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, October 30, 2012

Puddle jumping................

puddle Little boys in puddles jumping........... Through the woods and fields go thumping............ Noise and chaos follow them............. Kick up stones and chase the hen.............. Through the yard and to the hay........ Climb the stack and jump and play............ Litte boys are wild and tough............. We find their play a little rough............ They soon grow up with other toys...... But even big boys make a noise............. Trade toy cars for motor bikes............. Not for them the quiet hikes...... Small boys, big boys much the same........... Not sure if they are ever tame. JKS 2012 jumping-in-puddles (The pictures were found on the web) The followings are drawings I have just done. I am not really happy with them but will put them out anyway This was the first effort 102_0444 By putting them here I can see what I did wrong. 102_0449 I am not sure I can make corrections now it's coloured.........I used coloured pencils. 102_0448 I am linking with Paint Party Friday........
I am linking this post with Make A Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill

Monday, October 29, 2012


I have always liked sheep. They are quiet shy creatures that are a big part of the English countryside. We seldom see sheep here in Michigan. Over there they are everywhere, especially in the north and in Wales. Nah......they are everywhere. SheepYorkshireDalesTrafficJamsm The thing is, in the south they are more likely to be in their fields. When you go up into Yorkshire and the Dales or the Lake district and Scotland, well they are everywhere. They don't care about boundaries, oh no......they are on the roads, on the stone walls everywhere. Pretty often one has to wait while the farmer gets them from one field to another. y-dales In that part of the country you can travel on "gated roads" they are interesting to say the least. They are real roads but they will travel through fields and go through farm yards. One time we ended up in a flock of sheep on top of a hill, wonderful views. Had to keep getting in and out of the car to open and close gates. It was awesome. Certainly memorable. We would wind our way through country lanes with sheep standing on the stone walls, sometimes above made me feel they may jump down onto the car any minute. Those pictures are hidden away somewhere and in any case too small and faded now to bother putting on the computer. So I rely on others pictures to show my own memories. Photobucket One of the nice things about being on my friends farm during lambing time, we would get to look after the babies abandoned by their mums. Mrs Dryden would have them nestled next to the fire on a blanket. We would teach them to suckle and then take a bottle. You have to dip your fingers in the milk and stick it in the mouth, then when it gets the idea to suck you can stick the nipple in its mouth. Their little gums are hard and they suck quite strong unless they are sick. The little hooves remind us its not a puppy dog and the tight curls are rough as well as soft. lambbo The first time I saw something being born was a lamb. Country life can be can also be harsh. I was also aware of things like Anthrax outbreaks in Scotland and the farms around us dealing with Foot and Mouth disease. Farmers could loose entire herds and the smell of roasting flesh permeated the air. Clouds of smoke coming from farm after farm. We would have to wash our boots in disinfectant going on to the farm and coming back off. Glad that for the most part those days are rare now. ............................................................................................... PS someone had asked about the paint marks on the sheep and this is a reply from someone who reads my blog. I thought it would be nice to show his reply (with his permission) "Living on a sheep farm, I can confirm that to reach my house by car in the middle of the 'secret valley' you have to open and shut two gates to stop the sheep from disappearing. They are free to roam over a large portion of the valley but seem to prefer standing in the middle of the road holding up the traffic :-) The sheep also have coloured marks of spray paint on them and the colour can denote many things - who they belong to, which ones will give birth first, which ones are having twins and, I'm afraid, which ones will be going off to market. Loved your post, so accurate. Our Cotswolds region of England has more sheep than people living in it and even has its own rare breed named after the hills - the Cotswold sheep." Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Patch October 2012

Today was brisk. Sunny and very brisk, in fact bloody cold at 45 degrees. Still we went to the pumpkin patch out near Beaulah. Dan was going to pick up Tristen but I wanted to know where it was so was going along. Then Laura and Reina wanted to go, so in the end we went in two cars. Debbie and Dan with Lauren and her friend, and Gabbie, Laura and Reina with me and Tristen in the other. What a mixed up family we are arn't we. Dan and his wife and ex wife and ex mother in law, a mixture of kids in tow. I love it that it's turned out that way, that we can all be friends. I know Reina and Tristen will be very glad of it. 102_0410 Here is Debbie enjoying the goats. The rest are the ones in the barn. inbrnjpg So after going through the barn, that is the petting zoo we stood and waited 15 mins for the "hay wagon" .........such as it was, it was really a tractor pulling a wagon of sorts. PicMonkeyCfreezingjpgollage Then it was all aboard. Not sure if it was really worth it but the kids made the most of it and I suppose it was alright then. Thats me under there hayride Thank goodness they provided blankets, lots of them. hayridejpg The next thing was hot chocolate and popcorn and then we got the kids faces made up.........Reina was thrilled with herself. Meanwhile some other kids came over and Tristen and the youngest boy were nose to nose figuring out who was tallest. Then they watched him get his face done vanityjpg facepaintingjpg After that......well we spotted the pony standing doing nothing and so that was next. hor 102_0408 So after Reina had her go we went to see the pigs..........well we could not leave without seeing the pigs. Tristen has sort of gone off pigs. 102_0412 The pumpkins were pretty 102_0390 I didn't buy any though. Gallaghers has a much better selection. So will go there during the week if theres a pretty day. Tristen was NOT happy to go and ran for his life, Laura had to chase him again. He was howling and smudged his make up. So it really looked like he had camoflage paint all over his face sort of........I wish he would get over that. I know its hard for a 3 year old to leave activities when he is having fun but........we are no spring chickens here (smile) Sharing with A Dedicated House and Make it Pretty Monday. Thank you to our hostess for allowing me to share a family Autumn day.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Hay Barn....................

Anyone who has been reading my blogs will know that the joy of my youth was spending time on my friends farm. I think Margaret and I met when we were about 4 or 5. In any case it was when we began school. She lived on a farm a few miles out in the country, it's drive was 1/2 mile long to reach the road. There she had to get a bus to the village and then walk to my house. This was because the bus came much earlier than school started. So we spent just about every day together because I would go to her house on weekend. When we got old enough to date, then the roles reversed and she spent the time at my house so we could go out on weekends. She was as close to a sister to me as I could get. This is me aged about 15 or maybe 16 sitting on the gate to the sheeps field.
One of our special places to play was the hay barn. We loved it in there. We could climb the bales for one thing but we could also swing from the rafters and play Tarzan. I suppose these days it would be Spiderman. The barn was huge and never empty that I recall. There was a window looking out over the woods and fields, not really a window but the hole that bales were lifted up and down with one of those huge hooks and pullies. We would sit there when it rained and look out wishing we could be out there. barn-hay2 Very often we found kittens hidden there. We would catch them best we could and hide them from the dad. He would drown any that he found prior to the eyes being opened. So if we could hide them for awhile we were all set. We would put a blanket or something for them and put bales all around, the fear was that when really small they could fall between the bales never to be seen again. This is similar to our barn but an American version no doubt. Our barns were the real old ones, hand made from sturdy oak with huge beams. That was why we dare swing from them and walk across them. Hay-barn The free range chickens also took a liking to the hay barn and so sometimes we found eggs, or sometimes chicks. We got to raise any chicks we found and the kids got the egg money from them later to spend. One way for the Dryden kids to get pcket money. I have very very fond memories of laying in that hay in that huge old barn and I bet the other kids do too..........nothing like it these days.

Thank you CIndy

teareader A special thank you for being such a friend and featuring my blog on "Art,Books Tea". I appreciate that so much. Love Janice

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tristen loves his tea............

I normally drink coffee. When I lived in England I drank tea. I grew up drinking tea. Mum used to use loose leaf tea for many years and then came the ol tea bags. That was not so bad at first but soon seemed to become inferior. I went right off of tea for a long time. We drank it with milk and sugar and I never thought of drinking it any other way. Again, as a child there were things in the tea packets that kids collected. We would swap the cards when we got more than one and it was something that most kids did so we always looked forwards to new packets of tea. I can smell the new packet being opened even now ummmmmmm and the anticipation of the prize within. teacards The tea cards were not only pretty they were educational as well. I still have a bunch of them around. I don't have complete collections and so they are worthless but if I do start an Etsy shop I might put them out there to use as other things for crafts. Mum never really had "good" china. We used pretty basic stuff. I do remember my Dad bringing home a "bargain". He had stopped for some reason at Dunstable market and brought home a complete set of dishes including cups and saucers. It was white with black ducks on it called "Ducks in flight" my mum, you would have to know her, never appreciated his efforts. still that set was around for a very long time. When I moved to the States the remnants came with me. The two plates that are left I gave to Laura. Dad loved his bargains. My dad prefered a big cup and had no time for the small tea cups, he was happy when coffee mugs made their appearance. Although complained not to have a saucer, he would have to wait for the tea to cool down instead of drinking from the saucer. teacups I never really went back to drinking tea like I did when I was young. It's coffee for me these days but...........I do like tea again. I drink Earl Grey black. I also like herbal and green tea. It's just not a habit. In England it's a way of life. I cant explain that very well but life revolves around a good old cup of tea. It's the answer to most things that ail us. A sweet cup of tea for shock or for when a child is not well. Its nourishing. For tea breaks and elevenses or anytime someone stops in for a quick visit you hear "put the kettle on would ya".
Well the point of this post was really to say that I am English indoctrinating Tristen into being a tea person. Its good for you rather than coffee. Right now he LOVES his cup of tea. Earl Grey usually. Photobucket If for any reason you have a child who is not eating, is sick or weak...........a good cup of tea with milk and sugar gives basic nutrients and any older person in England would tell you it heals everything. I am linking up with Rose Chintz cottage new linky called Home........

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Believe......................

I believe in peace. I believe in kindness. I believe in beauty inside and out. I believe that every living being has a right to exist on this earth. I believe that God made us all, I believe He made this world and everything in it and that we have no right to destroy that. I believe that to turn the other cheek is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength of character. I believe in love, in loving other people of loving our family and friends more than ourselves....but I believe we must also love and forgive ourselves as we forgive others. I believe in God's love, in His word and in His ability to change our lives. I believe His strength can sustain us when we have no strength left. I believe He will give us our basic needs and often gives us much more than we deserve. I believe His angels watch over us and aid us in times of trouble. I believe material things are fun but not necessary to make us happy. I believe our joy comes from within, from a clear conscience and a loving heart. I believe that often its the little things that give us joy and often little things that hurt us more than the big things, so I believe we should be careful of our words. Words have power to hurt more and do more harm than the physical. It often takes us a long time to realize that, and it takes us a long time to recover from verbal abuse. Be kind in your criticism and do not use words to hurt another. I believe that if a person is cruel to animals they are not good people inside where it counts. If they can look into an animals eyes and not have compassion then they are not worthy of my respect. When I look into the eyes of my own animal friends I see nothing but trust and love and some wise person once said "I wish I could be the person that my dog thinks I am" Life is not a do over, at least not on this earth and so we need to teach our children well and teach them that their name and characters count. I believe in caring for the elderly, the sick and the poor. I believe in respecting the belief and faith of others even if I think they are wrong. God gave us free will, freedom to choose and I can do no less even as I wish to save their soul. I believe that is done by showing that I have something worthy, that they might want in their own lives. I believe that is not achieved by a Holier than Thou attitude or threats of hellfire. I believe the Holy Spirit is here to do that. I believe that by trying to live a good life, by hopefully showing by example, by giving what I can and doing what I can to help other people they may see a shadow of Gods love in my life. My entire existence is dependent upon Him, He helps me through the hard times. He uplifts me in times of trouble. He gives me all I need even while I know I do not deserve it. I am unworthy of His love but I feel His love all around me every day. I see His love in the beauty of this world as well as the horror of what life is like without Him in it. I believe that even in those places it seems God has abandoned one can find a glimmer of hope and find Him if people care to look. His Spirit is everywhere around us until that day that we are all called back to Him..... but no man knows that day and time and so I believe that we must do the best we can while we are here. In small ways and big, in opportunities that are presented to us we can change the world. Sometimes it just takes one person to make a difference. If each one who believes in Gods grace would stand up and just do what is right when the opportunity presents itself, then we leave a better place behind us. The bad things in this life are not here so much because of bad people, but because good people stand by and do nothing..........Take a deep breath and just do it. Photobucket

Monday, October 22, 2012

Typically English............

I was putting some pictures into my album to save and it made me think............what is it that we think of when we think of England. I am sure its different for everyone but for me I can show in a few pictures. Not the deep down attachments that I personally have, but the icons that are uniquely English that everyone knows so well. Most of these are not my own pictures and are taken from the web. I am hoping no copyright it violated. As always just let me know and I will credit your picture or remove. No infringement is intentional. First the iconic Phone box.....this one with Big Ben and focused in London 382748_10150540866621458_1720678108_n Then the red buses.........we all knew our number, mine was #6 b120px-AldburyPond The beautiful Horse Guards horseguards .....and the Household Cavalry householdcavalry London would not, could not be London without them. The red post box on a stone wall what could be more English? mail How about the patchwork fields? patchworkbeauty The Village church in English countryside. england I think that the small English villages are unique and what people want to go and see.........and have a wonderful cream tea or ploughmans lunch at a local Pub. What could be more English than that............the Pub. P1000852 I could go on, the Beatles, The Tower, Tower Bridge, ST George the Royal many things scream out England but......I could only choose a few. I love my country and will forever be English.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Before the Winter comes.............

It's been raining all week, almost all day every day. Today is Friday and Tristen wanted to go outside so bad. This will have to be our clean up weekend before the snow flys. I have to put away all the garden ornaments and move plants and things. Gerry will have to rake leaves onto the road so they will get picked up. Saturday is supposed to be rainy in the morning, and that's OK it will take us most of the morning to get motivated. Then its outside for us............. 101_0589 One leaf does not seem so bad but when you see the big piles beside the road you wonder where they put them all. Well we do know where they put them, there is a dump outside of town and they turn it all to mulch. If we get done in time we will go out for a drive on Sunday. Maybe out to the dunes. There has been a worrisome incident out there though. For some reason 300 dead Loons and other birds have washed up on the beaches. Some thing in the water. It supposedly happens now and then but it troubles me that its that many Loons. We will stay away from the beach. I want to get some pictures of the colours. If any leaves are still on the trees. Look at these cute berries I found in our Alley 101_0557 They look like baby Pumpkins. 101_0553' We shall see what the weekend brings because not much going on today that's for sure. This is Tristen walking home from school on Thursday 101_0561 He was wearing his shoes instead of his tennis shoes. He liked that they had laces. He said they were bunny ears, naturally they came undone 101_0563 Gabby did them up for him 101_0564 He is showing off his back pack and being able to walk without holding our hands. He is practicing road manners and looking both ways ETC 101_0562 Tristen is still a little untrustworthy so we keep a good eye on him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Today did not begin well because Tristen was up at 6am and was soon cranky. He would not get dressed and was getting beligerant. So back to bed he went hollerin and screamin......I shut and locked the door. After about 10 minutes of screaming and throwing stuff around he began to settle down and decided he was done. So I asked if he was ready to get dressed. He said he was and came down for a snuggle. All went well for the rest of the day..........I went and got my hair coloured, Laura took me and Tristen got to watch. He had the 3 stylists amused. He sat on me as my hair was being washed, I mean he lay with his head next to mine and screamed "Nanny your hair is blue" when Missy put the shampoo on...........he was happy when it was washed off. They all laughed and we now know he knows the colour blue. A man came in for a hair cut and after that he helped Jake sweep up the hair. When we were done he gave each one a hug and kiss. We went to Laura's for lunch. He played on Reina's swing set. 101_0594 After that we went to the park and he saw someone he knew from school. He was amazed. Then he saw a lady with two black labs and asked her to hold his coat while he played with the dogs. What a nerve, he has no qualms about people. That could be good or bad, I am not sure. I don't want him to be afraid of people but.............I think it's a shame to spoil the innocence. 101_0601 He completely took over, the lady showed him how to use the ball sling or whatever its called and the dogs had a blast. Notice the ball in the air.............. 101_0603 He played a bit on the playground equipment but loved the dogs most of all. Then to get him to leave..... 101_0606 our next visit was to Grandad's work. He loves the big equipment 101_0610 101_0609 Then he found the mud......... 101_0617 It sucked his shoes off........Laura and me were looking for rocks, and found Petoskey stones. 101_0611 We had wanted to go for a walk but getting him away from the piles of dirt was impossible and we dare not leave him because there were a few mud holes and I didn't want to risk him falling in, or a cave in so we contented ourselves with rock hunting 101_0614 Imagine the state of his pants and feet, now minus shoes and socks. Laura not much better the mud sucked us in. Here is Tristen minus one shoe..... 101_0620 We headed home next to clean up and he took a two hour nap. We are paying for it now as he cant get to sleep. This is a view of our town from above on another subdivision. Its a shame it's hazy because you can see both arms of Grand Traverse Bay 101_0634 The colours must be near the peak. 101_0630 That was our day today............tomorrow school for Tristen and I must catch up on my work while he is gone.