Thursday 19 July 2012

Updates, a candy challenge and my new robotic fingers

Good morning to you all, I hope everyone is OK.

I'm not sure where to start really, I know lots of you are waiting to hear updates on Buffy's health and I really must thank you all for your wonderfully kind comments and e-mails. I's been a very difficult week and will tell you a little more about her shortly and also what brings me back to blogland quicker than I anticipated.

As you all know I have sight and dexterity issues associated with my MS and lately leaving comments have been really hard……… I'm sure many of you have seen some of my atrocious spelling.......believe it or not I can actually spell, it's just that my fingers and head don't work as a team ! 

But I think I found a solution in the form of a word recognition program, I've been looking at the system for weeks and decided eventually it had to be worth a go, so yesterday my delivery arrived from Amazon. I've got the Dragon 11.5 Premium system and so far I have to say it seems quite awesome, it took all of half an hour to install and run through the voice recognition process and last night I spent some time sending e-mails to test it all out. And this is my very first post using the system, so expect a few errors until it gets to fully recognise my voice…… but I literally have to just sit here and talk into a little microphone and the type appears before my eyes….… how clever is that. Needless to say I'm now wondering why it took me so long to get round to buying it.

Now I will tell you a little bit about Buffy, we went back to the vet's this morning and things are much the same as last week, her breathing is still laboured due to what they believe are secondaries in her chest and the mass around her spleen creating an ongoing infection. She has been on antibiotics for two weeks now but her temperature remains very high. If she was younger than eleven and a half they would undoubtedly operate, but they believe she's too poorly to consider that so it's very much taking it a day at a time and she remains on antibiotics, but she is coming off them at the weekend as having them on a permanent basis will create it's own problems so I guess the telling time will be early next week. The vet assured us that she is not in pain and while she remains relatively perky and interested in life and especially food, we will carry on and play it by ear.

Last week when we learnt how ill she was I have to confess to have been totally shell shocked, we knew she was poorly but never for a moment expected to be so bad and coupled with my own health issues felt I had to take a break. But the reality is that Buffy is so used to laying with me either in my office or craft room  it's better to keep things as normal as possible. So that really was what prompted me to finally go for the word recognition system.

So why all the pictures of poppies I hear you ask, well I love poppies and know lots of you do as well and this year seems to be a brilliant year for them, perhaps they're the only ones that really enjoyed this rain for days on end. Each time we've gone across the Fen to the vets this last couple of weeks I meant to take my camera but kept forgetting, but this morning I remembered and thought I would share with you just how beautiful the dykes and verges are looking around here at the moment........for those of you who have never been to the Fens you can see just how flat our landscape is, but also very beautiful with crops as far as the eye can see. We live just to the left on the top picture give or take a field  or two. As you'll see, not too many neighbours and nobody pops in on their way past by chance because most of the roads are just dirt tracks leading to fields.

And because I know so many of you love poppies I thought I would have a little challenge of my own by inviting you all to come up with your own take on all these beautiful photos, be it a card or piece of artwork bursting with poppies, a single poppy or if you don't have a poppy stamp why not use the beautiful colour of the poppies to colour your favourite image.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning the gift voucher above, is make your piece of artwork, post it on your own blog and add it to Inlinkz below, you can even lift the logo and use if you want. 

Let's see how it goes and I will let it run until 31st July by which time I should hopefully have got my act together properly. Have fun everyone and coming round visiting your cards is going to give me the perfect opportunity to test this new word verification system properly.


Merry said...

Oh Brenda, it is so great to hear from you. I think this voice recognition thing may just be the way to go for everyone. I so love your photos of the poppies. How lucky you are to see them just growing wild like that. Wishing the best for Buffy. Take care

Kelly Lloyd said...

Wow that is a great challenge.. Love your pics.

That programme sounds brilliant too, I am so glad it helps you..

Thoughts are with you and buffy.

Hugs to both of you..

vilini said...

Hi Brenda
This is wonderful. Beautiful meadows with poppies. I also love animals and I see that they love me.

Iverova said...

Oh, Brenda! I wish you a speedy recovery Buffy! Hold on, everything will be fine!
Voice recognition software is a great thing to wonder to what reached progress!
Thank you for the wonderful pictures! I just love poppies, we have in Ukraine as much as you have the photo I have not seen! Your photos inspire me, and I have been painting a picture postcard to the future, in my sick imagination!


Paula (PEP) said...

Absolutely delightful to see you back again & with such beatiful photos. I've never been to the Fens but this reminds me very much of the southern parts of Sweden (Skåne around Malmö) where my mother came from, it too is flat & with field upon field of crops.
Glad to hear you have a strategy for dealing with the typing. I'll be keeping you & Buffy in my thoughts.
Much love
Paula (PEP)

Fliss said...

So lovely to hear from you Brenda and the programme you got sounds just wonderful and it looks like it works really well too.
Gorgeous photos of poppies too which are one of my favourite flowers and we visited some nearby gardens recently where they had around 6 or so different varieties which were so beautiful.
You're in my thoughts as well as Buffy as it's so distressing when pets are unwell and you can't do much to help.
Sending big hugs, Fliss xx
PS: Might give the challenge a go too as I have some lovely stamps.

Jane said...

I was so delighted to see your post up Brenda. The voice recognition is awesome! I really am sending you hugs at this difficult time and a pain free time for dear Buffy. I will agree though that keeping things normal is a very good way of trying to deal with all this. I love your poppy photos, so very peaceful and calming. I am not sure I have anything poppy in my stash but if I do I would love to join your little challenge. Stay strong,
Love Jane x

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

HiBrenda, I'm happy for you that you found the voice recognition system and it seems to be working very well ! Beautiful photos of your fields of poppies. I love poppies, but don't own any stamp images of them. I hope your dear Buffy continues to stay with you for longer than you thought. All the best & Take good care, Shirleyx

Whisper said...

Hi, It's good to hear from you and your voice recognition system, seems to be working a dream.

Aaah pooor Buffy, Whisper sends her love, as do I.

Aaah gorgeous photos of poppies, there is something magical about them - i had to stop, look and think when i saw fields of them last year, when we were in North Yorkshire.

Luv Sam x

Marja's Stamp Addiction en Marja's Creativity said...

Brenda i was so glad to read your post. The voice recognition is super for you. Fantastic. So your worls will not be smaller for you.
I hope that Buffy doesn't have to much pain and it will be better with her soon. Your poppy fields are awesome, i love pooies too.
I wish you all the best and get better soon.
Lovely greet

Nikbee said...

It's lovely to hear from you Brenda. The word recognition programme sounds wonderful and seems to be working well. The poppies are lovely.
My thoughts are with Buffy and you all,
Nikki x

Marianne said...

Darn, why didn't I think of the Dragon programme? I have an older version of Dragon Naturally Speaking hidden away in my office somewhere. I intended to try it myself for my translation work (esp. after overburdening my right wrist), but never got around to installing and testing it. ;-(
(At least I did start using an ergonomical keyboard and mouse.)
It's great to hear, though, that Dragon seems to be working for you, and it's wonderful that it will allow you to keep on blogging and sticking to your daily routines with Buffy.
Fingers crossed she'll remain stable after the weekend.
Love the pictures and those poppies. They are my husband's favourite flowers. It is rather flat over there, isn't it?
Take care!
Marianne x

jem (jane elizabeth middleton) said...

Hi Brenda
just read your news, shame some of it is bad. I hope Buffy improves, my 2 are 12 this year and Hudson is not as lively some days and has very few teeth, but I love them very much, like children . I've got lots of rouge poppies in my garden, always a welcome sight.
best wishes to you and yours (pets included of course). janex

Marianne said...

It's great that you can use this voice machine now! I didn't know they excisted. Hope that Buffy wil feel better after the weekend and thanks for the lovely poppies!!
Marianne MW

Lisa said...

Hi Brenda, Sorry I haven't stopped by your blog in a while ... life has been so hectic the last few weeks! Not sure how I ever had time for DT work! So sorry to hear about Buffy :-( The voice recognition programme sounds perfect for you and seems to be working well. Beautiful photos of the fens ... as you say it is very flat over in your neck of the woods and a little bleak in the winter months but it's lovely to be able to see so far in the distance. I will hopefully get time to join in with your challenge ... I know which stamp I would like to use it's just finding the time to make the card!

Take care

Lisa x

Crafting Queen said...

Glad to see you in blogland again. Hope that Buffy is comfortable. Enjoy your time with her. Hugs Anesha

Rhonda Miller said...

It's good to see you posting. I'm sorry to hear Buffy isn't doing better. I hope things start looking better soon. Thank you for sharing all the great pictures of the poppies.

Michelle J M said...

Brenda I am so happy that you have got the equipment to assist you. I'm a little selfish, I love to see your cards! An author that I know, who types very slowly has this voice recognition equipment and it has changed his life, his books get finished quicker! I am also pleased that Buffy is doing OK and is not in pain. Welcome back! Michelle x

Unknown said...

Hi Brenda, what a brilliant programme, I can just imagine how much of a relief it is to you to be able to type without fingers! You know I never gave much thought to poppies untill last year we went on holiday in Italy, and you can't believe how entire fields there are totally covered in them! It's stunning to see and I loved it!! Hugs, Frea

Helen said...

It is lovely to hear from you again - what a marvel technology can be! Hoping Buffy is as comfortable as can be. and I LOVE those poppies - I always wanted (will do it one day!) to recreate he Flake 'poppy' advert.... ahhh memories... will be back with a poppy interpretation!!

Lisa Jane said...

wow Brenda what a fabulous piece of kit .. your post was fantastic.. sorry to hear about Buffy , but she is lucky to have such a loving family who will care for her.
The photos are amazing... and you know i will definitely try and enter THIS challenge lol
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

beautiful pics! i'm so glad the dragon works for you brenda! i hope buffy remains stable too; it's so difficult when our furry companions are not well, but she probably enjoys your routine.
hugs, linda

Ellibelle said...

Glad to see you back in Blogland Brenda. That program sounds wonderful, so happy you got it and will be able to use it. Good to hear that Buffy is not in any pain. At least she doesn't have to suffer that way.
Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos with us, I do love poppies too, but I haven't seen them growing here in my area. It is very flat here too, but all we seem to have around here is cornfields and soy beans, nothing as beautiful as popppies.
Sending hugs your way!!

Tanya said...

Hi Brenda, glad to see you back! The voice recognition sounds great, technology these days never ceases to amaze me. I'm so glad that you have found something to help you :) I've been keeping Buffy in my thoughts and prayers, I really hope she pulls through and gets better.

Your photos are so picturesque and idyllic, what a beautiful place you live in. I'm going to set to work making a card for your challenge :)

Hugs and best wishes
Tags xx

Pat said...

Lovely to see a post from you Brenda and what a great programme you have purchased to help you with your posting and commenting. Your photo's are beautiful we always love to see the fields of poppies when we go down to Norfolk they are so gorgeous. I hope Buffy continues to be pain free and interested in life and food. Will have to put my thinking cap on for a Poppy card!!! Take care.

Pat xx

nnalorac said...

So pleased for you Brenda, will be a great asset for you. Sending Buffy a cuddle. Love your photos and hope I can come up with something as I love Poppies too. Carolxx

Stamps and Paper said...

Brenda its so lovely to hear from you and glad to see you back in blogland...we have missed you!
I must say your new system sounds for Buffy well I know what you are going through but you are right in keeping things as normal as possible.....must hook out my poppy stamps....

Anne x

Sarah said...

I am so, so sorry to read about Buffy :-( I am so pleased to see that you have found a program that helps with the typing, such a great idea and your post looks perfect to me!

susiestacey said...

Your new fingers are amazing Brenda and such a lovely post too. Enjoy your special precious times with Buffy. Poppies - l love them they bring back so many happy childhood memories, Take Care Brenda (((hugs))) x Susan x

Kat said...

Great to see you back again Brenda and hopefully this new word recognition system will be just what you need to keep in touch more easily. Good also to have an update on Buffy. It's so sad when a much loved dog is ill and you feel helpless. Glad she's not suffering and you're keeping things normal for her.

Love the idea of this poppy challenge! As you know I'm another one who loves poppies so I must see what I can do. I had a day off today and achieved nothing. Visited a lovely new craft shop and had a small spend. Ordered a couple of new books that I saw at the garden centre but cheaper at Amazon plus Le Creuset mugs for elder daughter's birthday. Then I made some Apricot chutney that I've been meaning to make for ages. Yumm. Guess it wasn't really a wasted day lol!

Take care,

Kat xx

Beryl said...

Hi Brenda. It's good to know that Buffy is not suffering and I think it's right that you make her last few weeks as normal as possible. She's probably wondering why you're talking so much now but I'm sure she enjoys the sound of your voice, whether it's for her or the pc.
I had a lovely time in the Fens on Saturday. Met family I hadn't seen for over 50 years. It was quite emotional at times knowing that I had been living only 20 minutes away all those years.Thanks for sharing those lovely photos.
Beryl xx

chillin with Quillin said...

So sorry about Buffy, I'm so glad you got a program that works well for you, your post looks perfect to me.
Take care!!!!!

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah, it is really amazing, Brenda and so pleased for you with the word recognition programme!! woo hoo!
But we will pray for an equal blessing with the situation with precious Buffy.. ah how so very much they tug at our hearts, dont they?
I really love poppies too and the cheery colours and loved seeing your fens and yes must have go a posting a poppy stamped card.. if I can, before 31.7!! thanks for the generous offer, and every blessing, Shaz in oz.x

Rufus said...

Wonderful to see a true post from you. Sorry that the news about Buffy isn't better, but she is with those she loves and knows that you'll do your best for her. (it's still hard, I know, having gone through it. Think that you're right to keep things as normal as possible) Your new "fingers" work marvelously! What a find that is. As for the poppies, they are lovely. What gorgeous views you must have out your windows. No wonder you love flowers so much. Take care of yourself,

Mervi said...

hi Brenda!
Really good that you have the new system, helps you a lot!
Beautiful poppy fields, love them too, but here's not fields like those, just some poppies in the garden.
All the best for buffy and all of you!

Lindsay Craftymonster81 said...

Hi Brenda, Firstly sorry I have been a bit rubbish at visiting blogs of late(I am beginning to catch up now though). I am so sorry to hear about your health and your news about Buffy it must be heartbreaking for you, I have always been a great believer about how animals become as much a part of the family as any human member and since being ill have found this even more so, I completely understand how you described your relationship with buffy in your previous post, I have a cat and whilst it may seem strange to some people it was just he and I for a very long time and for a long time he was the thing that kept me going, I think when you go through health issues with a pet that is constantly by your side it forms an amazingly strong bond and even thinking about being with out him now that he is getting older terrifies me, he drives me crazy sometimes as he is constantly under my feet and I can never get him to shut up (as I always talk to him he has become a very vocal cat lol) but the idea of being without him is awful and I don't really know how to describe the bond I feel to him, anyway my point is that I think I understand how you must be feeling now, I am not generally a very teary kind of person but just reading your posts and writing this comment has brought tears to my eyes. I will be thinking of you and whilst I know that there is not much anyone can do to help if you ever want someone to talk to please feel free to email me anytime, I wish there was something I could say that would help, both you and buffy will be in my thoughts. The pictures of the poppies are wonderful and I will definitely enter your challenge, does it have to be a card or would a painting be allowed? (if painting's are not allowed I can make a card but I have a painting that I did of poppys and trees in the moonlight which is why I asked). Take care
Lindsay xx

pinky said...

Brenda I am loving your new comments, they are giving me such a giggle. I know I am a bad person lol but its great to be getting these long comments. I am glad you came back quicker than anticipated and especially if its helping Buffy:) I love your photos, you are blessed with living in such a beautiful place Brenda. I understand now what you meant about my card lol, hadn't a clue what when you mentioned poppies on my blog lol. Big hugs and enjoy all that chatting!!

Liz Miller said...

Great to have you back blogging Brenda. Have missed your postings and inspiration and have been wondering how you and Buffy have been. Glad that the recognition system has worked so well for you. Lovely to see your photos. Hugs to you and Buffy and thank you for the lovely comment.
Liz xx

Shazza said...

what a fantastic programme, glad to see you back and sending hugs x

Crafty Loops said...

Brenda I am absolutely over the moon that the software seems to be working for you. It must be strange talking to your computer instead of typing. Could you imagine me if I did a blog post that way!! I'd be giggling and all sorts would come up on the screen, lol. Love the beautiful photos. Im glad to hear that Buffy isn't suffering any actual pain as such, she's a wee trooper. Im just wondering know me and card making is a big no I have to represent your photos in a card or can I come up with a Lee-ism project? I think an idea is hatching but I can't see me making a card and I don't think I could do it on a card either, lol. So can I do my type of project or is it purely card making only? Mind you Im asking this and my hatching idea could be a complete disaster as I wing everything I do. I'm not one for planning my creations so it could all go horribly wrong, lol. Lee x

May said...

Wow Brenda.. this software sounds quite Amazing...lovely to have you back.. I love poppies too.. Hugs May x x x

hellerlittle said...

oh Branda, which is good news ... clever to use a voice recognition program. Many things will therefore easier for you. Baffy you and a pain-free time!!
Let's see if I still get an idea of your poppy-topic and can participate?? great weekend wishes from Germany hellerlittle

Hussena said...

Hi Brenda,
So Glad to Know about this New Software You are using and I am so Happy It Helps You :) Your Pics of Poppies are so Beautiful !! So Inspired to Take Part in Your Challenge ...Have just Submitted My Entry ...Take Care and Have a Great Day Ahead :) :)

Mrs.B said...

The voice recognition system sounds great!
The pics of the poppies are lovely and a fabulous idea to do a challenge.
Avril xx

sallysbitz2 said...

A Poppy is my husband's favourite flower. We usually get only 1 grow in our garden, Lol.

I was pleased to be able to use this stamp, had it for a while now. Thanks for a fab challenge x

hugs sally x