My Latest Read

Good morning Friends,

For the last couple of months I’ve been blessed to have a personal librarian. Ramona works in our kitchen at school and loves to read as well. She has been lending me great books to read. I’ve read Ruth Ware, The Dry by Jane Harper and now Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

I’ve been distracted this week from reading and writing. My son Branden fell on the ice walking his dog and broke his ankle and leg. He’s been in the hospital since Monday. Surgery was successful and now he’s having pt to get stronger to go home. The problem is that he lives on the third floor and has a dog Jasper, who he usually walks during the day. Once he learns how to walk the stairs, he can go home and recover. I think his job teaching Animation to high school students will continue but by remote. Emma Jo, Branden’s girlfriend ,has asked friends to help walk Jasper as well as hired a dog walking service. Please pray or think positive thoughts for him! ❤️
All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Winter Days

They say there’s a time and season for everything…winter is a slow down season, a time to quietly live and reflect. Here in northern New Hampshire our yards lay blanketed with snow drifts and ice. The air feels frigid and tingles your skin as if you’ve walked into a freezer, yet this lady is thankful for it. Although I enjoy trudging through the snow riddled woods, I welcome entering the heat of our little home just as much. Our wood stove churns and creaks with an industrial strength, belting out waves of a warmth that makes any winter day cozy and celebratory.

During winter days we lug wood and shovel it into our wood closet. The wheelbarrow works great to fill with wood and deliver it out back. We park the vehicle next to the deck and lug by armful to the nearest window. Tom cleverly built our wood closet beside the window and so by lifting the sash you can thrust the pieces into storage.

On weekend mornings we indulge in candlelit breakfasts such as crepes and blueberries or eggs and bacon. Tom makes outstanding omelets!

I love to read books in our bedroom in the rocker by the electric fireplace, while our kitty Smokey contently lies on the bed. I have a kind friend at work who serves as my librarian and brings in books for me to read. It’s a joy to see which book she’ll bring in next and I’ve loved every one but one!

These are just a few activities we do in the winter. Many people up here complain about the cold weather and the snow but we love living here, welcoming the change of season.

I hope you are enjoying your winter days!

Wacky Wednesday

It’s Read Across America week, a carnival of sorts with guest readers in the elementary classrooms, special Dr. Seuss themed snacks, movies and activity events in the afternoons. We celebrate now instead of March as it’s the best week to celebrate, a week before February vacation!

Wacky Wednesday!

Yesterday was wacky Wednesday…a day of mismatched socks, backwards or inside out clothes, funky hairdos and loads of laughs.

Everyone is allowed to be wacky once in awhile! We are all wacky in some ways…let’s sport it proudly! Haha!

I truly LOVE my job! Thank God for my 15 years at school and the loads of fun I’ve experienced!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😂

Own Your Story

Presently I’m reading Michelle O’Bama’s autobiography Becoming. It’s on my Kindle, not my favorite way to read but it’s convenient. My old fashioned nature loves the crinkle of the paper pages and the hard binding as I read. But I’ll go with the times and sometimes read on my i-pad.

In the first few chapters O’Bama pens that we should all own our story. For you’ll always have it and no one can take it away. I know I’ve heard this before in different words and by someone else. Reading this recently was a great reminder to me that I am proud of my story, whatever has happened to me from the time I was a child to now is totally mine. I believe that everything that has transpired in my life has been for good reasons.

Let me ask you this…are you proud of your story? Has it molded you into the person you are today? Probably. If you’re not happy with what has happened in your life or who you really are you can change your narrative. You are the author, the person who can control how it goes.

I’m enjoying this autobiography. So far it describes her childhood and family as she grew up on the south side of Chicago. I look forward to hearing about her married life and of her daughters. I would recommend this book for a fresh look at Michelle O’Bama’s life.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

Change Your Perspective

If you always think the worse then probably terrible things will occur! But if you foster pure positive thoughts and train your subconscious mind to dwell on uplifting peaceful ideas, that’s what you’ll get in life.

I’m going this route now, thinking positive and focusing on abundance coupled with my daily prayers and faith in God.

I’ll tell you briefly that since I started reading The Power of the Subconscious Mind, magical things are happening. The reason is I’m focusing on what can be instead of this can’t happen. I’ve applied it to several issues in my life and seen great results. A few Saturdays ago I went to a flea market with my friends with an intention to possibly find an old wheel and water pump for our gardens. I focused on both with the mindset that positive things would happen. Not only did I discover both items but I knew the lady who was selling them! She gave me a great deal for both and now they adorn my yard. Secondly I started healing my feelings towards others that I’ve had hard feelings about. Since focusing on love and letting go of resentments, I’ve seen fabulous results out of the blue. Lastly something that bothered me at work has come full circle, possibly changing my work environment. What goes around comes around they always say. How true is that!

Change your thinking.

Change your perspective.

Check out The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

My new Black Eyed Susans garden with my wheel. See a future post about this process.

All My Best,

Mary😉

Book Suggestions

Some oldies but goodies on my book shelf

For the last year I’ve abandoned reading fictional novels and started reading self help books. Now after reading Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I’m desiring a good fictional book to read for the summer. Sometimes I look at my local library as well as a revisit to my bookshelf for a book that was so good that I’d read it twice or more.

I recommend any book by Anita Shreve. I loved The Pilot’s Wife as well as The Weight of Water. Jodi Piccoult, an author who lives in my native state of New Hampshire, is one of my favorites as well. She’s written Nineteen Minutes, a novel every educator should read about school violence and bullying and who is at fault. Other of Piccoult’s titles include Plain Fear, a mystery of a dead baby set in Amish country, House Rules, a story about a teenaged boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who is obsessed with solving crime scenes until he becomes a suspect himself.

Shared from Bibliolectors.tumblr.com

Years ago I read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, an amazing story that I read in just a few hours. ( I loved the movie as well!) Fannie Flagg is the author, a writer with a poignant style of writing, who portrays the characters with such precision, I feel that I have met them in person! If you love that book you may enjoy Welcome to the World, Baby Girl and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven.

My latest book wish list is tucked in my pocketbook and I’ll bring it to the local library on my next visit. It’s close enough to walk to on a clear sunny day. If they don’t have the book, the head Librarian Karla signs up for an inter library loan and obtains the book from another library.

Here’s my generated wish list:

Conviction by Denise Mina

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keene

The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro 

Don’t you just live these little Free Libraries? I found this one in my sister- in- law’s town of Northampton, Massachusetts.

What good summer books are you reading? Do you have any great suggestions for me to add to my list?

Happy Reading, friends!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😃

When Your Mind Won’t Stop!

Thanks to Leon Brown from The Mind’s Journal

Do you have those tiring seasons when your life is a host of commitments or happenings that interweave with each other? Right now, in early June, I’m experiencing a hectic life schedule of work, commitments and plans that allow me no time to rest. It’s during these fast times that my body is physically exhausted and my mind mush. I need slow and quiet moments to rest my mind and thoughts. Otherwise it gets tired and I overthink EVERYTHING!

Lately my mind won’t stop overthinking! Whatever I’m doing it’s flooded with egocentric comments or judgements. I know why this happens…caused by an overtired body and mind. During these crazy periods my dreams increase and always involve conflict, school or close relationships that I am in.

My great intention is to carve out valuable down time to rest my haywire brain. I’m reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz once again, in order to recreate a peaceful flow in my life. Every day I pray for peace and strength to clear and clean up my thoughts.

Some ideas that I use to clear my thoughts are:

  • Sit at a table with a candle
  • Read a light hearted book in a relaxing chair
  • Embark on a special walk, engage all the senses! What do I hear? See? Smell?
  • Stop thinking about what others say or do, let it all go
  • Get plenty of sleep at night
  • Take mini naps when needed
  • Don’t listen to your mind’s senseless garbage

The other night was unusual…my racing mind kept me up for hours. I went to bed exhausted at 9 pm and didn’t get to sleep until midnight. Tossing and turning within the sheets ( poor Tom), I couldn’t clear or delete my thoughts. I said a prayer for help as I really needed sleep to be able to go to school the next day and actually function at my job! I pranced downstairs for a drink, glanced out the window at the peaceful glittery stars and went to bed. Finally that was it, I was carried away in the light sleep state.( I know this from my Fitbit!)

What do you do to erase negative mind chatter?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😴

Staying Calm

Lately I’ve been re-evaluating my state of inner peace and calmness. While randomly reading, I’ve stumbled upon an abundance of material relating to being calm. This is purely coincidental yet fortunate as I’m seeking this. As I work on inner peace, it seems natural to focus on being calm.

Let me tell you candidly that my personality is the farthest from calm you can get! I’ve always been hyper, loud, anxious and nervous. I’ve accepted this for its who I am, but with that, I also desire to change some of my ways! I wish to instill peace and calmness in my life replacing anxiety.

Living in a calm state is a challenge, especially in this hectic world we live in. By turning on the news we see devestating occurrences that build a deep rift in our state of peace, severing any calmness within us. Jumping on your cell phone, answering multiple texts constantly and trying to stay ahead of emails can try someone’s inner peace. But I believe that we have a choice!

I choose NOT to own a cell phone. I know, I know, you may think I’m behind the times and fighting society’s norms. I am doing that…but I’m also choosing calmness! Without a cell phone I am not bound to constant calls and I’m truly happy without it!

Lately I’m working on staying calm as a reaction to others. Sometimes people say hurtful things or lash out at you with negativity. In these situations it’s helpful to keep your emotions in check. Is becoming angry going to help or hinder the situation? My suggestion is to keep calm, walk away, breathe deeply and feel the emotions and then let them go.








Staying calm is any situation can be difficult, especially when you’re exhausted. Make sure you get plenty of sleep at night. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Drink lots of water. Journal all your feelings that overwhelm you. All these practices are medicinal and will not only make you feel great, but will aid your emotional and mental states.


My flower garden is a source of calm.

I truly miss my yard of vibrant yellows, deep purples and red flowers, all that keep me calm and centered in the summertime. The flowing green, cool grass on my feet, the cooing of morning doves and the songs of twittering birds all contribute to my peaceful world. I can’t wait for real spring and summer to relish all of these. Nature keeps me grounded and content.

In the meantime I exercise, go for walks in this small country town, read and write for calmness, and take care of my emotions so that I can thrive as a human, a wife, and a mom.

How do you stay calm in difficult situations? Are there vital things that contribute to your sense of peace?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

The Divide, my Latest Read

I just finished this book written by Nicholas Evans, the author of The Horse Whisperer. It’s story is of a broken family, one that went through several changes including a failing marriage and daughter’s rebellious activities. I love the fact that Evans profiled the characters expertly, drawing me in and forcing me to invest in them. My favorite characters are Abby and the father, Benjamin.

I picked this up at a book sale a few years ago and stashed it on my book shelf until about a month ago. Sometimes I do this, put the book away and forget to read it. It was worth finding and filled many quiet winter moments and snow days for me.

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