Meal Time~Part 2

22 Jul


Judy Wills



I’ve mentioned in other posts that daddy was a deer hunter in the winter.  We ate a lot of venison in my growing-up years.  You must understand…MOST people who work in church-related work don’t make a lot of money.  Therefore, the meat daddy provided through his hunting kept our family going.



The deer in the New Mexico mountains feasted on the good stuff – pine nuts.  The meat was always sweet, whereas the deer in Texas usually had their meals on milkweed, which gave it a bitter taste.  The Texas venison had to be marinated in milk or something else to get rid of that taste.  But we didn’t have to do that in New Mexico.  Again, there was no waste to the deer.  We had steaks, roasts, and hamburger-style meat (ground venison).  With the ground venison, mother would make chili.  She had a great recipe for that, but I’ve never been able to duplicate her chili.  I’ve tried several times, with regular ground beef, but it just doesn’t taste the same.  The flavor of the venison was unique to the chili, I guess.

There was one time, while Fred and I were living in Texas, that a friend had bagged his deer, but wanted another, so he gave us that first one.  Since we had helped daddy butcher his deer before, we knew how to butcher this one – which we did.  A good friend let us store the venison in their freezer – taking out what we wanted when we wanted it.  One Thanksgiving, we took out a “ham” and had it smoked by a bbq restaurant in town. It was really good eating!

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, mother would make a cranberry salad as a side dish.  She mixed the chopped cranberries with chopped walnuts or pecans, orange, and other items, in a gelatin, put it all in small forms, then let it “jell.”  It had a sweet taste that countered the tart cranberries, and was quite good.


After Fred and I had been married for a few years, I tried my hand at roasting a turkey.


Credit Google Search


I set to work on the “dressing or stuffing.” Unfortunately, I cannot – to this day – remember what kind of  stuffing mother made.  Since daddy was from Louisiana, I suspect that she made a cornbread dressing (with chopped onions and chopped celery), but I don’t remember.  I’ve asked my brother, Bill, and he can’t remember, either. So, I learned to make a bread dressing, New England style, from Fred’s mother.  We all like it – including our daughters.  If we are at a family meal where cornbread dressing is served, they always ask me to also make a dish of bread dressing for them.   It has become their favorite.

I remember there was a time when mother would make bread from scratch.  It smelled soooooo good baking, that I could hardly wait for it come out of the oven! I would cut it almost immediately – which was hard to do without squishing it – and slather it with butter and eat it right away.


Credit Google Search and Pinterest


She complained so often that we hardly had left any for the sandwiches she wanted to make.  Fortunately, it was a good-natured complaining.  But she was a working woman, and probably didn’t have time to make bread very often.  I’ve tried my hand at it, and while I love the fresh bread taste, it’s a lot of work. But it’s a fun memory.



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





JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Three Steps to Miracles

21 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles



Reblogged July 21, 2018

Questions I asked.

Are you expecting a miracle? Or do you even believe in them? I asked those questions. And my answer came when I witnessed miracles of my own, profound and personal.

When my life should have been a mess, miracles appeared instead—joy when there should be gloom. Peace instead of restlessness, and fear turned to hope and security.

These same scenarios were displayed in a hospital in St. Louis. The story is about John Smith who fell in icy water and remained there for 15 minutes. The news read, “When rescuers brought him to SSM St. Joseph Hospital West, the teen wasn’t breathing. Paramedics and doctors did everything in their power to bring John back, not willing to give up. They performed CPR and other life-saving measures on him for 27 minutes – without regaining a pulse.”

Medically, the boy was dead.

They called his mother to the room to give her the bad news.

What did she do? She prayed. She declared out loud God’s power and the Holy Spirit upon her son and pleaded God to give back her son. What happened next is that blood began to flow in that dead boy’s veins.

The doctors, shocked and stunned, couldn’t give explanations. They only had one conclusion: it was a “genuine miracle.” HERE are the chilling details.

Bold Faith

I’d like to meet that lady and tell her, “I want faith like yours—to be that bold, and overflow with trust.”

In order to possess such deep conviction, perhaps this mother had gone through these stages:

  • Rejecting the doctor’s announcement and recognizing that only God has the final word.
  • Calling upon the power of God no matter who supported her or who joined her in that effort. She cried out to God with rare confidence. She spoke out loud, declaring the warfare of the enemy would not win.
  • Expecting God’s answer. She had to pray, believing in the answer, calling upon God’s power over what seemed impossible.

So why doesn’t God perform more miracles today? My humble answer is that He does, but we simply don’t see them. Every moment we breathe is a miracle. The fact your vision is vibrant enough to read this is a miracle.

If back then, Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, drove demons from people, why wouldn’t He do that now?

The Bible says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and forever…” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).

Let’s Pray

Father, if you are indeed the same now as you were when you walked on earth, then you are the divinely and supernaturally able to perform miracles. I shall renew my faith, reclaim my trust in you, and from this moment on be aware of each miracle that surrounds me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How will your life change if you have the boldness to expect miracles?



Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.






Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video:

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

Memory Lane Trip~Part 5

18 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



Day 5 – Saturday 4/21/2018


After a very nice complimentary breakfast of eggs, sausage, toast and orange juice, I gave Greta the address to take me to visit the Texas Air Museum located adjacent to the Stinson Municipal Airport there in San Antonio.  This is a large one hanger museum that is filled with memorabilia and artifacts, covering aviation from its inception to the present time.  The museum’s outdoor static display aircraft were in bad need of some TLC.



Next I ask Greta to take me to the Aero Accessories Inc. facility located just a few miles south of the Transportation Museum there in San Antonia.  This turned out to be your basic aircraft small accessories overhaul and repair station.  This business was operating in what I would call “primitive conditions” with respect to the modern equipment they were working on.  There was really nothing much to see, so I moved on.



Now I headed for a try at getting into the Fort Sam Houston base, there in San Antonio, to visit the Army Medical Museum.  I had given up trying to visit the USAF Airman’s Museum yesterday, after being turned away from three different gates.  I wish if military establishments (bases) are going to advertise their museums as being open to the public, that they would provide instructions for how the public is to gain access to those museums.  Today I called the museum first, and that was a big help.  I asked them which gate I should approach first in order to get a pass onto the base to visit their museum.  This worked out fairly well, as I was able to get a pass, and I was impressed with the museum’s large number of displays and memorabilia. They had a 1917 U.S. Army ambulance similar to the one my father, as a corps man, drove during WWI.



Next I had Greta take me to the Alamo Plaza located in the Historic District of downtown San Antonio. After getting some pictures of the Alamo, I took a one-hour trolley ride around the city, stopping at the Marketplace Plaza.



The Marketplace Plaza was brightly decorated and crowded with people.  As I strolled through the Plaza, the crowd was entertained with live music and breakdancing, as the smell of freshly cooked foods of all types attacked our nostrils.  At one point I came across a tiny Hispanic woman (someone said she was 83 years old) jiving away on the walk-way to boom box music.  She was moving like a saucy senorita. She wore a long, hot-pink tiered skirt that fell just above her ankles and exposed her sturdy white shoes. A lace shawl and a feisty pink hat decorated with flowers completed her ensemble.  I Hope I can move that well when I’m that old. Wait a minute.  I am ALMOST that old, and I can’t move near that well now!



A rain squall came up about that time, so I put off my track along the famous River Walk.  I’m not sure how much I really missed. Maybe next time I’m in San Antonio it won’t be raining.  I called my friends Ken & Debbi, who live there in the San Antonia area, but they were in Florida on vacation.          



By now I had been bumped, pushed, and jostled enough for one afternoon, and asked Greta to take me back to the motel, where I could relax and enjoy my delicious leftover Chili Relleno dinner.





—–To Be Continued—–





Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 58 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, writing blogs for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing. He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville. Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill’s favorite Scripture is: Philippians 1:6

Little Free Library

18 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


 Our daughter, Rebekah, brought a book to read on the flight up from Florida and it was a page turner. Now as her visit was drawing to a close, she needed a fresh book for the long wait at the airport. Isn’t it crazy that the wait to get on the airplane is longer than the flight?  I knew that our local Community Center had a Little Free Library, and suggested we look there for a book to read on the flight home.



The anticipation of not knowing what you will find, makes it a fun adventure. Will it be a classic or a thriller by a popular author? I would be tempted to choose a local cookbook if one were in the box. Of course, choosing a book or books to leave is fun too. Should one leave something funny, self-help or inspirational?  I think leaving a book that I enjoyed would be fun.

Of course, if you are an Indie author, leaving one of your own books could be fun too!

What sort of book would you leave at a Little Free Library?


Speaking of authors and books, Rebekah is participating in the Grace Filled Summer Book Sweepstakes.


We are entering an exciting and happy time of year. Summer…a time for fun, relaxing, going barefoot, hanging out with family and friends around the grill.  It’s the perfect time for the Grace Filled Summer Sweeps 2018. And summer reading has never been this much fun with eight stellar authors and their exciting and insightful books. This is a sweepstakes. So, each author will give away a copy of her book according to the most interesting, clever comment.  In your comment, please let us know which book you’re dying to read, and also your second choice. This way we’ll be sure to give everyone a book that’s to their reading taste.


If you are interested in entering, head on over to the blog:





I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

Rock Solid

17 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


I saw this on Amy Voskamp”s website Monday night. During a difficult period in my teens, I lost all confidence in myself. As I began to think on my past and what had precipitated my crisis, I realized that as I drew away from God, so my confidence fell away. Eventually I learned the only identity that mattered was my identity in Christ.



Horseshoe Lake

16 Jul


My Take

DiVoran Lites


Patricia Franklin



If you see the video first you will better appreciate the rugged terrain in the story.





This is a reply about last week’s blog from my childhood friend: Patricia Franklin.

Dear DiVoran,

Your blog, “Hermit Dam” reminds me of the time when I was a kid and I went to Hermit Lake with three of my brothers to go fishing (what other reason was there?!)  The older ones had done odd jobs to earn money to buy the pickup, and once they had it, they used it for all kinds of work around town, and for going fishing. Since you had to park at the beaver dams and hike to the lake we always started out about daylight to get there in time for plenty of fishing.

But, we never stopped at Hermit really, everybody fished there, and the good fishing was up higher at Horseshoe Lake. The problem was, it was a cool, cloudy morning, and instead of clearing up, it just got worse. By the time we got to Hermit, we were in the clouds.

We started on up to Horseshoe and got to where there was a break in the clouds and you could look down into the valley between the two lakes. There are (or were) three ponds between Hermit and Horseshoe. We got to that point and, looking through the fog, the ponds looked large enough to be a lake. At first,we thought we had reached Horseshoe, but we walked up further, and then back down again to the ponds, and knew we had a ways to go. By then it was raining and I was freezing cold, even though I was wearing a waterproof poncho.  We were above timberline, and there was not much shelter there. I sat down next to a large boulder that gave me a little protection from the rain while the guys decided what to do. We were never worried, just cold and wet. Our parents would only have worried if we had been out after dark.


Google search


Our eldest brotherBill, a teenager and a Boy Scout decided we would go back down to Hermit where we might find more shelter among the trees and some wood for a fire. We got down by the lake and started looking for some dry wood, and twigs under the bushes.  Bill started a nice little campfire to keep us warm and give us a comfortable spot to eat our bologna sandwiches.



By the time we finished lunch we were too cold and too wet to go fishing, and as there was no sun to dry us out, we walked back down to the pickup. We were home soon after not disappointed about the fishing, but satisfied with the fun day we’d had trekking into the mountains.

Later, they improved the road and people could drive all the way up to Horseshoe. I do not know if that is a wilderness area now or not, but I too am deeply grateful for adventures like this in another time and place.






Author, Poet and ArtistDiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Meal Time~Part 1

15 Jul


Judy Wills



I can remember the time of my life when eating out was a special time.  It was just assumed that we would be eating at home, no matter what meal it was.  I really don’t remember eating “out” very often – more as I became a teenager – but still not very often.

I just remember my mother being in the kitchen a lot, cooking.  It’s funny that she never really just sat me down and taught me how to cook anything.

I do remember one of my best friends, Mary, who was an only child.  Her mother had her cooking full meals by the time she was eight years old!  I used to think that was really a hardship for her, but then her mother was a strange person, to begin with.  I guess it was for the best, however, as Mary and her husband had a small restaurant for quite a while.  And she made the best guacamole I’ve ever eaten.  She made it seem simple and easy.

Even in my early years of marriage, I remember coming home from work and make our supper.  There was almost no conversation about going out to eat.  Again, it was just assumed that we would eat at home. Of course, it didn’t help that we were early-marriage-poor and couldn’t afford to eat out very often!  We may not have had fancy meals, but they were home-cooked.  We had a lot of hamburgers, hot dogs, and – yuk – tuna casserole!  I don’t think I’ve made tuna casserole since the 1960’s!  I really over-did that meal.  But it was quick, and inexpensive, and we had it a lot.

Mother’s meals consisted often of pot roast – and she could make a roast that would just melt in your mouth!  It would fall off the bone it was so tender.  I’ve never been able to duplicate that – even when I cooked it in my pressure cooker.


Credit Google Search


So I gave up on that particular meal, and just enjoy it when we have the opportunity at a good restaurant.  Our favorite is at the Liberty Tree Inn at Magic Kingdom.  Theirs is the very best!


Credit Google Search/Walt Disney World – Liberty Tree Tavern lobby


I also remember that, if there was any roast left over, mother would grind it up, add mayonnaise and either relish or pickles and a hard boiled egg, and it became a meat salad.  Spread it on bread, and you have a lovely sandwich!  She didn’t waste anything!


Credit Google Search and Pleasant Hill Grain website – meat grinder


Mother also made really good mashed potatoes. I’ve finally found a way to make good mashed potatoes, without too many lumps in them.  We have one meal that we like with the mashed potatoes – beef tips in gravy.  Yummmm. Except for browning the meat in a skillet first, everything else is done in the Crockpot (except the potatoes, of course).  Fix it up in the morning, and it’s ready for the supper meal.  It goes quite well over good mashed potatoes!  Or egg noodles, or perhaps rice…but the potatoes are the best!



Mother mashing potatoes, Granny getting something from the cupboard


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




JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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