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I make unique one-of-a-kind pendants using natural gemstones like Agate, Amethyst, Jasper and Quartz but at very affordable prices. If you want to be different from the crowd, then check out my pendants and other items. You will never see anyone wearing the same as you.

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Friday, 30 November 2012

Dogs are like elephants

Well not exactly of course.

But you know the way they teach elephants not to run away by tying a rope round their leg attached to a post when they are young and when they get older as long as they have a piece of rope round their leg it doesn’t have to be tied to anything because they think they can’t escape anyway. 

Funny thing the brain and association!

Well our two little dogs will be 3 yrs old in February and they have a similar quirk.

Our back garden (yard to my American friends) is safe and secure because we had a dog before which we sadly lost to liver disease.  But when we first brought our two little urchins home it was OK during the day but the first evening we realised that we could not see the black one when she was out of the range of the patio light, so we couldn’t keep an eye on her the same as we could the little cream one.

So the next day we did a major construction on the lawn with bamboo canes and chicken wire folded in half lengthways so that it was about 2’ high and we could still step over it but it would keep the pups in a smaller area of the lawn and patio which was lit by the patio light.

We did have to make major changes a month or so later when one of them kept managing to climb up the fence and over.  So we unrolled all the wire again and tried to flatten it out again as best we could to its full 4’ height so that she could not climb over it.  Of course this meant that we had to build a make-shift gate to get through as we could no longer get over the fence either.

Well this fence stayed up for the rest of that summer and all of the next too but early this year we took it down as we now felt it would be safe for them to roam the garden and not eat everything in sight.

Now here’s the fun bit – they still go round the outside circle of where the fence used to be. 

It’s not that they ever went outside the fence so never really took that route as they were always inside it.  But now they have the whole garden they still seem to go round the imaginary fence.  The do go “through” the imaginary fence but not before they have run round the outside to get to the back of the garden and then they walk on to what was “their” area.  But then they go back out of “their” area to run back round the imaginary fence again to come back indoors. 

It is so funny to watch.  OK the grass is a lot better round the outside part of the lawn as it hasn’t been used as a female dog toilet or been dug up by playful puppies but it is not so noticeable for them to go round the outside.  At first they even made a pathway in the lawn just around the outside of the old enclosure but now they don’t necessarily go quite so close to the imaginary fence so the “path” is not quite so noticeable.

Dogs always seem to get used to a routine if you have one but our dogs seem to be really bad at having a definite routine, as they know our habits I suppose.  When I have been alone in the house upstairs on the computer they have been scratching at the lounge door in the evening because they know they are usually in there by that time even though there is no-one in there. 

Also they are used to me taking them down last thing at night to go to bed in the kitchen and the only times that I haven’t been the one to take them down they just wouldn’t settle and kept scratching the door to come back upstairs again as they couldn’t believe it was bedtime if I didn’t take them down.

If they hear a word that sounds remotely like “brush” their heads whip round as they think a treat is in store because they usually get one after their brush.  There are many little habits / expectations like this too.

And like all dogs of course, they always try to tell us when it is walk time, dinner time and treat time.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How ridiculous! Littlewoods Catalogue needs to get their act together!

This is not the first time I have had problems with Littlewoods but as I like to buy my clothes from catalogues rather than dragging round the clothing shops in and out of tiny smelly changing rooms I persevere with them.

I hadn’t bought any new clothes for a while but wanted to get some for the winter so I chose some items and checked my emails in the offers file I keep to see if any offers were still in date.

Yes I found one with 15% off clothing and 10% off home and electrical – great I thought.  OK it’s been sitting there a while as it was sent last November but the expiry date was 28 October 2012 and seeing as it was now only 6 October I was well within the expiry date.

Would the code work – no it wouldn’t! 

So I placed the order anyway and immediately sent an email to Littlewoods to explain that it wouldn’t accept the code and could they please add it to my order so that I would receive the 15% discount.

I received their acknowledgement of my email which said they would get back to me.  This was followed a day or so later with an email saying it was going to be dealt with by the appropriate department.

This same scenario carried on for over a month – me chasing, them sending the same type of emails.

I received my monthly statement – no discount.

Now I hadn’t ordered from them for quite a few months so you would think they would be only too pleased that I had chosen to order with them again and would honour the discount without pause.

No – just pass-the-buck emails.  Presumably the idea is that you are expected to just give up and pay the full price.

But I ordered more than I would have because of the discount. 

I rang their customer service department and after putting me on hold for ages the person came back and gave me an address to send a hard copy of the email to so they could see it.

I had already sent a copy of the email as an attachment on one email and copied it on to the email another time.

So in this modern computer age where I received the offer online and I ordered online, I am expected to print a copy of their email to me and post it off to them by snail mail, only for them to still possibly ignore that 15% discount.

I feel I should take this to some trading standards thing or somewhere as this is ridiculous. 

I have their email as proof of their offer and the date had not expired when I placed the order.  What more do they want from a customer who has been with them for decades.

I do buy from other catalogues as well as I like to have a wide choice but Littlewoods are the only ones I seem to have problems with (well apart from La Redoute who never seem to send you the gift they have on offer at the time and send you a replacement crappy gift – but I wont go into that).

I will see what transpires with my Littlewoods discount!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Super Easy Mushroom Soup Recipe

Here is another of my so-easy-anyone-can-do-it recipes that a few of you have asked for.

The herbs and spices can be adjusted to taste so I have just listed the ones I use.

Large box Mushrooms
3 cloves Garlic
2 Vegetable Stock Cubes (made up with water)
Glass Wine
Fresh Basil
Fresh Chives
Mixed Herbs
Red & Black Pepper

All in pressure cooker, up to pressure, turn down for 10 mins, then off.  

Liquidise if you like smoother soup.

You can keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest J

Before serving you can also add a knob of butter and/or some grated cheese – stir to melt. 

Or you can stir in some milk or cream for a Cream of Mushroom soup.

NB.  I just made some yesterday and as I hadn't got any fresh herbs in stock I just sprinkled in some spices from my spice rack and it was still lovely.  

I always tend to add Mixed Herbs and some Black & Red Pepper from my spice rack to most soups.

The main ingredients (mushrooms in this case) and the Stock Cubes are the only important ingredients really.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Surely life doesn’t have to end this way! My own views on the Liverpool Care Pathway.

It has been a while since my last blog as I have been wanting to post this one but must have changed it a hundred times as I don’t want to antagonise anyone – anti euthanasia, pro the Liverpool Care Pathway etc. or upset anyone who has lost someone on the so-called CARE pathway.

But if I don’t post it soon I will never post it.

There seems to coincidentally be an awful lot about it in the newspapers at the moment too.

But I just feel I need to write this and get it off my chest as I have been agonising over this for nearly 4 years now.


If you were marooned on a desert island with no food or water, what would happen – your body would die!

So if you are lying in a hospital bed and you were given no food or water, then what would happen – your body would die!

If you are lying in a hospital bed and you are given a lethal injection, what would happen – yes, you’ve got it – your body would die!


The decision is made to end the life of your body at the point they put you on the Liverpool Care Pathway so at that point it is euthanasia – just slow euthanasia.

Due to some very outdated laws and oaths doctors can now put you on a slow death route as they are DOING NO HARM but they are not allowed to give you a lethal injection.

So instead of the nice painless quick ending that we would be kind enough to give our pets, they can only subject the body to die on its own through lack of the vital sustenance it needs to survive.

If we did it to a child, elderly person or even a pet AT HOME we would be charged with neglect. But do it in a hospital or care home and they put the name CARE into a form of euthanasia.

I am not against the Liverpool Care Pathway as such because it can save a person from living in a state that they would never be happy in again and may save them a long time in pain.

What I am against is not changing the law to enable doctors to sign the papers for a fast instant injection instead of signing the papers to withdraw all nutrition and fluids, when it gets to that point in a person’s life.

SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE in this day and age.

It is a cruel way to end the life of a body.

I will never stop feeling “guilty” as I sat day after day at my own mother’s bedside and looking into her eyes knowing that her body was slowly being put to death, while she was muttering that no-one was feeding her and that she was thirsty.

Don’t get me wrong, she was 92 years old and had not really had much of a life for the last couple of years and she was in hospital because she had had a stroke.

After 3 weeks she could still hardly move and would have absolutely hated to have been in that state for the rest of her days but she was conscious and talking as best she could although it was hard for her to get the words out and sometimes she wasn't making any sense and her hand seemed to be writing what she wanted to say at the same time.  But she did know they were not feeding her and kept telling me, even if she only knew subconsciously.

I had been unable to visit her on the Sunday and when I came in on the Monday they didn’t say anything but when I spoke to the nursing staff they mentioned that her feeding tube had FALLEN OUT on Saturday. I thought they stitched those tubes in!

They said that as no doctors were around over the weekend the tube had not been put back in.  Then they gave me a leaflet on the Liverpool Care Pathway which I guess was supposed to answer most of my questions before I saw the doctor as his time is precious.  They said I could make an appointment to see the doctor the next day if I wanted.

So by the time I could see the doctor and complain / approve their decision 3 days had already passed and her organs were already damaged, probably past the point of no return.

I was told she would not last more than a day or so in her weakened state as she was effectively already into day 3 of the Pathway. She actually lasted 5 more days after that.

I don’t know how awful that felt for her to not be given nutrition and fluids, and more importantly I have no idea how horrible it must have felt for her to have her organs shrivel up and die slowly inside.

But I do know how awful I felt knowing that it was 100% certain that her body was about to die and there was nothing I could do to end it quickly for her.

We don’t do this cruel thing to our pets and we shouldn’t have to do it to our loved ones either. It is cruel to them and it is cruel to us.

The current newspaper articles are about whether people are put on the LCP unnecessarily or without permission from the relatives.

But having been through this, my point is that if it is clear the patient will not get through the illness or will have no quality of life left in their last remaining days, then surely we can save them having to go through this awful process and end it in a more humane way for them. It is not dignified to put them through this ordeal when there is a simple way out.

In circumstances like this it is time to change the law!