A Moment of Grace

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My Top Ten Summer Ideas

My Top Ten Summer Ideas….

 

These are just a few things you can do this summer ( in no specific order, just try them all)

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1. Have your morning coffee on your deck or outside table! Here in New Hampshire the evenings and mornings are mostly cool. The refreshing air wakes you up and of course that delicious cup of Joe tastes delicious outside! Listen to all the summer birds sing their morning song and be grateful for it. I’ve indulged in this tranquil time twice and intend to do it more this summer.

 

 

2. Go for walks before or after work. I find lately I really enjoy walking in the morning while there are less cars and more wildlife. I bring my camera for that sudden photo opportunity and have a little bell to ring to scare off bears. Truth be told I think most bears are more scared of us but the thought of a protective mama bear and her cubs crosses my mind now and then. 

 

 

 

3. Add fruit to your lemonade or iced tea pitcher. I was planning on doing this anyway but I was surprised one day when I caught my son Branden making it. His first pitcher was an experiment and the lemonade tasted primarily of watermelon. Since then he’s abandoned the watermelon idea and instead added a small amount of raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. It’s super easy…wash them good, cut the ends off the strawberries and pick the little stems from the blueberries. Blend well in your blender and then add to iced tea or lemonade! If you don’t have fresh fruit but you have a lemon or lime, slices of that make the drink special too! Don’t forget to add lots of ice to the pitcher!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Fire up the grill and smoker! Marinate beef, chicken, pork, shrimp…you get the idea and grill while you sip a glass of wine. Sit out at your outside table while grilling and enjoy it. Grill corn on the cob or veggies. Sometimes I use foil for potatoes or veggies to grill or I have a grilling pan meant for the high heat to cook sides dishes. It works great and cleans up well.

 

 

 

5.Visit your local ice cream stand! I am lactose intolerant but found that a soft serve cone doesn’t bother me. Yummy! Enjoy that juicy watermelon, sweet strawberries and blueberries, crisp corn on the cob and fresh garden veggies picked from the soil. I know what you’re thinking, that some of my favorite summer things are definitely  foods but how can you truly enjoy summer without relishing in it’s cuisine?

 

 

 

 

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Lovely Pearl Lake in Lisbon, New Hampshire

 

6. Go to the lake. Go fishing (only if you have a license), take a boat ride and snap photos and  swim in the fresh water. Watch the trout jump and the ducks dive for bugs and relish in the goodness of it all. Bask in the sun and be thankful for the quiet moments away from work and the stresses of everyday life.

 

 

7. Visit new places, especially ones that are just open this season. I’ve lived in the north country all my life and I’m just minutes from Mount Washington but I’ve never been up it. This summer Tom and I may ride the Cog Railroad up the Mountain. A hot July day can be cool or even snowy so bring a jacket and take in the amazing views! I’ll keep you posted if we go on this adventure!

 

 

8. Read books! Compile a wishlist…I do this on Pinterest and record the books I read every summer. So far I’ve read Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman. I just picked up The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and look forward to it. She is such a great writer and when I read her books, it flows. A great book sucks you in and you don’t want to put it down. If you’re making yourself read  a book just to finish it but you don’t ENJOY it, discard it! Reading is for enjoyment so choose something that excites and fascinates you.

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9.  Do you have a green thumb? Then start a Garden! In our neck of the woods it’s a short growing season but a beautiful way to become one with nature and feel peace in your heart. Perhaps you want to grow a small garden…if so, plant seeds that grow fast like lettuce, spinach, and radishes. You could always garden in containers, with already grown plants, flowers or herbs. I make it a point to browse through my gardens everyday but if you work then try to tend to it a few times a week. If these ideas aren’t possibilities, definitely seek local farmer’s markets. They sell all home grown vegetables and fruits, honey, have cut flowers, hand made crafts, and many other goods.

 

10.Last but not least spend valuable time with the people you love. Recently a dear co-worker and friend of mine passed away from cancer at the young age of 54. This wake up call further instills the importance of making memories and time count. So far this summer I’ve seen my three siblings at my nephew’s high school graduation, saw my dad and will visit him and Corinne next Friday, my mom, and my friends Laurie and Michelle. My mother-in-law Theo will be visiting in a few weeks and we’ll see Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim.  I’ll also get to spend some time with Tom’s sister Bev, who I always look forward to seeing. Although I have summers off, I  have much to do and garden around home. Even so, I make it a point to see my family and friends who I love because time is precious and I know that making time for loved ones builds relationships.

 

My favorite photo of my sister and I taken a few years back and Alexis (my son Dylan’s girlfriend who is part of our family now) and Tom and I in Maine.

 

 

 

Have fun this summer and make sure that you try new things..taste different foods, visit new places and learn more about the world around you. Share with me experiences you’ve pursued this summer. I would love to hear from you.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

The Jubilant Days of June

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A little Goose family trekking along the town cemetery

 

 

In the jubilant days of June…

I awake to spreading goosebumps

and a chill from cool

and refreshing morning air.

Little enchanting birds

sing their triumphant

melody in tandem.

Their familiar sing song stirs

my rising soul.

A pleasant wake up call

simply soothes.

No shocking alarm clock

this morning!

Thank goodness

for nature’s peace!

 

 

 

A family of geese waddle

along the cemetery green,

parading proudly and always

together.

Suddenly the  mesmerizing sun

glows amid the clouds

and I whisper,

“Welcome back dear old

Sunshine!”

“Please stay awhile!”

 

Long lost winter dreams

melt away with the sun,

as picnics and bare feet

take over.

The jubilant days of June….

must linger and stay.

That’s my wish!

 I  cherish all of its gifts 

with a contented sigh.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

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Who’s at Your Breakfast Table?

 

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Our handsome son with college long hair with an unshaven look

 

Look at who sat at our breakfast table this week! Our son was on spring break and was home all week. Tom and I rose Sunday morning with an ambition to cook breakfast together as a team, for our son. Scrumptious bacon sizzled on its pan in the oven, as eggs bubbled in pools of butter and the cinnamon French toast scent wafted through the house.

 

 

 

 

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It made my heart full to plan my cookie baking while my son was at the table.

 
We were happy to wake with our son under our roof. Tom and I patiently waited awhile for the delicious aromas to wake Branden,but he really needed to sleep in. We ate in quiet with the sun shining in our little windows. He woke later and entered the kitchen to discover his plate and his breakfast warming in the oven. A sleepy smile came to his face and I was grateful for this and for his presence, at our table.

 
It was a rough week, later on with our son getting the stomach bug. We collectively made sure he was hydrated and on the road to recovery. We sanitized all week and built our immune systems up so we could stay healthy while he was home. Despite the crummy week, our breakfast moment was special.

 

 

Who is at your breakfast table? Your family or guests are there for a reason, to be with you. Instead of being glued to your cell phone or device, enjoy the people at your table. Talk and laugh and be grateful for their presence.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

A Snow Day

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Yesterday in the morning at 7:15, I was all dressed for school with lunch in tow when the phone rang. No one ever calls us that early, unless, I thought maybe it’s the school! Sure enough a robot voice relayed the no school message. I admit that even though the car was running and I had everything ready, I skipped with glee and kicked the snow playfully when I went to shut off the car. No School! This never happens here, even when it’s icy and the roads are questionable, school remains open. I guess the furnace was on the fritz, no heat.
It felt like a snow day for the snow was falling and we had several inches piled up. Huge loud orange plow trucks pushed on by as I wrote my Christmas cards at my dining room table. My cat Katie accompanied me, trying to claw the envelopes and I laughed because I could pull them away just in time.  Glancing out the window, I spied about twenty wild turkeys crossing the road into our yard. Thoughtfully, I placed a chair in front of a kitchen window so curious Smokey could watch them longingly.

 

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I trudged out back to gather some firewood for our stove, for that’s how we heat our house. When I zipped around the corner I noticed fresh tracks in the snow going to a little woodpile near the house. I thought maybe they belonged to a squirrel or chipmunk. With an armful of logs, I suddenly saw a little white creature pop up from behind the wood pile. I could have missed it if I hadn’t been looking that way, for it blended in with the blanket of pearly snow.

 

Oh my gosh, it was so cute ! This little adorable face looked like a mouse or ferret but with a white long sleek body. It’s tail had a black tip. A mink? A weasel? I researched online and discovered that it was a long tailed weasel, known to live in northern regions and even in the Arctic.

 

He scurried and laid down a trail in the snow and didn’t even seem frightened of me. He romped in the snow here and there. What a blessing for my day because I’ve never seen one and it was so magical at that moment, while snow was falling. Even though Tom informed me that weasels can be vicious, I hope to see him again and wish him well during the cold days of winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My new friend’s tracks

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Sentimental thoughts come to my mind when I think of snowdays. In previous years I loved announcing to the boys that there was no school. This day no one was here except my cats who I hugged and petted and talked to. Instead I sent a message to my son in college and he responded right away. It made me happy that we could still connect on a snow day and he will be home after his last final this Friday. He probably misses snow days too. Getting up late, a mug of hot chocolate and venturing out in the winter wonderland was his snow day itinery.
So my snow day was special and magical and unfortunately something had to happen to the school furnace but many teachers and children received a well needed day. Thank you God for the little miracles of the day, a precious gift in the hustle of the holidays!

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ☃️

Photo Challenge: Morning

via Photo Challenge: Morning

 

 

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As I walk silently with a purpose across the lawn, I notice sparkling sunlight welcoming me, the family gardener. Ahh…there is an enveloping cool air, a sure sign of summer in New Hampshire. Visions of digging in dirt overcome me. The growing patch bathes in glowing sun rays as little birds chirp and whistle, ” Good Morning!” Morning spent in the garden equals harmony and essential for a great day, well spent.

Happy morning to you all wherever you may be!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️