Archive by Author

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.

True confidence is only possible if you take this step

27 Apr

Reblogged April 27, 2019

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

A while back when I was writing novels, I was stuck, really stuck. In writing a story, I ran into a wall of nothing. My creative flair had reached a dead end. I tried to add spice to a scene I was crafting, but…had nothing but blank thoughts!

The only thing to do was to push myself away from my desk. I hopped in the shower to get ready for my weekly prayer meeting at church.

Hmm, maybe…

A friend picked me up, and on the way, I thought, “Maybe this time away from writing, maybe God will give me the wisdom and creativity to finish the scene.

Maybe? Like a summer thunder in Orlando, the thought clapped in my head and the notion struck me. I realized my error, my huge mistake and bizarre blunder. I leaned on the maybe God would help me.

Why would I think that? Is the God of the universe, a God of maybe? And is a faithful Lord with power, compassion and mercy a God of maybe?

I pressed the delete key in my mind and promptly erased the maybe notion.

I’m not a maybe believer, but a for sure child of God. A daughter of the King who counts on certainty, assurance, confidence and security in Him.

Well, you guessed it.

I came home and the scene I needed to write flooded my mind with ease.

You may not be writing a novel, but jotting down your sadness with tears instead. Perhaps you’re facing a blank page with no solutions. A health diagnosis with no promises of healing. Or a relationship that ended in sorrow.

Whatever the burden, uncertainty or emptiness, God is not a maybe God. From now on, when shaken by life’s ugliness, the beauty of God’s mighty abilities triumphs. His supernatural ability conquers all. His timing is never less than perfect. His love chases you night and day. His restoration complete and rich that is yours as you sit still in the waiting room of patience.

And His Word that dispels lies and whispers truth to your spirit.

All aren’t traits of a maybe God, but a nothing-is-impossible-for-me God.

That’s why, as you read this, He’s speaking to you, “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 the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10 ).

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for removing my “maybe” mentality and embracing Your emphatic “yes” promises instead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How deep is your confidence in God’s ability to resolve your burden?



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.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

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.

Magnolias and Bees

5 Jun

A Tme to Live

Melody Hendrix



The beautiful magnolia trees are blooming now. As I was walking in my back yard I was admiring the spectacular flowers. I knew there were bees on the flowers, but stood there and really watched what they were doing.

I was fascinated to watch these bees frolicking around in the pollen, conveniently collected by cupped shaped flower petals. The pollen would stick to the hairs on the bee’s body. Then they would scrap it off and pack it around their legs as saddlebags. Then take their nourishing treasure back to the hive.

Some of the bees seemed rather clumsy as they wallowed around.

Some even tumbling and falling. The wasp looking insect is actually a harmless yellow jacket hoover FLY. Beautiful markings to mimic and protect.

Nature is awesome. Enjoy!





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.


29 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



A few months ago, in some pollywogs that took up residence in my broken water fountain.



I had never really looked at them close up. So I photographed them.



They are comical little creatures. Then they transform into cute little frogs.





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.

Sacred water……Precious gift

22 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



For thousands of years water has been among the main religious symbols.Water is a symbol of life as well as a means of cleansing or purification


Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14

Water, then, is a most beautiful element and rich in usefulness, and purifies from all filth, and not only from the filth of the body but from that of the soul. We can see from this the belief common in the Old Testament, that water is a mystically powerful element, which, being connected with God in some way, can cleanse sins, inner and outer defilement, and regenerate the human body.

The flow of a river from its source to the sea may also signify the flow of life from birth to death. A winding stream is a symbol of the tortuous course of human life. To descend a river can also be understood as symbolic of life’s journey down the “River of Life”.


One of the many special properties of water, listed among the Facts about Water, is that it is one of the best-known solvents. On a daily basis, many people, and animals, use water to help remove dirt and grime from their bodies.

Since ancient times, washing has signified literally and metaphorically a process of cleansing, of purification, of transformation, even metamorphosis.

Water is an essential part of all life on the globe. Plant and animal could not live without water. Water ensures food security, livestock security, maintains organic life, industrial production and to conserve the biodiversity and environment. Hence, there could no life without water.  So far we know, earth is the only planet that God gifted with water and this makes it fit for human living and other living organisms to exist on it.

Directly or indirectly, water affects all facets of life.

Without it, there would be no vegetation on land, no oxygen for animals to breathe and the planet would look entirely different. Water is necessary to keep people’s bodies and the environment healthy and should be valued and protected as the precious resource it is. The water you drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some of Earth’s groundwater is fossil water, created when Earth’s climate was far different.

There is the same amount of freshwater on earth as there always has been, but the population has exploded, leaving the world’s water resources in crisis.Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snow fields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.



Humanity’s growing thirst also poses a major problem for aquatic ecosystems. “When we take water from rivers, floodplains, and watersheds, those ecosystems bear the brunt of water scarcity and begin to be degraded or disappear.



Half of the world’s 500 most important rivers – water sources for hundreds of millions of people – are being seriously depleted or polluted.  A large percentage of the rivers in the U.S. are too polluted for fishing and swimming.Water shortages will likely be a fact of life for most people on the planet within the next ten years. We are facing dirtier, unsafe water and more risk of water shortages and scarcity. This crisis is real, it’s happening now and it’s getting worse fast.



Sacred water… precious gift.   Water is the cradle and source of life on earth. It is a sacred gift.





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.


8 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



I was born and raised in Florida. As a kid, I hated wearing shoes and still do. My friends and I walked everywhere enjoying the outdoors and exploring nature. In the evening when dinner and chores were done, I stretched out on the couch with my feet in Mother’s lap, and she pulled sandspur splinters out with tweezers. She was so gentle that I fell asleep during the operation.





Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s our family had little money. Our mother was widowed twice before she was twenty-five years old, and she ended up with four kids to look after on her own. She knew about pain and she knew about life. We children were her life, and she allowed us to be as carefree as possible. Sometimes, though, if she thought we needed chastising, she would call out a name, which many times was the wrong name. We thought it was funny, and our laughter got her back into a good mood. When Mom wanted to let me know I was in trouble, she’d call me, “Melody Jane.” In these cases, Jane was a bad-girl name. My friends heard it a few times and thought Jane was my middle name. Most of the time, though, Mom called me Honey-Dear.

Mom started working in at a bicycle shop in Winter Park. She and the owner fell in love and got married. He was the only father I knew. He had two boys, so now we had six kids in the family. But mostly they lived with their grandparents. When school was out, Mom’s kids sat in the business office until time to go home. It was a boring few hours, so mom did her best to keep us entertained. She’d put several layers of red polish on her nails and let us peel them off. She gave us long ball chains to dribble into circles which we pretended were pies. Sometimes we linked several together and made an extra-large pie.




Whenever I was sick I told no one, but somehow Mom always knew. She knew what to do, too. I marveled at that even as a kid. She would kiss the patient’s forehead to take their temperature. If it was high, the child was allowed to stay home from school and Mom bought him or her an inexpensive toy from the five and dime. The favored medicine was a cup of hot tea with cream and sugar and a piece of toast to dip. To this day, that is a healing comfort when I’m not well.

I recall thrifty foods Mom invented. She cut the crust off a slice of white bread, layered butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then rolled it into a ball. Yum. A slice of white bread could end up on a plate with sugar and milk over it, and we ate it with a fork. She cooked macaroni and mixed in a can of stewed tomatoes and to this day I love that combination.

I still have a picture etched in my mind of the last day time I saw Mom alive. She had on a pretty denim Capris outfit with embroidery on the legs of it. After our visit, I started to walk out to my car. I turned to look back. She stood there smiling and waving. I waved and went on, but when I realized I hadn’t hugged her or told her I loved her, I thought I should go back. For some unknown reason I decided not to. Instead, I got in the car and drove away. I would never get to hug her or tell I loved her again. But you know, somehow I think she knew it and I believe she knows it still.





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.

Take a Hike

1 May


A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

As far back as I remember, I have felt a deep connection to the natural world. Even as a kid, I felt a longing to explore when I saw a patch of woods. I would wonder, what mysteries lies beyond the palms, what earth treasures might I find in the mossy limbs of the oaks.  What creatures roam there?

Going out in nature wasn’t something my family did, so I am not sure how or why I was born with such a strong lure to seek out the answers to the mystery of nature. Today that connection is there, stronger than ever. When I want to find peace, and well being, I spend at least a few hours walking somewhere that isn’t man made. Where the sounds sooth the soul and the presence of old trees awakens your sense of place. The smell of earth and life renewing itself, all encompass my being in the love of God. Thank you dear Lord for your precious gifts.


And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.  unknown

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world   John Muir



Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.  David Suzuki



In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.  Aristotle


Florida provides a unique hiking experience in the United States. Our hiking season, is October to April, and the best backpacking is January through March. Florida is so diverse in environments and scenic habitats. We have forests, rivers, lakes, springs, swamps and ocean.

Hiking in Florida can be tough but so rewarding. Education is the key to keeping you safe and comfortable so you are free to totally enjoy the beauty of Gods creation.

If you know what is out there, what to avoid and how, what to enjoy and how, you don’t have to fear the unknown and can free yourself to be at peace.

Florida is a beautiful and diverse state. The link below will guide you to a wonderful and safe outdoor experience. There are also many driving trails available in Florida. This is a great alternative in the heat of the buggy summer.




Log off, shut down ….  Go outside





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.


%d bloggers like this: