Highlights of the Year in Photos

As another year closes and I excitedly look forward to a new year, I think it’s imperative to briefly look back on where I’ve traveled ( spiritually not just physically). For in order to know where you are going, you must dwell and learn from the paths you’ve tread on . Don’t you think? This past year held fun new places we explored as well as a few surprises in the mix. I also grew more spiritually and my self esteem boosted as I maneuvered through the year. I invested in myself a little bit more and I think it shows.

In January Branden’s girlfriend Jojo came to visit and we all made our own pizza!

I learned that planting inside in dark New Hampshire isn’t a good idea starting in February! Bahaha!

In April Tom and I visited Las Vegas and stayed at Harrah’s a few nights. We explored the strip and rented a convertible to explore Hoover Dam. It was a magical trip for me and I appreciate that Tom humored me by going. It was my way of welcoming and celebrating my 50th birthday!

In May mom and I traveled to Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas to see my nephew Spencer graduate from TCU. It was a wonderful trip with family!

My dad gifted me a greenhouse in the spring and I was fortunate enough to use it the whole growing season.

My daughter in law Lexy and I attended a beautiful bridal shower for my niece.

In June I hosted my own birthday party. It was filled with friends, family, music and laughter.

My paternal cousins and I met one afternoon to eat yummy food and connect. We all looked at old photos of our dads and moms. It was lovely and I hope we do it every year!

Over the summer my handy husband Tom built a gorgeous deck off of our kitchen. It’s a magical place to be! I can’t wait for spring and nice weather to sit out there again!

My mother in law Theo came to stay over the summer. Despite a nasty fall and visit to the local emergency room, we made the best of it. My sister in law Bev stayed with us during this time. We had a lovely dinner with my nieces Michele and Sheryl and Sheryl’s new husband John. We all sat on the deck and magically a Pilated woodpecker flew in a nearby tree and blessed us.

Michele and Sheryl
My sister in law Bev and my mother in law Theo
John, Bev, myself, Sheryl, Michele and Theo
Theo and I

2019, what a year it was! I started feeling better about myself and investing in my weight and health even more. I exercised five to six days a week, drank more water and ate healthy portions. I did experience a health scare for several months with bladder troubles. After an ultrasound, several pelvic exams and a cat- scan nothing showed anything abnormal despite the painful symptoms I was having. My urologist said it could be institial cysitis, a condition that certain foods irritate the bladder and cause pain and urgency. I have adjusted my diet a bit and started taking an antihistimine. It’s 100 percent better! Boy did I take my health for granted! Never again! This trial brought me closer to God and his peace. He carried me through and I am eternally grateful for that!

I wish you happy and peaceful moments in the new year! Cherish your family, friends and your good health.

All My Best,

Mary ❤️🎊

A Glimpse of Fall

Beautiful serene Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont

It’s a warm pleasant morning in the 50’s with the sun coming up to gift us a new day. October is well under way bringing a crinkled up mosaic of leaves in ambers, yellows, pinks and deep reds. Everywhere you venture in this land you see a patchwork of colors, immersing you in a new world other than rich greens. There’s no place I’d rather be than here in my home state in October!

My back yard showing the season.

Every October Tom and I indulge in a foliage ride in either New Hampshire or beautiful neighboring Vermont. Last year we ventured down the infamous Kangamangus highway through Lincoln into Waterville Valley, NH. Cars and people were everywhere, an indication of all the mystical beauty surrounding us. This year Tom mapped our journey ahead, planning to go through Dalton NH across the covered bridge into Vermont. We went through Lunenburg VT up north and stumbled upon lovely Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont.

During our Sunday ride, the warm sun beat on us through the windshield. All we saw where idyllic farm lands, cows grazing in pastures, country dirt roads, as seasonal turned leaves lit the way as we rode. We didn’t pass many stores, gas stations nor restaurants. This ride held lost north country lands and homes that host quiet rural living. It was the perfect foliage ride of peace and exploration!

Upon entering Westmore, Vermont we were greeted by massive cliffs with surreal views. A sprawling Lake Willoughby was on our left as we explored the winding road parallel to it. We came upon a small beach where a few families eagerly snapped photos, as we did. A lone canoe and a small kayak were parked on the beach, beckoning one to venture out on the lake. Across the road a quaint country store stood with a small campground beyond. Hiking trails wound through the woods, appealing to nature enthusiasts.

Tom and I decided that we would visit Lake Willoughby again in the future and trek up one of the trails. It’s peaceful and tranquil gorgeousness spoke to our souls. It’s not often that we find such peace, one that can’t be described in mere words. Silence does it justice for this level of tranquility needs no words, just paying homage to it’s beauty.

Coming home we were fortunate to be able to see fall colors in our own yard, solidifying our love for our land. Going on a foliage road trip is exciting, especially when you explore a new place you’ve never seen before. The only perfect ending to that scenario is returning to the subtle serenity of the place where you belong, home.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🍁❤️

Just Like You & Me

Last month Tom and I boarded a Southwest flight to Chicago in exciting anticipation of a new adventure! We would connect to another flight to arrive four hours later in Vegas. I met the nicest Chicagoan who sat in the window seat next to us on the plane. Her name was Alexis, sharing her name with my special daughter-in-law! This coincidence cemented my immediate like for this kind woman.

She told me that she was headed to Las Vegas for a finance convention where she would work all week. We shared a special forty minutes before landing. The sun was setting as we passed by miles and miles of red rock mountains and untouched land. Eventually the bright lights of the city shone with mountains beyond it. After wonderful, friendly conversations and a smooth flight, Alexis and I hugged and bid our goodbyes. I knew that I’d never see her again but I would remember her warm kindness. Once again God introduced me to an angel on a plane ride, something I’m extremely grateful for because of my flying anxiety.

The ride to Hoover Dam from a lookout

I have been blessed beyond measure with all my recent airplane rides. Each flight I sat by truly kind and personable people. One young lady was a professor going to see her sister in Austin. Another father and son were traveling from Dallas to Boston for a father son weekend, for a special game they were attending. Another older gentleman was visiting his daughter. All these passengers were like you and me, traveling to a destination, sharing moments with me as we took off into the wide blue sky and held on tightly as we landed back on ground. We all put our lives in that pilot’s hands, especially in God’s mercy as we maneuvered our way across the country.

A beautiful part of traveling is connecting with others, other souls who hold a special story. Some may mirror mine and others not so much. Yet all our lives meet in the airplane, meant to be in our lives for a few hours. I’d like to call these passengers potential friends and not strangers. Strangers sounds cold and disconnected. All these people touched my life in a small but sincere way. We all rested, talked, laughed or simply sat on a plane, shared our journey in the sky and then landed to continue our life.

As I look forward to my future trips on planes and conquering my intense fear of them ( loss of control), I can’t wait to see how many more kind folks I cross my path with. I believe God has given me these experiences as gifts to heal my fears and so far it’s working!

On my last trip my mom and I landed in the little airport Love Field. My brother picked us up and the three of us had to walk to the parking garage. Mom and I rejoiced being on solid ground once again. As we strolled through the outer edge of the lot, we watched the Southwest airplanes take off and land. They were just a few hundred feet from us, giving us a front seat view. I was in awe as this monstrous vehicle smoothly sped up the strip and took off with such grace and precision. This experience gave us a brand new respect for airplanes and the pilots who maneuver them.

Lastly I want to share with you what I do when getting off the plane. Every now and then the cockpit will be open after the flight and the pilot and co- pilot will be standing there, both in uniform. This gives me a chance to connect and voice my “thank you!” It is with sincere appreciation that I say this, for that helps me beat the fear of loss of control. I also make sure to heartily thanks the stewardesses and male stewards, as they work hard to make it a comfortable flight.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😃

You Know You Are in NH When…

You know you are nestled in New Hampshire when…

a fleeting glance out the window

presents deer sightings

the weather could be snowy and frigid yet the next day could be warm and mild

There’s a Northeaster forecasted when spring is supposed to have emerged ( this happened a few weeks ago)

People wave to you on the road if you know them or not

leaving food outdoors leads to wild visitors in the night

you are on a first name basis with the post master, the police chief

and the town clerk

Spring brings eager smiles, light hearts and open windows

Most days there is a hushed presence of nature

only to be interwoven

with soft twittering bird songs

and serene owl hoots

This is the country melody

that we all are mesmerized by

You know when you are in NH

When a tranquil peace hovers and rising mountains

greet you

Sugar maples, white birches and thick pines surround you

The busy world continues its crass noise

yet life here is slow and meaningful

country living with a stillness that

keeps one centered

If you haven’t visited New Hampshire in the northeast of the United States, you must deep in the summer or in the pleasant days of Autumn. It’s a chance to escape the rat race and explore the White Mountains and nature at its best!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🥰

All Adventures Lead HOME

Lately I’ve had the travel bug surging through my veins! I think it’s something to do with more time on my hands and the stark fact that I’m turning 50 in a few weeks! Turning this age is a milestone, a bend in the road where one should lean into it and ride with the wind as a motorcycle rider would. I feel it’s a gift, a chance to really live without inhibitions, to cruise through without a care in the world!

If you browse through my recent posts you’ll see photos and recounts of Las Vegas and Dallas. A couple of years ago my husband and I visited family in sunny Florida. Wherever the trip takes us, it can be an adventure. While visiting Florida we saw the ocean on the West coast and alligators and tropical wildlife in Lakeland. In Nevada we saw flashy neon lights, other travelers with a live it up attitude and desert lands coupled with rising western mountains. Once we were lost on a Native American Reservation! All these adventures are tucked away in my memory box, ready to emerge when I glance at photographs.

Although traveling can be stressful, (especially for me since I don’t do it much) it highlights how special home really is.

Experiences away are amazing. These moments make me realize that HOME is a place where I belong, where I breathe easy and rest comfortably. It’s where I am myself the most. It’s my sanctuary in a world of chaos. I love going away and the sensations I feel along the road, yet HOME is where I belong, where I love and will continue to be my greatest adventure!

All adventures eventually lead HOME!

Do you have a memory book of exciting adventures? Even so, isn’t home the best place to be yourself?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️😇

Las Vegas Vacation Part 2

The Paris Hotel and Casino Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.

In this post I continue to share details from my recent Las Vegas vacation. After seeing the amazing Bellagio Fountains, we ventured over across the boulevard to see the Paris Hotel and Casino with the Eiffel Tower observation deck. Like the other casinos we toured, there were colorful fancy carpets, a slew of slot machines and people everywhere.

The inside of the Hotel leading to the elevator of the Eiffel Tower observation deck.

We both decided we would enjoy going up in the elevator in the Eiffel Tower to see the lit up city at night. We paid for our tickets and walked up the stairs and through this enchanting walkway mimicking a French bridge. The wait was only a few minutes and then we boarded the elevator. In only 30 seconds we were whisked up with fleeting sights of the neon signs that lined the strip.

Through metal bars one could gaze at the vibrant lights…what the Las Vegas strip is known for. A heavy screen held the observer back but lets in the cool night air. Every few feet there was a square hole( a break in the bars to take pictures) where you could fit your phone in to snap photos. Walking around the deck, you could get a different perspective of the city every few feet. The Flamingo, Caesar’s Palace and the High Roller at the Linq all glowed with an alluring radiance.

You can stay up on the observation deck as long as you wish. We stayed about twenty minutes and then joined the line of people that wrapped around the deck headed back down. I must admit that I panicked slightly when I saw how long the line was for the elevator. I asked myself, “ What do we do if we NEED to go down as soon as possible?” Then I calmed myself just as quickly. All is well. God is good.

I grew up in the seventies and used to watch the Donny and Marie Osmond show every Friday night. Marie was a little bit country and Donny a little bit rock and roll, I remember these lyrics from one of their songs. They are presently playing at the Flamingo. I had to snap this photo of them…they look the very same as they did so long ago!

This is where we stayed, Harrah’s.

I took this photograph from one of the many pedestrian walking bridges overlooking the strip. At just about each block an escalator goes up to a walking bridge. With all the energetic walking, we were relieved to rest our legs on the moving escalators!

A lovely sight at Caesar’s Palace

On Wednesday morning we took the bus southbound to The Luxor Hotel. There was the Titanic Exhibit our niece Bri had told us about. If you are interested in this history of the Titanic that sunk near Halifax, you must not miss this! I couldn’t get photos as they are not allowed. As we started for the bus, this adorable fountain in front of Caesar’s Palace caught my eye. Isn’t it gorgeous?

At the beginning of the Titanic experience you are handed a boarding card with a passenger’s name on it. As you follow the exhibit you may read about your person and a short biography of his/ her life. The last display of the exhibit reveals all the passengers’ names and if they survived or not. My female passenger was 22 and newly married. She survived but sadly her husband did not. Tom’s passenger, a male captain, died. Many men died as mostly women and children were saved on the few life boats.

While walking through the exhibit, I felt sorrow consume me as broken dishes and teacups were on display. A comb, a mirror with an ivory handle, a chamber pot all brought me back in time. Many objects from bedrooms and the kitchen showed their age as well as the underwater damage.

In front of the Luxor


The cost of the Titanic tickets was worth it…even though seeing the monstrous part of the mid ship was devastating, it brought us to a place of understanding. It was humbling to learn more and see discovered artifacts from the shipwreck. I should have said a prayer for peace while we were there, but didn’t think of it.

My next post I’ll share my thoughts on Circus Du Soleil The Beatles Love show as well as our trip to Hoover Dam.

I hope you all are having an amazing week!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😘

Hello, Las Vegas! Part I

In the past I didn’t have any desire to see Las Vegas…especially since I’m not a gambler nor a glitzy girl. Then when I started planning a special trip to celebrate my 50th birthday ( really in June but this is when we could travel), a sudden interest in exploring Las Vegas was born inside my inner core. I ambitiously browsed through Pinterest and saw all the enticing sights and activities in the city and then I was hooked. The pleasant weather appealed to me as well as the location in the west. Neither Tom nor I have ever been this west before. It would be a new and exciting adventure!

Two weeks ago Tom and I boarded a Southwest flight to Chicago in exciting anticipation of a new adventure! We connected to another flight in Las Vegas to arrive four hours later. We arrived in the “ City of lights” a few minutes of 9pm. Although we were tired and haggard from traveling from the East coast, we quickly checked in, stowed our luggage and explored where we stayed, Harrah’s on the strip. Every casino has a theme, Harrah’s being the carnival and Mardi Gras focus. That first night was perfect as we stumbled upon a little bar, Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill. With a festive atmosphere, country music and the appeal of a friendly crowd, Tom and I soaked it all in….we were actually in Las Vegas and over a thousand miles from home!

The view from our room in the Valley Tower of Harrah’s Hotel. Look at those mountains beyond the city! Wow!

The first morning we took in a quiet delicious breakfast in the hotel. The food was outstanding as well as the service. It amazed me throughout the week how kind people were! We met so many nice people to chat with and that made me happy as I seem to thrive on connecting with others. I talked with a man from Ohio on his adventure and a woman named Alexis ( which is my daughter- in- law’s name so I liked her right away) from Chicago. These sweet people are a perfect example of how much good there is in this world!

Tom enjoying our delicious breakfast!

The first day we explored nearby hotels and casinos like the fancy and dazzling Venetian. It was peaceful to gawk at the murals that sprawled in the grand entrance and throughout the hotel. Glitzy chandeliers hung with an elegance of Venice. A lovely fountain with statues greeted visitors, enticing perfect photo opportunities! I asked a lady and her daughter to snap a picture of us, as selfies aren’t our thing. They were willing to do this, bearing smiles and pleasantries.

At the Venetian

After exploring the Grand Canal shops, this awe struck couple walked to the adjoining Palazzo. Again charming decor and sights were on the menu. From there we walked down the strip going South towards the Flamingo.

If you plan on visiting this area, be aware that you will be probably be walking a lot. In a few days time Tom and I probably walked a good 25 miles or so. I loved it and was energized and ready for it! I wore my walking sneakers and good socks. Tom usually loves walking but wore work sneakers so they started bothering him on the second day. My advice is wear comfortable walking sneakers and have bottled water at all times. Try to download a good Vegas walking map to reference as you stroll. It helped us and we gained our bearing two days in. Take sitting breaks if your feet are bothering you. Many casinos and hotels have sitting accommodations and welcome everyone inside. There are bathrooms everywhere in the hotels so that’s not an issue.

Besides walking, there is the Deuce bus system that you can buy a 24 hour pass for that has stops along the strip. We rode on it south to the Luxor for the Titanic Exhibit. It was convenient and a nice ride. We also took two taxi rides, one from the airport and one to. It was costly but we thought it would be the best option, not knowing much about Uber.

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat was an area of waterfalls, stretching palm trees towering above, ducks swimming up the man made brooks, pelicans grouped together in the shade, and cawing tropical birds hiding in branches. Fountains bubbled on display as people walked, laughed and snapped selfies in the sun. Benches were here and there as well as a Buddha to rub his belly for good fortune. I did this…I could use good fortune and luck for my life, although my prayers to God satisfy me.

Despite jet lag, we enjoyed our first day! Here we sat in the Flamingo wildlife habitat.

Tom at the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, right on the strip.

A fountain we made a wish at.
Ah, a refreshing change from the pines we have in the Northeast!

That afternoon was a perfect day ( 86 degrees F) to rest in the sun at the pool. It was difficult finding two beach chairs that we didn’t need to pay for it but we managed finally. After a long and frigid winter in New Hampshire, I was content to soak up the heat and close my eyes a bit. Tom sat too but doesn’t love the sun so went back to the room to rest for our night outing.

That first night I convinced Tom that we had to take in the infamous Bellagio buffet. What man can refuse a good buffet? Walking down the strip in the sun, I people watched…something a writer always does and has ample material in places like Vegas. We went early around 5:30 and got right in. The food stretched throughout the banquet room with delicious aromas floating everywhere. There was a fresh roast beef about two feet high and as thick around and we watched the woman carve it with unfaltering ease as our mouths watered. There was a roast turkey, prime rib, and ham station. Fresh salmon, shrimp, mussels and crab legs were ready for the hungry crowd. Pasta, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes steamed in the chafing dishes. There was all kinds of colorful salads, roasted vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant and summer squash, which got added to my plate. Rolls and breads were available as well as soups. A dessert station overwhelmed me, as I went to Vegas with a mission to treat myself but maintain my weight. Chocolate mousse cups, peach parfaits, little Canolis, chocolate fudge brownies, mini pecan pies and much more were on a delightful display. I chose a mini canoli and a fudge brownie and enjoyed every last bite! That’s what you do on vacation, am I right? Wow..you haven’t experienced Vegas until you visit a buffet! Some other good ones are Flavors at Harrah’s and the one at the Flamingo.

The Bellagio

After filling our plates( I chose beef brisket, roasted vegetables and salad with blue cheese) and eating with content, but not being too full, Tom and I explored the Bellagio. More beauty, sights to see and these vibrant butterflies and umbrellas beckoned to have photos taken.

To close this long post ( I hope I didn’t bore you but possibly enlighten you) that evening we stayed to watch the Bellagio Fountains. There is a show every half hour during the day but every fifteen minutes at night. I can show you photos and describe it to you, but nothing will match being there live. The lit fountains swirl and dance with lovely music playing as the crowds watch. We were fortunate enough to hear Con te Patiro by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. Goosebumps went up and down my arms as I gazed and heard this magical show. It lasted a few amazing minutes and after, Tom and I looked at each other with love. Words couldn’t express how I felt…just that we had witnessed magic. The show is free as well but it’s best to get there early so you can see.

I hope you all have vacationed recently and enjoyed some time sightseeing. It filled my cup to the brim, to experience this lively city with my husband. My next post, part 2 will cover the Paris Casino and Eiffel Tower as well as Hoover Dam and the Nevada mountains.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕🥰

A Winter Walk

Amid mounds of glistening snow and icy sheets that glaze driveways and roads, I choose to walk. I’m sure heat worshippers think I’m crazy! It’s that I simply enjoy the crisp cold air, inhaling the freshness. This energizes me and reminds me that I’m alive! Everything is clearer and crisp. Distant white capped mountains stretch in the distance as the dazzling trees are dressed in bridal whites. Fiery sunsets paint the sky with rich peaches and promising pinks, an amazing accompaniment to this white world surrounding me.

While walking in winter, I spy animal tracks winding in yards and spiraling into the mysterious woods. Curiously I attempt to break the code and discover which animal had tread there. Deer? A fox? Possibly it’s a little white ermine such as the one that’s living in our yard and sometimes in the attic.

Cars race by, slipping in the snow. Even bulky trucks barrel on this quiet country road, as fuel deliveries are being made to stoke people’s furnaces.

I slip on a pair of mittens and comfy hat. Then pull on fuzzy socks and laced up boots. A parka is zipped up. Sometimes a woolen scarf wraps me in like a present. My house key lay buried in my pocket. I’m on my way…walking down the hill towards the bustling town and then up another winding slope to my road. Months ago this walk exhausted me. It left me gasping for air and I had to intermittently stop to regain my raspy breath. Since I’ve exercised mostly every day and mastered this walk, I no longer stop. My strides are longer, more fluid and my breathing healthy and not rushed.

A turkey crossing the snowy road.

I do not walk during snow storms per my husbands sage advice. Plow trucks take much of the road. Cars slip and slide, sending slush and snow at any passer by. Ice patches are hidden by white cover, easy slipping conditions.

I don’t really think during these treks. Instead I notice my surroundings, the houses, the cars and the animals tracks. I breathe deeply. I exhale warm puffs. As I approach my little house, the grayish column of smoke twists up from the chimney. I can already feel the houses warmth. As soon as I jingle the key in the lock and thrust open the barrier, a sultry heat wallops my face. Instant comfort. Our black cat, Smokey, saunters to the entry and greets me with his mewing and rub up against my frigid legs.

I hear the stove crackle as I tear off my wintry layers. This completes the winter walk experience and I sigh with a happiness, a general contentment that I live in New England and actually thrive because of it. I was born of strong stock, of Vermont families that have lived and loved the winter. So I continue the tradition and always wish to do so.

Have you walked in a winter landscape lately? Do you have a habit of walking and noticing every little detail of your surroundings?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💜

A January To Do List

If you live in the wintry Northeast of the United States, you know that many January activities involve the cold, snow or inside venues. I compiled a little to do list for you New Englanders to try this month. If you live elsewhere ask yourself if any of these ideas would work for you.

Credits to Janet Lee Logan & Princess Sassy Pants & Co. Thank you.
  • Go sledding with your family and friends! We have a long Tobaggon that I won at work many years ago. It can hold two or three bodies and goes like the wind!
  • Host a Saturday lunch for friends. I’m hosting my two friends Laurie and Michelle in a couple of weeks. Serve hot or cold sandwiches or homemade soup. Have tea, coffee or hot beverages available.
  • Organize desk drawers or cluttered countertops. It’s easier now while the weather is colder outside. Once spring comes, you’re going to want to be outside instead.
  • Organize your printed photographs or digital thumbprints. Label folders such as Christmas 2018 or Summer 2018.
  • Take an afternoon hike in the woods. Tom and I hiked about a mile to check on his game camera and feed the local deer. It was simply magical with snow falling while we were in the midst of the stand of trees. Animal tracks spiraled throughout the woods like a crazy maze.

  • Build a cozy fire in the stove or fireplace and cuddle up nearby. Watch a good movie, Mr. Church on Netflix. It’s a heartwarming story of a mother and daughter who have a cook who becomes part of the family. Read a good book! Right now I’m reading The Divide by Nicholas Evans about a family facing a tragic loss of their daughter and the search to find out what happened to her.

I hope you all enjoy the month of January and everything that comes with it!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Random Facts About Me part 2



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.





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!



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.


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.


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 💕