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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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!

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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And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Dream With Me
    Dream With Me
    by Jackie Evancho
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Dreams
    Dreams
    by Neil Diamond
  • Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage
    Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage
    Syco Music UK
  • A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)
    A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)
    Sony
  • Bach - The Complete Brandenburg Concertos / Pearlman, Boston Baroque
    Bach - The Complete Brandenburg Concertos / Pearlman, Boston Baroque
    by Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque, Christopher Krueger, Marc Schachman, Daniel Stepner, Friedemann Immer
  • Lead With Your Heart
    Lead With Your Heart
    by The Tenors, The Canadian Tenors
  • A Musical Affair (Amazon Exclusive Version)
    A Musical Affair (Amazon Exclusive Version)
    by Il Divo
  • 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 Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
    The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
    by James Trefil, Joseph F. Kett, E. D. Hirsch
  • 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
  • Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
    Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
    by Jack E. Levin
  • 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
  • The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
    The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
    by Thomas Lynch
Daft Like Jack

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


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
  • Knuckleball!
    Knuckleball!
    starring R.A. Dickey, Charles Hough, Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield
  • Dodsworth
    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
    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

~ JAVIER ~

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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One Word, Luv: Curiosity

Monday
May252015

The brave and daring few


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Beaufort National Cemetery

Beaufort, South Carolina

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Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear is the blood you gave --
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave.
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While Fame her record keeps,
Or honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.

Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished year hath flown,
The story how you fell.
Nor wreck nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor time's remorseless doom,
Can dim one ray of holy light
That gilds your glorious tomb.

= Theodore O'Hara =

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Happy Memorial Day
Friday
May152015

Called Back

Louisa Porter Angel :: Laurel Grove Cemetery :: Savannah, GeorgiaHai all.

Apologies for having been in absentia for most of a week.

If you've been paying attention, you know two things: I like cemeteries -- mostly for the photographic opportunities they afford -- and I love poetry.

Benjamin Humphreys Woodson Monument :: Elmwood Cemetery :: Memphis, Tennessee

My favorite poet by a country mile is Emily Dickinson, the Belle of Amherst. Emily was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

On May 15, 1886, at the young age of fifty-five, Emily was "called back" -- those are the words inscribed on her tombstone -- and left this earth from Amherst.

Virginia Majette Welch Monument :: Green Hill Cemetery :: Waynesville, North Carolina

On my own grave marker -- which I sure hope I won't need for a long time -- I have asked that these words of Emily's be inscribed:

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In this short Life / That only lasts an hour

How much -- how little -- is / Within our power

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Mary Norcott London Cansler Monument :: Elmwood Cemetery :: Charlotte, North Carolina

A few Christmases ago, Audrey gave me the book The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems, which offers stunning close-up photos of the scraps of paper on which Emily scribbled her timeless words.

I recently discovered the online Emily Dickinson Archive, where you may view those same photos, and more. If stuff like that interests you.

Lucy Harvie Baldwin Monument :: Bonaventure Cemetery :: Savannah, Georgia

Of all my ambitions in the area of cemetery photography -- and I've got lots -- my primary goal for many years has been to visit Emily's grave in West Cemetery, Amherst.

Until the happy day I am able to do that, on the one-hundred twenty-ninth anniversary of Emily being called back, I am sharing a few pictures I imagine she might have liked.

Martha Ellis Monument :: Rose Hill Cemetery :: Macon, Georgia

In closing I give you my favorite of all the poems written by my favorite poet:

Ample make this Bed --
Make this Bed with Awe --
In it wait till Judgment break
Excellent and Fair.

Be its mattress straight --
Be its Pillow round --
Let no Sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this Ground --

Truth be told, that's the poem I'd really like on my someday-tombstone. But the other one is shorter. I'll let the kids decide. When the time comes.

Corinne Elliott Lawton Monument :: Bonaventure Cemetery :: Savannah, Georgia

Until then, let's enjoy life while it lasts.

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Happy Friday ~ Happy Weekend

Wednesday
May062015

In or out. Make up your mind.

This will be a short post. Well, shortish. Short for me.

Sometimes I don't have all that much to say. I will thank you not to snicker.

Audrey and I (Erica was unable to accompany us this time) took another mini-day-trip (meaning it took up only part of the day) last Saturday.

You may or may not know this about me but I am more or less obsessed with ruins.

I love the abandoned, the left-to-rot spots. I don't know why. I have a list of ruins I plan to visit, get to know, and subject to my lavish and sincere photographic attentions.

Sometimes I think ruins remind me of cemeteries, where all that is going to be done, has been done, and what is left is the marveling at how quickly it all went.

But I know a big draw for me is the quiet, the calm, the peace, of no more struggle.

Not that cemeteries or abandoned places have given up. They haven't. In fact they supply so much noisy beauty, it takes specially-trained ears and eyes to hear and see it.

As for my eye, it may not be especially trained in any sort of classical or traditional sense involving schooling or anything, but it has trained itself to see.

Since becoming especially enamored of photography within the last ten years -- meaning, I refused any longer to think, you're not a photographer, leave it to those who know what they're doing, you've been told and best heed, you are no artist -- I have learned how to look at things.

That is to say, I've learned a great deal but I hope to continue learning until the day before I'm ushered out of this world.

And I don't care what anyone thinks about any of that. I really don't. But I'm chuffed when they think (of something I wrote, or of one of my pictures): That's pretty neat.

So it was that Audrey, Dagny, and I merged onto I-77 Northbound, destination Fairfield County, home to many historic wonders including the tiny towns of Winnsboro and Ridgeway.

On the way I actually stopped to take a picture of a parked semi trailer emblazoned with Old Glory.

And also the -- ahem -- interesting signage on the brightly-painted building beside which the trailer sits.

Winnsboro was chosen as a preliminary destination because there is a historic clock tower there (not much else, sorry Winnsboro), and Ridgeway, because of the school ruins.

By the way: Winnsboro's aforementioned clock, at over one hundred years of ticking, is billed as the oldest continually-running clock in the United States. I'm only reporting what I've read and what is said.

In addition to the clock and its charming tower, I did get this shot on South Congress Street in Winnsboro -- once a bustling retail community but now not so much -- because you know how I love such upshot perspectives on vintage buildings.

Then on to Ridgeway, a scant fifteen minutes away by chariot.

When old Ridgeway High School was demolished -- I know not when -- a single doorway was left standing.

There's no actual door; only a pedimented archway and enough brick around it, to let it stand there.

Ivy has made it its mission to decorate one side of the structure in a most lush and stylish fashion.

The doorway dominates a field on an ordinary residential street in the sleepy town, only a block off the main drag which I told you about here.

I learned of the school ruins (such as they be) only after not one, but two somewhat recent visits to Ridgeway, which drowsy hamlet turns out to be a deep reservoir of photographic delights. If -- again -- you know where to look and how to see.

And now I'll have to go back because soon after arriving at the ruins, I realized I was there on the wrong day and at the wrong time of that day.

The ruins face southeast; meaning, they're best photographed as the sun rises and strikes the front of the structure.

Also the day was relentlessly bright, nearly cloudless. And as the sun sank behind the ruin, it would render it a mere silhouette.

But we popped The World's Cutest Little Baby up on the ledge anyway, and she began smiling and laughing at her mother, and my lens loved her tiny face and sparkling eyes for a few minutes.

We will take her back too, at which time we will plan better, stay longer, and do it all more justice, if only of the poetic variety.

Before leaving for home, we swung by a quaint lovely church with a small immaculate graveyard, where honeysuckle was blooming rampant, perfuming the warm air like you wouldn't believe.

It was a day for doorways and I'm a sucker for a red ecclesiastical door. It did not hurt that said door was set in a gothic archway itself set into a chalet-style roofline under antique slate shingles, flanked by genuine leaded-glass windows, beyond a perfect wrought-iron gate at the start of a brick path shaded by old trees.

The scene brought heaven to mind.

And there was a nice black amber-eyed dog, who approached and wanted to be friendly but wasn't sure.

We inadvertently allowed him outside the main gate and were concerned until we realized he freely goes in and out. Even so, Audrey offered him one of Dagny's arrowroot cookies to lure him back inside.

But he balked. I was like: In or out, Blackie. Make up your mind. You remind me of that freestanding door down the street: neither here nor there.

Upon which he stepped on a burr (or something), temporarily semi-laming himself, and loped off across the adjoining property. It was our signal to move along too.

Until we return to Ridgeway and environs for further adventures and additional artistic opportunities, I hope I haven't ruined your day.

Au revoir for the nonce, friends and neighbors.

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Happy Wednesday

Wednesday
Apr292015

Infinite delight and mystery

Earlier this week, I and the girls were thirsty for adventure.

So we set out for Sumter, South Carolina, some forty-odd miles due east of Columbia, where there is a nature preserve called Swan Lake Iris Gardens.

The story is that SLIG is the only public park in the US to feature all eight swan species.

I'm no stripe of a swannoisseur but I identified only two species: black and white.

But since it happens that noir/blanc be my favorite color combination, it was all good.

And on the black'uns you've got to love that pop of color in the red beak. It's attitude.

The white ones were all mad at the black ones the day we visited, so maybe they'd heard of the goings-on in Baltimore. I did not stop to inquire.

Temperature-wise it was ideal: in the low seventies with even lower stupidity. I mean humidity. Alas the sky was not pretty but we made do.

A gorgeous and rather recent addition to Swan Lake is Recovery, an eighteen-foot sculpture by the artist Grainger McKoy, depicting a pintail duck wing in flight mode.

The large bronze plaque accompanying the installation brought us up to speed:

If you know me at all, you're aware that I prefer the King James translation of any Bible verse, this one in particular because, as they say, if it ain't broke:

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I was grateful for the opportunity to see the sculpture, take its picture, and read the plaque. The setting is so splendidly serene, so sweetly stunning, I cannot describe it so I won't try.

The lake is full of cypress trees and their reflections were rather fantastic.

Along the bank of the lake where the swans come to walk up and be landlubbers for a time before wading back in, are whole colonies of cypress-stump people, waving their arms or simply standing still.

There is even a beach of sorts, where the swans and ducks waddle up to two generous feeders. On their way they nearly trip over an army of turtles camping out in the shallows, even wading on shore too, for what reason I could not tell.

The feeders are too tall for turtle use.

Across the road from Swan Lake the park continues, in a deep green forest of cypress, complete with drippy Spanish moss, which one doesn't often see this far north.

The swans are less in evidence there; it seems to be more of a duck reserve. The mallards are in residence, lovely shimmering jewel-tone feathers a delight to the eye.

Bridges provide walkpaths and aside from a strong smell of bird dung (sorry but I have to say, it was overwhelming at times), the experience was most pleasant.

Almost dreamy in fact, because my Nikon was loving it, nearly cooing as I snapped away at this calm green vista and that. Except by then, my leg was hurting from having walked so much.

In the company of swans, one wishes to swan as much as possible. But in the presence of osteoarthritis, after a time one is prone to perambulate like a much less graceful bird. I miss my youth.

Speaking of youth, and love: Baby Dagny loved it, loved it, loved it. The child adores being outside, adores being with all of us. And of course, having her with us is a treat and a delight so keen, we wonder what good thing we did to deserve it.

Children are precious. Swans and ducks and turtles are breathtakingly graceful, somtimes clumsy, always noisy, wonderfully natural, uniquely spectacular symbols of God's presence, His provision, His plan, and His providence. They remind us that all lives matter.

Black and white, and every color in between. At all stages, from conception to passing, and even beyond.

This is what I saw and what I knew at Swan Lake Iris Gardens.

As it should be.

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In the time of your life, live -- so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand.

 Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live -- so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.

= William Saroyan =

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Happy Wednesday

Thursday
Apr232015

And many more

Our Allissa turned seven last week.

Here be the OBP (Official Birthday Photo):

Or, if you prefer (as do I) what I call the Wednesday Addams edit of same:

Haaahaha. Anyway. Last Saturday afternoon at an appointed time, we convened at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Charlotte to fete Allissa.

We'd never been there before and it was a great success: whimsical ambience (with wings, and you know I have a thing for wings), courteous server, good food, all at a reasonable price.

Dagny, a birthday-party novice, was suitably impressed. I didn't get a picture of it, but she chowed down on cheese grits as though they were leaving the planet tomorrow.

According to prominent signage over our table, they've been partying down at the Flying Biscuit for many a moon.

Stephanie stood in the right -- or wrong -- place at just the right -- or wrong -- time, and was rendered a beautiful winged being.

I guess you've figured out by now that Allissa's theme was Minnie Mouse. This was the adornment from the proper sheet cake her parents provided on her actual birthday:

Allissa made free to bedazzle Minnie's dress and bow. I posed MM in front of Allissa's new pink-and-white chevron purse.

In other chevron-inspired sartorial news, the birthday girl was wearing an on-trend black-and-white outfit which was a gift from her paternal grandparents:

The child is after my own heart. Black lace ... long flowing feminine skirt ... white denim layering piece ... yes. Muy bueno. Tres chic. Pretty sweet.

After dinner, our party repaired to the patio for cake and presents. Even though she'd had a long day, Dagny was still in great spirits.

Allissa got down to business like only seven-year-olds can, opening her presents. She always reads each card aloud.

TG and I gave her Bananagrams ...

... and Shaun the Sheep. She received several other nice gifts and seemed both grateful and overjoyed.

Glamorous Aunt Erica and little Andrew were absorbed in something or other at some point.

Aunt Audrey and her mini-me enjoyed hanging out with one another and the family. Have you ever noticed how babies love new experiences? At least this one does.

At the end of the evening I insisted that Allissa and her entourage pose for a more formal portrait.

As far as I'm concerned, that's one for all the ages. Allissa loves life and we love Allissa.

Something else we did that evening was watch a slideshow I'd put together for Allissa. It made almost everybody cry. If you wish, you may watch it here.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Thursday

Tuesday
Apr142015

Walkies and waggies

On Monday, Audrey and I took Dagny to a local park.

This park is new, having opened in late 2013.

The fairly lavish fourteen-acre facility -- construction of which cost taxpayers nearly two million dollars -- gained instant notoriety by being the place where a three-year-old boy, playing there last summer, was killed when a tree branch fell on him.

Following the macabre accident, the park was closed briefly. Yesterday was my first time to see it, although Audrey said she took newborn Dagny there last July, just to get out of the house.

It's a beautiful park with several fantastic play areas for kids. 

Yesterday it was all but empty. There is no sign of the unthinkable tragedy; the trees are beautiful and the breeze was delightful.

I've always loved play equipment, especially swings. Did I ever tell you that on our first date, TG and I sat in a little park at night, on a carousel-type installation, and TG nearly became ill?

My beloved is afflicted with motion sickness. I am not affected in the least by motion; it's getting up early that makes me sick.

Anyway the park where we took Dagny yesterday has a huge shallow-bowl type swing that immediately caught my attention.

It's like the love child of a hammock and a flying saucer, with a suspension bridge as godparent. I had a great time swinging languidly and looking up at the trees, hoping fervently nothing would fall on me.

When I finally vacated the disc-swing-thing -- I've since found out that at least one of its commercial names is Biggo Swing -- Audrey got in and I handed Dagny to her.

They both loved it.

After enjoying that for a time, we walked around -- walkies -- and took pictures of Dagny, who turns ten months old today.

We couldn't help but notice, situated near the three play areas, at least four tall shiny black poles supporting sophisticated (and expensive) ominously Orwellian multi-directional security camera balls.

No telling what those cost. Can't kids just be cut loose to play anymore, without cameras being necessary to catch the moment when someone gets hurt -- or worse -- and a lawsuit inevitably ensues?

Guess not. Because you never know what might happen and when it does, we must know precisely where to place the blame.

At the tail-end of our visit I spotted a Boston Terrier who turned out to be named Toddy. That's the waggies part.

For a look at all of my shots from Monday at the park with Dagny, click here.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Tuesday

Saturday
Apr112015

Come Saturday morning

Andrew is participating today in the eighth annual Mountain Man Memorial March.

He's marching to honor the memory of TSgt Herman "Tre" Mackey III, a boom operator who was killed in the line of duty on May 3, 2013, when a KC-135 crashed in Kyrgyzstan.

March on, Andrew. Way to go buddy.

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Happy Saturday ~ Happy Weekend

Wednesday
Apr082015

Words for Wednesday

Last Christmas, Erica gave me some photojojo lenses for my iPhone 4S. I may have told you about them before; if so, sorry for the repeat.

I love all of the lenses (I keep them in a blue-velvet pouch along with a wee green plastic dinosaur) but I guess if I had to name a favorite, it would be the macro.

This purple flower is actually a weed so tiny, you can't see it in the yard (growing amongst the dandelions and other infinitesimal ground cover) unless you're standing right over it.


But there's a world in there. And the macro lens -- itself perhaps one inch across -- lets you see it.

I bring the flowers inside and put them on something black and I have so much fun taking their picture, it's insane.

Then I edit my tiny-thing photos and put pretty words on top, and click save.

Most go to Instagramville but I saved this version just for you. I hope you like it.
  
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Happy Wednesday