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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, April 21, 2017

Bonny Bluebells............................

I think every year I must write something about Bluebells. One of my most favourite flowers. A love shared with my Uncle Harold my Dads brother. Harold lived in/on the Isle of White in his later years, he shared with me his poetry and pictures. Shanklin is a beautiful little village in the IOW. On the way, walking to the village to shop he would walk through the woods and loved this time of year when they were a carpet of blue.
For myself, when I went home to England in Springtime it was one of the things I most remember. Driving through country lanes and seeing that carpet of blue unlike any other. The horizon blue and the lime green of new leaves and the blue blue sky.
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Unfortunatley I do not have any of my own pictures. There are so many great ones on the web and I have been collecting them for my Facebook page also called Bluebell Woods.. I really enjoy finding new ones. People who follow my page also send me pictures. I am amazed that my posts bring so many good memories for people. They all seem to have similar memories as I do. Walking through the woods enjoying the fragrant air, taking them home for Mum. Now as in this country it is no longer allowed. Not a bad thing as they did not last well and usually by the time I got home with them they were pretty wilted. Best to enjoy them growing. It seems natural though to a child to take that gift to mum.
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We used to go for Sunday drives frequently. Something that perhaps were a tradition because of the novelty of having a car. Growing up few people we knew had a car. So Sundays we would go to Ashridge in the Springtime and enjoy the new green ferns and the Blue Bells. Climb the momument and enjoy the view.
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When driving through Bedfordshire and surrounding counties it is mostly still small villages and farms. So by choosing the route all one would see would be country. Banks and hedgerows filled with Daffodils, Primroses, Cowslips and BlueBells.
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I would love to walk through the woods in the Springtime in the misty early morning. I think next time, if I am lucky enough to go home again, it must be in Springtime.
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I don't mind the mist or the rain, I won't shrink.
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Some day I must get some for my garden here in Michigan. I know they grow because I have seen them. They may be Spanish Bluebells, but that's better than nothing and won't hurt anything here.
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Memories are treasures. Many share these memories, and I enjoy sharing mine.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Gift......................

When you think of a gift, what does it mean to you? We all receive gifts that we often do not like, do not really appreciate or have no use for. I believe we need to think beyond the object.
What is more precious than a hand full of straggly wild flowers given by a child. It has no value but has much love in it. (not my picture)
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I remember sometimes at Christmas my granddaughter Alex would be scrambling to open gift after gift with no thank yous and throwing aside ones that did not please. There was no gratitude or appreciation of any of them. True the "giver" was not present but we were. She was later diagnosed with a personality disorder but....to me that was no excuse. She did come to understand how that particular trait was taken by others.
To me, if someone took the time to select and buy me a gift, then it really doesn't matter if I do not like it or have no use for it. For me, it really is the thought that counts. Even if it is just a passing thought. For a moment the person thought of me and bought a gift. I never give away or return a gift. Maybe others feel different and feel that it's a waste if they can not use the item, but that is simply being "commercial" somehow, the gift is more than that. If it comes from a loved one or friend then it will forever remind you of that person, even after they are gone. If it was something useless then even that is a story to tell and a memory and maybe a laugh or two. Treasure those things.
Some gifts are beyond price.
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God gave us not only the gift of life itself but the power to live forever. His ultimate gift was of His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly became the sacrifice that wiped out the bad things (sin) that we have ever thought or done so that God never sees those things. It makes us clean before God.
My Mother always had a problem with the concept that she was a "sinner". She felt she was a good person and she was. That is not the point though, even a very bad person has some good in them, maybe they love their dog if nothing else. So too we all have bad things in us. Life is a journey, we try and try to be better. Still things happen. A bad word or deed, a habit we do not want to break. Angry thoughts even if we control our actions. Those things we can not help but God is perfect and can not accept anything less into His Kingdom. Therefore we all fail. We can please God though, we can become a part of His Kingdom.
Jesus tells us to remain apart from this world even though we live in it. There are certain obligations that we can not avoid and we are told to pay our taxes and abide by the law of the land. When it comes down to a choice though, we must remember we are a part of God's Kingdom, not this one. God always gives us the choice though. We choose to believe or to not believe, we may not understand everything but that is what Faith is. I believe.
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Some believe it's a fairy tale. Yet they believe in Ghosts and UFO's...........well if you read your bible all that is explained. Too long to go into here.
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Its a fascinating book and the Spirit world exists. That is not for us though, not yet. Maybe not ever but God has a plan for each one of us and so death is a journey and leads to a whole new existance. Such a gift. One we should accept and be very very grateful for. Life is GOOD. Even the worst days end. Love life.
Make the most of every single day. By knowing that death is but a transition there is no fear. Well maybe the method is a bit iffy but in general its not something to dread.
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You only live once, well you only have this life once so thank God for it, for every day that you wake up. Appreciate the small things, seek the wonder you had as a child. Every good thing comes from God..................there is evil in the world. We can not ignore that but it is OUR job to make the world around us beautiful. We can only "bloom where we are planted" and do the best we can while we can. Don't be selfish with your things, your money, give what you can to those who have less, or need help. Make someone smile. You can't take anything with you when you leave this world. Don't stockpile things and save them for later enjoy them now.
I just cleaned out my closets. I had at least 4 really nice dresses that I never wore, some had tags on. What on earth was I saving them for? I gave them to Laura who will wear them and enjoy them. I will enjoy seeing them and enjoyed the pleasure it gave her. It taught me a lesson. THINGS...........things are of no comfort, they can not make you happy only by giving things away can we spread joy.
Gifts that come from the heart should be treasured and spread and passed on to others............so gift the gift of a smile. Remember that little book that came out a long time ago "Random Acts of Kindness"...............yes do that. I am linking up with Inspire me Tuesday at a stroll thru life.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Picnic................................

Friday. Good Friday, what better way to celebrate than a picnic. May not be traditional, not at all but we had Tristen and so I thought it would be nice to get Laura and Reina and Gabby and Cooper and go for a picnic. Gerry was not working and so he got to come as well. He was delegated to the back seat with the kids. Laura drove. We had been talking about what kind of car to get when we get a new one (maybe next year) I had hoped to downsize but the van is just so useful. We keep a basket of toys, towels, blankets and quilts in the back and then we have seating for 7. I thought maybe now Tristen is not living here we could downsize but this is just so useful when a bunch of us get together. I am all about making memories.
So I got a picnic gathered while waiting for Laura and everything was ready when she got here and off we went to pick up Gabby and Cooper.
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I put together a chicken salad for sandwiches and had Gerry pick up some grapes, cheese and crackers. I boiled some eggs and packed the basket and cooler with all kinds of goodies. We had tomatoes and lettuce and pickles and three bean salad. Took bread and chips, all was ready.
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The playground was close by and so the kids enjoyed that while I walked along the beach.
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It's good to keep the cousins in touch and spending time together. Reina is actually Auntie but who's counting.
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Time for Mother and daughter to catch up.
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And for me some solitude.
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By the way we are at Elk Rapids. This where the river runs into the Bay. A pile of Zebra muscles, that are foreign to our waters.
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I love the patterns under the water.
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After awhile we went back to where Gabby lives and sat outside while the kids played, we went for a walk leaving Gerry in charge
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They got the games and toys out of the back of the van. I had thought of actually taking them out and packing them away. I guess they are still useful. As I said, my van is packed with all the necessaries, like Toilet paper and first aid kit, toys etc.
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Meanwhile we walked through the Cherry Orchards at the back for some quiet. Tony (Gabby's significant other) said they have a pack of Coyotes out there that they hear at night. Well we found evidence when we came across their buriel ground. The bones of at least 4 deer and something much larger that we could not ID.
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They went in for a closer look but, no thanks. I didn't want to imagine the poor deer being taken down and eaten. Coyotes won't attack people, but a pack? They are normally in pairs or alone, so not even sure they are Coyotes. SO best be careful not to go out at night. They sure eat a lot. One bone was huge, large enough to be a cow. Just sayin'.
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The Cherry trees are ready to pop their blossoms and the trees ready to open their leaves. We had a good rain last night and again just now. Next sunny day and all will blossom
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Laura was pretty well knackered by the time we got back, it was quite a walk really.
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We have both been suffering from back and hip pain from all our beach adventures. I can not get a grip on it, constant pain. Must loose weight. Got to get my sugar under control as now have diabetes. Got to get serious.
On the way home we stopped to check on Alex while we had both kids and Gerry.
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Tidied her up a bit and saw the flowers getting ready to pop.............
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Time to get a new wreath and some more flowers when I go to the garden center. For now she is looking good.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Frozen bunns at the beach..........................

So it was a wet and windy day. One might ask, why go to the beach then? Well I say "why not?" After all there will be no one else there right? There are stones on the beach after a storm right? Usually anyway, either that or they all get dragged back but it's a great time for finding treasures. What can I say? Thats the way we think. So 9.30ish Laura came over and off we went. Took Winter coats, hats but forgot gloves. I also took my boots. We were all set.
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It was misty, can't say foggy, that's a bit different.
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So quiet, a few people walking dogs now and then but not really many others. Met one young lady who asked us about Blue Stones, she had joined a rock club. We shared stories.
They are working on dredging the area around the docks and churning things up. This day working on this side of the harbour wall. A huge pipe running up the beach to dump the sand further up. Should be interesting when they are done. Maybe more Blue Stones?
We found quite a few as it was, lots of green ones and purple but a few of the special blue as well.
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My son Jason remarked upon "how many stones can one keep" I said as many as I want. It really is the hunt that is satisfying but I keep my Blue Stones in dishes around the house. Pretty much gave up on Petoskey stones as I have loads of them. Still, it is fun to pick up special ones. Some day we may just make jewelry who knows.
Well we kept that up until we were too tired to go on and then we went to Trish's Dishes and I had their awesome Tomato Basil soup. I really must try to make some of that. Remind me to plant Basil this year in my garden. I certainly intend to grow a whole bunch of Tomatoes.
This weekend Gerry raked the front yard and cleared out the vines so should have more sun.
Anyway, after lunch it was still drizzle and cold so we just went for a drive. I remembered this time to stop at the Red School House for pictures. We normally come from the other direction and its gone before we can safely stop.
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The school house has been used for many things over the years, I remember it as an Antique shop but think recently its been a home. It is now for sale again.
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There are many one room school houses in the area, many like the log cabin that have been around since the mid 1800s. There were many settlements in this area, farms mainly. Still, apparently no one went without an education.
We stopped somewhere to turn around and I loved this old barn
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Rather scenic
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Well I thought so, I do love old barns.
We did stop at the other old school house to check on some swans on the lake but they were further down the trail and we had no mind to walk. The car battery light had come on, so we left the car running but it was too cold for us. We had frozen up at the beach I think, after taking all our winter stuff off we didn't want to gear up again.
So we will save the swans for another day. Had to get home to check on the car. It did this to us once before and we left our travels to go home. Not this time, we carried on but it was not a great day for investigating so we just took a leasurely drive home and unchilled.
We pass this little farm often and it was once a dream of mine to have something simular. About five acres with house and barn and horses, chickens and things.
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I don't think at this stage in life that will happen now and that's OK, too much work now, but I still enjoy seeing this. The horses are beautiful.look at this boy.
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We passed the Garden center and I got back to thinking about my garden and hoping for a bit warmer weather. Not too warm mind, just nice enough to work in the garden for a few days. I think we have Tristen on Friday over night so we may take a day out with him on Friday and take him back on Saturday evening. So Sunday will be my garden work day I think. All being well.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Old School and more....................

Saturday came around and all my plans to work on the yard went out the window. The sun came up and Laura called. We decided to go out and to heck with everything else. Reina stayed with Granddad and helped him to rake the front yard. Gerry got a LOT of work done. There was much to do. Cutting down the lower branches of the front Pine and taking down the vines on the front porch. So off we went.
First stop was to head out looking for a pharmacy so that Laura could breath, allergies were bad. So we headed to Empire because we forgot to do that before we left town. We went to Deerings in Empire and they didn't have any but they did have Pizza slices and some tiny taco's that were awesome. With no success at Empire we headed for Glen Arbor and skipped everything else. She found what she needed and we stopped for coffee then we were all set.
first stop was something we always mean to stop at but always think of it as we pass on by.................There is this beautiful building, and old Grist Mill. It used to have a water wheel but maybe when the tornado went through? (Guessing) that came down, at least it is no longer there.
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This is situated on the river that surrounds it, and a house next to it. If I find more information I will do another post on this.
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We parked down there, the driveway is sort of hidden. Well we got down there and wandered around. We found, oh naughty naughty, the house was open, the door stood open. So, we went inside.
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Look at the orb. That is Laura to the left, taking a picture of the stairs. We did not go up thinking it was too much of an intrusion, and we did not want to do any damage.
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The walls were stripped. The floor was not too safe and we certainly did not want to damage anything. It looks as though someone is renovating it. I hope so, the house and Mill would be a wonderful asset to the town as a tourist attraction, historical and all that. Unless it is privatley owned, that I don't know. Last we heard it was owned by the people at the Homestead. I hope it falls into the hands of the National Park. Time will tell.
look at some of the doors inside, some of the light fixtures are still there and the log burner
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The river flows around, this is where the water wheel once was.If you read the link it gives a little history.
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We had decided last time we were out, to go back to check out the old log cabin we found. I learned that it was once an old one room school house.
Well before getting to that we had to check out the beach and go for a drive up in the hills. Goodness, when we passed the parking to Pyramid Point the lot was full to overflowing. Goodness knows what it will be like come summer. once again the Sleeping Bear Dunes has been voted one of the best holiday places in the world. I wish they would shut up. Sure good for business but for those of us, who selfishly love the quiet of empty beaches and hidden coves and dirt roads. It spells doom. This day though our beach was almost empty. A couple walking their dog and some one further down the beach was all. Look at that colour.
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We saw turkeys, think they were the ones I spoke with last week because they headed in the other direction.
we did meet up with the Sandhill cranes.
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The four of them were together this week
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We left them to themselves and went to check on the Beavers. He was nowhere to be seen but the "peepers" were busy. We could hear the frogs all over.
He had left plenty of marks though.
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After that we headed to the Log cabin.
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Hand hewn timbers. We looked in the windows. I wonder if they intend doing anything with this some day. For now if you don't know it's there it's hard to see.
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We walked along the bike trail looking for the Beaver and Musk Rats we saw last week. No luck with the Beaver this time but the Musk rats showed up. two came in from the lake
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They seperated and went about their business, very busy.
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The turtles came out later in the day when the sun was not so high.
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We began to see water fowl.
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The whole area around the side of the lake has been cut down by Beaver. The evidence is plain and there are trails where the wood has been hauled down to the lake.
It's fascinating.
Well we stayed there quite some time enjoying the quiet. As we left we needed a bathroom so went looking in Leland, found one at the Mercantile and also found supper. We had a picnic of a sub and potatoe chips. Yummy. We ate that after we left the beach, yes we did have to at least have a look for some Blue Stones. We were way too tired by then, and could not get into it.
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After we ate we headed home, we don't like being on country roads after dark. The deer you know. Well as it turned out, we had 5 deer run across in front of us. Well 4 crossed the road as we pulled over but this lady stood and worried.
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Isn't she beautiful?
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While her friends waited for her she decided to go back the other way. We moved on once the road was clear of traffic so she could follow her friends.
That really made a good end for our day. Notice no winter coats this day.