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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…..free 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.

  http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

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…

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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.

“Nope.”

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?

Janet

 

Source: http://janetperezeckles.com/blog/encouragement/four-ways-god-turns-trials-triumph-2.html

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.

Road Trip~Denver, Colorado to Rocky Mountain National Park

21 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Day 8 September 14, 2017

We got up early, excited to pick up our daughter and family friend, Pam at the airport and begin this portion of our trip. Our daughter’s home was still without electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma so Rebekah had made arrangements for her cat, Mia, to stay with Pam’ daughter until the power came back on. She had managed to shift the food in her freezer to another friend’s home that had electricity and room for the food.

 

 

Arriving flights at the Denver airport was frustrating as they would not let us stop the car long enough for our party to get their luggage and walk to our meet us. I feel like they were going to arrest me for asking for an extra minute! However, we finally connected and headed off to find some breakfast and coffee for the travelers who had to be at the Orlando airport at 3 am.

Once we were caffeinated we set our GPS for Rocky Mountain National Park and began our Colorado adventure .The drive to Estes Park situated at the entrance to the park would take somewhere between one and one half to two hours.

 

A cute town, but enjoying nature was our goal today. Attribution: Frans-Banja Mulder

 

From the National Park website:

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!

At one stop we saw this gorgeous bird in a tree. Rebekah took a few shots of it. Does anyone know what type of bird it is? It looks like a type of Jay to me.

 

That smile won’t last long on this trip!

 

One of our first stops was to explore a boardwalk. As Rebekah, Pam and I strolled down the walk, Rebekah began to feel queasy. It seems the combination of altitude change from sea level to over 10.000 feet was not settling well. It is possible the day and nights of Florida heat with no air conditioning weakened her body’s ability to adjust.

 

Looking a little pale

 

I thought maybe lunch would perk her up so we began to look for a picnic area. Every time we found one, it was full. Finally we turned down a side road that lead to a horse camp. It was closed for the season and we had the whole area to ourselves!

 

 

As we drove higher in the mountains, we reached a tundra like area. Pretty even in its bareness. The views from there were lovely.

 

 

Rebekah was too nauseous to leave the car and spent the rest of the drive with her head down, resting her forehead on the back of the front seat. She gave me her camera and asked me to video the scenery she was missing.  Pam was a trooper. It can’t have been fun to ride next to someone who was being sick.

Colorado fall is famous for its Aspen trees. We assumed we were too early for the color but there were several patches scattered across the mountains.

 

 

 

It had been a long day for our Florida folks, so we decided to skip one of the other drives in the park. We made it back to our hotel in Denver in time to have supper at the welcome buffet. Rebekah  retired to her room with tea and crackers.

 

It’s in the Air!

17 Nov

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

author of Window Wonders

 

 

 

Something stirred in my soul today,
an excitement deep within.
The “Little Kid” in me wants to express herself.
“It’s holiday time again!”

 

There is something so special in the air,
It reaches down deep within our soul.
To glorify Christ in all that we do
should be our ultimate goal.

 

Look up. Around, and deep within.
His presence is truly made known.
How comforting it is for us to know
God is always “on His throne”.

 

Our mission on earth is to glorify Christ.
Our actions speak volumes. that’s true-
Think carefully before you speak.
Let others see Christ in you.

 

Let Others See Jesus In You by Eliza E. Hewitt

 

For the Love of Florida’s Butterflies

7 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

I thought I would do another series for a few months. I would like to share with you a true earth treasure. The butterfly.

 

 

A little creature that whispers Gods glory and gospel. The apostle Paul says we are works in progress and that our transformation from the old to the new is a struggle. All of creation is overflowing with living attributes paralleling the divine principles of life and struggle. Look at the transformation of the butterfly from egg to larva to butterfly, a supreme work of nature.

 

Monarch

 

It wasn’t until my admiration for them turned to passion that I wanted to photograph and learn the details of a butterflies life. It wasn’t just their magical beauty in my garden that thrilled me, but their life story. The one our God  wrote for them. Oh, what they go through to live and multiply. I call their life cycle “from mushy to majesty”.  The marvel of metamorphosis.

 

 

Sit in my butterfly garden with me in the weeks to come. I would like to share with you how you can enjoy butterflies in your yard, how to photograph them and to enjoy their beautiful story. Each week I will showcase a different Florida butterfly.

I am going to start with information about planting a successful butterfly garden next week. Then show you how to enjoy their entire life cycle by raising your own. The first butterfly showcase will be the Monarch since they are the most well known and are the easiest to attract and raise.

See ya next week.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Road Trip~ Fort Smith, Arkansas to Amarillo, Texas

2 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 10, 2017 Day 4

September 10 marked our second day of loading and unloading the truck. Since we were carrying sandwich makings for our daily picnic and other items needing to be kept cold, we had to carry in our coolers too.  What is all that stuff?

 

 

Our route today on Interstate 40 would take us through the rather monotonous plains of Oklahoma. Fortunately, On a previous trip out west my husband had his heart set on seeing the landscapes that were settings in the cowboy western movies of his youth. Unfortunately, our RV broke down and we had to forego stops to get back on schedule for our camping reservations.  I had a surprise planned for my husband on this leg of the trip.  A picnic in a cowboy canyon!

The tiny town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population 3,220, and is the home of Red Rock Canyon State Park. According to their website:

Red Rock Canyon was once a stop on the famous California Trail. Now visitors can enjoy this beautiful western Oklahoma oasis without bringing the Conestoga wagon. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a great place to hike, climb, or explore. Bring the family or bring the whole wagon train!

The timing of our arrival was perfect. We were ready to get off the interstate for gas as well as lunch. Driving into the park we began a sharp descent into the canyon. I was amazed at the abrupt change in the landscape and my sweet husband was thrilled to finally experience cowboy rocks!

 

 

Our daughter noticed that I seem to snap pictures of my husband  while he is chewing. It wasn’t intentional….honest.

 

 

After our picnic, we returned to Interstate 40, excited for our first glimpse of Texas. I am not a fan of hot weather, so all of our previous trips west took a northern route. Not the greatest picture, taken by my phone through the windshield.

 

 

I was surprised at the number of wind mills in Texas! There were acres and acres of them. We ended our day in Amarillo, Texas and I was ready to try some authentic Texas barbecue. I asked at the front desk and they recommended Dyer’s. It was hard to find as it is located in one of those shopping areas where the businesses blend into to setting.

 

Photo credit Yelp Review

 

We enjoyed the atmosphere and ordered a three meat plate. It was all delicious and I particularly liked their brisket and onion rings.The servers were friendly and their sweet tea was as good as my mama’s, strong and sweet.

 

Not chewing this time!

 

After supper, I spoke with our daughter on the phone. She had decided to ride out the storm in her home….alone. Hurricane Irma would be passing over her home in the evening hours. I knew I would not be getting much sleep.

 

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