Friday, 14 July 2017

Feeding Swans, Ducks and Geese - the right way

Feeding Swans, Ducks and Geese - the right way

Please note that their natural diet is best for them and that filling them up with food that is not part of their natural diet should be avoided, as it will prevent them from getting the nutrition they need as well as being potentially harmful.

However, when winter conditions set in and little food is available - our help in providing food is likely to be very appreciated and may be even life-saving.

What NOT to feed:

Anything that is NOT healthy for us: sugary, starchy, fatty foods, junk food, fast food.

Bread, chips, cakes, cookies, and cereal, etc - as these foods can cause digestive and serious other health problem.

Cooked and processed foods.

What to feed:

Note: Any food fed to them should be in manageable size for swallowing. Foods should be as natural as possible, unprocessed without harmful additives.

Particularly in the winter months when grasses or other plant vegetation is scarce, greens such as dark green lettuce, spinach, chopped/shredded carrots, celery and alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables and greens make a great supplement. Note that lettuce may be an acquired taste and the swans may take a while to get used to it. Any vegetables need to be cut up into small pieces. Remember, birds don't have teeth!

Other foods to feed: Healthy popcorn (without artificial coloring and flavorings); corn / cracked corn; whole wheat GRAIN (not processed, not bread - natural state grain); whole oats; brown rice, lentils, split peas and smallish seeds

Equally loved and cherished are peelings from our own food preparations for dinner, such as broccoli, potatoes, green beans, cabbage -- gently steamed (only enough to warm up - NEVER cook and NEVER use the microwave to warm up) and feed warm (not hot) to swans who will especially appreciate that when it's cold outside

Sunday, 25 June 2017

It's Getting Scary Now



Just got the news that I can't get on the heart transplant list until my BMI is below 30 and I just checked and mine is over 34.
To be in the healthy range I need to be around 25 which is around 12st for my height...so still have more than 4 stone to lose.
Pottered around in the garden for a bit today but am wiped out now so am resting up for a day or two
I like to plan ahead and consider all options. The state of play right now is I have only just started on the first of several steps I need to take before I get on the list. 
I am planning to keep losing weight while I work through all the medical stuff then hopefully things will come together

Friday, 16 June 2017

Alzheimer's.....A daughter's view. by Jaquie Williams

Alzheimer's.....A daughter's view.
(Written by my awesome big sister)
Hi all. It's been a while since I've posted about how mums doing ....and she's doing ok.
I didn't feel that I could really post anything for a few months as family and friends have lost loved ones recently and it just didn't seem like the right thing to do somehow.
But as the Alzheimer's Society are raising awareness again, this week, I thought I'd let you know how mum is and how we're learning to live with things.
When we went to see mum this week she was asleep at first but soon woke up when we opened up the Cadbury' fingers! We had a bit of a sing song, as usual, and I told her all the news. I never know if she takes it in but I tell her anyway just in case. At one point mum reached across and tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear and said 'that's better'. I could have cried. These personal, tender moments are so rare these days. They are so precious and mean the world to me now. I just wish I could remember, clearly, how she used to talk to me and how we laughed together before Alzheimer's started to steal her away.
This afternoon one of mums carers came and sat with us too while we chatted together. We talked about mums life before she was so ill, the places where she'd worked and the countries around the world that she'd visited, always including mum in the conversation, trying to jog her memory in some way. Mum's carer said 'such a strong woman' and I agreed, saying that mum has always been strong and determined and never lets things get her down. Even now she still has a smile on her face and whistles a happy tune, making the best of the situation she's in.
As the carer got up to leave she turned and with a smile on her face, she said' yes your mum is a strong woman, but I was really talking about you'.
Well, I can only say, as I'm sure those of you who've been on the front line of dementia will agree, we certainly don't feel that strong at times. I've had my fair share of wobbles and meltdowns, believe you me, usually when least expected, as my closest friends can tell you. The emotional torture of seeing a loved one slowly fade away before your very eyes is heartbreaking and so cruel. It's enough to make the toughest person weep, and I've certainly done that on many occasions, and I still get that lump in my throat and tear in my eye when I see mum shuffling along in her odd slippers, a fragile shadow of her former vibrant self, or when she tells me to 'go away' in her colourful way, glaring at me angrily, wondering who the hell I am. Every week, when we visit, I wake up with those anxious butterflies in my stomach and that tightness in my chest, nervous about how mums going to be that day.
But things are becoming calmer. Familiarity with the situation means it becomes a way of life. And acceptance is a wonderful thing.
In those years when mums illness was really taking its toll on mum and us, when we couldn't really understand what was happening, and when she first moved into the care home, the feelings of desperation, frustration, anger, resentment and stress were overwhelming, and I would beat myself up everyday for feeling that way. I now know, through talking to others in the same situation and reading comments on dementia carers forums, that most people feel this way and it's understandable under the circumstances. But the guilt, the sadness and the helplessness were the worst. I kept thinking that I should be able to fix this....but of course nobody can fix it. You just do what you can.
Even though it's hard, and the responsibility weighs heavily on my shoulders at times, I'm glad that I'm the one...... With my husband at my side sharing the load and with my sister's invaluable, emotional support....I'm glad that I'm the one to be mums primary carer and advocate. I was always going to be the one....just because I was here and because I was the best one for the job. I'm not a strong person, I'm a bag of nerves most of the time but I now realise that I'm stronger than I thought I ever could be.....and I'm proud of what I've done, so far, for my lovely mum, and I know that mum would be proud of me too, if only she knew.....
Please feel free to share this if you think it will help others in a similar situation.....there's a lot of us out there. Stay strong. X

Saturday, 1 April 2017

One Year On



Today is the first anniversary of when I came home from hospital following multiple organ failure, a cardiac arrest and several days in a coma.

Some of the advice I was given was just silly. My copy of the Heart Matters magazine turned up in the post with some advice from a male cardiac arrest survivor, which included making goals like making a cup of tea...lol

The day I came home I was cleaning the flat, making the bed, doing the laundry and I was back in my previous role as a full time carer.

I was meant to spend some time convalescing only I haven't started on that yet.

On the upside I have managed to fit pottering about in our tiny garden most mornings.

I bought some long handled shears to cut my lawn with and thought I was doing a good job going out there each morning and snipping away.
Billy just asked me if I wanted someone to come round and mow the lawn for me.
We have very different ideas about lawns. I like the grass to be green and I love all the tiny flowers that randomly appear to add colour.
Apparently Billy prefers a yellow patchy lawn with loads of headless flowers

Today I was in the garden around 7:30 am. While I was out there some plants turned up so I had to clear some space and prepare the ground to plant 12 ground cover plants. It took ages and I was still out there just before noon when the groceries were delivered.

I'm finished with gardening today so will get back with it tomorrow if it doesn't rain too much.

I'm up and down energy wise and my balance is a bit off for much of the day but can currently walk the 50 yards or so to the post box and back with only needing a day or so of taking it easy.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Should I stay or Should I go?

                                             Above is Gosport where I lived up until 2014
Above is very close to where I live now

Although I have family ties in Gosport, we can keep in touch by phone and through social networking. Billy and I would have no workable support network and would have to build a new one from scratch from people we haven't met yet so have no ongoing support if we moved there.

Here in Eastbourne we have my adopted family made up of Billy's Aunties, Uncles, cousins and there children, Also Billy has 3 daughters and a granddaughter who live close by with one daughter who is coming up for seven years old. Neither Billy nor I are well enough to give the nearly 7 year old the kind of happy life that she has now with the friends she is living with and as we couldn't travel to Eastbourne from Hampshire on a regular basis, I would be concerned that we might all lose touch altogether.

It's a no brainier really. I just wanted to blog this to remind me how I felt  about it today

I feel that positive experiences of human contact is so important to physical and mental well being and we get this kind of support on an ongoing basis. Besides, chocolate cake tastes so much nicer when shared.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Five Ways To Mental Well Being . Peter Kinderman

a) Keep active – do something physical each day. Could be as simple as taking the dog out for a walk (if you’ve got a dog!), but could be going for a swim, or going to the gym every day.

b) Maintain your relationships – for all kinds of reasons, friends are vital. Good friends, supportive friends, friends who won't judge you or try to take advantage of you. And we can all take steps to maintain our friendships. We can make sure we ‘phone, write, text, etc. You might even consider a kind of semi-professional approach - selfhelp groups for people in a similar position to yourself.

c) Learn – keep your brain active. Engage your brain. Your brain is the most fantastic machine ever created, and it needs to be exercised (I would say this, I’m an academic, but honestly… it’s good for you!).

d) Give – this isn’t political brainwashing, there’s real evidence that getting involved in charitable activity (and it’s probably better to give your time and effort, rather than money) makes people happier.

 e) Stay open-minded – this is perhaps the trickiest thing, but it relates directly to rumination… so it deserves its own section.

See full report HERE

Peter Kinderman 2017
Professor of Clinical Psychology at University of Liverpool

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Out and About Again


Our friendly Co-op  in Hampden Park
My fave shop for teeny packs of olives for £1
and loads of cruelty free household cleaning and personal care products 

Today I am mainly adding Gift Bags to my store


It must be Christmas....I'm a bit bothered by all those little things like running out of food and all sorts of other stuff.

I tried to do some on-line shopping as is my usual way of feeding the pair of us, only to find that the locals have invited whole armies to stay this year so there are no more shopping slots left until Tuesday 27th December.

I'd been up all night working on my eBid Store until about 6am, when it occurred to me that it was time for my morning meds. I then googled my local co-op store and saw they opened at 7am.

My winter coat came out for the first time this winter and I wrapped myself up and had a little wander, not building my hopes up that they might have everything in stock that was on my list.

I will now try to stop slagging off the co-op here for running out of half my shopping list on a regular basis as everything I was after was there :)

Why do shops have displays of mince pies by the door so I don't see them till I am about to leave? I grabbed a couple of boxes from the store counter to replace those that I have eaten and made a mental not to go back there on Saturday to buy up any tubs of sweets they still have.

My Billy told visitors that I had eaten 4 tubs of Heroes in a week...what a cheek!...I had actually only eaten 2 and a half tubs by then....lol

Back to my story....and a progress report. Got home feeling great as I had broken my speed record for the co-op shopping...wasn't too out of breath and didn't need to stop for a water break :)

Went for a nap at around 1pm and got up at around midnight for another night shift at work