Wednesday, 1 November 2017


I’m sorry to have been AWOL recently, but my ME problems have been ongoing, and I’ve been alternating between busy days when I’ve kept going, and less busy days when I’ve crashed out unable to do much of anything! No change on the desk, just stuff still out for the ongoing project, the Infusions mini-album which I wonder if I’ll even get finished this year!

A week ago we had our regular cancer Cakeathon meeting, and I managed to do some baking for that, so here are some foodie photos to keep you going. I made an apple cinnamon twist loaf from a recipe I found on Pinterest and it was a huuuuge success – definitely one to make again! It went down very well.

Here is the loaf out of the oven with its dusting of icing sugar, ready to be cut, photographed on my grandmother’s lovely old bread board, together with her antique knife with its bone handle carved into a corn cob.

01 Loaf Uncut

When it’s cut, you can see how the twists give a marbled effect.

02 Loaf Sliced

03 Loaf Sliced, Detail

The filling consists of a spread of apple butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Deeeelicious!

Here’s a small tub of the remaining apple butter. I’ve never made this before, and it’s really easy to make, and very tasty.

04 Apple Butter

I found several recipes online, most of which are stuffed with sugar and/or maple syrup, but I made mine from a sugar-free recipe – the apples off our tree are so sweet that the healthy option is fine. At final count, we got about 35 lb of apples this year! I’ve got several large bags of sliced apple in the freezer to use throughout the year.


Can you believe that our kittens are now five months old? How quickly the time passes! They are getting so big now, and Lily especially is getting quite a grown-up look, although to my eyes, Ruby still has her baby face! Long may that continue… I simple adore that kitty! A few weeks ago, Lily suddenly developed a really soft fluffy coat which is absolutely fabulous. My hubby is thrilled because he really misses Beatrice’s fluffiness which was legendary – she never grew out of kitten fur! Lily has definitely adopted my hubby, and Ruby is my baby.

We have moved the big cat tree back into the flat. They behave so badly in our sitting room that for now they are banned unless under the strictest supervision, and so they were unable to use the cat tree while it was still in there. Now, it is in constant use. They love it because they can be high up (as all cats like to be), and it’s nice and soft, and they can sleep on it. It has lots of interesting platforms and little houses on it, as well as dangly mice to play with, so it’s been a huge success.

Here’s Lily in one of the little houses.

02 Lily on the Cat Tree 26-10-17

Ruby being queen of the castle, right on top.

03 Ruby on Top of the Cat Tree 26-10-17

The two of them.

04 Lily and Ruby on the Cat Tree 26-10-17

This latest one, taken today. Not much room for both of them on one platform – Lily’s leg is hanging down, and just after this, Ruby nearly fell off! (Note the curtains still tied up – a preventative measure against kittens climbing them!!)

05 Lily and Ruby Cuddled Up on the Cat Tree 31-10-17

They get really warm when they’re snuggled up together like that.

The other day I found them acting like two naughty little bookends on the flat kitchen windowsill. They’ve just got to the stage when they can jump up onto the kitchen worktops so absolutely nothing is safe from them now!

01 Two Naughty Bookends 25-10--17

They continue to be very affectionate and relaxed and happy. They have now had their booster inoculations, and sometime during this coming month they will have to be spayed, or as my hubby calls it, “having their squeaks removed” – for little boy kitties it’s “having their pockets picked” lol!

I was hoping to get some art done this week but again I have failed. Apart from not feeling well, I’ve been very busy preparing sessions for my Bible study group which meets weekly – this is something I can do from the comfort of the recliner and in addition to all the research, it does involve a certain amount of creativity in the form of the PowerPoint slides I prepare, which I try to make artistically.


I have now reached my target weight!!!!! Yaaaayyy!!!!! I shall continue with the 5:2 in order to maintain it from now on, which shouldn’t be hard, as it’s a way of life for me now. Since I started in the summer of 2014 (stopping for most of 2015 while I was being treated for my cancer) I have lost 4 1/2 stone (63 lb) and lost 10 inches around my waist. I hardly recognise myself these days. It’s so lovely being able to wear some of my old clothes again, that I could never bear to part with, and also have an excuse to buy some new ones! If I can do this, especially as I can’t take exercise to burn off excess weight so it’s been by diet alone, then anyone can do it!

Health Update

I’ve been experiencing some pain from my parastomal hernia which the recent CT scan showed had definitely returned, so I phoned the hospital yesterday. My surgeon’s secretary couldn’t tell me exactly when my appointment would be, as appointments are dealt with by a separate department, but she thought it should definitely be in November, and if I hadn’t heard anything in a week to ten days, to phone again. She said she would pass on the fact that I was getting some pain – when I last saw my surgeon, he told me to phone his secretary if this happened, or if I had any other concerns. She told me that of course, if I developed another blockage, I must go straight to A&E – I said I knew to do this, but it was something I wanted to avoid because I wanted my own surgeon to deal with it and not have anyone else messing around with it like at the beginning of the year. I am hoping that when I see him, he will finally agree to fix it properly and insert some mesh to reinforce it. I’m not happy being in this limbo state. I’ve also got an oncology appointment in November, which should mark my 2-year all-clear – all being well, this will mean that for the next 3 years she will only need to see me once a year instead of every six months, and after that I’ll be discharged! Obviously as far as the stoma is concerned, they will continue to keep an eye on things and be available if I have any problems – all last year I was fine, and thought that was it, but then everything went pear-shaped at the beginning of this year which just goes to show you can never anticipate what might happen! Life is never dull, that’s for sure.

A couple of funnies I found this week on Pinterest:

I'm playing UnBuild a Bear

This one sums up my current brainfogged state:

Some days I amaze myself


  1. Always good to catch up with things chez Shoshi! Hope you get an appointment soon and don't have to go to A&E. The bread looks scrummy. Helen #4

  2. Oh your kittens are adorable. Please could you tell me about your 5:2 diet as I have been trying to loose weight and things aren't going anywhere. Thanks BJ#1

  3. In answer to your question, no I don't lead the Bible study group, I am a participant. We meet on Friday mornings at church. We do a small group discussion on the previous week's chapter(s), then have a dvd then do a memory verse, keep forgetting mine lol then prayer. I'm not really finding this study group that compelling, An in-depth Bible study group sounds more up my alley. Who knows? BJ

  4. I've been spammed today, just read your bit about spammers and giggled.

  5. Morning Shoshi. You got that apple butter made then!! And are obviously putting it to good use. Well done. I'm gradually getting back into the swing of things here at home - golly, it felt like I had been away for ever by the time I got back! I had certainly put plenty of miles on the clock!!
    Take care. Hope you get that appointment asap!! God bless.
    Margaret #3

  6. What a lovely blog post this week, involving two of my favourite things - food and cute animals!! The apple cinnamon loaf sounds and looks gorgeous, and my sister makes tons of apple butter so we always have a jar in the fridge - she's never put sugar in it either - in fact I think the only ingredient it apples. Congratulations on reaching your target weight - that's fantastic - and you've done it despite all your delicious baking!
    I was sorry to hear you are having pain with your hernia - I hope you get an appointment soon.
    I am loving the pictures of your kitties - aren't they looking grown up.
    Hope you have a good week and the ME isn't quite so debilitating for you,
    Diana x #14

  7. The apple butter sounds amazing and what a great way to use up all those from your trees. Congrats on reaching your target weight, what an achievement - well done you! I'm sure it must have helped hugely with your health issues. You're an inspiration!
    Hugs LLJ 13 xxx

  8. Hi Shoshi, I can't believe that the kittens are that old already; they certainly look like they are enjoying the cat tree. I hope you get an appointment through soon and that everything is resolved. The apple bread and butter look amazing. I can almost taste them through the screen lol. Happy WOYWW Sarah #23

  9. Love your kitty play station, two extremely lucky cats. Mine are now to lazy to play and just sleep all day in the sun.

  10. Recipe please? You've made me hungry!
    Bless those kittens.
    Happy WOYWW!
    Rose #31

  11. Hi Shoshi, love all your kitten photos. Indeed that 5 months has gone very fast. I do hope your ME improves a little for you. Good luck with the Oncology appointment- appointments feel like all I do these days! Have a lovely week, Hugs, Shaz #6 XxX

  12. Can see what you mean about Ruby having retained her kitten face but both are beautiful cats and obviously they own you and your DH. Typical of cats! But we love them.
    Gosh that loaf looks delicious - and the knife is a beauty. I have my aunts old bread knife but it is nowhere near so elegant - just got the word 'bread' carved into the wooden handle - but I love it because it is so old.
    Hope the health issues get sorted and you are soon able to put the worry behind you. I had a CT scan for anaemia last week but cannot get an appointment with my GP until ... wait for it ... the 30th November. Rang up yesterday!
    Hugs, Neet 12 xx

  13. Your kittens are so adorable and that is quite a cat tower you have. The cinnamon loaf looks incredible, love anything with cinnamon in it. Have a great week
    Ellie #35

  14. Hi Shoshi, the kitties look as though they are coming along well. I wonder how long it will be before they notice your chandelier. Have a great week and happy woyww, Angela x11x

  15. Congratulations on your weight loss! AWESOME girl!!! I have lost almost as much as you - 63.4 pounds as of this morning. But I still have 28.2 lbs to go. You must be feeling FABULOUS!!! So glad your health report is good and looking up, so sorry you are still in pain. Hopefully that will get looked after very soon.. Those kittens are too precious, and I LOVE that cat tree!! The bread looks DE-licious! I love apple butter. One of my earliest memories is of being in pre-school and eating peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches! Thank you for your visit, and please don't feel bad if you can't get back to me, it happens! You were certainly not alone! I do try to get back to everyone as well, but when you are not feeling well - you are excused!! My fav quote is the last one - sometimes I find myself putting something in the fridge, stopping and saying "what the????" Crazy! You have a fantastic week, play with those beautiful babies, and I will see you next week! Thanks for your earlier visit, have a great week! Lindart #36

  16. Hi Shoshi! Your cake does look delicious! I need to lose weight but have not had much energy to exercise since my SCA in February, and now I am back at work full time I have even less energy. Maybe I should look into a diet that works! I hope you get your appointment through soon. Have a lovely week, Heather #7

  17. Aha, so it was you Shoshi who inspired me to get my circular dies out - I knew someone had done some lovely circle cards a couple of weeks ago but I had completely forgotten where I had seen them!! Your clue about circular formats did it, well that and my Miss Marple like brain!!
    Thank you for your visit to mine and your kind comments. I'm not a Halloween fan either although I do get involved as my nephews are into it, but I probably don't have too long before they are grown out of it hopefully!
    Diana x

  18. What adorable cats! And that loaf looks delicious.Hope your health settles. I know only too well what it's like to live with such problems. Just got to take a day at a time and rest when it's needed. Take care Zo xx 26

  19. Hi Shoshi, The loaf looks scrummy. Hope you get the hernia sorted soon. Also hope your cancer check goes ok. I have Fibromyalgia, so sympathise with the ME. Sending heaps of positive thoughts and hugs (((Shoshi))).

    Cats are beautiful. Hope their ops go ok.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Happy WOYWW
    Sue #15

  20. I'm late. I got up super early to do this, and now my tummy is genuinely rumbling, that apple bread just looks delicious! Hope you get the chance to be at your desk-for-paper soon, but hey, if the album doesn't get finished this year, so what?!!

  21. For a crazy second I thought you got a dog LOL! I see what you mean by Lilly looking more like an adult cat while Ruby is still a kitten. Oreo is developing a fuller coat for the winter as well - it's always so noticeable - and then he will shed it in warmer months. I remember when he got neutered around the same age as Ruby and Lily - it was a worrying time, but it all went very well. Although we did have him microchipped as well at the same time and we had some problems with that. He lost a patch of fur on his neck where they inserted the microchip - he was obviously in discomfort because he kept scratching it and there was nothing we could do to stop him. A collar wouldn't have helped and he went berserk when I tried to bandage it - he almost suffocated himself so I gave up! I remember thinking it was a mistake to have had him microchipped, but it does give you peace of mind that if they get lost, they can still be returned. His fur grew back in a couple of months, but it was very unsightly for a while!
    The cinnamon cake looks delish. I love anything with cinnamon in it and it's good for you too! It regulates your blood sugar, I think. Congrats on your successful weight loss. I do need to do something like that - I keep saying it - but I get soooooo hungry if I don't eat for a few hours, let alone all day! I know you're still allowed 500-600 cals, but that's not much all day. I used to be so good at starving myself when I was younger, but those days are gone!
    Fingers crossed for your 2-year all clear! Hope your energy will slowly return, though it sounds like you've been extremely busy regardless! xx

  22. Hi Shoshi! Thanks for your new comment! I've replied there on my blog, but I'll post it here as well (at least I got to see your gorgeous kitties again!):

    I think they always offer the microchipping at the same time you get them neutered but I'm not sure I would have it done again after what had happened. I'm pretty sure Oreo wouldn't have tolerated the baby grow. once we got him a Santa outfit and he wouldn't wear it LOL. He only let us put the hat on top of his head when he was asleep.
    Re: diet - you see that's the problem! I wouldn't be happy with an apple - I would craze crisps and bread and all the bad stuff. I need a complete change of mind set!
    We've had some problems with the plumbing in the house initially, but my hubby being the handy man he is, managed to sort them one by one. What ever people say, there are boy jobs and girl jobs and I'm not very good at boy jobs and vica versa! We've still got a few issues to sort out but we're pretty settled now. We need to buy a few more pieces of furniture, but it was left very clean and in excellent decorative order, so we don't need to paint walls or change the carpet for now. We'll have to paint the window frames at one point but we'll wait until the summer now. We might have to change them later on as they are still the original ones from 1998. It is a relatively new house, so no problems with damp, thank goodness. That's what put us off period properties. The best thing for me is that I can walk to the town - it's a 2-mile walk (4 miles there and back!), but at least I get some exercise. I think it was the right choice for us!

  23. Just love the kittys and understand banning them from a room. Havoc is second nature. Know just how you feel. Blame my confusion on lack of sleep. Only just making the WOYWW rounds to visit everyone.
    Monica #2


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