The Potter’s Lady by Judith Miller

The Potter's Lady - book coverPersonal review of The Potter’s Lady by Judith Miller

Paperback – ISBN – 9780764212567

E-book -ISBN – 9781441269478

Just so you know, I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review, but all opinions here are my own.

The Potter’s Lady is set in the 1870’s West Virginia and Pennsylvania and is the story of first generation Irish immigrants who are working to buy and build a pottery business. The main character of the story, Rose McKay, has just graduated from the Philadelphia Design School for Women, but is struggling with feeling like an outcast as a result from being ostracized at the school. Eager to make a new start and use her talent, she convinces her family to invest in a pottery business over a brickmaking business that they are more familiar with. The family must then struggle to make the business work with the help of Rylan Campbell, and young man with a past to overcome. The plot involves a developing romance between Rose McKay and two of the male characters as well as relationship struggles with extended family and friends who deliberately cause trouble for the family. [Read more…]

Easy Tuna Pasta Salad – Gluten Free!

FR6A2622-Tuna Skroodle on plate_with title_edited-2

I like tuna fish. Tuna salad, tuna pasta salad, and even Hamburger Helper’s version of “Tuna Helper” (my husband won’t touch that stuff with a ten-foot pole!). There used to be a restaurant in our area with a huge salad bar that included different types of pasta salad. One of my favorites that they served had a goofy name. “Tuna Skroodle”, as they called it, was a pasta salad with tuna fish, and I loved it. It was simple enough, just pasta noodles, tuna, cheese, green peas and seasoning. Well, the restaurant closed down quite some time ago, and I have been missing that dish. [Read more…]

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center – West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly sow 101 - Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center - West Yellowstone, MT

Grizzly sow 101 – Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center – West Yellowstone, MT

We discovered the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center this week when we stayed in West Yellowstone, Montana. It was a delightful discovery indeed, because it was an amazing place with a chance to see grizzly bears and wolves close-up! This is a not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility. [Read more…]

Road Trip!

Highway 20 - Wyoming

Highway 20 – Wyoming

Road Trip! Oh Yeah! Freedom! That’s the feeling I have when we set out on a driving vacation, especially one headed northwest. The worries and cares are behind me (physically anyway), and adventure and new scenery is waiting up ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to fly, and get the same enjoyment out of travel that comes with being on a plane and getting somewhere different in a few hours. But a driving vacation has a few perks that a plane trip doesn’t. [Read more…]

The Mountains are Calling

_MG_1044Lake at Glacier National Park

Grand Tetons National Park – Montana

The Mountains are Calling…

I wasn’t going to do it this year. I was NOT going to let it get me. Usually by March it is all I can think about – getting away to some exciting adventure somewhere. Hopefully, it would be one with mountains in it. I don’t know if it is the stress and demands of the teaching job during the year that contribute that, so that by the time summer comes I need to get away to somewhere exciting just to survive. [Read more…]

Alaska’s Denali National Park

Tundra Landscape deep in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Tundra Landscape deep in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Alaska! There is no place quite like it in the rest of the United States. In the heart of Alaska lies one of the the largest national parks in the country – Denali National Park. With more than six million square miles of incredible wilderness, Denali is larger than the entire state of Massachusetts.

Visiting Alaska had always been one of those “trip of a lifetime” dreams my husband and I had dreamed about for years.  We could never justify the expense, and it always seemed out of reach. Then, at age 48, my husband had a sudden heart attack and had to have quadruple by-pass surgery. When you realize how quickly life can end, it changes the whole perspective about justifying the expense. [Read more…]

Discount Coupons for Summer Fun with US Family Guide!

I admit to being a coupon addict in my past years. I even had my husband clipping coupons for me. Hey – when you are raising five kids every penny counts! Because I love going on vacations, finding coupons and discounts for that kind of thing is like gold to me. I would also figure if I saved $5 on the admission to a place, that would go toward lunch, souvenirs or even gas to get there. photo_17And when its summer and school is out for the kids, finding things to do for the day or a weekend can stretch the budget. Well, I today I discovered  some opportunities (coupons!) that I want to share with you for some savings through US Family Guide.  I am a member of their network, and they have some great savings for this summer on family attractions, water and theme parks around the USA. For my Texas family and friends, here are links to coupon guides for some major Texas cities this summer: [Read more…]

Cheap Eye Makeup Remover

FR6A2627coconut oil and blue containerI have discovered the wonders of coconut oil! This stuff is really good for you in all kinds of ways, but recently I have discovered that it also makes a very cheap (and good for your eyes) eye makeup remover. Over the past couple of years I have battled with red itchy patches on my eyelids and around my eyes. It would drive me crazy with the itching and burning, and wearing makeup over it was not fun either. Both my family doctor and a dermatologist told me to quit wearing eye makeup and gave me steriod creams to use. Seriously?? Nobody really wants to look at me without makeup (I don’t like looking at me without makeup!!). And the problems with the steroid creams is that they don’t work that well. I wasn’t too crazy about the information I read on them, either. Plus, going without makeup on the weekend was not improving anything. Assuming I was having an allergic reaction to my eye shadow, I started by trying to change that, looking for the brands with pure ingredients. No luck. I changed mascara, and tried several other things. Finally, I changed what I was using to take off my eye makeup. [Read more…]

Pumpkin Banana Muffins for Breakfast – Gluten Free!

Pumpkin banana muffins - gluten-fre!I have been trying to eat gluten free. I know there is controversy over the idea of gluten, but the one thing I have discovered is that I feel better when I don’t eat it. Of course, that leaves out the traditional foods like muffins, pancakes, sandwiches and toast. And darn it, some of those are really fast grab-and-go foods (never mind yummy!!). For me, breakfast is often VERY grab-and-go. Not eating the carbs also helps me, but I miss the variety. Occasionally I WANT a muffin or pancakes. I have been trying to find some gluten-free substitutes, and have been pleased with some of what I have found. While doing a search for gluten-free breakfast muffins, I found a few different varieties of pumpkin muffins. I happened to have canned pumpkin on hand, and so did my own twist on a few of the recipes I found. Here is my version of Pumpkin Banana muffins, and they are gluten-free! [Read more…]

I Had the Best of Intentions…

The road that turns ...

Sometimes you think you are going one direction, and suddenly the road you are on makes a turn! I took this photo when we were exploring the road leading to Red Lodge, Montana.

I had the best of intentions when I started this blog. I really did. It was going to be my opportunity to help people by being myself and sharing things I was interested in. I spent most of last summer putting it together: thinking, designing, planning and learning. Then, about the time I got it up and going, summer was over! We took a late vacation (which I was going to write about extensively and post lots of pictures relating to). But I had to have a procedure done on my heart due to problems with atrial fibrillation, and then the summer was OVER. I had to go back to teaching school and got sucked into the school grind.

[Read more…]