Mysterious Flowers

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Good afternoon to you all! Yesterday I walked around  my yard checking my flowers and plants out. I guess most people enjoy doing this…hearing the birds, having the sun shine on my cheeks, seeing beauty and growth in my flowers! These moments I am truly grateful for because it feeds my soul and alleviates everyday stresses. If you garden, you probably know what I mean. Gardening is a peaceful activity and reminds me of a meditation that I can do at home and several times a day.

 

 

As I walked the lawn’s edge past our towering pine tree ( it’s about a hundred feet tall) and approached the birch, I was surprised to find my little purple gems blossomed! I’m not sure if they are a morning glory variety but I speculate they are since they open up in the morning and close late afternoon and night.

 

 

 

Several years ago my husband’s employer had her flower garden reconstructed and had a few flowers that she didn’t want anymore. Tom happily took these beauties and planted them at our house beside a lone birch tree by the road. We have never really taken care of them and didn’t need to. They seemed to do well where he planted them but now I’m not sure if I should divide them? The clumps look quite big and messy and I even had to stake one bunch because the flowers were drooping down on the ground.

 

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I need some gardening advice, folks! Should I stake the rest and divide them in the fall? Any other suggestions on what to do with them? If you know this plant species name that would be helpful too. Am I right with the morning glory guess?

 

Blessings to you all. I hope your summer is off to a great start! Lately in New Hampshire, we’ve had beautiful sunny warm weather with a cool breeze which absolutely equals heaven! It’s spectacular weather for gardening, strolling along your yard and reading a book!

 

 

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

 

 

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All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

 

 

 

 

Be Still

 

Life in modern times is a go-go- go marathon crammed  full of workdays, commitments, and appointments. As an empty nest mother my routine has changed a bit and slowed down, but not as much as I expected. There are still work and house chores that must be met and then the rush takes over, especially when I’m working five days a week. Now summer is upon us and with that is the joy of our youngest son home from college. Summer days will run slower than the school year but even so there is always work and commitments to fulfill.

 

 

There are times I have to remind myself that the rush of life isn’t healthy or meaningful. We all need to practice being still. Just existing without being entertained or worked is difficult because we are not taught this. It’s an essential habit that we must learn. I am working on living this and it’s not easy because I’m used to loudness and being busy.

 

 

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I notice that our American culture is focused on entertainment and keeping busy. Just look at most families and their practices with their children. Many families schedule clubs, sports and commitments intertwined with school. Ballet classes, soccer games, karate meets, and the list goes on!  With hectic schedules, what are we truly teaching our children? That they have to be scheduled and entertained? That being on the go is much more valuable than being still?

 

 

I disagree with this mindset and wish that mothers and fathers would wake up. I do realize all this activity is born out of love for their children but is it healthy? What will our society turn into if no one is taught to be still and live in the moment. Is it such as bad thing to stay home on weekends and sit in the grass or look up at the clouds? How about simply listening to nature or reading a book?

 

 

 

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Here are some small ways I’m attempting to live in stillness and live with meditative intention:

 

Be still in the wee early hours of the morning. Drink your coffee or tea in peace. You don’t always need to talk, just savor it and quiet your mind. I like this time of day to pray or quietly reflect on life.

 

Be still when you are sick. I have a hard time with this one and don’t always  listen to my body when I should.  When you are sick, you need to rest. Everything else can wait, including work, family and  commitments because if you don’t rest, then it’ll take longer to join the rat race.

 

Be still in silence when praying. Clear your mind of that day’s happenings or what someone said to you in haste. Focus on your prayer intention. In the silence of the evening I practice prayer for family, friends and people I don’t know who need to be lifted up with His promise.

 

Take this tranquil pill everyday when you can take the time for you. It doesn’t matter when it is, whether it’s in the early morning or late at night. Close your eyes. Clear your thoughts and judgements. Breathe in and out, listening to your chest inhale and exhale. Simply be quiet and you will feel relaxed and reenergized. It’s a time of renewal for yourself….to just be. Do it for your well being everyday!

 

Sometimes it can be a true challenge but I attempt stillness in different ways everyday. It’s a form of meditation that’s good for your body and soul!

 

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.

An Angel Sent to Me

This post is dedicated to all angels and their believers!:)

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A photo from the farm, where we use to live and caretake. Whenever I see a sunset I think of God and angels.

 

 

 

 

As my ears popped and my belly stirred, we sat on a Southwest flight to Tampa. High above the clouds and riding with the wind, I was proud of myself for having the bravery to endure it and face my anxiety. I haven’t flown much in my life, two trips to be exact (one to Florida and one to Dallas to see my brother) and the last one was  6 or 7 years ago. I’m not sure but I’m surmising that my apprehensiveness is due to the unknown or if it’s because I’m not firmly planted on earth.

 

 

 

When you fly, you give up your control. Do you know that need to control everything around you? I do, which I think is common for many women. Here’s my reasoning… most of the time women are in charge on the household and that means making sure the housework is done and the house is organized. It means the calendar is full of written commitments. When your children are home, your the taxi driver, nurse, psychiatrist, cook, cleaner and you have a firm clutch on how the children are raised. Sometimes it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, doesn’t it? Yet, even so,  there’s a choice you can make to rid your life of that pressure…do you know what my choice was?

 

 

 

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Another one of my favorites from our old house…such beauty and peace. The same feelings I feel when I pray and trust God.

 

 

 

I chose to follow the Lord and to pray. Believing in him gives me peace and restores my control. Even if I’m out of that strict hold, God has it, a firm grip on everything. He is in total control of your life and we go along for the ride. That doesn’t mean that our choices don’t affect things because I believe it matters.

 

 

 

It’s a free feeling to let go and trust. Completely trust God, for he is the ultimate soul in control. He watches our every move and blesses us as we go about our day. I know deep in my heart that he protects us and watches over. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be trials and tribulations in life, but through it all he carries you, teaches you a lesson and happens to leave his calling card.

 

 

 

I’m always watching or listening for a sign or angel sent to me from God. This time He did his tremendous work through a lady from our state. She sat on the aisle seat in our row. I talked lightly with her in the beginning and found out that she was a nurse at a school in the Concord area. We went about our ride, her watching TV on her tablet, Tom mesmerized out the window ( he saw clouds, fields, water, really interesting) and I wrote on my blog and reading from my book.

 

 

 

 

While the plane was descending, the kind lady, Laurie, started talking with me. She told me of how her family traveled all over the world, Caribbean islands, Greece, Italy and Ireland to name a few. I mentioned how Tom and I were empty nesters and of our dreams of travel once or twice a year. Laurie suggested various get always, travel tips and places to steer clear of. Being immersed in this interesting conversation while Tom watched out the window, I totally forgot that we were landing (a source of anxiety for me, as well as taking off).

 

 

 

Suddenly our plane touched down and the pilot heavily laid on the brakes. A few jolts and bumps and within moments it was over and the plane glided on the runway, waiting to approach the terminal. As I thanked Laurie for our talk and travel hints, she laid her hand lightly on my shoulder. “ I knew that you were anxious, honey, about landing and that’s why I kept you occupied.” Right away I felt in my heart that God had used Laurie as an angel to help. He does listen and answer prayers in many ways!

 

 

 

Have you had special experiences that you know there was divine intervention? ❤

I feel blessed that I can spot these signs and gain the ultimate comfort when doing so. These powerful occurrences just reassure me even more of God’s presence in my life.

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

The GOOD in YOU

 

 

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This is a keeper and I think I’ll frame it. 

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We all have bad days now and then. It’s simply a part of the package of life, even if you are the happiest person you’re bound to experience them. The other day was my bad day. I don’t need to share every detail that made it that way but trust me, it was horrible. Everything I said or did was booby trapped and I got to the point asking God, “ Really, is this a joke?”

 

 

 

 

When I get physically and emotionally tired, it seems that bad days turn into catastrophic events. It brings me back to my teenager days when my emotions were raw and would set me in a state of chaos. When I feel like this, I call my mom and she listens and says a sweet little prayer on the phone. Other times I reach out to my mother in law and friend, Theo, who lives in Florida now but we can connect by phone or messaging. I try not to give my problems to my husband and this is why, he’s tired many times because of work and I don’t want to add to his stress.

 

 

 

My horrible, awful really bad day hungrily fed my low self esteem and I started beating myself up over certain events. I stewed over it and cried salty tears that reddened my face and made my throat scratchy. This time I chose to call my sister and she was at my nephew’s snowmobile race so it wasn’t the best timing. While watching the race, Barb heard me out. She offered soothing words and a few minutes later I hung up, feeling a little better.

 

 

 

One crucial help that I forgot was calling on God. Every night I say my prayers and thank Him for my wonderful life and family, yet when I’m having a terrible day, His presence gets pushed under the rug. Why do I forget His promises of comfort during trying times? It’s a pattern that I repeat often and then when I look to him wearily,  he brings me up to a place of peace and comfort as warm as my softest blanket.

 

 

Yesterday my daily trip to the mailbox was a surprise…inside sat a blue envelope addressed to me, from my sister. I was tickled pink even before I tore it open because it had to be a card of some sort.

 

 
The cover was :

The GOOD in You is STRONGER Than Any Bad Day

 

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My sister and I on my 40th birthday, a photo from her throwback Thursday album. 

This inspiration made me feel better! Knowing that my sister believes in me, caused me to question myself. Why can’t I do the same thing? As the self esteem battle continues from time to time, I know from deep within me that I need to put more energy in this project. I’m going to think about this and share my journey with you all.

Does anyone have some tips for me to try busting up low self esteem? Thank you, friends!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗