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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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Old Games.............

Today the kids and young adults sit with their noses into their phones and electronics. They play games via the internet and on their lap tops and game players.
When ever there is a get together of any sort, everyone seems to be heads down twiddling their thumbs.......well using their thumbs.
Now here we go................when I was young (as I was always sick of hearing when I was in fact young) I used to play games, I mean real games with my hands and usually with someone else.
There were several things that we could do with friends, do you remember cigarette cards? Tea cards? I suppose it was our version of Pokemon.
Sylvia, one of my friends from Bidwell Hill and I would play things like "Pick up sticks"

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That game took awhile and was fun I suppose. Another we played a lot was "Snakes and Ladders"


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What about "Tiddly Winks"

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Then there was also a game called "Blow Football" now that was fun. Got the whole family going on that one.

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It was fun to open Christmas gifts and find a new game. Just simple things but so much fun. The kids will never know that. Its sort of a shame isn't it. These days even at Christmas everyone is doing their own thing. They stop to eat the meal and back to the electronics and so on. Not a lot to be done about that really, some of the teens I know never seem to get out of their rooms. Oh they talk to friends on line and play games with strangers long distance. In some ways thats fun too but.......I see me and Sylvie laying on the living room floor head to head playing a game and have to believe they are missing the human touch.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fresh Eggs...........

My Uncle Bill lived next door to my grandparents. He kept chickens. I loved helping him feed them. I loved the smell of the food, the mash that he made for them. I don't know why but it was one of those smells from childhood that stayed with me always. Later, growing up I spent so much time on my friends farm, I practically lived there. Again, I loved to collect the eggs. I learned how to sneak my hand under a chicken and remove the eggs without getting whacked by a grumpy hen. I learned how to attack from the rear and lift the lady by her tail without the tail feathers coming off in my hand.
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When we came to the States, at one point we bought 40 acres and lived in the country. I had to get chickens. So we got 50 chicks. We raised them in a box in the play room under a light bulb until they were old enough for outside. A couple didnt make it, they got flattened by their siblings. Jason was quite small at the time and was quite upset by the little flat body, so was I. The rest of them thrived. Come to find out that a good portion of them were male. Not in my plan.....I only needed one male. So we had to kill off the males. I hated that. A friend came over and the deed was done. They were packaged and put in the freezer. I was so upset I had to leave. I could not stand being around there while that took place. he worst thing was I also found I could not eat the meat either. I had to get rid of it all I could not stomach it.


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The rest of our little flock lived to lay some nice eggs for us. We learned quite a bit about raising chickens and housing them. I am beginning to get the urge for a few backyard chickens. I like the looks of them puttering around the garden and eggs would be nice. I would have a nice place for them that would be movable and warm in winter. They would be pets not livestock. It may have to wait awhile yet though. Something to think about.

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From our original flock I kept some of the eggs and made Christmas ornaments from them so we will always have those memories. They were all white chickens and would meet the school bus every day. They would chase the kids up the driveway. They would run and follow anyone who went outside hoping for some food. It was a comedy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Little boy plays...........

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Little Boys Fun
I stand at the window and watch as he plays
Out in the snow on cold winter days.
Snow Angels appear as he lays in the snow
Ears and nose have a rosy glow.
Wisps of cold breath hang in the air
While snow flakes linger on uncovered hair.
Tongue goes out to catch the snow
I must call him in for some hot cocoa.
Reluctant to leave his winters play
I tell him there's always another day.
Promise of cookies. he comes at a run
Ending another day of good fun.

JKS

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Lambs.........................

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
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One of the most popular and well known of the Psalms. Its so insightful, so beautiful......we are the sheep and God our Father is the Shepherd. We must trust Him as the sheep follow the shepherd.
I think of the lambing season now, I know that in England land of my heart, the Spring lambs are in the fields and they are so precious.

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The Lamb

Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bade thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
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Little lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a lamb,
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child;
I a child, and thee a Lamb,
We are called by His Name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

by William Blake

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Its such a pleasure to drive around the English countryside, and especially further north where there are many more sheep. A sure sign of Spring all the little woolies bouncing around the fields.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Under The Table,,,,,,,,,,,,

When I was small my parents would visit my Grandparents quite often. My uncle Ray was still at home at that time, I believe he was about 14 years older than me so was only in his 20s. He was always my favourite. I suppose because of his comparative closeness in age. I remember his first car, it was one that he had to crank. Also his first motorbike. I must have been quite a pest because I remember he would have me run up the road along side him until we got off the main road and then he would take me on the back for long rides in the country. No helmets in those days.

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Anyway. Mum had 3 brothers, the other two were married. Uncle Norman and Auntie Ivy would visit quite a bit and so we spent a lot of time together. They never had kids.
In the evenings the adults would play cards. I would sit under the table and listen. They would forget I was there.
This was not long after the end of the war. To me it was ancient history if I was aware of it at all. For my parents it was very recent, Dad had got back from Japan in 1945. I was born in 1946. I would listen to the stories told about things that happened during the war. I suppose if I was not a quiet child I would not have been forgotten. Then I probably would not have heard half of what I did.
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I was an only child and spent most of my time with adults. I enjoyed that. The stories I heard came in very handy when I began the family research. That's another story though.
I learned that my Grandmother had some sort of ability to "see things"............Mum stayed at her parents once Dad went off with the army. She did do her own tasks during that time, I believe one thing was the night watch. They were responsible in part for being sure no one broke the black out.

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Well one night they had all gone to bed when Mum awoke to the sound of pebbles hitting her bedroom window. She thought Dad had come home on leave and got up, put on her dressing gown and as she left the bedroom she met her Mum coming out of her room. Nan said to her "Somethings happened to Harry" (my Dad)......well, there was no one down stairs or outside. They went back to bed. The next day Mum got a telegram. Dad was "missing, believed killed" and for two years she never knew what had happened to him............amazing what you hear from under the table.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St Valentines Day................

St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D, a time when the church was enduring great persecution. His ministry was to help the Christians to escape this persecution. Also to provide them the sacraments, such as marriage, which was outlawed by the Roman Empire at that time, something to do with keeping his army numbers up. It is said that St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and they talked. Claudius tried to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused but he tried to convert Claudius to Christianity. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer's daughter and his forty-four member household came to believe in Jesus and were baptized. In addition to this, Saint Valentine is said to have performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry by Roman law.

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According to legend, in order to "remind them of God's love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians," Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and the persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on Saint Valentine's Day.
There is an additional embellishment to The Golden Legend, On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first "valentine" card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as "Your Valentine."John Foxe, an English historian, as well as the Order of Carmelites, state that Saint Valentine was buried in the Church of Praxedes in Rome.
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So in todays world its become a commercial business. Not a lot of romance left. The flower shops do a huge trade...........as do chocolate shops that much I can understand if you are inclined to keep the day.

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People are expected to send cards to their sweethearts. That being said, little kids send them to everyone in their class these days. Its everything but romantic. Nothing like the original intent.Hallmark strikes again.

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Chocolates are a traditional gift and flowers. Now of course all kinds of cheap knick knacks are produced and given, anything to make money. I suppose a nice bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates given with meaning is a nice gesture.
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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancake Day...................

Shrove Tuesday(Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by Easter; its date changes annually.
Popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.
As a child I loved Pancake Day. Mum would cook pancakes for supper. Yes, instead of dinner. We could eat as many as we wanted, and why not, it is at least good for you. In England the pancakes are different from the American "flap jacks". More like Crepes. We ate them with lemon and sugar.
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We had pancake races in the village. Such fun........the ladies ran with a frying pan and had to flip her pancake as she ran.

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Still, the very best was eating them, and not having to eat dinner.
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In America they seem to go with Mardi Gras more than anything else. I don't care for that myself. The drunken revelry reminds me of Sodom and Gomorah and not much else. I don't think the pancake races are more fun but they are certainly more wholesome, and it is fun to watch. It involves the community rather than getting drunk with strangers and goodness knows what else. I am not judging people. To each their own, but somehow the old fashioned simple things appeal to me more.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chinese New Year.............

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Day itself, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".
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After I had Laura, I was a single woman with a baby. I had gone back home to live with my parents because my Dad had asked me to. I had made some difficult descisions in the months after she was born. To make a long story short my Mum had kicked me out when I got pregnant. I was in fact living in London and going home weekends, so I just didn't go home anymore. My Dad was not happy with that. After Laura was born (I had her while staying in a Mother and Baby home)I had to decide what I wanted to do. Well I decided I wanted to keep my baby, I could not imagine anything else and was thinking how to get an apartment and continue working in London. However Dad to the rescue, he wanted me to go home. I got my old job back that I had before moving to London. I was not at all interested in dating for quite some time. However, I was young and staying in got old. One of the guys at work was a young Chinese man, Eddie Yee. He invited me to a Chinese New Year party. It was at someones house. Eddie had a girlfriend, so it was pure friendship inviting me out. I was always so thankful to his kindness.
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I dont remember much about that night at all...........just being made to feel welcome into a new circle of friends. I was not the outgoing type and so being social was difficult for me, especially under the circumstances. I was never sure why he would have taken me under his wing like he did but have always remembered him and think of him at Chinese New Year.
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So Eddie Yee moved to Canada as far as I last heard................I hope you are having a good life Eddie Yee.....Happy Chinese New Year.

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Linking with Mandarin Orange Monday
LorikArt

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Alexandra............

It will soon be 2 years on February 7th (my husbands birthday) that we lost Alexandra. She was 21. It has been a challenging two years, but we are blessed to have Tristen who is now 3 years old. I am his guardian and he is a blessing to us. I see so much of Alex in him. She was a drama queen to say the least. It comes natural, I know that now because I see it in her son every day. What a dramatist he is. Alexandra, we think of you every day, how can we not. For me and Gerry it's a challenge to be parents at our age. It also keeps us young (so I am told) and I see things now that I never had time to see when raising my own children. Or even my grandchildren for that matter. Alexandra lived with us from the time she was 16. She went home once only to come back again permanently. She had many troubles in her young life, mainly of her own creating. Still..........she was learning.
I think I loved the little Alex the most, I dont know. She was sooooo naughty. Much like someone else I could mention

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She was full of mischief her entire life.
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Alexandra loved attention, she craved it. Was always the center of it and sought it out.....being a Cheerleader just came natural.
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She loved the camera and the camera loved her.
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I dont think anyone else I know had as many pictures of themselves on Facebook.....yeah, she was vain. She was also beautiful.
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I must say we have had some good laughs about her infatuation with her own self image.
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As a young girl she loved horses. Especially my old horse Lady. She went to kentucky with her uncle Jason and Gabby went along one year too.
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Alex became a mother. I think she enjoyed her pregnancy she took pictures through every stage.
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She went into labour with a very positive attitude and the desire to be beautiful throughout the process, I think she was.

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She had her dad and mum and stepmum and a couple of others to attend her.

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She was not a Mother for very long, but she enjoyed it as much as she could, she was going to school and working and was engaged to be married. She was very busy with her life and looking towards the future.

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Tristen was only 16 months when his mum died. He does not remember her but he knows who she is from the pictures. We go to visit her and he loves to go visit "Mama's house"........so sad, but he is doing very well and we just love him so much.
We miss you girl.............

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This is a post script........sorry this is a long post but this part is very important...........Alexandra's mother (my daughter Laura ) wrote this.

Super Bowl Sunday has a different meaning for me now. It is the anniversary Sunday of when I lost my 21 year old daughter Alexandra from complications after being in a car crash. We had a wonderful evening with family and friends at a super bowl/ sledding party. Alex was her usual bright, laughing, obnoxious self.
It started snowing about 8 or 9 pm and as soon as the football game was over at 10pm we all made plans to head out in order to get home before the roads got too bad. I remember Robert and I outside dusting off our car and Alex doing hers. I had a small thought in the back of my mind to ask her if she wanted us to follow her or even better take her home in our car, but thought better of it as she has always been independent and I didn't want to make her feel like she needed her mom to take care of her. To this day, I wish I had gone with my gut. Robert and I left before her. We were half way home when Laura Peck Herman called us to say that Brian had just passed a car that had been in an accident and it looked like Alex's car. So, we turned around and went back. It was her. The car was smashed so bad.
Alex had been talking on her cell phone. We know this because someone ( i don't remember who now) called the last number on her phone and got a person who said that yes, he was on the phone with her and he heard her get into an accident.
The reason, the moral of this story is to tell you all...please...please please stay OFF your phones whilst driving! It is so not worth the possible repercussions.
Texting is one of the worst things you can do while driving. But talking on your cell especially in bad snow/rain conditions is also so dangerous. I truly believe she would have been alive today had she stayed off her phone. She was notorious for being a wild driver. She learned the hard way I am afraid. And it is her son who has lost the most.
This Super Bowl Sunday. Do not drink and drive, text and drive or talk on cell and drive. Do it for Alex. In her memory. So that you can wake up tomorrow with your loved ones safe and sound. It only takes a second to lose control. I always feel sorry for the people in the van she hit. They were not injured, but they will have the memory of a young woman dying that night for the rest of their lives. It affects more than just you! Remember that!
Thank you.

I am linking up with Make it Pretty Monday I am linking up in the hope that it will influence just one person.
Sharing also with PJH Designs Transformed Tuesdays

Friday, February 1, 2013

Prayer at Sundown........


I thought I would share another of Patience Strong's poems. This is another I found among those sent to my Dad while he was a POW. I think that it is just as relevent today to anyone with family or friends serving overseas.

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With thanks to the artist who took the picture......copyright
Our Prayer

When daylight dies, and night draws near,
We feel the chilling breath of fear.
As in the dark we kneel and pray.
For our loved ones far away.
Keep them safe,O Lord, we say
Through the night and through the day.
Keep them safe from all that harms,
In the Everlastng Arms.
Shield them with thy mighty power,
Hold them in the darkest hour.
Save them from calamity,
Peril and catastrophy.
In the shadow of thy wings,
Shelter them from evil things.
These are times when we are thrown
On a strength beyond our own.
These are moments when we must,
Leave them in His care and trust.

By Patience Strong.