Archive | Onisha Ellis On the Porch- Thursday RSS feed for this section

And 2023 is Here

6 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We are almost a week into a new year. December is a pleasant blur. We celebrated the holidays in the North Carolina mountains. Our daughter drove up from warm and sunny Florida just in time to experience very unusual cold temperature.

Shortly after she arrived, the temperatures sank as far as 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -17 degrees celsius. She enjoyed the frigid weather, I did too in between praying that our water pipes would not freeze.

In recent years we have adopted a traditional Christmas afternoon drive.This year it was too cold and the roads were still icy so we delayed our drive for a day. We stayed cozy in our PJs, drank homemade eggnog and watched Christmas movies.

We live close to several waterfalls and people on Facebook were sharing pictures of them being frozen. This is not an every year occurrence and I was excited on the 26th to to see them.

We were unable to visit our favorite Dry Falls. The parking lot was full and traffic was backed up into the highway. Even so, it was a fun and memorable day. All too soon, the day arrived for our daughter to return to Florida.

She left at 7:30 am and at 9:00 am were on our way to celebrate Christmas with cousins near Boone, NC. We had reserved an adorable small cottage not far from our cousins house. To our amazement and delight, the modern furnishings were accented with an assortment of antiques. I had never seen a fan like this one.

There was also an assortment of vintage Tonka trucks and a lot of pewter pieces.

2023 arrived with no fanfare or loud fireworks and after a pleasant but tiring day with my cousins, we slept peacefully in the cozy cottage. A nice way to enter a new year. We only spent two nights at the cottage but I hope we can return and stay longer.

On January 3rd we had an unexpected visitor. My husband opened the front door and the visitor flew past my husband and made itself at home.

Not going. No way no how.

It had been a long day and we were tired but my husband tried to be gentle with our visitor. It gave us quite a bit of exercise trying to convince it to depart. After almost an hour, it finally decided to fly through the open door to the garage. We shut it quickly and decided to help it make its way out of the garage the next day. We didn’t see the little bird after that. We think it flew out when we raised the garage door.

Severe thunder storms were predicted for overnight and man, they were not wrong.. Booms, crashing and vivid lightning seemed to go on and on. Thunder in the mountains creates a serous echo! The next morning I checked my new rain gauge.

Soon, we will close up our mountain house to spend winter and part of spring in Florida with our daughter. We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy both the cool temperatures of the mountains and the sunshine and color of a Florida winter. We will catch up with precious friends, worship at our home church and maybe even throw in a trip to Disney World. A big plus…fast internet! Our mountain internet is awful and drives me to distraction

2023 is here and I will rejoice and be glad. In the blink of the eye, 2024 will be here.

Bookmobile Girl

15 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I always wanted to be able to read.

Do you remember Saturday morning television cartoons? Each one began with opening credits and the cartoon title.

I remember lying on the floor watching them with my older brothers. And I would get so mad! I knew that when the music began, the title of the cartoon would appear on the screen and I couldn’t read it. And just to be plain mean my brothers would refuse to read it to me. I would whine loudly to our mother, poor mom.

Looking back on this memory, I realize I may have had some issues, like wanting to know everything.

I could definitely read by the time this picture was taken. Just threw it in for a visual.

And I really, really wanted to be able to read. Which is odd since neither of my parents were into reading.

I have two distinct memories of second grade. It was the year I gave my heart to Jesus and I learned to read. Both changed my life forever.

Second grade began badly for me. In my time, on the first day of school we went to the auditorium and we were seated by grade level. Then the teachers of each grade would call the names of their new students. The teacher would gather her new ones together and off they would go to their room. To my horror, my name was called by a teacher I was terrified of. She was really tall, thin and had red hair. She wore very high heels that looked dangerous but worst of all, she had a very loud voice. During first grade when she was the lunch monitor she yelled and looked menacing. Nothing like my sweet first grade teacher.

I would come to love that woman. She taught me to read. And unlike numbers, I had no trouble at all. Once I learned the letter sounds I began reading and never stopped. (Ha! So there big brothers.)

At the school library I checked out as many books as I was allowed, but the selection was limited. Then I discovered the Bookmobile.

“Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.” 

This is very like the one in Florida. I think it made its round to our area every two weeks. It was the highlight of my weeks. The “library ladies” were so kind. They knew what we regulars liked to read and made sure they had a selection. As I remember, the bookmobile came after school and I remember walking home, juggling my treasures.

I do most of my reading now on a tablet. I was a die hard hold out for paper books, but aging eyes nudged me into digital. A few weeks ago, I opened my tablet to bring up one of my devotional books. I was overcome with my bounty of books, good books, that I have yet to read. And I don’t even have to walk to the bookmobile. God truly does delight in giving us the smallest desires of our hearts.

Second grade was a very good year.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

From My Heart

24 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I spoke with my son on the phone yesterday. I never take that for granted. You see, in September of 2021 my son had Covid really bad. As on a ventilator bad. The prognosis wasn’t good. In his early 40s he had tons of co-morbidities. He was in a local community hospital and eventually transferred by helicopter to a major medical center over 300 miles away. (Truly a God thing.)

And as per Protocol, no one could be with him. It was traumatic for those who love him. But praise God, after more than two weeks in the hospital he was off the ventilator and able to go home.

Here is what I want to share. As we talked about his time in the hospital, he said he didn’t remember anything. Not going to the local hospital, not been intubated. Nothing except being asleep and having weird dreams.

We were devastated that he was alone. My mother heart could barely endure that.without the comfort that only God can give, I don’t think I could have endured it at all. Yet, our son doesn’t recall experiencing any anxiety.

As we talked I felt that sharing his experience might bring comfort to the heart of someone whose loved one didn’t survive and was alone.

I truly don’t know if his experience was the norm, but I hope it was.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

The Missing Fork

19 Nov

One the Porch

Onisha Ellis

On Wednesday we spent hours at an out of town hospital while my husband underwent an entire day of medical tests. I had prepared by packing a lunch bag with cheese and nuts to snack on and since it was cold I also wore a hoodie( With The Chosen logo on it. Mine is teal.)

Photo Credit https://thechosengifts.com/products/against-the-current-zip-up-limited-edition-hoodie

I don’t do waiting well so I had slipped my Kindle into my purse to ease the boredom. I do reading well.

To break up the time I decided to get a light lunch in the cafeteria. By now, I had shed the hoodie during a hot flash and I didn’t want to put it back on but I did so I wouldn’t have to carry it. The cafeteria was a good distance but I found it with no problem thanks to excellent signage. There were multiple serving stations and after wandering past each, I chose a delicious chicken salad sandwich on thick pumpernickel. Not Keto but really good. It came with a side of coleslaw. And of course I had to have a cup of coffee.

I paid and found a nice table by a window and spread out to eat. I removed my hoodie, draping it over the back of my chair then I sat my purse in another chair and the lunch bag on the table. The sandwich and coleslaw were in a Styrofoam container and as I opened it and laid out the napkins and coleslaw I realized I didn’t have a fork for the coleslaw. I looked around at all my stuff and just didn’t want to get up and go get a fork. So I prayed, “God would you please send someone, to my table with a fork? They don’t have to know why.”. And I waited expectantly. And no one brought me a fork. 

I decided rather than gathering up all my stuff to go and find a fork I would eat my sandwich and then gather it all up and go in search of a fork. I put the Styrofoam and napkins and cup into a nearby trashcan and was walking around with the empty tray when a young man who worked there asked if I was looking for the tray return. He was so sweet and pointed me in that direction. I looked at him and said actually I’m looking for a fork. He pointed to the direction I needed. Turns out the forks are in the opposite direction to the tray return and it was very easy to find. I got the fork and found another table to sit and eat the coleslaw.

So maybe God didn’t send me a fork but he did send me someone to tell me where to find one. Plus I now knew where to find the tray return.

A note about The Chosen

The Chosen series is telling the story of Jesus over 7 seasons. Throw out your preconceived ideas of a Christian production. This is beautifully filmed and produced and it is totally free to watch. Each season is crowdfunded through donations and the sale of branded items. Additionally, last Christmas a special theatre viewing was offered for those who desired a big screen experience. It was then made free for in home viewing. This week the premiere of the first two episodes of season 3 is showing in theaters and I hope to be able to attend. If not, it will be available online and on some TV channels. I hope you will check it out. Let me know if you do!

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

We Did It!

20 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We are blessed to spend part of the year in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountains are beautiful in every season drawing visitors from across the globe. But the two weeks of peak fall color entices a steady stream of visitors to view and enjoy the foliage.

Fo that reason, we tend to not venture onto any of the well known scenic drives until “peak” is over. We are not fond of heavy traffic and since we are privileged to enjoy the whole Fall season, we are content to leave the scenic drives to our visitors.

But this year we did it! Monday we packed a lunch and joined the “leafers.”( My pet name for our Fall visitors.) The Parkway is 469 miles in length going through North Carolina and Virginia. We accessed the Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam Mountain and exited at the city of Ashevile, North Carolina, about 50 miles. It was fun, the colors were gorgeous and since it was a weekday, the traffic was light.

The squiggly yellow green line is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The abrupt explosion of color as we joined up with the Parkway was surprising. My theory is that the Parkway winds through forests undisturbed by urban sprawl. I quickly recorded a short video to share with our daughter in Florida.

Here are some random photos. The Parkway has a lot of tunnels. Honk, honk!

When I packed our lunch, I included a plastic tablecloth as some of the scenic overlooks have picnic tables. The temperature was in the 50s with some wind. A bit too chilly for us so we decided to choose a pretty view and enjoy our picnic in the car. We were very happy to have hot coffee in a thermos bottle to warm us up.

Hubby stayed in the car, but he agreed to let me take his picture.

With health issues, all of our days aren’t good. Thankful we can create memories on the good days, that warm our hearts on the not so good. I’m glad we did it.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

Nothing Much

13 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I think we are settled back into mountain life after our time in Florida. We’ve restocked our freezer and refrigerator and are ready to enjoy fall. The mornings have been chilly, upper 40s to 50. In the past I would layer my clothes, grab two blankets and enjoy coffee and quiet time on the porch. But this year, I am lazy, so I have my coffee and quiet time inside, then enjoy my second cup on the porch.

It’s been almost two weeks since we put out our hummingbird feeders and we haven’t spied even one. Yesterday I took the feeder down, cleaned and stored it for next year. I am always sad when they migrate south.

When we were in Florida I bought four yellow mum plants that we on sale at Aldi. Last week we visited with friends in South Carolina. After a delicious lunch the ladies left the men home to guard the comfy leather recliners while we ladies visited “the flower man.” He has a name, but I can’t ever remember it. He has several greenhouses in his yard and sells beautiful flowering plants. I chose a flat of darling pansies in several colors. I love how they bloom all winter and I can enjoy their cheerful color over our security camera. I was surprised to see that he was also selling snapdragons. I thought they were only spring and summer flowers. The flower man explained that snapdragons will bloom two or three seasons. I had to get some!

Tuesday my husband planted two of the mums in a large pot that sits on our front walkway. Wednesday he planted one of the mums in a container with snapdragons on each side. I am excited to watch them grow and bloom. In the spring I hope to fill the container with snapdragons.

When we returned from Florida I was delighted to find my geraniums were not only living but thriving. We still have one more mum to put into a pot. I haven’t decided if I will pot it with other flowers or leave it on its own.

When we went down to Florida, we took two of my hanging baskets that don’t tolerate cold, to winter at my daughter’s house. This is the same type of plant, dipladenia, but it was too large to take to Florida at that time. It is so beautiful and I’m glad I get to enjoy its pink and white flowers for a while longer.

The cost of gas has limited our adventures but we hope to take a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway soon to enjoy the Fall color. We are thankful to be able to spend time in these beautiful mountains.

Someone is speaking at the end of the video, not sure who. It is a very popular area. One can walk behind the falls.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

And Then it Was Gone

6 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Earlier this week I wrote a long blog about the days after Hurricane Ian. I spent two hours writing it. Then the internet dropped out and the blog was gone, just gone. What happened to autosave? I decided to view it as a sign that the blog post wasn’t meant to be.

The hurricane damage and tragedies are ongoing, but as in the past, the news coverage moves on while people are still trying to put their lives together again. Sadly it will be a years long process.

We are back in the North Carolina mountains. Every year I am in awe of the vast temperature difference between Florida and the mountains. From hot, sticky and running the air-conditioning, to chilly mornings and heat. I love chilly mornings.

While we were in Florida, I discovered local roast coffee. It is so good! No need for a chain coffee shop. On my last visit to Black Cat coffee I had a cafe leche and my daughter a pumpkins spice latte that was better than the chain shop.

We don’t have local roasters in our mountain town but the beauty of a mountain fall more than compensates.

I love Florida and I love my mountains. I love my forever Florida friends and my new-ish mountain friends. I am blessed.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

Ian is a Turtle that Keeps on Going

29 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Thankful we made it through Hurricane Ian with no loss of electricity.

We are at our daughter’s house and she has inherited the title, Head of Hurricane Preparedness. My mother was the first leader, then the post was passed on to me. I am very happy to have abdicated the job. She is much better at it than I was.

She scours mark down deals in the off season to augment her preparedness stash-battery operated fans, lanterns and a slew of candles. She also filled multiple containers with water. If only she could find a battery operated room air-conditioner! Of course it would have to be on clearance.

It wasn’t intentional…really it wasn’t, but she also is the one who stays awake and alert. To my amazement, since abdicating, I have discovered that I can sleep through a storm. I woke several times last night to make sure my fan was still running. Didn’t even occur to me that it was the weather waking me up. In case you are wondering why my husband isn’t the one to stay awake and alert, the man has always been able to sleep soundly through a storm. But oddly enough, most nights he sleeps poorly. Hmmm…maybe I need to get him a white noise machine of hurricane winds and rain.

As Hurricane Ian downgraded to a tropical storm, it shifted and the eye passed over us. I slept through it. We are still having wind gusts and rain showers and the public is being advised to stay inside. Ian is still a turtle!

The news on our south west coast is not good. Lots of damage from winds and rising water. I haven’t been able to locate actual numbers on loss of life. A lot of speculation going on but each life is precious and even one is tragic. Please remember these people in your prayers as well as those who are actively rescuing people from rising waters. Central Florida is going to experience serious flooding along rivers.

Hurricane Ian is heading north and probably west. It is a headstrong storm, In fact, the breaking news forecast now is that just off our coast, it is recreating itself into a Category 1 hurricane and make landfall at Charleston, South Carolina. I guess that is why the wind here is picking up again. If you are anywhere near the track, don’t ignore it!

Be safe

Like Being Stalked by a Turtle

28 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Wednesday has been a long day. We are on the central east coast of Florida and Ian entered Florida from the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast. It’s predicted track would bring it across the state to exit slightly north of us. Since the hurricane was not supposed to impact us until around 6 pm, my daughter and I decided to run some needed errands. Unfortunately they were 40 miles away. And the rain was torrential. We made the trip safely but it was definitely nerve wracking.

Since then we spent the day doing some last minute baking-bread and brownies. One must have stress food and we don’t eat prepackaged ones. We filled containers with water and the bathtub as well. Later we brewed coffee and put it into a thermos. Must have caffeine if the power goes out. Speaking of power, as of 9:00 pm we still have electric power. Feeling very fortunate as some in our town have lost it.

This is a s-l-o-w moving storm. It is creeping across the state at 9 miles per hour and dropping huge amounts of rain. We have had 6 inches already and we are still experiencing the outer bands. I saw this on Facebook and thought it was perfect.

Prayers for those in South West Florida who have experienced 150 mph winds and homes flooded to the roof. If you are in Florida, I would like to hear how your experiences with Ian. Leave a comment. Well, the wind is picking up suddenly. I need to post this before the power goes.

My Thoughts-Hurricane Ian and New Florida Residents

26 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Well, we almost squeaked by experiencing a hurricane while we are in Florida with our daughter. We planned to return to the mountains to enjoy fall on Thursday and Hurricane Ian is set to arrive to our part of Florida on Wednesday.

I have lived in Florida more than 50 years and have experienced more storms than I can remember. The earliest hurricane I do remember was hurricane Donna in 1960. I have a memory of rocking in an old wooden rocker, listening to the wind, and my parents assuring me that we would be just fine. And we were.

Now as hurricane Ian approaches I am concerned for the thousands of new Florida residents who are newbies to hurricane season. I’m going out on a limb here to share my life experience observations. To be clear, these are my thoughts on coping, not official advice. There are multiple excellent sources of advice on how to prepare for a hurricane.

As I write this on Monday evening, September 26, we are supposed to begin experiencing tropical force winds and rains as early as Tuesday evening. At this time, our location on the east coast of Florida is not expected to face hurricane force winds. But Ian hasn’t cleared Cuba yet. And hurricanes are wonky storms, especially if they slow their forward movement or worse yet, stop moving. Then its anyone’s guess. I remember in August 1992 we went to bed expecting to wake up to Hurricane Andrew. Instead, Andrew made an abrupt beeline for South Florida. We felt very like effects from it but South Florida was devastated.

Hurricane Ian

Photo Credit: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov

So here are my thoughts.

  1. Don’t panic. Prepare
  2. Fill your gas tank a couple of days before the storm’s expected arrival. The gas lines can be insane.
  3. Should you choose to evacuate. From experience, if you even think you might want to leave, make a hotel reservation NOW. And if you are not required to work up to the day before the storm, hurricane prep your home and hit the road. Trust me, evacuation traffic jams are not a picnic. I think we only evacuated twice in over 50 yeas.
  4. Don’t count on the weather channel for your hurricane information. They will scare you!
  5. When/ if the power goes out, you will still want to know what the storm is doing. Since the storm is coming from the west, we will be on the east side to the storm and that side is notorious for throwing out tornados. Find a local TV station with a weather person you like and download their app. In central Florida I like WKMG, website clickorlando.com. Their app is News 6 pinpoint weather.,
  6. Sandbags. County agencies are giving out free sandbags. If you have seen water collecting near your house and or doors during a summer thunderstorm, take advantage of these free bags. They can prevent water from invading your garage and home doorways. (Yes, life experience here.)
  7. Cell phones don’t always work well due to tower damage. We downloaded the Zello app. It is not perfect but it helps to keep in touch with family and friends. I did see that Zello has a business version, my version is free. You can use any push to talk app. Just make sure you set it up with those you want to stay in touch with before the storm.
  8. NewsOn- This news channel app plays on devices like phones, tablets and streaming devices. The search function allows you to choose a state, city and TV station. Family and friends can keep up with what is happening in your location.
  9. Charge your devices! If you have power banks charge them too!
  10. Fans. It is going to be hot once the storm passes. I don’t like being hot. Thankfully our daughter has a couple of battery powered fans that are used for camping. These are not necessary, but they do help.

Here is the link to the National Hurricane Center with detailed lists of prep items.

I hope this was helpful to our new Florida neighbors. We will make it through this storm together and afterwards, we will clean up together. Just be careful with those chain saws and power clippers!

2016 Hurricane

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

%d bloggers like this: