Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

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Belay That!

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

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

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

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

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

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

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

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

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

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II Corinthians 4

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

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

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

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

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Tuesday
Jun262012

We are all a reflection of her

My mother turned seventy-five yesterday.

She's an exceedingly young seventy-five so we had a lively celebration at the beautiful new house of my sister Kay in Greenville.

Here's who was there:

My mother and her husband of twenty-nine years, Henry. He'll be eighty in August and he's very young too;

My sister Kay and her husband of nearly thirty-six years, Pierre-Philippe;

Their daughters Susanna and Joanna, who live at home;

Me and my TG, and our Erica;

My nephew Michael (who is still recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome), his wife, Marie, and their three sons: two-year-old Tobias and newborn twins Simon and Joram;

Marie's sister Hannah;

My niece Genevieve, her husband Damon, and their three-month-old baby daughter, Ellender (she goes by Ella);

and

My beloved Aunt Linda, my mother's only sister.

Isn't that wonderful? I will answer for you: Yes.

There was a big grim reaper balloon, scythe and all, looming over a blazing birthday confection. Emblazoned on it was this reassurance:  

Relax ... I'm just here for the cake!

He added an appropriate modicum of the macabre, which is why I brought him.

And we had delicious chicken that my brother-in-law prepared on the grill, along with so many succulent salads and fresh vegetables, I nearly died of enthusiasm.

Instead of a cake there were tangy-sweet cupcakes prepared by my pretty nieces, who are talented in the culinary department as well as in many other departments.

Mom got many thoughtful presents, including gorgeous earrings, lovely things to eat, and a gazing ball for her flower garden.

I cleverly gave her a bottle of Arpege because she wore it when she was a young woman.

We laughed and talked and took pictures of babies and carried on until nearly nine o'clock.

And then it began to rain and TG, Erica, and I had the longish road home but on the way there I looked at my pictures.

When I came to this next one (which I set up on purpose because I thought it was so funny, mom having a gazing ball for a head), I thought:

We are all a reflection of her.

And in this case that is a significantly fortunate thing.

Happy Birthday, Mom! And many more.

Speaking of many more, here are some additional photos. It's a slideshow! Sit and watch if you wish, or double-click to view the pictures at SmugMug.

That is all! Stay cool!

Saturday
Jun232012

Peach out, homie

Have you ever had a ripe South Carolina peach?

No?

Then my friend, in the words of an undertaker who once gave me a large quantity of said luscious local produce (no, not as a bribe, what on earth do you take me for):

You have not lived.

I'm reminded of a quote attributed to the great Ronald Reagan:

A people free to choose will always choose peach.

And then there was the sage observation by Shakespeare:

A peach is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.

Swami Sivananda was nothing if not succinct:

Complete peach equally reigns between two mental waves.

While Eleanor Roosevelt offered this practical insight:

It isn't enough to talk about peach. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.


Ralph Waldo Emerson likewise declined to beat around the bush:

Nobody can bring you peach but yourself.

Thomas Jefferson, as ever elegant and erudite, summed it up thus:

Peach and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

This weekend, wherever you may be:

Give peach a chance!

That's all I am saying.

Thursday
Jun212012

Tilt or wilt

OK so we have this outdoor furniture and like most of similar such equipment, it is outfitted with a great big umbrella.

Of course I prefer the word bumbershoot to umbrella.

Although I do like the word umbrella, how often does one get to say bumbershoot?

Rarely, in my experience. It's the sort of word that just has to be blurted out.

But I do believe if I am not mistaken, that the word bumbershoot is commonly meant to denote the handheld type of device that keeps rain off you.

As opposed to the large, elaborately anchored apparatus -- usually situated in the middle of a table designed for al fresco dining -- intended to keep the sun off you.

Anyway, be that as it may, last summer toward the end of August I told TG we needed to replace our sunshade umbrella as it was looking tattered.

So off we went to Sam's Club and found exactly what we wanted, and I was excited because on the picture that was attached to our new umbrella, it was tilted.

Our old umbrella did not tilt. You had two choices: open or closed.

The rakishly tilted umbrella picture spoke to me of a certain continental sensibility.

Something somehow chic and sophisticated, out of the ordinary. Sort of Riviera-ish, South-of-France-ish. Aren't all the umbrellas tilted there? Because they are copying what we do in South Carolina?

I will thank you not to snicker.

At any rate last summer when we got our new umbrella home and TG installed it, I immediately requested that it be continentally tilted.

And it wasn't his fault at all but he couldn't figure out how to tilt it.

He told me as much and that sent me running for the large, brightly-colored card that had been attached to our new umbrella when we bought it.

I read every word of the card, both sides, all four languages -- and YES, for your information one of them was French -- and found nary a syllable pertaining to the tilting of our newly-acquired umbrella.

TG peered and probed and snatched the card from my hand and perused and peered again and came up with nothing.

Our umbrella remained in one of two positions for the rest of the summer: open or closed. We were tiltless. And when the fall came, TG closed it a final time and stowed it in the garage.

So about three weeks ago we hauled our umbrella out and set it up and opened it. As opposed to leaving it closed.

I tried not to think -- or be bitter -- about the fact that it should tilt but didn't.

I often sit outside at the table with a soft drink, my phone, and my laptop, writing. And believe me, at certain times of day if your umbrella does not tilt, you will wilt.

But I was living with it, not wanting to be a nag, until the Bothertons moved in next door.

Now, Jim and Suzanne had an umbrella -- a dark green one -- on their patio and I noticed they'd left it when they moved. I never saw it tilted.

But the Bothertons? They brought with them an umbrella so fancy, so advanced, it makes a mere tilted umbrella appear hopelessly passe.

See --

Now who's a nosy neighbor? Mea culpa! Guilty as sin! But I had to show you, didn't I?

Anyway when I saw that, it was like throwing red meat in front of a hungry dog.

"TG," I said. "TG my love. I want our umbrella tilted and I want it tilted today. Savvy?"

I might have said it nicer than that.

Naturally my dearest love, squinting and scowling, hustled right over to said straight-arrow umbrella and began peering and prodding the same as he did last summer.

"Don't you just, like, push in right there?" I wondered out loud, pointing, only trying to be helpful already.

"Well no! Obviously you need some kind of a tool," was my darling's quasi-exasperated reply.

"But it didn't come with a tool!" I said, making every attempt to remain calm -- or what for me passes for calm, use your imagination -- but envisioning a second tiltless summer and barely able to tolerate the prospect.

"It only came with a card and the card didn't explain how to tilt it!" I reminded my inamorato.

"Go look it up on the Internet," he instructed.

(I look everything up on the Internet. I've probably looked YOU up on the Internet.)

I gave a dramatic sigh and stomped toward the house -- becuase that's just what I do -- and as I went I asked TG if our umbrella had a first name.

Like O-S-C-A-R, only not that.

Or a second name, like M-A-Y-E-R, only of course not that.

"Towa!" He shouted after me. "T-O-W-A."

I hotfooted it to my computer and in the Google search field I might or might not have typed: "How to tilt your Towa."

You won't believe!

The first result was an ask-type forum where in recent days someone had been a voice similar to mine, crying in the wilderness: "We bought a 10-foot Towa umbrella from Sam's Club. It's supposed to be tiltable but we can't figure out how to tilt it. There were no instructions. Any suggestions?"

And beneath it, an elegantly simple and excruciatingly reasonable solution:

"When it's fully cranked open, just turn the crank one more time and it'll tilt."

Oh.

I went back outside to where our umbrella stood, in the fully open position. TG had left the scene to do something else.

I grasped the crank and turned one time.

Tilt.

See? It pays to be cranky.

And now I shall not wilt for we have tilt.

Remember: Google your problems away!

And stay cool on this, the longest day of the year.

That is all.

Monday
Jun182012

One of these things is not like the others

I know it's Monday and you probably ate too much on Father's Day and you're tired and, like I said, it's Monday.

But in the interest of endeavoring to sharpen what may be less-than-nimble minds, I invite you to take a wee quiz.

It's four questions and they are all the same.

Here we go.

Which of these things is not like the others?

A. Prickly Pears
B. Warm Fuzzies
C. Jenny
D. Curmudgeons

If you chose "B. Warm Fuzzies," YAY for you!

Because that is correct!

I don't know if you're aware of this but I am a decidedly grumpy sort of person. You can ask anyone.

For example:

I don't do smarm. At all, ever;

I never spin it cuddly;

I decline to distribute synthetic sympathy; and

I'm not all that sociable.

I know, right? News flash.

At the same time I am very friendly.

Please do figure that out and when you have, let me know what you came up with.

Now, if you want Mister Nice Guy eight days a week, you are looking for my TG.

(Opposites attract after all. I like his sweetness and he likes my tartness. Mingled, we are potable.)

At any rate you need to know all of the above in order to fully appreciate what comes next. Meantime you're totally on a roll so let's proceed to the next question.

This one has to do with the neighborhood where I live:

Which of these things is not like the others?

A. New Next-Door Neighbors
B. Former Next-Door Neighbors
C. Interesting People
D. Respectful People

If you picked "A. New Next-Door Neighbors," you are absolutely correct. You get a gold star!

As an added bonus you will not be invited to my house.

Allow me to elaborate.

Our former next-door neighbors, Suzanne and Jim, moved away a few months ago. They are getting up in years and wanted to live closer to their children and grandchilden. They still live in South Carolina, only farther north.

Right around the time they put their house on the market, Jim saw TG and me out in the yard one day and told us of his and Suzanne's plans.

We were sorry to hear it because they'd been the best neighbors anyone could ever imagine asking for, if one were to ask for neighbors, which I would not do.

Not long afterwards, one day when I was getting ready to go out, our doorbell rang.

I don't like to hear that. I'm rarely expecting anyone. In fact I would NEVER put out a welcome mat.

Or if I did it would look like this one:

So anyway, I opened up the door and who was standing there but a portly gentleman who introduced himself as Mr. Botherton.*

He said he and his wife were "looking to buy" the house next door, so "we're neighbors."

"We are?" I inquired acidly.

"Well, we're going to be," he assured me.

"So you've bought the house next door?" I asked.

"No but if we do, we'll be neighbors," he insisted.

?????

I just looked at him. Then he had a question for me:

Leaning in, quasi-conspiratorially: "Why are they selling, anyway?"

That did it. I dropped the moonlight-and-magnolias act.

"Sir, I do not know," I said (although I did know). "Why don't you ask them?"

He looked crestfallen. "I can't ask them," he said. "I don't know them."

Too bad! I told him I had to go and he left.

(When we moved in, Jim and Suzanne appeared on our doorstep with a luscious pineapple. They introduced themselves politely and asked a grand total of zero nosy questions. Whole thing took five minutes.)

Like I said, they were wonderful neighbors. Unlike me.

The Bothertons will have to buy their own pineapple.

Well anyway, a couple of months elapsed and next thing we knew, one day the Bothertons were showing signs of preparing to move in next door.

I don't spend much time in the front yard so I have been spared encounters with Mr. and Mrs. B.

TG is not so lucky. Mr. Botherton engages him almost daily as they are puttering in our respective yards. Sometimes TG has to stand still and listen for, like, twenty minutes.

He doesn't do that even for me.

Mr. B talks TG's ear off about everything from a rare baseball print he's lucky enough to own, to the renovations they made to the house before moving in, to which pool company they've chosen, to lamenting the fact that they didn't properly label their packed boxes, to whether their dogs are aggravating us (no, but their owners are, I would have said).

So anyway, the other day my one-eared TG had been in and out of the house, working around the place don't you know, and he'd left the garage door open.

Now, you might as well be aware, when our garage door is open that is NOT a tacit invitation for you to barge in and walk up the steps to our (windowed) kitchen door, peer in, and ring the doorbell.

If you have permission to enter my house that way, you don't have to knock or ring. Just come in. Your last name had better be Weber or a select few other names, though.

So imagine my potential chagrin when on the day in question (which turned out to be the Bothertons' Official Moving Day), while all the way across our kitchen from said garage-access door and down several steps into our very private family room, comfortably situated in my recliner and writing on my laptop, I heard the doorbell.

I set my work aside, struggled out of my chair, and climbed the steps. That's when I saw her.

Mrs. Botherton (whom I've never met and to whom I have not been introduced, even slightly) had plastered her face to the window of the door leading into my kitchen.

I hustled across my half-acre of kitchen floor and opened the door.

This is exactly what happened.

Training her eyes somewhere to the left of my midsection, speaking into thin air, without even the barest of preambles she blurted:

"Can I have a paring knife I can't find my knives." Then she gasped for breath, bent over and let out a loud, mirthless laugh, which she directed at the space beside my feet.

I should tell you at this juncture, not for nothing but Mrs. B's physical proportions make me look svelte by comparison. Draw your own conclusions but I will say, there is a lot of elastic involved. So I think she was winded by the walk from next door.

"Oh, sure," I said with all the enthusiasm I could muster, which I can assure you would have fit into the left nostril of a pygmy flea, with room left over for an anvil.

I walked over to my cabinets, pulled open a drawer, and selected a black-handled paring knife I didn't care if I ever saw again.

Mrs. B grabbed it and left. I closed the garage door.

This isn't a campground, y'all. Remember that.

Oh and other really useful information: Your super-nice-guy neighbor has a major grouch for a wife.

Certain other changes have occurred in our neighborhood in recent days.

Keep that in mind that as you answer this next question.

Which of these things is not like the others?

A. Bureaucrats
B. Democrats
C. Postal Workers
D. Our New Mailman

Did you pick "D. Our New Mailman"? YESSSS! You are a dazzlingly intelligent and intuitive human being.

You would not believe this but after years of mailmen (and women) so dour they make me look like the love child of Pollyanna and Peregrin Took, we have a really cool, really nice, totally awesome mailman!

The other day I was standing just inside our open garage door (sort of back in the shadows but not really), conversing with my TG who was doing something or other out in the yard, when the mail truck pulled up to our mailbox.

TG walked that way to get the mail and I just stood where I was.

Then, you wouldn't believe! The mailman -- whom I'd never seen before in my life -- waved real big in my direction and shouted: "What are you giving me for Christmas?"

?????

I mean, dude, it's June.

But like I said, I adore friendly folk -- because I is one -- so I shouted back: "I'll make you some banana nut bread if you'll tell him to fix my oven!"

(Yes my oven is still broken. Do not ask.)

The mailman laughed very easily and said to TG's retreating back: "Fix her oven!"

Then we all waved cheerily and our new mailman went on his way.

TG and I marveled at this freak of nature: A happy, normal, conversant government worker!

That's not something you see hanging around on every street corner.

As it turns out, there is a very logical explanation! And it's not Zoloft.

Our mailman is a die-hard conservative.

Which I know because last Saturday TG was in the yard again when the mail truck again approached, driven by the same guy, and what was blaring out the open door, from the radio?

Rush Limbaugh.

That guy's getting two loaves of banana nut bread for Christmas if I have to ask Mrs. Botherton for the use of her oven.

And yes, I will go to the front door to plead my case, even if the garage is permanently agape, calling seductively to every spelunker in Christendom.

Meanwhile TG nearly made the new mailman late for his appointed rounds, so thrilled was he to find a kindred spirit. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

One more!

Which of these things is not like the others?

A. Max
B. Javier
C. Rambo
D. Sophie

I know you can't answer that unless I help you out and since you're teacher's pet, I am pleased to do that.

But if you lucky-guessed it and chose "A. Max," you are batting a thousand.

There are four pictures of him sprinkled throughout this post.

Max is a guide dog whose owner attends our church. As such, Max goes to our church too. I love Max. I look for Max after every service so I can pet him.

He used to wear a sign on his harness that said "Please ignore me, I'm working."

I would make his owner laugh by saying, "How can I ignore you when you're so cute?"

Wag wag wag, Max's tail would agree. He doesn't wear that sign anymore.

Last night I took my camera with me to church just so I could snap a few pictures of Max.

I love Max. Wait; I already said that.

Of course you know Javier is my own beloved pet Chihuahua and no dog could ever supplant him in my heart. But Javier is not exactly useful unless you count sleeping.

Rambo is Andrew's dog and he is beyond special, and he does work hard as Camp Dog, but that's different from the office Max fills.

Sophie is a Yorkie that Erica baby-sat a few weeks ago when her owners went on vacation. I have never met Sophie but from the picture of her (supplied by Erica), I can tell I'd like her a lot.

But according to Erica, Sophie's spoiled and demanding. She's no working dog.

Max is not spoiled. Max is not lazy. Max does not have the run of Mount Moriah Christian Camp and Conference Center to do as he pleases.

Max is Max and he has a real job. He is neither ornery like me nor obnoxious like our new neighbors. He's well-adjusted, hard-working, and extra nice, just like our new mailman. I'm pretty sure he's a conservative.

Politics aside, he is simply grand and I wanted you to meet him.

That is all.

Happy Monday! Happy Week!

*Name changed to protect the guilty.

Friday
Jun152012

Not quite that? Not much less.

Most like an arch -- an entrance which upholds
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds.

Most like an arch -- two weaknesses that lean
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.
Two joined abeyances become a term
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean.

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,
what's strong and separate falters. All I do
at piling stone on stone apart from you
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss
I am no more than upright and unset.
It is by falling in and in we make
the all-bearing point, for one another's sake,
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight.

~*~
Most Like an Arch This Marriage
by John Anthony Ciardi (1916-1986)

June 16, 1979

~*~*~*~

This post is not meant as a braggadocious gush-fest to my personal mythical prowess in the art of achieving and maintaining a state of ever-blissful matrimony, ideal in every possible particular.

TG and I have been married thirty-three years. There have been good times and bad.

I wish I could say all I ever think about are the good times, that I've never cried a tear since the day we met, that there have been no misunderstandings and no setbacks.

But that wouldn't be true. What would be true is that no matter what, we are committed to one another.

What's equally true is that I am grateful for certain wise choices I as a young woman, by the grace of God, was able to make.

I am grateful that my husband chose me, made me his wife, and honored me with the great privilege of being the mother of his children.

We have disappointed one another on occasion but he is good to me and I love him.

What this post is meant to do is to praise, promote, and defend the institution of traditional marriage: the lawful union of one man and one woman before God and all of society, for life.

I understand that it isn't always so simple. People sometimes don't do what they promised. Divorce certainly happens, much to our shame, sorrow, and what should be our embarrassment and chagrin.

In fact it happens with alarming frequency and shows no sign of becoming less prevalent.

But I resist with all my being -- and I pledge to fight with all of my strength as long as I live -- this popular notion that it's immaterial whether one marries or whom one marries or if one remains married as per the vows they willingly took before God and man.

Marry, don't marry, act like you're married even though you're not married, denigrate marriage, change the definition of marriage, procreate outside of marriage, marry someone the same gender as you, marry your pet hamster who's in a relationship with the neighbor's gerbil, marry five people at once or separately, blah blah blah.

Every bit of that nonsense nauseates me. What doesn't nauseate me, bores me.

The home -- as established by an appropriately solemnized marriage between one man and one woman -- is a concept instituted by God and is therefore sacrosanct.

Thus will it ever be. No one but God has the power to change it, and He's not going to.

I celebrate my marriage and every other sincere God-anointed traditional marriage.

That is all.

I wish you love and a happy weekend!