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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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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Winding down summer............

Monday Laura had the day off so we decided to make the most of things. Next week school begins. Her next day off is Thursday and we have open house at school that day. So we figured that Monday was it. We got ready early and were off just after 9.30. Just got up the hill out of town and the clouds burst. Thunder and lightening and the whole sheebang. Got so bad we could not see, it was all around us. We pulled over for a few moments till it eased off a bit. Good job because further on it had caused an accident and closed the road.
Being English, I can not let rain stop play. So we carried on regardless. We were heading for the beach and then the river for some play time. Kids had suits and everything. So..............it rained all the way out as far as Glen Arbor and then it eased up a bit. By the time we got to our secret beach it was all clear, still warm and misty. Lovely.
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So there we were and the thunder was still grumbling in the background but we were not going in the water here. We had the beach to ourselves, just how we like it.
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Here we looked for Petoskey Stones. Here is one, can you see it?
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Here we are looking for some. We collect many other stones too. I look for hearts and stones with holes through them. Or shapes I can use in crafts.
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We left the beach after awhile and had a look around the historic farm houses again. There are still many we have yet to visit. We saw these guys and stopped to take their picture
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The rain had cleared up and it was now a bright sunny day, it was still quite nice for being out in the sun, not too hot. So we had a look around the farm. Some of them are not so old but even they eventually will be restored in their turn. Many are used as was the one where the Sandhill Cranes were walking, so we left that one and went on to another.
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Next we went looking for critters. We went off through the woods on dirt track roads. That day we did not see any deer. Must have been laying low due to the storm. We did see some Hawks though. This Coopers Hawk was just sitting by the side of the road. We went back to be sure he was OK. He sat there just looking around so we could not figure what he was doing. We have decided we need to keep a pair of leather gloves in my car. One of these days we will be getting clawed trying to help one of these critters. Neither me or Laura has much sense when it comes to animals. We know its gonna hurt but if it needs help then we are willing to take the consequences. Now, what we would do with it in the car once rescued we have yet to figure out.
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Anyway, he flew up into a tree and was just fine so on we went.
Our next stop was to be the Crystal River. Now I have stopped at this spot many times over the years but never went in the water. The girls did many years ago (my granddaughters) This time, as Laura had gone in on the weekend we thought the kids would enjoy it. We came prepared, suits were on and in they went. I didn't need a suit as I did not plan on getting wet. Its only ankle deep she said.
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We put Tristen in a life jacket because we were going to leave them and explore. Its only ankle deep she said, or maybe up to the knees in places so I rolled up my shorts and stepped in. Ok so far, she was on the other side by then playing with the fishes. SH had brought bread to feed them.So I stepped out and it got past my knees, hmmmm so I turned to the left and felt my bum get wet. Well...........she said, you were supposed to come this way its deeper over there. Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
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The kids had a blast, they loved playing in safe water. Laura and I walked one way and then the other up and down river. It really was only knee deep. Most of the time.........
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We did stop in Cedar and ate supper. We didn't go for lunch as we were wet. By this time we had dried off enough that no one would notice. So then we went home a different way because we had stopped at the river in Cedar. Just to get a picture
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So the river looked nice, but it was a murky river not like the one we had played in. In fact among the rushes along the edge there was algae. We saw this strange sight. I told the kids that someone was standing on their head...............
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They decided it could be a zombie. We left and went home along Lake Leelanau.Some lovely views and its been awhile.
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There were very happy cows along the way
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I took a lot of bird pictures and will do a blog on the Garden Journal. I try to keep the posts relatively short. So too much to put here.
Sharing with Brambleberry cottage and also with from my front porch to yours

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Race and colour..............

What makes race such a divisive thing? Why does the colour of our skin matter? I would not enjoy a world where everyone looked the same. So why is it an issue.? What makes it a hot topic?
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I have 4 poodles, one is white and 3 are black. The cat is black and white. ( I am being facetious)
To me the colour of a persons skin is no more important than that. In fact, if I had to choose a colour I would want to be red. I love the colour of Native American skin especially with that wonderful long black hair. Now to be honest I prefer the tall and slender models but that is true of any race when it comes to my personal preference. Again I am just joking around, like this for example. Oh I could show many many Native Actors who I just adore.
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Then there are black actors. I could choose several
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Or Latino, again I could choose several
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I prefer all of those to white skin.........but then there is Brad Pitt and I can say that I am not at all fussy when it comes to colour
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I see all the above as beautiful men. So what makes the difference? I suppose it boils down to culture. Because if you have a certain way of doing things, a simple example would be holidays, other cultures have different traditions. Well then there is conflict but that one is easy to resolve by sharing traditions and mixing them up and agreeing on things.
Then there are the differences that can not be overcome so easily. Sometimes a culture has a whole different mentality when it comes to life. The value of life. I can not really think of examples except maybe one comes to mind. During WW2 the Japanese culture enabled them to give up their life as a Kamikazi pilot.........Honour means something different to me than it does to the Oriental cultures. Especially the older generations.
My daughter is married to a man from Puerto Rico and there is a difference between the very basic ways of life. To say that he is more "macho" is one way of saying it. He wants the little woman at home and having his dinner on the table and all of that and that just does not fly with my daughter.
When couples marry and have children then issues arise about raising them. Now all that I can understand, I can respect the differences even if I do not understand or go along with them.
To hate someone simply because of the colour of their skin is just totally against everything I believe in. It is beyond comprehension.
I thought as more inter racial couples married, I had hope that all the prejudice would go away. It won't though will it.
White people do not understand what it's like to be black. Imagine.........you walk down the street and the white folks clutch their purse to their body, lock the car door or cross the street being fearful. It is a fact of life that they get pulled over by the police even if they have done nothing wrong. These days they fear for their lives. They are still treated like 2nd class citizens in the south. "They" "Them" "us" ..........words we use without thinking. Why is it us and them?.
The things that are going on now are just plain wrong. I do understand that police often fear for their lives, they put their life on the line every time they get into that car or patrol that street, or answer a call. That is no excuse for cold blooded murder and that is how I see it. A man with a knife?.........six or eight bullets?. What happened to protect and serve?. Why could they not shoot the knife out of his hand if they had to shoot him?. What happened to the tazers? There have been even more shocking videos on Facebook. One kid shot for not paying his bus fare.....No point in reviewing those. I was raised to believe that the police were the good guys. If you are ever in trouble ask a policeman. Well I am not sure I dare do that anymore. Something has to change. You should not have to die because you are black. Has nothing changed since the 1960s? I am just glad I didn't live here then. Please don't think I am against the police I am not. I raised my kids telling them if they got in trouble with the police then they had to have done something wrong. Well that ain't necessarily so anymore.
This country does not stand a chance with the current laws of "Stand your ground" and "Open carry" Sorry but I detest the gun culture. No I am not anti hunting, at least not till I stop eating meat. Apart from that you should not need a gun. I was raised in a society where even the police didn't have guns so I find it really scary. That's another story though and I know many will not agree with me. I am not up for a debate I am just expressing my disappointment in the news of late. Some of my facebook friends are black and they are scared. Me too.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PowWow to Lighthouse................

Today was the last day of the Peshawbestown Traditional Pow Wow. We go there probably every other year or so. The kids can only sit so long and we also have to stand quite a bit for the entrance and the prayers, flags and so on. Good practice for the little ones to learn respect. It's a hard lesson.
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The drums are wonderful and you know, I have never been yet without seeing a hawk or was it an eagle circle overhead. This year there were not so many great costumes as some other times. It seemed like it was the young ones, the kids that had the beautiful regalia. A couple of older men were decked out in their finery. Other years have had some with beautiful bead work. Each time is different.
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The head dancers had lovely regalia. It is quite moving if long winded when they bring in the flags. Hard for little ones to pay attention and not wriggle.
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The kids did really well all considered. I don't think they found it terribly interesting this year. So how do we handle kids and their mouths? Reina shouts out "look Mum Indians" shhhhhh we say, thinking she is being rude. So she yells "well they aint real Indians" So she is taken aside and given a little lecture because then Tristen pipes up Indianssssssss.........We cringe and the two ladies who were the object of attention are snickering. So what is the correct thing to tell our children. I mean you dont go around saying oh look a black person or oh look a white person. I always feel like as guests (and that is how they see us) we should have some sort of protocol to follow. I wish it were not an issue but it is. I want the children to grow up respecting all people and this is a difficult one. SO next time Reina says "Look mum Native Americans" grrrrrrrr. What we would like is for them to just not say anything its not a zoo. They are not on display. I can not feel my way around handling these things. Being from England its never been an issue (race) as it is here. I grew up with folks from all over the world, but in our little corner of Michigan, well its not cosmopolitan at all.These people deserve a lot of respect and I want to be sure that we give them that.
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We got some fry bread and food before we left and off we went off to Northport. We had to get the kids busy again after sitting so long. I got them each a dream catcher. They know the story of the dreamcatcher.
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So this is the first time we have been to the Lighthouse this year. The water levels are up here too. The beach is actually gone. The land that leads to the beach is all rock at the tip of Leelanau county where the lighthouse sits. The plants that grow there are unique and beautiful. My camera was not focusing right so I didn't get too many pictures.
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I didn't select pictures of the ones down on the rocks but these were all growing up near the lighthouse. We got ice cream and a couple of things to occupy the little critters on the way home. A kaleidascope each and a sucker. Not that it kept them quiet but at least they had something to do.
Meanwhile I would love to get this in my garden
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Had to get a picture of this guy.....look at those eyes. He looks like a Mayfly but I am not at all sure.
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When we stood on the beach I felt like we were below the lake level and that it would come right in on us. Would not be down there in a storm that's for sure.
We let the kids play at the park for a short time just to let off steam before we got them trapped in the car again for the ride home.
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There are many lighthouses around the Great Lakes. It seems that inland fresh water lakes would be safe but they are not. The many many shipwrecks can attest to that. They should be given as much respect as the Sea, because that is what they are........inland fresh water seas.

Linking up with Create With Joy, Inspire me Monday
also with Wednesday's Adorned from Above link party
Visiting with Brambleberry Cottage Time Travel Thursday


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Old Mission..............

Today we chose to visit Old Mission Peninsula. Old Mission is the strip of land between East and West Bays of Grand Traverse Bay.
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 It was windy today and quite brisk. Laura froze, We went first to the Lighthouse but didn't go down to the beach as the wind was really blowing and they were cold. So this next is not my picture. All the others are mine but that one I googled.
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We went inside but there were too many people in there. Our town has become one of the top tourist places in America. Its really a pain for us locals, selfishly we have been used to having these places all to ourselves and so the challenge is to go to the places that are not so well know. We took a quick look and I got some pictures before heading into the woods.
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They have restored an old cabin that was there.
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 So then we headed off into the woods. It was warmer there with dappled sunlight. It was difficult for me to see the ground as we walked. There were boulders and tree roots so I had to pay attention.
The woods were lovely though. Our tree today was the Oak. So now the kids have learned Beech, Maple, Birch and now Oak. We collected leaves of each kind and they will make a board tomorrow with the leaves we brought home,
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We saw some tiny tiny frogs
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We did go down to the shore just to take a picture, the water was rough and it was cold. It's August, who carries a coat? Personally I was fine but Laura and kids were cold.
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We went on our way and headed for the very small Old Mission, cant call it a town. It consists of a General store and the replica of the Old Mission School. The school founded to teach the Chippewa Indians, We went in the store to get a snack. The old guy who was serving was a saint. He was supposed to have 5 other people serving but he was on his own. Calm and to the point with everyone being patient. They serve take out food as well as a deli and wine, and the old fashioned store has novelties and can not have changed since it first opened.
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There is also an Inn there
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The beach was a place to let the kids go play as we finished our snack and drink. There was a climbing thingie for them there
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There was a time when the Peninsula was full of cherry orchards
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There used to be fruit farms of all kinds. There still are a few, apple and peaches and pears, but Cherries are what the area is known for. Now Wineries and Vinyards have taken over. It's ideal for growing grapes for wine. Hops too are being grown in Michigan.
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Well I know what we will be doing tomorrow......we will be pressing leaves and sticking them on a board so they can have them in their rooms. Wish me luck.