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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  • The Amateur
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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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  • 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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  • The American Way of Death Revisited
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  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
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    Master Books
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    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
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    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
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    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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Wednesday
Sep112019

We are standing


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Never Ever Forget
Monday
Sep092019

Sweet things. And firemen too.

On Sunday in the early afternoon, after church and before going home for lunch, TG and I stopped at the grocery store.

It was a hot day. In a string of hot days. And getting hotter; today was one of the hottest days of the entire summer.

Most places, you have Indian summer in, like, September. Here, it occurs in October. Sometimes November. September is full-out summertime. Every time.

It's warmer than May and June. July and August you expect to be unbearable and are never disappointed. But come September? One begins to hallucinate that there's a mere eighty-degree day at the end of the tunnel.

(Even given the fact that it's technically still summer until the twenty-third of September, I often fantasize that with the advent of the B-E-R months, a cooling trend will develop.)

(But no.)

So I wasn't all that surprised to see a fire engine parked at the back of the parking lot, pulled over parallel to the shopping center since (duh) it wouldn't exactly fit into any available parking spaces.

Three local American heroes, having disembarked from said engine, were making their way towards the store.

They weren't going to put out a fire. Like us, they were fixing to do some shopping.

The trio of firefighters walked into the store just before we did, stopping to appropriate a cart immediately inside the first set of doors before proceeding into the actual grocery area.

But they hadn't gotten any farther than that because right there -- RIGHT there -- inside the automatically sliding doors ushering customers into a cool world of endless vittles, was a table laden with dozens of transparent clamshells full of cookies.

There were chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies and cookies sprinkled with nonpareils.

In addition, one of my favorite employees at the store -- her name is Dee and we often visit for a few minutes, usually to talk about low-carb cooking -- was manning the table so as to offer free samples of the cookies to anyone who wanted a taste.

I know that ploy. They're pretty sure that, after tasting, you'll buy. And the cookies were BOGO*! So pick yours up because YOLO**! If you leave without cookies, you'll experience the dreaded FOMO***!

And we wouldn't want that.

(We already had our cookie stash at home. The night before, TG had made a red-grape run for me. Sometimes I am caught up short without red grapes and I pretty much have to have them. I guess I'm sort of addicted. So he'd gone to get some, and had come home with two transparent clamshells full of cookies in addition to five pounds of red grapes.)

I am not allowed to eat cookies so I ate grapes while he ate cookies.

Anyway. The aforementioned firemen had (naturally) stopped to sample the free samples. And they seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

Liking the look of them lined up thusly, gobbling complimentary cookie pieces, I asked if it was okay to take their picture and of course they gladly complied.

There's just something about a fireman. Sort of like a baseball player. 'Murca.

Before we let the firefighters alone and moved along to get our groceries and go to the house for lunch, TG had to tell one of the firemen the short version of our house-burning-down story.

It happened on Christmas Eve Eve (that would be the twenty-third of December) in 2005. The house that burned was empty and all but sold (closing was one week away); we'd moved out on Labor Day weekend.

Our buyer stuck with us and insurance paid our mortgage while the house was repaired, and in due time we closed on the sale and all's well that ends well and any other stock cliché you can think of, put it there.

I did not have an opportunity to tell the firemen about the time I burned the chicken, setting off the smoke alarm, and because I turned it off (the alarm; I'd already killed the fire under the chicken) within a few seconds, and I never heard the phone when they called me because I was too far from it (this was before we all had phones attached to our hands), and so I didn't answer, and the fire department came.

I heard the engine idling outside and, wearing a housecoat, opened the door. A fireman was making his way to the side of my house carrying a huge spiky hook-like thing that I was certain he was about to use to start breaking windows and rescuing anyone trapped inside.

But he spotted me just in time and could tell right away that I did not require rescuing -- on account of, this time where there was smoke there was no fire -- and, grinning, he walked up onto the porch and remarked that the chicken smelled real good, burned and all.

No harm, no fowl foul.

(Turns out that when a smoke alarm is activated, they have to come even if you pick up the phone and assure them there's no fire to put out. At least that's what they told me.)

And that, folks, is the extent of my personal fire-and-firefighter stories.

Except to say, here's hoping it cools down soon.

And that is all for now.

*Buy One Get One

**You Only Live Once

***Fear Of Missing Out

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Happy Monday :: Happy New Week

Tuesday
Sep032019

Scene and heard at church :: 9/1/19

Our Brittany ... Dagny ... and baby Ember Rae

You know don't you, that every time the first of the month falls on a Sunday, there are five Sundays in that month?

Yep.

Well. Except in February, unless it's a leap year and February has twenty-nine days.

And did you know that every election year (presidential) is a leap year?

Yep.

Well. I read that the year 2100 will be an election year and not a leap year. But I figure so what. We will all (or most of us) have flown away by then.

And will not have to concern ourselves any longer with politics.

Not that I worry unduly about politics now.

Let's move along because that's not where this whole thing was supposed to go at all.

Family festivities and fare

Normally I'd have done this post on a Monday but yesterday being Labor Day, we had a large family party which left no time for blogging.

Starting on Sunday evening after church, while waiting for Stephanie and her family to arrive from North Carolina, I listened to the rain and watched TV on my small kitchen flat screen while putting together several dishes for the next day.

I took not one single picture of the prepared food but here's what we had:

Crack chicken ... hot dogs ... baked macaroni and cheese ... barbecue baked beans ... watergate salad ... cucumber, grape tomato, and onion salad dressed with homemade balsamic vinaigrette ... pickle buffet of original Wickles, Wickle relish, Mount Olive bread and butter chips, and Sam's Choice Hot Spicy Fresh Pack Maple Bourbon chips ... three varieties of Clancy's potato chips ... soda pop ... cold brew with heavy cream ... freshly brewed Dunkin' Donuts decaf ... strawberry cream pie ... lemon meringue pie.

It was epic. The pies were by Edwards, right out of the freezer case. I highly recommend those. Just between you and me, the lemon meringue could easily pass for old fashioned southern lemon icebox pie.

There were twelve of us (thirteen if you count baby Ember, which I do) for lunch -- even though we were missing Cherica, who were holidaying in Chicago, and Andrew, who as you know is in Afghanistan until the end of the month.

Erica's crepes this morning at Yolk Chicago

Over dessert we celebrated our Stephanie's birthday, which will take place on September ninth just like it does every year.

But let's back this party train up a bit because the end is in danger of preceding the beginning. And we cannot have that.

Thy will be done

We had a truly wonderful Sunday morning service at church. Any time our pastor preaches (often we have guest preachers and I'm sorry but I'd rather hear our pastor, and he knows how I feel because I've told him so) is a most profitable time, and this day was no exception.

The Scripture verse for the sermon was John 4:34:

Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

And Pastor reminded us that for the Christian, there is but that one task as well.

One of the things the pastor used to illustrate his point was this quote by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain):

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

I've always liked that. Although I am dubious that Mark Twain -- dubbed the Father of American Literature -- was a follower of Christ, I do love his writing and in this case, what he said was certainly true and therefore has a worthy spiritual application.

(Folks, we are not here to endlessly angle for effusive fawning praise of our face, our figure, our fashion choices, and further fleshly things, on Fakebook and in the squares. There's more to it than that.)

We girls ... between morning church and Cracker Barrel

But although I digress, I will not ask for forgiveness. People need to get a grip.

At any rate, before the sermon got underway, our pastor recognized a couple in the church who have recently become engaged to be married.

It was particularly noteworthy because the couple are senior citizens. (We have a widow-widower luncheon every month and I suspect that a fair amount of matrimonial progress is made there.)

So a few minutes later, Brittany's phone, resting on the pew beside her, lit up (she was sitting next to me because Audrey was taking her turn working in the nursery).

My daughter-in-law looked at her phone and then handed it to me. It was a screen shot of the couple who had gotten engaged, as they sat together on the opposite side of the auditorium from us.

Apparently the live-stream camera operator had trained the lens in their direction while Pastor congratulated them.

Andrew had sent it to her. From the other side of the world, he was watching the service in real time on our church's web site. He wanted to let his wife know both that he was with her in church, and that he was on board with love and marriage at any age.

And that's how he chose to do it. Our Andrew has a unique and endearing sense of humor. As in, if you are in his presence for very long, you're going to be cracking up. He's a nut.

So we were still chuckling about that when it was time to stand and sing the first verse of Amazing Grace (the Baptist national anthem) and shake hands with the folks around us.

TG took advantage of that time to tell the pastor that Andrew was watching from Afghanistan and that he'd sent the screen shot of the newly betrothed to Brittany.

So after hand shaking time, the pastor shared with the whole church that Andrew was watching, and everyone faced the camera and waved to our American hero.

Another Brittany

After church, TG, I, Brittany, Audrey, and Dagny decided to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch.

Before leaving the parking lot, however, we posed for a few photos because I knew it had been a while since you saw our Brittany.

Later, as we were being led to our table at Cracker Barrel, I was first behind the young lady escorting us.

She could not have been nicer. She asked what kind of a day I was having, and I told her it had been a great day so far, because it had.

Then she politely inquired as to whether we had plans for later, and I told her that we planned to go back to church for evening services, as we always do.

Me. And another Brittany.

The young lady -- turns out her name is Brittany too -- asked several questions about that, and TG trotted back out to the car to fetch some literature for her, and to make a long story short, she showed up at church that night and sat beside me, and we had a long talk during and after the invitation time.

Brittany is a seeker after truth and she has a sweet attitude, and I know that she would appreciate your prayers.

I made a new friend and I consider that a gift directly from God, and I hope that if I can be of help or service to Brittany, that she will allow me that privilege.

Like our new friend Lonnie from last week, Brittany agreed to have her picture made with me, and to be featured on the blog.

We hope to see her again soon.

That afternoon, during the short interval between Cracker Barrel and meeting another Brittany and having a good time getting to know our server (whose name was Summer and who is expecting a baby in December just like our Brittany), and evening service, Brittany -- Brittany Weber, that is; please do keep up -- sent me a sneak peek of baby Ember's nursery, which is a work in progress much like Ember herself:

This nursery is money honey

Is that not charming? I love it. Her daddy finished painting it just before he deployed.

Her crib will someday convert into a twin bed that she can use until she's grown.

Her mother texted me that her only wish for Ember is that she will grow up to be a strong woman who loves the Lord.

And I texted back that I have no doubt that she will. And I haven't. Any doubt, that is.

Dress for success

One last story because I know you'll like it.

On Sunday evening our church had one of those guest preachers I mentioned before. The message was good. Not as good as hearing our pastor, but still good.

This particular servant of God brought a message from Ephesians chapter six, where Christians are commanded:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And I was reminded, as I always am when I hear or read those verses, of what my Great Aunt Jenny (her name was actually Genevieve but nobody ever called her anything but Aunt Jenny, not in my hearing at least, and no, I was not named after her) said to TG, the last time we saw her before she was called home to heaven.

The time was July of 1995 and the mise en scène is a funeral home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where we were attending a visitation on the evening before the funeral of Terri Kay, the stepdaughter of Aunt Jenny's only child, my mother's first cousin Darlene.

Again -- do keep up.

Anyway, if you can produce a more vibrant, joy-filled, faith-fuelled Christian than Genevieve Harvey, I 'd like to meet that saint of God. To be honest, Aunt Jenny could be annoying but to me she never was. Not even once.

She continually had the praise of Jesus in her mouth. She often preached, to whomever would listen. And that was the case on this occasion. 

TG was occupying a wingback chair provided by the funeral parlor for the rest and comfort of mourners. Aunt Jenny stood directly in front of him -- and they were eye to eye.

See, TG is six foot four and Aunt Jenny was five foot nothing. In heels.

At any rate there she stood, age seventy-five, white hair simply and elegantly styled, wearing a fetching aqua pant suit purchased for the occasion, and sporting her signature bright red lipstick.

She was holding forth about what she had perceived to be lacking in the spiritual condition of her late husband, Harold, at the time of his death in 1977 at the age of sixty.

Aunt Jenny's conviction was that although her husband had professed faith in Christ and trusted Him for salvation, he had either never had time, or had not sought, to grow and mature as a Christian.

I can still see her as she told TG:

I believe that Harold is even now standing before the throne of God stark naked (she said it nekkid) except for the helmet of salvation.

Let that sink in.

She may have been right -- I mean, who else would know -- but it's a visual I've never been able to reconcile with my memories of Uncle Harold.

He who, when I was very small, according to my mother, would gently rock me to sleep and refuse to move out of the chair until I woke up all on my own.

I have seen a picture of my baby self sleeping soundly on his shoulder.

As long as he's in heaven, where, due to the grace of God, I myself am bound? I need no other argument.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Tuesday :: Happy September

Friday
Aug302019

Draw your own conclusions

Since my blogging buddy and dear friend Mari is always bragging about showing us how talented her granddaughter is (actually the entire family are staggeringly gifted in art -- Mari's husband, Bob, made the pirate statue you see to the right of where you're reading), I thought I'd share a grandkid drawing.

Hence the picture of me, above. Created by Dagny.

Did you recognize me? I mean, I know I wear my hair longer than that but I think you'll agree that the black outfit, big mouth, and long spiky eyelashes are, as they say, on point.

Some may even say a dead giveaway.

My ears, however, do not stick out parallel to the floor. No matter what anyone says.

Illustrating (see what I did there) that Dagny does not have to be prodded to produce masterpieces, this artistic offering came completely unsolicited.

She made it during church last Sunday night.

This second portrait is of Dagny herself -- and Peppa Pig, is my guess -- complete with her name written by both me and her.

Can you tell which one she wrote?

This was done several weeks ago, at my house.

Her mouth is also drawn large and open wide, which -- trust me -- is an accurate rendering of the subject.

Although I'm overwhelmed by my genius grandchild's mad skillz, I have only one wish in this regard:

That she never goes up against Alaina in an art contest.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Friday :: Happy Labor Day Weekend

Wednesday
Aug282019

Wednesday Words :: 8/28/19


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Happy Wednesday
Monday
Aug262019

Scene and heard at church :: 8/25/19

The final Sunday of August 2019 was a pleasant one for us. 

Temperatures struggled to get out of the seventies -- and in fact, I do not believe they did, all day.

The skies were moody as we left church a little after noon, but no rain developed. That I know of.

Sitting in the pew behind my darling friend Joyce and her husband, as always, Audrey and I chatted with them during the interlude between Sunday School and the morning service.

Thou art the woman

Audrey relayed that on Saturday, after one entire week of school, Dagny had used a big word. She told her mother that she -- Audrey -- in some matter or another, was the culprit.

What? said Audrey. Where did you even learn that word?

At school, Dagny replied.

What does it mean? Audrey asked.

Someone who does something bad, Dagny said.

Well okay then. Shut the front door, open the back door, and let the dogs out.

We were still cackling about that when Joyce revealed that she had taken her seven-year-old grandson out to eat at McDonald's, where she had requested exactly two of his French fries.

Why don't you want more French fries than that, Nana? the boy wanted to know.

Because I'm trying to lose weight, Joyce said (and she has, and she looks fabulous).

Don't worry, Nana! responded her grandson. You can just call Jenny Craig!

Indeed.

Cue always needs a you

For church yesterday Dagny was wearing a jumper that is actually one of two identical jumpers I bought for Melanie and Allissa as their Christmas outfits in 2011.

The jumpers are of black grosgrain fabric and feature wide black satin ribbon bows and sparkly black buttons at the shoulders and on the front.

To be worn beneath the jumpers I bought pale pink ruffled turtlenecks. My only two littles (at the time) looked divine in these outfits and they are by far my favorite of all the dresses I've ever bought for them.

(If you care to, you may see photos of the girls wearing the outfits, in the slide show contained in this post from February 2012.)

Melly wore only the size six, but Allissa wore both of the jumpers. Dagny has now worn the size four (last year) and is wearing the size six, which will fit her throughout this fall-winter season.

Yesterday she paired it with a gray bell-sleeve top, and I think you'll agree that she looked special.

I told her to stand on the grass and let me take her picture.

Then I decided to have Audrey take my picture with Dagny.

I know; I look creepy. I can't help it. TG says I'm scary. (He likes me scary. But still.)

In my own defense, I was born with a theatrical bone and Gothic sensibilities. Go ahead and ask anyone. I will wait.

But the Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory resemblance? I wasn't going for that.

At any rate. It is what it is.

Then I wanted to capture Audrey with Dagny. Because why not.

Whatever else this life may be, it is most certainly not a dress rehearsal.

My middle daughter and her only daughter have such beautiful body language when they are together. They always have.

It's full of emotion.

It says: I need you like Q always needs a U.

I don't know why I didn't get TG in on this. Probably because he was several yards away, talking to someone.

Anyway. Not gonna lie: I hope that several years hence, Andrew and Brittany's as-yet-unborn daughter will wear at least one of those black grosgrain jumpers with the wide satin ribbon trim.

And then I dream of Chad and Erica someday having a baby girl, who in time will wear the jumpers too.

Speaking of Cherica, they are flying to Chicago for the Labor Day weekend, to do big-city stuff including taking in a Cubs game at Wrigley.

Doesn't that sound like good times? Even taking into account the Cubs' pitching woes?

TG and I won't be far behind them. We're doing the same thing later in September. Only, we will drive, not fly, to the Land of Lincoln.

Chad and Erica are not pictured here because while this impromptu photo session was taking place, they were leaving to have lunch at a downtown breakfast restaurant that closes at two o'clock.

We'll catch them next time. 

And that's the truth

Visiting for the first time at our church on Sunday morning was a gentleman named Lonnie. He is pictured with TG at the top of this post.

TG became acquainted with Lonnie earlier in the summer (it may have been late spring) when he rang the doorbell of the house Lonnie shares with his wife, to invite them to church.

They were new to the community.

For many weeks, on Tuesday evenings when TG goes on church visitation, he has attempted to set up an appointment to talk with Lonnie about the Lord.

Last Tuesday evening, at a pre-arranged time, TG sat with Lonnie in his living room and showed him from the Bible how he could be saved, and be certain that he will spend eternity in heaven.

Lonnie trusted Christ for the salvation of his soul, and came to church on Sunday to make a public profession of his faith.

For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Lonnie was so happy to have made that decision. And we were happy for him.

I asked Lonnie if he had ever been told the truth about salvation, from the Scriptures, before.

He said that, prior to Tuesday, he possessed some knowledge of the subject but he'd never heard it explained clearly, as TG had done.

And he told me that he'd be glad to have his picture made with TG, and to be featured on this blog, after I said that many of my readers would rejoice with him.

Stripe a pose 

Back for evening services, I realized that Audrey, Erica, Dagny, and I were all wearing stripes.

There had been no memo. It was unplanned.

So we pressganged our Chad into memorializing the sartorially significant moment, before we all departed for home.

Meanwhile there was a pretty sunset melting through the tree branches at the edge of the parking lot, justice to which is in no way done by this photo, taken with my iPhone.

It (the photo) is not up to my standards. But at least you get the idea.

And I think we can agree that I do need to learn to relax. Lighten up, as it were.

I'll thank you not to snicker.

So here's to the waning days of what has been a wonderful summer -- we'll be Septembering in three, two, one -- to a coming season of glorious weather, and to my beloved B-E-R months waiting in the wings to bless us with their uniquely exquisite bounty and beauty.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday :: Happy New Week

Wednesday
Aug212019

So let's get started

Day One, Baby

Oh dear. I had no idea it had been so long since my last post, until my good buddy Sally in Florida nudged me to see why I've been uncharacteristically silent.

Well. It's like this.

Summer -- as in, the part where kids are out of school -- is winding down and we had planned for the grandchildren to come for a final few days of swimming and related merriment.

Call the roll

That took place -- and took up most of -- last week.

Included in the visit was our new tradition of shopping for school supplies, which TG and I like to buy for them.

And added to this year's list of supplies needed was Dagny's.

She started kindergarten on Monday.

Melanie and her haul

I know; right? Our Dagny, in school?

Yes. As you know, she is five, and if ever a five-year-old was more ready to start school, I would pay good money to meet said five-year-old.

As in, being bright and capable, the child needs a challenge. And, being a people-loving singleton, she craves the company of other children.

Support system

It will be good for everyone, all around, for Dagny to be occupied scholastically and socially for approximately seven hours a day, five days a week.

But all such page-turnings come with their freight of what, for lack of a better word, may be called sadness.

It's the end of babyhood; that much is certain. And although we would not want our children to remain babies, it's a source of wistfulness for parents and grandparents to realize that their littles are no longer so little.

Papaw loves Dagny

So it was that Audrey began in the late spring preparing Dagny for school, and making the necessary arrangements to begin paying for her baby's private faith-based education.

Dagny is enrolled at the same school -- a ministry of the church we attended for six years when we first moved to Columbia -- of which her Aunt Erica and Uncle Andrew are graduates.

Be true to your school

Last Thursday evening, after the children swam and we enjoyed an early dinner, no fewer than ten family members accompanied Dagny to her school for an orientation event.

(I do believe she had the largest entourage of any student there. At least, that was our aim.)

After a general informational meeting in the main auditorium, everyone peeled off to visit their classrooms.

Please be seated

We all traipsed down the hallway which houses the various kindergarten classes, to the K-5 room.

We've known Dagny's teacher for many years, so there was a happy reunion with her. She is an excellent lady and a stellar educator. A+ on that score.

We found Dagny's seat, marked with her name on zebra-striped laminated card stock, in the front row.

Mommy's girl

(A good thing, her mother remarked. Less to distract her.)

One by one we had pictures made with our angel, beaming from her tiny desk.

(It was only later that I realized we'd forgotten to get a picture of Dagny with Aunt Stephanie. But we did get a group photo with the two of them in it.)

Cousin closeness

When we'd wrung every last drop of excitement and anticipatory energy from the situation, we all emerged back into the sweltering evening and headed home.

On the way we stopped for ice cream and everything that goes along with it. Our grandson, Andrew, was in our car and as we entered the store, I reminded him to make hay while the sun shone.

As in, you're here with Papaw and he's paying, so if you want something, now's the time to speak up.

She's my angel

He requested chocolate hard shell for his ice cream, and after further consideration, picked out some marshmallow fluff for good measure. He mentioned sprinkles too but I told him we had some at home.

Andrew said he'd also like some of those little round cheeses wrapped in red paper.

Babybel? I said.

That's the one, he affirmed.

Second grade, here I come

So we secured a net pouch chock full of Babybels. Later, I asked my daughter how her boy had developed such expensive tastes in snack cheeses (usually a run-of-the-mill string cheese will do).

She said he'd been exposed to Babybel while on vacation, and that was all it took.

Turns out all the kids like Babybel. Dagny ate the last one when she stopped by to see me this evening before going home for a bath and early-to-bed.

Time to shine

I won't be replacing those. At least, not until little Andrew comes back.

Speaking of Andrews coming back ... big Andrew made it safely to Kandahar and began flying missions today. He posted a picture to Instagram of himself refueling a Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft -- the Warthog.

He'll return home in late September.

Allissa's treasure trove

Pray for Brittany, who is being brave. Any separation is difficult. She will stay busy decorating the nursery for the baby girl due in early December.

The day after orientation at Dagny's school, TG and I took all of the children, plus their mothers, to Walmart for school supplies.

We each took a kid and their list, and trolled the aisles until every writing utensil, highlighter, dry erase marker, glue stick, pencil sharpener, eraser, notebook, pencil pouch, nap pillow, pack of loose leaf paper, block of index cards, roll of paper towels, and box of tissues had been accounted for. 

This should do for now

In addition, there were cans of Play-Doh and bags of M&M's and packs of baby wipes and sundry other items that rounded out Dagny's list of necessities.

I bought Dagny and Melanie each an inexpensive dress as well. The other children wear uniforms to school.

The backpacks were well stuffed when this buying extravaganza was concluded. Do you remember when you went to school with not much more than a notebook, a pack of paper, gummed reinforcements, and a pen and pencil, and a parental reminder not to talk without first raising your hand? Me too.

We went home and had an elaborate and tasty dinner prepared by me and consumed with gusto by everyone. Followed by more swimming and more ice cream.

My Porter People

I'm pretty sure the whole thing qualifies as epic.

The North Carolina group went home on Saturday. They start school on the twenty-eighth.

Come Monday, I got up at an hour of the day when I normally have two hours left to sleep. I dressed, applied cosmetics, brushed my hair, spritzed on some perfume, put on my rings and a pair of earrings, and was at Dagny's school twenty minutes before she had to be there.

Teacher said bring M&M's

It was a cool morning and as I stood by my car and waited, I watched parents dropping off their darlings, taking pictures to memorialize the first day of school.

At last my own darling arrived, practically squirming out of her skin, so excited was she to get the school day underway.

Dagny glowed as she held aloft her Peppa Pig lunch box, which I knew contained a delicious and nutritious midday meal packed by her mother.

Make me smart. I'm already cute.

We walked our baby to the line where she was to stand with her classmates. She fell right into place. We watched as she marched obediently with them, in single file, to the classroom.

I kept going and didn't look back to see her sitting in her desk. I might have had something in my eye.

Because wasn't it only ten or fifteen minutes ago that she looked like this?

Five days ... five years

I think so. And I think that despite it being a happy day, realizing once again how swiftly the years go, made me sad.

Time is undefeated, folks. Best not forget it.

So Audrey and I went for coffee at Krispy Kreme and we may have eaten donuts. Because how could you not?

Maybe we'll make that a tradition too.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Thursday
Aug082019

Eye eye, sir

So here's a bit of news:

Two weeks ago, TG had surgery to remove a cataract from his right eye.

That's distinctly different from a dogaract and since we have a cat now, most appropriate.

A Cataract is also completely different from a Rincoln. 

(You know which one I drive.)

But you'd have to know my TG better than you probably do in order to appreciate the significance of him voluntarily showing up at a health care facility to undergo a medical procedure.

I've known him for over forty years and with the exception of one or two chiropractic issues over the years, a long-ago (think waning days of the Carter administration) ear infection, and the occasional sinus misery in the winter, my TG does not get sick.

He wasn't sick this time, so it was doubly strange to see him in a hospital gown, all tucked into a Stryker bed, wearing a gauzy blue shower cap, IV line in place, being fussed over by nurses who wanted to know how tall he is.

(Six foot four.)

Thus he was feeling vaguely uncomfortable only as one is prone to do when, having presented oneself at the designated place at the appointed date and time, and feeling foolish outfitted as one is required to be, one is resigned to being poked and prodded while marginally "out of it."

So it was that yesterday, TG was required to have the lens in his left eye -- which, unlike his right eye, did not have a cataract -- replaced to match the other one.

Are you confused yet?

What it amounts to is that if you get a new lens put into one eye, you have to get a new lens put into the opposite peeper.

Like, separate but equal.

It works better that way.

(I am speaking in layman's terms. In case you hadn't already figured out at least that much.)

At any rate the whole thing was easy peasy -- it takes longer for them to get you ready for surgery than to perform the surgery itself, and TG experienced nary a ghost of a twinge of pain -- but naturally the patient could not drive either a Cataract or a Rincoln after the procedure, so I was with him the whole time.

And both times -- two weeks ago, and yesterday -- he was under doctor's orders to lay low for several days following the operation.

So that's what he's doing now -- watching the golf channel, to be exact -- and since it's hot as blue blazes outside, it's just as well. Believe me.

What have I been doing?

Well. There's been this piece of paper in my life since the first surgery. Now there are two of them.

On each of the pieces of paper -- one for the right eye, and now one for the left -- is a grid showing the three separate eye drops that must be splashed into TG's eyes several times on the day of surgery and several times a day for four weeks afterwards.

Many times a day I consult the grid, find the correct day, pick out a prescribed eye drop, drip a drop of it into TG's eye, then chart what I've done by filling in a circle.

(Just like taking a standardized test. Only, there are no wrong answers unless you get the drops -- and the eyes -- mixed up. So far I'm scoring 1600.)

Five minutes after administering the first drop, I have to put in the next eye drop, and fill in another circle. Five minutes after that, we repeat with the third eye drop.

It has kept me busy.

On both days of surgery I made TG a special dinner. Yes, I make his dinner most every day but on these days I put in some extra effort.

TG loves my mashed potatoes and with mashed potatoes he loves sweet baby peas. He isn't particular about the meat portion; however, as much as he likes barbecued chicken or the odd pork chop, he prefers beef.

Two weeks ago on surgery day, with his mashed potatoes and peas, I gave him a broiled sirloin patty.

Yesterday I made my legendary meat loaf. It has been years since I made that recipe.

As with most of my personally developed recipes, it's not written down and there are no particular measurements.

But here's how I made it yesterday:

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JENNY THE PIRATE'S LEGENDARY MEAT LOAF

2 lbs. ground sirloin

1 egg

1 handful old-fashioned oats (dry)

Ketchup -- I reckon I squeeze in about one-third of a cup but I don't measure

Creole seasoning -- I use Tony Chachere's but Zatarain's is great too -- I guess about a teaspoon but again, I don't measure

Onion powder -- I guess about half a teaspoon but I close my eyes so I don't really know

Worcestershire sauce -- I suppose eight to ten shakes but who's counting

Sometimes I add a squeeze of yellow mustard but this time, I didn't. I forgot. But it's really good if you remember to do that.

Mix up all of your ingredients except for the ground sirloin. Add the ground sirloin last. Mix well and shape into a loaf (a slightly wider, flatter loaf works best).

Place into a baking dish with plenty of room all around the edges of the loaf.

Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven for about two hours -- maybe fifteen minutes longer, depending on your oven.

The smell of this meat loaf cooking is heavenly.

With about half an hour -- give or take -- of cook time remaining, take the meat loaf out and glaze the top with a thick layer of ketchup. Do not skimp on the ketchup. Lavish it on the top until it runs down the sides real good.

Put it back into the oven to finish cooking.

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This is simple but excellent and I hope that if you make it, you and yours will enjoy it as much as TG does.

I personally like an end piece best; the edges get crispy and there's that tangy hot ketchup dripping all down.

When I brought TG his plate where he was sitting in front of the TV last evening, convalescing, and he saw the two slabs of meat loaf flanked by a creamy mountain of mashed potatoes and a generous helping of sweet peas, his new and improved eyes nearly rolled back in his head.

Later, for dessert, he had another half-piece of meat loaf and another decadent dollop of creamy potatoes (mine contain lots of butter, whole milk, and sour cream). He may have also had a cookie later.

And tomorrow, he'll eat leftovers. The cook has the day off.

And that is all for now because it's time to administer another round of eye drops.

Fingers crossed that I continue to bat a thousand in that department.

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Happy Thursday