Spending More Time With Family & Friends

Okay let’s be honest here! How many of you truly keep your New Year’s resolution and honor it throughout the whole year? I’ve never kept my intention, not from not caring about it but life gets busy with work and commitments and it gets pushed to the wayside. With that….it’s lost and forgotten replaced with to do lists, bills to pay, etc.

My interest in setting a new year goal for 2020 was sparked by my daughter- in-law Lexy. She shared that she and her best friend were getting together to set New Years goals. I liked the idea of sharing with a friend for accountability sake but it can also turn into a fascinating conversation. Sharing your positive intentions for the new year opens up channels of new ideas and thoughts fostered through friendship. I have always kept my resolutions private and perhaps that’s why I’ve failed at them. Maybe I’ll start shouting from the rooftops of my goal, with a true desire to reach it.

This year I honestly intend to spend more time with friends and family, especially since I’m feeling better. I may go to lunch more often, make a few more phone calls, write quick sweet notes and send them in the mail. I want to see my mom and dad more, making the trips to their homes. I’m blessed to still have them and their spouses alive, in their seventies and early eighties. They mean the world to me and I want them to know how fortunate and happy I feel to have them.

When our Florida family comes in the summer I wish to connect through down to earth talks, nice country walks or by lounging on our deck in the sunshine. I want to hear stories of how their life is going down there and have Tom reminisce of old times growing up and of relatives passed but not forgotten.

This year I vow that I’ll try to keep this goal alive and not hidden. I wish to connect more, talk more, laugh more and let my friends and family know how precious they are to me. 2020 will be an amazing year of wonderful possibilities to carry my resolution through. I pray to God for me to carry it through and reach out to people even more than I have!

What’s your New Year’s resolution and what is your strategy for keeping it alive and going all year?

All My Best for the new year,

Mary🎉🥰

Being Gutsy…

My nephew Lucas and my dad, who everyone calls Top Shelf

Being gutsy is staying true to your beliefs and values

even when someone challenges you

Being gutsy is staying strong in any situation

easy or difficult, either way being on top is the

positive outlook ( a few years ago my dad lay in a hospital bed

sick but told the nurse he was on the “ top shelf”)

Being gutsy is fighting cancer everyday but laughing

anyway and finding the joys in every day( my niece is doing this, fighting

but mostly importantly LIVING)

Being gutsy is working hard day in and day out

having a strong work ethic and taking pride in every action

( my husband Tom practices this and it’s one of the many reasons

that I love him and I’m proud of him)

I know many souls that are gutsy

they’re living with extreme strength

and faith

with a quiet and steadfast perseverance

Rest In Peace Mrs. Geneen

Maybe you live gutsy

Plowing forward through your troubles

Making the best of it

Praying to God

and having eternal faith that all will be well.

Here’s to all the gutsy people in my life,

they have taught me strength

Persistence, confidence, and faith.

My cousins and I. Carmen in the middle

Anita, Sherrie, Dad, Tom, Laura ( Rest In Peace), Mrs. Geneen for your strength and example ( Rest In Peace) ,Theo for her strength through her trials, my cousin Carmen who has battled back from a horrific attack and tours now to teach others , my stepfather Gary and many more.

Theo on the right front, a woman who smiles no matter what
My niece Ella and my stepfather Gary who has had recent health challenges but still on top

All My Best,

Mary 💜🌈

My Gluten Free Journey

Okay friends I need to share with you what’s going on with me. For awhile now ( just over a year and a half) I have noticed that certain foods irritate my stomach and I’ve experienced significant changes, which led me to the doctor. Of course he had no answers for me. In the past I’ve had trouble and had to solve my own problem by taking note of what I ate and the reactions the food caused. In a few weeks I learned that eating dairy products and drinking milk made my stomach sick and upset my stools. Now I know I’m lactose intolerant.

I’ve figured out that breads, ( I only eat oat bran bakery bread but it’s not gluten free) cereals, oats that aren’t gluten free, dressings with gluten and rice pilaf mixes are all not agreeing with me. It’s been a challenge to change our eating habits and it’s more expensive at the grocery store! ( I ask you why do the healthiest foods cost more?) Every time I eat any of these foods I have gas and some bloating and undesirable stools.

Two months later and I think I’ve figured out how to eat so my body is happy and calm. I mostly avoid granolas unless they are gluten free, most breads, salad dressings and sauces such as rice pilaf mixes. I’ve learned to shop the gluten free section at the grocery store and on Amazon Prime. I eat more fruit in the morning, skip cereals and breads and if I do have toast it’s gluten free. Canyon Bakehouse gluten free bread is my choice for now. I put it in the freezer and take out a slice when I wish to.

I used to think the gluten free idea was crazy but now that it affects me, I know well that it’s a real thing affecting many people. It takes much planning, shopping, searching and patience to maintain my path to wellness. Sometimes I cheat and eat something with gluten or dairy and soon after pay for it. Even if the food tastes good I try to remember the ending result and how my body doesn’t accept it. I think I’ve done well in a short time and feel healthier and balanced. The last challenge is finding gluten free foods at restaurants. That’s where searching the web pays off, you can look at menus ahead and see the healthy gf options.

This is my personal journey, one that I’ve had to rack my brain over without a doctor’s help. Sometimes I wonder why this food intolerance has plagued me but asking this question doesn’t change anything. So I accept it and deal. Move on and focus on eating that makes my body whole and healthy. If you are also on this path, I wish you the power to accept and learn all you can about it.

Until next time be well, my friends. It’s October here with a colorful array of foliage. Probably the next post I write will share fall moments with you.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🍁

Monday Morning Inspiration

You can CHOOSE how you react to others and negative situations. I’m learning this and training myself into calmness before I react. Instead of full bore antics I’m slowing down. I can Stop. I can Breathe. I can ask myself, is this action bringing me to a more powerful place? ( I like to think of it as a peaceful place as well) This is from Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. It’s been a helpful book on self awareness and feeling the fear and then doing something anyway. It focuses on changing your negative mindset and turning it into a positive one.

Enjoy the beauty of this day and don’t let others steal your joy, the joy that you deserve.

Have a beautiful day!

All My Best,

Mary

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day…

the small hamlet

is as hushed as a whisper

yet nearby peepers rattle their tunes

breaking the silence

lulling me to slumber

At the end of the day…

whatever negative occurrences

that happened don’t seem to matter

What remains are the beautiful moments

The warm peachy sunset promises

a bright new day ahead

A chance to commence anew

to rid all of your resentments

A cleansing and renewal

of sorts

At the end of the day

I thank God for the chance to live

and love.

My son Dylan and husband Tom. You can tell it’s at the end of the day…Tom looks pretty tired! God bless them!

All My Best,

Mary 💕

Where Do You See Yourself Next Year?

I think it’s a healthy habit to plan annual goals for yourself and your personal growth. Do you ask yourself where do I see myself next year? I’m asking this loaded question for the first time. I guess I wish to progress with building my self esteem into a stable fortress, one that peoples’ opinions or comments won’t crumble my walls. Now that my sons are raised, I’ve found time to focus more on my marriage of 23 years and myself.

Lately I’ve been immersed in self help books, articles ( especially in Maria Shriver’s Sunday paper) and pod casts, in search of multiple ways I can empower my spirit, grow and reach to new heights and affect my corner of the world in a positive way. I’m reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I’ve Been Thinking by Maria Shriver and listening to Gwyenth Paltro’s podcast the Goop. All these materials have fed my brain with great inspirational food, ideas and thoughts for me to chomp on in order to be the best that I can be!

One important point that I have learned is that I can’t find happiness in any one person but myself. I’m working hard at this, at depending on myself and not my husband or grown sons. I also understand that investing in myself isn’t an indulgence ( that I believed as a busy mom and wife) but a necessity.

Next year I hope to have continued my stay fit lifestyle and explored more with medicinal herbs. I foresee that I’ll be stronger in personal growth and confidence. I know that this will fuel my marriage even more and that our love story will continue to play out.

As I wrap up this post I challenge you to look ahead to the future and question your long range goals. What goal would you like to achieve? Is it personal, career or family based? Once you journal about your goal create a vision board of the results you wish to achieve. Place your written goal on the fridge so that you can see it everyday. Pray about it and for guidance to work towards it.

My next post will be Las Vegas Part 2!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🌈🥰

“Earning Your Keep”

While browsing through last April’s posts, I stumbled upon this post I wrote. It’s about how New Englanders thrive in all the seasons and the extremes. It takes a strength and pereseverance to live here, to remain content while the harsh conditions can test your endurance. As winter shuts its door and welcoming spring gradually begins, I wish to share this once again.

https://heartandsoul974.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/earning-your-keep/https://heartandsoul974.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/earning-your-keep/

The End of March Madness!

When March rolls around most New Englanders hope, even dare to think of spring! The 2019 calendar says it’s officially March 20th but we all know it will be long after that. Our yard still sports mounds of snow, icy slopes and chilly icicles dangle from the rooftop. Snowstorms still clobber our region with multiple inches of the white stuff and whipping winds.

This thermometer will continue to rise this week!

When I mention March madness I don’t mean basketball. If you have read my blog posts you’ve probably learned that my interests don’t include sports. My definition of March madness is the hovering cabin fever that sets in, especially in New England where winter consumes many months of the year. It’s the itch for beautiful pastoral scenes, bright sun, blooming blossoms, singing birds, open windows and growing grass.

This was taken a few days ago, after the latest snowstorm that brought 12 inches of snow!

As March winds down, there is slight evidence that spring really is here. The daytime temperatures rise to the 40’s and 50’s, and this coming weekend it’s predicted to be in the 60’s! A burst of sun and needed warmth is what we New Hampshire residents crave! Surely the pleasant weather will break up any March madness or craziness that exists from cabin fever.

As the mounds of snow slowly melt, the warmer days of April are just next week. Gradually temperatures will rise, back dirt roads will turn to mucky mud and wood stoves may not have to be stoked as generously. Spring days will replace the madness of winter!

Here’s a cheer to the end of the March Madness! Welcome spring!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🌞

Staying Calm

Lately I’ve been re-evaluating my state of inner peace and calmness. While randomly reading, I’ve stumbled upon an abundance of material relating to being calm. This is purely coincidental yet fortunate as I’m seeking this. As I work on inner peace, it seems natural to focus on being calm.

Let me tell you candidly that my personality is the farthest from calm you can get! I’ve always been hyper, loud, anxious and nervous. I’ve accepted this for its who I am, but with that, I also desire to change some of my ways! I wish to instill peace and calmness in my life replacing anxiety.

Living in a calm state is a challenge, especially in this hectic world we live in. By turning on the news we see devestating occurrences that build a deep rift in our state of peace, severing any calmness within us. Jumping on your cell phone, answering multiple texts constantly and trying to stay ahead of emails can try someone’s inner peace. But I believe that we have a choice!

I choose NOT to own a cell phone. I know, I know, you may think I’m behind the times and fighting society’s norms. I am doing that…but I’m also choosing calmness! Without a cell phone I am not bound to constant calls and I’m truly happy without it!

Lately I’m working on staying calm as a reaction to others. Sometimes people say hurtful things or lash out at you with negativity. In these situations it’s helpful to keep your emotions in check. Is becoming angry going to help or hinder the situation? My suggestion is to keep calm, walk away, breathe deeply and feel the emotions and then let them go.








Staying calm is any situation can be difficult, especially when you’re exhausted. Make sure you get plenty of sleep at night. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Drink lots of water. Journal all your feelings that overwhelm you. All these practices are medicinal and will not only make you feel great, but will aid your emotional and mental states.


My flower garden is a source of calm.

I truly miss my yard of vibrant yellows, deep purples and red flowers, all that keep me calm and centered in the summertime. The flowing green, cool grass on my feet, the cooing of morning doves and the songs of twittering birds all contribute to my peaceful world. I can’t wait for real spring and summer to relish all of these. Nature keeps me grounded and content.

In the meantime I exercise, go for walks in this small country town, read and write for calmness, and take care of my emotions so that I can thrive as a human, a wife, and a mom.

How do you stay calm in difficult situations? Are there vital things that contribute to your sense of peace?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕