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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)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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fall Is In The Air..............

Summer is not yet done...... but I see subtle changes in the air. I see it in the way my garden looks. It looks tired. It's about to get a second wind as the Asters and Mums begin to bud. The morning light is different now. The sun is hot but in the shade I feel a difference, a nip. I see the geese beginning to practice their formations. Soon they will be gathering for their annual migration and soon the birds who leave to go south will begin to gather on the wires. Masses of them. Not as many as in years past when the sky would be black with them. Things have changed here in the 40 odd years we have lived in Traverse City. The wildlife has had to move further out although.....for some reason, we have had bears in town this past year. Funny that. We travel to The Upper Peninsula in the hope of seeing bears or moose or anything wild for that matter but here we have it now in our own back yard. Actually two blocks away but you get the drift.
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Its time for the children to go back to school, or in the case of my granddaughter Reina it will be first day of Kindergarten. Watch out folks here she comes. Her mother says she will not have her phone on that first week and will give the teachers fair warning. Reina is ready for school. She is smart but her nose has been out of joint since Tristen has been the center of it all. It has been showing in her behavior and we are hoping that school will help. The first few days will be a trial I am sure, or maybe she will surprise us. Tristen will miss her coming over all the time. He will have new interests though because I take care of a couple of children now and then. Besides that Laura and me will be able to take him places during the day. I do so wish children came with an instruction manual. At my age 65, I am no longer sure what I am doing.I love this little guy so much. He has his mothers attitude, we see Alexandra in him so often now. (do read older blogs to find out about Alex, she died in Feb) I see the young Alex, I see her curiosity and her intelligence in him. I want to nurture him as well as discipline him and love him. I don't do Halloween so that will be difficult for us all. His second birthday is coming up soon and none of us can but think of his first birthday with his mother. I am hoping there is so much more we can do before winter comes. I want to get to the beach again, so much to show him, so much to do. Fall is one of the prettiest times of year here in Northern Michigan. If we get a good season, the colours here are just awesome. I would like to get back to the U.P again before the snow fly's but doubt we can afford to do it again. Money is always an issue for us but the Lord provides and we are lucky to live where we do. Fall is a spectacular time of year as far as colour goes. When the pumpkins are laying in the fields and the leaves are red and orange and lime and with the evergreens staying the dark green its really really worth coming here for the colour tours and the orchard tours. The apples and the pears and our local wines and cheeses. Its all worth the trip. Personally I prefer it when all the tourists go home and I get to stay and walk the empty beaches in a nice cool wind. Sometimes a brisk wind .....it doesn't matter just take in the deep breaths of clean pure air. The woods are lovely too and all the little critters are busy getting ready for what must come. Its even better walking when it's cooler and I just can't wait.



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Friday, August 26, 2011

Return to Paradise...........

We just got back from our trip to Paradise. I am pretty sure its the last for this year. Wow was it busy. I have never seen so many people in Paradise. Lucky for us we got there just at the end of the Blueberry Festival. What a great weekend for the local business. We went for burgers at the Klondike Bar, best burgers there yum. Well "Sorry no French frys and before you ask no onion rings either" said the bar tender. Thats OK we had deep fried mushrooms instead. They were out of so much stuff. They had over 6000 people go through Paradise that weekend. I am sure they have never seen so many people before. Its not like that can get supplies as quick as we do down here. The cabin was great, we just love Curley's. What does it matter if there was no hot water and barely and water pressure who cares.

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The house had a very large living area and kitchen dining all in one. Two large bedrooms too. Very comfortable. I could live in that house.

One of the days we went to Taquamenon Falls. We have been many many times but its a nice walk and I have a digital camera now so just had to get a few more pictures

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We only went to the Upper Falls though.
One day we went to see a lady who has a pair of wolves. She has had wolves for many years. I have always wanted to go meet her but this was the first time it worked out for both of us. Her older wolf died last year. The two remaining wolves are now 13 and 15 years old, so I was very happy to get to see them. She also has sled dogs. She does not race them but got them from people who do. I guess these guys were too slow. They live a good life and get a lot of freedom, even though when we saw them they were penned. Nice and clean pens too. They get to go out at night and run, and she also does sled with them, just not racing.
The wolves are still wild and have always been so. They are beautiful. Kenai is an Arctic wolf. Just look at those feet. They are huge so that they can walk on snow

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The other wolf is an American Timber wolf Nahanni

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These wolves are in a compound in the woods. Although surrounded by 10' double fencing they have a lot of freedom. They are healthy and happy. You can tell. Nahanni was flirting, too shy to come to the fence (we were inside the double fence) he would come real close and as long as I didnt look would keep coming but if I moved or looked would go on by like he never intended to get any closer anyway.

This is Reina with Moki who is the house pet and is a real lover.

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Another day we went to Oswalds bear ranch. They keep black bears who are either orphaned or given to them. They do not breed bears. All these are rescued and very happy. They have a huge place to live with in special fences and electricity. However as babies their job is to have pictures taken with children. They are given treats and you can tell they could care less about the pictures just give them the treats. This is my husband with Tristen and Reina and the curent baby model.

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Then the man went in with one of the females and had her pose with a sucker. Just look at that face.

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While the gates were open I got a good shot of her. What a beauty. While walking around some of the bears came to greet us at the fence because people give them treats of cut up apples. We had neglected to get any but Gabby had a sucker and as they get suckers we threw one over. That bear followed us the rest of the way in the hope of another treat. Now dont get the idea that they are fat and lazy, they are not. They are well cared for healthy bears.

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While we have very seldom seen bears while we have been in the Upper Peninsula we have had several around town where I live. Imagine that.

One of the best things to do is to walk on the beach at Whitefish Point and look for Agates. Tristen prefers to throw them. Do you like his camoflage?

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Here Reina and Tristen look out over Lake Superior. This is outside the cabin. Today she is in a calm mood but don't ever take this lake for granted she is a wicked bitch. The shipwrecks and storms here are just horrendous. Remember the Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Paradise......

On Sunday we leave for Paradise. Its a very small town/village? in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. About a 3 1/2 hour trip for us from Traverse City. We should be arriving at the end of the Blueberry Festival. I hope they save us some jam and stuff. I want to bring some home for my friends Nancy and Edna.
We go to Paradise when we can. Its really not that far for a few days of relaxation. Not a lot there but its wonderful country. The village is on Lake Superior close to Whitefish Point. You can see the other end of town from the road you come in on. What is there to do? Not a lot but we love it. We stay at Curley's when we do go. We used to get the same room because it has an attached bedroom so its nice for a family. Then we rented a cabin and now that's what we will do from now on. We have always taken our dogs but now we have 4 poodles we are trying getting a house sitter and leaving them home, less stress all around. Also we have Tristen with us and that's stress enough thank you. Not quite 2 yet so he is still learning to be good in the car. We can only hope. I may take ear plugs this time.
Well anyway...........in such a small place there is wonderful food. The local bar looks decidedly shabby outside, they are waiting for better times to come, a better economy but the inside is cozy. Very clean and wonderfully friendly. The food is to die for. We are going for the burghers oh boy. Best I ever ate. There is also a fish and chip place where they catch the Whitefish daily in Lake Superior. Also makes it worth the trip. There is a local pizza place that makes fresh home made pizza while you wait. What more could you want.
This is the main street. The place we have gone for breakfast is in that set of shops but I just found out that the bar is open for breakfast and that's where I'going
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The main street is very quiet but I suspect that because of the blueberry festival there will be a little more activity on Sunday. We may catch the end of the art and craft show if we are lucky. This is looking out of town. This is the bar.
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From that road where the bar stands you can see right through town. If you go right instead of left then you will go up to Whitefish Point. They have the lighthouse there and the Great Lakes Maritime museum. There are displays from the Edmund Fitzgerald that went down in a November storm. lake Superior is an unforgiving bitch as many a mariner or fisherman have discovered. Dont ever underestimate her.





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Apart from the lighthouse there are several other things to see here. There is the museum and a gift shop that sells books on the area, on lighthouses and other Michigan things of interest. There is also a small store selling Cranberry products. (I hope maybe blueberries too) There is a large lawn that sometimes has exhibits and where they have the blueberry festival. There is to be an art and craft show but I dont think we will get there in time for that so all I can hope for is to get some products in the shop.

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There is a general store and a hardware store but not much else. The giftshop didnt have a lot the last time I was there but thats OK. I will buy something anyway. Support the local economy best I can
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So you may wonder just what it is that we find attractive? I dont know. Its just a feeling of peace, the quiet, the solitude. Walking on the beach up at Whitefish point at dusk and seeing the ships heading for Sault Saint Marie locks. A few lights twinkling over in Canada, not much because that part of Canada has hardly anyone there. Another place I love. We always hope to see wildlife. Bears and Moose maybe. There is a place to take the kids to see bears that have been rescued and its worth a day trip to go see them I know Reina and Tristen will love that. Then the Taquamenen Falls its a natural beauty spot and I am sure they will be impressed. Theres a great gift shop there and a place to eat so that will be a nice day out for us. I will bring back some pictures of both places.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Large cat in a small basket...........

Tubs is a very large cat. He is in fact fat and fuzzy.
Why is it that whenever something is placed on the floor, be it box or basket or even a piece of paper a cat invariably sits on it.

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I had no sooner taken the lid off this basket than Toby (Tubs) was in it looking silly. Toby always has this look of surprised distain like he is saying "What? you have a problem with this?"

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Hey Sam, I think the alarm went off............

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Is there NO privacy around here..........


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Beatrice comforts her friend Bambi..........

A fun day out on Old Mission.

Today Laura and myself with Gabby in tow took Reina and Tristen out for the afternoon. We went to the Old Mission Peninsula. It sits between East and West Bay on Grand Traverse Bay. We stopped at the lighthouse at the tip of the Peninsula.It does not get much better than this............pity it was a hazy day it was very hot

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We let the kids take a walk at the lighthouse. It was nice and shady so was fun until we got to the beach. It was very hot on the sand,

Old Mission Lighthouse

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Old Mission Lighthouse from the beach

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There is a cute little log cabin there

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There are several restaurants out on the Peninsula and my favourite has an art gallery there. Its always unique. The food is good and outside the gardens are awesome. Hollyhocks abound and when at the peak are a glorious site

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When we got back we stopped for icecream. Tristens looking to see what Reina has.

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Reina was so excited to go get ice cream.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All Things Bright and Beautiful.................

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all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful:
the Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
God made their glowing colors,
and made their tiny wings.


The purple-headed mountains,
the river running by,
the sunset and the morning
that brightens up the sky.


The cold wind in the winter,
the pleasant summer sun,
the ripe fruits in the garden:
God made them every one.


God gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beautiful Danielle becomes Mrs Cook.......

My granddaughter Danielle became Mrs Joshua Cook July 30 2011. She was a beautiful bride. The wedding was wonderful, simple and sweet. They chose Presque Isle in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The wedding was held inside the pavillion but the reception was out on the deck. It was a small intimate wedding with no fuss and for that reason I think it was the loveliest wedding I have been to. To make it even better we had the place to ourselves because the police closed the park because of a couple of moose who were hanging around.
Here is one of our guests

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Danielle was a lovely bride and we are all so proud of her. She is to become a registered nurse and they will make their home in Ishpeming. They are fortunate to live in such a lovely area.

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The location was wonderfully scenic. This was the backdrop to her photos.
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Further along the beach



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On the other side of the island that is really a peninsula, there are lovely views like this one.


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Mr and Mrs Joshua Cook

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