Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Sunday, April 28, 2013

C: C’mon, Let’s Exercise Your Vocabulary!

I think I have a decent vocabulary.  I love words and don’t often run across English words that I simply do not recognize.  I may not know the definitions off the top of my head when it comes to the more obscure, but I usually at least recognize the word.  But I ran across a new one this week.

I was internet-stalking Suzanne Somers the other day…er, I mean, I was snooping a look or two at her estate high on a mountain overlooking Palm Springs that is now being offered at a reduced price of a mere $15 million.  It sounds lovely.

I don’t think this picture really captures the place:

somers house

The estate has several buildings and has ten bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. 

As you can see, it has a marvelous kitchen:

sommers kitchen

and beautiful outdoor spaces:

sommers outdoors

It has a pool and, for the performing arts, an outdoor amphitheater.  What more could one want?

I was really living it up vicariously when I got to the part that said one of the unique things about the property is that it is only reached by a funicular.



Well, that sent me to the dictionary, where I found that a funicular is a cable-drawn car which transports folks up a steep incline, like a mountainside.  I found pictures of Suzanne’s funicular:

funicular sommers

And here she is snuggled up having a blast with some guy (her husband?) in bathrobes (do you reckon they ride up and down the mountain in their bathrobes often?):

funicular sommers 2

Here are a few more examples of funiculars for your learning pleasure:



Do not ever say you cannot learn things here from the Stickhorse Cowgirls.  (If you are kind you will at least pretend you didn’t already know this word…)


PS – BTW, I am afraid of heights.  The funicular entrance killed the deal for me…Suzanne must look elsewhere to unload that estate.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

C: Celebration

It was this tree that started me thinking this spring…..


Yes, it is a tree I see every day as I drive into my property.  It belongs to my neighbor, Mary. This is a poor picture to depict its grandeur.

It is starting to green, and I really wish that I had photographed it just a few weeks earlier, when there were no leaves to soften the stark branches.  Against the blue winter sky, its perfect shape has inspired me all winter.  It is what has caused me to think (overthink) about nature’s perfection.

But it was this photograph that put me over the top and made me want to write in this blog again and say to you, “Do you see the perfection, the planning, the genius of our world?” 


I do believe that nothing we do enhances it.  In fact, everywhere we touch, I’m afraid, we diminish God’s initial handiwork.  Just look at that little baby giraffe photographed against his mother, pondering the world.  Is there anything we can do to match this?

I started thinking about nature’s symmetry, its design and went in search of examples for you.  They are all obvious.  No genius in my search, here, but even though they are common examples, these thrill me, make me wonder.


Honeycomb, made by bugs, no less.  Ingenious, practical, beautiful—so beautiful that we mimic:


As pleasing as the tile floor is, as much as I would love to have it in my own home, it does not compare to the original.  Remember: we are not the originators of this beautiful design…the bees were.

Who could think up this dandelion?


…not to mention constructing it.

And think of William Blake's exhilaration: “Tiger, tiger, burning bright in the forest of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry…”


Indeed, who?

There is something about stripes in nature, isn’t there?  One of my favorites—zebras:


I never tire of seeing them.  I have a compulsion to collect photos of them, so entranced am I by their stripes.

The list goes on and on, including the everyday, the mundane (“mundane?”  Really?):


…and the fantastic:


and the patterns…

sea turtle

…and unending variety


…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 

Romans 1:19, 20.

Indeed.  Sigh.


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