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This isn’t a political coup but a chicken coop. That’s right, so far our GOP representatives who we desperately need to uphold the ideologies of a true conservative party are only interested in scratch—money that is, and what appears to be ‘dirty’ money as well. Money and the power it brings, basted with a heavy handed load of chicken-shit fear is what drives most of our GOP Senators and House members.

How low can you go to be elected to uphold the constitution and turn it into a verbiage of meaningless mosh-pit misdirection’s as though it was used toilet paper from another era? The clucking never stops from our GOP representatives. Lindsey Graham alone has demonstrated how two faced a politician—a politician mind you!—could ever be.

Fact:

Now, Lindsey Graham blows all of Trump’s crimes off as though they are nothing burgers, (his words,) but this wasn’t always the case with Graham when it came to a president committing high crimes and misdemeanors.

How in the world can Lindsey twist out of his skin at night to sleep well and then twist back into it to be the slimy snake of a man he is by day?

Claim: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham argued in 1999 that a crime wasn’t necessary for presidential impeachment.

Claimed by: Multiple Sources

Fact check by Snopes.com: True

To hear Lindsey Graham’s own words on this subject. https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/t/lindsey-graham-once-said-not-complying-with-congressional-oversight-was-an-impeachable-offense/vp-BBWkoQQ

Now, according to Graham, trump can’t be held accountable for any offense.

And, as astonishing as it might seem, Moscow Mitch McConnell out plays Lindsey Graham when it comes to being a two-bit liar wearing a Russian suit.

There isn’t a prison cell small enough for the two of them. They are both traitors. They spit in the face of our constitution and relish living the lavish lifestyles they reap from their hoodwinked constituents.  Moscow Mitch often responds to questions about why he has held up over one hundred bills from coming to a vote on the Senate floor with: ‘Because I can.’ You see? Moscow Mitch doesn’t even entertain the notion that he is motivated by a sense of duty to America and our constitution. Moscow Mitch and Lindsey-the- slippery are so far down in Russian pockets a dry cleaner couldn’t get them out.

It’s tempting to think the followers of these GOP chicken-shit leaders who tremble at the mere notion of having to endure Trump’s scorn are worse than these non-leaders, but they aren’t. No, voters get tricked, lied to, misled, dissed and crapped upon by elected officials all the time. Thing is, the lying elected officials do know what they’re doing and saying; their corruption is in their mirror every morning for them to see.

Moscow Mitch and a side-kick on a good day.

No one can count on these chickens to hatch anything but money for themselves.

The corruption within this current GOP Senate and House of Representatives makes the Tea Pot Dome scandal look like a tea party. Basically, these GOP representatives who fail to rebuke Trump are akin to whores serving us chicken gumbo: they take trump’s appointments, as well as the appointment of their wives to other positions, and then do whatever he wants in return for position and money.  Trump’s unconstitutional obstruction of justice, his willingness to incite riots or worse in America, his wanton sidestep of the emolument clause and obscene bullying and alienation of America from the world is beyond repugnant.

Talk about a rotten egg—trump has made a killing in causing business and personal bankruptcies.

As ex-GOP Senator, Jeff Flake, said this week*…. “he (Flake) wrote: “Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.” Flake entitled his op-ed, “There’s still time to save your souls.”  This pronouncement should ring a bell in the minds of Christians and pseudo-Christians alike: it’s time for all of us to stop dancin’ with the devil and run to a higher, moral ground.

Googling ,’Trump and ganster,’ brings up 21 million hits.

Chicken-crap politicians need to be plucked from Congress and put in a cell with a cot and pot. Vote these lying chicken-cluckers out of office in 2020. America has lost jobs, lost food production, is selling nuclear secrets to the Saudi’s and is now polluting our drinking water and rivers.  This administration and GOP Congress is not a nothing’ burger, but simply one big splattered chicken-egg of failure and lies.

We don’t deserve this chicken-shit stew Trump has put us in.

Take a leap of faith and vote in 2020 like America depends upon this upcoming election: it does.

Cheers-have a nice day. GOP=chicken gumbo.

Franque23.

*https://www.foxnews.com/media/jeff-flake-republicans-save-soul-trump-impeachment

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Greta Thunberg sails to America. She breezes into town with a boiling luster of avid belief full of conviction. There are those who mock this sixteen-year old who dares to stand and speak her mind, strongly, frankly, without regard for the pitfalls honesty can sometimes bring when speaking to those thought to be superior. They’re not.

Because I’ve worked in library services for almost twenty-five years now, this fired-up youth, Greta, conjures up memories of one of the bazillion books I’ve read—or at least in part scanned—over the years.

This book:

This book is a Juvenile Bio of a young man who really lived, Alexander Selkirk, though his true name was Alexander Selcraig. He was a Scott and it’s thought the name deviance as recorded was perhaps due to poor spelling or a rocking boat during the time of transcript.  His relative is alive today and reports that his research suggests, “Selkirk (as a young lad) was a bit of a bastard, more respected in his absence than in his presence.”*

My take is that Selcraig was a bit wild as a child, always in trouble, gifted in math and stubborn as the morning when it came to rising up to defend his right of opinion. Selcraig’s troubled youth may be what led him to become a sailor—it was a means to get away from his past. For whatever the reason, this youth so filled with fury was the real Robinson Crusoe; he lived marooned on an island for four and one-half years, and mostly by his own doing. He chose his path fueled by his own determination, you can call it a hot headed mindset if you like, and thereby set his story forever in history.

This brief description of Selcraig, or Selkirk, the one whose life is now known as Robinson Crusoe, brings to mind Greta Thunberg. Think about it. Though Greta apparently didn’t go around beating up people with sticks as Selcriag may have, she is, by her own admission, somewhat estranged from people by the very nature of her Asperger’s condition.

When Greta headed out with this sign, she was alone with only the company of her determination.  Greta knows she is right when it comes to the issues surrounding climate change and she’s willing to leave whatever she left behind to sail half way across the world to prove her point. Of course, Alexander Selkirk may have left his home to get away from his past while Greta has left home to make her future but, in the very least, the two seem to exhibit the same type of bold, unflinching spirit.

You see, Selkirk, in the year of 1704 approached his captain, Captian Stradling, while they moored by an uninhabited island and insisted the ship wasn’t worthy to sail. He demanded that the crew go ashore and make needed repairs before setting sail. (It’s reported that Selkirk was 28** and a worthy sailor and first mate of the vessel.)  Captain Stadling refused and the young lad, Selkirk, elected to remain behind on the desolate island rather than risk death at sea. It is recorded that, “Selkirk was put ashore with his bedding, a musket, pistol, gunpowder, hatchet, knife, his navigation tools, a pot for boiling food, two pounds of tobacco, some cheese and jam, a flask of rum and his Bible. He had made the biggest decision of his life. No longer just a complainer, he had taken action.” No doubt our Robinson Crusoe to be thought another ship would sail by his island soon enough—that took four and one-half years to happen!

Greta has set herself out upon an island of belief surrounded by a sea of media attention, slashing rhetoric and attacking foes who fiercely disagree with her opinions. She made her decision. and watched the easier life she might otherwise have had set sail. Her standing ground is conviction—but is she right?

It should be noted that Selkirk was. “Dampier(the captian who saved Selkirk) told Selkirk the bittersweet news that he had been all too right about the decrepit Cinque Ports. Soon after abandoning the Scotsman in 1704 the ship sank off the coast of Peru, killing all but Stradling (The Captian who would not heed Selkirk’s advice) and a dozen or so men, who wound up in Spanish prisons.” In fact, that ship sank in a matter of two days after leaving Selkirk on the abandoned island.

It’s also a sad truth that Selkirk became somewhat of a notoriety in England once his story became known, and he had more than enough money, but his life never lived up to the joy he found in solitude.  This is why Selkirk returned to the sea at age 44 to sail once again. However, fever soon took hold of much of the crew who died and they were thrown over board. It was recorded, “On December 13, 1721,………..North to northwest. Small Breeze and fair,” it read. “Took 3 Englishmen out of a Dutch ship and at 8 pm. Alexander Selkirk . . . died.”

Will Greta also find herself living a world she’d rather not see as time goes by? Will Greta Thunberg’s greatest moment be that she set her sights on what is right, but only to see that her message is left behind?  These are turbulent times and it seems those more powerful than her may strand her intentions in a tide of lawyers, business and money. I hope not. I hope Greta Thunberg finds a sea of people ready to right her sail and lift her message as an ocean of truth.

I’m willing to row her boat. You?

The earth is our ‘ship of state.’

Franque23

*For a more complete story

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-real-robinson-crusoe-74877644/

** Some facts differ from the book listed and the postings in the link. For one, Selkirk is said to be a young lad of 18 to 21  in the book when he was left on the island, not 28 as listed in the linked article. Here, I’ve deferred to the article linked.

 

 

 


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It made perfect sense back in the day to be awash at the beach by women wearing two piece suits.  Men wore the needed one piece while women wore all sorts of variations of single and two piece suits.

Really from 1960—

None of the suits turned see-through when wet and it seemed society remained relatively sane. Coppertone was widely used so actually I laid out in the sand in a vat full of people developing different forms of skin cancer. It was all good, like cigarettes, as far as we knew.

The two rules I recall at the beach was that there’d be no drinking and no female nipples showing. Not that my young self noticed any of those more risque two piece bonanzas..”Hey dad, can we go to the beach?” “Hey dad , can we go to the beach?” ” Hey, dad…..”

It seemed a no brainer, too, when our college bound hippie movement ushered in the bra-less, see my nipples under my shirt look. Not that any of us guys noticed. Ha! We were talkin’ straight studying of the Humanities or the science of it.

Anyway, today, just now, the news reported that six states currently will allow topless bathing (Is it just bathing?) -in Utah, Colorado, in please take me home, Kansas, New Mexico, even in Muskogee, Oklahoma and in beautiful, wide-open Wyoming. This is very embarrassing for my hippie counter parts: we defeated the bra but never thought outside the entire complex—the shirt, too. Sure, we had naked love-ins, parties, skinny dipping and whatnot, but I never heard anyone say, “Lets legalize topless ladies!”

But this new law didn’t happen over lust, but freedom. And the timing of today’s, “Free the Nipple” campaign is exactly 100 years after men fought to free their own nipples!  That’s right. Newspapers in the 1920 and 1930’s reported the nearly naked outlaws, and denounced the public display of  male nipples on beaches. Men were to cover up those evil nipples for the sake of, well, madness but no one seemed to know it back then.

“If only we could swim in our church suits!’ Said no one.

A semi-sorta prison outfit was a harbinger of things  to come for those guys who ‘freed’ their nipples at beaches!

Soon after the practice jail break beach-suit time, there were reports that indicated men were arrested left nipple and right nipple as they appeared nipple free at beaches…. As the New York Times reported :” No shirtless bather will be allowed “to mar the high standard and fine appearance” of Long Island’s newly created Ocean Beach Park, said resolute local Police Chief Philip B. Kohut, after the trial of three men arrested for swimming topless.”

But men would have none of this scandalously, ridiculous law that bogged them down from showing their nipples on beaches. Arrests were continuously made until 1937. What happened then?  Tarzan came out as a swinger.(Hee-hee)

That was it: men’s nipples were all the rage. The ‘top’ was blown off that stagnate, no male-nipple showing thought and it’s possible men started to think about how to get larger nipples at this time?!!? I’m not sure—just projecting by having the grace of knowledge about our history since this famous date.

Yep, Tazan went swinging and the world went crazy with this news: “‘Bareback’ bathing for men, heretofore taboo in Atlantic City, broke down the last line of official resistance today and will be allowed this Summer,” the New York Times reported on March 29, 1937.”

Women, however, were to remain in one piece bathing suits that only lacked a Chasity belt to be fully correct. So what freed the woman’s belly button? (Lord no, no one was thinking topless…)

Micheline Bernardini, a French nude dancer, was the only model swimsuit designer Louis Réard could find to wear his bikini when it debuted July 5, 1946, in Paris. (AFP/Getty Images)

To this point, here is the heroine of the modern day two-piece female swim-suit…It’s like she deserved the, Noble ‘Piece’ Prize…:-) Yep, leave it to a dancer to strip away antiquated opinions. Can’t you hear it now? All the men across America yelling, “Put your clothes back on! Put your clothes back on!” I gotta admit, I haven’t come across any article about marches of men who were outraged over women wearing a bikini taking place at this time. Weird, huh?

Does time change anything as much as it does fashion? I have to think.

 

Anyway, now-a-days plenty of women have been arrested for barring their souls and bosoms. It’s to America’s credit that six of our states have caught up to Germany who started their first nude beach in 1920. I’m mean that’s only, okay, about 100 years—that’s all it took for American society to almost catch up to Germany’s freedom of expression. So grading on a one one to ten basis, when it comes being able to be partially naked on beaches, America gets about, what, a one?

Yay! We get a one and maybe done for being a leader in not very much at all. I love this country: it’s the one I was born in. It’s just when it comes to so much, we seem so slow to catch on, to make a difference and to lead. Right now, this isn’t the country I grew up in. This is a country that still wants those one piece women swim suits, to dictate how those so different from one another should live by another’s standard. Listen, we fought to be free from the get-go. It ain’t gonna stop.  Women will be topless if they want; gays will marry and have equal rights. Big oil will lose it’s shirt if it doesn’t shift to solar and renewable energies and lying politicians who hate Homosexuality while keeping a closet full of young boys will pass. This is America, and we will right ourselves.

I learned in Boy Scouts how to tie and untie knots…we all did, and can. America is moving forward, not backward.

Cheers.

Franque23 has always been a skinny dippin’, fun loving guy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Sometimes, none of it seems possible. It can’t be that our family dog, Socks, has been gone for over 55 years. I still feel him sleeping in my bed. I still can feel his curly haired ears as I run my fingers through them… I still see him resting by our fireplace on cold winter nights.

Socks was always there to keep us company. Maybe, it doesn’t seem possible I once was young. I know it happened, but where did it all go? Where did my smiling grade school friends go? Where did the innocence of thinking that ice cream guy liked me go?

Of course, we kept busy. Time for growing up is a spring board made of hope, longing and foggy vision. It’s just impossible to focus on being 70 when you’re 10, 15 or 20 years old. Life doesn’t work that way. We arrive to life never intending to leave, or thinking it possible. The view from Christmas as an eight year old is a glorious thing.

6th Grade school  picture;  I’m 6th from the right in back row…So much of my life was unknown.

It seemed time might stand frozen still. How could anything really change?( My dad, Mr. Freeze, me and my dog’s tail. )

Later on, the prom corsages and carnations would be pressed to never be thrown away. All those promises were etched in stone and building blocks we thought we’d stand on and never leave behind. So much gets left behind.

Swimming in Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma was a great moment…cousins on my mom’s side lived out west.

My cousins were all well and growing like me…

My father’s brother, his wife and son.

We had the best time without any sense of it.

My dad was from Iowa and he grew almost an apple orchard in our backyard on Long Island, NY. Some years we picked 40 bushels. We’d eat the apples, bake them and exchange so many bushels for a gallon of cider pressed by a cider mill that was still up and running back then in Suffolk county.

Life, it seemed, would always be this way. I even dreamed of being a rock star. Dreams are free unless they shackle your understanding.

Me with Aunt Edna and my gold plated stereo Gibson ES-355 guitar.

I drifted as many do and had my first child after falling in love with my wife. We were at the most happy schedule in life when my brother and his wife visited us in Micanopy, Florida.

Ed came once again many years later…

Ed is gone now but never from my heart—time can only steal so much.

At seventy, I’ve a view I could never have imagined in my younger, rubber boned, look at me now years. Now, I’m thankful to have the sight—so many of my peers have died without the chance. It seems a lifetime ago when President Kennedy was killed, when Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was only in high school at the time but I remember thinking these two were my brothers in a fight against evil—together we could change the world. Then, even my brother died and anything became possible. For those of you who have parents living, hug them right now if possible. The voices of the dead continue but you can’t hug them.

My mom having a great new year with my mother-in law. Just wow for me.

Mom’s last year at Lake Bonaparte. Her face says it all.

No matter your age, find at least a sliver of a second to tell the ones you love that you do.  A hug lasts forever in the mind and heart and it’s so easy to give.  Feelings are as real as the table or chair you might be sitting by or on. So much in our hurried lives gets unsaid. Go to the ones you love and say it.

Giving  what you can to others is the best thing you can do for your own life—trust me

I believe in you.

Where does it go? It all goes inside of you,  and that’s forever.

Franque23

 

 

 


Yard work is exercise which is a good thing. Really?

The garden was a bit overgrown by last week.

It’s true, I can look forward to losing some weight this fall while doing this garden/yard work which means I can drink more beer, right? Hmmmm, maybe all this exercise is a bad thing? I have to weigh (haha) my options: 1) I could sit like a lump in front of the tv or computer or get carpal tunnel from turning pages in books I read and grow larger like a fungus on tree bark or, 2) I can work my ass off outside keeping the same weight while supporting beer companies.  I’m pretty sure this is what my dad meant when he never said, “Son, there’s a lot to think about as you age.”

It turns out our neighbor’s chickens love our overgrown garden!

Here’s another good shot of the weeds and volunteer papaya….( I had 12  papaya growing in the garden this year, I guess from our compost-but it hasn’t ever happened before?!?!?)

That’s a sage bush in the foreground.

I clipped some sage before beginning the task of clearing the weeds from the garden. I’ve enough sage growing to keep me wise for three lifetimes. ( Would you believe for a day?)

Recently, I had some nice harvesting just before the weeds won, ….greens, rosemary, Kale and more…

 

 

It was like the weeds and my plants loved one another!

There’s no time like the right time, especially when it comes to working on gardens unless you’re asleep or napping. To be clear: nap time and midnight are absolutely the wrong times to plant a garden. You might dream you’ve planted and spend four weeks wondering why nothing has sprouted. Then, once it dawns on you that you never planted you’d be late planting and still need a nap! So planting gardens may not only support beer companies but it may be bad for one’s mental health.

Plus, growing a garden ties it’s owner to the seasons generally and the changes of weather specifically so it comes with strings—as in beans—attached. Plant too soon in Northern Florida and the seeds might get washed away, burned to a crisp or frozen solid depending upon what season you’re planting for. So gardens are like dinner in that it depends upon the season.

Right now, it’s Fall planting prep time: the weeds have taken over the spring garden and they gotta go  before the soil’s turned over. Weeds, BTW, don’t read signs. ‘GO Away,’ ‘I hate you!,’ ‘Never come back,’ signs posted in the garden don’t work at all—weeds are either impervious to being cursed at or they enjoy it, not sure.

So I got busy clearing…it’s a ritual I keep twice per year….and the hawks over head always come to call from above as worms squiggle in the dirt as I pull the weeds.. I only learned recently after twenty years of wondering that Hawks love worms.

Shadow knows the routine so he was ready to inspect the job.

There’s a torture embedded in garden work. It’s much like cleaning house in that once you start the task the more you see there is to do. So yeah, I pulled garden weeds for two hours and that led to another three hours of cutting down random jungle plants that now own the rest of our property.  Right now, because I’ve been busy,( i.e. lazy), I could cut bush off our property fences for about 10 hours before getting to mowing, cleaning flower beds and weeding the pineapple garden. This is why I’m moving out…nah, not really. Okay, maybe.

A pineapple flower-so beautiful to see. The plant can take two years to bring the flower forth, and then another 3 or 4 months to create a pineapple. But when they do, as  co-worker said today at work as I brought one in to share..” This is the best pineapple I’ve ever had.” Yes, bar none.

The garden owns me. I’m addicted to garden growth and a slave to the insects, moles, deer and weather that torments me. Speaking of moles, I once bailed our pool since it had rained enough to have it over-flow (something we’ve since learned is stupid, useless and plain annoying) only to finish and have a mole spurt out of the ground by the pool’s edge and land flat on its back deader than a, well, dead mole. Now? I wish I’d thought to perform CPR on that rascal.

Age has a way of making a person care for others no matter how small.  I don’t even mind that last spring a deer hopped my garden fence, a garden full of growing crops, and ate only three things: all three of my basil plants down to the ground! In my younger crazy years I might have wished for a shot gun but now at my age I laughed my ass off searching for any trace of my basil plants…(not really, not even the fatty part of my ass went missing.) I imagined that deer jumping in the garden and deciding what he wanted to eat that night.

My Grandchildren ate some dragon fruit(I didn’t grow it) and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t care about the mole.

They got busy swimming.

I took a photo of the sorta finished garden—there’s about 4 more hours of weeding and planting left before the fall garden is in.

In the end, or is this the beginning—we never know, right?—the garden keeps me in touch with some neighbors who walk bye and smile or who I give produce to. It keeps me in touch with the world as it turns and the seasons change. It keeps me young at heart and a bit more fit than I’d be if I wasn’t working it. And, it supports  micro-brewery’s!

Here’s to the basil eatin’ deer, condolences to that one mole long ago. I hate you inch worms and I’ll get you! About those weeds? We have to talk; I’ve been pulling you out of my garden twice a year for twenty years now and it’s not because I don’t like you: I freakin’ hate you!

I’ll be workin’ it, turning the soil and planting the seeds soon.

Go ahead; plant something and watch it grow.

Franque23

BTW, it’s called flash eyes, but I call it spirit photography. Here’s to National Dog’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


(As always, click the pic for a larger view…)

If it weren’t for the traffic on Rt 3 the place would be paradise—it got so bad this year I think I saw several cars pass by on a single ten mile drive to town! And, I guess I should mention the loon racket at night, especially between 10ish and midnight; will they ever shut up! Then there’s the morning crows and chickadees, the afternoon blue jays, red wing black birds, those dang soaring eagles, cooing cranes, whistling hawks and late afternoon quackin’ ducks to spoil any days nap. When will a guy ever get some sleep!

Even the view can keep a guy up!

There’s a weird speed to time at the lake no one has yet to understand. It’s like a horror show. You’d call time fast to pass at the lake but, then again, it never lets go. Nope, the memories, smiles, talks and moments fly by like the wind but sit like a immovable block in your soul as well. You can think what you like, but I’m saying there’s no surgery that can take this massive thing out once it has seeped inside you. There’s a devious kinda magic to those waters and reflective sky at Bonaparte that mirrors deep by day and night in the Mind’s eye—it’s sorta like a strangle hold on your senses you can’t sue and win.

Lake friends last forever as well. Who has time for that?

The whole experience is torturous.

You catch a good fish a few years back and spend the next 7 trying to do it again….oh brother, what a bother…

It’s been a while for me, being so busy with raising a family for oh so long, since I’ve had real time to make new friends or see old ones while up at the lake. This year was different. I got to know Kim and Steve and their ten inch high killer dog, Lola. I’ve never been afraid of dogs, but now that’s over. I’ve struggled with our fireplace pull rods for over twenty years which is why having some strange guy named, Bill-the-Beatrus I think, fix the rods with a minutes’ thought and about ten minutes time is problematic. My sense of self worth is gone forever, it’s over, doctor, and those psychiatric bills won’t be cheap.

Time spent with Toni, the two Michelle’s, Forbes, Randy, Laura, Vicki and the Sherman’s is always fun, but who let them out of the loony bin? To boot, now there’s no cop on the lake. And now, with our Grandson making friends with our neighbors son pretty much any sense of normalcy that never existed here is entirely gone. Why keep dreaming about it?

It’s also possible to take really bad shots up at the lake..(does anyone have a flashlight)

Hear’s one of my thumb I took this year at the lake….perfect shot!

It’s great to see Bill again; meeting anyone my ancient age or older has a special zing to it. There’s like this on-going contest between the lake petrified folks to see who falls in the lake first and doesn’t get out. I can tell Bill is watching me closely as I age and our fifty-foot bluff gets closer to the house. Some may not know it, but Grady-of -the-lake(now deceased) had nine lives and he spent one of them running towards this very same bluff. There was no blue moon the night before or heralding of angels in the morning of the afternoon when Grady, Dave Morgan and I sat on our porch before this steep drop off. All of a sudden, Grady gets up and starts running full speed toward the bluff as though he might do a high dive into the lake! Only a lunging hand to his ankles stopped his forward movement and saved a grave digger the effort. Mind you, this run of Grady’s had nothing to do with beer(s), but rather the magical pull of our evil lake was at fault.

I’m telling ya, there’s more than the best pure air up at Bonaparte—it’s full of friendship forged through good time and bad. There’s nothing like building a dock, camp or boat house and have the ice take it out the next winter; there’s nothing like the bond of spending money like a drankin’ sailor on lake side repairs. There’s a saying; only buy a boat if you can afford to buy ten—maybe the Bonaparte camps are the same way.

But who cares when you’re young, free and without a care like about none of us.

Still, those losses and efforts all make for great stories shared between a laughing, here’s-to-the-lake crowd. (Beers help, too)The night sky is more than pay back for any expense. But, daytime swimming, soaking in the sun—did I fall asleep that long?—fishin’, kayaking, bird watching, boating, tubin’ ( I did see a skier), and even some sail boating also take the day to flight. The air is incredibly invigorating at the lake. Breathing there is sorta like breathing in an oxygen tent where ever you go. So, the loony’s on the loose, the evil lake stare, the crazy birds, the alluring sunsets, the mesmerizing night stars and stormy five-foot high waves that tear docks and boats apart are all worth it. Why do I think this? Well, I’m nuts like the rest of you.

Cheers from the archives of franque23 Lake Bonaparte insanity logs.

Franque23

 


(clicking pics gives larger view)

The day had no way of knowing, it started off so differently. I still sat at the breakfast table when our four grandchildren, without any prompting, opted to chill and read in the morning light.

.

After working in a library for the past twenty five years-just wow.

But I had a plan.

There’s nothing like a fishin’ trip to spark up day! We’d gathered with high spirits along with some pensive moments: what would happen; how would do; would we come home fishermen or boaters?

We headed down the steps on our way to the boat. (How about those fingers!)

We set course for  Mud Lake with broad smiling faces, multiple rods, bunches of hooks, buckets of smelly worms on board and soda’s in hand. Plus, we had Shadow who knows at five that boat rides rock up and down and all around.

We had attitude, baby.

Guard Shadow had our side covered…

What would happen? Would we have any luck? And, would Shadow dive in after the loons, ducks, beavers and or fish? No one knew?

Bingo!!! Fish up!Actually, more than 60 fish up. My right arm hurt at night from de-worming, and de-fish hooking for those a bit off on that. Hats keep most hooks out of heads, but fingers are hook magnets.

Okay, I’m not sure, but I think this is a ritual we will keep up after any successful fishing thingy.

Time to leave Mud Lake meant our sounder took position to safely lead our way.

We headed home a happy lot. We’d have fish for lunch and a bunch more books were waiting to be read. And, there was also yoga time.

But maybe showing off our catch to our new neighbor friends was the best of it all!

Then again, we’re all neighbors at the Lake! Thanks for enjoying  a dream come true: fishin’ time with the kids and doggie…Ya gotta love it!

Cheers from the lake with more to come!

Franque23

 

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