Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows our home on 5/2/19 when many of the IRISES were blooming.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Today in our country is a special day,  our Thanksgiving.  This is a time for families/friends  to get together and celebrate their love and their lives with one another.  We all have so much to be THANKFUL for --and yet,  so often,  we dwell on our hard/bitter/unhappy/angry times.

No matter where you live today,  take some time to think about your life and all that you do have to be thankful for.  May God richly bless each and everyone of you not only on this very special day---but also on each and every  day all year long!!!

UPDATE on my Knee/Leg Pain:  I did go to the doctor --and am now on some medications for the pain and for the swelling/inflammation..  Once the swelling goes down some (if I am still having problems),  I will have an MRI to see what is going on.  I'm still  hoping that it's just a strain/sprain.... I am taking some time off from Blogging --to work on some Family History while I am SITTING....   I'll be back with an update in a week or two... God Bless ALL of you...

I love this quote:  “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

Hugs to all,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rose Buds in our Yard --during September, 2014 (and a Prayer Concern)

Sundance Rose (taken on 9/2/14)
Several of you have talked about how much you like  Rose BUDS----so I decided to give you a blog post showing JUST some of our beautiful roses in BUD-form.  Our Roses are GONE until May ---so I'll just have to enjoy all of our photos during the winter... Hope you enjoy more of our Roses.  Be sure to click on them for enlargements.


Paradise Rose (9/2/14)



Milestone Rose  (9/2/14)



Tahitian Sunset Rose (9/2/14)



Double Delight Rose (9/3/14)



Acapella Roses (Twins)  9/3/14



Francis Meilland Rose (9/3/14)



Summer Surprise Rose  (9/3/14)



Ronald Reagan Rose  (9/10/14)



Perfect Moment Rose  (9/11/14)



Welcome Home Rose  (9/14/14)



Pink Promise Rose (9/15/14)



Apricot Nectar Rose (9/16/14)



Soft Whisper Rose (9/27/14)



Peace Rose (9/29/14)
I could show you MANY more from different months since these were all from my September Rose Folder.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Do you have a favorite?  My two fav's from this group are Soft Whisper and Ronald Reagan.  But there are several others which I love.

My prayer request today is for ME.  I have done something to my left knee (the same one I had Meniscus Surgery on in 2010).  It hurts like CRAZY.... I can barely walk. Am going to the doctor today..  Please say a prayer or send some happy thoughts to me please!!!!!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Week...  Take some time to hug those you love and keep an ongoing list of all of your blessings.  We ALL have so many,  don't we?

God Bless All of you.
Hugs,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scenic Highway 215, North Carolina --Part II

Our WONDERFUL Friends,  Patti and Neal ---at Lake Logan
On October 22, 2014,   George and I plus good friends Neal and Patti took a wonderful vacation together to the Maggie Valley,  North Carolina area.  One of our days together was spent driving on a scenic back road,  Highway 215.  IF you missed Monday's post ---scroll down to the post below this one and read it first.  In that post,  I gave some links and also gave some information about this area and this beautiful back road. 

Today I will share more photos of our experience on that scenic road.  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements...


I have been fascinated by this type of bridges.  This historic arched stone bridge (also called the High Arch Bridge or the One Arched Bridge) was built in 1937.  This bridge is located at the Waterfall on the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also called Sunburst Falls)...This area and waterfall -where we took a picture of the four of us in Part I's post-- (waterfall is located to the left of this photo)  was one of my favorite waterfalls of our day/trip...  



Three Arched Stone Bridge
About a mile south of the One Arched Bridge was the Three Arched Bridge on the West Fork.  I enjoyed seeing both of these bridges --built by the CCC.   We just don't see many bridges that look like this these days,  do we?


Another picture  showing the gorgeous Autumn colors in the mountains



I just couldn't quit taking pictures of Fall along Scenic Highway 215



Changing Maple leaves along our way;  Don't you just love all of the colors?



I love to stand under the trees and show you the colors --while looking up to that blue sky!



Neal, Patti,  George, Betsy --at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat
On Monday,  I showed you a picture of French Broad Falls (which is to the left of this waterfall).  This area is so unique since the North Fork of  the French Broad River combines with Shoal Creek here.  In the picture above, you can see part of an old mill.

Here are a couple of links for you:  for more info and more pictures of the waterfalls in this area,  click HERE.   For more info on the Living Waters Retreat,  click HERE.



I loved hiking in the Living Waters Retreat area... There were several cascades between the 'twin' falls,  French Broad and Mill Shoals.  We stopped to check out all of the cascades.  I would love to come back here in the Winter or early Spring when there is much more water here coming over the falls and cascades.



We finally made it downstream to Cathedral Falls  (also called Bird Rock Falls)... I like the original name,  Bird Rock Falls,  since the Purple Martins used to nest along the top of this HUGE rock cliff.    But I don't blame the Christian Retreat Center for renaming that waterfall.  The towering rock cliff surrounding the falls does like like a cathedral! Gorgeous!



I took several pictures of this gorgeous red tree --as we hiked at the Living Waters Retreat.  I'm partial to RED trees in the Fall.



Talk about a perfect place for a RETREAT!!!  I loved sitting in the 'cathedral' --just thinking about what a marvelous place this is.  I envy anyone coming to a RETREAT at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



This beautiful tree --and the blue sky  was taken on State Road (forest road) 1322
After leaving the Living Waters Retreat Center,  we took a forest service road --searching for another waterfall,  Diamond Creek Falls...  We found the waterfall --but I couldn't get a good picture of it since there were LOTS of trees/shrubs in the way.  Guess we need to go there in winter,  when the leaves are totally off of the trees.

 Well---that's my 'report' from Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina.  George and I want to come back since there are several more waterfalls along this road to see.  We did see the Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades (from a distance) and we also saw the bottom part of the  Lower Waterfall on Bubbling Spring Branch...  AND--we tried to see Courthouse Falls --but the road was closed.   SO---that's why we need/want to go back sometime!

As you can tell---we saw so many beautiful things along this back road (beautiful lake,  lots of waterfalls and cascades,  AND  beautiful Autumn Colors)... This is why this area was definitely a highlight for us.

Hope you enjoyed these two posts.  I enjoyed sharing them with you!!!

Have a great day.

Hugs,

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Trip along Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina --Oct. 22, 2014

Highway 215 runs perpendicular to the Blue Ridge Parkway--beginning near Waynesville on Highway 276 as we headed south to Highway 64 at Rosman.  About halfway between the beginning and the end of our journey,  we crossed under the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 423.3)... NOTE:  this picture is from the internet.
Besides being with great friends,  Neal and Patti,  our vacation in and around Maggie Valley led us not only to Cataloochee to see the Elk (click HERE for that post) ---but another favorite day was our drive on Scenic Highway 215...  We all love the backroads --and this one was definitely a highlight for me.  I will have two posts to share from this country road.  Hope you enjoy the journey!!!!  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.


Our first stop was LAKE LOGAN...  (Something ironic about this lake's name is that we were with Neal and Patti at another Lake Logan --in Ohio, a couple of years ago!!!! Wonder if we'll find another Lake Logan sometime????? ha)



Neal took this picture of George and me at Lake Logan.  It was a VERY Cool and WINDY morning. 



Highway 215 features waterfalls in various places along the way!!! (You can imagine how much George and I LOVED that!!!!)  This waterfall is the Falls of the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also known as Sunburst Falls --named for the surrounding community).  I love this picture of the four of us:  Patti,  Neal, George, Betsy..   



Then,  we started seeing more gorgeous Fall Colors... I love the layers of mountains.



The photographer at work---taking WAY too many pictures!!!  BUT---everything was so beautiful so I couldn't help myself... ha



We stopped OFTEN along that little highway and went several directions taking pictures.  In this picture you can see Neal in the distance,  George in the middle and Patti fairly close. We loved being on this road with very few people and no traffic much!!!


I not only enjoyed seeing all of the trees and their colors,  but also enjoyed seeing the colors on the individual leaves.  Amazing,  isn't it?




The colors all around us were just marvelous... Don't you love Fall???  Here at home now,  we are almost totally leaf-less ---and winter is approaching much too fast!  OR--should I say that Winter is HERE... Mercy Me!



George and Betsy at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat Center
We hiked to see 3 waterfalls (French Broad Falls,  Mill Shoals Falls and Cathedral Falls-- also called Bird Rock Falls)  along with several more cascades when we visited the Living Waters Retreat Center (along Highway 215),  not far from Rosman.  The Retreat Center is privately owned --but they graciously allow people to visit the waterfalls.  They also gave us permission to eat lunch at one of their picnic tables.   Seeing this area was another highlight  for us!


George is taking some pictures of Mill Shoals Falls ---while I was looking straight ahead at another waterfall,  French Broad Falls.



Neal and Patti were checking out some of the waterfalls and cascades at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



I love this RED Tree which we saw while hiking at the Living Waters Retreat.
I will have one more blog post on Thursday this week --showing more pictures from our wonderful drive along Scenic Highway 215.   IF want more information about this wonderful drive,  click HERE.

Hope your weather is better than ours... We've had company --and I feel sorry for them since I'm sure the weather has been hard for them (and us)  this weekend/week... We seldom have cold and snowy weather like we've had this year during NOVEMBER....  More about our company in another upcoming post!!!!

Hugs,