Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for October shows another favorite place to visit anytime of year, but especially this month. This photo of mine shows you "AUTUMN in the SMOKY MOUNTAINS of Tennessee".

Monday, December 30, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR -- 2020

Dance with us into 2020!!!
Dear Friends/Family,  I hope you have had a good 2019 ---and will have an even  BETTER 2020.  After living through 2017 with so much tragedy in our family,  and then 2018 (when I was so sick with my A Fib/medications) ---I can say that I have had a GREAT 2019.  

On  April 10,  I finally got to see a new heart doctor (An Electrophysiologist) for my A Fib...   Dr. Bradford scheduled a Cardioversion which I had on April 23...   It WORKED... For the first time in over a year,  my heart was beating normally.   Then on  June 13 ---I had a Cardiac Ablation ---which worked also... SO---except for a couple of short A Fib Episodes (Nov. 5 and Dec. 18)--my heart is 'behaving' nicely!!!!!!  Dr. Bradford gave me my life back ---so I'll definitely say that I had a good 2019!!!!

As I've said before,  A Fib is NEVER totally gone --but if I can keep mine controlled without those horrible medications,  then I'm fine!!!!  I thank God for every minute I'm alive and feeling good!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?   I do not for the most part --but usually decide on one very important thing in my life to work on that will help improve my life.... These days,  as a 77 year old woman,  my emphasis is (and will be forever I'm sure) on my HEALTH.   So --for all of my older friends out there,   I wish for you GOOD HEALTH in 2020.   For all of you younger friends ---I wish for you many more years of doing what you can and want to in life.. Do not put things off until retirement -or until you get older because as you know,  there are no guarantees in life...DO IT NOW.

George and I are blessed (compared to others our age) with 'fairly' good health.  We can still travel some and definitely are enjoying life to its fullest.   However,   as we age,  we are slowing down --and things which may have been simple a few years ago are getting harder!!!!!

Today though,  as our picture shows above ---we are DANCING in 2020 with JOY.   Won't you dance with us????

HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL.

Much Love,

Monday, December 23, 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS -- 2019

Us at Biltmore 12/18/19
Just stopping by to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to YOU and your loved ones!!!   One of the highlights of George's and my year is to visit the Biltmore Estate at Christmastime for their annual   "Christmas at Biltmore" celebration.   In addition to being with my family,   'this event' MAKES our Christmas...

Today is Dec. 23 ---and we only have a couple of days until it is Christmas DAY...   SO---today,  I'll share with you some quotes about Christmas which  I read and love.  Hope you enjoy them.

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"Peace on Earth will come to stay,  when we live Christmas every day."  -Helen Steiner

"Christmas isn't a season.  It's a feeling." --Edna Ferber

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,  and we are better throughout the year for having,  in spirit,  become a child again at Christmastime."  ---Laura Ingalls Wilder

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas Spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." ---Harlan Miller

"There's nothing cozier than a Christmas tree all lit up."  --Jenny Han

"May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve." --Unknown

"Just remember,  the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."---The Polar Express
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Mom and Sons---12/22/19   Such JOY for this Mama!!!!!



Being with the "Love of my Life" IS my LIFE!!!!!  Biltmore (Antler Hill Village) --12/18/19

I'll close with this:  The real meaning of CHRISTMAS is that it is the day for all Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.   Sometimes,  it is easy to lose this important meaning....

Hope all of you have a marvelous CHRISTMAS.... Much Love to you,  and God's Blessings for a fabulous 2020.

Hugs,

Monday, December 16, 2019

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW

The Weather outside is frightful.  The Fire is so delightful.  Since we've no place to go.  LET IT SNOW...
Dear Blog Friends,   On December 10,  we had a really pretty (only 2 inches and nothing on the roads much) little snow... It was just perfect ---and since we seldom EVER have snow in December when our Christmas Decorations are up,   I just had to try out my new iPhone (which has an amazing camera).  SO--I'll share some of the pictures with you from that fun day in Tennessee.


See that snow coming down....   That's SO rare for us, especially at Christmas time.



The Deck ---all lit up for Christmas!!!



It's now dark out there --and still snowing!!!!!!  We are definitely comfy inside!!



Another picture of the deck --as the snow continues



Looking out front from the front porch!!!!  



Now--I'm outside playing in the snow... Our holly bushes are covered!!!



Looking down the driveway... Love this camera!!!!  Amazing how the camera made it look like it was still light outside even though it was pitch-black-dark!!!!  WOW.  



Another picture of our outside Christmas decorations....  They are so pretty with the snow,  don't you think?



The snow is still piling up on the deck!!!!



Good Morning ---It's early on December 11th and the sun is beginning to come out!



I always love seeing the snow clinging to evergreens.



The snow is over the morning of Dec. 11 --and the beautiful blue skies have returned....




I'll close with this one taken on the  morning of Dec. 11th.   I just enjoy seeing the snow on the Holly Bush, with that wreath above.

Hope you enjoyed our little snow.... As I tell my friend Neal (who teases me about loving snow so much),   I don't want or need a BIG snow to make me happy....  The little ones which cling to everything are really my favorite kinds of snow....

George said:  "Okay, since you've had 'your' snow---let's move on to SPRING"......
I said:  "Well--I wouldn't mind a few more of these little snows before Spring gets here"....

Have a wonderful week, my Friends,  and take time to enjoy this month, and let's all remember to tell the ones we love how much they mean to us.

Hugs,

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Sunny Florida Thanksgiving

Robert and Melissa's awesome backyard
Dear Family and Friends,   I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday WEEK...  George and I certainly did!!!!!  We enjoyed a few days with George's son,  Robert,  and his wife Melissa (and their family) at their beautiful home near Tampa, Florida.  They 'ordered' some fabulous weather while we were there --and I'll admit that that warm Florida sun felt GOOD!!!!

Both Robert and Melissa are AWESOME cooks ---so you can only imagine what they fixed for our delicious Thanksgiving Dinner...  Here's a list of some of the dinner choices:  Ham,  Turkey,  Dressing,  Gravy,  Green Bean Casserole,  Macaroni and Cheese,  Mashed Potatoes,  Wild Rice Casserole,  Rolls/Butter,  Cranberry Salad,  and for dessert----Robert's homemade  PUMPKIN CHEESE CAKE....  Oh My Heart and Soul!!!!!!  (Glad Calories don't count on Thanksgiving!!!! ha ha ha)

Today I'll share with you a few pictures from our visit with them (Nov. 27-30)!!!! Hope you enjoy seeing more of our wonderful family!!


Their gazebo --up close and personal!!!



More of their backyard --including several water treatments!!!



Along the back fence



All of the beautiful vegetation in their front yard 



George and son Robert at the Thanksgiving Dinner table



George and his grandson,  Sean (Robert's son); We were amazed at how tall Sean is now.. He is a Sophomore in high school.



"The Parents"  enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner;  It was a 'running joke' that we were not only the 'parents' --but we were also the OLD PEOPLE.... ha ha ha



Besides Robert and George,  I introduce you to Melissa with the yellow shirt on and her daughter, Kayla and two of Kayla's 3 children.  The baby and Daddy stayed home because the baby was quite sick... We missed seeing them this trip. 



The other end of the Thanksgiving table;  It was a marvelous day and we were blessed to be able to be there,  although many family members couldn't be there with us.  Melissa has 3 sons: (1 in Basic Training for the Navy; other two are in North Carolina).  Robert's other son lives in Colorado now.  Melissa's mother lives in North Carolina.   George's daughter (Kelly) is visiting with Rob/Melissa this coming week.



What does one do AFTER eating that big Thanksgiving Dinner?????? 



WELL---this shows what I really did!!!!  NAPTIME!!!!   (How many of you take naps after a big meal????? ha)
We left Florida on Saturday,  Nov. 30 and headed north to enjoy more of our special journey.  We had one night in Savannah and one night in Charleston --and now are at our favorite beach (Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina)...   We love the beach at this time of year since there are very few people around and we seem to have the beach all to ourselves!!!!  LOVE it.  I will do some upcoming blog posts on these areas of our trip I'm sure.

Have a great week --and enjoy this wonderful, happy, joyful month of December...  George and I are still so very THANKFUL for our families and for good health... Thanks be to God for all of the blessings we receive each and every day.

Hugs,