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

hey muscles....

hey muscles….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin'

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin’

We have the poles to do it.

We have the poles to do it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO, he's not tired....

NO, he’s not tired….

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

from my Florida yard....

from my Florida yard….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sob.

Franque23

*

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

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

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

 

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

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

The men chilled on the dock

The men chill at the Lake

the, Wave", kayaks went out in force

the, Wave”, kayaks go out in force

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The approach....

The approach….

Shadow ran and it was game on

Shadow runs and it’s game on

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

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

Shadow flies as fans gasp….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it went on for two weeks…..

the splashin'

the splashin’

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

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

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We had so many wonderful sunsets.

We had so many wonderful sunsets.

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

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

Franque23

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

 


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.

 

 

 

 


Shadow is watching "TV"...there's something on!

Shadow is watching “TV”…there’s something on!(click on the pic for larger view.)

Shadow will run out our door as many times as there are squirrels on our feeder. That’s one of his jobs, to chase those darn squirrels* away. Usually, those rascals are up a distant pine tree j-u-s-t before Shadow gets to them. Thing is, the one time he actually caught up with a squirrel, and had him dead to right running full speed, all he did was smell the squirrel’s butt as they ran together…what’s up with that?

Today’s TV channel isn’t playing squirrels. Finches have come to town!

To my surprise, the finches had landed!

To my surprise, the finches have landed!

I love these little guys, the gold finch, and a few years ago I had as many as sixty at one time around our feeders! Then last year, I had none-only the house finch, or scarlet finch as some call them, seem to stay year round. It turns out, finches have disrupted migratory patterns, and often don’t return to exactly the same place they’d been the year before. It stays shockingly fun when they do arrive in bunches-yellow darting dots of color zing, zoom, here and there with a chatter clatter that can be heard a block away…

What's up with all these birds? We had a long talk.

What’s up with all these birds? Shadow and I had a long talk.

This is my dog’s best look of consternation-the straight out ears, tight lips, raised eye brows and slightly tilted head. We watched the flickering, flying, bright yellow birds for an hour. It was quite a show.

We went outside ot investigate, and loved seeing the flock zoom to nearby trees...

We went outside to investigate, and loved seeing the flock zoom to nearby trees…(looks like my pine apples made it through the winter-1/2 year old plant in foreground right.)

It seemed to take about ten minutes for the gold finches to return after we’d cleared the yard. I read that often 25 to 100 finches will visit a feeder during one day, so we may being seeing different birds from time to time and just not know it.

I'd picked up this yellow rose form Lowe's , the same day the gold finch arrived.

I’d picked up this yellow rose from Lowe’s the same day the gold finch arrived.(Oh look-it’s another pine apple.)

I wonder if the color of the roses attracted the gold finch to our nearby feeder–same colors flock together? I think birds must pay strict attention to the color of things in their environment.

You can see our neighborhood trees think it's spring-the new, leaves, all in their soft green, fresh looking color

You can see the neighborhood trees think it’s spring-the new leaves, all in their soft green, fresh looking color-

It’s a peaceful, beautiful day in Gainesville, Florida.

In this hustling, bustling word, it's great to find time to relax.

In this hustling, bustling world, it’s great to find time to relax.

Even Shadow had to smile about these wonderful birds, their tweeting filling our ears with tingling sounds of joy.

Shadow's happy face!

Shadow’s happy face!

Cheers to you!

Franque23 *don’t miss the great children’s book- Those Darn Squirrels….(http://www.amazon.com/Those-Darn-Squirrels-Adam-Rubin/dp/0547576811)

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.

Dear God, be thy man or woman-I’m so over that-please hear my cry over the broccoli picking-it’s gotten completely out of hand, or in my hand depending upon how you look at it.

I need help---

I need help—

I need your help to keep me from picking, picking, picking last years crop of Broccoli so that they may flower, and be done with completely. And thank you for the African coffee, too.

this is the start of the problem

this is the start of the problem

But the Broccoli plants look so healthy, it’s hard to allow them to pass. But this is not to say I’d like our neighbors to pick this crop-those people you could shoot before they shoot themselves IF that is what’s to happen, or IF they intend on picking my last broccoli-that’s your call.

I don't want to keep picking

I don’t want to keep picking

Surely, you know these plants need to flower as this is within the design of the earthly paradise. Thing is, now hear me out, please, I’m not complaining, but merely stating that I’ve a buddy who loves broccoli, who watches me closely so that he knows when I approach the broccoli, and he wants me to pick it…and allow him to eat all that I pick.

but someone keeps leaning on me

but someone keeps leaning on me-and he has big teeth!

Or , sitting on me…….

There's so much to be thankful for....

There’s so much to be thankful for….

Of course, I’m thankful for,well. everything, even the neighbors (on a good day.)

The front yard looks ready for spring

The front yard looks ready for spring

The birds, trees, bushes, flowers, everything is so wonderful-even those broccoli flowers.

(Random post…..)

Daley

Daley, my wife, flowering back in 1982

A few Chinese Honey's still hang from far above

A few Chinese Honey’s still hang from far above.

Some blessing get away, especially these Chinese honeys that basically are ridiculously high in the air–What? Am I supposed to be a Giraffe? Just asking…..

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

Thank you for the Valencia’s that are not ten thousand feet above ground.

And, for the back yard pool area where there’s always time for us to rest…..and take in the wonder of it all.

Out red Camellia still blooms

Our red Camellia still blooms

I’ve decided to sit in this chair until the broccoli blooms-thank you for that wisdom. Over and out-Amen.

Franque23, may let the broccoli flower.b

And oh, PS….I know I should know what these are since I planted them only a week ago…but my mind does get weary, and if you ask me, they look a bit like Broccoli, though why then would I have planted them in such a clump? Please let someone, like from the Gainesville growing group, tell me what they are…..

I forget?

I forget?

and one last thingy- Thank you for the first bush bean sprout….

peek-a-boo!

peek-a-boo!

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.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first....Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first….Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I’ll use the wood stalks seen here above Shadow as climbers for pole beans and tomatoes–they’re from our indigenous jasmine that grows 14 feet high a year during summer, and then dies off in the winter.

These are the only two tools I'll use to plant this garden-my dad's 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.

These are the only two tools I’ll use to plant this garden-my dad’s 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.(Broccoli in background is from fall planting, and still yielding.

Being thirty-five is sooo different from being 65. I was always in such a hurry back then-“No time to play kids, I’ve got to garden!” Now, Shadow makes a game out of shoveling, raking and, yes, it screws me up, but this is so joyful!

He's gonna get that rake if it's the last thing.....

He’s gonna get that rake if it’s the last thing…..

Whew! First time through the garden--all the top weeds have been pulled

Whew! First time through the garden–all the top weeds have been pulled

I timed the process-It has taken about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to this point…..

The soil's been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /composed are laid out

The soil’s been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /compost are laid out

Turning the garden over shovel-by-shovel is laborious… It took about two more hours to get this part done. (3 1/2 hours total to this point)There’s a rhythm to that task though, and it gives me time to think about the beauty of our world as I go. Red Tailed Hawks circle above; Sand Hill cranes fly by: I listen to their calls and the soft sound of my shovel turning the earth over.

You might wonder-why not a tiller? It would do the trick, but also it would be loud, and heavy-not me at all, and I think I’d lose my spiritual connection to the earth that the old-timey method of hand shoveling brings to mind.

AND-there’s this. A tiller would chop up the weeds I’ve missed during the first weeding-those underneath the ground as well.This first shoveling helps me unearth the problematic roots (Florida Betony)….How many roots?  Here’s the collection and their weight after this first shoveling.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled i none shoveling---they'd be about 3 times that much if allowed  to grow through spring.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled in one shoveling—they’d be about 3 times that much if allowed to grow through spring.

Next, I shovel the rows, quickly flipping earth into raised lines—this took another 30 minutes.(4 hours total now)

The rows are ready

The rows are ready- I once asked my squash and zucchini seeds and they said they like rows as well as they like mounds.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I'm a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I’m a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops. I sometimes neigh, if I know the neighbors aren’t listening-that could be bad.

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows-Whoa boy!

All my victory garden needs now is seed holes, seeds, sun and water….

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

The holes take about ten minutes to make--but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

The holes take about ten minutes to make–but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

There’s more to do,( It’s taken about 5 hours so far) but for now I’ll wait for the plants to sprout, and then use mulch neighbors from all around have conveniently raked and bagged and put along the roadside for my taking!(actually for the garbage pick-up.) The mulch will go between the rows, and I’ll use about 30 bags I manage to find curbside over the next two months.-Stop, load those bags into my car whenever I see them, and drive away….

Thank You for raking....

Thank You for raking….

There’s more garden fun coming—-stay tuned and enjoy your time outside, growing food.

In all, by the time I first got the tools out, did the deed, and then cleaned up and showered off, it was about 7 hours later when I sat down and smiled….

Franque23

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.

(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

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.

It’s said that the rainbow is God’s promise to us that it won’t rain again too badly ever again.

a sign that we are in the clear

a sign that we are in the clear

Thing is, he gave us another sign, too. That sign is called snow.

favorite picture of number two daughter

favorite picture of number two daughter standing in God’s second sign….( taken at Natural Bridge, New York.)

Yeah, that’s right. The white covered trees, snow-covered roofs and crystal white ground is a clear message sent to us from above. It’s God’s way of putting out a white flag, covering areas of the earth with the flag of surrender, as in give up on this place. He begs us each year with a blanket of freezing white to heed his warning and go forth, go to the light, and prosper. But do we listen? It’s no accident that the word snow has the word “no” inside it.

I did have fun building snow men.....

I did have fun building snow men…..

Few know that the word snow stands for, “Sweet Jesus, no one will live here.” This is because the original, S.J.N.O.W. L.H., group, back in bazillion BC , or twelve years ago, received the message but didn’t listen. Not that they were Hebrews, but doesn’t this sound familiar? I mean, we have a whole book about those gifted with knowledge who didn’t listen. Anyway, this S.J.N.O.W.L.H. group went forward into the land of snow and froze their gonads off. Soon, the entire race perished-no off spring, (no surprise here).All that was left of the entire disobedient race was a simple fragmented wall etching that read ** S.N.O.W.** What I’m thinking is that snow is frozen water, and people are made up of over 50% water! Hello, which half of you would you like to freeze off today? See? None of this I’m gonna live in a frozen tundra makes sense. Plus, who the hell shovels a driveway and then goes to work?  No. Me? I go back to bed-‘Honey the driveway is clear’.

A friends house up  in Northern New State near our Lake house.....

A friend’s house up in Northern New State. Sometimes, I think people up North haven’t noticed that it’s cold?

Fact: the word slosh first came into our vernacular once brain surgery became an item.  It was then, when surgeons, and scientists like Frankincense,(not the weird-o Frankenstein-geez, that’d be lame) where opening a frozen northern person’s left and right brain lobe that a pizza delivery boy said, “Wow, what would you call that? Slosh?” The term stuck on through sleet and snow and objections from the House of Representatives. In the end, snow days aren’t worth loosing appendages. It beats me why people would stay in a place that God has already plainly marked a no unzip your fly zone, throw in the towel cause the water lines are rock solid frozen zone, and a look out, that roof might collapse catastrophic set. I wonder as much as the Hebrew’s wandered about all of this-but at least that lost tribe was in a desert, so they had it good.

our home up north.....but a summer home.

our home up north. (Lake Bonaparte) ….but a summer home.

There’s  a reason they call a joke a snow job. You know what? Come to think of it, I agree with you Northern shoveling people-why sell your homes? Why leave your snow plow behind and buy cheaper homes down south were your heating bills won’t matter and your back won’t hurt? There are so many puddles down here, and that dang ocean nearby is full of water.

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

Having a terrible time down here….it might rain tomorrow!

Plus, our empty roads are such a sleeper. You’ve got it good. Free ice, too! You know what they say; numb toes still add up to ten if you have them! Cheers. Franque23 is cold at fifty degrees-who’d like that?

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.

I see your four.....

I see your four…..

and raise you seven.....

and raise you seven…..

It is fun to give and receive, but many of us live buried by a mountain of fun stuff made of things we very often can’t find when we want too. Maybe, this season, it’s time to dig out, and to keep only the one thing that matters most-love. But not, however, if you have pets or small children.

The pets and children, if you can, should be found under an avalanche of  gifts to unwrap. treats and planted kisses during the holidays. They won’t get spoiled, and pets will rip up the toys so you can throw them out, or young children will forget the next day what they got-those can get recycled to others.

Pets give us comfort year round.....they need a break!

Pets give us comfort year round…..they need a break!

Even wrapped empty boxes will do fine. I remember empty boxes. You could get pulled or pushed around in them, go outside and slide down hills of grass or snow on them, line them up inside or out to create tunnels to crawl through or wear them and become a space monster or robot instantly.

NO hidden fees here...

NO hidden fees here…wait-these children have ‘cubic’ feet? WTH?

A tunnel of love...speaking of love-

A tunnel of love…speaking of love-

Parents and small children can search together and thrash around inside an empty box to find what’s really there: love. That’s the best surprise of all!

Most of us older folks want to find the same surprise inside.

People know it’s true.  We need to let things go, or come to us; we should care but not control, at least, not too much. If we keep an open mine, relax, accept what comes and make the most of our lot, then, more often than not,  magical doors open without us knowing. We glide along without too much strife and end up sitting on soft couches. The clock-work of Life turns in our favor and we run in places we are meant to be. That seems simple enough, but it’s not.

Not sure-maybe a ruff photo shop....

Not sure-maybe a ruff ruff photo shop….

One zillion added features to the jaunt we call Life muck up our daily living. We all live as if  surrounded by shutters that keep us from enjoying a clear vision when it comes to what we should do and where we should live, or who we really are or could be. Too shy, so overly timid, easily swayed, it’s as the horses say: you can lead people to knowledge, but you can’t make them think….

For most, Life is a selection process; even happiness is a choice.

This post’s random shot.

Lovers unite....

Lovers unite….

A person could search for one hundred years and never find another of beauty if their head is turned the wrong way, and their mind lured by only what it sees and not by what it knows. It’s obvious that beauty is in the soul, and that joining with people who seek to be real, honest, caring, inquisitive and enduring creates the path that best leads to a lifetime of peace and understanding. But so few follow that road.

One sign is a lie....

One sign is a lie….

Why?  Our mind is like a crow, that collects all that glitters no matter how uncomfortable our nests get*….and when we do this, no matter what we have or who we are, we live in solitude, alone in the middle of so much meaningless stuff…Welcome to Christmas.

The Holidays. It used to be the season of joyful feelings meant a wassail drink shared with a friend,

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, "Let's aprty til we puke!" Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would've been soooo wrong.

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, “Let’s party til we puke!” Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would’ve been soooo wrong.

or warm home-fires,

Keep them burning....

Keep them burning….

a nod hello, maybe a helping hand and, perhaps, a small gift-one more thoughtful than expensive.

"psst....it's Christmas!"

“psst….it’s Christmas!”

Now? TV Land pictures new cars outrageously priced parked in driveways with bows on them. Buick runs an add today that features people who’ve been trashed-black eyes, frazzled faces- by shopping the wee hours of black Friday. They claim to have saved several hundred dollars on items they bought while their neighbor points to a new car they bought the same day during normal business hours. “We saved thousands!”, the new car owners exclaim!!! Here’s an idea—don’t buy the car at all and save , oh, about, 45 grand….Cheers!**

Life’s in the eye of the beholder, and there’s no better sight than seeing true love in another’s eye.

Love is our best reflection.....(photo: Lachan Franquemont.)

Love is our best reflection…..(photo: Lachlan Franquemont.)

Be that vision a flash from a child to a parent, a glance between loved ones, or blossomed in the rare moment when two strangers meet on the street and care about one another for just an instant, Love radiates and collects at the same time. Love is the energy, the light, the comfort and wisdom we all seek.

We all feel the force(Picture by, Lachan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

We all feel the force of Love. (Picture by, Lachlan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

Here’s to us all opening up that box  of feelings we keep so well wrapped inside us for most of the year-those innermost needs we all have to share our love and receive this gift from others. No, we can’t light up a room by opening up, but we can light up another. More. Maybe, we could light up several hundred people by the time the New Year comes!?!?! Wouldn’t that be fun? I think so.

Holiday Cheer. Tis’ is the Season so don’t tussle with the small stuff when it comes to sharing your love.  And, oh, wanna smile…check this out…

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=743472852398048&fref=nf

Franque23

* Zen-baby…

** My brother-in-laws idea…

here’s 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.

Yesterday was a bizarre day weather wise here in Florida–It felt like 80 with a strong wind and clouds all day…Dale thought a hurricane might be developing off our coast and it did seem possible…this past week’s high 90 degree days that felt like it was above 100 degrees gave way to a constant breeze and cool temps…

It was, as it turned out, the perfect day to turn the entire garden over and plant. My dad taught me how to plant a garden when I was very young. At the time, I hated the learning. Now, I spend days with my dad,( born 1911- died,2001) hearing his voice in my head as I turn over and plant my gardens each year. And, it’s no less a miracle that I still use his shovels, rake and hoe. These tools are more than 65 years old, and the steel is labeled , number 2 forged steel, made in USA. I should remark, the smooth wood handles are all original, too.  What a product! What a country of producers America was back then.

The fall garden here in North Florida is not like the spring one…NO one knows if it will freeze in early Oct, killing the mess, or not! It might not freeze until late Jan… so most often I use whatever seeds I have left from spring planting, whatever I find lying around, and toss them in. This year I’ve spent 48 dollars on the fall garden only…most of that  for one 40 pound bag of 10-10-10 with trace elements,,,an add I only use about every two or three years. I hated to do it, but the fall season can be short, and I hope to push the plant growth to beat the possible cold weather.
 
 
Thing is, I  have enough worms in my garden this fall  to sell, retire now and be okay. So using any fertilizer but black cow is not perfect, and this add will cut back on that population some. Worms are a gardeners best friends, but what’s up with the new beetle bug that’s eating the hell out of my Egg Plant, Mulberry tree and a few other assorted plant types in my yard. At first, I figured squashing them between my two hands with a slap would do the deed, but no, these beetles are hard-shelled, and it takes one-on-one squashing finger force to end their time here on the planet. I’ve a number of these beetles for sale, too.
 
 
Every year has its own personality bug and plant wise. Seeing these changes as they come is part of the fun of staying in touch with the flowers, fruit trees and gardens year in and year out.
 
 
I planted, bush beans, pole beans, and sugar snaps; yellow squash and zucchini; dill and basil; red leaf lettuce, broad leaf lettuce, curly red leaf and one heading lettuce; 12 tomatoes (starters)and 6 cherry tomatoes, plus a packet of cherry vine climbers(never heard or had them before)….broccoli and mustard greens, banana peppers, mixed colored banana type peppers,,,and still growing from spring are 5 eggplants, and six green peppers, some of them are almost 5 feet tall now…. Some seeds were old, and we’ll see what comes up and how the weather holds….
By six, I’d finished the job and hit the pool…the wind actually felt cold when I got out! Crazy, great day–eagles, hawks over head, Shadow, our 10 month old Catahoula Leopard puppy, at my feet(always)….It was a day to remember. And this year’s fall garden is in. Come what may, I’m thankful for yesterday’s cool breeze, soft air and overhead clouds.
 
Of course, it was great to think of my dad, and to hear his voice again.
 
Here’s to you having wonderful days, surprising days, ones that seem to sneak up on you and whisper, “Ain’t it great!?!?!”
 
And oh, if you can, plant what you can where ever you can; join in on the good eating and fun of it all!
 
franque23
 

*I’ve two books out on Kindle. Please spread the word and share the links!

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

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