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 ❤

 

 

My Top Ten Summer Ideas

My Top Ten Summer Ideas….

 

These are just a few things you can do this summer ( in no specific order, just try them all)

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1. Have your morning coffee on your deck or outside table! Here in New Hampshire the evenings and mornings are mostly cool. The refreshing air wakes you up and of course that delicious cup of Joe tastes delicious outside! Listen to all the summer birds sing their morning song and be grateful for it. I’ve indulged in this tranquil time twice and intend to do it more this summer.

 

 

2. Go for walks before or after work. I find lately I really enjoy walking in the morning while there are less cars and more wildlife. I bring my camera for that sudden photo opportunity and have a little bell to ring to scare off bears. Truth be told I think most bears are more scared of us but the thought of a protective mama bear and her cubs crosses my mind now and then. 

 

 

 

3. Add fruit to your lemonade or iced tea pitcher. I was planning on doing this anyway but I was surprised one day when I caught my son Branden making it. His first pitcher was an experiment and the lemonade tasted primarily of watermelon. Since then he’s abandoned the watermelon idea and instead added a small amount of raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. It’s super easy…wash them good, cut the ends off the strawberries and pick the little stems from the blueberries. Blend well in your blender and then add to iced tea or lemonade! If you don’t have fresh fruit but you have a lemon or lime, slices of that make the drink special too! Don’t forget to add lots of ice to the pitcher!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Fire up the grill and smoker! Marinate beef, chicken, pork, shrimp…you get the idea and grill while you sip a glass of wine. Sit out at your outside table while grilling and enjoy it. Grill corn on the cob or veggies. Sometimes I use foil for potatoes or veggies to grill or I have a grilling pan meant for the high heat to cook sides dishes. It works great and cleans up well.

 

 

 

5.Visit your local ice cream stand! I am lactose intolerant but found that a soft serve cone doesn’t bother me. Yummy! Enjoy that juicy watermelon, sweet strawberries and blueberries, crisp corn on the cob and fresh garden veggies picked from the soil. I know what you’re thinking, that some of my favorite summer things are definitely  foods but how can you truly enjoy summer without relishing in it’s cuisine?

 

 

 

 

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Lovely Pearl Lake in Lisbon, New Hampshire

 

6. Go to the lake. Go fishing (only if you have a license), take a boat ride and snap photos and  swim in the fresh water. Watch the trout jump and the ducks dive for bugs and relish in the goodness of it all. Bask in the sun and be thankful for the quiet moments away from work and the stresses of everyday life.

 

 

7. Visit new places, especially ones that are just open this season. I’ve lived in the north country all my life and I’m just minutes from Mount Washington but I’ve never been up it. This summer Tom and I may ride the Cog Railroad up the Mountain. A hot July day can be cool or even snowy so bring a jacket and take in the amazing views! I’ll keep you posted if we go on this adventure!

 

 

8. Read books! Compile a wishlist…I do this on Pinterest and record the books I read every summer. So far I’ve read Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman. I just picked up The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and look forward to it. She is such a great writer and when I read her books, it flows. A great book sucks you in and you don’t want to put it down. If you’re making yourself read  a book just to finish it but you don’t ENJOY it, discard it! Reading is for enjoyment so choose something that excites and fascinates you.

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9.  Do you have a green thumb? Then start a Garden! In our neck of the woods it’s a short growing season but a beautiful way to become one with nature and feel peace in your heart. Perhaps you want to grow a small garden…if so, plant seeds that grow fast like lettuce, spinach, and radishes. You could always garden in containers, with already grown plants, flowers or herbs. I make it a point to browse through my gardens everyday but if you work then try to tend to it a few times a week. If these ideas aren’t possibilities, definitely seek local farmer’s markets. They sell all home grown vegetables and fruits, honey, have cut flowers, hand made crafts, and many other goods.

 

10.Last but not least spend valuable time with the people you love. Recently a dear co-worker and friend of mine passed away from cancer at the young age of 54. This wake up call further instills the importance of making memories and time count. So far this summer I’ve seen my three siblings at my nephew’s high school graduation, saw my dad and will visit him and Corinne next Friday, my mom, and my friends Laurie and Michelle. My mother-in-law Theo will be visiting in a few weeks and we’ll see Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim.  I’ll also get to spend some time with Tom’s sister Bev, who I always look forward to seeing. Although I have summers off, I  have much to do and garden around home. Even so, I make it a point to see my family and friends who I love because time is precious and I know that making time for loved ones builds relationships.

 

My favorite photo of my sister and I taken a few years back and Alexis (my son Dylan’s girlfriend who is part of our family now) and Tom and I in Maine.

 

 

 

Have fun this summer and make sure that you try new things..taste different foods, visit new places and learn more about the world around you. Share with me experiences you’ve pursued this summer. I would love to hear from you.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

Opening Your Heart

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Good Monday morning!

 

 

Lately I’m trying to instill more peace and self improvement in my life. About a year and a half ago I bought The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, a suggestion from my dear sister. Barb is a wellness and health coach, but also an advocate for my well being and suggested this read to change certain aspects of my life. See Barb’s brand new inspiring website at Thriveveryday.com. She intends to teach and inspire others to live a great life by physically being fit and healthy.

 

 

 

I’m finally immersed in this book. One statement from The Untethered Soul that is sitting deep within me is this, keep your heart open. Singer says that many people have a process of opening and closing their heart, picking what and who they like and don’t like and act accordingly. When you constantly open and close, it creates a blockage of energy. There’s no release of the negative energy and it causes you problems. Blocking energy is a choice you make to close your heart to the rewards of happiness and love.

 

 

 

 

Once you live in each moment with a positive energy and open heart, you will grow as a person. Whatever situation arises, keep your heart open to people and new experiences. Don’t label everything between things you like and what you don’t like.  Live in the moment and see the good in it. When this habit of closing your heart and building a brick wall happens, stop it. Say no to it and block your heart closing.

 

As I continue this inner journey I will share truths that I learn about myself. I think it’s valuable to constantly strive to know oneself and find a possible path to peace within. As I read this great inspirational book, I’m unlocking answers about behavior and the heart and it’s capacity to let situations in. I’m also learning that as I read this book many examples apply to me.

 

I highly recommend this book to you while you embark on your personal journey. My version is on the Kindle, where I can highlight words that speak to me. You may prefer the solid book version with the cover.

 

Have a blessed week friends!

 

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 💗

 

Three Books on my Bookshelf

One topic I haven’t mentioned yet in my blogging journey is reading. I really love and relish a good book! There’s something about the cover and the wispy turn of the pages, the smell of a book and its placement in my hands that appeals to my inner soul. As a young teenager I read all the Little House on the Prairie books. My brother David exposed me to classics such as Little Women and The Catcher in the Rye and they still sit on my shelf.

 

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I have a bookshelf of favorite books and refer back to many but also visit our small town library. (Especially in the summer) Every summer I joyfully compile my wish list including current bestsellers and recommended novels. As I complete a book, I write about it briefly in my journal and then rate it. At the summers  end I notice which book was the best of all and recommend it to others.

 

 

 

If the book doesn’t hold my interest for a few chapters and I’m really not invested in the characters, then it’s exit time. Not every book deserves your time or a spot on your bookshelf. All my books on my shelf have earned the spot and are special enough to be read again and again.

 

 

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Three books that I own and what I love about them

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I first read this book in my early twenties. I love how it’s written!Harper Lee is a true storyteller in this classic. Take my advice… do not buy or read the latest published Go Set A watchman, it will surely disappoint you and change your perception of Atticus.

Atticus is my favorite character as he is so good and just. I’ve never watched the movie with Gregory Peck but I wish to.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

A few summers ago I picked up this book at a community book sale. The room was filled with potential good summer finds and I stashed books in my bag like a kid in a candy store. The moment I picked up this book I was captivated by the story. Frances Mayes, a gourmet cook, buys a villa in Italy. Her story tells of quaint life in this region and includes recipes and gardening anecdotes. This is a wonderful summer read!

 

A Year By the Sea  ( Thoughts of an Unfinished a Woman) by Joan Anderson

This book appealed to me because it’s an enchanting story of a woman’s growth and transformation. Every married middle aged woman can relate to this story. Even if you are happily married and content with your life,  ( like I am proudly) you will find yourself immersed in her story! The strangest coincidence happened while I was reading this a few summers ago…my dear sister was reading it at the very same time and neither of us knew until I told her about it and she showed me its placement on her nightstand.

 

As summer draws near in the US, I challenge you to start thinking about a summer book wish list. If you live somewhere else in the world and winter is approaching, write a winter book list. Listen to morning news shows in May and early June and jot down their recommendations. As I write mine, I’ll  share in a later post.

 

Happy Reading!📖

All my Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️