October 11, 2019

Hello Honey!

Well after a number of false starts we are finally sharing our home with this lovely girl who arrived nearly three weeks ago.

Her name is Honey and she is a one and half year old Lab Retriever cross. We adopted her from Guide Dogs UK, which was a surprise to us since I had no idea until recently that this organisation had dogs for adoption. However, we were having no luck with the animal shelters so when Guide Dogs came up on the eleventy billionth web search, I applied and we were accepted.

If a dog is not suitable for the Guide Dogs program (medical or behavioural issues) or is a retired dog, they will look for a new home for the animal. In our case, Honey has a minor ear condition which requires regular medication that would be difficult for an unsighted person to handle.

There is a vetting process which includes a home visit by a Guide Dogs staffer. You get full information about the dog you are adopting, so no surprises. If everyone is happy, a date is set for you to collect your new friend. Honey also came with a generous supply of Royal Canin dog food along with a voucher for a welcome pack which Royal Canin deliver to your home, her meds to get her through the next few weeks and a month's pet insurance cover with PetPlan.

We were so fortunate to get Honey. Guide Dogs has done the hard work with all of her basic training. She still has a tendency to get over excited when she sees other dogs (and cats and birds! I put that down to the gun dog in her), but we are working on that behaviour with her. She absolutely loves the fields and woods around the house and the extra exercise hasn't hurt us any either. She is typical of her breed in that she loves food. "Stomach on legs" is what one of the Guide Dogs staff called her. We are thinking of changing her name to "Miss Piggy"!

We are all still adjusting, but getting along like peas in a pod. I can't imagine her not being here now. If you are looking to adopt a dog and are U.K. based, I would urge you to get in contact with Guide Dogs UK to see if you can provide a loving home. **

** note there is an adoption fee payable, which varies depending on the age of the dog you are adopting.

October 04, 2019

Epsom Salt & Lavender Bath Soak

With the colder weather coming and when Winter is holding on and Spring feels ages away, cold and flu bugs thrive in the low humidity. Low humidity is one reason you may be more prone to viruses during the colder months.

And is it just my perception, or does it take a lot longer to get over a cold than it once did? I can't decide if the germs are getting tougher or our immune systems are getting weaker. Perhaps its a little of both. Viruses are, after all, living organisms that evolve and adapt to survive.

In any case, when you are waiting out a bug it can be soothing to indulge in a good soak. This soak has Epsom salts aka magnesium sulfate, as its base. The salts are a mineral compound with a wide variety of uses and benefits.

Where colds and flu are concerned, soaking in Epsom salts helps vasodilation, which increases white blood cell production that in turn can aid your body in fighting off illness. Magnesium also helps relax muscles to ease the achy feeling that a bad cold or bout of flu can bring on. The steam from the bath will also alleviate congestion, at least while you are in the tub! Lavender is a soporific, inducing sleep, as well as being a powerful antiviral, as are most essential oils.

Another bonus; both Epsom salts and lavender essential oil are very affordable.**


Use a minimum of two cups to a maximum of four cups of Epsom salt per bath. To this add ten to twenty drops of lavender essential oil. Mix well and pour into a bath of water that is as warm as you find comfortable. Stir the water to disperse the mixture and soak at least until you can feel the water
is cooling. Take care when getting in and out of the bath.

Get well soon!

** Be sure of your supplier and their source for essential oils. So-called "fragrancing oils" are not suitable for this use.