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so blessed...

Monday, September 06, 2010

I've been down to my Chapel's 'Knit, Natter & Stuff' group meeting today.
As a group we ladies raise money for 'Water Aid' which is dedicated to putting a well in every village that doesn't have a water supply and also supply items to various charities for distribution throughout the places which need a little material help (most of ours go to Africa where we support seven orphans).

This month we've begun the annual Water Aid Children's Shoebox Appeal, we're covering empty shoe boxes with Christmas paper and filling them with little everyday items we take for granted but which the recipients view as much, much more.

Each box contains knitted items we've made.
Socks, a hat, gloves & scarf set, a teddy bear or other animal, a shawl or a blanket together with a material shoebag and a small blackboard and chalks for use in school.
Everyday items of toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, talc, flannel, sponge and a hand towel are added as are items of underwear, bibs and small books.
Each box is neatly labelled for a boy or girl and the approximate age of the recipient required.
All these boxes will all be shipped out in October to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas with the addition of a small gift-wrapped toy, a ball, crayons, colouring book, pencils & sharpener and a card.

Today we received photographs of a shipment of some of our efforts arriving in an African village where the children had become so excited that they'd had to shut the school until the shipment had been unpacked.
Beautiful photographs of underpriviledged children with such hope. Their little faces a joy to behold, wreathed in smiles, and with tiny thumbs upraised to the camera as a gesture of thanks.....it makes me feel very humbled.

Today and everyday I give thanks to God that I am blessed with everything my life requires, not just material but spiritual too.
I'm blessed with family, friends, happiness, good health and a nurturing caring environment.
Isn't it a pity that the whole world can't be this way?


wrapping the empty boxes


awaiting collection for shipping

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLDFISHLIZ 9/7/2010 8:08AM

    I love these ways of helping. The basic need for clean water is a huge thing, and we support that, but I also find great pleasure in the boxes I and the grandchildren make up for Samaritan's Purse for Christmas, and I am getting Inner wheel to support Mary's Meals, not a Christmas thing, but backpacks filled with basic necessities for schoolchildren. And yes, we are greatly blessed in this country - most people have no idea about how some people have to live. Well done to you and your group!
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DEBHAPPY2B 9/7/2010 1:02AM

    You are so awesome. I am so proud to call you my friend.

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STILLPOINT 9/6/2010 7:14PM

    That is so incredible. Such a great gift to those children. YOu are part of an incredible community.

What is the organization that collects them? Maybe I can do something similar in my community.

Blessings,
Mer emoticon emoticon

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XME501 9/6/2010 12:24PM

    What a special blessing!! We do something similar and my granddaughters have such fun filing the boxes. And, what a blessing to the children who receive the boxes.!!

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L-OSTER8 9/6/2010 12:13PM

  All Of You Who Participate In This Worthy Cause Are Angels.

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life's like that.....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Most of you will know I haven't been very well over the past three weeks and haven't done much in the way of anything really.

Things were looking up over the week-end and I showed a major improvement in my general health so at the beginning of this week I was looking forward to getting back into the old familiar routine of housework and exercise. The weather had been beautiful when I didn't feel like doing anything or going anywhere.....
and Monday breezed in with cold, wind and rain!!!

I was still feeling a little bit 'off it' so I interspersed the day with lazing around resting, reading, generally not doing much of anything and a little gentle indoor walking plus the odd spot of catching up with the house cleaning.

Tuesday I went out on a little jolly with a friend to the small and pretty market town of Beverley. We intended to wander around a little, take in lunch and visit with her mam. We enjoyed it.....
but we got rather wet as it poured down all morning and, very perversely, stopped as we reached her mam's house!!!

Wednesday I caught up with yet more housework and the laundry, it was sunny with a gentle breeze, just right for drying.....
and as soon as I'd got them pegged out, it rained!!!

Thursday I did a bit more housework and gardened.
I dead headed, trimmed back, shimmed weeds and generally tidied up.....
and last night it was so windy there are fallen plants, leaves, apples, tomatoes and bits of branches all over the place!!!

Today I've patched up the garden, done more housework (I'm finally up to date) and earlier this morning a friend rang to see if I wanted to go out for a ride (no question, of course I do!!...lol...) as it's a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze.
So I'm dressed ready to go, waiting for her to pick me up.....
and suddenly it's cold, windy, dark and raining!!!

We're still going!!! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBHAPPY2B 8/28/2010 12:18PM

    We have a breezy, sunny day today in Pennsylvania also...but I am at work! I have been a bit "under the weather" lately as well--sending positive thoughts your way, my friend!

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NEELOJ 8/27/2010 6:20PM

    Isn't it crazy how that can happen! That is the way it was when my sister came to visit in July. But at least it was not 100 degrees like it had been!
And we had a great time taking pictures of flowers in the rain. Made for a different type of picture taking!

Just relax and enjoy all of the days, rain or shine!!!
JO

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FISHKNEES 8/27/2010 1:48PM

    LOL, weather is so unpredictable! I am so happy to hear you are feeling better...Thanks for sharing

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STILLPOINT 8/27/2010 9:02AM

    Sounds like a lovely week, puttering and catching up on things around the home and garden. Hope you have a lovely Friday and that the rain holds out....either way, I'm sure you'll have a ball.

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LAURALAUGHS 8/27/2010 7:37AM

    Have a fantastic Friday and WONDERFUL weekend!
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DOLLBABE56 8/27/2010 7:05AM

    It is a shame it is raining again, but I'm happy you are still going. And as for the laundry the other day, think of it as being "rain water soft". lol Keep feeling better more each day.

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My own little world.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've been confined to pottering in the garden this last couple of weeks as I've been feeling poorly but I was bewitched by all the wonders of nature that I have right here in my own little world and decided a little blog that has nothing whatever to do with losing weight was just what I needed.
Soooo...here are a few pictures taken in my own backyard.....enjoy!



Shades of yellow
a hoverfly visits the ligularia in the bog garden


Cultivators
Black garden ants milk the honeydew from the greenfly aphid herd they've gathered together


Autumn hues on the rowan tree


a teasel head silhoutted against the sky


Yellow plum tomatoes 'sun baby'....yummy!!


Rosehips adorn the south fence

Tomatoes 'tumbling tom' in my hanging basket, strategically placed for picking and eating as I walk down the garden path!!


Red valerian or 'kiss-me-quick' brightens a border


Alliums and pink valerian jostle for space


pretty 'rosa rubra' on the back fence


a hummingbird hawk moth sipping red valerian nectar...he hovers like a hummingbird, never settles and really hums!


a trio of peacock butterflies sipping nectar on my new buddleia 'Ruby Red'


a garden spider wraps a tasty bluebottle for lunch


sunlight plays on the ligularia flower

a hoverfly sips from a watermint flower



























































































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STILLPOINT 8/26/2010 11:44AM

    This is your garden????????????? Wow, it's incredible. Sounds like a beautiful place to be confined. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures.

Mer emoticon

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GOLDFISHLIZ 8/21/2010 7:18AM

    Brilliant pics! I wanted to getthe butterflies on our buddleia, but the weather has been awful when I had the chance. I'll maybe try later - sun's shining today.
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LILSUNFLOWER 8/19/2010 7:17PM

    Fantastic! And these are all taken in your back yard?
WOW. You are good.
LSF

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HOPE2BE 8/19/2010 9:17AM

    You should enter those pictures in a contest. They're divine.

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MOM2ACAT 8/18/2010 8:08PM

    Beautiful pictures, and I love the detail you were able to capture!


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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/18/2010 7:25PM

    I hope you feel better... beautiful pics

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AFM-SPARK 8/18/2010 7:22PM

    Nice photos! (Sorry you aren't feeling very well!)
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-A

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KAT573 8/18/2010 9:57AM

    so nice to see these pix; my garden is grey darn it; is valerian perennial? I need more perennial color! deeper into summer!! HUGS and thanks for sharing!

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HAVALOVER 8/18/2010 9:05AM

    What a lovely universe you have!
It's all in the capacity to see the beauty that surrounds us.
Are you feeling better?
Hugs, muy grandes,
Mirie

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DOLLBABE56 8/18/2010 8:05AM

    Beautiful pictures Martha-Ann! You are quite a good photographer. Thank you for sharing!
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LAURALAUGHS 8/18/2010 5:50AM

    Absolutely Beautiful!!! Just what I needed for a Wednesday! You certainly have a gift for gardening (work ethic, patience, love). Have a fantastic day!!! emoticon

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Walking the walk...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

We walked the ancient Millington Pastures and Wood of Lily Dale, starting down the valley with the sun on our backs and a gentle breeze in our faces.

The inquisitive kyloe calves grazing the steep valley sides with their mothers ventured to the fence as we passed, though not quite close enough to be touched, whilst the bull with his magnificent horns kept his beady eye on us from behind the barbed wire topped fence.....he'd have broken it like a piece of ribbon if he'd decided we were a threat!

We crossed the trickling stream looking back up to the small lake surrounded by masses of pinky purple herb robert flowers waving gently in the breeze.
Insects hummed about the water cress plants and a moorhen and her two chicks chittered to each other as they dabbled around the margins.

Passing in to Lily Dale through the rough hewn gate we entered the cool dankness of the wood which covers the valley sides.
The rusty charcoal burner had recently been emptied and the smell pervaded the air mixing with the subtle scent of the dying garlic flowers.
Birds sang, butterflies flitted to and fro and the sunlight filtered through the canopy making soft sunlit pools among the undergrowth and setting the dust motes dancing in it's rays.

It was a gentle stroll along the valley floor at first but we soon began to ascend getting ever steeper as the slopes gave way to wooden steps leading up to the rim of the wooded valley side.
Strategically placed wooden seats greeted us every now and again, each one a welcome respite and a viewing vantage point.
The occasional walkers hove into view, smiling and nodding at us as we passed on the narrow traverse.
The air was damp and cool and the track stoney as we undulated crab like along the sides of the valley to reach the summit where we sat quietly taking in the wonderful views of the countryside spread out before us like a giant patchwork quilt.

Then the long descent down by a different route, undulating gently, descending steeply or step by step down the wooden steps some mysterious miracle workers had installed to bring us ever nearer the valley bottom.

We caught tantalizing glimpses of it through the trees growing ever nearer until at last we were down and a gentle walk brought us back to the track and a short walk to Millington village where the Gait Inn was hosting a fun day and buffet to celebrate Yorkshire Day.

Bunting flapped gently in the breeze, people talked and laughed, ate and drank and we quietly escaped, dropping down the gentle slope of the valley back to where our transport sat patiently awaiting our return to the carpark.


this young kyloe bullock stuck his tongue out at me!!


the pinky purple flowers of Rosebay Willow herb


the rusty charcoal burner


some of the steep wooden steps leading up the valley side


sunlight filters through the trees


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUIETCUPOFTEA 8/4/2010 9:24AM

    this makes me want to hop on a plane right now and go! it sounds like heaven to me. thank you for such a beautiful blog! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 8/4/2010 7:43AM

    How beautiful! Sounds like you had a lovely day! I have never heard of a kylo bullock. But he sure is cute with his tongue sticking out! emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 8/4/2010 5:44AM

    Thanks everyone, it was a good walk even though my leg muscles are still protesting...LOL...it was all those steps!! emoticon

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HAVALOVER 8/3/2010 11:54PM

    Thanks for the ride, and the zoology lesson! I've never seen -nor heard of- a "kylo bullock" before! It looks like a rocker bull or cow... with an attitude, hahaha...
Loved the walk.
hugs,
mirie

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SHELLB39 8/3/2010 11:11PM

    Oh I love the photos! the Kylo one is wonderful as are the others. Thanks for sharing. The steps remind me of a state park south of where I live. They are half a mile in length along the side of a bluff that borders the Mississippi River. Thank goodness the view is beautiful just as yours was, distracting from the difficult labor of the accent to the top. And herb robert - I don't recognize. Is it edible?

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DEBHAPPY2B 8/3/2010 9:37PM

    Sigh...I feel so relaxed now. Thank you for sharing!

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MOM2ACAT 8/3/2010 1:15PM

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us; that kylo is cute!

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NEELOJ 8/3/2010 1:07PM

    A wonderful journey we just took!! Thanks for taking me with you!!
Your words of description took me right along!!
The pictures are neat too! I love the first one of the calf and his tongue!

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MARILYN1260 8/3/2010 12:35PM

    A magical day. So happy you were able to enjoy nature at its best.

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BIKERBABE2BE 8/3/2010 12:09PM

    Looks a beautiful walk. Thanks for sharing!

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Scarecrow Festival

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good morning, some of you were asking about the Scarecrow Festival I went to yesterday so I thought I'd do a little blog with a few pictures for you.

The festival has been running for many years now and is held in Muston, a little village in Yorkshire and is quite famous, attracting visitors from all over Britain and abroad.
The original idea was to raise funds for the village and it seemed to snowball. Since then other villages have latched on to the idea but Muston is still the biggest and best.
During the week long festival the village is covered in scarecrows of all shapes and sizes, all made by the villagers.
It's amazing the work and effort that goes into them, the attention to detail and the ideas for them are wonderous.
Usually life sized, they are well made mostly of papier mache and can be very witty.
The scarecrows are displayed outside the villagers homes, in their gardens, up trees.....you never know where you'll see one!
There are ice creams, drinks and plant stalls around the village, the Church is open, there are flower displays and the village hall serves delicious homemade baking and teas.....yes I had some!!! but I reckon we walked a couple of miles or more!
It's fun and I had a lovely time.

This is just a small selection of pictures that I liked.



The Crow Bar.



Traditional Morris Dancers...see the moles underfoot, they were all around the village green poking up from the soil. The dancers were life size and all had witty names like Morris Minor(a car!), Morris Gibb, Morris Chevalier...



Beatrix Potter characters Peter Rabbit, Miss Moppet and Jeremy Fisher.



The Vicar and his flock...



Moles.



Mr Bun the Baker.



Peppa Pig and her brother George.




Reading the ewespaper!
Very witty headlines like..... 'Evening Ewes', 'Sheep scientists clone human', 'Sheepdog found guilty at trial', 'Muston Woollen Mill sale now on', 'Lambs flock to see Ben Shepherd perform at Woolpack'.....



Border Control....very topical!! Love the in and out entrances!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLDFISHLIZ 7/26/2010 6:11PM

    I love your pics! We went to one in Bassenthwaite village a few weeks back - same sort of idea, but I think the groups you saw were very witty - and so much work - the Morris Dancers were wonderful! Great fun.
We went to the same one (they do it every other year) four years ago. As we walked around I saw a scarecrow with a curious way of attaching the head, so I went up to examine it more closely - and it wished me good afternoon! You could hear my shocked shriek a mile off! The bloke inside the costume laughed immoderately, as did DH. emoticon emoticon

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SHELLB39 7/26/2010 9:24AM

    Love the witty-ness of the displays and how great that it invites the people of the village to walk to see them! I continue to be enthralled by the quaintness of this area you reside in Martha Ann! It points out to me how much American suburbia is lacking in so many ways! Our neighborhood, in the past, has had block parties where we come together for an ice cream social or potluck. Your Scarecrow Festival has given me a wonderful idea to encourage families to be creative together and then to walk the streets and visit the homes at some point during our gathering. What do the villages use the raised funds for?

Thanks for sharing...my favorite is "The Crow Bar"! emoticon

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LILSUNFLOWER 7/25/2010 1:03PM

    What a fantastic dea. Love your pictures. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. The stalls and displays sound just perfect for an outing. How large is the Village?

It's humid, but we just don't seem to get the rain. Horribly dry - crops aren't doing well. Unless we water, we'll lose everything. I feel sorry for farmers.
Have a great sunday. Guess it's evening by you. Just 1pm here. DH is requesting lunch. Mustn't disappoint.
Bye for now.
LSF

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KADD1011 7/25/2010 7:07AM

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing with us. At times I miss England and it is the events like this that I do miss. We have nothing like this down here in North Carolina. In Connecticut, we had some: fall type events. I do miss the mild climate in England. Unfortunately my husband got really bad asthma when we were there so we had to move stateside. Sad, though because I really liked the place (we were aobut 30 miles East of Cambridge.)

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