RIP, Starlight “Torbie” Furr — 2002-2017

By | September 2, 2017

Rest in peace, Starlight “Torbie” Furr, 2002-2017.

Starlight was a wonderful kitty, from the very first day she hopped into my lap in the visitation room at the Chittenden County Humane Society in October of 2002, right up until the end. She was suffering from bladder cancer, in pain, obviously suffering, and nothing we did (even two sessions of chemotherapy) helped. We realized that there was nothing else we could do other than say our final goodbyes. Our veterinarian was good enough to make a house call so that our baby passed on in the house she’d lived in for 15 years, with me by her side telling her that I loved her.

I will never forget her. No other cat I’ve ever had has been as sweet and affectionate. I called her my “teddy cat” because I could grab her and cuddle her in bed, and she loved it and purred like crazy. I’d hold her on my chest and she’d purr even harder. On cold nights, she’d come to my bed, where I was sleeping on my back, and curl up on my “lap” to keep warm. She loved all kinds of touch, and she somehow knew how important eye contact was to us primates. She also loved all kinds of people, and she’d colonize the laps of our visitors, even (maybe especially) those who didn’t know what to do with a cat on their lap.

Goodbye, sweetie. We will always love you.

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Stop Domestic Violence: Take Steps In Their Shoes

By | March 24, 2017

On June 3, the Burlington, Vermont-area’s annual fundraising walk/run to raise money and awareness for the fight against domestic violence will take place. Last year it was called “Run for Empowerment” — this year it’s called “Take Steps In Their Shoes”. Regardless, the funds raised will go to fund our local anti-domestic violence charity, formerly called “Women Helping Battered Women” and now called “Steps To End Domestic Violence”.

I am taking part in the event and hope to raise a lot of funds — it costs a lot to pay for emergency shelter, legal assistance, food and clothing, and the 24-hour hotline that battered adults and children across the area depend on in time of need.

Last year, incredibly generous donors sponsored me to the tune of $1025, which made me the second-ranking event fundraiser overall. This year I’d like to raise even more! Will you sponsor me and help out?

You can donate at this link: — and thank you so much for your support!

2016 Run For Empowerment

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Strangeness at Night

By | January 23, 2017

Last night I woke up around 2:30 am, sitting upright in bed, with the light on, having been dreaming of trying to sign someone up for Vermont Health Connect. I think I was trying to sign my cat Starlight up for health insurance, only she already has it, so that’s okay.

I knew it would happen sometime. I’ve been doing this (signing people up for insurance, not somnambulating) forty hours a week for I guess about 3 months now. That stuff gets into your head.

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Berry season

By | July 11, 2016

So I’ve just discovered that berry season has begun. And it looks like a good one!

I went outside for a few minutes, to check my raspberry and blueberry plants. The raspberries are now bearing abundantly enough that there are too many to eat for a single morning snack. It’s time to go out there with the Tupperware.

And the blueberries! All the plants are bearing. I was smart enough to cover them all with bird cloth a couple weeks ago. And my prize plant is producing berries almost as large as a quarter!

So from today until it’s done, I need to spend at least an hour out there daily. There is picking to do and there is weeding to do. (Some of my plants are in what’s practically a wild field now.) And I’m gonna have to wear a whole lotta DEET.

Photos will follow.

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Run For Empowerment

By | July 2, 2016

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I wanted to thank everyone who sponsored me in the 2016 “Run for Empowerment”, a fund-raiser event to benefit Women Helping Battered Women. The run took place a couple weekends ago on June 18 and raised over $20,000 for the WHBW programs.

Thanks to my 35 sponsors (wow!) I raised $1025 for the event. This was enough to make me the second highest fundraiser. I can’t thank you all enough for your support. You helped make possible the many programs WHBW offers — their emergency shelter, their 24 hour hotline, their support and counseling programs, their legal assistance program, and so on, and so on, and so on… it’s a huge list and it all costs rather a lot. You are all amazing and I’m so glad you appreciate how important WHBW is to our community.

(Technically speaking, WHBW doesn’t exist any more — they changed their name to “Steps to End Domestic Violence” right after the event. But at the time, they were still WHBW!)

Most people who took part in the walk were 5K or 10K runners. I’m not much of a runner, so Jay and I walked. Amusingly, we got recognized for being fastest in our respective age groups, and Jay was fastest overall male walker… out of two. But we got ribbons!

Thank you again, not for making me the second ranking fundraiser, but for the wonderful support you’ve provided for families affected by domestic violence!

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Run For Empowerment: $825 down — $175 to go!

By | June 16, 2016

30354418 - stop domestic violence word cloud illustration in shape of hand print showing protest

Great news! With one day left to fundraise, my fundraising total for this Saturday’s “Run For Empowerment” is $825. (Thank you so much, sponsors!!) I’m aiming to raise $1000, though, so I’ve got $175 to go.

The Run for Empowerment is a fundraiser for Women Helping Battered Women, a Vermont non-profit that provides an absolutely indispensable safety net for women and children affected by domestic violence. I strongly support their mission and I hope you do too.

If you haven’t already donated, will you help out? You can donate at this link:

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Help Stop Domestic Violence

By | June 15, 2016

a woman holding a conceptual stop sign on domestic abuse or violence

Women Helping Battered Women is holding its annual fundraising walk/run this Saturday at Waterfront Park in Burlington. They’re a small non-profit with a huge workload, providing support (including a shelter and a 24-hour hotline) for victims of domestic violence.

I’m walking in the event on Saturday and I’m (as of right now) $380 shy of my $1000 fundraising goal. Would you please help by sponsoring me? I honestly can’t think of a better cause.

My donation link:

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2016 Women Helping Battered Women Race for Empowerment

By | June 13, 2016

Run for Empowerment

Carole with a drink looking tiredIn just a few days I’ll be taking part in the 2016 Women Helping Battered Women “Run for Empowerment” at Waterfront Park in Burlington, VT. I have a $1000 fundraising goal and am just barely over 40% of the way there. Will you sponsor me?

You can sponsor me at this link:

I am walking in support of Women Helping Battered Women, a Vermont non-profit working to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and violence. WHBW has been serving Chittenden County, Vermont for 41 years. If you believe that all adults and children have the right to live without fear of abuse – sexual, physical, emotional, or financial, then please support WHBW by sponsoring me.

WHBW advocates for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and works to raise awareness in our community through outreach and education. They also identify where resources are needed in the community and collaborate with a wide network of community partners to plan and implement necessary initiatives to meet those needs.

With your help, last year, WHBW provided needed services to 4,534 adults children whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse. These individuals and families were able to access WHBW programs at no cost to themselves. From Shelter to Relief from Abuse orders, WHBW advocates are working side by side with victims and survivors to help them move toward safe, healthy and, empowered lives free from coercion, threats, and violence.

Again, will you sponsor me and help fund all the work that WHBW does each year?


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Huck On The Run

By | April 2, 2016

Our tabby cat, Huckleberry, has a perpetual case of wanderlust despite our repeatedly telling him that the woods around our house are just full of owls and fishers and other critters that would just love to eat a tasty tabby. Once in a while, despite our best efforts, he makes a desperate bid for freedom and must be pursued, corralled, and returned to confinement.

This is his story.

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Exciting discovery today

By | March 3, 2013

I go to Faith United Methodist Church in South Burlington, Vermont. We get newcomers there all the time. We do our best to make them feel welcome, and I think they do, because we have a lively and friendly church, with a congregation well-distributed over all ages.

One woman who started attending a few months ago was Bridget. Pretty young woman, but we paid more attention to her baby, who is called “Pippi,” and we all went nuts over the “Pippi Longstocking” connection.

Well, today I came to find out that Bridget was my first yoga instructor!! This was several years back, at the YMCA in Burlington, and I was just crazy about her. I haven’t gotten attached to another yoga instructor since; though I’ve attended many different classes, none of them were quite right. So I was thrilled when I realized it. When I told her, she remembered me, too… and she said that I’d looked familiar, but she couldn’t quite place me. I knew I hadn’t recognized her, and eventually realized that she wears glasses now, plus her face looks different — thinner, somehow older — she had a baby face when I first knew her.

Anyway, I found out where she teaches now. Shelburne Health & Fitness, on Monday night. I’m hoping to give it a visit tomorrow. 🙂

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