School’s Out for the Summer!🌞🌼

Hello blogging friends, it’s been a hectic few weeks with me finishing up school, attending a few events and squeezing in outside garden time. Every day I thought of a potential blog post but never quite got there. I apologize for such a hiatus but I guess I needed it for my sanity. Now I should have ample time for writing and snapping photos as our school is out for the summer!

The garden in its beginning stage

My primary summer focus is maintaining and harvesting our garden. Every morning I walk a few feet in the rich green grass damp with morning dew to our little plot. Dressed in old t-shirts and sweat or yoga pants, I carry a garden hoe and metal can for weeds. It’s my morning peaceful ritual, joining the variety of birds, an owl that lives in our woods, croaking frogs ( in our pond), deer and turkeys that all love this land as much as I do. Getting down in the dirt is my daily therapy where problems disintegrate and a strength and resolve grows within me.

To the left are my rows of sweet corn followed by Zucchini and Summer Squash

It’s been a tough start to our growing season as nights have been quite cool for weeks, plummeting to the 40’s and sometimes 30’s. In the last month it’s rained a lot but it is waning, transitioning into warm pleasant days now. I worry for my tomatoes I started by seed, as the leaves are purple and they look like frost may have harmed them. I’ve had to replant a row of carrots as well as oregano because the seeds didn’t sprout. Time will tell.

To the left you can barely see my cilantro, then my cucumbers and last is the green lettuce.

One of my things to do is mount the tripods for the cucumber plants for a trellis. It involves Tom’s help where he pounds the stakes in and I tie them together with strong string. That way the cukes will hang up on them instead of being on the ground for moles to nibble on.

As I wrap up this post I wish you pleasant growing weather as you garden in your back yard or in deck pots. I hope this finds you all well, wherever you are physically and emotionally. I look forward to spending the summer with you, updating you of what’s going on in my rural world and hearing your stories as well.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️


When Your Mind Won’t Stop!

Thanks to Leon Brown from The Mind’s Journal

Do you have those tiring seasons when your life is a host of commitments or happenings that interweave with each other? Right now, in early June, I’m experiencing a hectic life schedule of work, commitments and plans that allow me no time to rest. It’s during these fast times that my body is physically exhausted and my mind mush. I need slow and quiet moments to rest my mind and thoughts. Otherwise it gets tired and I overthink EVERYTHING!

Lately my mind won’t stop overthinking! Whatever I’m doing it’s flooded with egocentric comments or judgements. I know why this happens…caused by an overtired body and mind. During these crazy periods my dreams increase and always involve conflict, school or close relationships that I am in.

My great intention is to carve out valuable down time to rest my haywire brain. I’m reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz once again, in order to recreate a peaceful flow in my life. Every day I pray for peace and strength to clear and clean up my thoughts.

Some ideas that I use to clear my thoughts are:

  • Sit at a table with a candle
  • Read a light hearted book in a relaxing chair
  • Embark on a special walk, engage all the senses! What do I hear? See? Smell?
  • Stop thinking about what others say or do, let it all go
  • Get plenty of sleep at night
  • Take mini naps when needed
  • Don’t listen to your mind’s senseless garbage

The other night was unusual…my racing mind kept me up for hours. I went to bed exhausted at 9 pm and didn’t get to sleep until midnight. Tossing and turning within the sheets ( poor Tom), I couldn’t clear or delete my thoughts. I said a prayer for help as I really needed sleep to be able to go to school the next day and actually function at my job! I pranced downstairs for a drink, glanced out the window at the peaceful glittery stars and went to bed. Finally that was it, I was carried away in the light sleep state.( I know this from my Fitbit!)

What do you do to erase negative mind chatter?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 😴

Spring Flowers 🌷

Spring has definitely arrived here! Although we’ve had loads of rain, there have been sunny and pleasant warm days too. I’ve worried about my emerging flowers as many nights have been 40 degrees F and chilly! So far they’ve withstood the temperature changes from day to night. Hopefully our nights will warm up soon!

A year or two ago my niece Michele gifted me these delicate little flowers. She warned me they may not come up as they were a transplant. I planted them out front with anticipation of seeing what the flowers would resemble and what color they would be. I’m not sure but my guess is they are an Iris variety. Last growing season came and went. The leaves were a rich beautiful green and healthy looking , yet the flowers didn’t bloom.

I didn’t think anymore of it until this spring when the plants came up once again. This time I was surprised one afternoon to discover these delicate purple beauties! It immediately brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart. Sometimes flowers take awhile to burst through, to overcome their challenges. ( like people)

My annual flowers, Geraniums, Petunias, Bicopa and the Spike enhance my house and front yard. Someday I may ask Tom to make a window box for the kitchen, one that can house herbs. Wouldn’t it be cool to simply open the screen and cut fresh herbs for cooking? I think so! In the meantime I really enjoy walking out to the garden to snip herbs.

This Columbine’s flower hasn’t opened yet but I believe it will soon! There are a few wild Columbines growing by the side of the road nearby. I guess that maybe a house was there at one time or that the seeds spread through bird droppings. Columbines come in different colors such as pink, red or white.

Here’s our Lilac bush that almost succumbed to a snowplow a few years ago. Tom nursed it back to where it’s thriving and even the rich lavender colored blossoms are fuller than before! There’s nothing sweeter in a spring yard than aromatic Lilacs!

In the North corner of our front yard stands a few Cherry trees and a couple of tall Cedars. It’s a lovely space of shade and hosts dozens of birds who love to hang out in the branches above. The last few years I’ve put my small table there with a chair for a peaceful spot for summer lunches.

In the future I wish to clean out the overgrown weeds within the trees. Tiger Lilies that we’re planted years ago grow there but don’t do well. The challenge for me is the Poison Ivy that grows there, preventing me from cleaning up and transforming a chaotic mess into something beautiful. Tom has tried to kill it but it keeps coming back. Once he really gets it, this corner project will start. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m grateful for my flowers around the yard and excited to continue planting perennials that will contribute to our little cottage’s yard. It’s these colors and Lilac scents that ground me. Dreams of this haven get me through the long winter with eager anticipation of green grass, rich pinks, purples and reds.

Happy Spring to you all!I hope you have lovely and colorful flowers that enhance your yard and your life!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🌻

You Know You Are in NH When…

You know you are nestled in New Hampshire when…

a fleeting glance out the window

presents deer sightings

the weather could be snowy and frigid yet the next day could be warm and mild

There’s a Northeaster forecasted when spring is supposed to have emerged ( this happened a few weeks ago)

People wave to you on the road if you know them or not

leaving food outdoors leads to wild visitors in the night

you are on a first name basis with the post master, the police chief

and the town clerk

Spring brings eager smiles, light hearts and open windows

Most days there is a hushed presence of nature

only to be interwoven

with soft twittering bird songs

and serene owl hoots

This is the country melody

that we all are mesmerized by

You know when you are in NH

When a tranquil peace hovers and rising mountains

greet you

Sugar maples, white birches and thick pines surround you

The busy world continues its crass noise

yet life here is slow and meaningful

country living with a stillness that

keeps one centered

If you haven’t visited New Hampshire in the northeast of the United States, you must deep in the summer or in the pleasant days of Autumn. It’s a chance to escape the rat race and explore the White Mountains and nature at its best!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🥰

Where Do You See Yourself Next Year?

I think it’s a healthy habit to plan annual goals for yourself and your personal growth. Do you ask yourself where do I see myself next year? I’m asking this loaded question for the first time. I guess I wish to progress with building my self esteem into a stable fortress, one that peoples’ opinions or comments won’t crumble my walls. Now that my sons are raised, I’ve found time to focus more on my marriage of 23 years and myself.

Lately I’ve been immersed in self help books, articles ( especially in Maria Shriver’s Sunday paper) and pod casts, in search of multiple ways I can empower my spirit, grow and reach to new heights and affect my corner of the world in a positive way. I’m reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I’ve Been Thinking by Maria Shriver and listening to Gwyenth Paltro’s podcast the Goop. All these materials have fed my brain with great inspirational food, ideas and thoughts for me to chomp on in order to be the best that I can be!

One important point that I have learned is that I can’t find happiness in any one person but myself. I’m working hard at this, at depending on myself and not my husband or grown sons. I also understand that investing in myself isn’t an indulgence ( that I believed as a busy mom and wife) but a necessity.

Next year I hope to have continued my stay fit lifestyle and explored more with medicinal herbs. I foresee that I’ll be stronger in personal growth and confidence. I know that this will fuel my marriage even more and that our love story will continue to play out.

As I wrap up this post I challenge you to look ahead to the future and question your long range goals. What goal would you like to achieve? Is it personal, career or family based? Once you journal about your goal create a vision board of the results you wish to achieve. Place your written goal on the fridge so that you can see it everyday. Pray about it and for guidance to work towards it.

My next post will be Las Vegas Part 2!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🌈🥰

Being Grateful for Challenges

I’m at the point of my life that I appreciate and accept challenges that arise on this rollercoaster of life. Trying trials and challenges are meant to be written in my story. They present difficulties to overcome and conquer, all that test my heart, my perseverance and strength. These are all God’s gifts, part of his master plan for us to grow inwardly, to accept in our lives and thrive once we’ve overcome the hurdles.

Every challenge in my life have taught me unique lessons, ones that I carry with me everyday. They’ve been sewn into my cloth, embedded in my inner soul and have made my path sweeter and smoother. The nerve damage injury I had for two years, the horrifying enclosed MRI test that taught me that I have a phobia of closed dark spaces. Even so I talked myself into enduring the annoying and terrifying test. It taught me right away that I can do anything that I set my mind to do!

I’m grateful for difficulties and tests because each time I made it to the top, with the help of God of course! I am much stronger than I ever knew or expected. Much of my life I haven’t known myself, adopting a sweet but meek persona. That’s okay. It’s how I survived but now I know myself better, relying on my strength to guide me. I’ve risen higher than I ever have due to my strength. It ( with the Lords help) equals steel, a permanent fixture, something that I intend to nurture and maintain.

The next time you face an unpredictable difficulty that brings you to your knees, remember that “ this too shall pass” and that it could have happened for a reason. Any adversity in your path will surely build a wall of strength. Life holds not only pleasant times but tough moments, a patchwork of sweet and sour memories. Without hard challenges we wouldn’t appreciate the joys in life!

Have a blessed week and as you maneuver through your days, have faith that the stresses and challenges are fleeting. These hard moments will fade but the lessons they provide will build you into who you are meant to be…strong!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕🥰