Tuesday, 10 December 2019

4yrs 6mths 3wks - I passed the test YAY


4 years 6 months and 3 weeks
Apologies for the longer than advised absence, the training course was super intense, but I passed, I’m now a certified ‘Green Belt’ Six Sigma person – I need to pick a piece of work and put it all into practice and be assessed on it to be a practitioner but I’m certified or certifiable depending on your viewpoint I guess.

Our dishwasher randomly died on us a couple of weeks back, we had 10 days of having to do stuff by hand which was surprisingly not the ‘end of days’ scenario I had envisaged, but the novelty of a night time bonding session over suds and tea towels certainly didn’t last long. Fortunately the replacement has now arrived and been installed and harmony is now restored (apart from the bit where Gareth still walks past the dishwasher to put cups and glasses next to the sink – why do men do that??? I guess I should just be grateful that they mostly gravitate towards the kitchen LOL)
The office move has now happened, we are in our shiny new premises in Reading and despite being 1/3rd of the distance from home of our old office – it takes twice as long to get to because I’m going in the same direction as pretty much the entire population of Berkshire each day now – I foresee getting out of bed earlier and earlier until I beat the worst of it.

We’ve ordered a new bed base which is being delivered on Friday, hopefully this will help with some of the back pain I’ve been having for the last few months – I don’t think it’s anything MS related (January MRI and Neuro review will confirm or deny this suspicion) It’s more likely to be that the old bed slats are too bendy and by big fat arse is sinking too low and making me into a ‘bed pretzel’
What else ….

Well honestly not a huge amount if I’m honest, certainly nothing exciting that makes my lifestyle look glamorous and sexy. I’m not attending any awesome Christmas parties; we have no family near us to visit with before the big Christmas drive around the country and we’ve been rubbish and not planned anything with friends. We suck so much at being social.
And then there’s the Christmas presents ….. still shooting a solid ZERO on that one ……

Thursday, 21 November 2019

4 yrs 6mths - 'Dog-Art' and 4 day weeks


Ohhh but I’m liking this 4 day week game, it’s not sustainable throughout the year, but oh  my how nice is it to have a longer weekend. I wonder if I could get away with working 8-6 from home 2 days a week and 8-5 in the office for the other 2 days and do away with Fridays forever J
A fantasy, but an enjoyable one none the less.
So what has been going on in my world, well Hoops didn’t happen before the rainy season for Bella the dog field is a swamp and the course is cancelled until the British weather returns to being less ‘moist’
Apart from Work there’s really not been a whole lot of exciting stuff happening at all, we’re just bumbling along and enjoying life. Even our weekend visit to Costco didn’t happen this weekend just gone.
Lurking
Lots of Lurking and chilling out.
It was officially freezing this morning, properly freezing not a little bit of ice but sheets of it all over the car. The heated seats are on, the heated windscreen most appreciated (Gareth’s not so smug about his sunroof at this time of year when I can clear my windscreen and have a toasty warm bum and back with a touch of a couple of buttons)
Dog Stuff is all here, our epic life size lamp and mini Weagles have all arrived safely, Gareth thinks I possibly have more than one screw loose in my head for the number of custom dog things I order, especially after the thieving wood carving order a couple of years ago and the months of dealing with the police.
Still no big lottery win - £2.60 and a free lucky dip was somewhat smaller than I’d hoped for and certainly not going to fund my retirement plan.
I’m on a training course all week next week with work, Lean Six Sigma for 5 days straight with a big exam at the end. I’ll apologise in advance for no update next week, it’s unlikely when I get home in the evening that my thoughts will turn to updating here, I’m more likely to be snoozing until it’s time to sleep in the bed.
I had my bloods done yesterday and the results are back, I’ll pick them up on the way home and update them later on today or perhaps tomorrow. They’ve even been checked already and are ‘as normal as expected’ LOL
So here we go ‘dog art’


 

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

4yrs 5 mths 3wks - long weekend and injury updates LOL

Today is ‘virtual Monday’ of my working week, I had Friday and Monday off so a lovely 4 day weekend for me.

Gareth started his new job yesterday and is no longer making claims of being ‘unemployed’ and bragging at me.
Christmas ‘planning’ has been completed with Aunty Kathy although I suspect Gareth hasn’t put the appropriate plans in place with his folks so it could all go to pieces at a later date.

Our work move to new premises is picking up speed and they’re planning a desk assessment for me which will hopefully result in my having an allocated desk at the new office which can be lowered and raised for those days when I’m using ‘Bob’ to allow me to pull up fully to my desk and not bash ‘Bob’s’ arms to pieces on the desk. (time has been spent this morning supergluing the 2 pieces on that have been bashed off in recent weeks)
Winston’s Xanax has been working pretty well on his anxiety at the fireworks being set off nightly (17 days continuous of fireworks every bloody night so far L)

The burn on my chest has now healed and the scar is pretty minimal, hopefully some sunshine next year and it will disappear completely. The bruising on my back and arse is slowly getting better although I still feel like my left butt cheek was kicked by an angry mule.
So the 4 day weeks until the end of the year

And today it’s Virtual Tuesday or Real Wednesday depending on your viewpoint. I haven’t got round to hitting post yet and I have no excuse other than ‘lazy’ I’ve really just come home and binge watched old episodes of Hawaii Five 0 with the occasional episode of MasterChef the Professionals thrown in.
After all this time and the worries with Winston and anxiety, yesterday because we were both at work I had Gareth spray an Adaptil Pheromone spray near Winston’s bed and on the blanket in Bella’s crate. Winston slept up stair in the back bedroom all day rather than by Bella’s crate and when doggy day care came, both times nobody was up and barking hysterically. I’d ordered a collar with the same stuff in it which was destined to go round Winston’s neck, but it’s now on Bella’s neck instead. We’re wondering if he’s stressing because she’s stressing and if the pheromone stuff calmed her down so he is less stressed ….

We might be quite mad, but heck we’ve tried everything else so what do we have to lose?
Apart from that it’s all pretty great here, hope you’re doing well xxx

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

4yrs 5 1/2 months - Being a human 'thundershirt'


Monday - ARGH ….. my blood results have been back at my doctors since last Tuesday and they can’t seem to give them to me. When I call the surgery and ask to be put through to ‘test results’ it’s now being answered by the reception team who keep telling me ‘we don’t have the training to just read them out’ EDIT at 15:30pm – they’ve thrown in the towel, they’ve printed it all out and asked me to pick it up on the way home as ‘you’ll understand it more than we do’ LOL
On a bright note – I’ve managed a whole week without injuring myself J

The work Christmas ‘doooooo’ has been announced – a Thames river cruise event. The perfect reason for me to decline. I’m not good with going to work ‘fun’ things at the best of times, I’ll turn up for a meal and leave before anyone has too much to drink. The thought of being trapped on a boat is my idea of hell. Don’t get me wrong I have some wonderful and lovely colleagues, but I don’t like going out with work people where there is a lot of drinking involved.
Firework season is now in full effect, poor Winston is getting Xanax again for the times when the ones being set off are continuous, so Halloween, Friday, Saturday (for the late halloweeners and early bonfire nighters) then the 5th for bonfire night then next Friday and Saturday for the late bonfire nighters ….. a couple of weeks quite then the big corporate Christmas do fireworks will be going week nights for the first 2 weeks of December, another week off then new year – poor boy will be a gibbering wreck if we can’t keep him calm, as it is I just sit there hugging him to me, protecting him like a 'human thundershirt' L

It’s Thursday this is still sitting on my screen and I haven’t published it, but on a bright note I do now have my blood results – turns out they were right they make perfect sense to me and the printout was updated in a couple of minutes to my spreadsheet. After all the fuss getting them I was expecting there might be something weird … not so perfectly normal and dull with my neutrophils only a little over and my monocytes back in the normal range for the first time in a long time. Even my thyroid is behaving J
Last night was Gareth’s leaving drinks in London, an emotional affair because like me he works with some lovely people and he’s going to miss them. He finally made it home at 01:30am fairly sober all things considered (but then he did have to take the slow train from Paddington so he had a good hour and a half journey to soak some of it up) It’s going to be very different when he’s in the new role but in a good way I hope.

Gareth’s last day is Monday and then he has some time off until he starts the new job which he definitely needs, just some time to chill out and clear his head down, perhaps a visit up to his folks too.
I’ve also discovered that I have 12 days of annual leave left this year to use. I can only carry over 5 days (apparently I can also ‘sell them back’ but I’ve looked through the guidelines at work on how to do it and honestly it seems slightly more complicated and have more loop holes than world peace or Brexit so I might not bother. In the interim the other days work out nicely to only doing a 4 day week for the rest of the year J (awaiting guidance from Gareth on how I should use them)

EDIT – nuts it’s now Tuesday (again) and I still haven’t hit post for this
Weekend was quiet, work is – well – work, Gareth is now bragging up a storm about being ‘unemployed’ and he can stay in bed – Only for 4 days dearest and then you’re gainfully employed again.

Look out for some pictures next week I’ve been ordering customised art of our pets again and I’m hoping to have the dog models arrive today / tomorrow and the 2ft tall Bella sculpture holding a working lamp arrives at the weekend ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Blood results (finally) for your enjoyment xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

4yrs 5mths - accidents and injuries I'm such a clutz


Hi peeps

So what’s been happening, why has Tracy been so crap at updating of late?

Well true to my usual form I’ve been injuring myself again – repeatedly!!!!

·        The right ankle injury is something I simply can’t explain, I went to bed (sober) and woke up and it’s massive …. Almost twice the size of the other one and really sore to walk on especially anything resembling stairs. I have asked Gareth did he dangle me out of the bedroom window in my sleep and he’s denied it ….. so I have no idea how or what I did to it.

·        The fall …. I managed to fall between the dining table and the window sills in the extension (this did involve some wine) I have bruises up my back and to both shoulders.

·        The 2nd degree burn to my chest this morning involving me being very clumsy and splashing myself with the red hot cup of tea I’d just made myself is the latest one.
I’m a disaster zone of self wounding. I can’t blame the MS for this, I’ve been like this my whole life as I’ve said before the broken bones the landing on my head, it’s really good and valid that Gareth holds his breath each time I use a big sharp kitchen knife when preparing food.

I’ve come home and am alternating antibacterial gel (because we all have about 50 of them in various places around the home, in our pockets, bag and cars) and some Solarcaine on the burn – Solarcaine stuff is amazing for burns, sunburn, chicken pox scabs (I kid you not takes way the itch and no scratchy means no scars) and YES it worked on my infusion rash when I had rounds 1 and 2 as well. I keep it in the fridge so it’s always awesomely cooling especially on burns J

Apart from that life has been pretty relaxed and enjoyable having sampled the Just Fresh grocery delivery we’ve now also given Gusto a chance – helped by massive new customer discounts. It’s been enlightening, there’s nothing new or ground breaking in what we’ve had, it’s just been really different and it has given us some new options on things to add to our evening meals. Sometimes you just get into a ‘rut’ doing the same things over and over again and it’s given us some new ideas, just new things to try and to do.

Gareth and the furry ones are all great and life is great (if somewhat ouchie)

I’ve made no progress whatsoever towards the C-word preparations but this weekend looms and I can always get started then

Hope you’re well xxx

Thursday, 3 October 2019

4 yrs 4mths 2 wks - ARGH ..... 3 weeks no updates BAD TRACY


I’ve had a couple of migraines over the course of the last couple of weeks (hence me missing updating the blog last week) which hasn’t been fun. I get them when I’ve been stressed for an extended period of time and to be fair with the recent scare for me and Amber’s stroke, I think it’s all been a bit much. There’s also an outside possibility that it could be new glasses related so I’m experimenting a little with when I wear them.
The weekend birthday celebrations with lovely Polish food were awesome, we only knew 2 people attending, but by the end of the evening we knew everyone and they were lovely people.
The dogs are doing great (it’s Bella the Whoppets 2nd birthday today – doggie birthday cake later) and Amber whilst still looking a little like she’s been on the Gin is loving her walks and her food and smiling.
The Rugby world cup has kicked off and I’m looking forward to lots of the matches, hopefully the England Team will be better this time (we didn’t make it out of the group stage in the last world cup which was here in the UK L) the opening game against Tonga was a good start.
Oh dear and another week has passed, and now I’ve missed 2 weeks of updates. I’m really sorry about that. I even missed my monthly bloods after turning the alarm off with a migraine in progress.
Things are getting interesting in our house, after 6 years Gareth is moving on to a new role which he’s very excited about. I’m still pinning my hopes of early retirement on winning the euro millions and becoming an animal rescuer.
Tomorrow it will be 6 years since I lost my mum, my head is trying to play the ‘time lapse’ thing where as the minutes and hours tick by I remember everything that happened in the lead up and afterwards, but I’m remembering the good things to drown it out. So far so good.
Oops … now it’s the day after tomorrow.
Yesterday was okay, a teary read through my Facebook memories and then just getting on with it. The time lapse stopped on Tuesday and left me alone.  A couple of days of takeaways have done nothing positive for me other than let me chill out and relax a little.
The weekend is looming, I’m waiting for the postman to deliver me a nice cheque which I have plans for (that work that Gareth promised to do in our en-suite back in January hasn’t started yet and I did the ‘nag at 6 months’ thing and it didn’t work either so it’s time to call in a professional) and I’m thoroughly over having to shower in the other bathroom down the hall each day.
So that’s all really life is good and normal and MS is an afterthought – the way it should be xx

EDIT and sadly Gareths 'baking bug' seems to have died of neglect :-(

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

4yrs 3mths 3wks - Men who Bake have more sex appeal

Amber did have another stroke in the early hours of last Thursday morning, this one has been a big one and she has spent the weekend trying to learn how to walk again. It’s taking longer this time for her to pull out of it. After wondering what we would do over the weekend it turned out that it was mostly about the dogs. It was Saturday afternoon before we saw her wonderful Beagle smile again. It’s so hard to watch but she’s recovered from the others so we have to give her time and as long as she is happy then we will keep going. It’s that open how long is too long thing though.

Gareth has spent the weekend making loafs of bread. We had an ‘accidental loaf’ last week when making pizza dough, I think Gareth accidentally made the ‘Serves 12’ quantity so he shaped the leftovers into a loaf and threw it in the oven. Out popped a perfectly formed, beautiful loaf …….. And it was an accident. This prompted 2 further ‘deliberate loafs’ and predictably they were again perfectly formed, perfectly baked and delicious …….
I have a ‘patchy’ history with bread making there has been a single lovely focaccia and quite a few okay ones as well as some absolutely disastrous sour dough attempts. I don’t include things like Wheaten Bread or Soda Farls in my bread disasters they are nice and straight forward and I can make them well (although I now suspect Gareth might make them far better than I can). Gareth’s adventures in bread making for next weekend are already planned and I’ve already started ribbing him about him applying for Great British Bake Off next year.

I feel no anxiety that he is great at baking and I am crap at it, the results are lovely and tasty and doing bugger all to help with me losing some chub and get into better shape. I’ve always said if we could apply as a couple we’d make a half decent MasterChef contestant.
We also did a lot of what I call ‘adulting’ – that grown up responsible thing, cleaning the house, vanquishing the laundry basket, mowing the grass and stuff. Being this organised doesn’t come naturally to either of us. We’re both pretty resistant to being grown up so it takes quite a bit of effort to motivate ourselves into behaviours like this and it’s usually a pretty grim experience where we’re doing it because we have to not because we want to and it makes us both grumpy. This weekend we did what we needed to and it was okay especially when I called time on ‘Adulting’ and said it was time to stop.

(Side note – for me, Adulting doesn’t include cooking – Sunday dinner of Roast Chicken with potato broad beans and gravy was absolutely epic and not a ‘chore’ at all it was enjoyable and resulted in an awesome meal)
We have a friends birthday coming up this weekend, an introduction to the local Polish community and food which we are very much looking forward to, and there is a Gin and Rum Festival in Reading on Friday which I’m trying to convince Gareth he should drop me off at and come and pick me up later (he thinks I’m joking but I’m taking his ‘yeah alright’ response as agreement that he’s providing a gin and rum drinkers taxi serviceJ)

One last thing, the dog training, it’s working ….. it’s such a short amount of time, but we’re seeing improvement and more confidence from Winston. He’s not reacting to things as much and he’s just relaxing. Odd to think that loving him so much and wanting to be affectionate all the time is actually viewed as weakness by him and make him think he needs to be in charge. The book is by the trainer Nigel Reed if it will help, I’m listening to the Audible version. There’s a pretty extensive YouTube archive of him that shows how he trains.
Ohhhh ohhh and anotherone last thing ….. if you like Gin you have to try Aber Falls ……. The Welsh are getting seriously good at making some very fine spirits and Liquers. I’m blaming Amazon Treasure Truck for this recommendation – I got text last week with the Orange Marmalade was on offer. Gareth was working from home so he ordered and collected it later that day. Oh my …… a small glass, an ice cube and I was in heaven. I then discovered that they also do a salted toffee and a coffee and chocolate so it would have been rude not to taste test them. They’re lovely, just an ice cube with them for me, they don’t need more although I’m sure if you wanted to they’d be lovely.

So a significantly more positive post from me this week hope you’re well xxx