It’s Spring, It’s Winter, No Wait, It’s Spring Again.

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Our daughter has been visiting with us this past week. Although the weather wasn’t the best, we had enough fun to keep me from having time to pick up where I left off on our road trip.

Before Rebekah arrived, I noticed a sign advertising a u-pick farm located on the outskirts of town that grows tulips, hyacinth and daffodils. When I mentioned it to Rebekah, she was keen to go.  We ventured out on Monday, before the rains began only to discover the farm was closed on Mondays. We were determined, though and  Tuesday morning dawned sunny. Rebekah loves tulips so she was in her element.



Wednesday we awoke early and the temperature had plunged.  The rain began shortly after our weekly breakfast with friends. On our drive home we saw a few snow flurries, but the ground was too warm for any accumulation. By lunch time the snow was beginning to fall steadily and we decided to drive highway 441 up towards Cherokee to see if the snow was “sticking” there. This was the first time I had experienced fairly heavy snowfall that melted upon hitting the ground.  I found it to be kind of weird.

In Cherokee, the temperature was colder and while the roads were clear, snow covered the tress and buildings. It was beautiful.



Snow covered solar panels at the Visitor center.


Highway 441 which travels through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was closed 4 miles north of the Oconaluftee visitor center. We were good with that. Being raised in Florida, icy roads terrify me. Rebekah wanted to take pictures of the pioneer village in the snow, so I bundled up and joined her, while hubby stayed in the car. He has a lot more common sense than I do!



I love the homestead picture. The wood was damp enough to allow the color of the wood to pop. In the Summer sun, it is not as obvious.

On our way back through Cherokee we stopped to get a picture of this painted bear. He is beautiful. I wish the camera on my phone had been able to capture the art.



Thursday, it was as if all the snow and cold temps never happened. The sun was bright in a beautiful blue sky. We decided to take a drive to our favorite waterfall in the area, Cullasaja falls. We love it in every season.



We seem to be physically incapable of visiting Cullasaja without continuing on up the road to Dry Falls. I went with Rebekah to the overlook, but it was cold and I decided to pass on walking down to the falls!




Rebekah will be returning to her home soon and we will be settling back into our life in the mountains. I will need to readjust to the slower pace-no more power walking in the grocery store!  I will need to remember to meet the eyes of the people I see in the shops and to SMILE. Don’t get me wrong, Florida people are friendly. Growing up in the 50s, everyone smiled and said hello but we have lost the art of saying howdy.




Ford Trimotor Flight

21 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites






“Did you hear that the EAA’s 1929 Ford Trimotor is going to be here to give rides next month?” my friend Dick asked me. “No” I said. “Want to go for a ride with me?” he asked. “Sure, where can I sign up?” I said. I was thrilled by the prospect of being able to fly in one of aviation’s early landmark aircraft, and was eager to hear more about it. Dick and I are volunteer tour guides at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida. We both love airplanes and enjoy telling guests to the museum all about the museum’s 35+ vintage airplanes. When we heard about the EAA’s 1929 Ford Trimotor coming to our museum, we could hardly wait.



Henry Ford had wanted to get into the commercial aircraft manufacturing business, to take advantage of the growing domestic commercial airline industry in the United States. So in 1923, Ford bought the Stout Metal Airplane Company, and William B. Stout became chief designer for the new Ford Aircraft Division.The Stout 3-AT Trimotor was the first all-metal commercial transport built in the U.S. much of which was based on early design and developments by the German designer Hugo Junkers. The implacable and underpowered aircraft was barely able to maintain altitude, and Henry Ford was furious. Tom Towle was put in charge of Ford’s aircraft engineering department, and along with Otto Koppen, John Lee and James McDonnell, refined the 3-AT into the 4-AT and eventually into what we now know as the 5-AT Ford Trimotor (commonly known as the “Tin Goose”),





These rugged aircraft were built to handle rough field operations and could also be fitted with floats or skis. The design of the Ford Trimotor represented a quantum leap over other airliners of its time, providing fast and efficient transportation for the airline industry. A total of 199 Ford Trimotors were built between 1926 and 1933. Well over 100 airlines, worldwide, would fly the Ford Trimotor from mid-1927 to late 1933, when more modern airliners began to appear to take their place. By the early 1930’s, the Ford Aircraft Division was reputedly seen as the “largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes in the world.”



The Ford Trimotor became known for its use on many record breaking flights. Commander Richard E. Byrd made the first flight above the geographic South Pole on November 27 and 28, 1929, in a Ford Trimotor named the Floyd Bennett.



A Ford Trimotor was even used for the flight of Elm Farm Ollie, the first cow to fly in an aircraft and to be milked in mid-flight. One of the most famous 5-AT Ford Trimotors was used for 65 years, by Scenic Airways, to fly visitors on sight-seeing flights over Arizona’s beautiful Grand Canyon.



The day arrived for our flight “To Experience the Golden Age of Aviation” in our 1929 5-AT Ford Trimotor. During our pre-flight briefing (seatbelt safety, etc.), we were told this airplane was very simple, and was mechanically flown by the pilot. Then he added that the pilot only had to remember one number. That number was “90 mph”- 90 mph to takeoff – 90 mph for cruise – and 90 mph for landing. We were the first two passengers in line, so we took the two bulkhead seats. This allowed us to talk to the pilot, through the opening to the cockpit, while the plane was loading, and to observe the starting of the two wing engines, out our windows.



The interior of the plane was beautifully restored with rich wood paneling and Art Deco style fixtures of the early 1920’s and 1930’s. The plane had large windows which gave the passengers great visibility during our flight. The seats were very modern and comfortable, with modern seat belts and life vests.  I’m sure they were much more comfortable than the Wicker seats (no seat belts) I’ve read about, that were furnished in the first commercial Ford Trimotor’s. I’m not sure I would feel very safe riding in an airplane in that configuration!



After take-off, we turned south and flew at approximately 1000 feet down U.S.#1. It was a beautiful clear day, and to the east we could see the Indian River and NASA’s Vertical Assembly Building (VAB), and to the west Port St. John, Cocoa and Rockledge. The vibration and noise levels made it hard to talk to my friend across the aisle, but were not as bad as I had expected. Now we turned back north toward TICO Airport, and we were able to view the scenery the passengers on the other side of the plane had been able to see on the way south. The guy at the pre-flight briefing had been right; I could tell little engine difference from takeoff to landing.



My friend, Dick, is a pilot, and after we landed, he had several questions for the pilot while the other passengers were disembarking. I have to admit it was an exciting adventure, and I am really glad we took the flight. And now I have another item I can check off of my “Life’s Bucket List.”




—–The End—–


If you are interested in enjoying one of these amazing flights go to





God Exists

20 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.


19 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites




I’m tired of growing old

So I’ve decided to have

A permanent birthday

To which I will refer hourly

Only God knows how long

I will live, how long

I will die.

He’s in charge of every

Gray hair

He’s in charge of my heart

It’s His to use as he pleases

He’s forever in charge of the future

So one time fits all Happy Birthday to me

Move over 60-years-old and make room

I’ve shaved off 20 years, 3 hours, 24 minutes and 55 seconds.

Pardon me if I act young,

Plan young

Dress young, it’s much more fun

Than walkers, isolation, graves,

The younger I think, the younger I am.

People Do the Funniest Things

18 Mar


Judy Wills



Have you ever just sat back and “people-watched?” You know – just watched people as they passed by you and noticed some of the things they were doing? I find it a fun and fascinating thing to do.

One of the first things I learned about my now-husband, Fred, is that he didn’t like mayonnaise – or mustard – or catsup – or anything with vinegar in it – or….well, you get the picture.



He didn’t like ANY of that stuff! Curious as to why, he told me that, when he and his siblings said something bad, instead of washing his mouth out with soap – she would put mustard on their tongues!!



Credit Google Search


Now, I like mustard, but that’s a bit too much! Consequently, none of the Wills siblings like those condiments! I have always wondered where she got that form of punishment. From her mother? Don’t know I’ve been told that, when I play the piano, I tuck my head down – until I have a double chin showing! Never knew that. I had to make a conscious effort NOT to do that!

My Dad had the “manly” habit of clearing his throat, then spitting the mucus out onto the ground. I’ve seen so many men and boys doing the same thing. But Daddy’s habit got himself into a fix one time. I’m going to copy what I wrote about him from a previous post (February 2, 2014 – Daddy):

Once, when Fred and I were visiting Albuquerque, Fred had gone out driving with Daddy. That evening, Fred related this story of the day, but could hardly get it out for all his giggling. They were driving along – Fred driving – and Daddy cleared his throat, turned his head, and spit. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that the window was still closed! Fred said Daddy cleaned off the window then turned his head back to Fred and sheepishly said, “that’s only the second time in my life I’ve done that.” Fred said he had to “bite his tongue” to keep from laughing out loud!

Fred and I always laugh when we remember that story. And we get laughs when we tell it to other people.



Fred’s Mother had one little quirk that I enjoyed. After she finished stirring a pan on the stove, or a pot of tea, she would hit the spoon on the edge of the bowl/pot/pitcher in the following pattern:

tap, tap, ta-tap, tap…..tap, tap.

For those of you old enough to remember, it is the sequence for “shave and a hair-cut…two bits.” I always thought that was cute. She was such a jewel. If you want to know her better, please see my post of October 2, 2012 – Kitty. I really loved her, and miss her still.



Our Grandson, Forrest, had the habit of whistling through his teeth – sort of “whispering” rather than a full whistle. Used to drive our daughter crazy! She said he’s pretty much outgrown it – until he gets around her!



So….what about you? What quirks do you have? Or someone near and dear to you? Or someone you work with? It might be fun to look at someone you know and find out what their quirks are. Or, your own. Enjoy!



Seven truths to hang on to when you feel attacked.

17 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles




Sourdough Heart

16 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


I'm a winner


I recently read an article about a Sourdough starter that had been kept alive since the Gold Rush days in Alaska. The writer had the pleasure of enjoying a stack of pancakes made from the vintage, living starter.

For those not familiar with Sourdough, it is a living dough and must be fed on a regular basis to continue the fermentation process.

Photo credit This Old Gal


The starter will triple in size so be sure to choose a jar with room for growth.


My heart has a lot in common with Sourdough starter. Both must be fed. What I feed my heart will affect who I am, what I think and and how I cope with life’s challenges. I can choose to feed it with Living water or Lifeless water. One produces an open heart, eager to love and forgive, the other results in an anger filled heart that colors the way the world is viewed. Forgiveness does not come easily and harsh thoughts rule the mind.

Jesus said  He will give us Living water and like the Sourdough starter, I believe His love will triple in my heart if I simply open it fully to Him.

John 4:10

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The picture of the starter jars is from This Old Gal’s blog. Here is the link for her Sourdough starter recipe. If you enjoy cooking, follow her on Facebook.

Road Trip-Sunday Ascent

15 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


I'm a winner



Day 11, September 17, 2017


After our adventure at Night Glow, I wasn’t excited about arising early on Sunday but a balloon ascent was planned to take place at the Wyndham resort where we were staying. I needed coffee!!

We weren’t 100 percent sure where the ascent was to take place so we drove around until we spotted the field where the balloonists were setting up.



Rain was in the forecast but several of the balloons took a chance and arose into the sky.



This balloon crew were planning to ascend but the balloonist’s young daughter begged her father to change his mind. She claimed to be able to feel the lightning in the atmosphere. After what appeared to be talking back and forth between the crew, the decision was made to not make the ascent. It was the correct decision as clouds rapidly built.



We returned to our truck and Rebekah drove as we followed the flights of the balloons that were descending.

Feeling damp and cold we headed back to the condo for a cup of hot cocoa.


Pam caught up with Facebook, sharing photos and catching up on texts.



Rebekah took advantage of the light and captured a great picture of our view.



Hubby had declared the day, a day of rest (It was Sunday, after all) So the girls piled into the truck and Rebekah drove us around to check out the town and have a girlie lunch at The Rose, one of the local restaurants.


I apologize for the time in between my posts. Life moves faster than I can type!


12 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Painting by DiVoran Lites



I like black, it goes with everything,

Makes me look pale and ethereal

Don’t like my coffee black, though.


Mother hated black because…

She had to sew a slew of tiny black buttons

On her Mother’s funeral dress.


Red was out for Mother, too,

Especially for church.

It was the color for floozies


I wear red to church

I wear black to church

It goes with everything.


I like to wear white.

I had a white nylon uniform when I

Worked in the beauty salon.


I washed it every night.

When I was pregnant I wore a halter

So my shoulders could help carry.


Black is the color of sleep

White is the all-color-ness of purity

Red is the color of our blood

Christ’s blood, too.

A Tribute-Becky

11 Mar


Judy Wills




In previous posts, I have mentioned that I enjoy singing. Please see my post of October 16, 2016 – It’s Music to My Ears for a little insight. I’ve been singing most of my life, it seems.

I actually don’t remember just when I met Becky and her sister, Billie Ann. We didn’t attend the same church, but were all Southern Baptists. Of course, Albuquerque was a large city, with many Baptist churches, so it was very possible that we met through some church function.

And I actually don’t remember when Billie Ann and Becky and I started our trio singing group, but we sang together in high school. Becky was about two years older than us, but was only one year ahead in school. She had polio as a child and that probably held her back. Here’s a picture of the three of us in my house, practicing our songs. Billie Ann is at the piano (she played for our group, as well as sang alto), and Becky is the one wearing the crutches.



Billie informed me that Becky died on March 4, 2018. My heart is breaking. While I haven’t kept up with Becky as much as with Billie through the years, she is still near to my heart.

It’s always hard to let someone you love go, but I always love to remember the good and fun things about them. For instance, I remember once when the three of us were going to sing a song over the P.A. system at our high school. Only problem was, there wasn’t a piano in the room, so we had to wing it. In the midst of the song, while we were waiting a few “beats” for the next phrase, Becky got tickled – and that got Billie and me tickled, and we couldn’t stop laughing. I’m sure they cut us off rather quickly!

And Becky, being only 4’7″ tall, couldn’t reach upper cabinets in her house, so she stored all her Tupperware in her oven. Once, however, she forgot to check the oven before she put the oven on to pre-heat – until she smelled something strange! She had melted all her Tupperware!

Becky had one of the sunniest personalities that I’ve ever known – especially for someone with her health issues. She was always laughing and joking. I’m sure she had her down days, but I never saw them.

She was a hero to me.

I miss her – as well as not being around Billie Ann. There are just some very special people that come into your life – and these two are some of my favorites.

I mentioned to Billie about my mother, and how, during the last year of her life they discovered that the bottom four vertebrae in her spine had disintegrated from osteoporosis and she was in great pain. When she died, I had a mental picture of her hiking up her skirts and RUNNING through the streets of heaven! I then suggested to Billie that Becky was now doing the same thing. Perhaps they were running races together?

I just thank the Lord for the privilege of having Becky in my life. She was a jewel, and I loved her.

Love never fails….these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:8, 13


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