Saturday, 29 September 2012


St. Michael .....

Michael The Victorious
Thou Michael the Victorious,
I make my circuit under thy shield,
Thou Michael of the white steed
And of the bright, brilliant blade!
Conqueror of the dragon,
Be thou at my back,
Thou ranger of the heavens!
Thou warrior of the King of all!
Thou Michael the Victorious,
My pride and My guide!
Thou Michael the Victorious
The glory of mine eye.
I was given the opportunity to learn an  interesting lesson yesterday and I know that it was no coincidence that, this particular lesson occurred on the eve of the Feast of St Michael.
  For the best part of this past week I have  sat under a big black cloud.  I was waiting on an answer to  prayer and when it was not what I had expected, I ranted and raved at God and the heavens above.  To counteract my inward fury I took revenge on the house and was a whirlwind of activity in tidying and sorting, it was then that it happened.  The Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks and in a "light bulb" moment I could see that, my prayer was in fact being answered!  Just because it was not my way did not mean that it was no way! What an encouragement!
I then remembered the serenity prayer. We used to have it on the kitchen windowledge and it is now on the bookcase in the loft room:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"
So I cannot change the health problems and other concerns that are clamouring for attention, but I can change my attitude to them!  With St Michael at my side I gave that dragon a good kicking and  for the first time in ages, a smile appeared on my face.  So this morning after having dropped Benedict off at cub camp, Pip and I bought the ingredients to make our very own dragon bread in honour of St Micheal:

Ready to eat, yum!
For those of you that have left words of encouragment and remembered us in your prayers, a heartfelt thanks is sent from me to you.
God Bless
San xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Still ...

... knitting, checking and worrying.  Worrying about the insurmountable combined health challenges within the family, the home schooling (really don't know where i'm going on this one) and a million and one other issues that crowd my addled brain.  I'm praying hard for an answer and trying to shoo away that big black cloud.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Watching ...

... how to build a Chinook helicopter with Benedict at 10:30pm because blood sugar levels are now running at the opposite end of the spectrum and he is high!

In the past eight days I have had two full night's sleep and my average on the other nights was two hours total in each night.  It is so very frustrating that I'm unable to stabilise him and we are both so very tired.

We are in our fifth year post diagnosis and in all that time he has never once hit the recommended Hba1C three monthly blood average of 7.5mmol/l.  The nearest we got was 8.5mmol/l and that was as a result of him suffering from multiple daily hypos over a fourteen day period.  In one day alone he had five hypos and it was little wonder he looked particularly ghastly that day!!  The rest of his three monthly averages have hovered around the 9.5mmol/l and 10mmol/l and the consequences of such readings on his long term health are not good.

So I'm tidying in between worrying, making cups of herbal tea and watching and knitting, "c'est la vie".

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Yarn Along :: Middle Of The Night Knitting

Joining Ginny and friends for this week's yarn along.  I've had plenty of time to make progress as I'm on my third night of pump suspension for Benedict.  Hooray for knitting therapy!

A Martinmas Cardi for Pip.
The pattern is by Claire Montgomerie.  I have her easy baby knits book and have borrowed this one from my fellow knitting friend, S.  You'll also spy another Milo pattern and some corresponding wool.  It is the Rowan Purelife Organic Naturally Dyed in the colourway Horsetail.  This baby vest is a gift for my friend Emily who is expecting her third baby in November.
The only reading that I'm managing at the moment is insulin doses, basal rates and insulin to carbohydrate ratios.  I finally put down my knitting at 2am this morning having satisfied myself that it was safe to leave Benedict, only to be woken by Pip at 3am!  She was snuffly with a cold.  I tried her in my bed, we made warm drinks and a snack, sang songs, read stories and still she was unable to settle.  I conceded defeat at 7am and brought her downstairs:
Twenty minutes later she was like this:

Peace at Last!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Pass The Matchsticks ...

... to prop open my eyelids!!  This was me last night:

21:03 13.1 mmol/l

22:48 5.8mmol/l ... Hmm, don't like the look of this reading, better re-check in an hour.

23:49 4.8mmol/l This is worse than before but maybe the next reduced basal will level things out, better re-check in an hour.

00:35 3.9mmol/l  I knew I should have turned off the pump, he's now borderline hypo!  Better shut down the pump and pray like mad that he comes up, otherwise I'll be waking him with a carton of orange juice in my hand.

01:12 4.1mmol/l Thank you God!!  Better leave the pump suspended for another hour and re-check.

02:30 4.4mmol/l Right well I can re-start the pump, but do I do a reduced basal?  His next round of basals are on the higher side to counteract the normal rise in blood sugars before dawn, will he rise or will hypo again?  I can't think straight, I'm really, really tired Lord so I'm leaving it in your hands, BUT if he does happen to have a seizure as a result of a crashing hypo, please shout in my ear.

08:00 4.1mmol/l  Blimey that's close to the wire!

No I'm not going crazy ... yet!  The commentary in red is the conversation I had with myself in the wee small hours, whilst trying to second guess this diabetes monster and yet be true to the new regime as suggested by the team in Leeds.  We made it through but my jaw has been aching all day as a result of much teeth clenching.

I am praying for a better night.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


We had a quiet start to the week and then from Wednesday onwards it was bordering on the manic!

We actually made the diabetes appointment in Leeds but the journey going was a very stressful one ~ heavy rain, Pip needing the loo only twenty minutes after leaving home and me convinced that we would not make it in time.  To say that we arrived there on a "wing and a prayer" would be an understatement!

The diabetic team were very welcoming and very efficient.  We have been advised to implement various strategies over the course of the next week and then email our findings to the diabetes specialist nurse.  We have a follow up appointment in eight weeks.

By the time the appointment had finished it was lunchtime so we made our way to Kirkstall Abbey Museum.  We had our picnic sat in the car as it was raining heavily and then made our way across the road to the museum.  A friend told us that this place was kid friendly and she was absolutely right!  The downstairs was devoted to everything Victorian and there was loads to see and touch and the kids (big and small!) could dress up in Victorian style clothing.  Pip informed us in a very loud voice that no way would she were a dress and instead chose a flat cap and waistcoat!!  She looked like a Chimney Sweep's boy!

Street Montage.
The upstairs focused on modern day Leeds with references to sport and music.  Benedict and Pip's favourite spot was the dressing up area and they played quite happily for a good twenty minutes trying on the various costumes.  It reminded me of one of my favourite childhood programmes:
Mr Ben
We half expected to see the shopkeeper in the doorway!
We were blessed with sunshine for our return journey home and as promised Dad treated us to a pub meal at a local inn.  It was a well deserved rest stop and by the time we put the key in the front door we had been out and about for eleven and half hours and driven 200 miles. (DH made a comment to the waiter that we left our home 1 mile away, 10 hours earlier and yet the car trip meter displayed 200.1 miles. The waiter asked if it had been a hard day!)
On Thursday we had a visit from S and the kids and after a indoor picnic lunch at home we made our way to Brockholes Nature Reserve.  We walked around the outer perimeter of the reserve in the hopes that the kids would run off some of their boundless energy!  Their reward was a play in the adventure playground, a picnic snack and a whole heap of peace for the mums.  S was very organised and had remembered her knitting!
We left just before closing time and since it was so late I invited S and the kids for tea ~ Dave very kindly made shepherd's pie followed by apple crumble.  I knew there was plenty to go round and since S is veggie there was leftover frittata from the previous day's picnic.  We had a minor problem upon leaving as I had left my purse at home and we were short of some small change to pay the parking fee!! The staff at the reserve came up trumps and gave us the small amount needed with a promise that "yes, we would be making a return visit!"
The kids were great on the return journey home and both the little one's managed not to nod off despite having had plenty of fresh air!  Once home we enjoyed a warming home cooked meal followed by plenty of conversation and play.  The stars were out when we bid our friends "Bonne Nuit."
On Saturday we met S and the kids here and spent an enjoyable afternoon learning about sustainability including a demo on bio-diesel.  The kids enjoyed running around and Pip took a shine to two little girls older than her and spent some time in a craft area potato printing:
If you look carefully you'll see S is busy knitting!!
I was very glad of relative peace and quiet today.  It has done nothing but pour down.  Sara came home from work resembling a drowned rat on the outside but her biker gear kept her toasty dry on the inside.  Benedict and Pip finally settled to building an indoor railway that wove it's way around the down stairs carrying gemstones and wooden animals to their various destinations.   Typically Benedict was the guard announcing the stopping points as well as punching the tickets ( he used an empty staple gun for clicking effect!) and Pip was the engine driver:
I'm hoping for a quieter week and a chance to organise some home school stuff for Benedict and myself ~ Bonne Nuit.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Frugal Food

Whilst Sara was staying with family last week, both her and Nanna H attended a seasonal and cheap food cookery demonstration at Forum 28.  The demonstration was organised by the Co-operative Society and in amongst the free recipe guide was a vegetable base pizza, a great way to encourage kids to eat more veg and a useful means of using up the odd shrivelled carrot lurking in the bottom of the vegetable box!

Having tasted all the recipes at the demo, Sara in particular raved about the pizza, so with some trepidation I set about making the pizza base.  Normally I am fearless in the kitchen but gluten free flour is notoriously difficult to work with and I was unsure whether it would turn out all right.  I need not have worried, apart from the dough being a very sticky consistency to work with, once it was shaped and on the tray it rose really well.  I served the vegetable, cheese and tomato pizzas with a homemade coleslaw and the meal was wholeheartedly rated a success.

A light and fluffy deep pan pizza.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Having parented for a long time now I'm still amazed when various milestones are reached, so here is a pictorial record of the past week:

On Tuesday our patio area was converted into Benedetto's a "pop up restaurant" and littlest lad prepared authentic slow cooked ragu bolognese, served with brown rice pasta, followed by sliced banana and honey topped yogurt.  His recent culinary efforts besides providing him with a practical life skill have also earned him his Chef badge at cubs.
On Thursday we visited family in Cumbria:
What do you reckon?  Freedom of the open road, no worries, go where I please?
Shame it doesn't belong to me!  This clever girly above has saved her hard earned cash and bought her very own brand new set of wheels!!  She is carrying on the long standing biking tradition that runs in Dave's family. Good job he broke the mould and bought a sports car otherwise it would've been a tad difficult me riding pilion heavily pregnant with twins!!
Setting off under the watchful eye of Grandad, a veteran biker.
On Friday Pip attended her very Forest School session held in this village and surprise, surprise it rained!!
We left Dave and Benedict in the tea rooms at the end of the village and set off to find the others in the woods.  I had expected to spend the entire session with her, but within ten minutes of arriving she was happy to be left, so I made my way back to the tea rooms for a warming cup of peppermint tea:
Dave was on teaching duty so I actually had some time to mess about with Manual function on the camera and catch some images of them working:
Eating and Explaining.

Still cute even at the age of nine, but don't tell him I said that!
We're still working on our home school rhythm and I think it will be another slow week as we have various appointments including a short notice trip to Leeds to see the diabetes specialist.  Please God this time we'll actually manage to make the journey!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny and friends for another weekly yarn along.


  I've finally finished and blocked the Liesl cardigan, all I need to do is add the buttons and then it will be ready to wear.

I'm knitting another pair of baby socks in the hand dyed organic wool.  I'm supposed to be making stuff for an Etsy shop as part of the Green Parent Team and it's a case of fitting it all in between the countless other tasks demanding my attention!

The book I'm slowly reading is written by this guy and is thought provoking and challenging.  It takes me back to my childhood where wandering, den building and adult free bike rides around the countryside by the time I was ten years old were the norm.  The kids of today are not being given the chance to access that kind of freedom and it is so sad. 

I also received my Simply Knitting magazine in the post and inside as usual were some freebies.  One was a pair of bamboo needles and the other was this package:

DH placed the coin to signify the size and depth of the package!
Give it a squish and ...
... Voila!  One ball of fluffy stuff!
So ladies if you're tripping over your stash and want to make it look smaller than it really is then the secret is vacuum sealed bags!!
I (DH) felt it a shame that this lovely Liesl cardigan that DW has been knitting was not shown in it's true colour, so I retook the photograph in daylight and the result is closer.  I must try to get the white balance sorted in our room lighting!