Five easy ways for you to be one of those ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

25 Oct

Old Things R New:

Wow, this one really hit home with me and goes along with Louise Gibson’s poem on Friday. We all have gifts.

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

With permission: flickr.com

With permission: flickr.com

Is that possible? Do ordinary people do extraordinary things? I asked myself that when my grandmother hugged me and kissed my cheek as we stood beside the old taxi cab that would take us to the La Paz airport and head to our new home in the U.S. “Someday, you’ll do something great,” she said.  I was only 12 years old then, and wondered if she realized I was just an ordinary kid.

Years swept by. And God placed the perfect example. My good friend went from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

On our way home from dinner, I sat on the passenger’s seat beside her. We stopped at a red light and she quickly reached in her back seat. “There’s one,” she said as she rolled down her window. She quickly handed the homeless man a plastic bag filled with a can of Spam, a washcloth…

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Identify Your Gift- God Gave You One

24 Oct

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

“The gift of fantasy has meant more to me

than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge”.

Albert Einstein

 

Lord, I know there is a lot to be serious about in life,

but there is a need for levity, too.

Laughter is good medicine and lowers your

blood pressure quicker than a pill can do.

 

You have given us the gift of “Helps”

Look around.  There is always a need.

The good Lord turned my home into a “cat haven”

I now have eight cats to feed!

 

The gift of fantasy has served me well throughout the years.

Born during the “Great Depression”,

I wrote poetry to dispel my fears.

 

Magazines were a great source of material

used in composing cards for family or a friend.

I cut out a “knight in shining armor,”

which pleased my father to no end.

 

Have you identified your gift from God?

There is no doubt you have one.

God has created us in His own image.

We now have fellowship with the Son.

 

The Best Job I Ever Had~Part 2

22 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Bill

 

I would design and have built any test fixtures required. Then I would coordinate with the various support groups necessary for each test. In most cases, the specimen would have to be tested in at least the three realms I mentioned (high temp, low temp, vibration) to verify that they would function under those conditions. This meant the Ordnance Design Engineer had to have at least three of his system specimens built and supplied to the Test Group for testing. It was something to be able to blow up these various test specimens when they worked as designed, but when they didn’t, and the Ordnance Design Engineer had to take the mangled pieces back to his office and his drawing board, to figure out how to make the system work properly, it was rather sad for him. You might have heard the old saying, “Well, it’s back to the drawing board.”  Well, that’s just what he had to do. This would go on until the system was perfected and the test results satisfied the original/modified system designed acceptance requirements. Of course, everyone had their own critical time schedule that they were working to, and any delays caused by malfunctions or unexpected test results only added to the pressure each group involved would feel.

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Many of the system specimens we tested were small, which made them easy to setup and test. They included mostly self-contained fuse assemblies and guillotine type cutters, used for cutting such things as parachute shroud lines, etc. The guillotine cutters used pressure cartridges to instantly force the cutting blade thru the lines. The reason most of the explosive systems used on the Apollo Spacecraft and the Saturn V Launch Vehicle had to be self-contained was to prevent damage to the vehicle in which they were located.

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For example, one of the main explosive systems used to ignite solid rocket motors was Confined Detonating Fuse (CDF). This was a small flexible lead sheathed explosive core wrapped in alternating layers of plastic and fiberglass weaved cloth. This allowed the explosive train to be routed thru various parts of the vehicle to the rocket motors, or other explosive devises, and still confine the explosion. Then there were the parachute mortars, which were used to deploy the various parachute systems during spacecraft re-entry.  The diagram below shows an example of how CDF was routed and connected for use on a retrorocket system.

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There were also various methods of separating the multiple components and stages from each other. All of these explosive devises had to work as designed and exactly when required to insure specific component and overall mission objectives.

 

—–To Be Continued—–

Driver’s License

20 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistWe have a new driver’s license and tax office in our town, directly behind the sheriff’s department building. And of course we have a few new rules, as well. When I went to get my new driver’s license I took every piece of identification I had from my whole life just in case: passport, copy of birth certificate, marriage certificate and so on. Bill called ahead to see if I’d have to take the test, and they said it wasn’t based on age, it was based on the opinion of the agent who waited on me at the license bureau. That was scary. Sometimes I forget shor-term stuff so recent it happened only a tick ago. I had tried for weeks to get a driver’s license handbook in case, but they are very hard to find and the directions on the internet looked daunting.

I meant to take my iPod in with me so I could listen to my audible book while I was waiting, but I’d already drawn my number by the time I noticed I’d left it in the car, so I stuck it out. They have news and entertainment notices on a screen now, so what with that and looking around I did all right until it was my turn.

One thing I had noticed while I waited was that the young woman at desk 10 seemed to have plenty of patience, exactly as if she had plenty of time, which she obviously didn’t because of the waiting crowd. Besides that, she looked like a little girl in a well-filled black dress, wearing a good sized hot-pink bow in her long curly hair with highlights. She didn’t look as if she could ever hurt anybody in any way. Guess what. She called the number just before mine. She called it again, and again. No one got up. Then she called mine.

It all went as smooth as rain on a window, even the part where I showed her the report from my optometrist that said I now have twenty-twenty vision so we could take the glasses restriction off the license. She seemed to give a little hum of delight that such a good thing could happen for someone.

She stood me against a blue backdrop and took my picture with a mounted camera. I said something pink 31 bagabout how bad driver’s license photos usually are and she asked if I’d like to see it. I had the impression that if it was awful she’d take it over, but it was better than the one I’d had for ten years or however long it has been. The new license popped out of a machine, no temporary paper license, no waiting. I slipped it into a slot in my hot-pink combination purse and wallet. Then I purchased a voucher for a new license plate which is being put out by the sheriff’s department. I asked for a driver’s license instruction handbook for a friend who has to take the test, but who isn’t equipped to read it on the internet. They just got them in, no problem. She handed it to me.

 

I went away rejoicing.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12

How We Met~Part 3

19 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

As it turned out, Fred was attending the same church where I was a member. So we kept seeing each other there, and were in the same youth group.

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It didn’t take long for me to realize the he was probably the most shy guy I had ever met. He also had never been on a date – so I was his first! And as for the first date – the youth group was having a hay ride up to the mountains – and I had to ask HIM if he would like to go with me! I told you he was shy!! He also didn’t have a driver’s license, so anywhere we went, I was the driver.

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Chapel service at the UNM BSU Center

 

I remember that the BSU had a Halloween haunted house, and I went there with Fred. It was a neat thing. In a darkened room, they had you put your hand in a bowl of peeled grapes as eyeballs, spaghetti noodles as brains…you get the picture. One of the adult sponsors of the BSU was good at story-telling, and she had on a black outfit with glow-in-the-dark gloves, and told some sort of tale. Everyone had on some kind of costume. There was bobbing for apples and other such games. It was really a lot of fun. You remember – the way we used to do it.

 

 

The group had retreats in the mountains outside Albuquerque (Sandia Mountains); they had retreats at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center near Santa Fe; all those things Fred and I went to together, becoming more familiar with each other.

 

 

Fred started coming to our BHiU meetings – by walking from UNM to the church where my group met – about a three mile hike – and all before he had to go to his own classes! He said he doesn’t remember ever riding the bus there – perhaps the bus schedule at that hour of the morning didn’t fit our meeting time. In any case – he walked there.

 

Fred started spending time at my house, getting to know my parents.

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My brother, Bill, had already gone into the Navy and wasn’t there to meet him. It wasn’t until we were engaged to be married that Bill and Fred met. We had been dating for about 18 months before Fred popped the question. I said “yes – but not yet.” We were engaged for another 18 months before we married.

Fred, my parents, and I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles (Inglewood), California, to spend Christmas with Bill and DiVoran in 1960. They had a little house and we were really crammed into that space.

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Dad told me later that Bill had pronounced Fred to be “a man’s man” as we left. Bill had always been my protector – when Daddy was out on the road as much as he was, Bill was the one to meet my dates. And intimidate them, if possible! He was bigger than most of them. But he and Fred got along, right from the start.

The last year of Fred’s UNM experience, he roomed at our house. He paid my parents what he would have paid the university for room and board. It made us very comfortable with each other – we saw each other last thing at night and first thing in the morning. So we both went into our marriage with our eyes wide open!

 We married on June 20, 1961. It’s been a great 53+ years of marriage. We are grateful to God for all these years together.

 

 

~~~~~~The End~~~~~~

Seven easy ways to begin conquering fear and anxiety.

18 Oct

Old Things R New:

I believe everyone will be blessed by Janet’s message this week.

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

10-17-14 7“You just wrote about fear,” a reader wrote, “but how about conquering fear and anxiety?”

She’s right. Fear and anxiety are like vinegar and water. Mixed together, they clean out our serenity and wipe away our perfect peace.

But can you blame us? How can we have peace when bad news blares every day and at every turn—more wars, more attacks of deadly disease? Peace, confidence and serenity seem elusive.  And instead of feeling secure, we tremble.

But although shaken, we’re not defeated, down or discouraged because God has the answer, the perfect answer. Among the vast amount of instructions God’s Word gives, these are the seven ways that we can use as weapons to fight against depression, fear, stress and anxiety.

  1. Be hopeful, Jesus is near.
  2. Be anxious for nothing, absolutely nothing.
  3. Be grateful Christ already overcame the world.
  4. Be sure that He hears all requests.
  5. Be diligent in praising Him in all things.
  6. Be…

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So, Why Should I Be Thankful?

17 Oct

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

A thankful heart causes us to look upward.

It causes us to look around,

and causes us to look within

where the peace of God is found.

 

The number one secret to happiness

is a grateful heart.

Beginning our day with a prayer of gratitude

brings tranquility from the start.

 

Fear is the father of failure-

a negative emotion, to be sure.

Replace it with a positive thought-

Failure you will no longer endure.

 

 

Quote:

 

When we choose not to focus on what is missing

from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance

that is present-  we experience heaven on earth.

heart-shaped-clouds

The Best Job I Ever Had~ Part1

15 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

Ever since I was a young boy visiting my relatives in rural Louisiana, I have been playing with fireworks. Back then we could buy fireworks year-a-round, so my cousins and I used them in every conceivable way. Of course, as I grew older, the challenge for bigger and louder projects eventually culminated, when I was a teenager, and learning how to make my own black powder. I’m not going to tell you what all kinds of projects my teenage friends and I used that black powder for, but then maybe you have an idea of how mischievous young boys can be. What finally cured me of playing with the black powder was when I tried to use it to fuel a model rocket (that didn’t work well, and luckily I still have all 10 fingers).

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After my stent in the US Navy (one of the best character builders there is), I went to college in Los Angeles where I met my future Aerospace supervisor. My first job with him was as a Hydraulics/Pneumatics Engineer in the company’s Test Group. That was a great job where I learned many of the basics of being a test engineer. The company’s work load was building up about that time, and it wasn’t long before a position opened up in the Test Group for an Ordnance Test Engineer. I must have been in the right place at the right time, because the next thing I knew that was my new title. After much schooling, the Ordnance Technicians taught me the safety procedures and rules for the handling and testing of explosive devices, and I was on my way to enjoying “The Best Job I Ever Had.”

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What was so great about this job was that my responsibility covered the testing of any Ordnance Test Specimen from beginning to end. The Test Group performed testing for the Apollo Spacecraft Engineering group, as well as the Second Stage Booster Engineering Group, both of which were for the Apollo Space Program’s Saturn V launch vehicle. The respective Ordnance Design Engineer would write up a test requirement plan for his system specimen and submit it to the Test Group. As an Ordnance Test Engineer, I would estimate how many man-hours it would take for the Test Group to test the system specimen in all the different parameters (high temp, low temp, vibration, etc.). That included the time necessary to design and have built any test fixtures required for the various tests, support personnel (photographers, etc.) and equipment required (high speed cameras, cranes, etc.).

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I would then submit this estimate to the Ordnance Design Engineer, and, if he agreed that I had covered all of his requirements in my estimate, he would get the necessary monetary approval from the company’s Engineering Department.   It was then up to me to establish a testing work schedule to perform all the specified test requirements in a timely manner and within the estimated budget.

—–To Be Continued—–

I’m in the Hangar Again

13 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

IAuthor, Poet and Artist‘m in Bill’s hanger in the backyard with my two cats, Jasmine and Lily. I come out here when the flea spray man comes once a month. It’s a beautiful workshop with door sized counters on three sides where you can work, 117 framed pictures of airplanes, 67 airplane books and two shelves of three ring binders with airplane pictures in them, many airplanes, and a lot of equipment. Bill cleaned off a space for my computer, and it feels good to write someplace else for a change. The cats don’t like change though so I’m playing, “Through a Cat’s Ears.” In order to keep them calm. It helps me anyhow, even if they still aren’t happy.

Today we’re out here because we’re having our bathtub painted. We moved into our house in 1965 and the fixtures in the family bathroom were sea foam green as was the tile. About six years ago, when we got new cabinets, the toilet tank broke. Bill epoxied the toilet and it held together, but it now showed an ugly scar. Then the sink started rusting where the little metal stopper goes and I couldn’t get it clean.

Eventually, I got tired of the bathroom looking so bad and we started shopping for new fixtures. We could get a nice toilet and sink and have them put in, but we didn’t want to remove the tub and take a chance of breaking the tiles and having to replace them all.

So Bill called the company that had painted our friends’ tub. Today when the man called to tell us the techs were on their way I ventured the question I’d been pondering the past few weeks: how toxic is this stuff, anyhow.

Bill told me they had explained the whole process to him. They remove the grout, clean the tub, repair any dings, ETCH the tub, and spray on the paint. That did sound toxic, and I was right.

I asked the man with the beautiful Irish accent whether the stuff the tub people use is toxic or not and he said, “Ah, yea, it’s nasty stuff. Yea, best you go to another part of the house while they’re spraying. Afterwards, close the door and stuff towels under it, if you have a window, open it.”

“No window — exhaust fan?” I asked.

“Yea, that will help.”

So here we are in our safe place.

Epilogue: the new tub is beautiful and matches the other fixtures. The sea foam tiles all around are still sea foam. I intend to keep the bathroom the cleanest it’s ever been. And yea, I think I’m going to have to do something about the grout now, but what?

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How We Met~Part 2

12 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

JUDY

Let me add a bit of Fred’s history here. He is the oldest of four children in his family.

His father had been in World War 2 as a Chaplain, after being through seminary and pastorate. When the Army Air Corps decided to break apart and the Air Force became its own entity, his dad went with the AF rather than Army. So the family moved around quite a bit – not only in the States, but also had a tour in Italy after the war.

When Fred was in high school, his dad was sent to Japan.

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The family followed, but it took a while. The year they moved, Fred went to three different high schools! (In his public school years, he went to 23 different schools!) They started in Panama City, Florida, then moved to Danville, California (near Walnut Creek) for a while, then on to Japan. He was ticked that the California school he was in – San Ramon Valley Union High School – which was supposed to be top-of-the-line at that time, didn’t offer either Latin or advanced Algebra – both of which he’d studied in Florida. The California schools also didn’t want to let him take upper-level American history (a junior course, and he was just a sophomore), saying that he couldn’t possibly be ready for that class. His father convinced them to let him take a test to measure his level – and he aced the test! In any case, they were there only a few months before the move to Japan.

Fred’s sisters told me later that he went straight from age 12 to 20! He apparently got serious about his studies and girls just fell by the wayside! I guess it was a good thing, since he was Valedictorian of his high school graduating class in Japan! None of that moving around stunted his brain power, it seems. He actually said it was an education within itself, and he was grateful for that opportunity.

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Because of his grade average, he had applied to – and been accepted by and had a line number for – four universities: Purdue, Florida State, the University of Illinois, and Washington State. He just hadn’t made his choice yet.

Fred had always had a bit of a problem with hay fever, but it got worse while he was in Japan. He was talking with the librarian in his high school on Johnson AFB, Japan, one day. She was from Albuquerque, and she suggested that the dry climate in New Mexico might actually be good for his hay fever. So, late in June that year, he applied for admission to the University of New Mexico – and was accepted.

And that’s how he came to be in Albuquerque. God just brought him there for us to meet. Isn’t it amazing how God works things out?

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.     Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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