I am a Writer

 

 

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Picture taken from Willard Beach in South Portland, Maine. It looks like a perfect place to write!

 

 

 

Hello fellow bloggers and readers!  As I write this post today, I’m asking myself why do I write and continue to do so? My inspiration has always been to get the thoughts and ideas out. I feel that writing has saved me, for I am a talker. You know those type of people…those gabby people who incessantly talk about themselves and their lives. I confess that I may be one, but writing it down saves the spoken words. I think many people prefer a writer over a talker. Don’t you agree?

 

 

 

 

I write because it feels free. While typing away furiously, I experience a euphoric burst of joy. Have you ever felt that hypnotic rush while practicing a hobby? It’s that one special thing that you live to do and you can hardly wait to indulge in it.  If you haven’t stumbled upon it yet, try new things to seek your niche. Everyone has that special talent or hobby that brings out the best in them. I strongly encourage you to attempt to discover it!You may not know right away but keep seeking it with silent faith.

 

 

 

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One corner of my yard in our country town

 

 

 

My personal journey that I’m traveling on has truly spanned much of my life. As I continue on my path, I hope to bring readers along for the ride. Most times my writings are a plethora of rural moments, family togetherness and magical nature encounters. They may seem simple and plain, but to me, they are mountainous! As I live in every moment and soak it all in, I hope to share the wonder of the country to you all. Perhaps my writings can touch a heart and teach people why country  life is so special. 

 

 

 

 

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the nearby Pearl Lake and mountains

 

 

Lastly, I write because for some reason God placed it in my lap, to pursue and to mold words into meaning. I realized that as a third grader, when I started penning creative writing stories on yellow lined paper. I don’t take this responsibility lightly, as I express my ideas I hope to affect people even in small ways. Maybe a few words may shine a positive light on someone and make them feel good about life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To fellow bloggers, why do you write? Maybe you’ve never been asked that before and you need to ponder over it. I hope that it’s an enjoyable endeavor for you, for if it isn’t you need to question if you really do WANT to write. It’s a hobby and vocation for people that feel that need in their gut…the desire to get the words out or the ideas will be lost forever.

 

 

 

 

 

To readers, why do you read and what topics interest you the most? What draws you to my blog and what would you like to hear about in the future? Do you enjoy the northern New Hampshire posts, in the kitchen or inspirational food for your soul?

 

 

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

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Another special spot to write, Ogunquit, Maine.

The Gift of Self Kindness 🎁

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A co-worker and friend told me a few months ago that she couldn’t understand why I was the kindest person to other people but don’t give myself the gift of kindness. Why is it that I can smother others with free flowing kindness but can’t share with myself? Maybe it’s from habit or from my genes and how I’m made up but it doesn’t matter why. What matters is that I’m happily changing in my life. RIGHT NOW!

Being gentle to yourself means you care enough of your well being and life. Accepting yourself, shortcomings and all. It’s an acceptance of all your traits, even the ones you particularly want to change.

It means that you don’t have to take yourself serious all the time. I’ll never forget a comment a classmate wrote in my senior yearbook…”Don’t take life so seriously.” Good advice, Brandon Fied and it’s stayed with me all these years! Thank you.

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Being kind to yourself is a habit you can practice, even if you don’t feel it. The more you do it and forgive yourself, I would imagine it gets easier. My friend and fellow blogger Debbie has a wonderful site on forgiveness at Forgiving Connects.com. Debbie practices self forgiveness and that has inspired me to go easy on myself with love and forgiveness. Check out her lovely blog which focuses on forgiveness, love and acceptance!

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This is me being kind to myself I never my favorite place, Ogunquit Beach, Maine.

This is a new day, an opportunity to destroy my low self esteem for once and for all. I vow to wake up everyday and simply love myself as I do with others. I deserve the same precious kindness I share with others. When you’ve lived all your life beating yourself up, it’s tough changing. Despite this, I’m traveling the road to self acceptance and love.
How about you….do you treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve? I hope so, if you don’t let’s do it together! Any suggestions on ways to show myself kindness and forgiveness?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

This Year’s Garden Plans

 

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I can’t wait to see these rich and green beauties grow in the sunshine!

 

 

 

In New England we are immersed in the dawning of spring…forgotten melted snow, sporadic warm sun and plenty of rain showers are here. The  plant buds are waking up and grass is turning a rich green in our neighborhood. With this season we read about  gardening plans highlighted in ads and in newspapers, making it extremely easy to become excited and enchanted with gardening!

 

 

 

The first of May is pretty early to plant here unless you’re doing it inside with a greenhouse room or under a bright heat lamp. But the first few weeks of this month is a good time to reflect on last year’s garden and what went well and not so well. 

 

 

In late March or early April, I start to contemplate my garden. It all starts with jotting down vegetables and planning what different ones I’ll try. Every year I change up my squash variety so that our family harvests something different. Last year I grew butternut squash and summer. This summer I may grow summer, zucchini, and buttercup, shaped like a queen’s crown.  I decided to daringly skip the zucchini deluge last year( see another post about this). 

 

 

 

I must mention that if you are an amateur gardener you must read up on plant companions and crop rotation. Certain crops grow well together like tomatoes and basil cucumbers and spinach and lettuce. If you search on Pinterest or Google for vegetable gardening companions you can learn more information about it. I also rotate my crop every year, because some vegetables drain all the nutrients out of the soil and so switching their locations is a bright idea. I never plant tomatoes or the squash in the same place.

 

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A section of last year’s plot

 

A drastic change in this year’s garden will be the long lost corn. My husband and I decided about twelve years ago not to plant it anymore and I bet you can guess why not. When we grew corn, we had raccoons and deer eating from the cobs and that would leave us with the just the corn stalks for October decorating. The mere stalk doesn’t seem worth all the trouble and it’s a huge disappointment when you’re expecting scrumptious corn smothered with butter and salt.

 

 

 

This year we’re trying to grow corn once again, with some tips taken from my dad, who’s an avid gardener and was influenced from my grandfather. My dad uses a screen attached at the top of the fence that keeps critters out. He did the enclosure last year and had success with it.  

 

 

 

As our region experiences a rebirth in spring and the air becomes warmer, I’m grateful for it all. My garden is so short lived here, making it special. Immersed in soil and surrounded by green lush leaves, I thank God for being able to garden every summer.

 

 

 

During the year I work/ teach at school and have the summers off. I’ve always asked my husband if I should get a little part time job but he says that I don’t have to. I am grateful for this time and for my husband, who works all year round for us. I make it up to him by caring for him in the house, growing veggies, cooking and taking care of the house. He’s happy and I’m happy to be home for the summer and it allows me to tend to our vegetable plot and flower boxes. That’s how a mutual respectful relationship works.

 

 

 

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Last year’s window boxes!

 

Are you planning your garden or have you planted already? If so, I hope you are enjoying your planning as much as I am! Happy planting!

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

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These summer squash plants grew so well that spacing was an issue.

Letters to God: The Movie

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.

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Taken from Movieguide.org

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 YouTubemaxresdefault

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.

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Taken from Christiancinema.com

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.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello readers! I’m beyond excited to have our spare room project almost completed! Dylan and Lexie came for lunch today and helped us move furniture from the garage storage into the house. Be looking for a future post soon on the results!

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Yesterday morning I was thrilled to find out that a lovely blogger friend nominated me for the “ One Lovely Blog Award.” I’ve learned that this award honors and supports fellow bloggers in their endeavors to share our stories with each other. Tammy from Faithhopelovefood has nominated me as one of her chosen bloggers.

I’m tickled pink about it and her blog! Tammy devotes it to inspirational topics and her relationship with a God. It has been one of my constant go- to sites where she has insight and scriptures about life and I really find it helpful to me in my personal journey. I want to thank Tammy for nominating me and the other wonderful blogging sites!
With acceptance of this award I need to share 7 facts about myself with you.

1. Family is priority in my life, period. My family that I was born into, the family that I married into, and the family team my husband and I created all hold a special place in my heart!

2. I work at a little school, helping young children read. It’s an amazing job where I get to teach, laugh and listen eagerly to the things kids say! It’s the best and most rewarding job that I’ve ever held and yeah, I love it too! It’s like I’m living in a dream because I longed to be a teacher as a child.
3. I have written since third grade. I’m not sure who inspired me but I remember seeing cut out magazine pictures and dreaming up stories about them. Many years I wrote fictional stories but now I find that I prefer nonfiction and writing about my life and experiences. I still have a few notebooks from seventh and eighth grade.

4. Like Tammy, I love music too! Thanks to my son who told me about Spotify, I can listen to my chosen songs in playlists. I have a quiet playlist for those serene moments, old favorite pop and rock songs for happy dancing and current pop hits to listen to while baking or doing housework.  Lately I’ve been listening to ” A Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, Prince’s 80’s hits ” When Doves Cry”, ” Let’s Go Crazy”, Third Eye Blind, Little Bigtown…just to name a few.

5. I was named after my maternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth. My grandmother and I are not the only Marys in my family. My  great grandmother ( whom I never met), my cousin on my mom’s side, another cousin on my dad’s side of the family are all Marys. When I was young, my aunt and her family and grandparents nicknamed me “ little Mary”, while my cousin was older. I have an old fashioned name but I cherish it and am proud of it!

6. I lived in Boston for three months in 1988. I thought that I wanted to go into television work and attended Newbury College. My dorm was on Commonwealth Avenue, just a few blocks from the Prudential on Boylston. I worked part time at Mrs. Field’s Cookies and sold a cookie for $2.00, which I thought was outrageous for a mere cookie!

7. I have faith in God but do not attend church. I did go to a Congregational church nearby for a few years but stopped going. It seemed that there was politics and man made rules that clouded things and stressed me out. I do need to learn more about Him and eventually find a good fit church locally. Until then I will continue to believe, pray and read my Bible.
Now as part of this nomination, I will nominate fellow bloggers who have inspired me. Check out these wonderful blogs, ones that I follow everyday.

Thecreativelifeinbetween
Thegrizzlegristmill
Thethankfulheart
Deborahtheclosetmonster
Aftertherain

ThismuchIknow

Nominated bloggers, if you choose to accept the One Lovely Blog Award and pass it along, you will find your instructions below:

Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
Post about the award
Share 7 facts about yourself
Nominate at most 15 people ( I did only 6)
Tell your nominees the good news!

#onelovelyblogaward

All My Best,

Heartandsoul

The Stories You Keep

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taken from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

“ Forty three years old and the war occurred half a lifetime ago and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it last forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, where there is nothing to remember except the story.”

From The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien

 

 

 

 

A few years back my son Dylan had a school assignment to read the prolific and passionate work, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. He wasn’t enthusiastic about it, for he dislikes reading unless it’s about baseball or hunting. Since I’m an avid reader and lover of books, I dove right in and got myself a copy too. I figured that I could read it myself and maybe have meaningful conversations with Dylan about it.

 

 

 

 

 

I think as he read O’Brien prolific words, he started to think about war and the emotional and human cost it bears. We would talk about certain parts and I think that helped him with his assignment. As this progressed, I started writing notes from the text, fascinated with O’Brien’s words and feelings. It placed me in a soldier’s boots in Vietnam and into their fascinating but terrifying world. I loved O’Brien’s writing because it stirred up feelings inside my gut and that’s when you know it’s good.

 

 

 

 

Aside from war stories, I believe everyone has a distinct story. Every story is special , whether it’s heart breaking, life changing or remarkable, it doesn’t matter. It can reveal truths and explain why someone is the way he is. A story can trigger forgiveness and understanding. It can connect you to another time and place and that can be as exciting as being in the present. These tales need to be told to family members, friends and acquaintances for in life, a simple story can change everything.

 

 

 

 

Stories can sometimes be nightmares, told of horrors and indecencies that we would never wish upon our enemies. Yet even these stories need to be told, for they connect the past and present.If they weren’t told or recorded, then they would fade away and it would be as if they didn’t happen. When they are spoken from generation to generation, it remains real and  it can teach lessons. We can always learn from events in the past and make sure our story is enacted differently.As Tim O’Brien says, stories are sometimes all we have when we forget how we got from where we were to where we are.

 

 

 

 

If you or your family has a special story, make sure to share it with others. Write it down in a journal or publish it for others to enjoy or learn from. Embrace the art of storytelling…around a dining room table or a cozy campfire. It doesn’t matter where you tell it, as long as you do!

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend this book, From the Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It brought me right there, in the thick of the fight and I truly felt the misery and emotion. I loved his descriptive writing and it made me think about war and dying and a soldier’s sacrifice. I’m eternally grateful for all American soldiers and all that they have sacrificed for our way of life and our freedom. 🇺🇸

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

Being a Mama

 

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This was written long ago in 2006 when my boys were much younger. I found this in my journal recently and wanted to share it with all the young mothers and older ones too. If you’re a mom or dad, you know these feelings!

 

 

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Being a Mama
It’s the best gut wrenching, yet exhilarating feeling
that can suck you breathless and your mind reeling
It sometimes makes you entirely ecstatic
And other times a complete fanatic
But in the hushed moments of the night
I hear their soft breathing, they’re all right
As they toss their little heads
On their pillows long after being fed
This love that I hold is the most giving
I know this intensity is truly living

 

Being grateful for this little family of joys
I feel so much pride from my two little boys
I’m proud of their dimpled smiles and loose teeth
Even their messy hairdos with little ears beneath
Their uncombed hair and one son’s hilarious cry
To skip any combing, that look in his eye

“ Mom! Really! No one combs their hair!!!!!”

I’m so happy that I recorded this in one of my journals from a few years back. I would’ve forgotten those famous words and may have to remind my son that he spoke them. Haha. Thanks, Dylan for reminding me of what’s important!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️