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18 Feb


Judy Wills




Seems like I’ve written before about peacocks. I remember my mother telling me that my grandmother had peacocks in her yard in San Antonio, Texas.



I remember her telling me that one time I was sitting on the steps of the back of Granny’s house, eating a peanut butter sandwich. Mom and Granny heard me let out a shriek and they came running. Apparently that peacock wanted my sandwich as much as I did, and he had just snatched it out of my hands! Naughty bird!

I have always loved to watch peacocks. Their sound is so unique – almost like a child crying. I love their beautifully colored feathers. Perhaps that’s why I developed a distinct love of the color turquoise. That, of course, turned into a love of all things turquoise in jewelry. It didn’t hurt that there is a LOT of turquoise jewelry around New Mexico, where I grew up. I still have a lot of it, and enjoy wearing it. I have some pieces that are quite unique and beautiful, and I always receive compliments on the jewelry when I do wear it.

In any case – back to peacocks. I remember as a child that, when we went to visit Granny and Aunt Jessie in San Antonio, we always went to the zoo. It is an amazing zoo.



I remember riding the elephant there (please see my post of June 9, 2013 – The Elephant Walk). But I especially remember hearing the peacocks crying.



This picture shows something amusing about this beautiful bird – they know they are beautiful and love to find their reflection wherever they can! This was taken at the San Antonio zoo.

We’ve seen some peacocks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom a few times, and enjoyed seeing and hearing them. We haven’t seen them recently, but are told they are still in the park – just not where we are accustomed to seeing them.

Most recently, we joined our daughter, Karen and her husband, Brian, on a visit to Winter Garden, Florida for a few hours. Brian drove us to a lake, where he had heard there were peacocks. We were pleased to see some. Here are a few pictures that we took of them.



What amused us the most about this bird, is that he seemed to see his reflection in the shiny black surface of the car! He kept walking around and looking. He never tried to “peck” at the “other bird,” but he was certainly admiring himself. Unfortunately, he never spread his tail feathers – which is a joy to see.

I asked Brian if he had ever seen a peacock in flight, and he said no. I had recently seen a collection of pictures of peacocks in flight. Here are a few of them. They are truly amazing! I thought that, with that long tail, either that they could not fly, or were flightless birds. Wrong on both counts. I searched Google and found these:


Credit Google search and boredpanda – Image credits: reddit

Credit Google search and boredpanda – Image credits: imgur

Credit Google search and boredpanda – Image credits: Chandrashekar Badami


They are truly magnificent birds. Enjoy the pictures!


God Will Never Let You Go

11 Feb


Judy Wills



A few weeks ago, I was reading the daily post from Pastor Rick Warren, and it touched my heart. He takes a scripture and just brings it to life, so that it means something to me on this day of my life.

One of the most important things that he said was this:

No matter how bad life gets, you can rest in one important truth: God won’t stop loving you.

Have you ever thought that God was just so far away from you that He had turned His back on you? That you thought you had done something so horrible that there was absolutely NO WAY that God could look at you and love you? If that is how you feel just remember:

No matter how bad life gets, you can rest in one important truth: God won’t stop loving you.

Pastor Rick quoted a scripture:

“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are — high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean — nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us” (Romans 8:38-39 TLB).

Pastor Rick went on to say:

That truth should be one of the most important sources of joy in your life!
Isn’t that amazing? And he also went on to say something that just reached out and grabbed me:

But God won’t let go of you — ever. Once you put your hand in his, it’s there to stay.

That is a belief that I’ve held onto my entire life. While Pastor Rick says That’s an unimaginable source of joy for the believer, that is also one of the most important sources of hope (confidence) and strength in my life. I’ve experienced that hope (confidence) and strength in my own life – especially when I was going through cancer (please see my very first post, September 16, 2012, Safe).

God has never let me go – and I’m absolutely convinced that He never will


Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren~Part 3

4 Feb


Judy Wills





KATIE – Part 3

Another note about our granddaughter, Katie.

She and her brother, Forrest, both studied Spanish for several years in high school. I’m not sure whether or not she ever really had a reason to use it, or how fluent she was with it, but I do know of one instance where she did.

Every Christmas, we usually have one of our daughters and their families with us for the holiday. Upon occasion, both of our daughters come down for the holiday. While we have three bedrooms, we actually only have one guest room. It can get a little sticky with all those people here, but we love the challenge.

In previous years, one of our church families that lives nearby, usually went home to Grandma’s house, so Karen and her family would “house sit” their house and take care of their cats. However, the last time we had both daughters and families here, that family decided to stay home.

Just in passing, in a conversation with Jan (Janet) and Gene Eckles (Jan is another blogger with Old Things R New), they invited Karen’s family to stay with them! And so they did.

What is neat about all this, is that Jan and her family are from Bolivia, and she and her parents speak Spanish. Katie had an occasion to converse with Jan’s parents – in Spanish! I think it was a joy to all parties involved in the conversation! It certainly touched my heart to hear about it! Jan says that her parents still talk about that conversation with Katie. She made quite an impression on them!

Our Katie is a girl of many facets. She is fun-loving,


and she is serious.



She has been on several mission trips: to New Mexico,



and to Guatemala.



She loves her job as a stage manager – and she loves to study the Bible.



She is a serious student of the Bible and is in love with her Lord.



She is a joy to all who know her.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know our girl just a little bit. She is a joy to us, too.

Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren~ Katie Part 2

28 Jan


Judy Wills 



I mentioned last time that we have two sets of grandchildren – one set (boy and girl) from our oldest daughter, and one set (boy and girl – twins) from our youngest daughter.

I also mentioned that our oldest granddaughter, Katie, has complained that I have written about all the grandchildren except her! So I wrote that post for Katie. And so is this one. I’ve remembered some things about her that I would like to share.

I mentioned that Katie has recently graduated with a degree in Theatre Design and Management. Her specialty is stage management. And she’s very good at it! When she was here back in September of 2017, Fred and I took her to see La Nouba at the Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs. Fred and I have seen it several times, but Katie had never seen it. While I knew she would enjoy the show – it is very much like a three-ring circus at times!! – I also knew she would be keeping an eye on all the production end of the performance. That’s just her nature now. She did just that, all the while enjoying that magnificent performance. We are sorry to see it ending in 2017. We hope they will bring another type of performance like La Nouba to this venue.

Katie, Karen and Brian came down for a visit January 1st this year for a few days. The weather was not the best, and so we thought to do some things indoors. One of the things we did was to take them to Disney. Well, we parked the car at the Polynesian Resort at Magic Kingdom, hopped aboard the Monorail, and got off at all the resorts along the Monorail track. We saw all the Christmas decorations still up in the Grand Floridian Resort, and Polynesian Resort, and the Contemporary Resort. It’s a fun thing to do, and free. And Disney really does it up right!


Credit Google Search – Grand Floridian Resort

Here’s a picture of her in front of the Gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Resort.



While at the Contemporary Resort, we came upon a “Gingerbread” stand – there was a small gingerbread house, with a booth where one could purchase a cookie and cider.


Credit Google Search – Contemporary Resort

As we were ogling the display, we noticed a remote-controlled BB-8 rolling around. It rolled toward Katie, and stopped and “looked up” at her. Katie was enthralled!! It is a memory to keep, for sure! (P.S. – in case you don’t know who BB-8 is – it is a robot from the Star Wars series)



Karen told me once that Katie had asked her why Grandpa (Fred) called everyone “Jack?” Well, you see, when Fred gets upset with other drivers, he says things like, “where did YOU learn to drive, Jack??” And other goodies. Just a name he pulled out of the hat to call other drivers.

I know there are other funny and adorable things about Katie that I will remember in future times, but at the moment, these are for my readers to enjoy. I have most certainly enjoyed remembering them and putting them to paper.

Katie – I love you! Granny



















Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren

21 Jan


Judy Wills





Fred and I have two sets of grandchildren – one set (boy and girl) from our oldest daughter, and one set (boy and girl – twins) from our youngest daughter. There is a wide age difference between the two sets – about 12 years in fact. So while they know each other, and probably like each other, they don’t really see each other that often.

Our oldest granddaughter, Katie, has complained that I have written about all the grandchildren except her! So this one is for Katie. As I think of or remember other things that have happened in her life, I will share them.

Since we moved to Florida when Katie was just a little thing, most of the time that family has come to visit during the Christmas holidays. Therefore, Katie has seen our house almost exclusively decorated for Christmas. It’s really funny to have her visit now – at a non-Christmas time and as she looks around the house and exclaim that “this is just wrong!” We have to rearrange the furniture in the living room to accommodate the Christmas tree that is placed in the center of the front windows. I guess she feels it should always be there – because that’s the way she remembers it.

They arrived one year for Christmas and I had made a different arrangement on the kitchen bar. The minute she walked in, she said, “that’s wrong! Where is the candle you usually have here?” So she got out that candle and replaced it with what I had done already. She’s a hoot!

Katie was a good student in school, and has recently graduated with a degree in Theatre Design and Management. Her specialty is stage management. And she’s very good at it! We were visiting with them last November, and were able to see a stage play that she had managed. She did the lighting and the sound, all by herself – in addition to being the stage manager! She has managed about 10 shows in the Chicago area. Five or six of them were in college, with some being the assistant stage manager, but she has managed four professionally, and is currently working two shows at the same time.

While in high school and college, she actually performed in some plays. Perhaps that’s where she felt the itch to manage. Here she is in a play. Her character was “Sadness.”

On another note, when our daughters surprised me for a late 75th birthday in Virginia last year (see my post  Surprise!)



Karen asked Katie if she was prepared to be idolized for the weekend. When Katie asked her what she meant, Karen said that her cousin, Hannah, would probably hang on Katie’s every word that weekend! And she did! It was so fun to watch.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~











Memories From My Childhood

14 Jan


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.

Christmas is About Your Eternity

7 Jan


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!!




Tips for Christmas

31 Dec


Judy Wills




(1st Corinthians 13 A Christmas Version)

I must admit – I enjoy spending time on Facebook. Okay…I spend too MUCH time on fb! But I have found some good recipes along the way, as well as some profound thoughts and ideas.

I know that Christmas for 2017 is passed, but this “newspaper” clipping was presented on fb recently, and I thought it might be something you – and I – might like to cut out, paste on the refrigerator door, and apply to Christmas 2018.

See what you think:





Christmas is Coming!!~Part 4

24 Dec


Judy Wills




More Christmas memories.


I have so many fond memories of my time growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



Of course, it’s all I knew – we didn’t move around, once we landed in Albuquerque. But that’s why Albuquerque is so precious to me. It is home – even though I’ve not lived there since Fred and I married – 56½ years ago! Of course, home now is wherever Fred is. And that suits me just fine.

I had a memory “flash” through my brain recently, and thought I might share it with you who read my posts.

I had a great time with my maternal grandmother.



She was “Granny” to me, not Grandmother, or Grandma, or any other of those names for Grandmother that have come about. And because I loved her so much, when our grandchildren started coming up, I said I would like to be “Granny” to them as well. My Granny lived just 10 minutes away from our house. Unfortunately, all our grandchildren are least 12 HOURS away from us. It’s a little difficult being the favorite grandmother long distance!

In any case, I remember one Christmas in particular that the gift I received from Granny was so special to me, that I’ve never forgotten it. You see, Granny was a secret smoker. I guess, back in those days (1950’s), it really wasn’t a nice thing for women to do, so she would leave the house and go smoke in the back yard behind the garage – whether ours or hers. But when she came in, she was always chewing Doublemint gum.


Credit Google Search


I’m sure she thought it covered her smokers breath. She never said she was a smoker, and we never mentioned it to her.

All that to say that, on that particular Christmas morning, when I unwrapped my Christmas gift from Granny – it was a whole BOX of Doublemint gum….just for me!!


Credit Google Search

She knew I loved that gum, and that present, while not all that expensive, was one from her heart to mine. She knew I would enjoy that gum so much – and she was right! I thought of her every time I took a stick of that gum and chewed it. I was sorry to get to the end of that box of gum.

Such a small memory, but a delicious one for me. One I’ve forgotten occasionally, but sometimes it just pops back into my head.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day 2017. May God’s blessings be upon all of you. May you know the JOY of being God’s child, and having the comfort and direction of the Holy Spirit living within you each and every day. May He guide your footsteps, and direct your paths to His righteousness. May you spend eternity nestled in the bosom of the one and only, loving, forever…..God Almighty! Hallelujah and Amen!!






Christmas is Coming~Part 3

17 Dec

Judy Wills




More Christmas memories.

I have always enjoyed music. I’m not a terrific pianist, but I get by. Unfortunately, I usually have to have the music sheet in front of me in order to play anything. I don’t have the gift of “playing by ear.” I wish I did, but God didn’t give me that talent.



I have always loved to sing. As I mentioned in another post, my first memory of singing was my first grade class’s Christmas program. I think I did a solo to Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I’ve been in choirs of some sort all my life, especially the church choirs. But I was also in school choirs, as well. (Please see my post of October 16, 2016, titled Music to my Ears)

I have one Christmas musical memory that is precious to me. We were stationed at Tyndall AFB, Florida (Panama City, Florida), and I had joined the Officer Wives Club singing group. We performed for quite a few venues throughout the Christmas season, doing our Christmas music.


Photo credit
 Credit Google search


This one particular time, we were performing our Christmas program for anyone on Tyndall who would like to come to a concert. We did the performance in the Chapel, since it held a large number of people.



I had told Fred to bring the girls, to enjoy the concert. As I recall, they sat near the front of the Chapel. We sang quite a few songs, then I was to do a solo…I Wonder as I Wander. Since I had always done a bit of public speaking, it was my habit to look at the “audience” as I was speaking – or in this case, singing. As I looked out at the audience, I happened to look at my family. While Fred and Karen were invested in my song, when I looked at Janet (she was about five years old at this time), I nearly stopped singing for joy! Her little mouth was open to an “O” and her eyes were saucers! She was completely swept up in Mommy singing!

Perhaps she had never heard me singing before. I’m not sure. I’m only sure that she was entranced with her mother singing. The look on her face was one I’ve never forgotten. It is so precious a memory for me.

That’s one sweet Christmas memory I won’t forget.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued through Christmas~~~~~~~~~~

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