Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Someone I KNOW turned 73 Recently!!!

My life is so FULL  (in a very good way) and I stay so BUSY ---that I cannot stay up with blogging much at all these days.  If I get your blog posts via email--I always read them even when I don't comment.

I've been trying to publish this post all week ---and finally got it done.  AUGUST 5 was my 73rd birthday.. I cannot believe I am THAT old since I don't 'feel' it  (except when the old body aches--which it does at times).. ha

George asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday --and I told him,  "Anything as long as I am with YOU!"....   SO--we headed over to one of our favorite places,  BILTMORE HOUSE AND GARDENS in Asheville,  North Carolina  for the day.  Then we came back through Knoxville and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants,  CARRABBA's.  It was a fantastic birthday for sure!!!!  Hope you enjoy some of the pictures from that day.

Beautiful Walled Garden at Biltmore (8/5/15)

Pink Waterlily at the Italian Gardens  (8/5/15)
The two main things I wanted to see this trip were the Italian Gardens --since the waterlilies and the lily pads are beautiful this time of year,  AND the sunflowers.

Beautiful rows and rows of SUNFLOWERS at Biltmore  (8/5/15)

Two Lovers in the Sunflowers  (8/5/15)

Zinnias in the Walled Garden  (8/5/15);   LOVE LOVE LOVE that color!

Yellow Hibiscus Blooms at Biltmore (8/5/15);  Not sure I've seen yellow ones before --but love them!!!!

Love the different colored Lily Pads at Biltmore (8/5/15)

More of the Walled Garden --and I love the huge CREPE MYRTLES in the distance  (8/5/15)

The Birthday Girl with all of her 'stuff'  (camera vest with all kinds of treasures--including water on a hot day;  and my arm carrier for my iPhone)--8/5/15

Beautiful Waterlily --in some of my favorite colors!!!! (8/5/15)

Love those Lily Pads;  Can you see the reflection of the Biltmore House in the water?   (8/5/15)

A beautiful CANVAS WRAP from George on my birthday;  This is the Governor's Palace at Williamsburg from one of our trips there (2012).   George takes these awesome pictures with his camera and ZAZZLE puts them on canvas for us.  I now have 16 of them from places we have visited.... Thanks,  Honey!  (8/5/15)

Son Mark and his awesome girlfriend,  Debbie,  sent me these gorgeous Peruvian Lilies.   Aren't they just fantastic?????   AND---they keep getting prettier and prettier with each passing day!  I told Mark and Debbie that the only thing better would have been if they could have hand-delivered them.  (They live in Texas,  BUT I hope they are visiting us sometime this Fall!!)---  8/5/15

Two people in love having FUN  (8/5/15)
George put a post of me sitting in this spot on Facebook recently,  asking people if they'd like to visit me in my "Summer Cottage"..... ha ha ha .... Wish it were mine ---along with all of the staff and helpers/workers...

We had a wonderful day ---and for me,  another great birthday!!!!

Hope all of you are doing fine...  God Bless YOU.

Big HUGS to ALL,

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pictures from our Nightly Walks along the Golf Course Cart Path

Thanks to my son and his wife's encouragement and information,  George and I bought FITBITS the middle of May --and have been working hard at our exercise and overall health since then.  We've always tried to be 'fairly' active --but not on a consistent basis.  NOW---we both try to get over 10,000 steps each day six days a week (taking one day off--usually Saturdays).

We now follow a fairly regular routine ---walking about 30 minutes each morning,  then working in the yard or in the house during the afternoons,  and then taking a 2.5 mile walk each evening just before dark.  In fact,  it is usually dark by the time we get back home,  but we take our little headlights with us for the last part of the walk if needed. 

Because we live on a Golf course (NO--we do not play golf---ha),   we have a perfect place to walk AFTER the golfers finish for the day.  We walk the back nine holes along the cart path --and it is a gorgeous place to walk.  It is very hilly---but even our morning walks are up and down steep hills.  We live in the mountains --so there's not many 'flat' places around!

One thing we love to do is to take pictures along the way when we walk.  We've taken a bunch since we began about 2.5 months ago ---so tonight I will share some of them with you.  Hope you enjoy our walks as much as we do!   Don't you love the sky in the picture above,  with the reflection in the water?

This blue line shows you the path that we follow along the golf course.  Where you see the words,  "recorded track"--that is our home,  where we begin.  Sometimes we walk to the right and around and sometimes,  to the left....  The area looks flat,  but believe me --it is NOT... ha

This is a beautifully landscaped golf course!

Sometimes we stop and pick some wild blackberries to put on our breakfast yogurt/cereal.

This PINK cloud reminded me of my two great friends,  Susan and Reida.  Both of them are gone from this world now --but they told me that they'd be watching from a pink cloud.  Oh how I miss them both, but I smiled when we saw this cloud knowing that they were up there watching down.

This little area is called Sneads Canyon --and a little creek flows through this area --especially after a big rain!

We see gorgeous sunsets ---and every night is DIFFERENT.

This was taken one of the FEW times we got up at the crack of dawn and walked in the morning.. It is pretty that time of day also --but since we stay up late at nights,  we prefer walking in the evening. 

We have watched two little fawns grow QUICKLY the past couple of months.  I love the deer --as long as they don't feast on our flowers!!! ha

We even walk in the rain and FOG ---as long as it is not storming!!!

Another beautiful sunset picture

Sunbeams behind the clouds;  I love skies like this!

Then on July 30,  we had the gorgeous "NOT-BLUE" but Beautiful FULL MOON to follow us all along our path.... How awesome is that!!!!!

This is how dark is was that night (July 30)--as we made our way home.  See the moon glistening in the water????   Made me think of the song: "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"!!!!!

Then on Friday,  August 1st,  we enjoyed that full moon for one more night... Sorry the picture (with my iPhone) is a little grainy/noisy ---but I wanted you to see how beautiful it was that evening.
Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things we see when we walk each night.  As I said,  we are both working hard on staying healthy.  I am maintaining my weight (since I don't need to lose much more) ---but I am 'firming' up some of this crazy old-lady-flab.... ha... George wanted to lose some weight --and he has lost over 25 pounds just by eating healthier and exercising... Thanks be to God.

Hope you are all well and staying healthy also!