BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.
Showing posts with label FRIENDS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FRIENDS. Show all posts

Monday, January 19, 2015

Catching Up ---Christmas and Beyond

Two Bloggers meet:  Ruth and Betsy together AT LAST!
Sorry I have been missing in action lately---but wanted to share some pictures from our month with you today.  Despite my knee problems and knee surgery (Jan. 8),  we did have a great Christmas and so far,  January has been good also. 

The picture above was taken on December 29, 2014 at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Nashville,  Tennessee.  Ruth Heibert  (Ruth's Photo Blog) and friend Gwen came to Nashville to attend a special Gospel Music Convention.  SO---since we are only 2.5 hours from there,  George and I  drove over to Nashville,  picked them up at their hotel and took those two Canadian ladies to the Cracker Barrel for a good ole' southern dinner..... They both enjoyed Chicken and Dumplings for the first time ---and CORNBREAD.    (Can you imagine ANYONE going through life without cornbread????? ha ha ha)

I have met LOTS of bloggers (and I love all of you) --but Ruth and I have been very special friends for many years ---back when we both started blogging... To say that finally getting to meet her was special is an understatement.  She is EXTREMELY special to both George and me.  We love her so much---and are already thinking about when we will meet again. Thanks, Ruth,  for coming to Tennessee!!!!!!  Come back SOON.


Landon (college),  Avery--age 16,  Bay Lee (college) and Brooke (graduating from high school in June)
The next day,  December 30,  George and I drove to Chattanooga to meet up with two of my three sons and their families...   Seeing these adorable grandchildren just made Christmas for this Grammy!!!!!  Aren't they beautiful --including Bay Lee's tiny little doggie!!  Landon and Avery are Jeff's children and Bay Lee and Brooke are Mark's children.  We were SO glad to see them and spend the day with them.



George with his little girl (Kelly) and her hubby (Chuck)
That same week (on January 2)---George and I drove back to Nashville to celebrate Christmas,  New Year's AND Kelly's Birthday (Jan.1) with them.  It was a cold and dreary day ---but we had a great time,  having a delicious lunch/dinner at the Dan McGuinness Irish Pub in West Nashville.  George and I both enjoyed Shepherd's Pie --which we hadn't had in a long time... It was a great day!


George enjoying his new camera lens,  a Tamron lens, 16 to 300mm
After all of the other trips we had after Christmas,  Christmas Day was spent at home with just the two of us enjoying one another.  I went 'away' from tradition this year (yipes) and we had a delicious Honey Ham (instead of turkey),  some scalloped potatoes,  green beans,  sliced tomatoes, baby carrots, pickles and cranberry relish.  For dessert,  we enjoyed some Dutch Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream on top... YUM...  (Since we still had turkey left-over from Thanksgiving,  we decided that ham would be a nice change.  And it was ---although I struggle with changing traditions... ha)

I gave George this nice lens ----but somehow,  his bride has already taken it away from him... He 'wants' me to use it so that I won't have to change lens so often... If I like it,  I may just have to buy another one for his birthday for HIM.... ha ha


Willow Figurine named HERO
George gave me lots of really nice things for Christmas ---and this was definitely one of my favorites.  Since I collect WILLOW Angels/Figurines,  I was thrilled to get this one (which I had never seen before).   Reminded me of a widow of a United States Military man killed in action.. Makes me cry!!!!  OH how I appreciate our Armed Forces and what they do for us...  Isn't HERO a gorgeous figurine?



Three new ornaments on our Christmas Tree this year depicting our 2014 trips
Besides many day trips and short trips in 2014,  George and I took 8 longer trips.  Six of them are on the ornament on the left:  Strasburg,  VA and the Shenandoahs;  West Virginia (Cass Railroad) for our anniversary;  Maggie Valley NC and the Blue Ridge Pkwy with friends;  Mt. Nebo, Arkansas with friends;  Blowing Rock, NC  for my birthday;  and Hocking Hills,  Ohio for George's birthday.   The ornament in the middle was from our trip to  Texas to visit 2 sons/families in Sept.   AND the one on the right is from our beach trip in May to Ocean Isle,  NC.  That cute ornament made me laugh since Santa is dressed up with his beach attire.  We had planned to go back to Ocean Isle the first of December --but my 'bum knee' cancelled that trip temporarily. 


Mama Says:  "Now Sweeties,  SMILE for the camera!"
I just had to include this funny picture of sons Jeff and Mark on December 30 in Chattanooga...  That was such a fantastic day together as a crazy family ---which we are... My sons were in RARE form telling stories about their childhoods and lives... I've never laughed so hard in my life.  Of course,  I told a few stories myself that day!!!!!! 



Two crazy people on Christmas Morning at our home!!!!!  

After looking at this photo,  you will know where those two funny guys in the picture above this one get their craziness.... Do you think their Nutty Mama had anything to do with it????????? (Don't answer that!  ha ha)

Speaking of a Nutty Mama,  I was barely standing and not doing much walking on Christmas morning... But---how could anyone keep a crippled girl from dancing on Christmas?   (I do think that George was there to catch me if I fell!!!!! ha)


A very happy Mom and her Three Sons  (on January14, 2015)
This is a picture that I will cherish forever... I seldom get to see all three of my sons together ---but did on January 14  (which was only 6 days after my knee surgery).  From left to right:  Mark--45;  Me--old woman;  Jeff--43;  and Bert (called Tre)--51.

What brings families together more than anything else?  FUNERALS.....  My sons' wonderful Grandmother died and her funeral was that day in Knoxville,  TN.  Laura Wilhite (age 99) was loved by all,  including me (since she was my ex-mother-in-law) and my sons and grandchildren.

Even though I was still re-cooping after surgery,  I cleaned up and we went to the funeral... I did great that day --but really felt the pain the following day... BUT--it was worth it and I am very glad I went.  Just having my sons with me for a few hours was worth everything.


Hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas.
Finally,  I want to wish each of you a Happy 2015.... I INTEND to have a great one.  I apologize for being away from blogging for so long. To look at all of these pictures,  you'd think I was doing GREAT... Truth be told ---it has not been easy for me.  I will do an entire blog about my knee/surgery/recovery, etc.  sometime  AFTER I am totally well and back to myself again... But--just know that I am okay and am gradually getting better and better.  Thanks be to God.

I will try to be back to blogging again sometime the first week or two in  February.  In the meantime,  be sure to check out my January quotes on my sidebar.  There are some good ones...

Thanks for all of the comments/emails/Facebook comments/messages/texts,  etc... George has even had people asking about me on his blog.  That is SO sweet that so many people care.  God Bless You ALL.  I have so many wonderful friends.

Hugs,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas, Friends, and Me

Happy December to YOU...  I love December and CHRISTMAS....  This year,  however,  I will celebrate it differently than most years...  But first I will share with you a couple of pictures from last year...  Above is one of our three outdoor wreaths in the front of our home  (Note the header photo at the top)...   Isn't this wreath pretty?


This is a picture from the Opry Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.  I love this HUGE Poincettia bloom.  It's quite creative,  don't you think?




Bill,  Diane,  Rob,  Kathy at our home
Recently,  we met two more SPECIAL Blog Friends....  AND---these special friends are from AUSTRALIA.... How neat is that!!!!    We met Diane Bohlen (click HERE for her blog),  her husband, Bill (click HERE for his blog),  and their friends Rob and Kathy  (click HERE for Kathy's Blog). 

Diane and I have been blog friends for several years --and it was fantastic to meet her/them...  I hadn't met Rob and Kathy before --but am now following Kathy's Blog.

The group were on their way to the Smoky Mountains for a few days.  SO--they stopped by our home and spent a couple of hours here with us... We had hoped to meet them the next day in the Smokies  to show them around that gorgeous area.  HOWEVER,  the weather didn't cooperate AT ALL... It turned bitterly cold and we ended up with ICE here on the plateau... Needless to say,  we had to cancel our visit... BUT--while reading their blog posts,  it appears that they enjoyed their time in the Smokies DESPITE the weather... I hope they will all come back in a different season!!!!


Here  is a picture of me and my special Auzzie Friend,  Diane  (Adventures Before Dementia)....  She's such an incredible lady ---and we really enjoyed seeing each other. George and I have now met 21 of our blog friends in person... VERY SPECIAL to US.



Here's a picture of Bill,  Diane,  George and me.    Amazing when one meets a blog friend,  it feels as if we have known each other FOREVER...  It was magical --and I am so pleased that the four of these friends came to visit us!!!!!  I apologize for our terrible weather the week they were in our area...  Oh Well---I certainly cannot control that... ha

Finally,  here's the latest update on ME and my terrible KNEE PAIN.
-Nov. 21----Hurt my left knee (same knee I had  Meniscus Surgery on in 2010)
-Nov. 24--- To the Doctor  (got pain medication and an anti-inflammatory med for the swelling)
-Nov. 26--- Thought the knee was getting better,  but 'pulled' something AGAIN that night;  The knee pain got worse and worse throughout the rest of that week.
-Dec. 1--Back to the Doctor  (new pain medication --so that I can sleep, and an MRI set up)
-Dec. 11--MRI

As my Facebook Friends will tell you,  I am trying hard to KEEP a good ATTITUDE through all of this... And--I do know that things could definitely be MUCH worse.   But--I'll admit that it's not easy at times because of the pain.   BUT--with prayers and love from people like you,  and with God's help,  I'll make it through all of this...

AND most of all,  let me say something you already know..  Without George,  I'm not sure how I could get through this especially this time of year.  He is WONDERFUL --and has helped with so many things,  such as decorating our Christmas tree,  etc...  We are determined to have a wonderful Christmas ---and even though I'm SITTING most of the time,  I am sure that I'll look back on this month knowing that I truly do have tons and tons of blessings in my life...

I will keep you posted --but probably won't blog too much this month.  I did have fun putting up my December header/blog colors/appearance, etc... I also have all NEW QUOTES on my sidebar for you to enjoy.

AND---I put a couple of Christmas photos on my other blog  (click HERE for my Photo Blog) so check it out when you have time.

Blogger has automatically added Word Verification to my blogs now--even though my settings say NO.  BUT--you don't have to type in the numbers.  Just hit publish!  Anyone else having trouble like this?????

Hugs and thanks for your thoughts and prayers,

 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scenic Highway 215, North Carolina --Part II

Our WONDERFUL Friends,  Patti and Neal ---at Lake Logan
On October 22, 2014,   George and I plus good friends Neal and Patti took a wonderful vacation together to the Maggie Valley,  North Carolina area.  One of our days together was spent driving on a scenic back road,  Highway 215.  IF you missed Monday's post ---scroll down to the post below this one and read it first.  In that post,  I gave some links and also gave some information about this area and this beautiful back road. 

Today I will share more photos of our experience on that scenic road.  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements...


I have been fascinated by this type of bridges.  This historic arched stone bridge (also called the High Arch Bridge or the One Arched Bridge) was built in 1937.  This bridge is located at the Waterfall on the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also called Sunburst Falls)...This area and waterfall -where we took a picture of the four of us in Part I's post-- (waterfall is located to the left of this photo)  was one of my favorite waterfalls of our day/trip...  



Three Arched Stone Bridge
About a mile south of the One Arched Bridge was the Three Arched Bridge on the West Fork.  I enjoyed seeing both of these bridges --built by the CCC.   We just don't see many bridges that look like this these days,  do we?


Another picture  showing the gorgeous Autumn colors in the mountains



I just couldn't quit taking pictures of Fall along Scenic Highway 215



Changing Maple leaves along our way;  Don't you just love all of the colors?



I love to stand under the trees and show you the colors --while looking up to that blue sky!



Neal, Patti,  George, Betsy --at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat
On Monday,  I showed you a picture of French Broad Falls (which is to the left of this waterfall).  This area is so unique since the North Fork of  the French Broad River combines with Shoal Creek here.  In the picture above, you can see part of an old mill.

Here are a couple of links for you:  for more info and more pictures of the waterfalls in this area,  click HERE.   For more info on the Living Waters Retreat,  click HERE.



I loved hiking in the Living Waters Retreat area... There were several cascades between the 'twin' falls,  French Broad and Mill Shoals.  We stopped to check out all of the cascades.  I would love to come back here in the Winter or early Spring when there is much more water here coming over the falls and cascades.



We finally made it downstream to Cathedral Falls  (also called Bird Rock Falls)... I like the original name,  Bird Rock Falls,  since the Purple Martins used to nest along the top of this HUGE rock cliff.    But I don't blame the Christian Retreat Center for renaming that waterfall.  The towering rock cliff surrounding the falls does like like a cathedral! Gorgeous!



I took several pictures of this gorgeous red tree --as we hiked at the Living Waters Retreat.  I'm partial to RED trees in the Fall.



Talk about a perfect place for a RETREAT!!!  I loved sitting in the 'cathedral' --just thinking about what a marvelous place this is.  I envy anyone coming to a RETREAT at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



This beautiful tree --and the blue sky  was taken on State Road (forest road) 1322
After leaving the Living Waters Retreat Center,  we took a forest service road --searching for another waterfall,  Diamond Creek Falls...  We found the waterfall --but I couldn't get a good picture of it since there were LOTS of trees/shrubs in the way.  Guess we need to go there in winter,  when the leaves are totally off of the trees.

 Well---that's my 'report' from Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina.  George and I want to come back since there are several more waterfalls along this road to see.  We did see the Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades (from a distance) and we also saw the bottom part of the  Lower Waterfall on Bubbling Spring Branch...  AND--we tried to see Courthouse Falls --but the road was closed.   SO---that's why we need/want to go back sometime!

As you can tell---we saw so many beautiful things along this back road (beautiful lake,  lots of waterfalls and cascades,  AND  beautiful Autumn Colors)... This is why this area was definitely a highlight for us.

Hope you enjoyed these two posts.  I enjoyed sharing them with you!!!

Have a great day.

Hugs,

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Trip along Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina --Oct. 22, 2014

Highway 215 runs perpendicular to the Blue Ridge Parkway--beginning near Waynesville on Highway 276 as we headed south to Highway 64 at Rosman.  About halfway between the beginning and the end of our journey,  we crossed under the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 423.3)... NOTE:  this picture is from the internet.
Besides being with great friends,  Neal and Patti,  our vacation in and around Maggie Valley led us not only to Cataloochee to see the Elk (click HERE for that post) ---but another favorite day was our drive on Scenic Highway 215...  We all love the backroads --and this one was definitely a highlight for me.  I will have two posts to share from this country road.  Hope you enjoy the journey!!!!  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.


Our first stop was LAKE LOGAN...  (Something ironic about this lake's name is that we were with Neal and Patti at another Lake Logan --in Ohio, a couple of years ago!!!! Wonder if we'll find another Lake Logan sometime????? ha)



Neal took this picture of George and me at Lake Logan.  It was a VERY Cool and WINDY morning. 



Highway 215 features waterfalls in various places along the way!!! (You can imagine how much George and I LOVED that!!!!)  This waterfall is the Falls of the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also known as Sunburst Falls --named for the surrounding community).  I love this picture of the four of us:  Patti,  Neal, George, Betsy..   



Then,  we started seeing more gorgeous Fall Colors... I love the layers of mountains.



The photographer at work---taking WAY too many pictures!!!  BUT---everything was so beautiful so I couldn't help myself... ha



We stopped OFTEN along that little highway and went several directions taking pictures.  In this picture you can see Neal in the distance,  George in the middle and Patti fairly close. We loved being on this road with very few people and no traffic much!!!


I not only enjoyed seeing all of the trees and their colors,  but also enjoyed seeing the colors on the individual leaves.  Amazing,  isn't it?




The colors all around us were just marvelous... Don't you love Fall???  Here at home now,  we are almost totally leaf-less ---and winter is approaching much too fast!  OR--should I say that Winter is HERE... Mercy Me!



George and Betsy at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat Center
We hiked to see 3 waterfalls (French Broad Falls,  Mill Shoals Falls and Cathedral Falls-- also called Bird Rock Falls)  along with several more cascades when we visited the Living Waters Retreat Center (along Highway 215),  not far from Rosman.  The Retreat Center is privately owned --but they graciously allow people to visit the waterfalls.  They also gave us permission to eat lunch at one of their picnic tables.   Seeing this area was another highlight  for us!


George is taking some pictures of Mill Shoals Falls ---while I was looking straight ahead at another waterfall,  French Broad Falls.



Neal and Patti were checking out some of the waterfalls and cascades at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



I love this RED Tree which we saw while hiking at the Living Waters Retreat.
I will have one more blog post on Thursday this week --showing more pictures from our wonderful drive along Scenic Highway 215.   IF want more information about this wonderful drive,  click HERE.

Hope your weather is better than ours... We've had company --and I feel sorry for them since I'm sure the weather has been hard for them (and us)  this weekend/week... We seldom have cold and snowy weather like we've had this year during NOVEMBER....  More about our company in another upcoming post!!!!

Hugs,