04 December 2010

A plane! A plane! my kids for a plane! (only joking about the kids part!)

This is the latest venture of my good friends in Canada.

In BC? Need somewhere great to go? This is it - just tell Dave I sent you!

15 November 2010

An amazing story can be yours to share

Seeing as no one, not one person, wants to play my game I'm changing the rules. All you have to do is leave a comment to register your name and I'll do a draw.

It's my game, and I can change the rules if I want to.

07 November 2010

And another thing....

Thanks to Clare for this. Just don't go there unless you have at least an hour to spare - I could spend a fortune!!

06 November 2010

Look what I found!!



Things You'll Need:

  • 3/4 cup liquid dish washing detergent

  • 4 tablespoons glycerine

  • 4 1/2 cups water

  • fluorescent highlighter pen (yellow, green or orange)

  • plastic container with lid

  • bubble wand

  1. 1

    Mix together the liquid dish washing detergent, water and glycerine in a plastic container; set aside.

  2. 2

    Carefully cut the highlighter pen in half with a sharp knife. Don't cut through the coloured ink soaked felt - that is what is going to give the glow and dark colour to your bubbles. For best results, use yellow, orange or green highlighter pen colours.

  3. 3

    Skim of any foam from the top of the soap/glycerine/water mixture that is resting on the surface.

  4. 4

    Place the ink felt from the highlighter pen into the mixture; let soak for at least an hour. With a gloved hand, remove and discard the felt.

  5. 5

    Shine a black light over the soapy mixture a few minutes for even a better effect. Keep container covered with lid while not in use.

Read more:
How to Make Glow In the Dark Bubbles | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5149273_make-glow-dark-bubbles.html#ixzz14VhmJubJ

04 November 2010

FANFARE PLEASE! Let's play You've Been Framed!

"Incredibly funny. . . A bird's–eye view into what it's really like
to love and raise kids with autism."
—Jenny McCarthy, from her foreword

ALL I CAN HANDLE: I'm No Mother Teresa
(A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism)

By Kim Stagliano
How one woman raises three autistic daughters, loses one at Disney World, stays married, Has sex, bakes gluten-free, goes broke, and keeps her sense of humour.

This is your chance to win a copy of possibly the funniest "kimoir" you will ever read. All you have to do is leave a comment of your funniest moment, autism related or not, and a la Harry Hill I will pick a winner. I'll give you a week.

If you can't wait a week, you'll just have to get it off Amazon - here you go just click here no need to thank me, but you will.

10 October 2010

Moving on

We thought we'd found our second dog but by day two she had to go back to the shelter due to way to much interest in chasing things and being we are surrounded by sheep and cattle that's not a good thing - especially as she didn't respond to her name out side at all. The cats were terrified and she almost got her head stuck under the fence chasing them (which was quite funny) but not a good fit so still a one (very special) dog family.

The ducklings are growing well and are starting to get their adult feathers. I've had to make a temporary shelter for them as they won't all fit in the nursery block duck house using feed sacks. The Font of all Knowledge would have a fit if he saw it, but I'm quite pleased with my ingenious disposable design. Time will tell if it's a little too disposable but the ducks seem happy enough.

We survived the October holiday with new holiday/relief staff standing in for our regulars - everyone was off having fun without us! The girls also had days in Holiday club which they just loved so aside from the usual chaos of seizures and sleeplessness we had a good time.

Scrumpy had a blast over Halloween going to the youth club disco in her witches outfit and Bear was just delighted to hollow out the pumpkin before we calved a face, all those squishy bits and slimy seeds added up to Bear heaven for about an hour.

The winter delights continue a pace with Bonfire night on Friday. We'll be doing our usual trip to Cromarty and this year will venture to do sparklers - we've had practice in the garden and both girls have got the hang of them so here's hoping for a dry night and warm wellies.

Our rash of visitors continues with friends staying while they house hunt. We've had Grammy and Uncle David, 'lare and 'gela, Gran and now Sue and Kevin all in the last 7 weeks or so. Love them all as I do I will be so happy to be visitor free, and the good news is the hunt may be overbefore it really got going so all good news.


15 September 2010


We have a new helper with the girls - so far she has survived trial by swimming with Bear and also trial by beach on a cold day with Bear - she's doing well, even when Bear decided it was an excellent idea to combine the two...well, she only sat in the edge of the sea so not really swimming but she might just as well have been for the wetness/sand factor.

No seizures yet so hopefully she'll get training before she's in the deep end with that too, but despite our best efforts she's still with us, still keen and so far so good.

When we asked Bear if she liked her, she of very few words said "Good" What higher endorsement can there be?

Ducklings are doing great and growing like weeds, already twice the size they were and will shortly be on to duck grower rather than chick crumbs.

I have cleared all other eggs away as nothing was happening. It was a bit hopeful to have chicks so late in the year but as the hens were so broody I thought I'd give them a fair go. Let's see what happens next spring.

In other animal news, we are giving serious thought to getting a second dog. I confess to being lead astray by my good blog buddy Michelle but we, Hot-Hubs and me, feel Meg would like a friend. It'll be tricky to find the right friend though because, as those of you who have met my little sanity keeper will know, Meg is a people dog and whilst she likes to meet doggy friends she also likes to meet their humans too. Truth be told she loves anyone with a ball who'll throw it for her and much as I love to think of her as mine she is a bit of a tart like that. The other thing to consider is we are firm believers in getting second hand dogs for two reasons:

1 - there are SO many dogs who need a home

2 - we don't have the time or household to train a puppy so a dog that already has the basics is a good thing.

3 - both Ollie and Meg were rescue dogs and both were and are the most amazing, loving, patient creatures ever.

OK that's three reasons. Guess we'll be visiting the local shelter a few times. I've already got a note of the visiting hours ...because it's something Bear would like to do and it's free (Yep, he fell for that one!)

We're looking for a boarder collie or similar about a year - 18 months old who's good with poultry, sheep, other dogs, cats and kids. Easy?

05 September 2010

We have Ducklings

Yes, after much heartache and misadventure we have 12 duckling from two hatchings.

This is Gracie with her 10

And this is Wander (at the front) with one of hers just moments after hatching. Tiddler (in the background) may be about to hatch a couple too. As you can see they seem to have a habit of brooding eggs right in the wrong place - first Wander thought it an excellent idea to sit under the topper in the front field, now with a little more success she thought rightin the doorway of the hen house was a good bet. Only thing is every time a chicken went in or out they had to stomp all over her and got pecked and prodded for their trouble, poor things!

I'm having to monitor the bird situation very carefully to avoid casualty to crows and/or cats. The move to the nursery block from the hen house (she was under the roosting bars!) was a little traumatic for Gracie but she's over it now and guarding her babies well.

At least this means I'll be able to give the chicken house a really good clean out - ducks don't see cleaning as a necessary part of life and will attack you for getting too close, although they do like having new bedding when the maids' been in!

25 August 2010

There but for the grace of God...

This happened to my good friend Kim, to her daughter who like my own is non-verbal, vulnerable and loved beyond reason.

Please leave a comment over at Huffington Post to keep this story up for longer and push it up the ratings to front page.

And before you get too comfortable thinking it wouldn't happen here, we have CRB checks and Disclosure Scotland checks - passing one of those only means you haven't been caught for it. That's not to say I don't see the importance and value of these checks, just don't get complacent.

Remember that nursery worker who was part of a paedophile ring? She was working in a day nursery using her position to abuse babies and toddlers. She passed a check to work there.

21 July 2010

News in brief...

Bear decided to eat two AAA batteries - licked the innerds and decided against but still had to go to casualty for a check over. Thankfully we went to our local cottage hospital where you pretty much get seen on arrival.

Scrumpy went sale shopping on the first day of the Next sale and chose a pair of hareem pants and a top all on her own. Did you get that? On her own. In the Next sale. She had two carers with her for support and safety but she chose her own stuff, picked it out from the jumbled rails and said "I'd like this one" She's growing up!

Work sheets are being done three days a week - by BOTH girls so hopefully they'll pick up where they left off when they get back to school. Bear was less than impressed to begin with but is now doing them with good grace and attention.

The weather is still pants with the odd good day thrown in.

The poly tunnel is still a mess.

Today we lost a duck. Well, last night. Tiddler is missing and there were white feathers strewn about the place when I went out to them today. We had been leaving them out over night as they have a (previously) safe compound and they like to get all the bugs and beasties that come out at dusk and into the night. They'll be put away from now on, kicking and screaming no doubt.

07 July 2010

My Friend the Author....

Lydia has a book out - Interview with Autism - which is a great read and recommended reading for anyone involved or interested in autism.

Get your copy here.

Life, Death and Disasters

The thing about having animals, either as pets or as livestock, is they have an uncanny knack of dying right when you don't expect it. I'm sorry to report we have lost my favourite bantam, Cocky, to old age. She was a real character and named after her habit of having to be right in on whatever you were doing and always up with the big chickens doing her thing.

In other bird news, Chi is still sitting on eggs which I am certain are way past their hatch day. This is only the second year we have had ducklings and so far it's not been good. Wander decided it was an excellent idea to nest under the topper in the field. Sadly she got attacked (she was OK the following day) and we had to move her so of course she wouldn't sit on her eggs again in a new safe location so that was the end of that. Whilst Chi did manage to settle for the safety of a duck house for her nest her eggs don't seem to be developing as they should. I'm not sure what's going on so time to bring in the expert - Lama Chick.

Animals obviously need looking after and as the main animal carer in our house (why does it always fall to the mum?) I get to do poo patrols in the garden. Time was it was just picking up varieties of poo and the occasional twiddley that Bear dropped but these days, post cat ownership, it could be anything. Yesterday it was two moles. On a positive note it means the little blighters won't be chucking hills up all over the place but, really, this is the most unsavoury side of cats. They don't just kill it to eat it, they kill it, play with it, then get bored and leave it. It's why I will forever be a dog person. Don't get me wrong, I love Bruce and Tim to bits and I would never stop them hunting (it is after all their purpose in life) but leaving dead bodies and even worse bits of dead body around is not their most endearing feature. Cute murdering wee beasties though...

Meg still couldn't catch a cold and her purpose in life is to keep my sanity. She has started to get a little arthritic so it's a bit less ball and chasing the lawn mower and bit more walk, which, to be honest, will do us both good.

More disasters in the poly tunnel. It just hasn't happened this year. Nothing. Except weeds. Which I have killed so when I say nothing I mean nothing.

So what have I been doing? Scrumpy and Bear have been keeping us busy with appointments, behaviours and seizures. We've had medication changes for both, simultaneously, and monitoring changes has been a full time occupation. Is it hormones? Medication? Autism? Being a (almost!) teenager? Eeny meeny miny mo....

Sleep has been a rare luxury although since the summer holidays started we have had alternate nights where the girls have both (shhh! don't let on!) slept past 4am. 4am til 11.30pm makes for a long day.

In amongst all of this we have had an adventure. Hot hubby and I took Scrumpy 600 miles south to visit family in south London. We drove down with me and Scrumpy watching DVDs limo - style and Hot hubby doing the technical driving bit. We didn't hit nay traffic problems and and good journeys down and back. We just had to take our time and make a few pit stops on the way. Scrumpy was just delighted to see everyone, but definitely NOT a fan of her new baby twin cousins. Hopefully the day out at Chessington World of Adventures made up for them.

The trip was hard on Scrumpy over all, and by the time we were going home she desperately needed to be there. Even the car and DVD wasn't cutting the mustard and we saw the true cost of her not having her own bedroom to recuperate in. I'm glad we went but I don't thik we would take her again.

Bear, on the other hand, had a blast at respite for the weekend and came home with skinned knees and a huge Bear hug when we got back. Interestingly she had been watching the same part of Winnie the Pooh's most Grand Adventure over and over - when Christopher Robin is missing - and getting quite distressed but this changed to the part when Christopher is found again when we were home. She missed us and we missed her.

Bear's big adventure will be a long day trip to Edinburgh Sea Life Centre. Scrumpy will stay home with helpers, it's really not her thing, and I'm certain will have a ball.

30 March 2010

The things people will do!

Personally I think he must be off his head, but I have huge respect for Saunders doing this amazing event. Please show your support and donate here

14 March 2010

Happy Mothers' Day!

Happy Mothers' Day to all my fellow Mums and Mums-to-be!

Best bits about it so far? Went on a night out with CC last night leaving Hot Hubs in charge, got a text part way through dinner (being a good wife I was checking my phone regularly!) saying Bear had done a normal poo - YAY! After ten days of shall we just say not normal poo I was just delighted. School tomorrow!!

Coffee in bed and a bacon sandwich for breakfast, the sun is shining and there is no shouting in the house. Bliss.

22 February 2010

We came, Wii saw, we ate cake!

Well, Bear's birthday weekend was a hoot! *On the Friday we went to Catherine's house and had a shot on her Wii. I'm pleased to say both girls were interested and although Bear will need some practice to get the coordination I think it's a goer. I think we'd get a lot of use of one as a family - and the wii fit would be quite handy right now, especially as we can now confirm the baking gene has definately passed to the youngest. Mmmmmm cake! Yummy! A visit to the pigs finished the afternoon and we went home to plan the rest of the weekend.

Saturday we went for a walk at Dornoch beach. It was a beautiful day and we had great fun rock pooling in wellies, one of Bear's most favourite things in the entire universe. We regreted not taking the kite to take advantage of the breeze but enjoyed someone else's rather fancy one. Back to the car for a few refreshments then off to the play park for swings.

We had planned to go to the Highland wildlife park on Monday but that didn't work out due to seizures and the currently traditional Sunday night havoc so Bear went to the Floral Hall (a favourite spot!) and then swimming while Scrumpy and I went shopping (equally a favourite option)

The wild life park was put off again as Scrumpy and I had a mother-daughter date with CC and the middle one to see the new Disney film "Princess and the frog" which we enjoyed, although it was a bit slow in parts, good music and a proper Disney croc pulled it off.

Wednesday we finally made it to the wildlife park and saw loads of animals - snow monkeys in the snow, tigers, snowy owls and Arctic foxes. The polar bear was a bit of a disappointment due to it being asleep with it's back to us. The tracks she had left in the snow were mighty impressive though and made you realise quite how huge she is. A picnic lunch in the car completed the day out. We made it home in plenty of time to have a bit of down time before our usual Wednesday swim followed by singularly un diet-friendly chips in the cafe.

Two days back at school and it was the weekend again so more fun out and about with Bear while Scrumpy was at Saturday club. Sorry to say Sunday was no better than the previous week. What is it about Sundays? Last night Scrumpy had a seizure and was then up from about 3am, Bear was up from 4am so around 3 hours sleep for me.

In case you were wondering the diet has not gone well. Today is another week - I've not thrown the towel in just yet, it just look like it.

* Photos on facebook if I can get them from the camera.

08 February 2010

I said, she said

I have been undecided about posting about this for a while now and have been inspired by two friends to just do it, as a kind of therapy, in the hope that this will lay it to rest and make it go away. It won't go away because it will always be there but I'm hoping I can make some kind of peace with it at the very least.

The incident revolves around two text messages as follows:

Me to her, Friday

"Thinking of getting a Wii. Can we bring the girls over for a shot of yours? Me n Hot hubby haven't used one so would b good 2 c in action. Also I'm digging tatties do u want some? X"

Her to me, Sunday night

"As much as we would love to have the girls here we really don't think our house is Bear proof. If you are able to come along on evening with Scrumpy that would be fine. Her x"

I don't think I'm being over sensitive - please correct me if I'm wrong - but I was and still am totally gob smacked, not to mention hurt to the core. This is someone who knows and has spent time with my girls over many years. This is someone who I envisaged being a long term part of their lives. How wrong could I be?

What did she think I was going to do? Feed her blue Smarties, wash them down with diet coke and say "On you go!"? We were only talking about being in her house for an hour, maybe two, under close supervision.

Bear can be hyper, she can also be disruptive and yes she can live up to her whirlwind tag, but she is our daughter so we know this. We know how to handle her and what she will most likely need in different situations. No it doesn't always work out, so what? Whatever happened we would not have allowed her free reign to wreck the house.

I have not responded as it would not have ended well even if it started that way.

How will I handle it when I see Her face to face? I still don't know. I do know that she is off my veg box list, and if she says something to my face I will be letting her have it with both barrels, audience or not.

On an active note, we'll be going where we're welcome to test out a Wii - any pointers gratefully received by the way! (and any words of wisdom for dealing with this better than I currently am)

Do I feel better for baring my soul? Maybe a little. I'll let you know if this writing therapy gig works for me in a week or so.

Week two, not good

Ok, so I did the dreaded weigh in this morning only to find that I had lost 0.4kg after all!! I had been expecting a slight gain if anything due to having friends round for dinner and a Chinese carry-out. This means I have lost precisely half the weight I wanted to by this point. Half is better than none.

01 February 2010

One week down, seven to go!

and thank the Lord for seven to go - week one has not gone swimmingly - I've only lost 0.6kg. This is not in the plan. Must try harder, and I will. This week sees me walking the legs off the dog and going to the gym while the girls swim on Wednesday. Today's food intake started badly due to a non-sleeping night but is finishing well with curry vegetable soup for tea (almost all home grown of course!) Hopefully next week I'll be able to report a LOT more success. Wish me luck!

25 January 2010

2010, Year of Action!

I decided this year to not make any New Year's Resolutions per se, and to just have an all encompassing "Year of Action" theme, so dodging all those negative vibes when I fail to live up to my resolution. I looked at the old spread sheet of weight loss (or not as the case may be!) and, to get back on track, I need to lose 10kg in 8 weeks.

Is this safe?

Absolutely, I have way more than 10kg spare.

Can I actually do it? Or could I really try to do it?

Yes, I can. The first part that is. I have the will power and the goal is set. By the time I collect my mother from the airport for a week's visit (yes, a whole week) I will be 10kg lighter.

2010, Year of Action!

14 January 2010

Happy New Year...

Half way through January already and I have finally found time to to a bit of blogging on my own site. The snow is finally, after 4 weeks, melting and the trench I trudged through to get to the birds is rapidly turning to a slippery ice causeway. I have a feeling though that any respite from the white stuff will be short-lived for us. Our usual snow season is February/March so just enough time to get this shifted before the next lot.

Christmas was brilliant and we more than made up for last year's debacle of sickness and hospitals and the like. We had Christmas stuff on every weekend from 28th November right up to the main event. Scrumpy was in her element and thankfully no more seizures than usual to break the fun momentum.

We went to a local castle and made biscuits with Mrs Clause before winding our way through real secret doorways and passages to find Santa by the fire. Not sure which was the best bit for Scrumpy, seeing Santa or getting to climb up on the proper four poster and cupboard style beds.

We saw the lights switched on in the city and watched the lantern launch which was beautiful. Unfortunately Bear had to go to the loo right at the wrong moment and having done excellent waiting for half an hour missed the main event! Scrumpy loved it though, fireworks and all.

Hot hubs helped out the man himself and filled in as Santa for SOAR and Saturday club parties (he has the right physique after all!!) but Bear saw right through the disguise and whipped his beard off "Boo!"

We went to see the lights on the river islands - and if I can get the photos off my phone I'll post them - 10' Santa in fairy lights and faces on the trees made it quite spectacular.

Bear was singularly unimpressed with the reindeer - because LOOK!! It's ducks and gulls and I LOVE ducks and gulls! We all enjoyed the miniature train ride though, even if we did get frozen bums.

All in all the girls were off for three weeks and a day from school and thanks to all our lovely helpers we did have a lot of fun. The Giggling Farmer let us go sledging on an amazing hill with no water at the bottom for Bear to head for (see cool runnings on FB) and Scrumpy went for another session on Lama Chick's steeper hill (with the water hazard, hence no Bear) so the three man sledge we got the girls for Christmas has seen some serious action.

Tonight the girls are both away to respite for more fun than you can shake a stick at so Hot hubs and I are off to Surfer Girls house for dinner - expect a full report later - but I just hope her cooking is going better than mine. I volunteered to do pudding and was making a baked cheesecake (simple effective and SG's favourite) but some how I managed to put it in the oven and part cook it without having whisked the egg whites ad put them in the mix. How I did this I do not know. So that's a trip to Tesco on the way for a shop one. Not the same at all so I'll have to make her another one. The pseudo cake looks OK though so will be interesting to try it any way, will most likely be brick-like in texture!

In a fit of social whirlwind we also have The Font of All Knowledge and Catheirne coming for tea tomorrow - menu is home grown leek and tattie soup, home grown roast lamb and all the bits, dried fruit jelly and creme fraische. The pudding is in the fridge and looking good so one out of two not bad, just the soup to go tomorrow and hot hubs is of course doing mains. I've done my bit for that, I grew it!