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 🙂

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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

 

 

Chandler Pond

Our little town hosts serene mountain views as well as farming fields and pastoral hillsides. It’s the type of town you can relax in and absorb all the scenic wonders. One such wonder is lovely Chandler Pond. It sits at the corner of Millbrook and Gale Chandler Road with a mountains in the distance framing it in. Chandler Pond is a man-made water hole and Tom says it was for transporting logs for a business. We are assuming this was many years ago but we don’t know an accurate date.

 

 

Now and then on a spring or summer evening Tom and I will seek peaceful refuge here. A stillness lives here and it settles us. We don’t talk much at Chandler Pond and we don’t need to. We stand and look in this quiet country setting and just be.  Sometimes Tom hooks a fish and others he doesn’t and I don’t think that matters to him other that he is here amid the beauty. It bursts at you right away, for it is reflective of the surrounding trees and mountain ranges.

 

 

There have been moose here and deer nearby. Ducks flock here. Beavers swim and build lodges of sticks and mud. Parading geese and their young trek on the bank. Unfortunately Tom and I had to walk as if in a maze, dodging the poop piles. Most of you must know that geese are great to look at but very messy where they live. It is what it is…a sign of nature.

 

On a July evening Tom and I visited this gem with intentions of seeking peace after a hectic day. Our wishes were met as we walked along the pond and looked for fish, as the night air cooled

There are two places you can park and get out and walk around the freshly mowed edge.The water flows into a spillway, which runs into a winding stream. That’s where Tom likes to cast his fishing pole and catch fish that are stocked there.

 

 

 

Here is the spillway with the Chandler Pond overflow feeding into it. From there it goes in a culvert and into a stream.

 

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This is where Tom fishes over the railing into the brook below

 

 

 

When we first started dating Tom took me on a boat ride here. It was in a cheap blow up boat with plastic oars, one that I won in a work raffle at the store. Shifting every so slightly caused the plastic to squeak and I couldn’t help wondering how sturdy it was. I remember that day and the stillness as my heart fluttered being with this man. Although I should live in the now, coming back to the pond taps into this past memory.

 

How blessed we are to live in this town and reap the ponds rewards. I suggest that you find your peaceful spot in your town. Visit when you need to fill your cup and cherish the silent moments.

 

Chandler Pond in the fall

 

 

Here’s my handsome husband in his element, the outdoors.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Beautiful YOU

I love this quote because it’s so true! Many women need to accept themselves the way they are, including me!Just be yourself…for acting like someone else isn’t you. It’s fake. Do you want to be real and honest? Then just be you. Your friends and family will love you for who you are and the rest of the world doesn’t matter.

I’m placing this quote on my fridge for when I have self-doubt. Isn’t it just easier to be yourself with love and acceptance? I would imagine life will roll a lot smoother when you do this.

 

 

 

Happy summer, friends! I hope you all are enjoying it~

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Lookin’ Up

Recently my sister-in-law Bev and I went shopping to beautiful North Conway, NH to get my dress for Dylan’s wedding. Walking through Settler’s Green mall, I noticed that many people were looking down. Yup, at their cell phones. One lady was enticed with her phone leaving the bathroom stall. I’m surprised she could see where she was going and not bump into me as I waited. 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, I don’t do this. Because I only own a Tracfone and only use it on road trips or vacations. It’s okay…I don’t miss it nor do I need it. I’d rather look up and see these. I’m grateful these amazing clouds caught my eye at lunch today!

 

Wow, look at the pure white against the robin egg blue sky!

 

How cool are these patterns? A translucent sweep of white against a canvas of blue.

 

See what you’re missing if you’re looking down at your cellphone? Beauty. Nature. Things that will pass and change and if you aren’t looking up, you’ll miss it.

 

Thanks to sweet Bev for coming up to visit her brother and I this last weekend. She got to see her brother after a year and a half. She graciously offered to go dress shopping with me. I loved the company and the ride through Crawford Notch was mesmerizing! We found the dress and I’m very thankful that Bev bought it for me. It’s my style…wrap around with a v-neck and I love the colors! Thanks again so much, Bev.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul