A Tiger by the Tail

Hello Everyone!!!!

It feels good to be blogging once again. I’ve been very excited to share this adventure with you. First off, I really didn’t have a tiger by the tail…but, at one point, we could have easily touched noses. Seriously!!

It all started at Christmas. We had finished opening up our gifts and as usual we like to save a “BIG” gift to open last.  I had no idea just how big this was going to be.  I opened up my package to find a Manila envelope.  I felt around a little but for the life of me I had no idea what was inside.

I peeled open the flap and reached in. I pulled out something akin to a brochure of the Columbus Zoo. I thought ‘Oh my goodness! A membership to the zoo!’ Wrong.

I looked a little closer. My hands started to shake so bad. Tears filled my eyes and quickly spilled over.

“Is this what it says it is?”      “Yep.”

I was in total disbelief.

See, everyone who knows me, knows that I am an animal lover.  If you know me really well, then you know I especially love Big Cats. My favorite being the Siberian Tiger, also known as the Amur Tiger.

So, as my hands shook and just before my vision blurred from all the tears, I was able to realize I was being gifted a Private Tour and Tiger Training Session at the Columbus Zoo. Oh, and not just any tiger….you guessed it….an Amur Tiger! I really thought I would hyperventilate.

It would be February 7th before we would go. I counted down the minutes and every night I dreamt of tigers and what the day would hold for us. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

Finally, it rolled around. I was so nervous I chose not to drive the 45 minutes it takes to get to the zoo. I love to drive but I was in no shape to be behind the wheel on this day. I had to get ready to train a tiger.

As we parked and made our way to the entrance gate, it was all I could do not to cry. This was a dream come true for me. A real ‘bucket list’ dream. Coming true with every step. We checked in and were escorted to the guest services area. Then our tour guide arrived.

Wayland!

He was super sweet. He drove us all through the North American exhibit and told us all about the wonderful conservation programs in which the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are involved. The list is amazing.

We received a little gift bag that was hand made from ladies in Sudan. The money they raise helps pay for education and food for a year.

She was a beauty.

Finally, after what felt like forever and not long enough we rolled over to the Zoo Keeper’s office.  It was at the Tiger exhibit that we met the trainer and Zoo Keeper.  There were four female tigers in the yard entertaining the bystanders.

We began chit chatting and they were telling me tons of facts about the Siberian Tiger. Most I knew…some I didn’t. After we stood by the glass for a while watching them we walked over to where another female tiger was housed by herself. She was the oldest.  And she was beautiful.

They said she likes to stalk all the keepers as they come to feed her and do her daily training. She was so gorgeous and I stood about 5 feet from her. I wanted to reach out and touch her so bad… BUT, I resisted.

We stayed there a good 30 minutes and then went inside to see Foley!  Foley is the only male and if I thought the females were huge, well…he put them to shame. He could easily stand 9ft on his back legs. He knew all his commands and I watched in awe as our trainer worked with him. My heart was pounding.

Smiling she looked at me said, “Are you ready for a treat?”

She motioned me closer to his cage. I was now inches from this gorgeous creature. This Tiger that I never thought I would be this close to. If I would have just leaned forward, we could have touched noses. No joke!!!

There I stood in the most surreal moment.  I almost felt like I was outside myself. I wanted desperately to burn every detail into my brain. Much, much too soon we had to leave. But I have memories, feelings and pictures that will stay with me forever.

Thank you P. for giving me a dream come true.

God bless~

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Chapped Cheeks and Tingling Fingers

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Wow!  How I love this time of year.

I just came in from putting up some garland around the patio. Haven’t made it to the lights yet. We’ll probably wait until tomorrow to get those up. It’s quite chilly outside and I love it. Even though my cheeks feel chapped and I have tingling fingers I can’t help but gulp down a good ice-cold bottle of water! Yummy.

I have my tv tuned into “Sounds of The Seasons” and my frosty toes are tapping to Suzy Snowflake. I feel like I have a handle on shopping. In fact, I am very close to being finished. And yes, you guessed, I love to wrap.

I always think back over my life and recall so many happy, Christmas memories. One year my papaw and me took a walk up behind the little cabin where we lived (Mamaw, Papaw, Mom and Me). I was probably 17. We were very poor that year and things were really tight. So, we walked up behind the cabin looking for a tree to cut down to be used as this years Tannenbaum. We quickly spotted the little tree that would be perched in the living room. Much to our surprise we also spotted two beautiful deer standing just beyond the tree. Now I had a perfect illustration of the phrase “like a deer caught in the headlights.” They just stood there staring at us as we stood motionless staring back at them. Soon, the moment was gone and the white tail deer were on their way. It was such a special moment that I will never forget. I know that my life has seen its share of ups and downs, but praise God above He never took His hand off me.il_570xN.650364854_45hj

Looking back I see so many places where He protected me and kept me from harm. I see where He guided my footsteps away from danger and touched the hearts of those who could have hurt me. My Heavenly Father is awesome. I hope you know Him the way I do.

I know that there is much debate about the correct time that Jesus was born. Was it winter? Was is spring? For me, it simply does not matter. I celebrate His birth everyday. I’m just thankful that God sent His one and only Son to earth to save our souls. What a love! What a gift! There has never been any better. This reminds me of song….I’ll post a link to it.

Well, I’ve shared my evening with you. It is now dark outside. I can’t wait to get the lights up tomorrow…but for now, I think I’m gonna have some hot chocolate!


Give Thanks
        God bless,  Rachel

www.etsy.com/shop/creationovation

Delighting in the Lord

Delighting in the Lord

Good Morning Everyone~

I hope as you read this you are having a wonderful day. I woke up this morning to a blanket of stars and a sliver of moon. However, that quickly gave way to the beautiful sunshine and cool, crisp air.  Everyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I love this time of year.  What a day to delight in the Lord.

My heart is over flowing this morning for no other reason than I’m alive and Jesus loves me. I could shout from the rooftops. Have you ever had those moments…where you could just run down the street, yelling out….Jesus is coming! Jesus will be here soon. I’m having one of those moments and it feels divine!!

Whom having not seen, ye love;

in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing,

ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1 Peter 1:8

Joy Unspeakable!!  Amen!!!

I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

I’m ready!  Today, I am ready to see Jesus. I wanna see those clouds part…I wanna meet him in the sky. Whew! I feel like shoutin’.  If I could only bottle this up…

My prayer is that you delight yourself in the Lord. Let Him have His way with you today. Surrender and find that ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory:’

God Bless~

New blog!

Good morning friends!

I hope everyone had a restful night! I did not!! I have a terrible sinus infection, ear ache, cough…you name it!! I sure could use some prayers!

I have opened another blog to help with my Christian based etsy store. I would love it if you decided to follow me on it as well. You can find me at

I feel so very blessed in life. However, I can’t wait to see Jesus! This world is not my home. And as the days pass, I long to go home. My heavenly home. Not for the streets of gold or the mansions therein but to be in the presence ok Jesus. Oh, how wonderful that will be.

As the song says….What a glorious day that will be.

Please remember me in prayer. Thank you.

God bless,
Rachel