Welcoming Autumn Days

As  September days commence, I am reminded everyday of why I truly relish the autumn season. The country air cools down, bringing relief from such hot and steamy weather this summer. Nearby maples sport orange tipped leaves. I’ve spotted a few pinks emerging in the landscape, soon to be immersed with golden yellows. Farm fields host endless rows of perky plump pumpkins, soon to be placed on porches. In Bath a corn maze has opened its business, a winding path of lefts and rights amongst tall green corn stalks.
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Here leaves are turning a rich red in Maine.
Hummingbirds are gone on their long journey and will return in May. Robins have left too, for warmer temperatures. Crickets play their musical tune during the day…signs of a season change. As these sorrowful changes emerge, summer days dwindle and fall approaches. There’s a time and season for everything and even though summer was joyful and magical, it must end. Thankfully autumn replaces it and that’s fine with me as it’s my favorite time of year! IMG_0133 Last weekend I decorated my house with fall colors, artificial autumn leaves and scarecrows to welcome fall. Soon I’ll visit the pumpkin farm and buy a few plump pumpkins for our front step. We have one lone pumpkin on a vine out back in our compost pile. Last year we dumped our rotted pumpkins, little did we anticipate their seeds replanting. The round beauty still sports a green hue and hopefully with the sun and a weeks time it’s color will turn orange.       Are you decorating for fall? What is your favorite activity or aspect of the season? I’ll post my fall favorites soon! All My Best, Heart and Soul 💜
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Why I love the Number 13 & 13 Things to do in New Hampshire

The lore of number 13 is that it’s unlucky. Superstitious people tread lightly on Friday the 13th and believe that terrible occurrences will happen on that day. It’s said that it’s bad luck to seat 13 at a dinner table and some restaurants go to the trouble of setting 14 instead.

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Despite this superstition, my favorite and lucky number is 13! Even though people  talk  of it’s negativity, I associate it differently. You see, I was born on Friday the 13th and think it’s special that it was that day. My home address is 13 and it happened randomly. My little niece’s birthday is on October 13th, a day of fun and celebration.

 

A few great things that are 13, a baker’s dozen ( for who doesn’t want an extra yummy muffin or cookie), there were 13  original American colonies and in math 13 is a prime number and can be divided by any other number.

 

Have I convinced you that 13 just has a bad rap? I am not superstitious and so 13 will continue to be a special number to me.

 

Here are 13 ways to enjoy New Hampshire if you visit our beautiful region. 

 

1. Visit historic covered bridges in small towns of New Hampshire. The Windsor- Cornish Covered Bridge was built in 1866 and crosses from Windsor Vermont into Cornish, New Hampshire. Stop by and see the Bath Covered Bridge in Bath, New Hampshire. It was built in 1832 and has been renovated a few times. Nearby the Brick Store hosts a country atmosphere with homemade fudge, smoked meats and unique gifts.

 

2. Hike trails in Franconia Notch such as Lonesome Lake Trail and the Basin.

 

3. Go swimming at Echo Lake in quaint Franconia Notch. Rent a paddle boat or canoe or just lounge in the sand and enjoy the lake and mountain views.

 

4. Eat a yummy breakfast or brunch at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in beautiful Sugar Hill. They have a variety of tasty homemade pancakes and waffles in the renovated dining room.

 

5. Do the Zip-line at Loon Mountain in Lincoln. If you visit in the winter you can ski or snowboard.

 

6. Go fishing at peaceful Pearl Lake in Lisbon. This used to be the town reservoir.

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7. Shop downtown Littleton to see thrift stores, clothes boutiques and Chutter’s Candy store. It sports the world’s longest candy counter!

 

8. Eat delicious pizza and drink an ale down by the river at Shillings in Littleton.

 

 

9. Shop the outlet malls in Tilton.

 

10. Attend the Keene Pumpkin Festival on October 28th.

 

11. Gaze at colorful foliage in late September into early October. Go on a road trip through the Kangamangus Highway. Stop by one of the many rest areas for a picnic lunch and panoramic scenic view.

 

12. Go bike riding on country roads.

 

13. Take in a movie at the Jax Jr Theater in Littleton. In 1941 the theater premiered The Great Lie starring Bette Davis. About ten thousand spectators attended the show.

 

If you ever travel to New Hampshire try some of these activities. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in all the beauty of its lakes and majestic mountains.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

Wedding Blessings

It was a magical wedding on August 18th in a bucolic New Hampshire countryside. Although the weather was drizzly and cloudy in the morning, at the wedding time it cleared up enough for all to enjoy the event.

My first son Dylan James took his longtime girlfriend Alexis  Hite in marriage. Here he is proudly watching his bride approach him, with love and awe. She walked down a trail in the field holding on to her dad Jerry. Her look of extreme love and deep emotion shows on her face and is endearing. My dad and stepmom Corinne are in the background watching proudly. ( my dad is on the far right and Corinne beside him snapping a video.)

Wedding guests stood, sat in chairs or hay bales as the ceremony started. Their close friend Gary spoke inspirational and loving words. Lexy’s mother Arlene orchestrated the ceremony and married the two, being a Justice of the Peace in New Hampshire. How special that must have been marrying her only daughter!

 

Dylan and Lexy wrote their own personal vows and as we all listened, I was impressed and proud  with my son’s choice of words. He said that when he was with her he felt like David Ortiz knocking the winning homer in the ALS series, one of the greatest comebacks of all time. This was in line with Dylan’s 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞lifelong interest, baseball.  The crowd chuckled as probably most are Boston Red Sox fans as well. It’s a New England thing!

Dylan vowed to fix things Lexy didn’t mean to break. More laughter ensued. He vowed to protect her and keep her from harm.

Alexis promised to support him even when that meant having a deer hanging in their garage. These are powerful words coming from a vegan! Her vows were poetic as she  promised to love him with every beat of her heart.

 

The proud newly married couple danced their first dance to ” My Best Friend” from Tim McGraw. What a lovely moment for them.

My mother son dance, a special dance for me

 

 

My favorite photo of Tom and I. Proud groom’s parents
Another favorite of us
My niece Michele and I. We had loads of fun dancing at the reception.
Tom, our brother-in-law Chris, Tom’s sister Bev and I
Family photo of us, my husband and I, son’s and new daughter-in-law
Tom and I dancing
Tom’s sister Pam and my son Dylan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a special day of celebrating love with family and friends together. There was barbecued food and vegan choices, and a lovely birch looking cake with sunflower cupcakes. Wedding guests had a red neck apple pie moonshine toast with wedding party speeches preceding it. Dancing and twinkly lights filled the tent. Towards the end of the evening the bride and groom and their friends danced to their music choice as we started cleaning up.

 

Tom’s mom Theo and her grandson, the groom

 

 

My niece Ella Kate, Emma Jo Anderson, my son’s girlfriend and my son Branden

 

 

All in all the wedding was a success with much fun and celebration. It was a day to remember and our photos will be mementos of the happy occasion.

Thanks to all who took pictures that I have shared, Tiana Sparks, Jojo Anderson, Glenn Castro, Wendy Wells, Barbara Payer and anyone else I may have forgotten. 

I hope you all had a magical month of August. Now my husband and I enter fall with an empty house. We brought our son to college in Cambridge yesterday where he is sharing a cute apartment with his girlfriend. We are extremely happy for them and look forward to having time together this fall.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live in the NOW

My niece EK

 

 

I have to admit, fleeting summer has raced by and even though I’m not working at school it seems that I haven’t stayed in the moment. I’ve been “busy” with many things, one that my youngest son has rented an apartment in Cambridge and the other is getting married in three weeks. But what really is busy, is it a flimsy excuse to not slow down? ( this idea from my sister Barb and it’s so true).

 

 

A few days ago I had a conversation with my sister and her valuable advice stayed with me, something I really needed at the time. She told me to “live in the now, the present.” My “living in the now” consists of watching wildlife roam  our backyard trails, listening to the melodies of local birds, watching the fierce acrobatic moves of hummingbirds and working my garden. The last few days I’ve been happier and more centered, all because of these important things. These things that are vital to me and my peace of mind!

 

Ella Kate and my older cat Katie

 

What better way of living in the moment than taking my niece Ella overnight. First we visited Grammy and Grandpa Doyle and had lunch with them. We were taken on a tour of his bountiful garden and were sent home with his raspberries and blueberries. Next we took Smokey for a walk and saw a black garter snake! Yikes…snakes and I don’t get along but thankfully he slithered away! Imagine Ella letting the leash go and Smokey running around while both of us screamed in terror. haha. Smokey is getting trained with the leash for he came right back to us.

 

 

Here’s my beautiful Smokey after his walk.

 

On Saturday we checked out my garden and saw how a few sunflowers have opened. Their rich red color will certainly match Lexy’s maroon and gray theme at my son’s wedding. If you don’t already know, I’m growing this patch for Lexy to use in the wedding in three weeks. I am pretty sure they will all be opened by then and I can’t wait to see what other colors they will be as it’s a Mexican mix of sunflowers.

 

Here I am with my flowers, something I may grow every year now!

 

 

After playing a two-day game of Monopoly and lathering in sunscreen in the sun, Ella’s mom and dad picked her up. We talked and laughed and saw a Monarch butterfly on one of my flowers. It’s these moments and memories that ground me, something I will need in the rush and planning of the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

I do hope you can “Live in the now.”

Have no regrets.

Just peace and relaxation and absorb what is happening

right now!

All My Best,

Heartandsoul 🙂

My Mom’s Amish Country Adventure

 

In April my mom excitedly experienced a week-long Amish Country quilt retreat! Sounds pretty intriguing , doesn’t it? She was invited from relatives to attend this quilt retreat in Ohio and she couldn’t say no since she is a devoted quilt maker.

 

 

The retreat was in Charm, Ohio, a little Amish community. The Amish hosted the participants in a modest yet modern housing complex. Mom and her relative and friends worked on their quilt with help from Amish women. They brought their materials, cloth and sewing machine to work on all week.

The Amish women cooked for the group including providing snacks such as popped corn made on the gas stove. They have this convenience but no electricity nor televisions or modern devices.

 

 

Mom came home with freshly made turnovers, to serve at Easter dinner. It’s not everyday that you can taste something so delicious and made by the Amish. What a treat they were! I just wish I would’ve snapped a photo of them!

 

 

What an experience she had and I’m so happy for her, for she doesn’t travel on her own adventures. I would love to see her go once a year. I feel it’s vital to go on your own treks, to meet new people and see places you’ve never seen before. It’s these times that build your inner self-awareness and confidence.

This is one of the amazing quilts my mom has crafted for us. I love the different shades of blue! It’s comfortable on chilly evenings and mornings and Smokey agrees. Here he is lounging on my bed before I make it for the day.

Have a blessed day and seek adventure whenever you can!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

How Does My Garden Grow?

 

My beans before, two weeks ago
Beans after, blossoming and soon we’ll have green beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really coming along! After a month and a half of being in the soil, major changes are happening.My beans are flowering and reaching up. I intended to attach them to the garden fence but they’re not close enough. The row of green lettuce is ready to pick and neighboring baby spinach is as well. Herbs dot the garden here and there, sweet basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon thyme all contribute rich aromas in the aisle. My tomatoes are doing well and I actually have a few green ones growing here and there.

 

Left to right tomatoes, my carrots, beets, broccoli

 

Love the corn! It’s not as tall as I would like….but it’s coming.

I figured out a few years ago that eggplant likes to be dry. Whenever I watered it, it wouldn’t do as well. Now I’m watering it sparingly and it’s thriving. A blossom is growing too!

If you’ve followed my blog you know that I planted sunflowers for my son’s wedding. Here they are…reaching up and almost taller than I am! I do hope they’re ready in a month!

Purple Coneflowers, what beauties! Everyday I sit among these gems and have my lunch. I can’t imagine a better place in my yard to sit and enjoy the warm sun. My kitties talk to me through the screened window and I watch butterflies and bees dance around the blossoms.

 

 

Now you all know how my plants are doing. It’s very dry here in New Hampshire, even though we had a full day of rain the other day. It wasn’t enough. I’m getting pretty chummy with the garden hose but some days everything is okay and I can just weed.

 

How are your  gardens doing where you are? What is your favorite plant? All my plants are my favorite, they are my peace and I’m beyond grateful for them all.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

Chandler Pond

Our little town hosts serene mountain views as well as farming fields and pastoral hillsides. It’s the type of town you can relax in and absorb all the scenic wonders. One such wonder is lovely Chandler Pond. It sits at the corner of Millbrook and Gale Chandler Road with a mountains in the distance framing it in. Chandler Pond is a man-made water hole and Tom says it was for transporting logs for a business. We are assuming this was many years ago but we don’t know an accurate date.

 

 

Now and then on a spring or summer evening Tom and I will seek peaceful refuge here. A stillness lives here and it settles us. We don’t talk much at Chandler Pond and we don’t need to. We stand and look in this quiet country setting and just be.  Sometimes Tom hooks a fish and others he doesn’t and I don’t think that matters to him other that he is here amid the beauty. It bursts at you right away, for it is reflective of the surrounding trees and mountain ranges.

 

 

There have been moose here and deer nearby. Ducks flock here. Beavers swim and build lodges of sticks and mud. Parading geese and their young trek on the bank. Unfortunately Tom and I had to walk as if in a maze, dodging the poop piles. Most of you must know that geese are great to look at but very messy where they live. It is what it is…a sign of nature.

 

On a July evening Tom and I visited this gem with intentions of seeking peace after a hectic day. Our wishes were met as we walked along the pond and looked for fish, as the night air cooled

There are two places you can park and get out and walk around the freshly mowed edge.The water flows into a spillway, which runs into a winding stream. That’s where Tom likes to cast his fishing pole and catch fish that are stocked there.

 

 

 

Here is the spillway with the Chandler Pond overflow feeding into it. From there it goes in a culvert and into a stream.

 

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This is where Tom fishes over the railing into the brook below

 

 

 

When we first started dating Tom took me on a boat ride here. It was in a cheap blow up boat with plastic oars, one that I won in a work raffle at the store. Shifting every so slightly caused the plastic to squeak and I couldn’t help wondering how sturdy it was. I remember that day and the stillness as my heart fluttered being with this man. Although I should live in the now, coming back to the pond taps into this past memory.

 

How blessed we are to live in this town and reap the ponds rewards. I suggest that you find your peaceful spot in your town. Visit when you need to fill your cup and cherish the silent moments.

 

Chandler Pond in the fall

 

 

Here’s my handsome husband in his element, the outdoors.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul