Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chow-pud (FD)

First of all, I want to point something out...

It's not true that blind people have extraordinarily enhanced other senses.

The simple fact is that when you don't have your sight to rely on you actually pay proper attention to your other senses. Speaking as someone who's been there I know that when you can see you use your sight to verify what you're hearing, smelling, etc. But when you can't see you learn not to second-guess your other senses, and as a result you can pick up things others can't.

Just saying.

Anyway...

Our living room is at the front of this place, our bathroom is at the back. It's not a huge place, but it's big enough that you need to raise your voice in order to be heard from one end of it by someone at the other end of it. Because I'm used to needing to listen for things I tend to hear Kelly easier than he hears me... Usually!

Kelly and Kero were in the living room, and Kero was barking and yipping like a puppy - we later found out the postman was about - and I was in the bathroom running a bath, and I heard Kelly say what sounded to me like, "I think he's having a second chow-pud."

I wont go in to details, but after getting him to repeat it I figured out he'd actually said, "childhood," not "chow-pud," (funnily enough, LOL!)

I guess my muse is back though, because I then started thinking...

What is a chow-pud? Does it even exist? If it does, what would be in it? I guess it would have to involve meat and/or cheese, otherwise Kero wouldn't love it enough for seconds!

Of course, then I started thinking some more...

Kero's often a picky eater, so... What would be so tempting to Kero that he would eat two helpings faster than I could even run a bath?

I think I've got it!

Bacon covered in melted cheese!

What else could it be?

Now only one question remains...

Why did Kero get a cooked breakfast and I only got cold cereal?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Windy musings

Over the past few days we've had storms at night, but they calmed down by the time most people were getting up (so about 8:00am ish). Not today though. Today reminds me of that very blustery day in the Winnie The Pooh books when poor Piglet was blown away! I was just thinking though... The wind in the mountains sounds very different to the way the wind by the sea sounds. In the mountains it sounds like a pack of wolves is closing in, but here... Here it sounds more like something bigger. It makes me think of huge ice beasts blowing their chilly breath over the land (and sea, I guess). I wonder if it sounds like this all the time - since I don't remember from when I lived in this area before - or if this is just how it sounds when Winter storms are near? I mean, the radio did say we might get snow some time soon...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Willow's 7th birthday

Today (November 28th) is Willow (my Mam's Black Labrador)'s 7th birthday. Happy birthday Willow! Mam will be doing a post about how Willow's birthday was and what she had for her birthday tomorrow, because she wanted to put her post about baby Harrison up today, since that one's already almost a week late as it is. If you want to read either post, check out my Mam's blog (if you don't already follow it).

Yes, that's right, we celebrate our pets' birthhdays in this family; if you're new to my blog... Just wait until you see all the goodies Kero gets for the holidays! ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Land Of Painted Caves

The Land of Painted Caves - Earth's Children Bk. 6
By Jean M. Auel

"THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES concludes the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, taking readers on a journey of discovery and adventure as Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni - one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers. Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago, rendering the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs, creativity and daily lives of Ice Age Europeans as real to the reader as today's news."

(Click here to see the page the above text came from).

This book has received mixed reviews; you can see an example of this on the page linked to above that I got that short synopsis from. But this post is for my opinion, not their opinions, so here's what I thought of the book: I thought it was fantastic; I enjoyed hearing more of Ayla's adventures. It wasn't my favourite from the "Earth's Children" series, but I was as enthusiastic about reading the rest of it - and as eager to learn what happened next in Ayla's life - as I was in the earlier books. Personally, I think the only reason some were disappointed with it is that it was awaited for so long that people had built up expectations that were too high for any book to reach. I started the book with no expectations; the only thing I thought about was that I was going to find out what happened next to Ayla. As a result I was not disappointed, and was able to enjoy a really great book!

storms; inside and out (R/WP and PTMI)

I'm laying on the sofa listening to the storm rage outside; it's nasty enough out there that I can't tell what's wind and what's roaring ocean. Kelly said that he noticed earlier the waves are so rough you can see them from the corner of our road; I asked him to get a photo later if it's still the same when it's light enough to try. I haven't been going for walks with Kelly and Kero, and not because of the weather either. I'm so drained of energy lately that I just can't do it. Kero doesn't care as long as he gets to go out; apparently his issue with going for walks with anyone other than me doesn't extend to this new place (which, I guess, is good).

The storm feels kind of appropriate, since it seems like nature is echoing how I'm feeling; although, nature seems to have more energy to express it than I do right now.

I wasn't sure if I should write this post; I tend to avoid this kind of post on my blog, since I'm sure you have better things you could be doing than reading posts like this one, but I need to vent, and I figure if you don't want to read it then you can just skip it. I wont mind; and, quite frankly, I wont blame you. So, this is the point where you might want to go and find a better post to be reading; maybe someone's shared a funny joke, an amusing story about something that happened to them recently, or an interesting article... Like I said, I wouldn't blame you for wanting to go read something else right now. Last chance; I'm about to start venting!

I've been feeling unwell - as you know - and that means I've had a lot of time to think, which is always dangerous with me; my mind usually goes off in a direction I'd rather it didn't, and I end up feeling worse inside because of what I think about.

I'm 27 years old; I got married a little over 8 and a half years ago. Yes, that's right, I was barely old enough. I don't regret it for a moment... I love my hubby, and I know he loves me; he'd give me the moon and stars if he could. But there's one thing that I wish I could change, and those who know me well will know what it is.

I want children.

We've never - even during the time just before we were married - made any attempt at preventing children from happening, and when it wasn't happening we started trying to do something about it. Only nobody can find a problem, so they go back to blaming my weight. Now, I accept that my weight isn't a good thing, but if it was only my weight then why didn't it happen when we were first married? Back then I was about the weight they said they want me to be before they'll consider IVF or anything. If it was my weight then I wouldn't have needed to go to them in the first place. But they see my weight, see the results of the tests they've done, and decide that - since the tests are providing no answers - my weight must be the issue.

Now, since I started putting on weight - which I know is due to comfort eating, and bouts of depression - I've tried everything I can think of to lose weight, but most of those things have only resulted in me gaining even more weight. Of course, all the doctors can do is tell me that if I want a baby that much I'll try harder. But I am trying; I've tried diet after diet, exercised until I'm crying from the pain, tried diet pills, etc. Sometimes I get a chunk of weight off, but then I put it back on with more added to it; I now weigh more than I did when the doctors first started blaming my weight for my fertility issues (after I'd been seeing them for a while and getting nowhere). I've begged them to keep searching for an answer, but they just say the same thing; that they can't help me if I wont help myself by losing weight, and they're sure if I just get the weight off then I wont have any issues.

I'm catching then losing really early; for a while I had them believing me, but then they did an about turn and decided it was all in my head and went back to the weight thing. I know that's what's happening though. I just can't prove it because they wont see you until you get to a certain point in pregnancy because they don't consider it worthwhile, and by the time they'll see me it's too late. But knowing this makes it more difficult; I ache to hold the children I should have by now, and can't help feeling a stab of jealousy when someone I know is blessed with a baby (especially if they already have one, since I can't help feeling it's not fair that they have more than one and I don't even have one). And when I hear of people who don't seem to want their children and/or don't care for them properly I can't help thinking that they should let me take them so I can look after them for them. I know the best place for a child is with its parents- or parent if only one can be with it - but if they don't want it, why don't they give it to someone who does? Or, better yet, take measures to prevent having it to start with.

I thought about adoption, but most adoption agencies seem reluctant to have a blind Mother take in a child; especially an infant, which is what I'd prefer to have the child from. There's private adoption, but unless it was done through someone I know rather than an agency it's quite expensive, and I'm not really in a financial position to afford something like that. Besides, even those kinds of agencies are reluctant to hand over an infant to a blind Mother. They seem to think that if you can't see then you can't care for the child (at least, that's the opinion I encountered when I looked in to it before). Besides, I really would like to have one that's part of me; one that nobody can dispute is mine (and Kelly's, obviously).

I just want to feel the joy of Motherhood; to know how wonderful it feels to have the words, "I love you, Mummy," directed at me, to be the one who can give that all important "Mummy hug" that makes a small child feel better when they're upset or unwell, and to know that feeling of pride when your child achieves important goals that make you stand up - with a smile on your face, and tears in your eyes - and say, "that's my baby; look what he/she did!" Why does it seem like I'm asking too much? I mean, is that really so much to ask?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday 26th November: 3:03 pm

I'm sorry for not being around the blogs over the past few days; well, most of this week, actually. I planned to catch up on things Thursday evening or Friday, but I got in to listening to my new Jean M Auel book, and I ended up not really doing much else. And then I spent a large part of yesterday watching episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer while laying on the sofa, because I just didn't feel up to doing much else.

I'm supposed to do a "Get Off Your Broom" update post today, but there's little point in me doing one; I've had a rough week, and I didn't even bother weighing or measuring today, because I don't care if I lost weight or inches or whatever this week. Well, no, that's not entirely right. I do care, but... Well, right now my head is too full of other things to consider jumping on the scales or grabbing the measuring tape to be anything worth doing today. So I'm not doing it; simple as that!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Prisoner of the Daleks

By Trevor Baxendale

"Prisoner of the Daleks was the twenty-seventh Tenth Doctor novel to be released."

"The Daleks are advancing, their empire constantly expanding in to Earth's space. The Earth forces are resisting the Daleks in every way they can. But the battles rage on across countless solar systems. And now the future of our galaxy hangs in the balance... The Doctor finds himself stranded on board a starship near the front line with a group of ruthless bounty hunters.

Earth Command will pay them for every Dalek they kill, every eye stalk they bring back as proof. With the Doctor's help, the bounty hunters achieve the ultimate prize: a Dalek prisoner - intact, powerless, and ready for interrogation. But where the Daleks are involved, nothing is what it seems, and no one is safe. Before long the tables will be turned, and how will the Doctor survive when he becomes a prisoner of the Daleks?"

(Above text taken from here... WARNING: Link contains spoilers!)

A great book; one I highly recommend... Especially if you're a fan of Doctor Who (in particular the tenth doctor), or if you just enjoy these kinds of books in general.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

American Thanksgiving 2011

A very happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends; or anyone who isn't American but is celebrating Thanksgiving today, for whatever reason that may be.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday 23rd November

I'm not sure what to write; I'm feeling incredibly uninspired for post topics today. I'm not sure why, but that's the way it is. I've been baking, listening to audiobooks, and doing general day to day activities like household chores and such. Usually when I listen to audiobooks - or read books in general - I get all sorts of ideas floating about in my head, but I guess my muse is on strike or something. I don't blame it; I'd want a break from me too from time to time if I could have one, LOL! Oh well, I guess I'll let this do for today so I can finish sorting the dishes. Maybe I'll get to blog posts later, but it depends what time I end up going to sleep; I've been sleeping really well the past few days... And at night too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy birthday to Sherry

It's Kelly's sister, Sherry's birthday today... Happy birthday Sherry!

She probably wont see this, but... *Shrugs*... I want to say happy birthday to her anyway!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mobility and parties

I'm finally starting to feel a bit better... YAY!

I miss outside...

We went to lunch at "The Love Cafe" yesterday, and - since we were early - I got to go down by the ocean for a bit, which was nice. I'm looking forward to when I can go whenever I want to though; once I've had my mobility lessons so I can be sure I know the way there and back. The way back is the hard part; the ocean is easier to find than our gate (which I'm sure you're not surprised to hear, LOL!)

I have a mobility officer coming a week tomorrow - so on Tuesday November 29th - apparently around here your "rehabilitation officer" and "mobility officer" are two diffferent people. So on November 29th I meet the actual mobility officer; it's taken this long because she was on holiday... Mobility officers go on a lot of holidays! Mind you, with how I've been feeling it's a good thing in a way, because I wouldn't have been up for having a mobility lesson last week, that's for sure!

I'll be glad when I finally get my mobility lessons and can start learning to take myself out around here; I miss being able to take Kero for a walk by myself, and I'm longing to be able to wander down to the park - or down to the ocean - with just Kero so we can stay there for as long as we want to.

***

I've joined a couple of Yuletide blog parties that are happening next month. If you're interested, click on the buttons below to check them out:





Sunday, November 20, 2011

Furkid thoughts: new tags

Hi, it's Kero here.

"What Mami?"


Oh... I get it now...

Mami thought you guys would like to see the new tags I had made for me the other day (and I'm just so cute that how could you not want more photos of me in general?)

OK, here are my new tags:


I have three; one with the home phone number on for our new home, one with Mami's mobile phone number on, and one with the phone number for the house where Dadci and Nani live, because Mami thought - since their details are my emergency second contact details on my microchip - it would be a good idea to have their number on my collar too. I did already have a tag with that number on, but Mami figured it would be best to replace all my tags at the same time. I don't understand why, personally, but there you go; you humans really confuse me sometimes, do you know that? Anyway, all three tags have my name on them, so one way or another people will know who I am and be able to get me home safely if I get lost; that's what Mami said anyway.

Right, I have to go now... A dog's life is a busy one!

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Get Off Your Broom Update (FD)

Time for my "Get Off Your Broom" update:

So, how has my week been? Well...

I did have two take-aways and food out at the start of the week to celebrate my birthday, but the rest of the week I was eating proper home cooked meals. Yesterday, for example, I had stir fry vegetables with tofu in a lemon and ginger sauce, served with a baked potato; all of it made from scratch by me at home.

My drinking is... Well, it's "OK"... Not great, but OK. I'm probably drinking about 4 to 5 pints of liquid, 2 or 3 pints of which is "technically" water (herbal tea, but that's basically just water with herbs in it for flavouring; I don't even put sugar in it any more). Some days I'll drink more... I think I may have even made it to the 8 pints the other day! Considering how little I was drinking before even an average of 4 to 5 pints a day is pretty good for me though.

Due to still not feeling too great, and being exhausted just doing what I need to for food preparation, etc, I haven't done much in the way of exercise though. Kelly's been walking Kero for me most of the time, and I only managed to get up the energy to get the yoga mat out once. I hate that I feel so lousy and haven't been able to go on the walks. I'm not quite so bothered about the yoga, but I love to be outside, and it's frustrating barely having the energy to make it through the day, so being too exhausted to walk far enough to make it worthwhile me going with Kelly and Kero. It wouldn't be so bad if I could turn back after a bit and take myself home while they carry on, but I can't do that yet, so it's not fair on them for me to go while I'm feeling this drained; it's not fair to make them cut their walk short.

No change to weight and measurements, so I guess things balanced themselves out enough that at least I didn't put anything on, which is the main thing, right?

Anyway, visit Serenity and the rest of the Get Off Your Broom participents to see how they did this past week.

NOTE: Serenity's website has changed from "http://www.thedomesticpagan.com" to "http://www.thedomesticpagan.net" recently, so if you haven't yet changed your links to the "dot net" address then you'll want to do so in order to continue visiting her.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My birthday 2011 (LBE and FD)

My Mam made the trip from Wales to see me the day before my birthday. She arrived with us early Saturday evening, stayed with us a bit - bringing with her some free range duck eggs that had been brought for me by Jo (a family friend; the same Jo who Mam was maid of honor too recently) - then we went out for dinner. She'd booked a table for us at the resteraunt for the Royal Victoria Hotel that's down the road. Kelly had asked them and they'd assured him they had, "plenty of vegetarian options" so I agreed we'd go and try it. We wish we hadn't bothered going there now.

Their "vegetarian options" was a pasta meal (how is one thing "options"? unless they meant I could have from the "bar menu" wich would have expanded it to include a baked potato with cheese and beans, and chips - with or without cheese). And even Mam, who does eat meat, wouldn't eat what was on the menu (mostly spicy meats or steak type things). So we weren't impressed. We were just wondering if - and if so, how - we could duck out of our reservation and go eat somewhere else without upsetting people too much (especially since my Mam had to sleep there that night) when someone gave us a perfect oppertunity to slip out and have a reason not to go back.

Now, before I go on I'd like to say one thing; I know fires are dangerous, and I don't like fire alarms going off (especially when the sound is closely followed by the sounds of the sirens on fire engines and police cars), but sometimes fire alarms happen at just the right time. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it was on Saturday.

Yes, that's right, that was what saved us; the fire alarm went off.

At first they thought it was a drill, then they came and said, "ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid it does look as though there may be a fire, so I'm afraid you're going to have to evacuate the building." And, I'm sorry, but we couldn't help being just a little relieved. I mean, that would mean we wouldn't be allowed back in for some time, so who could blame us then for going elsewhere for food, right?

Like I said, I REALLY don't like hearing fire alarms going off; and, I'm pleased to report, for the benifit of anyone interested, that nobody seems to have been harmed in the fire, and it was caught before it did any serious damage; people were allowed back in the building soon afterwards. But we couldn't help feeling slightly relieved that we had an oppertunity to escape without causing offense (I told Mam to tell anyone who asked that we were sorry, but we needed to eat and weren't sure how long it would be before we could go back in, so since we hadn't ordered we decided to go elsewhere; especially since Mam is diabetic so should eat regularly, really).

Anyway, we ended up going back to my place and ordering pizza, since by this time Mam was starting to feel a bit unwell, and we knew the pizza would come quickly (I'd expected to be out for dinner, so I didn't have anything she could eat that could be made quicker than a pizza could arrive). Kelly and Kero didn't mind; it meant they got pizza too, since how could we order pizza without including them? (Actually, they'd have been invited for dinner if it wasn't for the fact that the hotel allows pets, but they don't allow them in the resteraunt and bar areas).

I know pizza isn't the best thing for a diabetic, but we had to get her something to eat, and with the time of night it was by this time we didn't have many options.

Anyway, we've come to the conclusion that the hotel itself is wonderful; reasonable price, great views from the windows (according to Mam) and she was pretty pleased with the room she used. But the resteraunt... We would never recommend it!

Anyway...

After pizza, Mam insisted I had the little presents she'd brought me on Saturday evening while she was with me. I did give a half-hearted attempt at pointing out my birthday wasn't until the next day, so I should wait, but - as expected - it made no difference, so I had them on Saturrday evening before my Mam left. And here they are...

A bag of love:



A daughter plaque:


I refused to open my birthday cards though, because mostly it was just having my birthday cards that was planned for the actual day of my birthday, and I insisted on making sure they were all left to be opened together when I got up on Sunday morning.

As it turned out I got up really early on Sunday morning; I was up at 5:00 am, LOL!

I had several birthday cards:


These are the ones from my parents and my Nan:


Did you notice the one from my Nan has cartoon characters on it? Angelica Pickles, etc...


These are the ones from my parents:


The one that's very slightly bigger than the other is from my Mam.

These are the cards from my brothers:


The Hello Kitty one is from Wayne (and his girlfriend, Amy) and the dog one is from Carl.

Here's Wayne's card again with another of my cards:


And the rest of my cards:



One of them is from my Grandma and Jayde, one is from Jo (the same Jo who sent the eggs), one is from Rita and Karma, and one is from little Emma.

Here's the inside of Rita's card (taken because of the little picture inside it):


And the inside of the card from my Grandma and Jayde (taken for the same reason):


And the inside of Emma's card, to show the "writings" she did in it for me:


When they were writing the card she held her little hand out for the pen and said, "writings," so they handed her the pen and the card and she did her, "writings," in it. She also made it very easy for me to tell which card was the one from her by scrunching the card up a bit and giving it a little taste. LOL!

I also found an e-card waiting in my inbox from AliceKay when I got up Sunday morning.

I ended up with about £40 birthday money, which I've mostly put aside towards my laptop and Jaws update that I want at the start of next year. I donated £5 of it to Harry's Fund though, after reading about it on a recent post that Owen did on his blog.

I also got these two audiobooks:


The Jean M Auel book that came out at the start of the year (the new one for her "Earth's Children" series), and a "Doctor Who" one. The Jean M Auel book was from my Grandma, and the Doctor Who one was from Kelly. It was Tuesday before I actually got the Doctor Who one, but you'll learn why when you read the rest of this post.

That was it for birthday celebrations on my actual birthday though... Unless you count the VERY LONG - clost to 3 hours, I think - phone conversation with Carl. Well, we don't talk very often, so when we do we usually lose track of time and talk for a couple of hours; costs whoever calls a fortune, since our "free call" time runs out after an hour, but neither of us remember to keep track of time unless we have to be somewhere at a spacific time, LOL! Anyway, enough of that... on to Monday...

Kero needed to be at Doggy Daycare for 9:30am, and we weren't sure how long it would take us to get there, so we'd arranged to leave about 9:00am. Turned out it only took about 5 minutes to get there, so we were really early. Oh well, better early than late, right? That's what I always say, anyway!

Our original plan had been to drop Kero off, go for breakfast, go in to Hastings so Kelly could take me to Waterstones (my favourite book shop, since their selection is fantastic) and to the Blue Reef Aquarium. Then we were going to go for an early dinner before picking up Kero. However, we'd had a bit of a misunderstanding, and - thinking I only wanted him in for a couple of hours in the morning - Sylvia (the doggy daycare woman) hadn't arranged for someone to be there to help her with him when she needed to walk her dogs, and she knew there was no way she could do Kero and her dogs (she has four large dogs, as you'll know if you read Kero's post yesterday). So we changed our plans, and here's what we did instead:

After we dropped Kero off we went straight for breakfast. We went to a cafe Kelly's taken quite a liking to called "Cafe Latte" which does a vegetarian breakfast that I wanted to try. The breakfast consisted of fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, hash browns, a vegetarian sausage and potato pancakes, but I asked if the potato pancakes could be switched to toast or fried bread (they gave me the fried bread). I had some orange juice with it. Anyway, it was really nice, and - despite pretty much everything in it being fried - wasn't too greasy, so I was pleased with it.

After breakfast we went to run a few errands; we ordered Kero some new tags for his collar (which we'd been meaning to do since we moved over a month ago), fetched something I needed from the pharmacy, checked on the progress of our doorbell order, and - to make up for the fact I wasn't getting to go to town or the aquarium - Kelly took me in the bakery so I could pick something nice. I went with a cherry pie and a little iced cupcake (both of which were really nice, by the way).

We thought we wouldn't be able to go for dinner after all, but - on the off chance - I asked Kelly to ask them if they did anything that could be taken away, since I'd been looking forward to trying the place. They told us they'll do sandwiches to take away, but I'd have more choice if I could eat in. So I explained that we'd not long had breakfast so I wasn't ready for anything right now, but that we'd planned to come in for dinner only to find our doggy sitter couldn't have the dog all day so we couldn't come. He laughed, and I wondered why until he said, "well, then bring the dog with you. We have plenty of dogs who come in here." So - pleased that I could still try the place out, and that they were nice enough to allow dogs - I said we would and that we'd be back, "in the afternoon some time," (since they didn't seem to need an exact time for a booking). And Kelly and I agreed we'd go back, "about 3:00pm ish," since that's when we'd planned to go for our early dinner originally.

So, we went home, and had been in long enough to put away the couple of things we'd grabbed in town when Sylvia called to tell me Kero was done, since we'd arranged for her to call when he was done being groomed and that's when we'd call the taxi to take us to pick him up. So, off we went to get Kero. Then we came home and rested until it was time to go for dinner, since there wasn't really time to go in to Hastings and still make it for dinner when I wanted to go. Not because it's far away, but because by the time we got there we wouldn't be able to do much before we needed to head home. Plus, I think Kero needed a nap, LOL!

Anyway, then we went to the cafe I'd been dying to try. The place is called "The Love Cafe" and I absolutely love it there! Seriously, I could happily spend hours there! It seems to me like it's a sort of new age cafe; new age music playing in the background, so many vegetarian and vegan options I didn't know what to pick first, and they even serve herbal teas! Plus, they were really friendly, and so were the customers in there. It was a wonderful atmosphere. And, yes, the food was great too! I ordered a "vegan breakfast" which was grilled tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms, vegan sausages, beans, grilled potato slices and wholemeal toast. I had it with freshly squeezed orange juice. It was so tasty!

There was a bit of a delay in the arrival of my toast due to them putting butter not soy spread on it (I didn't have the heart to tell them they needn't have worried and that I do eat dairy items; will have to remember to point that out before ordering things with toast next time to save them wasting their toast). I'd enjoyed the vegetarian breakfast that morning, but I enjoyed the vegan one even more! And, as I already said, I could have quite happily stayed there longer; even when my food ran out. LOL!

We'd forgotten to get orange juice when we were running errands, and our plan had been to get it on the way home (I was going to stand outside the shop with Kero) but I managed to persuade Kelly to leave me in the cafe with Kero while he fetched the juice. I made it seem like it would take me a bit to finish my food and juice, though in reality - I'm sure he knew this, but knew what I was doing - I had only a mouthful or two left and a sip of juice; I just wanted to stay there a bit longer. ;)

Anyway, in the end I ran out of excuses to stay there, so we went home. It had been an exhausting day all round, and we all had early nights Monday night; so, on to Tuesday...

Kelly went in to Hastings by himself. I wanted to go, but at that point we weren't sure what was happening with Sylvia returning Kero's collar, plus the fact it was really cold (and threatening rain) and we didn't want to make Kero stand outside shops for too long in that weather. So I told him to go without us. That's when he came home with the "Doctor Who" audiobook for me, and a few things I'd asked him to grab for people for Christmas presents. I also have an audio version of "Twilight" on its way to me from Kelly, which should arrive any day. I do have the books as text files, but scrolling through text files is annoying which means I'm not getting very far with reading it. So, when we saw it was on sale online (down from £25 to a little over £14) I knew I "had to" have it! It will arrive any day now.

So, there you go, that's my birthday this year. And it's not over yet, since I know there's a package on its way to me right now (and I'm not talking about the "Twilight" book either, I'm talking about another package that's on its way to me). No, wait... I have two packages on the way to me. Well, unless one of them comes today between when I'm writing this post and the time I've scheduled it to be posted.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Furkid thoughts: Kero's Monday adventures

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

Well, I want to tell you about my eventful day on Monday, but first I have a photo to show you that was taken last week or something; the humans were taking photos of things Mami had been making, and I did my, "hye, look at me... Over here... Cute puppy who wants to be included," act. It worked like a charm, and they took this photo:


So... Monday...

I didn't know what was going on really. The humans said about that doggy daycare place, but I didn't know what it was all about. Anyway, we had an early walkies, then a ride in a taxi, and we went to a place with dogs already there. Mami talked to the human there for a bit, then my humans left me there. Can you believe it? They left me in a place I didn't know! The cheek of it!

As it turned out though it was a nice place; I got to know her dogs - a German Shepherd, a Black Labrador, a Collie, and another large dog, none of whom I can remember the names of - and got groomed. Don't I look super adorable?


Mami had her use something called "evening primrose oil" on me to be on the safe side, if I understand it right then it's because of how Westies can sometimes have skin issues. I don't have any, but Mami and the doggy daycare human agreed it was better safe than sorry. Anyway, it's made my fur so soft and fluffy that Mami can't stop petting me. Not that I mind the extra attention, of course!

We rode in another of those taxi things to go home, and we were almost home when Mami - while petting me - noticed that my collar wasn't on me. The doggy daycare human must have noticed about the same time, because she called Mami and said about it. She was meant to bring it to us that evening, but she couldn't remember where we live, so we went to the park on Tuesday to meet her, which meant I had to wait until then to get it back. I hate not having my collar on, so I was very pleased when we got it back and Mami put it back around my neck! But, back to Monday...

I needed a nap after my busy morning getting groomed and being in doggy daycare....



Then, after nap time, another new experience for me; I went out to dinner.

I've never been inside those food places before, so I wouldn't go in at first, but Mami said, "it's OK, go in," so I did, and nobody got mad at me, so I carried on inside. I did try and sit up on a chair, but the humans said I wasn't to do that, so instead I stayed by Mami's feet (well, mostly). I didn't eat though; I rarely do when a lot of people are around, and a lot is going on. And, believe me, a lot was happening.

I made friends with a large Husky (at least, I think she was a Husky, she might have been a Husky mix, or even something else that looked sort of like a Husky) dog named "Echo" who was at the next table with her humans, and a couple of little human pups kept trying to make friends with me (I mostly just ignored them though). Plus there were a couple of other full grown humans in there who were admiring me.

Mami says we'll probably go back there. I wouldn't mind doing that; the humans in there are nice and think I'm adorable, and I love it when people adore me!

Anyway, after that we went home, and all slept... I needed a good sleep after my day. The nap I'd had on the sofa between doggy daycare and dinner out just wasn't enough!

That day was almost as exhausting as the trip on the trains when we moved here!

OK, I need to go for a nap so I'm refreshed and ready to go walkies later. Bye for now.

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks and thoughts

I wanted to say, "thank you," to everyone who sent me birthday cards (either online or in the post), posted birthday messages for me (either on your own blog, in the comments of this one, or both), etc. So... Thank you! :)

I'll post about my birthday another day; the past couple of days have been rather busy and hectic, so they've kind of gotten away from me, which means I haven't even had a chance to take the photos of my cards and such, and I'd like to wait to do the post until I have the photos. No real reason; that's just what I want to do.

Before I go, I'd also like to send out some positive thoughts - and offer hugs - to those in need of them right now!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some of the books I've read/listened to lately (LBE)

I'm combining some of the book reviews I'm behind on in this one post to save time; no sense starting new posts for each when I'm doing them all at once, is there?

So...

Some of the books I've read/listened to lately are as follows:

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Series The Border Trilogy

"Like its predecessor, All the Pretty Horses, it is a coming-of-age novel set on the border between the southwest United States and Mexico. The plot takes place before and during the Second World War, and focuses on the life of Billy Parham, the protagonist, a teenage cowboy, his family and his younger brother Boyd. The story tells of three journeys taken from New Mexico to Mexico. It is noted for being a more melancholic novel than the first of the trilogy, without returning to the hellish bleakness of McCarthy's early novels.

Although the novel is neither satirical nor humorous, its realistic portrayal of an often destitute hero taking part in a series of loosely connected quests in a brutal, corrupt world gives it many of the qualities of a picaro."

"The first sojourn details a series of hunting expeditions conducted by Billy, his father and to a lesser extent, Boyd. They are attempting to locate and trap a pregnant female wolf which has been preying on cattle in the area of the family homestead."

"When Billy finally catches the animal, he harnesses it and, instead of killing it, determines to return it to the mountains of Mexico where he believes its original home is located. He develops a deep affection for and bond with the wolf, risking his life to save it on more than one occasion."

(Curious? Click here to read more... WARNING: Link contains spoilers!).

First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer
"First Among Equals is a 1984 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer, which follows the careers and personal lives of four fictional British politicians (Simon Kerslake, MP for Coventry Central and later Pucklebridge; Charles Seymour, MP for Sussex Downs; Raymond Gould, MP for Leeds North; and Andrew Fraser, MP for Edinburgh Carlton) from 1964 to 1991, with each vying to become Prime Minister. Several situations in the novel are drawn from the author's own early political career in the British House of Commons, and the fictional characters interact with actual political figures from the UK and elsewhere including Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Hurd, Colonel Gadaffi, Gary Hart and Queen Elizabeth II.

The title is a literal translation of the Latin term Primus inter pares, a term used to refer to either the most senior member of a group of equals (peers) or to refer to someone who claims to be just one member of a group of equals when in reality he or she completely dominates said group. This phrase is used to describe the official constitutional status of the British Prime Minister within his Cabinet."

(Click here to see where I got the above text from and read more about the book).


The Sanctuary Sparrow by Ellis Peters
Series Brother Cadfael

"Brother Cadfael must prove the innocence of Liliwin, a young Jongleur, accused of the murder and robbery of a goldsmith, who has claimed right of sanctuary in the Abbey. In truth the "murder" victim is not dead, merely stunned, even so the crime would still warrant a hanging. When the neighbor of the goldsmith is found dead, the townsfolk jump to the conclusion that Liliwin must have murdered him in an effort to conceal a witness."

(Click here to see the page that text came from).

The Daughters of Cain by Colin Dexter
Series Inspector Morse series, #11

"The body of Dr. Felix McClure, Ancient History don of Wolsey College, Oxford, is found in his flat. A brutal murder - a single stab to the stomach with a broad knife. The police have no weapon, no suspect and no motive. The case leads Morse into the path of Edward Brooks, who himself disappears following a museum theft. Then the weapon is found and there are suddenly too many suspects."

(Click here to see where that piece of text came from).

Who on Earth is Tom Baker? by Tom Baker
"Tom Baker's autobiography covers his childhood in the poor, spirited Irish community in Liverpool; his six years as a monk; his struggling times as an out-of-work actor; and onto appearances alongside Olivier at the National Theatre, work with Pasolino and his time as Doctor Who."

(Click here to find this book on Amazon, which is where that bit of text came from... WARNING: Link may contain spoilers in reviews by other readers).

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
"My Cousin Rachel is a novel by British author Daphne du Maurier, published in 1951. Like the earlier Rebecca, it is a mystery-romance, largely set on a large estate in Cornwall."

"Philip Ashley, the protagonist, has been brought up by his cousin Ambrose, to whom he is devoted, on Ambrose's Cornish estate. While travelling in Italy for his health, Ambrose falls in love with and marries Rachel, a distant cousin and penniless widow of an Italian count."

(Click here to visit the page that bit of text came from... WARNING: Link contains spoilers!)

I enjoyed all of the books.

Although, I have to admit that I did find parts of "First Among Equals" to be a bit dull, but that's mainly due to my limited interest in anything to do with politics. OK, fine, I admit it... It's because I don't give a hoot about politics. It was good enough that I read the whole book though, so I guess that's something.

I thoroughly enjoyed the others though. Especially "My Cousin Rachel".

And there was another book... Which I recently re-read, but I'm sure I reviewed on here before; it's "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it's one I read often; it's among the ones I'd consider my favourites.

And, of course, how could I not have enjoyed "Who On Earth Is Tom Baker?" Especially since my copy is actually read by Tom himself.

More book reviews will be coming soon.

Yes, really.

There are more I've read that didn't make it in to this post, and I just got a couple of new ones.

Did I mention I was behind on book reviews? LOL!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Doggy Daycare and dinner plans (FD)

Kero went to Doggy Daycare for a couple of hours this morning; long enough for a bit of time away from us and a good grooming session. He seems to have enjoyed himself, and she said he was a good boy. He obviously must have been, because she had no reservations about booking him in for just daycare next month, and she called him a good dog when she was saying, "goodbye," to him as we were leaving.

He's booked in from 1:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday December 17th, because we saw a poster up for some kind of Christmas event that's happening that afternoon, and we want to be able to check it out, but we aren't sure if he'd be able to come.

Anyway, we're all going out for dinner in a few hours; there's a place down the road that does vegetarian and vegan food - and they seem to have a reasonable choice on the menu from what he was saying - and they allow dogs (we went in and asked them, and they told us to bring him with us and he'd be welcomed in, so we're going to).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thoughtfully advancing another year in life (LBE... R/WP)

Yes, I know this is my second post today; I published the other one earlier since I wasn't sure if I'd have time to do a post today. But I have time, and I wanted to write this post, so - in case you didn't notice - here I am!

I think there's something about your birthday being on the horizon that makes you think; about the past, about the present, and about the future. I've noticed it a lot with people. This is the first year my birthday approaching has really made me think though. Perhaps because I'm now entering my late 20s? Or, perhaps because of the type of ritual I did for Samhain? Perhaps a bit of both?

In my samhain ritual I - as planned - meditated on those who have passed; letting them know they were remembered, and sending out a hope that they were at peace wherever they were. But I ended up doing a bit more than that.

You see, I'm one of those who tends to prefer to work from a basic plan for a ritual, but follow my instincts as to what happens. The result being that I found myself asking for guidance from any who could offer it about a particular thing that was troubling me. It wasn't a big thing, and I'd had no intention of asking anyone for guidance, but I found myself doing so as I reached out to those who had passed on, and went withh it since it felt right. And I "knew" I was heard. I can't explain how... It was just a feeling. Then I sat up to supervise the candle as it burned, since it seemed right to me to let it burn itself out.

A couple of days ago I was thhinking about the ritual, and I was wondering what kind of sign - if any - I'd get. I knew I'd know it when I "saw" it, but I couldn't help being curious. And I went to bed that night thinking about the ritual and the thing I'd been asking for guidance withh during the ritual.

I woke a few hours later feeling as though "something" was near me. A nice something, but something. I was going to dismiss it as Kero, but I could hear him at his water bowl lapping up water; his tags on his collar making the slight chinking noise they do against the bowl. So, it wasn't Kero.

The "something" seemed to move closer; if it hadn't been such a nice feeling presence, I'd have been afraid. Then I swear I felt the silkyness of Chance's fur, and an image of him flashed in to my mind (which, by the way, isn't something I can force any more; getting a vivid image of something has to happen as it wants, and any attempts to force it leave me with only a headache). That's when I knew... Chance was there. I know they say Samhain night is the easiest time for spirits to cross over, but I guess he felt that night was a better time?

My issue was that I was confused. You see, my recent adventures in attempting to join Kelly for ritual had confused me about some things. We are both of the same path, but our way of practising is so different. It's rare for me to bother with such trivial things as names of Gods. To me it's the spirits and energy in all things around that matter. Kelly, on the other hand, needs a name to call upon. I like my ritual plans to be basic and have room to adapt as I feel is right while I'm doing them. Kelly prefers a structure, and rarely deviates from the "script" if he can help it (his apple juice substitution was a rare occurance; he usually prefers to have the exact things on the list). I never noticed them before, but it was as plain as can be when we tried to do rituals together, and one of the reasons we only did those two then decided to go back to doing our rituals as solitaries again.

So I asked for guidance; was I lost?

Anyway, as I lay there a few nights ago - not daring to move in case Chance took it as a sign to leave - the phrase "nature witch" came in to my mind. "Is that a real thing?" I wondered. "Does it matter?" came the reply. "I suppose not," I thought.

Only it bothered me, so - long after Chance's presence had left me - I was still laying there with the phrase repeating itself, "nature witch, nature witch." And I couldn't take it any longer; I had to know what would happen if I searched for "nature witch" on Google. So, I got up, turned on my laptop, and - when it finally was loaded and ready to go - typed "nature witch" in to the box up the top there.

And what, you may be wondering, came up? Well, I'll tell you...

A whole lot of things about Wicca and witches; all of which said more or less the same thing about how every wiccan/witch you meet will give you a different definition of what it is to be a wiccan/witch. How Wiccans/witches all practice differently, especially those who prefer to do their rituals as solitary activities. And about how some wiccans/witches lean more towards the Gods and Goddesses of old myths, where as others refer only to the energies in all living things and the power of the elements.

Basically, it told me what I already knew, but had forgotten in my confusion about how - having shared sources and walked our path side by side for so long - we had such different ways of practising our rituals. In short, it reminded me of how differently even the same information can be viewed, even by like-minded people.

I don't know why it felt important to share this, but it did, so I did.

Perhaps it's because of how all the thinking I was doing as my birthday approached was intertwined with my thoughts on this? Because I want to share a little about my thoughts...

In just three years time I'll be 30. I've been to Canada and Cyprus, I've owned several pets and lived in several houses, and I've been happily married now for 9 days short of eight and a half years. But I don't feel I've achieved much in my lifetime.

Yes, I know there's plenty of life in me yet, but I thought maybe I'd have done something by now. I mean, I'd hoped by now to have at least one child. I'd hoped that by my 27th birthday I'd have a littleone running in to me in the morning; perhaps with a card she or he had made for me - saying, "happy birthday Mummy," while attempting to thrust a poorly wrapped present in to my barely responding (since I'd still be half asleep) hands. But I don't... And, yes, it bugs me that I don't even have that to show for the fact I was here. I want to do something, but what?

Well, all this thinking got me thinking about the "30 before 30" list that Stephanie wrote (an idea which she got from someone else). So, I decided to write a list of my own of goals I would like to achieve by the time I reach 30. My list is shorter, but it's mine, and it works for me. Anyway, here it is; in no particular order:

1. Have a baby; everyone knows that's been on my list for a while.

2. Write a book and submit it for publication.

3. Visit Stonehenge; preferably on the Summer Solstice.

4. Join some sort of a group that I can go to regularly to mix with people; something like a drama group (since I always loved drama and would like to get back in to it) or a writing group like the one I used to be in.

5. Meet some of my online friends; I wont put a number on it, but it would be nice to at least meet one or two of the people I speak to online so often. This could be tricky due to most of them living the other side of the world to me, but I'd still like to try and achieve it.

6. Participate in some kind of big event for charity; a walk for charity, or one of those all day events for charity, or something.

7. Get myself to a point where I can take myself to town whenever I want.

I made the list its very own page, which you can see by clicking here, or clicking the link to it up with my other pages.

I'm already trying desperately to make the first one come to pass; I've even jumped off my broom with Serenity and the others in order to try and give my body the wake-up call it needs to get in shape and try and make it happen. Maybe the fact my biological clock is ticking ever closer to the time when things will become tougher - and my chances slimmer - will be enough to keep me off my broom and on my feet?

And, I still don't know why I felt the need to write this post, but I did, so I wrote it, and here it is; I hope you didn't find it too boring and rambly.

Although, the fact that reflecting on why you got off your broom was part of the challenge Serenity set last week might have been part of why I felt the need to write this post. After all, what better reason could there be than getting your body in shape to be able to try and create the greatest miracle there is... Life!

Cooking and crafting (FD)

I've made some more things recently, and I thought I would share them. So...

Here's some more bread I've made...



I've also made a LOT of holiday cards, and a few presents for people. I wont tell you who the things are for - in case the people read this - but here they are:

First, the cards I made.

Cards with stars, trees, bells and angels on them:





Cards with baubles and presents on them:


Cards with candy canes on them:



And several cards with snowmen and snowflakes on them:






Then a couple of birthday cards I made for birthdays that are coming up soon.

A farm animal themed card:


And cards with dogs and tigers on them:


Then there's this pillow I made.

On one side it's snowflake shaped flowers:


On the other side it's plain green:


I stuffed it with a mixture of stuffing and the lavender I had left from the lavender pillows we made at Litha (which still smelled beautiful, by the way). So, basically it's a lavender pillow, only it's a lot bigger than the ones we made at Litha. I figured it would make a nice sleep aid for the person I made it for.

And two tiger keyrings I made:


And, finally, something I am willing to tell you who it's for...

I made this little bauble for my Mam:


I've made her a little holiday ornament each year for the past few years, and I think she likes it, so figured I'd make the little bauble for her this year. I filled it with herbs - not that it took many to do so, since it's not very big - to give it a nice holiday smell, so it's a sort of herb sachet and bauble in one.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Get Off Your Broom: Week 6 reviewed (FD)

OK, I'm doing this later in the day than planned, and don't have much time, so I'll get to the point... I did hardly any exercise - The Yoga mat never came out, and I only walked Kero twice (Kelly walked him the rest of the time) - due to still feeling very unwell; I'm feeling a bit better now, but still not 100%. But I did reasonably well with eating; some chocolate due to the leftover treats from Samhain, but that's about it. And I drank really well (I usually do when I'm not well).

I somehow lost 1lb, lost half an inch from my chest, and lost half an inch from my arm.

And that's my week in a nutshell... Now I have to go.

Visit Serenity and the other get off your broom participents to see how everyone else has done this week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 (FD)

It's 11:11am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

And since it's 2011 that means that the time and date right now is:

11:11am, 11/11/11

Isn't that cool?

Well, I think it is.

And, by the way...

Happiness is a freshly baked bread roll - still warm from the oven - dripping with butter.

Just saying.

:)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Want to come to the park with me?

Well, do you want to come to the park with me?

It's a really nice park...


We can see all the pretty purple flowers...





And all the different kinds of trees...






Look at that beautiful blue sky...



Then have a short rest...


Unless you'd rather walk a bit more with Kelly and Kero while I have a short rest...


Why the green flag? I'm thinking maybe something to do with the fact it's a concervation area? *Shrugs*


On our way home we'll pass that clock tower we got a photo of when we moved here...



Watch out for low hanging tree branches as we head for home; mind your head... This one in particular loves to grab you as you go by...


I hope you enjoyed the walk.