Saturday, 31 December 2016

Good and not so.....

Not so good things about 2016:-

2 deaths of people close to our family.  It's been a bad couple of years for deaths, we've been to more funerals in the past 2 years than we have in our entire lives beforehand

Sister was diagnosed with kidney cancer....i did briefly mention it a while back, but didn't give any details as sis didn't want me to.

OH's daughter had a fast-growing lump in her breast.

My mother was told she's going blind in one eye, with nothing that can be done, and has limited vision in the other.

We were told by our landlord that we were being considered for eviction, which was a horrendous shock, along with 3 other sets of tenants.

My own health worries.....i have a mild congenital liver problem, for which i have regular blood tests.  The latest one shows an alarming rise in one of the liver blood results.  And my diabetes, generally well controlled, has been somewhat erratic recently as a result of stress, I'm guessing.

Good things for 2016:-

Sis had part of her kidney removed, she's been told that it was successful and she's now cancer-free with just a 5% chance of the cancer returning within 10 years (how the doctors know that i have no idea!).

OH's daughter had the lump removed, thankfully it turned out to be benign and she's also been given the all-clear.

Whilst there's nothing the doctors can do about the eye mum is losing her sight in, she's been having regular injections (of what I don't know!) in the other eye, and the sight in that one has actually improved a bit. 

We weren't the ones evicted, thank's a crying shame for the family with 3 young children who were the ones chucked out just before Christmas though.  Thankfully, they have found another place, but what an upheaval at just the wrong time of year!

I'm having a liver scan next week, which hopefully will throw some light on things.  And I'm determined to get back to my previously healthy diet and do a lot more exercise, which will improve my diabetes blood glucose.  Which leads me on to.....

We got Betty!  Whilst she certainly is a lot of work right now, as she's so young and hugely energetic, she continues to be a delight.  Two really good things are that she now sleeps right through the night without a whimper, and she's more or less housetrained.  11 more days till we can start taking her out for we'll be getting plenty of (walking) exercise twice a day from then on.

I hope you all have whatever kind of New Years Eve you want (quiet one at home for us), and wake up tomorrow celebrating the start of a lovely new year.  Thank you all for reading and commenting this year.

Monday, 26 December 2016


Well, Betty slept pretty well last night, lying on Dad's worn t-shirt.  So thank you very much for the tip. 

(I hope it wasn't a one-off!).

Hmm, I was going to put on a video of her having a mad 5 minutes this afternoon, but it won't load, sorry  :(

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Thank you!

I just want to say a quick thank you to both Rachel and Granny J.....both of you have suggested putting an old worn clothing item in Betty's bed.  Fabulous idea - OH is today purposely wearing an old t-shirt, which will be going in her crate tonight.

Having said that, we did actually have a much better night last night, she didn't whine nearly as much and settled very quickly indeed when I came down in the early hours of the morning to finish up sleeping on the sofa. 

So thank you both again - I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

She's wearing us out!

Thank you all so much once again for the lovely comments about Betty.

She continues to delight us, she's just so funny to watch, especially when she's having a mad 5 minutes - she runs around and leaps about more like a cat than a dog.  She loves all her toys, but especially a couple of soft animals - a chicken and a pig - she grabs them and shakes them like a terrier killing a rat.  We're getting the hang of the right time to take her out in the garden for a pee/poo, she does still go for a wee indoors sometimes (never a poo, thankfully) but always does it on the pee pads. 

We're also now getting into a routine of putting her in her pen under the stairs a couple of times a day, for up to an hour at a time.  It's to get her used to being left alone, mainly for night time but also so we can get on with housework, cooking etc.  She doesn't like it much and whinges to start off with, but soon settles down to sleep.  Night time is still a bit of a problem, she really doesn't like being left alone, but we're persevering, I'm sure it will get easier in a few days.  Last night was the worst, she was waking up and whining a lot about every hour.  Both of us had to come downstairs (one at a time) and just lie on the sofa for half an hour or so - we don't make a fuss of her and certainly don't tell her off, we just check she's ok and then go straight in the lounge.  It seems to comfort her knowing we're nearby.  Once she's fast asleep we go back up to bed.  I hope this phase doesn't last too long!

It's certainly exhausting....apart from the lack of sleep, having to watch her literally every moment she's awake wears us out!  It'll be much better once she's had her 2nd lot of injections and we can start taking her out for walks.  We're taking her for a free health check next Wednesday, she's due her 2nd jabs the Wednesday after that, and i'm guessing it will be a week or fortnight later when we can take her out.  So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So we won't be able to have our traditional walk on the beach tomorrow....well, I guess we could still go to the beach, but Betty will have to stay in the car, and that wouldn't please her!  Never mind, we'll be doing it soon enough.

I'd just like to wish everyone season's greetings, I hope you all have a wonderful time, whatever you do and wherever you are.  And thank you all for reading and commenting, it's been lovely.  Oh, and welcome to my new follower Yarrow...however you found me!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Settling in nicely

We are now a puppy owning's just like having a new baby in the house (not that I've ever had one actually, but I assume it is!).  Betty does a lot of sleeping, and when she's awake she wants our attention constantly.  Bless her, we are besotted.

The journey home yesterday was fairly uneventful, she slept most of the way but was a little bit sick a couple of times....luckily it was obvious when she was about to do it and I was well prepared.  When we got in she went straight in the bed in her cage under the stairs, which we were happy about - shows she regards it as a safe comfy place.  She soon came out and starting exploring though.  She's quickly got used to being taken in the garden for toileting and has only had a couple of accidents indoors - both times as a result of us not being quick enough to get her out.

Last night we settled her down in her cage in the playpen under the stairs before going to bed, leaving a radio on quietly and a lamp on in the lounge.  She did cry a few times, which we initially ignored as it was only for 3 or 4 minutes at a time.  However, around 3 am she began making more noise, so I got up, went down and took her outside for a quick wee, then put her back in her bed.  I dozed in the recliner armchair in the lounge, leaving her in her bed - she was fine after that, she seemed reassured by knowing I was nearby.

OH has been out this morning (to collect the food shopping, it had to be click and collect when I ordered it last week as there were no delivery slots available at all for this week!), he also called into the pet shop and bought a calming spray, it's essential oils to spray on her bedding, hopefully it may help her feel less anxious and settle easier.

She's bonded very well with us, especially with OH, he's even more besotted with her than I am (although won't admit it!), he's sitting on the floor with Betty asleep on his legs.  Photos:-

The last one's a bit blurry, sorry. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Keeping myself busy

I've probably said it before, but I love crocheting in the winter, there's something very comforting about sitting with a lapful of blanket or throw, seeing all the rows mount up, whilst watching a good film and sipping a mug of hot chocolate. 

Crocheting has a dual purpose at the minute keeps me occupied so I'm not constantly thinking about Betty! 

I've just finished this:-

It's a pram blanket, I can show it here as the recipient (or rather, the recipient's mother!) doesn't read my blog.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out, it was one of those variegated yarns, premium acrylic but with a lovely soft cotton feel.  The only thing was the yarn had a lot of joins and knots in it, which was a pain in the bum. 

I'm halfway through a lap throw, following one of Lucy at Attic24's patterns, it's also going to be a gift.  Want to get it finished before Lucy's crochet-a-long blanket starts next month, have the yarn pack sitting waiting.

I bought some more yarn last month when we were away in Torquay - not that I need anymore yarn, I didn't even have a purpose in mind for this latest yarn - I just liked the look of it so much. 

The colours haven't shown up very well, the left one is all pale pinks, blues and soft greys, the right one deep purples, blues and greens.  Got 6 balls of the pink one, 3 of the huge purples one.  I'm not going to start using them until after the Lucy CAL though, and when I've thought of what to make!

Some time in the future I will need to make a throw or something with all the oddments and half balls, got quite a lot of those now.

5 days to go! 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


December is my least favourite month of the year.  I don't much like winter anyway, but December is just sooo busy everywhere you go, the tv has what seems like nothing but sloppy Xmas films showing, or constantly repeated adverts for what's on over Xmas, or dozens of commercials for expensive 'must-haves' for the kids, or your Xmas lunch. 

We don't really do Christmas, for several reasons.  The main one is that neither of us was brought up celebrating it, as both of our families avoided celebrating for religious reasons.  Neither of us is religious, so the same doesn't apply to us, but when you're not used to celebrating something.....well, it seems pointless doing it even if you can.  OH's children and grandchildren are all grown up and none of them live near us.  My beloved Nan died on Boxing Day in hospital many years ago and it had a profound effect on me, I clearly remember going to visit her there and seeing how ill she was, I'm reminded of it every Boxing Day.  And both OH and I hate all the expensive over-commercialism of it - not that it has to be that way, I'm well aware that Christmas can be done on a budget...or not, as you choose.  And each to their own, of course.

However, I do like certain things about Christmas - all the cheesy xmas songs, hymns or pop songs, I love them all.  We like spending a couple of days together watching TV (fortunately there are generally a few really good programmes on) and eating/drinking whatever we want, just for a day or 2, and knowing we can please ourselves doing whatever we choose.  We like to go for a walk on Christmas day, if the weather allows, preferably on the beach - everyone you meet is so friendly and cheerful (probably full of mince pies and sherry! 😂😉).  And I do love to see Christmas decorations and lights.

There's a street in Burnham on Sea, well a little cul de sac actually, that really goes to town every year on Christmas decs, they do it for charity, they have a collecting box for a couple of the local charities.  It's so well known it's even on the news and was in one of the national newspapers the other day.  Each year we keep saying we're going to go and have a look, but have never got there for one reason or another.  Well yesterday we did, and it was wonderful:-

The householders put so much effort into it, they must take weeks to do all the displays, it was absolutely lovely.  There were lots of people (I tried to take photos in between all the people) - families with children and couples young and old (with us somewhere in the middle!).  We took a bagful of change to put into the collection box.  The photos taken with my phone don't really do it justice, it truly is spectacular.  There are videos of it all online if anybody really wants to look.

Thank you once again for the lovely comments about Betty....only 8 days to go now!  And to Gemma's Person - thanks for the reminder that she may be sick in the's a 3 hour journey so we will be mindful of that, we were planning on at least a couple of stops anyway and will be taking old towels, newspapers, puppy wee pads and water, so hopefully will be equipped for everything.  Oh, and a couple of toys and her bed.  We also have a soft travel kennel she can be in securely, unless she prefers to sit on my lap (in the back seat).

Friday, 9 December 2016

Another Betty pic

She's now 6 1/2 weeks and looking unbearably cute, she's definitely grown since the last photos.  And we can see her better without the daft Xmas jumper.  I wish it was the 21st!

I expect I'll be putting a lot of pics on, as it will be interesting (well, to us anyway!) to see how she's changing, and of course to look back on when we've had her a while.

We have new neighbours 2 doors up who have a little black Springer/Cocker spaniel cross puppy (a Sprocker, they call her), who is also really cute, she's 3 or 4 weeks older than Betty.  They're going to have playdates!  It will get them socialised and used to other dogs.  The vets we've registered Betty with hold regular puppy parties, again to socialise the pups, get them used to viewing the vets as friendly fun places, and to start basic training....we'll be taking advantage of that (and it's free!).

I must finish my crocheted baby blanket, the main body is done, just 2 rounds of edging to do and the ends to sew in.  I've done no crochet this week, time has just run away with me.  Must get on and finish it in the next couple of days....the baby recipient isn't due until February, but no doubt once we've got Betty I'll be fully occupied!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Dog stuff and cooking stuff

Very foggy morning, can't see the fields this sign of it lifting either.

2 weeks tomorrow till we collect Betty!  Some of you have left helpful comments about puppies - thank you very much.  Regarding a crate - yes we agree it's a good idea, in fact we bought one straight away, as soon as we'd seen Betty.  We've got a good size area underneath the stairs, the crate's gone there.  There's about a foot of floor space along the front of the crate, and a space the size of the crate to the side of it, this is to be her playpen.  OH is making a fence to put across the front of the space to keep her in there overnight - we didn't want to lock her in the crate.  This way she can get out of the crate if she wakes and has an area to pee in if need be (we've bought some puppy pads to put down for the first couple of weeks, she'll be paper trained by the breeder, but we want to get her trained to go in the garden asap), and some space to have a play.  We've put a nice soft bed in the cage for her, along with a cuddly furry toy for comfort (I've unstitched it, taken out the squeaker and sewn it back up!).  I'm taking a small fleece blanket when we go to pick her up, she'll sit on that on my lap on the way home (hopefully asleep!), so that will go in the crate too, it'll have my scent on so that should give her a bit of comfort also.  I think the breeder is going to give us a toy that Betty, her siblings and mother have been playing with, so another thing with a comforting scent.  We'll be taking up the suggestion of leaving a radio (tuned to a talk or classical music station) on low overnight, thank you - I also read that on a dog trainer website.  We're counting down the days now!

We've got quite a few home grown pumpkins and squashes in the utility room, it's a brick built outhouse on the side of the kitchen and has no heating, so it's always cool in there.  Even so, I noticed this morning that one of the pumpkins has gone mouldy.....I'll have to remember to check them every day from now on.  I've chopped up 2 of the pumpkins, 2 big traysful, they're roasting in the oven with paprika and sage.  Most of it will be frozen, but I'll be using some in a pumpkin quiche for dinner this evening.  Saw it when I was googling for pumpkin recipes and thought I'd adapt it a bit - I'm going to use blue cheese with some more sage, instead of the Cheddar that was mentioned in the recipe.

I'm also about to chop up and roast another couple of trays of veggies to freeze - potatoes, swede, parsnips and carrots.  They freeze well and it saves so much time when I can just grab a bagful out of the freezer and bung them straight in the oven.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Preparing for the next few weeks

Thank you for the comments, and welcome to the 2 new followers - not sure who you are but welcome anyway.

I've decided to have our food shopping delivered for the next few weeks, to save our sanity - we just loathe having to fight through the crowds in the supermarket at this time of year.  Particularly when all we want to get is food!  It will also save the problem of what to do with Betty for the first couple of weeks of having her....whether to take her with us and leave her in the car, or leave her home alone for 2 or 3 hours.  We're not really keen to do that while she's so young and we've only just got her, in case she whines or barks - having had to put up with neighbours' dogs barking their heads off for hours at a time, we don't want the same happening with our dog. 

Oh, and we're definitely getting her on the 21st, so not long to go now, 2 1/2 weeks!

I made the Christmas cake this week.....well, it's just a rich fruit cake really which will be fed with booze - no marzipan or icing as OH hates them, and i'm not too keen either, far too sweet.  I've also made mince pies and sausage rolls, which are all in the freezer or they'll get eaten within days.  That's it for advance xmas prep and cooking.  As for the day itself, we're going to have gammon, I'll parboil it then roast with a marmalade glaze.  Neither of us is particularly fond of Christmas pudding, I'm going to make a trifle instead, which we hardly ever have.  We don't normally have puddings at all actually, even when we go out for a meal, but it's nice to have one occasionally.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December grrr

That was me growling, not the dog, we haven't got her yet  haha.

So begins my least favourite month of the year....I guess mostly because we hardly bother with Christmas, if at all.  But of course lots of people do, which makes going anywhere or shopping for just mundane everyday things like food a complete nightmare, as everywhere is so blooming packed.  I think I might plan to have my food shopping delivered for the next few weeks - it'll hopefully save money (although I'm doing quite well on cutting the shopping bill), but will mainly do away with the problem of the crowds in the supermarket. 

I also don't like the fact that the days are still getting shorter, although at least it's the shortest day on the 21st of this month, so not too long to wait. 

But this month there is one big thing to look forward to.....Betty!  She will be ready for collection on the 21st, but we might not be able to pick her up until the 28th or 29th, depending on OH's shifts.  Hopefully he might find out today what shifts he'll be working this month and over New Year, they change them all about at this time of year, it's a right nuisance.

Today I will put up my one and only Christmas decoration (see, I'm not all bah humbug!  😉🎅 ) - a lovely little wreath of twigs and berries - in the hall window.  We do also usually put cards on the living room hearth, but won't this year - Betty will probably eat them lol. 

This is the scene from the front bedroom window this morning:-

Glorious sunshine and a hard frost over the fields....just beautiful.

Thanks for all the lovely comments about Betty.  We're so looking forward to getting her, she will completely change our lives, I'm sure.