Social media chit-chat

Social media can be a positive, or negative experience. This can depend on the individual to decide whether this is positive, or negative for them.

Facebook

Many years ago, I left Facebook because it was a negative thing then. It was negative for me, because I was on it too much and not getting out.
Since I have been back and I have used my current Facebook account a few years now, it is better. I was only back on Facebook because a course I was doing at the time required it. If it wasn’t for this, I would have never been back.
It is better this time round, because I make sure there is a balance of not being on it always, like I did all those years ago. The last couple of years though, I have even been on it less and this year I have noticed I have reduced it even further.
As I look at my Facebook wall right now, as I write this post, I see that mainly it is my WordPress posts that are there and not what I write personally. For me, for choosing not to log in on Facebook personally often, this is my choice. This choice is good for me and I am feeling more the better for it. I am tempted to close it down, but I won’t, because the WordPress posts that automatically appear there when published, I know my friends prefer to follow there. But that is not to say in the future I would at some point.

WordPress

Is WordPress classed as social media? Either way, to me it is and if not, I will bring this into my post, because I want to say that WordPress has been a very big positivity experience to me. There is a lovely community here and for those that like to read and comment on my blog posts, thank you.
I have had some lovely readers who have let positive comments over the years. So thank you to you, too. I guess many of my readers have seen a difference in my posts this year, then in the past.

Twitter

Twitter hasn’t been a negative thing for me, but I just decided to close it, as I did not want to waste my time looking at a screen.

Instagram

I have never used it and never will, because again, I don’t want to bring myself being at a computer, or mobile screen more than needed. But from looking up Instagram, I can see that Instagram can be a positive tool and it would be a positive tool for me, if I was happy to lend my time to it.

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Food Chit-Chat

This is a question for readers who have to avoid gluten and wheat.

If you ate out, would you expect your food to be cooked in a pan, that had not been used to cook products that contained gluten and wheat?

I would assume that you would said yes, but as I don’t have to watch my diet on this level, this is why I ask you.

The reason I ask this, is because I went to a usual store recently that I visit quiet often and as I sat down with my cake and latte, I seen a sign I’d not seen before that said, “Please be advised that all our fried products share a fryer with products that contain WHEAT and GLUTEN.”

After seeing this, I decided to email them, using their contact form:

This is about the cafe in

First, I would like to say that this a welcoming and relaxing cafe. I have enjoyed eating what ever I choose to eat. But today, while sat down to enjoy my latte and cake, I seen a notice that advised that all of their fried products shared a fryer with products that contain wheat and gluten. Now surely you should have a fryer separate as not to contaminate? I shall be asking a couple of my friends about this, as they must have gluten-free.
But I would assume by doing this and for all of a sudden seeing this notice, you are putting people at risk?
Those who have to avoid wheat and gluten in their diets will no doubt avoid meals now, which means you are not providing gluten-free options in the long run, because there will be those that would not risk it? 

Seeing this also, brings me to another question? When I ask for a vegetarian breakfast, do you treat me the same way? ie it is cooked in the same fryer as the meat products?

As you can see from my message written to them, this issue also made me query something on a personal level from myself, while raising this other concern. I expect a pan to be used, that was not used beforehand cooking other meats.

Going back to those of you who have to avoid gluten and wheat, if you had learnt your favourite place of eating was using the same fryer to cook your food, as well as foods that contain what you need to avoid, would you avoid having food there? Would it affect your stomach, because of your food being fried in the same fryer as other foods that contained gluten, or wheat?

Reassurance from place I messaged

I received a quick reply to my query and my concern was put at eased. They also included a photo of their three fryers. They admitted that this sign was misleading and I totally agree, as they don’t have one fryer, they have three.
Their fryers are labelled as to what can only be cooked in each fryer, but their photo was focused on middle fryer mainly and the other two either side were partially on, so I written  follow-up email to make sure I had all the facts I were seeing. I was right what I assumed in the end and that was that the same fryer is used to cook fish as well as southern fried chicken. Now this does not affect me, but someone who only eats fish and no meat at all, would not like this set up and I pointed this out.
They said in my response that they would advise their customers accordingly. But I think that unless that customer who chooses their food off the menu, points out they don’t eat meat at all, when choosing fish, are they going to be told? I think, unless you ask, you are not going to know.

I think also, if you have to avoid gluten and wheat, to make sure there is no contamination at cooking, if this would affect you.

Chit-chat extra

Out with the red

Since this post; “I don’t want red in my home,” my red microwave and microwave have gone. (Well they have nearly gone. They should be going to a new home soon.) I have a new silver, stainless steel kettle that I bought from Argos and the white microwave off my mum, that she was going to get rid of and it works alright as I expected. I don’t like to buy something when it is not broken, but I had to get rid, as you know.

Home decor to reflect/celebrate the season

Do you change decor in your home to reflect, or celebrate the season? If so, what do you do.

I obviously have to be careful because of my hay fever, but I plan to have two greenery leaf type plants in my home. (One I’d like to be a spider plant.) Anything floral will have to be fake, to add colour, with the occasional bouquet of flowers, as I know flowers can affect me more.
I have not had plants in my home before, because there are plants that are harmful to cats and so it was easier to avoid plants altogether, than make a mistake and have a plant that was harmful. But now I have no cats and it would be some time before I possibly do again, I have no worry on this.
I have also read on ideas in using buntings, pictures and paper chains to reflect the seasons.

Do you do anything like that?

It has been even suggested from a book I have read and reviewed here recently, that either have a winter wonderland theme using white throws, hang up snowflakes and bring down the old cuddly polar bears from the attic. Then invite your friends over and enjoy winter at any time of the year.
Otherwise, instead, have a beach theme going on in the home, minus the sand of course, by using towels, deck chairs, inflatable flamingos and music.

The buntings seem a good idea to me, for something different in the home, having different ones to reflect the seasons with other ideas.

If you do anything to reflect the seasons, please do share.

Chit-chat April

This month I have not done much other than work, meeting up with friends a few times in the month and making sure I had my chill days, just for me. The only thing different, was at the end of the month, when I attended a fundraising event for PDSA. This event was organised by a friend and one of her daughters. The event not only raised money for PDSA, which is close to their hearts, but also to raise awareness that learning disabilities need not get in the way of aspiration and value in the community.

Lasting memories of Miley

Miley, as you will gather from my posts, has made a very big and positive impact on my life. She has given me lasting memories and purpose of what I want to do, when it comes to pets in the future. This post says it all:

I also have those memories that we have shared over the years and very special photos. There is  now a couple of special places in my home. One corner of my home is where a photo I had taken in the final week, out of a few taken, I have chosen to frame. She is lying relaxed and the aim of the photo was to take a photo of her paw, as he had lovely pink and black pads on her feet. I have her face in this shot too, so it worked out even better than planned. This is in a sparkly frame next to the print of her foot taken by the vets.
In my living room, I have a lovely glass frame with a verse on that suits just how we were to each other and there is a different, earlier photo of her in it. This frame also has a tea-light holder.
Also, the thank you post I written to Miley, I copied just the words from the post and pasted them onto Microsoft word. Once happy with layout, I printed it out, which covered two A4 size paper and it is framed and displayed in my living room.

The Forget Me Not seeds, that were inside my sympathy cards from the vets, started to grow I noticed at the end of March. I am really happy about this, because when I have attempted to grown them in the past, I have had no luck. It is like these are meant to be.

De-cluttering

Things that belonged to Miley and were still in good use, along with unopened cat food, cat litter and cat dishes, I donated to Cats Protection where she came from. I just kept her Catit Senses Play Circuit, one blanket and the cat carrier, with me one day in the future hopefully of adopting another cat, unless things change then. (When I am in a council property.)
I also did some de-cluttering of my own again, to donate elsewhere. This was just a small carrier bag, half filled, which mainly consisted of cd’s. I have had the urge to get rid of these cd’s for some time, but I kept holding onto them. The strong urge to get rid, finally came after Miley’s passing.
I also donated two pieces of furniture that was no longer required, to the same shop that my carrier bag of goods went to.

Decoration and study

Decorating of my dining room has been done and it is now looking fresh again. I have just kept to the same neutral colours; magnolia and white. Due to how well it was done and how it made me feel, I decided to dip into my savings, to get the living room done next month. After all, as I cannot afford to move privately, I know I will be living where I am currently living for at least another year or two, or waiting it out till I get the council property. So I am trying to send some positive feeling around in my home again, while I have to stick it out in the area I don’t want to live anymore.
My dining table is now showing signs of studying again, so it is time to now get stuck into my Pet Sitting Course. 🙂 (Assignment one already on its way.) I am not going to be self-employed as a pet sitter now, but it still could come in use for the future. Even if it doesn’t, I know I will gain something else out of it personally. I will talk about this more later.

Baking

It had been a while since I made my healthier crumble, so I made my usual, apple and blueberry, but I had some crumble left over and so I made a small peach and blueberry crumble as well.

Saving money as much as I can

I need to save money where I can and not just usually what I put away. As well as a holiday next year I want, I also have to save money towards possible dental costs, prescriptions, etc.. with my situation changing. My main concern to save is towards dental, because of when the time comes to have a new false denture, which will then be my permanent one. I know I will get some help, but not likely to be as before due to my savings I have. Also, when one thing ends that has helped with prescription costs, to when I next apply for help with this, it won’t come in time for when my dental appointment is due.

Taking time out

Due to my withdrawal effects I started to feel coming off my antidepressants, (as I was getting the final stage coming off them,) I had to take extra time out.
One was a short unexpected break, which I announced here, but I found I was able to pop in later in the week, for a short few minutes. I wanted to do other things, away from a computer monitor
The other break was a planned one and was not to do with me coming off my tablets. I planned this a couple of months ago.
I will talk further on coming off my antidepressant, in a separate post soon, but I just want to add before I end this post, that do not come of your medication, without first seeking advice from your doctor.
I am fine now and how I felt when I needed time out was only about a couple of weeks. Maybe not quite that. I only have one side effect now, which feels like my balance. But like I say, I will talk later about this in a separate post.

Chit-chat tea: new teas I have been trying

Being a tea drinker who mostly adds no milk now, after that time I wasn’t well for a long period, I have tried some different teas as you know. The last time I talked about tea, was in this post, “Chit-chat: What’s your cuppa?” I knew it was about time to try some different tea and see what I like, or don’t like. I am no expert tea drinker, so you won’t find me talking in detail about them. I either like them, or I don’t and that is all I shall say.
There are loads of different tea varieties out there and everyone will find their own perfect cuppa, for different occasions.
I am also feeling further inspired to try different teas, from being a follower at “Tea and Tales,” so you may see further short posts from me, just sharing what I have tried a lately. If you want to discover the different variety of teas out there, with other stories, then “Tea and Tales” blog is for you.
The only tea I mainly won’t drink are Twinnings, as mostly I have not liked them, with exception of “Breakfast Tea.” I may one day try their “Earl Grey,” but fruity teas of theirs I won’t.

So here are different teas have I been trying recently:

  • Tetley Super Fruits Boost
  • Pukka ‘love’
  • Pukka ‘chamomile, vanilla & manuka honey
  • Pukka ‘relax’
  • Tesco Apple & Cinnamon

different tea varieties I have been trying

All these teas I liked and when I was trying them, you should have seen me. It looked like I was having a tea party with me trying these different teas and nibble on the table. You would have thought I was having a party, if you had randomly called at my house and seen it.

Knowing that I like these teas, I will buy them again. I also have other teas in mind to try, so watch this space for more tea drinking.

What teas have you been drinking a lately?

 

 

Chit-chat March

I am still looking for that new home. I never heard back about the private flat, I talked about in February chit-chat post as I expected, so it was a loss to them for not contacting me back by my preferred accessible method. Who wants a landlord like that? So I carry on looking, which lead to another flat I viewed a few days into March. The flat was lovely, but the living room and kitchen were very small. The flat is ok if you are just starting off and have very basic stuff. But not for me.
I am hoping I may be lucky one day with a council property, but I am rather sceptic of my chances. I think it will take several years. (Probably longer than 6 years, with the way the system now works.)

Decorating

I have wanted to decorate my front room for some time, but with my health and other things, it just got in the way. Mentally, I can’t be bothered decorating this room with things that have happened, or other things going on, so I am looking into having someone decorating this for me. (I have him booked.)  I want this decorated whether I am here for the short, or the long-term, as the room needs freshening up. More likely I will be here slightly longer than planned, just to make most of the decorated room and to get into my studying, when it’s done. I don’t an to look at any private properties for a a few months, or possibly longer, depending, but I will continue to bid for council properties.

Chia jam

I made some more chia jam. You will find the link to chia jam – the healthy alternative from this post. I made strawberry chia jam this time.

Self-care

Three weeks into March, I had a couple of days off work, so one of the days I went to Sherwood Forest for part of the day. I met up with a friend later there and spent rest of the day with him. (I also went back to Sherwood Forest for another walk at the end of the week from Miley being put to sleep.)
The next day, I just had a relaxing day at home. I had no plans going anywhere as I had an Oxford trip the next day. An early night was planned because of an early start the next morning. I enjoyed my day meeting my friend, where we just chatted in a lovely cafe, as we had lots to catch up on. I go back in August, so the plan is we will have a bit of a walk around next time after eating, as the weather will be better then.
The next day, I had a relaxing day and later at night I watched a dvd called, “Silver Linings.”
I also met up with a couple of other friends later on in the month and I had a few more dvd days.

Work

I have been in my new job for over two months now. Time has gone quick and I feel that settled in, it feels I have been there a little longer than I actually have. 🙂
It’s lovely to enjoy going to work, doing my job and knowing I come away doing a good job.
It is nice to feel appreciated in doing my job.
It is nice to be spoken to an appropriate way, as I would treat people.
It’s nice that I get on with everyone and not just my department.
It’s nice to have a laugh with my work colleagues, to get along and work as a team.
It’s nice that I still find since day one, at interview stage, that accessibility wise, it is made sure I can follow what is going on in a conversation. I feel very contented in my work place.

There were some that thought by moving to a new job, that it would not make a difference to me. But it has and I knew getting a new job would change me big time. My previous job affected me and it destroyed my confidence I had left. I may have had counselling on other things separate from work, but the old work place was soul-destroying. I have my confidence back, when it comes to work and I am happy there, but at times, I do have to shove that self-doubt out-of-the-way.
I also did some overtime and there is possibility of more hours later when it comes to covering.
I also had my first probationary meeting with my boss and he is very happy with me. I exceed their expectations, when it comes to their cleaning standards. There will be another one of these types of meetings to come later and if I continue to impress them, then I definitely have no worries losing my job. (I have no worries there, as I like to do a good job.) This meeting also gives me chance to raise things, if needed. I had no concerns to raise, but I had just a question and from my query, I found they were even more accessible than expected. We also had a chit-chat on a few other things too. So with this and everything else that is positive with my job, it has exceeded my expectations too working here. 🙂

It was too late to un-cancel

With changes happening all of a sudden with Miley and finding she would not be with me as long I thought, I tried to un-cancel my holiday. But it was too late. (I thought it would be.) I wasn’t going to re-book and pay a deposit again, that I’d lost before. But that’s ok, I’m not annoyed with them and I understand, but it was worth a chance to see if I could un-cancel it. I have made alternative arrangements elsewhere and I look forward to that. It was strange booking, as I had cat sitter in my head I needed to arrange, even though I know I don’t need to do this, with Miley no longer here.

(Miley, my cat had to be put to sleep for those that don’t know. I announced it here, in this post.)

 

Chit-chat: What’s your cuppa?

As I mentioned in “Chit-chat February,” my tea has become more varied with leaving diary. Although I have introduced soya and almond milk back in for my cereals, my tea is still remains black. I am surprised I can do this, because one time years ago, I found it disgusting. But as I have mentioned before, because I try other variety of teas, this probably helped the transition.
I said I would talk about tea in a separate post. So here it is. But if you are expecting an expert chat on tea, then you won’t find it here. I either like tea, or I don’t. Simple! 😀

Tea I am drinking so far are:

  • Camomile (Asda, or Tesco’s own.)
  • Tetley Green tea
  • Tetley Decaf tea (But I have PG Tips decaf, depending on who is cheaper at the time of buying.)
  • Twinings Breakfast Tea
  • Tetley Earl Grey
  • Tetley Redbush tea
  • Pukka Night time
  • Blackcurrant tea (Different branded varieties, depending where I shop.)

Obviously, these don’t all fit in my tea caddy, unless I buy another one of these and expand it. (I may do that later. 😉 ) But these are the teas that I drink.

What teas do you drink?