Welcome, Autumn!

The first few weeks of autumn in our little state actually felt like long-lost summer days, hot and steamy like Florida. Summer hung on as Mother Nature  didn’t get the memo to transition into cooling autumn. Muggy days with temperatures in the 80’s hung thick over us, making our clothes stick to our skin. Many days when I hit the pavement, sweat poured from every pore and even though I welcome summer weather, I truly set my hopes for fall.

 

 

 

Finally weeks later it feels that fall has rushed in with a swoop of cool air accompanied with sunny and pleasant days. Most nights we have to close our windows , as the air cools right down in the 40’s and 50’s. My favorite part of the evening is when Tom lights our trusty stove. The mesmerizing scent of smoke wafts in the livingroom and the crisp smell of burned wood reminds me of my childhood years of fireplace and stove fires. Orange licks of flames shine through the stove window and I thank God that we have heat and can be cozy and warm because of it. Our cats appreciate the comfort of the hearth and soak in the heat, as their tails flick back and forth.

 

Our neighborhood during autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

Like many New Hampshire residents, I welcome autumn days. There’s something  exceptional about mustard golds, pinks, reds, and peach leaves hanging on the trees and falling with gentle breezes. The mountainous landscape becomes a natural canvas for all to gawk at and feel the immediate tranquility. Warm yet mild days give way to apple picking, pumpkin searching, football games and gathering up leaves for the jump in contest. Plummets of fall smoke fills the air, brush fires, bon fires, wood stoves crank up the heat while little critters prepare for the coming days of winter. The cool night air feels like luxury to your skin, kissing you with pleasant tingles.

 

 

 

It seems that the colors emerged earlier this year, sometime in early September. I enjoyed them but visioned immense foliage displays this month. I believe the hot days have lessened the pop and without those cold temperatures, I noticed the colors were muted and less this year. As we are immersed in late October, foliage has passed on. Despite this truth, the piles of beautiful leaves, pumpkins and scarecrows perched on porches remind me that autumn is here, my favorite time of the year!

 

 

 

Wherever you may be, notice the significant changes of season. Maybe you didn’t have foliage where you are…perhaps it’s a subtle change of temperature or lessening of the tourist deluge. A new season is a perfect time to indulge in your local foods and products. Here in the north country, apple cider is available as well as glowing orange pumpkins in farmer’s fields. Crafters set up at local fall sales as visions of upcoming holidays dance in our thoughts.

 

 

 

Embrace a new chapter in this change of season. This shift in time truly is a gift to cherish, a subtle reminder that there’s a time and place for everything. This can be your time to explore. Why not visit a new local venue or hike a trail you always have meant to? Whatever you decide to do, live in the moment and use your senses to indulge. What do you see with beckoning eyes and not a cell phone picture? What pleasant scents  appeal to you? Do you hear noises that become peaceful memories? How about touch…do you feel the rough bark of a nearby tree or the bumpy pumpkin skins on display? If you focus on the experience with your senses, it will be a warm memory to hold on to.

 

 

Happy Autumn days to all! What are your favorite fall moments?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Everyday Positive Intention

Okay, friends, take a gander at this beautiful scenery and you’ll know why I relish my walks in this small town in New England. It all started this summer when my mother-in-law visited and we trekked a six-mile or more hike through every corner of this hamlet. From then on, I caught the walking bug and found that I felt really great physically and emotionally when I hit the pavement. Most days I walked by myself about a mile or so. Other times I walked a few times with co-workers after school, panting and chugging the whole way. (About three or miles each time.) 

 

 

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Would you believe this used to be our view, right in our back yard? Now I walk by it with fond memories and appreciation for its majestic beauty.

 

 

A few weeks ago I took a chance and asked my neighbors to walk. We’ve lived here almost three years and unfortunately I hadn’t connected with them yet. I’m beyond blessed that I’ve made two friends in the walking process.  Anita, Irene and I walked twice a week up our road and stretching uphill towards town with friendly conversation shaping our walk. 

 

 

Another beautiful sight on our walk.

 

 

Anita has taught me that it’s healthy to set a positive intention everyday. In the mere hours of a quiet morn, I sit still and reflect on the coming day. At this time I also pray to God for the people in my life and for ones in need. In the peace of these moments, I’ve started to set a positive intention to focus on for the day.

 

 

 

My intention is to focus on something new everyday and breathe positive air into my corner of the world. The first positive intention was calm. That day whenever something stressful appeared , I focused and breathed of calm. The next day my positive intention was confidence. I have fought low self-esteem much of my life, especially at work when I have to be on top of my game. Although I had a rough day, my lesson was that I need to be confident with whatever life throws at me. Fastball zingers happen and it’s up to me to stay strong and take them as they come. 

 

The grown up road side bordering a local farm.

 

As the autumn season rushes in, our daylight is diminishing. Walks may be less frequent and more spontaneous on weekends and such.  As I reflect on this, I am extremely grateful for our country walks with fresh air and mountain scenery, fit for a postcard. A nearby pasture hosts curious cows watching our steps down the road with keen interest. Trees shed leaves of crimson and mustard yellows, wind swirling them in squalls. These nature strolls are even richer with the company of two really nice people!

 

I challenge you to try to set a positive intention everyday. Some ideas to focus on are peace, calm, giving, listening, smiling more and forgiveness. Meditate in a quiet spot in the morning before you plunge into your day. Write your intention down and how it could help you grow. It’s been a healthy practice for me and an inspirational way to stay positive in a chaotic world.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Thank you, Dad!

Look at my beautiful moose that my dad made me in his workshop! I stained it a few coats and then he was ready for placement.

 

 

 

 

This guy stood proudly in my new garden this summer as I walked by everyday with lots of love for my dad. He gave this to me on Easter and made a Golden Retriever plaque for my sister. It meant so much that he made these treasures for us but it’s not the first. In the past Dad has made me a wall clock, my sons’ bookcase, a tv stand, a jewelry box when I was in my early twenties, a clock bearing my name, a bed, a New Hampshire plaque, a deer picture, a deer house sign and now my beautiful moose. All these hand-made goods were made with skill but also with love. They all mean so much to me for he made them with his two hands and that means much more than a store bought gift.

 

My dad with my sister on the left and I am on the right.

 

 

Thank you, dear Dad for creating beautiful pieces of art for me! 

I love you,

Mary

How blessed I am that both my parents are artists in their own way. My dad is a wood worker and my mom is an artist of painting with oils and acrylics.

Year Two Drop Off

An installment of Empty Nest Notes

 

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I’m so proud of this guy! He’s a happy guy back at college!

 

About three weeks ago my husband, son and I ventured south to our son’s college. It’s Branden’s sophomore year, an easier move than last.  This year we all knew what to expect and thankfully there were no tears as we moved and dropped off.

 

 

 

Imagine a squished family wedged in a jam packed car. Heaping clothes were piled high in baskets and a microwave, mini fridge and crates of supplies were stacked upon each other. My husband is an expert car packer from years of caretaking and chaffeuring, so he was up for the task. By the time all was loaded, a small seat in the back remained where Branden had to squeeze in for the ride. Thankfully Tom could still see in the side mirrors for a safe drive.

 

 

 

Upon arriving, we saw cars with families like ours everywhere. People scurried around with crates, small pieces of furniture and all the college essentials. It was comforting to greet some student helpers with huge laundry wagons to transport Branden’s belongings. It was as simple as signing up and while we waited and ate a quick snack, Branden went to sign in and receive his room key.

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This photo is a vivid memory of last year, Branden’s first year at college.

 

 

 

This year our son lives on the second floor, a floor down from last year. The room is much smaller facing the back side of the building with two windows letting in the lovely light. He shares his room with a friend of his, one person less from last year. Last year’s room was big but needed to fit three grown men.

 

 

 

 

Tom helped Bran haul the mini fridge in and placed it under his bed. It’s cool that the bed is on risers so we raised it, with enough room to fit a few crates and the fridge. His bed was placed on the right side of the wall parallel to his buddy’s bed on the left. He has a desk and chair and a bureau which we placed at the foot of his bed to save space. His closet is good sized, enough to house all his clothes and essentials.

 

 

 

 

We stayed about an hour and then was on our way but not without hugs and spoken well wishes for a great school year. Riding home we talked about Bran’s happy disposition and how this college really is the perfect fit for him. He set his mind on it early in the college search and just knew in his heart that it was home. I can only wish this for any college freshmen, to know what place speaks to them as a second home. As proud parents, Tom and I are blessed that he made the right choice for him without pressures from outside sources.

 

 

 

In a few weeks I plan to bake one of Bran’s favorite cookies, peanut butter chocolate chips to send in a care package. I figure it’s a package of home for him to enjoy and relish in. I talked to my mother in law and she plans to bake when it cools down in Florida. We are setting up a system that we let each other know when we send our packages so that it doesn’t arrive the same week.

 

 

I want to wrap up this post with a small prayer for college students and their families.

Dear God,

Please allow these students to adjust to college life, especially freshman. Give them strength to harbor the change and courage to withstand any obstacle. Help them study hard and make good friends, friends that last a lifetime. Bless them as they live the college life and ease their parents’ minds that all will be well.

In the Lord’s name,

Amen

God Bless you all as you go about your day. I’m spending some time writing today and hope to tackle a few more posts for the coming days.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret to Life

Hello everyone! It’s been about two weeks since I’ve written a post. Every time I think of it something comes up and the moment rushes by. Even so, my thoughts have been with you, my fellow bloggers, friends and family who invest your precious time in my writings.  This weekend I plan to catch up with other bloggers’ posts and comment for I feel that’s just as important as writing my posts. Being a part of the blogging community has become very special to me. I love to share my thoughts and life with you all, but I also love to read what is going on with you. Keeping up on your posts  is one way I can honor this connection. It’s fun reading what you have to share including poetry, artwork and family moments. 

 

 

The next few weeks I hope to write more and post on some ideas and happenings in my life. Be on the look out for fall posts, my newest adventure in walking and a comical incident on our beach weekend. 

 

 

 

Recently Tom and I watched a funny movie, a flick we had watched many years ago but revisited it once again, City Slickers with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. It kept us laughing and after working hard all week it’s great to sport a belly laugh whoop! Currently it’s playing on Netflix and is worth the time as the light hearted comedy soothes the soul.

 

 

 

 

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Shared from Rolling Stone.com

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever noticed when you read a book twice or repeat a movie that you notice a new detail or scene? It happens to me all the time! I want to share with you a little about the movie and the scene that struck me. Billy Crystal’s character lives in the busy hustle of the city with his wife and son. He is going through a rough patch on his 39th birthday and experiencing problems at work. It seems that he’s depressed and weary about his future. His good friend plans a cattle drive trip with Crystal and two other friends. Crystal’s wife encourages him to go and says that it would be valuable time to think about his life and what he wants.

 

 

 

 

On the Cattle drive Crystal meets the cowboy Curly, played by Jack Palance. If you have seen him in action then you know that he’s the perfect fit for the role. With nonchalant coolness coupled with a rough manner, Palance plays Curly with convincing expertise.

 

 

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Shared from Patheos.com

 

 

 

 

While Crystal gets to know Curly on the cattle drive, they share an intimate conversation regarding the meaning of life. Leather skinned Curly shares that driving the cattle with the rolling fields and the peace is his meaning in life. With a cigarette wedged in the crook of his mouth, Curly tells Crystal that there’s one secret to life and that he has to discover what that is. Once you know that secret , everything else falls into place.

 

 

 

I chewed on this thought for a few days, asking myself what was my secret to life? Sometimes you have to dig deep in your soul to answer this enigma. Other times it’s so obvious that it lies right in your lap! My secret to life was born as a simple idea in high school, family. I would doodle in my least favorite classes and dream of my husband and children. That’s where it originated and it’s  evolved as time has marched on.

 

 

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My two sons on Dylan’s high school graduation

 

 

 

I say this with complete confidence, that family has structured my life and has filled my cup overflowing. I came from a big family of four children and two hard working parents who divorced after 21 years of marriage. Our family was far from perfect, we fought like most. Despite this, we built relationships that will span our lives. Being in a big family taught me about coming together, forgiveness and what family really is all about. It’s not always perfect or ideal but it’s all we have. It’s our roots that stabilize our life and holds us to that one constant.

 

 

 

Having my husband and two sons has completed me and taught me that this unit is the strongest and the most vulnerable. Family is sharing together, trusting during easy or trying times. It is the one entity that is the glue in my life. It’s allowed me to explore motherhood, something I’m pretty good at and enjoy with all my heart. Being a mother is part of this secret of life and will stay with me until I die. Secondly I cherish being a wife and sharing my life with my husband. As we explore life without the boys here, we have become closer in a new way.

 

 

 

 

What’s that one special thing…your secret to a good life? Everyone has the one secret to living a life of their dreams. Maybe it’s your family, your growing career or service to others. I encourage you to ponder over this question. Maybe it’ll be an instant no brainer answer or it may take you awhile to realize what that one secret of life is. Once you know, hold on to it and cherish it.

 

 

 

My sons a few years back….in their cool phase!

 

Blessings to you all as this day marches on. I hope you all enjoy your day!~

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Goodbye to Summer As I Know it

My little garden with a few edging work to do.

 

 

Here’s a little goodbye to summer…

as I finished the first week of school, a short version due to the Labor Day holiday. Ten days ago I walked the shiny polished floors in school for the first time since June. Everything looks clean and polished and all classrooms look equipped and ready for the kids. I unpacked my corner and organized miscellaneous items piled on my table. My corner looks fresh and soon I’ll be taking groups of readers for reading sessions.

 

Even though it’s a little sad to close another summer chapter, I feel that it’s time. My spoiled summer routine consisted of getting up without the blaring and annoying alarm. Summer days consisted of gardening, seeing relatives and writing my blog. By mid August all my free time feeds a dire need for purpose and so I welcome the start of school to make a difference.

 

I really miss the children, their lit up smiles, their funny comments and the way they make each day worth getting up for. They bring meaning to my life and that’s why I work at school. I can’t imagine working and teaching anywhere else. I’m truly blessed to be involved with such a special school, faculty and the children there.

 

Summer is over  for me as the New England air cools down, a sneak peek of Autumn days is here. I’m pretty excited for fall days, my favorite season of the year! Bring on September and lovely colorful days!

Blessings to you all as you say goodbye to the season.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

Happy Anniversary Babe

August 26, 1995 Our Wedding Day 

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Lasting love….our wedding day 1995

 

 

Twenty two years ago I married this guy. We have made a home together, where we created a beautiful family. Through the years we’ve  raised two great sons, who have grown into promising young men with strong work ethics and future visions. I’m proud to say our home was and still is happy, safe and filled with love for each other.

 

 

My anniversary card that my husband bought me last year.

 

One of our wedding photos. We are posed where we married, in front of the pond.

 

 

This is us this year, lots of physical changes are apparent but our love has grown stronger with age.❤

 

This guy is my best friend…the type of person who has your back, a good listener and he makes me laugh! How blessed I am to be married to this guy! 22 years of marriage and 24 years together❤ Tonight we are going out to eat, our usual celebration for tying the knot. Another tradition is that we order dessert to go and bring it back home to savor during a movie. 🎉🎉🎉