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, December 30, 2015

Stray Cat Quandry.....................

Laura was taking Reina to a doctors appointment, she saw a stray cat in the garbage rooting around. She took it inside to feed it, then headed into town with the cat. Needless to say she dropped it off here.
Well it is a smallish cat, all black and I loved it. So we have decided to keep her. The problem with cats are they are a dime a dozen and taking them to the humane society is a possible death sentence. People do not seem to like black cats. I do. So we have named her Betty.
 photo 103_2318_zpszzcrmbwv.jpg
Gerry was NOT happy. He did not want another cat. Well, he also has a problem putting his foot down and saying no.
 photo 103_2302_zpsxccjpesg.jpg
Boots was a stray, she goes outside and is inside as much as out. When we got Boots she was pregnant. I got her to the vets right away and Dr Burke did a spay on her. That ended that problem. She was not far along and so it was the kindest thing.
SO now we find Betty may be enceinte too. What to do. The moral and ethical issues of strays...........I am under no obligation to even keep her. Its the fault of her original owners. I believe all animals should be spayed and neutered. Also if you dont want to take care of them dont have them. People end up dumping them when they cant afford or wont take care of things. I personally believe it should be mandatory if you have a pet. No breeding with out a special permit and that regulated.This needs to stop.
People who do not take care of pets make it someone else.s problem. I can not afford to get this cat spayed or declawed at the moment. That leaves me with the problem of if she is pregnant it will soon be too late to spay and get rid of the unwanted pregnancy. I hate that so much but best to do than have more unwanted cats. It is a moral dilemma for me.
 photo 103_2321_zps0jhpky7g.jpg
Betty is a small cat, tiny bones. Maybe she isn't pregnant, she still needs to be fixed. Then there is the other thing. Declawing. I hate it. I dislike more when a dog gets their eyes scratched. That happened to one of my poodles a while ago now. Slit the eyelid fortunately and not the eye. Betty's claws are needle sharp. Now, she is more calm than Boots. Maybe I can just get them trimmed. I do not feel I have to justify getting cats declawed. Yes its not nice. What is worse would be not giving her a home because I wont do it. My dogs come first here, we did after all choose to have them. Their health and welfare is priority to us both. It would not be fair to Betty to deny her a good forever home because I refuse to declaw though. People criticize that so much, yet my mum had a dog put down because a cat clawed its eyeball in half. Back then probably not much else to be done to save the dog. Anyway, as I said before, if people could just take care of their animals, people like me would not have to be the bad guys and "maime" a cat. Having said that, my vet did an awesome job and the 3 cats I have had done were not even sore when they came home that same day. They came home with pain pills but none needed it. They didn't seem to notice even. No licking or any sign that things were different.
 photo 103_2320_zpssldiwnrs.jpg
I am not sure what we will end up doing with Betty but know she will have a good home. Boots is a little put out and so are the poodles but no one has got in a fight, Betty is really laid back. So we hope this will be a happy home for her.Tristen likes her.
 photo 103_2289_zps4fof6g1s.jpg
Bijou and Betty enjoying some leftovers in the picture above.
So what next. What if kittens do come along. I can't keep them. I will have to find homes for them. Laura has 7, she doesn't need more. I don't need more. I can't afford this one. My poodles take everything with grooming and vet bills. We have no money for stray cats. So what to do. I have to take her to the vet next week, I am still sick and wont drive on icy roads so it must wait until money comes in next week. Wish me luck because I really don't know what to do.

Belated Christmas..............

This year everyone was home for Thanksgiving and so Christmas was very quiet. We were all sick one way or other. It was just Gerry, me and Tristen. Laura and her family came over in the afternoon for their presents.
Tristen opened one gift on Christmas Eve but was happy with that. He even waited quite patiently on Christmas morning. I am glad he isn't one of those who get so cranky and over excited about it all. We don't do Father Christmas so he knows that the gifts come from people.
Christmas Eve we had a PJ day and he was happy to help me in the house.
 photo 103_2223_zpseqkviscn.jpg
He loves doing dishes. Well he loves playing with the soap and water anyway.
 photo 103_2225_zpspsacdbvc.jpg
He even vacuumed for me.
 photo 103_2252_zpsvirj63wf.jpg
He did a good job too.
 photo 103_2250_zpsh6zqwupa.jpg
That allowed me to make my cheese balls to give away. I really didn't do any baking this year. I did make some toffee crispy treats that everyone likes and some hot crackers that people like. That was it though. I just didn't feel up to it.I made those things so I could give treats to Gabby and Tony.
By the time it was bedtime I was whooped and ready to go. Then I remembered I had not wrapped Tristens preasents. That probably took an hour.
I bought a bunch of gift cards for the guys. Tony is unemployed at the moment so he got one for gas, a visa to spend as he wished and an Applebys card so they could go to dinner.
 photo 103_2262_zpscozlnsvg.jpg
Tristen likes to play "Little Pet shop" with Reina so I got him some new stuff for them to play with.
 photo 103_2286_zpsxjgne2mc.jpg
He just watched Paddington Bear so I found a Paddington. He liked that.
He was also lucky to get a lot of Star Wars stuff, funny that when you think my own kids had all the original Star Wars stuff. Pity we didn't still have that. It's hard to believe it was 1977 (?) when that came out.
Gerry and I had a pork roast for dinner so it was not much for clean up. Just as well because the Dishwasher broke. A good job that didnt happen at Thanks giving when everyone was home. As it was Justin spend a couple of hours cleaning up at Thanksgiving. A new dishwasher has been ordered. I am hoping to change the counter tops soon and get a new look in the kitchen.
I usually do all the decorating at the Thanksgiving weekend but just didn't have time or energy this year. The company didn't leave until Sunday so that weekend was out. After that my cold just got worse. Gerry put up the tree but we didnt decorate it. Still looked pretty.
Next year maybe we will do better. Tristen didn't seem to mind. He went to his aunt Laura for their annual party and a couple of extra days to play with what they got him.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas...............

My memory must be bad. It didn't seem like Mum and Dad spent so much time on Christmas as we do. To me as a kid things just magically appeared of course. I do remember searching for gifts and finding them hidden one year. I had to snoop naturally. Tried to tear a package open without moving it. It was unsuccessful but didn't stop me from trying. She hid them in a different place all the time so must have know I would look. I don't remember my kids doing that. Then again once wrapped they are under the tree.
This year I have just not felt like going all out and decorating. Sick since Thanksgiving my energy is low.
Christmas just does not have the magic that it did when I was a kid. Of course it doesn't I am grown up now. This is the start of our tree for this year. It's up and lights are on. That's as far as we have got so far.
 photo 103_2204_zps4raskafj.jpg
I thought Tristen had forgotten but no, today he asked when we will decorate the tree. SO guess we have to do that after all. Thats OK he can have fun doing it on Wednesday when school is out.
Tomorrow I have to go grocery shopping and get wrapping paper. Then I can wrap gifts.
I remember at least one tree at home. It was very spindly and had a few lights and lots of silver frost hanging on it. we don't use that anymore.Tinsel and icicles were standard back then.
I remember our first trees having candles on them instead of lights. Nothing as pretty as that I think. Real candles. Fire hazard, yes.Then again, what wasn't back then. Many people burned every winter standing on the hearth using the mirror over the fire to do makeup. My great grandmother died from being burned when having dropped a coin, she knocked the lamp over trying to find it. Set her clothes on fire and died a week later.
 photo 12f7592fcb77024be880d9c08e7372a4_zpsohi2luij.jpg
I like simple decorations and lots of glass balls. That reminds me, I want to stop at Michaels and get some glass bells to make some ornaments. I mean those big things you can use to cover a plant with.
 photo 7ba9170df24dc254aad627c9a764b79b_zpsrhnnmkj1.jpg
I love red and gold best of all, with fire and glass and twinkles. It's a magical combination.
 photo 8b137e3565895957153408cc49fe6e0a_zpsis3widm5.jpg
When and if I do get some decorating done I will take some pictures. For now these are borrowed.
I hope I feel better tomorrow so I can finish up and get everything ready. I have to make cheeseballs and cookies to give away. I have to be better tomorrow. I just must.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Missing London....................

We just watched Paddington Bear, the movie. It made me miss London. I think Gerry wanted to see the movie more than Tristen. It wasn't too bad for a kids movie I suppose. Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey was the lead guy, he was funny.
 photo paddington-bear-toy_zpsceurx7ct.jpg
Well it made me think of the stations, Paddington, Kings Cross and St Pancras for a start. I used to travel back and forth on weekends, home on Friday and back to work Sunday night. I was 18, I have no idea why I didn't rebel, my parents really could not make me go home weekends but I did as they asked. I worked for NAAFI and I loved that time of my life. Brief it was but indelible in my mind and heart. In the evenings we (friends or boyfriends) would go into the city and just walk around. The lights, the shops it was magic.
 photo 002b05685882ca3292c0fd7f9ae5e174_zpsmm9pencb.jpg
Sitting on the Embankment in the night time, quiet for a city. Beautiful, long before the famous wheel was there. Long before the Ghurkin or whatever its called. Sitting on the steps of St Pauls
 photo St Pauls_zpscr5qpsv9.jpg
Or Piccadilly when the traffic still spun around old Eros. The lights of all those advertisements. I think of an old BBC program called "In Town Tonight" always began with that roundabout. If you liked people watching that was the place to sit. Or Trafalgar Square. I loved sitting in Trafalgar, never dark there because of the city lights. We would also walk back in the East End, Soho and some more remote places. My boyfriend at the time liked to smoke Hashish and we would go to some very seedy places for him to get it. I never did try it myself, probably because of what I saw when with him. Its a wonder we were never stopped by the police, we saw others who were but he said that I looked too respectable, we never were stopped. I also didn't like what I saw, I didn't like how they (he and his friend) behaved when they were high. So stupid. I was determined never to behave that way. So I never ever even tried it. If it were not for that my curiosity may have got the better of me. Who knows.
 photo London_zpsdfzi2ai6.jpg
I visited London on other occassions before I lived there and did the tourist things. The museums and art galleries. I loved all of that. When I was younger we would go up to London at Christmas time to shows and also some Thursday evenings for the late night shopping. I lived out in the countryside about 1/2 hour to St Pancras on the non stop train. From work for shows we had a coach trip. Loved that.
We would shop in Oxford Street. It was especially wonderful to go up there at Christmas just to see the shop windows. When I was a kid I wanted to be a window dresser. No idea what happened to that idea.
 photo London-Bridge_zpsospyqnuo.jpg
Tower Bridge, we carved our names there. I loved walking past the Tower, thinking of all the history. I remember waiting for a train (underground) at Tower Hill at 4am one morning all on my own, I can't imagine doing that now. I always felt safe.I guess I just never thought about not being safe.
 photo Trafalgar sq_zpsrnrejqhb.jpg
Where I lived was between Wimbledon and Putney so it was very close to the city. Very easy to get there for a movie or show. Mainly though I just enjoyed wandering around and seeing the great parks, and the squares. I love the history and I just want to give London a great big hug. When Paris was attacked recently, I felt as I would if it had been London because I know that it is the same thing there. Just a wonderful city and one that some day I want to visit, but nothing will ever touch my heart as London does.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

christmas Shopping.............

Laura and I went out today, have not done that in awhile. She has been working and I have been sewing when not doing housework. I wanted to take a wreath over to the cemetary so waited until she could go too. We did that first. I was going to stop at Joannes and pick up a few bits and bobs to decorate with, but it was drizzle and so skipped that and just put the wreath up. Next I wanted to stop at the Red Dresser. I love that place. I love that they put crafts and antiques together. What's not to like?
 photo 103_2089_zpsv4nm5evs.jpg
I love getting ideas there. So along with shopping I take a few photos to remind me of ideas I see there.
 photo 103_2090_zpsw4ofqljk.jpg
The little angels in the first picture and this wreath are made of paper, so is this next idea. I thought the little dresses would look cute in a little girls room.
 photo 103_2094_zpsbc2hhje4.jpg
Then more paper crafts.
 photo 103_2091_zpstw24bxoi.jpg
I got some easy sewing ideas too. I liked these simple trees. Pillows and felt projects
 photo 103_2092_zpss9dwgj16.jpg
 photo 103_2095_zpsrrcjpg1j.jpg
 photo 103_2096_zpsbj0rq42w.jpg
I should have a whole week after I am done with my quilts and got those in the mail. So maybe I can begin sewing some pillows and ornaments. I have loads of ideas and sure have the fabric to use up.I have done plate stands already, but for the garden. I think they would make nice gifts, what do you think. The covered decoration next to it would be great. I think the top, bell part can be found places like
Michaels and Joannes.
 photo 103_2093_zpsro68e2yi.jpg

We found some jewelry made of blue stone and Petoskey stones. I bought a Petoskey that I liked. The small earrings would be great to use up the small stones we find.
 photo 103_2098_zpsqpogvtte.jpg
 photo 103_2099_zpsw4sftaep.jpg
More bunting and package tags, all great ideas to use to decorate or give as gifts
 photo 103_2100_zps9mwmi0n8.jpg
 photo 103_2101_zpsaiiqipcx.jpg
 photo 103_2102_zpscyqpmyev.jpg
I liked this simple pattern used on a pillow, it could be used on a few things so I took a picture.
 photo 103_2103_zpso9z4y1nj.jpg
Now to be clear. I do not copy these. I use the pictures to give me inspiration and ideas. Then if I do make anything I make it slightly different and make it my own. I buy a lot of books, and I will buy samples when I want to figure it out myself. I love this store. They wrapped my things and put them in a Christmas bag, it was lovely. I bought quite a bit of stuff. I liked this idea with Ball canning jars
 photo 103_2105_zpsq1ugl6tw.jpg
Some have done simular things setting a snow scene in a clear glass lid and adding turning it upside down. I liked this one though. We next stopped at the Salvation Army store. I will share that on My Pretty things along with what I bought at the Red Dresser.
Anyway I needed thread and we had not gone to Joannes, so we stopped at The Quilting Bee. I got my thread but I also got a few (3) patterns and some fabric squares. I am hoping that on my free week after quilts are done I can try a few things.
After that we stopped and had lunch next door at Hunan and had a great Chinese Buffet, it was awesome.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tristen goes to a Party.......

I got an invite for Tristen from a class friend of his. I phoned Christopher's mother to accept. I was not keen to begin with as I don't know them. I just had to do it for Tristen. There was a time I would have dreaded something like this. I am not comfortable with strangers. So walking into a room of people I don't know is torture for me. Anyway, they were very nice and welcoming. Tristen dived right in and he and Christopher got playing. There were several other children there already. They had balloons. The balloons were a hit. The kids were banging each other around with them and chasing all through the room.
Christopher's mother made all the food. Apparently at some point they had a restaraunt so she was used to catering. She is a tiny woman, very cute. Needless to say, much younger than us. I didn't get many pictures, I was not sure if I should or not but here is one.
 photo 103_2068a_zps8dykgslh.jpg
It was mainly Christopher's family. They had invited his whole class but not too many showed up. That was OK though, I don't think he noticed. Originally we were going to leave Gerry at the party and Reina and I were going shopping, but when we got there I didn't think we should leave. After a bit Gerry's back was hurting too much and he had to leave to go to the car and lay back in the seat to rest it. So I stayed. Reina who was not invited was accepted in and she found some girls later to play with. Christopher's mother told us to tuck in to the buffet. She made everything herself. It was Oriental food and was awesome. I couldn't eat much but she did such a great job.
Later the kids all got to go and ride on the Carosel.
 photo 103_2067_zpsxx2wdfgy.jpg
 photo 103_2067ab_zpsxqrsjhvm.jpg
It was hard to get a clear picture but I think you can see they are having fun. Christopher is on the outside in check shirt with Tristen next to him and then Reina.
 photo 103_2065_zps4an8iqzd.jpg
 photo 103_2063h_zpsbd1fdt2a.jpg
 photo 103_2062a_zpselplpdxn.jpg
When the ride was done we went back, more family had arrived and the kids carried on playing. Tristen was going to Laura's for the weekend so she met us there and stayed until it was time to go home. She also ate and was saying how good the food was. She stayed from 6 to 7.30 so I think Tristen had a very nice time, his first birthday invite from school. I suppose I am going to have to get used to it. Tomorrow night is his swimming lesson and we have to take him to that. A whole different life style for us old codgers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015................

Lets see I have how many weeks before Christmas? to loose the weight I put back on getting ready and during Thanksgiving. We were going to skip it this year as far as a big meal etc but Justin and Carrie were able to come down (from the UP) with Teal. Jason was coming home and Laura got the day off work and so it just seemed like it was the right time to do it. So I think it all went really well. Carrie was terrific, she and Justin helped prepare Wednesday night and they even did the shopping for me, and paid for it. We had the basics already but there was still a lot to get.

Gerry, Laura and Robert with Reina, Jason, Teal and Carrie. Justin, Gabby and Tony and Cooper. Tristen was still playing outside.
 photo 103_1741_zpshnbrnrw5.jpg
Carrie and Justin in the kitchen
 photo 103_1743_zpsmcg0basg.jpg
By the time everyone was here and the food was ready everyone was starving, they were hovering. Now I would love to be one of those people who can set a nice table, get out all the best dishes and crystal. That's what I would love. Reality, my family is not like that. Trays in the living room watching the games. Some of us at the table talking. This year I didn't even put everything in proper serving dishes. They were too hungry. Here is Gerry carving the turkey with everyone trying to grab a piece.
 photo 103_1733_zpsz2u6uzfz.jpg
 photo 103_1734_zpsjm5xxahi.jpg
We had the turkey, corned beef from the crockpot. Roast potatoes, mashed potatoes. Brussels, Green beans, baby carrots. Two kinds of stuffing (Carrie is gluten intolerant) two kinds of gravy. Carrie made some excellent rutabaga and carrot mix, and cranberry relish. She also made pies. We had cake and ice cream after for Laura's birthday.
 photo 103_1747_zpsk2yqvv9b.jpg
Notice someone (we blamed Justin) changed the candle from 49 to 94. Turns out it was Tony after all.
Cooper enjoyed the cake
 photo 103_1754_zps28c1p9ux.jpg
 photo 103_1751a_zpsisbmlelk.jpg
It was GOOD
 photo 103_1756_zpsll4libok.jpg
 photo 103_1757_zpsv7cyk202.jpg
I really enjoyed this years Thanksgiving I have never had anyone help me with it before, not like that and boy did it make it less stressful. You know, people offer to help, they do, but Carrie just went ahead and did it. When you have to explain what needs to be done, its not much help and so I just say no and that's OK. This was nice. Justin even did dishes after so Gerry got a break too.He had to have stood 2 hours doing dishes.

Gabby, Tony with Cooper and Jason
 photo a_zps0ei7bpfa.jpg
Gerry, Laura, Robert and Teal.
 photo 103_1737_zpsupqjbgne.jpg
Justin and Carrie brought Winslow with them. They have 4 dogs but Winslow cant be left. I think he fit right in don't you.
 photo 103_1768_zps697qdajy.jpg