Toy Truck

29 Nov


Judy Wills


I admit it – I love to look at the e-mails we are sent, and I enjoy most of the facebook stuff I look at. I also have to admit that on FB, I usually just look for the “pictures” and videos rather than all the verbiage presented there.

I’ve been really amused by some of the pictures on FB. This one really caught my eye and had a good laugh over it. When I showed it to Fred, he laughed, as well.


What do you think? Cute, huh?

But think how creative that truck driver was to put this together. It didn’t really take a lot of thought to do this, but gave a great deal of enjoyment to those who saw it.

The same could be said of the things we say and do in our lives, to those around us. Do we say and do things that bring joy to those we live with? Or to our neighbors? Or to our fellow church-goers? Or have we become so jaded that we don’t have any joy left in our lives?

Recently I had total knee replacement – not a fun thing, that’s for sure. It was done to help relieve the pain in my knee, since the “cushion” in my knee was gone, and the two bones in my knee were grating upon each other. Ouch!! But through the surgery and the following physical therapy, I’ve tried to keep an upbeat spirit. One of the best exercises was what they call “foot pumps.” I joked that I would probably wake up from the anesthesia saying “foot pumps….foot pumps.”

I’ve joked with the therapists and their assistants. When the therapist commented that I wasn’t “grunting and groaning” when he was severely pushing on my leg, I told him that my mind was saying “I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me….. I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me….. I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me…..(and by the way – that’s what the Greek actually says!)” And he laughed. I’ve gone back to see the nurse on the floor of the hospital where I was for four days. She was such an inspiration – she even pulsed pom-poms as encouragement for us to get up and walk! She always had a smile on her face. And she seems pleased when Fred and I go back just to see her. We get hugs.

My time in the physical therapy clinic is past now….anything else I “recover” will be by my own working out. Recently on FB, I saw a video clip of a little girl – she couldn’t have been more than 1½ years old, trying to walk to her encouraging Daddy. The thing that impressed me was that she was trying to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg! I saw that and said to myself…”Well, Judy, if she can do THAT, you can just suck it up and dig in and work to get this leg back into shape! No more belly-aching!!”

Everyone says that laughter – a good old-fashioned belly laugh – is some of the best medicine anyone can have in healing. And that’s why that toy truck struck my funny-bone. It gave me such a good laugh, that my spirits were lifted.

And here’s a directive from scripture:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!

Philippians 4:4

So, Why Should I be Thankful

27 Nov

From the 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.


“When we choose not to focus on
what is missing from our life,
but are grateful for the abundance that
is present, we experience Heaven on earth.”
Author unknown.

Thanks Giving

26 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

I would like to wish all of our readers a blessed Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter and joy.

In Janet’s blog this week she included a recipe for Thanks Giving. A few weeks ago, DiVoran created a photo that she titled, A Fresh Journal Page. I joined them together. I plan to  incorporate this recipe into my life this holiday season. Will you join me?

A Thanks Giving Recipe

Every day I am thankful for my friends and fellow bloggers on Old Things Are New!

Love you!

Old Things R New  Family

Flying Legends Airshow~Part 13

25 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Flying Legends



Day 13 – Monday July 13th


I woke to a typical British day; overcast and drizzling rain. There is nothing like a good hot breakfast and a cup of Earl Gray tea to ward off the cold and dampness. It made me glad I was served another hardy English breakfast this morning!


I had scheduled most of this day in London visiting many of the historical WWII museums, and of course, viewing the “Changing of the Guard” at Buckingham Palace. When I was planning this trip I decided not to try to drive into London, but to take the train from Stevenage to London and then take an “On & Off” bus tour of the city.


This day of frustration started when I discovered I didn’t have enough British pound coins for the parking machine (they only take coins) at the train station. I spent almost two hours trying to find someplace to exchange my money. I wanted to exchange some Euros I had brought with me for British pounds. I finally found a Post Office open and got that done.



Once I had parked at the train station, I had to wait for someone to come along to show me how to use the parking ticket machine, (different from all the others I had encountered so far on this trip) only to find out that this carpark payment system used a different “Park & Pay Later” plan. A friendly traveler came along and told me that I should put the yellow token I had received at the entrance barrier into the machine. The machine would give me back my token for use when I returned to the carpark for my car. I thanked her and she said, “Don’t lose that token.”


I had reserved my train ticket and bus tour ticket from home but had, for some reason, not printed out my confirmation notices. That wasn’t a problem at the train station, as the clerk just pulled up my reservation on his computer and handed me my “Return” tickets to Kings Cross. I found the correct platform for my train to London and was finally on my way.


By this time it was 9:30 and it took another hour for the train ride to London. The Golden Tours website had indicated that I could board the double-decker Golden Tours bus right across the street from the Kings Cross train station. Sure enough, I found the Golden Tours representative at the bus stop. But when I told him I had no confirmation paper, he informed me he could not let me board the bus without a ticket. I asked him to just check my reservation, but he said he couldn’t do that from his portable ticket machine. Stress Gummy time!


So, what did I have to do to get a ticket? I had to get on another train and go back to Victoria Station, where their main office was located, and have them look up my reservation and print out my ticket. So, back on another train I went to Victoria Station (which by the way, my train had passed on my way in to Kings Cross). But of course, it couldn’t be that easy could it? For some reason the Victoria Station was now closed and the train went right past it to the next stop. I ask a couple on the train what I could do and they said, “You’ll have to get off the train and catch a bus back to Victoria Station.” And where in the world do I catch the bus? “Ask the Station Master at the exit.” They said.


That involved several more blocks of walking to find the bus stop. When the right bus came the driver didn’t want to accept my train ticket for the bus ride. I told him the Station Master at the train station had said we (there were about 20 of us with the same problem) could use our train tickets for the bus and that the drivers would be notified by radio. He said he hadn’t heard anything about that. Stress Gummy time again! Luckily there was a very persuasive lady in our group who convinced the driver (on pain of death) to let us on.



—–To Be Continued—–

The best recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. | Janet Perez Eckles

24 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way


My friend stopped by the other day and rumbled in her purse. “You have to see the pictures I took during our trip,” she said. I smiled. “Oops,” she added, “I always forget you…well…that you can’t see.”

“I forget myself,” I said with a chuckle. (I like folks with a sense of humor.) For me, having no sight is a way of life…actually a wonderfully blessed life. My days sweep by with gratitude, so much thankfulness. And for that reason I thought I’d share my unique recipe for this Thanks giving dinner. I don’t mind if you copy it and serve it to your loved ones.

  • Gather the ingredients stored in the cabinet of God’s Word.
  • Stir together large portions of His promises, spoonful’s of His direction, and dashes of His admonitions.
  • Place in large bowl several cups of commitment to read His Word.
  • Add generous amounts of faith to cover all traces of doubt.
  • Blend together, adding sprinkles of laughter, of enjoyment, fun, and unexpected surprises.
  • Bake in the oven of your heart till triumph is golden brown.


With songs of thanksgiving playing in the background, present it to the guests who come into your life. And unlike the rest of the world, instead of entering the doors to stress, gloom or anxiety for the days to come, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).

Why? “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

It’s your turn, can you share some things you’ll be giving thanks for this year? Would love, love to read them. You can send them to me via comment. Did you know most of my writings are drawn from my bestselling book, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta? Did you get your own copy yet? It’s available HERE.

Be sure to read the rest of the story:  The best recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. | Janet Perez Eckles

The Tricycle Veteran

23 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistOne day I saw a seemingly elderly person riding an adult tricycle with a dog on a leash. What a good way to exercise your dog if you can’t walk well, I thought They traveled slowly so that the dog had time to eat grass, examine a fire hydrant, and stare at bigger, barking dogs behind fences.

Actually, I thought the person was a man who wore a tee-shirt, cargo shorts, athletic shoes and a baseball cap. Today when I met the pair on the trail, however I learned the rider is a female, and so is the terrier. I’ll call them Sue and Bess.

As we talked there on the trail, I read Sue’s hat brim. The words were, “Thank a Vet.” I wondered if she was a vet herself or if the hat belonged to her husband. It didn’t take long to find out, because Sue began to tell me what a fine service dog Bess is. Seeing my curiosity about her own condition, Sue told me she has a heart problem because of an industrial accident with a poisonous substance. She said, I’m the only one alive out of seventeen people who were in the space that day.


Sue and her dog went their own way then, and I went mine. In a moment, however, I turned around and there they were coming back. I like to walk at my own pace when I’m ready to go. It’s often at different parts of the day. I’ve made some friends on the trail and we always enjoy running into each other. Sometimes there will be two and sometimes three of us standing and talking for a short time.

On this day, the trike went downhill fast and the little dog trotted along on short legs. Going uphill the trike went slowly and laboriously. We eventually got into a rhythm and as we went along Sue talked about herself and Bess.

Bess’s story included being picked at the SPCA over a black lab pup, which, as Sue put it, would have been a lot easier to train. “It took eight years for Bess to start paying attention. She’s been a real asset, though, in the last four years when I’ve really needed her,” Sue said.

Sue also told me that in the service, she was a professional dog trainer. She trained Rottweilers and German Shepherds. I asked what the dogs’ jobs were and she said, “Bomb sniffing for the Rottweilers, and drug detection for the German Shepherds.” Sue was also an Intelligence Agent for a spell. She says there are an awful lot of lies in the news these days – she knows.

Besides the heart problem Sue has PTSD and epilepsy. When she’s about to have an epileptic attack, Bess insists on going home an hour and a half before the cataclysm arrives. If they are on the trail she turns around in the direction of home and barks continually until Sue consents to go along. Sue doesn’t understand how Bess knows she’s going to have an attack. Bess was never trained for that.

When we got back into our neighborhood, the two of them had to travel in the street. I said goodbye and thanked Sue for serving our country. She said, “Thank you so much for saying that. People hardly even talk to me. Maybe I’ll tell you a funny story next time.”

God be With You Till We Meet Again


22 Nov


Judy Wills



As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, I’ve been going through stacks and stacks of papers and pictures that we have accumulated. I’ve found a number of cartoons that my Mother had cut out – probably the newspaper – and sent them to me. And I’ve used some of them in my Old Things R New postings.

Today, however, I would like to share something that we found in my Mother’s Bible following her death.

She was always a hard worker, whether it was at the job where she was paid (she was an accountant, and worked at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque to supplement Daddy’s paycheck, to purchase things that we might not have been able to have otherwise), or when she purchased and opened the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, or when she was cleaning the house, cooking our meals, doing the laundry…. She was a hard worker.

I think the only time I ever saw her sit down and “rest” was after dinner and clean-up from that, to watch a little TV. One of her enjoyments – especially in her later years – was to sit down after breakfast, with a cup of her favorite coffee, and peruse the newspaper. She would read it from cover to cover.

But this little snippet of information is a real insight into her life. I think it was a testimony to the way she lived her life, and the way she saw life. It certainly makes one take notice about the wisdom of the words.


What do you think?

Her favorite scripture was Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made;

We will rejoice and be glad in it.



Sometimes it hurts. | Janet Perez Eckles

21 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Eckles Perez



Some time ago a friend and I traveled together. The airport where we landed was small. Actually, everything in it was small. With her caring nature, my friend made sure she guided me through all doorways, hallways, and elevators – being careful to avoid obstacles in my path. But when entering elevators with our bags and suitcases on wheels, and with me holding on her arm, the squeeze was tricky, awkward and cumbersome. I came home with some scratches on my elbow.

But know what? I’m familiar with narrow pathways—the ones we encounter in life. Sometimes it hurts as we try to squeeze through, and we doubt we’ll make it. And others as we try to force our way, leave scratches of discouragement in our heart.

You might be going through ones yourself as you read this. We all do. We try to get through the narrow stretches of discouragement, loneliness, of chronic illness, of unresolved conflict, and painful, unforeseen circumstances.

And though unpleasant, we keep going, traveling through the airports of life hoping we eventually see the wide doorway leading to the answer, the healing, the break we hope for or the solution we seek.

That’s why God’s reminder turns hope to encouragement. Opens the wide door of trust. And makes the entrance easy and simple. The sign above the doorway says: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Source: Sometimes it hurts. | Janet Perez Eckles


In the News

A wonderfully crazy thing is happening in a few days. A camera crew from the Telemundo Network will be visiting my home to film a feature of me cooking and serving a Thanksgiving meal to my family. There will be 12 of us for dinner. And I’ll be busy in the kitchen preparing my homemade, healthy dishes like Quinoa casserole. All done before the cameras. Gulp.

“We want to show how much you’re able to accomplish even when you don’t have sight,” the reporter said.

In the next issue, I’ll let you know how it went.

Where Are They Now

20 Nov

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson


A young man walking through a cemetery came across this epitaph
written on a tombstone:

“Pause, stranger, when you pass me by-

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now, so you will be-

Prepare yourself to follow me.”

His reply: “To follow you, I’m not content-

Until I know which way you went!”


If you want to follow someone,
follow Christ, my friend.
He will lead you into paths of righteousness,
and His mercy has no end.


What we think about heaven
determines how we live today.
We can easily be led away from God’s purpose
if we do not steadfastly pursue His way.


When things go wrong, as they often do–
How do you respond-
Do you pray it through?


It may depend on your expectancy.
Did you implore the Lord your need to see?


Patience, dear friend,
the Lord knows our needs before we even ask Him.
He will supply those needs no matter how stark or grim.


“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared
to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness
and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously,
and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed
hope and glorious appearing of our great God and
Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Titus 2:11-13

Flying Legends Airshow~Part 12 (Continued)

17 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Flying Legends

Day 12 – Sunday July 12th

The airshow was so well organized and choreographed that just as one group of aircraft had finished their performance the next group was taking off, so there was very little time in the next 2-1/2 hours that there wasn’t a number of aircraft in the sky to thrill us. After the “Spitfire Tailchase” two F4U Corsairs, a F8F Bearcat and a FM-2 Wildcat took off, formed up, and flew individual high speed passes as well as formation passes over the field.


Next four Curtis Aircraft; a P-36, a Hawk 75, and two P-40s took off, formed up, and flew individual high speed runs (some as low as 50 feet) and formation passes over the field. In each case their formation flying was so good it was like watching a demonstration team.


Following that four P-51 Mustang’s took off, formed up, and performed individual high-speed and formation passes over to the field. I was amazed at the formation flying ability the pilots showed with all of these airplanes, which had come from all over the UK. You could tell they had performed together before.


Next a B-17 Flying Fortress took off, formed up with the four P-51 Mustangs, and made low level formation passes over the field, to represent the thousands of U.S. 8th Air Force bombers and their fighter escorts that were based and flew from the many British air bases during WWII.



Following the American representation, a German Junkers Ju-52 and three HA-1112-M1Ls (Spanish built Me-109s) took off, formed up, and made low level passes over the field in formation, to represent the hundreds of German bombers and their fighter escorts that fought for Germany throughout WWII.


Then a Bristol Blenheim I, a Hawker Hurricane and three Supermarine Spitfires took off and made low level passes over the field in formation, to represent the British bombers and their escorts that defended England during WWII. Each of these formation groups was really impressive and gave me goose bumps.


Next two Gloster Gladiators took off, and performed individual low level high-speed and formation passes over to the field. I was not familiar with the Gladiator and was not aware that Britain had built such a powerful high speed bi-plane toward the end of WWII.


The Red Bull B-25 Mitchel bomber and P-38 Lightning took off and flew individual and formation high-speed passes over the field. I had never seen a B-25 put into a 90 degree turn like that before. When the pilot would make one of those turns, I kept expecting to see that plane fall out of the sky. But of course it didn’t.


These formation groups and low level high speed passes (some as low as 50 feet) over the field where continuous until about 4:30 in the afternoon. My mouth was drooling the whole time. I was like a kid in a candy store!


The grand finale which they called the “Balbo Finale” was what had originally captured me last year, when DiVoran’s brother, had sent me a video “teaser” of the 2014 Flying Legends Airshow. Some 30+ aircraft that had performed for this event took off, formed up, and made several beautiful formation passes over the field. The sound of all those engines flying over at the same time was absolutely magnificent! I don’t think anything has thrilled me like that since I watched the first Apollo/Saturn 5 moon rocket lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in 1967. I was almost moved to tears, the sights and sounds were so wonderful for me.


Remember Takashi Koreeda from Yokohama Japan, that I mentioned earlier had given me a CD? Well, when I got home and was able to play the CD, it turned out to be a video of the 2015 Paris Airshow he had recorded. What a great gift that was! This 2015 Flying Legends Airshow was so memorable, I think I will order the professional video to keep and refer to anytime in the future when I need a real boost.



—–To Be Continued—–


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