May Your Faith Bloom

17 Jan

Bill will be on a break over the next few weeks. I will be posting random pictures and posts until he returns. If anyone would like an opportunity to share a blog or photo, leave a comment and I will send you and email-Onisha

For today, I am sharing this inspirational photo from Crosscards.com. They have wonderful cards.

 

Florida Butterflies~Gulf Fritillary

16 Jan

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

The Heliconinae are “longwing butterflies”, which have long, narrow wings compared to other butterflies.
Gulf Fritillary butterflies are orange with black spots.  The underside of their wings are covered with orange scales with large patches of silver scales. In its adult form, the gulf fritillary is a medium-sized butterfly that has extended forewings and a wingspan range of 2.5 to 3.7 inches. Gulf Fritillary butterflies are found in the lower half of the United States.

Adult butterflies use Lantana and passionvine blossoms (Maypop) as their main nectar and food source whereas the Passiflora plants (passionvine) serve as the main resource for egg laying and foodplants for the larvae.
Eggs are laid singly on or off the plant. Eggs are yellow when freshly laid and turn a rusty color before they hatch.


Caterpillars are orange with black spikes. Sometimes they will have gray stripes down their sides. The spikes cannot harm anything.
Caterpillars molt (crawl out of their old cuticle/skin) four times before they  to pupate. Because a caterpillars’ cuticle doesn’t grow, it can only stretch to a certain point before it is essential for the caterpillar to shed/molt its old cuticle.
After molting, its new spikes are blond until they dry black. It is not unusual for a caterpillar to crawl off its host plant to molt. Adult butterflies emerge from the chrysalis, in the middle of the summer, about nine days after pupating.

Male and female only have slight differences in appearance. Females are larger than the males. Males have brighter orange colored wings than females. Females are usually darker in color and are more marked with black streak.

The general process for a typical courtship interaction begins when a male flies and lands near a perching female, who is most likely perched on a host plant. Once the male has landed, the male assumes a position next to the female with their heads together and with their bodies aligned at a 45-degree angle. At this time, the male engages in a specific action called the wing clap display in which the male continuously claps its wings open and closed. During this time, the antennae of the female are placed between the opening and closing wings. After the male ceases wing movement, the male butterfly will move into a  mating position. Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera and all members have scales covering their bodies and wings. Color results from an interaction between light and matter.

Hey, thanks for visiting us butterflies. There are lot’s more butterflies I want you to enjoy, but next week I want to show you something a little different. Something you may have never noticed. SKIPPERS They are little half butterfly, half moth cuties. They are small and fly so fast they are a blur and hardly get noticed. But they are so adorable, I know you will like them. See ya next week.

 

 

 

 

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.
Melody

Ironing 1950

15 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites from Go West

 

 

Whoever you iron for

Whatever you iron

Shirts, pillowcases, skirts,

Dresses, jeans, tea towels,

You are ironing to caress

And to earn a dollar a week

For the basketful.

Memories From My Childhood

14 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

When I sit myself down and try to think of something that might be of interest to someone else, I find myself going through my pictures. I have scanned quite a few into the computer, and looking through them gives me pleasure and fond memories.

I just happened to hit upon those taken of myself – and family and friends – in 1952.

I was 11 years old that year (do the math – I’m now 76!). My brother, Bill Lites (another blogger) was 14 years old. He’s about 3½ years older than I am. We used to fight like cats and dogs – until he became aware of GIRLS!!

In any case, here are some pictures of that time of my life:

 

Bill and me

 

A few years before she died, mother asked if I had the “chalk pictures” of Bill and myself. I did not – nor did I ever find them. All I have are these pictures of them, and the memories. Here are the pictures mother took of Bill and his chalk picture,

 

and then of myself and my chalk picture.

 

 

They were done by a friend of mothers, and always hung on our living room wall. Mine was when I was probably a toddler, while Bill’s was when he was probably four years old. They were quite unique pictures, and I wish I still had them. This is the only picture I have of them in color – I’m sorry it isn’t any better quality.

 

 

 

We had a great deal of fun together as a family. We would sit/stand around the piano and sing together.

 

 

We made jokes with each other.

 

I always knew that my mother and father loved each other fiercely. Daddy traveled quite a bit around the state of New Mexico with the Baptist Convention, but we always enjoyed having him home with us.

 

 

Here are a couple of pictures of us clowning around – making daddy the “man of the house” for sure! Waiting on him “hand and foot” so to speak.

 

 

After my grandmother (Granny) and her daughter (Aunt Jessie) moved to Albuquerque, they played an important part of my life. We were quite often over at their house, or they were at ours. I’ve always been grateful they were so close. I’ve always missed our daughters and their families, but that’s what military (and retired military) people – they usually don’t live close to their children and grandchildren. But that doesn’t stop the love flowing back and forth among us all.

 

Granny, Bill and me

Aunt Jessie, Bill and Me

Aunt Jessie and me

God has been so good to us. He allowed me to have the kind of growing-up time with my family that is so precious to me. I just hope I’ve passed some of that love to our daughters – even though we moved around quite a bit in their growing-up time.

Six secrets for inner peace. A post to calm your heart.

13 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Six secrets for inner peace. A post to calm your heart.

Reblogged January 13, 2018

 

What do you do when impossible situations steal your peace? I have experienced enough of them to know.

New friends ask me, “Being blind, how do you put on your make-up?”

They also ask me, “How do you coordinate your clothes? I could never do it.”

My answer is simple…

“Although I need no light or a mirror, I apply it in the dark. Feeling the eyelid to determine what colors to brush, I do it carefully.”

It’s a routine task for me. After living with complete blindness for 30 years, I’ve had lots of practice. So much so that I often forget my limitations. I guess that’s good.

But what’s not so good is that I also forget to give myself enough time to get ready when going out. I have to pry myself from endless tasks. At the last minute, I rush around like a crazy woman. I hop in the shower, slip on my robe and dash into my walk-in closet. Frantically, I slide hangers, looking for any outfit to wear.

How do I do this with no sight? I have an easy method.

When I purchase an item, I store in my memory its characteristics—the texture, the shape of the neckline, buttons or length of sleeve. One light touch tells me what the item is.

But when I’m in a hurry, trying to find the right outfit gets a bit tough. Not because I can’t see, but because I just have too many clothes. Way more than any blind gal should be allowed to have. The bar holding all those hangers is probably sagging from the weight!

Oh, how my jammed closet resembles my life—full of tasks of all kinds and sizes. That’s because we’re crazy busy women, and have no choice. Because we have lots of people to please, don’t we?

I started that mindset as a young girl, I tried to perform to win my parents’ and teachers’ approval. Later on, I wanted to please my husband, my kids, my employer, and my friends. Phew! I thought that the only way to please myself was by pleasing them.

Have you been there?

The pleasing craze explodes during holiday season. We rush through life eager to make someone happy. And the level of stress and tension rises like the thermometer in Orlando’s summer.

But now that the holidays are behind us, an invitation to begin a good new year is calling us. Whether you have snow or not, how about if we vow to cool off. God never meant us to live in the heat of tension. He gave one pretty refreshing directive: “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind” (Matthew 22:36-37).

When life sags from the weight of countless tasks, obeying His greatest commandment is the key to peaceful success.

Really? So how do we do that?

Here’s a suggestion.

Early In the morning as we slide our feet into our slippers, this is what should play in our head: Loving God means receiving His peace. And when the world robs it, here are six secrets to bring back His peace:

  1. Inviting Him into our day.
  2. Drawing wisdom from His word to place the correct order to our priorities.
  3. Presenting Him with our to-do list for His approval.
  4. Giving thanks in advance for glitches we know He will resolve.
  5. Inviting into our day moments of silence in His presence to refuel our energy.
  6. Inhaling the aroma of His reassurance for calmness.

Deviating from His ways equals burnout. But obeying His greatest commandment ushers in wisdom: To arrange priorities; to press forth when fatigued; to bring clarity when confused; to be calm when overwhelmed; and to know the warmth of His love.

The love that sparks a desire to please Him. To receive His rest. And to know His peace because “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” (Psalm 127:2, the Message Bible).

Let’s pray.

Father when impossible situations bring on stress rather than peace, grant me wisdom to stop and to invite your peace back into my heart. And in that calmness, may You be the one who reigns and occupies the main place. In Jesus name, amen.

What has robbed your peace lately?

__________________

Janet

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

 

Source: Six secrets for inner peace. A post to calm your heart. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

 

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.

REFERRAL PROGRAM: And don’t forget, you can earn a percentage of my speaking fee when a booked event is a direct result of your referral.

Persevere

12 Jan

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

If ever I wanted to loosen my tongue-
And speak out to those who are young,
It is now.

Please be patient.
Don’t give up in despair.
Our Lord has a plan for your life.
Trust He is always there.

Keep looking up –
God wants the best for you.
Follow your dream
And trust that it will come true!

 

Road Trip~ Denver, Colorado to Pagosa Springs, Colorado

11 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Day 9, September 15, 2017

We enjoyed our road trip to Denver, but this morning we were excited to begin the next segment of our journey, a week’s stay at a condo in Pagosa Springs! This trip began back in the spring during a conversation with our friend, Pam.She has a timeshare and occasionally she has points and no plan on where she would like to travel and it just so happened that we had a slight windfall of cash and wanted to take a road trip. I told her that if she had timeshare points to use, we had funds! After looking at several locations, Pagosa Springs was a good fit for both of us. She and our daughter could fly to Denver and hubby and I, not a fan of flying would drive our truck.

Hurricane Irma update: Before we left the hotel, our daughter checked to see if the power was back on in her home. It wasn’t, but there was hope that maybe by the end of the day.

We decided to avoid the interstate and once we were clear of Denver, began our journey south on US 285.  The ride was pleasant and as the scenery was new to us, the time flew. Pam’s daughter who mountain climbs with her husband had advised us to look for an outfitter store to purchase Acli-Mate for our daughter’s altitude sickness. Since she was still feeling queasy, we were on the look out for one.  I really wish I could remember the name of the small town where we stopped. It had a tiny outfitter’s store but it was filled with supplies. I think the name of the shop had the words Eagle Claw in them so if anyone is familiar with the area, I would love to know the name. We were in luck! The store had individual packets of Acli-Mate  upfront at the register. While Rebekah paid for them, I decided a bathroom break was a good idea. I was a little hesitant, though, wondering how clean the bathroom might be. To my surprise it was not only very clean but had the best reading material! One whole wall was shelved and held a magazine for any type of outdoor sport one could think of, all neatly laid out. I wish I had taken a picture, but it just seemed wrong.

Once we were back on the road, we began looking for a place to have our picnic lunch.  We found a park with picnic tables, but were irritated to read a sign requiring a daily use fee.  After grumbling, we decided to ignore the fee as we weren’t going to be using any other portion of the park. It was windy with a chill in the air so we chose a table in the sun.

 

 

Landscape

 

Our drive south took us through the Pike and San Isobel Forest, then the Rio Grande National Forest and they were beautiful.

 

By robert thigpen from diboll, texas (Stony Pass roadUploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, we made it to our home for the week! Wyndham, Pagosa Springs.

 

Our Unit

 

Once we had unloaded the truck, the ladies headed out to Wal-Mart to pick up some grocery items for breakfast. By the time we returned it was dark and an unexpected visitor had surprised my husband as he glanced out the sliding glass door. I’m glad he was able to capture this picture.

 

Just checking out the new neighbors!

 

We made it an early night as we had big plans for the next day, here is a hint.

 

Florida Butterflies~Giant Swallowtail

9 Jan

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

The giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes Cramer, is a striking, wonderfully “exotic”-looking butterfly that is abundant in Florida.


It is the largest butterfly species in the United States and Canada with a wingspan within the ranges of 4 to 6 inches. The wings are colored black or blackish brown and feature yellow banding on both the fore and hind wing dorsally. Each hind wing tail features a yellow-orange colored eye, the eye can also appear reddish yellow. Another single blue band can be distinguished above the eye. Distinction between males and females is very difficult as both sexes are similar, however, females feature longer wing spans than males as adults. The larval or caterpillar stage is very large and can be considered a pest due to its habit of feeding on the foliage of most Citrus species. They are refered to as “orangedogs” A few can quickly defoliate small or young plants. However, larvae can be tolerated on large dooryard citrus trees in order to enjoy the soon-to-develop magnificent adult butterfly stage
 The giant swallowtail is widely distributed throughout the American continent. Its range extends from southern New England across the northern Great Lakes states, into Ontario, through the southern portions of the Central Plains to the Rocky Mountains. The species ranges southward to Florida and the Caribbean, into the southwestern United States, and on through Mexico to Central and South America.


The giant swallowtail is very common throughout the entire state of Florida. It is active throughout the year in southern Florida, and is common in northern Florida, except in January and February. The giant swallowtail is very distinct from all other swallowtails found in Florida.


Adult butterflies sip nectar from many flowers and are common, but spectacular, visitors to butterfly gardens. Identified nectar sources include azalea, bougainvillea, Japanese honeysuckle, goldenrod, dame’s rocket, bouncing Bet, and swamp milkweed. They may also sip liquid from manure. A collective name for a group of butterflies is called a ‘Kaleidoscope.


Adult males patrol flyways through pine woods or citrus groves searching for females. Flight is very strong and leisurely, and the butterflies may glide long distances between wing beats.



Courtship and copulation occur in the afternoon.


The five larval instars stages differ in appearance but they all share a resemblance to bird droppings. Younger instars are more realistic bird-dropping mimics due to their smaller size. Mature larvae usually rest on stems or leaf petioles, but younger larvae often rest in plain view on the upper surfaces of leaves where bird droppings would be expected.
Below is a newly hatched larva of the giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes Cramer.
They are refured to as  “CATS”in this fuzzy instar stage.


 Larvae defend themselves against predators (both insects and vertebrates) and parasitic insects by being less visible through cryptic coloration and pattern like resembling bird droppings.


The larvae possess an osmeterium, an orange or reddish Y-shaped eversible gland that is located mid-dorsally behind the head. When attacked by small predators, the larva extrudes the gland and attempts to wipe it against the attacker. The osmeterium of fourth and fifth instars contains a highly noxious, pungent mixture of chemicals.



The top photo, the caterpillar just shed it’s last skin and attached itself to a stick with silk and sling.

 Below it has become a hardened chrysalis and will go through metamorphasis for about 10 days before emerging into a beautiful butterfly.


Below is a newly emerged Giant Swallowtail. Wings inflated but not dry. Before the wings totally dry, this is a perfect opportunity to effortlessly take beautiful butterfly photos.

Take your photos when there is plenty of light. Shoot many different angles. Use a flash when the sun is behind the butterfly. Otherwise, best with natural light. I will talk more about photographing butterflies later.
Next week we will explore the Gulf Frittilary butterfly.

 

 

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.

Hanging Out the Clothes

8 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

 

 

Hanging Out the Clothes 1950

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites from Go West

 

Under the clothesline.

Light layer of snow on the ground

Mother bends down and reaches up

Bends down and reaches up

She tells me this is how the cord

Got wrapped around my neck

Before I was born

 

She teaches me how to hang clothes on the line

I like the pinching clothespins best

But we still have some old wooden ones

From which you can make dolls with round faces

We only have so many clothespins

Use only one to clip like things together

Shirts, Towels, jeans, dresses, sock,

A lone sock requires its own clothespin

Oh-oh, here’s dad’s boxer shorts

Upside down or by the waist?

When it’s time to take them in

Everything has frozen

The boxers stand on the table

It’s the perfect time to start ironing

But day is done and shadows fall

Christmas is About Your Eternity

7 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Every day, Fred and I receive an e-mail message from Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in California.

He brings to mind thoughts that help us through our daily lives. He brings Jesus to the forefront of our lives. But on December 24, 2017 – just a few short weeks ago, he sent a message that touched my heart. He titled it Christmas is About Your Eternity.

Here is a link to that website, so you can read it in its entirety. I wouldn’t want you to miss a word of it.

Pastor Rick really has a gift of words, and oh! how he uses them. Of course, that may be a product of his being a preacher/pastor!

But one of the most profound things he says in this message is:

God wants to share eternity with you. [emphasis mine]

From his article:

God wants to spend eternity with you, so he made the way to him simple: You believe, and you receive. You believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and you receive him into your life. God sent his Son to Earth 2017 years ago to die for you. That’s God’s very first Christmas gift, sent to you thousands of years before you were even born.

That is such a profound thought to me. Not only did God create me…He created me to live throughout all eternity with Him! And included in that time without time, will be my Mother, my Father, my brother, my brother’s wife, my husband, my children and their children…and all my ancestors that have believed in God as Lord and Saviour!! What a fantastic time that will be!! I am eager to see them all – and meet all those ancestors that I have only heard about!

But the best thing will be meeting my God, face to face, and knowing that He loved me so much that he sent his one and only Son to this earth to die on that cross for my sins. He took all my punishment on Himself that day. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to Him for that. The freedom that gives me. The love that just wraps me up in its arms, is something that is beyond my comprehension!

And, as Pastor Rick says, that is a Christmas gift that is immeasurable!

My Pastor Rick Steele, Associate Pastor/Minister of Music at our church, presented a scripture to me many years ago – when I was in the midst of my cancer, and I would like to quote it here. It has meant so much to me through the years. It is a prayer of King David:

David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.”

1 Chronicles 29:10-11 (NIV)

To God be the Glory!!

 

 

 

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