Tag Archives: Flowers

Finally in North Carolina

17 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


After a lot of delays, we are now in North Carolina and enjoying the cooler mountain temps. I shared a picture earlier of our wild grass and weeds. Today I realized the Knock-Out roses surrounded by wildly overgrown grass and weeds had it’s own unique beauty. When I see abandoned houses with flowers growing among the high grasses, I often wonder what happened to the family that lived there.

Sorry about the quality of this short video. Silly me let the wristlet dangle as I filmed.



We don’t know what type of flower or weed this is, but we are excited to see that now there are four plants. The first one appeared a couple of years ago. It was rather spindly but we liked the flowers and didn’t cut it down.



We have two blueberry bushes, one an early bloomer and the other a late one. The early bloomer doesn’t have any berries, I wonder if a late frost killed them The later one is loaded with berries. I hope the birds share with us!



The Bleeding Heart and purple Iris still have some blooms, so I am thankful we get to enjoy them for a few days. I was pleased to note the Iris are spreading on their own. I had planned to thin them last fall but ran out of time.


Some of the Peonies have bloomed but I have my fingers crossed that there will be more. If not, I will enjoy them doubly next year.

We have had a couple of mishaps since arriving on Thursday night. It seems we should have written down some passwords like the wifi and the security system. They slipped right out of our minds. I won’t say much, but two deputies from the sheriff’s department are probably still laughing about this absent minded,  batty old couple.

Yard Rambles

26 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous her in the North Carolina mountains. The temperatures were mild and a soft breeze made it perfect for turning off the air conditioner and opening the windows. Tuesday afternoon I walked around the yard admiring the freshly mown grass. Our butterfly bush has been in a slump the past two summers due to a hash winter and this year it is back!



At the end of her last visit, our daughter left her camera with me. It takes amazing pictures and I couldn’t wait to snap some shots. I took some great ones and video of  butterflies on the bush. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to get them off of her camera!  Back up plan, use my phone camera.

By the time I went back outside, it was late afternoon and most of the butterflies were gone. As I stood there, wondering if I should try to capture some butterflies shots, a hummingbird flew in and hovered over one of the purple blossoms. She was so cute! I didn’t have the phone ready to take the shot, so I can’t share a picture, but I  was able to snap a few shots of the butterflies.


Our Rose of Sharon bush is doing better this year too and the butterflies have been enjoying its flowers too.




This summer I decided to splurge on a big basket of Coleus and I am enjoying them!  I didn’t have much success with them in Florida, I think it was the heat, but they are thriving in the milder, mountain climate. If they survive the cooler temperatures of fall, we may take them to spend the winter with us in Florida. We have a flowering basket that has spent two winters there and returned to North Carolina in the spring so that we could enjoy the blooms all season.



I haven’t picked any hydrangea this summer. They are planted on a hill and my husband hasn’t been well enough to tackle weed eating the underbrush and I was afraid of snakes! Tuesday, hubby felt stronger and cleared out the underbrush and I am looking forward to having some fresh blooms in the house.




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.

Keukenhof Gardens, Holland~Part 2

5 Apr


Judy Wills






Last time, I wrote about the Keukenhof Gardens, in Lisse, Holland. We so thoroughly enjoyed our visits there, and want to share this beautiful place with everyone we know.


Here is some history about the tulips we found interesting from the Fluwell website:

“during World War 2, people ate tulip bulbs. The only reason for this was hunger. The Netherlands suffered a great famine in the winter of 1944-1945. Eating tulip bulbs is not something our ancestors did for fun, they did it because there was nothing else to eat.

 Many Dutchmen of certain age remember the famine and the tulip bulbs they ate. In our theme park Tulpenland, we have a lot of customers that share their memories with us. They sometimes still find it difficult to see tulip bulbs back, although they know that we use them only for flowers, not for food. Hunger is a deep emotion that is not easily forgotten.

 The Dutch famine was the result of the lost Battle of Arnhem (1944), when allied forces failed to liberate the northern provinces of the country. The northern provinces became isolated from the liberated parts of Europe. Food stocks ran out, as did fuel stocks. Then a harsh winter began. Thousands of Dutch citizens starved or froze to death.

 Due to the war situation, tulip growers had not planted tulip bulbs that year; so great amounts of tulip bulbs were stocked on farms throughout the country. During the famine authorities decided to use these stocks as food for the starving populations. The old, dry tulip bulbs were sold in grocery stores, and newspapers published recipes with tulips. The tulip bulbs were nutritious and relatively easy to cook, so that less fuel was needed.

 The tulip bulbs that people ate in the Second World War cannot be compared with modern day, fresh tulip bulbs. The war bulbs were old and dry and did not taste like fresh tulips. A fresh tulip bulb has a sweet, milky flavor that is actually not very bad. The tulip bulbs that were eaten during the war had a very bitter and dry taste instead.

 Eating tulip bulbs is not as bad as it sounds like, as long as you eat fresh tulips that were not sprayed. Unfortunately, such bulbs were not available during the last winter of WW2. It is important that this sad history is not forgotten. Dutch children are still raised with the words: you are not hungry, you only have appetite (Je hebt geen honger, je hebt trek). Real hunger makes you eat everything you can get, even old, dry tulip bulbs, as they were eaten during the Dutch famine.”



Just a side note here – there is a wonderful place to visit outside The Hague, called Madurodam. It is a miniature city, built to scale. It includes the normal things you would find in a city – churches, office buildings, and even Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, with working airplanes. It’s a fun thing to see during the day, but miniature lights come on at night, and it’s quite the fairyland.



The family of Old Things R New wishes each of our visitors a blessed Easter. He is risen!

The Archivist~Part 2

16 Mar


 Judy Wills

Judy Wills


Recently I wrote about being the family “archivist.”  In keeping with that theme, I want to talk about one of my great-grandparents.  I had often heard her spoken of as “Grandma Mac.”  She was my mother’s grandmother.

I don’t know a lot about her – she was quite a lovely lady…she loved having flowers around the house…she had one son and three daughters (my grandmother being the oldest of those daughters), and that son died at about age two.


Not only do I have a bunch of family pictures, but I have a few “keepsakes” of hers.  I have a “pressed glass” dish that was hers.

I also have a silver-plated flower arranger.  I really didn’t know what it was for a long time, until my mother told me that Grandma Mac always had some type of natural flowers “arranged” in that dish.  It made it quite easy for people to have a nice flower arrangement on their table, without having to have the knowledge or knack of arranging flowers.  The pedestal stand and “bowl” are one piece, and the removal top is lattice-shaped, with holes where the flower stems would be inserted.

After holding onto that piece for a while, I decided that I would like to have a more permanent silk flower arrangement for my solid teak dining room table, and thought that arranger would be just the thing.  So I took it to our local florist, and asked them what they could/would do with it.  The sales person began suggesting this flower, and then that flower, and nothing really appealed to me.  Then she said, “oh wait….what about gardenias?”  And just like that, it was decided.  Gardenias are absolutely my favorite flower!  Why didn’t I think of that?

What do you think?  I think it’s gorgeous, and it sits on my dining room table every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I have other special arrangements.  And every day I am reminded of my heritage, and the sweet lady that loved lovely things.

I am blest.


22 Mar
The Wonders of Nature
Louise Gibson
                                          I look through my kitchen window each day.
                                          Seeking, as I always do-
                                          All the signs of God’s presence
                                          In the soul-stirring scene that I view.
                                          It never ceases to amaze me
                                          That His presence is everywhere.
                                          The Easter Lilies are radiant,
                                          Postural,. as though in prayer.
                                           They are programmed to bloom at Easter,
                                           Then close for another year.
                                           Their role is to glorify the Saviour-
                                           Then silently disappear.
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