Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Monday, November 27, 2017


San Juan River at  Goosenecks  State Park,  Utah
Dear Friends,   Hope those of you in our country had a great Thanksgiving this year...  I certainly did since I got to see my sons and enjoyed spending time with more family along with eating some great meals!!!!!  Life is GOOD!

But today----I'm featuring another beautiful state park  which we visited on our Utah/Arizona trip in September.    This park is named  Goosenecks State Park  --and it is located off of Highway 163 between  the towns of Bluff and Mexican Hat,  Utah.   It is north of Monument Valley,  Arizona.

From the edges of the cliffs at this state park,  we could see 1000 feet down into the canyon below.  The SAN JUAN RIVER  meanders back and forth as it makes its way through the canyons.... While looking down at the meandering river,  I was reminded that it took 300 million years for the river to carve its way through all of these structures...  AMAZING.....

Another interesting statistic about that river below:   The river flowed over 6 miles in that area  yet it only advanced 1.5 miles!!!!!   (Sounds like some of my hikes!!! ha ha )

From our viewpoint --we could see 3 parts of the San Juan River as it works its way through the canyon...... The picture at the top shows a wide angle view of all three parts of that river from the overlook.  Below are some closer shots of each of the three different views. As you look at that photo,  I will call the part of the river on the right as Part I,  the middle part as Part II,  and the part to the left as Part III... Hope you enjoy these pictures today.

1000 feet below,  this is Part I  of the San Juan River;   

A close up showing the geological structures around the river;  (This is Part II--the middle part)

Part I and II of the San Juan River as it worked its way around those canyons;

I took this picture of George at the rim of Goosenecks  State Park.

Part III (on the left) of the San Juan River  (as I walked farther around the rim)

From another area on the rim,  I took this picture showing both Part III (left) and Part II of the San Juan River.

George took this picture of me at the rim of Goosenecks State Park,  Utah.

Look at this  picture carefully and see if you can tell what it looks like!!!!! (I'll explain it at the end of this post.)

Us at Goosenecks State Park,  Utah,  9/9/17
Hope you enjoyed  seeing this amazing little state park...  I do recommend it if you are in that area..  It's a great place to add to a trip to Monument Valley. Or another interesting nearby place which we did not get to on this trip is Valley of the Gods.   For those of you who want to see something like this without doing a lot of hiking or walking,  Goosenecks is the place!!!  The views are amazing!

Now--go back to the previous picture and look at it again.... This was taken on the road to Goosenecks and is near the small village of Mexican Hat, Utah.   I read that the population in 2010 was 31..... Look back at that picture.... Can you see it now?????   It's a Mexican Hat!!!!!!

If you want more information about his area,  check out the website for Goosenecks State Park.  Click HERE.


Monday, November 20, 2017


I am thankful that God loves ME ---just as I am!
This is THANKSGIVING WEEK here in our country.   I love this week ---and enjoy thinking about all of the blessings I have in my life.  We ALL have so much to be thankful for --but sometimes we allow the negative thoughts to consume us!   I try not to do that ---and the month of November is a perfect month to reflect back on our many blessings.

I had such a good time this week going through my blog posts,  my pictures,  and my Facebook posts ---thinking about some of the trillions of things I am thankful for...  The hardest thing was to limit this post to my usual 16 photos (which to some people is still too long).... Oh Well---here goes!!!!!  Hope you enjoy reading about some of my blessings and thanksgivings....  I know you can add many of your own!!!

I am thankful for my FAMILY;  Here I am with my three sons (Jeff, Bert,  Mark).

I am thankful for our FRIENDS... Here we are with our good friends, Neal and Patti.

I am thankful for our little HOME.

I am thankful for my HEALTH --and being able to hike and enjoy nature.

I am thankful for the beautiful ROSES my husband grows and brings inside for me to enjoy.  This little beauty is named Crescendo.

I am thankful for the BEACH we visit each year (Ocean Isle Beach,  North Carolina).

I am thankful for our little BACKYARD BIRDS.  This is a Red Headed Woodpecker grabbing a peanut.

I am thankful for our TRAVELS.  This picture was taken on our September trip to UTAH and ARIZONA.

I am thankful for AUTUMN and being in the MOUNTAINS.

I am thankful for WINTER and SNOW....   (I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.)

I am thankful for SPRING and our beautiful YARD and FLOWERS.

I am thankful for RAIN and of course,  WATERFALLS.

I am thankful not only for raking and blowing leaves in Autumn --but especially PLAYING in the LEAVES...

I am thankful for JOY,  HAPPINESS and FUN ---and being a kid again!!!!!

And MOST IMPORTANT of ALL,   I am thankful for GEORGE,   the man in my life who brings me all of this love and joy each and every single day...  (Thanks,  Sweetie.)   This picture was taken at our favorite mountain getaway in Mt. Nebo,  Arkansas.  Oh how I LOVE this man.

Finally,  I am thankful that I am still a work in progress and that God is not finished with me yet!!!!  Hallelujah!!!!
Well----if you count the pictures (first and last one are not mine),  you will see that I ended up with 17 this time.... I just didn't know which one not to include....  I am so truly blessed in so many ways!   In fact,  I think we are ALL blessed when we think about our lives... YES---we have all had some hard times --but the good ones definitely outweigh the bad ones!

I would love to read a blog post from YOU similar to this one listing some of the things you are thankful for....  That would be awesome!

Hope each of you have a blessed week --and a Happy Thanksgiving to ALL.  We have big plans involving family --so I won't be around much this next week and maybe next...


Monday, November 13, 2017

Autumn's Final Hoorah!!!!!!

Our lower side yard ---11/4/17
Hello my Friends,   After a crazy (and very warm) Autumn this year,  we finally got a little Fall color here at home and in the TN mountains...  At home,  after one little cold spell,   the trees all seemed to turn about the same time --and most of them showed colors of yellows/golds/rusts.... Then, after turning colors, we had some extremely heavy rain and LOTS of wind --and most all of the trees lost their leaves quickly... But I did manage to get a few pictures here at home.  NOW--it is "raking and blowing leaves" time for me!!!!!

However, we decided this past Friday (since it was a beautiful,  sunny, and brisk day)  to head to Knoxville for some errands and then take a "Day Trip"  to visit the Foothills Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains  (near Townsend, TN).

Since it was November 10,   we knew that  it was almost the end of all of the Autumn Colors in that area. But we lucked up and did see some pretty colors.   Needless to say,  except for the COLD COLD WIND,  we really enjoyed our little day trip!!!!!

Today I'll share some photos from the Foothills Parkway and also a few from here at home!!!    There is something special about the 'end' of the Fall season ---and I enjoy being out in nature ---with the leaves crunching under my feet when I walk...  There is also a special briskness in the air during this time of the Fall season I think... When I lived in Texas for 12 years  (and in Jacksonville, FL and New Orleans, LA before that),  I REALLY missed the  four seasons,  especially Autumn.   NOW---I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this very special season!!!!!    Hope you enjoy the pictures today!

Colors in our yard,  11/4/17  (I love the colors of our Pink Dogwood in Autumn)

Our Street,  11/5/17

Our Back Yard,  11/5/17

Beautiful Smoky Mountains --from the Foothills Parkway 11/10/17

Even though it was SO COLD and WINDY,   this old woman loved being there!

Here's a picture I took using my long lens...   That high mountain in the distance is Mt. LeConte. (Sorry for the quality.. It was SO hazy in the distance!!!)

One lone RED tree here along the Foothills Parkway!!!!  BUT--I love the green pines against the blue blue sky!!!

My Cutie Pie enjoyed the overlooks along the Foothills Parkway,  even though that wind was COLD.   11/10/17

You can still see some color along those mountain ranges, especially when the sun shines down on those areas.

How would you like a little farm down there in that valley?????   Wouldn't that be gorgeous,  surrounded by all of the beauty?   (Picture taken from an overlook on the Foothills Parkway,  11/10/17)

Another pretty colored tree we saw along the Foothills Parkway,  11/10/17

I loved the background here --showing some of the left-over Fall Colors in the distance behind George... 

Some pretty colors at the Look Rock Overlook along the Foothills Parkway, 11/10/17

At the Look Rock Overlook,  Foothills Parkway,  11/10/17  (NOTE:  We did not hike to the top of the mountain at Look Rock due to the high winds,  and the fact that we didn't have hats/coats/gloves with us!  We'll take that short hike another day!)

Finally,  here is a neat picture showing one of the gorgeous MAPLES at  the Look Rock Overlook along the Foothills Parkway.   Maples are my favorite Autumn Leaves/Trees....
WELL-----how did you like seeing "Autumn's Final Hoorah"????   I will say though that we have another short trip coming up soon ---so who knows????? Maybe (just maybe) we will still see more colors!!!!!  I wouldn't complain a bit!!!!! Like I said,  I just enjoy being out in nature!!!

Have a wonderful November Week...