MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment

Leave a comment


BIRD (CARDINAL) NF.jpgI did it!!! I finally captured a picture of Mr. Cardinal!!! Yesterday, I moved the feeder to a spot on the porch rail where I can get clear shots from inside the house. Throughout the day today, he kept landing on the opposite rail but never came close to the seed while I was nearby.

Finally, he somehow got past me and got to the seed. I went for my camera, and he took off! Then later on, I could not believe he landed on the rail beside the seed and stayed long enough for me to get his picture!!!

Here he is, and he’s available on products in both my Fine Art America and Pixels online stores.

Next: Mrs. Cardinal!!! ūüôā

From my heart ‚̧ to yours ‚̧ !




BIRD SEED (NEW & EATEN).jpgI just had to share this! I finally figured out a way to outfox the cardinals. You know how I’ve been trying for weeks to get some pictures of the handsome and beautiful Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal who feed regularly everyday at my feeder? Well, this morning, I had to refill the feeder. I found a small chunk of leftover seeds that had fallen to the ground, so I put it on the porch rail right in front of my glass storm door. Also, I placed the refilled feeder beside the chunk of seeds.

Sure enough, I peeked outside my office window and saw Mr. Cardinal eating away. However, as soon as I tiptoed into the living room and grabbed my camera, he flew off! But I know he’ll be back, and I am determined to get my picture.

One day last week, I was sitting on the sofa talking on my cell phone to one of my sisters. Mr. Cardinal came up and just plopped himself on the porch rail directly in front of the door. He stayed there a long time, but I was so busy talking that it did not dawn on me to grab my camera which was right there on a table in front of me, aim it, zoom in, and get a close up of him. By the time I thought of it and picked up my camera, he flew away! I imagined him the whole while I was sitting there talking with my sister, heckling at me and saying, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, you can’t catch me!” And then when he saw me grab my camera, laughing as he high-tailed it out of there. ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

I know y’all think I’m crazy, but that’s okay. Life is what we make it, and enjoying God’s awesome natural creation is one of my ways of making the most of it.

Until next time, this is from my heart ‚̧ to yours ‚̧ !




I’ve had a lot going on this week with my mama.¬† Earlier, my baby sister had called to tell me she hadLAUGHTER to contact 911 for her.¬† So I jumped in my car and flew to Mama’s house.¬† My sister, the fire truck, and the ambulance were already there when I arrived.¬† The ambulance was parked in the driveway so I pulled up onto the¬†front lawn¬†out of the way of the vehicle.¬† In doing so, I¬†had forgotten¬†about a small wire garden fence there¬†around Mama’s daylilies.

I suddenly heard a noise underneath the front of my car and realized that I had driven over something.¬† It was dark (almost eleven o’clock at night.)¬† I immediately backed up a little, and that’s when I remembered the fence.

But since I did not have time to worry about it at the moment, I¬†rushed into Mama’s house where she was being assisted by the emergency medical technicians.¬†¬†My husband arrived in his car.¬† After everything was situated and Mama was¬†taken to the hospital, I stayed behind for a few minutes to tidy up the house while my sister and her family went to the hospital.¬† I told¬†my husband¬†about the fence.¬† He then moved my car to the driveway and straightened the fence.

At the hospital as¬†we were waiting¬†for Mama’s test results, I could not help but laugh to myself every time I thought about running over the fence.¬† I told Mama what happened as she laid there in her hospital bed.¬† She, my sister, and I got us a good laugh from it.¬† I still¬†chuckle inwardly¬†when I think about it.¬† It reminds me¬†of another time when Mama was in the hospital and my kids and I were going one Sunday morning to visit her.

It was raining slightly, and¬†my¬†children¬†(who were much younger then)¬†were on either side of me as I tried to hold my umbrella in one hand and¬†keys¬†in the other.¬† I had given one of them my pocketbook to carry.¬† The next thing I knew, I was going down and could not stop.¬† I went down so fast that neither of¬†them were able to try to help¬†stop my fall.¬† The umbrella went one way and the keys,¬†another.¬† I fell flat on my “boom-boom” onto a huge clay pot of begonias that I had recently planted.¬† The cool part about the fall was that when I went down onto the pot, it was as though I had just plopped down onto a chair–a flower-pot chair!¬† I never hit the ground.¬† It looked like someone had just picked me up off the ground and set me onto the flower pot.¬† Since¬†the only thing that was hurt was my pride (just kidding–only my children saw me), all I could do was laugh at myself.¬† To this day, I continue to tell¬†others about it¬†as I’m¬†doubled over with laughter.¬† It was so funny to me that I ended up putting it in one of my stories, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, which is my sequel to THE BREAKING POINT.¬† ISAIHTBP

I love writing stories, and I love adding humor to them.¬† Many of us have heard of the age-old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”¬† And although many things in life are certainly no joke, there are times when having a sense of humor about them helps us to cope.¬† I¬†often ponder God’s and his son Jesus’¬†sense of humor.

When Jesus was on earth, although he was serious-minded when it came to his ministry and way of life, he was not a tight-lipped disciplinarian.  He was kind, warm, and friendly. The Bible says at Matthew 11:28 that he brought refreshment to others.  At the same time though, many of us might sense a touch of humor in some of the things he said and taught.

Although his teachings were mainly¬†for the purpose of spreading the good news about God’s Kingdom, one might also find amusing the idea of a camel attempting to pass through the eye of a literal sewing needle.¬† (Matthew 19:23 & 24)¬† Of course, this was just one example of Jesus’ way of teaching in order to get people to open up their minds and really¬†think.

Since Jesus is the perfect reflection of his Father (John 14:9¬†), it goes without saying that God also has a sense of humor.¬† Let’s look at just one example–his animal creation.¬† Have you ever stopped to take the time to¬†watch them?¬†¬†Some of them perform many humorous antics which bring a smile to our lips, laughter bubbling from within us, and extra joy to our lives.

Humor is a delightful gift from God and when used in moderation and with sound judgment, adds flavor, zest, and sparkle to our everyday lives.¬† So , yes, life will get us down now and then–but sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine!

Good-bye for now.  HAPPY READING!

And as always, this is from my heart to yours.