"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

21 April 2017

Spring Break Faves

I've been on Spring Break since Good Friday and it's been a wonderfully relaxing week....for the most part....I did do a LOT of spring cleaning, my physical and blood work has been completed for another year, and we had a surprise mini-flood in the basement on Wednesday....but I'm thankful just 1/4 of the basement got wet and the plumber was able to get to my house within a half hour of me calling him, and the problem was a quick (but pricey!!) fix.  I can now breathe a bit and totally relax the rest of the weekend.....

I'm taking time to share FIVE of my FAVE blessings that God brought to me in the last week and linking up with our host Susanne.  What makes your list this week??




Claire will be a "wildcat" for 4 years!
  • FINAL DECISION!  Claire made her final decision for college on Good Friday.  BC had wait- listed her so she decided to accept UNH's offer of the Honors Program in their College of Liberal Arts (COLA) and their offer of honors housing.  She was also offered the Presidential Scholarship and while we were at accepted students day on Friday, she met some wonderful professors and students who spoke with her about the honors program. UNH is a medium sized university with about 12,000 undergraduates. We even discovered that she could minor in ballet if she so desires and the head of the theatre and dance department talked with her about joining his class and encouraged her to audition in the fall for a spring dance show!  She has decided (unless she changes her mind!) on double majoring in Russian/Sociology with a possible minor in International Affairs or Ballet.  We are so happy with her decision and so thankful for the day at UNH we all enjoyed. 


Claire and daddy in front of her soon-to-be dorm!

the grounds between her dorm and the main dining hall

Beautiful University of New Hampshire/Durham
14 April 2017
Easter Sunday:  Dave and I

  •  EASTER SUNDAY!  I loved Easter this year even though just one week previous we laid my dad to rest.....I guess it is because we know for certain, since he was a Christ-follower, that he is in heaven and that morning singing praise WITH Jesus and our mother.  But seriously, our church had an amazing Easter service and then the four of us came home to relax.  I cooked a ham dinner which is something we rarely eat and our vegan daughter just had all the veggies and fruits. In the afternoon, we all just read books, relaxed on the deck and watched a movie together.  It was a wonderful day for which I am very thankful.
Courtney, myself, and Claire
Easter Sunday 2017
  • SPRING!  Spring has really sprung here in the Capital Region of NYS.  On Saturday, while our oldest daughter was at work, the rest of us got the deck furniture washed and set up and Dave put up the backyard swing.  Claire and I especially like sitting out there in the late afternoons to read.  The photo below is late morning.  We have had some beautiful, warm weather and the flowers are popping up as well.  In fact, I have tulips that are just about to open!  I love spring, especially once the temps begin to warm up.  I'm thankful we've been able to sleep with windows open.

My afternoon reading spot

  • HELP!  My teenager, Claire, really stepped it up with the help on the afternoon we had a small flood in the basement.  Water was gushing from a pipe (due to a clog) and let's just say it was NOT pretty.  I grabbed all the old beach towels I could find...thank God I'm insanely organized and so they were right in the bin in the closet down there where thankfully the water didn't reach.  I started sopping up water while she moved the chairs, bins, wifi fit step, crates, etc out of the way.  We had to move 3 area rugs and then I had to call the plumber.  There was such a mess!  All got done and everything worked out fine but we were both exhausted....I'm just so thankful she was home to help!
Claire on the gazebo enjoying her iced coffee



 


  • NEW PARK!  Ok so this town park has been around since the 1970s at least because a friend of mine who grew up in the area used to go there with her mom when she was a young girl.  But for me, this is a new discovery!!  It's right off the main drag through our town and I've lived in the area since 1990 and NEVER knew about this until my youngest daughter told me.  She took me there the other day after our dental appts and I was so surprised this is right in town (although across town from our house).  There are walking trails, picnic tables, a gazebo and the little pond.  It's located near a residential section and the college in town.  I was just so surprised I've never discovered this little gem!  I'm thankful Claire and her friends  discovered it and that she showed me. I plan on walking there this weekend.
BONUS!!

sign upon leaving the town of Arietta in the southern Adirondacks


  • ROAD TRIP:  Yesterday, I drove out to central NY to visit my sister Hope and her husband Donny.  I wanted to look through Dad's things one more time and select some items.  We had lunch at her place and then she and I got in the car and I drove to the south-western part of the Adirondacks (she lives in the foothills) about a half hour away so we could get more signatures for this challenge. Well, we did not see one human being in this town but we saw this sign and thought it was a hoot!  We did manage to get a signature/seal from the town of Morehouse at the post office which is the smallest post office in the entire state of New York.  I'm thankful for this fun day!
smallest post office in the state of New York
Town hall is  the front of the building and the post office is a small space in the back.
That wraps up my week.....

enjoy the weekend!


18 April 2017

2017 Book Review #14: Miller's Valley

The author of this book used to be a journalist and I used to read her column in the NY Times when I was first married.

I've read many of her novels and all of them have been excellent.

This one is no exception although not my favorite one.

STORY SUMMARY

The Miller family has lived for many generations in the valley which is a small American town that is about to experience some major changes.  The story begins in the 1960s and goes into the 1970s and most of the book is during that time until the voice of Mimi Miller, a young girl at the beginning, is in her mid-60s in the 1990s.

Mimi has two older brothers:  Eddie who went away to college, and Tommy, a "free spirit" type of high schooler.  Mimi and Tommy live with their parents on the family farm.  Aunt Ruth, who never leaves her house, lives in the little house on their property, behind their own home.

Mimi observes people around her...particularly her family members and as she grows, she discovers things like the poison of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, problems in marriage, and the imbalance of friendships.  She also learns about the risks to love, loyalty, and passion.

She also learns what the government really wants to do with Miller's Valley!!  What will happen to her beloved hometown?

Mimi learns that "home can be a place where it's just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel contented."

Mimi's mother is a full time nurse and struggles with keeping her family together.  Tommy becomes a different person after signing up to serve in the Vietnam War and her sister, known as Aunt Ruth, continues to act traumatized by some kind of mysterious memory.  Her husband tries to balance two worlds and Mimi's mother realizes that she wants a different life for Mimi.  Mimi must escape from the town to find her own way in life.

As Mimi grows up and becomes college-aged, she learns just how very fragile life can be....and how fragile yet exciting following dreams can be.

MY THOUGHTS

It's been awhile since I've read one of this author's books and I thoroughly enjoyed it like all the previous ones I've read.  

This book deals with family, loss, memory, friendship, and discovering a new identity or embracing who you really are.

The characters are all very believable and real and very "small town USA".

At first I thought the author was depicting the small town to the north-west of where I live which really did have a resevoir/dam built and flooded an entire village, which to this day, you can still "feel" under your feet if you stand in certain parts of the lake.


The story has a definite feel of "matriarchal strength" to it.  The mother is the strong one....Dad (known as Bud) just does odd jobs and tries to run a farm but the farm really is no longer a working farm.  The story takes a turn when Bud has a stroke.

Another character whom I really liked was Mimi's childhood friend Donald....this relationship is special and the way they come together at the end of the story is very well done.

This book teaches that no matter where you go in life, your childhood home...your hometown....will always be a part of your heart.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.



09 April 2017

2017 Book Review #13: The Sleepwalker

This author is one of my faves and I always find his books to be  interesting and with a weird twist sometimes.  This one did not disappoint.

STORY SUMMARY

Annalee Ahlberg is the wife of Warren, a college professor at Middlebury College in Vermont.  They live in a small town called Bartlett and have 2 daughters:  21 year old Lianne who is a senior at Amherst College in MA, and 12 yr old Paige who is in middle school and a champion skier and swimmer.

One evening, Annalee disappears!  Warren is on a business trip and has to rush home.

Of course, everyone fears the worst.  Annalee is a sleepwalker and this isn't the first time she has disappeared from the house. She only sleepwalks when Warren is away on a trip. But it has been a number of years since she left the house while sleeping, and the other times, she always came back or was found.

This time is different.  A search party begins to comb the woods and the Gale River that are nearby their red Victorian home.  Even Paige starts to swim the river looking for clues.  The police end up finding a small piece of fabric from Annalee's nightgown...it is ripped and hanging off a tree branch.  Now it seems likely that Annalee is dead.

The family is questioned by the troopers but one detective in particular is very interested in the case.  His name is Gavin Rikert and he is very handsome.  Lianne finds her self being drawn to him as she begins to search for clues to her mother's disappearance.  The river is combed but no body is found.

Finally......several months after she disappeared, Annalee's body is found by a hiker and his dog.

Now there is even more of a mystery surrounding her death because the autopsy doesn't show drowning.  She died before hitting the water!  Her head has blunt force trauma.

Lianne begins to question things regarding Gavin:  why does this police detective know so much about her mother?  Why did her mother only leave her bed to sleepwalk when her husband was away?

And what really happened to Annalee??

MY THOUGHTS

This book focuses on the very real world of parasomnia, which is a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness.  It is a very confusing, strange and mysterious thing.

This story touches on betrayal, lies, family secrets, buried desires, and loss.

I especially liked the setting of the story and the character development.  As usual, this author does a fantastic job with keeping you turning the pages to find out a little more and then he puts a twist in the plot that totally surprised me.

The ending is a tad bit abrupt for me.....it was like all of sudden, Lianne found the answers to what she had been searching for and it seemed to wrap too quickly.  I did appreciate the epilogue at the end of the story, but again, it felt too abrupt!

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older due to some mature content.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.



08 April 2017

a Tribute to my Daddy

My daddy
at Christmas time a few years ago

Yesterday, Friday 7 April, we said our final "good-byes' to our dad/grandpa.  This "celebration of Life" service was held in the church I grew up in, and my dad's church for a little over 60 years!

I am the oldest of 3 younger sisters (Joy, Hope, Jill).  All of us are married except Joy and all of us are moms except for Hope.  We were blessed to have Christian parents.  They are both reunited with Jesus now.

Here is the tribute I wrote to share with the congregation:

Who was Dick Mosseau?? 

A son, brother, cousin.  An uncle, nephew, brother-in-law.

A husband, son-in-law, father-in-law, friend, neighbor, factory worker, church goer, fellow Christian.

A grandfather.  And a father.

But most of all......our daddy.

Dad was a wise, patient, and caring man.  He was gentle in his touch and with his words.

He was strong in the Lord, and always exuded a quiet confidence in his faith.

One of my earliest memories from elementary school was opening my eyes in the morning, around 6:30 a.m., and seeing him sitting in his little office area across from my bedroom on German Street.  He would sit at his desk reading the Bible and praying before leaving for work.

As I grew into a young adult and we moved to Mohawk, he would often read his Bible at the breakfast table.  He is the one who demonstrated for me the importance of not just consuming coffee in the morning but of drinking in the Word of God.

In the Grandfather's Memories Journal that he wrote for my daughters, he stated: "An important lesson that I hope all my children and grandchildren learn is that God will always take care of them and be with them as long as they keep their faith and trust in Him."  He was very much a dad who wanted all of us to follow Christ.  He came to Christ as a young adult and ever since that time, his love for his Savior was evident.

His favorite Scripture was John 3:16 and I remember one of the first things he asked me when I told him that Dave and I were engaged was "Does he have a job?? and does he love Jesus?"  I was happy to be able to tell him Yes to both.

Dad always told me that my husband should also be a friend.  He said he had three friends:  Jesus Christ, my mother, and his best friend Dick Only.  He wrote in the journal: "Always be there for one another, doing things together, and sticking up for each other."

When I was a little girl, I often thought of Dad as my hero.  He could fix anything and knew so much about the Adirondacks and the woods which I loved.

He is the person I looked up to in my growing up years and one of my favorite memories of Dad was when we would be up at our summer camp in Northville.  I think I got my love for bonfires and hikes from Daddy...we would take walks in the woods, he created trails for us to follow and I would sit by him on the ground in front of our fire pit.

He also taught me the importance of obeying God.  This first hit home when I was about 12 years old.  My 2nd cousin MaryJo and I were out in the far back of our camp property picking blackberries.  Dad had always told us kids to never cross the creek!  Well, being almost a teen, of course I didn't think this rule applied to me...so there MaryJo and I went wading across the creek to get to the blackberry bushes on the other side so we could fill those pails.  Around the bush we heard a growl and sure enough a bear was standing upright, in our path.  We took off running and splashed back across that creek with me losing a sneaker in the process.

Later that evening, Dad came to the porch with my wet sneaker in hand and asked if I had been in the creek.  Of course I told him what happened and he said "it's a good thing that bear didn't chase you.  Always obey!"  He didn't get angry or impatient with me.  He showed me mercy and grace which is really an earthly picture of what our Heavenly Father is like...merciful and abounding in grace.  Just like I needed to obey my daddy, we need to follow God's leading.  Dad did a great job in modeling the character of God the Father for us.

Dad wrote about that in his journal too by saying "God can be a friend when we learn to trust in Him for everything and let Him be in control."  How I treasure those words of my dad as they point me to the Father who is all knowing.

Dad wanted my daughters to know that he was proud of them and wrote that if they just trusted in the Lord, He would lead them.

Dad trusted in the Lord...I am so thankful I got to have him as an earthly father pointing me to Christ.  I will never forget our talks, our walks, his smile or his singing.  He had said once that if he could have anything in the world, it would be for all of his relatives and friends to come to know Christ and to be ready to meet Him when they die or when Christ returns.

My daddy represented Jesus well.  He was a walking testimony of the two greatest commandments:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "love your neighbor as yourself".  He did that.....and is living eternally..we can take great comfort in that.

Victor Hugo, the famous French writer wrote in his book Les Miserables, "to love another person is to see the face of God"....I could see the face of God in my daddy's love and now He is seeing God face to face.
 
Although I won't see him on this earth ever again, I look forward to seeing him in heaven and until then I hope and pray I can help to carry on the legacy he leaves behind.




07 April 2017

TOUGH WEEK FAVES

my beloved daddy with his granddaughters
 my two children:  Claire and Courtney
Xmas 2012
It's Thursday morning but by the time you read this it will be Friday and my husband, 2 daughters, and my self, along with my 3 younger sisters and their families, will be in my childhood hometown in central NY, at my daddy's "Celebration of Life" service.

It's been a tough week.  But I have some little blessings tucked in that the Lord gave to us.

Please join in sharing your faves by linking up at Susanne's site.


  • PEACE!  Our minds are at peace as Dad/Grandpa is now at peace with Jesus and my mom.  Last Saturday, Dave and I traveled out to dad's nursing home to "say goodbye" as the nurses didn't expect him to live beyond the weekend.  My 3rd youngest sister Hope and her husband Donny were there too. We took turns praying over dad and I said right in his ear (as did Hope) that it was ok for him to go be with Jesus now.  As a Christ follower, it is all he wanted...he just wanted to go Home and be reunited with his wife (my mom).  I specifically prayed all winter long as the last stages of dementia took over his mind and body, that Daddy would just pass in his sleep.  And that is what he did. At first it was hard to say "no" to a feeding tube but it was his wishes and we wanted to respect his wishes.  We are at peace and I'm so thankful  for that.
  • POEMS and SONGS:  this poem was especially touching when I saw it online so I posted it on Facebook to share with family and friends.  I also appreciate all the messages from friends, emails from dad's pastor as well as my own pastor, and cards in the mail from close friends.  I'm thankful that as a Christian, we have a wonderful support system in one another.
flowers from my in-laws 

  • COMING TOGETHER:  On Monday, my 3 sisters and I traveled out to the old hometown to gather together to plan the casket, obit, service, luncheon, etc etc.  WOW...so many details to work through but thankfully, Dad had already written his own obituary shortly after our mother died, and we just had to tweak some parts of it.  And he had already contacted the funeral director who happens to be a family friend and already knew what Dad wanted.  Because Dad is a Korean war veteran, he gets the burial full service treatment so we didn't even have the chore of needing to choose the stone..the vets take care of all of that!!  We just had to order flowers for the church, meet with dad's pastor who volunteered to put together the service with our input as well as create a slide show presentation of photos we emailed to him, etc.  It all came together so peacefully for which we are all thankful!!


Dad in his Senior Year, high school yearbook
  • MEMORIES:  we were looking for dad's high school photo for the slide show and I discovered this one on my oldest daughter's FB page!!  I had no idea she had discovered his old yearbooks when she was last at his home in central NY.  We had fun this week looking through all of his old army photos, photos from when he was stationed in France, photos of his engagement time with mom, etc.  I'm thankful he kept all of his treasures for those of us left to enjoy.

  • TRIBUTES:  I've written a tribute, as the oldest daughter, to read at the celebration of life service.  Hoping I can get through it with out breaking down in tears but thankfully, some other dear friends of Dad's will also be speaking.  Our childhood pastor will try to make it (although he is dealing with his own health issues) and one of the old timers in his church will be speaking as well.  My youngest daughter will be reading Psalm 145.  The service will be nice and hopefully the salvation message will come across for the unsaved relatives and friends who will be there.  That was Dad's wish.  Later this weekend I will post the tribute to my daddy.  I'm so thankful for the legacy of Christ he has left with all of us and that we will be reunited one day.

31 March 2017

End of March Faves

End of March.

And just a couple more weeks until Spring Break!

Please join me and other bloggers as we share FIVE of our FAVE things from the past week.  We then link up at Susanne's site.

This was a super busy week for me and I'm glad it's over but here are some little things God blessed me with:

  • DINNER DATE:  Dave and I had to go pick up his car at the train station last Friday evening, and stopped by our fave local diner for some dinner afterwards.  This little spontaneous dinner date was just what I needed to start off the weekend! I'm thankful my husband can be spontaneous at times!

  • DRINKS DATE: My next door neighbor/friend Melissa invited me over Friday evening for a drink. She was making cranberry cosmos and this was my dessert from dinner. Dave had some stuff he wanted to do right after our dinner date so I went next door where I ended up staying quite late. It was fun to catch up and see her new home improvements.  Fun evening!!  I'm thankful for a good friend who is also a neighbor and a sister in Christ.


  • SAFE TRAVELS:  our oldest daughter took the train to and from NYC this past weekend. She had switched cars with my husband to get to the train station in the city a bit south of us and we didn't want it staying there all weekend.  Once she arrived she found out there had been a derailment at Penn Station and she had to switch trains to arrive at Grand Central. This was her first time doing this alone so I'm thankful all went well!

  • SIGNS OF SPRING!  I finally saw some signs of Spring this past week around my house.  First, I saw a robin in our back yard.....that's always a sign that spring has arrived here in eastern NY.  Then on Wednesday when I got home from work I saw one yellow crocus had pushed its way up in our front flower bed.  I was so happy to see that color!  No I didn't take a photo because I was just too busy to stop and hunt for my cell phone which was buried in the bottom of my tote bag.  And almost ALL of the snow is gone from our yard.  AND a lot of the birds that migrate south are flying back to our area....in fact, my yard was full of red winged blackbirds that make their way back here every spring.  I'm thankful for signs of spring!!

  • PEACE OF GOD:  It's been a rough week.  We (my 3 younger sisters and our families) found out that my dad is not doing well at all.  He is now in the what the doctors say are the last stages of dementia. He has "forgotten" how to swallow and has lost many pounds.  He was frail to begin with so this is not good.  He also has a "no feeding tube" as his last wish which we will respect so the nursing home staff are doing "comfort care".  That said, I am thankful for the peace of God.  I know he has been a Christ follower since the age of 20 and he is now 85.  He is so ready for heaven and to see my mom who is waiting for him there.  I don't know where you are on your spiritual walk but I do believe heaven is for those people who know God in a personal way.  And that is my dad for sure. I'm so thankful I know where my daddy is going once he passes from this life to the next and that brings great comfort and peace.

I hope you all have a peaceful, relaxing weekend!