Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com


Home of Jenny the Pirate



This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.


We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.


 Nice is different than good.


Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962



Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors



Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =



The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were






Columbia Cemetery

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


Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal!

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.


Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson



When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks



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


Keep To The Code








You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts




Daft Like Jack

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

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • The Sound of Peace
    The Sound of Peace
    Retribution Records
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • Adios, America
    Adios, America
    by Ann Coulter
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems
    Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems
    by Harold Bloom
  • 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
  • The Closer
    The Closer
    by Mariano Rivera
  • Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs
    Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs
    by Michelle Malkin
  • 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
  • Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary
    Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary
    by Frederick Buechner
  • The Black Bard of North Carolina: George Moses Horton and His Poetry (Chapel Hill Books)
    The Black Bard of North Carolina: George Moses Horton and His Poetry (Chapel Hill Books)
    The University of North Carolina Press
  • 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
  • Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
    Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
    by Tom Jokinen
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • Dodsworth
    starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas, Mary Astor, Kathryn Marlowe
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move


Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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One Word, Luv: Curiosity


Dog eat dog

They call them the dog days of summer.

Hey. Did you know that means from about July third until approximately August eleventh? Or, twenty days either side of the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) with the sun?

I googled it. Siriusly. So technically we are no longer in the dog days, as summer is definitely on the wane.

Except, in South Carolina, somebody forgot to tell the humidity.

At any rate, here at Casa de Weber it's been more like the dog daze anyway.

I told you about Rambo's shedding problem. What, you say, Javier does not shed?

Yes; the diminutive geriatric Chihuahua sheds. A singularly insignificant amount.

An amount so trifling that I daresay Javier has likely not shed as much in his entire life as Rambo does with one flick of his thick ropy tail.

Adding to the effectiveness of his already nearly-shed-free coat, Javier has elevated the sedentary canine lifestyle to near-epic levels.

When he does stir his stumps in recent weeks, it's mainly been to cadge food from Rambo's bowl. 

Yeah. You read that right. Javier prefers Rambo's food over his own, and truth be told, Rambo has been known to sneak a snack from Javier's kibble stash too.

Truly funny when you consider that Javier could curl up and sleep in Rambo's bowl (my Pyrex, ad hoc style since Rambo's dishes did not accompany him to our house), while Rambo's snout will only just barely fit in Javier's dish.

Proving once again: The grass is always greener on the other side.

Since both pooches are baby-gated into a section of the kitchen most of the time when they're not lounging out by the pool, there has been ample opportunity for Javier to sample the big-dog vittles.

Toothless as he is, I've caught him nibbling the new-to-him kibble at least once a day. He ignores his own full bowl, saunters over to Rambo's, and noshes away.

(However he drinks only his own water. He won't touch Rambo's water dish. I've asked him why but he declines to respond.)

Does Rambo care? You may be wondering. The answer is, if he does, he keeps it well to himself. I already told you: Rambo is the sweetest dog ever.

But I was indignant on Rambo's behalf and annoyed with Javier for being so what's-mine-is-mine-what's-yours-is-mine when in my opinion he should be more hospitable to visiting dognitaries.

So I devised a clever solution: I put Rambo's food up on a stool. He loves it. Now, he barely has to duck his head in order to dine.

Meanwhile the closest Javier is getting to Rambo's 24-hour buffet is to walk underneath the stool. Which he doesn't do because he'd hit the wall. Just saying: It's over his head.

Done and done.

So now a coexistence which was already charmingly peaceful and amicable, is conducted and enjoyed in an atmosphere of newly-enhanced fairness.

Everybody's happy. Especially me. The dog controller.

That is all for now.


Happy Monday ~ Happy Week



Since Andrew has been deployed, we've been helping to take care of Rambo.

Rambo may be the sweetest dog that ever lived. All he wants is love and attention. Alas, the shedding in which he is currently involved makes more than a few moments of that at any given time, nearly impossible.

As in, one begins to itch and sneeze at about the same moment it dawns upon one that their face, hair, and clothing is becoming uniformly downy-fied with dog hair.

Consequently Rambo is not allowed anywhere in the house except the sun porch (where his bed is, for sleeping at night) and a small quadrant of the kitchen. 

Today I allowed him briefly -- with strict supervision -- into the studio, outfitted him with angel wings, and took his photo. The pirate flag was an added bonus.

Speaking of outside, the hummingbirds are relentless at my new feeder, which gizmo I only recently figured out (I think) how to keep from leaking onto the deck.

The new feeder replaced the old feeder -- which isn't actually old, only used -- which never leaked a drop last year, but which this year could do nothing else.

The hummies fly in by twos now: First comes a high-speed chase over, around, and past the feeder. Then one (the victor, I presume) comes back and chows down.

I take the pictures from inside the kitchen, where I watch the hummers while standing at the sink.

Other tiny things have come to visit me. One little person in particular, whose babyhood has sprouted wings and is about to fly away.

Dagny. Going on fifteen months old. Y'all! This kid loves life. She has a ball every single day.

She babbles and crawls (refuses to even contemplate walking) and sleeps and eats and snacks and naps and sings and plays and swims and makes more funny faces than any of us can hardly stand. 

All we do is laugh.

Last night she spent the night with TG and me. It was her first-ever time to sleep over and the first time she'd ever been apart from her mother for more than a few hours.

She did great. She was tucked in by eight thirty and woke up only once -- at about midnight -- for reassurance.

Audrey's coming to retrieve her later, at the end of a busy day.

Here is Dagny wishing all of you a life as blissfully uncomplicated as the one she enjoys.

And that is all for now.


Happy Wednesday



So we've been fairly busy what with this and that. You know: Summertime.

I promise my blogging buddies I have not forgotten you. I'll swing by presently.

Meantime, here is a picture my baby son sent me from Qatar, where he posed with a few buddies and proudly displayed Old Glory:

I think they may be standing on the wing of a plane. Andrew is the one in the center (even from infancy he was to be found in the middle of the action), sporting the dapper 'stache.

To me, with facial hair he resembles a young Don Ameche.

As his mother I can poke a little fun because one, Andrew knows I don't particularly like the mustache; and two, he says I'll never see it in person because once back in the States (or even before), he plans to shave it off.

On a recent mission over Iraq or Afghanistan -- I'm not sure which; it may have even been Syria -- in the midst of refueling their jets, Andrew "met" two fighter pilots out of Beaufort, South Carolina.

Naturally, over their cockpit-to-boompod radio hookups, they got to talking about the charms of the Palmetto State, and in the course of that convo, it came up that both pilots are graduates of The Citadel.

And since Andrew's Dear Old Dad is also a graduate of the Military College of South Carolina -- Class of '74 -- the two pilots offered to do some special maneuvers, complete with pyrotechnics, just for TG.

Forgive Andrew for having his iPhone oriented in portrait rather than landscape, making this a narrow video. That's him you hear sobbing with joy and I think he was too distracted to change it.

Switching to full-screen mode helps:

That must have been something to see from the boom pod! Oh and ... Go Dawgs.

I play it over and over just to hear his voice and his laughter.

Speaking of something to see, here is a picture he texted to me a few hours ago: Baghdad at night.

God Bless the United States of America, and confound her enemies both foreign and domestic. Especially domestic.

That is all for now.


Happy Monday


Planned Paganhood

Talk about your dark sacrament.

As if it weren’t bad enough that, since January 22, 1973, nearly fifty-five million American children have been murdered -- by their own mothers, fathers, and grandparents, aided and abetted by willing “doctors,” no less -- but we now learn that their tiny parts are being sold like any other commodity.

Line-item style. As in, there is a price list.

You need a liver? Lungs? Heart? A brain? All of the above? Done.

Then do it again, the more times the better, because as one “doctor” admitted: 

I want a Lamborghini.

I don’t know about you, but some of the details revealed in those videos made me feel physically sick.

Yes ... the videos Cecile Richards claims are “heavily edited.”

I’d like a chance to tell Ms. Richards that on Judgment Day she’d better hope her life story is heavily edited.

Only, even if it were, she’d have no chance. God is not mocked.

Seriously though, that chick scares me. I smell fire and brimstone when I see her face and hear her voice.

People, wake up. Wake up and realize -- if you happen to be hung up on this point -- opposing the evil immorality of abortion has nothing to do with religion.

It has to do with being opposed to sadistic butchers getting rich off the wholesale slaughter and sale of unborn baby remains.

In the annals of bad-to-worse scenarios, it doesn’t get much more brutal than that.

Meanwhile the lawmakers in Washington -- whose job it is to represent the American people -- lack the moral fiber and intestinal fortitude to defund Planned Parenthood, the shameless juggernaut of death that passes itself off as health care for women.

Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush -- of whom I am no fan -- barely mumbled something about perhaps defunding PP and distributing the same Federal funds -- well, maybe not necessarily the whole half billion -- to clinics that do actually provide health care to women.

When Hillary Clinton heard that, you would have thought Jeb suggested she put on a dress and go to church. She flipped her wig and berated him publicly -- “You are absolutely, unequivocally wrong,” were her exact words -- until, tail between his legs, he walked his comments back. 

Then she lied some more. Because that’s what liberals do. She asserted that to attack Planned Parenthood is to attack women’s health and that to attack women’s health is to attack America’s health. Which is a bunch of hogwash.

Instead of standing up to her, the man hoping to become Bush 45 said he “misspoke.”

Could somebody please grow a spine up in here? Because these poor dismembered sold-for-parts little kids sure won’t have the chance to.

I found a timely poem. I hope you like it.


The little eyes that never knew
Light other than of dawning skies,
What new life now lights up anew
The little eyes?

Who knows but on their sleep may rise
Such light as never heaven let through
To lighten earth from Paradise?

No storm, we know, may change the blue
Soft heaven that haply death descries
No tears, like these in ours, bedew
The little eyes.

= Algernon Charles Swinburne =


That is all for now.


Happy Thursday


When life gives you eyes to see


I've been busy with family-type stuff but we shall return after these messages from our sponsors.

Meanwhile looky here: a post from two years ago that bears reading again, more relevant than ever.

If I do say so.

(One tiny caveat: If I praised Nikki Haley two years ago, let me remind you that was before she caved to pressure from liberal race hustlers and ordered the Confederate flag removed from our State House grounds.)

I prophesy that Ms. Haley will live to regret that lame decision.

See you soon.


TG and I were headed out on Saturday for some errand-doing when, at the end (or beginning, depending upon your perspective) of our street, just across the way we spotted a lemonade stand.

Said establishment consisted of a card table outfitted with poster-board signage (in addition to standard black Sharpie, liberal use had been made of a neon-yellow wide-nib highlighter), some bright kitchen towels, two lawn chairs, and two kids.

A little brother and a big sister, to be specific.

Oh. And a large Rubbermaid pitcher of lemonade sitting beside a snowy stack of styrofoam cups.

Dad was nearby, mowing the lawn. A two-story brick manse served as backdrop.

Politely earnest humidity velveted the air. Thunder burred in the distance, warning of the imminent daily summer downpour.

Cicadas wheezed maniacally in thousands of trees.

By now I'm seeing visions of apple pie, baseball, and moms in aprons.

'Murca! Land that I luv!

TG always stops to buy lemonade from kids engaged in such activities.

In fact, I do believe TG would stop and pull out his wallet if the kids were selling three-day-old dead lizards as a snack to accompany the sweet-tart beverage.

I fetched my camera and chatted up the kids while TG made change. He bought not one, but two cups of lemonade. 

When queried, the little boy admitted he did not understand all about capitalism. So I told him it was when you are free to offer a product to the public and sell it at a profit.

He understood that, as he counted a wad of cash stowed in a styrofoam safe.

While we visited, a lady pulled her car up ahead of our idling auto and came to take advantage of the sale.

She appeared to be an extremely nice American person who just happened to not be strictly white.

Everybody was happy and unfazed. Despite the best worst efforts of Barack Obama and his race-hustling minions, we have virtually no racial tensions in our neighborhoods.

We simply get along, glad to be living in the greatest country ever to exist on Planet Earth. We are courteous to one another. It is not difficult.

But I digress. Without apology, but still.

I chatted up big sister -- she appeared to be eleven or twelve years of age -- and found that she offers the service of dog-sitting in the community.

"Do you walk them?" I asked.

Javier adores walkies.

"Sometimes," she said. 

Her dad, hearing the exchange, told me: "She'll send you a text and tell you how your dog is doing."

I generally know how Javier is doing -- since he's generally snoozing -- but you may rest assured that the next time I require a minder for Columbia's Finest Chihuahua, if Erica is not available I will seek out my enterprising young neighbor.

Big brother of the family is involved in a start-up too: He starts up the mower and trims lawns for pay. I don't need him yet but when/if I do, I hope he is still in business.

In other news, it wasn't long before TG and the father of the junior entrepreneurs had found out they are both Citadel graduates.

Class of '74 and Class of '92 exchanged the usual info: what company were you in, did you know so-and-so, weren't those uniforms scratchy and hot -- wait; I don't think they discussed that -- how 'bout them dawgs, et cetera.

It is kind of sad that, as the kids' mother came across her lawn and introduced herself to me, and we began chatting, I was on the lookout for the Po-Po to come by and shut the children's store down for failure to obtain a permit.

But that didn't happen. What with Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott (who succeeded Senator Jim DeMint) and Congressman Joe Wilson making up our team, Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty notwithstanding, we live in what is still one of the most conservative states and counties in 'Murca.

God bless her. Long may she wave and long may her citizens consume lemonade sold by children who aren't lying around the house pestering their mothers.

Because you know what? This little guy's mom told me he himself makes the lemonade he purveys.

As it should be.


Happy Monday ~ Happy Week


Clouds allowed

Since two of my favorite things are clouds and rain, it's hard for me to think of my son Andrew being in a place that hardly ever sees any of either.

It's nothing but sun, sand, and blistering hot wind, in a relentless cycle.

In fact, he'd been in Qatar for weeks before seeing -- in the distance as he flew -- a buildup of clouds over the mountains of northern Afghanistan.

And he's up in the air nearly every day.

But last week, at last -- cloud cover.

And on the wing of the KC-135 Stratotanker, cruising high above those clouds over Iraq, was a McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle.

I don't know what's prettier: the clouds, the fighter jet, or the distinctive wing of the plane carrying my boy.

You decide.

God Bless America.


Happy Thursday



Our happy place

Yesterday was the annual Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A.

That's the day when, if you make even a passing stab at impersonating a bovine unit, you get free food.

Thus, we had our dinner there.

(No; yours truly did not dress like a heifer so save yourself the effort of scrolling down quickly to see it. I eat cow and chicken, but not carbs -- so all I ingested was a supersized frosty-cold diet lemonade.)

Stephanie and the kids were in for a few days of swimming so we were a large, hungry, push-some-tables-together kind of group.

But we were only nine amongst hundreds of moovers and shakers thronging the CFA in West Columbia.

TG had bought the kids white t-shirts. Stephanie cut out black blobs from construction paper and attached them with masking tape circles.

It worked like a charm. Everybody had plenty and we even brought home leftovers.

The employees -- as always at Chick-fil-A -- were courteous, kind, patient, conscientious, attentive, cheerful, and efficient. And that was near the tail-end of what had to have been an exhausting day.

Booyah. Eat more chikin.

God bless America, especially the all-American traditional-values purveyors of fine fast food like Chick-fil-A.


Happy Wednesday


Dagny :: A baker's dozen

Dagny turned one year old a whole month ago and I've yet to tell you about the extent to which we celebrated.

That's because a lot has happened in our fair state since then.

But now that Dagny is thirteen months old, I thought it high time to make amends.

Before reading further, you should know that we don't do over-the-top Pinterest-inspired birthday parties in our family. The most likely reason is that we're too lazy.

Even so, we weren't without a theme.

For her baby's party, Audrey wanted vibrant colors, flowers and butterflies. Happy things.

We found everything we needed -- except the cake, and Dagny's actual presents -- at the dollar store.

Audrey stylishly and cleverly mixed stripes with petals and polka-dots. The effect was innocent but bursting with life, just like Dagny.

She found bright flower cutouts strung on invisible line that we hung from the ceiling behind where the birthday girl would sit, to form a backdrop.

There were mylar balloons. A little kid cannot have a birthday party without mylar balloons.

Audrey skewered marshmallows onto bright-pink straws and dredged them through chocolate, then sprinkles.

I made pulled-pork barbecue and we had the usual sides.

Aunt Stephanie and the cousins came from North Carolina. My parents came from Greenville. Uncle Andrew, having deployed to Qatar a week earlier, texted his greetings.

It was hot. Mucho caliente.

Did I mention it was hot? All emotional events are made worse by ambient heat. Remember that.

The party got underway at around two in the afternoon with our meal, followed by presents, then cake and coffee.

Dagny received books and toys and beautiful outfits, accompanied by cards both homemade and store-bought.

Aunt "Fashionista" Erica gave her a pink hat, a sartorial expression of which Dagny appeared both duly enamored and faintly wary.

The ooohs and aaaahhhs went on for what seemed like hours. I was so hot.

Dagny truly didn't know what to make of all the fuss, although she seemed early on to have made peace with the attention she was getting.

Audrey had bought the baby an elaborate cupcake but Dag was clueless about that too. I guess she's never heard of a smash cake.

Allissa and Audrey, one on each side, took turns feeding fingerfuls of eye-wateringly sweet frosting to the Birthday Small-Fry until she was in a quasi-stupor.

As it should be.

Before all the celebrating got genuinely underway, I took some shots of Audrey and Dagny together. I call it pirate posterity.

The next day -- June fourteenth, Daggy's actual first birthday -- she wore her Birthday Girl badge to church.

That afternoon -- it remained awfully hot out, I am just saying -- Audrey and I managed a mini-shoot with the still-buoyant balloons and Dagny decked out in a pale-pink ballerina-decorated dress, a gift from me and TG.

The baby hammed it up with her balloons. She's always been a good sport when it comes to posing to have her picture made. Here's hoping that trend continues.

All events taken together were a curious mix of joyous and exhausting. When it was over, poor tender-hearted Audrey practically had to take to her bed. The emotional expenditure was nearly too much.

Ah, babies. To quote Melanie Wilkes: The happiest days are when babies come.

The second-happiest days have to be when we give our hearts, minds, and energies to marking -- with food, fun, and flourishes, with gifts and with our time -- another whole year in which we've had those babies to love.

In eleven months we'll do it all again. Until then, Happy Every Day to you, precious baby Dagny.

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday ~ Happy Week