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
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    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
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • 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
    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
  • 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

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Friday
Nov162018

Bananas for Thanksgiving

I've been inordinately busy. Apologies for ignoring you, my dearest readers.

Because the busy-ness extends into (and will consume) this calendar day as well, I have dug into the archives and present to you here a timely re-post.

It's from 2014 and it contains recipes. Two of them, and both extra-good, because those are the only kind I like.

Without further ado, I give you this and promise new news next week.

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Nobody has asked me what I was so busy whipping up in the kitchen on Saturday.

But even in the absence of nudgings, goosings, coaxings, and arm-twistings, I am prepared to disclose the details of my weekend culinary activities.

You may recall that for several years I walked the earth oven-less.

Short story. Not remotely riveting for all its brevity.

Suffice it to say, I compensated surprisingly well -- just think Crock-Pots, lots of them -- but now that I have a brand-new oven, I jolly well use it.

As a matter of fact scarcely a calendar day elapses that I don't fire up my feisty, shiny new oven, prompting me to wonder more than once:

What did I ever do without an oven?

But the question is rhetorical. What I did year after year was, I made do.

What I did not do was, I didn't bake my annual dozen-or-so loaves of banana-nut bread, with a few pumpkin loaves thrown in for the sake of variety.

This sort of thing has been a tradition for me since time out of mind.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas when one remembers certain family members, friends, and acquaintances, and feels compelled to give them a little something to enjoy in the festive holiday mood, a loaf of homemade banana-nut bread is a brilliant solution.

Also the way I do it, it's absurdly easy.

That's because I go semi-homemade.

And this being the season of sharing, here's my recipe:

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SEMI-HOMEMADE BANANA-NUT BREAD

1 box Pillsbury Quick Bread (or generic brand) mix, banana (or pumpkin) flavor

(IF you use PQB brand in banana flavor, below are the exact directions. If you use another brand or make the pumpkin kind, read the box.)

(On second thought, read the box anyway.)

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil (I have used both canola and olive, the light-flavored kind)

1 cup water (I use buttermilk, or whole milk, never water, but you can)

1/2 cup (or more) walnut pieces (optional, but necessary if you're going for banana-nut bread)

1 fresh ripe banana, mashed (optional but if you want it to be like mine, don't leave this out)

Mix everything together well but don't overmix. I beat the eggs first but you don't have to.

Spray your loaf pan (glass works best) with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in 375-degree oven for 45-50 minutes. I lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top for the last 5-10 minutes so the crust on top doesn't burn.

Test with a toothpick or cake tester. It's done when only moist crumbs emerge.

Cool, then wrap in foil to keep fresh.

If you make pumpkin bread instead of banana, use a generous dollop of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) in place of the mashed banana.

You can also just as easily make muffins from this recipe. Again: For exact directions, read the box.

I make these breads two-at-a-time. It takes twice the ingredients but only one (big) mixing bowl and exactly the same amount of effort, and then you have a loaf to give and a loaf to keep. Or two loaves to give. Or keep.

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While I was making bread on Saturday, I also made cranberry sauce from scratch.

No Crock-Pot will made to feel irrelevant or superfluous on my watch.

This is another impressive recipe that is ridiculously simple to make, but elegant either as an addition to your holiday table or to give away jarred in a cute bag along with a freshly-baked loaf.

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HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE

2 packages FRESH whole cranberries (12 ounces each)

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup light (or dark) brown sugar

1 cup fresh (not from concentrate) orange juice

1/2 cup water

2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 cup sweetened DRIED cranberries

1 Tablespoon lemon (or orange) zest

In a Crock-Pot, mix together the FRESH cranberries, the sugars, the OJ, the water, and the grated ginger.

Cook on HIGH for three hours or so, until the cranberries have popped open.

Uncover, stir, and cook for 30 more minutes.

Unplug Crock-Pot. Add sweetened DRIED cranberries  and lemon zest. Stir well.

Over the next several hours, allow the sauce to cool and thicken. Stir often.

Transfer to a glass dish with tight-fitting lid and chill in refrigerator overnight.

This is an extremely sweet-tart sauce best enjoyed sparingly.

Serve cold beside the turkey and dressing, or, to give as a gift, put a cupful in a pretty jar with some frilly embellishment or other.

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So that's what I've been up to and I'll bet you're busy fixing a bunch of good stuff in your kitchen too.

Meanwhile things are taking brilliant shape around here, which basically involves me reminding TG for the third time to get the Christmas stuff down from the attic, and working hard to retain my festive mood while de-tangling last year's strands of Christmas lights.

All of my babies will be here for Thanksgiving. Won't you have fun looking at the pictures?

Speaking of pictures, tonight TG and I will (very carefully) remove the table-top glass and prop it off to the side so that I may rearrange the photos and add more.

As yet Baby Dagny is not represented there, a situation that must be remedied before Thursday.

Also I'd like to work in several more recent pictures of my other three littles, and a few shots of Andrew in and around the KC-135 and his unit.

Everything is in a state of flux but soon enough the dust will settle. Best relax and enjoy the ride.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Weekend-Before-Thanksgiving Week

Wednesday
Nov072018

In a hurry, were we?

I voted yesterday. In order to do so, I had to show my driver's license.

Just like if I'd been at a Michelle Obama book signing instead of a polling place.

But I digress.

Judging by the scene above, if the person beside whom I parked (that's my right front fender in the lower right portion of the photo; I wisely gave that Carolina Gamecock fan a wide berth) had to show theirs, it should have been immediately confiscated.

Because no; this is not a picture of someone pulling into a parking space.

This is an accurate representation of the position of their vehicle parked in the parking space.

(If one could in all honesty call that being either in, or parked.)

True story. The iPhone camera does not lie.

No one was aboard; I checked.

Thoughts on what may have been going on with said parking miscreant (who was not only not in the car, but was nowhere in sight)?

Because I've hmmmmmmed it for as long as I care to, and have come up with nothing. I've got other fish to fry.

Your turn.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Thursday
Nov012018

When in Sweden

Brittany came through with some pictures of hers and Andrew's Scandinavian idyll.

First let me say: it's cold there, with high temperatures in the low thirties, at best.

But they're young and they have the right clothes and they're together so I don't suppose that matters to them.

Much.

I have to have a warm quilt over my legs to even look at these, though. And I'm what they call hot-natured. And our thermostat is still set to cool mode.

So if you need to grab a thick blanket and a mugful of something generating prodigious amounts of steam before reading this short but shiver-inducing post, I will understand.

The first thing Brittany texted me after landing in Sweden was that it looked like Christmas.

I agree; it's a winter wonderland, and that massive lighted moose is quite the centerpiece.

These photos were taken in a place called Luleå, which is in Boden Municipality, Norrbotten County. I think that's where Andrew and one of his buddies from his unit thought it best to build a fire.

No; I don't believe they either caught those fish, or cooked and ate them. But I could be wrong.

What is the purpose of the red shed, other than to be so cute and rustic in the snow scene?

Please don't tell me it's for warmth; if that's all the warm shelter there was on hand, I'd for sure stay at the hotel.

The first picture in this post reminds me of Andrew and Brittany's wedding day last March, when they exchanged vows on the banks of the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina.

They love the outdoors, be it on the Caribbean's balmy shores or in faraway places known for extreme winter. This is the first of many such thrilling escapades, I'm sure.

The lovebirds will be home in ten days. At the opportune moment, I will debrief them and bring more Nordic tales for your enjoyment. Maybe additional pictures too.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Thursday :: Happy November

Monday
Oct292018

I had a hand in this

TG and I made our way on Saturday up to Salisbury, North Carolina.

Among other day-trippy type things, we did a bit of graving.

In Chestnut Hill Cemetery we found these fine dearly departed folk.

No; wondrous as it would have been, the Fingers and the Nails were not interred side by side.

Nor could I find any evidence that their families had mingled in marriage, resulting in a Mrs. Susie (or some such) Finger Nail.

There was a Barrow too, but I searched in vain for Wheel. More's the pity.

I mean no disrespect. May they all rest in peace.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Wednesday
Oct242018

I'll stand. You sit.

Photo courtesy Andrew Weber

Andrew has sent me a picture of himself standing at the Arctic Circle in Sweden.

It's hard for me to picture my boy there, but I believe the evidence is convincing.

Tomorrow Brittany will fly out of Charlotte on the first leg of her journey to join him.

Although I don't envy those who travel in this way, I do think it's exciting and I can't wait to hear all about it when they return.

Meanwhile, Andrew also sent me a picture (at my request; he showed this to all of us at Sun Ming last Friday night) of Maverick the Boxer sitting on the neck of a sleeping Rambo the Lab mix.

Photo courtesy Andrew Weber

Which is truly one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Apparently Ramby's head is one of Maverick's favorite places to park and contemplate life, and he does it frequently.

I told you before: Rambo may be the sweetest, most mild-mannered dog that ever lived.

According to Brittany, when they travel with both dogs, Rambo will rack out in the back seat of the truck and Maverick will lie right on top of him, stretched on his back, roaching.

As down the road they go.

You can't make this stuff up.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Monday
Oct222018

A son is a son

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A son is a son 'til he takes him a wife;

A daughter's a daughter for all of her life.

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On Friday night, we celebrated Brittany's birthday.

Which was actually yesterday, but she was in Knoxville with her family on the day.

On the afternoon of his wife's birthday, Andrew flew out of Knoxville for Sweden, where he'll fly refueling missions for three weeks.

On Thursday, Brittany will join him there for two of those weeks, because they're newlyweds and don't have children yet, and she has a current passport, and isn't it thrilling?

I can't wait to see pictures (I'm hoping to share a few with you) of the sweethearts schussing the Scandinavian ski slopes, or swanning around snowy Stockholm.

Meanwhile, last Friday evening we all assembled at Sun Ming, our favorite Chinese restaurant. 

We sat at a huge round table -- there were eight of us -- with a lazy Susan in the middle. That thing was three feet across.

Soon the revolving lacquered circle was laden with platters of General Tso's Chicken, Orange Chicken, Chow Steak Kew, Szechuan Beef, and Sesame Chicken.

There were bowls heaped with perfectly-prepared egg fried rice, and plain rice, and steamed broccoli.

I have a serious weakness for these dishes.

Apparently I'm not the Lone Ranger; everyone was chowing down with gusto, and chattering at the same time.

Much of the talk was of TG's and Dagny's adventures at the South Carolina State Fair the night before. Chad and Erica had met them at the fair, so there were many stories.

Like when Dagny fed a kangaroo a carrot, called him a "good boy!" then squatted down to have a look and make sure that "he doesn't have a baby."

There's a video.

She's apparently all clued in to the reproductive habits of marsupials. Don't ask me how.

Dagny had mentioned at least fifteen times that she saw dinosaurs at the fair, augmenting her claim with a pretty decent imitation of a T-Rex. 

(You know: hands up like claws, fierce expression, sound effect like RAAAAAWWWWWgggghhhhhhrrrrr!)

I finally asked why she believed she saw actual dinosaurs at the fair because -- you know -- if they had those, I was thinking I should have gone.

Turns out the prehistoric creatures were impressive animatronics. But still. I question my decision.

(Not really.)

Somewhere in there, I realized that someone (honestly I cannot remember who) was struggling to pronounce a word.

There were fits and starts: Velcr -- Vita -- Vacu -- Vola --

Veni Vidi Vici? No?

Then it happened:

Velociraptor, Andrew (sitting beside me, to my right) said.

Velociraptor, I said.

But we didn't only both say the word; we said it simultaneously.

And not only did we speak in unison; we pronounced the scary extinct creature's name in exactly the same way (correctly) at exactly the same time.

I'm talking each of the five syllables coming out of both of our mouths as if only one were speaking. 

With identical velocity, as it were.

I don't think anyone else even noticed. But Andrew and I did.

A half-beat later, we chuckled -- again, in exactly the same way, at exactly the same time.

His left elbow brushed my right elbow as our shoulders shook with shared mirth.

And that was all there was to it, and it took all of five seconds from start to finish, and it may not seem like anything worth mentioning, because perhaps you had to be there. 

But I was there, and -- 

Well. That's my boy.

He's busy; although his front door is a scant ten miles from mine and we attend the same church, I don't see much of him.

He has a demanding job and also serves in the United States Air Force.

He's got a lovely bride to whom he is devoted, just as she devotes herself to him. As it should be.

But as the meal concluded and we waited for the fortune cookies, I thought of how fortunate I am.

How fortunate we all are.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Thursday
Oct182018

Fair game

At long last we are being treated to some beauti-fall weather.

Today, the high barely reached seventy.

In honor of this annual climatic milestone -- or perhaps because it's the only night available to do it -- TG is taking Dagny to the South Carolina State Fair.

I don't do fairs. Just, no. I will be here at home.

Audrey, who apparently doesn't do fairs either, is joining me. We plan to watch TV and eat snacks.

Dag is also spending the night with us, and some of the day on Friday. Tomorrow evening the whole family will be going out to dinner, to celebrate Brittany's birthday.

TG plans to feed Dagny fair food for her supper (who knows what that will entail -- probably something fried) tonight, take her on a few rides, then hang out in the animal exhibits.

There's a petting zoo, a Border Collie demonstrating how he herds goats, and all kinds of barnyard-type critters to admire.

This afternoon, I asked Dagny what she's wearing to the fair, as it will be right cool when the sun goes down.

My new leggin's, she replied. The pink ones. No, the gray ones.

Mmmmmkay. Sounds like a plan. I'm pretty sure her denim jacket will be involved too.

The days are getting shorter. The nights are turning colder. The leaves are brightening and crisping in preparation for their collective swan song.

I wish you could hear the squirrels when they jump from the white oak which looms over our house, onto the sun room roof, then scamper to the edge and take flying leaps onto the privacy fence, along which they run like they're on fire.

Above my head, they sound as though they weigh thirty-eight pounds and are wearing shoulder pads and cleats.

They maraud around our deck as well, tails twitching, scooping up acorns.

Rizzo, who is ardent about acorns, notices and growls from the recesses of my recliner but does not bother to elevate his hackles.

The pickings aren't exactly slim; there are enough acorns on our deck for a gang of peckish squirrels and a Chiweenie whose tastes run to organic snacks found in nature.

I tell Rizzo: Play fair. You aren't allowed to have acorns anyway.

Whereupon he sighs, yawns, and goes back to sleep.

It's nuts.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Thursday

Wednesday
Oct172018

Wake me when it's over

A week ago Sunday, while at church, I learned through the grapevine that another hurricane was headed our way.

Michael.

He was due to arrive on the following Wednesday. Or so went the scuttlebutt.

What in the world? I marveled to TG on the way home. 

Unlike when Hurricane Florence was still thousands of nautical miles away, we hadn't been told two weeks out that we needed to plan for the end of the world.

And you know how that turned out. We had a rainy day. And not even particularly rainy, by South Carolina standards.

(Again: I understand that many suffered catastrophic effects of Hurricane Florence. Again: they have my prayers.)

But here we were with a tropical storm a mere three days away, and no extra bread in the house.

Fast forward to Thursday -- almost a week ago now -- when Hurricane Michael did arrive, in the form of a much-downgraded tropical storm.

The folks in the panhandle of Florida had already experienced devastating losses when Michael loomed on our horizon.

For reasons I'll never understand, this storm was not hyped to us in the same way at all. Even though it turned out to be worse.

As in, our sun room took on water in two corners. The rain came down pretty hard for many hours during the wee hours of last Thursday morning.

Our pool was nearly full to the brim when TG and I woke in still-gray, grainy light to check that all hatches were still battened down.

That's when I discovered the water on my new sun room floor and ran for the stack of pool towels. TG stood by to grab the little Shop-Vac and suck up the puddles.

But not long after, as I drank my coffee and sat watch, the rain subsided. The towels in the corners, having deftly absorbed the opportunistic rainwater, were all that was needed.

By one o'clock that day, the sun was out and puffy white clouds scudded across an azure blue sky.

By three o'clock that day, the pool towels had been washed, dried, folded, and re-stacked in the cabinet where they will ride out the winter.

Crisis averted.

And then it got hot again -- we've been in the high 80s for days now, with killing humidity.

I think Indian summer is about to be in the rear-view too, however. And the sooner, the better.

Rizzo does not like storms; they appear to traumatize his wee canine soul.

When I got up on the day Michael swanned through Columbia, as the rain lashed the windows and seeped in from the corners of the sun room, Riz cowered in the recliner on his blankets, clutching his Bullibone.

The picture above isn't from that day; I took it this past Monday, because as he sat beside me snoozing, I noticed that he'd dragged his blue-rings chew toy up with him and had his paw shoved through one of the rings.

His Bullibone was nearby too. Just in case.

The blue-ring chew toy is the one I bought for him at Pet Supplies Plus on the day we rescued him, in January of 2017. He also has a small black tire with a rope through it, but that came later, and the blue rings are his favorite.

Besides the Bullibone, which is his absolute favorite.

What would I do without the Riz-man?

I'd spend a significant amount of time being sad and lonely, which is its own kind of storm.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday