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

23 November 2015

I pray that all of my American blogging friends have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving as we set aside time to reflect on all that God has given to us...........

Please note:  I'm taking a blogging break due to traveling for the holiday......yup.........back to Boston...........and I hope to be back for Friday's FFF........if not, I will see you sometime next weekend!!

20 November 2015

Simple Faves

Another week has flown by and in looking at my calendar, I'm beginning to wonder how I'm going to fit everything in for this upcoming holiday season.

Meanwhile, let's pause and find FIVE blessings from the week and link up with Susanne's site.


  • DECK DONE!  Last weekend was another mild weather weekend so we took advantage of it and cleaned up the deck for the coming winter season.  Dave and my oldest gal cleaned out the shed and rearranged things in there so that we could put the swing cushions inside, the bonfire pit in, and 2 of the 4 bikes.  He also helped me clean off the deck by folding up chairs, putting the decor away (other than one harvest plaque I still have hanging from the trellis) and put away all the empty planters.  Believe it or not, I still have some nice mums blooming, along with roses still on my rose bush!!  I'm thankful we got a lot done last Saturday.
Emma just after being immersed by her youth pastor
  • NIECE'S BAPTISM:  Sunday was my youngest sister's daughter's baptism.  Emma is turning 13 in March and decided to get baptized at her church. (it's about 45 minutes north of us) What a wonderful statement of faith and testimony she read in front of their congregation.  (there were several teens getting baptized when we were there visiting).  My sister and her husband were so happy and I was very thankful that my daughters were able to go with me to see their little cousin take this public step of faith.  It was just wonderful!
new cut and color!
  • NEW CUT!  Last weekend, my youngest daughter needed her hair cut a little bit and I decided to make my color touch-up for the same time.....and at the last minute decided I am NOT going to grow my hair back out to a long bob but rather, I wanted this asymmetrical short bob cut.  AND I LOVE IT!  It still needs to get a little longer on the right side as I'm still growing out old layers, but it's fresh and the color is a deeper brunette with some purple highlights (hard to tell in the pic).  I'm thankful for good cuts!

  • SPONTANEOUS DATE:  Last Sunday evening, the girls were both busy and I didn't feel like cooking, so Dave and I went out for a super spontaneous date.  Nothing fancy...just our local diner for a bison burger and sweet potato fries....it's the only place in town where I can find a decent burger that doesn't feature beef. I rarely eat burgers so this was a super special treat. Dave had some kind of seafood dish that he said was yummy.  We had a good time...I'm thankful we can do stuff like this once in awhile!

  • REAL MAIL!  This past week, I received a real letter in the mail!  It was from one of Dave's cousins......we are close and she is a Christian.....and it was just great to hear from her.  We have plans to go visit her for a couple of days in the spring (she lives near Hershey, PA) when we take our youngest to Philadelphia to look at this college.  I'm thankful we both like to write letters and stay in touch this way......it's fun!
Those are just some simple things....but it made the week special.

What were your faves this week? Please share one!

Happy weekend!!

19 November 2015

Roasted Veggies over Risotto

I don't know about you, but since we've been eating meat less and less each week, I find it harder and harder to acquire good veggie based meals..........it's definitely more expensive but so much better for us!  Here's a recipe I kind of "made up".....I did check online to see how long one should roast veggies as that's something I never used to do......and I wanted to get some herb ideas. I ended up tweaking one recipe so much that it really is my own!

This was a huge hit with the family. This is a recipe that serves 4 with just about a cup of veggies left over.  Add more veggies or risotto for a larger group.


2-3 large red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large sweet potatoe, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1 large bunch of broccoli crowns, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced 
1/2 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon of herbs de Provence
dash of black pepper
1/3-1/2 c. of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Citrus Rice vinegar

  • In a large baking dish (I used a 13x9 inch glass dish), spray with coconut or olive oil cooking spray and add all the veggies.
  • In a small bowl, mix all the other ingredients and pour over the veggies, making sure to coat.  You might need to add in a little bit more of the olive oil.
  • Roast in an oven that has preheated on 450 degrees.  Roast for 45 minutes.
MEANWHILE:  Cook, according to the package directions, one box of Traditional Italian Creamy Parmesan Risotto.  I prefer this brand.

Once the veggies are tender, serve right in the baking dish.  Pour risotto into a large serving bowl.
Serve with veggies spooned over the risotto or, like some people in my family, serve separately.  

TIPS:  you can prepare these veggies the evening before if you have a busy work schedule and are pressed for time once you are home from work.

You can substitute the onions for red pepper and the broccoli for zucchini or yellow squash if desired, or simply add in those items.
You can also serve this over orzo or parmesan cous-cous.  

Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese...a fave in my family.

DINNER IDEA:  The roasted veggies over the creamy risotto can stand alone OR add a side dish of steamed chopped spinach.  Sometimes I serve this with a fruit cup of watermelon, cantaloupe, fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries.  

as with any of the recipes found on this blog with the label "faithfixes" you do have permission to copy this post!

18 November 2015

If God............

This Scripture.

I had to memorize this as a young child in a Bible club. 

 It was the memory verse at last week's Bible study.......most of us Christians can recite it......

I know this Scripture.  But do I always believe it?

Do I believe it when I see fear all around the world......all through social media.....all through the church........

Why are we fearing?  Those of us who are Believers need not fear!!  (we do win in the end you know)

Why am I seeing Believing relatives and friends spewing out hatred on social media sites???  We cannot solve the problems of terrorism with hatred and fear.

Jesus tells us to love our neighbors. This is a command!!
 Our neighbors include people of all religions not just our own religion. Our neighbors are people of color, of a different race, ethnic group, a different gender, a different socio-economic status..........

 Yes, we can hate what some of these fundamentalist/extremist groups are doing to innocent people.  We would be heartless if we weren't upset.  But afraid of refugees who are also fleeing this evil??  No...we need not fear. 

 Perfect Love casts out fear.

Let's rise above the angst and hatred spewing forth in online videos and posts.

If God is for us....no one can be against us.  They can try. But God is our defender.

and God will bless us for following Him and not denying Him.......

 and for showing Love.  

This is one of the great commandments:  This means we need to be focused on doing this:

And this is the second greatest commandment:

Be different!!


And pray.....that hearts would turn toward the One True God...the LIVING GOD!

And do not fear......He is for us!

If we just loved with all our heart...with all our soul...with all our strength......

and if we just loved our neighbors................showing the Love of Jesus...being the hands and feet of Jesus........

If we did this....and If God is for us..........

We don't lose.

13 November 2015

Mid-November Faves

Mid-November already and only about a month left of Autumn!

Let's pause for a minute and record some blessings from the past week:  FIVE FAVES that God brought into your life.........Then, share yours, and link up at Susanne's Site!


  • MANY CHORES DONE:  Last weekend, we had amazingly mild weather. I couldn't hike due to other obligations so to get a good work out in AND tackle some needed chores, I headed outdoors with the rake and raked up nine bags of maple and cherry tree leaves that had fallen over the previous week.  Our cherry trees in the front yard are now completely bare as is one maple tree in the backyard.  The other maple still has some golden leaves clinging to it....I expect they will fall by Thanksgiving.  It felt great to get these leaves raked up.  And while I raked and bagged, Dave tackled the basement.....he got rid of 2 bags of stuff...some of it dating back from when we first moved into our brand new home.....1994!  I also tackled the floors in each room and my youngest did her own chores.  The oldest gal was working so she did some chores for us the next day.  I'm thankful when the whole family pitches in.

  • POWER OF PRAYER:  Our family is dealing with an issue right now and let me tell you, if it wasn't for the power of prayer, I don't know where I'd be emotionally.  I am so thankful that as Believers we can trust our Mighty God to work things out according to HIS plan and purposes for our lives.

  • SMALL GROUP:  I'm so thankful for my small group of sisters in Christ.  This is my 5th year being a small group leader and I love it.  I love that even though we are small in number this year (there are only 5 of us), we are becoming more intimate with each other emotionally and becoming more intimate spiritually with Christ and more open with each other.  Things are getting real.  And they should....it's part of the vision of small group ministry to be real and do life together.  

  • THANKSGIVING BASKETS:  This year, our very large church is doing the Thanksgiving Basket ministry once again for the most needy families of the congregation.  My small group signed up to do one of the baskets.  Basically, each basket (we bought a beautiful one with a fabric lining from Home Goods) contains all a family would need to have a Thanksgiving Dinner including a gift card to buy the turkey and any fresh produce. Each one of us contributed a few items to put in the basket.  One friend added some silk flowers and I added some Thanksgiving-themed napkins, a fall candle and some autumn candy.  What a blessing it is to be able to give...I'm so thankful for this ministry.

  • XMAS SHOPPING:  Veterans Day was a day off of course for the schools and since it was pouring rain when I woke up at 5:30, I cancelled the hike I had planned with 2 friends and decided to go to this area to do some Christmas shopping at the outlets there.  By myself.  My husband didn't work either but wanted to go to the gym then come home to run errands and do stuff around the house. I found some amazing deals for my husband and youngest daughter and then picked up a couple of little things for my oldest daughter. I'm basically going with gifts that fit in the "want, need, wear, read" categories.  They will get 4 bigger items under those categories (or pricier, I should say) and then a few little things plus their stockings.  We are really cutting back and simplifying the holiday season around here.  I'm thankful I got a good start on this so I can concentrate on some other things in December.  It's promising to be an extremely busy month.
That wraps up my week...if you think of it, could you keep my oldest daughter in prayer? She had a nice job at Starbucks for two weeks and they just let her go!! It was sudden and unexpected and she was feeling really down.  She still hasn't had any interviews for her field (Graphic design) and continues to send out cover letters, resume, portfolio. Two degrees from a top college and a good GPA and yet jobs are tough to come by....it can get discouraging! We keep reassuring her that God has a plan and purpose for her life......and to keep pressing on.  Thank you dear blogging friends!

Have a wonderful weekend!

09 November 2015

2015 Book Review #40: Every Fifteen Minutes

Well, I just finished another novel by a fave author except this particular plot was no where near as good as the previous book of hers I read.

First of all, there were so many mistakes in the sentence structure and grammar, etc that it totally showed me that someone in the publishing house did not proof read this well at all.

So just for that, I take a point off.  And then there is the character development.  and description of the sociopath which really she is describing as a psychopath. Either she didn't do her research, or she didn't care that she was mixing up the definitions. But the character in the book she describes as a sociopath, is actually a psychopath. and yes, there is a difference. I made sure I looked it up and didn't just rely on my memory of taking Abnormal Psychology as an undergrad where I earned an easy A.

But I digress.........


The book starts out, in chapter one,  with a character talking in the first person. He/She describes him/her self as a sociopath. (see above). Again, I'm taking off points for this!

The 2nd chapter begins the actual plot by introducing Dr Eric Parrish.  He is a well known and respected psychiatrist and chief of the Psychiatric Unit of Havemeyer General Hospital outside Philadelphia. Unbeknownst to Eric, he has become the target of a sociopath.  But his life is in turmoil even without the sociopath:  his wife, Caitlin, is filing for divorce and he wants custody of his 7 year old daughter, Hannah.  He also just took on a very troubled boy as a private patient whom he met in the hospital.....the boy is just 17 and is named Max.  Max's grandmother is dying of cancer and heart failure and his mother is an alcoholic who neglects him.  Max has a crush on a teenaged girl (Renee) he tutors and he is becoming obsessed with her.  He also suffers from OCD and every fifteen minutes he engages in a certain ritualistic behavior.

Also, every fifteen minutes, the psych patients on the unit at the hospital are checked....and one day Dr Eric needs to tackle a male patient who becomes violent.  Now Dr Eric is facing a possible lawsuit regarding this tussle.

Add in a disgruntled medical student, Kristine, who has a thing for Eric...he of course, doesn't encourage her sexual advances and she in turn makes a sexual harassment accusation against him....

basically, Eric's life is a mess.

Because of some information that Max shares with Eric during a private session, Eric becomes concerned for the teen girl, Renee.  He soon finds himself facing a possible "Tarasoff issue".....whether to report this possibly dangerous patient to the police authorities.

And then the unthinkable happens....Renee is found murdered in the local park! Things go from bad to worse for Eric...he is now a suspect in the murder and yet feels obligated to keep confidentiality laws in check.  He does not want to reveal to the authorities that Max has been obsessed with this girl....he doesn't want to betray Max's trust.

And soon, Max loses it.....his grandmother dies, he goes missing, and ends up at the King of Prussia Mall holding some younger teens hostage and threatening to kill them and then setting off a bomb.  Will Eric be able to help Max? 

And who is the sociopath?? Whomever it is, he/she is bent on destroying Eric, his family and his career.


This book was just ok.  I loved the other books I've read by this author but this one just doesn't cut it.  First of all, it just bugs me that she uses the word sociopath to mean psychopath.  And yes, I know in some circles, the professionals use this word interchangeably but there ARE differences between the two and the way she describes this particular character fits with the psychopath definition. (I double checked with the DSM 5..the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders, fifth edition).

Eric is supposed to be a psychiatrist.  This usually means an extremely educated and very smart person. Yet, he comes across as an idiot in regards to being a parent and ex-spouse.  Inept.  Too dramatic.  I just didn't warm to his character although I did enjoy the quick thinking he did to diffuse the situation at the mall. 

The ending was dorky.  First, it all  of a sudden ended (which is typical in her books I'm finding out).  And it was just too ridiculous.  There was a neat twist in the end......someone else we find out is a "sociopath/psychopath" and I did suspect that the first person writing of this person's thoughts was female, but I didn't suspect who it actually was.  There are two.  The 2nd one is definitely a surprise and the ending could have been brilliant but it was just ok.

And having the ex-wife all of a sudden become best buddies with him.....well..this was just bad writing....and just too sappy!

The book didn't really get exciting for me until the mall scene.  And then it went downhill quickly because the ending is just too abrupt and "perfect".  It all of a sudden ended with what was probably supposed to be a gripping scene yet it just made me want to hurry up and finish the book.  The only good thing about the story is Max.  I loved this boy and I was happy with how the author had his life turn out.

Oh..and for the record:  when the My Little Pony is described in the book, towards the end (one of the minor characters has a thing for the ponies), my oldest daughter who KNOWS the My Little Pony characters, says I should take a point off my rating for the author not knowing that the white pony with the purple mane is NOT a speckled pony. 

Too many editing errors, not a good proof-reader, just an ok plot, and wrong use of the word sociopath makes me rate this lower than I normally would.

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 7.

I think I'm done with this author.