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  • Live at The Fox: Leanne Morgan

    Hi Y’all, Was anyone else in stitches at The Fox Theatre last weekend? Jeff and I went to see Leanne Morgan: Just Getting Started. Hilarious! Leanne Morgan Leanne Morgan We happened upon Leanne on Netflix (I’m Every Woman) and decided to see her live at The Fox. How is it that all of a sudden we find ourselves at a stage in life where jokes having to do with old people make us laugh out loud? Where has the time gone? Leanne spoke about topics having to do with the likes of orthopedic shoes, cpap machines, aging bodies, memory loss, grandbabies, sex over 50, caring for elderly parents and much more...and we laughed, hard. If you like southern humor and southern ladies you’ll undoubtedly be entertained by Leanne’s wit and authentic delivery. One thing she talked about last Saturday night keeps crossing my mind (lemme tell you she strikes common cords): In the Netflix special (I’m Every Woman), Leanne shares a story about a 58-year-old divorced friend who is trying to “get out there and get a man.” Her friend hasn’t begun to date in the Netflix special but her hunt is on. During Leanne’s recent show (Just Getting Started) she shares happy news about the same friend finding someone to date and goes on to report how “lucky” the friend has been getting. Leanne talks about sultry, hysterical things her friend does to ignite sparks into her newfound, 58-year-old dating adventure. Things like sneaking tiny panties into the man’s suitcase when he travels for golf. And how difficult it must have been for the gentleman to concentrate on his game after discovering them. Remember the honeymoon stage y'all? Anyway, where I’m going with this is that Leanne reverts the conversation to herself and how she wears years-old-this-and-that to bed and around the house...never thinking to stick tiny panties in her husband's suitcase as he departs on a golf trip or any trip. She talks about the type of clothing she wears that should “probably have been thrown out years ago”. Leanne repeats, "I'm gonna try and do better; I'm gonna try and do better..." Relate? I, too, love some of my old, comfy stuff that I wear around the house...but I'm gonna try and do better... Indeed I loved the above joke. But my favorite overall part of Leanne Morgan is that she is a Christian. She effortlessly incorporates that fact with ease and grace. To learn more about Leanne check her out here! Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance - Ecclesiastes 3-4

  • Squeeze / Psychedelic Furs

    Is Chastain Park Amphitheatre one of the coolest venues on earth!? Reminds me of a modern day version of the Roman Theatre in Amman, Jordan. Add Psychedelic Furs and Squeeze to either of those two venues and you’ll go back in time with some great British rock hits. I always get the impression that artists who perform at Chastain Amphitheatre admire it as much as I do. Last night, Squeeze and Psychedelic Furs did their thing on stage. And, like so many artists that I've seen there before, they greeted the audience with admiration for Chastain Park. Jeff and I behaved like teenagers (not really) while Squeeze belted out their biggest hits (Goodbye Girl, Pulling Mussels, Tempted, Black Coffee in Bed, Annie Get Your Gun, etc.). Thank you to a friend who gave us their tix to this fun night ________________ Gosh, friends are my favorite thing in life. They’re the one thing, confessedly (is that a word) I do covet. Is it okay to covet dear friends? If not, scratch that. ________________ We hadn’t been to Chastain since our girls attended Sutton Middle School across the street from the park. Sutton’s yearly talent show was held on the incredible Chastain stage that also hosted mega-talented superstars. (Flashback…Andre Benjamin (Outkast) attended Sutton…I wonder if he had a talent gig on Chastain’s stage? Anyone know?) Back in Sutton Middle School days, parents packed dinners and margaritas to enjoy at tables in “the pit”. While watching our precious, semi-talented offspring reach for the stars (literally and figuratively) we indulged in such. Seriously, Sutton Middle School students were truly lucky to perform on that iconic stage. Last night was the first time I’ve attended a full-blown concert at Chastain (meaning the venue was not set up with dinner tables). Typically, I'd prefer to pack a dinner for the whole, picnic-style ensemble. Tables are a special experience but meal prep, transport, etc. is more work and energy which is hard to come by in your ‘60s. If it’s simply a concert you’re left with more get-up-and-go to dance, rock and enjoy. Both ways are a lot of fun though! Thanks for reading about our fun night at Chastain (#squeeze) last night! (Psst., Chicago will be there on Saturday, September 30.) Love, Shelley Squeeze Psychedelic Furs

  • App Brain Freeze :/

    Hi Friends: How’s everyone doing? Have you ever experienced app brain-freeze? The last couple of weeks I had a pretty bad case of app brain-freeze. For the life of me I couldn’t come up with a topic to blog about. Consequently, I resorted to app scrolling and subsequently developed app brain-freeze. App brain-freeze is when you app scroll, ceasing to comprehend. Happens to me a lot. For some reason, too much scrolling zones me out. I have to take long app breaks and blog instead. Well, actually, truth be told I did have two topics to blog about but I wasn’t permitted to use either one of them. Why? Potential topic #1 (to avoid app brain freeze): My beautiful baby boy grandson, Charlie I can’t blog about Charlie because his mommy is very private and protective and won’t let me share about him. So, I won’t…because I don’t want to lose visitation, per se. And, frankly, I agree with her. Potential topic #2 (ditto above): A piece of real estate that I looked at recently Sadly, I had to sign a NDA before visiting the property that forbade me from sharing anything whatsoever about the stunning digs and who owned them. Darn. (Please don’t comment if you know what I’m talking about. I do not wish to go to jail or pay an obese fine. Merci.) So, as my mom used to say: “That’s the end of that”. Speaking of mom. Does anyone remember “the red sofa”? Here it is: Last week, the red sofa (‘ol Red) was picked up to be refurbished at Lewis & Sheron Textiles. ‘ol Red is getting a full make-over with new cushions, nails, nips and tucks and she’s saying good-bye to being vinyl. She will soon be covered in cherry-red cowhide. Jeff and I decided to turn ‘ol Red into an heirloom piece for Savanna or Diana. Flip a coin? Mom would not believe all the work we are doing to that old sofa. Meanwhile, we’re still looking for a place big enough for 'ol red to live in. As most of y’all know, we are not going to bulldoze our house and start from scratch. But, because we haven’t found a location and/or house that suits us more than where we are currently living there’s a slight possibility we may do another reno. ----------------------- Well, since I can’t blog about my grandson I will settle for giving updates on these two beautiful boys: Archie and Gus Both Archie and Gus are adjusting pretty well to having a baby around. Archie (cat) lives with Charlie so, of course, he’s had a harder time than Gus. Archie desperately misses attention from Savanna but lately, as Charlie matures, he’s getting a few extra hugs and kisses. I reassure Archie that everything will be okay and have even offered to bring him to my house for a change of scenery but Savanna says, “no”. As for Gus. He pretty much goes bonkers whenever Charlie visits. Charlie smells so irresistible to Gus which in turn causes him to rifle his nose into all crevices of his baby body. Gus is especially fond of Charlie’s diaper. When Charlie cries (not if), Gus gets extremely protective and concerned. Charlie knows very well what “dog barking” sounds like. He raises his eyebrows and seems amazed that it is louder than his crying can be at times. So, life is good in spite of experiencing app brain-freeze from time to time. If you ever experience app brain-freeze from zoned-out scrolling give blog-writing a try, no matter the topic? Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley Love these two bible quotes to help counter app brain-freeze: "Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming" ~ Peter 1:13 And, "Be on guard! Be Alert! You do not know when that time will come" ~ Mark 13:33

  • Our God Always Wins

    Greetings Y'all: How's everyone doing!? I want to share a series: "Our God Always Wins" from the Church of the Apostles (yellow tab below). Jeff and I have been members for 20 years. The link begins the series at Part 3. Scroll down and you'll find 1 and 2. I recommend #2 first! That is where I began and got hooked. I love all of Dr. Youssef's sermons but must say this series is my favorite yet. All three segments are informative and intriguing. Our God Always Wins Also, Jeremy Ezell, his beautiful wife and more sing a wonderful rendition of How Great Thou Art (#3)! And rumor has it that Jeff Sweeney is in the #2 video. A close up. They cut me out :/ Warning: Clips in the series from the World Economic Forum - Davos, Switzerland may scare the devil right out of you. They did me. You've been warned... Fast-forward to the video clips (yellow tab below) if you're too busy to view the whole thing (aren't we all busy-busy doing...?). If the speakers from the World Economic Forum have their way, we may cease to be busy? Personally, I'm praying to remain busy-busy :). --Meaning, remaing FREE. Series in tab below: Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley

  • Diana and NYC

    Hi Y’all, How are you? Calm, cool and collected? Blessed? Any surprise trips for you lately? Before I knew it this summer, I was back in a hotel (Lotte Palace f/k/a The Helmsley Palace) that I haven’t stayed in for over 40 years (anyone remember Harry and Leona?). I once spent an entire month at Harry and Leona’s Helmsley Palace. Who does NYC?? I remember back in the early ‘80s when I last stayed at the Helmsley, Michael Jackson was staying there too. Once, outside the 50th Street exit, there was a swarm of young people waiting and waiting for him to exit. I love(d) Michael but steered clear of the fan-frenzy and exited through the court yard on Madison Avenue. Even though I didn't join the crowd on 50th Street, I thought it was pretty cool that MJ was there and wondered what floor he was on. Fast forward to 2023. The weather in NYC was amazing! Low 80s, never rained. Beautiful. And no celebrity madness was anywhere to be found. Diana holed up with me at Lotte Palace. Here she is arriving at the hotel after work, when I first saw her. My favorite part of the hotel was the spectacular view from our room on the 26th floor. We looked down on St. Phillips Cathedral and could see Radio City and the Hudson River. If you’re a visual person, views rev your engine like they do mine. You would have loved our spectacular view, especially at night! Speaking of Diana getting off work. She successfully completed two summer associate possitions with Alston & Bird (ATL) and Knobbe Martens (NYC). The jury is out on what exactly she will do after clerking. Diana, if you happen to peep this blog. Please come back to ATL. Eventually? Like all New York trips, we walked, ate, saw a show (“Shucked”…meh), walked some more and ate some more too. A major highlight was visiting where Diana and her boyfriend, Elijah, live in Manhattan. I wanted to see their place because I hopelessly miss her and have trouble envisioning her NYC world. Diana and Elijah live in an impressive place for two upwardly-cruising, humble, mega-brained young people. Another highlight was spending a few hours at Ila Spa located in the hotel. The massage and relaxation room were wonderful. Possibly the best massage I’ve ever had. But sometimes I think the best one is the last one so I’m not really sure about that. Other than having a man walk us into the women’s locker room (after giving a shout-out-heads-up through the door) it was top-notch. Indeed, I thought I’d never deplane in NYC again. But if Diana relocates there… I’ll be seeing a lot more of New York. Love makes us do crazy things! Like go to New York a lot. …But, I also have an indescribable (no adjective can suffice, trust me, wait 'til you see Charlie!) baby grandson whom I also desperately love and want to spend as much time as possible with… Life’s dilemmas are a joy? I pray for courage and forgiveness to face life's joy, in Jesus’ holy, holy name. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10

  • If I Can't Have Her No One Can

    No way could my love for her have been predicted. I wasn’t looking for love in the first place. Hanging out on a long-term basis was more the idea. Besides, she was just okay and already starting to get up there in age. It’s not that deep down I wanted a prize. “Older” and well-preserved was fine for me. But if you looked closely, her issues were major and trading them in for minor ones started to look appealing. Even in her younger years she wasn’t a stand-out. McKinley never garnered much attention, ever. That was okay for me. She had a lot to offer regardless of not being a looker. Say, for instance, her roots. She was planted on the right side of the tracks. She was in a good neighborhood, a good school district. She was a good investment. McKinley needed work from the gitgo though. A nip and tuck here and there to say the least. A project wasn’t what I had in mind when we first bought her. But I was willing to take her on. We didn't have a lot of money to throw around in the beginning. It was a turtle-crawl to upgrade things. McKinley had plenty of rough edges to smooth out and still does. Nevertheless, I moved into her with plans to leave when things got boring, maybe a year or so. Thirty-two years later, two grown children, one grandchild and we’re still together. I love her desperately but am feeling stagnant. She looks pretty good these days, still not a stand-out though. As much as I’d like to stick around and watch her age gracefully, along with myself…to the end, I’m kinda bored. Nobody told me the longer we dragged dwelling together out the harder breaking apart would be. Good news: we’re not married. But you’d never know it. I’m committed to McKinley as though we shared vows. Even still, breaking up is horridly hard to do. Admittedly, I yearn for a younger prospect. A fresh start. A do-over of sorts. She’s not getting any younger and neither am I. The time has come to move on and let someone love her the way she deserves to be loved. Do I sound like I’m trying to convince myself of something? Bingo. I’ve thought about it for a long time so don’t judge me too harshly on this one: If I can’t have her, nobody can have her. I’m going to kill her. At least that’s what I thought before I came to my senses. I really was going to kill her. Tear her down to the ground. We have architectural plans to prove it. I simply couldn’t bear thinking about someone else enjoying her confident bones, secure aura, and established presence…someone else loving her, enjoying her attributes. I had to kill her! I was going to bury her bones and build a new structure right on top of her ashes. Suddenly, I realized how selfish and weak killing her would be. What a selfish loser that would make me. The one who “loved her so much”. And what if I regretted it? There’d be no turning back. She’d be gone. I’m not going to kill McKinley after all. I’m going to set her free and pray someone comes along to enjoy her awesomeness. Fear is a softball word. Petrified was more like it! I was (am?) bored to live with McKinley and petrified to live without her. A hunt for a new domain of love has begun. Psst, there’s an app for that. Please pray. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

  • The Circle of Life

    Hey y’all: How’s summer going for you? If you’re in the southeast United States you’re feeling mother nature’s heat and humidity, with no mercy. Phew, Hotlanta… Whether you’re in Hotlanta or not, are you feeling heat in the aging department? Lately, I'm feeling both kinds of heat: environmental and aging. Twenty-four, seven a/c takes care of one problem but not so much the other one. Even if you’re young and [a hottie] all year-round, have you ever contemplated plastic surgery to take heat off personal-pride regarding this or that? Chances are, we all know family members and/or friends who have opted in to plastic surgery to change something about their appearance. I know a few. All women. These women truly looked beautiful, in my opinion, prior to surgery. They were on the road to aging gracefully. But something about their appearance caused them angst and they gave in to stitches and snips. I was introduced to plastic surgery at ten-years-old. Not me personally, but by a close family friend who opted in. Needless to say, processing elective plastic surgery at 10-years-old is chin-scratching. A seed of: should-I-change-the-way-God-made-me (because either I, or society, think there is a "better" way to look) was planted? I’m over 60-years-old and signs of aging are becoming easier to see and harder to hide: Sagging Sinking Wrinkles (And did you know that cartilage in nose and ears continues to grow and gravity enhances that unfortunateness) I visited a plastic surgeon in Atlanta last week to learn what he had to offer regarding my 61-year-old face. I expected to hear his opinion and expertise about different things he would recommend and I assumed I’d look at examples and diagrams. What I didn’t expect was having to hold a Romper Room style hand-mirror 6-inches from my face throughout the entire evaluation. (If you’re my age, do you remember Romper Room? The mirror? And Miss Nancy (or whatever her name was)? Ugh. I wished to be Miss Nancy on appointment day because I wanted to see other people in that darn mirror, not myself. (Remember she would look in the mirror and see other children?) My hand kept floating down to my lap and the surgeon would lift it right back up so that I could see what I didn’t want to see. It’s not that I don’t like my reflection. What I didn’t enjoy was the surgeon lifting my skin here and there to superimpose possibilities. I could envision outcomes if he’d just used a darn pencil and paper. The doctor had all sorts of ideas for getting to work on me right away. It made me wonder if business was slow? I hoped and prayed that was the case. Driving home, I thought long and hard about permanent changes people I knew had made. Some have said the surgery was worth it and others said not so miuch. One friend (late 70s) who made a living as a result of her beautiful face, says she would "never have plastic surgery." She says that she enjoys life more as she ages and emphasis and attention on her features wanes. Go figure. After the appointment, I came up with these questions to help me decide whether or not to have a procedure: Who is beautiful to me and why? Why is aging unattractive -- is it more about attention-seeking? Would I have loved and appreciated my grandmothers more if they looked less gramma-ish? Answers to these questions helped me decide to hang in there as the circle of life and natural aging progresses: My family and friends are beautiful in different ways, internally and externally. For me, internal beauty trumps external. In my opinion, aging is unattractive by media standards and media (social), because it’s driven by false pretenses, demands false images, attention-seekers. Grandmas looking like grandmas is the truth. I love truth. The doctor I visited was wonderful, competent and highly reviewed. Obviously, this is nothing against him! I’m happy to share his name if you’d like it. Email me: This aging grandma is loving life with this gorgeous, little guy. (Pinch the pic and you can see a lot of wrinkles. Or not.) Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin - Proverbs 21:4

  • Fed Clerkship

    Hi Friends: I hope you had a nice Independence Day celebration. I spoke with several people who said they “relaxed”. These days, relaxed indeed sounds like a nice celebration, to me. Does it to you? One thing that Jeff and I did over the fourth of July was bid farewell to Diana. (She spent six weeks in Atlanta as a summer associate with Alston & Bird but decided to split her summer with a boutique IP firm in New York City.) Though I wouldn’t necessarily describe saying good-bye to her as relaxed (because #2 daughter is very much missed when she isn’t in Atlanta)...I was relieved. A few days before Diana took off for NYC, she was offered a clerkship with a federal judge in Wilmington, Delaware, beginning in 2024. The federal clerkship application and interview process reminded me of when Diana took the patent bar exam. I never micro or macro managed either of my girl’s education (thanks be to God). They both did exceptionally well, ptl. But when Diana took the patent bar exam, for some reason, I was on board with anxiety and anticipation in a micromanaging fashion. What the heck. --When she called me saying that she had passed the patent bar, I ‘bout passed out. I remember being on the connector in crazed ATL traffic, smiling from ear to ear, cars whipping in and out. Boy, was I happy. Diana really wanted to land a clerkship with a federal judge and like with the patent bar exam, I was wound tight on her behalf in hopes it would work out. Well, it did. Within hours of her first interview she was offered a clerkship in Wilmington, Delaware. For me (and her?) this news was almost as exciting as my first grandson, Charlie, being born. But not quite. I’m not an expert but do understand federal clerkships are hard to get. So, I asked Diana what top three things she thinks contributed to her success: Grades Resume Apply to as many as you can I am so proud of how hard both of my girls work. Aren’t we all? One of my favorite quotes is Kahlil Gibran: “And to love life through labor is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret…work is love made visible”. Amen. Good job, Diana! Thank you for reading. Love, Shelley 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 ERV Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.

  • Pickleball, not Crippleball

    Hi Y’all, How is your summer going? Traveling anywhere fun and exciting? Playing your favorite outdoor sports?? I hope you’re on the beach and not the bench? Playing sports is securely on the back burner for me. I’m benched. It’s been over three months since I’ve played pickleball...traveled a bit here and there, but that's all. Not playing pickleball has been a big bummer. I miss pickleball friends. Have you heard pickleball's prevalent nickname? Cripple ball! Totally apropos! For the past three months I have truly been relation to pickleball. --Come to find out: I’ve been living life for the past year by relying solely on the forearm. My upper arm, shoulders and back have been on extended vacay, unbeknownst to me. Until, whammo...pain. What started out as tennis elbow in the right arm, eventually contributed to a radial nerve injury in the left arm. I want to avoid giving a verbose description of what happened to avoid boring you to death and losing you. In short: Both of my arms have been really ****** up due to racquet sports and heavy lifting. Really ****** up! I mean really... The worst part of the whole ordeal is that injuries involving nerves and inflammation, like the ones I have, take a looong time to heal. A bloody long time. One must heed patience! Being a patient patient is crucial to recovery. Patience is the hardest part. Are you a patient patient? Me, no can do. I have thrown so much at both of my arms trying to heal them (cortisone, physical therapy, occupational therapy, supplements, orthopedic surgeon evaluations, rest, zumba, stretching, prayer…), it’s a miracle they haven’t fallen off my body in search of a more patient patient to live on. A couple weeks ago, I tried something new: The Egoscue Method. Have you heard of Egoscue? Egoscue emphasizes musculoskeletal balance and symmetry of your body by using exercises and stretches. I’m attending one-on-one sessions with an Atlanta Egoscue professional 1x week inconjunction with physical therapy strength-training. So far, I’m blown away by how quickly my body is realigning itself after giving Egoscue a try. Homework exercises take approximately 20 minutes a day. Knock on wood, but I haven’t experienced radial nerve pain for a while. Tightness in other areas (neck, jaw, calves, back, shoulders) is also diminishing. Granted, I haven’t returned to pickleball (not cripple ball!) but as of now, I’m relatively optimistic that doing so isn’t far away. If you suffer from chronic pain or an acute injury, check out The Egoscue Method. The only thing you have to lose is a couple bucks. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley Have mercy on me, Lord, because I'm frail. Heal me, Lord, because my bones are shaking in terror! — Psalm 6:2

  • Grandma Delirium

    He’s here y’all! Savanna and Joe’s perfect earth angel. And I am not kidding about the “perfect” part. A perfect, absolutely perfect baby boy graced earth on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 2:22 p.m. Sweet, precious Charles Ward Garde, 8 lbs. 11 oz. - 21 ¼ inches arrived. We were stunned that Charlie Garde came out with “I am a perfect baby” written across his tiny forehead. We assumed he’d be pretty cute, but perfect never crossed our minds. NO ONE is perfect! But there he was for all of us to see…preciously made…in God's family's eyes. Before we knew it, Charlie was laying on Savanna gurgling, breathing, moving, perfectly here. I can’t speak for all those who were on deck during the birth. But as for me…I will never be the same. Watching precious-perfectness glide onto earth was life-changing. --Lord have mercy. Y'all bear with me, I know that I have grandma-delirium and that baby Charlie Garde is not perfect. No baby or human is perfect. But, he’s pretty close. Not kidding. Said the first-time grandma: “My grandson is as close to perfection as any baby has ever come”. Savanna went into natural labor and though she received the maximum amount of painkillers when it came time to push, she pushed that little baby out in 22 minutes @ 2:22 (the nurse announced those times). (Psst. 22 indeed has significance. Oh my Lord, we were stunned by the numbers.) Now that sweet Charlie is here, I have been thanking God and praying to God for that precious, little baby. He is a humbling, sacred gift. Little Charlie is changing minute by minute, growing right before our eyes. One thing is for sure: he is utterly in love with his mama and daddy. And, like the rest of us, they thinks he’s pretty cute, too. Charlie is surrounded by people who fell instantly in love with him. We’re all wondering what we can do for him? How can we protect him? For now, we lean on prayer, day in and day out, in hopes of healthy growth and for grandma-dilerium to pass. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley

  • Ranches at Belt Creek

    Hi Friends, How is your summer going? Do you have a special, big trip planned? Or, maybe a small, side trip? Jeff and I recently pulled off a side trip to the Ranches at Belt Creek, Montana. I say “pulled off” because we booked and canceled so many times it was a miracle that it transpired. We purchased the trip at a horse rescue auction a couple years ago. (Quick plug: The same auction will be held this year on September 15. Check out details here, especially if you’re a horse enthusiast.) Because we canceled the ranch trip more than once, there came a point where we thought the trip was a wash, a donation at best. We even almost bailed out while on the way there, in Salt Lake City. Our “host” hadn’t made contact with us (given the wrong cell number) and we were skittish by having a lack of details. While waiting in SLC we inquired about getting our bags off the plane and vacaying in Utah! In a matter of seconds we had a Utah itinerary: Drive 3 hours south to Richfield, Utah (parents used to live there) Then, to Provo, UT to see friends Check out Deer Valley But, the host made contact at the very last minute and we journeyed to Great Falls, MT as planned. The clubhouse and cabin accommodations at RBC are an authentic representation of cowboy, huntsman and western outdoor life. Personally, I was right at home with all of it. Secluded mountain homes, buffalo, mountain lions, antlers, horses, guns, trucks, Cherry Cream Soda, a 3-legged dog were all my dad’s favorite things in life. There was even a waitress, Jan, who looked, walked and talked eerily similar to dad's sister. Two pastures of horses spread out over a valley in front of our cabin. The horses (and one donkey) migrated to a vast, adjacent pasture every day. Jenny, the barn manager, herded them on an ATV along with her two dogs. Occasionally, a horse or two would stray but they didn’t go far and Jenny was never worried about them. A rogue horse could stay right where they wandered to. They wouldn’t venture far from the herd regardless of being able to. One aspect that brought us down to realty was when we got stopped by federal agents at the end of RBC’s private road. The agents were escorting a nuke. Seeing the monster bomb glide by was a bit of a buzzkill but made returning to Atlanta a little easier. If you live a hectic, big-city life I recommend the Ranches at Belt Creek. The atmosphere, terrain, hospitality and accommodations were a quiet get-away from Atlanta. But, it may help if you're a horse lover, cowboy-life fan...or in awe of being close to where many, major weapons are ready to be launched. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Horse Rescues Heal

    Red Clay Ranch (RCR) Equine Rescue and Sanctuary is a fully licensed, 501c3 non-profit organization designed to offer rehabilitation and sanctuary to horses in need. Jeff and I visited one of our favorite charitable organizations: Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, for the second time, this past weekend. Participating in a sanctuary that honors dignity of the animal that has served man in monumental ways (strength, determination, endurance, valor, freedom, travel, companionship, beauty, spirit, etc.) for thousands of years, brings humble joy. We had barely stepped outside the car when we saw our name near RCR’s “medical stall.” I was rendered speechless, literally. Is this why some people put “anonymous” in such instances? God’s name should be there, not ours. Have you ever been honored for something and felt unworthy of it? Imposter syndrome, maybe? Ironically, our visit yesterday went hand-in-hand with the “medical” side of RCR’s mission. The first horse that caught my eye was in a corral where rescues stay until they [hopefully] gain enough strength to join a herd. There had never been a horse in this corral during previous visits. This sweet boy’s name is Toby and it was love at first sight. As you can see, Toby was weak, down. Starved yet safe and being cared for. I offered Toby a carrot. He wasn't interested at first but eventually partook. Soon, he struggled to rise, expelling diarrhea, unable to stand. A vet was called. (Side note: Large animal veterinarians are becoming rare. Women are especially rare in this field. Here's an article explaining the shortage.) When the vet arrived she listened to Toby's lungs, checked his eyes, mouth, did her thing...ultimately concluding he had a bad belly ache. I felt miserable thinking the carrot I gave him caused his pain. How could I be so careless to cause Toby's stomach further upset? This was not my first rodeo! I knew better. But, apparently (thankfully!) I was not the cause of Toby's ill angst. Toby was given a shot of something that had him feeling better rather quickly. (His face covering is due to a cut on his eye.) Inevitably, I fell hopelessly in love with Toby. Now, we're buying a house closer to the ranch so I can visit him every day. Kidding. But wish it was true. What is true is that we're looking forward to following his progress and will help however we can to ensure success. In ancient Greece, horses symbolize wealth, prestige and power. Still today, they represent wealth, high rank and therapeutic friendship. For me, they represent joy…to give back. If you’re a horse lover or admirer from afar and would like to support or volunteer at a rescue, give google a quick search! Opportunities abound. Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean - Revelation 19:14 - Horse Rescues Heal

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