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( some pictures enlarge by clicking…like the papaya tree.. Oh my)

Dale wants to know why I count everything? Well, clearly I was once an Australian Shepherd—she must not know?

Anyway, I am a counter; I count on good luck, good friends, good times, good weather and good reads. The beautiful thing about being an optimist is I’m never disappointed. Life is a roller coaster and every bottom leads to the top of the next plateau—that”s what I count on.

But what could this have to do with these 48 tomatoes in our kitchen today? (There’s a few more you can’t see…really about 61 in all.)

Well, that’s simple. A few weeks ago I counted over 314 tomatoes in our garden and hoped the crop would make it—note: I refuse to count cherry tomatoes. Anyway, the tomatoes started becoming randomly ripe here or there without rhyme or reason throughout the garden. In that the plants are often over 6 feet tall, I had to hunt for tomatoes as if they were Easter eggs.  Eventually, after boiling down about 31 tomatoes to freeze into 3 or 4 quart baggies of sauce per day, I think the tomato bunny is leaving my yard.

Today’s pick included a 17 green beans, a mess of collard greens and about 18 1/2 tomatoes.

However, please note the six large brown bags on the table behind today’s hunt. These bags are the secret to reaping in ripe tomatoes in Florida’s early heat and before the 4,129* bugs here that use infrared spyware and well coordinated attack plans can sting the fruit…Dang, I dislike everyone last one of them…(NOTE: for the first time in, no joke, 42 and 1/2 years of gardening in North Florida, I haven’t seen but two fruit stinging insects in my garden! I’m not sure if this is due to the air quality improvement, the normal season we are having weather wise here for the first time in ten and 1/4 years or random luck. But, for whatever the reason, I’m getting worried about not seeing the insects I hate to see… so I’m going to a shrink about this,)…

This is our first child and my wife, Dale, back in 1982 in our Micanopy home. The garden is about 27 feet left of her.

Bonus picture: this papaya grew as a volunteer from our compost I spread last August. It’s about 25 feet tall; so far, it has had 33 papaya’s on it. In all, 17 papaya’s grew in the garden from our compost but I transplanted the others thinking, “Who needs 17 papaya’s growing in a veggie garden?” Good thing. Apparently the trees live up to five years.

Anyway,,, back to those 6 brown bags—they held 56 (plus three rotten) tomatoes in different stages of ripening and four papayas… So, the deal is to pick most of the tomatoes in the garden as they just start to ripen, especially if the tomato has splits or rings on its top which means they’re likely to split open or rot on the vine if you leave them outside. There’s a trick to this picking called timing, but why go into that when your mind is already blown by the  128 tomatoes I’ve made into sauce and frozen in 18 baggies so far? Plus, every recipe leaves something out.

Above: 73 tomatoes plus three rotten ones.

The three rotten ones….

Here’s the fifty-six tomatoes from the brown bags.

Of the 56 tomatoes in the bags, 36 were ripe.

It can take up to four or five days for tomatoes pulled from the garden less than green but turning white or red in spots to ripen in the bags. I check them every day as one that goes bad in the bags makes a mess. Some tomatoes may ripen in one to two days,,, it all depends on how ripe they are when you pick them.

I hope this helps. But here’s the thing: you don’t need hardly any space at all to grow tomatoes. You can grow them in pots on a balcony if that’s what you have to use. Or, since tomatoes are the best thing coming out of just about any garden, if you have a 3 foot wide, ten or 15 foot long space that gets at least 1/2 day sun, dig that soil up. Add good soil, put up a straight fence down the middle of that row supported well by stakes that are at least four feet high. Now, buy 9 starter tomatoes from Lowes (if you only have a ten foot row–one planted every 3 feet on either side of the fence) and plant them. Be sure you have a watering source… hose, sprinkler… something….

This type of set-up might yeild you 100 tomatoes…!?!?

One more thing,,, stay away  from Big Boy or Better Boy tomatoes if planting in Florida. They’re size is spectacular to see but the top ridges in these varieties tend to split open in Florida’s heat.  Plant around Feb. 15th or August 15th in Gainesville and cover if we get a weird cold night or two.

And, if you have a backyard, plop a pool in it if you can—there’s nothing like a swim after a day of picking 18 and 1/2 tomatoes.

Cheers from tomato land.

Franque23 is counting on you.

*I will admit to having never counted the insects…maybe.

 


You’ve heard the word: Antifa. It’s in the news today and has been predominately in America since 2017 but, still, WORD will try to correct the spelling. Isn’t it weird how something like WORD marks the relevance of any label? Thing is, WORD needs to catch up.

How Canada's 'antifa' groups are organizing to fight a growing far ...

Antifa at this point sounds more like a salad choice to me. “Please pass the Antifa and I’d like Russian dressing with that,” though , in this case, that choice of dressing may be a bad one. Anyway, yes, Antifa may not be a Salade niçoise, but no matter what dressing you choose the Antifa is on America’s table of events whether we like it or not. I must admit, until reading up on the group I was somewhat in the left out of the rally group when it comes to this icon’s meaningful movement.

Trump is declaring the Antifa a terrorist organization.

Well, this is awkward.

I learned that this so called, “terrorist organization,” is a bit unique in that it isn’t an organization at all!   Thing is, Trump and his low-‘barr’ are proclaiming the Antifa group a terrorist organization—this is as interesting as it is problematic. Go ahead, ask me why. Okay, if I must answer: it does seem difficult to name a group that doesn’t exist as a terrorist organization, but still, our current administration has proven anything might be possible.

Let’s clear the mud a bit when it comes to Antifa…

What Is Antifa? The Far-Left Group Staging Violent Protests ...

Antifa has no designated leader, no meeting place, no group rallies and no group fund raising. In fact, the feared Antifa has no group anything whatsoever of any kind in any way. So what is Antifa? Maybe, Antifa is a thought, or a bunch of thoughts, lots of people sitting on couches in lots of different places think correct.

In truth, the Antifa that we are being led to believe are a fearsome, down right disloyal, snot nosed, brainless rebel rousers with anti-American beliefs and slogans are not anything of this kind. The Antifa people who randomly show up at rallies and marches to protest those promoting bigotry are simply people who are fed up with the idea that Freedom of Speech can be used to mask one’s right to spew hate speech. Speeches full of lies that promote hatred of another are the clamp-down target here, not opinions, ‘what- ifs’, appeals for non-violent intervention or expression of well-thought out choices: this distinction is important to latch on to here.

Trump is declaring a thought a terrorist organization.

Antifa believe you can say anything you want as long as your words aren’t a hate filled, mosh-pits of lies and slander. Misleading blabber that labels anyone less than any other due to one’s beliefs, their color, their sexual preference, their political leanings or disdain for anyone different from themselves is a non-starter.

This is why people who march against the rights of women will meet Antifa members on the street.

This is why people who march against people of any color will meet Antifa members on the street.

This is why people who march against those with alternative sexual preferences of any sort will meet Antifa members on the street.

KKK will ALWAYS  meet Antifa members on the street.

Here’s the deal in a nut shell…though, again, this may be a poor choice of words… STILL

American’s want Freedom of speech but not at the cost of truth.

Antifa rise to prominence in Donald Trump′s United States ...

This is why the times are a changin’….in many ways, many people agree with many ideas promoted by Anfita.

Scott Crow, a former Antifa member says, “the “radical ideals” promoted by Antifas are starting to be adopted by liberals. They would never have looked at (those ideals) before, because they saw us as the enemy as much as the right-wingers.”

The majority of Antifa members don’t fall into a stereotype. Since the election of President Trump, however, most new Antifa members are young voters.

“The idea in Antifa is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that…(We) believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should not have a mouthpiece.”)*

*https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/05/31/what-is-antifa/

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Eric Garcia @EricG1247 My grandfather was part of an Antifa organization. It was called the United States Army when he was in World War 2 and fought the fascists and Nazi in Europe for the freedom of the world. When did being anti fascist become a bad thing in the US? 5:17 PM 5/30/20 Twitter for Android 12.8K Retweets 50K Likes'

Listen, there’s enough propaganda out there to discredit Tinker Bell. But don’t let lies from Trump fog your vision when it comes to these folks who have had enough of the KKK. Trump refers to people who attack Governor houses with armed weapons or who rampage and threaten blacks, Jews and anyone not as white as them as good people. This is just wrong.

I think it important to note that although Antifa started perhaps around 1920, the group played a heavy hand in fighting against Hitler…Now, I ask—are you with them, or not?

I love America because of what we stand for. We may not meet those aspirations as much as we’d like, but we at least set the goals for Freedom of Speech, freedom of thought, of expression, for the right to choose and for life liberty and pursuit of Happiness. Millions of immigrants who have in the past made our country what it is today are now being jailed at our boarders, or kept out of our country. This is not our America; this is trump’s obscene vision of a land he wants to rule as a fascist or worse.

Call me Antifa, call me for dinner, I don’t care.  But, I know good ideas when I hear them. Trump dispersing peaceful protesters with mace and rubber bullets as he walks to a church he wouldn’t even go in just for a photo op can go to hell.

Please vote and help get our country back in November, 2020. And yes, please, pass the Antifa salad…I don’t care what you call it.

Franque23—I’ve added below my  response to a comment below

“It is an odd experience to be raised American and then realize later on some of your childhood impressions were at best tainted. The ideals are here; the theoretical goals noble. It’s greed and the power of smaller minds that have undercut the best of America. I knew one bullet did not strike President Kennedy four times and that Nam was a futile if not corrupt endeavor but then, as time passes, as one gets busy with the earning of a living, it’s easy to forget the mess America is in. I’ve thought FDR’s New Deal was America putting it’s best foot forward and now, oddly, The Green Deal may be America’s next best step, though even this correctness won’t solve an inherent stream of corruption among our elected officials.” Franque23

 


Why not plant a seed and watch yourself grow!

Welcome to a two year  long gift:-)…

Hi! It’s easy to grow a pineapple and you can do it here in Alachua County, Florida ,and just about anywhere else in the country if you pot it and bring it in and out according to the weather! The process is almost the same for growing one pineapple in a pot as it is to grow more than one in a small or larger space outdoors.

Pineapple growing takes a pineapple top, soil, a good amount of sunlight, warm temperatures and water—that’s about it.

The pineapple:

First, you need a pineapple—you know , the one you hope to eat:-)  Then, you cut the top off the pineapple. Get help to do this if you need to because your knife will be sharp! (We want the pineapple top sans any fingers.) Okay, if the pineapple top looks a bit withered, put it in a bowl of water for about two days before planting. If the pineapple top looks green and healthy, just put it right in the soil.

(Hint: Grocery stores usually core pineapples for sale and then throw out the pineapple tops. I called Wards grocery in Gainesville and got 30 pineapple tops for free already cut and ready to plant. )

I took the tops, weeded an area and planted them.

The soil and water:

Use soil you might use in a garden. Pineapples will not grow in sand, but a medium soil is fine. I don’t fertilize my pineapples BUT I do sprinkle them almost daily with a small amount of water from a hose. Generally, the more sunlight and water your pineapple gets they larger the fruit will be.

One year later they looked like this.

The  red camellia has the symmetry of a rose and a touch as soft.

And, the bright yellow bloom that holds promise of  a squash could lead any garden parade.

But the pineapple flower is certainly as cute.

The pineapples start coming up during the second year.

Temperature control:

Pineapples don’t like cold weather. The plants will wither and die in freezing temperatures. I cover my outside pineapples if the temperature is going to be 38 degrees or below. But you can grow pineapples in pots and bring them inside when it gets cold if you want.

Thing is, a pineapple plant can take up to two years to yeild fruit so consider this when deciding how and where to plant your pineapple.

There’s just nothing like growing plants, especially ones that give you food. Home-grown pineapples are fun to grow and delicious to eat! And, every pineapple you pick has a top that can be cut off and planted so one pineapple grows another without end!

Pineapples turn bright yellow and slightly lean away from the plant when totally ripe.

Yummy.

Cheers!  This is what I think: plant a seed and watch yourself grow!

Franque23 loves to garden.

Next: Papayas:-)


And there’s more—so much more.

America and our allies were the ‘Good Guys’ who had dropped more than 2.3 million tons of food during the Berlin-airlift.

We’d beaten back an army of huge proportions.

My grandpa with four soldier sons.

And, when this generation went to war their lives were not only routed from the routine but full of uncertainty.

My dad,( Far left) his brothers and all his friends became soldiers

Of course, his sister married a soldier.

It was long ago, after WW II had ended, when my family lived in South Park (yes, really ) Long Island, a Levitt built neighborhood full of soldier survivors who teamed and beamed with confidence and pride. Weekend house parties were routine in my neighborhood and kitchen tables that abound in liquor bottles, if not a focal point, were at least always present. Laughter and celebration ruled the hours; these were the victors of a great emancipating War: these were the ones who defeated Hitler, the Nazi’s and an ideology of hate, division and  prejudice.  What could be better than that?

These were days of economic expansion in America, days to relax in or to go fishing.

Thing is, my Harvard graduating, South American traveling brother, Ed Franquemont, was at home for one of these rip-roaring party events. Bluntly, I can’t imagine a worse match: heavy drinking, WW II soldiers and my brother.

Ed (this picture long after the party in question) had just started growing a beard that he would sport the rest of his life—none of this change in how a person looked was acceptable back then.

Anyway, before long at this party, Ed had taken note of drinkin’ Denny’s slobbering denunciation of minorities and other spineless ne’er- do-wells… Tension mounted as Ed slipped in a few facts on how America was undercutting sovereign rulers in South America so U.S. companies might collect minerals, oil and other products for themselves.  Well, the roof didn’t come off our home that night, but certainly a few friendships and feelings of regard for those present slipped out our windows. That regard never came back.

On May Forth, 1970, Ohio State’s National Guard took a knee and fired upon war protesters…In a way, the clouds of this shooting were gathering in our kitchen that night..

Thing is, there’s more….

It’s been well over 60 years since the fight that night in our kitchen took place, and in retrospect I do believe much of what my liberal Harvard educated brother said was true. Listen, I always loved my dad and do to this day, though he is long gone. He was a great dad, a flower growing, hard working, happy, successful man; he’d was a Full Colonel, one who Fort Drum in New York State FLEW A MISSING MAN FORMATION for when he died. He was an honored soldier. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad and the fight that night.

Dad going to war….

With all the good qualities my dad held within his nature, he also had a few blemishes.

Dad hated blacks; lets just get that out there. In fact, our entire community tried to stop the first black family from moving into South Park. But, he also warned me, accepted but didn’t like, anything about Jews. (He took me out to dinner before I went to Gettysburg College and advised me to never marry a Jew. My objection was over heard by a waiter who came to our table side and backed me up. Thinking, that waiter got no tip.) Flat out, Dad didn’t like minorities, those down-and-out, he didn’t like Mexicans or Latino’s. IN FACT, MY DAD, LIKE EVERY MAN AT THAT WW ll PARTY LONG AGO, DIDN’T LIKE ANYONE WHO DIDN’T LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HIM.  So where did all this hate and lack of acceptance come from? Well, all I can say is my dad was born and raised in Des Moine, Iowa, and his mom used to say: “Iowa would have great weather if it weren’t for the neighboring states that stir up the storms.” Go figure–grandma, like my Dad, was a college grad.

Grandma: “Bad weather comes from other states.”

Much of our returning WW II soldiers were staunch Americans who viewed anyone but a white, American born man with suspicion at best.  They didn’t care for other countries; they didn’t want minorities cluttering-up the work place. Yes, it’s an odd realization to have; an odd way to hug the past. BUT, when you get right down to it, many Americans at the time of WW II really held much the same values purported and believed by the Nazi’s they fought! And far too many American’s still do to this day.

Of course, America was slow to get involved in WW II. Perhaps, it wasn’t the advent of Jewish concentration camps but rather the movement of Hitler’s forces toward the Middle East Oil fields that spurred the U.S. into action. I get that. But, the thought that American soldiers shared so much in common with the evil Nazi ideology makes for an uncomfortable companion today.

Today, here in America, every ideology ‘hat’ is still in the ring.

In what ring would my father’s hat fall today—I would so like to know?

And there’s more—so much more.

Hating minorities and those different looking or different thinking is still all the rage in much of America. That long ago war of killing stopped, but the war of WW II ideologies never ended.  Not ever.

Franque23

 

 

 


So, I’m good until April 13th as the library I work for will remain on Administrative leave until this date—this is the latest update on our work schedule. I realize this puts me and my fellow workmates in a good place, for now. But, the discussion as to a possible start date to return to work is troubling at best. It’s all a social matter of time and life.

There is a plotting graph of projected deaths from the corona-virus based on return to work dates that is revealing and horrifying.* (take some time to look this graph over and fool with the sliding projector button in it…this reveals a bunch of info as we wait to return to work and the projected death rate..)

Looking at the death rate possibility (and this is only the best that can be done with a projection) if our society generally goes back to work around Easter we will likely have 115 million deaths by Oct. in America…. BUT, if the owners and our leaders kept things closed for 80 more days from now, the curve would about flatten to a death rate seen with normal cold/virus activity thru Oct, 2020….

It seems a simple choice but somehow it isn’t.  Social distancing may take too darn much time?!?!?!

William M. Tweed - Wikipedia

Those who want to open up again soon say it must be done to save our economy….These people say soldiers have given their lives for battle and this is like a battle to them. Construction workers have died for over two hundred years building America. So many have sacrificed limb or life to make America what She is now. They say it’s time for all of us to go back to work and for some workers to die doing so.

Royalty-Free Grave Digging Stock Images, Photos & Vectors ...

Those who would like to live take issue with the thought of so many dying for our economy within this calendar year. Another interesting side was this: how would 115 million deaths by Oct. in America affect our economy? Can we lose up to 115 million by Oct. without suffering some economic upheaval?

Then there’s the sap-suckers who exclaim, “But I love Grandpa!” And other’s yell back, “But we all need the money!”

Then again,  there’s this little guy in the back of the room wearing a business hat mentioning that if 115 million older folks died that would be a boost to our health care system and Social Security layout; it’d be like sweeping out the gutters after fall so things could start flowing smoothly again.  But who made anything work smoothly in the first place?

Housework Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

Hmmmm, I hate thinking I’m cluttering up the gutters.

I mean, I’ve spent my life working for a country I was taught to love thinking this country loved me back. Really, Kennedy getting shot in four places by one bullet was a bit of a shocker, but this let-em-die deal has this seventy year-old who has Asthma (note: 25 million Americans do) thinking this is personal. It’s one thing to know,’ Hey, they shot the President,’ but a whole other thing when its, ‘they don’t give a rats ass about me!’

The Renaissance Comic Strips | The Comic Strips

So yeah, this last thought can get deep, like why did I go to school? Why obey driving laws? Why not shop lift whenever possible if I can get away with it? Why not cheat on my taxes?, Ah hell, just don’t pay them and keep moving. The more you think, the more Antarctica sounds like a lovely place to live.

yes you can even sunbathe in winter :) | Meanwhile in canada ...

Middle-aged couple man and woman sunbathing in a winter resort

But then again, to be fair, honest, it is noteworthy that more than one person who thought the Coronavirus a hoax has died from it soon after the virus was first spread in America. Some people think God has a sense of humor—I don’t know, but I do believe a life has a way of balancing itself out.

The rich want the workers back as soon as possible at all costs and are willing to risk throwing the lives of so many to a bad fate. Me?  I’m hoping a reasonable leader will shed some light on the meaning of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…

Life Path Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

I think the unions should get a very loud voice when it comes to the start back date for workers in this country. Yep, Unions might save the day, again, here in America. So, as you get those socialistic checks that congress will send in the mail to save your ass, remember how Unions helped save the workers here soooo many times as well throughout our history.  Science, unions and social programs we have here in America make us great…not greed, not hats, not wrong headed politicians or stupid ideas.

Be smart; stay home if you can…it would be for the good of us all; it might be a sacrifice like those fighting soldiers in WW II gave. People are right, fighting this virus is like a war, but the virus is not all that this war is about. It’s about the workers lives and our right to live them.

I think Joe Biden may have said it best this week: trump should stop talking and do some listening to the scientists who know better. There is little doubt, this return to work date debate is a social matter of time and life verses profit!

Franque23 check out this moving graph below…it’s just amazing.


It’s interesting to note that Bill Gates could give 206 million adults in America one million dollars each and be out only 3.4 % of one of his yearly incomes.* So really, would you do it if you were Bill Gates and what would be the outcome? Two tough questions, maybe.  Now before I answer for myself, I want to clarify that there are more than 206 million adults in America over 18 years of age, but those people are already millionaires! So Gates wouldn’t be giving these self-made millionaires another million.

Yep, only 206 million adults in America are not millionaires already…This I find amazing in of itself! What the hell have I been doing all my life! I’m thinking daily naps have cost me plenty. I mean, I’m a guy who picks up coins off the ground and saves them in a jar! There’s some trick to this millionaire thingy that I missed while passing the joint, jumpin’ off cliffs at lime pits naked and sitting in the Ocala National Forest like a blade of grass for three years. No, I’ve been fishing with the wrong attitude and the wrong bait. This whole, I’m-not-a-millionaire disaster is making me think twice about dumpster diving for discarded winning lotto tickets!

Okay, to answer: Yes I would one-time spend 3.4 % of my yearly income if that would give 206 million people a million dollars. But would that really help people? I already hear that don’t give a man a fish but teach him how to fish bull-shit story echoing off this post. See? The guy who just starved to death for want of a fish to eat doesn’t really need that fishing rod.

Image result for picture of a skeleton fishing

Anyway, If  Bill Gates or some other more-money-than-fall-leaves person did spread the wealth for free, the world would be a beautiful thing. Go ahead and scoff billionaire rich folks, but I know this for a fact because, in a way, someone has already done this, but not in America.

This success story of those who help others help themselves started in 2001 with a 100 dollar interest free loan.

Dr. Amjad Saqibis is currently the head of an interest free loaning company in Pakistan named, AKHUWWAT.**

This business that now has lent millions and millions of loans interest free to hard working people in need of money to get a leg up has an astonishing 99.97% full pay-back record. And, it all started with a few friends wondering if the one hundred dollars might be lent interest free to a woman with the promise that she’d return the money once she got on her feet. Well, the women returned 6 months later with money in her bank account and the 100 dollars. A few others made donations to Akhuwwat thinking this was a wonderful idea. Soon, more loans proved more people just needed that head start to make it and more donations came in. Then the loan amount became up to $10,000.00 with the expectation the money would be returned in time % free.

Image result for picture of Dr. Amjad Saqib

What has become of Akhuwwat? Currently, AKhuwwat has 110 million loans out in small or large amounts and it’s all interest free. If the past is any indication of this company’s future, the money will all be returned to use again as well. Meanwhile, more donations keep pouring into the company’s coffers.

So yes, some billionaire could give money to all Americans and make life better for everyone in this country… Just read the article linked below to realize it can be done; things could be different for us all.

There really could be a rainbow in our future…

Thing is, money isn’t wealth. Wealth is a state of being, a state of mind—the true essence of value. America has made so many people rich beyond belief to those of us who struggle to get by. Maybe, just maybe, there’s one to two of them who have both Money and Wealth. We’ll see.

Franque23

*https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/sdut-letters-wealth-2013oct02-story.html

**”Akhuwat gave its first loan of $100 USD to a widow who was striving to earn a decent living through honorable means. She wasn’t looking for charity; she was only seeking a helping hand. By utilizing and returning that loan within a period of six months, she reinforced the belief that when we help the poor with trust and respect, they exhibit unshakable integrity.

The success of that first loan brought in more donations, and that group of friends became convinced that their venture into interest-free microfinance was viable. And so, Akhuwat was born, with these friends forming the first Board of Governors and Dr. Amjad Saqib serving as the first Executive Director.”

https://www.akhuwat.org/

 


The reason why was never said around my house because the reason was the why and the why was the reason. Yes, if a person says, the reason why, they might as well say, ‘the why why’ or, ‘the reason reason’ Just pick one word or the other and go with it…..

Mom was a fourth grade teacher who spoke Portuguese around our house sometimes and often with her siblings—she and her siblings were born and raised in Recife’, Brazil. Thing is, my mom was a stickler for grammar while my dyslexic self in forth grade dreamed of never having to read again! This is why I majored in English, by far my worst subject, in college: Mom loved the spoken word and fascinated my childhood with “the reason why” lectures.

OOkaay, then, this post has little to do with the reason why except there are good reasons Pelosi tore up trump’s State of the Union speech. It wasn’t shocking that trump spoke in misleading truths or with lies during his State of the Union (in his mind) speech; heck, trump has lied continuously to the American people since before his election! No, it was the fact no one could call trump out during his speech of lies that led to the shredding of the speech paper. It’s true, some have suggested that action was a waste of other wise good sheets of toilet paper, (really?Kinda rough, right?) but I think the moment just got too bizarre for even the mild mannered Pelsoi to tolerate.

So much about trump is hard to tolerate.  I know his best points, his lying, cheating (Gosh even at his golf scores!), stealing—taking credit for things he never did—woman mongering, hateful speech can be easily overlooked by the dead, but his agenda so hell bent to destroy our environment, middle class, minorities of all kinds, any sort of decorum while sitting as President, his total dysfunction when it comes to managing American International affairs and pure lack of elementary knowledge of history, speech and geography pushes any size envelope when it comes to having tolerance for this individual. And we should not.

Hitler’s party started before he was once jailed in 1924 because he was a radical and considered dangerous to society…..He took complete control in 1933 and it took the world to defeat him in 1945…so , in all, Hitler began and lasted almost 21 years…..so, yes, this outlandish party of trump surge to power without regard for human life or for the good of America may take as long to purge from our lives as it did for the world to get rid of Hitler. However, the memory of trump and what he and his followers have done may never end.

About the only difference between Hitler’s time and now is that no one can say, ever, that they didn’t know what trump had done, was doing or plans to do. We have 24/7 instant access to news that floods our lives with awareness. Everyone knows DeVos is selling kids after they’ve been separated from families at the boarder through adoption agencies she is connected to. Everyone knows the Russians have bailed trump out of bankruptcy in the past and the Saudis have twice…so the Saudi’s get to kill a journalist. We even all know how many times trump lies per week,,, even per day. Most understand 19 women who clam trump assaulted them aren’t lying… and we have the tape everyone heard with trump saying how he grabs pussy and tried to fuc* a married woman for fun.

We all know trump is a low life who mocks even the disabled.

No, trump may be like Hitler when compared in history, but the people who follow trump won’t be compared to those who may not have known about the concentration camps Hitler ran… We all know what trump has done, is doing and plans to do; you know.

Let’s face it: trump not only rapes girl’s underage, those who have testified to this with a witness, but he also rapes America. He rapes our heritage, our standing in the world, our beacon of hope for freedom, our national parks, our indigenous peoples, America’s financial security, America’s national security and all the GOP party members who just voted to look the other way when it comes to his crimes against our Constitution.

There is no way a sitting President is allowed to pressure a foreign government to slander his political opponent.  Trump did this; we all know it.

Thing is, one month after Kavanaugh was rammed thru into the Supreme Court the GOP lost 33 seats and the majority in the House of Representatives. The reason why, whoops, sorry mom, is we all knew that was a bull shit call by the GOP….This pass given to trump on his crimes are the same, and the GOP won’t get away with it in 2020…not if people choose to look not the other way but at what is truly happening. Not if people hate Hitler’s history on this planet. It’s time for America to remember history and to stop it from repeating…

Vote the GOP out in 2020; crush trump at the polls.

America is good; trump isn’t. The reason we must do this is the why.

franque23

 


How much does an elephant never forget?

There’s so much we don’t know. And so much to know about the things we do. Life seems an endless theater of possibility. And with every turn we take, or inquisitive glance we make, more paths become visible, more doors of opportunity swing wide.

Elephants are always said to be, ‘In the room,’ but even when over-looked as temporarily invisible, elephants are always in our world.  And there’s so much the world’s largest land animals have to show us if we might notice. For one, their babies can weigh up to 260 pounds! How’s that for a healthy birth weight!

This one is keeping a snoot above….

Perhaps, a more notable case in point on elephants evolves from a single news story of a man once known as the, elephant whisper.

Lawrence Anthony befriended a herd of elephant in Thula Thula, a wildlife preserve in South Africa, a herd known at the time to be a rogue, wild, unpredictable lot of elephants, the kind many who lived near them hoped would be culled from existence.

Of course, there’s an amazing story to tell about the relationship between Lawrence and this herd of elephants. Unfortunately, this unfathomable happenstance between the elephants and Lawrence extends well beyond their interaction in life, and perhaps it was his death that concretely defined their relationship and can teach us so much.

To step back in time….

Maybe before this baby was born….or these two..

.

(There’s nothin’ like tangling with siblings.)

To begin, Lawrence met this rag-tag romping herd of elephants with the patience of, well, an elephant. His cool head and calming demeanor eventual won over the misfit tribe of elephants and soon the man and group  became fast friends.*( Please enjoy this video) The years passed with this herd of elephants visiting Lawrence at his dwelling from time to time, not every day, not every month, sometimes not even every year, but often enough to keep the lines of communication well established—no one needed introductions. New elephant babies were a joy to see and long-nose trumpets blared the herd’s joy to share when the occasion arose.

Many elephants live approximately 60 to 70 years so maybe their internal clock beats much as our own. For whatever reason, this story came to pass…

Lawrence Anthony died March 2, 2012, in Johannesburg of a heart attack at age 61 after lecturing and touring the world over on behalf of elephants.** He hadn’t seen his herd of big footed, up to 13,000 pound, long nosed friends in about a year and half when he died. However,  two days after Lawrence’s death, as pictured below, a herd of 31 elephants came marching up to Lawrence’s home to mourn their loss. They had traveled up to 12 hours to make the trip. You might want to read the above sentence again.

This is really a picture of 31 elephants arriving two days after Lawrence Anthony’s death. They had walked for 12 hours.

They never forgot.

Elephants know the beginnings have endings. But how or why do they seem to know so much? This link gets into the brain of elephants and more—***

Is it necessary to point out elephants don’t use phones, faxes, twitter, e-mail, no, not even snail—mail! The elephants just knew, they just knew when Lawrence had died and did so while being a great distance apart from the man!?!? You see? The elephants not only knew their friend had died and ALSO came to show their respects, but they indeed showed us all there is a web between Life Mankind seems most often not to see, or realize, or should we say respect? The elephants felt that web of connection, the fiber of our lives among all living things and proved they were in touch on a grand scheme, on a plain that exists as one that remains hidden from most of us due to, I think, distractions that fill our lives on a daily basis.

Zen will offer that we be here now—like this elephant seems to be.

It’s important for us to focus. Maybe how we meet Life determines how it sits within us, or, on us?

Thing is, maybe Life is much more than now, but forever, for everything all at once, for all that goes beyond our current understanding though it remains the true elephant in our world. I suspect this understanding between all of Life goes on between Man, Animal, Plant and Mineral. When we realize this connection, will we will find new pathways to peace?

Sometimes, it does take a big person, a huge personality or strong person to lead the way. If only we could let the world’s largest land animal show the way so that we might stand in their shadow and follow.

Young or old, does the elephant somehow know more than you and I? Does the elephant know what Mankind seems to forget?

Franque23 loves life.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yap6r7pSGU

**http://delightmakers.com/news/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

***”However, their (BRAINS) are arranged differently. Human pyramidal neurons tend to have a large number of shorter branches, whereas the elephant has a smaller number of much longer branches. Whereas primate pyramidal neurons seem to be designed for sampling very precise input, the dendritic configuration in elephants suggests that their dendrites sample a very broad array of input from multiple sources.

Taken together, these morphological characteristics suggest that neurons in the elephant cortex may synthesize a wider variety of input than the cortical neurons in other mammals.

http://theconversation.com/what-elephants-unique-brain-structures-suggest-about-their-mental-abilities-100421

“In terms of cognition, my colleagues and I believe that the integrative cortical circuitry in the elephant supports the idea that they are essentially contemplative animals. Primate brains, by comparison, seem specialized for rapid decision-making and quick reactions to environmental stimuli.

Indeed, even the brains of individuals within a given species are unique. However, the special morphology of elephant cortical neurons reminds us that there is certainly more than one way to wire an intelligent brain. Lawerence Anthony is an author of three books about elephants, a person who traveled during his life around the globe speaking about elephants to anyone who wanted to listen. If not a ‘whisperer’ to elephants, he was a true friend to the species in both word and deed……There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death.

“They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush.”

 

 


It’s simple in the most complex way. How something tied within can run from the tongue or written word to announce its preponderance is miraculous. But, again, words don’t work; I just have to try—

I’d been walking through a forest; walking forever…

I often walked to familiar places though no walk could be the same. No, rather than feeling redundant, each walk resembled a reoccurring dream that shifted ever so slightly in my head. Once, when I was young, the leaves held a glistening magic beyond compare and the stars above sang love songs. Breath came and went with a whisper of steam in the winter or without a notice in summer. A night bird’s call held a special treat for every step of the way.

The moon would rise—that was in the air, too.

Places presented a universe of change but that variance was apart from the heart of the matter. What was the heart of the matter? When I walked as a boy and walk now as a man there is one secret, one truth I print with each step I take. When any of us walk, we are searching for what we hope to find—this is the heart of the matter.

One day, I began the walk I had to make.

There were bushes, sticks and vines to push aside as I walked. Streaks of red and yellow stretched across a light-blue sky softly lit to a sun-licked amber hue I’d never seen before. The landscape seemed a mirror that span before me but I couldn’t see myself in it, and certainly not within the darkened places or behind the boulders that lay ahead.

Quiet noise drummed my ears to the beat of my heart. One foot-fall followed the other and mashed a fresh scent of pine from the needles that had fallen from the trees above. A breeze passed as a tap on the shoulder that turned me around again to see if someone was there.

I was alone.

Oh, I loved the twists and turns of life. The ups and downs of Life, the rag-tag moments of laughter that still echoed in my head and tears spent that had run dry to leave a trace upon my cheek were never to forget. I held my life near and dear; it was all I really had. I bent down to pick up a pine cone, took a breath and then moved on beneath a glorious sun-set sky.

There, in an instant quicker than a slip, a clearing appeared. This flowing, smoothly swept, warm as a blanket on a winter’s night place had a voice of its own set in a timbre no ear could deny. Its mysterious opening abruptly ended the maze of life I’d struggled to pass; it was an awakening of peace within my weary heart. The place turned my head, lifted my steps and lightened the tightness in my back. I turned around to make sure I’d left the brambles behind and come to a new place, a new clearing with only the truest of view.

The time turned to rest. All my effort, all the decisions random or not, all the painful struggle and haphazard joys of my journey had led me to this place.

It was amazing.

I’d found my way home to a place I’d never seen before.

Somehow, my heart just knew.

How does the heart know so much? How can the thing we always feel but never touch know the way to travel, the places to see and the people to hold? Love, the heart’s messenger, is startling when it comes whether that’s in the first minute when meeting someone or not. Mellowed by time or arriving in a split second, Love opens the flood gates of the soul so that we pour into a sea of understanding. Some people say being in love is like floating on air. Maybe. To me, Love is finding the ground I was meant to stand upon.

Of course, the clearing I found that day forty-seven years ago was you. I’m so thankful you had made it.

Thank you for being you.

This is the heart of the matter.

Franque23

To Dale, my wife of 40 years of marriage as of 1/3/2020-

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

My Mom and Dad visited Lake Bonaparte often before and after I was born. Luckily, they got to spend about 30 summers at the lake after their employment days. Talk about memories!?!? I wonder which ones mom recalled most of all during her last summer on Bonaparte?

You know they had fun! (With our next door neighbors, the Sherman’s.)

My Dad trained for WW II at Fort drum and rested many days long after sitting across the lake from that training Camp’s location. He loved to see the planes fly over.

This is an old map of Bonaparte…(our camp built in 1970 isn’t listed.)

There are so many beautiful days at Bonaparte.

(Picture taken from our overlook of Porter’s Bay)

And cool summer nights to enjoy with family and friends.

(In the Muse Lodge porch camp)

Or stay warm by a fire…

We love our fireplace—overhead fans above the flames circulate the warm air.

Lake Bonaparte has a knack for getting cold. The one span of three days I visited during mid January the night temperatures hit 40 below twice and then warmed up to 30 below.

Even while casting images in a glass window while overlooking Nagasaki, Japan, the memory of  daytime snows falling on our daughter in Natural Bridge, New York, stayed with me.

And speaking of fires by the lake on those skinny dippin’ nights—what was I thinking!?!?! I’ve looked at this ol’ timey picture by Priests for years and years,

AND, mom snagged this Northern right in our bay! Like how many teeth of a good reason is this not to skinny dip?

Forgive me  if you know, but I feel we all should know Cody got bit on the leg in front of the Sherman Boat house in Porter’s bay (broad daylight) by a bass so large he had to go to the hospital! Just maybe, it was this fish I caught about 15 years later?

Fishin’ at the lake. Love it!

Perhaps many don’t know my brother Buz, (Ed Franquemont) helped build the first house on Round Island? He owned Bare Bones, a building outfit.

Here’s the team that built that house….!

My brother, Ed. (This shot taken elsewhere)

However, this shot below is on location on Birch Island where my ex-brother-in-law, Paul Doherty, lived with Meta for 30 plus years. My niece’s husband, Craig Carlock, was in charge of nibbling down trees to clear for pathways on that Island long ago and everyone should know. We still call him ‘Beaver Man,’ though he also does the best drankin’ loon call you’ve ever heard.

This is Craig watching our dog, Shadow, clear 22 feet off our dock going for a ball….and we’ve built that dock again since.

Have you noticed, lake people wave back?

It’s all too much fun! There’s always some to do or think thing about…

Beware of Pirates…..at the lake! Them Morgan clan folk.

I’m thinkin’ even our dog Shadow is looking for fish!

Impossible not to love.

While at the Lake, my sister, Sharon Franquemot, with a book published in nine languages, You Already Know What To Do, remains humble with me about our family’s  Kingly Heritage.

(really….our ancestor’s home is below. Karl Eugen ruled as Duke over most of Germany and Southern France in 1750)

So, the thing about visiting this one of five castles Karl Eugen had… sure it’s large but,….it was hard to find the bathroom.

(Karl Eugen’s largest home in Ludwigsburg, Germany)*

Anyway, I take my love for Lake Bonaparte back home to where I work in Florida and share it on bulletins boards at the Headquarter’s branch of the Alachua County Library district….

What a place to know, right? Lake Bonaparte:

Random shot of another bulletin board and one of Dan Franquemont…at the lake. (Muse Lodge)

So much—

Bye for now.

Franque23 loves Lake Bonaparte—The place and people we never forget.

*https://www.google.com/search?q=ludwigsburg+germany&oq=Ludwigsburg+germany&aqs=chrome.0.0l8.5814j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 

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