Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to MAY!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful IRISES from our yard. Meet "Goodnight Kiss"

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 21st ---Special Day for George and me!!!!!!

Our Special Visits to Fall Creek Falls on APRIL 21st!!!   I picked out the past 5 years' visits for this collage.
Many of you remember,  if you have followed my blog for years,  that it was April 21, 2001 when George took me to Fall Creek Falls State Park here in Tennessee.   This is a memorable day for us and our relationship.  Our first dinner date together was March 29,  and we saw each other a few more times between the 29th and April 21... BUT---it was THIS DAY when we really expressed our love for each other... He held my hand for the first time,   and when we were at George Hole in the park,  I got my first KISS from this wonderful man...  Oh My Heart----it was beating hard when I got that kiss-- with so much love and excitement,  and still is today (16 years later)...

If you want some explanation about us,   George had lost his wife to cancer two years before we met. And I had been divorced for almost 20 years --and was married to my job (having NO interest at all in dating again).... Then I took a new job in Tennessee the end of 2000  (George moved there about the same time from South Carolina) and God brought the two of us together in January of 2001... If you want to read more about this,  click HERE  to read a couple of blog posts entitled "My Story"... Scroll down and read the 2nd post first and then go to the top and read the top post.... I think you'll enjoy this if you haven't read it before.

We fell head over heels in love with each other quickly ---and I remember saying to George on our way home from that special date, that I was falling in love with him....  We were married on June 23, 2001...

SO---each year on April 21st,  we go to Fall Creek Falls and re-live that glorious day from 2001.... This year was no exception.... Here are some of the pictures taken THIS YEAR... Hope you enjoy them.

Cane Creek in Fall Creek Falls State Park,  from the Cane Creek Falls Overlook

Saw a bunch of these pretty little wildflowers;  Anyone know what this one is?

Cane Creek Cascades;   LOTS of water coming over the falls on this day!

From the brink of the falls;  Love all of the whitecaps in the water;  SO much water and the sound was deafening;  

George loved taking pictures of all of this water!!!!!   See the swinging bridge above?????  Wanna cross it???? (I did it ONCE and that was enough for me!!!! ha)

Beautiful Fall Creek Falls State Park;  This is a huge park with lots of hiking, waterfalls, camping, fishing, etc. etc. etc...  This picture was taken when we were at the Fall Creek Falls Overlook.

Me and all of my 'hiking' garb!!!  We took a short hike before heading to the gorge area.

Coon Creek (along our hiking trail) usually doesn't have this much water!

More of gorgeous Fall Creek Falls State Park;  This was taken at the Buzzard Roost Overlook.  SO pretty!!

A HAPPY LADY enjoying the overlook at Buzzard's Roost!!!

Here's another collage showing some of our pictures together taken on April 21, 2017!!!!!  (You can see that I DID get my kiss at George Hole  this year too!!!!!  YEAH!)

Hope you enjoyed seeing THIS year's pictures from that special special day!!!!!  Here's another Blog Post  (click HERE)   which you may want to see (written in 2014) showing pictures of us taken in previous years on this day.  It has been a fantastic 16 years ---and I hope we will be celebrating for many, many more...

Have a wonderful week, my Friends.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Caesars Head State Park,SC and Raven Cliff Falls 3/22/17

View from Caesars Head State Park, SC  
This is part of Day 2 of our little trip to North and South Carolina in March... IF you missed Day 1,  click HERE to see that post..   On Day 2,  we left our beautiful inn in Cashiers (Laurelwood Inn) and headed to Caesars Head State Park  (over the border into South Carolina) not too far from Brevard, NC.   We enjoyed the views from Caesars Head and the hike down to see the 'head'.  At 3,266 feet above sea level along the Blue Ridge Escarpment, Caesars Head provides a panoramic view of the mountain country.  The views extend into North Carolina and Georgia...  They are AMAZING.

After leaving there,  we drove to the nearby trailhead where we took a LONG hike to the first overlook where we could see Raven Cliff Falls...  This was my FIRST long hike since being sick ---so even though I did it,  I didn't find this hike nearly as enjoyable as many others we take... BUT--since we had not seen this 420 feet waterfall,  we really did want to see it and were glad we went.

Maybe in the future,  we can continue on the trail and get closer to that huge waterfall...  We would both enjoy it much better if we were closer so that we could get better pictures...  ALSO---there wasn't too much water coming over the falls...  SO---sometime,  we may go back!!!!!

Here are some pictures from that day...  IF you ever get to this area,  be sure and check out Caesars Head State Park.

George took my picture at Caesars Head State Park at one of the spectacular overlooks.

A little different view from Caesars Head State Park,  SC;   That is Table Rock in the distance.

We hiked down along the edge of the mountain to check out the 'head'..  See George on our trail?

We hiked down through the rocks on that little trail.... (Someone did a great job 'building' this trail!)

Here's Caesars HEAD....  See it?????
There are many stories about how Caesars Head got its name... That surely is NOT the head of Julius Caesar---but you might ask,  which Caesar?????   Some say that the name came from an early mountaineer's dog....  Who knows?  BUT--it was neat to see.  If you want to read more about Caesars Head,  click HERE.

Raven Cliff Falls 3/22/17  (with my long lens)

UPPER part of Raven Cliff Falls with my long lens;  (You can see the little bridge across this huge waterfall.)

Lower part or Raven Cliff Falls  (with my long lens)

Us at the overlook for Raven Cliff Falls 3/22/17
It was QUITE cool and VERY WINDY at that overlook... I needed my handsome man to warm me up a bit!!!!   I'll admit that "I" was a bit unhappy with this waterfall after such a long hike, with lots of elevation changes...   I was proud of myself for making the hike --but was hoping that we could see it better and that there would have been more water coming over the falls...    AND--the additional hike to the bridge across the waterfall would have added a few more miles to an already long hike...   Maybe SOMEDAY we will go back...  I did finish the day with 6.7 miles on my FITBIT (over 16,000 steps)...  SO--I was happy that I could do what I did!!!

Well---I don't want to discourage anyone from hiking to Raven Cliff Falls..  It was mostly me --just getting over a month's respiratory illness.    BUT--I will say that I really loved Caesars Head..  There are picnic tables on top of that escarpment ---so if you are in the area,  stop by and check it out and take a picnic lunch.

Hope you had an awesome EASTER..  We certainly did.   For us Christians,  this (along with Christmas),  is one of the highlights of the year.  Christ has RISEN.  Alleluia!!!!!!!

Have a great week.


Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 TULIPS in our YARD

George and I used to plant lots of Tulips (one of my favorite Spring flowers) --but our resident Chipmunks thought we were planting some kind of special nuts for them for their dinner...SO--they kept digging up the bulbs...  We finally decided to quit planting Tulips... HOWEVER,  some have made it through the years  and still manage to bloom!!!!  I think I counted 17 different varieties this year.  We don't have nearly as many blooming as we used to --but I do love the ones we have...

For those of you who have Chipmunks,  the flowers that they WILL NOT dig up or eat are Daffodils, Irises,  DayLilies,  and of course our Roses.  They do love to dig up the Tulips AND our Lilies.   SO---we now plant more Daffodils instead of the Tulips...  When we live in the woods,  we do have to share with the critters here!!!!!   Not always fun--but 'tis life!!!!

Today I will share some pictures of our TULIPS....  Hope you enjoy them and can pick out a few of your favorite colors in this group...  You can click on the photos for enlargements.   Grab a cuppa and sit back and just enjoy the pictures!!!

Same Tulips as above --but now opened!!!

Same Tulip as above,  but looking inside!

Same Tulip as above --but now they are opened

Purissima Tulips ---This group has been with us for several years.

I'll show you this group again since they are MY favorites!!!
WELL---there are more,  but I'll stop since this post is already long!!!!!   Hope you enjoyed seeing some of our little gorgeous beauties....

Have a wonderful week and get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather...  (At least,  we are having some REAL Spring here now... Hooray!)