Episode!

Well, I’m in the throes of an M.E. episode. Trying really hard to be positive and “do” stuff, but failing. This week I’ve managed to stay up and out of bed till lunchtime once in the last five days. Failed this morning. No knitting or crochet mojo. Tried a bit of crochet yesterday but it didn’t go well.

Was supposed to go to the osteopath today but re-arranged. It feels a bit sad-making but at the same time empowering because I have a measure of control over my stupid health. Plenty of sleeping, and reading when I’m awake. Also ordering stuff I do actually need, as well as want, online. Handcream, for example, is a constant thing for me as my hands are terribly dry all the time. So I’ve ordered some. And earrings are a new problem. Now I have various pairs of glasses, wearing at least two at once, the reading glasses dangling and the distance glasses on my nose (or vice versa), dangly earrings are just not going to work. Particularly with masks as well. So stud earrings it is. Ordered two lovely pairs from John Lewis, then of course needed a jewellery box to hold them, to replace the ice cube tray I’ve been using for the last twenty years or so. I can justify almost any purchase if I try hard enough . . . 🛒😉. And of course retail therapy is always, always good for the morale.

The garden is even better for the soul of course but it’s been cold and wet the past couple of days. I can look at it out of the window of course, and do. The bird feeder table is very popular at the moment, which is great. The cat seems to have an arrangement with all the birds. She looks at them, they fly away, and all is well. The pigeons – well, they just waddle off because they’re as big as she is.

The cat. Mm. She is much more chatty and approachable now she’s getting older. Not exactly affectionate, but keeps trying to herd me into the lounge, when I’m busy in the study. So I’ve set up another cat bed in the study, and she will occasionally sit in it!

Been Vaccinated!

Hooray! it didn’t hurt at all, didn’t even feel the needle. Next day my arm was very sore, so took painkillers, and the day after that felt completely washed out and had to take myself off to bed.

But today (Sunday) am feeling fine.

I have potted up two primulas – one little yellow traditional one, and one which will look like a purple pompom on a stick when it’s grown. It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine, although my back is protesting now and so are my hands. Hey ho. That will pass, but the primulas will bloom for ages, I hope.

And guess what. My new glasses are actually ok. It’s taken three months and six visits to the optician’s. I’m fetching the matching sunglasses tomorrow. Phew. What a relief. They’re not varifocals though, so I have a cord attached to them and am organising a pendant glasses holder for my reading glasses. Just getting used to changing my glasses every few minutes!

Hubby’s 17 year old BMW has gone to its new home today with youngest son in Malvern. All concerned are very pleased. We now have two electric cars, one with a longer range. It’s the newer version of the one we already had, with a couple more bells and whistles. Feels odd not to have to buy petrol, or pay car tax. Not sure what the government will do about that, because they will need at some point to start charging car tax when more people have electric cars. Mm.

That’s it really!

Love/Hate Technology

Oh. My. Days.

I have just spent a very fraught hour or so trying to access my local doctor’s surgery on line. They’ve recently changed their website service, so you have to go through a whole heap of trouble to get there. You have to wait for text messages with special codes, special url addresses, special documents with yet more special codes in, and then put everything in the right place in the right order. It’s just like an obstacle course for the Very Advanced. Not meant for 65 year olds like me, even though I’m a techie.

Anyway, finally managed it. The whole point was to order repeat prescriptions. With this new system you have to put a message in too. I put “I need repeat prescriptions of these”. What would they like me to say??

At the same time, probably not terribly wisely, I was setting up our Netflix account and trying to talk to the water supply people about why they are sending letters to our address with the wrong name on it.

But it’s all sorted now. Netflix – subscription sorted. Water supply people – sorted. Surgery on-line access – sorted.

I now need a lie down with a cold compress on my forehead. But the cat needs feeding, and her day has been even more fraught because we had the guys in, aka The Noisy Boys, trimming the leylandii and various thuggish shrubs in the garden. She was terrified, so needs a nice calm evening. Yeah. Me too, kiddo.

The Noisy Boys did a great job though. The next thing, when the weather has sprung into spring, is the front lawn. Exciting.

Trying

Yes, it has been. I had another go at making yogurt, with oat milk (barista style) and it was a total failure. Down the loo it went.

However, I have done some research. Back in the day I used to make yogurt with evaporated milk. So I checked it out and you can still get it, and it’s much easier to use (no boiling required), and so I’m going to have a go. I won’t be able to have any of course because it’s dairy, but hubby will. We shall see.

The knitting and crochet are going ok as long as I don’t beat myself up for doing it slowly and for a short time. I’m pleased with how it looks (no pics because the crochet is for a present).

The garden is looking absolutely lovely. Daffodils have suddenly appeared without my noticing, snowdrops all over the place, and a few crocus too.

My younger daughter is 37 today. She’s going to tell everybody she’s 36! so not quite sure what will happen when she gets to 40 . . Spoke last night via WhatsApp as she lives in New Zealand. Glowing with health and having a lovely time.

A bit of a roller coaster

Today I got up early (ish) so that I could set up the yogurt to do its thing. Then I went back to bed as today is not a good day M.E. wise.

When I got up again, I had forgotten to press the Go button. That meant that the temperature didn’t remain constant, so this is the second failed yogurt batch. But all that is wasted is one litre of oat milk, to be honest, so not so bad. Dumped it all down the loo. The texture looked ok, though.

Went to the opticians for my new glasses yesterday. Fifth visit. Didn’t go well. Eye test was last November. My double vision is pretty bad, so I need a thick prism. That means varifocals won’t work very well with the (expensive) fancy lenses, nor will Reactolites. So they’ve made three attempts at getting them right, and I still can’t see through them properly. My current specs, which were made up in June 2018, are better. Harrumph. So they’re going to have another go, in non-fancy lenses (i.e. thick ones). Hey ho. It would be nice to think that I can have Reactolites and varifocals, but I’m waiting for a call back from the opticians, so I guess probably not.

The soup I made was lovely, by the way, and there are plans to make more, with carrots and coriander this time. I meant to get a portion out of the freezer this morning but forgot. Of course.

On the upside, I have an appointment for my Covid vaccination next week – hooray! Hubby had his a few weeks ago.

Also on the upside, two guys came yesterday and tidied up the garden, so it looks excellent, even this time of year. They turned over all the soil, trimmed the edges of the lawn, swept up leaves and debris, and left it looking great.

So all in all, everything is more or less ok. Small things.

Progress of a sort

The first batch of non-dairy yogurt was not a success. Some things worked. It set. It smelled vaguely like yogurt. But tasted of absolutely nothing. I used sugar free soya milk, agar agar powder, and a probiotic from Holland and Barrett. Dumped the lot (apart from the bit I tried.) Next batch will try oat milk (barista style) and see what happens.

Currently making dairy free soup in the Bimbi/Thermomix. It’s a first for me. I do make cakes and stuff in it though. Now I’m not eating any cheese I think I need to increase my protein intake. Two potatoes, one large carrot, one large onion, fresh parsley, tin of chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper, and away we go. Just cooking now, when it’s done I’ll whizz it up with some dairy free spread and see what happens.

Finally heard from the tree trimming guy after I made it fairly clear we want the work done, and if not by him, by someone else. Original quote was last June. Work supposed to be done September. Now they’re coming, weather permitting, on 22nd February.

Knitting – enjoying knitting this scarf and although it’s slow going because I can’t knit for as long as I once could, it’s enjoyable.

Small Decisions Made

Started knitting a different project. A scarf. It’s not the fancy schmancy pattern I had in mind, that’s too difficult at the moment, but I am enjoying it. It’s a “mistake rib” scarf, where you K2 P1 on every row. I’ve cast on 92 stitches, so it’s wider than these photos. In this yarn (colourway – coffees).

Also made sure that the 4 ply t-shirt (a mix of Elfe and Vasa) is going to work. It is. Elfe is knitted in the round and shaped, Vasa is knitted straight. I’m going to do it straight, and seamed, but using the stripe pattern from Elfe. Did another sample to make sure. Not sure if you can see but the colours are a sage green and a fairly dark grey.

And have decided to undo the Jumper of Shame and knit something else with it. A jumper I’ve done before which hubby likes. The other one is in a denim blue. Here he is modelling it.

I’m going to do the next one in this yarn. The colour is called “Mallard”. It doesn’t look too different on the screen, but it is in real life.

Yeah. Feeling ok about it all.

A Bit Worrying

I have been getting unsolicited text messages from Microsoft with a security code. I checked my Microsoft account (all fine), ignored them for a while (maybe a week) and then decided to do something constructive.

Which was changing my password. Oh. My. Days. What a major faff. It should be difficult, I know, otherwise any old body could just hack in, but it has taken me about an hour and a half yesterday evening and another hour this morning to sort it all out. I have two Microsoft email addresses, which complicates things somewhat, an Android tablet and mobile phone. So three devices including my computer.

Jeez. I think it’s all ok now. I think. Fingers crossed.

On the knitting front, I have been struggling with the current project which is a jumper for hubby. Fortunately hubby is a kind and patient soul and isn’t bothered that it is no longer a work in progress. It is still on the needles, but it might end up being frogged (undone) and a different pattern knitted. It is in the Bag of Shame in the craft room.

I am now in the position of not knitting anything, half heartedly crocheting a dishcloth, and wondering what I should knit next. It’s quite relaxing and knitterly to be deciding what to do. There are a couple of possibilities for which I have the yarn, one is a fancy schmancy scarf, and the other is a striped T-shirt. No rush. Or should I think again, browse Ravelry, and (ssh!) buy more yarn? Mm.

To sleep? or not?

Sometimes I wake up at the normal time, thanks to the alarm, get up and have breakfast and have to go straight back to bed. My brain isn’t working properly, I can’t cope with easy crosswords or even Solitaire. Sunday (I think) I went back to bed and slept for five hours straight. Then woke up and had a shower, and felt ok.

Today is Tuesday. Same thing, but I only slept for two hours, and felt ok-ish. I needed to do my ironing but really couldn’t muster the energy until about forty five minutes ago. It only takes ten minutes, because we each do our own, and one of my little life rules is that I do it every week. So there’s not much. Schlepping the ironing board from utility room to lounge is the hardest bit, to be honest, but that’s what makes me want to put it off. Anyway, long story short, I did it because I could feel the energy needed just getting to the right level, and of course I felt much better afterwards.

A shower always helps me feel better. Always. But I don’t always have the energy! how frustrating.

Looks like we’re in for the long haul with Covid/lockdown, so I’ve been trying to find at least one positive thing in every day.

Today was the ironing! and then, as the sun was out and it’s not actually freezing cold, I pottered round our small garden and found these snow drops. Love them.

Also tried to take a photo of the cat, but she would not look at the camera. I pulled a little weed out of her catnip pot – it’s real catnip in there, just a bit sad and wintery at the moment – and her reaction was priceless. “What are you doing? That’s mine! Have you changed it? I need to investigate all of it right now!” she is such a doofus.

(Fairly) Big Decision

Maybe not to anybody else, but it feels like it to me!

For the last 15 years or so I have avoided cow’s milk and products. No cheese, yogurt, cream, nothing. I drink my tea and coffee black. Weak, but black. Only goat butter/yogurt/cheese and sheep cheese, and soya milk on my cereal or to make custard with. I did try goat milk on my cereal but after so long without animal milk it tasted really odd. I also use dairy free spread (Pure) to make cakes, and it seems to make lighter sponges.

I researched very carefully which chocolate I could eat. “May contain milk” is fine. Chocolate would be a huge sacrifice, so I just eat dark chocolate.

Then I was prescribed statins. Well. Oh my days. It’s been two months now. The digestive problems started immediately, then the asthma got worse. It took me about two weeks (!) to recognise that these were the symptoms I used to get with cow’s milk. So I decided to give up sheep and goat dairy too. The difference was noticeable within a couple of days, and I feel so much better now. My tummy problems have just gone away and I don’t need my blue inhaler at all. Hubby does all our cooking (I bake cakes and stuff when I can) and once a week we have a cheese vegetable bake. He has cheese sauce, I have grated goat/sheep cheese, and it is grilled. For some odd reason, that makes a difference, and so far it seems that I can tolerate grilled dairy (but not cow’s stuff) once a week. Strange that I don’t miss eating cheese, because it’s one of my favourite foods, but probably the fact that I feel so much better now has mitigated against that.

Soya is a staple in our house, both milk and yogurt. I have just ordered a yogurt maker, some dairy-free starter (at least I think that’s what it is – probiotic tablets I can just break open and add to the mix . . .) and have discovered that we have cornflour in stock anyway. Very excited. I had a yogurt maker back in the day and used cow’s milk. We flavoured them with jam. Nom. Nom. Nom. Fingers crossed it all works.