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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No-Words Wednesday


Happy Wednesday

Courtesy of the United States Ghostal Service

I have a sad strange tale to tell.

Its particulars have developed over the last several months, and a couple of weeks ago, the matter came to a resolution an unusually unsatisfying sort-of conclusion.

They say that when Mercury is in retrograde -- as it's said to be on an average of three times per year -- Mercury (and other things) seem to be moving backwards.

As astrologers are fond of saying: As above, so below.

So it has been with several items of our mail. They seem to be going backwards, that is.

The first time I had an inkling that something was amiss, was last fall. 

I do not remember the details because I considered it a one-off and dismissed it from me overworked pirate brain.

But it concerned a piece of mail, which someone (I don't recall who but I believe it was an item of business, rather than personal, correspondence) reported to TG had been returned to them, marked Undeliverable As Addressed.

Except, the item was addressed correctly, and completely, and legibly (as in, typed). And we have lived at this address for nearly fourteen years.

We scratched our heads and soon, overcome by events, forgot about it. These things happen. Glitches, I think they're called.

Until early February, when my mother reported that the birthday card she had sent to TG in late January, had been returned to her.

Marked Undeliverable As Addressed.

My mother knows our address and her handwriting is most adequate.

Let's pull over and park here for a mo.

According to the United States Postal Service:

Undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail is a clunky name for a big problem: Mail not reaching its intended recipient because the address is incorrect, incomplete, or illegible. ... But the costs of UAA go beyond just returning, destroying, or forwarding undeliverable mail.

I'd be quasi-sympathetic if I -- or those sending mail to me and mine -- were part of the problem.

But we're not. No one sends us mail addressed incorrectly, incompletely, or illegibly. No one.

Shortly afterwards, my daughter, Stephanie, who lives in North Carolina, reported that her mother-in-law, Debbie, who lives in Pennsylvania, had sent me a thank-you note for a Christmas gift.

And that in short order, Debbie's note had been returned to her.

You guessed it: Undeliverable as addressed.

I sputtered and fumed and apologized to Stephanie, asking her to convey my vexation to Debbie for the inconvenience of having a properly addressed letter -- with fifty-five cents worth of postage affixed -- returned to her as undeliverable.

In due time, my daughter had a visit from her in-laws and the subject returned-to-sender thank-you note was surrendered to her, and subsequently hand-delivered to me.

The sight of that letter, perfectly addressed in Debbie's beautiful handwriting -- nothing about the address incomplete, incorrect, or illegible -- with the big yellow Undeliverable As Addressed sticker plastered across it, incensed me.

I decided to confront the postman, pirate style.

When I heard the annoying insect-buzz of the mail truck moving along the street one day, I grabbed the letter and headed down the driveway to wait beside the mailbox.

No; I was not rude. I was polite.

I've told you before about our postman; he's a mostly nice guy who now and then has been known to get testy. He's only a curmudgeon on days that end in y.

There was the time during the summer of 2016 when he nearly beat my door down to tell me that my dog had been in his way as he attempted to deliver the mail, so he'd driven up into the driveway and beeped, but getting no response had been forced to carry the mail all the way up the steps to the door, and hadn't I heard him beeping?

No, I hadn't. Big deal. And -- another minor point -- I didn't have a dog. My dog was dead. Still is.

(This took place in the dog-lean months between our beloved Javier's passing -- on April 11, 2016, three years ago yesterday -- and the acquisition of my adored Rizzo on January 7, 2017.)

Mr. Postman was bent all out of shape that day. But I took my mail from his hand and declined to engage, because at the moment I thought that the dog he'd encountered may have been Andrew's Rambo, who was on the premises at the time.

And I thought it may have been possible that Rambo, who enjoyed lolling in the front yard, may have set a paw in the road for five seconds or so before losing interest.

(It turned out that it wasn't Rambo at all, though. The postman had accused me of being irresponsible with respect to a dog that not only did I not own, but whose identity is to this day unknown to me.)

But I digress.

So anyway, on the day I decided to confront the United States Government -- in the form of our postal delivery person -- I had one simple question.

To wit:

Why is it that a trend has developed within the last few months, of our completely, correctly, and legibly addressed mail being returned to the senders of said mail, marked Undeliverable As Addressed?

And I produced Debbie's thank-you note as evidence.

I wasn't asking for the answers to all the riddles of the universe. I kept it simple, concise, and to the point. I accused no one of anything; I asked a valid question. That's all.

And naturally -- naturally -- what I got was instant defensiveness.

I don't know, but I know that I didn't do it, the postman replied.

Well, I said, I'm not really interested in who did it, because that doesn't matter. What I need to know is, why is this happening?

It's become a trend -- four pieces of mail that I'm aware of within three months have been returned to the sender, marked Undeliverable As Addressed -- and I just want to know why, and what can be done about it.

Well, he said -- patiently, as though addressing the village idiot -- you're talking about a drop of water in Lake Murray.

No, I said. I'm talking about four pieces of mail in as many months, that have been correctly, completely, and legibly addressed to this house -- which is in an established neighborhood on a labeled street and whose mailbox is clearly marked with a number -- being returned to the sender marked Undeliverable As Addressed.

I waited.

He started again.

Well, I do this route nine out of ten days and I know you all and I would never do that but someone substituting on the route for me, not knowing you, might do it if they were on the wrong street and realized it wasn't the right house or if they weren't sure if the mail was yours and they felt like they didn't have time to get to the bottom of it so they just put that sticker on it and sent it back because they figured it would eventually get to you blah blah blah ...

Or some sort of malarkey like that which, I think you'll agree, makes no sense whatsoever.

The pieces of mail were clearly, completely, and legibly addressed. The street is identified; the house is marked with a number. The mail delivery person has that one job: to deliver the mail to that address.

I responded:

But if the mail is correctly, completely, and legibly addressed, and the delivery person has the express job of delivering said piece of mail to that house, which is on a clearly, completely, legibly marked street and has a clear, complete, legible number on the mailbox in front of it, why would they slap a great big lie on that mail in the form of that yellow sticker that says Undeliverable As Addressed and stick it back into the pile, to be sent back to the person who paid for postage and mailed it in good faith?

It's just wrong, I pointed out, to put that sticker on there. It's a great big lie.

It became obvious to me at that point, that our mailman was sick and tired of discussing the issue with me.

Look, he said, gazing out over the steering wheel of his mail truck as though searching for a faint light at the end of a hundred-mile-long pitch-dark tunnel. I know of two people who might have done this in my absence. I'll make a note of it and talk to them and try to get to the bottom of it.

I knew that was as good as it was going to get. I bit my tongue and did not thank the postman (yes; sarcastically) for condescending to do those things for me. 

Neither did I mention that a simple I'm sure sorry that's been happening, Miz Weber, and it shouldn't have, and I'll do everything in my power to see that it doesn't happen again because there's no excuse for it would have been nice to hear.

I took my belated but no less sincere thank-you note from Debbie back inside the house, and put it where I keep such treasures, and did my best to forget the whole thing.

And that is all for now.


Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend


Wednesday Words


Happy Wednesday

Hung up on a technicality

Before we get started, let me point out that, technically, what follows is not my story to tell. As in, it did not happen to me firsthand, nor did I witness the events.

But who pays much attention to technicalities? Not I, if I can help it.

The tale was related to me this past Wednesday by my hairdresser, Alan. I've told you about Alan before.

To refresh your memory, Alan is a southern gentleman who technically (there's that word again) qualifies as a senior citizen. But he's one of those who are so young at heart, you don't notice his chronological age, and in fact when you are reminded of it, you're always surprised.

Maybe it's the short and spiky dyed-blond hair. Or the single small earring. Or the fact that he and his two equally-senior-citizen brothers regularly take motorcycle trips together.

They drive Harleys.

Alan is a veteran of the United States Navy and a devoted husband to Kathy, his wife of over forty years. Together they are parents of one adult son, and the grandparents of two adorable children.

You may remember (or not) that when Alan and Kathy got married in the early '70s, Alan designed and made (with his own hands -- as in, he sewed it) Kathy's entire wedding ensemble. Even her hat and her shoes.

He learned to sew while in the Navy.

Have you ever heard anything like that? Not the sewing part, but the part about an average guy creating his fianceé's wedding clothes?

It's utterly charming. They were a handsome couple too, and she looked beautiful on that day. He carries a picture and he showed it to me.

Alan, a South Carolina native, lives and works on several acres out in "the sticks" as we say around here. It's technically a pine forest, but Alan and Kathy call it home. 

Speaking of home -- that's where Kathy is, ninety-five percent of the time. Her health isn't what it used to be.

Alan's salon -- "Tha Cut'n Shed," as it is known formally -- is a rustic 500-square-foot metal-roofed building that his brother constructed for him on the property.

It's got a wraparound porch with galvanized pipe for railing, around which Alan has planted many flowering shrubs which he loves to tend.

Inside, there's a tiny but immaculate restroom, a tiny but inviting waiting area with two chairs, magazines, and an essential oil diffuser, a discreet but see-through lattice partition, and then a dryer chair, another lean-back chair at the hair-washing sink -- Alan uses that chair to relax in when he's not working on a client -- and the chair where you sit to get your hair cut.

There's no room for anything else. But there's lots of natural light and the surroundings are as unpretentious as they are pleasant. And there's peace.

I drive forty minutes every five weeks to have Alan trim and style my hair, as I have done since late 2004.

When and if Alan retires, I don't even want to think about how I'll manage to find anyone who can cut my hair the way Alan does.

Actually, if you want to get all technical? I know that I won't. I may have to shave it off and wear wigs.

Besides his prodigious talents as a hairdresser, there's Alan himself, who is the most kind and considerate of gentlemen. He could be the male archetype for hairdresser-as-therapist.

Because what he does is, he listens. He enjoys hearing about what's been going on with you. He remembers names and events, and asks questions about things you've discussed in the past.

He takes no liberties of any kind. As I said: Alan is a gentleman. For years, he called me "Miz Weber." What can I do for you today, Miz Weber? he'd politely inquire as I got settled in the cut'n chair and shrouded with a cape.

Finally, sometime around the dawn of the Obama administration, I persuaded him to call me by my front name of Jenny. Which he has done ever since.

Most of my family have met him and a few have even used his services at one time or another.

Alan's simply a prince of a man. He has one job and he does it extremely well. And his other job -- being a friend to his many loyal and longtime clients -- comes as naturally to him as breathing.

Speaking of clients -- I don't know how many Alan has, but I know there isn't much turnover. Most ladies (and gentlemen), having found Alan, realize what they've got and treasure their spot on his calendar.

He gets new clients, if he wants them, the old fashioned way -- by strangers being so impressed with a lady's haircut as she is out in public, that they stop to ask who cuts her hair.

That's what happened a few weeks ago. Alan got a call from a lady he didn't know. She'd been referred by a loyal longtime client, whose hair this new would-be client had openly admired.

She needed a significant amount of help with her own hair. Alan told me that he spent forty-five minutes with her on the phone for that first call, during which she related her hair troubles in great detail, and he advised and discussed with her what might be done.

Ultimately she made an appointment, for about a week out.

You should know at this juncture that Alan works three -- maybe four -- days a week, and he's busy. He does not work weekends and there's no such thing as a walk-in appointment.

But he managed to move some clients around and clear his schedule so that he could devote a two- to three-hour block of time to the lady with the many hair woes. The services she needed would take that long to render, he said.

And so the appointment was set and phone numbers were exchanged and so forth.

On the day before he was to meet with the new customer, as a courtesy, Alan took the time to call the lady and politely remind her of the impending appointment, and to make sure she knew how to find the salon, and to advise her of the forms of payment he accepts (no plastic).

She responded that she was good to go and that she'd see him on the next day.

The next day came. The hour of the appointment rolled around. But the new client didn't.

Alan waited for over an hour before doing a final sweep and tidying of his work area, and closing up shop and driving home -- that being the comfortable house you can see through the trees from the salon window, during the winter when there aren't as many leaves.

The next morning, still never having heard from the lady, Alan sent her a text. He reminded her that he'd rearranged his entire schedule in order to grant her a lengthy appointment, on the strength of her having been recommended by a longtime client.

He reminded her that she'd had his phone number and could have called or texted if she found it necessary to cancel at the last minute.

And he told her that he didn't think they were a good fit and he'd appreciate it if she'd take her business elsewhere.

I'm sure he was kinder and more diplomatic than I would have been in the same situation.

And I think he was justified in letting her know that, even if she were to be so inclined, he wasn't interested in renewing the appointment she'd failed to keep.

Then Alan read to me the lengthy and accusatory text he received in response to his text.

Naturally I don't remember its contents word for word, but I'll give you the gist of it.

She said that Alan was obviously an arrogant man, and that, because he WAS a man, he couldn't possibly "understand" why she had not kept their appointment.

I don't know if you've heard about the recent murder near the campus of the University of South Carolina, which is in downtown Columbia.

The one in which an inebriated girl, leaving a bar at two o'clock in the morning, summoned a Uber and then got willingly into a car which she believed was said Uber, but which in fact wasn't.

The driver of that car kidnapped and subsequently murdered the young woman, and dumped her remains several miles away in the dense foliage off of an isolated country road.

What does any of this have to do with Alan's delinquent would-be customer? you may be wondering.

What it has to do with it is that, in explaining her failure to keep the appointment, the lady cited "the USC murder." She said that she'd gotten to the point in Perry Taylor Road, Leesville, South Carolina, where one turns their automobile onto a dirt road to drive approximately fifty yards to The Cut'n Shed.

When she realized how off-the-beaten-path the salon was, she said she was overcome by fear "because I don't know you, and because of the USC murder," and continued driving, unable to convince herself that it was safe to go down the path and keep her hair appointment.

(My question at this point is, how could she not have already known that the salon is in a remote location? It's not a secret; anyone telling someone about Alan's setup would mention the unique situation of his salon and its environs.)

Another salient point is, does she really think that a hardworking self-employed senior citizen luring you to your death in his hair salon -- in broad daylight, a stone's throw from the house where his wife is going about her day -- whom you yourself sought out, not the other way around, would spend forty-five minutes talking to you on the phone -- sight unseen -- about your hair, when he didn't even know you?


It's one thing to keep a sharp eye. I wish the young woman who left the bar a few nights ago after several hours of drinking had had her wits about her enough to realize that she was imperiling herself when she got -- alone -- into the car of someone she knew even less than one "knows" one's Uber driver.

(Ladies. Don't call a Uber unless you're going to be accompanied on the ride by, at the very least, another lady or -- better -- several people. Ideally, don't summon a Uber unless you are in the company of an able-bodied male whose presence would deter most malefactors.)

But it's another thing to, in the aftermath of such a senseless crime, be afraid to get your hair permed and cut because the salon is situated down a dirt road and you've never met the (highly-recommended senior citizen) stylist in person.

I understand apprehension. I understand enlightened self-interest. What I don't understand is, having been overcome by fear in a situation, not having enough consideration for the other person to at least give them a call and explain.

It's not as though Alan could have murdered her through the telephone.

Most of all, I'm amazed that someone could conflate two scenarios -- a young, impaired, foolish girl getting into a car driven by a young black male outside a bar at two o'clock in the morning and a middle-aged lady, sober as a judge (I assume), keeping an appointment with a seventy-year-old hairdresser at three o'clock in the afternoon -- to the point that she was unable to turn her car down a path and at least check the place out before making a decision.

I told Alan that I had a mental image of the fortunate collective of his loyal longtime clients -- I'd be on the front row -- standing off to one side of his hair-cutting cabin and being amazed -- even amused -- at the sight of the lady being afraid to keep an appointment with him.

There's being safe -- make no mistake; I'm all for that -- and there's being afraid of your own shadow. 

Which doesn't get you anywhere. But maybe that's okay because you're having a bad hair day anyway.

And that is all for now.


Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend


Ain't we got fun

There are but two months of the year within which someone in our immediate family does not have a birthday.

Those months are July and November.

But give us time.

Click to embiggen

As for the other months, the two with the most birthdays -- three each -- are March and June.

We have one each in January (TG), February (Little Andrew), April (Allissa), August (Grandpa Henry), September (Stephanie), October (Brittany), and December (Melanie).

We have two in May: Joel on the first day and Erica on the next-to-last.

We have three in June: Dagny, Chad, and my mother.

And we have three in March: me, Audrey, and Andrew.

I lead off in March each year, and for someone who once had a birthday party given in their honor to which no guests came, I do pretty well, thanks to my loving and generous family.

Then at the tail-end of March we celebrate Audrey and Andrew, who were born exactly six years and one week apart.

This year we had one party for Audrey only, on her actual birthday. Everyone attended except for our Brittany, who was out of town -- but her little brother, Garrett, was staying with Andrew for a few days and he came along.

(Garrett is a kind and considerate young man of 13 with a sweet smile and lovely manners. He played Legos with Dagny so patiently while waiting for the meal to be served, that she is still asking when Garrett's coming back.)

Since most of us are pretty serious about eating low-carb (until it comes to dessert), we had London broil and plenty of salad, along with baked potatoes for the men, who need more carbs than we ladies.

After supper, we had cake and cupcakes and coffee.

Notice my bunny-on-his-back cake stand. There's a story behind him.

About a year ago, I came across this bunny on Amazon. I was so taken with him that I read most of the reviews by those who had purchased one.

Click to embiggen

Although the reviews were all positive, one lady who'd bought the bunny cautioned would-be buyers to be aware of his size.

This bunny is maybe four inches high and the plate is six inches across.

In other words, not a full-sized cake plate. Even though, when you look at a picture of him on Amazon without any treats on the plate, he appears to be big enough to hold a regular cake.

But it wasn't his size that made me demur and ultimately not buy him. It was his price.

What was it? you may ask. But I don't know. I don't remember what it was; I only remember that it was too much.

Or, more than I was willing to pay for a tiny bunny cupcake stand.

Fast forward about a year, to a few weeks ago. Audrey and I were at TJ Maxx -- one of our favorite haunts. I was not looking for a cake stand or, in fact, anything in the way of dishes.

But on an Easter display table at the front of the store, I saw the tiny bunny cake stand that had captivated me on Amazon.

And guess how much he was? Seven ninety-nine.


I checked that night to see what the bunny had been (and still is) on Amazon: Twenty-three ninety-nine.

So ... twenty-four dollars or one-third that amount? I'll take the latter. And I did, and yes, I feel as though I scored quite the retail coup there.

On Audrey's birthday, she and Dagny hung out with me for a good part of the day. We went to Publix for her birthday balloon, and fresh flowers (which she loves), and for a six-inch cake to display on the bunny plate.

We also got six chocolate-frosted cupcakes. Just enough for everyone at the dinner to have a little something sweet, with no (or very few) leftovers.

Turns out there was one cupcake left (I gave it to Garrett to enjoy later), and a small slice of the cake (which I sent home with Audrey).

The following Tuesday, in Andrew's birthday week if not on the actual day, we all met out at his and Brittany's place for the second party. 

I had saved back a few of Audrey's presents so she'd have more to open. And of course, there were gifts for Andrew.

He cooked chicken and hamburgers on the grill in his outdoor kitchen. It has been so cool this spring, though! And damp too. So we did not sit outside but rather gathered indoors, around the fireplace.

The meal was simple but delicious and Erica had brought pies -- cherry and pecan -- for dessert. We made coffee and everyone chowed down on slices of pie before the honorees opened their gifts.

Yes; we make sort of a big deal about birthdays. I guess it's my fault because I'm the one who drives it, but I feel as though everyone ought to be made to feel special on their birthday.

It's only one day a year.

Until the next one. Which for us, is a few weeks hence, on Tax Day ... when we will gather in Charlotte with our North Carolina kinfolk to celebrate Allissa turning eleven.

I've already got her presents, and most of them are wrapped and ready to go.

The cool weather continues ... this morning while I drank my coffee, it was thirty-eight degrees with a steady rain.

We didn't have many days like that even when it was winter.

The dogwoods and azaleas were thrashing and shivering, but not to worry. They'll be basking in warmth and bright sunshine again in a day or two.

And that is all for now.


Happy Tuesday


Wednesday Words


Happy Wednesday

Dagny contributes a verse

Audrey sent me this picture.

It seems that our Dagny created the above tableau and requested that a photo of said scene be sent directly to Mamaw "for the blog."

Isn't that just the cree most creative thing you've seen in a long time?

There may be genius lurking behind that pretty face.

Seriously, though ... after contemplating whether to suggest that we immediately contact a kiddie psychologist, I concluded that Dagny simply watches perhaps more than her fair share of Elsa and Anna YouTubes.

And has been corrupted inspired by these small but mighty, vinyl but vivacious ... influencers.

Ergo this -- ahem -- art installation should be taken at face value.

No cause for alarm.

I'm sure.

All the same, I'm going to lie down.

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday


Poe me some more

When I returned home from Baltimore, in a fit of renewed fangirl fanaticism I ordered a Poe mug and Poe-ka-Dot socks that had been on my Amazon wish list since last fall.

I had put them there to give the family inexpensive gift ideas. They bought me even nicer stuff instead.

But I had rewards credits to spend, so I got the socks and the mug and have been enjoying both more than I should.

The coffee is a given in any weather but it's been right chilly here, and I've needed those socks.

Would you look at that whorl of steam I captured (not by any talent I possess, but still) with my phone, as the freshly perked coffee went into that mug?

Sometimes I have to stop and marvel.

Speaking of marveling, there is the beauty of my two younger daughters to gaze upon each Sunday, when we're all at church together.

This past Sunday, we were all wearing black. Like a congress of ravens. Did you know that if we were actual ravens and had bad intentions, we'd be called an unkindness of ravens? Or a conspiracy of ravens? It's the raven equivalent to a murder of crows. 

Now I should throw in here, I wear black ninety-five percent of the time. It's my favorite color. Ravenesque.

My girls wear it a lot too so it's not really unusual to see all of us wearing black at the same time. We consider it fashionable rather than funereal.

(In this case, I had chosen a skirt that was brown with a flocked black velvet pattern, so I wasn't totally blacked out. The necessary pop of color was added by my handbag, which was mustard yellow.)

But in a wrinkle that's almost unheard of on any particular day, Audrey and Erica were wearing identical sweaters.

Back to those Christmas wish lists. Audrey had this black crushed-velvet sweater on hers last year.

So naturally, Erica bought it for her. But unlike me, who left it to the fates as to whether I'd receive the Poe mug and Poe-ka-Dot socks, Audrey wasn't willing to risk not getting that sweater.

She bought it for herself. To wear during the Christmas season.

Erica, when she learned of the situation, did what any girl would do: she hung the superfluous sweater in her own closet.

And they forgot to text one another on Sunday, to determine whether the coast was clear to wear it without twinning.

But I thought it was utterly charming -- they say twinning is winning -- so we pressed Brittany into service, to take these pictures of us together.

It's fitting that I show them to you today, because today is Audrey's birthday.

We will be celebrating her all day, and having a party tonight, and another party next Tuesday to further honor her and also Andrew, whose birthday is one week from today.

My spring babies! Three of my four came in spring and I think that's the loveliest time to have a baby.

So I think I'll Poe another cup and think about that some more, before getting busy.

And that is all for now.


Happy Weekend :: Happy Spring

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