Of Mice and Kitchens

21 May

While my husband has been busy tackling our wild yard, I have been dealing with the results of wildlife in my kitchen.

It seems a mouse or mice had a jolly good time roaming through my kitchen.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

My drawers and cabinets needed a “good turning out.” I love that phrase and never thought I would have the opportunity to use it. I guess I can thank the mice for that.

Once I had everything run through the dishwasher, I took advantage of the situation to remove some of the items from service and began a box of items to donate for a rummage sale.

Feeling virtuous, I decided I deserved the bamboo drawer organizer I saw on a friends Facebook page. She was an O.R. nurse for years and her cutlery drawer is laid out with the precision of an operating room tray. I promptly ordered it from Amazon.

It was supposed to be delivered Monday. The tracking said it was out for delivery. I was excited! When it didn’t arrive, I checked the tracking again. It was delayed and might not arrive for two days. What happened, was the UPS truck highjacked? Did it fall off the truck? Sigh…patience is a virtue.

Baby Book 3

20 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Story by Dora Bedell Bowers

October 21, 1939  



  It has been a while since I wrote in this little book, but I shall try to remember the most important things that happened. When DiVoran was nine and ten months old we lived in one of Ira and Marie’s upstairs apartments. One day when Ivan and I were standing at the top of the stairs getting ready to go down, Punky (which is what we call her now) walked off the top step and tumbled down seven stairs. Ivan sprung down four steps in order to pick her up. I was so scared I nearly fainted. She developed a black and blue spot on her jaw, but she’s all right now.


Punky was eleven months old when she started walking. The day she did, Ivan and I had gone deer hunting and left her at the apartment house with Grandmother Bowers. We didn’t get home until late but when we did Marie told us that DiVoran started walking at four-thirty in the afternoon, and didn’t stop walking and falling until six o’clock in the evening.  



Two weeks before she was a year old, I took her to Sunday school. Her teacher, Elvira, who was my Campfire Girls leader and Sunday school teacher when I was young, said DiVoran mostly watched the other children and mirrored Elvira when she patted the pictures in the book. Our toddler was happy to see me when I went in to get her. Elvira said she seemed to have a wonderful time. Punky’s first birthday was the next Sunday so I was going to take her to Sunday School but by the time I got her dressed and undressed and dressed again, she was asleep with her new leggin’s half on, half off, so I decided we’d just stay home.


Babies are sweet, but one-year-olds are cuter. Punky says, “Mama, “Da, Da”, “Ah boo,” “hi”, and “yep.” She can patty cake, be a big girl (by putting her hands in the air). She crosses her arms over her chest to love the baby, she throws us kisses and says a how-do by nodding her head. She knows that means yes, too, but it’s different. She shakes her head no when you offer her something she doesn’t want.


The other day DiVoran and I were out in the yard. She saw a rock and started to laugh as she went toward it.  She tried to pry it up but it was as big as my head and wouldn’t budge. I picked her up to distract her and we went to pet our Irish Setter, Boots. 


This morning Punky was sitting in her high chair as usual when she suddenly spotted her rag doll. She reached over and took her child in her arms and kissed it smack on the mouth.


She isn’t house broke yet. It doesn’t seem like she ever will be. When she is through with her bottle she throws it out of her crib and sucks her thumb. She is bow-legged and pigeon-toed, but she is still the most wonderful baby in the world.


At a year old DiVoran has eight teeth.


We planned a birthday party, but her great grandmother Hunter was so sick we couldn’t have it until Monday. DiVoran had two cakes, one on Sunday, another on Monday. It was the first time she blew the candles out by herself.


Marie and Ira Bowers

Punky’s Granddad Bowers gave her a little silver bracelet with a big red jewel the size of a quarter. Her mama and daddy gave her a heart-shaped locket with a pearl on it.  

To be continued


Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran 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.”

The Pianist

19 May


Judy Wills


I have written before about my pianist ability. Yes, I firmly believe God gave me a talent for playing the piano – but He didn’t give me the “gift” – the ability to sit down at the instrument and just….play.  My mother could do that, and many people I know are able to do that.


Judy with friend playing on our piano, 1959


Yes, I envy them that ability, but not to the point of “why not me, God??”  I just enjoy the music they can make.

Recently, Fred and I took our eighth cruise with the Disney Cruise Line.


Disney Cruise Line – the Fantasy


Disney (DCL) has become our favorite cruise line. Many things about Disney and the DCL are just a cut above the other cruise lines we’ve cruised with, and we enjoy them all.

One evening, before we went to our supper, Fred noticed there was a “featured” pianist that would be playing on the piano in the atrium,


The Atrium – looks like a peacock


so we got ready a bit early and went down to listen to him play.  His name is Tim Moss.  As I recall, there was a lot of activity going on – perhaps it was a time for all the princesses to come and have their pictures made with guests, especially children.



But Tim was playing as background music for it all. He was playing “by ear” i.e. without music in front of him.  He would just segue from one song into another without dropping a beat.  We were one floor above him, and when he looked up, I waved at him, and he smiled.

After a bit, we went down to his level and stood at the piano as he continued to play.  We talked with him a little, thanking him for his great music and ability. Then we went to supper.

We had one other opportunity to hear him play. He was in a smaller room (called Ooh-la-la) and again was playing by ear.


Ooh-La-La Lounge – Disney Fantasy – Credit to Google Search and Roger Weeks


There were about 15 people in the room, interacting with him, guessing the songs he was playing.  He was having a great time with them.  While Fred and I love music, I’m afraid there really aren’t too many song titles that I know.  But it was fun, anyway.

The final time we saw him, was on our way to supper the last night onboard.  We were the only two guests in the room!  He said that wasn’t unusual, and he expected more to show up later.  And so we just talked.  He is from Vancouver, Canada.  I told him that, as I watched him play, my fingers just don’t go as fast as his do!

And then I told him a story about when our church here in Orlando was presented with a new grand piano.  The donor wanted to be anonymous.  One Sunday morning, early, I was in the sanctuary, probably picking up any trash from the previous Sunday, when I kept hearing a strange sound. I couldn’t find where it was coming from!  My thought was:  do we have mice in the attic?  (I’m not even sure there is an attic there!)   When I heard it again, I finally looked around and found one of our members playing HARD on the piano.  As it turned out, the piano had some “electronic” features to it, and Al had put on his headset – which turned off the sound of the piano – and was playing furiously on the instrument!  His furiously pounding on the keys was what I was hearing!

We all three got a good laugh from that story.

I can’t seem to find Tim on line anywhere. He has played for/with Disney for more than 15 years now, and seems to really enjoy it.  We are glad we had the opportunity to hear him and speak with him.

It’s amazing how God puts us in others paths sometimes.  And I love it!





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. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
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.





Five warning signs when finding the right woman (or man)

18 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Reblogged May 18, 2019 With paper towel in hand, Jack wiped the bowl of cereal his two-year-old son spilled on the table. “Stop it,” he screamed grabbing the small hand from splashing in the puddle of milk. “I don’t know if I can handle this.” His plans were never to be a single Dad, juggling work, child care and diapers. What went wrong?

In his own words:

“I never saw it coming. She seemed the perfect gal for me. We had good times. And although we had issues, I was sure when we got married, she would change. I even helped her get out of debt. But she was never happy. And when our son was born, I thought that would be the glue to keep us together. Was I ever wrong! She said motherhood wasn’t her thing. I guess the guy she moved in with offered her more than I did.” Could Jack have prevented the disastrous ending of his marriage? Before walking down the aisle, Jack should’ve seen the red flags. But because he wore the blindfold of romance, the warnings faded into the marriage-will-make-it-all-better deception. But all could have been avoided if Jack had followed these five warning signs when finding the right woman for him. (NOTE: These warning signs can also be applied when women are searching for the right man.)

The 5 Signs

Sign No. 1. She carries insecurity like an over-sized purse everywhere she goes. She’s intimidated by others, making unreasonable accusations, putting undeserved blame on others. Her character displays manipulative tendencies. A woman who is secure in who she is—a daughter of the King, exudes understanding, maturity and conveys humble confidence. If she does not, say good-bye and wait patiently until God brings that jewel into your life. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10) Sign No. 2. She’s excessive in her concern about outer appearance. Her fear is not of God, but her fear is failing to keep up with the latest fashion and cosmetic trends. She spends unreasonable amounts of money on her efforts to enhance her outer appearance. Though she may look hot, coldness will eventually wash over the relationship with her distorted order of priorities. Look instead for inner beauty because, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:31) Sign No. 3. She wants you all to herself. The support she offers you is conditional and superficial. She strives to create a distance between you and your family, friends, church commitments and all that’s important to you. You’re caught in a trap: do you please her at the expense of leaving behind what she doesn’t approve of? This dilemma causes disagreements that outnumber pleasant moments in her company. And to appear all is under control, you stuff the stress inside. And should you say “I do” at the altar, you’ll be wishing you didn’t. The standard to measure the ideal wife is this: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11-12) Sign No. 4. Her tendencies are to view the negative of most situations. Her outlook on life reveals a worrisome, complaining and quarreling nature. She says she loves you and has successfully snared you into feeling good about the unhealthy relationship. But feelings are fleeting and vanish, leaving behind grief, stress and regret. The best way to avoid regret is to face the raw truth—a quarrelsome girlfriend turns into a quarrelsome wife. Each dispute should spark this reminder: “A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.” (Proverbs 31:13) Although God can, you cannot fix her weaknesses, or transform her behavior. Thus, there’s no time to waste, dump her gently and, look for the woman that you can say: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25) Sign No. 5. She drags a heavy chain of past mistakes. Her choices of yesterday brought consequences that are painful still. But her inability to make good decisions remains alive. She justifies her wrong choices. And when you challenge them, she becomes defensive. Should this relationship continue, the spiritual leader God meant you to be will be relegated to her demands, lack of wisdom and immature whims. Can you say this of the gal you’re with? “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:26) You shouldn’t be idle either, but diligent in asking for patience because, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.” Proverbs 20:25 Vow instead to remain single until God has worked in you, pouring wisdom and carving out foolishness. And thus, preparing you to welcome the prudent wife He chose for you. Because… “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 31:14) She will indeed be a present from God. That companion will be the gift who will vow to love you, rich or poor, in sickness and in health. Then you can be sure she was the one who was handpicked by God. And though not perfect, she’ll be prudent, passionately in love with God above all. And patiently accepting you, loving you just the way you are. And in the end, when children come, she’ll be the one to wipe spilled bowls of cereal with a heart of gratitude for her blessings.

Let’s pray

Heavenly Father, my life is in your hands, and my search for the perfect spouse is also in your care. Grant me wisdom not to be led by my emotions but by your divine wisdom. In Jesus name I ask, amen. Janet ______________________________________ 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.   Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/five-warning-signs-when-finding-the-right-woman.html    
Janet Eckles Perez
Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR 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. www.janetperezeckles.com

Finally in North Carolina

17 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


After a lot of delays, we are now in North Carolina and enjoying the cooler mountain temps. I shared a picture earlier of our wild grass and weeds. Today I realized the Knock-Out roses surrounded by wildly overgrown grass and weeds had it’s own unique beauty. When I see abandoned houses with flowers growing among the high grasses, I often wonder what happened to the family that lived there.

Sorry about the quality of this short video. Silly me let the wristlet dangle as I filmed.



We don’t know what type of flower or weed this is, but we are excited to see that now there are four plants. The first one appeared a couple of years ago. It was rather spindly but we liked the flowers and didn’t cut it down.



We have two blueberry bushes, one an early bloomer and the other a late one. The early bloomer doesn’t have any berries, I wonder if a late frost killed them The later one is loaded with berries. I hope the birds share with us!



The Bleeding Heart and purple Iris still have some blooms, so I am thankful we get to enjoy them for a few days. I was pleased to note the Iris are spreading on their own. I had planned to thin them last fall but ran out of time.


Some of the Peonies have bloomed but I have my fingers crossed that there will be more. If not, I will enjoy them doubly next year.

We have had a couple of mishaps since arriving on Thursday night. It seems we should have written down some passwords like the wifi and the security system. They slipped right out of our minds. I won’t say much, but two deputies from the sheriff’s department are probably still laughing about this absent minded,  batty old couple.


16 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Do you ever see a picture and it tickles your sense of humor for no reason? I saw this picture on Pixabay and downloaded it, sure that I would find a way to use it. So far, I haven’t found a place for it, so I am sharing it here.



Maybe they are escaping Chick-Fil-A chanting eat more beef!




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.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Bandits in the Yard

14 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix


A video of Melody’s bandits.


Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. 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.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.
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