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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hiking weekend...................

On Saturday Gerry, Tristen, Reina and myself went out for the day. Laura had to work. It was such a lovely day, sunny and cool, but warm when walking. So I have wanted to check out the trail that goes up "The Whaleback" The Whaleback is a forested hill that lays near Leland. From a distance the hill looks like, well, a whaleback. It is said there is a nice view from up there and we like the off we went.
This is a picture of the Whaleback from the website where I found the Leelanau concervancy web site (anna-pentuik)
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So we began.
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It was not a difficult hike, but the trail had loads of tree roots and Tristen would not slow down and tripped.
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They found lots to explore as they usually do in the woods.Fairy houses and marks made by animals
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A nice lady offered to take our picture at the top
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we had a full day. After the hike we went to Northport and had our picnic.
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We wandered around a little but there was an art/craft show going on and they close some of the roads making getting around a bit difficult. So we went off to Peterson Park. The kids stayed in the playground
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Gerry stayed with them while I went down to the beach and had a good half hour or more alone. It was bliss.
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I found Petoskey stones
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The next shot is looking down on the beach
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Bout kilt me on the way back up with my hoard of stones. Phew!!!
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After the hike earlier the steps from the beach (easy going down) did me in. Got a picture of the kids in the tree that our kids climbed and the grandkids climbed before them. Tristens mum climbed it so I wanted a picture of him where she once was
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We finished off that day by going to the Native American Museum. I had wanted to go for a long time but could never find it. When we were at the Pow Wow I asked so it was easy to find.

Sunday Laura had the day off and called to see if we wanted to do anything. Well it was a nice day so yes of course. Reina had had fun the day before and wanted to go again. So off we went. Gerry stayed home. One hike was enough for him.
We decided on going to The Alligator. We had wanted to do that all summer. As we were going by we stopped at Gallaghers, got some veggies, apples and blackberries. Donuts for the kids and Laura none for me..............
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The Alligator is named so because the shape of the hill looks like an Alligator.
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At the trail head are some kilns left over from days gone by.
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As always the kids had fun in the woods. The trail was long, very long, or seemed that it was. We saw a few critters here and there and I will cover that in another blog. There were a few people about, being such a nice day people wanted to be outside.
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We finally got to the top and this was the view. There was a couple who had put up a hamock. I think they had probably hoped for a quiet afternoon with their dogs.
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We didn't want to disturb them but had not gone all that way for nothing. The view was worth it
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We had intended to go to another look out but it would have been about 2 miles round trip and the kids were whooped. So we started back down.
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There was a meadow right in the middle of the forest, they explored that. Funny how kids are like puppies they travel twice as far as we do by running back and forth.
We finally got back down and were glad we didnt attempt the other trail. It was a long walk after going the day before as well.
So what next. We didnt want to go home just yet so we set off for Port Oneida. We took a different road on a whim. I had been along it many years ago and long forgotten where it went. We took a side road and found a beach. It was beautiful. One couple sitting there so we went up the other end and spent a good hour looking for stones and beach glass. Very rare these days due to all stuff being in plastic or cans. We didn't want to leave.
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The sun had began to go down and we knew we would be late home so now to find a place to eat. We did. We got home just after 8pm and it was dark by then. Straight to bed for Tristen and I was whooped.
I didn't want to make this a really long post so I gave some links to the places we stopped if you want to read up on these beautiful places, I am so thankful for living in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mondays adventure at the State Hospital..............

Monday was a beautiful day, we were going for a walk at the back of the old State hospital. There are loads of trails back there. Well we started off and saw that the new Botanical Garden area was now open. I have been waiting for this. It seems like a wonderful thing to have here and I wanted to see how it was coming along.
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An old postcard shows the old State Hospital.(above) It was a self sustaining community. The people who lived there worked a farm to earn their living. Wikipedia says ...... Lumber baron Perry Hannah, "the father of Traverse City," used his political influence to secure its location in his home town. Under the supervision of prominent architect Gordon W. Lloyd. The hospital opened in 1885 with 43 residents. Under Dr. James Decker Munson, the first superintendent from 1885 to 1924, the institution expanded.Twelve housing cottages and two infirmaries were built between 1887 and 1903 to meet the specific needs of male and female patients. The institution became the city's largest employer and contributed to its growth. In the 1930s three large college-like buildings were constructed near the present site of the Munson Hospital parking deck and the Grand Traverse Pavilions.
Long before the advent of drug therapy in the 1950s, Munson was a firm believer in the "beauty is therapy" philosophy. Patients were treated through kindness, comfort, pleasure, and beautiful flowers provided year-round by the asylum's own greenhouses and the variety of trees Munson planted on the grounds. Restraints, such as the straitjacket, were forbidden. Also, as part of the "work is therapy" philosophy, the asylum provided opportunities for patients to gain a sense of purpose through farming, furniture construction, fruit canning, and other trades that kept the institution fully self-sufficient. The asylum farm began in 1885 with the purchase of some milk cows and within a decade grew to include pigs, chickens, milk and meat cows, and many vegetable fields. In the 1910s-30s, the farm was home to a world champion milk cow, Traverse Colantha Walker. Her grave is at the end of the dirt trail between the farm and the asylum.(picture will follow)
While the hospital was established for the care of the mentally ill, its use expanded during outbreaks of tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, influenza, and polio. It also cared for the elderly, served as a rehab for drug addicts, and was used to train nurses. After Munson's retirement, James Decker Munson Hospital was established in his honor on the grounds in 1926, and was operated by the state well after his death and into the 1950s. It was then replaced by Munson Medical Center in the 1950s, the largest hospital in northern Michigan and one of the largest in the state. A portrait of Dr. Munson hangs inside the main lobby of Munson Medical Center.
However, changes in the law and mental health care philosophies brought on the decline of the institution. The farm on the grounds closed in the 1950s, with most of its buildings demolished in the mid-1970s. In 1963, the main 1885 center wing of Building 50 was destroyed because it was deemed a fire hazard and a new modern building was put up in its place. Use of the hospital slowly declined, and it was closed in 1989, with a loss of over 200 jobs to the local economy. (wikipedia).
So that is a brief history of the place. I was not going to get into all that but it is sort of a background for what I want to say.
When the hospital was closed the inmates were released. They were on their own. I can vouch for the fact that it was NOT a good thing. We had several staying across the road from us but that is another story.
So first of all, I went first to take a picture of our local hero, the cow, Traverse Colantha Walker.
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In going to take the picture (last one was on old fashioned film) I found that the new center was open. So we went for a look. While it is only in the beginning stages I am soooooo happy. The old barns will be saved. It has been an ongoing discussion for many years. As was the fate of the hospital itself. Thank heaven and the people who decided to save it all. So when I read that they were planning a botanical garden there I was thrilled.
There are many tunnels going hither and yon to and from the hospital, rabbit warrens of tunnels for services and whatever else went on. With our winters I am sure it was a good thing.
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Here is a picture of what they are planning
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The barns are beautiful and we got to see inside.
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The visitors center was delightful if unfinished. Awaiting more funds. This is a generous community and I am sure they will get this done.
This is the state of a lot of the buildings, and so many wanted to just tear it all down. Good sense prevailed. Now the hospital is renovated. Some buildings became places for people to stay when they travel to be with hospital patients. Some became senior care and hospice. Some apartments. Part of it is becoming restraunts and shops and so much more. Its not finished. SO many many more buildings left to be worked on. They are trying to preserve its historical architecture and use. For example one huge room with hold banquets and weddings and so on. There are many plans in the works. The grounds are being landscaped and the surrounding woodlands preserved with miles of hiking trails, Thats where we were headed before getting sidetracked. That will be another post.
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This picture above, they have been renovated and are now apartments. The views would be great. I can't imagine a better place to live really with all the places to walk and all the things to do so close by. There are senior assisted living apartments too.
Well back to the barns, the grounds have a community garden at the moment and have for years, Then there will be several other gardens planned, picnic areas and art and culture events held there.
This is the visitor center
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All artwork is for sale done by local artists, part of the sale goes towards the reconstruction and preservation as well as future plans.
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I cant say enough about this place, a work in progress for sure but I thank everyone involved for saving this part of our town history. Its the most beautiful building we have here and it was certainly worth the cost of renovation.
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We should never loose things like this. I will do another post about our day, our adventure on the trails. I gave Laura a camera so you will see some pictures of me. (eye roll)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tristen is Five............

On Tuesday Tisten will be 5. Time has passed so quickly, he is a real little boy now, no longer my baby boy. His mother would love to see him I am sure, and one can not help but wonder if he would be a different person if she was still here.
We had a family party on Saturday for him and my son Jason, Jason is 44 now. Wow, I am getting old.
I got them each their own cakes, Jason didn't fancy Spiderman, hmmmm. So he got a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. That was yummy.
Blew my diet but tomorrow is the start of another week. Tristen admires his cake.
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The spread
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The cakes
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Tristens parties so far have been family affairs. Not childrens parties. Maybe that will change as time goes on, or maybe he will continue to enjoy the way it blowing out the candles
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Cutting the cake with Auntie Laura and Jason watching.
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Family. In this picture (below) is Carole, Dan, Joyce, Tony holding Cooper, Gabrielle, Laura, Tristen and grandma Laura. Others who came were Pam and Todd, and of course me and Gerry were there and Jason and Tristen the birthday boys and Reina was also there.
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Grandpa Dan and Tristen enjoying cake
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Here is Tristen checking out his new Razor scooter that Jason bought him.
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Tony and Cooper enjoying a snack.
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Granddad Gerry bought him his very own computer. Here he is sitting with me..........another gift was face paint and you can see that reflecting in the glow of the computer screen
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Tristen had spent the night with Auntie Laura so we could get everything ready without him there. He left with Grandma Laura and Reina so he could continue playing while we cleaned up. We have a great family who work well together for this little boy. We are just so happy to have him and know what a blessing it was that he was home that fateful night. I thank God all the time for that. He is growing and now enjoying the first days of school. Time sure does fly.