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Lava

25 Jul

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Oh April-50th Anniversary Part 2

6 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 10, 2021-Day 2

We began our first full day in Pigeon Forge with coffee on the porch, followed by a breakfast of peanut butter waffles and precooked bacon. I prepared the waffles before leaving home, so it was a simple matter of popping them in the toaster. Over breakfast we discussed our plan for the day. Afternoon rain was forecast so we decided to venture out to a short nature trail behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The trail was an easy 1.1 mile walk, more like a stroll through the woods leading to Cataract Falls. Perfect! Shortly after we began walking, we felt a few sprinkles of rain, but nothing more. We came across multiple signs like this one, It was interesting to know not only the name of the plants, trees and bushes, but how they were used.

Of course, no self respecting mountain trail would be complete without a cheerful stream running alongside.

Just before the bridge was this odd tree stump. What stories it could tell!

When we arrived at the falls, a light rain began, but it didn’t last long enough to wet us. An interesting interaction happened where people were having their pictures taken in front of the falls. A bystander saw a group posing and called out a man’s name. Surprised laughter followed. To the best of my eavesdropping ability, it seemed they were acquaintances from the same town and I think they were involved in a sport. You just never know who you will see. We did the picture thing too.

Husband and daughter

After leaving the falls we discovered a shortcut back to our car. Not nearly as picturesque, but with rain threatening, it seemed like the best choice. We followed a couple who were walking confidently and seemed to know where they were going. I’m glad we chose that route as it brought us out in front of the stone ranger station. We admired the stone work. There’s just something about it that says strong and enduring.

Back at the timeshare we had lunch then banished my husband to take a nap. My daughter and I decided to brave the impending rain and do some shopping in Sevierville. I got a kick out of the ducks in front of the Dollar Tree store. Just before I snapped the picture their faces were pressed close to the windows.

Taco soup that I made ahead at home was a perfect rainy night supper, followed by streaming one of our favorite TV shows ended day 2 of our anniversary celebration.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue touse 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.

Three Steps to Remain Steady and Strong

17 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight\

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 17, 2021

April 9, 2021

He belongs behind bars. I think you’ll agree after you read this excerpt from Wild at Heart, by Ransom Ministries.

“Our local zoo, for years had one of the biggest African lions I’ve ever seen. A huge male, nearly five hundred pounds, with a wonderful mane and absolutely enormous paws. Panthera leo, the King of the Beasts.

Sure, he was caged, but I’m telling you the bars offered small comfort when you stood within six feet of something that in any other situation saw you as an easy lunch. Honestly, I felt I ought to shepherd my boys past him at a safe distance, as if he could pounce on us if he really wanted to.

Yet he was my favorite, and whenever the others would wander on to the monkey house or the tigers, I’d double back just for a few more minutes in the presence of someone so powerful and noble and deadly. Perhaps it was fear mingled with admiration; perhaps it was simply that my heart broke for the big old cat.

This wonderful, terrible creature should have been out roaming the savannah, ruling his pride, striking fear into the heart of every wildebeest, bringing down zebras and gazelles whenever the urge seized him. Instead, he spent every hour of every day and every night of every year alone, in a cage smaller than your bedroom, his food served to him through a little metal door.”

Whew!

Although pitifully out of his habitat, he’s behind bars so visitors are safe. Not so in the zoo of life we’re living in right now. Another being lurks around. He’s on the loose, free, roaming from here to there as “he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

But before we take a step back in fear, we recognize what we must never do: not for one minute do we become intimidated, or do we focus on his presence, his demonic ploys or his masterful lies that carry counterfeit messages.

Instead, we follow the FBI’s method. They have an effective way to detect counterfeit currency bills.

Their approach is to intensely study, analyze and examine the intricate details of the authentic, genuine currency.

So deeply ingrained in their brains are the details of the true and legitimate paper bill that when they encounter a counterfeit, they immediately recognize it.

We need to do the same. We prepare. We study, examine and internalize God’s truth. Then, quicker than a flick on the cell phone, we can identify the adversary.

3 Steps to Take

And to avoid being his prey, we take these three steps:

No. 1: Dress up for the day. Each morning, before we pour the first cup of coffee, we put on the armor of God. Why? Because the day of temptation and attacks will come. When it does, here’s what we do:

“…put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)

We have that mighty designer armor delivered right to the door of our heart. But what do we do? Instead of putting it on, we sometimes head out spiritually naked. We do because life’s tasks demand our time. Because social media lures us. Because we become busy feeding our worry with exaggerated lies from the media. And before we know it, we become an inviting prey for the enemy.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Dressed in God’s armor, we’re the ones who sit at the table of His grace and feed our mind, spirit and soul with the promise of His guaranteed protection.

No. 2. We declare our position. Equipped and ready, we can step at the front of the battle line. Fear left behind, worry shed away, anxiety has no power anymore.

And from this point on, no matter how gloomy the world turns, how uncertain the future may seem. And no matter what threats may come our way, we stand firm empowered by our position of truth. God’s truth that, in the midst of our worst pain and anguish, He speaks to us through the Apostle Paul’s words “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8:36).

The danger is real and the threat is near. But we stand in the position of power because “…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Our place of security is in Christ.

 Our place of security is in Christ.

That’s why even if the world seems to be falling apart, we’re secure because we’re in the right location—in Him. In Christ, in His corner. In His strength and in His love.

No. 3 Dare to be different. Have you read the posts? Have you listened to the news? Have you seen the complaints and lamenting words? We all have. But not all of us have to follow the crowd and become members of the “frantic club.”

Once inducted in this club, we’re doomed. We end up making decisions based on everyone else’s example. We follow steps dictated by fear. And we head in directions paved by others.

Time to change. What if we chose to dare to be different? Let’s disconnect that channel from which we receive our information. What if we pull away from the computer? What if we temporarily turned off our cell phones. Outrageous!

Though it may seem an impossible task as our cells have become a body part—they go with us everywhere—restaurants, cars, stores, the park, the bathroom. Soon they might sell water-proof cell phones so we can take them in the shower.

But what if we choose to be different and take a few minutes to be in silence. And with resolve, we direct our focus only on the Lord. On His ways. On His goodness. On His promises. And on His comfort.

The Result

The result will be that in God’s presence, we find peace. In the stillness of our heart, we find rest. In the quiet of the moment, our minds become clear. And in the pondering of His goodness, we gain strength.

That’s why we remain steady. We remain strong and faithful. And instead of wimpy Christians, we become warriors, conquerors. Actually, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

More than conquerors, secure in who we are, we begin each day spiritually dressed. We declare our position in Christ. We boldly choose to be different than the crowd. And thus, we put the enemy behind bars and we stand firm and victorious.

Although a victorious life doesn’t mean empty of adversity, it’s rich with God’s promise that we’re guided by the truth of His Word. We’re anointed by His Holy Spirit. And protected by the blood of the Lamb.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for providing the perfect shield from the enemy’s attacks, Under Your grace, we may not be immune to suffering, but we’re equipped to endure, to triumph and live in the security of Your protection. In Jesus’ name.

What steps have you taken to live secure and protected?

Janet

______________________________________

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.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Children and God-1

12 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 Photo Credit Pixabay

To read the Bible is to get reassurance from our Heavenly Father. A wonderful Christian I read about stated that he never worried. I believed him. Unfortunately for many of us, this is a worry-wart world, especially now in this dark time of Covid 19 and ruthless leaders. However, I’m concentrating more on our Father God than on the problems; that’s what gives me peace.  

From what I’ve heard, God has started the greatest revival the world has ever known. That means a possible billion, or however many people of the world God chooses or those who choose Him. When it is time, people will settle in and give their hearts and souls to Jesus, the Son of God who died for our sins. We can worry less because we are the beloved children of God, and we are cleansed in the blood of the Lord Jesus. All we need to do is to acknowledge that he died for our sins and turn our lives over to him.

No one does life better than God.

When our son and daughter were still at home, we prayed with and for them. The neighborhood kids came back after supper to hear the Bible stories read by Bill. The whole bunch of them were doing well in school and playing in the woods. They still had plenty of problems and questions to deal with, though, because they were children and still needed to be trained in the art of becoming adults. That was why I was so thrilled to come across the following scriptures. 

Isaiah 54:10-14 says, “And all your children shall be taught of the Lord.

[and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. Amplified Bible

John 6::45 says, “It is written in the book of the prophets, (Isaiah 54:15)

And they shall all be taught of the Lord, have Him in person for their teacher.” 

Photo Credit Pixabay

It is wonderful to know that God has been and still is teaching our children about Himself. If we turn our problems over to our Heavenly Father, we don’t need to worry so much. It is useless to try to fix things with our minds or any other human mind. We need to go directly to God and open the door to be told what He wants us to do.  Getting counsel can be necessary, but we still need to continue to check everything with God first. (And rebuke evil while we’re at it.) 

God loves the children and has given them as gifts to Himself and us. Thank you, Lord, for all the children in the world. Bless them and make their lives good.  

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.”

Music and Me-Part 3

11 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

But while the piano has been a large part of my life, I found singing to be my love and joy.  I can remember singing in childrens and youth choirs most of my life.  When I came of age, I began singing in the Adult Choir in our church.

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico Credit Google Search

1964 – Sanctuary Choir – First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I remember the very first solo I sang – it was in 1st grade and it was for a Christmas program in my class.  I sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  I don’t remember singing many other solos until I reached Junior High (what today would be called Middle School).  I was in the school chorus there, and we sang for many school functions.

November 26 – Christmas parade – I’m holding the 2nd “F” – Jefferson Junior High School

In that day, Junior High was grades 7, 8, and 9, with High School being just three years, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Highland High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

I was in the girl’s chorus all three of those years.  I had tried out for All-State Chorus in 10th grade, but had a cold that day, and didn’t make it.  However, I was in it the next two years.  

Highland High School’s All State Chorus – 1959

Since Albuquerque was the largest city in New Mexico, that’s where All-State Chorus was held.  We met in the gymnasium of the University of New Mexico.  It was a great time – all the All-State choruses from around the state gathered in Albuquerque, and we all sang together.  I loved it!

I remember one particular All-State Chorus time – probably my senior year in high school – when we began to sing, and we found ourselves off-key – and we were in the concert time, not rehearsal!  The director stopped us from singing.  I was mortified!  And I think most of the rest of the chorus was, as well!  He had the pianist play something in another key, then started us up again.  We stayed on-pitch that time, much to my surprise.  But rather than let us fumble through the piece in the wrong key, he had the presence of mind to correct it.  HE was not mortified at all!  I have since learned that, if the group is being accompanied by a drum, that even if the drum is the only sound going, we stay on-pitch.  Amazing!

The most fun of my high school singing time was that I was chosen to sing in the hand-picked group of girls singers – Dreamers.

Dreamers – 1959 – Highland High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

We had 12 girls in the group, with four girls on each part.  Occasionally the songs we did had more than three parts, and we would split into more parts.  That’s where I learned to love singing second soprano.  I learned to sing the second soprano with the first soprano ringing in my head.  Still do that to some degree.  Dreamers sang at many functions around the city.  It was a wonderful time in my life.  I was in Dreamers my entire three years in high school.  

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fishing with Ivan Part 4D

7 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The scenery was beautiful as we continued north on CA-1 to our next stop in San Francisco, CA where we wanted to show our kids some of the sights and sounds of that fabulous city.  First we took them to Ghirardelli Square, where we checked out the shops and bought some chocolates for DiVoran.  Then we took the famous Powell & Hyde cable-car to Fisherman’s Wharf for some really wonderful seafood.  After that delightful experience, we went back to our car and drove down the famous winding Lombard Street with our camper!  I wasn’t sure we were going to make it around some of those curves.

Photo: https://www.queenanne.com/things-to-do/fisherman-s-wharf

Leaving San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and took U.S. 101 north to our halfway point for this trip, which was to visit Ivan & Dora in Ft. Bragg, CA.  See there, I told you we would eventually get to them, if you were patient with me for the first half of this road trip.  We had a great visit with Ivan and Dora.  They were a little isolated from their family, and loved seeing us and their grandchildren.  They showed us around their small fishing village of Fort Bragg (pop ~4737), and introduced us to some of their friends there.  One day Ivan took us all out in the woods, close to their house, to collect mushrooms for our dinner.  He showed us how to tell the eatable ones from the poison ones.  Dora grew a lot of the fresh vegetables they ate in her small garden.  The fresh vegetables and mushrooms sure were good with the charcoal grilled steaks we had that evening.  

Photo: https://www.phinneycenter.org/calendar/edible-and-medicinal-mushrooms-of-the-pnw/

Now for the fishing story you’ve been waiting for.  One day while we were there, in Fort Bragg, Ivan took me out on the Pacific Ocean (just the two of us) in his commercial salmon fishing boat, Husky, to show me how he fished for Chinook Salmon.  What an experience that was!    I mostly just watched, helped when I could, and steered the boat once he started letting out his fishing line.  Ivan did all the work, and had his one-man system worked out well.  You couldn’t pay me enough to do that kind of work, but Ivan seemed to love it.

       Photo by Dora Bowers – Ivan’s new fishing boat (Husky)

Ivan told me that he fished alone most of the time, and used the trout line method.  He would use his Lowrance Fish Finder to locate the schools of fish, and then he would put the boat on auto-pilot and let out his baited hooks and line.  Once the line was all the way out, he would make a very large turning circle, and head back, reeling in the line and fish with the aid of a small electric powered winch.  He would ice down the fish, and if the catch was good, he would repeat the procedure all over again.  It was a difficult task, but he seemed to manage without any problem, as long as the seas didn’t get too rough.  

Photo:  https://www.asupervip.top/products.aspx?cid=36&cname=trotlines

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Psalm 61:1-3 A Life-Saver Prayer

5 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

  

The Passion Translation (with some paraphrase)

My dear Papa, Holy Spirit, and Jesus,

Hear my prayer. Listen to my heart’s cry! No matter where I am, when I’m anxious, I cry out to you for a father’s help. 

When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered. Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me regardless of the mistakes I have made in the past. You lift me high above the fray. None of my foes can touch me when I’m held firmly in your wrap-around presence! Keep me in this glory. Let me live continually under your splendor-shadow, hiding my life in you forever.

photo credit Pixabay

Lord, I declare that you have placed a veil over all my wrongdoings in the past, and in the present. You have full jurisdiction over the evil one and will infuse my body, soul, and spirit with your love so that I no longer hear the devilish accusations, but think only of what is pure, good, and loving.  

Photo credit Pixabay

It is Well with my Soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way

When sorrow like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, 

Thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well; it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul 

Here is a beautiful rendering of the song

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.”

Easter 2021

4 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Easter 2021…what a change this past year has been.  

Last year, Easter was just about forgotten.  We had just ventured into the lockdown for Covid-19, and were unable to attend church as usual for that holiday.  Our church MAY have started having a drive-in service, but I don’t really remember.  I do remember that even that service was outlawed for a time.  We were devastated.  At least, with today’s technology, we were able to have the service on youtube and could still worship “collectively.”

I remember Easter from many past years.  I remember that was a time for getting a new “outfit” for Easter.

1944 – Easter – Dallas, Texas – Bill and Judy

1952 – Easter – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Bill and Judy

1955 – Easter – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Bill and Judy

1956 – Easter – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Bill, Judy and Boots

1957 – Easter – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Judy and DiVoran Bowers (soon to be DiVoran Lites)

After Fred and I married, we were too “student” poor for that to happen, but I still had plenty of clothes that still fit, and our new church friends hadn’t seen any of those outfits anyway, so it was “new” at that point.

I remember one Easter that Fred and I had traveled from Fort Worth, Texas back to Albuquerque.  Of course, we stayed with my parents, and went to the Easter Sunrise Service, held at the football stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico (UNM).  That sunrise coming over the East mountains was breathtaking! 

1964 – Easter – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Fred and Judy

On another note, Fred and I have attended one Easter Sunrise service at SeaWorld here in Orlando.  It is held in Bay Stadium, and some of the local radio and TV celebrities and musicians held the service.  It is quite meaningful.

But that brings me back to Easter 2020.  In spite of the lockdown – in spite of not being able to hold services inside the church building – Easter still came last year!  The time our Saviour walked out of that grave is all the Easter we need!

Found on Google and FaceBook

The government may think they can stop our worship…oh how WRONG they are!  If they will just study history, they will see that when the church (Christians) are persecuted and their gatherings are curtailed…the church grows!!  And grows stronger in the faith.  God is stronger than anything!  In a small way, I am glad to be living in the time when the church is persecuted, and I have a front-row seat to see the believers getting deeper and deeper into their faith in God.  Remember – the “church” is NOT the building where we meet.  The “church” is all the believers that worship the One and True Living God!

And so…on this Easter morning 2021, the very best thing I can say to you is

HE IS RISEN!!   HE IS RISEN INDEED!  HALLELUJAH!

Credit ChurchArt

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fishing with Ivan Part 4 C

31 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The next day we crossed the Mohave Desert on our way to visit DiVoran’s brother, David, & his family in Bonita, CA.  David’s house was less than 10 miles from the Mexican border, and he regaled us with stories of illegals coming thru his property at night, on their way north.  We learned that David’s house keeper, Angelica, was the only daughter of a Mexican lawyer and could speak very little English.  She had come from Mexico City with her boyfriend, and was later abandon by him. She didn’t know very much about housekeeping, but boy could she cook!  I remember she cooked up the most delicious authentic Mexican style Chili Rellenos dinner for us that I have ever had.

Photo by Bill Lites

When we said goodbyes to David and his family, we headed north to visit our good friends Terry & Mary in Diamond Bar, CA.  I had worked with Terry on the Apollo Moon Landing program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, before they had moved back to California for his work.  Terry and Mary were also in our Bible Study group, there in Titusville, for many years.  I remember when they took us to one of their favorite restaurants, Pinnacle Peak Stakehouse, for dinner that Terry warned me that the restaurant had a ‘No-Tie Policy’ and the servers would cut the necktie off any first-time customer, without any notice.  When we walked into the restaurant, I was stunned to see the ceiling was absolutely covered with neckties.  The service was great and the steaks were wonderful!

Photo Credit Yelp

After a great visit with Terry and Mary, we continued north, up the California coast on U.S. 101 & CA-1, to visit Hearst Castle (La Cuesta Encantada) located near San Simeon, CA.   William Randolph Hearst built the 42 bedroom, 61 bathroom, 19 sitting room castle (1919-1947) which is surrounded by 125 acres of gardens.  There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, a zoo and a private airfield.  Hearst lived in the castle during most of the years of its construction, and until his death in 1951.  ‘The Big House’ was opened to the public in 1958, as a museum, operated by the California State Park System.  That was an amazing tour!  The tour lasted over an hour and a half, and even then we only saw a small portion of that huge edifice (68,500 sq. ft.).  We learned that much of the castle’s beautiful artwork and building materials were obtained from, as far away as, England and Spain and shipped all the way to the west coast of California. 

Photo: https://www.travelawaits.com/2477527/touring-hearst-castle

Continuing north on CA-1, along the picturesque California coast, we next stopped to check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium located in Monterey, CA.  This is a very unusual and spectacular attraction!  In addition to the amazing indoor tank (320,000 gallons), the aquarium also has a unique ‘Open Sea’ outdoor pool (1 million gallons), both of which have large viewing windows and are fed by filtered sea water from Monterey Bay.  From the observation deck, surrounding the Open Sea pool, we had a wonderful view of the Sea Otters eating and playing in the pool.

We stayed long enough to watch a diver, thru the glass wall of the large indoor pool, feed the fish.  I was surprise to see that the fish didn’t swarm around him all at once.  They came up to him, a few at a time, to grab a piece of food, and then they would casually swim back into the dark swaying kelp forest.  They must keep them well fed, as none of the different types of fish, jelly fish, or sharks seemed to be in a hurry to eat.  It all seemed quite casual, more like a dance routine. (I’m sure they had fed the sharks first).

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

The Hometown Museum

30 Mar

The Storyteller Almanac

Reblogged

Greetings All,

This weeks episode in my podcast series, “The Storyteller Almanac” is a little special and different. It’s a conversation with a wonderful lady named Kaye Malins. Kay resides in Marceline, MO. – the boyhood home of Walt Disney. But the story surely doesn’t stop there. Kaye knew both Walt and Roy Disney. In fact she lives in the house where the Disney family lived while in Marceline, MO. What’s more, when Kaye was about 18, she was sought out and hired by Walt and Roy Disney to come to work at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. 

You may have read or heard stories about Walt Disney. But Kaye offers a very unique perspective with her stories about the man having known a side of Walt that was much more than his professional or public persona. Well worth the listen especially if you’re a Disney fan or a Disney Cast Member.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast.

You can find the episode at www.StorytellerAlmanac.com or on any of the major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more. And if you feel so inclined, please feel free to subscribe to the podcast on those aforementioned podcast platforms so you won’t miss any future episodes. No obligation. No commitment. No charge and of course no salesperson will call .

Thanks for droppin’ by, neighbor! “Mike The Storyteller” 

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

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