Image result for notre dameThis is one of the saddest days. Notre Dame is a symbol of so much, and the keeper of so much of Western Civilization’s history by way of those buried there. One can’t slight the architecture embodied in this structure as well; the magnificent flying buttresses come to mind—and inside the stained glass, the ceilings, the gold inlays and marble flooring, the kind of work that will never be replaced fills my head. In all, Notre Dame, in all of its glory, has meant so much to so many over the past 800 years.

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The burning of Notre Dame is a loss but I suspect, also, it may be a bad beginning of what’s to come.

Questions about the cause of this fire will arise soon enough. It appears as though there were workers around the top of the building as made evident by the presence of large scaffolding around the structure’s roof.  Could one of them unintentionally started the fire? Could this fire have been set intentionally?  Already these questions have risen from the ash and in the minds of so many!

It’s no secret Paris has been the location of several terrorist attacks. Was the burning down of Notre Dame one of them?  It may not matter whether or not the Notre Dame fire was set on purpose—the heated social climate made of clashing cultures in Paris may not wait for facts before it rears its ugly head, before violence against groups of people take place. This blaze may be only the beginning of more clashes between faiths and ideologies with in the city. And, fires spread.

Some see the immigration problems many countries face as an attack upon Western Society. They don’t focus on the suffering people coming to their country face at home and during their travel, but rather see an influx of strangers they have not asked to meet. The destruction of Notre Dame will not help alleviate those feelings of dislike or discomfort for those who arrive. This blaze of Notre Dame may finally be put out, but I doubt it will be pushed aside by much but for retribution, more hate, and more suffering. Time will tell.

For now, so much has been lost. It’s a sad day, one that will burn in the memory of many and, I think, forever in Time.

Franque23

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The day was perfect but for what wasn’t. A nagging sinus infection(or is it a tooth?)came to the local vicinity of my head.  I’ve had this before and gargling salt water often seems to alleviate the symptoms.

I’ve read yoga can help.

Butt, being a Library Specialist in our Children’s department kept this ditty ringing thru my ears.

Maybe, this was on my mind as I hurried out the door on my way to work this morning. Then, it happened.

‘Why isn’t my car door opening?’

I had my work lanyard and building pass on, my second pair of glasses in hand, my two meals of food for the day in my igloo container, my coffee cup, my emergency asthma meds just in case, my eye drops for pollen season, my cough drops, loose change, license, charge card and food discount card in pocket….

‘Whoops, I didn’t pick up my key off the key rack—dang, left it inside; worse, I’m locked out!’

Crap usually comes in bunches, right? Unless, of course, you need a laxative….anyway, I had several ‘backed up’ plans. Sorry….anyway, backup plan number one was our neighbor has our house key in her house. Backup plan, ‘number two,’ was another stored key in a secret location with her just as we have her key secretly stored. Perfect!!!! Her car was in the driveway as I made my way to her door.

‘This will be simple—I’ll knock on her door, get the key and voila! Everything will come out fine!’

Thing is, I’d no idea the freight-train of Fate was about to pass through! Remember those pennies you left on the train-tracks to get flattened like a watery pancake? I was about to resemble those.

‘Okay, no answer from my neighbor, but this is just what the number two 😉 backup scenario, the so-called “secret outside key location,” was all about! Don’t worry.’

Well yeah, not to worry was timely but not to find the key in any secret location was also the moment….Drat! And, splat! I had to go! (…to work.)

I briskly walked back to the house to check for any window that might not be locked. Gosh, are we diligent on that! Every window was locked; are we anal? I crawled through the dog door in the back room to find the huge sliding doors were locked tight as well…Poop!

‘Sometimes Life seems less than perfect.’

But, as luck came my way ( haha…as if!) one strangely shaped, two foot wide, four foot high window in the downstairs bedroom was not locked!!! My Eureka! would soon become a freak show.

Imagine, if you will, a seventy year old guy trying to crawl into a two-foot wide space that is half-blocked inside by a heavy piece of furniture.

Well, it didn’t happen because after a futile attempt to bend into a pretzel, I thought trying my neighbor’s hidden key location again was a better idea. I looked everywhere with NO luck.

My stupid phone had fried two weeks earlier after I’d recharged it for three straight days? Go figure? So, I found a neighbor home at the fourth house I tried who had a phone I could use. I called my wife somewhere in the universe to tell her about my situation….she didn’t pick up. BUT!!! There was backup plan number three; I just had to go into relax-ative mode.

‘Hey, my other neighbor has the key to the neighbor’s house that has my key in it! Yay! I’ll call her, open up my neighbor’s house with that spare key, get my key and open my home up with that!’

Backup plan number three would save me until it didn’t…

Of course, the other neighbor I needed wasn’t home.

‘Here’s the beauty—being this deflated has to mean I’m losing weight.’

It’s the same principle that’s in play when you sit on the pot for three days with a stomach flu of some sort. Those pounds are drippin’ off! Anyway, this was a great thinking moment!

I headed home and looked more at the skinny one foot opening in that two foot window and knew this wonder boy could do it! I’m not sure what my ass looked like as I headed face first through that opening.

 

‘Getting stuck half in and half out this window with no phone could be bad.’ Double splat.

My legs hung outside with my butt wiggling over the bottom windowsill as I strained with my arms to pull myself into the room. Oh, to be twenty again. Visions of all those sugar plums I shouldn’t have eaten danced in my head.

I got into the downstairs bedroom before remembering this room had a steel door between it and the rest of our house. I stepped through the room up to the door.

‘Sometimes we lock it from the inside; other times we don’t.’

Yikes! We are SUPER diligent about locking things up tight! I was almost starting to think I was having a bad day!

Two and 1/2 hours later I decided my luck was flat-out, plain out to lunch. Of course, I’d called my wife again, no luck there. What is luck, anyway? Some sort of fiend that runs a muck to splatter my day with ruinous platitudes of down on your luck, the creek plum run dry and swimming upstream metaphors? Yes; exactly.

‘Well, if Luck’s out to lunch, I might as well eat mine.’

This was my last thought before my wife came home and saved the day! Here’s the best news: I’d missed most of a staff meeting at work!?!?!How cool was that?

It’s a lock—my luck had turned around!

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Can you find Aunt Donna in this picture with three smiling sons?

A bulletin board must catch the eye but be cerebral as well. They should take the person viewing them to a magical memory, a fascinating thought or place to rest. Film, pictures, paintings and people can be windows for our minds to pass through to find a whole new place to dwell as well. Aunt Donna was that window. She had the smile of an angel. Even today, her smile is my first recollection of her when she visited us on Long Island—her bending down to me with a smile so large and comforting. She wore bright red lipstick that her sparkling eyes nearly dulled from sight. I’d felt her presence immediately and noted that she was an adult who’d come to listen to my cause.  I may have been five when it occurred to me that Aunt Donna was an advocate for my life..

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Always with the smile.( pay no attention to the ranger photo-bomb)

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Aunt Donna fit like a flower.

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She could spark up any picture…(look to the light on the far right:-)…)

Seldom within my view but never far from mind, this is how I shared my time with Aunt Donna. In all of my failings as a teenager, I never once felt let down by Aunt Donna. She was always busy about life; she was here and there and about so much it was hard to keep pace.  She was into Edgar Casey, her years in Kenya, Africa, her work at the Zoo in Asheboro N. C  and her update on politics and contact to our other world of spirits. She taught by example. She advocated for all Life, for all reason, compassion, understanding, promotion, and for loving and acceptance.  There’s no complete way to sum up her presence here, what she meant to those who knew her. I was so lucky to have her as my Aunt. I’d call her a miracle.15894934_10154868412969254_4751720165878425805_n

Aunt Donna loved Nature.

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Aunt Donna loved to read.

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And she was devoted to promoting our family bonds.

I’d been planning this year’s Spring bulletin board for over two years, but then something happened.  This spring had a knock of a different stroke. It was one I wished to never answer, but had to.

My Aunt Donna died this Spring. She was 95. If only I’d spent more time resting with Aunt Donna, hanging out, sharing ideas, our hopes and dreams. Not seeing my Aunt Donna often enough was a huge mistake and it was mine to make; a choice that didn’t seem like one over the course of my past so many years. I was busy, right? Thing is, our time is unknown, but people are here to get to know.

Maybe, most seasons roll off my back as tasks to do with the garden—when to uproot the old plants, turn over the soil, row the dirt and plant with mulching soon to follow. It’s an ongoing process and even the harvesting, preparing and storing can’t be left out. The birds sing as the hawks cry above the hooting of an owl. Clouds above flow by reminding me that the weather will change as life does, with no next-day ever promised.

So, as I worked on this year’s Spring display, a mysterious force, call it a familiar voice, took over me and notion-ed that the display should be somewhat mysterious, ethereal. I’d saved these reflective circular cut-outs for over two years…. then it all happened.  I fell into thinking about Aunt Donna and even wondered if she was watching this bulletin board take shape. I hoped it was true.IMG_1183

Something was missing. My mascot, of course. I’ve a squirrel mascot in every bulletin board. In a way, I guess  this squirrel is me, a question I ask by way of the animal….do you love me? Isn’t that the question we all ask everyday?

Love isn’t just the answer; it’s the question.  Guess who taught me that? Aunt Donna, of course. If only you could have known her. I’m so proud of Aunt Donna. I’ll miss her every day for the rest of my life.

(Click on  these last two for larger view)

The Disks of glitter hanging about are to resemble our universal connection to the ethereal. The reflective background is to bring us into Spring and deeper yet, into ourselves. Spring is about us. This one, for me, is about Aunt Donna, maybe forever.

I needed Spring to help me see it’s all in front of us…just as Aunt Donna said. She was bigger than life; maybe that’s how to say it. I just don’t know. Of course, I’ll never see Aunt Donna surrounded by her three sons again—that time is over. I’ll just find her in my heart. This has to be enough.

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

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Come on, we haven’t had crap like this since the game was invented. Officially, Crap was invented in 1125 A.D., but many historian’s say the game of crap was brought to Europe at that time from Egypt, where it may have been played since God knows when. Still, here, this DOJ appointment by Trump is nothing but crap’s purest form.

Come on….Trump fires DOJ Whitaker, then DOJ Dana Boente, then DOJ Sally Yates and then DOJ Sessions, until he finds, Barr-the -fixer, who will fix anything Trump asks him to fix. You think I’m blowing smoke?

read this link if you want to know the truth about Barr… http://www.wbdaily.com/big-government/22994/

here’s a quote from the article…

“However, as a result of doing business with Clinton, the Feds needed a fixer. That fixer would become Barr, who went by the CIA code name of Robert Johnson.

Bush and Clinton Needed a BIG Fix”…(that was Barr, our current so-called DOJ)

That answer, the man Trump needed was Barr. He has no moral ground….just a fixer from the get-go for either party. What bothers me, maybe most, is that most of those congressmen and women who vetted Barr for the postilion of DOJ knew all of this. They still confirmed this man to clear Trump and about anyone else involved with any possible Russian interference in our election or any obstruction done by Trump.???

Trump is a maze of firing to numb us to the reality that the only person who really mattered was the DOJ. He fired so many people, and at the time I never realized it was to smoke screen the important one.

This is a link to the zillion people Trump has so-called fired. But, mind you, this was to smoke screen the big move, the firing of the DOJ.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Trump_administration_dismissals_and_resignations

Trump is  a scum bag, we all know it. His propensity to grab,’pussy.’ when he likes is enough to earn him the title. But there is so much more. He is a bully, a man who hates minorities, a disgusting liar, a greedy man who has no soul. Thing is, these are his good qualities.

Support who you like, but this man, Trump , vowed with Bannon to bring down American democracy…go look it up..

“Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty.”https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/top-wh-strategist-vows-a-daily-fight-for-deconstruction-of-the-administrative-state/2017/02/23/03f6b8da-f9ea-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.3e7d19528fa0

People slough this off as a correction to big cats in Government,, but is it? Trump has dismantled an amazing amount of our morals, laws, customs and governmental over sight. And what change did Trump bring to taxes???? All for the upper 1%, that’s where his so -called tax reform went,. Why.. To break our back, to break American workers and society.

Trump means to dismantle the American way of life.

Trump thinks Russian Pr is more correct than our own FBI and Intl. community. This is no mistake by Trump. Just like his constant attack on our FBI people and the Media, Trump is out to break the back of American society….Let’s break him instead.

2020 isn’t that far away. Republican or Democrat…vote in 2020 like America depends upon your vote….it does.

Franque23

 

 


My father loved flowers; I’ve never left his shade.

There’s so much to write about this week—it’s completely mind-blowing!!!! So rather than grouse about cover-up DOJ reports, constant injustices in our tax codes, rampant, illogical behavior by large groups of Americans, I thought taking a quick look at the ‘Spring’ in Life’s force might do us all wonders! Thanks to my good friend and editor of this glob for ten years-Barbara. ( She’s responsible for corrections; I get the credit for errors.)

Meanwhile, please take a moment to view the incredible strength of the living force we all belong to on our planet. Truly, life is a wonder.

Cheers, and happy Spring! Keep blooming!

Franque23


(please click the pic for a larger view)

Goldfinch are dazzling to the eye, a 1/2 oz blaze of chirping, yellow color in the male, soothing greenish beige in the female. How, ever in the name of sanity, do these birds, no more that seven inches long, make the trip from southern Canada to Mexico or South Florida and back each year?!?!? They just do; it’s a wonder.

It started at my feeders about two weeks ago, around March 1st, with one or two Goldfinch standing on  my sunflower feeder. They’ll eat sunflower seeds, along with a diet of various wildflower seeds and even tree sap for energy, but they vastly prefer the taste of thistle.

I quickly ran out and bought several hanging socks and put four of them up.

Boom! A flock started to arrive over the course of the next few days. At first, I had four, then twelve at one time. Now? I have eight sock feeders up and about 38 to count at a time feeding on them. I suspect we have about 60 goldfinch hanging around in our yard.

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( These are pineapple plants in the background.) Goldfinch make a most pleasant sounding, high-pitched racket as they rest in trees before making their approach to eat. And their presence often attracts other birds we rarely see….

This is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. I’ve seen the Downy and the Pileated* woodpeckers for years, and when they hit the feeder it’s quite a mess with sunflower seeds flying every-which-way, but this is my first sighting of the Red-Bellied woodpecker…. here’s a clipped photo so you can see much better how the bird looks.

Recently, I’ve gone to buying large bags of thistle to re-fill the store bought thistle full hangers they sell for about 5 bucks each. A twenty dollar bag of thistle will re-fill about 15 hanging socks…so it’s quite a savings.  Of course, the Goldfinch hang around for only about three weeks tops on most occasions , then they are off headed south or back up north as they are now for summer in southern Canada or the northern U.S.  This means you have to time your purchases just right or it’s easy to get stuck with thistle. These birds most likely will not eat any saved, old thistle during their next flew-through. Goldfinch are picky; they like the thistle seeds to be fresh.

 

I sit and watch the carnival of Goldfinch feed most mornings while they’re here.  But this shot is also to picture a super African violet growing right now by the window… neat.

Another sighting of a Catahoula being hypnotized by the Goldfinch. These windows are Shadow’s ‘TV’ and he loves it when the finch come to town.

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Shadow suffered  severe lacerations on his body on two occasions this year and both were at night in our fenced in yard. First, a foot long razor cut slit his chest through three layers of skin and then a longer, more severe laceration along his forehead and back the second time to the tune of 3200 dollars in vet bills-he’s lucky to have survived the second attack.

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I figured it was a large wild cat of some kind, and a similar attack happened to a larger dog living down the road from us two months ago. Both dogs were well confined inside fenced in yards and in each case the dogs did not even bark, but returned home with these massive injuries….the amazing night tripped photo below brings up another possibility.

Really? Just wow. I still lean to the large wild cat idea.

I’m thinking they’re about 18 finch in this picture.

It’s great to let go, relax, and watch these little birds bulk up for their up coming journey. At this point, the eight socks need to be re-filled every other day!!

Cheers from Spring in Florida, I hope. It can freeze even in April here in Northern Florida during some weird years. I think it was around 1980 when it snowed clear down to the Bahamas…so there’s that. I’m not looking that up, just winging the date from memory:-)

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here’s an interesting, reflective post by a family member. I love her use of observation and reasoning to reach her conclusion. All of us need to reflect and observe more: how were things and how are they now.  Why have things changed for the worse and how can we make things better?  Well founded conclusions need to be followed up with effective action. America, we can do this. I think a posting by the famous actress, Jennifer Lawrence,*(linked here and below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr5BPRYp8Mw) offers a glimpse into a successful process to bring about change.

Meanwhile, a family member, Cassie Anderson, wrote:

“I remember very clearly when I first noticed this. I was a home health nurse, in a patient’s house and they were watching the news. I hadn’t had cable tv for 14 years and back then the news consisted of the local Portland news stations. I remember my jaw dropping in disbelief as I heard FOX news in the background as I was doing wound care. I couldn’t believe the utter disrespect and tactless comments the people were saying about the president, (at that time, Obama). They were accusing him of being a Muslim (like it was a bad thing) and talking about his birth certificate, it was crazy to me! This patient was so engulfed in this channel that he had it on almost 24 hours a day. To him, this was normal and to me it was surreal. I thought news reporters reported unbiased facts and it was then I realized that this was clearly not the case. I continued to observe this pattern as I worked as an impatient nurse at the hospital. People would turn on their tv, directly to these “news” stations. They were used to this background noise of people arguing and debating fact less theories or the most recent gossip. Now it appears as though people are normalized to the blatant disrespect in the media and they don’t demand facts or evidence, false statements are forgotten and forgiven as soon as they are said. it’s still crazy to me. Now we have a President, The Leader of the United States, that is a walking example of this blatant lack of respect & dignity. Sadly, this is ok to many because they call it courage. To me, courage is the ability to filter yourself. Courage is the ability to do the research before you blabber. Courage is looking at all sides of a situation and seeking guidance from your cabinet and using your resources to seek truth and facts (not firing everyone around you that opposes you). Courage is taking that pause to do what’s ethically right and I think we have the media to blame for this shift on respect. Turn off your TV people! Save money and stop paying those ridiculous cable bills. It’s all propaganda and a form of brainwashing. Teach your kids respect, be kind to strangers and those that are less fortunate. Be thankful for what you have and actually try to improve the world around you. Go to Church or find some form of spiritual healing. It will change your perspective, for the better. This is what we need to focus on and stop buying into the crap on tv!”

Thanks again , Cassie, for posting.

Cheers

Franque23

 


There are many reasons I’m proud of our Franquemont family. This post below by, Dan Franquemont, is one of them. He writes distinctly to a point that seems to divide so much of our society at this day and age in American history.  The difference between Socialism, a free capitalistic market and democratic Socialism is well laid out by, Dan. And, this is very important for voters to know before terms start flying about as we approach our next Nation Election. Of course, the labeling war has begun and in many ways so has the misdirection from the Right and the Left.

Thanks again, Dan, for keeping us straight and on target.

The truth is that unfettered capitalism is as failing a system as any. For the last 50 years the largest corporations have had laws preventing monopolies and extremist capitalism undermined by chipping way at the restrictions which has led to the mess we are in. Just a little bit every few years. I am a capitalist but I recognize that it’s wrong to corner the market in one way or another and then charge whatever I want or to conspire with other providers to rig the pricing. That is essentially what has happened now. That is how drug price quadrupled over the past decade. It is what led to the system failure in 2008. Most rules of decency in capitalism (regulation) have been discarded and then they say they are just following the law and they are doing nothing wrong. With all of the layers of corporate organization no one has a conscience driving the morality of the corporation’s actions and there is no accountability. Meanwhile the middle class is shrinking. Unfettered capitalism is not sustainable. Regulated Capitalism is the only sane alternative. Some systems need more regulation than others. Healthcare companies, Internet companies, Information systems, Utility companies, Water, Land-use, and Food Supply come to mind as a matter of course. Socialism comes in to play in whatever we decide an unalienable right is. I say good health is not but healthcare is. I say access to power and clean water is. Safe roads and communities are. I say the food supply may not be contaminated either willfully or un-willfully. This is all socialism. When it is a free democracy, as is ours, it is democratic socialism.”

One Meme shows a family driving a car built at a government bailed out car plant, across government built roads using social security money to buy government price controlled gas to get to a State Park as they complain about any type of socialism…we have to laugh.

Cheers

Franque23

 


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Dogs are spirit given to our lives…. they know us, help us and protect us… There’s nothing like a dame was once a famous song…(Ha! Now-a-days it might get the deep six, thumbs down action I suspect)… Well yes, I say, there’s nothing like a woman, but there’s nothing like a dog as well:-) Not to equate the two!)

This is my dog, Shadow, smiling bright.

Try dog ownership if you haven’t; your heart-felt energy will enlarge and your life will be a richer experience. Although there are studies that find people who own and love dogs live longer, better, happier lives than those who don’t, there are also similar findings when people who associate with horses or pets of all kinds are compared to those who don’t.

My daughter on her horse, Toby.

Just a guess, but I’m thinking people who open themselves up to loving any or all kinds of life around them find fulfillment in their lives, while those who don’t short-change the scope and breadth of what their own lives might be.

I float better with Shadow in the pool…maybe.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13: 3 (NIV)

It’s interesting that this idea be termed , ‘A new command,’ at the time of Jesus, as though the thought had never been expressed before.

The American Zen teacher John Daido Loori shows us that Zen practice should include not only meditation, the study of Zen literature and liturgy, and moral and ethical action, but should also manifest in work, artistic, and everyday activities….

Basically, you could pick any major religion throughout the world and find the same advice: love one another. But, to expand this thought, Jesus never said it’s okay to kick the dog as you’re busy loving people. No, everyone and everything is included in, “Love one another…” Of course, Native Americans understood that all of creation is sacred.

What about wars? Wars happen; people are far from perfect.

Empathy is a one to one ratio. The more we notice the life around us and it’s living condition, the more empathy we feel. Turning a blind eye to the suffering of our human condition and our Earth’s situation does nothing but blind us. None of us can solve the world’s problems alone, but the pebble thrown into a lake analogy certainly applies. Every good or bad action we do is that pebble, and the ripples that spread out from its splash may reach shorelines, people and places, we can’t even see as we throw that little stone.

My advice? Be kind to yourself: be as good a person as you can be. If you do this, you will sleep easier at night. I’m thinking if we do manage to strive to do our best (hey-I think that’s a Boy Scout motto?) then we are less inclined to worry about the future. That future will come as it may but when it does we will know we’ve done our best. No worries; you’ve done everything you could’ve to improve life.

Take that leap of faith in love.

Alfred E Neuman: what me worry? I loved Mad magazine as a boy (like now) and my Southern Baptist upbringing aligned my understanding of these words with the church teachings to not worry. Thing is, in truth, the history of Alfred E Neuman’s face and its historical meaning  is something different altogether. In fact, Neuman’s face has been used at least since 1883…and to sell mince Plum pudding.

And, later on…

Worse, another version of Alfred E Neuman’s face was used by the Germans during world War II and captioned, “Kill the Jews.” Honest. (Not the picture above.)

So, my interpretation of Neuman’s, ‘What me worry,’ illustrates how what we think about things is related to our preconceived notions, and those notions are usually based upon what we’ve been taught to think. Self realization derived from observation and deduction is a bit skewed now in the human experience. We are taught to be who we think we are. Often, this is not the case at all.  Most often, we are people just like most, people with needs, wants, hopes, dreams and empathy but we’ve been subtly taught to turn off this understanding. We’ve been encouraged to turn a blind eye to the condition of humanity and our earth.

It’s time to turn ourselves back on.

It’s time to be joyful.

My sister, Sharon Franquemont, published a book, “You Already know What To Do.” * This book, published in nine languages throughout the world, makes many points but my favorite is the concept that intuition should be taught in schools as a subject. This way, we might help our children get in touch with themselves, their inner sense of life’s order and magnitude, and how their lives relate to all growth. The world would be a better place if society expressed a true interest in our inner selves and how that inner self relates to the world around us. Point: Dogs help people do this.

Having a dog, or any pet, helps us express love for something other than ourselves and, in turn, that pet loves us back. This way, people learn how love flows from us and back to us. We learn how good this exchange of love feels. Soon, and not depending on the amount of LSD or pot you’ve smoked in the 70’s, the notion that loving the people, the animals , the trees or even the rocks we pass returns love to us becomes less remote and, in fact, a real life experience.

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Let’s put a bow on this. Yes, try loving your neighbor, but it might be mastering that process is easier done if you start with loving a doggie, or pet of any kind…. good luck.

Cheers, and I hope the ripples from my pebble reach you at a most fortuitous time and in the best of light. Namaste; to your light.

Franque23

 

*https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0874779464/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0


(Click the pic for a larger view…)

Hi, Shadow’s here to help me tell you about my year gardening since August 2018

It’s one thing to plant citrus and a garden on your property; it’s another to harvest. Of course, I love it all—I love to be in touch with the changing seasons, the sun angle, the forecast and amount of rainfall. Yep, I love it all. Why? I can’t exactly say. It’s work, that’s for sure. The ins and outs of gardening and growing fruit trees takes time, attention and execution at the right time. These are things that don’t wait for me to be ready but, rather, they have ways of telling me when they are. A farmer has to ,’snap-to,’ when it comes to planting and harvest time.

Case in point, this first picture above. Thing is, it was a mild winter, but one day they put out a 28 degree forecast for extended hours(never came to be at all) So, I raced out after work (I work til about 9:15 PM)with flashlight held in my mouth as I picked a hundred plus tomatoes before they froze. I also picked the lemons, large and small, eggplant, sage and basil….it was a hard night that ended about at midnight. I put these green ones into large super market brown paper bags, about twenty or so in each, and they ripen in them….Some will rot, but if you check every few days and pull out the ripening ones to put on a counter, you’ll get most of them ripe.

But that wasn’t the start of the season, a planting that was made in mid August.

I got a soft(small) crop of bush green beans this fall(why? When I’ve yielded twenty-three pounds recently-that’s farming) but the foot long Asian beans took off. Cheers for my one yellow squash! This was around Oct, 2018

 

The tomatoes starting coming in as well

I started an outside fence line of marigolds early on,,,and they might be part of the reason my tomato plants ended up nine feet tall with up to 25 tomatoes on them per bush in January..I’m not sure,, it may have been more due to this year’s endless growing season.

About this season…from August 2018 until now, Feb. 2019…I’ve never seen anything like it…The garden is still producing lettuce, collard greens, Kayla , and eggplant and a tomato or three here and there.

BTW– have you ever looked at an eggplant flower? Here’s one. I say hello.

Another gift of the weather is a robust growing season for the pineapples,,,.. I’ve about 40 plants growing here and there around the property,, and all from cutting off the tops of one’s I bought, or from a box full from Ward’s who gave me their top cutting on the day they cored their selection of pineapples for the public (you can call them to find out when they might have a box of cut-off tops)….do it.

To a great satisfaction, the pineapples may have done well so far this winter. They take two years to fruit, so getting thru a winter is a must for them… BTW– if you have never eaten a hand-picked ripe pineapple that’s truly golden  deep yellow, you’ve never really tasted one. That’s another thing that gardeners get back: the taste of fresh food ,, like the taste of food picked that day or a couple of days before eating is AMAZING…..much different than even from most farmer’s markets….

and oh, the Camellias—how wonderful. We’ve red and white. We need a blue, right?

Herbs are easy to grow, and don’t take much space. Pots on balconies work well, even. I do use mine fresh-that’s best, but you can dry them on tin foil in the sun to keep year round… just get them totally dried, and crunch them up into old spice bottles..so far, after several years, I haven’t had a problem with this method.

(Basil and a bit of Thyme)

Shadow follows me everywhere I go during the year,, whether I’m working the soil, picking oranges, or smelling flowers.. he is my, Shadow! How could I be so lucky to have gotten him?

Of course, when I read how much nutrients levels drop off from food so many days out of picking, or read about roundup being in our food chain, or any other added chemicals, it spurs me on to get the soil ready without chemical to plant, and then harvest. All of us in Florida, at least, should have a range of food planted around their dwellings—it really doesn’t take much space; just work, patients and some hand done bug squashing.

There’s nothing like listening to the birds chatter as hawks cry from above while being out there working the soil.

Greening is a major problem throughout much of the world now for citrus, and my small 2 acres or less is no exception.*  This means more work for me, and not only in that about 500 hundred citrus won’t ripen this year, but guess who has to pick up all that fruit off the ground? Oh yeah, full-time job now. What had been a 1500 piece citrus crop two years ago is now about 1000, and it will only get worse until the trees only bear blooms(which are heavenly) and sour fruit. But this is what it is.

I bring fruit to work for my workmates several times per week, Nov 1st thru about March 1st;…My grandchildren and their parents get more than they can eat, I think.  My neighbors all get fruit and my doctors do as well! Even my Tax guy gets some:-)  The mail guys and garbage technicians do as well….this makes it all worth the effort.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of planting a pecan tree…seems reasonable. Yes, there are blue berries and pears and apples as an option but, so far, I’ve found the squirrels like those options as well…and they clean out the pickin’s on them.

We recently put in Avocados and have two papayas growing that I hope make it.

Go ahead,,, look into planting this spring. Write me, if you like. Growth is a miracle; join in the effort.

Cheers, and keep growing.

Franque23

 

see you later…

*https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2016/10/12/citrus-production-continues-to-decline-in-florida

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