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

21 September 2018

Mid-September Faves



It's Friday and time to find FIVE things from my week that made it special or made me  say "thank You God".  I'm participating in the FFF hosted by Susanne.  Head on over to her site to learn more and link up.

My faves are nothing fancy...just little blessings in a busy week......



  • MAPLE COFFEE!  My oldest gal (Courtney) and I went to the Berkshires to these outlet stores for an afternoon of lunch and shopping.  What fun we had.  We both needed some new work clothes and I chose something for my upcoming 40th high school reunion!  We decided to do a little Christmas shopping at this place and we discovered this new flavor of coffee. We were offered a sample and it was so delicious. I can't stand pumpkin spice coffee which seems to be everywhere...the only pumpkin I like is pumpkin bread, muffins or scones.  I can't stand it as a coffee flavor.  But this maple is absolutely delicious.  No sugar is needed although I did put in a tiny drop of maple syrup and it was so good! I'm thankful for the time we had together and for a coffee we both love!
Plant-based dinner


Thai Mango Tofu
  •  MEATLESS MONDAY:  Mondays are always meatless here.  For protein this week, I chose tofu and I finally made it come out perfect!  I bought a block of it rather than the cubed and cut it into thirds, freezing 2 of them.  I then cubed the remaining tofu and pressed the water out.  Then I marinated it in 2 tablespoons of Thai Mango sauce and then dusted cornstarch on top.  I heated a tablespoon of sesame oil in the pan and then added the tofu, sauteing it for about 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, I cooked rice noodles.  And in another pan, I heated a tiny bit of sesame oil and sauteed fresh red peppers, broccoli, pea pods, green peppers, onion, and squash "noodles" drizzling just a couple tablespoons of orange ginger sauce on top.  I tossed it into a bowl with the rice noodles and voila...dinner was ready. I'm thankful it was a hit with Dave and Courtney and I even texted Claire a photo so she could see that I finally made tofu that tasted good!




  • FIRST ISSUE!  My first issue of Forks over Knives came in the mail this week.  I get their weekly emails but those just give you 2-3 recipes.  The issue explains the difference between whole foods/plant-based (me) vs totally vegan (Claire).  The issue is chock full of amazing recipes.  My goal is to try one new one each week this winter.  I'm thankful for cooking magazines.
Moreau Lake
eastern foothills of the Adirondacks

my kayak in late afternoon sun

  • AFTER WORK KAYAK:  Wednesday I didn't have to rush home so when I left work at 3, I headed north to the lake where we keep our kayaks.  No one wanted to go with me, so I enjoyed a quiet paddle on the lake by my self. There was one man fishing, several families swimming, (no life guards after Labor Day) and only 2 other kayakers.  I paddled for about an hour, then headed home.  It was so relaxing. The day was a perfect late summer day....temps were in the low 70s and there was no high humidity like the last several weeks!  I'm thankful for these last days of summer to kayak. Since my husband has to be away next weekend, we will probably be getting them back home on Sunday.  I'm really glad I went up one more time.

c.GoldintheClouds 2018 September
New autumnal sign for front door



Leaf pillow for casual corner



Autumn Wreath for Living Room

  • AUTUMN DECOR:  Last year I got rid of a lot of old and outdated autumn decor.  This past week, a favorite store of mine had a 40% off sale so I grabbed a few things.  The wreath is one I bought at an arts and crafts store that our oldest daughter worked at when she first graduated from college.  So it's a couple years old but I put it up this week to bring some autumn into the house.  The front door sign was one that caught my eye due to the fantastic sale and I love how the colors go with the blue background.  And the pillow was....because I love pillows...so cozy in our casual reading corner of the living room.  This weekend I will decorate the rest of the house (family room, dining room and a little in the kitchen)....because...I'm thankful that Autumn begins tomorrow!!
HAPPY ALMOST AUTUMN EVERYONE!!

I hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing weekend......do share a fave of your own!








17 September 2018

My Day So Far......



I I thought I'd participate in this Weekly Journal about our day.  It's after work, and I need to relax and do something fun.....it's late afternoon and my brain is tired from dealing with little preschoolers with all of their language needs today so I'm linking up with other women who do this journal meme.  Read more about it by going here to Melanie's site.





  Today’s date

17 September 
(my youngest sister's birthday!)

 One chore in my home I keep putting off
vacuuming the basement

Is there anything in my fridge I really need to throw out.....if yes, what?
Nothing, thank God!

 What are you reading?
A Year of Living Danishly (non-fiction)
Malachi (Old Testament)
A Walk Across the Sun 
(Fiction, about the trafficking issue)

Scripture verse to share
"My name will be great among the nations, 
from where the sun rises, to where it sets...."
Malachi 1:11a

   What’s the weather?
Partly sunny, temp is 82
and high humidity!

 What are you wearing?
My work clothes: Cream colored long shorts
Light Blue Polo tee-shirt
barefeet, blue and pewter earrings,
dragonfly pewter necklace

A photo to share
the high peaks as seen from the pond
at the start of Rooster Comb Mt trail
that I climbed last weekend

A prayer request
for the people down south affected by Hurricane Florence
for my husband to lose some weight

  A creative project in progress – in reality or still in your thought process
I've been working on a Scarlatti sonata in my spare time

 In the kitchen – is there a special dish you plan on cooking or baking this week
Yes, I'm going to make apple crisp for Friday evening

 Something humorous – a photo, graphic, quote?



 Something on your mind you would like to share
our pastor really challenged us yesterday with his sermon.
He based it on Hebrews 12:1-2....about how to keep on running the race, even when we feel like giving up.




16 September 2018

2018 Book Review #30: the Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi




Oh my goodness.

I loved this book!!!!

It's written by one of my very fave celebrities....I love her because she's  authentic, honest, a Jesus lover, and funny.  She's also serious when she needs to be and so seemingly gracious.  I wish her I could meet her!

SUMMARY  

Kathie believes that the answer to just about any question is found in the Word of God...the Bible. (I also believe this!).

Sometimes it's difficult to understand and interpret the Scriptures though and that's where this book comes in.  This book takes us through the Holy Land and explains Jewish culture....ancient Jewish culture...that we Americans don't really understand.  

She includes many different portions of Scripture, both old and new testament, and explains what the meaning is based on her experiences in the Holy Land and on what she has learned about the ancient Jews.

The "rock" is Jesus.

The "road" is the Holy Land

The "rabbi" is the Word of God.  

She also shares some anecdotes of their time in the Holy Land, and about the guides that they were privileged to have.  Also, there are sections in each chapter where an actual Rabbi...a Messianic Jew (A born again Jew)...explains the meaning of certain Scriptures and how it relates to the Jewish culture and what it means for us today.

And she shares the story of her husband Frank.  Frank accepted Christ as a young boy.  But he really only knew "religion".  Once he got to the Holy Land, he had an awakening experience where he fully embraced Jesus and made Him Lord of his life, realizing that a walk as a Believer is all about relationship.

MY THOUGHTS

This book was powerful for me because I am a learner.  I love to know the meaning of words, phrases, parables.  And my pastor does an excellent job.  However, this book really opened up my eyes to all the parallels between the ancient Jewish customs and culture and to the things we read in the Bible.

And the symbolism in the Bible is further explained, along with some numerology which I find totally fascinating.

This book is excellent for people who are seekers and for the Christian who is becoming more Christ-centered.

The photos that Kathie Lee has put in the book are just wonderful.

And we see her children get baptized!

We also read about the death of her beloved husband and her feelings surrounding that horrible morning.  I actually had tears in my eyes after reading it and I found my self  praising God that Frank did meet Jesus.

It's a very well written book that presents the Gospel of Jesus Christ effortlessly.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 12 and older.

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




14 September 2018

Almost Autumn faves!

It's almost autumn....

And I'm savoring every last minute of Summer, when I get out of work, until the 22nd  when the seasons officially change. 

I've been back with my students for 9 days now and they are already doing so well!  Routines have been learned, schedules have been created for therapies, lessons have been planned and materials have been gathered.  Now we begin the arduous task of data collecting but it's all good and our whole team is just in love with these precious preschoolers.  

For now, let's pause and give thanks to the Lord who creates and gives all good gifts. I do this intentionally every week by linking up with Susanne and other writers over at her site.  We share FIVE of our FAVE things from the past week.  Join in!!

Start of trail for Rooster Comb
Lower Wolf Jaw/Snow Mts
8 September
High Peaks Wilderness Area/ADKS


Stone Stairs along the trail up Rooster Comb Mt
Ladder to summit of Rooster Comb

My happy place!
Looking at Giant Mt from Rooster Comb





Ingrid and I on Rooster Comb Mt with Giant Mt in the background

  • HIGH PEAKS HIKING!  No, I didn't climb a 4000+ mountain but I DID go into the High Peaks Wilderness area of the Adirondacks and climb Rooster Comb with my dear friend Ingrid on Saturday.  The weather was perfect for hiking. We were on our way by 6:30 a.m. (was supposed to be 6 but she overslept!) and we arrived at the parking area by 8:45.  It was only 48 degrees up there!  But the day got up to the high 50s and with the sun it was just perfect. Oh what a great hike.  It was our first time climbing Rooster Comb Mt and it shares a trail-head with 3 other mountains...one of which is a high peak.  We had a blast and round trip was 5.6 miles plus we did an extra half mile by taking the spur trail to an overlook.  The high peak you see behind us (Giant Mt) is the 12th highest in New York State and I first climbed it when I was 18 years old in 1978.  I've never done it again although I'd like to.  After I climbed Giant, that is when the "hiking bug" really got me.  I'm so thankful for friends who like to hike.  Ingrid and I have only known each other for about a year but we have really become good friends and sisters-in-Christ.


Me with my oldest girl Courtney

my husband Dave
  • FAMILY NIGHT!  I came home from hiking, planning on throwing some chicken on the grill and serving it with a big tossed salad and some garlic bread.  BUT...my husband had dinner all planned (yes, he grilled some chicken).  He grilled some potatoes, 2 different kinds of peppers, and onions and I made some steamed broccoli.  It was a lot of fun cooking together and even our oldest daughter got involved as she had no plans for the evening.  She told me when I got cleaned up from hiking, that Dave had suggested a fire as the evening was very cool.  I was so surprised that he wanted this as he's shown no interest in recent weeks.  He even went and bought stuff to make s'mores.  What fun we had gathered around the fire chatting and enjoying dessert.  And of course I was missing our ballerina girl who's away at UNH. I'm thankful for these family evening times as they really are getting rarer!

  • PRAISE REPORT!  So Claire's car (my old 2007 Nissan Sentra) now has a little over 100,000 miles on it which is why I gave it to her and bought a newer vehicle. Well, she got it to the university just fine and wham.....3 days into classes, her "check engine soon" light came on and stayed on. That's fine as it can be driven if not flashing.  She took it to the nearest Nissan dealer (in Portsmouth) and they had to make an appt with her for the next weekend (this past Saturday) as they were all booked the first weekend.  They fixed it within 2 hours. And I was praying this repair would be less than $300 and when she texted me with the news of what they did, and the cost, it was less than $300!!  Hallelujah! I'm so thankful we can pray even about these little things.  I'm also thankful it wasn't something major and that she was ok!  Parenting from afar when a car is involved is very difficult.  but the Lord worked everything out!

image courtesy of goodreads
  • THIS BOOK!  Oh my goodness.  I have always been a fan of Kathie Lee Gifford from the 1980s all the way to the present.  She's one of my fave celebrities. Mainly because she lives authentically and isn't afraid to speak out about the Gospel.  Well, I bought her book (pictured above) earlier in the summer and took my time with it.  What a gem. I learned so much about Jewish culture and how it relates to Scripture.  I learned things from the Bible that are a part of the Holy Land that I never knew before. And I learned about her husband's story and how salvation and Jesus became real to him before his death. I'm so thankful I finished this book this week and I'm so thankful I bought it because it's one I'll use as a reference tool. The rock of course refers to Jesus.  The road refers to the Holy Land (where she toured to gather info for this book) and the Rabbi is the Word of God. It's marvelous.  A book review will be done in a few days.......and trust me...this gets a huge 10. I'm thankful for celebrities who are born again and aren't afraid to speak out about the love of God.


photo courtesy of the website gallery


  • DINNER DATE!  I finally had the chance to meet one of my best friends (Lynn) for dinner Wednesday evening. We both had a free evening, and we went to this place.  I just love it there because the food is fresh, healthful, and inexpensive.  What fun we had catching up on our lives, and sharing about our daughters. Her girl is also a 2nd year college gal and Claire and Marissa have been friends ever since both families started at our church in 2005.  I'm so thankful for long-time friends who get real and go deep.  Our conversation was full of that! And we stayed talking until the place closed!!


That wraps up my week.

How was yours?? Do share!

HAPPY WEEKEND!




11 September 2018

2018 Book Review #29: #NeverAgain

Wow.

This book is written, in regular teenage vocabulary, by a brother and sister...both are survivors of the Parkland school shooting last Valentine's Day.

The book is short but powerful.

There are 7 chapters and both David's voice and Lauren's are in each one.

They share their feelings, thoughts, desires and dreams for the future of America.

They share their deep grief about the loss of friends and teachers via a horrible school shooting.

They share their frustration at our government and the many forces behind the gun control issue. I share their frustration!!

I found my self cheering them on as they shared how we as a nation should get involved and stop offering platitudes.

This book touched my heart.

It's refreshing to read the thoughts of 2 of today's Generation X teenagers.  How brave they are to take on the media the way that they have, and make their voices heard.

The very ending of this short book is 21 pages of all the students and adults who have lost their lives in our country since the Columbine school shootings. All at either schools or colleges.  Actually, the 21 pages is just a fraction of lives lost.  That in and of itself is powerful.  I was stunned that there have been this many.  

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.  Not necessarily for literary excellence or depth, but for authenticity and gut wrenching honesty.

Well done to these survivors!!



Running to Him



For some reason this morning, I put aside the Christian non-fiction book I'm studying during breakfast, and opened my Bible to Isaiah 55.  I read the entire chapter per the prompting of God's Voice.  Usually I read the part from verse 1-3 as it's a fave portion.

But today this part (v.5) jumped out at me:

"Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the Lord your God, and the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.  Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."

How fitting for the anniversary of this date.

It's been 17 years since NYC, just 2 hours south of my home, was devastated by terrorists.  
17 years since the Pentagon was attacked.
17 years since the plane smashed into the ground in PA.
17 years of lock-downs, shelter in place drills, teaching our children what to do if something happens to our schools. 
17 years since I had an 8 year old and a 3 year old seeing these images of falling buildings, screaming people, smoky cities, devastation all around and not fully grasping the horror of it....and trying to explain to the 8 year old in terms she could understand that God is still good and all the time He is good and that evil is running rampant in our world that He so lovingly created for us.

I am convinced that there really will be no peace until every single nation in this world bows to Jesus.  It's right there in Scripture.  

Are we running to Him expectantly?  Are we leading others to Him and explaining what the abundant life is like?  Most of us who have been Christ followers for any length of time know the peace that comes to our lives....we know that God wants to bless us with the abundant life of grace and mercy and salvation.  We run to Him.....He's waiting!

It doesn't matter if a person is Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist or agnostic or any of the other hundreds of religions I don't even know about.  

No matter what your belief system is, one day.....one future day.....Jesus is coming back to gather all nations......

and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that HE IS LORD...the MESSIAH!

Are we running to Him?

It's only in Christ that we know peace.


Let's continue to pray for all nations..........