MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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ANOTHER DAY IN THE PARK

PARK BENCH 3Hi, everybody!  Today, I took my first walk in the park in over two weeks.  I’ve missed my walks.  It was so refreshing to be back out there again even though it was a little hotter than usual.  I hope you enjoy some of my photos from today and a couple of weeks ago, including a few of my own plants.

In the third one below, look for the little, star-shaped, black and white insect on one of the leaves on the right.  I was so fascinated by it because I had never before seen anything like it–so fascinated that I got close enough to take this picture–whereas, any other time, I would have hurt myself trying to run from it :).

And finally, the last three are some of my outdoor plants.

Have a wonderful evening!

From my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.maxinebillings.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com

LEAVES & SKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAGNOLIA FLOWER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSECT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALLA LILY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HYDRANGEAHENS & CHICKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INTRODUCING EEVIE!

WELCOME, MISS EEVIE!

Hello, everyone!  Today, I have a very special guest who I would like to introduce to you.  Her name is Evelyn Faye Randall, but most people call her Miss Eevie.  Many of you will probably remember her from my short story, ONE OF A KIND.  She is the incredible aunt of Paula.  Well, Miss Eevie has just launched her very own Web site called ASK EEVIE, and I thought it would be nice to sit down with her for a few minutes on an interview.  And since I love her cheery, melodious, Southern accent and way of talking so much, I decided to script the typed interview in the exact manner that she speaks.  So here she is, everyone, the lady we all know as Miss Eevie!

M:  Well, first of all, Miss Eevie, I would like to welcome you to my blog site and to the worldwide web.

E:  Well, thank yuh very much, Maxine.  Um so excited to be here!

M:  We are just as excited to have you.  So tell us, Miss Eevie, what do you plan to do on her new Web site, ASK EEVIE?

E:  Well, it’s a advice column where folks can submit problems they need help wit, and I tries to share thangs wit ’em that hopeferly will help ’em deal wit what they going through.  But it’s also a inspirational column.  Everbody’s going through sumpthin’.  Yuh know, we’s living in critical times hard to deal wit.  Now, that ain’t me talking.  That’s the Bible–2 Timothy 3:1-5.  I tries to base everthing I tell people on what the Bible say.

M:  Thank you, Miss Eevie.  We appreciate your sharing that Scripture with us.  Now, we understand that you’re a spiritual woman, so does that mean your column will be preachy?

E (laughing):  Well, that depends on what some folks call preachy.  Like I said, I try to base what I say on God’s Word, so from time to time, I will throw in a Scripture or two, but I’ll try to do it in a way that hopeferly leave people feeling like um trying to build ’em up instead of tear ’em down.  I just know everbody need encouragement from time to time, and I just wanna add some ‘freshment to folks’ lives.  That’s how Jesus was, yuh know–he made folks feel refreshed.  And that’s what I wanna do.

M:  He did indeed, and thank you for that very timely but friendly reminder.  So, Miss Eevie, a lot of people would like to know if you’re originally from North Carolina where you live now.

E:  Well, I was act’lly bone and raised in Savannah, Georgia.

M:  Ah, so you’re a Georgia peach.  No wonder you’re so sweet.

E (laughing again gregariously):    Well, thank yuh, honey.  That’s mighty sweet o’ you to say that.  Yes, I was bone in Savannah in 1931.  Me and my brother, Paula’s daddy, worked in the cotton field from sun up ’til sun down.  I only got a fifth-grade education.  We did’n have the opportunity to go to school like these young chil’ren today.  Poppa made us stay home from school and pick cotton.  What I learned, I mostly learned from reading and teaching myself.

M:  Miss Eevie, thank you for sharing that because, you know, a lot of people feel that just because a person is up in years and seems to be uneducated in a secular, worldly way that he can’t teach anyone anything.  Now, you’re a mature lady  who, even though you only have a fifth-grade education, seems to have a lot of wisdom and knowledge.  I know you said that most of what you learned, you learned from reading and teaching yourself, but is there something else in particular that accounts for the knowledge you’ve obtained over the years?

E (her expression turns serious as she presses a fist to her chest):  I owes it all to God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (Her eyes appear to well up with tears as she continues.)  If’n it was’n fer them, I’d have nuttin’–I’d be nuttin’.  I cherishes my relationship with God.  A lotta what I know–the thangs that matter most in life–I learned from His Word the Bible.  It’s got the answers to all our problems, if’n only we’d read it and obey.

M:  That’s nice, Miss Eevie.  Thank you for sharing that with us.  I can tell that your relationship with God is extremely important to you.

E (nodding):  Yes, it. is.

M:  So, Miss Eevie, how can folks get in touch with you when they need some of your godly, motherly wisdom or just want to chat with you?

E:  Well, my Web site address is  www.askeevie.wordpress.com(She adds, giggling):  Wow, that was a mouthful.  Um surprised I ‘membered it, but I been practicing.

M:  Well, you did good.  Thank you.  I have just one last question before you go.  Do you ever plan to write and publish any books?

E (releasing a quaint giggle):  No.  I thank I’ll leave the writing to you and all the other writers out there.  But yuh never know–that could change one day.

M:  Well, I sure hope so.  I would love to read some books written by you.

E:  Well, we’ll see.

M:  Alright, Miss Eevie.  Well, thank you again for visiting me on my blog and allowing me to be the first to interview you and welcome you to the worldwide web.  And congratulations!

E:  Thank yuh, Maxine, and thank yuh kindly fer having me.  I really enjoyed it.

M:  Me, too.  Well, this is Maxine Billings signing off and wishing you all a very blessed and awesome day!


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LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

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 POINTISAIHTBP

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.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com