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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Columbia Cemetery

To read my articles, click HERE! And don't forget to subscribe.

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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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One Word, Luv: Curiosity

Wednesday
Sep202017

There's no crying in baseball

Photo Credit: ChicagoNowI know. I know I know I know I know.

Almost doesn't count.

Except -- as TG is fond of reminding me -- in the case of horseshoes, hand grenades, and the atom bomb.

This was none of those things.

Not by a long shot.

This is about the moment I almost met Theo Epstein.

Allow me to elaborate.

TG and I went to Chicago in mid-August, to take in a Cubs game at Wrigley. 

We tooled into the Windy City on a Tuesday, in the early afternoon. We checked into our Wrigleyville hotel and made our way to the ball park.

The weather was perfect and we went through the gate in time to (each) receive a free Kris Bryant action figure.

Then TG got me a Coke in a commemorative cup depicting the iconic final out of the 2016 Word Series, wherein Kris Bryant flung the ball flawlessly into the waiting glove of my favorite Cub, first-baseman Anthony Rizzo.

We were psyched.

Except, the Cubs lost the game. Oh they'd won the night before, and they won the next night -- rather spectacularly. But our game? Nah.

Okay let's be positive: We were there, absorbing Wrigley and Chicago and Cubs culture. My favorite Cubs pitcher, Kyle "The Professor" Hendricks, was on the mound.

I got a few pictures, but not nearly enough.

So it was that the next day, after enjoying a delicious breakfast at a diner across the street from our hotel, TG and I checked out of said accommodations and went back to Wrigley Field.

I wanted to walk around without the game-time crowd, and check out a thing or two not shackled by the time restraints one feels on game night.

I wandered through the Cubs Store, and admired the 2016 World Series trophy.

When I'd had my fill, TG went to get the car -- parked across the street, next to the Wrigleyville Firehouse on Waveland Avenue -- and I waited, admiring both the firehouse and the Wrigley Rooftop buildings beside it.

School children on some sort of a trip filed past me wearing neon green t-shirts. The metal detectors flashed green too, at the many entrances to the old stadium.

I glanced behind me just in time to see a man emerge from the innards of the ball park, a cagey-looking door held open for him by a security guard. There was no one else around; just me and the man, who walked directly towards me.

He was dressed in business casual: dark slacks with a knife-edge crease, leather loafers, pale-blue shirt open at the collar, no tie, and an expensive-looking sport coat.

When the sharp-dressed man got close enough to me that I could have brushed a piece of lint from his bespoke lapel (which contained no lint), he looked right at me and smiled. Such blue eyes. I think I was already smiling because I was just so happy to be there.

Then he passed me and walked directly toward a building that contains the Chicago Cubs executive offices.

And in that instant I knew that the man was Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, the man credited with guiding the club to their first World Series win in one-hundred-eight years.

And that he was getting away.

Everything slowed to slower than slow-mo. In my mind I was raising my hand in a come baaaack gesture (that he wouldn't have seen), and saying loudly but not unlady-likely voice (which he wouldn't have heard, since it was only in my head):

Thhheeeeeeooooooooo ... 

And then the glossy doors of the office building, with the giant LED screen just inside, flashing images of Cub glories past and present, swallowed him and he was gone.

I'd missed my shot. And even though it was close, as you know, a miss is as good as a mile. 

Regrets? I've had a few. And that will always be one of them.

I missed my chance to have a selfie with Theo Epstein on a gorgeous August morning with Wrigley Field itself as the backdrop.

When TG pulled our car to the curb sixty seconds later, I was sputtering and stammering and managed to explain that Theo Epstein had just walked right by me and smiled and I -- the pirate -- had been mute. Unable to speak.

That's not something you see very often.

TG chuckled and kidded me about being such a noodle. I berated myself as we drove away from Wrigleyville, out onto Lake Shore Drive and back east.

As Wayne Gretzky said: You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take.

Why didn't I speak? I wondered. Ah well. Perhaps there will be a next time.

Here are some sweet kids who, on a recent occasion at British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver, really did meet Captain Jack Sparrow.

An experience they're not likely to forget, any more than my almost-selfie with Theo on a fabled Chicago sidewalk, will fade from my memory.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Thursday
Sep142017

In which we pawty like a hurricane

OK so we survived Hurricane Irma. Thank you for asking.

There were scary moments on Monday, of the tropical storm variety. Nothing like what those who rode out hurricane-force winds to the west and south of us, endured.

But still.

Columbia was treated to twenty-four hours of nonstop rain, and high winds that thrashed all day long. Andrew helped put a large plastic tarp on the roof of our added-on sun room when it began leaking wind-driven rain water at the seams.

We were fortunate in that when our power winked out, it stayed out for less than an hour. No sooner had I lit the utility candles than it was time to extinguish them.

But we lost our beautiful mature Dogwood. TG discovered it uprooted, lying with its branches and already-changing leaves sprawled over the ground of our side yard, on Tuesday.

I wish I'd known last fall that our tree was reddening for the last time, and in the spring, singing its swan song of lush pink blossoms. I assumed it would always be there, its boughs a lovely sight from the upstairs guest room window.

Last Friday as we all made our way to Rock Hill, South Carolina, for daughter Stephanie's birthday party, we encountered many spates of stop-and-go traffic on I-77 northbound.

There were lots of Florida license plates.

But that traffic paled in comparison to what snaked along in the northbound lane as we traveled back south, several hours later.

An all-but-unbroken line of white lights, stretching for many miles.

For our latest pawty we met at Cracker Barrel in Rock Hill. I know: painfully bourgeois! Those biscuits though.

Speaking only for moi, I love breakfast for dinner. CraBar is a natural choice when you need your eggs-sausage-grits fix along with the biscuits.

And those teensy-weensy jam and preserves thingies! Joy in a flat thimble. Never mind you have to peel four of them open, in order to have a decent amount of gooey sweetness to decorate said biscuits.

Ah well. Merica.

Yes our Andrew is home safe once again, and he joined us. The two Andrews, TG, and Joel sat at one end of our pushed-together line of tables, and all the girls gathered at the other end.

Like a little Quaker dinner table. Much gabbing and laughter ensued. Festive bright Mylar balloons floated over our heads. I took pictures with my phone.

I had brought a birthday cake too, and candles, and plates/napkins/forks to use at dessert time.

Our server, Alex, was divine. He was courteous and helpful, and so friendly. He kept the beverages refreshed and brought us everything we required, even presenting the birthday girl with a free sundae. 

Yes! She ate the sundae and a piece of her cake. Girl knows how to pawty down.

Our meal concluded, I presented the cake and pushed four squiggly candles into the top, and lit them. We sang to Stephanie, who then blew out the flames, looking much younger than her thirty-seven years.

Everyone passed their red pawty plates down so I could load them with slabs of white cake and buttercream icing. For my portion, I only licked the knife; there was no room for cake. Because biscuits.

Oh well; cake, as far as I know, is not leaving the planet. I'll have some next time.

Following the decimation of our store-bought dessert, it was Andrew's idea for the pawty to continue outside, on the wide country-style porch. A gaggle of presents had been patiently waiting.

And so we did. It was a beautiful night. Stephanie sat in a rocking chair and opened her gifts while the kids ran around in circles.

She received lots of lovely things and appreciated them all. A gold-tone bolo-clasp bracelet featuring a disc set with multicolored stones, a gift from her father and me, was a particular favorite.

We girls all adore trinkets and a well-stocked jewelry box.

And then it was time to fill up the vehicles once more, and head for home. Irma, down south, was churning just offshore. Nobody really knew what the next few days would bring.

In a week it will be officially autumn. How special. We have another pawty planned -- right around the corner -- just to celebrate.

I'll tell you about it when the happy memories have been made.

And that is all for now, except to say that I wish you a wonderful day.

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Happy Thursday

Wednesday
Sep062017

I face my fears. And the librarians.

OK there's something you need to know about me.

Libraries strike fear in my heart.

I love lending libraries. That is, I love the stuff that is available to be borrowed from lending libraries. That would be the books. And assorted other media.

But when I darken the door of a lending library, I am instantly intimidated. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end; I look over my shoulder, then glance furtively in the other directions.

I feel instantly and irreparably guilty. Of something. As though, before I can dot another i, a sternly bespectacled librarian wearing a beige acrylic cardigan, her graying hair arranged in a matronly bun, is going to come forward and order that I be clapped in irons.

There is good reason for my paranoia.

The librarians -- without fail, every time I show up -- find some grounds on which to rebuke me.

Me! You read that correctly: they correct me. And I do nothing to deserve it. 

Well; nearly nothing. I mean, sure. I've had the occasional overdue book. Hasn't everybody?

But it's rare. Extremely rare. Especially now, when, thirty-six hours into your temporary borrow-ship of a book, the library begins pelting your email with reminders that you have an almost-due book.

You can't even enjoy the "free" library materials for fear you'll fail to renew or return them in time, thus incurring a fee.

It's nerve-wracking.

In my case, if the librarians aren't telling me to be quiet or to pay some imaginary fine, they're lightly rapping me on the knuckles for failing to perform as expected.

Case in point: See that picture above, of the book Gone With the Wind?

(That's my personal volume, by the way. It's not, and was never, borrowed from a library).

A few years ago my library announced a photography contest. Naturally, I threw my hat into the ring. I forget the actual theme but it's obvious from the picture I entered, it had something to do with the consumption of books.

Anyway. I waited and waited and waited and waited to get word that I had won, placed, or shown in the contest. There was going to be a Sunday-afternoon soiree at the library, honoring said winners. There would be refreshments.

But, receiving no notice that my presence was required for polite applause, store-bought butter cookies, and a plastic cupful of warm lemonade, I forgot all about it.

Except, long afterwards, I did get a perfunctory email from the library saying that I'd WON the contest and to come over there and pick up my prize and my photo entry, which they didn't want lying around any longer.

When I presented at the reference desk and said why I'd come, I asked the unsmiling librarian as she shoved my photo and a Shutterfly coupon toward me:

Why didn't you let me know I'd won the contest? I would have come to the little party! 

We were hoping all of the participants would care enough to come, whether they'd won anything or not, was her chilly reply.

Oh. Bad bad pirate, only cares enough to show up if she's getting recognition. I got the message.

Several months ago I was using one of the library's twelve-square-foot study rooms to conduct a tutoring session. It was late afternoon on a rainy day; my elementary-age student was barely awake.

In a conversational tone, I was reading to the boy and asking him questions about the story.

Next thing you know, a librarian appeared at the glass-windowed door. She wore a pained expression. Opening the door enough to peer around into the room, she said I was being too loud.

There had been complaints. I would need to pipe down.

Oh. Super-bad pirate, so loud and boisterous in a library. When would I ever learn.

Perhaps the most frustrating to me is the random levying of fines. As in, it seems that no matter how conscientious I am about returning materials, when I go to check out a book, I am told that I owe money to the library.

I can crank my car, back out of my garage, and be walking into the library in exactly five minutes. I drive by said library at least ten times a week. It's not as though I avoid taking things back, or like it's some sort of hardship.

And yet my record is sullied with book-hoarding transgressions, multiple procrastinatory infractions, and ample evidence of hopeless recidivism resulting in frequent fines.

Once, I went to check out a book and was told that I'd failed to return a DVD many weeks previous, and that there was a block on my card, not to mention a hefty fine. Or I could simply pay for them to buy a new DVD, thus wiping the slate clean.

I knew I'd returned the DVD -- on time -- and I said as much. I asked the librarian to go and look on the shelf.

She did. The DVD was right where it ought to have been. Clearing her throat and adjusting her glasses, the librarian granted me pardon and expunged the incident from my record.

But I was traumatized. Not to mention fuming.

So it was that several weeks ago when I went to the library to check out a few audio books for TG and I to listen to while we drove two thousand miles on vacation, I stiffened in anticipation of being accused, as the librarian scanned my card, of owing money for imaginary late-returned materials.

Even though I knew I didn't.

But she said nothing. Clean! I checked out my materials and left the library without being detained for crimes against the system. It felt so good to walk out into the hot summer day, a free woman.

I returned the three audio books the day before they were due. I remember because the chunky box that sits outside at the curb so that you don't have to get out of your car in order to return things, was stuffed so full that the fat vinyl cases wouldn't go in unless I pulled up ten feet, got out of my car, and walked back to shove them down the blasted thing's throat. 

A week or so later, I was back to claim a book I'd requested held in reserve. I handed over my library card. My crimes and faults were reflected from the computer screen into the glasses of the librarian.

She said: You owe sixty cents. Twenty cents apiece for three items.

But I returned those things last week, the day before they were due, I said. I don't owe anything.

This is from October of Twenty-Sixteen, she elaborated.

? ? ? ? ?

Why, I wondered, wasn't that information divulged when I checked out the audio books in early August? I mean, why wait to share the good news that I am once again in arrears?

It's a mystery. Even more of a conundrum is how the fines levied are for things you can't even remember having checked out, it's been so long ago.

But I was assured that there was no block on my card this time, and I didn't have to pay the sixty cents that day. I was free to check out my book and leave the library without wearing an electronic anklet.

Why didn't I simply open my wallet, take out two quarters and a dime, pay the blasted thing and be done with it? You may be asking yourself. After all, you can't fight City Hall.

It was a matter of principle. I was going to keep my sixty cents out of the library's till for as long as possible.

I'll be paying it soon, though. I just received an email telling me that my library card will expire in ten days. And no, you can't renew it online; you have to show up in person. Naturally; they can't guilt you nearly as effectively from the cold remove of a computer screen.

Hey -- have you ever heard of a library card having to be renewed? Neither had I, until a few years ago.

Glutton for punishment that apparently I am, I'll be submitting to the librarians once more in the near future. After all, I can't live without a library card.

Without one, where would I get my regular dose of guilt and shame?

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Thursday
Aug312017

Twinkling up the pirate digs

Inspired by blogging buddy Luna Crone, I've hauled out last year's Christmas light strings and installed them in four locations in the pirate domicile. I'm not finished yet but I figured I'd give you all a look around.

Now, I've always loved white lights and used them year-round, both indoors and out.

But Luna goosed me when she got a set of purple "faerie lights" (I can't find me any purple ones but I haven't looked all that hard and I won't give up) to add to her already-sparkling cottage.

So I was all, like, well I've got a bunch of lights right out here stashed in a wicker ottoman thing, in the sun room, where I put them just yesterday last January.

The first thing I did was to put twinkling lights all along the ledge in the sun room. This ledge runs the length of the room and with the help of three Command hooks to keep the lights from slipping off, in no time we were sparkling to beat the band.

I enjoy sitting out here in my recliner so much, especially on rainy days like today. The lights add relentless comfy-homey charm.

Next I took a string upstairs to the Pirate Dressing Room. Yes I have a pirate flag on the wall, and black lace valances. This is where I get ready to face the world on days when I have no choice but to do so.

Next I placed a string of lights around an antique what-is-left-of-a hall tree that I got from my late mother-in-law's basement after she passed away last year.

I love things that lean, and I love age-marked mirror. We're all the way there but with the addition of the lights, my front-room studio looks just a trifle bohemian. 

Last (for now) I just up and hung a whole strand of lights from a little bitty hook in the ceiling of the dining area of our kitchen.

Yes. I just hung them there. It's my kitchen and besides, I read someplace that this is the cool thing to do now. Just hang the lights wherever you crave glowy ambiance, and you end up with originality creds.

So now I have little white lights reflecting in the glass top of my table where I'm beginning to assemble my piratey decorations for September and October.

I don't celebrate Halloween but I like skeletons and Ravens and skulls. Year round. I mean, my car is named The Raven, and a stuffed but believable raven perches in the back window, looking at the other drivers.

Recently I acquired a life-size skeleton of an actual (sort of) Raven, in his own cage. He doesn't want out.

I also have a to-scale Victorian-Dickensian hearse worthy of Jacob Marley's hyperactive remains.

I'll show you pictures of my autumn and creepy decorations in a day or two.

You may have intuited that I'm pretty psyched about the arrival once more of the four -B-E-R months. They're my favorites because from day one, they just get better and better.

Temperatures will settle down and, with the help of fortunate winds, the humidity will follow suit.

This pirate will be keeping a weather eye on the horizon.

And that is all for now.

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Happy September 

Monday
Aug282017

We love Paris in the springtime. We love to Pawty all the time.

I have been troubled more than once lately by the fact of my own delinquency in sharing with you the highlights of a certain special family occasion.

Of which we have so many.

Cheryl -- whom, together with her husband Alan and son Chad, TG and I were able to meet and get to know recently, and of whose boundless hospitality we were the grateful and humbled recipients -- remarked not long ago: It seems like all you folks do is Pawty! 

And in the post on which that comment appeared, I had promised to tell you about Dagny's third birthday party.

But I have yet to make good on the promise. Until today.

First let me say, I agree with Cheryl that it seems as though all we do is Pawty but honestly, is an alternative course open to us?

(The question is rhetorical; I know there isn't. It is painfully clear that we are too hedonistic -- or enthusiastic -- for our own collective good.)

I thought purposefully back on the year thus far. You barely sweep up the last few pine needles and bits of stray tinsel from Christmas, stash the strings of lights, and it's TG's birthday. End of January.

But a few days before that, this year we celebrated the Inauguration of President Trump. With a party.

Two weeks into February? Valentine's Day. Oh yes! We celebrated. Gifts. Cards. Dinner. Candy. The whole blah blah.

A week later, it was grandson Andrew's birthday. Two weeks after that fell my birthday (cause for much jollity). Two weeks later and we were psyched for Audrey's birthday, and one week (exactly) later, it was time to celebrate the day our son Andrew originally arrived into the world.

Mere days after that, it was our duty and delight to fête Allissa on her birthday. Then (immediately) it was Easter. I recall partying around a massive ham although we know full well, the point of Easter is our Lord's resurrection and not simply another excuse to eat ham. And be hams.

Two weeks after Allissa's day and Easter, son-in-law Joel's birthday occurred, right on schedule. We were up to May first.

Count on both hands the days that went by until Mother's Day. I will wait because it won't take long, only, trust me: There was a huge party.

A few weeks later, we celebrated both Memorial Day and Erica's birthday. I'm pretty sure Erica's birthday was the bigger party, judging by the cake, but we did the patriotic thing too.

Forward through time two more weeks and it was Dagny's birthday, followed by TG's and my anniversary. Not many days hence, it was Chad's birthday and my mother's birthday, one day apart. Then it was time to celebrate Stephanie and Joel's anniversary.

We failed to mount an actual bash for their anniversary. But don't forget that Father's Day also fell in mid-June. Party? Yes please, and thank you. It's only natural.

Next up? The Fourth of July! An occasion on which we definitely pawty. As I recall, it was a cookout at Andrew's house, with all the sides and trimmings. A few weeks later, we went on our trip to Atlanta, to see the Chicago Cubs play at brand-new SunTrust Park. We partied at Mary Mac's Tea Room.

As August dawned, we celebrated Henry's birthday. Then it was time to go on vacation, which we did, and I haven't even told you anything about that. MUCH pawtying occurred, allow me to assure you.

Then there was the Total Solar Eclipse. It felt like a party to me. A wing-ding for the senses, especially those of sight and wonder. We may also have had ice cream.

That brings us up to now. Just this past weekend, Brittany visited. We all got together and had a couple of party-like outings. In a few days Andrew will be home from Afghanistan and we will celebrate that with another purposefully happiness-filled get-together. Food; laughter; general hilarity. The whole nine.

Then it will be time to organize festivities marking Stephanie's birthday. A few weeks later, TG and I along with Chad and Erica, Andrew and Brittany, and Audrey, will travel back to Atlanta for yet another weekend baseball getaway.

Atlanta Braves versus Philadelphia Phillies this time.

We get a wee break then, to enjoy October, until Brittany's birthday later on in that beautiful month. Surely some sort of soiree will be in the offing.

Then it will be time to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know what that means: shindigs galore and getting/giving presents and elaborate decorating and endless consumption of party treats. After which we will start all over again.

Oh wait! Don't forget Melanie's birthday, on the shortest day of the year. There will be revelry.

And you'll recall, each of my grandchildren came to our house for a week this summer, and that a great deal of merrymaking ensued on and around those occasions. 

Do you realize, each and every one of these milestones mentioned, requires meal and event planning, schedule coordination, communication with many varying factions and -- more to the point -- gift-giving?

Let that sink in. It may become necesssary to initiate a crowdfunding site. Bankroll the Webers' out-of-control partying habit!

So yes: Pawty is what we are called to do and yes, we make a fuss over every little thing. So there's that.

Even so, I feel sure I've forgotten some peripheral shenanigans in which we may or may not have indulged thus far in Twenty Seventeen. The mind shrinks from the effort of remembering the sheer volume of our flagrant celebratory activity.

We also work, and go to church, and find time for all the mundane non-partylike things everybody is obliged to do in this workaday world. We go to the dentist; we shop for groceries and walk the dog and fill the car with gasoline. All this and more.

Although I'll never know where we find the time.

But back to the subject at hand: Dagny turned three on June fourteenth.

It wasn't even technically summer but still, it was famously hot here in Columbia and I wanted most of the pawtying to be done indoors (although many did sit out by the pool), and especially the picture-taking part.

So I established a photo booth of sorts in the front room studio, set up the lights, assembled the props, affixed one of the Nikons atop the tripod, and told everyone to use the clicker. 

You've likely divined by now that our theme was Paris. As in, the Western European City of Lights. Thanks to Oriental Trading, it was the easy way. Audrey went click click click, and I did some clicking of my own (Amazon), and we were there.

The chicks in our family are all jazzed all the time about black and white (noir blanc) for fashion's sake, and when you add pink, the magic really happens. We were suitably impressed with our own achievements in this instance.

Now you must excuse me for I must go and plan the next pawty, which is in the drawing-board stages.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Wednesday
Aug232017

A brief but burning desire

It was a profound experience.

After the eclipse, I saw news photos of people -- thousands of them -- at a thrown-together hippie festival in Oregon which had gone on for days, raising both hands to the sun.

I had to laugh. What does that even mean?

I will worship the Creator and never the creation.

But, like most humans, I love nature and am inspired by it daily.

The sight -- together with the urgent sounds and a breathless sensation in the oddly altered air -- of the total solar eclipse was one I will never forget.

It was just short enough to make its memory a singular treasure and just long enough to make its occurrence a distinct privilege.

As the hour approached for totality, we began looking through our eclipse shades to see the encroaching lunar black bite upon the unblinking solar surface.

There was an ominous quality that made the whole thing more exciting. We knew the moon would briefly star in a pseudo-disappearing act before the sun showed who was boss once more.

We watched the clock. Zero hour was to be two forty-one; by two thirty-five it was obvious that something extraordinary was taking place.

The landscape took on a one-dimensional attitude as the thin shadows grew longer.

It was an extremely hot day; our temperatures didn't plummet so much as relax, for five minutes or so on either side of totality.

Then the solar lights that ring our pool and decorate its planters and accent pieces, popped on all at once.

I looked through my glasses. Only the slimmest silver sliver of sun remained to be seen. A glowing curved thread.

It was cloudy; we audibly moaned and groaned. This would be an issue in the wholly temporary time-sensitive situation.

I was wearing a short dress. Mosquitoes which congregate somewhere -- who knows where -- in broad daylight, waiting for their dark playtime to commence, came out in swarms and began to feast on my skinny bare legs.

I've long suspected that the bloodthirsty opportunistic varmints have plastered my likeness on WANTED posters all over Skeeter Town.

Normally if I'm outside at that time of day, I'm partially submerged in the pool and I've slathered my face and shoulders with Skin So Soft, the scent of which mosquitoes mostly avoid.

The cicadas had begun screaming madly, in concert as though they'd been informed there was to be no tomorrow, the way they perform at deepest summer twilight just before nighttime when they shut up altogether.

Then: Totality. The light was almost-but-not-quite extinguished. We could barely see the corona through the clouds.

I ripped off those shades, took aim, and started taking pictures. I'm an amateur; I used my zoomiest zoom lens and no tripod. I just wanted to get something to remember it by.

Because it seemed like a dream, an exquisite suspension of time.

At the end, the unique moment having passed into history and the fiery solar rays re-revealed, clouds once more obscured our view.

It was as though a dinosaur-like creature was eager to consume -- or expel -- the still-raging heat. 

The solar lights around the pool winked out in obedience to the brightness. Mosquitoes took a hike. Cicadas dimmed to their customary daytime background whine. All gears were once again switched.

Columbia's famously hot status was reinstated. Celestial events notwithstanding, August in the Carolinas is no joke.

Throughout the spectacle, we could hear folks whooping and hollering all over the neighborhood.

Its duration had been a time of masterfully restrained power. Only God can do this.

I am grateful to Him for allowing me to witness it.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Wednesday

Monday
Aug212017

Eclipsed by cuteness

Here in Columbia today, it's all about Solar Eclipse 2017.

Somebody wasn't too happy at being asked to pose wearing eclipse shades.

Dagny is in the throes of a summer cold. She has a fever.

See those flushed cheeks? Motrin has been administered.

By the time this offering auto-posts at 2:44 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, totality will have come and gone.

As I write, it's beginning to look very strange outside. The wilting heat is subsiding, temporarily.

I'd better grab my shades and look up.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Eclipsing

Thursday
Aug102017

A world away

I blogged here, nearly three years ago, about visiting Andrew at the 134th Air Refueling Wing at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, not long after he became a fully-fledged boom operator.

He treated me to a visit inside the "sim" -- simulator to civilians -- where I was allowed to watch what he does, and even pretend to do it myself.

You've got to be in awe of our American heroes.

Since forward-deploying from Qatar to Afghanistan a few days ago, Andrew has been sending me and his father the occasional photo.

In the first photo above, he (you can't see him but I promise he's there) is operating the fueling boom of a Maine Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker, giving a drink to a thirsty (and fully loaded) F-16 Fighting Falcon in the air over Afghanistan.

I've never understood how he both refuels the plane while they both are hurtling through airspace at six hundred miles per hour, and takes a picture at the same time. I mean, they are no more than thirty feet apart.

Once I asked him how he does it, and he told me, and I still don't understand.

Millennials.

Here's a short video showing exactly what happens:

How about that Stealth bomber? It reminds me of a sea creature. Kind of creepy; am I right?

Andrew arrived in Kandahar at around four o'clock local time one morning last week.

It's been a long day, he texted.

While waiting to be assigned to barracks, he and his buddies posed in front of a sign. If you'd like to know more about the name on that sign, go here.

Andrew said he and his friends were wanting to look cool but to me, they look weary. And brave.

Yesterday he sent me this picture, of himself in the USO building. I hope they gave him a donut and a cup of hot coffee.

I was reminded of the picture I posted a few weeks ago -- here -- of the boy walking into the USO San Antonio one decade ago, a day after graduating from Basic Military Training.

I don't know much about the United Services Organization but if they provide even one moment of homey comfort to a soldier so far away from the comforts of home -- and I know they do more than that -- I am grateful to them.

God Bless America and each one of those who serve. It's a sacrifice; a selfless and often thankless job that somebody has got to do.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Thursday