Saturday, 22 February 2020

In Praise Of Bobble Hats

With apologies to my family members in England who may have already seen this.

Back in 2017 on a visit to my family members in England my good niece Nicola presented me with a bobble hat she had knitted for me.

There is a not a great need for warm head coverings in south west Florida.

But once in a while......

This morning was once in a while.  The temps hovered around 40f, with a wicked cold wind from the north. Even in Florida we were calculating wind chill factors.

Notwithstanding wind and cold, Mr. Zion had to go outside for his essential evacuations.

He could not do so sans moi.

I could not walk with him sans my bobble hat. 

                                       Merci NICOLA! 

Friday, 21 February 2020

I do business with only the very best.

I am amused by the receipt I got from Goodwill Industries  (Charity Shops etc) when I donated some good "stuff" for re-sale.  Such donations can count as tax deductible.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

A hoped for way station on the endless road of grief

 Some will remember that I officiated at Justine and Luke's wedding, and that I know many members of Luke's extended family.

In Sheffield, tragic site looms for now
BY HEATHER BELLOW The Berkshire Eagle

SHEFFIELD — Tibetan prayer flags flutter at the entrance to the driveway.
No-trespassing signs and police tape serve as constant reminders of the tragedy that took place there nearly a year ago.
Every day, friends and neighbors pass the boarded-up carriage house at 1343 Home Road and wonder what will come of it.
The home eventually will be torn down, according to Terri Wilbur. But how soon remains in question. Wilbur’s daughter, Justine, was killed in the home, along with her three children, by her husband, Luke Karpinski, March 12, 2019, according to authorities. The next day, Karpinski set the home on fire and took his own life.
Wilbur said the home will be razed and transformed into a place to remember them all.
She plans to keep the land and will plant a large tree and install a bench and a plaque in the family’s memory. She also hopes she can salvage the back porch of the carriage house-style home.
“It was [Justine’s] favorite spot,” she said.
The carriage house where Luke Karpinski killed his family and himself last March will be torn down as soon as legal and financial obstacles can be overcome.

The couple, both 41, were raising their twins, Alex and Zoe, 7, and son, Marek, 3, at the home they began building in 2017.
Firefighters found the bodies of the family and their two dogs while battling a fire in the early morning hours of March 13. Documents released by the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office last week indicate that Karpinski was the only member of the family who was still alive during the fire, and that he had premeditated the slayings.
The killings shocked a community that found the couple quiet, responsible, and child-centered.
Their twins attended Undermountain Elementary School while the youngest atteneded a private day care.
Karpinski, a federal patent examiner who worked at home, and Wilbur, a patent attorney in Albany, N.Y., bought the 5.7- acre parcel in 2016. The next year, they took out a $412,000 mortgage and began building the carriage house with plans to live there for several years in future, when they would build a larger home on the property. The carriage house was never fully completed.
Wilbur said she does not yet have the right to tear down the home.
“It’s all just very much up in the air,” she said of the legal and financial process. “I’m not sure what the holdup is. I know it’s awfully hard for the neighbors.”
One neighbor said that the daily sight of the home affects her and other nearby residents. Yet her compassion for a grieving family faced with practical matters runs deep, she added.
“It’s really just eerie and weird and sad, and just so many things, every day,” said Michelle Wilkinson, who lives immediately next door. “I pull out of the garage, and the house is there.”
Wilkinson says she did not know the couple, in part because they were so quiet, but also because she is consumed with running her business in Great Barrington. Her grandchildren, however, rode the school bus with Alex and Zoe.
“It must be hard for the bus driver and the kids that drive by every morning,” she said.
Paul Greene, who is the building inspector for a handful of towns including Sheffield, said that a permit to tear down the house would likely be fast-tracked since the utilities would have been shut down during the fire.
But this would be the only swift part of the entire calamity. Terri Wilbur says that learning what befell her family has taken “forever.”
And the house, she said, will eventually come down.
“It has to.”

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

It's official. Heaven is in Lee, Massachusetts.

From an obit in today's Berkshire Eagle 

" (n) entered peacefully into eternal rest on January 29, 2020 in Lee MA."

Eternal rest is in Lee, MA ? Whoda thunk it!

Image result for lee massachusetts
I think that one of the Churches  in this photo' is the (now closed) St. George's Episcopal Church, (centre picture to the left); the other (with the tall spire) is the Congregational Church.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

That cat, that cat, where did you get that cat? (and His Lordship)

The first time it happened was understandable. I walked into my bedroom only to be shocked  by the sight of this ultra-fluffy cat on my bed.

The second time it happened I was foolish.

The third time I was utterly stupid.

For you see,  I do not have a cat.   But thrice my thought was "why is there a cat on my bed?" 

I'd been looking at a feather duster which I used to remove the cobwebs and dog hairs from the louvered wooden doors to my walk in closet, and my bathroom.

I knew that it was a feather duster which I'd left on my bed,  But what I knew and what I saw were at odds.

I know that I do not have a cat.  But three times I saw a feather duster, and momentarily thought that it was a cat!


I've been making incremental improvements to my kitchen (not before time!)

In the spirit of improvement I decided that Zion should be included by the provision of a better and more dignified feeding station.   

 Here it is:

I bought it at the local and independently owned Pet Supply Store on Webber/Beneva in Sarasota. Shop locally!!'

The elegant metal cradle was created  by a military veteran who lives on Longboat Key FL.   His retirement hobby is welding.

Any profits from his skillful work go to charities for military veterans.

Zion ( as is the case with most dogs)  is chary and wary of new things.  He was both curious and cautious about his new feeding station.

His hunger will trump his caution!

Monday, 17 February 2020

Music: - when I was a wee lad, and I wept for the sheer beauty of it.

Was I eight years old, or was I ten years old?

My exact age doesn't matter, except that I know it happened before my teen years.

I had gone to bed. From the radio downstairs I heard the sheer beauty of a  piece of music.

It was "The Arrival of The Queen of Sheba" from G.F. Handel's oratorio "Solomon".

I left my bed, stood on the stairs,  and started to cry.  My parents, and maybe also my big sister Maureen,  heard me.

"Why" they asked "are you crying?"

As best I could I explained that the music I'd heard had a beauty which made me cry.   They understood.

And this particular piece still evokes my lachrymose tendencies!

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba