Other than the stuff about my head, I don't seem to have done an update post lately. And I know there are a few things I neglected to mention before. Or, at least, I don't think I mentioned them. If I end up repeating a couple of things then I'm sorry. But I know some of you - like myself - enjoy reading about what your fellow blogger buddies get up to when they're not on the blogs. So, for those of you who are curious, here's a catch up post from my part of the planet. :)
Got your cuppa and snack ready? Excellent! Sitting comfortably? Fantastic! Then I'll begin, shall I? OK!
As mentioned in Kero's post yesterday, we've been doing a lot more since the start of Septtember. I hadn't done all that much - other than things like shopping and hospital trips - since before my operation last year, but we all agreed it was high time we put a stop to that. So, we held a sort of family conference, and we decided we were going to start doing more as a family, and going to some of the places we keep saying we'd like to go to, but never get around to going. On top of that, Kelly, Mam and I joined the local gym, and Kelly and Dad got their gaming club back up and running (for more on that, see Kelly's latest blog post). Now it's only really Sunday that neither of us goes anywhere. The rest of the week at least one of us goes somewhere.
Monday, Kelly goes to the gym with Mam in the morning, and I have a mobility lesson in the afternoon. Tuesday, I go to the gym with Mam in the morning, then we go shopping after we're done there. Wednesday, the three of us go to the gym in the morning, and Dad puppy sits. Thursday, we arrange some kind of family outing. Friday, Kelly goes to the gym in the morning, and has role playing. Saturday, Kelly goes to the gaming club at my parents' place.
Also, the "blind person social group" thing is on the third Wednesday afternoon of each month. I went to it for the first time this past Wednesday. They seem like a nice group of people. You can tell they're only just starting the group up yet, because there are still several things to work out. But the general idea of it is for a group of blind and partially sighted people who live locally - and any family or friends they want to bring along - to meet up, have a cuppa and a chat, and sometimes to go on outings together. They're also hoping to have people come in from places that may be of help to some of us. This week, forr example, they managed to get the people who run the "Talking news" service. Which is a sort of local newspaper, only they dropped the word "paper" because they didn't think it was appropriate since they provide the news on CD or cassette. Anyway, it seems like a nice group, so I'm planning to go again when they have their next meeting (October 21st, I think... Third Wednesday in October, anyway).
The gym trips are going quite well. My knee - the one I tore the tendons on a couple of months ago - is protesting a bit, but that doesn't surprise me. I'm sure it will get used to it. We haven't had proper sessions this week though, because Mam's not well, and I was semi-doped up on pain killers until Tuesday evening. But - now that my head is better - I'll be able to go back to nicely burning those calories. ;)
I did originally consider just buying gym equipment for use at home. But then I thought about it, and I changed my mind. For one thing, the trip to the gym gives me extra outings. For another thing, each piece of equipment would cost a couple of hundred pounds. Now, I pay about £30 ($60) per month to have unlimited use of all the machines, the other exercise equipment, and the pool. Plus free admission to any exercise or swimming classes I want to go to. And don't then have the problem of trying to find somewhere to put the equipment at home where I wont fall over it. So, on reflection, I decided I'd go to the gym.
The gym trips combined with the diet - for lack of a better word - I'm now on, have meant that I've lost about 4 lbs this month. And the month isn't even over! It's weight I really do need to get off too... Weight I put on between my first and last ops last year. I'm now only a couple of lbs off weighing what I did when I went in for the first of the ops, so that's a good start. Once I get down to what I was when I went in for that first op, I can see about getting down to what I was at before my sight actually went (which means losing about 14 lbs more than I've lost so far). After that I can see about getting off the weight I was trying to get off before all this happened.
As regards the "diet" I mentioned...
At the start of this year, Kelly and I agreed to exchange microwave meals and take-away meals for proper homemade dinners. We also agreed to cut back on snack foods and fizzy drinks. For the most part this went well, but we did end up using the chipper a bit too often. Because of this, the chipper is soon going to a new home. The only problem we had with the homemade meal thing was my "meat issue" as we called it at first.
You see, ever since I learned where meat came from, I've had periods where I've had "meat issues" and either refused to - or been unable to - eat meat that was given to me. I never seemed to have issues with the processed meats, but give me a piece of "proper meat" as my Mam calls it, and at least half of it will end up in the dog. So, I decided not to bother dishing up the meat for myself, and - after a couple of months of this - decided I might as well make it official. So, I've been officially saying I'm a vegetarian since about May or June. And, funnily enough, I've actually been eating more of a variety of things since I stopped eating meat (or anything containing animal products). It does make food shopping take longer, because we need to check labels on things that may or may not contain animal products. Some yoghurts, for example, contain animal fats to thicken them. I did try the soy based alternatives, but they are disgusting. So, I just get someone to check the labels, and if it's not "suitable" then I don't have it. I haven't been as ill since I started eating a vegetarian diet. I'vve had the odd bit of a cough and bit of the sniffles, but nothing like I had been having. I think it's because I'm eating healthier. Also, I'm not eating as many "treats" as I was. And sweets and chocolates are now actually treats instead of daily snacks.
We've also agreed to introduce "portion control" again. I had started using this before, and it does work. Basically, we have smaller meals with healthy snacks in between if needed. We're finding we don't really need those though, so we usually have one of the items meant for snacks as a supper. I, for example, usually havve some cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap of some sort for lunch, some kind of veggie meal for dinner - perhaps a salad, some soup, or a pasta dish - and a bit of fruit and a small yoghurt for supper if I find I'm hungry enough to want a supper, which I'm often not.
In Kelly's case it's basically portion control and eating healthier meals rather than fried things. He had this nasty habbit of only wanting fried chicken, sausage and chips/fries, pizza, or cheese burgers. Now he's eating proper meals like chicken with potatoes and vegetables, chicken and rice, and that kind of thing. He's not as willing as me to try new fruits and vegetables - or new vegetable dishes - though. But he'll eat broccoli, carrots, peas and corn OK, and a few others too. And at least he's now having homemade healthier meals rather than take-aways, microwave meals, and other meals that are processed or full of fat.
Plus, we're both drinking fruit juices and flavoured water most of the time. Well, when we're not drinking tea or coffee (tea in my case, coffee in Kelly's case). We take lemon water with us when we go to the gym, and keep a supply of it at home. And I even had plain water rather than a bottle of Cola or Fanta the other day. Which - for those who don't know what I'm like - is a big deal, because I don't like plain water. Why? Because it has no flavour to it. That's why I tend to go for flavoured water, ffruit juice, or tea... With the occasional fizzy drink thrown in as a treat. And a milkshake or smoothie if I decide I want one (which I don't very often, to be honest).
Staying on the subject of food for a moment...
Because of our attempts at eating healthier, we've agreed to take packed lunches with us on our outings rather than actually eating out. We figure that way itt will be cheaper, and also easier to avoid eating the foods we don't want to be (like pizza, chips/fries, etc). So, I got us all special lunch bags with matching drinks bottles. This is my one:
Mine is kitten themed, Kelly's is a Top Gear one, Dad has Star Wars, and Mam has Hannah Montannah (I think that's how you spell that).
This week was our first "proper" outing. Two weeks ago we went to Swansea for the day, and all broughtt ourselves a little something (that was the day I got my "Torak" book). And we've all agreed to just spend some time together in one or the other of our houses on the week where we tend to be short on money (which was last week) so we spent last Thursday playing Scattergories then looking through leaflets we'd picked up to look for more options on places to go. But this past Thursday we had a lovely day out. We went to Pendine - which I'll be telling you more about in coming days (complete with photos) - and we went to "Pemberton's Chocolate Farm" before coming home.
Most of the day was very enjoyable, but we were disappointed by the chocolate farm. The only thing they offer - other than a shop full of sweets - is a factory tour. This is fine, but we'd just missed the 3:00 pm tour, and they said, "the last tour is at 3:00 pm, but if you want to hang around until after 4:00 pm and see if anyone else shows up we will do another tour." Which made no sense, because if the last tour is at 3:00 pm, why does it matter if more people show up? There's either another tour just after 4:00 pm, or there isn't. Anyway, we decided not to bother waiting around when it was only a "maybe" so we got a couple of things from the shop and left. We wont be bothering to go back. And - had we realised we'd only be going there to buy a couple of treats - we would have stayed at Pendine for a while longer, then just gone home. Still, it's a place to cross off the "places we'd like to visit" list.
The photos from Pendine will be posted throughout the coming week. Iggy very kindly sorted them and labeled them for me yesterday... Thank you, Iggy! *Hugs*... So it's just a matter of me sorting the posts and adding the photos.
We do have a tidy sized list of places we want to go. They include theme parks, nature walks, cave explorations, boat rides for nature observation, places we can go to do crafts together, and a few other things. Also, Mam and I are hoping to go and see movies together from time to time. Plus, we would like to find some places to take Kero and Willow. That way they get nice outings too. :)
When I'm not out somewhere - be it on an outing, at the gym, walking Kero, or whatever - and I don't have blog posts I want to catch up on, I'm generally working on craft projects. I'll post about the craft projects nearer the end of the month though. It's already September 19th, so you only have about a week and a half before September ends anyway, and since I've taken to doing monthly craft updates near the end of the month, I'm sure you can wait that little bit. ;)
Let's see, what else? Oh yes!
We've been having beautiful weather! There has been the odd short rain shower, but for the most part the last couple of weeks have been lovely. Beautiful and sunny, and nice and warm. But not actually hot. The kinds of days where it's warm enough for Summer clothing, but still cool enough so you feel like doing things and can enjoy your day. Basically, the kinds of days that often show up in September here. Give a couple more weeks (if that) and I bet the rain and storms will be back though. They don't tend to stay away long in Wales! ;)
I've not really been playing my Valhalla game, because I've been so busy with outings, household chores, blogs, walks with Kero, and crafts, that I just havven't had the time for it. Well, there have been a few times I could have played. But I tend to choose crafts and making my walks with Kero last a bit longer instead. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the game, but I think it's better to be outside in the fresh air - especially while we have this nice weather - or doing something productive, like making Christmas presents, or the items for that handmade giveaway thing.
Besides, while I work on the crafts and do the household chores I listen to audiobooks. I'm now a little over half way through the third one of the books I got from the library about a week and a half ago, and I have a couple of others to listen to that actually belong to me. Plus, I should be getting that potato peel pie book from the library at the end of the month, and will probably pick up a couple of other books while I'm there getting that one, and giving back the ones I got last time.
Kelly brought me "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville (I think I spelled his name right) because I've never actually gotten around to reading it. I know, I know! But I will this time!
Also, a very good friend sent me a package containing a couple of audiobooks. I'm afraid I don't remember their titles and authors right now - and they haven't been labelled yet, so I can't check them - but they sound interesting, and I look forward to giving them a listen. Thank you, Iggy! *Hugs*
Right, well, I think that covers everything for now. Like I said, I've got some posts with photos in them from Thursday, which I'll post soon. And I should have some book reviews for you again soon. This does appear to be about it for now though. ;)
Oh, before I close this though... For anyone wondering...
My head is basically back to normal. Well, normal for me, I mean. ;)
Enjoy your day! :)