_1120585Where do I begin? So much has happened since I last wrote a post…wow, it’s been more than a month (ah, how time flies!)!!!

Back then, I thought I’d have more time to keep blogging on a more regular basis, but life and work got in the way, as often happens.

Well, let’s just jump right in. Today happens to be my birthday. :-) How old are you?, you might ask…I’m 55 years old. I never hide my age. Never have, never will. On the contrary, I’m very happy to be celebrating another birthday, and I imagine you can guess WHY! :-)

_1130765And since a birthday is a celebration, let me also mention that in January 2016 I celebrated my 11th year of taking curcumin. A big milestone for me. I have also almost reached my 12th year of being a smoldering gal…So yes, celebrations are most definitely in order.

Let’s jump now from celebrations to blood tests. Come to think of it, there’s a connection there, too…

My usual set of blood tests, which I had in early July, show that I’m no longer anemic. Cause for celebration, wouldn’t you say? YAY!!! In short, my hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red cells are all back inside the normal range.  _1120110

My total IgG is about the same as it was last time, but my monoclonal component has gone down a bit, as has my m-spike, So that is all good news…

Bence Jones: in 2014 a small amount of this protein was detected in my urine (you know, that’s the 24-hour urine test that we all love to take…not!!!). But then it disappeared. And now that small amount is back. However, there are two things to be said here. _1140177One is that the nurse who drew my blood told me that the hospital lab has found a cheaper way to test Bence Jones (and cheaper is not necessarily better!), and the other is that I read online that small amounts of this pesky protein can pop up in the urine sometimes, then disappear. So I expect it to be gone next time I have tests done. Just like it disappeared two years ago. No biggie, in sum.

Okay, enough about tests and whatnot. Bottom line: I am still stable and doing well. No CRABs!!! ?

Now I should explain why I have all these sea bird photos. A little more than a week ago, Stefano and I were invited to spend three days in England. A business-pleasure trip to Northumberland.  _1130241We flew, low-cost, from Pisa (Italy) to the Leeds Bradford airport (Yorkshire), where a close friend of ours picked us up and drove us to Northumberland. It was such a wonderful trip. We spent almost an entire day on the Farne Islands, which is a summer breeding ground for all sorts of sea birds, including puffins, arctic terns, European shags, razorbills, and guillemots. The weather wasn’t that good, unfortunately, but we managed to get some excellent photos anyway, as you can see. And these are MY photos…you can imagine what amazing photos Stefano and our friend took, with their fancy big lens cameras.

We love puffins, in fact, we ADORE puffins, but this time we also had a lot of fun with the arctic terns (we tried our best not to bother these agitated, high-spirited sea birds too much, but it wasn’t easy…). _1140007Since they build their nests near and along the paths leading us humans around the island (Inner Farne, in particular), there is really no way of avoiding them. As you walk along these paths, here and there some furious tern parents will suddenly soar into the air much like noisy little helicopters, doing their best to scare you away: they will peck you on the head (see the close-up photo that I took of a guy wearing a white cap) or, worse!, wiil poop on your head and/or shoulders. Visitors to the Farnes are advised to wear hats and jackets. I’m so glad I had a hat and jacket, in fact, since I got pecked quite hard on the head (once) and, yes, also pooped on. As did Stefano. :-)

Anyway, lots of things going on…But I’ve run out of time. It’s getting late now, and I must get back to my birthday…and to feeding the cats, always a priority in this house.

Hope everyone is doing well! Ciao! :-)