Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. I hope you enjoy this beautiful view from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on 6/24/18.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Beauty, Joy, Sadness, and our Busy, Blessed Life

LILIES in our Yard  (2018)
Dear Friends,   I truly apologize if I don't get to your posts this week...  We just got home from a trip (on Friday, 7/12),  and are leaving again for another trip!!!!! Life is full of all kinds of emotions these days..    Our yard has been so pretty this summer  (until the deer and Japanese beetles visit)..  BUT--I'll share some of our Summer photos so far around the yard

We took a short trip to  the Mammoth Cave National Park to see our good friends,  Neal and Patti.  Most people go to Mammoth Cave to hike down into the caves..  We have done that and love doing it.  BUT--there's a lot more to see in the National Park there.

The four of us enjoyed driving on all of the unpaved back roads in the woods in that area.   GORGEOUS!!!!!!  We stopped and checked out many little churches and lots of old cemeteries..   Most of the little churches were built in the 1800's...   SO interesting to think about the history of that area.  It reminded me of both Cataloochee and  Cades Cove  (but more rustic).   We had such a wonderful couple of days!!!!

The SADNESS I mentioned in my title is because George lost his brother  (2 years younger) on July 9.   Ken had been suffering from Leukemia for about 2 years.  He fought the good fight --but the cancer finally won the war.   George and Ken talked on the phone every Sunday night at 7:00 (ON THE DOT)...   George already misses him so much --but knows that he is out-of-pain and is with God.

We got home from our Mammoth Cave trip on Friday,  washed clothes,  re-packed and left Saturday for the visitation (on Sunday) and the funeral (on Monday).    Talk about a BUSY life ---but as I said, a blessed one.  Prayers please for Ken's family --and prayers for family members who are driving to Indiana.

Hope you enjoy seeing my photos and collages today...  IF you want to know what a specific flower is,  please ask.   I wanted to put the names in --but ran out of time.... 

YARD  (Summer 2018) 

DAY LILIES  (Summer,  2018)

ROSES--   Summer, 2018

Our wonderful FRIENDS,   Patti and Neal  (July 12, 2018)

July 6, 1944----  July 9, 2018

ADAMS' SIBLINGS:   George,  Janet,  Ken  (2009)

Ken and his beautiful wife,  Bonnie,  at our wedding --in 2001

I hope that all of you will have a great week.   I will respond to your posts once we get home and life settles down a little.

Much Love to ALL,

Monday, July 9, 2018

Woodpeckers make me HAPPY!!!!!

A Pileated Woodpecker gives us all some advice!!!
Good Morning,  Friends...  Hope you had a good week and enjoyed the 4th of July with lots of friends and family...  I had family here --and we had a wonderful day today celebrating  AMERICA.   The crazy thing  (coming from someone who always takes lots of pictures) is that I must have been having WAY too much fun since I didn't take one single picture... ha ha   (BUT--we had a wonderful day!!!)

Today I'm sharing some of the BIRDS which make me happy...  Of course,  as I often say,  depending upon my attitude ---everything in life has meaning and makes me happy.   Even through the tough times and sad times,  I can find joy and happiness... Life is truly all about ATTITUDE!!!

I read an interesting quote today,  talking about whether we are EXISTING in this life,  or are we really  LIVING...  Hmmm---there have been times when I was probably just existing --but today,  I choose to LIVE.  What about you?

Sit back,  get another cuppa,  and enjoy my post today!  All of my bird pictures in the collage were taken in June, 2018.

Four of my favorite Woodpeckers visiting  my Bird Kitchen
Top Row (left to right):   Red Headed Woody;   Upside down Northern Flicker  (eating the rest of the suet, and telling me that I need to put out some more)
Middle Row:  Pileated  Woodpecker;  Northern Flicker  (eating the new suet and saying THANKS);  Red Headed Woodpecker
Bottom Row:  Pileated Woodpecker;  Daddy Downy Woodpecker and his baby  (who is as big as he is);   Downy Woodpecker now feeding his Baby!!

Of these four ---the prettiest one is the Red Headed.  BUT--they are all amazing!!

Now --I have a question for you...  which of those 4 woodpeckers is the 'real'  Woody Woodpecker????????????
Can you see it now??????   Well---depending upon where you live,  there are 4 different answers.... Some people say Red Headed Woodpecker;  some say Acorn Woodpecker;  others say Ivory Billed Woodpecker;   but right here in TN ---we think that the Pileated Woodpecker is the REAL Woody Woodpecker!!!!  What do you think?????

This is a drawing of a Pileated Woodpecker!!!!!   He's an amazing bird ---and comes to our feeders sometimes twice a day... He is LOUD and makes his presence known when he visits....

More Advice for US from a Pileated Woodpecker!!!  We should learn from the BIRDS!

Well---enough for today....Besides---  I need to get outside and sit on the deck on our new swing  (now that it's not raining and not as HOT),  and watch for more BIRDS as they come back and forth to the feeders...  What a LIFE!!!!!

Blessings,  and remember to be nice to our Birds!!!!!