Tag Archive | New York

Fall in Central New York ~

I have been remiss in keeping up regularly with my blog posts, so I thought something for fall would be appropriate, since it’s only a little more than a week to Halloween.

These first three photos are particularly “special” to me, as it depicts a long-standing tradition in the town where I grew up and went to school.  As a first, second and third-grader at Elizabeth Street School in Baldwinsville, NY, every year, a week or maybe two before Halloween, our art teacher and our elementary school teachers would gather us up and we would take a half day and walk “downtown” to paint/decorate the windows of all of the stores in town.  It was only the equivalent of a block or two, but it was a BIG DEAL to all of us youngsters to paint the windows and then see them again and again as we drove through town with our parents etc.  It’s nice to see that tradition still carries on in Baldwinsville.  This past weekend happened to be the “paint the town” weekend.

Window painting on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

Window painting on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

An alien witha pumpkin painted on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

An alien witha pumpkin painted on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

A young painter checks his work on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

Another favorite activity of Al’s and mine is to visit some local apple orchards and pick out pumpkins, get some apples and see the fall sights.  

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And, with that, we’ve cleaned and put the cover on the pool for the winter, mowed the front,  back and side yards for HOPEFULLY the last time until Spring, and put all of the lawn and deck furniture away in anticipation of snow flying soon.  November is right around the corner, and all attentions for this household are geared towards Thanksgiving and then Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  Hope to see you again soon!  Until then, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

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Retrospect ~

Sometimes I still catch myself thinking about it, unexpectedly.  Unwarranted and unwanted.  But there it is, so I indulge in the thoughts of that murder that happened so long ago, and the events that I and my family were inadvertently, subsequently dragged into as a result.  It seems so long ago, 1991 when Sabina was murdered, and our involvement brought to the surface in October 2005 ~ 8 years ago now.  And I still find myself dwelling on the known facts versus my unreliable memory of the events of that night in 1991 when it all exploded into our lives.

Certain things I can remember vividly and am sure of, but many of the things that “count” are just foggy still.  I try to focus on that night in 1991, playing it over and over in my mind the way I remember it.  Then I try to tack in the things that the sheriff’s department said happened, or the way they “think” things happened.  So much does not make sense, and I wonder if it ever will.  The only person who can confirm or deny the events that I remember is dead.  When I was questioned for hours by the Cayuga County sheriff’s department in 2005, I could not tell them any more then than I can remember now.  They actually tried to “console” me into “confessing” that I knew and perhaps was a part of the murder of Sabina Kulakowski.  They said they knew that Barry had been abusive, and that perhaps he was threatening me to keep quiet or he would hurt me or the children.  They said they understood if I had been “quiet” because he was blackmailing me.  But now he was dead, having taken his own life… so now it was okay for me to “come clean”, that he could never hurt me or the kids again.  During the questioning, it took awhile for it to sink it.  They thought I was withholding evidence of the crime.  Their at first gentle questioning turned into badgering after several hours.  And I began to understand how innocent people simply confess to crimes they did not commit.  But I was not about to “confess” to knowing anything more than I knew… which was little.

The man who was wrongly convicted of Sabina’s murder has finally been set free in 2005, thanks in part to my and my daughter, Katie’s, involvement and DNA testing etc.  The circumstantial evidence points to the man that I had been living with for 13 years, and had two children with, as the murderer.  He has allegedly committed this horrific murder during the time we were living together as a family.  I was supposedly the first person to see him and be with him just minutes after this awful crime had been committed.  Yet I remember nothing out of the ordinary about that time spent together before we went to bed for the night.  I think THAT’S the piece that bothers me the most.  Wouldn’t I have seen SOMETHING?  Shouldn’t he have been covered in blood and/or been stressed or nervous and anxious about the things he had just allegedly done?  (I didn’t find out until 2005 the specifics of the crimes committed with regard to Sabina, who had been my “sister-in-law” for a decade +)  I saw no signs of anything amiss, except an eagerness to put the fight we’d had earlier in the evening behind us, and get to bed and get to sleep.  It was obvious he had been drinking, which was also not unusual.

When I later learned about the details of how she had died, it made me cry.  She had been subjected to horrific  violence before the farm was set ablaze and she was carried out of the house and dumped across the street in a wooded area.  One of the tell-tale signs for me that it could’ve been Barry that had committed the crime, was the fact that Sabina had been bitten multiple times.  He was known for using this tactic to subdue women ~ at least one woman that I knew of.  And he was the only one who had ever used such a violent and painful method.  To me, this was significant.  Also to the sheriffs when I brought the coincidence to light.  For someone to have committed these crimes, it seems they would have been openly, noticeably sociopathic.   Granted, Barry had his “issues”, but I could not wrap my brain around him committing ruthless murder.  Not to mention that we continued to co-habit for six years after this crime was committed.

The fact that he committed suicide right before he was about to be accused/disclosed by the “wrongly-accused” inmate is way more than just a coincidence in my book.  But again, also circumstantial.  I guess there are way more many questions yet to be answered and will remain unanswered for this case to ever be truly “Closed”.  And yet I can never forget that part of my questionable life.  I can only be thankful that we got through it in one piece, more of less, and out the other side much for the better.

There has been a lot of publicity about this case, especially in 2005 when we were brought into it.  There has been a movie made, locally, and clips on some national shows.  If you want to know more about this part of my life, click on this link, or Google “Roy Brown” or “Barry Bench”.  I still find it fascinating myself!

Thanks for stopping in and checking out my Random Thoughts tonight.  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

How about a nice picture for fall before I go?  Enjoy!

Church steeple, Long Lake, NY

Church steeple, Long Lake, NY

 

Festival of Leaves: Week 1 ~

A new challenge!  I love that!  And we’re starting out with Fall and Leaves.  Nothing more wonderful at this time of year!

Buttermilk Falls near Long Lake, NY

Buttermilk Falls near Long Lake, NY

Fall in downtown Syracuse, NY

Fall in downtown Syracuse, NY

This looks like a fun and intriguing new challenge!  Click on the “Festival of Leaves” logo below and see what it’s all about!

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Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my contribution to this week’s challenge.  Hope you leave a comment or “Like” my photos.  Looking forward to next week’s!  Until then, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Quilt Clipping ~

Next weekend is our Quilt Guild’s bi-annual quilt show in Syracuse, NY.  I’d never even been to a quilt show, let alone show my own quilt, until a couple of weeks ago.  I never made my pink quilt with showing in mind, but here I am… putting on finishing touches to get it ready to be shown publicly.

I pretty much have no clue on how to prep a quilt for a show, so I’m just using what common sense I have left to clip all loose threads, I made sure to put on the label this morning, and I need to put on a 4″ wide sleeve from which the quilt will be hung.  By the way, I’ve always called it “my pink quilt”, but for show purposes, the new name is “Caroline’s Chain”, named for the pattern that I used when making it.

Finishing touches, my quilt label.

Finishing touches, my quilt label.

 

Is there a “right way” or “wrong way” to put on a quilt label?  I think I might have put mine on sideways.  But it still looks pretty.  Time to clip any loose threads, and there are a lot, because I didn’t bother with such details when it was just “my pink quilt” to cuddle up on the loveseat and watch t.v. with.

Finishing touches, clipping all loose threads

Finishing touches, clipping all loose threads

Clipping threads turned out to be quite the chore for this supposed “lap quilt”, which turned out to be   76 1/2″ x 92″ in size.  I just wanted something to cover my feet and keep me warm.  None of those store-bought “throws” are large enough.  Well, I got my wish!  Al and I BOTH can cuddle up in it on cold evenings in front of the fireplace and watch t.v.

I admit that I’m a little nervous.  I have absolutely no anticipation that I will win anything, as my competition is vastly more experienced than I, but for the first time something I’ve quilted will be viewed and judged by my quilting peers.  I will receive feedback from a real quilt judge.  I will embrace whatever she critiques as inspiration to do better and gain knowledge of where I’m lacking in skill for self improvement. 

My Pink Quilt Summer 2012

My Pink Quilt Summer 2012

I hope my friends and family will come out to our Candlelight Quilt Guild show, September 21-22, 2013, at the Clarion Inn, Farrell Road, Syracuse.  Saturday from 9:00-5:00 and Sunday from 11:00-4:00.  Check out our website at www.candlelightquiltguild.org.  There will be raffles, food, theme baskets, gifts at the door and all kinds of neat stuff that you will enjoy!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  Hope you enjoyed my pics.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt 

Great Blue Heron ~

 

I DID IT!  I’ve been trying literally all summer long to get a good photo of the elusive Great Blue Heron that inhabits our little part of New York State, and after much prayer, I finally got some good shots of a local inhabitant at a nearby pond.

Say “hello” to Mr. or Mrs. Great Blue Heron:

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So many of my friends and even relatives (Kristen Burns) have successfully taken and posted their awesome photos of Great Blue Herons, and now I can finally say that I am successful too!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by and taking a look!  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt