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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A Mottern Miracle

James T. Mottern, Jr.

1944 - 2014


Some people are destined to be unforgettable. Jim Mottern was one of those people. His obituary states that he "cherished God and country," and I know for a fact that he did indeed do that. But wait. There's more.

Speaking of forgetting: He had forgotten more about photography than I'll ever know, yet he was kind enough to "talk camera" with me when I could still only dream of owning a DSLR.

In fact, the first Nikon DSLR I held in my hand belonged to Mr. Jim. (I'd been working with a Nikon, but it was a point-and-shoot.) And yes, he let me focus it out the window of his studio, and even press the shutter release. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

On the Christmas Day I opened my Nikon D3100, a gift from my husband and my children, before the wrappings hit the floor I was on the phone to Jim and Donna.

I knew they wouldn't mind my calling on Christmas. I was crying for joy and excitement and they shed a few tears of happiness too. (At least, I know Donna did.) They understood the emotion of the moment, and they rejoiced with me.

Mr. Jim was not the type to sugar-coat anything. Nevertheless, he knew what mattered and he never minimized the potency of dreams. I think that's why I liked him so much.

That, and his cooking. On the day in October of 2010 when I first had the pleasure of visiting with Jim and Donna in their East Tennessee cottage, Grey Havens, he made us a bodacious salad that featured almonds he'd toasted in the microwave.

He taught me how to do that, and I still toast those almonds exactly like Mr. Jim did. It may not sound like much to you but it's much to me. And yes; there's a trick to it.

The last time I talked to Mr. Jim, it was by phone. He wasn't sick yet, and like always, we talked camera. He helped me by not necessarily rubber-stamping my every inclination. He was honest and forthright.

My kind of people.

I'm grateful for all the good -- and even a few of the not-as-good -- things that these years of blogging have brought me. I haven't deserved any of the benefits but I am fiercely protective of them.

Nobody who does not lovingly tend a blog is able to understand what the friendships -- yes; genuine friendships -- formed through it, are really like. They're special.

The folks I have met (and a few I haven't) as a result of sharing the experience of blogging -- as well as having other interests in common -- have enriched my life in ways I'm not sure even I, with all my many ready words, could fully describe.

Jim and Donna have been a large part of that for many years. They've listened and never made me feel as though I owed them anything in return. (That's huge.) They've encouraged me and they've challenged me. I am forever in their debt.

Mr. Jim was so proud of his wife, his beloved Donna. She'd taken up photography later than most and became an instant artist with a talent so original, he told me he could pick out her photos in a lineup, if he had to. He was as passionate about what he loved as he was unpretentious about everything else.

They were enthusiastic globetrotters, and they'd hoped to see more of the world together. It's not to be, but there is a trove of memories I know Donna will process and share in time. She lost her mother only weeks ago, and now this blow, on the day after Christmas.

It's hard to imagine the depth of her grief, so we give her to the One Who knows.

Miz Donna, faithful friend, photography maven, proprietress of Cottage Days and Journeys, and now widow of an extraordinary man whom I know you'll miss every moment of every day, I offer my condolences -- along with my friendship and love, and my gratitude for all that you and your husband shared with me. I haven't said it enough.

You and Mr. Jim were a great team, and that hasn't changed. You will always be a great team. He's gone on ahead but in lots of lives, lots of hearts, he made a difference. The sort of difference that never dies. And you're part and parcel of every last bit of that, both then and now.

My thoughts and prayers are with you on this New Year's Eve, as they will be throughout Twenty-Fifteen and beyond.


Is there a home where heavy earth

Melts to bright air that breathes no pain,

Where water leaves no thirst again,

And springing fire is Love's new birth?

If faith long bound to one true goal

May there at length its hope beget,

My soul that hour shall draw your soul

For ever nearer yet.

= Dante Gabriel Rossetti =



Speak for yourself

I was reminded last Friday of something that happened a long time ago.

I've told you about it before, I think, but I'll re-summarize for those of you with that Who-me? look in your eyes.

It was when our eldest daughter turned fourteen during the Indian-summer days of 1994.

To honor her birthday, I threw a tea party for Stephanie and two or three of her friends.

After the girls had arrived and were seated, since I was busy preparing plates, I pressganged Audrey into service as waitstaff.

Our guests sat at a table in the window and were served their meal and what-not, all semi-formal and proper-like.

Serve from the left, I instructed my second daughter, and she obeyed.

At one end of our long kitchen, farthest from said guests, as the first part of the meal was concluding, I delivered one last mini-lecture to an aproned Audrey.

It went something like this:

Go to the right side of each girl. If she is talking, wait until she's finished. When you get her attention, ask whether she would like her dish removed. If she says yes, remove it from the right side and bring it to the sink.

My ad hoc employee appeared to listen carefully but what I failed to realize was, being age eleven, she was officially over her budding career as a server/caterer.

I know this because when I nudged her toward the table and she approached the first girl, without waiting to make eye contact and with zero ceremony, she said:

You done?

I still laugh when I think about it. I don't like to laugh alone so feel free to chuckle alongside me.

So it was that last Friday, a self-imposed rest day when I on purpose decided to do as little as possible, I wandered into the kitchen and spotted the ingredients of an as-yet-unmade loaf of banana-nut bread on the counter.

Specifically, a loaf of banana-nut bread I had intended to make that morning, to give to our postman that afternoon. The last banana-nut bread loaf of the season, as it were.

The mail comes at varying times but usually between three and five.

The ingredients had been grouped together on the counter after dish-doing the night before so that I would see them when I came into the kitchen on Boxing Day -- when, by the way, we do no boxing* -- and be reminded to get the banana-nut bread loaf made in the morning so it would be ready when the mail came.

But if I saw those recipe components as I made coffee, nothing about them induced me to so much as touch the ingredients, much less assemble them into something edible. And now it was all but too late.

Undaunted, I activated the oven and quick as a wink had the loaf in there, baking. It started to smell good.

Audrey and Dagny arrived for a visit. Then Erica joined us. We all went out to sit on the front porch because it was a very fine day indeed, all sunshiny and warm, and Dagny loves that.

At the appropriate time I went in to check my loaf of banana-nut bread, which was all but done. I went back outside for a few more minutes.

Then I said, I'll bet the postman (who loves to receive my banana-nut bread both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas, and who had assured me he would be delivering the route on Friday) will be here any minute.

So I went inside and spread out a length of tin foil and got the loaf out of the oven and set it aside on a silicone heat-safe square, to cool.

That's when I heard Erica's voice.

Mom, he's about three doors down, she said.

So naturally I began obsessing (it's how I roll) about the fact that the bread was still hot and I couldn't possibly wrap it in the foil yet because if you do that, it sweats and the top of the loaf becomes soggy and when it's unwrapped (no I don't use that easy-release stuff, step off), the bread is sort of swampy and not just right.

So I said to Erica, Go down there (to the mailbox) and ask if he can come back!

Erica began wandering (very non-committally, I might add) down the steps toward the sidewalk which leads to the driveway which leads to the mailbox. I could see the little white truck inching towards our address.

What am I saying? I thought. He doesn't have time to come back. He wants to go home when he's finished.

So I quick-quick grabbed a spatula and in seconds the perfect (albeit very hot) loaf was on its tinfoil runway and I was wrapping it and shoving it into a leftover Christmasy bag with Andrew written in Sharpie on the bottom.

(No; the postman's name is not Andrew. Well; it may be Andrew. Even after all these years, I don't know his name. The bag had, the day before, held a gift for my son.)

I ran out the front door yelling for Erica, who had by then sidled down maybe three (of fifteen) steps. She is not by nature a hurrier, and even less so when on orders from me.

I handed my quasi-reluctant helper the bag from which too much banana-nut scented steam emanated, and I began issuing detailed instructions.

Tell him it just came out of the oven and I didn't have time to wait for it to cool because we just happened to see him coming down the street just now and since I'm sure he doesn't want to come back later for it, when it would have had time to cool, I've just wrapped it up hot and thrown it into this bag and I would never normally do that because now the loaf will sweat as it cools. So when he opens it and the top is soggy, please tell him I'm so sorry that I sort of blew it and didn't get the loaf into the oven earlier today so that it would be completely cool before I wrapped it in the foil and put it in the bag and handed it over to him, because I sort of forgot and I'm so so so sorry. Oh and tell him I said Happy New Year.

Or words to that general effect.

I think Erica may have ignored all but the first few words, this not being her first rodeo.

So then I stood anxiously beside the greenery-swagged front door to see that my directives were followed to the letter and that some other mailman hadn't taken over the route that day, in which case I could sing out that Erica need not bother after all, it was the wrong guy.

I don't dole out my loaves of fresh-baked banana-nut bread -- sweaty or not -- to just anyone, Christmas or no Christmas.

(I'm inclined to be far more Dickensian: Are there no grocery stores? Are there no bakeries?)

But indeed once I had a visual, it was confirmed that the postal employee who loves my banana-nut bread (it takes me back to my grandma's kitchen when I was a boy, he always says) was, as promised, the one driving the truck.

Erica reached the end of the driveway mailbox just in time to hand over the bread and just as I was beginning to form the trite-but-true thought Timing is Everything -- albeit with the caveat Almost, in light of the fact that the bread hadn't time to cool -- I heard my daughter say:

She just took it out of the oven!

Real bright and enthusiastic, like that was a good thing. And she handed over the bag of bread. Done and done.

I waited for her to explain why, in the case of the bread in that particular bag, it may not be such a good thing that it just came out of the oven.

But that was the sum total of her commentary. Erica, like her sister two decades before her, was disinclined to acquiesce to my request of further and most detailed explanation.

Pirate offspring.

Then: Thank you! The mailman, spotting me lurking by my front door, hollered. And he waved, and I waved, and he was gone. Trundling away down the street with his loaf of nostalgia becoming stickier by the house number.

Proving once again, if you want it said correctly (and using five hundred words when five would suffice), speak for yourself.

And that is all for now. Go and eat some leftovers.


*I'm aware it's nothing to do with pugilism, but rather with putting stuff back into boxes. We do neither.


One small child


D a g n y 's   F i r s t   C h r i s t m a s


One small child in a land of a thousand
One small dream of a Savior tonight
One small hand reaching out to the starlight
One small Savior of life
One small Savior of love

One king bringing his gold and his riches
One king ruling an army of might
One king kneeling with incense and candlelight
One King bringing us life
One King bringing us life

See the shepherds kneeling before Him
See the kings on bended knee
See the mother praising the Father
See His tiny eyelids fall

One small child in a land of a thousand
One small dream of a Savior tonight
One small hand reaching out to the starlight
One small Savior of life
One small Savior of life

= David Meece =


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6


M e r r y   C h r i s t m a s

Baby gifts


There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost -- how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wide as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
to an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

= G.K. Chesterton =


Merry Christmas

Signed, sealed, delivered: It's me and it's mine

Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then always be a pirate.


So you won't believe what I'm about to tell you. But I can prove it.

My black-hearted pirate self has been thoughtfully and humorously rendered, caricature style, in an intricately-detailed custom-made hand-carved figure so marvelously authentic, so brilliantly wrought, that upon receipt of same into my hands, it became an instant heirloom.

A classic, as it were.

When the undertaker closes the lid on me? My kids will fight over who inherits this.

Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

To avoid confusion -- and a potentially irreparable rift in the family -- I shall amend my Last Will and Testament immediately, bequeathing said objet d'art to the Columbia Museum of Art, which institution shall likely display it in a permanent collection devoted to local noodles.

There, for all of posterity, not only those who survive me but the public at large may view and marvel at this extraordinary creation.

Allow me to explain how it came to be.

For several years -- practically my whole blogging life -- I have read and enjoyed the blog of one Mari Bruins of Allendale, Michigan.

Reading My Little Corner of the World is a delight because of the friendship I treasure with its owner, a kind and special lady whom I have never had the honor of meeting in person but who, for several reasons, is important to me nonetheless.

Those fortunate enough to have become acquainted with Mari through her blog have seen many instances of the enormous God-given talent of her husband, Bob, in the area of wood carvings.

He makes furniture and stuff too. Yeah. Bob's skill is not confined to whittling, no matter how elaborate.

In his meticulously-kept woodworking shop, I do believe Bob Bruins could make just about anything except maybe an atomic bomb.

So it was that, years ago upon marveling at pictures of Bob's wood carvings displayed and discussed on Mari's blog, I may have mentioned that I sure would like to someday own a pirate carving.

As in, wouldn't it be neat if Bob carved a pirate that I could maybe buy, if I could afford it? Because I don't know what it costs to commission a Robert Bruins original carving, but if it isn't a lot, it should be.

I promptly forgot all about the whole thing. Until last Friday night.

That's when I came home to find a box on the floor beside my desk where TG had put it after retrieving it from beside the front door, where FedEx had put it.

I could tell by the return address that the package had originated from a business in Allendale, Michigan. A business where, from reading his wife's blog, I know Bob Bruins is a manager.

Still, you could have blown me down with a feather when, upon unwrapping the box and a second box contained within the first box, my own pirate self in effigy emerged.

A hand-carved Jenny the Pirate standing approximately ten inches high, with a plate affixed identifying said treasure as such.

An original signed Robert Bruins art piece. My very own original signed Robert Bruins art piece.

I was a touch overwhelmed. TG and Erica were present when I opened my gift and honestly, their peals of laughter told me that Bob and Mari Bruins had pulled off a major coup.

So naturally I summoned the two miscreants on me pirate cellie and we had a conference call in which Mari revealed amid much chuckling on all sides that she'd never forgotten my stated wish to own a Robert Bruins carving in the form of a pirate.

And at some point in time this now quickly-waning calendar twelvemonth, Mari suggested to her beloved that this be the year when he created said pirate.

Bob chimed in, claiming he enjoyed making the pirate so much (using a photo of me to approximate my eyebrows, my rouged cheeks, my red-lipsticked lips, my black hair, my large-ish nose, and my curmudgeonly gaze, if not technically my normal wardrobe), that he was amused to the point of laughter multiple times during the process.

Robert Bruins is positively an elf! Aided and abetted by his sweet but cagey wife. She/they may be pirates same as me.

But don't you love my pirate attire, non-standard for me as it is? The coat, the crossbody belt, the red vest, the white ruffled blouse? Also I am sporting gold pirate swag on each hand. 

Jenny the Pirate's sword is magnificent, and the hat -- well. Pirate perfection.

You'll notice the boots, clearly of well-traveled genuine leather, a must-have for any pirate worth his/her salt, and the wood planks on which they are poised -- the deck, no doubt, of a beautiful boat. Ship.

Uh-oh. One or two pieces of eight seem to have escaped from the pirate's well-stuffed parcel of pelf.

Apparently there's a leak.

Even so, never shall I be without my effects. And the whole thing has that wonderful wood-and-varnish smell. I love it to the entire ocean and back.

When you have a moment, check out Bob's website By His Hands: Caricature Carvings by Robert Bruins.

So named due to Bob's giving all the credit to his Creator for the talent in his own hands.

In fact, Bob places a minuscule but significant handprint somewhere on each of his custom creations.

A special card affixed by a bit of twine to my pirate's leg reads:

When God formed man he figuratively left his hand prints on his creation. Genesis 1:27 says we are made in the image of God, reflecting his attributes and ways.

"By His Hands" carvings are the outcome of the creative gift God has given me. The mini hand print you will find on my pieces is there to give credit where it is due, to God alone.


Jenny the Pirate's tiny symbolic handprint is strategically placed on its shoulder, where I most often need gentle nudges in the right direction.

As it should be.

Ever shall this magnificent and unique gift be displayed with love and pride in my home.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Bob -- you're a diamond, mate -- and Mari too. I may be a black sheep and a really bad egg, but I'm a truly grateful pirate.

Now bring me that horizon.


Happy Monday ~ Merry Week-Before-Christmas