Empty Nest Notes

 

Hello Readers! I’ve added a new page to my blog, Empty Nest Notes. I started writing it last year and forgot about it. Now I’m launching this page in hopes of sharing my empty nest experiences. Hopefully this will help you mamas who will be going through this too!❤

Source: Empty Nest Notes

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A LOVE of Words

 

This post is dedicated to my brother, David Doyle, who fostered my love of books. Thank you, brother for caring enough to inspire and teach me!

My cousin Janice, me in the middle at about seven years old, and my little sister Barbie on the right. Even at this young age I loved words, written and spoken!

 

 

I’ve always been a lover of words, spoken and read. That love was born as early as I can remember and grew even deeper when I realized the precious freedom of speaking with my own voice. As a young girl I gabbed incessantly driving everyone crazy! Then one day this profound  devotion evolved when I picked up a book. My older brother, David, influenced me greatly by buying me classics like Little Women and Black Beauty. By  becoming an avid reader and indulging in books, I learned how the world worked in so many exciting and diverse ways. The written word served me with many hours of leisure in my bedroom or outside in the yard and still does.

 

 

 

 Now that you’ve learned of my adoration of language, you can surely understand why writing is so precious to me! It’s been yet another medium to freely share my thoughts. The babbling overflow spills onto the pages as I type, a freedom of expression that has developed into an appendage like possession. This encompassing passion is fueled by my deep seated NEED to affect readers in some way. I  can only wish that others, especially the children I work with at school can feel this empowering emotion and release in writing!

 

 

 

It’s apparent that I’m a lover of words, for they dominate my kitchen in every way! Everywhere you turn a sign, plaque or picture almost shouts words at you and you can’t help but “read the room’ as you go. I never realized this before until I wrote this post. Unconsciously I’ve surrounded myself with little pieces of languages, pieces that heal and spread joy.

 

While eating a breakfast of toast and honey or a scrumptious bowl of granola and fruit, I can see Live, Laugh, Love staring at me and I feel so blessed to be able to do all those things and I can thank my family for that.

 

 

 

 

 

A little quaint postcard bearing an adorable black cat stares at me while I wash the dishes and it says, Someone Loves you. Thanks, Mom for your love and your artwork! 

 

 

I’ll post on my mom’s artwork in the future.

 

 

 

My newest words I acquired recently is my Just Roll With it sign. If I’m having a bad day and ready to cry tears of frustration, perhaps that advice will help me to let it roll. I want to mention that I bought this from a fellow blogger, Jodi at Creativelifeinbetween.  I love her blog and her little Etsy store, Mckinney x2 designs. She creates amazing artwork prints and notecards and her daughter-in-law paints the whimsical signs, of which I own two! Check out their store and read Jodi’s beautiful and creative blog at Creativelifeinbetween.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you notice how there is a message or word trend in products? If not, when you shop next, notice the products donned with inspirational words.  It appears that consumers, like me , crave these bits of language. These are words that drive success and serve as a motivation for a fulfilled life of happiness.

 

My little collection of words envelope me in joy, for their inspirational message and little reminders of kindness fill my cup to an overflow. It helps me to go about my day and enhances my life in small yet significant ways!   I really love words and how they can grasp at the emotions within you and squeeze tight.

 

Notice how you can read words everywhere you go! Some suggest hate or division. Others support happiness and instill a foundation of peace. You can choose which messages to live by and to read. Others simply ignore and stay positive. 

 

 

With this,  I hope you have a joyful day filled with meaningful words… whether they are spoken, read or written. Enjoy the message and pause to reflect.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

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