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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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

On the deck......................

We are in need of a new back door. That leads to other issues. In order to do that we had to extend the deck. Actually we are going to put the door into another room. Right now the room is not anything in particular but has a lot of stuff in it including the printer. Well, we decided to make that room the entrance and put the new door in there and close off the old one. This means we needed to make the deck different in order to get in through that area.
This is how it happened. Tristen just had to help Granddad he was so excited. Granddad not so much. Tristen with a sledgehammer are you crazy?
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First the old part of the deck had to be torn down and then the wood cut for the new part.
Tristen got to hold the end. He kept running off with stuff to do his own projects. He got a popsickle but would not put it down to work, heaven forbid.
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Then to start putting it together........
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Tristen holding the lattice to be nailed in place.
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After it was done we put a couple of chairs up there to relax for a bit
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The windows behind the chair will be the new door. That will be the next step. We will be putting in a double glass door and some outlets. With an outlet there I can put up Christmas lights yeahhhhh.
The pooodles are enjoying it

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The poodles enjoyed relaxing. There was still a lot to do but that was enough for that day. Since then the gate got put on in a much more convenient place and I at least got to tidy up the deck. Here are the girls waiting for Daddy to come home
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Bijou is enjoying the new place.
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So is Bodi and Bella
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I set up a nice spot for me to sit and have coffee and draw or paint or read. Later we will have outlets so I can then bring my computer out.
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Now to just get rid of those pesky mosquitoes.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Keeping Tristen occupied..............

Tristen is a busy little boy. He is so full of energy. It's been so hard being cooped up all winter and such a long winter it was.
So first chance we have had we were off into the woods. He can run to his hearts content. He did laps I think, running back and forth. Laura and I were tired out by the end of our first walk.
We tried a new trail that we had not been on before. Not sure what to expect because it was close to the big stores like Walmart and Home Depot. We went to the trail head and parked. The map said there was a one mile loop so we chose that one.
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We started out, he at a sprint, we were less ambitious. Its been a long winter and we are stiff. Tristen ran and ran
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The utter joy of freedom
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This was an amazingly diverse trail. It ran through woods and meadows, water meadows and swamps. While in the woodlands we found a dead bumble bee. Tristen was able to see it close up and we have it a funeral of sorts. We rested him on a Dandelion Tristen got to feel the bark on the trees, to see the difference in texture. Maybe later to be able to recognize them.

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Cedar Swamps are full of interesting things. They had boardwalks for us to walk on to get through the mud and mire. In there the roots of the trees made Fairy houses. I had shown him an acorn cap (A fairy hat) and some leaf skeletons (Fairy wings) its a magical place if you allow it to be.
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He was intriged by the water creatures who could walk on water. He wished he could do that. We found a toad, he was hard to see in the leaves, the same colour. He was not happy to be captured and petted by a little boy but he went on his way in safety
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We moved on to meadow land. By now rather confused. The trail markers were very confusing, they didn't seem to go where we thought they should. In any case we were not where we needed to be. This strip of land is between two roads and is on a hill that ends on Cass st. We found ourselves at the old Sabin School grounds, no longer in use. So we had ended up in the wrong place. We went back to the last trail marker,and tried another direction. At least I do have a good sense of direction and knew where we needed to be, it was a question of HOW.
Meanwhile we found some mushrooms.
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The Morel mushroom is much sought after this time of year. We looked for some the other day with no luck. This day we found them without looking. Enough for Gerry to enjoy a nice snack.
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I sent Laura and Tristen up the hill to recon. There were apartments up there. Not the ones we expected though. SO now what.
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OK forget the dang trail markers follow me. Good grief.
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Some of the wild flowers
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I wish I could dig up a few of these lovelies. This is a Jack in the Pulpit
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Anyway we found our way back just fine but we took longer than expected. Next time we must take a watch haha
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I loved the shapes of the tree roots in the Cedar swamps.
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There are so many things in the woods that are fascinating and as Tristen gets older I am sure we will try to have him become a little more interested in the names of these things, learn as Hiawatha the names of all the birds and beasts and how they live. This is after all Hiawatha country.

LInking up with Little Red House Mosaic Monday

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Visiting Alexandra in the Spring..............

We have been trying to get out to the cemetery, last time it was still covered in snow. Then its done nothing but rain. Well it was raining on and off today too. We sat and waited. Tristen found his umbrella in the back of the car and was excited that he had a good reason to use it.
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To keep him busy we said "run Tristen run" so he raced to where we told him, he dropped his umbrella so he could run faster.
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We try to make our trips fun. Meanwhile I was planting some bulbs for next year. I put some new mulch down and replaced some of the broken ornaments. We love doing this, it just makes her seem closer somehow. I know she would love it. Its wonderful to see the Spring flowers. Its like she is smiling at us.
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After we tended the grave we went to lunch. Tristen was not hungry so I ordered him an ice cream sunday with chocolate and whipped cream.
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Tristen was very good all day today, wonder of wonders. When we got home he wanted to play outside on his bike. Well yes, I knew he would be be in the puddles but had NO IDEA..........his bike got stuck so he peddled at top speed..........oooh boy.
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Do you see the water on his back, and the mud? Well he was just having a blast shooting that water into the bucket and dumping it in the wheel barrow and then back into the puddle. He was soaked to the skin when he came in.
I am sharing this with Inspire me Monday


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Alexandra........

I look at your picture Alex and still, even after 3 1/2 years I can not believe you are gone. I would not believe you were ever here if it were not for your son. Your son........we must talk about your son. Tristen is 4 going on 5 in September. Soon to begin school. You do know that they could not handle him the last time we tried school. Hmmmmmm he is soooooo full of life, so noisy, so just like you.
I look at your pictures and see the beautiful woman you were but such a tormented soul. You were so many things....Vain (yes you were a Narcissist) unsure of yourself deep down but on the surface confident. You sought attention any way you could get it, full of yourself. The psychiatrist says it was a personality disorder. You were always loud, you could enter a room and completely disrupt it. You always made an entrance. You were funny, you were smart. Not always kind. You thought you had no friends but had loads, you should have seen your "viewing". You were not happy with your life and if you were not happy then no one else was either. You were not always a good mum to Tristen when he was small. You seemed to get pleasure out of teasing him and then wonder why he preferred to snuggle with me. You were jealous. Yet Tristen was always with a sitter so you could go out. Especially until you found Bill. You were desperate for male attention. Vulgar, seductive, sensual........crude. Its hard to say something nice sometimes but we all accepted you were who you were.
We loved you. We tried so hard to make you happy. You craved attention.........but that was Alexandra.
Here are Gabrielle, Danielle and Alexandra.............
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When the psychiatrist was called in after she had threatened suicide. We didn't think it was a serious threat but was made often enough (since early teens)so we had to take some steps to assure us that it would not happen. So we, that is her Mother along with her sister Danielle and myself had her committed. We all talked to the doctor with Alexandra present. She saw then what we saw. Her behavior as we saw it. She stayed at a women's shelter for a few months. Some folks thought that we had just dumped her but that was not the case. Her dad even took her own mattress and stuff there so she was comfortable. We all checked on her without her knowledge she was in no way abandoned. We needed to see what we could do to turn her life around and that it might be good for her to see what others less fortunate went through. She was pregnant at that time. She was dating guys, sleeping with them........she was looking for a husband. She had met a couple of nice guys but had just about scared them off with her neediness. So when the time came to have Tristen she was not with anyone. When Tristen was born her mother, Father, sisters and aunt were with her in the hospital room...........
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So after Tristen was born Alex came home to us again. They lived here until she met Bill and then she was off again working on another relationship and sometimes Tristen was left with Bill's mum. She was so beautiful, how could guys not fall for her?
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Well eventually Alex and Bill got engaged. Tristen spent most of his time with us prior to this because she was working and going to college. The rest of the time she was off with friends. She would have sulked and made life miserable if she could not go out. So in some ways I and others enabled her. My thought were with Tristen because if I refused to "babysit" she would have got someone else, anyone else to watch him. So I was the one getting up and feeding him during the night and up with him in the mornings. She would sleep in and then hope he was ready for a nap so she could go back to bed. She didn't like that he would snuggle with me and go to sleep but not with her. Well......She just was not able to relax and just enjoy him.
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I realize this all sounds negative, but it is how it was. She was so happy and beaming when things were going well, but when they were not then she was at the other end of the spectrum. Deep in despair. She was never satisfied with the ordinary, she had no problem throwing gifts aside if they didn't meet her expectations and showing displeasure (Why would anyone buy me that?). She didn't realize how much she may have hurt the person who was giving the gift. These things were brought up when the psychiatrist was present. She just didn't understand what was wrong. No Empathy is what he said. Her and Bill got engaged. They were happy for a time. They broke up. They got back together but had not got the ring back on her finger when she died. At her viewing I held her hand while Bill put it back on her finger as she lay in that coffin, looking as beautiful as ever. Poor Bill, he was devastated. She wears the ring still. She would like that.
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Why did she die? At 21 years old. I cant answer that, was she happy? No. Her and Bill had contracted herpes. The night before she died we talked. I told her she was a good mum when she questioned it, I said that once she was married things would be better, easier. Well, it sounded like she was not so sure. Because they had this thing between them, she was afraid her choices had been taken away. She would not get anyone else. So was she not happy with Bill?.......we shall never know. I don't really think so not like she should have been. Her and Danielle were at loggerheads because they both wanted to get married around the same time. Danielle was already planning her wedding when Alex got engaged.
I think Alex loved David and would always love David. They were just not good for each other, they fought and he got violent. I think she brought out the worst in him and visa versa. No point in getting into that. I think her love for Bill had run its course and she felt she had no choices left. I think that Bill is better off now honestly, he is finally engaged to a new love and we all wish him well. I think he will be happy. He wont ever get over Alex and will always love her on some level but, I am sure he will be happier in the end. Sad to say.
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So what makes me say all this now? I think about her so much. Was it better for Tristen that things happened as they did? Was it better that he grows up with no Mum and no Dad? He has me his great grandmother and his great grandfather. His grandmother and her husband. His grandfather and his auntie Laura and her girls. He spends time with all of them and Reina and Raylene. He has so many people who love him and who spend time with him. Would he have had that if Alex was still here? Not so much. Mute point really what is ......just is. Even so, I would have her back if I could. I miss her still.
I have always tried to not show favorite with my granddaughters. Alex was always a joy as a small child because she was a pistol, she was cheeky and naughty and so full of herself. We loved her so much and she irritated the heck out of us haha. She could be frustrating in the extreme. As each child got to the age where they left home they came here, to live with us. First Danielle came, it gave her some freedom but she was still secure. Then Dan asked me if I would take Alex because she did not get along with anyone at home. Danielle was not happy that she was moving in because of how things had been at home, her and ALex not getting along. In the end it worked out well. They did get to spend some good times together before Danielle went away to school. Danielle had a boyfriend and she was occupied in her own life at the time.
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Alex went home once but was soon back, she just could just not get along with anyone at home. That's another whole story. Divorce and 2nd marriages are not always a good thing for the kids. Alex didn't take it well at all. If Alex was not happy then no one would be happy. Dan had married a woman with 3 kids of her own, making 6 children in the house. It just didn't work.
So it was that Alex stayed with us and did so until her death. We all miss her and we all have regrets that she could not make herself a happy life. She was working on it. Had just started a job she liked and was still doing college. Planning her wedding and so much to look forwards to. We all had hope that things would work out for her and Tristen. We loved Bill.
It was also because she was here that Tristen stayed after she was gone. He was home in bed thankfully when the accident happened. We thank God she didn't take him home, that he had come earlier with his granddad. This was his home then and will now be his home as long as he needs us.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Amish country.................

During my weekend with Nancy and Edna we took a drive. Saturday was more shops and things like that but we were coming home Sunday and this was just a nice chance to do something but also chat. So off we went to discover some back roads.
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We sat and enjoyed this peaceful scene. Mama and baby horse sharing an intimate moment. Its so nice to see the beautiful Amish farms. They are kept so neat and clean. You don't see all the old farm equipment laying around. We carried on only to screech to a halt and watch the lambs frolicking. Their mums seemed a bit frazzled, followed by one or more babies wanting breakfast.
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We saw a lot of animals that day. I loved the Scottish Highland Cows.
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I could show loads of pictures of the lovely animals around that area. I really admire the life style of these people. Amish do not have modern equipment. They work hard. They work as a family unit. They remember to give themselves and their animals a day off. They remember to include God in their life. I tried to take some discreet pictures. I did not like the idea of taking pictures of people so I tried to take them without them knowing, not sure thats good or not. There was one sweet moment when a wagon with children went by. I really wanted a picture, they all waved. I resisted, but then took a picture at a distance after they passed. One little girl was still smiling. It somehow does not seem right to photograph people because they are different. It's just that I do so admire them and its a unique life style and how long will it last?
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The next two are of farmers working, probably like they have for a hundred years. Spreading manure and ploughing
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We also saw our share of deer. I got these curious ones by getting out of the car.

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This guy came by rather quickly, must have been late for the meeting or something.
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So you may notice that the sheep posted earlier are all sheared..........this guy looks like he is due.

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Another mother and hungry baby
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I tried to reassure these guys that I was not going to go in their field but, well they decided to go into the woods.
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This guy was curious but was not sticking around to find out what I wanted. I talked to him but he was having none of it. I love cows. I feel so bad looking at all these lovely creatures and knowing their fate.
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WellI took a lot more pictures but this will show just a snippet of what the day was like. Great country, great friends and great chats, building memories for when we can no longer do this.