Happy Valentine’s Day And Presidents’ Day *Long Weekend Open Thread*


Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you have lots of love in your life every day, not just on Valentine’s Day.

But since it is Valentine’s Day, I want to share a story of love with you. A friend had this San Francisco Globe story on Facebook recently, and I found it to be very touching. Now, this isn’t a romantic love story, but one of loving compassion by one stranger for another:

Isn’t that just such a beautiful story? It brought tears to my eyes. Of course, the gift Kumpula presented to her will never replace her baby, but it will serve as a lovely reminder both of her baby, and of the loving kindness of strangers.

But since Valentine’s Day usually denotes romantic love, I have a story for that, too. It is a tale of true love, and the manner by which these two found each other is incredible. From CNN:

[…] On January 16, 2014, Ashley overheard her mother telling her grandmother about Danny. The young man and his mother had just been on a Louisville radio talk show sharing their story. None of his family members had been eligible to donate their kidneys, and the anonymous donors who volunteered weren’t compatible.

Ashley immediately felt compassion for this soft-spoken stranger.

The next day was her 25th birthday. She got a hold of Danny’s mom through the radio host and said she couldn’t think of anything she’d rather do for her birthday than give someone the gift of life.

Before she had heard Danny’s story, she was always signed up to donate her organs after her death, but she had never considered being a living organ donor. Danny had Type O blood, meaning he could only be matched with a Type O donor. She knew she had the right blood type. She would need to undergo a series of other blood tests, physical and psychological exams to see if she was eligible to give Danny a kidney.

Ashley and Danny were deemed a perfect match for the transplant. […]

Now let me just interject here that the issue of organ donors and transplants is one near and dear to my heart. My mother had a liver transplant back in the ’80’s that allowed her to live over 20 years longer than she would have without it. Without the gift of that organ, another type of love from a stranger, we would have lost her decades before we did.

But that is not the end of Ashley and Danny’s story. Back to CNN:

[…] Danny’s mom, Denise Stutzenberger, says even before she met Ashley, she was convinced her son would end up marrying her.

“I told her, ‘You are going to be my daughter-in-law, you just don’t know it yet,’ ” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it. Something in me told me.”


Memorial Day weekend, with the transplant behind them, the couple sensed they had a deeper connection but proceeded cautiously.

Ashley McIntyre gave Danny Robinson her kidney in April 2014. He asked her to marry him on Christmas.

“We both agreed we did not want to mess up the relationship between us or our families, because by that time we were connected for life,” she said.

On June 5, Danny asked Ashley to be his girlfriend. They’ve been inseparable ever since and are expecting a girl, Berkli, in June. Danny proposed on Christmas.

Ashley does most of the talking; she’s the one who gives you a sense of their love. Danny isn’t really one to talk about his feelings.

“I guess you can say we just fell in love,” he said. “I told her I wanted to be with her forever.” […] (Click here to read the rest of this beautiful love story.)

Isn’t that so cool that Danny’s mom knew that he and Ashley were going to fall in love and get married? How very prescient of her. How very wonderful that they did fall in love, and have decided to share their lives together, a life made possible by Ashley’s gift. Just a lovely story, one of many out there. Please do feel free to share others in the Comments below.

Come Monday, we have our Presidents’ Day remembrance. Now I know y’all are an astute bunch, and already know this, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a bit about this day. From History.com:

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

If you have a favorite President, feel free to share a quote or why you like him. I would love to hear about it!

DSC_0180But because I am an old softie at heart, I want to close with how thankful I am for Suzy in my life. She has brought me such joy over the years, such love, and such contentment. Oh, and she just brought me these beautiful roses on her way home from being out of town (the candy I got her – dark chocolate sea salt caramels from one of our favorite chocolatiers, Abdallahs Candies). I am grateful that the stars aligned to bring her into my life, and that she has chosen to stay. What a true blessing she is.

And for this Valentine’s Day, I want to leave you with one of my favorite Valentine’s Day songs, “My Valentine,” by Martina McBride:

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and a great long weekend!


47 Responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day And Presidents’ Day *Long Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. foxyladi14 Says:

    Bears repeating Friends. ❤

  2. HELENK3 Says:


    this is so awesome to see what one man can create

  3. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    On a very sad note, the terrorist attack in Copenhagen yesterday injured 5 police officers, and killed 2: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/15/us-denmark-shooting-idUSKBN0LI0N720150215

    • foxyladi14 Says:

      I blame the POTUS, for this, he put a bulls eye on every one that believes in free speech.
      He got up in front of the UN and the world and declared that the future must not belong to those that disparage Mohamed. 👿

  4. HELENK3 Says:


    Netanyahu video you will not soon forget

    why backtrack hates him. Netanyahu is a man, backtrack is a sick joke

  5. HELENK3 Says:

    Nobel Peace Prize Committee sends message to backtrack

  6. foxyladi14 Says:

    I hope you are feeling better Amy. ❤

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks, Foxy – I wish I was. I didn’t sleep much last night with my back and knees waking me up, and keeping me up, for a couple of hours. Sigh. I just need to truly rest, something that is VERY hard for me to do. I am a bit hyper, which doesn’t help!

      But more than anything, it is a major reminder to me that I need to focus on being a human BEING not a human DOING…

      Thank you – and I hope YOU are doing well with your rehab!

  7. foxyladi14 Says:

    Interesting. 🙂

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    And here comes the Judge, once again telling Obama like it is: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2015/02/15/judge-jeanine-rips-apart-obama-speak-strategy-mr-president-were-not-winning-179786

  9. foxyladi14 Says:

    He got subbed!!!
    Hissy fit in 1 2 . 😆


  10. foxyladi14 Says:


  11. mcnorman Says:

    Happy Valentines Day to all. Yes, I am late to the party but I have a good reason. I am in the midst of rehoming a cockatoo for an elderly woman. Told ya i was doing something good. LOL

    I really hope and pray that this week is a better week, but history keeps telling me that there is a lot of ugliness coming our way. 😦

    • mcnorman Says:


      Well, I would call what he’s done to the country as problematic.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, mcnorman – that is FANTASTIC! Good for you for doing that for both the woman and the cockatoo! I know KenoshaMarge will love to hear that. That is a good Valentine’s Day thing to be doing indeed!

      Yeah, once again, Obama spends the weekend golfing while all hell continues to break loose. t is hard to believe he has gone golfing over two hundred times with all the crap going on in this country. But he has made it clear that he isn’t going to let things like beheadings get in the way of hitting the links.

      And that says a whole lot abt Obama, none of it good…

      • mcnorman Says:

        He’s not going down as the greatest.


        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          I’m not even sure why they think he is a “nice guy” – from many reports, he is NOT so nice. They should talk to some of the reporters whom he thinks have crossed him, or any number of Republicans. I am going to guess THEY don’t think he is all that nice.

          Thank heavens people are finally taking off their rose-colored glasses, though…

      • mcnorman Says:

        It was meant to be. I take my African Grey with me to PetSmart on the weekends. She came up to us (as most people do) and began to cry. She is ill and her little buddy needs a new home. She was so sad. She has been waiting over 1 1/2 years to do this. It’s the human thing to do. I tell ya, that little Grey brings out wonders in people. She loves the attention. She loves to be held by everyone and more than that she can’t wait to get into the car and start the drive. Pretty funny bird. Too smart though.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          How wonderful of you to do that, mcnorman! It sounds like your Grey is quite the ambassador! What a gift for this woman who needs to find a home for her baby. I am sure she is tremendously relieved.

          Hey, how abt a photo of your Grey?! 😀

          LOL abt her being too smart…

          • mcnorman Says:

            Last year on Valentines Day, I received a breeding pair of Eclectus parrots that the rescue I work with could not find a home for. I already had a very lonely Amazon parrot that is 20 years old. His buddy had died a few years earlier. I reluctantly took them in because they were in such awful shape. I feared that they would succumb to an early death.
            Completely naked from self plucking. 😦

            In 9 years they had never tasted a fresh fruit or veggie. They are extremely docile. As I began to work with them, the rescue sent email updates to the former owner. The owner was amazed at their progress. That said, the owner had kept the Grey and was very concerned about her as the parrot was self mutilating because the Eclectus pair were gone and she was terribly lonely.

            Several months passed and I received a call asking that I rehome the grey. My ark is full past the brim but I took her in when I found out that she was kept in a room by herself without any source of stimulation. She has since regained much of her feathers. She has a way to go but I have been told that it could well be 18 months before she is fully refeathered.

            The gift that they all gave back to me and Hughie was their joy at being together again. In that joy my beloved Amazon has finally begun to speak again. He kisses the grey and she kisses back between the bars. It’s a slow process to get them to share more, but it will happen eventually.

            The ark includes multiples in cats and dogs living together…what a world. The cats sleep on top of the bird cages. The dogs sleep at the base of the cages. Yes, the birds come out of their cages and all is well and peaceful.
            My feral colony outside is well taken care of and they also find the birds interesting because the birds can meow and bark as well as whistle and say a few words. It’s an ark, what can I say? They must like it there. My Maltese is cataract ridden but still spry at 23 years old. My oldest cats are 17.

            Some Valentines Day gifts never stop giving. 😀
            Check your email. Pic of Precious in the car on her weekly outing. The others don’t care for car rides. Precious loves car rides.

          • mcnorman Says:

            Just so you know, all the animals are rescues. Our city euthanizes 24,000 animals a year. It’s despicable and shameful. There is no excuse for this.

  12. HELENK3 Says:


    the reckoning
    a must read

  13. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    mcnorman, what a great story! And how wonderful that you provide homes to so many different critters – an ark indeed!

    It must have been SO touching to see the birds when they were reunited! What a tremendous gift for these amazing creatures.

    I was literally LOL abt the feral cats liking the birds because of all the sounds they can make. That is hilarious! Cracked me up!

    And thank you for the photo, too – Precious is beautiful! Is it okay if I post the photo here?

    What great work you do, mcnorman – truly. I am in awe of all you do and give on behalf of these animals. Bless you!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      mcnorman, answering down here since that reply thread is done. I figured that all of your animals were rescues (ours, too). Good on you for making sure those animals do not face euthanasia.

      What a shame abt your city. Just SMH at that…

    • mcnorman Says:

      Sure you can use Precious’s pic. She loves it when people take pictures of her. She actually will sit with anyone as long as they speak to her. She is fascinated by humans. Her loneliness was great. She is a smart bird. She is very intelligent. What she has given back to Hughie is priceless. He loves her very much.

      Thank you for the compliment, but truly it is the animals that give back to me. I cannot tell you how indebted I am to all past animal friends. Their loyalty is unmatched. Their love is boundless. We know that they are God’s gift to us.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        I totally understand, mcnorman – animals do give quite a bit back to us, no doubt abt it. But they are lucky that you have opened your heart and home to them. It says a LOT abt you, and all of it good!

        For everyone else, here is a picture of mcnorman’s beloved Precious, and is she ever:

        2014-07-19 13.16.15 precious selfie

        • mcnorman Says:

          Imagine seeing her the first time completely bald. It was so sad. Thank you for all of the kudos. I appreciate the good thoughts, particularly on those days when I must be grateful for the time that I was able to share with them on Earth.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            That must have been so hard to see her like that. It says a lot that she has recovered the way she has. The love and care you have provided her, the home and company she now has, clearly has turned her whole life around.

            All that is to say, you deserve all the kudos and more, mcnorman 🙂

  14. HELENK3 Says:

    this made me laugh


  15. HELENK3 Says:


    must read the comments

  16. HELENK3 Says:


    look up and look around you

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much for this – what a powerful message. I appreciate the technology of cell phones, and what they provide us, but yes – people can get WAY too distracted from what is going on around them. (And seriously – WHY the need to be in constant contact during movies, dinners, etc.? I just do not get it. Put down the cell phones…)

  17. HELENK3 Says:


    this guy is saying what I have been saying for 6 years

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Indeed, she is saying what many of us have been saying for years. And Obama’s actions are far worse than what some claimed that “there is nothing there” back in 2008. His actions since becoming President have had disastrous results for our nation at home and abroad, from Amnesty for Illegal aliens to literally begging Iran for agreements to denying the reality of Islamic terrorism, to his blasé attitude to all of the above while he goes golfing. He is a disaster for this nation.

      Great piece – thanks for this, Helen.

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