Monday, 26 January 2009


Today's theme is all about loss. Sorry a litle depressing - that reminds me - must remember my pill today. Just heard about a guy we used to work with 4yrs ago has passed away from cancer, he was on his own with only a nephew to call family which is very sad. All his old work colleagues are still in contact though so hopefully there will be a few of us at his funeral to remember him by.
I am just coming to terms with Sarah living away from home whilst she is studying at University - something I had to psyche myself up to for over a year, now my son wants to join the Navy and it looks like it will within the next six months. So at least I have a bit of time to get used to the idea I suppose. Not happy about him going away and potentially in dangerous situations, but it is his life and I am sure he will do well in the Navy and be happy, but that wont stop me missing him terribly. My little chicks are growing up and leaving the nest.

I know I can't keep them forever and I am sure that they all will do well on thier journey through life. I am very proud of all three of my kids. So now just one more left at home. If we get a dog each time one of them leaves home we will end up with three dogs instead of three children!! We will be getting another puppy when Barney dies, so that will probably coincide with my boy leaving home to join the Navy!! How bizarre.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

New Year,New Me!!

Feeling pretty hyped up and ready to get into a fitness regime again. The plan is to do the following:
Saturday – walk one hour, housework one hour
Sunday – walk one hour
Monday – WII 30mins, walk 30 mins
Tuesday – swim 40mins, walk 30 mins
Wednesday – WII 30mins, walk 30mins
Thursday – swim 40mins, walk 30mins
Friday – walk 30 mins
Allotment – as and when

I was all ready to do a 2hr walk today with Millie but have been reading on the internet that she should only have about 30 - 60mins maximum walking time due to her bones still being quite soft at the tender age of 5months. So I will scrap that and just walk with her for one hour. Going to leave Barney behind this time. His back legs were going yesterday after our one hour walk and he could barely stand. At 14 years of age he is doing really well and his back legs have been better recently, but I must remember not to overdo it.
We got some scales that Andy can use and he weighed himself yesterday and was delighted to find out that he has lost another 5lbs this week. I think he will continue to weigh himself at the hosptial every Monday evening as this has become a regular thing, but I guess he is beginning the transition of weighing himself on the only scales available to him (ie the only ones that wen to 35stones at the hospital) to getting used to weighing himself at home now that he is just a mere 26stone 10lb. It is difficult for me to get my head around saying his new weight, so it must be very difficult for him to get used to being this new weight and size too. On pay day this Wednesday he is going to join the gym so he can go more regularly and we can start to play squash and badminton. We can make a four now with the kids as well in Badminton so really looking forward to that. The scales that we have are from Weight watchers, we bought them at Argos -
They are pretty cool cos you put in your height, age and sex and it comes up with your body mass index (BMI), body water and bone mass. So all four of us put our details in.

I also got two diet magazines - one from rosemary conley and one from weight watchers. I did really well 14 years ago losing 3 stones on rosemary conley so as I now have 7 or 8stone to lose I think I will start with that again.

On swap bot I have set up my own swap and was very excited that 10 other people have joined in with it. So if you want to make an Artist Trading card with a seaside theme then join up! :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

feeling better

That migraine lasted 6 days. I slept all of Saturday and on Sunday Andy drove Sarah back to University whilst I slept in the car all the way there and all the way back. We settled her in and took her out to lunch. She has exams now for a few weeks so needs to get her head stuck into some books. She will do well I am sure, I have every faith in her ability to pull it off, even if she will insist on cramming at the last minute. I slept all of Monday and tried to go into work on Tuesday but still felt nauseous and a bit spaced out, went straight to bed when I got home.

Thankfully I woke up this morning and felt so much better. Able to clear the air at work as well when they realised I was ill and not being rude!! Oh I can't tell you how much happier I am now that the vice has gone from my head. It was so unbearable, I just felt like crying and was in abject misery. Hopefully I wont get another migraine like that again. I am going to ensure I have that expensive pill that needs to be taken at the first sign of a really bad migraine to avoid all this again.

So now I can think clearly again and can actually converse coherently I can chatter away again! :) LOL.

We took Millie to her third puppy training session tonight. She is doing really well. She came when called nicely between me and Andy. She went to her bed when told and did all the usual sit and lay down. We all had brought something that made a noise to try and get them used to different sounds. It worked okay as the puppies were all busy sniffing around to be too much bothered by the different objects and sounds. Millie is still hesitant about the hoover and although it is no big deal, I would rather she wasn't afraid of it. We were advised to keep it in the same room as her so she could get used to it sitting there without bothering her too much and to gradually start it up and stop it so she will hopefully get used to it gradually. Our homework is to work on widening the distance between calling her to come to us. She does this really well anyway as I take her off the lead when walking and she 95% of the time comes. When she has a really interesting smell she tends to ignore me but Barney does that as well. Also we are to practise heel walking by using a treat in our hand by our sides and walking along with her nose to our hand walking to heel. She did this beautifully for the trainer today - so proud!!! LOL. We are all getting used to each other now and everyone takes their puppies up to say hello to each other. Millie certainly is getting braver about meeting new dogs and I can see that the others are too. I spend all my time going "Ahhh isn't he/she so sweeeeeeet" They are all so gorgeous in their own little ways. Cute Dave the Jack Russell, sweet little Coco the brown cocker spaniel and Murphy the Staffy, Gana the black labrador who is training to be a guide dog as well as all the others. There are about four puppies who are Millie's size so they all had a little rough and tumble today! So funny. The little ones ran around and sniffed each other and had a little rough and tumble themselves.

Andy and I took Millie and Barney for our usual weekend walk in the woods and took Sarah with us on the Saturday - so of course the camera came too.

Andy looking sexy in his fishing hat! Sarah and me Sarah and Millie

Friday, 16 January 2009

feeling ill

I have had the most horrendous migraine for two days so have not really been up to much. Managed to get through the day at my ILM course where we have started on Action Learning Sets devised by a Reg Revans. It was quite intense and the lights in the room did not help so I collapsed in bed when I got home and didn't get up until 5.30am with the dogs. Went into work thinking I was better but started to feel very nauseous and not at all well. Unfortunately I was not in a fit state by then to drive home again so had to try and keep my head down and get on wth it as quietly as I could. But that didn't work out too well, have managed to upset two of my colleagues and not exactly sure how that came about but too exhausted to care. Will try and resolve it all on Monday. Just glad it is the weekend and I can try and have a lie in tomorrow.

Taking Sarah back to University 'up North' on Sunday, not sure who is driving her back. She has been busy seeing all her mates here at home in the short week that she is here so have not seen her much, but I do know she hasn't slept much. Teenagers are such a worry sometimes!

Sev has got a "Student of the month" award from his Accounts class which is really great news - very proud of how well he is doing there.

Alice's parents evening went well, good to hear she is studying hard and is likely to get mostly Bs and Cs in her GCSEs with the possibility of a few As thrown in for good measure.

Andy has been brilliantly understanding of my suffering these past couple of days, it cant be easy for him to understand how ill I feel, but he is very good and patient with me. Poor thing went to the gym both yesterday evening and tonight and his thigh muscles are rock hard!!! :) He is doing so well with his exercise regime. Once all the fat comes away there will be a lean mean muscle machine being revealed!!! He bought a new suit earlier in the week for an interview and looked really good in it. Haven't seen him look good in a suit for ages. Very proud of how hard he has worked at losing the seven and a half stone that he has lost so far.

Think I will go back to bed now and hopefully I will be fighting fit again in the morning.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Sarah's home!

Sarah's home at last. Picked her from the train station today, she has been in Brussels to see her boyfriend for what seems like ages but was only beeen two weeks. So glad to have her chitter chatter back. Thinking of mums and their offspring - I love this little clip

Sunday, 11 January 2009


Had a brilliant walk today over the woods with the two dogs. Millie picked up a stick and Barny and her were playing tug of war with it - managed to wear them both out. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the temperature was at least above zero ( a nice 7 degrees). Andy is really doing well with his walking, only five months ago it was painful for him to walk more than ten/fifteen minutes. Yesterday's walk over the woods he wanted to walk on the undulating fairway to increase his work out. I cant believe the change in him - he is really getting motivated with his exercise which is brilliant news. The dogs had a great walk both Saturday and Sunday. Barney seems to have a new lease of life now that he takes his walks with Millie. She is getting better at meeting new dogs, not quite so frightened although she runs around like a loony.

Spent the afternoon making Artist Trading cards. Alice made one as well which I have asked her permission to send off on a swap as it is brilliant. She also made cakes with Andy today and had his homemade chicken and mushroom soup today. Yesterday she spent the whole day on the computer upstairs, we hardly saw her - so today made a nice change for her and it was nice to spend time doing things with her and chatting to her. She tested her typing speed today - 54 wpm - YAY. We have her parent's evening on Wednesday. It is her last year at school so is an important one before her GCSE exams in June. Her Mock exam results are promising. She is really working hard and I know she will do well in June. In fact Wednesday is going to be busy, what with her parents evening, straight on to puppy training and then rush back home forthe football match. Our home town are playing live on telly - so though I don't usually watch football I think I will watch this match with the boys.

Pretty pleased with this Artist Trading Card (ATC) which is two layers.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

being creative

I have spent all evening yesterday and most of today creating ATCs and inchies and have a great time of it. This morning we took Millie and Barney for an hour long walk over the woods. It was freezing cold - or should I say bracing! There was still ice/snow on the ground. The dogs had a whale of a time and we managed to wear Millie out. I am pleased that Barney is able to keep up. I have been giving him chews with Glucosamine in to help with his old bones and they do seem to make a difference. Plus he never gets to sit still for very long andsleep for hours like he did before Millie came along. Now she never leaves him alone. We have to separate them just so he can get some peace, poor thing. Here is a photo to demonstrate how she loves to be close by him. She likes to sleep on the same bed as Barney - or is it that she loves the brown soft bed? Hmm. I am sitting on the bottom of the picture and because Barney likes to sleep next to me, i put the bed in the dining room with me. Millie and came and joined us and this was the end result as he stuck by his guns and stayed on the bed. They are so funny.

Friday, 9 January 2009

101 things to do in 1001 days

Well I do like a challenge and I love to keep lists so this is just got to be done. Whilst loitering around www land I came across this website -
In it they suggest you make a list of 101 things that you would like to do in 1001 days. Before embarking on this mission we are asked to ask ourselves the following six questions: Who do I love, and what am I doing about it? 2. Am I pursuing my dream, or is fear stopping me?3. Am I doing something that matters?4. What am I doing to help others?5. Am I as good a person as I want to be?6. What am I doing to live life with passion, health and energy?
Well I have started my list today to be completed by 8th October 2011 - my mum's 66th birthday. Progress will be noted on this blog. i did think of doing a separate one, but then I probably wouldn't keep it updated.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities. I am going to see if I can put this list to the side of this blog as well.

So without further ado here is
a1nnie's 100/1001

1. Celebrate Earth Hour annually (0/2)
2. Give blood 12 amount of times (0/12)
3. Visit a vineyard
4. Go to London Zoo
5. Go on holiday to Turkey
6. Write a love letter
7. Finish my ILM Level 5 Diploma
8. Make 3 Zentangles (0/3)
9. Take Glocosamine every day for one month
10. Go swimming at least once a week for 3 months
11. Note personal expenditure for one month
12. Reduce personal expenditure the following month
13. Make ten different types of cookies
14. Make five different types of bread
15. Go out for a date with Andy (evening at pub or lunch at a restaurant or a picnic) 10 times (four times a year)
16. Get a tattoo
17. Make handmade birthday cards for family and friends
18. Finish at least one of my quilts
19. Finish all three quilts
20. Finish making knitted bags
21. Give knitted bags as gifts to family or charity
22. Write a will
23. Go to a live concert
24. Go to a museum
25. Walk up Mount Snowdon with Andy
26. Go to chiropodist to sort out my left big toe
27. Make 10 Samaritan Christmas Shoeboxes (0/10)
28. Go to Pilates once a week for three months
29. Go to Tai Chi once a week for three months
30. Note migration of Andy’s and my family on Google Earth
31.Get to know the US states – NYC = New York City, IN = Indiana (2/50)
32. Note where I have received and sent ATCs to in the US
33. Vote
34. Read the Department of Health website updates once a month for 6 months (0/6)
35. Clear two credit cards (0/2)
36. Clear three credit cards (0/3)
37. Go to Scotland
38. Celebrate New Year’s Eve anywhere else but home
39. Re-style kitchen layout
40. Have new kitchen fitted
41. Buy new carpet for living room
42. Buy new suite for living room
43. Buy new mattress
44. Get Andy’s ring re-sized
45. Photograph Andy once a month to note weight loss
46. Go away on my own to a creativity weekend
47. Don’t buy craft materials for one whole month
48. Light candles on a birthday cake on my 400,000 hours birthday on 27 February 2011 at 2.30pm
49. Have a dinner party using our new dinner service and table cloth
50. Tidy up my filing cabinet
51. Keep my work room tidy
52. Wash the kitchen floor every day for 7 days in a row
53. Get promoted
54. Decorate/Paint dining room walls
55. Do a scrapbook of Millie
56. Do a scrapbook of Barney
57. Do a scrapbook of Andy’s weight loss journey
58. Take Millie to training classes
59. Go to 6 salsa dance lessons with Andy
60. Test drive a car
61. Get my driving licence sorted out
62. Spend an entire day watching films
63. Compliment one person every day (0/1001)
64. Send an email to the IT Helpdesk to thank them for all their hard work and dedication
65. Learn to save a life (Basic Life Support course in Feb 09)
66. Recycle six printer cartridges (0/6)
67. Have at least one meal a week together as a family at the table (we used to do this all the time – why don’t we anymore?) (0/143)

mmm, need 34 more!

My 1001 hours (2.75 yrs) is starting 10th January 2009 and finishes on 08 October 20011

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Well I am getting pretty confused with all my ATCs that i am sending out and receving so am going to be very methodical (some would say anal) and list them in an excel folder so I get them done in time and posted rather than waiting til the last minute and not having any US postage!
That is the trouble with these craft sites the majority of the members are in the US, which is great until you start sending stuff over the water on a regular basis - is starting to get a bit pricey. Will probably have to cut back a bit I think, certainly for this month.

Luckily there are a group of ladies interested in crafts who wish to meet up - A weeked event on 12th - 14th June for those that love art. Not sure whereabouts in the UK it will be held, though probably in the midlands like Blackpool so is easier for all to join in. So I am looking forward to this event very much.

We have had the coldest weather for the longest time that I can remember. For over a week when driving backwards and forwards to work the outside temperature has not been above 3 degrees and has even been below zero. I like it cold, but when it is dark when you leave for work and when you come back home it does start to get a little depressing. I would love a bit of sunshine. Must make an effort to take a little walk at lunchtimes if and when it is ever sunny just to soak up those rays.

Andy adn I took Millie to puppy socialisation classes yesterday for the first time. Very embarrasing. She would not settle. it was unfortunate that I was working late and was back home 10 mins before we left to go to the training session and Andy didnt think to take her for a walk or feed her before the class so she was extremely hyper. (I also had a nose bleed so was embarrasingly messing about with a bloody tissue YUCK) The trainer, who does seem to be very good, did chat on and on for about half an hour. Now unless a puppy is asleep to make them sit still in a room with other puppies and people for that long was very difficult. We let them off the lead for about ten minutes to say hello to each other and have a sniff and that helped to settle her down. She was by far the biggest and most boisterous dog out of the nine or ten puppies that were there. The trainer said it might be that her food has too much protein which makes her hyper so we are going to change that from Pedigree to Chappie or something like that. We learnt how to encourage to recognise her name, teach her to sit and lay on the floor. She can already sit with a hand signal, but i am glad we have learnt how to make her lay down as well. We bumped into somebody we know from work. She had the smallest dog - a little Yorkie. All the puppies were sooooo cute. It is a six week course and at the end of it we can, if we wish for free, do a kennel club certificate - The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Puppy Foundation Assessment tells us all about what is required. Sounds a good thing to do/have.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back to work

Well it is back to and school for everyone. Sev got very excited when he saw the snow this morning (all 1/2 inch of it!!) No he wasn't happy to go and play in the snow, he just hoped that his college were closed because of it!. Never mind son, off you go. Everywhere is still open today. Hee hee. Alice came back from school totally hyper - too much sensory overload and too many E numbers from all the sweets she ate today.

Andy went to the hospital for his usual Monday evening weigh in. He has now lost 107lbs in weight in four months. Woohoo. Amazing. Well done honey. You are doing so well. Here you are caught in the act of giving Millie a cuddle. She is getting too big now to be cuddled on your lap - put her down!

Here is Alice with her new hair colour.

Andy and Millie - two of my loves.

This is the front page of an altered art zine that I have just started. I was going to swap it, but I love it so much I might keep it and make a simpler zine to swap. I am really starting to get into the altered art thing - really letting myself go with regards to ensuring everything is neat and squared up! Have made three oriental ATCs for a swap. They are on my Flickr - you can see them here -
Last night I joined my Sunday Scrappers group for our usual Sunday evening chat on DSP. I had been asked if I still had the bingo cards from a game I organised a few months ago, but I had not cottoned on that I would be hosting a bingo game! So at 8pm when it was foisted on me!! :) I madly sent off bingo cards to everyone, not having checked if they were okay and quickly got up the websites for a random number picker and for the funny bingo calls. We had a great laugh and everyone joined in and was able to chat at the same time. However, about five of the 10 or so people playing all had the same bingo card! It was hilarious and we were all in fits of laughter. I also lost the plot as to what numbers I had not called out. Oh dear. Next time I will ensure I have everything ready, just in case.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Millie's first trip to the beach - video

Happy New Year


Today was is Millie's first trip to the beach on 1st Jan 09. I wanted her first time at the beach to be a positve one. However as soon as she stepped on to the sand she realised it was different and was starting to investigate when a huge Great Dane jumped down beside her frightening the life out of her! So I picked her up and put her on the wall that runs along the promenade so that she was at the same height and so she could say hello. Luckily the Great Dane and its owner went off on one direction very quickly.

She soon settled down after that and continued investigating this new experience. There were loads of people walking their dogs today so she had plenty of opportunity to get used to saying hello to new dogs. She is still nervous but hopefully the socialisation classes will improve things - that starts next week.

We walked along the wall that makes a little pond of some of the seawater and unfortunately she fell in and got very wet. So we made our way home so she wouldn't get too cold - it was only 3 degrees centigrade. A nice hot shower when she got home and then she slept all afternoon! Must try that again if it wears her out like that.

Apart from walking Millie down to the beach at lunch time and taking both dogs for a quick walk after dinner, all I have done today is give my bedroom a "deep" clean. Had a nice lay in, curtesy of Andy getting up to see to the dogs, which made for a nice change and have done little else all day really. Psyching myself up for a long day at work tomorrow. Yeuch.