My front yard has come to a vibrant life! With our annual posies framing our house front, a vibrant splash of color greets passers-by. A few weeks ago I noticed how my Spirea bushes have grown immensely since I received them. Two years ago my co- worker, Laura Mulkigian gave me these full green beauties for my birthday. That day she also made me a strawberry cake and all the girls at lunch ate some in celebration. Every time I glance at these beauties, I’ll think of her. She recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, something I’m trying to come to terms with. ❤
After. Click on the link for picture from Microsoft Word.
It was our first year in our new house and I proudly planted them in front of our house, one on each side of the steps. These lovely shrubs host many small leaves and have grown magnificently! Both of them are spreading a few feet wide and are about two feet high. In the beginning we didn’t realize how big these bushes would grow! We may have to cut them back so they don’t block our window. I expect them to continue the growth spurt and as that happens I’ll replant my hostas to allow more breathing room.
Spirea betulifolia TOR bushes flourish with tiny white flowers in June even though the tag states that they bloom in the fall. I’m going to research it and feed them fertilizer to help the blossoms. This year it mildly hosted just a few flowers so my future goal is to have full bushes of flowers of a beautiful veil of white. It would be wonderful to see it bloom twice in the summer!
Do you have any unique bushes in your yard? Have they grown much larger than you expected? In coming years we’ll keep an eye on “ Laura’s bushes” and trim them if needed. I truly feel blessed that I have these to remind me of Laura.
Happy days to you all and thanks for stopping by! It means the world to me to have such lovely ” pen pal” blogging friends!
These are just a few things you can do this summer ( in no specific order, just try them all)
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?
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.
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.
On this Mother’s Day I’m reflecting upon special women in my life and their roles. I’m extremely grateful for these moms! As a mom myself, I wish to honor them, for how can I truly enjoy this day without paying homage to my loved ones who have made a difference and influenced my mothering?
Thank you to my mom, who has supported me from day one and loved me unconditionally. I owe so much to her for helping me grow and overcome so much, when I was younger. She was my go to person, who I could always count on, until I stood on my own two feet. What I love about her is that she has always listened to me no matter what. When I’m down and out she whispers sweet little prayers for me aloud. It does my heart some good to know that mom is still looking out for me, even though I’m grown and a mother myself now. Happy Mother’s Day to the lady who gave birth to me so long ago with love.
There’s another sweetheart in my life who befriended me at work so many years ago and brought me to her home for a hot meal and loving conversation. That day I met her only son, who happens to be my husband now.
On this special day I can’t write this post without mentioning Theo, my second mom. I’m so thankful for my mother in law and her friendship. She’s always been there for me and a champion for our family. We’ve done baseball games together, camped with the kids in the summers and spent several Christmases cooking a meal. She’s been an outstanding grandmother to her grandchildren and has always been there for her four children. That’s the kind of lady who sets an example and someone I learned from when I was starting out. Happy Mother’s Day to her with love.
I must mention my sons today as well. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by without my grateful feelings for my two sons. Being a mother has been the most learning, humbling, exhilarating and rewarding experience of my life!❤️ If I would want to be remembered for anything once I pass on, it would be that I was a great and loving mom and that I was happy doing it. I have no regrets, even with mistakes I made because I know I made up for them with love. Also that’s what makes me human!
Last but not least, I’m extremely grateful for the group of women I work with. We all work in an elementary wing and every teacher and para there are kind, like old friends who support each other with love. I have to thank Laura, Carol, Anne, Brittany, Beth, Darcy, Aimee, Joanna and Donna who work together with joy, their main goal is to teach children, support them and provide a safe loving environment. These special women are all mothers in one way or another through their nurturing and loving actions with the school children. Kudos to these heroes I know, who are teaching our future leaders with a grace and confidence that’s impeccable!
As I wrap up this post, I challenge you to think of the special women in your life. Have you made the time to visit them, message or call? Most importantly, have you told them that you love them? That means the world to mothers , coupled with tight hugs and lots of kisses.
Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there! I hope you receive precious time with your children and hugs too!
Inspiration from Lady Gaga’s Song, A Million Reasons
If you can, listen to this song!
This song touches my heart and seeps into my very core. It seems that it’s about a failing relationship and that she is about to walk away but needs one good reason to stay. When listening to it a few weeks ago, I had an inspiration. From an opposite perspective, I thought of a million reasons to stay.
I stay in my marriage for a million reasons, too many to count. That doesn’t mean that our union is perfect by any means. Just because I always post positive aspects, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have shortcomings or miscommunications, LIKE ANY MARRIAGE. I simply choose to focus on the good and anything that needs to be worked on is our business. Any marital relations that are aired on Facebook or the media doesn’t aid the situation but may make it worse. I suggest that if you want a healthy marriage don’t tell others details about your issues. It’s no ones business and that may complicate things.
My man is a hardworking fella, someone who would take his shirt off his back to clothe you. He means well with everything he does and thinks of others when he acts and speaks. Tom is a great reason to see all the good in the world. Sometimes good has a quiet voice and we all have to listen intently for that. Just because he has a soft nature and doesn’t scream from the mountain tops, doesn’t mean anything. It means that he has class and kindness and I look up to him for that.
I stay here for a million reasons, one of them being that I chose this road. Like many, I married out of choice and chose love, commitment, and family. I vowed to support Tom through whatever we go through and sometimes spouses need to be reminded of that vow. No one said that marriage would be a piece of cake and easy as heck, but it’s promised that whatever energy you invest into it, you’ll get the same results.
I have a million reasons to stay…friendship, kindness, laughter, so many little and precious things that have enriched my life. I wish that others would focus on the good in their marriages and build it up instead of tearing it down. If couples would work on their relationships and stick together, they would see many rewards in the end. Obviously not every marriage can be saved and some spend years trying to change his or her spouse when it’s not going to happen. If you are in it for the long haul, I believe the key is to accept your spouse’s shortcomings because we all have them. Focus on the good and if it’s meant to be, it will steer you in the right direction.
Do you stay for a million reasons?
Hello readers! We are presently on our way back from a wonderful and special trip to Florida. Give me a few days and I’ll share our adventures with you. Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.
My husband and I watched a really great family movie recently, Letters to God. It was based on a true story about a little boy who fought brain cancer and the fight he and his family battled. The message in the story is all about faith through a pouring of prayers to the Lord. I feel that it’s fitting because it will be Easter tomorrow.
Tyler had a habit of writing letters to God. These little prayers scrawled on a notepad and with a stubby pencil were this boy’s mission. He wrote of his sickness but mostly of his thoughts and prayers for his loved ones; his mom, his best friend and her grandfather. The boy would hand his stamped envelopes to the mail carrier, who was a new man on the route. His puzzled looks kept me wondering about what he would do with them.
Taken from YouTube
It turns out that God had placed this particular man on this route because he needed help. You see, he drank too much and had made a devastating mistake in his past. If anyone needed God’s interventions and his presence, it was Brody, the mailman.
I won’t tell too much more about the movie because seeing it would be better. I strongly encourage you to soak up all the good in this movie, despite the childhood cancer and sickness. There are lovely pressing lessons about faith, renewal of life , forgiving yourself and second chances. It reveals the strength found in a little meek boy and his mom, who feels like she can’t do it anymore but shows up anyway. God gave her the precious gift of mothering and nursing this child. He gives her the strength to continue the fight for her son.
The flick touched us and started up a meaningful conversation about God’s plan in our lives. After the movie, I talked with my husband about how God has a unique plan for us and will strategically place all of us in the path of others for good and to help those people as well. Once you see paths intertwine for a reason, you’ll know deep in your heart that He hand picked and placed those people there with intentions to heal, disperse love and kindness.
Did you know that you can write to God? Why not? I have a little notebook that I jot down my prayers in. I note people in my life who need prayers. They may be family, friends, co- workers, acquaintances or people I don’t know but are in need. I don’t do it everyday but a few times a week and this is a supplement to my spoken prayers that I murmur at day or night. It takes my faith a step further, a pen pal who will answer in mysterious and exciting ways!
This movie inspired me even more to live the way Jesus would and to try to make a difference in people’s lives. No matter how small a token, it may affect in a monumental way. I’m working on trusting Him more everyday and giving up needed control of my life. I hope that you will watch the movie and think about this post.
Flipping through my journal recently, I found an entry from summer 2013. At that time I had been watching The Bachelorette and had jotted down a thought. One of her pursuers, Brooks, had said that he looks for the best in people. I want to be that kind of person, who gives people the benefit of accepting their shortcomings…for we all have them, right?
Lately I’ve slipped away from this and have had negative feelings about people. That’s definitely not me or how I feel most of the time. Like anyone who gets wrapped up in a busy life, I tend to weaken and stray from my positive outlook. I realize that I set myself up for this by letting social media weigh me down and turn my mood.
Looking for the best in people may take some work and steady gentle reminders to yourself.
Look past faults and focus on strengths.
Forgive when someone wrongs you, for maybe they are trying their best and they didn’t realize their actions would hurt you.
Always strive to look for the best in your spouse, your children, friends and co- workers! Don’t they deserve that chance and unconditional love?
Wouldn’t you want someone to look for the good in you?
Thinking of it this way may make you realize that we are all human and most of us are trying to live and love the best we can.
Go about your day with the challenge of looking for positive qualities in a person, instead of focusing on the negative ones. I can guarantee you feel better about life and feel happiness for accepting others.