Crystal Clear *Weekend Open Thread*


Apparently while we were in Carlsbad, California, someone turned off the heat in the Charleston area of SC. Brrrr – it is COLD here, at least for us. We usually don’t have low s in the low 30’s in our neck of the woods until the dead of winter, late January or early February. Not before it is even officially Winter, for pete’s sake! But Winter it surely is here, and I imagine that is the case with many of you. Though I admit, most of you probably aren’t such whiny babies about it as I apparently am! Hey – there is a reason I moved back down South from my time in the frozen tundra of Boston!

To warm us all up a bit, I thought I would share another major adventure we had with our friend, Stephanie, down in Grand Cayman where it is most definitely NOT Winter! That would be the Cayman Crystal Caves, which just opened to the public this past January. They have only excavated 3 out of around 100 (I believe that’s what the tour guide, Rudy, said).

The three that are open are really amazing. They start you off with a smaller one, like this one below, with our guide, Rudy (who grew up with our friend, Stephanie), standing beside a column in which a stalactite and a stalagmite joined together:


Aren’t the formations incredible? To think they are caused by water going through limestone. What amazed me were all the different types of formations. Here are a few more photos from the caves, beginning with another column:




These are tree roots from the trees above the cave. They send them down through the cave to reach the ground below. They can be quite substantial:


The long part off to the left in the photo below is amazing in its own right. As it turns out, pieces like that when knocked sound just like a bell. It is incredible, and has a beautiful tone:


Suzy, Stephanie, and me in the largest cave that has been excavated. Behind us is an incredible freshwater lake (and the one below this). The lake is crystal clear, and stretches for hundreds of feet int he depths of the cave:


This gives you a better view of the lake, and it extends farther back than this by a LOT:


You might be able to tell that there is water dripping down these stalagtites and stalagmites. The story goes that if you get a drop on you, you get 7 years of good luck:


It is hard to get the scope and size of these caves, but they are just massive. Oh – and a couple of them have bats in them (they eat fruit and insects). That dark clump was a ton of bats al moving and huddling together:


Wow, right? It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait to go back there. If you want to see more about the Caves, you can click HERE.

That’s it for me. Oh, wait – apparently the water from the Caves IS good luck. While we were out in Carlsbad, my partner was promoted to Vice President. That water, and the many, many hours of hard work, experience, knowledge, intellect, and personality, along with a President and company that value her contributions a great deal, combined to make that much deserved promotion happen. Congratulations, babe!

And since we are now into the Christmas Season, I will leave you with beautiful rendition of Coventry Carol by Pentatonix on their new cd:

Isn’t that just beautiful? What a powerful piece that is, and one that helps inspire that Christmas feeling.

Okay – NOW that is it for me. This is the Weekend Open Thread. Have at it!


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41 Responses to “Crystal Clear *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. piper Says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip. Never thought about exploring there but will now add the islands to my traveling bucket list. Congratulations to Suzy on her promotion.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, piper! I am very proud of Suzy and so thankful she is with a company that values her so much. What a blessing!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Thanks for the great photos from your trip Rev! It looks like you had a wonderful and very interesting time.

    Being claustrophobic I don’t do caves so the only way I see them is in images.

    I went on a school trip when I was 12 to nearby Cave of the Mounds and ended up sitting on the bus for most of the time since I started in, slowly, and came out a whole lot faster.

    • piper Says:

      I’ve explored caves here and abroad. After a few moments of claustrophobia when first entering a cave, I usually relax and can enjoy the beauty that nature created. John and I would take weekend trips exploring caves and waterfalls in Wisconsin. Found this photo, not taken by me, of the Cave of the Mound.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        That’s so cool, piper. It sounds like you and John had some great adventures!

        Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, my – while I am sorry for the experience, your re telling of it cracked me up!

      And thanks- we really are fortunate, and are grateful.

      Oh, piper, yes do add GC to your list. We’ll show you around!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Don’t you just love the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton complaining about “fake” news?

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    BIGOT: Obama Attacks Southern Whites

    By Ben Shapiro

    One of the reasons Democrats lost the 2016 election is their leadership’s obvious scorn for working class white people.

    That scorn was clear all the way back in 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama spoke in San Francisco and sneered, “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    Those are all the voters Hillary Clinton lost by focusing instead on wooing the glitterati in Hollywood.

    It turns out he doesn’t merely look down on white people in Rust Belt states – he doesn’t think they’re any great shakes in the South, either.

    “Attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states,” Barack Obama said to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “So are there folks whose primary concern about me is that I seem foreign, the other, are those who champion the feeding off of bias? Absolutely.”

    • piper Says:

      Never understood how Obama won a second term.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I was absolutely furious when I saw an article at United With Israel this morning. I am so, so sick of the blatant Southernist attitudes in this country. I mean really – we have a black US Senator, a black US Rep from my area, and an Indian/American woman governor in SC. My hometown of Charlotte has had two black Mayors.

      Obama and the Dema keep playing this race card ignoring that it is the policies that are the problem.

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        That’s why they are losing except among the victim class and the fools that don’t know they are pawns. And that’s why I’m reposting this cartoon that is so appropriate.

  5. piper Says:

    Every year, we northerners also need time to adjust to colder temps and snow especially driving on snow covered roads/freeways. According to our weather folks who have 50/50% chance of accurately predicting the weather are now predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow over the next 24 hour period. Thankfully the cities are prepared and already salting the street.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I don’t know where the hell “Global Warming” is but I wish it would hurry up. We have snow shovels ready on front and back porch as well as ice melt.

      However as you point out, the weather “forecasters” are accurate only about 1/2 the time there is a good chance we won’t need our shovels. I hope not, have a nasty head cold and don’t want to step one foot out in the cold let alone shovel anything.

      I told Lou if we got a light fluffy snow we should use the leaf blower and blow it away. I don’t much care at who or where. I get grumpy with a cold.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        ROTFLMAO – cracked me up!

        Marge – so sorry to hear you have a cold! I can totally relate. I came down with one Monday night, and now can barely talk (perhaps a relief to some – ahahahaha) I sure hope you feel better soon!

        Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          Sorry you have a cold too. I somehow don’t feel better knowing someone else is miserable too.

          My prescription for a cold is lots of fluids, mostly orange juice but lots of water – I have my water bottles lined up beside my chair like a line of little soldiers. I also take vitamin C, a few aspirin as needed for achy bones.

          Warm flannel nightgown and fluffy fleece robe as well as warm socks and a ultra soft blanket. Then relax in recliner and watch movie after movie after movie.

          I fall asleep so my movies are very interesting since I get a beginning of one, a middle of another and the end of a third. Seems like a movie made by a schizophrenic.

          Chicken soup, of course and other comfort foods and I find popsicles soothe a sore throat. Plus they taste good. I like the orange ones.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, wow, piper! Bless your heart! If you have to go out, please be careful!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        And I love the cartoons (I am finally home after going in for a neck MRI, running errands, seeing the house/dock, Jordan, and picking up our Christmas tree). You folks are so damn funny!

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

  7. piper Says:

    Laughter is the best medicine. Dog Wins the Tackle

  8. helenk3 Says:

    backtrack is being a busy little bee in his last weeks in office.
    none of it good for the American people

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    TOTALLY SANE: Feminists Sending Bloody Tampons to Texas Governor Feminists’ crazy is showing yet again.

    In response to recent pro-life legislation in Texas, abortion enthusiasts are sending their used, bloody tampons to Governor Greg Abbott. (Don’t bother re-reading, you read that correctly.)

    You see, abortion-lovers are upset that aborted babies will no longer be discarded like yesterday’s trash, and instead be required to be disposed of humanely. The injustice!

    As reported last month by The Daily Wire, abortion clinics and hospitals in the state will be required to either cremate or bury the unborn babies they kill, not contingent on the period of gestuation—as opposed to sending the baby’s remains to be incinerated or dumped into a landfill, as most facilities currently do.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Good. Lord. Are you kidding me with this? What the hell is wrong with these women?

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        One more reason of why I no longer call myself a “feminist”. If these scummy lunatics are – I am not.

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    Some great podcasts from Ben Domenech at the Federalist. I love the sound of his voice. And I love the way he thinks. I especially enjoyed the one about “Fake News”.

    I play Mah Jong and listen to these podcasts and have to tear myself away from the computer before I get so stiff I can’t move.

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    Christmas music for a snowy Sunday morning. I also love the version by Celtic Woman.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      We were listening to the Celtic Woman Christmas album yesterday while running our errands. Those women have the voices of angels!!

      Thanks for this, Marge!

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    I think we all ready knew this…

    NYT executive editor: ‘We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives’

    The New York Times’ executive editor said that his newspaper — and “media powerhouses” across the nation — “do not understand what motivates devoutly religious Americans.

    “I want to make sure that we are much more creative about beats out in the country so that we understand that anger and disconnectedness that people feel,” Mr. Baquet said. “And I think I use religion as an example because I was raised Catholic in New Orleans. I think that the New York-based and Washington-based too probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion.

    We have a fabulous religion writer, but she’s all alone. We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives. And I think we can do much, much better. And I think there are things that we can be more creative about to understand the country.”


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Gee, you don’t say!! Wow. I bet this editor was patting himself on the back for coming to the realization that a gazillion other people already knew, as you noted. That is to say, this isn’t exactly a newsflash to the REST of us. Telling that it is to HIM.

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

    Trump to pick Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior secretary

    Donald Trump’s transition team has announced a new appointment. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has been selected as the next secretary of the interior.

    Ms. McMorris Rodgers, a senior member of the House of Representatives, if confirmed by the Senate, would lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development and reverse environmental policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years.

    And the right people are outraged

  14. kenoshamarge Says:

    Chris Cillizza: Democrats, you had the worst year in Washington

    This year, punctuated by Hillary Clinton’s loss, exposed the remarkably shallow depth of the Democratic bench. The size of the Republican primary field — for which the GOP was relentlessly mocked — was also a sign of the party’s health up and down the ballot.

    Democrats simply didn’t have the political talent to put forward 17 candidates (or even seven). That’s partly because there’s been limited opportunity to move up in the leadership ranks. Pelosi (Calif.) and Reps. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) and James E. Clyburn (S.C) have had a death grip on the party’s top congressional slots for a very long time. It’s also partly because the Democratic farm system is hurting.

    This is Chris Cillizza writing this piece in the Washington Post. Many on the left, including most at the Washington Post would do well to listen to Cillizza. Fortunately for the country, they won’t.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Wow – I cannot believe that is coming from Cilizza AND WaPo. The thing is the Dems keep putting those same crooked people in power. Clyburn continues to be re-elected even though he has a history of using Taxpayer money to help further his family’s enterprises. People don’t care. He has the D, and that is all that matters. It is just absurd.

      Btw, did you see Jonah Goldberg’s latest? It is excellent as always:

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Another fine article by Jonah.

        However, even though I agree with him I find it doubtful that enough people will put aside the own petty squabbles or agendas to do what is best for the country. I wish I thought differently. But the more I watch events the more cynical I become.

        Honesty and character is in very short supply.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Sadly, you are too right, Marge. Character, honesty, decency, and morality seem to be in short supply these days.

          That Jonah, though – he is something!

  15. kenoshamarge Says:

    Washington Post, Your Attacks on Evangelicals are Getting Dangerous

    On December 8, religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey wrote an opinion column for The Washington Post titled, “Evangelicals, your attacks on ‘the media’ are getting dangerous.” The reverse is actually true, and it is the secular media’s attacks on evangelicals that are getting dangerous, including Bailey’s article.

    Her fundamental argument is that because evangelicals talk about “the mainstream media” as “Satan’s newspaper,” they are now buying today’s “fake news” as if it were gospel truth, as evidenced by the fact that the Washington pizza shooter said that “he has been influenced by the book Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge about faith and masculinity.”

    Based on this ridiculously-thin, completely-unsupported line of reasoning, Bailey sounds the alarm: “The jokes aren’t funny anymore. We are living in a post-truth time of fake news and misinformation, something that should be deeply troubling to people of faith who claim to seek truth in their everyday lives.”

    With all respect to Bailey’s call for truthful reporting, including a good number of mea culpas for the mainstream media, it is reporting like this that is misinformed, misleading and potentially dangerous, since it fits with the stereotypical demonization of American evangelicals as uneducated, angry, gun-toting, religious supremacists.

  16. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Seems Journalists are speaking out abt the “Transparent” Presidency and how it is not:

  17. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I just saw on the news that those horrible wildfires that killed 14 people and did unimaginable damage were set by teenagers playing with matches. Are you KIDDING me?? They are being charged, and I think they should have the freakin’ book thrown at them. WOW.

    And Dolly Parton, bless her heart, is holding a telethon for the people of TN tomorrow (I think it is). Shame she has to do so, though. All because people are STUPID.

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