Friday, 28 February 2014

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 7




start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 7lbs (315 pounds)
total loss to date: 6lbs

Well, I hope you are suitably impressed ~ here I am with my latest dieting diary the day after group ;-)

I was pleased ~ and not a little surprised ~ to have a loss this week, albeit only one pound.  I was convinced that I was going to have a gain as I've had a crappy week really.  My heart just hasn't been in it but obviously I haven't been as "naughty" as I thought!  I think the best thing is for me to just get back to the basics and continue keeping a food diary, rather than just vaguely keeping to the plan.

I know that I am more than capable of shifting ALL this excess weight, after all, some years ago I lost five stone.  It's not even as if I'm really craving "naughty" things ~ and if I do have any cravings, I can simply add them into my Syns anyway!  No, I just need to get myself back into the right mind-set and believe that taking time to look after my health is worthwhile ~ that I am worth looking after.

Let's see what this coming week brings...

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot
Poet-tree

i fear that i shall never make
a poems slippier than a snake
or oozing with as fine a juice
as runs in girls or even spruce
no i wont make now now nor later
pnomes as luverlee as pertaters
trees is made by fauns or satyrs
& trees is grown by sun from sod
& so are the sods who need a god
but poettrees lack any clue
they just need me   & maybe you

Earle Bimey
(13th May 1904 - 3rd September 1995)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 6



start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 8lbs (316 pounds)
total loss to date: 5lbs



Dearie me, I'm getting later and later posting these updates ~ note to self: must try harder!

Anyhoo, I was pleased to have a two pound weightloss last week, especially bearing in mind all the "pappy" soft stuff I'd been eating after my tooth extraction.  Plus, to add the icing on the cake, I had one of my menopausal periods put in an appearance on the Saturday after the dentist *sigh*  Not a good week, all in all, but hey, I got through it with a loss to show :-)

For some reason I've struggled this week as well so I'm not too hopeful about what the scales will reveal at group this evening.  I've found it really difficult to get back into the swing of the eating plan so I think I will just have to pull up my big girl knickers and go right back to basics.

A fresh start tomorrow, methinks!

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso


Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Friday, 21 February 2014

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


from Preludes
1

The winter evening settles down
With smells of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
Then the lighting of the lamps.

T.S. Eliot
(26th September 1888 - 4th January 1965)


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1



Gratitude is the memory of the heart

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Having a blue day

Young Breton Woman by Paul Gauguin


Well, to be more accurate, having a few blue days to be honest.  My mouth is still sore following my trip to the dentist last Wednesday and just to round off my week, a period came along on Saturday *sigh*  Granted, now that I am in the throes of the menopause I don't get a period every month (it's actually more like every three or four months) but when one does turn up it's all very horrible ~ I won't go into the gory details but I'm sure you know what I mean ~ and leaves me feeling drained of energy!  This time around I've felt so very low as well, but I rather think the dental issues have probably made things worse than they might otherwise have been.  Oh the joys of being a middle-aged woman, eh!

Mind you, I get the impression that a lot of folk are feeling sad and unhappy at the moment.  I guess it's a symptom of the winter blues, all of this relentless rain and grey skies.  And for those who have been flooded, it must be absolutely awful.  At least we haven't had that problem where I live, so I am thankful for that.  It's wet again today, though, with a heavy grey sky but the sun does keep trying to break through from time-to-time.

Perhaps I will go and have a browse on the plant websites and immerse myself in the glorious blooms they always show temptingly ~ and dream that spring is just around the corner... 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso


Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dolls' houses and Groatie Bay...

Groatie Bay circa 1905
image from the collection of Mr Christoper Long,
resident of Groatie Bay
You may be aware that one of my hobbies is 1/12th scale dolls' houses and miniatures.  I find them fascinating...and gorgeous...and absolutely wonderful ~ and can easily spend way too many happy hours surfing the internet, reading books and magazines, drooling over the most fantastic dolls' houses and creations.

Now, I have a little confession to make...namely, that I have two half-built dolls' house kits in the dining room waiting to be finished, and more still in their boxes, waiting to be built!  Sadly the lack of love I've been feeling for my real-life home has overspilled into my once-truly-loved dolls' house collection, and building has ground to a halt.  I've decided that now is a jolly good time to get things moving again in the little village I have created in my mind's eye ~ not least because all the dolls' house folk are starting to fret about their lack of living accommodation ;-)

My little folk (who are known as Peediekins) live in a small seaside village called Groatie Bay; if you click on the link it will take you to the page here on the blog which tells you more about them.  I have lots of little back-stories for my Peediekin friends and I am really looking forward to sharing them with you over the coming months.  I will also share the ups and downs of building and kit-bashing my dolls' houses.  I am rather afraid, though, that there will most likely be more downs than ups ~ I just hope that I can enlist the help of some good builders in Groatie Bay!


Glitter...


Friday, 14 February 2014

Rekindling the love



No, not for my wonderful husband ~ my love for him is as strong as ever!  No, it's our home for which I need to rekindle the love.  We moved here in May 1983, and one would think that to have lived in the same place for over 30 years must mean that we love it here.  Sadly, that is not true; in actual fact, I rather suspect that we didn't "fall in love" with the house in the first place.  When we were looking for a home of our own to buy, house prices were starting to rise rapidly and to be honest we rather jumped at buying this house because we were worried that we would find ourselves unable to afford anywhere else!  In hindsight, whilst the house itself is a good size and is solidly constructed, the location is far from ideal.  We live on a very busy road which leads to an industrial area, a road which has become ever more full of traffic as the industrial estate has expanded.  The lorries have grown much larger, considerably more frequent and even at night and over the weekend, traffic is going to and fro.

So no, I don't believe that our home has ever really been "loved"; it has simply been somewhere to live.  To make matters worse, some years back we were approached by a property developer who wanted to buy the houses on this little site in order to build flats.  We didn't take much convincing that selling would be a jolly good idea, and the developer was willing to pay us a sum which would have enabled us to buy a similar house to this, but in a rather better location.  We weren't greedy, unlike some of our neighbours, and didn't make unreasonable demands; we simply wanted enough to be able to buy another three-bedroomed semi with similar sized rooms to those we already had.  We found a suitable property and I admit that my focus was on our future there; I totally disengaged with this house.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next.  Just three days before we were due to exchange contracts, the developer pulled out saying that they "had been held to ransom" by another of our neighbours and couldn't now buy anymore of the properties on this site.  To say I was devastated is an understatement on an epic scale!  I was very low and cried a lot; I had staked my emotions on moving, making a fresh start, and now those dreams had been shattered.  And so I have spent recent years just going through the motions.  Yes, we live here, but no I haven't been happy.  Other things haven't helped either, mainly my back problems which saw me hospitalised for a couple of weeks in 2009.

Then our daughter moved to Orkney with the family she was working for (as a nanny) and my back was finally strong enough for me to make the journey up there for the first time in 2012.  Oh my goodness, Adrian and I just fell in love with the island, and in particular the quaint little town of Stromness where we stayed last year.  So, we have decided that when he retires this is where we will be moving to ~ fingers crossed in about 2019!  In the meantime, though, we still have to live here, in this house I have never really fallen in love with.  And, of course, there is always the possibility that something may occur to prevent us moving...

So I have found myself really thinking about this house, our home for over 30 years.  The four, solid, walls where we have brought up our children and taken in an assortment of four-legged rescued friends.  The four solid walls which have kept us warm and safe and yes, secure too.  The four solid walls which have been witness to our ups and downs, our sorrows and joys.  And the funny thing is that since I've been looking at the house with gratitude in my heart instead of resentment, I have found myself growing fonder of it.  Oh, don't get me wrong, we still really want to move away in due course (and that is more to do with a different pace of life than this house per se) but if it should happen that we can't for whatever reason, then perhaps it won't be the end of the world that for so many years I have been seeing it as.

I would like to be able to tell you that I have finally fallen head-over-heels in love with my home of over 30 years but that wouldn't quite be true.  However, I am seeing it through different eyes, eyes softened by a slowly-unfolding fondness for these four walls.  It is time to show this house the gratitude it so richly deserves, time to stop dwelling in the past and what might have been, time to make the very best of the here and now ~ because after all, that is really all we have isn't it?  That's not to say that I don't have half an eye to the future but in the meantime I want to do the very best I can here,  in my home, the place where I live and laugh and love and cry and shout and complain!

Love is in the air!

Picture from The Graphics Fairy



How Do I Love Thee?  (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. 
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(6th March 1806 - 29th June 1861)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 5



Well, I'm afraid that there is nothing to report this week as I didn't attend the slimming group on Wednesday evening.  I just wasn't feeling too brilliant after my trip to the dentist earlier in the day, but must admit that I didn't even eat much yesterday anyway!  I went from breakfast right through to dinner in the evening without eating a single thing ~ I must have been feeling rough LOL

I had a day "off-plan" yesterday too but again I wasn't feeling that hungry.  I think with the left side of my face aching so much, I just couldn't be bothered to be honest.  Still, I'm back on track again today and hoping that there will be a nice loss next week.

I'm going to try to increase my exercise levels as well.  At the moment, all the exercise I get is walking the dogs at night.  I'm going to start taking them out in the morning too, gradually increasing it so that we go out every day and in time walk further as well.  I think walking is going to be my best bet so far as exercise is concerned, for now at least.  Who knows, perhaps eventually I'll be able to run ~ or even join a gym!

The dreaded day dawned...

The Dentist
by Linda Braucht


...and I lived to tell the tale!

Yesterday was tooth-extraction day, not something I was looking forward to as I'm sure you can imagine!  In the end, though, the injections (four of the blighters!) of local anaesthetic were more painful than the actual work my lovely dentist, Mr F, had to do.  As well as the extraction, I also had to have a tooth prepared for a crown and this procedure took far longer than having the other tooth pulled out.  I was in the chair for over an hour in the end.

Mind you, Mr F did have some trouble pulling out the pesky tooth and he told me afterwards that really it was touch-and-go as to whether I should have had the procedure done in hospital.  The roots were somewhat curved and he had to cut into the bone a little ~ I now have a very fetching cleft in my gum!  The hole did bleed for quite some time as well, so I had a mouthful of cotton wedges and looked absolutely lovely as you can imagine LOL

Adrian had to have a filling and by the time we got back home again, all I really wanted to do was go and have a little nap ~ so I did.  In the end, I slept for over three hours and woke up dribbling and sore!  Still, it is such a relief to have had that tooth removed as I was getting rather concerned about the infection in it.  I'm back on antiobiotics for another week, and am chucking back the 'ole paracetamols to subdue the horrible ache which has settled on the whole left side of my face ~ but at least the worst of it is over.  Back for the fitting of the crown on 3rd March and hopefully the infection will have cleared up by then :-)

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot



Infant Joy

'I have no name:
'I am but two days old.'
What shall I call thee?
'I happy am,
'Joy is my name.'
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee!

William Blake
(28th November 1757 - 12th August 1827)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1



Success is measured not by what you get,
but rather by what you give

Monday, 10 February 2014

The wanderer returns...

Walking in the Rain
by David Cowden


So here I am once more, back to where I started.  I've taken a little trip around the blogosphere but couldn't settle in any of those new blogs I thought I needed to start.  Perhaps I simply needed to get away from myself for a while; maybe I should have just taken a little vacation from blogging instead of trying to make "a fresh start".  It has to be said that fresh starts are all well and good, if that's what one really wants and needs, but sometimes it is better to face ourselves head-on and simply accept that there may well be periods in our lives when we feel stale, out-of-sorts, or just can't-be-bothered.

I don't know if you have missed me ~ more to the point, I don't know if any of you even remember me!  I'd like to think that you are pleased to see me back here again, and that you will forgive my wanderings.  I've missed this little 'ole blog of mine; in the deepest recesses of my heart, I knew that Lavender and Pearls was my own cosy little corner of the blogging world, that those other interlopers wouldn't last because this is where I feel most at home.  I realise now that I just needed to shake things up a little, not go off somewhere else entirely ~ but that's me, I'm afraid, something of an "all or nothing" kind of girl.

Whilst all the original Lavender and Pearls posts are still here, I have changed some things.  I will also be importing the posts from my last blog-incarnation but will only post a few a day ~ no doubt you'll be relieved to hear that!

I am so very happy to be back home again...  

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso


Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 4



start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 10lbs (318 pounds)
total loss to date: 3lbs

Goodness me, I can't believe I am so late posting my latest diary update ~ especially as I had a very happy weigh-in!

Following the gain I had had the previous week, I was rather apprehensive about what the scales would show last Wednesday.  You can imagine my relief when they registered a 4.5lb loss.  That meant that I had lost the previous 1.5lb gain, plus an additional 3lbs.  I was a very happy bunny :-)

There might not be a diary post for this week, as I may not be going to group.  I have a dental appointment on Wednesday for the dreaded tooth-extraction, and preparation for a crown, so I may not be feeling too brilliant.  Still, I suppose I won't be feeling like eating too much either LOL

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot

Bloody Men

Bloody men are like bloody buses -
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches you stop
Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride,
You're trying to read the destinations,
You haven't much time to decide.

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you'll stand there and gaze
While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

Wendy Cope
(21st July 1945 - )

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


 By the time a man finds greener pastures,
he can't climb the fence

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Our beautiful doggies


I thought it would be rather nice to introduce you to Matty and Nikki ~ our lovely doggies, who we adopted back in November 2011.


Nikki is the beautiful fawn lurcher and Matty is the extremely handsome black greyhound.


Our gorgeous greyhound, Amber, had passed away very suddenly in April 2011 and we were devastated.  It took quite some time before we felt ready to adopt another dog but it was a foregone conclusion that we would have another greyhound.


We had made some tentative enquiries about adoption with the Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE) one Saturday during that November.  The following day we received a phone call asking if we would like to make arrangements for a home-check ~ of course, we naturally said yes!  


On Monday morning we were home-checked and that evening we were told that we had passed their requirements.  On the Tuesday I met Matty; Adrian met him on Saturday; and we both met Nikki on Sunday ~ boy, did things move fast!


We had a long-standing arrangement to go to a gig Sunday evening, otherwise we could have kept them on that Sunday.  But they arrived bright and early the following morning and there we were, dog owners once more.


They both settled in straightaway and get on together very well, with only the occasional little squabble ~ usually when Matty treads on or runs into Nikki!

 

Sadly, they both have some physical "issues" ~ especially poor Nikki, as you will see if you look closely at these photos. 




Matty is now seven years old and has never raced.  He was kept in a shed on an allotment, I believe. He has a birth defect in that his front left leg is bent at the elbow, and he has suffered a cruciate injury at some time in his life, which although healed does cause some stiffness.  He also has an undershot jaw, bless him, which tends to give him a very "goofy" look! His tail is rather short for a greyhound and we were told that he had probably lost the end of it somehow ~ I have to say, though, that I think that he may well have been born that way. 


None of these injuries cause him any serious difficulties, and he loves his walks and food in equal measure!  Matty is a very happy chap who just seems to love life and people, although he is now very attached to me and gets worried when I go out.  Having said that, he doesn't actually become distressed as such, unlike Amber did.  I think that having Nikki as a companion (she is much more laid back about being left "home alone") helps him enormously. It has to be said that he isn't the brightest boy around and is rather clumsy and somewhat accident-prone!


Sadly, Nikki's history is rather more tragic.  I am sure that you can see how thin she still is, as well as all the scars she has.  She eats very well but seems to have reached a point where she just doesn't get any heavier.  Still, our vet has reassured me that she is perfectly fine at her current weight.  We don't know her exact age but think she is about six.

photo taken by Nikki's foster carer in Ireland
She was rescued by a GRWE volunteer in Southern  Ireland.  She had been abandoned, heavily pregnant and with horrific injuries.  The GRWE think that she was used in badger baiting; she had completely lost her lower lip and some teeth (and had to have further four or five removed, including all her canines), and has had to have surgery on her jaw. 

Nikki has had a broken left hock at some point, which has self-healed but not in the right position.  The bone in this leg also has shotgun pellets embedded in it.  She has masses of scars on her head and face, as well as her legs and body.

photo taken by Nikki's foster carer in Ireland
Nikki was even skinnier when she was rescued than she still is now.  Being pregnant with eight puppies, when she was already in such a sorry state, must have taken a terrible toll on her poor little body.

photo taken by Nikki's foster carer in Ireland
Whilst she was in foster care in Ireland she gave birth to eight gorgeous puppies (the whole litter survived), who have all been happily rehomed.  We have been told that she was a very good Mum who only needed a little help with the pups.  I look at her thin little body and wonder how on earth she managed to grow eight puppies, let alone give birth to them and they all survive.  My first sight of her made me cry ~ how can people be so cruel...

photo taken by Nikki's foster carer in Ireland
Look into those beautiful, kind, soulful eyes and tell me how anyone could have treated her in the way that they did...

She is, quite naturally, wary of new people but soon comes round.  She is a very affectionate little girl who soaks up love like a sponge.  Nikki's foster carer in Ireland very kindly sent me some of the photos (above) that she took of my baby girl whilst she was in her care.  They make me feel so sad and choked up.....how could anyone allow this to happen to such a beautiful, kind and loving little dog?


Thankfully, both Nikki and Matty's previous lives are behind them now.  They have a secure, loving home with us for what I hope will be happy and long lives.

I am so grateful to the Greyhound Rescue West of England  for all the wonderful work they do in rescuing and rehoming these beautiful creatures.


my two beautiful girls!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso


Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou