Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JUNE!!!! Enjoy a group of one of my favorite Day Lilies in our yard. Meet "INDIAN GIVER".

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our Confederate Jasmine

See that gorgeous flowering bush above? It is a Confederate Jasmine bush which is in our front yard. And yesterday, when I was trimming that bush, a Brown Thrasher started screaming at me... Aha, I thought!!!!! SO--I quit trimming and started peeking inside the bush.. Lo and behold-- you can guess what what I saw, can't you??????? It was a nest with 3 cute babies... Mom and Dad Thrasher weren't too happy with my presence ---so I left them alone. Later in the evening, George and I walked out there to try to get a picture of the little ones. We saw those sweet little mouths wide open--but we couldn't get a picture. Besides, Mom and Dad were still around --fussing at us!!!!!

While taking a picture of the Jasmine, I walked around and took a few more pictures to share. By the way, the cold front did come through on Sunday night ---and yesterday was a beautiful day with a high of about 81 degrees. And better than that, the humidity is LOW!!!!! Yeah-Diddley!!! The only problem was the fact that we got NO rain although it was ALL around us on Sunday. We needed the rain!!! Oh Well---always have to have something to complain about, don't we???? ha

Here's another view of the Jasmine. You can see the daylilies at the corner of the garage. Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them for better views.

A close-up of all of the blooms on the Jasmine

As I've said before, we have three round flowerbeds in the front yard. Two are in shady areas and this one (at the lamppost) is in a sunny area. This week George and I planted some bright pink Vinca in this bed. They bring color throughout the hot summer, after the Pansies and Lilies (above) die out. In the shady beds, we have planted some Impatiens.

One of the little Vinca blooms ---up close and personal

Another photo of our Clematis; It's been growing like crazy ---but so far, we haven't had nearly as many blooms as we usually do. Maybe it will 'show off' more later on in the summer.

The sun is peeking through ---so this picture is not too good. But--I wanted to show you some of our Hosta we have scattered around the yard. The other ground cover there is Periwinkle.

George has started a new project along the front ditch... He is in the beginning stages of making a new flowerbed ---along the ditch area. He is doing this for two reasons: to add more Roses, Iris, Periwinkle and Semps out front in the sun, AND to keep from having to mow that treacherous ditch. Which of those two do you think is the most important reason??????????? ha ha

This is the small area along the ditch on the OTHER side of the driveway. As you can tell, this area contains semps (chicks and hens) mostly --but also some pansies and some periwinkle.


Finally, I want you to see the birdfeeder that I enjoy watching when I'm sitting at my computer. See that pretty little goldfinch at the feeder???? (Enlarge)

Hope you are having a good week so far.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lilies in our Yard---Part II

So far this summer, I have posted pictures of 8 different lilies which have bloomed in our yard. I posted one on June 6 (our first lily of the summer), one on June 10 (Treffer), and 8 on June 10. If you missed the June 10th post, click HERE.

Today I will show you six more lilies (with more to come in a later post). You all know how much I love our roses... WELL--the lilies come in a very close second.... As with day lilies, there are so many varieties---some with names and some without. Some of our lilies grow very tall---and soar above everything else in the garden. Note picture above. Granted, I was standing on the sidewalk and the flowerbed is raised. Even still, those lilies are pretty darn tall!!!!! Below are more of our lilies!

This lily is named AMERICAN ORIGINAL.

And let me introduce you to BUENA VISTA.

This lily is named CASABLANCA.

These beautiful lilies are named GOLDEN SPLENDOR.

I'll bet that many of my blogger friends will LOVE this pink lily. So far, we haven't been able to find out her name. SO---you pink-lovers can name her!!!!

This lily looks like it is a very pale green in some lights and in others, it looks more yellow. VERY pretty lily!!!!

Our lilies are so pretty in our yard since there are so many different colors. Between the roses and the lilies, we do have a colorful rainbow right in our own yard. NOW---if we could just get some rain and some cooler temperatures!!!!!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Banks Family

I was fortunate to have a wonderful childhood including my teenage years. I grew up in a small town in southwest Virginia (Big Stone Gap) where everyone knew everyone else. Life was SAFE back then and we never worried about locking our doors. I could walk all over town--as a young gal---and I never EVER felt scared or afraid. Life is certainly different now, isn't it?

My mother was 42 years old (and Daddy was 53) when I was born. In fact, I was a TOTAL surprise to both Mom and Dad!!!! Daddy was so excited when he found out that Mom was pregnant, that he broadcast it all over town (which embarrassed Mama). Anyhow, to say that I (the first girl in the family) was the 'apple' of Dad's eye was an understatement!!! I had him totally wrapped around my finger from the minute I stepped into this big ole' world!!!!

Mom and Dad had three kids. Ray (Raymond) was the oldest --and he was born in 1922. Jim (Jimmy) was born eight years later (in 1930)---and then I came along in 1942. Both Mom and Dad loved to tell everyone that they were the only family in town (probably in the world!!!! HA) who were in the PTA for 30 years!!!! GADS----glad I didn't go through that!!!!!

Today, only my brother Ray and I are still alive. Jimmy died from cancer back in 1985. Daddy died at the age of 79 in 1969 and Mom died at the age of 91 in 1991. Ray is in a skilled nursing facility in Jacksonville, Florida, and is not in good health. Ray lost his wife (Evelyn) in 2007. I will post more about my brothers in other blogs.

The picture above was taken in 1961 (Christmas). This may have been the last 'family' picture we had made--although there may be others that I haven't found. From left to right: Ray, Jim, Dad (Simon), Mom (Edith) and me.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Sponge Bath

Hey Lady...You know me by now, don't you???? I'm Bucky Brown Thrasher---and I come to your feeders all of the time. I know that most of my 'kind' don't come to backyard feeders... BUT--me and my friend Bubba LOVE your suet. SO there!!!!! As long as you feed us, we'll COME!!!

Hmmmmm... What is this???? Water???? Looks kinda shallow... I'll bet that old woman put this here for those pecky little birds....

Well---maybe I can cool off on this hot afternoon... Think it will feel good?????? Oh My---what is a birdie to do???? I can't help myself!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh---that feels SO good on my tootsies.

Wonder if I can squat and feel that cool water on some other 'parts'???? Wish that old lady would quit looking at me.

Oh Myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy---this is wonderful but why is it so darn shallow?

That feels a little better... But I can't cool off my 'upper' parts... DARN!!!!

Gee---this feels good enough to just stay here for awhile and just veg out... Did I mention that it's doggone hot outside today? Hey--don't laugh---even birdies get HOT...

Okay Lady.... since I can't get ALL of me wet, I will just leave and go to that bigger bath in the backyard. I still don't understand why she doesn't have a deeper bird bath right here on the deck... Darn her!!!!!! (Sigh!)

Hope you enjoyed watching Bucky thoroughly entertain me... It doesn't take much, you know!!!!! ha


Friday, June 26, 2009

A Feast at the Dillard House, Dillard, GA

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, George and I enjoyed our Anniversary Dinner at the Dillard House in Dillard, GA. Here's a little history of the Dillard House:

Carrie and Arthur Dillard initially established the present-day Dillard House in 1917 in the Georgia mountains, when their first guest was a circuit-riding minister named Rev. Henry Byrd. Carrie Dillard was a woman of high values, strong work ethic and keen business sense. She was a wonderful cook, gifted gardener and very accommodating hostess. Every guest was treated like family, and Carrie taught that practice of hospitality to her children and grandchildren, alike. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of guests have enjoyed wonderfully prepared Southern style home-cooked meals at the Dillard House in the same family tradition as when Carrie first put up her jams and relishes. Now in its 92nd year, The Dillard House Inn and Restaurant have become famous throughout the area for its traditional home-style meals and authentic Southern hospitality - the unique result of our 200-year heritage.

Once a simple and modest mountain home of just 6 rooms, The Dillard House has grown into a modern hotel that can accommodate hundreds of guests at a time. With 92 guest rooms and suites, more than 28 cottages and chalets, a modern business center and all the standard amenities, we can provide comfortable and beautiful surroundings as well as exquisite hospitality and service for every guest we receive.

For more information on the Dillard House, click HERE. We highly recommend this place---not just for the great dinner(s), but for the setting, accommodations and everything else they offer. Check it out! Here are some pictures we took while there.

The outside of the restaurant

This is one side of the restaurant . Aren't the flowers gorgeous? Our table was right next to that last window on the left. We had a great view!!!!

This is the other side of the restaurant---where we parked and entered. I enjoyed seeing the pretty red Geraniums.

Enlarge this picture and read the names of ALL of the food we were given... AND--they will give you refills on anything and everything... As you can imagine, it was WAY too much food even for us hungry hikers. We brought enough food home for at least one more meal, maybe more. AMAZING!!!!!

WELL---this was our table..... Can you believe it??????? (For the girl who needs to eat LESS --not more, this may not be the place to go except on special occasions--like our Anniversary!!!! ha.. I did pretty well though since we did bring so much home with us.)

I thought this tree was interesting---so I took a picture. Do YOU know what it is????? I have no idea!!!

This is one of the views from the front of the Dillard House... Gorgeous, don't you think? Be sure and enlarge these photos.

There were rows and rows of Zinnias --in all colors. My mother used to grow Zinnias --so this brought back memories.

Note the Zinnias and the mountains in the distance.

I enjoyed seeing the Impatiens growing under those huge shade trees.

All of the grounds were well-maintained. I loved that little Gazebo in the distance.

Finally, here's one more photo of the view of the valley --from the front of the Dillard House. Hope you enjoyed our tour.... Now---head on over there and take your own photos!!! And--I give you permission to eat 'some' of that delicious dinner!!


P.S. Brood Number TWO: There are four little blue eggs in our bluebird nest!!!!! Yeah-Rah!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beauty in the North Georgia Mountains

George and I are home, after a FABULOUS three days in the mountains near Dillard, GA. The weather was perfect---although a little (a lot) hot (especially while hiking UP a mountain--pant pant)... We saw about 14 new waterfalls, and enjoyed seeing Tallulah Gorge for the first time. We stayed at our favorite motel (Holiday Inn Express) and had dinner on Tuesday night (to celebrate our anniversary) at the famous Dillard House.

Today, I'll just give you a 'taste' of our short vacation. Above is our picture at my personal favorite waterfall of the week, PANTHER FALLS. which is found in the Lake Rabun area west of Clayton, GA. The picture above of us was taken at Panther Falls. One thing which makes waterfalls very special is when nobody else is around --and we have the waterfall totally to ourselves. Talk about feeling God's presence all around!!! WOW! More pictures are below---with many many more to come on another day!!! Remember to click on each picture to make them larger. The waterfall ones are just so pretty!!!

Here is another picture of PANTHER FALLS. I sat on a big rock at the base of the waterfall and sang and prayed and just sat and listened to the roaring water for awhile --while George checked out the waterfall above this one.

George hiked even farther up the mountain above Panther Falls, and found this beauty, ANGEL FALLS.

We saw this waterfall in 2005, but since it was in the same area as Panther and Angel Falls, George wanted to check it out again. You may have heard of this one, MINNEHAHA FALLS---since it is more popular than Panther and Angel Falls. It is larger and had more water this time than when we were there in 2002. (Here's an aside: You should have heard our GSP lady pronounce Minnehaha!!!!! FUNNY!)

On Monday, when we got to the Dillard area, we drove south to Clayton and drove east on Warwoman Road (where there are several waterfalls). Two that we enjoyed are HOLCOMB CREEK FALLS and Ammons Creek Falls. The one above is Holcomb Creek Falls. This hike was EASY ---going in, but HARD (for me) going out, since it was UP, UP, UP the entire way out.... Mercy Percy!!!! ha

This is AMMONS CREEK FALLS ---which is not far from Holcomb Creek Falls.

This is Tallulah Gorge from one of the six overlooks on the North Rim. There are six waterfalls in this gorge--and we got pictures of all of them, although some are from a distance. We highly recommend the visit to this gorge if you are ever in North Georgia. It is off of Highway 441 --south of Clayton.

Here is one of the waterfalls in Tallulah Gorge. This one is named L'Eau d'Or (French words meaning Water of Gold).

After some great exercise, we went to the Dillard House for an ENORMOUS dinner... I will devote an entire blog to this place and our delicious dinner... AMAZING!!!!!! They serve family style ---and there is so much food that we brought enough home for at least one more meal, maybe more. Besides Tullaluh Gorge, we recommend this place also!!!!

Much more to come ---and be sure to check out
GEORGE'S BLOG for more information about our wonderful Anniversary trip.

Hope you are having a great week.