The Life I Imagined

Have you ever listened to a song and wondered about the words? Maybe fantasize for a split second…what if things had been different? Don’t we all ask ourselves at one moment or another, how different life would be if we had taken alternate paths?
Years ago I was a busy housewife and mother of two busy sons when I heard Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song He thinks he’ll keep her. I really listened to the lyrics and tried to empathize with this woman’s feelings as a distraught housewife and mother. It was easy to relate to her plight for like any mother, there were times I was overwhelmed with all the responsibility. Although I understood the woman’s feelings in the song, I know deep within me I am happy for the choices I’ve made in my life. The woman in the song walked away from her marriage and never looked back. That’s what she had to do to survive but her story is different than mine.



Once in awhile I think what if? What if I had made different life choices such as joining the Air Force, which I thought of momentarily in my twenties or finished college in Boston 28 years ago? What if I had chosen a career other than a grocery deli worker that I did for 12 years? If I had made any different decisions,  I wouldn’t be where I’m at today! I wouldn’t have met the people I have, especially my mother in law at our workplace at Butsons Supermarket or my husband shortly after. I wouldn’t have my beautiful grown sons or be living in the small town I call home. Dreaming of what if only brings a split second of curiosity but mostly an assurance that the choices I made were perfect for me!





If I had a retry and a chance to change any circumstance of my adult life, I wouldn’t! I feel like my nature would be different and with different experiences brings pain and sorrow at times. If I harbor any ill feelings about my past, it would only be for my low self esteem. I wish I could back up fifteen or twenty years and really work at being confident then instead of now, so much later. Maybe my life would be even richer if I had just told myself, “ You know what, you are okay. More than okay!”



If you’re a teenager or in your twenties and you aren’t sure of what direction to take, trust yourself. Go out on a limb and take chances. Believe in yourself and trust your gut. If your choice feels right, do it and don’t even think about it. Sometimes the pressure of life’s direction is all the thinking we do.


The life I imagined wasn’t even close to as sweet and rich it really is! My dreams were surpassed and I’m living everyday with a grateful attitude and love for this life. It truly is a blessing and gift and with everyday I continue to unwrap it!


I hope YOU are living your dream and that your expectations have been surpassed. Sending many blessings to you all! Embrace your life and all the gifts and even hardships, for that’s how we grow and learn.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️
Mary B.

Why Not Accept Differences?

Why not Accept Differences?


If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be? I would end hate. Hate is a strong obsessive emotion, that has caused many conflicts, murders, and The Holocaust to name a few. You can’t reason with or fix hate. It feeds on anger and ignorance, like a cancer that thrives and needs to be stopped. It’s much easier to feel love for others, rather than hate.

It actually shocks my every being when I overhear people saying nasty hateful things about others. What were they taught from their parents? Especially now, after our chaotic election I still see nasty negative posts about Muslims, Democrats or Republicans, give me a break! Stop judging folks! People are people with many differences and similarities. We have to accept others and what they believe in. Even if it’s not your way or religion, you don’t need to write nasty things on the internet,such as, “ Get out if you’re not a Christian. “ I wouldn’t think Jesus would do that and persecute others. He would’ve tried to convert but wouldn’t punish those who didn’t believe, would he?



Let’s spread love and acceptance to others. Just because someone isn’t like you or believes in the same things, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person. Obviously I’m not condoning erratic and extreme Islam and terrorism, that’s a different story although I don’t hate those people. Just a dislike for their bad choices and violent lifestyle. 


Religion shouldn’t be based on judgment of others and harbor negative resentment. It should spread love, kindness, acceptance and goodwill. I have no desire to be involved with judgment, persecution or intolerance of differences. I choose love instead of hate. Won’t you delete hate from your life?



All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

An Ordinary Day


It’s a Monday
an ordinary day
Most try to wish it away
The back to work scurry
The dreaded frenzy and hurry
People dislike the repetitive song
Playing dully all day long

However, it’s a new beautiful dance
Why not hold on to this chance
Of a new day
And it’s ordinary moments
For they are what makes up a great life
Simply told by a content wife
Accept the quiet and uneventful scene
For that’s what truly is serene.

Thank God for my ordinary day
I woke up able to walk and talk
Work and play
No piled up bills
Oh what a thrill
Of an ordinary day!

I hope YOU are having a great Monday, even if it is ordinary!

All My Best,
Heart and Soul❤️

The Richness of FAMILY




Do you know that first graders learn how to write family early on? They craft letters to their family every week in circle journals and learn how to spell this important word. They can tell you who makes up their family, the obvious ones…mom, dad, sister, brother but they also associate family with love. Even at this young age, children know the importance of family!



With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching fast, I’m thinking of family. One vital component of this feast of plenty and grateful hearts is family and being together.
Being in a family is one of the greatest blessings on Earth. An even greater blessing is to be a part of a healthy thriving family, a group of people who not only love and respect each other, but are friends. It shows in their actions that they enjoy each other’s company, laugh and share memories. I’m proud to say my family is like that.


I know several families that have members not speaking to each other or estranged from their lives. Sometimes family members don’t see eye to eye and maybe they disagree most of the time. Hopefully they can bridge this divide and find common ground? This is so very sad and depressing to me, because to me, family is everything and the hub of my life. I can’t imagine being estranged from my husband, children, parents, sister or brothers. Although I don’t see or hear from my brothers a lot as they live quite a distance from me. Despite this, I know they love me and it’s always special when we connect once a year.




Family is the cornerstone of society and if we BUILD it up instead of breaking it down, our country would be a better place. Do you want to wage peace in this country?
Start with loving your family! You can make a difference in your corner of the wild by respecting, listening and compromising with your family members. Talk to them…don’t shut them out!



If you have a strong family, you are as rich as they come! Love, respect and honor can’t be bought. If you have all these things, consider yourself beyond fortunate and show those people that you love them!


As you celebrate Thanksgiving soon, remember to acknowledge your family. Not only tell them that you are thankful for them in your life, but show it. Spend quality time with those special people, cooking the huge meal, baking a pie together, gathering for coffee and good conversation or a night movie at home. Whatever you do together, cherish that kinship and connection.



All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️

Choose Kindness


Kindness lives within all of us 

All you have to do is nourish it

Let it steer your life direction

Spread cheer wherever you roam.

Be kind to the older lady in the grocery store

Who may only see you during the day

Who may go home to nothing
all alone

Those kind words and precious smiles

could make all the difference in the world!

Start your day by smiling at others

Think kind thoughts

Pray hopeful prayers of kindness

Be happy for people living in success

And understanding and hopeful

for those who drown in sorrow and unhappiness.

Help however you can

Send a message, a phone call, a simple card

A small donation

Always a thoughtful prayer

When you are immersed in an argument or situation

Choose kindness

You don’t have to always be right

Or have the last word

It’s a better feeling to let go

To be kind and walk away

furthermore don’t get in an argument

in the first place!

For the last few years I start my day

Spreading kindness

The minute I arrive at school

I smile and talk to others

I acknowledge people

I always tell the school secretary and whoever is in the office

“ Have a good day!”

It’s the best feeling being kind to others

And it boomerangs back to me

most of the time!

All My Best,
Heart and Soul 💗



An Autumn Tradition in a Country Kitchen💗

This is dedicated to all the bakers out there ,who put their heart and soul in their labor of love, especially my Aunt Sandy who passed away a few years ago.  When I think of my Aunt Sandy, baking with love comes to mind. Her cookies were delicious! She had a special way with baking and gave so much of herself to others. I miss her dearly and know that I’ll see her again someday.





I love aprons and how when I tie one on, I become a baker of yesterday, representing years of aproned mamas baking their hearts out in their comfy warm kitchens.






One of my favorite things in my kitchen is my antique pot rack. I consider it a country kitchen must.







Overlooking my work area with bar and all. Dont mind the dirty dishes. That’s a part of baking and will soon be scrubbed.

Traditions of Autumn and Pumpkin Pie





Not long ago in the midst of our fall setting I wished to bake a pumpkin pie. Every year when autumn arrives and our world wears its vivacious colors among the crooked branches,  I cook and bake comfort foods. Like many cooks, it’s a celebratory way to accept a new season and welcome frosty winter coming soon. It was to celebrate fall’s gifts to our family.





It was a quiet and tranquil Saturday. With my music filling my kitchen and inspiring my soul, I got to work. Twinkling kitchen lights winked at me as I gathered my ingredients. With a hasty snap, on went the the red and white striped apron , that’s when I mean business!
















This year my pie was very different as I experimented a bit with recipes and substitutions. A few months ago, I learned that I’m lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk and it’s products well. I found a good recipe on Pinterest using brown sugar instead of granulated and was up for a change. Next instead of using evaporated milk, I substituted half milk and half almond milk. I know what you are going to ask, did the almond milk make it watery? Believe it or not, it turned out terrific and I decided not to tell my husband about the changes. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t taste anything wrong until you mention the secret ingredients. So I played the hush game and Tom said it was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made! Then I enlightened him and he was fine about it.





Being an old soul and belonging in an old fashioned kitchen, I love the idea of making and rolling out your own pie crust. With that said, can I make a huge confession? I stink at making good pie crust and I’ve discussed this with my mother -in-law many times. It always comes out crumbly and hard to manage, let alone cover a pie plate with. This time I cheated with a Pillsbury pie crust and it was great! There are occasions I try making my own. Thanksgiving is coming up and I’ll make the monumental effort to achieve a good pie crust all by myself!





Doesn’t the beaming light rays transform my pie into something majestic and angelic? He hee, I love this photograph as it depicts my magical feelings for baking in my kitchen, in my home. Baking for me is more than the mixing and molding your goodies to a delicious product. It’s being made in my country kitchen in the peaceful light of my surroundings with my oven and spatial counter space. It’s the heavenly scents wafting in the room and reaching our living area, enough for our cats to wake up and investigate. When I bake I’m transformed to the olden days where mamas spent days by the crackling stoves and hungry husbands came in from the barns with a smile and loving wink. It’s almost like I go inside a farmhouse from long ago and live that simple life for a bit.


Happy baking to all mamas and papas out there! This is a simple reminder to live in the joyful moments of your loving labors, whatever they made be.😉





From my country kitchen to yours!

All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️

How A Cat Can Be Your Best Friend😽

Beautiful miss Katie, the elder of the kitties at 13 1/2 years old. 





Winking Smokey, the character of the house


Pets are a huge part of the family, for they sleep at your feet and accept you unconditionally everyday. Some people are both cats and dogs lovers, while others definitely choose sides in the cats versus dogs age old competition. Some people prefer dogs, saying they’re man’s best friend. They dislike cats and their independence and attitude. They say they don’t compare to dogs. I understand this thinking, but I’m a cat lover and I’ll tell you why.



Cats are loving and cozy companions. Many dog lovers don’t believe this, but it’s true! Whether it’s their rubbing up against your leg, cuddling on the couch or purring loudly when scratched, cats show their love and do appreciate attention. Our cat Smokey is so affectionate and wants to be close to us that he sleeps on our bed at our feet. He greets us at the door with his meowing whiny chatter and shows his love constantly.


Mischievous and unpredictable, as Smokey opened up a paper bag ( for kindling) to sleep in.


Did I hear something?


Cats sense danger and will help you through it. I know this first hand….several times my cats have tried to help when they thought there was trouble. One time I slept right through the alarm clock and it kept annoyingly beeping like a truck backing up. This prodded Smokey to incessantly meow and attempt to wake me up, even clawing my hair. He thought the waking alarm meant danger!



Cats’ independence  can work to your advantage! When going on vacation, a pet sitter or dog walker isn’t necessary. All you need is a person to stop by to fill up the food and water bowls. You can scoop the litter boxes when you get home. Unless you’re gone for a week, then it may be necessary to have your person do that.




Cats are just as loyal with unconditional love as dogs. People say dogs are man’s best friend but why can’t cats play this role? They can….our cats listen to us but with attitude, follow us around the house, and love us just as much as a dog could. They provide company with a roaring deep purr. Maybe you’re not convinced, maybe you still think dogs are better pets. That’s okay… but I’ll continue to love my cats, be grateful for them and value them as part of our family. 


Treat your kitties to a fresh fresh piece of fish as a treat! We had baked fish for dinner tonight and gave Katie and Smokey some! They were ecstatic! 





All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗





USA Election…it’s finally over!




I voted this week, hoping to make a difference in my state of New Hampshire and  my country. Both my sons voted, exercising their right and speaking their voice. I’m so proud of them for doing this and caring about our country. Even though my heart and soul wasn’t in my vote, sadly the results are far from what I wanted.


My vote was against Trump’s name calling, and his bullying of people with disabilities. From the beginning I saw how he treated women, judged them and talked down to them. I couldn’t imagine investing in him and trusting him, a person who is like that. I have to be honest here, I voted simply to defeat him. I had my doubts about my candidate but voted anyway, believing that this was the right thing to do.


The people have spoken and all I can say is God be with Trump as he leads our great county, a place where I’m proud to be and even if I didn’t support the president- elect I would never think of moving to Canada. ( That’s the trend that certain celebrities are contemplating doing that.)


I was watching Maria Shriver on her Facebook post and she said something that was courageous and open minded. She was devestated with the election results but called her Trump supporting friends to have an honest conversation about why they supported him. With her inspirational words, it made me realize that we all must accept others opinions and respect them. We, as a people must come together instead of shouting and being opinionated about who should run our country. Politics makes us angry and passionate about being right. I don’t want to be that way but was that way recently. I wish to live in peace and accept.




For now I’ll get over it and accept that Trump will be our next president. I pray that he will be a positive leader and fair to all. I pray that he can help straighten out Washington and hold the people serving us accountable. As I reflect on these results, one thing comes to mind.  Everything  rests in how we carry ourselves, if we get along and agree to disagree. We all want the same things, to see peace and posterity and to see the USA come together and get things done. With all that said, I will continue to make peace in my family, my small town and live in kindness and peace.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Thanksgiving Anticipation


Our Thanksgiving table set last year, of mismatched dishes and tableware, each with its own history and story.
Tom’s cherry pie I bake every year

November is upon us once again! It’s the time New England’s brilliant colors fade. Grass and brush turn brown while gardening dreams rest until next spring. Squirrels and chipmunks scatter about, rolling nuts and seeds preparing for the blanket of snow, soon to come. We all scramble for snow tire appointments and most people fill their fuel tanks, as we load up on cut wood for our stove.




As our clocks fall back an hour tonight and we earn our extra hour of sleep under the cozy flannel sheets, my thoughts and plans concentrate on the holidays. It’s a joyous season for family and friends, a time of feeling grateful for Earth’s bounty. The special family memories come to mind of connecting with those from afar. Mouth watering visions of hefty plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables and dessert goodies bring aromas to life. Close relatives laugh and chatter, tucked in at the table of plenty. Past years of country walks in the crisp air and movies generating a room full of hearty laughter come to mind. Grateful thoughts and prayers hang thick among us, as we each count our many blessings of the past year.



Growing up my Thanksgiving memories involve family and a big feast for all. Roasted turkey and stuffing, orange winter squash ( which I detested as a child….I learned to love it) and pies that mom made. I remember our Doyle family of six eating dinner along with our grandparents, long passed away. As I got older, my mom worked at a nursing home and had to work on holidays. Sometimes she worked on Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. This schedule helped teach the value of family, for there was a significant void when my mom wasn’t around. I didn’t like it when she had to work, it seemed like everything was on hold. Now I understand that the people in the nursing home needed mom every day of the year, including Thanksgiving. Although I have fleeting memories of Thanksgiving, my true nostalgic thoughts lie with Christmas. It was a magical time, of family and festivities and trimming the tree listening to dad’s country hits on the stereo record player. Those memories will emerge in my Christmas posts.




My family at Thanksgiving time
I’m thankful for the blessings of family


My husband and I have always spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with our sons. We’ve been blessed to be able to share these special holidays with them, enjoying every moment. Despite this, as the coming years approach and they grow in their own lives, this may not always be. Circumstances may arise, distance, jobs, families grow and decisions have to be made where to go on holidays. It’s tough deciding, for everyone wants to share in its joys. So for now this means much to me…to be able to enjoy them and Dylan’s girlfriend Lexie who has become a part of the family.






When dreaming of Thanksgiving, I think of tasty turkey, homemade gravy, homemade pumpkin pie, cherry pie that I bake for Tom every year and so many other delectables.  I look forward to using leftover bird in potpies and cranberry stuffing sandwiches.Our cozy cats slumber, curled in furry balls along the fire until the turkey scent wakes them from their slumber. Then they transform into polite table side beggars.



I may have convinced you that the food is the center of it all, but I mislead you, for family is the importance of the day. Being with my husband, my sons Dylan and Branden, Alexis, my sister in law, Bev and brother in law Chris around the table, talking, laughing, sharing, that’s what it’s about. Although we all enjoy the food, it could be take out or sandwiches if things got hard, and the blessings would remain. I would feel grateful for our connections, our health, our lives as we branch out on our own while our roots stay connected. I feel this way with Tom’s mother and family in Florida, although we don’t spend Thanksgiving together, our connections and history remain the same, strong.




As there are a few weeks to go, the countdown to Thanksgiving starts. In the meantime, I’ll plan my dishes to serve, choose my table settings and most importantly thank God for my family and my many blessings in this life.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️

Turkey Trek








It’s a Monday afternoon

In the smoky cloudy shade of the day

I happen to glance out my window

Turkeys trek down the country road

A north country tradition

A flock of fowl peck and scratch

On an Autumn mission

In scattered droves.

They dig in the dried grass

looking for bugs

Cars pass by and slow engines to take a gander

One honks it’s horn

As a stray bird wanders in the road

Turkeys have taken over…

With crunchy leaves blowing off trees

and a chilly air signaling snow

I think there’s a panic in the air

A sudden scurry for food

To prepare for nature’s season change

Little do they know that November is here!

In a few weeks they may want to hide

For Thanksgiving will soon arrive.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️