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I clipped this off Face Book….thanks to whoever made this video (Shop Rite–ad) and shared it as well…..

Enjoy, Franque23

 

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Did you know Alabama found Session to be too racist to be a judge in the 1990’S? This is no joke; really—ALABAMA, people, thought Sessions was a racist!!! Oh my Gosh….and now he’s the head DOJ?

I’m not sure if nothing bothers me or if things bother me so much I can’t bother? Okay, I do bother…

Can we just agree that Trump, to push aside so many of his bad qualities, is a racist?

But that’s not what this post is about—this post is about you and me, no matter who you are.

I had an epiphany this past weekend and it came by way of one simple, short conversation with a guy who I came to like.

Vince drove up on his Harley.  The machine screamed of care with shiny chrome from head to toe, elaborate exhausts, a piggy back seat and good size box in the back adorned with a tiny America Flag decal. The thing purred up to our house as he arrived to look over some work he might do for us. Six- foot, muscular, Vince had just shaved his long hair off for charity but his arms remained strong and his smile bright.

“She’s a beauty; a 2001 with a smooth 2800 rate?( I’d no idea what he was talking about) with a four-stroke. Runs like a top until now; been misfiring, I can’t quite get it .” Vince broke into conversation the minute he caught me eyeing his Harley.

“This thing is beautiful. What a rig! ” I kept wondering if you have to polish the chrome or if it just stays this shiny. (this is a good side view of one like Vince’s machine but it lacks the chrome I think.)

“She’s a honey; she been a great ride.”

I liked this guy. There was no denying I felt him a genuine person, one who wears his feelings on his sleeve and means no harm.

“It’s hard to find a time and place to take her to the limit.” Vince smiled and I absolutely understood. BTW, why is it some car odometers go to 120 mph when you’d be lassoed and court ridden for years if you ever dared?

(I have to digress here….in the 1960’s the road out to parking lot number nine at Jones Beach and then on to fire Island was so deserted you could take your car up to ninety or beyond without much worry.)

“I bet. But, it’s got to be nice to cruise as well.” I marveled at the bike’s beauty.

This picture is fuzzy, but it shows more of how Vince’s chrome worked with the dual exhaust?

“Hell yes, brother.” Vince smiled again.

There’d been something on my mind since Vince first drove up on his Harley and I felt it was safe for me to ask. “Tell me. What do you think about Harley maybe having  to leave the country?” I didn’t even include, ‘because of Trump’s tariffs.’ but I know he knew what I meant.

“Nah.” Vince brush the air before him aside. “That doesn’t mean nothing.”

I stared right at Vince knowing a few things.

1)Vince loved his Harley, and has for years and years. This bike was a passion of his.

2) Vince was a smart guy and knew exactly what I was referring to when I mentioned Harley leaving the U.S. of A…

3) Vince had a conflict of interest between his Harley loving life and his support for Trump.

4) Without a second lost, Vince had effaced himself and his love of his Harley and dove head first into supporting Trump.

5) This moment was so real inside Vince that I’d witnessed a flight or fight reaction from him within one second of time.

6) Vince had chosen to lie to himself rather than entertain having a possible ideological conflict with Trump’s policies.

This is huge! I silently watched a fellow who I knew instantly I could befriend deny his own true heart for a political party.

I thought of all the republican supporting moms who would never want to separate children from their mothers but still support Trump…

I thought of all the republican supporting people who desperately need social security and health care to live but who still, none-the-less, support a party determined to end both…

I thought of all the republicans who aren’t prejudice, but never-the-less support a man and group of republicans who are…

I thought of millions who believe in the Bible but seem to support those who only claim to abide by those principles noted in the book—just ask google to show you the tenants set by Jesus and ones given in the old testament that conflict with current Republican agendas(policies) and be amazed…

I thought as I stared at Vince and my heart sank; it sank for him and for me, and then for America.

I would have told you long ago that a person who deny’s his own true heart for another’s agenda was lost, in so much need of help. And here, right before my eyes, I came to understand that today we have an entire voting force of people who mostly do that exact thing. How can this be? How can a huge lot of good Americans, and I mean that, be so programmed that they vote against the very things they believe in? And when they do, they say–“Aww, that ain’t nothing.”

It is something. It’s a first here in America. American’s are the ones who have always stood for what THEY believe—not for what someone else tells them to believe. Fox and other radio shows have worked their magic and convinced so many to vote against their own hearts….

It’s sorta like a Dracula experience.

Really, what else is it if you vote against your own healthcare, your own social security, your knowledge that taking babies away from mothers is wrong and give up your own soul for something other? How is it that Vince, who loves Harley’s, claims to be good with the company leaving his beloved America? It’s not natural, or good. The republican voter has surrendered their own sense of self for the promise of power and , in this way, an everlasting hold on life.

We’ve never seen this sort of mass hysteria in American politics before and, yes, I’m voting and praying we can turn our American hearts back to good.

One more thing: I’ve been thinking that if Trump’s policies hurt enough people his supporters will turn around and change their allegiance to him and vote Trump out. Now? I don’t see Trump supporters changing their vote no matter what he does.

Franque23

 


Recently, someone asked me what I like to cook. I’ve always enjoyed cooking , and I’ve done much of our family cooking for over 35 years…I can’t say I’m much of a shopping type planner of a cook, but rather I use what we have or what has to be used at the moment when I cook. Perhaps, my biggest cooking feat was grilling about 28 streaks ordered rare to well up at the Lake house on two separate grills and delivering them as ordered at about the same time. To me, cooking is as much art as it is a sport. Cheers and beers… (but not too many beers or you’ll burn those steaks!)

 

Now, about chicken…( and I have to note here, that IF you are going to slice chicken breasts in half,, do it when they are slightly defrosted -enough to cut but not so defrosted they are difficult to handle.)

 

#1) Chicken Rolls.

Slice chicken breasts in half, length-wise and hammer flat to thin…Layer on the chicken in separate by not too thin amounts, cheese, (your choice), a Montreal seasoning of choice, while also adding basil( and an orange mint if you have it ) and diced, drained tomatoes usually with basil and garlic. Carefully roll up the chicken breast-it will try to break apart in places etc. -but just finger close the breaks and keep rolling. Use toothpicks to hold the roll in shape…jam turkey type stuffing cubes into both ends of the roll …baste the roll with olive oil and a heavy sprinkle of your favorite herbs. I top this all with cross striping lines of paprika for a nice visual. Put the rolls in the oven for about 40 minutes at 325 or so… hmmm… (Hint: You can add anything to the inside roll up mix you want.. .small pieces of spicy sausage works well…, small chunks of apple or some fruit but nothing that’s too wet.. .spinach -my favorite for the color contrast alone- works as long as you drain it well before adding…) Of course, variations include topping cooked rolls with any kind of heated sauce you like. I suggest a white wine Alfredo sauce with a heavy application of basil and pinches of turmeric and ginger. You have a white dish here so serve cooked and cooled sliced, red beets on the side with a small amount of green leaf underneath. Sprinkle the side dish with Italian dressing or choice….

 

#2) Thin, Spicy chicken.

I often slice chicken breasts in half, length-wise…then hammer them down until thin. I slice those thin fillets again into small pieces, add olive oil to pan-heat-then drop those thin pieces into hot pan oil, flip chicken almost immediately once the corners whiten and then remove (a slight amount of oil and water will rise through meat when done-be sure to not over or under cook the chicken)….I dab off the oil to dry chicken when done and lightly sprinkle with seasoning of choice…The thin pieces work great cold in salads and sandwiches or hot as a main meat dish. Have a wok? Toss the thin pieces in that…..

 

#3) Orange Glazed Chicken.

At home, we have lots of orange pulp from making OJ from our orange tree fruits, but you could buy cans of mandarin and mash those very well and strain…Place that in sauce pan with honey and water and reduce to a heavier smooth consistency. (If you like it,’zingy,’ add pepper and/or ginger. Like it different, add a heavy app. of dill and orange seed.) .. On the side while the reduction is working, thinly slice and dice, ( about one inch long) strips of peeled apple sprinkled heavily with cinnamon/sugar mix. Add the apples to the hot orange sauce and remove from heat…. this slightly softens the apples but keeps them from becoming mushy. Be sure to keep the apple slices a bit crunchy in the honey-orange sauce to put over any chicken. Season to taste; great on or mixed with rice, too.

 

#4) Garlic Chicken with Roasted Peppers

Use the chicken as prepared in recipe #2.

Slice a package of multicolored sweet peppers length-wise, swirl in olive oil and finely pressed already heated fresh garlic. Place the peppers in rows on tin foil. Bake at 350 for ten minutes, just enough to warm but not make the peppers soggy. Remove heated but firm strips of peppers from oven and place the pieces in one circular row along the top edge of a bowl. Place heated chicken in the center of the bowl and top with remaining olive oil and garlic drippings from the tin foil. Combine black sliced olives with crumbled blue cheese and sprinkle the mixture over the chicken. This dish works chilled or hot as a tasty, colorful, appetizer. The key is to keep the peppers cooked, but not too soft.

 

#5) Chicken Parmesan.

Hammer thinly sliced chicken breast, dip the breasts in whipped eggs, then pepper and salt before rolling in flour mixed heavily with crushed herb stuffing and grated Parmesan cheese. . Place in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes until top is crunchy brown and flip pieces and return to oven for about another 10 minutes. The key here is to broil each side of these pieces for about one minute to make sure the crust is crunchy before you top with sauce and layer of mozzarella cheese. Place back in oven and broil for a quick 3 minutes careful not to burn the cheese. Please have extra sauce available to use when served…

 

#6) Dicey Chicken Curry

I like to use Golden’s Curry (comes like a candy bar) but the type of curry and mild, medium or hot is up to you. Thin chicken by slicing in half and pounding well with mallet. Cut chicken in small squares and set aside. Simmer curry pieces until smooth and warm in pan, adding water until you reach the consistency you like-keep warm.  In a separate pan, place diced onion squares with craisins or you could go nutty here with thin almonds, crushed peanuts-etc…(pre-soften nuts well in warm water and drain.) Quickly heat the onions, craisin and/or nuts in hot olive oil stirring as you do. The key here is to warm the onion and the craisins and/or nuts until cooked but not too soft— dump this into warming curry when done. Toss chicken in separate pan of hot olive oil until cooked soft and add to curry mixture. Pick your pasta to smother…Sesame seed looks great sprinkled over the dish; parsley or a green leaf and fresh tomato to garnish the side.  (Hint: add a tad of red cooking wine to the curry sauce.)

 

#7) Pineapple, Orange Chicken.

Here, I prefer to cook my chicken breasts as they come, fairly thick, in olive oil, white wine and spices ( I’d use pepper, pink Mediterranean sea salt, sage and thyme) in a large stove top pan so I can make sure they don’t over cook. In another pan, combine sunflower seeds, basil, canned crushed pineapple with a few small chunks and mandarin oranges cut in half and cook in white wine over low hear. Add a light application of paprika, salt, pepper, orange peel and a dab of ginger to zing to taste. Stir and heat until the mixture is semi-thick. Spoon sauce over chicken breasts with a clump of chilled, diced, basil garlic tomatoes on the side along with a toasted roll of choice. Make your roll crunchy on top by splitting in half and broiling for about one minute before serving. Extra special roll? Slice ‘Old Crock’ Australian cheese very thin and place on top of hot roll so it melts. Three pieces of dark, green celery cut short and full of cream cheese look great next to this meal.

 

#8) Chicken with a hole.

This is a simple variation for breakfast your sleep-over victims will never suspect is coming.  Egg-in-the-hole is famous. Here, you simply replace the toast in that dish with a THIN, good-sized piece of chicken breast. (Thin because this is breakfast, and the chicken should not over ride the egg) Cook bacon medium and remove from pan leaving some of the grease in the pan. Add a can of diced tomatoes (any flavor) mixed with thinly sliced black olives to the bacon greased pan and slowly heat evenly. Cut a hole in the center of the chicken breast and place it in hot olive oil in another pan; once flipped, crack and egg into the hole in the chicken breast—be sure to time this dish so the egg is cooked to preference at the same time the chicken piece is ready to remove from pan. You can flip the chicken breast to cook both sides of the egg if so desired. I leave mine sunny-side-up for the visual effect. Place the chicken with egg in middle of the plate, place two spoonfuls of warm tomatoes and olives on top of the upper right side of the chicken breast and crumble warm bacon pieces onto the lower left side. Fruit goes well with any breakfast, so I’d serve a small amount of well-shaped, (Not mushy), warmed, cinnamon apple slices on the side.  If you want bread, make the rolls described in meal, # 7.

If you like coffee… you can’t go wrong with  WestRock Coffee Company..( google it.) I recommend the ,’Rich and Robust,’  RWANDA select reserve selection as offered.

And yes, I took pictures of all these dishes, but I’ve no idea which one of two camera’s I used and both batteries are well past dead… figures. Maybe, the lack of pictures will fire-up your imagination! Just remember to contrast your colors and textures when you cook. Chicken is white, so use lots or reds, and blacks or greens. Use any herbs you like.  I left many out since I hate it when a cook book delivers up a zillion herbs I don’t have to use…

Use what you have; now, we’re dancin’!

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

the


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Anyone who knew me as a kid knows it’s an astoundingly, flabbergasting, jaw-dropping, stupefying surprise that I’m a father. Sure, I had a future even a wrong turn could help back then, but it also was clear from the get-go that another planet was, in fact, my home. I lived spaced out most of the time.

Still, there has always been a Father in me.

A fishing Grandpa….who knew?

 

Basically, my kid-self was a walking brain dent.

School was torture, a work around looking to happen, though girls were annoyingly interesting. Sports became my ticket to skate by on in high school. Next came a spin as class VP.  I spent a zillion hello’s on friends passing in school halls like a pseudo-millionaire with no money.

The politician in me continued to thrive through my non-formative years of college.

As a sophomore, the college paper deemed me, Apple Gerry, with a front page picture that showed me ranting about student dorm rights. Soon, I was appointed by the graduating head of , Group X, to be this organization’s next President. Now, Group X had two major agendas. First, our group wanted , ‘open,’ dorms with visiting rights for both men and women 24/7. (Seems my younger interests stuck with me). Secondly, we wanted visiting rights for women in the men’s dorms.  I know, these two agendas seem the same, but agenda two left men out of female dorms. Underlying our two hot pulsing agenda’s were rumors I made sure spread that Group X would host off campus beer parties. It all worked great until those beer parties took effect which is why I don’t remember how long Group X survived and when or why it ended…

Not to be detoured, my free-fallin’, dancing, singing self landed me a membership pre-facto of Phi-Kappa-Phi since I refused to go thru hazing but was made an off-the-record member of the fraternity house anyway. It was a great, wild , short year of being reprimanded by the College Administration. Before our house knew it, women weren’t allowed in our second story where the beds were, so, yeah, we moved all the beds down to the basement and slept there and stuff. This pissed Admin off but it wasn’t until we held a beer-bed floating party in the basement with strippers from Baltimore as hosts that our house got shut down! I mean, completely closed for a year!!! Can you imagine?!?! Of course, I had very little to do with any of this that I remember.

My successful political days weren’t over, but it was time for those college days to fog into post college days of running naked in the Ocala National Forest, jumping naked off lime pits east of Gainesville with 300 hundred others on any given Saturday afternoon and strolling by police cars while at a nude block party on NE 1st street here in Gainesville.  I know, I know, you’re thinking I was a nudist but, no, I wore clothes to job interviews and stuff all the time.

(Clothes on! This is the site of many Bonaparte late night ,’Chunky-dunks,’ but we can’t beat Ireland’s recent Guinness book world record-breaking 2500 nude swimmers at once!)*

All that college,’Fog,’ cleared into pot smoke that guided my way for a few more zillion years as I grew older without growing up. There’s a pill to take for that, but I forget the color!

Next thing I knew, my ears pretty much got too long for my face and my children stole my hair.

I remember waking up one day and staring into the mirror realizing very little.

I’d set down my principles and forgotten where they were unless I tripped over them while changing diapers. It was nifty earning money that was really other people’s money if I made it to the power company on time to keep the lights on. I was consumed with successful failure without notice or care but for my family. I have to say, that bunch got my attention.

I suppose it’s true to say one baby led to another and then another which led to seven others—so far.

(Here’s five of them being still all at once!?!?!)

But through it all I maintained my hat wearing image with uniquely obtuse discernment, a finesse of in-depth leadership and control.

Clearly, this is not me , but a look-a-like! Aaron is, however, wearing my glasses!!! Have you ever noticed children love to wear glasses, but that’s never good for the glasses?

As it turns out, I like to grow things, whether it be debates on issues (have you noticed), babies, grand children, properties, gardens and wrinkles….

Click the pic to see the start of hat construction and the  wrinkle lines I spent hours, days, weeks, heck, years putting on my face!!

I’m not sure what ticket I would have been on if you told me back in high school that I’d end up a  paper bag hat wearing, wrinkled eared, laughing Grandpa. Maybe, the one to the fast train to Berkeley or the over-life sleeper to the deep woods of Canada.

Yep. Throughout the laughs there was a Father in me after all. Man, this is great; a nice surprise, indeed. Who knew I had a plan all along? Me!

(This is my brother-in-law and his wife and me with my wife standing in front of what we believe was the location of my wife’s ancestor’s home. They were hat makers in Denton, England. I was making leather hats in a barn in Gainesville in the 1970’s when my wife first moved in with me! See? That’s called a plan:-)

Franque23

*https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/europe/irish-women-record-breaking-skinny-dip-intl/


The point. Trump’s latest action to separate children from their parents at our southern border is an administrative decision, one put in place by the DOJ, Sessions. This action is the result of a policy decision—NOT a law.

There is an important difference between a Law and a Policy. A policy can be the result of a back room deal brokered through cigar smoke, dosed in alcohol, sponsored by I.O.U.’s or any random opinion that makes people take notice. A Law, however, must be approved—voted on—by a legislative body unless you don’t live in a Democracy but under some guy wearing a large hat.

Maybe this quote?

“It is important to understand the difference between a policy and a law. A policy outlines what a government ministry hopes to achieve and the methods and principles it will use to achieve them. It states the goals of the ministry. … Laws set out standards, procedures and principles that must be followed”

Some think this swing in our border crossing enforcement is a hole-in-one for Trump! But a hole in what? Democracy? Human rights? Human decency? Rational thought? Introspection; love; hope for humanity? Or, is this policy decision really just a bagel hole that’s being sold as the real deal?

Anyway, what’s scary about today is the Head of I.C.E. was asked if he thought the actions being taken on the immigrants by border agents were Humane? He said: “It’s the Law!” See? Actually, we all know this grande immigration action fiasco that has so outraged the world and many U.S. citizens is not the result of a Law at all! Nope, this action is not by law, but merely a policy decision put in place by those who use nun-chucks for brains instead of thinking power.

I don’t want to get into how degrading this policy decision has been and still is to America and its citizens. I don’t want to rake over how this gross injustice is cutting the Statue of liberty at her knees and shredding the basic principles she stands for so much that soon she’ll have to take a knee! I don’t wanna harp how this improcedente action gives good cause for the U.S. to pull out of the UN’s Human Rights Council! We don’t belong on it! Sure, all of this is true but what matters most is the idiots who did this are still in charge.

2018 won’t wait forever; 2020 might bring America back to the land of the loving, the forgiving, the thinking, caring and leading people we have most often tried to be. America has failed before when it comes to Human Rights, but this border children round-up is putting the U.S. on the fast track to Hell. And it’s so ironic that this administration seems hell-bent against high-speed trains!

The ‘beef’ of the brief is out before us all to see. Trump’s directive to Sessions was a huge, bigly mistake and even his big mouth can’t gobble the words back up quick enough.

From the doctor’s couch: Trump was separated from his parents early on and now he wants to hurt everyone because of this.

Sigh—this is a, ‘hole-in-one.’

Franque23


(click the pic for a better view)

Our love makes a rose blush.

There’s a light between us; you know.

How can love move not as a sound, not even as a whisper, but with such force air is washed away to bring clarity?

Love is the moment we never forget. I will never forget.

*

Of all the ways of knowing, the heart is the true map maker of the soul. That map of a soul’s love burns without end, always lighting the way no matter how often it’s left.  The course seems unknown but it remains a lover’s best friend, always waiting to be found, read and followed.  To follow is best. This path dissolves differences in the soul as simply as a mirror loses a reflection.  Might we step away from the difficulty of life and walk into another space where love is the reflection? How far can that journey be?

(This is a stream we call , The River Sticks, that flows near Micanopy, Florida….my wife’s shot.)

The field of love is daunting and magnificent. Beauty radiates to shame the sun; light beams illuminate shadows without dispelling their shape. The glistening water, flowers of purple, pink, daisies of so many colors, even the fallen leaves thread together to become the softest thistledown that’s blown by purpose. Hearts hope to follow. Hearts watch and hear that gliding, floating seed as it infuses vision with images as real as our thoughts and dreams. Soon, our hopes become our visions and, if we dare, an endless walk to understanding ensues. There’s so much to leave behind and so much to learn again; the feet get tired but the heart remains determined.

When true lovers look out and see themselves, then, they know.

And when I followed the course of love, I went beyond the moon to pass Jupiter and Pluto to find a space beyond where Time began. There, I found you, again.  The Universe is never surprised, so my hand found your grasp to fit as if we’d never let go—we could never let go. Separation was never possible.

( this is my shot, and it went with  a glob I love...https://franque23.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/the-man-with-a-wave-a-holiday-story/  )

We fell spinning into the smell of fresh, spring grass. This was us. Love remained the flower, gentle, unassuming, radiant, a flower lost only to a moment repeated, forever. And in this moment the sun became a blanket; the breeze blew cool to perfectly lift your face. Birds sang, ringing my ear more in time than can be imagined but for the beating of a heart.

The heart is Life’s echo chamber.

I’ve turned around to find time slipped. There are so many painted canvases beneath beds that will never be put up again. There are so many numbers we’ve shared that we’ll never dial—so few are left to answer. Our voices though not gone are different. Still, my heart refuses to hear.

Of course, it’s time to listen. Everyone knows the time.

**

People say it’s a calling, a voice heard, a secret message from the heart as a tap on the shoulder so forceful it causes a person to turn to find no one is there. It’s time to revisit the waters, the field that seemed so intimidating at first, as if every step along my way would bend the grass and leave a mark unwanted. I leaped ahead to run and splash back then anyway, trusting love was there as it seemed to always be.

Jan, 1983 I know who to thank on this Father’s Day….

What a flight, this place called love. And what I have to offer in return are things that aren’t mine to give, the sky, the ocean, those crunchy shells in the beach sand at your feet, the wind, a warm rain and an icicle’s reflected light. I’d bundle it all for you but still the gift would not be enough to give in return for love.

“Words are never enough.” I read this upon a wall and knew a writer’s heart had left a message.

Love.

But, you know.

Bonaparte glistens….

Thanks Mary Sherman for this shot.

We love the Shermans

I’m on the far right with my cousins, sister and brother.

Franque23-

*This is Cassie Anderson’s first painting…It hangs in our camp at the lake. I’m in the boat with  her dad, Rob Morgan…..

**This is my brother, Ed Franquemont, standing before the steps of his passion-the Peruvian culture.


(Click on the pic for a better view.)

Neither of me is crazy–just pointing to the obvious.

Thing is, I love to do yard work. I hated to do it, maybe, when Dad asked me to but that work struck a nerve in me and it’s never stopped tingling.

It’s the little things that get me. Like today, seeing a random bird food seed spring up six feet tall with sunflowers next to the invasive Lantana all backed by a red crape myrtle now coming to bloom just spins my wheels.

The blue plumbago never fails to excite and it’s a good choice for Florida gardeners who don’t want to do much care for their planting… even a black thumb can grow this plant but don’t bring the cuttings inside unless you feel like picking up a zillion blooms off your floor.

I went to a movie with a date but ate it before the flick started…

Okay, I’m in love with a shrimp plant. I know, I know. How could this happen? Me, your normal run-of-the-looney-bin-guy and the next thing you know, I love a shrimp plant. This one’s tied up so it doesn’t sprawl into our front door walkway…thing is, this plant attracts all kinds of humming birds-so yeah, gotta love it. I missed the shot of one bird today-sorry.

Why do fries come in three sizes if size doesn’t matter?

Squash flowers have the nicest way of saying hello in the morning…I’m going to follow their lead and practice this on the next  few victims, err, people I meet.

Curb appeal could be spruced up a bit…it’s time to trim those box woods plants. As it turned today, I spent 6 hours trimming other plants and clearing fence lines. The box woods have to wait.

I’m not sure you can see this, but those are 8 foot high 1 by 2’s the tomatoes are towering over….

Nestled around the garden are the first few  butternut squash I’ve ever grown…Can you find it?

I’m thinking Monica milked the Clinton story for all it’s worth.

Moving on, I bought an Elantra this year and so far I’m extremely happy with this car…three drive gears give power, economy or normal driving options; the sun roof is a blast and the ride super smooth. Mileage so far is 31 MPG at an average speed of 26 MPH around town…but more, our Mulberry tree formed a beautiful arch for me to park under this year.

okay, Shadow, we’ll go out back….

The  green algae took my wallet for a ride this year with all this rain, but things are settling down after many hours of work almost daily..

A resistance sign to trickle down economics: Don’t Pee on Me

I saved over 40 two-year old pineapples from the cold this past winter and wondered what would happen… Well this happened… I’ve bunches of hand size pineapples….:-(

If I have three cookies and eat four of them-how many are left? (New math…)

Dale put some Peace plants on the back porch…very comforting to see and to be around.

Well, Shadow, that’s about it. Time to head back in and check out the bird feeder for squirrels!

 

You’d think in a male dominated society the saying would be, “He’s got Breast’s in the air,” not, “Balls in the air.”

I built this porch last summer…it was a bear of a job…the new plastic woods need joists every 12 inches or so….but I do love the work, the math, the shopping, the cutting, screwing, cursing…it’s all good. It took me about six weeks every morning from 6 am to 11 am before going to work to ‘get her done’….

Thanks for stopping by…

till next time.

Franque23

 

 


this post is under construction until tomorrow…


Last year at about this time it was exciting to recommended a day trip to all those up at the lake. The nearby huge rocks and flowing stream was a joy to climb and search throughout Greenwood State Park. (Just east of Harrisville off Rt 3.) * If you haven’t been, and especially if you have children nearby, like in your shadow, 🙂 take that journey.

The stream falls at a good clip…

The rocks are a blast to climb. And this park is free to visit. That’s right-no charge to slip on your rump!

Of course, you could stay at the lake and get in a boat and cruise past the lore of Beer Island—yes an entire Island that once was a bar:-)

or you might take a spin around the naked backside of Round Island,** now a place of camps,

For the longest time, neither Birch Island nor Round Island had any camps on them…Pictured below was the first for Round Island…

Or, you might scare the bejesus out of younger ones by idling down across Mud Lake to navigate a stumpy run on your way to Apline(a) dam. (Oh my gosh, as  kid I always thought we’d hit something in Mud Lake and sink!) And, though I digress, Birch Island got its name because, “Once upon a time, in a place called Bonaparte,” that spot had so many birch trees along it’s shoreline the Island appeared almost white!  This was the same time when High Rocks was only topped by a singular, small wooden cabin occupied by a man they called, Doc Holiday. This was the same time that bull rush bay teemed with bull rush and the hotel weed bed shore line was a muddy, grass laden flat without a home in sight. Still, even with the lake’s rich history and exciting present, there’s more to do than just hang at the lake when you’re lucky enough to visit its shores.

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It’s a lot of work just hanging at the lake…

I know it’s easy to stay stuck at the lake…it’s way hard to find a better place to be. The day-to-day  beauty of the place can drive a fisherman nuttier than they are already—we often simply drove to the big town of Natural Bridge for an ice cream or to shop lift from our cousin’s Morgan store.

Thanks, David….for the free stuff.

Sometimes, however, no matter how many stories there are to tell about the lake, a day trip from the lake is a venture worth taking.

Here’s the place to go: https://www.wildcenter.org/

This Wildcenter will not disappoint. (And it will lighten your wallet, too!) Built to amaze both the young and old alike, the drive up through Tupper Lake to reach this wacky, eye’s wide open, vista park is well worth the time it takes. It’s well worth the price of admission.  There’s a lot to do in this park so plan to leave the lake by 8 or 9 A.M. and return with smiling, tired faces about seven P.M. for an evening swim.

I always want to go to the Blue Mountain Museum but that seems twice as far as this outstanding park. Once you go, you’ll be caught in the Wild Center’s web….

If you can wrangle out of this spin there’s a tree to march down through with a world of information waiting inside.

It can get tiring but no worries: your average run-of-the-mill chair carved out of a single piece of tree is waiting at the must-see museum half of the park.

It’s an interesting journey.

Hands on drawings/ paintings centers the building.

Who knew there was so much life in the water!?!?!

It’s an easy day spent making memories of a different sort. Nothing like watching my Catahoula Leopard clear 28 feet off our dock for a ball, but as much fin! (Whoops, must be thinking about fishing.) Err, fun!!! I mean.

Wait! Did someone mention fishing?

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Maybe a big one might come along

Enjoy!

franque23

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/lake-bonaparte-tips-1/

** Raise your hand if you never swam naked behind Round Island? Sorry, that boat has sailed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gerald, the farmer. That’s not a title I ever thought I might stand by but, in some respects, it’s here now with me.

No, from the get go I announced as a small boy of four and then for some years after that I was, in fact, Gerald the Great! I’d march around our house with my wooden sword held high while my friends herded behind me proclaiming that, “I am Gerald the Great!”

There could be no doubt about my title. It was so well forecast by my mom’s natural golden shining hair and red lipped sweet smiles. My dad’s ever present smooth countenance, a demeanor so calm he could part the red sea with a single whisper, this man, too, had such a force his words gave swords to my armies.

I paraded armies of plastic men about the house for years, moving huge numbers of troops from room to room seeking the high ‘couch’ ground to gain advantage over an invisible foe. In fact, I directed and starred in these plastic men battles for so long I’m sure my mom must have wondered if, “The Nut case!”, should be added to the title, “Gerald the Great!”

I could never know the joy my first baby girl would give me.

Back then, I had to listen to the birds; the wind. I’d run across fields of dandelion knowing my song was in the air, that the sparkle in the dew upon the grass called. It was never hard to climb our apple trees highest limbs, catch, hit or throw the ball or balance precariously to walk across a 2X4 beam laid upon the ground. Life came easy..

Most mornings, the house rang of piano music played by my beautiful red-haired sister or mother whose apple pies usually scented the air by 10 AM. Perhaps, this is why when it came time for me to go to school I confidently announced that I wasn’t going to go. Of course, this is the first time I had to realize being, Gerald the Great, had its kinks.

I was the daydreamer in school; the birds were still singing. The white clouds seemed so much more appealing to see than the chalk streaks upon the black board. Schools friends were like brothers and the girls, so much smarter and with long hair, were fascinating.

 Sixth grade graduation…I’m in the back row, 6th from the right.

I drafted behind my brother’s spotless lead and fell into sports, wrestling from 3rd grade on, jostling lacrosse sticks on the field and running the football behind great blockers.

Ed placed third in the Nationals while wrestling for Harvard.

.

Music gave me a push, too. Wait!!! Whahaha, this is a very old photo and worn around the top left but if you click on it the picture seems to show my head smoking!!!!

It was my freshmen year of high school when my best friend, Bob Russo, and I attended a camp in Marlboro, Vermont, as counselors. One night, he slipped beneath the lake waters and never came back up. I’d been there, on the shore, but in the full moon light I was unable to locate his call for help. As daunting as that moment was to carry from then on, Gerald the Great, didn’t exactly go to the bottom of that lake with my friend that night, not entirely.  It’s  true, a part of me never left that shore line, but the burning embers of new love kept my glow alive through most of my remaining High School years. Thing is, Gerald the Great, did lose that night and I may have never found my way back.

Death has a nasty habit of sticking around, forever.

Life has a great way of moving on whether you’re ready to or not.

It seems we run to our shadows as we live.*

It’s years later, now, after the death of my friend. Of course, like most of us who live to my age, I’ve seen quite a few loved ones pass. I’m not sure if I see them best in the sunrise now or find them coming back most often during the sunset hours.  It’s all a wonder.

I had a renter, Ralph, a Vietnam combat vet who struggled with chemical poisoning. I liked, Ralph, and visited him often for no reason but friendship. One day like any other, he sat me down in his living room and told me this.

“Gerry, I appreciate your help here with the trailer; living here has been great. I’ve been going to the VA for several years now and they say my time is up. This is why I moved up here; to go to the VA.  Why I watch these damn combat dramas I don’t know.” Ralph turned off his TV set off. “Thing is, I was  in Sunrise , Florida, before I came here and one morning I decided to walk from my place all the way over a long bridge and make my way to the ocean. I saw a beautiful sunrise and heard a voice tell me that I’d make something out of my life yet. Now, I’m just dying; I’ve done nothing.”

I liked, Ralph. I hated to see his sunken shoulders, to hear his words. During my 14 years in retail I’d had complete strangers come up to my leather stands and announce they were dying, but this was Ralph, my friend. That I never knew his situation hit me like a dagger.

“Listen, Ralph, none of us can say what we have done when it comes to other lives. It’s that old image of a pebble being thrown into a pond; we ripple our lives through others in ways we don’t know.” We talked for hours.

 I found myself hoping I’d created waves with my life.

Funny, but I never went on to tell him how he’d rippled through me, and most of that I didn’t even hold at the time. Ralph passed two weeks later.

So, the point for, Gerald the Great, as the throes of life and death have surrounded me, is it came as no surprise to learn later on that I’d actually come from a long line of famous soldier regiments that fought around the world back in the 1750’s.

 

This is the palace where Von Franquemont’s were trained in math and warfare.

No, for me, I guess this time called life has always been a battle to win. Maybe, did I win? I have to think.

The rain came lightly down today as I picked our garden with the company of Shadow, my ever-loving dog.

I thought about a great friend, Anne, who just this past month told me the doctors had said she’d be dead by then. Her smile was no less bright; the warmth and compassion from her is no less spectacular than anything that ever was. Sometimes, this battle called life seems too much.

Anne is so much to so many. It feels as though she could never leave. She’s a tsunami of joy for the living spirit world.

I came in to leave this storm of thought carrying my produce to wipe the rain off my brow, pat down my dog and have some tea. It was time to regroup; time to kindle flames. It’s time to find the high ground, hit the couch, maybe read. I still hear the birds.

The young give me hope.

One day, Gerald the Great, may march around this house once more and if I do I’ll have to proclaim, “I never saw so much coming.”

Warm cheers for May

Franque23

 

 

*This is my son-in-law and our grandson.

 

 

 

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