Friday, September 30, 2016

Scotland - Five on Friday

It's Friday rolling around again and time to join in with Amy over at the fabulous Love Made My Home. We're a random bunch from all over the world. The posts are always fun to read and I always seem to learn something new.

This week I'm going to share another few pictures from my seven weeks visiting Mum in England. While I was there we took a coach holiday up to Scotland. It was my first time visiting. I definitely want to go back. It was SO beautiful. I think I spent most of the week with my mouth open in awe. It was lovely to go on holiday with Mum and see these wonderful places with her.

I'll share five memories and tell just a little about them.

Sweetheart Abbey - ruins of a lovely abbey. So tall and majestic. A stunning, peaceful place.

A sort of romantic story to go along with it. The name seems to make sense!

Kelpie Marquettes at Kirkcudbright. These are 'miniatures' of the Kelpies that reside in Falkirk. These are handcrafted by artist Andy Scott and are 1/10th the size of the ones in Falkirk. Apparently these were actually created first. Up close they are really quite stunning.

O, my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.

O, my Luve's like a melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

The beautiful town of Dumfries. Lovely walks along the river. Mum and I misjudged how far away the coach was parked and was almost late for pick-up time. We were guilty of being the last ones on the coach that day!

Dumfries is also the burial place of the famous poet Robbie Burns. St. Michael's churchyard where he is buried is just magnificent. Inside the church we were lucky enough to be show around by a lovely man who told us some of the history.

The mausoleum where his remains are today. So much to see in this town and not nearly enough time!

Drumlanrig Castle was one of the three castle we managed to see while we were in Scotland. It's a lovely place with just beautiful gardens. Somewhere I could have definitely spent more time.

 An interesting fact:- in 2003 four men, acting as tourists, stole the Leonardo da Vinci painting Madonna of the Yarnwinder with nothing more than an axe! They have since improved security. The painting was found!
 I could share all day - I took so many pictures and there were other places we visited but for my fifth this week I'm revisiting one of the things I talked about a couple of weeks ago - Pigs Gone Wild, the art trail in Ipswich displayed over the summer. The pigs were all auctioned off and raised over 150,000 pounds for St. Elizabeth Hospice. The pig I featured the other week was Ed Sheer-ham, a play on the singer Ed Sheeran, who comes from Framlingham which is not far from Ipswich. 

The pig was auctioned for 6,200 pounds and was apparently purchased by Ed Sheeran! I wonder exactly what he's going to do with it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday - Desk Sharing WOYWW

Wednesday rolling around and it's time for Julia over at Stamping Ground to host another weekly visit around to desks all over the world to see what others are getting up to. It's a lovely place to join in and share what you've been up to and perhaps gather some inspiration.

My desk has seen a little action this week though not as much as I hoped. I spent Tuesday checking out some videos for inspiration so, hopefully, next week I'll have something to show. I had pulled out some photos I took in England at my favourite park and was going to journal about them in a Project Life page, but when I looked I had every page layout except the one I wanted! I'm got some re-thinking to do.

I was listening to Radio Suffolk on my computer as I played. I have a mini-album ready to go once I make the pages. You can see some mini easels I found at Walmart. I had used one for my phone!

As you can see it isn't too exciting but I was just glad to be up there again. The weather is certainly cooling down the last couple of days so it was a little nicer to be up there. We did take a wonderful day trip to the lake Sunday (see post for pics). There is only one more trip on the horizon - a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see the colour changes of Autumn but that isn't for a couple of weeks. Our holiday fund is desperately in need of topping up!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! I really appreciate them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Another Week Begins

My crafting mojo has yet to return but I have pulled out a couple of photos that I'm going to do some Project Life journalling with in the hopes it will help kick-start things. I have a few cards to make so I need to get going.

Around the house things are pretty quiet now after our whirlwind of visits (from daughter and middle son). Middle son stayed for a couple of days. It was nice having him around but I had forgotten how he likes to leave his stuff in certain places!

It is definitely getting cooler. I closed the window yesterday as it was quite windy and chilly. This morning I am in sweats and actually have a cardigan on. I need to get moving on the gardening and washing down the side of the house.

Talking of the garden, outside I do actually have a couple of pumpkins growing. Something the deer did not get hold of!

The plant is massive. It grew outside the garden fence along the ground and up by the fence! I've grown pumpkins before but they've never grown like this. I'm pretty sure that I should have got rid of some of these flowers but they were already growing by the time I got back so I've left them. I currently have three pumpkins growing!

Hopefully they will be completely ready by Halloween.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Walk

After last weeks camping adventure and how much fun daughter's dog had at the beach, we decided to take them to a dog park on Lake Michigan so she could play in the waves again. There are only certain beaches dogs can be on so it was a matter of finding one of the closest to us. We found Kirk Park and Dog beach.

It was really pretty. The waves were quite high and I think she was a little bit scared!

There was one other couple with their dog on the beach while we were there. When they left they let us have their ball to play with.

At first she wasn't sure what to do with it but she soon got the hang of it!

Think she enjoyed her trip! I know that I did.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Random - Five on Friday

Friday is rolling around again and I'm joining up with Amy over at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday. This is going to be a fairly random collection of Five as my mind seems to be bouncing all over the place this week. Still in a bit of a funk. I'm hoping to be out of it soon. I'm just having trouble getting back into daily life after so long away. This five is just five things from this week.

BOOKS - I've read a couple this week.

This was a fun read. I really like Nancy Martin's books. She writes the Nora Blackbird series too which is well worth a read. This is the first one featuring these characters. It was a nice, light read with mystery and a little romance.

To be honest I struggled with this one. I've read lots of Janet Evanovich before (especially Stephanie Plum series) but I had trouble connecting with these characters. I did manage to finish it, but was glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't buy it - out in hardcover.

FOOD - I think my husband missed my cooking more than he missed me! I usually don't cook frozen foods (unless I'm being really lazy). I need to find some new recipes though. I try to plan a menu for a week at a time. This week including toad-in-the-hole, fish tacos and homemade chicken strips w/potato skins.

BIRTHDAY - today my middle son turns 25. I'm not sure where the years have gone. I was five months pregnant when I came to the states. My son was born in New Mexico at an Air Force Base. It wasn't a nice experience. Was sure I would never do it again. I had a two year old and a new baby and it was one of the loneliest times of my life. I don't think I would have made it through my first year in America if it wasn't for my kids and hubby. I am so proud of him. He was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was eleven and had some struggles but has turned out great. He has his own apartment in another town and has a good job.

CAMPING - it was a lot of fun. Michigan is really beautiful. We went to Port Crescent which is up on the tip of the thumb of Michigan. It's about a four hour drive from us.

Had a LOT of fun.

The dog had a lovely time swimming for the first time. She's really funny and sweet. I can't wait to go again!

LOOKING DOWN - I've done a post about looking up. This time when we were out walking at the campground I looked down. The trails were filled with fungus. I think it's because it was dark and wet. I'm not an expert on fungus, don't know names but I love taking pictures of it. I find it really beautiful.

I could go on and on. I took a lot of pictures on this walk. There were so  many different colours and varieties. These woods were really beautiful. We'd love to go back but it might be a while. There are so many more State Parks we have to visit!

Thanks for joining me on this Five on Friday. I'm off to see what other people are up to this week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Again? What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

I can't believe another Wednesday has rolled around and it's time to join up with Julia and the gang over at Stamping Ground for WOYWW. Sadly there isn't a lot on mine. Mostly blank.

After feeling poorly last week - finally felt better on Saturday - and camping over the weekend I seem to have lost my mojo. I think I have a case of the post-holiday blues as I seem to have trouble getting going again. I have managed to get back on the treadmill but that's about it! I think it might be time to make some lists to kick start myself going. Perhaps I just left my mojo on the plane somewhere over the Atlantic. I hope it returns soon. Perhaps it's just because I have a lot of ideas running around in my head and don't even know where to start.

I did have a great time camping at the weekend. On Saturday morning we stopped at a market in Port Austin and I found a lovely stall selling scarves. I couldn't resist and bought the one below.

It has the name gypsy and the colours are so vibrant, so Autumn. The picture doesn't do a good job of highlighting the colours. I shouldn't have taken the photo at night!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Camping - Another Lighthouse

A week to recover and then we were off on a camping trip. This was something hubby and daughter booked up while I was in England. We spent the weekend camping at Port Crescent, Michigan. It is across the other side of the state from us - a four hour drive away. We didn't get off very early and ended up at the campsite when it was dark. We had to put up the tents in the dark. Well to be honest hubby put the tents up in the dark! Saturday dawned with rain. It rained until about two in the afternoon. We didn't let it get us down.

We took a trip to Point Aux Barques lighthouse. Very pretty.

Daughter with her dog, Shasta at the lighthouse. It was built in 1848. This lighthouse was also home to Michigan's first female Lighthouse Keeper after she took over for her husband, Peter, who drowned in 1849.

I dropped my phone in the rocks - almost lost it - couldn't see it and there was no service so couldn't ring it. Luckily hubby found it after about five minutes of looking! It had fallen between some of the rocks and (even luckier) didn't get wet at all. Phew!

Harder to see - Harbor Beach Lighthouse. Quite drizzly weather and the only way completely out to the lighthouse is by boat. I didn't fancy taking a trip in the pouring rain so walked out as far as we could. I think this might be one to come back to on another trip!

Shasta was quite fascinated by the waves!

Once the weather had cleared to took her down to the pet-friendly beach so she could play!

This was a stunning beach. Not sign-posted at all. If we hadn't asked at the campground we wouldn't have even known about it!

She had lots of fun! 

Love this picture!

As the weather had cleared there was a beautiful sunset.

I have more photos to share - probably a Tuesday post! Nice relaxing weekend. I'm glad we decided to try camping this year!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun Photos - Five on Friday

It's been a while since I joined in as I've been away for seven weeks! I was off visiting Mum and family in England. Had a lovely time. I've got lots of pictures to share. This Friday I'm joining in with Amy over at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday. I'm glad Amy is still planning on doing these posts. It's fun to visit others and see what they've been up to and where they have been.

Today I'm going to share five fun photos I took while I was visiting Mum.

Morris Dancers. It's been years since I've seen any! We stopped at Ripon, Yorkshire on our way up to Scotland and Mum and I decided to take a walk to the cathedral where we came upon the dancers. I remember seeing them all the time when I was a child, not so much since!

My hometown, Ipswich, had an art trail of pigs around the town this year. Pigs Gone Wild. There was a map available and it was great to see all the families out and about searching for pigs. They will be auctioned off to raise money for St. Elizabeth's Hospice. Mum and I went to see quite a few of them. Ed Sheer-ham was one of my favourites! It is named for the singer Ed Sheeran who is from Framlingham in Suffolk.

Another piece of art I took a photo of is the famous Scallop on Aldeburgh beach. It is dedicated to Benjamin Britten who apparently used to take walks on the beach.

The words on it say 'I hear those voices that will not be drowned'. They are from Britten's opera Peter Grimes. It is very striking.

My 'new' Great Nephew, Archie. So cute and cheerful!

A really cute gargoyle. This was on a church in Cambridge. There were so many on this church but this had to be one of the cutest. Yes, I like them. What can I say? I find them really interesting. I am going to google the name of this church and see if there is a reason there are so many of them. I'm not a Christian, but churches and cathedrals are such interesting buildings and the architecture on them is truly beautiful.