Gosh, doesn’t time fly! I can’t believe January has melted into February already. Talking of melting, so far this winter here in South West England we’ve escaped snow, apart from one day when we awoke to an icing sugar dusting which disappeared by lunchtime. It’s been chilly but not cold, but certainly miserable, damp, wet and grey and occasionally windy.
Which all means in the garden spring is well on its way. The front lawn is exploding with snowdrops and the first of many clumps of crocus in full bud about to open with the next burst of sun. The back garden is still in permanent shade until March but that hasn’t stopped the hellebores, with the first of many flowers already open. (Sighs contentedly. I do so love spring!)
Meanwhile, back indoors, we have hit this year running. It began with the excellent news my husband, diagnosed with diabetes last summer, has beaten it and is no longer diabetic, although he will now always be at risk. He managed this without drugs because he refused to: a) accept he had the condition (there were no outward symptoms or signs), and physically the last person in the world you’d think suffered with this as he’s slim, doesn’t smoke or drink, is fit and walks for a living at work despite being 69 years old and does gardening for recreation; and b) simply refused to take the medication prescribed.
So, how has he achieved this? Purely by diet. He’s a sweet tooth, likes chocolate, especially chocolate cookies, ice-cream, and my baking and dessert efforts thus all were banned from the house. He stopped putting sugar in his coffee, no puds or ice-cream have touched his lips, and I’ve only baked three cakes in nine months, two of which were made using the sugar substitute Xylitol. Thank you so much, Tricia, for putting me on to this sweetener. In fact, the two cakes I made with this were the best and definitely to be made again, according to Dave. One was our Christmas cake, the only “goodie” he ate over the Christmas season, the other being orange cake, the recipe for which Jane told us about here in December. So thank you too, Jane, it was simply delicious, moist, and by switching the sugar to Xylitol, can claim it’s sugar free, fat free, and great for me – flour free.
An aside to all this is, because of the change in our eating habits and because I had to help Dave as much as I could, I have managed to lose a little weight. As Dave is determined not to go back to his old ways the diet changes remain in place, hopefully more of my extra poundage should continue to shrink. A new me for 2017, starting with a change of hairstyle. For many years I’ve kept my hair short but never liked it, so I’ve been growing out the layers. At the moment it’s untidy and the style wanted not there yet but, like spring, it’s well on its way.
I’ve also taken a big plunge and booked a table at a local arts & craft fair in June, to show and (hopefully) sell some of my paintings (and a few copies of my book, with luck!). This will be a difficult day for me as I’m shy and nervous among strangers when “on display”. Plus, I’ve entered a few competitions, with the hope of winning a painting holiday abroad (something I would love to do), and I’ve entered one of my works into a national painting competition. My fingers are crossed, but not too much else I shan’t be able to hold my paintbrush for the next one.
On top of all this, I’ve been busy editing a novel for a client and am busy proofing my own next bestseller (she says, laughing) whilst knuckling down to working on the other books waiting in the wings. So all in all, this gal’s been on a roll and doesn’t intend stopping. Not yet anyway.
The snowdrops and hellebores are beautiful, Kit. We have nothing showing it’s color yet. Actually got a few flakes of snow last night. But we’ll see shoots soon, I think.
And major kudos to your husband and you for knocking down diabetes. Maybe we need a blog on how you found the willpower to do it. that’s the thing I struggle with the most. 🙂
You have a very busy year. It’s funny, I’ve been hearing from a lot of friends who have all set bigger than normal goals this year, myself included. I wonder what’s pushing us all to not be complacent and too participate more in life?
Willpower is something that often eludes me, but Dave has it by the bucket load. One evening shortly before Christmas eight years ago he decided to stop drinking and smoking (he loved his beer and cigars) and gave up both then and there. Neither has touched his lips since.
I think the reason many of us have set larger goals this year is because many of us had such a lousy year last year in various degrees and forms that it’s created a burning need to make this year better and do the things we so plan to do before it is too late. I’m only hoping we can keep up the impetus. 🙂
Go, lady, go! And great news about Dave. Looks like you are both kicking off 2017 full of energy and with focus – very inspiring! xx
Thanks, Linn. Great to see you hear. We’re determined this year is going to be better than last. As long as we can keep the momentum going. xx 🙂
What an inspiring post! I wish you luck with all your endeavours, and I’m going to try using Xylitol in my baking 🙂
Xylitol is, I gather, one of the better sugar substitutes although too much can cause digestive side effects. I use less than the amount of stated sugar in a recipe and it works fine. Worth giving it a try. 🙂
Wow, Kit! I had to take a breath after reading your blog! You are most definitely on a roll. And well done indeed to Dave for kicking that diabetes, and to you for helping him do it. Well done too on putting yourself out there with the art and craft fair. Your welcome on the Xylitol, glad it worked for you. Keep up the excellent work! x Oh, and I really love your hair 🙂
Thanks, Tricia. As to the hair, jury still out on whether I’m going to like it longer but need to wait until it’s reached the desired length. At times I feel such a mess, I’m tempted to go and have it chopped up. Resisted so far and am almost there. Not sure yet what Dave thinks. 🙂
Will look forward to a new profile picture when the hair do is ready. It’s been a busy year here too but more in the form of playing around then accomplishing anything. The vacation to Jamaica wasn’t conducive to loosing weight and in fact gained more than I’ve ever done on vacation. Then took it all off but yesterday a couple of pounds creeped back in so don’t quite know what that’s all about.
I have got some ambitious goals for this year but… And, I love the pictures of your spring flowers. I am so ready to start seeing signs of spring around here. I did see primroses out at the store yesterday. So pretty but I wouldn’t dare plant them yet.
Wishing you the best on the show. I wish I were closer as I’d love to come.
Thank you, Lavada. Hair almost there. Will decide then if I’m keeping the style or not. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself in Jamaica, and why not, it’s what vacations are all about. Good luck with your goals. Even if you don’t achieve them all, something good will come. Art show is some months away and already I’m nervous. Will have to ensure I take plenty of photographs on the day. 🙂
wow! lots of good news, Kit. So excited that your husband has kicked the diabetes in the rear! Way to go and way to stick to it. And you!! Getting that table for June and stepping out of your comfort zone. I am sure you will sell well. Your paintings are lovely and so is your writing. Love the photos, especially the top one. I’ve always loved white flowers. So pure and lovely. Jillian
Thanks, Jillian. Dave kicking diabetes is the best news we’ve had, Jillian, after such a disasterous year we both had in 2016. It has given us both encouragement to continue and achieve greater things this year. I’ve procrastinated too long. 🙂
Great news to start the year, well done to Dave and you. Inspirational the pair of you. Snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers so full of promise so the photos brightened my day. You are definitely on a roll. Keep going who knows where it will lead!
The snowdrops this year are beautiful and multiplying each year. Pleased you enjoyed the photographs too, Jane. Spring flowers always seem to cheer everyone up. And definitely on a roll at the moment, and it’s not downhill. 🙂