Friday, September 30, 2016

for the love of pumpkins

It's that time of year again...
time to be in love with all things

Bubba and I went out this afternoon
to choose the pumpkins that will grace our porches
for the season of Fall,

Even though it is still hot as Hades,
even though the sun is a fiery torch in the sky,
I believe that one day soon,
it will cool off.

I love these striped gourds....
very unusual.

These are the diseased pumpkins,
off in a place by themselves.
these guys are covered with warts.

We got some Mums too.
will have to start fighting the deer again. :(

After the hunt,
we ate fried shrimp at Pappa's.
No better anywhere.

Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

play house friends


Thank you dear play house friend for a wonderful,
loooong lunch date today....
for your friendship, 
your wisdom,
the memories from waaaay back.

Oh for the playhouse days,
not a care in the world.
(Although it does appear that we were playing in the ghetto.)
We had so much fun, didn't we!!

living on the same block,
playing real life or so we thought.
Never wanting the sun to go down to stop our play,
getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.

We are blessed...always have been!!

Monday, September 26, 2016


We left last Monday....
headed down south to spend some time with Mickey
and then on to see our grandboys.
Got home yesterday afternoon,
tired but very happy to have spent time with our family.

Jake is learning to play the trombone,
Eli chimed in on his recorder.
I love how eager they are to show off their new skills.

Amanda and I
 spent all day on Thursday
 shopping at the Good Will stores around town
searching for things for her to sell on E-Bay.
She is a master at knowing what people will buy.
I take lessons from her.

We also spent time decorating the new house for Fall.
Not much work this time,
mainly we played.

We ate at Outback one night....
got the "steak tower."
It was delicious!
That cute boy with Amanda is Eli.

Amanda stuck a pose,
I am sitting on the ledge,
and Eli is running in front of the camera.
Funny picture.

So thankful for these boys.
they are growing so fast.
I want to hold every moment dearly
as life passes so quickly.

Especially thankful for Amanda.
We have such fun-filled times together....
So much laughter.
Our first time at the Good Will Bins is indelibly sketched in my memory.
It is another blog for another time....

Quote to remember...
"Its not hard to make Grammy laugh."
we laugh till our tummys hurt, and then we laugh some more.
Laughter IS the best medicine.

Monday, September 19, 2016

goals & dreams

"For this is the will of God....
your sanctification."
I Thessalonians 4:3a

From yesterday's sermon.
Sanctification = Holiness.
Becoming like Jesus.
Life long process.
Hard work.
All that really matters.
Best Goal ever!!!

Until later,

ps....I will always be a dreamer.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

an afternoon at the beach

Hunting for treasures...
I wanted to bring this beautiful piece of driftwood home,
but it wouldn't fit in the car.
It was bleached gray.
I know I could have found a spot for it.
If Erika had been with me,
we would have found a way.

I promised Harry that we would go hunting for
shark teeth today.
We didn't find any of those,
but he did come home with 3 little hermit crabs
in a Chick-Fil- A cup
filled with sand and salt water.

Harry found so many oyster shells that he
named it Oyster Beach.

Love these last few days of summer.
I am always so sad to see them go.
Thankful tonight 
that we live by the ocean.
Thankful for the children too.
Seeing it through their eyes makes it magic!

Here comes a big ship rounding the corner.
making its way into the
Savannah River.
Our condo has the best view on Tybee.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Birthday Harry Potter....

oops, I mean Harry Cleland.
You are
September 15, 2016,
we celebrated Harry's life with
and fun!

I love this dreamy-eyed little boy!
He is in Third grade.
He is almost finished with the first Harry Potter book,
He is a sweet, all boy, charmer.

He requested broccoli cheese casserole with
granddaddy's famous rice.
For dessert....
Grammy's chocolate surprise.
He got a big piece.

I managed to find a Harry Potter scene to go on top....
huge hit!!!!
The white candle was on his first birthday cake.

Each child got a Harry Potter wand....
they had to keep the white balloons in the air.
Once it touched the ground....
Your'e out!

The other game....
place the glasses on Harry Potter.

The results....
Lucy won.
she won the balloon in the air game as well.
but, because it was Harry's Birthday,
all got the same amount of prize money.

Harry had a lot of gifts to open.
New clothes, shoes, Legos, books,
a Harry Potter costume and HP glasses.
It was an amazing birthday.

Always...the big blow.
Nine requires a lot of forced air.
He managed well.

You are a gift from God, Harry
We Love you!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

for the love of reading....

I can always tell when the kids have been around.
I find books,
usually stacks of them,
in the bathrooms.

It's funny....
this one was left in position
to be picked back up on the next trip.

Reading is one of my favorite things.
I am so glad my grandchildren
cherish books as well.

Especially proud of Harry.
He is almost done with
Book # 1 of Harry Potter.
It has taken him a while,
but he knows all of the details.

When I finish a book,
if it is a good one,
I anticipate sadness as the end approaches.
All of the characters become very important to me
and I want the story to go on and on.
It takes me a few days
to let them go.

I love to read books.
I read when I'm....
going to sleep,
on a road trip,
at the beach reclining in the sun,
during commercials while watching HGTV.
I read to the kids,
Gus still loves it!

Pretty much sums it up!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

this & that

That's me up there.....
directing a children's game.
Once a teacher of children, always a teacher of children!

Thanks, all of you, for checking in occassionally!
In reality,
this blog is my personal journal.
I am honored that you stop by every now and then
to take a peek at my life.
I am thrilled when I hear you are blessed by it.
It is where I put my pictures....
It's where I write what's in my heart.
When I don't write for a long while,
I am either in a "funk,"
or maybe out of town.
Probably its the "funk" that stops me most of the time.

My life journey includes depression.
If you read regularly, you know this already.
It has been my companion on and off for over 30 years.
The last three, at times, unbearable...
but you have to bear...
there is no other viable option.

The road of depression is very precarious.
If you don't believe me read the book of Job in the Bible.
Throughout these past days, months, and years,
I have clung to God's word
as to a life raft in a stormy ocean.

When life in this weary world makes no sense,
When you are reduced to one prayer,
"God Help Me,"
He does.
He pours forth from His book 
all the help, 
the comfort,
 and the truth
that a broken mind and a broken spirit could ever need.

I have learned a ton.
I keep seeking and He keeps providing truth.
Sometimes it comes at me so fast I can hardly take it in.
I have to read and then re-read.
How kind God is to allow my mind to be sharp
throughout this ordeal.

It is as we suffer,
really suffer,
suffer long and deeply,
that we see our urgent need of our Savior,
 Jesus Christ.
The glory and the majesty of His Spirit
enables the sufferer to say,
Thank You Lord for this trial,
 without this suffering 
I may not have come to know You as I do.

And yes, He meets our needs.
He sends doctors,
and a beautiful, sweet someone to talk to,
and my church
and friends
and other books,
("The Gospel According to Job")
to name just one,
and children.
Oh yes, the little ones carry me on their love and laughter.
That's why you see so much of them here on this blog.
Thank you to  David & Erika, Amanda & Mark
for allowing me the pleasure of their offspring.

Just catching you up a little.
The journey of depression is not over for me.
I am working really hard.
Right now I am better,
Feeling good and normal and happy.
this malady will always be my "Thorn in the Flesh."
And, most likely, it will be with me until my last breath.
But then, Praise God,
I will be free to sorrow no more.

Thanks be to God for my faithful husband, companion, and friend.
He has walked this journey with me.
He is the one who understands.
He has lived it,
prayed for me,
held me up,
encouraged me,
and loved me.

Yes, God has given me all I need!
To Him be the glory for ALL He has done!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

labor day weekend

Yes.....It started with a bang early Friday morning
with the arrival of Hurricane Hermine,
a hurricane party,
(see my last blog),
and Lucy spending the night.
It ended last evening when I fell into bed before eight o'clock
exhausted by it all.

By Saturday,
the storm was gone and an absolutely beautiful day emerged.
Lu and I spent three hours at the pool
swimming and playing and soaking up some sun.

Sunday was church and a little rest.

Monday was one of our much loved day trips to 
Jacksonville, Florida.
We (all eight of us) piled into our van,
hopped on I 95,
and made a bee line south for PF Changs.
We all ate like we were starving!!!
(We were)

Crab wontons,
street dumplings,
egg rolls,
Kung Pao Chicken 
Lo Mein,
and Garlic noodles
with all of their luscious sauces
made for quite the celebration of labor.

{I've never really understood Labor Day
but I accept it as a holiday and enjoy.}

After some shopping for the kids
and a stop at Trader Joe's
(which always is very exciting for me),
We headed north and came back home.
Which is when I fell into bed
and went to sleep before the sun went down.

Thankful for holidays,
beautiful days,
my family,
getting better each day!!!

God is so good ALL the time!!

Kids posing by the horse
outside the PF Changs,
Town Center,
Jacksonville, FL

Saturday, September 3, 2016

hurricane party

Yesterday we had a hurricane pass by.
What do you do when that happens?
Why, throw a party of course.

Granddaddy cooked some pork loins and veggies.
I made my famous chocolate surprise,
put a pot of coffee on to perc,
and had a fabulous & fun time.


The grand~kiddos played while the adults
drank coffee and discussed some future plans.

The game for the kids was,
"Put the Magnet on the Eye of the Hurricane."
There were cash prizes.

Archie got very close to the
center of circulation.

Granddaddy is in the background doing the dishes.
He had spotted for the cash prizes.

Some reading went on while it stormed outside.

A lot of reptiles sought refuge on our porch
to escape the deluge.
Harry found every one of them
and put them in jars to take home.
He caught a baby lizard that was no bigger than an inch and 1/2.
I was glad that got taken away from here.
Believe it or not, I was able to look at it.

All of the above to say this....
You have to know that the "hurricane"
was not very bad 
if the whole Cleland family
 came all the way out here for a party.

We had fun!
Until the next named storm.....

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Right now it looks like something tropical
is on the way to Savannah.
It is a named storm.

At this moment,
It is cloudy,
very humid,
no rain,
and still as it can be.
Not a single leaf is moving.

As you can see in the picture,
I am prepared if the lights go out.
I can read myself to sleep with a candle,
and not miss a thing.

Bubba has brought the crown of thorns into the garage
and lashed the grill to the porch post.
We are ready for whatever comes, which probably won't be much.

Our beach condo is locked tight as well.
The guests for the weekend checked out this morning,
not wanting to watch the storm from the deck.
I think they are missing out on all the fun.

I read this a while ago.
It is from the Psalm Seventy-eight.
God controls the storms!

"The waters saw you, O God;
the waters saw You and were in anguish;
The deeps also trembled,
The clouds poured out water;
The skies gave forth a sound;
Your arrows dashed here and there.

The sound of You thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook,

You way was in the sea,
and Your paths in the mighty waters."

To God be the Glory
For All He has Done!