Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

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Belay That!

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

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

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

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

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

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

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

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

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II Corinthians 4

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

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

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

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Friday
Aug172018

Sharing is caring

That picture above?

It's photoshopped. Haaahahaha.

Bet you didn't even notice.

Why would I do such a thing?

Because although I have heard tell of folks having multiple hummingbird feeders in their yard, and swarms of hummingbirds feeding together peacefully all day long, I've never witnessed even two of the itty bitty critters eating at once from a feeder of mine.

I keep my feeders full to the brim -- I'm constantly checking nectar levels since the reservoirs are small and my hummies are hungry -- and although several hummingbirds know my feeders and visit them dozens of times each day, never have I seen more than one tiny beak sampling the goodies at a time.

That's because they refuse to share.

As in, sup and sip together, as Brittany and I did on Wednesday at Momma Rabbit's Nibbles & Sips.

Instead, they fight one another to the point that neither get to eat until one of them gives up and flies off to find a feeder that no one else is using at the moment.

It's well known that hummingbirds are fiercely territorial and feisty into the bargain.

I guess they'd have to be, to migrate thousands of miles each autumn.

They weigh, on average, one fourteenth of an ounce.

But they throw that weight around when the feeders are brimming with sparkling red nectar.

(BTW step off about red food coloring in the nectar. Both Perky Pet and Pennington peddle it that way, and it's documented that some hummingbirds won't touch it if it isn't red. So now and then I give them red. So far they're not dead.)

The upshot of all this is that as of now, the only collective banqueting I've seen among hummingbirds is via YouTube.

Be that as it may, I have a couple of intensely terpsichorean Trochilidae who do a spirited choreography around the feeder that hangs outside my kitchen window.

I can see that feeder from my recliner in the sun room, where I'm sitting as I write. 

The nectar is untroubled at the moment, warming in the sun, but sure to be disturbed -- and possibly drained -- by many determined, diminutive beaks by the time the poolside solar lights twinkle on at twilight.

But only by one hummer at a time.

The pair who are given to dive bombing and chasing one another in the airspace above my deck put on a glittering display of bravado earlier this week that went on for at least five minutes.

Hummingbirds can dive and swoop at fifty miles per hour and I'm pretty sure these two were hanging right in with that statistic. They flew sideways. Simultaneously they hovered and tilted and twirled, executing perfect pirouettes. They had heated words in the form of rapid-fire chirps.

Their tiny jeweled bodies flashed and winked in the sun; their wings were barely visible, so fast were each of them working to keep the other from having even a taste.

They danced above, below, beside, and around the feeder, chasing one another doggedly up over the roofline and even out toward the line of Loblolly and Longleaf pines that ring the property, before coming back to within inches of the disputed snack bar.

I was riveted. And I can't show you because although I have a fast camera, no way can I capture that.

I did go to the kitchen window a few hours later though, while the sun was still high, and got these photos of the one that prevailed.

The one that didn't give up. 

Maybe they're only playing when they go into that dazzling, fever-pitched battle for the sugar water. Getting some exercise. Flirting. Venting. Working out frustrations, hummingbird-style.

Who knows?

All I know is, I admire them. I love their courage, their antics, their sweetness, their beauty, and their fire.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend

Thursday
Aug162018

Can't wait to go back

Photo Courtesy Brittany Weber

On Sunday our new daughter-in-law, Brittany, asked if I'd like to go to lunch with her this week.

I accepted her proposal with all the enthusiasm, positivity, and verve I could muster.

It was a considerable amount.

We settled on Wednesday for a date.

And so it was that yesterday, I met Britt at Momma Rabbit's Nibbles & Sips in Lexington, South Carolina, for a midday meal.

In the few years it's been in operation, this small restaurant has garnered just about every accolade any local dining establishment could desire, short of a Michelin star.

It's owned and operated by a gaggle of industrious and charming siblings -- the Allen family, all boys except for one girl -- who gave it their maternal grandmother's nickname.

They work together every day to maintain excellence in their culinary venture.

The people of Columbia have taken notice and many times one has to wait for a table. Especially for the weekend brunch offerings.

Andrew and Brittany love eating out as much as the rest of us (maybe more), and when they got around to trying Momma Rabbit's they reported that it was a truly splendid place to enjoy a casual meal.

They didn't exaggerate. The food is superb, fresh and plentiful, with impeccable friendly service and a witty but soothing ambience to match. I loved it.

Brittany ordered a classic chicken salad sandwich with kettle chips on the side. It looked luscious.

I had a spectacular salad laden with chunks of succulent peaches, a wealth of candied pecans, crispy bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, and strips of tender grilled chicken, dressed with blackberry vinaigrette and accompanied by buttery points of some delectable hybrid of bread and a cracker.

On the menu, this selection is referred to as the Resting Peach Face. (I'll thank you not to snicker).

I call it Rapture on a Plate. No licking of said dish was involved, but that was only because I was being polite.

Brittany and I gabbed and giggled and nibbled and sipped -- there's a self-serve coffee bar! -- for at least ninety minutes before going on our respective ways.

Toward the end of our meal, a neighboring table was served a slice of cake that may have made my eyes widen to approximately the size of half-dollar pieces. I admit that I stared.

No ruler was handy for measuring but I'm pretty sure this portion of cake could double as an entire cake in many situations.

It was the Empire State Building of desserts: a stunning, architecturally significant confection of house-made white cake enrobed in a thick blanket of scrumptious frosting that looked like delicate blush-pink-tipped ivory roses in full bloom.

True to the restaurant's classic movie theme -- the walls are adorned with framed photos of American icons such as Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne (there's even a salad named The Duke), Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Bing Crosby -- they've named the cake An Affair to Remember.

I think if I tasted it, it would be an experience to never forget. Like Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember.

But yesterday, I didn't. Even I, with my sweet tooth roughly the size of Manhattan, would need lots of help hacking away at a boat-motor sized dessert. So I'd better go with a crowd and ask for four forks.

Help paying for it would be welcome too: a single slice of this mouth-watering indulgence will set you back ten bucks. Methinks it's probably worth it. But still.

Lucky for me, everyone in our family loves to chow down. And doesn't mind sharing the expense.

I'm already anxious to go back. I bet you a nickel that I won't have long to wait.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Thursday

Wednesday
Aug152018

That's baseball

The Chicago Cubs hosted the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field last Sunday night.

I checked the score from my phone as we were leaving evening church services.

One to nothing, Nats.

Drat.

TG and I went home, detouring for a snack at Wendy's with Audrey, Dagny, Chad, and Erica.

Back in my own friendly confines and outfitted in my friendly comfies, I tuned in to the game on the fifty-five-incher in our TV room.

I don't remember what inning was in progress, but the score was still one to nothing. We settled back to encourage our team.

Our Cubs have have been semi-permanent riders of the struggle bus this year with regard to the bullpen, but they have a new pitcher in handsome thirty-four-year-old (ancient for a major league pitcher) Cole Hamels.

He was on the mound that night and had done a fine job, giving up only one run.

But the Nationals' pitching was brilliant -- or the Cubs' hitting was lacking, whichever way you want to look at it -- and by the top of the ninth Hamels was chilling in the dugout, watching the end of a game that looked to be all over exept for the crying unless the Bunny of Baseball Love hopped onto the scene and made some magic happen.

It was in the top of the ninth that the Nationals scored two more runs off Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (who was traded to Chicago only two weeks ago by -- wait for it -- the Washington Nationals).

Three-zip, Nats. Who were gloating.

Double drat it all.

After that I went to brush my teeth and wash my face, getting ready for bed. I hate to see the Cubs lose and I secretly hoped that when I returned to my place on the leather reclining love seat beside TG, it would be over.

I'd fuss and fume for a minute or two, then shake it off. Cub fans are well acquainted with losing.

(TG, die-hard Cub fan for forty years, almost always says to me, philosophically and often with a chuckle, as I sputter or moan when the chips are down for our beloved boys of summer: That's baseball.)

It's come to mean more to me than the sometimes overwhelming vagaries of my favorite sport. That's baseball is an apt euphemism for That's life.

At any rate, the Cubs are famous for coming back from what appears to be a sure loss. They've done it thirty-seven times this season. So there's that.

The hundred-and-four-year-old stadium at the corner of Clark and Addison was packed and most of the fans were on their feet. We'll be there in less than two weeks and I'll do the same thing.

The Nationals' relief pitcher was on the mound to nail the thing down and secure the win for their star starter, Matt Scherzer, who, like the Cubs' Cole Hamels, was by then guzzling Gatorade in the dugout.

I am pretty sure Nats fans worldwide were counting on a win, already rejoicing.

As for me, I didn't even bother to settle back and recline with my light summer quilted throw and pat the space beside me for Rizzo to jump up and nestle at my side.

I didn't figure there'd be time to warm the seat before it was over.

So it was that as I tensely perched, the Cubs came up to bat for the final time, down by three, about to be shut out by the Washington Nationals.

But here's what happened.

One Cub gained a base. The next one was hit by a pitch, prompting a walk. Two bases with men on. A few seconds later, a third Cub was struck by a pitch. He walked.

Bases loaded.

Two outs.

David Bote (say BOH-dee), pinch hitting for injured megastar Kris Bryant (pictured in effigy above), came to the plate.

Bote's not a big name and hasn't been in the lineup for long; I don't even have his face firmly fixed in my mind.

He's certainly no Anthony Rizzo. No Javier Baez, no Kris Bryant, no Jason Heyward. He's a man who can play baseball well enough to be in the majors, and he comes to work every day and does his job.

Bote stood there wielding his bat. The count was two-two.

If he struck out, it'd be over. Head for the showers.

If he got walked, a runner would advance from the loaded bases and the score would be three to one. Not a shutout but still a loss. Probably.

Of course he could get a base hit -- a fine goal, to be sure -- but the outcome wouldn't change unless he -- or the next guy -- hit a homer before that third and final out.

Unlikely. Let's be honest.

So it was that, with two strikes and two outs, David Bote swung for the fences and hit a grand slam walk-off home run.

On September twenty-fifth it will be fifty years since a Cub player hit a walk-off grand slam for the team’s first runs of the game. On that night in nineteen sixty-eight, the Chicago Cubs came from behind to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers four to one.

At Wrigley on August twelfth, two thousand eighteen, the Cubs beat the Nationals four to three.

Pandemonium ensued:

Some have dubbed Bote's feat a Golden Homer because it was a walk-off grand slam with his team trailing by three runs and down to its last strike.

If you're not inspired by that, perhaps you should be.

Because it proves once again something important: It doesn't matter whether you're a big name. It doesn't matter if your face is recognized among a constellation of superstars.

It doesn't matter how late in the game it is, or how lost the cause appears to be.

Do what you were sent to do. Fulfill your purpose in any given moment.

Don't worry about how dismal things look; don't cave to the horrible pressure of impending doom. Blind yourself to that, somehow. Play your game to the best of your ability, to the very end.

Wonderful things can happen.

While there's life, there's hope said the Roman statesman Cicero. He was right. And that was a long time ago too but he's still right.

So don't give up. Whatever you do, never give up. You may hit the game-winning home run.

Go Cubs, go. Go Cubs, go. Hey Chicago, whaddaya say, the Cubs are gonna win today.

Fly the Dubya.

As for the Nationals, they suffered a similarly stunning defeat the very next night against the St. Louis Cardinals, again losing by one run in the ninth inning.

Their beleaguered closer, Ryan Madson, the poor guy who served up the curve ball that Bote hit over the center-field wall and into history on a summer night at Wrigley, is now on the ten-day disabled list with a back injury.

Chelsea Janes, writing for The Washington Post, summed it up it thusly:

If someone were to script devastation, to write out a plot for the near-total destruction of a weary baseball team’s morale, that script would not be nearly as cruel as the one that played out for the Washington Nationals in their 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

I sort of feel their pain. They'll have another chance at glory, though. And another, and another, as long as they don't quit.

But see, I thought it was awesome. I guess it's all in your perspective. I won't be apologizing either.

Because that's baseball.

And if I see Theo Epstein again when I visit Wrigley in a few days? I can say: How about that pinch-hit walk-off grand slam by David Bote? 

High fives will ensue between me and Theo, and a selfie of us together to prove that this time I had the wherewithal to actually speak to him, which photo I will of course share with you.

That would be my walk-off grand slam to win the game.

And that is all for now.

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It ain't over till it's over.

= Yogi Berra =

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Happy Wednesday

Tuesday
Aug142018

The pirate's pickle panic

This be a pickle post. That's because I'm a pickle freak.

There; I said it.

I drool just thinking about pickles. The sweeter, the better.

Oh wait. The sourer, the better.

Sweet and sour together -- with heat? 

BOOM.

Therein lies the problem. Apparently I'm a pushover for pickles.

However.

Attempting to mind my once-girlish waistline seems to be at odds with consuming pickles with as much sugar (read: carbs) per serving as a movie-size box of Junior Mints.

They look so innocent.

Let's take sweet baby gherkins. Vlasic, Mount Olive, whatever. Pick your poison.

I could stand by the sink and consume half a small jar (I have pickle forks) faster than Donald Trump sets the record straight with a tweet, assuring myself all the while, what's the big deal? They're all natural!

The much desired plant-based diet. Pickles fit the profile.

Then you get into all of the myriad flavor combinations there are out there in the pickle world, devised by folks who just can't seem to leave a pickle alone.

As for the pickle experience itself, I confess that I like heat. Not the kind that numbs your tongue and makes wisps of smoke emerge from your ears, but a more sneaky, less snarky kind.

Sort of medium heat. Like you get with Wickles: a wickedly delicious pickle.

Wickles! The very word! A clever portmanteau of wicked and pickles, the treat is nothing more (or less) than sweet pickle chips infused with heat from two big chili peppers dancing around in the jar with them.

I cannot get enough of Wickles. I make sure I have several jars on hand at all times. One would not like to run out. They're splendid with a nice bowl of egg salad. You don't even miss the bread. The bread you can't eat because you spent all your carbs on pickles.

Roaming Costco one day with my new membership card twinkling in my wallet, I went in search of the pickle aisle.

I wasn't exactly disappointed, but it didn't blow me away either. There were no Wickles but they did have a half-gallon (of course; this is Costco) jar of Famous Dave's Signature Spicy Pickle Chips. Billed as a unique blend of heat & sweet.

I went for it, of course, being, as we have already established, a sucker for the concept of sweet and heat combined in a pickle chip.

Like the Costco pickle aisle itself, these pickles don't make me dream of the next time I can justify opening the jar and putting away at least ten chips at one go.

But they're good. And no; I haven't eaten half the jar already. I gave some to Erica to take home for her and Chad to enjoy, and I filled another smaller jar to store in my main refrigerator, while keeping the nuclear reactor-sized jar outside in the garage fridge.

But then there's the pièce de résistance: on most days I will prefer this pickle over all others. I happened to see these one day while piratically plundering the pickle aisle at Walmart. 

In fact I was looking for Wickles, which, it turns out, Walmart doesn't carry except in the okra version. I don't do pickled okra. So I get my Wickles at Publix, where they're stocked in abundance.

But in lieu of scoring a few jars of Wickles that day at Walmart, I discovered Sam's Club Hot Spicy Maple Bourbon Fresh Pack Pickle Chips.

I must try those, I said, mentally piling them onto a grilled hamburger. I put a large jar into my cart. I could hardly wait to get home, hear the snap of the lid popping, and toss a pickle into my mouth for a taste test.

Now, if you're a teetotaler like me, you may be disturbed by the word bourbon. Don't be. There's none in it. I don't even know why the word is on there; it makes no sense.

Fake news.

What does make sense is the flavor of these pickle chips. I would on some days go so far as to say, I dare you to find a better pickle. The maple is mild; the sour is subtle; the sweet is spectacular.

A profoundly, practically perfect pickle. Not paltry, poky or pitiful but plump and palatable, potent and powerful. Not simply passable, but passionate. 

On other days, Wickles come to the fore and seem like the most spectacular pickle in the world to me.

It's a pickle-picking predicament.

Suffice it to say, on days that end in y, you will find me enjoying either Wickles or Spicy Maple Bourbon pickle chips, either in something or beside something or on something, or all by their onesies.

For the record, I also like plain bread-and-butter pickle chips. With no heat but just the right amount of sweet.

And by the way, you can make your own wicked pickles by adding two fresh chili peppers to an existing jar of bread and butter chips, and letting them hang out together for a while.

If you're the do-it-yourself type, that is. A pickle pioneer.

Sam's Club also offers a version called Mango Habanero. I have a jar, and they're okay -- much hotter than the maple bourbon kind -- but it will take me a while to finish them and I'm not likely to buy them again.

There's also a Thai Chili flavor in the same range, and while they may be delicious -- in fact, probably are -- for some reason that does not appeal to me and I'm afraid to commit.

If that flavor combination does sound scrumptious to you and you try them, please do report back. Thumbs up or down? We need to know.

Likewise if you are savvy as to another similar brand of pickles I should try, do tell.

Meanwhile, you'll find me practicing purposeful purchasing in the plucking of pleasant pickle presences from the plethora of products on offer in the marketplace.

Say that three times fast, then go have a pickle. Or ten.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Tuesday

Monday
Aug132018

Incoming

This window has not been opened in years.

And yet here you see English ivy growing across the sill, reaching into my room.

Some things just want in.

And sometimes they succeed in getting in, only to be cut back, cut off, and forgotten.

Which is what's about to happen to this opportunistic ivy.

(I love it; it grows all around and on my house. But on the outside only.)

But consider: This is pretty impressive for someone with as black a pirate thumb as mine.

I wonder what this nosy ivy wanted?

I don't suppose we'll ever know.

We can only admire its stubborn persistence while, if so inclined, we ponder its sure fate.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Monday

Tuesday
Jul312018

Basketiquette

Confession is good for the soul, so here we go.

I am guilty of not paying it forward. I may have even paid it backward.

Allow me to elaborate.

TG and I swung by a discount generic food chain store on the way home from church on Sunday afternoon.

We do not shop at this market more than once or twice a year, but I needed frozen berries and Audrey had told me they had them for an excellent price.

And since I'm always in the mood to shop, I was open to other possibilities as well.

At this particular store, the shopping carts are lined up outside, locked together.

You need a quarter to rent a rolling basket. 

I had my quarter in my hand and was attempting to figure out where to put it and unlock a unit from the line, when I heard a kind voice.

Here, ma'am. Here's a basket all ready for you, the voice said.

I turned to see a smiling young man proffering his shopping basket in my direction.

Oh, thank you! I said, and smiled back. As I took the cart and steered it into the store, I plopped my purse into the child seat part, and slipped the quarter I'd saved down inside.

TG, who had dropped me off and was parking the car, did not witness the transaction.

Not another thought was given to the basket or the quarter saved, as I was busy selecting items to buy.

We ended up with animal crackers, caramel nut covfefe cake (MAGA), milk, thick-sliced hickory smoked gourmet bacon, dry breakfast cereal for the grandchildren (who are coming for a visit next week), and several other things, in addition to the frozen berries we'd gone in there to get.

Having paid for our purchases and secured them in the trunk of our car, TG took the basket back up to the store to replace it into the outdoor locked line of baskets just like it.

(At that point, I believe you get your quarter back.)

We were parked in such a way that I could see him as he did this.

But when he approached the baskets, a lady walked up -- much as I had done twenty minutes earlier -- and began to place a quarter into the slot.

TG gallantly offered her our paid-for basket, to save her the trouble.

She gratefully (as far as I could tell) took it. And that's when it happened.

The lady extended her arm toward TG and even from a distance, I could tell her fingers held a quarter.

TG pocketed the two bits and strode back to the car.

Oh no.

I was flushed with shame. I was supposed to give the smiling young man who offered me his basket, a quarter! The one that was right there in my hand! And like an ungrateful Greedy Gus, I'd put it into my purse instead!

So now I feel like an idiot. I kept our quarter and we made another quarter! A hundred-percent return on money we didn't even spend! And we'd saved at least two dollars on frozen raspberries too, compared to the market where you don't have to pay for a shoppting basket, and they put your items into bags!

How I wish that smiling young man would appear before me so that I could fish that quarter out of my purse and hand it to him, with a sincere apology for my blunder.

But I doubt I'd even recognize him so if he's hanging around the basket line at that store, waiting for me, he should go on home.

Tell you what. Next time I go to that store, I'll pay a quarter for a basket.

Then, when I wheel it back up to the entrance after unloading my groceries into the trunk, I'll give it to someone who's poised to put a quarter into the slot.

And when they offer me that quarter? I won't take it.

Please tell me that my sacrifice will atone for my deep-discount-store ignorance.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Tuesday

Friday
Jul202018

Take the Dagnycure

Dagny was here to swim yesterday, the weather being perfect for summer activities.

Audrey and Brittany each joined us in the pool for a delightful hour.

Afterwards, Dagny had some lunch and, in a break from playing indoors, told me she wanted her nails painted.

I believe what sparked her interest in having a manicure was seeing me removing my own fingernail polish with fluffy cotton balls soaked in pure acetone.

Naturally I acquiesced to her request and soon I was applying red lacquer to the tiny nails of her splayed fingers.

She's on track to become a fully-fledged glamour girl in three, two one.

As it should be.

And that is all for now.

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Happy Friday

Tuesday
Jul172018

First hummer of the summer

The hummingbirds have been slow to visit my matching front-porch and back-deck feeders this year.

I watched and waited. Finally, at least two weeks since I'd first filled the feeders, a tiny baby hummer appeared in the kitchen window and sipped at the nectar.

He was small even for the smallest of bird breeds. I'd be surprised if he weighed half an ounce.

After him, there was what seemed to me a long dry spell.

Yesterday, I sat for hours on the front porch. I hadn't meant to stay so long -- it was an uncomfortably muggy day -- but when I'd been there reading for a while, I heard the familiar buzz-whirr of tiny wings.

It was the fellow you see above -- if a hummingbird could ever be called ordinary, this one would be, because it has fewer of the jewel-colored feathers than one normally likes to see.

I believe the bird to be a female ruby-throat because the females of that species have next to no color. Certainly as you can see, no ruby-colored throat.

But she is no less precious for not being a flying gem in the strictest sense.

At any rate I went and fetched my camera, brought it outside, and waited.

I had no choice but to wait, not just for the hummingbird, but for my camera's lens to adjust from being in a cool house to coming out into the hot, humid afternoon.

You have to be patient until condensation stops forming on the lens, then wipe it with a soft cloth.

She didn't come back. I put the camera down and picked up my book. Enough time elapsed for me to read Joan Didion's short essay 7000 Romaine, Los Angeles 38.

Thus my nose was in the book when I next heard the whir of wings. I looked up slowly and soundlessly, since any quick movement or sound will startle the hummers.

I expected to see the female ruby throat again and was mad at myself for having put the camera down.

But it wasn't the lady. This time, it was the gentleman. Glossy black, with a throat so red it took my breath away. I'd never before been so close to one so vivid.

He hovered, indulging in a sip or two, but mostly turning himself so that his blood-red neck feathers blazed and glowed.

Since I was sitting three feet from him, it was no use reaching for my camera. He would have been gone in less than a blink.

He was exquisite. I was spellbound and became obsessed with getting his picture.

All afternoon I waited, holding the heavy camera near my eye, through TG coming home from playing golf, through an hour-plus summer rain, through cicadas changing their tune from their croaky daytime song to the shriller one they sing in the early evening, until time to go inside and make supper.

He never came back. But she did -- again and again, to drink her fill -- and here she is for your amazement and enjoyment.

Now I'm on a mission to get her man. Fairly obsessed.

Just wait and see. That's what I'll be doing.

And that is all for the present.

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Happy Tuesday