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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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

moonlight..............

There is something about Moonlight, moonbeams and the mystery of La Luna that has enthralled people since time began. It is romantic and flattering like candlelight.
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Moonlight Nights
by Bernard Howe

The clear sky seems to glow,
with the moon so big and bright.
Lighting up our hill sides,
with an iridescence light.

The shadows hide amongst the trees,
whilst I listen to the gentle breeze.
A night time opera in front of me,
a magical moment under a grand marquee.

For now I know that no man alive,
could ever produce this kind of splendor.
One in which a heart beats faster,
one which makes my heart surrender.

The beauty within our heavens light,
fills me with a passion a deep delight.
Lakes sparkle from shore to shore,
a beauty no one could ever ignore.

How can darkness have such a glow,
a warmth so bold to comfort our soul?
A beauty from heaven to help us believe,
a knowledge that can, make us all whole.
Bernard Howe
Copyright 2004

Old Lang Syne........

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
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The poem by Burns is the staple for New Years Eve, sung on the stroke of Midnight it tells us to remember our old friends. Its nostalgic and we can all do with that cup of kindness.
So for 2012 I want to remember all the people who have been significant in my life, who I love and will always love even if they have moved on to eternity. Every one we meet impacts our life one way or other. We must remember that its also true for us, so we must be careful how we influence other peoples lives. That cup of kindness needs to be full and given freely without condition.
So I wish everyone in my family, my friends old and new and those who I have yet to meet .....a wonderful 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year 2012................

New Year is really just another day isn't it? We always see it as a new beginning though.Maybe that's a good idea. Certainly not a new one.
I would say the best New Years Eve I spent was in London many years ago. I would guess it to be 1965. I was living in London at that time and some friends and myself all went to Trafalgar Square. It was awesome, waiting for the countdown and the striking of Big Ben at midnight. They do it on the river now but at that time Trafalgar was the gathering place. There were people in the fountains, in the trees and sitting on the lions. After the countdown everyone had to rush off to try to get the last trains home. There were so many people racing for the subways that you could literally take your feet off the ground and be swept along. They ran over the car tops to get to the trains in time. I had to get back to Putney Heath and then up to Wimbledon. It was a very exciting evening. No one drank or did dope it was just pure energy and high spirits.

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I don't know when they began the fireworks show on the Thames Enbankment, but now that's where the big event occurs.

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Some day I would love to be able to walk along the Embankment again. I remember the nights when I could walk along there at night and be perfectly safe. I love the place. I don't know what New Years Eve would be like now but it looks quite wonderful.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day..................

Traditionally the Alms boxes were opened to give to the poor. In the days when the royals or the elite would feast on Christmas Day the leftovers were given next day to those in need and to the servants. Cast off , food or anything of any worth was handed down. In later years the day became a time when gifts for trades people or servants were given. In England it is a National Holiday along with Christmas Day. It is one of the things I miss here in the States. It's very convenient to have a two day holiday that can be shared between sets of parents/inlaws. Christmas became two days of feasting and visiting family and friends.
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The Feast of St Stephan (Boxing Day) .............
St. Stephen was martyred in Jerusalem about the year 35. He is considered both the first Christian martyr and one of the first deacons of the Christian Church.
All that we know of the life, trial, and death of St. Stephen, is found in the Book of Acts, Chapters 6 and 7. In the long chronicle of Christian martyrs, the story of Stephen stands out as one of the most moving and memorable.

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Good King Wenceslas............
by John Mason Neale and published in 1853,

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Bells...............

'Christmas Bells' poem by Henry Wadsworth
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I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’


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Friday, December 16, 2011

Pink Saturday..............

I am linking up for Pink Saturday. I like the idea of meeting new people and maybe making new friends who have the same interests as I do.
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I don't have anything prepared and so this will be a feeble attempt at making something pretty just to have fun. So please bare with me.

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I didn't used to like pink, when I was young there was nothing pretty about pink. Pepto Bismal was the usual shade. It was the same with reds, horrible colours. Now we have such wonderful colours and dyes. I tend to love the very pale icy pinks but now I also like the hot or shocking pinks.
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I especially love pink roses. I like pink for , especially tee-shirts. I think it's a flattering colour for most women and it looks great with so many other colours. I love pink for china and especially for tea sets and for glass.
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I would NEVER do this to my poodle girls. But isn't this poodle pretty?

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Anyway, this is fun and I hope this is not too boring of an offering for you. I will try to do better next time
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You will find a button on the right to take you back to the original blog. Thank you for visiting me

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Reina............

Reina is now 6, its hard to believe that six years have passed since the surprise arrived.


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We had lots of goodies to eat and her cake had 6 candles. Tristen wanted to blow them out but was a good sport and let Reina do it.

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We were rather full by the time it came to cut the cake.........

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Granddad was ready for cake.......he is always ready for cake......

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She enjoyed reading her Birthday cards.

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...And opening gifts, with help from Tristen. She was very happy with what she recieved.

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They enjoyed playing and getting into mischief. That's what those two do when they get together.

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Robert and Raylene sharing a Dad and Daughter moment
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Robert, Tristen and Raylene looking at pictures on the computer, they were not sure they were liking what they were seeing.

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Gabby.........a sneaky picture by me

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Evie wearing the birthday crown......

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We had cake and snacks and shared with the poodles.

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Dan and Debbie with Lauren, Emily and Cameron stopped in for snacks and cake

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Reina fell asleep on the way home. She really enjoyed her party and was a very tired little girl when she left. She things she is very mature now she is 6.

Kid in a box.........

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What to do on a rainy day? Give a kid a box and watch them entertain themselves.
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They will play all day in a box

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Better than any new toy and its free.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cards......

I do so love Christmas cards. I enjoy sending them and love getting them. It seems that every year is a rush. They will be late this year. I have got things under control when it comes to decorating and have set Thanksgiving weekend as Christmas decorating weekend. Gives me chance to clean house and be prepared. Well I need to do that with the cards too. Maybe the weekend prior to that?
I love the glittery cards that I get from England, especially snow scenes and the English Robins and post boxes.

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I used to keep all my cards, it was only last year that I decided to get rid of the bulk of them. I did keep some after going through them all and reading cards from back in the 1970s. I love to get the notes from people that I may only hear from once a year. Now most people have email and send electronic cards, I sure hope it never replaces the real thing. Its lovely to get that card in the mail. To sit and open a few every day right up to Christmas Eve. Some people put in a newsy letter and tell about their year. Most people seem to have a far more interesting life than I do. Maybe that's why they do Christmas letters and I don't.
Every year I hope to make my own cards, but something always comes up and so far that has not happened. Maybe 2012 will be the year?

The Beauty of Christmas.......

I love the Christmas season for many reasons. Memories of Christmas past but also all the beauty that surrounds the Season. The glitter, the candles, the tree. The way the towns put up fairy lights in the trees and the town tree glittering in the square or main street. I love the way the shops are decorated and just everything about it. Its a time of good cheer and friends and family. I realize that it is not really Jesus birthday, but it is a day that we honour His birth. As such it is Christmas and not Xmas. If the stores want to make a profit from the Christmas season then do us the honour of recognizing it as such. Not everyone is a Christian and not everyone celebrates, but if you do then please don't say "Happy Holiday" A lot of folks do not have a holiday so that is meaningless. If it's Hanukkah then say to our Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah not Happy Holidays. We all have our own traditions, the Muslims celebrate Ramadan and we don't say Happy Holidays. "Stand for what you believe even if you stand alone" is a favourite quote of mine.
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We all have our traditions too, some watch movies like "It's a wonderful Life" and some watch more current ones that are cute and funny. We send out Christmas cards and catch up with old friends. Family comes home for Christmas. It is a time to celebrate with family, to show love and help others. A time to remember what Christmas is all about. The birth of a baby who changed the world. The son of God. Who came into the world for one reason............to die. To die that we may live forever.
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We idealize this birth like in this cute picture but the reality was that the baby was born into a world where it was harsh, there was no room for Him and the angels did not seek out the Kings of the earth but the lowly shepherds in the fields. He was surrounded by the Shepherds and animals when Mary presented her baby to the world. He was accepted and loved by the lowly beings and rejected by the mighty. Yes three wise men did come to worship him but they were the exception. They had been waiting for Him and brought Him gifts that would be used when He died.We follow this tradition by giving gifts to each other, but somehow the reasons have been lost in the commercialism. We need to try to get back to the "reason for the season"

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He came to earth from heaven to take away the sins of the world. So please don't reduce the celebration of His birth to a Happy Holiday or worse Xmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Old Fashioned Christmas...................

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When I think back on childhood and what the best memories were it was never about the gifts but about the family and friends. First of all because no one had a whole lot the emphasis was never on the gifts, even though as a child it was still exciting for me. I tried to believe in Santa but it was rather difficult when I always found my Mums hiding places for the gifts. I was an only child and can not say that I got a whole lot of material things. I was very happy with a book from my aunt and uncle and probably one from my Nan and Granddad and probably a couple of gifts from mum and dad I thought that was a lot. I remember that I would keep looking at them all day long. What I did enjoy most was the tree with real candles on it. We would light those Christmas morning. With the coal fire glowing and the candles twinkling it was just pure magic. Then the fact that my Dad's brothers stopped in for a Sherry. Later on my aunt and uncle would come over for the day and my Nan and Granddad would come too. We would have Christmas crackers and sit with silly hats on at dinner. Lots of laughing and jokes and stories and neighbours popping in and out all day long. When I was older I went with my Dad to visit his aunt and his Father. Mum would never go, she did not like my Granddad Burt. I went with Dad though and it was a further bond between us. I also got to go with the men down to the pub when I was old enough and I loved that. I remember one Christmas that it snowed, we had walked down to the Crown a pub in the village. The walk home was particularly merry and I can still see my Uncle Alan with rosy cheeks and a scarf around his neck as we threw snowballs at each other and pretended we were Yogi and BooBoo. Silly I know but well, as I said we were quite merry.
Mum always seemed to be in a snit because she had dinner ready most often 1/2 hour before the men got home from the pub. One would think she could have adjusted things but she never did and every year was the same. I think Dad just got used to it, the men would sit and snore the afternoon away until time for the Christmas cake or Christmas pudding.
I do remember looking out my bedroom window watching for Santa. The windows would be frosty and the room as cold as outdoors but sit there I would. I must have always fell asleep and now I think back I can say that my parents must have tried several ways to keep me in bed Christmas morning. One year they left my gifts on the end of the bed. Must have taken me five minutes to open them before running in to declare Santa had been. That one backfired. When the gifts were left under the tree I would go in wanting them to get up..............there is no way a parent can win on Christmas morning. I understand that now.

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I am linking up with Savvy Southern Style for Wow us Wednesday

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ornaments.............

One of the fun things I used to do every Christmas season was to make ornaments. When I was working I made one for everyone in the office, I did it for quite a few years. Most of the ones I did for myself I have given to my daughter Laura. Some of them though were done many years ago in ceramics class. I have not put all of them on the tree this year because I will be giving some to my granddaughter. That makes room for me to make more. The glass balls I did several years ago, I gave the best ones as gifts. I remember a cardinal was on one and a Chickadee on another. I don't have pictures, maybe I can get around to doing some more.

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Some have been purchased. The dog "Bo" is for the Obama dog but it looks just exactly like our sweet Bodi when she was a youngster. Different breed but you would never know. Now I will look for special ornaments that mean something to me. I will also, with luck make more.
Meanwhile I have been collecting snowmen and santa's

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Some of the Snowmen and santa's



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These are just close ups of pretty things.

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I don't know what these little bears have been doing through the night but look at the little beggars.

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I also have a collection of angels, the plate is one of the things I did in ceramics all those years ago. I must say they all lasted very well. I will take pictures of the ones I am giving away to my Granddaughter. When I have enough blog followers I may do a giveaway of some of them too.
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