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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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

To the Beach.....March.

Could not help it. We went shopping this morning and the sun was out. It was almost 40 degrees. I had taken off my coat in the store (already just a light jacket) and didn't put it back on. It was cold but it felt so good on my skin.......sun, at last. Decided then and there, we are going to the beach. Hooray says Tristen.......called Laura on my way home and got her out of bed. She was reading a book and relaxing.........we went home and put groceries away and got ready to head out.
The sap is running........it be Spring at last. Blow the trumpets and bang the gongs........
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Maple syrup time. (Another post maybe?)
To Empire Beach first, to take a look at Lake Michigan. The lake is still frozen over but after we had got away from the screamers (we left them in the playground) we could hear the ice melting. It was really cool, little pops and crackles and bubbles. Lovely lovely day.
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We let them go a little way to the top of an ice hill. Its very iffy because some of the hills are hollow and can give way, Laura escorted Mr Tristen back as Reina didn't listen and ran over the ice. He was a little nervous. She was fine but one needs to respect the danger here. They would have been in shallow water if the ice gave out but even with the air temp at 40degrees, getting a dunking would be no laughing matter. Kids really do need to be made to follow instructions. We are not sure how we do that.
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The sun on the ice was blinding. The blue of the ice and the sky was beautiful. There was a dead deer on the beach and several ducks. It has been a very hard winter. Michigan has lost a great many water fowl this year. They starved because there has not been any open water and the ones who need to eat the greens at the bottom of the waters, the diving birds, are just not doing well. It was good to see that some of the water was again flowing into the lake.
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Empire Bluffs from below
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The creek running into the lake lovely clear and pure and lovely. The air so fresh.
The water is still so blue even under all that ice........well maybe not, but its still beautiful and blue, a pastel blue.
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We went on from Empire after the kids had let out all their holla's and screams on the playground climbing frames and running up and down the beach. I will do a post tomorrow on the rest of the days adventure. Its time to watch "The Walking Dead".........meanwhile we caught these two snacking along the way
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We saw a lot of deer and turkeys along going along through Glen Arbor and beyond..........on to Glen Haven we go.
Sharing with anything Blue Friday
The Dedicated House
Also with Lavender cottage garden

Friday, March 28, 2014

Living on the Edge............

I was reminded again last night of how much pets influence our lives. Meaning my life. It is fair to say we treat them as we would a child, except maybe with less disapline. Hehe. So last night, as usual, I went to bed later than my husband who takes the poodles to bed when he goes. We have four if you remember. At least at this time we do. I finished up my nightly ritual in the bathroom, it was dark because tv was done. I feel my way to the bed. I dare not sit down, first I must greet those who are on top of the covers and then feel for Brea who is always under the covers. She had left me maybe 2 inches on the edge. Very funny I said. She stretched her paws, she was laying on her back, and touched me. I scooted her over so I could at least sit. I then carefully edged her over. I got in, got attacked by Bijou. Accosted by Bodi who wanted a drink. I gave her a drink from my glass. Settled in to sleep. Brea patted me with a paw on my nose, I could smell earthy odour. I sort of like that. Although I am pretty sure its not earth this time of year but I wont pursue that. She smacked her lips a few times to indicate she would also like a drink. So it goes. My nightly routine.
This is sleepy Bella......she is sitting in the sun keeping warm.
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Bella is a sweet lovey dovey girl, she just loves cuddles and kisses. She will sleep on or near either of us as long as she is close. When she wants a drink she will come over to me and tap me on the shoulder and stare in my eyes. If I ignore she will keep licking her lips until I hand her my water. Now.....all of my poodles, every one I ever had prefer fresh water with ice please. From a glass not a dog bowl. They will only drink from that when they have no choice. Bella can also be annoying to Bodi, she tries to get her to play and then Bijou joins in when Bodi growls. So sweet Bella is an instigator.She will sleep on the chest at the end of the bed on top of quilts until I get there and then she comes up to join me and Brea.
This next one is Bijou........
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We got Bijou when our other white poodle Bambi died. Bijou is the clown, the talker, the pest. She tends to get sent away because she is annoying haha. She loves attention and will get it any way she can. She lays on the bottom of the bed to actually sleep but only after she has pestered everyone else by either walking over them or trying to get petted when we want to sleep. SHe has a pillow on the end of the bed, sometimes she gets inside the pillow case. As I said she is a clown.
This is Bodicea.........
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Bodi is our plus size model. She is sweet, no bad bone in her body. She is sweet and cuddly and is mum to the rest. Sort of. However, when it comes to bedtime she takes up space. She has no problem laying on her back, legs in the air right in the middle of the bed. My husband takes one side of the bed. He is after all 6 foot one. So then Bodi lays in the middle and takes up a good part of what is left with Bijou below her. I hate it when they are on my feet or legs so I often have Bijou at my feet. Everyone seems to want to be touching me. So often Bodi wants scratches and is rather insistant until she is ready to sleep then she will growl to tell me to quit.
This is Brea........
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Brea, what can I say about Brea. She is the little devil. She is the naughty poodle. She is very sweet but loves mischief and you can see it in her eyes. At least you can after she has her hair cut. She lays with me at the top of the bed all night. Under the covers mainly until she gets hot. It is disconcerting when you are face to face and she gives me a kiss when I am asleep. What do they think sometimes? She will lay on her back with front paws out. Head on pillow next to me with Bella curled up next to her..........that means that as they lay side by side I have less and less room and so.......I lay on the edge of the bed. I only usually need a sheet on me but with poodles getting in and out of the covers all night, I end up with nothing but a corner of the sheet. Bijou is a creature of habit. She likes the idea of being in bed with us but you can count on her getting back out within 10 minutes. Disturbing everyone. I think thats her point.
Bodi and Bella playing
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So there you have it. I have poodles because I love their personality. I love how smart they are and I do not train them. They are who they want to be. That means they can manipulate us and get what they want. They know how to fake going out to go potty so they can get a treat. They have a cooked meal every evening, regular vet checks and grooming. They get better care than I do. Thats how we want it. We love them. In this house its a case of this house is their home and if you don't like dogs please dont visit. Although we do make some allowances. A friend who is deathly afraid of dogs in general means they go lay upstairs on the bed with my husband while she is here. That is seldom though. They are who they are and I live on the edge.
PS: Did I mention that Bodi snores?

Monday, March 24, 2014

He's a toddler now....................

My Gr Grandson Cooper just had his first birthday. I had a party for him on Saturday. Unfortunatley I got a cold just in time for the busy day. I made some of the food the day before and I was so glad that I did. We did pretty good and I am glad to say we had quite a few people come. We had never met Tony's family and so I am happy to say they came.
If I had felt better I would have taken more pictures, but here is the birthday boy.
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I gave him his personal cake while he was sitting in his chair.
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Everyone said "Dont you want to put a cloth on the floor"........Nah let him have fun, I can shampoo the carpet. He actually didnt make a mess, except on his face and hands.
So today, I was babysitting and still not feeling the best. We had Hamburgers and fries. A quick meal. Tristen had eaten half of his and gone off somewhere leaving the other half on his plate. Cooper was not hungry when I tried to feed him earlier but then he saw my plate.
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He came over and I gave him a fry. He went off to eat it and the next thing we see is his mouth wide open about to chomp down on Tristens burger. He has not had anything like that before so I told Tony to just watch and see what he does.
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He did great, he picked bits off rather than chomp down on it
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He ate quite a bit of it before he found the ketchup on the plate.
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As you see Cooper is now walking. He has perfected that and there will be no stopping him now.
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Cooper had the ketchup all over his hands by the time he was done and his dad had to run off for a towel and wash cloth. C ooper is now a toddler.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To colour or not to colour that is the question..........

Well now. I am not fond of having pictures taken so pictures of me are rare. I have gone through and sorted a few to compare.
My natural hair is a very dark brown almost black except it has red highlights in it. It used to be very glossy and was quite nice. However, not being happy with what nature provided I started to colour it quite young. I favoured red. There was a time when they came out with a spray on thing that supposedly changed when the sun hit it. Didn't seem to work. I was quite young, maybe 16, I am not sure now. Well my friend Margaret and I were off to Norfolk (England) with my parents. We went every year. We sprayed our hair hoping to lighten it, or have highlights or whatever. We sprayed it again the night before the holidays with little if any results so did it again in the morning. We were off, a sunny day apparently because before we got half way we were both turning orange. By the time we got to Norfolk we were a yellow blond and the next day almost platinum. So we were for a time blonds. That stuff ruined my hair. We coloured it properly when we got back.
So began my love affair with red hair. On and off over the many years of my life I have been various shades of red. I didn't go for natural I went for the look. As I got older at least I tamed the adventure part down to a constant mid tone red. This is probably the only time you will see pictures of me so........here we have some of me with the grey. I really hated the grey, but I gave it a shot.
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I didn't mind it at all when it was white and yellow. At that point I had a perm too and so it was curly when down. I always wore it up. Some of the others are different stages of red and blond. In the next set you will see my natural colour, almost black. Then again going through the reds. Once I began to go with red I very seldom had my natural colour again. I got a few grey hairs come in but was quite into my 30s before I had more than one or two. Probably 40ish when it became a pain and I coloured it all the time.
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Once the red began to fade I didn't like the sun washed out colour. So had to colour more frequently.
A couple more just for the record. As I said I do not show pictures of myself so while in the mood I guess I will show what little there is to show.
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So now what? You can see that the grey is a no go.......so I have cut the long hair because I always wore it up anyway and started off with a pale colour. I don't like it............so next time we will be red again. Time to have fun.
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Well that's me in a nutshell...........I am not ready for grey until my hair is all white. I did try, I really did.Next is a diet and weight is much harder to change than hair colour

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Moving furniture...............after the flood.........

This was a productive weekend. Gerry did get the carpet finished in the basement and the walls painted. On Saturday I moved all the furniture around in Alex room. I put the bed back in the corner, she had moved it when she moved in. The room is a pale lavender colour. She had fairies on the walls and I have left those so far. I still have to put up more pictures and finish off a few things. Its looking quite nice though. I have tried to downsize as I go. The desk by the bed is one of my friend Nancy's treasures and can be used to set things on if you are in bed reading. That gave me an idea. I will look for a pretty little breakfast tray the sit on the end of the bed.
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I had packed away a whole load of stuff from this room and I took out a table to put in Tristens room. The dressing table and chest are antiques and now hold Tristens clothes. He kept taking all his stuff out of his drawers and then I could not find them. So.......moved them.
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The long dresser also has a mirror but we have never used it. So I may use it in the garden. I am not sure yet.
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The old TV sort of spoils the look.
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I have a collection of hats and evening bags. The things on the back of the door are antique baby clothes.
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I have already changed a couple of things. I changed the fairy on the desk for an Angel and I also changed the flowers. Instead of the pink ones I put Danielle's bridal bouquet in there. I have no doubt I will keep fiddling until I get it right. The next chore was Tristens room. We have been having issues with him in there. He always kept his room quite nice but has developed an attitude of late. So suffice it to say we have downsized in there too and moved things around. He has a lot more room now.
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The white furniture that was in there is now down in the new bedroom. Not finished with that yet.
So now Tristen has bookshelves for all of his stuffies and toys
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I moved his bed to one side so he had more room but he doesn't like it. He wants a table on his side of the bed he says. He sleeps on the side near the wall. So....may just have to change that.
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Well thats it. I guess I will have to go back and see what we can do for him tomorrow. He's 4, how can he know what he wants sheesh!!! but he does and so it will be done.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Is it Spring yet?...............

The wonder of renewal every year, my favourite season. Maybe because in Michigan its always a long time coming and is a very short season. One week it will be chilly in the 40s and quite literally can be up in the 80s the next week. No exageration. We have sat outside sunbathing watching snow melt.
Well I also like March because I hear from friends and family in England that Spring has arrived. That the flowers and blossoms and lambs are all popping. I asked on my Facebook page for some pictures and I got quite a few that really made me feel good. Spring will come..........it will.
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Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom here, it is also great to take some branches into the house and force them. I buy myself some flowers this time of year to have that heavenly scent in the house. I then plant the bulbs for next years garden. The squirrels will replant them. Hopefully in my garden and so they spread from year to year.
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In England now the snowdrops and crocus are all out and the Daffodils, Violets and in fact most of the Spring flowers. They also last much longer there as its cooler for longer. Here they are all gone in a few days unless we have a long Spring. That doesn't happen often.
Then the other sweet thing is all the new babies
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I try not to think of their destiny but its a joy to such the zest for life. One reason I could never ever ever eat lamb or veal.
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Then remembering what all childen used to do.....go looking for frogspawn. Take it home and watch a miracle occur. Tadpoles and Soon the legs would appear and the tail would fall off. I think every child years ago at least watched natures miracle every Spring
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Remember the days when children could wander without adults and be perfectly safe? Go fishing for tiddlers in the streams. Sticklebacks for us and no worry about things like snakes. Climbing trees and laying in fields with grass between your teeth. Making shapes in the clouds above. Can you even conceive of a child sleeping alone in a meadow now? Drinking from the stream and eating berries.
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How lucky we were to enjoy the Springtime.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not a lot..........

Not a lot going on......and yet so much. Sigh. Where shall I begin.........how about frozen pipes. Yes, that's a good place to begin. I think I did say that the pipe burst in the wall down in the basement bedroom. Well thats all dried out and we have purchased new carpet. This weekend my husband should be putting in new dry wall. Then the carpet and then I get to decorate. The room will be blue.
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I do love blue. The other bedroom down there is blue, it was such a pretty room. Laura lived with us awhile and I found this amazing colour blue. No point in describing that room because it is no more. My ex son in law is living there at the moment, not sure for how long, but no point in decorating that room. Just sayin............it is dominated by a huge TV a bed and leather rocker. Say no more.
Well......as all my stuff was turfed out, I have blue and white quilts that I think I can still use and a white bedspread. That will do for a start. In Tristens room is a nice wicker chair that my parents bought me. I will paint that white and move it before Tristen destroys it. Its something like this.
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I have so much fabric that I can easily find some blue and white and make some cushions. I may even make a new quilt. I have a whole bunch of nick nacks packed away and so I won't have any problem with decorating. I will do a before and after post later, much later, when all is done.
The stuff I don't use will go in my garage sale this Spring. I am on a cleaning out binge.
Granddaughter Danielle is coming down from her home in the U.P to take care of her dad for a few days following his surgery. Lucky me, he will be off work 12 weeks. A torn rotator cuff. Anyway, I want the room done by then.
The burst pipe was the worst of the things happening here. Our small 1/2 bath down on the main level is frozen now. Run the water at night I said. No he said it will be fine...........pipes froze. Got those thawed and I ran the water day and night. Don't need to he said. Pipes froze. Put a heater in there I said.........he ignored that remark. This morning he says. "the guy on tv said to put a heater in there".........duh!!!........use a hair dryer, no, why bother telling him that right.
"oh the guy on TV says use a hair dryer" so my hair dryer is chugging away by the toilet now happily playing on its own. WHY oh why does the man not listen to me?
Meanwhile I am living among boxes and stuff.......stuff.......all over.....stuff. Big clean out coming soon.
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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

As a child I always looked forwards to "Pancake Day" or Shrove Tuesday as its called in England.
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Pancake day meant we would have pancakes for dinner. What a treat. The English pancakes are not like American pancakes. They are more like Crepe's

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The pancakes are served with lemon and sugar not syrup. They are just about awesome. I have yet to have them since I left home. I keep telling myself I will make some. Some day I will. Today was not a good day and it never crossed my mind. Ah well, I better try to make them under less pressure.
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So......pancake races. They are a great tradition and a fun thing to watch and cheer on. Shrove Tuesday though is a day in February or March, preceding Ash Wednesday. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess". Its a time of reflection and to make a point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs we need to repent, and what changes in life or areas of spiritual growth we especially need to ask God's help in dealing with. Indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, is associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent.
As kid all I knew was yummy pancakes.