Saturday, September 17, 2022

Visiting the Rainbow Bridge

 


Thursday night, we visited the Rainbow Bridge again.

This time, we escorted our best buddy - Jesse - there.  To the bridge to be free of pain and health defects; to the bridge to be with his past fur buddies; and to the bridge to be with my Mom whom I am sure waits patiently and with love and smiles for all our family's fur babies to run across to her.

Is the Bible clear on our pets going to Heaven?  No, it is not.  But we do know for certain there are animals in Heaven.  Jesus comes back on a white horse; the lion lays down with the lamb.  Animals are there.  We just don't have concrete Scripture to tell us our own animals are there waiting for us.

There are plenty of Scripture verses that point to Creation crying out to God.  There are plenty of websites that give us Scripture that seems to verify our fur babies are waiting for us.  But we just don't have concrete proof.

So, in the meantime, I am clinging to the hope that they are there, waiting for me to arrive.  I can't wait to be with them again, stroking their fur and squeezing them tight.

Jesse was one of the two kindest pet souls I've ever owned.  He lived the first 14 years of his life at the end of a rope.  Those owners loved him; they just didn't want him in the house.  So he lived at the end of a chain with food and water and a dog house.  They tried their best, but no dog should live like that - ever.  (My motto - If you want something to feed and water, get a plant.)

God created the dog as a PACK animal.  Man domesticated the dog and removed it from its natural pack.  Therefore, we became its NEW pack.  It's not natural to tie a dog up to a chain and separate it from its pack.  It's cruel and inhumane.

So even though I knew about Jesse (and didn't rescue him) for years, when the opportunity came to me to pet sit for him one weekend at my home (where he stayed inside and enjoyed the comforts of heat and air conditioning; couches and beds), I knew - when the weekend was over - I could not give him back to a life chained.   

The owners agreed, as they truly did love him and wanted a new life for him, to let me adopt Jesse.  We had Jesse as a part of our family for four years which made him 18 when he passed Thursday night.  Here is a short clip of my son Josh helping me bathe Jesse and welcome him to our family.



When we adopted Jesse, he was severely underweight with his ribcage "proudly" standing out.  He was also an expert escape artist, and after one escaping, I was alerted to a knocking at our front door.  Two of my neighbors had "found" Jesse in their cul-de-sac and brought him home.  One of those two women was an animal abuse private investigator.  They were livid at Jesse's condition and intended to hold me to task.

After a brief conversation, their anger turned to compassion and my dog PI neighbor became one of my biggest advocates and supporters.  Her company funded Jesse's first vet visit and his initial heartworm treatment program.  Not only was Jesse undernourished and underweight, but we discovered it was due to heartworms and a urinary tract infection that had gone untreated by his previous owners.  We started him on the road to recovery and within a year, he was healthy.  What a blessing for a dog of 14!  Jesse never did regain a full, healthy figure, but at least his UTI and heartworms were gone.

Jesse was a lover of all kinds of balls, with tennis balls his absolute favorite.  (We had many!) He must have had some type of retriever in his mix of Great Dane and American Staffie because he was always faithfully carrying around one of his many toys.  Mouthing was definitely in his DNA.

Jesse was kind and docile.  He was passive and never aggressive.  He loved immensely and refused to let his loved ones out of eyesight.

This trait probably contributed to his extreme separation anxiety.  He would spent a lot of his time roaming back and forth in the house looking for his people if they were out of sight, panting and pacing to a fault.

He was close to his siblings - sleeping next to, shadowing, or mimicking his brother Tank always.  And letting his feline siblings sleep close to him or rub up next to his tummy or head.  

God truly put some of His own qualities and reflections into Jesse when he was created.

We love you sweet big boy and miss you already.  Your adoption and rescue was one of our best decisions.  I'm so happy we could give you a home to rest in and spend your last years in peace, comfort, and love.

God speed sweet Jesse.  I know you are running free - those back legs once again sturdy and strong!  Rest easy in Marge's lap until I get there.  She will take good care of you.

Your place in our hearts will always remain empty, but our memories of you will remain full and joyous.  Thank you for making our little family whole these past four years Jesse; I'm so happy you had Joy for the Journey!  





Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Pretty Woman Opens in Atlanta!

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Cue the high heel, knee-high boots.  Cue musical numbers from Hollywood Blvd.  Cue romance.

Those are all things you will see and experience this week as Pretty Woman: The Musical rolls into Atlanta to play at our historical Fox Theatre.

As the marquee above says, this show is "Big. Huge."  So get ready.  You are in for BIG fun and BIG romance.



If you were a fan of the original 1990 Pretty Woman film, you will enjoy this musical adaptation.  Producer Paula Wagner brings the story to stage and Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams (yes that Bryan Adams of "Sumer of '69" and "Heaven" fame) and Jim Vallance bring us the original score.  (I had no idea Bryan Adams helped produce the score for this musical.  Interesting sidebar!)

The storyline stays true to the classic film - wealthy business tycoon Edward meets beautiful streetwalker Vivian.  Said tycoon hires streetwalker to be his business and professional escort for one week for a paltry sum of $3,000.  Eventually, over the course of that week, Edward and Vivian fall in love.  They live happily ever after.



But because our movie is now a musical, we have the added pleasure of a few extra scenes and (of course) a musical score.

One of the the extra scenes we are treated to is the infamous opera visit.  This is the part of the movie where Edward (played by Adam Pascal) takes Vivian (played by Olivia Valli, Frankie's niece - another interesting sidebar) to see an opera.  This was my absolute favorite scene of the musical and probably one of the best talent-wise, in my humble opinion.  It centers around cast member Amma Osei who plays Violetta.

Amma takes full center stage (and steals the scene I believe) from fellow cast mates (sorry guys).


I would love to have video of this to show you, but a quick Google search did not produce one, nor was the press provided a media clip.

The only word I have to say here is - WOW!  If you go to this play for nothing else, make sure you don't go to the concession stand or restroom during this scene.  Amma's performance is simply show stopping, and her talent unmatchable.  Who knew all that power was lurking inside this diva?  (Amma was an underplayed ensemble cast member up until this point in the show.)

Simply stunning and a wonderful surprise.

To sum up my very short review, I will say that overall, Pretty Woman: The Musical is a witty and fun musical to spend your evening watching.  Judging by the crowd we saw opening night, it seemed a popular girls night out!

It really is BIG FUN.  All the familiar scenes, humor, and romance you remember.



...And speaking of romance (I always like to point these things out), keep in mind the "romance" in this story is between a wealthy business man and a hooker he picks up on Hollywood Blvd.  Therefore, the romance will be a little on the sexy side and not something I'm sure you'd want children to see.  No nudity or explicit sexual scenes, but our characters do lead up to that point twice.  Something you need to keep in mind if you are considering taking children.

Pretty Woman: The Musical plays Atlanta's Fox Theatre through September 18.  Tickets are available at the theatre box office (660 Peachtree Street), their website (FoxTheatre.org/PrettyWoman), or by phone (855.285.8499).




Performances will play Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 1:30pm and 6:30pm.

...And don't leave early! There is a special and fun ending you won't want to miss! Have a favorite Pretty Woman memory or story to share? Please leave us a comment below or on our social media channels! We love interacting with you!



*Disclaimer: We were provided two tickets to review and promote this musical. Opinions expressed are solely our own.



Saturday, August 27, 2022

Speaking Over Life

 


"Lord, You are always at work to redeem, and I want to be used by You. I give my words to You. Teach me to be a godly woman who speaks up in godly ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen."

Wow.  What a prayer today from yesterday's Proverbs 31 ministries morning devotion!

"I give my words to You.  TEACH ME to be a godly woman who speaks up in godly ways."

That'll preach and hit you right in the heart.

We all want to be used by God.  But somehow, we keep getting in our own way don't we?

I have been dealing with (as you have read) what I feel is an addiction within my own family walls.  I feel, if it's not an addiction, it is something that is blinding.

I feel I have authority over this coupled with knowledge because I have walked where this family member is walking, and I hear their words - I see their actions - and I RECOGNIZE them.  I am scared for them ... and for MYSELF.

I want to compromise and meet them half way, but now, after vocalizing that compromise, I feel sick to my stomach when I see them engaging in this circle of activity and I am just not at peace with it.

Will I have to go back on my word and my compromise?  I need some godly wisdom, and I need to be taught how to speak with wisdom from Heaven.

Sometimes being silent with our words is good.  Maybe we should hold our tongue and listen more.  Maybe we should be silent to learn more.  But then ... there are times when being silent isn't good.

Are we being silent because we feel inferior in knowledge?  Are we being silent because we feel our opinion is outnumbered or will be mocked in the conversation circle we are sitting in?

Being silent is a double-edged sword.  We must pray, pray, and pray some more!  Let our silence be laced with wisdom - not fear of losing in some manner.

Today, as you read the Proverbs 31 morning devotion with your cup of coffee in hand, think about your silence and how you wield it.

"God has a purpose for our voices! He’s calling us to use words of wisdom and faithful instruction. Let’s follow the examples of godly women in Scripture and choose to be women who speak up in godly ways. We can all learn to use our words as conduits of His redemption."

Proverbs 31 (in Scripture, not the ministry) calls us to speak with wisdom and faithful instruction. Let's enter into our Saturday meditating on this chapter and ask God how he would have us to speak today.

God has already laid out your Saturday.  How we handle that path is a matter of prayer and wisdom.

My friends, may your Saturday be peaceful and blessed.  Until next time,