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, November 29, 2017

My take on Religion..................

Jesus is my Savior not my religion. My bible tells me that in order to exist with God Almighty we have to be perfect. Because He is perfect. We can't do that because we will never be perfect not in this life. We lost that when sin entered the world because of Adam and Eve's disobedience. Thus He sent His son Jesus Christ to help us get back to the perfect state that God requires. The sacrifice of God's only son gave us the way to make things right with God. By accepting the sacrifice that God made for us. Really a matter of obedience. God says that blood is required, now whether that is somehow to do with blood and the life in that blood I don't know, or if it is just a matter of obeying what God tells us to do even if we do not understand. Like when He told Abraham to kill Isaac his only son. Well Abraham had God's promise that the saviour would come through his line, so either God would save Isaac or somehow bring him back to life. Isaac too had faith, he was a strapping lad and Abraham was old. Without obedience to his father Isaac could have refused. So Abraham knew somehow God would fulfill His promise and Abraham was ready to obey and that was all God needed to see.
People look at the Bible, they try to understand what is not always going to be understood. It requires Faith and Love. Learn what you can and accept what you do not get just yet. As He says, some day it will all be clear, right now we don't have all the information or ability to comprehend. So just do as you are told and hang on.
I think that many want it all down in black and white and want to know NOW. Well that just will not happen. I have it straight enough in my own mind and I have a huge imagination where the rest is concerned.
All I know is this. What ever I have not understood in the past, at different times it falls into place. We all have questions.
It began for me when I saw God as a destructive and cruel person, the lives of others who were not His own seemed to be of no value. I worried about the animals and the children of those who God destroyed one way or other.
When Noah built the ark for example. He saved animals yes, to keep the species going but what about the rest. What about the babies and children who drowned? Why could He not find another way? After all He is God and can do anything. Well the Bible says that there were none without sin, none. Not even Noah and his family but they were at least in a firm relationship with God.
Just before that occurred there was a war in Heaven. Some of the Angels who had high positions got out of hand. They saw that some of the women down here were beautiful and proceeded to have sex with them. Male and female, from those relationships with man and beast all flesh was corrupted (over the years)and things were born that to God were monstrosities. Think your Roman, Greek and Norse Myths for a start. The beasts that are no longer with us, half man half goat, half horse, whatever. There were giants in the lands. I know that one tale of the guy who was told to leave Troy by his dad went and found England and it was occupied by giants. Yes skeletons have been found throughout the world. So, after a time God repented of making man and decided to just start over, but He had made a promise and did not destroy everything. He chose Noah, a Godly man and his family and sent for animals in pairs and in sevens and sent them to Noah. Noah has nothing to do with the choosing of them and GOD shut the door to the ark.
Now, we know there was still sin within the new creation because Cain killed his brother Abel.
So life began again on planet earth. We are on God's timetable not ours and the time was not yet right for God's plan to proceed. Man had gotten way to far ahead of things. With the tower of Babel and technology it was corrupted and cursed.
The question remains...........was the flood all over the world, or the known world at the time? Does it matter? Did God create other people other than Adam and Eve. Again, does it matter. The point of the story of Adam is to show how Christ is related to him through his genealogy back to Adam and Gods promise of salvation through Adams line. Is the rest all extra or is that it? I don't know.
I would imagine that Dinosaurs were long gone before Adam, maybe a few prehistoric's remained who knows who was on the ark. The thing is all those huge bodies sure did a good job of fertilizing the earth. Darwin's theory of Evolution is just that. A theory. I believe in adaption. We see that even today, animals and bird adapt to their living conditions but a Dog never became a Cat and a Monkey never became a man. They are different species. I can believe that all monkeys came from one pair though and changed and adapted over time because we see that in animal husbandry now. We can manipulate a dog over a few years to become a new breed but it is and always will be a dog.
If we believe in infinity, and no we can not grasp that concept, then maybe it is possible that God created other life on other planets in other galaxies. Maybe they turned out better than we did and maybe the Angels didn't fancy them, or maybe the ones watching them were of better moral fiber.
All I know is there is a spirit world, another life form other than us. They were created by and for God's pleasure. We are the clay and He is the potter. We exist because of Him and for Him. Think about what a privilege it is then to have a relationship with the creator. By accepting Jesus's gift of love, His death, as our Salvation we get to have a personal relationship with Him. It does not mean we wont go through bad times, or wont get hurt by war or accident or famine or any of those things. It means He will see us through and eventually when our time is done we can go home to God. '
Man was made for the earth and I believe that when all is said and done we will come back to a perfect earth and complete Gods original purpose. We should be able to inter act with Him as it was in the beginning. Can we then travel to other places in the universe? Why not? God created it all and I can not imagine that He didn't have something in mind other than us tending a garden on earth. Personally that would be fine by me, give me all my animals and that is Heaven for me. Yes some people apparently will be in Heaven and those have a different mission. It's all there in the bible for those who care to read with an open mind.
Well I am no scholar and I am not saying that this is what people should believe, I have no right to do that. I am limited in my knowledge. A lot of this is common sense though. People argue over time lines what is a year to God and to us? Is it the same...........sometimes yes sometimes no. Do we have ALL the books of the Bible, no we do not. A man decided (with or without Gods help?) what should be in our current Bible and what should be left out. Read it all and make your own mind up. If you have accepted Christ as saviour then the Holy Spirit is your guide not me.
All I know is the truth is there for us.................what about other religions. Well again that's not for me to say. For me and for Christians then the Bible is our guide. The jews and the Muslims worship the same God. Do they have a different path or are they all supposed to follow Christ. I do not know. God speaks to them as well as us and it is for them to find their own way as the Spirit guides us. The Muslims have the Koran, did God give it to them? I don't know but I am not going to sit here and say that they will go to hell if they don't convert because I don't know, the Holy Spirit will and should guide them as well as the Jewish people. Some of those people will be converted after the war of Armageddon that is lurking on the horizon I believe.
What then, a large war that will end life as we know it but will bring forth a new heaven and new earth. The Lion lays down with the lamb and no more wars............thats heaven to me. Bring it on. Jesus will come back. Will I be in trouble, probably, will I have much to answer for ? Yes but I know this Jesus died for me and I accepted His sacrifice and so even if I am scrubbing toilets I will spend eternity with Him.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Visiting Alexandra November 2017.......................

I just got back from visiting you today. I am feeling sad. You looked so forlorn and neglected. Does anyone visit you anymore?.
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I stopped by last week really quickly as Gabby was with me and doesn't like graveyards or going to see you. She would not come today. I have always loved them as I have said before and given my reasons. Today though I wonder. Who will visit you when I am gone? Heck, who will ever visit me? Everyone is so far away now. Danielle is in Washington State. Jason down near Detroit and Justin up North. Laura is now down state and when I am gone I doubt she will come up here that much. Everyone always has a reason and I suppose all valid reasons. After all we would be dead. So maybe it's just me that has this need and feeling of closeness when I go to visit the dearly departed haha?
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I always said I want to be cremated and sent back home to England because I feel no connection here. Then when Alex died I felt maybe I could stay here. Again I am not sure. If I am to be alone then maybe I want to be with my family. Back home. Where I belong. ENGLAND. I was always going to ask to be sent to Mark in the hopes he would take me to where my parents and Grand parents all lie. I think that would be nice. Any English soil will do really. I may just decide upon that after all. More likely to get visitors too haha. Some far off in the future relative doing genealogy may find me and wonder what the heck happened to this one.
I am hoping the deer come to eat the apples near Alex grave, that would be nice, she would like that. YES I know, she can't see them but if she knew, she would have liked it.
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The schaub's are all in the same cemetery as Alex but they are not my family. I was just thinking the other day how much I missed out by coming here. I was thinking when Gerry and I went home when Dad died. Oh my, the laughs we had with Ray, Eddie and Ivy. All of them gone now too. There could have been such good times that we have never had here with family. We laughed that night till we cried. Dad's funeral too at Mum's house. My wonderful cousin Robin who catered it all. The great neighbours who stole my laundry and brought it all back folded and ironed. Same when Mum died. That does not happen here, not for me. The closeness of the community on Bidwell Hill has never been here. Part of that is my fault. I am not outgoing. Those people I knew all my life and I am different with them. A different person, myself. I realized that when I was staying with Mark and Marie how different I felt. I can't explain it. I want to go home so badly, I always have. I told myself that I love it here and I do at some level. I love my home, I love Northern Michigan. There are beautiful states to see. is not home and never will be.
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As I get older and older I spend more time reflecting on old friends and family. Many who are now gone. My friend Margaret just lost her husband, how I wish I could be there. Sheila's husband is unwell. Old friends are the best friends, we have a lifetime of shared memories from when we were young. No one here knows me, not who I really am, including my kids.
If I had the money and means I would go home in a heartbeat. Our life would have been so different. Ah well, no regrets. Regrets are a waste of time and who knows what the future will bring if anything.
So Alex thanks a lot. Now I am in a melancholy mood...........If I can get back before the snow flies I will bring a pretty wreath. See ya later gator.

Friday, November 24, 2017

It can't be November....................

I went outside to sweep the deck, looked at the sunshine, felt the warmth. l looked at the sky, so blue. I put the broom down and yelled for Gabby. Sent Gerry to fill up the van and off we went. Gerry baby sat Cooper so Gabby could get a break (Thank you Gerry) he didn't want to go so that was nice for us. She seldom gets away without the child, he is 4 so you can imagine. I think we had a fun day.
I had no idea really where to go so the van decided on its usual trip out to Point Oneida. Easy for me driving I know the roads like the back of my hand. I thought hmmmmmmmm Black Friday, people shopping or home napping after getting up early. So off we went. Country views
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Usual route but not expecting to see much because it is hunting season, so cows were our only wild life......stopped at the overlook (Glen Lakes)
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We stopped in Glen Arbor for coffee and a pastry. It was soooooo good. Glen Arbor was quiet. Yes people about but still it was nice to be able to drive without too much concern for pedestrians.
Soon we were at Port Oneida and saw that the Beaver have been very busy
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The water is getting higher every time I look, there must be a very healthy population of Beaver because this cutting is by the road haha. Will the main road to the camp be under water next year? I could not believe how many people were about. I mean nothing like summer but good grief this is NOVEMBER. It was really windy and I could barely get my door closed again. Bout blew Gabby over haha that would have been a good shot but I only got this one
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Last time I was here was in the pretty Autumn colours, now it's a bit bleak but still. I see they have cut all the fields so plenty of hay for someone.
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We chose to go down to the beach via the steps in the trees because of the wind.
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We only went to the bottom of the steps. I took my boots but kept my flip flops on it was not cold. The water was wonderful colours. Some people from Grand Rapids brought their dogs to run on the beach. They were very nice and asked if we minded......heck no. I love dogs. I hope they had a great time.
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It was a bit darker down below the trees but still the water was beautiful and the noise of the wind and waves was just wonderful.
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The sand churning in the waves made a tapestry of colours
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We didn't linger because by now it was 3pm and I forget it gets dark early now so we headed back.
One more place to stop just to see what the lake looked like
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...........and so home to left over turkey and fixins.........yum. A lovely day.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

American Traditions....................

I have never become an American, I am and will always be English. It is easier for my kids to assimilate because although born in England, their lives have been lived here. My traditions are different and although I may not celebrate them, I always remember them. I guess two we have in common are Remembrance Sunday and Christmas. I must say that maybe the only one that means anything anymore is Remembrance Day that one is not commercialized like all the others.
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Today is Thanksgiving Day. Is it really? What happened to family time?
Today Thanksgiving is not about giving thanks for the hoards of people who are out shopping !!!. It,s now all about what they can get cheap. Never mind that someone else has to give up their day to serve them. Those who don't mind doing it are in it for the extra money and those who are not resent having to miss their family time. There are those fine people who work in emergency services and the necessary ones to keep us all going and I am Thankful for those every day.
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The other side of Thanksgiving, the traditional one here, where the Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock. Well, I see that from a different angle. They may well have been welcomed here but look what happened. Talk about betrayal. They then proceeded to come in the hundreds and thousands and stole from the people who lived here. I see nothing admirable about that. Nothing to celebrate. They could have coexisted but no, they systematically killed and committed genocide. Not much to celebrate there and quite frankly we are insulting a portion of the population. So, for me Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and family time, I base it on the British tradition of Harvest Festival. All be it a little late but really that is what it's all about. I say cut out on the Pilgrims and be thankful for what we have today, and not go out getting more "stuff" thankful for what we have.
If only it could have stayed this way
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We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the ground, but it is fed and watered by God's Almighty hand.
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Likewise the other common holidays of Easter and Christmas are so commercial that they are already shopping today for Christmas bargains. When will this stop? Do we have to become completely broke before people see that it is not THINGS that are important but people. Go feed some homeless people or invite some lonely person in for dinner. Let those who do not need or want to work go enjoy their own family. We have become selfish.
Easter has become a celebration of the Easter bunny and greedy children. Not at all the sacred thing it should be.
Good Friday is ignored now. I was really shocked when first I came here to see everything open on Good Friday. I am sure it's the same in England now. The English have become Godless in these generations. Not only did we celebrate Easter but also Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday) the time before Lenten sacrifice. After Easter came Whitsun,
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Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday is a public holiday in several countries on the Monday after Whitsunday. Whitsunday is observed fifty days (approx. seven weeks) after Easter and 10 days after Ascension.This marks the end of the Easter cycle, that began 90 days back with Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent.
Until fairly recently, Whit Monday was a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland. Until 1967, it was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom, when it was replaced by the 'spring bank holiday' on the last Monday in May. In the US Spring break is around that time I think.
They say this is a Christian country (US), it is not!. Things are changing fast. So many other religions are represented here and in the UK. So it's no longer possible to say that.
The next holiday here is probably July 4th and naturally that means nothing to me that I will say here haha.
Christmas has become so commercial and people not allowed to offend others by placing a Creche in public places. I understand why but then why should I have to put up with the satanic Halloween festivals? and again the greediness of children who surely do not need all that candy?.
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I am a Christian and it offends me deeply that people celebrate Halloween and all that it stands for. I won't get into that, but I would not try to stop others doing what they want and so why do they try to stop the ancient celebration of the birth of Christ? As I see it the world is (as it will do) is going to hell in a handbasket. Christians have been integrated into the world system of indulgence and greed. That was prophesied. If any true Christian would think about what they do celebrate and how then put that against what Christ told us to do, and what would be pleasing to Him. Well? do your traditions that you are teaching kids, do they stand up to that test?. Would He be pleased? I don't think so, that's me and I do not impose my belief on others. This is MY blog though so I say what I think.
Now I do know that Christ was not born at Christmas, a lot of our Christmas traditions are pagan. However, for me and my reason for celebrating is because it is a great family time and I love the glitz and glitter but I also try to keep the reason for the season in my heart. I accept gifts with thankfulness and give because I love to do that. That is not what it's all about though and I certainly won't make people work on their holiday to serve me. I also do not "play Santa" I tell my grandkids that St Nicholas was a good and Godly man who gave gifts to the poor and especially children. So we remember him at this time of year, but God gave our parents the ability to gift the children and they need to remember that. We are celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ and the gift that He gave us. Eternal Life.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Way back when...................

Do you realize just how much time we waste doing nothing? I was reading an article about Amish girls and what they are expected to know before marriage. Well, it always used to be that way for most girls when I was young. There was no TV for us until 1952. We got our first one to watch the coronation, but it had very limited programming. We listened to the radio for entertainment.
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I will always remember "The Hound of the Baskerville's" on the radio. I was terrified. Anyway who had time in those days. I was born in 1946 on the cusp of changes in society. Women had stayed in the work force when the war ended and domesticity changed. Through the years in school we were taught house crafts. Everything was done by hand and so took plenty of time. Kids had so much more freedom though and we were gone all day when we were not in school. We learned to do dishes just as the Amish do. One washed while one wiped. You also rinsed the dishes. The water was boiled on the stove for chores. Also for daily washing and hygiene because we had no hot water. The once a week bath was completed with water heated in a copper. A large gas lit tub. The whites were also boiled in the copper.
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My mum didn't can anything. We got all our veggies fresh from the farm or market so I suppose she didn't feel the need. Before that my grandparents both grew thier own and had chickens. It was what people did. I know my Granddad Burt had rabbit's I was not to know they were for food. Poor things. I was unaware when it came to that stuff. I was so naive that when I saw the animals going into the abattoir I never associated it with being killed and sold in the shop. Even though I saw blood running down to the street to the drains. People were I suppose closer to nature back then. I saw the pheasants and chickens hanging in the window of the butcher shops. They used every part of the animals for food. My dad loved Pigs trotters and cows tongue and even brains in some form ewwwwwww. I no longer eat red meat thank goodness.
Anyway, the Amish girls also learn to work in the fields and orchards and vegetable gardens. Children had much to do. We didn't do that much but we did learn HOW. My Dad loved his garden and taught me stuff I have not forgotten. How to graft on a fruit tree and form the tree into an Espalier.
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the Amish girls learn to drive a buggy now that's one thing I could not do but it doesn't look too difficult so I am sure I could do it if I had a cooperative horse.
In school we learned to sew and embroider to make clothes and decorate table cloths etc. I can remember a couple of disasters but also some successes. I did make my own clothes for a long time. My friends and I would get together and make us each a dress to go out in at the weekend. My dad bought my mum and me a sewing machine. I made a friend her wedding dress and would make my neighbour a new dress for her to go out in. We learned to cook and clean. I remember being told to never use any dish or cup that was cracked because bacteria would grow in the cracks. Some things you never forget.
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In school we also learned to keep a garden, track weather and everything else we needed to know. Although everything I learned I learned from my dad who set aside a little spot in his garden for me. I think he did more of it than me though. Short attention spans and all that.
So what happened? Was it the TV that got more and more intrusive. The Amish do not have TV and so it is so much easier to do those hand crafts. I remember mum and dad sitting by the fire embroidering or my dad making baskets while mum knitted. I have learned all those skills because like my Dad I just wanted to know how. The only thing I have not tackled that I can think of is Tatting. I may yet try but my vision is not what it was and it looks fiddly.
Laundry was done by hand and hung out to dry on the outside line as the Amish does now.
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The difference is the Amish in their modesty wear plain clothes that they make themselves, both men and womens clothes. Even their quilts are plain but hand made too. Wow.
Another chore that is now easier due to Windex is window cleaning. Back in the day it was done with a pink "lotion" that dried pink and was rubbed off with newspaper, no paper towels then
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Upstairs windows one sat on the sill with window closed over the knees to keep one safe as you did outside as well as inside. I didn't like that job.
So part two of this saga will be herbs and medicines.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Amish Country...............

One thing I enjoy when we go downstate is the Amish country. I love the big ol' farms down near Mt Pleasant. The countryside is much different from here further north. Its flatter and ideal farm land. It's good to see the crops and the cycle of life. Right now the ploughs have been at work and the rye grass sown. The corn (Maize) stalks are being cut and stacked in bundles (shocks) to cure and dry. We were lucky to see an Amish farmer cutting with his with a two horse team.
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The fields are mostly ready for next Spring sowing.
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The Amish farms are no doubt passed down generations and some are really big. I have heard that many Amish are not kind to their animals. They are "work" horses and used to pull the carriages. They are not pets. They are worked until they can no longer work. I have no idea and do not want to know if this is true. I assume even they have exceptions.I hope it's not true.
Recently there have been a few horses killed in road accidents. Usually its the other persons fault being impatient and overtaking when not safe. Children have been killed as well as the horses. Today there was one on the news, the person driving the buggy lost control and the horse pulled out in front of a child in bad shape after being thrown out of the buggy. Its just a matter of patience mainly because they are slow but they have the right of way. Took us awhile to get around this one.
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The carriage horses are nearly always black. Maybe common ancestors.
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In this area there are several stores and they sell the vegetables and baked goods. The prices are really good and we have several we go down to, it's worth the trip to get the wonderful butter and cheese. They also sell bulk goods.
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I love seeing the women in their special dresses, all hand sewn with white caps. So refreshing after the fashions seen by the rest of us. I seldom take pictures of the people I feel I am intruding.
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The leaves still have some colour down there, where here they have mainly fallen now
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I missed a couple of chances to get pictures of the washing on the line but got this one
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I do love the Tamarack trees. They look like pines but have softer needles and they turn yellow in the Fall. When the sun is on them they glow
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Anyway, I could live down there in farm country except..........I can not take the cattle trucks and the knowing what happens to the beautiful creatures in the fields.
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I would get a farm and rescue who I could (smile) take in the old horses and the unwanted ones. Maybe an old farm to fix up. A dream. Not a reality................

Thursday, November 9, 2017

weekend at Nancy's...............................

I asked Gerry if I could go down to visit with Nancy, I was going with Edna. We left Friday morning and came home on Monday around noon. I was expecting to get back Sunday but Edna wanted to go get some Cider at an Amish store that would be closed Sunday. Fine by me. We got there around noon on Friday and after lunch (Nancy made a beef and barley soup that was great) and after that we started our adventure. While I can't remember the sequence of events I do remember mostly where we went. I had a headache all weekend and didn't feel the best, but we sure had fun.
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Nancy had found some really cool thrift shops and craft/art shops. Naturally we did go to a couple of quilt shops even though I had sort of sworn off getting any more fabric. Well I did get a few pieces, of course I did.
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The antique stores and thrift shops were really nice. I bought some nice old doilies and a few little Christmas things so that I would remember how to do them. I like to take pictures of ideas or buy a sample if not expensive. The trick is to actually do the projects.
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We headed into Amish country. I do so love seeing the Amish horses and carriages
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We went into several Amish stores, they have the best produce. The butter is to die for. I dare not buy it. You know me and butter.Nancy wanted apples. We were thrilled to see this guy cutting the corn, several fields had stacks (sheaves) of corn stalks.
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We saved some of the places for Saturday but Friday night we had supper and stayed in. We stayed up late (for them) and I slept really well. Nancy made all kinds of stuff and we were really full.
Saturday morning we ate a big breakfast and set out around 10am. We found several places that we wanted to explore.
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I bought a set of fabric that I could not resist and some odds and ends. I really didn't mean to but sometimes you just have to.
We saw this guy along the road and I had to stop and get his picture. He was going to come over to the gate but changed his mind so I just talked to him, isn't he just magnificent?
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I think I could live down there but it upsets me to see the cattle trucks go by with those poor unfortunate creatures heading to market.I no longer eat meat, beef or pork but that does not stop anything.
This is the small town of Gladwin I believe.
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We stopped by a little store where the lady lives on premises. She does paintings, jewelry among other crafts and sells them from her house as well as in other locations. What a Lovely thing to be able to do. She had this cute little helper.
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Friday evening we went to a local bar and had their fish fry. Saturday we went back and I had a mushroom swiss burgher (sorry I was bad and ate some beef) the food was so good both nights. Friday it was packed to the brim and next night we were the only ones there.
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We were in bed by 9.30 we did not turn the TV on once and it was wonderful. We chatted on about everything and it was so good to just sit with friends and never run out of things to talk about. I had taken Nancy some old Country Living magazines and we looked at those while we chatted.
Sunday we again ate a large breakfast before we went out. We went to Joannes and then Kohl's but we had enough of that and went home.
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We had another early night. Well they get up at 5am. I am not an early riser compare to those two but after hitting the sack at 9.30 I was up at the crack of dawn too. Sunday we stopped to pick up cider for Edna
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pressing the apples
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We left quite early Monday morning because Edna wanted to stop at another Amish store on the way home. It was a great weekend. We must do that more often.