Friday, 9 November 2012

Another update

Hello there.
Just a short update; confirming I'm still alive! lol

Still trying to eat healthily. Haven't lost much weight this last month - only a couple of pounds.

I've been feeling very down. Sometimes life just stinks, doesn't it? My nieces partner has just found out she has a Brain tumour, and secondaries in her lungs. J remains very positive, so we are all hopeful of a good outcome. She's just completed a course of radiotherapy and is exhausted. (As R. went through this a few years ago I know how tiring it is.) She starts chemotherapy in a couple of weeks. If you have a God, please pray for them both? Please keep them in your thoughts if you don't. Thank you.

We're also due to find out this week if our Single Status appeal has been successful or not - and we are thinking not! :-( I don't feel I can carry on if we aren't successful, so have started looking for another job - although maybe it's time to move on anyway. Perhaps they are doing me a favour?

I finally got an appointment with my GP. My blood pressure is fairly high - it's always been "spot on" so that was a bit of a shock, but not really surprising..... I've agreed to go back on all my tablets, providing I could have a statin that wasn't Simvastatin! I didn't expect her to agree to that (it's the cheapest option for Statins, so all surgeries prefer it.. :p ) Anyway, she did agree. We also had the usual "do you smoke, excercise, drinks, eat healthily, relax" - "yes - between 5 and 10 a day, not as much as I should, none, not as much as I should, no". :-D So I agreed to try my best to keep it to 5 a day, attempt more exercising, remain virtually tee-total (not difficult, I rarely drink), eat more of my 5-a-day, and take the anti-depressants. :-( Ah well! Such is life - back to rattling, I guess. This time I'm determined not to put the weight on again, which means that I will HAVE to do more exercising - one of the side effects of one of the tablets is weight gain - I will not go there again. I hate that I let myself get to this size. I will lose it before P. gets married. I will.

Took this when we were away a few weeks ago - what was he watching so intently?.......


OK. That's it for now. Might take the week off work next week, so if I stray out on any walks I'll take the camera. Off to a party next week and I must remember the camera then - my family do get a bit silly when we all get together. lol :D
Speak soon. Thanks for calling by.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Hi there.
Just popping by to let you know how my weight loss attempts are doing. I'm not "dieting" as such, just trying to eat more sensibly. Well the regular updates haven't happened, have they? :D But the weight loss is happening..... \o/ Yay!! I've lost half a stone. Obviously not brilliant, but I'm happy with that. I've virtually cut out bread - I have Ryvita at lunchtime, with various toppings, always at least one tomato and a yoghurt. It fills me up nicely; sometimes I crave chocolate in the afternoon for some reason, and occasionally succumb, but very rarely I'm happy to report. I still have potatoes/rice with my evening meal but have cut down on the amount I eat, preferring to fill up with veg - ha! Hark at me - sounding like I know what i'm talking about! ;D It's working - who cares! LOL
Some photos now:

Ducklings on the canal: born much, much later than normal, this was the third brood for this Mum. Have no idea how many of them have survived though because I haven't seen her around for a while.

This photo was taken at the beginning of August.

Next up are a couple of photos from our few days away in the caravan. It was really nice to get away. We did nothing. No, really..... Not a thing other than a bit a fresh food shopping on our second day there. Lots of walks with Alphie; lots of sitting just looking at the River (Trent - the site we were on is bordered by the Trent) and sunsets; lots of reading (3 chick Lit books in 4 days) and just general lazing around. Alph is sooooo funny with the football. One of these days I'll video him and put it on here....

And the River view from the site - pretty!

I've saved the best 'til last: I got up to go to work on the morning of 18th August to this................

Yep! My lovely son had left a message for us. The very lovely soon-to-be American daughter in law received notification that their Visa Application had been accepted. Still a way to go. He got his letter about a month later asking him to complete several (rather confusing) forms and gather several bits of "evidence" (mainly I.D. stuff) and then send them off. As it's going to take about a month for all that evidence to come through, they decided he should go over to LA for 4 weeks while they wait.
When I dropped him off at the coach it suddenly hit me that it was the last time ever that I would be seeing him off like that (obviously when he finally goes I'll take him to Heathrow so I can cry and sob in public with a much larger audience than I'd have at Chesterfield coach station) Which is almost what I did.... as I drove home I was fighting back tears! Soppy cow that I am.
It still isn't a certainty but we can't see any reason why it shouldn't be approved, so it looks like a March wedding in LA. Which brings us full circle back to my weight loss; and the fact that I am now actually trying to lose weight but have longer to lose more, with a bit of luck.
Thanks for calling by.
Speak soon. Jude.x

Friday, 3 August 2012

Healthy living........

......... is difficult! :-)

I put on a lot of weight when I had to go on medication. I know this because when I decided to come off the medication I stopped putting on weight, even though I changed nothing else in my life.
I've been thinking for a while that I need to do something about it. I did a couple of years ago, but then the depression caught up with me when I stopped taking the tablets...... My very lovely DD visited a couple of weeks ago, came in like a whirlwind and left a bit like a tornado, leaving a very wind-battered Mum behind. But. A more positive Mum too! :-) Start slow and build up, she said. And that is what I'm doing. A minute on the cross-trainer (I aim for at least 4 times a week) has turned into 2.5 minutes. I know that's still rubbish, but it does my knees in! :-D
I love bread, but am forcing myself not to just have that slice of toast for supper. I'm trying to drink more water instead of tea, and eat more fruit and veg. I'm not very good with the fruit bit..... I do like fruit but somehow find it so difficult to make myself eat it.... I've been having an apple during the morning and try to have something with lunch too but don't always manage it. I love oranges but always end up in a sticky mess with them! LOL
And why this sudden urge to get fitter? Well. The LA wedding is getting closer. Still no date, but they are, apparently, now in Stage 3 of the Immigration process. I have no idea what that means time-wise (maybe one of my US readers can tell me?). What I do know is that as there will only be two of our family there - the other being my gorgeous daughter - I don't want to embarrass Philip. (Not that I think he would be, because he isn't that sort of person, he loves people for who they are, not what they are) A long-haul flight is going to be hard on my body anyway, and it's going to be very warm on my big, fat, whale-like body. But most of all.... when DD came up we went into MurderHell (family name for Meadow Hall, in Sheffield lol) to look for suitable dresses for me - it made me cry! :-( I looked horrible in the first half dozen I tried on. I hated myself. I can't understand how I let myself get like this; I know HOW it happened - just not why I LET it happen; and now I have a real job to change it, and a limited time to do it.
And why am I writing this here? Now? Well, I'm hoping that by putting the thoughts "out there" in the public domain I just might embarrass myself into following through this time. I've never been small - only 5'5" but 10 stones is my personal ideal weight; any less and I start to look ill, with sunken cheeks, etc. I'm so not going to tell you how much I weigh at the moment - it's THAT bad. Just look at the size of my fingers in that photos below - and I've not put any weight on them! I'm also going to have to go back on the medication or I'll not get medical insurance when I fly out to the US.
So I'm thinking (sort of) regular updates on here could guilt me into achieving a healthier lifestyle? Any hints and tips gratefully received by the way. But be gentle, please! :D How did you start on a weight loss/healthy living journey? What encouraged you to continue when you felt like giving up? My "boys" aren't any help - "we love you no matter......" is NOT helping! lol And DD lives 150 miles away and although she emails regularly to check on progress, it's not the same, is it? I need personal motivation. 'Sigh' :-\

Anyway On a good note - I'm loving the Olympics. The Opening Ceremony was totally Awesome. Loved it all - well except for Paul McCartney! What were they thinking? He can't sing anymore. Stop dragging him out! And the choice of song? "Hey Jude" - obviously "my" song - but he murdered it and such a weird choice! But well done TeamGB on your medal haul to date. Proud to be British today! :-)

Speak soon. Jude.x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Warning - photo heavy!

Hello! Thanks for sticking with me. As I said last time I've been taking lots of photos and I'm going to share just a few of them. So in no particular order......

These next few were taken in the garden at work. The area manager wants this bed removing and a recycled plastic picnic bench put in it's place!!! We are fighting the decision as long as we can, but it will have to come out eventually!

One morning when I went to work I wore the hat to keep the sun off my head..... by the time I came home I needed the other hat to keep my ears warm!!! British weather not suit you? Wait a minute - it'll change! LOL

And the Blue-tits nested in the Camera Box again this year. 8 eggs produced 6 fledglings 20 days later.

 We went away in the caravan for a few days last week and decided to just take the Alphie dog - to give Florence a break from him, and because she isn't as good in the caravan as she used to be. He was brilliant with us; she was brilliant at home without him!!

And look at that lovely fabric on the seat!!! :-D There's been a bit of discussion on a couple of blogs I read Lucy  and Nora both have caravans with similar sort of fabric. Lucy has covered hers with crocheted blankets and it looks fabulous and Nora has a gorgeous Pinterest board with ideas for changing the interior of hers. Go and look!

I had a friend visiting for the weekend. And I baked! Yum! 

That's it for now. Getting late and I have work tomorrow. It takes so long to get pictures and words lined up in Blogger....  I've just previewed this before I post it - and it looks absolutely nothing like it does in the "Edit Post".... Grrrr. I'm too tired now, so sorry - it's going as it is! And I bet it looks different again once actually posted?!
Thanks for calling by. Speak soon.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

I am still here........

..... just busy with work and stuff.
I've been card making, baking yummy cakes, trying to keep up with cleaning (well, just trying not to let it get any worse really!), making tea (dinner) a lot more often, reading, knitting, working and sleeping! :-)

R. has had a fair bit of work; still not permanent or full-time, but enough to keep us going and a bit spare. Hence the meal-cooking more often. I hate having to make the decision. R. will eat anything so long as it's English in origin, M. will eat virtually anything but preferably with the ability to put grated cheese over the top, I'm a bit fussy, but willing to try anything at least once and P. has turned into an even fussier adult than I am! It's hard doing one meal that suits us all! Quite often I just leave P to it.... LOL

My work isn't getting any better but at least I've had some more interesting stuff to do; I love the interpretation part of my job and have redesigned a leaflet into a poster, am in the process of designing another leaflet, and a map, organising boat trips, and attempting to design an all-singing, all-dancing spreadsheet that a totally inept manager can understand (I don't think that is possible but I'm trying! :-D) We are short-staffed at the moment so leave is going to be a bit difficult, and only if it can be fitted in with everyone else. Luckily we all work well together and are prepared to do that. So! I've booked the last week of June off. Determined to go away in the caravan. Anyone know where I can get a caravan cleaned in North east Derbyshire? Seriously.... I can't reach the roof and the boys don't have the same standards as me, and it drives me mad when they don't do it properly! :-) I have a lovely hand-wash place I take the car, but when I ask about the caravan they think I'm asking about a van! :-) I think they are Lithuanian and I never seem to get either of the couple that can speak good English - I did think about taking a photo of it with me, but then thought that was a bit rude, so never have! lol.

I have a lovely camera that I don't use often enough so am attempting my own version of this. I don't have an instagram account so will post the photo's on here once I download them rather than open an account. I seem to have a bit of a fear about all these social networking sites - I "do" Facebook, but refuse to upgrade to Timeline and only have 'Friends' seeing anything, I have a Pinterest account but have only 'pinned' half a dozen things. I do have a Smart phone, but don't FB or Twitter or anything on it! What am I like!!!! Love technology, but hate the resulting intrusion into my life! LOL
I'm looking for a small camera that I can stick in my work trousers or jacket pocket, but don't want to spend too much on it. Any suggestions?

Anyway! That's it for now. Will share the photos once I download them and get some time. I will try to blog more often.... well, I promise to TRY! :-)
Speak soon. Jude.x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The internet!

Why is it? Whenever or wherever I am leaving a comment on a blog, only about 10% of them are actually saving? It doesn't matter whether I am making a comment on a blog using Blogger, WordPress or Typepad the comment just doesn't save!? It is so frustrating! It's not so bad if you are just leaving a comment to say you love something or Oh no, that's sad, but when you leave a long comment (Yeah! I know I waffle so maybe it's not such a bad thing sometimes :-D ) it's really, really annoying!I've tried signing in before I go blog-hopping through my favourites, I've tried signing in only if I want to comment - makes no difference. Any ideas, anyone?

The other thing that seems to have hit the fan this week is Pinterest. I have a Pinterest account, with about 12 things pinned. LOL.  I've always gone back to the original place before I pinned, and found it really freaky when it was repinned within 5 or 10 minutes. And then all this with the Terms and Conditions....... I seriously thought maybe I should just go back to saving links in my favourites. Anyway, someone asked a question about the T&C's on UKS this week. I commented, and added that I felt a bit freaked.... I think I upset/offeneded some people, which certainly wasn't my intention; but a couple of people very kindly explained a couple of things about how it all works, and I think now I understand it better..... I'm hooked!!! Wow! I had no idea! Now I don't need the "Dummies guide to Pinterest"...... But what did interest me is that everything on there has a "repin" button, and yet Pinterest T&C's were saying that if you used it you were a very, very naughty girl and if someone sued you for copyright you'd be on your own! WTF? But then I (and I presume everyone with a Pinterest account?) got an email stating a change in the T&C's. Now I've not read them properly yet so don't know what's changed other than what the email prĂ©cis stated, but I think providing I always go back to the original post for something I'm happy with pinning stuff; if someone decides to repin from me? I think that's up to them, if they are happy with that. Am I wrong? I don't know, but I do know it's easier than the great long list of favourites I've got, when I can never find anything. Until I can figure out a way of doing something similar to Pinterest but on my own hard drive, for my own personal use, I'm going to keep using it.

On a lighter note: the last few mornings the birds have been making an awful racket...... And here's why:

It's a cat in the tree. Look:

He nearly fell out this morning, so don't know if he's going to try again. He teases Alphie on a regular basis by walking along the top of the fence, or sitting on the greenhouse or shed roof. Cheeky cat!
Speak soon. Jude.x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Knitting was finished on Saturday, but I've been sewing it up. It didn't actually take too long, but I've not been well, hence 2 days to sew up! No buttons on it, but I'm going to leave those for Z to find..... she can be really fussy! LOL. Here it is:

 It's a loooong time since I really hand knitted anything other than big, thick, chunky yarn so I'm really pleased with this. Hope Z is! This wool is an expensive Rowan wool and has already been started as six other cardigans/sweaters before it finally landed on my lap, so I think she'll be happy with the fact it has actually been made into something.

It was also my brothers' birthday a couple of weeks ago and we were invited over for lunch. As money has been so tight I thought I'd make some cakes for everyone, so had a marathon baking session. Cupcakes was going to be easiest with my brothers...... :-) They'd have had the tape measure out making sure one didn't get a bigger piece than the other - yes. They are adults. It was a 50th birthday were talking about here; but they make me laugh so much!!!! Anyway, here are the cakes finished:
Even though I say so myself - they tasted good. Didn't look brilliant but it's a long time since I've had the piping bag out.......
This is the mess I made in the kitchen though; what a shame I had to clean it up! lol

 Ha! It doesn't look as messy in the photos as I know it really was - believe me I make a mess when I cook; but at least I don't use every cooking utensil in the house, like R does! ;-)
It's late so that's it for today. Speak soon
Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Good news at last!

R has called the DVLA today and been told his licence is in the post - complete with his C+E category! (Class 1) at last! It's only taken 5 months; will have to be renewed annually; but a much better chance of getting a job now. But gotta love agencies. R has been told on several occasions that once he has the licence back, the agency can have him working the next day. Yeah! Right! Good job I've never believed them or I'd be back on the downwards spiral now....... :-p Right. Off to update his CV. lol. Jude.x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Weather photos to share

Thought I'd share these winter photos. It got really cold in January. Ice on the inside of the windows in the utility room!!! Alphie took to sleeping under his blankets at night. And this was his favourite resting place during the day!

Then February saw our first snow this winter. Been lucky this year. After having what was probably the worst area in the country last year, we seem to have missed most of it this year. Been keeping my fingers crossed though. Don't mind cold, don't mind rain, love Spring and Autumn because I don't like it too hot either. Snow is OK so long as this is the worst it gets...

 Isn't this pretty? And yes. It was warm enough to sit out there and have a hot drink.
 Can you believe our regular "die-hard" cyclists were still out in this? Nut cases, the lot of them! :-)
This is where I work of course. I love it. In the middle of town but so peaceful!
What I do hate, weather-wise, is wind. Absolutely. No question. I. Hate. Wind.
Creativity is still there when I have time and my eyes are OK. (Could really do with new glasses - by the evening eyes are tired....) I have finished the left front of the cardigan I showed you last time. REALLY pleased with it because it's got a pocket. Can you believe I have never knitted anything with a pocket before! Not even when I used the knitting machine a lot. And I kept putting off starting it because I thought I was going to really struggle. I kept reading the instructions and just didn't get it. Then came the day I decided I was going to get on and do it. And it was nowhere near as difficult as I expected. Am now up to the pocket placing on the other side. Now if only I could just get going with it. What am I doing instead? Looking on-line trying to decide what to do next!!!! :-o Me bad! Just get on and do it! lol No photo. Just want to finish and do a "Tra-La" for you.
Thanks for reading.
Speak soon. Jude.x

Friday, 27 January 2012

I've been making........

..... a cardigan for my daughter. The pattern said to knit the back in two parts, but as I'm not brilliant as sewing up thought it wold look better if I knitted it in one piece. So out came the circular needles. For about a quarter of it there were 350 stitches on the needles! I'm really pleased with it. What do you think? And sorry about the colour - not had very good light for a while now so this is just lit with the sitting room lights.

It's actually a soft grey. The yarn is a Rowan yarn the Z bought months - maybe years - ago, and this is it's fifth metamorphis (is that even a word?)! Z kept getting bored until she finally asked me to knit this with it. Watch this space as I complete the rest of it.
Oh! And I'm chuffed that I've finally managed to do something creative. :-)
Speak soon.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Quick update!

Internet has been down so apologies for not updating the blog - only been able to access the www. at work, and that is so slow it takes 6 minutes to open my Facebook account! :o No. Really. 6 minutes. It used to be quicker back in the days of dial-up internet....... (Well, webpages in general, not FB because obviously FB hadn't been sent to annoy us back then!) No photo's to share today.

Anyway. R had to have another medical in the quest for his HGV licence. Only it turns out not to be a medical - just a "fit to drive" report from our GP. Who supports R fully. So there is now no excuse for the DVLA - except that I have come to the conclusion that the DVLA are total numpties. In theory his licence could be here by the end of the week. In practice I am now convinced that it will be the middle of February because according to their website they aim to make decisions and return "medical" licences within 90 days - which takes us to the middle of February.

Things aren't good for me at work, but it's a long story, so will save it for another day. And I should know more anyway in a couple of weeks.

Change..... My one little word for 2012. I have been trying to change; to make changes. I feel slightly more positive than I did, so getting there.

Biggest change? My boy came back from LA. To inform me that my lovely American Daughter............ is soon going to become my lovely American Daughter!!!! She is starting the process to get his Visa. Hopefully (for them!) he will move out in July/August, and then I'll be off to LA in September to attend a wedding! O. M. G. I so didn't see that coming.
OK. I'm leaving it there because I'm still trying to get my head around the fact.
Back soon.