You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘spirit encounters’ category.


 

Mom takes a look....

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

It got me thinking…

Gainesville back in the day

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

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

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

 

Home sweet home-

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

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

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

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

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing!

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

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

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

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

32271_1446662118859_4151214_n Ross does a flip in the air.

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

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

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

Babies are legacies

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

It's a growing world

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

the generations before and after us are the point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

Strange times are a foot, and it isn’t just ex-Senator  Larry Craig toe-tapping for men in a rest room.

Hi, I'm Larry Craig and I'm against Gays...not being in the rest room with me.

Hi, I’m Larry Craig and I’m against Gays…not being in the rest room with me.

To be clear, I don’t care if a person is straight, twisted, circular, flat lined, up, down, sideways, standing on their head or tip-toeing through tulips, just don’t make me do someone else’s  self-appointed so-called machination of living. Me? I’m so-called normal, always have been, but the thing is, the MOST important thing is, NORMAL is a passe’ word. It’s gone kaput, fini, done, flash-fried and over easy in the new, improved world. Here’s my thought-okay, one of them, the word normal will become an obsolete term in twenty -five years. Let’s face it. Normal is a prejudice word by today’s standards.

Behavior that once stayed in the closet(BTW-how did so many gay guys do it in a closet?) is now openly paraded down  main street USA  by people wearin’ pink spandex shorties.

Hmmm maybe try the spandex after all.

Hmm, if only he’d chosen the spandex.

Whatever. Thing is, facts are coming to light that show many of our leaders who most fought against the gay communities in the past were gay themselves. Perverse, that’s the word that comes to mind.

Thought for the day…..

Huge pegs don't fit thru small holes......

Huge pegs don’t fit thru small holes……and the changes we are seeing today in standard living profiles is a hard fit into obsolete, small-minded people. So what ever happened to love the one you’re with?

Woodstock led the way when it came to the freedom to love one another---if only more had followed.

Woodstock led the way when it came to the freedom to love one another—if only more had followed.

American’s today still fight for the right to love–isn’t that odd? Generations that followed mine often complain about my generation, that we didn’t do enough–well, I say the following generations didn’t fight to make our dreams come true, but instead got swallowed alive by technology and dungeons and dragons. Which ever point is true-this is true.

 

the French parade for the right to keep the 35 hours work week

Today, 400,000 French parade for the right to keep the 35 hours work week…

While, at the same time, Americans are still parading for the right to have sex with someone?

Have to say-the outfits rock

Have to say-the outfits rock!

To this day the FBI insists no one can prove the first director of the FBI, Edgar Hoover, was gay. Of course,  Hoover lived with his male friend, Clyde Tolson, for forty years, ate lunch with him every day, went on vacations with him and left most of his estate to the man in his will–all the while Hoover led the charge against gays publicly. “In public, Hoover waged a vendetta against homosexuals and kept “confidential and secret” files on the sex lives of congressmen and presidents. But privately, according to some biographers, he had numerous trysts with men, including a lifelong affair with Tolson. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/edgar-hoover-sex-men-homosexual/story?id=14948447.”

Hoover with Tolson

Hoover with Tolson

They liked to wear matching suits

matching suits for kicks.

matching suits for kicks.

your average day quirky friendship-that's all.

your average day quirky friendship-that’s all.

In fact, the FBI warned Clint Eastwood to not portray Hoover as gay in a movie he made about the man. I think this says plenty about where the FBI still stands on the gay issue–“Oh no, this can’t be..It’s the worst thing ever!” Right…. Hey, FBI, grow up,,,meet 2016 and chill about Hoover being gay. WE don’t care!!! In the end of the day, I’ll never forget how mad my Dad got when he first heard the term , gay, being used over TV by a reporter to refer to Homosexuals… Wheweee. My dad shouted how that term meant happy! In his day, I guess it did.

 I don’t care who’s gay or not, who wears spandex or not-wait-maybe I do, dang! Each to his own! How long has that phrase been well-known, but never learned?

No, what bothers me is when gay guys, in this case, paraded as our Representatives who led charges against gay rights while they were  hold up in the moldy, secret, gay closets they loved so much! Here’s a link to a current true story that’s worth a hoot and a holler…. http://georgiboi.com/religion/16-anti-gay-leaders-exposed-gay-bisexual/ Basically, these representative guys have more than one screw loose; they must have degrees from a 101 course on how to hate yourself!

Of course, since our society will study, tear apart and rename anything under the sun so no one gets hurt by a label, the CDC–Center of Disease Control,  has determined that there is a disease where men make love to men but still are not ‘Gay’. Yeah, nice.  Okay, if that makes someone feel better.  And the HUGE bull frog I found hiding from my dog under my hose today is really a bird, or maybe a singing rabbit-not sure.  Can we just say,  it’s okay to be gay, but don’t go around showing your ass by crucifying gays from public office or any other place, be you gay or not?

Jeez is the idea of tolerance soup yet? Or, will acceptance of those who are different from us take another hundred years to finally rise to our consciousness?

One other thought after establishing the fact that some politicians, preachers and whatnot’s have had the balls to call out gay’s while they themselves are gay incognito, (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a glob)- I’ve a question… does this mean it’s correct to extrapolate that Trump has all his chips down on Isis and Muslims? It’s sorta like our whole society is looking into a fun house funny mirror-the guy who hates Muslims and who has gone bankrupt soooo many times should be President? Our gay leaders lead the charge against gays!  Peeeerfecto. Okay, it’s screw ball soup…American style.

We can ride this out together

We can ride this out together…

As a Christian minister in the Western world, I’d like to mention that Jesus’ message was hope, help, healing and above all, love. Stop the hate; join 2016, a new, brighter world. Love the next gay person you meet- you don’t have to kiss…

the sun will set on stupid ideas(Lake Bonaparte form out porch)

The sun will set on stupid ideas(Lake Bonaparte from our porch)

Franque23 wants everyone to have a gay ol’ time…and forget the lingo and the life style of others when no harm is done.

 

 

 


This is  my birthday weekend, so I spent today spreading red mulch that’s guaranteed to keep its color for 12 months or 12 days, whichever comes first.  It seems I’m always doing some sort of yard work on the days leading up to Memorial Day. Thing is, I love the work-gardening, squashing bugs, planting flowers that will need more water, mowing, trimming fence lines, hauling piles of debris to the front for collection, spookin’ snakes and still not losing weight. Well there’s nothing new these days.

I worked on.

It’s time to open up our pool, 60 days after we started using it, and it’s all very HUGE. The jungle in Florida has a way of either being cut back or eating people-so I cut. And while I toil, I always think of my Dad. He was a Full Colonel. I think of all those who have fallen during time of war and wish none of it was true. “War! Good G-D y’all. What’s it good for?” That’s what my generation sang. The tune went very well with wine and a pocket full of joints.

Of course, there are way too many flowers being left on graveyards this weekend.

For or against, war seems a necessary evil of our time,,,no wait, for all of Man’s history. So, as I work in the yard, enjoying the chickadee, the Cardinal and Red Tail Hawk above, I’m thankful for their music that helps me forget the horror of life, and remember the beauty. I bow my head and pray for all those who gave their lives in battle as I shovel, plant, pick, spread or cultivate my yard knowing , right or wrong, it’s safe to believe the soldiers who died in battle believed they were fighting and, sometimes, dying for us. The saying is- they died to keep us free.

Flowers have a way of reminding us  how short and sweet life can be.

So it seems Memorial Day always finding me messing with flowers, or trying to enhance the small area of the earth I own. Today, the wind blew, thoughts of Dad and other soldiers I know crossed my mind. President Obama praying at Hiroshima rattle my head, and I worked.  The day, the month, the memories will pass, but it all remains tied together no matter what we do. In the end, the more a person does to encourage growth and the beauty of life the better they sleep at night-it’s called inner peace.

My day:

This popped out yesterday, just underneath the bird bath out front

This popped out yesterday, just underneath the bird bath out front

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Our gardenia by the bird feeder is in full bloom. I wonder, do birds like the fragrance?

I cut about ten per day to bring in to the house.....

I cut about ten per day to bring in to the house…..

This rascal orchid lasts about one day -and I was so happy to catch it today...

This rascal orchid lasts about one day -and I was so happy to catch it today…

the pathway in front is a riot of flowers now.

the pathway in front is a riot of flowers now.

The three Amigo's growing under the birdbath are wonderful to see.

The three Amigo’s growing under the birdbath are wonderful to see.

The yellow tea rose

The yellow tea rose

Mr. Tulip

Mr. Tulip…and

and a yellow Daisy face-three amigo's..now you know.

a yellow Daisy face-three Amigo’s..now you know.

It's great fun

It’s great fun

Today's evening silky wind blew this single Hibiscus a bit off shot.

Today’s evening silky wind blew this single Hibiscus a bit off shot.

Here's new one to us! (We don't know what it is of how it came to be)It will be about 6 inches across with many more petals at it's peak...but maybe it 's not so bad being young?

Here’s new one to us! (We don’t know what it is or how it came to be)It will be about 6 inches across with many more petals at it’s peak…but maybe it’s not so bad being young?

Not sure you can make it out, but this lavender and rose colored four o'clock is beautiful...This year , we are invaded with four o'clocks.

Not sure you can make it out, but this lavender and rose colored four o’clock is beautiful…This year, we are invaded with four o’clocks.

The garden grows

The garden grows

 as the Meyer lemons produce and flower at the same time

as the Meyer lemons produce and flower at the same time….

I’m so glad I got to help this life happen; I’m so thankful for that chance… Happy Memorial Day. Take time to smell the flowers if you can. It’s time to give thanks.

Thanks for stopping by.

Franque23

 


(click on pic for much larger views)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's called pride.....

It’s called pride…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My parents came up for the big day…..

Dale and I wore our best outfits…..

Jan, 1983

Jan, 1983….

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

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

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

Her outfit never tasted better

Her outfit never tasted better

There were cousins…..

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

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

And we all got to go to the beach….

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

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

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

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or it could be warm

Kelly has helped make anyplace home.

Kelly has helped make every place home.

Thanks Kelly Jeanne....

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

We love you so much Kelly….50670024

 

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

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

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

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

Franque23 is so proud of Kelly Jeanne.

 

 

 

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1776 to 2076 is three hundred years!

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

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

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

I walked across this field....

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

Spanish-American War

WWI

Protestant Catholic Wars

WWII

Korean War

Vietnam WAR

the Middle East….on and on.

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

Oil depicting city life in Europe, around 1338.

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

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

the universities were just gaining a foot-hold.

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

Tables were set, and tapestries hung form walls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.

Franque23

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


It’s not rocket science. The mother we all share is Mother Earth. It’s super that we have, Earth Day, but we all should remember the lump of clay beneath every travel is our Mother as well.

Mom is always a-round.

Mom is always a-round.

There is no life as we know it without our Earth.

Such beautiful life comes forth form our Mother Earth.

Such beautiful life comes forth from our Mother Earth.

Disney was right-most plants and animals of this earth are our friends if we only would let that be-

Life is happening all around us every second of every single day.

Life is happening all around us every second of every single day.

Earth. An immense montage of unimaginable beauty; a labyrinth of forests, streams, rivers, ravines, canyons, mountains, prairies, desserts and yes, cities.

I was amazed by discussions I witnessed during the 1970’s, my college years, that referred to things like-Man verses Nature…as though the two were not one and the same?!?!? Actually, as far back as 1864 people were writing about the lack of separation, or difference, between Man and Nature(Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action is a book written by George Perkins Marsh in 1864.)

Somehow, Mankind(Us) lost our way. Our logic failed us; our need for growth and power to further that growth over came or abilities to understand the Earth’s place in our lives.

Power companies don't get it. People have to mass together and demand renewable energies only as a goal in the foreseeable future.

(A fracking pit.)Power companies don’t get it. People have to mass together and demand renewable energy use only as a goal in the foreseeable future, or we don’t have one. One well placed bullet can kill an elephant. Our environment is like that elephant.

images (23)

Today’s random idea-

Please forward this blog to everyone you know....

Please forward this blog to everyone you know….

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/dont-frack-me-bro/ (Please forward.)

We have our Mother to hold.

We enjoy and need

We enjoy and need “Mom” night and day.

Our sun and its power is a gift. We should accept that gift, we should embrace that glory and light our future for all those who will follow to see.

Some famous artists, like, balh balh, use their work to remind people to celebrate Mother Earth's beauty.

Some famous artists, like Chihuly, and so many others use their work to remind people to celebrate Mother Earth’s beauty.*

If you get the chance, go see The Grand Canyon in person. The sight is a good reminder of how long the Earth has truly been in existence.

It would take one heck of a cosmic drip to do this in just 6000 years.....just saying.

It would take one heck of a cosmic drip to do this in just 6000 years…..just saying.

The Earth’s beauty shines as a light in the center of our eyes. That light mirrors the life around us, and in us. The Earth listens and supplies our needs, but we have to listen as well. We can do this. We can win the environmental wars for Mom. Then, our tables will be set, and our plates full-

Love to all Moms everywhere, and to the one beneath our feet.

If there's anyone we must keep in our corner-it's her.

If there’s anyone we must keep in our corner-it’s her.

Franque23

I try to celebrate the Earth in my bulletins boards….

The wonder of the Earth.

The wonder of the Earth.

*http://www.dbg.org/events-exhibitions/chihuly

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.

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.

Frank sings the blues

Frank sings the blues

Death never leaks its plans to the press, but it always leaves a calling card. It’s completely unwanted, but people flirt with it all the time.

“Hello, Gerald.” Frank had the friendliest way of saying hello, and he did it all by voice inflection.

“Everything okay?” Of course, I knew it was. I called Frank at least once a month since he rented one of our places, but over the nine years I’d known him we’d both come to know we were friends. He’d played at my house for two parties, and we’d jammed at his place and mine. No one had a stronger blues voice than Frank*.

*http://blueslightning.com/

“Sure. I’m playing this weekend. We’re a lead off band on a big concert and the chickens are layin'”.

Frank loved those chickens-he had about twenty-five and had named them all. Pets and eggs; it’s all good. I can’t help but cheer-up when thinking about his Colonel Sander’s look, his beard and smile.

the man's eyes twinkles and his soul glowed.

The man’s eyes twinkled and his soul glowed.

Some say they’d like to die in their sleep while all too many times I’ve heard people say that at least a terminal diagnosis gives people a chance to say goodbye. Either way, death is never good company-it’s most like a monkey on the back of the living no matter how distracted we keep ourselves as we go about our business.

Fallen soldiers, friends, family, random shootings in schools, movie theaters and malls, all serve as constant reminders that death doesn’t block the sun or cast a shadow. It just comes to all of us in good time, and at the worst of times.

Frank  Whitenack was a friend of mine**-a good man who died too soon like so many. I’d met him nine years ago after he’d gone through a recent divorce. His two children, a son and daughter, were so young then, maybe three and six. Then, as now, I’m so thankful we could help this man.

Thing is, Frank had his ups and downs, but he never let that affect how he treated others, or fathered his children. His cell phone always answered, “Hello, this is Frank Whitenack of Blues lightning. Please leave a message, and if this is Jonathan or Andrea, your daddy loves you.”

Frank rolled the blues out on the porch of the house I'd raised my family in, and I know those ol' house timbers loved the tunes.

This picture is taken in front of the house where Dale and I raised our family. Frank loved that house as we had. He rolled the blues most Sundays out on the porch of the house -practice time- and I know those ol’ house timbers loved the vibes.

“I don’t care if I have to play for free-I’m gonna play my music.” He made this promise to me eight years ago, and kept it. One thing I loved about this man is how he self-actualized his dreams. He stayed focused, and worked to make them come true.

No one worked harder at getting out there or being seen and heard than Frank. He’d play during a blue moon to mice on mars if he could book the date, and all for the money his hat might collect. His voice  was always on target from the get-go, and slowly, over the years, he emerged as a classic blues guitarist. The money started to come in; his first and only album was just the start. A serve case of hydro eczema on my finger tips eventually kept me from making music with him but we’d agreed on a course: I’d write books; he’d make albums. It was fun sharing our progress with one another. And, as bad as being robbed of my finger-tips is after playing guitar for forty years, losing Frank is as painful today. I just have to deal.

Frank never smoked; he didn’t drink. He had diabetes he managed well, but sometime four days ago things got complicated and after his short hospital stay, I got the news. Isn’t it odd how so much is going on all the time in our world with work, family, fun, or not, bills and appointments, but still this all can turn empty in an instant? Hollow time. Heavy air. Done and past. Over.

We’d made plans. Oh yeah, we were gonna lay down a few originals soon-no later than by the first of the year-that was our promise to each other.  Death has slapped us in the face with an abrupt end to a friendship that neither of us saw coming. It’s tough, this thing called life. You know, flat out Frank was a diamond of a man, and never in the rough, but always well polished.

Missing, hurting, plans turned sour, I hope Franks’ passing is worse for us than it is for him. I like to think there’s a peace to be found in death for those who pass, that there’s a light to follow when it happens to us, and that Heaven is now enjoying the best blues it’s ever heard. If that can be true, Frank will find a way to make it so.

Peace my Friend-I’m thinking an A chord works best, here. It’s the key  the universe makes as it hums along, and you fit in so well…Me? Rust is what I feel. Just when the world needs a tune-up, you leave us. Dang it, and worse.

Death, you have a crappy calling card.

Gerald-franque23.

** Dave Van Ronk, a classic Blues singer, recorded, He was a friend of Mine, around 1964. Frank’s voice had the same perfect blues quality-he would’ve killed killed this cover, hands down…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=754sRFIHIrA

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.
 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

August 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Categories

Advertisements