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 ❤️

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 🥰





Our Greenhouse & Outside Work

Here we are in May in northern New Hampshire. The air still feels cool yet sometimes the temperature reaches 60 degrees! This afternoon the sun tickled our skin as Tom and I worked on placing the cover on the greenhouse. It took all our patience as we stretched the unforgiving plastic over the frame. As we pulled and tugged, ticks crept up our pants. I must have pulled off close to fifty throughout the day. I got to the point that my skin was crawling and I was itchy, thinking more were invading my space.

Yikes, ticks are a real problem here in spring to mid summer. They hitch a ride on humans, deer, fox, moose and most wildlife. We have them in our tall grass and they burrow under leaves in the flower gardens. I plan to buy some tick deterrent to spray on our clothes so they leaves us alone!

Already the inside of the greenhouse is warm and toasty. We placed our annual flowers in there until next weekend when I’ll make my window boxes. My started plants are in there as well. Some aren’t doing well as I started them too early and they didn’t get enough sun. I have tomatoes, cukes and squashes that will be okay to plant.

Today I’ll work out in my vegetable garden, finishing raking and cleaning up. I should’ve done it last fall but didn’t get to it. Next weekend Tom will add bags of sand and manure and till the plot. Soon after we will plant our garden for the year! I’m beyond excited for this as I wait all winter to tackle this loved hobby of mine!

As I close this post I wonder how you all are doing. Are you immersing yourself in gardening? Does your season start now or have you been at it for awhile? I wish you much happiness with gardening and hope your harvest is amazing!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🌻

Home Sweet Home

Many years of

Renovation dreams

turn to reality

a safe place to be

to call our own

our plan

our dream

with

years of hard work

spent money on materials

boards

screws

insulation

hard workin’

sweat

all thanks to my love

a man who toils for his family

and home

We look forward to doing more on our little house this summer. Every year it becomes buttoned up more. This summer will be the fourth anniversary of our big move in, something I patiently waited for 22 years. 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

“Earning Your Keep”

While browsing through last April’s posts, I stumbled upon this post I wrote. It’s about how New Englanders thrive in all the seasons and the extremes. It takes a strength and pereseverance to live here, to remain content while the harsh conditions can test your endurance. As winter shuts its door and welcoming spring gradually begins, I wish to share this once again.

https://heartandsoul974.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/earning-your-keep/https://heartandsoul974.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/earning-your-keep/

I Can’t Live Without…

I can’t live without…

family surrounding me,

loving me,

embracing me

I can’t live without…

my dear husband who I pledged

to spend the rest of my life with

Oh what the adventures we’ve had and we’re still going

strong

I can’t live without…

the rising strong mountains looming in

my background

I can’t live without…

the inhalation of the salty air,

the fortress of the sea crashing into the ever stretching

sands


I can’t live without…

writing,

forming words into flowing sentences,

describing moments,

feelings and thoughts

As if my breath and beating heart depends

on every written word

I can’t live without…

the delicate pretty growing flowers

planting roots in our soil

Blossoming and beautifying our little corner

of the world

I can’t live without…

looming green plants

reaching to the sun

fresh grown vegetables bursting

from our soil


I can’t live without…

my home,

a meeting place of loved ones

a warm spot to plant our roots

to love behind closed doors

To put our feet up and rest

And thank God for all that is good here.

I CAN LIVE WITHOUT

Hate and fear

Narcissism

Injustices towards humans and animals

Raging jealousy

Insecurity

What can’t you live without right now?

Toppled Trees

When trees coming crashing down into yards, the landscape and sometimes the roads are affected.  Monstrous branches with emerald green foliage plummet to the earth making us wonder how this tree lived for so long upright.Things come to a stand still as people wrap their brains around a sudden event. The chainsaws come out much to a working man’s satisfaction( for what man doesn’t love a good chainsaw cutting). My husband is one of those men with a lumberjack tendency.

With these unexpected falls, roads can be blocked and everyone just stops. Cars wait or turn around as road crews work their magic. Every now and then power lines whip down from the weight of bulky snow or from the piercing force of winds. A few summers ago our town had a road blocked and power out because of a tumbled tree. Our little hamlet came to a standstill for a few short hours.

Maple stood erect and towered towards the heavens with it’s sturdy branches intact. Until one day…a few years back a major appendage to this tree plummeted to the ground in a wind storm. For countless years this maple hovered over the yard, providing well needed shade and a sense of comfort to all. It witnessed many families come and go. We were just one of a few families who lived in the “cottage” at the Geneen Estate, appreciating that tree.


As Tom assessed the scope of the situation, I grabbed my camera and flashed photos. Most people overlook the significance of a downed tree or major limb. The towering tree still proudly stood but it was scarred. It would never be the same.  But as we know, humans can also be hurt and changed but they amazingly adapt, staying strong. That maple still stands proudly lacing the property, providing shade for the new young family living there.

After a couple of hours of cutting and tedious piling up heavy branches,  the yard was once again manicured, resembling a show piece. That’s what my caretaker husband prides himself on. That day as we trekked down the winding driveway, Tom and I had a new appreciation of all the towering trees, stretching our necks up to see the wondrous erect trunks and widespread branches. Their elegance framed the estate’s winding driveway, like standing soldiers guarding something precious.

Thank God for trees and the beauty, shade and oxygen that they gift us!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

It’s February…

Our driveway
Looking out my back kitchen window at a dwindling fire stash under cover.

It’s February in New Hampshire

Ice blankets our driveway in gleaming sheets, making a trip to the mailbox a risky excursion. Icy crusted snow encompasses the perimeter of the house. Everywhere one looks a fierce whiteness blinds, yet the sky above is a robin egg blue. The air is crisp and cold, while inside the house, it’s warm and dry. It’s the winter season and we are in the midst of snow storms, icy roads in the early mornings and bright twinkling stars adorning the blackest night. This is all to be expected of this month in New Hampshire!

Usually in late February I fall in a cabin fever trance, longing for spring sun and blooming plants and blossoms. This year there’s a stark contrast in my attitude. I’m feeling great physically and healthy, with a sincere wish to skip the winter blues. After all, I choose to live here so why shouldn’t I make the best of it? Why not enjoy winter’s gifts, these little moments that some probably wish for.

Our family has much to look forward to this month, as we celebrate three family birthdays and a quiet Valentine’s Day. But also we live in such a beautiful place with white magic lying around. It’s fun to walk in it, to explore the frosty woods and look at animal tracks. You can hear winter birds cooing in the trees as well as a random owl hoot now and then.



There’s a time and season for everything and presently it’s time for snow, ice, chilly temperatures and red hot stoked stoves. It’s a perfect opportunity to move the body and snowshoe in the deep woods, to look for animal tracks and white owls, to hike on the snowy trails and truly appreciate the warmth of a raging fire afterwards. Even lugging armfuls of wood feels good as we walk the snowy path to the house.

Our son Dylan in a community college picture on their website.

As I close this post I wish to share Dylan’s first modeling job. I’m just kidding but that was what his wife Lexy joked about. This photo was taken a few years back while he attended a community college for Auto Technology. I randomly found it on a Facebook post a friend shared. At first I wasn’t sure where it was from but I figured it out. The college used it as a cover photo for their Facebook page. Tom and I, like most of you parents, are proud of his accomplishments and thank God for him! ( As well as our other son Branden).

I hope the start of your week is wonderful and if it’s not, breathe. This too shall pass and better days are ahead. Believe me.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Sunday Savory Crepes with Strawberry Sauce

My first strawberry sauce
I love golden brown crepes

This Sunday morning I woke to yet more snow on the ground and chilly temperatures. After loading up the stove with trusty hard wood, I ventured to my kitchen to create a warm wholesome breakfast! My husband was out snow plowing while I happily cooked. One of his favorite breakfast foods is crepes, a thin pancake made with flour, salt, milk, an egg, and oil. ( I use coconut oil and added a few tablespoons of Oat flour to the white.)

I try to use up what I have in the fridge and freezer and since I had a few frozen whole strawberries, I tried my hand at making strawberry sauce. My first time, other than making blueberry sauce! I put the strawberries in a small pot, added honey, cinnamon and water. It took a few minutes to boil and then I turned down the heat to a low simmer. It smelled like homemade jam and tasted so delicious with a bit of New Hampshire maple syrup and crepes!

Below is the Crepe Recipe I took from my aged Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

1 cup flour ( I added 3 Tbls. Oat flour for a healthy nutty taste)

1 1/2 cup milk ( I used Lactose free Milk)

2 eggs

1 Tbls. Oil ( I used Coconut oil melted)

1/4 tsp. Salt

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs and oil. Beat until blended. Heat a skillet or electric skillet. I brush it with butter. Spoon about 2- 3 Tbls. batter for crepe. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with blueberry or strawberry sauce and top with maple syrup.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday morning breakfast and savor every delicious bite!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul