Sunday, May 13, 2018

I'm Back!

I got sick. Flu, followed by a serious sinus infection. Three weeks later and I'm finally getting back on my feet. My 100 Day Project is an epic fail. I am disappointed, but I have forgiven myself for getting sick. It was just one of those things that can't be helped and I'm not going to stress over it. The Colour my World project was a daily thing so I have decided not to continue. The 100 Days of All About Me I'm going to slowly catch up on and finish my book. 

Otherwise on this blog I'll be posting photos of my walks again. I'm slowly getting back on my feet and out taking photos again. Today hubby and I took our first walk in three weeks. It was, sadly, dull and grey, but I did get my camera out. 

Warren Dunes State Park. The beach is slowly being cleaned up for the summer season. It is amazing to imagine that just a few months ago we walked this beach covered in ice and snow. Now the beach has been evened out and new signs put up. In a couple of weeks the beach will be full of people. I will miss the solitude of the winter months, but it will be nice to walk without being bundled to the nines. Despite the clouds, it was quite mild out and there was little to no wind at all. 

We drove along the coast of the lakeshore down to St. Joseph Lighthouse. This is another of our 'regular' haunts. We don't usually go there much in the summer - the place we park at cost $10 for parking however little/long you are there. We aren't really ones for sitting on the beach. We usually want to just walk the lighthouse and the cost is a little too high. 

The parking metres were back in position (they don't charge during the winter) but while trying to work out when paid parking started, I was happy to read that they will be doing hourly parking too! How great! We don't mind paying $2 for an hour just for a stroll along the beach and lighthouse. 

The pier wasn't that busy but there were quite a few fishermen out. The gulls were hanging around too. 

Our last stop was South Haven. We decided to get a different view and park at the top of the hill. 

And that was our Sunday. It was nice to get out and about again. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Behind - The 100 Day Project

I am (what a surprise!) behind on posting my projects for The 100 Day Project. I have not yet fallen behind doing them, but that could change as we are going away next week and I'm not sure I'll find the time to do them. We shall see. I know I will be taking the photos which is sort of why I chose the project. My Book of All About Me will probably have to play catch-up when I get back. We shall see.

Day 11

Colour/Color my World

Mourning Doves seem to be a regular visitor to the garden. They mostly hang about under the bird feeder. Last week I saw two pairs of them together in the garden. These were scared off only a little way further down the garden. I love how fluffy they are. Seeing them cheered up my day.

100 days of All About Me

When is your birthday?

My birthday is May 19th. I like my birthday. The weather is warming up and it's somewhat towards the middle of the year. My sister's birthday is only a week after mine but I don't remember that being a problem (she might answer differently lol).

Day 12

Colour/Color my World

A triptych of photos today. Husband built this birdhouse. The sparrow sitting on the perch has claimed it. He's been bringing in goodies for his nest. I watched for several days as he sat on the perch singing a lovely song trying to attract a female. Several birds visited (as seen perched on the top) but none fit. Now he does have a mate. It made me laugh as it reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book Are you my Mother? Instead I called this one Are you my Mate?

100 Days of All About Me

Who is your favourite character?

I'm not actually sure I have one. There are characters I admire - Vera (British detective), Buffy (the Vampire Slayer), Nessa (Gavin and Stacey) and some more, but I wouldn't say I had an absolute favourite. I probably should have thought more along the line of books - in hindsight it might have worked out a little differently!

Day 13

Wow I really am behind!

Colour my World

I was feeling decidedly grumpy this day. The weather was getting me down. This bird reminded me of how I was feeling. So colour me grumpy that day lol

100 Days of All About Me

Comfort Food. Now, I'm not really sure you'd call it a food, but my comfort go-to 'food' is chocolate. I love it. Has to be English or European but there is nothing quite as comforting as chocolate. It probably explains why I am fluffy and not thin. 

Day 14

Wow! I've last two weeks!

Colour/color my World

There really shouldn't be snow around, but I will take what I can get lol. I love seeing these in the woods every Spring. They remind me of home. Mum always used to grow them. Despite the cold weather they are popping up all over the woods.

100 Days of All About Me


I think sometimes, as women, we tend to take care of those around us but don't seem to take care of ourselves so much. Even when my kids were small and time was really precious I tried to take a bath by myself just for me. It's important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. 

Day 15

Colour/Color my World

It was another cold and snowy day in  Michigan. I was feeling a little grumpy and not very colourful at all, but then, when I was watching the garden, this cheeky little fellow came hopping up the pole to the birdfeeder and made me laugh. It's smaller than the other squirrels in the garden and it seemed to take a running leap right onto the pole. It had such a cute little smile I couldn't help being cheered up a little.

100 Days of All About Me

What type of music do you listen to? 

I like a lot of different types of music. It sort of depends on my mood. I love musicals but I don't want to listen to Les Miserables or Miss Saigon when I'm feeling down in the dumps! Wicked makes me feel like I can do anything ;) I enjoy listening to Queen when I need cheering up or George Michael's soulful voice when it's summer and I'm happy. I also admit to listening to rap (usually when I'm alone). The only music I don't particularly care for is country music (I feel like I should apologise for that lol) but I do enjoy Chris Stapleton. He has such a gravely voice.

Day 16

Colour/Color my World

Colour my world with blue skies and splatter it with sunshine - at least this morning! After several absolutely horrible days the sun finally came out today. It was still way too cold but the sun was shining and that cheers everyone up, right?

100 Days of All About Me

Who do you identify with? Is there a group you identify with?

I identify as English. This is a really sparse one as there is a journaling card underneath the flag that I didn't want to share. I'm not a US citizen though I've been living in the US for many years. Sometimes, for the first time since I arrived, I don't always feel comfortable. And that's all I'm going to say. This is supposed to be a fun project.

I can't believe that I'm all caught up! Phew! This is a long post and I probably shouldn't procrastinate as much as I do. That will teach me!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beautiful Days

The last couple of days the weather has been a lot brighter and warmer in Michigan. That meant longer walks and days where I actually felt cheerier. Even though the temperature has warmed up a bit Spring is taking its take appearing. I have been noticing things are a little greener as I walk but there is still more brown than green.

I can't wait to see more!

Colour/Color my World

I didn't post yesterday but I did do my project. I had a terrible headache that I battled all day and ended up going to bed early. I did post on Instagram. 

I was so excited to see these lovely wood ducks. The male is so brightly coloured! I had to look them up in my bird book to find out what they were. Before this year I haven't paid a lot of attention to birds but they are so wonderfully colourful and so cheery to hear in the morning.

As I confessed - I haven't paid a lot of attention to birds before this year but I couldn't help but notice these. They are so bright and blue. I watched as they flew after one another across the field. I think they are tree swallows but I could be wrong.

100 Days of All About Me

Yesterday's prompt was about cooking and todays was about relaxing. 

These were days 9 & 10. Yeah! I made it to day 10!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

100 Day Project

Colour/Color my World

It was very colourful out today. Look at the lovely sky and clouds! How could I resist this? After it being so dull and snowy yesterday it was beautiful out today (despite) the cloud. It is days like this that really cheer me up.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt : What is your favourite holiday?

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of holidays in general. I like getting together with family, but other than that sometimes holidays seem like a way to just spend more useless money. That being said, I love Halloween/Samhain the best. As I was growing up in England it was not a big holiday. In fact we never celebrated it at all. Guy Fawkes Day is only a few days later and that is the day I remember celebrating. I loved Guy Fawkes Day. I think it has to do with it being Autumn and I like the ideas of fires and cooking over them. When I came to the US I remember how excited I was when the kids first celebrated Halloween - dressing up, pretending to be something you weren't or perhaps dressing in something you wished you were. 

By Halloween the air is crisper, the nights are drawing in and everything just seems a little more...alive. I love the origins of Halloween/Samhain. I like believing that the veil between the living and the dead is just a little thinner and it's a good time to honour our ancestors and those who came before us. I like the idea of starting anew too. It seems just right.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Snow on the Ground

It snowed here today in Southwest Michigan. It has been a long winter but hopefully things will be warming up at the end of the week. I walked today at Asylum Lake. It was very quiet and peaceful. I don't particularly like the weather but I do like how quiet things are in the morning. When the weather is better there are more people around. When it is like this I can look around and take the time to photograph little things without people looking at me like I'm crazy.

So beautiful and peaceful.

Colour/Color my World

My photo today comes from that walk in the woods. Despite the cold and the snow there were lots of birds around. I didn't see a lot of them, but I could hear them chirping and calling to one another. The weather doesn't look a lot like Spring but nature knows what time of year it is. When I saw this robin I couldn't help but try to capture his picture.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt: What is your talent?

This was a tough one for me. I don't like tooting my own horn and I'm not a confident person. There are many things I like to do and I think I'm okay at but whether they are considered talents or not I'm not quite sure. 

I do like the way this little book is turning out. The only thing is that I've just realised that the book I chose to put it in only has 80 pages. Sigh. Not sure quite what I'm going to do the last 20 days.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Walk/100 Day Project

Our walk today was at Yankee Springs Recreational Area. We were planning on doing the Chief Noonday trail. I have to admit to being a little disappointed. Nothing much is growing here in Michigan and the woods didn't have much to offer. There wasn't anything growing and we didn't hear a lot of birds. The trail wasn't easy to find either. It was quite confusing. We had visited a couple of weeks back and did the Hall Lake Trail which I enjoyed. After we managed to find our way back we did take a drive around where the campsite was and I took some photos.

Colour/Color my World

The photo I'm sharing today was one that I took on the trail today. It was a beautifully sunny day, but quite cold. There were a few stray clouds in the sky and I love the character they give the sky. The view was lovely and peaceful. 

100 Days of All About Me 

Today's prompt was: What do you like to read?

I love reading. It is something I do almost every day. I have way too many books and magazines and my kindle contains so many books that I won't be admitting how many. I have always loved to read. I can't remember a time when I didn't read or love reading. A lot of my teenage years were spent in either the library or a book shop we had in town at The Ancient House. I loved that book shop. It was housed in an 15th century building. I remember there being lots of little nooks and crannies. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Year with my Camera/The 100 Day Project

I cheated a little with today's Colour/Color my World photograph. This was the first Saturday in the month and on that day (or the Sunday) I usually participate with A Year with my Camera's 1 Day 12 Photos, so I decided to put them together and use my collages as today's photo.

These are photos from our early morning walk today and photos from my garden. Lots of colour in these. The last couple of days have been dull and snowy so it was a lovely break today to have some sunshine. I would have liked it to be a little warmer - but hey, can't have everything.

We walked today at Portage Creek Bicentennial Park. It was quite busy but still a favourite walk. I don't think we'll go there much on the weekends anymore as we prefer somewhere a little quieter, but it is beautiful.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt was: Where did you go to school?

My schooling was all done in England. I enjoyed some things about school but there was a lot I didn't like. A lot of the time I felt quite awkward. I don't know how to explain it but sometimes it was like I was on the outside looking in. I don't think I was that good at making friends (still not lol).  I'm not sure it showed, but there was a lot going on inside that I didn't show. In high school there were a couple of teachers I still think about and whose teaching helped shape the things I find interesting even now. I have to admit to being glad I was done with high school. I find it interesting that some people look back on those days with joy and really like keeping in touch with school friends. There are only a handful I would be interested in seeing. 

It was certainly a trip down memory lane today - not all of it pleasant!

Friday, April 6, 2018

The 100 Day Project. Day Four

Colour/Color my World

Day four of the project and I find myself looking around searching for colour. It isn't always easy. The last couple of days here in Michigan have been dull and cloudy with a touch of snow. I wrapped myself up warmly with big gloves and a hat - something I thought I might have put away by now - and trundled off for a walk at Asylum Lake. There was snow on the ground but I could hear the birds chirping away. If they are anything like me they're grumbling about the snow and the (seemingly) lack of Spring.

I searched around looking for colour. My favourite thing on this walk in springtime is the amazing carpet of daffodils that usually colour the woods. They bring back childhood memories of Spring. Mum always used to plant daffodils and tulips in front of our house. I had looked for them earlier in the week and they were sprouting through the ground but not open. I didn't expect much more growth due to the weather, but I was pleasantly surprised!

They are not fully open, but they are getting there. You can see the snow on the ground behind them. I chose this photo today as it reminds me that the seasons do change, however slowly, and sometimes when we don't pay attention we miss things completely. On busy days, and with all the craziness going on around us, we don't always look around and appreciate all the beauty in the world.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt was Where do you Live? It's similar to the one the other day so I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do. I managed to find a postcard I had of Michigan (I collect these too!) and used that as part of my page. I live in Michigan. Quite a different place from where I started out. There are similarities - the green, green fields, the change of seasons, but there are differences too - Michigan gets lots of snow and is bitterly cold, Suffolk not so much. After several years here I am beginning to understand why older people live for warmer climates in the winter! 

Michigan is a beautiful state though. I am finally beginning to appreciate that fact. There are beautiful state parks with miles of trails and wonderful lighthouses with lots of history. Lake Michigan is truly wonderful - it can be calm and warm in the summer and wild and frozen in the winter. I grew up close to the sea but I didn't understand just how wild a lake without tides could be. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The 100 Day Project. Day Three

I have to admit that I have no problem doing the projects - especially the photography one (I'm out most days taking photos) but it's the putting them in a post that may prove to be the problem!

Colour/Color my World

When I woke this morning the sun was shining. It was still cold, but as the sun was shining I got out and about for a walk. I love walking. It gives me time to let my mind wander and just think. I especially like it when there aren't many people around. Have I said before that I'm a bit of an introvert? I like being able to just stop, stand still and listen to the life around me. This time of year is so beautiful. There is a time, after the snow has gone, that everything seems so dull and grey here in Michigan. There usually isn't a lot of sun and nothing is growing. Once Spring hits the dullness erupts in a burst of colour. It hasn't quite happened yet. I think this winter seems to be dragging on a bit.

I must say that I took quite a few photos this morning. I was trying to get just the 'one', something that would show a little colour in my life. I was taking photos of the winding trail when I saw something from the corner of my eye. I couldn't believe it! I spotted one of these a couple of weeks back but didn't manage to snap a photo. It was quite jumpy. I stopped still, raised my camera and managed to snap a quick photo before it flew off with a flap of large wings.

It is a Pileated Woodpecker. Very large with a bright red head! What a splash of wonderful colour! Can you tell I'm a little excited?

The 100 Days of All About Me Book

Today's prompt was about hobbies. I have a lot of them. I enjoy doing things. Several of these hobbies I've had for years. I can't remember a time I didn't write something. I'm not much good at journaling but I love to write stories and tales. I've cross stitched for years and years. I remember being taught in Primary School though it was only later that I took it up seriously (in my late teens). There were times when my kids were little where I didn't stitch all the time, but now that I have more time to myself it is something I do on a regular basis. Some of the hobbies I've come to a little later - knitting in particular is something I began to teach myself last year. I've taken photos for a while but I've only recently learned how to use my camera properly (A Year with my Camera free course) and now I take photos almost every day. 

Being creative and doing crafts run in my family. My Mum is an avid knitter. I can't remember a time where she wasn't knitting something. Later in life she took up quilting. My Nana was a crocheter and was going to be a Milliner. I remember she used to earn extra money hand sewing the gussets of sheepskin gloves. She was a very talented woman. Mum and I are hoping to learn to crochet together this summer when I go visit. I find it lovely to do these things that people have done for years. I can't imagine not having hobbies. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The 100 Day Project. Day 2

I've changed my mind on the extra page. It means adding to it each day and not starting a new post. Just seems like a lot of work. That means some days there will be 2 posts - my projects and then my walks.

Colour/Color my World

I woke up this morning to snow again in Southwest Michigan. I'm beginning to think we might just skip over Spring. I hope not. I like watching all the trees come to life. I didn't get out for a walk. The colour in my life today comes from the back garden. Despite the weather the birds were chirping bright and early. A lot of them came to visit. My favourite two of the day were the subject of my photo today. They are lovely and bright and make me smile. It's good to have something cheery on a snowy day.

100 Days all About Me

Today's prompt in this Awesome Ladies project was where are you from and where are you now. 

I ended up a long way from home!

Day One. April 3rd 2018

Day One. April 3rd 2018

This is my first time joining in with 100 Day Project. I'm actually going to do two projects. One is a photography project that I'm calling Colour/Color my Life and the other is joining in with Kristin and The Awesome Ladies group for The 100 Days of All About Me. I'm hoping I can keep up with both as I'm a little bit of a procrastinator and not good about keeping on task. 

For the first day I'll say a little about each and then post my projects. For Colour/Color my Life I'm going to take photos of the things around me and post a little bit about them or what they mean to me. I'm using both the English and American spelling of the word colour/color as I'm an English woman living in the US and I want to express a little of all of me. In the next 100 days I have several trips planned including my annual holiday home to England so scenery/things from a variety of places will be included. Photography is a love of mine and I enjoy documenting my life through the lens. 

Documenting life brings me on to the other project I'm doing. It's with The Awesome Ladies community which is all about women documenting their lives. It's a pretty neat group. I'm still finding my way around but they are a wonderful group of women whose goal is for us women to document our lives the way we want to. So many times women don't take the time to think about themselves or to document their lives. The 100 Days of All About Me is based on a wonderful book Kristin (the original Awesome Lady) wrote when she was doing the 100 day project a few years ago. 

Onto the projects:

Colour/Color my Life

Not much colour around today. It's dreary and dull in Southwest Michigan today.  Between bouts of drizzle I did manage to get out for a walk in the woods at my favourite local walk - Asylum Lake. There still isn't much colour around in the woods, but I did find this little nugget. The moss is growing quite green on the fallen trees. There are still leaves on the ground from last Autumn. Walking is one of my favourite pastimes. I try to get out daily. It's a wonderful way to start the day, walk along and daydream. I find it a great way to clear my head. Usually when I'm out walking inspiration hits - only to dissipate when I get home. 

100 Days of All About Me

The first prompt is What's your Name? I must admit to not particularly liking my name. When I was a child there were two other Sharons in my class alone! It was a very common name. I wanted to be named something exotic like Natasha or (ick!) Stacey. Instead I got saddled with Sharon. I'm not sure where Mum got it from. I learned to grow into my name. I do answer to Shari (went by this one on the internet for a long time) or Mum/Mom. 

The page includes a bit about me too - boots for walking, Union Jack flags for where I'm from, camera because I love taking photos, flowers and dragonfly because I enjoy colour and nature. 

Day one done! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Birds in my Garden

Little post on the birds in my garden. I really enjoy taking photos of them. They can be quite jumpy but I watch through the back door and it provides an easy way to take photos. They are such characters! I love watching the blue jays. They seem to have quite an attitude. The woodpecker seems quite skittish and is always cocking its head looking around. The starlings can be quite mean to one another.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail

This is a really lovely place to walk that is situated in the middle of town. It isn't exactly a walk in the woods - there is a paved trail - and it is quite heavily used. I try to go early in the morning and there are already quite a few people around. I can't imagine how busy it will actually be once things warm up a little more. It is a place to see some great wildlife. The deer seem really tame. They barely startle when joggers run past them. There are so many birds to see too even this early in the season. 

The car park I usually use, close to Celery Flats, has been closed for improvements. There are supposed to be some differences to the trail too -where there will be a trail through the woods. I hope it isn't a paved one, but rather for walkers and I also hope it doesn't disturb the wildlife too much. I would hate to see the deer disturbed too much. They are plentiful here and will cross the trails and also bed down not far from walkers. 

A great place for a local walk!