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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

First Day of Spring...........

Today is the first day of Spring. Our wedding anniversary. No, we don't celebrate it anymore. We are not the celebrating sort haha. He did get me a pot of Daffodils and some chocolates though. Tristen and me got him cards and candy yesterday. I bought my card and Tristen wanted to buy one too so......we did. I think its 45 years. Wow...........
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Anyway, Edna and I decided to get out for a bit. We planned on some thrift shops but ended up taking a ride to Elk Rapids. It was a lovely sunny day, windy and bitter cold.
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It was a pleasant drive. This land either side of this road, in summer has sunflowers growing. It makes for a spectacular view. The red barn survived another year. The land on the left is now preserved and has trails now open to the public. One place we will explore this coming year.
This is another nice barn and the view above it is Lake Michigan.
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The next ones are when we got to Elk Rapids. The lake is still somewhat frozen but is thawing in places now.
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I love this pile of stones
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I cant say the town was deserted, it wasn't but its not the bustling hub it is in the summer months.
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We went to a couple of antique shops, didn't find much that I wanted. The prices are so high. I did get some ideas for the garden though. On the way back we stopped at a cheese place. Manny's specialty cheese.
I was looking for goat cheese and Edna had expressed to desire to find a cheese shop. I knew of Manny's so we went in. He lets you taste the cheese so you know what you are buying. I did get some goat cheese called "Drunken goat" and three different English cheeses. So good. We had that for supper with bread and ham with pickles. Next stop was a bakers and we got fresh bread.
We didn't do so well in the Thrift stores but it was a nice day out and back in time to do some housework. A good day in the sunshine.
Sharing with A Dedicated House, anything Blue Friday


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring......................

Spring, a renewal.This year I have looked forwards to it more than most years. Or maybe like childbirth itself, you forget from one time to the next. Spring........everything born new again. I miss the Springtime in England. I miss the Spring flowers. I miss the lambs, the blue blue sky after such dreary days. I was reminded the other day of Harebells.
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I remember laying on the hills near by grandmothers house. A sunny day, clouds whispering by, drone of bees as they flit from flower to flower. Harebells. Delicate little things. I don't remember why I was laying there, but I remember it vividly. I used to walk those hills near her house often, in fact I would walk across the top of the hill to my aunts house. To get there I would need to walk through a small wood and along a field of cows. I wandered often and alone in those days. I suppose I would have been about 12 maybe. I don't really know. Time and age is meaningless when you are young. Maybe that was the day my friend Dawn was with me. I don't remember that much. I just remember the harebells in the breeze. A warm sunny day.
The little wood would have bluebells in the Spring and I loved that too
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I suppose most English children gathered arm loads of bluebells for their mums.
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When you drive down English country lanes in the Springtime, the trees are a bright bright green. I would say lime but its not, it's a unique green of new things. With the blue sky and green coming to the tree tops the floor of the woodlands would reflect that blue sky back. In the surrounding fields new life there too in the form of babies, lambs...........what a beautiful sight that is. Innocent life. They are so full of joy at that age. Shame what is to come for them poor babies.
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So we come back to Springtime in Michigan. Not quite the same but still I love the renewal of it all. The birds are too busy now to come to my feeders. The rabbits are not cleaning up but boy have they left some poop. I hope that will help my garden haha. I saw a Possum running across the street today. I never knew they could run so fast. Waiting to see a skunk or a Robin to assure me that Spring really is here. Awakenings......returns......snowdrops fittingly are the first to bloom in my garden.
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I have been looking for them but so far no show but I know it wont be long. I also know that we often get some bad storms in March. The thing is that the weather can go from snow to 80 degrees within a week or two, it does not give us a chance to get used to it. This next picture is not an exaggeration.
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Yes, this is Michigan..........so unlike my England.
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I love SPRING.........I am ready to welcome it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

commonwealth Day..........

Being born in 1946 I missed all the bad stuff. To me the "Empire" was gone but the "Commonwealth" was still with us. I am proud of what it is today, but not of it's past. My Queen is the Monarch of a lot of the countries but not all. Many countries enjoy the connection with Great Britain, now a days its more of a friendly relationship. Different to what it once was.
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The day that "the sun never set on the British Empire" is long gone. Those days we owned all "the Pink bits" on the world maps. After WW2 the Empire was pretty much ended but many countries still wanted the connection for whatever reasons.
The British viewed so many of the countries peoples as uneducated children, in their arrogance they thought they were better off being ruled by the Crown. That may well have been true in many cases but........it boils down to the arrogant feeling that our way is better. That may not be true for many. I think that the USA still has that lesson to learn. Britain now seems to get along with its Commonwealth peoples and many love our Queen.
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Canada, Australia and New Zealand still remain members and the people are most like us. Many being descended from the English. In the case of Australia it was a prison colony for a long time. In the 1950s English families were encouraged to emigrate to Australia to take children and settle there. My cousins live there now because their family went.
The downside of the whole thing is the atrocities that took place in most of the countries of the Empire. Much like the annihilation or genocide of native peoples in the USA and it took place way too often in places like Africa. In the Boar War for example there were horrific prison camps where many starved and died. Germany was not the first country to do that. There were massacres in India when people protested. Now in most cases I must hasten to add it was not so much British policy as individuals who took it upon themselves. Or the infamous East India Company.
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Winston Churchill may well have been one of our greatest statesmen, there is much about him I admire........but there is much that I do not. He could be callous. He, I believe is responsible for what happened to our men, my Dad among them at Singapore. This is not a history lesson. Really its just about my feelings. I think he made decisions many could not and that is a soldiers woe. He was responsible for many atrocities.
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He aged into a terrific statesman and orator and is mainly remembered for that. There is much I admire about him, his arrogant younger days that probably led to what he became. He was very aware of his heritage as a warrior and his legacy as a Churchill.
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Much of the bad things that happened comes down to greed. The East India company rather than the British military were responsible for so many tragic decisions. Slavery and murder of blacks in Africa of dehumanizing whole peoples. I am proud to say that we ended that and that outlook way long ago 1833, but the mind set had began back in 1783 when the British public wanted an end to slavery.
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What the Empire did for the modern people in Britain was to make them less aware of colour. There is not the same kind of prejudice as there is in the States. Oh it's there but on a different level. Right now its immigration and people who want to change the British way of life. There is a reason, right or wrong for it. Unlike in the US where it is pure hatred based solely on colour.
I worked with a man from China and one from Malaya. I lived after I was married in a street where I was probably the only "English" person. I had no problem with that........I grew up believing we were the "mother" country of many dependents and territories who wanted to be a part of our Commonwealth. Today I believe they still do. Like Scotland where the country was/is divided but chose to remain British........so too, many others have done the same. Some have left the fold but most remained. The ones who left have not flourished but, their freedom was more important to them. So.........I am proud of our Commonwealth I feel connected through that and through our Royal Family (Victoria's offspring) to many countries in the world. That is one thing sadly lacking in America and one more reason I will never be a citizen of any country but my own.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Is it Spring yet?.....................

I think at this time of year of life in England. Spring is my favourite time of year. The renewal process. The baby animals, the birds nesting. Here in Michigan it is late coming and gets hot way too soon. This has been an exceptionally cold year. I was happy that we didn't have the deep snow so that the animals had plenty of food. Well, that's as may be but the extreme cold had to have taken it's toll.
I am ready to get outside and not freeze. I am ready to go for car rides and walk on empty beaches. The snow need not melt for me to enjoy that, I love to take pictures of the beaches under snow.
Well my friend Edna and I did manage to get down state last weekend, it was a beautiful day. The roads were clear of snow.
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It had snowed since then and it seems we will never see bare ground again. I know how quickly it goes once it warms up somewhat Next week is supposed to be in the low 40s. That is a heat wave. The snow is so pretty so instead of wishing it away I will enjoy it's beauty. I don't have to work in it like my husband does. He is the one who watches the weather.
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If the roads stay clear we should be able to get out for a ride around this weekend. I really want to get out and about and have something better to photograph. I prefer to use my own pictures. I borrowed this one.
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One of the places we love to go is difficult to get too in winter as it is off a side, unmaintained road. I would love to get out there though. Would need snow shoes so maybe next year. Meanwhile this is Betsy Lighthouse in winter.
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(photo by Mark Lindsay)
This year there have not been the ice caves we had last year. There are a few small ones but not the huge attraction like we got last winter. I have not seen all the pictures this year anyway. Still it will be nice to get outside for awhile. I am hoping for a nice day tomorrow.
Linking with Adorned from above

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Boys and dogs..............

It has been so cold. Very cold. The poodles do not want to go outside. It's too cold for Tristen to play outside. There have been snow days. That for me means babysitting. When Laura has to work I have the two girls here so then there are three disgruntled kids bored out of their minds. So, as it was also too cold for Gerry to work the other day we went to Books a Million. Then to Toys R Us. Reina said it was a great day. Sure was for them. Not so much for me I had to pay the bill haha. It was worth it though for several hours of peace and quiet.
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I got Tristen some blocks and some toy soldiers. Now he has had this stuff before and really has never played with the stuff, the blocks get lost and so on. Well it seems that he has turned a corner here somehow. He has really enjoyed playing with them and using his imagination. At last.
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We went to school the other night for his school parent teacher conference. His regular teacher is out on maternity leave. It seemed he was in trouble every day, she wanted him to go to the doctor and be treated for HDAD or some such thing. As he had already seen his doctor and I had discussed it with him I was not about to do that again. Plus the fact that I don't want him diagnosed and put on pills. I don't want him labeled at 5 years old.
So I began with his diet, being more careful about what he eats, and as we eat pretty healthy anyway it was not a big change. Also consistency with bedtime, also not a big change. However I am now insisting on others in his life following this practice. Anyway, the teacher who is filling in while his original is on leave has done a spectacular job. He has turned a corner academically as well as in his behavior. His work has improved so much I told her how I felt. That she had turned him around. To be honest (and I didnt say this) I dread the other one coming back next week. Don't get me wrong, she is very nice and Tristen likes her a lot. I think its just that the sub has more patience and is more organized. Maybe the regular will come back in a different frame of mind. She had just moved to this area and now has a new baby..........we shall see. Now that I know how well he can do I will certainly not allow for her to put him through what was going on before. She was sending him to the principle several times a week it seems and having him evaluated. He has certain goals to reach before kindergarden next year. I am optimistic that he will do well now. He has done better in all aspects. Here he is enjoying relaxing with his computer
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He is even getting better in his art work. This picture is (left) Bodi (the dog) Granddad and Tristen with the giant who is like a tornado.(he says) Notice how happy everyone is. Bodi is his favourite of the poodles. Also his name at the top is one of the best he has done so far.
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Bodi is his friend
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The girls are hating going out in this weather. They are all getting plump from eating good food and laying on the heating pad all day.
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I can not wait until we can all get back outside again.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Frozen Pipes and toes...............

It's been a bit nippy around here. Three days of frozen pipes in our downstairs toilet. The hair dryer has been very handy. They froze last year too but this year has been extra special cold. Apparently, according to my son Jason, it was minus 44 in the North Pole and a city somewhere in Michigan showed minus 39.
Last night got to minus 17 here and our pipes did not appreciate it. Got them thawed out and left the water running. I checked it out when I went to bed and all was well or so I thought. My husband had turned off the hot water one. Guess what, yes, that one froze. I could smack him. I got up at 5am to be sure nothing had overflowed or flooded, all was well and so I stayed up so have been rather tired today.
A view down my street yesterday.
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We have had much more snow than this but its seldom been this cold. Some one put some plastic penguins on our frozen bay last night and they did not look out of place. People really enjoyed checking them out today.
Looking down Oak st
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Then looking over at Bud's house I was thinking his front porch furniture wont be used anytime soon an.d looks quite lonely
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Looking the other way down 9th
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The amount of snow is not impressive and it is pretty. The Bay froze last year and again this year. It had not frozen for a good many years. It is cyclical, so I don't read too much into that but, the weather is changing for sure. This arctic weather is just not normal.
I feel so bad for the birds and animals. Here we have a winter that is without really deep snow, so food is easy to get for the deer and other critter but, so what, now they freeze to death.
Roll on Spring.
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I see the buds forming on the trees. Actually they form in the Fall I believe but they are growing and I can see them more prominently now.
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I will believe it though when I see the Forsythia starting to bud. I should cut some and bring it inside and try to get them to bloom. It is supposed to work.
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Anyway, I am tired of the cold but not looking forwards to heat. I like mild temps. I want to get outside, work in the garden and do outside stuff. Next year I am getting snow shoes for sure.
I bought a Hyacinth but that has finished now, so next time I am at the store I will buy some mini daffs. I end up putting them in the garden when it thaws. Then they come back the next year and spread. It just gives me that feeling for Spring. Hope that it is coming soon and I will dream of warmer days.






Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter blues...........

I am thinking that next year Tristen will be 6 years old. Time to get outside in the winter months. I have never done any winter sports. Sports are just not my thing. I know, it's not all about me is it.? So........I have been thinking.
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I am thinking snowshoes? I know nothing about them.
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I have some antique snow shoes. They are huge. I wonder how folks can walk in them. I would think the legs hurt after just a short distance having to spread the legs to accommodate the width of them. Well I hear there are modern ones that are nothing like those.
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There are so many really nice groomed trails here, I am sure we can find somewhere to go. As you work up some heat I doubt I need too much in the  way of outdoor gear. I don't wear heavy coats, I don't own any. I don't have boots either but that's easy enough of a fix. Tristen always has outside clothes and snow pants. I don't think I would need them. Anyway its a thought. I had at first thought about cross country skiing but I think that would be more difficult and more expensive.
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I have a whole few months to think about that LOL Next winter will be here soon enough. There is too much beauty out there to sit at home getting cabin fever. My husband would never go out snowshoeing or anything like that. I do have friends who do though and maybe I can have them help me next year. That would be so nice. A whole new freedom and Tristen should not be too expensive to fit out with snow shoes and whatever else we need. Too late for this year. Financially and otherwise.
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So never say never.............I am up for a new adventure and I am sure Tristen will be too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Faith in times of trouble..................

Do you find that things just get overwhelming? Do you struggle every day with finances, family issues, work related problems or all of those things? Years ago, many years ago I did.
I have learned though, that no matter how much you worry, it does not help. I learned that I can give it all to the Lord. Does that make sense to you? FAITH. What is it?
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I am not sure how I can explain my Faith. I liken it to what Jesus told us. As a child we believe our parents, we do not questions them they are infallible to a small child. Maybe until they meet their first teacher anyway, then their loyalty seems to be challenged somewhat. Anyway. Jesus said to come to Him as would a child, believe what you do not understand and trust His word. SO........I do that. If I have a problem, and don't we all. I just give it to God. I suppose that could mean bury my head in the sand and hope it all comes out right...........that is until something happens. It seems that once I do that, I get inspired. I usually seem to come up with a plan or answer.
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I do know if I set my mind to something and try and try to make it work first off, it is usually a failure. If I let it go and wait, then the answer comes. I think maybe this only works if you have that personal relationship with God. I use the word "saved" because thats what is familiar to most people. I am a born again Christian. Oh trust me when I say I am not the best, never will be. I trust in the Lord but I am not always obedient. I don't always do what I should or what is right. God forgives but He does expect us to hold up our end of the bargain, that means a changed life. That was pretty much easy for me as I was past my years of rebellion and partying. So not a huge change in my daily life. Only in my reliance on Him. Now when we have money problems (all the time) I know we will get through. Somehow we do. I don't worry about it anymore.
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That does not mean that I can do as I want, oh no...........what it means is I try to do better, try to manage my money better. Admit where I fall short (I like to spend too much) and try to get things under control. That's where God comes in. He can help me with that and shove me in the right direction. I do mean shove and sometimes with a smack side the head to go with. Sometimes something will come from an unexpected source just in time to handle a situation. When it all comes down to it, tomorrow will come. Days will pass and life goes on..........nothing we do or go through is the end of the world for us.
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WHen it comes to health issues. I pray that I don't have to go through anything major but in the end whatever will be will be. I can only ask for help to get through it all. Jesus says nothing will happen to us unless it is God's will. SO I trust that whatever happens health wise He will give me the courage and strength to endure what has to be endured. I can pray that He take away the sickness or the burden but when it comes down to it something is going to kill me some day. So..........my prayer is that God's will be done in my life and that He helps me through it with grace and a brave heart. That He will do.
There are examples in the Bible where God has granted someones wish to live when they would have died. Life was not good though, better in fact had they died when it was time. God knows what is best for us. We have to trust Him.
Trust and Obey..........
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Loving and leaning on God gives us peace.

Sharing with A Dedicated House, make it pretty Monday
And also with Create with Joy Inspire me Monday
Also linking with The Enchanted Rose