Saturday, 29 September 2018

Here's Tucker

I've met Tucker, a one year old black German Shepherd dog a few times as I have walked in Arlington Park.  We met again today. Fortunately I had remembered to carry my 'phone/camera.

He is a gorgeous boy, still a pup really.   His owner is training him well to be well disposed to other dogs and to humans.  Zion and Tucker interact beautifully.

The owner has had five black German Shepherds, each with the same name,  so the official name of this one is Tucker Five.

As Zion and I left the park we met another dog who is new to us.

This is Saul. He is a three years old Golden Retriever. 

Zion and Saul get acquainted. 

Saul,  so beautiful and gentle.(too bad that his owner is wearing a N.Y. Yankees Cap!)

Friday, 28 September 2018

If you are in need of a good laugh.....

....... laugh at me.

I was walking out with Zion eight evenings ago and encountered my friends Rick and John as they walked with their dogs.

They began to laugh and pointed out that my shirt was hopelessly mis-buttoned.  I joined in the merriment and told them that I was not surprised for I had once shown up to Church wearing mis-matched sneakers.

The next night was Ben's Bar  (a weekly gathering of friends of the late Ben Morse).  I buttoned my shirt with care, and arrived at the host home announcing loudly to Rick and John that I'd got it right this time.  I hadn't.  

More hilarity, this time with the whole gang.

'Twas Ben's Bar again tonight.  I stood before the mirror at home and buttoned my shirt with care. I walked with my dog to this week's hosting couple.  I boasted of my skill to the assembled guys.

All well and good,  except that they were quick to point out that I had neglected to zip up my fly!

Maybe I need a valet, but on the whole I'd rather have a gang of pals who laugh at and with me.

Stock photo'

Thursday, 27 September 2018

And there is joy

As well as our Friday visits to a memory unit at Anchin Pavilion in Sarasota,  Zion and I also have a weekly visit to another retirement community. 

With an eye to privacy I cannot and will not name this place. We are there to visit a good friend who used to live nearby.

After that visit we go to a common room where the residents sit in a circle for a sing-along.

With the permission of the song leader we walk the circle. Zion sets the pace.  He knows which residents want a bit of dog time and those who do not

One woman has a special fondness for my dog. He knows it. They are simpatico.

The song leader took these photo's  the other day.

Zion is also fond of this gentleman

It's called the ministry of the laying on of hands.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Sad and Mad

When I moved to Glen Oaks Ridge in 2006 the planting circle between my villa and the next was in poor shape apart from four good palms.

The ground was covered with some way past their best junipers, weeds, and grass.

I took a year to improve it by planting oyster plants, prostate porter weed, hibiscus and mexican fire bush (as well as a rubber tree plant which was languishing in a pot just outside my front door).

I helped to create a circle of beauty, not just for me, but for the neighbourhood and maintained it by weeding and trimming as necessary. 

I do not have a "before" picture save for this hibiscus in all its glory.

I came home today to find that apart from the palms every single bush and planting had been removed by the so-called landscaping company.

The vandalism of beauty.

Who authorised this?  If the board member for grounds did this without consulting the entire board then his authority must be questioned. No one person in a community should be allowed to be a vandal. (He does not have an advisory committee).

I have written and hand delivered a letter to each and every board member requesting that the matter be brought before the whole board at their next meeting.

It's hard to create.  It's easy to destroy.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Boys will be boys - unless......

Many Republicans are saying this about a white skinned man, a nominee for one of the highest offices in the land, regarding alleged bad behaviours  when he was a student at a super-elite Preparatory School.

Would they say the same were the nominee a black or brown skinned man who attended a Public School?

Monday, 24 September 2018

That Bishop

That Bishop.  Yes the Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church,  the one who preached at the wedding of Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel, Windsor U.K.

That Bishop will be in Pittsfield MA  (my happy hunting grounds for sixteen years) on October 21st 1018 for what is being dubbed as a 

The event is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.  It will take place at Pittsfield's First United Methodist Church, an auditorium style Church with a lot of seats.

Here is how the Diocese describes the Revival

Already in the works...

We are taking a deep dive into God's Word.
A great preacher is coming.
We are praying for God to revive us.
To be sure, the Episcopal Church is long overdue for renewal and revival. Could this be fanned in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts?

I can't be there but I hope that they will sing Doris Aker's great hymn "There's a sweet sweet Spirit in this place" (We sang it often at St. James's in Cambridge, MA but I've never once heard or sung it in Sarasota -  [maybe it's too lowbrow for us!]

Here is the first stanza as sung by a Seventh Day Adventist Choir in a London (UK) Church of England parish.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Why be O.K. when you could be good? Why be good when you could be great?

My friend from Church Rick P and I went out for breakfast this morning.

We were at a chain joint which sadly claims to be a Diner.

No names, no pack drill, but there are two Sarasota branches of the chain, which originated in Jacksonville FL.  

It bears no resemblance to an authentic Diner, it's no more than a run of the mill Cafe, with indifferent food.

Rick and I chose the same breakfast.  (The pics below are stock photo's, not the meals we ate this morning).

Croissant with bacon, egg and cheese


Hash browns

Our food this morning didn't even look as good as the same items in these stock photo's.

And it was not good.  I would describe it as indifferent, or merely O.K.

(To be fair it is a crime against France to serve Croissants with a bacon, egg and cheese filling.  Croissants  should be freshly baked, fresh from the oven and still warm, and smothered in top grade butter, or home made Black-currant, Raspberry or Strawberry preserves. Vive la France.)

In the event Rick and I chose not to be bothered.  We were there to enjoy our friendship which we did, even though the food was mediocre and no more than O.K.

But I have been asking "why be O.K. when you could be good?", or "why be good when you could be great?"  It's a question for family life, for Churches, for local Governments, and for dining establishments.


I once knew a Diner which was great in two ways.  It was the Miss Adams Diner in Adams, MA.

The Miss Adams Diner, Worcester Lunch Car number 821, was delivered to Adams in 1949, replacing an older diner (still in use as Claudette’s 1921 Diner in Boylston, MA.) The diner received much favorable attention in the 1990s under the ownership of Barry and Nancy Garton.

N.B.  I officiated at Barry and Nancy's wedding.  Nancy's mother the Revd. Gwen W. Sears is a dear friend -  we chatted on the 'phone for an hour this afternoon.

With that disclosure in mind I am free to assert again that the Miss Adams Diner was GREAT - in two ways.

One, because Barry (the Chef) was a perfectionist and all the foods he cooked from scratch were better than good - they were excellent. It can be done.

Two, because Nancy (the up-front welcomer and hostess) had (and has) a wonderful gift of hospitality.   The welcome she gave to customers old and new was deeper and more sincere than the "professional" welcome given to many a newcomer at many a Church. 

I close with a tender Miss Adams Diner story.  One day I took a wonderful and venerable octogenarian  St. Stephen's Pittsfield Parishioner  (with the unforgettable name of Ethelynd Hapgood) to the Diner for lunch.  Her eyes lit up when she saw a simple item on the menu -  it was a tomato sandwich - with good bread and sweet and juicy tomato. Ethelynd enjoyed every mouthful.

A tomato sandwich on the menu.  That's what makes a diner GREAT!  No such luck in a "chain diner".  BAH!