Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com


Home of Jenny the Pirate



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.


 Nice is different than good.


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



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



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 =



The Black Velvet Coat

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.

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.


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

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




Daft Like Jack

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

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • 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
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • 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
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • 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
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • 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
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • 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
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    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
    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
    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


Sign Me Up :: Gimme a T

By my reckoning, it's somewhere between a tortilla and a gorilla.

With chicken because ... Chick-fil-A.

Spotted by the Pirate in Snellville, Georgia.

Keep a sharp eye.

And that is all for now.


Happy Wednesday


I said okay but he went away

So let's see. What was the last semi-interesting thing that happened to me.

Oh yes. Along with recent Dagny photos featuring the kitchen Christmas tree, here's a tale which, appropriately, involves food.

I was at the grocery store, on my tippy toes in the aisle that contains juice products, reaching high and far back for a bottle of lemon juice. This was a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

As my fingertips began prodding at the only bottle I could remotely reach without a ladder and began urging it towards the shelf edge being careful to avoid knocking the bottle (or bottles) off onto my head, I heard a voice behind me.

Uh, ma'am? Male voice.

Oh good, I thought. A tall man has materialized behind me, has intuited that I am having difficulty, and is about to offer to reach the lemon juice for me.

But no.

It was a man. I got that part right.

A tall man who I would describe as being in his mid sixties. Dressed in dark slacks and a collared shirt that appeared soiled in the front.

Like me, he had commandeered a grocery cart. In the front part (where you'd park a baby or small child), he had placed four Marie Callender frozen dinners.

They looked for all the world like props. 

After securing my attention, the man proceeded to stumble through a speech about having recently undergone surgery and being in possession of an EBT card with a zero balance.

I waited until I could get a word in and then I said: Sir, if you need food I'll be glad to buy you those things. I gestured toward the frozen dinners.

Kindly don't peg me as a bleeding heart or a good Samaritan. It's not that warm and fuzzy. I just didn't know what else to do.

See, while I'm neither of the things mentioned above, I am a skeptic. And I was skeptical indeed as to whether I was being asked to feed a hungry person, or whether what the stranger really wanted was cash.

I don't carry cash, so there's that.

And on the off chance he really was hungry, I was willing to spend a few dollars to alleviate that. 

But I had a shopping list of stuff to buy to feed my own family, and I was maybe halfway through. 

I told the stranger I wasn't done and that he'd have to either wait for me up front, or follow me around until I was finished.

He said he'd follow me around.

And he did, until about ninety seconds later when the fact that he was following me (closely), got on my nerves.

I turned around and asked if, instead of frozen dinners, he wouldn't like some real food -- like, fruits and vegetables?

He said he was a bachelor and didn't know how to cook anything.

I asked whether there were places he could go to obtain free meals or food -- such as a food bank or a mission or a church -- to spare him the embarrassment of panhandling in the grocery store.

He said a pastor had helped him a little but he wasn't aware of anyplace else that he could go.

So I asked if he'd mind giving me some space in which to finish my shopping, and then I'd meet him up front.

My new acquaintance went away. As I pushed my buggy up and down aisles, I saw him from a distance a time or two, keeping an eye on me.

When I eventually made my way to the checkout lines, I began looking for him.

He'd vanished. Throughout the process of unloading my stuff onto the conveyor belt, I continued to look around.

Then I saw him. The man who had asked me to buy four frozen dinners was striding purposefully out of the store. His hands were empty.

Years ago I wrote about a man who accosted TG at a filling station, begging for food. My TG will always buy food for someone who asks; that's one of the reasons I agreed to buy the Marie Callenders for my stranger.

But see, they don't want food. They want money. And not money for food. Sorry but that's life on the mean streets.

Way back when, I was accused by a reader of being insensitive to the needs of the unfortunate. She reminded me that for all I knew, the beggars are former stockbrokers whose families have died in car crashes, or who have fallen on hard times in any number of garish ways.

(For her it was always stockbrokers and dead families. I think she'd seen too many movies.)

I hope you haven't formed the impression that I turn a blind eye and heart to the plight of those who are truly needy.

If you need food, I will feed you. I've been known to feed people who didn't technically even require food; they just looked as though they could use something good.

I dispense free advice too, although I make every attempt not to meddle. I'll thank you not to snicker.

The point is, if I can help, I'm here.

At Christmastime and all the time. You can even ask me at the grocery store.

Believe me. 

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday :: Happy December


Aging gratefully

Around this time of year, one tends to reflect upon the events of said year.

Our family will not be likely to forget Twenty Sixteen.

I could go on and on -- you know I could -- but I'll reserve my remarks to the following:

Last week Erica and I traveled to the Atlanta area for two purposes: photography, and seeing a few old friends.

Our reunions with the friends were all we'd dreamed they'd be.

The photography, not so much. It was hot, bright, and cloudless on the only day we had to spend time taking pictures. Even so, we managed one or two shots that captured the season.

The golden hour wasn't even golden, rather white and blinding, but it was moot because by that time we were exhausted from Atlanta traffic, back at the hotel getting ready to meet our first friend for dinner.

But that's okay. On the day we met our second friend, I was given a gift. A tea set.

The friend who gave me the tea set is a close relative of my late life-long dear friend, a precious lady who is with us no more as she passed away in March.

I can't tell you anything about her except, she was beloved by me and many others, and for good reason. For too many good reasons to name. 

But she lost sight of gratitude, perhaps the most Christlike of virtues after humility itself.

And in forsaking the sort of gratitude that walks hand-in-hand with sweet contentment, my friend lost perspective, and with the loss of it, paid a terrible price.

I cherish her tea set -- one she never guessed I would own -- because it was passed on to me by bereaved yet truly grateful relatives who know they wouldn't have made it this year without the prayers of friends.

Also it is black and white, which my friends know is by far my favorite color combination. Stunning, ever-chic noir blanc. My lovely dearly-missed friend and I discussed its special beauty on more than one occasion.

And with that I have likely divulged too much about both myself and her.

Which changes nothing: Be grateful. Just do it. On purpose. This week, this day, this year, and for all the days and weeks and years to come.

Be grateful for all you are given, both good and bad, whether it is what you planned for, what you wished and hoped and dreamed and even prayed for, or not.

It will never fail you, for it is God's heart. Gratitude remains at the core of all love and all humility and as such, of all that is meaningful and eternal.

And I'm sure you're thankful that that's all for now.


Happy Thanksgiving


Sorry not sorry


Happy Saturday

Enough said


Happy Thursday

Don't fall for it

It was scary.

I refer to a day three-or-so months ago. It's a day I've been meaning to tell you about.

So here we go.

To begin, it was triple-digit hot with high-double-digit humidity.

Not just that day. Every day.

Let's make it worse: We were in the midst of fairly extensive renovations affecting several rooms of our house.

As in, just for starters at the time of the events in question, everything from my front room was in my kitchen while flooring and painting and general redecorating took place in said front room.

Don't worry. There was a narrow path to walk through the kitchen. I could get to the sink and the stove. And the refrigerator, for ice-cold Diet Coke.

If you knew me better you'd know how much I loathe everything being upended in my house.

And did I mention how hot it was? That alone is enough to tank me.

So let's consider the mise en scène. It's boiling outside. I'm inside (where it's also boiling, even with the A/C cranked down to snowball), attempting to function in all the confusion, upheaval, and general discombobulation besieging the household.

Andrew and Rambo were staying with us for the few weeks between the time Andrew returned from the Middle East and the time he moved into his new house across the dam in Lexington, and started his new job.

He was helping TG and me eighteen hours a day to make the mini-reno happen in record time. At the very moment of the day we are presently recounting, he and TG were out back, by the pool, resting for a minute.

I vaguely remember hearing a sound. It was outdoors, but not near. Not necessarily far, but not near either. From the front of the house, maybe the street. Then came a shortish silence. And then the doorbell rang.

I staggered to the door. Who could this be.

It was our mailman. The one who has been the recipient, more than once, on holidays, of my largesse in the form of freshly-baked banana-nut bread. 

But on this day, the heat -- or something -- had gotten to him. There was no smile, no friendly greeting. He glared at me from behind sweat-fogged glasses.

Over his regulation-blue shoulder I could see that the peevish postman had pulled his mail truck into the bottom of our steepish driveway. It idled, blinking, there.

Did you not hear me? He demanded in a decidedly schoolmarmish way. Real bossy. And I'm like, ?????

I dimly recalled that the sounds I'd heard several minutes earlier could have been a beep beep of sorts.

But I was speechless -- not tracking -- so he continued: I had to pull into the driveway because your dog was in the street.

He waited, eyes on my eyes, still fuming. When I found no words with which to answer -- honestly it was just too hot -- he jammed a package and several pieces of mail into my hand, then huffed back down the steps to his waiting wagon.

It was most rude.

I turned back inside and closed the door, thinking: Rambo must've gone down into the street again.

(Rambo loved to rack out on the porch -- one of the coolest outdoor spots -- but occasionally he'd wander down the street to check his messages. It's no problem; everyone knows him. Once in a great while a neighbor would herd him home but they were never mad either at him or at us.)

Walking through on the narrow ceramic-tile path that was my kitchen, I glanced out back. TG was sitting in a chair by the pool. Andrew was standing nearby. Rambo was lying at TG's feet, panting. All present and accounted for, not guilty of that of which he had been summarily accused.

Wait a minute ... I thought. And I wished I'd had the presence of mind to say to the meanie mailman: We don't have a dog. Our dog died on April eleventh. So there. And by the way, since when do I come running when you beep from the street?

But before I could even complete the thought, I realized something was very wrong.

For one thing, TG had all at once begun shouting into his phone. He was sitting forward, tensed and upset. Even from where I stood, I could tell he was trembling with agitation.

Which daughter? Which daughter? He bellowed into the last flip phone in North America.

This isn't my TG. Not at all. He's the calm one. I threaded my way through stacks of books and pictures and lamps and chairs to the door which leads to the pool. I opened the door.

Andrew looked over at me. As well as I can remember, he asked loudly where Audrey was. I said I thought she was working. She's self-employed so her hours vary, but I was pretty sure that's what she was doing.

Call Erica! Call Erica! Andrew shouted, punching at his own phone, nearly as agitated as his dad. Call Erica, whose hours are more predictable, and who I was certain was at work.

But I think I called her. I don't remember but it may be a moot point because Erica is infamous in our family for not answering her phone.

Sorry but nothing else about the incident is clear to me. This is all I know:

A call had come through to TG, who answered because although he didn't recognize the number, he knew from the area code that the caller was local.

When TG answered (because, also being self-employed, he always answers local calls), the caller -- who sounded angry to the point of violence -- said that a male relative of his had been involved in a car accident with our daughter.

And that TG had better come down to where the incident had taken place and pay them some money, because the whole thing had been our daughter's fault.

And that if TG didn't show up with payment for damages, the caller promised to shoot her in the head.

Now. You know and I know that when a person gets into an automobile accident -- no matter how minor -- the proper procedure is to call the police, check for injuries, and exchange insurance cards.

You don't hold women at gunpoint, call their fathers, and demand that they come immediately and write a check if they want their daughter to escape death.

But that's what the caller said, in language I cannot and would not repeat here: I'm holding a gun to your daughter's head. 

But the more questions TG asked, and the more he insisted on speaking with whichever daughter was in mortal danger, the more profane and incoherent the caller became. Until he ended the call.

By then, Andrew had reached Audrey, who was safe at work. She had not been involved in an accident.

I don't remember who first talked to Erica, but she was busy at work too. No fender bender on her part.

We have a third daughter -- Stephanie -- but as she lives in North Carolina, it never occurred to us that she was being held at gunpoint. Plus, unlike her lead-foot sisters, she's a super-careful driver.

TG took a few moments to settle down. He called back the number of the threatening caller who'd called him first. Someone answered but quickly ended the call again, not wanting to engage in apres-scam chit-chat.

TG called the police to report the incident and to provide them with the caller's number. Law enforcement said there was nothing they could do. Nobody had committed a crime; it's not illegal to call someone and speak threatening words.

So we'd been the victims of a mere prank. An exceptionally cruel one, but a prank no less. Suck it up, buttercup.

As it turns out, similar scams are attempted all over the country. We'd never heard of such behavior but recently it was being discussed on talk radio.

ABC News, only two years ago, characterized this type of thing as the oldest scam in the book.

Really? Absolutely the oldest? No scam older than this one, of which we'd never heard? We don't consider ourselves out of touch, but it's clear to me that we must be.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, news outlet says it's a new scam going around.

Either way, some of the phony kidnappers actually collect thousands of dollars.

So there you go. It could happen to you. When it does, don't fall for it.

At the very least, follow the advice of the late-great President Reagan: Trust, but verify.

In other words, do be diligent but don't be a chump.

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday


Luvvys gonna love

It was one of those things that happen when you're not expecting anything to happen.

Much less what happened.

Good grief, you may be thinking. What on earth happened?

It won't seem like a big thing to you. But then, you weren't there.

Allow me to elaborate.

A couple of weeks ago Dagny and I were out back by the pool with several other family members. The two of us were sitting on the new black swing in some early-fall, late-afternoon shade.

As we swayed, she was mentioning her notice of avian activity in the area.

Saaaaaa birdie, she said. Pointing up for emphasis.

The wingy things flitted and perched and called and twittered, happy in the sky and in the branches of the tall pines and especially the big oak.

Then my own little thing turned to me. I glanced down at her. She looked straight into my eyes.

You want a kiss? she asked, matter-of-factly. With no warning or preamble and within no particular context. I'd give anything if you could have seen her face.

(And heard her voice. She has a southern drawl; "kiss" is two syllables mashed into one. Keeyus.)

I said I sure would.

Dagny neither puckers nor smacks. She simply lifts her face, lips parted. Her kisses are so brief, you have to be paying attention or you'll later think you imagined it.

No more than a whisper-touch. But so sweet, too much would be almost unbearable.

We settled back and swayed a time or two more. She looked up at me again.

You want a hug? she said. Like, to go with that?

It happened pretty fast but my eyes had a chance to mist. I said yes.

Up drifted her tiny white arms. Like her kisses, her hugs at such times are minimalist, sometimes barely qualifying as an actual embrace.

(When in extremis, she clings and can become quite the barnacle. In non-alarming times, she's much more casual.)

But Dagny's pretty squared away in the display-of-affection department. She knows to put her hands around your neck and bend her head so as to ensure hug-like pressure from her cloud-soft cheek to yours.

That was it. That's what happened.

I hope you won't accuse me of hyperbole when I say, it was a profound experience. It was only later, after Dagny had gone home, that I realized how profound.

While drifting off to sleep that night, I relived it. A few tears of joy may have dropped onto my pillow. Much like the ones in my eyes right now. And I knew I would never forget Dagny's two questions, and that I wouldn't trade the memory for any amount of money, or even for more time in which to remember.

So that's pretty much it.

But in perilous times when so much is at stake; when there is so much to be gained and so much to be lost hinging on the actions of so few, so soon; when merely cruising by a news channel for less time than it takes for a Dagny kiss makes you feel as though you require not just a shower, but to be hosed down with industrial-strength antiseptic, it's memorable to encounter innocence.

And it's necessary to remember every day as we encounter the mercy and grace of God, Who blesses us as Americans with more peace and freedom before breakfast than many people of the world experience in their entire lives, that in this very moment and a few critical moments to come, there is a great deal to be fought for.

And a whole lot to be fought against. Don't forget that part.

I love to sit on my front porch, which gives me a lofty remove from the street, and watch the cars go by. There aren't many; ours is a quiet neighborhood for one so large.

The boughs of the just-orange-yellow-reddening oak sigh while acorns pop off by the handfuls and dive-bomb the roof. The hummingbird feeder hangs still and ruby-like, no tiny beaks nosing around. Although we're having Indian Summer, the hummers have all gone for this year.

When I'm expecting one or more of the children to arrive for a visit or a meal, I watch as each car approaches around the bend for the make and model I recognize.

I thrill to see the gray Honda with the pink backseat front-facing car seat containing the only grandchild (of four) that I get to see enough of. The other three, I'm forced to miss most of the time although they are never far from my mind and always in my heart.

Audrey tells me that Dagny has taken to saying Hi dawling, when they come around the bend and she sees me waving from the porch.

That's because when she walks through our door, often the first thing I say is Hi, darling!

Unless I call her by one of her other many pet appellations: Sugar, Sugarlips, Little Love, Angel Heart, Sweet Thing, Punkin' Girl, Peanut, Precious Beautiful, et cetera. You get it.

Or I just say, Hey Luvvy.

Because when it comes to these little ones, the little ones with the great big hearts, the ones so as-yet unravaged by the things that will one day inevitably hurt them, that's what it's all about. Just love.

And that is what I wish you today.

And that is all for now.


Happy Tuesday


Shot? Not.

Yesterday morning TG taught our adult Sunday School class.

He occasionally performs that office for our pastor.

His lesson had to do with essential things to teach your children, or, if they are gone from the home, your grandchildren or any young people who may come under your sphere of influence.

Two of the things he stressed were the importance of learning respect for God-ordained authority, and being taught a solid work ethic.

I had to chuckle because our son, Andrew, age twenty-seven, was sitting beside me.

Andrew is one of the hardest-working people I have ever known. I'm not sure anyone could keep up with him, although I admit my girls are diligent workers too.

Eight days a week. There's not a slacker -- or a tattoo -- among them.

Their dad and I have been known to deliver an honest day's work for a day's pay as well.

And we did teach our children the concept of God-ordained authority -- starting with us as their parents -- and the necessity of having and demonstrating respect for authority throughout one's life.

So why did I chuckle during the Sunday School lesson? You may be wondering.

Because when Andrew arrived and slid into the pew beside me that morning, he had an announcement.

I got pulled over on the way to church, he said. And I didn't get shot.

Well, many in today's ultra-whiny race-baiting society may say. That's because you're white.

No. It's not because he's white.

It's because he stayed in his vehicle and did exactly as the law enforcement officer told him. And then some.

Then some?


You see, Andrew carries concealed. Legally. As in, he was armed.

I first asked why he was pulled over. Speeding?

No. He changed lanes in the middle of an intersection. That's a no-no. A moving violation, as it were. A ticketable offense.

I wanted to know how he handled the whole thing, in light of the fact that he was packing heat.

He told me that first, upon pulling over and stopping, he rolled all of the windows down in the F-150 pickup.

Then, he said, he put both hands high on the steering wheel.

When the officer appeared at the driver's side window, Andrew said, Officer, I'm armed.

He lifted his elbows. The policeman peered in and got a visual on Andrew's holstered Glock. His eyes scanned the rest of the vehicle's interior.

That's fine, he said. Just don't reach for it. Then: Where are you headed?

To church, said Andrew.

You should know at this point, when Andrew is bound for -- or at -- either work or church, he strongly resembles an FBI or Secret Service agent. He's lean and fit. Dressed in a sharp suit and tie. American flag lapel pin. Clean shaven. Regulation haircut. 

All that's missing is the telltale earpiece and wire. Plus he doesn't talk into his wristwatch. That I know of.

The outcome? Andrew was dismissed with a warning. No shots were fired.

But then, he didn't exit the vehicle. He didn't give the officer any guff or disrespect. He didn't hold the loaded weapon in his hand. He didn't walk backwards or forwards or sideways or any way. He remained in the driver's seat with his empty hands in plain sight.

No matter what color his skin, I promise you that if my son had gotten out of the truck and walked towards that police officer armed with a loaded gun -- in his hand or not -- and refused to obey direct orders, the chances would have increased exponentially -- and quickly -- of his being stopped with deadly force.

I don't suggest that every single time an officer ever shoots a person on the side of the road or in a parking lot or an alley, that it's one hundred percent justified.

I do say that unless you were there -- and sometimes even if you saw a video -- you don't know exactly what went down.

And I do say that the average person who gets up every morning, takes a shower, dresses, goes to work, declines to break laws, minds his own business, and, when confronted by an officer of the law for any reason whatsoever, does exactly as he is told, is not going to get shot.

And I would like to say that all of those who believe people get shot by law enforcement just because they're black and for no other reason, were probably not taught the simple things my husband outlined in his Sunday School lesson.

More's the pity.

Work hard. Every day. Obey God-ordained authority. Every time.

Although truth is stranger than fiction and I admit that on any given day anything can happen, if you observe those rules, the probability is higher than you likely need it to be that you won't get shot by a cop.

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday