A Little Bit of Halloween🎃



Halloween was always a holiday exclusively for our boys. They would pick their costumes out a month before and the waiting and expectations would bubble over within them, like a rapid boiling pot of stew. There were years of cowboys ( I tend to remember Dylan was one twice) and simple ghosts of worn bed sheets. One year Dylan was a Power Ranger and coincidently it turned out his cousin wore another Power Ranger costume. Another Halloween Branden was disguised as Batman, a far cry from the  little pumpkin suit he wore when he was two.


I look back on all those fleeting memories, years of costume picking and driving them around to neighbor’s houses to trick or treat, and their pumpkin buckets filled with candy. Halloween nights ended with a special visit to Grammy and Papa’s house down the road.






Last year Branden and I carved the pumpkins.That was our Halloween activity, as the years of fashioning big costumes and going out are long gone. It was so much fun to do it but bittersweet for me, for I knew it may be the last time. So with the boys gone and living their new lives, that leaves Tom and I to do the pumpkin carving this year. I mentioned it last week and I didn’t get an eye roll but no comment. I remember Tom carving pumpkins with the boys when they were young but it’s been years since he’s dabbled in orange squash flesh….the desire to do it fades with the boys gone.


Yesterday being the day before Halloween and having Sunday free time, I brought it up again. I kind of expected an excuse but was surprised when my husband smiled in anticipation. Hauling the round orange pumpkin gems in the house, I plunked them on our bar counter which is a handy work space.Laying multiple newspapers on the bar, we placed them on top and got to work. We dried the surface of each pumpkin, gathered two sharp knives and found a few colored sharpies to draw the faces.


Of course I had to play the eerie and entertaining Monster Mash song while we started with cutting the top. This is tricky for me because I’m afraid my knife will slip so I go slow and careful. Next we scooped out all the stringy and gooey guts with the pumpkin seeds in tow. We were organized and neat about it and dumped unwanted guts in a tall bucket to later add to our compost pile. Last we drew our eyes, noses and mouths and started carving them out.



It’s always been fun and a good treat to roast pumpkin seeds. I start by putting them in a colander and rinse them good. Then I drain them and dry them with paper towels. Next I place them in a thin layer on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and salt the seeds. Set the oven at 350 F and toast about 35 minutes or until golden brown. They are a yummy healthy snack and our sons always loved them!



Now our jack-o- lantern creations sit on the stoop awaiting for little luminescent candles tonight. Probably trick or treaters won’t come, as we live in a small rural community. Most families take their kids to other towns nearby where they can park their cars and walk along the streets. Most years I’m prepared but no trick or treaters show up. Who knows, maybe we will be surprised this year! The candy bars will be ready!


With that I hope no one gets scared, for it’s all in fun.

Happy Halloween!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

The Promise of a New Morn





In the hushed serene moments of dawn, speckles of the night sky slowly fade.Peach and pinkish ribbons decorate the morning heavens. A magnificent moon slowly checks out as if to say, ” my work is done, see you tonight”. The world wakes up…little chipmunks start scurrying for acorns as deer walk along forest trails.



Humming cars buzz by, for workers of all careers must be early or on time. A busy yellow school bus zips by, empty of children but soon will be overflowing. School teachers prepare for this school day, some already in the classroom, some packing their lunch and downing their morning coffee.



Everything wakes up to meet the day, to accept a new gift, an offering from God. This is another chance to treat others with kindness and compassion. A chance to get it right this time….to live in a positive light. If you do this, sun beams will shine from your every being and warm yourself and people who you come across.



This is a new promising morn, full of so many possibilities yo live. Do you choose to thrive in a space filled with love or a dark cloud of hate? How do you want your day, your week, your very life to go? If you desire to make a difference  and affect people who cross your path in an uplifting way, then rid hate. Transform it into unconditional love. Accept this precious gift of a new day…with positive thoughts and love in your heart.

Happy Friday! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

All my Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Confidence Within


Taken from Pinterest, HealthyPlace.Com


Listen up, inner self, you’re not so bad. All your life you’ve been beating yourself up. You haven’t wanted to, it just became a bad habit. You constantly tell yourself you’re not good enough or you don’t measure up to others capabilities. When people give you genuine compliments you can’t accept them. Does this self talk sound familiar? I know this because unfortunately I live it.



You are your worst enemy. You live life spreading kindness around you, yet you neglect sharing that with yourself! Isn’t it time to stop this low self esteem war once and for all? I ask myself this quite often and here’s what I plan to do but instead of letting it go to the wayside, this time I intend to stick with it.


All my life I’ve played the victim to low self esteem. It’s shrouded my accomplishments and precious milestones, simply because I let it. I’m not sure how it started but I fed it like a hungry beast and every time I vowed to get rid of it, for awhile it would disappear but sooner or later it always came back. Now I know this is all my fault, but I’m not the only woman fighting this battle. I will meet women like this and when they talk to me, my thoughts would come to my mind like, why doesn’t she love or trust herself? Yet I am the very same.



Taken from Pinterest



It’s fascinating to me how the younger generation of women are so confident with high self esteem, that it gets my goat. They come across as bitchy, pushy and arrogant. Even so,  they have this battle figured out or they never fought it. Maybe their family crowned them with self esteem glory and instead of low self esteem, they were indulged to the point of being just the opposite. I don’t wish to be this way, to flaunt my confidence and piss every other woman off. I do wish to be in the middle…to love myself and show in my movements and talk….to value my every being, the same love that my husband or family carriers in their heart for me.



Its not easy overcoming low self esteem when I’ve lived it all my life and it’s what makes me. What if self confidence destroys what makes me who I am? What if I change to the point that people don’t want to be around me anymore? These are the daring risks I must take, to love myself and live my best life. ( sounds like Oprah, huh?)

So I pledge to myself to get over it, to trust my decisions and actions. I want to live confidently but keep being humble. When I think of this, Tim Mcgraw’s song plays in my mind, ” …always stay humble and kind.” When I’ve won this battle, I hope to still be sweet, humble and kind, because that’s who I am.


My first step in this building confidence campaign is to accept compliments without excuses. Next I will believe in my work at school and take risks, knowing I’m able to get positive results. Wish me luck in my endeavor and I’ll keep you all posted as it unfolds.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️



My Latest Find




I don’t know about you, but I love a good granola or energy bar! I’ve been searching for a healthy one for awhile. I tried Cliff bars and they are pretty good and with many flavors. The problem with them is that they are too filling and kind of dry. Now and then Tom likes one for hunting but most of the time I buy Quaker Oats granola bars but it’s with apprehension because I know they aren’t very healthy for you and I could find a better bar.


Now I think I’ve found something pretty special in a bar. A co- worker in my classroom shared a piece of her OWL bar the other morning. I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but we did and what resulted was a four person conversation involving healthy bars. What resulted was that my other co- worker ordered hers right away and I was sold as well. I went right home after school and ordered a dozen.



The OWL bars are made in Brattleboro, Vermont and are organic, gluten free, made with honey, oats, and have different flavors. I ordered the cherry almond bars because they sounded delicious and I know Tom loves cherries. The original bars are tasty too and I may order them next.


I found their easy to maneuver website and ordered my bars a day ago. Lo and behold, a package appeared in my mailbox today! Upon opening them I discovered twelve little bars packed neatly, individually wrapped. Yum!


The one drawback is the price but sometimes to be healthy, you have to spend money. I paid $33 plus shipping for twelve bars but I’m satisfied because they will last a month or maybe six weeks, they are delicious and we both like them very much. I think I’ll share some with our son in college and see if he likes them.

What do you suggest for a good energy bar? Does anyone make their own?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Taking Care of Yourself

This was shot on our mini get away in Maine. I really took care of myself that weekend.

Good Morning! This post is dedicated to women everywhere who tend to get wrapped up in taking care of their house and family, but who don’t find the valuable time for themselves. We all practice this, maybe you aren’t aware of it or you just settle because you have no idea how to start taking the time for yourself.




I got the idea for today’s post by events that are really happening to me, which led me to believe there may be many other women in my shoes. Perhaps if we ponder over this dilemma, we all can help each other overcome this problem of finding time for yourself and your needs as a woman.  You see, my kids are living their life on their own,one in college and one living in his own apartment with his lovely girlfriend. My husband and I are the only ones at home,yet I still have a hard time finding the precious time to devote to myself and my physical and emotional well being!



I believe this distraction of being drawn to housework and chores is just a way of life. For twenty years I’ve been a busy mom and wife, always doing something for the family and house. Once a woman has established this routine, it’s awfully difficult to break the cycle, even if self growth is at hand.




Guilty feelings have always plagued me when I took time for myself. When I paused for a break when the boys were little, something at home always waited for me. Maybe it was a mess with my name on it or a sink full of dishes, yet when I left it had been empty. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not blaming my husband or kids, but that’s what my brief time off handed me, more work. At some point I started ignoring the mess and realizing that didn’t matter and it could always wait until the next day.


One of my summer- to – do wishes was to go to a yoga class. A few women at school go once or twice a week. I’ve always yearned to go and better myself, get in shape physically and align my heart, mind and body. Summer came and went and so did my dreams of yoga. Every week I intended on going ( and even placed my clothes and water bottle in a strategic place in the kitchen), I chickened out and opted for the familiar, house duties. One week the flimsy excuse was the garden( as if a mass amount of weeds would grow while I was away for two hours), another one was vacuuming that had to be done. My point is I couldn’t and wouldn’t walk away from my old routine.



Now I’ve actually joined yoga and went to my third class yesterday. Even just yesterday I almost ditched it because we need groceries. But instead I told myself I could shop today after school and that yoga was important. It’s vital for me right now  to find myself, to explore this new idea of being me…not a wife or mom but me. I think somewhere along this journey of marriage and raising boys, I lost or truly never learned who I was.  I wanted to invest in my children and husband and make their life wonderful without remembering to invest in myself. Yet, If I could go back in the past, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Who am I behind this mask of mom and wife?





This is a woman’s plight…when you find yourself in an empty nest you are faced to really peer in the mirror and see yourself. You try to learn who you are, for along the way you took care of your family as your first priority and forgot about you. It’s an Earth shattering lightbulb moment when you stop and realize that you lost yourself over time. That’s when you pick yourself up and vow to learn. What makes me happy? What can I do to find myself and invest in my being? How can I continue to give to others but also give to myself?


As I start this self discovery journey, I invite you to ponder over your situation! Have you lost yourself along the way? Are you experiencing the same procrastination I practiced with taking care of yourself? For now I’m loving my new journey, writing in blogs and going to yoga. I’m excited what other new activities or hobbies I’ll explore and how I grow as myself during the process.



All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

The Magic 100!🎉🎉🎉

Hello WordPress Family and Friends!

On a frosty January Sunday morning I started writing this blog, on a pure whim. I didn’t know how it would work or even if it would last as long as it has! I just knew in my heart that I had to write, whether it was good or terrible, it had to burst forth on paper ( in this case on my trusty I-pad). It still amazes me that people would want to read about small town country living, coming from me, an ordinary mom and wife. Yet, it is all truly happening and I am beyond thrilled to keep plugging away and sharing my stories!



Now I announce that I have 104 followers with email subscriptions and WordPress friends! With the magic 100 followers I vow to write the best I can with honesty and grace. YOU all have made a difference in my life and given me a valuable project to foster and grow! As I reflect on the last several months I am humbled and grateful for all your involvement, comments and love. There is so much goodness here and not a stitch of negativity to discourage me. This was one of my huge fears, that someone would question my skill and that would’ve crushed me.


Thank you all, once again for believing in me and reading my posts. It means the world to me to have you all here, sharing my life and giving me positive feedback and love.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗



Wild Encounters in the Night



Recently I’ve boasted of our rural area and of the amazing wildlife we host. I failed to mention that we are constantly reminded of just how wild it is and how daring we are to live with it! In the wee darkened hours of a couple of nights ago, A BOOM awakened my husband and my slumber. Usually these night time occurrences result in one of us sleepily padding downstairs to discover our cats in the trash or standing in a mess of something they knocked down and broken. This time, it was different and mysterious.




Tom checked it out, expecting the cat’s chaos and ready to gently scold our tom cat, Smokey. Yet when he dressed on the bedside, he spied our rambunctious kitty in a sleep stupor and our other cat slept in downstairs in the livingroom rocker. When Tom came back to bed ,he informed me everything was intact. Immediately I thought of a break in…even though we’ve never had any here, that doesn’t rule it out. But what was the crash and loud noise coming from the kitchen area or outside or on the roof?



Back to sleep we went after a few light words and questions, we both continued our slumber….until a little later,SUDDENLY another loud noise and incessant prodding at something outside or on the roof or possibly the attic interrupted us once again! This time Tom took his .22 and I know what you’re thinking, but a man’s got to protect his wife and dwelling! Meanwhile I quietly reminded him to make sure it wasn’t a human before he shot, if it was, he could scare him away. I trusted his sound judgment and knew he would do the right thing.



Outside my husband circled our house with flashlight in hand, with determination. I gently opened our bedroom window and heard branches of trees cracking like matchsticks in our backyard, leading us to believe that it was a pretty big animal and it had been trying to get inside!




Morning had broken and with first light, more investigating but we didn’t learn anything. As we braced for the next night, we wondered what animal would be trying to break in….a bear, raccoon, or porcupine? Were they prying boards off the house, pawing at rocks in the foundation or what? As I think and wonder about all this, I really do feel like we are living in wild country, maybe not like the Yukon or the Alaskan rough but somewhere where the wild are unforgiving, relentless and bound to come back soon. It’s the survival game, the same as our plotting our wood pile or filling our freezer for winter. It’s all about winter survival.


Yesterday Tom spent the morning boarding up our home, making sure whatever was trying to burst in, won’t be successful. Last night we slept peacefully with no noises or visitors. As far as we know, it didn’t come back! 


All My Best( shakin’ in my boots),

Heart and Soul❤️

My Home Amid the Fall Foilage


Most of my life my feet have been planted in Northern New Hampshire, where I proudly call home. When I was born until about the age of 6, my family lived in Wilder and Burlington, Vermont. From then on we lived in Lebanon, Haverhill and then Woodsville, New Hampshire. I left home at 19 to seek new exciting places, attending college in Boston. This was a stark difference from rural living I was used to and it just lasted the first semester. My dream was misguided and faded fast. The reality punched me in the face, I missed home. I longed for my family, friends and the small town where everyone knew your name. So I came home and have been here, in New Hampshire, ever since.





The  country way of life that I was raised in is precious and familiar.


It’s also the slow thoughtful living that feels comfortable and not hurried.


The looming mountains that tower in the distance with their majestic forms


guard our place in the world.


My heart chooses this land because of the wild animals that freely roam here


sharing the land with us and granting us moments of peace


and wonder with every glimpse of them.


The people in small towns, who know all your business but will be at your doorstep to help if you need it.


In Autumn the highlight is the enhanced beauty of the landscape


with shades of amber, pinks, and mustard yellows.


Walking down my road the colors serenade me


as crows caw their call and deer saunter in the woods.


Fallen piles of leaves decorate green lawns with pumpkins and scarecrows on display.



Apple trees host ripe red beauties to twist and pick.


Perky pumpkins lay on vines in patches


Turkeys trek across the road often and


Geese fly south, forming a V in the sky above


and I pray they have a safe journey.


imageimageimageimageimageAs all the out of staters travel through and gawk at our beautiful home, I realize how blessed my family and I are, to live here. We rise to the beauty with no travel time and rest at night under coal black skies lit with shining stars. Some people see mere glimpses of this, while we live it everyday!


As you may know by now, this region is so beautiful to me. My soul thrives here amid the spectacular colors and cool night air. It is my home… up north where people live, breathe fresh air and work hard here, raising families and honoring God. It’s a quiet place to raise your children without fear or violence.

I hope YOU all have stopped by here to enjoy fall foliage in October. If not hopefully you’ve indulged in beautiful photographs of our state. It’s a special peaceful place and worth the trip.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️