A Walk in the Woods

Icy fingers of chilled air caress the features of my face. Venturing through drifts of glistening mounds of snow, I spy animal tracks. One is of a coyote and the other a deer. The defined tracks wind and lead the way into the woods. I think of the deer and his/ her possible frantic getaway from the predator. An intense sadness sweeps through me, yet I remember that this harsh reality is nature and how it’s supposed to go. Suddenly I feel a prickly heat generating under all my layers, long johns,warm long sleeved shirt and sweatshirt with my Columbia winter coat encasing it all. The coat is unnecessary….and so I unzip, letting a rushing coolness sweep in. Ahhh a relief, a fresh feeling. The northern New Hampshire air feels exhilarating!

As I immerse my thoughts into the beauty of nature, my heart revisits gratefulness. Quite often I tend to practice this, remembering how it keeps me grounded. When troubled times trip upon me and my family, praying to God for strength and peace helps me. A simple uneventful walk in our woods clears my mind and brings me full circle back to being thankful for what is, instead of focusing solely on what could be or what isn’t.

As I tread upon the crunchy iced snow, my heart soars when I spy a curling gray plume of smoke rising steadily from our chimney. Within minutes I’ll burst through the cottage door, greeted by a warmth that penetrates the bones. Our black kitty will probably be nursing his old age by the fire, his sleek blackbody stretched around the hearth. My husband will be either feeding the raging stove or watching wildlife tv shows.

Now you know how I ground myself in the winter. What is your peaceful practice? Does it involve exercise or gratefulness? Id love to hear your thoughts.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Happy Valentine’s Day

My family photo taken by Tianna Sparks in October 2021

My Heart

I’m a strong soul

Able to stand alone 

If needed

But this heart

Longs for connections

Between family

And friends

Giving to others

And always to

myself

Lifts me up

This Valentine’s Day

I reach with 

An endless supply of 

Kindness

And love.

❤️This Muscle of a Heart

This muscle of a heart

Bears a thread of hope

A vessel of kindness

That extends to all

a striking reach

longing to enfold

Others in its

passionate womb.


A Hug

Arms clasped around

A tight hold

Flesh to flesh

Heart to heart

An embracing

Bridge from

One soul to another

Physical

With passionate emotion

Feeds my starving soul

To not only

Survive but thrive. 


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO YOU ALL!

All My Best,

Mary

Heart and Soul

My Latest Read

Good morning Friends,

For the last couple of months I’ve been blessed to have a personal librarian. Ramona works in our kitchen at school and loves to read as well. She has been lending me great books to read. I’ve read Ruth Ware, The Dry by Jane Harper and now Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

I’ve been distracted this week from reading and writing. My son Branden fell on the ice walking his dog and broke his ankle and leg. He’s been in the hospital since Monday. Surgery was successful and now he’s having pt to get stronger to go home. The problem is that he lives on the third floor and has a dog Jasper, who he usually walks during the day. Once he learns how to walk the stairs, he can go home and recover. I think his job teaching Animation to high school students will continue but by remote. Emma Jo, Branden’s girlfriend ,has asked friends to help walk Jasper as well as hired a dog walking service. Please pray or think positive thoughts for him! ❤️
All My Best,

Heart and Soul

I Was Born to do This!

Hello blogging friends,

Six years ago I started this blogging journey

in my cozy cottage living room

with my ipad and a prayer.

I didn’t wish any accolades or thumbs up.

There was a persistent need living inside me,

one that had to share my stories. Almost

like a desperate thirst that must be quenched.

It didn’t all start six years ago

though.

This is when I was 7 or 8, around the time I thought of stories. Im on the left and my sister Barb is on the right.

My first memory of writing was in

Mrs. Tuttle’s Third grade class,

where I penned short stories

on brittle yellow slips of paper.

The next memory was the play I crafted

in fourth grade with a bear in it.

Understandably I don’t remember the other characters because it was over forty years ago.

My artistic mom helped me with cardboard props

and my friends and I performed the short

play in class. Possibly Vanessa English

and Christine Roy remembers this?

Should I mention my penchant

for creative writing and

that the stories were a way

of coping with feeling less than?

Ms. Sirlin’s Fifth grade class was my

introduction to pictures mounted to cardboard

in a writing center.

The student’s job was to

see a story in the picture,

to create a flow of words to accompany it.

I guess that’s when I realized

that I was born to write

and to love it as well!

I have skipped a year or two

but here I am once again,

putting myself out here.

I believe God makes us all unique,

made special. From an early age writing seemed to flow through my veins.

I would make up stories in show and tell,

not knowing that it was the author in me.

I feel blessed that I have this.

I may not be talented enough to publish

but for now, this is enough for me. Who knows what my future

is in this, for I’m only 52!🤣

I was born to do this.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Mary ❤️

Shovel it, Scoop it, Plow it

Heavy snow sweeps across every inch of the yard 

and beyond

shovel, shovel, shovel it up

Sheets of fluffy coldness chill

every inch of me yet

I feel a generated heat with

the muscle power

Scoop it, scoop it, scoop it up

As white and dominating

as a glacier

Its heaviness bends the metal shovel

as it wears on my spine

Stubbornly I continue the regiment

move it, move it, move it up

I feel a cool relief

as my husband uses his machine

to plow it, plow it, plow it up!


If you are surrounded by snow and have to shovel it every storm, this poem may speak volumes to you. Shoveling and scooping snow is indeed an exercise of the body and your will to succeed. Sometimes you shovel into a resistant ice or your body slows down because of exhaustion. Take a break and then return to it, you’ll be happy that you did it!

Letting Fear Go

heartandsoul974

Many women have learned to live life with fear, either by being taught this or by being immersed in the fear cycle through emotional or physical abuse. I’ve always been fearful…starting as a little girl I was afraid of anything and everything. To this day I still need to remind myself that I’m stronger than the dark cloud of fear and that I can overcome it! I’m  tired of the pattern it knits and how it makes me feel inside.

What has helped me tackle it  is trusting God and riding the storm with his sheltering umbrella over me. It’s not to say that it creeps up now and then, but it keeps these feelings at bay and under control.

Recently I had to venture alone down south on busy route 93 to pick up my son close to Boston. I had scattered fearful thoughts of what if…my car breaks down? What…

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Snow Day!

It’s February 4th, a snow day for many people in New Hampshire, including me. This is the first significant snowfall of this winter, producing over a foot, maybe close to 14 inches!

The day has consisted of cups of coffee, leisurely reading, and watching snowplows bustle up our road. The task of brushing off the heavy wet stuff off of my car turned into a monumental chore, lasting 30 minutes. Instead of bothering with my little brush/ ice scraper, I resorted to the kitchen broom! It’s a great workout digging out and even trudging through the yard of drifts.

While Tom’s out fastidiously plowing for our little town, I am watching the glistening snow continue to fall in a winter wonderland. It is my opinion that a pounding snowstorm holds a magical quality about it, one that people not living here may not appreciate. The beauty of nature shows with every flake sometimes ruined by a charging snowplow.

As this day flies by, so does winter. The days are slowly getting longer here and before I know it, I’ll be gardening. This snowstorm will simply be a memory, only thought of when visiting my photographs. Until then I intend to truly appreciate the splendor and peace this brings.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Our Backyard Game Trails

heartandsoul974

This post is from a few years ago. I’m sharing it once again.

This morning as I glance out my kitchen window, I see mounds of glistening snow everywhere. A two foot high drift frames our driveway. A tall pine tree stands guard on the right, several feet from our dwelling. Beyond the yard a quaint little pond rests with ice frosting and weary cattails still standing from last year. Just skirting the ponds edge is something pretty special and a source of many magical moments with binoculars. It’s a game trail leading from our woods.

img_2231 This is a good view of the trail. To the left sits our pond and the trail skirts by the sturdy oak and across the road into the woods.

A week  ago I busily raced home from grocery shopping. It’s quite a process, the store being 20 minutes away and the effort of shopping…

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This is His Right😂

Our old kitty Smokey prefers sleeping and eating to any other kitty adventure. Usually he sleeps in our green chair, his thick snoring buzzing like a machine. Sometimes his dreams send his body into interesting twitches and convulsions. Maybe it involves little gray mice and a plump squirrel he watches from a window.

I think its amusing to watch where Smokey sleeps.

Sometimes on the top of the old comfy couch…

Sometimes in the rolled up towels on the bathroom shelf…


Sometimes under the side table…

This is his God given right, to sleep wherever he wishes!

Both Tom and I love our kitty and enjoy his meow language, which is quote often.

All My Best,

Mary

Winter Days

They say there’s a time and season for everything…winter is a slow down season, a time to quietly live and reflect. Here in northern New Hampshire our yards lay blanketed with snow drifts and ice. The air feels frigid and tingles your skin as if you’ve walked into a freezer, yet this lady is thankful for it. Although I enjoy trudging through the snow riddled woods, I welcome entering the heat of our little home just as much. Our wood stove churns and creaks with an industrial strength, belting out waves of a warmth that makes any winter day cozy and celebratory.

During winter days we lug wood and shovel it into our wood closet. The wheelbarrow works great to fill with wood and deliver it out back. We park the vehicle next to the deck and lug by armful to the nearest window. Tom cleverly built our wood closet beside the window and so by lifting the sash you can thrust the pieces into storage.

On weekend mornings we indulge in candlelit breakfasts such as crepes and blueberries or eggs and bacon. Tom makes outstanding omelets!

I love to read books in our bedroom in the rocker by the electric fireplace, while our kitty Smokey contently lies on the bed. I have a kind friend at work who serves as my librarian and brings in books for me to read. It’s a joy to see which book she’ll bring in next and I’ve loved every one but one!

These are just a few activities we do in the winter. Many people up here complain about the cold weather and the snow but we love living here, welcoming the change of season.

I hope you are enjoying your winter days!