Friday 31 December 2010

Oedipus and I'm Wrecked

This scene on from our week sees Frank out for the count on the sofa and me wrapped in blankets, reading, feeling crap.
Hello all.

Here I am raising my head again and realising a whole week has gone by.

The sniff and the red nose turned into a full-blown cold with added extras of a fever and hacking 40-a-day cough.

I managed to get through cooking for nine on Christmas Day and then declared myself an official wreck.

Frank caught the lurgy too after wishing me better by kissing me repeatedly all over my face! It has thus been a lively week in terms of BG testing and insulin needs and sleep has been lacking for all of us.

The Mexican wave of lurgy continued to our lovely French guests, Severine and Louise, who left us on Tuesday with cheery waves and hacking coughs.

Now Mr Muffinmoon has it but declares himself "at 80%" (yes, he is a nerd with numbers, great for a D-parent really).

Frank has been sleeping in with us whilst our guests were in his room and the other night Mr M left us together in the big bed to sleep well and in peace in the spare room.

Frank declared, on waking, that it would be good idea for Daddy to sleep there all the time "because I just want to be with you all the time and you're not prickly".

Be still my heart.

That boy can floor me when he says things like this and as much as I love my husband, I could so easily go for this Oedipal scene.

I like hearing him breathe and sleep so much better myself when he is with us.

I am very much in favour of co-sleeping in general and defy any family to say that their children have never forced games of musical beds into their lives!

Now with us all ill it makes sense to sleep near each other because we can and the carrot of a little bit more sleep is a potent one indeed.

So, it is New Year's Eve and we are poised to enter our third year as parents of a diabetic child.

A child that makes my heart sing like nothing else.

A child I want to raise to engage with life and never let his diabetes hold him back from taking part in anything he wants to try.


Happy New Year to you all!

Much , much love and a big hug ( at arm's length, of course, in case I infect you).
And I leave you with a photo of what remains of the Christmas Cake.
Huge great chunks of it were given away to family and friends and Frank won't eat it, but it is still tasting great and looks so lovely with its hat of nuts.

My post seems to be weirdly spaced, a bit like me this past week! Apologies for that, will try to sort it soon.

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Crimble - sniff!

Here's to a merry, happy and peaceful festive season to all of you, wherever you are.
We have nine people to feed tomorrow and two arriving this evening and it's going to be so much fun.
I only hope they don't mind me looking like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the hacking cough and fetching red nose that Santa sent for me this morning.
I need a word with that guy ...
Love to all!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Phestive Photos

It snowed again yesterday afternoon and into the evening.

Big languid flakes fell for a long time and now and our little world looks amazing.

We took Frank out on his sled and to the local shop where we stocked up on milk for hot chocolates. Even the front door is all dressed up for the season with it's wreath.

We posted some cards for our elderly neighbours as they couldn't get out and the little post box near us looked so lovely all covered in snow.

And I finally photographed the three angels Frank and I made last week.

This first one is Andrew in angel form, complete with beard.

Then there is me with stars in my long brown hair.

Followed by Frank the angel covered in garish stickers.

And the Manly Apron is complete!
Here is the man himself modelling it. I needed him to try it on to get it right as I very much winged it with the shape and size.
Frank wanted in on the posing action too, so you get two for one on this photo.

We enjoy these quiet days of staying home and hanging out together.
Tomorrow sees us at an early Winter Solstice celebration with friends and on Tuesday we will have our own little family celebration based on some of the ideas I have been soaking up from the latest Rhythm of the Home.
If any of you are unaware of this heart-warming and inspiring online resource I urge you to take a look.
Happy Sunday to you all.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Nutty Tales

One teeny, tiny, individually wrapped snickers.
For breakfast.
It all began here:
Frank and I popped out last night to visit a friend and got back in time for a light snack and a little colouring before bed.
We had just taken ourselves upstairs when someone knocked at the door and we opened it to find Santa there with some other people collecting for local charities.
Behind him was a big sleigh, all lit up and playing music.
Frank was wide-eyed and when asked what he wanted for Christmas didn't know what to say.
He's four.
He doesn't get those conversations yet.
I am holding out as long as possible with the consumerism.
We told Santa we'd like Sev to come for Christmas and that would be a great gift for us and he said he'd do his best to make sure it happened.
He then, yes, Santa, that lovely, good and kind old man, passed my diabetic boy a box full of mini chocolates, Snickers included.
Frank took one and I did what every D-parent does, which is run through the list of a gazillion options for reacting.
Not just a "Thank you , Santa" for us, oh, no. We get the "how many carbs, no label, guesstimate it then, tell him we can't have it, no that would be pointless and awful for Frank, he really can't have it now, maybe in the morning, at least he chose the Snickers with the shadow of a nut and thus protein in it blah blah blah".
And all the while I must be, just must be, standing at the door with Santa wondering who this glazed and distant woman is and whether she's on illegal substances.
Because I know my brain is not in small-talk-with-Santa-mode when I am doing this.
In all honesty, I don't think my brain has a small-talk-with-Santa mode.
So, this morning Frank woke up and ran downstairs to see what was in his little sock for today. He finds a zoo ticket and a mini snickers (it's half the size of my thumb).
I tell him he can have it with his breakfast and that he can only nibble the end before I test his BG.
And the angels sang and the frazzled Mama smiled.
He was at 4.0!!!!
Wooo bloody hoooo!
And the boy ate it in tiny pieces and even offered me a nibble of the corner.
We then had our usual porridge and agave nectar and I asked him what it was like seeing Santa outside the door last night.
He ponders how to break it to me.
"I think it was a man in a suit" he says, "not the real Santa" and goes back to eating his porridge and talking about poo.
Normal service is resumed.
Another quick and satisfying project left the needles yesterday evening as I completed Frank's Christmas Pyjamas. The light here in Northern Europe, so close to the Winter solstice, is minimal and so the pictures look very gloomy.
I hope you can all squint a bit and maybe turn your heads sideways a tad to get an idea of how cute they really are.
I had been looking for cotton flannel material but couldn't find any that wasn't hugely "girlie" and so plumped for this Sqiurrel Nutkin cotton in green. I made the trousers by tracing around a pair that fit Frank loosely at the moment and bought a white cotton t-shirt so all I had to do there was add the star.
The hardest part of this project was finding a PLAIN WHITE COTTON T-shirt with NOTHING AT ALL on it.
Is it the same where you all are?
Everything seems to have awful slogans or the word "vintage" on it when it was made last week.

And here is a close up of Nutkin himself doing a bit of, well, I think he's "prancing"!

More sewing updates soon as I am making great progress with husband's manly apron.

And finally, a big thanks for yesterday and being my musketeers after the hit and run commenter.
All for one and one for all, hey?!

Wednesday 15 December 2010


This is all I can say.
Just finished breakfast and checking comments on my post from yesterday.
Found this.
Sorry to disappoint you but the way you feed the kid and your perfidious I heart insulin slogan is a premature death sentence. Do some reading if you really care about the kid. I'm pretty darn serious and know your reaction in advance. You are wrong. Insulin kills and this is a fact.
15 December 2010 01:58 "
How helpful.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

I "heart" insulin, oh, yes, I do!

On holiday in Dorset September 2008; one month before diagnosis.
Two years old and very thin.
Wearing clothes for kids about six months younger than he is. Notice the ever-present water bottle.
Two years later, at the age of four.
Rounded out and happy.
Wearing clothes that get too small before I can blink.
Energetic and sporting a full beard of toast!
Thank you insulin.
We love you.

Done & Dusted

Excuse the fuzzy photos but this boy just will not stand still.
And, before anyone asks, it's still all about having the tongue hanging out over here!
Today I coaxed Frank into wearing this hat as I needed to get it parceled up and sent off to Dorset to my sister's little girl, Nancy, who turns two this week.
Originally I made this hat for Frank but he refuses to wear it as it's "itchy".
Pure Michigan wool sent from good friends in Detroit and it's rejected within a nano second by the boy.
Ah, well, Nancy will look great in it with her red hair.
It's a weird project though. I like it very much, don't get me wrong, but it uses so very much yarn and most of that yarn hangs down the child's back. It seems a waste. I'm all for style and love little elf-like hats and stuff but this seemed over the top.
Can you see how far it hangs down Frank's back?
Almost as far as his tongue hangs down his front!

And here is the little button to hold it on.
I was struck by this picture of my boy's chubby four year old chops as I'd been chatting to a friend whose child was diagnosed just a few months ago. We were saying how gaunt our boys had been before they'd been diagnosed. And they had both been quite well, all things considered.
It has taken two years for Frank to go from skinny to normal and he is pretty average just now in terms of both height and weight.

And then onto another completed project : Boot Gnomes!
How cute are they???
I made fifteen of them today, some to give as gifts and some to attempt to sell as stocking fillers.

They are super easy to make and the idea is from this book (as is the knitting pattern for the hat).
They are used to hold wellies together at the top, particularly useful for a pre-school or family with lots of kids, I imagine.
We use them because they're gnomes and they're cute.

Now, Mr Muffinmoon is out at Pudding Club this evening and I am alone with my green tea and about to start making his Christmas present.
It's a linen apron that I intend to customise just for him.
I am entering this project most nervously as we have ten people here on Christmas Day and he will be opening it "in public".
It could all go tits up (nod to Reyna here for inspiring me to be colourful in my use of language!!) but I promise to post about it anyway.
Happy Tuesday all.

Monday 13 December 2010

Chilly Days and Chocolate Pizza

Frank and I were out recently, on our way to the local library to pick up yet more Christmas books, when we stopped to look at our shadows and I took out my camera to capture the moment.
Lise recently posted about shadow dancing and that's just what Frank and I were doing in the middle of Prettygate!
Such fun.
The low Northern European sun makes us all long and lean these Winter days.
I look like I am on stilts!! The Boy Wonder decided that running with his tongue hanging out like a dog was his thing for the day.
And even standing with his tongue hanging out was good too...

Then we came home and made more gifts.
There is a lot of this going on at the moment and I am finding computer time elusive as I am so tired at night that falling asleep with Frank is my new pattern.
Ho hum. I clearly need the sleep.
Anyway, we made what we call "chocolate pizza" and here it is in all its yummyness.

We melted fours bars of Green & Blacks (2 white and 2 dark) in separate bowls over boiling water and then swirled it together on a baking tray lined with parchment. Onto that we sprinkled our toppings, whatever we have in and fancy sprinkling (for us that day it was cashews, sesame seeds, dried cranberries and raisins).
This is intended as gifts.
It may not last that long ...

Thursday 2 December 2010

The Diabetes Toad

My cousin, Maggie, lives in Ottawa and kindly sent me a special feature from The Globe and Mail all about Diabetes.
She, herself, was diagnosed with Type 1 in her forties.
A huge shock and I happened to be over visiting when the doctor rang with confirmation of the diagnosis.
I remember her son, Jorin, hugging her and them both crying and I quietly left the room to let them talk and be together before I spoke to her later about what it meant and how she felt.
I was clueless.
She handled it then and handles it now with her usual, and enviable, forthright attitude and determination to look it in the eye.
With Frank's diagnosis, somewhere around fifteen years later, I was still clueless.
Maggie never made a big deal of it but just got on with it.
Nothing was hidden, but I never asked many questions either.
Now we see each other every six months and have so much to talk about.
Not that we ever struggled but the Big D does make an appearance in our conversations now more than it did before Frank's diagnosis.
Knowing what I now know, I feel ashamed of this, of not finding out more and being more supportive
So, Maggie ticks along managing her Type 1 brilliantly. She chooses to not have a pump and that works for her.
We want a pump for Frank to let his tiny body have less daily invasions.
We are all doing great.
And then I sit down to read the articles from The Globe and Mail supplement.
I read a few lines and this incredible physical, totally physical, feeling rises in me, like a submerged toad that has been in the pit of my stomach, rising and rising to my (now constricted) throat and I close the paper, and feel the hysteria subside.
What on earth is that?
It's the Diabetes Toad.
It lies there, watching and waiting and rising to strike when you let your guard down for a second.
All seems well and then all of a sudden up pops the freaky toad, all full of its own importance, and I am knocked for six again.
Like it happened two weeks ago not two years ago.
I have been pondering this post for a few days now and was interested (and relieved) to read both Meri's and Reyna's posts saying very similar things.
Sometimes the magnitude of DIABETES and not the numbers or the carbs or the exercise hits us all and we crumble a bit.
For a while.
And then, well, what are our choices here?
Let's be honest.
Are we able to say, "Nope. Can't do it anymore. Too scary. Gonna give it to someone else?". Ha!
We want to do it because we need to do it because we have to do it.
The momentary wobbles are about looking into the abyss and then going back to the coal face (crazy mixed metaphors, I apologise!).
And at the coal face is where we belong.
I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
So, day to day, the Diabetes Toad is pushed down by life. Everyday life.
And to lighten the mood here are some images and thoughts of this week so far:
  1. I've been sewing to YouTube of The Dick van Dyke Show. I love him so much. And I hear even porpoises love him these days. I've always said porpoises have good taste ...
  2. We've got snow and lots of it. Frank is a happy boy.
3. Snowmen have been built. This was the first one after just a night of snow. He's kind of small but the latest two are much bigger.
4. A Christmas Cake has been baked. I soaked the required tonne of dried fruit in brandy for a day and then made the cake. We don't normally have one but Sev and her friend Louise are with us over Christmas, along with my parents and aunt so a cake might be called to do service!

It gets wrapped like a parcel before going in the oven for three hours.

And looks like this when it emerges.
I will "feed" it with brandy every few days up until Christmas and cover it with fruit and nuts and then glaze it with apricot jam.
Traditionally it is eaten with a chunk of crumbly cheese but most people these days probably go for a cup of tea alongside instead.
I will happily post the recipe sometime if anyone is interested in cakes that are so heavy with fruit they could sink a ship!
It tastes great, I assure you.

5. Mr Muffinmoon is out at a Poetry Slam this evening, performing as Fred Slattern: Slum Poet. What have I planned? Tamari cashews and a gin & tonic, that's what! Oh, and knitting like a mad witch as it's already December and I've been slutty with my handmade promises ...
Much love and peace and great BGs to you all.

Saturday 27 November 2010

The Versatile Blogger - c'est moi!

Jen kindly gave me this award, THANKS JEN! I have spent most of my blogging time this evening trying to work out how to add the button to my post. I have only managed to copy the picture. Anyone got time to tell me how on earth to add a button to a blog?
Anyhooo ... onto the conditions of the award.
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
Jen, my lovely, supportive friend, thank you so much. I wish you lived just around the corner.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
  • I was a vegetarian for 22 years until I was about five months pregnant and then remember saying to Andrew, whilst walking around the supermarket, that I needed "roast chicken and NOW". I still eat good quality meat and feel better for it.
  • I am majorly clumsy and am always bumping into things and dropping things. I find this funny. Hubby not so much ...
  • I speak fluent German.
  • Kindness and empathy are hugely important to me both in myself and others.
  • I adore Brussels sprouts and once as a student ate a whole pound of them, steamed, with butter and black pepper. Just writing that makes me want to do it again.
  • I love to wear big, clumpy shoes. I just can't do heels but at 5'10", I figure I don't have to.
  • Music is a source of solace and inspiration to me and it can bring me down if it's the wrong music at the wrong time. If it's the right music I can conquer anything.
3. Pass the award onto twelve bloggers you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
OK, here we go, hold onto your knickers:
Amanda at FeltFinland
Hannah at HomeBaked
Mary Beth at Salt and Chocolate
Sarah at Green Clogs
Sarah at Blue Garter
Penny at A Sweet Grace
Nicole at Frontier Dreams
Calamity Jane at Apron Strings
Andrew at Big Swifty
I admit some of these blogs are not "new" to me but I do rely on these voices to inform and uplift me all the time.
I hope they add some new voices to your days too.

Friday 26 November 2010

Taking the D to Brum

We are just back from five days in Birmingham (nicknamed Brum for those of you unaware and confused by my cryptic title).
It was a first for all of us having never really got to know this lovely city before.
And it really is such a lovely, multi-cultural, friendly, lively city.
I really was so very impressed most especially at the fantastic, friendly service in all the cafes and restaurants. People spoke to me and engaged with Frank.
It is sadly not always the case elsewhere.
We had such a good time, stayed in an apartment in the Chinese Quarter and spent lots of time at the Frankfurt Christmas market that is there every year.
Andrew and I did what we call "divide and conquer", which involves us taking turns spending days or half days with Frank. It seems to work for us and then we get alone time in a coffee shop and a gallery or just mooching around.
Day one saw Frank and I at the Sealife Centre where his treat was this rather fetching shark on a stick! I try hard to get as many wooden and natural toys as I can but, c'mon, he's four and a half, sometimes a shark on a stick is just what is needed!!
At the market there was a cute little roundabout, which the boy had to ride three times and still kept chanting "Again, again, again, again" but at two quid a go we had to stop there.
At no point did he smile for me on this thing as he was so engrossed in driving that engine.

On our last day we went back to the BMAG (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) to show Frank the activities for children. We had both visited it on our alone days and want him to find some of the joy and beauty that we do in art.
Brimingham has the most amazing collection of art by the Pre-Raphaelites. Oh my, it was lovely.
It also boasts an Edwardian Tea Room, which is no bad thing ...
And then there was this amazing, just amazing, tactile, warm wooden puzzle of the Modigliani portrait above.

I loved this so much. Frank did it three times and had to be dragged away.

And then back home Frank and I had so enjoyed the pretzels we'd eaten we decided to make some of our own, leaving out the poaching them in water first (as I nearly set fire to the house last week making bagels and not remembering that a tea towel placed on the oven top next to an open flame WILL CATCH FIRE - I've lost a little poaching mojo).
And onto the BIG D.
We had such a varied time with it all with Frank's number being so bloody random that I sometimes wonder if it isn't all a great big social experiment. His fingers are increasingly reluctant to bleed and I loathe pricking him four or five times every meal time. It's so crap and whilst I am on forced-jolly-auto-pilot, there is a part of me still screaming that I hate it and it's not right or fair.
My poor beautiful, brave, brave boy.
I find that wearing.
One night I slept so little and was up four times in the night that when it got to my alone day I spent it in the art gallery and then
bought a DVD and some yummy hummous and salady bits and lay on the sofa half asleep for the afternoon. Oh, and some chocolate.
Is it bad to go all the way to Birmingham to lie on a sofa for a couple of hours?
I will be back tomorrow with my response to Jen's kind award (Thanks, lovely Jen!!) and seven things about me that you might not know.
You already know that I use the words "salady bits" ...

Friday 19 November 2010

Two Things To Make You Smile

First smile comes from our winner today of this priceless book (ahem).

Frank picked all the names from a cereal bowl this morning whilst I was pricking his finger so I am afraid I didn't get any photos but the lucky person is : Amanda from Felt Finland!!!!

Hooray for Amanda!

Can you e.mail me your address (I think you already have my e.mail address) and I will get your prize into the post next week.

The second smile is a humdinger, so brace yourselves, it's a bit of a story.
I am pleased that my hedgehog house and fuzzy bra have brought smiles to you all and add now this tale from yesterday evening:
Picture the scene of an English pub, let's call it The Fat Cat (for that is its name!), on a Thursday evening. It is busy with a youngish clientele, mostly late twenties and early thirties, good beer and great chunky wooden tables.
At one of the tables every two weeks or so I meet with a group of fabulous crafty and creative women and we sit knitting and sewing. Sometimes we have a brief like the knitted bras and sometimes we just get on with our individual projects. On any given evening a mixture of both is going on, such as yesterday evening.
So we women sit chatting, knitting and sewing and are joined by two guys wondering what we are up to. They are pleasant enough and trying to be charming but clearly have had a beer or two.
None of us are phased by this, we are there to be together and are happy to show people what we are doing if they show an interest.
So, after a few minutes of chat the first guy starts to ask what we are all doing. He is probably in his early to mid-thirties and is well-dressed and well-spoken and has a confident air about him.
So, around the table we go sharing our projects.
He has no idea what is about to hit him ...
Polly shows him the Waldorf doll she is making for her daughter. This evening she is weaving in the hair.
He admires it and moves onto me and Rosie.
We are both knitting; me a lacy scarf and Rosie a pullover for a doll for her little girl.
He asks "pertinent" questions about speed of knitting and whether I could knit a whole toilet in a week.
Then he moves on to Natasha and asks her what she is sewing.
"A vagina" she responds without missing a beat.
He blinks a couple of times and says "Sorry?" so she lifts her lovely silk and cotton work of art and shows it to him.
For the first time in half an hour of pleasant but tipsy rambling he is struck dumb.
Natasha explains that we are all going to contribute a piece of work for a huge quilt being pieced together in London to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation. He blinks a few more times and seems suddenly less tipsy.
Go figure.
Then he says he'd like to contribute in some way, even financially, to the work on FGM Awareness.
He heads off back to the bar leaving us all smiling about what he will think when he wakes up in the morning.
"I had the weirdest dream last night, mate. I dreamt I saw these women in the pub making vaginas! I must drink less."
He gave me my biggest smile of the week!
When a man walks unprepared into the Land of the Women who knows what might happen.
I wonder if he'll be there next week or if we've put him off popping out to his local for beer?!
I am taking a few days off from this screen. I love it so much I am not getting much else done. Back next Thursday with tales of cheeky monkey four year olds (Meri you were so right with your comment a week or so back about "dethroning the king") and German Christmas Markets.
Much love to all and a happy weekend!
Here is something to speed you on your way courtesy of Armstrong and Miller, two very fine performers.

Wednesday 17 November 2010


A good friend of mine is a homeopath and makes natural skin remedies.
She is a great inspiration to me in how she lives and works and has kindly given me the opportunity to sell some of my handmade, upcycled stuff at the Christmas Open Evenings in her home.
The first one was this evening and we spent the afternoon setting up. My little bits and bobs looked so lovely in her pretty home and I don't really mind if they sell or not, I am just so pleased to be putting my work out there.
I gave up teaching a year ago now to be at home caring for Frank, and have not regretted that for one moment.
However, I do miss making a little money for my family.
Maybe this is a way to do that?
Next stop an etsy shop, eh? (Joy and Peace bunting)

( Lavender hearts with vintage buttons and lavender dream pillows)

I will keep you posted about how it all goes.
Being creative in this way is healing me so much after the shock of Frank's diagnosis.
Who would have thought that some answers can lie in recycled materials and local lavender?!

Tuesday 16 November 2010


OK, so in tidying up my heaving bookshelves I found I had two copies of this cute book.
It would make a fun gift for someone over the festive season and so I offer to here today.
It's cute and stylish and full of great images and ideas for living more mindfully of our environment.
Just leave a comment by the end of Thursday this week and names will go in a hat for my random number generator (otherwise known as Frank) to pick one out.
I'll declare the winner Friday once I hit the computer.
Good Luck!
Thanks for you comments on the hedgehog house!
Frank and I went out there after supper this evening with a torch but couldn't see anything yet. Apparently during the Winter they snore loudly so we might get audible proof sometime soon!

Monday 15 November 2010


So, it's mid-November and many of you are slogging your way through a month of posting every day. My thoughts are with you a lot over this and I am in awe of anyone that can do it.
For a little light relief I offer you a perfectly formed example of English Whimsy!
Brace yourselves for ..... drum roll .....
THE HEDGEHOG HOUSE!!!! I kid you not. We had considered chickens for a long time but decided that a) as Frank is a bit scared of them at the moment and b) Mr Muffinmoon doesn't eat eggs that we might be better off with a hedgehog.
OK, so it won't help us with omelettes or cakes or even company but how seriously COOL is it to have a hedgehog house in your garden?

And it only cost us Mr Muffinmoon's time as he is a master at cobbling things together from bits of wood lying around. We figured the hedgehog wouldn't mind so much whether Martha Stewart had been in to decorate.

It sits awaiting an owner towards the back of the garden and in the shade of our neighbour's oak tree.
We have covered it in soil and leaves and hope to report back with evening sightings of our hedgehog.
Happy Hedgehog Monday to you all!

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Yummy Granola Goodness

So here it is, my favourite recipe for granola.
I don't like my granola too sweet and this one delivers on that.
I like lots of seeds but not really dried fruit in granola.
It delivers there too.
I always tend to follow this one to the letter but have used walnuts instead of the almonds when that was all I had in the house. I also have never had almond extract but just use vanilla alone.
I offer you the recipe as it is written in the book and will just mention that my favourite way of eating it is with stewed apples, natural yoghurt, granola on top and a drizzle of maple syrup. There's no better way of starting the day( aside from a great BG from Frank, that floats my boat too!).
Maple Butter Nut Granola

Makes 8 cups

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup each of sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon nut butter (I use almond butter as I have it in stock)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 325F / 190C
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.
In a small pan melt the butter; add maple syrup and nut butter and stir to blend.
Remove from heat and add extracts.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and fold in.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake until dry and golden, turning the granola every 15 minutes or so. (I find it takes no more than 45 minutes as it can catch and be too "toasty" if left longer).
Allow to cool and store in an airtight jar.


I haven't worked out the carbs yet as Frank will happily help me make it but looks horrified at the prospect of having to actually eat it!


Thank you all so very much for your wonderful comments on my rambling post yesterday.
You are all fab.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

D-Blog Day - Six from muffinmoon

Having dried my eyes from reading everyone else's six things they'd like people to know I feel ready to add mine and I apologise to anyone, friends and family alike, for the language I might use.
What I'd like you to know about Frank's Diabetes:
1. I did nothing to bring it on, Andrew did nothing and Frank most certainly did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS. (So, to the woman who asked me just over two years ago, Frank having been diagnosed barely two weeks before, "So, when did you stop breast feeding?" I now say "Oh, just f*@k off". At the time I blathered something about auto-immune issues).
2. Frank's diagnosis robbed me of a feeling that I could cope with anything. I now know I can't. I can deal with diabetes most days really well but can't be allowed to operate any heavy machinery anymore as I am too sleep deprived and carb-fixated. It steals your bounce and makes mortality a constant companion. I will never let Frank know how hard I still find it. He needs to be free to just be a child.
3. Frank can eat anything as long as it is measured and accounted for by me or Andrew. We let him eat and he eats well. Sugary sweets wouldn't have been much on the menu for him without diabetes and that hasn't changed. Please stop bemoaning in front of him how awful it must be for him that he can't have sweets.
4. Frank will not grow out of it nor will it get "easier". It is for life and it is chronic and it is different every bloody day. Sympathise and try to empathise. It is hard and having people look me in the eye and really see me is important. Don't fob me off with insincerity.
5. Parents of a diabetic child often feel judged by others for whom Type 2 diabetes is much more understood. Type 1 is not the same. Insulin is vital to keep Frank alive. He developed diabetes when he was just two years old and had not lead a debauched life!
6. Having a child with diabetes makes everyday life an intense experience. The highs are very high and the lows plain awful. But it makes you realise your strength. You find that you are after all made of gritty stuff.
And a quick number seven:
Do not piss off a parent of a Type 1 child. They are sleep-deprived, insulin wielding bundles of emotion and have enough drugs on them to fell a horse.
Be nice!
(It is late here in England and I have only just come to my computer and found it is Diabetes Blog Day. I couldn't not post, this stuff means too much, though I fear I may have rambled on weirdly.
Tomorrow I will post the granola recipe but for tonight I want to send a big cyber hug to all you D-parents and I want you to know how much you mean to me, how much you help me and how if I ever come to your town I will be looking you up and calling in for a face to face chat and a real hug in place of that cyber one. )

Saturday 6 November 2010

Our week

A photo-heavy post of our week.
This is my transparent attempt to appease you all as I have had such a busy week that I haven't posted.
And most of you are posting EVERY DAY.
So, I unashamedly offer photos of my pretty little boy in lieu of actual writing.
Ahem ...
This was our week: walnut boats on a rainy afternoon balance biking in Castle park

feeding the ducks

making granola (again, as Mama has a granola habit)

being eaten by sofa cushions and calling "Mum, take my photo! The sofa is eating me!"

making gingerbread men, some with raisins in the most painful places
I am building up to a giveaway and some recipes soon.
Happy Weekend to you all!