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Nothing Much

21 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Not much going on this week. The weather has warmed and we were able to bring the plants that will winter in Florida with us out of the garage to enjoy the sun. The coleus aren’t doing well in the garage and I doubt they will make it until December. I think the mums will be ok.

My husband has been needing to burn some brush for the last year or so, but hasn’t felt well on the days when burning was feasible. Yesterday he felt well and the conditions were perfect. He really enjoys burning brush (weird, I know). Maybe it is having a tangible result and knowing that particular pile won’t be coming back! Whatever the reason, I am thankful he is feeling stronger.

I spent the morning going through recipes for Thanksgiving. I have a recipe for Keto stuffing but I really love my aunt Janet’s recipe and want Keto-fy it. I think I figured it out. I hope so!

Speaking of Keto, my favorite Keto person, Kristie Sullivan has a new cookbook coming out Tuesday, Crazy Busy Keto. I have it preordered and can’t wait. I love simple. The book was listed as a must have on CNET.com

After his brush burning adventure, my husband got it into his head to take down a dead pine tree. Sometimes he forgets that he isn’t an invincible 25 year old any longer but that’s a story for another time.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, remember, it’s not the food, it’s the fellowship. Enjoy the time with those you love.

So that’s it. Nothing much.

Mountain Days

14 Nov

It was a quiet week here in the mountains. The weather was been odd, not warm enough to open the windows, not cool enough to need heat. The weather service promised that colder temps were on the way, so when the high for the day pushed into the 60s I opened the windows to get my fresh air fix.

The cold air began pushing in on Tuesday and we were warned we might get snow. I was excited. I love snow. The day passed and the snow failed to put in its appearance. Newfound Gap in the GSMNP got around an inch and thanks to their webcam, I at least got to see snow.

The colder temperatures have my husband and I at odds. He is dressing in two long sleeve shirts and covering them with a flannel hoodie. I start out in a long sleeve shirt, jeans and a sweat jacket, then spend the rest of the day changing in and out of short sleeves, capris and shedding the jacket. Yesterday I decided it was easier to sit on the porch to cool off, than change clothes again. Fortunately we have an understanding…he dresses for his truth and I dress for mine.

Wednesday morning the temperature was in the teens when we headed out to breakfast with friends. I took my camera, in the hope that after breakfast we could visit a nearby waterfall. Only once in my life have I seen a frozen waterfall and it was so beautiful, I wanted to experience it again.

Alas, the waterfall was only wearing a few icicles but it was still beautiful and we snapped a few shots.

Back at home, we decided to drive to the end of our road to check out the new home construction going on. We were greeted by this beauty. For once I had a camera ready and she kindly posed for me.

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.

Fun With Family-Part 3

7 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After our adventure with my aunt and cousin earlier in the week, we decided to set out on another one, but not so strenuous for my aunt. My husband loves driving Highway 441 through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Even with the twists and curves, it relaxes him and we are blessed to spend 6 months of the year less than an hour from the park.

During leaf season Highway 441 can become congested, especially on the weekend. We checked the weather forecast and decided that Thursday, October 23rd would be a perfect day. We packed some snacks and set out.

The park has frequent turnouts, or scenic overlooks and we stopped at a couple of our favorites.

The walkway in the picture above leads to an overlook and the colors were gorgeous.

The first time my children went sledding was in this park at one of the turnouts. Friends had invited us to visit them at their cabin in Franklin, NC and we were thrilled when we learned the park had snow. Good memories were made with our children and the grandchildren.

Our next stop was the Newfound Gap overlook. It sits astride the Tennessee and North Carolina border and is a popular stop. It took a while but my husband found a parking space.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park now has webcams and I am thrilled. The mountains are always showing a different look. Here is the LINK if you would like to check it out.

Back on the road, we headed down into Tennessee. We planned to shop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for Christmas gifts but stopped at Chimney Top Picnic ground to enjoy our snacks. There are several popular trails off the road and their parking areas were full beyond capacity. We were concerned there would not be any free tables at the picnic area, but the concerns were unfounded. I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of our picnic, but I did take pictures of the boulders along the stream.

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we only visited one shop, a ladies clothing store-of course. We scored some bargains then my husband drove us to his favorite shop…Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Since we don’t usually eat carbs this was a serious treat but we each only ate one and a half of the lusciousness!

My husband was tiring and since he was the driver, we decided to retrace our route to return home. The park reintroduced elk a few years back and the herd has prospered. We were hoping our family would see them when we reached the Oconaluftee Visitor Center area. And they did!

We weren’t the only ones gawking, I mean enjoying them! The park service had made one of the road lanes a viewing lane and helped keep visitors safe.

This is the end of my Fun With Family series. We enjoyed the time we spent with them. Time with family and friends is truly a gift.

The delayed colder temperatures have arrived and the beautiful colors are losing their luster. Even once the color is gone, the mountains still call to me and I love the time I am blessed to spend among them.

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.

He Forgives, He Loves

1 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

During conversation with friends a couple of nights ago we were talking about how a small about of people in the church do most of the work. One friend shared that he had bad experiences with helping people. He was disturbed that some people who attend church accept help with a need then once their needs are met, they stop attending.

The conversation stayed with me. As I pondered on it, I realized that is exactly how I have treated God, drawing close to Him when I am in need and pushing Him to the back of my life when my need is met. I am truly sorry.

Thankfully I know He forgives and I am loved.

One of my happy places, Newfound Gap, GSMNP

Fun With Family-Part 2

31 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our daughter returned to Florida on Monday and my aunt and cousin from the Raleigh area arrived on Thursday, October 17th. In between visits, I made meal plans for the next week.

We follow a strict Keto lifestyle and that requires a bit of planning.

I put two flavors of homemade ice cream in the freezer and made a Black Forest cheesecake, that covered desserts and aren’t they the most important part of the meal?

Our church holds a craft sale each fall and Friday the 18th was the first day. We were out early, eager to see what the talented ladies had to offer. I sighed over the beautiful quilts and settled for a Christmas throw that I love. To my delight, the crafters had put together $1.00 grab bags. I have always been a sucker for grab bags. My bag was worth far more than a dollar and I was thrilled with the contents. To be honest, I wanted to go back and buy all the grab bags.

The weather was a bit sketchy and the forecasts indicated that Sunday, the 20th would be sunny so we embarked on a Sunday drive.

I had been wanting to go on a waterfall hunt by typing waterfall into the GPS and following the directions. Scary, I know, especially after the way Bill’s Greta leads him astray.

On the way to the first waterfall we decided to stop at the Sky Valley Golf Club. in Sky Valley, Georgia. They decorate hay bales each Halloween so we oohed and ahhhed and snapped a few pictures.

Each summer I read on the local Facebook page of injuries at Bust-Your-Butt falls. On the GPS it appeared to be quite close to a waterfall we have enjoyed for years and now I was determined to locate it. And we did! Of course we had seen the cascades many times but didn’t know they had a name.

The Fall colors were gorgeous.

Our next stop was Bridal Veil Falls. In years past one could drive behind it, but falling rocks put a stop to it. The area is famous for rubies and when our children were small, they would “mine” for rubies at the bottom. One summer we even found some suspicious stones. Unfortunately, we put them in a Pringles chip can and I threw it away while cleaning out the car.

My aunt and cousin.

When we arrived, my cousin was sure she heard a kitten. I thought it was a bird. It turned out there was a kitten and we think its mom was killed by a predator. It just about killed my cousin to leave the kitten there and alone.

Our next stop on the GPS was Silver Run Falls in Cashiers, NC. This was our first time there and I was looking forward to seeing it. Here is the description from the website:

Silver Run Falls is a nice 25′ waterfall just south of Cashiers. It’s easy to get to, family friendly, and very popular. To get to this falls, head west on Hwy 64 from Lake Toxaway into Cashiers and take a left on Hwy 107. Parking is a little over 4 miles down on the left and is just a wide area on the shoulder with room enough for maybe 5 vehicles or so. The trail head is obvious – the trail is less than 1/4 mile and easy. On the way to the waterfall you’ll cross the Whitewater River. It’s not very wide at this point. Crossing used to be on a log, but a bridge has recently been built for safety reasons. There’s a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls and the area is usually crowded on a warm day

NCWaterfalls.com

My 86 year old aunt uses a wheeled walker and the path at the trailhead looked promising. Alas, as so often happens, the trailhead was deceptive. My aunt soldiered on and at the falls, my husband placed the walker on a large rock, locked the brakes and helped my aunt mount it. She scratched her leg in the process and the only thing I had in my purse was a peppermint tea bag. I was careful to not place the tea part over the wound for fear it would sting. On the way back to the car I walked behind her and each of her steps gave off a pleasant peppermint scent! She received many high fives and compliments for not letting a walker prevent her from enjoying the adventure.

We talked with an older gentleman at the falls. He said his family had been swimming there for fifty years, way before the park service had put in the trail and bridge. That must have been amazing. He looked nostalgic and I am sure he was recalling those days. He had with him a couple from Germany. He met them while doing volunteer work in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I don’t think they spoke a lot of English but they greeted us with nice to see you and I responded welcome to America.

Back at the car we were hungry and in need of the “facilities”. The thing about nature is it tends to not be close to conveniences. Cashiers is one of those towns that require businesses to have a uniform appearance and I was afraid we wouldn’t spot the Wendy’s I had seen as we passed through town. It took three pairs of eyes searching, but we found it!

Next week, Fun With Family Part 3

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.

I Have a Problem

29 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Fun With Family-Part 1

24 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Western North Carolina is always beautiful but fall, when the leaves turn to golds, yellows and flame is especially outstanding.

Our daughter enjoys visiting when the leaves are in full blown splendor but unfortunately the color was late this year. On the plus side, it was a short visit and thanks to a conversation in the local home improvement store, we found a new place to explore.

St John’s Episcopal Church is located off of Highway 64 west, on a road appropriately named, St.John’s Church Rd. While it dates back to the 1800s it is still and active church.

Among the cemetary headstones we discovered an Indian Chief and his wife as well as the Rufus Morgan garden where several family members are buried.

I knew that a Rufus Morgan had been instrumental in mapping hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and Western North Carolina but had no idea what an avid naturalist he was.

This is an excerpt from Find a Grave

Naturalist, Author, explorer: Rufus Morgan was one of the early pioneers in the founding and development of the Appalachian Trail. Raised in the far western mountains of North Carolina he was well acquainted with the various peaks and valleys of the area. Following the proposal for a national trail to follow the spine of the Appalachian Trail he was a natural to develop the trail route from the Georgia Border to The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. He was the original author of the Appalachian Trail Guide for this part of the path. Over the years he introduced thousands of people to the Appalachian Trail, the Nantahala Gorge, and the National Park.

Find A Grave.

 After leaving the church we headed to one of our favorite local recreation areas, Standing Indian. We enjoyed a picnic then took advantage of the cool temperature to indulge in a short hike to Mooney Falls.

It is not spectacular, but we find the sound of rushing water to be both relaxing and refreshing.

At home we spotted a doe with her two babies in the woods next to our driveway.

Our neighbors have an awesome inflatable dragon for Halloween. The thing is, the dragon’s movement results in it toppling sideways. Our daughter couldn’t resist posing as a dragon slayer. For fun, I looped the photo so that it appeared as if she kept falling off. Unfortunately, WP wouldn’t recognize the file. (I don’t think our neighbors read this blog but if they do…honest, she was not kicking the dragon!)

It was short visit but we laughed, made memories and enjoyed each other’s company, even if the Fall color was late. We feel blessed and look forward to making more memories.

Next week Part 2 will be adventures with more family. Hint: The Fall color doesn’t disappoint.

A Great Cloud

18 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Photo credit GSMNP webcam Clingman’s Dome Sunset

During my morning quiet time I like to read the scriptures as written, then paraphrase them to make the words personal. Hebrews 12 speaks of the great cloud of witnesses in heaven. Here is my paraphrase.

Therefore, since I am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, I can throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and instead run with perseverance the race marked out for me. I can choose to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,(for me!) scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2

Because He did, I can!

Here are the verses as written. NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2

Seeking Peace-When I Fail

11 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Friday was a bad day. I had no joy because I didn’t seek it. Instead, I allowed physical discomfort and life’s aggravations to consume me.

 Saturday morning I awoke with the previous day’s darkness hovering. I poured my coffee, grabbed my tablet and sought the sanctuary of the porch.

The Saturday devotional reading was choosing to live in joy.  Oh how I had failed to make that choice! With remorse I confessed my failure to God. I could have made excuses but God already knew my thoughts.

 As I waited quietly before God for my heart and mind to heal, I heard an extra loud flutter of a bird landing on the feeder. As I looked up, not 50 feet from the feeder, standing on the side of the hill was a beautiful doe. We gazed at each other for several seconds before she turned and disappeared into the woods. 

 I returned to reading the devotional. I had read the author’s thoughts and moved on to read the first of three scriptures.  

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. 

—Habakkuk 3:17–19

…”He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go to the heights.”

He sees me and knows my weaknesses and yet he will enable me to go to the heights!

Love: Because I know I am loved by my Father, I can confidently confess my failings.

Joy: I don’t have to chase joy, but I do have to choose joy especially on difficult days.

Peace: When I choose to accept forgiveness Peace flows.

This is my favorite scripture photo this week. The picture is sunrise on Clingman’s Dome, GSMNP, taken from the webcam.

Waiting…

3 Oct

Yesterday was a long…. day! My husband had two doctor appointment two hours from our home. I am thankful we were able to schedule both on the same day. 

We both slept in this morning but I didn’t miss my porch quiet time. Before I sette in the chaise lounge a Hummingbird flew to the feeder. She took a tiny sip then flew up close and hovered as if to say, fill up the feeder! The nectar and seed feeders were both empty! Cooler weather is coming so the birds must be stocking up.

My husband took this photo several years ago using a tripod and remote trigger.

To my surprise the Hummingbird zipped over to the garden area and began extracting nectar from the blooms on a Basil plant. Somehow she managed to pull the bloom off yet hold on to it longer to drink. She then moved on to the blooms on my huge Coleus plant. I wish I could have snapped a photo while she was drinking.

Waiting to hear from the doctor with test results is trying my patience. The practice has a patient portal and I have been haunting it all morning. We have been praying for the doctors to have wisdom in finding the source of my husband’s heath issues, but I’m not handling the waiting well. If my mom were still alive she would tilt her head and look me in the eye and ask..”what do you have a Lord for?” 

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