A Little Sign

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Have you ever been on vacation or a get away and stumbled upon a surprise, a gentle reminder of God’s love? I have,  on my camping trip with Theo, my mother in law and friend. As far as I’m concerned the gift was no coincidence…

 

I sat on a metal folding beach chair when my right foot skated across a smooth surface, a rock. It was partially hidden in the shallow depths of the sand. I love finding special rocks and the few times that they are unique, they are secretly stashed in the folds of my pocket for the trip home.

 

This particular rock was not only smooth and beautiful, but a heart shape! It’s not the only heart shaped rock I have stumbled upon, for years ago I found a big rock that my mom painted for my garden and last year a pinkish heart rock that decorates my shady garden. It seems that I’ve started collecting heart shaped rocks simply by fate. 

 

This heart was a sign from God for a few reasons. I believe he coaxed me to find it so that I was reminded of his presence and His love. It also served as a reminder to drop anxiety and relax during the trip. I’m grateful for these signs, for they just appear suddenly when I seem to need them. I’m always on the look out for them, for if I’m not paying attention it may just pass by without meaning. Be on the look out for little signs from Him, however how small. There’s always a reason and you must figure that out for yourself.

I must mention in the wake of Charlottesville and recent terrorist attacks, I’m thinking of how the news focuses on all the evil in the world. Please remember to focus on the love that people freely give to each other instead of the evil and hate that occurs! Our steady army of people who refuse to give in to hate stand strong with an unwavering faith in good. God’s love lives in all of us who believe and fight for love and peace! Blessings and peace to you all.❤❤❤

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I think an amazing sunset is one of God’s pure gifts!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

Seeking Stillness at the Lake

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Imagine a comfortable warm afternoon at the lake. As you sit on the beach, you dig your toes in the smooth sand, getting lost in the luxurious heat. The lake smells of a fresh earthy scent, yet there is a faint musty odor as well. People smell of sunscreen rubs and bug spray. Wet dogs shake their hair upon emerging from the lake.
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Many families are spending their vacation here, at the Mountain Lake Campground, nestled in the northern mountains of New Hampshire. Laughs ring throughout the beach, an indication of content families basking in vacation togetherness.

 

 

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I sit by myself reading a book. A few years ago I would’ve been on edge and not truly relaxing. The boys would’ve been swimming in the lake, racing to the dock a few yards away while I worried if I could help them if they struggled. I’ve never been a good swimmer and almost drowned when I was 8. This still haunts me today, especially if I’m in charge of little ones in the water.

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This day at the beach is a stark difference. The boys are not here and are working this day. It’s my mother in law’s and my twelfth year camping together but the first one without children. My husband has a busy work schedule in the summer with his lawn business and part time job for the town, forcing him to skip most of the camping trips. There were a few times he could camp and so we would race away for the weekend, towing the pop up camper with two excited boys.

 

This beautiful day as I sit in my quiet reflective thoughts, I thank God for my body being still. I really have a hard settling myself and giving in to relaxation. This moment at the beach is pure serenity, stillness that is unmatched. I also praise Him for giving me the gift hearty laughter of the families and my ability to enjoy it and smile with them. I am genuinely happy for them.

 

The silent lake holds the key to my stillness and serenity. The water calmly ripples ever so gently from a kayak cutting through it. In the left swampy corner, one can spot a sea of white, water lilies creating a beautiful scene. Overlooking the glossy tranquil  water stands strong stately mountains, guarding the lake with clusters of pines and firs growing around its circumference. I wonder which animals congregate within them.

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When you clear your mind of racing thoughts and jarring problems, you’re on the path to stillness. Open your heart to peace and acceptance of the moment. It’s a must that you give your body complete permission to allow it to happen, to enter relaxation and let go of everything. Maybe you can’t visit the lake and beach often and that’s okay. Seek a peaceful spot in your yard, perhaps under a special tree. Use that spot to be still and with that, your every being will cherish the peace.

 

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All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul ❤

 

A Family of Marys

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My grandmother Gould with my Mom as a baby and my Aunt Sandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A blurry black and white of three Marys, my cousin Mary ( Ellen), my grandomther Mary( Elizabeth) and me as a baby ( Mary Elizabeth)

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a mere squirt I remember being called, “ little Mary” from my aunt Sandy and her family. The reason being was that we had a few Marys and it got confusing when all of us were around each other. I liked the nickname for it made me feel special in some way.

 

 

 

My great grandmother was a Mary, my maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth, ( who I was named after!), my cousin on my maternal side was Mary and yet another cousin on the paternal side Mary. I must include my sweet sister-in=law Mary Ellen! She is a dear person and continues the Mary tradition. All my love to her. Whew….that’s a lot of Mary’s for the family to sort out and differentiate from!

 

 

 

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My grandmother’s  high school picture

 

 

I’m proud of my given name and I believe that the old world origin fits my personality. Sometimes I feel like an old soul and that living long ago would have suited me, especially in Victorian times. I’m truly grateful that my mom and dad named me this!

 

 

Do you have a well used family name that stays alive by being passed on? I hope you do…there’s a lot of history and meaning in a name.

 

 

All My Best,

Mary aka Heart and Soul

 

Happy Birthday Dear Katie

 

Here is sweet Katie, my special kitty who is celebrating 14 years of life this summer. She’s always been unique in many ways. First of all, she’s as skittish as they get! I know it’s because of her barn cat heritage and her mother, Rascal was crazy that way too! Just ask my former neighbors, that’s where we got our little cutie when she was  a wee kitten. Even though she’s scared of her own shadow, she certainly is a lovely pet and we’ll keep her. 

 

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Katie loves sweets and tried to have a bite of my cinnamon roll pancakes! No, no Katie!

 

We talk to our kitties like children and they react and passionately purr. We know they are listening even though they don’t know what is said.  I can tell you that  I know they feel the love and loyalty in our voices. Katie follows me around the house looking for a quick scratch or a hug. She loves being picked up and walked around where it’s higher. Her favorite walk is when Branden clutches her and brings her through our living room high in the rafters. This pudgy lady really misses her Bran when he’s away at college. There are nights she will repeatedly scratch at his bedroom door, hoping that he will emerge and scoop her up!

 

 

 

 

Despite her anxiety, her missing the litter box sometimes (which I’m trying to be patient about but observant) and her feminine temper towards our male Smokey, we truly love her and her company. No pet is perfect, but like our children, Tom and I only harbor unconditional love for her and our Smokey.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

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My lovey, Katie the cat hiding a near my son’s boxes.She keeps trying to get inside one! He’s fixing up his car soon with all these parts and will get it on the road.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

Good Morning to you all from the far north of the United States, just a day before our Fourth of July celebration. As a younger girl this holiday meant family cook-outs, festive fireworks displays, watermelon, outside games and swimming and the start of the fun summer season. As I age with a grown family and I’ve seen a little bit of the world, I recognize the true significance of this day in this country. It’s a day of remembrance of when our forefathers came together as one and created this special nation independent of Great Britain and the King. It’s time for Americans to salute the old glory of stars and stripes and pay homage to this great nation!

 

 

 

 

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The Stars and Stripes

 

 

 

I have to dive into politics and recent criticisms of our President momentarily because  I’ve been really discouraged and truthfully, pretty embarrassed while watching all the news of him.  Despite this, four years passes by quickly (let’s hope) and hopefully our people will pick a stronger and honorable leader, someone capable of leading our great nation. Whatever circus is churning and scandals that arise, our country is still beautiful and we experience precious freedom that many around the world just don’t have. Many countries are jealous of what we have and terrorists praise the divisions that exist right now, especially between Democrats and Republicans. This is when we should push our differences aside and get the work done for all of us.

 

 

Tomorrow our family will have a quiet cook out in our yard with hummingbirds racing from flower to flower and hopefully some well needed sunshine to warm our souls. Later we may hit the fireworks not far away and see all the blazing color light up the night. It’s a restful and low key day without the hoopla of big parties or parades, but that’s what we desire and enjoy.

 

 

As we indulge in these little celebrations, I’ll be thankful for my freedoms and put politics aside for a day or two.  This land continues to be my forever home and as an American, I salute all the active and past troops that have defended our great country!

 

To my fellow bloggers, happy writing and have a joyous week! To fellow Americans, I hope you all have a festive and safe Fourth of July!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

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Tom grilling last year and this year we’re doing a beer can chicken on the grill! Talk about a redneck picnic!

It’s Always ” in the Blood”

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really is amazing where this writer finds her inspiration! Sometimes a blurb on the news or a passionate song blaring on the radio motivates me to jot down  thoughts and ideas for my blog. Yesterday I heard another song on my car radio that I love and it energized me to write. Unlike many songs, it was the words that strongly spoke to me.

 

 

 

 

Have you heard, In the Blood by John Mayer? If you haven’t, look it up and absorb the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

How much of my mother has my mother left in me?
How much of my love will be insane to some degree?
And what about this feeling that I’m never good enough?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
How much of my father am I destined to become?
Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?
Will I let this woman kill me, or do away with jealous love?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
How much like my brothers, do my brothers wanna be?
Does a broken home become another broken family?
Or will we be there for each other, like nobody ever could?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, could I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I can feel the love I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
Songwriters: John Mayer
In The Blood lyrics © Reach Music Publishing

 

 

 

 

Family.

 

Love.

 

Loyalty.

 

It will always be in the blood.

 

There aren’t enough words to describe my feelings for my family, my blood.

 

Perhaps my pictures can depict the enormous grasp that my family holds me in.

 

Will this song will speak to your heart? It sure touched my soul.

 

 

Love to you all.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

 

 

 

Mysterious Flowers

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Good afternoon to you all! Yesterday I walked around  my yard checking my flowers and plants out. I guess most people enjoy doing this…hearing the birds, having the sun shine on my cheeks, seeing beauty and growth in my flowers! These moments I am truly grateful for because it feeds my soul and alleviates everyday stresses. If you garden, you probably know what I mean. Gardening is a peaceful activity and reminds me of a meditation that I can do at home and several times a day.

 

 

As I walked the lawn’s edge past our towering pine tree ( it’s about a hundred feet tall) and approached the birch, I was surprised to find my little purple gems blossomed! I’m not sure if they are a morning glory variety but I speculate they are since they open up in the morning and close late afternoon and night.

 

 

 

Several years ago my husband’s employer had her flower garden reconstructed and had a few flowers that she didn’t want anymore. Tom happily took these beauties and planted them at our house beside a lone birch tree by the road. We have never really taken care of them and didn’t need to. They seemed to do well where he planted them but now I’m not sure if I should divide them? The clumps look quite big and messy and I even had to stake one bunch because the flowers were drooping down on the ground.

 

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I need some gardening advice, folks! Should I stake the rest and divide them in the fall? Any other suggestions on what to do with them? If you know this plant species name that would be helpful too. Am I right with the morning glory guess?

 

Blessings to you all. I hope your summer is off to a great start! Lately in New Hampshire, we’ve had beautiful sunny warm weather with a cool breeze which absolutely equals heaven! It’s spectacular weather for gardening, strolling along your yard and reading a book!

 

 

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

 

 

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All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3