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


Why Does Life Have To Be Hard?

10 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles




Why does life have to be so hard?

Reblogged March 10, 2018

During my recent visit to West Palm Beach, God had a wonderful surprise waiting for me. The lovely couple who hosted me quickly became my close friends. I learned an interesting fact about them.

“His closet is meticulously organized,” my friend said about her husband. “All hangers are spaced evenly and all is perfectly placed in the exact spot.

“And how about yours?” I asked her.

She confessed hers wasn’t quite the same. But that’s okay. In all relationships, each one brings unique habits, methods, approaches, and attitudes. But more importantly, each has a specific task assigned to them.

The same is true with God.

The same in our relationship with God. He has His role, and we have ours.

But do you think I learned that lesson well? Not yet. Lately, as my family faces another dark valley, that lesson had to be drilled in me. Though we face struggles, hardships and heartache, that’s ours to endure.

But God has His own role. In the midst of suffering, He has the serenity to calm our heart. In our struggles, He has the victory. In our heartache, He has the healing.

Here are five reasons why.

  1. He promised that what we face will be temporary. What we fear will be defeated and what we need to do is not fret, worry, be anxious…but simply be still. “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still’” (Exodus 14:13).
  2. He has a place for us where we can count on His favor. The favor that is enough for each moment. His favor to conquer all. And the favor that completely surrounds us. “For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:4).
  3. He provides the refuge. His protection is firm, constant and available. In fact, He said that we must dare to rejoice as we’re nestled under His refuge. “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 4:11).
  4. He knows the army of negative thoughts that attack. He sees the enemies of our soul that taunt us. And He’s aware of the weapons lifted against us. But He promised they have no power or means to harm us. He reassures: “No weapon forged against you will prevail…” (Isaiah 54:17).
  5. And finally, He repeats, that yes, He will be the one to help us, to make us strong, to hold us up. And He commands us not to fear. “Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Victory is sure.

When these promises wash our soul, the troubles seem smaller. The battle has an end. The victory is sure and the journey is bearable.

How about you? What battle are you facing? Are you giving the Lord room to fight for you? Are you counting on His victory? Are you anticipating triumph?


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.

What an honor it would be for me to delight those who attend your women’s gatherings, retreats, church congregation or corporate events. Here are some of the TOPICS you can choose from.


Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/why-does-life-have-to-be-so-hard.html

An International Hospital Experience

7 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites




It was a beautiful clear January morning when DiVoran and I showed up at the Florida Hospital. I was there for Total Knee Replacement Surgery, and as you might guess, I was a little nervous. Our daughter and son had come to give us moral support and it was wonderful to have them there to keep DiVoran company during this procedure.



The first thing I had to do, once we got to the pre-op room, was to strip off everything down to my under shorts. They gave me this “Thermal Space Suit” to wear instead of the normal hospital gown. The nurse said it was designed. by my surgeon, to keep me warm during processing before they were ready for me in the operating room.



This was a first for me. During all my previous hospital visits the nurses had just piled blankets on me to keep me warm similar to the photo below. This is a marvelous light-weight invention that they said would also help keep my body temperature steady for the duration of the operation.



I no sooner finished dressing in my new fashionable space aged attire, when a flurry of nurses invaded my cubical, taking my vital signs and hooking me up to IVs and other noise producing machines. All of this while other assistants were in and out, asking me numerous questions, related to my general health since I was a child.

Right away I was impressed with this multicultural staff that was preparing me for surgery. I would love to have had the time to ask each of them all about how they ended up there in the trauma center, but they were coming and going so fast that I was lucky to get their names and generally where they were from. This started the quest, by me, to find out the staff members countries of origin.

A partial list of just those in the pre-op trauma center are as follows:


The nurse that brought me the thermal suit had a beautiful British accent, so I ask her where she was from. She said she was from Jamaica.



“Febby” told us she was from somewhere in the Indonesian area. No specifics.



“Naji” was from somewhere in the Middle East. No specifics.



“Tao” told us she was from Singapore.



“B…..” was from India. Here again, no specifics.



“Elyesse” said she was from somewhere in Florida.



However, one came in with his clipboard and introduced himself as “Duke.” DiVoran said, “Your name tag says Wellington. Why do people call you Duke?” He told her that he had been born and raised in Jamaica. Because of the island’s British influence, his mother named him after the Duke of Wellington, and the nickname stuck.



I have no idea where any of the operating room surgical staff hailed from, but I would not be surprised to learn that many of them are from foreign origins also. The above list does not include “Dr. Go” who was the hospital’s admitting physician and saw me as part of the hospital’s surgical release procedure. Dr. Go said he was from China. Here again, not specifics.


Finally, one of the anesthesiologists said he was going to give me a little something to calm me down. I don’t remember a lot after they gave me that “little something” until they rolled me into the hospital room on the seventh floor, where the International flavor associated with this hospital stay continued.


The male floor nurse the night after surgery was “Konrod” who was from Poland.




“Jeffie” brought me my breakfast the morning after surgery and she said she was  from Mississippi.



“Silpa” was the therapist who came in to visit me the morning after surgery, to see how well I could move my leg and knee, and I discovered she was from India.



We also discovered that this floor of the hospital had recently been totally renovated for surgical recovery patients, and had only opened for use the day before. So, here I was the first patient to use this beautiful new room with a wonderful view of Lake Estelle. DiVoran says she was also the first to use the bathroom in this new room. Where is Guinness, with their record book, when you need them?



You won’t believe this, but the International flavor associated with this knee surgery is continuing. When I showed up for my first day of out-patient therapy, my therapist was “Ehab” who is from Egypt, and knows the orthopedic surgeon (also from Egypt) who performed my first rotator cuff surgery back in 1996. It is my opinion that this world of ours is getting smaller every day.

—–The End—–

How to “SEE” the abstract world

6 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix


In this post I hope to help you see and photograph abstracts. Since this is new for me too, many of the images are from the Internet for demonstration. Abstract photography is a challenge but there are some basic tips to get you started off in the right direction.


Believe it or not, your smart phone is the easiest way to take abstracts.


You can just hold up the screen and go on a search for cool close ups, walls, floors, architecture, nature, etc.. Most abstracts are seen by looking at a scene and getting closer and closer to it until you start seeing elements such as patterns, lines, shapes, colors and textures that photographed in a certain way (good composition) can make an appealing image.

Some of the best places to go to look for abstract opportunities are recreational places for kids. It’s always colorful with lines and boldness everywhere. Malls, tourist entertainment areas, gardens, etc are all places that surround you with possibilities.
You could just go around the house and use your phone as a frame and zero in on things that make  it’s own little picture. We  tend to see the entirety and the big picture of life. But looking at the world only through a tiny frame, gives you an entirely different perspective. If you imagine this grid inside your frame. This is an overlay grid in your camera that will appear on your screen. It will be in your menu. Or you can just imagine it over what you are photographing.


The idea is to place the most important features in your picture on one of the lines. Better yet, on one of the intersctions of the lines. You can hold this frame up to things letting your eyes only see within that frame. Turn your frame vertically, horizonally, diagonally. The idea is to see little miniture pictures within your frame.


There are no rules, but it is helpful if it has at least one of the items listed below.

The most important thing to remember is that after you find your point of interest, adjust your view of it by turning your frame in many directions until you find a good composition.


Composition takes some time to learn and feel, but basically it can be easy using a rule of thirds overlay from your camera or just imagine it over your scene.

Composition is one of the most important elements in any art form.

As well as being visually interesting, abstract photography can create a sense of mystery, making the viewer wonder what it is and whether there’s more to it than first meets the eye. But why you would want to create an image of something that the viewer won’t be able to immediately recognize?

The main purpose of abstract photography and art is to evoke some kind of emotional response from the viewer.
The viewer can create their own story about the image, based on their own reality, experiences and feelings.

Below are some other things to look for.

Look for Lines and Curves


Line and curves are going to give your viewer something to base their new meaning on and add visual interest. Without these shapes, your eye wouldn’t travel through and across the image. Lines have other uses too, like in visual design.

Go Macro.


As we get increasingly close to some subjects, the detail that was not apparent at regular viewing distance may emerge as an abstract photograph separate from the object photographed. Fill the entire frame with the subject, eliminating unwanted backgrounds which is essential for abstract photography.

Shoot Through Another Object


Abstract photography often makes use of objects and turn them into filters. Shooting through a glass bottle, a rain splattered window, or even water might give you just the distortion or light refraction you need to create a really interesting and truly abstract image.

Seek out Texture and Patterns


Emphasizing patterns is one way to take a picture of a normal object that is composed abstractly.

Abstraction by Movement

One way to reduce information, thus creating an abstract photograph is by using motion. This may be subject motion, photographer motion, camera motion, or a combination of any of the above. The easiest way to do this is to put your settings on scene mode landscape and take a picture moving the camera up and down, twirling around, back and forth, diagonally or wiggly is low light.

Choose Strong Shapes


Look for pleasing, interesting or dynamic shapes. They will add structure to your photograph and attract the viewer’s attention. Strong geometrical shapes with straight edges and angled corners will give your photo the most powerful visual impact. For a more subtle impact, choose softer organic shapes such as pebbles and flowers. Think about how to best capture the shape in the image and what angle to shoot it from.

Use Color To Grab Attention


Color is one of the first things that attracts the attention of the viewer, especially from a distance. It also serves to hold their attention for a longer period of time. Using highly saturated or intense colors is another way of grabbing the viewers attention. Contrasting colors will create dynamic photographs.

Look For Repeating Patterns

Emphasizing patterns is a great way of creating an abstract image out of an ordinary object. Using patterns can help to draw your eye around or into the image.

Photograph Reflections

Reflections in water or other shiny surfaces provide a fantastic source of abstract scenes to photograph. The distorted effects you get from rippled water or uneven reflective surfaces create an abstract alternative reality.

Most of all, have fun with your photography. It’s a rewarding hobby.
Next week will be a new adventure.





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.
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