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, September 27, 2013

Houghton Regis back in the day.............

On Facebook I have a group called "Houghton Regis back in the day"..........I was doing a post today that made me think. I want to do the post here as well, just for the record.
I grew up in a small village and Facebook has been awesome, I have found people I never would have without it and never heard from them again. We have fun talking about what the village used to be like and what we got up to. The people who live there now are amazed at what it once was because they never knew it that way. After the war there were many displaced people and some were moved out of London into the countryside. The powers that be chose our village.
Well that's not what this is about really, did it ruin the village? Yes. No one can say otherwise. Was it necessary? Yes. What we disliked intensely was that in doing this the planners ruined everything. Houses destroyed, history destroyed. The 14th century Tithe barn torn down and timber as old as time burned. There is no village now. It's a town with a Mayor and everything. If there had been good planning they could have kept the integrity and looks of the village and expanded it as well. We could have had it all.............ah well. I don't live there now so I can talk and dream with others who have moved away about the place we grew up in and the people we knew. It will live in our hearts as long as we do.
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We grew up knowing the owners of the shops in the village. If only by name. The names have been there generations just like mine has. My family has always lived there as far back as I have got so far on my geneology way into the 1700s and beyond.
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There were two Butcher shops Mr Pratt at one end and Mr Tompkins at the other. We seemed to go more to Mr Tompkins because it was closer. The meat would be displayed in the front window. Some times a partridge or two or maybe pheasants could be hanging up on hooks with a few chickens in the window. Tompkins the butcher had his animals delivered to the back of his store where they would be slaughtered and dressed. He had a huge fridge/freezer where they would be stored. The meat cut as he needed it. Mum would go in and "What can I do for you today luv" would be the greeting. The floor covered in sawdust covered the smells of fresh meat. A sort of damp smell. Mum would always buy our Poodle Poppett fresh meat every day. She was a fussy poodle and if mum got liver and she was not in the mood, well she would have to go back and get kidney or whatever else she thought of. One day Mr Tompkins suggested brains............well mum took that home and cooked it. Stunk to high heaven and the dog nearly mum had a word or two with Mr Tompkins about that and bought something else. Mr Pratt's shop was next to the knackers yard so his was just as fresh.
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The baker was Mr Ward. Fresh bread daily, no cut bread in our house Dad would never eat that. We had the real deal fresh and crunchy crusts, sometimes still warm and delivered. I loved the mini Hovis brown bread. A whole loaf to myself, not much bigger than a roll really.
Mr Green was our milkman. An older gentleman when I was a kid. When I did my family history I found we had some connections there. I also found that my friend in Australia, Stella, she was in the Womens Land Army during the war............she was assigned to Greens farm. My Granddad Burt's brother Buster
worked down there sometimes he had a way with ducks apparently. Won prizes for his Aylesbury ducks. Some times Mr Green would come around with his horse and cart loaded with vegetables and all the ladies would be saved a trip to the village shops.
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The thing with villages is that everyone is connected some way, some how..... if you go back far enough you will find the connection. They tended to marry within the village until more recent times when travel became easier. So it was that we grew up in a place that grew the food local. No preservatives. No pesticides. Just honest good fresh food bought from people you knew and trusted. Until the new estate was built most of the local men kept an allotment. They grew their own vegetables. Some people kept their own chickens. We could do that then. Good wholesome food and lots of good exercise. How could we not be healthy? Not like today. I don't remember kids having ADHD...........sugar was rationed into the 1950s so sweets were not readily available and never in the quantities they have now. Miss Dickens had a tobacco and sweet shop. Us kids would go in with a penny and she would tell us what we could get for a penny. Not a lot, but it felt good to buy and choose our own. She must have had the patience of a saint that woman. When we got older we could buy Woodbines one or two at a time (Cigarettes)
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Further down the village was Mr Odmans the news agent. We would get our comics there. It was a funny place. Very dark. All wood floors and a huge counter with a flap. Mr Odman always wore a striped shirt and an apron, a cap and a cigarette. It smelled of tobacco and newsprint.
Another character was Mr Perry the green grocer. His store was a conglomeration of every imaginable thing. From buttons to tacks, vegetables in tins and fresh. Ask for a pot of glue and somewhere he had one. Lots of little drawers and nooks and crannies full of all sorts of things. Well its all gone now, along with most of the people. The kids moved out and strangers moved in. I still have a cousin living there, so there is still a Hines in the village.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Autumn Walk................

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Dan got home early and it was such a nice day we decided to go for a walk. Tristen was ready to go. We went to the park but decided to walk rather than let him play first. He needed the exercise, me too. He was off at a run.
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The ponds were perfect reflections of the woods and things around us
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There were plenty of ducks around, doing ducky things
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A few other critters too.
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The sand was a little slick in his Spiderman shoes.
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............and I did tell him not to run down hill. He did a face plant at the bottom and got sand in his eyes..........
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Or was it from rolling in it earlier?
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Meanwhile the ponds looked beautiful and calm even with Tristen there, well, maybe because his cohort Reina was not?
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And then he was off to the playground, but we were all tired by then so it did not take too much to get him back to the car and off home. For a nap.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Now he's four.....................

Another year gone by and my little man is 4. His mother would be so proud. He is her image. When asked what sort of cake he wanted he said Spiderman. So here it is
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We had his birthday yesterday as it was Sunday. We had a nice group come and visit. It looks like for the immediate future his birthday party will be mainly adults as those are who are in his life at the moment. Besides, its easier for me that way haha. Maybe as he gets older he will have 2 birthday parties. Who knows. I am not really into birthdays and only do this for him as a way to thank the people who are in his life and who are a great support for me. They encourage me and inspire me.
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The three ladies in the chairs are (closest to camera) Laura Herman, she is wonderful with Tristen and has him every other weekend. She loves having him and her and husband Todd do a lot of things with him that Gerry and I just can not do. We either do not have the resources or money. So she is a big part of his life and as we get older she will no doubt do more for him as he grows up. Next to her is his auntie Phyllis, I suppose a great aunt really as she is his grandfather Dan's aunt. Next to her is Sue Winowiecki, mother of Bill who was Alexandra's fiance.
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Above on the sofa talking to Tristen is Bill and his new love Stephanie. It's the first time we met. Bill asked if she could come or would it be weird? I said of course bring her, we wanted to meet her and I don't want it to be weird, not sure Alex would agree but haha...she cant say much now can she. Reina is on the other couch with Raylene.
The next picture is of Raylene and Reina contemplating the cake
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We had cold cuts with cheese and rolls, bread and different dressings. A potato salad I made and a chicken macaroni salad I made. I also made meatballs in a yummy sauce and should have made more. We had chips and dips and strawberries with a yogurt dip and raspberries. Little cakes and nuts and yogurt popcorn. Lots of snacks as well as the cake but we forgot the icecream. Its still in the freezer. We took the cake in the front room so he could blow out the candles
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That is Bill and Steph watching him blow out the candles. Bill almost married Tristens mum so its sort of sad in a way but I am so glad he is still a part of his life, and ours. I am happy he has found someone nice and has moved on. He is a very nice guy.
Next came cake. He was asked if he wanted a he said he didnt need one
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Oh my poor carpet. Why is it you even bother giving little kids a plate. When done they dump it off on the floor anyway.
This is me with Cooper. I was about to have a small cake, Cooper looked like he may want to try it so I put just a little bit of frosting on my finger. He got a taste of that and grabbed my finger and sucked the life out of it. He has a tooth coming in I might add.
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Almost sitting up is our boy Cooper. Such a happy baby and he always laughs when he sees me.

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So aunt Carole bought him a Superman costume. She was a bit worried because we do not celebrate Halloween but I said that does not mean he cant have fun dressing up. He has worn it ever since.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Hanky........

King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, is widely believed to have invented the cloth handkerchief, as surviving documents written by his courtiers describe his use of square pieces of cloth to wipe his nose. Certainly they were in existence by Shakespeare's time(wiki).Thank goodness for King Richard II. Can you imagine prior to that? All those gorgeous clothes with yucky sleeves. Especially during flu season.
This is a wooden box that I painted. I keep my collection of hankies in it.
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inside lined with felt.I made it from a plain wood box I bought, varnished and lined. Then I painted the top.
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Some of the hankies I keep inside.
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some of the ones I have I got for the lace on them.
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I think I have a lot more than I show here, but I am not sure what I have done with them. I thought I would like to make pillows with some.
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The Handkerchief was a staple for many years as a birthday or Christmas gift. No one uses them now and thats sort of a shame. Would be nice to keep one in your purse, just not for a cold.
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I know I have a lot more somewhere because these are not all the hand edged ones. Ah well........who knows.
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This one I should give to Danielle...............I can not remember when I got this one with the D on it but its pretty so I keep it.

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So why do we not keep or use these any more? Yes, it can be a health thing, but to keep one on hand for the odd sneeze or to wipe your hands or mop a brow. Why use disposable all the time. Why not bring back the handkerchief. Many nice classy men keep one for just such occasions. You would think ladies would enjoy them too.
Sharing with Brambleberry cottage Time travel Thursday

Friday, September 13, 2013


My second great grandson is Cooper. He is the sweetest baby, by that I mean that he has such a lovely personality. At least right now he does. He is so easy. I love watching him because he is always smiling. He finds me funny because he beams ear to ear whenever he sees me.
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His mother is Gabrielle. (my daughter Laura's 3rd child). She was a quiet baby too. You appreciate the quiet ones after the squawky screeching ones. cant remember if Danielle or Alexandra were quiet or not but Gabrielle was certainly so. Tristen was not a bad baby either but not so quiet not then and certainly not now.
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Cooper is not quite sitting up yet. He is rolling over though. They grow so quickly. I can't believe that Tristen is going to be 4 in just over a week. Tristen is a little jealous and a little intrigued with Cooper. He really wants to play with him but is not at all sure he wants me holding him. It makes him want to be the baby. Funny that, that's how Alexandra felt about Gabby.
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Tristen wanted to hold Cooper, and waited patiently till he was done with his bottle. Well sort of patiently
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Finally Cooper got done, he takes his meal times seriously.
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Tristen went and put on his footy jammies, I think so he could be like Cooper. How sweet.

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He gave him a kiss but wanted Granddad to take him back as he was getting heavy.
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I wonder what the two of them will be like together as they grow up. Sigh..........I now hope I will be around to see some of it. I never used to care about dying, now I don't want to miss anything haha.