Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sea Remedies...

We've just returned from a week on the North Yorkshire Coast. An absolutely stunning coastline, lots of interesting little seaside towns, slotted into the rugged coastal edge. Most days were spent beach combing, breathing in the restorative sea air. I'm sure this air helped me climb the steep hills up and down to the beach. I really must live by the sea, is it the enzymes that float in the air, or the salty smell, the sound of the calming waves? I'm not sure what it is, but it does make me feel stronger, that's for sure.
The week before we went was extremely stressful. I can't go into the details here, but I was literally at the end of my tether. All my energy had been spent and I was a gibbering mess. We almost cancelled our trip, as I felt I couldn't sum up the energy to go. My body felt completely out of balance, MS lurking just a whisper away, waiting to strike. I knew if it did, it would be a huge blow, the sort that would knock me to the ground, and put me out of action for a long time. It's done it before, I know just how aggressive it can be. It's a dangerous place for me, my body needs to stay balanced.
I gave myself one last push, and a blooming good talking too, and finally managed to get everything ready. Normally I'm very organised at holiday time, this year I packed late, we left very late, no plans, nothing. When we reached our lodge it felt like a warm, cosy blanket had wrapped itself around me. It was set in a beautiful little wood, at the end of a very quiet campsite. My body took a deep breath. Perfect.
Our little holiday wasn't all relaxing, it had more than a few dramas, my complicated little family is never without its stresses and strains. Mixed within the dramas however, were some perfect moments, of calm and peace. A cup of morning coffee out on our deck, just listening to the birds. Watching the campsites chickens forage. I am always particularly calm as l stroll along the waters edge, looking for sea glass. Yes, I really must live by the sea. It does me good.
Otto really enjoyed his first holiday. Yes he was travel sick but that improved as the week went on, he was however the noisiest thing on the campsite! He loved walking along the beach and as long as the waves weren't too big, he would run after stones we threw in for him. He just loved meeting the other dogs, and got lots of attention from passerby.
Yes, all in all, just what the doctor ordered. I now feel more balanced again, it feels good.
Hope all is well with you too,
Amanda :) xxx


Monday, 8 August 2016

See You Later...

The summer holidays are in full swing, having the girls home is keeping me very busy, and leaving me very little time for blog writing or reading. I've decided the best thing to do is have a little blog break, so I shall say goodbye for now, and see you later!
Have a fabulous summer everyone,
Amanda :) xxx


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Down The a Garden Path...July

Hello...and welcome to my July update, yes I know it's August but these were taken in July, so only a little cheat. My goodness the garden is romping away, I can hardly keep up, friends and neighbours have been benefiting from the plot too, so all is good.
I'm thinking of adding in another two arches down this path, one on the end and one in the middle. Initially I liked my wobbly hedge but I think it's a bit boring and also the box balls aren't the healthiest. I've will have to save up for them, as my little pension pot is rather years project I think.
The main thing we've been concentrating on this month, is replacing the lawn with slate chips. I say we, I mean my husband, although I make a great supervisor, and creative director! I'm very, very pleased with how this has turned out, it's much easier to manage now, as well as walk on.
We've been getting lots of red berries, raspberries and strawberries. I'm going to have to build a support frame from next years raspberry crop, and I've decided to move my strawberries, to sit in front of them, in to the long, thin beds near the fence. I will show you when I've done it. The other long thin bed might house sweet peas and dahlias, not sure yet.
I'm looking for beautiful plant protection solutions, and found these from Plant Belles, I rather like them. A kitchen garden has to be productive as well as attractive! If anyone has any solutions/ideas please let me know.
There's a great mix of flowers in with the veg and fruit, exactly as I wanted it to be. The tin bath in the above picture, will be planted with tulips and winter flowers, just so there is something to look throughout the year. I'm pleased with the dahlias but think I really should put some upturned flower pots in with them, the earwigs are munching them.
Yes it's all looking rather lush, there's been a lot of dead heading going on...the bees are loving the flowers, but I've only seen cabbage white butterflies, which is disappointing. I've still not really done much with the patio area, it's ok to sit on, but not the beautiful seating area I had in my mind. There's still a few weeks of summer left, so maybe it will get done.
I've had to put any greenhouse plans on hold, I've had a few days with a long face about it, (I have fallen in love with traditional brick and wooden one)...but I've given myself a good talking to and I'm ok now, and I live in hope of getting one in the future.
Jobs for August,
Harvesting and eating the lovely veg, and picking beautiful flowers for my home and friends.
Plan ahead for Autumn crops, and improving the soil in the raised beds.
August is really just about relaxing and enjoying.
Amanda :) xxx


Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Picture A Day...31

Made it! Well done to everyone if you managed to get through the month too. I've loved blogging everyday, I've loved your support and your comments. I wonder which was your favourite picture? Thank you all soooo much.
Back next week with Julys garden update, a tad late but never mind, I didn't feel I wanted to interrupt the flow of this month. Have a great day folks!
Amanda :) xxx


Saturday, 30 July 2016

A Picture A Day...30

View from my window, beautiful sunny day here today. My garden is looking lush, full of good things to eat and beautiful flower. Thank you all for the love and support you gave me yesterday, it has helped so much.
Last night I dreamt I was walking down amazing country lanes, right down to the longest beach. I walked for miles. I walked fast and strong, no wobbling and tripping, no pain or discomfort. It was the most fantastic dream.
Have a super Saturday, if it's already been and gone for you, hope it was a brilliant one :)
Amanda :) xxx


Friday, 29 July 2016

A Picture A Day...29

I need to get my feelings out, and in order to do that, I'm going to wallow. Please move on if you want too, and don't read, I wouldn't blame you. What I'm going to write is really one of those first-world problems we read about, i.e. most of the people living on this planet wouldn't see it as a problem, they'd just be bloody grateful to be in my shoes. I think when you have a condition like MS you can feel vulnerable, uncertain about the future. This picture above is the back of my house, I just wish it looked different, and here's why...
I've accepted the fact I have MS, I've accepted the fact that my mobility issues stop me from doing the things I once enjoyed. I know, in comparison to many others with MS, I'm actually doing ok. I've accepted the fact that I can no longer earn a living the way I did before, and that our lifestyle isn't what I hoped it would be. I'm trying to accept the fact that we won't be able to financially help and support our girls, in the way I thought we would. (But then neither my husband, or I have ever been in the position to be supported by our parents, and we managed).
I've accepted a lot over the past few years. I've managed to cope, and carve out a new life for myself and my family. I love my home and the area I live in, and always thought we would live here, until our girls had grown and flown. This house, as it is now however, can't support my changing mobility needs. If I stay the same as I am now, everything will be ok, but if things progress, like they have done over the last five years, well my home won't offer me the accessibility I need.
Now for the bit I'm really struggling with. A few years ago, the authority I worked for didn't follow correct procedures, and because of this I've lost out on tens of thousands of pounds of my pension pot. With that money we could have extended downstairs, and made my home, accessible for me, whatever my changing needs become. Up until a few weeks ago, I had thought that this would happen. I now know that it won't. None of this is my fault, yet I'm the one living with those consequences. It's seems so unfair. I have a insecure future, just because someone made the wrong decision. Last week when I was ill I got stuck on the stairs, it's made me realise how difficult things can get.
I'm really struggling with this, and as much as I try to shake off the injustice, it still keeps grabbing hold. I've really got to let go and stop, STOP, thinking how things could have been. I keep going over how it could have been.
I COULD have had a house that was fully accessible.
We COULD have lived here all our lives, if that's what we wanted.
We COULD have had a little extra each month, to support our girls through their education.
I COULD have had not only a lovely garden, but also my lovely greenhouse.
So as you can see, I'm in a period of grieving, not for a person, that's much harder, but for a better future. However, I really do believe that everything happens for a reason, to teach us something. Are these lessons I need to learn?
1.To be less greedy, and be truly grateful for what I have. I've got so much good in my life, yet I'm wanting more. There are many people in this world who don't even have a home. I really need to learn to be less selfish.
2.If I did have an accessible house, then would I become lazy? As things are now, I know I'm up against it. Just this last year I'm able to do less, but I push myself every day, I never give in. I push myself to do things because if I don't then is the next step not being able to climb those stairs. Perhaps by not having things easy, it's making me work harder to stay mobile? Maybe that's why that person made the wrong decision?
3. Life doesn't always deal us the cards we were hoping for, just switch on the news and you see that, look at all those innocent people killed and injured just lately, they would never have imagined the card they were dealt. I'm alive for goodness sake, isn't that enough. I really do need to get my act together, don't I?!!!
So that's today, just how I'm feeling warts and all. I'm sorry to rant, but I found when I've wrote about stuff like this in the past, it's really helped me to move on...fingers crossed. My husband keeps telling me to get in the real world, and he's right, I'm a great dreamer, and believer that people will put right what was wrong, but that's not always the case. I've got to stop with the 'could haves' and concentrate on what I do have, a beautiful family, loving friends, and a bloody fabulous garden!
Have a great day, tomorrow I will be posting happier pictures, and happier thoughts! (and well done if you got to the end of this!).
Amanda :) xxx


Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Picture A Day...28

In two weeks time we go to the beautiful North Yorkshire Coast. We are taking Otto, but I'm feeling rather worried about this. We all felt he was too young to leave with strangers in kennels, and we don't have anyone else to have him for the whole week. He's really doesn't travel well, vomiting, and for a family that has a member with emetophobia, that's not been easy, believe me!
I'm not sure if this week away will feel like a holiday, we will have to think about Ottos needs all the time. He will bark again at nighttime if his routine changes too much, we are staying in a holiday park so I don't want him disturbing others. We won't be able to go out for our meals like we have done before on holiday, we very rarely go out to restaurants as a family so on holiday I like us to have a treat. I'm beginning to think we shouldn't have booked a holiday this year.
When we went away last year we saw lots of families happily walking their dogs along the beach, I had imagined us doing the same. I'm having a big wobble at the moment about it all. Maybe it will be fine, he might just happily fit in with what we are doing, I hope so.
PLEASE, if any of you have any advice of holidaying in with a small, high energy, yappy dog, I'd be soooo grateful. I really want us to enjoy our week with him, and if it doesn't work out that way, any advice on finding a great kennel for next year?!!!
Amanda :) xxx