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(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

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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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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

 


(click on pic for much larger views)

There was a rush of energy, almost a light that shot through my head, and then I felt a warm glow radiate from my skin.  I was a new first time father, dancing on air it seemed, ready to take on the world. Of course, it hadn’t always been this way.

I'd no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player...and hair curling beyond my shoulders....)

I’d no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player…and hair curling beyond my shoulders….)

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

My first good view of our baby came as she was hoisted from my wife and put on a bilirubin table. I looked down at this soft pudding of person and smiled. It’d been my habit over the past nine months to say hello to our baby right through Dales belly-I used a high, sorta cartoon sounding voice, “Hello, babbbby.” Before I knew it, the same words and tune was ushering from my smiling lips. In a split second, I saw our child try to open one eye as if to see where that sound had been coming from all of her life….This was our first major connection; a moment of true understanding.

Kelly  started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Kelly started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Being a new dad turned me into a puff-ball of pride. Here was not only the most inquisitive, altogether perfect baby ever born but she who would one day rule the world! I tried hard to only take 1/2 of the credit.

It's called pride.....

It’s called pride…..

Kelly caught on to everything quick....and new when to mug shot a picture early on.

Kelly caught on to everything quick….and knew when to mug shot a picture early on.

The world had opened a new door for my life, rearranged everything, put the past in its place and planted a brand new future ahead.  I have to say, there’s nothing neater than having a baby for the first time, actually, anytime.. It so rocks!

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic...forget sleeping, more like collapsing.

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic…forget sleeping, it was more like collapsing.

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Time began to rush by, and before we knew it Kelly’s Baptism was on hand, at  8 months….Jan. 1983

My parents came up for the big day.....

My parents came up for the big day…..

Dale and I wore our best outfits…..

Jan, 1983

Jan, 1983….

So I sat down after all that and when I got up it was Kelly’s first birthday party down at my parents house….we had a few special guests there as well….

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face -first.

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face first.

Her outfit never tasted better

Her outfit never tasted better

There were cousins…..

Kelly's cousin,  Erik, had a birthday t.hat same month-May, 1983

Kelly’s cousin, Erik, had a birthday that same month-May, 1983

And we all got to go to the beach….

A lucky 'high-water' shot....right Kelly?

A lucky ‘high-water’ shot….right Kelly?(1983)

Life couldn’t be better,,,and Kelly’s good nature and desire to learn all there was to know made each day bloom with happiness for us.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Kelly brought a dear friend to our house, Sandra, who I’d known in the Ocala National forest…so many came to see Kelly , I couldn’t put the pictures in here…50670014

One thing of note…the background has a real wagon wheel lamp in it,,,and that same lamp is in my living room now!

Kelly gave so much to us, so much to me, personally. My heart hurt the first day I realized that a spirit so full of life would swim ‘up-stream’ in our society just because she was a female…But none of that kept Kelly down-oh no. I’ve written globs about her in Japan, Africa, on top of mountains, winning championships in horseback riding and  baseball…awards in music-and in college-so much more…..but I think this picture of Dale with Kelly’s first major horse , Will, a great little horse himself, says a lot.

How we've loved following Kelly in all of her exploits

How we’ve loved following Kelly in all of her exploits.

It could be cold.....(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

It could be cold…..(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

Or it could be warm

Kelly has helped make anyplace home.

Kelly has helped make every place home.

Thanks Kelly Jeanne....

Thanks Kelly Jeanne….(Laura’s-our second daughter- Birthday with balloons in her hair.)

We love you so much Kelly….50670024

 

and we always will….Happy Birthday Kelly….Love, Dad

You've helped make our day, year-life.

You’ve helped make our day, year-life.

When my days get tough, I think of Kelly and get going….Thanks, Kelly.

Franque23 is so proud of Kelly Jeanne.

 

 

 

 

 


I’m thinkin’ this was the entire clan in 2014?(Click on pics to enlarge.)10253849_10152642095434254_1132655158881258983_n

It was an arousing, disturbing time, a tale of two camps fraught with desperate devotion to the diversity of character. But, before the frolicking could start, there were reading lessons to give.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and really large print.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and then really large print.

The Kingdom, the king and queen,  had serious business to consider.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

But would the Ne’er do wells learn? We sent out our number twelve and one half scout….

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number beaver and a bunch of other things.

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number one beaver and a bunch of other things. He’d get to the bottom of the mug.

The place was crawling with bounty hunters……

Black as night and under a full moon sometimes ,too.

Black as night even under a full moon. They call him, Ben the Mysterious.

And dang, we had to work around the cops, too. The Northern kind, cold, cunning, always cooking up something.

A badge toting hash slinger....

A badge toting hash slinger….

There were stories about those who could not read, the cops, the ‘body’ hunters….they all to be told to those who might listen.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Of course, in the middle of the grueling learning process, there was the , “Everyone Stand on a Boat Trailer,” day..

Exactly what?

Exactly what?

..All hands were on deck, but for the few snookered pirates who wore dangerous hats.

Don't ever let the grin beat cha....

Don’t ever let the grin beat cha….here or from the other wanna be dangerous hat person.

Aye----

Aye—-

We set our sails out to see what the he*l?

Ship off and drink up, though maybe it's the other way around, not sure.

Ship off and drink up, 2014, though maybe it’s the other way around, not sure.

And who could remember, trying so hard to forever forget, the famous, “Wear a Sticky Note on Your Nose,” day?

The Universe is full of mystery.

The Universe is full of mystery.

Very little had been planned, but still subjects lined up to walk the plank/dock?10547644_10152641130119254_2725586665697732552_n

The Princess called for a retrieve…we had a dog.10527489_10152641107679254_3109956687433018332_n

A woman named Rachel plotted on how to escape-but could she make it?!?!?!10527338_10152641098749254_5162423330591262251_n Shadow and bearded wonders came in one fall of a swoop to do even less than anticipated.

Shadow, the life guard.

Shadow, the life guard. And two wonders with beards….

completely saved the day

completely saved the day

Order had been restored in a pantry.

Order had been restored in a pantry.

If truth be known, I took every order from a person so important that to this day there shall be no mention of him…..

He who will be never mentioned....

He who will be never mentioned…. So wise; so inspiring….

No this doesn’t end it for 2014, the Bonaparte Mistake. There are so many other pictures I meant to leave out!  Here’s to Meagan,,a random guest who secretly took the pictures….

Every load of disaster has worth-here, in 2014, we learned that the kayaks really belong in the water. There was the testing process, hard to the knee work, rowing, rowing, rowing…..whew!

bright side---we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

bright side—we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado. For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado.

Franque23 loves the lake-


April showers have already brought April flowers-(Click on the pics for a much better view)

The red single Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer---I find the different varieties of this plant amazing.

The single red Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer—I find the different varieties of this plant amazing. The petal is extremely soft to the touch.

With American’s declaring war on about everything, drugs, immigrants, poverty, crime, being fat, too thin, a commie, cop, black man, social security recipient, slacker, rapper or street walker, etc….I thought a reconnaissance of my yard this spring was in order.

Our Hibiscus flanks a walkway now surrounded by twenty foot high Oranges trees, a Valencia, a red seedless navel plus one grapefruit.  I bought these on the same day about 8 years ago….at the time, they all fit nicely in my back seat.

We've nine oranges trees of differing variities but only six are yeilding-three more have to age a bit more.

We’ve nine oranges trees of differing varieties but only six are yielding-three more have to age a bit more.(Shadow stands in for a size comparison.)

I open the front door and love this sight.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man's Beard Tree...currently in full bloom.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man’s Beard Tree…currently in full bloom.

I remember this rose as being a Tea Rose, but the size of this year’s blooms have me scratching my head…..

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

See?

A handful for a Tea Rose.

A handful for a Tea Rose.

Nearby, underneath the Old Man’s Beard Tree, we have a number of pineapples growing. This year’s warm winter seems to have started the pineapples bearing about 6 months early…

I've nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we'll see!

I’ve nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we’ll see!

See last years pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

See? Last year’s pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

Over all yard view….

a bit of trimming and upkeep, but I like the feel. It's a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

It takes a bit of trimming and upkeep. Thing is, I like the feel. Landscaping, planting gardens for food or flowers and random trees to flower or fruit, it’s a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

Our “Victory Garden”* is located to the left of shot above. Beans, tomatoes, egg plants, herbs, yellow squash, zucchini, lettuce. peppers-yellow, green, red-and banana peppers, everything is coming along fine.340

My buddy stays close at hand and helps me routinely patrol the yard for squirrels…

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

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

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

Speaking of monring....our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Juniper blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.

Speaking of morning….our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Petunia blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.(drought resistant)

 I love these, though they last only a few days…the Amaryllis Belladonna, or Naked Lady plant…Great thru droughts, a delicate bloom in clusters. And, at the risk of turning this into a drought resistant plant blog, I have to add the wonderful Plumbago-

Just breaking out in bloom

Just breaking out in bloom

 

It's another no brainer.....a hoax head's up!

It’s another no brainer…..we should ask politicians running for any office not how a subway card works or how well the know how to eat pizza, but what they  know about growing stuff-just saying…

Just the idea of politicians planting more than BS got Shadow running in circles!

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don't run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don’t run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

 

We've three Myer's lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yeild often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person's face!

We’ve three Meyers’s lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yield often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person’s face!

The place would be perfect is I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin' the joint.

The place would be perfect if I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin’ the joint.

three children, all grown up1

My three roadsters long ago.

Now, more about the Ponderosa….

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

A meyrs next to Ponderosa

Our Meyers’ next to our Ponderosa Lemon

caught my eye this morning.

This caught my eye this morning.

It’s true, I’ve left out a lot, like the Indigenous Jasmine that towers by our front door each year( fifteen feet or higher) to scent the entire yard for months only to die back to the ground every winter,

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

The Mulberry and fig trees,,,you’re welcome, squirrels are very important to us.

We've two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other....

We’ve two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other….a huge Mineola Tangelo is in background(honey bell)

The side 1/2 acre features three types of orange trees, a blueberry and several invasive lantana’s the butterflies love.

a look at Shadow's 1/2 acre run, petunia's and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

a look at Shadow’s 1/2 acre run, petunia’s and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

Invasively neat.

Invasively neat. (Can’t leave the mailman out of the fun)

The beauty of Florida is not just the weather, the ocean, springs, lakes and rivers, but what a person can grow  in the smallest of yards if they would like. It’s a jungle out there, and we can nurture it so it nurtures us.

Cheers during Spring in Northern Florida.

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.

 

 

 

 


Over one million children gather to pray for World Peace this year in Thailand.

Over one million children gather to pray for World Peace this year in Thailand.(click on pics for bigger view.)

Let’s hope so, at least some of it. Yes, it’s easy to worry about radicals and think the catastrophes of WWII might be repeated, that millions of innocent men, women and children will be sacrificed by the unthinkable, the unholy, the greedy, or by the likes of madmen from our recent past. Thing is, while it’s important to make sure the atrocities of the World’s past are not repeated, there’s another whole world of history that we might want to give another go.

In our present times of doom, gloom, worry and warfare, it’s difficult to understand that once there were no wars. 

The Peace throughout Central Europe lasted nearly three hundred years in some places…The period of what was thought to be God’s Grace began in earnest around the tenth century, and lasted well into the thirteenth century. The peaceful ideologies and way of life was fully embraced by Church and State, and by those who toiled in the fields as well.

Try to imagine three hundred years of peaceful living throughout parts of our planet.

It's another no brainer.....a hoax head's up!

1776 to 2076 is three hundred years!

I’m thinking the Native Americans wished they’d had the time.

This hangs on our walls,,and we still talk form time to time.

The Civil War brother’s who fought for different sides might have enjoyed the Peace, too.

I walked across this field....

Thing is, there’s so many wars that have happened world-wide over the course of the past three hundred years that it’d be difficult to list them all.

Spanish-American War

WWI

Protestant Catholic Wars

WWII

Korean War

Vietnam WAR

the Middle East….on and on.

Meanwhile, over the same length of time, three hundred years, from approximately the 10th to 13th century,  there were no wars to speak of in Europe.  Of course, there were wars to be found, and heads to chop off if one felt like joining a Crusade or two, but generally, if a man wanted, he could stay home and live out his life along with his son’s, son’s, son’s, son’s in peace. (Daughter’s , too.)

Oil depicting city life in Europe, around 1338.

Oil depicting city life in Europe, around 1338. People are holding hands since they believed God had come and touched Earth with his Peaceful love and understanding.

From the tenth century on, civilized Europeans began to enter the High-Middle age period…Abundant food, the spread of knowledge had begun and religion was not doubted by many who lived to tell their tale.

the universities were just gaining a foot-hold.

The universities were just gaining a foot-hold.(1400).

Tables were set, and tapestries hung form walls.

Tables were set, and tapestries hung from walls.(12th century).

Imagine, nearly  six generations of a family living without suffering thru war! This might be an excellent time to listen to John Lennon’s , Imagine, again.*

The truth is, it is very hard to imagine a peace that reigned for so long. The trouble is it almost feels like those in power would rather have the people of the world accept War’s inevitability than realize that Peace can and once did happen.

Wars and rumors of war. What about Peace and rumor’s of Peace?

It’s up to us whether or not history will repeat itself and, if it does, what part will be repeated. Once, there were huge festivals , marches, town and city parties that celebrated crops, marriages, babies and happiness for three hundred years in Europe. The Kings and Church ruled over a prosperous peoples. We can, no, must, bring this history back into focus and then into reality. Our other war-torn histories are sheer madness, and it’s up to us, the people, to stop the crazies.

It's time for the real Adults of this world to stand behind our children and help them wrestle Peace from the hands of mayhem leaders...

It’s time for the real Adults of this world to stand behind our children and help them wrestle Peace from the hands of mayhem leaders…(Can one million children be wrong? Let’s hope not.)

A song comes to mind- This Little Light on Mine. Let it shine.

Peace.

Franque23

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLgYAHHkPFs


(There are no pictures-there are none any would want to see.)

I imagine Buddha, Gandhi or God might find that reading 30 people died was as painful as learning  six family members were killed. Otherwise, it’s difficult for most people to put a face on the dead they never knew. Maybe, that’s why the news that Isis has launched 20 attacks world-wide since 2014 that have killed 1200 people and wounded scores more doesn’t have many of us gnashing our teeth at a wailing wall.

But, what if, for just a moment, you and I imagined all 30 people killed today in Brussels were our direct family members(take a second or two-see their faces in death)….what then? Would we sit in our living room and listen to President hopefuls talk about the situation? Or, might we find ourselves banging fists through walls.

Sometimes, that bull-in-the-ring reaction seems well suited to charge ahead at any cost.

When does the talking stop and unified world-wide forces identify the enemy’s uniform and stomp those wearing it into beetle piss. A beautiful thing about life is that it holds so many truths, and here’s one of them: if no one is safe, then no one is safe. Simple.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is a major charge the American people ask of their government. Isis is putting a bad wrinkle on that chink of armor, and doing it across the globe. People of Ankara ask why the two bombings in Turkey that left scores dead this past week did not get the same main stream waving flag of coverage that Brussel’s earned in just one blast.* Their point is well taken, but I think the central point has moved past outrage, past coverage, past detente, way past no boots on the ground.

If Americans and good people all over look outside what they should see, no matter what the weather, is war clouds gathering on our horizon. Isis will not stop random bombings unless they are made to stop. And it only figures Isis will not leave  American football games, parades or Times Square out of their sights. Trouble is, can Isis be made to stop? There’s a gut check question for a knee jerk reaction. Queasy-the only word.

History has well proven that wars do happen, and for each war there has been a cause, a reason for the conflict that those willing to fight and die could not deny. When Fathers, Mothers and Children of all ages are randomly slaughtered as they go to catch a plane, can the reasons for war be too far off?

Maybe, not having a choice will make this ensuing war easier, but I think not. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself?” Well, there’s an early death; that can’t be perfect. Still, the time is here. It’s time some good sides march left to right while the other good sides march right to left and together, the two forces must squash everyone in between that is an enemy of free life, free travel, community safety and civilized people.

The deadly bombings are happening across the globe far more than most American’s know. It’s past time for complaining about what we have to do about this ideological menace to the civilized world- we have to stand up, stop apologizing for what may or may not have caused the problem to begin with, and stop the murderers now. No one can change history, but many can stop these random bombings.

Isis can end, but only with a world-wide effort. Sadly, words will never be enough.

Franque23.

“ANKARA — For the fifth time since October, another bomb has rocked one of Turkey’s two biggest cities — Istanbul and Ankara — pushing the overall death toll in recent months to nearly 200 with hundreds more injured.”http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-22/paris-there-have-been-hundreds-terrorist-attacks-many-have-gone-unnoticed


Phosphate mines cause cancer……

An aerial view of an open-pit phosphate mine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is walking away from an area in central Florida where it had raised fears that residents living on top of former mines were being exposed to dangerous radiation levels.An aerial view of an open-pit phosphate mine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is walking away from an area in central Florida where it had raised fears that residents living on top of former mines were being exposed to dangerous radiation levels. (Shutterstock/B. Brown)http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/epa-abandons-major-radiation-cleanup-florida-despite-cancer-concerns/

 

A thousand year old stand is cut in the USA to build a dam....

A thousand year old stand is cut in the USA to build a dam….

Many think  Nature is not a part of us. I recall reading books and essay’s or hearing opinions that placed Man and the Nature of our planet in juxtaposition. For so long the world of Nature has been thought to be somehow  unrelated to each of us on a personal level. Of course, Nature, and our environment is outside and inside of us on a constant basis throughout every hour, every minute and every second of every day of our lives. The Nature of our planet lives through us as part of our biochemical body, our senses and our understanding.

This is why it’s important for citizens of Alachua county to ask the commissioners to turn down the plum Creek plan. It will allow mining on our county’s East side and that’s not good.

Here, In Alachua county, Florida, the people still have one last chance to turn down a phosphate mining proposal for the East side of Gainesville-It is important for our outer and inner bodies in this county that this proposal to mine, called Envision Alachua,  is stopped. County commissioners will meet this Thursday, Feb. 25th at 5 PM , at East side High School, to hear people’s opinions on the matter and to vote yes or no. This is our chance to make a difference; to protect our environment and help Alachua county’s air quality remain as pure as it is now. If you live on the West side far away, you still will eventually breathe the same air I will or have-it’s just the nature of life and air to circulate.

For more on the huge downside of Phosphate mining in Florida, please read this- http://www.sierraclub.org/florida/phosphate-mining

It turns out the Native American saying, Be one with Nature, was not a suggestion or request, but a fact.

We all get the idea of Body Bubbles. It’s that uneasy feeling we have when someone encroaches our invisible body bubble that tells us this surrounding zone of space really does exist. Thing is, our individual lives extend far beyond our perceived body bubble. Every person, large or small,  sitting, walking or even running consumes on average about  19 cubic feet of air per day. Think of a crowded room, a meeting, someplace you have to be or go that’s full of people, and ask yourself a simple question: whose air am I breathing now?

A full size pine can produce up to 28 cubic feet of air per day....plus they absorb CO2... STill--we cut them down without much thought of how connected we as a people are to their growth and health.

A full size pine can produce up to 28 cubic feet of air per day….plus they absorb CO2… Still–we cut tress down without much thought of how connected we are as people to their growth and health.(Canada-timber company at work)

People are connected in a physical way to the nature of everything that’s around us.

People invisibly move in and out of other people’s lives through the routine task of exhaling and inhaling–we share the  air we breathe with almost everyone we encounter. More, we share our breath with every living thing on the planet. Worse, we share our breath with every non-living thing as well. Rust oxidizes, rubber will eventually break down and then there’s the way that we as a society produce power.coal-power-plant-emitting-carbon-dioxide-smokestacks-three-fired-emit-pollution-60081810 Coal power plants emit 40% of the carbon dioxide  found in our atmosphere…..

powerplant

The importance of curtailing industrial waste and smoke-any type of pollution-should not be over looked. Certainly, we can’t help but to take in pollution as we breathe but we can limited the amount of poisons our lungs are infusing into our blood streams during the process.

The landscape we live in is mapped in our heads every day of our lives.

Central Park is inside every New Yorker's lungs and mind of every day. The planner of this park got that.

Central Park is inside every New Yorker’s lungs and mind  every day. The planner of this park got that.

The planners of this mine in Canada , didn’t get it, or forgot, or maybe they were never told how connected everyone is to everything we do.

Don't look now, but these mines are wrecking our lives.....

Don’t look now,  but these mines are wrecking our lives…..

A phosphate mine is a fairly horrendous thing to our environment and to our sense of well-being. It’s time for citizens of Alachua county to stand up, to Stand by Our Plan as expressed  by the will of 75% of our voters when we passed Alachua Forever last November.  I hope you can make the meeting, or write our commissioners…. Please ask the commissioners to step away, take a deep breath and rethink passing this proposal. Vote it down.

Franque23

 

 


One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

A Phosphate mine in florida

A Phosphate mine in florida

It used to be that about everyone understood the meaning of this saying, a pig in a poke, but not so much now. Thing is, this so-called Plum Creek plan as presented under the guise of Envision Alachua is exactly a pig in a poke, something many Alachua County citizens are buying into without really knowing what they’re getting.

The pretense of this plan is that it provides for better development of the East side of Alachua County.  The claim is that it will preserve green space, eliminate the use of septic tanks in the new project area, provide for work centers to enhance employment in the region and create an environment that might attract further, progressive community building  in the area.

Very little of what is said to be favorable about the Plum Creek plan is true, while much of the plan is truly bad.

Though preserving 50% of the area as green space and the exclusion of septic tanks are two parts of this provision, the rest of the favorable blathering about Plum Creek is the “poke” that’s hiding the “Pig” in this plan.

The only major change in the provisions of land use not already provided by the recently voted in Alachua Forever plan is this:  Plum Creek Envision Alachua allows mining in the East side area.

To understand what this means, just check the Keystone area of Florida and search for the lakes that were once there before mining came to the region…..

by removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

By removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

Simply put, plum Creek is a mining bill that opens up Gainesville’s East side to phosphate mining-that’s the sole purpose of this plan in a nut shell. Speaking of nuts, who in their right mind would want a five acre property located near a phosphate mine? Especially when they had the pristine NW side of Gainesville to choose for a home site? Can you imagine the citizens of the North West side of Gainesville approving a phosphate mine in their local community?

It would never happen that the NW side of Gainesville would allow a phosphate mine near their homes….

The projected employment gain by this plan ranges from 2000 new jobs down to 200 jobs-the latter is more likely a true estimate at best. Why? Mining has never produced an environmental sound,  booming community nearby its mining site. In fact, mining has left environmental disasters all around the world in their wake.

Put a phosphate mine on the East side and you’ll never see people who are first moving to Alachua county choose that area as a place to settle….never.

The county has already stated that the proposed Plum Creek land does have abundant supplies of phosphate beneath the ground. Why is this important?

Another part of the Plum Creek plan that’s a Poke hiding a Pig is in its name. There is no Plum Creek anymore-Weyerhaeuser has bought the entire Plum Creek company. This is important since, although Weyerhaeuwser has glowing reviews on its timber management, Weyerhaeuser has perhaps the world’s worst record for causing or leaving behind environmental disasters when it mines anywhere.

 Yes-the new owners and developers of Plum Creek, Weyerhaeuser(pronounced ,ware-howser), is currently on the US Toxic round-up list, Canada’s Toxic violators list, and being sued in at least three countries in Europe for creating toxic waste sites.

Is this the type of company Alachua County citizens want to let mine in our county? No, is the only answer.

I remember hearing the then director of our Alachua County Library district, Ann Williams, as well as commissioner Charles Chestnut discuss the need for further development on our East side as far back as 1996. It is a struggle to develop the East side as quickly as we would hope to, but at least the beautiful Cone Park Branch of the Library district has come to fruition and fits the bill for progressive, advantageous development.

Our East side needs much more, but the last thing the area needs is mining. That would be a death knoll to future, more attractive development in the East side. This Plum Creek plan that allows mining is a slap in the face to all those who have worked to improve the East side for so many years.

Envision Alachua-The Plum Creek plan-is a pig in a poke. Don’t buy it. Please attend the final meeting on this issue at East Side High  school and ask the commissioners to check the true price tag of this proposal-mining- and ask our commissioner’s to turn down the Plum Creek plan.

One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

Thanks,

Franque23

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