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When you can eat it all now? But wait! The Weight! The weight gain, that is. Yes, the holidays are a smorgasbord of food for pounds.

It is Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to all the hard work that went into bringing the birds to so many tables in America.article-2236949-162a7f74000005dc-370_634x560

(this is Norma Jeane Mortenson doing the hard work–later known as Marillyn Monroe.)

Thanks to all you hunters and farmers.

turkey-leg

I’d hardly put down the last remaining Thanksgiving Turkey drum stick when the Christmas’ lamb (who may eat ivy-not sure) mairzy doats into my mouth.*  A person’s body can only take so much stuffing, and I was about to find out exactly how much. About that stuffing-orange wedges, cinnamon apple slices and almond slivers helped.

A mosh of smashed candied yams smothered in marshmallow, steamed, salted asparagus, ripe olives, cranberry sauce, too many Hawaiian rolls way over come by how many pies(I forget- burp) -all the remains from Bird Day- had cleared out of my pie hole just enough to make room for the next feast. I think three types of ice cream, homemade orange jam and lemonade helped wash it all down.

I need a body image checkup

I need a body image checkup

This is when my scale started going screwy. “Nah, it can’t be!” To be fair, the cold does affect those floor step on scales, and our floor doesn’t appear to be exactly flat, as it was last week. “Do these things run on batteries?”

So the lamb dinner did a do-si-do  into my life. The gravy thick, chunked chock full of garlic, peppers, onion-eastern Mediterranean sea salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme, pepper, orange peel, paprika-more-clung to the herb crusted  meat. Mashers, creamy, so good ask my daughter how, a salad made of everything, fresh frozen garden green beans from last fall, the loaves of garlic bread and don’t forget the olives, applesauce and the green mint jelly or the carrots and sweet potatoes cooked alongside the lamb basted in the hot juice-it all decorated my plate. Two for one Edward’s pies was a no brainer-an all appetite type of thing-covered in mounds of ice cream seemed so logical.

Have you ever noticed there are more types of chocolates on your table than grains of sand on a beach during the Holiday of Light?

Though, I may have never seen this....

Though, I  have never seen this….

 

chocolate everywhere

of chocolate everywhere-

people do stuff with chocoalte

people do stuff with chocolate

Light, Dark, 30% to 90% cocoa, round, square, kisses, triangular shapes next to chocolate Santa’s, reindeer, orange chocolate balls, I love the coconut filled mounds, and the foreign jobs-those real creamy chocolates, Ferrero’s, more. Not that I ate any of these, but all of them.

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)**

You’d think my scale would self correct like computers reset if you unplug them,,,,but not mine. “Stupid thing has me five pounds too heavy!”

Because I could still roll over and get out of bed, still stand and open my mouth, the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration jollied its way  through my palate next.

New Year’s dinners only come once per year, and why-oh-why so soon after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?!?!?!See? Someone got this all wrong-we need to spread these meals out a bit more throughout the year.

A rare Roast Beef is a pure joy-and Vegan’s hell, I know, but this is all part of the Yin-Yang of life. A thinner gravy is called for, and this time the sweet potatoes needed chopped up Nestle crunch bars mixed into the marshmallow topping…Vegetables? I’m sure there were some, but those, the cakes, pies, breads and drinks all mix together in my jumbled head.

The Holiday so long to come and too soon over; the loved ones gone and some so far away.

some so far away

some so far away

The laughter, cheers, smiles, hugs and hopes we shared rattle my skull. My brain chases the images as if they were shadows in the night in hopes of experiencing them once more. But the shorter days are growing longer. Time has a way of saying goodbye and hello all at once.

4 grandsons pickin green beans before they eat chocolate

4 grandsons pickin’ green beans before they eat chocolate

Funny thing-even with the new coming light of day, my scale is still completely out to lunch.?!?! “This scale is 7 pounds off if not a slim ounce more!”

I weigh my alternatives and realize some things need replacing this New Year. Thank goodness I’d lost 14 pounds over the course of last year!  Thing is, I found a few of them back, and I know just how and where.

More is less-my new year resolution.

Cheers and Beers

Franque23

  • I always enjoyed that Mares eat oats… thingy song.
  • ** other ideas for chocolate.

    weigh only your feet

    weigh only your feet

or…keep clean with chocolate

maybe

maybe

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It’s fitting this first post of 2017 should be about the enriching world of children’s books. But first, here’s a picture of one of my grandson’s showing us all how to greet the New Year!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

Oh yeah and Yay!

Moving on-

Written by  Scotswoman,  Helen Bannerman, and first published by Grant Richards in October 1899, Little Black Sambo is not only one of the very first books I remember being fascinated by as a kid, it did the same for children all over the world for nearly 50 years. Then, the  book attracted uproars from those who had issues with the text and pictures.

Things is, was Helen Bannerman a lifetime ahead of herself? Why do I ask? That’s simple.

It’s a simple story: a boy with fancy clothes is caught by tigers who accept his clothes in lieu of eating the boy. The lions argue over who looks better in the new clothes, chase one another around a pole to get a different piece of clothing from the other and turn into a goo during the process. The tigers run so fast they heat up and melt.**

What Bannerman is describing is energy heat transfer-a solid becoming a liquid as a result. It’s a simple but remarkable thought. Of course, the boy  bringing the goo home so his mom can make pancakes out of it rockets the book up to yummy.

Today, this story just isn’t the warm and fuzzy book it was once thought to be. Time’s change and what we need to be thinking and reading about as people changes along with it.

Moving on—

Bonus picture:

 A one day pick of lemons this past fall.

A one day pick of lemons from my yard this past fall. Two kinds-small Meyer’s, large Meyer’s and a huge Pondarosa. My daughter makes a mean lemonade.

Books will never cease to surprise us if we can only find the time to read. Here’s one I’ve recommended before that will be well worth your effort: Collector of Moments. In my head it’s the Kafkaesque of easy on up to adult books. That’s right, you’ll find this book most often shelved in the children’s Easy section-a picture book- but it reads right on up to adult.collector-of-moments-lion2-1

An illustration from the book-did this picture help inspire the Life of Pi story?

You have to see it to believe it.

A bit like a Van Allsburg book, the NYT’s reviewed this 1999 publication, Collector of Moments , by Quint Buchholz:

“The unexpected details in the pictures demand equally imaginative acts of explanation. In addition, Buchholz often shows people looking at objects behind walls or through doors or even beyond the frame of the paintings — objects that viewers can’t literally see and must therefore envisage for themselves.

As the creator of images most interesting for what they don’t in fact show, Buchholz is himself an accomplished collector of moments. Not only does his book tell young readers things worth knowing about how to look at pictures, but the pictures themselves delightfully repay the kind of attention they invite viewers to give them.”

Enjoy.

You have to see it to believe it.

You have to see it to believe it. The book is a surprise package for sure!

Cheers–Moving on to 2017-it’s all ahead of us now.

Franque 23*

*I’ve been a Library Specialist in the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years.

Oh my!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

** The version I was read had the boy and the tigers running around the tree….different takes.


Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970's. I got dressed for the pic.

Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970’s. I got dressed for the pic.

It wasn’t that long ago…

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home-the Northeastern’s blew snow in almost every winter.

Okay, maybe it was a long time ago.  For me, it’s a blink of a memory comprised of forever.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come,,,and that my generation's great dreams may one day melt.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come-great dreams for the earth.

Change started massing energy when the Beatle’s sang on Ed Sullivan-those tunes soon morphed into a mud bath called, Woodstock. There were the teachings of tolerance,,, justice, right and wrong, but I think most of all we were taught to hold within each of us a dignity of spirit. Once these ideas were in place, the new world could arrive.

The musical lines gave the message.

Looking back, the festival announcement that the brown acid was bad made the assumption some listeners were still able to discern brown from white, black, green. purple, polka-dotted or blue. We’d stripped  bare to prove the old ways were gone, basic change was here, as fundamental ways of behaving and thinking were dead and gone. The lines between us all had vanished for good.

Conventional laws were taken off and a new course had begun.

Conventional societal mores were cast aside and a new course had begun. Yes, we got naked…(Woodstock)

It’s easy to wonder why any of us thought smoking pot might help the situation we enthusiastically fought to change. You’d think we might have been savvy enough to vote for change, but we’d given up on that. Millions in my generation decided taking it to the streets was the best if not the only way to make change happen. Were we right?

I sang on stage back in the day all about the message-peace, love, freedom and equality.

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School( I'm in the background)

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School.  ( I’m in the background)

First serious guitar in it's first gold color...

First serious guitar in its first gold color…(I’m 15.) Hopin’ to sing the message.

So, my wheel turns way back, runs through the middle of so much history and arrives here in the closing days of 2016. To be clear-I remember dad getting our first TV, a thing still new to everyone on our block. I went to college when there were no computers, no cells phones but, yes, short dresses and pot but no Aids that we knew. I began to work as a Library Specialist 21 years ago when the Alachua County Library District had acquired only a few computers. My reference work for patrons was done entirely out of books or through phone calls in those earlier years. All the while, I prayed for peace along with so many other Americans.

Today, many feel political drifts forecast a turning away from the sun shining in as we all hoped it might in the 70’s, from the environmental concerns many of us have held for so many years, and from our hope for peace.

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970…hmmm, this wouldn’t happen today.

It was once easy for hundreds of Gainesville’s people to strip naked at lime pits and swim with others.

“The year was 1970, and the band was Mudcrutch. Petty sang and played bass alongside Mike Campbell (guitar), Tom Leadon (guitar and vocals), Jim Lenehan (lead vocals) and Randall Marsh (drums).” This is Gainesville in the 70’s, so it doesn’t matter that there are five names and only four people? The main point was in the music.

We shared the understanding that to find the truth of our existence it was necessary to shed the barriers between us and the earth. Open, accepting, and always understanding-Peace was the message. We wanted the naked truth.

1970-gainesville-fl-uf-univ-of-florida-homecoming-parade-press-photo-rkf19999-8e2e3da9b5a6918fa3b501db221baf90

Now? We need to revisit the messages of my generation, to create a solidarity of purpose that keeps America on the right path.  My generation didn’t want the Nam war to go on and we stopped it. Today, we can stop anything as well. The key is to really try, never give up and work harder.

If not ‘Bare Ass’ time, its bare knuckle time. Environmentalists,  humanitarians and lovers of life, it’s time to dress down our opponents. We have to tune up and sing our song louder than false claims, disingenuous motives and misguided hearts can yell. It’s time to dive in and win again.

Franque23

04980017-2


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.

199-2

We have such a long way to go.

109 (2).jpg

078-2

Keep the faith –

Franque23


ya know…..The Standing Rock protest is super important…

At Woodstock, my friends and I were young, not yet strapped by so much obligation–we could go there at the drop of a hat to speak our minds, to express ourselves.

The vocals held the message,

The vocals held the message, “Purple Haze, run in my mind..”

we wanted freedom; to make love, not war, and to roll baby roll

we wanted freedom; to make love, not war, and to roll baby roll

Thing is, people who are about my age today are most likely wrapped in bills and a job they can’t afford to skip out on for a few days-a week-and lose.  Or, we’re just too dang old. Plus, we’ve already been cracked over the head, jailed, spit on and frowned upon during the ever-changing 1960’s. Yes, I’d guess my generation’s spirits haven’t changed but it does seem it’s the younger generation’s turn to make a difference, to take one for the team, to band together to right this wrong that is taking place at Standing Rock.

Maybe, the younger generations don’t really know how much effort it took for my generation to turn Nam around and to end that bloody mess. It took plenty.

One day while attending Gettysburg college I joined about eight of my classmates and gathered in two cars to drive to Washington D. C. for what we’d heard was to be a massive protest against the Vietnam war. It was-maybe one hundred thousand gathered to march in D.C. that day. If tear gas, clubs and charging horses is peaceful, then this was a Peaceful demonstration.

Here’s my point: if two sides meet with opposing views and one side is peaceful while the other isn’t, is that a peaceful demonstration? Ask the supporters of Standing rock who are being dragged down, beaten, gassed, arrested and striped searched if this is a ‘peaceful ‘ demonstration.

It takes two to tango; two to talk.

No, the Nam years were battle years both abroad and here at home. Three of the group I went to Washington with didn’t make it back to campus until they’d been released from jail (I think we went to D.C.  on a Saturday and we didn’t see these three again until the following Wednesday-one had been clubbed on the head.)  One college friend had flunked out by Christmas our Freshman year and gone to Vietnam. Three months later, by late Spring, he returned to visit missing a leg. It was horrifying; I spent at least a week smoking my brains out trying to forget John’s fate.

My whole generation fought the Nam war one way or another. We didn’t send Memes. We got in the streets and marched as an unarmed army of what was right and good.

At first, protesters tried flower power.

At first, protesters tried flower power.

It was a peaceful demonstration, so the National Guard of Ohio took a knee and.....

It was a peaceful demonstration, so the National Guard of Ohio took a knee and…..

shot....

shot….

these four dead, randomly killing them and wounding nine others

these four dead, randomly killing them and wounding nine others

All across the nation members of my generation fought and were bloodied , even killed, for what we thought was right.

My generation served our time. And we learned, Love has a down side.

bullets kill...love doesn't.

bullets kill…love doesn’t.

So, I’m wondering…why aren’t the 18 to 21 year old’s going to Standing Rock to stop this pipeline? You have the ability-some of you-like maybe 500 thousand, right? And yet, you aren’t joining our Native American people to fight for your right to live in a clean, healthy environment. Somewhere, somehow, between the protests of the Nam Era and the rattle, smoke, shake, rock-in-roll days of Woodstock my generation’s spirit to join in mass to fight what’s wrong for what is right has gotten lost; the ball got dropped.

Maybe the environmental movement just isn’t fun enough? I don’t know…

new_sliders-11woodstock08a1

In the rub lies the ointment, and in there are the flies. Sometime, somewhere, I feel certain the next generation will have had enough, and chose to fight  in the streets rather than type on a computer as I am. Both are good; both actions can bear results-but getting out in the streets in mass has worked before. It can work again.

 

It’s still not too late to join the protester’s at Standing Rock. In the end, Life becomes a memory. You’ll want to know you did what’s right. Good luck.

Here’s a Drone video and update on Standing rock https://vimeo.com/189876726

Franque23

Here’s the dirt on the proposed pipeline and how and why it was redirected….581a0640150000b9005313f6.png


 

Mom takes a look....

Mom takes a look….My first born has her second born….

It got me thinking…

Gainesville back in the day

Gainesville back in the day-you tell me when? Anyway, it was at least a simpler time, call it a slower moving time? in some ways …

Of course, the grass always looks greener-back then there was no internet and maybe three stations on TV. Calls were made through operators; there were no fancy coffees but for Maxwell house which  even Millionaires couldn’t buy …

But some things don’t change…like having babies and keeping that eternal on going string of humanity going, or not… Lots of great people, some we base our thinking upon, chose for whatever reason not to have children—* Way too numerous to list,,we can just remember Newton, Mother Teresa, both Wright Brothers, Beethoven ,Chekhov and Poe to name a few who didn’t have children.  It’s not mandatory that a person have children, but how people have avoided that  DNA driven push to go on I haven’t a clue–I couldn’t.(of course, some couldn’t have children) I was 30ish when a brick like feeling hit my head and said, “Have children,” so I proposed and, thankfully, my wife did have three.

 

Home sweet home-

Home sweet home-way back in the day….(1750)

It was back in 1750 when the man who lived in this castle sired all the Von Franquemonts/ Franquemonts that are in the world today—err, I bear the name. He liked having babies…and his 50  or so kept women gave him plenty. His name was Karl Eugen, and at the time, I guess his legitimate wife(s) didn’t mind the flock.

I’ll be going to this castle soon,,,and then to the outer rubble of what is left of the Von Franquemont castle–something to look forward too.

Thing is, and why this post is about children,, is my first-born just had her second born, Kai Louis Bhaca Shiohira was born yesterday 8/15/16 in Cape Town…He’s our 7th Grandchild.

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing!

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing! Parents for the second time… Maya and Kai are lucky to have them as leaders.

The string of humanity is amazing…and the push all parents make to get children grown up is even more mind-boggling. Children are a worry and love that is never forgotten. It was when our children reached 12ish that I realized,,Hey-this isn’t for 18 or 21 years-this is forever… and it’s  great, the forever.

Trouble is, America completely misses the point. Ruled by most businesses who seemingly care not one iota for life, families, children and education of the young, American’s struggle to raise families with shrinking incomes, devalued dollars and the poorest of Family leave benefits when children are born…

In fact….as my cousin’s son flies through the skies,, his photos remind me that this family benefit/leave policy prevalent in the US is upside down….

32271_1446662118859_4151214_n Ross does a flip in the air.

Thing is, if you look at this world-wide graph of benefits given to new moms and dads, you’ll see American’s get the short shaft when it comes to having time off, paid time off mind you, to bring their children into this world in a loving, home giving environment..

ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160-001http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160815-story.html

So, Basically, America as it is now stands to give no credence to the new family, the new child, the new life-the one the entire world depends upon if we are to continue.

Babies are legacies

Babies are legacies, and so much more,,,the future.

It's a growing world

It’s a growing world..How could the United States be one of just nine countries to offer no set leave time to new moms and dads as a National law?

the generations before and after us are the point

Our generation and the generations before and after us are the point.

The laws in place for Family Leave after birth in America, or more aptly put, not in place, are just sick. Personally, I find this more than appalling as an American-it’s disgusting. Big business only cares for money; why work for them; why support anything they want when they don’t even give a hoot about new life, the life that will push us forward when we are gone?

Here’s to the children, our new hope for humanity. Right now, I hope maternity leave for both parents changes here in America…isn’t that due?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change--when will we get it?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change–when will we get it?

Our family want to know--When will America change?

Our family wants to know–When will America change, and value children-families?

Franque23 loves his children and Grandchildren…don’t we all.?

*http://brianhassett.com/2010/06/people-who-dont-have-kids/


Okay, so my wife has taken off for Africa for a while, but this post isn’t about that. No. It’s about being gone from Lake Bonaparte  for a year now, or , actually, it’s been three weeks. Thing is, time is relative, or is it irrelevant-I forget. Anyhow, it’s been a heck lot longer than a day since I last watched my puppy leap about 22 feet thru the air off the dock*. How did he do that? It’s all about the back monstrous legs on this dog…

hey muscles....

hey muscles….

click on the pic for back leg muscle shot....it all came to me yesterday as I watched him leap to the top of a six foot Sheppard's hook trying to get a squirrel...

click on the pic for back leg muscle shot….it all came to me yesterday as I watched him leap to the top of a six-foot Sheppard’s hook trying to get a squirrel…this Catahoula Leopard dog really is a bit like a large cat.

Okay, so about that Lake up north…not sure I’ve mentioned this, but it’s way cool, and not just the temps. It’s got just about everything-swimming, boating, majestic sunsets, crazy Loons(the bird-not people)**, almost deep dive potential, bluffs to jump off, and for fisherpeople it has 22 miles of shore line to plug.  But, as they say, I can’t take it or leave it. Wait. Did someone ever say that?

I'm sick of puttin' up with the good times day after day....

I’m sick of puttin’ up with the good times day after day….

What ever happened to misery? It’s a fact, you find people up at the lake roaming the roads looking for something bad to happen. The non-existent nearby Hospital is full of people suffering from cracked, smiling faces…

Nothin' to do outside forces kids and adults to interact inside...it's down right nuts.

Nothin’ to do outside forces kids and adults to interact inside…it’s down right nuts.

If I go back it won’t be too soon enough-I’m warning ya. If I hear one more whisper of fun I’m gonna go fishing, swimming or canoeing…I promise.

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin'

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin’

We have the poles to do it.

We have the poles to do it.

I know you think I'm just put up with this and keep the home fires burning...Ha!

I know you think I’m just gonna put up with this and keep the home fires burning…Ha!

But, I’m telling you-enough fun is enough. I’m Fini, kaput, done with the crazy fun,,and for what? The Fourth of July? If I see another beautiful firework display up there at the lake I’m gonna puke, though, maybe that was for some other reason,,I forget.

Parades of fun-it all makes me a bit nuts...okay, a lot nuts...or nuttier.

Parades of fun-it all makes me a bit nuts…okay, a lot nuts…or nuttier. Please pass the s’mores-thanks Mary and Joey…

I may see a doctor about all of this. Why? Why the Lake? If it’s sunny one day it may be raining the next, and if the fish are biting it means I need to rush to the hospital for those wounds. There are steps-so many I might one day get in shape-nah, squash that. It’s the stars that keep me up at night, and the ever elusive Northern lights…(I did too see them).

Actually, all people do up at Lake Bonaparte is crash..

 My sister is one hundred and fifty years old today--here she is trying to figure out how to read....

My sister is one hundred and fifty years old today–here she is trying to figure out what’s in her hand….sad-like the lake.

NO, he's not tired....

NO, he’s not tired….

In fact, this lake thing is such a downer, a condom tomato post from this past spring is in order–wait,, I mean , Random tomato post….gosh.

from my Florida yard....

from my Florida yard….

Hmmmm,,, still not out of the slump? How about a pineapple….

this year we have 11 coming or already eaten....some small, some large...I expect about 30 next year.

this year we have 11 coming or already eaten….some small, some large…I expect about 30 next year.

So why go to the Lake of Fun and be miserable when I could stay here and pick pineapples,,,Doctor? Shhh, I’m practicing and mediating.

this is the exact sunset I once told Cassie could never happen...Hahha...sock and foot in mouth.

this is the exact sunset I once told Cassie(family) could never happen…Hahha…sock and foot in mouth.

That’s it. I refuse to go back until I do. There’s no middle water about it. I’m not gonna get all slobbering and sob on about it. Heck, I wouldn’t be caught dead up there- not with so much livin’ to do around them shores.

132Oh splat…..I guess I’ll go mow in the 95 degree heat with 150% humidity summer day here…that should help. Like I’d wanna be up at the lake right now, as if.

Go ahead, make a splash, see if I care.

Go ahead, make a splash, see if I care.

sob.

Franque23

*

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

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

**Many would disagree-the looney’s are at the Lake..

 


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.

13769524_10157113592055487_2269551573294768511_n (1)

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….

 


“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”  Donald Trump.

Recently, a series of articles are claiming that Donald Trump may have had sex with an under age girl or girls. Of course, at this point, the question has to be asked: is this true? And it has to be noted that being charged of  crimes in America does not presume guilt-we stand as a society upon the presumption of innocence.

Does the, "look'" say a thousand words?

Does the, “look'” say a thousand words?

But what are the charges at hand? This is from an article published today and  linked below…..

A brief precis: ‘Jane Doe’, the plaintiff, alleges that in 1994 she was held as a sex slave in an apartment belonging to Jeffrey Epstein (the second defendant in the case). ‘Jane Doe’ alleges that on one occasion, Trump tied her to a bed, exposed himself and then “proceeded to forcibly rape” her. When she pleaded with him to stop, she says he struck her in the face and yelled that he would do what he wanted. ‘Jane Doe’ also alleges that Epstein vaginally and anally raped her following the assault by Trump, physically striking her in the head at one point while screaming at Trump that it was he, rather than Trump, who should have been the one to “take her virginity”.

For the record, Trump’s lawyer has dismissed the allegations as “categorically untrue, completely fabricated and politically motivated.” But as Bloom points out, there are compelling reasons for the mainstream media to at least consider them worthy of reporting. First, there’s the fact that Jeffrey Epstein is a convicted pedophile and Level 3 registered sex offender with a preference for underage girls. There is also the matter of his ongoing, documented friendship with Trump – just prior to Epstein’s conviction, Trump had this to say about the man he had known for 15 years: “Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

But more concerning even than that is the fact that ‘Jane Doe’ claims to have a witness. ‘Tiffany Doe’ (both women have, with the court’s approval, exercised their right to anonymity for fear of retaliation given the high-profile nature of the case) worked for a number of years for Epstein, and says part of her job was to lure underage girls to these aforementioned parties. In documents filed to the court, ‘Tiffany Doe’ says, “I personally witnessed four sexual encounters that the Plaintiff was forced to have with Mr. Trump during this period, including the fourth of these encounters where Mr. Trump forcibly raped her despite her pleas to stop.” She says she continues to live in “mortal fear” of Trump.

Untested though they may be, the allegations are damning. That by itself should be enough to have the mainstream media at least somewhat interested in reporting on them, never mind the fact they are being leveled against a person who may soon become the leader of the free world. Keeping in mind the fact that Trump, like anyone, is entitled to a presumption of innocence when facing criminal allegations, the media still has an obligation to report on such matters. Why the silence? Is this just another form of the protection given to people with power, and powerful men in particular?”

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/the-presumption-of-innocence-isnt-a-free-pass-for-powerful-men-to-avoid-scrutiny-20160703-gpxp28.html

I watch a film of an interveiwer asking Trump what he most shared with his daughter. His response was, "SEX." I presume he meant sax appeal-we can only hope.

I watched a film of an interviewer asking Trump what he most shared with his daughter. His response was, “SEX.” I presume he meant sex appeal-we can only hope.

As powerful as these charges seem, I’m a bit more fascinated, call it stuck, on the trumped up charges Trump has laid at the feet of the American voters. His first main call to fame and leadership during this election cycle has been to, “Make America Great Again!”  Say what? I say America is still great in sooo many ways. Or, is it the contention of Trump supporters that America is the arm pit of the world? The freedom to chose, protest, lead or not, work, our huge GNP, own a home, our union won 40 hour work weeks, vacations, Holidays,  schools, a National road network, our military might, voting rights, the freedom of speech and to dress and act in a huge variety of ways are just some of the ways America is Great, and has been for so long. So just who, or what, is Trump going to “make great again?” There’s a question I’d like directly answered.

Trump is supported by a fringe element in our society that truly makes no sense when their ideologies are tied down to the facts they protest. The entire Trump movement has been scammed by , “Trumped up Charges,” full of slippery rhetoric, emotional pleas laced with violent tendencies, outrageous name calling and bogus facts.

I’d say the bottom line of this election cycle is that Hillary wins by a landslide. My prediction lies upon a belief that 99% of Black voters don’t like Trump; 99% of women voters should hate the man; All immigrants must puke at the man’s image; all democrats will not vote for Trump; and, like it or not, Hillary is better looking than Trump. It is my firm belief that racists, lunatics, gun nuts and dim-wits combined with die-hard Republicans and the religious ‘right’ do not out number the people contained in the list above.

To the rich and powerful who may salivate over the possibility of Trump’s election I offer this- yes, Trump will do whatever business wants like a puppy who begs for a bone, but the ruling class has simply not given the working class citizens enough cash over the course of the last forty years to make a radical change attractive. The economic squeeze from the top tier of American wealth has drained the juice out of any base support those in power may hope to get from the free thinking working class.

To this end, the rich and powerful will continue to try to erode the educational systems in our country until they have enough voters who are willing to swallow the Trumped up Charges…..For now, those numbers don’t add up to a victory in November. Plus, the recent charges laid against Trump may not be Trumped up? Time will tell….

Wait; What? I thought we "Loved America, right or wrong?" I guess not, huh?

Wait; What? I thought we “Loved America, right or wrong?” I guess not, huh?

Franque23

 

 

 


(click on the pics for a bigger picture.)

Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve always wanted to play the Mad-Hatter in a puppet show. This is why it is the Mad Hatter’s tea party that s-l-o-w-s down the Hare as I wrote the puppet show adaptations of The Tortoise and the Hare. Well for that, but also because I couldn’t think of how watching a Hare sleep under and tree or romp through flowers could be made into an interesting, entertaining script…..Voila–the Mad Hatter’s tea party was born again, sorta.

We were ready-----(Tina, Odette and Ann-she signed the show- line up with me wishing they could run away

We were ready—–(Tina Bushnell, Odette Hinson and Ann Lozotte(-she signed the show-) line up with me wishing they could run away…

It can be painful learning a show...and sometimes you just gotta laugh since there's no way any of it will work out.

It can be painful learning a show…and sometimes you just gotta laugh since there’s no way any of it will work out.(practice while thinking of calling in sick on the day of the show)

It’s quite an ordeal to pre-plan the adaptation, write the script, order needed  items, build the set and props, practice, direct and then perform the puppet show. In all, we had over 100 hours of time put into this production…and I was sorry that 50 or so children who hadn’t pre–signed up and reserved a spot in the audiences for either one of two “Sold-out” free shows had to be turned away.

The script was full of puns: “Do you have money for Hare-fare?”; “Here’s a Hare-brush”;”Let’s not split, Hares”; and “Hare today; gone tomorrow” These were just  a few-

The Hatter meant it when he said, "Let's look OVER the menu."

The Hatter meant it when he said, “Let’s look OVER the menu.”

Hare: “But I can’t read what’s on the menu!”(by just looking over it)

Hatter: “Excellent idea; we’ll eat what ‘s on the menu!”

In one of the funnier parts, the waiter uses a sight gag of large portions for the Hatter and small portions for the Hare.

Large lettuce leaf and tomato for me

First a large carrot for me and a five CARAT ring for the starving Hare. Then, a large lettuce leaf and tomato for me

13432161_10209824913569732_4986989429308907610_n

small tomato with bite out of it for the Hare

Small tomato with bite out of it for the Hare

The bit here ends when the Hatter pretends to eat his menu, now folded around the food items as if it were a sandwich-er, on the menu.

Hatter: Bon Appetit

Hare: Wait, I can’t eat this! ( The menu as a sandwich)

Hatter: But people always eat what’s on the Menu!

The waiter-played by Odette, changes into four or more nationalities as she returns with food to put”On” the menu, or delivers a large carrot for me and a five Carat diamond ring for the starving Hare etc. In all, I think Odette changed costumes about 8 times within a 35 minute program–that’s work.

In the beginning, the set was ready and quiet.

In the beginning, the set was ready and quiet.

Wait–in the beginning the people who’d be doing the play were determined,,,their talents came into play and helped define the roles they might do well.

Random thought:

Why didn't the term, Mosshead, take hold?  That all got me thinking -I guess it’s the same for Fox News Producers…they have to dice out who can do what for their shows.

So they had to decide what roll Megyn Kelly might best be suited for on their TV show....

So they had to decide what roll, Megyn Kelly, might best be suited for on their TV show….then make her toast, I mean host.

Maybe,  we all buy into what puppets tells us?

Anyway, for us the first act was all puppets….

Children buy into puppets ,,always.....

Children buy into puppets ,,always…..(Ann Lezotte signs)

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Everything was set behind stage

lots of lines to keep track of

lots of lines to keep track of…

We always have a rocking time of it…

I first looked over the Hairy Hare name Harry and thought her a bit fuzzy-she explained she was hairy all over, which I thought an odd name...Then she said , "No I'm only Hairy." That name seemed no better.... "No" The Hare said. "I'm just Harry." This is why I called the Medic- obviously Hairy all over and Only Hairy were missing,, maybe in trouble,,,maybe hurt....

I first looked over  Hairy Hare name Harry and thought her a bit fuzzy-she explained she was hairy all over, which I thought an odd name…Then she said , “No I’m only Hairy.” That name seemed no better…. “No” The Hare said. “I’m just Harry.” This is why I called the Medic- obviously Hairy all over and Only Hairy had gone missing,, they could’ve been in trouble,,,maybe hurt….missing for sure

We kept the pace of puns going on throughout and  you can’t flip a phrase into humor if the first one isn’t said just right. That put pressure on us to remember the subtle twists of the script.

Of course we had a safety net made of endless confetti and horn blowers for each child.....

Of course we had a safety net made of endless confetti and horn blowers for each child at the play’s end…

In the end, it was. I found myself back stage with bending head realizing that after 21 years of doing puppet shows, I wouldn’t be doing them forever. Plus, one cast member had mentioned that maybe this was her last hurrah(the position in the puppet shows so filled with huge work is voluntary.) It all set me back- back to twenty years ago when I was 47 and new to the Library District.., young, limber, full of energy and so willing to go for it.  Then, I thought about how much I would miss doing these shows with the current cast members, how much they’d given to me, to the shows, and how wonderful they are. It was a moment of triumphant filled with a sense of loss for me.

“Are you alright?”

Tina’s sweet voice called from my left, startling me,  catching me in my retrospective moment-

“Yes.” I smiled. “I’m alright.”  I couldn’t go into how much Odette and Tina had meant to my efforts, our efforts, and how much I’d never forget the puppet shows, the laughter, or either of them. I owe them so much. I kept my thoughts private, until now.

I'' never forget the scenes

I’ll never forget the scenes–how about the tea cup?

But most of all, I’ll never forget the children’s faces, the laughter and joy we’ve managed to bring to them.

I know it a small thing-but this troupe has worked wonders...and I'm so proud of them.

I know it’s a small thing-but this troupe has worked wonders…and I’m so proud of them.

 

Cheers, and I’ve a few more shows left in me as long as the ‘creek don’t rise’…

Franque23 loves his troupe.

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