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

The set is about twenty-five feet long….

(Click on the pictures for much larger views–)

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

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

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

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Natu and Lima protest the weather conditions!

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

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of

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

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

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

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

These are the moments I will remember forever….

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

Franque23.

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


It’s a big house, we have so many rooms.  They all seem full. Our daughter and family from South Africa will stay for many days, but never enough.  Added, we have more family visits-a montage of cousins, their parents and relatives happily shuffle in and out. Some days, I cook for thirteen, other days, just for  five.

rockin- around the Christmas tree...rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

rockin- around the Christmas tree…rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

Of course, the stay means more than just having numbers of special people in our house. My two daughters and their children light the moon and beyond with their glow. My ears hear their laughter and the children’s mischief-rocking, rolling, young ones banging against banisters and struggling to open outside doors we have locked for security.

The ruckus really starts outside. So many riders-rolling plastic look-a- like cars, peddle pushers and simple gliders-wheels roaring down our block of a hill as our grandchildren swift by while beaming smiles through their cheeks and eyes.

(I think if you log into FB you can watch this one minute clip.)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10205477937698786&set=vb.1561249536&type=2&theater

There’s no sense of urgency; no bills to pay; no time to keep. Today is forever. For a brief moment, my daughter from Africa can share a face to face laugh with my daughter who lives a mere thirty minutes from our house. We can can make faces, laugh, and even touch one another.

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

Cousins  best teach one another how to slide through life!

Cousins best teach one another how to slide through life!

Heaven arrives in many unexpected ways.  Now, part of that light is gone. Our house, the halls and the rooms feel empty, maybe forgotten?

Our oldest daughter has left for Africa.

It's time to cross another bridge.....(Kelly and Hiro in Africa)

It’s time to cross another bridge…..(Kelly and Hiro in Africa-Swaziland , I believe.)

The company is gone, and my wife and I are back to two.  We sit tonight in such a house, full of empty halls and unused bedrooms.

It was a great Holiday for us.....

It was a great Holiday for us…..

Our home feels as empty as my work place a few days before the holidays.

Tonight our home feels as empty as my work place was a few days before the holidays.

The road doesn’t thunder with the sound of fun that should never stop. Life, or maybe the lack of it, is back. My wife and I sit together as two grandparents on a couch once more…waiting; loving; hoping; and praying for safe journeys.

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Franque23

*This is Cassie Anderson’s first acrylic painting. She gifted me this painting. It depicts my cousin and I fishing in the sunset-a favorite pastime of ours.

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

The Man with a Wave….
 

I first saw him very close to New Year’s day. It was early morning. He stood by the roadside wearing a tattered suit coat that hung loosely from his shoulders. To his back stretched a long dirt road that was lined on each side by towering oaks. I imagined the man to be as old as they were. He was about six feet tall, thin, and I thought at once he should have a cane to help support his stature against the wind, but his hands were free. He donned a grey, wide-brimmed crumpled hat, and then he waved.

This is the exact intersection where I first and last  saw the man with the wave

This is the exact intersection where I first and last saw the man with the wave(pictured 30 years later)

The man’s wave startled me and my cup of coffee. It was a simple wave, one he capped off with an earnest smile.  I never could have guessed I’d see him so many days from then on, standing by his lonesome along the roadside waving to me each morning, or in my memory so vividly some thirty years later.

It is a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

It’s a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

 I found myself waving back to this man each day as I zoomed on to work. I’d yell out, “The man with the wave!” and extend my hand toward the man in triumphant affirmation that life was good. The event became so important to my mental health that each morning I hoped the man would be in place to issue the new day and my life his ‘official’ greeting. If not, I got gloomy. Who’d have ever have thought a wave could do that?

The months passed, soon a year slipped by. But, he was still there by the roadside every morning, waving to me and making my day. I often wondered if he’d walked down the dirt road to the hard top just to wave to me. I thought it possible that someone dropped him off at the corner.  Maybe he was waiting for a bus or, perhaps, for another person to pick him up? Certainly, he must have realized by my return smile and wave how his simple gesture of kindness lifted my spirits! I wish I’d asked, or told him.

I never stopped to speak with this man. Why? In retrospect I can say that his wave meant so much to me that there seemed to be no need to expand our interaction! I carried his wave and smile with me all day as I assumed he would mine-or so I hoped. Then, it happened.

The first few days I didn’t see the man with a wave found me holding out hope that I’d see him the next.  More than once, I waved at the empty roadside corner, and peered down the dirt road hoping to see if he was coming along the way. This went on for weeks.

.IMG0026B

I quickly looked down the road to see if the man was there as I drove past.

But, finally, I had to give up hope. His absence was a bitter loss. My heart found peace only when I promised myself never to forget the man with the wave, and how his smile and raised hand had meant so much to me. I also promised to write his story.

So, now you know.

I'll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

I’ll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

Every day around this time of year I remember the man with a wave. I smile to a stranger and raise my hand to say hello as I pass them by. I owe that to the mysterious man who gave me his wave. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s faces light up when I greet them for no apparent reason. Of course, secretly, I hope that they, too, will never forget.

Happy Holidays. Peace.

Franque23.

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

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