Eagles on the Ice🦅

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A sunny Saturday in the low 60’s in New Hampshire is a warm invitation for a little car ride. I wore short sleeves for the first time in months and had my special sunglasses for the glare. Windows rolled down, my husband and I rode around and watched snow melting in culverts and he observed the back road conditions, as it’s his job.

 

 

 

 

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We casually drove by Pearl Lake and glanced towards the water. A white Chevrolet was parked off to the right and a teenager was leaning out of the window looking through binoculars. It doesn’t matter what time of year, when you see a stopped car and binoculars you know there’s wildlife nearby. Locals as well as tourists excitedly dig for cameras and their binoculars for a chance to share in the amazing rare sight.

 

 

 

 

Two eagles were perched proudly out on the ice. Tom thinks there was a male or female, maybe setting up shop and nesting near the lake. There’s also the possibility that the larger one was a female and the smaller one her young. We are not sure how long eaglets stay with their mother so it’s just speculation.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we weren’t prepared so we rushed home minutes away and hurriedly grabbed Tom’s binoculars and my iPad with its camera. When you leave a mesmerizing sight like that, there’s the great possibility that they’ll move on  before you hurry back but we took the chance and hoped for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

Racing back to the serene and beautiful lake, we spotted the twosome still. Tom said that there was a fish or two on the ice and they were chipping away at it and devouring chunks of them. A little quaint ice fishing shanty stood nearby. We speculated that ice fishermen may have left them or had the eagles pried them out of the ice? We will never know but we do know for certain it was a special occasion and something you don’t see everyday!

 

 

 

 

 

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After we gawked at the eagles for fifteen minutes, Tom and I decided to be on our way and let them be. If we happen to check the lake again, I’ll bring my Canon camera with a better zoom than my iPad. The pictures I took show the figures but not close up. I deeply apologize that I don’t have better ,sharper pictures to share with you so you’ll have to use your imagination to zoom in!

 

 

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What a beautiful day it was, in our corner of the world. Little did we know what magnificent sight we would stumble upon. That’s how wonderful a country ride can be…little unexpected surprises can happen anytime and you just have to be aware and looking for them.

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤

The Stories You Keep

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taken from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

“ Forty three years old and the war occurred half a lifetime ago and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it last forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, where there is nothing to remember except the story.”

From The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien

 

 

 

 

A few years back my son Dylan had a school assignment to read the prolific and passionate work, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. He wasn’t enthusiastic about it, for he dislikes reading unless it’s about baseball or hunting. Since I’m an avid reader and lover of books, I dove right in and got myself a copy too. I figured that I could read it myself and maybe have meaningful conversations with Dylan about it.

 

 

 

 

 

I think as he read O’Brien prolific words, he started to think about war and the emotional and human cost it bears. We would talk about certain parts and I think that helped him with his assignment. As this progressed, I started writing notes from the text, fascinated with O’Brien’s words and feelings. It placed me in a soldier’s boots in Vietnam and into their fascinating but terrifying world. I loved O’Brien’s writing because it stirred up feelings inside my gut and that’s when you know it’s good.

 

 

 

 

Aside from war stories, I believe everyone has a distinct story. Every story is special , whether it’s heart breaking, life changing or remarkable, it doesn’t matter. It can reveal truths and explain why someone is the way he is. A story can trigger forgiveness and understanding. It can connect you to another time and place and that can be as exciting as being in the present. These tales need to be told to family members, friends and acquaintances for in life, a simple story can change everything.

 

 

 

 

Stories can sometimes be nightmares, told of horrors and indecencies that we would never wish upon our enemies. Yet even these stories need to be told, for they connect the past and present.If they weren’t told or recorded, then they would fade away and it would be as if they didn’t happen. When they are spoken from generation to generation, it remains real and  it can teach lessons. We can always learn from events in the past and make sure our story is enacted differently.As Tim O’Brien says, stories are sometimes all we have when we forget how we got from where we were to where we are.

 

 

 

 

If you or your family has a special story, make sure to share it with others. Write it down in a journal or publish it for others to enjoy or learn from. Embrace the art of storytelling…around a dining room table or a cozy campfire. It doesn’t matter where you tell it, as long as you do!

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend this book, From the Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It brought me right there, in the thick of the fight and I truly felt the misery and emotion. I loved his descriptive writing and it made me think about war and dying and a soldier’s sacrifice. I’m eternally grateful for all American soldiers and all that they have sacrificed for our way of life and our freedom. 🇺🇸

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

Happy Birthday, Son

Twenty one years ago my life changed forever. I knew it would…but I didn’t fantham how amazing motherhood was until our son was born and swaddled on my chest. As he lay kicking and thrusting his little arms to and fro, my heart grew with immense love. Our first son was a beautiful gift from God and he made Tom’s and my life even more richer than it was. Our little family was born and from that day on my life seemed complete.

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I have many fond memories of little Dylan with his thick chestnut brown hair and green eyes. His first word was ball, true to his nature as he grew up to play baseball and love it with his every being. From day one of t- ball to senior year on the varsity team, he played with all that he had and he became really skilled at it. Dylan ended up being a valuable pitcher on the team and one of its leaders. It was a joy to attend most of his games with his grandmother. We traveled to the games with our fold up chairs and proud smiles every time. I do miss those days!

 

 

It’s been an amazing 21 years raising Dylan and getting to see him grow from an energetic boy to a handsome man. He has made Tom and I proud by his kindness, sense of humor and strong work ethic.

 

 

 

 

Today and everyday I thank God for both our sons and celebrate Dylan . Happy Birthday dear Dylan with all my love and blessings.

Written by a proud mama

All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤

In the Middle of the Night

 

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There was just silence that night. Snow fell continuous but with a quiet voice. Lying on my side, I slept in a dreamy slumber. My husband was out plowing all night, so I’m deeply surprised that I could sleep. My cat Smokey was restless, scampering up and downstairs, instead of his usual sleep on our bed. Whenever Tom is out plowing, the cat patrols up and downstairs, with a determination that’s unmatched. Once he arrives home, our ebony black friend greets him with vigor and then goes to bed.

 

 

 
I dreamt in a tranquil state. Suddenly I heard a loud noise! It jolted me up and I wearily glanced at the clock,  a blaring red 2:00 am shined at me. What in the world? I asked myself. It was my car down below in the driveway, starting up! Light rays glowed over the driveway, projecting shadows on my ceiling. I sat there propped up in bed in disbelief!

 

 

 

 
Half asleep, I lay there thinking that it was just a dream. I quickly went back to sleep dreaming of crazy cars in my driveway and flashes of light streaming from vehicles. When I awoke at 4:30 am, I trudged downstairs, pretty much forgetful of the occurrence. As I padded to my coffee pot and stretched my arms up, I sleepily glanced out my kitchen window. No car was there! I blinked and double checked. Sure enough… my eyes were truly seeing that my car was gone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thrust my pink plush robe on and slipped on my big boots and jacket. The detective in me came to life, as I ventured outside to see if there were any clues around the house.  Frosty air sent shivers up my spine. Clutching our big spotlight flashlight, I spotted huge boot tracks embedded in the snow, right to our doorstep. A little voice within told me to walk around the house. The mysterious tracks wrapped around our house leading to the side dirt road. This led me to believe that the intruder/ thief came from this dark road.

 

 

 

 
Frantically I called the state police, who police our little town. It takes some time for them to arrive, which is quite unsettling in an emergency. I never got a phone call back or a visit but it’s okay and I’ll explain that. There I was in disbelief that this horrendous act could actually happen in my small town. I had left our house unlocked for Tom because he knew he would be tired from work and not want to wrestle with his key.

 

 

 

 

Two hours later while my anxiety was through the roof and I was waiting for the police to call, I messaged my mother in law for support. She’s always been there for me and this was no different. Awhile later, Tom called. He told me to call back the police and cancel. In the middle of the night, he  had gotten the plow stuck a mile up the dirt road. Unfortunately he had to walk down in the dark and cold to our house. Coy dogs chanted their calls and the night was pretty dark as he made his way down the road. Hurriedly he took my car to get back to the shop in order to grab the other vehicle.

 
What’s the lesson from this story? Don’t jump to conclusions right away. Write your wife a quick note that you have the car. Lock the door when your husband is away at night and make sure he has the key.

This proves that a little nail biting excitement does occur in a small town! Now I have a story to tell and I’m relieved that  my car is here! This story has a happy ending and I’m thankful for that!

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Wintry Wednesday

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This is the second significant snowfall in the last two days. On Monday our school called a snow day, like hundreds of other schools in New Hampshire. This day we went to school and shortly after, soft snow drizzled from the sky. As the day wore on, it piled up and made the road look greasy and difficult.

 

I came home with soggy boots and a wet coat after spending several minutes scraping the car off of heavy snow. I slowly made my way home, just five minutes up the hill from school. That’s a blessing, that I don’t have far to travel to work!

As I turned the key in the lock, I could hear our kerosene monitor flip on in the kitchen. A band of warmth hit me as I came in and of course I was greeted by our town crier, my black cat Smokey. I went right to work because the  stove needed stoking and wood piled in our rack.

Glancing out the livingroom window, the snow piling up was inspiration for a few pictures…just in case I forget all this in June!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

 

Our Backyard Game Trails

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.

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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, packing the car and coming home to put away goods is redundant. Yet this day, I had a grand gift waiting for me! As usual I backed my car in the driveway because it’s easiest taking the bags out. As soon as I lulled the engine and turned it off, something within me knew there was something on the trail.

 

 

 

 

Peering through snow frosted trees were seven deer. There’s a lone apple tree there and so I speculate that they dig under the snow for dropped apples. They all stood there, basking in the winter background unaware of my presence in the car. I rolled my window down and simply gazed. Four deer were adults and maybe does but my husband ( my expert) wasn’t with me so I really don’t know. Three young deer were in the mix following the elders’ lead.

 

 

 

This is our woods landscape leading to the pond. My garden sits entrenched in snow.

 

 

 

I wish I had my iPad or camera with me to snap photos. It was postcard material and a picture of beauty and tranquility. Suddenly our house door burst open and my husband came out to help with groceries. I’m thankful he does this, even though my back is stronger from physical therapy and exercising.

 

 

 

We watched them cautiously cross the road, taking their time. Two stopped dead in the middle and stood. I held my breath, for this slope in the road is dangerous and people fly down it going 50 mph. Along they went, one at a time, a parade of chestnut brown beauties and into the wooded forest across the street. Within minutes it was just a memory and they nestled among the trees for camouflage.

 
When I think of the yearly activity on the trail, I picture all our wild friends who trek it. Deer, turkeys, bobcats ( I saw one the other morning and thought it was a house cat, but with closer scanning I discovered the bobtail), bear, foxes, and porcupines. They all use it…as if to bid a good day and we silently soak it all in as they cross.

 

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A snowy scene this morning…to the left is the second game trail and across the road beyond the stop sign is a popular apple tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s amazing that we have a second game trail bordering our opposite side of the yard. A few feet from our front yard bordering a dirt road, a trail weaves out of the woods and past our neighbor’s apple tree. Many deer make their way here and eventually climb up the steep ridge into the woods.

 

 
I wait with an anticipation that’s bubbling over and I’m expecting more fascinating creatures to pass by, on either trail. It makes Tom and I happy because we love nature and animals. As they cross for necessity, we watch with a steadfast curiosity. It’s like we live on a nature reserve and proudly reap all its rewards. We are so blessed to live here!

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

Scrapbook Cookbook

 

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About ten years ago I revamped my recipe collection in a big way. First I threw out my dilapidated recipe box and hauled out recipes that I never used. Second, I found a cute whimsical Susan Branch cookbook kit with scrap booking pages and stickers. The book was cheap enough but cheaply made too, as I found out this year.

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Like many housewives who cook everyday, my recipe book started to show wear and tear. Then one day after making a delicious meal for my family, the books’ binding fell apart.  I busily shoved it on my little shelf in the kitchen and soon forget it’s desecration. Every time I reached for my recipe collection, the broken book with pages falling out reminded me that I had been doing this awhile and my book couldn’t keep up.

 

Last week, on an energetic whim, I set my mind to repairing and giving new life to my book. I searched our file cabinet and found a 1 ½ inch binder that one of the boys had used for school. I recycled it at the end of that year and put it in my stash of “ maybe I’ll use that someday.” I’m grateful for that because sometimes I throw things out in an organization fit.

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Next I found plastic page protectors to slip all the handwritten and computer copied recipes in. I highly recommend this step because we all know cooking can be messy and can stain and alter our nice cards.

 

What I especially love about the Susan Branch cookbook kit was that it supplied folders with heading for extra recipes. What I’ve always done is displayed my favorites, family favorites,my mom’s recipes,  Tom’s mom and dad’s and meme’s staunch winners on the pages and others can rest in the folders.

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I bought the cookbook scrapbooking kit on Amazon but you could do it yourself, if you have the supplies needed. You would need a 1 ½ inch binder, scrapbook pages, stickers, recipe cards, pouches for the miscellaneous recipes and page protectors. If you do buy the scrapbook kit, try to find one with a sturdy binder or buy the binder separately.

 

Now I can’t wait to cook and use my cookbook, that I gave new life to. It’s the little things that make me happy in the kitchen.

 

Good luck scrapbooking and happy cooking!

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul