Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to SEPTEMBER. My header photo this month shows a Sunset over the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, taken from our balcony at Skyland Resort in August, 2020. Have a great month ahead.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Do You like the color PINK???? I have it for you today!!!!!

Dear Blog Friends,    I thought I'd better get a Blog Post published before the end of the month!!!   Where does time go???  The OLD folks here (other than getting older by the day) are doing OKAY... George is using a cane constantly due to his Degenerative Disc Disease in his back, which affects his leg.   But --so far,  he's managing and can still get outside and take care of the flowers... 

I am doing better after tearing my right hamstring in my leg... I went through several days of not being able to walk and with much pain.  Now --I am better and the pain is almost gone.  All I need is some ENERGY... ha ha

Even though we lost MANY Roses this Summer (due to deer damage),  we still managed to have had a lot of different roses blooming at least once.     We still took pictures and I'm amazed to say that I have at least one picture of 67 different Roses that have bloomed here since May (with more hopefully to come before the first Frost).   

We are getting our deck extended on one side --so that George can bring even more of his beautiful roses in containers to the deck this next year!!!!  This area is more shaded ---so the roses may not to be as healthy as they are in the full sun in the front yard.   BUT--hopefully they will be more protected on the deck... 

Today,  I'll share just a small group of these ROSES.   Since we have had a lot of PINK Roses this year,  I started with that group and ONLY chose the pink ones which I took pictures of in JULY...  Hope you enjoy this group!!!!! 

Tiffany Rose --7/2/22



Pink Peace Rose  7/8/22



Perfume Factory 7/12/22



California Dreaming 7/18/22



Gemini Rose 7/21/22



Bewitched Rose  7/22/22



Queen Elizabeth Rose 7/27/22



Sheer Magic Rose 7/27/22


Now that it's Autumn --we won't see many PINKS around...  We finally had a very cool night (in the 40's) last night for the first time.  SO--maybe our trees will begin to change leaf colors soon IF this cool weather continues...

Enjoy all of the pinks today.   Do you have a favorite?  Sheer Magic is truly as magical as one can get.  Perfume Factory smells AWESOME...  The other one I love is California Dreamin'.

Hope you are having a fantastic day.  If not,  change it!!!!!!!  

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕





Friday, August 12, 2022

An 80th Birthday to Remember

Dear Blog Friends,   On August 5, 1942,  a daughter was born in the small town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  After having two sons,  her Mom and Dad were  excited to see this little girl in their lives. Little did they know what a crazy, silly girl they would raise. This silly girl is now EIGHTY years young (as of Friday, August 5) and still as crazy and silly as ever!!!! She has had and is still having a wonderful life.

SO--about 6-8 months ago,  my sweetie (George) asked me what I wanted to do on my 80th Birthday.   Without hesitation I said that I wanted to go to West Virginia and ride the little train back to the top of the mountain.  Now you might scratch your head and ask what is so special about riding a train!!!???

WELL--those memories go WAY back to my childhood.  My Dad worked for the Interstate Railroad in Andover, VA almost all of his adult life.  Big Stone Gap is in the far southwestern part of Virginia,  and is in a coal mining area.  And every chance I got, I'd beg Daddy to take me to work with him so that I could see (and ride on) the little steam engines as they worked in the 'train yard' nearby the offices where Dad worked.  I absolutely loved every second of it.  

SO--when we first visited Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia (2011),   I fell in love with every single aspect of riding that little train....Hearing that 'whistle' sends chills up my spine... Hearing the Chug Chug Chug sounds as that little engine worked hard to "PUSH" us up  up  up the mountain...     AWESOME!!!  

Here's a Story in Pictures telling about my 80th Birthday this year.  Hope you enjoy it!  (Wonder what I'll choose to do on my 90th???????)

This was our steam engine that took us up that mountain. They stop twice on the 4 hour excursion to take on water... Interesting to watch!!



This was our train.  George and I were in the back car (far right in the picture) --so that we can see as the train pushes us up the mountain.


Here is my Sweetheart --who brought me on this wonderful trip.  The young man in the red shirt is the Brakeman.  He worked hard --and we enjoyed watching him work to make sure the brakes were in good condition.  



Do you think this old 80 year old woman is HAPPY to be on the train?????



Here is the entire train... We love the open air cars.  I don't think George nor I sat down much at all during the 4 hour trip!!!!  I was just too excited!!!



Here is a zoomed in picture of that engine --as it worked hard pushing us up up up that mountain.  Loved hearing the whistle and hearing the Chug Chug Chug!!!!



Guess what it is doing????????  RAINING!!!!   First time it has rained on our 3 visits to Cass Railroad!!  But we didn't let rain dampen our spirits..



The views got more and more beautiful as we kept getting higher in elevation.  I snapped this picture 'between' the rain storms...



You know how much I love SPRUCE trees.  WELL--West Virginia has Red Spruces in the higher elevations.  So beautiful.



Rain or Shine,   I was leaning out taking pictures and videos.  I love the videos since I can hear the whistle and the Chug Chug Chug!!!!!   ( I think I photo-bombed George's photo here. ha)




It was still raining when we got to Bald Knob (4400 feet in elevation)...  BUT--I was determined to sit outside and eat our lunch!!!!!  They gave us lunches and water when we got on the train (included in the cost).   Lunch was good:  turkey, ham and cheese sandwiches,  chips,  pasta salad,  applesauce, and cookies.  (The red jackets helped --but we still got VERY wet... ha)


After getting back on the train,  we headed back down the mountain.  I loved seeing the interesting skies and views on our trip back to the station.

 

We are back at the station---and our sweet little train is leaving the station.  It was a fabulous experience and my 80th Birthday couldn't have been better...  Thank You Honey for taking me there.



Age 80 plus 1 day,  this old woman is still smiling and talking about the wonderful Train Ride.  I will say though that I was nice and dry that next morning!!!! (And neither of us caught a cold from being out in the rain while on the train ride!!!!!!)  Yeah! 

Well, my Friends... That is IT in a nutshell....I hope my entire 80th year is as good as that special day (August 5, 2022) was!!!!!!   It was a GLORIOUS day in every respect --but I couldn't have done it without the Love of My Live beside me!!!!

If you want information about the Cass Scenic Railroad,  here is a LINK: Cass Railroad

Have a fabulous August!!!!!!  We have had tons and tons of rain lately with high humidity and temperatures.  BUT---today  (writing this on August 12) ---we finally had a Cold Front come through, and our weather is wonderful (mild, sunny and much less humidity).... LOVE IT.

Reach out today to someone you haven't heard from in awhile --just to say HI...

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕





Monday, July 18, 2022

LILIES in our Yard 2022

Dear Friends,   Hope all of you are well.  Both George and I are doing fairly well now with no major health issues as of today. We are very sad and upset about what is happening in/to our country (inflation,  cost of everything going up up up for all of us,  etc.)... Since we are retired and on a fixed budget,  we have to be more careful with what/how we spend our money. 

Personally, the saddest thing we've gone through this Summer is the fact that the DEER have eaten about 90% of our Day Lilies and Roses in the front yard.  We have lived here since 2002 and have NEVER had problems this bad.  Nothing we spray/dust/use this year has kept them away (like it has in the past).   People have given suggestions to us which we have tried.  NOTHING  has worked! 

I'm not sure what is different this year to cause this --but I will say that the deer are 'protected' here---so our population of deer continues to GROW.  Also,  many new homes are being built in our area --and the deer are losing their 'homes' and eating areas.  They are now going to where they can find food ANYWHERE.  You can thank US for feeding them this year! ha  

George has moved all of the Container Roses from the front to the deck  (we need a bigger deck) --and is now trying to save the Roses in the beds in front. So--we are now trying a new repellent (using water) --and it is working so far.  I'll keep you posted.  It's too late for the Day Lilies this year --but the Roses will come back IF we can keep the deer away...  I'll keep you posted!!!

TODAY though,  I'll show you our beautiful LILIES this year.  (They are on the deck.)  Hope you enjoy seeing them.


Montenegro Lily 6/1/22



Tinos Lilies  6/4/22



Patricia's Pride Lily  6/13/22



Rosella's Dream Lily  6/14/22



Pink Lemonade Lilies  6/14/22  (a favorite among my Facebook friends)



Pink Perfection Lilies  6/24/22   (Our very very tall Lilies; I am looking UP to get this photo!!!)



Frisco Lily 6/24/22  



Muscadet Lily 6/27/22
  


Mt. Cook Lilies 7/4/22



Purple Prince Lily 070422



Dizzy Lilies 7/7/22  (a favorite of mine)



Garden Party Lilies  7/7/22



Stargazer Lilies  7/9/22  (an all-time favorite of mine) 



Casa Blance Lily 7/16/22  (This lily is so unique.  Look carefully at the little white dots in  her. They reminded me of Dotted Swiss... Do you remember that fabric?)



Casa Blanca Lilies 7/16/22



Frisco Lilies 6/16/22


The last 3 Lilies  (Casa Blanca) are the last ones which bloomed this year.  They have been so gorgeous --with about 14 blooms.    Stargazer also had many blooms.  Most of the remainder have had fewer blooms but were equally beautiful.  It is/was a great year for my LILIES. Do you have a favorite in this group??? As you can tell,  I have MANY!!!

Hope you enjoyed the photos and are having an awesome day. As I heard on TV,  if you aren't having a fabulous day, then change it!!!!!!

A big Happy Birthday to my oldest son,  Bert.  I cannot believe that he is 59 today!!!!  How can that be????? ha

Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

ANNIVERSARY AT PISGAH INN, NC --JUNE 21-24, 2022

Dear Blog Friends,   Hope you had a fantastic 4th of July weekend.  We spent the 4th with some great friends, eating and laughing and enjoying the hot summer day ---while celebrating our country.  

But today,  I am going back a few weeks to share some pictures from our 21st Wedding Anniversary trip to the Pisgah Inn which is along the Blue Ridge Parkway west of Asheville, North Carolina.  We have been to Pisgah for several years at this time. It's a tradition for us which we both love. And this year it was even better since Pisgah Inn sits at an elevation of 5000 feet, and was MUCH cooler than it has been at home this summer.   If you love mountain retreats,  we highly recommend this wonderful place.

I hope you enjoy seeing pictures from our trip.


One June 21st,  we arrived at Pisgah Inn just in time to walk down to this lookout point at the Pisgah Inn Restaurant after having a delicious dinner.




After dinner,   we went back to our room and enjoyed the mountain views from our Balcony.




I see a cute little Smiley Face sitting on the deck, enjoying the marvelous view!




On  June 22,  we headed west on the Blue Ridge Parkway stopping at overlooks along the way.  The higher we got in elevation,  we started seeing the most beautiful  SPRUCE TREES 



George even took a picture of me in front of those Spruce Trees on 6/22/22.  (They smelled so good!!)




I took a picture of George at the sign telling people that they are at the highest elevation (6053 ft) along the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.  (6/22/22)




One of my favorite higher elevation wild shrubs/bushes is the FLAME AZALEAS in bloom this time of year.  I have five favorite high elevation blooms  (Catawba Rhododendrons--purple, Rosebay Rhododendrons--white,  Mountain Laurel,   Flame Azaleas, and the beautiful flowers of the Mountain Ash).  Every year we see some of these beauties in bloom.  This year we missed seeing the Rhododendron and Mountain Ash --but loved seeing the Flame Azaleas and LOTS of Mountain Laurel...GORGEOUS.




Two people in love enjoying the mountain scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway,  6/22/22.




On our Anniversary,  Jun 23, 2022,  we drove EAST on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Our first destination that day (after stopping at many overlooks) was CRAGGY GARDENS  (elevation 5500 ft).  The clouds made it look like rain was near --but luckily,  we didn't get any!!!!  What made us very happy about being there this year was the fact that this is an area which is usually very FOGGY...  We were there on a perfect day!!!! Yeah!!!!  (The green plants in the picture are the Mountain Ash.  We missed their big white blooms this year --but if we go back in FALL,  we may see the red berries on those plants... SO pretty!!!!  




Some of the gorgeous MOUNTAIN LAUREL which we saw most everywhere we went this year;  Some of the Laurel is white and some pink.  So pretty... (June 23, 2022)




Picture taken looking northeast from the Craggy Pinnacle,  6/23/22; (I love seeing all of the interesting clouds we saw that day.)




Our next stop on our Anniversary was Mt. Mitchell State Park (a short drive off of the Blue Ridge Parkway)... The elevation at the top of the overlook at Mt. Mitchell is 6684 feet --which makes it the highest peak in North Carolina and east of the Mississippi River in the United States. Here's an interesting bit of information for you:  These big evergreens look a lot like the Spruce Trees found at the highest point along the Parkway.  However, at close observation,  these trees are not Spruce trees but are BALSAMS.  I had to read about the two --and truly,  there are differences... NEAT trivia for you today!!!





After a wonderful day on our Anniversary,  here's what God gave us that evening as we sat on our  balcony back at Pisgah Inn...  Don't we have a marvelous God?




George and I got married at ages 59 ---and as we begin our 22nd year together,  our love for one another just keeps growing and growing.  As I've said many times,  I am one BLESSED woman! 



Well---I'd better stop since I'm already on Picture Overload.  I'm sure I could share about 200 more pictures with you... ha ha...BUT---You might not appreciate that!!!!!!

We did have a marvelous Anniversary ---and I hope and pray that we can celebrate at Pisgah Inn for many more Anniversaries to come!!!!!!

Love you and miss all of you... I wish you would join me on Facebook since I usually post every day there!!!!  

God Bless America!!!

Betsy💝💛💚💕