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.

Monday, January 15, 2018

selling our house...............

We finally finished yesterday cleaning the house that Laura was renting. We met with the real estate lady, Janel Brown. We listed it at the price we wanted at 169.9. We had to put time and a little money into it to get it ready for sale. So we finished that up yesterday and went over it with Janel. She listed it today and got 4 showings on this first day and one tomorrow. She called awhile ago and said she had two offers. Now that means that if they still want the house they have to bid on it and we will take the highest bid over our asking price. Listed January 1st.
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Now we will be meeting with Janel on Wednesday (Jan3) at noon and see where we are at. It would be awesome if we got it sold that quickly, first day out.
When she comes over I will ask what she thinks about this house (our own home). If we can sell it without doing all the updates that would be awesome. We would have to think about it though. Do we really want to sell it? What would the advantages be. Well a smaller home and possibly no or a very small mortgage, that would make our life a lot easier. Tristen does not want us to sell it. It has been a family home for so long, but we have to think of us now. It is too big. A lot of work, especially the garden. On the other side it is so close to everything, within walking distance almost at least to get to a store. The doctors, hospital and all of that.
I would like to be out in the country on a few acres. How realistic is that?
We have so much STUFF we would have to get a storage unit to store it all until we could sell our things but it has to happen some day so we should consider it.I would not mind building a house up on the subdivision that this house we are selling is on. Gerry does not want to build.
He wants to find one to fix up, that would be fine except how quickly could he get it done, I really do not want to live in a mess. So we will pray, check our options and pray about it.
January 13 2018
Well the meeting went well and we accepted the first offer. If all goes well we will close at the end of February.
Jan 15 Monday.
So, I am picking this up later. The inspector came today and all went very well with that. The new people have plans for the house and anxious to get in. Here are some pictures.
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Living room
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Main bath
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main bed and bath
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This has been my baby getting this all turned around and attractive. If all goes well we should be done by mid February. As always, the Lord is in control and we will trust in Him and all will work out for the best.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Not since 78...........

We have had some snow. We have had a load of snow. Not since the Blizzard of 78 have we had this much. It was good that we did not have winds enough to make it a blizzard. There was so much coming down we could not see across the road at times.
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We woke up to about 22 inches of snow, after that we got more, all day long it snowed. This morning was not so bad. Gerry had to go and pick up Tristen. Luck we had a break. We could not have got him yesterday. Everyone was told to stay off the roads if possible. So many accidents and cars in ditches.
So Gerry dug out and snow blowed enough to get the truck out and then Tony went out and tried to get the snowblower working. Tony enjoys doing that stuff. Gerry does not, he hates being cold haha.
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The dang thing kept cutting out, guess it will have to go away again and get fixed.
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He kept at it and even went and got some guy out of his driveway who was stuck.
Meanwhile, look at some of the snow building up in the garden.
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The snow is so pretty. The fish pond disappeared.
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It had to have been bad out on the roads. Imagine if it were also windy
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The kids stayed inside all toasty and warm
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Meanwhile Tony was still outside working on the drive. He flagged down a guy in a truck with a plough. Asked him if he wanted to earn a few bucks. The guy cleaned out our drive and Tony paid him the 20 bucks the man had given him for helping him out of his driveway......Tony enjoyed his morning.
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The man made short work of it and now we have a nice clean driveway, is still snowing
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I went out twice to feed the birds. The only ones braving this storm have been the Blue Jays and a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker
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I had to go out and clean off the feeders and the 2nd time there was a foot of snow on the dish again. Meanwhile I went out front to take some pictures. I could not remember how many steps we have haha, so I had to slide my feet down the steps knee deep. On the way back my boot came off so I had one bare foot and almost fell over. Now that would have been a great picture but no one to take it.
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The snow was over my knees.
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The mail man came and I said arn't you glad I blazed a trail for you? He was sort of cranky, who could blame him he was early and no paths cleared.
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Looking down the road
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So pretty and a safe place for the birds out of the storms. Bunnies also like the pines with an abundance of leaves under them
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These little guys were freezing so were their balls. (excuse me, the glass balls in the basket)
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The Christmas stuff will stay up now until the snow is gone. That may take awhile. Meanwhile. No BBQs for us just yet and the Poodles are not so happy to go outside, they prefer the piddle pads until it gets warmer as the day goes on. They do enjoy a good run when the paths are cleared off.
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It really is amazing isn't it. It looks so pretty and all that moisture goes into the ground and soaks down and into the Lakes. We get the "Lake effect" snow here as well as the storms that go through.
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Bella says "No thanks" but as soon as someone else joins her they go running around in the snow and come in covered in snow balls and sit on heating pads until next time.
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Everyone went out this evening so hope they have safe travels. It is still snowing. The sun came out briefly during the day, maybe half hour or so. Gave the Jays and doves a chance to feed. I did not see any little ones around. They must be huddled up in the nooks and crannies of the trees. Stay safe and keep warm. At least the cats are staying inside.

Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dear Robin..................

My dear cousin, do you remember? you are a few years older than me, not by much but you must have some very similar memories as I do. Did you play in the pits? The Cement works pits that is? I would go there with Mick Bird and his little brown dog (who shall remain nameless) Mick wanted to hunt rabbits and I fear he may have had different motives to me. I say that because as he and his dog were sticking hands and noses down rabbit holes, I sat on a bank and saw a wee rabbit right next to me. I was petting it, he saw me ...... he yelled and the rabbit ran. Apparently I was supposed to have caught it and I have no doubt what it's end would have been, now, not then. I had no idea he intended them for the stew pot. Apart from that we would climb the cliffs of chalk and look for fossils. I know you had to have played there too. The Blue Waters was the perfect playground though. The mud would harden in summer so that one could walk across the crust.
(the troublemakers, Harry and Cecil Hines)
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That reminds me of my Dad. My Dad and Uncle Cecil were "babysitting" Uncle Alan, the baby of the family. He was probably about 4, I am not sure. It had to have been after church because Alan was in his best Wool suit. They happened to be birds nesting and ventured over to the sewage works where birds would nest in the walls between the beds of sewage. It was naturally off limits. I mean, who would want to drown in sewage right? well, off they went Alan in tow. Walking on the walls between the beds of sewage looking for nests when suddenly a shout........they were seen. As it was summer the beds had crusted over much like the mud did at Blue Waters except this was not mud. Well Harry and Cecil quite nimble on their feet took off running hopping from wall to wall. Alan being smaller and somewhat chubby was left behind fairly quickly. So, he decided upon a short cut across what looked like a solid crust. It was not. In he went. The boys doubled back and pulled him out before the warden caught up with them, feet not touching the ground they whisked him over to the Washbrook. Aptly named in this case. You remember the Washbrook? Yes, Sticklebacks and frog spawn right? well Alan's wool suit was stripped off and duly scrubbed. As was a howling Alan. Upon return to the house (St Omere) they pushed Alan inside and took off not returning until Granddad Burt had gone to bed.
(sweet Auntie Annie)
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I am sure your experiences with the Washbrook was a bit different.
I loved The Blue Waters. We would slide down the banks and catch Sticklebacks in the pure Springs that came out of the chalk. The little engine that drowned in the pit was visible in summer when the water was low. We could hear the pump house groan and moan at night like a tormented ghost. Maybe it was the cement works engines, I don't know but it was a horror to me as a child.
Were you at home still when they found the skeletons over on the edge of the pits? Some lucky worker happened to see a head roll down the side as he was cutting out more chalk? Well there were a couple at least and my Dad took me over to see them when the archaeologists were working there. I had nightmares for ages after that and with the noise from the pump house as well.......I looked under my bed ever after. I still remember vividly the dream of a skeleton chasing me home from school.
(someone gave me a perm, how dare they. On the lawn at St Omere)
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Did you climb the old mill that was still standing at the top of Mill Road, I think every boy in the village did. Did you explore the Baulk? Or did you stick to the places over closer to where you lived? Like Rabbits Lane. Rabbits Lane led to the fields and beyond that to Dog Kennel walk.Back then it was just a footpath. One could stand on the bridge and watch the steam trains go under and become enveloped in the clouds of steam. I guess when I was small I ran away with our dog Jerry, and was found playing down on the railway tracks. I had ran off with a little boy down the road. I wonder who that was?
(someone who never lost his twinkle)
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I loved St Omere. I am pretty sure you must have lived there too at some point. I remember details of the downstairs. The black fireplace in the living/dining room with blue and white tile around it. My dog Jerry ate a balloon and threw up under a chair. The middle room was large and had that Bay window and a pantry under the stairs. The kitchen was like a galley and quite small compared to the other room. You stepped up to go into the living room. Beyond the kitchen was the bathroom. All concrete and brick and cobwebs. The door led outside to the toilet. WHo used that bath I wonder? They must have froze. The front room was probably off limits because I think I only saw it briefly. Outside though, that's what I remember most. The wonderful gardens. Apple trees near the road and a lawn, the slab over the well. I remember someone playing a trick on me, throwing a ball in the air and me not seeing it come back down. I was told it kept going off into space............well. Next to the lawn were trees that seemed to divide the property so that beyond that were vegetable gardens and Rabbit hutches. I doubt they were pets. I know on the side closer to the house were big patches of Rhubarb.
(Me and Jerry)
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I have pictures of me and Jerry playing there. Next door Uncle Bill had chickens. I loved to help him feed them, the smell of the chicken feed was pleasant to me. Beyond the gate was Muddy Lane and we could get through a hole in the fence and into the Cemetery. I loved going there. Auntie Annie would take me with her to tend the family graves. Last time I was there the grave stones were all lined up along the walls. A shame. I loved it there. I suppose Annie knew them all in her lifetime. I had not thought of that. For me the names all came together when I did our family history. I was thinking the other night, all that work. What will happen to it all. None of my lot would keep it. Jason has no kids and neither does Justin (not from him anyway) and Laura really is not into that stuff and neither are her girls. So...........I suppose it will all be lost again until some future relative takes it on and starts over. We never did find the John Hines we lost somewhere in the 1700s..............
(me playing in the orchard collecting apples I think)
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The village is gone now, at least the village I knew. All the wonderful memories will stay though. When we would go to the local butcher and get the meat fresh (ugh) I no longer eat meat. I was a very naive child, I saw the animals going in back and never put it together with the ones in the window.
Mr Green would deliver our milk on Bidwell Hill and the baker delivered the bread. I think mum worked in just about every store in the village at one time or other. we walked to school every day. You went to Bottom School, I went to Top School. I seem to remember for some time the kids from Bottom School would walk up to Top School for lunch and Mr Higgs was the crossing guard. He was a shoemaker/mender. I loved the smell of leather and sawdust. Another shoemaker on Bedford rd was a Mr Robinson I believe. We know our Gr Grandfather was a shoemaker and lived opposite the Crown. That house is no longer there. Most things are gone now.
(Grandfather Spittles house)
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The ponds are gone and don't you wonder about the houses built on those spots if at some point they will sink? Dad would tell me about how the wagons and horses would drive through the ponds to keep the wood of the wheels from drying out.
(this is me learning to walk with Harold and my mum)
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I can't remember when the houses of Woodlands Ave were built but did you live at St Omere before you lived there? we did while waiting for a council house. We moved in to Bidwell Hill when I was 4. We lived with my Grandparents for a time, Mum apparently could not get along with Granddad Burt. So I have no idea how long we lived there but it left a lasting impression.
I remember going upstairs once to see Granddad who was in bed for some reason. The ceiling had fallen on his bed. How did that happen idea but I remember the bed. It was iron. Would love to have that now.
Well cousin, I will shut up now. Hope you enjoy a few memories if Carole will read this too you. Love you now and forever.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Day After Christmas.......................

So today should be Boxing Day but it's not. It is a regular back to work day and Christmas is gone for another year.
The whole reason for Christmas gets lost and forgotten.
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I didn't put up decorations this year, I really missed them. It just did not seem like Christmas. I know they have absolutely nothing to do with the reason for the season does give me something to focus on. Besides I love the glitter and the gold and twinkles and all that. I am sure Gerry will soon enough turn off the outside lights. We got snow again last night and it looks like a winter wonderland outside. The sun is shining and everything shines.
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My cousin Robin is very ill, he has little time left on this earth. He has been a dear friend and selflessly aided my Mother after my Dad died. He was there for her (and so for me) when she was ill. He cooked and baked for both funerals. I didn't spend any time with him as a child because he was a little older than me and away in the Navy for most of my adult life. When he returned it was to a house on Bidwell Hill, he moved a couple of times up there and ended up across the road from my parents. That was very handy for them both as he always had a hard time sleeping and so did she. He would go over during those nights when he saw her light on and make a cup of tea.
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Well, I have been talking to Carole today, his daughter. She lives in Spain but is there for a few days now. She is caring for him best she can. This is going to be hard on all of them.
It made me think............the way I believe is that if you are a Christian, then you have been saved and will spend eternity with God. That is the whole reason for Christmas. Christ came to die for us. He came to save those who would believe in HIM. I pray now that during this time, in Robins last days that his children and family come to know the God I know. If they do not already. That ensures that we will all be together again some day. God is good and I ask Him now to save my cousin, He promises that prayer will always be answered.
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I told Carole to tell Robin to say hello to Auntie Annie who most surely will be there and I know my Dad is. Carole thought that was a comforting thought. I told her that Christmas is the whole reason that we can believe that, Christ came to save us from our sin. He lived a perfect life where we can not. He was the perfect gift of love and sacrifice. All we need to do is accept that gift. We don't have to understand it we just have to accept it. I do.
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So it comes to us all. Life is short. But long enough when we get it right. A journey, a lesson of growth as a spiritual being and as a human soul. We take nothing with us when we die, only that love and what we have learned while here on earth. Where we go and what is beyond is a mystery to us although we do get glimpses of it if we read enough of the bible. We really need the Holy Spirit to understand that though and I often wonder if it holds different things for different people. I see death as an adventure and not as a threat or anything to fear. If I am wrong well I won't ever know will I?
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Robin has that same spirit as was in my Dad, it reflected in the twinkle in his eyes. My Dad's eyes, the mischief and quirky sense of humour, his giggle. I love my cousin and he knows it. I will see him again some day not on this earth maybe but in a better place.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Week Before Christmas.............

I have not been writing much of late. There really has not been a lot to say. Here it is a week before Christmas and it does not seem at all like it. We do have snow. Quite a bit of snow actually. It's pretty. I try not to drive far in it although I would love to get out and take some snow pictures if only it would stop long enough for the roads to clear a bit. I am not one for driving on snowy roads, I can't see well enough.
I can not get in the mood for celebrations. All the news that comes out of Washington is either disgusting or scary. What this man is doing is just getting the middle class into further debt. Interest rates up, social security we get a raise that is immediately taken by Medicare. So no gain there. So have to be thrifty at Christmas, no spending if possible.
I didn't put up a tree because I didn't want to disrupt everything downstairs.
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I usually love to decorate. I love the sparkle. Gabby and Tony with Cooper have the two rooms downstairs and all the Christmas stuff is packed away down there and hard to get to. SO I figure it won't hurt to go a year without. Besides with the cats and Cooper would get into everything.
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As far as gift giving well I took the easy way out with that too. I ordered Figis for Jason, Justin and Laura. That is cheese and summer sausage and treats. Simple and easy and can always be used. I was not going to do anything but simply can't just not do something. The only ones here this year will be Gabby and family so no big meal either.
Having said that I spent the last two days making cheese balls. I made some chocolate treats and today make candied pecans. I am not at all sure it will be worth doing much more. I don't expect company but am prepared if we do get some.
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I do miss having everyone home but peoples lives change. Jason has 3 cats one of whom is sick, needs daily meds. Laura just moved downstate and we don't see Justin that often anymore. Tristen is not living here now, although I expect we will have him for a day at least. He will just be coming back from his holiday in Mexico. He got to swim with Dolphins and must have had a good time. He gets to do things we could never do with him. We miss him so much, but life moves on. Now I am used to him not being here it would be hard to go back.
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Life changes year to year. Things never stay the same. Memories of Christmas's past are treasures, or should be. I know mine are. I am not at all sure my family is that sentimental. When the grandkids were young we had some good years. When Justin came home and everyone was home, we had a blow up bed in the living room one year and all the bedrooms full. We played hunt the thimble and hide and seek. Danielle and Alex, Gabby, Justin, Hayley and Teal and Carrie. Then Jason and Laura with Joe (back then) and one year Joes girls. They wondered why I didn't want to play haha, well those meals took a lot of prep and planning. Not just Christmas dinner but breakfasts and snacks, lunches and all that. Then the linen changes on the beds. I am not sure I could do that all now, but I am sure I could rise to the occasion.
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The trees these days are fake, but they look so real that it's hard to tell. Back when I was a child the trees were spindly little things but with icicles and real candles they looked so pretty. Maybe just because they looked magic in the more sparse conditions. Our gifts were not under the tree but on the end of the bed. I do remember waking in the night (probably early evening ) and nothing being there, so I would try to stay awake and I must have believed because I remember watching for Santa on a very mood lit night. The frost on the windows........but I never saw him and by morning the gifts would be there.
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My gifts would be from Mum and Dad, auntie Ivy and uncle Norman and my Nan and Granddad. Usually books and one other thing from my parents. I remember most of them. I actually loved the books and still have some of them. I have my Teddy bear the one thing I did love. Other years they didn't do so well (I am ungrateful) I remember a doll dressed as a Dutch girl, it supposedly could walk when it's hands were held but I didn't like it. I have never liked dolls, always animals like my Teddy. Then one year a "twin" pram. I really did not like that. I had never seen anyone with one like it, I don't know what they were thinking. I never let them know that I didn't like them and so they never knew. We got the bear from Warren's in the village and remember seeing it and saying I liked it so that year they must have got it right.
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When Gabby and her family move I will have to go through all my Christmas stuff and sell some of them in my yard sale. No one else would want them. I love my ornaments but as each year goes by it is harder to get it all out and decorate. Maybe some day we will have a smaller house and that would help.