Who Inspires You to be Good?

Flipping through Oprah’s March 2018 magazine, I saw the question, who inspires you to be good? I’m always striving to live like Jesus would, with kindness, compassion and empathy for my fellow-man. As I age, so does my heart expand with these traits and I work on these because I want to be good, to do amazing things in this world and affect others in a positive light. This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect by any means and sometimes I waiver and I  need God’s little  reminders to keep me on track.

 

 

My mom is one of the people who inspires me to be good. She visits people in nursing homes and prays for them and volunteers at a local senior center.

 

 

When I ponder over Oprah’s question, several inspirations come to my mind. First, God inspires me to be good in this life. I may not attend a church in this time of my life but I hope that I live a godly life. I pray throughout the day as a connection to Him and he carries me through every time. I realize that I need to take time to read the scripture and learn as much as I can. It’s a void that I’m going to fill soon.

 

Secondly, like many of Oprah’s readers, I am inspired by my family starting with my mom and dad. Even if I’m nearing 50, it still matters to me what my parents  think of me. I want to make them proud and that desire will never wane!

 

I wish for my husband to be proud that he married me. He doesn’t tell me all the time but I know I inspire him to be his best. We both compliment each other in that way. His calm and loving nature is good for me and the way he treats his clients is heartwarming ( he never charges more year to year because he knows people have a hard time making ends meet).

 

I also care what my sons think and want them to be happy by my example and live that way too.

Here is my dad, a hard-working man who creates wood projects with love and who I’m very proud of.

So I’m inspired everyday by God, my mom and dad, my husband and my sons. These people are who I look up to, who I wish to shine the brightest for and that keeps me going, striving to be the best person I can be. I’ve learned many principles in this life and one of them is to stay inspired and inspire others by trying to be an impeccable person. There are days I fall short of that desire but instead of crying in a puddle of tears, I pick myself up and try again.

As you go about your life, ask yourself  who inspires you to be good? You probably have multiple people as I do. Ask yourself are you being as good as you could? Are you focusing on others or yourself and your needs?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

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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 ❤

Blame and Responsibility ( Reflections from Will Smith)

Thanks to the celebrity Will Smith, I’m inspired this morning to reflect upon blame and responsibility.  Lately Will has posted short video clips on social media and  I’m supposing it’s to make a difference and touch lost souls. I was eager to listen, mostly because I think he’s a great actor and grounded family man, an overall good guy. As I listened to another video, I was reminded of some truths that I’ve always known but have forgotten.

Shared from Will Smith’s video on Blame and Responsibilty on Facebook.

 

 

 

His first video that I noticed focuses on blame and responsibility. Will’s message is that most people blame others for a problem, finding fault with outrage. It could be a broken marriage, alcoholic parent or abusive situation and you want to immediately blame who caused the hurtful situation. Don’t we all try to blame others for hurt and expect them to fix it? I know I have, in the past.

 

 

Will says blame and responsibility don’t go hand in hand. In other words, when someone has hurt you and broken your heart, it’s not their responsibility to make it right. It’s yours! If your spouse has ruined your marriage by cheating, it’s your responsibility to pick yourself up and carry on. It’s all up to you…to heal, to mend your heart and create a life of happiness. If someone has wronged you, it’s your job to make it right. Only you can fix it…for it’s entirely your responsibility alone!

 

 

As I age and gain wisdom from life, I don’t blame as much as I used to. Where would it get me? Nowhere! Instead I try to understand the person’s actions and sometimes his\ her life and upbringing explains a lot. Instead of being hateful with blame, try to let it go. Frost it with understanding and unconditional love.

 

 

Fixing your broken heart from any situation is your responsibility! Stop blaming! Start healing and living the best life you can. If you are on Facebook, look up Will Smith’s videos, they are stark honest and real. One is on Failure and how it’s vital to fail and another is Who is fanning your flames, in other words who is supporting you?

 

Happy weekend to you all! Tom and I plan to visit a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl and we will be cheering on our New England Patriots and Tom Brady! Go Pats!🏈🏈🏈

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

Raise Your Daughter to…

I don’t have a daughter but will be gaining a daughter-in-law in a few months. Despite raising sons, I know raising daughters can be difficult especially in times like this. You don’t have to go far to see slim looking Barbie doll women in the media, magazines, tv and movies. Even when I was growing up it was so easy to see perfect sized women in the media.  I never seemed to fit the mold, being overweight and not having a thread of confidence. Yet here I am…I managed to overcome all that pressure girls are thrust in and I can only hope that girls of today (including my sweet niece) make it unscathed.

With these thoughts, I hope moms and dads can raise their daughters to:

 

 

Be themselves and not waste energy comparing to others

 

 

 

Believe in themselves despite what others say or do

 

Look in the mirror with a strong love and acceptance

 

Love their body and accept it

 

 

We can only hope that our girls and young women are taught to thrive, being entirely who they are despite messages from society. 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

 

❤️❤️❤️

Be the Reason ❣️

Shared from Facebook, Wild Woman Sisterhood

 

Be good to others always!

You don’t know what a person battles

day-to-day.

Be good.

Be kind.

Be patient.

Be forgiving. 

All because that’s the right thing to do

and wouldn’t you want that back? 

Be the reason. 

Thank you Wild Woman Sisterhood for the inspiration.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❣️

 

 

 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

 

I missed making this treat for Christmas so managed to get it done this weekend.

 

 

 

I remember that many years ago my mom made a cream cheese Bisquick Raspberry coffee cake for Christmas morning. She had a special book in the eighties with the recipe and now my sister has the book. It’s a delicious and easy coffee cake to try for your family.

I don’t usually buy Bisquick but I do especially for this delicious coffee cake!

 

 

 

I’ve made it several Christmases, switching the raspberry jam for strawberry and it still had the same delicious taste! It’s been a few Christmases since I’ve made this , so this weekend I decided to try it again. It’s yummy warm and accompanied with a cup of coffee.

The recipe- Bisquick Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

You will need for the cake:

1 ( 3 oz) pkg. cream cheese

4 Tbsp. butter

2 c. Bisquick mix

1/3 c. milk ( I used Lactose free for Lactose Intolerance)

1/2 c. raspberry jam ( can substitute strawberry)

 

For the Glaze:

1-2 Tbsp. milk

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Maraschino cherries

 

Cut cream cheese and butter into Bisquick. Mix until crumbly. Blend in milk. Knead with hands into a smooth ball. Tear off two pieces of waxed paper the size of a cookie sheet. Place the dough on one piece of paper with the second piece on top. Roll out dough to a 12 x 8 rectangle. Remove the top paper and flip the dough on a greased cookie sheet. Spread jam down the center. Make 2 1/2 inch cuts at one inch intervals on each side of the dough. Fold the strips over the jam. Press lightly so that the strips seal together. Seal ends so the jam doesn’t seep out. If you noticed I didn’t seal it up on one end by mistake but it came out okay.

Bake at a preheated 425 degrees F oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool. Drizzle coffee cake with the icing. Garnish with cherries or walnuts if desired.

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe? Is there a story with it?

I battled a flu-like cold the last few weeks and finally I’m on the other side. After almost three days inside resting,  I had a bout of cabin fever from being cooped up. It was quite liberating going to town yesterday. Then I came home, fashioned my trusty apron, plugged in my new Kitchenaid mixer ( which I love by the way) and baked this coffee cake. 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

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 💗