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

21 June 2017


I am on a blogging break for about 2 weeks!

Last weekend was our youngest daughter's final Ballet show as a high school student.....and her graduation is Saturday morning.

Later that day we are taking a trip to Italy for our vacation/her grad gift.

I will return to the blogging world the end of my second week of vacation.


2017 Book Review #18: The Woman in Cabin 10


It was an awesome, exciting and super fast paced read.

I am in the midst of winding down the school year before a two week vacation and then summer school starts up July 10.  

I still have much packing to do for our trip to Europe and Claire's high school graduation is Saturday morning followed by us getting in the car and driving to Montreal to catch our plane the next night.

I have some housework to do before we leave, laundry to fold and put away, last minute instructions for our oldest will be managing the home and working her job and I'm dealing with some back issues so visits to the chiropractor have been happening.

Therefore, NO time to write a book review summary.

Suffice it to say that this book gets a 8 from me and was a good plot.  Not super outstanding but very good.......

I do recommend it.

16 June 2017


How did we get to mid-June already??

I'll be done with teaching, one week from today for a glorious 2 week break, and my youngest will graduate from high school one week from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, tonight will be her final ballet show!!  (until she's in college, I mean).  I have a feeling the eyes will need kleenex tonight.  How thankful I am to have had these last 14 years of dance shows to watch her perform.....and along with that gratitude I'm listing FIVE of my FAVES from the past week......sometimes it's the little things we are thankful for and that keeps life from being mundane and boring, right?

Join in by linking up over at Susanne's site, our gracious hostess.

  • PRETTY PEONIES!  I finally decided it was time to get some of those pretty peonies off my bushes and into a vase for the table.  We don't have an eat-in kitchen so all of our meals, when we aren't on the deck, are in the dining room. I usually feature a seasonal center-piece.  This vase of blooms really brought a smile to my face this week.  They just shout "Summer is almost here"!!

  • BIKING!  Saturday morning, early, I went for a lovely 40 minute bike ride.  I went a little over 8 miles throughout my neighborhood and into the next one....down the country road near a cemetery, into the cemetery, and then down another country road.  There were not many people out and about yet and it was so peaceful.  I'm thankful for these early morning weekend bike rides and that is something I'm going to miss when I have to teach summer school this year!

Alyssa on the left and my Claire on the right
Lyrical costumes for "Memories" from Cats

  • PRO PHOTOS:  Claire had her last professional photo shoot with the ballet studio on Saturday and I was free to go with her.  This was one of my faves ( the pro photographer allowed the moms to take some pics with our i phones).  It shows Claire and her friend Alyssa in one of their poses from their lyrical ballet piece they will do tonight.  They will be dancing together to the tune of Memories from the musical Cats.  It will be the last thing on the program or so I've been told and I've been told to get the kleenex. Of course the photographer also got pics of the girls on pointe with their Cinderella costumes and Claire is doing a solo from Giselle on pointe.  I'm excited to see the photos when they are ready in July and I'm very excited for her final show tonight.  We have many family members coming and I'm very thankful for that.  And I'm hoping my mom and dad can see her from heaven.
  • BONFIRE:  Dave and I decided to have another bonfire on Saturday evening.  It had been another day of errands, lawn work, housework.  So after a late dinner of grilled salmon and salad, the girls were off doing their thing and we sat out by the fire and just talked, read our books, had ice cold rum and cokes....it was lovely.  We also made another dent in the large brush pile we need to burn.  I'm thankful for these lazy, weekend evenings when we sit out well past our bedtime.

  • WATERMELON MINT TEA!  Oh.my.goodness.gracious.  THIS TEA!!  Last year, when Claire and I were doing some shopping in MA, we came across this outlet store.  She  bought a couple of gourmet chocolate bars for her then boyfriend, and I bought this amazing tea. I stuck it in the cupboard and kind of forgot about it.  I had made one pitcher of it at the end of the summer last year but discovered it just this past week when I was cleaning out that cupboard.  It's such a refreshing tea....it does need a lot of ice as you make it the "old fashioned" way with boiling water first.  But wow....it really hit the spot on the two very hot (95 and humid!!) days we had earlier this week.  I'm thankful for little things like this.
That wraps up my week.  I will be back next week...or at least that's the plan...and then I will be on a two week break from blogging!  

Enjoy whatever the weekend brings to you.

13 June 2017

2017 Book Review #17: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

wow. this book was awesome!

 I'm finally done with the entire Harry Potter series.  This 7th book went quickly....very fast-paced and exciting.  and SO much symbolism with Christ, the Resurrection, Satan, good vs. evil, etc.  Probably the only book in the series where the symbolism to Christianity really became very clear.


We find Harry, Hermione, and Ron on the quest for the Horcruxes and of course they cannot tell a soul what they are planning due to Dumbledore's wishes.

They have left Hogwarts and are on "on the run" from the Death Eaters and Voldemort, the Dark lord. (the Satan figure).  Sadly, they lose a couple of other friends and life becomes full of running, battles, figuring out the last Horcrux and trying to figure out exactly who has the Elder Wand.

Will Harry really have to die to save his friends from the Dark lord??

Will he first successfully kill Voldemort?

Read the book to find out!


This book was my favorite in the entire series although I did really enjoy books 4 and 6 as well.  They are all well written and are very exciting in many spots.  One of the books (#5) was the one that bored me but this last one was full of surprises, excitement, suspense, drama, laughter and tears.

And of course the Christian symbolism was just amazing.

The whole theme of Love wins every time was so well done and so evident throughout this entire book.  The author did a marvelous job of wrapping up the story line of Harry's family and connection to Severus Snape. 

The epilogue was set to be nineteen years later...and what a wonderful job the author did to tie up all the remaining friends and their lives.  I just loved this book. 

I am now ready to watch the final movie with my daughters.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 9 and older.

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

09 June 2017

Getting Things Done Faves

Well, today is our youngest daughter's last day of high school classes and in-class exams.  Next week she has the state French 2 exam and then a few days of days of relaxation before having to go out to UNH for orientation and classes sign up and then back home for graduation on Saturday the 24th.  

This past week we have been getting things done around the yard and house and some of those make up my FIVE FAVES.  I'm linking up with Susanne to share the blessings and read what others were blessed with, too. 

basil is planted!

ready for reading, fellowship, fun, relaxing

  • DECK AND FLOWERS READY!  I finally had a free Saturday to get the flowers in for the containers on the deck, the basil planted, and the deck swept and set up for breakfasts, coffee, dinners, friends, etc.  I love the deck...it gets the morning sun until about 1 pm at which time it is then in the shade....just perfect.  It faces east which I love.  I had coffee on Saturday afternoon out there with a good book, then breakfast on Sunday morning and dinner on Wednesday evening.  Whenever I have a few free minutes you will find me either in the big swing (not pictured) or on the deck reading.  I'm thankful we got yard work done as well as the flowers in.  The deck needs painting but I think that is gonna have to wait until next spring at this point.

backyard bonfire pit

  • BONFIRE!  Saturday evening my youngest (Claire) asked if we could have a bonfire.  We have a LOT of wood/brush to burn from chopping down a small overgrown, half dead bush last year and most of the free evenings we have had this spring have been wet!  Either it's been raining, or the wind has been too strong, or the wood has been too wet.  But Saturday the conditions were perfect so Dave got a good fire going around 8:30 pm and we sat out there with mugs of coffee chatting and laughing.  Our oldest gal joined us when she got home from work around 9:30 and even Dave came back out to talk.  We sat around the fire planning the Italy trip, and just having a good time. I'm thankful for evenings together as a family.

  • COFFEE DATE:  Sunday afternoon after church, I had a coffee date with one of my childhood friends from Central NY.  We met half-way...she lives about 80 minutes away so I drove west and she drove east and we met at a fave diner in a town just about 35 min northwest of me.  This time was important to me as she had some things she wanted to "get off her chest" about some situations she's dealing with and although the day was gloomy, rainy, grey, we ended up having a really good chat and then did some shopping together.  I bought some items I will need for Italy and then I found a birthday gift idea for my niece Mady who turned 9 on Tuesday.  It ended up being a really good day, despite the chilly rain!

peonies in front flower bed

  • MORE BLOOMS!  My peony bushes bloomed this past week and I love them!  The white ones were so heavy they were dragging on the ground.  I have them here in the right corner of the front flower bed and also by the mailbox close to the road.  The scent is just heavenly but for some reason, this year, they are making my eyes itch!!  I have had these peonies since 1997 and they have NEVER given me allergy symptoms.

claire on pointe at the park
photo courtesy of Courtney E T
June 2017
  • BALLET PHOTOS DONE!  Not only did my oldest daughter do all of Claire's senior photos for the graduation announcements, but she also did the ballet photos.  We decided to incorporate ballet into the announcements as that is one of Claire's major passions since age 4.  They all came out beautifully but this was the one we chose for the announcement.  Once it was uploaded, tweaked and uploaded again to the website where I created the announcements, the final list was done of "to do before graduation".  Tomorrow she will have her professional photo shoot at the dance studio but we are only ordering copies for close family members as those are pricey.  I'm thankful the "to do" list is shrinking!
That wraps up my week.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

02 June 2017


Well, June has begun and in a couple of weeks, the Summer Season will be upon us!

But let's savor what's left of Spring and look back on the week to find FIVE of our FAVES that God brought into our lives.

I'm participating by linking up at Susanne's site.

Food and Fellowship May 27

Dave on Lake Abanakee!
my sister Hope in her blue kayak

me and my brother-in-law Donny
on Lake Abanakee

  •  KAYAKING PARTY!  Last Saturday, even though it was partly cloudy, it stayed dry so we headed up north to a lake in the central Adirondacks called Lake Abanakee.  Dave and I met my sister Hope and her husband Donny there, along with our good friend Gerri. The five of use were the only people on the beach! What fun we had!  We  explored the entire lake which is about 4 miles long so we did about 8 miles that day!  After a couple of hours on the lake, we sat at the picnic tables on the town beach and played this card game and ate a picnic lunch. I made my famous chocolate orange brownies to share and Hope made her sour cream chip cookies.  I'm thankful for times of fun and fellowship with other Believers and when  some of them are family, that is extra special.

beginning of trail up Meade/Beckman Mountains

    on summit of Meade Mountain
    with Gore Mt in the background
    Eastern Adirondacks
    28 May

    Gerri on the trail in Chester Creek Preserve

    a resting spot on the trail along Chester Creek overlooking the bog

    • CHESTER CHALLENGE COMPLETE! On Sunday my friend Gerri and I hiked to the north east of us in the Eastern Adirondacks.  I finished up the Chester Challenge and she started it.  We did 3 trails and 2 of them were short, steep mountains.  It was wonderful!  I'm thankful for hiking friends and good weather!!

    Claire's Gold Medal Awards!
    • GOLD MEDALS!  Claire came home from school on Friday with the news that she had placed at the Gold level on the National Russian Essay contest.  The essays were submitted this past October and her teacher just found out the news this past week.  Claire and her good friend Suzanna were the only 2 seniors to get Gold! The judges then sent the essays on to Russia where judges there also awarded them a Gold!!  She was super thrilled and we are super proud. She also received a Gold for the NYS Russian Oral Competition. I'm thankful our high school has 5 different foreign languages to offer the students.  Claire has been able to study Russian for 6 years, French for 2 and Latin for one.  

    • DORM SHOPPING! Memorial Day was a steady rain all day long so was kind of a downer after the previous 2 days of good weather.  So Claire and I decided to knock off some items from the "dorm shopping" list.  We found the towels in the color scheme she wanted, along with some other needed items.  The good news is that we got the discount with my Target Red Card and Cartwheel, and I have a coupon for another store that we will use when we go to  buy her sheets.  I'm thankful we got this list pared down!

    • MOM-DAUGHTER DATE NIGHT:  My oldest daughter and I had a "date night" scheduled for last Friday night and instead of spending money going out, we stayed inside to watch the 6th Harry Potter movie as I had just finished the book. Highly disappointed in the movie (she reports that the rest of the world was too) because it was NOT like the book much at all. The book was my fave in the series so far but the movie not so much.  However, the time spent talking and sitting together made this mama's heart happy.
    That wraps up my week.

    I hope you have a wonderful start to the weekend doing the things you enjoy.

    The Scripture I'm meditating on all week: