So there IS such a thing as a free ride.
Maybe even a free lunch.
It occurs to me I may have been shopping on the wrong side of town.
Happy Monday ~ Happy New Week
Welcome to jennyweber dot com
= Call of the Riled =
The most optimistic pessimist you are ever likely to meet.
One imagination at a time!
Don't shoot the messenger, babe.
Oh and I hope you dig snark-casm
because there's plenty on hand.
We should be in good shape as long as the Chanel No. 5, mascara, red lipstick, and Diet Coke hold out.
~ Jennifer ~
Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957
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~
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!
I am a taphophile
Great things are happening at
If you don't believe me, click the pics.
Dying is a wild night
and a new road.
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.
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.
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
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.
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
So there IS such a thing as a free ride.
Maybe even a free lunch.
It occurs to me I may have been shopping on the wrong side of town.
Happy Monday ~ Happy New Week
H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y T O J A V I E R
Our beloved pet, Javier, turns fifteen today.
That's one hundred five in dog years.
He was born on Bastille Day in 1999. Bleu Blanc Rouge!
He's been ours since the beginning.
Considering his advanced age, Javier is doing pretty well.
Truth be known, he sleeps most of the time.
Increasingly however, he experiences bad days.
Days when we can tell he has more aches and pains.
We dote on him anyway, but on his bad days we dote extra.
Time was Javier could chow down on a dish of (dry) Purina Little Bites.
It was his kibble of choice.
Not that he had much choice; PLB was what I gave him.
But judging by his enthusiasm while eating, he loved it.
The day came when I felt it necessary to add hot water to his kibble.
That's because, like some pirates, Javier is distinctly edentulous.
Look it up.
Oh, okay. I'll tell you what it means: Lacking teeth.
So I'd make his kibble soft and he seemed to enjoy that.
Then one time, Erica was keeping him for a few nights.
She served him canned soft food.
He loved it.
So I've switched to Alpo Prime Cuts and Gravy Cravers.
And I heat his serving slightly so it smells delicious.
Javier can throw down on a dishful of warm dog food.
And he still gets the occasional table scrap, as well as small-dog treats.
He is mostly deaf and mostly blind. But his sense of smell is excellent.
And his tail still wags a lot.
Javier may not be able to hear me when I call him.
But he can still sprint the length of the kitchen (a long way).
He may not be able to see me when I'm standing three feet from his nose.
But he can still jump up into my chair to snuggle beside me.
What our dog lacks in acute senses he more than makes up for with personality.
He posed so sweetly for his birthday portrait.
Happy Birthday, Dear Javier!
And -- please God -- at least one more.
Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.
= Emily Dickinson =
Happy Monday ~ Happy Week
Recently I spent a blissful several hours walking the grounds of the deserted institution formerly known as the South Carolina State Lunatic Asylum.
Its deteriorating cupola faces everyone driving eastward on Elmwood to where it makes a "T" with Bull Street.
Turn left and in no time you're at Palmetto Health Richland. Turn right and say Aunt Sally and you're in downtown Columbia. Stay straight and you're less than a hundred yards from (now empty) mental wards. The terminus, as it were.
In fact, the land on which the old asylum sits is the largest in-town tract of developable real estate on the eastern seaboard.
One hundred seventy-eight acres. Some under broken glass.
And for one hundred seventy-six years, it was home to tens of thousands whose mental state rendered them unable to function in society.
Sounds like Washington, District of a different Columbia.
Going nowhere. Well -- no place anybody in their right mind wants to go.
In recent years however, investors have floated ambitious plans for the crumbling property, none of which lofty visions have thus far come to fruition.
So there it sits at the mercy of the elements, not to mention the second law of thermodynamics. Waiting for deliverance as countless souls have done within its environs.
It seemed appropriate for me to head my automobile toward the asylum grounds to take pictures. Things have been crazy at my house.
I sought solitude combined with moderate exercise enhanced by a mild creative buzz. And as so often has been the case in cemeteries, I found it.
As you might imagine, this defunct property is massive, creepy, eerie, haunting in its Stephen King-ish brand of decay, dereliction, and acute abandonment.
Someday I'd like to gain entrance to Babcock -- the main hospital building -- as others have done, and take photos of the heartbreaking detritus to be found there.
But on Saturday, owning the keys to no kingdom, I was obliged to content myself with drive-walking the acres looking for poignant outdoor photographic subjects.
It was hot so I wore a hat. Enthusiastic cicadas droned in the trees and overgrowth but otherwise it was wonderfully silent.
The voices are all gone and so are the eyes, but there were times I felt watched and I heard -- well. Not voices. I'm not there yet.
But it is at times as though, if you listen, you can hear memories.
They speak to you. Pay attention, I said to myself.
The sky was impressive enough, though perhaps not as dramatic as I would have preferred.
Ultimately the saving grace turned out to be that my heart was in it.
And as always when that is the case, the clouds occasionally parted to reveal something special.
As I wended home to my family -- whom I've convinced I'm sane -- I snapped one more from the car window going westward on I-26.
Yes, I was careful. Eyes on the road.
Enjoy your life and look to the skies not only this weekend, but always.
On Sunday evening, after church services and a fellowship had concluded, we drove the five miles downtown to Finlay Park so that Dagny could see it for the first time.
Finlay Park is fourteen acres of lush greenery and walking paths and moving water (culminating in a fountain that reminds me of a lopsided tiered cake), situated across Laurel Street from the Governor's Mansion and overlooking the Columbia skyline.
Such as it is. Columbia's skyline is smallish but interesting enough, with a singularly southern vibe.
And whoever wishes may contemplate its particular charms while lolling on one of many long swings set up above the fountain overlooking the park and Columbia's quiet streets below.
The thing about Finlay Park is, on a mild summer evening (such as we certainly had), it is a truly lovely place from which to watch the birds swoop and dive, hear the fountain's bubbly splash, and ponder life as the sky darkens and city lights begin to twinkle.
Dagny, our darling treasure, slept through the entire excursion.
The activities of the day had worn our little baby out.
Uncle Andrew (who was home for the weekend) toted his niece in her carrier from the car and parked her between me and Audrey on one of the swings.
If you know of something cuter and more precious than a tiny baby sleeping peacefully, I would like to know what it is.
Puppies come (a close but definite) second so don't say puppies.
Anyway, I spent a good deal of time looking at Dagny, examining each eyelash and each curl, watching her breathe, taking in all the innocence of her impossibly tiny and incredibly perfect hands and feet.
She's a specimen, I thought for the millionth time in twenty-two days. Excellence in female children. Dagny Clare, the adorable and adored.
And as the sky pale-blued to deeper-blued, then pinked and purpled, then darkened to reveal a small bright piece of moon, Dagny remained motionless, lost in her baby dreams.
She missed the several minutes we all watched as two jet airliners cruised overhead, closer together than I can remember ever having seen two jet airliners cruise overhead.
Winking silver in the waning sunlight they progressed southward as we marveled.
I said, as I always do, as if you have been paying attention you know I loathe the prospect of air travel: Thanks but no thanks, I'll stay on the ground.
I am however, as I know you know, endlessly entertained by the changing sky.
From our lazy swings (for our party of six occupied two) we chatted with passers-by who exclaimed over Dagny's overwhelmingly sweet newborn-ness.
Children in one party had been promised ice cream after the park, so we advised them to eat lots and savor every sugar-frosty lick-nibble.
As far as I am concerned, that is the definitive "buy low, sell high" tip of childhood.
If Dagny kenned anything of the goings-on, there were airplanes and salmon-colored clouds and birdies and ice cream cones woven into her slumber.
Eventually the sky took on that she-wore-blue-velvet look it gets when the clock goes nine-ish and the temperature is moderate and humidity is relatively low (for South Carolina in July) and the breezes are not only agreeable, but engagingly playful.
The cicada population were long silent for that calendar day, but a few fireflies winked in a saucy dialog with the Finlay Park lights casting their strong glow and the city buildings shining, waiting beyond, hours from the bustle of Monday morning business as usual.
We picked up our snoozing beloved baby and as we did, I thought of all the times (God willing) Dagny'll come back with us to Finlay Park, and she won't be sleeping.
She'll swing on a swing and skip on a path and stand in the fountain's spray and gaze at the birds and the clouds, and we'll promise her ice cream afterwards.
I can't wait.
And that is all for now.
In this short Life
That only lasts an hour
How much -- how little -- is
Within our power
= Emily Dickinson =
Last Sunday, Dagny went to church for the first time.
In all the excitement, I forgot my camera at home. My iPhone had to suffice.
Apologies. I don't even like to talk on the blasted thing, much less take pictures with it. That's what Nikons are for.
Mostly I use my phone (which, don't get me wrong, I do dearly love) for timing things, like hardboiled eggs or coloring my hair, or short healthy walks, or waking me up in time to get ready for Sunday School.
And of course texting, which I've taken to like shrimp to grits.
At any rate, we made do.
Dagny wore frilly white (a dress I bought for her) for the first part of church (when she was in the nursery), then changed to frilly pink (a dress bought for her by my dear friend Joyce) for the invitation time.
See my pitty dwess y'all?
That's when she accompanied TG and me and Aunt Erica and her mommy down to the front so that her mother could seek membership in our congregation.
And that is when our wonderful pastor in his godly wisdom and compassion explained the situation to the church, and exhorted all and sundry to love and pray for Audrey.
Whereupon our beloved (and very brave) daughter was enthusiastically voted into membership, after which so many people queued up to greet and encourage her, and to meet Dagny, that it took at least a half hour for the apres-service festivities to conclude.
We are independent fundamental Baptists. The religious right, as it were. I will not apologize for that and if it offends you in the slightest, I lovingly but firmly invite you to click right on out.
But as such we often get called stuff like mean, judgmental, legalistic, self-righteous, hateful, close-minded, puritanical, out of touch, and pathetically behind the times. Ignorant rednecks. Zombie-like sycophants. Shallow purveyors of easy-believism. Those who, having barely acquired head knowledge, lack the spiritual wherewithal to obtain true heart knowledge and thereby access the "deeper things of God."
We have been accused of thinking we have arrived, that we are the only ones going to heaven, that everyone not doing everything exactly like us is at best misguided and at worst bound for hottest hell.
And I have no doubt that, since we are all sinners (as is every other sort of person, no matter what church affiliation they do or do not embrace), some of those characteristics exist in each of us from time to time and to varying degrees.
Much to our shame and, I hope, to our Holy Spirit conviction and heartfelt repentance whenever carnal arrogance may occur.
But I would like to state that, from the first time I was required to share the details of this situation with family members (yes; all professing and practicing Christians), until Sunday and even into this current week, when I have received loving emails from old friends just learning of Dagny's birth, I have encountered nothing remotely resembling an attitude of self-righteous condemnation.
Quite and completely the opposite.
The same goes for my lovely daughter.
And I can assure you that during the past seven months, I have had the conversation many, many times. Many times. Many more times than I would have liked.
I don't know what I expected, because as you know, I never expected anything like this to happen in the first place. It wasn't that I thought my children were/are above sin. I just didn't expect it. If that causes you to think less of me, so be it.
I think it is safe to assume that when it did happen, I subsequently either still did not know what to expect, or I expected -- I don't know. Nothing? I really can't say.
Maybe that's why it has been overwhelmingly positive to learn firsthand, in a crisis, of just how loving, just how forgiving, just how generous, just how non-judgmental true Christians actually are.
Something I knew intuitively, but which -- again -- I'd never had occasion to experience in this particular way.
And that unconditional love, that spirit of forgiveness, that unstinting generosity, that non-judgmental mentality has been fervently and consistently demonstrated by those of the far-right stripe -- who as often as not get the raspberries for being so rigid, so unyielding, so narrow-minded, so full of condemnation -- throughout these months.
And it continues to be demonstrated. Daily.
Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but that all-Christians-are-holier-than-thou nonsense is a myth. It isn't true. In these days of come-as-you-are, leave-as-you-were, feel-good, anti-religion religion, those are the very people you want in your corner when the chips are down, way down.
However I would also like to acknowledge that many people who know and love Audrey -- some for years and a number who have met her only in recent months -- who do not necessarily identify with any faith or denomination, least of all ours -- have also been incredibly kind, loving, helpful, understanding, and generous.
I could tell you the stories, one after the other, but it would take too long and you would become bored and hungry and go in search of cookies or a sandwich and maybe even end up watching daytime TV, and we wouldn't want that.
But I mean, when you receive bountiful gorgeous gifts from blogging buddies? Who in some cases have only seen pictures of my family, and read about them? It sets one back. It is humbling and life-affirming. It contains a lesson of how we all should be if we are not already, and how we all should be more if we already are.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
= I John 3:14 =
Audrey's heart has been blessed again and again by the thoughtfulness of singular ladies who, to her, are virtual strangers. Names she has heard, but faces she would not necessarily recognize. They owe me nothing and her nothing, but they don't see it that way. They give because that's what they are: givers.
Then there are the gifts given and prayers promised by lovely and kind Christians from the congregation of our eldest daughter and her husband, our son-in-law who serves as pastor of a Baptist church in North Carolina. Gifts so personal and bespoke as to be heirloom quality, things that Dagny will use and enjoy for her entire life, and pass down to her own children.
Again: Thank you.
I guess I'll leave it at this: I think what we have here is simply a matter of, there a lot of very gracious individuals that the Weber clan are privileged to know. We are extremely grateful to each and every one, be they family, friend, or acquaintance, Christians or no, people who do not claim to be perfect by any stretch, but who universally have an uncanny knack for making the perfect gesture.
Each gift, each card, each email, each hug, each prayer, each tear, each visit, each meal, each wish of happiness will be remembered and savored. And I for one feel most undeserving.
As for my darling Dagny, who lay in my arms and looked directly into my eyes throughout the entire invitation time and its aftermath, and never cried once, not even a peep, she is worth anything and everything we might have been or may be called upon to face or endure, even if it were to be the polar opposite of what has hitherto been our most fortunate lot.
God be praised for His gift of this beautiful child, and of precious friends to help us teach her love.
Out of a fall, love makes a steppingstone
And quite reverses all the foe has done.
= Amy Carmichael =