Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Our 2010 Lilies---Part IV

So far, I have shared 19 varieties of the gorgeous Lilies in our yard this year. Today I will share 6 more with you ---which still leaves 5 (since we have 30 different Lily varieties). In order to see any of the first 19, go to my sidebar and scroll down to Labels. Then click on Lilies 2010.

Above is one of my favorite Lilies --which is a popular one which I have seen on several blogs this summer. Its name is STARGAZER. Below are more!






As I have said in previous blogs, our Lilies and Daylilies really put on a 'show' for us this summer... But--they are all gone now!!!! Sigh!!!! The Roses are still going strong --and we planted some Vinca recently in our small round beds to give them some color until we plant our Fall Pansies.

I will have one more post featuring the rest of our Lilies. Hope you have enjoyed seeing all of these varieties of our 2010 Lilies.

What are your weekend plans? I will be working on Family History (what else is there???? ha)--and hopefully, we'll take a ride on Sunday. I'll blog again on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lilly Bluff Overlook, TN

This past Sunday, July 25, George and I drove NORTHEAST of Crossville to hike to the overlook over Clear Creek, in the Obed Wild and Scenic River area, not too far from Wartburg, TN. The drive was nice ---as we passed the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area, and headed into a sparsely populated area of Cumberland County and Morgan County.

Added to the National Park system in 1976, the Obed Wild and Scenic River is a very rugged area with very few added trails so far. The Obed River and its main tributaries, Clear Creek and Daddys Creek, have carved steep gorges into the sandstone bedrock. This river is perfect for VERY experienced kayakers (except this summer --when we have had so little rain).

We traveled to the Lilly Bridge area and crossed Clear Creek, driving up the mountain to hike to the overlook above Lilly Bridge. YES---I did a little hiking, the first for me since May... It was only a .6 of a mile hike total, and was fairly level--but that is definitely a beginning for this gal, who loves to hike. The ONLY problem with the hike was the extreme heat --since the temperature was in the 90's (or at least the high 80's). But--since most of the hike was in the woods, we both enjoyed it.

Here are some pictures for you!!!!! Above is the trail. We enjoyed hiking in the woods, even on a hot day. Below are more!

We are at the overlook... The Parks Services did a great job building this overlook on top of the mountain here. The views were great!

I took this picture from the overlook --looking down at the Lilly Bridge which we crossed.

From the overlook, we took this picture --looking east at Clear Creek below. You can see some people swimming down there if you enlarge this picture.

Looking the other direction, you will not how LOW the water levels are in Clear Creek.

Here's one last picture of the mountainous terrain around this area. This picture was also taken from the overlook ---facing straight ahead of us.

I will share more pictures of our little ride/hike in this area in another post next week. We drove home on a little country road --and of course, I found another little church!!!! ha

The GOOD NEWS for us is that we had OVER TWO inches of rain here at our home yesterday.... Yeah Rah!!!! We need rain SO badly... All of our trees/plants/grass/flowers, etc. say "Thank You" I'm sure...

Have a great Thursday!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Backyard Beauties

Here are some fairly recent pictures of some of our cute little Backyard Birds.... Above is a Daddy Cardinal --getting a seed for his little one!! Below are more!

A young Cardinal---learning to feed itself... Of course, it would much rather Daddy feed it --but Daddy was trying to teach it to feed itself.... Cute little one, huh??? One way to tell a juvenile Cardinal from a female is that its beak is not RED yet.

This little Tufted Titmouse loves to spread his wings out and press his tummy on the HOT deck in the summertime... Many of the birds do this--and I've never found out the 'real' reason. One person said that they are ridding their tummies of bugs!!!????

The Brown Thrashers still love coming to the Suet feeder--although they have to share
it with the Bluebirds, Bluejays, and all of the woodpeckers... It's a popular feeder!!!!

Our Pileated Woodpecker is one of several woodpeckers who love the suet feeder... I go through an entire cake of suet every week...

I love this picture of a Northern Flicker ---who is enjoying the suet feeder. (Besides the Pileated and Flickers, other woodpeckers who enjoy this feeder are the Downys and the Red-bellieds.)

Other birds (not pictured today) who enjoy the feeders are lots of Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Goldfinches, House Finches, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Bluejays, our gorgeous Bluebirds and a Gray Catbird on occasion.

We are so fortunate to live in an area where there are LOTS and LOTS of little songbirds...

Have a wonderful Wednesday...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More from Grassy Cove, TN

Last week, I posted a set of pictures from our ride to Grassy Cove, TN. IF you missed the first set, CLICK here. Today, I'm posting more pictures from that wonderful area--which is south of Crossville. The picture above shows the little steeple of the Grassy Cove United Methodist Church. One thing I noticed about this little church is that the building is small---but they have added the cemetery on three sides of the building now. We didn't see another church in Grassy Cove ---so I assume that most everyone in the valley belongs to that little church, and that their friends and relatives who have died are probably buried there. More pictures are below.

I enjoyed reading this sign, and knowing that this little church was established in 1803, and that the land was given by one of the original settlers in Grassy Cove, who had been a Revolutionary War soldier.

Here's one more picture of the little church --with one of the three cemeteries in the side yard. I mentioned this last week, but it looks as if the church is having some roof work done.

I'll bet if you have ever driven in the south, you have seen these barns ---dotted all around Tennessee and other states... There is a tourist attraction in Chattanooga, TN called "Rock City".... Years ago---they did their advertising by putting signs on most every barn in the south!!!! Great advertising, don't you think???? WELL--there aren't many of these barns left---but I found one in Grassy Cove... Neat, huh????

"Okay, Bessie, I told you to get your family out of my front yard... And ole Marybelle is almost on my front porch. Sssshhheeessshhh." (This sight just made me laugh outloud... Obviously, that little house is empty now ---but at one time, it was someone's beautiful home. (My parents used to talk about the cows wandering all throughout my hometown of Big Stone Gap, VA --before the town made an ordinance to keep them out of people's yards!!!! That was before I was even a gleam in my Daddy's eyes!)

Here's one last picture of that beautiful little valley, Grassy Cove, TN... OH--wouldn't I love to live there !!!!!

Hope you enjoyed my pictures from that little ride on July 18. This past Sunday, we headed NORTH of Crossville ---so I'll share some pictures from this little ride soon.

Have a fabulous Tuesday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend of Genealogy for ME

This past weekend was the first weekend (since my knee problems began the first of May which ultimately led to surgery) that I have truly felt like myself. It's been a long, long almost 3 months for me. My knee is FINE ---but all of the other problems I encountered, due to the medications, really made it a rough time for me... ANYHOW--I felt so good that I spent almost the entire weekend working on the BALLARD Family History side of my family.

What prompted this was an email from ANOTHER new distant cousin of mine (whom I had never met). Adriel wrote me --after reading some of my Ballard posts online.. I began to do research to see where our connection was---and I found it... Our lines crossed at Col. Thomas Ballard and Katherine Hubbard. Thomas is my 7th Great Grandfather and Adriel's 9th. (She's ALOT younger than I am... ha)... Thomas and Katherine had 10 children. Their son John is my direct line relative and their son William is Adriel's direct line relative.

Adriel and I can trace our Ballard's all the way back to FULCO BALLARD (born sometime between 1250 and 1325 in England). Fulco is my 16th Great Grandfather... Is that not just amazing??????

Unfortunately, I have very few pictures --and only from my Grandfather Ballard's family. I have posted some of these before --but since I'm meeting more and more Ballard cousins, I decided to post them again.

Above is my Grandfather Ballard's family home in Bristol, Virginia. It originally belonged to my Great Grandfather, William Alexander Ballard (1831-1903). William was married to my Great Grandmother, Adeline Frances Doss in 1857. They had 3 children--one being my grandfather... Great Grandfather Ballard remarried Martha Susan Martin (1848-1919) and they had 7 children. I only remember my 4 Great Aunts (pictured at the bottom).

I really want to get back there and see if that home is still there. I know that there are no Ballards (that I know) left in that area, but I do remember that big home --and loved visiting my Great Aunts when I was a little girl. What I remember most about that old home is the smell and a ticking clock in almost every room... The house felt like being in a museum --and had that musty-like smell. (Funny what we remember, isn't it???) Below are more pictures!

This is a picture of my Grandmother and Grandfather Ballard (my mother's parents). My Grandmother was named Ida Elizabeth Bruce (1874-1904) and my Grandfather was named James Franklin Ballard (1861-1936). Both were dead before I was born. My Grandmother died when my mother was only about 4 yrs old. Mother was raised mostly by the Bruce Family in Big Stone Gap, VA (my hometown) --but she did spend time with her father (who remarried) and his sisters, my Great Aunts.

This is a picture of my mother and her father. This picture of Mom (Edith Marguerite Ballard Banks) was taken in the Roaring 20's!!!! Look at her hair!!!! Her Daddy died when she was 36 yrs. old.

These are my Grandfather Ballard's four sisters. I remember ALL of them--and enjoyed visiting them when we would go to Bristol. From left to right: Aunt Nanny (who was married to Fred Pate; had no children); Aunt Eunice (never married); Aunt Aileen (married to Jeter Cross; no children); and Aunt Lura (never married).

I remember that Aunt Nanny and Uncle Fred lived on the 2nd floor of that big home in Bristol--and we were NEVER invited to go upstairs... Aunt Aileen lived away from the family home until her husband died. She then moved back to the family home with her sisters. Aunt Lura was my favorite of the group. I even had a dolly named after her (Lulu).

I have SO much more to say about the Ballard Family---but that will have to happen in many more posts to come!!!!! I hope that my children and grandchildren enjoy all of this Family History sometime.

Hope you ALL had a wonderful weekend.

Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 Roses--Part VI

Most of you know (unless you are fairly new) that George and I grow ROSES (Hybrid-Tea and Grandiflora). I should say that George grows Roses --since he is the one who loves them and cares for them--about 55 different varieties... I just ENJOY them... He spoils me by bringing a new Rose bud or bloom into the house most every single day just for me to enjoy.

I have published five blog posts so far showing pictures of our Roses. You can check out the other five posts by looking at the sidebar, scrolling down to labels, and then clicking on ROSES 2010.

Today, I'm showing you 6 more of these beauties. Above is one of my favorite new roses this year. Its name is RONALD REAGAN, and this one has really given us some gorgeous large blooms this year. I like the white touch on this bright red rose. Wish you could see it in person! Below are more!






Hope you are enjoying our Roses this year. As you know, we have had an unusually hot summer, so like us, the Roses have struggled. But--they are hanging in there (thanks to George's tender care).

Thanks to all of you for sending RAIN our way yesterday. We had almost an inch of rain, the most we have had in a long time. Thanks be to God!

Today is our 109th Monthaversary!!! If you are fairly new to my blog, then you may not know that George and I didn't meet until we were age 59. We got married in 2001---so since we missed out on so many years together, we celebrate our love every chance we get these days. We got married on June 23---so we celebrate the 23rd of EVERY month.. Today, George is taking me to the Outback Steak House for dinner... YUM...

Have a great weekend, and I'll blog again on Monday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tiptoe Through the Talus

On 2/23/07, George and I visited 3 waterfalls in the Savage Gulf area near Gruetli-Laager, TN. The weather that day was mild; however, we had had ice and snow a few days before. SO--we got to see alot of ice as we hiked.

We visited three waterfalls that day (Savage, Suter, and Middle Suter). We had been to Savage Falls before, but never to the other two. We were going to hike to another waterfall (Horsepound) ---but the ice was so bad around Suter Falls that we couldn't get across the ice --to get to the trail on the other side.

Above is a picture of us taken at Savage Falls. I will post more pictures from this beautiful waterfall at another time. Below are pictures from our hike to Suter and Middle Suter Falls.

This is Middle Suter Falls. You can see the ice around the area. We had to climb on rocks of all sizes on a narrow trail, in order to get to the falls.

We hiked under the overhang---and there was gorgeous Suter Falls in the distance.

George stands in the sweeping half-circle rock overhang. Ice was everywhere. Can you see that narrow trail behind him????? We found out what 'talus' is!!!! Do you know???? It's all of those loose rock fragments at the foot of a cliff. Have you ever tried to walk on them???? Yipes!

Can you see me???? I am under the clam-shaped overhang. Ice on the path kept us from continuing... However, George did get a little closer to Suter Falls to get more pictures, by climbing up on some of the ledges.

Here is beautiful Suter Falls... That is SOLID ICE under the falls. But--there were holes in the ice where the water entered.

We have talked about going back there sometime --when there is no ice, so that we can hike farther to see Horsepound Falls. But---since this hike was done in 2007, and now it's 2010, I wonder if we'll get back???? ha

Thanks for all of your comments about favorite lunches... I had another one yesterday--but didn't think to take a picture. It's just like the tomato sandwich--except it's a CUCUMBER sandwich. We had gotten some fresh cukes yesterday (which had come from Scott County, TN)---so I just had to have one for lunch...

I do need to tell you though that my favorite cucumbers are the little pickling ones. So those are the ones we bought. They are tastier and much more crisp than the big ones... SO---for two days in a row, I had a delicious lunch!!!! Think I'm on a roll!!

I was hoping, by seeing all of the ice in these pictures, that I would feel cooler... Didn't happen though... ha ha

Have a fabulous Thursday wherever you are, and stay COOL. The heavy rains which gave Knoxville about 3 inches yesterday went ALL around us... We got NONE... Sigh!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lunch and Summer Blooms

Do you have a very favorite food for lunch???? I love all kinds of food (which is obvious by looking at me--ha)--but one of my summer favorites is an open-faced fresh, garden tomato sandwich... I put it on a piece of home-made sourdough bread and use some low-fat Duke's mayo....... Don't tell my doctor--but I do have to put a little salt on my tomato though....It's to die for!!!!!

I never liked tomatoes at all ---and still won't eat the crappy ones in the grocery stores or restaurants during winter... But--Grainger County, TN tomatoes are fabulous... We don't have a veggie garden here --so we have to find these fresh home-grown 'maters'.... Oh My Heart---they are just so good... I could eat them all day long!!!

What is one of your favorite summer lunch foods??????

Here's a few more pictures of some of the flowers in our yard right now. Our Roses, Lilies, Daylilies, etc. are our favorites. BUT---we do have other blooms as well. Hope you enjoy some of them today.


BEGONIA (If you are ever looking for some color during the hot summer, get some Begonias. They need NO care --and can thrive through a long, hot summer.)

IMPATIENS (I have two pots of Impatiens --which I have kept year-round for awhile. I take them indoors during the winter --but they love being outside in Summer (in partial shade).


SEMPERVIVUM Bloom (Chicks and Hens)

It has been a horribly hot, muggy and dry summer here on the Cumberland Plateau. We did get 1/2 inch of rain on Sunday afternoon ---but yesterday, the rain just went all around us and headed east... We had to water all of the Roses and the plants in pots. Our rain dances aren't working here.. Can you do a rain dance for us --while thinking about your favorite lunch????? Thanks!!!!

Have a great day!