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Clearly Seen

Romans 1:20 - "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. . ."

Updated: 2014-10-03T00:18:14.113-07:00


Stricklen's Highland Festival!


(It seems like every time I use Blogger lately there is something I can't work out, as in underlining, not being able to put pictures in the order I want them, etc . Here it is anyway!)"Who stole me haggis??!!"What fun we had at the Stricklen's recent Highland Festival! All things Scottish were the order of the day. Of course, in the excitement, I left the good camera home (see Sarah and Mary, it is true -- I am not a photographer!) So these were, once again, taken with the faithful, ever-present camera phone. Not good, but better than nothing! And, since I was playing the keyboard for her, I did not get a picture of Abigail singing "Scots Wha Hae" (??), but Abby's rendition always brings tears to my eyes -- "By oppressions woes and pains, by your sons in servile chains, We will drain our dearest veins, but they SHALL be free!"Hey, Nathaniel laddie, ready for the Highland Festival? Let the Games begin!Granddaddy had a shoulder injury and remembered last year's men's games, so he joined with the bonnie lassies in the sack race!  Guess they are just younger than he is . . .CJ prepares for the stone toss . . .Little Isaac gave it a good try . . .Little Wills gives it a heave!Now where did that thing go???Mr. Patrick Franklin in true Highland formFlying cabers! Michael Doolin sends it flying.Andrew Stevens gives the stone a heave -- good foot form, Andrew!Sweet little Caraline Waldman enjoys the games in her own unique way, and mama Renee enjoys Caraline!Beautiful ladies bask in the beautiful Florida February afternoon!What fun to have Ron and Sue Whicker (Uncle Ron, Aunt Sue) join us! I don't think Nathaniel sees them often enough!Sam Doolin knows when it's time to come in out of the mosquitoes! A wonderful time was had by all, and we look forward to next year. Thank you, Stricklens! For much better pictures, see Mary will eventually get some fine shots up. I did not pick and choose my pictures for this post; this is practically all that were decent enough to see! I spent most of my time in the "geezer tent" and forgot to take pictures!  Told you I am not a photographer! [...]

"The Holidays" Part 1


Well, it has been quite a while, hasn't it? So, here are some pictures of the last few weeks in our family.  We traveled to Missouri/Arkansas in October/November to see our children and the beautiful leaves changing. After a couple weeks, we headed back to Florida for a couple of weeks, then back to Missouri for Thanksgiving. What a blessed, though busy, time that was! The picture above won't go anywhere else, so I am leaving it there. When we came home to Florida between jaunts to Missouri, sweet Sarah came back with us.  What a treat for Grandmother and Granddaddy! Here she adorns an old pecan tree at the Red Barn Pecan Farm in Leesburg, GA.  We loved stopping there on the way up and back! Delicious, fresh pecans, and the manager had gone to Bible School near our home in FL, so we had common interests.  God has His people everywhere!On the way up and back, we were blessed to stop at the Powers' home in Georgia. They sweetly feed us and offer the most pleasant sleeping room for us. We love stopping there, and hope to return the hospitality someday, if we can convince them to travel to Florida. Sweeties Mary and Callie Stricklen came up to Missouri for Thanksgiving with their family. What a blessing to have the family together for Thanksgiving! The Stricklens loved spending time with their cousins and getting to know the little ones better.Three Little Sisters (I titled this one because of another pictures further down!)  How precious to have all three of my little girls together!Daughter Molly and me at Thanksgiving time in MissouriWell, how's this for out of order?  Darlin' Child Margaret Anne on our lovely trip to the Barn Antiques in Florida before Christmas. We girls love going to the Barn every December, and it has become an anticipated tradition! What fun to get into "Cranium" as a family! We even got some of the "men" to do charades, act out songs, draw blindfolded -- what fun!  It turns out that everyone now wants Abby and Gracie on their team -- they have become the champs -- Grandmother loses her title!Cranium is serious business, y'all!On the way home, mid-November, Sarah in front of the Langston House, one of our favorite places to stop (part of Henderson Village in Georgia). It is such a lovely place -- a collection of old Georgia homes, now a bed and breakfast and wonderful restaurant.Can you tell Grandmother is basking in the attention of darlin' grandsons who have become men of God! I love spending time with them, and it is far too rare!On the way home with Sarah, we also stopped at the Whiddon home in Georgia. What a precious family! They always welcome us like they love us (which they do!) and make our stay blessed, whether long or short! Thank you, dear Whiddon family!Back to Missouri:  Granddaddy loves getting down on the floor with the little ones. Here, the hallway makes a great staging area for building with blocks. It is so precious how the little ones from Florida just fit right in within a few minutes, and they are best of friends before they have to leave.Sweet Ashley turned out to be a real animated Cranium player!While we were in Missouri, a friend of the Dischers turned 90, we were invited to go with them for her birthday celebration.  The Discher girls chose to honor her with an Andrews sisters song, "Three Little Sisters", from the '40s era.  Here they are dressed in Army, Navy, and Marine (kinda) outfits, which portray the song well.  They did an absolutely fabulous job! Well done, girls!Okay, one more Cranium picture!  Even the little ones loved getting into the act! Can you tell Abigail is quite engaged? Granddaddy and C J at the Red Barn. C J learned a lot about how the pecans are picked and processed, and we loved having him and Abby on one of our trips home. Thank you, Lord, for enabling us to travel back and forth to see our dear ones, and for your hand of mercy on our travels!   Coming soon (hopefully!) Holidays Part 2 ![...]

Another Trip to Arkasouri!


 What a blessing to be able to travel back and forth between Florida and Arkansas/Missouri to visit children and grandchildren!  Especially in this season, I love the fact that we can go up to see the leaves change -- "leaf peeping!"  Before we left, though, I wanted to post a little of Florida's fall colors.  Above is a beautiful golden rain tree in the town near us, and every year, it turns glorious yellow in the fall.  Shortly after, it begins changing to soft pink, above, or deep pink, and the blossoms turn into funny little Chinese-lanternish little blossoms. I love it -- it is so unique!  The tree above is the same tree as the previous picture, only a week or so later.  You can still see some of the yellow in the middle of the tree. Florida does have wonderful fall color, even though it's not maple or hickory or sumac!The sweet Stricklen family (well, not sure where Mary is) and "cousin" Amanda saying goodbye as we get ready to leave. Below, we board the RV for another exciting trip!The faithful cleaning and packing crew left little surprises we discovered all along the way.  When we opened the Lipton box, out jumped . . .!Not sure what kind of trees these are, but we loved seeing them.This was the best welcome, though!  Little sweeties (plus Sarah's new goat!)  And below, not-as-little sweeties, Kitty and Gracie, making things all autumny.  Beautiful girls! So glad to see you!Granddaddy got his hands on a couple of little rascals.  Clay and Paul have grown so much since last we saw them!  What a contrast in personalities!  Clay is quieter (Ashley says not all the time!) and more placid than Paul, who is always on the go, banging on something!  What precious little men of God in training!Markie's home-raised pumpkin anchors a wonderful centerpiece that says "Fall" to me!  Our trip was a perfect Fall adventure for this grandmother!  More to come.  Thank you, Lord, for traveling mercies and the blessing of family who welcome you with open arms![...]

La abuelita es Escurridizo


Well, I am finally the owner of a new camera, one I don't have to share with the "business"!  Hopefully, I will learn its ins and outs so I can take pictures like Mary! (As grandson Daniel used to say "airquotes -- yeah, right!") Anyway, I love the picture above, and think it is pretty good. It is our dear friends, Patrick and Kellipaige Franklin in our breakfast room one Sunday after church. What a lovely time we always have with them!So, we'll see if  you can teach an old dinosaur new tricks, and if new cameras can make up for old incompetencies!   Oh, I figured if Mary titles her post in Spanish, maybe I should, too.  I mean, it will be especially meaningful to three young ladies who forgot I would get my camera back from them! Molly and Chris stayed for dinner the same day, and I thought this was such a good picture of them! I love the clarity of this new camera, as compared to my phone camera!Beautiful Callie Sue! Love your sweet smile and curly hair, girl!O-o-o-kay! My camera ended up at a sleep-over, and I think we have discovered some hidden . . . ummm, talents??  Wackiness?? Latent tendencies??  Abby's true identity:  The Fonz meets ... Dr. Jeckyll?? Mary, Lois Lane in disguise?? Nancy Drew's no-nonsense best friend?? Sarah Palin wannabee??Mandie Sunshine -- what can I say?  Future Red Hat Lady?Oh, my starz!!  You don't want to meet these women in a dark alley!Don't mess with the Stricklen Girls!Okay, ladies, if you are desperate at midnight, I will personally buy you a gallon bag of gumballs!Let's end this whole escapade with the Charmer, Mr. Grins, Nathaniel!  He never fails to give you the most heart-warming smile!  Love you, little boy, and miss you! Thank you, Lord, for the peace and blessings you have placed in my life.  Why would anyone not want to serve You with all her heart![...]

Hey, Guess What??


 (hopefully) These are the last pictures from my cell phone camera!  My sweet husband bought me a camera that I don't have to share with the business!  So, here's a little of what I have left on the cell phone . . . First day at the beautiful Englewood Beach cottage. I didn't spend much time out in the sun (hey, my prescription meds say "avoid sun exposure", okay??)  But this was the lovely view from the shaded patio.Sweet Margaret Annie and her cherished sand dollar.  I think she said she collected over 80 shark teeth from the beach! Margaret Anne-style archaeology!Adorable Nathaniel was happy inside the "donut" -- well, at least for a little while!One of the fun restaurants at the beach -- it was actually very good homestyle Italian food.  Nathaniel can't wait -- toes are just as good!Last day -- a little relaxing after breakfast before packing up.Load up the vehicles, time to head home!  For a beautiful shot of the family portrait right before this scene, and for many more wonderful pictures of our trip, go to the Stricklens' blog: Back home, a sweet surprise after a morning yard-saling with the Stricklen women:  Lunch together out at the Barn/Back Porch! Here, we visit the gift shop, and Molly loves this clear platter with a poinsettia.  Nothing to get in the mood for the holidays like visiting the Barn!If you know Margaret Anne, you know she has been collecting fake food for her little play kitchen for years (she may be outgrowing it, since she didn't beg for this!) Here, she admires a realistic slice of German Chocolate cake!Okay, what in the world is this??  Well it's what is left of our very first muscadine crop!!  This represents about half of this year's total crop!  Well, the vines just got planted this year, so . . . whaddaya expect?  They ARE delicious, BTW!Just added this to let Amanda know that we missed her while she was gone, and let her know that her cup is waiting for her. So, now to learn my new Sony camera and be a little more timely in posting new pictures!  God has been good to us and our family, and we will not forget His faithfulness.  Thank  you, Lord. (Okay, I'll be exploring what has happened to Blogger since I last posted and see how to increase the font size on the captions!)[...]

More Cell Phone Camera Pictures from Arkasouri


Here is our primary reason for making the trip in July/August this year: precious little Hannah Frances Miller, born while we were there. We thank our gracious Heavenly Father for another providential addition to our family, grandbaby number 26. What a blessed family we are! For a complete account with lots of real pictures, go to the Discher's blog:www.thedischerfamily.blogspot.comDanny and I knew we were doing the big "rafting down the river" thing with the older ones, so we decided one day to take three little ones with us to town for some errands and . . .BOWLING!! If you have never been bowling with a nine-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 3-year old, you don't know what you are missing! Rosie, Savannah, and Emma Jane will be happy to show you how to work those bumper lanes! Here, Savanna waits with great anticipation to see what happens with her turn.Emma Jane just knows this will be the big one! They were fascinated!Granddaddy shows Savannah how to hold the ball. Thank goodness, the lanes had the foresight to have some 5 lb. balls. Lofting them doesn't do quite as much damage to the wood!Rosie caught on very quickly and had some pretty good scores! The men at the desk were just kept in stitches by the two little ones and their running commentary. What a nice thing that we had the whole place to ourselves! We loved it!Every time we have been up for a visit, I have wanted to take a gravel road with a sign that says "Locust 2 miles". This time we did. It is a little community hidden in the bottom of a hollow, a very quaint little place with only a few cottages. Jason says it floods when the flash floods come, so I guess it isn't the best place to build. This is a picture of the old post office/general store. The sign says "Locust 1908 Store and Post Office" and it lists the Breeding family, founders of Locust.Interesting."Big Man" Paul decides he is going to take us for a drive. He loves to make those Brrrrmmm, brrrmmmm sounds all little boys seem to be born knowing how to make! We miss you so much, Paul!Silly girls! This must have been on the way to go bowling -- they are just too excited!Well, the day for the big rafting trip came. The Missouri Frodges and Dischers (except Eddie) loaded up with Danny and I and off we went to the put in at Hodgson Mill, about 35 min. from the property. Kitty had been looking forward to this for a long time! So, everyone put in and left Grandmother (me) to drive down to the take out at Warren's Bridge. It was an 8 mile run, which Danny assured me would take only a couple of hours. I had my doubts, based on a canoeing trip about 30 years ago! At any rate, what would I do by myself for those hours waiting at a strange, backwoods bridge, which turned out to be the local swimmin' hole for Darryl and my other brother Darryl (think "Newhart").After about an hour or so wait, Beth, Ashley, and their babies appeared, thank God. when they had put in, the water was fast, and they just knew there was no way they could take those babies. So they joined me, and we waited. After another few hours, some kayakers got out, and we asked about the timing of the trip. They turned out to be experienced and they assured us our rafters would not be there until 9:30 pm or so! We had time, lots of time. So we went home to get Eddie and get dinner started.About 8 pm, up pulled a pickup in the near dark with lots of girls waving at us vigorously. It was our girls! Granddaddy and 5 Discher girls had been smart. They saw lights near the creek and threw themselves on the mercy of a kindly couple, who drove them to the take out. "This isn't the first time", they assured us. Jason, Peter, and little Savannah had been ahead of them, so, after profusely thanking the rescuers, we knew the only thing to do was wait. . . . and wait . . . and, listening to the howling coyotes, wait.At about 9:30, with truck lights shining on the creek, we finally saw[...]

Once More, Thanking the Lord . . .


. . . for cell phone cameras! We left our "good" camera at home again, so the phone camera was the only option to capture so many memories. Blogger is letting me post only these photos, so this will be one of those theme posts -- APPLES!The Dischers have become bold in their quest to glean throughout the community. If there are wild berries by the road, they hurry home, gather containers and a few bottles of cold water, and off they go. It's berry jam time! They saved me a variety of early berries in the freezer, and what a delight they were! Mulberries, dewberries, gooseberries, blackberries, black raspberries -- gathered wild and wonderful. And of course, the wild strawberries. How excited I was to hear them tell of finding them! It brought back memories of gathering wild strawberries when I was about 5 years old and my mother making a strawberry pie for my brother's birthday.They are also on the lookout for fruit trees. Many people have them in their yards, but don't want to bother to pick them. (Just as they do with citrus trees here in FL) So the Discher girls boldly (but politely) march to the door and ask in their most enterprising way if they can pick their fruit, offering to share the bounty.One day during our visit, they discovered two loaded apple trees, obtained permission from a very nice gentleman, and off we went!Beth and Danny get a little father-daughter time while gleaning.Peter and Danny decided the best course for the high branches was for them to shake the tree. Then little Rosie and others gleaned from the ground. These apples were set to be processed right away, so the fall wasn't too injurious.Gracie had her own method and her own artistic "picker bag".Danny loves finding unexpected treasure as much as anyone!Peter graciously scaled the heights to reach the many fruits no one else could get to.Kitty in her own inimitable way proving that girls in skirts can do anything they need to! Markie, left, stayed on the groundA truckload of future applesauce! Thank you, Lord, for your bountiful provision, where you least expect it! I believe the Dischers are off to pick wild plums today . . .![...]

You Know What . . .?


You know what? I decided (at least this time) to just do it! I mean to just get some pictures on here with no rhyme or reason. I mean, for goodness sake! It's been 4 weeks again! I usually think up a theme, ponder over great words of wisdom for the generations to come, plot out the order for pictures to appear, etc., etc., etc. . . . Pondering tends to take me a long time! So here are some random pictures of the recent past. There is a lot of activity coming up in the Frodge family, so maybe another theme post or two will get put up in timely fashion. Til then, here is more "this and that!" (All taken on my phone camera -- I am not a natural photographer, so I usually think of the camera after-the-fact! Thank the Lord for phone cameras!)What a wonderful surprise met me today when I stopped by the Stricklens today! Margaret Anne had just made fresh cinnamon rolls with glaze, and she had one waiting for me. Mmmm, mmmm! What a treat! And what a blessing to know that all of my darling granddaughters, even down to the very young ones, are accomplished bakers, among their other many talents! Thank you, Margaret Anne! (Notice the refreshing glass of Southern iced tea in the background!)Ummm . . . Latte's last morning. We are blessed to have a traveling abattoire nearby. Hicks Meats comes to the farm with their refrigerated truck, and butchering is done in the most humane way possible. We have been very thankful for their service. To see this man work is like watching an artist. There will be fresh, grass-fed beef in the freezer soon!When Granddaddy says "Roadtrip!", everyone scurries to get ready! Recently, he decided he needed to go tubing in some nice cool water, so Rainbow Springs was the chosen destination. It was a beautiful overnight trip, and Molly's family has some wonderful pictures up at My phone camera came out on the way home at the steakhouse. (you knew this was from a phone camera, right?) Margaret Anne, CJ, and Mary patiently waiting for good steak.Sadie, enjoying her turn with Nathaniel, Abby and Callie anticipatingI love this picture of Molly and William getting in some sweet face time. William is blessed to have older sibling to have a turn with Nathaniel, so he gets to be mama's baby boy again for a few minutes!Molly always likes to make sure she gets plenty of pictures with her parents, and we oblige her, maybe a little bit begrudgingly. But hey, we do want our great-grandchildren to know we were part of their family!The Berean Baptist crowd came out to the country one day to do a little shooting, and Julia Doolin had not met Nathaniel yet. What a blessing to see how God has worked in sweet Julia's life! Danny enjoyed the opportunity to practice his shooting skills. He has great aim, when he is practiced up. Once he won me a turkey in a turkey shoot, so he is my hero forever!Michael Doolin shooting. The Stricklens are so hospitable when anyone wants to spend the day in the country. Well, graduation for two of the grandchildren is next! The Dischers should be here in a couple days for that, then I am off with them to spend a couple weeks in Arkasouri, and the birth of little baby Miller is due August 3! Exciting days await . . . Thank you , Lord for my blessed life.[...]

More This and That, Here and There


Well, once again, I apologize for being so negligent in getting this updated. You know all the really good excuses ... "We have been busy" ... "Life keeps rolling on " ... "Etc., etc" Anyway, here we are! A little Here and There. First, There (Arkasouri)Why, what have we here ?? Oh, it's a little ham in a pot! Silly Emma Jane decided to see if she would fit in the stock pot. She did! Don't remember if I posted, but her hair is cropped short because she got ahold of the scissors one day when she and Savannah were being quiet . . . a little too quiet . . . in the back room.Oh, my goodness! Another little ham in a pot! Thankfully, by the time Beth got to the little rascals, Emma had only snipped a little of Savannah's beautiful long hair!Men doing what men do -- plot, plan, scheme how to take dominion, even if it's just a game of Risk! Around the table l to r: Peter, Daniel, Uncle Jay, Matthew, and RG standing.RG holding little cousin Paul. Paul is so blessed to have good, strong, godly male role models in his life.The birthday youngins, Rosie, Rachel, and Joey. In a family of 25 (soon to be 26) grandchildren, it seems to work to have group birthday parties. What a fun day it was!Grandmama, Uncle Jay, and Aunt Ashley enjoying the party. Any opportunity for fellowship is greatly enjoyed.Scrabble was our game of choice in the evenings this trip. Of course, Rosie is becoming a competent young woman, so she was always hoping to get to play with the "big people". When Grandmama found this travel Scrabble game, it sounded like the perfect birthday gift for a budding Scrabbler! Rosie, I am coming up in July -- get the travel Scrabble ready!The older children (mostly sweet Markie, I believe) planned and worked and set up a fun "follow the trail" treasure hunt for the little ones' party. I love how the older children in our family love doing things for the younger ones -- they are great examples of multi-generational thinking.Granddaddy and Rosie share a sweet moment.Daniel and his little cousin, Clay. Two real men of God!Time to leave for home. Saying goodbye to my "baby". What a blessing to know that the Arkasouri families are in strong, faithful arms! Jason, Eddie, and Robert -- God bless you as you work diligently to bring up another generation for God's glory. Beth and I share a goodbye hug. How we miss these times! But God is doing wonderful things with our family there in the Ozarks.On the way home: Danny and I trying a new cafe in Mayo, Fl. Mayo is a neat little place, so different from what people think of as typical Florida.We stopped in Appalachicola along the gulf. We really love this little coastal town. You would love it, too. Just get off the Interstates and see "real Florida!"This is the Orman House in Appalachicola. It has been established as a state park, and what a history it has! The guide who took us through it was very entertaining and very careful not to demonize the South. He did a great job. The entrance fee was very reasonable, and we enjoyed it immensely.Here: Back home, we found that our nectarine tree actually had fruit on it! We did not expect a yummy, home-grown nectarine the first year. It WAS good!Miss Margaret Anne, who found the nectarine. Margaret Anne is a natural green thumb, like her mother, so she keeps us informed about the state of our "garden" and trees. Note her cast on her arm. She is scheduled to have the rod removed next week, and her healing has been normal and timely. Thank the Lord!We also came home to these adorable little guys! What a good big brother William is for little Nathaniel! See that hand with the wedding ring? That is the other daddy -- Chris, the Florida faithful father. We love and appreciate you, Chris.I just love this picture of Abigail singing "Scots Wha Hae?" (Check me out here, Gracie!) the Scottish freedom a[...]

More Updating . . .


Mother's Day was a wonderful day for me -- spending a quiet, restful day with daughter Molly and her family, and receiving sweet phone calls from my distant children. Beth and Molly have posted sweet, honoring posts (is that little "fluffy" girl really me?and here: It was a special day.More (actually the first!) pictures from my extended stay in Arkasouri:One day, we piled Beth and her children and Ashley and her children into the RV (happened to be the only vehicle that would hold everyone) and took off for the wonderful Morningland Dairy about 2 hours away. We already buy from Morningland and have the outstanding raw cheese shipped here to Florida, but we thought "what a great way to save shipping charges!" Here, Adventurous Beth takes the wheel of the RV, and Kitty helped out driving, too, but Grandmother did NOT venture behind the wheel on the curvy mountain roads!Peter has his own way to handle motion sickness. Paul says, "they don't call me Re-Pete for nothing!" Like big brother, like little brother.On the way up, we stopped at the Dawt Mill, one of Ozark County's historic old mills. Thankfully, these mills are being restored, and this one has a lovely restaurant and old buildings for visitors. Kitty and Sarah give baby Clay a tour. Notice the interesting posts on the old lodge in the background -- unfinished tree trunks!We decided to eat outside, where the balcony hangs over the "Something" Fork River (forgot the name). Interesting for an acrophobiac like me!No, baby Clay, no salad yet! Ashley has that maneuver down to a T!Everyone enjoyed the huge burgers and fresh battered onion rings.Two little rascals study the menu. The catalyst for Emma Jane's new haircut was her attempt to give herself and Savannah a trim. She chopped hers up drastically, but thankfully, she was discovered before Savannah lost much of hers!Everyone was fascinated by the falls and rapids on the river.The dairy farmer explains the procedure for making cheese -- raw and grassfed, which we believe has abundant health benefits. And it is delicious!Back home again after a lovely day, though full of curves and hills. I love this view.Gracie is a born Pied Piper of little ones. She loves them and they gravitate to her. Here, she and Savannah find a perch in a tree and explore "tootles". Grace plays beautifully, and I bet it won't be long before Savannah is making music, too!Grace also loves theology. Here, she and RG discuss some finer points. What a blessing to see them devour the Word!One morning, when Granddaddy was there, we piled some little ones on the golf cart and explored a little (the golf cart won't go where the Polaris will, so it was just a little exploration!)Out in the pasture, sweet cousins Andrew and Rosie give a ride to Savannah and Emma, to avoid the prickly pear.Their reward -- the "little" creek, just the right size for little people to explore. Clear, beautiful water.Sometimes, the deep swimming hole in the big creek is the place to be, with big brothers and sisters and mamas and daddies, but for younger ones, this creek is perfect!More pictures to come. Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful visit to the northern Dayspring.[...]

First Things First


Well, it is so good to be home after nearly a month in Missouri!While I was spending wonderful quality and quantity time with sweet children and grandchildren in the upper Mid-South U.S., (I mean, what do you call the Ozark region -- South?? Midwest??), my faithful "elder in the gates" patriarch-husband was sounding out truth loud and clear here in Florida. He organized and hosted a large gathering of patriots and concerned central Floridians in our home. It wasn't supposed to work out that he was "hostess-less", but we trust the Lord knew best, and I want to thank the kind and competent "substitute hostesses" who filled in for me on the evening of April 16. Sweet Stricklen granddaughters Callie, Mary, Margaret Anne, and Abigail know my heart and my home as well as I do, and they faithfully clean and serve (and play Celtic melodies!) when we have events at Grandmama's. They are here, working in the background, when no one else knows. Thank you, darlin girls!"Adopted granddaughters" Amanda and Jessica, who also went on the first leg of the "Arkasouri" trip with us, were right there helping, serving, running errands, and helping in any way they could. Thank you, dears.The dear Franklin family pitched in to make the event successful -- what a generous spirit of service they exemplify! Not just for these events, but every week for church set-up. Thanks, faithful friends!The event featured Mr. David Zanotti, of the American Policy Roundtable whose organization has faithfully worked for decades to strengthen America's foundations. As they state on their website:"A generation ago, a handful of "ordinary people" began meeting together out of a growing concern for America. Their conversations, prayers, and research led to the founding of an "extraordinary" public policy effort that would blossom into the American Policy Roundtable. Recognizing that America is - at its core - a commitment to ideas and principles, the Roundtable was established with the mission of restoring the historic Judeo-Christian principles to American public policy. The Roundtable seeks to fulfill this mission statement by meeting three core objectives: 1) Rekindling the American Spirit -- by telling the story of Liberty everyday.2) Building networks of leaders, who will help others join in the adventure of responsible citizenship.3) Overcoming evil in civil society by promoting positive alternatives in public policy."Take some time to explore their site and appreciate all they are doing "behind the scenes". My husband is impressed with their integrity and dedication, not an accolade he hands out lightly. Joining together with like-minded believers is crucial in these times.Just wanted to say, Thank You, Sweeties! I have heard many good comments about how beautiful everything was and what a nice job you all did. If I couldn't be here, I am glad y'all were! You have been a blessing to me! Thank you, Lord, for dear, faithful ones who love to serve![...]

Now that it's been . . .


. . . almost a month ( ! ) since I last posted here, I want to quickly update. Hopefully, pictures will be coming soon. We left FL April 5 (leaving most of the sweeties there, including brand new little Nathaniel) for a week or so in Missouri. Granddaughter Abigail came with us, as did two "adopted" granddaughters, Amanda and Jessica.

Well, cell phone coverage is very scant at the Missouri property (I use my cell phone for a modem), and little did I know that Danny would take off and fly back to Florida, along with the 3 girls, leaving me in Missouri! So, pictures may take a while to upload, given the fickleness of ATT coverage!

It has been a blessed time here, but after 45 years of marriage (in November), it isn't the same without my Sweetheart, my Hot Fudge Sundae! He returned for me yesterday (Friday) and, the Lord willing, we will be on the road Monday back to all the sweet Florida babies.

What a sweet time I have had with the Arkasouri sweeties! Since I was here a while, we got into the routine each day of Savannah and Emma Jane coming over to Grandmama's for letter sound and recognition pre-reading activities. There precious little minds are so ready to absorb learning ( for 5 or 10 minutes anyway), and now is the time to make it normal and adventurous to learn. No pressure, just a good time with Grandmama -- and the "goldfish" treats don't hurt either!

We have been thrift-storing, creek-watching, gardening, bird-watching (Missouri birds are so different from Florida birds!), mill-visiting (the beautiful and historic Dawt Mill) and touring the dairy that makes our favorite raw milk cheese, Morningland Dairy. Of course, nightly bluegrass and Celtic music sessions and heart-filling devotions are a blessed memory! And Scrabble! Who could forget almost-daily Scrabble matches! Gracie, Grandmama has met her match!

Well, I hope to get pictures up soon, but just wanted to let you know we are still here, or in Florida, or somewhere in between!!

When Cousins Come to Town . . .


The Dischers recently visited (only a couple of weeks after becoming citizens of Missouri!), and when cousins come to town, creative events will happen! Hmmmm . . . what shall we do? I know! A garden party! But the garden is in transition from winter garden to spring! Oh, nevermind . . . it will still be wonderful. Let's get moving and set everything up. Then let's dig out the lovely spring prints and hats. No mind that it is still coolish and windy today. Let's have a garden party!Margaret Anne contemplates hats, teas, linens, finger sandwiches, cookies . . . (and grandmother contemplates where in the world that blue line has come from and how in the world can she get rid of it!) Emma Jane tries on a lovely hat. Hmmm, probably a little too heavy and Eastern European for this event!Mary greets us with a cup of hot tea, while she maintains her hat status. I guess EJ decided to go hatless.Mama/Aunt Molly sits at the little table (where did that scowling prince come from??)The granny corner is just the right spot for Grandma Sue and me (hey, I said it was a breezy day, okay!)Young ladies fill their plates with dainties, homemade scones and lemon curd. Everything was delicious.The lovely maidens' table. It was a beautiful day, despite the winds.Wonderful fellowship and conversation. The time for beloved cousins to leave for home will come too soon.Margaret Anne shows off her babies, the Brussels sprouts. We enjoyed them a few days later. Nothings better than wonderful fresh produce from the Stricklens' garden!Aunt Beth with another interloper prince! What fun we had with Baby Paul while he was here!Callie displays one of the remaining (huge) collard plants. These are so delicious!Amanda snuggles with her little buddy before they sweep him off to Missouri.Abby in her gracious hostess mode. We had a wonderful time, Abby!Rosie and her "other cousin", the Lady of the Garden.Two of my sweet, godly daughters and me. What a wonderful day we had. We miss you, Dischers, but what a blessing to have the Stricklens nearby![...]

Better Pictures, I Hope!


Here are some better pictures of Baby Nathaniel Charles Stricklen. He is at home and about 1 and 1/2 days old in them.

(image) Such a rosy, healthy boy! William was a little perturbed at being "dethroned", but now he is a proud big brother.

Granddaddy loves holding this little bundle.

Grandmother had to get her arms around him, too!

(image) Big sister Callie gets him when his eyes are open! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Wonderful News!


I am putting together a quick post, so family and friends near and far can get the news and see a few pictures, such as they are. The pictures of Precious Baby were not good, so I hope to have better ones very shortly.This Friday evening, as our family was hosting a "patriot" meeting in our home, and the Stricklens and Dischers (visiting from Missouri) were faithfully helping with serving, Molly let us know that things were happening and Baby Stricklen would likely be making his appearance in the next few hours. She went home to get a good nap, and we all finished cleanup and headed for bed. It wasn't too long before we got the phone call. We headed over to the birthing center about 1:30 a.m., and the exhausting, but endearing, process began. Grandbaby number 25 was about to come into the world!Molly, walking and working to get things going.Faithful maidens, waiting and praying.Grandmother and Granddaddy, expectantly and patiently waiting.Molly, getting serious about those uncomfortable pangs that bring forth new life.Faithful sister Beth, giving a comforting backrub. What a blessing that the Lord saw fit to send this baby while the Dischers were still here visiting. Beth was so faithful in comforting, encouraging, soothing, cheering. Molly was so glad to have her there.Molly's Daddy came in to ask the Lord's blessing before things really got intense.The precious little bundle arrives, with his mother exhausted but lovely!Molly's Mama loves being there for her girls in any way possible.Sisters -- what a blessing to have sisters for support and love. Margaret Anne takes the challenge and cuts the cord.Beautiful young ladies learning the ways of Christian womanhood. Well, there is one gentleman in that group! He's not quite sure how to take this new little cousin!I am so sorry this is the only picture I have of little Nathaniel ?? Stricklen! I will try to get better ones when we visit this evening. He came into the world at 6:43 a.m., March 20 at 8 lb. 7 oz. and almost 22 inches long. God bless you, Sweet Baby!![...]

Last Trip to the Beach


Well, finally, the "Farewell Tour That Never Ends" has . . . ended. The Dischers are safely in Missouri, and the Florida family is "Discherless". Before they left, they wanted to take one last trip to the beach. Although we live within one hour or less from either coast, we seldom make it to the beach. So Granddaddy said, "Pile into the RV, and let's go!" Never mind that it was winter in Florida, which, believe it or not, does occasionally resemble winter elsewhere -- and that day was cold and windy. But off we went!!Gracie and Kitty -- " Hmmm, was this a dumb idea? Nahhh, the beach is the beach! It will be wonderful!"Chipmunks. (This was actually staged. When the RV is in motion, they are much more safely seated!)William and Emma Jane explore the old well at the Gamble Plantation.Along the way, we stopped at the Gamble Plantation in Ellenton. This is from the state park website:"This antebellum mansion was home to Major Robert Gamble and headquarters of an extensive sugar plantation. It is the only surviving plantation house in South Florida. It is believed that Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, took refuge here after the fall of the Confederacy, until his safe passage to England could be secured. In 1925, the house and 16 acres were saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and donated to the state."Danny and his "girls" in front of the plantation house. We are always amazed at the ingenuity and creativity of the folks in times past. They may not have had electronics, but they had real creativity in solving day-to-day difficulties.Musing on the second story balcony.At the beach near Venice, FL. The picnic areas were secluded in the palmettos. The day was quite chilly, so there were very few people there anyway! My kind of day at the beach!Granddaddy and Grandmama doing their favorite thing -- spending time with grandchildren!Little Paul preparing for life in frigid Missouri! He doesn't care -- he's just happy to be outside!Kitty and Mary, contemplating getting into the icy waters of the Gulf.Beth and her grown up girl Sarah.Cheery Abigail!So far, the rocks are warm enough.Molly and Beth, sharing time in the sun. Sarah: "Something tells me a camera is nearby! Hey, there it is! "Little cousins Rosie, Margaret Anne, and CJ snuggle up. Kitty and the Big Blue Sea.Gracie loves it, too.We took another route home and went through Arcadia. We met sweet friends, the Franklins, for dinner at a local, small town restaurant. Much more picturesque and interesting than a fast food chain.KelliPaige and Patrick and children were pleasant dinner companions. They are "Discherless" too!Poor little Wills! A long day comes to a pleasant end! It was a different day at the beach, but I am sure it sent the Dischers off with good memories of living in Florida! Thank you, Lord, for our family and the many good times we have had together.[...]

A Very Special Occasion


Over 18 years ago, when our family found out 3, count them -- 3 precious bundles would be born in the same year, what excitement was everywhere! First would be RG, the first male grandchild and first child of Robert and Katie. Then Callie, Molly and Chris' first baby. Then Gracie would be born the third child of Beth and Eddie. They would be grandchild 3, 4, and 5 (respectively). Oh the joy of that year! They were so different, each bringing amazing things to our family! RG was a big boy (everyone always thought he was older than his actual age) and all boy. Callie was a wisp of a girl, but so vibrant! Gracie was a fluffy butterball with a smile that never left her face.This Christmas in Arkasouri, we carried out a family tradition started when Kitty and Sarah each turned 18 years old. The parents and grandparents take the 18 year olds to dinner without the other children. It is a wonderful (and emotional) time of recognition of their coming of age. Danny and I like to give something of significance, such as a family heirloom, and each family has its own tradition (well, this is the first for the Stricklens and Millers, but the Dischers have been doing this for a couple of years!) Granddaddy and Grandmother with RG. What a special young man he has become! The Lord knew exactly what he was doing when he sent RG to our family for such a time as this! Callie Sue with Granddaddy and Grandmother (and Grandmother's great big ole purse!). She is still a wisp of a girl, but so full of love for the Lord and her family, and so diligent in preparing the skills she will need as a woman of God! Gracie with Grandmother and Granddaddy. She has certainly outgrown her butterball-ness, and never ceases to amaze us with her talents wisely used for the Lord's purposes and for the benefit of those she loves. RG with his parents. It is amazing how the Lord places children in the care of the perfect parents for them. Katie and Robert have diligently worked to guide and mold this strong young man of God -- and He will surely do amazing things through RG for His kingdom! Callie with her parents. Molly and Chris are so different in personality, yet Callie seems tohave both of their strengths! She has already begun influencing those around her for the Kingdom of God, and is becoming such a strong and lovely woman of God. Gracie with her parents. Beth and Eddie's consistent guidance and direction have given Grace a unique personality and character. Her diverse interests and talents and her graciousness continually delight her grandparents! Aunt Molly's poignant reflections of the years gone by had us ladies totally choked up! Sorry, y'all -- this is one emotional family, especially remembering three little folks who have made life so wonderful! Everyone spoke a word of remembrance and admonition to the young adults. My own heart thoughts were, "Never forget who you are. God put you in this family for His own sovereign reason. Acquaintances and even friends may come and go, but your family and your heritage will never change. Remember who you are." God bless you, young adults! His Kingdom will be in good hands when we are gone to Heaven. [...]

The Mysterious Land of . . . . . .


SNOW! Our family traveled from Florida and Arkansas at Christmas time to "Arkasouri", that Mysterious Land of Snow. Some of the Florida babies have never seen snow (even some 18 year olds), so we thank the Master of the Wind and Waves for His bountiful provision! Enter with us . . . This picture took my mind in the direction of mysterious places. You can almost imagine the "Spare Oom" just around the corner from the "Lamp Post". Instead we found enchanting . . . . . . snow covered haybales in the pasture. All you poor, cold snow-sufferers, please bear with us. It was lovely! In this mysterious land we found many enchanting scenes . . . Angels in the snow! Rachel (with friend Buddy watching from above.) Snow Angel Rosie, with Jake wondering what all the excitement is about. You would find lovely babushkas waiting to lead you from one exciting scene to the next.Kitty . . . And Sarah, who got up early to be the first out in the snow. You would find exciting adventures, instigated by Uncle Jay, who provided equipment and scraps for boys to turn into fun! Snow Angels Rosie and Rachel enjoy the result of creativity -- an improvised toboggan pulled by the 4-wheeler. What a great time for fun with cousins you don't get to see too often! Daniel and Sarah see what the 4 wheeler does on the snow. Obviously, Floridians did not have snow equipment to bring along (especially since we didn't really expect snow!). BUT BEWARE!! Who knows what lurks in the snows of Arkasouri . . . Is it?? The Yeti, the Abominable Snowman?? A lost terrorist?? Oh, it's just Uncle Jay, who has lived here a few months and is prepared for working outdoors. Hmmm, what is he getting ready to do??? ACCKKKK!! Poor Sarah!! That throwing arm was more powerful than I remembered!! Actually, Granddaddy took the picture just as she ducked! Well-played, Sarah!Indiana-born Danny hasn't forgot his snowball-fighting form! No one wanted to be the recipient of Granddaddy's hardball! Oh, yes. One more thing Granddaddy doesn't miss about snow country! It will take the Lord God Almighty to move him out of Florida!! Yes, another beware! Sisters sneaking up behind you with snowballs! Oh, well, there's always a lovely roaring fire in the house!. . . or in the pasture! I'm afraid there is a bit of pyromaniac in the Frodge genes, and it has been passed on. Of course, what better occasion for a bonfire than a cold day playing in the snows of "Arkasouri"! Well, thanks for visiting our mysterious land -- come back anytime! [...]

God's Providential Timing . . .


What a wonderful heavenly Father we have! Jason and Ashley were expecting a baby boy earlier in December, but the Lord knew how special it would be for him to be born when the whole family was there. On December 23, Jason Clay Frodge Jr. came into a cold, cold world but was greeted warmly by his loving family. He makes the 24th grandchild and evens up the genders -- 12 girls and 12 boys. What a precious little boy he is! Ashley was blessed to have a (relatively) short labor with the midwife in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and be home shortly after. There were lots and lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents on hand to watch Savannah and assure her that her little brother was coming home soon! Grandmother and Granddaddy adore the newest addition -- and one of only two actual Frodges! Jason with his little son on Christmas day. We remarked over and over how much he looks like Jason when Jason was first born. Below is a picture of Jason when he was 2 months old -- it will be interesting to compare baby Clay with his daddy in another month or so!Jason Clay Frodge, the Original 1972Ashley with her little boy, a couple of days old. She looks so contented and pleased. God is merciful and gracious to our family. Aunt Katie, loving this little nephew. Our family loves babies! Aunt Ashley introducing Clay to his cousin, Paul. I predict they will be great pals and grow up to be faithful men of God together. Thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessing of children!We love you, baby Clay.[...]

Christmas in Arkasouri


Well, this year, the Lord graciously allowed the WHOLE family to be together for Christmas -- in Missouri! What a whirlwind month it has been! The Discher family sold their little house here in Florida and moved in with us until they leave in Feb. for Missouri, so we had a few days here before taking off together for two weeks in Missouri. The sweet Stricklen family set out at about the same time from Florida, and we would join the Millers and "other" Frodges when we got to Arkasouri. What an adventure we had! A little unorthodox, heading OUT of Florida in the winter, but we wanted to have the family together for the first time in years, so . . .Sweet Discher girls dressed in Christmas finery. Sarah, Kitty, and Gracie (with a little Emma Jane head!) Gracie with her mother. Sarah with her mother. You know by now what a pitiful photographer I am. The Stricklens were at the same Sunday service, but I never pay attention to whose picture I have and whose I don't have. Visit here and here for much, much better variety of photos. These children do not miss a chance to play paparazzi! Then on to Missouri! I believe this is the only picture I have of the trip! We caravanned -- the RV, our Durango, and Eddie driving his yellow service truck -- so we could rotate drivers and stop together. Here, Sarah Beth and little Paul get a nice nap in the RV. So, we make it to Missouri for Christmas together. The children are such a blessing with their musical talents, always willing to fill the air with hymns, carols, bluegrass. Here, Kitty on guitar, Peter on banjo, and RG's arm on the upright bass make Christmas day a sweet time. Notice the bare house. The Dischers have hauled some things up, but most of their household is still here in Florida until Feb. So we made the most of what was available. It was all in good fun. Callie on the dobro, Gracie on the mandolin, and Mary on the fiddle add their instruments to the good music. In the right background is a friend of daughter Katie's. Her name is Maria, and she joined the family for the day. Good to meet you, Maria! Here is Peter on the banjo again, Sarah takes up the bass, and RG fiddles, while Grandmother just basks in it all! I love it when the Country Cousins are back together, even for just a few hours. The girls blessed us with a rendition of "Then Love Came Down". Beautiful. Thank you, Lord, for giving your Son. Papa Eddie and baby Paul enjoy. *************************************************** "HERDING CATS" Ever try to get 34 various people to pose for a rare family photo? It's like . . . well, you know.Joey: "I wanna go outside in the snow! What?? I don't need shoes, Mama . . .!"Matthew: "TURKEYS!! Well, anything to get me outta this!"Sarah: "Will you people co-OPERATE!!"Rachel: "I'm still smiling. Pleeze, take the picture!"William: "I don't want to get my pickchur taken!" Matthew: "It worked! I'm outta here!"Savannah: "What's the matter, William?"Peter: "I don't care if I'm not smiling. This is the best your gonna get!"RG: "If I lean just right, I can finally take a nap!"Rachel: "I'm still smiling . . ."William: "No! I don't want my pickchur taken!" Almost . . .Ashley: "Come on, people. I just gave birth 2 days ago! How much longer do you think this smile can last??"Robert: "I got home early for this??"Matthew: "If I can get a little head start, I can be outta here . . ."Rachel: "Now I got the front row smiling!"William: "Stop looking at me, Mar[...]

Apples! Beautiful Apples!


When we traveled to Arkasouri recently, we were able to bring back 2 bushels of wonderful, fresh-picked apples to share around. The went very, very quickly! So when Beth and Eddie and several of their children went up (more recently!) they brought back more fresh-picked apples to share around. They brought back Jonathans and the mysterious Arkansas Blacks. What a good time we have had with apples!The place we buy the apples is in Arkansas, and the same family owns the orchards and picks them as well as running the little roadside store. Both types are delicious, but the Arkansas Blacks will last and last, even in Florida's warmer winter. The orchard owner told me that if you put the Arkansas Blacks in cold storage (I guess it would have to be a refrigerator here in FL), they would last til May! I am blessed with generous, energetic, and capable granddaughters, who are more than willing to come over and help Grandmother "put up" apples. Here, Gracie and I work on the old-fashioned, yet very efficient manual corer/slicer/peeler. Although I usually don't peel them, this ingenious invention makes quick work of a bushel! Here, Kitty takes a turn -- umm, at turning! A nice batch for cooking. I usually like to make lumpy applesauce -- it works well for applesauce, hot or cold, and even for pie or cobbler filling. I freeze most of it. Sometimes, though, if I have helpers, I like to can some of them. Sarah "manned" the canner here. We are preparing for a time when we might not have electricity to keep the freezers going. (black helicopters, anyone??) While she was canning, she decided to go ahead and make a couple of wonderful apple pies. This one has a crumb topping that is a delightful treat in itself! Granddaddy was overjoyed! The reward for a day's labor. What a blessing to look in the pantry and see food for the future! Thank you, Lord, for your delicious and nutritious bounty![...]

Arkasouri: Random Photos


Since another trip is coming up at Christmas time, I better just put these up without worrying over a coherent story! Molly's girls, Callie, Mary, and "Margolet" went with us this time; they had not been up to see the property yet, and the lovely fall experience was the perfect time for a first visit! Here, Callie is enjoying the mostly-moderate weather. Mary and the puppy Buddy down at the stone wall by the creek. Margaret Anne loved being outdoors, and, once again, Buddy is her companion. The first pasture fenced by Jason and the boys. Thanks, y'all! Hopefully, it won't be long before some hardy livestock will make this their home. Sweet Savannah was so happy to have some company! She is a people person and loves having her cousins come visit. And Joey came to visit! Just getting a preview of supper, right Joe? Aunt Katie with Margaret Anne and Rachel, finishing off Matthew's birthday cake. This year, with family scattered among three states, birthdays have to be celebrated whenever visits take place. Daniel, contemplating something. What an adventure to watch the Miller boys and Uncle Jason in "discussion"! They can hold their own in contest with Uncle Jason, the family prosecutor and debater-in-chief! (Yes, Jason, your sisters are just as . . . umm . . . bad! But the Lord turns those characteristics into strengths in the right situations!) A smile on Matthew's and Jason's faces! Must be a friendly "discussion"! Thank you, Lord, for giving us the opportunity to see our children and children's children come to maturity -- skillfully defending orthodoxy and orthopraxy! What capable hands the Kingdom is in! God bless you, Warriors of the Cross! [...]

Arkasouri: Crafts with Grandmother


Our Oct./November trip to Arkasouri was mainly for the "fall" experience with our children and grandchildren in the area. So Grandmother remembered how much fun it had been, when my children were little and we were living in Indiana, to collect colorful leaves and press them (with a warm iron) in waxed paper. One day, Margaret Anne ("Margolet", to Savannah), Rachel, and Savannah climbed on the Polaris for a trip down the drive and into the woods to find trees with leaves still hanging on. Margaret, Rachel, and Savannah can hardly wait to get started.Mary, our faithful chauffeur, drives hither and yon, wherever lovely foliage presents itself. Rachel and Margaret find some special specimens. Organizing our finds for a beautiful nature picture to display. Margaret Anne's creativity. Rachel's display. Savannah's collection. We taped them to an outside door -- what brilliant fall colors! Using a flash shows more of the sweet little ladies who made the displays! What a wonderful morning's activities for Grandmother! Thank you, Lord, for sweet, memory-making times like this! [...]

Forty-four Blessed Years


Ah, yes, the "teen" marriage that wasn't "supposed" to last -- according to the experts! That was in 1965. But marriages and homes and families built on God's principles, as revealed in His Word, are for a lifetime. My sweetheart and I have been blessed with 44 years of happy, ordinary, but oh-so-wonderful wedded bliss.We had exceptional examples in both sets of parents and grandparents. Marriage for a lifetime is God's plan, and when families are established and grown by the Word, what a blessed experience and what an incredible testimony! I would not change a thing. Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful husband and our family patriarch. You have been so good to me! Two eighteen-year-olds, so sure of their future together, with faith in the Lord for the unknown. Now, happy grandparents of 23, soon to be 25, faithful torchbearers into the future.Tonight was a wonderful time together at a local "elegant" restaurant. Thank you, sweet Danny for your loving shepherding and patient forbearance over the years. My greatest earthly happiness would be another 44 years with you!This song, by Tom Paxton, is one of our favorite non-hymns. It expresses the way we feel about each other."You Are Love"You are the light in children's eyes.You are the hope that never dies.You are all the best in me, And you forgive the rest in me.You are courage wrapped in grace.You are vict'rys laughing face.You are Noah's returning dove.You are love.You are the welcome kiss of peace.You are the joy of sweet release.You are the mischievous at play.You are the end of summer's day.You are the soul who is my soul.You are the half that makes me whole.You are Noah's returning dove.You are love.Once the only word I knew was "I, I, I."Nothing mattered but myself alone.Still, a voice within me whispered, "Why? Why? Why?"Why must you keep struggling on your own?What an endless hill I tried to climb,When you were there to help me all the time!You are the garden where I walk.You are the quiet twilight talk.You are the comforting caress.You are the end of emptiness.You are the joy I longed to know.You are the flower in the snow.You are Noah's returning dove.You are love. [...]

For Molly


This trip to Arkasouri is happening at my favorite time of year, fall. I love fall and always have. The change of the seasons is invigorating to me, but I am afraid my Florida-raised children have a hard time understanding my passion for fall. So when we left (with 3 of Molly's darling girls), she said to send her lots of pictures of the scenes of fall. The blog seemed to be the best way to send a lot of pictures without mega-computer-hassles. Here are some of the sights of Arkansas and Missouri toward the end of leaf-peeping time. You know what kind of photographer I am, so keep that in mind! I did manage to snap this glowing tree as we were passing at about 50 mph. This was in Mountain Home AR and we liked it because of the many colors in the little grouping. Along Highway 5, just before the Missouri border. This is on Ozark County Road "W", just before turning off onto the dirt road to our property. Another scene on W. Some of the trees are finished for the year, others have very little color yet. Looking out across the hills, just before turning onto the dirt road. Not too much color out there, but pretty scenery. The creeks were higher than last year, in fact, one night they were almost over the bridges due to so much rain. This creek borders the property.The last bridge before turning into the property. The road continues right, the drive begins to the left.The larger creek that crosses the property. One night, it rained so much the creeks were almost up to the bridges. The houses from the front of the property. There is some color mixed in with the green. Danny in front of what I think is a maple of some sort. Jason stops along the drive. The large creek is to the left. Tree with glowing color. Beautiful red bush down near the marina at Pontiac. Danny hates it when I ask him to pose for scenery! Thank you, Sweetie! More glowing color. In the background is Bull Shoals Lake, one of the best trout lakes in the country, they say. Or was it bass????Well, those were about the best I took. Molly, you know your girls will have wonderful pictures for you! Thank you, Lord, for a chance to have a "fall experience" after so many years![...]