Daily Positive Intentions

One gratitude I hold dear to me right now is my discovery of Maria Shriver’s Sunday paper. Maria posts a positive and uplifting message about thriving in this noisy and chaotic world we live in. Shriver writes with sincerity and clarity, drawing me in and helping me through everyday life’s noise. She also ends her paper with a prayer to God pertaining to her topic, something I read with fervor and end with an amen. If you wish to sign up for her free weekly paper, go to Mariashriver.com for details. Maria also hosts a free podcast called Meaningful Conversations that I enjoy as well. I just listened to a conversation with Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea discussing Soul Kitchen, their successful project that has not only fed many homeless souls but empowered them with the opportunity of working and giving back to the community.

In this week’s paper Maria discusses rising up from life’s noise and breaking news to staying calm and focused. She suggests that you don’t get wrapped up in every media news story or tweet but limit the noise. Shriver also shares how she lists her positive intentions every morning for the day. This is something that I already practice in the shower while I’m preparing for the day. I also pray for my family and people I know who need it. I think focusing on light rather than darkness ( which Maria discusses as well) is the perfect calm in any storm.

As I write this, I’m planning on journaling most days of my positive intentions. One intention is to spread kindness to all, even people who dislike you or don’t seem worth the time for who are we to judge?We don’t know everyone’s battles so choosing love, acceptance and kindness is the answer. This can be tough at times but everyone deserves the embrace of graciousness.

Another positive intention I’m currently practicing is avoiding watching the dramatic news every morning. First of all, it’s never good. Do you notice that? It heightens my anxiety level and causes me to question our flailing President and government. I choose calmer and peaceful shows to watch in the morning or I connect with my blogging friends. It’s one way I can control what I’m inputing into my heart and brain and limit the clamoring confusion.

I believe focusing on a positive idea and implementing it throughout the day is my personal way of creating peace. It grounds me and keeps me centered heart and soul, as I continue to live and thrive in this life. I challenge you to set a positive intention today. Do you wish to focus on peace, kindness, acceptance or forgiveness? Once you set that daily positive intention, you are on the right track for the day.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️🌈

Living One Day at a Time

My beautiful girl, Katie


It was Wednesday February 14th, Valentine’s Day…usually a day of celebrations of love and family. This year God had other life surprises in store, filled with solemn moments and bursts of reality of true acceptance. Our oldest cat Katie ( who is 15 1/2) suddenly stopped eating and drinking. It’s not that I didn’t see some startling signs, for months she’s ate with little eagerness, stopping here and there. It would take her over an hour to consume her dish of food. Maybe I was deeply engulfed in a state of denial, a steadfast belief that she had years to live.

It’s been 10 long days since the vet visit and the diagnosis of kidney failure and the acceptance of what is. Tom and I are nursing our precious kitty to the best of our ability. We’ve put bowls of water in four rooms, trying to accommodate and remind her to drink more. Since she won’t eat her regular dry food I bought baby chicken food, something she eats bites of here and there but not eagerly. Lexy brought over senior delectable liquid treats, tuna and chicken flavors. Katie started out eating them but not so much anymore. We are down to probably days or moments with her, something I thought I’d never be strong enough for. It’s a period of watching anxiously and praying for God’s guidance. Here we are contemplating when to bring her to the vets to say goodbye, to let go of our loved Katie so she can go over the rainbow into heaven.

Katie is our beautiful striped kitty, my first pet love, who we raised with our sons as part of our family. As most of you probably can imagine and relate to, it’s breaking my heart to see her this way. I keep praying for strength and peace, for her to show us signs when it’s time to let go. God is with us and Im truly thankful for that!❤️😃

Please keep her and our family in prayer. ❤️❤️❤️🌈

All My Best,

Mary ❤️

My Morning Affirmation

Good Morning Self,

What could you do today to live in peace?

Try deep breaths while closing your eyes. Listen to your lungs inhale and exhale, clearing your mind of worries.

Think positive thoughts of yourself and others.

Start fresh this brand new day,

Ridding your mind of “ I can’t do that”.

Grasp on to joyful thoughts and memories.

Build yourself up for new possibilities,

while bashing negatives that create barriers.

Believe that YOU can make this day

AMAZING in every way!


A Mama’s Joy

A mama’s joy lies with her children

no matter what their age

It grows stronger each dayT

It is an unconditional love that shapes her life

that keeps her heart settled and content

A mama’s joy is seeing her grown children thriving

as her memories of their young years remain strong

A mamas hope is that she raised them well

because she gave it her all

and even then she wonders if it was enough

Her prayers day and night revolve around their well being

and their health and safety


Branden and his girlfriend Emma Jo


A mamas joy is her beautiful family

her devoted husband

her children’s spouses that have become part of the family

Newly married Dylan and Alexis
My young sons so many years ago

Branden making mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving

One of my favorite photos of Dylan and Lexy
Another memory of my so s with the Lion’s Club Santa

This mama adores my children, daughter- in- law and my son’s girlfriend very much! Many of my posts revolve around them, what they are doing and how they’ve grown into wonderful people!

Are you a proud mama too? Are your children a huge source of your joy?

I hope you all are having a great week and if you’re where it’s bitterly cold, I pray you are warm and toasty!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

T is for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving thoughts and plans

are underway!

I’m thinking of roasted succulent

turkey and pumpkin pie

which I’ll indulge in on Thursday.

The cherry and pumpkin pies

will be  made in my kitchen.

One of the boys’ favorites,

apple crisp and my daughter in

law’s vegan cheesecake

is also on the dessert menu.

My heart is thankful                                             

while I’m praising God

for all my blessings.

Thank goodness

for my two sons

whom mean so very much to me,

my loving husband Tom 

and his thoughtful act of brewing my coffee every morn!

Thank the good Lord for bringing us

our new daughter in law Alexis

to share her life with Dylan!

As I pen these words,

thoughtless wild turkeys

traipse in mounds of snow

across the way…

little do they know Thanksgiving

is almost here!

This day will be extraordinary

in every way.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Wherever you may be or whatever you celebrate I wish you peace and love this day and every day! 

Love,

Mary 🦃❤️

Being Grateful Every day

This month of November it’s common to hear in podcasts and other media the theme of gratefulness. Thanksgiving reminds us all of what we have that we cherish…our family and friends, our health, a roof over our heads and food for meals. Although being thankful is truly what this holiday is about, I’d like to think that being grateful is my mantra every day of the year and not just the third Thursday in November! 

 

 

 

 

I used to have a practice of listing five things I was grateful for. Sometimes I listed Tom and the boys. Others my job and friends were included. I listed my health more than once, for despite a few health scares I’ve always managed to stay strong and healthy. Most times I thanked God for having Tom and the boys healthy too. 

 

 

 

 

I learned this habit from Oprah and did it religiously for a few years in my journals. Slowly it faded away yet I mentally go over my grateful list most days and continue to thank God for all the good in my life as well as the difficult challenges. It’s plowing steadily through those barriers that has built my character and fortitude. It comes full circle and after experiencing the rough bumps on this road of life, I am aware that the hurdles have strengthened me. I am extremely thankful for the gifts hidden along the way, for they have made me the person I am today! 

 

 

 

Now that I’m approaching 50 this coming year and my family is raised, I have ample time to reflect. Being grateful every day doesn’t mean a joy ride or perfect circumstances  but to me, it is finding special and maybe little things that can brighten my day. A kind smile or phone call from a friend or family member, feeling the rich soil of the garden and planting seeds for future days, being able to walk on both legs and cherishing serenity in nature are all things I’m thankful for. 

 

 

 

 

 

The more I think about this the more I realize that being grateful in some way every day is the key to happiness. If you notice what you have( such as being healthy or having a beautiful family) and not dwell on what you don’t have, you’ll truly appreciate what God has gifted you. I believe everyone has something to be grateful for and if you ponder over this you can generate quite a list.

 

What are you grateful for? Do you reflect on this just in November or everyday of the year? The more we notice all the good things in our lives, the richer your experience will become. 

 

 

I’m busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Today I’m vacuuming and shampooing my rugs, generating a last minute grocery list and planning my table setting. I’m grateful that I’m able to do this at home and Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris are coming, as well as my youngest son Branden. Dylan and his wife Lexy will come later for dessert , so both my sons will be here together. Excitement  is in the air as the big day approaches! 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🦃

 

 

A Spring Morn

 

It’s a spring morning in New Hampshire. As I rise the wood floor boards are freezing to touch. Goosebumps spring through me as I glance out the bedroom window.An emerging sun welcomes my rising from a deep slumber. It warms the earth as robins and chickadees fly all about the yard.

A hot cup of coffee and a watch outside begins the day. Chipmunks already are at their daily routine skittering all over the front lawn. One has made a hole in one place where I tripped the other day. I’m not sure what Tom will do with it or will he leave it?

 

As the day warms I shed blankets and turn off the electric heaters. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve had a stove fire. It actually is a luxury for Tom not to haul wood to the house and kindle a fire so early. The house is warm enough, as the day warms up to the 60’s and lasts until the night cools off. Our heating season is coming to an end besides a sporadic wood fire on chilly June mornings.

 

Nearby yards host delicate daffodils and tulips, springing their rich yellow and pink colors, a beautiful combination with the rich green grass hue. I long to have a daffodil and tulip garden and add it to my yard wish list for coming years.

 

Tom trimmed our sprawling apple tree in the back yard. It looks so much better with branches cut back. Bumblebees fly from blossom to blossom, a good sign for my upcoming garden growth. Gotta have those bees!

 

Just the other day I saw my first hummingbird on a cherry tree branch. It must have been visiting the blossoms. My feeder is up now and I’ve spied the little guy already making a visit for a sugary drink.

 

As this beautiful day emerges with all the possibilities of nature, I remain extremely grateful for this country life. Despite the worries and anxiety of everyday living and an ending school year, I find this quiet yard a haven from it all. It’s a quaint refuge where I can gather my thoughts and center my mind as birds chirp in the background. I can only hope that you all find this harmony in a corner of your world. If you have this, grasp it with all your might and indulge in its elements. It’s the best and cheapest therapy around and will prepare you for what you have to face in the near future.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

My Son’s College is Closing

 

Photo taken by Jojo Anderson

I have been in shock for a couple of days over this! Branden’s college has gone under and sold out to a big school, the University of Massachusetts. His dreams of achieving his degree at Mount Ida are gone. His Presidential scholarship totaling $100,000 for four years is gone. We try to process, especially since we both love his college and community. From here he and his girlfriend must deal with their emotions, study for finals and scramble for colleges. My cousin Flora must try to finish her Master’s elsewhere, away from the only college she’s attended. Two years ago Branden took months to decide, tour, talked with college faculties, stood in on classes and now he must do all this again. The difference is that he has just a few weeks to decide and get the ball rolling for the Fall semester.

 

This is the post I just entered on a Mount Ida Support group. Many parents and students are lost and don’t know where to turn. I’ve read negative posts of legal action and talking to the media and my response is, why? Will that solve anything or make it worse? See my Entry below.

 

I joined this group as support as I am mourning the loss of Mount Ida College. My son is a Sophomore in the Animation major and up until the other day had dreams to achieve his goals through this institution. I am not bitter, full of hate or have no desire to blame anyone for what has happened. After all, how is that going to change things and put our students on the right path? My desire is to cope but mostly be there for my son and his girlfriend as they try to pick up broken pieces and move on to achieve their dreams. It’s not going to be easy, struggles in life never are but I’ve learned they make you stronger! I will not fight nor look into talking to media. I will not seek legal action, as I feel my son has received a great education at this college. I also want to add that my son has lost a Presidential Scholarship promised to him, $100,000 in total if he kept his grades up. It’s a blow to us, as that helped seal the deal on his initial decision. But we will see what other colleges will match and let it go however hard it may be.We will move forward with grace and acceptance. That’s how I was taught to live…simply, with strength and kindness. No hate. No blame. No negativity. I do hope many of you will choose that path and help your students find their college and move forward without hate and negativity.

 

With a heavy heart I seek your prayers and well wishes. I know it’s God’s plan and that it will work out but in the meantime it’s difficult. I feel for the 1,400 plus students and the faculty who found out the same day as the students that they were out of a job. Please keep them all in your prayers and thoughts.

Sunday Morning

 

The quiet moments of a Sunday morning calm me and my soul. Every working person knows the weekend is when you get things done at home but not only that. It’s a time of peace and quiet, an opportunity to rest and recharge your batteries for the coming work week. Without this time, I become exhausted and distracted.

 

 

 

You may attend church and that’s your peace. Perhaps you read a good book by candlelight or meditate in a dark room. Everyone relaxes and recharges in a different way. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it generates tranquility in your life.

 

 

There are various activities I do on a Sunday morning. I sit with my steaming coffee and look out the window watching my world wake up. Sometimes I blog and catch up on friends’ blog entries and comment. Other times I make a breakfast for us. This morning I made crepes, one of my husband’s favorites. On the side I heated up blueberries, added a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar. It was fun to fill my little cordial cups with orange juice and set the table as if we had company. I love a good chance to use my best china and light the candles.

Here’s hoping you all have a restful Sunday!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

An Irish Blessing ☘️

This is my great, great-grandfather ( paternal side) John Doyle and great, great-grandmother Catherine O’ Day Doyle. John was born in Ireland in 1834, while Catherine was born in Vermont in 1844. John immigrated to the United States, landing in New York when he was twenty years old. Many thanks to my second cousin Colleen King for family history and pictures! ❤

 

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind always be at your back,

May the sunshine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields,

and until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

– an old Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m proud to be Irish, my maiden name is Doyle!

Wishing you many blessings!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤