Saturday, 30 May 2015

Tara Wants A Pygmy Goat ~ do we give in, Yes or No?

Tara is our youngest daughter and a huge animal lover, she loves all creatures great and small, llama's, spiders, snakes, cats, dogs, goats, you name it she will mostly probably love it. I have yet to discover a living creature she doesn't like with the exception of just one ~ the dastardly WASP, which is totally understandable after she was stung when she put on her sun hat (like a good girl) as I asked her to and unbeknown to us a wasp had crawled and and stung her viciously twice on the scalp when she popped her hat on! Since then she has had a terrible phobia about them and panics hugely whenever one comes anywhere near.
So ~ goats ~ Tara has been sick with ME for the past 5+ years and is still only the tender age of 15 now. She has found pet therapy to be hugely beneficial on the days when she is unable to move from her bed. It can be lonely for the best of us at these times but for a young person who has friends out and about experiencing life it is devastating. During those times she has found the company of our furry friends hugely comforting.

Now, she has lobbied in the past for a pet Tarantula (not happening in a month of Sundays as I am terrified of spiders).
She was successful with the cats but sadly after 4 years we had to hand them over to a farmer for their end years as they were rescue cats. When we rescued them they hadn't been handled or interacted with for 2 years and sadly they weren't sociable and messed around the house ~ but being great mousers were a godsend as farm cats, so are living out their days in freedom and comfort at a local farm.
Pixie the Aggressive!
Then came Taylor (our now 5 year old Border Terrier dog), 

closely followed by Skyla Minx (Tara's dog which she bought herself with money she had saved) another Border Terrier, but a bitch this time.
Skyla Minx

Then about 18 months later we rescued Loki from a puppy farm and he is a mix breed we think Jack Russel, Pug & Border Terrier mix but can't be sure.

We didn't realise at the time we were going to a puppy farm and thought it was just a farmer whose dog had had a litter of puppies so were shocked when we arrived to see the place and once there couldn't leave our little boy. You can sign the petition to close down the farm here. Sadly the first petition after collecting over 6,000 signatures was taken down due to complaints by the puppy farm itself! So please sign this new one if you can.

We now already have 3 lively pets in the three young dogs, aka "The Hairy Trio"...
The Hairy Trio
So, after the dogs came the NEED for a Cappuchin monkey ~ which lasted about 2 years!! She has finally accepted that nope, a monkey is was absolutely NOT going to happen!
A pet Cappuchin monkey
Now there is the urge to own a pair of Pygmy goats. Yes, I know she loves them ~ whenever we go anywhere that has them she spends ages petting them
Tara with a pair of Pygmy goats

BUT do we give in and get her a pair (preferably as opposed to one) of Pygmy goats or not ~ that is the question?

I feel I should sit on the fence on this one, The Dave is against it but all three girls are for it ~ I really don't know, part of me wants to support Tara and her sisters but then a stronger part of me feels I should stand united with The Dave. Oh, so torn! She and her sisters even got together set up this petition to lobby The Dave into allowing this to happen they put "Sign if you agree that Dave is being a bad egg and should allow Tara to buy herself a goat <3" ~ you can view it here.

Pros & Cons: ~

  • A pygmy(or any goat) will eat your flowers, jump on your car, pee on your couch and eat down your pine trees.  
  • You need to have secure fencing that they cant climb or jump over.  
  • They are like deer, they like the bark of trees and leaves.  
  • They cannot survive on grass and need a good quality hay. 
  • I believe they are lonely if  they dont have a buddy.  Can be a rooster, horse, dog or a cow but if they don't have something they usually cry incessantly!
  • They dont eat everything!  If they are hungry they will try though.  
  • Both male and females have horns unless you have them dehorned and they dont really smell.
  • Pygmy goats are very playful and intelligent and can easily become bored if they don’t have company to play with, which help to make them wonderful pets. As their name implies they are very small compared to regular goats. There is a lot of energy packed into them and they will almost behave like a dog. They will enjoy being handled and will follow you around if allowed.
  • They are extremely robust and will adapt easily in cold climates by creating undercoat which is thick and woolly. 
  • They love people and are extremely sociable. 
  • When they are brought home as pets, it is a must that the horns are removed to avoid harming individuals or even other goats. 
  • These animals can also be infamously inquisitive and sometimes manage to stick their horns into fences or any other restricted places
  • Their diet should primarily consist of grains and greens. It’s advisable to provide items that will enable them to play and enjoy themselves because they like to jump and might even climb on top of small vehicles. 
  • When it comes to housing you should have a suitable open area and shed which is accessible all of the time.
  • If you have other animals at home it would be best to introduce your pigmy goat to this group carefully, because they could be harmed by them. 
  • They are classified as prey animals and as a result you should keep them in appropriate shelters, particularly during the night. 
  • It is a must that they are given fresh water daily, because it’s more than likely that they will not drink it if it’s not fresh.
  • In essence, if you have a pygmy goat for your pet you will not be disappointed because they love to have contact with humans. As long as you are giving this pet the best care in order to keep them healthy and fit, you will end up with the ideal companion for both adults and children.
Arghhhh ~ so undecided, currently thinking no ~ but over to you, what are your thoughts on this? Do any of you have Pygmy goats?


Monday, 25 May 2015

Our Walk for M.E. 2015

Well, it's Bank Holiday Monday and the weather isn't looking promising ~ I have a feeling we're in for a soaking!

Today is the day, we are walking for M.E. sufferers to raise funds for biomedical research and awareness into this illness.

Sadly Tara isn't able to come with us as we had hoped, her M,E. has flared up and so she is safely tucked up in bed, with all of our three dogs fighting to take on the role of "Nana". This illness is foul, it sucks up your energy, drains your limbs of any strength, jabs awful pain through your joints, inflames lymph nodes, creates sensitivity to light, sounds, smells ~ that is to name but a mere few of the symptoms. My youngest daughter is currently lying in the dark with black out blind drawn, with several duvets and blankets on her (as no matter what the temperature she is always cold), she has a migraine cool relief strip on her forehead to try and ease her head pain and trying not to move because of intense nausea. Simply put it breaks my heart to see her suffering and yet I am aware that there are many more sufferers out there who have it far, far worse.

So ~ for today we will put on our Invest in ME t-shirts and put smiles on our faces and go out there and try and drum up support from those who are not aware of this illness or it's impact ~ we are on a mission!

We have our banner ready to place on a table along with information leaflets and sponsorship forms with sponsor collection tub ~ Dave and Tasha will sit in the bar to try and gain more sponsorships for us as we walk. It's handy as our walk is along a canal side we picked the busiest bar along the way as our walk HQ.

Myself, Keisha (my eldest and only none M.E. sufferer out of my three daughters) and her friend Paige walked 5 miles along the canal side ~ taking pictures along the way and telling anyone who asked where they could find Dave and Tasha should they wish to pop to the bar to support our efforts.

We managed not to get wet, thankfully rain held off and celebrated afterwards with a delicious cold glass of white.

Here are our photo's of our day...

At the half-way point before turning round to go back :)

If you would like to sponsor us it is not too late ~ our fundraising page will be open for some time yet ~ the link should you wish to donate is...

or if you prefer to donate via text then the code and number is:

We would like to thank everyone who has supported us either via "sharing" our posts or by donating, we have had a great day and lovely walk.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Chilli ME Challenge for ME Awareness Month

May is ME Awareness month, during this month sufferers, their families and carers try to promote awareness and support for biomedical research and funding to seek treatments and cures for this illness.

With awareness in mind the Chilli M.E. Challenge was started by 4 girls, Nicola, Lindsey, Catherine, and Brenda, who came together to create a fun way to spread awareness and raise funds for *biomedical* research for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) also known by many as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). 

All you have to do to participate and support this cause is to make a video of yourself (or have family/a friend do it in honour of your disease) eating a chilli pepper OR taking a small shot of tabasco sauce and post it on Facebook and YouTube for all your friends to laugh at! 

If you (or family/friend) don't wish to make a video, please donate to a M.E./CFS charity ~ the links are further down this blog for you to click on.

BUT don’t forget to donate if you made a video too. 

Also, be sure to nominate 3 others to do the same and HAVE FUN!

Where do you post your videos?

First off make sure you use the hashtag #chilliMEchallenge so that you can be found when sharing.

Then upload your video to your youtube channel and share it on the Chill Me Challenge Facebook page, your facebook timeline, twitter (tagging @MECFS_Challenge Twitter) and Instagram too (if you have those accounts).

Please be sure to share the link to the MAIN INFORMATION PAGE which has lots of information, videos and updates about this - it can be found at this link:

Don’t forget that all important hashtag #chilliMEchallenge too when posting.

Where to donate: -

For online UK donations please use this link:
Text CMEC73 £4 to 70070

For Irish donations:
Text HOT £4 to 50300

For Canada:

For Australia:

For USA:

So finally, here is the video of me completing the challenge ~ the chilli kept on giving way after filming too (damn those chilli seeds which got snagged in my teeth!)

Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoyed the video :) 


Monday, 11 May 2015

Hopes For The Future In A World Without M.E.//2015 #May12BlogBomb.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Tanya (aka Crazy Purple Mama) and I am a mother to two teenage daughters who suffer from the cruel illness Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.). My youngest daughter Tara became ill first, followed later by my middle daughter Tasha. This illness has robbed them of so much yet they keep fighting to adapt the best they can to live as fully as possible within the restrictions their illness.
Me with Tasha on the left and Tara on the right last summer at our holiday home on the Yorkshire coast.

So why am I writing this blog? You may or may not be aware that May 12th is Awareness Day for the "invisible illnesses" M.E., Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. To mark this day and help to raise awareness I am participating again in the  #May12BlogBomb. You can read my contribution to last years blog bomb here 

For us the future is uncertain, we have many hopes which one day may become reality but really none of us, whether we are ill or not, can see into the future and know where it will lead us BUT if we could peek through time and see where we would be a few years down the line I wonder where it would find us.

M.E. has been in our lives for over 5 years now, both my youngest daughters suffer from this and whilst not being severe (as in being completely bed bound) they are hugely restricted in their day to day lives. They spend the majority of their time within the home, either on the sofa or in bed. On "good" days we can take trips outside of the house to the shops or a restaurant, sometimes friends can come over for a sleepover. However, these small activities which every day "well" teens take for granted cost my girls dear, as after whatever excursion or activity they have undertaken they then suffer from post exertion malaise (PEM) defined as "Patients experience fatigue, pain, cognitive difficulties, sore throat, and/or swollen lymph nodes after previously tolerated physical or mental activity" and are forced by their bodies to rest, for several days, to recuperate. So everything we do has to be planned, rest before and rest afterwards also taken into consideration. This means holidays abroad are impossible as the travel alone would have the girls in bed for days. We take them instead to our holiday home on the Yorkshire coast, which means they sleep on the journey in the car with pillows and blankets and then can chill by the sea once there. In a future without M.E. I would love to fly the girls to Italy to see Rome and Pompeii, then to travel to France to see the Eiffel Tower. Holidays I was privileged enough to enjoy when I was a teenager with my family.

When Tara became ill she wanted to find a way to express to her peers what M.E. was like for her to try and gain some understanding for why she was not able to do the same things they could do. When she was 12 years old she made this video (2 years after her diagnosis).

As parents we all worry about our children and their futures, for us one of our major worries is how the girls will be able to provide for themselves as they become adults. Both girls have had their education halted by their illness. Tasha has been unable to take any exams at all due to the cognitive issues she has, reading and writing are exhausting for her and so she can only text or read messages in fits and starts. Tara is a little stronger now, having had the illness longer she seems to have reached a plateau where she can manage her energy and pace more easily. She is attending virtual school and taking Maths and English GCSE's. We are doing all we can as parents to provide them with the skills to potentially work for themselves based at home to secure an income whilst managing their energy levels and pacing. Sadly, this will be a difficult path for them but with ongoing research taking place via charities such as Invest in ME we hope that some treatments will be found which the girls will be able to take and improve their quality of life.

As parents it is heartbreaking to see your child miss out on so much of their youth, to miss school, parties, social events, prom, leavers days etc. It is a right of passage that has passed them by because of their illness.

This is a picture of my girls, to look at them with make~up on you wouldn't know they were ill, but a photograph can so easily hide the truth. Without make-up on you can see clearly their illness but to honour their wishes I won't be posting one of them like that because they don't like people to see them looking unwell.

Tasha (age 16)                                  Tara (age 15)
What saddens me right now though is that too many health care professionals still follow the "it's a psychiatric illness" school of thought and push Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Gradual Exercise Therapy. This can be terribly dangerous for patients with M.E. as it can push their illness to a more severe level as the body simply cannot cope with exercise and you cannot "cure" yourself from M.E. via psychiatric therapies. It is a physiological illness with very real symptoms affecting all of the body, brain and nervous system. However ~ I will accept that having M.E. can lead to acquiring a psychiatric illness such as depression and/or anxiety, simply because of the isolation, disbelief and lack of acceptance/treatments available In this instance I feel talking therapies, gentle cognitive therapy and sometimes medication are necessary to help the patients cope with the changes they have had to address when the illness came into their lives.

Tara has undergone CBT (all be it a gentle form) to help her address her anxiety as she has never been through secondary school due to becoming sick at the beginning of her last year in primary school. This has helped her to understand why she becomes anxious and provided her with coping mechanisms for the occasions when her anxiety starts to build. Tasha has struggled more mentally due to the impact of her illness, possibly because she was at the beginning of Year 9 in secondary school when she became sick and so had had a taste of a normal teen life prior to M.E. She also now suffers from severe anxiety and depression along with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania this has meant we have had to shave her head due to bald patches forming and keep her fingers nails exceptionally short. This has all come on since ME and for which she will need long term support and therapy to overcome.

My hopes for all suffering from these illnesses are the same as for my girls. I hope for a future where their illness if not totally cured can be effectively controlled. I hope for understanding and recognition from all areas of the health service and a comprehensive protocol written up regarding swift and accurate referral, diagnosis and treatments for patients. For appropriate agencies to be brought in from other departments to address gastric, cognitive, dietary and mobility issues which may be present. For OT departments to be able to provide wheelchairs and household aids to help the sufferer within their home (such as bath/shower aids, stair access issues, bed cradles etc). I would also hope that those unable to work to support themselves have access to benefits, home carers and blue badges to assist them as much as possible in their day to day life.

I am an optimist, I always look for the silver lining to any situation and will never give up hope for the girls and a better healthier future. Together patients, carers, friends and supporters can raise awareness and funds by either fundraising independently and donating directly to your chosen M.E. charity OR by joining the Let's do it for ME teams efforts which is a patient-driven campaign to raise awareness and vital funds for a UK centre of excellence for translational biomedical ME research, clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment for patients, training and information for healthcare staff, based around the Norwich Research Park in the UK and aiming to work collaboratively with international biomedical researchers.towards the more research to find treatments for these illness and acceptance of the public that it is a real, physical, debilitating illness which needs support and understanding but more importantly to be believed.

You can read more about the work by Invest in ME here.

If you haven't seen this video already you may find it helpful in explaining how the illness can alter a sufferers life. My daughters made this for the 2014 M.E. Awareness week to try and explain what M.E. is and how it affects them.....

If you wish to make a donations towards Invest in ME Research projects and would like to support our family fundraising efforts I have provide the link below for our family fundraising page. We will be doing two Walks for ME in May, one as a family pushing the girls in wheelchairs, 

This is us as a family with our 3 dogs doing the Walk For ME 2014

The second walk we do will be a much longer because it will only be myself along with my eldest daughter Keisha (seen in the centre of the middle top photo above with her hair dyed blue for ME Awareness Week) and her friend Paige ~ the dates and length of walks will be determined depending on the weather and the girls health but will be completed by the end of May and I will be updating our fundraising page with details and photographs as we do them. All donations would be appreciated but if you can't donate then if you could share this blog and/or our fundraising page then we would be massively grateful.

If you wish to donate to our sponsorship page just click on the link below and it will take you there: ~

 OR you can donate via text message following the directions below:~

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for your support in helping to raise awareness and vital funds towards research, together we can make a difference.