Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to MAY!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful IRISES from our yard. Meet "Goodnight Kiss"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Special Valentine's Day Dinner

The lobby area at Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge Restaurant
I thought I'd better get my act together and get this post published before Valentine's Day gets here again next year!!!!!! ha ha ..... Anyhow--I've talked some about our great Waterfall and Hiking Trip which we took from Feb. 13-15.   BUT--what I haven't talked about was the delicious meal that George and I enjoyed on Valentine's Evening...

My Sweetheart took me to the Amicalola Falls Lodge Restaurant (near Dawsonville, GA) for a VERY special meal. They offered a fabulousl buffet with many kinds of salads, breads, soups,  entrees and desserts.  All of it was DELICIOUS and the  place was decorated so pretty.   They even provided live music for us.  We got there early so it wasn't crowded yet... Of course,  that's how we like it!

Here are a few of the pictures I took of that pretty restaurant.  Be sure and click on the photos to see them larger. 

Here is a view from our table ---which showed off all of the FOG outside!!!! ha ha... Usually there is a great view of the surrounding mountains since this lodge sits on the top of the mountain above the waterfall.

That is our table (in the middle).  Now you can get a great view of the FOG....   You can see a little bit of one of the mountain ranges to the right..   This is a gorgeous lodge --so if you ever get in this area,  check it out!!!!

This shows more of the restaurant and decorations.  As I said,  we got there early for dinner ---so there weren't many folks there yet.   I'm sure it would have been full a little later in the evening.

Here were our two musicians.  They were very good ---and George and I loved hearing all of that "LOVE" music!!!!!!!

This was just one more of the pretty decorations ---found all over the buffet area and restaurant.   Some of the entrees we had to choose from were:  BBQ Ribs,  Prime Rib (a favorite of ours),  Shrimp,  and Cabbage Rolls....

After dinner,   we enjoyed sitting in the lodge area at the fireplace...  The photo in the picture is of Amicalola Falls,  one of our favorite waterfalls.

WELL-- besides eating and sitting by the fire,  we also enjoyed our hiking during the day on that Valentine's Day..  Many of you may recognize this beautiful waterfall,  Anna Ruby Falls.  It's one of Georgia's most popular waterfalls.  We had seen it before ---but loved seeing it again this year.   Hope you had as happy a Valentine's Day as we had!!!!!

Have a great day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Backyard Birds

Eastern Bluebird
Here are some more pictures of some of my hungry little Backyard Birds --taken during January/February.   Even though we haven't had a harsh winter this year,  the birds still come to the feeders constantly.   I am so glad that I can feed them, especially this time of year.   Above is an all-time favorite,  one of our little Eastern Bluebirds.   Be sure and click on the pictures to see them larger.

Downy Woodpecker

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Female Northern Cardinal

Gray Catbird

Tufted Titmouse

Eastern Bluebirds
This one is a little fuzzy (through a window and screen) --but I loved watching the male and female Bluebirds check out the nestbox.    It's a little early for them to be nesting yet--but they certainly did check it out!!!!!

Pileated Woodpecker
Finally,  I always have to show a picture of another favorite,  one of our Pileated Woodpeckers..  Isn't he a beauty????

Hope you had a great weekend.   I hope also that you enjoyed seeing more of some of my wonderful Backyard Birds...


Friday, February 24, 2012

Best of 2011: My Overall Favorites

This post wraps up my "Best of 2011" series.  If you missed any of the seven different posts,  you can click HERE to see them...  I kept out these pictures until last since they are my favorites.... Hope you enjoy them!!!  Be sure to click on them to see a larger view.

This picture of the bride and groom standing outside the Chapel on the Rock  south of Estes Park, Colorado is just fabulous...  If you missed my blog post talking about this chapel (which really is built on a rock),  click HERE.

Here is another fav of mine.  This picture was taken at the Italian Water Garden at Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville,  NC.   I loved seeing all of the water lilies in this pond ---but I especially loved seeing the reflection of the Biltmore House in the water... If you want to see more pictures from the Italian Water Garden,  click HERE.

You have seen this photo ALOT if you came to my blog during January.  I featured it as my header then.... We took this photo of the Smokies EARLY one morning in October as we were headed up the mountain to get some great Autumn colored pictures...   If you want to see more pictures from that trip,  click HERE and HERE.  That was a great trip to see the Fall colors!!!

In early December ---we had a small but pretty little snow storm... This was one of those wet snows with big flakes that clings to everything... SO PRETTY.... I loved the way it added that white color to one of our outdoor wreaths...  (NOTE:  This winter has been one of our mildest ones so far.  We have only had 3 tiny little snows so far.  I was hoping for at least one bigger one,  but now, with spring flowers getting ready to bloom,  I think I'm just ready to have some SPRING!!!!)

Here is another great sky picture.... I'm sure you will see it sometime as my blog header.  This picture was taken last year when we were at our little cabin in Mt. Nebo, Arkansas.  Can't wait 'til we go back there again SOON.

Here is my favorite Grand Canyon picture...  This was our view as we looked away from the sun---as it was setting in the west.  To see more sunset pictures from the Grand Canyon,  click  HERE.

Here is a great 'fog' picture (can you tell that I love sky, sun, fog pictures?? ha) from last year's trip to Mt. Nebo, Arkansas.  This one was taken from the back patio at our cabin.

Finally,   here's another fog picture from Mt. Nebo, Arkansas.   There are lots and lots of deer on that mountain---and I loved seeing them in the fog...

Hope you enjoyed all of my "Best of 2011"  series... I always enjoy re-living our adventures this way... We will be returning to our cabin in Mt. Nebo soon ---so hopefully,  I'll get some "Best of 2012" pictures while there.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tullahoma Trip to Visit Dad Adams

On February 9th,  George and I made a trip about 2.5 hours southwest of here to visit George's 99 year old Daddy...  (We do this about every 2 weeks.)  We found Dad in pretty good spirits although at his age,  both the body and the mind are really wearing out...  George spends time going over all of Dad's financial records with him each time we go...  Dad may not quite remember everything these days,  but his mind can still be 'sharp' at times --especially when talking about his money!!!!!

Every time we go,  we take Dad out to lunch and then for a long ride in the area...  He loves that!!!!  This particular time,  after lunch (and believe me,  that 99 yr. old man can EAT),  we went to the Ledford Mills area to check out some waterfalls...

Today I'll share some pictures with you from that fun day... Above is a picture of POND FALLS,  found at  the Ledford Mill  (where there used to be an old mill) Bed and Breakfast... Be sure to click on the pictures to see them larger.

George took this picture of me when we got to the second waterfall,  WETUMPKA FALLS... (Don't ask me how that waterfall got its name!!!!????)

This is WETUMPKA FALLS...  It's a pretty little waterfall, don't you think,  even if it has such a big name!!!!

I took this picture of George at Wetumpka Falls...

And ---sitting in the car is our "Star of the Show" today!!!!  This is Dad Adams ---who will be 100 years old in August of this year.... Isn't that amazing?

Here is one more picture of our Sunday Snow...  It was pretty while it lasted --but is totally gone now.  The weather warmed up quickly,  and yesterday, on our walk,  we didn't see much snow left at all, even in the shady areas.  In fact,  it felt like SPRING.

Hope you have a beautiful day.  Thanks so much for those of you who have been so nice to take the Word Verification off of your blog...  I have tried as much as FIVE times at times trying to get the spelling correct... Ridiculous!!!!  Thanks again.


Monday, February 20, 2012

North Georgia Mountain Valentine's Trip

Here is the little bumpy, unpaved road we were on --on that foggy morning!!!
George and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day OUR WAY...  One of our favorite things in the world to do is to go deep into the woods on the narrow, back roads and check out waterfalls and do some hiking!!!!  SO--that is exactly what we did on Feb. 13-15.  We drove to the North Georgia Mountains --and got to see 7 waterfalls during those few days!!!

The one I will share with you today was the first one we saw on Valentine's morning.  They had predicted snow and ice --and we were afraid that we'd just be stuck all day in the motel... BUT--luckily, as is usually the case,  they missed the forecast and we only saw snow at the higher elevations..  This time,  I said  "Thank Goodness"... ha

We drove near Helen, Georgia (in White County) to see a group of waterfalls in the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area (near the Unicoi State Park).   We took Forest Road 44 (called the Chattahoochee River Road) deep into the mountains...

We happened upon  our first waterfall  not too far into the mountains.  According to our Georgia information,  this one is called the "Upper Spoilcane Creek Falls"...   It is near Unicoi Gap State Park.  We were at about 3100 feet in elevation at this level---so we enjoyed seeing some snow and ice here.

One really good thing about hiking in weather like this (32 degrees,  snow, fog, drizzles, etc.),  we had the entire mountain to ourselves.. We drove over 8 miles in and out of that mountain --and never EVER saw one other person nor vehicle!!!!!  It was TREMENDOUS--just like we love it.  It was OUR kind of trip, and the mountains were ALL ours!!!!

Hope you enjoy today's pictures.   Be sure to click on them to enlarge them.

Here is  the Upper Spoilcane Creek Falls--surrounded by snow and ice.  Pretty,  aren't they?

These new hiking, rain jackets were perfect on a day like this  (even though we both had sweatshirts and flannel shirts under them  for more warmth)...  It did warm up a little during the day,  but at this time,  it was only about 32 degrees up there.

Here is a neat picture of the bottom of the waterfall ---from fairly close!!!!  Wanna go for a dip in the water????????   Brrrrr----probably much too cold on this day!

George was getting some 'up close and personal' photos also.  The waterfall went very high up in the mountain --but the fog prevented us from seeing much of the top.

Here is a neat picture showing some of the snow and ice beside the waterfall.

The old woman was getting COLD ---so she is ready to get back in Mrs. P (our Prius)...

Finally,  we are heading farther and farther deep into the mountains...   Bet you can't wait to see more pictures!!!!!  It was a fabulous day in the Georgia mountains ---and a great way to spend Valentine's Day. 

SNOW in FAIRFIELD GLADE on Sunday,  2/19/12
Our Spring Flowers trying to 'grow'---Don't know what they'll look like tomorrow. ha
 Have a wonderful Monday...  As I said above, we got snow here yesterday (about 2 inches or so) --and it was SO pretty  (just the kind I like---wet snow that clings to everything).... (There are a couple more pictures on Facebook.)

Thanks for visiting. Please leave a comment and I'll respond to you. BUT--I beg of you to take off "WORD VERIFICATION" from your blog IF you have it.  I truly cannot read that 'gobbly goop'...   Thank You so very very much!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Best of 2011: Western Trip --Part II

As you probably know (unless you are new to my blog),  George and I took a three-week trip out west this past June.  This was a fabulous trip ---and we loved every minute of it.  We hope to go back again and again!!! It's like a whole different world out there!!!

If you missed Part I of my favorite pictures from this trip,  click HERE.  Today I will share with you Part II from this trip.  Above was one of our very favorite places,  BRYCE CANYON.  We loved Bryce so much that we even went back a second time.  If you want to see more pictures from Bryce Canyon,  click  HERE.

This was another small canyon are that we visited and loved,  KOLOB CANYONS.   In order to see more pictures from this gorgeous place,  click  HERE

We spent a very hot day at the ARCHES.   We want to go back there sometime when there aren't so many people and also when it is a little cooler.  Above is one of many great pictures from the ARCHES ---showing the unusual rock formations.   In order to see more pictures from the Arches,  click HERE.

We were near Estes Park, Colorado when I took this photo.  Isn't this a gorgeous place?  In order to see more pictures from the Rocky Mountain National Park,  click HERE.

We drove UP UP UP into the Rocky Mountain National Park... The farther up we went,  the more snow we saw...  AWESOME!!!!  I think this picture was taken at about 12,000 feet in elevation.    Isn't it beautiful?????

Finally,  here's one more picture of one of our very favorite places,  BRYCE CANYON.  If you ever get to Utah,  please go and see Bryce Canyon.

Hope you enjoyed our 'Best Of' pictures... It was a fabulous trip --and we probably have many many 'best of' pictures from that experience.

On another very troubling subject,   I am very very upset at what Blogger has done now with Word Verification.   I cannot read the gobbly-goop they are now using.  I have never used WORD VERIFICATION on my blog --and have had NO TROUBLE.  Blogger has a great spam-filter...

To tell you the truth,  I  have enough trouble getting to all of my commenters' blogs ---and now,  with the new Word Verification,  I just cannot do it.  If you choose to continue to use Word Verification on your blog,  I will probably quit leaving comments.   I just cannot do it... Sorry!!

My good friend,  Theresa (Texwisgirl)  wrote an excellent post last night about this... IF you want more information,  please read her post (click HERE)...   OR ---if you need help getting rid of the Word Verification,  contact me (betsyadams@mac.com) and I'll help you.  Thanks so much!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waterfalls in Wears Valley

Lower Cove Creek Cascade
As I said in the Feb. 6th post,  George and I took a short trip on Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 30 and 31).  On the 31st,  we drove through the glorious Smoky Mountains stopping in Wears Valley to check out FIVE waterfalls.  We saw these waterfalls in 2008 ---but were anxious to see them again!!!!    On that gorgeous day,  we loved walking along the creek checking out the waterfalls along the way...   Above is Lower Cove Creek Cascade...  Isn't it pretty?   Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them..

Cove Creek Falls
This little waterfall sits directly behind a house/cabin....  Great location for the cabin ---but it seemed to be in disrepair.   Nobody was around when we were there. 

George at Cove Creek Falls
I love this picture of George.  I put it on Facebook last week.  He is standing in front of Cove Creek Falls.

Secret Falls
There are two cabins at  Secret Falls.  One of them (like some of the other cabins along this road) sits TOO close to the water... I'm sure that high water or a flood would do alot of damage to these cabins.  (That may be why one of them is for sale!!!!!)

The picture above is Secret Falls.  The two cabins are across the creek.  You can see the one closest to the water --but the other one (a huge cabin) is up on the hill (to the left).  Parking is on the road side of the creek,  and one has to walk across the bridge to get to both cabins. 

Betsy at bridge above Secret Falls
George took my picture as I checked out the bridge above Secret Falls..  This area is just gorgeous---and we had a nice walk on a mild January day.

Middle Cove Creek Cascade
I took this picture from the bridge --looking toward Middle Cove Creek Cascade, farther upstream.  Wish you could have heard the roaring water as it swiftly made its way downstream. There is another cabin in the distance --along with another bridge.

Close-up Picture of the Cascades
We loved seeing this creek and all of its cascades and waterfalls.  We both love taking 'up close and personal' pictures of the water.  The picture above is a close-up I took...Isn't the water gorgeous?   It looks like silk, doesn't it?

Upper Cove Creek Cascade
The last waterfall upstream is farther away ----so George put on his long lens for a great shot.  There is a house (with no-trespassing signs) at the end of the road,  so we couldn't get close to this waterfall.  I love our long lenses for pictures like this. 

Hope you enjoyed our little walk along the creek.   You can imagine how wonderful it was seeing these beautiful waterfalls and cascades as we walked...

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  George and I have been in Georgia doing some hiking and 'waterfalling'....  That's our very favorite thing to do.  On Monday and Tuesday,  we have seen a total of SEVEN waterfalls...   We had SO much fun!!!!!   We also went out to a wonderful Valentine's Dinner of Prime Rib and more.... What a wonderful trip!!!!!    (I will begin catching up with your blog posts soon...  There's never enough time!!!!)

One more piece of GREAT NEWS:  My youngest son Jeff and his gal (Dawn) are officially engaged now.  He gave her a ring on Valentine's Day!!!!