The Magic Of Creation *Weekend Open Thread*

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As many of you know, besides being a bit of a political junkie (though I am working on that), I am also a huge animal lover. I always have been. When I was a kid, my idol was St Francis. I’m not kidding. I wanted to have birds light on my hand, and have animals come to me, kind of like Snow White in those Disney movies.

Anyway, I love animals, and have frequently been asked why I didn’t become a veterinarian instead of a minister.I was called to ministry, so there is that, but honestly, even though I am deeply, deeply grateful to the vets who have been there for us and our beloved family members, the thought of having to put an animal to sleep is just too much for me. I know it is a gift, and a blessing, I just knew I couldn’t do it.

But speaking of St. Francis, I have to share with you a statue of St. Francis that is my all-tome favorite. I met the sculptor years ago when I became friends with his daughter at a convent in Upstate New York  She was a nun at the time, and I was testing my vocation. She ended up leaving the order and moved back to her home town of Atlanta. I visited one time, and got to meet her family, including her father, Julian Harris, who also sculpted Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Medal.

Anyway, my friend gave me a postcard with a photo of the statue on it. Years later, I was walking through Brookgreen Gardens, the largest outdoor sculpture museum in the country, located in Pawley’s Island, SC, and was telling my friend about the statue. I turned a corner and said, “And there it is!” I had been going to Brookgreen ever since I was a child. I had not been there for a few years, and had no idea it was there. Here it is:

Isn’t that beautiful? It is just something about those flowing lines that really speaks to me.

jordanAnyway, so back to animals. Y’all know I am horse-crazy in a big fashion, and crazy about my handsome almost 36 year old Thoroughbred, Jordan. He’s dreamy, what can I tell you? Isn’t it hard to believe how old he is? Such a handsome boy (and he is 16.2hh, for those keeping score).

Being able to have Jordan, after having to give up riding when I was a teenager because of my knees, is a dream come true. Grooming him and spending time with him is better than therapy. Seriously. Like Winston Churchill said:

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

So, so true…

But as much as I love horses, I think Michael Blowen of Old Friends Equine Retirement might have me beat – maybe – but just by a short nose. CNN did a report on Blowen and the wonderful Old Friends just this week (you may recall I made a pilgrimage there a couple of years ago):

I totally understand how Blowen feels. And this retirement home is just a beautiful, beautiful, quintessential Kentucky horse farm, with the horses having beautiful pastures of bluegrass. They are well cared for there, doted on, even, and have a wonderful home to live out the rest of their days. No doubt, it is a labor of love.

So yeah, I get Blowen’s reaction completely. I can’t see a photo of Zenyatta on her Facebook page without having my breath taken away at her beauty. In fact, I just ordered my Christmas Present from her shop, telling Suzy this was the only thing I wanted (I already got a mug with her on it and a sticker – the proceeds of those items went to rehab Thoroughbreds, so it was for a very good cause. AND buying the sticker put me in a drawing to be able to meet the Queen.). Here is the photo I am getting:

C3.jpg

Oh, my, right?? What a beauty. As you can see, it is signed by her owners, Jerry and Anne Moss, her trainer, John Shireffs, and her jockey, the Hall of Famer, Mike Smith. Cannot wait to put it in pride of place at the new digs…

But horses are just one of the magical creatures that inhabit our beautiful planet. And since we are now entering into the Christmas season, I have to share with you an incredible photo taken by a teacher on vacation in Sweden. I think I would have come to a screeching halt too had I seen this sight (h/t my pet sitters):

How amazing is THAT? It is an albino reindeer! The photographer had this to say:

[…] “In the pack there was only one white reindeer, it is not that often you see one.For the Sami people, the white reindeer have special significance – I think they bring luck and are considered holy.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Indeed – I can see both being the case – lucky and holy. It is certainly stunning, no doubt about that.

It is a wonderful, magical world in which we live, with an amazing array of creatures “great and small.”

What better way to close out a post on the amazing magical creation we call home than the Top 10 Amazing Facts About this planet:

Just incredible, right?? It truly is an amazing, magical, and even holy place on which we live.

Feel free to share what you find to be amazing about this planet, your favorite animals, or whatever else is on your minds. This is the Weekend Open Thread.

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34 Responses to “The Magic Of Creation *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Beautiful post Amy!

    I also loved St. Francis when I was growing up and still do. I have a small resin statue, about 3 feet tall, with a seed cup on it in my back yard. It’s for the birds but mostly squirrels empty the seeds and then sit in the seed cup – especially when the ground is wet or cold since they don’t like getting their little feet wet.

    The horses are beautiful and Jordan is amazing! Perhaps more amazing than we knew.

    You might find the information below interesting. I know I did.

    “Although there’s no simple equation for calculating how old your horse is in human years, it’s possible to come up with a ballpark figure:

    *First horse year = 12 human years
    *Second horse year = 7 human years
    *Next three horse years = 4 years each
    *Subsequent horse years = 2 1/2 years each.

    This puts a 2-year-old colt in his late teens, a 5-year-old at full maturity and a 15-year-old at late middle age.
    What accounts for the difference in aging? Largely genetics and lifestyle. Horses mature much more quickly than their owners, so their formative years add up exponentially. Horses experience a few days of infancy, a few months of childhood and a year or more as teens.
    They are fully mature by 4 or 5 years of age, when the enter a lengthy active adulthood. Then they experience a short decline and brief terminal illness.”

    Another source summarized it this way (and had to have used a different calculator):
    AGE OF HUMANS~~~AGE OF HORSES

    20~~~~~~~5
    40~~~~~~10
    50~~~~~~15
    60~~~~~~20
    70~~~~~~25
    80~~~~~~30
    90~~~~~~35

    So Jordan is over 90 years old in human years. And he doesn’t look it does he?nd

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks, Marge! Cracked me up abt the squirrels not wanting to get their little feet wet. Ahaha ha.

      That is wild abt how horses age. I knew they reached adulthood fairly early, but wow abt how old Jordan is in people years. That said, Suzy said Beth, the woman who takes care of Jordan, would argue he is in his second childhood. She said he has been acting like he is on crack or something by how he is running around these days!

      I knew you were a kindred spirit with the animals!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Oh and by the way, I found that albino reindeer spectacular! Thanks for sharing.

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Time for me to start with the Christmas Cartoons:

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    Mushrooms and “flying” reindeer

    Everyone knows the story of Santa Claus and his reindeer, but how did this myth get started? One theory is that Santa was inspired by shamans in Siberia and other Arctic regions who would give out hallucinogenic mushrooms around the time of the winter solstice.

    Reindeer are common in these Northern areas, and Siberian tribesman who ate the magic mushrooms may have hallucinated that the antlered creatures were flying, Donald Pfister, a biologist at Harvard University who studies fungi, told Live Science in an interview in 2012. The reindeer are known to eat the mushrooms too, and mystics would sometimes drink the animals’ urine as part of religious rituals.

    “Whoever heard of reindeer flying? I think it’s becoming general knowledge that Santa is taking a ‘trip’ with his reindeer,” Carl Ruck, a professor of classics at Boston University, told Live Science. But some anthropologists think the story is just a load of reindeer excrement.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Well that is certainly a new take on Santa and the reindeer. Wow!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I was, as usual, looking for something else when I found this and couldn’t resist “sharing” it. Maybe I should have but I thought it was so funny…

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    Sheep found wandering streets in Christmas sweater

    A sheep was reunited with its family after it was found wandering the streets of Omaha wearing a Christmas sweater.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/12/sheep-christmas-sweater/20298233/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Ohmygosh, that is too funny! Glad the sheep and owner were reunited!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    John Hawkins: 5 Reasons Barack Obama Will Be Viewed As One Of The Worst Presidents of All Time

    Compiling a list of reasons why Barack Obama is a terrible president seems like a project for a book rather than a column. However, when we start looking at the catastrophic mistakes he’s made that may reverberate for years to come, it’s clear that he’s been a disaster for America on a scale that few other Presidents can match.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2016/12/03/5-reasons-barack-obama-will-be-viewed-as-one-of-the-worst-presidents-of-all-time-n2254303

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      No doubt Hawkins could write a book on why Obama is the worst President ever. I commend him for keeping it to five!!

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Wait, WHAT??? How long was I gone??? Dang – all kinds of things are changing around here! Ahahaha…

      LOVE the Branco cartoon! He is just SO clever!!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Isn’t it so unexpected? She’s showing more sense than most of the so-called Dem strategists who seem to think whining and lying are the answer to their loss. Whodaythunkit?

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    When a far left loon like Mika lectures Fauxcahontus you know she’s losing steam.

    I thought she was supposed to be the next old white female gender hope?

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      She just keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper. She is talking “popular” vote when she knows, or she ought to, that this is a REPUBLIC and the electoral vote is what elects the president. Some candidates win both. Others do not. This message may work with the dimwits who don’t understand how government works – it won’t work with informed voters. And the right is working hard to inform the voters about the electoral college.

      Well some on the right. The smart ones. I don’t mean Trump or the Trumpanzees that don’t understand much of anything unless it fits in a tweet.

      Bad News For Panicked Democrats: Support For Electoral College Rises

      Democrats are out of touch again, imagine that. In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s electoral college loss to Donald Trump, some Democrats have been scrambling to introduce legislation to do away with the electoral college. Naturally, the left wouldn’t care at all if states such as California and New York decided presidential elections. They sneer and look down their noses at people in flyover country.

      The bottom line is, the electoral college is not going anywhere. The same states Democrats sneer at, are needed in order to amend the constitution and there is no way Wyoming and Idaho for example, are going to amend the constitution because Barbara Boxer and Charlie Rangel want to do it.

      Recent polling shows support for the electoral college has spiked sharply since 2011.

      http://www.redstate.com/jaycaruso/2016/12/03/bad-news-democrats-support-electoral-college-rises/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      It is truly disturbing when someone who was a Law School Professor and is a sitting US Senator demonstrates – on worldwide tv – how ignorant she is about the very country she is serving. Good LORD.

      At least the majority of people in this country understand we are a Republic even if our elected officials don’t…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        If you dumb down the public by dumbing down public education you can spout any nonsense you want and they’ll believe you. Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s just ignorance.

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    It’s snowing. The ground is white. It’s still coming down. I will have to shovel. Oh sh!t, I’m not ready for this yet.

    Hey Piper, how about this for the winter?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, WOW – seriously??? Dang, Marge! I guess I ought to quit complaining abt it being 60 degrees out!

      You be careful out there, please!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Not to worry. The ground is white but the sidewalks and driveway are just wet.

        And when I shovel I am “ordered” to use the special shovel Lou bought me to shovel off the front steps. It’s a kiddie shovel about 1/4 as wide as a regular shovel with a short handle and all plastic so very light. Since I’m shrinking into the size of a garden gnome it fits me about right.

        The law laid down by the Lou is that I cannot shovel the sidewalk. If snow is light and fluffy I am allowed to sweep it. This stuff today is wet, very wet and if we needed to shovel it would be heavy. So happily we don’t have to.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          ROTFL abt the “garden gnome” – hilarious!and i LOVE the bike/sled combo. No chance to use it here EVER, but still, that’s cool!

          Huh – god idea abt the sweeping vs. shoveling. That Lou – always looking out for his Marge! 🙂

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

    We don’t have to go anywhere so let it snow.

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