A LOVE of Words

 

This post is dedicated to my brother, David Doyle, who fostered my love of books. Thank you, brother for caring enough to inspire and teach me!

My cousin Janice, me in the middle at about seven years old, and my little sister Barbie on the right. Even at this young age I loved words, written and spoken!

 

 

I’ve always been a lover of words, spoken and read. That love was born as early as I can remember and grew even deeper when I realized the precious freedom of speaking with my own voice. As a young girl I gabbed incessantly driving everyone crazy! Then one day this profound  devotion evolved when I picked up a book. My older brother, David, influenced me greatly by buying me classics like Little Women and Black Beauty. By  becoming an avid reader and indulging in books, I learned how the world worked in so many exciting and diverse ways. The written word served me with many hours of leisure in my bedroom or outside in the yard and still does.

 

 

 

 Now that you’ve learned of my adoration of language, you can surely understand why writing is so precious to me! It’s been yet another medium to freely share my thoughts. The babbling overflow spills onto the pages as I type, a freedom of expression that has developed into an appendage like possession. This encompassing passion is fueled by my deep seated NEED to affect readers in some way. I  can only wish that others, especially the children I work with at school can feel this empowering emotion and release in writing!

 

 

 

It’s apparent that I’m a lover of words, for they dominate my kitchen in every way! Everywhere you turn a sign, plaque or picture almost shouts words at you and you can’t help but “read the room’ as you go. I never realized this before until I wrote this post. Unconsciously I’ve surrounded myself with little pieces of languages, pieces that heal and spread joy.

 

While eating a breakfast of toast and honey or a scrumptious bowl of granola and fruit, I can see Live, Laugh, Love staring at me and I feel so blessed to be able to do all those things and I can thank my family for that.

 

 

 

 

 

A little quaint postcard bearing an adorable black cat stares at me while I wash the dishes and it says, Someone Loves you. Thanks, Mom for your love and your artwork! 

 

 

I’ll post on my mom’s artwork in the future.

 

 

 

My newest words I acquired recently is my Just Roll With it sign. If I’m having a bad day and ready to cry tears of frustration, perhaps that advice will help me to let it roll. I want to mention that I bought this from a fellow blogger, Jodi at Creativelifeinbetween.  I love her blog and her little Etsy store, Mckinney x2 designs. She creates amazing artwork prints and notecards and her daughter-in-law paints the whimsical signs, of which I own two! Check out their store and read Jodi’s beautiful and creative blog at Creativelifeinbetween.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you notice how there is a message or word trend in products? If not, when you shop next, notice the products donned with inspirational words.  It appears that consumers, like me , crave these bits of language. These are words that drive success and serve as a motivation for a fulfilled life of happiness.

 

My little collection of words envelope me in joy, for their inspirational message and little reminders of kindness fill my cup to an overflow. It helps me to go about my day and enhances my life in small yet significant ways!   I really love words and how they can grasp at the emotions within you and squeeze tight.

 

Notice how you can read words everywhere you go! Some suggest hate or division. Others support happiness and instill a foundation of peace. You can choose which messages to live by and to read. Others simply ignore and stay positive. 

 

 

With this,  I hope you have a joyful day filled with meaningful words… whether they are spoken, read or written. Enjoy the message and pause to reflect.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

An Ice Cream Cake

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Look out, Carvel! I’ve found an ice cream cake recipe and with my family’s approval, I’m deserting ( haha, what a pun) the expensive store bought cakes and making my own! I’ve made similar recipes before by simply placing layers of ice cream in an Oreo crust with whipped cream on top. This time is just a bit different because of the added toppings.

 

 

 

This time I chose my recipe from Dashingdish.com where the author provided a low fat version. I doctored it a bit to include regular cookie dough ice cream ( one of my husband’s favorites) and original Cool Whip. I figure if we are going to have dessert then it doesn’t need to be a low fat version. If I wanted that, I’d throw together a fruit salad. No, we’re going all the way with this one! I’m not generally a fan of whipped topping so instead I make real whipped cream.  This time I tried it and it came out great!

 

I- premade Oreo pie crust

½ gallon ice cream of your choice, softened

1- 8 oz. Cool Whip topping, thawed

Fudge sundae sauce or topping

8-10 Oreo cookies crushed, with rolling pin

Chopped candy ( I used Reese’s Cups)

 

 

 

Set out ice cream and whipped topping at room temperature. It took about 15 minutes for the ice cream and 30 minutes or so for the Cool Whip. Then combine the two, stirring until mixed together. 

 

Take Oreo crust from pie pan and crumble in a 10” springform pan tightly closed. Press down and flatten so it’s  even. I know what you’re thinking…what a shortcut! If you wish, simply buy Oreo cookies and crush to flatten in pan. 

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Put 1\2 of soft ice cream in pan spreading around so it’s even.

 

 

Sprinkle crushed Oreos over the ice cream layer.

 

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Get rid of that housewife aggression and crush some Oreos today! Haha

 

 

Top the cake with swirls of fudge topping, chopped up candy or chocolate chips and nuts if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The finished product and oh, boy was it yummy!

 

 

 

When I served this cake, I left it out on the counter for about 8 minutes just so that it was easy to cut through and it worked pretty well. This cake was for my husband Tom’s birthday, he turned 57 over a week ago. It was super easy and delicious for any occasion. 

 

 

I hope you are all having a great start to your week! I’ll probably have another post or two this week so be on the look out!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

A Garden in July

 

 

 

 

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I’ve allowed a lot of space this year so I’m hoping it grows in some. From left to right eggplant, carrots, broccoi with cauliflower in the back, swiss chard, thyme and basil, squashes to the right.

 

 

 

When I think of summer weather, my thoughts focus on my vegetable garden. My blogger friend Rhonda asked if I ever post my garden’s progress so this post was born. Thanks, Rhonda! I believe that my last garden post was last month in the beginning of its birth. Since then all the vegetables have sprung up.

 

 

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It’s been crazy weather here in northern New Hampshire! We’ve had beaucoup amounts of rain to the point of affecting some back roads. Tom knows all about that,  as he works as an assistant road agent and has been drastically trying to bandage the town roads. About 2 weeks ago a powerful rain storm reaped havoc on our region, similar to hurricane weather and we even had a rare tornado warning. My husband heard that in our area we had 2-4 inches of rain in an hour! Since then we’ve had copious amounts of rain! At times my garden soil has resembled a pit of clay but after a few sun baked days, it dries out again until the next rainfall.

 

I can’t help wonder where summer is hiding, behind the clouds? Despite that and on a positive note, we have had some gleaming sun shining as well, just not enough for people to be completely satisfied.

 

 

 

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My scant rows of corn, cucumber plants next (ready to be staked tepee style, I’ll post that update when it’s done), eggplants, carrots.

 

 

 

Today has been a bright sunshine filled day, lovely growing weather for my babies! As they shoot up full and reach to the sky, I’ll post their progress! Until then if you’re a gardener, enjoy your labors, breathe the fresh air and absorb the God given sunlight.

 

All My  Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

A Lovely tomato plant

 

Laura’s Spirea Bushes

 

My front yard has come to a vibrant life! With our annual posies framing our house front, a vibrant splash of color greets passers-by.  A few weeks ago I noticed how my Spirea   bushes have grown immensely since I received  them. Two years ago my co- worker, Laura Mulkigian gave me these full green beauties for my birthday. That day she also made me a strawberry cake and all the girls at lunch ate some in celebration. Every time I glance at these beauties, I’ll think of her. She recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, something I’m trying to come to terms with. ❤

 

 

 

Before

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Look at how tiny one of the bushes was!

 

After. Click on the link for picture from Microsoft Word. 

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It was our first year in our new house and I proudly planted them in front of our house, one on each side of the steps. These lovely shrubs host many small leaves  and have grown magnificently!  Both of them are spreading a few feet wide and are about two feet high.  In the beginning we didn’t realize how big these bushes would grow! We may have to cut them back so they don’t block our window.  I expect them to continue the growth spurt and as that happens I’ll replant my hostas to allow more breathing room. 

 

 

 

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As October dawned an autumn glow in hues of orange and reds, the bushes sported the same fiery colors.  Notice how the sky casts a pinkish color to match the scene. This was taken last fall. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirea betulifolia TOR bushes flourish with tiny white  flowers in June even though the tag states that they bloom in the fall. I’m going to research  it and feed them fertilizer to help the blossoms. This year it mildly hosted just a few flowers so my future goal is to have full bushes of flowers of a beautiful veil of white.  It would be wonderful to see it bloom twice in the summer!

 

 

 

Do you have any unique bushes in your yard? Have they grown much larger than you expected? In coming years we’ll keep an eye on “ Laura’s bushes” and trim them if needed. I truly feel blessed that I have these to remind me of Laura. 

 

 

 

Happy days to you all and thanks for stopping by! It means the world to me to have such lovely ” pen pal” blogging friends! 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

 

A Family of Marys

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My grandmother Gould with my Mom as a baby and my Aunt Sandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A blurry black and white of three Marys, my cousin Mary ( Ellen), my grandomther Mary( Elizabeth) and me as a baby ( Mary Elizabeth)

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a mere squirt I remember being called, “ little Mary” from my aunt Sandy and her family. The reason being was that we had a few Marys and it got confusing when all of us were around each other. I liked the nickname for it made me feel special in some way.

 

 

 

My great grandmother was a Mary, my maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth, ( who I was named after!), my cousin on my maternal side was Mary and yet another cousin on the paternal side Mary. I must include my sweet sister-in=law Mary Ellen! She is a dear person and continues the Mary tradition. All my love to her. Whew….that’s a lot of Mary’s for the family to sort out and differentiate from!

 

 

 

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My grandmother’s  high school picture

 

 

I’m proud of my given name and I believe that the old world origin fits my personality. Sometimes I feel like an old soul and that living long ago would have suited me, especially in Victorian times. I’m truly grateful that my mom and dad named me this!

 

 

Do you have a well used family name that stays alive by being passed on? I hope you do…there’s a lot of history and meaning in a name.

 

 

All My Best,

Mary aka Heart and Soul

 

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

 

 

A few months ago I read somewhere that “comparison is the thief of joy.” Ever since I keep revisiting that thought. It stuck with me because truthfully I’ve compared my life to others, when I was younger. Haven’t we all compared our life to another at one time or another? Maybe you’ve had fleeting thoughts of that how unfair it is that a person gets all the good breaks. How come that person seems anointed with luck and you continue to receive the short end of the straw? 

 

 

It all stemmed from insecurities and what seemed to be competition from others. I think I, like many people, have developed a strong sense of self and with that competition and comparison has thankfully fizzled! As that maturity ages like a fine wine, my realization has been that engaging in this is a negative act.

 

 

I know some people who compete with others in everything they do and fortunately I’m not made of  the same cloth. I’m just me and live the way I want, free of that whirlwind race. It shows how unhappy some people are and how comparisons can be toxic and damaging to their lives. 

 

 

 

I try to think of it this way, EVERYONE LEADS A DIFFERENT LIFE! You have been led on a unique path, a collage  of all your experiences that have happened to you. Have faith in your path and remember that your journey is entirely unique.

 

 

 

 

Stop comparing! Be happy with what’s dealt to you and refrain from toxic comparing. Sometimes it seems like others have a free ride, but you don’t know the whole story and they may not be happy. What matters is your joy and truly loving your moments, without longing for someone else’s life. Feel the joy in your life and cherish those special moments without comparing. Once you LIVE and LOVE YOUR life, there’s a freedom and a let go of comparisons.

 

 

 

Relish the joyful times and stay strong during the rough bumps. Maybe you’ve had a hard period and times have tested you but it WILL end. Stay positive, pray for guidance and be happy for people. You will join them in your own blessings soon enough but for now it’s a test. Do you have the strength to pass? I think so!

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️