Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows our pretty Montenegro LILIES blooming on our deck this Summer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Else did we Enjoy in the Smoky Mountains????

Early Morning in the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee
Well Friends,  It's almost October.... Can you believe it????  I thought I just wrote that it was September --just a week or so ago.  Time is FLYING... Mercy me---before we know it,  it will be Christmas... GOSH!!!!  Anyhow---welcome to AUTUMN.  It's my favorite season --so I hope we can enjoy it for SEVERAL WEEKS/MONTHS....

But today,  we're going back to SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 ---and talk more about our Day Trip to the Smoky Mountains that day.  This will be my third blog post talking about that daytrip.  If you missed either of the other two, click HERE  and/or HERE.   We had so much fun that day ---so I'm sure there will be more posts upcoming...

Today is a 'hodge-podge' post just showing you some of the other things we saw (besides the back roads, creeks, early fall colors and wildflowers).  Hope you enjoy these pictures.  Be sure to click on them for enlargements.


We walked across the new bridge at the Chimneys Trailhead to check out the water/cascades.



WOW---don't you love the sunbeams?  We had a mixture of sun and rain and clouds all during that day!



Beautiful and interesting SKY all around these mountains!



George standing at an overlook;  We were watching rain to the left and sun to the right!



Oh those gorgeous Smoky Mountains;  I could stay here all day --just looking!



A beautiful doe almost came up to us when we were hiking near one of the overlooks along Highway 441 between Gatlinburg and Cherokee.  She and her fawn actually followed us part of the way--and weren't as afraid as most deer are.



I love seeing the big puffy clouds...  Are they full of rain???????



Here is the cute little Fawn (with its spots) --who was following his/her mother  on that trail. 



Oh those beautiful Smoky Mountains!!! I love seeing all of the layers.



Here we are at one of our favorite overlooks --checking out the mountains AND wildflowers.



More beautiful sky pictures;  I love seeing the shadows on the mountains!



"Hurry!!!  Let's have lunch before the rain gets here."



See the RAIN on that next ridge????  BUT--there was still sun where we were!!



Here's one more picture showing the mountains,  the sunshine,  AND RAIN in the distance!



AND---after seeing all of the beauty in the Smokies,  we had more glorious beauty on our way  home that evening.  This is the SUNSET that evening as we drove on the Cumberland Plateau heading home!!!!  WOW!



Two people in love ---who also love being in the MOUNTAINS!

Hope you enjoyed seeing more of our pictures from that Day Trip to the Smokies.  As you can see,  whether it is sunny or rainy or just cloudy,  the sky can give us so much beauty while in the mountains.. We will go back and take pictures in some of these same areas after the leaves change colors this coming month.  I can't wait to see it all again in AUTUMN.

Hugs,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

TEXAS Trip to Visit Family and Friends (9-18 to 9-24, 2014)

On the Road to Texas,  we stopped to see Noccalula Falls in Gadsden,  Alabama (9/18)
George and I had a wonderful trip this past week to Texas ---to visit family and friends... I have two (of three) sons who live there  and since I lived there for 12 years (before moving back to Tennessee),  I have TONS of friends there also... SO---we took this trip to get lots of hugs and love from those wonderful Texas people!!!!

Today I will share with you some of the personal photos we took while there... AND--as you can imagine,  we did alot of things while there, so I'm sure we will show many more photos in upcoming blogs telling about this fabulous trip.

The photo above was taken on our way to Texas on 9/18.  We love to break up our trips by stopping to see some waterfalls.  This time we stopped at Gadsden,  Alabama at the Noccalula Falls Park.  You can't tell it by this photo--but that waterfall is 90 feet high..  This is a gorgeous waterfall AND park --so if you ever get to Alabama,  check it out. 


Our first night in Texas (9/19),  we had dinner with my son,  Mark,  at Jimmy Changas Mexican Restaurant;  Mark is my middle son --who lives in League City, Texas.



The next day (9/20),  we drove to Galveston, Texas where my eldest son,  Bert (who is called Tre except to family and old friends) lives in a beautiful resort area on the west beach of Galveston.  (Mark is on the left and Bert is on the right.  These two brothers look alike although Bert was born in 1963 and Mark in 1970.)


Three of the FOUR men in my life:  Son Mark,  Sweetie George and Son Bert;  (Wish you could have been here,  Jeff --my youngest son).


Mom and son,  Bert,  on the Strand in downtown Galveston



Mark,  a HAPPY Mom,  and Bert



We took a ride on the ferry boat from Glaveston Island to Port Boliver (and the Boliver Peninsula)--and,  as you can tell,  it was quite WINDY!!!! ha..   BUT--our weather the entire time while there was EXCELLENT.  It wasn't too hot/humid --and the rains stayed away!  Yeah!



Three wonderful Men:  Mark,  Bert and George,  on the ferry boat toward the Boliver Peninsula;



We drove to San Marcos (9/21) to see Mark's oldest daughter,  Bay Lee,  who is in college at Texas State University.   We had a fantastic day with this beautiful young lady --and her pooch!!!



Here is a very happy Papa--and his beautiful Bay Lee.   Mark is a fantastic father to his two daughters, and I am very proud of this Granddaughter--and her Daddy.



On 9/22,  we spent 4 hours with about 35+ friends at Clear Lake United Methodist Church,  where I worked for 12 years before moving to Tennessee.  This photo is  of just some of the people we saw--since it was a 'come and go' get-together.  It was SO much fun --and many of these people had not met George.  SO--I enjoyed showing him off to my friends!!!


"George and his Women" ----George was in 7th Heaven with all of that attention.  I told all of those beautiful women though that they couldn't have him.  He is MINE.... ha



Hmmmmm--wonder what these guys (Mark, George and Bert)  are looking at on TV??????? There was a beautiful woman on there --and it captured ALL of their attention...  They didn't even notice that I was taking pictures... ha ha   (This was at Mark's apartment on 9/22 --before we went to see his daughter, Brooke, play softball.)





Mark and his other beautiful daughter,  Brooke.  On the evening of 9/22,  we all went to Brooke's softball game and then out to dinner.  Brooke is a Senior and will be going to Texas State next year also.  I love this photo of Brooke and Mark. 
Well---you can see that we had a great trip ---and saw a lot of people while there.  We went-went-went from early morning to late at night every day!!!!  My goal was to spend time with both sons (Bert and Mark) --and also two Granddaughters,  Bay Lee and Brooke, who live in Texas.   AND--I wanted to see many old friends,  most of which I have caught up with on Facebook since being gone from that area for 14 years.  AND--we did all of this!!!

As I said above,  we will talk about some of the things we did in other upcoming blogs.  BUT--I wanted to show off my family/friends in this post.  Hope you enjoyed seeing all of them!!!

Hugs,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Autumn Colors and Wildflowers in the Smokies 9/5/14

When George and I were on our long Day Trip through the Smoky Mountains on Friday,  Sept. 5,  we saw so many beautiful wildflowers and Fall colors along our way.   I can tell you the name of many of the flowers in our yard--but I cannot tell you the name of all of the Wildflowers.  SO---if you know them,  leave a comment and everyone can read the comments when looking for a specific name.  In the meantime though,  just enjoy the beautiful colors.

The picture of me above was taken near an overlook not far into North Carolina from the top of the mountain at Newfound Gap (Highway 441) between Gatlinburg and Cherokee. These big patches of WHITE flowers were so pretty,  don't you think?  On Facebook when I posted this photo,  I said that there was a THORN in the middle of the beauty!!!!! ha ha .... Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.


Some Signs of FALL



Some kind of Coneflowers maybe






Goldenrod ---I think!!



Not really a flower ---but I just have to include a FERN for you --since I do that most every time we hike.  You can see that it had rained when I got this photo... The ferns loved the rain!



The Dogwoods are one of the first leaves to change colors --but they haven't turned yet here in Fairfield Glade (like they have in the Smokies in this photo.)



I don't know what the green leaves are with the red stripe --but I like them!!!



George even enjoyed playing in the wildflowers!!!






Loved the combination of colors here



We saw some interesting skies in the mountains that day--but I think the flowers added some pretty colors to those mountains, don't you?






Love the little yellow buttercup-looking flowers --and of course,  we all know what a Thistle looks like.



Looks like daisies


Love the little bluish/purplish flowers and of course,  that gorgeous blue/black BUTTERFLY



That bee likes those little yellow flowers as much as I do!!!!



Another beautiful Fall picture --showing some colorful leaves
Well---weren't these flowers/colors pretty????  I never appreciated wildflowers years ago --until I got interested in photography... I've also learned from many of you how to appreciate so many more things in nature--but I still don't know the names of most of these wildflowers.  I hope you can help us identify some of these little gorgeous beauties!

Hugs,