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)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Walking in the woods in May................

Laura and I have been out and about a few times but it is always so nice to get back into the woods again. We took a nice hike on the Clay Cliffs trail just outside Leland. It was too chilly for the beach so instead we decided on a woodland walk. It was wonderful listening to the birds. We saw Scarlet Tanenger and Grosbeaks. I forgot my camera, can you believe that?. Has to be a first. We were intending on breakfast first and had not quite decided if we wanted to venture out after. So............we went to Rounds for breakfast and then with a very full tummy headed towards Suttons Bay. We wanted to stop at the garden shop that sells wonderful glass stuff, Bayside Gallery. It was on the way there I remembered the camera. We still had not decided what else we were going to do so no worry. The glass items are incredible.
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I can't afford any at the moment but love to look. Inside is even better, some really wonderful glass items. However, I did get some ideas while snooping around. I am going to make myself some wind chimes made from drift wood. I also got a few other ideas. Why buy what I can make myself. Right? Mine won't be copies, just using the idea of materials. I will also repair some of the old ones I have.
Anyway, after that the weather was holding on and warming up a bit so we left Suttons Bay and went towards Leland and Lake Leelanau. On that road there are a couple of trails, we chose the Clay Cliffs Natural area. There are a few trails there, we took the short one that led to the overlook.
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There were quite a few birds that we don't always see, The Grosbeak was having an argument over a female it seemed, they were very vocal in their arguments
Then we saw the Scarlet Tanager, hard to miss that pretty bird. Sure wish I had my camera then I could show my own pictures. I bet if I had it we would not have seen them.
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Walking in the woods was beautiful. The Trillium was out and Jack In The Pulpits.
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Several other pretty flowers the Yellow Trout Lily and Dutchman's Britches.
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The Wild Geranium is pretty and I have that in my garden. I bought that one. I have a few other wild flowers in my garden. Many years ago I dug some up. It is now against the law to do that, you have to buy them. I understand the theory but it seems silly that you can't dig those beside the road where they would die anyway. I would like to put some wild leeks in the garden I would not think anyone would object to that. I would like to get some of the yellow and white Violets too, I sure have enough of the purple ones.
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Anyway, the woods were very pretty and we could not believe the number of Gooseberry bushes we saw. I wonder if they are native? Or how did they get there. Some I can imagine came from old farms but not up there in the woods surely? I will have to research that. I just bought a Gooseberry bush for my garden too.
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Last time we did that particular hike it was a hot day. This day was calm and the water was beautiful looking down, so clear. We saw what we think may be an Eagles nest. We often see eagles when we are down on the beach at Leland and this is not that far from there so maybe it is, or an Osprey? Did not see anyone home so will have to wait to see.
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I spotted one Moral mushroom, could not believe my eyes but we decided to walk first. By the time we got back down from the hike we were too tired to follow up on that haha. So that Moral got to live another day.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lumps Bumps and Boobs.....................

I am stiff and sore, my 2nd mammogram and an ultra sound. Apparently I have "dense" breast tissue. It makes it "difficult" to read the mammograms. I must say though,the new machines are a lot nicer and don't squish so much. Although you still have to pretty much be a contortionist.
When I was young my breast size was a nice perky 34b.........a decent enough size but small enough to enjoy pretty lacy 1/2 cups and be overflowingly cute.
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I pretty much stayed that size until after I had Laura (#1) and even then I was not a lot bigger, just not as perky. Well, after having the baby and being "bound" to get rid of the milk, it's hardly surprising. They actually got better because they got bigger. I would wear bra's with a little padding till then, not actually padded but "stiff" ........that leads me to a funny story. Naughty me, well I was dating a guy who shall remain nameless, just in case. As we said goodnight, in his car, his hands sort of wandered and I was stretched across him with an arm behind his neck. As his hand moved up to grasp what he thought was my nice little round boobie, he instead encountered and empty cup................hehe, it was funny but embarrassing, I had slipped out of my bra as I stretched up. Those foam linings remained in place while my breast moved to a more comfortable position. Why am I telling this story? I have no idea. I was indeed a naughty girl.
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I never wore those "formed" bras again.
Well around that time I suppose, one night in bed I was laying on my side with my hand under me and I felt a lump. It was like a pea. I went to Mum and asked her if she could feel it and yes there was a lump. So I saw the doctor and was sent straight to the hospital. They did a biopsy. Nothing like they do today it was an under an anesthetic deal. So I signed a form to say that if it was found to be cancer a full mastectomy would be done. So until I awoke I had no idea what to expect. The ladies in the hospital at the same time tried to be reassuring saying that its unusual for someone my age to have cancer. Especially as I had not had children yet. Well I had, I was in fact a single mother. So that did not do much to reassure me but I was not unduly worried. I did ask the surgeon to please do the cut at the side rather than where he first put his X on the top. I figured if I was waking up with my breast intact then the scar would be best not showing if possible and he obliged. It was a big scar none the less. It was daunting seeing youngish women walking around holding two bottles where once they had breasts, as the wounds drained. I have no idea how that process is handled these days and don't really want to find out.
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As I had two more children after I married I would have my regular mammograms. Several times I was called back. I had lumpy breasts. One time I had 3 in a row and in order to see the one in the middle they seemed to have me practically standing on my head, at least it felt that way. Going back a 2nd time is nerve wracking to say the least. So I would dread getting it done at all. I know, it is something that saves lives and finds things that would be missed by self exams. However, it is not pleasant. On one occassion I was also sent for a Ultra sound. All was well that time I got the all clear.
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So this time I felt different. I had to go back for a 2nd mammogram plus ultra sound. My usual indifference was not there. I have been having pain. Also body cramps and can not find a good reason for it. So when I got the call back my mind and body did not agree with each other. It didn't help to get asked if I had done my "end of life directive" no I still have not done that. Gotta get that done.
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I have this philosophy, whatever happens happens. I am good either way. When my time is up it's up and I am not afraid to die. I have great Faith in the Lord and know that whatever happens to me God is in control.
So what happened? My mind was at peace with what ever I had to go through. If I did have cancer what is the worst case? I would have some time left (and would really have to rush a few things) but probably not as much as I had hoped for. Fine, I can deal with that. My body though said "like heck, we wants to live, we does not want pain, we does not want chemo etc" mind would say "don't be such a sissy you can be a good example to others" body decided to have a fit of trembling and feel woozy and sorry for itself....... I knew I had nothing to be afraid of but it would not listen to me. It had a mind of it's own. So.............It made me think about things..
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What are we? I look at my body as a vehicle that I am in charge of, I drive it, I control it. When I die I leave it and go on to some place else.......... My body says "easy for you to say what about me? Youre not the one getting sliced and diced and poked and prodded."........ My mind says "well I do the best I can for you, but I can only do so much and then I am outta here".
So what DOES happen? What if there IS nothing else? I can not even concieve of nothing. I can not imagine going to sleep and never ever waking up, not dreaming or anything but nothingness and not even knowing I am dead. It seems pointless. If there is not some purpose to us, to life, what then is the point? What are we? In the end what ever influence even the best of us has on the world, means nothing. Even those who come after will at some point die, so why bother to evolve into better humans if we do not have something more than the brief time we spend here. It would seem that if that were the case we may as well be as selfish as we can, live for fun and fame and anything we can get out of life. Maybe that's why some people are the way they are?
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I don't, can't believe that. I believe God has a purpose for each of us who believe in Him and accept His gift of Eternal life through His son Jesus christ. Without getting into who is right and who is wrong and all that. For me that is the base line of my Faith. I believe in God period. So, I try to live my life as best I can, so as not to dissappoint Him too much. I hope in Him and in a continuation of life somewhere else.
So when I got my call back and wondered if this time would be the time that I would have to prove myself, accept what was to come with grace and dignity, I really hoped I could do that. I prayed that I would not have to go through it, but if it was something I had to do, then all I wanted was for Him to hold my hand. My body was not helping me at all. I won't say I was scared, I wasn't, I was ready, but my body was not. My body let me down again. Maybe it is an age thing? I know I felt the same when we had to go to court for custody of Tristen. My body would not do what my mind was telling it. Like it has a mind of its own and went off on its own accord. How do I get this back under control. I do not like this..............I DO like to be in control of my emotions. I hate to cry. I won't cry. My eyes leak of their own accord though, bloody cowards. I hate to loose control it is not who I am. It is something I do not like to do and actually seldom have the need.

Well wait till I see Dr Weber more grammies of these mammies. They are retired.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day......................................

From Beltane to May Day. Half way between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.
" Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun....."
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The May Queen. Innocence, dressed in white with crowns of flowers. Actually the Godess, the Mother is celebrated on Mothers Day also. Yes we look at it a bit different. We honour our Mothers and that is a nice thing to do does have ancient and pagan roots.
The Beltane celebrations are practical as well as spiritual
"The Fire Festival of Beltane
This festival is also known as Beltane, the Celtic May Day. It officially begins at moonrise on May Day Eve, and marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. It is celebrated as an early pastoral festival accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild pasture. The rituals were held to promote fertility. The cattle were driven between the Belfires to protect them from ills. Contact with the fire was interpreted as symbolic contact with the sun. In early Celtic times, the druids kindled the Beltane fires with specific incantations. Later the Christian church took over the Beltane observances, a service was held in the church, followed by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest kindled the fire. The rowan branch is hung over the house fire on May Day to preserve the fire itself from bewitchment (the house fire being symbolic of the luck of the house)."
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The May Pole represents The Lord and the Flowers his lady. It is a time of handfasting (marriage) and love. When you think of it all of nature celebrates Springtime. I am a Christian and it's difficult sometimes to reconcile traditions that I can not help but love and my faith. I do not believe certain rituals are harmless but if I were not a Christian I would indeed be Pagan. It is the love of Nature, I love the Creator of nature and believe that the "old ways" were a symbol of what was to come. I once read somewhere that they were the "bearers of the light in the world until Christ came" I do know, many many Pagan rituals were incorporated into Christian traditions. A way of bringing them into the fold so to speak.
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Whatever else, it is a beautiful time of year. May, the sun is warmer and the world is new again. The animals have their babies and June is traditionally the month of Weddings. Love is in the air. How can that be bad?
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It used to be the tradition of taking a May Basket and hanging it on peoples doors.
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A lovely tradition. It's a great pity that some of those traditions were lost because now May Day seems to be a time for countries to show off their military might. Parades of armies and weapons rather than Morris Dancers and The Green Man, The Goddess and flowers.
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I was talking to Sarah who lives in my old home village of Houghton Regis today, she says they will have the village Fete on Saturday and have the May Pole and things like that, she will send pictures. It's good to know that those things do still happen.
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The beginnings of Maytime rituals can be traced back many centuries. The festival Floralia was celebrated in early May by the Romans, who believed Flora, the goddess of spring, spread flowers across the land with her warm breath. The month of May itself is thought to be named after the Greek nymph, Maia.
Hawthorne flower, May blossoms.
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Anyway, it's May it's May the gentle month of May............and all is well with the world.
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linking with Inspire me Monday
and Saturday sharefest
and also Saturday sparks
also A Stroll through life

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bonny Bluebells............................

I think every year I must write something about Bluebells. One of my most favourite flowers. A love shared with my Uncle Harold my Dads brother. Harold lived in/on the Isle of White in his later years, he shared with me his poetry and pictures. Shanklin is a beautiful little village in the IOW. On the way, walking to the village to shop he would walk through the woods and loved this time of year when they were a carpet of blue.
For myself, when I went home to England in Springtime it was one of the things I most remember. Driving through country lanes and seeing that carpet of blue unlike any other. The horizon blue and the lime green of new leaves and the blue blue sky.
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Unfortunatley I do not have any of my own pictures. There are so many great ones on the web and I have been collecting them for my Facebook page also called Bluebell Woods.. I really enjoy finding new ones. People who follow my page also send me pictures. I am amazed that my posts bring so many good memories for people. They all seem to have similar memories as I do. Walking through the woods enjoying the fragrant air, taking them home for Mum. Now as in this country it is no longer allowed. Not a bad thing as they did not last well and usually by the time I got home with them they were pretty wilted. Best to enjoy them growing. It seems natural though to a child to take that gift to mum.
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We used to go for Sunday drives frequently. Something that perhaps were a tradition because of the novelty of having a car. Growing up few people we knew had a car. So Sundays we would go to Ashridge in the Springtime and enjoy the new green ferns and the Blue Bells. Climb the momument and enjoy the view.
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When driving through Bedfordshire and surrounding counties it is mostly still small villages and farms. So by choosing the route all one would see would be country. Banks and hedgerows filled with Daffodils, Primroses, Cowslips and BlueBells.
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I would love to walk through the woods in the Springtime in the misty early morning. I think next time, if I am lucky enough to go home again, it must be in Springtime.
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I don't mind the mist or the rain, I won't shrink.
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Some day I must get some for my garden here in Michigan. I know they grow because I have seen them. They may be Spanish Bluebells, but that's better than nothing and won't hurt anything here.
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Memories are treasures. Many share these memories, and I enjoy sharing mine.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Gift......................

When you think of a gift, what does it mean to you? We all receive gifts that we often do not like, do not really appreciate or have no use for. I believe we need to think beyond the object.
What is more precious than a hand full of straggly wild flowers given by a child. It has no value but has much love in it. (not my picture)
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I remember sometimes at Christmas my granddaughter Alex would be scrambling to open gift after gift with no thank yous and throwing aside ones that did not please. There was no gratitude or appreciation of any of them. True the "giver" was not present but we were. She was later diagnosed with a personality disorder me that was no excuse. She did come to understand how that particular trait was taken by others.
To me, if someone took the time to select and buy me a gift, then it really doesn't matter if I do not like it or have no use for it. For me, it really is the thought that counts. Even if it is just a passing thought. For a moment the person thought of me and bought a gift. I never give away or return a gift. Maybe others feel different and feel that it's a waste if they can not use the item, but that is simply being "commercial" somehow, the gift is more than that. If it comes from a loved one or friend then it will forever remind you of that person, even after they are gone. If it was something useless then even that is a story to tell and a memory and maybe a laugh or two. Treasure those things.
Some gifts are beyond price.
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God gave us not only the gift of life itself but the power to live forever. His ultimate gift was of His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly became the sacrifice that wiped out the bad things (sin) that we have ever thought or done so that God never sees those things. It makes us clean before God.
My Mother always had a problem with the concept that she was a "sinner". She felt she was a good person and she was. That is not the point though, even a very bad person has some good in them, maybe they love their dog if nothing else. So too we all have bad things in us. Life is a journey, we try and try to be better. Still things happen. A bad word or deed, a habit we do not want to break. Angry thoughts even if we control our actions. Those things we can not help but God is perfect and can not accept anything less into His Kingdom. Therefore we all fail. We can please God though, we can become a part of His Kingdom.
Jesus tells us to remain apart from this world even though we live in it. There are certain obligations that we can not avoid and we are told to pay our taxes and abide by the law of the land. When it comes down to a choice though, we must remember we are a part of God's Kingdom, not this one. God always gives us the choice though. We choose to believe or to not believe, we may not understand everything but that is what Faith is. I believe.
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Some believe it's a fairy tale. Yet they believe in Ghosts and UFO's...........well if you read your bible all that is explained. Too long to go into here.
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Its a fascinating book and the Spirit world exists. That is not for us though, not yet. Maybe not ever but God has a plan for each one of us and so death is a journey and leads to a whole new existance. Such a gift. One we should accept and be very very grateful for. Life is GOOD. Even the worst days end. Love life.
Make the most of every single day. By knowing that death is but a transition there is no fear. Well maybe the method is a bit iffy but in general its not something to dread.
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You only live once, well you only have this life once so thank God for it, for every day that you wake up. Appreciate the small things, seek the wonder you had as a child. Every good thing comes from God..................there is evil in the world. We can not ignore that but it is OUR job to make the world around us beautiful. We can only "bloom where we are planted" and do the best we can while we can. Don't be selfish with your things, your money, give what you can to those who have less, or need help. Make someone smile. You can't take anything with you when you leave this world. Don't stockpile things and save them for later enjoy them now.
I just cleaned out my closets. I had at least 4 really nice dresses that I never wore, some had tags on. What on earth was I saving them for? I gave them to Laura who will wear them and enjoy them. I will enjoy seeing them and enjoyed the pleasure it gave her. It taught me a lesson. THINGS...........things are of no comfort, they can not make you happy only by giving things away can we spread joy.
Gifts that come from the heart should be treasured and spread and passed on to gift the gift of a smile. Remember that little book that came out a long time ago "Random Acts of Kindness"...............yes do that. I am linking up with Inspire me Tuesday at a stroll thru life.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Friday. Good Friday, what better way to celebrate than a picnic. May not be traditional, not at all but we had Tristen and so I thought it would be nice to get Laura and Reina and Gabby and Cooper and go for a picnic. Gerry was not working and so he got to come as well. He was delegated to the back seat with the kids. Laura drove. We had been talking about what kind of car to get when we get a new one (maybe next year) I had hoped to downsize but the van is just so useful. We keep a basket of toys, towels, blankets and quilts in the back and then we have seating for 7. I thought maybe now Tristen is not living here we could downsize but this is just so useful when a bunch of us get together. I am all about making memories.
So I got a picnic gathered while waiting for Laura and everything was ready when she got here and off we went to pick up Gabby and Cooper.
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I put together a chicken salad for sandwiches and had Gerry pick up some grapes, cheese and crackers. I boiled some eggs and packed the basket and cooler with all kinds of goodies. We had tomatoes and lettuce and pickles and three bean salad. Took bread and chips, all was ready.
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The playground was close by and so the kids enjoyed that while I walked along the beach.
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It's good to keep the cousins in touch and spending time together. Reina is actually Auntie but who's counting.
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Time for Mother and daughter to catch up.
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And for me some solitude.
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By the way we are at Elk Rapids. This where the river runs into the Bay. A pile of Zebra muscles, that are foreign to our waters.
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I love the patterns under the water.
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After awhile we went back to where Gabby lives and sat outside while the kids played, we went for a walk leaving Gerry in charge
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They got the games and toys out of the back of the van. I had thought of actually taking them out and packing them away. I guess they are still useful. As I said, my van is packed with all the necessaries, like Toilet paper and first aid kit, toys etc.
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Meanwhile we walked through the Cherry Orchards at the back for some quiet. Tony (Gabby's significant other) said they have a pack of Coyotes out there that they hear at night. Well we found evidence when we came across their buriel ground. The bones of at least 4 deer and something much larger that we could not ID.
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They went in for a closer look but, no thanks. I didn't want to imagine the poor deer being taken down and eaten. Coyotes won't attack people, but a pack? They are normally in pairs or alone, so not even sure they are Coyotes. SO best be careful not to go out at night. They sure eat a lot. One bone was huge, large enough to be a cow. Just sayin'.
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The Cherry trees are ready to pop their blossoms and the trees ready to open their leaves. We had a good rain last night and again just now. Next sunny day and all will blossom
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Laura was pretty well knackered by the time we got back, it was quite a walk really.
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We have both been suffering from back and hip pain from all our beach adventures. I can not get a grip on it, constant pain. Must loose weight. Got to get my sugar under control as now have diabetes. Got to get serious.
On the way home we stopped to check on Alex while we had both kids and Gerry.
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Tidied her up a bit and saw the flowers getting ready to pop.............
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Time to get a new wreath and some more flowers when I go to the garden center. For now she is looking good.