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Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 5

4 Apr

Celebrating our 49th anniversary Coronavirus style

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

The latter part of this week I have alternated between feelings of anxiety and peace. I don’t feel the anxiety is due to fear of the virus, rather I believe it is from the feeling of life being suspended.

Our daughter is working reduced hours so Wednesday she and her father took on a home improvement project. (That did make me anxious as my husband’s energy levels are easily taxed) But you know how fathers are when their daughters ask for help.

My husband slept in on Thursday so my daughter and I ran some errands. We scored two dozen eggs! When we returned they set to work. I tried to stay out of their way.

My daughter approved my plan to have a friend pick me up and drive me to the river as long as I sat in the back seat and we maintained social distancing. It was wonderful to be out in the fresh air and enjoy conversation that did not involve Coronavirus. (Yes, our governor said this is ok)

We sat at a table under a pavilion. The breezes were heavenly.

Friday our anniversary day arrived! That morning I began calling the local steakhouse I had chosen for our celebratory take out meal. I had been concerned about setting it up as people had been complaining the phones were always busy. I prayed the night before that I would not be anxious about this and I got through on the phone after 3 tries!

Earlier in the week I had gone to Amazon Prime and paid the rental fee for the movie we had chosen for our dinner and movie at home celebration. Normally the movie would have been in the theaters, but due to the shelter at home orders it was available online.

The dinner was a delicious success! Our daughter had picked up a half dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts for our dessert but we were too full and decided to create an “intermission” during the movie to enjoy the doughnuts with coffee. (Who needs popcorn when one can have doughnuts?) The movie we chose was I Still Believe, a true story. If you need a faith booster, I highly recommend it. I think my husband, an action movie guy, was a bit teary at the end.

I think I may have enjoyed our stay at home celebration more than a night out.

I love these verses from the book of Numbers in the Bible. They are often spoken as a benediction. May His peace be upon you.

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.

Lost My Joy…

1 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

March 15, 2020 was the last time I had social, in person interaction outside of my family. I met a friend for lunch and we had a lovely chat. Little did I imagine how rapidly life would change. The irony is that for the first time, the restaurant gave me a buy one get one free meal card. I haven’t been able to use it and I am not sure the restaurant will be in business when this crisis is over.

I worry that keeping business closed will collapse the whole world’s economy. Think no money for anyone. I also worry that opening the businesses will result in more deaths. The politicians and media make it worse by pointing fingers and arguing.

The bottom line is my personal behavior is the only thing I can control or fix. I usually begin my day with reading devotionals and praying over the scriptures. Today I delayed the prayer portion and I was unsettled all morning. While writing this blog I realized something.

Joy had left my house.

In the place of joy, I had welcomed in anxiety. I allowed discontent and fretful thoughts to party in my mind. I behaved as one who had no hope. My beloved and plain speaking mother would have asked, “What do you have a Lord for?”

It’s true that in myself I lack hope but in my God, I have hope and joy. I am comforted that God was not taken by surprise by the Coronavirus. He knew it was coming and he will lead me through it with hope and joy.

Easter is coming.

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.

We Must Have Humor

29 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Here in the U.S we seem to be virus weary. In various online church services today we were reminded to call those we know who are alone. Certainly good and loving advice. But my mind screamed what about those of us who have been inside with the same people for two weeks? We need fresh voices!

Facebook is filling up with humorous stories and videos. I particularly liked this one about homeschooling. The little guy on the harmonica is adorable.

There is a popular saying:

Live, Love, Laugh

Can Anything Good Come From Coronavirus?

28 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Kirk Cameron is doing a daily Facebook FaithStrong Prayer time. In last evening’s post he read a story titled

A Conversation Between An Individual And God: Can Anything Good Come From The Coronavirus (Author unknown)

I am not having much luck with sharing videos this week, but I do hope this one plays. I found a PDF of the piece, but hesitate to use it as I don’t know the copyright details.

In the midst of bad news and fear, I am thankful for the positive and encouraging words being shared online.

It is Well

27 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My plans for today have been delayed so I am going through the items I saved on Facebook. I confess I am the worst at watching videos. I think because I can read faster than the video plays. But…When I listened to this video it brought me to tears. It is a song I have loved since childhood.

31 of Nashville’s Studio Singers using their cell phones during Nashville’s Safer at Home order to record and lift their collective voices to share a message of hope and encouragement during these challenging days. It is well. 

Hmmm…. the embed flashes when I insert the You Tube link. Trying the site where I first saw it

If you viewed it tell me what you think. I loved that most of the musicians were in their stay home clothes and many didn’t even have on make up!

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 4 My Amazing Egg Experience

26 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It’s been over a week since I’ve found eggs in the grocery store. We use a lot of eggs in a week between breakfasts, baking and making ice cream. (Keto of course.)

This morning my husband and I went to Aldi, thinking maybe we had been shopping too late in the day. The store wasn’t crowded but there was not a single egg to be found.

From Aldi we went to Target, then Publix. Still no eggs. Did the hens get the virus? Or are they hoarding?

Mentally I began strategizing how to convince my husband that life would go on without a breakfast of eggs and bacon. I threw out a couple of ideas, but he wasn’t receptive, well except when I mentioned pizza for breakfast. I sent up a prayer that God would send us eggs.

On the way back home, My husband asked if I wanted to check the Dollar General, but I was feeling discouraged and wanted to go home. Just before we turned off the main highway I felt compelled to stop at Save A Lot, a small grocery store.

As I approached the egg section, it appeared bare. I went and stood in front of it, just empty boxes where the eggs should be. Then I looked down at an empty box on the right side of the cooler. In the very back, almost unseen lay two cartons of eggs. I pulled them out sure that they were the cracked rejects but willing to buy them anyway. They all looked fine!

As I thanked God for the eggs a woman, older than me, stood in front of the eggs running her eyes over the empty boxes. She was taller than me and able to see into the top box. Her fingers scrabbled to draw forward a lone carton. As she looked them over, she seemed hesitant. I told her that if they were cracked, I would give her one of my dozen. She brought hers over to me and opened it. They were brown eggs and she wasn’t sure they would be good. I was happy to assure her they were. I decided to tell her about my prayer for eggs. She didn’t smile, but she hesitantly said she had prayed for eggs as well! I love how God cares about the little things in our lives. 

Being home all the time is making me a bit crazy. 

When my husband suggested a drive to his favorite tool store (yes, they are considered essential but libraries aren’t) I said YES! I plan to put together a picnic lunch complete with sanitizer spray to eat at a waterside park. Hopefully one will be open. If not, we will picnic in the car!

UPDATE:

No outing today, husband not feeling his best. I decided to use 11 eggs to make Mango ice cream and pumpkin bread. I think ice cream for breakfast sounds better than pizza! Popping the pumpkin bread in to oven. Shhhhh… I haven’t told family that I put two teaspoons of rum flavoring instead of vanilla in the bread. I wonder if they will notice.

Here is a photo of my husband and daughter keeping busy. Daughter is working on edits for her new novel.

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.

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 3

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It occurred to me today, that I appear to have a need to write about our daily experiences during this virus. Which is odd since coming up with one blog a week is a challenge.

The whole Coronavirus experience seems surreal. How could daily life change drastically in such a short amount of time? Of course this happened when we made the decision to not stuff the refrigerator freezer full to the point I had no idea what was in it.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

On Saturday I placed an online order with Sam’s Club, a warehouse store. I couldn’t choose a pick up day or time, but was assigned Monday from 9am to 10 am. I had the best experience!

The main item in my order was gloves. I have been hand sanitizing like crazy and am over it. When I presented at the pick up station, the worker informed me they were out of the gloves. I was bummed but reminded myself to be nice and not rant. I thanked her for my order and began making my way toward the pharmacy hoping to score some hand sanitizer. I hadn’t gone far when the worker tracked me down and handed me a package of gloves! She had a big smile and told me she found some gloves!

Photo credit Mountain Side Medical

I made a quick sweep through the store looking for things I was running low on. They had toilet paper! I was thankful we didn’t need any but I wanted to tell the world they had it. In the meat section I was able to get a package of chicken breasts. It should give us two or three meals.

In the afternoon we had to drive to Melbourne for my husband to have a medical test. On the way home, would you believe he asked me to go back into Sam’s, risking my life, to get him some eye drops? I grabbed a sanitizer cloth on the way in and used it at the checkout for punching in my card code. It was encouraging to see cashier type people wiping down the terminals after each use.

Thank you, God for people who are working to keep food on the shelves. I pray health and blessings over them.

I am excited to see all of the sharing of information on Social media. With schools being closed universities, NASA and Disney are providing free educational opportunities and I am certain many others are as well. Museums and zoos are providing virtual tours and even the film industry is providing paid streaming options. For the younger ones, groups are offering downloadable coloring pages. Even in this scary time, I see so much good around me.

And how cool is it that distilleries are switching from alcohol production to hand sanitizer? At first I heard of one or two small ones and then Anheuser- Busch volunteered to switch from beer to sanitizer as well. I knew they switched during natural disasters to provide water, but this is way cool.

All over the country businesses and manufacturing are volunteering to switch over from their normal products to make whatever is needed, ventilator parts, respirator masks etc. The outpouring of “we can do this” is heartwarming. I even saw a Facebook post for people who use the Cricut machine to make face masks!

https://jennifermaker.com/face-mask-patterns-cricut/?fbclid=IwAR0JGK4i4NSOb-vsnu_ZYy3cHd97hFIgMaYzgpzs08_8lx5ucAmPWOIhYGc

It brings to mind WWII stories of women rolling bandages for the war effort.

Getting back to hand sanitizer, we don’t have a lot, one of the reasons for getting the gloves. Yesterday I placed an online order with Publix Supermarkets as they listed it on their online store. I didn’t want to pay $7.99 for delivery but it would be worth it, if we could set the sanitizer. An hour before delivery today, I received a text that the store didn’t have it. I was bummed. I wanted to cancel the rest of the order but felt that would be penalizing the InstaCart shopper.

This was my first experience with delivery. I have learned online ordering for pickup, doesn’t guarantee I will get my items. I was kind of shocked by that. The same goes with delivery, I guess. I imagine if one doesn’t order something in short supply, a suitable item would have been substituted.

We don’t have an Ikea near our home in the mountains so when we are in Florida, I like to shop there. I am a confessed Snapware addict and Ikea has some nice ones for very reasonable pricing. I really like the ones that are glass bottoms with the snap tops. I had planned to purchase more of them while in Florida. Ikea, like most stores except groceries is closed but open to pick up. In an effort to keep the economy healthy, I did my part and ordered. Our daughter works near Ikea and agreed to pick them up. She said they had an efficient system to maintain social distancing. Cars were instructed to pull into every other loading bay then an Ikea person brought the order to the car.

I think I now have enough food and supplies for two weeks. I’m still searching for hand sanitizer so if anyone locates some, let me know!

Until next time,

Onisha

PS… I am praying that the drug combination trial being started in New York will be effective and we will see the end of this pandemic.

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 2

21 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the new reality. It’s one thing to read of business closures, it’s another to actually see them. As I mentally planned a grocery run this morning, I weighed whether I should shop today or Sunday on the way home from church. Reality washed over me. Church is cancelled. Later, I was thinking about whether I needed to wash my hair tonight for church tomorrow. But wait church is cancelled.

My husband and I decided to make the food run today and pick up some medications. For his safety, I left my husband in the truck at the Winn-Dixie which had advertised beef roasts on sale. I didn’t get a shopping cart to reduce contamination and I made sure to keep my hands to myself. There were no beef roasts, or any meat except shellfish and fish.

I kid my husband about having a toilet paper obsession. He had it before Coronavirus. I am collecting the emptied rolls and plan to keep count of how close we came to running out. I discovered I have my own obsession…Duke’s Mayonnaise. I thought I was down to one extra jar and began to have anxiety. I had attempted to purchase some last week but Publix grocery was out. On our rounds we went to Target and I was able to get a jar. It’s not that I am picky. It’s that Duke’s has no sugar added and we don’t do sugar. When I went to put the prize in the pantry, I discovered two jars there. I think I may be an accidental hoarder.

Our last stop was at Aldi. Once again I didn’t use a shopping cart. I slipped my items into a canvas shopping bag. Their meat section was pretty bare as well, but had more than Winn-Dixie. I had hoped to get some chicken but no luck. Interesting that the meat available was primarily cuts of steak. Since we eat Keto, this was a good choice for us. Most people seemed to be maintaining distance and we lucked out with no check out line. I think we are set for the week for food.

Kindness is flourishing. One of our local restaurants, Cracker Barrel is offering milk and produce to those who need it and eggs, 30 for $3.00. Walt Disney World donated all of their food to the local food bank. A friend found a brown bag on her porch with toilet paper, a cookie, a bar of soap, and this sweet note. I love that parents are using this crisis to teach sharing and compassion.

Oh, I forgot to mention this! As we walked to our truck in the Aldi car park, my daughter and I spied a small plastic laundry basket on top of a car backing out of it’s space. The basket fell off and we weren’t able to retrieve it before the car drove off. I picked up the basket and placed in on the grass next to a hydrant. My husband pointed out that someone else had used the space for another item. On top of the hydrant is a pair of glasses.

With all the closures and shortages it was good to see an old friend still in stock. Sigh… we can’t eat them any longer, except one on our birthday or a trip to Gatlinburg, Tn. I hear they are having a sale. Two dozen donuts for $15.00

I hope you are staying healthy, have all you need and are blessed with peace in the midst of the chaos. Let’s pray for the sick and those who care for them. Thank the cashier at the store, the one serving and delivering food. Tip generously according to your means. Give thanks to the Lord for His mercies endure forever.

We Are All Sinners

21 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

This Coronavirus crisis is scary and I am not ashamed to admit that my courage is weak but I am thankful that God is strong and true.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says:

 … “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

A popular and true slogan is that first responders run into danger when others run away. They make that choice. We can make a choice as well. We can run to God in our uncertainly and experience His rest or we can run from Him and know fear and exhaustion. Some might ask, why would God care about me? I am a sinner.

Well, we are all sinners.

Church services have virtually been suspended here in the US. To stay connected and to encourage each other, many will either be live streaming on Facebook or on their webpage. Traditional service time is 11:00 am, ours is 10:30am. Larger churches have multiple online service times. I encourage anyone who feels uncertain or lonely to find one of the live streams.

If you know of a church in your area that you have heard good things about, look then up and see if they live stream or have an App. I am going to list some of the churches I know.

The Grove, Titusville, Fl Contemporary service https://www.facebook.com/thegrovechurchfl/videos/206574347077265/ Link to past services https://www.thegrovechurchfl.org/media

Gateway Community (my church) https://www.facebook.com/GatewayTitusville/

Indian River City Methodist IRCUMC has multiple times https://www.facebook.com/IndianRiverCityChurch

First Baptist Orlando 10am https://www.facebook.com/FirstOrlando

Cornerstone Church, Athens, Ga https://www.cornerstoneathens.cc/watch

Park Avenue Baptist, Titusville, Fl (Canadian pastor) 11 am live stream https://www.facebook.com/ParkAveFL Webpage https://parkavenue.org

Cowee Baptist Church, Franklin, NC. Contemporary service 11 am webpage http://coweebaptist.org/sermons/crossover/ Traditional service is 8:45 am http://coweebaptist.org/sermons/traditional

I’m all the way a Southern girl but I frequently listen to Times Square Church in NYC on their App. They have multiple pastors.

We will make it through this time. Let’s pray for the ones who are sick, the ones out of work, the business owners who can’t open their doors. Let’s be kind and sprinkle love and encouragement. If you can, volunteer to deliver food or help health care providers.

Ending this with humor. A call has gone out for retired healthcare workers to volunteer their skills. Doctors, nurses, maintenance, clerical, all hands on deck. Do they not realize the retired are in the age that is vulnerable and suggested that they stay home and avoid close contact? LOL

If you have a church to suggest, leave it in comments.

Kindness- See Something, Share Something.

19 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have a food distribution group, Hummingbird Pantry, in our town that I have heard of but knew nothing of it. I am not sure where the group gets the food, but it is donated. Distribution is impromptu and one has to monitor Facebook for the announcement. Since we had to be out yesterday I suggested we use the GPS and find out where it is located. To our surprise, there was a line. I quickly searched Facebook and learned distribution was going on.

The line was long. Real long. It snaked around a school building. But since we didn’t have any plans we decided to join the line. The line moved almost continuously which was encouraging until we came to the queue. Can you imagine vehicles of all sizes weaving through a queue? It kind of felt like barrel racing. The turns were tight for a full size pickup truck. As cars began to get confused on which way to go, a volunteer went into the field to unsnarl us. My husband took this video.


When we made it to the distribution site, we had no idea what to do. A volunteer bright a paper for us to sign, then another volunteer brought a daisy flower bouquet to the car. The food was stacked in boxes, each item was a station and volunteers loaded our portion into the car. They gave us three cabbages, a bag of plum tomatoes, a case of organic Romaine lettuce, two bunches of organic bananas, one watermelon, a box of cinnamon crumb donuts, and a bottle of blue cheese salad dressing.

This was way too much for us to use up. I was able to share the bananas with two friends. We kept a cabbage, some tomatoes , lettuce, and the Daisys. A friend’s daughter was able to take the rest minus three donuts we couldn’t resist! I forgot that DiVoran didn’t need lettuce and sent some to her. Fortunately she knew a neighbor with children that could use it.

This ministry is a blessing to our community. In the past week I have seen an increasing number of posts of people being kind to strangers, local organization stepping up to help. Our North Carolina town has a project called The Little Free Pantry. They have collected snack foods for the students as their schools are closed. States have repurposed school buses to deliver free breakfast and lunches to homes.

The news on TV and online is discouraging, yet so much good is happening.

Let’s change this! If you see kindness, say something.

Leave a comment here or share the good on your social media.

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