Category Archives: choices

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure.

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Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things if not the most important thing you can do to improve your health and increase your lifespan. Of course, most of us now know there are alternatives to popping pills: Many foods can lower blood pressure naturally. Rather than cutting things out, science shows that you can really benefit from adding these foods to your diet.

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your diet. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn’t entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, how much of the food you consume and how often, and other components in your diet and exercise.

Of course, never ever stop taking any prescribed medication for your Blood pressure without your doctors say so. Always discuss you diet plans with your doctor if you are on medication and also if he is prescribing medication and you have not yet started taking it then discuss it with him..Show him that you have done your research and what you plan to do to help and he should be receptive to this and monitor your Blood pressure for a period of time to see if what you are proposing lowers it…Always ask, more and more medical practitioners are looking at natural methods of treating some conditions.

Work with your doctor.

A healthy diet and adding certain foods to that diet may help further reduce your blood pressure.

You probably already know that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium may help prevent or help normalise high blood pressure. But are there specific foods?

Salt has always been thought to be a major player in reducing blood pressure ..however new schools of thoughts and current research into salt is raising doubts about this.

Myself I live in hot, humid climes and I need to keep my salt intake up..not in excess but not to cut it out as much as I can….my blood pressure has reduced since living here. I will admit it is lifestyle, diet and exercise which has all contributed to that. Nothing in isolation. While I am on the subject of salt in the diet this is a good  article about salt and the diet    

It doesn’t advocate cutting out salt completely or diving into the salt pot….Moderation not abstinence is what it is saying…

Below are some foods which if incorporated into your diet and some or most you may already be eating can help lower your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include Romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli.

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But PLEASE DON’T discount frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

Red Beets

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Current research also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

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For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice, then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure

Servo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips.

Be careful when handling beets the juice can stain your hands and clothe and also colour your urine…

Oatmeal

Fits the bill for a high-fiber, low-fat way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

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Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak a cup of rolled oats and a cup of nut milk or milk of your choice in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is in my book better than taking supplements.

Bananas

Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

salmon

The only warning I would give on this is to make sure that fish is from a sustainable source and not farmed.

 Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy a cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals…. a nice healthy snack.

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Chillies

For those who know me can just imagine the smile on my face …I love chilli and for anyone with high blood pressure, chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study reported in the August issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. While the active ingredient that gives the peppers their heat – a compound known as capsaicin might set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows.

 

For those who can’t tolerate spicy foods, there might be some hope as the existence of a mild Japanese pepper, which contains a compound called capsinoid that is closely related to capsaicin limited studies shows that these capsaicinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin.

 Garlic

Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

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To read more about the benefits of garlic then click here

 Dark chocolate

2015 study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 gms per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

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Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate.  So you can enjoy your chocolate without feeling guilty it is healthy

 Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

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It’s also a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.

Virgin Coconut Oil

new study looking at Virgin Coconut Oil and Hypertension was just published in Malaysia in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study compared a diet of “five times heated palm oil” with Virgin Coconut Oil, and a control group.

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short-term.

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Pomegranate juice is tasty with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

GREEN COFFEE

Coffee beans are naturally green, but roasting turns them brown. So in essence, green coffee is just another name for unroasted coffee.

While roasted coffee beans have a similar chemical composition to green coffee beans, the roasting process destroys much of its chlorogenic acid. This is the active ingredient that gives green coffee beans additional health properties. It’s also the ingredient extracted for use in supplements such as green coffee bean extract.

While green coffee bean extract may not be the “weight-loss miracle” Dr. Oz claimed, it does appear to benefit blood flow, at least in the short-term.

One 12-week study using 480 ml green coffee extract (equal to 140 ml of chlorogenic acid) found it reduced heart rate and blood pressure by about 8 percent. These benefits were maintained for 12 weeks of supplementation, but only in those who began with high blood pressure. What’s more, benefits were lost once supplementation stopped.

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Theoretically, drinking more green coffee should have much of the same benefits as supplementing, but it depends on the chlorogenic acid concentration. Doses used in these studies were equivalent to 120-300 ml of chlorogenic acid.

Try swapping your regular coffee for green coffee and then checking for any blood pressure changes after a month.

While this list is not exhaustive of foods which can help lower your blood pressure it gives you a starting point and please speak to your doctor about your plans you may be pleasantly surprised how receptive doctors are when you want to help yourself rather than just popping some pills.

You will also feel much better…I can vouch for that because I most certainly do and I still have the odd cake and biscuit it is about moderation…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating …

lady holding veggies

I try to eat healthy or as much as I can or I want to…I like the occasional treat and why not???

I am careful about what I feed my family and my cooking methods and I do what I reasonably can… I check out things or products I am not sure of and make my own mind up as to whether I buy it or not.

I believe it is all about balance and not being fanatical as that just makes you miserable and laughter is good for you as well.

I know it is hard to check and there is a mine of information out there and some very believable I will say…But I love digging and not just the garden and sometimes I get really frustrated and just save the links for another day when my brain is clearer…

What annoys me most and there is one in particular that when I see his name connected to a statement of supposedly valid, 100% true facts….I read, double-check and read again….I also came across and interestingly…and no I am not going to name drop…I believe he has a regular tv show … But the other week I  was reading something which stated a fact and provided the name of the organisation which conducted the research… BUT… it wasn’t a clickable link..an error??? We all make those…

So  I copied and pasted the link…. yes there was a study and it totally contradicted the statement this doctor had made…

My conclusion was that he is very famous and a lot of people hang on his every word and take it as gospel and wouldn’t click the link if they had been able to anyway…Total faith in his word.

Today I read a post that mentioned him, Two in fact …One interested me as it was the topic of a post I am currently writing…. This is where the red mist took over… My husband always used to tell the kids it was “tin hat” time…lol

Real life medical doctors have investigated claims made on this show and stated that not even half of the recommendations made were based on any proven evidence at all….Now that is scary..don’t you think????

Rant over ..normal service will resume with a smile with my next post and I promise I will research everything as much as I can but please..check for yourself…Promise me that…. You owe it to yourself and your families…

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question.

 

 

 

 

 

Foods which can help reduce your cholesterol levels naturally.

lady holding veggies

Cholesterol.… there has been so much bad publicity about taking statins, however, if you are taking prescribed medication for your cholesterol please speak to your doctor before you stop taking any prescribed medication.

If your doctor is suggesting that you take medication then now is maybe the time to look at natural ways of reducing your cholesterol before you start medication and it does work as my mum did just that and she got her cholesterol level down and didn’t need medication so diet does work for a lot of people.

Nuts…

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! Ha Ha… In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and Hazelnuts are another great option.

The picture above shows the little cob nuts we used to pick and enjoy at Christmas also known as Hazelnuts they are sweet and incredibly nutritious edible kernels from the “birch” or Betulaceae family of trees.

They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and raises HDL or good cholesterol.

Spinach…

This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging.

Just take…

25g butter 

100g fresh breadcrumb

zest of a lemon

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chilli, finely chopped

500g spinach…. then melt the butter in a large frying pan add everything except for the spinach. Cook until golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Add the spinach to the pan and wilt, Stir and season then put in a serving dish and top with the crispy crumbs and serve as a lovely side dish with a pasta or ????? You choose!

You choose!

Fruit……..

Fruits such as apples, citrus fruit, berries, apricots, cherries are high in soluble fibre and pectin both shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. A bowl of beautiful fruit in season is just wonderful or make it into a smoothie….I use fresh and frozen fruit for my smoothies, if you have some bananas that are getting too ripe and they do ripen so quickly don’t they?..then pop in a bag ..remove the skin of course and chop into pieces and when you do a smoothie just pop in frozen.

My smoothie recipe....  a couple of strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so if you like yours sweeter you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes ….you can make them to order.

I also sometimes add a slice of tomato, beetroot( not in vinegar), and carrot…Play with your flavours you will be surprised and you are getting your 5 a day beautifully served in a glass of deliciousness.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Fatty Fish….

Omega 3 fats found in fish are one of the natural health wonders of the world these fatty acids can lower cholesterol replacing saturated fats with omega-3 like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.

Do you think that fish looks appetising? It is one of my favourite dinners and so quick and easy to do click here for the recipe     I hope you love it as much as I do. For ease, I buy a piece of fish and portion and freeze it so if you are busy or working you can just take it from the freezer before you leave the house and it is nice and thawed ready to cook when you get home.

Garlic…

Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic makes the list of foods that lower cholesterol; Research also finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Read how to get the full benefit from garlic here

Oats….

If you are looking to lower your cholesterol then get out the Scotts Porridge Oats.  I grew up on those… a lovely warming bowl before I went out into the cold to walk to school. Yes…shock horror..walk to school…

Now that is another post as I still walk …my longest walk….26.2 miles which is the official length of a marathon and I did it!

Back to that bowl of oats…Eating two servings of oats for breakfast can lower LDL (Bad) cholesterol by 5.3% in only 6 weeks.

The key to this cholesterol buster is beta glucans, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.

Don’t like porridge then what about some lovely oat biscuits

Olive Oil….

Good news: This common cooking ingredient can help your health. Olive Oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which lower LDL cholesterol—and have the welcome side effect of trimming belly fat. Use it to make your own salad dressings, marinate chicken and fish, or roast vegetables.

For a quick, easy bread roll recipe using olive oil.…they are wonderful toasted, with a lovely bowl of soup…… Isn’t healthy eating delicious???

Red Wine….

I love science especially when it tells me that a glass of what I love is healthy for me….It doesn’t get better than that…Does it???

Now, who doesn’t love a good Rioja? Well, those lovely high fibre Tempranillo grapes may well significantly lower our cholesterol levels.

A study by the Department of metabolism and nutrition at University Health News 

Confirmed this …That’s good news a glass of Red wine is beneficial to our health, isn’t it…..Cheers!

 

I hope you enjoy these posts ..my aim is to encourage healthy eating but also to help you realise that most of us only need to tweak our diets a little as much of what we eat is good for us as long as we buy fresh produce or grow our own… don’t buy processed foods but hey I don’t buy processed foods and we eat well…I also have a budget and buy foods in season, on special offer, if it is something I use, we swap vegetables and fruit here so if I have too much of something I share it with my family or neighbours and they do likewise.

Just a few little adjustments sometimes make so much difference.

I could tell you about so much more…name everything which helps lower your cholesterol…It would be akin to War and Peace BUT I want you to use google, ask and decide for yourself what you want to cook and what you want to buy……If only 1 person does this then I will be a happy bunny.

 

And if you think I am being too frivolous as health is a serious subject……..Laughter is also good for your health.

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot, have a glass of red wine and  ASK a question.

 

Salt of the earth…

 

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Salt seems to be a topic of conversation around here at the moment so I have decided to resurrect this post from aunt juju which I reblogged over a year ago.

Since then I have purchased a salt block as a present for my daughter and am awaiting feedback as she has had it for a good few months now.

This article by aunt juju is a very good comprehensive view of salt block cooking backed up by some wonderful recipes. So please take a look you will love it as much as I do… I just know you will.

Once I self-host this blog I will be offering these amongst other things for sale…..I will not have loads of ads all over the place but the sale items will be relevant to my posts. Which means folks you will still get recipes and hopefully some good advice to get you thinking about your health alongside them.

Young Sally also penned a very good post on salt and our health and I discovered salt farming as some of you know on my proverbial doorstep.   So much to do and discover in this little corner of Thailand.

Salt is definitely being featured in our corner of the world of WP and is worth a look as that and so many other things which we were advised to steer clear of consuming don’t seem to be really as bad for us….What are your thoughts on all this backtracking?

A short post to read as you drink your morning coffee…well depending on where you live…ha ha ….coupled with some interesting links for when you put feet up later.

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I hope you enjoy all of this and it links everything together for you….Do you have any What are your thoughts on Salt and your health?

We would love to know so please comment and if you have used salt blocks ..tell me your experience did you love it or hate it?….Good or bad…. I would love to know.

Thank you for reading I hope it gave you food for thought? Stay safe and laugh a lot..it’s free and it releases all those good endorphins which are responsible for our feeling of wellbeing…. it is the biochemical of the substrate aka ” The Spice of Life”

Until next time……..

 

 

 

 

A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts….

I love this quote,  it certainly resonates with me.

This blog..be warned….may become a rant…I have had a mixed  couple of weeks ..some happy times and some very, very sad times…

I am happy because my not so little Soi Dog has settled in well…has his own blog …and although he chews it’s because he wants to get in or out, well maybe not all of it but he is lovely and I wouldn’t do without him……Soi Dogs do a wonderful job and if you can donate or adopt it would make a little dog very happy.. I have put this link on so you see what great work they do to save the dogs on the streets…….http://soidog.org/en/about-soi-dog

I am happy because back from my retreat my fingers are flying….All of  my short stories are edited and typed up ready for our book to celebrate our retreat and also for the 2nd volume of The Phuket Writers Anthology…which will be out early next year. My cookbook is taking shape and although my novel is a bit on the back burner due to other commitments I have lots of ideas…so all good. So if any of you lovely bloggers want to come along next year it would be great to meet you click on this link to read all about it and the lovely Annie my friend and mentor who is an amazing lady……http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/Writers_retreat.html

I am happy  because I have ham brining Ham home curedand there is nothing better than homemade ham. Next week I’ll put the recipe I use on my blog as Christmas is coming and it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to what we should be doing..like.. making our mincemeat and puds so I think I will do a Christmas recipe one..mmmm now that’s a good idea methinks..talked myself into that one..ha ha

I am happy because  one of us  Lori Jean Grace has published a book on Amazon …  A Michelle Angelique Urban Action Adventure Thriller Series Book #1 (Michelle Angelique Avenging Angel Assassin) Kindle Edition…Just click this link to buy :   http://amzn.to/1N2PX8I  Sista’z Revenge is a pacy thriller and Book 1 of a series…….  Love the cover, I have my copy and I can’t wait to read…I know the blood , sweat and tears which have gone into this …….so this afternoon I will settle down with my glass of chilled vino and read.

Sista'z Revenge

Now to the sadness I am heart-broken for a good friend of mine..who lost her son Phillip to Cancer this morning Friday 13th, he was 1 year and 11 days older than my son. None of us think our children will go before us..none…I keep reading of all these alternative cures maybe they work, maybe they don’t, maybe they can be used alongside conventional medicine..maybe it will stop being about money…maybe the big pharmaceuticals will lose their stranglehold on the world of medicine…so many maybe’s ..

I am sad that human life is worth less in some parts of this beautiful world than a bottle of water.

I am sad for Phillips mum and dad who now have the added pain of watching their only daughter fight cancer . Their only two children and both have this disease???

I am sad for those two little boys who have lost a beloved uncle and have a sick mother.

I am sad of being sad and wish with all my heart that God would step in and right some wrongs, that governments, teachers,anyone who can..and doesn’t….does…

I am sad because I have woken up and read about the terrible loss of life in France … Bombs and shootings …so many innocent people…….so many lives lost.

So if I only had two wishes in my life…. it would be for a cure for Cancer and other terrible diseases and World Peace……. methinks none of that will come to pass in my lifetime…I hope it does in my children’s and grand children’s……..

maudlin or What????? Next time it will be Christmas Recipes and all bright and jolly…….today  I just can’t muster that feeling of joy..so heart broken for my friend and her family…..

 

Until next time stay safe..be happy and love your neighbour unless of course the bass Music blaringis banging out at silly o’clock………….

You don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams!

I truly think that is true..in my wildest dreams and imagination I would have never, ever thought I would be doing what I do now or live where I live…..even my thoughts are different to even 5 years ago..maybe this is what I really always wanted but life sometimes overtakes you, gets in the way all sorts of reasons or maybe I just didn’t have the courage…I am certainly braver than I was…I speak about things I would never have before and to strangers…I respond to blogs with an ..I don’t know…maybe abandon….I am definitely calmer…pfffff that’s a relief..not so hot-headed as when I was young…..still don’t like my photo taken ……..I have been reading many blogs lately..some political so I can try to understand some of the things going on in the world..but I also think that sometimes however much you learn or think you understand..some people are just bad, through and through…

I read blogs about what is being put in our food and drink,  again so much to plough through…… once you start clicking on links….so I have decided that rather than becoming paranoid I will do what I think is reasonable for me, for us..my family……some things we eat very rarely or the quantities are so minute..for example…I brine my own ham and baconSAM_6497..why?….well because I have more time to do so…Because I don’t like slimy, processed ham..yuk…so again… research…so much information….do I use ” Salt Petre” or natural brining agents…mmmmmmm well tried celery juice..it was ok and I like celery but not as an after taste in my bacon…..well I deduced from all my findings that for the amount used and the dilution ratio that it wasn’t that much of a risk..my opinion let me say…..the human body can process  small amounts….however if we contracted botulism because I didn’t use it..it’s likely that the human body would not fight that successfully…no brainer really…my opinion guys…so as I don’t eat bacon sarnies every single day and two on Sundays as well as having a shop bought,additive laden BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich for lunch 5 days a week…..and eat ham or bacon in every other guise  for the remainder of my weeks meals then I’m pretty safe I think.

I read blogs about vaccinations..or one blog that I chanced upon and it presented both sides of the argument/discussion…… again my opinion but the increase in bad cases of measles and whooping-cough lead me to think that immunisation is not a bad thing….again my opinion.

I  also read a previous post on this blog which was about people who ..like me….have lovely island views, dogs, cats, food,etc but no pic of themselves and saying…. “Who are you really?”..it was actually well written and made me think …that in this day and age we have to be really careful who we chat to…so after much deliberation …I have decided that you lot are all grownups and if I post a mug shot of me…..it won’t keep you awake at night …so…..Ta Da!

Blondieaka.

Blondieaka.

Wow I got an award!

Well actually two but haven’t got round to the second one yet! The hardest part is not picking other great blogs but thinking of interesting, profound and witty facts about me!

Oh please..I am just a happy retiree who loves her kids and grandkids with a passion..do a bit of cooking…like a drop or three of vino…….love proper chocolate…..hate it when people ” dig ” yes “dig the butter out pleasssse scrape it nicely……..

Really think Noah should have killed those Mosi’s

Loove my not so little Soi Dog……..absolutely think bankers and politicians should get a big, massive taste of their own medicine…..admire all those fantastically clever bloggers who blog about all these hints and tips on how to be??????? ..so wish I was tall and slim and willowy with legs to die for and would I work it..hell yehhhhh..if you got it flaunt it….

Love how I have been welcomed into the blogging and writing worlds and without the help and encouragement and the listening to my dreams of certain friends ” you rock ” I would be doing neither and thank you for introducing me to Kow Soi.SAM_6957..great dish..best Thai food ever……

Sad that some never comment except to ” nicely” critique…..and I wish they would for once say…just say…I liked  that!

I really do not like jellied eels…….would really love to be able to step back to a time of my choosing just for a day …would not want to go forward in time too scary….

Well that’s a little insight into me and for the record have always been blonde..naturally hence the name blondieaka…..my real moniker is Carol or Caz so feel free to call me that…..

Well just back from the beach…Saang Chai had a lovely romp and dug a few holes wasn’t sure about the water when the waves started coming back at him…ha ha.. and did the heavens open  or did they open so it was quick stop the truck and put said mutt in the back in the dry as the heavens just opened as they do here..but that’s for Saang Chai to relate to you on Monday…until next time we are curry cooking at the moment well one’s son is and I am supervising  …ha ha…don’t tell him that…

Chat soon…love you all …laugh a lot and be happy….:)