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Even Though, I Will Choose to Breathe

28 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a boost to my soul this  morning as I read these words!

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 tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19


Photo credit Unsplash




Here Kitty Kitty Seven

24 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

One of the first things Thea did when we got her home was to scratch on the upholstered leg of the couch. We’ve had it a long time, and it already had some claw pulls, but I didn’t want it to get any worse, so I taped foil to the leg and then got some new scratching pads from Petco.


Since we got her, she has learned to scratch on two pads, one in the family room, and one in the studio near her cat tree. Each time she does what she’s supposed to, she gets one small treat. Sometimes she will try to get another by scratching a bit more, but we don’t encourage such shenanigans.


Sometimes I’m concerned about whether she’s happy with us. Do we spend enough time petting and talking to her, does she like her food, is she getting enough water, as an indoor cat is she bored and lonely?

I’m using the internet to get ideas for training her. There are so many schools of thought, but I read and think and experiment withthings like scratching and even shredding. We use a single Greenie to reward Thea for scratching on the pads rather than on the carpets or furniture. At first,I had to catch her pulling at the carpet, then I would pick her up and carry her to the pad. She didn’t get the idea, so I got down and scratched on it myself. I didn’t get any treats, but it kept my fingernails nice and smooth until she learned how to do it too. The thing that is so interesting about cats and probably dogs, too, is that they understand things they see their humans or other animals doing something and they understand exactly what we’re getting at. I don’t need to give her a treat every time now because using the scratching pads has become a habit. By the way, Greenies are good for keeping cat’s teeth clean so that in future years we hopefully won’t have to take her to the vet to have them cleaned. After her evening meal, I hide five Greenies in the folds of her red, plush blanket and after she finds them all she lovingly kneads the cover to show her delight.

One night I let her sleep on my bed. She lay quiet and polite at the foot of the bed until 4:30 A. M. when she got up, stretched out on my chest, and rubbed my face with her chin with such sweet-droolykisses I had to change my night-gown. After that, I relocated her to the studio and closed the door. The next morning I saw that she had dragged a brown paper bag out of the recycle bin and started the shredding process. We decided it wasn’t revenge, but a good way to take out her tensions and amuse herself. Bill has become the official provider of brown paper bags. Now when the grocery store checker in her green uniform says, “paper or plastic,” we say paper. So far Bill is cleaning the shreds of the studio floor and putting down fresh bags as needed.


Every night Thea and I play the mouse game as she leaps to catch a flying mouse on the end of a wire or ribbon. We have two. We alternate them every night so we don’t get bored. I wish you could see her cat ballet.


Our Jasmine has been gone about six weeks. Her water dish sits on the counter in the bathroom waiting for her. I tell myself it’s just a pretty dish, and it matches my drinking water glass. But the truth is it brings back pleasant memories.

Thea, Bill, and I, however, are forming our own routines and we three continue to learn to love and trust each other in new ways. We are working on some kind of protocol to cut her nails. If they don’t get cut they can keep growing until they circle around and grow back into her paws. She is what I hear animal-people calling, a sweetheart.Under Thea’s ministrations the sadness about Jasmine’s departure grows softer every day.







Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

When Does One Grow Old?

21 Sep

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson




silver tabby cat lying on green grass

Photo by Pixabay on



When we wake up in the morning
there is promise in the air.
We don’t know what the day will bring,
but the expectancy is there.

The time to be happy is now.
We have this day to explore.
Every day is a “Special Occasion”.
What are you waiting for?

You’ve heard it said,
“Old age is not for Sissies”.
Well, believe me, that is true.
Put on a happy face.
Good things will come to you!



20 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


As I am writing this post, my husband and I should have been driving across the line between Florida and Georgia, on our return trip to western North Carolina. But life happens.

My first inkling that our plans needed changing came on Tuesday. Our daughter volunteered to chair a Christmas Tree Walk and Market as a fund-raiser and community outreach project for our church. One of the ideas, is to give local business the opportunity to sponsor a decorated tree that would be auctioned at the event. Excellent publicity for the business. So Tuesday I began visiting businesses to invite them to participate. Did I mention the heat index was 104 degrees F or 40 C? My husband was kind enough to drive me around and keep the air conditioner running which was a life saver.  Since this took up one of my days I had planned to get ready for travel, we decided to push our departure to Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, we had a big thunderstorm with lashing rain. It seems that storms from east and west met above our town. Unfortunately, a roof leak that our daughter’s home sustained during 2018 Hurricane Irma reared its ugly presence. It is almost impossible to get a professional to repair a roof, so thanks to our delay, my husband was there to “save the day.” He’s that kind of dad. ❤️💛💚

So, not sure when we will hit the road. Retirement goes hand in hand with whenever!

animal cat face close up feline

Photo by Pixabay on


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.





Road Trip~Celestial Seasonings

25 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Days 16 September 23, 2017


If you read the beginning of our road trip story on September 7, 2018, you will remember that we started out as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida and I had mixed emotions about driving further away from our daughter living in Florida. It took us a week to arrive in Denver for our meet up with our friend, Pam and our daughter, Rebekah. The week we spent with them in Pagosa Springs, Colorado flew past and this morning we were up early to drive them to the airport.  Fortunately, they both had their electricity restored and now it was a matter of putting away their hurricane prep. We were sad for them to go, they were fun travel companions.

One place Rebekah had really wanted to visit was the Celestial Seasonings headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Unfortunately, a visit there couldn’t be worked into our schedule. I guess a kinder mom would have chosen to not visit the tea headquarters without her, but I really wanted to visit it too. Rebekah enjoys flying, I hate flying, so she can fly in for a weekend. So after dropping the “girls” off, husband and I headed north to Boulder.

Except for getting some basic information, I didn’t know anything about the facility and what to expect, except that we would learn how tea is processed.  As we followed the map on my phone, I began to worry when it directed us to turn into a residential area. Surely the phone app had led us astray…again.  We decided to continue following the map app as we had no idea where we were and knew if we were in the wrong place, we could program it to bring us back to a main road.

To our surprise right there in the residential area, we saw the a street sign reading SleepyTime Drive. We were in the right place! Not far down the road, we came to the entrance.



By this time I couldn’t wait to get inside, and I was hoping we would not have long to wait for a tour.


As we approached the headquarters entrance, I had no idea what to expect. The front window was covered in their signature picture.



Once inside we discovered tea heaven! I can not believe I didn’t take pictures. The first thing we did was sign up for a tour that would be starting in about 20 minutes.  The room had a long counter set with a variety of teas.


Photo credit Yelp by Jeff Boyardee T


After signing up, we were invited to sample not only those prepared but any tea in their inventory!


I was in my element… samples!! Take that winerys! We sampled both cold and hot teas until it was time to go into the theatre and begin our tour.



There is a slight downside. We were touring on Saturday and the processing lines were not running. That didn’t stop us from enjoying the tour as our guide explained what activities we would be seeing if the machines were running.  They process their teas except peppermint from air drying to packaging.  I looked at each variety of tea from all over the globe, while my imagination roamed wild, imagining the places where the tea was grown as well as the people who spend their days hand picking the best leaves.

After we finished our tour, I asked if we could return to the tasting area. I wanted to try out more blends to decide which I wanted to buy. They laughed and said, “you can taste until we close!”  The people at Celestial Seasonings are friendly and seem to love their jobs.  We tasted several more blends, then headed to the Tea shop. As we entered the shop I was delighted with the huge assortment.

I told my husband to buckle up, I would be doing some serious damage to our charge card!

Celestial Seasonings teas are bulk packaged in signature designed boxes. My husband prefers individual pack and we were pleased to note they had a selection of boxed individual tea bags and scooped up several in flavors we can’t get locally. (Reminder to self….order some more of these online.) It was fun browsing the different blends and deciding which ones had to come home with us. It turns out quite a few hopped into our bag!



The facility also has a cafe and I was hoping to have lunch there, but it was closed. As I am writing this story, I am beginning to think I might need to join Rebekah and Pam when they fly out to visit Celestial Seasonings. Surely the two of them can keep me from embarrassing myself on the plane.

It has taken me way too long to tell the story of our road trip and this is the final episode. My interstate hating husband decided we should abandon back roads for the return trip and drive the interstates. I still don’t know why, but if I understand everything he did, what fun would that be?  Thank you for reading the posts. I have enjoyed remembering the journey. We are undecided about where we will visit on our Fall vacation this year. I do know that a short beach adventure and a tour of a historical city is in the works.


Oh the irony. As I am finishing this series, a sub-tropical storm is advancing on Florida.


Guest Post – Rationing Gone Wild by GPCox

8 May

With the passing of the “Greatest Generation” the stories of what life was like during WWII here in the states are beginning to be lost. Thank you, GPCox for sharing this.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

We’ve all heard about rationing but with GP’s help, we’ll now know quite a bit more about it. Enjoy.

Blog - Rationing - Shate my car - 8.114.2013

The Second World War was fought on two fronts and as we’ve seen in previous posts, the home front rarely received the credit it deserved for its efforts.  The generation that endured the Great Depression, worked long, hard hours and were often forced to use the barter system to survive now, for the war effort, had shortages for most everything.  If you can name it – there was probably a ration book for it and a black market to get it; if you dared.  The children also pitched in by giving, what money they could earn, back into the family.

Rationing started just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sugar was the first product to be rationed when sales ended 27 April 1942 and commercial manufacturers received…

View original post 948 more words

Four Ways God Turns Trials to Triumph

3 Feb

Waking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles



February 2, 2018

Reblogged February 3, 2018

He’s got to be kidding.

I turned toward a new friend seated beside me during a writer’s conference. He’s got to be kidding! Did I hear him right? Did he say what I thought he said?

Those questions ricocheted in this crazy chica’s head when I heard him described what he did on the side.

I let out a quick gasp as he related, with a matter-of-fact tone, that he made jewelry out of, are you ready? …moose droppings!

I pinched my nose. “Tell me this is a joke,” I said.


Being from Alaska, he explained the process. And I tried really tried to understand this craft. My imagination went wild with not-so-pleasant images.


Our Own Trials

But, amigos got to spill it all. This brought to mind the yucky droppings of trials that had paraded through my days—blindness, my son’s death, the struggles of sorrow—all gave my life a bad smell of heartache.

But viola! God turned the trials to triumph as He saw beyond the pain, the sin, the ugly scenes and transformed it all to a shining jewel for His glory.

No, amigos, don’t you think for a minute I’m saying this chica is a jewel. But the triumph God ushered certainly is.

Your triumph is waiting for you too. In the horrible, ever-present battle you’re facing, He’s got his tools and is at work too. He is at work to clean, shine and make it glow.

Four Things

And during the process, all you have to do is:

…receive the joy for the moment. The joy that comes because you know He’s in control. The joy that resonates even when we don’t see the end result.

…choose gratitude in expectation of what He will do.

…look back at ways He transformed other smelly circumstances in the droppings of life.

…spray the perfume of repentance on that smelly sin. When He’s done He will showcase His victory in you.

Life sometimes does stink. But no matter how unbearable the stench of sin or sorrow is, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Let’s Pray

Father, from a discarded soul, tainted with sin, smelling of pride, you polished life, beauty and sparkle through your son Jesus. Thank you that our life now has a glow of salvation, of freedom, of joy and hope. In His name we thank you. Amen

  • What painful situation stinks in your life now?
  • What will it take for you to allow Him to turn your trials to triumph?
  • What keeps you in the same rut?




Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

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