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


I am a Blue Star Mother




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






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.


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
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • 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
  • 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
    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
    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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Taking royal pains

I admit to a certain amount of anglophilia.

It may be because as a child I read books ... lots of books, and not picture books or "baby" books as they were termed by my parents in the same breath such books were pronounced verboten.

I won't cop to having read much Austen but I was all about the Bronte sisters ... Charlotte in particular, author of my beloved Jane Eyre, the finest of her novels.

(Jane, in my opinion, remains the greatest heroine in English literature.)

Maybe there's still time for me to become a black-bonneted gothic governess who, against the backdrop of a windswept English moor, falls in love with the darkly handsome and tragically lonely father of her charges!

We shall see. At the very least, a lot can happen in my fertile imagination.

Can You Sail Under The Command Of A Pirate?

That having been said, I wouldn't be true to me bad pirate self were I not willing to play the part of devil's advocate regarding Friday's high-toned and fancy to-do up at the Abbey that, according to some royal watchers, was designed to put the union back into Union Jack.

It's a dirty thankless job but somebody has to do it.

Most people on both sides of the puddle had royal treacle going in by IV drip anyway, if the million vigilant Brits assembled on the streets in London and others -- including countless Americans -- tuning in from around the globe were any indication.

They cannot be trusted.

Holy Hyperbole, Batman

And then there was the gawking gushfest engaged in by every news announcer on every channel that covered the day The Heir To The Throne made an honest woman of his longtime lover, the undeniably gorgeous Waity Katie.

"It was a fairy tale ceremony sure to go down in history!" burbled Alisyn Camerota of Fox News, seemingly unaware of her own perilous penchant for corny cliche.

Martha MacCallum concurred double-positive style, asserting that the event was "royal in the best way of all possible ways!"

There was apparently not enough purple prose in the entire United Kingdom to adequately describe the regal goings-on.

Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's former butler -- who has managed to keep himself quasi-relevant in the nearly fourteen years since her death by, leaky-faucet fashion, releasing dribs and drabs of inside information such as the thread count of the late princess's favorite sheets or the brand of biscuits she enjoyed with her afternoon cuppa -- had tweaked the reverential throb in his voice to just shy of tears.

"I hate to use that word 'fairy tale' but I think we just saw one," he blithered, then embroidered: "We were let in ..."


What I saw was the monarchy using every resource available to keep their loyal subjects at a veddy conveniently comfortable distance.

As per usual.

Then someone invoked the term "Camelot" and I had to hit the mute button lest I spit up.

Camelittle, More Like


Fairy tale?

I hate to be the one to point it out, but all the fairy tales I remember being told were not only total fiction, but they were full of uber-scary characters like warty witches and fangy wolves ready to cook you or eat you or turn you into a green troll or something equally hideous.

In fairy tales people live in shoes and leave breadcrumb trails through the deep dark woods and cohabit with bands of oddly-named homunculi and end up dangling helplessly between the thumb and forefinger of a homely giant with anger issues.

Tortured. Angst-ridden. Allegorical. Darkly violent.

Of course there's that one about the cute (and virtuous) girl who was finally found by her prince even though her wicked stepmother and ugly stepsisters did everything they could think of to thwart the romance, but I don't see the parallel between that story and the current one.

I know I'll get some exasperated eye-rolls on this one -- go ahead, please, please ask me if I care -- but, come on.

Wills and Kate have been playing palace for years. Shackin' is what it's called, y'all.

In addition to being in possession of a pretty face and showgirl figure -- without both of which I promise you she never would've gotten the royal ball rolling in the first place -- the newly-minted Duchess of Cambridge is a very shrewd young woman.

Much has been made of how she hung in there over their nine-year affair, never saying a word against William even when he briefly threw her over.

In that crisis she strategically shortened her hemlines, stepped up stepping out with various blokes, and won him back.

And I suspect the wiles she used to secure his affections (twice), she has employed most assidously throughout the years in order to keep them.

Let's not smarm around! On Friday her well-laid plan came to fruition like, as they say, gangbusters.

Blush? Honey, hush.

And yes, the sequence of all of the above events matters. It matters a great deal.

Oh, I know, I know. Wearing white on the day just means you're a bride. Puh-leeeeeze quit already with all that puritanical nonsense about chastity before marriage.

No! Double triple quadruple no. I am disinclined to acquiesce to that request.

No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it.

A Hairy Tale

You must remember that, like millions of others, I got up before dawn thirty years ago to watch Lady Diana Spencer get married to His Royal Hiney, Charles, Prince of Wails.

Who could forget that, before she could even pick out the designer for her wedding gown, it was required of Diana that she be examined by the royal gyno to confirm her virginal state?

I'm not necessarily saying there was anything wrong with that. What's wrong is, fast-forwarding three decades, I don't think anybody -- least of all William -- saw any value in the new someday-queen being a virgin.

After all, the monarchy is resting on Kate's thin shoulders, if the sticky-sweet television news announcers can be believed.

A certain percentage of Britons are allegedly tired of the bajillions of dollars those "royals" cost them every year. Imagine that! Working stiffs who balk at financing the excessive habits of their ruling class!

So Wills and his wife are the dream team charged with appealing to the younger generation of British taxpayer. They who will foot the bill, so to speak, for the next half-century.

And we know that set couldn't possibly relate to a bride not "modern" enough to have relinquished her innocence years before she saw fit to settle down.

But they've forgotten something.

For all the royal pains the monarchy -- or anyone else -- takes to destigmatize immorality, that tawdry little arrow never quite reaches its mark.

Boys Will Be Boors

I've heard it said several times this week that Diana's tender age at the time of her marriage -- she was barely twenty -- and the fact that she did not "know" Charles the way Kate knows Wills (I'll say), were to blame for the disastrous sham their relationship turned out to be.

Oh really?

So, it couldn't be because her groom was -- and still is, in my opinion -- a royal cad who didn't have enough honor to tell the truth when he took solemn vows before God and the entire universe?

I wonder if it was because he never gave up his illicit decade-old alliance with his married mistress, Camilla-what's-her-horse-face, who brazenly propositioned him in 1970 thusly: "My great-grandmother was your great-great-grandfather's mistress, so how about it?"

Such subtlety! Such mystique! I am underwhelmed.

When the whole illusion-heavy arrangement fell apart in a shockingly short span of time, the late Queen Mother was quoted as asking whether Diana didn't know that "all men have affairs."

So, Diana's inexperience was inexcusable but Charles's infidelity was understandable?

The "boys will be boys, heh heh" defense ... is that all you've got, your royal lownesses? If you're an heir to a throne you get a pass on being an adulterer, not to mention a pestilent, traitorous, cow-hearted, yeasty codpiece who should by all rights be rotting in the brig?

Or at least the Tower.

And they have the nerve to call other people common.

Let's face it, folks: Not only is the perfidious prince a less-than-classy part of the equation, but as far as the monarchy is concerned, he's never going to bring sexy back.

In addition to being a quart low on character, as a personality he is, shall we say, well south of compelling.

If you get my drift.

I would like to make the case, since nobody else seems willing to, that Diana -- insecure, neurotic, bulimic, spoiled, narcissistic infant terrible she almost surely was -- would perhaps have survived her marriage and even been happy in it, and would have been there on Friday to see her precious son marry, if her own husband had loved her as he vowed to do and had been able to summon the moral courage to be faithful.

Oh Yes She Will, Will ... And So Will You

Before I leave you I must address the subject of obedience.

"She didn't promise to obey!" the press crowed as ecstasy poured from the throats of bells all over England and the newlyweds traversed the mile or so of red carpet to the soaring doorway of Westminster Abbey to be seen for the first time by their subjects.

Leading one to believe knickers would have been in a royal twist on a global scale if Kate had dared to utter that shameful word at the altar.


Raise your hand if you believe Catherine Middleton would be the new bride of Prince William, second in line to the throne of England, if she hadn't at some point made a conscious decision to obey him.

I thought not.

And I hope nobody is naive enough to think that as their fantastic lives unfold, Kate will not continue to obey her husband. Not to mention her grandmother-in-law, who I understand generally gets her way.

Of course she will, Will.

But that's cause for celebration because as it turns out, all happiness is the fruit of obedience.

How could obedience be a bad thing in the closest relationship anyone will ever have on earth?

But the obedience of a wife to her husband isn't of the "when I say jump you say how high" variety. It is the voluntary submission to what you know to be the desires of the one you love and as a result, wish to please.

Truth be known, each partner in a healthy marriage obeys the other. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

A man's love for his wife is a picture of Christ's love for His church. The one He loved so much that He gave Himself for it.

The wife's desire to obey is the linchpin of her unconditional commitment to her husband. It helps if she can trust him.

In any case it's not about law and order. It's about love. Not the platonic kind ... the romantic kind.

I just wanted to point that out.

Rumpled Bedding Legitimized (thank you Mr. Sondheim)

I love weddings!

No matter what the circumstances leading to their joining, "husband" and "wife" remain two of the sweetest words in the English language. "Romance" runs a very close third.

"Wedding" is in a class all by itself. Heartstoppingly magical, as it were.

I cried when Kate walked down the aisle. The music! The architecture! The history! The tiara!

Although what passes for fashion in Britain leaves me mostly puzzled and disoriented, I was wild about her dress.

My heart was in my throat when they kissed on the "porch" as TG called it.

As you probably already know, I am an absolute fanatic for traditional marriage. As such, I am thrilled for Kate and William. I wish them a lifetime of delirious joy and marital devotion, with several adorable children thrown in for extra fun.

Because love, marriage, and a satisfying family life are among the best things that could ever happen to anyone.

Congratulations to the happy couple. May they be ever mindful of the vows they took before their Creator and two billion people.

And may God grant them the grace to make it work, whatever the cost, until death parts them.


Apparently I have that kind of face

People keep confiding in me.

A few weeks ago I walked into a law firm, dragging my equipment case behind me.

I greeted the receptionist and received a warm welcome in return.

"Follow me," she instructed.

So of course, I did. We had less than twenty feet to traverse before she was pointing to the door I was to walk through.

Which journey, as you may imagine, took less than thirty seconds.

But within that short time, the receptionist began telling me her troubles.

For starters, she doesn't like her bosses.

Hello! Lawyers ...

Then there is the issue of her home life, which includes in no particular order that I could discern, one faithless loser of an ex-husband, two or more shiftless children, car trouble of recent vintage, a newer but no less deadbeat husband, debt to the point of bankruptcy, and her own inability to sleep at night.

I am not making fun of this lady. I commiserated with her then and I feel for her now.

Life can be difficult and not one of us will escape.

But all I'm saying is, what is it about me that makes people want to "spill it" within ninety seconds of meeting me?

Lest you think I'm being dramatic, there is further empirical data.

Later that SAME DAY -- the day the receptionist made me her ad hoc -- and, I might add, free for nothing -- therapist when I'd just showed up to report a few depos, I walked into Wal-Mart.

I know ... big mistake.

Once inside the door, I'd gotten as far as the outer edge of the produce department when a nice lady -- who worked there, as far as I could tell -- made eye contact and engaged me in a rather detailed, if shortish, conversation about the price of bananas and what it meant to her personally.

Once we'd covered that earth-shattering subject, she complimented me on my outfit (I said she was nice) and began telling me about her plans for Easter, which was a few weeks hence.

It involved a ham and too many people expecting to find holiday repletion at her table, but that's all I remember.

I soothed her as best I could and we parted amicably. I have yet to send her a bill.

About fifteen minutes later, I was in the candle aisle when I spoke to a lady who was farther up said aisle than me and on the opposite side, checking out the fake flowers.

She appeared deep in thought as to the selection process but you know how it is. Somebody else comes into "your" aisle and you begin worrying that you're in their way.

She looked apprehensive about my approach so I told her not to move because I didn't need to get through. It takes me awhile to choose my candles.

But the ice had been broken and, before you could say gladiola, the lady asked me a question.

Thirty minutes later we were still talking. I know! Ridiculous!

But she had some tales to tell and, as it turned out, so did I. In parting she gave me her email address, hugged me, wished me a blessed Easter, and enjoined me to send her certain Internet links.

Which I have not yet done.

The very next day, I was trying to take pictures in a cemetery when a man and his wife emerged from the adjacent Lutheran church and called to me.

Nearly one hour later we were still talking. I could sit here until you are glassy-eyed telling you everything we covered, but what would be the point?

Let's just say the three of us found common ground on a number of topics.

For one thing, he wants me to take a picture of his mother's grave, which she has occupied only since last November. I promised I would, and I will.

I have his email address too, and I imagine I'll use it to let him know when I've kept my promise.

Oh, and just so you know ... this is nothing new.

People have been confiding in me for years after knowing me for ninety seconds or less. I don't see it stopping any time soon.

If you need to talk, you know where to find me.


Does that look come in oatmeal?

I thought I'd told you this story already but I've searched the IHATH archives and can find no mention of it, so I think we're safe on the senility-fueled premature-instant-replay front.

And although I hesitate to talk about Allissa again immediately after her birthday post -- because as you know I'm going to see her this weekend and inevitably there'll be yet another birthday post -- I must talk about her in order to set this one up.

Several weeks ago my daughter told me a cute story.

Mamaw's Oatmeal

In order to appreciate it you have to know that when my granddaughters are at my house, and often when I am at their house, I prepare their morning oatmeal.

I never buy instant packets or even quick oats. I make whole-grain oats from scratch, with milk and a few other additives, to include a pinch of salt along with plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar.

Occasionally a raisin or two may beg attendance at the smart-kids table.

When it's ready I add a generous dollop of applesauce to cool it down and provide nutritional heft.

The girls eat my porridge like it's going out of style, which in fact it may be if the early-morning lines at fast-food joints are any indication.

(Erica teaches school in the Atlanta area. When she has early-stay duty she tells of three-year-olds and up walking into the gym with their breakfast in McDonald's bags. For shame.)

But on ordinary days when their mother prepares their oatmeal, the girls fare a little more plainly.

My daughter is much more conservative than I when it comes to culinary embellishments ... especially at seven o'clock in the morning.

I shudder to say I don't even think she adds sugar or that all-important pinch of salt.

But on a recent morning Stephanie made the kids' breakfast from add-water-and-nuke cop-out instant oatmeal packets that she'd inherited from some source or other.

Of course these varieties come laced with sugar and various other flavorings both real and artificial.

Which is why they're delicious.

So my daughter set the girls' bowls in front of them and turned away to make herself a cup of coffee.

There was silence as both Melanie and Allissa spooned in first mouthfuls.

Then, immediately, from Allissa came a declaration:

"This is Mamaw's Oatmeal!"

HA HA. Sugar = Mamaw. I love it. May it ever be so.

A Faux Pas On The Deposition Front

Now that I've relayed that by-way-of-introduction story I'm no longer sure why it's germane to this post, but in for a penny, in for a pound. Let's go for it.

About ten days ago I reported several depositions. One of the victims deponents was a lady in her mid-thirties.

This doesn't happen often -- What am I saying? It happens never! -- but she was the perfect witness.

She listened until the lawyer had finished each question. She thought for a moment, then answered the question thoroughly, coherently and, I believe, truthfully.

And yes! That makes her unusual. Sad but true.

(It should be noted here that she herself was not in trouble but had merely been a witness to another's trouble. Tends to color one's reaction to certain probing questions.)

Most people interrupt constantly and attempt to cover their half-truths with histrionics and an excess of disjointed verbiage. The more they try to obfuscate, the more obvious they become.

Let that be a lesson should you ever (heaven forfend) find yourself on the receiving end of a deposition proceeding.

But back to our deponent. She was really nice. Her sense of humor was dry and she had a great smile. I liked her.

She was dressed casually in khakis and a coral-colored tank top layered with a coordinating coral cardigan that featured white polka dots. Her look was neat but not too serious. It was young, season-appropriate, and cute.

About one-third of the way through the depo, however, I noticed something out of place. See, I watch the deponent constantly. Usually I watch their face but naturally I take in other things too.

You've Been Taped In More Ways Than One

You know those many-inches-long opaque tape-like tags that some stores slap onto the fronts of garments? They have the size -- like XL -- in large block letters at the top and other information as you go down the strip.

Once you get home, you tear it off and hope it doesn't deface your new shirt or sweater, then find you needn't have worried; the adhesive wizards were way ahead of you.

Well, this witness had bought a new outfit for her depo (I told myself) -- probably the night before -- and she had forgotten to tear off her clear adhesive strip with the big XL right at the top.

It was strategically placed over ... ahem ... her left chest.

When I noticed it my first thought was: "Uh-oh. Should I tell her?"

Like, when somebody has tissue stuck to her shoe as she exits the ladies room, or her slip is showing, or there is lipstick on her front teeth?

But I knew I wouldn't have an opportunity to tell her. The depo was in progress and as soon as it was over, she would bolt.

Which she did, with her store tag still decorating her front.

Quasi-Desperate Times

Fast forward several days to last Thursday.

I had accepted an assignment for a job in Greenville. Two depos that would take most of the day.

Greenville is a ninety-minute drive and I needed to be there thirty minutes before the ten o'clock start.

I hate getting up early and driving, so the night before the job, I asked TG if he'd be my chauffeur.

He rearranged his schedule and said he'd be glad to. He'd take his clubs and hit balls at a nearby driving range while I worked. Then we'd go out to lunch.


As I was getting ready the next morning, I found myself running a few minutes behind.

I take considerable pains with my appearance. Now and then it takes a little longer to achieve the look I'm going for, which is decidedly not 54-year-old Mamaw.

No word yet on my rate of success. The silence is deafening.

You might say the jury is still out and the longer they stay out, the worse it looks for me.

Thanks Ever So, Folks

But on this particular morn there hadn't even been time for my customary large cup of fresh, strong, hot coffee, liberally laced with pre-heated half and half.

I asked TG if he'd run over to the nearby McDonald's and get me a container of their wonderful oatmeal (which I discovered when we were on our way to Ohio for Grandpa's funeral last January) and a cup of fresh, hot, strongish coffee.

So of course he did, and as he put us on I-26 West headed for Greenville, I lustily devoured my oatmeal and drank my coffee and it was truly delicious.

Wait for it!

Once at the depo, we exchanged pleasantries with the host barrister. So much so that, when he found out TG was determined to find a driving range, he called the Greenville Country Club -- where he is a member, naturally -- and told them he was sending over a friend and to put the whole thing on his account.

Good man.

I also talked at length with the deponent -- another very nice lady not wearing a clothes tag (on the outside) -- and her husband while we waited for everything to get started.

About an hour into the proceeding we took a break. For some reason I looked down at my front.

Houston, We Have A Problem

How shall I put this? My dress has several colors but the area immediately around the "V" neckline is black.

And right there between my skin and where my necklace lay on my front, was ... how perceptive you are!


So where oh where do you suppose said sizeable splotch of oatmeal -- now dried -- strategically situated on the blackest part of my dress, fit into my personal sartorial agenda, not to mention my carefully-cultivated professional image?

Let's just say I was appalled.

How many seemingly nice, compassionate people had seen the oatmeal on my dress and thought, "That lady is wearing her breakfast. Or perhaps she burped a small child this morning. I wonder if I should tell her? Is ignorance really bliss? Nah. I mean, yeah. Best not to get involved."

To them I say, thanks a lot. Oh and, by the way? A pox upon you and the horse you rode in on, and for good measure, upon your heirs and assigns into perpetuity.

I discreetly scratched at my dress and soon had eradicated all vestiges of Mamaw's (by way of McDonald's) Oatmeal from the visible portion of my person.

For the rest of the day I tried not to think about what others may have thought.

With varying degrees of success, I might once again add.

And now I'm hungry for oatmeal.

I shall use a bib.


Three's the charmer

Allissa (known aliases: Lissy Belle, Bel-Lissy-Mo) turned three on Tax Day.

Daddy's little dividend has paid off in so many ways since the day she came on the scene.

A day I remember well.

Her big sister, Melanie, was born December 21, 2004, with complications.

While the difficulties were not necessarily life-threatening in the strictest sense of the term, there were serious concerns in the first year of her life.

No six-year-old could be loved more, and no six-year-old's family could be more grateful for her life and the progress she has made.

But three-plus years ago there was some anxiety about whether there would be problems with the next baby.

So as I wended my way toward Hickory, North Carolina, on April 15, 2008, I prayed as carefully and deliberately as I drove.

Our son-in-law kept me updated as to Stephanie's progress throughout my two-and-a-half-hour trip.

Things were humming along according to plan.

The next-to-last phone call came when I was fifteen minutes away from the hospital. Zero hour had been reached: it was time to greet a baby.

I was pulling into a parking spot at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory when my cell phone rang a final time. It was Joel.

Photo Stephanie Bixler 2009

"We have success!" he exulted.

I waited a beat, my heart in my throat, before asking if everything was okay.

"Everything is fine," the father of my grandchildren assured me.

Yessssssss! Thank you, Lord.

I was in the delivery suite practically before the cord was cut. A tightly-swaddled, pink-handi-wipe hatted, amazingly calm Allissa snuggled in my arms within ten minutes of her birth. Someone took a picture of us together.

I can't find that picture. Suffice it to say, it's in my head heart.

For various reasons we weren't able to be with Allissa yesterday on her actual birthday. We're going next weekend.

So of course I called her mid-morning. "Hey Mamaw!" she blurted -- as she always does -- when her mother handed her the phone.

And also as she always does, she fell silent when I began talking. Unless someone is there to prompt her to answer, she turns into an intently-listening bobblehead.

When Stephanie took the phone back I asked what the family had planned by way of a birthday celebration.

She responded that Allissa, when quizzed about what she wanted to do on her birthday, had a three-fold request.

Appropriate: a wish for each year of her life.

She wanted, in no particular order:

1.  A trip to the park;

2.  Supper at Wendy's; and

3.  To have her picture taken beside a flower bush.

Okay. That right there was the first time I could type that or even think about it without crying.

Yesterday I told several people about Allissa's three birthday wishes, and wrote it to a few more, and I cried every time.

There's just something about the profound innocence of a child's mind.

Lissy Belle, if you are reading this ... er ... if it's being read to you ...

Mamaw and Papaw will be there next week for a party with cake and presents.

Aunt Audrey is coming too.

I heard through the grapevine that you got your trip to the park yesterday, and your supper from Wendy's. I hope you had a Frosty and all the fries you could eat.

No word yet on whether you posed beside a flower bush to have your picture made, but my guess is your loving mother made it happen.

Happy birthday, my darling. Enjoy being three as much as we will enjoy you being three.

And when you're ready to talk, don't hesitate to call.


SkyWatch Friday: A Prayer