Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photo shoot with a heron

Herons are long legged birds I've seen at the coast from time to time.

This week I saw one down the beach and was so excited until a teenager scared it away. It flew across the water to the next island, and I was so disappointed.

A few minutes later he reappeared, and I whipped my camera out. He was such an accommodating fellow. See for yourself:

This first picture is with my zoom lens of the heron on Oak Island.

Now he's back at Holden Beach.

Okay, just two more to share. I guess you can tell the little things in life excite me!

I hope you have a great and safe day!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surfing with Sally

We were heading to Holden Beach, North Carolina as Hurricane Sally was.

We arrived after midnight and learned she'd been downgraded to a tropical storm here. So we fell into bed relieved to think we might get to stay and not be evacuated.

I awoke to the sound of voices outside our condo window and peeked out.

I've never seen so many surfers in one place in all my life.
Everybody in Brunswick County, NC with a surfboard must have headed to the beach.

Three things are working together this morning to make a good surfing experience:

First, and most importantly, SALLY.
Second it's high tide.
And last it's practically a full moon.

While watching all the excitement on the beach this morning we discovered some things.

There seems to be a father/son bond with this sport.

We'd see teenagers standing on the beach stretching out and soon an older man would join them, and they'd head to the water.

Sometimes we'd see a man standing on the beach with his surfboard strapped to his ankle studying the guys in the water. He'd move down the beach and head back up. I felt sure his kids must be out there.

We even saw a few moms standing on the beach with big umbrellas (yes it's raining), with their eyes glued to the water.

One last story...

One man walked out to the beach with his surfboard. His hair was longer and gray. He had a slight belly. In his free hand he took about four long drags on a cigarette. I had to laugh because it made me think of the old movies where they'd offer the bad guy a last cigarette before hanging him.

By the way, I'm not encouraging anybody to go out and surf in a tropical storm. In fact I'm relieved I don't have a son on this trip to argue with me about the issue.

Have a great and safe weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Webster's Dictionary defines anticipation as, "the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation."

Last week I couldn't wait for the University of Georgia to arrive in Lexington, KY to play football.

I flew our UK and UGA flags all week in anticipation. The big day finally arrived and, the Dawgs won, but it wasn't pretty. Still, it was a win.

Now I'm looking forward to vacation at Holden Beach, NC.

I've already packed books I want to read, snacks and my camera. Next up, clothes.

I heard a hurricane may hit the east coast on Halloween. But I'm so looking forward to this trip that even a hurricane is not diminishing my anticipation.

I love Holden Beach, rain or shine. I'm looking forward to walks and bike rides I'll take with my husband.

For the first time, we'll be there for the Sea Turtle Festival and plan to check that out. We'll visit our favorite restaurants, because I don't plan to cook on vacation.

There are lots of events I look forward to, but none are more important than the day I'll meet Jesus face to face.

I hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sherri Wilson

Today I'm so excited to welcome Sherri Johnson to my back porch.

Welcome, Sherri.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Sherri Wilson Johnson. I live in Georgia with my husband, our son and our two dogs. We’re half-empty-nesters since our daughter moved out in May. Of course, she comes home for a visit and one of Mom’s southern-cooked dinners at least once a week. I homeschooled my children for fourteen years and learned a lot about myself during that time. I learned you’re never too old to learn something new. I’m an extrovert most of the time but I am a wee bit of an introvert. That’s the writer side of me. I love to make people laugh and I talk a LOT. When I do speaking engagements, I definitely have to have a time limit. Writing is my favorite pastime and, fortunately, I have been able to see my dream of publication come true. My writing partner is my Chihuahua, Posey. She’s always by my side.

Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

I am terrified of horses, which is kind of funny since my new book is about a cowboy and a ranch.
I have a bad habit of singing Christmas songs all year long.
I secretly dream of going on the show Wipeout, although my family has begged me to spare them the humiliation.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I have a twelve year old Labrador who at times loves to bark like crazy. A few years ago I bought a bark collar for her to stop her from barking. It wasn’t working so I decided to see if something was wrong with the collar. I placed the little booger on my own throat and barked. To my horror, the collar worked quite well and shocked me ferociously.

Share something about your day-to-day life that might help readers feel as though they know you a little better.

In addition to being a writer, I also work part-time from home as a bookkeeper. Most mornings I start the day with Bible study and then do my bookkeeping work. After that if I’m not running errands or meeting with someone, I write. I would write all day and night if I could. I’m actively involved in church and love learning as much as I can about the Lord to help me through this crazy life.

How many books do you have published and where can they be found?

I currently have two published books. My debut novel, To Dance Once More (OakTara), was released in September 2011. Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara) released in September 2012. You can find links at my website, www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com .

How does your faith play into your work?

I’ve always said I would never write anything that shamed my dad. He was a Southern Baptist preacher. What it really boils down to is that I would never write anything that would shame my Lord and make a mockery of my faith. But other than that aspect of it, I can say that the struggles my family has gone through have tested and strengthened my faith and that overflows into my writing. When you have something so marvelous at your very core, it can’t help but spill out in your writing. It’s actually easier for me to write about my faith and demonstrate my faith through my writing than it is to show it sometimes.

As a speaker, what’s your favorite topic?

I love to encourage people along their journey—to spread the joy and fulfillment of living according to the Lord’s will for your life. Whether it is about homeschooling, writing and publication, or women’s issues, I always sprinkle in the wonderful news of God’s grace and forgiveness and try to encourage people to live according to their giftedness.

What is your favorite thing to write about?

I love to write about romance. That’s no surprise. In real life, I’m always trying to match-make. But you can’t build a story around just the romance. I love to write about change—some sort of forward movement for my characters. Life never stays the same and neither do people. Most of my characters need some sort of tweaking (like all of us) and so whether it is forgiveness, mercy, grace, acceptance, turning from a sinful path, I love to write about change.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about conveying the message of purity and sexual integrity to the world. I have worked with teens and women as a volunteer small group leader at church and I’ve seen the struggle people go through when faced with the temptations of this world. That’s one reason I write clean romances.

Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?
Twitter: swj_thewriter

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I enjoyed our visit.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Heroes, Saints and Legends

This year Wesley Village will honor three people in it's annual Heroes, Saints and Legends Awards Banquet.

Willard Kinzer and his wife, Lucy, helped establish Prestonsburg's Mountain Arts Center, the Wesley Christian School in Allen and many other endeavors to encourage and develop young people in the mountains. A four-time national champion in motorcycle hill climbing, Willard took up drag racing at age 79 and recently set a new speed record of 239 mph in his prized twin-turbo '89 Mustang.

Stella Marshall Honored as a 2009 "Outstanding Leader of the Pasture" by the Kentucky Annual Conference African American Ministries is a beautiful example of service to others. She is an active member of her church and continues to sing in their choir.

Jim Stratton is the third honoree this year. Jim has been a friend of mine for years. He and his wife Colleen have pastored churches in Kentucky for years. He's been a good friend to Wesley Village and a great encourager to all he meets.

This Tuesday night will be a great time to celebrate these wonderful people.

Look around this week and see who the Heroes, Saints and Legends you come in contact with each day.


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