Sunday…A Tale of Consequences!

I don’t normally get to join in with ‘Storytelling Sunday’ (hosted by the lovely Sian over at ‘From High In The Sky’) as Sunday is the one day of the week when I go out to work! But, as today see’s me resting at home, & as Sian’s prompt of a ‘story about chocolate maybe?’ struck a chord, I thought I would play along today!

Christmas 1996 is where it all starts! Alex is 4 months old & his first Christmas gift to me was a 10lb Toblerone! Yes! you read that right!! I think he had a little help from his Dad, but the boy got it right!! I LOVE Toblerone & was delighted, when I opened the box to see it was actually a solid bar with ten triangles, each weighing 1lb!!

6 The Toblerone

Now, any normal person would think ‘My goodness, this will last me until next Christmas!’ but me? No…with a little help, it was all eaten by January 31st!! Five weeks to eat 10lb of chocolate! Now that is what some would call excessive…& they’d probably be right!!

Moving forward a couple of weeks & it’s the day before Valentines Day & I wake up with a grumbling pain in my abdomen. By 11am I have severe pain & can’t even sit up! The Dr is called & I’m sent to hospital straight away & kept in overnight. The problem? Gallstones!! I wonder why! I guess they’d been there a little while but the excess of all that chocolate in such a short space of time must have been the final straw!!  Believe me, passing a Gallstone is the MOST painful thing EVER!!

My Gall Bladder was removed a few months later & I still have my Gallstones in a little pot to remind me of the consequences of gluttony!!!!

Do I still enjoy Toblerone?  Of course, but just a small one please!!

Thanks for stopping by & I hope you’re all keeping warm & safe in the wintry weather! :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

So Disappointed!

Today I was supposed to be having my shoulder surgery but it has had to be postponed because my blood pressure is currently too high to undergo a General Anaesthetic.

I’m no stranger to moderately high blood pressure, for most of my adult life I’ve been advised to keep an eye on it. My reading is usually around 140 over 85, but at my pre-op assessment the best reading they could get was 167 over 103!! It is so scary because my last BP test was only six months ago, so that raise is very recent & with no symptoms at all!!

I guess that even though I am now losing some weight & have been taking more exercise through January, the last few months, with the car collision, Alex in Hospital & my very painful Christmas have all built up my stress levels to this end!

I am now on medication & I’m feeling a bit woolly headed & ‘top heavy’!! I have stopped drinking coffee & am diligently checking all food labels for salt content! I’ve been told to rest & report back to the nurse on Tuesday for a progress check. As soon as they are happy that it's stable at a more acceptable level, they will reschedule my surgery.

Meanwhile it’s plodding on with the painkillers, following Dr’s orders & wishing I was here…

…on a beach in Turkey, soaking up the sunshine…what better way to relax & de-stress?!!  **Sigh**

Keep everything crossed for me, I would so love to be able to enjoy a pain free & active Summer, but I need that Op first!! I’m off now to chill!!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Quick Bit Of Scrappiness….

Here we are…the FIRST of February!! Where did January go? I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the new prompts for ‘Move More Eat Well’ & I’ll share January’s progress as soon as it’s documented!

1 Valentines Day But for now I can share two projects with you. The first is this months challenge over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ where the inspiration comes from the movie poster for ‘Valentines Day’. The added criteria for this one was a) a black background, b) two hearts & c) use at least ten small photo’s.

I wanted a romantic theme to fit in with the film, but what did I have ten photo’s of that fit the bill? Then it it me! The garden party that Karen held to commemorate both the Royal Wedding & her own Silver Wedding Anniversary! What’s more romantic than That?!!


So, this is what I put together…

2 A Right Royal 'Do'  
…do you know, that really was a truly wonderful day! Thanks again Karen!!

Why not play along with us over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ this month, you have until the end of the month to link up your project.  As always there are some great prizes on offer & I’d love to see you there!! :)

Secondly, my LO for the lovely Dawn & her Chinese Whispers!! What a great idea this is! On the first of January, a group of us, organised by Dawn, chose a sketch, created a LO from it & then emailed that LO to the next person on the list. Dawn will keep the original sketches & a copy of each persons LO each month & at the end of the run, put them all together so we can see how each sketch ‘evolved’ with each persons interpretation! I love it!!

3 Jacky's January LO to lift for 1st Feb

For this months inspiration I received a LO from Jacky (her interpretation of her chosen sketch) & did a near total ‘lift’ from it!

I particularly liked the two photo’s set off-centre, the wording strip at the bottom, the journaling tag & the bunting, so all of those are included in my ‘lift’.


4 Boy Meets Mouse

That’s it for today, well I did say it was a quick bit of scrappiness!!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! :)