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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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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Without Tristen for a day out............................

Tristen went off on an adventure with his aunty Laura. They took the Ferry to Wisconsin to visit Laura's family there, they are also Tristens family indirectly. I don't know them at all but we trust Laura to take great care of him. The ferry sounded like fun and so he went off to early in the day to catch the ferry.. Apparently he went to a couple of zoos and a water park.
So Laura (my daughter) and Reina and me went off to Elk Rapids, I wanted to stop at "The Twisted Fish Gallery"
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They have a wonderful garden with sculptures in it. They are for sale but way beyond my pocket. Some of the hand crafted ornaments are not though. I did resist even so. Reina is taking an interest in the paintings. She is interested in art. Not sure how long it will last but that's OK, we will get it in her while we can. Its good to see so many good artists who live here in Northern Michigan.
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I would love to buy the glass sunflowers but they are 300 dollars each. I love glass, I love sculptures for the garden too. I made a bottle tree, that's more my price range.
After we left the gallery we went on down to Elk Rapids art park. Laura is not thrilled with "abstract" art. Me neither but I must say that as an outside work, I am quite taken with it.
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The park is in the woods and on the beach, so is a pleasant walk
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Fun looking for frogs and art work.
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some pieces were quite fun. Reina could not figure that one out
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Here I am in the bucket
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And Laura had the nerve to take a picture while I was explaining something
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We stopped for a picnic. I am not keen on sitting on the floor haha, my bum was sore but it was a great picnic.
We drove on to Alden to explore the shops. Its a pretty little town, we were very good and hardly bought anything.
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I usually get my spices and things at the Mill House. I didn't need anything so we just looked at the garden.
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The day was rather quiet and subdued without Tristen. Well he is back now and we have plans for next week. So more adventures to come soon. Meanwhile he will be going to an air show and then the local baseball team are playing Friday. I believe ending with fireworks. I am thinking of a quiet weekend for us. I will leave Friday to Laura and Laura haha.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

To the Bluffs.................

Thursday we decided to try the Bluffs. Empire is a small village in Leelanau county. It sits amidst the Sleeping Bear National Park. The whole of Leelanau county is wonderful, in fact the whole of Western Michigan is wonderful. A huge playground for us. Well anyway Empire Bluffs is a beautiful spot and somewhere I have meant to go for a long time. Laura had not been there so it was a beautiful day for it. Warm but not humid.
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The walk to the bluffs is through lovely woodlands
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No mosquito's yet. Then look at the view Nanny
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A break in the trees did show us a lovely vista.
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The parks have put up boardwalks now and it is a lot safer than it used to be.
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There is an abundance of wildflowers growing on the slopes of the Bluffs. I was thrilled to see such variety
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Too many to show........after we had our fill (oh how I would love to sit up there alone)we went back down and had a picnic. Tristen says it's not a picnic if you dont sit on a blanket so we parked them on a blanket
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What to do next? Well we drove through the back roads to the old farmsteads we enjoyed last year. We just wanted to go run in the meadows there. It was so beautiful
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There were many wildflowers again there in the meadows, poppies in bloom, brilliant in the sun.
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Beautiful butterfly hovered around the flowers. A bush of Mock Orange smelled exotic. The butterfly loved it. So did we. I have not smelled Mock Orange since I left England.
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When we were done frolicking (hehe) in the meadows we walked back to the car and drove along the quiet roads and saw this baby hiding just a little way away.
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We got back on track and to the main roads again, stopped for ice cream before taking the drive up the dunes.
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The kids had so much energy left. Where does it all come from?
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The rasberries will be out soon
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The kids rolled down the hills screaming and yelling. I don't know why ours have to be the loudest, they are always just so full of it.
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The Monarch was unimpressed and was looking for Butterfly weed.
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and even after all that the kids still wanted to climb the dune climb.........
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In fact several times. Laura and I sat in the car.
Then headed homewards, we did stop at the lovely Wildflowers store. I have to stop there when I pass. They have unusual garden ornaments and wonderful flowers.
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Arcadia..............

I wanted to go down to Arcadia for some time. There is a beautiful lookout there. Looks out over Lake Michigan. I have seen several local photographers do some very beautiful pictures. So it was time to take Raylene down state to spend the summer with her mother. So we arranged to meet in Spring lake at 4pm. We left here around 9.30 all packed up with a picnic.The kids love picnics
So.....off we went. We started off towards Frankfort, Laura drove my van.
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So once we got onto our road, M22 headed south we saw a turtle crossing the road. Laura did a quick U turn and screached over to the curb. I hopped out, another car had stopped further up and was thinking of doing the same as us.......so I stopped the car behind me and they stopped traffic coming that way. I escorted this lovely little lady (?) over to the other side. There was a man checking some trees and he came over to thank me and said there was a pond and stream back where she was headed. There were several people watching this performance with traffic stopped outside their house haha. With luck she will have a lovely life. Always take the turtle in the direction it is headed otherwise it will just get back into the same predicament. Laura and me, we always seem to get into these situations.
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We had not gone too far before we did the same thing again. Thankfully that was the last we encountered but we saved two little lives that day. The 2nd was a painted turtle and I didn't get her picture.
Well we finally got to Arcadia. The view is spectacular. We are so lucky to live here. There are no better views anywhere than here in Michigan. (If I can not live in England then I am glad I live here)
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There were a LOT of steps. After we got our fill of that view we went down into the town and to the park for our picnic.
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They had a good time swinging and playing frisby (lost it on a roof) and generally working off some energy.
We performed our 3rd rescue of the day. Laura spotted a moth.
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Laura gave him a drink of water and set him in a shady spot. It was very windy and I think he had got tired and flopped. Anyway....he was fine when we left.
The stop at the beach after the picnic found them with some more playground equipment to play on.
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The small towns are so picturesque and we would have spent more time if we could have. The next stop was at the State park, Silver Lake Dunes. We went for quite a hike hoping to see the lighthouse. We ended up climbing up the dunes and calling that good. We got a glimpse of the top of it.
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Its rather difficult for me (the one eyed wonder) to negotiate things. The top of the dune had a narrow ridge, what a laugh. Warned the kids to watch out for falling nannies.
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Here I am staggering along the crest.
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The beach below, the water is high there as well as up where we live. No rocks on that beach to admire.Some nice driftwood but I could not lug that home.
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Beautiful flowers growing on the dunes.
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So we stopped along the road after driving for some time to meet Donna. We pulled over and let the kids out of the car. There was a couple sitting in another car. I can only imagine how it looked. Laura and I stayed in the car.
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We call it letting their yayas out. After yelling and screaming and tumbling through the sand they piled back in the car. I waved to the awe struck couple sitting quietly in their car. I bet they decided right there and then to never have kids.
After we dropped off Raylene we went into Applebees for dinner. Tristen liked his meal, a burger and mozzerella cheese sticks. Laura and I had fish and chips. Reina had a burger and salad.
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We were headed home but decided to take the same route back. We were getting towards late afternoon, so I got a few wildlife pictures on the way.
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We got ice cream at that stop and then seriously headed home. Everyone was tired but we had one more stop. We spotted some deer, they did not cooperate but this little lady did.
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We still had daylight and still had some pretty views but it was getting late and time to get home
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We got home around 10pm, Tristen is usually in bed by 7pm. He had to get up for day camp next day and me at 5.3oam for babysitting. It was a very good day though.