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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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Monday, May 2, 2016

Off we go aquilting............

Well maybe not quilting but quilt shop hopping. Not a real shop hop, we did our own. My friend Nancy was able to come up for the weekend. She is the one who moved down to Mt Pleasant to be with her family. I am sure that is a natural phenomenen as we get older. Well at least she is only a couple of hours away. She stayed with Edna. I would love to have her stay here, trouble is, with having Tristen and 4 poodles and two cats she is better off with Edna, they can do stuff together. Edna really misses her they used to do a lot together before she moved. Anyway we were able to get Barb to come as well so it was the four of us set out on our quilt shop adventure. Edna always drives. I always give her money for gas to fill up the car. Fair trade I think as I don't know the roads and would never want to drive that far. We headed up via Grayling to Alpena via Hillman.
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I didn't buy much but it was fun. I did, naturally find a few bits. The shop in Hillman has such great prices.I bought some backing fabric that will do at least two lap quilts. The only other bits I got were for making totes and bags.
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Edna had fun and Barb was really naughty. LOL for once it was not me. Nancy can never quite make up her mind.
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We stopped for a picnic before the last couple of shops. We didn't have the time being as we went to far to stop at a restaraunt. I always enjoy eating out but a picnic was good.
I have no idea where we stopped for the picnic but we were hungry by then.
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Yes there I am, had to get a picture of me so you could know I was there.
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We finished up our day and went home tired out and pleased with the day of good companionship and catching up on our lives.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What is your gift?.......................

I am reading a book by Susan Branch. I read her first book about her life "A Fine Romance" it was about a trip to England. Naturally I had to read it because, well, I am from England. Also she is a watercolour artist and she illustrates her books. I fell in love with that book and so I ordered and read the 2nd book "The Fairy Tale Girl" more about her life this time. Then when that ended she was writing a third book and I had to wait for that one. I am now over 1/2 way through it."Martha's Vineyard. Isle of Dreams". I am finding so much in this book that is so like me. It's very inspiring.
I love her life. At least the artist part and author part. She moved from California to Martha's Vineyard to begin over. She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life but bought a small cottage and set down to work all that out. It makes entertaining and interesting reading.
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"Neglect Not the gift that is in you" 1 Timothy 4:14
So what is your gift?
I sometimes feel guilty about that. I can do so many things but I don't know what to do with those things. I can draw, paint and sew among other things.
Those are the things I love most. In her books Susan talks about her own gifts. She loves to cook, decorate, paint, garden and most of the things I love to do. It took her a long time to realize what she wanted to do with her life.
Then she had to figure out how to proceed. Just having an idea does not make it happen.
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So when Susan decided what she wanted to do, she got down to doing it. She did a cookbook, in her own handwriting and illustrations. She then had to find a publisher. It tells all that in her 3rd book. So, what do I do with my "gifts" I would love to do a book. A sketchbook with quotes. Like Susan I have collected sayings, quotes and poems since when I was very young.
The downside on that is I would NOT like the other side of things, book signings and travel to promote and all that. I have 2 friends who are published authors. I could not do what they do. One of them did a childrens book and she does talks at schools. The other did a book that came from our family ancestry work, she does lectures. None of that is for me. SO back to "my gift" what do I do with it/them. I must pray and pray. If God gave me a gift then He needs to show me what I must do with it. Maybe a book is not it. I will be 70 soon. Time runs out and I will end up in front of the Lord and when He asks what I did with my gift I will have nothing to give Him. The other thing is both those women have different lives to me. The first one is a widow with grown children. Her time is her own. The 2nd has a husband who supports her and they go on cruises and give talks on board ship (nice) so what's for me? I am married, I have pets, commitments, Tristen. I can't fully devote time to figuring this out. I feel like I am wasting my time and it is running out.
Meanwhile I will continue to draw and paint and do all the things I love doing. I just wont make any money doing it. Sigh!!!
Anyway. I recommend Susan Branch books. Including her cook books.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

To the beach, Brrrrrrrr............................

I left a note on facebook to let people know that if I didn't show up, then they would find me encased in ice on Leland beach. What were we thinking? What was Laura thinking? She never volunteers to go out when it's cold, especially to the beach. So what? Well we not only have Cabin Fever, staying in all Winter practically, but also have been seeing people posting pictures of rocks. We just had to get to Leland and look for Blue Stones. Yup, just had to do it. So dressed in Winter coat and boots (that I had put away) we set out on our adventure.
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Yes it was cold. Started out around 35 degrees, but the sun came out soon after we got there.
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The water was high and there was still snow on the banks. Still the sand was very smooth and easy to walk on. It was beautiful and we the only ones there. We made footprints in the sand and the only competition was the little wading birds.
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We thought at first we would not find anything. The water was rough and no stones. We walked half way to the Whaleback before we got a patch of stones, not much there but more stones came up. We started to find a few Blues.
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By noon the sun was out and we were not at all cold except for our hands and Laura's toes.
It was so pretty,the colours in the water were incredible.
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Laura almost got wet a few times, our feet got wet but the sun soon dried them. We had some giggles as we almost fell as the waves came in. They were pretty rough, they cracked like thunder as they slapped the shore shook the ground too.The power of water is awesome.
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A heart on the beach
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We both found some nice beach glass. Now I know you can go to Michaels and get a bag of sea glass but its not the same as finding your own, genuine beach glass.

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The Blue stones are hardly ever big. That's OK they are much like Turquoise but are glass from the old iron smelting days. Once dumped out in the lake, they now wash ashore and being rare, they are a passtime a lot of us have. Many people make jewelry from them. I did buy a drill to do that some day.
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We used to hunt for Petoskey stones, so it's sort of funny that now we say "oh no, not another Petoskey" I found loads today, my pockets were full. I must take a bag next time.
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Yes, by weeks end it is supposed to be up in the 60s and then 70s. We will have to work in the garden because it usually keeps getting hotter after that. So most likely the next time we go there will be others out hunting.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Robins.................

The Robins came back to Michigan, poor things are having a cool Spring. The American Robin, so unlike the British version but maybe with some of its perky disposition. Today, they were looking most unhappy sitting shivering in the branches waiting for the snow to melt. It did, and I am sure they got plenty to eat. I did put out some Cranberries but the squirrels ate those.
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This guy was up in the tree sulking.
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HE hung around for awhile looking pissed off and hungry.
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The American Robin goes south for the winter. Not all the way south but at least out of the snow. Robins eat worms, grubs and berries. They are not keen on seeds. He was checking out the bread with a beady eye but passed on that. I saw him running like crazy across the ally he must have spotted a bug of some sort.
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The American Robin is about the size of an English Black Bird or Thrush. The English Robin is small by comparison. Maybe the size of a Junco when its fluffed.
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The English Robin is the gardeners friend. If you are digging then the Robin is there.
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Did you see the movie "The Secret Garden" well that shows the personality of the Robin, the English version. They are very different from the American Robin, who does not seem to have a personality. I can't tell. Maybe it's because the American version is not a territorial creature like the English one.The English Robin seems to get to know its people. They are not at all shy and they will buddy up with a fisherman or anyone where they may get a free meal. My cousin Robin (haha) is a fisherman and he usually has one hanging around, they probably like the bait. Anyway the American one does not seem at all social.
The English Robin does not leave for the winters, he sticks around and puts up with the bad weather, he guards his territory well.
Well I guess thats a rather boring post but I was thinking today because the poor Robin was just looking miserable. I do know enough ground thawed so that he could get lunch even if he did miss breakfast.



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bug hunters......................

Finally Gerry got a start on the new garden area. By our back deck we had a bunch of shrubbery that took up a lot of space. It was also a catch all every winter for all the snow and ummmm dog poop, as well as the food that I give the Crows.
Well, right now, getting those roots out is a major chore as I will show in my garden blog.
Reina was here again today and she and Tristen had a good day. They played well together. They stayed inside most of the morning but were sooooo ready to get outside. It had been raining and was all puddles and mud. I was reluctant to let them out. By afternoon Gerry had gone to Mennards for the fencing and stuff to fix up the area.
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I figured what the heck, I had washed the floors and vacuumed but had not yet washed the rug by the door. It's been muddy the last couple of days and is rather dingy.
Gerry was out with axe, saw and shovel and they were right there with him looking for bugs. All the stones and old blocks we had thrown under the bushes I wanted to use in the garden for edging so..........this will be great.
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They got a bag and were collecting rolly polly bugs. They were not at all keen on the millipeeds. I don't like bugs myself so can not see the attraction. Yeuk!!!. The other day they were collecting worms, but freeked out when they found a big one. That reminded me of many years ago, there was a little girl maybe 5 years old. She was living somewhere over the road. The roads were not so busy back then and she saw us outside and came over. She had on cute dungarees and she pulled out the top to show us her worm collection. I went ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!! and she got a bit worried because she loved her worms. Made my skin crawl. I could not pick up a worm, or a slug or any slimy thing like that. (I can pick up snakes, they are not slimy)
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This kept them busy for most of the afternoon, until Gerry came inside. They moved rocks and filtered through things, screaming when encountering the ones they didn't like. It's a girl thing, screaming. Trouble is Reina has got Tristen doing it and they see who can scream loudest I think.
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Anyway, they had a good old time and stayed out of my way while I baked and did inside work. Its supposed to snow tonight. This area will be fenced off properly like the rest of the garden so that the dogs cant get out.Tristens sand box can come up to the drive onto the concrete and make far less mess I hope. All his trucks are stored under the deck. That will be his play area. He has wrecked to much of my garden things and I cant afford to replace them. This gives him a lot more space. I will talk about the garden part on my garden blog.




Saturday, March 26, 2016

Coopers 3rd Birthday....................

Three years have passed rather quickly. To think that Alex has never known Cooper, it's insane. Cooper loves Tristen. I can imagine them together a few years from now. Cooper is rather hyper so I bet he will be somewhat like Tristen with the ADHD or some form of it. Time will tell, and will I be around to see these boys as teens? Oooooh I hope so. I am thinking Tristen will be spending more time at Aunt Laura's by then as I will be almost 80 if I last that long.
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They had his party at a Pizza place again. That's not a bad idea for a little kids party. Saves all that work. Can't be expensive either. Right now, for Cooper and Tristen its mainly adults who attend, so it's perfect. The cake was cool, it was cupcakes frosted over to look like a regular sheet cake
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When the kids are small, they don't care what the gifts are either and the adults can buy clothes as well as toys. These kids have way too many toys. Cooper was happy with his gifts.
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He was not thrilled about us singing Happy Birthday though.
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Here is the little family, Tony, Gabrielle and Cooper.
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I could not believe Tristen ate a whole slice of Pizza followed by his cupcake
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Here is Cooper opening his gifts
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Anyway, another year gone and our babies grow and flourish. It's good to see them grow. Reina could not be there this time. Robert had been away for a month driving for Cardinal, and he came home so she wanted to be there to see her daddy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

As Pets Get Old...............

As the current batch of poodles age I think of all the ones we have loved and lost. We remember them on their birthdays just as a passing nod. We often think of them when something touches that memory. For example Buttons loved when we got the mail. She liked envelopes with the clear plastic window, it made a nice noise when she ran with it in her mouth and batted it with her front feet. Buttons comes to mind more than most of the others although Bridget was the most entertaining after Buttons. Each has so much of a personality.
Now as Bodicea gets older and is having weight issues and along with that comes limbs that ache and arthritis and so on. Both the small girls have knee problems and Bijou is still suffering from stones in bladder and kidney. I can not stand to think what happens very soon. Our loved ones do not live long.
We have 4 poodles right now.
BODICEA, BIJOU, BELLA AND BREA
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Bijou is on borrowed time. We have to keep her on antibiotics that help with her "stones". When she had the last opperation the vet had wanted to put her down right then having found a "mass" of some kind in her abdomen. Bijou has lived a good year since then. She does have issues now and then, and I know that the stones irritate her. She is not in pain as such and is happy and content for now. She is her same old self so we try to keep her comfortable and hope for the best.
I have had poodles all my life and love the breed.
I get so attached to animals, more than to anything else. I would be surrounded by them if I could be. The trouble is, the more we have the less we can spend on their care. As each of these goes now, we will not replace them with a puppy.
Bijou yesterday
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Bodicea is the oldest at about 10 years. I think Bijou is about 9ish. Bodi has a weight problem and we do try to keep her on her diet but, well, how can you look at her face and not stick something in her mouth? Kill them with kindness comes to mind.
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Both the little poodles have knee problems. Dogs are just so tollerant of their pains. They just get on with things. Not like people who complain and groan about every ache and pain. They just get on with it.
Not that they have any choice. After just getting their teeth done we have to wait to get knees fixed.
It just makes me think that soon there will not be poodles in our lives. Maybe I will be able to foster? I would like that but could I give them up? I would like a big dog actually. One who is well trained, an older dog that will play with Tristen and go for walks with us. I don't know yet. It's just so hard knowing that pain, and dreading it. Buttons about broke me, I was so depressed when she died, I cried for weeks, and even later when I thought about it. We always got another poodle once one died. Not to replace but to help heal our hearts. Especially when little Bridget died, the shock was like my heart broke.
Well they all had wonderful lives and when I see the abuse out there I want to scream. I can not tollerate abuse of animals. They are so innocent. So when my poodles are gone maybe I can help heal some hearts myself.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Bridge...............

I have been thinking about life. I know, deep huh!!!. Well this is only March and so many famous people have died in January and February (2016) and now March has started off the same way. I feel like my generation is dying off.
Today we hear that George Martin died. Without him there would have been no Beatles and we all know that the Beatles revolutionized music as we knew it.
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I grew up hearing and knowing my parents generations music. Vera Lynn singing the popular war time songs like "There'l be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover".....sad, sentimental songs. Hearts longing for loved ones away at war.They were songs for their generation and their memories. My Mums youngest brother had a record player. It was one of those wind up ones that played 78s.He was quite a bit younger than his 3 older siblings. His music was Skiffle but he still clung to old favourites like "Mule Train" and "The Little White Cloud That cried" by Johnny Ray. My Dad was not fond of music, at least of singing. I have since found out that the Piano played a part in his existance when he was in Prison of War camp. Not what I would have believed as a kid.
Then there was Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, the Crooners..........all of that was my parents generations music.
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Then along came Elvis, my time was coming. I had just discovered Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis and then Cliff Richard..........but Elvis was my first "crush". I was entering my teens and the beginning of my working life. I was getting out and seeing things. I had found Rock and Roll baby.
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Then in time came the Beatles. They changed it all. Gone were the greasers and the bikes and along came the Mods. My boyfriend had a scooter and wore an anorak with fur on the collar. Remember we are in England and this is the 1960s. The best time to be a teen in my opinion. The age of long hair, mini skirts, hot pants.................London. As much as I liked the Beatles the Rolling Stones were who expressed me.
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I was living in London during the early 1960s until I had my daughter in 1966 and I loved that town. I loved my life.
Well the point of this blog is that now I am old and all I have seen...........I feel like if I stretch my arms out I reach out to my parents and grandparents lives and their music, I remember it all. My Granddad being the bass player in my uncles skiffle group (just for fun) he had a box with a string and made a bass..........their singer Mick Lacey had a great voice too. I loved music up through the years that my kids grew up, the Heavy Metal rock bands with the really long hair and make up. Yes I loved it. The beginning of MTV that really was 24 hour music. We had it on from the time we got up to when we went to bed. 24hour music television. The new kids expressing themselves. Nothing was ever as extreme as the transition of the 1960s though. They tried to shock and they tried to do the coloured hair and shaving and mohawks but we had done it all already. The time I gave up on music was when they came out with RAP. That was nothing new either. I remember swooning when Elvis talked on his records, hearing his voice, hearing him breathe, oh come on you did it too. A Deck of Cards by Wink Martindale...............there is nothing new under the sun, but we sure did try in the 1960s.
The previouse revolution had to have been post Victorian days, when women cut their hair and threw off the girdle and burned our bras, although we still wore girdles up to the 1960s it was not the bone and laces of Victorian and Edwardian times. Our girdles and stockings changed into tights and freedom to not wear undies. Yes!!!!!
So as I stretch out my arms to the folks who remember those days to the future and what is to come. I wonder what my great grandsons will listen to? What will they wear, what will they do? Will there still be a world or will the Lord show mercy and come back?
I have also seen that the morals that we loosened up on..........Elvis the Pelvis......banning movies "The Wild Ones" and the whole generation fighting the censorships of the 50s when a man and woman could not be seen in the same bed, to the real life social implications of it all. A woman was not allowed birth control unless she was married and a doctor could not prescribe it. There was no such thing as abortion and women died trying to get rid of babies that would not be socially accepted. I am anti abortion but I don't want to see things go back to that either. I had my baby out of wedlock in 1966 and well, thats another story................Was opening that can of worms a good thing? Looking at the world now, in retrospect? I really don't know. There have been many good things that came from our freedoms but maybe more bad than good? I don't know. I do know that my time is ending, I see it every day now and then what. That's the worst thing, not knowing.........
or maybe its best not to know?