Living Without My IPAD

 

This was Taken at the Ice castles this winter!

Sometimes you just know deep inside you that you need to walk away from a gadget or habit, you know? Even so… it’s such a part of your life that it seems extremely  difficult to stop. This is how I feel about my  iPad usage.  I’ve relied on it for five years, checking the weather, email, banking, blogging, messaging, you get the idea, right?

A few months ago the screen shattered when I dropped it. ( I had dropped it many times before but was lucky every time) I kept on using it and developed a system where I wouldn’t get glass splinters from touching the screen. Then the battery started acting up and not charging. I rushed to buy a new charger cable and discovered that the battery’s finally dead. My iPad is gone and here I am typing on my desktop computer. It’s not the same nor as convenient but I wonder if this was God’s doing, as the thoughts of addiction came to my mind. Everywhere I was the iPad wasn’t far away.

 

So this is why I haven’t written or posted pictures lately. Many of my photos for my blog were on the iPad and I didn’t back it up. So this is a lesson learned that if I ever do buy another gadget for information….I’ll back it up!

I hope this entry finds you all well and happy with your life!

I’m working on a post about this winter and a visit to the Ice Castles and my mom’s trip to Amish country in Ohio. Check back in soon, friends!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

Back and Forth

 

Written on an old tattered notebook page

First Draft, 1992

 

Windshield wipers scrape

BACK AND FORTH

Intense rain splatters

pitter

patter

on the windshield

Monstrous storm clouds hover

while a deluge of showers

clouds my vision

Cold rushes sweep

through the  inching vehicle

as the windshield wipers chime

BACK AND FORTH

Like a tune on an old record player

Constant

Unchanging

yet beautiful,

showers of rain

pitter

patter

BACK AND FORTH

 

 

What do you think of my poem from long ago? 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

Two Years and Counting

While browsing my blog stats and dates, I noticed that my blog has been running for two years. It all started as a simple idea and a whim. I had no expectations or plans tied with the launch. All I knew is that it was time to present my writing and satisfy my need to be complete. For as you and I both know, if you’re not practicing and doing what you love, then you’re not truly being yourself. I had to write and this blog was a way to do so.

 

I want to thank you, all of my readers who many have become lovely friends who I “talk” with back and forth such as Rhonda, Jodi, Tammy and Ellen just to name a few. Others who I check in with from time to time mean just as much. The one thing I’ve learned as a blogger is that you become a family member of the community, gaining a rich patchwork of friends. With all  you special people, I have read fascinating stories, tried delicious recipes and gawked over amazing photos and pieces of artwork! In the process I’ve shared my life stories and pictures and have put everything out on the table and trusted you all. It’s felt natural and good to trust and share my life.

I hope to continue this blog as long as I can for years to come. With this wish, my other dream is to compile alike posts and write a book someday about a mom’s life in rural New Hampshire. 

So here’s a HUGE thank you to my family and friends who regularly read my posts and offer positive comments in response. This is what has propelled me to keep moving forward…it’s something I’m very grateful for! ❤❤❤

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Mary ❤

My Mom’s Grace

Dedicated to my mom, her resilience in life and her grace I didn’t know until now.

 

My beautiful mom

 

 

About six weeks ago while my mom visited me, she excitedly gave me a pamphlet announcing a dance class that she was in. ” Could you go to this, Mary?” she sweetly asked me and of course I said I would. I thought at first that she wanted me to participate in the dance class and I wasn’t sure how I would do, but then I discovered that it was a dance recital and that I would be in the audience. Phew! What a relief that I didn’t have to bust a move!

 

 

                                                    My mom and niece on Cookie Day

 

 

The dance class, Body in Motion, was for women over 65 and was held in a function room at the Horsemeadow Senior Center in North Haverhill, New Hampshire. Instructor Jeanne Limmer taught this class highlighting confidence and joy. The women journaled during the class and performed simple dance movements. It was a reflective and emotional discovery for all of the ladies. The dance class instructor drove a two-hour trip to teach the class, with reservations at first. But as the class went on and she got to know these amazing women, she was happy to do the drive.

 

Courtesy of Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

Upon entering the building, I noticed happy positive people with teeming smiles and an energy I wanted to bottle up for myself! My mom stood there proudly when I arrived. I knew that I HAD to be there for her and that it was definitely a special event.

 

Shared from Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

 

The presentation was graceful and inspiring. The women took turns saying profound words to describe themselves using words such as strength, kindness, love and peace. Each woman  performed a quick fluid movement with her word, either reaching her arms to the sky or hugging herself.

 

 

Courtesy of Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

 

At one point in the program all the spectators were invited to dance on the floor and celebrate movement while focusing on the positive aspects of life. Swinging my hips and whole body among all these happy graceful souls, I felt alive! It was a few beautiful moments of sheer pleasure and peace, ones that I would love to reenact again. I didn’t care what people thought and no one else did either. We all celebrated life through dance and movement while practicing it in a forgiving space with no holds barred.

 

The closing of the recital was when all the women stood in a semi-circle and a joyous song, Bird Song by Heather Masse played. This angelic voice floated across the room singing , ” I hear a bird chirping up in the sky, I like to be free like that and spread my wings so high.”

 

As this beautiful tune played I watched my mom. She danced with peace and love, with a beaming smile that lit up the room. I was so proud of her that day, of her courage to participate in the recital, her grace to spread her wings and fly and not care what people thought. It was one of the best moments I’ve shared with my mother in a long time and I thank God for this chance to connect with her. I love her so and don’t tell her enough.

 

Myself, my mom and my sister Barb

 

Check out this song, Bird Song by Heather Masse on Spotify or iTunes. It’s a lovely expression of peace, a song that can be danced to or a great background for creating art or writing. Let me know what you think if you listen to it.❤

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

When I Stopped Writing

Most of my life I’ve written…starting on school yellow lined paper and graduating to writers tablets and journal notebooks. I always felt like I had to get my thoughts down or they would be lost forever. I’ve said before that writing saved me for I’m a talker and people would much rather read something then hear babbling on and on. In my opinion.

Even though I write now and have my blog, there was a time I walked away from it. It was mostly because I had a young energetic schedule with my family. Instead of investing the needed time to pen my thoughts I got hooked on the internet. As a young learning mom, thousands of parenting sites appealed to me and sometimes I was glued hours after the kids were in bed.

 

I wish I could go back and recapture that lost time. I could have documented raising my boys much better than I did. Then I ran into an old friend and he asked me if I was still writing. I had forgotten about it…maybe not completely but it had been years. It triggered ideas of putting the pen on paper again.

 

Soon after  I bought a new cloth bound writers journal. I was going to be true to myself again and no matter what anyone thought of my work, it was happening. This little hiatus from my writing made me stronger and I can honestly tell you that it was as if I had never walked away. The language flowed within me spilling on to the pages, making up for lost time.

 

From this point in my life I can predict this hobby/ calling will always be a priority like breathing and loving. It’s something I won’t deny or abandon now for it’s a part of me and without it, then I just won’t be true to myself.

 

I hope you found your hobby or calling and that you are staying true to it. If not start searching for it by dabbling in different hobbies, writing, drawing, painting, acting, singing, crafting…some ideas. Once you find it, you’ll find practicing it is vital for your happiness.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

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.