Photobucket

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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

May Day...........

May Day is celebrated in England and other countries in Europe and around the world. Some have made it into a military celebration, showing off their "wealth in arms". I think of it as a day to celebrate Spring. I suppose in many ways the scene in the movie "Camelot" would be how I think of it. The blossoms are out in the hedgerows. The trees are blooming, Apple and Cherry blossoms and the Blackthorn and Hawthorne. The earth awakens and renews. The birds are nesting and the babies are being born in the woods and forests. Baby bunnies, the fawns and the kits in the Fox's den. Such beauty and renewal. No wonder the old Pagan religions dwelt so much upon the Springtime. John_Collier_Queen_Guinevres_Maying (john colliers Queen Guinevres Maying) May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane. It marks the end of the unfarmable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and so it stands to reason that flowers are a huge part of it. Roodmas was a Christian Mass celebrated in England at midnight on May 1. In our village we celebrated the crowning of the Queen of the May. She would be paraded through the village with her attendants and be crowned on the village green. It is celebrated with Morris Dancers and the Maypole dancing Much of this tradition derives from the pagan and Anglo-Saxon customs and many Celtic traditions. Queen_of_the_May_in_June_-_geographorguk_-_1346819 May blossom, the flower of the May tree. May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. It is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Since the reform of the General Roman Catholic Calendar, May 1st is the Feast of St Philip & St James, they became the patron saints of workers. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons. mayday_1819459c Morris Dancers are a rather strange and an olde worlde sort of thing. They are funny and clever and usually do their dances outside a pub from what I have seen. Although I admit often on the village green when the Fete is in progress May-Day-around-the-world-morris-dancers- I hope this ancient tradition does not go the way of so many others. Its such a shame to see things pass away after centuries of enjoyment. I love tradition when its good and pretty and brings a community together for fun and fellowship as does May Day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Afternoon....................

Laura came and got Tristen yesterday, she took him to play at her house while I took a shower and did a little work. A nice opportunity for them to share some Grandma time together. They came back around noon so that we could go to the park. We went for a walk first because we thought once he saw the playground we would not get a chance to walk much. So we set off into the woods. It was a nice cool day but bright and sunny. 107_0051-1 A bit cool down by the ponds, especially when there was water both sides of the trail. Too muddy yet to walk along the edge. 107_0061-2 We met a very nice lady on the walking path, she was walking her lovely dog. Tristen loves big dogs and she let him throw the ball for her. He was delighted that the dog kept coming back for him to throw them again. He sort of wanted the bat and said "I need that" and so we had to direct him over to the playground. 107_0070 We found a tree with two holes in it. Something a little boy would just have to explore. He just had to stick his hands in through the holes 107_0065 107_0066-1 We found this Holly bush. Well I thought it was Holly but I didn't know once I saw the yellow flowers. I must look it up now 107_0064-1 We went on over to visit a Killdeer and show Tristen her eggs. She was very nice about it and once she knew we intended no harm she waited till we had viewed her nest from a safe distance and then settled back on the nest. I have posted pictures in my Garden Journal. 107_0082 107_0075 We also showed him a big ants nest and I think he may have been a little more intrigued with that. He certainly would have stuck his hands in if we had allowed it.
107_0085
After we left the park we took him to visit Granddad (Daddy to him) and he was thrilled to look around the house being built. He will have fun going over there this summer watching the house being built. He loved getting on the back hoe and it was a job to winkle him back out again. Granddad had to get aboard and pry him loose. 107_0093 107_0098 After a long afternoon out they dropped me off at home to start supper and Laura took him home to play with Reina, she had been a bit ticked to have to go to school while Tristen got to go out. Well he stayed for supper there and came home a very content and tired little boy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

St George's Day.................

Today is St George's Day. Apparently it's no longer a big deal in England these days. That is a shame. The Scots celebrate St Andrew's Day, the Irish St Patrick's Day and the Welsh St David's Day. So why do the English not make a stand. It's considered nationalistic and even racist to say one is English. Or so I am told. Well, I am English, I was born in England and English I will be until I die. While I no longer live there that does not change a thing.
Its time for true English people to stand up and be counted. The red cross of St George is the English flag, flown by Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and even the Mayflower. The union Jack is made up of the flags of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales it is the British flag.

Photobucket


Why did we choose St George as our Patron Saint? He was a Roman soldier after all. We are not the only country to hold him up as a National Saint. I do understand that innocent blood has been shed under the Cross of St George, especially during the crusades. Now with many of those peoples from those countries now living there, well that is where the racism comes in I would suppose. However........it is after all England. They knew our history and chose to live there despite that. We have our history, good and bad. A lot of bad things have been done in the name of Christianity but it is still our history. While the current immigrants choose to live there and make it their homeland, I do not believe that it means giving up what makes England well.....England.
St. George was born in Syria around 275 AD and never set foot in England.
George was born to a Christian family and became a great warrior. Roman emperors tried to get him to denounce his Christianity but he refused to and he eventually died a martyr. St George and the Dragon is the motif most people associate with him. The tale is that there was a dragon threatening a state and each day it demanded more and more sacrifice.
George eventually killed the dragon because the dragon's next victim was a princess and George loved her.


Photobucket



St George was declared patron saint on England in 1348 but it wasn't until 1415 that St George's Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England
As crusaders returned to England they brought with them tales of St George's great bravery and his reputation grew. During the 14th Century, English soldiers wore a sign of St George and he was promoted to Patron Saint of England when Henry V led his army to victory at Agincourt.
For God, Harry, England and St George.............the battle cry.
Well maybe that is all in the past but it is still our history, still our national pride and I believe in tradition. Wear the red rose of England and St George and fly the English flag. Make it a national holiday just as the others do on their Saints Day.

Photobucket

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Honour.........

I wonder in this modern world if Honour means anything anymore. Back in the 11th century there was a lady who was married to the Earl of Mercia his name was Leofric. Back in those days, actually up to the very recent past, a woman was owned by her husband. She was not allowed to own property or have an opinion. Her thoughts and her opinions were that of her Father and when she married, those of her husband. He could beat her and do as he pleased, imprison her even. She had no say in local or national affairs.
So it was that Leofric was expected to bring in a large amount of taxes for the King, Edward the Confessor. This was a terrible hardship for those who relied upon the Earl for their living. The landowners were at the Kings mercy and command.
Leofric must have loved his wife very much. When the towns people went to her for help she confronted her husband. Something unheard of. She asked that he lower the taxes............he agreed to this if she were to ride naked through the town on horseback. She agreed, I am sure much to his surprise.He probably said it by way of saying "I don't think so, no way" but having said it, he had to live by his word.
So the legend was born and passed down through the ages.
Photobucket

It is said that out of respect for their lady, the towns folk stayed inside as she rode naked down the streets of Coventry with only her long hair to protect her modesty. Remember the story of "Peeping Tom". He was a tailor who was struck blind because he looked.
Lady Godiva was also a generous benefactor of the people of Coventry
She founded a Benedictine monastery in the city in 1043, which through her generosity became one of the richest in the land. Up until the 17th century, Coventry also boasted a number of tax exemptions, which some claim to have derived from Leofric’s concession.
To me she showed true courage in standing up for those less fortunate. She took her position as the Lady to improve the lives of the less fortunate and took a great chance in confronting her husband and my default the King.

Photobucket
The people of Coventry erected a statue in her honour. History records her story but does not really get into the bravery of the act. The true HONOUR of her decision and commitment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Cat in the Garden............Deadly Hunter

Photobucket
Deadly Hunter


Cat in garden raises paw
To sharpen up her deadly claw
She does not know the claws are gone
As she listens to the Robins song
She crouches down.....a Panther now
Watch me hunt....I'll show you how
She hides behind a bush to wait
For a moment, tempting fate.
Wiggles her rear, prepares to spring
Unseen by the birds who sing.
One more moment....maybe three
Oops!!! the birds flew to the tree.
Foiled once more the hunter stops
Cleans her tail and licks her chops
She never did intend to kill
She had her lunch, she ate her fill.
At least thats what her story's now
She just wanted to show us how
In case the time should ever come
When the hunt must be more than fun.
JKS April 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

When you are two......................

When you are two, well 2 1/2 you count those 1/2 year markers........things must seem so frustrating. Learning language skills are hard enough as an adult so must be frustrating for a toddler. They call it the terrible two's for a reason. I do not remember it being that bad with my own kids but then I had a better grip on things back then. It seems I have lost my parenting skills, this little terror can wrap me around his little finger. I try hard to discipline but find I don't want to hurt his feelings. That's not good. I try hard to be consistent and when I say no I mean it. Still the temper tantrums and defiance (bids for independence) throw me for a loop. When I raised my kids I put the fear of God in them, I could quell with a look. I could smack a bottom with no regret. Now I hate to do it. I have but only as a last resort like yesterday when he escaped and ran down the road. He scared me so bad that when he had a tantrum when caught and ushered back inside I did, I smacked his bum. He told Auntie Laura too. Nannie smacked my bum. "good" said Laura "you could have been hurt" he had spent about 1/2 hour in his room to reflect on the error of his ways. He went to his Auntie Laura for the weekend and I lay sleepless worrying about him and what could have happened. He has learned to open gates and doors. I have the gates secured but had used the one to go get the hose, he was off and running so quick it's amazing. I didn't know I could still run........I can. I should do it more often because after dragging him upstairs I about had a heart attack. After my heart recovered it was rather exhilarating.
Its also hard to get anything done with him under foot so I bless Laura for giving me some time to catch up. Today we worked in the garden while he was having a good time with Auntie and her girls. They took him shopping. He got a new bike to keep at her house. He got to feed the ducks and spent time at the play house in the mall.
Its good for him and for Laura and her family. They hardly got to see him when Alex was alive so they are really happy to have him there. He goes every other weekend. We get to sleep in and get caught up on things around here. Wonderful. Its a whole family commitment to this little boy. His grandmother (also a Laura) is going to start taking him on Tuesdays to give me a day off during the week so I can sew and get some other things done that I can not do any more and it will give her some personal time with Tristen. That will be wonderful. Usually Dan takes him for a day now and then (his Grandfather, Laura's Ex husband) but since Debbie, his wife just had a stroke that has not been possible. Gabrielle said "we sure are a strange family" ............her dad (Dan) was here for supper before going back up to the hospital to see Debbie. Yes we are.......but it works for us. We are committed to each other more so now through Tristen than ever before. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Photobucket

Tristen on his new bike at Auntie Laura's......he is a big boy for 2 1/2 isn't he?

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Love Glass..............

Did I ever say I love glass. I do. Today I sat here during a couple of quiet moments that just happened to occur in an otherwise stress full day.....the sun was shining through the window and it shone on the basket of glass fish floats. Glass is so beautiful. It attracts me, maybe in a past life (if I believed such things) I was a Magpie. Attracted to shiny things. I just have to collect them.

Photobucket

I started with just one or two fish floats, actually the first one was a Witch Ball. They are hard to find though and so I began to see fish floats. Mainly Japanese, they wash up on beaches all over. If I could be so lucky.....well mine are from antique shops but still, I love them.

Photobucket


Over time I started to just collect glass balls, there are awesome ones out in craft shops and the like. I now have them stuck all over the place. Incuding the garden. You know "Gazing Balls"
Photobucket

Photobucket


This is the biggest fish float that I have.

Photobucket

I have collected other things too. When in North Carolina I picked up this Pelican, isn't he cute.

Photobucket


I collected a lot of bottles. I ended up just keeping the pretty ones. I love this pale blue and unusual shapes in the glass. I can not get rid of those.

Photobucket


Some small glass balls I put in this jar and sitting in a window it looks so pretty when the sun is shining. I suppose it will be a dust magnet but that's OK.

Photobucket

A couple more glass bottles.

Photobucket
Glass balls everywhere
Photobucket
Glass jars are awesome. I use the old canning jars to put my craft stuff in. Here we have 3 nice jars with buttons in them, I have several others with white buttons in and some with Lavender in.......
Photobucket
I also love the blue Ball canning jars, just because I love the colour and the way the light shines through it. Those I have to pick up whenever I find them.......
Photobucket

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another Blue Monday..............

For today's blue Monday I think I will do birds. There are some very beautiful birds out there.
The Peacock is among the showiest and most beautiful.
Photobucket
Then there is the Bluebird. Its always great to see them in the Springtime.
Photobucket

They always look so pissed off

Photobucket

The Common Kingfisher is another brilliant bird.
Photobucket
None of these are my own photo's I have yet to really build up my own collection but they are all from the web. While no ownership is listed I will be glad to credit anyone who claims them.
Linking with Blue Monday Blog
Smiling Sally

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday....................

Photobucket
When we go through our daily lives and we encounter problems, tragedy and strife we must think also of what Christ went through for us. We bring on most of our own problems either by our way of life, or our eating habits. Sometimes the way we live our life effects those around us. That is not always true but quite often it is. We can never be perfect because we did inherit imperfection from our forefathers. It does all come down to "original sin". The "Sin" was not sex it was the direct disobedience of Adam and Eve to God. That meant that when sin entered the world it changed it forever. Christ told us that the sins of the Fathers would be handed down to the third and fourth generations, and that is often true .............Christ was perfect. He took our imperfect selves and suffered and died for every one of us...............so don't ever say that God does not care. Or where is God in our times of trouble. He is there, He has seen it all, He has been there before us. He has taken upon Himself all of our burdens and died so that we may live. Not here in this imperfect world but life everlasting in a new world. He is there to hold our hands but we must go through this life and live what comes our way. Think of all Job went through. He is my hero, he is the one I look to when I know things may get worse. He held fast to God's hand and God led him through. He never cursed God and never gave up. Christ is there for us to hold our hand and lead us through even to the next life sometimes. Through deaths door. He does not promise to save our life but He can and is willing to save our souls. Don't let this life and this life's problems get you down. We all have our cross to bear and we have friends to hold us up, and family too............but most of all we have our Lord. We are never alone, He sends His angels to help us and His spirit to dwell with us "Even to the end of the world" ...
Happy Easter...............Blessings to all my family and friends ....Janice

Photobucket

Friday, April 6, 2012

Favourite Photo Monday................



Photobucket

I am entering this on "My favourite Photo Monday" because kids just have such great expressions and so do dogs. Tristen was practicing his "scream" and Bodi is reacting. I could not help putting a caption on it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Debbie.................

My ex son in law Danny's wife (number 2) just had a stroke. She is only 45. Poor Dan is beside himself. He is the father of my Granddaughter Alexandra who died a year ago in February.
Debbie has been very sick for quite some time. She has one of those sort of illness that does not show on the outside. Pain and debilitating tiredness. Her bones are fragile and she often breaks her foot bones by just standing wrong, or a simple stub of the toe will do it.
Well the other day she got up to take a shower and felt dizzy and fell. She was on the floor from 8.30am until the kids got home from school at 3.45pm. With a stroke there is they say a magic 6 hours where the chance of cure is good. She was not that lucky. Her left side is paralyzed at the moment. She can talk and swallow now on day 3. That is a good sign, she knows where she is and what happened to her. There is a blood clot in her brain and they can not operate nor use medication to get rid of it. I am not sure how that will work out in the end. I do know its going to be a long haul getting better .......but I believe she will get better.
We have to be positive. Her life is not easy. Her children are not very helpful around the house and seem to be quite needy. I won't get into that. Dan was married to my daughter Laura. They have been divorced for some time now and each remarried. Laura to Robert who also has other children and Laura and he have one little girl Reina. Her and Dan are friends now. We consider Debbie a friend as well. My family is very complicated and maybe over time I will explain it a bit better. For now though suffice it to say we pray for Dan and Debbie and the kids that the Lords will be done. I know He can do better than anything I ask for. He knows best. I can pray for fortitude and patience and for the children to play their part, to put aside their issues and be there for their Mother. If you believe in the power of prayer I would appreciate your prayers. This is Debbie and Dan last week on a cruise they went on with the kids and family.

Photobucket