Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for June 2021 shows one of our beautiful LILIES in our yard. This one is named PURPLE PRINCE.

Monday, June 7, 2021

IRISES in our YARD 2021

Dear Blog Friends,  How are you?  I am doing well now (at least for now)--since I'm on a new medication for my A Fib.... We have also had a very busy month.   First was Mother's Day that you read about in my last post... Then--the next weekend,  we had a big Family Picnic in honor of my youngest son's 50th Birthday... Following on the next two weekends,   we spent a day with Mark and Robin when they were camping at Cumberland Mountain State Park (near us) --and the next week when they were camping at Fall Creek Falls State Park (about an hour's drive south of us)...   It has been a great month --and I love being with family.

Even though our Roses are blooming now,   I don't want to neglect all of our 34 varieties of IRISES we had blooming in our yard between 4/15  and now (6/4) since a few of them are still blooming! Most bloomed by the 20th of May!    SO---I made some collages and am sharing all of them in one Blog post.  Only one bloomed AFTER I made the collages--and that is of course a special one since its name is TENNESSEE VOL.  I included that one near the bottom of the post!

I won't take time to put all of the names on this post --but if you find one you especially like,  just ask and I'll send you the name...  I featured 6 pictures at the bottom --which are favorites of mine. Hope you enjoy seeing our IRISES for 2021...  Hopefully some of them, including ones which haven't bloomed yet,  will re-bloom in the Fall. 








This was a favorite of mine this Spring.  Her name is CONCERTINA and she bloomed and bloomed!!!!

Here is TENNESSEE VOL.   This was the last one to bloom this spring,  and bloomed AFTER I made the Collages...  However,  since I am a Tennessee Vol,  this one is a favorite.

This Iris has been a favorite for several years due to the 'frilly' look she has... Her name is ORANGE HARVEST.

This is one of our new IRISES named PICASO MOON.  I love that gorgeous bright yellow color.

We had this one last year,  but it didn't bloom until now... WOW--it was worth waiting for,  don't you think?  The name is PAPRIKA FONO'S ---and is definitely one of my newer favorites. 

And the WINNER (for me) again this year is BOUNTIFUL HARVEST!!!  I wish all of you could see this one in bloom.   Such an amazing beauty!!!!!

 

 I hope you enjoyed seeing our IRISES.   These plants/flowers can bring a lot of color to one's yard --and they take very little care.   They just do their own thing --and come back year after year.  The only thing we have to do is to separate them on occasion--when they spread out TOO much!!!!

And for us living here in the woods,  the DEER do not like Irises ---so we gradually have added more Irises and less Tulips (which the deer love)....  

Hope you have a very good JUNE....  We have been so cool here these past few months --but they say that we are supposed to have a VERY HOT summer.... The Roses,  Lilies and Day Lilies LOVE the heat,  but ME?  Not so much!!!!!

My question to you:  Do you have a favorite (or favorites) from this group?

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Fabulous Mother's Day for me ---May 9, 2021

Dear Blog Friends,   See these two wonderful people above?  Robin and Mark again gave me the most wonderful Mother's Day a Mom could ever have!!!!!  This year was no exception...  They had asked what I wanted to do --and I said that I wanted a Jeep Ride and a Picnic somewhere.... AND--that is what I got!!!!  And Better Still:  after lots of very cool and wet weather,   Mother's Day this year was beautiful with temperatures in the 70's.  Just PERFECT.

They took us (George and me) to a place we had never ever been. Mark and Robin love to go on all of the backroads in their shiny Red Jeep --and this is just one of the areas they visited not long ago... WOW---how extremely gorgeous,  way back in the mountains/woods...

We went to the Citico Creek Wilderness area in the Cherokee National Forest.  The closest town is Vonore, TN ---but you may know that area for being not far from the Cherohala Skyway (between Tellico Plains, TN and Robbinsville,  NC).   As we followed the Citico Creek up up up the mountains,  we saw many rustic camping sites along the way...  I truly felt like I was in PARADISE,  and I told the family that this wilderness area reminded me of the nearby Smoky Mountains --back many years ago when the Smokies were less crowded --with fewer people around and no traffic problems....


We found a great campsite for our picnic time.  As you can tell,  the road was in pretty good shape most of the time.  AND---getting to ride in the JEEP was such JOY to me..... The wilderness just smelled so good --with early spring flowers and trees blossoming all around us.



We walked down the road a bit to get a good picture of the little creek next to our campsite...  As George and I walked down,  Mark and Robin headed to the Creek to PLAY... You can actually see them since Mark's RED shirt was visible to us.


This was our campsite all set-up for us....Mark, Robin and oldest son, Bert (Seated),  are just as happy as we were to be in such a gorgeous setting.


My favorite picture from the trip:   Mom --in the hammock--enjoying the company of 2 of my 3 sons on Mother's Day.... Talk about relaxing!!!!!  Close you eyes and imagine being in a hammock with the sounds of the water nearby --and the birds singing above us..... "Heaven on Earth" for me!


George took his turn in one of the hammocks also....  Oh how I love that man!!!!

 

 

Mark enjoying the day ---with Robin by his side.... Both Robin and Bert took their time in the hammocks also that day....


 
Beautiful little wildflowers to enhance our wonderful day!
 
 

Of course,  we also had a 'feast' for lunch.... Mark/Robin grilled us Burgers and Brats --with all of the trimmings,  and some fresh fruit and veggies....  YUMMMMMMY in my tummy!!!!


My sons are 'silly' like their Mama!!!!!   I love this picture of Mark and Bert.


Then while some of us slept, talked and/or walked around the area to get pictures,  these two 'sillies' decided to test out the COLD COLD COLD creek water...... Poor Robin is so short that she had to be very careful where she stepped in that creek.... 


I wonder what Mark was pointing to...???????  I'll bet he was telling Robin to go over there and check out what could be living UNDER that big rock!!!!!  (I think that is when Robin decided it was time to get OUT of the water... ha ha ha)


And walking is what I did....   I'll let the 'kids' play in the water... I will just take my little iPhone and get some more pictures!!!!!!!



 Thank You so much,  Bert, Robin and Mark,  for making my MOTHER'S DAY so very very special!!!!!   I am ready to go to Citico again ANYTIME --as long as I can ride in the Shiny Red Jeep!!!!!!!!  ha ha ha

Hope all of you are doing well and staying healthy.   I have many friends who are struggling with all kinds of health issues --so today,  I remember them with my prayers and love.

I am doing quite well right now (Knock on Wood) ---so I hope I can say that for many months/years to come!!!!!  

Hugs to ALL,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

Monday, April 19, 2021

SPRING in our YARD 2021

Dear Friends,  Welcome to SPRING 2021 in Tennessee..  I have already published a post showing our blooms in EARLY Spring in our yard (Crocus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Periwinkle,  Forsythia)... SO--now it's time to show you MORE blooms!!!!!

Above is the BLEEDING HEARTS bush that friend,  Marcia,  gave me many years ago...

 

The TULIPS bloomed.   As I've said many times,  the deer (and chipmunks/squirrels) LOVE the tulips --so we quit replacing them a couple of years ago.  Luckily, a few of them have survived,  thanks to the Daffodils we planted next to them. (Deer don't like Daffodils!)


This is my favorite TULIP this year.... Isn't she beautiful?


One of my favorite blooming trees in Spring is the RED BUD tree.... 


AND--another all-time favorite is our PINK DOGWOOD.


Looking up at the Pink Dogwood from below;  I love the BLUE SKY up there!!


Standing in our upper side yard,  I took this picture of the deck --showing the beginning of all of our LILIES.... Oh how I love our LILIES...


Here's a close-up of some of the Lily Containers on our deck!!!!!   Looking good!!! We still are having to cover them (with those black plastic bags) during Freeze and Frost warnings....I'm not sure when warm weather will get here to STAY!!!!!!


The big RED BUD and white DOGWOOD in our yard (4/15/21);  One of my favorite Spring Photos this year!!!


Our FIRST Blooming IRIS of the season:  Double Your Fun is her name!!!! 


NO --it's not snow on that tree!!!!! That is a photo I took while standing UNDER our big White DOGWOOD tree.


 
Another set of beauties in our yard now are all of our AZALEAS  (which are just beginning to bloom)... I love the hot pink color of this one!


Here's one more AZALEA for you today.... I love this design --so I took a close-up picture for you to see the details also!

WELL--enough for today!!! I hope you enjoyed seeing more of Spring from the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee!!!!  If I ever get time in my life,  I'll share more of the different varieties of DAFFODILS we had this Spring.  They have bloomed off and on for about 2 months this year and have been exquisite!!!

WELL---it is not over!!!!!!  Next to come: Irises, ROSES, Lilies and DayLilies!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!

 ********
UPDATE on my Heart Problem copied from my Facebook Post on April 8:  "Praise God!  Good news from my doctor this morning after a month of waiting.  After an Echocardiogram (March 1st),  I was first told that they saw "something they didn't like". Later they diagnosed me with a  CARDIAC MASS... Well--as you can imagine,  that 'mass' word scared the budooky out of me!!!!  I then had an MRI (March 30).  After that,  my doctor did some research from my old medical records --only to find out that I have had this 'growth' on my right Atrium since at least 2018 when I was diagnosed with A Fib.  They are continuing to research more--but  wanted to give me 'peace-of-mind' finally... NO MALIGNANCY!!!!!   Yeah Rah!   As you know, I have a lot of faith --and have tried to stay positive throughout this month-long ordeal...  I told my kids this morning that they aren't gonna get rid of me yet!!!!!!!  HA HA!!!!!   THANK YOU for your thoughts and prayers!!!!   Life goes on!!!"

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

 


 

Monday, April 5, 2021

EASTER 2021


Dear Friends,   Hope you had a wonderful Easter Weekend.  Easter is one of my all-time favorite days.  Jesus Christ is RISEN.   Alleluia!   This year,  George and I drove to Nashville to have Easter Dinner with his daughter, Kelly.  

This was a combination Easter and Birthday Dinner (since we didn't get to see Kelly on George's actual birthday, 3/9).   Kelly fixed an amazing dinner  (Lamb Chops,  Home-made AuGratin Potatoes,  and Fruit).  Delicious!

But the awesome part was the special dessert,  a Carrot "Bunny" Cake,  that Kelly made...  Carrot Cake is George's favorite cake ---so having it as part of a Bunny Cake was AWESOME.... Can you see the beaming smile on his face in the picture above?


Don't you just love George's Bunny Cake!!!!!!! Kelly did a great job,  didn't she?



I love this picture of George and his beautiful daughter, Kelly.  We had a fabulous visit and a great Easter.


******************************
Great Granddaughter,  Vivian Lee--age 3



Great Granddaughter Veronica Mae,  Age 1  (will be two in May)

I just HAD to include another Easter Joy!!!!!   Seeing Easter Pictures of my two beautiful Great Granddaughters  makes me so HAPPY.....   Aren't they just adorable?

*****************

WELL my friends,  on another note,  I need your thoughts and prayers, as I continue to struggle with a possible problem with my heart.... I had an Echocardiogram on March 1st --and then a Cardiac MRI on March 30..... Still no results --as of now, April 5th.... The waiting and lack of communication has been the hardest part.   I do have a lot of FAITH --and know that God will take care of me.  AND--since I'm basically a positive person (at least I TRY to be--most of the time--ha),  I am assuming that nothing major is wrong, since IF there was a real problem,  they would have done something much more quickly.   SO--I'll continue to wait!!!!!    Thanks for your prayers.  I need them!

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Early Spring in our Yard 2021

Dear Friends,   We are almost finished with March --so I wanted to share some of the colors in our yard this month.  Compared to some years,  this is a 'late' Spring beginning for us.  The trees are still BARE --and the grass is only beginning to turn green...   BUT--all of our early bloomers are showing off their Spring Colors... 

Our three main 'early' bloomers (shown above) are our Crocuses,  Hyacinths and Daffodils... Of those three,  we have more Daffodils than the other two...  Right now (March 23rd) --we probably have over 100 Daffodils blooming all over the yard.. They are SO pretty and colorful. 

Hope you enjoy seeing some Early Spring Blooms from the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee!


A close-up of one of our Hyacinths;  These little flowers are so pretty --and they really smell amazing!!!!

Four of our unique Daffodils;  We have so many different ones with all kinds of colors and shapes --and we also have some Double Daffodils  (bottom left).  

One of the first little groups of Daffodils in our yard;  George's Dad gave us these little ones about 2003 --and they are still with us every year,  reminding us of Dad Adams and his love for flowers.

Here's four more of the different varieties of Daffodils in our yard...  The top one is a Double Daffodil --and is very unique.

I wish you could see our Ground Cover  (called Periwinkle, but with the real name of Vinca Minor)  blooming all around our yard now...  WOW--just awesome!

Always a favorite bush in our area in Early Spring!!!!  This is a close up of our FORSYTHIA bush...We have five little forsythias in our yard... When the Forsythias bloom,  we know that it must be Spring!!!!

Here's the latest group of HYACINTHS in bloom...

The 'main' Daffodil/Rose bed in early Spring--although we have both Daffodils and Roses in many other places in the yard;  As you can see the Roses are JUST getting started --so it will be awhile before they bloom...  Note the blue sky --and trees with no leaves YET.

One more close-up of our ground cover,  the Periwinkle/Vinca Minor...

The Upper Side Yard,  filled with Daffodils and lots of little Periwinkle Blooms

The lower side yard; You can see a few daffodils,  our DayLily Bed (which is just getting started),  one of our Forsythias,  and the Periwinkle Ground Cover!!!!

Looking across our front yard at the Perwinkle blooming in the distance... I love seeing the green grass now!!!!

 Well--that is enough for today!!!!  Hope you enjoyed my Early Spring photos... Next to come should be our Irises,  Dogwoods,  Red Buds, and Tulips.  Unfortunately we don't have many Tulips left since the squirrels and chipmunks dig up the bulbs... BUT--I still love Tulips and will enjoy them when we go to Biltmore and when you post pictures of them.

 I asked my Facebook friends what they call this little flower that I call a Daffodil.  Some of the other names I heard were Jonquils (which I called them as a child in VA) and Butter Cups... I've also heard the name Narcissus. What name do you use when speaking of Daffodils???????

Have an awesome Spring Week ahead --and keep looking forward to an amazing APRIL...

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕