Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

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What do you know about Gluten?

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“Gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, skin, endocrine system, stomach, liver, blood vessels, smooth muscles and even the nucleus of cells. CD and NCGS are associated with an astonishing variety of diseases, from schizophrenia and epilepsy to Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis, to dermatitis and psoriasis, to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy. Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so broad and nonspecific (e.g., can be attributed to any number of conditions), many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten may be the cause.”

 

When I awoke this morning, my body was racked with pain, again. My joints were screaming before I even rolled out of bed. I knew there had to be a reason for it, and resolved to find out what it was as I was really tired of feeling like an old woman.  I am an old woman, but I don’t have to feel like one, now do I?

As I staggered to the bathroom, a word arrived in my brain. My brain works best first thing in the morning, something I don’t understand but welcome gratefully. Nice that it can sometimes, eh?

This word was ‘gluten’.

I resolved to investigate and see if gluten was affecting my body. I wasn’t prepared for the long list of symptoms that I found, just about everything I complain about was on that list. The weight gain, chronic itching, migraines, joint pain, constipation, asthma and my peripheral neuropathy!

I think it is time to stop eating food containing wheat, barley and rye.

 

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Gluten Containing Foods – foods to avoid

  • Biscuits
  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Cereals (except a few from the good list below)
  • Chocolate bars
  • Cookies
  • Corned beef
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Donuts
  • Gravies
  • Malt beverages e.g. whisky
  • Malt vinegar
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Muffins
  • Pasta
  • Pastries
  • Pies
  • Pretzels
  • Pizza
  • Sauces
  • Sausages
  • Salami
  • Sauces – many have wheat as a thickener
  • Soups – many have wheat as a thickener
  • Wheat flour

And replace with these…

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy
  • Beans, legumes, and nuts

Read more at https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/food-options/#0ltbAIH8aotdqp7W.99

Gluten-Free Substitutes

“Many items that usually contain gluten have gluten-free alternatives that are widely available in most grocery stores and make living gluten-free much easier. Keep in mind, however, that minimally processed fresh foods are a crucial part of a healthy gluten-free diet. It is very important to base your diet around fruits, vegetables, meats, and other healthy food groups listed above.

Many commercially available products are labelled “gluten-free,” but there will be some that are not; this is why proper label reading is important. It is also important to remember that “wheat-free” does not necessarily mean “gluten-free.” Be wary, as many products may appear to be gluten-free, but are not.

As a rule, traditional wheat products such as pasta, bread, crackers, and other baked goods are not gluten-free. However, there are many gluten-free options available that use alternative flours and grains. Often, gluten-free bread can be found in the freezer section. Additionally, there are gluten-free flours and flour blends available in the grocery aisle, allowing you to bake your own bread.”

All of this sounds like a plan, so when I have armed myself with a stack of rice cakes, I will begin to go gluten free. Losing the aches and pains will be sooo worth it!

I will report back on my progress, as soon as I get any!

 

 

 


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Not the Best Week…

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On Monday my new Android Tablet arrived. Plugged it in to charge, and instantly the screen was full of Chinese writing! Don’t say I had made yet another mistake!  I’m still reeling from trying to master Windows 10 on that other tablet.

Finished reading and editing the book review for Rosie Amber and emailed it.

Gardening is out, as a storm is forecast, and as much as I love a good storm, I draw the line at gardening in the pouring rain…

The weather was horrible on Tuesday, gales and lashing rain, so guess where I was all day!

I had a brave moment and switched on the new tablet for the first time. The Chinese characters had gone, and within minutes, I was up and running, connecting to everything with one HUGE smile on my face. There are just a few wrinkles to sort out, but so far, so good! For me, that is…

The weather couldn’t be more different by the middle of the week, beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The garden beckons!

Still cannot believe my luck with the new Tablet, it’s so easy to use! The technology demons must be having a day off!

Thursday was freezing cold today, so guess what I had decided to do today? Defrost the freezer!

But it had to be done, or I won’t be able to close the door soon, due to the ice buildup.

The new broadband hub arrived on Friday. They say all I have to do, is unplug the old one and then plug in the new. But there has to be more to it than that…

I have been putting this upgrade off for ages, for all hell usually breaks loose whenever I touch it, so I am expecting trouble.

I want to try and install the new Hub on Saturday. But before I do this, ever pessimistic, I am scheduling several days work, just in case everything crashes around my ears. But if you hear screams …

There were no screams, just an all-pervading sense of doom when I had to use a wi-fi hotspot as the hub refused to connect. Mind you, they did say something about an activation date. I seem to recall that was tomorrow…

What am I like?  (don’t all rush to answer…)


11 Comments

This Way Madness Lies…

 

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I have found yet another way to drive myself mad. After the recent debacle with a mobile phone, I swore never to dabble with technology again…

But… for some peculiar reason, and I have no idea where it came from, I want a tablet or an iPad. Basically, something simple that will replace my laptop. I discover that pads cost a lot of money, and to pay out for something that I might not be able to use seems a bit silly. So I found a tablet with Windows 10 on it at a bargain price, and I was committed. Probably should be one of these days, but that is another matter!

for some peculiar reason, and I have no idea where it came from, I want a tablet or an iPad. Basically, something simple that will replace my laptop. I discover that ipads cost a lot of money, and to pay out for something that I might not be able to use seems a bit silly. So I found a tablet with Windows 10 on it at a bargain price, and I was committed. Probably should be one of these days, but that is another matter!

Now, I have heard all the flak about Windows 10, but resolved to master it. After all, if my main PC goes, I will have to anyway, right?  But I had enough fun with Windows 8 and should have known better.

The first thing you have to do is enter your Microsoft password, and everything is supposed to fall into place.

Only it didn’t.

Not at all.

Then I tried to set up my emails, but it wasn’t having a bar of that either. They just wouldn’t sync. And you never get an explanation with technology, do you?

Just a big fat nothing.

I remembered reading somewhere that the first thing that has to happen with Windows 10 is a hell of a lot of uploading. I checked this out, and there was a load there to be uploaded, but either it wasn’t ready, or didn’t really know what it was supposed to be doing. That’s when I switched the damn thing off and went back to the normality of my PC. Three days later, the upgrading did begin, indicating progress of some sort.

As to the rest of my technical world… the main PC is still buffering/crashing all the time and being generally annoying. WordPress has decided to muck about with any attempt to publish a post… What I wouldn’t give for a system that actually works!

Maybe the problem lies with the fact that my main PC is Windows 7, the laptop is 8, and the tablet is 10, maybe they don’t get on with each other? But why wouldn’t they?

There seems to be a constant battle between me and all three of them and I spend most of my days waiting for one machine or other to actually do something. Something I want them to do that is!

The men in white coats are waiting just around the corner, I just know it!

 

Several days have passed, and my desire to be more streamlined and efficient hasn’t…

I have seen an android tablet on Amazon, going for a song AND no Windows of any number! This could be the answer to my prayers, supposed to be easier to use …

I’ll let you know next week!

 

 

 


15 Comments

Balls in the air

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This year is finally getting going after one of the slowest starts ever. Already the jobs are piling up, and my to-do list has never been this long before.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be a problem, but certain conditions are conspiring to slow me down. Whether it is due to a slowly growing cataract or not, my brain is beginning to tire easily, requiring me to break up the amount of time I spend at my PC.

I have been arranging my working day to try to minimise the tiredness and still manage to be productive, but another aspect has decided to rear its ugly head. My memory always had its share of holes, but nowadays it has more holes than a colander. I can forget things faster than you can blink. So despite all my safeguards, it is beginning to look as though my days are numbered. But what does this really mean? Just how many computing days do I have left?

I am now 73, (although I swear certain parts of me are older), and I have no intention of hanging up my mouse or my pencil, but it seems fate might have other ideas. All I am hoping for is the ability to take my foot off the gas pedal now and then. So I might not be posting as often, even though it really hurts me to say it. I have a feeling there might not be any new adventures in my marketing attempts either as I find it hard enough keeping what balls I have already in the air.

I started this post last week, and that was pretty much how I was feeling then…

Fast forward to today… Gallons of determination have arrived from somewhere, making everything look so much better than they did before.

All the routine stuff, e-mails, marketing, and social networking, is being done quickly and efficiently, well I think it is, and that’s what matters, isn’t it? My brain is happy, and if I could just get my muscles, bones, and eyesight to buck their ideas up, I’ll be good to go and laughing my socks off!

 

 

 


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Cover Trouble…

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We were looking at our website the other day, as you do… and it was decided that the small sliding show of all our book covers looked a bit puny. We decided to remove the offending article and reinstate our book covers down the sidebar, complete with clickable links to Amazon.
Should be easy, I thought. I had done it before and remembered how to do it. A little fiddly, but not too difficult. We have eleven books between us so it would take me a while.
I managed to upload four of the covers before the trouble started. The fifth cover uploaded okay, but somehow it removed cover number four. How was this even possible, I thought?
I tried again, and the same thing happened. I kept on trying, because I’m stubborn, but couldn’t get it to work. I swear something happens whenever I try to do the simplest of jobs but thought I would retreat and see what happens tomorrow, before I lost it completely.
The following day, it seemed worse, so I decided to have a word with WP ‘happiness engineers’, and it makes interesting reading!

Me: “I am trying to add some images to my sidebar, but they just don’t appear…is there a limit to how many images you can have?”

WP: “Hi there, let me take a look…”

WP: “Is this the site you’re referring to? https://jenanita01.com/”

Me: “Yes.” (we only have the one…)

WP: “And you are trying to customise it here, is that correct?” https://wordpress.com/customise/jenanita01.com

Me: “I get an image from media and then go to widgets and images, I fill in the boxes and save, but then they just vanish…”

WP: “I see that one of the images is not displaying. The URL appears to be incorrect.”

Me: “but I get the URL from the media screen…”

WP: “Is this the image?” https://jenanita01.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/nl-kindle-x1.jpg

Me: “That one was successful, so was the Simple cover, and Bad Moon. I would like to add more.”

WP: “I don’t think ‘The Ninth Life’ is added correctly. I don’t see it on your page. Do you see it at https://jenanita01.com/ ?”

Me: “Yes.”

WP: “I see a broken image, like this: https://cloudup.com/cLWUMnMMqRV

Me: “I don’t understand, it looks all right to me. Why am I having a problem adding new images? I just clicked on the previous link and the image is not there. This happened a lot yesterday too.”

WP: “You should be able to add more images. I’m unaware of a limit. I’m testing right now and don’t see any problems. Can you tell me the steps you’re going through when you have problems?”

Me: “Something is wrong. Images that do appear suddenly vanish and others won’t upload at all. I choose an image from media (haven’t I said this already?) then I go to widgets and image, add the URL from the media page, fill in the boxes and save. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it works but removes an image already there in the sidebar.”

WP: “Are you using the media browser at https://wordpress.com/media/jenanita01.com ?”

Me: “Yes.” (Slowly losing the will to live round about now…)

WP: “It’s important that you open the image and by selecting the image and clicking ‘Edit’. From the image editor, you can copy the URL (gosh I would never have thought of that…) Is this the process you follow?”

Me: (trying very hard to keep my patience and my sense of humour) “I don’t usually have to click on ‘edit’ as the URL is in the box already, so I just copy and paste. Is this wrong?”

WP: “The image for ‘The Last Life’ didn’t have the correct URL. You may need to change how you get the URL. This is how I get the correct URL: https://cloudup.com/clX8WY03S8V

Me: “That one didn’t upload at all. I will try this, and thank you for your help. Going now…”

WP: “Ok. If you have any more difficulty, we’re here to help. Have a great day!”

I love using these new ‘live chat’ thingies, so much better than an email, especially for a thick head like me. You see, not only do I hate technology (because I swear it hated me first) I have trouble understanding it too, even when someone tries to explain it to me. So having someone on the end of the line is usually better. I can keep asking the same question until something clicks into place.

I have to add, that WP is normally very helpful, often hitting the nail on the head when I have made a stupid mistake, so not exactly sure why it was different this time. But if anyone knows what I am doing wrong, or has a better way of explaining it, I am all ears!


8 Comments

Good, Bad, or indifferent?

death book

 

What is the most important achievement in an author’s life?

I can think of many thinks that are equally important, like

Completing a novel

Seeing your book in print

Being published, either traditionally or self

These are all important of course, but the one I’m thinking about is receiving good reviews for your work.

But apparently, according to Tara Sparling, there are better reviews we could get. Reviews that could sell more books than any of those 5-star reviews.

These are the bad reviews.

You may have heard the expression, “there is no such thing as bad publicity” and history has proved this to be true. The minute someone says how much they hated something, people immediately want to see for themselves.

Think of all the books that have been banned. People will break their necks to get a copy. Some of the best-selling books in the world started out by being banned.

Bad reviews actually contain more useful information for prospective readers, like…

“I didn’t like the main character, he didn’t have to be so mean…”

“this book is so depressing. Don’t read it unless you want to end up being miserable…”

“I hated the ending. Can’t understand why the author did that…”

“Too much violence/sex/ swearing in this book for me…”

So, I want someone to give one of our books a bad review, just to prove this theory…

Any takers?        (#Free copies available on request)

 

 


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The amended beginning to The Broken Life…

This is really a continuation of the recent post ‘The Critique’… I think it is a vast improvement on the original beginning. What do you think?

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DI David Snow has a serial killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and is now coming after him.

The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him. His efforts are hampered by the arrival of a new sergeant, ‘ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not what she seems. Alarm bells start to ring when Snow realises she is after more than just his job.

 

It was almost midnight, the cold rushing wind the only sound in the empty, deserted streets. The detective was unaware that someone had been following him ever since he left the public house. This had not been a social visit, he had been looking for information, seeking to loosen a few tongues with the help of the local brew.

It had been another waste of his time, and his mood was as black as the night around him.  He heard a sound behind him and stopped walking, waiting for the person to come into view. When no one appeared he knew he was alone and more than a little drunk and frustrated.

As he stood in the middle of the road, something hit the side of his head, something hard and painful. He had been right, after all. Someone had been following him, and they had just thrown something at him. His senses began to fail as the pain intensified, his sight the first to go. As his knees buckled, he reached up, his fingers touching the alien object that was protruding from the side of his head.

The shock of realising what was happening accelerated his system failure, and he collapsed, his head hitting the road hard. As he lay dying, someone walked up to him and knelt down beside him. He couldn’t see who it was, or whether they were friend or foe, but he had the feeling it didn’t matter anymore anyway. The last thing he felt were the icy cold fingers on his face…

Chapter One

Detective Inspector David Snow stared at the black and white photograph, struggling to grasp why the familiar face of Jim Harris was looking back at him from the whiteboard in his office.

Snow’s brain refused to acknowledge that the man he had worked with for years wouldn’t be coming through the door again, grinning, with a Costa coffee in his hand.

Snow had attended the post mortem, feeling it was the least he could do for his friend. Jim would have been impressed, knowing how much Snow hated them. It had to be a mistake. Jim Harris couldn’t be dead. Why had he been out at that time of night? Snow found himself thinking like all the surviving relatives he had ever tried to console over the years, if you didn’t believe, it couldn’t be true, didn’t happen.

His job had been wearing Snow down for a while, and he was bone weary of the constant struggle. The last few years had been difficult, his energy never at full strength when he needed it most. Without Jim Harris, the future not only looked bleak, but it also seemed doomed.

Snow closed his eyes, remembering the optimistic presence, the calm and persuasive way jobs and problems were solved. No one else could diffuse a situation quite like Jim. They would replace Jim with some snotty-nosed Yahoo, intent on playing cops and robbers.

The sheer frustration of the situation threatened to ruin another working day, and the cheap pen he was holding snapped in two in his hands.

One piece of paper caught his eye, and he couldn’t look away. It was the preliminary coroner’s report. Blunt force trauma to the head, although not the cause of death. Skull penetration by a thin, pointed weapon still to be found.

What the report didn’t say, and never did, was why. Snow pushed himself away from the desk, the wheels of his chair squeaking on the vinyl flooring.  He stood, unsure and puzzled. What was the time? Or the day? He had no clue. He also needed a coffee.

 

On his way to the high street, the image of a wild-haired woman with sad eyes flashed through his mind. Kate Devereau had been a victim in one of his cases last year. Her ex-husband had taken it upon himself to slaughter everyone who had ever upset him. Kate was one of the few survivors, rescued by Snow himself. Because of the trauma, she had suffered a complete mental breakdown, unable to communicate or recognise anyone. Once in a while, Snow would see her, hoping for a miracle, but her eyes were as dead as the people she had lost.

Further down the road and out of the corner of his eye, the familiar flash of red hair signaled the imminent arrival of his neighbour and nemesis, Susan Miles.  It was too late to take evasive action, so he braced himself for the meeting.

‘How lovely to see you, David… but why didn’t you say if you needed something in town?’

He stared at her, trying to think of something non-committal to say, but the desire to be rude was overpowering. ‘I’m not shopping, Susan. I just needed a coffee … and a few minutes peace and quiet.’

They continued walking, his strides deliberately longer than hers, hoping her impossibly high heels would slow her down or at least trip her up, he didn’t really care which.

‘David, please slow down, I can’t keep up with you. I wanted to invite myself to dinner tonight, as I’m making your favourite…?’

She was really pushing it today, he thought. So many times, he had tried to explain that he neither wanted nor needed a replacement for his wife. Since Anne had died, he didn’t think about women like that. Even if he did, he wouldn’t choose Susan Miles. ‘Sorry Susan, I’m working late again. Too much work on at the moment…’

She frowned, and he could hear the wheels turning in her brain as she tried to think of something that would get her what she wanted. One of these days, he knew he would have to be blunt and put an end to her dreams of romance.

She had always been a problem. The reason Snow worked so late most of the time was to avoid her, and he knew he should have done something about the situation a long time ago. The trouble was, he didn’t know how to do it without hurting her. But if he wanted to retire, it would be time to retire her too, now wouldn’t it?

The whole idea seemed unattainable and impossible to fathom. Why wasn’t Jim still here, he would know how to make her leave.

(Feel free to pull it apart…I would love some constructive criticism!)