Weekly Blog No 91 – Moving Again  

images

We are moving again to a permanent nest in the UK. A cute mid terrace house in a market town within Northamptonshire. Finally I will be able to open our boxes from Canada, however I’m sure that we won’t be opening them all until the house is fully decorated.

My dream renovation list:

  • Replacement windows and doors in time, as we want triple glazing/sash style windows. Replace the current UPVC white external doors to either composite or timber doors to within keeping of the historic period of the property. Reduce the master bedroom window to its original size.
  • External decoration once the windows have been replaced
  • A loft conversion also known as converting the roof space to form a drawing office/craft studio.
  • Conversation of bedroom 2 by dividing the room into a main bathroom and en suite to master bedroom.
  • Form a walk in closet to the master bedroom.
  • Form a linen cupboard on the landing.
  • Relocate the boiler from  bedroom 3 to the laundry room.
  • Convert existing downstairs shower room into utility room (laundry room) and cloak room (1/2 bath). I may move its current location once I’ve opened up the space.
  • Rebuild the infill extension/conservatory to conform with Building  Regulations. (Building Codes)
  • Remove the rear external walls to open up into the extension to form open plan kitchen and dining area.
  • I may reconfigure the area to form the kitchen, dining area, cloak room and utility room.
  • Provide french doors to the patio area.
  • Open up chimney for a log burner in the living room (great room)
  •  Remove chimney breast in bedroom 2 to accommodate new bathrooms.
  • Provide new/extend existing lighting,.
  • Fit new fire & carbon monoxide alarms and possibly security system.
  • Replace internal doors.
  • Provide new plumbing were its required and possible replace/relocation of radiators.
  • Damp proofing work if required.
  • Full redecoration and flooring throughout the house.

Basically the list is endless, and I’m sure I wont have any money left for a long time but I can dream. I may start a blog showing my develops, it all depends on time. Wish me luck.

Weekly Blog No 90 – Net Cancer Day  

Image credit net cancer org.

It’s my 4th Net Cancer Day since my diagnosis. 3 – 1/2 years ago. My personal goal was to live for 5 years going on statistics that I had read. 
Since my diagnosis of net cancer aka carcinoid cancer, I have seen a bigger awareness of this specific cancer. Consequently, patients, carers givers, medical professionals and organisations are proactively spreading the word and creating more awareness. I believe social media has been the biggest influence in order to drive awareness. I have personally learnt a lot from a social media groups and have been able to share my knowledge too from my own personal expereince. We have continued to be proactive in driving awareness and believe me no action is deemed too small.

Cancer Update 

As many of you know, I have cancer in the abdominal and the liver but this week I learnt from my latest Ga68 scan that there is no further metastasis spread. I have to say that’s such a relief to hear, especially as I was having problems with my spine & head. I suspected bone metastasis due to my pain problems but it was confirmed that I don’t have bone mets. I do believe 120mg of Lantreotide every 28 days has been a huge contribution to enable my Oncologist to say such words  “you are stable”. 

I have a further appointment with my Neurologist in about 10 days, to hopefully shed some light as to what is going on with my spine/head etc. Although I feel a huge relief, there is still the fact that I have other symptoms and issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve optimum health. 

I would like to personally thank all the patients and medical professionals that have made my Net Cancer journey a lot easier. Without you there would be no journey. ❤

Weekly Blog No 89 – My Reading Challenge  

In the last twelve months, I’ve attempted a challenge to read as many books in a year. My goal was 24 books and to experiment with some different authors. I have about a month to go and about 3 more books left to read.
Here is my list to date:

  1. East End Jubilee – Carol Rivers
  2. Pam Weaver – For Better or Worse
  3. The Kelly Sisters – Maureen Lee
  4. A Summer Promise – Katie Flynn
  5. The New Arrival – Sarah Beeston MBE
  6. War Baby – Lizzie Lane
  7. Without Trace – Lesley Pearce
  8. The Ophran’s – Dilly Court
  9. Sins of the Mother – Irene Kelly
  10. Too Close to Home – Susan Lewis
  11. The Buffer Girls – Margaret Dickinson
  12. Me Me Me – Charlotte Crosby
  13. Ragged Rose – Dilly Count
  14. Lights Out Liverpool – Maureen Lee
  15. Love Me Tender – Anne Bennet
  16. The Swan Maid – Dilly Court
  17. The Girl With No Name _ Diney Costeloe
  18. A Family Scandal – Kitty Neale
  19. Our Country Nurse – Sarah Beeston  MBE & Amy Beeston
  20. Finding Tipperary Mary – Phyliss Whitsell
  21. Polly’s Angel – Katie Flynn (Still reading)

I did read on social media the other day that a woman had read 70 books so far in 2016. Kudos to her, however 70 books is an incredible amount of reading. I have experimented with some new authors in the last 12 months, however my genre doesn’t seem to have changed. I have read a few biographies as you will see from my list above. It’s always a learning experience when reading about someone else’s life.

The books, I tend to read always have a historical and cultural element, which I find very intriguing. It certainly makes you appreciate the life you have today. I feel the only way I could beat 24 books a year, is if I stop watching television. I really don’t think that is going to happen. I shall attempt another reading challenge once this one is complete.

Weekly Blog No 88 – UK Garden Centre’s

Today I was feeling a little better so I seized the opportunity to venture out to buy some gifts. Mr Zebrakat & I went to a local garden centre as they are a mecca for unusual gifts. Gone are the days of garden centres just offering trees and plants.

We started to walk around and I spotted this cute little bird house resembling a British post box.


Then we spotted a scarecrow looking very familiar to Worzel Gummidge.  Worzel Gummidge was a children’s programme in the late 70s about a scarecrow that comes to live and his girlfriend Aunt Sally.

We maneuvered our way around the garden centre in the garden ornaments and came across these cute animals.

image

image

Around the corner was the Christmas section, starting to develop with Santa and other associated Christmas theme animals.

image

image

image

The next section was gifts but I can’t show this section because I don’t want to spoil the surprises for the individuals. However I did buy this book  “Mary Berry” cook book for myself to try out some recipes.

image

Following the gift section you navigate your way through the food section, where we brought a few goodies.

image

image

image

The blackcurrant jam was bought for nostalgic reasons, I believe my grandma used to make blackcurrant jam in Ireland.

The last stop was the café, which has always a good experience with its various food & drink choice. Mr Zebrakat had a full English breakfast priced at £4.75, not only was it overpriced but it was luke warm and didn’t come with toast. We shan’t eat there again as it was a massive disappointment.

image

Do you have a great place to shop for gifts, let me know.

Weekly Blog No 87 – Letters & Cards

image

I’m writing this blog because someone mentioned receiving cards through the post on social media. No one sends a letter or even cards so much these days. Computers and social media have taken over the art of handwriting.

There is no denying that we all smile when we see a handwritten envelope coming through the letter box. Hence it’s not a computer generated bill or marketing literature. Letters & cards are more of a personal gesture and shows a noticeable effort from the sender.

Do we smile in the same way when we receive a happy birthday on social media, I’m not sure. We are unquestionably grateful that someone has said happy birthday but it’s usually due to a prompt reminder on social media.

When writing a letter, it’s more personal and the content can be more intimate. I’m sure the intimate contents of your letter would not be displayed all over your social media. Furthermore you somewhat take the time to choose a card, with the right wording & picture. It’s then handwritten with befitting message, sealed, stamped and mailed away.

Social media is beyond any doubt less tasking, there’s no money involved in purchases and caters by its immediate action. Social media is especially good if you live overseas, keeping your family & friends upto date with news and photos. This has been extremely helpful in my situation. I couldn’t imagine writing over 100 letters to keep people involved.

Is letter writing and card sending a dying gesture of kindness! I do send letters and I categorically send cards. Maybe we should all send more letters, rekindle the excitement of receiving mail through the letter box. Let’s bring back paper, handwriting and postage stamps. Endorse being creative and bring back smiles.

image

Weekly Blog No 86 – Happy 6th Birthday Lottie

20160102_112937561074

Lottie’s annual message.

Wow it’s my 6th birthday. Let me tell you about my last year. I’ve been back in the UK for over 12 months now and I have adjusted very well. Can’t say I love the rain, I still prefer the snow. Who invented rain anyway and what is it’s purpose? I still don’t like my coat getting wet, I hate looking like a drenched rat and half my size. They should do dog umbrellas!!!

I attend doggy day care for socialising, whilst my human mum attends her hospital appointments. I have a few friends now at the kennels. One of them is Mitzi, she’s a chihuahua. I do a lot of chasing with her. Boy am I tired after, its like a months workout for humans.

img_2490-jpg1561079

I have developed an obsession for neighbours cat (Timmy) next door. Timmy likes to cross over my garden to get to his. He leaps over the fence and makes me jump out of  my skin. I do see a cat at the local car wash but that cat doesn’t bother me, we just do a stare off. Timmy on the other hand insists on teasing me through the patio doors walking over my territory. Dam cat.

I love my groomer Sophie, she does a great job and makes me smell beautiful, however my dad has a habit of going too far with my haircuts. My human mum likes me looking adorably cute and my human dad gets carried away on the hair on my face being too short and trying to make me look like a Jack Russell.

20160418_100422

It’s quiet funny hearing my human mum say after a haircut ” what have you done to my dog, poor Lottie”. However to me it means more fuss and I’m not going to say no, to more snuggles and cuddles.

As you know, UK drive thru’s are not much fun, like they were in Canada. Therefore my human dad does take me to the local bakery on Saturday and the women adore me. Therefore I go into my cuteness mode and walk out with a sausage every time. I do get heaps of cuddle & fuss.

img_3569561084

I’m still all over my human mum, she’s my snuggle blanket, however my human dad is the Santa of treats. They do eat some exciting stuff, my nose is constantly being tormented by my human mums cooking. I do love chicken though and if I had springs on my paws, I would snatch the chicken away. Why does chicken taste so good.

That’s all for this year, maybe I will get some chicken as its my birthday.

img_3508561089

Weekly Blog No 85 – Cancer Update 

 

AWOL

I seem to have disappeared off radar but I’m very much here dealing with the challenges of health.

I’ve had tests, scans and even seen Specialists. It’s an ongoing cycle, which you learn to adapt too. No one prepares you for a full-time role in the delights of medical facilities. If I had known this was my life plan, I would have done a bit more travelling. I only had one continent to do and it was Australia. Never say never.

During this period of disappearance. I’ve had bed rest and when I am awake I enjoy the pleasure of reading. I’ve read a few books but one in particular got my undivided attention. Mr Zebrakat couldn’t even speak to me when I was reading this book.  Usually i am great at multi tasking, reading, listening to the television or radio and conversing with him. On this occasion bless him, he got nothing. The book was called “Finding Tipperary Mary” by Phyllis Whitsell. You all know I have a passion for Irish stories especially true stories. Thank you Auntie P.

Finding Tipperary Mary

I’ve had some friends over entertaining me. What enjoyment they are, you know who you are. I have to say they are the best medicine, I’m always giggling at something or some memory we had. I am always grateful to the people who put themselves out for me. I know I’m not always the instigator of communication nowadays. As it can be quiet challenging maintaining contact with everyone. I tend to be reactive than proactive. Therefore I do appreciate the people who acknowledge my illness and make the effort to keep up contact. To all those people who put themselves out for me. Thank you.

I know I’m on Facebook but sometimes I am just to tired to respond. I will always respond when I have a spike of energy. Please don’t think I don’t care because I do.

My biggest achievement this month is being able to visit 4 shops. I know that may sound nothing to some people but that is huge for me and without symptoms. The latest tablet increase has made a difference. The only problem is when I experience more freedom I get my back issues.  I recently had an MRI on my spine and even though I’ve had 4 ops, my spine is a complete mess. I am waiting for a Neurologist Appt, there appears to be a waiting list and I may not be seen until Oct. My GP Referral was made in July. I’m back to London for Oncology Ga68 scan at the beginning Oct.

I will continue to do what I can when I can. Whoop whoop to managing another blog.