Despite the seemingly non stop wet weather, we are having in England, it is definitely feeling like Fall now. There are more and more leaves down from the trees, the Fall colours are becoming more apparent, early mornings and late afternoons are chillier and of course, its apple season! Whether you buy them ready to use or make a day of it picking your own, your harvest can be turned into some delicious desserts.
I love cooked apples and have this easy recipe to share with you. Comfort food extends to more than main courses and hot desserts like this are perfect for the colder Autumn nights.
For more glaze, add a quarter cup of apple juice to the dish before baking. Serve as is or with your favourite topping.
Well after a number of false starts we are finally sharing our home with this lovely girl who arrived nearly three weeks ago.
Her name is Honey and she is a one and half year old Lab Retriever cross. We adopted her from Guide Dogs UK, which was a surprise to us since I had no idea until recently that this organisation had dogs for adoption. However, we were having no luck with the animal shelters so when Guide Dogs came up on the eleventy billionth web search, I applied and we were accepted.
If a dog is not suitable for the Guide Dogs program (medical or behavioural issues) or is a retired dog, they will look for a new home for the animal. In our case, Honey has a minor ear condition which requires regular medication that would be difficult for an unsighted person to handle.
There is a vetting process which includes a home visit by a Guide Dogs staffer. You get full information about the dog you are adopting, so no surprises. If everyone is happy, a date is set for you to collect your new friend. Honey also came with a generous supply of Royal Canin dog food along with a voucher for a welcome pack which Royal Canin deliver to your home, her meds to get her through the next few weeks and a month’s pet insurance cover with PetPlan.
We were so fortunate to get Honey. Guide Dogs has done the hard work with all of her basic training. She still has a tendency to get over excited when she sees other dogs (and cats and birds! I put that down to the gun dog in her), but we are working on that behaviour with her. She absolutely loves the fields and woods around the house and the extra exercise hasn’t hurt us any either. She is typical of her breed in that she loves food. “Stomach on legs” is what one of the Guide Dogs staff called her. We are thinking of changing her name to “Miss Piggy”!
We are all still adjusting, but getting along like peas in a pod. I can’t imagine her not being here now. If you are looking to adopt a dog and are U.K. based, I would urge you to get in contact with Guide Dogs UK to see if you can provide a loving home. **
** note there is an adoption fee payable, which varies depending on the age of the dog you are adopting.
** Be sure of your supplier and their source for essential oils. So-called “fragrancing oils” are not suitable for this use.
The Mayo Clinic defines the disease as:
– “the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.”
That’s the definition in its simplest terms. There are numerous diseases which fall under the general category of arthritis, each with its own symptoms and treatments.
I have osteoarthritis, but my mother had rheumatoid arthritis as does one of my maternal aunts. The progression has been slow but gradual. I first noticed symptoms I wasn’t sure of when I was in my late 40s. A decade later it was obvious I had inherited the disease. I consider myself very lucky in that up to this point, it doesn’t impact my life the way it did my mother who was nearly crippled by it. Ironically, when she developed metastatic bowel CA, the drugs she was given to treat that also helped with the worst of her arthritis symptoms. I’m grateful she was spared having to deal with both diseases at the same time.
Everyone’s experience with arthritis is different. I find deep low pressure really hits me hard. It is thought that changes in barometric pressure affects the fluid in the joints, triggering symptoms. Cold, damp conditions can also cause a flare-up with me.
The medical profession will tell you that weather is still considered “anecdotal” when it comes to joint issues. In other words, its not proven, but you try telling that to the millions of people who have it.
My right side is affected the most, particularly in my shoulder and hip. When I’m having a full blown attack I ache from the right side of my head down to my right ankle. Oddly enough, it also affects my digestive system, giving me reflux and nausea. Sleep is also affected, the pain is either worse or more noticeable at night, I’m not sure which it is. I had a great GP, now retired and greatly missed, who told me why pain was worse at night, but I can’t recall what he told me.
Icing the shoulder eases the headache (the pain almost always goes up the side of my neck into that side of the head), while a warm, not hot, pack helps the stiffness in the hip. I’ll take paracetamol at the start of a bout and sometimes it helps. Too much pain reliever just aggravates the stomach problems. However once the symptoms have dug in, all I can do is wait it out.
I have been doing some reading about the theory that diet can affect the body’s inflammatory response. The idea is that our modern diets with so much processed food, fat, salt and sugar may make some diseases worse. My husband and I recently changed our eating habits with an eye to weight loss, so I’m hoping that it might also help with the arthritis.
You sometimes feel like its a Catch-22 situation; you are told to keep your weight down and stay active, but doing so doesn’t seem to lessen the severity of an attack. I’m just grateful it doesn’t happen more often. I still walk lots and until recently, cycled. My bike was stolen, an all too common occurrence these days, and I haven’t replaced it yet. And I’m getting better at being mindful to take frequent stretch breaks from my desk when I’m working.
The last week or so has seen the jet stream fall just south of the country and with it came low pressure, wind, rain and disappointing temperatures for mid-August. Cue me obsessively checking the weather app for signs that it’s moving the hell on to aggravate someone else’s body.
In the meantime, you are still expected to be on deck and attending to business when all you want to do is curl up in bed and die.
I know its going to get to the point where I will need prescribed drugs of some sort, but I’m holding off as long as I can. Keep eating healthy, walking, stretching and hoping the weather Gods smile on me.
Do you have joint or muscle issues? How do you cope?