MARTHA-ANN's SparkPeople Blog MARTHA-ANN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Red letter day... Hi everyone. <BR> <BR> Well, it's now the thirteenth day since the back procedure. <BR> The thirteenth, you might say unlucky for some but for me it's a red letter day... <BR> I'M PAIN FREE!! <BR> <BR> l dared to think it had worked when the anaesthetic had worn off after the second day but was told to wait to give judgement as it could get worse before it got better but my pain diary was ticking 100% from day one so today l saw the doctor and it's's worked and l'm officiall... Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:36:02 EST Update on me... The procedure went very well, l'm home and moving about, not in pain as such just a bit uncomfortable...strong painkillers work things easy this week and then who knows!! <em>88</em> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 04:16:03 EST Good news Hi everyone, sorry it's been a while but health issues overtook me! <BR> My walks with Sheila have been on hold for a while but we hope to resume them sometime soon if all goes well. <BR> <BR> So just to update, l've been told l need a metal rod in my back but l'm pretty wary about it so we're trying a different approach with a short term solution called a medial nerve block which will hopefully relieve the pressure on my spinal cord and stop the pain signals which are being sent to my brain... Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:11:41 EST A couple of drowned rats! Sheila and l tried walking around the village pond and along part of the banks of the gypsey race, known locally as becksies, yesterday. <BR> l managed quite well but l also have arthritis in my right knee and it was playing up big time. l need to go for another corticosteroid injection into it and l think the time is about right now, talk about Cassidy's got nothing on me!! <BR> <BR> lt was bright but very windy when we set off, the clouds were scudding along at a r... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:50:10 EST Feeling positive and determined out world here l come!! At last the hospital appointments are almost over, l'm just waiting to have more injections in my back, shoulder and knee then, hopefully, that will be it...for a while at least as l can have them three times a year. <BR> Due to spondylolisthesis and spinal arthritis l know l'll never be able to go on the really long all day hikes l so enjoyed with my DH but l'm determined to try to do the utmost my back can take and if that means a bit of pain then so be it...l'm not giving up, l will keep w... Tue, 18 Jul 2017 07:03:24 EST What palaver... l've had lots of hospital and doctors appointments just lately, sorting out injections, medication etc plus a colonoscopy for a gall bladder complaint, there're still a couple more appointments to go next week but l'm coming to terms with the fact that 'this is how it's going to be from now on'. <BR> <BR> l'm still not doing so well with the walking and a lovely hike with my DH, which l've been dreaming of, is seemingly out of the question for the forseeable future. <BR> But l am pottering ... Sat, 8 Jul 2017 13:07:33 EST Breakfast in the garden... Woke late this morning...nine am! <BR> DH was still asleep too so we must have needed it. l think mine was down to medication for a bronchial infection l'm fighting, they do make me sleepy but DH has no <BR> <BR> lt's beautiful weather, already sunny with a warm gentle breeze which is very welcome after a few cold, cloudy and wet days we've just experienced. DH rushed off to visit a client so...l'm relaxing by the garden pond on a new bench DH only finished making yesterday, ... Wed, 31 May 2017 06:23:15 EST l tried a walk... lt seems a long time since l've attempted anything like a walk but l've now been told l haven't got Polymyalgia Rheumatica, l've had loads of tests, X-rays etc and l've got osteoarthritis in my left ankle, knee, elbow, wrist and fingers plus in my right shoulder which also has damage to my rotor cuff which is very inflamed, and the reason why l couldn't raise my arm above waist height, so l've had corticosteroid injections in various places which has helped enormously. <BR> l also had an MRl ... Wed, 17 May 2017 07:58:30 EST Spring has sprung l've been a bit out of the loop of late due to health issues and was feeling a bit cheesed off, it was a sunny but cold day and l was wanting to get into the garden and knowing l can't so DH arranged a nice soft cushion on a bench in a sunny spot so l could watch him work. <BR> l'm itching to get my hands dirty, l can do a very short stint but nothing major, so this was the next best thing. The sun was lovely when you were in it but in the shade it was still like winter...two seasons in one ... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 05:45:32 EST Putting the past behind me... lt seems ages since l've blogged properly and l need to open up and get everything out, mostly for myself so l can move on. <BR> lt's been such a very hard eighteen months with one thing after the other going on, mostly ill health issues for me and my DH. <BR> <BR> Just to recap, about a year and half ago l began getting aches and pains all over the place, some days were better than others and l knew on rising what the day was going to be like. l couldn't even raise my left arm above waist ... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:55:22 EST Back in the Land of the Living... Back in the Land of the Living...just in time for Christmas! <BR> <BR> Just a quick update to all my special Sparkfriends out there...l've missed you all. <BR> l had a stroke back in September but now almost everything seems to be working again, not quite right yet but getting there and l'm well on the road to recovery. <BR> l hope to be back Sparking in the New Year but until then l want to wish you all a Wonderful, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year. <... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 06:29:30 EST Salutation to the Dawn This is an ancient Sanskrit proverb by the fifth century poet Kalidasa and is one of my favourite poems, it seems to sum things up perfectly. <BR> Have a wonderful day <em>247</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 03:49:40 EST Take the rough with the smooth... lt's been a bit of a bad couple of weeks health wise...the rough! <BR> <BR> The doctor dropped me another tablet and it's taken me nine days to recover! <BR> Apparently the tablets stop my adrenal gland from producing cortisol so when l lose a tablet the gland has to kick back in, it's usually been a day or two of feeling achey and 'off it' and then back to normal but this week it took ages and l developed such an erratic heartbeat l was sent for an ECG test, just to make sure! <BR> The low... Wed, 10 Aug 2016 03:53:52 EST A delicious incentive. Many moons ago when l first began my weightless journey l decided that every time l lost a total of ten pounds l would reward myself. <BR> Nothing major, just some small item as an incentive to keep on track. <BR> l've had a pair of flip-flops, a brooch, a lobster, a table lamp, a pretty coloured nail varnish and various other things. <BR> <BR> Things went a bit haywire, through illness, but having returned to Spark two weeks ago, l've just realised l've lost a total of ten pounds when l we... Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:52:14 EST DH. My DH is lovely man, l'm so lucky to have met him. <BR> l don't know where l'd be without him now and that's a fact! <BR> We've known each other forty seven years, been married forty four, and l wouldn't swap him for all the tea in China...(l don't actually ever drink tea but if l did, l still wouldn't swap him!)...he's my best friend and soul mate. <BR> <BR> He's been so patient over the last eight years whilst my health has had it's ups and downs, never a complaint from him, chauffeured me... Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:11:40 EST Hamster face is Feeling chipper this morning, l lost six pounds at weigh-in....loving it! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> l've had quite a good first week, a few tiny blips here and there, but mainly stuck to healthy eating...and it's shown. <BR> l was possibly expecting a bit more but l'm happy with what l've done as steroids are notorious for weight gain and l have been pretty puffed up around my face, hands, feet and legs which hasn't helped any. <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> l had a real bad episode on Thursday... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 03:09:38 EST l'm back! Well, l've resurfaced...and about time too! <BR> l've missed everyone. <em>382</em> <BR> <BR> Looking back, maybe a year or so, it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride but l'm finally feeling more positive and ready to get back to a healthier lifestyle. <BR> <BR> l've no excuses for the weight gain, l've sat about feeling sorry for myself and eaten...anything and everything...and it shows so that's knuckle down number one! <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> Healthwise, there was nothing l could... Mon, 11 Jul 2016 04:24:09 EST Holkham Hall grounds and walled garden...part 3 of our Norfolk trip Day three dawned bright and clear with the, by now, familiar cooing of the young squeakers being fed on the fence near our bedroom window. <BR> Still a treat to see we watched in awe as the parents fed them on their special pigeon milk. <BR> <BR> Then after a delicious 'Norfolk' breakfast we played with the guest house dogs for a while, flinging their frisbee across the garden lawns over and over again as they raced to retrieve it and drop it at our feet, l felt quite mean when we had to go... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 19:32:10 EST Blakeney Point...part 2 of our Norfolk trip Day two of our Norfolk trip dawned early for me with a lot of cooing outside our bedroom window. DH was still sleeping so l padded quietly around the bed and lifted the blind. <BR> Outside on the fence top, not six feet away, sat two young pigeons cooing mournfully to be fed. l couldn't believe it when mam flew down and proceeded to feed one right in front of me, it's so unusual as young squeakers don't leave the nest until almost fully grown and in all my years of bird watching l'd never se... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 07:14:25 EST Hallowe'en My youngest grand daughter's birthday falls the day before Hallowe'en so this year her 5th birthday celebrations followed that theme. <BR> <BR> A good time was had by are a few snaps of the grandies and some of their friends. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Amelia, the birthday girl! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Big sister Belle... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 11:42:12 EST Fun and friendship Had a great night last night, good food, good company and we won the competition! <BR> <BR> l belong to that great British institution the Wl. <BR> Wl stands for Women's Institute and it's a great organisation. <BR> lt all began in 1915 in the small village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerchwyrndrobwllllan<BR>tysiliogogogoch and this year we celebrate our 100th anniversary so there have been quite a few celebratory events going on around the country. <BR> lt started out as a way for women to ge... Sat, 24 Oct 2015 03:30:09 EST Norfolk here we come! Part 1 of our Norfolk trip This is the first of a series of blogs from our walking, bird and seal watching holiday we took mid September. <BR> We were staying near family in Wells-next-the-sea in Norfolk but moved about throughout the days to visit different areas. <BR> <BR> We're very lucky that our eldest son lives in Wells-next-the-sea, it's a beautiful little picturesque town with a rich fishing heritage. <BR> Set in beautiful flat Norfolk country it's surrounded by salt flats and marshes, shingle beaches, sand d... Thu, 22 Oct 2015 09:27:46 EST Walk with me. Finally back to blogging!! <BR> <BR> l've been a bit busy of late looking after my four grandchildren, then holidaying with DH so l've not had time to write a blog for a while. <BR> Things have changed now and l'm back in harness and raring to go!! <BR> Yesterday a Sparkfriend left a comment on my last blog wondering where l was and, funnily enough, l had said to my DH just that morning that now l wasn't needed so much l might have time to start blogging's that for coincidence? ... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:09:10 EST Muston Scarecrow Festival. l really must get back to blogging more but the computer has been playing up, it loses the connectivity to the internet and all my work disappears, l have reported it and they say there's no problem so here goes! <BR> <BR> My good friend, Ruth, and l visited the small village of Muston in North Yorkshire for their annual Scarecrow Festival. <BR> We go every year, they never fail to amaze us. <BR> Every year there are some fantastic scarecrows with brilliant interpretations of themes, make ... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 04:13:36 EST The first of many! l haven't blogged any of our walks for a good long while, we just haven't done much. <BR> lt's my fault, partly due to ill health so l've had to slowly build my walking back up again and l'm gradually getting there. <BR> l've been wandering around the village for a couple of weeks now, gradually getting longer and longer walks in and on Sunday l decided l would attempt my first walk of any length...l managed just over five miles albeit a bit slower than l would have liked but no pain was in... Thu, 21 May 2015 06:21:08 EST Our garden waking up for Springtime. This is especially for my friend Patty who expressed a wish to see our garden. <BR> Here are a few shots of the part l can see from the kitchen windows and conservatory, it's just bursting into it's second growth after the snowdrops, daffodils and crocus have mostly finished flowering. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Part of the rockery where the waterfall flows into the pond. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 5 May 2015 18:56:36 EST Snowdrop Spectacular Not too far away from where l live is the Estate village of Burton Agnes with it's beautiful Elizabethan Manor House aptly named Burton Agnes Hall. <BR> Built between 1598 and 1610 for Sir Henry Griffith, it is still owned by the same family more than four hundred years later. <BR> <BR> Each year the Hall opens it's woodland to the public so visitors can view their 'Snowdrop Spectacular' when millions of the little white 'Heralds of Spring' flower copiously amid the beech trees. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 20:00:51 EST Winter sunshine DH had an appointment in town on Friday so l went along for the ride, whilst he was meeting his clients l decided on a stroll along the sea front. <BR> lt was very cold and windy but the sun was shining and l'd come prepared with my good thick coat, hat, scarf and gloves...l really needed them too, even with the sunshine the wind chill factor was minus five. <BR> <BR> There weren't many folk about, just the odd brave souls mainly walking their dogs. The dogs were happy running about whilst t... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 19:44:38 EST Heralds of Spring Spring seems to have arrived. <BR> Not that you'd notice much today, it's very cold, windy, dull, overcast and pouring down! <BR> Still, the flowers don't seem to mind. <BR> <BR> The snowdrop is the herald of spring, a harbinger of what's to come. <BR> These hardy little flowers even poke their heads up through snow and ice, if fact, a common local name for them is the icespear. <BR> Many years ago this truly awesome little blossom spurred me on to write a poem, some of you might have seen i... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:13:17 EST Memory Lane Today we took a walk down Memory Lane. <BR> l'm very lucky to live in a beautiful part of England. <BR> lt's so beautiful it's known as 'God's Own Country' and it's blessed with a wealth of small villages which date back thousands of years. Of course they've evolved over the years but they still have a charm and magic all their own. <BR> <BR> One such village is Brompton-by-Sawdon, a very quaint picturesque little place which attracts visitors from far and wide. <BR> When l was a little girl... Sun, 15 Feb 2015 06:42:39 EST High Wood Brow Trail DH wanted to walk Tophill Low Nature Reserve but l fancied Dalby Forest...l won!! <BR> <BR> We were quite late setting off after a morning in the garden. Now most of the snow has disappeared DH wanted to work on his beloved pond so we knew we would only had a couple of hours of walking before darkness set in. <BR> <BR> We decided on the route of a shorter walk on the High Wood Brow Trail looking down to spectacular views of the beautiful valley at Troutsdale. <BR> <BR> The weather was fair... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:34:09 EST On top of the wolds Monday was cold, bitterly cold with a strong icy wind but the sky was gorgeous. The clouds were scudding along at a phenomenal rate so the patterns and colours were ever changing. <BR> And there was sunshine! <BR> <BR> We decided a walk was in order. <BR> The 'tops' sounded good, way up on the wolds away from people where the sky seems to go on forever. <BR> <BR> We drove along the little country lanes, stopping every now and then to view the fields, there seems to be an abundance of hares ... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:47:38 EST Sunshine, ice, snow and fog! Sunday dawned cold, windy and dry so we decided to walk the Nature Reserve at Watton Carrs. <BR> lt's a lovely little place, we go a lot and always find something of interest whatever the season or the weather. <BR> <BR> We had a sustaining breakfast of bacon, eggs and mushrooms to keep out the cold, made a flask of coffee and packed some fruit for a snack later was actually -2 degrees when we set off. <BR> There wasn't a lot of wind but it was perishingly cold, what my dad would hav... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:28:32 EST Happy New Year Just wanted to wish all my Sparkfriends a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New year. <BR> l love coming to Spark, l've made so many friends here it's like family to me. <BR> <BR> l'm not making any resolutions, l'm just knuckling down to more weightloss in whatever way is possible...don't care if it's a little bit or a lot a week, l just want it off. <BR> l've done really well over the past year, a total of 8 stones 10lbs gone and l'm determined it's staying gone! <BR> l've got another 2 stones 2... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 06:19:37 EST There's beauty in everything! It's a while since l've blogged a walk, it's been a bit hectic around here what with one thing and another but now the peace has returned and l thought l'd get back to blogging. <BR> l've never stopped walking, just didn't get much time for sitting at the computer so that's about to change now. <BR> <BR> Sunday dawned not exactly warm and sunny but nice enough after the torrential rain and high, cold winds we had on saturday. <BR> <BR> The garden was a bit soggy but DH decided he'd plant ou... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:57:18 EST Not quite 'Miss Slinky' 2014 Do you remember the competition back in August when l was made 'Woman of the Year'?(see my blog 'l can't believe it') <BR> <BR> That was a catalyst for me. <BR> <BR> That was the day l finally realised my true image and not the 'fat' one l had inside my head. <BR> <BR> lt was the beginning of looking in the mirror and finally seeing what was really there! <BR> <BR> lt was also the beginning of my self confidence and self esteem rise which are now at an all time high! <BR> <BR> Well, a ... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 04:41:35 EST Time marches on! lt was officially the first day of autumn yesterday and the weather seems to have changed and dull today! <BR> The weathermen reckon on an indian summer, beginning friday it's supposed to hit 73 degrees and last until october, l hope they're right. <BR> <BR> We've already begun putting the borders to bed for winter, clearing all the dying flowers and foliage, been doing it for a couple of weeks now. <BR> There are a few patches of colour left in the lavateria, wind anemones... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 03:27:42 EST l can't believe it!! l've said l can't believe it and yesterday l couldn' wouldn't quite sink in! <BR> <BR> But this morning it's still true! <BR> <BR> Yesterday l was crowned Slimming World's 'Woman of the Year'! <BR> Little ole me! <BR> 'Woman of the Year' ...who'd have believed, l certainly didn't!! <BR> <BR> l'll start at the beginning...sorry it might be a bit of a long blog!! <BR> <BR> When l decided l needed to lose weight l, in my wisdom, thought l could do it on my own and l did for a while. ... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:01:52 EST Tuesday fun l had such a great time in the local park and garden with my daughter-in-law, her friends, my grand children and their friends last week that we've decided every Tuesday will be a fun day through the long and, hopefully hot, summer holidays. <BR> <BR> My daughter in law has talked with her closests friends and they've agreed that every Tuesday (her friend is not working on Tuesdays) they'll all meet up for a family fun day and l'm included! <BR> Why three bright, thirty something, young wome... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:31:01 EST Memories are made of this... l don't seem to have blogged in a long time, time to get back to it. <BR> <BR> The weather is glorious, wall to wall sunshine! <em>67</em> <BR> And the predicted heatwave is set to stay around for a while at least! <BR> <BR> The schools have just broken up for their six week summer break and six weeks is a long time for littlies so my daughter-in-law is finding ways to keep them entertained. <BR> She said 'Things which are free or cost little are paramount when money is short'. <BR> Thi... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:33:45 EST A stitch in time... I hit another milestone on my weightless journey today. <BR> <BR> I'm really happy with the way things are going, I've been clearing out my wardrobe after losing five dress sizes and needed something new to wear which didn't make me look like a 'bag lady''ve donated five big sacks of clothing (there'll be more eventually) to The Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity, they do a fantastic job and always need funds! <BR> <BR> I've a lot to lose, still have a way to go, so when I began I de... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 04:28:01 EST Quintessential English I didn't manage to get a blog in last week what with one thing and another so this was my walk I should have posted then. <BR> <BR> As some of you already know, my DH is an upholsterer and part of the job entails visiting clients in their own homes so sometimes he takes on a job which is a bit farther away than the radius he usually works in. <BR> If it's a long way off we usually combine it with a walk in the area and that's what happened last week. <BR> A lady who had used DH's services... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 04:01:42 EST A walk in the beech wood Well, yesterday was another morning of sitting watching DH garden whilst I itched to be helping but there's only so much you can do with one frustrating! <BR> <BR> It was a bright day with a clear blue sky, scudding fluffy white clouds and just right for a long walk. The only bugbear being the very strong and very chilly north east wind. <BR> <BR> DH is an upholsterer and part of his job entails three visits to customers in their homes. The first is to see and measure up... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:56:09 EST Filey Dams The weathermen forecast that sunday would be the hottest day of the year so far, hard to believe after the wettest on record but they were right! <BR> Sunday dawned with clear blue skies and warm sunshine...officially we were hotter than Greece! <BR> <BR> After a leisurely breakfast in the conservatory, watching the birds on the feeders, DH faffed about in the garden whilst I sat on the bench near the pond, in the sunshine and watched...I usually faff about too but l'm recovering from an all... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 03:50:44 EST I've got a house! I decided when I began my weightloss journey to lose in increments of ten pounds at a time and reward myself after each one. <BR> Well, this week saw my seventh reward arrive. <BR> <BR> I usually pick something that I want but don't really need as a treat. They weren't meant to be expensive things, just little encouragement gifts and over time I've had things as diverse as a new nail polish, a lobster and even a desk lamp. <BR> This time, more by good luck than good management, I've chose... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 10:51:39 EST The walk through the woodland Well, the day started off rainy and windy, so windy it was actually buffeting the side of the house and sounding for all the world like a banshee! <BR> 'Just my luck' I thought when I'd planned to go on a woodland walk with three friends. <BR> We'd arranged to meet up at quarter to eleven so we could go for lunch together afterwards and wonder of wonders by the time it came to set off the wind had dropped, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining..Wahaaay! <BR> <BR> I'd been trying on di... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:20:33 EST Fresh air, good company and raring to go... Well, I finally got my long walk and a few photos so here's the promised blog. <BR> <BR> The weather of late has been absolutely diabolical with gale force winds, torrential rain and foggy, freezing conditions. Every path is either mired in mud or deep puddles of sullen dirty water. <BR> The weathermen reckoned there would be a lull and it came yesterday. <BR> It was glorious...warm sunshine, blue skies and a gentle breeze. Proper spring weather. Oh, it was still pretty chilly in the shade b... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:43:34 EST Update on me... Just an update on my health...this sounds so precocious as if I'm special and I'm not really! <BR> <BR> Everything seems to be doing fine just now. <BR> <BR> After my last blog I developed a kidney infection which has taken almost four weeks to clear but I had my last appointment on Friday and it's more pain...Yay!! <BR> <BR> The bronchitis is clear too and my skin is feeling so much better with the phototherapy sessions which are on-going. <BR> <BR> My knee is much better too, ... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 04:16:10 EST On the final leg of recovery! Seems ages since I've blogged what with one thing and another...mainly my eleven year old computer which was so slow it was almost at stop and didn't like to upload photos either...very frustrating!! <BR> <BR> Well, Father Christmas brought me a nice new computer and I now hope to get back to Sparking again. <BR> Still no photos or nice descriptive walks for you though as I haven't been getting about much through a combination of a broken knee, arthritis and bronchitis. <BR> Soon, very soon... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 06:11:08 EST it really doesn't matter if it pitter, pitter patters all the day! Well, the idea was a lazy sunday by the fire. <BR> <BR> DH would watch the Grand Prix while I read, sewed or knitted...wrong! <BR> <BR> DH can't just sit! <BR> <BR> It was too wet and windy to garden so he disappeared into the greenhouse but there's not a lot left to do in there so he was soon back wanting a coffee. Then after reading the newspaper he began prowling around looking out of the window...for all the world like a caged lion in a zoo. <BR> <BR> I knew what was coming next... <... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 15:14:56 EST