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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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Jason.....................

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Happy Birthday Jason its the first birthday in 21 years not shared with Alexandra. Bodicea has the same birthday so your dad got a cake to celebrate everyone's birthday. He does not really need much excuse but anyway, hope it's a good day for you Jake and you are feeling better soon.

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Happy Birthday Alexandra...................

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You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust."

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand
(from "On Eagles Wings")

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This would have been her 22nd birthday.

Just a thought...................

Why do people hold on to a grudge?. I could never see the point. My mum was kind of that way, she would be mad at you and not be speaking to you. I would forget. I would be yacking away and being ignored, it would take awhile for me to remember. Oh yes.....the silent treatment. Maybe I just could not be quiet that long, or maybe I was more like my dad. Dad had been a prisoner of war in Japan. He did not hate the Japanese. My mum did. She never forgot what "they" did. My Dad would just say they were soldiers doing what they were told to do. He was too, and had his own demons. Mum seemed to think that they single handedly made her life difficult. My dad apparently was not the same man when he came back, as the person he was when he left England to go to war. She never forgave them for that. She took things personally you see.
I am glad I am more like my dad. I see no purpose in being angry all the time. What good does it do? Who does it hurt but yourself and the ones close to you.......I say forgive and forget if you can, but at least forgive and work on the rest. People who hold on to slights real or per-sieved are unhappy people and life is too short to carry such a burden.
I have been called a Pollyanna but I don't care about that I at least am at peace within myself.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Misty Morning at Stonehenge....................

My cousin Mark took these beautiful pictures. I just had to show them here. Stonehenge is a place that is best seen at this time of day and I think Mark did a great job.


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Invictus................

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INVICTUS

by William Ernest Henley; 1849-1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.




Invictus means Unconquered.  I love this poem but I think that I read something different into it than the author intended. To me this is the power that God gives me through His son. I am all of this and more because of my Faith. I have no fear of death and what lies beyond. I am the master of my fate because I made the choice to follow Christ. He gave me this freedom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Now he's two.............

Oh boy!!! we had a birthday party for Tristen yesterday. I don't normally do birthdays, I am of the opinion that too much "self" is not a good thing but, well I figured we would give it a shot. It went rather well I thought. A lot of work preparing food and getting the house sorted out. I called Grandpa Dan to come and take the little twerp off my hands as I was getting nothing done with 10 fingers and his nose into everything. Once he was off for the day we did well. I made potato salad and deviled eggs. I bought some fresh breads in various flavours and made a very large pot of chili. I bought the cupcakes instead of making as I intended and with veggies and so on and some crackers and cheese it was looking pretty nice.


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 Grandpa Dan brought the cake and ice cream and balloons.


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It was nice to have family and friends of Alexandra's come and help us celebrate. Sad that she was not there, but nice that everyone is still paying attention to her son. Its hard to believe he is two. It was great to see everyone and people came later and the house was quite full. Its about time we had more social gatherings like this and now maybe we will.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Tyger......William Blake.


THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

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By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
1794

William Blake seems to have the ability with simple words to get the feel and atmosphere here. The tiger so magnificent and fierce and so very beautiful. Maybe one of the deadliest of the cats. He captures its soul. When compared to his poem "The Lamb" that is so gentle and calm and peaceful. I like poetry when I understand it. When its clear and precise not all high falluting where you don't know what the heck they are talking about. Or where I get lost in the words and miss the meaning. I don't know if you see what I am saying but to me a poem or rhyme needs to be pretty and clear for me to like it. I learned this one in school of so many years ago and have never forgotten it. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Terrible Two's..............

Oh Lord save me from the terrible twos. I have seen the mothers of other little boys go through this. Tristen is about to turn 2 on Friday. So today he was a little pistol. He is tired from a weekend of fun at auntie Laura's house. That's great, I like for him to have a great time. Trouble is he goes to bed late and does not take his normal naps. This week he has refused to take a nap or stay in his bed. The big boy bed had been put back to a crib as of tonight. All day today he had been getting out when he was supposed to sleep. We put him in a pack and play after a bit for his nap but that did not work either.Tonight the rails went back up after he refused to stay in bed. He still got out. Gerry did his usual evening play time, got him to bed and no sooner come back down that the door was rattling and banging. That was when we did the crib. I sat with Tristen as Gerry got the rails back on he was fine and wanted to play. Off to bed he went and we came back downstairs. Big thump upstairs, his room is above the living room and back at the door he was. We put him back in. An hour of screaming and getting out. By 9pm I went up and calmed him sat with him and got him to sleep. I crept downstairs and low and behold a little person with blankie in hand is coming across the floor Nannnie Nannie and laughing like he expected to stay with me for the rest of the evening.........so I had Gerry get some warm milk and take him back upstairs after reassurances from me and screams from him, that time he stayed. He has to be exhausted. I know I am.
Now I pray this will not happen every night because that is what the other mothers have experienced. He needs to be in his own bed and he needs his sleep and we sure need ours. That way he wont be cranky during the day and neither will I. So what do we do? Its not so easy to take my own advice. I tell myself this is different, but its not. I know what I have to do but its so hard. I find it so difficult to be tough with him and the little twerp knows it too. He just smiles at me and I melt. I am supposed to be a grandmother, I am supposed to be able to spoil him rotten, I am supposed to hug and kiss and not repremand and punish. Its just not fair. I am not his mother but I have to be his mother. It breaks my heart. I raised my own kids and was tough and could quell them with a look. I did OK with grandkids too come to think of it but this little boy is different. He is just so much like his mother when she was small and I miss her so much.
Tomorrow is another day. I will do what I have to do with God's help. I will try and toughen up and raise him right. I will try to do better and give him what he needs from me, love as well as lots of hugs and kisses but..........I will also be firm when I have to be. Just please Lord dont make me have to do it too often OK?

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Procrastination.....

How does one overcome? Well I keep telling myself I have good reason to procrastinate. Tristen keeps me busy. He is soon to be 2 years old. He is so lively and so full of mischief its hard for me to concentrate on anything. I don't really read much anymore although I still buy the books. At least Tristen has a love of books. I still can't believe his mother is gone, maybe that's a part of the problem. Maybe getting over her loss has taken an insidious toll on me, different from what I expected? I just have no oomph!! Oh, I still want to do things, still get excited at the prospect of doing things, especially as I look at all the wonderful creative blogs out there. Then when the time comes I just cant do it. This weekend Tristen went to stay at his Auntie Laura's, she insists that he spend at least a part of every other weekend with her family. It gives me a break and he gets to enjoy a great weekend of activity. So why then am I sitting here. I should be outside. Its perfect weather for gardening but its so overwhelming now, its time to put the garden to bed and prepare for Spring but I just can't tackle it. The job is too big now for one weekend. So should I just let myself off the hook and wait till Spring when it will be more exciting and I will want to get going again?
Then I told myself I would get the sewing machine out. I committed to making some potholders in one of my EONS groups. I really do want to do that. I just cant get motivated. I also want to paint some pictures. I look at some of the blogs on watercolour and really get excited over doing that and then I think of those 10 little fingers and nose into all my stuff and laugh and give up on that idea. Maybe I should try coloured pencils instead? That's an idea.
I WILL start the potholders. Tomorrow.
I have been taking a lot of photos though. That's something at least.
This is one taken last night of Tristen, he is done with his spaggetti.

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This is his prize for eating all his spaggetti..............."ice keem"

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When all is said and done, he is all that really matters. I have a different life now, that does not mean I wont ever do this stuff again but for now I must be content maybe. Stop feeling inadequate and lazy. I spend so much time sitting when he is playing around here. I have to watch him constantly. With my own kids I had a play room and there were 3 of them. They entertained each other. This is different, he is an only child. I do watch a little girl who is 18 months 4 days a week so he does have a little competition. I don't want to spoil him terribly but ...........well he is only 2. Maybe when we do his room I will get enthused enough to decorate and make things for his room, maybe that will jump start my engines again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Redecorate...............

I am sooooo ready to redecorate my home. I am sick of it as it is. Trouble is I do not have the money to do it. Now I know paint is not too expensive so I may just be able to swing that one. Maybe even a little paper. So.............now to convince my husband. He will be the one doing the work. I hate that kind of painting. I know people who love it but that is not me. I want to do Tristens room first because it really needs it the most. I want ideas for a little boys room that is not too childish even though he is only 2. So I will just have to look around blogland and find some inspiration. Any ideas are welcome.
Then the bathroom downstairs and I think from there into the Kitchen. I want some bright colours but not loud colours. In the bath a pale blue or aqua would work well and really brighten it up. The toilet and sink are dark green and they have to stay so what theme would I choose. Right now its fishes and seashells. My downstairs rooms I want to convert over to English cottage and bring in some flowers. Right now my colours are dark. A very deep brownish red in the living room. Dark olive in dining and the kitchen is a peachy colour and the front room and study is yellow. Sounds horrible. Its not but I really want a change of sorts. Tristen has about ruined the carpet, well him and the other babies in the house including the poodles. Come to think of it the teens were worse. So I must save for an area rug because I cant replace the carpet.
So I need to think of small things that will make a big difference. If anyone can recommend blogs to give me ideas I will just love you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Lady

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My old girl Lady, she lived to be 41. I still miss her after 3 years.What a time we had together. I started to ride after I turned 40 and soon after I began to take lessons the guy who was running the stable lost his business. He sold all the lesson horses and I bought Lady and a 1/2 interest in Spyder. My friend Mary already had a horse named Captain. The new people used our horses for lessons and so we got a little break on the board. The three of them were in what they called Tie stalls where basically they were just hooked by the halter to a link on the crib that held their food. Only problem was Lady figured out how to unhook herself and spend the night snacking up in the hay. Eventually they had to go into stalls and it was not long before she learned to let herself out. That shows how coniving she was. Remember I was just learning to ride at this point and this horse had a sense of humour. A child could ride her and she was on her best behaviour. When I got on it was fun time for Lady. Not that there was a mean bone in her body, she just clearly liked to fool with me. An example would be when we tried to learn to jump. She would trot up to the jump with me in position all nice and steady and then she would just STOP and eat grass. While I hovered there like an idiot in jump position. Captain would do the same to mary but she had been known to slither off down his neck and plop off the other side of the jump, I know that was what Lady was aiming for but I had better balance.
Not so with the canter. I got the seated trot down pat and was very comfortable with that but I never did like the canter. So she knew this and would start off along the long wall in perfect canter, I would just get comfortable when the corner would loom up and sure as sugar she would turn and run into the middle of the arena leaving me all discabolalated and unbalanced. She never did this to anyone else and I had not changed my queue or anything. On a different level she took care of me. We were out on a trail one winter and got stuck on ice. I gave up the reigns and she got us off of the ice all slipping and sliding while I sat quiet and let her take care of things. Another time again on ice in the field I went in with carrots, so stupid in retrospect but it was something we always did. Well several horses came over and were pushing and shoving and knocked me over. Lady stood over me until they moved off kicking and biting each other. I could have been hurt. All I got was manure in my eye and lost my eyelashes by being rubbed off on the ice.
We had some great times Lady and me and she eventually retired and lived a life of luxury at a friends home. Her and two pasture mates had two fields to play in and full of grass. She had the best food and the best care and not a days illness in her life. She was fat in her middle years. So much so people thought she was pregnant but oh well...........food was her thing. She taught a lot of kids to ride and she was petted and brushed by my kids and grandkids. They learned to love horses and she is very much missed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Poodle Girls......

What can I say. I love poodles. I have always loved poodles. I had a poodle as a child and it has been the only breed I have ever wanted. They are way too smart and coniving. I just cant live without one, or two, or three or four.

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Englands Green and Pleasant land.............

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

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Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.


Jerusalem by William Blake.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Day of School....

I vividly remember the first day of school. It did not go well for me. I remember little bits here and there, and my memories are of things at child level. I see as in a movie, little me holding my mums hand. We went into an office with glass windows looking out onto the corridor. I had to go pee very bad and whispered to my mum. A lady said she would take me, she did. Coming back along the corridor that was painted two colours, that old apple green on the bottom a white stripe to separate it from the top colour that I don't recall. I could see mum in the office but that was not where teacher was taking me.........I said "I want to see my mum". The lady would not let me. All I wanted to do was say bye bye. I had a hissy fit of that I am sure. I was taken to the class room but don't remember that part. I do remember the smell of poster paint and Plasticine. I next remember lunch. Something makes me think I had started school later than anyone else. Maybe because we had moved to my Nan's house at that time. Anyway a teacher took me to the lunch room thank goodness because it was all very intimidating. I sat on the end of a long bench. She brought me lunch, it was this (stew) mess that looked horrible, made with hamburger meat. It was thick and it made me want to gag. I refused to eat it. She sat next to me and put a spoonful in my mouth and it was really good. I ate the whole thing. I don't remember anything else.
I just remember the helpless feeling of not being understood, of betrayal and fright.


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So this week my youngest granddaughter started Kindergarden she is 5 almost 6 so much older than I was. I remembered all of that, of my very first day. Its so different now, these kids ride on buses and carry backpacks and bring homework home they also get chance to go to preschool. Basically though in many ways they have to have those same fears. Large adults bossing them around and mum nowhere to be seen. Maybe the ones who have a less "retiring" personality do better and see it all as a big adventure but us shrinking violets have a very hard time of it. Just remember these small people cant voice their feelings. All I could say was "I want my mum" but what I meant was "I am OK with this, but I want to say goodbye" so listen to them and help them make a good start because it does effect the rest of their school days to some extent. I lost my trust of adults that day for a very long time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fruits of Fall.........

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Beautiful fruit from The Granery

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We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand.

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Elk Rapids................

Today we went out for the day, it was first day of school and so Reina's first day of Kindergarten. Laura was a bit anxious so it seemed like a good idea to get out for the day. So off we went with Tristen and headed for The Granery at Elk Rapids. Esther was not there she was off in the U.P till tomorrow but her son was watching the fruit stand. I bought a bushel of pears and 1/2 of apples. I got permission and we took Tristen for a walk in the orchards. He loved that.
We found some blackberries but Tristen was not impressed.

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I had a look in the Antique shop and as always it was full to the brim with bargains. However outside was an old mangle thingie that will make a great towel hanger. I had to have that for 16 dollars and also I got a plant for Alex's grave. A nice mum that will hold up till the weather changes. Here is a look inside "Grandmas Garage"

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My 16.00 Thing-a-magig

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Last time I wrote I said I would take a picture of the farm house. Its beautiful as are the people who live there. The house is over 100 years old.

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We left our stuff by the van and headed off into the orchards. It is a cherry farm but the cherry shaker is quiet now, its job all done.

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Tristen was fascinated by all the fruit on the ground. He knows apples but these round things he could only think of as "balls" they were peaches

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Lots of them

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After we left there we took him to the playground in Elk Rapids. He played a bit but was not as enthused as usual with no Reina to play with. We wondered how her day was going. No phone calls from harassed teachers so we figured it was all clear to carry on. We went down by the water where Tristen enjoyed a game of throwing stones. For some reason he just loves to do that.
We enjoyed a very quiet walk on the deserted beach. One of the big treats of early Fall before the colour tours begin

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We followed up with lunch with a rather soggy and sandy child in tow. All wind blown we were and naturally we had to see someone we knew. Tristen had a sucker so he was content until lunch arrived. He was very sticky. I had cheddar and broccoli soup and 1/2 a Reuben sandwich. Laura had a Reuben and fry's and Tristen had chicken strips and mashed potatoes followed by ice cream. He was saying hello to everyone and bye bye as well. Lucky there were lots of older folks who adore little kids. We always ask to be seated away from people as much as possible so as not to spoil everyones lunch if things begin to fly. He was good though and we made our escape without incident.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Digging Out Of The Hole.............

I am feeling very virtuous today. I took in a whole bunch of gold jewelry and sold it. It brought me about 1200 dollars. I bought a lot of jewelry when I was working. I love gold, yellow gold and I love diamonds. Unfortunately only can buy small diamonds but hey, they are the real thing. Now I dont work outside the home, I seldom bother to put on or to change my jewelry. I wear bracelets and earring every day, consequently I have broken a few bracelets. So, I went through and was ruthless. I took in a baggie with all my treasures. I knew I would be tempted to come out with something new but I didn't. I am determined to begin to pay of some bills. I have always used credit cards. So many things come up and we never have cash. Things like a new refrigerator that could not wait.
So I had a garage sale to pay for gas to take us on our trip to the U.P last month. I took the rest from my retirement fund, what's left of it. So that trip was paid for. That's how we must continue. So, I made a start. This will pay off at least two of my small bills. I will then cut up those cards. I want to keep one card simply for convenience and it will be a real accomplishment if I can get that far by the end of this year. During the next few months I think I will go back through the house and find things to sell. I need to unclutter in any case. Maybe that will either pay off another bill or it may pay for Christmas. I am excited. Its a goal, something to work for and a step in the right direction.


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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rock Collecting.............

Petoskey Stones


So I don't know how or when I became interested in rocks, but it's been awhile. I suppose it began with Petoskey stones. They are unique to this area, difficult to find until you get the knack and becoming more rare every year. They are only found on the shores of Lake Michigan.....from Petoskey and along the Leelanau coast. The Petoskey stone is a fossil of a long ago coral that made its home in this fresh water lake. The Great Lakes are inland seas, just not salt. Largest body of fresh water on the planet. Anyway, right from the start we have looked for them, became more expert as time went on. There are so many pretty rocks on these shores that it's easy to become distracted. I remember my mum and dad loved to go looking for pretty rocks. I can see my dad now head down and pockets full of rocks and mum saying "Harry you aint taking them home on the plane you know" ........but he would keep on filling his pockets.
My husband is a builder and has found large stones on the building sites, that means that the land was once under water quite far in. Things have changed a lot since the glaciers disappeared.

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Petoskey stones come in very large to very small and it is more common to see the small these days.
The beaches have been gleaned and picked over. I would imagine that there is still a lot out there and when the storms rage they bring in more. Still, they can not be limitless. After all they are ancient.

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When polished they are quite beautiful in their own way. The local craftsmen make jewelry from them.

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The stones do not need a polisher, a rock tumbler like most do. You polish them by buffing with a soft cloth and some powder of some kind. You rock hounds will know what I mean.

In their natural state they are sort of hard to spot until you get the idea. You need to wet them to be sure.

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