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The days are already growing shorter and the neighborhood children have been back in school for a couple of weeks. Hard to believe that summer is rapidly drawing to a close already! Of course, in California’s beautiful San Joaquin Valley, there will still be plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Here in Lodi, the grapes are ripening on the vines and the harvest will begin soon, meaning that fresh, sweet grapes will be plentiful. Most evenings, the breezes from the San Joaquin Delta rustle softly through my oak trees and I delight in relaxing on my patio with a good book and a bowl of fresh, juicy grapes with my beloved Sophie by my side.

Visiting a black sand beach along the Hana Highway, Maui
I’ve had a wonderful summer. The highlight was my first trip, with three of my best girlfriends, to Maui! We had so much fun in that topical paradise! We snorkeled, traversed the entire Hana Highway, shopped in the local stores, and, naturally, relaxed on the beach and by the pool with a few good books. I can’t wait to go back for another blissful vacation on the beautiful shore.

In honor of all the blessings that we celebrate this time of year, I am participating in the Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop, hosted by Inspired Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Jess at The Elliott Review.

Until August 23, 2012, at 12:01 a.m., you are invited to enter to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate!

Mandatory Entry:

Post a comment in which you describe the highlight of your summer!

Then register your entry utilizing the Rafflecopter widget. Four bonus entries are also available!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit all the participating blogs:




259 Comments

  1. Maria pronounced Mariah

    The highlight of my summer is my husband surviving a fishfry gone bad. And fully recovering from the burns!

  2. Stephanie T.

    I’d say the highlight of my summer was going on a cruise around Europe with my family.

  3. Mary Ward

    So far, it’s been having my niece come and stay with us for a while. She’s a breath of fresh air.

    • Margaret

      Going to the zoo with my kids has been the highlight of my summer.

  4. Elizabeth

    No contest, it was seeing Redd Kross play in San Francisco last week. They were amazing!

  5. We bought a house & The boys and I drove 6 hours to see my friends and family. πŸ™‚ Had a blast in Iowa too so it was well worth the 6 hour drive. Looking forward to going back hopefully in the spring. πŸ™‚

  6. My summer highlight was taking my first vacation with my son

  7. Highlight of my summer: Getting to see The Phantom of the Opera in Vegas before it closes!

    Konstanz Silverbow
    nothoughts2small.blogspot.com
    thewriterace.blogspot.com

  8. brookea_2006

    The highlight of my summer was probably my vacation to see family in SC πŸ™‚

  9. Getting to read more than I have been able to in quite a long time! Thanks for the giveaway! πŸ˜€

  10. So far the highlight of my summer was camping with one of my childhood friends; however, I’m also excited to visit my grandparents at the beginning of September. πŸ˜€

  11. Baseball games! I love to go to them πŸ™‚

  12. The highlight of my summer was going to Bora Bora with my family! It was incredible!

  13. Cordelia Fitzgerald

    The highlight of my summer was one afternoon when the sky was caught in a haze of pink and orange. Something that never happens in my part of the world!!

  14. Tracy Awalt Juliano

    The highlight of my summer was pulling off a great big birthday surprise for my 7 y/o daughter, followed by her first slumber party. Lots and lots of fun memories!

  15. Getting tons of reading in! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. Watching my husband perform in a Community theater production of Into the Woods. He was fabulous and it was made all the better by the fact that his sisters came out from a couple states over to see him too!

  17. Michelle C

    The highlight of my summer was our family vacation to the beach. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  18. The highlight of my summer was spending a day doing arts and crafts with my 3yr old niece. Thank you for the giveaway!

  19. Farm work – building a bat box, getting our first geese and building them a house, planting trees.

  20. Mel brock

    I didn’t do a whole lot, but picking the first batch of blueberries was very cool, it was like summer really started then!

  21. Caitlin Nunez

    The highlight of my summer was getting my new house totally unpacked and in order!

  22. Going on vacation with all family – mom and all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  23. Kate Burton

    The highlight of my summer was taking my kids to Washington DC

  24. Going to the beach with 30 extended family members. Such a great week, and very blessed to get to spend time with family like that.

  25. Michele L.

    I went back to school to complete my bachelor’s degree after 18 years

  26. My highlight has been the scorching weather! We’ve been unseasonably hot and dry, and it’s given us the opportunity to spend nearly every day this summer in the pool!

  27. Watching all of my young sons learn to ride a bike and seeing the joy in their eyes when they finally “rode around the entire yard without falling once”.

  28. Andrea Williams

    My highlight was when my parents came to visit this summer.

  29. The highlight of my sister had to be seeing my sister and niece and nephews after not seeing them for months because they live in Egypt!

  30. Christina T

    I was able to take a vacation for the first time in like 3 years and was able to introduce my b/f to my family in Puerto Rico!

  31. Denise Z

    I had to laugh at this question, the highlight of my summer has been a really good air conditioner πŸ˜† Thank you for participating in this fun hop.

  32. Mary Preston

    The highlight of any Summer has to be the trip to the coast.

  33. techeditor

    The highlight of my summer, which is still not over, will be taking a day off work to attend a book fair.

  34. The highlight of my summer will happen in a few weeks. After three miscarriages, my son and his wife will have their first child!

  35. My highlight is/was getting through quite a few of my TBR books. Although I didn’t go through as many as I would have liked. But I’m still working on that. πŸ™‚
    Thank you for being a part of this fabulous blog hop!
    DeAnna Schultz

    • JHS

      DeAnna: You’re my hero! I wish I could make a dent in my TBR piles. They just seem to grow exponentially. If only I could be on vacation for about a year, I might make some progress!

  36. We took a week-long trip to San Felipe in the Baja. It was so relaxing and nice to just lie by the pool and read. Now I’m ready to go back.

  37. The highlight of my summer was attending the Braves game this past Thursday (8-16). Check out the highlights if you want to know what I mean.

  38. Sue Hull

    Winning lots of books to read. Also spending lots of time with my family.Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  39. Krystal Larson

    I loved volunteering in the hospital

  40. Carol Wong

    My highlight is yet to come. We will be going to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a short vacation. Due to the lack of money and operations, I haven’t been on a vacation for 4 years!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  41. Donna/BLHmistress

    Honestly I haven’t done anything special, while my son was away at my parents , I just chilled and relaxed for about a month or so.

  42. The highlight of my summer was getting my drivers license!

  43. The highlight to my summer was our trip to Europe! We visited Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London…I have a t-shirt from each country that I wear ALL the time!

  44. My highlight was getting to see all of my nieces and nephews this summer. Since they live far away, it’s a rarity. It was awesome!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  45. Colleen Turner

    I have had a lot of fun this summer, but I would say the highlight would be going to Disney World and Busch Gardens…I always love going to theme parks!

  46. One of the high points of my summer was spending a week in the North Georgia Mountains. The cabin is nestled in the trees beside the Coosawattee river and is an inspirational setting for my novel writing. I go at least once a year and love every second I’m there. πŸ™‚

  47. I got a temp job that I have been at for 7 weeks now. Yay!!

  48. I am looking forward to your Giving Up the Ghost review. The highlight of my summer was sleeping in!

  49. Jennifer Haile

    My highlight of the summer was getting away from the heat and going to Carmel, CA. I didn’t want to leave!

  50. Jaime Lester

    The highlight of my summer? I think it would be the whole season. I have had a wonderful summer this year spending time with my husband and family. It has been a truly great summer, and I hope that next summer will be just as sweet!

  51. My hightlight was spending time with family and friends.

  52. I would say hanging out with my sister a lot this summer and reading a lot of great books.

  53. Jenny Stanek

    The best part of my summer was chasing fireflies at night with my kids πŸ™‚

  54. Katie Amanda

    I liked boating and visiting with family.

  55. Stephanie

    The highlight of my summer was a cruise to the Bahamas with family!

  56. Unfortunately I can’t really think of anything that would count as the highlight of my summer. It’s been a rather boring summer for me.

  57. I didn’t do anything exciting this summer. Just reading for fun πŸ™‚

  58. The highlight of my summer was a vacation to St Louis with my husband.

  59. The highlight of my summer was being able to spend more time with my parents.

  60. So far it was going to see Blue Man Group. However, I haven’t had my vacation yet. On August 25th I leave for a 13 day Eastern Mediterranean cruise!

  61. Gretchen Gerth

    After playing in the pool all summer with my granddaughter, my highlight came last week when she said “Look Grandma” and proceeded to do a somersault in the water. She went under! It was amazing.

  62. The highlight of my summer has been getting a dreaded out-of-state move over with. There are still loose ends to tie up but the worst is over. Another highlight is experiencing the joy of watching my favorite South Asian TV shows online. I discovered a site that has all my favorite channels πŸ™‚

  63. Danielle B!

    The highlight of my summer is being diagnosed with a sucky disease. πŸ™

    Thanks for the giveaway! πŸ˜€

  64. Wendy Pogrant

    I didn’t do anything this summer except watch my grandson.

  65. I guess spending time with my nieces/nephews were the best parts of summer for me.

  66. Sue Sattler

    Spending time at the beach with my grandkids.

  67. catherine c

    going back home to NYC to visit my family

  68. Linda Kish

    I haven’t really done much but I am going to Disneyland on Tuesday to check out Carsland.

  69. Cheri Anne

    The highlight of my summer was playing golf in the beautiful weather.

  70. April V.

    Haven’t had the greatest summer. So far the best part was hanging out with my mom for a Saturday shopping the thrift stores.

  71. facebook_lexley

    Watching my son learn and love Karate! πŸ™‚ It’s really helped his ADHD!
    Melissa Caldwell

  72. Tari Lawson

    The highlight of my summer was camping with my family.

  73. The highlight of my summer was meeting Chris Daughtry and his band members AND the legendary, Graham Nash from CSN! πŸ˜€

  74. The highlight of my summer was taking my family to the beach.

  75. The highlight of my summer was spending a week at the beach with my family. My daughter is 17 months old so it was a blast seeing her explore it all.

  76. We went to the outer banks north carolina with my kids–it’s was soooo much fun!! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

  77. Linda White

    Going to San Antonio Tx and spending time with my husband strolling along the beautiful River Walk area together every evening!

  78. Janet W.

    The highlight of my summer was taking my grandsons to the pool for the first time!

  79. Daniel M

    that it’s almost over?! nothing, it’s been a bad year

  80. Diana Stanhope

    The highlight of my summer was spending time reading at the lake. I love the view when I look up from the pages.

  81. The highlight of my summer was working in the garden with my mum!

  82. Tiye Harris

    The highlight of my summer was hearing my son’s first word “Mom”

  83. Michelle W

    Spending some time in Virginia Beach with my sister

  84. Leanne Johnson

    going to denver on a romantic weekend

  85. The highlight of my summer was visiting with my mom and dad. I don’t get to see them often enough!

  86. Bookie Bee

    Miami trip…. disney world was a real treat!

  87. Ann Fantom

    Watching my daughter jump off the diving for the first time

  88. susan wiener

    The highlight of my summer was having a bbq.

  89. The highlight of my summer was my vacation to California.

  90. Susan B.

    We didn’t do anything super exciting this summer, but I’d have to say the highlight was hanging out at the pool with the kids.

  91. Barbara Montag

    Going to Valley Fair – great fun spot in MN – thank you.

  92. The highlight of my summer was going to visit my parents and lots of family and introduce my daughter to them.

  93. Victoria R.

    We had our family reunion for 2 weeks in the Outer Banks this year – definitely the biggest highlight!

  94. My mother celebrated her birthday and invited all of our family members and we had a wonderful time πŸ™‚

  95. Chrystal D

    Mine has been growing good herbs & vegetables this year! YAY!

  96. Linda G.

    Our highlight this summer was taking our grandkids to the beach!

  97. I have to say this whole past week. It was dubbed “Fun Week” because my husband had his first real vacation in years and we went bowling, camping and to an amusement park!

  98. Tabathia B

    Spending time with my two oldest daughters before they head off to college

  99. The highlight of my summer was a lovely day trip my family took to San Francisco!

  100. Angela Cisco

    Honestly, my summer has been uneventful.

  101. Anastasia

    Hanging out with my girls and going to see Brave πŸ™‚

  102. Proposing to my g/f!
    cody_endres(at)hotmail(dot)com

  103. Dwayne Berry

    The highlight of my summer was helping my daughter learn how to swim.

  104. Jennelle J

    The highlight of my summer was the birth of my son.

  105. carol gentry

    Spending a week with my borther and his wife and also my grandchilden.

  106. Rebecca Peters

    My highlight was family days at the beach with my kids.

  107. Erica C.

    My birthday was the highlight of my summer.

  108. Teresa Thompson

    Going to the waterpark with my granddaughters.

  109. The highlight of my summer was going to Wisconsin Dells.

  110. Just spending time with my 3 year old daughter, that’s the best part of any season for me

  111. Lauren U

    Sitting on the beach

    lauren.uda(at)gmail(dot)com

  112. Juana Esparza

    The highlight of my summer is that I made a dent on my TBR pile of books.

  113. Watching season 1 and 2 of BBC’s Sherlock for the first time haha!

  114. Nicole C.

    The highlight of my summer was having all 3 of my kids back at home.

  115. Jessica B

    I had surgery and have been out of work for a couple of months. It’s been great getting to spend one-on-one time with my family!

  116. latisha depoortere

    This summer I didn’t do much I read alot of great books! Thank you for the great giveaway!

  117. Michelle Fosnaugh

    Being off work this week!!! And finally being able to go trail riding on my bike! Its humid and hot but I love it and have missed it

  118. kelly nicholson

    What was the highlight of your summer?

    miami beach

  119. Carolyn Daley

    My highlight was going to Universal Studios with my boyfriend

  120. Molly Capel

    My highlight was taking my kids camping for the very first time. We had a blast. πŸ™‚

  121. Crystal F

    My daughter trying out and making a really really good travel softball team. thank you!

  122. The highlight was friends’ visiting at the end of June.

  123. Caitlin McClure

    I visited my parents in TN πŸ™‚

  124. Ciara B.

    going to NYC was the highlight of my summer

  125. Brittani

    The highlight of my summer was some much needed quality time with my brother!

  126. Sounds like an amazing time! The highlight of my summer was the day my co-author and I found our awesome literary agent : )
    Thanks for the fabulous giveaway! I am participating in the hop as well (#49 ~ Fairday’s Blog!) Have a great night : ) ~ Jess

  127. Katharina

    The highlight of my summer so far has been getting to see more/ learn more about my local area by some short trips to various sites.
    Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

  128. I hike one of our local mountains for the first time! It was beautiful but I felt it for days afterwards!

  129. shanta spradlin

    My summer was great lots of time at the beach and we are going on a cruise in september.

  130. Jennifer Paige

    Going swimming on the hottest days in the river

  131. Tara Woods

    I spent the summer with all of my nieces.

  132. Definitely going to Toronto and Montreal to visit friends – it was a great vacation from work!

  133. Karen Gonyea

    Our hiking trip to Adams Eden πŸ™‚

  134. Melanie Montgomery

    Going to a baseball game with my husband was the highlight of my summer

  135. Laceyacey

    Love being in the sunshine so getting to play outside with my little girl and read outside this summer was the best!I

  136. susan smoaks

    the highlight of my summer was my husband’s birthday party

  137. Jeanette Hamilton

    Spending the fourth of July up north, with family I haven’t seen in a few years.

  138. Jennifer Peaslee

    The highlight of my summer was buying our first home and moving in! We’re still working on fixing it and making it our own, but sometimes I sit on the couch and think…oh wow…this is actually ours!!!

  139. The highlight of my summer was my cousin’s beautiful wedding last week!

  140. sheryl cullum

    Nothing really everyday is the same πŸ™

  141. Amy DeLong

    spending time with the family
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  142. Fiery Na

    The highlight is going hiking all day on a mountain. What a workout and the view was wonderful.

  143. kim woods

    The Highlight of my summer is spending my moms 80th birthday with her.

  144. Beverly S

    My highlight is still forthcoming…I’ll be visiting my oldest daughter who has moved to Texas. I’ve never been there plus can’t wait to see her! πŸ™‚
    I think you have me beat though with your trip to Maui. Wink. πŸ™‚

  145. Richard Hicks

    stayed at the beach for a week!

    brich22 at earthlink dot net

  146. Attending the GALA Festival in Denver.

    Thanks for the contest.

  147. The highlight of my summer was getting to enjoy hiking, swimming, and visiting family with my kids!

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