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My wife and I will never have to worry about plane fair to China, our dog has dug a way there in our back yard.

I have the best dog. He’s smarter than your dog; he went to Harvard. Thing is, he pretends to not get it about snakes. Lately, we have one or twenty snakes, not sure, slithering around our house, front and back. They’re the black friendly kind that scare the bejesus out of me cause as much as I think they’re cool to see I never expect to.  Shadow is forever leaping in the air with his paws straight forward to land on a snake as if it were a tennis ball. All I see happening are vet bills so I scold Shadow, “No! Snake!” as I wiggle my arm in the air. Shadow gives me that concerned look every time: “Pleeease! Hey dumb butt, I’m having fun and you’re a coward.”

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Ever notice everyone was young back in the good ol’ days.

The Republican healthcare plan focus is that ‘Death Panel’ everyone was worried about…

Today, Hersey makes an astonishing announcement: starting this month, their products will have fewer calories! They note the change in calories is due to a change in product formula and, er, size. So I looked up what the change in formula is for their chocolate that might reduce calories and it is, oddly, the switch from using artificial vanilla to real vanilla extract . Turns out, artificial vanilla has no calories whatsoever! What’s left to reduce calories?!?!?! Oh, wait-the SIZE of their chocolate bars…. So Hersey’s big announcement really is that they are making smaller chocolate bars…..nice.

The weather world-wide is showing a troubling flair for heating up. Everyone’s watching the forecasts.

The cost to produce the one-cent coin increased to 1.5 cents during 2016. Why is the government losing money, again?

In 2017, America has an Attorney General—Sessions—who doesn’t understand State’s rights. Just ask Hawaii. ”

“Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences- including my own. Jeff Sessions’ comments are ignorant & dangerous”

If a person looses their mind, how would they know?

In a way, Trump getting schooled about the relationship between China and North Korea by China’s President, Xi Junping, is like asking a robber to help you install locks in your home.

I read yesterday that saying, “Hello,” extends life. What if we just text it? Does that work?

Mom say’s hello….

News CNN: “Trump has at least nine times claimed to have spoken to, met, or made contact with Putin.”( prior to his election.) But in 2016 Trump said, “I never met Putin.”

I liked the flapper Era look, when will that come back?

Showing your knees was huge back then.

Fun times,,, the guys wore stupid looking suits like we do today.

I actually went to college when there were no cell phones and no one had computers! It’s like even I can’t believe it!

Funny how everyone knows not to step on a snake but nuclear power is considered the greatest thing.

Crazy is as crazy does.

right twice a day…..

Word on the street, ocean and atmosphere is that we’d better duck and cover. The Fukushima nuclear disaster has been spewing radioactive particles for six years and now, in what is being herald as unprecedented, the core has melted through its containment wall and is burrowing through the earth. Great, huh? Meanwhile, there are currently 60 more new nuclear plants being built world-wide.

This isn’t a fraction of the nutty stuff going on in the world today, but it’s enough for now….See you next time. Got any more info to share-please do. Cheers.

Franque23


Linda sang her song from day one, that’s the way she is. Linda can whisk tough times away with a slant of her smile that makes the Sun wear shades. Young, strong, beaming, this is how I remember meeting Linda who tantalized my young mind with dancing spirit.

Linda’s path has always been the high road.

I was lucky to see Linda recently(pictured middle)

I was lucky to see Linda recently(pictured middle)

Linda cares for her mom. Aunt Perla May Tarvin will be 100 this March 13th

Linda cares for her mom. Aunt Perla May Tarvin will be 100 this March 13th*

Strong, lean and mean, you get the picture. Holding a certain stature that stretches to the sky, this is how I came to know Linda. Lucky to be out of diapers—if I was—this whizzing top of a cousin first zoomed by. Trust was never an issue, nor place, moment, task or game at hand. Where do cousin’s come from; it all calls for wonder. Linda’s ease of being slipped that question into my childhood dreams.

Every life will own its challenges. Peaks, valley’s, ups, downs and spin-a-rounds, the first person to build a roller coaster was onto something. Still, the carol Linda brings with her contains a floating timbre that underscores any discord. If her life were a musical piece it would play allegretto, accentato, affettoa— light, lively, with emotion and emphasis—but always, throughout, the work would be in harmony.

But why do I tell you? It’s a simple matter, a solid truth, one I have known for so long. Linda’s true affection for my childhood self and everything else about her gave me a confidence that helped grow my spirit. Of course, I had mom, dad, the steady lead of my sister and strong hand of my brother to help me build my path. But, I had cousin, Linda, as well.  And, as dismantling as it must be for a child to not receive the love they deserve from their immediate family, it is equally uplifting to receive that same kind of love from a stranger, an associate, or from a cousin. I know.

Acceptance, hope, cheer and love, these are Linda’s calling cards; the notations of her life.

Sometimes, I hold the ceramic butter dish, a uniquely designed item, or the cut out clay plates I know Linda’s hands made. She did that for years, selling her pottery wares in craft shows and fairs. This was a perfect fit; Linda’s love of people, of creation, for the gift of giving and sharing her four calling cards bloomed everyday. In return, Linda still brings the warmth of her carol to any who listen.

She is a horse person. This means she gives tireless energy to four-footed pals who only speak back when a heart listens. Linda hears with her heart.

I can’t imagine someone as truly nice as my cousin, Linda, and I know her! Fathom that?!?!?

Now, there’s bad news.

“Hospice is here.”

Larry’s message marked the screen. It’s been years of struggle for Linda and Larry; years of prayers, hope. Even so, these have been happy years filled with promise—Larry will tell you.

Still.

Sometime, it seems, I may have to go on without Linda, this, a thought I’ve never embraced. Of course, we don’t know; our future that feels so ever present is truly veiled. But if that day comes, if I ever have to face it, I will never be alone. I’ll carry Linda’s laugh, cheer and all of her calling cards with me as I go. Linda will be in my vision as I look to the sky. The birds will sing, the wind will whistle the trees, but most of all there will be Linda Carol Martin’s song of Life in my head.

Linda’s carol will ring my ears. That tune, she taught my heart so well.

Thank You, Linda Carol.

Franque23

*

Aunt Perla May is the last survivor of her generation of Johnsons.

Aunt Perla May(1st in row) is the last survivor of her generation of Johnsons.

I love my Aunt Perla May and my cousin Linda. Today, this Valentine's day, we heard that each may ass within a week's time-maybe even on the same day.

I love my Aunt Perla May and my cousin Linda Carol. Today, this Valentine’s day, we heard that each may pass within a week’s time-maybe even on the same day. They have been a blessing to so many.


the set is about twenty five feet long....

The set is about twenty-five feet long….

(Click on the pictures for much larger views–)

(note: Impossible to believe but true-Odette, pictured below as the Magic Woman, was rear ended years ago, 1988, only two blocks away from the same spot I was rear end the very night of the day we performed this show. Thing is, today, the 15th of DEC 2016, she went to see yet again another doctor about reoccurring neck pain from her accident! Oy Vey! Clear as a bell?-her accident was 28 years ago=she’s still hurting.What’s the chances that two people acting in this puppet show were rear ended years apart in locations not less than two blocks apart? Maybe, good? I need a beer!)

I’ve been doing puppet shows for the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years; some have been repeated during this time. I like to encourage reading as I pick my favorite stories-literacy is the point. Thing is, this past show, The Magic Bag, may be one of my last.

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

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Natu and Lima protest the weather conditions!

Really, I have a job I’d never leave but Old Man Time is making one out of me. The show must go on, and my life, too.

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat....

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat….due to our complaints!

I write adaptions of stories to fit what can be done in the venue we use. Always from the get-go, I’ve employed ‘outtakes’ which entail the puppeteer also appearing stage front as actors who represent various puppets seen on stage. These are the most uproarious moments of any puppet show we do, and always involve a ton of confetti throwing for any made up reason.

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

The scripts are always intended to entertain both child and adult alike.

I write the scripts, design the sets, direct the practices and take part in the productions. It’s all a kick.

The river was fun, and the over head as well....and AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

The river was fun, and the over head as well…. AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

This program is based upon a Lakota version of a Native American legend that is found throughout most tribes’ folk lore. Basically, a Magic Woman keeps summer in her magic bag and lets only the cold, winter days out. The animals hate the constant cold, steal the bag, and only agree to return it to the woman IF summer can be let out of the bag 1/2 of every year–then winter reigns the other 1/2.

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” to have it snow everywhere….

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there's trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there’s trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back.

These are the moments I will remember forever....

These are the moments I will remember forever….

Cheers-and now you know why 1/2 of most years are warm, and the other, 1/2 cold:-)

Franque23.

Credits to Odette Hinson as the Magic Woman and Angela Hassebroek as Lima and puppeteer. Thanks.


When I was young, I dreamt I was an Indian. Not once or twice, but often. No one used the term, Native American, not back then, not that I knew. Us white folks simply called the red skinned tent dwelling people, Indians. I held these people in admiration, so swift, one with nature, self sufficient and efficient, they were a people worthy of my fondest thoughts.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow is such a fashion as to point int he direction of water, a heard, or home.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has most likely been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow in such a fashion as to point in the direction of water, a herd, or home.

I was always a scout. Sleek, sure footed but with the lightest step, I’d climb into a sweet smelling pine to perch high above. There I’d feel the wind with my heart. I’d hear the hawks, the hoot of an owl and squawks of crow.  The blue sky seemed a blanket; the sun laughed.  Leaves rustled while distant hills resembled multi-colored twisted taffy.  The green grasses bent and showed trails of white tailed deer, buffaloes and rabbit runs. The land was clear of danger, resiliently, so peaceful. Scouting was my duty; there were many loved ones back home. Odd, but I never, not ever, saw the end of this dream-I never even climbed down.077-6

This November bulletin board is to reach out to my dreams..

It was only fitting, a magical loop, that brought a pure-blood Cherokee to my side during my college years.  Jana’s father had been a scout in World War II; scrap-metal scars remained on his face. They had horses. At a nearby horse show I stood in a circle that included Jackie Kennedy, all by chance, and that seems a dream now. What doesn’t seem a dream are words Jana spoke one day as we drove back to college after a spring vacation.

“When I was young, ” Jana confided, ” I used to wish I was black, not Indian.”

“Black?” I had to have sounded dumbfounded.

Jana was truly this pretty

This picture of a Native American reminds me that Jana was truly this pretty-and very smart. Still her life had been one of ridicule; I’d no idea.

“Yes. Blacks were much better liked in grade school.” I glanced at Jana- her head was bent down.

Years later, it strikes me that Jana couldn’t even dream of being white as a child-she dare not; that would be too much to even wish.

How different our childhood dreams had been.079-2 another view…

I've and idea! How about we makes maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled....

There may be something to this, “Privileged white male” after all?!?!

That she became second in charge of Washington’s Native America bureau under  President Reagan is a credit to her keen efforts, endurance and focus to help her native people. Maybe, this is America at it’s best: if you really try, and never give up, good things can happen.

Thing is, as I heard slanderous words spit this election cycle at people because of their ethnicity it gave me pause, a pain. We were all children once. Children with dreams and hopes-most adults never truly forget those wondrous moments. To have those aspirations sliced apart by loose-lipped fools is more than problematic, it’s wrong on so many levels and in so many ways.

America, we can do so much better. Yes, we can. One day children will not dream of being another color. One day, children’s hearts will soar above the tree tops because of who they are and for what they may become- leaders, inventors, mangers, representative and yes, even President.  People my age, older and younger, we must all remember that dream.

In a way, I’m still a scout in my heart.

 See you later, ...

I’m looking for that dream to come back. Maybe, Trump is right? We do need to make America great again, but not with arrows of division, looks that could kill or with minds full of hate. Not by tearing apart our environment.

It’s time for America to dream and to make those dreams come true. Time will tell.

Now? It’s Native American Month, and Native Americans from many tribes are being pepper sprayed-so much worse- at Standing Rock. Sometimes, the truth seems too much to bear. That’s the bare facts. If only it could stop.

Franque23

2-bent-trees-275x300In many ways- Native Americans are still showing us the way.

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We have such a long way to go.

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Keep the faith –

Franque23


A spirited adventure to enliven your soul…..

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/engines-in-tune-halloween/

 

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Homegrown pineapples are heavenly

 

A romp in the swamp that will hook you…

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/hooked-in-the-head/

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gotta try on a few more hats…

The truth of the matter; it’s pure fat, er, fact…

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/the-absolute-futility-of-exercise/

 

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I could hardly get a laugh in between push-ups

How to drink and enjoy it more—A Japanese bar…

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/bar-up-in-nihon/

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You can bathe men/ women or separated in Japan-up to you.

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The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura….

Our dog who died to live…do dogs have souls?

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/red-dog-forever/

Cheers! Have a great weekend…

 

Franque23

 

 


the Lake is still--it'll be a great day.

the Lake is still–it’ll be a great day.

The men chilled on the dock

The men chill at the Lake

the, Wave", kayaks went out in force

the, Wave”, kayaks go out in force

But despite it alll, something was wrong...I could hardly get a laugh in edge wise.

But despite it all, something is wrong…I can’t hardly get a laugh in edge wise.

As all dogs have that special sense when something isn't quite right, Shadow came up with an idea and intercepted me up the stairs on my way for a beer, soda, fruit juice-you pick.

As all dogs have that special sense when something isn’t quite right, Shadow comes up with an idea and intercepts me as I go up the stairs on my way for a beer, soda, fruit juice-you pick.

I try to ignore Shadow…I’m miserable; nothing can change the number of limited days I have left at the Lake.

But our Catahoula Leopard dog, Shadow, wouldn't stop cdrouching like a Leopard as the breed does often...his nose pointed to the object of his interest.

But our Catahoula Leopard dog, Shadow, won’t stop crouching like a Leopard as the breed does often…his nose pointed to the object of his interest.

So I brake down, crack the shroud that has so encompassed my head,,,,and pick up the ball…..I begin to throw the ball into the lake for the one-thousandth, seven hundred and fifteenth time this day, but something remarkable happens.

Shadow begins to run, but every watching fan knows this might be the leap, the one that clears all records and ignites the crowd into uproarious cheers.

The approach....

The approach….

Shadow ran and it was game on

Shadow runs and it’s game on

Shadow lifted to the sky while Craig( a six footer human) watched by--Craig is over 8 feet from our dock ladder.....easy

Shadow lifts to the sky while Craig( a six footer human) watches by–Craig is over 8 feet from our dock ladder…..easy

Shadow flies as fans gasp….

Shadow road the wind....now about 8 feet past Craig....

Shadow rides the wind….now about 8 feet past Craig….

His legs come under his chest as he prepares to hit the water.

You call it? How many feet was that? I've measured Shadow's jumps at 16 feet before....but this one....wow

You call it? How many feet was that? I’ve measured Shadow’s jumps at 16 feet before….but this one….wow

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As shadow comes up the ladder to the acclaim of fans, I can’t help remember how athletics has run in my family, my dad, a track runner for Iowa State and then his dad ran in the American Games in Texas during the early 1900’s.

This dog is an incredible athlete. Last year, here in Gainesville, Florida, it was not uncommon for other dog owners to clap for Shadow as he ran and jumped into the air to catch a ball at the dog parks. He has out run almost ever dog he has faced at the park during his first 3 years of life-greyhounds included. It’s hard to believe, but this little 52 pound dog is 1/4 greyhound, and he has the will to win of a giant. It’s his desire, his will, to run the fastest or leap so far that amazes me most about this dog.The crowd stayed for more....

The fans…..line up.( Shadow’s way back in the pic.)

And it went on for two weeks…..

the splashin'

the splashin’

Sundown would bring another day......perfect.

It’s good to hang…….Sundown would bring another day……perfect.

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We had so many wonderful sunsets.

We had so many wonderful sunsets.

I found myself wondering if Shadow knows why people are clapping, cheering or why we are laughing our asses off as he leaps through the air, all in good faith. I smile and laugh every time he leaps….it’s all good.

Thanks buddy…..you’ve come along way….

Franque23

Let's get a move on!!!Shadow at about 6 months….

 


Strange times are a foot, and it isn’t just ex-Senator  Larry Craig toe-tapping for men in a rest room.

Hi, I'm Larry Craig and I'm against Gays...not being in the rest room with me.

Hi, I’m Larry Craig and I’m against Gays…not being in the rest room with me.

To be clear, I don’t care if a person is straight, twisted, circular, flat lined, up, down, sideways, standing on their head or tip-toeing through tulips, just don’t make me do someone else’s  self-appointed so-called machination of living. Me? I’m so-called normal, always have been, but the thing is, the MOST important thing is, NORMAL is a passe’ word. It’s gone kaput, fini, done, flash-fried and over easy in the new, improved world. Here’s my thought-okay, one of them, the word normal will become an obsolete term in twenty -five years. Let’s face it. Normal is a prejudice word by today’s standards.

Behavior that once stayed in the closet(BTW-how did so many gay guys do it in a closet?) is now openly paraded down  main street USA  by people wearin’ pink spandex shorties.

Hmmm maybe try the spandex after all.

Hmm, if only he’d chosen the spandex.

Whatever. Thing is, facts are coming to light that show many of our leaders who most fought against the gay communities in the past were gay themselves. Perverse, that’s the word that comes to mind.

Thought for the day…..

Huge pegs don't fit thru small holes......

Huge pegs don’t fit thru small holes……and the changes we are seeing today in standard living profiles is a hard fit into obsolete, small-minded people. So what ever happened to love the one you’re with?

Woodstock led the way when it came to the freedom to love one another---if only more had followed.

Woodstock led the way when it came to the freedom to love one another—if only more had followed.

American’s today still fight for the right to love–isn’t that odd? Generations that followed mine often complain about my generation, that we didn’t do enough–well, I say the following generations didn’t fight to make our dreams come true, but instead got swallowed alive by technology and dungeons and dragons. Which ever point is true-this is true.

 

the French parade for the right to keep the 35 hours work week

Today, 400,000 French parade for the right to keep the 35 hours work week…

While, at the same time, Americans are still parading for the right to have sex with someone?

Have to say-the outfits rock

Have to say-the outfits rock!

To this day the FBI insists no one can prove the first director of the FBI, Edgar Hoover, was gay. Of course,  Hoover lived with his male friend, Clyde Tolson, for forty years, ate lunch with him every day, went on vacations with him and left most of his estate to the man in his will–all the while Hoover led the charge against gays publicly. “In public, Hoover waged a vendetta against homosexuals and kept “confidential and secret” files on the sex lives of congressmen and presidents. But privately, according to some biographers, he had numerous trysts with men, including a lifelong affair with Tolson. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/edgar-hoover-sex-men-homosexual/story?id=14948447.”

Hoover with Tolson

Hoover with Tolson

They liked to wear matching suits

matching suits for kicks.

matching suits for kicks.

your average day quirky friendship-that's all.

your average day quirky friendship-that’s all.

In fact, the FBI warned Clint Eastwood to not portray Hoover as gay in a movie he made about the man. I think this says plenty about where the FBI still stands on the gay issue–“Oh no, this can’t be..It’s the worst thing ever!” Right…. Hey, FBI, grow up,,,meet 2016 and chill about Hoover being gay. WE don’t care!!! In the end of the day, I’ll never forget how mad my Dad got when he first heard the term , gay, being used over TV by a reporter to refer to Homosexuals… Wheweee. My dad shouted how that term meant happy! In his day, I guess it did.

 I don’t care who’s gay or not, who wears spandex or not-wait-maybe I do, dang! Each to his own! How long has that phrase been well-known, but never learned?

No, what bothers me is when gay guys, in this case, paraded as our Representatives who led charges against gay rights while they were  hold up in the moldy, secret, gay closets they loved so much! Here’s a link to a current true story that’s worth a hoot and a holler…. http://georgiboi.com/religion/16-anti-gay-leaders-exposed-gay-bisexual/ Basically, these representative guys have more than one screw loose; they must have degrees from a 101 course on how to hate yourself!

Of course, since our society will study, tear apart and rename anything under the sun so no one gets hurt by a label, the CDC–Center of Disease Control,  has determined that there is a disease where men make love to men but still are not ‘Gay’. Yeah, nice.  Okay, if that makes someone feel better.  And the HUGE bull frog I found hiding from my dog under my hose today is really a bird, or maybe a singing rabbit-not sure.  Can we just say,  it’s okay to be gay, but don’t go around showing your ass by crucifying gays from public office or any other place, be you gay or not?

Jeez is the idea of tolerance soup yet? Or, will acceptance of those who are different from us take another hundred years to finally rise to our consciousness?

One other thought after establishing the fact that some politicians, preachers and whatnot’s have had the balls to call out gay’s while they themselves are gay incognito, (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a glob)- I’ve a question… does this mean it’s correct to extrapolate that Trump has all his chips down on Isis and Muslims? It’s sorta like our whole society is looking into a fun house funny mirror-the guy who hates Muslims and who has gone bankrupt soooo many times should be President? Our gay leaders lead the charge against gays!  Peeeerfecto. Okay, it’s screw ball soup…American style.

We can ride this out together

We can ride this out together…

As a Christian minister in the Western world, I’d like to mention that Jesus’ message was hope, help, healing and above all, love. Stop the hate; join 2016, a new, brighter world. Love the next gay person you meet- you don’t have to kiss…

the sun will set on stupid ideas(Lake Bonaparte form out porch)

The sun will set on stupid ideas(Lake Bonaparte from our porch)

Franque23 wants everyone to have a gay ol’ time…and forget the lingo and the life style of others when no harm is done.

 

 

 


This is  my birthday weekend, so I spent today spreading red mulch that’s guaranteed to keep its color for 12 months or 12 days, whichever comes first.  It seems I’m always doing some sort of yard work on the days leading up to Memorial Day. Thing is, I love the work-gardening, squashing bugs, planting flowers that will need more water, mowing, trimming fence lines, hauling piles of debris to the front for collection, spookin’ snakes and still not losing weight. Well there’s nothing new these days.

I worked on.

It’s time to open up our pool, 60 days after we started using it, and it’s all very HUGE. The jungle in Florida has a way of either being cut back or eating people-so I cut. And while I toil, I always think of my Dad. He was a Full Colonel. I think of all those who have fallen during time of war and wish none of it was true. “War! Good G-D y’all. What’s it good for?” That’s what my generation sang. The tune went very well with wine and a pocket full of joints.

Of course, there are way too many flowers being left on graveyards this weekend.

For or against, war seems a necessary evil of our time,,,no wait, for all of Man’s history. So, as I work in the yard, enjoying the chickadee, the Cardinal and Red Tail Hawk above, I’m thankful for their music that helps me forget the horror of life, and remember the beauty. I bow my head and pray for all those who gave their lives in battle as I shovel, plant, pick, spread or cultivate my yard knowing , right or wrong, it’s safe to believe the soldiers who died in battle believed they were fighting and, sometimes, dying for us. The saying is- they died to keep us free.

Flowers have a way of reminding us  how short and sweet life can be.

So it seems Memorial Day always finding me messing with flowers, or trying to enhance the small area of the earth I own. Today, the wind blew, thoughts of Dad and other soldiers I know crossed my mind. President Obama praying at Hiroshima rattle my head, and I worked.  The day, the month, the memories will pass, but it all remains tied together no matter what we do. In the end, the more a person does to encourage growth and the beauty of life the better they sleep at night-it’s called inner peace.

My day:

This popped out yesterday, just underneath the bird bath out front

This popped out yesterday, just underneath the bird bath out front

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Our gardenia by the bird feeder is in full bloom. I wonder, do birds like the fragrance?

I cut about ten per day to bring in to the house.....

I cut about ten per day to bring in to the house…..

This rascal orchid lasts about one day -and I was so happy to catch it today...

This rascal orchid lasts about one day -and I was so happy to catch it today…

the pathway in front is a riot of flowers now.

the pathway in front is a riot of flowers now.

The three Amigo's growing under the birdbath are wonderful to see.

The three Amigo’s growing under the birdbath are wonderful to see.

The yellow tea rose

The yellow tea rose

Mr. Tulip

Mr. Tulip…and

and a yellow Daisy face-three amigo's..now you know.

a yellow Daisy face-three Amigo’s..now you know.

It's great fun

It’s great fun

Today's evening silky wind blew this single Hibiscus a bit off shot.

Today’s evening silky wind blew this single Hibiscus a bit off shot.

Here's new one to us! (We don't know what it is of how it came to be)It will be about 6 inches across with many more petals at it's peak...but maybe it 's not so bad being young?

Here’s new one to us! (We don’t know what it is or how it came to be)It will be about 6 inches across with many more petals at it’s peak…but maybe it’s not so bad being young?

Not sure you can make it out, but this lavender and rose colored four o'clock is beautiful...This year , we are invaded with four o'clocks.

Not sure you can make it out, but this lavender and rose colored four o’clock is beautiful…This year, we are invaded with four o’clocks.

The garden grows

The garden grows

 as the Meyer lemons produce and flower at the same time

as the Meyer lemons produce and flower at the same time….

I’m so glad I got to help this life happen; I’m so thankful for that chance… Happy Memorial Day. Take time to smell the flowers if you can. It’s time to give thanks.

Thanks for stopping by.

Franque23

 


Arriving at the lake makes ya lucky.

Arriving at the lake means you got lucky.(click on the pics for bigger views)

The 22 plus hour drive from our Florida home up to the lake always means we count our blessing if we get in before sundown on the second day of the trip. Towing two grand children, 5 and 6, plus a year and one half old catahoula made the trip a bit longer… But no worries-out of the car, the bags stowed inside our camp and then a quick splash in the water made it all good.  Last summer’s first sundown was rated an average of 6 out of ten points…I gave it a five, since I’m spoiled rotten, but others pulled up the rating.

The next day was time to get the games out

The next day was time to get the games out

We were waiting for our boat to be delivered, so the whole day was a bust.

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

Oy Veyish, we had to wait a whole 5 hours for the boat to arrive….so I got the tackle ready while Dale worked hard to over turn the kid’s kayaks. What? I mean, this is the Lake. Who hasn’t been thrown in with all their clothes on? See a shrink if not; you have no true friends.

Dale's on the bottom right, making her move...

Dale’s on the bottom right, making her move…

Finally, after boring games, swimming, kayaking, swimming more, throwing a ball one hundred times for our puppy Shadow to retrieve in the Lake,,,,we got to go out, we got to answer the call of the fish, we got to prove the engine would start and put hooks in my fingers.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.( about 80 in one hour-really) We had three stringers full.

I’m not sure what Isaiah had done to his brother so that he alone could be in this picture… Thing is, I’m certain I don’t want to know. On another note-I was thrilled to see some nice perch keepers come up…It’s been awhile since those tasty fish were on my plate. And, I see from FB shots that the Walleye have been caught lately, too…..very good indeed.

I discovered how to bait one hundred worms on moving, swerving, lookout duck! slap in my face hooks in less than one minute.

Bapa’s Epitaph should read: Survived teaching Grandchildren how to fish-for a pretty good length of time.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on hook holes.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on my finger’s hook holes.

The early morning fishing trip was my revenge plan. The three of us went out early, way early, but in June, as Lake Bonapertian’s know, the sun only pretends to set at about 10 PM-it’s actually rising then but you don’t get to see it until just after 3:30 AM. Plus the AM trips lets us guys rev the motor to let everyone know we’re out and about. Good morning!

We allllmmmost beat the light.

We allllmmmost beat the light.

What my grandchildren didn’t know is this: what Bonaparte fish do best in the morning is sleep. Heck, they’ve been tearing one another up all night long. So it was a good laugh while we filled the boat full of nothing time and time again, and then headed back home in a glorious morning light. I couldn’t help but think of mom and dad who’d given us, their children, the camp.

.mom and dad with hummingbird…..(Claudia and Max Franquemont)

The cabin was a bit cool when we arrived back home; I lit a fire while the kids tried to forget about wanting to throw me over board the next time we went out-I hoped.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

When it came time for breakfast, everyone had a face for the 4 AM fishing trip idea….

What?

What?

Okay, with 4 AM fishing trips put out on-a-line, it meant we had time to finish a very difficult puzzle. We gathered for a shot to celebrate two weeks of hard work, and the completion of a master piece-Bonaparte style…

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Trouble was, the sun kept rising and then the day vanishing before yet again another sunset had to be rated…We turned around, took one swim, a short nap and the dang vacation was over! Someone really needs to look into the time problem up at the Lake. I’ve got my buddy, Paul Doherty, hot on the case-He’ll fix this crap , I just know it.

There's just no way that was 14 days...Pllllease.

There’s just no way that was 17 days…Pllllease.

And since when does time speed up in Mud Lake worse than a Formula One X 2016 at the Daytona speedway?

Ya know-it's like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot...really--try it.

Ya know-it’s like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot…really–try it.

Anyway, we watched our last sundown-

A most beautiful and untouched up photo--I had to think about the rating.....

A most beautiful and untouched up photo–I had to think about the rating…..(thanks Daley for the pic!)

I spent the next hour thinking of how I might fake falling down the cliff, break a few bones here and there, and get to stay a couple of extra weeks….None of it seemed likely.

I bet our visit put a smile on mom's face...so we to leave, and in just

I bet our visit put a smile on mom’s face…

So we had to leave, and in just 11 and 1/2 weeks we’ll be back. That’s a mere one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two hours….a piece of cake. Actually, I think just under three months sounds better. Anyway, the whole crew is coming back, and I can’t wait for that next early morning fishin’ trip.(Gonna wear my life jacket this time.)

 

Franque23 loves the Lake.

 

 

 

 


2015 has been a great year around our house. Kids growing; garden sowing. Not a hurricane in sight!

the pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

The pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

We learned early on that Shadow, our Catahoula Leopard, is quite a swimmer. Thing is, when I first carried him in the pool he swam to the pool’s edge for his life. When I saw his speed I began to wonder what we had on our hands. Checking his toes revealed our dog was actually a duck of sorts. Those webs between his toes go waaay up to his nails…But this is not to say Shadow took to the pool or lake water early on in his life-yeah, no, he spent almost a year running around the pool’s perimeter while we tried to coax him into the refreshing water.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again-----so we had to wait.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again—–so we had to wait.

Things changed after his first trip up to Lake Bonaparte when he gingerly stepped into the water and swam by his own volition for the first time.

Now, at two, Shadow is a swimming maniac, and no-can-stop jumper, a splashing and a I can swim even faster dog face day in day out.

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We noticed that his brown eyes turn blue(look blue) when he stands by the pool. This has to be due to some sort of strange under coating in his eye cause sometimes the camera flash has the same effect on his brown eyes. The Catahoula breed does sport blue eyes often, and sometimes one brown and one blue eye or, as in Shadow’s case, two brown eyes.  Shadow cleared ten feet through the air off our dock during his second year up at the lake.

"I'm absolutely ready to swim...."

“I’m absolutely ready to swim….”

especially up at the lake!

especially up at the lake!

Last year, the fifty-ish steps and  cliff up at the lake created a wonderland of sheer joy for this ready to go puppy. And there’s nothing like chasing squirrels.

Okay, so I love everything about our Catahoula Leopard, Shadow-I’ve made that plain enough over several blogs I call globs about him on this site. But there’s another question dog owners might wonder about. Just how much do dogs love us? The answer is amazing.

A recent study finds Dogs love their owners as much as people love people… the key is measuring the oxytocin level in the dogs’s blood stream when they are with those they love…Here’s the result of the study:

“A general breakdown, according to Zak is that we produce 15 to 25 percent oxytocin when we have a pleasant interaction with a stranger; 25 to 50 percent when we’re engaging with someone we know; and if we release 50 percent or more, it’s in response to someone we really love like a child or spouse.

During Zak’s experiment, dogs, on average, produced 57.2 percent.

“So your dog really loves you … a lot,” Zak said. “But what makes this so amazing is that the oxytocin they produced is for another species, not their own. The fact that this is cross species is really freakin’ crazy/cool. Their brains are telling them that they love us.”

Here’ the link-a-dink for reading further on this amazing study….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cat-vs-dog-who-loves-humans-more_us_56af85a4e4b077d4fe8ed1ed?ref=yfp

I’ve had cats over the years that I’ve thought very special-a part of the family. Everyone knows a cat may be aloof at times and cuddly on other occasions but this study draws a line in the sand between cats and dogs.  The study’s findings break down a cat’s oxytocin level when they interact with humans. The finding? A cat’s affection for their humans can’t hold a candle to a dog’s love for Mankind. But I still think our miniature cats are super to have, hold and love. That’s just me.

The children are counting on us, and don't even know it.

I’m interested to know how other animals rate on the basis of this study-it could go on and on, and be so much fun to know.

Franque23

 

 

 

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