Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows a SUNSET over the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, 8/7/19.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Other Summer Flowers in our Yard

Most of the Summer,  I have talked about our Roses,  Lilies and Daylilies.   I have not talked about or showed you pictures of some of our other flowers... SO---today,  I'll share some of these photos with you.  Above is one of our 4 BEGONIAS...  All of mine are in pots --and three hang in the front yard near the front porch.  The other one is on our deck..  Begonias are easy flowers to grow--and they are sun-lovers, and give any yard alot of color!!!!  Below are more --so be sure and click on them to see enlargements.




Another potted plant I have is IMPATIENS.  I love these little plants and used to grow lots of them in the round flowerbeds... After going through two years of having rabbits EAT the flowers/plants,  I gave up trying to grow them... I do love them --and they are great summer flowers to have in shady spots.




This is one plant that we are VERY disappointed with.  Our CLEMATIS just won't bloom.  The plant produces lots and lots of green leaves and looks very healthy... It did this last year also--so we went online and read about when to cut it back, etc.... We did that --but it still didn't bloom this summer (other than a very few blooms, one of which is shown above)....   Anyone have any suggestions?????




Many of our IRISES are re-bloomers ----and have continued to bloom off and on all summer.... (We hope they bloom in the Fall also.)  Here is just one of them, named CANTINA.   It just keeps on blooming... Don't you love seeing flowers with raindrops on them?   Awesome,  isn't it?




We have LOTS of HOSTAS in our yard,  and they did bloom...  For some reason,  I didn't get any pictures this summer of their blooms...  Duh!!!!!   Anyhow---the Hosta plants are prettier this year than ever before.  AND--so far,  the deer have stayed away!!!!




Do you know what this is?????  This is one of our SEMPERVIVUM  (Semps) blooming.   As most of you know,  we have Semps all over the yard...  They are called Hens and Chicks by many.  When the Mama Hen blooms,  that means she will die--and the Chicks take over and become Hens....  This Semp obviously was blooming---and will die.  Interesting how it works,  isn't it?????   (Glad most things don't die when they bloom!!!! ha)




This is another FALL favorite bloom.  This is my AUTUMN JOY SEDUM --which I have lots of around the yard.  These blooms will remain throughout the Fall--gradually changing colors... They will turn pink, then blueish,  and gradually turn rust color...  SUCH a neat plant ---and they take almost no care at all.




Finally,  here are two pictures of my favorite bush in our yard,  our CONFEDERATE  JASMINE.   We have had to trim this bush several times this summer --or else it would just keep on getting bigger and bigger... It blooms almost all summer even when we trim it....  It smells good ---and I just LOVE it...




Here is a close-up of what the little flowers look like on the CONFEDERATE JASMINE bush.  Aren't they just beautiful????

Hope you enjoyed seeing more of our summer bloomers... I sometimes neglect these --while emphasizing the Roses and Lilies and other perennials.  But--as many of my blog friends will tell me,  they enjoy some of these even more!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you on Wednesday.  (Monday is a holiday, Labor Day,  so I won't be blogging that day.)  I have another bridal shower to attend (my future daughter-in-law) this weekend---so it will be another busy one!!!!  Sorry I have not kept up with your blogs/comments lately... JUST overwhelmed with LIFE right now!

Hugs,
Betsy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A 100th Birthday Celebration

My wonderful father-in-law,  John Emery Adams,  turns 100 years YOUNG today!!!!   As you read this,  we are with him still celebrating... 

This past Saturday,  in the Fellowship Hall of his church,  First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee,   many, many friends and family members gathered to help Dad celebrate his birthday... Today I will share some pictures from that party.

Family members came from all over the country to celebrate,   and many friends stopped by to see Dad and congratulate him.  For me personally,  I enjoyed seeing many old friends from Hendersonville ---since I worked in that church for 3 years before retiring.  That made this party even more special for me.

For those who don't know about my inlaws,   let me tell you that when I met and married George,  I fell totally in love, not only with him,  but with his wonderful parents... Mom Adams used to make me a Peanut Butter Pie (my fav) for my birthday every year!!!!  Mom died in June of 2011.  Since Mom and Dad were so very very close (had been married for 72 yrs),  we didn't expect Dad (who was the older one) to live much longer after Mom died.  However,  he has perked up and has made it to age 100.... What an awesome man--- and an inspiration to all who know him.

Hope you enjoy some of the pictures from the party.... Above is Dad Adams and his three children:  Ken (68)--who lives in Indiana;  Janet (60) -- who lives in Tullahoma, TN;  George (70)--who lives in Crossville, TN.  Janet is the one who deserves the kudos --since she is Dad's caregiver.




Many many Family members and friends came by to talk to Dad ---and Dad LOVED it!!!



Dr. Ben and Betty Alexander talk to Dad..  Brother Ben is one of the ministers at the church, and Dad and Mom attended his Bible Studies for years.



This is Janet's two sons and their children. 



This group includes some of Mom Adams side of the family, the Cassidays. 



First Row:  Bonnie (Ken's wife);  Dad;  me;   Second Row:  Ken;  one of Ken's sons (David) and his wife;  George




This family group is the Woodke family,  relatives on Dad's side.



Row 1:  Ken, Dad, Bonnie;   Row 2:  George and me



This was one of the most moving times of the party.  The great grandchildren sang  "Happy Birthday" and "Jesus Loves Me" to their PawPaw.



Finally,  here's one more photo of Dad and us.  Front row:  Me, Dad, Bonnie;  Second row:  George, Janet and Ken


I don't know the number of people who attended that two-hour party---but between family and friends (who came and went all afternoon),  I think there must have been at least 75 people total... Dad handled the day very well---and even ate a good dinner that night when all of the family went to dinner together at the Chop House.

What a remarkable day ---and what a remarkable man.... God Bless You, Dad Adams,  as you enter into year 101 of your life.

Please say a little prayer for Dad today --as we celebrate his 100th birthday together as a family.  If you want to see more pictures of Dad  (pictures of him through the years),  click HERE to see George's blog post today.

Have a great day...

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Fabulous Georgia Hike

George and I went to North Georgia on Friday,  August 17, 2012,  in order to check out some new waterfalls... We took a marvelous hike (almost 3 miles roundtrip) on the High Shoals Trail,  near Unicoi Gap north of Helen, Georgia.  We saw 2 gorgeous waterfalls plus a cascade.   The elevation when we started was 2,873 feet ---and we descended 950 feet down to the waterfalls... Going DOWN was easy---but hiking back up that mountain was harder..... ha

All in all,  it was a beautiful trail ---with lots of great mountain views... As I said on Facebook recently,  I absolutely love hiking in the woods.  Getting away from the 'crazy' world we live in  is just marvelous...  Hiking is truly good for the soul.

Hope you enjoy some of our photos from this hike.  Above is a picture of us taken at BLUE HOLE FALLS.  Blue Hole is 30 feet high, and the area around there is gorgeous.




Look at the beautiful woods around us!!!!!   God's creation is so marvelous!




The trail was well-maintained ---and they had built several bridges along the way.  Here's one of George taken when we first started down that mountain.  We both began with jackets on ---but those jackets came off quickly as we hiked!!!!!




George took this one of me on another one of the little bridges on the path...  You can tell that I already have my jacket off --and tucked into my camera vest!!!!!  We both wore our hiking boots and carried our hiking sticks.





I called this  "Seashells in the Woods"....   One neat thing about loving photography and hiking in the woods is all of the neat things we see... Some of my Facebook friends said that they look like little frilly skirts!!!!!   Pretty,  aren't they?




The 'ham' in the group ----ME---- decided that I wanted to pull that fallen tree-trunk back upright!!!!    Wonder how strong she was??????   If 'looks' count----she's a winner... Right?????  That girl is such a nut-head!!!!!! ha ha ha




Here's another picture I took of George along the trail.   I just wanted you to see again how beautiful this area is---and what a good trail it was!!!!! I loved it!




On the way back up that mountain,  the old woman had to find a place to take a short rest....  (This was AFTER she pulled the tree trunk up!!!!!! ha)




Here's another picture of us taken at the other large waterfall,  HIGH SHOALS FALLS.   This waterfall is 125 feet high.  There was another waterfall,  a beautiful cascade (White Shoals Cascade), which we saw ---and I'll show it on another blog post...

If you love hiking and are ever in North Georgia,  this is a great hike to take... It was one of my favorites that we've taken recently.

Have a great day.  We are out-of-pocket AGAIN today.... Don't know when life will settle down for us!!!!!! ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Friday, August 24, 2012

Our House gets New Clothes

I had another post ready for today,  but I'm so excited about our beautiful little home ---that I just HAD to share this with you...  IF you are on Facebook,  you saw my surprise yesterday--but that was only one photo.  Today I'll share several!!!!!

Our home is being painted... Maybe I should have waited until they finish,  but I am just too excited to wait!   I'm always apprehensive when choosing a paint color...  What if we don't like it?  What if it is too dark --or too light????  YIPES---what a decision!!!

I will show more pictures when they totally finish.  The painters haven't started the white trim yet --so that will take awhile.. BUT--other than touch-ups,  they have finished the green....  I love-love-love this green... It seems to be perfect for us and blends so well with our yard and the surrounding trees.. Hope you enjoy seeing the pictures today!!!!   Be sure to click on them for enlargements.




The green has a 'sheen' to it when the sun hits it.  It looks darker in the shadows... This is the front left side near the garage.  I love the way the ROSES are smiling ---just like I am.




Walking on around the house to the left,  I took this picture of the 'upper' side of the house,  near the upper flowerbed and the rock sidewalk.   The large window in the distance is George's little office area---across from the laundry room.  The smaller window is our kitchen.  The big sliding door goes into our 'Great' Room  (combo living/dining room).




You've seen the new deck (at the back of the house) in other blog posts recently...  If you missed the main post showing the new deck,  click HERE.   Both doors (on either side of the chimney) go into our Great Room... George and I read  our devotions together every morning on the swing (weather permitting)... The 'Bird Kitchen' is on the far end...   Beyond the deck  on the far end (out of sight) is one of our bedroom windows.    (The new deck will be stained in the spring.)



I don't think I have ever shown this side of our home.  This is the lower side of the house  where we have a half basement.   The two windows go into our bedroom... Since our bedroom is next to the Bird Kitchen (and since we put our bird feeders up at night)--the Northern Cardinals (and their loud chips) wake us up about 6:30 each morning begging for their breakfast...  There are 2 bathrooms in the middle (one off of our bedroom and one off of the hall).  The area to the left is the 2nd bedroom --which we use as our computer room...





 Now I am back around to the front of the house... This is the right side (from the front)--and inside the window is where we live most of the time---our Computer Room!!!!!  ha ha ..... There is one bird feeder next to this window---so that I can see some of the little birdies when I'm not close to the Bird Kitchen!!!!!




I'll close with one more photo of the front of the house.  Hope you enjoyed seeing the entire outside of our precious little home.  We love it --and it's perfect for a couple of retirees...   Sometime--I'll have to show you the inside --which is not nearly as pretty!!!!!!  Don't you just love our home and her new clothes?  George and I do----and I guess that is what matters...

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.   Tomorrow is George's Dad's 100th birthday party...  SO--like most weekends,  I'll be out-of-pocket.  His actual birthday is next Wednesday... We will be with him on that day also. Amazing man!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our Yard in August

This past Monday,  I showed you how close the deer came to our ROSES....  Today,  I'm showing you how pretty the roses are now.   We have had milder weather recently (thank goodness)---and some rain (not enough--but some)....  This weather (more like Spring or Fall weather) is what the Roses LOVE....  Wish you could be here to see them in person.. They are really showing off...  I love 'walking the yard' ---and oohing and ahhing...

On August 15,  I took a bunch of pictures of the roses and the yard ---so hope you enjoy them today!!!!   I took some of the individual roses which I've put in collages for you.  Click on them for enlargements..




The roses in this bed (Road Flowerbed) are blooming like crazy!!!!   In this photo--you can see the left-over Lily stems,  some Irises (a couple of them are blooming now also) --and lots of roses... (Can you believe that this bed was new and BARE a couple of years ago???????? Wow!)   You can tell that it is almost Fall by looking at our Redbud tree in the background!



Here is an example of how beautiful the roses are right now.  This beauty is named Ronald Reagan.   This is always a favorite of mine.




Here's a picture of the yard when looking from the house toward the road...  If you compare this photo with some of our Spring yard photos,  the roses are just as beautiful (or more-so) ---but the yard and surrounding trees are showing a 'hint' of Fall...  Kinda neat to watch the seasons gradually change,  isn't it?




And --this photo was taken from the road looking back at the house.  You can see that some of the trees in back have already lost their leaves.   The rosebush in the middle of the picture is named Veterans Honor....  It's one of my favorites also...

Look carefully at our house.  The shutters are off ---and it's ready for painting... Not sure when it will be done/complete--but I'll show pictures once it is!!!! It will be a darker green... Can't wait!!!!




Also in our yard (back yard) I found a HUGE toadstool (or mushroom or fungi)... Whatever you call it,  I think this is the largest one I've seen in or around our yard...  It almost looks like a HEART.  Nice,  don't you think?




To give you an idea of the size of this one,  I put my size 8 1/2 shoe beside it.   I've seen bigger toadstools before ---but not in our yard!!!!!  Isn't it pretty?




Finally,  here is a picture of the toadstool from the side --so that you can see a little of the stem..  I didn't see anymore near that area ---so this 'guy' was there just growing all by himself!!!!




I'll close with one more collage showing an 'up close and personal' view of  some of our beautiful roses.... Like I said above,  wish you were here to enjoy them also!!!!  The top left is a favorite,  Peppermint Splash.   (All of the rose pictures in today's blog post were taken on 8/15/12 and the mushroom pictures were taken on 8/9/12.)

Hope you have an incredibly blessed Wednesday.

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, August 20, 2012

Too Close for Comfort

Mama Deer taking off --running up the street!!!
On 8/14/12 at about 5 pm,   George took some trash out to the garage... He came running back inside telling me to get the camera.  There were FIVE deer (a mama and 4 fawns)  VERY close to our mailbox in the front yard!!!!!!  YIPES----if we hadn't have seen them,  and if they hadn't have seen us----they may have enjoyed our gorgeous roses.... Like I said,  too close for comfort!!!!!!   BUT---we saw them and they saw us!   Mama immediately took off up the street to the empty lot on the other side of the road.  The little ones followed her.   HOWEVER,  I did manage to get some great photos of them --so I'm sharing them with you today!!! Be sure to click on them to enlarge them!!!




Fawn #1--prancing up the street after Mama (Look at that tail!)




Look  how close they were to some of our ROSES!!!!  Yipes!!!




Another fawn--trying to catch up to Mom!!!!




I love this photo of two of them prancing together headed up the street toward Mama!




This little one was lagging behind...  He is in our yard.  See our mailbox?????




I could hear him saying:  "HEY--Wait for Me!!"




"I'm trying to catch up... I REALLY am!"   (Isn't there always one child who lags behind?)

Hope you enjoyed seeing these beautiful critters.... We love them ---but do NOT want them eating our flowers or plants...  As long as they stay away from them,  they will be on my "Favorite Wildlife" list.... IF and WHEN they eat something in our yard,  they will no longer be on that list!!!!!! ha

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  We certainly did!!!  We went to Georgia on Friday and did some hiking --searching for new waterfalls.   We saw 3 on Friday.  Then,  on Saturday,  we visited Cupid Falls (which we had seen before) --and while I attended my sweet almost-daughter-in-law's bridal shower,  George found three more waterfalls,  two new ones and one we had seen previously...    SO---when it comes to waterfalls,  we saw 7 waterfalls this weekend ---with 5 of them being NEW to us!!!!!! 

The shower was great ---and Dawn and Jeff got LOTS of beautiful gifts...  She got so much that it was hard getting all of it into her SUV.....   My son, Jeff, is so blessed to have Dawn in his life!  The wedding is in October.

Have a fabulous Monday!

Hugs,
Betsy