Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Oh how I love seeing the migrating birds at my feeders. In April, the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stopped by for about a week or two on their way north for the summer. What beautiful birds. Anyhow---they are BACK, stopping here on their way south for the winter. I'm so glad they remembered my 'inn' ---and stopped by. From now on, I'll be waiting on them to visit us --each April and September. Yeah Rah!!!!!

Before admiring THESE pictures taken yesterday, please click HERE to glance at the pictures of these birds in April during the breeding season. The males were gorgeous. Yesterday's pictures show a much duller male, although still very pretty.

I sat on my 'throne' (sofa) and watched them for awhile ---and got so excited. I first saw ONE female a few days ago --but yesterday, we had at least EIGHT at the feeders at one time, mostly males now. I know that in the Spring, the males arrive first and then the females later. I don't know if it is the opposite in the Fall, but I did see the females first this week. I don't know how long they'll stay this time, but I'll be watching them each and every day.

Above and below are some pictures I took yesterday afternoon of the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.

This is the back of the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak now.

The female Grosbeak is brown year-round. She looks quite different from the males.

This is the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak from the back. One way to distinguish them from other medium-sized birds is by their huge white eyebrows. (Note that the females do not have black and white feathers on their backs like the males do.)

Now you can see the 'rose' color in them. Aren't they pretty???

These little guys were all over the place!!!! Some were in the plate feeder and some were at the 'house' feeder beside the plate. Can you see that one sitting on the line above???? I couldn't ever get all eight of them in one picture--but I got some of them.

These two males looked like they were chatting with one another. Can you see the Red-bellied Woodpecker on the suet behind them??????

The little house is beside the plate feeder. See the young male on the left and the female on the right. I think the three in the plate feeder are all male.

Now there are SIX!!!!! Can you imagine my JOY at seeing these cuties?


Finally, we had our first fire in the fireplace last night.... I loved it... The temperatures are going down into the 40's at nights now---so I can officially say that AUTUMN is HERE. Now that it's cooler, maybe our leaves will change colors!!!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Epworth-By-the-Sea, Georgia

While on our Anniversary Trip in June of 2008, we visited St. Simon's Island. One place we visited while on this gorgeous island was Epworth-By-the-Sea, a United Methodist Conference Center. Wow---what a beautiful place!!!
First we saw the Lovely Lane Chapel (one that is pictured above) which is the oldest church building on the island. This little church (they say it seats 150) was named after the site of the 1784 Founding Conference of American Methodism in Baltimore, MD. You will enjoy seeing our pictures of this little chapel. I read where many people get married there---and I certainly can understand why.
After seeing the church, we just walked around the grounds. The Live Oak trees are so beautiful, in addition to the fountain, the Prayer Tower, the Gazebo and the dock--looking out at the Frederica River. Hope you enjoy our photos of Epworth-By-the-Sea.

This is the inside of the Lovely Lane Chapel. They say it seats 150--but to me, the people would be very crowded.

The stained glass windows in Lovely Lane Chapel are amazing. These memorial windows feature John and Charles Wesley and Francis Asbury, all very prominent men in the United Methodist Church.

I am sitting at the lovely fountain at Epworth-by-the-Sea. The fountain and area around it is called Waters Garden.

George is admiring the huge Live Oak trees on the grounds at Epworth.

The grounds were immaculate. What a wonderful place to sit --and retreat--away from the hustle and bustle of life! That is the Frederica River in the background.

This is the Prayer Tower at Epworth-By-the-Sea.

George stands in the gazebo at Epworth-By-the-Sea.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a picnic under the Live Oak trees???? We took TONS of pictures of the Live Oaks.

Finally, this is the picture we took as we were leaving Epworth-By-the-Sea. The Live Oaks and that beautiful Spanish moss were hanging over the roads. Beautiful, isn't it???? I could spend an eternity in a place like this!!!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Shunkawauken Falls, Columbus, NC

On May 20, 2008, we sadly left Ocean Isle Beach --heading for home!!!! BUT--like we usually do when we travel, we stop to check out some new waterfalls. This time, we drove to Columbus, NC (near Saluda) to check out a new one. George had done some research about this waterfall---and he took us directly to it.

However, all of us (including Mrs. P--our Prius) had no idea that we would be driving up a STEEP mountain!!!! We went up-up-up!!!! Finally, we got there ---but MAN, was the drive worth it!!!! WOW!!!!
This waterfall on White Oak Mountain, Shunkawauken Falls, (say that three times fast) , falls more than 1000 feet to the valley below. We could only see the top part (which is 150 feet in itself). What a beautiful waterfall. It was known as Horse Creek Falls until 1891, when its name changed to honor an Indian Chief.

The view from the waterfall was amazing ---since the elevation was 2560 feet. We took pictures of both the waterfall and the view. We also tried to get some pictures of the bottom part of the waterfall as it flowed down the mountain. George even did some bushwhacking to get some pictures--but it was hard due to the heavy vegetation. We need to return to this area in the winter!!!! (I read where this waterfall can be seen during winter from the little town below -Columbus. That would be neat!) Here are some pictures of

Isn't this view incredible???? Now--you can tell how far UP we drove!!!! But--the road was paved and other than steep, we recommend it.

This picture was taken from the road---looking toward the bottom part of the falls, as the waterfall travels WAY on down the mountain. This area below is on private property.

George did bushwhack down into the woods trying to get a close-up of the lower waterfall --as it traveled on down the mountain. However the vegetation was just too thick. We could hear the water--but just couldn't see it.

This is what the bottom part of the waterfall looks like in the winter (with no leaves on the trees). Obviously, we didn't take this picture (came from the internet)--but we hope to go back there someday in winter to see the bottom part ourselves.

Here's one more view of the top part of Shunkawauken Falls. This part is glorious enough -since it is HUGE to me, being 150 feet high. WOW!!!!

Hope you get to visit this waterfall someday. There's NO hiking involved ---and the trip up the mountain is worth it --just to see the waterfall and the view. And it's convenient---being right off of Interstate 26 as it goes over the Saluda Mountain area.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cockspur Lighthouse, GA

We saw two lighthouses during our Anniversary Vacation near Savannah, GA in June of 2008. One was the lighthouse on Tybee Island --and this one was the Cockspur Lighthouse (located between Savannah and Tybee Island). We could only see it from a distance, once while walking outside of Fort Pulaski, and then again from the road after leaving Tybee Island. Here's a little history about this lighthouse:

It was first built in 1849, but that was short-lived since it was rebuilt in 1857. The second Cockspur Lighthouse was built of brick and consisted of a 46 foot tower. The first keeper was appropriately named John Lightburn. He lived on Cockspur Island near Fort Pulaski and would make daily trips to the tower to service the light.

The second keeper, Cornelius Maher, drowned near the tower when his boat capsized while he was trying to help someone in distress. Maher's wife, Mary, replaced her husband as keeper and remained at the light for three more years.

Surprisingly, the Cockspur Lighthouse, which stood in the direct line of fire between Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski, suffered no damage during the war when the Union forces captured the Confederates at Fort Pulaski in 1862.

The lighthouse resumed operation in 1866, after the end of the war. The keeper's dwelling was struck by lightning in 1880, and was later destroyed by a hurricane. A new home for the keeper was eventually built on top of the walls of Fort Pulaski, which at the time was abandoned.

George Washington Martus was one of the keepers who served after the war, accepting an assignment to the station in 1881 at the age of 18. Martus served until 1886 when he was transferred upstream to the Elba Island Lighthouse. Martus' sister Florence lived with him on Elba Island, and for over 40 years, she greeted all the vessels entering and leaving the port of Savannah with the wave of a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. She became somewhat of a legend and was known as the "Waving Girl." We passed by the statue of the "Waving Girl" while in Savannah--but neither of us got a picture of her.

In 1909, the deep draft ships calling at Savannah started to use the north channel, and the Cockspur Lighthouse was deactivated. The Coast Guard abandoned the light house in 1949, but fortunately the Park Service assumed control of the light in 1958. The tower was repaired in a two-stage restoration effort which lasted from 1995-2000. A new lantern room was put in place atop the tower, brickwork was repaired and the light house received two coats of whitewash during the project. The Cockspur Lighthouse, which was re-lit in 2007, using a solar-powered beacon, is now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument.

There are five pictures to see. Above is Cockspur Lighthouse. Below are four more. All of this 'history-stuff' is INTERESTING!!!!

This picture was taken by me ---when we were on the road, after visiting Tybee Island. You can see the Cockspur Lighthouse from here also (almost in the middle of your picture).

This picture was taken by us when we were at Fort Pulaski---looking toward the Tybee Lighthouse. We wanted to take a longer hike to get a better picture, but the Georgia BUGS were out--and we didn't have any bug spray with us.

This picture was taken (not by us) near the Cockspur Lighthouse--looking back toward Fort Pulaski (where we had been).

This is a picture of the "Waving Girl" statue in Savannah, GA. As I mentioned, George and I passed by this statue when we were on our 'whirlwind' tour of Savannah, but neither of us could get a picture from our trolley. (I took the picture above from the internet.)

As much as I love waterfalls, I also love lighthouses AND covered-bridges. We've seen over 350 different waterfalls. Think we'll ever see that many lighthouses or covered-bridges?????

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poor George!!!

On our Williamsburg trip in June of 2007, George found himself in a bit of a predicament. There was an old Guillotine ----and somehow George ended up in a precarious position... Poor Baby--- I think 'she' had him exactly where she wanted him. Ya think????? Is he going to cry???? Poor George--he's just SO abused!!!! Wonder how long 'she' made him stay there---and what promises did he have to make to her???????? Hmmmmmmmmm....

Seeing this old picture made me think about the Guillotine--and its history. How much do you know about them??? I'll admit that I didn't know much---so I did a little research that you might find interesting --or maybe not!!!

During the 1700's, executions in France were public events where entire towns gathered to watch. (Can you imagine?) A common execution method for a poor criminal was quartering, where the prisoner's limbs were tied to four oxen, then the animals were driven in four different directions ripping the person apart. (Yipes!) Upper-class criminals could buy their way into a less painful death by hanging or beheading. (It's hard to imagine something like beheading being more humane... Gads!)

Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin belonged to a small political reform movement that wanted to banish the death penalty completely. Guillotin argued for a painless and private capital punishment method equal for all the classes, as an interim step towards completely banning the death penalty. Beheading devices had already been used in Germany, Italy, Scotland and Persia for aristocratic criminals. However, never had such a device been adopted on a large institutional scale. The French named the guillotin after Doctor Guillotin. The extra 'e' at the end of the word was added by an unknown English poet who found guillotine easier to rhythm with.

More than 10,000 people lost their heads by guillotine during the French Revolution, including Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette, the former king and queen of France. Use of the guillotine continued in France in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the last execution by guillotine occurred in 1977. In September 1981, France outlawed capital punishment altogether, thus abandoning the guillotine forever. There is a museum dedicated to the guillotine in Liden, Sweden.

Here's some Guillotine Facts:
• Total weight of a guillotine is about 1278 lbs
• The guillotine metal blade weighs about 88.2 lbs
• The height of guillotine posts average about 14 feet
• The falling blade has a rate of speed of about 21 feet/second
• Just the actual beheading takes 2/100 of a second
• The time for the guillotine blade to fall down to where it stops takes 70th of a second
• On September 10, 1977, the last execution by guillotine took place in Marseilles, France, when the murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded.

Now--aren't you just THRILLED that I gave you all of this interesting (???) information... Thank God that doesn't go on NOW.

Okay---back to my story!!!!! She didn't want her Sweetheart's head chopped off ----so she told him to SMILE for the camera and she'd talk nicely to the guards so that they would free him... For some reason, he obliged ---and gave her a huge smile... Isn't he a Cutie?????

Have a great Saturday ---and stay away from Guillotines.


P.S. LATER: George just 'stole my thunder' from this post today. He said that this was NOT a guillotine ---but was really a STOCK. I said, "Whatever!" He said that they didn't use a 'thing' like this to cut off someone's head. This was used to put people in it --so everyone could make fun of them, throw rotten vegetables at them, etc. Guess that wouldn't be quite as bad as getting your head cut off!!! Oh Well----I now know more about a Guillotine and a Stock... See what blogging does?????? ha

Friday, September 25, 2009

Be Wise---Keep on Learning!

The older I get, the more I realize just how much I still don't know. I continue to learn ---and when I learn one thing, then I realize how many other things I still don't know. It's like hiking up a mountain. When I go one step forward, sometimes I take two backward...

Someone sent me these little sayings --so I decided to share them with you today. We all can learn from them!!!!!

I've learned....That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned....That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned....That the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I've learned....That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned....That the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

Which one of these do you relate with the most? Which one jumps out at you right now???? I was always one of those multi-tasker-type people--who could get alot done in a short period of time. But--in the process of being so darn busy throughout most of my adult life, I forgot to 'stop and smell the roses'.... Now that I'm 'retired'---I DO take time to enjoy the roses, the birds, waterfalls, and just being out in nature.

So---I guess for me now, I relate more to the toilet paper one. My life is flying by---WAY too fast. The closer I get to the end of life, the faster it continues to go. BUT---my old body doesn't always want to keep riding that old train, even though my heart wants to keep doing more and more. My questions, as I continue to learn and grow, are : "How can I continue to learn as this life flies by, and how can I stay physically and mentally able to keep on riding????"

I'm going to stay on that train and keep on keeping on, as long as I possibly can!!!! How 'bout you??????


P.S. All pictures in today's post came from the internet.