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

09 October 2015

It's Really Fall Faves

Well, it is really fall (autumn) here!

The temps continue to be mild (which I love!) but the nights have that crisp, cool, clear feeling to them and we have had to put on the heavier quilt.  I'm loving all the colors I see in our town and the surrounding areas of NYS. and the daylight hours are definitely shorter. I'm starting my daily power walks typically around 6:15 but it's darker by the time I end at 7!!  I guess it is really fall!

Let's take a few minutes to share FIVE of our FAVE moments/places/people/events this past week and then link the post up with Susanne  our gracious hostess.


  • HOUR HIKE:  Saturday late afternoon, my neighbor and I drove the 5 miles from our homes to this state park where we love to do an hour hike.  It was a bit overcast although the sun kept peeking through.  We saw a beautiful doe in the woods eating but didn't grab the iphone quick enough to snap a pic.  We saw many squirrels, jays, chipmunks, another deer before completing 2 of the loops and heading back to our homes to cook dinner. I needed the break from housework and errands....so thankful we live so close to some great state park trails.

The Mohawk River at Peebles Island State Park

Beginning of one trail

trail along the river

  • SUNDAY DRIVE/WALK:  After church on Sunday morning, I drove out to central New York State to where my dad lives on the premises of my sister Hope's house.  Her husband Donny made a very nice apartment off their little house in the big woods for Dad.  They live about 80 minutes from my town in eastern NY.  It was a beautiful day and a gorgeous drive.  They are pretty much at peak color in central NY whereas out here in the Capital Region we are not yet at peak color.  In fact, many of our trees are still green and JUST turning red, orange and yellow.  Here are some photos I took on my drive into their property and on my walk with Dad.  For 83 years old, he is doing fairly well.  I'm thankful I had this afternoon with him.
the road into my sister's house

fall foliage near my sister's home in central New York

beautiful tree near my sister's property
central NYS
4 October 2015

  • PATCH ARRIVED!!  The Adirondack Mountain Club sent me my patch for completing the Fire Tower Challenge.  It's fun to get real mail other than bills and I can now sew this on to my backpack!  What a fun challenge this was!!  I'm now attempting to finish up another challenge but it will have to wait until spring as some of the trails are not doable in the winter months. I'm thankful for being able to hike and for fun hiking partners I've had over the years.

  • SAFE TRAVELS:  Dave (my husband) had to fly out of Albany on Sunday morning for Ohio due to work and came home late Tuesday night.  I am very thankful that he had safe travels to and fro and that he could be back in time to attend our daughter's high school open house last evening.  

  • AUTUMN AFTERNOON COLORS:  I love the colors of autumn....I always have, ever since growing up in Central NY, then moving to western NY for college and a couple of years beyond, then moving to eastern NY for grad school, career and marriage.  I love living in eastern NY the best because of all the mountain ranges we are near by....and for the somewhat milder autumns and winters we get here.......the colors on a golden late afternoon are some of my very faves. I'm thankful for our Creator and the marvelous gifts He has given us.

our front stoop decorated for harvest time

That wraps up some special fall faves for me.....how about you?? 

What blessings can you find in your week??

Please share!

Happy Weekend!

07 October 2015

2015 Book Review #36: The Boston Girl

Another great story to read!!

This is an author who was recommended to me by a friend and since I had never read one of her books and saw this on the library shelves a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try it. 

I'm hooked!  If the author's other novels are as good as this one, I will definitely be reading more of her work.


The story is about a young Jewish girl growing up in the North End of Boston in the early 20th century.  It opens in 1985 with Addie Baum speaking with her granddaughter, Ava.  Addie is 85 and begins to reminisce with Ava because Ava asks her, "How did you get to be the woman you are today?".

Addie tells her life story beginning in 1915 when she was just 15 years old.  That was the year she joined a library group in her neighborhood that was just for girls....and this is where she found her voice and her place in the world.  It is where she made her best friends and where those friends helped to shape her life.

Addie's parents are immigrants who were unprepared for the United States.  Her mother is often suspicious of various American things/customs.  Addie has 2 sisters named Betty and Celia.

Addie is very smart, and very curious about the world.  She explores short skirts, movies, the pop culture, and various opportunities that were beginning to open up for women.  She had a goal of finishing high school and going on to college.  She planned on having a career and falling in love vs. accepting an arranged marriage that was the custom for Jewish girls in those times.

Does Addie go to college?? Does she date? and marry?? what happens with her sister Celia?   What does she learn as she becomes a young woman of Boston?? Read the book to find out!


I loved this character from the very beginning.  I could very much relate to her and the relationship she had with her mother...it was SO similar to the one I had with my mother in my later teen years and early 20s.

I love how the author was very accurate in historical details and the emotion behind the story is amazing.  It makes you laugh, cry, cheer, pray......you end up loving each and every character and the various personalities that seem to jump right off the page.

I also love how the author titled each chapter with a thought or phrase from one of the characters....typically from the voice of Addie.  It was very well done.

It is a story about family, friendship and feminism and I loved that!  I loved reading and learning more about our beloved city of Boston and how women lived and worked and played back in the 1920s.

This book is truly one of the best this year.

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

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

02 October 2015

Fall Faves

This week flew by!  

School has now been in session for 2 full weeks yet it seems (at times) like 2 full months.  Life is busy again............

Let's take a moment out of the week to reflect back on the various things/events that God brought to us, and find FIVE of the FAVES........those of us who do this, link up over at Susanne's site.  Feel free to join in!  


Murphy Lake from the lean-to

Murphy Lake
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, Southern Adirondacks
26 Sept 2015
  • HIKING!  Of course the weekend wouldn't be complete without a hike!  Last Saturday I led a group of beginner hikers (friends from church) along one of my favorite trails.  It is a 3.8 miles trail past 3 beautiful deep woods lakes.  The photos are of the last lake on the trail where we sat and ate lunch before heading back down the trail to the cars.  The colors are JUST beginning to show up in the southern Adirondacks so in another week, a bunch of us are heading further north where hopefully, the colors will be more vibrant.  Because it has been such a warm, mild autumn so far, we don't have the blaze of colors yet.  What a fun day it was though with friends! I'm thankful for this group of friends.
photo courtesy of sweet tooth sweet life website
  • DINNER OUT!  Because my husband had to work at the Saturday evening church service, he wasn't able to hike that day, so he joined me and another couple who had hiked, for dinner out after the church service. Our friends Scot and Diane told us about this bistro/pub located in the city of Troy across the river from us so we decided to meet them there.  Excellent food and fellowship! And inexpensive!!  Certain cocktails were only $4.00 that evening! I'm thankful for these friends and this time we had.  It made for a perfect ending to a great day.
image courtesy of triplethescraps website
  • FAVE HYMN:  at the end of the worship service in church on Sunday, we sang this traditional hymn.....it has always been a favorite of mine.  How amazing it is to hear about 1200 congregants with uplifted voices singing praises to our God.  It brought tears to my eyes  to know just how great our God really is.  I'm so thankful for these timeless hymns.  There is nothing like them!

  • COCKTAILS BY THE FIRE!  My neighbor and I finally got together for a bonfire and cocktail. My family had no plans for Friday evening as my husband was tired, my oldest was out with friends, and my youngest had an audition the next day so wanted to be in bed early.  Melissa invited me over and we had the perfect night for it. I made a rum and coke while she had some red wine.  The fire felt so good as there was an early autumn nip in the air.  We chatted about so much and we really needed that time....I'm so thankful for our friendship and that we are next door neighbors!

Courtney baking
the end result!
  • APPLE PIE!  Courtney and I decided, after church on Sunday, to bake an apple pie together.  What fun it was and oh how yummy!!  I'm not a huge pie fan but at least once a year, I do like to eat a piece of apple pie. We used some of the apples from the apple orchard we visited. I'm thankful for my daughter's help and love having her at home (and yes, she is still looking for a design job!!)


DANCE AUDITION!  Claire and two other friends from pointe class went to an audition with this place near us and......they all made the dance company!!  We are so excited for them!!  They will be performing the Russian dance from Nutcracker in December at 3 different performances.  What a great opportunity this is for them.....to study under former NYCBallet instructors at the beautiful studios in Saratoga.  They have rehearsals every Saturday though from now until mid-December so she will be very busy.

That wraps up my week.....those are just some highlights of course!  I'm also thankful for my husband's help with Claire's physics homework and project, for my oldest daughter and some of the housework she is helping with, for my small group and the power of prayer.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

30 September 2015

Stay Refreshed!

image courtesy of extension.org
This week I have been reading various Scripture passages about the Sovereignty of God.  This morning I was in Deuteronomy 31:30-32:4.  Here are the verses that jumped out at me:

"I proclaim the name of the Lord.  Ascribe greatness to our God.  He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice, righteous and upright is He." ~Deuteronomy 32:3&4~ 
The devotional (from Women  of Faith Devotional Bible, NKJV) then went on to say that this is from the song that Moses sang.....He led them in music!  He was also their leader in other ways of course, but to help remind them of God's faithfulness and power, he set those truths to music.

Moses is reminding the people of Israel...and reminding us today...that if we give God first place in our lives....if we allow  the Word of God to take precedence in our day, then we will be refreshed.  Just like a glass of ice cold water refreshes us on a hot day or when we are particularly thirsty, so too will the Word of God refresh us.

Let's not forget what God has done for us!

Let's remember His faithfulness to us....His mercy....His grace...and His power!

Let's drink of the Living Water that He freely offers us!!

And stay refreshed!

27 September 2015

2015 Book Review #35: The Same Sky

I discovered a new author this past week.

And she is excellent!!


The book opens with the voice of 12 year old Carla, a little girl born and raised in Honduras.  Carla's mother left for America when Carla was just 5 years old.  She left Carla and her  twin toddler brothers, Carlos and Junior, in the care of an elderly grandmother.  Grandmother died when Carla was about 7 years old. Before she died, Carlos was whisked away in a car.....Carla and Junior had no idea where he went.  After Grandmother died, Carla was left to care for her, self and Junior.  She had to scrounge with her friend Humberto in the town dump for food.  She was all alone and could no longer attend school.  Junior began sniffing glue and running wild.  What was she to do??

In the second chapter, we hear from Alice.  Alice lives with her husband Jake, in Austin, Texas.  They have been trying for years to have a baby, with no success.  They were just about to adopt a baby named Mitchell when the birth mother changed her mind.  They are both devastated and dealing with their grief.  They own and operate  an outstanding Texas BBQ restaurant that makes them a little bit "famous".  Alice is originally from Colorado where her dad and sister Jane live.  Jane is married to Dennis and has 3 little boys.  Alice and Jane's mother died of cancer when they were younger.

Every other chapter is Carla's story.  She ends up escaping with Junior to make her way to America and her mother.  Will she make it??  What happens to her on "the beast" (the train from Honduras to Mexico??) What happens when she finds her mother....and then discovers she is pregnant at age 13??  What happens to her baby??

The chapters about Alice focus on their grief for Mitchell being taken back by his birth mother, and about Alice mentoring a teen named Evian who is neglected by her mother and a bit on the "wild side".  She and Jake make their way through their grief and their marital struggles to discovering that God does have a purpose and plan for them.  


I loved this book because I had read that the author researched immigrant children by going to shelters throughout Texas and California to learn about these childrens' lives.

I love how real both main characters were!  I felt like I could adopt Carla and her little brother.  I wanted to befriend Alice.

I found my self cheering when Carla made it safely across the river between Mexico and Texas.  I found myself crying when she was raped on the train and felt so ashamed and wanted to gather her in my arms and whisper to her that it was not her fault.

Oh, I can't say enough good about this story.  It is very moving.  And the way that Carla's and Alice's lives connect at the end is just spell-binding.

The only negative thing I can find to say about the book is how sometimes the Lord's name was spoken as a swear word.  That bothers me.  I find it very unnecessary.

I am going to look for this author's other novels.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

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

25 September 2015

Early Autumn Faves

The season of Autumn is here!!  It arrived on Wednesday and because it was also a Jewish holiday, the school district was closed so I didn't have to go to work.  That was a bonus!

Let's take some time to look back on the week and find FIVE FAVE moments that filled us with thankfulness.  Then head over to Susanne's site to link up!


Claire, age 16
  • PASSED!  Claire passed her NYS Road Test on Saturday afternoon!  I was so excited because this means she can now drive her self to her ballet classes and youth group.  In the photo above, this was her first time pulling out of the driveway by herself for her Tuesday evening classes.  I'm so thankful!  (she will only have a junior license though as she is only 16 so has to be home by 9 pm...thankfully, all of her classes get out at 8 pm!)
Faith's youngest sister Jill
  • 40th CELEBRATION:  My youngest sister Jill turned 40 last week and her husband gave her a birthday party and invited all of us plus my other 2 sisters and a bunch of friends and some of her in-laws.  What a fun Saturday evening that was!  She is holding up a mug I gave her that says "keep calm, it's your 40th birthday".  I also got her a basket of "how to survive your 40s" gifts...all fun stuff.  She seemed to love it!  I'm thankful when the family can do these kinds of events.

Claire (age 16), Courtney (age 22), me
  • APPLE PICKING!  On Wednesday, we had no school due to a Jewish holiday so since my oldest still doesn't have a job, she thought we should all go apple picking. It was the perfect choice for the first day of autumn!  What fun we had!  We usually go to a particular orchard about 20 minutes from our home, just to the north of us, but we decided to go to one we hadn't been to in years......it's about 40 minutes southwest of us.  What a great day it was for apple picking!  This is where we went. We picked Empires and Galas.  YUMMY!  We also ate a late lunch in the cafe...they have great sandwiches...and....we  bought a dozen apple cider donuts which had just come out of the oven to bring home to Dave.  I'm thankful for the time I had with my girls.
along my bike route in town

  • BIKING:  Sunday afternoon, after church and some housework, I decided to go on a 5 mile bike ride.  It was a glorious late summer day.  The temps were in the high 60s/low70s which in my opinion are perfect for biking or hiking.  No one else wanted to join me, so I went by myself and thoroughly loved it.  There's something about riding around my suburban town that is so nice....even though I DO have to watch out for the many pot holes that still haven't been fixed from last winter.  Sticking to just a bike path gets so boring!  It's just a straight path.  But the riding around town is so interesting.  I saw several people out on bikes and running.  I'm thankful for weekends to do the things I enjoy.

  • BLOOMED AGAIN!  Over the weekend, neither of these plants had flowers on them so I left them and decided to clean up the deck and front stoop on the day off.  Well, when I went out there on Wednesday afternoon to do so, the blooms were back!!  It was the strangest thing!  but I am thankful to see these summer blooms lingering......I'm going to keep these going as long as I can and maybe once the pumpkins are added next week, they will still be in bloom.

It's going to be a beautiful weekend, here in eastern NY.  I hope wherever you are, that you are enjoying a wonderful autumn weekend, too!