Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 in review.

With 2015 fast drawing to a close, I figured it was time to look back at my 2015 goals and reflect on how well I did in achieving them, whilst also setting out my goals for 2016. 

There was a time when doing this kind of post would have left me cringing, but this year, I think I have actually done quite well.

My goals for 2015 were: 

1) Lose weight
2) Finish Rehabilitation girls
3) Try to work through my anxieties by getting out more and doing more that scares me.
4) Be more focused
5) Do more blog hops

Out of my 5 goals for 2015 I achieved 3 of them. Which is pretty good for me.

I successfully lost weight. It wasn't a huge amount, because I purposefully set myself an easy goal, feeling that by doing so I would be more likely to stick to it.

That goal was 2 stone which I then had to keep off because it's all too easy to lose weight and then gain it again.

In the end I lost a total of 2 stone 4 pounds, which I was pretty pleased with. So, that's a total of 32 pounds. 

This year I also want to lose weight, again I plan to keep it pretty simple and am aiming to lose just 3 stone (42 pounds) and keeping it off, of course. 

Losing weight is really important to me, for one I hope it will help take some of the strain off my poor back, but the biggest reason of all, is that eventually my back may deteriorate so much that I am permanently wheelchair bound. If that is the case, being a lot smaller will make life not only easier for myself, but my husband, who will no doubt have to help me getting from my wheelchair to the car or bed, at least, in the beginning while I build up the strength in my arms.

The reasons I am doing this so slowly are as follows:

I don't want to get burned out and give up. 

I want this to be a life change, not just another dad diet, that sees me lose loads, but does little to change my actual eating habits, resulting in massive weight gain, once the diet is over. 

I can still allow myself to enjoy the occasional treat, which again makes it less likely that I will fail. 

I will hopefully not end up with the horrible excess skin, that seems to be left behind when people lose weight too quickly. 

My goal for losing weight should be much easier this year than last year, despite the extra stone. Mainly because I have already succeeded in adapting my body to eating much smaller portions. In fact, my meals are now less than half the size they were, this time, last year and I even find that I can frequently not eat all of the food on my plate. 

I've also got used to having less junk food. So, for the first time ever, I am feeling pretty positive about my weight loss goals. 

Finishing Rehabilitation girls. 

This goal didn't go to plan at all. In fact Rehabilitation girls, has actually been shelved for a while, in favour of working on another of my WIP's Finding Kelsey.

The reason I chose to do this, was the fact that I had a much clearer picture of where I was going with Finding Kelsey, not to mention the fact that FK was much further along than RG. 

So I guess you are wondering if I finished FK instead. Well, sadly not. There were a lot of big changes to my life this year and one of those really supped up my time. 

Now it was no secret that my son was having some pretty serious problems at school. It seemed as if barely a day passed without us getting a call from the headmistress to say that they could either not get Kye to work, or that he was causing distractions in class, or just generally acting out.

Kye was falling well behind his classmates in all subjects, which was really upsetting for us, given how far ahead of them he had been, when he first started at the school. 

We have known for a long time that Kye was special in some way. That he didn't quite think and act in the way that other children do and so we pushed the school to arrange for tests to be done to figure out just what was going on.

Sadly the school was not interested in helping is in this manner, in fact, it felt they weren't interested in Kye at all and he would often report that he felt ignored and frustrated at school. 

Bullying was also a huge problem for Kye at this time and as a result of this, Kye frustration towards others grew even more, until eventually he lashed out, not at the bullies but at his best friend, punching him in the face and ultimately destroying the only real friendship he had. 

After this Kye's angry outburst became more and more frequent and the school started to talk about permanently expelling Kye. 

At home, he was just as unmanageable. He was a nightmare to deal with, stealing and breaking things left right and centre and we knew something had to change and so after much thought and deliberation we decided to pull him out of school and home educate. 

We have ourselves a year to see how things would go, this was at Easter. 

It was tough, Kye was at times impossible, and every second of my time was spent trying to help him get control of his anger and to actually learn something. 

There were times, both my husband and I were all but ready to give up. We felt like we were failing our son miserably and were at a complete lose as to how to help him. 

Slowly, but surely and with lots of research we started to find ways that worked for not only getting his behaviour under control, but getting him learning. 

Because of all this hard work Kye is now achieving above expected for his age range in all subjects and his behaviour is far more manageable. 

We are also now aware that there is probably a very big possibility that Kye has high functioning Aspergers/autism although this needs to be confirmed via testing. 

This is something the school he used to attend should have recognised and taken steps to fully diagnose. Sadly, that was not the case and so Kye was not getting the help he needed in the classroom and thus unable to reach his full potential. 

So as you can see this year has been pretty hectic for us and as a result, my writing has had to take a back seat and so I was unable to achieve the goal I had set myself. 

Now that we have things more under control I am hopeful that I will be able to not only get more work done on my current WIP, but also be able to blog more.

So my goals, regarding my writing for 2016 are to write at least 6000 words a week, I know this may seem low, but with  lesson planning and educating my son, on top of housework and all the other day to day task that have to be done, my time is going to be decidedly limited and naturally, my son has to come first.

I also aim to put in place a regular blogging schedule, which I will be posting up on the 1st of January. 

My blog post will often be written in advance and scheduled to go up on certain days, in order to help me stick to my goal. 

Try to work through my anxieties by getting out more and doing more that scares me. 

I am pleased to say that I definitely did this. Not only did I take the huge and scary step of pulling my son out of school and taking responsibility for his education, but I braved hitching up a caravan and going along to the steam shows with my husband and son. 

During all the struggles with our son this year, these shows were exactly what our family needed to unwind a little. We enjoyed our first show so much that we even brought our own caravan so that we wouldn't have to constantly borrow my fathers. 

By going to these shows, I was able to deal with a lot of my fears. For a start, I was not only going somewhere with lots of people but to events that would see is meeting the same people over and over. Something I normally avoid. On top of that, I was putting myself in the limelight to a degree, because of course having our own steam engine, which we were there to show, meant that I was putting myself in a position where people would actually be stopping and not only staring at me, but possibly talking to me as well. 

My fears; however, were unfounded, because naturally it was Trampie, our steam engine and not me that they were interested in and everyone was incredibly pleasant and not judgemental at all, at least not to my face. 

I was also afraid I would get stuck somewhere on Speedy McNipster (my mobility scooter), due to the shows being held in fields, but Speedy handled the terrain brilliantly and I was soon finding the courage to go off around the shows with Kye and even on my own, something I never thought I would have the courage to do. 

The final worry for me regarding the show was the dogs, Harley de, is a very grumpy old boy, who frequently takes offence to people for seemingly no reason and Ludo has a habit of being excessively over excited. So, I was petrified that they would misbehave at the shows and create trouble, as a result of this we decided to take only Ludo to our first show, leaving Harley with my mum. Ludo was incredibly excited as I feared and barked a lot at first and as a result I stuck by his side like glue and refused to even go off and leave him with Dan to begin with, but slowly he settled down and he also behaved brilliantly with the kids Kye befriended, who spent pretty much all of their time, hanging around our pitch. He also loved playing outside in the sun watching the going on and to my surprise, he even got over his barking every time a dog passed, relatively quickly. 

Our second show, Harley came too and him and Ludo both did great. Meaning that we had indeed finally found something that the whole family could not only do but enjoy together. 

Harley also helped to keep Ludo's barking in check when we left them back in the caravan to go off around the show together. Harley does not like Ludo barking in his ear!

I also got better about going out around the shops in my wheelchair which was much nicer than being left in the car, while Dan and Kye went off. So all in all, I think I did pretty well this year at facing my anxieties.

I even braved the beer tent one evening. Something I never thought I would do. 

On top of all this anxiety medication helped me to be more confident about travelling in the car and although I have now come off the medication, due to too many bad side effects, my fear in the car, has remained minimal. 

This year I hope to continue to improve when it comes to my anxieties. I haven't set a specific goal for this, as I don't feel that it is necessary, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Be more focused. 

This is another of my goals for 2015 that I have been successful with, it might not be in the ways that I planned, giving the life changes that took place this year, but I have nonetheless managed to stay focused on not only my goals but being more organised, via the use of my Filofaxes, and keeping on track with my son's education and getting his behaviour under control. 

I wanna continue this focused approach in 2016 in the following ways:


Quitting smoking

Getting a regular cleaning schedule in place.

Learn some new recipes and cook more.

And of course, stay organised, because I will definitely need to stay organised to keep up with this little lot of goals. 

The final goal for 2015 was to do more blog hops and naturally given all the new added time constraints of this year, I failed to achieve that goal. 

Still overall, I think I did pretty well with my goals, given all that has been going on. 

To finish up, I guess I will give you a run down on some other interesting things that have happened this year, not all of them are happy, but for the most part, I think we had a pretty good year.

We adopted two new cat's Mia and Molly, at least, we thought we were adopting two new cats, but it turned out we were adopting 7 as Mia was pregnant and popped out 5 lovely kittens shortly after joining us, one of which had the feline form of cerebral palsy. This meant even more, work because Noddy, as he came to be known, needed extra help in learning to walk. Despite our intentions to keep Noddy and give him a forever loving home, he actually ended up going to a new home, when a brief stay with my mum while we were away at a show, saw a friend of hers falling head over hills in love with him, so much so that he visited him at my mums every day. The person in question has two sons with autism and we quickly realised that he was the perfect person to love and extra special kitty, and so Noddy found an amazing home just as his siblings did. I am pleased to report that Noddy to most intents and purposes lives a seemingly normal life, in which he is able to do pretty much anything a normal cat can do. The only sign that he is any different is his tongue which is nearly always poking out and the way he shakes and sometimes spins when he gets excited. In his new home, he enjoys being spoilt and going out for walks to the local park. Yep, he loves a good walk and because his condition means it is not safe for him to go outside alone, a little harness and lead and a devoted owner to walk with him, means he still gets to enjoy the outside world, which otherwise may have been too dangerous for him. I am so very proud of him, his mum Mia and the wonderful man who not only gave him a home but spoils him rotten everyday. 

It wasn't only the kittens that we said goodbye to this year. 

Sadly our beloved bunny Fizz had a stroke and went to the bunnies fields in the sky. Poor Fizz has never been quite right, when she came to us, from a local pet store she was a nervous wreck and it took a long time to build up her confidence. She was badly bred and as a result, she had a lot of problems with her skin, weight and fur loss. We were often left worrying and bewildered by her poor condition in comparison to our other to bunnies, Dandelion and Smug, who were fat, healthy and happy. It broke our hearts to lose her, but we were so happy that we were able to show her that not all people were bad. 

We also waved goodbye for good to two family members. Family members that we had walked away from previously, but, I guess mistakenly given another chance. It's a complicated situation so I won't go into too much detail here as this blog is already pretty long, but essentially, the lies, drama and behaviour of one of the family members involved started to go beyond just hurting my husband and I and started to hurt our son. The actions of the second family member also led to our son being hurt,  even more so than the first, so much so that he went from loving her deeply to being very angry towards her, to the point that even now when either of the family members are spoken about he gets very mad. In the defence of the second family member, I do feel that it was the actions and pressure put on by the first that caused her to do what she did, I have no doubt that the first filled her head with lies and doubt, that essentially led to the issues that arose, but it was evident that the others influence on her was not likely to ever go away. We were very upset when this first happens, but other family members quickly assured us that they had experienced similar things with this pair, which helped us to feel that it was indeed for the best. Sadly, until the second family member stops allowing the first to influence her so badly, I don't think things will ever get better with this pair and my husband, who they are most closely related too, is adamant that he is done giving them any more chances. 

On a more positive note, life has been a lot more pleasant and relaxed now that we no longer feel that we need to tiptoe around the pair.

Other exciting things to happen this year was the purchase of our second steam engine, which we part exchanged for the first.

Our purchase of our caravan, which now allows us to go away whenever the mood takes us. 

And a wonderful holiday break, for our sons birthday that allowed us to spend some quality time with one of the family members we have now sadly waved goodbye too.

This time with her, without the influence of the other, enabled us to see just how great things could be when the absent member was not stirring trouble and it is of course, nice for Kye to have some good final memories of them to hold on to.

What else, we succeeded in quitting smoking, for several month, yep as my goal above shows, we did start again and thus need to aim for that again this year. Well, life did get quite tough for a while, poor excuse I know, but it is what it is. 

Did you know too, that Speedy McNipster earned fame in his own right this year too, when he got a special mention by name, in an article on scooter safety, go Speedy. 

So that's my 2015 in review. Along with my goals for 2016. I hope you had a good year and that if you set goals you were able to achieve them, if not keep smiling, there's always next year.

Love and hugs 
Joss xx 

P.S. The photos dotted throughout the post are some of those that have been taken this year, below is a great video of our steam engine Trampie, in steam with all her lights going, recorded at our first show.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Happy belated Christmas!!!!

Hello all, I'm a little late with my Christmas post, but I figure Christmas is the perfect time for forgiveness and so you're getting late wishes, for a grand old Christmas. 

So Christmas Day, how was yours? Ours was good, we enjoyed the morning together and then headed to my mothers for the evening, where I was pleased to discover her roast dinner was as delioucious as I remembered. I also successfully dodged the tucking into Christmas dinner photo, yay me!

My son did really well for himself this year and unwrapped a custom built gaming PC, with a case that's so big he could probably fit inside it, and fancy blue lights. Well, that is his favourite colour after all. Beyond the superficial stuff o can't really tell you to much about it, because when it comes to the inner workings of computers, I'm pretty clueless. For all I know there could be a little mouse running around on a wheel, powering the whole thing. 

Okay, okay so I know there's no mouse because I have actually seen inside, but as far as I'm concerned it was just a mass of coloured wires, box like things and boards covered in all manner of metallic looking blobs and little creepy looking bug like things which I think are called chips, but don't hold me to that. 

Any who, as well as his computer, he also received a whole heap of minion goodies from my mum, a great minecraft jumper from his Godmother and a collection of awesome pirates of the caribian ships, which were a last minute find, by hubby and I and an absolute bargain. 

For hubby it was lots of bloke bits for his steam engine and work shop. 

And me!!!! Well let's just say I was really smiling this year. Alright I'll tell you. 

From hubby my own personalised Marmite jar, for being naughty apparently. Although if that's meant to be a punishment then I really need to be naughty more often. 

Ten, yep ten Michael Morpurgo books. Cause your never too old for Michael Morpurgo. Hehe

And the ultimate of ultimate of ultimate, an incredibly realistic looking Cavalier King Charles teddy. I'm in love!

From others, I received an awesome mug, that reads, "keep calm and read books" better advice there never was hehe, the softest most snuggleble purple blanket, Pj's!!!! Books, galaxy chocolate and a lovely bracelet and top.

It's been a good Christmas spent with my family and we are definitely looking forward to the new year. 

So what did you get this Christmas? Did you have fun? Let me know, because I love seeing people's gifts. Sometimes it gives you great ideas for future gifts hehe. 

Love and hugs all
Joss xx 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Sleep deprevation

It's been over a week since I stopped taking my new anxiety mess and I have to admit I'm feeling fairly disappointed. I guess I'd hoped that by now my sleep patterns would be back to normal, yet here I am 3:30 am and still unable to sleep.

Worse, I'm so drained that I have spent the last couple of weeks fighting one sickness bug after another. 

Thankfully with Christmas looming, I've actually managed to kick the latest bug, but still I can't seem to catch a break when it comes to sleep and it's really starting to get me down. 

So I'm appealing to all you lovely people out there on the World Wide Web, do you know any good technics for helping someone sleep when their body seems to want to do anything but? If so, please leave a comment below, because i'mreally not sure how much more of this I can take. 

Love and hugs all and happy Christmas, 
Joss xx

The quality of silence

I've been doing a lot of reading lately and thanks to Net Galley I was able to get an arc of The quality of silence by Rosamund Lupton in exchange for an honest review. 

To start with I struggled to get into this one, I found the constant changing of perspective a little confusing, although to be fair to the author I have been having trouble sleeping of late and so my brain isn't exactly functioning well. Still I persevered and I'm so glad I did because it turned out to be a very gripping read that seemed incredibly well researched. 

The story follows a mother and her deaf daughter on a journey along the Alaskan ice roads, in a mad bid to find her husband, who is missing and believed dead by the authorities. 

Unwilling or unable to accept this mother and daughter set out in hopes of finding him, travelling on incredibly dangerous roads in horrifying weather. 

This was a really heart warming tale, full of excitement and intrigue that succeeded in gripping my attention quite nicely, once I'd got over my initial confusion. 

And because of this it is a book that I would definitely recommend to others, though if your suffering sleep deprivation too, you might want to wait before picking this one up.

As this book isn't due for publication until  the 31st of December, I don't want to give to much away, but if your looking for something a little bit different, that will also increase your knowledge of subjects such as Alaskan wildlife and the universe, then grab a copy ready for the new year, as this would make a great first read for 2016.

Love and hugs all 
Joss xx

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The things we keep

I'm so lucky to have receivers an arc (advanced readers copy) of The things we keep by Sally Hepworth, from Net galley.

This book is an amazingly powerful read, about the power of love even in the most difficult of circumstances. 

The story centres around Anna and Luke, two relatively young characters who are dealing with the devastating reality of early onset Alzheimer's.

We meet Anna early on in the disease and travel with her as her memories and understanding of the world around her begins to fade. 

Sally deals with this sensitive topic so well and in a way I've never seen before. Her characters are incredibly believable from the off and her ability to guide you through the mindset of an Alzheimer sufferer is amazing. 

Simple things, like their struggle with depth perception and the huge array of areas that create confusing within the mind of the Alzheimer sufferer really opens your mind to the reality of this terrible disease. 

It was even more, enlightening to me, given that my own nan is currently suffering from Alzheimer's.

I feel the book was incredibly well researched. I've read a few books around this theme but nothing that I felt captured the disease quite so accurately as Sally has managed to do.

I also like how Sally mingled Anna and Luke's story with Clementines and Eve's as well as a whole host of other bit players such as Bert and his invisible wife, Myrna, as well as the lovely elderly couple Clara and Laurie.

By doing this, Sally is able to portray love in its many forms. The ups, downs and in-betweens. Her ability to do this in such an amazingly accurate, believable and though provoking way, stands as a testament to her extraordinary talent as a writer. One that I can now wholehearted add to my list of all time favourites. 

As a result of Sally's incredible ability with words, The things we keep will not only be a book that remains firmly rooted in my mind for years to come, but it's depiction of Alzheimers and its effects on the brain, will help me to better understand this disease and all who suffer from it. 

In short, if there is a book that I feel everyone should read at least once in their lives, it's this one.

If you're interested in reading the things we keep by Sally Hepworth, it is due for publication on the 19th of January 2016 by St. Martins press. 

If you want to know more about this book you can find the blurb below.

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have, be sure to leave your thoughts and feelings below in the comments. 

Love and hugs 
Joss xx 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Beyond the Orphan Train series, book reviews.

I'm feeling a little sad as I write this, as if I've just left behind a group of fond friends after a long and enjoyable journey together, and I guess in a way I have.

Two days ago, NetGalley gifted me all four books in the "Beyond the Orphan Train Series" by Arleta Richardson, in return for an honest review. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first  received these books, I guess a part of me expected to cringe my way through them because the description likened them to the Little House on the Prairie, which I've always found to be a bit corny and though at times these books could indeed be that way, they still managed to absorb me completely.

The four books in the series are called, Looking for home, Whistle-Stop West, Prairie Homestead and Across the border. 

All four of the books follow the story of the Cooper family which is comprised of Ethan and his younger siblings Alice, Simon and Will.

We meet the children not long after their mothers death as they are setting off on the first journey of their young lives, to a Christian orphanage. 

What's great about these books, is that they came about because of the remembering of a real person, which means the majority of the happenings within its pages, really took place. Which only helps to further endear you to the characters and the amazing experiences they lived through in their younger years.

Not only that, but you get an interesting glimpse into American History that includes the little known ophan trains that transported thousands of children to Midwestern farm homes and small communities between 1854 and 1929.

As I read these books I found myself falling in love with not only the main characters but many of the bit players too and wishing that I could travel with all the children as they disembarked from the train and into the arms of their new families. So much so, that I was often holding back tears as I watched characters that I'd become attached to walk out of the story for good.

This was made even more poignant, by the thought, that many of them may have actually been real children, whose ancestors might still be alive today. 

Oh how I'd love to be able to track those relatives down and discover what became of each and every child on that train, and that's the main problem with these books, the desire for them never to end. 

These books; however, are not for everyone. Written in a simple fashion, no doubt due to their target audience being children,  there were times when I felt as if issues resolved themselves a little too quickly and dare I say it unrealistically. This was probably in an attempt to hold children's attention, but after, what could be fairly long build up, at times, these quick endings left me feeling a little cheated. On top of that, there were times when I felt it would have been nice for the story to divulge a little more detail. Especially in the case of the other children that traveled on the orphan train. That said the stories base in reality probably made this impossible for the author to actually achieve, without adding a lot more fiction. 

So who is this book for?

A young audience could definitely gain a lot from these books, not only can they enjoy a heartwarming tale of adventure, but they'll also learn some interesting American history, that could very easily open the door for some extended learning, which is always great for homeschooling mums like myself, that said, I still think there is a lot, adult readers can take away from these books if they approach them with an open mind. I've certainly enjoyed them and am really glad that I've read them.

Something else to remember is that these books are relatively short reads on their own. In fact, I found that reading all of them together, felt like reading just one novel of around 60'000 words.

If you do pick them up, remember to keep some tissues on hand.

love and hugs
Joss xx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book review: In the waning light.

It's half one in the morning and I have just powered down my kindle app, after reading the final pages of In the waning light, by Loreth Anne white.

It's been an emotional roller coaster of a story that has had me hooked from the very first page and I have been frozen with fear, sobbing with tears and beaming with joy as I've journeyed through this pages with some of the most amazing characters.

Loreth has a skill with words that is breathtaking and utterly absorbing. The emotions that run through every character, from the good to the bad and everything in between is asstoundingly realistic and completely absorbed you into their world.

In the waning light you follow Meg Brogan, a true crime writer, as she struggles to tackle the toughest book of her career, the story of her own sisters murder. A murder to which she herself could have been a vital witness, if only she could remember what took place that dreadful night out on the spit. 

Now as always I don't like to give to much away, so let's cover a few basic areas to begin with. 

What were my first impression of the book?

To be honest I probably wouldn't have picked up this book based on the cover alone, but I was browsing through some books of a similar genre and decided to take a peak at the blurb which instantly intrigued me.

Take a look for yourself below...

Blurb for "In the waning light."

Two decades after her sister’s brutal attack and murder, Meg Brogan has finally found happiness…or so it appears. A bestselling true-crime writer, Meg has money, fame, and a wealthy fiancĂ©. But when a television-show host presses her to tackle the one story everyone claims she cannot write—the story of her own family’s destruction—her perfect life shatters.
Determined to finally face her past, Meg returns to her hometown of Shelter Bay. Shrouded in cold, brooding fog, the close-knit coastal town harbors dark secrets and suspicious residents. One of the few people to welcome Meg back is Blake Sutton, her high-school sweetheart and the marina’s new owner. Desperate for clues, Meg digs through her family’s files. As Pacific storms brew outside, her passion for Blake reignites.
But someone doesn’t want Meg digging up the past. And that person will go to deadly lengths to prevent the writer from revealing a terrible truth.
As a result of the above blurb I downloaded it onto my kindle along with several other books and began to make my way through the lot. Leaving In the waning light till the very end.
In a way this was a blessing because had   I have known how amazing this book would be, I'd have jumped on in straight away and missed out on the pure joy that comes from discovering a new and wonderful gem of an author like Loreth. 
My favourite thing about this book was how easy it was to relate to Meg and her dogged determination to bring the truth to light. As well as the emotional damage that had been left in the wake of her sisters murder. 

I felt that her inability to truly commit to others stemmed from a fear of losing them and the pain that loss can bring. 

I have a firm belief that the truth will always win out eventually and that secrets can destroy lives and so books that deal with this issues always strike a cord with me. As I've long wanted the truth about my own life and the abuse I faced as a child to be acknowledged and having a champion of the truth, like Meg fighting my corner, certainly would have helped in that endeavour. 

I guess that is in part why I wrote my own book Insane Reno and placed Tizzy, another strong woman determined to reveal the truth behind her families secrets, as the lead character. 

My skill with a pen sadly does not live up to Loreth's and this is why books like hers are so important to writers. Seeing a master at work can often help us strengthen our own writing abilities. 

I have learned a lot from Loreth and as a result will definitely be picking up more of her books. So if you are looking for a suspense filled read, with a little bit of romance thrown in, then grab yourself a copy, sit back, relax and enjoy "in the waning light." Just be sure to set aside plenty of time, because once you get started with this one, there's a very good chance you won't want to put it down.

Love and hugs 
Joss xx

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Not so silent night

Yes it's been another sleepless night for me, my eye's roaming over my iPhone screen as I devourer yet another book by a newly discovered author, who's words have kept me going through several seemingly endless nights of late. 

Tonight has been a less than quite one; however, as first my cat Molly kicked up a stink from the back room having apparently been hidden in their earlier when the door got shut and now her sister Mia is doing the same in the hall wanting to come in with me so she can get up in my face and steal my attention. Sorry Mia but you will have to wait. 

It's been a tough night, My seemingly stopped monthly deciding to come back with avengence around midnight, left me decidedly unhappy and when it was joined by a bout of acid reflux that refused to go away I was all but ready to scream.

Now 4:26 am and sleep is still illuding me and I know that come mid morning I will be fighting to keep my eyes open and cursing my inability to sleep when I ought to. 

Yes, I'm cranky and decidedly sore tonight. My back pain being a huge player in my inability to sleep, as it insist on constantly sending sharp spasms of pain shooting through my lower back that I can only imagine to be somewhat similar to someone shoving a decidedly sharp blade into my spine repeatedly. 

A pain that is so bad even my prescribed meds can't touch it. 

It's nights like this when my disability really gets me down and after two weeks of feeling trapped in my own home, due to Steve the Saab blocking the drive, due to some mechanical failure now thankfully fixed, I am really starting to go a little stir crazy. 

Hubby assures me that Steve will be there just one more day before he returns to work with afore mentioned hubby and Speedy McNipster (the mobility scooter) My son and I will be free to roam once more. I can't wait. 

Today though, will be another day trapped in doors, no doubt bored beyond belief. 

So why I am sharing this? Well two reasons really. For one I need to rant and seeing as everyone I know will be safely tucked in bed right now, my blog is my only outlet, but secondly, because so many people comment on how well I cope with my disability and the pain it brings and I wanted to show people that I do indeed have bad days or night, in which I definitely struggle to cope. 

The reality is I think it would be difficult for anyone no matter how positive or upbeat they may appear to not on occasion have a bad day. 

I also believe that these bad days are needed from time to time. I think letting the frustration out can be good, as long as she do not allow that frustration to consume you. 

So let's get some discussion going here! Are you a ranter? How do you deal with the frustrations of life? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

Love and hugs
Joss xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Who do you believe?

I'm one of those people who loves scrolling through my newsfeed on facebook and watching the videos that others have shared. 

For the most part these videos are fun, amusing, or cute, but every so often you watch something that makes your jaw drop and causing you concern and this is what happened to me the other day, when I stumbled across a video about the refugees and in essence the horror that is supposedly going on in the countries where they have been welcomed. 

Things such as:

Murder, rape, child abuse, assaults, home invasions, riots, a huge rise in thrift, crime and the local community generally being hounded out of areas that the refugees have made their home.

Now I like to believe the best of most people, but this video petrified me especially on top of the recent attacks on Paris and the fact that so many people in the UK are pro, letting the refugees in. 

Which currently I am not. 

Here's why!

I don't have enough facts.

The government lie to us. Papers and news broadcast lie to us. So how are we meant to know the reality of just what is going on. 

Other concerns include ...

Isis stating that they would send their men amongst the refugees.

Images that show known Isis members amongst the refugees.

The fact that the majority of these refugees are not family's, but young, single men, who surely should have stayed at home to fight for their country, instead of fleeing.

And the horror stories I have heard about what these refugees are doing in the countries they have been allowed into.

Such as holding marches in which they declare their intent to wipe out the white population, by taking white women as wives and forcing them to pop out sprogs left, right and centre. 

Footage of German children being beaten by refugee teens, simply for being German. 

Of Norweigan women being beaten and raped by refugees.

Of refugees openly laughing and joking about how stupid we all are and how we cannot possibly standup to them because we are cowards.

Now I don't for a second believe that all refugees are bad, but I get the impression that a large number are causing problems in the countries they have already been allowed to enter and I feel like without more hard facts, how can we possibly open up and let them in, when doing so may put our own children and our own families at risk. 

Their countries are in ruin, their families in danger and if I could be sure it was safe I would be glad for them to come here for protection, but it doesn't feel safe. It feels as if we are opening our doors to the same horrors that they are facing in their home countries and that petrifies me, but then so does saying no and having people suffer unfairly. 

So what do you believe, or who do you believe? 

Are we all just sitting here allowing our government to make poor choice after poor choice without any consideration for our futures? Are we trusting the news to tells us everything, when in fact they are only telling us what others want us to what? Are the videos flying around the Internet of the horrors of letting refugees in yet more lies and discretion? 

What do you think?

I'd life to hear your thoughts on this.

Love and hugs 
Joss xx

Friday, 30 October 2015

Trick or treating relief

This year while other parents are chasing their kids around the streets in search of candy, my son will be safely tucked up at home in the warm.

This wasn't a conscious decision on our part. It was a choice my son actually made on his own after his first and only Halloween outting a few years back. 

despite initially being excited by the idea of free candy and spooky costumes, Kye found trick or treating less worthwhile than he imagined it would be. Largely due to the fact that his first year we had torential rain and on returning home his special Halloween bag had essentially let all the water in and he had a decidedly soggy collections of candy. 

Ever since he has perferred to stay home on Halloween and eat the candy we always have here just encase anyone comes knocking, so far; however, no one ever has. I suspect it's because we live in a small village, on a street that is mainly frequently by elderly couples and the parents of the village kids are respectful enough to leave the old foke in peace this time of year. 

At any rate we do often have a lot of candy left over, which Kye does get to enjoy. 

Despite the fact that my son never wants to go trick or treating, I do still ask. 

This is the chat we had a few days ago regarding the matter:

Me: Are you sure you don't want to go trick or treating?

Kye: "yes"

Me: "Okay, why don't you want to go?"

Kye: "because it's cold and I can get sweets at home without having to get cold."

Me: "Yeah, but if you go out you get to see everyone else in their costumes and dress up yourself. Whereas if you stay home you know no one ever knocks on our door."

Kye: "that's why I get all the sweets"

Me: "Yes, but it's exciting to go to people's houses and be surprised by what you get."

Kye: big sigh! "Fine then, you can drive me to granny's and I will see what sweets she's got."

He's so cheeky, especially as his grannie lives an hour away. 

Anyway you can see Kye's thought process. Why go out in the cold and work for my sweets when I can get them at home without any effort?

The thing is though I am actually kinda relieved by this  and here's why. 

All year long we tell our kids don't talk to strangers and don't take sweet from strangers, but come Halloween all the rules change. Suddenly we are happily encouraging them to go up to every door in the neighbourhood, to talk to people they don't know and to take candy from strangers. 

Now Kye has issues with the whole, don't talk to strangers thing as it is. He loves people and I know if put to the test on his stranger danger knowledge he would fail miserably. Because not only would he talk and accept sweets, but he would quite happily get in a car or go off with a stranger too. This is impart due to how Kye thinks or doesn't think, because when it comes to choices Kye just goes for it, no thinking needed, he'll pick what he believes to be the funniest, most gratifying or easiest option, every time. 

This is to do with his learning difficulties, but still how sure can you be that your kid wouldn't do the same and this is the problem, most of us think our kids won't, that they are smart enough to remember everything we have taught them.

Sadly, when put in an actual situation like that most fail. As this video shows. 

What about if they were trick or treating and they were told to come in to get their candy? Would they be smart enough to say no? 

Now how scary is that? I mean imagine if this had not been a social experiment, but a real child predator. It just doesn't bare thinking about. 

Yet frequently, Parents will drop their kids off in a street and wait for them to do the rounds of the houses and what if the threat wasn't in a house, but on the street in a car or van? How long would it be before you even knew your kid was missing?

There are also stories of sweets being tampered with in deadly ways. Such as being coated in poisonous substances. Thankfully the poisonous substance thing seems to be more fiction than fact, so far, but as most of us know, fiction has a way of becoming fact. It just takes one sick twisted mind to think it might be fun to try, for our kids to be put at risk. 

In fact the only actual case I could find of someone handing out candy that had been poisoned was a father who contaminated his own children's candy with Cyanide. The result of this was the death of his son. He did this in order to claim on the life insurance policy he had taken out against his kids, but in the process of trying to make his story seem real he also handed out these sweet to two neighborhood kids. Thankfully they didn't eat the sweets, but what if they had?

Sharp objects hidden in candy is another halloween horror story we frequently here and this one actually has some truth to it. Sharp objects actually have been found hidden in halloween candy, how commen this is, I really have no idea but it does happen. 

However you look at it there are real risks at halloween.

Having an axiety disorder I am always very careful when it comes to my son. Especially given his learning disabilities and that fact that he is far to trusting. 

So on the one occaission we did go trick or treating, I was very aware of where he was at all times. Please, ensure you do the same with your kids this Halloween. 

Stay safe out there and have fun. 

So what are your plans this Halloween? Do you have a child like mine, who'd rather stay home? Perhaps you prefer your child to stay home, feeling that it's no longer safe to Trick or treat? It are you a family that fully embrace Halloween. What ever the case, I'd love to hear from you. 

Love and hugs 
Joss xx