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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, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving................

Tristen and his Uncle Jason.
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While not an American this is one holiday I truly love. There is just so much to be thankful for. This is the first year without Alexandra, but we have made it thus far. What I am so very grateful for is the faith I have that we will see her again some day. I thank God for our salvation. I thank Christ for His courage and endurance in sticking it out down here, submitting to the humiliation and shame of the things he was put through, the pain and ultimate sacrifice. He made this world and everything in it and yet He left His home in heaven and came here to make that sacrifice for me, and for you and for Alexandra. Because of that I know without a doubt that we will meet again.
I also thank God for my family. This year Dan and Debbie came for dinner. The fact that Alex's mother and father can sit together with their new spouses and share a day together with Alex's son Tristen. To help make the day special for him. Jason came home and is now Tristens new best buddy as he brought with him Tristens birthday gift from September. Tristen sat at the top of the stairs when Jason went for a shower. Gabby is living with us and so she too was here and Bill came over to visit. Dan took Tristen in the afternoon to go visit Debbies folks and have lunch with them so he had an amazing day and was very happy to see Reina and Evie.
We cooked a big meal as always. Turkey, ham, Brussel sprouts, baby carrots, green beans. Roast potatoes and mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes. Stuffing and gravy. Quite the feast. I have not yet recovered enough to even think about dessert. We have cherry pie and pumpkin pie but it can wait.

This is a picture of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
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Thanksgiving

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again!
~Old Rhyme

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Harvest

(John Charles McNeill, 1874-1907)

Cows in the stall and sheep in the fold;
Clouds in the west, deep crimson and gold;
A heron's far flight to a roost somewhere;
The twitter of killdees keen in the air;
The noise of a wagon that jolts through the gloam
On the last load home.

There are lights in the windows; a blue spire of smoke
Climbs from the grange grove of elm and oak.
The smell of the Earth, where the night pours to her
Its dewy libation, is sweeter than myrrh,
And an incense to Toil is the smell of the loam
On the last load home.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Favourite English Desserts.................

Well people always seem to enjoy food blogs. I was saying in the earlier one that England is perceived by many to have bland food. I have no idea how or why this has been perpetuated. The food can be fantastic and I just can not believe these people went to an English home or a good restaurant. In any case I will show some of my favourite desserts and treats here.
One of the best things to come out of the British Isles is it's cream. Devon cream or clotted cream. One wonderful dessert is meringue with fresh clotted cream and rasberries or strawberries.
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Puddings and cakes are popular and unique ones from ages past are still popular today.. Victoria sponge is a really simple recipe with fresh cream and preserves inside, just dusted with powdered sugar. Spotted Dick is a steamed pudding with raisins and topped with custard.

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Treacle tart and Bakewell tart.

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A nice tray of desserts to go with tea and sandwiches. Scones and clotted cream with preserves.

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Knickerbocker glory. Jam tarts, rice pudding and caramel egg custard.

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Fruit flans,orange pudding and cakes with Cadbury chocolate flakes. YUM!!!

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Scones and egg custard, Dundee cake and steamed pudding
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Scones are good warm with butter also, fresh creamy butter naturally with tea.

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Pretty cakes

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Bread and Butter pudding

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Some Christmas lovelies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and Yule log.

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Eccles cakes with custard and Mince pies............
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I could post many many more but I think this will do for now. You must admit there is nothing bland here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Silver Moon

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Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy coat the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.



Silver : Walter de la Mare

Saturday, November 12, 2011

English Foods............

Everyone seems to have an idea that British food is bland and uninspired. I have to say that I think that is wrong. There are so many things I miss. Some are probably not the same as I remember simply because things have changed. When I grew up in England the beef was farm raised in fields and ate good grass and proper food. The lamb was from New Zealand and the oranges came from Jaffa. We had an Empire then and the food was grown and delivered fresh from the milk man and baker. The village butchers did their own slaughtering and so the animals were treated humanely. The shops were clean and the meat was fresh.
So some amazing meals were cooked. The traditional Sunday dinner of roast beef with roast potatoes and mashed potatoes brussels or fresh greens. Its the sort of meal we now have only at Thanksgiving and Christmas, maybe Easter. Not every Sunday as we did back then. Yorkshire Pudding made the meal stretch and was great cold with jam.
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We seldom had chicken back then. I have no idea why really. I never did like lamb or mutton but it was another roast dinner meal that we had in the Sping with mint jelly. New potatoes and peas.

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Apart from the roast dinners visitors must try the Pork pies, the cheese, pickled onions, deviled eggs. Ploughmans lunch of Fresh crusty bread and thick creamy butter with cheese and pickled onions. Ummmmm nothing like that. I prefer creamy Cheddar cheese but Stilton or any other local tasty cheese would be good.

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Pork pie with pickle relish like Branston or Picallily and maybe a piece of cheese. Some of the pork pies have a boiled egg inside. Awesome


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Shepherds pie (lamb) or cottage pie (beef) is a really delicious meal. Quite simple using mince (hamburgher) meat and mix of vegetables baked with mashed potatoes on top. The gravy is what makes it so awesome.

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Or how about Bangers and mash or a simple Beans on toast favourites of childhood. They dont make those sausages that good anywhere else.

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I didnt even mention fish and chips. It used to be served in newspaper then the politically correct people said its not sanitary. well it never tastes as good as when it came from the newspaper. Still its one of the best know of English meals.

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Then there are the extra's like Scotch Eggs and sausage rolls or what about Steak and Kidney pie?

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Here are a couple of traditional breakfasts. You may be lucky to get something like this at a Bed and Breakfast. Just saying.

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This is without even starting on deserts. That will have to be another time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rememberance Day.................England.

Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day is this Sunday. It is always held on a Sunday. The true date is 11.11.11 The Eleventh hour and eleventh day of the eleventh month. This year will be 11.11.11.11
Wow.

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The poppy is the symbol of the blood that was shed during WW1 but became the everlasting symbol for those who died in wartime, who were injured and who served their country. No matter how we feel about war, these men and women gave their all. When their country needed them they served.

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My father was taken prisoner in Singapore and served most of his time in Japanese POW camps. My uncle who I never met died at Dunkirk on the beaches there and he is buried in France. He left behind a baby daughter my cousin Pat. For those men who never came back and those who suffered from wounds physical or mental because of their service............we Remember them.

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday US Marines. Semper Fi..................

Thank you to all who served. That includes both my sons and son in law. Jason Schaub, Justin Schaub and Daniel Commins. Thanks also to their cousin Greg Schaub and their friends Joey Ahrens and John Fay who served with them, I am Proud to know you all. I thank God for sending you all home safe to go on with your lives having learned so much while serving.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Remember Remember the 5th of November...................

Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire night. In England the Gunpowder Plot. Try to kill our King and no one forgets. Treason is a serious thing to us Brits.
Remember remember the 5th of November,gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot...

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On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. He was subsequently tried as a traitor with his co-conspirators for plotting against the government.Judge Popham came to London specifically for the trial from his country manor Littlecote House in Gloucestershire. Guy Fawkes was sentenced to death and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous which reflected the seriousness of the crime of treason.

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The following year in 1606 it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event.This practice, together with the nursery rhyme it serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten.

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Every year children celebrate by making a "Guy" with old clothes and stuffing it with paper. Then at the end of the evening he is burned on top of the bonfire. Children are allowed to go door to door singing "Guy guy stick him in the eye, hang him on the lamp post and there let him die" They receive admiration as they show off their guy and a few pennies to spend. There is a bonfire and fireworks in the evening and roasting of potatoes in the fire. Hot potatoes in their jackets never tasted so good. A great community get together was something to look forwards to for all the children and adults alike. I hope the tradition always continues for that reason alone. Far better than Halloween that seems to be taking over in England these days.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November walk in the Woods...............

Today is Saturday November 5th. I could not believe what a wonderful day it was again. What a great Autumn it has been so far this year. I was going to do so much in the house today, and get started on my sewing and other things but I could not stand to loose out on such a wonderful day. So Laura and Reina came over and we went for a walk in the woods. We went to the park so the kids could play on the swings after our hike. We began by hiking off onto the nearby trails and into the woods.

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Gerry seemed to think it was cold but once we got into the trees the coats and hats came off. Reina and Tristen were oblivious to the nip in the air.

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By the time we had gone up and down a few hills Laura and I were taking off coats and Tristen dumped his hat. The trail we chose goes past two ponds. I think they have names but I don't know what the names are. Anyway, this family of ducks were preening on this pond.

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We passed on by without disturbing them and went to take a look at the other larger pond. This little chap was busy. A small red squirrel.

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Then we walked for awhile besides the other pond in the hope of seeing some bird life. We saw this cute little nest that was now empty and abandoned. What a work of art it is, I would have taken it home but decided it looked nice where it was and maybe someone may use it again next year.

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Here are the boys looking out over the lake/pond. It was about that time that Gerry swallowed a bug and we were laughing so hard at the fuss he was making. I didn't get a good picture or I would have put it on Facebook.

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Back into the woods for a little way up the trail and then we heard the cows in the fields across the pond. There is a farm there where I used to get Lady's hay. The cows were enjoying some time in the fields and talking to each other in the afternoon sun.

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We came back out by the lake/pond again and low and behold .......Sandhill Cranes.
The edge of the pond was still frozen from this mornings cold beginnings.


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We left again and went back to the trail, it was uphill all the way back to the park. Laura and I left Gerry and the kids to play for awhile. We went back into the woods and tried to sneak up behind the cranes on the other side. First off we saw Woody Woodpecker looking for grubs. Pileated
Woodpeckers are quite impressive.

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We managed to get a little closer to the Sandhill cranes but the pictures were not much better than from the other angle, thats OK more exercize for us. I must remember when walking in the woods to look up as well as looking down. With my vision being impaired now my perspective is all off. I use the smaller trees to grab to help me on slopes and I find they are not as close as they seem. While working that out I forget to also look up at the low hanging branches. No matter.........we did get to see the cranes. The grasses by the edge were also very pretty.

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Then it was back up the hill again, I really must get in shape........huff puff.......