Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last Saturday Mom and I Went Shopping

"And what makes this tidbit of news exciting enough to merit a blog post?", you may ask.  Well, I will tell you.

A few days prior, I'd been perusing ads on a well-known horse website just to see what was going on in the horse world, and I came across an ad for a Hanoverian/Oldenburg filly.  In the photo provided she was beautifully muscled, soaring over a jump freestyle, and had a cute little white sock on her hind leg (that last point is relevant to my story).

Seeing as this filly wasn't too far from home (under 2 hours), Mom and I loaded the girls into the van in order to go take a peek at her.  The young woman she belonged to was unable to be there, so the stable owner had agreed to show her to us. 

 The very first thing that popped into my mind when I saw her was, "This is NOT the same horse!".  Not only had this horse lost a considerable amount of weight, but the little white sock was absent!  After voicing my thoughts aloud, the stable owner responded that he had not seen the ad, so he pulled out his fancy phone and viewed it for himself.  He promptly informed me that the photo was of her sire, and not the filly!  No wonder she looked so well muscled, she was not a she at all, but a he!

Well, let me tell you, I was tempted to just forget the whole thing and go home, because what I was now looking at was a gangly, gawky, jug-headed much-smaller-than-expected horse!  After reconsidering for a moment, I then figured we'd driven all this way so it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and look her over.

After wrapping my head around the fact that she was only two and would continue to grow and fill out until she was six or seven, and seeing how quiet and willing she seemed, I offered considerably less than the owner had been asking, thinking there's no way she'd accept...

...she did.

My stunningly beautiful filly (observe how laying out that chunk of change worked magically to transform her from a gawky jug-head into a positively gorgeous animal) is not quite as finessed looking as her sire...yet, but her personality is darling and she's very gentle and sweet.

  

She was quite underweight when I first saw her, because she'd originally been boarded at another stable where the owners were going through a divorce and were arguing over who should take care of the horses, with neither, apparently, doing so!  The filly's owner had her moved to this new stable two weeks prior.  I've already noticed a considerable change in her weight since bringing her home, which enhances her looks considerably. 



As she's so young she hasn't been backed yet, but I did tack her up and she was very accepting of me putting things on, then taking them off and adjusting buckles, putting everything back on, only to take it off once again to make further adjustments.

She's registered with the Canadian Sport Horse Association (CSHA) under the name, Giaco's Debutante.  Her sire's name is Giacomo W and her dam's name is Pasu Booger (seriously, who thought of THAT one?).  As of yet I haven't come up with a barn name for her, so suggestions are definitely welcome!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quit You Like Men!

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."


1 Corinthians 16:13


In this world of whining and complaining, of "woe is me", because of difficult circumstances, here is a man of God who testifies to His goodness in ALL things, and exemplifies true manhood by getting up each day, facing his circumstances head on, and rejoicing in the life God has given him! 

Well done, Nick Vujicic, thou good and faithful servant of the Most High!! 

And by the way, Nick was recently engaged to be married!  Glory to God!!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

To Sell Or Not To Sell...

That is the question!

I've been debating whether or not to sell my Meadowbrook cart and beautiful antique candy-apple red sleigh.  I bought them both from a local lady about five years ago, and bought an old used harness made by the Amish in Pennsylvannia on a family trip there.  I've enjoyed using them the few times I have, but that's the problem, the "few" times I have!  So, because I haven't used them as often as I thought I would, I'm considering selling them, and listed them on Kijiji recently.  A lady's been showing some interest, wanted to see the harness, so I hooked up my old Quarterhorse mare the other day and took her for a bit of a spin.  It was so much fun!  And now I'm second guessing my desire to sell.  Aaack!!! 

Anyway, here are a few pictures of me with Little Bit, as well as the girls, who thought it was great sport!  And I've also added a picture of our sleigh, so you'll see why I'm a tad reluctant to let it go.  On the other hand, they take up a good bit of room in our shed, and if I'm not using them very often... 

Well, you see my dilemma!








Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wedding Traditions - Keep 'Em or Toss 'Em?



After attending a couple of weddings in the spring, witnessing significant differences in the ceremonies, and hearing of a number of other weddings this summer, our family has been talking about what might, or possibly might not, be incorporated into any weddings we might be involved in in the future. We've been considering the origins of some of the practices implemented in typical wedding ceremonies, and while we recognize that over time meanings change, that what was once done for one reason may be done today for entirely different reasons, some of what we've learned has been interesting and possibly worth re-considering when planning a wedding.
 
Below are just a few practices we've been taking a bit of a look at.   We haven't decided one way or the other about any or all of those mentioned below, necessarily, but thought we'd invite you into the discussion.  So much more could be said about each, this is just a quick synopsis of a few of our thoughts.  

Bride Given By Father

We see this as biblical, though most references to it today refer to it as something negative which, in times past, it may have been to some degree - particularly when marriages were arranged for convenience, established in order to gain property and other wealth.  A godly father physically giving his daughter in marriage to a godly young man, in essence transferring her safekeeping to him, is so beautiful, and the biblical picture of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, coming for His Bride, the Church, might also be incorporated into the wedding ceremony somehow.

Best Man/Groomsmen

Given the original reason for a so-called best man and the groomsmen, which was to help the groom kidnap a young woman from, say, a neighbouring village by fighting off those trying to prevent it, their role is something worth considering.  Obviously, there's no such nefarious implication today, rather the roles are  typically filled by good friends and/or brothers, willing to stand with the groom, to support him as he embarks upon this new season in his life, and to exhort him to live biblically with his bride. 
  

Maid/Matron of Honour & Bride's Maids

In times of old, these young ladies dressed like the bride in order to fool evil spirits so they couldn't do her harm - sort of a bait and switch scenario. Needless to say, today this role is to mirror that of the best man and the groomsmen, to be a help and support to the bride.  Nevertheless, the origins of the role does give one pause for thought.

Bride's Family on Left/Groom's Family on Right

Originally instituted to keep the two families apart as they often didn't like each other, apparently.   

Bridal Bouquet

Bouquets were originally instituted in wedding ceremonies to ward off evil spirits, and later as symbols of fertility.  The first bouquets were made of garlic and herbs.

Throwing The Bouquet (and Garter)

  Instituted because guests used to rip pieces of clothing off the bride, or snatch a flower from her bouquet, in order to make away with a bit of good luck.  To prevent this, the bride began to toss the bouquet as a distraction so she could make her get-away relatively unscathed. Today, of course, the silly implication remains - that if a single young woman catches the bouquet she may be "lucky" enough to snag a man.  Likewise with a single young man catching the garter, a practice, we readily admit, which makes us cringe significantly. There's just something wholly inappropriate, we think, of having a young woman's undergarments removed and tossed to a crowd of men!

White Wedding Dress

 This tradition first came into fashion when Queen Victoria got married, as she wore white.  Prior to that most brides just wore their best dress, some had one made, but it wasn't typically white.  That said, the symbolism behind a white dress is not lost on the Christian who's been washed as white as snow by the blood of the Lamb, clothed in His righteousness, a symbol of purity - so to speak - of the spotless Bride of Christ. 

Veil

 When considering the veil, we were reminded of the "fast one" pulled on Jacob in the Bible when he discovered Leah was his bride, and not whom he expected, Rachel.  It implies that Leah was heavily veiled.  The use of the veil also hearkens back to when grooms kidnapped their brides.  According to one bit of wedding lore we've read, they'd keep the young lady's face obscured under a cloth in order to keep her identity hidden.  Once married there was nothing the bride's family could do about it, and the veil was removed.
    

Train

The longer the train, the higher one's social standing. 

Bride on the Groom's Left

 This was so that the groom would have his right arm free in order to do battle with his sword as he made off with the girl. 

Wedding Ring on Left Ring Finger

 The Romans believed the vein in that finger ran directly to the heart.  The never-ending circle represents unbroken love.  A wedding ring is something with merit regardless of it's origins, we think, as it quickly identifies the wearer as being married.

Tiered Wedding Cake

 In times of old, guests brought small, tasteless cakes made of wheat and symbolizing fertility to be thrown at the bride.  Leftover cakes were piled into a heap, the higher the heap, the more "blessed" their fertility.  A french baker eventually came up with the idea of stacking the cakes and decorating them as one big cake - again, the higher the cake, the more blessed, superstitiously thinking, the couple.

Throwing Rice

 Again, a symbol of fertility - it eventually replaced tossing the little cakes.  And then, of course, confetti replaced rice, and bubbles have, in many instances, replaced confetti.

Feasting

 We see so many instances of wedding feasts in the Bible that it seems this aspect of celebration is a good one.  Of course, feasting may mean one thing to one family and something else to another.  Surely most would agree, however, that breaking the bank to provide expensive "per plate" dinners seems excessive, perhaps more simple faire would do just as well, rather than placing undue burden upon the families of the young man and woman.

Toasting

  In Roman times, there was a very real fear of being poisoned by your host when invited to dinner/feast, so the host would pour wine from a single decanter and take the first sip, showing his guests that the wine was safe.  The actual term "toast" came about because guests dipped toasted bread into their wine in order to reduce the acidity.


Clinking Glasses

It was thought that evil spirits didn't like noise, so the clinking of glasses was implemented to ward them off. 

Carrying the Bride over the Threshold

 In the days when men from neighbouring villages kidnapped brides, the bride had to be carried into the bedchamber, no doubt fighting tooth and nail all the way.  In later times, this practice was supposed to represent the bride's reluctance to give herself to her groom, as it wouldn't be "ladylike" for her to desire him.


Honeymoon

 In medieval times, in some people groups, weddings only took place under a full moon and the bride and groom drank honey wine for one full moon cycle, hence the name "honeymoon".  Of course, many a young Christian man would gladly point to Deuteronomy 24:5 and happily heed its admonition!



Given the beautiful picture in Scripture of Christ, the Bridegroom, coming for His spotless Bride, the Church, we can't help but believe that the wedding ceremony of believers should point primarily to Christ.  That so many of today's traditions have their origin in superstition or unsavory practices, should be cause to, at the very least, re-examine what we do and why we do it. While we don't fault others for planning or engaging in "traditional" wedding practices, we hope some of what we've shared will serve as a catalyst for deeper thought, for good discussion amongst our readers' families, just as it has in ours.

If you have any thoughts about anything we've written, do please share them with us, we'd love to know what you think!

Edited to add:  This post was actually written by Mom, though Bethany's name appears at the bottom.  Mom forgot to log in under her own name and we don't know how to change it.  That said, it was somewhat of a joint effort, because we've been thinking and talking of these things for some time as a family.