Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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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

  

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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

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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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.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

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.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

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

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

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

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Daft Like Jack

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

And We'll Sing It All The Time
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  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
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  • Copia
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  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
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  • Nightfall
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  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
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    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
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  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
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  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
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  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
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  • The Amateur
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  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
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  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
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  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
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  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
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  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
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  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
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  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
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  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
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  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
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    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
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    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
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  • 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
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    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
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  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
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  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
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    by Eleanor Alexander
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
    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
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • 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
    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
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    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Friday
Jul122019

Five, six, pick up sticks

Dagny spent the night with TG and me on Wednesday.

She hopped into our car after prayer meeting, toting her hardshell rolling suitcase that lights up when you touch something or other on the front.

We stopped by Puglix Publix for supplies on the way home. TG and I like to visit Publix on Wednesdays because we get a five percent senior discount.

While Dagny was getting out of her car seat (it'll soon be replaced by a pared-down booster seat), she mentioned that she was five.

I said I was aware of that fact.

Pretty soon I'll be six, she said.

I cautioned her to slow down and enjoy being five for as long as she could.

Once inside the store, she requested that we stock up on graham crackers and chocolate milk. Both wishes were granted.

Once at home, she ate a meal of chicken and mashed potatoes (yes; she'd already had dinner earlier but so what), washed down with lemonade and chased with graham crackers, on top of which we applied a layer of whipped cream from a can.

That last part was a BIG hit.

Later, after brushing our teeth, she and I snuggled in my bed and watched a fascinating slime video, topped off by a video of two ladies eating various sweets, all colored blue. Blue ice cream. Blue cereal treats. Blue honey buns. Blue gummy suckers.

Ugh.

At about midnight, Dag went to her pallet on the floor and was dreaming in less than thirty seconds.

We slept in on Thursday. After the breakfast and coffee hour, and once we'd gotten dressed, Dagny assisted me with various chores.

She is eager to help with just about anything you're doing. We made beds and folded clothes. She's exceptional at folding towels.

While packing her belongings back into her suitcase, Dagny spotted a tiny bug on the white shirt which, the night before, she'd tossed onto the floor of my room.

The way she reacted, you would have thought it was a five-pound snake.

It almost stopped my life, she said.

Hyperbole 'R' us.

I checked her pulse (normal) and told her to relax.

Then, she pushed the "buttons" on my new washer and dryer, to move laundry along.

(My washing machine died on July first. My dryer was already old and not particularly efficient. The new set was delivered on Wednesday and they're the kind with light-up panels and a window-lid on the agitator-less top-loading washer. When your clothes are done washing and, later, dried to a cozy crisp, a little song plays. She loved watching through the window and listening for the song, and lit up herself, when she heard it.)

Then it was time to empty the dishwasher, an activity that Dagny adores. She knows where everything goes, but naturally she can put away only things that go in spaces she's able to reach. Because five.

But that's quite a lot, and together we made short work of the task.

Then it was time to make hummingbird nectar.

Dagny fetched her white plastic stool from upstairs so that she could help me measure the water and sugar into the pan. She squeezed in the gel food coloring.

(Yes; I know that the addition of food coloring to homemade hummingbird nectar is controversial. We did it anyway. The hummingbirds love my nectar. They fight over it. I've never seen one drop dead from a drop or two of red coloring. Just the opposite; they thrive on it and drain the feeders almost daily.)

Once the pan of nectar was on the stove, Dagny carefully stirred with a small silicone spatula, until it was almost to a boil.

We set the pan aside to cool, and readied ourselves for an outdoor job.

You may remember that in 2016, Andrew removed the ugly holly bushes from the front of our house, and shoveled a ton of rocks into the space which surrounds the white oak.

We have a green bench there and it's so pretty now, and a great place to take pictures.

Only, as you might imagine, thousands of sticks drop from the tree and accumulate on the rocks.

They were sorely in need of a clean-up. Dagny had gone to the store with Papaw last week and helped him pick out a roomy bin to put the sticks in.

Unbeknownst to either me or Audrey, during that shopping trip TG struck a bargain with his ride or die. It involved her earning a few shekels in exchange for services rendered.

So when Dagny, I, and Rizzo went outside for stick cleanup, she marched over to the side of the garage where she'd seen Papaw put the bin. She grabbed it and told me this was what we'd fill with sticks.

Oh ... okay, I said. I'd never seen the bin before but she was confident. And confidence is key.

As we placed the bin on the bench and began collecting sticks, Dagny informed me that Papaw had promised to pay her for performing this chore.

He said I'd get ten bucks, she announced.

? ? ? ? ?

I was skeptical and I said as much. Dag, really? Ten whole dollars? 

She assured me that a sawbuck had been the agreed-upon price for her stick removal services.

Dagny is not known to tell untruths so maybe I shouldn't have, but I said I found it difficult to believe that Papaw had promised her that much money for picking up a few sticks.

(If it was true, I wondered if she'd negotiated a golden parachute while she was at it.)

She hesitated, then said: Well, maybe nine dollars?

I laughed. Maybe, I said. We'll see. 

Later, when Audrey arrived, she agreed that Dagny was perhaps guilty of, if not making something up, then certainly engaging in wishful thinking.

I think three or four dollars would be plenty, she said.

But we decided we'd wait and ask Papaw. Get it from the horse's mouth, as it were.

Later still, when TG arrived home, Dagny and her mother had already left. He'd seen the overflowing stick-bin still sitting on the green bench, and mentioned what a good job Dagny had done cleaning up the rocks.

Did you tell her you'd give her ten dollars for doing that? I asked.

Yes I did, he said.

Well, shut my mouth. I'll have to apologize to my angel for doubting her word. Make it up to her with a few extra graham crackers and whipped cream.

Meanwhile, when we had finished our stick pickup project, Dagny and Rizzo played on the grass.

She tends to overwhelm my spoiled dog with her affections, and he gave some serious side-eye before semi-relaxing into her zealous embrace.

But as he loves to be in the front yard sans leash (and no walkies threatened), it was all good.

We should have seen if his lazy carcass would deign to fetch a stick, but it never occurred to me.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend

Wednesday
Jul102019

Wednesday Words: Just Wondering


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Happy Wednesday
Monday
Jul082019

Kitten in the kitchen

Audrey does the honors

Current situation: kitten.

As in, when TG went outside to fire up the grill on the Fourth of July, he found a single tiny mewling kitten in the area between our deck and a door leading into the garage.

She'd been abandoned. We searched for hours for her mother and siblings. Not a whisker was to be found.

Rizzo had been eyeing an area between the deck boards, and growling, for a few days. A gray cat has been stalking around our yard for a couple of weeks.

I reasoned that these clues added up to a stray cat having produced a litter of kittens under our deck.

But if that's what happened, they're all long gone.

Is "my" kitten the runt of the litter? Probably.

Since that evening, before the fireworks began, she's been occupying Javier's old crate.

Dagny supplied her with a small stuffed toy. TG went to the store for kitten replacement formula.

Here's my dilemma: accept the fact that I'm now a cat owner, with all that that shocking idea implies, or find her a loving home amongst our friends and acquaintances, or pay for a no-kill shelter to accept her for adoption.

I am leaning toward no one of these solutions.

I have no idea what to do.

Perhaps someone can help me decide.

Cast your votes below. Keep? Give away? Be extorted by the local no-kill shelter?

Meanwhile, the kitten has a name. I use it frequently when bottle-feeding her.

It's Velvet.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Tuesday
Jul022019

Let Freedom Ring


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Happy Fourth of July
Friday
Jun282019

Delightful Dessert Alert

A few posts ago, I promised to share a recipe with you.

I thought I'd make good on that vow in case you were casting about for something new to make for your Fourth of July celebrations.

No; it isn't a red/white/blue dessert. There is no red jello and no strawberries or blueberries. I regret to say, there is no watermelon in this dish.

You'll have to get your watermelon fix somewhere else. As I will be doing -- straight out of the watermelon.

This is a chocolate dessert, the formal name of which is Chocolate Delight.

Joyce, my good friend at church, shared this recipe with me. She reports that she is not allowed entrance to any family gathering unless she brings a big old dish of Chocolate Delight.

Her sons especially demand it. And while that may or may not be the acid test, it was good enough for me.

So I made it for Memorial Day and all I can say is, yes. We'll put this one in the rotation.

For years, on account of Andrew's love for it, I frequently made Pretzel Salad (a deceptive name) for the big family parties where a jello-type offering was appropriate.

With its crust of crushed pretzels and butter turning crunchy-golden and nut-like in taste, and its layers of Cool Whip mixed with cream cheese and sugar, and strawberry jello crammed with frozen strawberries, it's a winner and there are never any leftovers. 

Or if there ever were, I'd send them home with Andrew. He will testify that it's a dessert he cannot resist.

Chocolate Delight is every bit as good, in a different way. Whereas Pretzel Salad is cool and tart and sweet, this is all decadent chocolate creaminess with the sweet.

And the crust is killer. It's central to this dish so do it exactly as I tell you.

Here's the recipe:

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CHOCOLATE DELIGHT

For Crust:

1 and 1/2 sticks butter, melted

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour

3/4 cup chopped nuts*

Mix blended ingredients and pat smooth in 9x13 baking pan (preferably glass), then bake in 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until crust begins to turn golden brown.

* Look. Trust me. Use either sliced almonds or finely-chopped pecans, and do not measure. Just throw in a generous handful. You'll see what I mean. The result is like a giant shortbread cookie. Try not to eat it before it has its fill of filling.

For Filling:

8 oz. full-fat cream cheese

1 cup confectioners 10X sugar

1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip Extra Creamy

Mix cream cheese and sugar well, then add the Cool Whip and mix it all together.

Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.

For Topping:

2 small (3-oz.) packages instant chocolate pudding*

3 cups milk (not 4 cups as would be called for if prepared by box instructions)

1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip Extra Creamy

Mix dry pudding mix with the milk and blend as if for pudding.

Pour the pudding over the cream cheese/Cool Whip layer.

Top the whole thing with the second tub of Cool Whip Extra Creamy.

Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.

* I used Godiva Chocolate Caramel instant pudding and I highly recommend this.

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If you want, for the patriotic holiday you could top all of this with red/white/blue sprinkles. 

Or plant tiny American toothpick flags across the snowy Cool Whip landscape.

But I stayed true to the vision and garnished the top of mine with about half a bag of Toll House Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels.

I didn't know that these tiny pieces of chocolate were so adorable, or so delicious.

As I've said before, I'm not necessarily one to reach for the chocolate desserts first (with the possible exception of homemade chocolate cake with chocolate icing).

But this one is so silky-smooth, so light, so cold, so creamy, and the tiny morsels on top just enough of a chocolate experience, to make this dessert unique and very special.

If you make it for your people, let me know and tell me what you (and they) think of it.

I don't plan to make Chocolate Delight again for a while, because it's one of those desserts that I cannot resist. It's not time for a treat of this magnitude again, quite yet. 

We must pace ourselves.

Perhaps I'll trot this one out again for Labor Day, when we'll mark the almost-end of summer and celebrate our Stephanie's birthday.

Meanwhile, whatever your menu and however laid-back or elaborate the plans for your family's Independence Day observance and celebration, as always, may the Fourth be with you.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend

Monday
Jun242019

The case of the recalcitrant canine

Subtitle: Rizzo refuses to ramble.

This post falls firmly into the category of Recent Developments.

As in, Rizzo -- who has been basically walking me for many weeks -- suddenly and without warning, about ten days ago, decided not to walk, but to balk.

Permanently.

The first time it happened was on an ordinary day. We were in the habit of going walkies right around midday.

Our walk takes place strictly in our neighborhood, and, as its distance is approximately two miles, lasts about twenty-five minutes.

Rizzo's habit has been to begin jumping and expressing other signs of joy and enthusiasm the moment I appear dressed in the clothes I wear to walk.

So I'd harness him up and put on my hat and sunnies, and away we'd go.

He practically couldn't wait until the garage door was up to go bolting out into the sunshine and begin checking his messages.

I'd catch up with him in the side yard (that's as far as he'd get) after closing said garage door, and we'd start down the street.

He loved to apply the brakes every few feet in order to mark the random bush or mailbox, but other than that, Rizzo trotted ahead of me with pronounced alacrity.

Until that day, week before last.

We were not even to the halfway point -- where we round a circle and start back towards home -- when Rizzo became stationary. Positively inert.

At first I thought he wanted to leave a drop or two as a greeting for another dog. So I waited.

But he wasn't lifting a hair, much less a hind leg. He simply stood there, looking at me.

I tugged the leash and urged him with my voice, to get a move on.

He gazed at the space around him. And blinked.

I tugged harder. (He wears a harness so I was not pulling on his neck.)

Even so, I had to pull so hard that the harness nearly came off over his neck. Something it is not designed to do.

What is wrong with you? I demanded of my dog. I'd never seen anything like it.

Rizzo continued looking at me.

The more I tugged, the more mulish he became. I thought of a line from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, uttered by the cute pirate himself:

"That dog is never going to move."

Okay, I said. I'll carry you for three mailboxes. Then you're back on your own legs. Got it?

Rizzo made no reply as I heaved him into my arms.

We trudged along. Three mailboxes later, as promised, I returned him to the pavement.

The little sucker is heavy.

I know you're waiting with bated breath. Did he walk?

That would be an emphatic no.

We stood there for an amount of time, the length of which I don't remember.

I coaxed and I cooed. I attempted to reason with Rizzo, reminding him of how much he loves our walk. Because he appeared to have forgotten.

Finally I had no choice. Do you want to go back home? I asked him, turning as if to reverse our direction of travel.

Immediately Rizzo trotted out in front of me, tautening the leash. In that fashion, with his customary level of ambulatory involvement, he led me home.

Well I never, I thought as, back in the cool kitchen, I un-harnessed him. I'll have to look this up on the internet.

So I did, and what do you know? It's a thing. An actual thing.

It turns out that there are many reasons a dog may suddenly refuse to walk. 

There are the obvious ones: he has a sore paw or some other pain point (nope -- Rizzo makes nary a whine or a groan or a yip or any other indication that he is experiencing discomfort); he doesn't understand the concept of walking on a leash (nope -- usually it's his idea); it's too hot (nope -- temperature wasn't an issue); or he's afraid of something (nope -- unless bushes and yards scare him. I think not).

Or it could be that, just like humans tend to be, he's being lazy.

Yep. I think we have our answer.

Since that day, one time, Rizzo and I made it a fraction of the distance we reached the first time he balked.

Again, with no warning, he flat-out refused to budge until we started back for home.

I was denied my constitutional right to a constitutional that day, and I resented it.

So next time, I harnessed him up and tried to get him to go towards the door.

Not going to happen. He balked in the kitchen, refusing to walk even a few feet.

Today, I took the pictures that illustrate this post. I knew he wouldn't walk; these are purely for your benefit.

The first shot was taken in the side yard where he loves to spend several minutes prior to the walk (the one he'll no longer take).

The second was taken on the street just in front of our house; that's as far as we got before he began impersonating a mule.

The third was taken a few seconds later, when I suggested he go back inside while I took a walk without the privilege of his company.

You can see how well that notion was received.

He pulled me back up towards the garage and, just as he used to wait impatiently for it to open so that he could go out, he waited even more impatiently for it to open so that he could go back in.

I walked alone. I'm guessing that until further notice, that's the way it's going to be.

My lazy mutt, who used to live for walkies, is currently flaked out by my side.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Tuesday
Jun182019

The back forty

Our momentous birthday/anniversary/Father's Day weekend has passed into history.

It has officially been forty years since TG and I tied the knot.

I mean, seriously. Forty years since that Georgia June day? I can't even.

But here we are, so let's have a show-and-tell post. I would not have you left out of the festivities.

First -- on Friday -- it was Dagny's fifth birthday. Yes; our baby shares a birthday with President Trump.

MAGA!

Five singles adorned the inside of a card from a precious elderly lady at our church.

But Dagny loved all of her cards -- even if they did not contain cash. Because naturally, even cashless, they accompanied a present.

For example, this Baby Alive from Andrew and Brittany.

Big hit.

As were any and all greeting cards that featured dogs.

As well as cards that do NOT feature dogs. This one was from TG and me, and was not stuffed with cash, and still elicited this reaction:

(On her birthday, Dagny gives a new meaning to the term "off the chain.")

Her new bicycle (from her mother) was technically not a surprise, but she was still excited to see it with two pink bows attached.

It's a big deal when you graduate from a scooter to a real bike with training wheels.

Everybody went outside to watch her take it for a spin.

Even with Uncle Andrew and Allissa as her wingmen, Dag still managed to fall and scrape her nose.

I remarked to Chad, standing next to me on the balcony, watching the scene unfold: Into every life a little rain must fall. He agreed and we laughed.

Poor Dagny! But then Mama kissed it better and the tears stopped.

Next up? Cake!

The plastic candelabra I got for a dollar fifty at Walmart held the candles at odd angles.

We just went with it.

They didn't have to be up there for long so it didn't matter.

Baby Alive kept a sharp eye on all of the proceedings.

I know; right? Creepy.

Then it was time to tuck in to that cake -- which Audrey had gotten for free from the Publix bakery, because when she went to pick up the cake she'd special ordered, no one could find it.

They hadn't made Dagny's cake at all. Audrey simply stood there and looked at the manager, who pretty quickly led her to the cake case and urged her to pick out a complimentary confection.

With their apologies.

No apologies were needed the next day, when we all trooped over to Andrew and Brittany's for our anniversary party.

I'd worked for days assembling props for our celebration.

In addition to taking my wedding dress along and hanging it in a window, I had dozens of framed photos and hundreds of photos in albums, for the kids to look at.

Forty years of memories crammed into frames and books. They loved it.

Since it was Father's Day weekend, lots of the pictures featured the children with their dad -- either individually or as a group.

There were flowers. Lots of pretty flowers.

We'd ordered forty red roses from Globalrose, and they sent fifty. So we had some extras.

That was fun. Next to a vaseful of the extra roses I sat one of our wedding invitations, framed.

Meanwhile, in his outdoor kitchen Andrew was grilling inch-and-a-half-thick bacon-wrapped filet mignons from the meat market. I'd let them bask overnight in a marinade of minced garlic and soy sauce.

Andrew had started the steaks in Brittany's oven before carrying them to the grill to finish. They were fork-tender in no time.

Along with the filets (there were burgers and hot dogs for the children) we had baked potatoes, a many-item salad bar, and deviled eggs. For dessert there was cheesecake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. And sprinkles.

(Where our Brittany is, there are always sprinkles for dessert.)

Everybody was there -- even Joel, who as a pastor is normally pretty busy on Saturdays, preparing for Sunday sevices. He headed home in the late afternoon, taking Little Andrew with him so he'd have a kid of his own on Father's Day.

It was an honor to have all of my children and grandchildren with us for the party.

Even that adorable grandbaby (it's a girl!) due to be born in December.

For the grandkids already among us, I'd bought giant bubble wands.

Speaking of  Little Andrew, he and Melanie were busy trying to beat one another at corn hole.

That was before Little Andrew decided it was time to suit up and make use of the swimming pool until time for dinner.

Rambo was free to roam the grounds and made the most of it. Maverick is too rowdy to be among so many people, so he was in his kennel for much of the day.

Rambo likes being the only dog around. And he likes to take it real easy on warm days.

After supper and before Joel and Little Andrew left for home, I gave the kids a test.

It consisted of twenty-five questions about their dad's and my romance, engagement, and wedding.

There were prizes of giant chocolate bars (fourth place got sugarless gum).

Stephanie/Joel and Erica/Chad tied for first place; Audrey came in third and Andrew/Brittany fourth.

It's all good. I am always amazed at how competitive my children are.

But they all did really well. It was fascinating to see which ones they missed, because I've been yammering about all of this stuff for their entire lives. Now I know who was pretending to listen and who was really listening.

Later, we all lolled in the pool and when it got dark, we sat around a blaze in Andrew's fire pit and ate roasted marshmallows. Some had s'mores. No one wanted to see the evening end.

On Sunday, our men were treated to breakfast at church while the ladies had Sunday School together.

During church, our pastor recognized TG and me. Our roses were on display in front. There was applause and there were many kind congratulations from our friends.

My dress had a Paris theme, an homage to my wedding gown which came from Paris, a creation of the French design house of the late Jacques Heim.

I also wore the same perfume as on my wedding day: Shalimar by Guerlain. But alas, unlike on my wedding day, I did not carry gardenias. They're too hard to find and once found, too much to pay for. 

At any rate, by then it was time to celebrate Father's Day.

With what steam we had left, we all set out for Cracker Barrel. It's just so easy to do. 

I had a gift for Andrew, who is celebrating his first Father's Day as a dad.

I don't go for this father-to-be stuff. You're either a father (or a mother) or you're not. And he is. To that as-yet-unborn little girl.

Our girls, together with their brother, gave their dad a new pair of golf shoes.

It was all he wanted -- if you don't count their love and respect, which he always has.

Speaking of wanted ... to mark this occasion, I wanted (and asked for, and got) a nine-stone diamond anniversary band. Inside, it's inscribed GJ Forty Forever.

TG let me pick it out. I love it. I've actually had it for several weeks. When we got engaged, I had to wait two months for my ring (it was basketball season). So I got this ring two months early.

We had a great time together at lunch on Sunday. And then it was time for Stephanie and Melly and Allissa to go, so that the girls could have some Father's Day with their own dad.

Allissa and Dagny are very close and it was hard for Lissy when it came time to say goodbye.

It's not even summer yet! Not until Friday. I promised Allissa at least one more visit before school starts in August for all of the children.

On Monday morning I was sorting through our cards and gifts. The children generously gave to a fund for a trip TG and I plan to take in the fall, to New England.

They also gave us a collage -- five pictures: one of each of the kids with their families, and one of TG and me.

Of all of the gifts given in this season, this was the only one that made me cry.

You see, I took all of those pictures, except for the one of TG and me, which was taken at Erica's wedding.

The kids each picked their favorite from among pictures I'd taken of them, to contribute to the project.

It was Erica who put it all together.

Shakespeare wrote in the poem Venus and Adonis: Love is a spirit all compact of fire. I would have to agree with the Bard.

And there you have it: Forty photos of our fortieth (and more) festivities. I think we can all agree that everything was celebrated with the proper amount of joy and gratitude, and maybe even with a bit of extra style.

As it should be.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Tuesday

Friday
Jun142019

All aboard the five train


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Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend