Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sold out...

Well almost - 16 Aliens, 48 pincushions, 22 Tonttu hats and 53 Alien postcards amongst other things have all gone to new homes! One very happy felter here! Just a couple of orders to complete and then time to turn my thoughts to our Christmas. The first task is to get the Christmas cards in the mail before New Year and then hunt out where I have hidden all the little gifts I have been gently stockpiling over the last couple of months!
No snow here in Southern Finland yet, just wet and grey - not very cheery I must say, however we have just put the tree up and the Children have liberally applied a great assortment of decorations which must date back at least 25-30 years. Enough to bring a smile to any face!
So May the force be with you...

and a Jolly Green Christmas from these guys!  HO HO HO!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Down the line

4 years for the little man and 10 months for me - after diagnosis day that is.
How are we doing? Well as I said to the doctor today, we are just getting on with life. The kids rushing out the door at the last minute to walk to school, me filling and the refilling the washing machine, restocking the fridge, wondering(again) what to cook for supper - life just trundles along, generally quite happily.
Yes some days are not so great, I struggle to haul myself out of bed some dark grey November mornings, blood sugar numbers do such weird things and I hate not understanding why and the milk has run out. Then there are those little victories that mean so much - finally the nine timestable makes sense to my little lady, at midnight seeing a 'spot on' 6.5mmol/l blood sugar reading and the emergence of another needle felted creature that makes me smile.
Sometimes those little things really grind you down but then so often it is also a little thing that will make you smile and make you realise life is good!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Let them eat cake....

and ice cream!
Pig cake!

It's my birthday and I will have ice cream!
Guess the carbs in that ice cream - we almost got it right!
My little man turned 8 a couple of weeks ago - still my baby!!
2 hours old!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Finally Felt!

So I haven't been totally idle these last few weeks, some experimenting, some playing and some money spinners!
I'm glad nobody asks what I did at work today!
Practising their ho ho ho's!

Your door stop is watching you!
The alternate Christmas decoration!

The big guys!
Organised chaos I promise!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Catch up

October next week! 3 months to Christmas! It's all going too fast! So much to do , so much to tell! Felting will finally get a look in soon  - I have been busy in my chaos of a workshop and just need to take some photos of the latest creations. It has been good to get back to 'work' even though some days I struggle to motivate myself to do much at all. A 5 day craft fair a couple of months away is actually a good kick up the backside to get busy! Here's something I made this summer.
A seat pad for the bench outside the sauna -black and red representing the Karelia region

All trundling as smoothly as is even vaguely possible on the Diabetes front, HbA1c 7.4, new Enlite CGM sensors to try and also Mio infusion sets instead of Quicksets. Will let you know how we get on.
Big step - trip away for me and my dear husband, 3 nights 4 days - Olli's brother and wife are looking after the children - sounds straight forward until you throw in Diabetes as we all well know. We have already had one set change 'tutorial' and crash course in carb counting! Next task to type out some step by step instructions for the set change, not as easy as it sounds. Some things are so automatic now, you don't realise you have done them but we can do this!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Another grey hair!

On a good day he could run the course in about 15 minutes I reckoned, say 20 minutes.
The minutes ticked past 20, no sign.
25 minutes went by, OK maybe he got a bit lost or was a bit tired.
30 minutes had now gone since Aleksi went out on his orienteering course.
Now I was a little concerned, I grabbed a gel pack and my crutch but just before I decided to panic and run into the woods searching for him I rang him on his phone. He wears one of Tallygears tummietotes when orienteering, 3 pouches for the pump, a fruit bar snack and his phone.
He answers with a cheery Hello - great he is not lost or so low he can't go any further. No my little man had met another little guy on his course and they had been gently jogging, walking and chatting their merry way round the course. 2 minutes later he charged down to the finishing line waving his map at me as he passed. Big sigh, more grey hairs, just another day!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

More summer fun.....

Caught a big fish!!

Fed the duck family....

chatted to the train driver.....
took the steam drain to Mallaig, passing over a familiar bridge......

went skimming stones in the old slate quarry at Ballachulish.....
had a go at rock climbing....

My haven't we grown!!!!!

had a great time at the Camera Obscura exhibition in Edinburgh!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Why I love this time of year in the Finnish forests

Free  food - chanterelles and boletus - Yum!

Why I hate this time of year in the Finnish forests

The dreaded Elk fly - Think spiders with wings..........

Monday, 4 July 2011

I know what we did this summer......

Caught some fish......

Experimented with cornflour, inspired by Mythbusters!(Complete with serious summer haircut!!)

Planned a morning swim in the lake......

Stayed on a 'ship hotel'.......

Found a great use for the minibar...

Ate Candy Floss - guestimated at 40g carbs!

Took the fast train.......

Went Orienteering.......

and made more Mythbuster  mess!!

The best bit - we've still got weeks more to go!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Don't cook the insulin!

Take one small boy on school holiday.
Add one week of sports activity in 25-30 degrees C heat.
Attach one insulin pump in groovy sports pouch to hot sweaty body of above small boy.
Allow to run around for 6 hours.
(Pull off failed CGM sensor after 2½ days(Grrrr)) optional
Watch blood sugar fail and rise like the Himalayas.
A tried and tested recipe for cooked insulin - works everytime!!

On a side note, I went shopping today for the biggest bottle of fizzy brown liquid I could find, along with a large tube of sweets. While it may work wonders for raising those sport induced lows, we have a mission. We are doing MYTHBUSTERS!!  I'm sure you have all seen those videos and inspired by a great episode of Adam and Jamie we are undertaking our own science experiment - the coke and mints fountain. Not in my garden I hasten to add but in the safe piece of marshland next to the lake at the summer cottage - So exciting!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Note to self...

Don't look at the screen of an insulin pump with 3D cinema glasses on unless you want a heart attack in the cinema...... Quick edit - it shows a horrible black screen with multi coloured splodges on it - thought we had complete pump failure, but no just had my groovy 3D specs on!!!!

Don't let the general public loose with felting needles unless you want a bent broken heap of metal in return...

Don't feed the cat that new cat food unless you want cat sick all over your magazines/clean washing/middle of the stairs.....

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Writing does not come easily to me. I only ever managed to scrape a couple of pages of a small exercise book at school for that 'create a story ' homework. Even in my job as a Physiotherapist I didn't have to write much and even then it looked a bit like this
 #RNOF-> RTHR. SLR/ hip Flex exs. Up FWB. FU OP 6/52.
Another language isn't it!
I have been blogging for just over 3 years now and my writing is still hit and miss!  Nowadays the most writing I ever do with a pen is entering blood sugar numbers into a logbook and that is usually a frenzied catch up every fortnight or so! Will the day ever come when we don't have to use a pen? Even the need for signatures is dwindling with chip and pin and online form filling.
OK that's out of my system now - time to go do something I can do - making things. Yes alien production line in full flow! May have to do an Alien Sugar bolus - there's a phrase I'd never thought I'd write......

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Something or nothing?

A blip on the X ray.
For most people, probably nothing.
For me could be something - not something that needs an urgent check but something that needs an eye on it. Could be nothing though.
Otherwise slow steady progress, time to up the exercises and try get back on my bike!
I plan to ease back into work now. I have been doing bits and bobs, particularly these guys for my daughter's birthday party bags !
By popular request they also played 'Pin the eye on the Alien!' a modern take on the donkey I suppose!!
I have a large bag of wool to wash and a couple of very late birthday presents to make plus of course a few more green guys for the shop! The accounts are done, tax forms done, big sigh of relief there thanks to my dear husband/accountant! Back to business finally. Feels good!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

No need to ask why, it's just because

Why did I spend most of last night chasing a low blood sugar, enhanced by a beeping pump and CGM?
Why did I spend the night before last beating down a high blood sugar that would not go away?
Just because.....
Why did our son get type 1 Diabetes?
Why did I get a rare bone cancer that only affects one in a quarter of a million(not because I am the special one!)?
Just because....
Why do I make little green creatures from outer space from wool?
Just because...

'Why' is a great question but not always an easy one to answer. Why?
Just because.....

Monday, 21 March 2011

Back on the night shift

Time to get back to 'normal' - Before my surgery I did the night blood sugar tests. We don't check every night routinely. We have a policy/ criteria for night time checks as discussed with our doctor. You will have your 'policy'( if that's the right word) for your child. This is what we do.  ( I am not a doctor - my disclaimer!)
So high before midnight  - correction bolus. High after midnight - increased temp basal. Night check - click, clunk dip - back in bed 3 minutes tops.
Last nights scenario - not sure NASA/ MI5 will want me now.
Miss alarm for 3am, forgot to turn up volume in Ipod.
Wake up at 3.32 - groan! Have to push cat of the bed so I can haul myself out of bed.
Find and put on Left running shoe! Very important!
Torch on, put in mouth.
Glasses on head.
Blood sugar meter tucked in armpit.
Find crutches - hop squeak across landing.
Gently and carefully lower self on the boy's very low bed, trying not to squash boy.
Park crutches so they don't fall into most inaccessible place possible.
Remove torch from aching mouth, don glasses.
Click , clunk, dip.
Groan, curse, cheer, fist pump, delete and act as appropriate.
Glasses back on head , torch in mouth.
Haul self back onto crutches, hop squeak back across landing, marvelling at lovely reflective shiny bits on running shoe in the torch light.
Park crutches, glasses, torch.
Apologise to cross cat.
Heave self back into bed - 9 minutes - not bad!!

It took me 30 minutes the other night - big low, sugar search, feed, check 1 hour later, no strips left - new box downstairs, hop squeak down and back up, still a bit low for my liking, I am not going downstairs again - find glucose tablet stash in bedroom - silent cheer in dark. As I feed the boy glucose tabs he mumbles how yummy they are! Reduced temp basal 2 hours One final check - sorted.

Felting - not. I have some great ideas for some bags after reading Heather's blog , but wet felting is out at the moment as I can't carry anything so to and fro to the bathroom with hot soapy water is out. Kneeling on the bathroom floor to pummel and full my felt is out. My ideas will have to wait.
I have prodded some wool into large ball like shapes - my total sum of needle felting.

Doctor tomorrow - 6 week check up - hopefully time to step it up, Please! I have been a good patient, promise!!

Monday, 28 February 2011

7 things you never knew about crutches!

  1. I have found the cure for 'Bingo wings' - 3 weeks hopping around on crutches and no more flabby arms!!
  2. They are great for gently poking the kids out of their TV coma!
  3. No matter how carefully you park them, one look and they fall over!
  4. When they fall over it is always away from you, so you can't reach to pick them up!
  5. Hand cream and crutches don't go together!
  6. A new curtain opening and closing device!
  7. People give you odd looks when you are on crutches(and really weird looks when you are in a wheelchair)

 One last thing I would like to say, a huge thanks to my Mum, who has now gone back to UK for a well earned rest! She has been an absolute star doing all the stuff that needs doing around a house and more! Thanks Mum!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Basal brainstorming

OK back to normality/reality, dodgy leg and all! I would love input from you guys who have little people on pumps. At the moment we have have tweaked to almost as good as it gets Aleksi's current set of basal rates. They work well with his current Monday to Friday school routine, same meal times each day, predictable activity levels most days, same bed time etc. Weekends and holidays however are a different matter. We get up later, eat at different times different foods, lazy some days, busy busy other days,later bed times. We have been wondering about setting up a basal particularly for weekends that we could then also apply to holiday times. I am very interested to know if anyone else uses different basals for non school days and whether it is worth the effort of changing the pump setting every Friday night and Monday morning! Thanks!

Friday, 18 February 2011

No place like home!

Thanks to 21st century medicine and all your wonderful thought and prayers I am home safe and in pretty good nick! I have some new best friends, namely my crutches, a raised toilet seat , shower chair(with handles - deluxe model!!) and my favourite, the long handled picker upper grabby thingy! I am currently supporting 29 staples in my right thigh which I will lose on Monday! My new enemies are few but boy do they pack a punch -a daily blood thinner injection into my tummy with a sting like no other! I have new found respect for my son and others like him who have to endure needle stabs of one type or another every single day of their life. I have also discovered a new form of torture -  being made to lay on your back for 8 hours plus and not be allowed to move. Combine this with a cat sat on the upper chest or bladder and I would happily divulge name , rank and number!
My dear Mum is here being a star and the husband and children are adapting to me moving a lot slower than usual!
So, so far so good. Now I just have to be patient and wait for things to heal - at least another 4 weeks with no weight on my leg - chance to catch up with Bones series 1, a stack of books and try crack Angry Birds on my I pod!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A sense of normality

Despite the fact that I am facing a 3 hour hip operation first thing Monday morning life has to go on! The washing hasn't quite mastered the art of sorting itself and climbing into the washing machine and no matter how many times I open the fridge door it hasn't restocked it's self! Blood sugar still has to be checked and to ease the pressure somewhat we have been blessed with a week of almost perfect numbers! Thank you!
So no time to dwell on what may be even though I took 5 minutes to 'put my affairs in order' - not long really to put all the necessary stuff on a bit of paper! I feel I am in very good hands with the surgeon, whom I met on Thursday  and who patiently answered all my probing questions - well a physiotherapist/patient needs to know all those things!
I have even put my felting skills to use and made myself a bag - a ' help I have no hands free, walking on crutches and  have shed loads of stuff I need to carry' bag.  Felting update on the Aliens - now safely in their new home, Crewcuts, 50 Hudson Street, New York - if you are in the area please go say Hi for me!
So here goes the next step, albeit on crutches and with a tin hip!.............................

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Time to catch up with our trip North!
New years eve sees us not wildly partying but playing musical bunk beds on the overnight train! The children are not impressed at having to share a bunk bed but decide that the one in the heavens actually makes a good den! Midnight finds us all fast asleep somewhere in the middle of Finland.

We are jolted awake as we arrive at Kolari station and despite the fact that it is well past 9am it is dark. Olli goes to fetch the car which has travelled with us.
The scenery is amazing, due to the fact that the light is so low and everything is coated in snow. It gives everything a monochromatic look. We also spotted reindeer roaming around, digging in the snow for food! 

On Sunday we headed for the Snow Village, which is built every year from snow and ice. It is basically a hotel, with rooms made out of snow, like igloos and beds and chairs carved out of ice. It is beautifully lit and there is even a small chapel!

We opted for supper in the ice restaurant - amazing. Ice table and chairs, food on wooden plates that don't cool as quick. You need to eat with your coat and hat on and you don't dawdle over your meal either.

Monday saw us hit the slopes, the children into ski school, Olli up to the top in the gondola and I, due to dodgy hip, wandering around taking photos and drinking coffee! How did Diabetes manage with all this? Well we were prepared for lows, big time,especially with  90 minutes ski school for 3 days. But no, high, high and higher! We made sure his pump was well insulated, tucked in pants, long johns, ski trousers and no dangling tubes - no frozen insulin thank you. We didn't quite anticipate the pounding the quick set plaster would take on his bottom due to wipeouts! We have now discovered that quick sets and also the CGM sensors do not like skiing and sledging that involves bouncing on one's bottom!!
Tuesday night promised to be a clear night so I set off at 9.30 pm on a mission. I have always wanted to see the Northern lights and here was my chance. I really didn't know what I was looking for but headed off up the hill,found a lay-by and parked the car. Armed with hot juice and camera I waded into thigh deep snow to find a good look out spot. The sky was so clear and there were thousands of stars. I sat in a little snow hole I had made  and waited. The sky changed and suddenly there appeared to be a cloud in the sky.  I took a photo and only when I looked at the screen realised the cloud was green! I had found them! I spent the next 30 minutes mesmerised and pretty chilly, not daring to move too much due to said dodgy hip and the fact that I was sitting on a slope and couldn't see the bottom! What an experience - the photos say it all....
The days were short, dark by 3pm and also cold, minus 25 degrees Celsius on the Wednesday but that did not deter us from enjoying a fun week. Friday saw us head home on the overnight train, mobile pharmacy in tow! Helsinki beckoned at just after 6 in the morning.  The cars were promptly offloaded and we were home by 7 - a fascinating trip in many ways, to be recommended!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Gordon's Alive!

Thank you Brian and may I introduce Gordon!
 Standing 2 feet/62 cms tall and weighing in at 328 grams/13½ ounces! Go Gordon!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Dodgy hip update

Well it is official I do have a dodgy hip - Chondrosarcoma to be precise. It means I have to have surgery to rmove it and they will put in a metal implant to replace the bit they remove. It is a bit like having a hip replacement - I am going bionic!
It is a relief to have a diagnosis and now I have almost ready for anything that is thrown at me! Having 3 monster aliens to make has been a welcome distraction and I was cheered up no end this morning by the arrival of 1.5 kilos of bright green wool. Now I can finish Gordon and send him on his merry way.
Knowing my friends in cyber space(and not just the green wooly ones!) are looking out for me is a huge comfort - just look out for the bionic woman hopping your way!
 My little guys are featured in Cuteable too! Go Aliens!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Alien invasion in New York

I would never have thought 10 years ago that I would be married with 2 children, living in Finland and making Aliens for a living. But I am! Now my guys are off to New York - I have an order for 13 Aliens, 10 of your average little green guys plus three who are a bit bigger, 1foot (30 cms), 11/2 feet(45 cms) and 2 feet (60 cms)to be precise! They will be residing in a new children's clothing store - Crewcuts, part of the J Crew store group -  in New York - how exciting is that.
Off to do a lot more needling as I have now had my coffee break!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Don't put your 'son' on the stage Mrs Worthington!

With thanks to Noel Coward and my son!
Also available on You tube!