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Boom! I’ve been wanting to do this river and water fall on a bulletin board for a long time. I’ve tossed the possible design around for over a year. At last, the river flows, and the water falls!

The falling water is made of strips of highly reflective blue foil paper, silver tinsel and and see through, multicolored floresent wrapping paper. I put blocks of white foam board at the bottom to created the white splash of falling water.

The falling water is made of strips of highly reflective blue foil paper, silver tinsel and a translucent, multicolored wrapping paper. I put blocks of white foam board at the bottom to enhance the white splash and mist created by falling water as it hits the rocks.

But the board is more about zipping through adventure as you roam the collection of any library.

It's fun to zip around a library.....

It’s fun to zip around a library…..

Now, just who might be zipping through the youth services department’s collection. I found a few likely suspects.

Wait! I thought the sign said no dogs! Maybe Big, Red Dogs named Clifford are okay....

Wait! I thought the sign said no dogs! Maybe, Big, Red Dogs named Clifford are okay….but I still say Elmo is over the top!

It’s a rowdy group going up the walk way to lift off…

You have to click on the picture to get my drift....And why would big Bird need to Zip Line? For kicks, that's why!

You have to click on the picture to get my drift….And why would Big Bird need to Zip Line? For kicks, that’s why!

The over-all view is fun!

Front view of Zzzip to Adventure Bulletin Board

Front view of the Zzzip to Adventure Bulletin Board.

I’d be happier if the library’s web page address was more visible. At the time, black seemed right-what a clunker of an idea. It’s still possible I might redo that in a brighter color….@www. aclib.us…. For sure the squirrel mascot I use in every board is missing…he’ll be floating on a raft-type boat in the water below the river by sometime next week….

This is what people see if htey look left as they walk down the stairs into our youth services department

This is what people see if they look left as they walk down the stairs into our youth services department

This board was challenging to string up! I’m happy with many aspects of the scene. The crumpled look of the grey rock comes across as I hoped it might and gives some credence to the idea of a water fall(I think). Some one asked me how long the board took to put up. The answer is almost five years-that because some parts of it, the wood steps and the black trees, have been used in boards over and over throughout that length of time. In fact, the reflective green grass blades have been used in countless displays and in puppet show sets for over eight years-so yeah-eight years… Nothing comes easy, but many things can be used in many different ways. For me, the fun in the planning, doing the design work, working to put it all together as a scene, and then hearing what people think about the board when it’s all finished are equally as refreshing. Call me loving it.

Here’s to adventure in your local library. Zip on by and have fun! BTW here’s a link from Cnn that pictures some beautiful libraries—and lists some amazing facts about their collections.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/12/travel/gallery/americas-most-spectacular-libraries-feat/index.html

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.
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As I see it, no one remembers him, only the booze, the drunken swagger, and slow drawl that crept out from beneath his handle bar mustache. They remember him old, defeated, not so much more than a has been from a more than forgotten time.  Thing is, that time was our time.

We laughed together as kids maybe more than you ever will. That’s a fact I can’t prove but the words speak for themselves. Things got exciting when Grady came to the lake. We were young- there were a million boats to ride and hillsides to climb. Later on, when we got cool, there’d be booze, of course, but much more humor. Ideas would flow between us as my cousins, Robin and David, gazed with Grady and I at star light or the flickering flames of a fire that needed one more log. The heat from our fires back then was unreal, and it always dispelled any notion we might have had that good times could ever end, that things could ever change, and even be forgotten. Grady had the spark we’d  waited to see all day though few who are alive today could ever believe it, certainly never know it, or think that possible-he was a drunk. I suspect that’s what people will say, or think now.

Like my cousin Robin, or David, who bowed down to the power of booze, Grady was no different, but for his name, his life, and his spirit. Thing is, anyone who only reads the last chapters of a book and then claims to know what the entire story was about is wrong. Grady’s ending belies his life, a life attested to by so much that still stands today by our lake house,or, actually, inside it as well. His life stands inside my heart, too. You see, more than the painfully perfect rocks walls that Grady built along the road way to our camp, and those rock walls are a challenge to any who ever built one to try a do better, the dry wall of our camp loft and more were meticulously done by Grady. Forty-five years later, not a seam of tape is showing in those joints, and the fittings have always been perfect.

Grady, I owe you. Not just because my parents loved you so dearly, but because you gave so much when you could.

It gets down to this: I loved this guy. I loved hearing his unique voice, a raspy, deep woodmen’s sounding one, and the twinkle in his eye. When he spoke, people listened; and when he laughed the world did too. His rock walls at the lake will always be wonderful to see, a fond remembrance. Of course, only my cousin,Robin, may have drunk more, I don’t know. My cousin David may have taken a close third place. All are gone now. That is painful, but what really matters to me is that I will miss all three, and often hear their voices, their laughter, in the wind as it comes off the lake.

We had it all for a moment as we grew up together during our summer time spent at the lake camps-we were so young, and it was so much fun. Sunlight glimmered just for us.

Grady, I may be one of few who know how much you did for my parents, and for the beauty of the East Shore road up at Bonaparte. I may be one of the few left who remember you as a kid, with eyes shining bright and laughter so light. Thing is, I want you to know-I miss you already. You were honest, a friend during the years I wish I had back. I’d guess, most anyone who really knows you feels the same.

Goodbye Grady. I wish I could see you again. We’ll have to wait and see about that. We always wondered what would happen. Sometime, when I pass, we’ll know.

Franque23-

We have a great tradition of doing puppet shows here in the Alachua County Library district’s  downtown Headquarter’s Branch-In one way or another, the whole crew of the youth services department gets involved, even if this is  to man the desks extra hours while the puppeteers practice or perform.*

We’d performed an adaption I wrote of The Wide-Mouth Frog about four years ago. This time, when Gail Carr heard we were doing the show again, she came running up to me with the music we’d used before-she’d saved it all this time!

Gail's eyes dazzle with the same excitement we all feel about the puppet shows.

Gail’s eyes dazzle with the same excitement we all feel about the puppet shows.

We had to start with a publicity sign and hand bills to pass out.

We put the sign up about two weeks before show date

We put the sign up about two weeks before show date, but we’d thought about how to do the show for more than 3 months-selecting parts and thinking about the humorous aspects of the puppet show.

We place the story in a Floridian swamp–and talk up as many environmental issues as possible without being too heavy handed.

I decided to build a set that places the frog under mushrooms this time-that means I have to build those gigantic shrooms.

How to build a 3-D mushroom? That was my question!

How to build a 3-D mushroom? That was my question!

I started with two different shapes, thinking I might stuff something on this back piece and cover it with the right paper….turned out, I didn’t need any stuffing.

Iwanted the mushrooms to have gills,,,and think I may put interior lighting inside the shrooms for a neat look--though not sure I'll get to this.

I wanted the mushrooms to have gills,,,and think I may put interior lighting inside the shrooms for a neat look–though not sure I’ll get to this. I stapled the gills to the back piece, and bent it up and out.

Here’s a shot of this from the other side to help show the structure technique.

Now the back piece and gills of shroom are ready for the outer layer that will be stapled to the inside tabs as shown.

Now the back piece and gills of shroom are ready for the outer layer that will be stapled to the inside tabs as shown.

(above)I’m using x-actos to cut a stiff mylar and then bending the paper so they form the gills I want. My fingers point to the tabs I’ll need in order to staple the covering to the gill part of the interior.

It took some planning to figure how much material I'd need to bend around the mushroom frame.

It took some planning to figure how much material I’d need to bend around the mushroom frame.

I’m using a corrugated,  tan colored roll of paper. I deliberately stepped on this board for one of the shrooms, to give that one a different texture/look. Then came the stapling- I had to staple the tabs once to the top paper as it came around the bend, and then again to get those staples as close as possible to the frame and end up with the look I wanted.

a two step process-first, a loose fight, then a tighter stapling and closer cutting to shape the mushroom

a two step process-first, a loose fit, then a tighter stapling and closer cutting to shape the mushroom

Not too bad so far...

Not too bad so far…

The stems will  be made out of corrugated white paper…the mushrooms will stand about six to seven feet, one on either side of the puppet show. And there will be trees……that may be turned around by hand. One side of each tree will show an arching branch full of leaves and hanging Spanish moss but, when turned, the back side of those branches will come together as a rainbow —you’ll get the idea once they are done.  A great intern, Grace, helps make the rainbow, and stands next to the guts of the trees –

Grace helped us before several years ago....it's great ot have her back! Menawhile, the puppet stage that will be transformed into a swamp is in the background.

Grace helped us before several years ago….it’s great to have her back! Meanwhile, the puppet stage that will be transformed into a swamp is in the background.

I got center pieces of carpet rolls from a local carpet store, hack-sawed them in half, cut out boxes and taped them together for a stable up-right.

The mushrooms wait on my desk for their stems....

The mushrooms wait on my desk for their stems….

Some say I must have been eating mushrooms to come up with this sorta stuff-but I love it! And I can’t wait to see my supervisor, Tina, play the part of the Wide-Mouth Frog….she wears so many hats! Odette, our other puppeteer for the show, has a million voices! Plus, when I showed her a box I hoped to turn into an ambulance, she did a 1000 times better job of that task than I’d ever dreamed possible.

Usually, it is common for puppet shows to feature small, intricate stage props the puppets can use. Thinking big can work, too. We like to bring the show to the people, and often do outtakes during the Puppet show that present full size characters who represent the puppets in person. It’s an interesting twist.

The stage is starting to come together…

Thing is, we still needed to build much more for the set,,,I worked, and many others helped. Here’s a good shot of the trees in production. One side of overhanging limbs will be of wood and leaves, but when they are turned around, those hanging branches will form a rainbow…

the branches start- one picture of each side

the branches start- one picture of each side

Volunteers help us build the trees.....the tree frames stand behind the branches/rainbow.

Volunteers help us build the trees…..the tree frames stand behind the branches/rainbow.

Finally, after about four hours of putting prop  pieces in place, the stage is set. (The puppet stage is in between the shrooms, and the people appeared throughout the show by walking out in front of the ambulance.  That truck we drove out as two medics who wore frog hats–the wide mouth frog had a frog stuck in her throat….

It took a drill, hammer and counter sinks to attach the tree limbs that doubled as a rainbow....

( Click on the picture for a bigger, better view.)It took a drill, hammer and counter sinks to attach the tree limbs that doubled as a rainbow….The tinsel blew like rain in the rain forest once the AC was turned on.

The show was more than great fun!  Here’s to great times in Libraries.

Ribbit, ribbit.

See you!

Franque23

*The other blog about the show-getting ready to perform.https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/puppet-show-pazazzz/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Bobcats catch sharks off the coast of Florida.

This makes perfect sense, but I'd never imagined it happening.

This makes perfect sense, but I’d never imagined it happening.

Deer occasionally eat rabbits and birds…delanoes03-06-07-S1541 http://io9.com/field-cameras-catch-deer-eating-birds-wait-why-do-deer-1689440870 The next time you see a really big deer-run away…..Have to laugh about Monty Python’s attacking rabbit…

Broccoli seeds grow in pods….and the bunch in my garden will/do have one bazillion seeds on it—

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

The seeds are small.

The seeds are small.

I will never tire of swimming in Alexander Springs.

I wa slucky to have been in the park when it first opened-often only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

I was lucky to have been in the park when it first opened(1970ish)-only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

Okay, it was more than a week ago when I mentioned to a son-in-law that I thought it was a bit odd that-generally speaking-most designer’s of women’s  apparel were, well, seemingly gay men.* I mean, they like men, right!?!?  He turned to me and answered, “If heterosexual men were the designers, all women would be naked.”

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Clothing’s appeal is completely situational-a product of the mind…**(this link to a neat blog on the history of sex and fashion.) A black bikini composed of a thong bottom and single strap wide top is acceptable at the beach, water play ground, rivers, lakes or springs, but outlandish on a sidewalk.

case in point.

case in point. A 1970’s shot.

Ho-hum, another day at the beach.....

Ho-hum, another day at the beach…..2015.

Learning can be fun! Franque23 *http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/08/fashion/thursdaystyles/08FASHION.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 **https://franque23.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/a-determined-lot-of-sex/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

My New Year’s foolslution this year was to re-gain my six-pack. So, I went out and started buying them, but they turned into a keg-belly, not a ripped torso. Odd. It seemed the more I tried the worse it got!

My self image was growing.....

My self-image was growing…..

Thing is, I’d wrestled most of my earlier years, beginning in second grade with my first official match in sixth and then on through high school.  I was flexible then, muscular for my age and quite successful at the sport( my entire lifetime record was 62ish wins and 2 losses). I had a six-pack then, and I’d never drank a single one! Go figure.

Being young has it's advantages....

Being young has it’s advantages….(Not me pictured.then or now..)

It’s April, and I’ve officially started to do yoga again daily, kicking in leg lifts and fifty stair push-ups as well. Who’d want to start in January!?!?! Ha! Anyway, it’s a start-moving from round to fit, maybe. I play Lisa Lynn Harp music as I workout every morning-love that music- but I have to say this repetitive tune thing I have going on drives my wife nuts, and now my dog scoots up the stairs to escape the morning barrage of lets feel good music, too.  Let’s face it, Shadow’s in shape at 1 and 1/2, and he’d rather be listening to squirrels chomping up in his jaws than me huffing on a mat.

But it’s all good, and since there’s ten thousand things I’d like to recommend, doing Yoga is one of them.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago.....sigh.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago…..sigh.

I started yoga in earnest at age 55 and did it nearly daily for seven years. The routine made me feel ten years younger and much stronger than the 54-year-old me I’d been when I started. Do yourself a favor-start any yoga routine that suits your fancy and stick with it to see what happens.

Random note(and picture):

Idea! It's a miracle I survived......

Idea! It’s a miracle I survived……

Robin and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs back in 1970ish.  Not sure, but it seemd Gators were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they'd swim on down river....

Robin(my cousin) and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs* back in 1970ish. Not sure, but it seemed the Gators we often swam over were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they’d swim on down river….I never felt in danger–hahahah…..So there are also disadvantages to being young.

So why did I ever stop doing yoga? Well,  one-off day easily leads to the next, and what once was time to do the routine becomes time to do other stuff. Plus, there’s ice cream, cakes, chips, crackers, spreads, jams, barbecue, not soda fountains, parties and those six-packs.

Not soda bars....

Not soda fountains….

It's really very simple-a person can work out or pass out....and then dream he's working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

It’s really very simple-a person can work out or pass out….and then dream he’s working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

In fact, when you compare the few things yoga does for a person-makes them strong, more fit, happier, thinner-to all the other reasons not to do yoga, well, it’s a no-brainer. Did I mention Football season and beer? And ice-cream cakes….the choice is simple.

I'm thinkin' this guy watched a few too many games.....

I’m thinkin’ this guy watched a few too many games…..

Find some simple stretches you like doing, and remember to hold your positions for 30 seconds. Don’t worry about how far down your hands go, or knees bend, just do what you can. Bend don’t break, that’s the rule. Quickly, the body regains its elasticity and a person becomes more flexible.

I spent Saturday at Alexander Springs snorkeling at my favorite Florida spring.

Ah--Alexander Springs....I'd like my cousins, etc. to one day see this place.

Ah–Alexander Springs….I’d like my cousins, and readers to one day see this place.

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Geeez...

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Ge’ez…

It was crowded, being Easter Weekend, but I couldn’t help notice one well chiseled young man who walked into the water up to his waist. He stopped, turned to face the beach head and started cupping water in both hands and pouring the water over his head and, yes, letting the water drip down across his six-pack. “What an a-hole,” I thought. It was as if he was anointing his body with water for all to see.”Show off,” I scoffed.

Now, if I can only get to look like that guy! Many think I’ve already 1/2 of his routine down with only one body to go.

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan...I be alone and must think-

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan…I must be alone; I have to think-

Cheers and Beers, and yoga, too. Good luck. And really , I might not have started this whole thing again if my sister hadn’t noted during her recent visit that I looked like a half-dead, soggy donut of a snail. So go out and challenge someone(should be someone you know)-do them the favor. And no, I am not a snail. My sister’s so off:-)

Franque23-

* I wrote about this spring before—-please enjoy!https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/heart-pine/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

The set was ready for The Wide Mouth Frog...

The set was finally ready for The Wide-Mouth Frog…

The Wide Mouth Frog get sready for action--but it turns out, she had a frog stuck in her throat Medics were luckily able to remove during the play

The Wide Mouth Frog gets ready for action–but it turns out, the star had a frog stuck in her throat that Medics were luckily able to remove during the play

This Puppet show, however, was hardly our first  rodeo on the circuit.

This Puppet show, however, was hardly our first rodeo on the circuit.

Rumpelstiltskin was a super time.....

Rumpelstiltskin was a super time…..

As director, the hardest thing to over come is the shy nature of my cast members...

As director, the hardest thing to over come is the shy nature of my cast members…

It's like pulllin' teeth trying to get my workmates to slough off their routines and dress up.

It’s like pulllin’ teeth trying to get my workmates to slough off their routine clothing and dress up.

The hardest thing is to get them to wear hats!

The hardest thing is to get them to wear hats!

No wait!- It’s impossible to get our crew to wear hats! Why-oh why!?!??!

Another ho-hum day at work.....

Another ho-hum day at work…..

I work hard to write the lines I know they'll forget!

I work hard to write the puppet show lines that we all will forget come show time!

I have to beg patrons to attend...

I have to beg patrons to attend…

Sometimes, the work gets soooo difficult, "Find your marks!", "Speak to the audience!", "Please show up!", "Forget it! Just say anything!", that all I see as porducer is red!

Sometimes, production gets soooo difficult, “Find your marks!”, “Speak to the audience!”, “Please show up!”, “Forget it! Just say anything!”, that all I see  is red!

There are always intense moments......

There are always intense moments just before show time……

Sometimes I think we take the color and shape of our hair too seriously.

Cast members have discussions-producing the puppet show is a decision making process.

 Sometimes, I go a bit over board....

Sometimes, I go a bit over board….

But in the end…..

We Slay the beast--and the show is done!

We slay the beast–get thru the performances and the shows are done!

Until the next one.

We rest together once more, knowing the crowd the loved it! And, so did we......

We rest together once more, knowing the crowd loved it! And, so did we……

The next blog will show how the set for the Wide-Mouth Frog was built-and give an idea of how many people  actually helped make it happen.

The Wide Mouth Frog was a super good time, and we'll do this puppet show again this summer at the Alachua County's Headquarter's Branch Library---see you then!

The Wide-Mouth Frog was a super good time, and we’ll do this puppet show again this summer at the Alachua County’s Headquarter’s Branch Library—see you then!

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We always have a good time.

Franque23ish.

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