from fat to thin

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

from one who knows

26 Dec 1987 - 8 Dec 2009

At this time of year we are supposed to be celebrating but for some grief is their constant companion and lies heavy on their hearts. Take it from one who knows. But life goes on. There is a time when life and everything in it will feel like it's rushing at tremendous speed and you, well you are just trying to stand upright and breath, just breath.

There is a man who wrote a book because his daughter died, his name is Donald M Murray and the book is the Lively Shadow. There is one passage that as remained with me, although i don't remember when i read now, but it goes something like this ...'I knew if i swung my legs over the side of the bed the rest of me would follow...' If all you can do this Christmas is swing your legs over the side of the bed then keep doing it and know that you are not alone. 

There are many that have walked this path before you and there are many that will follow you. Know this that God is giving you special tools to help those that come after you and when you are ready he will provide a way for you to use them to serve others. And when the burden seems to heavy to carry one more moment cry unto Him and he will send angels to help carry it for you. Let them in, let them help, for one day you will be someone else's angel.

All must die, all must return home to Him who sent us here, to Him who loves each and everyone of us but for those who are left behind sometimes it is just too soon. 

Danielle would be the first one to help anyone, yes anyone she saw in need and the last to leave but God called her home so we could learn the lesson she didn't need to learn. I hear whispers in my heart and in my head 'I am okay' and 'live you life with heart and hands wide open.' I know she will continue to serve has she did here, it was her way but we all miss you, i miss you and the tears still come unbidden and unstoppable for all i know to be true.

For all those that mourn this Christmas know that death is not the end.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

day seven

Sorry no post yesterday as my daughter decided to try ice skating on black ice whilst walking down her street and tried to break her leg but she didn't she did something the Doctor called a David Beckham, she twisted the ligaments in her ankle. Although she claims to be independent and doesn't need me the call went something like 'mum, it's ok - i'm crying cos im in pain but it's ok cos im in an ambulance - they taking me to BRI (local A and E). I wasn't even out of bed so i dressed as quickly as i could and jumped in a taxi.

The most amazing thing of the whole morning was that when i opened my front door there was no ice on my front steps or the publice pavement in front of my house although i could clearly see it both up and down the street. I have no idea how it came to be so but i'm very grateful that it was. I am also very thankful to the all the staff at the hospital who helped to take care of my daughter but especially the lady who was cleaning the floors but helped to manouver the wheelchair my daughter was in into see the Doctor. It wasn't her job but she did it anyway. Also a big thank you for my friend who came to rescue us from the hospital once we were ready to leave.

My Gift for you today is Gratitude.

Monday, 5 December 2011

five things

I would like to put the record straight and point out that the 12 days of Christmas don’t actually start until the 24th December and they finish on the 6th January. So any gift given now would be one extra to any you may get during the 12 days.

So today is the 5th December and I would like to give you five special gifts;

-          To sing out loud
-          To dance till you’re dizzy
-          To open your heart
-          To hold out your hands
-          To know you are a child of God

‘Be still and know that I am God...’ Psalms 46:10

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Saturday, 3 December 2011

day three ...

No, not three french hens although i did think about it but couldn't come up with a fixed idea. So instead today i will give you three lady writers - authors; Alice Ozma, The Reading Promise, Amy Tan, The Bonesetter's Daughter and Sarah Winman, When God was a rabbit.

I have written a post about Alice Ozma already this year so this is just a little recap. It's autobiographical and based upon a reading challenge she began with her Father when she was 9 years old and continued until the very day she left home for college at 18. The challenge was this, they would read for at least 10 minutes a day, no matter what and she shares some of the challenges they faced and the way they overcame them, which were very amusing. She lists all the books they read over the years at the back of the book, which is a good thing so you don't have to keep going backwards and forwards through the book to find them. It did get me to read 'The Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Blume which was very different film but i enjoyed it immensely and also Matilda by Roald Dahl which because i have previously watched the film was a bit of a disappointment. 

The second book 'The Bonesetter's Daughter' by Amy Tan was a book group read but also one of those books i was meaning to read but then something else always, yes always got in the way. It is beautifully written and heart breaking in places and the pages just carry you along through the life's of mother and then daughter and then back to the mother. It shows how we often have little or nor control over many of the things that happen in our life and we have only two choices to continue to live or to let go and die. So although it begins in modern America it takes you to a very different place and time. I keep meaning to read some of the others books Amy Tan has written but i don't think i want to spoil the magic.

The last book 'When God was a Rabbit' by Sarah Winman is another one of the books that i have been meaning to read all year. I have been trying not to buy books due to the lack of funds and however no matter how many times i tried to retrieve this book from the library i was unable to do so and in the end it was on offer for next to nothing and so i allowed myself a treat. It wasn't what i was expecting, yes there was a rabbit and he was called God but mainly it's about love in all its guises. From the simple love of child to pet and that of brother and sister to the more complicated love of adults and the letting go we have to do when someone dies and the heartbreak that loving someone always seems to cause us. But love is always worth it.

So today i give you the Gift of Reading.

Friday, 2 December 2011

on the 2nd day

'On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.' or so the song goes.

Okay i'm not going to give you two turtle doves but a dove has always been a symbol of peace and so my gift today is simple - Peace.

Jesus Christ promised us that he would leave us his peace after he ascended into heaven - 'Peace I leave with you, my peace i give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid' (John 14:27 KJB)

Often we look for peace in worldly things such as wealth and pocessions but this is not the peace promised. The peace promised is that no matter what is happening in our lives we are never alone, not forsaken, not forgotten and as we struggle with life's cares, as we often do He will bend down and lift us up, send angels to comfort us and balm to heal our broken hearts.

My second Gift to you is Peace.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

a pause

It's the first of December or December 1st, it's time to pause before the hussle and bussle of the Christmas season is really upon us.

Two weeks ago, or there abouts, i visited with a friend has she was adding the last bits and pieces to her Christmas decorations, i thought it was a little early and said she was a little crazy to be trimming up so early and her reply was that her Chrsitmas shopping was complete therefore Chrsitmas was on its way. Although i must say that her tree was very pretty. On the otherhand my tree is still stuffed in its box awaiting my daughters returns from their separate universities.

To me Christmas starts on the 1st December when i finally get chance to open the first little box on the advent calender, as the count down is finally on. And no, i haven't finished all my Christmas shopping such as it is, it isn't a lot. In my little box today was a little lamb and i was reminded of the shepherd boy who thought he had nothing to give but a little lamb, which was everything he had.

What would I give if i was to give you all that i had? It would not be money for i have so little -

The first Gift is a Quiet Moment to reflect upon the year that as speedily passed us all by.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

the true meaning of Christmas

Lots and lots of people out there at the moment are posting about the true meaning of Christmas and i don't want to take away from that but let me share a few thoughts with you today.

- 22% of the population of the UK live in poverty every day

- 1.6 million children live in poverty in the UK

- 200 people living  on the streets of London, died last year (2010)

- 1 in 5 adults never give to charity in the UK

- if you were asked to give 10% of your income to charity would you?

"For i was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, Lord, when saw thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying Verily I say it unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." 
Matthew 25:42-45

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bread post

(I wrote this last week but never posted it - erm - no idea!)

Food seems to be a problem right now. I’m so bored of food and I really have no desire to be entertained by it. Everything either tastes of nothing or it tastes of metal – iron. And headaches or just a nagging head that never seems to go away either. So I don’t really know what to do with this foodie problem I seem to have, I know I need to make changes but I’m not sure how to even start.

I keep reading lots of foodie blogs and some of the food looks delicious but it all seems to be mixed together whereas I would love a slice of well-cooked roast beef and my mother’s Yorkshire puddings on the side with lovely gravy that only my mother can make. Who as the time any more to make anything fresh? Besides I keep venturing down one road and then down another road and heading off down a branch line here and there but not really coming up with anything solid, concrete. Saying that concrete is not as solid as they thought it was when they first invented it.

Take bread for instance. I like my bread fresh, I mean really fresh. I only wish I had the tenacity to make fresh bread every day but there lays another problem, getting down to light the oven. Maybe I could see if I could get someone to mend the thingy button that lights the pilot light. Then it would be a doddle. I’m surprised that my computer accepts that doddle is word, oh well we live and learn. Now back to bread. I don’t really like the packet bread, it tastes better from the bakery counter. Morrison’s supermarket bakery bread is better than Asda’s why? Because it goes off or should I say it goes dry after three days. Freshly baked bread should only be fit for toast after three days not three weeks. 

So what is the easiest way to eat healthier? Stop eating altogether for 24 hours, fast in other words and then start by only eating fruit and then adding nuts, rice, vegetables, oats, etc. Eating a perfect diet is possible but if you want to be still part of the human race you have to be able to give and take a little. Although they do say that if you give up eating all the junk; sugar, salt, prepared foods, dairy, wheat, meat, (life would be very boring) you would eventually sort out what you were allergic too or sensitive too and then you could eliminate that one thing. 

I don’t know what is happening to my body maybe it’s just old age but it does feel like my body is attacking itself, fighting to just exist. As for my friend, I know he’s concerned but I also think he thinks I’m a little crazy. Maybe it’s just all part of God’s plan and when I’m finally doing what the Lord wants me to do I’ll get better or better – er at least.

Friday, 25 November 2011

bread and butter pudding

I've just realised that this is only the third blog i've done this week and i'm so sorry. It's been a tough week but not going to share here, will spoil your appetite.

I've always loved bread and butter pudding, the traditional one, not the chocolate one or the fancy sweet bread one, just the plain and simple bread and butter one. Now it's best to use bread that is slightly 'old' but not green mouldy and no the mould would not add extra flavour. So slightly dry bread like the end of the loaf but not the crust might be a bit tough.

so here goes ...

6 slices of bread, white is best for this one
3-4 tbsp sugar
1 pint milk - whole or semi 
3 eggs beaten
dried fruit - to taste

You will need a pint dish with deep sides but not too deep, shape of your choosing but you don't want a bowl/basin, i normally use a small lasagne dish but a casserole dish would do. Butter the dish. Butter the bread both sides (gets a bit messy but it's worth it). Cut the bread into quaters and layers into the dish adding fruit as you go - i'm very sorry i'm not a measurer i just tend to add the amount that looks right so i'm giving you permission to do the same. Heat the milk in a pan to warm but don't boil it and if you do, leave it to cool to warm before adding the eggs. Now using a fine-sieve pour the milk through the sieve onto the bread in the dish. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cook on gas mark 6 (medium/hot) for about 30 minutes. Make sure the egg mixture is set/cooked by inserting the point of a knife into the middle of the dish, if you can still see liquid it's not cooked give it a few more minutes then try again.

NB you could add cooked fruit such as apple instead of the dried fruit and cinnamon.
NBB Its very nice cold for breakfast :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


There comes a point in life when we all have to say 'this isn't working' whatever 'this' is depends on the individual. I have been readings a number of blogs recently about finding your 'passion' and following your 'passion' and giving up the 9-5 job and breaking free of restrictions  - and all that. The other thing that seem to be repeated is that you don't have to continue to do a menial job just to pay the bills. Personally i'm really grateful for someone who does the menial jobs, thank you. 

I know a man, who is long time retired, who i think he would still say that in his time he had a powerful job but life being what it is and time bring changes that job was no longer available to him and therefore he had no job. He was not far from retirement and did not feel that retraining was what he needed to do. He got a job, a job people would see as menial and i'm sure it wasn't anything to do with 'passion'. The job? he cleaned streets for the local council but i can tell you now those street were the most cleanest streets in the whole of the area. He did best job he could under the circumstances. He made it his 'passion'.

We don't have to earn a pay packet fulfilling our passion but we do need to be passionate about what we are doing whatever it is. I'm grateful for the man that walks down every day picking up litter and for the ladies who continually clean the public toilets in the bus station and i'm really grateful for the tea-lady at work who without whom life would be even busier, who is actually known as a House keeper and does a beautiful job and we know instantly when she isn't working that day.

Yes, find your passion and enjoy it, we only have today we may not have tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

eat what you fancy

I'm having one of those moments when i really don't know what i want to eat and all i keep hearing is 'eat what you fancy'. To tell the truth i don't fancy anything. Even half my dinner went in the bin last night - again. Okay there is plenty of me and i'm unlikely to starve to death just yet but food holds no delight for me any more, not even chocolate.

My specialist thinks i may also have the beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as the osteoarithis. I didn't think it was possible but apparently it is. The RA normally affects multiple joints and opposite joint, such as both hands, both feet. Whereas OA can effect just one joint but sometimes more. RA is an immune response from the body, basically my body is overeacting and is now fighting itself and the OA is normally wear and tear on a particular joint. Hope that make sense?

What the causes? no one knows but it's thought to be genetic. Treatment: pills - my body doesn't noramally like those very much - and diet - need to try harder - including a dairy free diet but it does like citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes) and exercise, of cause.

I'm feeling a bit scared to eat anything this morning as once you stop something that is causing an allergic reaction your body will never be able to tolerate it again and how do you actually go 'erm, no milk please'. And what do you eat? There is dairy in many foods, especially processed food and i like cereal with milk, breakfast and supper, oh and chcocolate. And what will my family say erm do erm say erm do erm say erm do erm you get the picture when i tell them that my house is now dairy free? And where to start? do you go the whole hog and just banish all dairy or do you wean yourself off it slowly? And what is dairy free chocolate actually made from? 

I did read somewhere this morning that those who suffer migraines and breathing problems can also suffer RA and that's definately me on both accounts. I've had on going migraines all my life accompanied with flair ups from time to time and i suddenly started with breathing problem about three years ago, with no known cause but treated as asthma to which it took some time to respond but is now reasonably under control.

My body is poisoning itself and i'm hoping i can slow the decline but it's hard to know where to start???

Friday, 18 November 2011

Is it a scon or scooone?

Well actually it's a pizza!

My pizza base is made from a traditional scone mixture, add tomato base and some cheese and then whatever else you want. So here goes - 

Pizza Base

200g self raising flour
100g butter
1 egg beaten
pinch salt

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and then chop the butter into cubes and then add to the dry ingredients. Rub the butter into the dry ingredient using the tips of your fingers. Add the beaten egg a little at a time until the dry mixture comes together into a soft dough. (May need a little milk but add sparingly). Roll out to a 12in or 30cm circle or whatever shape you prefer; square, oblong or as it ends up.

Tomato base

4 tbsp tomato puree
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp basil or mixed herbs

Mixed together and then spread across the pizza base. Add grated cheese and whatever you fancy. Put it into a medium/hot oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and brown. 


Thursday, 17 November 2011

It's too early

I woke at 6:30 with headache and feeling sick. In fact i wake most mornings feeling sick these days, i put it down to the pain pills i have to take on a regular basis. But, there must be some way to overcome feeling like this every morning.

My insides and therefore my whole being feel like it's being poisoned by all the pills and potions i need to take. Some so i can get up in the mornings and some so i get some sleep. I don't think i slept very well either. Woke up feeling like i had tossed and turned and ended up bent the wrong direction. 

There has to be something that i can do to stop myself feeling like i've been poisoned every morning. Arthritis, or just living with pain, is a very odd animal i never know how bad it's going to be until i step out of bed and sometimes i don't know until i step out of the house and have to walk to the end of the street for a bus. Then there are days when i dont feel too bad, walking isn't bad either and then wham the pills wear off and i am just stuck wherever i may be. Usually i have to find somewhere to sit, have a bit to eat, take some pills and wait for them to work before i am then able to hobble on my way.

So i need pain management with less pills and arthritis managment without surgery. The answer seems simple, exercise and lose weight. So why don't i just get on with both? I think it comes down to acceptance. Whereas once upon a time not so long ago i could jump out of bed and be out the door in 15 minutes, if i had too, now it can take 2 hours. Accepting that my time table isn't the same as the world's. The beat of my drum is now different. 

I envy those people who say this is my life and this is what i'm doing with it and then do it. Whenever i try and do something like that reality kicks in and my family need me or i have yet another bill to pay or the cats need feeding and i have to slip back into life. I wish i could throw my clock away, live in my own time but i can't i have people who need me and things that need doing but just for now i will dream a little and pretend.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Out with the old, in with the new - maybe?

Well here i am again. I think i got told off a little from my sister for not blogging the last few days, she said she missed me or maybe not me but my blog. It's just been a bad week so far with one thing and another but i will not dwell on the bad and plough ahead into the future.

 I've been having another look at the British Heart Foundation diet for those who would like to lose weight and i came up with a little chart which at first glance may seem a little confusing, but i felt their lists of this and that were confusing too. 

2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
2c 2fv 1d
3c 1p 1f 3vf
1t 1d 1f 1vf
3c 1p 1f 3vf
1t 1d 1f 1vf
3c 1p 1f 3vf
3c 1p 1f 3vf
3c 1p 1f 3vf
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
3c 3vf 1p 1f
1t 1d
3c 1p
1t 1d
3c 1p
1t 1d
1t 1d
1t 1d

Oh still confused? Let me try to explain. We are supposed to eat the following every day;

 8 carbohydrates = c

 8 portions of fruit and vegetables = Fv

2 dairy = d

3 protein = p

2 fat = f

1 treat = up to 200 cals

So, I split the portions up throughout the day so that i would eat the recommended amounts and not too much of one or too little of another. These amounts should give you about 1,800 cals a day. Now i know that i eat far more then that on some days, probably most days and so i know that amount of calories would be a good place for me to start. As for how or what a portion equals too i did it in an earlier blog but an example of what i would eat or did eat on my nearest to perfect day, this is how it went;

Breakfast: 2 weetabix, milk,  1small banana, small glass orange juice
Lunch: 3 slices bread, mayonnaise, cheese, salad, grapes
Dinner: fish, potatoes, carrots, sprouts, pear, 
Extra: yogurt, jaffa cakes (4 would equal the accepted amount but i think i may have eaten more then that.)
So what looks complicated really isn't and it doesn't matter how you share things out in the end it all works out the same and everyone is different and we all eat differently so whatever way you want to go it all workd out the same. I have been weighing myself at Boots and i was beginning to think that the scales were broken because i was either the same or it went up but no, it is not true, they are not broken and today it told me that i had lost 5lbs. I have come to the conclusion that my body is just very good at food storage.