Serenity in Fallen Snow

 This morning I woke to hungry mewing cats crawling all over my bed , yet even so, there was a serene stillness in the house. Glancing out my living room window I saw a magical snow dusting on the cars and blanketing the ground. Stray dancing snowflakes fell from a murky sky. Suddenly I had an urge to be out in this canvas of beauty. I quickly pulled on my boots and ventured outside in the tranquility. The air was frosty but exhilarating to my lungs. Everything was still and peaceful. 

 

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Tom’s truck was gone indicating he had to sand roads for the town. I trudged back in the house. First I fed the eager felines and then brewed a pot of coffee. The wood stove crackled in harmony as I peered out into the white world. How grateful I am  for this serene Sunday morning with nowhere to be but here in my cozy little house in the country! 

 

 

It is mornings like this that remind me to breathe and just be. Maybe today I don’t need to rush out into the world to make my mark. It all happens here in my snug home with a wintry white picture show in view.

 

On such a beautiful morning I remember that today is November 11th. Happy Veteran’s day friends! Thank you veterans ( especially my dad David Doyle and Tom’s dad Robert Blowey and my friends Laurie and Russ Burridge) for the sacrifices you’ve made for our country!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️❤️❤️

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Random Facts About Me part 2

 

 

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My co-workers and I in our elementary wing after school on Halloween. I’m the sixth person in.

I really enjoy reading facts about my blogging friends as a huge way to get to know them. I was browsing through last November posts and found a post I penned about myself. I’m piggy backing to it with more random facts about myself.

 

1. Do you enjoy your present job and get along with your co-workers?

Yes! I’ve taught reading groups for 13 years at our local elementary school. As years pass I am more grateful for God leading me there and for bringing different co-workers into my life. I truly enjoy the children and what they say from day to day. They keep me young and therefore I feel alive! The people I work with are great and we have fun! This Halloween we dressed as dominoes, an idea Carol found on Pinterest. All day the kids counted our dots and had much fun with it!

 

Last Halloween we dressed as gnomes from the Trolls movie. We had hats made of construction paper and flowing beards of cotton! What a hoot it was! The kids loved it! We are posed at our monthly community meeting with our principal Jackie Daniels in front.

 

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2. What’s an average weekend look for you?

Usually Saturday is my sleep in day but not lately. Tom gets up at 4 and that wakes me up. Sometimes I lie in bed in the flannel sheets awhile and then get up. I savor my two cups of coffee, read my blogging friends’ posts or watch Grey’s Anatomy or This is us. I attack my housework list early. There’s always laundry to wash and dry, the bathroom to scrub and vacuuming to do. After I accomplish all that I exercise in some way, whether it’s a walk or Denise Austin exercise dvd, it doesn’t matter as long as I stay active!

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Sundays Tom and I spend time together. Sometimes we have a nice quiet breakfast at the table and others we eat watching Hulu. I have less to do this day so it leaves it open for visiting, baking and blogging. This is the day we go on car rides or hikes depending on the weather.

 

3. Is there something that is weighing on your heart lately? 

Yes, very much so but it’s much better! Our 15 year – old cat Katy is aging and we’ve noticed concerning changes. It appears that she’s lost muscle mass and 3 pounds since her last vet visit. I took her for a thorough physical check with a really nice young vet. She listened to my concerns, talked with me about possible causes and examined our beautiful baby with care. She decided to take blood tests and now we know that Katy has Hyperthyroidism. The odd coincidence is that I have thyroid issues too for Hypothyroidism and take meds for mine. She is taking meds twice a day and will go back soon for a kidney checkup.

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When all was uncertain I worried for Katy and for my family. We have raised her with our boys, therefore she’s a huge part of their growing up experience. Our daughter in law and mother in law love her too. I don’t know how I’ll be when I lose my precious Katy but I know God will give me strength when I need it. She is doing well so I won’t worry about that now.

 

4. Do you have any trips planned for the future?

I don’t travel that much so when I plan on it, it’s very different and exciting! I just bought plane tickets for my mom and I to travel to Dallas, Texas for my nephews’ college graduation in the spring. We will spend four days and three nights with my brother David in the Oak Cliff community of the city.

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I’ve been there once before about eight years ago when I went with my son Branden and my nephew Spencer. This photo is on the Southern Methodist University campus, where my brother David teaches History and is an assistant Dean of the Honors program. Left to right my nephew Spencer ( who will graduate college in May), my son Branden and my brother David.

 

Other future trips include some sort of get away for Tom and I for my 50th birthday in June. We also wish to visit our niece Jen in Montana sometime. We have a few  travel trips to look forward to!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed some facts about me from the present and the past. I wish you all a blessed week with your family and friends.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

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 🙂

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

 

 

Walking the Cat!

Walking the cat? Are you crazy? I can hear your surprised and amused comments and I first thought that too. Until my soon to be daughter-in-law suggested for me to start walking our cat Smokey. She walks her cat Smokey Joe outside and has been for a while.

 

 

Our two cats have always been inside cats. The reason is that we’ve lost two cats in the past, one to a coydog and one got run over in front of our house. We live on an intersection of two busy roads and don’t want to risk our cats being run over. With that said, with our cat Katie it’s always been easy. She loves being inside and secure and seems very content with her home. The few times our kids have brought her out she freaked out in fear. Our youngest cat Smokey is another story. He was born a barn cat and spent a little time outdoors with his mother before we got him. He’s always had a free spirit and would run out whenever he could.

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The last year or so it’s been worse. One time he got out and ran up our neighbors hill. I was afraid that he wouldn’t return and roam the nearby woods and find trouble. With both my sons’ help, we gathered him up and brought him back home. It was then that I knew we had a problem and we had to give him his outside time as he wishes for.

 

 

Branden and I bought a harness and leash in a pet store and started putting on the harness so he would get used to it. We take him on fifteen minute adventures most everyday except on rainy days. The funny thing is that he doesn’t even whine to go out on cloudy and rainy days. Must be that water thing…that cats just don’t like to get wet.

 

Smokey either wants to roll in the dirt, eat grass or hunt. The hunting aspect is a challenge and worry as I don’t want him to kill. There are little chipmunks around the yard and they know of his presence. One time I saw a poor little scared one tucked in between our fuel tank and the house. I felt so sorry for him that I immediately brought the cat inside. Who knows how long he/she would’ve been able to hide there!

 

So the “catwalk” continues…which really isn’t one as he walks in a low position and never gains ground as he stops here and there. There are many smells and textures of this outside world that Smokey has to learn. As he learns, I hope he can have some polite manners. Sometimes he growls or hisses at Branden and I if we take him in another direction from what he wants. The reason we do this is because of the birds and chipmunks and we don’t want him in the Poison Ivy.

After walking the cat I realize the differences between cats and dogs. I think dogs will follow you where you wish them to go, where cats have a mind of their own and get ticked off if they don’t get their way. Oh well, I signed up for this when we got our cats. I have no regrets as I buckle the harness for Smokey’s daily walk. Who knows what we will find but I do know he’s happier with the outside trek and that makes me happy as well.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

The Best Show in Town

Captured through a screen

Look what I found nestled in my photo collection!

Our cat Smokey watching the best picture show in town…a flock of turkeys investigating our yard. This was snapped last year , at that time they visited every single day. As they visited, some investigated this side of the yard while others hung out near our towering pine tree on the opposite side of the house.

 

Twenty or thirty of them would strut and sometimes close to the window!

Smokey continues to love his picture show, watching flocks of turkeys, flitting robins and perky chickadees in a nearby tree. 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

What Cats Do Best

Our kitty Smokey laying just across a roaring fire with feet pushing up against the wall!

Spread right out,

be yourself

in an envelope of comfort!

Don’t  hold back,

relax and give in.

Sleep the hours away

and indulge in

a peaceful slumber!

Advice from cats!

 

Katy doing what she does best, relaxing in her chair without a care in the world.

 

 

 

Our sweet Smokey curling up on his favorite chair which happens to be mine too!

 

 

My beautiful kitty Katy, who is 14 1/2 years old.

My cats are quite the characters with their unique and quirky personalities. What do they do best? Sleep the days away but we love them even more because of that.

Isn’t it great dreaming of a sleep away kind of day?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul