Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month is a picture of one of my favorite birds, the Eastern Bluebird. He looks cold, doesn't he????? Welcome to January!!!!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sunset at the Beach

First of all,  HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE....  Can you believe that 2010 is almost OVER???? Where do the months and days go????  The older I get,  the faster time flies by!!!!!

As you know, if you are a regular follower of my blog,  we took a short trip to Ocean Isle Beach during Christmas week.   I published a blog post yesterday showing some pictures of the beach around Islander Inn where we stayed.

Today,  I'll post another set from our balcony at Ocean Isle Beach.   When we visit this area each May,  we cannot see either the sunrises or the sunsets from our room... SO--this was a JOY for us to see both while we were there...

The pictures today were taken late in the FIRST afternoon we were there... Seeing this sunset just took my breath away.  I knew at that moment exactly WHY we were there... It was awesome.   Here are some pictures of our beautiful sunset as taken from our balcony on December 20.



Not only were we enjoying the sunset over the ocean,  we also were enjoying the beautiful sky.



Can you believe seeing this beauty???? Made me chill all over---not because I was cold,  but because I was 'tingly' with excitement!!!



No words are needed to explain this picture!!!




WOW!!!!!




Going  ---  Going...




GONE!!!!!  BUT--look at that sky!!!!!   AWESOME!!!

Hope you enjoyed our gorgeous sunset....   NOW---have a Happy New Year and stay SAFE... What will you do tomorrow, and do you have a meal planned?   We'll watch football most of the day I'm sure (with some naps included)---and I'll make my 'famous' (??)   HOPPIN' JOHN for dinner.  Hoppin' John consists of black-eyed peas, rice, kielbasa and ham.  It's delicious --and will hopefully bring us GOOD LUCK for 2011.  See you on Monday!

Hugs,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas at the Beach

George and I always visit Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina every May... This year,  we decided to visit that area just before Christmas also.  WOW--what a treat we had...  It was cold there,  so we didn't enjoy the beach very much--like we do in May.  BUT---there were many other things which we did enjoy that we don't see in May.

As you can imagine I have several sets of pictures to share with you... HA HA HA.... Today,  I'll share some pictures around the Islander Inn --where we stayed on the beach at Ocean Isle.  Above is a picture from our balcony showing the dunes and waves...  Can you believe that there was almost NOBODY around????  Loved it!!!!





George did manage to take a walk along the beach one day --even though it was cold and windy!   He captured this great picture under the fishing pier.





For the three days we were there,  Mother Nature gave us several kinds of weather.  On this particular day,  it was FOGGY all day long....  Luckily,  we had no rain (nor snow--thank goodness)---but  on this particular day,  the fog remained with us...  It was relaxing!!!!





All of these shore-birds (gulls)  were lined up waiting for ANYONE to come by and give them something to eat...  BUT--there weren't that many people walking on the beach while we were there.





Here's another favorite picture of the dunes, sea grass,  waves and fog....





On one of our clear days,  we could see the Casino boats going out to sea --from the Little River Waterfront... Gambling is one thing which George and I do not do since I'm sure I'd lose my shirt (and MORE)... ha ha ... BUT--there are always plenty of people getting on those boats every single day to gamble....

More pictures to come!!!!!!  Are you getting ready to celebrate the New Year???  What will you do?  George and I will stay at home and watch some football on TV,   watch the ball fall in Times Square on New Year's Eve, and enjoy some Eggnog.  That is the extent of our 'big' celebration... ha

Hugs,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Lights in Fairfield Glade 2010

Before we left for our beach trip,  we drove around the Glade to see some of the Christmas lights in our area.   Here are a few pictures from that little ride!  Above is a picture from one side of one of the lakes in our area ---looking across the lake.  You can see some of the reflections in the water.





Here is one using the long lens....You can see things more easily now--including the reflections in the water.  Christmas lights are always so pretty -- and never seem to show up as pretty in pictures... But---we were enjoying the beauty from across the lake!!!





Wanna take a ride with me in that big, shiny truck???






This big house had lights EVERYWHERE.... But--my favorite was the big star on the roof...




This house seemed to have a little of everything --and everyone --on and around its porch.





I loved seeing the Penguins at this house display---and I'll bet that those Penguins are much happier now that we have had lots of snow on the ground here... ha

I have one more set of light pictures --which I will show another day.

Hope you are having a great week --and getting ready to celebrate a NEW YEAR....

Hugs,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our WHITE Christmas

I almost didn't even post these pictures since we didn't get NEARLY as much snow as many places in our country... HOWEVER,  we did end up with about 4-5 inches --after it snowed off and on for about 2 1/2 days.  We missed the big, wet snow that clings to everything --since it went south and then east of us... We got all of our snow from the clipper system coming down from the north.  These systems bring terribly cold temperatures (wind chills in the single digits) --and bring the powdery, dry snow, including MUCH wind --blowing the snow all over the place.

On Christmas morning,   we woke up to only about an inch of snow...   By late that afternoon and all night,  it snowed again --and we picked up another two inches.  The day after Christmas (Sunday),  it snowed here most all day.   It did stop for awhile --so George shoveled the driveway.   BUT--that night,  it snowed hard again ALL night..  The driveway filled up with snow again --and we woke up Monday morning --with about 1-2 more inches of snow.   During this entire weekend,  our temperatures never got out of the 20's --and were much lower than that at nights.. I took these pictures  Monday morning --as it was finally beginning to clear up!!!!!  (And this was the ONLY time I got outside all weekend --except to fill the bird feeders.)

Here are some pictures of our White Christmas here in Fairfield Glade, TN.  Above I love seeing the snow on one of our wreaths.  Below are more.




This is one of the Holly Bushes in our front yard.





It is interesting seeing how the snow clings to the individual paving stones on our wall  (flowerbed along the road) in the front yard...





Can you see the PANSIES in this bed??????   ha ha.....   I hope the snow is protecting them from the frigid temperatures!!!!




You've seen the front of our house several times ---but here it is again all decorated for Christmas --with snow.






Several of you have asked about the back of our house --since I seldom seem to post pictures from the back..  Anyhow--this is it,  and you can see the wrap-around deck.  My bird feeding station is on the deck,  on the left.  (You can see part of the birdbath in the bottom of the picture.  We take it down during the winter since it is not heated.)




FINALLY,  for the first time in many, many days---I see some BLUE SKY....  This picture was taken from the backyard --looking toward the golf course fairway,  up the hill.  Seeing that blue sky was wonderful --since hopefully,  we'll have some sunshine soon!!!!

Well--that is it,  and I'll admit that  I was thrilled to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS --for the first time in more years than I can remember.  AND--to be honest,  I'm glad we didn't have a 'blizzard' like so many areas...  Our area here in the mountains and hills is on STOP even with a small snow..  I can't imagine how long it would take us to be able to get off of our hill if we had ALOT more snow....  We in Tennessee are not prepared for lots of snow!!!!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas,  whether you had a WHITE one or not.

Hugs,

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas 2010


I will joyfully share with you that we HAD a WHITE CHRISTMAS here in Fairfield Glade.  It's the first since we moved here in 2003 --and the first for me in many, many years of living in the south... I know many folks in the south were thrilled to see SNOW on Christmas this year.

HOWEVER,  the heavy snow and ice did prevent my sons from getting up here to see us.  They got stuck in Chattanooga at their Dad's --and had more snow than we did at the time.  Then it turned to ice --and because we also had more snow Sunday,  they had to cancel their plans of being able to make it up here on the mountain to see us.  I was sorta relieved since neither of them have 4-wheel drive vehicles; yet I was deeply disappointed --since I had looked forward to seeing them SO much.  Oh well---I'd rather all of us be 'safe than sorry'.

Anyhow,  George and I did have a wonderful week.  We spent several days at Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina where we enjoyed sunrises, sunsets,  the eclipse,  lots of wonderful seafood, and some beautiful Christmas lights in and around the Myrtle Beach area.  I have many pictures from that trip to share --but today,  I'll share a little from Christmas morning at our home.  Above is our tree,  the fireplace ---and you can even see the snow on the deck outside behind the Christmas tree...  This was taken when we first got up Christmas morning. Below are more.



Here is a close-up of some of our snow Christmas morning.   You can see how much the birds are enjoying the feeders on this cold, snowy morning.





It was a pretty snow --one of those heavy kinds which cling to everything.  At that time, we only had about an inch --but it has since snowed ALOT more here!!!!  The problem now is that it is so doggone cold out there,  that we couldn't stay out very long to enjoy it.





You can tell that I am a happy camper in this picture... Santa George gave me two new gorgeous Willow Angels.  This one is the Angel of Autumn and the other one is the Angel of Love.  Both are fabulous!!!!!   I also got a precious Harvest Angel from a good friend to add to my angel collection.




Santa knows how much George and I love HIKING... SO--he gave us both new t-shirts... That bright green should help us keep up with each other while hiking!!!!! ha





You can't tell in this picture,  but I now have another bird ornament,  a Black-capped Chickadee,  to add to my bird ornament collection...  He is precious!!!





Santa just HAD to give us both new waterfall t-shirts and hats...  George is modeling his hat for us.





Santa George gave me one of the cutest ornaments I have ever seen.  It's a small computer...  Have you ever seen anything so adorable????? I LOVE it.

I kept telling George that Santa KNEW I had been a good girl this year...  For some reason,  George was skeptical!!!!!!  Wonder why???? ha ha .... Anyhow,  one of my favorite gifts was a "Lap Reader"... It's a neat gadget which holds my laptop while I'm computering --either in the recliner,  or in the car!   It's fabulous!

George also got a very nice combination Book of Common Prayer and NRSV version of the Bible.  There were more small things, including ornaments,  but this is enough to give you an idea of our wonderful day.  We also enjoyed turkey, dressing, gravy, pimento beans,  sweet potatoes, cranberry relish,  and pumpkin pie with ice cream!!!!!



Hope you had a wonderful Christmas--and hope that Santa was GOOD to you.

Hugs,

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas Angels

Most of you know by now that I LOVE angels --and have collected them for many years.  Today I will share some of them with you.  Many of my angels have been gifts from friends all through the years.   Above are two of my 'pretties'.  Below are more.





This little beauty is named Carole --since she was made for me by a friend named Carole. The ones on either side of her are two of my glass angels.  They love to glimmer and glow depending upon what lights are on them.





The beauty on the left is my Texas Angel.  I've had her since my days of living in Texas for 12 years.  The one on the right is me,  the Angel Collector!!!!! ha





These are three of my Baby Angels.   I love them all --but the one on the left makes me smile!!!!!





I love all of three of these angels.   The one on the left is 'me' since I am constantly sweeping the deck and/or sidewalk/driveway...  Sweeping is my THANG!!!!! ha

I included the middle one and the one on the right to show you all of the different ways angels can be made.  The middle one obviously is made using a washcloth, and the one on the right is made using a rose bud.





Since I worked in a church for many years and worked in Children's Ministries,  you can imagine all of the little craft items we made all through the years.  This little MOP Angel above is one which we made one year at a children's workshop.  Isn't she pretty?????





The angel on the right is the first angel I had.  She was the treetop angel on our Christmas tree when I was first married in 1962...  That little lady has been with me for  48 years!!!!

The little one on the left was mine when I was very young.  SO--she is even older than the one on the right.  The best thing about the little angel on the left is that she looks so angelic.....   Ah Ha.... NOW--look at the next picture!!!!





Uh Oh.... What is that in that sweet little adorable angel's back pocket????   A SLINGSHOT?????? Oh My Goodness.... Wonder why my parents thought this little beauty was like their daughter!!!!!!  Hmmmmmmmmm....





Finally,  here are my newest set of angels,  the Willow Angels.  I have been collecting these  (with George's help) for about 3-4 years now...I love them all--but one he gave me last year is just so special... It's the Angel of Happiness (on the extreme left).  She has her arms outstretched with birds sitting on both arms.   Isn't she awesome???

Hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my special Christmas Angels.  We are going to be away from blogging until about December 28....  We have lots to do,  places to go,  and company coming!!!!!   Have a wonderful, fabulous and Christ-filled Christmas. We love you ALL.

Hugs,