The Courage to Let it Go

 

Breathe deeply as you realize there’s freedom of letting it go.

Do you realize that you can’t control everything or everyone?

There’s a sweet freedom of letting nature take its course without you grasping on for dear life. Let go of that staunch grip.

I am learning this as a grown woman. I’m always learning until the day I die.

Soon I will post about my son’s beautiful wedding so be on the look out.

Blessings to you all,

Heart and Soul ❤️

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A Short Break

I am going to take a short break from blogging for a few weeks while Tom and I prepare for our son’s wedding and rehearsal cook-out held here. I will miss your posts and will catch up with all of you once things slow down and the wedding is over. I hope you all are enjoying life in whatever season you are in and if you’re not, ask yourself, what can I do to change that? Put a smile on your face rather than a frown.

 

In just two and a half short weeks my son Dylan will marry Alexis. I’m so happy that she will be my daughter-in-law!

All My Best,

Mary ❤️❤️❤️

A Beautiful Bridal Shower

 

A couple of Sundays ago,  the bridal shower for my daughter-in-law Lexy and my son Dylan was held. It was a beautiful party with her mom Arlene and stepdad Glenn hosting the event. Here is a little picture collage of the backyard event.

The shower guests, my son Dylan to the far left, his future bride Lexy three people in from the right

 

Lexy and Dylan were very surprised! Family and friends gathered on a cloudy day with just a hint of rain now and then. Great food and platters fed guests as well as a unique punch of Moscato and lemonade. (I’m going to try Arlene’s recipe soon, 1 bottle Moscato and Country Time Lemonade)

the beautiful future bride

 

It was cute to see Alexis take her time unwrapping gifts, for she didn’t want  to ruin the decorative paper. That’s how Lexy is, a caring soul with a thoughtful approach to everything she does!

She opened up box after box of handy cooking utensils, a Copper Chef set, bowls and a unique wooden recipe box with her and Dylan’s name engraved on it. Shower guests brought their favorite recipes to add to her collection.  Her sister-in-law’s mother sketched a picture of her and Dylan from one of their best photos. She framed it to complete the package.

 

 

 

A typical bridal shower wouldn’t be the same without the cutesy or flashy lingerie. Here Lexy’s friends treated her to a massage for before or after the wedding and check out the decorated bag it came in! SO clever and cute.

 

 

 

Lexy’s mom, Arlene gifted her a handmade doll made by her grandmother, Estelle Nedelak. The outer layer of the doll’s dress is crocheted while the underlay is made of her grandmother’s wedding dress. This was a sentimental moment from one generation to another with a mother daughter hug. I was happy to witness it and I’m thrilled for Lexy and her mom. Perhaps Alexis will hand down the heirloom to her daughter someday, our grand daughter.

 

 

The bridal shower was a lovely success with family and friends sharing in this momentous occasion, the joining of two hearts into a marriage union. The theme was ringing laughter and happiness. Everyone celebrated the bride as we all as the groom, as he attended as well. What a great start to the wedding festivities!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Live in the NOW

My niece EK

 

 

I have to admit, fleeting summer has raced by and even though I’m not working at school it seems that I haven’t stayed in the moment. I’ve been “busy” with many things, one that my youngest son has rented an apartment in Cambridge and the other is getting married in three weeks. But what really is busy, is it a flimsy excuse to not slow down? ( this idea from my sister Barb and it’s so true).

 

 

A few days ago I had a conversation with my sister and her valuable advice stayed with me, something I really needed at the time. She told me to “live in the now, the present.” My “living in the now” consists of watching wildlife roam  our backyard trails, listening to the melodies of local birds, watching the fierce acrobatic moves of hummingbirds and working my garden. The last few days I’ve been happier and more centered, all because of these important things. These things that are vital to me and my peace of mind!

 

Ella Kate and my older cat Katie

 

What better way of living in the moment than taking my niece Ella overnight. First we visited Grammy and Grandpa Doyle and had lunch with them. We were taken on a tour of his bountiful garden and were sent home with his raspberries and blueberries. Next we took Smokey for a walk and saw a black garter snake! Yikes…snakes and I don’t get along but thankfully he slithered away! Imagine Ella letting the leash go and Smokey running around while both of us screamed in terror. haha. Smokey is getting trained with the leash for he came right back to us.

 

 

Here’s my beautiful Smokey after his walk.

 

On Saturday we checked out my garden and saw how a few sunflowers have opened. Their rich red color will certainly match Lexy’s maroon and gray theme at my son’s wedding. If you don’t already know, I’m growing this patch for Lexy to use in the wedding in three weeks. I am pretty sure they will all be opened by then and I can’t wait to see what other colors they will be as it’s a Mexican mix of sunflowers.

 

Here I am with my flowers, something I may grow every year now!

 

 

After playing a two-day game of Monopoly and lathering in sunscreen in the sun, Ella’s mom and dad picked her up. We talked and laughed and saw a Monarch butterfly on one of my flowers. It’s these moments and memories that ground me, something I will need in the rush and planning of the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

I do hope you can “Live in the now.”

Have no regrets.

Just peace and relaxation and absorb what is happening

right now!

All My Best,

Heartandsoul 🙂

I’ve Been Thinking…By Maria Shriver

 

 

I stumbled upon my latest find by accident but maybe it was a  divine intervention. My sister and I attended a Keith Urban concert and stayed over in a hotel that night. She had this book in her bag, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver. I noticed it and thumbed through it and later purchased it after my sister ranted and raved over it.

 

My sister and I at the concert. What a great night we had, dancing, celebrating life and talking most of the night. I love my younger sister so much!

 

I love Maria Shriver and what she stands for. She is a strong woman, a person who knows what she wants to do( find a cure and an answer for Alzheimer’s, her true mission),who writes poetically with her heart and soul and has featured a Facebook video in the past with Christina Ferrare. These were about a year and a half ago, focusing on healthy foods for a healthy brain and body. What I loved about the videos was that these two are obvious friends and had a charisma and humor that kept you glued to it. I miss them but I’m getting my fill of Maria by reading her book.

 

Each chapter has various reflections that affect women and can strengthen them. She features joy in the home,gratitude, forgiveness, the power of positive thinking and letting go. Maria describes her battle with empty nest and where it has left her. I can relate to this as I’m experiencing the same thing.

 

I loved the chapter that focused on mental illness and how everyone has some form of it. It resonated with me because sometimes I feel like my thoughts are out of control and steamrolling the real me. Shriver says that everyone has mental problems and that it’s okay. She further says that “we all need to think about preserving its (the brain) health”. 

 

Lastly I encourage you to buy this book and rest it on your night stand. Read a bit at a time and reflect. Journal your thoughts and reflections after you read. If you enjoy short reflective chapters that make you think, then this is your book.

 

One last quote from Maria’s book that I love is,

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

-Carl Jung

My Mom’s Amish Country Adventure

 

In April my mom excitedly experienced a week-long Amish Country quilt retreat! Sounds pretty intriguing , doesn’t it? She was invited from relatives to attend this quilt retreat in Ohio and she couldn’t say no since she is a devoted quilt maker.

 

 

The retreat was in Charm, Ohio, a little Amish community. The Amish hosted the participants in a modest yet modern housing complex. Mom and her relative and friends worked on their quilt with help from Amish women. They brought their materials, cloth and sewing machine to work on all week.

The Amish women cooked for the group including providing snacks such as popped corn made on the gas stove. They have this convenience but no electricity nor televisions or modern devices.

 

 

Mom came home with freshly made turnovers, to serve at Easter dinner. It’s not everyday that you can taste something so delicious and made by the Amish. What a treat they were! I just wish I would’ve snapped a photo of them!

 

 

What an experience she had and I’m so happy for her, for she doesn’t travel on her own adventures. I would love to see her go once a year. I feel it’s vital to go on your own treks, to meet new people and see places you’ve never seen before. It’s these times that build your inner self-awareness and confidence.

This is one of the amazing quilts my mom has crafted for us. I love the different shades of blue! It’s comfortable on chilly evenings and mornings and Smokey agrees. Here he is lounging on my bed before I make it for the day.

Have a blessed day and seek adventure whenever you can!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

How Does My Garden Grow?

 

My beans before, two weeks ago
Beans after, blossoming and soon we’ll have green beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really coming along! After a month and a half of being in the soil, major changes are happening.My beans are flowering and reaching up. I intended to attach them to the garden fence but they’re not close enough. The row of green lettuce is ready to pick and neighboring baby spinach is as well. Herbs dot the garden here and there, sweet basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon thyme all contribute rich aromas in the aisle. My tomatoes are doing well and I actually have a few green ones growing here and there.

 

Left to right tomatoes, my carrots, beets, broccoli

 

Love the corn! It’s not as tall as I would like….but it’s coming.

I figured out a few years ago that eggplant likes to be dry. Whenever I watered it, it wouldn’t do as well. Now I’m watering it sparingly and it’s thriving. A blossom is growing too!

If you’ve followed my blog you know that I planted sunflowers for my son’s wedding. Here they are…reaching up and almost taller than I am! I do hope they’re ready in a month!

Purple Coneflowers, what beauties! Everyday I sit among these gems and have my lunch. I can’t imagine a better place in my yard to sit and enjoy the warm sun. My kitties talk to me through the screened window and I watch butterflies and bees dance around the blossoms.

 

 

Now you all know how my plants are doing. It’s very dry here in New Hampshire, even though we had a full day of rain the other day. It wasn’t enough. I’m getting pretty chummy with the garden hose but some days everything is okay and I can just weed.

 

How are your  gardens doing where you are? What is your favorite plant? All my plants are my favorite, they are my peace and I’m beyond grateful for them all.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul