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Kind of a Big Deal

17 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon launch and landing is kind of a big deal in my hometown and all across the Space Coast complete with street parties and an old fashioned Astronaut parade in Cocoa Beach.

We are in North Carolina and missing out on the activities but our daughter, an ardent fan of space exploration has been enjoying the activities. Saturday she attended the parade complete with astronauts riding in vintage Corvettes!

One of our downtown businesses, Hotpoint Boutique commissioned an artist to design a unique print that celebrates the 50th anniversary. The design is sold on tee-shirts and a fluffy blanket as well as the 11×14 print.

If you enjoy historical fiction based around the race for the moon, my daughter is running a giveaway of this print in 11×14 size and a signed copy of her award winning novel, Undaunted. (Previously titled Jessie)

Entry is very easy!


For my friend outside of the US, she can substitute digital copies of Undaunted and Destiny’s Call, books one and two of her Jessie Cole Series. Unfortunately she cannot include the print.

My daughter wrote an entire blog about the activities on her website, Rebekah Lyn Books including some photos of her dad, my husband at his job as a mechanic on the shuttle fleet.

Seeking Peace-Be Willing

12 Jul

I read this promise a few days ago.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. Isaiah 55:12

Galatians 5:22 lists the fruit of the Spirit as love followed by joy, then peace. I believe without God’s gift of love, joy and peace in my oh so fallible heart, I am incapable of reaping the rest of the fruit: forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

To be honest, I am hesitant to move beyond peace. Compared to forbearance, peace is a picnic.

I am claiming the promise of Isaiah 55:12.

He has promised, I need to be willing to be led.

Flower Talk

11 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Cool mountain mornings have lured me to spend time on the porch each morning. My husband built a small water feature near the porch and it sets a calming beginning of my day. Usually, tendrils of cool air tinkle the wind chimes he also made. It’s easy to spend time in prayer and meditation there.

Except this morning. The tendrils of cool air tinkling wind chimes were replaced with sticky stillness and a buzzing insect. If the benefits of porch time outweighs my fear of buzzing insects, I will suck it up and not give up my space. Today, I gave it up.

We haven’t figured out how to grow vegetables in clay soil, so I have resorted to having two small raised beds. I am growing three tomato plants, basil and an okra plant. They are doing well so far. Hopefully the tomato worms won’t climb up to them. I do not like those worms!

Last summer I had a pot filled with coleus and tall grass. When we returned to Florida for the winter, we took it with us. If the Florida winter is mild, we have had success with extending the life of our summer plants. One flowering basket is on its third summer.

I can’t remember the name of this plant. Do you know?

The coleus survived but had become quite “leggy.’ My husband repotted it, cut off the leggy stems and put them into the new pot with the original plant. To my surprise, the coleus has flourished while the grasses have taken all summer to rebound.

Last fall, my friend Sharon shared some pansies with me. They were kind of puny when we left for the winter. To my surprise and joy, they survived winter and are thriving now. I love them!

Repurosed stepping stones and cement column. I love repurposing!

When have been blessed this summer with visits from family and friends and I like to have a cheerful greeting at the door. This summer I chose coleus mixed with what I call, Polka Dot plant. In Florida, I could only grow the spotted plants on a window sill, due to the heat and they never grew tall. It seems they love the North Carolina mountain temperatures. They are getting out of hand!

I had no idea what I was going to write as I started this post. I knew that I wanted to share the photo of the coleus, but that was it. I had fun sharing about the plants. I wonder if that is because my ancestor roots are firmly attached to the soil?

This week I began researching my family tree I knew my parents came from farming families (well except my dad’s time as a moonshiner), but I had no idea how many generations farmed in the same county. As in back to the 1700s. I am in a love\hate relationship with the research. It is addicting. Have you explored your ancestors? Suggestions appreciated.

For Mom and Country

4 Jul

Title is a play off the name of a Christian band, For King and Country, one of my daughter’s favorite bands.

My mom was a fiery lady, full of fun but didn’t take any guff. Maybe the guff part came from growing up during the Great Depression in a tenant farmer family of 3 boys and 9 girls. The girls worked the fields, picking cotton and barning tobacco alongside their elder brother. The other two boys came along later, once they had moved to town.

All of her siblings grew to become successful adults, some owning businesses, raising families and living a better quality of life than their parents, at least materially.

That is one of the things I love about my country. With hard work, one does not have to remain in the circumstances of their childhood.

Today was her birthday and I find it fitting that she was born on a day celebrated with fireworks, food and family. She moved to Glory 18 yrs ago and I still miss her.

From Grime to Shine

28 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Spring came late to our house. Well, the actual season came on time, but Spring cleaning didn’t happen until summer.

I am not the best housekeeper. I tend to think that when windows need to be cleaned, it is time to get new windows-or move. Since neither are currently an option, my husband and I decided to tackle the chore, but slowly.

For the slow start, I chose two windows in our dining area. Our drapes are quite long and are mounted almost at the ceiling. My husband took them down for me, then I set about cleaning.

I had no idea if the drapes were machine washable or needed to be dry cleaned. Once the pair were down, I searched for a label with washing instructions. As none was found, I decided to go for the dry clean option. Fortunately, a year ago I purchased a package of Woolite dry cleaning cloths to use in the dryer. I removed the top rings and tossed them in, not sure how they would come out. It was a success! They looked like new and had a faintly fresh scent. All in all, I like this method over machine washable as there would have been a chance I would have needed to…horrors-iron!

While the curtains were bouncing in the dryer, I went to work on the windows. We are blessed to have the type that can be dropped open so that one can clean the outside from the inside. Our windows are high off the ground and without this feature, I would have needed to stand on a ladder outside. And that would not happen. We would have to move.

After I finished the dining area windows, I moved to the guest bedroom. Once again, my husband was needed to take the curtain rod down and then I set to cleaning feeling a lot more optimistic about the chore. I was pleased with my first effort at cleaning windows and drapery and decided that Thursday we would tackle the living room with its four long windows.

I use the word tackle as this room would require moving furniture to gain easy access to the windows. I know some women delight in moving furniture to different locations. I am not one of them. As the Beatles once sang, “Let it be” is my motto about furniture.

My husband was feeling poorly on Tuesday, hence my solitary work on the windows, but Thursday he was better and offered to help.

Offer accepted!

As these windows are harder to reach, the window blinds were in sore need of a good cleaning. After a couple of false starts, we hit on a good method to clean them. We used the duster part of a Swifter (removed the handle) to clean the surface dust followed by a thorough washing using disposable sanitizing wipes left over from flu season. Due to their high alcohol content the blinds dried quickly with no drips or smears.

Like Tuesday, I put the draperies in the dryer. These windows required three loads to clean them all but they were done by the time we finished the windows. We knew these windows were a big job, so we took a short break after each one, drank some water and relaxed. At this point, I had begun to enjoy the task. There was something soothing about methodically turning grime into shine. In fact, it must have soothed my husband too as he promptly took to his bed for a nap once the job was done.

I left the blinds pulled up the rest of the day. I had forgotten how much I enjoy looking out of these windows.

There are more windows to clean but I need to purchase additional dry cleaning sheets. I think a day off to do some shopping and enjoy the outdoors will be my plan for today.

I survived window cleaning and came to enjoy it.Who knew that was possible? Do you have a task that you avoid or dread?

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.


26 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Mark 11:25 speaks of forgiving anyone you have something against. That sounds hard enough, but often the harder task is to accept forgiveness for your own actions.

Seeking Peace-Mother May I?

21 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Do you remember as a child, playing Mother May I? One person was the “mother” who acted as the caller. For instance, they would call upon a child and say “take two steps forward” The goal was to be the first player to reach the caller, but the child must remember to ask, mother may I. If the child isn’t paying attention, and takes the two steps without asking the question, the child must take the opposite action…two steps back.

I also remember my teacher who was determined to teach the correct usage of the words can and may. If a student asked a question such as “can I go to the restroom” so would respond, I don’t know are you able to go or do you need permission? She did this a lot, Lord love her.

As I read John 16:33 last week the word, may, popped from the page. In me you MAY have peace.

We have permission to have peace!

And not only may we have peace, He has equipped us to have it. He has overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” JOHN 16:33

Due Date

20 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Forty-two years ago today was my “due date”. I was living in Florida and pregnant with our second child. The heat and the already mischievous son I was carrying were making me miserable.

As the days passed and he still had not make his appearance, I remember walking in the shopping mall and seeing moms from my childbirth class with their babies in strollers. I confess to feeling a bit resentful.

Am I weird or do other moms remember their due date?

Why Rely on Faith?

19 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

In my prayers of late, I feel compelled to pray for blessings over people. I’m not sure why, but I do find it refreshing over listing problems and challenges.

Dream Big

18 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

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