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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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hectic weeks..................

Its been a rather hectic few weeks one way or other. I began baby sitting for a few months. The babies grandmother was about to retire and would be looking after the little fella after that. He is a cute little,( and I mean little) 3 month old. His mother was terrified of leaving him to go back to work, so this arrangement worked well for her. My problem was getting up at 5am. The first month it was actually quite nice. I have a good hour to myself as the sun came up.
Well I finished with that job on Friday and I suppose that over the period of time I watched him I had saved a little nest egg. I was hoping to buy something with it. We need a new BBQ, a new vacuum and this and that. It was not to be. More later.
So then Gabby got sick...........she was in the ER a couple of times and we were trying to help with that situation as well. She is doing better now.
Then Reina got sick. She has Spherocytosis (an inherited blood disease)and the pain from her gall bladder was bad poor thing. She ended up going to ER and then down to a childrens hospital. They are restricting her diet and holding off on surgery until she is older.
Meanwhile Tristen and Reina did a fashion show. They did what they did last year. Laura works at Yonkers and they do a childrens fashion show now every year.
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Reina being serious about her job
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The next thing to happen was Bijou got sick.
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Here we are leaving the vets after 3 days treatment. She was not at all happy and still very weak.
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She was out of sorts and lethargic when we decided to take her in on Monday. She was not eating and was dehydrated and had a fever. The vet decided to keep her overnight, ran blood work and urine tests. She has bladder stones again. She only had that large one out a few months ago. She now has a kidney stone as well. They put her on intravenus liquids and antibiotics. They could not explain the pain, the vets seemed to not know what to do or why she was not responding. They kept her another night and did more blood tests. Everything came back ok. They were confused. She was in for 3 days and we brought her home Friday. Took her back for more infusions on Saturday and then home again. She is gradually getting a bit better this week. She is eating a bit more. She seems to be in less pain. Each day seems to be an improvement. We are not sure yet though. Lots of prayers for her and I really prayed God would give her a chance to spend some time at home with us............I believe He answered prayers. We really thought we would loose her.
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Well as Bijou seem to be on the mend, I am hoping now that things will become less frantic for the next few weeks. I really do need to catch up on things. I am loving being out in the garden working again. I have had no time for my blogs.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fashion Models................

Today was Younker's children's fashion show. Laura works there, so she gets a good discount on the clothes. Laura bought Tristen his outfit. Reina chose a pretty dress and Tisten wore jeans and a tee shirt and short sleeved shirt. They both looked very nice I thought.
So off we went and they called to line up. The organizer got the kids in order so they could tell everyone a bit about each child as they walked the runway.
I have to say it was like herding cats.
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Reina chose her dress. She loves the attention and puts her all into it.
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Auntie Laura is the blond with the camera.
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The clown lady kept them in line and focused, sort of.
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Next it was Tristen's turn..........his favourite thing in school he says is math, he wants to be a cop when he grows up and the thing he enjoys the most is chasing girls at school. Yes......well.......
He is 5 OK.
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A proud auntie Laura takes pictures
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After the show, all the models went back out and paraded again. There were some cute outfits on some of the kids. Only two boys in the show and one was older. So I am sure Tristen will be back next year.
After they were officially done he escaped to get his face painted. He wanted to be an army guy
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Younkers  had some rabbits brought in to pet and some ducklings. Some one set up a table for balloons that they made into animals and things. The clown lady had Tattoos and candy for them. So the kids had a good time. After that Auntie Laura took Reina to the theater to see Shrek on stage, and after the show they got to get pictures taken with the cast. Reina had a lot of fun. Auntie Laura loves kids and takes them lots of fun places. Tristen didn't get to go on that trip. Instead we went to get him some new shoes. I can not believe he is a size up from the last time. Size one.  Then after that we went to lunch.
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Tristen ordered chicken tenders and fry's but didn't eat them, he did manage to eat his desert though while Laura and I finished our coffee
We stopped by to see how Alex was doing, her place is a mess. So we have to go back and sort her out. I want to take some daffodils to put on the grave but its way too cold at the moment, they would freeze. So I think we will go back and take some mulch, tidy up and take a new wreath to make it Spring like. A lot of stuff broke over the winter so she needs a complete overhaul. Tristen was freezing he said so we didn't stay. There are plants beginning to pop through, so Spring wont be too long.

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, 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 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 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 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.