Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows the mountain ranges and a little left-over Fall Color along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, 11/1/19.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day 2016

Hope all of you blog friends are having a GREAT Valentine's Day/Weekend.... Just remember that Valentine Celebrations are all about LOVE ---and we all need to keep the love going not just today,  but all of the time.





The weather has changed our celebration plans this week.  First of all,  we had a short trip planned ---which we had to cancel due to the weather...  Then today we were going down to Cookeville to have a fancy-dancy Valentines Dinner... BUT---with snow/sleet/ice all around us today,  we decided not to head down the mountain...

SO--what did we do to celebrate??????  WELL---we did something we had never done on Valentine's Day before:  we went to a local Mexican Restaurant near us here and had Fajitas for TWO.  Even though it wasn't 'fancy' --and we didn't dress up for a special occasion,  the food was GREAT.   We both enjoyed it ---and after getting home,  we enjoyed cuddling on the sofa by the fireplace --watching the snow come down (and being happy we were HOME).





The biggest surprise and JOY of the celebration weekend was getting a package from FedEx.... Guess what it was?   My middle son (Mark) and his wonderful girlfriend (Debbie) sent me a huge bunch of gorgeous ROSES from 1-800-Flowers....   The pink and red roses are so beautiful --and will only get prettier with each passing day as they open... 

Adult children may not always realize how special it is for a parent to hear from them.  This Mama CRIED with so much love and joy inside of herself.   Mark and Debbie will NEVER know how much this gesture of love means to me....





Finally and most importantly,  this is for my wonderful husband, George.   Thank YOU for the gorgeous card ---and for always being there for me... I love you to the moon and back FOREVER.... Don't ever forget that....

Well Friends---as you can tell,  even though it wasn't what we first expected,  we did have a wonderful weekend... As my Facebook friends tell me,  just being with George is enough for me!!!!!!  SO TRUE..  

God Bless You ---and remember to keep the LOVE going all year long.

Hugs,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Snowy and Bitterly Cold Golf Course Walk 2-9-16

We walked on the cart path --and for some reason there were NO GOLFERS out on the course (HA HA)!!!!
We got a little more snow at our home in Tennessee this week (only about 2-3 inches total I think)---but George and I bundled up on Tuesday,  Feb. 9,  put on our boots and walked the Back Nine of our Golf Course.. For those who follow me regularly,  you know that we have walked this course MANY times since we started walking regularly in May of 2015.  BUT--this was the first time to walk when there was snow on the ground.

As you can imagine,  we stopped often and took a lot of pictures along the way... Today I will share with you some of this 80 minute walk (which usually takes us about 50 minutes on a normal day)... As you probably know (how could you not know? ha)----I LOVE snow.. SO---this was a fun walk for me, even though the temperature outside was only about 18 degrees.... Fun fun!!!!!!

Grab a cup of something hot and enjoy the pictures in the WARMTH of your home!!!!!


I always enjoy seeing the shrubs filled with snow.



George (with a RED NOSE) was saying:  "Why am I not at home sitting by the fire drinking a cup of hot tea?"



The Pond on Fairway 14 of our golf course (Druid Hills);  This is ALWAYS a favorite area to photograph in every season.  I enjoyed seeing it in Winter!



More snow-covered shrubs along our path



Even the boy who doesn't like snow will do whatever needed to get the perfect photo!!!



Continuing along our way, we crossed the bridge at Snead Canyon.



The creek at Snead Canyon;  Don't you know how COLD that water must have been??



George took this picture of a happy 'snow-lover' on a COLD COLD winter day!



A close-up of the snow, water and icicles ----which is another reason that photographers LOVE Winter!!!!!



The Pond on Fairway 17 of our walk;  The frogs love this pond in Summer!



As I said,  I LOVE seeing the snow covered shrubs/bushes/pine trees....



As we headed across the golf course for home,  I snapped a picture of the back of a nice warm house,  just waiting for us... Wonder if that next cup of hot coffee is waiting inside,  along with a cozy fire in the fireplace??????  YEAH.... We are HOME!



Poor little Daffodils in our yard!!!!!!  As we walked around the house headed toward the front,  I saw these Daffodils (some of them with BUDS)....  Hmmmmm--just a little early, don't you think????



One more picture I put on Facebook;  George took this picture of a very very happy lady (also with a red nose)--who still loves SNOW regardless of the bitterly strong winds and cold temperatures!!!!
Hope you enjoyed seeing our pictures...

Hugs,

Monday, February 1, 2016

RE-CHARGING our PERSONAL BATTERIES!!!

No,  I'm not talking about batteries (such as the ones in our car,  or the ones in our homes which operate certain things --such as our cellphones)....   I am talking about our LIVES.  How do you (and I) take time out from our busy lives to 're-charge our batteries'??????

Since we are starting a brand new year,  I thought it would be a good time to think about our lives (YES---even those of us who are retired can be very busy)  and find ways to 'unplug' from some of the craziness at times...

My sons (in their 40's) stay SO busy and the stress can be great... I used to be the same way when I was raising kids alone,  working fulltime,  working on my Master's Degree, etc. etc. etc.  Life wasn't always easy --but I just had to keep on keeping on!  But --even back then,  it was important to 'unplug' at times..




NOTE:  All illustrations today come from the internet,  and the article is by Danielle Zeigler, and the link is HERE.   Danielle gave 27 ways to re-charge --but I won't talk about all of them.  IF you want more info,  be sure to click on the link.


One of the ones that really jumps out at me these days is to "UNPLUG OUR DEVICES".  We humans can't seem to do much of anything these days without our fancy devices... We stay totally plugged in  24/7...  Do you DARE turn off those devices for an hour or so each day --or LONGER ??????

While unplugging,   do something that makes you happy... Maybe you love to COOK --and can  make a fantastically delicious dinner.  OR--maybe you want to READ that book on your night-stand --which you have never done...  OR---why don't you LIGHT SOME CANDLES and take a leisurely Bubble-BATH????  There is so much you can do simply AFTER turning off those devices!


Another way to re-charge is to MAKE time just for yourself....It's never easy when we feel as if the entire world is counting on us for everything...  We love feeling needed ---and many times,  we give and give and give of ourselves until the well is dry!

One way I re-charge (both George and me) is to get out most every day (no matter what else is going on ) and take a walk.  Just GETTING OUT IN NATURE is SO refreshing ---and makes us feel good all over.  Even if you can't walk,  just get outside some --and smell that air!!!!

Another thing you can do is to VOLUNTEER somewhere --especially if you are lonely, or feeling sorry for yourself.  I worked with lots of volunteers when I worked in the church for many years.  We couldn't have existed without those wonderful volunteers.

Another way to 're-charge' is to PLAN something upcoming.  It may be a trip to see family far away,  or maybe a special vacation to an area where you haven't been.  Doing some planning will make you feel MUCH better.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit in my recliner,  drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee,  enjoying a fire in the fireplace on a cold, winter day,  and watching my little birdies come and have a feast at the Bird Kitchen....

Another option would be to TRY SOMETHING NEW.   Maybe there is something you have never done --but want to try it... For instance,  take a paining class if you are interested... Step out of that comfortable box and do something new and different.


Keep that LIGHT shining within you all of the time... It's good for you and good for those around you.  Can you recognize it when your light gets DIM?  I hope so --since many people just ignore their 'lights' ---and keep on pushing-pushing-pushing....

One way to get that light shining again is to PLANT A GARDEN... We do that -and there's so much joy in seeing plants grow that YOU have planted!

Want to really make your light 'shine'??????  Then CLEAN OUT A CLOSET or get rid of the CLUTTER around you.... That will help SO MUCH.




Another way to 'unplug' and re-charge is to take a trip... And make it a RELAXING trip --where you aren't going from place to place and staying extremely busy.  BUT--make it a trip like we take twice a year.  One of our 'relaxing' trips is to the BEACH---where we can truly relax and be as lazy as we want to.  Another relaxing trip is our annual trip to Arkansas --where we enjoy life on the top of Mt. Nebo...

LISTEN to MUSIC...  That always help me to feel better when I am stressed or feel overwhelmed...  OR--if you are married or have a special person in your life,  enjoy a DATE NIGHT.  

You have heard of  "Unplug the Christmas Machine"..... WELL--how about unplugging yourself ---and re-charging your batteries!   I am writing this for ME as much as I am writing it for YOU.... Just DO IT.    AND--check our Danielle's list to see more... You might even add some to this list for others to read. 

Check out my other blog,  Betsy's Photo Blog,  today.  Click HERE.

Hugs,