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Dorian Went East But Too Late for Abacco, Bahamas

5 Sep

As Dorian drew closer to us without turning, we grew tired of trying to figure out what to do, so we booked a hotel room inland to wait it out.

Our daughter’s townhouse does not have room to store hurricane boards and we debated buying the plywood for the storm and chalking up not being able to store them as a worthwhile loss. The next problem would be how to hang them. When we owned a home in Florida, we used hurricane clips to hold the boards in place. That way the frame of the window was not damaged. Unfortunately, once a storm approaches the clips disappear quickly from the store shelves. The exterior of her home is solid concrete covered with colored stucco and we were hesitant to drill holes in the wall as her neighbors did.

On Monday we packed up food, water and our daughter’s cat, Mia and headed west. To our surprise, traffic was light, unlike previous evacuations which tend to be bumper to bumper for miles.

This was Mia’s first road trip and we were concerned about how she would handle the stress. She is by nature an introvert. We traveled in two cars and our daughter said that after her initial distress, Mia stopped voicing her anxiety.

Mia lying on Rebekah’s manuscript. All work and no play makes a bored kitty.

Once we made it to the hotel, Mia found the tightest spot she could squeeze into and stay there or another hiding place most of the two days. She did come out in the evening to eat, use the litter box and snuggle up to our daughter.

We were relieved when the storm finally began to move after being stalled for so long over the Bahamas and heartbroken for the people on Abbaco. The pictures from phones on Facebook of people praying for help were beyond wrenching.

I don’t have any answers to why the storm stayed so long there beyond meteorological analysis. Our community is thankful we were spared and many groups are preparing to send aid to the Bahamas. According to the news, one man in South Florida spent $49.000.00 on generators and supplies to send to them. The proximity to Florida will make it possible for many small groups to deliver aid and politics aside, we are a generous people. Will join with those praying for the people of the Bahamas to heal from this tragedy?

As Dorian heads up the eastern seaboard as a Cat 2, almost 3 please pray for those in the path. Already tornadoes are being spawned across North and South Carolina.

On a positive note, Florida was prepared for the storm. I have never seen so many power company trucks stationed around our community, ready to restore power once the storm passed. These crews came from across the country, giving up their personal time for us to work in what could have been horrible conditions.

A big Thank You to the linemen who came to Florida to restore power.

Our big box home improvement stores were fully stocked with plywood and most stores had ample supplies of bottled water. We were truly blessed.

You see odd things during hurricanes. One of the neighbors wraps their cars in clear plastic. I kid you not! Three cars were wrapped and one was left free to drive. They are still wrapped maybe in an abundance of caution as there are a couple more storms brewing.

This year they added cardboard to cover the glass.

Go East Dorian, Go East

30 Aug

One makes plans, hurricanes ruin them.

In the mid 80s until 1990 our church had a vibrant youth group, led by youth minister, Tim Shrader.

At a Church ladies luncheon in May, my daughter and a friend from her youth group days had the chance to reconnect. As they chatted and wondered about others from their group, a plan was born.

Tim and his wife purchased airline tickets and we were thrilled they could come. Others made plans to come from out of state.

The “youth”, now in their 40s would enjoy a cookout on Saturday afternoon then Tim was set to preach on Sunday followed by a church wide pot luck. We were excited!

Then along came Dorian and the reunion had to be cancelled. We are terribly disappointed but trusting that God’s timing and plans are perfect.

Meanwhile, here on the east coast of Florida, I continue to pray the hurricane will go east and out to sea, all the while carrying out storm prep.

Speaking of storm prep, I am seriously annoyed with the local news media, especially on Facebook. Florida gains new residents by the thousands each month and the media is scaring the daylights out of them with their sensational language. The newbies need information given in a calm and reassuring manner.

I read this verse in my quiet time today. I found it to be encouraging, especially with all the storm decisions to make, plus I liked the photo from Pixabay.

Prayers for Florida and every other state in the path of Dorian appreciated.

Go Away Dorian

29 Aug

I am not in the mood for hurricane Dorian this weekend. I have plans and I am offended that a hurricane would dare to interfere with my right to have plans. Well, I am putting my foot down. The people who create these models need to change this.

What I am saying is of course, silly. Hurricanes gonna do, what a hurricane wants to do.

Fortunately, our daughter keeps an updated hurricane kit so we won’t have a lot to do should the storm insist on continuing our way, but I am praying and claiming that it won’t. Our church has a reunion weekend planned with a guest preacher and we are all looking forward to it.


Who is Your Because?

27 Aug

Subliminal Egg Messaging

21 Aug

My daughter and I were shopping at Publix Supermarket today. I like to scan the dairy and egg sections for possible marked down items and noticed these eggs. It wasn’t the price that caught my eye, it was the name!

The subliminal message is that if I eat these eggs from the Happy Egg company, I will be happy and feel free.

I am pretty sure those eggs won’t fulfill the subliminal message for me but I know what will.

Be happy as you serve the Lord!
    Come before him with happy songs! Psalm 100:2 in the ERV (easy to read version)

Zap It!

15 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Last week I wrote about creating a video to do list for my husband. I did it in part as a joke and in part as an experiment. The joke and the experiment were a success. My husband saw the humor and I confirmed my observation that his memory is stimulated visually.

Speaking of visually, I had an A-Ha moment this week while sipping my morning coffee on the porch.

I am not a fan of bees who buzz me. I know they are necessary for pollination so I generally try to be tolerant, but tolerance has its limit. Each day it seems one particular bee has it in for me. One morning I spent claiming Dominion over the bee but the next day it returned. Something had to be done or I would have to abandon my porch time.

On our trip to Anderson, South Carolina last week, my husband bought an electronic bug zapper.

It uses batteries to power it. There is a small button you press when you swing the racket and it emits a low voltage zing that crackles and sparks if you connect with the bug.

The first time I connected with the bee it not only crackled and sparked it sparked twice. It scared me so much I almost dropped the racket!

I searched the porch floor for the bee, but couldn’t find it. I decided the swing of the racket must have propelled it off the porch. I settled back into my chair to enjoy the morning.

Before I could finish my coffee, I heard the drone of the bee again. He was back! The zapper must have only stunned it. The bee did seem to be moving slower, so the next time it drew close I swatted it again. And that was the end of the bee…until the next day.

The bug zapper and the bee seem to be a parallel to the battle for my mind and there is always a battle as the world continually bombards me with worry, fear, anger, you name it.

I am learning to reach for the greatest zapper of all time, the Word of God and His precious Holy Spirit. Yes, like the bee, the thoughts return, but as I practice daily rejecting (swatting) them, my response becomes more automatic and often I am prompted to pray God’s will over a situation and ask for blessings over those who anger or hurt me. And sometimes, I simply swat and move on.

I am not sure if the Gif below loaded and preview isn’t working. Grr….

Seeking Peace-In the Everyday

9 Aug

My husband asked what I planned to do today. “I’m not sure, just piddling around,” I answered. I needed to put a clean cloth on the dining table and I wanted to spend some time working on new tweets for Rebekah Lyn Books.

I usually work on my computer at the dining alcove table so I decided to change the tablecloth first. I knew that staring at a task undone would annoy me.

I enjoy choosing a fresh tablecloth and had one in mind as I opened the drawer, a cheerful one with splashes of blues and flowers. But lying on top was a vintage tablecloth that had belonged to my mom. For years I didn’t use it because it is about 2 inches shorter than my table, then one day I said, what the heck. Each time I use it now, I am reminded of delicious meals and interesting conversation around the table. For me, the the tablecloth represents love.

I spread the cloth and began to choose what other items to add. Yesterday my husband brought in a yellow gladiola and I had placed it in a tall hot pink vase, enjoying the vibrant colors. I definitely wanted to enjoy it on the table.

When I turned 50 my family threw me a surprise birthday party. I received a flower pot in the shape of a VW van with flowers and peace symbols on it. I was a child of the Flower Power generation. I can’t remember if it was a gift or a decoration. For decades it has been simply a decoration on a shelf. A pleasant memory.

This year I decided to put it to use as it was intended, a flower pot. In Florida, I loved a plant called pink splash or polka dot plant as some are also green and white.. The plant was hard to grow as it does not flourish in the heat and I killed them summer after summer. The first time I grew them In North Carolina, I was shocked at how rapidly they grew and how large. Definitely not a small house plant.

For my flower power pot, I planted cuttings from the ones by my front door and they rooted immediately. Then I waited a week until they were healthy enough to trim. I didn’t want leggy plants.

The final object on my memory table, that’s what I began to call it as I wrote this piece, is a hot pad my daughter gave me as a souvenir from her Ireland trip. On our family trips each summer, I would purchase a hot pad with a picture of the place we visited as my souvenir memory. So this item touches memories past and present.

If you have been reading her blogs detailing the trip, you know how appropriate the umbrella is!

After all this chatter, here is the picture of my memory table. It is certainly not decorator quality, but it makes me smile and soothes my heart.

Often the slow times in our day can lead us to focus on the negative and we end up dissatisfied and angry. To guard against this, I find it helpful to remember the excellent advice of Phlippians 4:8.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

OOPS! I forgot the most important thing I needed to do this day. Make my husband a Keto peanut butter pie for his birthday tomorrow. He has lost 68 pounds!

It Can’t be August

1 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Can you believe it is Thursday already? This week is flying. Over the weekend I went down the rabbit hole of ancestry research. Sunday night, and its enticing green leaf tips kept me enthralled until after 3 am. I couldn’t seem to stop clicking just one more hint. Of course, once I decided to step away from the computer, it took me an hour to fall asleep.

Ancestry green leaf for tips.

My husband and I had been talking about driving through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and into Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to do some shopping. Monday morning, after 4 hours of sleep, I checked the week’s weather forecast and Monday was the only day with no prediction of rain. Sigh…Coffee to the rescue!

The weather was beautiful, sunny with a light cool breeze and we enjoyed the drive, taking advantage of the time to work on finishing the latest Baldacci audio book.

By the time we drove through Cherokee, NC and passed Newfound Gap on the North Carolina/Tennessee border, we were ready for lunch at one of our favorite picnic areas, Chimney Top. Stopping for a relaxing picnic is probably my favorite part of the drive.

Who says you can’t eat Keto on a picnic?

The restrooms are modern but housed in beautiful rustic stone buildings.

Recently videos have made the rounds of tourist getting too close to animals in the National Parks. One set of parents even ran and left their child to be tossed by a bison. There are signs everywhere warning people to keep their distance. This sign was on the inside door of the toilet stall. Unless one is blind, you can’t miss them.

Our first stop in Pigeon Forge was the Corning Revere Clearance center. It is one of my favorite stores. I love bargains and yes, I have a thing for kitchen stuff, think SnapWare. To my utter dismay, the store was empty..closed..gone. We even drove around to the front of the store, hoping for a “we’ve moved” sign. I pulled out my phone to find the location of the two other stores in the area, but the internet wasn’t loading so I moved to plan B. I would ask at a clothing shop in the same shopping center, it was the second store on my list.

In the clothing store the sales lady asked if I needed help and I asked if she knew where the Corning store had moved. The store didn’t move, it was closed along with every store in all 50 states! The company moved all of their business online. I fear this is going to be a snowballing trend in retail.

I found a bargain on a pair of jeans in the clothing store and then we moved on to my husband’s shopping spots-three discount tool stores, a camping outlet and his all time favorite, Smoky Mountain Knife Works. This place is huge! I didn’t take a picture as one would not do it justice. Here is a fun, short video from You Tube.

After all the shopping we began to think about supper. Pigeon Forge is pure tourist and loaded with restaurants but my taste buds had been salivating since we passed a Publix supermarket on the way to the knife store. Publix makes the best fried chicken. I went inside to buy a box while my husband set us up at a bistro table outside. We had everything needed except forks, but who needs forks for fried chicken?

After supper it was time to head back over the mountains. We were hoping the elk that hang out in the evening near the visitor information center at Oconaluftee would be near the road. They were reintroduced into the park several years ago and it has been successful. Often there are quite a few, but this time only 4 or 5. I took several shots of them. Photo bomb warning…..

By the time we arrived home, both of us were tired, but happy tired. Tuesday sped by after I got a sleepy, late start. Wednesday we met friends for breakfast and then I opened my computer and logged on to Ancestory and the rest is history! Pun intended. I’m now trying to figure out how my ancestors went from being part of King Henry VIII’s court to tenant farmers in North Carolina!

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

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

Happy Place

30 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

When I was creating a graphic for my Monday church post I decided to use a beach theme. A lot of my extended family claim the beach as their happy place.

Today I listened to an author speaking about the power of fear. He said “don’t put your faith in fear.” I find myself doing that, facing a problem and my mind races ahead to the possible negative outcomes. I don’t have to do that. Hebrews 6:1 says:

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

Today I choose hope.

While I enjoy the beach, my happy place is wherever I am surrounded by mountains. Where is your happy place?

Enjoying the Cool

26 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After Tuesday’s rain storms passed through the remaining days of the week were glorious. I decided to abandon my computer and chores and simply enjoy. I have a teak lounger on the back porch and I spent chunks of time soaking up the cool breezes, watching the crazy hummingbirds and reading another of the Irish doctor books.

 Thursday we went on a picnic with friends at a campground/picnic area called Standing Indian. It is around a mile high in elevation and the cooler air was refreshing.

Whether traveling with an RV or tent, Standing Indian Campground is a prime place to stop for a night or spend several days in the picturesque Nantahala National Forest. The campground’s many amenities provide a comfortable home base for exploring this fun and historic section of the forest. Standing Indian is located within a 20-minute drive of Franklin, North Carolina

Reserve America

We had an entire pavilion to ourselves and plenty of time to burn the hotdogs just the way we like them!

This morning one of the Methodist churches had their annual mega rummage sale. I enjoyed looking at all of the items and I usually find something I can’t live without in the kitchen section. Over the winter, I found a bag on wheels at a thrift store and I grabbed it to have for this sale. Other shoppers were envious. I definitely found items I couldn’t live without!

I was hoping to score some Snap Ware, my new kitchen obsession, but didn’t. I did get several Tupperware pieces and the most I paid was $2.00 for a Tupperware butter dish. Does anyone remember having one of those? I think my favorite find is a glass pitcher like my mom had during the 1980s. I have seen them in antique stores for $15.00. I only paid $2.00!

Just because I thought it was pretty, I bought this cute dish for my daughter. She loves butterfly art and jewelry and the colors are perfect for her kitchen.

I have to give kudos to this church and their ability to organize and hold a sale. They begin in February, collecting items. Then each item is cleaned and where appropriate, checked to to be sure that it is in working condition. The sale spreads over all of the buildings at the fairgrounds and they have volunteers directing parking. Once inside, items are displayed almost in a booth like setting complete with volunteers who answer questions, bag up your choices and take the money. They even have their novels sorted by author! I was impressed.

I am thankful for the cooler temps. I know the heat will return but I will have these memories to savor as the warmer temps return. Besides it is only a little over 50 days until Fall!

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