Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Last April my husband and I spent a week in the Smokey Mountains.  On the way home, we stopped at a lovely park in Kentucky to check out their waterfall:  Cumberland Falls.

The app on my IPhone directed us not to the Visitor Center,  but  to the DuPont Lodge in the park.  It is a very beautiful building and I sure wouldn't mind staying a night or two here.  However, we ended up going on a short hike through the woods, which we didn't need to, because if we would stayed on the road entering the park, we would have been able to park right at the waterfalls!

But we saw the sign to Cumberland Falls, so we got out and walked.

It was actually a very pretty hike through a forest with lots of interesting rock formations to look at.

We saw all these houses in the forests that all looked the same and we wondered if they were the "cabins" we kept seeing signs for.  They are pretty fancy for a "cabin" if that is indeed what they are.

It was actually a very peaceful, nice, short hike so it didn't really matter that we never really needed to take it to enjoy the falls.  It was probably good to get out and stretch our legs too after a long car drive.

When we finally reached the Cumberland Falls area it was much more "civilized" than our nature hike we were just on.  There were fences all along the river and concrete pathways.

Cumberland Falls are absolutely beautiful and the park did an amazing job so everyone could enjoy viewing them.  The walking paths along the river are just lovely and handicapped/stroller friendly.  There are multiple viewing decks to see the falls from various viewpoints.  There are stairs to get to some of the viewing decks.

I love how the park worked to create a safe, yet natural environment to experience the falls.  This path along the rock was amazing.

Cumberland Falls is sometimes called "Little Niagara" and I can see why.  The power of the falls really reminded me of Niagara Falls.

Cumberland Falls is the largest waterfall in Kentucky.  It is 68 feet tall, 125 feet wide, and has 3,600 cubic feet of water spill over the edge every second.

Cumberland Falls empties into Cumberland River.  There are 17 miles of hiking trails in the park that wind through the forest and to scenic areas.  On the other side of the river from where we were we could see other hikers taking the Eagle Falls Trail.  

This last picture is the area by the Visitor's Center.  It was April, and the Azalea's and Crab Apple Trees were all in bloom.  It was so pretty!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

June Bible Journaling Pages: Zechariah to Matthew

Once a month I like to share my Bible Journaling Pages and what God has been teaching me.  In the month of June I finished the Old Testament and began the New Testament.    Sometimes I just color in the preprinted images of the "Inspire Bible" (available on Amazon) and I also create my own pages.
Unless otherwise stated, all the images are colored in with either gel pens or colored pencils.  I tend to color larger areas with pencils then get the more intricate spots with pens.  I high light my Bible with gel highlighters, and I usually use gelatos or  craft paint for my backgrounds.

Well, after almost two and a half years, I finally made it to the New Testament.  Can I get a "Hip, Hip, Hooray!"?  I am so excited to start reading and studying the gospels.  But first, we have to finish up the little bit of the Old Testament Bible Journaling pages before we move on to the book of Matthew.

The first day of June, I read the last chapter of Zechariah.  The Inspire Bible ended with this beautiful floral image that I colored in with pencils.  Then I added a Bible verse from the chapter that spoke to me. I love this verse.  It gives me such joy and hope to know that the Lord is returning soon and all who have died before His coming or are raptured, will return with Him.

This is the title page of the book of Malachi that I colored in with a mix of pencils and gel pens.  I just love this image!

This verse is such a great promise to believers.  

For this page I colored the background with a lime green gelato then I did all the details with gel pens.  

God's great name is known not just amongst the Israelites, but all over the world.

This next page highlights every pastor's favorite Bible verse...😆. Just kidding!  Every pastor I have ever known has interpreted this verse to mean that our tithe (10 % of our income) should go to our home church and if you want to give  to some other Christian ministry, you need to give them whatever is above and beyond your tithe.  I've never seen that interpretation in this verse myself.  I think your tithe is acceptable to God for whatever Christian ministry or "storehouse" you feel inclined to give to.  The important thing is to tithe, period.

The end of the book of Malachi included a beautiful floral frame with a verse in the center.   I colored the whole page with pencils.

In this verse "His preaching" is John the Baptist.  The promise speaks of a reconciliation of families, but also of a reconciliation to the Father through Jesus.

The New Testament in the Inspire Bible has a beautiful floral page to separate it from the Old Testament.  I colored it with water based markers.

The cover page of the book of Matthew.  I have finally arrived in the New Testament!  Yes!

I love this promise and I have felt in my own life to be completely true.  If I put God first in my life,  and live righteously, everything else falls into place. 

When Jesus was born, it was God in the flesh, to live among us.

I must have read the book of Matthew a thousand times, yet like most of the Bible, when I read it 1001 time more, I see something I never noticed before.  This time reading it, I noticed that the first words of both John the Baptist and Jesus were "Repent of your Sins".   It seems I hear just the opposite from most pulpits today.  It confirmed to me that to be a true follower of Jesus we first must repent of our sins. 

This is a page I created myself using a coloring book image of John the Baptist.  I found it free on the Internet, printed it onto sticker paper, colored and cut it out.  I did a blue sky background using a water based marker then I just hand wrote the verse in along with some of my thoughts.  

Have you ever watched the tv series "The Chosen"?   It is a controversial Christian show about the people who followed Jesus.  I really loved season one, but season two I wasn't so crazy about.  Anyway, in season one my favorite episode ever was when Peter was on the boat, and he couldn't catch any fish.  Then Jesus shows up and tells Peter to cast his net on the other side and he caught so many fish his boat almost tipped over.  Oh, that scene made me cry, it was so beautiful!  I really enjoyed coloring this page because it reminded of that scene in the show and how touching it was.

In Jesus' day, salt was a precious and valuable commodity.  Salt was precious,  it has a preserving influence, and it adds flavor.  Christians are like salt.  We too are precious,  we influence our culture, and we make the earth a more palatable place.  But, like salt, if we lost our saltiness, we are good for nothing.

I really enjoyed coloring in an entire page instead of just a margin in the Inspire Bible.  I did this page mostly in pencils, but I also used gel pens in spots.  

This beautiful verse is not only a compliment, but also a great responsibility.   People are watching us, judging us, and what we do reflects how they see Jesus.

Ah, "Don't Worry about Tomorrow".  Easier said than done, especially with everything going on in the world today.  I must have said this verse to myself everyday for the past 18+ months.  I keep telling myself,  "Just take one day at a time.  You can't worry about what will happen tomorrow".  God wants us to remember the past, plan for the future, but live in the present.  

An entire page of the Inspire Bible was dedicated to the Lord's Prayer.  I colored it in with water based markers.

We had a Christian music festival in our area last weekend.  I really wanted to go, but when I found out the tickets were $60 a piece, I just thought that was too much money to spend.  It's not that I couldn't afford it, I just didn't think I should spend $120 on music festival tickets.  So I started to search for discount tickets and came across a profile on Instagram that was giving away free tickets to one lucky person if they "liked" the post and commented that they would like free tickets.  No one had "liked" or commented on the post, and I was so perplexed why.  I thought "Is this a hoax?"  But then I decided it wouldn't hurt to do it, it's not like they were asking for personal information.  So,  I "Liked" the post and commented, and won!  I was so excited!  It was such a blessing and gift from God, as the concert really ministered to me.  And I was reminded through the experience that "If I ask, I will receive" and how we "have not, because we don't ask".  That doesn't mean you will always get whatever you ask for, but I think a lot of us "wish" but never really "ask" because we don't think we're deserving of it or "God has more important things to do" or "God has more people with real problems to help" than me.  

We are wise to follow Jesus, to listen and obey His word, then when the storms of life come, we will have a solid foundation to stand on and get us through.  This has never been truer to me than right now.  Seeing everything going on in the world right now, I am grateful that I have a Biblical World View as a guide to navigate my way through life.

This next beautiful page is another reminder to me.  "Don't Be Afraid":   such a simple commandment, yet so hard.  God does not want us to live in fear, but to trust in Him that nothing will happen that is outside of His will.

What a beautiful comment from Jesus to us.  If we are "weary and carry heavy burdens', and we come to Him...not religion, doctrine, ordinance, ministry, but to Him alone, He will give us rest.

This last page I created using some leftover stickers I had from a on-line Bible Study I did last year.  I simply illustrated the parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed.

 I hope you enjoyed and were uplifted and encouraged reading my Bible Journaling Pages this month.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

July Blooms and A Peek At My Vegetable Garden

Well, I had every intention of breaking up my gardening posts into three sections a month:  early, mid, and late blooms, but life just got in the way.  The first of week of July, my daughter and son--in-law and grandkids came up for a visit.  We spent the whole week running around and having a great old time.  But unfortunately, the grandkids brought a sickness with them, and as soon as they left, I was sick with a summer cold for two weeks.  I didn't have the energy to write up any garden posts, but I did manage to snap pictures throughout the month of July.

My pink hydrangea bush is still looking good, although a storm came and knocked a lot of the branches down.  

The star of the July garden is lilies!  I have so many tall orange and yellow Asiatic lilies.  I also have a huge variety of day lilies.

A yellow Asiatic lily.

Purple Liatris

The vegetable garden is the enclosed structure in front of the house.  Retaining walls in front are filled with potato beds, and lots of perennial flowers.  The Bee Balm is blooming right now.

I would say "One of my favorite day lilies" but they are all my favorites.  

Yellow and orange Asiatic lilies with Bee Balm in the background

A sunflower planted courtesy of the birds.

I planted a ton of wild orange lilies on my septic mound years ago, but they never bloomed.  This is the very first year they are blooming and it is gorgeous!  I think it's because my neighbor's tree fell down in a storm and now they get more sunlight.  

A light pink hollyhock

Purple Coneflower with a butterfly on top!

This is a red "purple coneflower" or Echinacea.  I picked it up at a local nursery this year and it is doing very well.  It's been blooming continuously since I bought it and the butterflies seem to love it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed it comes back next year.  Most of the time I find these variants of natural perennials not to be as hardy as the real thing.

A dark pink Hollyhock.

My white Vibernum or "Snowball Bush" is still going strong.  That's the beauty of this plant, once it blooms, those blooms remain on the plant all summer long.  Not many plants do that!

Purple Astilbe

A close-up of the Bee Balm planted in front of the vegetable garden.

A single, pale yellow day lily.

This picture of the septic mound was taken before all the orange day lilies bloomed.  Just look at all those stalks!

Purple Bell Flower

Another "one of my favorites":  a red day lily

The tall phlox is just starting to bloom.  It always bums me out when the tall phlox and rudebekias start to bloom, because they are one of the last perennials to bloom and I know that summer is just about over.

A dark pink or maroon day lily.

A double ruffled petal peach day lily

The marigolds growing in front of the house look lovely as ever this year.  I've been seeing so many bunnies in this garden this year, so I'm grateful I planted marigolds, they don't eat those.

A purple spirea bush.  I love the deep color of this one.

Rose Campion Lynchis

I don't know the name of this tall Asiatic Lily but it's "one of my favorites".  It is a beautiful off-white with a maroon center.

A row of Stella-d-Oro day lilies growing alongside my driveway.

Purple clematis with tall Asiatic lilies in the background

A very deep maroon day lily.

And now, for some vegetable garden news.  Every year, it seems my veggie garden gets off to a rocky start and I begin comparing my "results" to other gardeners wondering why their vegetable gardens seem to be doing so much better than mine.  Yet, inevitably, mine always catches up and grows beyond my wildest expectations.  This year I am once again astounded at God's wonderful bounty.  This is the squash section of the garden.  I grew four different squashes this year:  spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and buttercup.

After seeing another garden on-line last year, I followed their example and "trellised" my tomatoes.  It's one of the best decisions I ever made.  It keeps the tomato branches so neat and tidy.  I simple tie branches to the very strong fence as they grow.  It takes up so much less garden space this way too.

I planted peppers in front of the tomatoes.  I also purchased these long hooks and hung flower baskets from the beams above.  They not only make the vegetable garden pretty but they attract beneficial insects to the garden as well.

Yellow Banana Peppers

This is the lower vegetable garden.  Potatoes are on the right and beans, lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs, carrots, and cucumber are on the left.

Have you ever seen a prettier vegetable garden?  I never knew vegetables gardens could be this pretty.  It's a joy to come out here everyday to water and harvest my bounty.    I would rather be right here than any other place in my yard...and it's mostly veggies...not flowers!

Jackson loves to come down into the garden with me.  He gets so excited when I wake up in the morning and he runs down the stairs and waits so patiently by the door for me to let him out.  

Last year I planted my broccoli and cauliflower plants in the back row, near the porch screen.  This year I decided to put them in the front row.  They seem to like this placement so much better, however next year I think they will go in the middle row, because now I have to reach behind them to harvest beans every day.  

I still have pickles left over from last year, so I only planted one cucumber vine this year.

Muesil lettuce

Bush Beans.  I really love how the bush beans grow over the ledge of the top garden.  I will plant all the bush beans in the front row next year.  It will not only be easy to harvest them this way, but they will look super pretty too.

Out of all the things we grew last year, the potatoes were our favorite so we decided to grow more and now have three beds of potatoes.  When we planned our first vegetable garden last year, I thought growing potatoes was kinda silly since they are so cheap in the store.  But then I read that once you have a home grown potato you will never want to eat a store bought potato again.....and they were right!  The flavor and light fluffy texture of a home grown potato  vs a store bought potato is night and day!

Every year I try to grow peas.  Last year, I was only mildly successful, this year they did much better although not as prolific as I would have liked.  I think I just need to plant a lot more next year.  They are delicious though!  I picked and steamed my first batch a few days ago, and they were incredible!  Once again, they tasted so much better than frozen or canned peas.

I've also picked three summer squash already.  I made Yellow Squash Muffins with the first two, and I am going to make Yellow Squash Casserole with the the rest.

Well I hope you enjoyed looking at a very long garden post.  Hopefully next month I will be less busy and not sick, and I can post more.  I'd really love to do a video tape of my vegetable garden too, plus I never showed you our finished screen-in look for those posts to come.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!