Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for June is a picture of my favorite IRIS in our yard, BOUNTIFUL HARVEST. This picture was taken on 5/3/20.

Monday, March 30, 2020

MARCH 2020--- A Crazy Month, but even still, there's HOPE and BEAUTY

Some pretty CROCUSES in our yard (3/12/20) --usually the first flower to bloom in Spring!
Dear Friends and Family,   I for one will be glad to see the month of MARCH move on 'outta' here this year!  Besides the terrible COVID-19 CoronaVirus,   here in Tennessee we have experienced tornadoes nearby,  along with huge amounts of rain and dreary skies most of the month. However, for the past 2-3 days,  we finally have had some beautiful blue skies and sunshine!!!!! WELL---then last night happened  (3/29/20)!!!!  We had a huge storm here ---taking our deck umbrella and deck table for a ride!!!  Again though, like during the tornadoes,  we were very LUCKY in that we didn't have much damage.  Other areas around us sustained much worse damage.

BUT--as in all storms we experience in life,  God gives us HOPE for better days ahead for each of us.   As I write this post (after our big storm),   I am looking at some beautiful blue skies and SUNSHINE!!!!!  The flowers are blooming --and all is right with the world!!!!

I have taken these pictures off and on during March around our yard,  to share with you today.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do sharing them with you.


Pink HYACINTH bloom,  3/12/20;   I love to smell these --especially when George brings one inside in a vase for me to enjoy!




We have many Varieties of DAFFODILS which bloom off and on for about 1-2 months.  This was one of our first groups to bloom --3/12/20




A BRADFORD PEAR tree in bloom in our area,  3/12/20




A close-up picture of our special Ground Cover (PERIWINKLE) --which blooms every spring;  Taken 3/26/20





Our side yard --showing more Daffodils and Periwinkle,  3/26/20;   As you can tell,  we still do not have any leaves on our big trees...




On 3/18/20,   I was so excited to wake up to a little SUNSHINE!!!  This was taken from my deck EARLY in the morning.  I think that the deer thought they were safe grazing on the golf course fairway in the fog!!!!



FORSYTHIA,  3/22/20;  I love seeing all of the yellow Forsythia in bloom in Spring.  We planted this little guy  (along with 4 others) from branches of one of our bigger bushes --and all five are looking good!




The DAFFODILS have done GREAT this spring,  3/26/20



This old woman absolutely loved sitting outside on 3/25/20 ---on the first full day of sunshine and blue skies in awhile!!!!!!  



OOPS..... I don't think the deck table and umbrella are supposed to look like that!!!!!   After finally having NO rain (from 3/25-3/28) ---we had a BIG STORM during the night on 3/29/20...   We were lucky though --since we didn't sustain much damage from this latest storm, except for the poor umbrella...



More of this year's Daffodils and some Tulips beginning to bloom,  3/26/20





The same group of Daffodils (see the picture above)  from the opposite direction,  3/26/20



I'll close with a picture of our front yard,  3/26/20;  Can you see George out there working in the Road Bed????  After all of the rains,  our grass certainly is pretty this year, don't you think?

WELL---enough for today... An upcoming post will feature close-ups of some of our Daffodil varieties and also our Tulips....  What hasn't bloomed yet:  Red Bud trees,   Dogwoods,  more Tulips and Daffodils, our Irises ---and the Lilies and Day Lilies!!!!  AND --then comes the Roses!!!!!   OH --how I love Spring in Tennessee.

I may complain about the rain and dreary skies --but I'd much rather have too much rain than to EVER have drought....   Today as I write this,  my heart and soul are full of HOPE for all of us.   We'll get through the "Virus from Hell" (as others have called it)...  We'll get through whatever nature gives us when it comes to rain and storms---and we'll all experience that rainbow and all of its colors AFTER it is all over!!!!

Have a great week --and stay HEALTHY and SMART...
Hugs,



Monday, March 23, 2020

Fall 2019 ROSES in our Yard

Daring Spirit Rose --9/13/19
Dear Friends,   I had one more post of our last year's ROSES in my folders..  SO--I thought it would be a good time to do this post.  Flowers make me smile ---and at these hard times in our lives,  we ALL need some smiles,  don't we?

When our ROSES started blooming in May,   I tried to post all of them at least once during the year.  SO --today I'll share with you a few more --some of which I hadn't posted on a previous blog.   PINK Roses seems to do well here in the Glade --so we seem to always have an over-abundance of pinks to share...  Hope you enjoy today's picks ---and I truly hope this post makes you SMILE.


Tropical Sun Rose --9/19/19  (a new rose in our yard last year)



Summer Nights Rose-- 9/15/19



Anna's Promise Rose --9/18/19 (This one is named after Anna in Downton Abbey.)


Falling in Love Rose --10/13/19  (a new rose in our yard this past year)



Cabana Rose-- 9/14/19



Double Delight Rose --9/8/19  (always a joy to see)



Moonstone Rose --9/16/19



Flaming Peace Rose --10/13/19 (another new Rose in our yard this past year)



Veteran's Honor Rose --9/7/19  (always a fav)



Aromatherapy Rose 10/3/19  



Mother of Pearl Rose --9/16/19 (a new rose in our yard this past year)



Pinkerbelle --10/13/19 (I've featured this one before since it has bloomed and bloomed all summer/fall.  This was a new one in our yard this past year!!!  I LOVE Pinkerbelle!!!!
Okay Friends... Any favorite ones of yours out of this group?   I do hope that these did make you smile for a bit... I hope and pray that you and your family and loved ones are all okay --and staying inside and SAFE.   George and I only went out once this week (to the grocery store and recycle center).  We went very early in the morning --when there were no crowds...  That worked out good for us.  Now --we are home until the grocery needs call our name in a week or so....

What are you doing to pass the extra time you may have now?  I am enjoying my Genealogy program --even moreso now that I've met a couple of cousins on my Dad's side of the family after taking the 23andMe DNA info-kit a few months ago.  I didn't even know these cousins at all before taking that DNA test.   SO EXCITING...

It's hard not to worry during this COVID-19 Coronavirus (about ourselves, our families,  getting necessary supplies,  people out of work,  etc.).... BUT--worrying doesn't fix this!!!  I have found that the best thing to do is to find things to do and stay busy!!!!!   BUT---I'm praying hard for you and for everyone!!!!   Those of us who are Christians know that God is in control ...  

Have an awesome week --and stay HEALTHY and HAPPY.
Hugs,





Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COVID-19---Corona Virus 2020 "When Our World Changed"

Dear Friends,  As we all go through this horrible virus  together,  I saw this and just HAVE to share it with you.  I hope that EVERYONE will take time to read all of this.  My prayer is for all of us to stop the negative talk and the complaining---and remember all of the blessings we have,  even in times of trouble.  George and I are staying positive through this --and are always willing to help our neighbors in any way needed..  When we all come out on the other side of this,  hopefully we will be changed---all of us for the better...  Like those blooming Spring Flowers,  let's keep on SMILING!!!!   God's Blessings on ALL of you.

Hugs,



Monday, March 16, 2020

Blackwater Falls State Park---West Virginia

George, the Birthday Boy,  enjoying Blackwater Falls,  3/9/20
Hello Blog Friends and Family,   We are home after a little trip to Blackwater Falls State Park,  West Virginia,  to celebrate George's Birthday...  It was a fun, relaxing trip ---and both of us were feeling good enough to do some hiking.  On his 'actual' birthday (3/9/20),   he was THRILLED to get up-close-and-personal with beautiful Blackwater Falls.   My Sweetie LOVES waterfalls --and loves taking all of the water pictures he can get!!!!  I loved sharing this with him on his birthday.

We only had 2 full days there --and unfortunately,  one of the two was a day of RAIN.  (I think it followed us from Tennessee... ha ha)...  BUT--we made the most of the one day we had to hike and search for waterfalls...

They had had about 6 inches of snow the day BEFORE we got there.  SO--luckily for us,  the roads were already fairly clear but there was a little snow still around for me (the snow-lover) to enjoy!!!!  The hardest part for us was hiking in the shady areas where there was quite a bit of ICE... I can walk in snow and mud --but struggle walking on pure ICE....  BUT--we made it!!!!

Some of the areas we hiked/walked to were Pendleton Point,  Pendleton Lake,  Gentle Trail --where we could see Blackwater Falls from above, Balanced Rock Trail (hardest one we did due to the ICE), Elakala Falls,  and Lindy Point.   All of these areas will be featured on other upcoming blog posts.

Today's post is mostly about the lodge and Blackwater Falls...   Hope you enjoy!!!!


On the road to the lodge;  You can see how much snow was still there (3/8/20)



Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge,  where we stayed for three nights  (3/8/20)



The lodge on a beautiful day,  3/9/20;  This was after our hike to the top of Elakala Falls.  



We first took the "Gentle Trail" (flat and paved but slippery) above the waterfall --just to see it from above.  If you look to the left of the falls,  you can see the platform which we walked down to get a close view. There are a couple of people standing there.



Once we finally made it to the bottom overlook,  I turned around and took a picture of the platform where we had just been (see picture above)....



OKAY---now we are beginning to head down those ICY steps. There were 214 steps to get to the bottom.  Going down is usually easy --but not this time with all of the ICE.... Miss Betsy was hanging onto the edge the entire way!!!! But I was determined to do it!!!!! ha



The first several steps down were 'trying' to clear (since the temperature was in the 40-50's on this day).  BUT--still treacherous for the 'faint of heart'!!!!



I had my boots on --but even that didn't prevent me from slipping some.  "Hang on, Betsy!!!"






Slow and Easy was my MOTTO!!!!!SO pretty though!



The farther down we went,  the more ICY it got.... That may look like snow --but it was NOT!!!!




I stopped and took a picture of the Icicles and snow along the side of the gorge.



We made it to the bottom!!!!  Yeah!!!  So totally amazing... Wish you could see/hear my videos showing the "power of the water"....  WOW!



At the bottom of Blackwater Falls,  there was an amazing RAINBOW.... Wish you could see my video of this also!!!!



George pulled out the tripod and took our picture together on his Birthday (3/9/20)



I'll close with this awesome picture that George took of Blackwater Falls.  I love it when he makes the water look so silky!!!!!  My man is just SO amazing!!!!
There's so much more to tell ---but as I said above,  that will come later!!!!  Going up and down those 214 steps was a challenge to us two OLD people --and I think we were the only older folks who ventured all of the way down!!!  BUT--it was SO SO SO worth it....

On the way home in the car,  I asked George what was the highlight to him.   He said it was getting down to the bottom of Blackwater Falls and taking pictures and videos there....  I totally agree with him.

I have been afraid  to travel much and hike much these past several months --after having several small (and short, luckily) A Fib attacks...   When my stinkin' heart starts beating hard and heavy,  I just have to stop everything and let it do its thing.  So far,   since my ablation last June,  I have been very healthy  (I'm on NO medication for my heart now except for my blood thinner) for the most part and these little attacks have been short ones (about 24 hours max).

Anyhow,  I tried to remain calm and not get anxious (even when hiking on the ice) ---and that seemed to work for me.  I made it through the trip (and since being home) without an attack!!!!!  One of my major triggers for my A Fib is anxiety---SO if I can do my deep breathing and relax as much as possible,  I seem to do better....  I'm so thankful for a great trip --not only for George,  but also for ME!!!!   Thanks be to God!  (Now --I'm ready to do another one!)

Prayers around the world for all of us --as we deal with Covid-19 (Corona Virus),  doing everything we can to stay healthy.   We always wash our hands and did that long before this virus.  Since elderly people (US) are most susceptible to this virus,   we need not to be 'stupid' with our choices and decisions. BUT-we need to do everything possible to stay as healthy as possible.  We definitely do not need to live in fear,  and over-react to the situation.    PRAYERS for you and your family!!!

Have an awesome week, my friends.  Stay HEALTHY!!!!!
Hugs,







Monday, March 9, 2020

Happy 78th to the Man I LOVE more than Life Itself!!!

One of George's favorite things to do is to eat SEAFOOD.  We had this delicious meal at Mt. Pleasant, SC  in  Dec, 2019
Happy Birthday to my Husband of almost 19 years.. To say these have been the BEST 19 years of my life is definitely the truest statement I could ever make.  He is my husband, my constant companion,  my lover --and most important, my BEST friend!!!

George Emery Adams was born in Gary, Indiana on March 9,  1942.  George was married for 32 years when his first wife passed away from cancer.  George and Elizabeth had 2 children,  Robert and Kelly.   Robert and family live in Oldsmar, Florida and Kelly lives in Nashville,  Tennessee.

George was a Math and Computer Science teacher for many years,  first teaching high school and then teaching college Math.   In 1997,  George left the teaching world and took what he calls  a 'real' job!!!! He became a System Analyst ---and worked in this part of his career until he retired in 2006.

George and I met in 2000 when we both took jobs and moved to Hendersonville,  Tennessee.   He moved from South Carolina and I moved from Texas.  We both feel as if God put us together  -- because once we met and started dating in March of 2001,  we fell head-over-heels in love --and were married on June 23, 2001.  Since then,  you seldom ever see one of us without the other...

I had been divorced for 20 years --and never EVER thought I'd meet the 'man in my dreams' --but when I did,  I knew I loved him almost immediately and knew that I wanted to spend my life with him.

We spent the first 10+ years of our lives together,  doing a lot of traveling, hiking,  and following our desire to see as many different waterfalls as we could possibly find... Our little Prius took us all over the place --including some back roads that would make you squirm a bit!!!!

Recently,  George developed Macular Degeneration and I got A Fib ---so our lives have had to slow down a bit.... Now ---as we 'age together' ---we find that we need each other for many other reasons than traveling or hiking.... What he forgets these days,  I can help him --and what I forget,  he helps me...  Life may be different --but the love and support is still as strong as it was in 2001, and even  more-so.

I am the most blessed person in the world,  and to you George,   THANK YOU for coming into my life and for loving ME!!!!!

Today I've picked out some pictures that were taken on some of our recent trips this past year...  I love taking pictures of my photography-loving hubby as he works so hard to get the best picture he can.... I always laugh and say:  "I take pictures but George is the real photographer in the family".  

Hope you enjoy the pictures.   Stop by and say Happy Birthday to the nicest man you could ever meet....


On the beach at Ocean Isle Beach, NC in Dec. 2019--getting the best shot he can looking at the waves as they hit the fishing pier!!!



To George,  there's nothing better than sitting on the balcony in our room at Skyland Resort  (August-2019) looking at the gorgeous views of the Shenandoah Valley below,  while sipping some HOT TEA!!



How about getting that special picture of this view of SUNRISE --from the balcony of our room at Ocean Isle Beach,  Dec, 2019?    



George LOVES his family.   We visited Robert and Melissa for Thanksgiving  in Nov. 2019.    George is an awesome cook ---and his son,  Robert,  is FANTASTIC....  



We still love to hike --but we seem to 'tucker out' more quickly these days!!!! ha...  This was taken on a hike while we were at Skyland Resort in August.



George is TALL (6' 2") but his grandson, Sean,  is even TALLER.   Handsome young man, isn't he?



George will 'climb rocks or mountains' to get that perfect picture!!! This was taken along Skyline Drive not far from Skyland Resort in August 2019.


Another little hike ---this one in Savannah,  GA  in Nov, 2019




I took this picture of my Sweetheart on March  7, 2020 --eating his favorite,  CARROT CAKE.   This was the first day of George's Birthday Trip to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.   
WELL---that's enough for tonight...  I'm sure I will have MANY more pictures upcoming after this wonderful trip to West Virginia... In the meantime,  we're going hiking ---and searching for some waterfalls.   Wanna come with us?????

Happy Birthday, my Love...   Don't EVER FORGET just how much I love you... Let's keep eating carrot cake and growing OLD together!!!!   Okay????

Hugs,