Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com



This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.


We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.


Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

~ Jennifer ~

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962


InfozGuide ‚Äč

Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

~Jenny the Pirate~

Hoist The Colors

In The Market, As It Were






Columbia Cemetery

To read my articles, click HERE! And don't forget to subscribe.


Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal!

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.


Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson



When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks


 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.


Keep To The Code








You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 1

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts




Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Dream With Me
    Dream With Me
    by Jackie Evancho
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Dreams
    by Neil Diamond
  • Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage
    Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage
    Syco Music UK
  • A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)
    A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)
  • Bach - The Complete Brandenburg Concertos / Pearlman, Boston Baroque
    Bach - The Complete Brandenburg Concertos / Pearlman, Boston Baroque
    by Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque, Christopher Krueger, Marc Schachman, Daniel Stepner, Friedemann Immer
  • Lead With Your Heart
    Lead With Your Heart
    by The Tenors, The Canadian Tenors
  • A Musical Affair (Amazon Exclusive Version)
    A Musical Affair (Amazon Exclusive Version)
    by Il Divo
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
  • Perfect Murder, Perfect Town : The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Final Truth
    Perfect Murder, Perfect Town : The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Final Truth
    by Lawrence Schiller
  • The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
    The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
    by James Trefil, Joseph F. Kett, E. D. Hirsch
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems
    Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems
    by Harold Bloom
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • The Closer
    The Closer
    by Mariano Rivera
  • Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion
    Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion
    by Theresa Burke with David C. Reardon
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary
    Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary
    by Frederick Buechner
  • The Black Bard of North Carolina: George Moses Horton and His Poetry (Chapel Hill Books)
    The Black Bard of North Carolina: George Moses Horton and His Poetry (Chapel Hill Books)
    The University of North Carolina Press
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
    Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
    by Tom Jokinen
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman
    Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman
    by Robert L. O'Connell
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
    The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
    by Thomas Lynch
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Knuckleball!
    starring R.A. Dickey, Charles Hough, Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield
  • Dodsworth
    starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas, Mary Astor, Kathryn Marlowe
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move


Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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One Word, Luv: Curiosity


Circular reasoning

Hey I bet you missed me when I didn't post yesterday.

Well the reason is, I have a bad cold. But it vexes me to type that because I usually don't blog about my health, since it couldn't be of remotest interest to anyone.

I have been known to stop following really nice bloggers with cute blogs because they natter on endlessly about their aches and pains.

Give me a break. 

But see, I was driving home from Knoxville on Sunday when this threepenny-nail-like pressure began to invade my skull somewhere above my right ear.

Since I despise road trips (especially the part where you go home) and I quadruple-loathe road trips that take place on Sunday, I thought I was simply stressed out.

By the way guess what? I love to go places but hate to travel. When I do travel, I refuse to fly so it has to be by car, and I don't like that either but if it must be on wheels, I prefer to be the one behind the wheel.

Only, I really don't enjoy driving.

If you can figure all that out, call me up and tell me what it means. But bear in mind, I don't like talking on the phone.

And don't mention my meds -- or lack of same -- because I won't discuss that either.

Anyway back to Sunday when my head started hurting and traffic around Asheville was a hairy yellow-fanged beast and I became annoyed.

A few minutes later I realized I was also stuffed up -- as in, my nose felt funny -- but honestly, I put that down to the altitude. I was after all in the mountains.

What do I know? I haven't had a cold in nearly eighteen months. One tends to forget.

But by that night, I knew I was in trouble. Yesterday came the incessant sneezing. I've been sleeping a lot.

My head does not seem to want to come up off my pillow. It feels like a buzzy bowling ball.

Oh! Have you seen the Puffs softpack tissues? I love those things. LOVE THEM. The packages, I mean; a tissue is a tissue. But the soft pillowy packages! They're so so so so so so cute I can barely stand it.

But I digress.

On my trip to Knoxville I took lots of pictures. Consistent with my personality (don't ask but if you do, the word Oppressive Obsessive will come up and yes with a capital O) I'm not a very organized photographer; I tend to go by emotion rather than rely on any sort of established method or system.

Even so, I began to notice circles. Now, I LOVE circles. Don't ask me why! I just do.

That picture of Rambo up there at the top has a circle and I hope you see it because to me it simply glares. I'll give you a hint: It's on Andrew's Weber grill.

On which he fixed us hamburgers on Saturday night last. Smoky circles of beefy joy on soft round buns!

I ate mine before I could memorialize it with a burger selfie but use your imagination.

You already know that on Wednesday my son showed me around the Tennessee Air National Guard base where he works as a boom operator.

The double circles of the KC-135 Stratotanker engines made for an interesting subject.

Then there was the round graphic on the plane's nose, which circle featured a gas pump and the Rat Fink dispensing Fink-O-Lene. You've already seen it but we can't leave him out of the loop.

On Thursday, Erica and I walked the campus of one-hundred-ninety-five-year-old Maryville College, absorbing the ambience of southern academia in the sweetly cool East Tennessee autumn.

Can you spot the circles in my picture of the cupola atop postbellum Anderson Hall?

The building is one hundred forty-four years old and, as part of a comprehensive renovation that's nearly complete, has been fitted with one hundred forty-four brand-new windows.

(Although as a rule I dislike math, four is by far my favorite number and forty-four? Or one hundred forty-four? Shut the front door.)

I don't gamble because I don't believe in it but if I did? Well. You know.

And then there were the circles I found in downtown Knoxville on our wanderings, maybe even in a big circle, around one of the most charming small cities in Dixie. Delights abound everywhere you look.

There were circular windows reflecting the October sky, and round signs, and O's in names, and circles built into metal fences, and a ring-shaped parking lot marker.

There was a circle within a square embedded high in the wall of a Victorian-era brick industrial structure.

There was the exceedingly fetching Gay Street Clock, its face a circle within which nestles a circle of neon.

The next day -- Friday -- my children indulged me in a visit to Knoxville's Old Gray Cemetery, a historic marvel. We walked the lanes and again there were circles, like the tightly-wound concentric ones on tombstones furry with moss.

At least one grave figure seemed to be offering a wreath to someone, anyone, walking by who may need a circle of stone flowers.

Here: Take it, she seemed to beckon.

The wrought-iron gates of Old Gray are a profusion of curlicues and circular patterns.

Eventually I came full circle: I arrived back home in Columbia, with a cold riding shotgun.

I humbly accept your prayers and wishes that I will get well soon.

Meanwhile I hope you are not sick or hurting, but that your eyes are round with wonder.

And that is all for now.


Happy Tuesday


Jenny from the sim

So yes, I went into the training simulator used by the 134th Air Refueling Wing, 151st Air Refueling Squadron, at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee.

And I refueled an F-22 and a C-5. For real.

Sort of.

I'm prissy as you know so I guess it was a sight to see when I clambered on all-fours into that tiny space and wriggled on my belly onto this narrow ergonomically-correct cot-like thing and put my feet into metal braces out behind me that I could not actually see, and rested my chin on the little black padded thing provided for that purpose.

Once I got into place and had been assured by Andrew that no military-type males would be looking in there on me, judging, I was all excited.

New experiences; I'm all about that.

Sort of.

Once I'd gotten all comfy and acclimated, Andrew suggested that I scoot over to one of the similar cot-like things on either side of the boom's space.

He got all serious and businesslike so I busied myself taking pictures of my son, handsome even in low light and close quarters.

The boy made me wear earphones just like his for a while but I took them off because I was certain they were mussing my hair.

I got schooled in where the controls are and what they mean and what they do. I remember everything he told me.

Sort of.

Then it was my turn to actually refuel an aircraft while in flight.

First up was the F-22. Fighter jet, my friends. See that little fake pilot?

The monster C-5 came later.

I was still excited but I concentrated more because I wanted Andrew to be proud of me.

And he told me I made a perfect contact.

It wasn't scary at all because I remembered the whole time that we'd never left the ground.

After I'd refueled the C-5 -- another perfect contact, tank you -- we walked around the facility where Andrew goes to work every day, and he introduced me to a few of his fellow boom operators, plus several pilots.

One fine gentleman in uniform asked if I were proud of my son and of course I said Of course.

And he said, Well you should be because he's one of only twenty-five boom operators in the whole State of Tennessee.

Another uniformed gentleman standing beside the first one chimed in, And one of only nine-hundred-eighty boom operators in the world.


I am even prouder than I thought I was, and that's a lot.

Daggy says Way to go, Uncle Andrew. She's here in Knoxville with us, as is her mother and her Aunt Erica.

That's what Dagny does every single morning as soon as she wakes up: V for victory. Curled fists, ready for action.

So then Andrew drove me out in a special bus to the flight line, where we walked around some more and then I actually got inside a KC-135 Stratotanker.

I had to climb this ladder straight up fifteen feet, a feat I accomplished deftly and with style.

Sort of.

Andrew showed me the actual boom pod where he does his job, and it wasn't nearly as nice as the one in the sim. The KC-135 Stratotankers are sixty years old, after all.

Here's the nose of the one I climbed into. They dole out Fink-O-Lene. Price per gallon: 2 Much.

The engines are big and you don't want birds getting slurped into the blades while you're airborne.

My baby hopped right on up in there. He be spry.

Here he is, showing me something.

And posing.

And posing yet again, for posterity, sweet obedient adventurous son that he is.

These photos were taken on Wednesday, when it was overcast and cool. Today there is not a cloud in the East Tennessee sky and the high is forecast for nearly eighty degrees.

Dagny is dressed for the occasion.

Decked out in pink with black polka dots, black lace, and pearls, secure in the arms of her doting Uncle Andrew, she's ready for an adventure of her own.

And that is all for now.


Happy Friday ~ Happy Weekend


Tank you very much

So I'm here at Andrew's house in Knoxville and since he lives near the base, we find ourselves in a flight path.

It's so cool. I don't mind the noise as long as they stay up there.

The pictured airplane is the KC-135 Stratotanker, which is what Andrew flies in to refuel fighter jets, cargo planes, and various other military aircraft.

It keeps on flying over this apartment complex. They must know I'm here.

Anyway see that orange line painted on the bottom? That's what pilots steer by when they approach the KC-135, to line up just so and guzzle go-juice from its reservoir of hundreds of thousands of pounds of fuel.

There are handy illuminators -- PDL's, or Pilot Director Lights -- on either side of that orange line too, toward the cockpit, that Andrew controls. They are used for both day and night refueling missions. He turns them up brighter during the day.

That's to provide an indispensable thing for pilots in this situation: depth perception.

Even so, Andrew tells me that fighter pilots have a tendency to be -- ahem -- arrogant. They loathe being told what to do by a boom operator. In fact, they have been known to wilfully ignore the boom's instructions.

In which case, my son wilfully withholds fuel from them.

Until they straighten up and fly right. Deal.

See the bubble toward the rear? That's the pod where the boom operator lies on his stomach, operating the boom, which you see sticking out in the back.

It's exciting. It's happening somewhere right now, probably over your own head.

But I'm in town and my son is off for the week, and he's fixing to take me over to the base and show me some stuff up close and personal.

I may even get to play in the simulator. There may be pictures; we shall see. Or not.

I'll be in touch.

And that is all for now.


Happy Wednesday


Keep a sharp eye

So last night we took Dagny for her first visit to Elmwood Cemetery.

It was not a rite of passage; she is after all only four months old. And we are not quite that weird.

There was so much to see. It was the Columbia Historical Society's big night to dress up in characters and hover behind trees near significant graves lit with tall black torches, and tell not-quite-ghost stories in the gloaming.

The lady who administrates day-to-day operations at Elmwood Cemetery has been inviting me for some time to attend this event as her guest.

They do similar tours on the second Thursday of each month, but it's understandable that October is the month that saw most of the action.

I was simply waiting for cooler temperatures, or at least not the kind of weather featuring humidity so intense, it makes a shadowy grave sound inviting.

As it turned out we enjoyed the pleasantly balmy climate typical of Columbia in October. Audrey was glad to accompany me, and as always we had Dagny in tow.

Bat-Dag sported her bat-baby costume, black and gold with a sparkly tutu skirt and detachable black satin cape. Little Miss Dark Eyes completely owned the look.

I'll show you better pictures of that getup later on this month; she will be wearing it to several events.

Speaking of getups, there was the dead almost-bride who wanders aimlessly around her grave at this time of year. The story is that she felt unwell on the day before the wedding, and everyone told her it was only pre-matrimonial jitters.

Except, she perished and instead of attending a wedding, the dearly beloved gathered together for a funeral.

Ah well. Even if she'd been married fifty years, they'd both be long gone by now.

The golden sunset was particularly fetching as it melted through the trees on the west side of Elmwood.

Elmwood is meticulously tended. I'm glad because TG and I have purchased our graves there, under a big tree, and you want the housekeeping to be on a par you can live with.

There was a lady who has been enjoying the ambience and amenities for a long time, alongside her husband. The story goes that during the war between the states, they did some undercover work for the Confederacy.

That must have really been something because one-hundred-fifty years later, she's still talking about it.

There was a young lady engaged in noisy mourning, lamenting the loss of her betrothed over a century ago. It was a locomotive accident, hence the motif on Weathersbee's impressive grave marker.

The would-have-been Mrs. Weathersbee burst into good-natured giggles however, when I complimented her on how perfectly tragic she looked in her almost-widow's weeds.

So, good times after all.

Late day waned to a blue twilight and gaggles of visitors milled about, drinking cider and roasting marshmallows, snacking on pretzels from small jack-o-lantern bags, filling out CHS How-Did-We-Do surveys clamped to clipboards outfitted with tiny-but-bright gooseneck lights to see by.

I let Audrey complete ours because I am blind as a bat without my cheaters. I did comment to a volunteer that it was a memorable shindig although I was tuckered from all the walking and more than ready to take my bones home.

Dagny won't remember any of it, but that's why we take pictures.

I can't wait to tell her about our October adventure someday in the future, and to take her back to Elmwood when she can more fully appreciate not only its peace and beauty, but its ties to the history of the city where she was born.

And that is all for now, except for me to wish you a:


Happy Friday ~ Happy Weekend


Wordless Wednesday :: Paging Miss Munster


Black velvet redux

I don't always re-post old posts but on the rare occasion I do, it's for good reason.

The reason I didn't write a fresh one today is not because I'm lazy (well, it may be because I'm lazy) but because my friend Susan, who is mentioned in this post from January of 2010, left us three years ago yesterday.

Not recycled are the photos, which I took only today of the subject thirty-seven-year-old black velvet coat, still a cherished possession.


It was the autumn of 1977 and I was a penniless 20-year-old senior at a medium-sized Northwest Indiana Bible college. 

There were strict rules at that place, which I actually loved and of which I have fond memories (the place ... not necessarily the rules).

For fun, mostly we went to the mall, where we ogled stuff we couldn’t afford at stores like Carson Pirie Scott and Rosalee, ate cheap hamburgers at York Steak House, visited Walgreens for sundries, then headed back to the dorm before curfew.

(I now loathe spending time at malls. I’d rather listen to Chairman Maobama read from a teleprompter.)

(On second thought, maybe not that.  But believe me when I say, I avoid malls.) 

And so it was that one night I wandered into Evans, a store that purported to dress glamorous, fashionable females at prices north of Sears Roebuck but south of insane.

And I saw it.

It had been hung for display on a rack all by itself and placed at the very end of a long, open, luxuriously carpeted and softly lit space, with fetching merchandise lushly arranged on either side. 

It was itself long, and black (by far my favorite color to wear, even then), and soft, and mysterious, and unique, and rather expensive. 

It was a full-length velvet coat in exactly my 1977 size: seven. Inside, sewn into the shiny satin lining just below the collar, was a huge black label with “Evans ... Chicago Paris Milan” emblazoned in elegant white. 

Farther down, near the hem where the coat closed with simple black buttons, was another label -- this one itself in snowy white -- with the words “Junior Belle” monogrammed in stunning black cursive. 

The labels spoke to me in a language I understood innately, and which filled me with a strange excitement.  

And I simply had to have the article of clothing defined by those labels. I had never seen anything like it, or for that matter any garment that was more utterly, completely, inescapably me.

So -- trembling -- I tried it on.

And found to my delight that the coat had been designed and constructed especially for my frame, my femininity, my attitude, my sartorial vision, my inner glamour girl.

The coat’s waist cinched with a wide self-belt. There were saucy epaulets on the shoulders, and other vaguely military details. The voluminous skirt had been cut from a full circle of fabric and its heavy folds swayed, gracefully flirtatious, just below my knees.

I don’t remember how much it cost; I only know that without thinking thrice I put it on layaway and thought of scarcely anything else until, several weeks later, I paid the balance and walked out of Evans with my gorgeous black velvet coat, swathed in protective plastic, draped over my arm.

Last night I was talking with an old and dear friend as she drove, alone except for her two dogs, from her parents’ house in Inverness, Florida, to her own home in Huntsville, Texas.  

She was, in fact, my roommate during my senior year in college ... the year I found and bought and first wore my beloved black velvet coat.

“I love the new look of your blog,” my friend remarked. “Are those your pearl necklaces and bracelets and things?” 

I told her that they were. “Not only that,” I said. “I photographed them lying on top of the black velvet coat I bought at Evans during our senior year. Remember?”

She laughed and, with the unconditional generosity of long friendship, assured me that she recalled the glamorous swath I tore through the landscape while wearing the only black velvet coat on campus. 

My friend was incredulous that I still have the coat (although Jimmy Carter was in office the last time I fit into it), as well as the long antique-ivory lace scarf, dripping with fringe, that I always wore hanging down the front as a counterpoint to the inky-black velvet.

In 1989, following the birth of my fourth child and only son, I bought a second black velvet coat. Although its cut and style is more matronly than that of the tiny-waisted ingenue that was its predecessor, the coat is equally glamorous (I think), and it still fits.  

In fact I wore it yesterday, to church.

If I were told could no longer be human but was obliged to morph into a length of fabric, I would aspire to be black velvet. 

Dramatic yet soft, black velvet is feminine and alluring and faintly dangerous.

Beginning as humble cotton, my black velvet coats were woven and cut and dyed and shaped and sewn into elegant and beautiful -- while surprisingly durable -- warmth-giving things.

In a denim world, black velvet takes no prisoners. It brings a thrill of timeless glamour to everyday life. It is a treat to see and to touch. It is an experience unto itself, for reasons known only to those affected by it.

Black velvet plays for keeps.

I want to be exactly like that.


Happy Monday


It take-a panache to be a pirate

This is Jeff, my first cousin. He is proof positive that being a pirate runs in our family.

Jeff is the son of my late beloved Uncle Sherrill, my mother's brother, who left us two years ago.

My cousin Jeff was born with a birth defect that rendered his left leg useless. He has lived his entire life dependent upon one prosthetic gizmo or another, in order to get around.

But he does get around. Jeff has never allowed his physical infirmity -- or anything else you can think of -- to stop him from realizing both goals and dreams in his life.

Among many other things, Jeff is the loving and completely devoted, faithful husband of his sweetheart, Janice.

That in itself is a stellar achievement, and one which many men with two good legs never attain, or even aspire to.

Jeff is comfortable in his skin, a southern gentleman, and a person who is open to all of life's possibilities.

At some point Jeff underwent an amputation of part of the left leg, and he now wears a state-of-the-art prosthetic device that, from all appearances, works better for him than my left leg works for me.

The reason I am telling you this is that Jeff and Janice recently took to blue water, had an adventure on the high seas as it were, and Jeff made a YouTube.

Jeff explains the whole thing better than I could, at the start of the video. 

The short version is that he and Janice spent a week on the sailing yacht Dream Away, a Hardin 45 ketch-rigged cutter.

With their experienced Captain Jim and First Mate Kitty, Jeff and Janice embarked from Delcambre, Louisiana, on September 25th, making their way first down the Atchafalaya River to the Gulf of Mexico, then across the Gulf to Clearwater, Florida, arriving on October 1st.

En route, Janice celebrated her fifty-fourth birthday.

And underwent chemotherapy treatments.

What a woman. Although she was less sanguine than Jeff about the trip, she stood by her man.

As for her intrepid squeeze, if the sight of Jeff swinging from the rigging doesn't put a grin on your face, his spinning routine at the end will surely make you laugh out loud.

Or at least chuckle audibly.

As for me, it brought tears to my eyes. Above all I am inspired by Jeff's exuberance, his joie de vivre.

Captain Jack Sparrow couldn't have executed that move with more grace or panache.

The bionic pirate and his princess may sail again in December, on a longer adventure. They've been invited.

Meanwhile, keep a weather eye on the horizon. You never know when a pirate may materialize.

And that's when the fun begins.


Happy Friday ~ Smooth Sailing


Wordless Wednesday :: First October