Saturday, 11 October 2014

Products I Love

When you find something you really like, something that impresses you - well you have to share it don't you.

You know how precious my hair is having lost it all to cancer 5 years ago. I have grown it down to my waist and do my best to keep it in tip top condition. In order to keep it sleek I have been using hair spray on a brush until I found this amazing product.....

I love Got2B Argan Oil Spray!!!

To clarify.... I am just a regular "Josephine Blogs" on the street, I am not getting paid for this review I have just found a product which I love.

I bought it by chance on a 3 for 2 offer in Boots. I had selected 2 products and decided to have this as my 3rd just to see what it would be like. It was the best decision I ever made! Its so light, like hair spray and instantly calms the hair, keeps it straight and shiney. I use it every day especially after washing and I have found that the ends no longer get knotty.

So its not often that I shout out about a product but I love this so much I just had to spread the experience!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Things Are a Bit Weird


Love it or hate it! 

Its great when its working but when its not, flip! its a nightmare!

My laptop recently gave up the will to live but thankfully I have an extremely capable husband who has fixed it. However, in trying to get to my blog I got caught up in google accounts confusion and even had to create a NEW blog just to find this one... give me strength!

It only seems like yesterday that I was pounding a typewriter and I thought I had "made it" when my boss bought me a semi electronic typewriter.

How technology has evolved in such a short time, its amazing.

Next month it will be 24 years since my big brother Peter died. He was a technical whizz but I wonder what he would make of our world today because in those 24 years we have become dependant on computers and electronics.

The jury in my head is still out with regard to social media. I got into it when I became ill in 2009, I wasn't physically able to whizz around at a million miles an hour and so I had time to become familiar with computers and facebook.

I enjoy being able to connect and communicate with friends from all over the country and world and follow my favourite band but on the flip side, I dislike the intrusion, the voyeuristic way people can watch you, the fact that people communicate but do so ineffectively..... I don't like it.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Karma - Let It Go!

I have some stuff going on in my life right now which is causing me distress. It's not major stuff so don't worry. I am healthy (as far as I know) and I am alive and happy. The part of my life is one which should be relaxing and peaceful but sadly by the action of others it is not.

I have been building up resentment in my heart and that in turn has upset me and stressed me out because I don't want to feel negative emotions, they are detrimental to ones harmony and well being.

Then, today, on facebook - this message was posted by Emma Sims Holistic Therapies - I read it and I took note.

This is so right so today I will meditate for peace in my soul and the release of my negative feelings. After all, I am not responsible for the action of others - their actions, their karma - their lesson.


Love Hope Strength

Friday, 15 August 2014


Hmmmm.... streaking..... for me it conjures up images of people running naked!!!!

But no, its not!

Streaking is about running.

I have been off my running during the summer because I tend to get very hot when I exercise and if I over heat I become very ill. This has become worse ever since my cancer treatments so I really do have to be careful.

There has been a heatwave this year and its rendered me completely useless. I have been unable to run, walk the dogs, ride my horse or literally do anything. 

I was feeling pretty low about my running, especially as I am taking part in Erddigs 5K race in September which I am doing to raise a bit of money for North Clwyd Animal Rescue. Then in Septembers issue of Running for Women there was something in it about streaking. Of course it grabbed my attention for obvious reasons but I am glad I did because it has revolutionised my running!

I have set myself my own personal goal of running every day for a week for one mile each run. I am currently on day 5 and still trying to get my head around the liberating feeling this has given me. I am not running for long enough to over heat, I can run at any time of the day and am not restricted to early morning and its short enough to fit it in at any time.

I am hoping to fulfil my target of a week - 7 days and 7 miles and then perhaps another week.

It has rekindled and revived my love of running and is definitely something I will do during summer months when I can't cope with the heat.

( photo courtesy of google chrome)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Eco Camping - St Davids

Many years ago when we were first married, we camped our way around Wales. I fell in love with the peaceful serenity of St. Davids. Indeed, I prayed on a Holy relic and my prayers were answered.....

We decided to return there as a family. What struck me was how busy it was but it was a beautiful sunny day and I still felt charmed by the place as before.

The boys on their way into the Cathedral

The entrance 

View from the entrance into the catheral

A cute little alley within the Cathedral grounds

Beautiful trees there

By the ford waiting to buy ice cream

Jason and his ice cream

Inside the ruins of the Bishops Palace

Bishops Palace

Bishops Palace

If you look at the dents in the grass, they are where bodies are buried #justsaying
It was a lovely visit only spoilt by a foreign person peeing in the car park and not making the slightest effort to hide what he was up to - disgusting!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Eco Camping in Boncath!

I really didn't want to go on holiday... the thought filled me with dread. The fact that I would have to leave my beloved animals AND go camping with two autistic teenagers made it an abhorrent thought.

I managed to sort out animal care for a few days and him indoors selected some camp sites in South Wales. The booking was left until last minute and as there was no reply from the two selected so HI decided to do an online booking with a camp site called "Top of the Woods Eco"..... What was I letting myself in for?

Eco camping.... this was a novel idea but sounded just right for us.

Arrived on Sunday evening with another two parties just setting up as well. The field was really a meadow and was HUGE, surrounded by woodland and trees (my favourite things) and a natural haven for wildlife large or small.

I was intrigued by the idea of solar showers but it soon became evident that they were bags of water which were left to heat by the sun.....

The Shower Tents
The Solar Showers heating in the sun. Behind you can see our tent and the owners tent which is available to hire
Catching rainwater!

The owners had very kindly put 4 solar shower bags out to heat up in the sun for us ready for our arrival which I thought was incredibly thoughtful.

The tent didn't take too long to set up, it was a first time for this one because it was purchased last winter in a sale. I am so glad I bought it, an Outwell Nevada M - lots of space, cosy and really easy to assemble.

Our luxury bedrooms!
HI decided to ditch the blow up camp beds and opted for rigid beds which proved to be much better in my opinion. The only downer for me was that having asked HI to purchase a new sleeping bag for me, he did so, getting my a very pretty pink one which was "short"..... hmmmm short....... short for a kid maybe?????????

No1 son weighed up the problem in hand and suggested that I placed the top on the bottom and have the bottom on the top so that at least the head rest part would cover a bit of my body. Good plan but not good enough - thank goodness HI had packed a woollen blanket!

HI - Him Indoors

One of our Oil Lamps with improvised holder

The Meadow Land

It was quite late by the time everything was sorted and we hadn't brought food with us so we went in search of sustenance. The local pub didn't serve food on a Sunday which I thought was a bit odd so we followed directions into Cardigan and had a take out meal of kebab and pizzas for the boys.

Bed at last but peace was slow to come. 

Tired and restless with pent up energy after a long car journey and search for food, the boys had a little tussle and bicker before going to sleep and giving us some well deserved peace.

I was flippin frozen that night I can tell you but I survived! 

The peace and quietness, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the camp site more than made up for bickering teens and cold nights in mini sleeping bags.

I will tell you about the rest of our adventures in my next post if you are interested?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Pay, Pension and Strike Action

Born into a socialist family, my dad was passionate about Labour and the working mans rights. No wonder because he and my mam were born during times where there was no National Health Service, no benefits - NOTHING.  If you didn't work you had no money, if you were ill you couldn't afford health care, indeed my mam and her village called upon the services of a "struck off" doctor who was nicknamed Dr Pink because he was "always in the pink!" - its little wonder that czc supported this political party and what it stood for back then.

When I started work I ended up as a senior shop steward and company council rep. This and the fact that I was a woman in the 90's had a detrimental affect on my career but the union was there to support me if I wanted...... I followed these paths because I felt strongly about fair play and treating the work staff well.

Industrial action is a last resort and is something not taken lightly.

I was happy to see John Smith take the lead of the labour party and extremely sad at his premature death. When Tony Blair took over the leadership I had hope for a good future but it was not to be.

Labour died with John Smith as far as I am concerned. He was the last of the true socialists who did what he did because because he believed in it. 

With Tony Blair came "new labour" and that heralded the death of all that I knew and held dear. 

So.... here we are..... 2014 and living during troubled times where some people get benefits while others can't,the rich have pay rises and bonus payments and the people in the middle who form the majority are bled dry. Disabled people are being treated like frauds as are the very vulnerable in society. The education and national health services are on their knees.

How is it right to cut a persons pay so that they are earning LESS than they did years ago when the cost of living is higher? 

How is it right to change the conditions and terms of work half way through their career?

How is it right to expect workers to work longer in jobs which are physical and if they are not at their young, physical peak - could cost lives?

How is it right that from my point of view, having worked since the age of 17 and obtained my qualifications while I worked, had cancer in 2009 and had to fold my business but was not entitled to any help?

I am angry!!!!

Can you tell?

I am an ordinary housewife and mother with autistic children who have been LET DOWN by the health service, LET DOWN by the education system and just generally LET DOWN by the government who should be protecting and helping us. WE ARE THE FORGOTTEN FAMILIES.

So today when those who can are taking industrial action - I SUPPORT YOU!

You are standing up for those who are not allowed to take industrial action and for those of us who are not represented.

Enough of pay rises and bonuses for FAT CATS! Enough of benefits and perks for those who should be doing a job FOR US.

Its time to stand up for what you feel is right.

Apathy is not an option.

YOU can make a difference if only in a small way - heck - I did.

When my dad was a councillor he didn't get paid for what he did and he didn't claim expenses either - he did it because he wanted to help to make a better and fairer world!

I am disillusioned and saddened by our country and I feel extremely let down.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Garden Fences and Super Husbands

I am always in awe of my husband, no matter what he turns his hand to he does an excellent job and is a thorough perfectionist.

Jason can turn his hand to anything, here he is showing our Fell pony Cola

We have lived in our home for 18 years and the fences have been up for 20. They were impractical things really with the top foot of fence comprising of trellising. It looked nice initially but as the fence began to age and weather the trellising disintegrated along with alot of the fence.

He can play guitar & violin

The fence was propped up, tied up and we were constantly amazed at how it continued to stay upright, even after the worst storms. The thought of replacing the fencing was daunting, not only the cost but the actual work involved in fitting it. Paying for somebody to come in and do it was a nice idea but not something we could afford. Luckily, its a shared boundary so our neighbours paid half.

Patient with the children

I was worried about the dogs escaping and how the whole project would be managed but my husband had a plan and over the course of three weekends he bit by bit took out fencing and poles and replaced them. Luck was on our side because only two posts had to be removed and just taking them out took him an afternoon on each one!!!

Finally the fence was finished and now I can't believe how we survived so long with the old one!!

The old fence panels are waiting to be chopped up for use on our chiminea.

So really this post is just to say how proud of my husband I am and a huge thank you for doing this and not giving up even when the going got tough.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

If I Was an Animal.....

I have been plagued by what I think is, a trapped nerve on my left side. I think its around my hip or sacral area where the fracture is and it shoots down my leg.

Is it painful? yes.

As painful as my existing back pain? yes.

More painful as my existing back pain? nope.

Its on the same pain level as what I live with every day but it feels funny and is more annoying, or agrivating like toothache or a headache.

Its worse when I get up in the morning and turning over during the night.

I have been for a run this morning and I know you will be thinking what a silly thing to do that is if I have these pains but honestly, I find that running helps the pain and loosens me up. I am no Olympic athlete, my pace is very slow compared to what I was before 2009 but I plod along and it makes me feel better.

I ran this morning without music because I wanted to do some thinking.

The sun was shining and everywhere looked green and lush and fresh. 

As I was running I thought about my ailments and realised that if I was an animal I would have been put to sleep a long time ago because I do feel broken.

I feel like a broken toy. 

My parts have been glued back together and great attempts have been made to fix me but you can still see the crack lines and I no longer run efficiently..... I am rather slow with the odd cough and splutter then I stop working for a bit......

I honestly feel like a reject. I feel as though nobody would ever find me remotely attractive ever again.

I am working through these feelings and I am sure that with time will come acceptance but at the moment I feel just like this.

some images courtesy of google search engine

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Russell the Amazing Cat - He can teach us all a lesson about life

Russell is an American Manx cat. His house was burnt down and although they thought he was dead, a badly burnt Russell managed to survive although burnt so badly he would need hospital care for months and many operations.

Despite the pain Russell is in, the changes in his body and the difficulties the burns present to him he remains loving, cheerful and happy. 

Russell has charmed so many peoples lives that donations for his surgeries and medical care have exceeded what is needed to make him better. The donations have come from all over the world.

His most recent surgery has been to his eyelids to allow them to close fully, he will be having more operations in a few weeks time.

I think that the message Russell is giving us all is that there is always HOPE, never ever give up on life because there is always hope for a future. 

He tells us that with enduring STRENGTH of character you CAN over come any adversity in your life.

With LOVE, life is full of possibilities

No matter how bad your life is at the moment, no matter how much pain you are going through - think of Russell Cat and he shows you that the situation is not permanent and there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

Russell may be "just" a cat but this cat is the most amazing soul I have ever had the privilege of knowing. His message is powerful and inspiring.

I will continue to watch Russell's progress and the team who are giving him so much love and care until one day I am confident that he will return to his home...... I was going to say that he would return home as a happy cat but how can he do that? No matter what pain and suffering he is in..... he remains a very happy cat.

You can follow Russell's progress on facebook.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Clippers and Claws

Back in January 2009, I was about to start to groom a dog when I discovered the lump in my breast. I carried on with my job as if nothing had happened but I must admit it was a dreadful time.

Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks later, I had to make the heart breaking decision to close my business. I physically would not be able to work after surgery and chemotherapy and certainly could not risk the chance of infection.

The side effects of treatments and then a second breast cancer has left me with chronic back and joint pain for which I have to take pain killers. Funnily enough though, running is one thing which actually helps my pain.

I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to work again as a dog groomer and my heart was heavy. I felt completely robbed and even more so when I discovered a groomers had started up in my village.

After a lot of thought and consideration I have decided to relaunch my business again, except that this time I will be offering a mix of mobile dog grooming, on site dog grooming, dog walking and pet care to include small animals and horses.

My pain is under control as long as I manage it properly and take my medications regularly so I am hoping I can do this.

I was honoured to have been asked to organise and judge the dog show at the annual St Peters School fete which took place today. It was such fun and I got a real buzz out of talking "shop" with fellow dog owners.

I have already had quite a bit of interest shown in my company Clippers and Claws and I am hoping that within this year I will have a workshop and I can get my business going well again.

Its been scarey and I am still scared about getting back into grooming after such a long time. Although the truth is I have always groomed throughout - my dogs and those of my friends. Plus its something I love doing with all of my heart.

For a while after my cancer treatment finished I have been acting like a victim.... Well enough is enough because I am not a victim, cancer has not taken anything from me in fact it has given me so much more..... more strength and determination not to mention the wonderful friends I have met along the way.

So there you are.... Clippers and Claws is back!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Its Good To Be Alive Today

Its good to be alive today isn't it, yep life is a struggle and the news is full of gloom and despair but if you are reading this then you are alive and that in itself is something to celebrate.

Blessed be my friend x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Poem of Thanks to the NHS Staff

I got cancer in 2009
It was then I decided
To beat the swine!
I had it again in 2012
To my inner strength
I had to delve.
My care was at Wrexhams Shooting Star
The staff and doctors
Were the best by far.
Sister Wenna took special care of me
My veins were small
But so gentle she would be.
Smiling, encouraging, cheerful and nice
Always on hand with care
And advice.
5 and 2 the years I am clear
The NHS helped me fight cancer
Without fear
Amazing and selfless
Loyal and true
NHS staff
I am indebted to you!

My first cancer operation scar, I had a huge heamatoma so the scar is quite thick

When my hair was growing back I looked like a kiwi fruit

Cancer doesnt always make you thin, it makes you fat because of all the steroids and poisen pumped into yout body

fat and bald wasnt a great look

my oncologist said that I had a nice shaped head so I was lucky

I couldnt stop touching my head when my hair was growing back, you could actually feel the follicles bursting through

My veins took a battering and became hard and painful - approx 40 - 50 IVs over 2 years some only a couple of weeks apart

Almost there with the hair

This always helped more than anyone will ever know

A regular thing

The biopsy

First op scar

1st op under arm scar where they take the sample lymph nodes, I still have no feeling there

After a biopsy for my 2nd cancer

Op site after my 2nd cancer. The blue is the dye they inject into your nipple so that they can use a tracer to get the right sample lymph nodes. Without this I would have had to have the whole lot removed with devastating consequences

My Oophorectomy scar. Elected operation to remove my ovaries which made 80% of the hormones which fed both of my cancers. Its changed my life but I don't regret it.

This is what I have due to many riding accidents in my youth but the chemo and cancer drugs attack the bones and any weaknesses in them

Is what I feel every day of my life

Is how I feel every single day when I wake up and I am alive

Me now 5 years on